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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 12 [Supplement]
Author: Richard F. Burton, - To be updated
Language: English
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                  To The Book Of The Thousand
                   And One Nights With Notes
                      Anthropological And

                       Richard F. Burton

                           VOLUME TWO
              Privately Printed By The Burton Club

                     To Henry Irving, Esq.

My Dear Irving,

     To a consummate artist like yourself I need hardly suggest
that The Nights still offers many a virgin mine to the
Playwright; and I inscribe this volume to you, not only in
admiration of your genius but in the hope that you will find
means of exploiting the hidden wealth which awaits only your
"Open Sesame!"

                    Every yours sincerely,
                       Richard F. Burton.

London, August 1, 1886.

                Contents of the Twelfth Volume.

13.  Al-Malik Al-Zahir Rukn Al-Din Bibars Al-Bundukdari and the
     Sixteen Captains of Police
     a.   First Constable's History
     b.   Second Constable's History
     c.   Third Constable's History
     d.   Fourth Constable's History
     e.   Fifth Constable's History
     f.   Sixth Constable's History
     g.   Seventh Constable's History
     h.   Eighth Constable's History
          ha.  The Thief's Tale
     i.   Ninth Constable's History
     j.   Tenth Constable's History
     k.   Eleventh Constable's History
     l.   Twelfth Constable's History
     m.   Thirteenth Constable's History
     n.   Fourteenth Constable's History
          na.  A Merry Jest of a Clever Thief
          nb.  Tale of the Old Sharper
     o.   Fifteenth Constable's History
     p.   Sixteenth Constable's History
14.  Tale of Harun Al-Rashid and Abdullah Bin Nafi'
     a.   Tale of the Damsel Torfat Al-Kulub and the Caliph Harun
15.  Women's Wiles
16.  Nur Al-Din Ali of Damascus and the Damsel Sitt Al-Milah
17.  Tale of King Ins Bin Kays and His Daughter with the Son of
     King Al-'abbas
18.  Tale of the Two kings and the Wazir's Daughters
19.  The Concubine and the Caliph
20.  The Concubine of Al-Maamun

Appendix: Variants and Analogues of Some of the Tales in Vols. XI
                            and XII.
                       by W. A. Clouston

The Sleeper and the Waker
The Ten Wazirs; or the History of King Azadbakht and His Son
King Dadbin and His Wazirs
King Aylan Shah and Abu Tamman
King Sulayman Shah and His Niece
Firuz and His Wife
King Shah Bakht and His Wazir Al-Rahwan
On the Art of Enlarging Pearls
The Singer and the Druggist
The King Who Kenned the Quintessence of Things
The Prince Who Fell In Love With the Picture
The Fuller, His Wife, and the Trooper
The Simpleton Husband
The Three Men and our Lord Isa
The Melancholist and the Sharper
The Devout Woman accused of Lewdness
The Weaver Who Became A Leach By Order of His Wife
The King Who Lost Kingdom, Wife, and Wealth
Al-Malik Al-Zahir and the Sixteen Captains of Police
The Thief's Tale
The Ninth Constable's Story
The Fifteenth Constable's Story
The Damsel tohfat Al-Kulub
Womens Wiles
Nur Al-Din and the Damsel Sitt Al-Milah
King Ins Bin Kays and his Daughter

Additional Notes:
     Firuz and His Wife
     The Singer and the Druggist
     The Fuller, His Wife, and the Trooper

                      Supplemental Nights

                       To The Book Of The

                  Thousand Nights And A Night


There was once in the climes[FN#2] of Egypt and the city of
Cairo, under the Turks, a king of the valiant kings and the
exceeding mighty Soldans, hight Al-Malik al-Záhir Rukn al-Din
Bibars al-Bundukdári,[FN#3] who was used to storm the Islamite
sconces and the strongholds of "The Shore"[FN#4] and the Nazarene
citadels. His Chief of Police in the capital of his kingdom, was
just to the folk, all of them; and Al-Malik al-Zahir delighted in
stories of the common sort and of that which men purposed in
thought; and he loved to see this with his own eyes and to hear
their sayings with his own ears. Now it fortuned that he heard
one night from a certain of his nocturnal reciters[FN#5] that
among women are those who are doughtier than the doughtiest men
and prower of prowess, and that among them are some who will
engage in fight singular with the sword and others who beguile
the quickest-witted of Walis and baffle them and bring down on
them all manner of miseries; wherefore said the Soldan, "I would
lief hear this of their legerdemain from one of those who have
had to do with it, so I may hearken unto him and cause him
discourse." And one of the story-tellers said, "O king, send for
the Chief of Police of this thy city." Now 'Alam al-Din[FN#6]
Sanjar was at that time Wali and he was a man of experience, in
affairs well versed; so the king sent for him and when he came
before him, he discovered to him that which was in his mind.
Quoth Sanjar, "I will do my endeavour for that which our lord
seeketh." Then he arose and returning to his house, summoned the
Captains of the watch and the Lieutenants of the ward and said to
them, "Know that I purpose to marry my son and make him a bridal
banquet, and I desire that ye assemble, all of you, in one place.
I also will be present, I and my company, and do ye relate that
which you have heard of rare occurrences and that which hath
betided you of experiences." And the Captains and Runners and
Agents of Police answered him, "'Tis well: Bismillah--in the name
of Allah! We will make thee see all this with thine own eyes and
hear it with thine own ears." Then the Chief of Police arose and
going up to Al-Malik al-Zahir, informed him that the assembly
would meet on such a day at his house; and the Soldan said, "'Tis
well," and gave him somewhat of coin for his spending-money. When
the appointed day came the Chief of Police set apart for his
officers and constables a saloon, which had latticed casements
ranged in order and giving upon the flower-garden, and Al-Malik
al-Zahir came to him, and he seated himself and the Soldan, in
the alcove. Then the tables were spread for them with food and
they ate: and when the bowl went round amongst them and their
souls were gladdened by meat and drink, they mutually related
that which was with them and, revealed their secrets from
concealment. The first to discourse was a man, a Captain of the
Watch, hight Mu'ín al-Din[FN#7] whose heart was wholly occupied
with the love of fair women; and he said, "Harkye, all ye people
of high degree, I will acquaint you with an extraordinary affair
which fortuned me aforetime." Then he began to tell

The First Constable's History.[FN#8]

Know ye that when I entered the service of this Emir,[FN#9] I had
a great repute and every low fellow and lewd feared me most of
all mankind, and when I rode through the city, each and every of
the folk would point at me with their fingers and sign at me with
their eyes. It happened one day, as I sat in the palace of the
Prefecture, back-propped against a wall, considering in myself,
suddenly there fell somewhat in my lap, and behold, it was a
purse sealed and tied. So I hent it in hand and lo! it had in it
an hundred dirhams,[FN#10] but I found not who threw it and I
said, "Lauded be the Lord, the King of the Kingdoms!"[FN#11]
Another day, as I sat in the same way, somewhat fell on me and
startled me, and lookye, 'twas a purse like the first: I took it
and hiding the matter, made as though I slept, albeit sleep was
not with me. One day as I thus shammed sleep, I suddenly sensed
in my lap a hand, and in it a purse of the finest; so I seized
the hand and behold, 'twas that of a fair woman. Quoth I to her,
"O my lady, who art thou?" and quoth she, "Rise and come away
from here, that I may make myself known to thee." Presently I
rose up and following her, walked on, without tarrying, till we
stopped at the door of a high-builded house, whereupon I asked
her, "O my lady, who art thou? Indeed, thou hast done me
kindness, and what is the reason of this?" She answered, "By
Allah, O Captain[FN#12] Mu'in, I am a woman on whom love and
longing are sore for desire of the daughter of the Kazi Amín
al-Hukm.[FN#13] Now there was between me and her what was and
fondness for her fell upon my heart and I agreed upon an
assignation with her, according to possibility and convenience;
but her father Amin al-Hukm took her and went away, and my heart
cleaveth to her and yearning and distraction waxed sore upon me
for her sake." I said to her, marvelling the while at her words,
"What wouldst thou have me do?" and said she, "O Captain Mu'in, I
would have thee lend me a helping hand." Quoth I, "Where am I and
where is the daughter of the Kazi Amin al-Hukm?"[FN#14] and quoth
she "Be assured that I would not have thee intrude upon the
Kazi's daughter, but I would fain work for the winning of my
wishes. This is my will and my want which may not be wroughten
save by thine aid." Then she added, "I mean this night to go with
heart enheartened and hire me bracelets and armlets and anklets
of price; then will I hie me and sit in the street wherein is the
house of Amin al-Hukm; and when 'tis the season of the round and
folk are asleep, do thou pass, thou and those who are with thee
of the men, and thou wilt see me sitting and on me fine raiment
and ornaments and wilt smell on me the odour of Ottars; whereupon
do thou question me of my case and I will say, 'I hail from the
Citadel and am of the daughters of the deputies[FN#15] and I came
down into the town for a purpose; but night overtook me all
unawares and the Zuwaylah Gate[FN#16] was shut against me and all
the other portals and I knew not whither I should wend this
night. Presently I saw this street and noting the goodly fashion
of its ordinance and its cleanliness, I sheltered me therein
against break of day.' When I speak these words to thee with
complete self-possession,[FN#17] the Chief of the watch will have
no ill suspicion of me, but will say, 'There's no help but that
we leave her with one who will take care of her till morning.'
Thereto do thou rejoin, ''Twere best that she night with Amin
al-Hukm and lie with his wives[FN#18] and children until dawn of
day.' Then straightway knock at the Kazi's door, and thus shall I
have secured admission into his house, without inconvenience, and
won my wish; and--the Peace!" I said to her, "By Allah, this is
an easy matter." So, when the night was blackest, we rose to make
our round, followed by men with girded swords, and went about the
ways and compassed the city, till we came to the street[FN#19]
where was the woman, and it was the middle of the night. Here we
smelt mighty rich scents and heard the clink of rings: so I said
to my comrades, "Methinks I espy a spectre;" and the Captain of
the watch cried, "See what it is." Accordingly, I undertook the
work and entering the thoroughfare presently came out again and
said, "I have found a fair woman and she telleth me that she is
from the Citadel and that dark night surprised her and she saw
this street and noting its cleanness and goodly fashion of
ordinance, knew that it belonged to a great man[FN#20] and that
needs must there be in it a guardian to keep watch over it, so
she sheltered her therein." Quoth the Captain of the watch to me,
"Take her and carry her to thy house;" but quoth I, "I seek
refuge with Allah![FN#21] My house is no strong box[FN#22] and on
this woman are trinkets and fine clothing. By Allah, we will not
deposit the lady save with Amin al-Hukm, in whose street she hath
been since the first starkening of the darkness; therefore do
thou leave her with him till the break of day." He rejoined, "Do
whatso thou willest." So I rapped at the Kazi's gate and out came
a black slave of his slaves, to whom said I, "O my lord, take
this woman and let her be with you till day shall dawn, for that
the lieutenant of the Emir Alam al-Din hath found her with
trinkets and fine apparel on her, sitting at the door of your
house, and we feared lest her responsibility be upon you;[FN#23]
wherefore I suggested 'twere meetest she night with you." So the
chattel opened and took her in with him. Now when the morning
morrowed, the first who presented himself before the Emir was the
Kazi Amin al-Hukm, leaning on two of his negro slaves; and he was
crying out and calling for aid and saying, "O Emir, crafty and
perfidious, yesternight thou depositedst with me a woman and
broughtest her into my house and home, and she arose in the dark
and took from me the monies of the little orphans my
wards,[FN#24] six great bags, each containing a thousand
dinars,[FN#25] and made off; but as for me, I will say no
syllable to thee except in the Soldan's presence."[FN#26] When
the Wali heard these words, he was troubled and rose and sat down
in his agitation; then he took the Judge and placing him by his
side, soothed him and exhorted him to patience, till he had made
an end of talk, when he turned to the officers and questioned
them of that. They fixed the affair on me and said, "We know
nothing of this matter but from Captain Mu'in al-Din." So the
Kazi turned to me and said, "Thou wast of accord to practice upon
me with this woman, for she said she came from the Citadel." As
for me, I stood, with my head bowed ground-wards, forgetting both
Sunnah and Farz,[FN#27] and remained sunk in thought, saying,
"How came I to be the dupe of that randy wench?" Then cried the
Emir to me, "What aileth thee that thou answerest not?" Thereupon
I replied, "O my lord, 'tis a custom among the folk that he who
hath a payment to make at a certain date is allowed three days'
grace: do thou have patience with me so long, and if, at the end
of that time, the culprit be not found, I will be responsible for
that which is lost." When the folk heard my speech they all
approved it as reasonable and the Wali turned to the Kazi and
sware to him that he would do his utmost to recover the stolen
monies adding, "And they shall be restored to thee." Then he went
away, whilst I mounted without stay or delay and began to-ing and
fro-ing about the world without purpose, and indeed I was become
the underling of a woman without honesty or honour; and I went my
rounds in this way all that my day and that my night, but
happened not upon tidings of her; and thus I did on the morrow.
On the third day I said to myself, "Thou art mad or silly;" for I
was wandering in quest of a woman who knew me[FN#28] and I knew
her not, she being veiled when I met her. Then I went round about
the third day till the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, and sore
waxed my cark and my care for I kenned that there remained to me
of my life but the morrow, when the Chief of Police would send
for me. However, as sundown-time came, I passed through one of
the main streets, and saw a woman at a window; her door was ajar
and she was clapping her hands and casting sidelong glances at
me, as who should say, "Come up by the door." So I went up,
without fear or suspicion, and when I entered, she rose and
clasped me to her breast. I marvelled at the matter and quoth she
to me, "I am she whom thou depositedst with Amin al-Hukm." Quoth
I to her, "O my sister, I have been going round and round in
request of thee, for indeed thou hast done a deed which will be
chronicled and hast cast me into red death[FN#29] on thine
account." She asked me, "Dost thou speak thus to me and thou a
captain of men?" and I answered, "How should I not be troubled,
seeing that I be in concern for an affair I turn over and over in
mind, more by token that I continue my day long going about
searching for thee and in the night I watch its stars and
planets?"[FN#30] Cried she, "Naught shall betide save weal, and
thou shalt get the better of him."[FN#31] So saying, she rose and
going to a chest, drew out therefrom six bags full of gold and
said to me, "This is what I took from Amin al-Hukm's house. So an
thou wilt, restore it; else the whole is lawfully[FN#32] thine;
and if thou desire other than this, thou shalt obtain it; for I
have monies in plenty and I had no design herein save to marry
thee." Then she arose and opening other chests, brought out
therefrom wealth galore and I said to her, "O my sister, I have
no wish for all this, nor do I want aught except to be quit of
that wherein I am." Quoth she, "I came not forth of the Kazi's
house without preparing for thine acquittance." Then said she to
me, "When the morrow shall morn and Amin al-Hukm shall come to
thee bear with him till he have made an end of his speech, and
when he is silent, return him no reply; and if the Wali ask,
'What aileth thee that thou answerest me not?' do thou rejoin, 'O
lord and master[FN#33] know that the two words are not alike, but
there is no helper for the conquered one[FN#34] save Allah
Almighty.' The Kazi will cry, 'What is the meaning of thy saying,
The two words are not alike?' And do thou retort, 'I deposited
with thee a damsel from the palace of the Sultan, and most likely
some enemy of hers in thy household hath transgressed against her
or she hath been secretly murdered. Verily, there were on her
raiment and ornaments worth a thousand ducats, and hadst thou put
to the question those who are with thee of slaves and
slave-girls, needs must thou have litten on some traces of the
crime.' When he heareth this from thee, his trouble will redouble
and he will be amated and will make oath that thou hast no help
for it but to go with him to his house: however, do thou say,
'That will I not do, for I am the party aggrieved, more
especially because I am under suspicion with thee.' If he
redouble in calling on Allah's aid and conjure thee by the oath
of divorce saying, 'Thou must assuredly come,' do thou reply, 'By
Allah, I will not go, unless the Chief also go with me.' Then, as
soon as thou comest to the house, begin by searching the
terrace-roofs; then rummage the closets and cabinets; and if thou
find naught, humble thyself before the Kazi and be abject and
feign thyself subjected, and after stand at the door and look as
if thou soughtest a place wherein to make water,[FN#35] because
there is a dark corner there. Then come forward, with heart
harder than syenite-stone, and lay hold upon a jar of the jars
and raise it from its place. Thou wilt find there under it a
mantilla-skirt; bring it out publicly and call the Wali in a loud
voice, before those who are present. Then open it and thou wilt
find it full of blood, exceeding for freshness, and therein a
woman's walking-boots and a pair of petticoat-trousers and
somewhat of linen." When I heard from her these words, I rose to
go out and she said to me, "Take these hundred sequins, so they
may succour thee; and such is my guest-gift to thee." Accordingly
I took them and leaving her door ajar returned to my lodging.
Next morning, up came the Judge, with his face like the
ox-eye,[FN#36] and asked, "In the name of Allah, where is my
debtor and where is my property?" Then he wept and cried out and
said to the Wali, "Where is that ill-omened fellow, who aboundeth
in robbery and villainy?" Thereupon the Chief turned to me and
said, "Why dost thou not answer the Kazi?" and I replied, "O
Emir, the two heads[FN#37] are not equal, and I, I have no
helper;[FN#38] but, an the right be on my side 'twill appear." At
this the Judge grew hotter of temper and cried out, "Woe to thee,
O ill-omened wight! How wilt thou make manifest that the right is
on thy side?" I replied "O our lord the Kazi, I deposited with
thee and in thy charge a woman whom we found at thy door, and on
her raiment and ornaments of price. Now she is gone, even as
yesterday is gone;[FN#39] and after this thou turnest upon us and
suest me for six thousand gold pieces. By Allah, this is none
other than a mighty great wrong, and assuredly some foe[FN#40] of
hers in thy household hath transgressed against her!" With this
the Judge's wrath redoubled and he swore by the most solemn of
oaths that I should go with him and search his house. I replied,
"By Allah I will not go, unless the Wali go with us; for, an he
be present, he and the officers, thou wilt not dare to work thy
wicked will upon me." So the Kazi rose and swore an oath, saying,
"By the truth of Him who created mankind, we will not go but with
the Emir!" Accordingly we repaired to the Judge's house,
accompanied by the Chief, and going up, searched it through, but
found naught; whereat fear fell upon me and the Wali turned to me
and said, "Fie upon thee, O ill-omened fellow! thou hast put us
to shame before the men." All this, and I wept and went round
about right and left, with the tears running down my face, till
we were about to go forth and drew near the door of the house. I
looked at the place which the woman had mentioned and asked,
"What is yonder dark place I see?" Then said I to the men, "Pull
up[FN#41] this jar with me." They did my bidding and I saw
somewhat appearing under the jar and said, "Rummage and look at
what is under it." So they searched, and behold, they came upon a
woman's mantilla and petticoat-trousers full of blood, which when
I espied, I fell down in a fainting-fit. Now when the Wali saw
this, he said, "By Allah, the Captain is excused!" Then my
comrades came round about me and sprinkled water on my face till
I recovered, when I arose and accosting the Kazi (who was covered
with confusion), said to him, "Thou seest that suspicion is
fallen on thee, and indeed this affair is no light matter,
because this woman's family will assuredly not sit down quietly
under her loss." Therewith the Kazi's heart quaked and fluttered
for that he knew the suspicion had reverted upon him, wherefore
his colour yellowed and his limbs smote together; and he paid of
his own money, after the measure of that he had lost, so we would
quench that fire for him.[FN#42] Then we departed from him in
peace, whilst I said within myself, "Indeed, the woman falsed me
not." After that I tarried till three days had passed, when I
went to the Hammam and changing my clothes, betook myself to her
home, but found the door shut and covered with dust. So I asked
the neighbours of her and they answered, "This house hath been
empty of habitants these many days; but three days agone there
came a woman with an ass, and at supper-time last night she took
her gear and went away." Hereat I turned back, bewildered in my
wit, and for many a day after I inquired of the dwellers in that
street concerning her, but could happen on no tidings of her. And
indeed I wondered at the eloquence of her tongue and the
readiness of her talk; and this is the most admirable of all I
have seen and of whatso hath betided me. When Al-Malik al-Zahir
heard the tale of Mu'in al-Din, he marvelled thereat. Then rose
another constable and said, "O lord, hear what befel me in bygone

The Second Constable's History.

I was once an overseer in the household of the Emir Jamál al-Din
al-Atwash al-Mujhidi, who was made governor of the two provinces,
Sharkíyah and Gharbíyah,[FN#43] and I was dear to his heart and
he hid from me naught of whatso he desired to do; and he was eke
master of his reason.[FN#44] It came to pass one day of the days
that it was reported to him how the daughter of Such-an-one had a
mint of monies and raiment and ornaments and at that present she
loved a Jewish man, whom every day she invited to be private with
her, and they passed the light hours eating and drinking in
company and he lay the night with her. The Wali feigned not to
believe a word of this story, but he summoned the watchmen of the
quarter one night and questioned them of this tittle-tattle.
Quoth one of them, "As for me, O my lord, I saw none save a
Jew[FN#45] enter the street in question one night; but I have not
made certain to whom he went in;" and quoth the Chief, "Keep
thine eye on him from this time forward and note what place he
entereth." So the watchman went out and kept his eye on the
Judaean. One day as the Prefect sat in his house, the watchman
came in to him and said, "O my lord, in very sooth the Jew goeth
to the house of Such-an-one." Whereupon Al-Atwash sprang to his
feet and went forth alone, taking with him none save
myself."[FN#46] As he went along, he said to me, "Indeed, this
girl is a fat piece of meat."[FN#47] And we gave not over going
till we came to the door of the house and stood there until a
hand-maid came out, as if to buy them something wanted. We waited
till she opened the door, whereupon, without question or answer,
we forced our way into the house and rushed in upon the girl,
whom we found seated with the Jew in a saloon with four daïses,
and cooking-pots and candles therein. When her eyes fell on the
Wali, she knew him and rising to her feet, said, "Well come and
welcome and fair cheer! By Allah, great honour hath betided me by
my lord's visit and indeed thou dignifiest my dwelling." Hereat
she carried him up to the dais and seating him on the couch,
brought him meat and wine and gave him to drink; after which she
put off all that was upon her of raiment and ornaments and tying
them up in a kerchief, said to him, "O my lord, this is thy
portion, all of it." Then she turned to the Jew and said to him,
"Rise, thou also, and do even as I:" so he arose in haste and
went out very hardly crediting his deliverance.[FN#48] When the
girl was assured of his escape, she put out her hand to her
clothes and jewels and taking them, said to the Chief, "O Emir,
is the requital of kindness other than kindness? Thou hast
deigned to visit me and eat of my bread and salt; so now arise
and depart from us without ill-doing; or I will give a single
outcry and all who are in the street will come forth." So the
Emir went out from her, without having gotten a single dirham;
and on this wise she delivered the Jew by the seemliness of her
stratagem. The company admired this tale, and as for the Wali and
Al-Malik al-Zahir, they said, "Ever devised any the like of this
device?" and they marvelled with the utterest of marvel. Then
arose a third constable and said, "Hear what betided me, for it
is yet stranger and rarer."

The Third Constable's History.

I was one day abroad on business with certain of my comrades;
and, as we walked along behold, we fell in with a company of
women, as they were moons, and among them one, the tallest of
them and the handsomest. When I saw her and she saw me, she
lagged behind her companions and waited for me till I came up to
her and bespake her. Quoth she, "O my lord (Allah favour thee!) I
saw thee prolong thy looking on me and I fancied that thou
knewest me. An it be thus, let me learn more of thee." Quoth I,
"By Allah, I know thee not, save that the Most High Lord hath
cast the love of thee into my heart and the goodliness of thy
qualities hath confounded me; and that wherewith the Almighty
hath gifted thee of those eyes that shoot with shafts hath
captivated me." And she rejoined, "By Allah, indeed I feel the
like of that which thou feelest; ay, and even more; so that
meseemeth I have known thee from childhood." Then said I, "A man
cannot well effect all whereof he hath need in the
market-places." She asked me, "Hast thou a house?" and I
answered, "No, by Allah, nor is this city my dwelling-place."
Rejoined she, "By Allah, nor have I a place; but I will contrive
for thee." Then she went on before me and I followed her till she
came to a lodging-house[FN#49] and said to the Housekeeper, "Hast
thou an empty room?" The other replied, "Yes:"[FN#50] and my
mistress said, "Give us the key." So we took the key and going up
to see the room, entered to inspect it; after which she went out
to the Housekeeper and giving her a dirham, said to her "Take the
douceur of the key[FN#51] for the chamber pleaseth us, and here
is another dirham for thy trouble. Go, fetch us a gugglet of
water, so we may refresh ourselves and rest till siesta-time pass
and the heat decline, when the man will depart and bring our bag
and baggage." Therewith the Housekeeper rejoiced and brought us a
mat, two gugglets of water on a tray, a fan and a leather rug. We
abode thus till the setting-in of mid-afternoon, when she said,
"Needs must I make the Ghusl-ablution ere I fare."[FN#52] Said I,
"Get water wherewith we may both wash," and drew forth from my
pocket a score or so of dirhams, thinking to give them to her;
but she cried, "Refuge with Allah!" and brought out of her pocket
a handful of silver, saying, "But for destiny and that the
Almighty hath caused the love of thee fall into my heart, there
had not happened that which hath happened." Quoth I, "Accept this
in requital of that which thou hast spent;" and quoth she, "O my
lord, by and by, whenas mating is prolonged between us, thou wilt
see if the like of me looketh unto money and means or no." Then
the lady took a jar of water and going into the lavatory, made
the Ghusl-ablution[FN#53] and presently coming forth, prayed the
mid-afternoon prayer and craved pardon of Allah Almighty for the
sin into which she had fallen. Now I had asked her name and she
answered, "Rayhánah,"[FN#54] and described to me her
dwelling-place. When I saw her make the ablution, I said within
myself, "This woman doth on this wise, and shall I not do the
like of her doing?" Then quoth I to her, "Peradventure[FN#55]
thou wilt seek us another jar of water?" Accordingly she went out
to the Housekeeper and said to her, "O my sister, take this Nusf
and fetch us for it water wherewith we may wash the
flags."[FN#56] So the Housekeeper brought two jars of water and I
took one of them and giving her my clothes, entered the lavatory
and bathed. When I had made an end of bathing, I cried out,
saying, "Harkye, my lady Rayhanah!" However none answered me. So
I went out and found her not; but I did find that she had taken
my clothes and all that was in them of silver, to wit, four
hundred dirhams. She had also carried off my turband and my
kerchief and I lacked the wherewithal to veil my shame; so I
suffered somewhat than which death is less grievous and abode
looking about the place, hoping that haply I might espy a rag
wherewith to hide my nakedness. Then I sat a little and presently
going up to the door, smote upon it; whereat up came the
Housekeeper and I said to her, "O my sister, what hath Allah done
with the woman who was here?" She replied, "The lady came down
just now and said, 'I'm going to cover the boys with the
clothes,' adding, 'and I have left him sleeping; an he awake,
tell him not to stir till the clothes come to him.'" Then cried
I, "O my sister, secrets are safe with the fair-dealing and the
freeborn. By Allah, this woman is not my wife, nor ever in my
life have I seen her before this day!" And I recounted to her the
whole affair and begged of her to cover me, informing her that my
private parts were clean unconcealed. She laughed and cried out
to the women of the lodging-house, saying, "Ho, Fátimah! Ho,
Khadíjah! Ho, Harífah! Ho, Sanínah!" Whereupon all those who were
in the place of women and neighbours flocked to me and fell
a-mocking me and saying, "O pimp,[FN#57] what hadst thou to do
with gallantry?" Then one of them came and looked in my face and
laughed, and another said, "By Allah, thou mightest have known
that she lied, from the time she said she liked thee and was in
love with thee! What is there in thee to love?" A third said,
"This is an old man without wisdom;" and all vied one with other
in exercising their wits upon me, I suffering mighty sore
chagrin. However, one of the women took compassion on me after a
while, and brought me a rag of thin stuff and cast it on me. With
this I covered my shame, and no more, and abode awhile thus: then
said I in myself, "The husbands of these women will presently
gather together upon me and I shall be disgraced." So I went out
by another door of the lodging-house, and young and old crowded
about me, running after me and crying, "A madman! A
madman![FN#58] till I came to my house and knocked at the door;
whereupon out came my wife and seeing me naked, tall, bare of
head, cried out and ran in again, saying, "This is a maniac, a
Satan!" But, when my family and spouse knew me, they rejoiced and
said to me, "What aileth thee?" I told them that thieves had
taken my clothes and stripped me and had been like to slay me;
and when I assured them that the rogues would have slaughtered
me, they praised Allah Almighty and gave me joy of my safety. So
consider the craft this woman practised upon me, and I pretending
to cleverness and wiliness. Those present marvelled at this story
and at the doings of women; then came forward a fourth constable
and said, "Now that which hath betided me of strange adventures
is yet stranger than this, and ‘twas after the following

The Fourth Constable's History.

We were sleeping one night on the terrace-roof, when a woman made
her way through the darkness into the house and, gathering into a
bundle all that was therein, took it up that she might go away
with it. Now she was big with child and nigh upon her time of
delivery; so, when she packed up the bundle and prepared to
shoulder it and make off with it, she hastened the coming of the
labour-pangs and bare a child in the dark. Then she sought for
the fire-sticks and when they burned, kindled the lamp and went
round about the house with the little one, and it was weeping.
The wail awoke us, as we lay on the roof, and we marvelled. So we
rose to see what was to do, and looking down through the opening
of the saloon,[FN#59] saw a woman, who had lit the lamp, and
heard the little one crying. As we were peering, she heard our
words and raising her head to us, said, "Are ye not ashamed to
deal thus with us and bare our shame? Wist ye not that the day
belongeth to you and the night to us? Begone from us! By Allah,
were it not that ye have been my neighbours these many years, I
would assuredly[FN#60] bring down the house upon you!" We doubted
not but that she was of the Jinn and drew back our heads; but,
when we rose on the morrow, we found that she had taken all that
was with us and made off with it;[FN#61] wherefore we knew that
she was a thief and had practised on us a device, such as was
never before practised; and we repented, whenas repentance
availed us naught. The company, hearing this tale, marvelled
thereat with the utmost marvelling. Then the fifth constable, who
was the lieutenant of the bench,[FN#62] came forward and said,
"This is no wonder and there befel me a story which is rarer and
stranger than this."

The Fifth Constable's History.

As I sat one day at the door of the Prefecture, behold, a woman
suddenly entered and said as though consulting me. "O my lord, I
am the wife of Such-an-one the Leach, and with him is a company
of the notables[FN#63] of the city, drinking fermented drinks in
such a place." When I heard this, I misliked to make a scandal;
so I bluffed her off and sent her away unsatisfied. Then I rose
and walked alone to the place in question and sat without till
the door opened, when I rushed in and entering, found the company
even as the woman aforesaid had set out, and she herself with
them. I saluted them and they returned my salam and rising,
treated me with honour and seated me and served me with meat.
Then I informed them how one had denounced them to me, but I had
driven him away and had come to them by myself; so they thanked
me and praising me for my kindness, brought out to me from among
them two thousand dirhams[FN#64] and I took them and went away.
Now two months after this adventure, there came to me one of the
Kazi's officers, with a paper, wherein was the judge's writ,
summoning me to him. So I accompanied the officer and went in to
the Kazi, whereupon the plaintiff, he who had taken out the
summons, sued me for two thousand dirhams, declaring I had
borrowed them of him as the agent or guardian of the woman. I
denied the debt, but he produced against me a bond for that sum,
attested by four of those who were in company on the occasion;
and they were present and bore witness to the loan. I reminded
them of my kindness and paid the amount, swearing that I would
never again follow a woman's counsel. Is not this marvellous? The
company admired the goodliness of his tale and it pleased
Al-Malik al-Zahir; and the Wali said, "By Allah, this is a
strange story!" Then came forward the sixth constable and said to
those present, "Hear my adventure and that which befel me, to
wit, that which befel Such-an-one the Assessor, for 'tis rarer
than this and finer."

The Sixth Constable's History.

A certain Assessor one day of the days was taken with a woman and
much people assembled before his house and the Lieutenant of
police and his posse came to him and rapped at the door. The
Assessor peered from house-top and seeing the folk, said, "What
do ye want?" Replied they, "Speak with the Lieutenant of police
Such-an-one." So he came down and as he opened the door they
cried to him, "Bring forth the woman who is with thee." "Are ye
not ashamed? How shall I bring forth my wife?" "Is she thy wife
by book[FN#65] or without marriage-lines?" "She is my wife
according to the Book of Allah and the Institutes of His
Apostle." "Where is the contract?" "Her lines are in her mother's
house." "Arise thou and come down and show us the writ." "Go from
her way, so she may come forth." Now, as soon as he got wind of
the matter, he had written the bond and fashioned it after the
fashion of his wife,[FN#66] to suit with the case, and he had
written therein the names of certain of his friends to serve as
witnesses and forged the signatures of the drawer and the wife's
next friend and made it a contract of marriage with his wife and
a legal deed.[FN#67] Accordingly, when the woman was about to go
out from him, he gave her the contract he had forged, and the
Emir sent with her a servant of his, to carry her home to her
father. So the servant went with her and when she was inside she
said to him, "I will not return to the citation of the Emir: but
let the Assessors present themselves and take my contract."
Hereupon the servant carried this message to the Lieutenant of
police, who was standing at the Assessor's door, and he said,
"This is permissible." Then said the Assessor to the servant,
"Fare, O eunuch, and fetch us Such-an-one the Notary;" for that
he was his friend and 'twas he whose name he had forged as the
drawer-up of the contract.[FN#68] So the Lieutenant sent after
him and fetched him to the Assessor, who, when he saw him, said
to him, "Get thee to Such-an-one, her with whom thou marriedst
me, and cry out upon her, and when she cometh to thee,[FN#69]
demand of her the contract and take it from her and bring it to
us." And he signed to him, as much as to say, "Bear me out in the
lie and screen me, for that she is a strange woman and I[FN#70]
am in fear of the Lieutenant who standeth at the door; and we
beseech Allah Almighty to screen us and you from the woes of this
world. Amen." So the Notary went up to the Lieutenant, who was
among the witnesses, and said, " 'Tis well. Is she not Such-an-
one whose marriage-contract we drew up in such a place?" Then he
betook himself to the woman's house and cried out upon her;
whereat she brought him the forged contract and he took it and
returned with it to the Lieutenant of police.[FN#71] When the
officer had taken cognizance of the document and professed
himself satisfied, the Assessor said to the Notary, "Go to our
lord and master, the Kazi of the Kazis, and acquaint him with
that which befalleth his Assessors." The Notary rose to go, but
the Lieutenant feared for himself and was urgent in beseeching
the Assessor and in kissing his hands till he forgave him;
whereupon the Lieutenant went away in the utmost concern and
affright. On such wise the Assessor ordered the case and carried
out the forgery and feigned marriage with the woman; and thus
escaped calumny and calamity by the seemliness of his
stratagem.[FN#72] The folk marvelled at this with the uttermost
marvel and the seventh constable said, "There befel me in
Alexandria the God-guarded a wondrous thing, and 'twas

The Seventh Constable's History.

There came one day an old woman to the stuff-bazar, with a casket
of mighty fine workmanship, containing trinkets, and she was
accompanied by a young baggage big with child. The crone sat down
at the shop of a draper and giving him to know that the girl was
pregnant by the Prefect[FN#74] of Police of the city, took of
him, on credit, stuffs to the value of a thousand diners and
deposited with him the casket as security. She opened the casket
and showed him that which was therein and he found it full of
trinkets of price; so he trusted her with the goods and she
farewelled him and carrying the stuffs to the girl who was with
her, went her way. Then the old woman was absent from him a great
while, and when her absence was prolonged, the draper despaired
of her; so he went up to the Prefect's house and asked anent the
woman of his household who had taken his stuffs on credit; but
could obtain no tidings of her nor happen on any trace of her.
Then he brought out the casket of jewellery and showed it to
experts, who told him that the trinkets were gilt and that their
worth was but an hundred dirhams. When he heard this, he was sore
concerned thereat and presenting himself before the Deputy of the
Sultan made his complaint to him; whereupon the official knew
that a sleight had been served upon him and that the sons of
Adam[FN#75] had cozened him and conquered him and cribbed his
stuffs. Now the magistrate in question was a man of experience
and judgment, well versed in affairs; so he said to the draper,
"Remove somewhat from thy shop, including the casket, and to-
morrow morning break the lock and cry out and come to me and
complain that they have plundered all thy shop.[FN#76] Also mind
thou call upon Allah for aid and wail aloud and acquaint the
people, so that a world of folk may flock to thee and sight the
breach of the lock and that which is missing from thy shop: and
on this wise display it to every one who presenteth himself that
the news may be noised abroad, and tell them that thy chief
concern is for a casket of great value, deposited with thee by a
great man of the town and that thou standest in fear of him. But
be thou not afraid and still say ever and anon in thy saying, 'My
casket was the casket of Such-an-one, and I fear him and dare not
bespeak him; but you, O company and all ye who are present, I
call you to witness of this for me.' And if there be with thee
more than this saying, say it; and the old woman will assuredly
come to thee." The draper answered with "To hear is to obey" and
going forth from the Deputy's presence, betook himself to his
shop and brought out thence the casket and a somewhat making a
great display, which he removed to his house. At break of day he
arose and going to his shop, broke the lock and shouted and
shrieked and called on Allah for aid, till each and every of the
folk assembled about him and all who were in the city were
present, whereupon he cried out to them, saying even as the
Prefect had bidden him; and this was bruited abroad. Then he made
for the Prefecture and presenting himself before the Chief of
Police, cried out and complained and made a show of distraction.
After three days, the old woman came to him and bringing him the
thousand diners, the price of the stuffs, de mended the
casket.[FN#77] When he saw her, he seized her and carried her to
the Prefect of the city; and when she came before the Kazi, he
said to her, "Woe to thee O Sataness; did not thy first deed
suffice thee, but thou must come a second time?" She replied, "I
am of those who seek their salvation[FN#78] in the cities, and we
foregather every month: and, yesterday we foregathered." He asked
her, "Canst thou cause me to catch them?" and she answered, "Yes;
but, an thou wait till to-morrow, they will have dispersed; so I
will deliver them to thee to-night." The Emir said to her, "Go;"
and said she, "Send with me one who shall go with me to them and
obey me in whatso I shall say to him, and all that I bid him he
shall not gainsay and therein conform to my way." Accordingly, he
gave her a company of men and she took them and bringing them to
a certain door, said to them, "Stand ye here, at this door, and
whoso cometh out to you seize him; and I will come out to you
last of all." "Hearing and obeying," answered they and stood at
the door, whilst the crone went in. They waited a whole hour,
even as the Sultan's deputy had bidden them, but none came out to
them and their standing waxed longsome, and when they were weary
of waiting, they went up to the door and smote upon it a heavy
blow and a violent, so that they came nigh to break the wooden
bolt. Then one of them entered and was absent a long while, but
found naught; so he returned to his comrades and said to them,
"This is the door of a dark passage, leading to such a
thoroughfare; and indeed she laughed at you and left you and went
away.''[FN#79] When they heard his words, they returned to the
Emir and acquainted him with the case, whereby he knew that the
old woman was a cunning craft-mistress and that she had mocked at
them and cozened them and put a cheat on them, to save herself.
Witness, then, the wiles of this woman and that which she
contrived of guile, for all her lack of foresight in presenting
herself a second time to the draper and not suspecting that his
conduct was but a sleight; yet, when she found herself hard upon
calamity, she straightway devised a device for her deliverance.
When the company heard the seventh constable's story, they were
moved to mirth galore, than which naught could be more; and
Al-Malik al Zahir Bíbars rejoiced in that which he heard and
said, "Verily, there betide things in this world wherefrom kings
are shut out, by reason of their exalted degree!" Then came
forward another person from amongst the company and said, "There
hath reached me through one of my friends a similar story bearing
on the malice of women and their wiles, and it is more wondrous
and marvellous, more diverting and more delectable than all that
hath been told to you." Quoth the company there present, "Tell us
thy tale and expound it unto us, so we may see that which it hath
of extraordinary." And he began to relate

The Eighth Constable's History.

Ye must know that a company, amongst whom was a friend of mine,
once invited me to an entertainment; so I went with him, and when
we came into his house and sat down on his couch, he said to me,
"This is a blessed day and a day of gladness, and who is he that
liveth to see the like of this day? I desire that thou practice
with us and disapprove not our proceedings, for that thou hast
been accustomed to fall in with those who offer this."[FN#80] I
consented thereto and their talk happened upon the like of this
subject.[FN#81] Presently, my friend, who had invited me, arose
from among them and said to them, Listen to me and I will
acquaint you with an adventure which happened to me. There was a
certain person who used to visit me in my shop, and I knew him
not nor he knew me, nor ever in his life had he seen me; but he
was wont, whenever he wanted a dirham or two, by way of loan, to
come to me and ask me, without acquaintance or introduction
between me and him, and I would give him what he required. I told
none of him, and matters abode thus between us a long while till
he began a-borrowing at a time ten or twenty dirhams, more or
less. One day, as I stood in my shop, behold, a woman suddenly
came up to me and stopped before me; and she was a presence as
she were the full moon rising from among the constellations, and
the place was a-light by her light. When I saw her, I fixed my
eyes on her and stared in her face; and she fell to bespeaking me
with soft voice. When I heard her words and the sweetness of her
speech, I lusted after her; and as soon as she saw that I longed
for her, she did her errand and promising me an assignation, went
away, leaving my thoughts occupied with her and fire a-flame in
my heart. Accordingly I abode, perplexed and pondering my affair,
the fire still burning in my heart, till the third day, when she
came again and I could hardly credit her coming. When I saw her,
I talked with her and cajoled her and courted her and craved her
favour with speech and invited her to my house; but, hearing all
this, she only answered, "I will not go up into any one's house."
Quoth I, "I will go with thee" and quoth she, "Arise and come
with me." So I rose and putting into my sleeve a kerchief,
wherein was a fair sum of silver and a considerable, followed the
woman, who forwent me and ceased not walking till she brought me
to a lane and to a door, which she bade me unlock. I refused and
she opened it and led me into the vestibule. As soon as I had
entered, she bolted the entrance door from within and said to me,
"Sit here till I go in to the slave-girls and cause them enter a
place whence they shall not see me." "'Tis well," answered I and
sat down: whereupon she entered and was absent from me an
eye-twinkling, after which she returned to me, without a veil,
and straightway said, "Arise and enter in the name of Allah." So
I arose and went in after her and we gave not over going till we
reached a saloon. When I examined the place, I found it neither
handsome nor pleasant, but desolate and dreadful without symmetry
or cleanliness; indeed, it was loathsome to look upon and there
was in it a foul smell. After this inspection I seated myself
amiddlemost the saloon, misdoubting; and lo and behold! as I sat,
there came down on me from the dais a body of seven naked men,
without other clothing than leather belts about their waists. One
of them walked up to me and took my turband, whilst another
seized my kerchief that was in my sleeve, with my money, and a
third stripped me of my clothes; after which a forth came and
bound my hands behind my back with his belt. Then they all took
me up, pinioned as I was, and casting me down, fell a-haling me
towards a sink-hole that was there and were about to cut my
throat, when suddenly there came a violent knocking at the door.
As they heard the raps, they were afraid and their minds were
diverted from me by affright; so the woman went out and presently
returning, said to them, "Fear not; no harm shall betide you this
day. 'Tis only your comrade who hath brought you your dinner."
With this the new-comer entered, bringing with him a roasted
lamb; and when he came in to them, he asked, "What is to do with
you, that ye have tucked up sleeves and bag-trousers?" Replied
they, "This is a head of game we've caught." As he heard these
words, he came up to me and peering in my face, cried out and
said, "By Allah, this is my brother, the son of my mother and
father! Allah! Allah!" Then he loosed me from my pinion-bonds and
bussed my head, and behold it was my friend who used to borrow
silver of me. When I kissed his head, he kissed mine and said, "O
my brother, be not affrighted;" and he called for my clothes and
coin and restored all to me nor was aught missing. Also, he
brought me a porcelain bowl full of sherbet of sugar, with lemons
therein, and gave me to drink; and the company came and seated me
at a table. So I ate with them and he said to me, "O my lord and
my brother, now have bread and salt passed between us and thou
hast discovered our secret and our case; but secrets with the
noble are safe." I replied, 'As I am a lawfully-begotten child
and a well-born, I will not name aught of this nor denounce you!"
They assured themselves of me by an oath; then they brought me
out and I went my way, very hardly crediting but that I was of
the dead. I lay ill in my house a whole month; after which I went
to the Hammam and coming out, opened my shop and sat selling and
buying as was my wont, but saw no more of that man or that woman
till, one day, there stopped before my shop a young
Turkoman,[FN#82] as he were the full moon; and he was a
sheep-merchant and had with him a leathern bag, wherein was
money, the price of sheep he had sold. He was followed by the
woman, and when he stopped over against my shop, she stood by his
side and cajoled him, and indeed he inclined to her with great
inclination. As for me, I was dying of solicitude for him and
began casting furtive glances at him and winked at him, till he
chanced to look round and saw me signing to him; whereupon the
woman gazed at me and made a signal with her hand and went away.
The Turkoman followed her and I deemed him dead without a doubt;
wherefore I feared with exceeding fear and shut my shop. Then I
journeyed for a year's space and returning, opened my shop;
whereupon, behold, the woman as she walked by came up to me and
said, "This is none other than a great absence." I replied, "I
have been on a journey;" and she asked, "Why didst thou wink at
the Turkoman?" I answered, "Allah forfend! I did not wink at
him." Quoth she, "Beware lest thou thwart me;" and went away.
Awhile after this a familiar of mine invited me to his house and
when I came to him, we ate and drank and chatted. Then he asked
me, "O my friend, hath there befallen thee aught of sore trouble
in the length of thy life?" Answered I, "Tell me first, hath
there befallen thee aught?" He rejoined, "Know that one day I
espied a fair woman; so I followed her and sued her to come home
with me. Quoth she, 'I will not enter any one's house but my own;
so come thou to my home, an thou wilt, and be it on such a day.'
Accordingly, on the appointed day, her messenger[FN#83] came to
me, proposing to carry me to her; and when he announced his
purpose I arose and went with him, till we arrived at a goodly
house and a great door. He opened the door and I entered,
whereupon he bolted it behind me and would have gone in; but I
feared with exceeding fear and foregoing him to the second door,
whereby he would have had me enter, bolted it and cried out at
him, saying, 'By Allah, an thou open not to me, I will slay
thee;[FN#84] for I am none of those whom thou canst readily
cozen!' 'What deemest thou of cozening?' 'Verily, I am startled
by the loneliness of the house and the lack of any keeper at its
door; for I see none appear.' 'O my lord, this is a private
door.' 'Private or public, open to me.' So he opened to me and I
went out and had gone but a little way from the door when I met a
woman, who said to me, 'A long life was fore-ordained to thee;
else hadst thou never come forth of yonder house.' I asked, 'How
so?' and she answered, 'Enquire of thy friend Such-an-one,'
(naming thee), 'and he will acquaint thee with strange things.'
So, Allah upon thee, O my friend, tell me what befel thee of
wondrous and marvellous, for I have told thee what befel me." "O
my brother, I am bound by a solemn oath." "O my friend, false
thine oath and tell me."[FN#85] "Indeed, I dread the issue of
this." But he urged me till I told him all, whereat he marvelled.
Then I went away from him and abode a long while, without further
news. One day, I met another of my friends who said to me, "A
neighbour of mine hath invited me to hear singers" but I
said:--"I will not foregather with any one." However, he
prevailed upon me; so we repaired to the place and found there a
person, who came to meet us and said, "Bismillah!"[FN#86] Then he
pulled out a key and opened the door, whereupon we entered and he
locked the door after us. Quoth I, "We are the first of the folk;
but where be the singers' voices?" He replied, "They're within
the house: this is but a private door; so be not amazed at the
absence of the folk." My friend said to me, "Behold, we are two,
and what can they dare to do with us?" Then he brought us into
the house, and when we entered the saloon, we found it desolate
exceedingly and dreadful of aspect. Quoth my friend, "We are
fallen into a trap; but there is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" And quoth I, "May God
never requite thee for me with good!"[FN#87] Then we sat down on
the edge of the dais and suddenly I espied a closet beside me; so
I peered into it and my friend asked me, "What seest thou?" I
answered, "I see there wealth in store and corpses of murdered
men galore. Look." So he looked and cried, "By Allah, we are down
among the dead!" and we fell a-weeping, I and he. As we were
thus, behold, four men came in upon us, by the door at which we
had entered, and they were naked, wearing only leather belts
about their waists, and made for my friend. He ran at them and
dealing one of them a blow with his swordpommel, knocked him
down, whereupon the other three rushed upon him. I seized the
opportunity to escape while they were occupied with him, and
espying a door by my side, slipped into it and found myself in an
underground room, without issue, even a window. So I made sure of
death, and said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save
in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Then I looked at the top of
the vault and saw in it a range of glazed and coloured
lunettes;[FN#88] so I clambered up for dear life, till I reached
the lunettes, and I out of my wits for fear. I made shift to
remove the glass and scrambling out through the setting, found
behind them a wall which I bestrode. Thence I saw folk walking in
the street; so I cast myself down on the ground and Allah
Almighty preserved me, and when I reached the face of earth,
unhurt, the folk flocked round me and I acquainted them with my
adventure. Now as Destiny decreed, the Chief of Police was
passing through the market-street; so the people told him what
was to do and he made for the door and bade raise it off its
hinges. We entered with a rush and found the thieves, as they had
thrown my friend down and cut his throat; for they occupied not
themselves with me, but said, "Whither shall yonder fellow wend?
Verily, he is in our grasp." So the Wali hent them with the
hand[FN#89] and questioned them of their case, and they confessed
against the woman and against their associates in Cairo. Then he
took them and went forth, after he had locked up the house and
sealed it; and I accompanied him till he came without the first
house. He found the door bolted from within; so he bade raise it
and we entered and found another door. This also he caused pull
up, enjoining his men to silence till the doors should be lifted,
and we entered and found the band occupied with new game, whom
the woman had just brought in and whose throat they were about to
cut. The Chief released the man and gave him back whatso the
thieves had taken from him; and he laid hands on the woman and
the rest and took forth of the house a mint of money, with which
they found the purse of the Turkoman sheep-merchant. They at once
nailed up the thieves against the house-wall, whilst, as for the
woman, they wrapped her in one of her mantillas and nailing her
to a board, set her upon a camel and went round about the town
with her. Thus Allah razed their dwelling-places and did away
from me that which I feared from them. All this befel, whilst I
looked on, and I saw not my friend who had saved me from them the
first time, whereat I wondered to the utterest of wonderment.
However, some days afterward, he came up to me, and indeed he had
renounced the world and donned a Fakir's dress; and he saluted me
and went away.[FN#90] Then he again began to pay me frequent
visits and I entered into conversation with him and questioned
him of the band and how he came to escape, he alone of them all.
He replied "I left them from the day on which Allah the Most High
delivered thee from them, for that they would not obey my say; so
I sware I would no longer consort with them." Quoth I, "By Allah,
I marvel at thee, for that assuredly thou wast the cause of my
preservation!" Quoth he, "The world is full of this sort; and we
beseech the Almighty to send us safety, for that these wretches
practice upon men with every kind of malpractice." Then I said to
him, "Tell me the rarest adventure of all that befel thee in this
villainy thou wast wont to work." And he answered, "O my brother,
I was not present when they did such deeds, for that my part with
them was to concern myself with selling and buying and feeding
them; but it hath reached me that the rarest thing which befel
them was on this wise."

The Thief's Tale.

The woman who acted decoy for them and trapped their game and
used to inveigle damsels from marriage-banquets, once caught them
a woman from a bride-feast, under pretence that she had a wedding
in her own house, and fixed for her a day when she should come to
her. As soon as the appointed time arrived, the woman presented
herself and the other carried her into the house by a door,
declaring that it was a private wicket. When she entered the
saloon, she saw men and braves[FN#91] and knew that she had
fallen into a snare; so she looked at them and said, "Harkye, my
fine fellows![FN#92] I am a woman and in my slaughter there is no
glory, nor have ye against me any feud of blood-wite wherefor ye
should pursue me; and that which is upon me of raiment and
ornaments ye are free to take as lawful loot." Quoth they, "We
fear thy denunciation;" but quoth she, "I will abide with you,
neither coming in nor going out." So they said, "We grant thee
thy life." Then the Captain looked on her and she pleased him; so
he took her for himself, and she abode with him a whole year
doing her very best in their service, till they became familiar
with her and felt assured of her faith. One night of the nights
she plied them with drink and they drank till they became
drunken; whereupon she arose and took her clothes and five
hundred dinars from the Captain; after which she fetched a razor
and shaved off all their beards. Then she took soot from the
cooking-pots and blackening their faces[FN#93] opened the doors
and fared forth; and when the thieves recovered from their drink,
they abode confounded and knew that the woman had practiced upon
them. All present marvelled at this his story and the ninth
constable came forward and said, "I will tell you a right
pleasant tale I heard at a wedding."

The Ninth Constable's History.

A certain singing-girl was fair of favour and bruited of repute,
and it happened one day that she fared forth to a garden
a-pleasuring. As she sat in the summer-house, behold, a man
lopped of the hand stopped to beg of her, and suddenly entered in
at the door. Then he touched her with his stump, saying, "An
alms, for the love of Allah!"[FN#94] but she answered, "Allah
open!" and insulted him. Many days after this, there came to her
a messenger and gave her the hire of her going forth.[FN#95] So
she took with her a hand-maid and an accompanyist;[FN#96] and
when she came to the place appointed, the messenger brought her
into a long passage, at the end whereof was a saloon. "So" (quoth
she) "we entered therein and found nobody, but we saw the room
made ready for an entertainment with candles, dried fruits and
wine, and in another place we saw food and in a third beds.
Thereupon we sat down and I looked at him who had opened the door
to us, and behold he was lopped of the hand. I misliked this, and
when I sat a little longer, there entered a man, who filled the
candelabra in the saloon and lit the waxen candles; and behold,
he also was handlopped. Then flocked the folk and there entered
none except he were lopped of the hand, and indeed the house was
full of these companions.[FN#97] When the session was complete,
the host came in and the company rose to him and seated him in
the place of honour. Now he was none other than the man who had
fetched me, and he was clad in sumptuous clothes, but his hands
were in his sleeves, so that I knew not how it was with them.
They brought him food and he ate, he and the company; after which
they washed hands and the host began casting at me furtive
glances. Then they drank till they were drunken, and when they
had taken leave of their wits, the host turned to me and said,
'Thou dealtest not in friendly fashion with him who sought an
alms of thee, and thou saidst to him, "How loathsome art thou!"'´
I considered him and behold, he was the lophand who had accosted
me in my pleasance.[FN#98] So I asked, 'O my lord, what is this
thou sayest?' and he answered, 'Wait; thou shalt remember it.' So
saying, he shook his head and stroked his beard, whilst I sat
down for fear. Then he put out his hand to my mantilla and
walking-boots and laying them by his side, cried to me, 'Sing, O
accursed!' Accordingly, I sang till I was tired out, what while
they occupied themselves with their case and drank themselves
drunk and the heat of their drink redoubled. Presently, the
doorkeeper came to me and said, 'O my lady, fear not; but when
thou hast a mind to go, let me know.' Quoth I, 'Thinkest thou to
delude me?' and quoth he, 'Nay, by Allah! But I have ruth on thee
for that our Captain and Chief purposeth thee no good and
methinketh he will kill thee this night.' Said I to him, 'An thou
be minded to do me a favour, now is its time;' and said he, 'When
our Chief riseth to his need and goeth to the Chapel of Ease, I
will precede him with the light and leave the door open; and do
thou wend whithersoever thou wiliest.' Then I sang and the
Captain cried, ''Tis good.' Replied I, 'Nay, but thou'rt
loathsome.' He looked at me and rejoined, 'By Allah, thou shalt
never more scent the odour of the world!' But his comrades said
to him, 'Do it not,' and gentled him, till he added, 'An it must
be so, and there be no help for it, she shall tarry here a whole
year and not fare forth.' My answer was, 'I am content to submit
to whatso pleaseth thee: if I have failed in respect to thee,
thou art of the clement.' He shook his head and drank, then arose
and went out to do his need, whilst his comrades were occupied
with what they were about of merry-making and drunkenness and
sport. So I winked to my friends and we all slipped out into the
corridor. We found the door open and fled forth, unveiled[FN#99]
and unknowing whither we went; nor did we halt till we had fared
afar from the house and happened on a Cook cooking, of whom I
asked, 'Hast thou a mind to quicken the dead?' He said, 'Come
up;' so we went up into the shop, and he whispered, 'Lie down.'
Accordingly, we lay down and he covered us with the Halfah
grass,[FN#100] wherewith he was used to kindle the fire under the
food. Hardly had we settled ourselves in the place when we heard
a noise of kicking at the door and people running right and left
and questioning the Cook and asking, 'Hath any one passed by
thee?' Answered he, 'None hath passed by me.' But they ceased not
to go round about the shop till the day broke, when they turned
back, disappointed. Then the Cook removed the reeds and said to
us, 'Rise, for ye are delivered from death.' So we arose, and we
were uncovered, sans veil or mantilla; but the Cook carried us up
into his house and we sent to our homes and fetched us veils; and
we repented to Allah Almighty and renounced singing, for indeed
this was a mighty narrow escape after stress."[FN#101] Those
present marvelled at this, and the tenth constable came forward
and said, "As for me, there befel me that which was yet rarer
than all ye have yet heard." Quoth Al-Malik al-Zahir, "What was
that?" And quoth he, "Deign give ear to me."

The Tenth Constable's History.

A robbery of stuffs had been committed in the city and as it was
a great matter I was cited,[FN#102] I and my fellows:
they[FN#103] pressed hard upon us: but we obtained of them some
days' grace and dispersed in search of the stolen goods. As for
me, I sallied forth with five men and went round about the city
that day; and on the morrow we fared forth into the suburbs. When
we found ourselves a parasang or two parasangs away from the
city, we waxed athirst; and presently we came to a garden. There
I went in alone and going up to the waterwheel,[FN#104] entered
it and drank and made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed. Presently, up
came the keeper of the garden and said to me, "Woe to thee! Who
brought thee to this waterwheel?" and he smote me and squeezed my
ribs[FN#105] till I was like to die. Then he bound me with one of
his bulls and made me work the waterwheel, flogging me as I
walked round with a cattle-whip[FN#106] he had with him, till my
heart was a-fire; after which he loosed me and I went out,
knowing not the way. Now when I came forth, I fainted: so I sat
down till my trouble subsided; then I made for my comrades and
said to them, "'I have found money and malefactor, and I
affrighted him not neither troubled him, lest he should flee; but
now, come, let us go to him, so we may contrive to lay hold upon
him." Then I took them and we repaired to the keeper of the
garden, who had tortured me with tunding, with the intent to make
him taste the like of that which he had done with me and lie
against him and cause him eat many a stick. So we rushed to the
waterwheel and seized the keeper. Now there was with him a youth
and, as we were pinioning the gardener, he said, "By Allah, I was
not with him and indeed 'tis six months since I entered this
city, nor did I set eyes on the stuffs until they were brought
hither." Quoth we, "Show us the stuffs;" upon which he carried us
to a place wherein was a pit, beside the waterwheel, and digging
there, brought out the stolen goods with not a thread or a stitch
of them missing. So we took them and carried the keeper to the
Prefecture of Police where we stripped him and beat him with
palm-rods till he confessed to thefts manifold. Now I did this by
way of mockery against my comrades, and it succeeded. The company
marvelled at this story with the utmost marvelling, and the
eleventh constable rose and said, "I know a story yet stranger
than this: but it happened not to myself."

The Eleventh Constable's History.

There was once in times of yore a Chief Officer of Police and
there passed by him one day of the days a Jew, hending in hand a
basket wherein were five thousand dinars; whereupon quoth that
officer to one of his slaves, "Art able to take that money from
yonder Jew's basket?" "Yes," quoth he, nor did he tarry beyond
the next day ere he came to his lord, bringing the basket. "So"
(said the officer) "I bade him 'Go, bury it in such a place;'
whereupon he went and buried it and returned and told me. Hardly
had he reported this when there arose a clamour like that of
Doomsday and up came the Jew, with one of the King's officers,
declaring that the gold pieces belonged to the Sultan and that he
looked to none but us for it. We demanded of him three days'
delay, according to custom and I said to him who had taken the
money, 'Go and set in the Jew's house somewhat that shall occupy
him with himself.' Accordingly he went and played a mighty fine
trick, which was, he laid in a basket a dead woman's hand,
painted with henna and having a gold seal-ring on one of the
fingers, and buried that basket under a slab in the Jew's home.
Then we came and searched and found the basket, whereupon without
a moment of delay we clapped the Jew in irons for the murder of a
woman. As soon as it was the appointed time, there entered to us
the man of the Sultan's guards, who had accompanied the Jew, when
he came to complain of the loss of the money,[FN#107] and said,
'The Sultan sayeth to you, Nail up[FN#108] the Jew and bring the
money, for there is no way by which five thousand gold pieces can
be lost.' Wherefore we knew that our device did not suffice. So I
went forth and finding a young man, a Hauráni,[FN#109] passing
along the road, laid hands on him forthright and stripped him,
and whipped him with palm-rods. Then I threw him in jail, ironed,
and carrying him to the Prefecture, beat him again, saying to
them, 'This be the robber who stole the coin.' And we strove to
make him confess; but he would not. Accordingly, we beat him a
third and a fourth time, till we were aweary and exhausted and he
became unable to return a reply; but, when we had made an end of
beating and tormenting him, he said, 'I will fetch the money this
very moment.' Presently we went with him till he came to the
place where my slave had buried the gold and he dug there and
brought it out; whereat I marvelled with the utmost marvel and we
carried it to the Prefect's house. When the Wali saw the money
and made sure of it with his own eyes, he rejoiced with joy
exceeding and bestowed on me a robe of honour. Then he restored
the coin straightway to the Sultan and we left the youth in
durance vile; whilst I said to my slave who had taken the money,
'Say me, did yonder young man see thee, what time thou buriedst
the money?' and he replied, 'No, by Allah the Great!' So I went
in to the young man, the prisoner, and plied him with
wine[FN#110] till he recovered, when I said to him, 'Tell me how
thou stolest the money?' Answered he, 'By Allah, I stole it not,
nor did I ever set eyes on it till I brought it forth of the
earth!' Quoth I, 'How so?' and quoth he, 'Know that the  cause of
my falling into your hands was my parent's imprecation against
me; because I entreated her evilly yesternight and beat her and
she said to me, 'By Allah, O my son, the Lord shall assuredly gar
the oppressor prevail over thee!' Now she is a pious woman. So I
went out forthright and thou sawest me on my way and didst that
which thou didst; and when beating was prolonged on me, my senses
failed me and I heard a voice saying to me, 'Fetch it.' So I said
to you what I said and the Speaker[FN#111] guided me till I came
to the place and there befel what befel of the bringing out of
the money.' I admired this with the utmost admiration and knew
that he was of the sons of the pious. So I bestirred myself for
his release and cured him and besought him of acquittance and
absolution of responsibility." All those who were present
marvelled at this story with the utmost marvel, and the twelfth
constable came forward and said, "I will tell you a pleasant
trait that I heard from a certain person, concerning an adventure
which befel him with one of the thieves.

The Twelfth Constable's History.

I was passing one day in the market, when I found that a robber
had broken into the shop of a shroff, a changer of monies, and
thence taken a casket, wherewith he had made off to the
burialground. Accordingly I followed him thither and came up to
him, as he opened the casket and fell a-looking into it;
whereupon I accosted him, saying, "Peace be on you!"[FN#112] And
he was startled at me; so I left him and went away from him. Some
months after this, I met him again under arrest, in the midst of
the guards and "men of violence,"[FN#113] and he said to them,
"Seize this man." So they laid hands on me and carried me to the
Chief of Police, who said, "What hast thou to do with this
wight?" The robber turned to me and looking a long while in my
face, asked, "Who took this man?" and the officer answered, "Thou
badest us take him; so we took him." And he cried, "I ask refuge
of Allah! I know not this man, nor knoweth he me; and I said not
that to you but of a person other than this." So they released
me, and a while after the thief met me in the street and saluted
me with the salam, saying, "O my lord, fright for fright! Hadst
thou taken aught from me, thou hadst a part in the
calamity."[FN#114] I replied to him, "Allah be the judge between
thee and me!"[FN#115] And this is what I have to recount. Then
came forward the thirteenth constable and said, "'I will tell you
a tale which a man of my friends told me."

The Thirteenth Constable's History.

I went out one night of the nights to the house of a friend and
when it was the middle of the night, I sallied forth alone to hie
me home. When I came into the road, I espied a sort of thieves
and they espied me, whereupon my spittle dried up; but I feigned
myself drunken and staggered from side to side, crying out and
saying, "I am drunken." And I went up to the walls right and left
and made as if I saw not the thieves, who followed me afoot till
I reached my home and knocked at the door, when they went away.
Some few days after this, as I stood at the door of my house,
behold, there came up to me a young man, with a chain about his
neck and with him a trooper, and he said to me, "O my lord, an
alms for the love of Allah!" I replied, "Allah open!" and he
looked at me a long while and cried, "That which thou shouldst
give me would not come to the worth of thy turband or thy
waistcloth or what not else of thy habit, to say nothing of the
gold and the silver which were about thy person." I asked, "And
how so?" and he answered, "On such a night, when thou fellest
into peril and the thieves would have stripped thee, I was with
them and said to them, Yonder man is my lord and my master who
reared me. So was I and only I the cause of thy deliverance and
thus I saved thee from them." When I heard this, I said to him,
"Stop ;" and entering my house, brought him that which Allah
Almighty made easy to me.[FN#116] So he went his way; and this is
all I have to say. Then came forward the fourteenth constable and
said, "Know that the tale I have to tell is rarer and pleasanter
than this; and 'tis as follows."

The Fourteenth Constable's History.

I had a draper's shop before I entered this corporation,[FN#117]
and there used to come to me a person whom I know not, save by
his face, and I would give him whatso he sought and have patience
with him, till he could pay me. One night, I foregathered with
certain of my friends and we sat down to liquor: so we drank and
were merry and played at Táb;[FN#118] and we made one of us Wazir
and another Sultan and a third Torchbearer or Headsman.[FN#119]
Presently, there came in upon us a spunger, without bidding, and
we went on playing, whilst he played with us. Then quoth the
Sultan to the Wazir, "Bring the Parasite who cometh in to the
folk, without leave or license, that we may enquire into his
case; after which I will cut off his head;" so the headsmen arose
and dragged the spunger before the Sultan who bade cut off his
head. Now there was with them a sword, that would not cut clotted
curd;[FN#120] so the headsmen smote him therewith and his head
flew from his body. When we saw this, the wine fled from our
brains and we became in the foulest of plights. Then my friends
lifted up the corpse and went out with it, that they might hide
it,whilst I took the head and made for the river. Now I was
drunken and my clothes were drenched with the blood; and as I
passed along the road, I met a robber. When he saw me, he knew me
and cried to me, "Such-an-one!" "Well?" said I, and he rejoined,
"What is that thou hast with thee?" So I acquainted him with the
case and he took the head from me. Then we fared on till we came
to the river, where he washed the head and considering it
straitly, exclaimed, "By Allah, verily this be my brother, the
son of my sire, and he used to spunge upon the folk;" after which
he threw that head into the river. As for me, I was like a dead
man for dread; but he said to me, "Fear not, neither do thou
grieve, for I acquit thee of my brother's blood." Presently, he
took my clothes and washed them and dried them and put them on
me; after which he said to me, "Get thee gone to thy house." So I
returned to my house and he accompanied me, till I came thither,
when he said to me, "Allah never desolate thee! I am thy friend
Such-an-one, who used to take of thee goods on credit, and I owe
thee a kindness; but henceforward thou wilt never see me more."
Then he went his ways. The company marvelled at the manliness of
this man and his clemency[FN#121] and courtesy, and the Sultan
said, "Tell us another of thy stories, O Shahrazad."[FN#122] She
replied, " 'Tis well! They set forth[FN#123]

A Merry Jest of a Clever Thief.

A thief of the thieves of the Arabs went one night to a certain
man's house, to steal from a heap of wheat there, and the people
of the house surprised him. Now on the heap was a great copper
tasse, and the thief buried himself in the corn and covered his
head with the tasse, so that the folk found him not and went
their ways; but as they were going, behold, there came a mighty
great fart[FN#124] forth of the corn. So they went up to the
tasse and raising it, discovered the thief and laid hands on him.
Quoth he, "I have saved you the trouble of seeking me: for I
purposed, in breaking wind, to direct you to my hiding place;
wherefore do you be easy with me and have ruth on me, so may
Allah have ruth on you!" Accordingly they let him go and harmed
him not. "And for another story of the same kind" (she
continued), "hearken to

The Tale of the Old Sharper.

There was once an old man renowned for clever roguery, and he
went, he and his mates, to one of the markets and stole thence a
quantity of stuffs: then they separated and returned each to his
quarter. Awhile after this, the old man assembled a company of
his fellows and, as they sat at drink, one of them pulled out a
costly piece of cloth and said, "Is there any one of you will
dare sell this in its own market whence it was stolen, that we
may confess his superior subtlety?" Quoth the old man, "I will;"
and they said, "Go, and Allah Almighty open to thee the door!" So
early on the morrow, he took the stuff and carrying it to the
market whence it had been stolen, sat down at the very shop out
of which it had been purloined and gave it to the broker, who
hent it in hand and cried it for sale. Its owner knew it and
bidding for it, bought it and sent after the Chief of Police, who
seized the Sharper and seeing him an old man of grave presence
and handsomely clad said to him, "Whence hadst thou this piece of
stuff?" Quoth he, "I had it from this market and from yonder shop
where I was sitting." Quoth the Wali, "Did its owner sell it to
thee?" and quoth the robber, "Not so; I stole it, this and other
than it." Then said the Chief, "How camest thou to bring it for
sale to the place whence thou stolest it?" "I will not tell my
tale save to the Sultan, for that I have a profitable counsel
wherewith I would fief bespeak him." "Name it!" "Art thou the
Sultan?" "No!" "I'll not tell it save to himself." Accordingly
the Wali carried him up to the Sultan and he said I have a
counsel for thee, O my lord." Asked the Sultan, "What is thy
counsel?" And the thief said, "I repent and will deliver into thy
hand all who are evildoers, and whomsoever I bring not, I will
stand in his stead." Cried the Sultan, "Give hum a robe of honour
and accept his profession of penitence." So he went down from the
presence and returning to his comrades, related to them that
which had passed, when they confessed his subtlety and gave him
that which they had promised him. Then he took the rest of the
booty and went up therewith to the Sultan, who, seeing him,
recognised him and he was magnified in the royal eyes and the
king commanded that naught should be taken from him. After this,
when he went down, the Sultan's attention was diverted from him,
little by little, till the case was forgotten, and so he saved
the booty for himself. Those present marvelled at this and the
fifteenth constable came forward and said, "Know that among those
who make a trade of trickery are those whom Allah Almighty taketh
on their own testimony against themselves." It was asked him,
"How so?" and he began to relate

The Fifteenth Constable's History.[FN#125]

It is told of a thieving person, one of the braves, that he used
to rob and cut the way by himself upon caravans, and whenever the
Chief of Police and the Governors sought him, he would flee from
them and fortify himself in the mountains. Now it came to pass
that a certain man journeyed along the road wherein was that
robber, and this man was single-handed and knew not the sore
perils besetting his way. So the highwayman came out upon him and
said to him, "Bring out that which is with thee, for I mean to
kill thee and no mistake. ' Quoth the traveller, "Kill me not,
but annex these saddle-bags and divide that which is in them and
take to thee the fourth part." And the thief answered, "I will
not take aught but the whole."[FN#126] Rejoined the traveller,
"Take half, and let me go;" but the robber replied, "I will have
naught but the whole, and eke I will kill thee." So the wayfarer
said, "Take it." Accordingly the highwayman took the saddle-bags
and offered to slay the traveller, who said, "What is this? Thou
hast against me no blood-feud that should make my slaughter
incumbent." Quoth the other, "Needs must I kill thee;" whereupon
the traveller dismounted from his horse and grovelled before him,
beseeching the thief and bespeaking him fair. The man hearkened
not to his prayers, but cast him to the ground; whereupon the
traveller raised his eyes and seeing a francolin dying over him,
said, in his agony, "O Francolin,[FN#127] bear testimony that
this man slayeth me unjustly and wickedly; for indeed I have
given him all that was with me and entreated him to let me go,
for my children's sake; yet would he not consent. But be thou
witness against him, for Allah is not unmindful of deeds which
the oppressors do." The highwayman paid no heed to what he heard,
but smote him and cut off his head. After this, the rulers
compounded with the highwayman for his submission, and when he
came before them, they enriched him and he became in such favour
with the lieutenant of the Sultan that he used to eat and drink
with him and there befel between them familiar converse which
lasted a long while till in fine there chanced a curious chance.
The lieutenant of the Sultan one day of the days made a banquet,
and therein was a roasted francolin, which when the robber saw,
he laughed a loud laugh. The lieutenant was angered against him
and said to him, "What is the meaning of thy laughter? Seest thou
any fault or dost thou mock at us, of thy lack of good manners?"
Answered the highwayman, "Not so, by Allah, O my lord; but I saw
yonder francolin, which brought to my mind an extraordinary
thing; and 'twas on this wise. In the days of my youth, I used to
cut the way, and one day I waylaid a man, who had with him a pair
of saddle-bags and money therein. So I said to him, 'Leave these
saddle-bags, for I mean to slay thee.' Quoth he, 'Take the fourth
part of that which is in them and leave me the rest;' and quoth
I, 'Needs must I take the whole and kill thee without mistake.'
Then said he, 'Take the saddle bags and let me wend my way;' but
I answered, 'There is no help but that I slay thee.' As we were
in this contention, behold, he saw a francolin and turning to it,
said, 'Bear testimony against him, O Francolin, that he slayeth
me unjustly and letteth me not go to my children, for all he hath
taken my money.' However, I had no pity on him neither hearkened
to that which he said, but smote him and slew him and concerned
not myself with the evidence of the francolin." His story
troubled the lieutenant of the Sultan and he was enraged against
him with sore rage; so he drew his sword and smiting him, cut off
his head while he sat at table; whereupon a voice recited these

"An wouldst not be injured, injure not; * But do good and from
     Allah win goodly lot,
For what happeth by Allah is doomed to be * Yet shine acts are
     the root I would love thee wot."[FN#128]

Now this voice was the francolin which bore witness against him.
The company present marvelled at this tale and all cried, "Woe to
the oppressor!" Then came forward the sixteenth constable and
said, "And I for another will tell you a marvellous story which
is on this wise."

The Sixteenth Constable's History.

I went forth one day of the days, intending to travel, and
suddenly fell upon a man whose wont it was to cut the way. When
he came up with me he offered to slay me and I said to him, "I
have naught with me whereby thou mayst profit." Quoth he, "My
profit shall be the taking of thy life." I asked, "What is the
cause of this? Hath there been enmity between us aforetime?" and
he answered, "Nay; but needs must I slay thee." Thereupon I ran
away from him to the river side; but he caught me up and casting
me to the ground, sat down on my breast. So I sought help of the
Shaykh of the Pilgrims[FN#129] and cried to him, "Protect me from
this oppressor!" And indeed he had drawn a knife to cut my throat
when, lo and behold! there came a mighty great crocodile forth of
the river and snatching him up from off my breast plunged into
the water, with him still hending knife in hand, even within the
jaws of the beast: whilst I abode extolling Almighty Allah, and
rendering thanks for my preservation to him who had delivered me
from the hand of that wrong-doer.[FN#130]


Know thou, O King of the Age, that there was in days of yore and
in ages and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad the
Abode of Peace, a Caliph Harun al-Rashid highs, and he had cup-
companions and tale-tellers to entertain him by night. Among his
equerries was a man named Abdullah bin Náfi', who stood high in
favour with him and dear to him, so that he did not forget him a
single hour. Now it came to pass, by the decree of Destiny, that
it became manifest to Abdullah how he was grown of small account
with the Caliph, who paid no heed unto him nor, if he absented
himself, did he ask after him, as had been his habit. This was
grievous to Abdullah and he said within himself, "Verily, the
soul of the Commander of the Faithful and his Wazir are changed
towards me and nevermore shall I see in him that cordiality and
affection wherewith he was wont to treat me." And this was
chagrin-full to him and concern grew upon him, so that he recited
these couplets:--

"Whoso's contemned in his home and land * Should, to better his
     case, in self-exile hie:
So fly the house where contempt awaits, * Nor on fires of grief
     for the parting fry;
Crude Ambergris[FN#132] is but offal where * 'Tis born; but
     abroad on our necks shall stye;
And Kohl at home is a kind of stone, * Cast on face of earth and
     on roads to lie;
But when borne abroad it wins highest worth * And thrones between
     eyelid and ball of eye."

(Quoth the sayer), Then he could brook this matter no longer; so
he went forth from the dominions of the Prince of True Believers,
under presence of visiting certain of his kith and kin, and took
with him nor servant nor comrade, neither acquainted any with his
intent, but betook himself to the road and fared deep into the
wold and the sandwastes, unknowing whither he went. After awhile,
he unexpectedly fell in with travellers who were making the land
of Hind and journeyed with them. When he came thither, he lighted
down in a city of that country and housed him in one of the
lodging-houses; and there he abode a while of days, relishing not
food neither solacing himself with sleep; nor was this for lack
of dirhams or diners, but for that his mind was occupied with
musing upon the shifts of Destiny and bemoaning himself for that
the revolving sphere had turned against him in enmity, and the
days had decreed unto him the disfavour of our lord the
Imam.[FN#133] After such fashion he abode a space of days, and
presently he homed him in the land and took to himself friends
and got him many familiars, with whom he addressed himself to
diversion and good cheer. He used also to go a-pleasuring with
his companions and their hearts were solaced by his company and
he entertained them every evening with stories and displays of
his manifold accomplishments[FN#134] and diverted them with
delectable verses and told them abundance of stories and
histories. Presently, the report of him reached King Jamhúr, lord
of Kashgar of Hind, who sent in quest of him, and great was his
desire to see him. So Abdullah repaired to his court and going in
to him, kissed ground before him; and Jamhur welcomed him and
treated him with kindness and bade lodge him in the guest-house,
where he abode three days, at the end of which the king sent to
him a chamberlain of his chamberlains and bade bring him to the
presence. When he came before him, he greeted him, and the
truchman accosted him, saying, "Verily, King Jamhur hath heard of
thy report, that thou art a pleasant cup-companion and an
eloquent teller of night tales, and he would have thee company
with him o'nights and entertain him with that which thou knowest
of histories and pleasant stories and verses." And he made
answer, ' To hear is to obey!" (Quoth Abdullah bin Nafi',) So I
became his boon-companion and entertained him by night with tales
and talk; and this pleased him with the utmost pleasure and he
took me into favour and bestowed on me robes of honour and set
apart for me a lodging; indeed he was bountiful exceedingly to me
and could not brook to be parted from me a single hour. So I
sojourned with him a while of time and every night I caroused and
conversed with him till the most part of the dark hours was past;
and when drowsiness overcame him, he would rise and betake
himself to his sleeping-place, saying to me, Forsake not my
service and forego not my presence.' And I made answer with
'Hearing and obeying.' Now the king had a son, a nice child,
called the Emir Mohammed, who was winsome of youth and sweet of
speech: he had read books and had perused histories and he loved
above all things in the world the telling and hearing of verses
and tales and anecdotes. He was dear to his father King Jamhur,
for that he owned no other son than he on life, and indeed he had
reared him in the lap of love and he was gifted with exceeding
beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and perfect grace: he had also
learnt to play upon the lute and upon all manner instruments and
he was used to converse and company with friends and brethren.
Now it was his wont when the king arose seeking his
sleeping-chamber, to sit in his place and require me to entertain
him with tales and verses and pleasant anecdotes; and on this
wise I abode with them both a great while in all joyance and
delight, and the Prince still loved me with mighty great love and
treated me with the utmost tenderness. It fortuned one day that
the king's son came to me, after his sire had withdrawn, and
cried, 'O Ibn Nafi'!' 'At thy service, O my lord;' 'I would have
thee tell me a wondrous story and a marvellous matter, which thou
hast never related either to me or to my father Jamhur.' 'O my
lord, what story is this that thou desires" of me and what kind
shall it be of the kinds?' 'It mattereth little, so it be a
goodly story, whether it befel of olden tide or in these times.'
'O my lord, I know by rote many stories of various kinds; so
which of the kinds preferrest thou, and wilt thou have a story of
mankind or of Jinn kind?' ' 'Tis well! An thou have espied aught
with shine eyes and heard it with thine ears, tell it me.' Then
he bethought himself and said to me, 'I conjure thee by my life,
tell me a tale of the tales of the Jinn and that which thou hast
heard of them and seen of them!' I replied, 'O my son, indeed
thou conjures" me by a mighty conjuration; so lend an ear to the
goodliest of stories, ay, and the strangest of them and the
pleasantest and rarest.' Quoth the Prince, 'Say on, for I am
attentive to thy speech;' and quoth I, 'Hear then, O my son,

The Tale of the Damsel Tohfat al-Kulub and the Caliph Harun al-

The Viceregent of the Lord of the three Worlds, Harun al-Rashid,
had a boon companion of the number of his boon-companions, by
name Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Nadim al-Mausili,[FN#135] who was the
most accomplished of the folk of his time in smiting upon the
lute; and of the Commander of the Faithful's love for him, he set
apart for him a palace of the choicest of his palaces, wherein he
was wont to instruct hand-maidens in the arts of singing and of
lute playing. If any slave-girl became, by his instruction,
clever in the craft, he carried her before the Caliph, who bade
her perform upon the lute; and if she pleased him, he would order
her to the Harim; else would he restore her to Ishak's palace.
One day, the Commander of the Faithful's breast was straitened;
so he sent after his Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide and Ishak the
cup-companion and Masrur the eunuch, the Sworder of his
vengeance; and when they came, he changed his habit and disguised
himself, whilst Ja'afar and Ishak and Masrur and al-Fazl[FN#136]
and Yúnus[FN#137] (who were also present) did the like. Then he
went out, he and they, by the postern, to the Tigris and taking
boat fared on till they came to near Al Táf,[FN#138] when they
landed and walked till they came to the gate of the high street.
Here there met them an old man, handsome in his hoariness and of
a venerable bearing and a dignified, agreeable of aspect and
apparel. He kissed the earth before Ishak al-Mausili (for that he
knew only him of the company, the Caliph being disguised, and
deemed the others certain of his friends), and said to him, "O my
lord, there is presently with me a hand-maid, a lutanist, never
saw eyes the like of her nor the like of her grace, and indeed I
was on my way to pay my respects to thee and give thee to know of
her, but Allah, of His favour, hath spared me the trouble. So now
I desire to show her to thee, and if she take thy fancy, well and
good; otherwise I will sell her." Quoth Ishak, "Go before me to
thy quarters,[FN#139] till I come to thee and see her." The old
man kissed his hand and went away; whereupon quoth Al-Rashid to
him, "O Ishak, who is yonder man and what is his want?" The other
replied, "O my lord, this is a man Sa'íd the Slave-dealer hight,
and 'tis he that buyeth us maidens and Mamelukes. He declareth
that with him is a fair slave, a lutanist, whom he hath withheld
from sale, for that he could not fairly sell her till he had
passed her before me in review." Quoth the Caliph, "Let us go to
him so we may see her, by way of solace, and sight what is in the
slave-dealer's quarters of slave-girls;" and quoth Ishak,
"Command belongeth to Allah and to the Commander of the Faithful"
Then he forewent them and they followed in his track till they
came to the slave-dealer's quarters and found a building tall of
wall and large of lodgment, with sleeping cells and chambers
therein, after the number of the slave-girls, and folk sitting
upon the wooden benches. So Ishak entered, he and his company and
seating themselves in the place of honour, amused themselves by
looking at the hand-maids and Mamelukes and watching how they
were bought and sold, till the vending came to an end, when some
of the folk went away and some remained seated. Then cried the
slave-dealer, "Let none sit with us except whoso purchaseth by
the thousand diners and upwards." Accordingly those present
withdrew and there remained none but Al-Rashid and his suite;
whereupon the slave-dealer called the damsel, after he had caused
set her a chair of Fawwák,[FN#140] lined with Grecian brocade,
and she was like the sun shining high in the shimmering sky. When
she entered, she saluted and sitting down, took the lute and
smote upon it, after she had touched its strings and tuned it, so
that all present were amazed. Then she sang thereto these

"Breeze o' Morn, an thou breathe o'er the loved one's land, *
     Deliver my greeting to all the dear band!
And declare to them still I am pledged to their love * And my
     long~ng excels all that lover unmanned:
O ye who have blighted my heart, ears and eyes, * My passion and
     ecstasy grow out of hand;
And torn is my sprite every night with desire, * And nothing of
     sleep can my eyelids command."

Ishak exclaimed, "Brave, O damsel! By Allah, this is a fair
hour!" Whereupon she sprang up and kissed his hand, saying, 'O my
lord, in very sooth the hands stand still before thy presence and
the tongues at thy sight, and the eloquent when confronting thee
wax dumb; but thou art the looser of the veil."[FN#141] Then she
clung to him and cried, "Stand;" so he stood and said to her,
"Who art thou and what is thy need?" She raised a corner of the
veil, and behold she was a damsel as she were the full moon
rising or the levee glancing, with two side-locks of hair which
fell down to her anklets. She kissed his hand and said to him, "O
my lord, know that I have been in these quarters some five
months, during which I have withheld myself from sale till thou
shouldst be present and see me; and yonder slave-dealer also made
thy coming a pretext for not vending me, and forbade me for all I
sought of him night and day that he should cause thee come hither
and vouchsafe me thy company and gar me and thee forgather."
Quoth Ishak, "Tell me what thou wouldst have;" and quoth she, "I
beseech thee, by Allah Almighty, that thou buy me, so I may be
with thee by way of service." He asked, "Is that thy desire?" and
she answered, "Yes." So Ishak returned to the slave-dealer and
said to him, "Ho thou, Shaykh Sa'íd!" Said the old man, "At thy
service, O my lord," and Ishak continued, "In the corridor is a
chamber and therein wones a damsel pale and wan. What is her
price in dirhams and how much cost thou ask for her?" Quoth the
slave-dealer, "She whom thou mentionest, O my lord, is called
Tohfat al-Humaká?"[FN#142] Ishak asked, "What is the meaning of
Al-Humaka?" and the old man answered, "Her price hath been
weighed and paid an hundred times and she still saith, Show me
him who would buy me; and when I show her to him she saith, This
one I mislike; he hath in him such and such a default. And in
every one who would fain buy her she noteth some defect or other,
so that none careth now to purchase her and none seeketh her, for
fear lest she find some fault in him." Quoth Ishak, "She seeketh
at this present to sell herself; so go thou to her and inquire of
her and see her price and send her to the palace." Quoth Sa'id!"
"O my lord, her price is an hundred diners, though, were she free
of this paleness that is upon her face, she would be worth a
thousand gold pieces; but wanton folly and wanness have
diminished her value; and behold I will go to her and consult her
of this." So he betook himself to her and enquired of her, "Wilt
thou be sold to Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Mausili?" She replied,
"Yes," and he said, "Leave folly, for to whom cloth it happen to
be in the house of Ishak the cup-companion?"[FN#143] Thereupon
Ishak went forth the slave-dealer's quarters and overtook Al-
Rashid who had preceded him; and they ceased not walking till
they came to their landing-place, where they embarked in the boat
and fared on to Thaghr al-Khánakah.[FN#144] As for the slave-
dealer, he sent the damsel to the house of Ishak al-Nadim, whose
slave-girls took her and carried her to the Hammam. Then each
damsel gave her somewhat of her gear and they decked her with
earrings and bracelets, so that she redoubled in beauty and
became as she were the moon on the night of its full. When Ishak
returned home from the Caliph's palace, Tohfah rose to him and
kissed his hand; and he saw that which the hand-maids had done
with her and thanked them for so doing and said to them, "Let her
home in the house of instruction and bring her instruments of
music, and if she be apt at song teach her; and may Allah
Almighty vouchsafe her health and weal!" So there passed over her
three months, while she homed with him in the house of
instruction, and they brought her the instruments of music.
Furthermore, as time went on she was vouchsafed health and
soundness and her beauty waxed many times brighter than before
and her pallor was changed to white and red, so that she became a
seduction to all who saw her. One day, Ishak bade summon all who
were with him of slave-girls from the house of instruction and
carried them up to Al-Rashid's palace, leaving none in his house
save Tohfah and a cookmaid; for that he thought not of Tohfah,
nor did she come to his memory, and none of the damsels reminded
him of her. When she saw that the house was empty of the slave-
girls, she took the lute (now she was singular in her time for
smiting upon the lute, nor had she her like in the world, no, not
Ishak himself, nor any other) and sang thereto these couplets:--

"When soul desireth one that is its mate * It never winneth dear
     desire of Fate:
My life for him whose tortures tare my frame, * And dealt me pine
     he can alone abate!
He saith (that only he to heal mine ill, * Whose sight is
     medicine to my doleful state),
'O scoffer-wight, how long wilt mock my woe * As though did Allah
     nothing else create?' "

Now Ishak had returned to his house on an occasion that called
for him; and when he entered the vestibule, he heard a sound of
singing, the like whereof he had never heard in the world, for
that it was soft as the breeze and more strengthening than
oil[FN#145] of almonds. So the pleasure of it get hold of him and
delight so seized him, that he fell down fainting in the
vestibule. Tohfah heard the noise of footfalls and laying the
lute from her hand, went out to see what was the matter. She
found her lord Ishak lying aswoon in the entrance; so she took
him up and strained him to her bosom, saying, "I conjure thee in
Allah's name, O my lord, tell me, hath aught of ill befallen
thee?" When he heard her voice, he recovered from his fainting
and asked her, "Who art thou?" She answered, "I am thy slave-
girl, Tohfah;" and he said to her, "Art thou indeed Tohfah?"
"Yes," replied she; and he, "By Allah, I had indeed forgotten
thee and remembered thee not till this moment!" Then he looked at
her and said, "Verily, thy case is altered to other case and thy
wanness is changed to rosiness and thou hast redoubled in beauty
and loveliness. But was it thou who was singing just now?" She
was troubled and affrighted and answered, "Even I, O my lord;"
whereupon Ishak seized upon her hand and carrying her into the
house, said to her, "Take the lute and sing; for never saw I nor
heard thy like in smiting upon the lute; no, not even myself!"
Quoth she, "O my lord, thou mockest me. Who am I that thou
shouldst say all this to me? Indeed, this is but of thy
kindness." Quoth he, "Nay, by Allah, I said but the truth to thee
and I am not of those on whom presence imposeth For these three
months nature hath not moved thee to take the lute and sing
thereto, and this is naught save a rare thing and a strange. But
all this cometh of strength in the art and thy self-restraint."
Then he bade her sing; and she said, "Hearkening and obedience."
So she took the lute and tightening its strings to the sticking-
point, smote thereon a number of airs, so that she confounded
Ishak's wit and for delight he was like to fly. Then she returned
to the first mode and sang thereto these couplets:--

"By your ruined stead aye I stand and stay, * Nor shall change or
     dwelling depart us tway!
No distance of homestead shall gar me forget * Your love, O
     friends, but yearn alway:
Ne'er flies your phantom the babes of these eyne * You are moons
     in Nighttide's murkest array:
And with growing passion mine unrest grows * And each morn I find
     union dissolved in woes."

When she had made an end of her song and laid down the lute,
Ishak looked fixedly on her, then took her hand and offered to
kiss it; but she snatched it from him and said to him, "Allah, O
my lord, do not that!"[FN#146] Cried he, "Be silent. By Allah, I
had said that there was not in the world the like of me; but now
I have found my dinár in the art but a dánik,[FN#147] for thou
art more excellent of skill than I, beyond comparison or
approximation or calculation! This very day will I carry[FN#148]
thee up to the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and
when his glance lighteth on thee, thou wilt become a Princess of
womankind. So Allah, Allah upon thee, O my lady, whenas thou
becomes" of the household of the Prince of True Believers, do not
thou forget me!" She replied, "Allah, O my lord, thou art the
root of my fortunes and in thee is my heart fortified." Thereat
he took her hand and made a covenant with her of this and she
swore to him that she would not forget him Then said he to her,
"By Allah, thou art the desire of the Commander of the Faithful!
Now take the lute and sing a song which thou shalt sing to the
Caliph, when thou goest in to him" So she took the lute and
tuning it, improvised these couplets:--

"His lover hath ruth on his woeful mood * And o'erwept him as
     still by his couch he[FN#149] stood:
And garred him drink of his lip-dews and wine[FN#150] * Ere he
     died and this food was his latest good."

Ishak stared at her and seizing her hand, said to her, "Know that
I am bound by an oath that, when the singing of a damsel pleaseth
me, she shall not end her song but before the Prince of True
Believers. But now tell me, how came it that thou tarriedst with
the slave-dealer five months and wast not sold to any one, and
thou of this skill, especially when the price set on thee was no
great matter?" Hereat she laughed and answered, "O my lord, my
story is a wondrous and my case a marvellous Know that I belonged
aforetime to a Maghribi merchant,who bought me when I was three
years old, and there were in his house many slave-girls and
eunuchs; but I was the dearest to him of them all So he kept me
with him and used not to address me otherwise than, 'O
daughterling,' and indeed to this moment I am a clean maid. Now
there was with him a damsel, a lutanist, and she reared me and
taught me the art, even as thou seest. Then was my master removed
to the mercy of Allah Almighty[FN#151] and his sons divided his
monies. I fell to the lot of one of them; but 'twas only a little
while ere he had wasted all his wealth and there was left him
naught of coin. So I gave up the lute, fearing lest I should fall
into the hand of a man who knew not my worth, for well I wot that
needs must my master sell me; and indeed but a few days passed
ere he carried me forth to the quarters of the slave merchant who
buyeth damsels and displayeth them to the Commander of the
Faithful. Now I desired to learn the art and mystery; so I
refused to be sold to other than thou, until Allah (extolled and
exalted be He!) vouchsafed me my desire of thy presence;
whereupon I came out to thee, as soon as I heard of thy coming,
and besought thee to buy me. Thou heartenedst my heart and
broughtest me; and since I entered thy house, O my lord, I have
not taken up the lute till now; but to-day, when I was left
private by the slave-girls, I took it; and my purpose in this was
that I might see if my hand were changed[FN#152] or not. As I was
singing, I heard a footfall in the vestibule; so springing up, I
laid the lute from my hand and going forth to see what was to do,
found thee, O my lord, after this fashion." Quoth Ishak, "Indeed,
this was of thy fair fortune. By Allah, I know not that which
thou knowest in this art!" Then he arose and opening a chest,
brought out therefrom striped clothes,[FN#153] netted with jewels
and great pearls and other costly gems and said to her, "In the
name of Allah, don these, O my lady Tohfah." So she arose and
donned that dress and veiled herself and went up with Ishak to
the palace of the Caliphate, where he made her stand without,
whilst he himself went in to the Prince of True Believers (with
whom was Ja'afar the Barmaki) and kissing the ground before him,
said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, I have brought thee a
damsel, never saw eyes of seer her like for excellence in singing
and touching the lute; and her name is Tohfah." Al-Rashid asked,
"And where be this Tohfah[FN#154] who hath not her like in the
world?" Answered Ishak, "Yonder she standeth, O Commander of the
Faithful ;" and he acquainted the Caliph with her case from first
to last. Then said Al-Rashid, " 'Tis a marvel to hear thee praise
a slave-girl after this fashion. Admit her that we may look upon
her, for verily the morning may not be hidden." Accordingly,
Ishak bade admit her; so she entered, and when her eyes fell upon
the Prince of True Believers, she kissed ground before him and
said, "The Peace be upon thee, O Commander of the faithful Fold
and Asylum of all who the true Creed hold and Quickener of
justice in the Worlds threefold! Allah make thy feet tread on
safest wise and give thee joy of what He gave thee in generous
guise and make thy harbourage Paradise and Hell-fire that of
thine enemies!" Quoth Al-Rashid, "And on thee be the Peace, O
damsel! Sit." So she sat down and he bade her sing; whereupon she
took the lute and tightening its strings, played thereon in many
modes, so that the Prince of True Believers and Ja'afar were
confounded in sprite and like to fly for delight. Then she
returned to the first mode and improvised these couplets:--

"O mine eyes! I swear by him I adore, * Whom pilgrims seek
     thronging Arafát;
An thou call my name on the grave of me, * I'll reply to thy call
     tho' my bones go rot:
I crave none for friend of my heart save thee; * So believe me,
     for true are the well-begot."

Al-Rashid considered her comeliness and the goodliness of her
singing and her eloquence and what other qualities she comprised
and rejoiced with joy exceeding; and for the stress of that which
overcame him of delight, he descended from the couch and sitting
down with her upon the floor, said to her, "Thou hast done well,
O Tohfah. By Allah, thou art indeed a choice gift!"[FN#155] Then
he turned to Ishak and said to him, "Thou dealtest not justly, O
Ishak, in the description of this damsel, nor didst thou fairly
set forth all that she comprised of charms and art; for that, by
Allah, she is inconceivably more skilful than thou; and I know of
this craft that which none knowest save I!" Exclaimed the Wazir
Ja'afar, "By Allah, thou sayst sooth, O my lord, O Commander of
the Faithful. Indeed, she hath done away my wit, hath this
damsel." Quoth Ishak, "By Allah, O Prince of True Believers, I
had said that there was not on the face of the earth one who knew
the art of the lute like myself; but when I heard her, my skill
became nothing worth in mine eyes." Then said the Caliph to her,
"Repeat thy playing, O Tohfah." So she repeated it and he cried
to her, "Well done!" Moreover, he said to Ishak, "Thou hast
indeed brought me a marvellous thing, one which is worth in mine
eyes the empire of the world." Then he turned to Masrur the
eunuch and said to him, "Carry Tohfah to the chamber of honour."
Accordingly, she went away with the Castrato and the Caliph
looked at her raiment and ornaments and seeing her clad in
clothing of choice, asked Ishak, "O Ishak, whence hath she these
robes?" Answered he, "O my lord, these are somewhat of thy
bounties and thy largesse, and they are a gift to her from me. By
Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, the world, all of it, were
little in comparison with her!" Then the Caliph turned to the
Wazir Ja'afar and said to him, "Give Ishak fifty thousand dirhams
and a robe of honour of the choicest apparel." "Hearing and
obeying," replied Ja'afar and gifted him with that which the
Caliph ordered him. As for Al-Rashid, he was private with Tohfah
that night and found her a pure virgin and rejoiced in her; and
she took high rank in his heart, so that he could not suffer her
absence a single hour and committed to her the keys of the
affairs of the realm, for that which he saw in her of good
breeding and fine wit and leal will. He also gave her fifty
slave-girls and two hundred thousand diners and a quantity of
raiment and ornaments, gems and jewels worth the kingdom of
Egypt; and of the excess of his love for her, he would not
entrust her to any of the hand-maids or eunuchs; but, whenever he
went out from her, he locked the door upon her and took the key
with him, against he should return to her, forbidding the damsels
to go in to her, of his fear lest they should slay her or poison
her or practice on her with the knife; and in this way he abode
awhile. One day, as she sang before the Commander of the
Faithful, he was delighted with exceeding delight, so that he
offered to kiss her hand;[FN#156] but she drew it away from him
and smote upon her lute and broke it and wept. Al-Rashid wiped
away her tears and said, "O desire of the heart, what is it
maketh thee weep? May Allah not cause an eye of shine to shed
tears!" Said she, "O my lord, what am I that thou shouldst kiss
my hand? Wilt thou have Allah punish me for this and my term come
to an end and my felicity pass away? For this is what none ever
attained unto." He rejoined, "Well said, O Tohfah. Know that thy
rank in my esteem is high and for that which delighted me of what
I saw in thee, I offered to do this, but I will not return unto
the like thereof; so be of good cheer, with eyes cool and clear,
for I have no desire to other than thyself and will not die but
in the love of thee, and thou to me art queen this day, to the
exclusion of al! humankind." Therewith she fell to kissing his
feet; and this her fashion pleased him, so that his love for her
redoubled and he became unable to brook severance from her a
single hour. Now Al-Rashid one day went forth to the chase and
left Tohfah in her pavilion. As she sat perusing a book, with a
candle-branch of gold before her, wherein was a perfumed candle,
behold, a musk-apple fell down before her from the top of the
saloon.[FN#157] So she looked up and beheld the Lady Zubaydah
bint al-Kasim,[FN#158] who saluted her with a salam and
acquainted her with herself, whereupon Tohfah sprang to her feet
and said, "O my lady, were I not of the number of the
new,[FN#159] I had daily sought thy service; so do not thou
bereave me of those noble steps."[FN#160] The Lady Zubaydah
called down blessings upon her and replied, "I knew this of thee;
and, by the life of the Commander of the Faithful, but that it is
not of my wont to go forth of my place, I had come out to do my
service to thee." Then quoth she to her, "Know, O Tohfah, that
the Commander of the Faithful hath deserted all his concubines
and favourites on shine account, even myself hath he abandoned on
this wise, and I am not content to be as one of the mistresses;
yet hath he made me of them and forsaken me, and I have sought
thee, so thou mayst beseech him to come to me, though it be but
once a month, in order that I may not be the like of the hand-
maids and concubines nor take rank with the slave-girls; and this
is my need of thee." Answered Tohfah, "Hearkening and obedience!
By Allah, O my lady, I would that he might be with thee a whole
month and with me but one night, so thy heart might be heartened,
for that I am one of thy hand-maids and thou in every case art my
lady." The Princess Zubaydah thanked her for this and taking
leave of her, returned to her palace. When the Caliph came back
from the chase and course, he betook himself to Tohfah's pavilion
and bringing out the key, opened the lock and went in to her. She
rose to receive him and kissed his hand, and he gathered her to
his breast and seated her on his knee.[FN#161] Then food was
brought to them and they ate and washed their hands; after which
she took the lute and sang, till Al-Rashid was moved to sleep.
When aware of this, she ceased singing and told him her adventure
with the Lady Zubaydah, saying, "O Prince of True Believers, I
would have thee favour me with a favour and hearten my heart and
accept my intercession and reject not my supplication, but fare
thee forthright to the Lady Zubaydah." Now this talk befel after
he had stripped himself naked and she also had doffed her dress;
and he said, "Thou shouldst have named this ere we stripped
ourselves naked, I and thou!" But she answered, say ing, "O
Commander of the Faithful, I did this not except in accordance
with the saying of the poet in these couplets,

"Of all intercessions can none succeed, * Save whatso Tohfah bint
     Marjan sue'd:
No intercessor who comes enveiled;[FN#162] * She sues the best
     who sues mother-nude."

When Al-Rashid heard this, her speech pleased him and he strained
her to his bosom. Then he went forth from her and locked the door
upon her, as before; whereupon she took the book and sat perusing
it awhile. Presently, she set it aside and taking the lute,
tightened its strings; and smote thereon, after a wondrous
fashion, such as would have moved inanimate things to dance, and
fell to singing marvellous melodies and chanting these couplets:-

"Cease for change to wail,* The world blames who rail
Bear patient its shafts  * That for aye prevail.
How often a joy          * Grief garbed thou shalt hail
How oft gladding bliss   * Shall appear amid bale!"

Then she turned and saw within the chamber an old man, handsome
in his hoariness and stately of semblance, who was dancing in
goodly and winning wise, a dance whose like none might dance. So
she sought refuge with Allah Almighty from Satan the Stoned and
said, "I will not give over what I am about, for whatso the Lord
willeth, He fulfilleth." Accordingly, she went on singing till
the Shaykh came up to her and kissed ground before her, saying,
"Well done, O Highmost of the East and the West! May the world be
not bereaved of thee! By Allah, indeed thou art perfect of
manners and morals, O Tohfat al-Sudúr![FN#163] Dost thou know
me?" Cried she, "Nay, by Allah, but methinks thou art of the
Jann." Quoth he, "Thou sayst sooth; I am Abú al-Tawáif[FN#164]
Iblis, and I come to thee every night, and with me thy sister
Kamariyah, for that she loveth thee and sweareth not but by thy
life; and her pastime is not pleasant to her, except she come to
thee and see thee whilst thou seest her not. As for me, I
approach thee upon an affair, whereby thou shalt gain and rise to
high rank with the kings of the Jann and rule them, even as thou
rulest mankind; and to that end I would have thee come with me
and be present at the festival of my daughter's wedding and the
circumcision of my son;[FN#165] for that the Jann are agreed upon
the manifestation of thy command. And she answered, "Bismillah;
in the name of the Lord."[FN#166] So she gave him the lute and he
forewent her, till he came to the Chapel of Ease,[FN#167] and
behold, therein was a door and a stairway. When Tohfah saw this,
her reason fled; but Iblis cheered her with chat. Then he
descended the steps and she followed him to the bottom of the
stair, where she found a passage and they fared on therein, till
they came to a horse standing, ready saddled and bridled and
accoutred. Quoth Iblis, "Bismillah, O my lady Tohfah;" and he
held the stirrup for her. So she mounted and the horse heaved
like a wave under her and putting forth wings soared upwards with
her, while the Shaykh flew by her side; whereat she was
affrighted and clung to the pommel of the saddle;[FN#168] nor was
it but an hour ere they came to a fair green meadow, fresh-
flowered as if the soil thereof were a fine robe, purfled with
all manner bright hues. Amiddlemost that mead was a palace
towering high in air, with crenelles of red gold, set with pearls
and gems, and a two-leaved door; and about the gateway were much
people of the chiefs of the Jann, clad in costliest clothing.
When they saw the Shaykh, they all cried out, saying, "The Lady
Tohfah is come!" And as soon as she reached the palace-gate they
pressed forward in a body, and dismounting her from the horse's
back, carried her into the palace and fell to kissing her hands.
When she entered, she beheld a palace whereof seers ne'er saw the
like; for therein were four halls, one facing other, and its
walls were of gold and its ceilings of silver. It was high-
builded of base, wide of space, and those who descried it would
be posed to describe it. At the upper end of the hall stood a
throne of red gold set with pearls and jewels, up to which led
five steps of silver, and on its right and on its left were many
chairs of gold and silver. Quoth Tohfah, "The Shaykh led me to
the estrade and seated me on a chair of gold beside the throne,
and over the dais was a curtain let down, gold and silver wrought
and broidered with pearls and jewels." And she was amazed at that
which she beheld in that place and magnified her Lord (extolled
and exalted be He!) and hallowed Him. Then the kings of the Jann
came up to that throne and seated themselves thereon; and they
were in the semblance of Adam's sons, excepting two of them, who
appeared in the form and aspect of the Jann, each with one eye
slit endlong and jutting horns and projecting tusks.[FN#169]
After this there came up a young lady, fair of favour and seemly
of stature, the light of whose face outshone that of the waxen
fiambeaux; and about her were other three women, than whom none
fairer abode on face of earth. They saluted Tohfah with the salam
and she rose to them and kissed ground before them whereupon they
embraced her after returning her greeting[FN#170] and sat down on
the chairs aforesaid. Now the four women who thus accosted Tohfah
were the Princess Kamariyah, daughter of King Al-Shísbán, and her
sisters; and Kamariyah loved Tohfah with exceeding love. So, when
she came up to her, she fell to kissing and embracing her, and
Shaykh Iblis cried, "Fair befal the accolade! Take me between
you." At this Tohfah laughed and Kamariyah said, "O my sister, I
love thee, and doubtless hearts have their witnesses,[FN#171]
for, since I saw thee, I have loved thee." Replied Tohfah, By
Allah, hearts have sea-like deeps, and thou, by Allah, art dear
to me and I am thy hand-maid." Kamariyah thanked her for this and
kissing her once more said, "These be the wives of the kings of
the Jann: greet them with the salam! This is Queen
Jamrah,[FN#172] that is Queen Wakhímah and this other is Queen
Sharárah, and they come not but for thee." So Tohfah rose to her
feet and bussed their hands, and the three queens kissed her and
welcomed her and honoured her with the utmost honour. Then they
brought trays and tables and amongst the rest a platter of red
gold, inlaid with pearls and gems; its raised rims were of or and
emerald, and thereon were graven[FN#173] these couplets:--

To bear provaunt assigned,    * By hands noble designed,
For the gen'rous I'm made     * Not for niggardly hind!
So eat safe all I hold        * And praise God of mankind.

After reading the verses they ate and Tohfah looked at the two
kings who had not changed shape and said to Kamariyah, "O my
lady, what be this feral and that other like unto him? By Allah,
mine eye may not suffer the sight of them." Kamariyah laughed and
answered, "O my sister, that is my sire Al-Shisban and the other
is highs Maymun the Sworder; and of the arrogance of their souls
and their insolence, they consented not to change their created
shapes. Indeed, all whom thou seest here are nature-fashioned
like them; but on shine account they have changed favour, for
fear lest thou be disquieted and for the comforting of thy mind,
so thou mightest become familiar with them and be at thine ease."
Quoth Tohfah, "O my lady, verily I cannot look at them. How
frightful is this Maymun, with his monocular face! Mine eye
cannot brook the sight of him, and indeed I am in affright of
him." Kamariyah laughed at her speech, and Tohfah continued, "By
Allah, O my lady, I cannot fill my eye with the twain!"[FN#174]
Then cried her father Al-Shisban to her, What be this laughing?"
So she bespoke him in a tongue none understood but they two and
acquainted him with that which Tohfah had said; whereat he
laughed a prodigious loud laugh, as it were the roaring thunder.
Presently they ate and the tables were removed and they washed
their hands; after which Iblis the Accursed came up to Tohfah and
said to her, "O my lady, thou gladdenest the place and
enlightenest and embellishes" it with thy presence; but now fain
would these kings hear somewhat of thy singing, for Night hath
dispread her pinions for departure and there abideth of it but a
little." Quoth she, "Hearing and obeying." So she took the lute
and touching its strings with rare touch, played thereon after
wondrous wise, so that it seemed to those who were present as if
the palace surged like a wave with them for the music. Then she
began singing and chanting these couplets,

"Folk of my faith and oath, Peace with you be! * Quoth ye not I
     shall meet you you meet me?
I'll chide you softerwise than breeze o' morn, * Sweeter than
     spring of coolest clarity.
I' faith mine eyelids are with tears chafed sore: * My vitals
     plain to you some cure to see.
My friends! Our union to disunion changed * Was aye my fear for
     'twas my certainty.
I'll plain to Allah of all ills I bore; * For pine and yearning
     misery still I dree."

The kings of the Jann were moved to delight by that sweet singing
and seemly speech and thanked Tohfah therefore; and Queen
Kamariyah rose to her and threw her arms round her neck and
kissed her between the eyes, saying, "By Allah, 'tis good, O my
sister and coolth of mine eyes and core of my heart!" Then said
she, "I conjure thee by Allah, give us more of this lovely
singing;' and Tohfah answered with "To hear is to obey." So she
took the lute and playing thereon in a mode different from the
former fashion, sang these couplets:--

"I, oft as ever grows the pine of me, * Console my soul with hope
     thy sight to see.
Haply shall Allah join our parted lives, * E'en as my fortunes
     far from thee cast He!
Then oh! who thrallest me by force of love--* Seized by fond
     affection's mastery
All hardships easy wax when thou art nigh; * And all the far
     draws near when near thou be.
Ah! be the Ruthful light to lover fond, * Love-lore, frame
     wasted, ready Death to dree!
Were hope of seeing thee cut off, my loved; * After shine absence
     sleep mine eyes would flee!
I mourn no worldly joyance, my delight * Is but to sight thee
     while thou seest my sight."

At this the accursed Iblis was hugely pleased and thrust his
finger up his fundament,[FN#175] whilst Maymun danced and said,
"O Tohfat al-Sudur, soften the sound;[FN#176] for, as pleasure
entereth into my heart, it arresteth my breath and blood." So she
took the lute and altering the tune, played a third air; then she
returned to the first and sang these couplets:--

"The waves of your[FN#177] love o'er my life have rolled; * I
     sink while I see you all aid withhold:
You have drowned my vitals in deeps of your love, * Nor can heart
     and sprite for your loss be consoled:
Deem not I forget my troth after you: * How forget what Allah
     decreed of old?[FN#178]
Love clings to the lover who nights in grief, * And 'plains of
     unrest and of woes ensouled.

The kings and all those who were present rejoiced in this with
joy exceeding and the accursed Iblis came up to Tohfah and
kissing her hand, said to her, "Verily there abideth but little
of the night; so tarry with us till the morrow, when we will
apply ourselves to the wedding[FN#179] and the
circumcision."[FN#180] Then all the Jann went away, whereupon
Tohfah rose to her feet and Iblis said, "Go ye up with Tohfah to
the garden for the rest of the night." So Kamariyah took her and
went with her into the garden, which contained all manner birds,
nightingale and mocking-bird and ringdove and curlew[FN#181] and
other than these of all the kinds. Therein were all manner of
fruits: its channels[FN#182] were of gold and silver and the
water thereof, as it broke forth of its conduits, was like the
bellies of fleeing serpents, and indeed it was as it were the
Garden of Eden.[FN#183] When Tohfah beheld this, she called to
mind her lord and wept sore and said, "I beseech Allah the Most
High to vouchsafe me speedy deliverance and return to my palace
and to my high estate and queendom and glory, and reunion with my
lord and master Al-Rashid." Then she walked about that garden and
saw in its midst a dome of white marble, raised on columns of
black teak whereto hung curtains purfled with pearls and gems.
Amiddlemost this pavilion was a founfain, inlaid with all kinds
of jacinths, and thereon a golden statue of a man and beside it a
little door. She opened the door and found herself in a long
corridor: so she followed it and entered a Hammam-bath walled
with all kinds of costly marbles and floored with a mosaic of
pearls and jewels. Therein were four cisterns of alabaster, one
facing other, and the ceiling of the bath was of glass coloured
with all varieties of colours, such as confounded the
understanding of those who have insight and amazed the wit of
every wight. Tohfah entered the bath, after she had doffed her
dress, and behold the Hammam basin was overlaid with gold set
with pearls and red balasses and green emeralds and other jewels:
so she extolled Allah Almighty and hallowed Him for the
magnificence of that which she saw of the appointments of that
bath. Then she made her Wuzu-ablution in that basin and
pronouncing the Prohibition,[FN#184] prayed the dawn-prayer and
what else had escaped her of orisons;[FN#185] after which she
went out and walked in that garden among jessamine and lavender
and roses and chamomile and gillyflowers and thyme and violets
and basil royal, till she came to the door of the pavilion
aforesaid. There she sat down, pondering that which would betide
Al-Rashid after her, when he should come to her apartment and
find her not; and she plunged into the sea of her solicitude,
till slumber overtook her and soon she slept. Presently she felt
a breath upon her face; whereupon she awoke and found Queen
Kamariyah kissing her, and with her her three sisters, Queen
Jamrah, Queen Wakhimah and Queen Sharárah. So she arose and
kissed their hands and rejoiced in them with the utmost joy and
they ceased not, she and they, to talk and converse, what while
she related to them her history, from the time of her purchase by
the Maghrabi to that of her coming to the quarters of the slave-
dealer, where she besought Ishak al-Nadim to buy her,[FN#186] and
how she won union with Al-Rashid, till the moment when Iblis came
to her and brought her to them. They gave not over talking till
the sun declined and yellowed and the hour of its setting drew
near and the day departed, whereupon Tohfah was urgent in
supplication[FN#187] to Allah Almighty, on the occasion of the
sundown prayer, that he would reunite her with her lord
Al-Rashid. After this, she abode with the four queens, till they
arose and entered the palace, where she found the waxen tapers
lit and ranged in candlesticks of gold and silver, and censing
vessels of silver and gold filled with lign-aloes and ambergris,
and there were the kings of the Jann sitting. So she saluted them
with the salam, kissing the earth before them and doing them
service; and they rejoiced in her and in her sight. Then she
ascended the estrade and sat down upon her chair, whilst King Al-
Shisban and King Al Muzfir[FN#188] and Queen Lúlúah and other
kings of the Jann sat on chairs, and they brought choice tables,
spread with all manner meats befitting royalties. They ate their
fill; after which the tables were removed and they washed their
hands and wiped them with napkins. Then they brought the wine-
service and set on sasses and cups and flagons and beakers of
gold and silver and bowls of crystal and gold, and they poured
out the wines and they filled the flagons. Then Iblis took the
bowl and signed to Tohfah to sing: and she said, "To hear is to
obey!" So she hent the lute in hand and tuning it, sang these

"Drink wine, O ye lovers, I rede you alway, * And praise his
     worth who loves night and day;
'Mid the myrtle, narcissus and lavender, * And the scented herbs
     that bedeck the tray."

So Iblis the Damned drank and said, "Brave, O desire of hearts!
But thou owest me still another aria." Then he filled the cup and
signed to her to sing. Quoth she, "Hearkening and obedience, and
chanted these couplets,

"Ye wot, I am whelmed in despair and despight, * Ye dight me
     blight that delights your sight:
Your wone is between my unrest and my eyes; * Nor tears to melt
     you, nor sighs have might.
How oft shall I sue you for justice, and you * With a pining
     death my dear love requite?
But your harshness is duty, your farness near; * Your hate is
     Union, your wrath is delight:
Take your fill of reproach as you will: you claim * All my heart,
     and I reck not of safety or blame."

All present were delighted and the sitting-chamber was moved like
a wave with mirth, and Iblis said, "Brave, O Tohfat al-Sudur!"
Then they left not liquor-bibbing and rejoicing and making merry
and tambourining and piping till the night waned and the dawn
waxed near; and indeed exceeding delight entered into them. The
most of them in mirth was the Shaykh Iblis, and for the stress of
that which befel him of joyance, he doffed all that was on him of
coloured clothes and cast them over Tohfah, and among the rest a
robe broidered with jewels and jacinths, worth ten thousand
diners. Then he kissed the earth and danced and he thrust his
finger up his fundament and hending his beard in hand, said to
her, "Sing about this beard and endeavour after mirth and
pleasance, and no blame shall betide thee for this." So she
improvised and sang these couplets:--

"Barbe of the olden, the one eyed goat! * What words shall thy
     foulness o' deed denote?
Be not of our praises so pompous-proud: * Thy worth for a dock-
     tail dog's I wot.
By Allah, to-morrow shall see me drub * Thy nape with a
     cow-hide[FN#189] and dust thy coat!"

All those present laughed at her mockery of Iblis and wondered at
the wittiness of her visnomy[FN#190] and her readiness in
versifying, whilst the Shaykh himself rejoiced and said to her,
"O Tohfat al-Sudur, verily, the night be gone; so arise and rest
thyself ere the day; and to-orrow there shall be naught save
weal." Then all the kings of the Jinn departed, together with
those who were present of guards; and Tohfah abode alone,
pondering the case of Al-Rashid and bethinking her of how it went
with him after her going, and of what had betided him for her
loss, till the dawn lightened, when she arose and walked about
the palace. Suddenly she saw a handsome door; so she opened it
and found herself in a flower-garden finer than the first--ne'er
saw eyes of seer a fairer than it. When she beheld this garth,
she was moved to delight and she called to mind her lord Al-
Rashid and wept with sore weeping and cried, "I crave of the
bounty of Allah Almighty that my return to him and to my palace
and to my home may be nearhand!" Then she walked about the
parterres till she came to a pavilion, high builded of base and
wide of space, never espied mortal nor heard of a grander than
it. So she entered and found herself in a long corridor, which
led to a Hammam goodlier than that aforetime described, and its
cisterns were full of rose water mingled with musk. Quoth Tohfah,
"Extolled be Allah! Indeed, this[FN#191] is none other than a
mighty great king." Then she pulled off her clothes and washed
her body and made her Ghusl ablution of the whole person[FN#192]
and prayed that which was due from her of prayer from the evening
of the previous day.[FN#193] When the sun rose upon the gate of
the garden and she saw the wonders thereof, with that which was
therein of all manner blooms and streams, and heard the voices of
its birds, she marvelled at what she beheld of the rareness of
its ordinance and the beauty of its disposition and sat musing
over the case of Al-Rashid and pondering what was come of him
after her. Her tears coursed down her cheeks and the Zephyr blew
on her; so she slept and knew no more till she suddenly felt a
breath on her side-face, whereat she awoke in affright and found
Queen Kamariyah kissing her, and she was accompanied by her
sisters, who said, "Rise, for the sun hath set." So Tohfah arose
and making the Wuzu-ablution, prayed her due of prayers[FN#194]
and accompanied the four queens to the palace, where she saw the
wax candles lighted and the kings sitting. She saluted them with
the salam and seated herself upon her couch; and behold, King Al-
Shisban had shifted his semblance, for all the pride of his soul.
Then came up Iblis (whom Allah damn!) and Tohfah rose to him and
kissed his hands. He also kissed her hand and blessed her and
asked, "How deemest thou? Is not this place pleasant, for all its
desertedness and desolation?" Answered she, "None may be desolate
in this place;" and he cried, "Know that this is a site whose
soil no mortal dare tread;" but she rejoined, "I have dared and
trodden it, and this is one of thy many favours." Then they
brought tables and dishes and viands and fruits and sweetmeats
and other matters, whose description passeth powers of mortal
man, and they ate their sufficiency; after which the tables were
removed and the dessert-trays and platters set on, and they
ranged the bottles and flagons and vessels and phials, together
with all manner fruits and sweet-scented flowers. The first to
raise the bowl was Iblis the Accursed, who said, "O Tohfat al-
Sudur, sing over my cup." So she took the lute and touching it,
carolled these couplets,

"Wake ye, Ho sleepers all! and take your joy * Of Time, and boons
     he deigned to bestow;
Then hail the Wine-bride, drain the wine-ptisane * Which, poured
     from flagon, flows with flaming glow:
O Cup-boy, serve the wine, bring round the red[FN#195] * Whose
     draught gives all we hope for here below:
What's worldly pleasure save my lady's face, * Draughts of pure
     wine and song of musico?"

So Iblis drained his bowl and, when he had made an end of his
draught, waved his hand to Tohfah; then, throwing off that which
was upon him of clothes, delivered them to her. The suit would
have brought ten thousand diners and with it was a tray full of
jewels worth a mint of money. Presently he filled again and gave
the cup to his son Al-Shisban, who took it from his hand and
kissing it, stood up and sat down again. Now there was before him
a tray of roses; so he said to her, "O Tohfah, sing thou somewhat
upon these roses." She replied, "Hearkening and obedience," and
chanted these two couplets,

¨It proves my price o' er all the flowers that I * Seek you each
     year, yet stay but little stound:
And high my vaunt I m dyed by my lord * Whom Allah made the best
     e'er trod on ground.[FN#196]"

So Al-Shisban drank off the cup in his turn and said, "Brave, O
desire of hearts!" and he bestowed on her that was upon him, to
wit, a dress of cloth-of-pearl, fringed with great unions and
rubies and purfled with precious gems, and a tray wherein were
fifty thousand diners. Then Maymun the Sworder took the cup and
began gazing intently upon Tohfah. Now there was in his hand a
pomegranate-flower and he said to her, "Sing thou somewhat, O
queen of mankind and Jinn kind upon this pomegranate-flower; for
indeed thou hast dominion over all hearts." Quoth she, "To hear
is to obey;" and she improvised and sang these couplets,

"Breathes sweet the zephyr on fair partèrre; * Robing lute in the
     flamings that fell from air:
And moaned from the boughs with its cooing rhyme * Voice of
     ring-doves plaining their love and care:
The branch dresses in suit of fine sendal green* And in wine-hues
     borrowed from bloom Gulnare."[FN#197]

Maymun the Sworder drained his bowl and said to her, "Brave, O
perfection of qualities!" Then he signed to her and was absent
awhile, after which he returned and with him a tray of jewels
worth an hundred thousand ducats, which he gave to Tohfah.
Thereupon Kamariyah arose and bade her slave-girl open the closet
behind the Songstress, wherein she laid all that wealth; and
committed the key to her, saying, "Whatso of riches cometh to
thee, lay thou in this closet that is by thy side, and after the
festivities, it shall be borne to thy palace on the heads of the
Jinn." Tohfah kissed her hand and another king, by name
Munír,[FN#198] took the bowl and filling it, said to her, "O
ferry Fair, sing to me over my bowl somewhat upon-the jasmine."
She replied with, "Hearkening and obedience," and improvised
these couplets,

"'Twere as though the Jasmine (when self she enrobes * On her
     boughs) cloth display to my wondering eyne;
In sky of green beryl, which Beauty enclothes, * Star-groups like
     studs of the silvern mine."

Munir drank off his cup and ordered her eight hundred thousand
diners, whereat Kamariyah rejoiced and rising to her feet, kissed
Tohfah on her face and said to her, "Be the world never bereaved
of thee, O thou who lordest it over the hearts of Jinn-kind and
mankind!" Then she returned to her place and the Shaykh Iblis
arose and danced, till all present were confounded; after which
the Songstress said, "Verily, thou embellishes" my festivities, O
thou who commandest men and Jinn and rejoices" their hearts with
thy loveliness and the beauty[FN#199] of thy faithfulness to thy
lord. All that thy hands possess shall be borne to thee in thy
palace and placed at thy service; but now the dawn is nearhand;
so do thou rise and rest thee according to thy custom." Tohfah
turned and found with her none of the Jinn; so she laid her head
on the floor and slept till she had gotten her repose; after
which she arose and betaking herself to the lakelet, made the
Wuzu-ablution and prayed. Then she sat beside the water awhile
and meditated the matter of her lord Al-Rashid and that which had
betided him after her loss and wept with sore weeping. Presently,
she heard a blowing behind her;[FN#200] so she turned and behold,
a Head without a body and with eyes slit endlong: it was of the
bigness of an elephant's skull and bigger and ha] a mouth as it
were an oven and projecting canines as they were grapnels, and
hair which trailed upon the ground. So Tohfah cried, "I take
refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned!" and recited the Two
Preventives;[FN#201] what while the Head drew near her and said,
"Peace be with thee, O Princess of Jinn and men and union-pearl
of her age and her time! Allah continue thee on life, for all the
lapsing of the days, and reunite thee with thy lord the
Imam!"[FN#202] She replied, "And upon thee be Peace; O thou whose
like I have not seen among the Jann!" Quoth the Head, "We are a
folk who may not change their favours and we are highs Ghuls:
mortals summon us to their presence, but we cannot present
ourselves before them without leave. As for me, I have gotten
leave of the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif to appear before thee and I
desire of thy favour that thou sing me a song, so I may go to thy
palace and question its Haunters[FN#203] concerning the plight of
thy lord after thee and return to thee; and know, O Tohfat al-
Sudur, that between thee and thy lord be a distance of fifty
years' journey for the bonâ fide traveller." She rejoined,
"Indeed, thou grieves" me anent him between whom and me is fifty
years' journey;" but the Head[FN#204] cried to her, "Be of good
cheer and of eyes cool and clear, for the sovrans of the Jann
will restore thee to him in less than the twinkling of an eye."
Quoth she, "I will sing thee an hundred songs, so thou wilt bring
me news of my lord and that which betided him after me." And
quoth the Head, "Do thou favour me and sing me a song, so I may
go to thy lord and fetch thee tidings of him, for that I desire,
before I go, to hear thy voice, so haply my thirst[FN#205] may be
quenched." So she took the lute and tuning it, sang these

"They have marched, yet no empty stead left they: * They are
     gone, nor heart grieves me that fled be they:
My heart forebode the bereaval of friends; * Allah ne'er bereave
     steads wherefrom sped be they!
Though they hid the stations where led were they, * I'll follow
     till stars fall in disarray!
Ye slumber, but wake shall ne'er fly these lids; * 'Tis I bear
     what ye never bore--well-away!
It had irked them not to farewell who fares * With the parting-
     fires that my heart waylay.
My friends,[FN#206] your meeting to me is much * But more is the
     parting befel us tway:
You're my heart's delight, or you present be * Or absent, with
     you is my soul for aye!"

Thereupon the Head wept exceeding sore and cried, "O my lady,
indeed thou hast solaced my heart, and I have naught but my life;
so take it." She replied, "Nay, an I but knew that thou wouldst
bring me news of my lord Al-Rashid, 'twere fainer to me than the
reign of the world;" and the Head answered her, "It shall be done
as thou desirest." Then it disappeared and returning to her at
the last of the night, said, "O my lady, know that I have been to
thy palace and have questioned one of its Haunters of the case of
the Commander of the Faithful and that which befel him after
thee; and he said, 'When the Prince of True Believers came to
Tohfah's apartment and found her not and saw no sign of her, he
buffeted his face and head and rent his raiment.' Now there was
in thy chamber the Castrato, the chief of thy household, and the
Caliph cried out at him, saying, 'Bring me Ja'afar the Barmaki
and his father and brother at this very moment!' The Eunuch went
out, bewildered in his wit for fear of the King, and when he
stood in the presence of Ja'afar, he said to him, 'Come to the
Commander of the Faithful, thou and thy father and thy brother.'
So they arose in haste and betaking themselves to the presence,
said, 'O Prince of True Believers what may be the matter?' Quoth
he, 'There is a matter which passeth description. Know that I
locked the door and taking the key with me, betook myself to my
uncle's daughter, with whom I lay the night; but, when I arose in
the morning and came and opened the door, I found no sign of
Tohfah.' Quoth Ja'afar, 'O Commander of the Faithful have
patience, for that the damsel hath been snatched away, and needs
must she return, seeing that she took the lute with her, and 'tis
her own lute. The Jinns have assuredly carried her off, and we
trust in Allah Almighty that she will return.' Cried the Caliph,
'This[FN#207] is a thing which may nowise be!' And he abode in
her apartment, nor eating nor drinking, while the Barmecides
besought him to fare forth to the folk; and he weepeth and
tarrieth on such fashion till she shall return. This, then, is
that which hath betided him after thee." When Tohfah heard his
words, they were grievous to her and she wept with sore weeping;
whereupon quoth the Head to her, "The relief of Allah the Most
High is nearhand; but now let me hear somewhat of thy speech." So
she took the lute and sang three songs, weeping the while. The
Head exclaimed, "By Allah, thou hast been bountiful to me, the
Lord be with thee!" Then it disappeared and the season of sundown
came: so she rose and betook herself to her place in the hall;
whereupon behold, the candles sprang up from under the earth and
kindled themselves. Then the kings of the Jann appeared and
saluted her and kissed her hands and she greeted them with the
salam. Presently appeared Kamariyah and her three sisters and
saluted Tohfah and sat down; whereupon the tables were brought
and they ate; and when the tables were removed there came the
wine-tray and the drinking-service. So Tohfah took the lute and
one of the three queens filled the cup and signed to the
Songstress. Now she had in her hand a violet, so Tohfah
improvised these couplets:--

"I'm clad in a leaf-cloak of green; * In an honour-robe
I'm a wee thing of loveliest mien * But all flowers as my vassals
     are seen:
An Rose title her 'Morn-pride,' I ween * Nor before me nor after
     she's Queen."

The queen drank off her cup and bestowed on Tohfah a dress of
cloth-of-pearl, fringed with red rubies, worth twenty thousand
ducats, and a tray whereon were ten thousand sequins. All this
while Maymun's eye was upon her and presently he said to her,
"Harkye, Tohfah! Sing to me." But Queen Zalzalah cried out at
him, and said "Desist,[FN#208] O Maymun. Thou sufferest not
Tohfah to pay heed to us." Quoth he, "I will have her sing to
me:" and many words passed between them and Queen Zalzalah cried
aloud at him. Then she shook and became like unto the Jinns and
taking in her hand a mace of stone, said to him, "Fie upon thee!
What art thou that thou shouldst bespeak us thus? By Allah, but
for the respect due to kings and my fear of troubling the session
and the festival and the mind of the Shaykh Iblis, I would
assuredly beat the folly out of thy head!" When Maymun heard
these her words, he rose, with the fire shooting from his eyes,
and said, "O daughter of Imlák, what art thou that thou shouldst
outrage me with the like of this talk?" Replied she, "Woe to
thee, O dog of the Jinn, knowest thou not thy place?" So saying,
she ran at him, and offered to strike him with the mace, but the
Shaykh Iblis arose and casting his turband on the ground cried,
"Out on thee, O Maymun! Thou dost always with us on this wise.
Wheresoever thou art present, thou troublest our pleasure! Canst
thou not hold thy peace until thou go forth of the festival and
this bride-feast be accomplished? When the circumcision is at an
end and ye all return to your dwellings, then do as thou willest.
Fie upon thee, O Maymun! Wottest thou not that Imlak is of the
chiefs of the Jinn? But for my goodname, thou shouldst have seen
what would have betided thee of humiliation and chastisement; yet
on account of the festival none may speak. Indeed thou exceedest;
dost thou not ken that her sister Wakhimah is doughtier[FN#209]
than any of the Jann? Learn to know thyself: hast thou no regard
for thy life?" So Maymun was silent and Iblis turned to Tohfah
and said to her, "Sing to the kings of the Jinns this day and to-
night until the morrow, when the boy will be circumcised and each
shall return to his own place." Accordingly she took the lute and
Kamariyah said to her (now she had a citron in hand), "O my
sister, sing to me somewhat on this citron." Tohfah replied, "To
hear is to obey," and improvising, sang these couplets,

"I'm a dome of fine gold and right cunningly dight; * And my
     sweetness of youth gladdeth every sight:
My wine is ever the drink of kings * And I'm fittest gift to the
     friendliest sprite.

At this Queen Kamariyah rejoiced with joy exceeding and drained
her cup, crying, "Brava! O thou choice Gift of hearts!"
Furthermore, she took off a sleeved robe of blue brocade, fringed
with red rubies, and a necklace of white jewels worth an hundred
thousand ducats, and gave them to Tohfah. Then she passed the cup
to her sister Zalzalah, who hent in her hand herb basil, and she
said to Tohfah, "Sing to me somewhat on this basil." She replied,
"Hearing and obeying," and improvised and sang these couplets,

"I'm the Queen of herbs in the séance of wine * And in Heaven
     Na'ím are my name and sign:
And the best are promised, in garth of Khuld, * Repose, sweet
     scents and the peace divine:[FN#210]
What prizes then with my price shall vie? * What rank even mine,
     in all mortals' eyne?"

Thereat Queen Zalzalah rejoiced with joy exceeding and bidding
her treasuress bring a basket, wherein were fifty pairs of
bracelets and the same number of earrings, all of gold, crusted
with jewels of price, whose like nor mankind nor Jinn-kind
possessed, and an hundred robes of vari-coloured brocades and an
hundred thousand ducats, gave the whole to Tohfah. Then she
passed the cup to her sister Shararah, who had in her hand a
stalk of narcissus; so she took it from her and turning to the
Songstress, said to her, "O Tohfah, sing to me somewhat on this."
She replied, "Hearkening and obedience," and improvised these

"With the smaragd wand doth my form compare; * 'Mid the finest
     flowers my worth's rarest rare:
My eyes are likened to Beauty's eyne, * And my gaze is still on
     the bright partèrre."

When she had made an end of her song, Shararah was moved to
delight exceeding, and drinking off her cup, said to her, "Brava,
O thou choice Gift of hearts!" Then she ordered her an hundred
dresses of brocade and an hundred thousand ducats and passed the
cup to Queen Wakhimah. Now she had in her hand somewhat of
Nu'uman's bloom, the anemone; so she took the cup from her sister
and turning to the Songstress, said to her, "O Tohfah, sing to me
on this." Quoth she, "I hear and I obey," and improvised these

"I'm a dye was dyed by the Ruthful's might; * And all confess me
     the goodliest sight:
I began in the dust and the clay, but now * On the cheeks of fair
     women I rank by right."

Therewith Wakhimah rejoiced with joy exceeding and drinking off
the cup, ordered her twenty dresses of Roumí brocade and a tray,
wherein were thirty thousand ducats. Then she gave the cup to
Queen Shu'á'ah,[FN#211] Regent of the Fourth Sea, who took it and
said, "O my lady Tohfah, sing to me on the gillyflower." She
replied, "Hearing and obeying," and improvised these couplets,

"The time of my presence ne'er draws to a close, * Amid all whose
     joyance with mirth o'erflows;
When topers gather to sit at wine * Or in nightly shade or when
     morning shows,
I filch from the flagon to fill the bowls * And the crystal cup
     where the wine-beam glows."

Queen Shu'a'ah rejoiced with joy exceeding and emptying her cup,
gave Tohfah an hundred thousand ducats. Then up sprang Iblis
(whom Allah curse!) and cried, "Verily, the dawn lighteneth;"
whereupon the folk arose and disappeared, all of them, and there
abode not one of them save the Songstress, who went forth to the
garden and entering the Hamman made her Wuzu-ablutions and prayed
whatso lacked her of prayers. Then she sat down and when the sun
rose, behold, there came up to her near an hundred thousand green
birds, which filled the branches of the trees with their
multitudes and they warbled in various voices, whilst Tohfah
marvelled at their fashion. Suddenly, appeared eunuchs, bearing a
throne of gold, studded with pearls and gems and jacinths, both
white and red, and having four steps of gold, together with many
carpets of sendal and brocade and Coptic cloth of silk sprigged
with gold; and all these they spread in the centre of the garden
and setting up the throne thereon, perfumed the place with virgin
musk, Nadd[FN#212] and ambergris. After that, there came a queen;
never saw eyes a fairer than she nor than her qualities; she was
robed in rich raiment, broidered with pearls and gems, and on her
head was a crown set with various kinds of unions and jewels.
About her were five hundred slave-girls high-bosomed maids, as
they were moons, screening her, right and left, and she among
them like the moon on the night of its full, for that she was the
most worthy of them in majesty and dignity. She ceased not
walking till she came to Tohfah, whom she found gazing on her in
amazement; and when the Songstress saw her turn to her, she rose
to her, standing on her feet, and saluted her and kissed ground
between her hands. The queen rejoiced in her and putting out her
hand to her, drew her to herself and seated her by her side on
the couch; whereupon the Songstress kissed her hands and the
queen said to her, "Know, O Tohfah, that all which thou treadest
of these carpets belongeth not to any of the Jinn, who may never
tread them without thy leave,[FN#213] for that I am the queen of
them all and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif Iblis sought my permission
to hold festival[FN#214] and prayed me urgently to be present at
the circumcision of his son. So I despatched to him, in my stead,
a slave-girl of my slave-girls, namely, Shu'á'ah Queen of the
Fourth Sea, who is vice-reine of my reign. When she was present
at the wedding and saw thee and heard thy singing, she sent to
me, informing me of thee and setting forth to me thy grace and
amiability and the beauty of thy breeding and thy
courtesy.[FN#215] So I am come to thee, for that which I have
heard of thy charms, and hereby I do thee a mighty great favour
in the eyes of all the Jann."[FN#216] Thereupon Tohfah arose and
kissed the earth and the queen thanked her for this and bade her
sit. So she sat down and the queen called for foods when they
brought a table of gold, inlaid with pearls and jacinth; and
jewels and bearing kinds manifold of birds and viands of various
hues, and the queen said, "O Tohfah, in the name of Allah! Let us
eat bread and salt together, I and thou." Accordingly the
Songstress came forward and ate of those meats and found therein
somewhat the like whereof she had never eaten; no, nor aught more
delicious than it, while the slave-girls stood around the table,
as the white compasseth the black of the eye, and she sat
conversing and laughing with the queen. Then said the lady, "O my
sister, a slave-girl told me of thee that thou saidst, 'How
loathly is what yonder Jinni Maymun eateth!"[FN#217] Tohfah
replied, "By Allah, O my lady, I have not any eye that can look
at him,[FN#218] and indeed I am fearful of him." When the queen
heard this, she laughed till she fell backwards and said "O my
sister, by the might of the graving upon the seal-ring of
Solomon, prophet of Allah, I am queen over all the Jann, and none
dare so much as cast on thee a glance of the eye;" whereat Tohfah
kissed her hand. Then the tables were removed and the twain sat
talking. Presently up came the kings of the Jinn from every side
and kissed ground before the queen and stood in her service; and
she thanked them for this, but moved not for one of them.[FN#219]
Then appeared the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif Iblis (Allah curse him!)
and kissed the earth before her, saying, "O my lady, may I not be
bereft of these steps!"[FN#220] She replied, "O Shaykh Abu
al-Tawáif, it behoveth thee to thank the bounty of the Lady
Tohfah, who was the cause of my coming." Rejoined he, "Thou
sayest sooth," and kissed ground. Then the queen fared on towards
the palace and there arose and alighted upon the trees an hundred
thousand birds of manifold hues. The Songstress asked, "How many
are these birds?" and Queen Wakhimah answered her, "Know, O my
sister, that this queen is hight Queen al-Shahbá[FN#221] and that
she is queen over all the Jann from East to West. These birds
thou seest are of her host, and unless they appeared in this
shape, earth would not be wide enough for them. Indeed, they came
forth with her and are present with her presence at this
circumcision. She will give thee after the measure of that which
hath been given to thee from the first of the festival to the
last thereof;[FN#222] and indeed she honoureth us all with her
presence." Then the queen entered the palace and sat down on the
couch of the circumcision[FN#223] at the upper end of the hall,
where-upon Tohfah took the lute and pressing it to her breast,
touched its strings suchwise that the wits of all present were
bewildered and Shaykh Iblis cried to her, "O my lady Tohfah, I
conjure thee, by the life of this noble queen, sing for me and
praise thyself, and cross me not." Quoth she, "To hear is to
obey; still, but for thine adjuration, I had not done this. Say
me, doth any praise himself? What manner thing is this?" Then she
improvised these couplets:

"In all fêtes I'm Choice Gift[FN#224] to the minstrel-race;
Folk attest my worth, rank and my pride of place,
While Fame, merit and praises with honour engrace."

Her verses pleased the kings of the Jann and they cried, "By
Allah, thou sayst sooth!" Then she rose to her feet, hending lute
in hand, and played and sang, whilst the Jinns and the Shaykh Abu
al-Tawáif danced. Presently the Father of the Tribes came up to
her bussing her bosom, and gave her a Bráhmani[FN#225] carbuncle
he had taken from the hidden hoard of Yáfis bin Núh[FN#226] (on
whom be the Peace), and which was worth the reign of the world;
its light was as the sheen of the sun and he said to her, "Take
this and be equitable therewith to the people of the world."
[FN#227] She kissed his hand and rejoiced in the jewel and said,
"By Allah, this befitteth none save the Commander of the
Faithful." Now Queen Al-Shahba laughed with delight at the
dancing of Iblís and she said to him, "By Allah, this is a goodly
pavane!" He thanked her for this and said to the Songstress, "O
Tohfah, there is not on earth's face a skilfuller than Ishak
al-Nadim;[FN#228] but thou art more skilful than he. Indeed, I
have been present with him many a time and have shown him
positions[FN#229] on the lute, and there has betided me with him
that which betided. Indeed, the story of my dealings with him is
a long one but this is no time to repeat it; for now I would show
thee a shift on the lute, whereby thou shalt be exalted over all
folk." Quoth she, "Do what seemeth good to thee." So he took the
lute and played thereon a wondrous playing, with rare divisions
and marvellous modulations, and showed her a passage she knew
not; and this was goodlier to her than all that she had gotten.
Then she took the lute from him and playing thereon, sang and
presently returned to the passage which he had shown her; and he
said, "By Allah, thou singest better than I!" As for Tohfah, it
became manifest to her that her former practice was all of it
wrong and that what she had learnt from the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif
Iblis was the root and foundation of all perfection in the art
and its modes. So she rejoiced in that which she had won of skill
in touching the lute far more than in all that had fallen to her
lot of wealth and honour-robes and kissed the Master's hand. Then
said Queen Al-Shahba, "By Allah, O Shaykh, my sister Tohfah is
indeed singular among the folk of her time, and I hear that she
singeth upon all sweetsmelling blooms." Iblis replied, "Yes, O my
lady, and I am in extremest wonderment thereat. But there
remaineth somewhat of sweet-scented flowers, which she hath not
besung, such as myrtle and tuberose and jessamine and the
moss-rose and the like." Then the Shaykh signed to her to sing
somewhat upon the rest of the flowers, that Queen Al-Shahba might
hear, and she said, "Hearing and obeying." So she took the lute
and played thereon in many modes, then returned to the first and
sang these couplets,

"I'm one of the lover-retinue * Whom long pine and patience have
     doomèd rue:
And sufferance of parting from kin and friends * Hath clothed me,
     O folk, in this yellow hue:
Then, after the joyance had passed away, * Heart-break, abasement
     and cark I knew,
Through the long, long day when the lift is light, * Nor, when
     night is murk, my pangs cease pursue:
So, 'twixt fairest hope and unfailing fear, * My bitter tears
     ever flow anew."

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with joy exceeding and cried,
"Brava, O queen of delight! No one is able to describe thee. Sing
to us on the Apple." Quoth Tohfah, "Hearkening and obedience."
Then she recited these couplets,

"I surpass all forms in my coquetry* For mine inner worth and
     mine outer blee;
Tend me noble hands in the sight of all * And slake with pure
     waters the thirst of me;
My robe is of sendal, and eke my veil * Is of sunlight the
     Ruthful hath bidden be:
When my fair companions are marched afar, * In sorrow fro' home
     they are forced to flee:
But noble hands deign hearten my heart * With beds where I sit in
     my high degree; [FN#230]
And where, like full moon at its rise, my light * 'mid the
     garden-fruits thou shalt ever see."

Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced in this with exceeding joy and cried
"Brava! By Allah, there is none excelleth thee." Tohfah kissed
the ground, then returned to her place and versified on the
Tuberose, saying,

"I'm a marvel-bloom to be worn on head! * Though a stranger among
     you fro' home I fled:
Make use of wine in my company * And flout at Time who in
     languish sped.
E'en so cloth camphor my hue attest, * O my lords, as I stand in
     my present stead.
So gar me your gladness when dawneth day, * And to highmost seat
     in your homes be I led:
And quaff your cups in all jollity, * And cheer and ease shall
     ne'er cease to be."

At this Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy and cried,
"Brava, O queen of delight! By Allah, I know not how I shall do
to give thee thy due! May the Most High grant us the grace of thy
long continuance!" Then she strained her to her breast and bussed
her on the cheek; whereupon quoth Iblis (on whom be a curse!),
"This is a mighty great honour!" Quoth the queen, "Know that this
lady Tohfah is my sister and that her biddance is my biddance and
her forbiddance my forbiddance. So all of you hearken to her word
and render her worshipful obedience." Therewith the kings rose in
a body and kissed ground before Tohfah, who rejoiced in this.
Moreover, Queen Al-Shahba doffed dress and habited her in a suit
adorned with pearls, jewels and jacinths, worth an hundred
thousand ducats, and wrote for her on a slip of paper[FN#231] a
patent appointing her to be her deputy. So the Songstress rose
and kissed ground before the Queen, who said to her, "Of thy
favour, sing to us somewhat concerning the rest of the
sweet-scented flowers and herbs, so I may hear thy chant and
solace myself with witnessing thy skill." She replied, "To hear
is to obey, O lady mine," and, taking the lute, improvised these

"My hue excelleth all hues in light, * And I would all eyes
     should enjoy my sight:
My site is the site of fillets and pearls * Where the fairest
     brows are with jasmine dight:
My light's uprist (and what light it shows!) * Is a silvern zone
     on the waist of Night."

Then she changed the measure and improvised these couplets,

"I'm the gem of herbs, and in seasons twain * My tryst I keep
     with my lovers-train:
I stint not union for length of time * Nor visits, though some be
     of severance fain;
The true one am I and my troth I keep, * And, easy of plucking,
     no hand disdain."

Then, changing measure and the mode, she played so that she
bewildered the wits of those who were present, and Queen
Al-Shahba, moved to mirth and merriment, cried, "Brava, O queen
of delight!" Presently she returned to the first mode and
improved these couplets on Nenuphar,

"I fear me lest freke espy me, * In air when I fain deny me;
So I root me beneath the wave, * And my stalks to bow down apply

Hereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy, and cried,
"Brava, O Tohfah! Let me hear more of thy chant." Accordingly,
she smote the lute and changing the mode, recited on the Moss-
rose these couplets,

"Look on Nasrín[FN#232] those branchy shoots surround; * With
     greenest leafery 'tis deckt and crowned:
Its graceful bending stem draws every gaze * While beauteous
     bearing makes their love abound."

Then she changed measure and mode and sang these couplets on the

"O thou who askest Súsan[FN#233] of her scent, * Hear thou my
     words and beauty of my lay.
'Emir am I whom all mankind desire' * (Quoth she) 'or present or
     whenta'en away.'"

When Tohfah had made an end of her song, Queen Al-Shahba rose and
said, "I never heard from any the like of this;" and she drew the
Songstress to her and fell to kissing her. Then she took leave of
her and flew away; and on like wise all the birds took flight
with her, so that they walled the horizon; whilst the rest of the
kings tarried behind. Now as soon as it was the fourth night,
there came the boy who was to be circumcised, adorned with jewels
such as never saw eye nor heard ear of, and amongst the rest a
crown of gold crusted with pearls and gems, the worth whereof was
an hundred thousand sequins. He sat down upon the couch and
Tohfah sang to him, till the chirurgeon[FN#234] came and they
snipped his foreskin in the presence of all the kings, who
showered on him a mighty great store of jewels and jacinths and
gold. Queen Kamariyah bade her Eunuchs gather up all this and lay
it in Tohfah's closet and it was as much in value as all that had
fallen to her, from the first of the festivities to the last
thereof. Moreover, the Shaykh Iblis (whom Allah curse!) bestowed
upon the Songstress the crown worn by the boy and gave the
circumcisee another, whereat Tohfah's reason took flight. Then
the Jinn departed, in order of rank, whilst Iblis farewelled
them, band after band. Seeing the Shaykh thus occupied with
taking leave of the kings, Maymun seized his opportunity, the
place being empty, and taking up Tohfah on his shoulders, soared
aloft with her to the confines of the lift, and flew away with
her. Presently, Iblis came to look for the Songstress and see
what she purposed, but found her not and sighted the slave-girls
slapping their faces: so he said to them, "Fie on you! What may
be the matter?" They replied, "O our lord, Maymun hath snatched
up Tohfah and flown away with her." When Iblis heard this, he
gave a cry whereto earth trembled and said, "What is to be done?"
Then he buffetted his face and head, exclaiming, "Woe to you!
This be none other than exceeding insolence. Shall he carry off
Tohfah from my very palace and attaint mine honour? Doubtless,
this Maymun hath lost his wits." Then he cried out a second time,
so that the earth quaked, and rose on his wings high in air. The
news came to the rest of the kings; so they flew after him and
overtaking him, found him full of anxiety and affright, with fire
issuing from his nostrils, and said to him, "O Shaykh
al-Tawaif,[FN#235] what is to do?" He replied, "Know ye that
Maymun hath carried oh from my palace and attainted mine honour."
When they heard this, they cried, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah the Glorious, the Great. By God he hath
ventured upon a grave matter and verily he destroyeth self and
folk!" Then Shaykh Iblis ceased not flying till he fell in with
the tribes of the Jann, and they gathered together a world of
people, none may tell the tale of them save the Lord of
All-might. So they came to the Fortress of Copper and the Citadel
of Lead,[FN#236] and the people of the sconces saw the tribes of
the Jann issuing from every deep mountain-pass[FN#237] and said,
"What be the news?" Then Iblis went in to King Al-Shisban and
acquainted him with that which had befallen; whereupon quoth he,
"Verily, Allah hath destroyed Maymun and his many! He pretendeth
to possess Tohfah, and she is become queen of the Jann! But have
patience till we devise that which befitteth in the matter of
Tohfah." Iblis asked, "And what befitteth it to do?" And
Al-Shisban answered, "We will fall upon him and kill him and his
host with cut of brand." Then quoth Shaykh Iblis, "'Twere better
to acquaint Queen Kamariyah and Queen Zal-zalah and Queen
Shararah and Queen Wakhimah; and when they are assembled, Allah
shall ordain whatso He deemeth good in the matter of her
release." Quoth Al-Shisban, "Right is thy rede" and thy
despatched to Queen Kamariyah an Ifrit hight Salhab who came to
her palace and found her sleeping, so he roused her and she said,
"What is to do, O Salhab?" Cried he, "O my lady, come to the
succour of thy sister the Songstress, for Maymun hath carried her
off and attainted thine honour and that of Shaykh Iblis." Quoth
she, "What sayst thou?" and she sat up straight and cried out
with a great cry. And indeed she feared for Tohfah and said, "By
Allah, in very sooth she used to say that he gazed at her and
prolonged the gaze; but ill is that whereto his soul hath
prompted him." Then she rose in haste and mounting a Sataness of
her Satans, said to her, "Fly." So she flew off with her and
alighted in the palace of her sister Shararah, whereupon she sent
for her sisters Zalzalah and Wakhimah and acquainted them with
the tidings, saying, "Know that Maymun hath snatched up Tohfah
and flown off with her swiftlier than the blinding leven." Then
they all flew off in haste and lighting down in the place where
were their father Al-Shisban and their grandfather the Shaykh Abu
al-Tawáif, found the folk on the sorriest of situations. When
their grandfather Iblis saw them, he rose to them and wept, and
they all wept for the Songstress. Then said Iblis to them,
"Yonder hound hath attainted mine honour and taken Tohfah, and I
think not other wise[FN#238] but that she is like to die of
distress for herself and her lord Al-Rashid and saying, 'The
whole that they said and did was false.'"[FN#239] Quoth
Kamariyah, "O grandfather mine, nothing is left for it but
stratagem and device for her deliverance, for that she is dearer
to me than everything; and know that yonder accursed when he
waxeth ware of your coming upon him, will ken that he hath no
power to cope with you, he who is the least and meanest of the
Jann; but we dread that he, when assured of defeat, will slay
Tohfah; wherefore nothing will serve but that we contrive a
sleight for saving her; else will she perish." He asked, "And
what hast thou in mind of device?" and she answered, "Let us take
him with fair means, and if he obey, all will be well;[FN#240]
else will we practice stratagem against him; and expect not her
deliverance from other than myself." Quoth Iblis, "The affair is
thine; contrive what thou wilt, for that Tohfah is thy sister and
thy solicitude for her is more effectual than that of any other."
So Kamariyah cried out to an Ifrit of the Ifrits and a calamity
of the calamities,[FN#241] by name Al-Asad al-Tayyár, the Flying
Lion and said to him, "Hie with my message to the Crescent
Mountain,[FN#242] the wone of Maymun the Sworder, and enter and
say to him, My lady saluteth thee with the salam and asketh thee,
'How canst thou be assured for thyself of safety, after what thou
hast done, O Maymun? Couldst thou find none to maltreat in thy
drunken humour save Tohfah, she too being a queen? But thou art
excused, because thou didst not this deed, but 'twas thy drink,
and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif pardoneth thee, because thou wast
drunken. Indeed, thou hast attainted his honour; but now restore
her to her palace, for that she hath done well and favoured us
and rendered us service, and thou wottest that she is this day
our queen. Belike she may bespeak Queen Al-Shahba, whereupon the
matter will become grievous and that wherein there is no good
shall betide thee; and thou wilt get no title of gain. Verily, I
give thee good counsel, and so the Peace!'" Al-Asad answered
"Hearing and obeying," and flew till he came to the Crescent
Mountain, when he sought audience of Maymun, who bade admit him.
So he entered and kissing ground before him, gave him Queen
Kamariyah's message, which when he heard, he cried to the Ifrit,
"Return whence thou comest and say to thy mistress, 'Be silent
and thou wilt show thy good sense.' Else will I come and seize
upon her and make her serve Tohfah; and if the kings of the Jinn
assemble together against me and I be overcome by them, I will
not leave her to scent the wind of this world and she shall be
neither mine nor theirs, for that she is presently my sprite
[FN#243] from between my ribs; and how shall any part with his
sprite?" When the Ifrit heard Maymun's words, he said to him, "By
Allah, O Maymun, art thou a changeling in thy wits, that thou
speakest these words of my lady, and thou one of her page-boys?"
Whereupon Maymun cried out and said to him, "Woe to thee, O dog
of the Jinns! Wilt thou bespeak the like of me with these words?"
Then he bade those who were about him bastinado Al-Asad, but he
took flight and soaring high in air, betook himself to his
mistress and told her the tidings: when she said, "Thou hast done
well, O good knight!" Then she turned to her sire and said to
him, "Hear that which I shall say to thee." Quoth he, "Say on;"
and quoth she, "I rede thee take thy troops and go to him, for
when he heareth this, he will in turn levy his many and come
forth to thee; whereupon do thou offer him battle and prolong the
fight with him and make a show to him of weakness and giving way.
Meantime, I will devise me a device for getting at Tohfah and
delivering her, what while he is busied with you in battle; and
when my messenger cometh to thee and informeth thee that I have
gotten possession of Tohfah and that she is with me, return thou
upon Maymun forthwith and overthrow him and his hosts, and take
him prisoner. But, an my device succeed not with him and we fail
to deliver Tohfah, he will assuredly practice to slay her,
without recourse, and regret for her will remain in our hearts."
Quoth Iblis, "This is the right rede" and bade call a march among
the troops, whereupon an hundred thousand knights, doughty wights
of war, joined themselves to him and set out for the country of
Maymun. As for Queen Kamariyah, she flew off to the palace of her
sister Wakhimah, and told her what deed Maymun had done and how
he declared that, whenas he saw defeat nearhand, he would slay
Tohfah; adding, "And indeed, he is resolved upon this; otherwise
had he not dared to work such sleight. So do thou contrive the
affair as thou see fit, for in rede thou hast no superior." Then
they sent for Queen Zalzalah and Queen Shararah and sat down to
take counsel, one with other, concerning what they had best do in
the matter. Presently said Wakhimah, " 'Twere advisable we fit
out a ship in this our island home and embark therein, disguised
as Adam's sons, and fare on till we come to anchor under a little
island that lieth over against Maymun's palace. There will we sit
drinking and smiting the lute and singing; for Tohfah will
assuredly be seated there overlooking the sea, and needs must she
see us and come down to us, whereupon we will take her by force
and she will be under our hands, so that none shall be able to
molest her any more. Or, an Maymun be gone forth to do battle
with the Jinns, we will storm his stronghold and take Tohfah and
raze his palace and slay all therein. When he hears of this, his
heart will be broken and we will send to let our father know,
whereat he will return upon him with his troops and he will be
destroyed and we shall have rest of him." They answered her,
saying, "This is a good counsel." Then they bade fit out a ship
from behind the mountain,[FN#244] and it was fitted out in less
than the twinkling of an eye; so they launched it on the sea and
embarking therein, together with four thousand Ifrits, set out,
intending for Maymun's palace. They also bade other five thousand
Ifrits betake themselves to the island under the Crescent
Mountain and there lie in wait for them ambushed well. Thus fared
it with the kings of the Jann; but as regards Shaykh Abu
al-Tawáif Iblis and his son Al-Shisban the twain set out, as we
have said, with their troops, who were of the doughtiest of the
Jinn and the prowest of them in wing-flying and horse-manship,
and fared on till they drew near the Crescent Mountain. When the
news of their approach reached Maymun, he cried out with a mighty
great cry to the troops, who were twenty thousand riders, and
bade them make ready for departure. Then he went in to Tohfah and
kissing her, said, "Know that thou art this day my life of the
world, and indeed the Jinns are gathered together to wage war on
me for thy sake. An I win the day from them and am preserved
alive, I will set all the kings of the Jann under thy feet and
thou shalt become queen of the world." But she shook her head and
shed tears; and he said, "Weep not, for I swear by the virtue of
the mighty inscription borne on the seal-ring of Solomon, thou
shalt never again see the land of men; no, never! Say me, can any
one part with his life? Give ear, then, to my words; else will I
slay thee." So she was silent. And forthright he sent for his
daughter, whose name was Jamrah,[FN#245] and when she came, he
said to her, "Harkye, Jamrah! Know that I am going to fight the
clans of Al-Shisban and Queen Kamariyah and the Kings of the
Jann. An I be vouch-safed the victory over them, to Allah be the
laud and thou shalt have of me largesse;[FN#246] but, an thou see
or hear that I am worsted and any come to thee with ill news of
me, hasten to kill Tohfah, so she may fall neither to me nor to
them." Then he farewelled her and mounted, saying, "When this
cometh about, pass over to the Crescent Mountain and take up
thine abode there, and await what shall befal me and what I shall
say to thee." And Jamrah answered "Hearkening and obedience." Now
when the Songstress heard these words, she fell to weeping and
wailing and said, "By Allah, naught irketh me but severance from
my lord Al-Rashid; however, when I am dead, let the world be
ruined after me!"[FN#247] And she was certified in herself that
she was assuredly lost. Then Maymun set forth with his army and
departed in quest of the hosts of the Jinn, leaving none in the
palace save his daughter Jamrah and Tohfah and an Ifrit which was
dear to him. They fared on till they met with the army of
Al-Shisban; and when the two hosts came face to face, they fell
each upon other and fought a fight, a passing sore than which
naught could be more. After a while, Al-Shisban's troops began to
give way, and when Maymun saw them do thus, he despised them and
made sure of victory over them. On this wise it befel them; but
as regards Queen Kamariyah and her company they sailed on without
ceasing, till they came under the palace wherein was Tohfah, to
wit, that of Maymun the Sworder; and by the decree of the Lord of
destiny, the Songstress herself was at that very time sitting on
the belvedere of the palace, pondering the affair of Harun
al-Rashid and her own and that which had befallen her and weeping
for that she was doomed to death. She saw the vessel and what was
therein of those we have named, and they in mortal guise, and
said, "Alas, my sorrow for this ship and for the men that be
therein!" As for Kamariyah and her many, when they drew near the
palace, they strained their eyes and seeing the Songstress
sitting, cried, "Yonder sitteth Tohfah. May Allah not bereave us
of her!" Then they moored their craft and, making for the island
which lay over against the palace, spread carpets and sat eating
and drinking; whereupon quoth Tohfah, "Well come and welcome to
yonder faces! These be my kinswomen and I conjure thee by Allah,
O Jamrah, that thou let me down to them, so I may sit with them
awhile and enjoy kindly converse with them and return." Quoth
Jamrah, "I may on no wise do that;" and Tohfah wept. Then the
folk brought out wine and drank, while Kamariyah took the lute
and sang these couplets,

"By Allah, had I never hoped to greet you * Your guide had failed
     on camel to seat you!
Far bore you parting from friend would greet you * Till meseems
     mine eyes for your wone entreat you."

When Tohfah heard this, she cried out so great a cry, that the
folk heard her and Kamariyah said, "Relief is nearhand." Then the
Songstress looked out to them and called to them, saying, "O
daughters of mine uncle, I am a lonely maid, an exile from kin
and country: so for the love of Allah Almighty, repeat that
song!" Accordingly Kamariyah repeated it and Tohfah swooned away.
When she came to herself, she said to Jamrah, "By the rights of
the Apostle of Allah (whom may He save and assain!) unless thou
suffer me go down to them and look on them and sit with them for
a full hour, I will hurl myself headlong from this palace, for
that I am aweary of my life and know that I am slain to all
certainty; wherefore will I kill myself, ere you pass sentence
upon me." And she was instant with her in asking. When Jamrah
heard her words, she knew that, an she let her not down, she
would assuredly destroy herself. So she said to her, "O Tohfah,
between thee and them are a thousand cubits, but I will bring the
women up to thee." The Songstress replied, "Nay, there is no help
but that I go down to them and solace me in the island and look
upon the sea anear; then will we return, I and thou; for that, an
thou bring them up to us, they will be affrighted and there will
betide them neither joy nor gladness. As for me, I wish but to be
with them, that they may cheer me with their company neither give
over their merrymaking, so peradventure I may broaden my breast
with them, and indeed I swear that needs must I go down to them;
else I will cast myself upon them." And she cajoled Jamrah and
kissed her hands, till she said, "Arise and I will set thee down
beside them." Then she took Tohfah under her armpit and flying up
swiftlier than the blinding leven, set her down with Kamariyah
and her company; whereupon she went up to them and accosted them,
saying, "Fear ye not: no harm shall befal you; for I am a mortal,
like unto you, and I would fain look on you and talk with you and
hear your singing." So they welcomed her and kept their places
whilst Jamrah sat down beside them and fell a-snuffing their
odours and saying, "I smell the scent of the Jinn![FN#248] Would
I wot whence it cometh!" Then said Wakhimah to her sister
Kamariyah, "Yonder foul slut smelleth us and presently she will
take to flight; so what be this inaction concerning her?"[FN#249]
Thereupon Kamariyah put out an arm long as a camel's neck, and
dealt Jamrah a buffet on the head, that made it fly from her body
and cast it into the sea. Then cried she, "Allah is
All-great!"[FN#250] And they uncovered their faces, whereupon
Tohfah knew them and said to them, "Protection!" Queen Kamariyah
embraced her, as also did Queen Zalzalah and Queen Wakhimah and
Queen Shararah, and the first-named said to her, "Receive the
good tidings of assured safety, for there abideth no harm for
thee; but this is no time for talk." Then they cried out,
whereupon up came the Ifrits ambushed in that island, hending
swords and maces in hand, and taking up Tohfah, flew her to the
palace and made themselves masters of it, whilst the Ifrit
aforesaid, who was dear to Maymun and whose name was
Dukhán,[FN#251] fled like an arrow and stinted not flying till he
came to Maymun and found him fighting a sore fight with the Jinn.
When his lord saw him, he cried out at him, saying, "Fie upon
thee! Whom hast thou left in the palace?" Dukhan answered,
saying, "And who abideth in the palace? Thy beloved Tohfah they
have captured and Jamrah is slain and they have taken the palace,
all of it." At these ill tidings Maymun buffeted his face and
head and said, "Oh! Out on it for a calamity!" Then he cried
aloud. Now Kamariyah had sent to her sire and reported to him the
news, whereat the raven of the wold[FN#252] croaked for the foe.
So, when Maymun saw that which had betided him (and indeed the
Jinn smote upon him and the wings of eternal severance overspread
his host), he planted the heel of his lance in the earth and
turning its head to his heart, urged his charger thereat and
pressed upon it with his breast, till the point came forth
gleaming from his back. Meanwhile the messenger had made the
friendly host with the news of Tohfah's deliverance, whereat the
Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif rejoiced and bestowed on the bringer of lief
tidings a sumptuous robe of honour and made him commander over a
company of the Jann. Then they charged home upon Maymun's host
and wiped them out to the last man; and when they came to Maymun,
they found that he had slain himself and was even as we have
said. Presently Kamariyah and her sister Wakhimah came up to
their grandfather and told him what they had done; whereupon he
came to Tohfah and saluted her with the salam and congratulated
her on deliverance. Then he made over Maymun's palace to Salhab;
and, taking all the rebel's wealth gave it to the Songstress,
while the troops encamped upon the Crescent Mountain.
Furthermore, the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif said to Tohfah, "Blame me
not," and she kissed his hands, when behold, there appeared to
them the tribes of the Jinn, as they were clouds, and Queen
Al-Shahba flying in their van, drawn sword in grip. As she came
in sight of the folk, they kissed ground between her hands and
she said to them, "Tell me what hath betided Queen Tohfah from
yonder dog Maymun and why did ye not send to me and report to
me?" Quoth they, "And who was this dog that we should send to
thee on his account? Indeed he was the least and lowest of the
Jinn." Then they told her what Kamariyah and her sisters had done
and how they had practiced upon Maymun and delivered the
Songstress from his hand, fearing lest he should slay her when he
found himself defeated; and she said, "By Allah, the accursed was
wont to lengthen his looking upon her!" And Tohfah fell to
kissing Al-Shahba's hand, whilst the queen strained her to her
bosom and kissed her, saying, "Trouble is past; so rejoice in
assurance of deliverance." Then they rose and went up to the
palace whereupon the trays of food were brought and they ate and
drank; after which quoth Queen Al-Shahba, "O Tohfah, sing to us,
by way of sweetmeat[FN#253] for thine escape, and favour us with
that which shall solace our minds, for that indeed my thoughts
have been occupied with thee." And quoth Tohfah, "Hearkening and
obedience, O my lady." So she improvised and sang these couplets,

"Breeze of East[FN#254] an thou breathe o'er the dear ones' land
     * Speed, I pray thee, my special salute and salam:
And say them I'm pledged to love them and * In pine that passeth
     all pine I am."

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced and with her all who were
present; and they admired her speech and fell to kissing her; and
when she had made an end of her song, Queen Kamariyah said to
her, "O my sister, ere thou go to thy palace, I would fain bring
thee to look upon Al-'Anká,[FN#255] daughter of Bahram Júr, whom
Al-'Anka, daughter of the wind, carried off, and her beauty; for
that there is not her fellow on earth's face." And Queen
Al-Shahba said, "O Kamariyah, I also think it were well an I
beheld her." Quoth Kamirayah, "I saw her three years ago; but my
sister Wakhimah seeth her at all times, for she is near to her
people, and she saith that there is not in the world fairer than
she. Indeed, this Queen Al-Anka is become a byword for beauty and
comeliness." And Wakhimah said, "By the mighty inscription on the
seal-ring of Solomon, there is not her like for loveliness here
below." Then said Queen Al-Shahba, "An it needs must be and the
affair is as ye say, I will take Tohfah and go with her to
Al-Anka, so she may look upon her!" So they all arose and
repaired to Al-Anka, who abode in the Mountain Kaf. When she saw
them, she drew near to them and saluted them, saying, "O my
ladies, may I not be bereaved of you!" Quoth Wakhimah to her,
"Who is like unto thee, O Anka? Behold, Queen Al-Shahba is come
to thee." So Al-Anka kissed the Queen's feet and lodged them in
her palace; whereupon Tohfah came up to her and fell to kissing
her and saying, "Never saw I seemlier than this semblance." Then
she set before them somewhat of food and they ate and washed
their hands; after which the Songstress took the lute and smote
it well; and Al-Anka also played, and they fell to improvising
verses in turns, whilst Tohfah embraced Al-Anka every moment.
Al-Shahba cried, "O my sister, each kiss is worth a thousand
dinars;" and Tohfah replied, "And a thousand dinars were little
therefor;" whereat Al-Anka laughed and after nighting in her
pavilion on the morrow they took leave of her and went away to
Maymun's palace. Here Queen Al-Shahba farewelled them and taking
her troops, returned to her capital, whilst the kings also went
away to their abodes and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif applied himself
to diverting Tohfah till nightfall, when he mounted her on the
back of one of the Ifrits and bade other thirty gather together
all that she had gotten of treasure and raiment, jewels and robes
of honour. Then they flew off, whilst Iblis went with her, and in
less than the twinkling of an eye he set her down in her sleeping
room, where he and those who were with him bade adieu to her and
went away. When Tohfah found herself in her own chamber[FN#256]
and on her couch, her reason fled for joy and it seemed to her as
if she had never stirred thence: then she took the lute and tuned
it and touched it in wondrous fashion and improvised verses and
sang. The Eunuch heard the smiting of the lute within the chamber
and cried, "By Allah, that is the touch of my lady Tohfah!" So he
arose and went, as he were a madman, falling down and rising up,
till he came to the Castrato on guard at the gate of the
Commander of the Faithful and found him sitting. When his fellow
neutral saw him, and he like a madman, slipping down and
stumbling up, he asked him, "What aileth thee and what bringeth
thee hither at this hour?" The other answered, "Wilt thou not
make haste and awaken the Prince of True Believers?" And he fell
to crying out at him; whereupon the Caliph awoke and heard them
bandying words together and Tohfah's slave crying to the other,
"Woe to thee! Awaken the Commander of the Faithful in haste." So
quoth he, "O Sawab, what hast thou to say?" and quoth the Chief
Eunuch, "O our lord, the Eunuch of Tohfah's lodging hath lost his
wits and crieth, 'Awaken the Commander of the Faithful in haste!'
" Then said Al-Rashid to one of his slave-girls, "See what may be
the matter." Accordingly she hastened to admit the Castrato, who
entered at her order; and when he saw the Commander of the
Faithful, he salamed not neither kissed ground, but cried in his
hurry, "Quick: up with thee! My lady Tohfah sitteth in her
chamber, singing a goodly ditty. Come to her in haste and see all
that I say to thee! Hasten! She sitteth awaiting thee." The
Caliph was amazed at his speech and asked him, "What sayst thou?"
He answered, "Didst thou not hear the first of the speech? Tohfah
sitteth in the sleeping-chamber, singing and lute-playing. Come
thy quickest! Hasten!" Accordingly Al-Rashid sprang up and donned
his dress; but he believed not the Eunuch's words and said to
him, "Fie upon thee! What is this thou sayst? Hast thou not seen
this in a dream?" Quoth the Eunuch, "By Allah, I wot not what
thou sayest, and I was not asleep;" and quoth Al-Rashid, "An thy
speech be soothfast, it shall be for thy good luck, for I will
free thee and give thee a thousand gold pieces; but, an it be
untrue and thou have seen this in dream-land, I will crucify
thee." The Eunuch said within himself, "O Protector, let me not
have seen this in vision!" then he left the Caliph and running to
the chamber-door, heard the sound of singing and lute-playing;
whereupon he returned to Al-Rashid and said to him, "Go and
hearken and see who is asleep." When the Prince of True Believers
drew near the door of the sleeping-chamber, he heard the sound of
the lute and Tohfah's voice singing; whereat he could not
restrain his reason and was like to faint for excess of delight.
Then he pulled out the key but his hand refused to draw the bolt:
however, after a while, he took heart and applying himself,
opened the door and entered, saying, "Methinks this is none other
than a vision or an imbroglio of dreams." When Tohfah saw him,
she rose and coming to meet him, pressed him to her breast; and
he cried out a cry wherein his sprite was like to depart and fell
down in a fit. She again strained him to her bosom and sprinkled
on him rose-water mingled with musk, and washed his face, till he
came to himself, as he were a drunken man, and shed tears for the
stress of his joy in Tohfah's return to him, after he had
despaired of her returning. Then she took the lute and smote
thereon, after the fashion she had learnt from Shaykh Iblis, so
that Al-Rashid's wit was bewildered for excess of joy and his
understanding was confounded for exultation; after which she
improvised and sang these couplets,

"That I left thee my heart to believe is unlief; * For the life
     that's in it ne'er leaveth; brief,
An thou say 'I went,' saith my heart 'What a fib!' * And I bide
     'twixt believing and unbelief."

When she had made an end of her verses, Al-Rashid said to her, "O
Tohfah, shine absence was wondrous, yet is thy presence still
more marvellous." She replied, "By Allah, O my lord, thou sayst
sooth;" then, taking his hand, she said to him, "O Commander of
the Faithful, see what I have brought with me." So he looked and
spied treasures such as neither words could describe nor
registers could document, pearls and jewels and jacinths and
precious stones and unions and gorgeous robes of honour, adorned
with margarites and jewels and purfled with red gold. There he
beheld what he never had beheld all his life long, not even in
idea; and she showed him that which Queen Al-Shahba had bestowed
on her of those carpets, which she had brought with her, and that
throne, the like whereof neither Kisrà possessed nor Cæsar, and
those tables inlaid with pearls and jewels and those vessels
which amazed all who looked on them, and that crown which was on
the head of the circumcised boy, and those robes of honour, which
Queen Al-Shahba and Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif had doffed and donned
upon her, and the trays wherein were those treasures; brief, she
showed him wealth whose like he had never in his life espied and
which the tongue availeth not to describe and whereat all who
looked thereon were bewildered, Al-Rashid was like to lose his
wits for amazement at this spectacle and was confounded at that
he sighted and witnessed. Then said he to Tohfah, "Come, tell me
thy tale from beginning to end, and let me know all that hath
betided thee, as if I had been present." She answered,
"Hearkening and obedience," and acquainting him with all that had
betided her first and last, from the time when she first saw the
Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif, how he took her and descended with her
through the side of the Chapel of Ease; and she told him of the
horse she had ridden, till she came to the meadow aforesaid and
described it to him, together with the palace and that was
therein of furniture, and related to him how the Jinn rejoiced in
her, and whatso she had seen of their kings, masculine and
feminine, and of Queen Kamariyah and her sisters and Queen
Shu'a'ah, Regent of the Fourth Sea, and Queen Al-Shahba, Queen of
Queens, and King Al-Shisban, and that which each one of them had
bestowed upon her. Moreover, she recited to him the story of
Maymun the Sworder and described to him his fulsome favour, which
he had not deigned to change, and related to him that which befel
her from the kings of the Jinn, male and female, and the coming
of the Queen of Queens, Al-Shahba, and how she had loved her and
appointed her her vice-reine and how she was thus become ruler
over all the kings of the Jann; and she showed him the writ of
investiture which Queen Al-Shahba had written her and told him
what had betided her with the Ghulish Head, when it appeared to
her in the garden, and how she had despatched it to her palace,
beseeching it to bring her news of the Commander of the Faithful
and of what had betided him after her. Then she described to him
the flower-gardens, wherein she had taken her pleasure, and the
Hammam-baths inlaid with pearls and jewels and told him that
which had befallen Maymun the Sworder, when he bore her off, and
how he had slain himself; in fine, she related to him everything
she had seen of wonders and marvels and that which she had beheld
of all kinds and colours among the Jinn. Then she told him the
story of Al-Anka, daughter of Bahram Jur, with Al-Anka, daughter
of the wind, and described to him her dwelling-place and her
island, whereupon quoth Al-Rashid, "O Tohfat al-Sadr,[FN#257]
tell me of Al-Anka, daughter of Bahram Jur; is she of the
Jinn-kind or of mankind or of the bird-kind? For this long time
have I desired to find one who should tell me of her." Tohfah
replied, "'Tis well, O Commander of the Faithful. I asked the
queen of this and she acquainted me with her case and told me who
built her the palace." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Allah upon thee, tell it
me;" and quoth Tohfah, "I will well," and proceeded to tell him.
And he was amazed at that which he heard from her and what she
reported to him and at that which she had brought back of jewels
and jacinths of various hues and precious stones of many sorts,
such as amazed the beholder and confounded thought and mind. As
for this, Tohfah was the means of the enrichment of the
Barmecides and the Abbasides, and they had endurance in their
delight. Then the Caliph went forth and bade decorate the city:
so they decorated it and the drums of glad tidings were beaten;
and they made banquets to the people for whom the tables were
spread seven days. And Tohfah and the Commander of the Faithful
ceased not to enjoy the most delightsome of life and the most
prosperous till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
the Severer of societies; and this is all that hath come down to
us of their story.

                     WOMEN'S WILES[FN#258]

On the following night Dunyazad said to her sister Shahrazad, "O
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee tell us a
tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours."
She replied:--With love and gladness.[FN#259] It hath reached me,
O magnificent King, that whilome there was in the city of
Baghdad, a comely youth and a well bred, fair of favour, tall of
stature, and slender of shape. His name was Alá al-Dín and he was
of the chiefs of the sons of the merchants and had a shop wherein
he sold and bought. One day, as he sat in his shop, there passed
by him a merry girl[FN#260] who raised her head and casting a
glance at the young merchant, saw written in a flowing hand on
the forehead[FN#261] of his shop door these words, "THERE BE NO
CRAFT." When she beheld this, she was wroth and took counsel with
herself, saying, As my head liveth, there is no help but I show
him a marvel trick of the wiles of women and put to naught this
his inscription!" Thereupon she hied her home; and on the morrow
she made her ready and donning the finest of dress, adorned
herself with the costliest of ornaments and the highest of price
and stained her hands with henna. Then she let down her tresses
upon her shoulders and went forth, walking with coquettish gait
and amorous grace, followed by her slave-girl carrying a parcel,
till she came to the young merchant's shop and sitting down under
pretext of seeking stuffs, saluted him with the salam and
demanded of him somewhat of cloths. So he brought out to her
various kinds and she took them and turned them over, talking
with him the while. Then said she to him, "Look at the
shapeliness of my shape and my semblance! Seest thou in me aught
of default?" He replied, "No, O my lady;" and she continued, "Is
it lawful in any one that he should slander me and say that I am
humpbacked?" Then she discovered to him a part of her bosom, and
when he saw her breasts his reason took flight from his head and
his heart crave to her and he cried, "Cover it up,[FN#262] so may
Allah veil thee!" Quoth she, "Is it fair of any one to decry my
charms?" and quoth he, "How shall any decry thy charms, and thou
the sun of loveliness?" Then said she, "Hath any the right to say
of me that I am lophanded?" and tucking up her sleeves, she
showed him forearms as they were crystal; after which she
unveiled to him a face, as it were a full moon breaking forth on
its fourteenth night, and said to him, "Is it lawful for any to
decry me and declare that my face is pitted with smallpox or that
I am one eyed or crop eared?" and said he, "O my lady, what is it
moveth thee to discover unto me that lovely face and those fair
limbs, wont to be so jealously veiled and guarded? Tell me the
truth of the matter, may I be thy ransom!" And he began to

"White Fair now drawn from sheath of parted hair, * Then in the
     blackest tresses hid from sight,
Flasheth like day irradiating Earth * While round her glooms the
     murk of nightliest night."

--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister, "O sister
mine, how delectable is this tale and how desirable!" She
replied, saying, "And where is this compared with that which I
will recount to thee next night, Inshallah?"

             The Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night.

Now when came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad,
"O sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish
thy tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark
hours." She replied:--With love and gladness! It hath reached me,
O auspicious King, that the girl said to the young merchant,
"Know, O my lord, that I am a maid oppressed of my sire, who
speaketh at me and saith to me, Thou art loathly of looks and
semblance and it besitteth not that thou wear rich raiment; for
thou and the slave-girls are like in rank, there is no
distinguishing thee from them. Now he is a richard, having a
mighty great store of money and saith not thus save because he is
a pinchpenny, and grudgeth the spending of a farthing; wherefore
he is loath to marry me, lest he be put to somewhat of expense in
my marriage, albeit Almighty Allah hath been bounteous to him and
he is a man puissant in his time and lacking naught of worldly
weal." The youth asked, "Who is thy father and what is his
condition?" and she answered, "He is the Chief Kazi of the well-
known Supreme Court, under whose hands are all the Kazis who
administer justice in this city." The merchant believed her and
she farewelled him and fared away, leaving in his heart a
thousand regrets, for that the love of her had prevailed over him
and he knew not how he should win to her; wherefore he woned
enamoured, love-distracted, unknowing if he were alive or dead.
As soon as she was gone, he shut up shop and walked straightway
to the Court, where he went in to the Chief Kazi and saluted him.
The magistrate returned his salam and treated him with
distinction and seated him by his side. Then said Ala al-Din to
him, "I come to thee seeking thine alliance and desiring the hand
of thy noble daughter." Quoth the Kazi, "O my lord merchant,
welcome to thee and fair welcome; but indeed my daughter
befitteth not the like of thee, neither beseemeth she the
goodliness of thy youth and the pleasantness of thy compostition
and the sweetness of thy speech;" but Ala al-Din replied, "This
talk becometh thee not, neither is it seemly in thee; if I be
content with her, how should this vex thee?" So the Kazi was
satisfied and they came to an accord and concluded the marriage
contract at a dower precedent of five purses[FN#264] ready money
and a dower contingent of fifteen purses, so it might be hard for
him to put her away, her father having given him fair warning,
but he would not be warned. Then they wrote out the contract
document and the merchant said, "I desire to go in to her this
night." Accordingly they carried her to him in procession that
very evening, and he prayed the night prayer and entered the
private chamber prepared for him; but, when he lifted the head
gear from the bride's head and the veil from her face and looked,
he saw a foul face and a favour right fulsome; indeed he beheld
somewhat whereof may Allah never show thee the like! loathly,
dispensing from description, inasmuch as there were reckoned in
her all legal defects.[FN#265] So he repented, when repentance
availed him naught, and knew that the girl had cheated him.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad, her sister, "O sister
mine, how delectable is thy story and how sweet!" She replied,
saying, "And where is this compared with that which I will
recount to thee next night an I be spared and suffered to live by
the King, whom Almighty Allah preserve?"

              The Hundred and Ninety-eight Night.

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister
Shahrazad, "O sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep,
prithee finish thy story which shall beguile our watching through
the dark hours, for indeed ‘tis a fine tale and a wondrous." She
replied:--With love and gladness! It hath reached me, O generous
King, that the unhappy merchant carnally knew the loathly bride,
sore against the grain, and abode that night troubled in mind, as
he were in the prison of Al-Daylam.[FN#266] Hardly had the day
dawned when he arose from her side and betaking himself to one of
the Hammams, dozed there awhile, after which he made the
Ghusl-ablution of ceremonial impurity[FN#267] and donned his
every day dress. Then he went out to the coffee house and drank a
cup of coffee; after which he returned to his shop and opening
the door, sat down, with concern and chagrin manifest on his
countenance. After an hour or so, his friends and intimates among
the merchants and people of the market began to come up to him,
by ones and twos; to give him joy, and said to him, laughing, "A
blessing! a blessing! Where be the sweetmeats? Where be the
coffee?[FN#268] 'Twould seem thou hast forgotten us; and nothing
made thee oblivious save that the charms of the bride have
disordered thy wit and taken thy reason, Allah help thee! We give
thee joy, we give thee joy." And they mocked at him whilst he
kept silence before them, being like to rend his raiment and shed
tears for rage. Then they went away from him, and when it was the
hour of noon, up came his mistress, the crafty girl, trailing her
skirts and swaying to and fro in her gait, as she were a branch
of Ban in a garden of bloom. She was yet more richly dressed and
adorned and more striking and cutting[FN#269] in her symmetry and
grace than on the previous day, so that she made the passers stop
and stand in espalier to gaze upon her. When she came to Ala
al-Din's shop, she sat down thereon and said to him, "Blessed be
the day to thee, O my lord Ala al-Din! Allah prosper thee and be
good to thee and perfect thy gladness and make it a wedding of
weal and welfare!" He knitted his brows and frowned in answer to
her; then asked her, "Wherein have I failed of thy due, or what
have I done to harm thee, that thou shouldst requite me after
this fashion?" She answered, "Thou hast been no wise in default;
but ‘tis yonder inscription written on the door of thy shop that
irketh me and vexeth my heart. An thou have the courage to change
it and write up the contrary thereof, I will deliver thee from
thine evil plight." And he answered, "Thy requirement is right
easy: on my head and eyes!" So saying, he brought out a
sequin[FN#270] and summoning one of his Mamelukes said to him,
"Get thee to Such-an-one the Scribe and bid him write us an
epigraph, adorned with gold and lapis lazuli, in these words,
MEN." And she said to the white slave "Fare thee forthright." So
he repaired to the Scribe, who wrote him the scroll, and he
brought it to his master, who set it on the door and asked the
damsel, "Is thy heart satisfied?" She answered, "Yes! Arise
forthwith and get thee to the place before the citadel, where do
thou foregather with all the mountebanks and ape-dancers and
bear-leaders and drummers and pipers and bid them come to thee
to-morrow early, with their kettle drums and flageolets, whilst
thou art drinking coffee with thy father in law the Kazi, and
congratulate thee and wish thee joy, saying, ‘A blessing, O son
of our uncle! Indeed, thou art the vein[FN#272] of our eye! We
rejoice for thee, and if thou be ashamed of us, verily we pride
ourselves upon thee; so, although thou banish us from thee, know
that we will not forsake thee, albeit thou forsake us.' And do
thou fall to throwing diners and dirhams amongst them; whereupon
the Kazi will question thee, and do thou answer him, saying, My
father was an ape-dancer and this is our original condition; but
our Lord opened on us the gate of fortune and we have gotten us a
name amongst the merchants and with their provost.' Upon this he
will say to thee, ‘Then thou art an ape-leader of the tribe of
the mountebanks?' and do thou rejoin, ‘I may in nowise deny my
origin, for the sake of thy daughter and in her honour.' The Kazi
will say, ‘It may not be that thou shalt be given the daughter of
a Shaykh who sitteth upon the carpet of the Law and whose descent
is traceable by genealogy to the loins of the Apostle of
Allah,[FN#273] nor is it meet that his daughter be in the power
of a man who is an ape-dancer, a minstrel.' Then do thou reply,
‘Nay, O Efendi, she is my lawful wife, and every hair of her is
worth a thousand lives, and I will not put her away though I be
given the kingship of the world.' At last be thou persuaded to
speak the word of divorce and so shall the marriage be voided and
ye be saved each from other." Quoth Ala al-Din, "Right is thy
rede," and locking up his shop, betook himself to the place --And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad, her sister, "O sister
mine, how goodly is thy story and how sweet!" She replied,
saying, "And where is this compared with that which I will
recount to thee next night, Inshallah!"

              The Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night.

And whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, "O
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, pray finish thy tale
which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours." She
replied:--With love and gladness! It hath reached me, O generous
King, that the young merchant betook himself to the place before
the citadel, where he foregathered with the dancers, the drummers
and pipers and instructed them how they should do, promising them
a mighty fine reward. They received his word with "Hearing and
obeying;" and he betook himself on the morrow, after the morning
prayer, to the presence of the Judge, who received him with
humble courtesy and seated him by his side. Then he addressed him
and began questioning him of matters of selling and buying and of
the price current of the various commodities which were carried
to Baghdad from all quarters, whilst his son-in-law replied to
all whereof he was questioned. As they were thus conversing,
behold, up came the dancers and drummers with their drums and
pipers with their pipes, whilst one of their number preceded
them, with a long pennon-like banner in his hand, and played all
manner antics with voice and limbs. When they came to the Court
house, the Kazi cried, "I seek refuge with Allah from yonder
Satans!" and the young merchant laughed but said naught. Then
they entered and saluting his worship the Kazi, kissed Ala
al-Din's hands and said, "A blessing on thee, O son of our uncle!
Indeed, thou coolest our eyes in whatso thou doest, and we
beseech Allah for the enduring greatness of our lord the Kazi,
who hath honoured us by admitting thee to his connection and hath
allotted to us a portion in his high rank and degree." When the
Judge heard this talk, it bewildered his wit and he was dazed and
his face flushed with rage, and quoth he to his son-in-law, "What
words are these?" Quoth the merchant, "Knowest thou not, O my
lord, that I am of this tribe? Indeed this man is the son of my
maternal uncle and that other the son of my paternal uncle, and
if I be reckoned of the merchants, ‘tis but by courtesy!" When
the Kazi heard these words his colour changed--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day, whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister,
"O sister mine, how delectable is thy story and how desirable!"
She replied, saying, "And where is its first compared with its
last? But I will forthwith relate it to you an I be spared and
suffered to live by the King, whom may Allah the Most High keep!"
Quoth the King within himself, "By the Almighty, I will not slay
her until I hear the end of her tale!"

                    The Two Hundredth Night.

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, "O
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish thy
tale which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours."
She replied:--With love and gladness! It hath reached me, O
auspicious king, that the Kazi's colour changed and he was
troubled and waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and was like to
burst for stress of rage. Then said he to the young merchant,
"Allah forfend that this should last! How shall it be permitted
that the daughter of the Kazi of the Moslems cohabit with a man
of the dancers and vile of origin? By Allah, unless thou
repudiate her forthright, I will bid beat thee and cast thee into
prison and there confine thee till thou die. Had I foreknown that
thou wast of them, I had not suffered thee near me, but had spat
in thy face, for that thou art more ill-omened than a dog or a
hog."[FN#274] Then he kicked him down from his place and
commanded him to divorce; but he said, "Be ruthful to me, O
Efendi, for that Allah is ruthful, and hasten not: I will not
divorce my wife, though thou give me the kingdom of Al-Irak." The
judge was perplexed and knew that compulsion was not permitted of
Holy Law;[FN#275] so he bespake the young merchant fair and said
to him, "Veil me,[FN#276] so may Allah veil thee. An thou divorce
her not, this dishonour shall cleave to me till the end of time."
Then his fury gat the better of his wit and he cried, "An thou
divorce her not of thine own will, I will forthright bid strike
off thy head and slay myself; Hell-flame but not shame."[FN#277]
The merchant bethought himself awhile, then divorced her with a
manifest divorce and a public[FN#278] and on this wise he won
free from that unwelcome worry. Then he returned to his shop and
presently sought in marriage of her father her who had done with
him what she did[FN#279] and who was the daughter of the Shaykh
of the guild of the blacksmiths. So he took her to wife and they
abode each with other and lived the pleasantest of lives and the
most delightsome, till the day of death: and praise be to Allah
the Lord of the Three Worlds.

                     SITT AL-MILAH.[FN#280]

There was one, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, a merchant of the merchants of Damascus, by name Abu
al-Hasan, who had money and means, slave-blacks and slave-girls,
lands and gardens, houses and Hammams in that city; but he was
not blessed with boon of child and indeed his age waxed great. So
he addressed himself to supplicate[FN#281] Allah Almighty in
private and in public and in his bows and his prostrations and at
the season of prayer-call, beseeching Him to vouchsafe him,
before his decease, a son who should inherit his wealth and
possessions. The Lord answered his prayer; his wife conceived and
the days of her pregnancy were accomplished and her months and
her nights; and the travail-pangs came upon her and she gave
birth to a boy, as he were a slice of Luna. He had not his match
for beauty and he put to shame the sun and the resplendent moon;
for he had a beaming face and black eyes of Bábilí
witchery[FN#282] and aquiline nose and carnelian lips; in fine,
he was perfect of attributes, the loveliest of folk of his time,
sans dubitation or gainsaying. His father joyed in him with
exceeding joy and his heart was solaced and he was at last happy:
he made banquets to the folk and he clad the poor and the widows.
Presently he named the boy Sídí Nur al-Din Ali and reared him in
fondness and delight among the hand-maids and thralls. When he
had passed his seventh year, his father put him to school, where
he learned the sublime Koran and the arts of writing and
reckoning ; and when he reached his tenth year, he was taught
horsemanship and archery and to occupy himself with arts and
sciences of all kinds, part and parts.[FN#283] He grew up
pleasant and polite, winsome and lovesome; a ravishment to all
who saw him, and he inclined to companying with brethren and
comrades and mixing with merchants and travelled men. From these
he heard tell of that which they had witnessed of the wonders of
the cities in their wayfare and heard them say, "Whoso journeyeth
not enjoyeth naught;[FN#284] especially of the city of Baghdad."
So he was concerned with exceeding concern for his lack of travel
and disclosed this to his sire, who said to him, "O my son, why
do I see thee chagrined?" Quoth he, "I would fain travel;" and
quoth Abu al-Hasan, "O my son, none travelleth save those whose
need is urgent and those who are compelled thereto by want. As
for thee, O my son, thou enjoyest ample means; so do thou content
thyself with that which Allah hath given thee and be bounteous to
others, even as He hath been bountiful to thee; and afflict not
thyself with the toil and tribulation of travel, for indeed it is
said that travel is a piece of Hell-torment."[FN#285] But the
youth said, "Needs must I journey to Baghdad, the House of
Peace." When his father saw the strength of his resolve to travel
he fell in with his wishes and fitted him out with five thousand
dinars in cash and the like in merchandise and sent with him two
serving-men. So the youth fared forth, on the blessing of Allah
Almighty;[FN#286] and his parent went out with him, to take leave
of him, and returned to Damascus. As for Nur al-Din Ali, he
ceased not travelling days and nights till he entered Baghdad
city, and laying up his loads in the Wakálah,[FN#287] made for
the Hammam-bath, where he did away that which was upon him of the
soil of the road and doffing his travelling clothes, donned a
costly suit of Yamaní stuff, worth an hundred dinars. Then he
loaded his sleeve with a thousand miskals of gold and sallied
forth a-walking and swaying gracefully as he paced along. His
gait confounded all those who gazed upon him, as he shamed the
branches with his shape and belittled the rose with the redness
of his cheeks and his black eyes of Babilí witchcraft: thou
wouldst deem that whoso looked on him would surely be preserved
from bane and bale;[FN#288] for he was even as saith of him one
of his describers in these couplets:--

"Thy haters and enviers say for jeer * A true say that profits
     what ears will hear;
'No boast is his whom the gear adorns; * The boast be his who
     adorns the gear!'"

So Sidi Nur al-Din went walking in the highways of the city and
viewing its edifices and its bazars and thoroughfares and gazing
on its folk. Presently, Abú Nowás met him. (Now he was of those
of whom it is said, "They love fair lads," and indeed there is
said what is said concerning him.)[FN#289] When he saw Nur al-Din
Ali, he stared at him in amazement and exclaimed, "Say, I take
refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak!" Then he accosted the youth
and saluting him, asked him, "Why do I see my lord lone and lorn?
Meseemeth thou art a stranger and knowest not this country; so,
with leave of my lord, I will put myself at his service and
acquaint him with the streets, for that I know this city." Nur
al-Din answered, "This will be of thy favour, O nuncle." Abu
Nowas rejoiced at this and fared on with him, showing him the
streets and bazars, till they came to the house of a
slave-dealer, where he stopped and said to the youth, "From what
city art thou?" "From Damascus," replied Nur al-Din; and Abu
Nowas said, "By Allah, thou art from a blessed city, even as
saith of it the poet in these couplets,

'Now is Damascus a garth adorned * For her seekers, the Houris
     and Paradise-boys.'"

Sidi Nur al-Din thanked him and the twain entered the mansion of
the slave-merchant. When the people of the house saw Abu Nowas,
they rose to do him reverence, for that which they knew of his
rank with the Commander of the Faithful; and the slave-dealer
himself came up to them with two chairs whereon they seated
themselves. Then the slave-merchant went inside and returning
with a slave-girl, as she were a branch of Ban or a rattan-cane,
clad in a vest of damask silk and tired with a black and white
headdress whose ends fell down over her face, seated her on a
chair of ebony; after which he cried to those who were present,
"I will discover to you a favour as it were a full moon breaking
forth from under a cloud-bank." They replied, "Do so;" whereupon
he unveiled the damsel's face and behold, she was like the
shining sun, with shapely shape and dawn-bright cheeks and
thready waist and heavy hips; brief, she was endowed with an
elegance, whose description is unfound, and was even as saith of
her the poet,[FN#290]

"A fair one, to idolaters if she herself should show, They'd
     leave their idols and her face for only Lord would know;
And if into the briny sea one day she chanced to spit, Assuredly
     the salt sea's floods straight fresh and sweet would grow."

The dealer stood at the hand-maid's head and one of the merchants
said, "I bid a thousand dinars for her." Quoth another, "I bid
one thousand one hundred dinars;" and a third, "I bid twelve
hundred." Then said a fourth merchant, "Be she mine for fourteen
hundred ducats." And the biddings standing still at that sum, her
owner said, "I will not sell her save with her consent: an if she
desire to be sold, I will sell her to whom she willeth." The
slave-dealer asked him, "What is her name?" Answered the other,
"Her name is Sitt al-Miláh;"[FN#291] whereupon the dealer said to
her, "With thy leave, I will sell thee to yonder merchant for
this price of fourteen hundred dinars." Quoth she, "Come hither
to me." So the man-vendor came up to her and when he drew near,
gave him a kick with her foot and cast him to the ground, saying,
"I will not have that oldster." The slave-dealer arose, shaking
the dust from his dress and head, and cried, "Who biddeth more of
us? Who is desirous?"[FN#292] Said one of the merchants, "I," and
the dealer said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, shall I sell thee to
this merchant?" She replied, "Come hither to me;" but he
rejoined, "Nay; speak and I will hear thee from my place, for I
will not trust myself to thee nor hold myself safe when near
thee." So she cried, "Indeed I will not have him." Then the
slave-dealer looked at her and seeing her fix eyes on the young
Damascene, for that in very deed he had fascinated her with his
beauty and loveliness, went up to him and said to him, "O my
lord, art thou a looker-on or a buyer? Tell me." Quoth Nur
al-Din, "I am both looker-on and buyer. Wilt thou sell me yonder
slave-girl for sixteen hundred ducats?" And he pulled out the
purse of gold. Hereupon the dealer returned, dancing and clapping
his hands and saying, "So be it, so be it, or not at all!" Then
he came to the damsel and said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, shall I
sell thee to yonder young Damascene for sixteen hundred dinars?"
But she answered, "No," of bashfulness before her master and the
bystanders; whereupon the people of the bazar and the
slave-merchant departed, and Abu Nowas and Ali Nur al-Din arose
and went each his own way, whilst the damsel returned to her
owner's house, full of love for the young Damascene. When the
night darkened on her, she called him to mind and her heart hung
to him and sleep visited her not; and on this wise she abode days
and nights, till she sickened and abstained from food. So her
lord went in to her and asked her, "O Sitt al-Milah, how findest
thou thyself?" Answered she, "O my lord, dead without chance of
deliverance and I beseech thee to bring me my shroud, so I may
look upon it ere I die." Therewith he went out from her, sore
concerned for her, and betaking himself to the bazar, found a
friend of his, a draper, who had been present on the day when the
damsel was cried for sale. Quoth his friend to him, "Why do I see
thee troubled?" and quoth he, "Sitt al-Milah is at the point of
death and for three days she hath neither eaten nor drunken. I
questioned her to-day of her case and she said, 'O my lord, buy
me a shroud so I may look upon it ere I die.'" The draper
replied, "Methinks naught aileth her but that she is in love with
the young Damascene, and I counsel thee to mention his name to
her and declare to her that he hath foregathered with thee on her
account and is desirous of coming to thy quarters, so he may hear
somewhat of her singing. An she say, 'I reck not of him, for
there is that to do with me which distracteth me from the
Damascene and from other than he,' know that she saith sooth
concerning her sickness; but, an she say thee other than this,
acquaint me therewith." So the man returned to his lodging and
going in to his slave-girl said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, I went
out for thy need and there met me the young man of Damascus, and
he saluted me with the salam and saluteth thee; he seeketh to win
thy favour and prayed me to admit him as a guest in our dwelling,
so thou mayst let him hear somewhat of thy singing." When she
heard speak of the young Damascene, she gave a sob, that her soul
was like to leave her body, and answered, "He knoweth my plight
and how these three days past I have not eaten nor drunken, and I
beseech thee, O my lord, by Allah of All-Might, to do thy duty by
the stranger and bring him to my lodging and make excuse to him
for me." When her master heard this, his reason fled for joy, and
he went to his familiar the draper and said to him, "Thou wast
right in the matter of the damsel, for that she is in love with
the young Damascene; so how shall I manage?" Said the other, "Go
to the bazar and when thou seest him, salute him, and say to him,
'Thy departure the other day, without winning thy wish, was
grievous to me; so, an thou be still minded to buy the maid, I
will abate thee of that which thou badest for her an hundred
sequins by way of gaining thy favour; seeing thou be a stranger
in our land.' If he say to thee, 'I have no desire for her,' and
hold off from thee, be assured that he will not buy; in which
case, let me know, so I may devise thee another device; and if he
say to thee other than this, conceal not from me aught." So the
girl's owner betook himself to the bazar, where he found the
youth seated at the upper end of the place where the merchants
mostly do meet, selling and buying and taking and giving, as he
were the moon on the night of its full, and saluted him. The
young man returned his salam and he said to him, "O my lord, be
not offended at the damsel's speech the other day, for her price
shall be lowered to the intent that I may secure thy favour. An
thou desire her for naught, I will send her to thee or an thou
wouldst have me abate to thee her price, I will well, for I
desire nothing save what shall content thee; seeing thou art a
stranger in our land and it behoveth us to treat thee hospitably
and have consideration for thee." The youth replied, "By Allah, I
will not take her from thee but at an advance on that which I
bade thee for her afore; so wilt thou now sell her to me for one
thousand and seven hundred dinars?" And the other rejoined, "O my
lord, I sell her to thee, may Allah bless thee in her!" Thereupon
the young man went to his quarters and fetching a purse, sent for
the girl's owner and weighed out to him the price aforesaid,
whilst the draper was between the twain. Then said he, "Bring her
forth;" but the other replied, "She cannot come forth at this
present; but be thou my guest the rest of this day and night, and
on the morrow thou shalt take thy slave-girl and go in the ward
of Allah." The youth agreed with him on this and he carried him
to his house, where, after a little, he bade meat and wine be
brought, and they ate and drank. Then said Nur al-Din to the
girl's owner, "I would have thee bring me the damsel, because I
bought her not but for the like of this time." So he arose and
going in to the girl, said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, the young
man hath paid down thy price and we have bidden him hither; so he
hath come to our quarters and we have entertained him, and he
would fain have thee be present with him." Therewith the damsel
rose deftly and doffing her dress, bathed and donned sumptuous
apparel and perfumed herself and went out to him, as she were a
branch of Ban or a cane of rattan, followed by a black
slave-girl, bearing the lute. When she came to the young man, she
saluted him and sat down by his side. Then she took the lute from
the slave-girl and screwing up its pegs,[FN#293] smote thereon in
four-and-twenty modes, after which she returned to the first and
sang these couplets,

"My joy in this world is to see and sit near thee. * Thy love's
     my religion; thy Union my pleasure.
Attest it these tears when in memory I speer thee, * And
     unchecked down my cheeks pours the flood without measure.
By Allah, no rival in love hast to fear thee; * I'm thy slave as
     I sware, and this troth is my treasure.
Be not this our last meeting: by Allah I swear thee * Thy
     severance to me were most bitter displeasure!"

The young man was moved to delight and cried, "By Allah, thou
sayest well, O Sitt al-Milah! Let me hear more." Then he
largessed her with fifty gold pieces and they drank and the cups
made circuit among them; and her seller said to her, "O Sitt
al-Milah, this is the season of farewelling; so let us hear
somewhat thereon." Accordingly she struck the lute and touching
upon that which was in her heart, improvised these couplets,

"I thole longing, remembrance and sad repine, * Nor my heart can
     brook woes in so lengthened line.
O my lords think not I forget your love; * My case is sure case
     and cure shows no sign.
If creature could swim in the flood of his tears, * I were first
     to swim in these floods of brine:
O Cup-boy withhold cup and bowl from a wretch * Who ne'er ceaseth
     to drink of her tears for wine!
Had I known that parting would do me die, * I had shirked to
     part, but--'twas Fate's design."

Now whilst they were thus enjoying whatso is most delicious of
ease and delight, and indeed the wine was to them sweet and the
talk a treat, behold, there came a knocking at the door. So the
house-master went out, that he might see what might be the
matter, and found ten head of the Caliph's eunuchs at the
entrance. When he saw this, he was startled and said, "What is to
do?" "The Commander of the Faithful saluteth thee and requireth
of thee the slave-girl whom thou hast exposed for sale and whose
name is Sitt al-Milah." "By Allah, I have sold her." "Swear by
the head of the Commander of the Faithful that she is not in thy
quarters." The slaver made oath that he had sold her and that she
was no longer at his disposal: yet they paid no heed to his word
and forcing their way into the house, found the damsel and the
young Damascene in the sitting-chamber. So they laid hands upon
her, and the youth said, "This is my slave-girl, whom I have
bought with my money;" but they hearkened not to his speech and
taking her, carried her off to the Prince of True Believers.
Therewith Nur al-Din's pleasure was troubled: he arose and donned
his dress, and his host said, "Whither away this night, O my
lord?" Said he, "I purpose going to my quarters, and tomorrow I
will betake myself to the palace of the Commander of the Faithful
and demand my slave-girl." The other replied, "Sleep till the
morning, and fare not forth at the like of this hour." But he
rejoined, "Needs must I go;" and the host said to him, "Go in
Allah his safeguard." So the youth went forth and, drunkenness
having got the mastery of his wits, he threw himself down on a
bench before one of the shops. Now the watchmen were at that hour
making their rounds and they smelt the sweet scent of essences
and wine that reeked from him; so they made for it and suddenly
beheld the youth lying on the bench, without sign of recovering.
They poured water upon him, and he awoke, whereupon they carried
him off to the office of the Chief of Police and he questioned
him of his case. He replied "O my lord, I am an alien in this
town and have been with one of my friends: I came forth from his
house and drunkenness overcame me." The Wali bade carry him to
his lodging; but one of those in attendance upon him, Al-Murádi
hight, said to him, "What wilt thou do? This man is robed in rich
raiment and on his finger is a golden ring, whose bezel is a ruby
of great price; so we will carry him away and slay him and take
that which is upon him of clothes and bring to thee all we get;
for that thou wilt not often see profit the like thereof,
especially as this fellow is a foreigner and there is none to ask
after him."[FN#294] Quoth the Chief, "This wight is a thief and
that which he saith is leasing." Nur al-Din said, "Allah forfend
that I should be a thief!" but the Wali answered, "Thou liest."
So they stripped him of his clothes and taking the seal-ring from
his finger, beat him with a grievous beating, what while he cried
out for succour, but none succoured him, and besought protection,
but none protected him. Then said he to them, "O folk, ye are
quit[FN#295] of that which ye have taken from me; but now restore
me to my lodging." They replied, "Leave this knavery, O rascal!
thine intent is to sue us for thy clothes on the morrow." The
youth cried, "By the truth of the One, the Eternal One, I will
not sue any for them!" but they said, "We find no way to this."
And the Prefect bade them bear him to the Tigris and there slay
him and cast him into the stream. So they dragged him away, while
he wept and said the words which shall nowise shame the sayer:
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!" When they came to the Tigris, one of them
drew the sword upon him and Al-Muradi said to the sworder, "Smite
off his head;" but one of them, hight Ahmad, cried, "O folk, deal
softly with this poor wretch and slay him not unjustly and
wickedly, for I stand in fear of Allah Almighty, lest He burn me
with his fire." Quoth Al-Muradi, "A truce to this talk!" and
quoth the Ahmad aforesaid, "An ye do with him aught, I will
acquaint the Commander of the Faithful." They asked, "How, then,
shall we do with him?" and he answered, "Let us deposit him in
prison and I will be answerable to you for his provision; so
shall we be quit of his blood, for indeed he is a wronged man."
Accordingly they agreed to this and taking him up cast him into
the Prison of Blood,[FN#296] and then went their ways. So far as
regards them; but returning to the damsel, they carried her to
the Commander of the Faithful and she pleased him; so he assigned
her a chamber of the chambers of choice. She tarried in the
palace, neither eating nor drinking, and weeping sans surcease
night and day, till, one night, the Caliph sent for her to his
sitting-hall and said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, be of good cheer
and keep thine eyes cool of tear, for I will make thy rank higher
than any of the concubines and thou shalt see that which shall
rejoice thee." She kissed ground and wept; whereupon the Prince
of True Believers called for her lute and bade her sing: so in
accordance with that which was in her heart, she sang these
improvised couplets,

"By the sheen of thy soul and the sheen of thy smile,[FN#297] *
     Say, moan'st thou for doubt or is't ring-dove's moan?
How many have died who by love were slain! * Fails my patience
     but blaming my blamers wone."

Now when she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from
her hand and wept till she fainted away, whereupon the Caliph
bade carry her to her chamber. But he was fascinated by her and
loved her with exceeding love; so, after a while, he again
commanded to bring her in to the presence, and when she came, he
ordered her to sing. Accordingly, she took the lute and chanted
to it that which was in her heart and improvised these couplets,

"Have I patience and strength to support this despair? * Ah, how
     couldst thou purpose afar to fare?
Thou art swayed by the spy to my cark and care: * No marvel an
     branchlet sway here and there![FN#298]
With unbearable load thou wouldst load me, still * Thou loadest
     with love which I theewards bear."

Then she cast the lute from her hand and fainted away; so she was
carried to her sleeping-chamber and indeed passion grew upon her.
After along while the Prince of True Believers sent for her a
third time and commanded her to sing. So she took the lute and
chanted these couplets,

"O of piebald wild ye dunes sandy and drear, * Shall the teenful
     lover 'scape teen and tear?
Shall ye see me joined with a lover, who * Still flies or shall
     meet we in joyful cheer?
O hail to the fawn with the Houri eye, * Like sun or moon on
     horizon clear!
He saith to lovers, 'What look ye on?' * And to stony hearts,
     'Say, what love ye dear?'[FN#299]
I pray to Him who departed us * With severance-doom, 'Be our
     union near!'"

When she had made an end of her verse, the Commander of the
Faithful said to her, "O damsel, thou art in love." She replied,
"Yes;" and he asked, "With whom?" Answered she, "With my lord and
sovran of my tenderness, for whom my love is as the love of the
earth for rain, or as the desire of the female for the male; and
indeed the love of him is mingled with my flesh and my blood and
hath entered into the channels of my bones. O Prince of True
Believers, whenever I call him to mind my vitals are consumed,
for that I have not yet won my wish of him, and but that I fear
to die, without seeing him, I had assuredly slain myself."
Thereupon quoth he, "Art thou in my presence and durst bespeak me
with the like of these words? Forsure I will gar thee forget thy
lord." Then he bade take her away; so she was carried to her
pavilion and he sent her a concubine, with a casket wherein were
three thousand ducats and a collar of gold set with seed-pearls
and great unions, and jewels, worth other three thousand, saying
to her, "The slave-girl and that which is with her are a gift
from me to thee." When she heard this, she cried, "Allah forfend
that I be consoled for the love of my lord and my master, though
with an earth-full of gold!" And she improvised and recited these

"By his life I swear, by his life I pray; * For him fire I'd
     enter unful dismay!
'Console thee (cry they) with another fere * Thou lovest!' and I,
     'By 's life, nay, NAY!'
He's moon whom beauty and grace array; * From whose cheeks and
     brow shineth light of day."

Then the Commander of the Faithful summoned her to his presence a
fourth time and said, "O Sitt al-Milah, sing." So she recited and
sang these couplets,

"The lover's heart by his beloved is oft disheartenèd * And by
     the hand of sickness eke his sprite dispiritèd,
One asked, 'What is the taste of love?"[FN#300] and I to him
     replied, * 'Love is a sweet at first but oft in fine
I am the thrall of Love who keeps the troth of love to
     them[FN#301] * But oft they proved themselves 'Urkúb[FN#302]
     in pact with me they made.
What in their camp remains? They bound their loads and fared
     away; * To other feres the veilèd Fairs in curtained litters
At every station the beloved showed all of Joseph's charms: * The
     lover wone with Jacob's woe in every shift of stead."

When she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from her
hand and wept herself a-swoon. So they sprinkled on her
musk-mingled rose-water and willow-flower water; and when she
came to her senses, Al-Rashid said to her, "O Sitt al-Milah, this
is not just dealing in thee. We love thee and thou lovest
another." She replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, there is no
help for it." Thereupon he was wroth with her and cried, "By the
virtue of Hamzah[FN#303] and 'Akíl[FN#304] and Mohammed, Prince
of the Apostles, an thou name in my presence one other than I, I
will assuredly order strike off thy head!" Then he bade return
her to her chamber, whilst she wept and recited these couplets,

'Oh brave!' I'd cry an I my death could view; * My death were
     better than these griefs to rue,
Did sabre hew me limb by limb; this were * Naught to affright a
     lover leal-true."

Then the Caliph went in to the Lady Zubaydah, complexion-altered
with anger, and she noted this in him and said to him, "How
cometh it that I see the Commander of the Faithful changed of
colour?" He replied, "O daughter of my uncle, I have a beautiful
slave-girl, who reciteth verses by rote and telleth various
tales, and she hath taken my whole heart; but she loveth other
than myself and declareth that she affecteth her former lord; so
I have sworn a great oath that, if she come again to my sitting-
hall and sing for other than for me, I will assuredly shorten her
highest part by a span."[FN#305] Quoth Zubaydah, "Let the
Commander of the Faithful favour me by presenting her, so I may
look on her and hear her singing." Accordingly he bade fetch her
and she came, upon which the Lady Zubaydah withdrew behind the
curtain,[FN#306] where the damsel saw her not, and Al-Rashid said
to her, "Sing to us." So she took the lute and tuning it, recited
these couplets,

"O my lord! since the day when I lost your sight, * My life was
     ungladdened, my heart full of teen;
The memory of you kills me every night; * And by all the worlds
     is my trace unseen;
All for love of a Fawn who hath snared my sprite * By his love
     and his brow as the morning sheen.
Like a left hand parted from brother right * I became by parting
     thro' Fortune's spleen.
On the brow of him Beauty deigned indite * 'Blest be Allah, whom
     best of Creators I ween!'
And Him I pray, who could disunite * To re-unite us. Then cry

When Al-Rashid heard the end of this, he waxed exceeding wroth
and said, "May Allah not reunite you twain in gladness!" Then he
summoned the headsman, and when he presented himself, he said to
him, "Strike off the head of this accursed slavegirl." So Masrur
took her by the hand and led her away; but, when she came to the
door, she turned and said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the
Faithful, I conjure thee, by thy fathers and forefathers, behead
me not until thou give ear to that I shall say!" Then she
improvised and recited these couplets,

"Emir of Justice, be to lieges kind * For Justice ever guides thy
     generous mind;
And, oh, who blamest love to him inclining! * Are lovers blamed
     for lâches undesigned?
By Him who gave thee rule, deign spare my life * For rule on
     earth He hath to thee assigned."

Then Masrur carried her to the other end of the sitting-hall and
bound her eyes and making her sit, stood awaiting a second order:
whereupon quoth the Lady Zubaydah, "O Prince of True Believers,
with thy permission, wilt thou not vouchsafe this damsel a
portion of thy clemency? An thou slay her, 'twere injustice."
Quoth he, "What is to be done with her?" and quoth she, "Forbear
to slay her and send for her lord. If he be as she describeth him
in beauty and loveliness, she is excused, and if he be not on
this wise then kill her, and this shall be thy plea aainst
her."[FN#308] Al-Rashid replied, "No harm in this rede;" and
caused return the damsel to her chamber, saying to her, "The Lady
Zubaydah saith thus and thus." She rejoined, "God requite her for
me with good! Indeed, thou dealest equitably, O Commander of the
Faithful, in this judgment." And he retorted, "Go now to thy
place, and tomorrow we will bid them bring thy lord." So she
kissed ground and recited these couplets,

"I indeed will well for whom love I will: * Let chider chide and
     let blamer blame:
All lives must die at fixt tide and term * But I must die ere my
     life-term came:
Then Oh whose love hath afflicted me * Well I will but thy
     presence in haste I claim."

Then she arose and returned to her chamber. Now on the morrow,
the Commander of the Faithful sat in his hall of audience and his
Wazir Ja'afar bin Yahya the Barmecide came in to him; whereupon
he called to him, saying, "I would have thee bring me a youth who
is lately come to Baghdad, hight Sidi Nur al-Din Ali the
Damascene." Quoth Ja'afar, "Hearing and obeying," and going forth
in quest of the youth, sent to the bazars and Wakalahs and Khans
for three successive days, but discovered no trace of him,
neither happened upon the place of him. So on the fourth day he
presented himself before the Caliph and said to him, "O our lord,
I have sought him these three days, but have not found him." Said
Al-Rashid, "Make ready letters to Damascus. Peradventure he hath
returned to his own land." Accordingly Ja'afar wrote a letter and
despatched it by a dromedary-courier to the Damascus-city; and
they sought him there and found him not. Meanwhile, news was
brought that Khorasan had been conquered;[FN#309] whereupon
Al-Rashid rejoiced and bade decorate Baghdad and release all in
the gaol, giving each of them a ducat and a dress. So Ja'afar
applied himself to the adornment of the city and bade his brother
Al-Fazl ride to the prison and robe and set free the prisoners.
Al-Fazl did as his brother commanded and released all save the
young Damascene, who abode still in the Prison of Blood, saying,
"There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great! Verily, we are God's and to Him are we
returning." Then quoth Al-Fazl to the gaoler, "Is there any left
in the prison?" Quoth he, "No," and Al-Fazl was about to depart,
when Nur al-Din called out to him from within the prison, saying,
"O our lord, tarry awhile, for there remaineth none in the prison
other than I and indeed I am wronged. This is a day of pardon and
there is no disputing concerning it." Al-Fazl bade release him;
so they set him free and he gave him a dress and a ducat.
Thereupon the young man went out, bewildered and unknowing
whither he should wend, for that he had sojourned in the gaol a
year or so and indeed his condition was changed and his favour
fouled, and he abode walking and turning round, lest Al-Muradi
come upon him and cast him into another calamity. When Al-Muradi
learnt his release, he betook himself to the Wali and said, "O
our lord, we are not assured of our lives from that youth,
because he hath been freed from prison and we fear lest he
complain of us." Quoth the Chief, "How shall we do?" and quoth
Al-Muradi, "I will cast him into a calamity for thee." Then he
ceased not to follow the Damascene from place to place till he
came up with him in a narrow stead and cul-de-sac; whereupon he
accosted him and casting a cord about his neck, cried out, "A
thief!" The folk flocked to him from all sides and fell to
beating and abusing Nur al-Din,[FN#310] whilst he cried out for
aidance but none aided him, and Al-Muradi kept saying to him,
"But yesterday the Commander of the Faithful released thee and
to-day thou robbest!" So the hearts of the mob were hardened
against him and again Al-Muradi carried him to the Chief of
Police, who bade hew off his hand. Accordingly, the hangman took
him and bringing out the knife, proceeded to cut off his hand,
while Al-Muradi said to him, "Cut and sever the bone and
fry[FN#311] not in oil the stump for him, so he may lose all his
blood and we be at rest from him." But Ahmad, he who had before
been the cause of his deliverance, sprang up to him and cried, "O
folk, fear Allah in your action with this youth, for that I know
his affair, first and last, and he is clear of offence and
guiltless: he is of the lords of houses,[FN#312] and unless ye
desist from him, I will go up to the Commander of the Faithful
and acquaint him with the case from beginning to end and that the
youth is innocent of sin or crime." Quoth Al-Muradi, "Indeed, we
are not assured from his mischief;" and quoth Ahmad, "Set him
free and commit him to me and I will warrant you against his
doings, for ye shall never see him again after this." So they
delivered Nur al-Din to him and he took him from their hands and
said to him, "O youth, have ruth on thyself, for indeed thou hast
fallen into the hands of these folk twice and if they prevail
over thee a third time, they will make an end of thee; and I in
doing thus with thee, aim at reward for thee and recompense in
Heaven and answer of prayer."[FN#313] So Nur al-Din fell to
kissing his hand and blessing him said, "Know that I am a
stranger in this your city and the completion of kindness is
better than its commencement; wherefore I pray thee of thy favour
that thou make perfect to me thy good offices and generosity and
bring me to the city-gate. So will thy beneficence be
accomplished unto me and may God Almighty requite thee for me
with good!" Ahmad replied, "No harm shall betide thee: go; I will
bear thee company till thou come to thy place of safety." And he
left him not till he brought him to the city-gate and said to
him, "O youth, go in Allah's guard and return not to the city,
for, an they fall in with thee again, they will make an end of
thee." Nur al-Din kissed his hand and going forth the city, gave
not over walking, till he came to a mosque that stood in one of
the suburbs of Baghdad and entered therein with the night. Now he
had with him naught wherewith he might cover himself; so he
wrapped himself up in one of the mats of the mosque and thus
abode till dawn, when the Muezzins came and finding him seated in
such case, said to him, "O youth, what is this plight?" Said he,
"I cast myself on your protection, imploring this defence from a
company of folk who seek to slay me unjustly and wrongously,
without cause." And one of the Muezzins said, "I will protect
thee; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear." Then
he brought him old clothes and covered him therewith; he also set
before him somewhat of victual and seeing upon him signs of fine
breeding, said to him, "O my son, I grow old and desiring help
from thee, I will do away thy necessity." Nur al-Din replied, "To
hear is to obey;" and abode with the old man, who rested and took
his ease, while the youth did his service in the mosque,
celebrating the praises of Allah and calling the Faithful to
prayer and lighting the lamps and filling the spout-pots[FN#314]
and sweeping and cleaning out the place of worship. On this-wise
it befel the young Damascene; but as regards Sitt al-Milah, the
Lady Zubaydah, the wife of the Commander of the Faithful, made a
banquet in her palace and assembled her slave-girls. And the
damsel came, weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, and those present
blamed her for this, whereupon she recited these couplets,

"Ye blame the mourner who weeps his woe; * Needs must the mourner
     sing, weeping sore;
An I see not some happy day I'll weep * Brine-tears till followed
     by gouts of gore."

When she had made an end of her verses, the Lady Zubaydah bade
each damsel sing a song, till the turn came round to Sitt
al-Milah, whereupon she took the lute and tuning it, carolled
thereto four-and-twenty carols in four-and-twenty modes; then she
returned to the first and sang these couplets,

"The World hath shot me with all her shafts * Departing friends
     parting-grief t' aby:
So in heart the burn of all hearts I bear * And in eyes the
     tear-drops of every eye."

When she had made an end of her song, she wept till she garred
the bystanders weep and the Lady Zubaydah condoled with her and
said to her, "Allah upon thee, O Sitt al-Milah, sing us some,
what, so we may hearken to thee." The damsel replied, "Hearing
and obeying," and sang these couplets,

"People of passion, assemble ye! * This day be the day of our
The Raven o' severance croaks at our doors; * Our raven which
     nigh to us aye see we.
The friends we love have appointed us * The grievousest
     parting-dule to dree.
Rise, by your lives, and let all at once * Fare to seek our
     friends where their sight we see."

Then she threw the lute from her hand and shed tears till she
drew tears from the Lady Zubaydah who said to her, "O Sitt
al-Milah, he whom thou lovest methinks is not in this world, for
the Commander of the Faithful hath sought him in every place, but
hath not found him." Whereupon the damsel arose and kissing the
Princess's hands, said to her, "O my lady, an thou wouldst have
him found, I have this night a request to make whereby thou mayst
win my need with the Caliph." Quoth the Lady, "And what is it?"
and quoth Sitt al-Milah, "'Tis that thou get me leave to fare
forth by myself and go round about in quest of him three days,
for the adage saith, Whoso keeneth for herself is not like whoso
is hired to keen![FN#315] An if I find him, I will bring him
before the Commander of the Faithful, so he may do with us what
he will, and if I find him not, I shall be cut off from hope of
him and the heat of that which is with me will be cooled." Quoth
the Lady Zubaydah, "I will not get thee leave from him but for a
whole month; so be of good cheer and eyes cool and clear."
Whereat Sitt al-Milah rejoiced and rising, kissed ground before
her once more and went away to her own place, and right glad was
she. As for Zubaydah, she went in to the Caliph and talked with
him awhile; then she fell to kissing him between the eyes and on
his hands and asked him for that which she had promised to Sitt
al-Milah, saying, "O Commander of the Faithful, I doubt me her
lord is not found in this world; but, an she go about seeking him
and find him not, her hopes will be cut off and her mind will be
set at rest and she will sport and laugh; and indeed while she
nourisheth hope, she will never take the right direction." And
she ceased not cajoling him till he gave Sitt al-Milah leave to
fare forth and make search for her lord a month's space and
ordered a riding-mule and an eunuch to attend her and bade the
privy purse give her all she needed, were it a thousand dirhams a
day or even more. So the Lady Zubaydah arose and returning to her
palace bade summon Sitt al-Milah and, as soon as she came,
acquainted her with that which had passed; whereupon she kissed
her hand and thanked her and called down blessings on her. Then
she took leave of the Princess and veiling her face with a
mask,[FN#316] disguised herself;[FN#317] after which she mounted
the she-mule and sallying forth, went round about seeking her
lord in the highways of Baghdad three days' space, but happed on
no tidings of him; and on the fourth day, she rode forth without
the city. Now it was the noon-hour and fierce was the heat, and
she was aweary and thirst came upon her. Presently, she reached
the mosque of the Shaykh who had lodged the young Damascene, and
dismounting at the door, said to the old Muezzin, "O Shaykh, hast
thou a draught of cold water? Verily, I am overcome with heat and
thirst." Said he, "'Tis with me in my house." So he carried her
up into his lodging and spreading her a carpet, seated her; after
which he brought her cold water and she drank and said to her
eunuch, "Go thy ways with the mule and to-morrow come back to me
here." Accordingly he went away and she slept and rested herself.
When she awoke, she asked the old man, "O Shaykh, hast thou aught
of food?" and he answered, "O my lady, I have bread and olives."
Quoth she, "That be food which befitteth only the like of thee.
As for me, I will have naught save roast lamb and soups and
reddened fowls right fat and ducks farcis with all manner
stuffing of pistachio-nuts and sugar." Quoth the Muezzin, "O my
lady, I have never heard of this chapter[FN#318] in the Koran,
nor was it revealed to our lord Mohammed, whom Allah save and
assain!"[FN#319] She laughed and said, "O Shaykh, the matter is
even as thou sayest; but bring me pen-case and paper." So he
brought her what she sought and she wrote a note and gave it to
him, together with a seal-ring from her finger, saying, "Go into
the city and enquire for Such-an-one the Shroff and give him this
my note." Accordingly the oldster betook himself to the city, as
she bade him, and asked for the money-changer, to whom they
directed him. So he gave him ring and writ, seeing which, he
kissed the letter and breaking it open, read it and apprehended
its contents. Then he repaired to the bazar and buying all that
she bade him, laid it in a porter's crate and made him go with
the Shaykh. The old man took the Hammál and went with him to the
mosque, where he relieved him of his burden and carried the rich
viands in to Sitt al-Milah. She seated him by her side and they
ate, he and she, of those dainty cates, till they were satisfied,
when the Shaykh rose and removed the food from before her. She
passed that night in his lodging and when she got up in the
morning, she said to him, "O elder, may I not lack thy kind
offices for the breakfast! Go to the Shroff and fetch me from him
the like of yesterday's food." So he arose and betaking himself
to the money-changer, acquainted him with that which she had
bidden him. The Shroff brought him all she required and set it on
the heads of Hammals; and the Shaykh took them and returned with
them to the damsel, when she sat down with him and they ate their
sufficiency, after which he removed the rest of the meats. Then
she took the fruits and the flowers and setting them over against
herself, wrought them into rings and knots and writs, whilst the
Shaykh looked on at a thing whose like he had never in his life
seen and rejoiced in the sight. Presently said she to him "O
elder, I would fain drink." So he arose and brought her a gugglet
of water; but she cried to him, "Who said to thee, Fetch that?"
Quoth he, "Saidst thou not to me, I would fain drink?" and quoth
she, "'I want not this; nay, I want wine, the solace of the soul,
so haply, O Shaykh, I may refresh myself therewith." Exclaimed
the old man, "Allah forfend that strong drink be drunk in my
house, and I a stranger in the land and a Muezzin and an Imam,
who leadeth the True Believers in prayer, and a servant of the
House of the Lord of the three Worlds!" "Why wilt thou forbid me
to drink thereof in thy house?" "Because 'tis unlawful." "O
elder, Allah hath forbidden only the eating of blood and
carrion[FN#320] and hog's flesh: tell me, are grapes and honey
lawful or unlawful?" "They are lawful." "This is the juice of
grapes and the water of honey." "Leave this thy talk, for thou
shalt never drink wine in my house." "O Shaykh, people eat and
drink and enjoy themselves and we are of the number of the folk
and Allah is indulgent and merciful."[FN#321] "This is a thing
that may not be." "Hast thou not heard what the poet saith?" And
she recited these couplets,

"Cease thou to hear, O Sim'án-son,[FN#322] aught save the say of
     me; * How bitter 'twas to quit the monks and fly the
When, on the Fête of Palms there stood, amid the hallowed
     fane,[FN#323] * A pretty Fawn whose lovely pride garred me
     sore wrong to dree.
May Allah bless the night we spent when he to us was third, *
     While Moslem, Jew, and Nazarene all sported fain and free.
Quoth he, from out whose locks appeared the gleaming of the morn,
     * 'Sweet is the wine and sweet the flowers that joy us
     comrades three.
The garden of the garths of Khuld where roll and rail amain, *
     Rivulets 'neath the myrtle shade and Bán's fair branchery;
And birds make carol on the boughs and sing in blithest lay, *
     Yea, this indeed is life, but, ah! how soon it fades away.'"

She then asked him, "O Shaykh, an Moslems and Jews and Nazarenes
drink wine, who are we that we should reject it?" Answered he,
"By Allah, O my lady, spare thy pains, for this be a thing
whereto I will not hearken." When she knew that he would not
consent to her desire, she said to him, "O Shaykh, I am of the
slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful and the food waxeth
heavy on me and if I drink not, I shall die of indigestion, nor
wilt thou be assured against the issue of my case.[FN#324] As for
me, I acquit myself of blame towards thee, for that I have bidden
thee beware of the wrath of the Commander of the Faithful, after
making myself known to thee." When the Shaykh heard her words and
that wherewith she threatened him, he sprang up and went out,
perplexed and unknowing what he should do, and there met him a
Jewish man, which was his neighbour, and said to him, "How cometh
it that I see thee, O Shaykh, strait of breast? Eke, I hear in
thy house a noise of talk, such as I am unwont to hear with
thee." Quoth the Muezzin, "'Tis of a damsel who declareth that
she is of the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun
al-Rashid; and she hath eaten meat and now would drink wine in my
house, but I forbade her. However she asserteth that unless she
drink thereof, she will die, and indeed I am bewildered
concerning my case." Answered the Jew, "Know, O my neighbour,
that the slavel-girls of the Commander of the Faithful are used
to drink wine, and when they eat and drink not, they die; and I
fear lest happen some mishap to her, when thou wouldst not be
safe from the Caliph's fury." The Shaykh asked, "What is to be
done?" and the Jew answered, "I have old wine that will suit
her." Quoth the Shaykh, "By the right of neighbourship, deliver
me from this descent[FN#325] of calamity and let me have that
which is with thee!" Quoth the Jew, "Bismillah, in the name of
Allah," and passing to his quarters, brought out a glass flask of
wine, wherewith the Shaykh returned to Sitt al-Milah. This
pleased her and she cried to him, "Whence hadst thou this?" He
replied, "I got it from the Jew, my neighbour: I set forth to him
my case with thee and he gave me this." Thereupon Sitt al-Milah
filled a cup and emptied it; after which she drank a second and a
third. Then she crowned the cup a fourth time and handed it to
the Shaykh, but he would not accept it from her. However, she
conjured him, by her own head and that of the Prince of True
Believers, that he take the cup from her, till he received it
from her hand and kissed it and would have set it down; but she
sware him by her life to smell it. Accordingly he smelt it and
she said to him, "How deemest thou?" Said he, "I find its smell
is sweet;" and she conjured him by the Caliph's life to taste
thereof. So he put it to his mouth and she rose to him and made
him drink; whereupon quoth be, "O Princess of the Fair,[FN#326]
this is none other than good." Quoth she, "So deem I: hath not
our Lord promised us wine in Paradise?" He answered, "Yes! The
Most High saith, 'And rivers of wine, delicious to the
drinkers.'[FN#327] And we will drink it in this world and in the
next world." She laughed and emptying the cup, gave him to drink,
and he said, "O Princess of the Fair, indeed thou art excusable
in thy love for this." Then he bent in hand from her another and
another, till he became drunken and his talk waxed great and his
prattle. The folk of the quarter heard him and assembled under
the window; and when the Shaykh was ware of them, he opened the
window and said to them, "Are ye not ashamed, O pimps? Every one
in his own house doth whatso he willeth and none hindereth him;
but we drink one single day and ye assemble and come, panders
that ye are! To-day, wine, and to-morrow business;[FN#328] and
from hour to hour cometh relief." So they laughed together and
dispersed. Then the girl drank till she was drunken, when she
called to mind her lord and wept, and the Shaykh said to her,
"What maketh thee weep, O my lady?" Said she, "O elder, I am a
lover and a separated." He cried, "O my lady, what is this love?"
Cried she, "And thou, hast thou never been in love?" He replied,
"By Allah, O my lady, never in all my life heard I of this thing,
nor have I ever known it! Is it of the sons of Adam or of the
Jinn?" She laughed and said, "Verily, thou art even as those of
whom the poet speaketh, in these couplets,

"How oft shall they admonish and ye shun this nourishment; * When
     e'en the shepherd's bidding is obeyèd by his flocks?
I see you like in shape and form to creatures whom we term *
     Mankind, but in your acts and deeds you are a sort of

The Shaykh laughed at her speech and her verses pleased him. Then
cried she to him, "I desire of thee a lute." So he arose and
brought her a bit of fuel.[FN#330] Quoth she, "What is that?" and
quoth he "Didst thou not say: Bring me fuel?" Said she, "I do not
want this," and said he, "What then is it that is hight fuel,
other than this?" She laughed and replied, "The lute is an
instrument of music, whereunto I sing." Asked he, "Where is this
thing found and of whom shall I get it for thee?" and answered
she, "Of him who gave thee the wine." So he arose and betaking
himself to his neighbour the Jew, said to him, "Thou favouredst
us before with the wine; so now complete thy favours and look me
out a thing hight lute, which be an instrument for singing; for
she seeketh this of me and I know it not." Replied the Jew,
"Hearkening and obedience," and going into his house, brought him
a lute. The old man carried it to Sitt al-Milah, whilst the Jew
took his drink and sat by a window adjoining the Shaykh's house,
so he might hear the singing. The damsel rejoiced, when the old
man returned to her with the lute, and taking it from him, tuned
its strings and sang these couplets,

"Remains not, after you are gone, or trace of you or sign, * But
     hope to see this parting end and break its lengthy line:
You went and by your wending made the whole world desolate; * And
     none may stand this day in stead to fill the yearning eyne.
Indeed, you've burdened weakling me, by strength and force of you
     * With load no hill hath power t'upheave nor yet the plain
     low li'en:
And I, whenever fain I scent the breeze your land o'erbreathes, *
     Lose all my wits as though they were bemused with heady
O folk no light affair is Love for lover woe to dree * Nor easy
     'tis to satisfy its sorrow and repine.
I've wandered East and West to hap upon your trace, and when *
     Spring-camps I find the dwellers cry, 'They've marched,
     those friends o' thine!'
Never accustomed me to part these intimates I love; * Nay, when I
     left them all were wont new meetings to design."

Now when she had ended her song, she wept with sore weeping, till
presently sleep overcame her and she slept. On the morrow, she
said to the Shaykh, "Get thee to the Shroff and fetch me the
ordinary;" so he repaired to the money-changer and delivered him
the message, whereupon he made ready meat and drink, according to
his custom, with which the old man returned to the damsel and
they ate their sufficiency. When she had eaten, she sought of him
wine and he went to the Jew and fetched it. Then the twain sat
down and drank; and when she waxed drunken, she took the lute and
smiting it, fell a-singing and chanted these couplets,

"How long ask I the heart, the heart drowned, and eke * Refrain
     my complaint while I my tear-floods speak?
They forbid e'en the phantom to visit me, * (O marvel!) her
     phantom my couch to seek."[FN#331]

And when she had made an end of her song, she wept with sore
weeping. All this time, the young Damascene was listening, and
now he likened her voice to the voice of his slave-girl and then
he put away from him this thought, and the damsel had no
knowledge whatever of his presence. Then she broke out again into
song and chanted these couplets,

"Quoth they, 'Forget him! What is he?' To them I cried, * 'Allah
     forget me when forget I mine adored!'
Now in this world shall I forget the love o' you? * Heaven grant
     the thrall may ne'er forget to love his lord!
I pray that Allah pardon all except thy love * Which, when I meet
     Him may my bestest plea afford."

After ending this song she drank three cups and filling the old
man other three, improvised these couplets,

"His love he hid which tell-tale tears betrayed; * For burn of
     coal that 'neath his ribs was laid:
Giv'n that he seek his joy in spring and flowers * Some day, his
     spring's the face of dear-loved maid.
O ye who blame me for who baulks my love! * What sweeter thing
     than boon to man denayed?
A sun, yet scorcheth he my very heart! * A moon, but riseth he
     from breasts a-shade!"

When she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from her
hand and wept, whilst the Shaykh wept for her weeping. Then she
fell down in a fainting fit and presently recovering, crowned the
cup and drinking it off, gave the elder to drink, after which she
took the lute and breaking out into song, chanted these couplets,

"Thy parting is bestest of woes to my heart, * And changed my
     case till all sleep it eschewed:
The world to my being is desolate; * Then Oh grief! and O
     lingering solitude!
Maybe The Ruthful incline thee to me * And join us despite what
     our foes have sued!"

Then she wept till her voice rose high and her wailing was
discovered to those without; after which she again began to drink
and plying the Shaykh with wine, sang these couplets,

"An they hid thy person from eyen-sight, * They hid not thy name
     fro' my mindful sprite:
Or meet me; thy ransom for meeting I'll be[FN#332] * Or fly me;
     and ransom I'll be for thy flight!
Mine outer speaks for mine inner case, * And mine inner speaks
     for mine outer plight."

When she had made an end of her verses, she threw the lute from
her hand and wept and wailed. Then she slept awhile and presently
awaking, said, "O Shaykh, say me, hast thou what we may eat?" He
replied, "O my lady, I have the rest of the food;" but she cried,
"I will not eat of the orts I have left. Go down to the bazar and
fetch us what we may eat." He rejoined, "Excuse me, O my lady, I
cannot rise to my feet, because I am bemused with wine; but with
me is the servant of the mosque, who is a sharp youth and an
intelligent. I will call him, so he may buy thee whatso thou
wantest." Asked she, "Whence hast thou this servant?" and he
answered, "He is of the people of Damascus." When she heard him
say "of the people of Damascus," she sobbed such a sob that she
swooned away; and when she came to herself, she said, "Woe is me
for the people of Damascus and for those who are therein! Call
him, O Shaykh, that he may do our need." Accordingly, the old man
put his head forth of the window and called the youth, who came
to him from the mosque and sought leave to enter. The Muezzin
bade him come in, and when he appeared before the damsel, he knew
her and she knew him; whereupon he turned back in bewilderment
and would have fled at hap-hazard; but she sprang up to him and
held him fast, and they embraced and wept together, till they
fell to the floor in a fainting fit. When the Shaykh saw them in
this condition, he feared for himself and fared forth in fright,
seeing not the way for drunkenness. His neighbour the Jew met him
and asked him, "How is it that I behold thee astounded?" Answered
the old man, "How should I not be astounded, seeing that the
damsel who is with me is fallen in love with the mosque servant
and they have embraced and slipped down in a swoon? Indeed, I
fear lest the Caliph come to know of this and be wroth with me;
so tell me thou what is thy device for that wherewith I am
afflicted in the matter of this damsel." Quoth the Jew, "For the
present, take this casting-bottle of rose-water and go forthright
and sprinkle them therewith: an they be aswoon for this their
union and embrace, they will recover, and if otherwise, then take
to flight." The Shaykh snatched the casting-bottle from the Jew
and going up to the twain, sprinkled their faces, whereupon they
came to themselves and fell to relating each to other that which
they had suffered, since both had been parted, for the pangs of
severance. Nur al-Din also acquainted Sitt al-Milah with that
which he had endured from the folk who would have killed[FN#333]
him and utterly annihilated him; and she said to him, "O my lord,
let us for the nonce leave this talk and praise Allah for reunion
of loves, and all this shall cease from us." Then she gave him
the cup and he said, "By Allah, I will on no wise drink it,
whilst I am in this case!" So she drank it off before him and
taking the lute, swept the strings and sang these couplets,

"O absent fro' me and yet present in place, * Thou art far from
     mine eyes and yet ever nigh!
Thy farness bequeathed me all sorrow and care * And my troublous
     life can no joy espy:
Lone, forlorn, weeping-eyelidded, miserablest, * I abide for thy
     sake as though banisht I:
Then (ah grief o' me!) far thou hast fared from sight * Yet canst
     no more depart me than apple of eye!"

When she had made an end of her verse, she wept and the young man
of Damascus, Nur al-Din, wept also. Then she took the lute and
improvised these couplets,

"Well Allah wots I never namèd you * But tears o'erbrimming eyes
     in floods outburst;
And passion raged and pine would do me die, * Yet my heart rested
     wi' the thought it nurst;
O eye-light mine, O wish and O my hope! * Your face can never
     quench mine eyes' hot thirst."

When Nur al-Din heard these his slave-girl's verses, he fell
a-weeping, while she strained him to her bosom and wiped away his
tears with her sleeve and questioned him and comforted his mind.
Then she took the lute and sweeping its strings, played thereon
with such performing as would move the staidest to delight and
sang these couplets,

"Indeed, what day brings not your sight to me, * That day I
     rem'mber not as dight to me!
And, when I vainly long on you to look, * My life is lost, Oh
     life and light o' me!"

After this fashion they fared till the morning, tasting not the
nourishment of sleep;[FN#334] and when the day lightened, behold
the eunuch came with the she-mule and said to Sitt al-Milah, "The
Commander of the Faithful calleth for thee." So she arose and
taking by the hand her lord, committed him to the Shaykh, saying,
"This is the deposit of Allah, then thy deposit,[FN#335] till
this eunuch cometh to thee; and indeed, O elder, my due to thee
is the white hand of favour such as filleth the interval betwixt
heaven and earth." Then she mounted the mule and repairing to the
palace of the Commander of the Faithful, went in to him and
kissed ground before him. Quoth he to her, as who should make
mock of her, "I doubt not but thou hast found thy lord;" and
quoth she, "By thy felicity and the length of thy continuance on
life, I have indeed found him!" Now Al-Rashid was leaning back;
but, when he heard this, he sat upright and said to her "By my
life, true?" She replied, "Ay, by thy life!" He said, "Bring him
into my presence, so I may see him;" but she said, "O my lord,
there have happened to him many hardships and his charms are
changed and his favour faded; and indeed the Prince of True
Believers vouchsafed me a month; wherefore I will tend him the
rest of the month and then bring him to do his service to the
Commander of the Faithful." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Sooth thou sayest:
the condition certainly was for a month; but tell me what hath
betided him." Quoth she, "O my lord (Allah prolong thy
continuance and make Paradise thy place of returning and thine
asylum and the fire the abiding-place of thy foes!), when he
presenteth himself to serve thee, he will assuredly expound to
thee his case and will name to thee his wrongdoers; and indeed
this is an arrear that is due to the Prince of True Believers, by
whom may Allah fortify the Faith and vouchsafe him the victory
over rebel and froward wretch!" Thereupon he ordered her a fine
house and bade furnish it with carpets and vessels of choice and
commanded them to give all she needed. This was done during the
rest of the day, and when the night came, she sent the eunuch
with a suit of clothes and the mule, to fetch Nur al-Din from the
Muezzin's lodging. So the young man donned the dress and
mounting, rode to the house, where he abode in comfort and luxury
a full-told month, while she solaced him with four things, the
eating of fowls and the drinking of wine and the sleeping upon
brocade and the entering the bath after horizontal
refreshment.[FN#336] Furthermore, she brought him six suits of
linen stuffs and took to changing his clothes day by day; nor was
the appointed time of delay accomplished ere his beauty and
loveliness returned to him; nay, his favour waxed tenfold fairer
and he became a seduction to all who looked upon him. One day of
the days Al-Rashid bade bring him to the presence; so his
slave-girl changed his clothes and robing him in sumptuous
raiment, mounted him on the she-mule. Then he rode to the palace
and presenting himself before the Caliph, saluted him with the
goodliest of salutations and bespake him with Truchman's[FN#337]
speech eloquent and deep-thoughted. When Al-Rashid saw him, he
marvelled at the seemliness of his semblance and his loquence and
eloquence and asking of him, was told that he was Sitt al-Milah's
lord; whereupon quoth he, "Indeed, she is excusable in her love
for him, and if we had put her to death wrongfully, as we were
minded to do, her blood would have been upon our heads." Then he
accosted the young man and entering into discourse with him,
found him well-bred, intelligent, clever, quick-witted, generous,
pleasant, elegant, excellent. So he loved him with exceeding love
and questioned him of his native city and of his sire and of the
cause of his journey to Baghdad. Nur al-Din acquainted him with
that which he would know in the goodliest words and concisest
phrases; and the Caliph asked him, "And where hast thou been
absent all this while? Verily, we sent after thee to Damascus and
Mosul and all other cities, but happened on no tidings of thee."
Answered the young man, "O my lord, there betided thy slave in
thy capital that which never yet betided any." Then he acquainted
him with his case, first and last, and told him that which had
befallen him of evil from Al-Muradi and the Chief of Police. Now
when Al-Rashid heard this, he was chagrined with sore chagrin and
waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and cried, "Shall this thing
happen in a city wherein I am?" And the Háshimí vein [FN#338]
started out between his eyes. Then he bade fetch Ja'afar, and
when he came between his hands, he acquainted him with the
adventure and said to him, "Shall this thing come to pass in my
city and I have no news of it?" Thereupon he bade Ja'afar fetch
all whom the young Damascene had named,and when they came, he
bade smite their necks: he also summoned him whom they called
Ahmad and who had been the means of the young man's deliverance a
first time and a second, and thanked him and showed him favour
and bestowed on him a costly robe of honour and made him Chief of
Police in his city.[FN#339] Then he sent for the Shaykh, the
Muezzin, and when the messenger came to him and told him that the
Commander of the Faithfull summoned him, he feared the
denunciation of the damsel and walked with him to the palace,
farting for fear as he went, whilst all who passed him by laughed
at him. When he came into the presence of the Commander of the
Faithful, he fell a-trembling and his tongue was tied,[FN#340] so
that he could not speak. The Caliph smiled at him and said, "O
Shaykh, thou hast done no offence; so why fearest thou?" Answered
the old man (and indeed he was in the sorest of that which may be
of fear), "O my lord, by the virtue of thy pure forefathers,
indeed I have done naught, and do thou enquire of my manners and
morals." The Caliph laughed at him and ordering him a thousand
dinars, bestowed on him a costly robe of honour and made him
headman of the Muezzins in his mosque. Then he called Sitt
al-Milah and said to her, "The house wherein thou lodgest with
all it containeth is a largesse to thy lord: so do thou take him
and depart with him in the safeguard of Allah Almighty; but
absent not yourselves from our presence." Accordingly she went
forth with the young Damascene and when she came to the house,
she found that the Prince of True Believers had sent them gifts
galore and good things in store. As for Nur al-Din, he sent for
his father and mother and appointed for himself agents in the
city of Damascus, to receive the rent of the houses and gardens
and Wakalahs and Hammams; and they occupied themseves with
collecting that which accrued to him and sending it to him every
year. Meanwhile, his father and mother came to him, with that
which they had of monies and merchandise of price and,
foregathering with their son, found that he was become of the
chief officers and familiars of the Commander of the Faithful and
of the number of his sitting-companions and nightly entertainers,
wherefore they rejoiced in reunion with him and he also rejoiced
in them. The Caliph assigned them solde and allowances; and as
for Nur al-Din, his father brought him those riches and his
wealth waxed and his estate was stablished, till he became the
richest of the folk of his time in Baghdad and left not the
presence of the Commander of the Faithful or by night or by day.
He was vouchsafed issue by Sitt al-Milah, and he ceased not to
live the goodliest of lives, he and she and his father and his
mother, a while of time, till Abu al-Hasan sickened of a sore
sickness and departed to the mercy of Allah Almighty. Presently,
his mother also died and he carried them forth and shrouded them
and buried and made them expiations and funeral
ceremonies.[FN#341] In due course his children grew up and became
like moons, and he reared them in splendour and affection, while
his wealth waxed and his case never waned. He ceased not to pay
frequent visits to the Commander of the Faithful, he and his
children and his slave-girl Sitt al-Milah, and they abode in all
solace of life and prosperity till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and laud to
the Abiding, the Eternal! This is all that hath come down to us
of their story.

            WITH THE SON OF KING AL-'ABBAS.[FN#342]

There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, in the city of Baghdad, the House of Peace, a king mighty
of estate, lord of understanding and beneficence and generosity
and munificence, and he was strong of sultanate and endowed with
might and majesty and magnificence. His name was Ins bin Kays bin
Rabí' al-Shaybání,[FN#343] and when he took horse, there rode
about him riders from the farthest parts of the two
Iraks.[FN#344] Almighty Allah decreed that he should take to wife
a woman hight 'Afífah, daughter of Asad al-Sundúsi, who was
endowed with beauty and loveliness and brightness and perfect
grace and symmetry of shape and stature; her face was like the
crescent moon and she had eyes as they were gazelle's eyes and an
aquiline nose like Luna's cymb. She had learned cavalarice and
the use of arms and had mastered the sciences of the Arabs; eke
she had gotten by heart all the dragomanish[FN#345] tongues and
indeed she was a ravishment to mankind. She abode with Ins bin
Kays twelve years, during which time he was not blessed with
children by her; so his breast was straitened by reason of the
failure of lineage, and he besought his Lord to vouchsafe him a
son. Accordingly the queen conceived, by permission of Allah
Almighty; and when the days of her pregnancy were accomplished,
she gave birth to a maid-child, than whom never saw eyes fairer,
for that her face was as it were a pearl pure-bright or a lamp
raying light or a candle gilt with gold or a full moon breaking
cloudy fold, extolled be He who her from vile water dight and
made her to the beholders a delight! When her father saw her in
this fashion of loveliness, his reason fled for joy, and when she
grew up, he taught her writing and belles-lettres and philosophy
and all manner of tongues. So she excelled the folk of her time
and surpassed her peers; and the sons of the kings heard of her
and all of them longed to look upon her. The first who sought her
to wife was King Nabhán[FN#346] of Mosul, who came to her with a
great company, bringing an hundred she-camels, laden with musk
and lign-aloes and ambergris and five score loaded with camphor
and jewels and other hundred laden with silver monies and yet
other hundred loaded with raiment of silken stuffs, sendal and
brocade, besides an hundred slave-girls and a century of choice
steeds of swift and generous breeds, completely housed and
accoutred, as they were brides; and all this he had laid before
her father, demanding her of him in wedlock. Now King Ins bin
Kays had bound himself by an oath that he would not marry his
daughter save to him whom she should choose; so, when King Nabhan
sought her in marriage, her father went in to her and consulted
her concerning his affair. She consented not and he repeated to
Nabhan that which she said, whereupon he departed from him. After
this came King Bahrám, lord of the White Island, with treasures
richer than the first; but she accepted not of him and he
returned disappointed; nor did the kings cease coming to her
sire, on her account, one after other, from the farthest of the
lands and the climes, each glorying in bringing more than those
who forewent him; but she heeded not any one of them. Presently,
Al-'Abbás, son of King Al-'Azíz, lord of the land of Al-Yaman and
Zabídún[FN#347] and Meccah (which Allah increase in honour and
brightness and beauty!) heard of her; and he was of the great
ones of Meccah and Al-Hijáz,[FN#348] and was a youth without hair
on his side-face. So he presented himself one day in his sire's
assembly, whereupon the folk made way for him and the king seated
him on a chair of red gold, crusted with pearls and gems. The
Prince sat, with his head bowed groundwards, and spake not to
any: whereby his father knew that his breast was straitened and
bade the cup-companions and men of wit relate marvellous
histories, such as beseem the sessions of kings; nor was there
one of them but spoke forth the goodliest of that which was with
him; but Al-'Abbás still abode with his head bowed down. Then the
king bade his sitting-companions withdraw, and when the chamber
was private, he looked at his son and said to him, "By Allah,
thou cheerest me with thy coming in to me and chagrinest me for
that thou payest no heed to any of the familiars nor of the
cup-companions. What is the cause of this?" Answered the Prince,
"O my papa, I have heard tell that in the land of Al-Irák is a
woman of the daughters of the kings, and her father is called
King Ins bin Kays, lord of Baghdad; she is famed for beauty and
loveliness and brightness and perfect grace, and indeed many of
the kings have sought her in marriage; but her soul consented not
unto any one of them. Wherefore my thought prompteth me to travel
herwards, for that my heart cleaveth to her, and I beseech thee
suffer me to go to her." His sire replied, "O my son, thou
knowest that I have none other than thyself of children and thou
art the coolth of mine eyes and the fruit of my vitals; nay, I
cannot brook to be parted from thee a single hour and I purpose
to seat thee on the throne of the kingship and espouse thee to
one of the daughters of the kings, who shall be fairer than she."
Al-Abbas gave ear to his father's word and dared not gainsay him;
wherefore he abode with him awhile, whilst the love-fire raged in
his vitals. Then the king took rede with himself to build his son
a Hammam and adorn it with various paintings, so he might display
it to him and divert him with the sight thereof, to the intent
that his body might be solaced thereby and that the accident of
travel might cease from him and he be turned from his purpose of
removal from his parents. Presently he addressed himself to the
building of the bath and assembling architects and artisans from
all his cities and citadels and islands, assigned them a
foundation-site and marked out its boundaries. Then the workmen
occupied themselves with the building of the Hammam and the
ordinance and adornment of its cabinets and roofs. They used
paints and precious minerals of all kinds, according to the
contrast of their colours, red and green and blue and yellow and
what not else of all manner tincts; and each artisan wrought at
his craft and each painter at his art, whilst the rest of the
folk busied themselves with transporting thither vari-coloured
stones. One day, as the Master-painter wrought at his work, there
came in to him a poor man, who looked long upon him and observed
his mystery; whereupon quoth the artist to him, "Knowest thou
aught of painting?" Quoth the stranger, "Yes;" so he gave him
tools and paints and said to him, "Limn for us a rare semblance."
Accordingly the pauper stranger entered one of the bath-chambers
and drew on its walls a double border, which he adorned on both
sides, after a fashion than which eyes never saw a fairer.
Moreover, amiddlemost the chamber he limned a picture to which
there lacked but the breath,[FN#349] and it was the portraiture
of Mariyah, daughter to the king of Baghdad. Then, when he had
finished the portrait, he went his way and told none of what he
had done, nor knew any wight the chambers and doors of the bath
and the adornment and ordinance thereof. Presently the chief
artisan came to the palace and sought audience of the king who
bade admit him. So he entered and kissing the earth, saluted him
with a salam beseeming Sultans and said, "O king of the time and
lord of the age and the tide, may prosperity endure to thee and
acceptance and eke thy degree over all the kings both morning and
evening[FN#350] exalted be! The work of the bath is accomplished,
by the king's fair fortune and the purity of his purpose, and
indeed, we have done all that behoved us and there remaineth but
that which behoveth the king." Al-Aziz ordered him a costly robe
of honour and expended monies galore, giving unto each who had
wroughten after the measure of his work. Then he assembled in the
Hammam all the Lords of his realm, Emirs and Wazirs and
Chamberlains and Nabobs, and the chief officers of his kingdom
and household, and sending for his son Al-Abbas, said to him, "O
my son, I have builded thee a bath, wherein thou mayst take thy
pleasance; so enter that thou mayst see it and divert thyself by
gazing upon it and viewing the beauty of its ordinance and
decoration." "With love and gladness," replied the Prince and
entered the bath, he and the king and the folk about them, so
they might divert themselves with viewing that which the
workmen's hands had worked. Al-Abbas went in and passed from
place to place and chamber to chamber, till he came to the room
aforesaid and espied the portrait of Mariyah, whereupon he fell
down in a fainting-fit and the workmen went to his father and
said to him, "Thy son Al-Abbas hath swooned away." So the king
came and finding his son cast down, seated himself at his head
and bathed his face with rose-water. After awhile he revived and
the king said to him, "I seek refuge with Allah for thee, O my
son! What accident hath befallen thee?" The Prince replied, "O my
father, I did but look on yonder picture and it bequeathed me a
thousand qualms and there befel me that which thou beholdest."
Therewith the king bade fetch the Master-painter, and when he
stood before him, he said to him, "Tell me of yonder portrait and
what girl is this of the daughters of the kings; else I will take
thy head." Said the painter, "By Allah, O king, I limned it not,
neither know I who she is; but there came to me a poor man and
looked hard at me. So I asked him, Knowest thou the art of
painting? and he answered, Yes. Whereupon I gave him the gear and
said to him, Limn for us a rare semblance. Accordingly he painted
yonder portrait and went away and I wot him not neither have I
ever set eyes on him save that day." Hearing this, the king
ordered all his officers to go round about in the thoroughfares
and colleges and to bring before him all strangers they found
there. So they went forth and brought him much people, amongst
whom was the pauper who had painted the portrait. When they came
into the presence, the Sultan bade the crier make public
proclamation that whoso wrought the portrait should discover
himself and have whatso he wished. Thereupon the poor man came
forward and kissing the ground before the king, said to him, "O
king of the age, I am he who limned yonder likeness." Quoth
Al-Aziz, "And knowest thou who she is?" and quoth the other,
"Yes, this is the portrait of Mariyah, daughter of the king of
Baorhdad." The king ordered him a robe of honour and a slave-girl
and he went his way. Then said Al-Abbas, "O my papa, give me
leave to seek her, so I may look upon her: else shall I farewell
the world, withouten fail." The king his father wept and
answered, "O my son, I builded thee a Hammam, that it might turn
thee from leaving me, and behold, it hath been the cause of thy
going forth; but the behest of Allah is a determinate
decree."[FN#351] Then he wept again and Al-Abbas said to him,
"Fear not for me, for thou knowest my prowess and puissance in
returning answers in the assemblies of the land and my good
breeding and accomplishments together with my skill in rhetoric;
and indeed for him whose father thou art and whom thou hast
reared and bred and in whom thou hast united praiseworthy
qualities, the repute whereof hath traversed the East and the
West, thou needest not fear aught, more especially as I purpose
but to seek pleasuring and return to thee, an it be the will of
Allah Almighty." Quoth the king, "Whom wilt thou take with thee
of attendants and what of monies?" Replied Al-Abbas, "O my papa,
I have no need of horses or camels or weapons, for I purpose not
warfare, and I will have none go forth with me save my page 'Amir
and no more." Now as he and his father were thus engaged in talk,
in came his mother and caught hold of him; and he said to her,
"Allah upon thee, let me gang my gait and strive not to divert me
from what purpose I have purposed, for needs must I go." She
replied, "O my son, if it must be so and there be no help for it,
swear to me that thou wilt not be absent from me more than a
year." And he sware to her. Then he entered his father's
treasuries and took therefrom what he would of jewels and
jacinths and everything weighty of worth and light of load: he
also bade his servant Amir saddle him two steeds and the like for
himself, and whenas the night beset his back,[FN#352] he rose
from his couch and mounting his horse, set out for Baghdad, he
and Amir, whilst the page knew not whither he intended.[FN#353]
He gave not over going and the journey was joyous to him, till
they came to a goodly land, abounding in birds and wild beasts,
whereupon Al-Abbas started a gazelle and shot it with a shaft.
Then he dismounted and cutting its throat, said to his servant,
"Alight thou and skin it and carry it to the water." Amir
answered him with "Hearkening and obedience" and going down to
the water, built a fire and broiled the gazelle's flesh. Then
they ate their fill and drank of the water, after which they
mounted again and fared on with diligent faring, and Amir still
unknowing whither Al-Abbas was minded to wend. So he said to him,
"O my lord, I conjure thee by Allah of All-might, wilt thou not
tell me whither thou intendest?" Al-Abbas looked at him and in
reply improvised these couplets,

"In my vitals are fires of desire and repine; * And naught I
     reply when they flare on high:
Baghdad-wards I hie me on life-and-death work, * Loving one who
     distorts my right judgment awry:
A swift camel under me shortcuts the wold * And deem it a cloud
     all who nearhand espy:
O 'Ámir make haste after model of her * Who would heal mine ill
     and Love's cup drain dry:
For the leven of love burns the vitals of me; * So with me seek
     my tribe and stint all reply."

When Amir heard his lord's verses, he knew that he was a slave of
love and that she whom he loved abode in Baghdad. Then they fared
on night and day, traversing plain and stony way, till they
sighted Baghdad and lighted down in its environs[FN#354] and
there lay their night. When they arose in the morning, they
removed to the bank of the Tigris where they encamped and
sojourned a second day and a third. As they abode thus on the
fourth day, behold, a company of folk giving their beasts the
rein and crying aloud and saying, "Quick! Quick! Haste to our
rescue, Ho thou the King!" Therewith the King's chamberlains and
officers accosted them and said, "What is behind you and what
hath betided you?" Quoth they, "Bring us before the King." So
they carried them to Ins bin Kays; and when they saw him, they
said to him, "O king, unless thou succour us, we are dead men;
for that we are a folk of the Banú Shaybán,[FN#355] who have
taken up our abode in the parts of Bassorah, and Hodhayfah the
wild Arab hath come down on us with his steeds and his men and
hath slain our horse-men and carried off our women and children;
nor was one saved of the tribe but he who fled; wherefore we
crave help first by Allah Almighty, then by thy life." When the
king heard their speech, he bade the crier proclaim in the
highways of the city that the troops should busk them to march
and that the horsemen should mount and the footmen fare forth;
nor was it but the twinkling of the eye ere the kettle-drums beat
and the trumpets blared; and scarce was the forenoon of the day
passed when the city was blocked with horse and foot. Presently,
the king reviewed them and behold, they were four-and-twenty
thousand in number, cavalry and infantry. He bade them go forth
to the enemy and gave the command of them to Sa'ad ibn al-Wákidí,
a doughty cavalier and a dauntless champion; so the horsemen set
out and fared on along the Tigris-bank. Al-Abbas, son of King
Al-Aziz, looked at them and saw the flags flaunting and the
standards stirring and heard the kettle-drums beating; so he bade
his page saddle him a blood-steed and look to the surcingles and
bring him his harness of war, for indeed horsemanship[FN#356] was
rooted in his heart. Quoth Amir, "And indeed I saw Al-Abbas, his
eyes waxed red and the hair of his hands on end." So he mounted
his charger, whilst Amir also bestrode a destrier, and they went
forth with the commando and fared on two days. On the third day,
after the hour of the midafternoon prayer, they came in sight of
the foe and the two armies met and the two ranks joined in fight.
The strife raged amain and sore was the strain, whilst the dust
rose in clouds and hung in vaulted shrouds, so that all eyes were
blinded; and they ceased not from the battle till the night
overtook them,[FN#357] when the two hosts drew off from the
mellay and passed the night, perplexed concerning themselves.
When Allah caused the morning to morrow, the two hosts were
aligned in line and their thousands fixed their eyne and the
troops stood looking one at other. Then sallied forth Al-Háris
ibn Sa'ad between the two lines and played with his lance and
cried out and improvised these couplets,

"You are in every way this day our prey; * And ever we prayed
     your sight to see:
The Ruthful drave you Hodhayfah-wards * To the Brave, the Lion
     who sways the free:
Say, amid you's a man who would heal his ills, * With whose lust
     of battle shrewd blows agree?
Then by Allah meet me who come to you * And whoso is wronged
     shall the wronger be."[FN#358]

Thereupon there sallied forth to him Zuhayr bin Habíb, and they
wheeled about and wiled a while, then they exchanged strokes.
Al-Haris forewent his foe in smiting and stretched him weltering
in his gore; whereupon Hodhayfah cried out to him, "Gifted of
Allah[FN#359] art thou, O Haris! Call out another of them." So he
cried aloud, "I say, who be a champion?" But they of Baghdad held
back from him; and when it appeared to Al-Haris that
consternation was amongst them, he charged down upon them and
overrolled the first of them upon the last of them and slew of
them twelve men. Then the evening caught him and the Baghdadis
began addressing themselves to flight. No sooner had the morning
morrowed than they found themselves reduced to a fourth part of
their number and there was not one of them had dismounted from
his horse. Wherefore they made sure of destruction and Hodhayfah
rushed out between the two lines (now he was reckoned good for a
thousand knights) and cried out, "Harkye, my masters of Baghdad!
Let none come forth to me but your Emir, so I may talk with him
and he with me; and he shall meet me in combat singular and I
will meet him, and may he who is clear of offence come off safe."
Then he repeated his words and said, "How is it I see your Emir
refuse me a reply?" But Sa'ad, the Emir of the army of Baghdad,
answered him not, and indeed his teeth chattered in his mouth,
when he heard him summon him to the duello. Now when Al-Abbas
heard Hodhayfah's challenge and saw Sa'ad in this case, he came
up to the Emir and asked him, "Wilt thou suffer me to answer him
and I will be thy substitute in replying him and in monomachy
with him and will make my life thy sacrifice?" Sa'ad looked at
him and seeing knighthood shining from between his eyes, said to
him, "O youth, by the virtue of Mustafá the Chosen Prophet (whom
Allah save and assain), tell me who thou art and whence thou
comest to bring us victory."[FN#360] Quoth the Prince, "This is
no place for questioning;" and quoth Sa'ad to him, "O Knight, up
and at Hodhayfah! Yet, if his Satan prove too strong for thee,
afflict not thyself on thy youth."[FN#361] Al-Abbas cried, "Allah
is He of whom help is to be sought;"[FN#362] and, taking his
arms, fortified his purpose and went down into the field, as he
were a fort of the forts or a mountain's contrefort. Thereupon
Hodhayfah cried out to him, saying, "Haste thee not, O youth! Who
art thou of the folk?" He replied, "I am Sa'ad ibn al-Wakidi,
commander of the host of King Ins, and but for thy pride in
challenging me, I had not come forth to thee; for thou art no
peer for me to front nor as mine equal dost thou count nor canst
thou bear my brunt. Wherefore get thee ready for the last
march[FN#363] seeing that there abideth but a little of thy
life." When Hodhayfah heard this speech, he threw himself
backwards,[FN#364] as if in mockery of him, whereat Al-Abbas was
wroth and called out to him, saying, "O Hodhayfah, guard thyself
against me." Then he rushed upon him, as he were a swooper of the
Jinn,[FN#365] and Hodhayfah met him and they wheeled about a long
while. Presently, Al-Abbas cried out at Hodhayfah a cry which
astounded him and struck him a stroke, saying, "Take this from
the hand of a brave who feareth not the like of thee." Hodhayfah
met the sabre-sway with his shield, thinking to ward it off from
him; but the blade shore the target in sunder and descending upon
his shoulder, came forth gleaming from the tendons of his throat
and severed his arm at the armpit; whereupon he fell down,
wallowing in his blood, and Al-Abbas turned upon his host; not
had the sun departed the dome of the welkin ere Hodhayfah's army
was in full flight before Al-Abbas and the saddles were empty of
men. Quoth Sa'ad, "By the virtue of Mustafa the Chosen Prophet,
whom Allah save and assain, I saw Al-Abbas with the blood upon
his saddle-pads, in clots like camels' livers, smiting with the
sword right and left, till he scattered them abroad in every
gorge and wold; and when he hied him back to the camp, the men of
Baghdad were fearful of him." But as soon as they saw this
victory which had betided them over their foes, they turned back
and gathering together the weapons and treasures and horses of
those they had slain, returned to Baghdad, victorious, and all by
the knightly valour of Al-Abbas. As for Sa'ad, he foregathered
with his lord, and they fared on in company till they came to the
place where Al-Abbas had taken horse, whereupon the Prince
dismounted from his charger and Sa'ad said to him, "O youth,
wherefore alightest thou in other than thy place? Indeed, thy
rights be incumbent upon us and upon our Sultan; so go thou with
us to the dwellings, that we may ransom thee with our souls."
Replied Al-Abbas, "O Emir Sa'ad, from this place I took horse
with thee and herein is my lodging. So, Allah upon thee, mention
not me to the king, but make as if thou hadst never seen me
because I am a stranger in the land." So saying he turned away
from him and Sa'ad fared on to his palace, where he found all the
courtiers in attendance on the king and recounting to him that
which had betided them with Al-Abbas. Quoth the king, "Where is
he?" and quoth they, "He is with the Emir Sa'ad." So, when the
Emir entered, the king looked, but found none with him; and
Sa'ad, seeing at a glance that he longed to look upon the youth,
cried out to him, saying, "Allah prolong the king's days! Indeed,
he refuseth to present himself before thee, without order or
leave." Asked the king, "O Sa'ad, whence cometh this man?" and
the Emir answered, "O my lord, I know not; but he is a youth fair
of favour, amiable of aspect, accomplished in address, ready of
repartee, and valour shineth from between his eyes." Quoth the
king, "O Sa'ad, fetch him to me, for indeed thou describest to me
at full length a mighty matter."[FN#366] And he answered, saying,
"By Allah, O my lord, hadst thou but seen our case with
Hodhayfah, when he challenged me to the field of fight and the
stead of cut-and-thrust and I held back from doing battle with
him! Then, as I thought to go forth to him, behold, a knight gave
loose to his bridle-rein and called out to me, saying, 'O Sa'ad,
wilt thou suffer me to be thy substitute in waging war with him
and I will ransom thee with myself?' and quoth I, 'By Allah, O
youth, whence comest thou?' and quoth he, 'This be no time for
thy questions, while Hodhayfah standeth awaiting thee.'"
Thereupon he repeated to the king all that had passed between
himself and Al-Abbas from first to last; whereat cried Ins bin
Kays, "Bring him to me in haste, so we may learn his tidings and
question him of his case." "'Tis well," replied Sa'ad, and going
forth of the king's presence, repaired to his own house, where he
doffed his war-harness and took rest for himself. On this wise
fared it with the Emir Sa'ad, but as regards Al-Abbas, when he
dismounted from his destrier, he doffed his war-gear and repose
himself awhile; after which he brought out a body-dress of
Venetian[FN#367] silk and a gown of green damask and donning
them, bound about his head a turband of Damietta stuff and zoned
his waist with a kerchief. Then he went out a-walking in the
highways of Baghdad and fared on till he came to the bazar of the
traders. There he found a merchant, with chess before him; so the
Prince stood watching him, and presently the other looked up at
him and asked him, "O youth, what wilt thou bet upon the game?"
He answered, "Be it thine to decide." Said the merchant, "Then be
it an hundred dinars," and Al-Abbas consented to him; whereupon
quoth he, "Produce the money, O youth, so the game may be fairly
stablished." Accordingly Al-Abbas brought out a satin purse,
wherein were a thousand dinars, and laid down an hundred dinars
therefrom on the edge of the carpet, whilst the merchant produced
the like, and indeed his reason fled for joy when he saw the gold
in possession of Al-Abbas. The folk flocked about them, to divert
themselves with watching the play, and they called the bystanders
to witness the wager and after the stakes were duly staked, the
twain fell a-playing. Al-Abbas forebore the merchant, so he might
lead him on, and dallied with him a full hour; and the merchant
won and took of him the hundred dinars. Then said the Prince,
"Wilt thou play another partie?" and the other said, "O youth, I
will not play again, save for a thousand dinars." Quoth the
youth, 'Whatsoever thou stakest, I will match thy stake with its
like." So the merchant brought out a thousand dinars and the
Prince covered them with other thousand. Then the game began, but
Al-Abbas was not long with him ere he beat him in the house of
the elephant[FN#368] nor did he cease to do thus till he had
beaten him four times and won of him four thousand dinars. This
was all the merchant had of money; so he said, "O youth, I will
play thee another game for the shop." Now the value of the shop
was four thousand dinars; so they played and Al-Ahbas beat him
and won his shop, with whatso was therein; upon which the other
arose, shaking his clothes,[FN#369] and said to him, "Up, O
youth, and take thy shop." Accordingly Al-Abbas arose and
repairing to the shop, took possession thereof, after which he
returned to the place where he had left his servant 'Amir, and
found there the Emir Sa'ad, who was come to bid him to the
presence of the king. The Prince consented to this and
accompanied him till they came before King Ins bin Kays,
whereupon he kissed the ground and saluted him and
exaggerated[FN#370] the salutation. So the king asked him,
"Whence comest thou, O youth, and whither goest thou?" and he
answered, "I come from Al-Yaman." Then said the king, "Hast thou
a need we may fulfil to thee; for indeed thou hast strong claims
to our favour after that which thou didst in the matter of
Hodhayfah and his folk." And he commanded to cast over him a
mantle of Egyptian satin, worth an hundred dinars. He also bade
his treasurer give him a thousand dinars and said to him, "O
youth, take this in part of that which thou deservest of us; and
if thou prolong thy sojourn with us, we will give thee slaves and
servants." Al-Abbas kissed ground and said, "O king, Allah grant
thee abiding weal, I deserve not all this." Then he put his hand
to his pouch and pulling out two caskets of gold, in each of
which were rubies whose value none could estimate, gave them to
the king, saying, "O king, Allah cause thy welfare to endure, I
conjure thee by that which the Almighty hath vouchsafed thee,
heal my heart by accepting these two caskets, even as I have
accepted thy present." So the king accepted the two caskets and
Al-Abbas took his leave and went away to the bazar. Now when the
merchants saw him, they accosted him and said, "O youth, wilt
thou not open thy shop?" As they were addressing him, up came a
woman, having with her a boy bare of head, and stood looking at
Al-Abbas, till he turned to her, when she said to him, "O youth,
I conjure thee by Allah, look at this boy and have ruth on him,
for that his father hath forgotten his skull-cap in the shop he
lost to thee; so, an thou see fit to give it him, thy reward be
with Allah! For indeed the child maketh our hearts ache with his
excessive weeping, and the Lord be witness for us that, had they
left us aught wherewith to buy him a cap in its stead, we had not
sought it of thee." Replied Al-Abbas, "O adornment of
womankind,[FN#371] indeed, thou bespeakest me with thy fair
speech and supplicatest me with thy goodly words! But bring me
thy husband." So she went and fetched the merchant, whilst a
crowd collected to see what Al-Abbas would do. When the man came,
he returned him the gold he had won of him, art and part, and
delivered him the keys of the shop, saying, "Requite us with thy
pious prayers." Therewith the woman came up to him and kissed his
feet, and in like fashion did the merchant her husband: and all
who were present blessed him, and there was no talk but of
Al-Abbas. Thus fared it with him; but as for the merchant, he
bought him a head of sheep[FN#372] and slaughtering it, roasted
it and dressed birds and other meats of various kinds and colours
and purchased dessert and sweetmeats and fresh fruits; then he
repaired to Al-Abbas and conjured him to accept of his
hospitality and visit his home and eat of his provaunt. The
Prince consented to his wishes and went with him till they came
to his house, when the merchant bade him enter: so Al-Abbas went
in and saw a goodly house, wherein was a handsome saloon, with a
vaulted ceiling. When he entered the saloon, he found that the
merchant had made ready food and dessert and perfumes, such as
may not be described; and indeed he had adorned the table with
sweet-scented flowers and sprinkled musk and rose-water upon the
food; and he had smeared the saloon walls with ambergris and had
burned aloes-wood therein and Nadd. Presently, Al-Abbas looked
out of the window of the saloon and saw by its side a house of
goodly ordinance, tall of base and wide of space, with rooms
manifold and two upper stories crowning the whole; but therein
was no sign of inhabitants. So he said to the merchant, "Verily,
thou exaggeratest in doing us honour; but, by Allah, I will not
eat of thy meat until thou tell me what hath caused the voidance
of yonder house." Said he, "O my lord, that was Al-Ghitrif's
house and he passed away to the mercy of the Almighty and left no
heir save myself; whereupon the mansion became mine, and by
Allah, an thou have a mind to sojourn in Baghdad, take up thine
abode in this house, whereby thou mayst be in my neighbourhood;
for that verily my heart inclineth unto thee with affection and I
would have thee never absent from mine eyes, so I may still have
my fill of thee and hearken to thy speech." Al-Abbas thanked him
and said to him, "By Allah, thou art indeed friendly in thy
converse and thou exaggeratest in thy discourse, and needs must I
sojourn in Baghdad. As for the house, if it please thee to lodge
me, I will abide therein; so accept of me its price." Therewith
he put hand to his pouch and bringing out from it three hundred
dinars, gave them to the merchant, who said in himself, "Unless I
take his dirhams, he will not darken my doors." So he pocketed
the monies and sold him the mansion, taking witnesses against
himself of the sale. Then he arose and set food before Al-Abbas
and they sat down to his good things; after which he brought him
dessert and sweetmeats whereof they ate their sufficiency, and
when the tables were removed they washed their hands with musked
rose-water and willow-water. Then the merchant brought Al-Abbas a
napkin scented with the smoke of aloes-wood, on which he wiped
his right hand, and said to him, "O my lord, the house is become
thy house; so bid thy page transport thither the horses and arms
and stuffs." The Prince did this and the merchant rejoiced in his
neighbourhood and left him not night nor day,[FN#373] so that
Al-Abbas said to him, "By the Lord, we distract thee from thy
livelihood." He replied, "Allah upon thee, O my lord, name not to
me aught of this, or thou wilt break my heart, for the best of
traffic art thou and the best of livelihood." So there befel
straight friendship between them and all ceremony was laid aside.
Meanwhile[FN#374] the king said to his Wazir, "How shall we do in
the matter of yonder youth, the Yamáni, on whom we thought to
confer gifts, but he hath gifted us with tenfold our largesse and
more, and we know not an he be a sojourner with us or not?" Then
he went into the Harim and gave the rubies to his wife Afifah,
who asked him, "What is the worth of these with thee and with
other of the kings?" Quoth he, "They are not to be found save
with the greatest of sovrans nor can any price them with monies."
Quoth she, "Whence gottest thou them?" So he recounted to her the
story of Al-Abbas from beginning to end, and she said, "By Allah,
the claims of honour are imperative on us and the King hath
fallen short of his devoir; for that we have not seen him bid the
youth to his assembly, nor hath he seated him on his left hand."
When the king heard his wife's words, it was as if he had been
asleep and awoke; so he went forth the Harim and bade kill
poultry and dress meats of every kind and colour. Moreover, he
assembled all his courtiers and let bring sweetmeats and dessert
and all that beseemeth the tables of kings. Then he adorned his
palace and despatched after Al-Abbas a man of the chief officers
of his household, who found him coming forth of the Hammam, clad
in a jerkin[FN#375] of fine goats' hair and over it a Baghdádi
scarf; his waist was girt with a Rustaki[FN#376] kerchief and on
his head he wore a light turband of Damietta[FN#377] stuff. The
messenger wished him joy of the bath and exaggerated in doing him
honour: then he said to him, "The king biddeth thee in
weal."[FN#378] "To hear is to obey," quoth Al-Abbas and
accompanied the officer to the king's palace. Now Afifah and her
daughter Mariyah were behind the curtain, both looking at him;
and when he came before the sovran he saluted him and greeted him
with the greeting of kings, whilst all present gazed at him and
at his beauty and loveliness and perfect grace. The king seated
him at the head of the table; and when Afifah saw him and
considered him straitly, she said, "By the virtue of Mohammed,
prince of the Apostles, this youth is of the sons of the kings
and cometh not to these parts save for some noble purpose!" Then
she looked at Mariyah and saw that her favour was changed, and
indeed her eye-balls were as dead in her face and she turned not
her gaze from Al-Abbas a twinkling of the eyes, for that the love
of him had sunk deep into her heart. When the queen saw what had
befallen her daughter, she feared for her from reproach
concerning Al-Abbas; so she shut the casement-wicket that the
Princess might not look upon him any more. Now there was a
pavilion set apart for Mariyah, and therein were boudoirs and
bowers, balconies and lattices, and she had with her a nurse, who
served her as is the fashion with the daughters of the Kings.
When the banquet was ended and the folk had dispersed, the King
said to Al-Abbas, "I would fain have thee abide with me and I
will buy thee a mansion, so haply we may requite thee for thy
high services; and indeed imperative upon us is thy due and
magnified in our eyes is thy work; and soothly we have fallen
short of thy deserts in the matter of distance."[FN#379] When the
youth heard the king's speech, he rose and sat down[FN#380] and
kissing ground, returned thanks for his bounty and said, "I am
the King's thrall, wheresoever I may be, and under his eye." Then
he told him the tale of the merchant and the manner of the buying
of the house, and the king said, "In very truth I would fain have
had thee in my neighbourhood and by side of me." Presently
Al-Abbas took leave of the king and went away to his own house.
Now it chanced that he passed under the palace of Mariyah, the
king's daughter, and she was sitting at a casement. He happened
to look round and his eyes met those of the Princess, whereupon
his wit departed and he was ready to swoon away, whilst his
colour changed, and he said, "Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him
are we returning!" But he feared for himself lest severance
betide him; so he concealed his secret and discovered not his
case to any of the creatures of Allah Almighty. When he reached
his quarters, his page Amir said to him, "I seek refuge for thee
with Allah, O my lord, from change of colour! Hath there betided
thee a pain from the Lord of All-might or aught of vexation? In
good sooth, sickness hath an end and patience doeth away
trouble." But the Prince returned him no answer. Then he brought
out ink-case[FN#381] and paper and wrote these couplets:

I cry (and mine's a frame that pines alway), * A mind which fires
     of passion e'er waylay;
And eyeballs never tasting sweets of sleep; * Yet Fortune spare
     its cause I ever pray!
While from world-perfidy and parting I * Like Bishram with
     Hind,[FN#382] that well-loved may;--
Yea, grown a bye-word 'mid the folk but aye * Spend life
     unwinning wish or night or day.
"Ah say, wots she my love when her I spied * At the high lattice
     shedding sunlike ray?"
Her glances, keener than the brand when bared * Cleave soul of
     man nor ever 'scapes her prey:
I looked on her in lattice pierced aloft * When bare her cheat of
     veil that slipped away;
And shot me thence a shaft my liver pierced * When thrall to care
     and dire despair I lay
Knowst thou, O Fawn o' the palace, how for thee * I fared from
     farness o'er the lands astray?
Then read my writ, dear friends, and show some ruth * To wight
     who wones black-faced, distraught, sans stay!

And when he ended inditing, he folded up the letter. Now the
merchant's wife aforesaid, who was the nurse of the king's
daughter, was watching him from a window, unknown of him, and
when she saw him writing and reciting, she knew that some rare
tale attached to him; so she went in to him and said, "Peace be
with thee, O afflicted wight, who acquaintest not leach with thy
plight! Verily, thou exposest thy life to grievous blight. I
conjure thee by the virtue of Him who hath afflicted thee and
with the constraint of love-liking hath stricken thee, that thou
acquaint me with thine affair and disclose to me the truth of thy
secret; for that indeed I have heard from thee verses which
trouble the mind and melt the body." Accordingly he acquainted
her with his case and enjoined her to secrecy, whereof she
consented, saying, "What shall be the recompense of whoso goeth
with thy letter and bringeth thee its reply?" He bowed his head
for shame before her and was silent; and she said to him, "Raise
thy head and give me thy writ": so he gave her the letter and she
hent it and carrying it to the Princess, said to her, "Take this
epistle and give me its answer." Now the dearest of all things to
Mariyah was the recitation of poesy and verses and linked rhymes
and the twanging of lute-strings, and she was versed in all
tongues; wherefore she took the writ and opening it, read that
which was therein and understood its purport. Then she threw it
to the ground and cried, "O nurse, I have no answer to make to
this letter." Quoth the nurse, "Indeed, this is weakness in thee
and a reproach to thee, for that the people of the world have
heard of thee and commend thee for keenness of wit and
understanding; so do thou return him an answer, such as shall
trick his heart and tire his soul." Quoth she, "O nurse, who may
be the man who presumeth upon me with this correspondence? Haply
'tis the stranger youth who gave my father the rubies." The woman
said, "It is himself," and Mariyah said, "I will answer his
letter in such fashion that thou shalt not bring me other than
it." Cried the nurse, "So be it."[FN#383] Thereupon the Princess
called for ink-case and paper and wrote these couplets:--

Thou art bold in the copy thou sentest! May be * 'Twill increase
     the dule foreign wight must dree!
Thou hast spied me with glance that bequeaths thee woe * Ah! far
     is thy hope, a mere foreigner's plea!
Who art thou, poor freke, that wouldst win my love * Wi' thy
     verse? What seeks thine insanity?
An thou hope for my favours and greed therefor; * Where find thee
     a leach for such foolish gree?
Then rhyme-linking leave and fool-like be not * Hanged to Cross
     at the doorway of ignomy!
Deem not that to thee I incline, O youth! * 'Mid the Sons of the
     Path[FN#384] is no place for me.
Thou art homeless waif in the wide wide world; * So return thee
     home where they keen for thee:[FN#385]
Leave verse-spouting, O thou who a-wold dost wone, * Or minstrel
     shall name thee in lay and glee:
How many a friend who would meet his love * Is baulked when the
     goal is right clear to see!
So begone and ne'er grieve for what canst not win * Albe time be
     near, yet thy grasp 'twill flee.
Now such is my say and the tale I'd tell; * So master my meaning
     and--fare thee well!

When Mariyah had made an end of her verses, she folded the letter
and delivered it to the nurse, who hent it and went with it to
Al-Abbas. When she gave it to him, he took it and breaking it
open, read it and comprehended its contents; and when he reached
the end of it, he swooned away. After awhile, he came to himself
and cried, "Praise be to Allah who hath caused her return a reply
to my writ! Canst thou carry her another missive, and with Allah
Almighty be thy requital?" Said she, "And what shall letters
profit thee, seeing that such is her reply;" but he said,
"Peradventure, she may yet be softened." Then he took ink-case
and paper and wrote these couplets:--

Reached me the writ and what therein didst write, * Whence grew
     my pain and bane and blight:
I read the marvel-lines made wax my love * And wore my body out
     till slightest slight.[FN#386]
Would Heaven ye wot the whole I bear for love * Of you, with
     vitals clean for you undight!
And all I do t' outdrive you from my thought * 'Vails naught and
     'gainst th' obsession loses might:
Couldst for thy lover feel 'twould ease his soul; * E'en thy dear
     Phantom would his sprite delight!
Then on my weakness lay not coyness-load * Nor in such breach of
     troth be traitor-wight:
And, weet ye well, for this your land I fared * Hoping to 'joy
     the union-boon forthright:
How many a stony wold for this I spanned; * How oft I waked when
     men kept watch o'night!
To fare fro' another land for sight of you * Love bade, while
     length of way forbade my sprite:
So by His name[FN#387] who molt my frame, have ruth, * And quench
     the flames thy love in me did light:
Thou fillest, arrayed with glory's robes and rays, * Heaven's
     stars with joy and Luna with despight.
Then who dare chide or blame me for my love * Of one that can all
     Beauty's boons unite?

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the letter
and delivering it to the nurse, charged her keep the secret. So
she took it and carrying it to Mariyah, gave it to her. The
Princess broke it open and read it and apprehended its purport;
then cried she, "By Allah, O nurse, my heart is chagrined with
exceeding chagrin, never knew I a sorer, because of this
correspondence and of these verses." And the nurse made answer to
her "O my lady, thou art in thy dwelling and thy palace and thy
heart is void of care; so return to him a reply and reck not."
Accordingly, the Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote
these couplets:--

Ho thou who wouldst vaunt thee of cark and care; * How many
     love-molten, tryst-craving be there?
An hast wandered the wold in the murks of night * Bound afar and
     anear on the tracks to fare,
And to eyne hast forbidden the sweets of sleep, * Borne by Devils
     and Marids to dangerous lair;
And beggest my boons, O in tribe-land[FN#388] homed * And to urge
     thy wish and desire wouldst dare;
Now, woo Patience fair, an thou bear in mind * What The Ruthful
     promised to patient prayer![FN#389]
How many a king for my sake hath vied, * Craving love and in
     marriage with me to pair.
Al-Nabhan sent, when a-wooing me, * Camels baled with musk and
     Nadd scenting air.
They brought camphor in boxes and like thereof * Of pearls and
     rubies that countless were;
Brought pregnant lasses and negro-lads, * Blood steeds and arms
     and gear rich and rare;
Brought us raiment of silk and of sendal sheen, * And came
     courting us but no bride he bare:
Nor could win his wish, for I 'bode content * To part with far
     parting and love forswear;
So for me greed not, O thou stranger wight * Lest thou come to
     ruin and dire despair!

When she had made an end of her verses, she folded the letter and
delivered it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to
Al-Abbas. He broke it open and read it and comprehended its
contents; then took ink-case and paper and wrote these improvised

Thou hast told me the tale of the Kings, and of them * Each was
     rending lion, a furious foe:
And thou stolest the wits of me, all of them * And shotst me with
     shaft of thy magic bow:
Thou hast boasted of slaves and of steeds and wealth; * And of
     beauteous lasses ne'er man did know;
How presents in mighty store didst spurn, * And disdainedst
     lovers both high and low:
Then I followed their tracks in desire for thee, * With naught
     save my scymitar keen of blow;
Nor slaves nor camels that run have I; * Nor slave-girls the
     litters enveil, ah, no!
But grant me union and soon shalt sight * My trenchant blade with
     the foeman's woe;
Shalt see the horsemen engird Baghdad * Like clouds that wall the
     whole world below,
Obeying behests which to them I deal * And hearing the words to
     the foes I throw.
An of negro chattels ten thousand head * Wouldst have, or Kings
     who be proud and prow
Or chargers led for thee day by day * And virgin girls high of
     bosom, lo!
Al-Yaman land my command doth bear * And my biting blade to my
     foes I show.
I have left this all for the sake of thee, * Left Aziz and my
     kinsmen for ever-mo'e;
And made Al-Irák making way to thee * Under nightly murks over
     rocks arow;
When the couriers brought me account of thee * Thy beauty,
     perfection, and sunny glow,
Then I sent thee verses whose very sound * Burns the heart of
     shame with a fiery throe;
Yet the world with falsehood hath falsed me, * Though Fortune was
     never so false as thou,
Who dubbest me stranger and homeless one * A witless fool and a
     slave-girl's son!

Then he folded the letter and committed it to the nurse and gave
her five hundred dinars, saying, "Accept this from me, for by
Allah thou hast indeed wearied thyself between us." She replied,
"By Allah, O my lord, my aim is to bring about forgathering
between you, though I lose that which my right hand possesseth."
And he said, "May the Lord of All-might requite thee with good!"
Then she carried the letter to Mariyah and said to her, "Take
this letter; haply it may be the end of the correspondence." So
she took it and breaking it open, read it, and when she had made
an end of it, she turned to the nurse and said to her, "This one
foisteth lies upon me and asserteth unto me that he hath cities
and horsemen and footmen at his command and submitting to his
allegiance; and he wisheth of me that which he shall not win; for
thou knowest, O nurse, that kings' sons have sought me in
marriage, with presents and rarities; but I have paid no heed
unto aught of this; how, then, shall I accept of this fellow, who
is the ignoramus of his time and possesseth naught save two
caskets of rubies, which he gave to my sire, and indeed he hath
taken up his abode in the house of Al-Ghitrif and abideth without
silver or gold? Wherefore, Allah upon thee, O nurse, return to
him and cut off his hope of me." Accordingly the nurse rejoined
Al-Abbas, without letter or answer; and when she came in to him,
he looked at her and saw that she was troubled, and he noted the
marks of anger on her face; so he said to her, "What is this
plight?" Quoth she, "I cannot set forth to thee that which
Mariyah said; for indeed she charged me return to thee without
writ or reply." Quoth he, "O nurse of kings, I would have thee
carry her this letter and return not to her without it." Then he
took ink-case and paper and wrote these couplets:--

My secret now to men is known though hidden well and true * By
     me: enough is that I have of love and love of you:
I left familiars, friends, and kin to weep the loss of me * With
     floods of tears which like the tide aye flowed and flowed
Then, left my home myself I bore to Baghdad-town one day, * When
     parting drave me there his pride and cruelty to rue:
I have indeed drained all the bowl whose draught
     repression[FN#390] was * Handed by friend who bitter
     gourd[FN#391] therein for drinking threw.
And, oft as strove I to enjoin the ways of troth and faith, * So
     often on refusal's path he left my soul to sue.
Indeed my body molten is with care I'm doomèd dree; * And yet I
     hoped relenting and to win some grace, my due.
But wrong and rigour waxed on me and changed to worse my case; *
     And love hath left me weeping-eyed for woes that aye pursue.
How long must I keep watch for you throughout the nightly gloom?
     * How many a path of pining pace and garb of grief endue?
And you, what while you joy your sleep, your restful pleasant
     sleep, * Reck naught of sorrow and of shame that to your
     friend accrue:
For wakefulness I watched the stars before the peep o' day, *
     Praying that union with my dear in bliss my soul imbrue;
Indeed the throes of long desire laid waste my frame and I * Rise
     every morn in weaker plight with hopes e'er fewer few:
"Be not" (I say) "so hard of heart!" for did you only deign * In
     phantom guise to visit me 'twere joy enough to view.
But when ye saw my writ ye grudged to me the smallest boon * And
     cast adown the flag of faith though well my troth ye knew;
Nor aught of answer you vouchsafe, albe you wot full well * The
     words therein address the heart and pierce the spirit
You deemed yourself all too secure for changes of the days * And
     of the far and near alike you ever careless grew.
Hadst thou (dear maid) been doomed like me to woes, forsure hadst
     felt * The lowe of love and Laza-hell which paring doth
Yet soon shalt suffer torments such as those from thee I bear *
     And storm of palpitation-pangs in vitals thine shall brew:
Yea, thou shalt taste the bitter smack of charges false and foul,
     * And public make the privacy best hid from meddling crew;
And he thou lovest shall approve him hard of heart and soul * And
     heedless of the shifts of Time thy very life undo.
Then hear the fond Salam I send and wish thee every day * While
     swayeth spray and sparkleth star all good thy life ensue!

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the scroll
and gave it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to Mariyah.
When she came into the Princess's presence, she saluted her; but
Mariyah returned not her salutation and she said, "O my lady, how
hard is thy heart that thou grudgest to return the salam! Accept
this letter, because 'tis the last that shall come to thee from
him." Quoth Mariyah, "Take my warning and never again enter my
palace, or 'twill be the cause of thy destruction; for I am
certified that thou purposest my disgrace. So get thee gone from
me." And she bade beat the nurse who went forth fleeing from her
presence, changed of colour and 'wildered of wits, and gave not
over going till she came to the house of Al-Abbas. When the
Prince saw her in this plight, he became like a sleeper awakened
and cried to her, "What hath befallen thee? Acquaint me with thy
case." She replied, "Allah upon thee, nevermore send me to
Mariyah, and do thou protect me, so the Lord protect thee from
the fires of Gehenna!" Then she related to him that which had
betided her with Mariyah which when Al-Abbas heard, there took
him the pride and high spirit of the generous and this was
grievous to him. The love of Mariyah fled forth of his heart and
he said to the nurse, "How much hadst thou of Mariyah every
month?" Quoth she, "Ten dinars" and quoth he, "Be not concerned."
Then he put hand to pouch and bringing out two hundred ducats,
gave them to her and said,"Take this wage for a whole year and
turn not again to serve anyone of the folk. When the twelvemonth
shall have passed away, I will give thee a two years' wage, for
that thou hast wearied thyself with us and on account of the
cutting off the tie which bound thee to Mariyah." Also he gifted
her with a complete suit of clothes and raising his head to her,
said, "When thou toldest me that which Mariyah had done with
thee, Allah uprooted the love of her from out my heart, and never
again will she occur to my thought; so extolled be He who turneth
hearts and eyes! 'Twas she who was the cause of my coming out
from Al-Yaman, and now the time is past for which I engaged with
my folk and I fear lest my father levy his forces and ride forth
in quest of me, for that he hath no child other than myself nor
can he brook to be parted from me; and in like way 'tis with my
mother." When the nurse heard his words, she asked him, "O my
lord, and which of the kings is thy sire?" He answered, saying,
"My father is Al-Aziz, lord of Al-Yaman, and Nubia and the
Islands[FN#392] of the Banu Kahtán, and the Two
Sanctuaries[FN#393] (Allah of All-might have them in His
keeping!), and whenever he taketh horse, there ride with him an
hundred and twenty and four thousand horsemen, each and every
smiters with the sword, besides attendants and servants and
followers, all of whom give ear to my word and obey my bidding."
Asked the nurse, "Why, then, O my lord, didst thou conceal the
secret of thy rank and lineage and passedst thyself off for a
foreigner and a wayfarer? Alas for our disgrace before thee by
reason of our shortcoming in rendering thee thy due! What shall
be our excuse with thee, and thou of the sons of the kings?" But
he rejoined, "By Allah, thou hast not fallen short! Indeed, 'tis
incumbent on me to requite thee, what while I live, though from
thee I be far distant." Then he called his man Amir and said to
him, "Saddle the steeds." When the nurse heard his words and
indeed she saw that Amir brought him the horses and they were
resolved upon departure, the tears ran down upon her cheeks and
she said to him, "By Allah, thy separation is saddening to me, O
coolth of the eye!" Then quoth she, "Where is the goal of thine
intent, so we may know thy news and solace ourselves with thy
report?" Quoth he, "I go hence to visit 'Akíl, the son of my
paternal uncle, for that he hath his sojourn in the camp of
Kundah bin Hishám, and these twenty years have I not seen him nor
hath he seen me; so I purpose to repair to him and discover his
news and return. Then will I go hence to Al-Yaman, Inshallah!" So
saying, he took leave of the nurse and her husband and set out,
intending for 'Akil, the son of his father's brother. Now there
was between Baghdad and 'Akíl's abiding-place forty days'
journey; so Al-Abbas settled himself on the back of his steed and
his servant Amir mounted also and they fared forth on their way.
Presently, Al-Abbas turned right and left and recited these

"I'm the singular knight and my peers I slay! * I lay low the foe
     and his whole array:
I fare me to visit my friend Al-Akíl, * And in safety and
     Allah-lauds,[FN#394] shorten the way;
And roll up the width of the wold while still * Hears 'Amir my
     word or in earnest or play.[FN#395]
I spring with the spring of a lynx or a pard * Upon whoso dareth
     our course to stay;
O'erthrow him in ruin and abject shame, * Make him drain the
     death-cup in fatal fray.
My lance is long with its steely blade; * A brand keen-grided,
     thin-edged I sway:
With a stroke an it fell on a towering hill * Of the hardest
     stone, this would cleave in tway:
I lead no troops, nor seek aid save God's, * The creating Lord
     (to whom laud alwày!)
On Whom I rely in adventures all * And Who pardoneth lâches of
     freeman and thrall."

Then they fell a-faring night and day, and as they went, behold,
they sighted a camp of the camps of the Arabs. So Al-Abbas
enquired thereof and was told that it was the camp of the Banu
Zohrah. Now there were around them herds and flocks, such as
filled the earth, and they were enemies to Al-Akil, the cousin of
Al-Abbas, upon whom they made daily raids and took his cattle,
wherefore he used to pay them tribute every year because he
lacked power to cope wth them. When Al-Abbas came to the skirts
of the camp, he dismounted from his destrier and his servant Amir
also dismounted; and they set down the provaunt and ate their
sufficiency and rested an hour of the day. Then said the Prince
to his page, "Fetch water from the well and give the horses to
drink and draw up a supply for us in thy bag,[FN#396] by way of
provision for the road." So Amir took the water-skin and made for
the well; but, when he came there, behold, two young men slaves
were leading gazelles, and when they saw him, they said to him,
"Whither wendest thou, O youth, and of which of the Arabs art
thou?" Quoth he, "Harkye, lads, fill me my water-skin, for that I
am a stranger astray and a farer of the way, and I have a comrade
who awaiteth me." Quoth the thralls, "Thou art no wayfarer, but a
spy from Al-Akíl's camp." Then they took him and carried him to
their king Zuhayr bin Shabib; and when he came before him, he
said to him, "Of which of the Arabs art thou?" Quoth Amir, "I am
a wayfarer." So Zuhayr said, "Whence comest thou and whither
wendest thou?" and Amir replied, "I am on my way to Al-Akíl."
When he named Al-Akíl, those who were present were excited; but
Zuhayr signed to them with his eyes and asked him, "What is thine
errand with Al-Akíl?" and he answered, "We would fain see him, my
friend and I." As soon as Zuhayr heard his words, he bade smite
his neck;' but his Wazir said to him, "Slay him not, till his
friend be present." So he commanded the two slaves to fetch his
friend; whereupon they repaired to Al-Abbas and called to him,
saying, "O youth, answer the summons of King Zuhayr." He
enquired, "What would the king with me?" and they replied, "We
know not." Quoth he, "Who gave the king news of me?" and quoth
they, "We went to draw water, and found a man by the well. So we
questioned him of his case, but he would not acquaint us
therewith, wherefore we carried him willy-nilly to King Zuhayr,
who asked him of his adventure and he told him that he was going
to Al-Akíl. Now Al-Akíl is the king's enemy and he intendeth to
betake himself to his camp and make prize of his offspring, and
cut off his traces." Said Al-Abbas, "And what hath Al-Akíl done
with King Zuhayr?" They replied. "He engaged for himself that he
would bring the King every year a thousand dinars and a thousand
she-camels, besides a thousand head of thoroughbred steeds and
two hundred black slaves and fifty hand-maids; but it hath
reached the king that Al-Akíl purposeth to give naught of this;
wherefore he is minded to go to him. So hasten thou with us, ere
the King be wroth with thee and with us." Then said Al-Abbas to
them, "O youths, sit by my weapons and my stallion till I
return." But they said, "By Allah, thou prolongest discourse with
that which beseemeth not of words! Make haste, or we will go with
thy head, for indeed the King purposeth to slay thee and to slay
thy comrade and take that which is with you." When the Prince
heard this, his skin bristled with rage and he cried out at them
with a cry which made them tremble. Then he sprang upon his horse
and settling himself in the saddle, galloped till he came to the
King's assembly, when he shouted at the top of his voice, saying,
"To horse, O horsemen!" and couched his spear at the pavilion
wherein was Zuhayr. Now there were about the King a thousand
smiters with the sword; but Al-Abbas charged home upon them and
dispersed them from around him; and there abode none in the tent
save Zuhayr and his Wazir. Then Al-Abbas came up to the door of
the tent wherein were four-and-twenty golden doves; so he took
them, after he had tumbled them down with the end of his lance.
Then he called out saying, "Ho, Zuhayr! Doth it not suffice thee
that thou hast abated Al-Akil's repute, but thou art minded to
abate that of those who sojourn round about him? Knowest thou not
that he is of the lieutenants of Kundah bin Hisham of the Banu
Shayban, a man renowned for prowess? Indeed, greed of his gain
hath entered into thee and envy of him hath gotten the mastery of
thee. Doth it not suffice thee that thou hast orphaned his
children[FN#397] and slain his men? By the virtue of Mustafa, the
Chosen Prophet, I will make thee drain the cup of death!" So
saying. he bared his brand and smiting Zuhayr on his
shoulder-blade caused the steel issue gleaming from his throat
tendons; then he smote the Wazir and clove his crown asunder. As
he was thus, behold, Amir called out to him and said, "O my lord,
come help me, or I be a dead man!" So Al-Abbas went up to him
guided by his voice, and found him cast down on his back and
chained with four chains to four pickets of iron.[FN#398] He
loosed his bonds and said to him, "Go in front of me, O Amir." So
he fared on before him a little, and presently they looked, and,
behold, horsemen were making to Zuhayr's succour, and they
numbered twelve thousand riders led by Sahl bin Ka'ab bestriding
a coal-black steed. He charged upon Amir, who fled from him, then
upon Al-Abbas, who said, "O Amir, hold fast to my horse and guard
my back." The page did as he bade him, whereupon Al-Abbas cried
out at the folk and falling upon them, overthrew their braves and
slew of them some two thousand riders, whilst not one of them
knew what was to do nor with whom he fought. Then said one of
them to other, "Verily, the King is slain; so with whom do we
wage war? Indeed ye flee from him; but 'twere better ye enter
under his banners, or not one of you will be saved." Thereupon
all dismounted and doffing that which was upon them of war-gear,
came before Al-Abbas and proffered him allegiance and sued for
his protection. So he withheld his brand from them and bade them
gather together the spoils. Then he took the riches and the
slaves and the camels, and they all became his lieges and his
retainers, to the number (according to that which is reported) of
fifty thousand horses. Furthermore, the folk heard of him and
flocked to him from all sides; whereupon he divided the loot
amongst them and gave largesse and dwelt thus three days, and
there came gifts to him. After this he bade march for Al-Akil's
abiding place; so they fared on six days and on the seventh they
sighted the camp. Al-Abbas bade his man Amir precede him and give
Al-Akil the good news of his cousin's coming; so he rode on to
the camp and, going in to Al-Akil, acquainted him with the glad
tidings of Zuhayr's slaughter and the conquest of his
clan.[FN#399] Al-Akil rejoiced in the coming of Al-Abbas and the
slaughter of his enemy and all in his camp rejoiced also and cast
robes of honour upon Amir; while Al-Akil bade go forth to meet
Al-Abbas, and commanded that none, great or small, freeman or
slave, should tarry behind. So they did his bidding and going
forth all, met Al-Abbas at three parasangs[FN#400] distance from
the camp; and when they met him, they dismounted from their
horses and Al-Akil and he embraced and clapped palm to
palm.[FN#401] Then rejoicing in the coming of Al-Abbas and the
killing of their foeman, they returned to the camp, where tents
were pitched for the new-comers and skin-rugs spread and game
slain and beasts slaughtered and royal guest-meals spread; and
after this fashion they abode twenty days in the enjoyment of all
delight of life. On this wise fared it with Al-Abbas and his
cousin Al-Akil; but as regards King Al-Aziz, when his son left
him, he was desolated for him with exceeding desolation, both he
and his mother; and when tidings of him tarried long and the
tryst-time passed without his returning, the king caused public
proclamation to be made, commanding all his troops to get ready
to mount and ride forth in quest of his son Al-Abbas, at the end
of three days, after which no cause of hindrance or excuse would
be admitted to any. So on the fourth day, the king bade muster
the troops who numbered four-and-twenty thousand horse, besides
servants and followers. Accordingly, they reared the standards
and the kettle-drums beat the general and the king set out with
his power intending for Baghdad; nor did he cease to press
forward with all diligence, till he came within half a day's
journey of the city, when he bade his army encamp on the Green
Meadow. There they pitched the tents, till the lowland was
straitened with them, and set up for the king a pavilion of green
brocade, purfled with pearls and precious stones. When Al-Aziz
had sat awhile, he summoned the Mamelukes of his son Al-Abbas,
and they were five-and-twenty in number besides ten slave-girls,
as they were moons, five of whom the king had brought with him
and other five he had left with the prince's mother. When the
Mamelukes came before him, he cast over each and every of them a
mantle of green brocade and bade them mount similar horses of one
and the same fashion and enter Baghdad and ask after their lord
Al-Abbas. So they rode into the city and passed through the
market-streets and there remained in Baghdad nor old man nor boy
but came forth to gaze on them and divert himself with the sight
of their beauty and loveliness and the seemliness of their
semblance and the goodliness of their garments and horses, for
all were even as moons. They gave not over going till they came
to the palace,[FN#402] where they halted, and the king looked at
them and seeing their beauty and the brilliancy of their apparel
and the brightness of their faces, said, "Would Heaven I knew of
which of the tribes these are!" And he bade the Eunuch bring him
news of them. The castrato went out to them and questioned them
of their case, whereto they replied, "Return to thy lord and
enquire of him concerning Prince Al-Abbas, an he have come unto
him, for that he left his sire King Al-Aziz a full-told year ago,
and indeed longing for him troubleth the King and he hath levied
a division of his army and his guards and is come forth in quest
of his son, so haply he may light upon tidings of him." Quoth the
Eunuch, "Is there amongst you a brother of his or a son?" and
quoth they, "Nay, by Allah, but we are all his Mamelukes and the
purchased of his money, and his sire Al-Aziz hath sent us to make
enquiry of him. Do thou go to thy lord and question him of the
Prince and return to us with that which he shall answer thee."
Asked the Eunuch, "And where is King Al-Aziz?" and they answered,
"He is encamped in the Green Meadow."[FN#403] The Eunuch returned
and told the king, who said, "Indeed we have been unduly
negligent with regard to Al-Abbas. What shall be our excuse with
the King? By Allah, my soul suggested to me that the youth was of
the sons of the kings!" His wife, the Lady Afifah, saw him
lamenting for his neglect of Al-Abbas, and said to him, "O King,
what is it thou regrettest with this mighty regret?" Quoth he,
"Thou knowest the stranger youth, who gifted us with the rubies?"
Quoth she, "Assuredly;" and he, "Yonder youths, who have halted
in the palace court, are his Mamelukes, and his father, King
Al-Aziz, lord of Al-Yaman, hath pitched his camp on the Green
Meadow; for he is come with his army to seek him, and the number
of his troops is four-and-twenty thousand horsemen." Then he went
out from her, and when she heard his words, she wept sore for him
and had compassion on his case and sent after him, counselling
him to summon the Mamelukes and lodge them in the palace and
entertain them. The king hearkened to her rede and despatching
the Eunuch for the Mamelukes, assigned unto them a lodging and
said to them, "Have patience, till the King give you tidings of
your lord Al-Abbas." When they heard his words, their eyes ran
over with a rush of tears, of their mighty longing for the sight
of their lord. Then the King bade the Oueen enter the private
chamber opening upon the throne-room and let down the curtain
before the door, so she might see and not be seen. She did this
and he summoned them to his presence; and, when they stood before
him, they kissed ground to do him honour, and showed forth their
courtly breeding and magnified his dignity. He ordered them to
sit, but they refused, till he conjured them by their lord
Al-Abbas: accordingly they sat down and he bade set before them
food of various kinds and fruits and sweetmeats. Now within the
Lady Afifah's palace was a souterrain communicating with the
pavilion of the Princess Mariyah: so the Queen sent after her and
she came to her, whereupon she made her stand behind the curtain
and gave her to know that Al-Abbas was son to the King of
Al-Yaman and that these were his Mamelukes: she also told her
that the Prince's father had levied his troops and was come with
his army in quest of him and that he had pitched his camp on the
Green Meadow and had despatched these Mamelukes to make enquiry
of their lord. Then Mariyah abode looking upon them and upon
their beauty and loveliness and the goodliness of their raiment,
till they had eaten their fill of food and the tables were
removed; whereupon the King recounted to them the story of
Al-Abbas and they took leave of him and went their ways. So
fortuned it with the Mamelukes; but as for the Princess Mariyah,
when she returned to her palace, she bethought herself concerning
the affair of Al-Abbas repenting her of what she had done; and
the love of him took root in her heart. And, when the night
darkened upon her, she dismissed all her women and bringing out
the letters, to wit, those which Al-Abbas had written her, fell
to reading them and weeping. She left not weeping her night long,
and when she arose in the morning. she called a damsel of her
slave-girls, Shafíkah by name, and said to her, "O damsel, I
purpose to discover to thee mine affair and I charge thee keep my
secret, which is that thou betake thyself to the house of the
nurse, who used to serve me, and fetch her to me, for that I have
grave need of her." Accordingly, Shafikah went out and repairing
to the nurse's house, entered and found her clad in clothing
other and richer than what she had whilome been wont to wear. So
she saluted her and asked her, "Whence hadst thou this dress,
than which there is no goodlier?" Answered the nurse, "O
Shafikah, thou deemest that I have seen no good save of thy
mistress; but, by Allah, had I endeavoured for her destruction, I
had acted righteously, seeing that she did with me what she did
and bade the Eunuch beat me, without offence by me offered: so
tell her that he, on whose behalf I bestirred myself with her,
hath made me independent of her and her humours, for he hath
habited me in this habit and given me two hundred and fifty
dinars and promised me the like every year and charged me to
serve none of the folk." Quoth Shafikah, "My mistress hath a need
for thee; so come thou with me and I will engage to restore thee
to thy dwelling in safety and satisfaction." But quoth the nurse,
"Indeed her palace is become unlawful and forbidden to me[FN#404]
and never again will I enter therein, for that Allah (extolled
and exalted be He!) of His favour and bounty hath rendered me
independent of her." Presently Shafikah returned to her mistress
and acquainted her with the nurse's words and that wherein she
was of prosperity; whereupon Mariyah confessed her unmannerly
dealing with her and repented when repentance profited her not;
and she abode in that her case days and nights, whilst the fire
of longing flamed in her heart. On this wise happened it to her;
but as regards Al-Abbas, he tarried with his cousin Al-Akil
twenty days, after which he made ready for the journey to Baghdad
and bidding bring the booty he had taken from King Zuhayr,
divided it between himself and his cousin. Then he sent out
a-marching Baghdad-wards and when he came within two days'
journey of the city, he summoned his servant Amir and said to
him, "Mount thy charger and forego me with the caravan and the
cattle." So Amir took horse and fared on till he came to Baghdad,
and the season of his entering was the first of the day; nor was
there in the city little child or old greybeard but came forth to
divert himself with gazing on those flocks and herds and upon the
beauty of those slave-girls; and their wits were wildered at what
they saw. Soon afterwards the news reached the king that the
young man Al-Abbas, who had gone forth from him, was come back
with booty and rarities and black slaves and a conquering host
and had taken up his sojourn without the city, whilst his servant
Amir was presently come to Baghdad, so he might get ready for his
lord dwelling-places wherein he should take up his abode. When
the King heard these tidings of Amir, he sent for him and caused
bring him before him; and when he entered his presence, he kissed
the ground and saluted with the salam and showed his fine
breeding and greeted him with the goodliest of greetings. The
King bade him raise his head and, this done, questioned him of
his lord Al-Abbas; whereupon he acquainted him with his
adventures and told him that which had betided him with King
Zuhayr and of the army that was become at his command and of the
spoil he had secured. He also gave him to know that Al-Abbas was
to arrive on the morrow, and with him more than fifty thousand
cavatiers, obedient to his orders. When the king heard his words,
he bade decorate Baghdad and commanded the citizens to equip
themselves with the richest of their apparel, in honour of the
coming of Al-Abbas. Furthermore, he sent to give King Al-Aziz the
glad tidings of his son's return and informed him of all which he
had heard from the Prince's servant. When the news reached King
Al-Aziz, he joyed with exceeding joy in the approach of his son
and straightway took horse, he and all his host, while the
trumpets blared and the musicians played, so that the earth
quaked and Baghdad also trembled, and it was a notable day. When
Mariyah beheld all this, she repented in all possible penitence
of that which she had done against Al-Abbas and the fires of
desire raged in her vitals. Meanwhile, the troops[FN#405] sallied
forth of Baghdad and went out to meet those of Al-Abbas, who had
halted in a garth called the Green Island. When he espied the
approaching host, he strained his sight and, seeing horsemen
coming and troops and footmen he knew not, said to those about
him, "Among yonder troops are flags and banners of various kinds;
but, as for the great green standard that ye see, 'tis the
standard of my sire, the which is reserved to him and never
displayed save over his head, and thus I know that he himself is
come out in quest of me." And he was certified of this, he and
his troops. So he fared on towards them and when he drew near
them, he knew them and they knew him; whereupon they lighted down
from their horses and saluting him, gave him joy of his safety
and the folk flocked to him. When he came to his father, they
embraced and each greeted other a long time, whilst neither of
them could utter a word, for the greatness of that which betided
them of joy in reunion. Then Al-Abbas bade the folk take horse;
so they mounted and his Mamelukes surrounded him and they entered
Baghdad on the most splendid wise and in the highest honour and
glory. Now the wife of the shopkeeper, that is, the nurse, came
out, with the rest of those who flocked forth, to divert herself
with gazing upon the show, and when she saw Al-Abbas and beheld
his beauty and the beauty of his host and that which he had
brought back with him of herds and slave-girls, Mamelukes and
negroes, she improvised and recited these couplets,

"Al-Abbás from the side of Akíl is come; * Caravans and steeds he
     hath plunderèd:
Yea; horses he brought of pure blood, whose necks * Ring with
     collars like anklets wher'er they are led.
With domèd hoofs they pour torrent-like, * As they prance through
     dust on the level stead:
And bestriding their saddles come men of war, * Whose fingers
     play on the kettle drum's head:
And couched are their lances that bear the points * Keen grided,
     which fill every soul with dread:
Who wi' them would fence draweth down his death * For one deadly
     lunge soon shall do him dead:
Charge, comrades, charge ye and give me joy, * Saying, 'Welcome
     to thee, O our dear comràde!'
And who joys at his meeting shall 'joy delight * Of large gifts
     when he from his steed shall 'light."

When the troops entered Baghdad, each of them alighted in his
tent, whilst Al-Abbas encamped apart on a place near the Tigris
and issued orders to slaughter for the soldiers, each day, that
which should suffice them of oxen and sheep and to bake them
bread and spread the tables: so the folk ceased not to come to
him and eat of his banquet. Furthermore, all the country-people
flocked to him with presents and rarities and he requited them
many times the like of their gifts, so that the lands were filled
with his renown and the fame of him was bruited abroad among the
habitants of wold and town. Then, as soon as he rode to the house
he had bought, the shopkeeper and his wife came to him and gave
him joy of his safety; whereupon he ordered them three head of
swift steeds and thoroughbred and ten dromedaries and an hundred
head of sheep and clad them both in costly robes of honour.
Presently he chose out ten slave-girls and ten negro slaves and
fifty mares and the like number of she-camels and three hundred
of sheep, together with twenty ounces of musk and as many of
camphor, and sent all this to the King of Baghdad. When the
present came to Ins bin Kays, his wit fled for joy and he was
perplexed wherewith to requite him. Al-Abbas also gave gifts and
largesse and bestowed robes of honour upon noble and simple, each
after the measure of his degree, save only Mariyah; for to her
indeed he sent nothing. This was grievous to the Princess and it
irked her sore that he should not remember her; so she called her
slave-girl Shafikah and said to her, "Hie thee to Al-Abbas and
salute him and say to him, 'What hindereth thee from sending my
lady Mariyah her part of thy booty?'" So Shafikah betook herself
to him and when she came to his door, the chamberlains refused
her admission, until they should have got for her leave and
permission. When she entered, Al-Abbas knew her and knew that she
had somewhat of speech with him; so he dismissed his Mamelukes
and asked her, "What is thine errand, O hand-maid of good?"
Answered she, "O my lord, I am a slave-girl of the Princess
Mariyah, who kisseth thy hands and offereth her salutation to
thee. Indeed, she rejoiceth in thy safety and blameth thee for
that thou breakest her heart, alone of all the folk, because thy
largesse embraceth great and small, yet hast thou not remembered
her with anything of thy plunder, as if thou hadst hardened thy
heart against her." Quoth he, "Extolled be He who turneth hearts!
By Allah, my vitals were consumed with the love of her; and, of
my longing after her I came forth to her from my mother-land and
left my people and my home and my wealth, and it was with her
that began the hard-heartedness and the cruelty. Natheless, for
all this, I bear her no malice and there is no help but that I
send her somewhat whereby she may remember me; for that I sojourn
in her country but a few days, after which I set out for the land
of Al-Yaman." Then he called for a chest and thence bringing out
a necklace of Greek workmanship, worth a thousand dinars, wrapped
it in a mantle of Greek silk, set with pearls and gems and
purfled with red gold, and joined thereto a couple of caskets
containing musk and amber-gris. He also put off upon the girl a
mantle of Greek silk, striped with gold, wherein were divers
figures and portraitures depictured, never saw eyes its like.
Therewithal the girl's wit fled for joy and she went forth from
his presence and returned to her mistress. When she came in to
her, she acquainted her with that which she had seen of Al-Abbas
and that which was with him of servants and attendants and set
out to her the loftiness of his station and gave her that which
was with her. Mariyah opened the mantle, and when she saw that
necklace (and indeed the place was illumined with the lustre
thereof), she looked at her slave-girl and said to her, "By
Allah, O Shafikah, one look at him were dearer to me than all
that my hand possesseth! Oh, would Heaven I knew what I shall do,
when Baghdad is empty of him and I hear of him no news!" Then she
wept and calling for ink-case and paper and pen of brass, wrote
these couplets:

Longsome my sorrows are; my liver's fired with ecstasy; * And
     severance-shaft hath shot me through whence sorest pangs I
And howso could my soul forget the love I bear to you? *
     You-wards my will perforce returns nor passion sets me free:
I 'prison all desires I feel for fear of spies thereon * Yet
     tears that streak my cheek betray for every eye to see.
No place of rest or joy I find to bring me life-delight; * No
     wine tastes well, nor viands please however savoury:
Ah me! to whom shall I complain of case and seek its cure * Save
     unto thee whose Phantom deigns to show me sight of thee?
Then name me not or chide for aught I did in passion-stress, *
     With vitals gone and frame consumed by yearning-malady!
Secret I keep the fire of love which aye for severance burns; *
     Sworn slave[FN#406] to Love who robs my rest and wakes me
And ceaseth not my thought to gaze upon your ghost by night, *
     Which falsing comes and he I love still, still unloveth me.
Would Heaven ye wist the blight that I for you are doomed to bear
     * For love of you, which tortures me with parting agony!
Then read between the lines I wrote, and mark and learn their
     sense * For such my tale, and Destiny made me an outcast be:
Learn eke the circumstance of Love and lover's woe nor deign *
     Divulge its mysteries to men nor grudge its secrecy.

Then she folded the scroll and givng it to her slave-girl, bade
her bear it to Al-Abbas and bring back his reply. So Shafikah
took the letter and carried it to the Prince, after the
doorkeeper had sought leave of him to admit her. When she came in
to him, she found with him five damsels, as they were moons, clad
in rich raiment and ornaments; and when he saw her, he said to
her, "What is thy need, O hand-maid of good?" Presently she put
out her hand to him with the writ, after she had kissed it, and
he bade one of his slave-girls receive it from her.[FN#407] Then
he took it from the girl and breaking the seal, read it and
comprehended its contents; whereupon he cried, "Verily, we be
Allah's and unto Him we shall return!" and calling for ink-case
and paper, wrote these improvised couplets:--

I wonder seeing how thy love to me * Inclined, while I in heart
     from love declined:
Eke wast thou wont to say in verseful writ, * "Son of the
     Road[FN#408] no road to me shall find!
How oft kings flocked to me with mighty men * And bales on back
     of Bukhti[FN#409] beast they bind:
And noble steeds of purest blood and all * They bore of choicest
     boons to me consigned;
Yet won no favour!" Then came I to woo * And the long tale o'
     love I had designed,
I fain set forth in writ of mine, with words * Like strings of
     pearls in goodly line aligned:--
Set forth my sev'rance, griefs, tyrannic wrongs, * And ill device
     ill-suiting lover-kind.
How oft love-claimant, craving secrecy, * How oft have lovers
     'plained as sore they pined,
How many a brimming bitter cup I've quaffed, * And wept my woes
     when speech was vain as wind!
And thou:--"Be patient, 'tis thy bestest course * And choicest
     medicine for mortal mind!"
Then unto patience worthy praise cleave thou; * Easy of issue and
     be lief resigned:
Nor hope thou aught of me lest ill alloy * Or aught of dross
     affect my blood refined:
Such is my speech. Read, mark, and learn my say! * To what thou
     deemest ne'er I'll tread the way.

Then he folded the scroll and sealing it, entrusted it to the
damsel, who took it and bore it to her mistress. When the
Princess read the letter and mastered its meaning, she said,
"Meseemeth he recalleth bygones to me." Then she called for pens,
ink, and paper, and wrote these couplets:

Love thou didst show me till I learnt its woe * Then to the
     growth of grief didst severance show:
I banisht joys of slumber after you * And e'en my pillow garred
     my wake to grow.
How long in parting shall I pine with pain * While
     severance-spies[FN#410] through night watch every throe?
I've left my kingly couch and self withdrew * Therefrom, and
     taught mine eyelids sleep t'unknow:
'Twas thou didst teach me what I ne'er can bear: * Then didst
     thou waste my frame with parting-blow.
By oath I swear thee, blame and chide me not: * Be kind to
     mourner Love hath stricken low!
For parting-rigours drive him nearer still * To narrow home, ere
     clad in shroud for clo':
Have ruth on me, since Love laid waste my frame, * 'Mid thralls
     enrolled me and lit fires that flame.

Mariyah rolled up the letter and gave it to Shafikah, bidding her
bear it to Al-Abbas. Accordingly she took it and going with it to
his door, proceeded to enter; but the chamberlains and
serving-men forbade her, till they had obtained her leave from
the Prince. When she went into him, she found him sitting in the
midst of the five damsels before mentioned, whom his father had
brought for him; so she gave him the letter and he tare it open
and read it. Then he bade one of the damsels, whose name was
Khafifah and who came from the land of China, tune her lute and
sing anent separation. Thereupon she came forward and tuning her
lute, played thereon in four-and-twenty modes: after which she
returned to the first and sang these couplets,

"Our friends, when leaving us on parting-day, * Drave us in wolds
     of severance-grief to stray:
When bound the camels' litters bearing them, * And cries of
     drivers urged them on the way,
Outrusht my tears, despair gat hold of me * And sleep betrayed
     mine eyes to wake a prey.
The day they went I wept, but showed no ruth * The severance-spy
     and flared the flames alwày:
Alas for lowe o' Love that fires me still! * Alack for pine that
     melts my heart away!
To whom shall I complain of care, when thou * Art gone, nor fain
     a-pillow head I lay?
And day by day Love's ardours grow on me, * And far's the tent
     that holds my fondest may:
O Breeze o' Heaven, bear for me a charge * (Nor traitor-like my
     troth in love betray!),
Whene'er thou breathest o'er the loved one's land * Greet him
     with choice salam fro' me, I pray:
Dust him with musk and powdered ambergris * While time endures!
     Such is my wish for aye."

When the damsel had made an end of her song, Al-Abbas swooned
away and they sprinkled on him musked rose-water, till he
recovered from his fainting-fit, when he called another damsel
(now there was on her of linen and raiment and ornaments that
which undoeth description, and she was a model of beauty and
brightness and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, such as
shamed the crescent moon, and she was a Turkish girl from the
land of the Roum and her name was Háfizah) and said to her, "O
Hafizah, close thine eyes and tune thy lute and sing to us upon
the days of severance." She answered him, "To hear is to obey"
and taking the lute, tightened its strings and cried out from her
head,[FN#411] in a plaintive voice, and sang these couplets,

"My friends! tears flow in painful mockery, * And sick my heart
     from parting agony:
My frame is wasted and my vitals wrung * And love-fires grow and
     eyes set tear-floods free:
And when the fire burns high beneath my ribs * With tears I
     quench it as sad day I see.
Love left me wasted, baffled, pain-begone, * Sore frighted, butt
     to spying enemy:
When I recal sweet union wi' their loves * I chase dear sleep
     from the sick frame o' me.
Long as our parting lasts the rival joys * And spies with fearful
     prudence gain their gree.
I fear me for my sickly, langourous frame * Lest dread of parting
     slay me incontinently."

When Hafizah had ended her song, Al-Abbas cried to her, "Brava!
Verily, thou quickenest hearts from griefs." Then he called
another maiden of the daughters of Daylam by name Marjánah, and
said to her, "O Marjanah, sing to me upon the days of parting."
She said, "Hearing and obeying," and recited these couplets,

"'Cleave to fair Patience! Patience 'gendereth weal': * Such is
     the rede to us all sages deal:
How oft I plained the lowe of grief and love * Mid passions cast
     my soul in sore unheal.
How oft I waked and drained the bitter cup * And watched the
     stars, nor sleep mine eyes would seal!
Enough it were an deal you grace to me * In writ a-morn and
     garred no hope to feel.
But Thoughts which probed its depths would sear my heart * And
     start from eye-brows streams that ever steal:
Nor cease I suffering baleful doom and nights * Wakeful, and
     heart by sorrows rent piece-meal:
But Allah purged my soul from love of you * When all knew secrets
     cared I not reveal.
I march to-morrow from your country and * Haply you'll speed me
     nor fear aught unweal;
And, when in person you be far from us, * Would heaven we knew
     who shall your news reveal.
Who kens if home will e'er us two contain * In dearest life with
     union naught can stain!"

When Marjanah had made an end of her song, the Prince said to
her, "Brava, O damsel! Indeed, thou sayest a thing which had
occurred to my mind and my tongue was near to speaking it." Then
he signed to the fourth damsel, who was a Cairene, by name Sitt
al-Husn, and bade her tune her lute and sing to him upon the same
theme. So the Lady of Beauty tuned her lute and sang these

"Patience is blest for weal comes after woe * And all things
     stated time and ordinance show;
Haps the Sultan, hight Fortune, prove unjust * Shifting the
     times, and man excuse shall know:
Bitter ensueth sweet in law of change * And after crookedness
     things straightest grow.
Then guard thine honour, nor to any save * The noble knowledge of
     the hid bestow:
These be vicissitudes the Lord commands * Poor men endure, the
     sinner and the low."

When Al-Abbas heard her make an end of her verses, they pleased
him and he said to her, "Brava, O Sitt al-Husn! Indeed, thou hast
done away with anxiety from my heart and hast banished the things
which had occurred to my thought." Then he sighed and signing to
the fifth damsel, who was from the land of the Persians and whose
name was Marzíyah (now she was the fairest of them all and the
sweetest of speech and she was like unto a lustrous star, a model
of beauty and loveliness and perfection and brightness and
justness of shape and symmetric grace and had a face like the new
moon and eyes as they were gazelle's eyes) and said to her, "O
Marziyah, come forward and tune thy lute and sing to us on the
same theme, for indeed we are resolved upon faring to the land of
Al-Yaman." Now this maiden had met many of the monarchs and had
foregathered with the great; so she tuned her lute and sang these

"Friend of my heart why leave thou lone and desolate these eyne?
     * Fair union of our lots ne'er failed this sitting-stead of
And ah! who dwellest singly in the heart and sprite of me, * (Be
     I thy ransom!) desolate for loss of friend I pine!
By Allah! O thou richest form in charms and loveliness, * Give
     alms to lover who can show of patience ne'er a sign!
Alms of what past between us tway (which ne'er will I divulge) *
     Of privacy between us tway that man shall ne'er divine:
Grant me approval of my lord whereby t' o'erwhelm the foe * And
     let my straitness pass away and doubtful thoughts malign:
Approof of thee (an gained the meed) for me high rank shall gain
     * And show me robed in richest weed to eyes of envy fain."

When she had ended her song, all who were in the assembly wept
for the daintiness of her delivery and the sweetness of her
speech and Al-Abbas said to her, "Brava, O Marzíyah! Indeed, thou
bewilderest the wits with the beauty of thy verse and the polish
of thy speech."[FN#412] All this while Shafikah abode gazing
about her, and when she beheld the slave-girls of Al-Abbas and
considered the charms of their clothing and the subtlety of their
senses and the delicacy of their delivery her reason flew from
her head. Then she sought leave of Al-Abbas and returning to her
mistress Mariyah, sans letter or reply, acquainted her with what
she had espied of the damsels and described to her the condition
wherein he was of honour and delight, majesty, venerance and
loftiness of rank. Lastly, she enlarged upon what she had seen of
the slave-girls and their case and that which they had said and
how they had incited Al-Abbas anent returning to his own country
by the recitation of songs to the sound of the strings. When the
Princess heard this her slave-girl's report, she wept and wailed
and was like to leave the world. Then she took to her pillow and
said, "O Shafikah, I will inform thee of a something which is not
hidden from Allah the Most High, and 'tis that thou watch over me
till the Almighty decree the accomplishment of His destiny, and
when my days are ended, take thou the necklace and the mantle
with which Al-Abbas gifted me and return them to him. I deem not
he will survive me, and if the Lord of All-might determine
against him and his days come to an end, do thou give one charge
to shroud us and entomb us both in one tomb." Then her case
changed and her colour waxed wan; and when Shafikah saw her
mistress in this plight, she repaired to her mother and told her
that the lady Mariyah refused meat and drink. Asked the Queen,
"Since when hath this befallen her?" and Shafikah answered,
"Since yesterday's date;" whereat the mother was confounded and
betaking herself to her daughter, that she might inquire into her
case, lo and behold! found her as one dying. So she sat down at
her head and Mariyah opened her eyes and seeing her mother
sitting by her, sat up for shame before her. The Queen questioned
her of her case and she said, "I entered the Hammam and it
stupefied me and prostrated me and left in my head an exceeding
pain; but I trust in Allah Al-mighty that it will cease." When
her mother went out from her, Mariyah took to chiding the damsel
for that which she had done and said to her, "Verily, death were
dearer to me than this; so discover thou not my affair to any and
I charge thee return not to the like of this fashion." Then she
fainted and lay swooning for a whole hour, and when she came to
herself, she saw Shafikah weeping over her; whereupon she pluckt
the necklace from her neck and the mantle from her body and said
to the damsel, "Lay them in a damask napkin and bear them to
Al-Abbas and acquaint him with that wherein I am for the stress
of severance and the strain of forbiddance." So Shafikah took
them and carried them to Al-Abbas, whom she found in readiness to
depart, being about to take horse for Al-Yaman. She went in to
him and gave him the napkin and that which was therein, and when
he opened it and saw what it contained, namely, the mantle and
the necklace, his chagrin was excessive and his eyes turned in
his head[FN#413] and his rage shot out of them. When Shafikah saw
that which betided him, she came forward and said to him, "O
bountiful lord, verily my mistress returneth not the mantle and
the necklace for despite; but she is about to quit the world and
thou hast the best right to them." Asked he, "And what is the
cause of this?" and Shafikah answered, "Thou knowest. By Allah,
never among the Arabs nor the Ajams nor among the sons of the
kings saw I a harder of heart than thou! Can it be a slight
matter to thee that thou troublest Mariyah's life and causest her
to mourn for herself and quit the world for the sake of thy
youth?[FN#414] Thou wast the cause of her acquaintance with thee
and now she departeth this life on thine account, she whose like
Allah Almighty hath not created among the daughters of the
kings." When Al-Abbas heard from the damsel these words, his
heart burned for Mariyah and her case was not light to him, so he
said to Shafikah, "Canst thou bring me in company with her; so
haply I may discover her concern and allay whatso aileth her?"
Said she, "Yes, I can do that, and thine will be the bounty and
the favour." So he arose and followed her, and she preceded him,
till they came to the palace. Then she opened and locked behind
them four-and-twenty doors and made them fast with padlocks; and
when he came to Mariyah, he found her as she were the downing
sun, strown upon a Táif rug of perfumed leather,[FN#415]
surrounded by cushions stuffed with ostrich down, and not a limb
of her quivered. When her maid saw her in this state, she offered
to cry out; but Al-Abbas said to her, "Do it not, but have
patience till we discover her affair; and if Allah (be He
extolled and exalted!) have decreed her death, wait till thou
have opened the doors to me and I have gone forth. Then do what
seemeth good to thee." So saying, he went up to the Princess and
laying his hand upon her bosom, found her heart fluttering like a
doveling and the life yet hanging to her breast.[FN#416] So he
placed his hand on her cheek, whereat she opened her eyes and
beckoning to her maid, said to her by signs, "Who is this that
treadeth my carpet and transgresseth against me?"[FN#417] "O my
lady," cried Shafikah, "this is Prince Al-Abbas, for whose sake
thou forsakest the world." When Mariyah heard speak of Al-Abbas,
she raised her hand from under the coverlet and laying it upon
his neck, inhaled awhile his scent. Then she sat up and her
complexion returned to her and they abode talking till a third
part of the night was past. Presently, the Princess turned to her
handmaid and bade her fetch them somewhat of food, sweetmeats,
and fruits, fresh and dry. So Shafikah brought what she desired
and they ate and drank and abode on this wise without lewdness,
till night went and light came. Then said Al-Abbas, "Indeed, the
morn breaketh. Shall I hie to my sire and bid him go to thy
father and seek thee of him in wedlock for me, in accordance with
the book of Allah Almighty and the practice of His Apostle (whom
may He save and assain!) so we may not enter into transgression?"
And Mariyah answered, saying, "By Allah, 'tis well counselled of
thee!" So he went away to his lodging and naught befel between
them; and when the day lightened, she recited these couplets,

"O friends, morn-breeze with Morn draws on amain: * A
     Voice[FN#418] bespeaks us, gladding us with 'plain.
Up to the convent where our friend we'll sight * And wine more
     subtile than the dust[FN#419] we'll drain;
Whereon our friend spent all the coin he owned * And made the
     nursling in his cloak contain;[FN#420]
And, when we oped the jar, light opalline * Struck down the
     singers in its search waylain.
From all sides flocking came the convent-monks * Crying at top o'
     voices, 'Welcome fain!'
And we carousing sat, and cups went round, * Till rose the
     Venus-star o'er Eastern plain.
No shame in drinking wine, which means good cheer * And love and
     promise of prophetic strain![FN#421]
Ho thou, the Morn, our union sundering, * These joyous hours to
     fine thou dost constrain.
Show grace to us until our pleasures end, * And latest drop of
     joy fro' friends we gain:
You have affection candid and sincere * And Love and joy are best
     of Faiths for men."

Such was the case with Mariyah; but as regards Al-Abbas, he
betook himself to his father's camp, which was pitched on the
Green Meadow, by the Tigris-side, and none might thread his way
between the tents, for the dense network of the tent ropes. When
the Prince reached the first of the pavilions, the guards and
servants came out to meet him from all sides and walked in his
service till he drew near the sitting-place of his sire, who knew
of his approach. So he issued forth his marquee and coming to
meet his son, kissed him and made much of him. Then they returned
together to the royal pavilion and when they had seated
themselves therein and the guards had taken up their station in
attendance on them, the King said to Al-Abbas, "O my son, get
ready thine affair, so we may go to our own land, for that the
lieges in our absence are become as they were sheep lacking
shepherd." Al-Abbas looked at his father and wept till he
fainted, and when he recovered from his fit, he improvised and
recited these couplets,

"I embraced him,[FN#422] and straight I waxt drunk wi' the smell
     * Of a fresh young branch wont in wealth to dwell.
Yea, drunken, but not by the wine; nay, 'twas * By draughts from
     his lips that like wine-cups well:
For Beauty wrote on his cheek's fair page * 'Oh, his charms! take
     refuge fro' danger fell!'[FN#423]
Mine eyes, be easy, since him ye saw; * Nor mote nor blearness
     with you shall mell:
In him Beauty showeth fro' first to fine * And bindeth on hearts
     bonds unfrangible:
An thou kohl thyself with his cheek of light * Thou'll find but
     jasper and or in stelle:[FN#424]
The chiders came to reproach me when * For him longing and pining
     my heart befel:
But I fear not, I end not, I turn me not * From his life, let
     tell-tale his tale e'en tell:
By Allah, forgetting ne'er crossed my thought * While by life-tie
     bound, or when ends my spell:
An I live I will live in his love, an I die * Of love and
     longing, I'll cry, ''Tis well!'"

Now when Al-Abbas had ended his verses, his father said to him,
"I seek refuge for thee with Allah, O my son! Hast thou any want
thou art powerless to win, so I may endeavour for thee therein
and lavish my treasures in its quest." Cried Al-Abbas, "O my
papa, I have, indeed, an urgent need, on whose account I came
forth of my motherland and left my people and my home and
affronted perils and horrors and became an exile, and I trust in
Allah that it may be accomplished by thy magnanimous endeavour."
Quoth the King, "And what is thy want?" and quoth Al-Abbas, "I
would have thee go and ask for me to wife Mariyah, daughter of
the King of Baghdad, for that my heart is distracted with love of
her." Then he recounted to his father his adventure from first to
last. When the King heard this from his son, he rose to his feet
and calling for his charger of parade, took horse with
four-and-twenty Emirs of the chief officers of his empire. Then
he betook himself to the palace of the King of Baghdad who, when
he saw him coming, bade his chamberlains open the doors to them
and going down himself to meet them, received him with all honour
and hospitality and carried him and his into the palace; then
causing make ready for them carpets and cushions, sat down upon
his golden throne and seated the guest by his side upon a chair
of gold, framed in juniper-wood set with pearls and jewels.
Presently he bade bring sweetmeats and confections and scents and
commanded to slaughter four and-twenty head of sheep and the like
of oxen and make ready geese and chickens and pigeons stuffed and
boiled, and spread the tables; nor was it long before the meats
were served up in vessels of gold and silver. So they ate their
sufficiency and when they had eaten their fill, the tables were
removed and the wine-service set on and the cups and flagons
ranged in ranks, whilst the Mamelukes and the fair slave-girls
sat down, with zones of gold about their waists, studded with all
manner pearls, diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other jewels.
Moreover, the king bade fetch the musicians; so there presented
themselves before him twenty damsels with lutes and
psalteries[FN#425] and viols, and smote upon instruments of music
playing and performing on such wise that they moved the assembly
to delight. Then said Al-Aziz to the King of Baghdad, "I would
fain speak a word to thee; but do thou not exclude from us those
who are present. An thou consent unto my wish thine is ours and
on thee shall be whatso is on us;[FN#426] and we will be to thee
a mighty forearm against all unfriends and foes." Quoth Ins bin
Kays, "Say what thou wilt, O King, for indeed thou excellest in
speech and in whatso thou sayest dost hit the mark." So Al-Aziz
said to him, "I desire that thou marry thy daughter Mariyah to my
son Al-Abbas, for thou knowest what he hath of beauty and
loveliness, brightness and perfect grace and his frequentation of
the valiant and his constancy in the stead of cut-and-thrust."
Said Ins bin Kays, "By Allah, O King, of my love for Mariyah, I
have appointed her mistress of her own hand; accordingly,
whomsoever she chooseth of the folk, to him will I wed her." Then
he arose to his feet and going in to his daughter, found her
mother with her; so he set out to them the case and Mariyah said,
"O my papa, my wish followeth thy word and my will ensueth thy
will; so whatsoever thou chooseth, I am obedient to thee and
under thy dominion." Therewith the King knew that Mariyah
inclined to Al-Abbas; he therefore returned forthright to King
Al-Aziz and said to him, "May Allah amend the King! Verily, the
wish is won and there is no opposition to that thou commandest."
Quoth Al-Aziz, "By Allah's leave are wishes won. How deemest
thou, O King, of fetching Al-Abbas and documenting the
marriage-contract between Mariyah and him?" and quoth Ins bin
Kays, "Thine be the rede." So Al-Aziz sent after his son and
acquainted him with that which had passed; whereupon Al-Abbas
called for four-and-twenty mules and ten horses and as many
camels and loaded the mules with fathom-long pieces of silk and
rugs of leather and boxes of camphor and musk and the camels and
horses with chests of gold and silver. Eke, he took the richest
of the stuffs and wrapping them in wrappers of gold, purfled
silk, laid them on the heads of porters,[FN#427] and they fared
on with the treasures till they reached the King of Baghdad's
palace, whereupon all who were present dismounted in honour of
Al-Abbas and escorting him in a body to the presence of Ins bin
Kays, displayed to the King all that they had with them of things
of price. The King bade carry all this into the store rooms of
the Harim and sent for the Kazis and the witnesses, who wrote out
the contract and married Mariyah to Al-Abbas, whereupon the
Prince commanded slaughter one thousand head of sheep and five
hundred buffaloes. So they spread the bride-feast and bade
thereto all the tribes of the Arabs, men of tents and men of
towns, and the banquet continued for the space of ten days. Then
Al-Abbas went into Mariyah in a commendable and auspicious hour
and lay with her and found her a pearl unthridden and a goodly
filly no rider had ridden;[FN#428] wherefore he rejoiced and was
glad and made merry, and care and sorrow ceased from him and his
life was pleasant and trouble departed and he ceased not abiding
with her in most joyful case and in the most easeful of life,
till seven days were past, when King Al-Aziz resolved to set out
and return to his realm and bade his son seek leave of his
father-in-law to depart with his wife to his own country. So
Al-Abbas spoke of this to King Ins, who granted him the
permission he sought; whereupon he chose out, a red
camel,[FN#429] taller and more valuable than the rest of the
camels, and loading it with apparel and ornaments, mounted
Mariyah in a litter thereon. Then they spread the ensigns and the
standards, whilst kettledrums beat and the trumpets blared, and
set out upon the homewards way. The King of Baghdad rode forth
with them and companied them three days' journey on their route,
after which he farewelled them and returned with his troops to
Baghdad. As for King Al-Aziz and his son, they fared on night and
day and gave not over going till there remained but three days'
journey between them and Al-Yaman, when they despatched three men
of the couriers to the Prince's mother to report that they were
bringing with them Mariyah, the King's daughter of Baghdad, and
returning safe and laden with spoil. When the Oueen-mother heard
this, her wit took wings for joy and she adorned the slave-girls
of Al-Abbas after the finest fashion. Now he had ten hand-maids,
as they were moons, whereof his father had carried five with him
to Baghdad, as hath erst been set forth, and the remaining five
abode with his mother. When the dromedary-posts[FN#430] came,
they were certified of the approach of Al-Abbas, and when the sun
easted and their flags were seen flaunting, the Prince's mother
came out to meet her son; nor on that day was there great or
small, boy or grey-beard, but went forth to greet the king. Then
the kettle-drums of glad tidings beat and they entered in the
utmost of pomp and the extreme of magnificence; so that the
tribes and the townspeople heard of them and brought them the
richest of gifts and the rarest of presents and the Prince's
mother rejoiced with joy exceeding. They butchered beasts and
spread mighty bride-feasts for the people and kindled
fires,[FN#431] that it might be visible afar to townsman and
tribesman that this was the house of hospitality and the stead of
the wedding-festival, to the intent that, if any passed them by,
it should be of his own sin against himself. So the folk came to
them from all districts and quarters and in this way they abode
days and months. Presently the Prince's mother bade fetch the
five slave-girls to that assembly; whereupon they came and the
ten damsels met. The queen seated five of them on her son's right
hand and the other five on his left and the folk gathered about
them. Then she bade the five who had remained with her speak
forth somewhat of poesy, so they might entertain therewith the
seance and that Al-Abbas might rejoice thereat. Now she had clad
them in the costliest of clothes and adorned them with trinkets
and ornaments and moulded work of gold and silver and collars of
gold, wrought with pearls and gems. So they paced forward, with
harps and lutes and zithers and recorders and other instruments
of music before them, and one of them, a damsel who came from the
land of China and whose name was Bá'úthah, advanced and screwed
up the strings of her lute. Then she cried out from the top of
her head and recited these couplets,

"Indeed your land returned, when you returned, * To whilom light
     which overgrew its gloom:
Green grew the land that was afore dust-brown. * And fruits that
     failed again showed riping bloom:
And clouds rained treasures after rain had lacked, * And plenty
     poured from earth's re-opening womb.
Then ceased the woes, my lords, that garred us weep, * With tears
     like dragons' blood, our severance-doom,
Whose length, by Allah, made me yeam and pine, * Would Heaven, O
     lady mine, I were thy groom!"

When she had ended her song, all who were present were delighted
and Al-Abbas rejoiced in this. Then he bade the second damsel
sing somewhat on the same theme. So she came forward and
tightening the strings of her harp, which was of balass
ruby,[FN#432] raised her voice in a plaintive air and improvised
these couplets,

"Brought the Courier glad news of our absentees,[FN#433] * To
     please us through those who had wrought us unease:
Cried I, 'My life ransom thee, messenger man, * Thou hast kept
     thy faith and thy boons are these.'
An the nightlets of union in you we joyed * When fared you naught
     would our grief appease;
You sware that folk would to folk be true, * And you kept your
     oaths as good faith decrees.
To you made I oath true lover am I * Heaven guard me when sworn
     from all perjuries:
I fared to meet you and loud I cried, * 'Aha, fair welcome when
     come you please!"
And I joyed to meet you and when you came, * Deckt all the
     dwelling with tapestries,
And death in your absence to us was dight, * But your presence
     bringeth us life and light."

When she had made an end of her verse, Al-Abbas bade the third
damsel (who came from Samarkand of Ajam-land and whose name was
Rummanah) sing, and she answered, "To hear is to obey." Then she
took the zither and crying out from the midst of her head,
recited and sang these couplets,[FN#434]

"My watering mouth declares thy myrtle-cheek my food to be * And
     cull my lips thy side-face rose, who lily art to me!
And twixt the dune and down there shows the fairest flower that
     blooms * Whose fruitage is granado's fruit with all
     granado's blee.[FN#435]
Forget my lids of eyne their sleep for magic eyes of him; *
     Naught since he fared but drowsy charms and languorous air I
He shot me down with shaft of glance from bow of eyebrow sped: *
     What Chamberlain[FN#437] betwixt his eyes garred all my
     pleasure flee?
Haply shall heart of me seduce his heart by weakness' force *
     E'en as his own seductive grace garred me love-ailment dree.
For an by him forgotten be our pact and covenant * I have a King
     who never will forget my memory.
His sides bemock the bending charms of waving Tamarisk,[FN#438] *
     And in his beauty-pride he walks as drunk with coquetry:
His feet and legs be feather-light whene'er he deigns to run *
     And say, did any ride the wind except 'twere

Therewith Al-Abbas smiled and her verses pleased him. Then he
bade the fourth damsel come forward and sing (now she was from
the Sundown-land[FN#440] and her name was Balakhshá); so she came
forward and taking the lute and the zither, tuned the strings and
smote them in many modes; then she returned to the first and
improvising, sang these couplets,

"When to the séance all for pleasure hied * Thy lamping eyes
     illumined its every side;
 While playing round us o'er the wine-full bowl * Those
     necklace-pearls old wine with pleasure plied,[FN#441]
Till wits the wisest drunken by her grace * Betrayed for joyance
     secrets sages hide;
And, seen the cup, we bade it circle round * While sun and moon
     spread radiance side and wide.
We raised for lover veil of love perforce * And came glad tidings
     which new joys applied:
Loud sang the camel-guide; won was our wish * Nor was the secret
     by the spy espied:
And, when my days were blest by union-bliss * And to all-parting
     Time was aid denied,
Each 'bode with other, clear of meddling spy * Nor feared we hate
     of foe or neighbour-pride.
The sky was bright, friends came and severance fared * And
     Love-in-union rained boons multiplied:
Saying 'Fulfil fair union, all are gone * Rivals and fears lest
     shaming foe deride:'
Friends now conjoinèd are: wrong passed away * And meeting-cup
     goes round and joys abide:
On you be Allah's Peace with every boon * Till end the dooming
     years and time and tide."

When Balakhsha had ended her verse, all present were moved to
delight and Al-Abbas said to her, "Brava, O damsel!" Then he bade
the fifth damsel come forward and sing (now she was from the land
of Syria and her name was Rayhánah; she was passing of voice and
when she appeared in an assembly, all eyes were fixed upon her),
so she came forward and taking the viol (for she was used to play
upon all instruments) recited and sang these couplets,

"Your me-wards coming I hail to sight; * Your look is a joy
     driving woe from sprite:
With you love is blest, pure and white of soul; * Life's sweet
     and my planet grows green and bright:
By Allah, you-wards my pine ne'er ceased * And your like is rare
     and right worthy hight.
Ask my eyes an e'er since the day ye went * They tasted sleep,
     looked on lover-wight:
My heart by the parting-day was broke * And my wasted body
     betrays my plight:
Could my blamers see in what grief am I, * They had wept in
     wonder my loss, my blight!
They had joined me in shedding torrential tears * And like me
     a-morn had shown thin and slight:
How long for your love shall your lover bear * This weight o'er
     much for the hill's strong height?
By Allah what then for your sake was doomed * To my heart, a
     heart by its woes turned white!
An showed I the fires that aye flare in me, * They had 'flamed
     Eastern world and earth's Western site.
But after this is my love fulfilled * With joy and gladness and
     mere delight;
And the Lord who scattered hath brought us back * For who doeth
     good shall of good ne'er lack."

When King Al-Aziz heard the damsel's song, both words and verses
pleased him and he said to Al-Abbas, "O my son, verily long
versifying hath tired these damsels, and indeed they make us
yearn after the houses and the homesteads with the beauty of
their songs. These five have adorned our meeting with the charm
of their melodies and have done well in that which they have said
before those who are present; so we counsel thee to free them for
the love of Allah Almighty." Quoth Al-Abbas, "There is no command
but thy command;" and he enfranchised the ten damsels in the
assembly; whereupon they kissed the hands of the King and his son
and prostrated themselves in thanksgiving to the Lord of
All-might. Then they put off that which was upon them of
ornaments and laying aside the lutes and other instruments of
music, kept to their houses like modest women and veiled, and
fared not forth.[FN#442] As for King Al-Aziz, he lived after this
seven years and was removed to the mercy of Almighty Allah; when
his son Al-Abbas bore him forth to burial as beseemeth kings and
let make for him perlections and professional recitations of the
Koran. He kept up the mourning for his father during four
successive weeks, and when a full-told month had elapsed he sat
down on the throne of the kingship and judged and did justice and
distributed silver and gold. He also loosed all who were in the
jails and abolished grievances and customs dues and righted the
oppressed of the oppressor; so the lieges prayed for him and
loved him and invoked on him endurance of glory and continuance
of kingship and length of life and eternity of prosperity and
happiness. The troops submitted to him, and the hosts from all
parts of the kingdom, and there came to him presents from each
and every land: the kings obeyed him and many were his warriors
and his grandees, and his subjects lived with him the most
easeful of lives and the most delightsome. Meanwhile, he ceased
not, he and his beloved, Queen Mariyah, in the most enjoyable of
life and the pleasantest, and he was vouchsafed by her children;
and indeed there befel friendship and affection between them and
the longer their companionship was prolonged, the more their love
waxed, so that they became unable to endure each from other a
single hour, save the time of his going forth to the Divan, when
he would return to her in the liveliest that might be of longing.
And after this fashion they abode in all solace of life and
satisfaction till there came to them the Destroyer of delights
and the Severer of societies. So extolled be the Eternal whose
sway endureth for ever and aye, who never unheedeth neither dieth
nor sleepeth! This is all that hath come down to us of their
tale, and so the Peace!

                SHAHRAZAD AND SHAHRYAR.[FN#443]

King Sjajruar marveled at this history[FN#444] and said, "By
Allah, verily, injustice slayeth its folk!"[FN#445] And he was
edified by that, wherewith Shahrazad bespoke him and sought help
of Allah the Most High.  Then said he to her, "Tell me another of
thy tales, O Shahrazad; supply me with a pleasant story and this
shall be the completion of the story-telling."Shahrazad replied,
"With love and gladness!  I will tell thee a tale the like of
which has never been heard before. It hath reached me, O
auspicious King, that a man once declared to his mates, ‘I will
set forth to you a means of security against annoy.'  A friend of
mine once related to me and said, "We attained to security
against annoy, and the origin of it was other than this; that is,
it was the following'"[FN#446]


I overtravelled whileome lands and climes and towns and visited
the cities of high renown and traversed the ways of dangers and
hardships.  Towards the last of my life, I entered a city of the
cities of China,[FN#448] wherein was a king of the Chosroës and
the Tobbas[FN#449] and the Cæsars.[FN#450]  Now that city had
been peopled with its inhabitants by means of justice and equity;
but its then king was a tyrant dire who despoiled lives and souls
at his desire; in fine, there was no warming oneself at his fire,
[FN#451] for that indeed he oppressed the believing band and
wasted the eland.  Now he had a younger brother, who was king in
Sarmarkand of the Persians, and the two kings sojourned a while
of time, each in his own city and stead, till they yearned unto
each other and the elder king despatched his Wazir to fetch his
younger brother.  When the Minister came to the King of Samarkand
and acquainted him with his errand, he submitted himself to the
bidding of his brother and answered, "To hear is to obey."  Then
he equipped himself and made ready for wayfare and brought forth
his tents and pavilions.  A while after midnight, he went in to
his wife, that he might farewell her, and found her with a
strange man, lying by her in one bed.  So he slew them both and
dragging them out by the feet, cast them away and set forth on
his march.  When he came to his brother's court, the elder king
rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and lodged him in the pavilion
of hospitality beside his own palace. Now this pavilion
overlooked a flower-garden belonging to the elder brother and
there the younger abode with him some days.  Then he called to
mind that which his wife had done with him and remembered her
slaughter and bethought him how he was a king, yet was not exempt
from the shifts of Time; and affected him with exceeding affect,
so that it drave him to abstain from meat and drink, or, if he
ate anything, it profited him naught.  When his brother saw him
on such wise, he deemed that this had betided him by reason of
severance from his folk and family, and said to him, "Come, let
us fare forth a-coursing and a-hunting."  But he refused to go
with him; so the elder brother went to the chase, while the
younger abode in the pavilion aforesaid.  Now, as he was
diverting himself by looking out upon the flower-garden from the
latticed window of the palace, behold, he saw his brother's wife
and with her ten black slaves and ten slave-girls.  Each slave
laid hold of a damsel and another slave came forth and did the
like with the queen; and when they had their wills one of other
they all returned whence they came.  Hereat there betided the
King of Samarkand exceeding surprise and solace and he was made
whole of his malady, little by little.  After a few days, his
brother returned, and finding him cured of his complaint, said to
him, "Tell me, O my brother, what was the cause of thy sickness
and thy pallor, and what is the reason of the return of health to
thee and of rosiness to thy face after this?"  So he acquainted
him with the whole case and this was grievous to him; but they
hid their affair and agreed to leave the kingship and fare forth
a-pilgrimaging and adventuring at hap-hazard, for they deemed
that there had befallen none the like of what had befallen them.
Accordingly, they went forth and as they journeyed, they saw by
the way a woman imprisoned in seven chests, whereon were five
padlocks, and sunken deep in the midst of the salt sea, under the
guardianship of an Ifrit; yet for all this that woman issued out
of the ocean and opened those padlocks and coming forth of those
chests, did what she would with the two brothers, after she had
practised upon the Ifrit.  When the two kings saw that woman's
fashion and how she circumvented the Ifrit, who had lodged her in
the abyss of the main, they turned back to their kingdoms and the
younger betook himself to Samarkand, whilst the elder returned to
China and contrived for himself a custom in the slaughter of
damsels, which was, his Wazir used to bring him every night a
girl, with whom he lay that night, and when he arose in the
morning, he gave her to the Minister and bade him do her die.
After this fashion he abode a long time, and the commons cried
out by reason of that grievous affair into which they were fallen
and feared the wrath of Allah Almighty, dreading lest He destroy
them by means of this.  still the king persisted in that practice
and in his blameworthy intent of the killing of damsels and the
despoilment of maidens concealed by veils,[FN#452] wherefore the
girls sought succor of the Lord of All-might, and complained to
Him of the tyranny of the eking and of his oppression.  Now the
king's Wazir had two daughters, sisters german, the elder of whom
had read the books and made herself mistress of the sciences and
studied the writings of the sages and the stories of the cup-
companions,[FN#453] and she was a maiden of abundant lore and
knowledge galore and wit than which naught can be more.  She
heard that which the folk suffered from that king in his misuage
of their children; whereupon ruth for them gat hold of her and
jealousy and she besought Allah Almighty that He would bring the
king to renounce that his new accursed custom,[FN#454] and the
Lord answered her prayer.  Then she consulted her younger sister
and said to her, "I mean to devise a device for freeing the
children of folk; to wit, I will go up to the king and offer
myself to marry him, and when I come to his presence, I will send
to fetch thee.  When thou comest in to me and the king had his
carnal will of me, do thou say to me, ‘O my sister, let me hear a
story of thy goodly stories, wherewith we may beguile the waking
hours of our night, till the dawn, when we take leave of each
other; and let the king hear it likewise!'"  The other replied,
"'Tis well; forsure this contrivance will deter the king from
this innovation he practiseth and thou shalt be requited with
favour exceeding and recompense abounding in the world to come,
for that indeed thou perilest thy life and wilt either perish or
win to thy wish."  So she did this and Fortune favoured her and
the Divine direction was vouchsafed to her and she discovered her
design to her sire, the Wazir, who thereupon forbade her, fearing
her slaughter.  However, she repeated her words to him a second
time and a third, but he consented not.  Then he cited to her a
parable, which should deter her, and she cited to him a parable
of import contrary to his, and the debate was prolonged between
them and the adducing of instances, till her father saw that he
was powerless to turn her from her purpose and she said to him,
"There is no help but that I marry the King, so haply I may be a
sacrifice for the children of the Moslems: either I shall turn
him from this his heresy or I shall die."  When the Minister
despaired of dissuading her, he went up to the king and
acquainted him with the case, saying, "I have a maiden daughter
and she desireth to give herself in free gift to the King."
Quoth the King, "How can thy soul consent to this, seeing that
thou knowest I abide but a single night with a girl and when I
arise on the morrow, I do her dead, and 'tis thou who slayest
her, and again and again thou hast done this?" Quoth the Wazir,
"Know, O king, that I have set forth all this to her, yet
consented she not to aught, but needs must she have thy company
and she chooseth to come to thee and present herself before thee,
albeit I have cited to her the sayings of the sages; but she hath
answered me with more than that which I said to her and
contrariwise."  Then quoth the king, "Suffer her visit me this
night and to-morrow morning come thou and take her and kill her;
and by Allah, an thou slay her not, I will slay thee and her
also!"  the Minister obeyed the king's bidding and going out from
the presence returned home.  When it was night, he took his elder
daughter and carried her up to the king; and when she came before
him she wept;[FN#455] whereupon he asked her, "What causeth thee
to weep? Indeed, 'twas thou who willedst this."  She answered, "I
weep not but of longing after my little sister; for that, since
we grew up, I and she, I have never been parted from her till
this day; so, an it please the King to send for her, that I may
look on her, and listen to her speech and take my fill of her
till the morning, this were a boon and an act of kindness of the
King."  So he bade fetch the damsel and she came.  Then there
befel that which befel of his union with the elder
sister,[FN#456] and when he went up to his couch, that he might
sleep, the younger sister said to her elder, "Allah upon thee, O
my sister, an thou be not asleep, tell us a tale of thy goodly
tales, wherewith me may beguile the watches of our night, ere day
dawn and parting."  Said she, "With love and gladness;" and fell
to relating to her, whilst the king listened.  Her story was
goodly and delectable, and whilst she was in the middle of
telling it, the dawn brake.  Now the king's heart clave to the
hearing of the rest of the story; so he respited her till the
morrow; and, when it was the next night, she told him a tale
concerning the marvels of the land and the wonders of Allah's
creatures which was yet stranger and rarer than the first.  In
the midst of the recital, appeared the day and she was silent
from the permitted say.  So he let her live till the following
night, that he might hear the end of the history and after that
slay her.  On this wise it fortuned with her; but as regards the
people of the city, they rejoiced and were glad and blessed the
Wazir's daughters, marvelling for that three days had passed and
that the king had not put his bride to death and exulting in that
he had returned to the ways of righteousness and would never
again burthen himself with blood-guilt against any of the maidens
of the city.  Then, on the fourth night, she related to him a
still more extraordinary adventure, and on the fifth night she
told him anecdotes of Kings and Wazirs and Notables.  Brief, she
ceased not to entertain him many days and nights, while the king
said to himself, "Whenas I shall have heard the end of the tale,
I will do her die," and the people redoubled their marvel and
admiration.  Also, the folk of the circuits and cities heard of
this thing, to wit, that the king had turned from his custom and
from that which he had imposed upon himself and had renounced his
heresy, wherefor they rejoiced and the lieges returned to the
capital and took up there abode therein, after they had departed
thence; and they were constant in prayer to Allah Almighty that
He would stablish the king in his present stead." "And this, said
Shahrazad, "is the end of that which my friend related to me."
Quoth Shahryar,[FN#457] "O Shahrazad, finish for us the tale thy
friend told thee, inasmuch as it resembleth the story of a King
whom I knew; but fain would I hear that which betided the people
of this city and what they said of the affair of the King, so I
may return from the case wherein I was."  She replied, "With love
and gladness!"  Know, O auspicious king and lord of right rede
and praiseworthy meed and prowest of deed, that, when the folk
heard how the king had put away from him his malpractice and
returned from his unrighteous wont, they rejoiced in this with
joy exceeding and offered up prayers for him.  Then they talked
one with other of the cause of the slaughter of the maidens, and
the wise said, "Women are not all alike, nor are the fingers of
the hand alike."  Now when King Shahryar heard this story he came
to himself and awakening from his drunkenness,[FN#458] said, "By
Allah, this story is my story and this case is my case, for that
indeed I was in reprobation and danger of judgment till thou
turnedst me back from this into the right way, extolled be the
Causer of causes and the Liberator of necks!" presently adding,
"Indeed, O Shahrazad, thou hast awakened me to many things and
hast aroused me from mine ignorance of the right." Then said she
to him, "O chief of the kings, the wise say, ‘The kingship is a
building, whereof the troops are the base, and when the
foundation is strong, the building endureth;' wherefore it
behoveth the king to strengthen the foundation, for that they
say, ‘Whenas the base is weak, the building falleth.'  In like
fashion it befitteth the king to care for his troops and do
justice among his lieges, even as the owner of the garden careth
for his trees and cutteth away the weeds that have no profit in
them; and so it befitteth the king to look into the affairs of
his Ryots and fend off oppression from them.  As for thee, O
king, it behoveth thee that thy Wazir be virtuous and experienced
in the requirements of the people and the peasantry; and indeed
Allah the Most High hath named his name[FN#459] in the history of
Musa (on whom be the Peace!) when he saith, ‘And make me a Wazir
of my people, Aaron.'  Now could a Wazir have been dispensed
withal, Moses son of Imran had been worthier than any to do
without a Minister.  As for the Wazir, the Sultan discovereth
unto him his affairs, private and public; and know, O king, that
the likeness of thee with the people is that of the leach with
the sick man; and the essential condition of the Minister is that
he be soothfast in his sayings, reliable in all his relations,
rich in ruth for the folk and in tenderness of transacting with
them.  Verily, it is said, "O king, that good troops be like the
druggist; if his perfumes reach thee not, thou still smellest the
fragrance of them; and bad entourage be like the blacksmith; if
his sparks burn thee not, thou smellest his evil smell.  So it
befitteth thee to take to thyself a virtuous Wazir, a veracious
counsellor, even as thou takest unto thee a wife displayed before
thy face, because thou needest the man's righteousness for thine
own right directing, seeing that, if thou do righteously, the
commons will do right, and if thou do wrongously, they will also
do wrong."  When the King heard this, drowsiness overcame him and
he slept and presently awaking, called for the candles; so they
were lighted and he sat down on his couch and seating Shahrazad
by him, smiled in her face.  She kissed the ground before him and
said, "O king of the age and lord of the time and the years,
extolled be the Forgiving, the Bountiful, who hath sent me to
thee, of His grace and good favour, so I have incited thee to
longing after Paradise; for verily this which thou wast wont do
was never done of any of the kings before thee.  then laud be to
the Lord who hath directed thee into the right way, and who from
the paths of frowardness hath diverted thee!  as for women, Allah
Almighty maketh mention of them also when He saith in His Holy
Book, ‘Truly, the men who resign themselves to Allah[FN#460] and
the women who resign themselves, and the true-believing men and
the true-believing women and the devout men and the devout women
and truthful men and truthful women, and long-suffering men and
long-suffering women, and the humble men and the humble women,
and charitable men and charitable women, and the men who fast and
the women who fast, and men who guard their privities and women
who guard their privities, and men who are constantly mindful of
Allah and women who are constantly mindful, for them Allah hath
prepared forgiveness and a rich reward.'[FN#461]  as for that
which hath befallen thee, verily, it hath befallen many kings
before thee and their women have falsed them, for all they were
more majestical of puissance than thou, and mightier of kingship
and had troops more manifold.  If I would, I could relate to
thee, O king, concerning the wiles of women, that whereof I
should not make an end all my life long; and indeed, in all these
my nights that I have passed before thee, I have told thee many
tales of the wheedling of women and of their craft; but soothly
the things abound on me;[FN#462] so, an thou please, O king, I
will relate to thee somewhat of that which befel olden kings of
perfidy from their women and of the calamities which overtook
them by reason of these deceivers."" Asked the king, "How so?
Tell on;" and she answered, "Hearkening and obedience.  It hath
been told me, O king, that a man once related to a company the
following tale:"


One day of the days, as I stood at the door of my house, and the
heat was excessive, behold, I saw a fair woman approaching, and
with her a slave-girl carrying a parcel.  They gave not over
going till they came up to me, when the woman stopped and asked
me, "Hast thou a draught of water?"  answered I, "Yes, enter the
vestibule, O my lady, so thou mayest drink."  Accordingly she
came in and I went up into the house and fetched two gugglets of
earthenware, smoked with musk[FN#464] and full of cold water.
She took one of them and discovered her face, the better to
drink; whereupon I saw that she was as the rising moon or the
resplendent sun and said to her, "O my lady, wilt thou not come
up into the house, so thou mayst rest thyself till the air cool
and afterwards fare thee to thine own place?"  quoth she, "Is
there none with thee?" and quoth I, "Indeed I am a bachelor and
have none belonging tome, nor is there a wight in the
site;[FN#465] whereupon she said, "An thou be a stranger, thou
art he in quest of whom I was going about."  So she went up into
the house and doffed her walking-dress and I found her as she
were the full moon. I brought her what I had by me of food and
drink and said to her, "O my lady, excuse me: this is all that is
ready;" and said she, "This is right good[FN#466] and indeed 'tis
what I sought." Then she ate and gave the slave-girl that which
was left; after which I brought her a casting-bottle of musked
rose-water, and she washed her hands and abode with me till the
season of mid-afternoon prayer, when she brought out of the
parcel she had with her a shirt and trousers and an upper
garment[FN#467] and a gold-worked kerchief and gave them to me;
saying, "Know that I am one of the concubines of the Caliph, and
we be forty concubines, each of whom hath a cicisbeo who cometh
to her as often as she would have him; and none is without a
lover save myself, wherefore I came forth this day to get me a
gallant and now I have found thee.  thou must know that the
Caliph lieth each night with one of us, whilst the other nine-
and-thirty concubines take their ease with the nine-and-thirty
masculines, and I would have thee company on such a day, when do
thou come up to the palace of the Caliph and sit awaiting me in
such a place, till a little eunuch come out to thee and say to
thee a certain watch-word which is, ‘Art thou Sandal?'  Answer
‘Yes,' and wend thee with him."  Then she took leave of me and I
of her, after I had strained her to my bosom and thrown my arms
round her neck and we had exchanged kisses awhile.  So she fared
forth and I abode patiently expecting the appointed day, till it
came, when I arose and went out, intending for the trysting
place; but a friend of mine met me by the way and made me go home
with him.  I accompanied him and when I came up into his sitting-
chamber he locked the door on me and walked out to fetch what we
might eat and drink.  He was absent until midday, then till the
hour of mid-afternoon prayer, whereat I was chagrined with sore
concern.  Then he was missing until sundown, and I was like to
die of vexation and impatience; and indeed he returned not and I
passed my night on wake, nigh upon death, for the door was locked
on me, and my soul was like to depart my body on account of the
assignation.  At daybreak, my friend returned and opening the
door, came in, bringing with him meat-pudding[FN#468] and
fritters and bees' honey, and said to me, "By Allah, thou must
needs excuse me, for that I was with a company and they locked
the door on me and have let me go but this very moment."  I
returned him no reply; however, he set before me that which was
with him and I ate a single mouthful and went out running at
speed so haply I might overtake the rendezvous which had escaped
me.  when I came to the palace, I saw over against it eight-and-
thirty gibbets set up, whereon were eight-and-thirty men
crucified, and under them eight-and-thirty[FN#469] concubines as
they were moons.  So I asked the cause of the crucifixion of the
men and concerning the women in question, and it was said unto
me, "The men thou seest crucified the Caliph found with yonder
damsels, who be his bed-fellows."  When I heard this, I
prostrated myself in thanksgiving to Allah and said, "The
Almighty require thee with all good, O my friend!"  for had he
not invited me and locked me up in his house that night, I had
been crucified with these men, wherefore Alhamdolillah--laud to
the Lord!  "On this wise" (continued Shahrazad), "none is safe
from the calamities of the world and the vicissitudes of Time,
and in proof of this, I will relate unto thee yet another story
still rarer and stranger than this.  Know, O king, that one said
to me: A friend of mine, a merchant, told me the following tale:

               THE CONCUBINE OF AL-MAAMUN[FN#470]

As I sat one day in my shop, there came up to me a fair woman, as
she were the moon at its rising, and with her a hand-maid.  Now I
was a handsome man in my time; so that lady sat down on my
shop[FN#471] and buying stuffs of me, paid the price and went her
ways.  I asked the girl anent her and she answered, "I know not
her name."  Quoth I, "Where is her abode?"  Quoth she, "In
heaven;" and I, "She is presently on the earth; so when doth she
ascend to heaven and where is the ladder by which she goeth
up?"[FN#472]  the girl retorted, "She hath her lodging in a
palace between two rivers,[FN#473] that is, in the palace of Al-
Maamún al-Hákim bi-Amri 'llah."[FN#474]  Then said I, "I am a
dead man, without a doubt;" but she replied, "Have patience, for
needs must she return to thee and buy other stuffs of thee."  I
asked, "And how cometh it that the Commander of the Faithful
trusteth her to go out?" and she answered, "He loveth her with
exceeding love and is wrapped up in her and crosseth her not."
Then the slave-girl went away, running after her mistress;
whereupon I left the shop and followed them, so I might see her
abiding-place. I kept them in view all the way, till she
disappeared from mine eyes, when I returned to my place, with
heart a-fire.  Some days after, she came to me again and bought
stuffs of me:  I refused to take the price and she cried, "We
have no need of thy goods."  Quoth I, "O my lady, accept them
from me as a gift;" but quoth she, "Wait till I try thee and make
proof of thee."  Then she brought out of her pocket a purse and
gave me therefrom a thousand dinars, saying, "Trade with this
till I return to thee."  So I took the purse and she went away
and returned not till six months had passed.  Meanwhile, I traded
with the money and sold and bought and made other thousand dinars
profit on it.  At last she came to me again and I said to her,
"Here is thy money and I have gained with it other thousand
ducats;" and she, "Let it lie by thee and take these other
thousand dinars.  As soon as I have departed from thee, go thou
to Al-Rauzah, the Garden-holm, and build there a goodly pavilion,
and when the edifice is accomplished, give me to know thereof.
As soon as she was gone, I betook myself to Al-Rauzah and fell to
building the pavilion, and when it was finished, I furnished it
with the finest of furniture and sent to tell her that I had made
an end to the edifice; whereupon she sent back to me, saying,
"Let him meet me to-morrow about day-break at the Zuwaylah gate
and bring with him a strong ass."  I did as she bade and,
betaking myself to the Zuwaylah gate, at the appointed time,
found there a young man on horseback, awaiting her, even as I
awaited her.  As we stood, behold, up she came, and with her a
slave-girl.  When she saw that young man, she asked him, "Art
thou here?" and he answered, "Yes, O my lady."  Quoth she, "To-
day I am invited by this man: wilt thou wend with us?" and quoth
he, "Yes."  then said she, "Thou hast brought me hither against
my will and parforce.  Wilt thou go with us in any case?"[FN#475]
He cried, "Yes, yes," and we fared on, all three, until we came
to Al-Rauzah and entered the pavilion.  The dame diverted herself
awhile with viewing its ordinance and furniture, after which she
doffed her walking-dress and sat down with the young man in the
goodliest and chiefest place.  Then I fared forth and brought
them what they should eat at the first of the day; presently I
again went out and fetched them what they should eat at the end
of the day and brought for the twain wine and dessert and fruits
and flowers.  After this fashion I abode in their service,
standing on my feet, and she said not unto me, "Sit," nor "Take,
eat" nor "Take, drink," while she and the young man sat toying
and laughing, and he feel to kissing her and pinching her and
hopping over the ground[FN#476] and laughing.  They remained thus
awhile and presently she said, "Hitherto we have not become
drunken; let me pour out."  So she took the cup, and crowning it,
gave him to drink and plied him with wine, till he lost his wits,
when she took him up and carried him into a closet.  Then she
came out, with the head of that youth in her hand, while I stood
silent, fixing not mine eyes on her eyes neither questioning her
of the case; and she asked me, "Take it and throw it in the
river."  I accepted her commandment and she arose and stripping
herself of her clothes, took a knife and cut the dead man's body
in pieces, which she laid in three baskets, and said to me,
"Throw them into the river." I did her bidding and when I
returned, she said to me, "Sit, so I may relate to thee yonder
fellow's case, lest thou be affrighted at what accident hath
befallen him.  Thou must know that I am the Caliph's favourite
concubine, nor is there any higher in honour with him than I; and
I am allowed six nights in each month, wherein I go down into the
city and tarry with my whilome mistress who reared me; and when I
go down thus, I dispose of myself as I will.  Now this young man
was the son of certain neighbors of my mistress, when I was a
virgin girl. One day, my mistress was sitting with the chief
officers of the palace and I was alone in the house, and as the
night came on, I went up to the terrace-roof in order to sleep
there, but ere I was ware, this youth came up from the street and
falling upon me knelt on my breast.  He was armed with a dagger
and I could not get free of him till he had taken my maidenhead
by force; and this sufficed him not, but he must needs disgrace
me with all the folk for, as often as I came down from the
palace, he would stand in wait for me by the way and futtered me
against my will and follow me wheresoever I went.  This, then, is
my story, and as for thee, thou pleasest me and thy patience
pleaseth me and thy good faith and loyal service, and there
abideth with me none dearer than thou."  Then I lay with her that
night and there befel what befel between us till the morning,
when she gave me abundant wealth and took to meeting me at the
pavilion six days in every month.  After this wise we passed a
whole year, at the end of which she cut herself off from me a
month's space, wherefore fire raged in my heart on her account.
When it was the next month, behold , a little eunuch presented
himself to me and said, "I am a messenger to thee from Such-an-
one, who giveth thee to know that the Commander of the Faithful
hath ordered her to be drowned, her those who are with her, six-
and-twenty slave-girls, on such a day at Dayr al-Tin,[FN#477] for
that they have confessed of lewdness, one against other and she
sayeth to thee, ‘Look how thou mayest do with me and how thou
mayest contrive to deliver me, even an thou gather together all
my money and spend it upon me, for that this be the time of
manhood.'"[FN#478]  Quoth I, "I know not this woman; belike it is
other than I to whom this message is sent; so beware, O Eunuch,
lest thou cast me into a cleft."  Quoth he, "Behold, I have told
thee that I had to say," and went away, leaving me in sore
concern on her account.  Now when the appointed day came, I
arose and changing my clothes and favour, donned sailor's
apparel; then I took with me a purse full of gold and buying a
right good breakfast, accosted a boatman at Dayr al-Tin and sat
down and ate with him; after which I asked him, "Wilt thou hire
me thy boat?"  Answered he, "The Commander of the Faithful hath
commanded me to be here;" and he told me the tale of the
concubines and how the Caliph purposed to drown them that day.
When I heard this from him, I brought out to him ten gold pieces
and discovered to him my case, whereupon he said to me, "O my
brother, get thee empty gourds, and when thy mistress cometh,
give me to know of her and I will contrive the trick."  So I
kissed his hand and thanked him and, as I was walking about,
waiting, up came the guards and eunuchs escorting the women, who
were weeping and shrieking and farewelling one another.  The
Castratos cried out to us, whereupon we came with the boat, and
they said to the sailor, "Who be this?" Said he, "This is my mate
whom I have brought to help me, so one of us may keep the boat
whilst another doth your service."  Then they brought out to us
the women, one by one, saying "Throw them in by the Island;" and
we replied, "'Tis well."  Now each of them was shackled and they
had made fast about her neck a jar of sand.  We did as the
neutrals bade us and ceased not to take the women, one after
other, and cast them in, till they gave us my mistress and I
winked to my mate.  So we took her and carried her out and cast
her into mid-stream, where I threw to her the empty
gourds[FN#479] and said to her, "Wait for me at the mouth of the
Canal."[FN#480]  now there remained one woman after her: so we
took her and drowned her and the eunuchs went away, whilst we
dropped down the river till we came to where I saw my mistress
awaiting me.  we haled her into the canoe and returned to our
pavilion.  Then I rewarded the sailor and he took his boat and
went away; whereupon quoth she to me, "Thou art indeed the friend
ever faithful found for the shifts of Fortune."[FN#481]  and I
sojourned with her some days; but the shock wrought upon her so
that she sickened and fell to wasting away and redoubled in
weakness till she died.  I mourned for her and buried her; after
which I removed all that was in the pavilion and abandoned the
building.   Now she had brought to that pavilion a little coffer
of copper and laid it in a place whereof I knew not; so, when the
Inspector of Inheritances[FN#482] came, he rummaged the house and
found the coffer.  Presently he opened it and seeing it full of
jewels and seal-rings, took it, and me with it, and ceased not to
put me to the question with beating and torment till I confessed
the whole affair.  Thereupon they carried me to the Caliph and I
told him all that had passed between me and her; and he said to
me, "O man, depart this city, for I release thee on account of
thy courage and because of thy constancy in keeping thy secret
and thy daring in exposing thyself to death."  So I arose
forthwith and fared from his city; and this is what befel me.

                     Variants and Analogues
                       Some of the Tales
                      Volumes XI. and XII.

                      By. W. A. Clouston.

    Author of "Popular Tales and Fictions: Their Mirgations
                   and Transformations," Etc.


          Variants and Analogues of Some of the Tales
                     in Volumes XI and XII

                       By W. A. Clouston.

           THE SLEEPER AND THE WAKER--Vol. XI. p. 1.

Few if the stories in the "Arabian Nights" which charmed our
marvelling boyhood were greater favourites than this one, under
the title of "Abou Hassan; or, the Sleeper Awakened."  What
recked we in those days whence it was derived?--the story--the
story was the thing!  As Sir R. F. Burton observes in his first
note, this is "the only one of the eleven added by Galland, whose
original has been discovered in Arabic;"[FN#483] and it is
probable that Galland heard it recited in a coffee-house during
his residence in Constantinople.  The plot of the Induction to
Shakspeare's comedy of "The Taming of the Shrew" is similar to
the adventure of Abú al-Hasan the Wag, and is generally believed
to have been adapted from a story entitled "The Waking Man's
Fortune" in Edward's collection of comic tales, 1570, which were
retold somewhat differently in "Goulart's Admirable and Memorable
Histories," 1607; both versions are reprinted in Mr. Hazlitt's
"Shakspeare Library," vol. iv., part I, pp. 403-414.  In Percy's
"Reliques of Ancient English Poetry" we find the adventure told
in a ballad entitled "The Frolicksome Duke; or, the Tinker's Good
Fortune," from the Pepys collection: "whether it may be thought
to have suggested the hint to Shakspeare or is not rather of
latter date," says Percy, "the reader must determine:"

Now as fame does report, a young duke keeps a court,
One that pleases his fancy with frolicksome sport:
But amongst all the rest, here is one, I protest,
Which will make you to smile when you hear the true jest:
A poor tinker he found lying drunk on the ground,
As secure in a sleep as if laid in a swownd.

The duke said to his men, William, Richard, and Ben,
Take him home to my palace, we'll sport with him then.
O'er a horse he was laid, and with care soon convey'd
To the palace, altho' he was poorly arrai'd;
Then they stript off his cloaths, both his shirt, shoes, and
And they put him in bed for to take his repose.

Having pull'd off his shirt, which was all over durt,
They did give him clean holland, this was no great hurt:
On a bed of soft down, like a lord of renown,
They did lay him to sleep the drink out of his crown.
In the morning when day, then admiring[FN#484] he lay,
For to see the rich chamber both gaudy and gay.

Now he lay something late, in his rich bed of state,
Till at last knights and squires they on him did wait;
And the chamberling bare, then did likewise declare,
He desired to know what apparel he'd ware:
The poor tinker amaz'd, on the gentleman gaz'd,
And admired how he to this honour was rais'd.

Tho' he seem'd something mute, yet he chose a rich suit,
Which he straitways put on without longer dispute;
With a star on his side, which the tinker offt ey'd,
And it seem'd for to swell him no little with pride;
For he said to himself, Where is Joan my sweet wife?
Sure she never did see me so fine in her life.

From a convenient place, the right duke his good grace
Did observe his behavior in every case.
To a garden of state, on the tinker they wait,
Trumpets sounding before him: thought he this is great:
Where an hour or two, pleasant walks he did view,
With commanders and squires in scarlet in blew.

A find dinner was drest, both for him and his guests,
He was placed at the table above all the rest,
In a rich chair, or bed, lin'd with fine crimson red,
With a rich golden canopy over his head:
As he sat at his meat, the musick play'd sweet,
With the choicest of singing his joys to compleat.

While the tinker did dine, he had plenty of wine.
Rich canary with sherry and tent superfine,
Like a right honest soul, faith, he took off his bowl,
Till at last he began for to tumble and roul
From his chair to the floor, where he sleeping did snore,
Being seven times drunker than ever before.

Then the duke did ordain, they should strip him amain,
And restore him his old leather garments again:
'Twas a point next the worst, yet perform it they must,
And they carry'd him strait, where they found him at first;
Then he slept all the night, as indeed well he might,
But when he did waken, his joys took their flight.

For his glory to him so pleasant did seem,
That he thought it to be but a meer golden dream;
Till at length he was brought to the duke, where he sought
For a pardon as fearing he had set him at nought;
But his highness he said, Thou'rt a jolly bold blade,
Such a frolick before I think never was plaid.

Then his highness bespoke him a new suit and cloak,
Which he gave for the sake of this frolicksome joak;
Nay, and five hundred pound, with ten acres of ground
Thou shalt never, said he, range the counteries round,
Crying old brass to mend, for I'll be thy good friend,
Nay, and Joan thy sweet wife shall my duchess attend.

Then the tinker reply'd, What! must Joan my sweet bride
Be a lady in chariots of pleasure to ride?
Must we have gold and land ev'ry day at command?
Then I shall be a squire I well understand:
Well I thank your good grace, and your love I embrace,
I was never before in so happy a case.

The same story is also cited in the "Anatomy of Melancholy," part
2, memb. 4, from Ludovicus Vives in Epist.[FN#485] and Pont.
Heuter in Rerum Burgund., as follows:

"It is reported of Philippus Bonus, that good Duke of Burgundy,
that the said duke, at the marriage of Eleonora, sister to the
King of Portugal, at Bruges in Flanders, which was solemnized in
the deep of winter, when as by reason of the unseasonable (!)
weather he could neither hawk nor hunt, and was now tyred with
cards, dice, &c., and such other domestical sports, or to see
ladies dance, with some of his courtiers, he would in the evening
walk disguised all about the town.  It so fortuned as he was
walking late one night, he found a country fellow dead drunk,
snorting on a bulk; he caused his followers to bring him to his
palace, and there stripping him of his old clothes, and attiring
him after the court fashion, when he waked, he and they were all
ready to attend upon his excellency, persuading him that he was
some great duke.  The poor fellow, admiring how he came there,
was served in state all the day long; after supper he saw them
dance, heard musick, and the rest of those court-like pleasures;
but late at night, when he was well-tipled, and again fast asleep
they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where
they first found him.  Now the fellow had not made them so good
sport the day before, as he did when he returned to himself; all
the jest was to see how he looked upon it.  In conclusion, after
some little admiration, the poor man told his friends he had seen
a vision, constantly beleeved it, would not otherwise be
perswaded; and so the jest ended."

I do not think that this is a story imported from the East: the
adventure is just as likely to have happened in Bruges as in
Baghdád; but the exquisite humor of the Arabian tale is wanting-
-even Shakspeare's Christopher Sly is not to be compared with
honest Abú al-Hasan the Wag.

This story of the Sleeper and the Waker recalls the similar
device practised by the Chief of the Assassins--that formidable,
murderous association, the terror of the Crusades--on promising
novices.  Von Hammer, in his "History of the Assassins," end of
Book iv., gives a graphic description of the charming gardens
into which the novices were carried while insensible from

In the center of the Persian as well as the Assyrian territory of
the Assassins, that is to say, both at Alamut and Massiat, were
situated, in a space surrounded by walls, splendid gardens--true
Eastern paradises.  There were flower-beds and thickets of
fruit-trees, intersected by canals, shady walks, and verdant
glades, where the sparkling stream bubbled at every step; bowers
of roses and vineyards; luxurious halls and porcelain kiosks,
adorned with Persian carpets and Grecian stuffs, where
drinking-vessels of gold, silver, and crystal glittered on trays
of the same costly materials; charming maidens and handsome boys
of Muhammed's Paradise, soft as the cushions on which they
reposed, and intoxicating as the wine which they presented.  The
music of the harp was mingled with the songs of birds, and the
melodious tones of the songstress harmonized with the murmur of
the brooks.  Everything breathed pleasure, rapture, and
sensuality.  A youth, was deemed worthy by his strength and
resolution to be initiated into the Assassin service, was invited
to the table and conversation of the grand master, or grand
prior; he was then intoxicated with hashish and carried into the
garden, which on awaking he believed to be Paradise; everything
around him, the houris in particular, contributing to confirm the
delusion.  After he had experienced as much of the pleasures of
Paradise, which the Prophet has promised to the faithful, as his
strength would admit; after quaffing enervating delight from the
eyes of the houris and intoxicating wine from the glittering
goblets; he sank into the lethargy produced by debility and the
opiate, on awakening from which, after a few hours, he again
found himself by the side of his superior.  The latter endeavored
to convince him that corporeally he had not left his side, but
that spiritually he had been wrapped into Paradise and had there
enjoyed a foretaste of the bliss which awaits the faithful who
devote their lives to the service of the faith and the obedience
of their chiefs.

                        Vol. XI. p. 37.

The precise date of the Persian original of this romance
("Bakhtyár Náma") has not been ascertained, but it was probably
composed before the beginning of the fifteenth century, since
there exists in the Bodleian Library a unique Turkí version, in
the Uygur language and characters, which was written in 1434.
Only three of the tales have hitherto been found in other Asiatic
storybooks.  The Turkí version, according to M. Jaubert, who
gives an account of the MS. and a translation of one of the tales
in the Journal Asiatique, tome x. 1827, is characterised by
"great sobriety of ornament and extreme simplicity of style, and
the evident intention on the part of the translator to suppress
all that may not have appeared to him sufficiently probable, and
all that might justly be taxed with exaggeration;" and he adds
that "apart from the interest which the writing and phraseology
of the work may possess for those who study the history of
languages, it is rather curious to see how a Tátár translator
sets to work to bring within the range of his readers stories
embellished in the original with descriptions and images
familiar, doubtless, to a learned and refined nation like the
Persians, for foreign to shepherds."

At least three different versions are known to the Malays-
-different in the frame, or leading story, if not in the
subordinate tales.  One of those is described in the second
volume of Newbold's work on Malacca, the frame of which is
similar to the Persian original and its Arabian derivative,
excepting that the name of the king is Zádbokhtin and that of the
minister's daughter (who is nameless in the Persian) is Mahrwat.
Two others are described in Van den Berg's account of Malay,
Arabic, Javanese and other MSS. published at Batavia, 1877: p.
21, No. 132 is entitled "The History of Ghulám, son of
Zádbukhtán, King of Adán, in Persia," and the frame also
corresponds with our version, with the important difference that
the robber-chief who had brought up Ghulám, "learning that he had
become a person of consequence, came to his residence to visit
him, but finding him imprisoned, he was much concerned, and asked
the king's pardon on his behalf, telling him at the same time how
he had formerly found Ghulám in the jungle; from which the king
knew that Ghulám was his son."  The second version noticed by Van
den Berg (p. 32, No. 179), though similar in title to the Persian
original, "History of Prince Bakhtyár," differs very materially
in the leading story, the outline of which is as follows: This
prince, when his father was put to flight by a younger brother,
who wished to dethrone him, was born in a jungle, and abandoned
by his parents. A merchant named Idrís took charge of him and
brought him up. Later on he became one of the officers of state
with his own father, who had in the meanwhile found another
kingdom, and decided with fairness, the cases brought before him.
He was, however, put in prison on account of a supposed attempt
on the king's life, and would have been put to death had he not
stayed the execution by telling various beautiful stories.  Even
the king came repeatedly to listen to him.  At one of these
visits Bakhtyár's foster-father Idrís was present, and related to
his adopted son how he had found him in the jungle.  The king, on
hearing this, perceived that it was his son who had been brought
up by Idrís, recognised Bakhtyár as such, as made over to him the
kingdom."--I have little doubt that this romance is of Indian


This agrees pretty closely with the Turkí version of the same
story (rendered into French by M. Jaubert), though in the latter
the names of the characters are the same as in the Persian, King
Dádín and the Wazírs Kámgár and Kárdár.  In the Persian story,
the damsel is tied hands and feet and placed upon a camel, which
is then turned into a dreary wilderness.  "Here she suffered from
the intense heat and from thirst; but she resigned herself to the
will of Providence, conscious of her own innocence.  Just then
the camel lay down, and on the spot a fountain of delicious water
suddenly sprang forth; the cords which bound her hands and feet
dropped off; she refreshed herself by a draught of the water, and
fervently returned thanks to Heaven for this blessing and her
wonderful preservation."  This two-fold miracle does not appear
in the Turkí and Arabian versions.  It is not the cameleer of the
King of Persia, but of King Dádín, who meets with the pious
damsel in the wilderness.  He takes her to his own house and one
day relates his adventure to King Dádín, who expresses a wish to
see such a prodigy of sanctity.  The conclusion of the Persian
story is quite dramatic: The cameleer, having consented, returned
at once to his house, accompanied by the king, who waited at the
door of the apartment where the daughter of Kámgár was engaged in
prayer.  When she had concluded he approached, and with
astonishment recognised her.  Having tenderly embraced her, he
wept, and entreated her forgiveness.  This she readily granted,
but begged that he would conceal himself in the apartment while
she should converse with Kárdár, whom she sent for.  When he
arrived, and beheld her with a thousand expressions of fondness,
he inquired how she had escaped, and told her that on the day the
king had banished her into the wilderness, he had sent people to
seek her and bring her to him.  "How much better would it have
been," he added, "had you followed my advice, and agreed to my
proposal of poisoning the king, who, I said, would one day
destroy you as he had done your father!  But you rejected my
advice, and declared yourself ready to submit to whatever
Providence should decree.  Hereafter you will pay more attention
to my words.  But now let us not think of what is past.  I am
your slave, and you are dearer to me than my own eyes."  So
saying, he attempted to clasp the daughter of Kámgár in his arms,
when the king, who was concealed behind the hangings, rushed
furiously on him and put him to death.  After this he conducted
the damsel to his palace, and constantly lamented his
precipitancy in having killed her father.--This tale seems to
have been taken from the Persian "Tútí Náma," or Parrot-book,
composed by Nahkshabí about the year 1306;[FN#486] it occurs in
the 51st Night of the India Office MS. 2573, under the title of
"Story of the Daughter of the Vazír Khássa, and how she found
safety through the blessing of her piety:"  the name of the king
is Bahram, and the Wazírs are called Khássa and Khalássa.


The catastrophe of this story forms the subject of the Lady's
37th tale in the text of the Turkish "Forty Vezírs," translated
by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb.  This is how it goes:

In the palace of the world there was a king, and that king had
three vezírs, but there was rivalry between them.  Two of them
day and night incited the king against the third, saying, "He is
a traitor."  But the king believed them not.  At length they
promised two pages much gold, and instructed them thus: "When the
king has lain down, ere he yet fall asleep, do ye feign to think
him asleep, and while talking with each other, say at a fitting
time, 'I have heard from such a one that yon vezír says this and
that concerning the king, and that he hates him; many people say
that vezír is an enemy to our king.'"  So they did this, and when
the king heard this, he said in his heart, "What those vezírs
said is then true; when the very pages have heard it somewhat it
must indeed have some foundation.  Till now, I believed not those
vezírs, but it is then true."  And the king executed that vezír.
The other vezírs were glad and gave the pages the gold they had
promised.  So they took it and went to a private place, and while
they were dividing it one of them said, "I spake first; I want
more."  The other said, "If I had not said he was an enemy to our
king, the king would not have killed him; I shall take more."
And while they were quarrelling with one another the king passed
by there, and he listened attentively to their words, and when he
learned of the matter, he said, "Dost thou see, they have by a
trick made us kill that hapless vezír."  And he was repentant.


The Persian original has been very considerably amplified by the
Arabian translator.  In the "Bakhtyár Náma" there is not a word
about the two brothers and their fair cousin, the attempted
murder of the infant, and the adventures of the fugitive young
prince.  This story has also been taken from the "Tútí Náma" of
Nakhshabú, Night the 50th of the Indian Office MS. 2573, where,
under the title of "Story of the Daughter of the Kaysar of Roum,
and her trouble by reason of her son," it is told somewhat as

In former times there was a great king, whose army was numerous
and whose treasury was full to overflowing; but, having no enemy
to contend with, he neglected to pay his soldiers, in consequence
of which they were in a state of destitution and discontent.  At
length one day the soldiers went to the prime minister and made
their condition known to him.  The vazír promised that he would
speedily devise a plan by which they should have employment and
money.  Next morning he presented himself before the king, and
said that it was widely reported the Kaysar of Rou, had a
daughter unsurpassed for beauty--one who was fit only for such a
great monarch as his Majesty; and suggested that it would be
advantageous if an alliance were formed between two such great
potentates.  The notion pleased the king well, and he forthwith
despatched to Roum an ambassador with rich gifts, and requested
the Kaysar to grant him his daughter in marriage.  But the Kaysar
waxed wroth at this, and refused to give his daughter to the
king.  When the ambassador returned thus unsuccessful, the king,
enraged at being made of no account, resolved to make war upon
the Kaysar; so, opening the doors of his treasury, he distributed
much money among his troops, and then, "with a woe-bringing host,
and a blood-drinking army, he trampled Roum and the folk of Roum
in the dust."  And when the Kaysar was become powerless, he sent
his daughter to the king, who married her according to the law of

Now that princess had a son by a former husband, and the Kaysar
had said to her before she departed, "Beware that thou mention
not thy son, for my love for his society is great, and I cannot
part with him."[FN#487]  But the princess was sick at heart for
the absence of her son, and she was ever pondering how she should
speak to the king about him, and in what manner she might
contrive to bring him to her.  It happened one day the king gave
her a string of pearls and a casket of jewels.  She said, "With
my father is a slave who is well skilled in the science of
jewels."  The king replied, "If I should ask that slave of thy
father, would he give him to me?"  "Nay," said she, "for he holds
him in the place of a son.  But if the king desire him, I will
send a merchant to Roum, and I myself will give him a token, and
with pleasant wiles and fair speeches will bring him hither."
Then the king sent for a clever merchant who knew Arabic
eloquently and the language of Roum, and gave him goods for
trading and sent him to Roum with the object of procuring the
slave.  But the daughter of the Kaysar said privily to the
merchant, "That slave is my son; I have, for a good reason, said
to the king that he is a slave; so thou must bring him as a
slave, and let it be thy duty to take care of him."  In due
course the merchant brought the youth to the king's service; and
when the king saw his fair face, and discovered in him many
pleasing and varied accomplishments, he treated him with
distinction and favour, and conferred on the merchant a robe of
honour and gifts.  His mother saw him from afar, and was pleased
with receiving a secret salutation from him.

One day the eking had gone to the chase, and the palace remained
void of rivals; so the mother called in her son, kissed his fair
face, and told him the tale of her great sorrow.  A chamberlain
became aware of the secret and another suspicion fell upon him,
and he said to himself, "The harem of the king is the sanctuary
of security and the palace of protection.  If I speak not of
this, I shall be guilty of treachery and shall have wrought
unfaithfulness."  When the king returned from the chase, the
chamberlain related to him what he had seen, and the eking was
angry and said, "This woman hath deceived me with words and
deeds, and has brought hither her desire by craft and cunning.
This conjecture must be true, else why did she play such a trick?
And why did she hatch such a plot?  And why did she send the
merchant?"  Then the king, enraged, went into the harem, and the
queen saw from his countenance that the occurrence of the night
before had become known to him, and she said, "Be it not that I
see the king angry?"  He said, "How should I not be angry?  Thou,
by craft and trickery, and intrigue, and plotting, hast brought
thy desire from Roum--what wantonness is this that thou hast
done?"  And then he thought to slay her, but he forbore, because
of his great love for her.  But he ordered the chamberlain to
carry the youth to some obscure place, and straightway sever his
head from his body.  When the poor mother saw this, she well-nigh
fell on her face, and her soul was near leaving her body.  But
she knew that sorry would not avail, and so she restrained

And when the chamberlain took the youth into his own house, he
said to him, "O youth, knowest thou not that the harem of the
king is the sanctuary of security?  What great treachery is this
that thou hast perpetrated?"  The youth replied, "That queen is
my mother, and I am her true son.  Because of her natural
delicacy, she said not to the king that she had a son by another
husband.  And when yearning came over her, she contrived to bring
me here from Roum; and while the king was engaged in the chase,
maternal love stirred in her, and she called me to her and
embraced me."  On hearing this, the chamberlain said to himself,
"What is passing in his mother's breast?  What have I not done I
can yet do, and it were better that I preserve this youth some
days, for such a rose may not be wounded through idle words, and
such a bough may not be broken by a breath.  For some day the
truth of this matter will be disclosed, and it will become known
to the king when repentance may be of no avail."  So he went
before the king and said, "That which was commanded have I
fulfilled."  On hearing this the king's wrath was to some extent
removed but his trust in the Kaysar's daughter was departed;
while she, poor creature, was grieved and dazed at the loss of
her son.

Now in the palace-harem there was an old woman, who said to the
queen, "How is it that I find thee sorrowful?"  And the queen
told the whole story, concealing nothing.  This old woman was a
heroine in the field of craft, and she answered, "Keep thy mind
at ease; I will devise a stratagem by which the heart of the king
will be pleased with thee, and every grief he has will vanish
from his heart."  The queen said that, if she did so, she should
be amply rewarded.  One day the old woman, seeing the king alone,
said to him, "Why is thy former aspect altered?  And why are
there traces of care and anxiety visible on thy countenance?"
The king then told her all.  Then said the old woman, "I have an
amulet of the charms of Sulayman, in the Syriac language, and in
the writing of the jinn (genii).  When the queen is asleep, do
thou place it on her breast, and whatever it may be, she will
tell the truth of it.  But take care, fall not asleep, but listen
well to what she says."  The king wondered at this and said,
"Give me that amulet, that the truth of this matter may be
learned."  So the old woman gave him the amulet, and then went to
the queen and explained what she had done, and said, "Do thou
feign to be asleep, and relate the whole of thy story

When a watch of the night was past, the king laid the amulet upon
his wife's breast, and she thus began: "By a former husband I had
a son, and when my father gave me to this king, I was ashamed to
say I had a tall son.  When my yearning passed all bounds, I
brought him here by an artifice.  One day that the king was gone
to the chase I called him into the house, when, after the way of
mothers, I took him in my arms and kissed him.  This reached the
king's ears; he unwittingly gave it another construction, and cut
off the head of that innocent boy, and withdrew from me his own
heart.  Alike is my son lost to me and the king angry."  When the
king heard these words he kissed her and exclaimed, "O my life,
what an error is this thou hast committed?  Thou hast brought
calumny upon thyself, and hast given such a son to the winds, and
hast made me ashamed!"  Straightway he called the chamberlain,
and said, "That boy whom thou hast killed is the son of my
beloved and the darling of my beauty! Where is his grave, that we
may make there a guest-house?"  The chamberlain said, "That youth
is yet alive.  When the king commanded his death, I was about to
kill him, but he said, 'That queen is my mother.  Through modesty
before the king, she revealed not the secret that she has a tall
son.  Kill me not; it may be that some day the truth will become
known, and repentance profiteth not, and regret is useless."  The
king commanded them to bring the youth; so they brought him
forthwith.  And when the mother saw the face of her son, she
thanked God and praised the Most High, and became one of the
Muslims, and from the sect of unbelievers came into the faith of
Islam.  And the king favoured the chamberlain in the highest
degree, and they passed the rest of their lives in comfort and

             FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE.--Vol. XI. p. 125.

This tale, as Sir R. F. Burton remarks, is a rechauffé of that of
the King and the Wazir's Wife in the "Malice of Women," or the
Seven Wazírs (vol. vi. 129); and at p. 308 we have yet another
variant.[FN#488]  it occurs in all the Eastern texts of the Book
of Sindibád, and it is commonly termed by students of that cycle
of stories "The Lion's Track," from the parabolical manner in
which the husband justifies his conduct before the king.  I have
cited some versions in the Appendix to my edition of the Book of
Sindibád (p. 256 ff.), and to these may be added the following
Venetian variant, from Crane's "Italian Popular Tales," as an
example of how a story becomes garbled in passing orally from one
generation unto another generation.

A king, averse from marriage, commanded his steward to remain
single.  The latter, however, one day saw a beautiful girl named
Vigna and married her secretly.  Although he kept her closely
confined in her chamber, the king became suspicious, and sent the
steward on an embassy.  After his departure the king entered the
apartment occupied by him, and saw his wife asleep.  He did not
disturb her, but in leaving the room accidentally dropped one of
his gloves on the bed.  When the husband returned he found the
glove, but kept a discreet silence, ceasing, however, all
demonstration of affection, believing his wife had been
unfaithful.  The king, desirous to see again the beautiful woman,
made a feast and ordered the steward to bring his wife.  He
denied that he had one, but brought her at last, and while every
one else was talking gaily at the feast she was silent.  The king
observed it and asked the cause of her silence, and she answered
with a pun on her own name, "Vineyard I was, and Vineyard I am.
I was loved and no longer am. I know not for what reason the
Vineyard has lost its season." Her husband, who heard this,
replied, "Vineyard thou wast, and Vineyard thou art: the Vineyard
lost its season, for the lion's claw."  The king, who understood
what he meant, answered, "I entered the Vineyard; I touched the
leaves; but I swear by my crown that I have not tasted the
fruit."  Then the steward understood that his wife was innocent,
and the two made peace, and always after lived happy and

So far as I am aware, this tale of "The Lion's Track" is not
popularly known in any European country besides Italy; and it is
not found in any of the Western versions of the Book of Sindibád,
generally known under the title of the "History of the Seven Wise
Masters," how, then, did it reach Venice, and become among the
people "familiar in their mouths as household words?"  I answer,
that the intimate commercial relations which long existed between
the Venetian Republic and Egypt and Syria are amply sufficient to
account for the currency of this and scores of other Eastern
tales in Italy.  This is not one of those fictions introduced
into the south of Europe through the Ottomans, since Boccaccio
has made use of the first part of it in his "Decameron," Day I.
nov. 5; and it is curious to observe that the garbled Venetian
popular version has preserved the chief characteristic of the
Eastern story--the allegorical reference to the king as a lion
and his assuring the husband that the lion had done no injury to
his "Vineyard."


While the frame-story of this interesting group is similar to
that of the Ten Wazírs (vol. i. p. 37), insomuch as in both a
king's favourite is sentenced to death in consequence of the
false accusations of his enemies, and obtains a respite from day
to day by relating stories to the king, there is yet a very
important difference: Like those of the renowned Shahrazad, the
stories which Al-Rahwan tells have no particular, at least no
uniform, "purpose," his sole object being to prolong his life by
telling the king an entertaining story, promising, when he has
ended his recital, to relate one still "stranger" the next night,
if the king will spare his life another day.  On the other hand,
Bakhtyár, while actuated by the same motive, appeals to the
king's reason, by relating stories distinctly designed to exhibit
the evils of hasty judgements and precipitate conduct--in fact,
to illustrate the maxim,

     Each order given by a reigning king,
          Should after long reflection be expressed;
     For it may be that endless woe will spring
          From a command he paused not to digest.

And in this respect they are consistent with the circumstances of
the case, like the tales of the Book of Sindibád, from which the
frame of the Ten Wazírs was imitated, and in which the Wazírs
relate stories showing the depravity and profligacy of women and
that no reliance should be placed on their unsupported
assertions, and to these the lady opposes equally cogent stories
setting forth the wickedness and perfidy of men.  Closely
resembling the frame-story of the Ten Wazírs, however, is that of
a Tamil romance entitled, "Alakeswara Kathá," a copy of which,
written on palm leaves, was in the celebrated Mackenzie
collection, of which Dr. H. H. Wilson published a descriptive
catalogue; it is "a story of the Rájá of Alakespura and his four
ministers, who, being falsely accused of violating the sanctity
of the inner apartments, vindicate their innocence and disarm the
king's wrath by relating a number of stories."  Judging by the
specimen given by Wilson, the well-known tale of the Lost Camel,
it seems probable that the ministers' stories, like those of
Bakhtyár, are suited to their own case and illustrate the truth
of the adage that "appearances are often deceptive."  Whether in
the Siamese collection "Nonthuk Pakkaranam" (referred to in vol.
i. p. 127) the stories related by the Princess Kankras to the
King of Pataliput (Palibothra), to save her father's life, are
similarly designed, does not appear from Benfey's notice of the
work in his paper in "Orient and Occident," iii. 171 ff.  He says
that the title of the book, "Nonthuk Pakkaranam," is taken from
the name of a wise ox, Nonthuk, that plays the principal part in
the longest of the tales, which are all apparently translated
from the Sanskrit, in which language the title would be Nandaka
Prakaranam, the History of Nandaka.

Most of the tales related by the wazir Al-Rahwan are not only in
themselves entertaining, but are of very considerable importance
from the story-comparer's point of view, since in this group
occur Eastern forms of tales which were known in Italy in the
14th century, and some had spread over Europe even earlier.  The
reader will have seen from Sir R. F. Burton's notes that not a
few of the stories have their parallels or analogues in countries
far apart, and it is interesting to find four of them which
properly belong to the Eastern texts of the Book of Sindibad,
with the frame-story of which that of this group has so close an

         THE ART OF ENGARGING PEARLS.--Vol. XI. p.131.

"Quoth she, I have a bangle; sell it and buy seed pearls with the
                     price; then round them
              and fashion them into great pearls."

For want of a more suitable place, I shall here reproduce an
account of the "Method of making false pearls" (nothing else
being meant in the above passage), cited, from Post. Com. Dict.
In vol. xxvi. Of Rees' Cyclopaedia," London, 1819:

"Take of thrice distilled vinegar two pounds, Venice turpentine
one pound, mix them together into a mass and put them into a
cucurbit, fit a head and receiver to it, and after you have luted
the joints set it when dry on a sand furnace, to distil the
vinegar from it; do not give it too much heat, lest the stuff
swell up.  After this put the vinegar into another glass cucurbit
in which there is a quantity of seed pearls wrapped in a piece of
thin silk, but so as not to touch the vinegar; put a cover or
head upon the cucurbit, lute it well and put it in bal. Mariæ,
where you may let it remain a fortnight.  The heat of the balneum
will raise the fumes of the vinegar, and they will soften the
pearls in the silk and bring them to the consistence of a paste,
which being done, take them out and mould them to what bigness,
form, and shape you please.  Your mould must be of fine silver,
the inside gilt; you must also refrain from touching the paste
with your fingers, but use silver-gilt utensils, with which fill
your moulds.  When they are moulded, bore them through with a
hog's bristle or gold wire, and then tread them again on gold
wire, and put them into a glass, close it up, and set them in the
sun to dry.  After they are thoroughly dry, put them in a glass
matrass into a stream of running water and leave them there
twenty days; by that time they will contract the natural hardness
and solidity of pearls.  Then take them out of th matrass and
hang them in mercurial water, where they will moisten, swell, and
assume their Oriental beauty; after which shift them into a
matrass hermitically closed to prevent any water coming to them,
and let it down into a well, to continue there about eight days.
Then draw the matrass up, and in opening it you will find pearls
exactly resembling Oriental ones."  (Here follows a recipe for
making the mercurial water used in the process, with which I need
not occupy more space.)

A similar formula, "To make of small pearls a necklace of large
ones," is given in the "Lady's Magazine" for 1831, vol. iv., p.
119, which is said to be extracted from a scarce old book.  Thus,
whatever mystery may surround the art is Asiatic countreis there
is evidently none about it in Europe.  The process appears to be
somewhat tedious and complicated, but is doubtless profitable.

In Philostratus' Life of Appolonius there is a curious passage
about pearl-making which has been generally considered as a mere
"traveller's tale":  Apollonious relates that the inhabitants of
the shores of the Red Sea, after having calmed the water by means
of oil, dived after the shell-fish, enticed them with some bait
to open their shells, and having pricked the animals with a
sharp-pointed instrument, received the liquor that flowed from
them in small holes made in an iron vessel, in which is hardened
into real pearls.--It is stated by several reputable writers that
the Chinese do likewise at the present day.  And Sir R. F. Burton
informs me that when he was on the coast of Midian he found the
Arabs were in the habit of "growing" pearls by inserting a grain
of sand into the shells.

         THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST.--Vol. XI. p. 136.

The diverting adventures related in the first part of this tale
should be of peculiar interest to the student of Shakspeare as
well as to those engaged in tracing the genealogy of popular
fiction.  Jonathan Scott has given--for reasons of his own--a
meagre abstract of a similar tale which occurs in the "Bahár-i-
Dánish" (vol. iii. App., p. 291), as follows:

                        PERSIAN VERSION

A young man, being upon business in a certain city, goes on a
hunting excursion, and, fatigued with the chase, stops at a
country house to ask refreshment.  The lady of the mansion
receives him kindly, and admits him as her lover.  In the midst
of their dalliance the husband comes home, and the young man had
no recourse to escape discovery but to jump into a basin which
was in the court of the house, and stand with head in a hollow
gourd that happened to be in the water.  The husband, surprised
to see the gourd stationary in the water, which was itself
agitated by the wind, throws a stone at it, when the lover slips
from beneath it and holds his breath till almost suffocated.
Fortunately, the husband presently retires with his wife into an
inner room of the house, and thus the young man was enabled to
make good his escape.

The next day he relates his adventure before a large company at a
coffee-house.  The husband happens to be one of the audience,
and, meditating revenge, pretends to admire the gallantry of the
young man and invites him to his home.  The lover accompanies
him, and on seeing his residence is overwhelmed with confusion;
but, recovering himself, resolves to abide all hazards, in hopes
of escaping by some lucky stratagem.  His host introduces him to
his wife, and begs him to relate his merry adventure before her,
having resolved, when he should finish, to put them both to
death.  The young man complies, but with an artful presence of
mind exclaims at the conclusion, "Glad was I when I awoke from so
alarming a dream."  The husband upon this, after some questions,
is satisfied that he had only told his dream, and, having
entertained him nobly, dismisses him kindly.

This story is told in an elaborate form by Ser Giovanni
Fiorentino, in "Il Pecorone" (The Big Sheep, or, as Dunlop has
it, The Dunce), which was begun in 1378 but not published till
1554 (at Milan).  It is the second novel of the First Day and has
been thus translated by Roscoe:

                     SER GIOVANNI'S VERSION

There were once two very intimate friends, both of the family of
Saveli, in Rome; the name of one of whom was Bucciolo; that of
the other Pietro Paolo, both of good birth and easy
circumstances.  Expressing a mutual wish to study for a while
together at Bologna they took leave of their relatives and set
out.  One of them attached himself to the study of the civil law,
the other to that of the canon law, and thus they continued to
apply themselves for some length of time.  But the subject of
Decretals takes a much narrower range than is embraced by the
common law, so Bucciolo, who pursued the former, made greater
progress than did Pietro Paolo, and, having taken a licentiate's
degree, he began to think of returning to Rome.  "You see, my
dear fellow student," he observed to his friend Paolo, "I am now
a licentiate, and it is time for me to think of moving
homewards."  "Nay, not so," replied his companion; "I have to
entreat you will not think of leaving me here this winter.  Stay
for me till spring, and we can return together.  In the meantime
you may pursue some other study, so that you need not lose any
time;" and to this Bucciolo at length consented, promising to
await his relative's own good time.

Having thus resolved, he had immediate recourse to his former
tutor, informing him of his determination to bear his friend
company a little longer, and entreating to be employed in some
pleasant study to beguile the period during which he had to
remain.  The professor begged him to suggest something he should
like, as he should be very happy to assist him in its attainment.
"My worthy tutor," replied Bucciolo, "I think I should like to
learn the way in which one falls in love, and the best manner to
begin."  "O very good!" cried the tutor, laughing.  "You could
not have hit upon anything better, for you must know that, if
such be your object, I am a complete adept in the art.  To lose
no time, in the first place go next Sunday to the church of the
Frati Minori (Friars Minor of St. Francis), where all the ladies
will be clustered together, and pay proper attention during
service in order to discover if any one of them in particular
happens to please you.  When you have done this, keep your eye
upon her after service, to see the way she takes to her
residence, and then come back to me.  And let this be the first
lesson--the first part--of that in which it is my intention to
instruct you."  Bucciolo went accordingly, and taking his station
the next Sunday in the church, as he had been directed, his eyes,
wandering in every direction, were fixed upon all the pretty
women in the place, and upon one in particular, who pleased him
above all the rest.  She was by far the most beautiful and
attractive lady he could discover, and on leaving church he took
care to obey his master and follow her until he had made himself
acquainted with her residence.  Nor was it long before the young
lady began to perceive that the student was smitten with her;
upon which Bucciolo returned to his master and informed him of
what he had done.  "I have," said he, "learned as much as you
ordered me, and have found somebody I like very well."  "So far,
good," cried the professor, not a little amused at the sort of
science to which his pupil had thus seriously devoted himself--
"so far, good!  And now observe what I have next to say to you:
Take care to walk two or three times a day very respectfully
before her house, casting your eyes about you in such a way that
no one may catch you staring in her face; look in a modest and
becoming manner, so that she cannot fail to notice and be struck
with it.  And then return to me; and this, sir, will be the
second lesson in this gay science."

So the scholar went and promenaded with great discretion before
the lady's door, who observed that he appeared to be passing to
and fro out of respect to one of the inhabitants.  This attracted
her attention, for which Bucciolo very discreetly expressed his
gratitude by looks and bows, which being as often returned, the
scholar began to be aware that the lady liked him.  He
immediately went and told the professor all that had passed, who
replied, "Come, you have done very well.  I am hitherto quite
satisfied.  It is now time for you to find some way of speaking
to her, which you may easily do by means of those gipsies who
haunt the streets of Bologna, crying ladies' veils, purses and
other articles for sale.  Send word by her that you are the
lady's most faithful, devoted servant, and that there is no one
in the world you so much wish to please.  In short, let her urge
your suit, and take care to bring the answer to me as soon as you
have received it.  I will then tell you how you are to proceed."

Departing in all haste, he soon found a little old pedlar woman,
quite perfect in the trade, to whom he said he should take it as
a particular favour if she would do one thing, for which he would
reward her handsomely.  Upon this she declared her readiness to
serve him in anything he pleased.  "For you know," she added, "it
is my business to get money in every way I can."  Bucciolo gave
her two florins, saying, ‘I wish you to go for me to-day as far
as the Via Maccarella, where resides a young lady of the name of
Giovanna, for whom I have the very highest regard.  Pray tell her
so, and recommend me to her most affectionately, so as to obtain
for me her good graces by every means in your power.  I entreat
you to have my interest at heart, and to say such pretty things
as she cannot refuse to hear."  "O leave that to me, sir," said
the little old woman, "I will not fail to say a good word for you
at the proper time."  "Delay not," said Bucciolo, "but go now,
and I will wait for you here;" and she set off at once, taking
her basket of trinkets under her arm.  On approaching the place,
she saw the lady before the door, enjoying the air and curtseying
to her very low, "Do I happen to have anything here you would
fancy?" she said, displaying her wares.  "Pray, take something,
madam--whatever pleases you best."  Veils, stays, purses, and
mirrors were now spread in the most tempting way before the
lady's eyes.  Out of all these things her attention seemed to be
most attracted by a beautiful purse, which, she observed, if she
could afford, she should like to purchase. "Nay, madam,"
exclaimed the crone, "do not think anything about the price--take
anything yo please, since they are all paid for already, I assure
you."  Surprised at hearing this, and perceiving the very
respectful manner of the speaker, the lady rejoined, "Do you know
what you are saying?  What do you mean by that?"  The old woman,
pretending now to be much affected, said, "Well, madam, if it
must be so, I shall tell you.  It is very true that a young
gentleman of the name of Bucciolo sent me hither; one who loves
you better than all the world besides.  There is nothing he would
not do to please you, and indeed he appears to very wretched
because he cannot speak to you, and he is so very good, that it
is quite a pity.  I think it will be the death of him, and then
he is such a fine--such an elegant--young man, the more is the
pity!"  on hearing this, the lady, blushing deeply, turned
sharply round upon the little old woman, exclaiming, "O you
wicked creature! were it not for the sake of my own reputation, I
would give you such a lesson that you should remember it to the
latest day of your life!  A pretty story to come before decent
people with! Are you not ashamed of yourself to let such words
come out of your mouth?"  then seizing an iron bar that lay
across the doorway, "Ill betide you, little wretch!" she cried,
as she brandished it.  "If you ever come this way again, depend
on it, you will never go back alive!"  the trembling old trot,
quickly bundling up her wares, scampered off, in dread of feeling
that cruel weapon on her shoulders, nor did she think of stopping
till she had reached the place where Bucciolo stood waiting her
return.  Eagerly inquiring the news and how she succeeded, "O
very badly--very badly," answered the crone.  "I was never in
such a fright in all my life.  Why, she will neither see nor
listen to you, and if I had not run away, I should have felt the
weight of a great iron bar upon my shoulders.  For my own part, I
shall go there no more; and I advise you, signor, to look to
yourself how you proceed in such affairs in future."

Poor Bucciolo became quite disconsolate, and returned in all
haste to acquaint the professor with this unlucky result.  But
the professor, not a whit cast down, consoled him, saying, "Do
not despair; a tree is not levelled at a single stroke, you know.
I think you must have a repetition of your lesson to-night.  So
go and walk before her door as usual; notice how she eyes you,
and whether she appears angry or not, and then come back again to
me."  Bucciolo accordingly proceeded without delay to the lady's
house.  The moment she perceived him she called her maid and said
to her, "Quick, quick--hasten after the young man--that is he,
and tell him from me that he must come and speak with me this
evening without fail--without fail."  The girl soon came up with
Bucciolo and thus addressed him: "My lady, signor, my lady,
Giovanna, would be glad of your company this evening, she would
be very glad to speak with you."  Greatly surprised at this,
Bucciolo replied, "Tell your lady I shall be most happy to wait
upon her," so saying, he set off once more to the professor, and
reported the progress of the affair.  But this time the master
looked a little more serious; for, from some trivial
circumstances put together, he began to entertain suspicions that
the lady was (as it really turned out) no other than his own
wife.  So he rather anxiously inquired of Bucciolo whether he
intended to accept the invitation.  "To be sure I do," replied
his pupil.  "Then," said the professor, "promise that you will
come here before you set off."  "Certainly I will," answered
Bucciolo readily, and took his leave.

Now Bucciolo was far from suspecting that the lady bore so near a
relationship to his respected tutor, although the latter began to
be rather uneasy as to the result, feeling some twinges of
jealousy which were by no means pleasant.  For he passed most of
his winter evenings at the college where he gave lectures, and
not unfrequently remained there for the night.  "I should be
sorry," said he to himself, "if this young gentleman were
learning these things at my expense, and I must therefore know
the real state of the case."  In the evening his pupil called
according to promise, saying, "Worthy master, I am now ready to
go."  "Well, go," replied the professor; "but be wise, Signor
Bucciolo--be wise and think more than once what you are about."
"Trust me for that," said the scholar, a little piqued: "I shall
go well provided, and not walk into the mouth of danger unarmed."
And away he went, furnished with a good cuirass, a rapier, and a
stiletto in his belt.  He was no sooner on his way than the
professor slipped out quietly after him, dogging his steps
closely, until, trembling with rage, he saw him stop at his own
house-door, which, on a smart tap being given, was quickly opened
by the lady herself and the pupil admitted.  When the professor
saw that it was indeed his own wife, he was quite overwhelmed and
thought, "Alas, I fear this young fellow has learned more than he
confesses at my expense;" and vowing to be revenged, he ran back
to the college, where arming himself with sword and dagger, he
then hastened to his house in a terrible passion. Arriving at his
own door, he knocked loudly, and the lady, sitting before the
fire with Bucciolo, instantly knew it was her husband, so taking
hold of Bucciolo, she concealed him hurriedly under a heap of
damp clothes lying on a table near the window for ironing, which
done, she ran to the door and inquired who was there.  "Open
quickly," exclaimed the professor.  "You vile woman, you shall
soon know who is here!"  On opening the door, she beheld him with
a drawn sword, and cried in well-affected alarm, "O my dearest
life, what means this?"  "You know very well what it means," said
he.  "The villain is now in the house."  "Good Heaven! what is
that you say?" exclaimed the lady.  "Are you gone out of your
wits? Come and search the house, and if you find anybody, I will
give you leave to kill me on the spot.  What! do you think I
should now begin to misconduct myself as I never before did – as
none of my family ever did before? Beware lest the Evil One
should be tempting you, and, suddenly depriving you of your
senses, draw you to perdition!"  But the professor, calling for
candles, began to search the house from the cellar upwards--among
the tubs and casks--in every place but the right place--running
his sword through the beds and under the beds, and into every
inch of the bedding--leaving no corner or crevice of the whole
house untouched.  The lady accompanied him with a candle in her
hand, frequently interrupting him with, "Say your beads--say your
beads, good signor; it is certain that the Evil One is dealing
with you, for were I half so bad as you esteem me, I would kill
myself with my own hands.  But I entreat you not to give way to
this evil suggestion: oppose the adversary while you can."
Hearing these virtuous observations of his wife, and not being
able to discover any one after the strictest search, the
professor began to think that he must, after all, be possessed,
and presently extinguished the lights and returned to the
college.  The lady, on shutting the door after him, called out to
Bucciolo to come from his hiding place, and then, stirring the
fire, began to prepare a fine capon for supper, with some
delicious wines and fruits.  And thus they regaled themselves,
highly entertained with each other, nor was it their least
satisfaction that the professor had just left them, apparently
convinced that they had learned nothing at his expense.

Proceeding to the college the next morning, Bucciolo, without the
least suspicion of the truth, informed his master that he had
something for his ear which he was sure would make him laugh.
"How so?" demanded the professor. "Why," said his pupil, "you
must know that last night, just as I had entered the lady's
house, who should come in but her husband, and in such a rage!
He searched the whole house from top to bottom, without being
able to find me.  I lay under a heap of newly-washed clothes,
which were not half dry.  In short, the lady placed her part so
well that the poor gentleman forthwith took his leave, and we
afterwards ate a fine capon for supper and drank such wines--and
with such zest!  It was really one of the pleasantest evenings I
ever spent in my life.  But I think I'll go and take a nap, for I
promised to return this evening about the same hour."  "Then be
sure before you go," said the professor, trembling with
suppressed rage, "be sure to come and tell me when you set out."
"O certainly," responded Bucciolo, and away he went.  Such was
now the unhappy tutor's condition as to render him incapable of
delivering a single lecture during the whole day, and such was
his extreme vexation and eagerness for evening, that he spent his
time in arming himself with sword and dagger and cuirass,
meditating only upon deeds of blood.  At the appointed time came
Bucciolo, with the utmost innocence, saying, "My dear master, I
am going now."  "Yes, go," replied the professor, "and come back
to-morrow morning, if you can, and tell me how you have fared."
"I intend doing so," said Bucciolo, and departed at a brisk pace
for the house of the lady.

Armed cap-à-pie, the professor ran out after him, keeping pretty
close to his heels, with the intention of catching him just as he
entered.  But the lady, being on the watch, opened the door
suddenly for the pupil and shut it in her husband's face.  The
professor began to knock and to call out with a furious noise.
Extinguishing the light in a moment, the lady placed Bucciolo
behind the door, and throwing her arms round her husband's neck
as he entered, motioned to her lover while thus she held his
enemy to make his escape, and he, upon the husband's rushing
forward, slipped out from behind the door unperceived.  She then
began to scream as loud as she could, "Help! Help! The professor
has gone mad! Will nobody help me?" for he was in an ungovernable
rage, and she clung faster to him than before.  The neighbors
running to her assistance and seeing the peaceable professor
armed with deadly weapons, and his wife crying out, "Help, for
the love of Heaven!--too much study hath driven him mad!"{ they
readily believed such to be the fact.  "Come, good signor," they
said, "what is all this about?  Try to compose yourself--nay, do
not struggle so hard, but let us help you to your couch."  "How
can I rest, think you," he replied, "while this wicked woman
harbours paramours in my house?  I saw him come in with my own
eyes."  "Wretch that I am!" cried his wife.  "inquire of all my
friends and neighbors whether any one of them ever saw anything
the least unbecoming in my conduct."  The whole party entreated
the professor to lay such thoughts aside, for there was not a
better lady breathing, or one who set a higher value upon her
reputation.  "But how can that be," said he, "when I saw him
enter the house, and he is in it now?"  in the meanwhile the
lady's two brothers arrived, when she began to weep bitterly,
exclaiming, "O my dear brothers, my poor husband has gone mad,
quite mad--and he even says there is a man in the house.  I
believe he would kill me if he could; but you know me too well to
listen for a moment to such a story," and she continued to weep.

The brothers then accosted the professor in no gentle terms:  "We
are surprised, signor--we are shocked to find that you dare
bestow such epithets on our sister.  What can have led you, after
living so amicably together, to bring these charges against her
now?" "I can only tell you," answered the professor, "that there
is a man in the house.  I saw him enter."  "Then come, and let us
find him.  Show him to us," retorted the incensed brothers, "for
we will sift this matter to the bottom.  Show us the man, and we
will then punish her in such a way as will satisfy you."  One of
the brothers, taking his sister aside, said, "First tell me, have
you really got any one hidden in the house? Tell the truth."
"Heavens!" cried his sister, "I tell you, I would rather suffer
death.  Should I be the first to bring a scandal on our house?  I
wonder you are not ashamed to mention such a thing."  Rejoiced to
hear this, the brothers, directed by the professor, at once
commenced a search.  Half frantic, he led them at once to the
great bundle of linen, which he pierced through and through with
his sword, firmly believing that he was killing Bucciolo, all the
while taunting him at every blow.  "There! I told you," cried his
wife, "that he was mad.  To think of destroying your own property
thus!  It is plain he did not help to get them up," she
continued, whimpering--"all my best clothes!"

Having now sought everywhere in vain, one of the brothers
observed, "He is indeed mad," to which the other agreed, while he
again attacked the professor in the bitterest terms:  "You have
carried matters too far, signor; your conduct to our sister is
shameful, and nothing but insanity can excuse it."  Vexed enough
before, the professor upon this flew into a violent passion, and
brandished his naked sword in such a way that the others were
obliged to use their sticks, which they did so very effectively
that, after breaking them over his head, they chained him down
like a maniac upon the floor, declaring he had lost his wits by
excessive study, and taking possession of his house, they
remained with their sister all night.  next morning they sent for
a physician, who ordered a couch to be placed as near as possible
to the fire, that no one should be allowed to speak or reply to
the patient, and that he should be strictly dieted until he
recovered his wits; and this regimen was diligently

A report immediately spread through Bologna that the good
professor had become insane, which caused very general regret,
his friends observing to each other, "It is indeed a bad
business; but I suspected yesterday how it was--he could scarcely
get a word out as he was delivering his lecture, did you not
perceive?"  "Yes," said another, "I saw him change colour, poor
fellow."  And by everybody, everywhere, it was decided that the
professor was mad.  In this situation numbers of his scholars
went to see him, and among the rest Bucciolo, knowing nothing of
what had happened, agreed to accompany them to the college,
desirous of acquainting his master with last night's adventure.
What was his surprise to learn that he had actually taken leave
of his senses, and being directed on leaving the college to the
professor's house, he was almost panic-struck on approaching the
place, beginning to comprehend the whole affair.  Yet, in order
that no one might be led to suspect the truth, he walked into the
house along with the rest, and on reaching a certain apartment
which he knew, he beheld his poor tutor almost beaten to a mummy,
and chained down upon his bed, close to the fire.  His pupils
were standing round condoling with him and lamenting his piteous
case.  At length it came to Bucciolo's turn to say something to
him, which he did as follows:  "My dear master, I am truly
concerned for you as if you were my own father, and if there is
anything in which I can be of service to you, command me as your
own son."  To this the poor professor only replied, "No,
Bucciolo, depart in peace, my pupil; depart, for you have learned
much, very much, at my expense."  Here his wife interrupted him:
"You see how he wanders--heed not what he says--pay no attention
to him, signor."  Bucciolo, however, prepared to depart, and
taking a hasty leave of the professor, he proceeded to the
lodging of his friend Pietro Paolo, and said to him, "Fare you
well.  god bless you, my friend.  I must away; and I have lately
learned so much at other people's expense that I am going home."
So saying, he hurried away, and in due course arrived in safety
in Rome.

The affliction of the professor of Giovanni's sprightly tale will
probably be considered by most readers as well-merited
punishment; the young gallant proved an apt scholar in the art of
love, and here was the inciter to evil repaid with the same coin!

Straparola also tells the story, but in a different form, in his
"Pleasant Nights" (Piacevoli Notti), First Day, second novella;
and his version is taken into a small collection entitled
"Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie," first published in or before
1590--a catchpenny tract in which, of course, Dick Tarlton had
never a hand, any more than he had in the collection of jests
which goes under his name.

                  STRAPAROLA'S VERSION[FN#490]

In Pisa, a famous city of Italye, there lived a gentleman of good
lineage and landes, feared as well for his wealth, as honoured
for his vertue, but indeed well thought on for both; yet the
better for his riches.  This gentleman had one onelye daughter,
called Margaret, who for her beauty was liked of all, and desired
of many.  But neither might their sutes nor her owne prevaile
about her father's resolution, who was determyned not to marrye
her, but to such a man as should be able in abundance to maintain
the excellency of her beauty.  Divers young gentlemen proffered
large feoffments, but in vaine, a maide shee must bee still: till
at last an olde doctor in the towne, that professed phisicke,
became a sutor to her, who was a welcome man to her father, in
that he was one of the wealthiest men in all Pisa; a tall
stripling he was and a proper youth, his age about foure score,
his heade as white as milke, wherein for offence sake there was
left never a tooth.  But it is no matter, what he wanted in
person he had in the purse, which the poore gentlewoman little
regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one that might fit her
content, though they lived meanly, then to him with all the
wealth in Italye.  But shee was yong, and forcst to follow her
father's direction, who, upon large covenants, was content his
daughter should marry with the doctor, and whether she likte him
or no, the match was made up, and in short time she was married.
The poore wench was bound to the stake, and had not onely an olde
impotent man, but one that was so jealous, as none might enter
into his house without suspition, nor shee doo any thing without
blame; the least glance, the smallest countenance, any smile was
a manifest instance to him that she thought of others better than
himselfe.  Thus he himselfe lived in a hell, and tormented his
wife in as ill perplexitie.

At last it chaunced that a young gentleman of the citie, coming
by her house, and seeing her looke out at her window, noting her
rare and excellent proportion, fell in love with her, and that so
extreamelye, as his passions had no meanes till her favour might
mittigate his heart sicke discontent.  The yong man that was
ignorant in amorous matters, and had never beene used to courte
anye gentlewoman, thought to reveale his passions to some one
freend that might given him counsaile for the winning of her
love, and thinking experience was the surest maister, on a daye
seeing the olde doctor walkinge in the churche that was
Margaret's husband, little knowing who he was, he thought this
the fittest man to whom he might discover his passions, for that
hee was olde and knew much, and was a phisition that with his
drugges might helpe him forward in his purposes, so that seeing
the olde man walke solitary, he joinde unto him, and after a
curteous salute, tolde him that he was to impart a matter of
great import to him, wherein, if hee would not onely be secrete,
but indevour to pleasure him, his pains should bee every way to
the full considered.  You must imagine, gentleman, quoth Mutio,
for so was the doctor's name, that men of our profession are no
blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts bottome, and
therefore reveale what you please, it shall not onely be
concealed, but cured, if either my art or counsaile may doo it.
Upon this, Lyonell, so was the young gentleman called, told and
discourst unto him from point to point, how he was falne in love
with a gentlewoman that was married to one of his profession,
discovered her dwelling and the house, for that he was
unacquainted with the woman, and a man little experienced in love
matters, he required his favour to further him with his advice.
Mutio at this motion was stung to the hart, knowing it was his
wife hee was fallen in love withall, yet to conceale the matter,
and to experience his wive's chastity, and that if she plaide
false, he might be revenged on them both, he dissembled the
matter, and answered that he knewe the woman very well, and
commended her highly: but said she had a churle to her husband,
and therefore he thought shee would bee the more tractable: Trye
her, man, quoth hee, fainte harte never wonne faire lady, and if
shee will not be brought to the bent of your bowe, I will provide
such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content: and to
give you further instructions for oportunitie, knowe that her
husband is foorth every after-noone from three till sixe.  Thus
farre I have advised you, because I pitty your passions, as my
selfe being once a lover, but now I charge thee reveale it to
none whomsoever, least it doo disparage my credit to meddle in
amorous matters.

The yong gentleman not onely promised all carefull secrecy, but
gave him harty thanks for his good counsell, promising to meete
him there the next day, and tell him what newes.  Then hee left
the old man, who was almost mad for feare his wife any way should
play false; he saw by experience brave men came to besiege the
castle, and seeing it was in woman's custodie, and had so weeke a
governor as himselfe, he doubted it would in time be delivered
up: which feare made him almost franticke, yet he drivde of the
time great torment, till he might heare from his rival.  Lionello
he hastes him home and sutes him in his braverye, and goes downe
toward the house of Mutio, where he sees her at the windowe whome
he courted with a passionate looke, with such humble salute and
shee might perceive how the gentleman was affectionate.
Margaretta, looking earnestlye upon him, and noting the
perfection of his proportion, accounted him in her eye the flower
of all Pisa, thinkte herselfe fortunate if shee might have him
for her freend, to supply the defaultes that she found in Mutio.
Sundry times that afternoone he past by her window, and he cast
not up more loving lookes, than he received gratious favours,
which did so incourage him that the next daye betweene three and
sixe hee went to her house, and knocking at the doore, desired to
speake with the mistris of the house, who hearing by her maid's
description what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she
intertained him with all courtesie.

The youth that never before had given the attempt to court a
ladye, began his exordium with a blushe; and yet went forward so
well, that hee discourst unto her howe hee loved her, and that if
it might please her to accept of his service, as of a freende
ever vowde in all dutye to bee at her commaunde, the care of her
honour should bee deerer to him than his life, and hee would be
ready to prise her discontent with his bloud at all times.  The
gentlewoman was a little coye, but, before they part, they
concluded that the next daye at foure of the clock hee should
come thither and eate a pound of cherries, which was resolved on
with a succado des labras, and so with a loath to depart they
tooke their leaves.  Lionello as joyfull a man as might be, hyed
him to the church to meete his olde doctor, where he found him in
his olde walke: What newes, syr, quoth Mutio, how have you sped?
Even as I can wishe, quoth Lionello, for I have been with my
mistrisse, and have found her so tractable, that I hope to make
the olde peasant, her husband, looke broadheaded by a paire of
browantlers.  How deepe this strooke into Mutio's hart, let them
imagine that can conjecture what jealousie is; insomuch that the
olde doctor askte when should be the time.  marry, quoth
Lionello, at foure of the clocke in the afternoone, and then
Maister Doctor, quoth hee, will I dub the old squire knight of
the forked order.

Thus they past on in that, till it grew late, and then Lyonello
went home to his lodging and Mutio to his house, covering all his
sorrows with a merrye countenance, with full resolution to
revenge them both the next daye with extremitie.  He past the
night as patiently as he could, and the next daye, after dinner,
awaye hee went, watching when it should bee foure of the clocke.
At the hour justly came Lyonello and was intertained with all
curtesie; but scarce had they kist, ere the maid cryed out to her
mistresse that her maister was at the doore; for he hasted,
knowing that a horne was but a litle while in grafting.
Margaret, at this alarum, was amazed, and yet for a shift chopt
Lionello into a great driefatte[FN#491] full of feathers,[FN#492]
and sat her downe close to her woorke.  By that came Mutio in
blowing, and as though hee came to looke somewhat in haste,
called for the keyes of his chamber, and looked in everye place,
searching so narrowlye in everye corner of the house, that he
left not the very privie unsearcht.  Seeing he could not finde
him, hee said nothing, but fayning himselfe not well at ease,
staide at home, so that poor Lionello was faine to staye in the
drifatte till the old churle was in bed with his wife; and then
the maide let him out at a backe doore, who went home with a flea
in his eare to his lodging.

Well, the next day he went againe to meete his doctor, whome he
founde in his wonted  walke.  What newes? Quoth Mutio, how have
you sped?  A poxe of the olde slave, quoth Lyonello; I was no
sooner in and had given my mistresse one kisse, but the jelous
asse was at the doore; the maide spied him, and cryed her
maister; so that the poore gentlewoman, for very shifte, was
faine to put me in a driefatte of feathers that stoode in an olde
chamber, and there I was faine to tarry while[FN#493] he was in
bed and a-sleepe, and then the maide let me out, and I departed.
But it is no matter; 'twas but a chaunce, and I hope to crye
quittance with him ere it be long.  As how? Quoth Mutio.  Marry,
thus, quoth Lionello: shee sent me woord by her maide this daye
that upon Thursday next the olde churle suppeth with a patient of
his a mile out of Pisa, and then I feare not but to
quitte[FN#494] him for all.  It is well, quoth Mutio; fortune bee
your frende.  I thanke you, quoth Lionello: and so, after a
little more prattle, they departed.

To bee shorte, Thursdaye came, and about sixe of the clocke,
foorth goes Mutio no further than a freendes house of his, from
whence he might descrye who went into his house; straight hee saw
Lionello enter in, and after goes hee, insomuche that hee was
scarcelye sitten downe, before the mayde cryed out againe, my
maister comes.  The goodwife, that before had provided for after-
claps,[FN#495] had found out a privie place between two seelings
of a plauncher,[FN#496] and there she thrust Lionello, and her
husband came sweting.  What news, quoth shee, drives you home
againe so soone, husband?  Marry, sweete wife, quoth he, a
fearfull dream that I had this night, which came to my
remembrance, and that was this: me thought there was a villaine
that came secretlye into my house, with a naked poinard in his
hand, and hid himselfe, but I could not finde the place; with
that mine nose bled, and I came back; and, by the grace of God, I
will seeke every corner in the house for the quiet of my minde.
Marry, I pray you doo, husband, quoth she.  With that he lockt in
all the doors, and began to search every chamber, every hole,
every chest, every tub, the very well; he stabd every feather bed
through, and made havocke like a mad man, which made him thinke
all was in vaine; and hee began to blame his eies that thought
they saw that which they did not.  Upon this he rest halfe
lunaticke, and all night he was very wakefull, that towards the
morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then was Lionello
conveighed away.

In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by no meanes
hee should be able to take Lionello tardy: yet he laid in his
head a most dangerous plot; and that was this:  Wife, quoth he, I
must the next Monday ride to Vycensa, to visit an olde patient of
mine; till my returne, which will be some ten dayes, I will have
thee staye at our little graunge house in the countrey.  Marry,
very well content, quoth she.  With that he kist her, and was
verye pleasant, as though he had suspected nothing, and away hee
flings to the church, where he meetes Lionello.  What, sir, quoth
he, what news? is your mistresse yours in possession?  No, a
plague of the olde slave, quoth hee.  I think he is either a
witch or els woorkes by magick; for I can no sooner enter into
the doores, but he is at my backe, and so he was againe
yesternight; for I was not warm in my seate before the maide
cryed, my maister comes; and then was the poore soule faine to
conveigh me betweene two seelings of a chamber, in a fit place
for the purpose, wher I laught hartely to myself too see how he
sought every corner, ransakt every tub, and stabd every feather
bed, but in vaine; I was safe enough until the morning, and then,
when he was fast asleepe, I lept out.  Fortune frownes on you,
quoth Mutio.  I,[FN#497] but I hope, quoth Lionello, this is the
last time, and now shee will begin to smile; for on Monday next
he rides to Vicensa, and his wife lyes at the grange house a
little (out) of the towne, and there in his absence I will
revenge all forepast misfortunes.  God sent it be so, quoth
Mutio; and so took his leave.

These two lovers longd for Monday, and at last it came.  Early in
the morning Mutio horst himselfe and his wife, his maide and a
man, and no more, and away he rides to his grange house, wher,
after he had brok his fast, he took his leave, and away towards
Vincensa.  He rode not far ere, by a false way, he returned into
a thicket, and there, with a company of cuntry peasants, lay in
an ambuscade to take the young gentleman.  In the afternoon comes
Lionello galloping, and as soon as he came within sight of the
house, he sent back his horse by his boy, and went easily afoot,
and there, at the very entry, was entertained by Margaret, who
led him up the staires, and convaid him into her bedchamber,
saying he was welcome into so mean a cottage.  But, quoth she,
now I hope fortun shall not envy the purity of our loves.  Alas!
alas! mistris, cried the maid, heer is my maister, and 100 men
with him, with bils and staves.  We are betraid, quoth Lionel,
and I am but a dead man.  Feare not, quoth she, but follow me:
and straight she carried him downe into a low parlor, where
stoode an olde rotten chest full of writinges; she put him into
that, and covered him with olde papers and evidences, and went to
the gate to meet her husband.

Why, Signor Mutio, what meanes this hurly burly? quoth she.  Vile
and shameless strumpet as thou art, thou shalt know by and by,
quoth he.  Where is thy love?  All we have watcht him and seen
him enter in.  Now, quoth he, shall neither thy tub of feathers
or thy seeling serve, for perish he shall with fire, or els fall
into my handes.  Doo thy worst, jealous foole, quoth she, I ask
thee no favour.  With that, in a rage, he beset the house round,
and then set fire on it.  Oh, in what perplexitie was poore
Lionello in that he was shut in a chest, and the fire about his
eares! and how was Margaret passionat, that knew her lover was in
such danger!  Yet she made light of the matter, and, as one in a
rage, called her maid to her and said: Come on, wench, seeing thy
maister, mad with jealousie, hath set the house and al my living
on fire, I will be revenged on him: help me heer to lift this old
chest where all his writings and deeds are; let that burne first,
and as soon as I see that on fire I will walke towards my
freends, for the olde foole will be beggard, and I will refuse
him.  Mutio, that knew al his obligations and statutes lay there,
puld her back and had two of his men carry the chest into the
field, and see it were safe, himselfe standing by and seeing his
house burned downe sticke and stone.  Then, quieted in his mind,
he went home with his wife and began to flatter her, thinking
assuredly that he had burnt her paramour, causing his chest to be
carried in a cart to his house in Pisa.  Margaret, impatient,
went to her mother's and complained to her and her brethren of
the jealousie of her husband, who maintaned her it to be true,
and desired but a daies respite to proove it.

Wel, hee was bidden to supper the next night at her mother's, she
thinking to make her daughter and him freends againe.  In the
meane time he to his woonted walk in the church, and there,
præter expectationem, he found Lionello walking.  Wondring at
this, he straight enquires what newes.  What newes, Maister
Doctor, quoth he, and he fell in a great laughing; in faith
yesterday, I scapt a scouring, for syrrha, I went to the grange-
house, where I was appointed to come, and I was no sooner gotten
up to the chamber, but the magicall villeine, her husband, beset
the house with bils and staves, and that he might be sure no
seeling nor corner should shrowde me, he set the house on fire,
and so burnt it downe to the ground.  Why, quoth Mutio, and how
did you escape?  Alas, quoth he, wel fare a woman's wit; she
conveighed me into an old chest full of writings, which she knew
her husband durst not burne, and so I was saved and brought to
Pisa, and yesternight, by her maide, let home to my lodging.
This, quoth he, is the pleasantest jest that ever I heard; and
upon this I have a sute to you: I am this night bidden foorth to
supper, you shall be my guest, onely I will crave so much favour,
as after supper for a pleasant sporte, to make relation what
successe you have had in your loves.  For that I will not sticke,
quoth he, and so he conveyed Lionello to his mother-in-law's
house with him, and discovered to his wive's brethren who he was,
and how at supper he would disclose the whole matter; For, quoth
he, he knowes not that I am Margaret's husband.  At this all the
brethren bad him welcome, and so did the mother to, and Margaret,
she was kept out of sight.  Supper time being come they fell to
their victals, and Lionello was carrowst unto by Mutio, who was
very pleasant, to drawe him into a merry humour, that he might to
the ful discourse the effect and fortunes of his love.  Supper
being ended, Mutio requested him to tel to the gentlemen what had
hapned between him and his mistresse.  Lionello, with a smiling
countenance, began to describe his mistresse, the house and
street where she dwelt, how he fell in love with her, and how he
used the councell of this doctor, who in all his affaires was his
secretarye.  Margaret heard all this with a great feare, and when
he came to the last point, she caused a cup of wine to be given
him by one of her sisters, wherein was a ring that he had given
Margaret.  As he had told how he had escapt burning, and was
ready to confirme all for a troth, the gentlewoman drunke to him,
who taking the cup and seeing the ring, having a quick wit and a
reaching head, spide the fetch, and perceived that all this while
this was his lover's husband to whome hee had revealed these
escapes; at this drinking the wine and swallowing the ring into
his mouth he went forward.  Gentlemen, quoth he, how like you of
my loves and my fortunes?  Wel, quoth the gentlemen; I pray you
is it true?  As true, quoth he, as if I would be so simple as to
reveal what I did to Margaret's husband; for, know you,
gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be her husband whom I
notified to be my lover; and for that he was generally known
throughout Pisa to be a jealous fool, therefore, with these tales
I brought him into paradice, which are follies of mine owne
braine; for, trust me, by the faith of a gentleman, I never spake
to the woman, was never in her companye, neyther doo I know her
if I see her.  At this they all fell in a laughing at Mutio, who
was ashamde that Lionello had so scoft him.  But all was well;
they were made friends, but the jest went so to his hart that he
shortly after died, and Lionello enjoyed the ladye.

Ser Giovanni's story, Roscoe observes, is "curious as having
through the medium of translation suggested the idea of those
amusing scenes in which the renowned Falstaff acquaints Master
Ford, disguised under the name of Brooke, with his progress in
the good graces of Mrs. Ford.  The contrivances likewise by which
he eludes the vengeance of the jealous husband are similar to
those recounted in the novel, with the addition of throwing the
unweildy knight into the river.  Dunlop says that the same story
has been translated is a collection entitled ‘The Fortunate,
Deceived, and Unfortunate Lovers,' and that Shakspeare may
probably also have seen it in ‘Tarlton's Newes out of
Purgatorie,' where the incidents related in the Lovers of Pisa
are given according to Straparola's story.  Moliere made a happy
use of it in his ‘Ecole des Femmes,' where the humour of the
piece turns upon a young gentleman confiding his progress in the
affections of a lady to the ear of her guardian, who believed he
was on the point of espousing her himself."  Two other French
plays were based upon the story, one of which was written by La
Fontaine under the title of "La Maitre en Droit."  Readers of
"Gil Blas" will also recollect how Don Raphael confides to
Balthazar the progress of his amour with his wife, and expresses
his vexation at the husband's unexpected return.

It is much to be regretted that nothing is known as to the date
and place of the composition of the Breslau edition of The
Nights, which alone contains this and several other tales found
in the collections of the early Italian novelists.


Although we may find, as already stated, the direct source of
this tale in the forty-sixth chapter of Al-Mas'údi's "Meadows of
Gold and Mines of Gems," which was written about A.D. 943, yet
there exists a much older version--if not the original form--in a
Sanskrit collection entitled, "Vetálapanchavinsatí," or Twenty-
five Tales of a Vampyre.  This ancient work is incorporated with
the "Kathá Sarit Ságara," or Ocean of the Streams of Story,
composed in Sanskrit verse by Somadeva in the 11th century, after
a similar work, now apparently lost, entitled "Vrihat Kathá," or
Great Story, written by Gunadhya, in the 6th century.[FN#498]  In
the opinion of Benfey all the Vampyre Tales are of Buddhist
extraction (some are unquestionably so), and they probably date
from before our era.  As a separate work they exist, more or less
modified, in many of the Indian vernaculars; in Hindí, under the
title of "Baital Pachísí"; in Tamil, "Vedala Kadai"; and there
are also versions in Telegu, Mahratta, and Canarese.  The
following is from Professor C. H. Tawney's complete translation
of the "Kathá Sarit Ságara" (it is the 8th recital of the

                         INDIAN VERSION

There is a great tract of land assigned to Bráhmans in the
country of Anga, called Vrikshaghata.  In it there lived a rich
sacrificing Bráhman named Vishnusvámin.  And he had a wife equal
to himself in birth.  And by her he had three sons born to him,
who were distinguished for preternatural acuteness.  In course of
time they grew up to be young men.  One day, when he had begun a
sacrifice, he sent those three brothers to the sea to fetch a
turtle.  So off they went, and when they had found a turtle, the
eldest said to his two brothers, "Let one of you take the turtle
for our father's sacrifice; I cannot take it, as it is all
slippery with slime."  When the eldest said this, the two younger
ones answered him, "If you hesitate about taking it, why should
not we?"  When the eldest heard that, he said, "You two must take
the turtle; if you do not, you will have obstructed your father's
sacrifice, and then you will certainly sink down to hell." When
he told the younger brother's this, they laughed and said to him,
"If you see our duty so clearly, why do you not see that your own
is the same?"  Then the eldest said, "What, do you not know how
fastidious I am?  I am very fastidious about eating, and I cannot
be expected to touch what is repulsive."  The middle brother,
when he heard this speech of his, said to his brother, "Then I am
a more fastidious person than you, for I am a most fastidious
connoisseur of the fair sex."  When the middle one said this, the
eldest went on to say, "Then let the younger of you two take the
turtle."  Then the youngest brother frowned, and in his turn said
to the two elder, "You fools, I am very fastidious about beds; so
I am the most fastidious of the lot."

So the three brothers fell to quarrelling with one another, and
being completely under the dominion of conceit, they left that
turtle and went off immediately to the court of the king of that
country, whose name was Prasenajit, and who lived in a city named
Vitankapura, in order to have the dispute decided.  There they
had themselves announced by the warder, and went in, and gave the
king a circumstantial account of their case.  The king said,
"Wait here, and I will put you all in turn to the proof;' so they
agreed and remained there.  And at the time that the king took
his meal, he had them conducted to a seat of honour, and given
delicious food fit for a king, possessing all the six flavours.
And while all were feasting around him, the Bráhman who was
fastidious about eating along of the company did not eat, but sat
there with his face puckered up with disgust.  The king himself
asked the Bráhman why he did not eat his food, though it was
sweet and fragrant, and he slowly answered him, "I perceive in
this food an evil smell of the reek from corpses, so I cannot
bring myself to eat it, however delicious it may be."  When he
said this before the assembled multitude, they all smelled it by
the king's orders, and said, "This food is prepared from white
rice and is good and fragrant."  But the Bráhman who was so
fastidious about eating would not touch it, but stopped his nose.
Then the king reflected, and proceeded to inquire into the
matter, and found out from his officers that the food had been
made from rice which had been grown in a field near the burning
ghát of a certain village.  Then the king was much astonished,
and, being pleased, he said to him, "In truth you are very
particular as to what you eat; so eat of some other dish."

And after they had finished their dinner, the king dismissed the
Bráhmans to their apartments and sent for the loveliest lady of
his court.  And in the evening he sent that fair one, all whose
limbs were of faultless beauty, splendidly adorned, to the second
Bráhman, who was so squeamish about the fair sex.  And that
matchless kindler of Cupid's flame, with a face like the full
moon of midnight, went, escorted by the king's servants, to the
chamber of the Bráhman.  But when she entered, lighting up the
chamber with her brightness, that gentleman who was so fastidious
about the fair sex felt quite faint, and stopping his nose with
his left hand, said to the king's servants, "Take her away; if
you do not, I am a dead man: a smell comes from her like that of
a goat."  When the king's servants heard this, they took the
bewildered fair one to their sovereign, and told him what had
taken place.  And the eking immediately had the squeamish
gentleman sent for, and said to him, "How can this lovely woman,
who has perfumed herself with sandal-wood, camphor, black aloes,
and other splendid scents, so that she diffuses exquisite
fragrance through the world, smell like a goat?"  But though the
king used this argument to the squeamish gentleman he stuck to
his point; and then the king began to have his doubts on the
subject, and at last, by artfully framed questions, he elicited
from the lady herself that, having been separated in her
childhood from her mother and nurse, she had been brought up on
goat's milk.

Then the king was much astonished, and praised highly the
discernment of the man who was fastidious about the fair sex, and
immediately had given to the third Bráhman, who was fastidious
about beds, in accordance with his taste, a bed composed of seven
mattresses placed upon a bedstead.  White smooth sheets and
coverlets were laid upon the bed, and the fastidious man slept
upon it in a splendid room.  But, before half a watch of the
night had passed, he rose up from that bed, with his hand pressed
to his side, screaming in an agony of pain.  And the king's
officers, who were there, saw a red crooked mark on his side, as
if a hair had been pressed deep into it. And they went and told
the king, and the king said to them, "Look and see if there is
not something under the mattress."  So they went and examined the
bottom of the mattresses one by one, and they found a hair in the
middle of the bedstead underneath them all.  And they took it and
showed it to the king, and they also brought the man who was
fastidious about beds, and when the king saw the state of his
body, he was astonished.  And he spent the whole night in
wondering how a hair could make so deep an impression on his skin
through seven mattresses.[FN#499]

And the next morning the king gave three hundred thousand gold
pieces to those fastidious men, because they were persons of
wonderful discernment and refinement.  And they remained in great
comfort in the king's court, forgetting all about the turtle, and
little did they reck of the fact that they had incurred sin by
obstructing their father's sacrifice.[FN#500]

The story of the brothers who were so very "knowing" is common to
most countries, with occasional local modifications.  It is not
often we find the knowledge of the "quintessence of things"
concentrated in a single individual, as in the case of the ex-
king of our tale, but we have his exact counterpart--and the
circumstance is significant--in No. 2 of the "Cento Novelle
Antiche," the first Italian collection of short stories, made in
the 13th century, where a prisoner informs the king of Greece
that a certain horse has been suckled by a she-ass, that a jewel
contains a flaw, and that the king himself is a baker.  Mr.
Tawney, in a note on the Vetála story, as above, refers also to
the decisions of Hamlet in Saxo Grammaticus, 1839, p. 138, in
Simrock's "Quellen des Shakespeare," I, 81-85; 5, 170; he lays
down that some bread tastes of blood (the corn was grown on a
battlefield); that some liquor tastes of iron (the malt was mixed
with water taken from a well in which some rusty swords had
lain); that some bacon tastes of corpses (the pig had eaten a
corpse); lastly, that the king is a servant and his wife a
serving-maid.  But in most versions of the story three brothers
are the gifted heroes.

In "Mélusine"[FN#501] for 5 Nov. 1885, M. René Basset cites an
interesting variant (in which, as is often the case, the "Lost
Camel" plays a part, but are not concerned about it at present)
from Radloff's "Proben der Volksliteratur der turkischen Stamme
des Sud-Siberiens," as follows:

                        SIBERIAN VERSION

Meat and bread were set before the three brothers, and the prince
went out.  The eldest said, "The prince is a slave;" the second,
"This is dog's flesh;" the youngest, "This bread has grown over
the legs of a dead body."  The prince heard them.  He took a
knife and ran to find his mother.  "Tell me the truth," cried he-
-"were you unfaithful to my father during his absence?  A man who
is here has called me a slave."  "My son," replied she, "If I
don't tell the truth, I shall die; if I tell it, I shall die.
When thy father was absent, I gave myself up to a slave."  The
prince left his mother and ran to the house of the shepherd:
"The meat which you have cooked to-day--what is it?  Tell the
truth, otherwise I'll cut your head off."  "Master, if I tell it,
I shall die; if I don't I shall die.  I will be truthful.  It was
a lamb whose mother had no milk; on the day of its birth, it was
suckled by a bitch: that is to-day's ewe."  The prince left the
shepherd and ran to the house of the husbandman: "Tell the truth,
or else I'll cut off your head.  Three young men have come to my
house, I have placed bread before them, and they say that the
grain has grown over the limbs of a dead man."  "I will be frank
with you.  I ploughed with my plough in a place where were
(buried) the limbs of a man; without knowing it, I sowed some
wheat, which grew up."  the prince quitted his slave and returned
to his house, where were seated the strangers.  He said to the
first, "Young man, how do you know that I am a slave?"  "Because
you went out as soon as the repast was brought in."  He asked the
second, "How do you know that the meat which was served was that
of a dog?" "Because it has a disagreeable taste like the flesh of
a dog."  Then to the third: "How come you to know that this bread
was grown over the limbs of a dead person?"  "What shall I say?
It smells of the limbs of a dead body; that is why I recognised
it.  If you do not believe me, ask your slave; he will tell you
that what I say is true."

In the same paper (col. 516) M. René Basset cites a somewhat
elaborate variant, from Stier's "Ungarische Sagen und Märchen,"
in which, once more, the knowledge of the "quintessence of
things" is concentrated in a single individual.

                       HUNGARIAN VERSION

A clever Magyar is introduced with his companions in disguise
into the camp of the king of the Tátárs, who is menacing his
country.  The prince, suspicious, causes him to be carefully
watched by his mother, a skilful sorceress.  They brought in the
evening's repast.  "What good wine the prince has!" said she.
"Yes," replied one, "but it contains human blood."  The sorceress
took not of the bed from whence these words proceeded, and when
all were asleep she deftly cut a lock of hair from him who had
spoken, crept stealthily out of the room, and brought this mark
to her son.  the strangers started up, and when our hero
discovered what had been done to him, he cut a lock from all, to
render his decision impossible.  When they came to dinner, the
king knew not from whom the lock had been taken.  The following
night the mother of the prince again slipped into the room, and
said, "What good bread has the prince of the Tátárs!"  "Very
good," replied one, "it is made with the milk of a woman."  When
all were asleep, she cut a little off the moustache of him who
was lying in the bed from which the voice proceeded.  This time
the Magyars were still more on the alert, and when they were
apprised of the matter, they all cut a little from their
moustaches, so that next morning the prince found himself again
foiled.  The third night the old lady hid herself, and said in a
loud voice, "What a handsome man is the prince of the Tátárs!"
"Yes," said one, "but he is a bastard."  When all were asleep,
the old lady made a mark on the visor of the helmet of the one
from whence had come the words, and then acquainted her son of
what she had done.  In the morning the prince perceived that all
the helmets were similarly marked.[FN#502] At length he
refrained, and said, "I see that there is among you a master
greater than myself; that is why I desire very earnestly to know
him.  He may make himself known; I should like to see and know
this extraordinary man, who is more clever and powerful than
myself."  The young man started up from his seat and said, "I
have not wished to be stronger or wiser than yourself.  I have
only wished to find out what you had preconcerted for us.  I am
the person who has been marked three nights."  "It is well, young
man.  But prove now your words:  How is there human blood in the
wine?"  "Call your butler and he will tell you."  The butler came
in trembling all over, and confessed that when he corked the wine
he had cut his finger with the knife, and a drop of blood had
fallen into the cask.  "But how is there woman's milk in the
bread?" asked the king.  "Call the bakeress," he replied, "and
she will tell it you."  When they questioned her, she confessed
that she was kneading the bread and at the same time suckling her
baby, and that on pressing it to her breast some milk flowed and
was mixed with the bread.  The sorceress, the mother of the king,
when they came to the third revelation of the young man,
confessed in her turn that the king was illegitimate.

Mr. Tawney refers to the Chevalier de Mailly's version of the
Three Princes of Serendip (Ceylon):  The three are sitting at
table, and eating a leg of lamb, sent with some splendid wine
from the table of the emperor Bahrám.  The eldest maintains that
the wine was made of grapes that grew in a cemetery; the second,
that the lamb was brought up on dog's milk; while the third
asserts that the emperor had put to death the son of the wazír.
And that the latter is bent on vengeance.  All these statements
turn out to be well-grounded.  Mr. Tawney also refers to parallel
stories in the Breslau edition of The Nights; namely, in Night
458, it is similarly conjectured that the bread was baked by a
sick woman; that the kid was suckled by a bitch, and that the
sultan is illegitimate; and in Night 459, a gem-cutter guesses
that a jewel has an internal flaw, a man skilled in the pedigrees
of horses divines that a horse is the offspring of a female
buffalo, and a man skilled in human pedigrees that the mother of
the favourite queen was a rope-dancer.  Similar incidents occur
in "The Sultan of Yemen and his Three Sons," one of the
Additional Tales translated by Scott, from the Wortley-Montague
MS., now in the Bodleian Library, and comprised in vol. vi. of
his edition of "The Arabian Nights Entertainments," published at
London in 1811.

An analogous tale occurs in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb's recently-
published translation of the "History of the Forty Vezirs (the
Lady's Fourth Story, p. 69 ff.), the motif of which is that "all
things return to their origin:"

                        TURKISH ANALOGUE

There was in the palace of the world a king who was very desirous
of seeing Khizr[FN#503] (peace on him!), and he would even say,
"If there be any one who will show me Khizr, I will give him
whatsoever he may wish."  Now there was at that time a man poor
of estate, and from the stress of his poverty he said to himself,
"Let me go and speak to the king, that if he provide for me
during three years, either I will be dead, or the king will be
dead, or he will forgive me my fault, or I shall on somewise win
to escape, and in this way shall I make merry for a time."  so he
went to the king and spake these words to him.[FN#504]  the king
said, "An thou show him not, then I will kill thee," and that
poor man consented.  Then the king let give him much wealth and
money, and the poor man took that wealth and money and went to
his house.  Three years he spent in merriment and delight, and he
rested at ease till the term was accomplished.  At the end of
that time he fled and hid himself in a trackless place and he
began to quake for fear.  Of a sudden he saw a personage with
white raiment and shining face, who saluted him.  The poor man
returned the salutation, and the radiant being asked, "Why art
thou thus sad?"  but he gave no answer.  Again the radiant being
asked him and sware to him, saying, "Do indeed tell to me thy
plight, that I may find thee some remedy."  So that hapless one
narrated his story from its beginning to its end, and the radiant
being said, "Come, I will go with thee to the king, and I will
answer for thee."  So they arose.

Now the king wanted that hapless one, and while they were going
some of the king's officers who were seeking met them, and they
straightway seized the poor man and brought him to the king.
Quoth the king, "Lo, the three years are accomplished; come now,
and show me Khizr."  The poor man said, "My king, grace and
bounty are the work of kings--forgive my sin."  Quoth the king,
"I made a pact; till I have killed thee, I shall not have
fulfilled it."  And he looked to his chief vezír and said, "How
should this be done?"  quoth the vezír, "This man should be hewn
in many pieces and then hung up on butchers' hooks, that others
may see and lie not before the king."  Said that radiant being,
"True spake the vezír;--all things return to their origin."  Then
the king looked to the second vezír and said, "What sayest thou?"
he replied, "This man should be boiled in a cauldron."  Said that
radiant being, "True spake the vezír;--all things return to their
origin."  The king looked to the third vezir and said, "What
sayest though?"  the vezír replied, "This man should be hewn in
small pieces and baked in an oven."  Again said that elder, "True
spake the vezír;--all things return to their origin."  Then quoth
the king to the fourth vezír, "Let us see what sayest thou?"  The
vezír replied, "O king, the wealth thou gavest this poor creature
was for the love of Khizr (peace on him!).  he, thinking to find
him, accepted it; now that he has not found him he seeks pardon.
This were befitting, that thou set free this poor creature for
love of Khizr."  Said that elder, "True spake the vezír;--all
things return to their origin."  Then the king said to the elder,
"O elder, my vezírs have said different things contrary the one
to the other, and thou hast said concerning each of them, ‘True
spake the vezír; - all things return to their origin.'  What is
the reason thereof?"  that elder replied, "O king, thy first
vezír is a butcher's son; therefore did he draw to his origin.
Thy second vezír is a cook's son, and he likewise proposed a
punishment as became his origin.  Thy third vezír is a baker's
son; he likewise proposed a punishment as became his origin.
But thy fourth vezír is of gentle birth; compassion therefore
becomes his origin, so he had compassion on that hapless one, and
sought to do good and counselled liberation.  O king, all things
return to their origin."[FN#505]  And he gave the king much
counsel, and at last said, "Lo, I am Khizr," and

The discovery of the king's illegitimate birth, which occurs in
so many versions, has its parallels in the story of the Nephew of
Hippocrates in the "Seven Wise Masters," and the Lady's 2nd Story
in Mr. Gibb's translation of the "Forty Vezírs."  The
extraordinary sensitiveness of the third young Bráhman, in the
Vetála story, whose side was scratched by a hair that was under
the seventh of the mattresses on which he lay, Rohde (says
Tawney), in his "Greichische Novellistik," p. 62, compares with a
story told by Aelian of the Sybarite Smindyrides, who slept on a
bed of rose-leaves and got up in the morning covered with
blisters.  He also quotes from the Chronicle of Tabari a story of
a princess who was made to bleed by a rose-leaf lying in her

The eleventh recital of the Vetála is about a king's three
sensitive wives:  As one of the queens was playfully pulling the
hair of the king, a blue lotus leaped from her ear and fell on
her lap; immediately a would was produced on the front of her
thigh by the blow, and the delicate princess exclaimed, "Oh! oh!"
and fainted. At night, the second retired with the king to an
apartment on the roof of the palace exposed to the rays of the
moon, which fell on the body of the queen, who was sleeping by
the king's side, where it was exposed by her garment blowing
aside; immediately she woke up, exclaiming, "Alas! I am burnt,"
and rose up from the bed rubbing her limbs.  The king woke up in
a state of alarm, crying out, "What is the meaning of this?"
then he got up and saw that blisters had been produced on the
queen's body.  In the meanwhile the king's third wife heard of it
and left her palace to come to him.  And when she got into the
open air, she heard distinctly, as the night was still, the sound
of a pestle pounding in a distant house.  The moment the gazelle-
eyed one heard it, she said, "Alas! I am killed," and she sat
down on the path, shaking her hands in an agony of pain.  Then
the girl turned back, and was conducted by her attendants to her
own chamber, where she fell on her bed and groaned.  And when her
weeping attendants examined her, they saw that her hands were
covered with bruises, and looked like lotuses upon which black
beetles had settled.

To this piteous tale of the three very sensitive queens Tawney
appends the following note:  Rohde, in his "Greichische
Novellistik," p. 62, compares with this a story told by Timæus,
of a Sybarite who saw a husbandman hoeing a field, and contracted
rupture from it.  Another Sybarite, to whom he told the tale of
his sad mishap, got ear-ache from hearing it.  Oesterley, in his
German translation of the Baitál Pachísí, points out that Grimm,
in his "Kindermärchen," iii. p. 238, quotes a similar incident
from the travels of the Three sons of Giaffar:  out of four
princesses, one faints because a rose-twig is thrown into her
face among some roses; a second shuts her eyes in order not to
see the statue of a man; a third says, "Go away; the hairs in
your fur cloak run into me;" and the fourth covers her face,
fearing that some of the fish in a tank may belong to the male
sex.  He also quotes a striking parallel from the "Elites des
contes du Sieur d'Onville:" Four ladies dispute as to which of
them is the most delicate.  One has been lame for three months
owing to a rose-leaf having fallen on her foot; another has had
three ribs broken by a sheet in her bed having been crumpled; a
third has held her head on one side for six weeks owing to one
half of her head having three more hairs on it than the other; a
fourth has broken a blood-vessel by a slight movement, and the
rupture cannot be healed without breaking the whole limb.[Poor


In the Persian tales of "The Thousand and One Days," a young
prince entered his father's treasury one day, and saw there a
little cedar chest "set with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and
topazes;" on opening it (for the key was in the lock) he beheld
the picture of an exceedingly beautiful woman, with whom he
immediately fell in love.  Ascertaining the name of the lady from
an inscription on the back of the portrait, he set off with a
companion to discover her, and having been told by an old man at
Baghdad that her father at one reigned in Ceylon, he continued
his journey thither, encountering many unheard-of adventures by
the way.  Ultimately he is informed that the lady with whose
portrait he had become enamoured was one of the favourites of
King Solomon.  One should suppose that his would have effectually
cured the love-sick prince; but no:  he "could never banish her
sweet image from his heart."[FN#508]

Two instances of falling in love with the picture of a pretty
woman occur in the "Kathá Sarít Ságara."  In Book ix., chap. 51,
a painter shows King Prithvirúpa the "counterfeit presentment" of
the beauteous Princess Rapalatá, and "as the king gazed on it his
eye was drowned in that sea of beauty her person, so that he
could not draw it out again.  For the king, whose longing was
excessive, could not be satisfied with devouring her form, which
poured forth a stream of the nectar of beauty, as the partridge
cannot be satisfied with devouring the moonlight."  In Book xii.,
chap. 100, a female ascetic shows a wandering prince the portrait
of the Princess Mandáravatí, "and Sundarasena when he beheld that
maiden, who, though she was present there only in a picture,
seemed to be of romantic beauty and like a flowing forth of joy,
immediately felt as if he had been pierced with the arrows of the
god of the flowery bow [i.e. Káma]."  In chapter 35 of Scott's
translation of the "Bahár-i-Dánish," Prince Ferokh-Faul opens a
volume, "which he had scarcely done when the fatal portrait of
the fair princess who, the astrologers had foretold, was to
occasion him so many perils, presented itself to his view.  He
instantly fainted, when the slave, alarmed, conveyed intelligence
of his condition to the sultan, and related the unhappy cause of
the disorder."  In Gomberville's romances of Polexandre, the
African prince, Abd-el-Malik, falls in love with the portrait of
Alcidiana, and similar incidents occur in the romance of
Agesilaus of Colchos and in the Story of the Seven Wazírs (vol.
vi.); but why multiply instances?  Nothing is more common in
Asiatic fictions.


In addition to the versions of this amusing story referred to on
p. 157--all of which will be found in the second volume of my
work on "Popular Tales and Fictions," pp. 212-228--there is yet
another in a Persian story-book, of unknown date, entitled,
"Shamsa ú Kuhkuha," written by Mirza Berkhorder Turkman, of which
an account, together with specimens, is given in a recently-
published little book (Quaritch), "Persian Portraits, a sketch of
Persian History, Literature, and Politics," by Mr. F. F.
Arbuthnot, author of "Early Ideas: a Group of Hindoo Stories."

This version occurs in a tale of three artful wives--or, to
employ the story-teller's own graphic terms, "three whales of the
sea of fraud and deceit: three dragons of the nature of thunder
and the quickness of lightning; three defamers of honour and
reputation; namely, three men-deceiving, lascivious women, each
of whom had from the chicanery of her cunning issued the diploma
of turmoil to a hundred cities and countries, and in the arts of
fraud they accounted Satan as an admiring spectator in the
theatre of their stratagems.[FN#509]  One of them was sitting in
the court of justice of the kazi's embrace; the second was the
precious gem of the bazaar-master's diadem of compliance; and the
third was the beazle and ornament of the signet-ring of the life
and soul of the superintendent of police.  They were constantly
entrapping the fawns of the prairie of deceit within the grasp of
cunning, and plundered the wares of the caravans of tranquillity
of hearts of strangers and acquaintances, by means of the edge of
the scimitar of fraud.  One day this trefoil of roguery met at
the public bath, and, according to their homogeneous nature they
intermingled as intimately as the comb with the hair; they tucked
up their garment of amity to the waist of union, entered the tank
of agreement, seated themselves in the hot-house of love, and
poured from the dish of folly, by means of the key of hypocrisy,
the water of profusion upon the head of intercourse; they rubbed
with the brush of familiarity and the soap of affection the
stains of jealousies from each other's limbs.  After a while,
when they had brought the pot of concord to boil by the fire of
mutual laudation, they warmed the bath of association with the
breeze of kindness, and came out.  In the dressing-room all three
of them happened simultaneously to find a ring, the gem of which
surpassed the imagination of the jeweler of destiny, and the like
of which he had never beheld in the storehouse of possibility.
In short, these worthy ladies contended with each other for
possession of the ring, until at length the mother of the bathman
came forward and proposed that they should entrust the ring to
her in the meanwhile, and it should be the prize of the one who
most cleverly deceived and befooled her husband, to which they
all agreed, and then departed for their respective

Mr. Arbuthnot's limits pertained only of abstracts of the tricks
played upon their husbands by the three ladies--which the story-
teller gives at great length--and that of the kazi's wife is as

The kazi's wife knows that a certain carpenter, who lived close
to her, was very much in love with her.  She sends her maid to
him with a message to say that the flame of his love had taken
effect upon her heart, and that he must make an underground
passage between his house and her dwelling, so that they might
communicate with each other freely by means of the mine.  The
carpenter digs the passage, and the lady pays him a visit, and
says to him, "To-morrow I shall come here, and you must bring the
kazi to marry me to you."  The next day the kazi goes to his
office; the lady goes to the carpenter's house, and send him to
bring her husband, the kazi, to marry them.  The carpenter
fetches him, and, as the kazi hopes for a good present, he comes
willingly enough, but is much surprised at the extreme likeness
between the bride and his own wife.  The more he looks at her,
the more he is in doubt; and at last, offering an excuse to fetch
something, he rushes off to his own house, but is forestalled by
his souse, who had gone thither by the passage, and on his
arrival is lying on her bed.  The kazi makes some excuses for his
sudden entry into her room, and, after some words, goes back to
the carpenter's house; but his wife had preceded him, and is
sitting in her place.  Again he begins the ceremony, but is
attracted by a black mole on the corner of the bride's lip, which
he could have sworn was the same as that possessed by his wife.
Making more excuses, and in spite of the remonstrances of the
carpenter, he hurries back to his house once more; but his wife
had again got there before him, and he finds her reading a book,
and much astonished at his second visit.  She suggests that he is
mad, and he admits that his conduct is curious, and returns to
the carpenter's house to complete the ceremony.  This is again
frequently interrupted, but finally he marries his own wife to
the carpenter, and, having behaved in such an extraordinary
manner throughout, is sent off to a lunatic asylum.

For the tricks of the two other ladies, and for many other
equally diverting tales, I refer the reader to Mr. Arbuthnot's
pleasing and instructive little book, which is indeed an
admirable epitome of the history and literature of Persia, and
one which was greatly wanted in these days, when most men, "like
the dogs in Egypt for fear of the crocodiles, must drink of the
waters of information as they run, in dread of the old enemy

I have discussed the question of the genealogy of this tale
elsewhere, but, after a somewhat more minute comparative analysis
of the several versions, am disposed to modify the opinion which
I then entertained.  I think we must consider as the direct or
indirect source of the versions and variants the "Miles
Gloriosus" of Plautus, the plot of which, it is stated in the
prologue to the second act, was taken from a Greek play.  It is,
however, not very clear whether Berni adapted his story from
Plautus or the "Seven Wise Masters"; probably from the former,
since in both the lady is represented, to the captain and the
cuckold, as a twin sister, while in the S. W. M. the crafty
knight pretends that she is his leman, come from Hungary with
tidings that he may now with safety return home.  On the other
hand, in the S. W. M., as in Plautus, the lovers make their
escape by sea, an incident which Berni has altered to a journey
by land--no doubt, in order to introduce further adventures for
the development of his main plot.  But then we find a point of
resemblance between Berni and the S. W. M., in the incident of
the cuckold accompanying the lovers part of their way--in the
latter to the sea-shore; while in Plautus the deceived captain
remains at home to prosecute an amour and get a thrashing for his
reward (in Plautus, instead of a wife, it is the captain's slave-
girl).  It is curious that amidst all the masquerade of the
Arabian story the cuckold's wife also personates her
supposititious twin-sister, as in Plautus and Berni.  In Plautus
the houses of the lover and the captain adjoin, as is also the
case in the modern Italian and Sicilian versions; while in Berni,
the S. W. M., the Arabian, and the Persian story cited in this
note they are at some distance.  With these resemblances and
variations it is not easy to say which version was derived from
another.  Evidently the Arabian story has been deliberately
modified by the compiler, and he has, I think, considerably
improved upon the original: the ludicrous perplexity of the poor
fuller when he awakes, to find himself apparently transformed
into a Turkish trooper, recalls the nursery rhyme of the little
woman "who went to market her eggs for to sell," and falling
asleep on the king's highway a pedlar cut off her petticoats up
to the knees, and when she awoke and saw her condition she
exclaimed, "Lawk-a-mercy me, this is none of I!" and so on.  And
not less diverting is the pelting the blockhead receives from his
brother fullers--altogether, a capital story.

        TALE OF THE SIMPLETON HUSBAND.--Vol. XI. p. 162.

The "curious" reader will find European and Asiatic versions of
this amusing story in "Originals and Analogues of some of
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales." Published for the Chaucer Society,
pp. 177-188 and (in a paper contrived by me: "The Enchanted
Tree") p. 341-364.


Under the title of "The Robbers and the Treasure-Trove" I have
brought together many European and Asiatic versions of this wide-
spread tale in "Chaucer Analogues," pp. 415-436.


A similar but much shorter story is found in Gladwin's "Persian
Moonshee," and storybooks in several of the Indian vernaculars
which have been rendered into English:

A miser said to a friend, "I have now a thousand rupees, which I
will bury out of the city, and I will not tell the secret to any
one besides yourself."  They went out of the city together, and
buried the money under a tree.  Some days after the miser went
alone to the tree and found no signs of his money.  He said to
himself, "Excepting that friend, no other has taken it away, but
if I question him he will never confess."  He therefore went to
his (the friend's) house and said, "A great deal of money is come
into my hands, which I want to put in the same place; if you will
come to-morrow, we will go together."  The friend, by coveting
this large sum, replaced the former money, and the miser next day
went there alone and found it.  He was delighted with his own
contrivance, and never again placed any confidence in friends.

One should suppose a miser the last person to confide the secret
of his wealth to any one; but the Italian versions bear a closer
resemblance to the Arabian story.  From No. 74 of the "Cento
Novelle Antiche" Sacchetti, who was born in 1335 and is ranked by
Crescimbini as next to Boccaccio, adapted his 198th novella,
which is a most pleasing version of the Asiatic story:

                        ITALIAN VERSION.

A blind man of Orvieto, of the name of Cola, hit upon a device to
recover a hundred florins he had been cheated of, which showed he
was possessed of all the eyes of Argus, though he had unluckily
lost his own.  And this he did without wasting a farthing either
upon law or arbitration, by sheer dexterity, for he had formerly
been a barber, and accustomed to shave very close, having then
all his eyes about him, which had been now closed for about
thirty years.  Alms seemed then the only resource to which he
could betake himself, and such was the surprising progress he in
a short time made in his new trade that he counted a hundred
florins in his purse, which he secretly carried about him until
he could find a safer place.  His gains far surpassed anything he
had realised with his razor and scissors; indeed, they increased
so fast that he no longer knew where to bestow them, until one
morning happening to remain the last, as he believed, in the
church, he thought of depositing his purse of a hundred florins
under a loose tile in the floor behind the door, knowing the
situation of the place perfectly well.  After listening some time
without hearing a foot stirring, he very cautiously laid it in
the spot; but unluckily there remained a certain Juccio
Pezzichernolo, offering his adoration before an image of San
Giovanni Boccadoro, who happened to see Cola busily engaged
behind the door.  He continued his adorations until he saw the
blind man depart, when, not in the least suspecting the truth, he
approached and searched the place.  He soon found the identical
tile, and on removing it with the help of his knife, he found the
purse, which he very quietly put into his pocket, replacing the
tiles just as they were, and, resolving to say nothing about it,
he went home.

At the end of three days the blind mendicant, desirous of
inspecting his treasure, took a quiet time for visiting the
place, and removing the tile searched a long while in great
perturbation, but all vain, to find his beloved purse.  At last,
replacing things just as they were, he was compelled to return in
no very enviable state of mind to his dwelling, and there
meditating on his loss, the harvest of the toil of so many days,
by dint of intense thinking a bright thought struck him (as
frequently happens by cogitating in the dark), how he had yet a
kind of chance of redeeming his lost spoils.  Accordingly in the
morning he called his young guide, a lad about nine years old,
saying, "My son, lead me to church," and before setting out he
tutored him how he was to behave, seating himself at his side
before the entrance, and particularly remarking every person who
should enter into the church.  "Now, if you happen to see any one
who takes particular notice of me, and who either laughs or makes
any sign, be sure you observe it and tell me."  The boy promised
he would; and they proceeded accordingly and took their station
before the church

When the dinner-hour arrived, the father and son prepared to
leave the place, the former inquiring by the way whether his son
had observed any one looking hard at him as he passed along.
"That I did," answered the lad, "but only one, and he laughed as
he went past us.  I do not know his name, but he is strongly
marked with the small-pox and lives somewhere near the Frati
Minori."  "Do you think, my dear lad," said his father, "that you
could take me to his shop, and tell me when you see him there?"
"To be sure I could," said the lad.  "Then come, let us lose no
time," replied the father, "and when we are there tell me, and
while I speak to him you can step on one side and wait for me."
So the sharp little fellow led him along the way until he reached
a cheesemonger's stall, when he acquainted his father, and
brought him close to it.  No sooner did the blind man hear him
speaking with his customers than he recognised him for the same
Juccio with whom he had formerly been acquainted during his days
of light.  When the coast was a little clear, our blind hero
entreated some moments' conversation, and Juccio, half suspecting
the occasion took him on one side into a little room, saying,
"Cola, friend, what good news?"  "Why," said Cola, "I am come to
consult you, in great hopes you will be of use to me.  You know
it is a long time since I lost my sight, and being in a destitute
condition, I was compelled to earn my subsistence by begging
alms.  Now, by the grace of God, and with the help of you and of
other good people of Orvieto, I have saved a sum of two hundred
florins, one hundred of which I have deposited in a safe place,
and the other is in the hands of my relations, which I expect to
receive with interest in the course of a week.  Now if you would
consent to receive, and to employ for me to the best advantage,
the whole sum of two hundred florins it would be doing me a great
kindness, for there is no one besides in all Orvieto in whom I
dare to confide; nor do I like to be at the expense of paying a
notary for doing business which we can as well transact
ourselves.  Only I wish you would say nothing about it, but
receive the two hundred florins from me to employ as you think
best.  Say not a word about it, for there would be an end of my
calling were it known I had received so large a sum in alms."
Here the blind mendicant stopped; and the sly Juccio, imagining
he might thus become master of the entire sum, said he should be
very happy to serve him in every way he could and would return an
answer the next morning as to the best way of laying out the
money.  Cola then took his leave, while Juccio, going directly
for the purse, deposited it in its old place being in full
expectation of soon receiving it again with the addition of the
other hundred, as it was clear that Cola had not yet missed the
money.  The cunning old mendicant on his part expected that he
would do no less, and trusting that his plot might have
succeeded, he set out the very same day to the church, and had
the delight, on removing the tile, to find his purse really
there.  Seizing upon it with the utmost eagerness, he concealed
it under his clothes, and placing the tiles exactly in the same
position, he hastened home whistling, troubling himself very
little about his appointment of the next day.

The sly thief Juccio set out accordingly the next morning to see
his friend Cola, and actually met him on the road.  "Whither are
you going?" inquired Juccio.  "I was going," said Cola, "to your
house."  The former, then taking the blind man aside, said, "I am
resolved to do what you ask; and since you are pleased to confide
in me, I will tell you of a plan that I have in hand for laying
out your money to advantage.  If you will put the two hundred
florins into my possession, I will make a purchase in cheese and
salt meat, a speculation which cannot fail to turn to good
account."  "Thank you," quoth Cola, "I am going to-day for the
other hundred, which I mean to bring, and when you have got them
both, you can do with them what you think proper."  Juccio said,
"Then let me have them soon, for I think I can secure this
bargain; and as the soldiers are come into the town, who are fond
of these articles, I think it cannot fail to answer; so go, and
Heaven speed you."  And Cola went, but with very different
intentions from those imagined by his friend--Cola being now
clear-sighted, and Juccio truly blind.  The next day Cola called
on his friend with very downcast and melancholy looks, and when
Juccio bade him good day, he said, "I wish from my soul it were a
good, or even a middling, day for me."  "Why, what is the
matter?"  "The matter?" echoed Cola; "why, it is all over with
me: some rascal has stolen a hundred florins from the place where
they were hidden, and I cannot recover a penny from my relations,
so that I may eat my fingers off or anything I have to expect."
Juccio replied, "This is like all the rest of my speculations.  I
have invariably lost where I expected to make a good hit.  What I
shall do I know not, for if the person should choose to keep me
to the agreement I made for you, I shall be in a pretty dilemma
indeed."  "Yet," said Cola, "I think my condition is still worse
than yours.  I shall be sadly distressed and shall have to amass
afresh capital, which will take me ever so long. And when I have
got it, I will take care not to conceal it in a hole in the
floor, or trust it, Juccio, into any friend's hands."  "But,"
said Juccio, "if we could contrive to recover what is owing by
your relations, we might still make some pretty profit of it, I
doubt not."  For he thought, if he could only get hold of the
hundred he had returned it would still be something in his way.
"Why," said Cola, "to tell the truth, if I were to proceed
against my relations I believe I might get it; but such a thing
would ruin my business, my dear Juccio, for ever:  the world
would know I was worth money, and I should get no more money from
the world; so I fear I shall hardly be able to profit by your
kindness, though I shall always consider myself as much obliged
as if I had actually cleared a large sum.  Moreover, I am going
to teach another blind man my profession, and if we have luck you
shall see me again, and we can venture a speculation together."
So far the wily mendicant, to whom Juccio said, "Well, go and try
to get money soon, and bring it; you know where to find me, but
look sharp about you and the Lord speed you; farewell."
"Farewell," said Cola; "and I am well rid of thee," he whispered
to himself, and going upon his way, in a short time he doubled
his capital; but he no longer went near his friend Juccio to know
how he should invest it.  He had great diversion in telling the
story to his companions during their feasts, always concluding,
"By St. Lucia! Juccio is the blinder man of the two:  he thought
it was a bold stroke to risk his hundred to double the amount."

For my own part, I think the blind must possess a more acute
intellect than other people, inasmuch as the light, exhibiting
such a variety of objects to view, is apt to distract the
attention, of which many examples might be adduced.  For
instance, two gentlemen may be conversing together on some matter
of business, and in the middle of a sentence a fine woman happens
to pass by, and they will suddenly stop, gazing after her; or a
fine equipage or any other object is enough to turn the current
of their thoughts.  And then we are obliged to recollect
ourselves, saying, "Where was I?" "What was it that I was
observing?"--a thing which never occurs to a blind man. The
philosopher Democritus very properly on this account knocked his
eyes out in order to catch objects in a juster light with his
mind's eye.

It is impossible to describe Juccio's vexation on going to church
and finding the florins were gone.  His regret was far greater
than if he had actually lost a hundred of his own; as is known to
be the case with all inveterate rogues, half of whose pleasure
consists in depriving others of their lawful property.

There are many analogous stories, one of which is the well-known
tale of the merchant who, before going on a journey, deposited
with a dervish 1,000 sequins, which he thought it prudent to
reserve in case of accidents. When he returned and requested his
deposit, the dervish flatly denied that he ever had any of his
money.  Upon this the merchant went and laid his case before the
kazi, who advised him to return to the dervish and speak
pleasantly to him, which he does, but receives nothing but abuse.
He informed the kazi of this, and was told not to go near the
dervish for the present, but to be at ease for he should have his
money next day.  The kazi then sent for the dervish, and after
entertaining him sumptuously, told him that, for certain reasons,
he was desirous of removing a considerable sum of money from his
house; that he knew of no person in whom he could confide so much
as himself; and that if he would come the following evening at a
late hour, he should have the precious deposit.  On hearing this,
the dervish expressed his gratification that so much confidence
should be placed in his integrity, and agreed to take charge of
the treasure.  Next day the merchant returned to the kazi, who
bade him go back to the dervish and demand his money once more,
and should he refuse, threaten to complain to the kazi.  The
result may be readily guessed: no sooner did the merchant mention
the kazi than the rascally dervish said, "My good friend, what
need is there to complain to the kazi?  Here is your money; it
was only a little joke on my part."  But in the evening, when he
went to receive the kazi's pretended deposit, he experienced the
truth of the saw, that "covetousness sews up the eyes of

A variant of this found in the continental "Gesta Romanorum" (ch.
cxviii. of Swan's translation), in which a knight deposits ten
talents with a respectable old man, who when called upon to
refund the money denies all knowledge of it.  By the advice of an
old woman the knight has ten chests made, and employs a person to
take them to the old man and represent them as containing
treasure; and while one of them is being carried into his house
the knight enters and in the stranger's presence demands his
money, which is at once delivered to him.

In Mr. Edward Rehatsek's translated selections from the Persian
story-book "Shamsa ú Kuhkuha" (see ante, p. 237), printed at
Bombay in 1871, under the title of "Amusing Stories," there is a
tale (No. xviii.) which also bears some resemblance to that of
the Melancholist and the Sharper; and as Mr. Rehatsek's little
work is exceedingly scarce, I give it in extenso as follows:

There was in Damascus a man of the name of Zayn el-Arab, with the
honey of whose life the poison of hardships was always mixed.
Day and night he hastened like the breeze from north to south in
the world of exertion, and he was burning brightly like straw,
from his endeavours in the oven of acquisition in order to gain a
loaf of bread and feed his family.  In course of time, however,
he succeeded in accumulating a considerable sum of money, but as
he had tasted the bitter poison of destitution, and had for a
very long time earned the heavy load of poverty upon his back,
and fearing to lose his property by the chameleon-like changes of
fortune, he took up his money on a certain night, carried it out
of the city, and buried it under a tree.  After some time had
passed be began sorely to miss the presence of his treasure, and
betook himself to the tree to refresh his eyes with the sight of
it.  But when he dug up the ground at the foot of the tree he
discovered that his soul-exhilarating deposit was refreshing the
palate of some one else.  The morning of his prosperity was
suddenly changed into the evening of bitterness and
disappointment.  He was perplexed to what friend to confide his
secret, and to what remedy to fly for the recovery of his
treasure.  The lancet of grief had pierced the liver of his
peace, and the huntsman of distress had tied up the wings and
feet of the bird of his serenity.  One day he went on some
business to a learned and wise man of the city with whom he was
on a footing of intimacy.  This man said to him, "It is some time
since I perceived the glade of your circumstances to have been
destroyed by the burning coals of restlessness, and a sad change
to have taken place in your health.  I do not know the reason,
nor what thorn of misfortune has pierced the foot of your heart,
nor what hardship has dawned from the east of your mind."  Zayn
el-Arab wept tears of sadness and said, "O thou standard coin
from the mint of love! the treachery of misfortune has brought a
strange accident upon me, and the bow of destiny has let fly an
unpropitious arrow upon my feeble target.  I have a heavy heart
and great sorrow, and were I to reveal it to you perhaps it would
be of no use and would plunge you also into grief."  The learned
man said, "Since the hearts of intimate friends are like looking-
glasses and are receiving the figures of mutual secrets, it is at
all times necessary that they should communicate to each other
any difficulties which they have fallen into, that they may
remove them by taking in common those steps which prudence and
foresight should recommend."  Zayn el-Arab replied, "Dear friend,
I had some gold, and fearing lest it should be stolen, I carried
it to such and such a place and buried it under a tree, and when
I again visited the place, I perceived the garment of my beloved
Joseph to be sprinkled with the blood of the wolf of deception."
The learned man said, "This is a grave accident, and it will be
difficult to get on the track of your gold.  Perhaps some one saw
you bury it:  he who has taken it will have to give an account of
it in the next world, for God is omniscient.  Give me ten days'
delay, that I may study the book of expedients and stratagems,
when mayhap somewhat will occur to me."

That knowing man sat down for ten days in the school of
meditation, and how much so ever he turned over the leaves of the
volume of his mind from the preface to the epilogue, he could hit
upon no plan.  On the tenth day they again met in the street, and
he said to Zayn el-Arab, "Although the diver of my mind has
plunged deeply and searched diligently in this deep sea, he has
been unable to seize the precious pearl of a wise plan of
operation:  may God recompense you from the stores of His hidden
treasury!"  They were conversing in this way when a lunatic met
them and said, "Well, my boys, what secret- mongering have you
got between you?"  The learned man said to Zayn el-Arab, "Come,
let us relate our case to this crazy fellow, to see the flower of
the plant that may bloom from his mind."  Zayn el-Arab replied,
"Dear friend, you, with all your knowledge, cannot devise
anything during ten days:  what information are we likely to gain
from a poor lunatic who does not know whether it is now day or
night?"  The learned man said, "There is no telling what he may
say to us. But you know that the most foolish as well as the most
wise have ideas, and a sentence uttered at random has sometimes
furnished a clue by which the desired object may be attained."
Meanwhile a little boy also came up, and perceiving the lunatic
stopped to see his tricks.  The two friends explained their case
to the lunatic, who then seemed immersed in thought for some
time, after which he said, "He who took the root of that tree for
a medicine also took the gold," and having thus spoken, he turned
his back upon them and went his way.  They consulted with each
other what indication this remark might furnish, when the little
boy who had overheard the conversation, asked what kind of tree
it was.  Zayn el-Arab replied that it was a jujube tree.  The boy
said, "This is an easy matter: you ought to inquire of all the
doctors of this town for whom a medicine has been prescribed of
the roots of this tree."  They greatly admired the boy's
acuteness and also of the lunatic's lucky thought.[FN#511]  The
learned man was well acquainted with all the physicians of the
city and made his enquiries, till he met with one who informed
him that about twenty days ago he had prescribed for a merchant
of the name of Khoja Semender, who suffered from asthma, and that
one of the remedies was the root of that jujube tree.  The
learned man soon discovered the merchant's house, found him
enjoying excellent health, and said to him, "Ah Khoja, all the
goods of this world ought to be surrendered to procure health.
By the blessing of God, you have recovered your health, and you
ought to give up what you found at the root of that tree, because
the owner of it is a worthy man and possesses nothing else."  The
honest merchant answered, "It is true, I have found it, and it is
with me.  If you will describe it I will deliver it into your
hands."  The exact sum being stated, the merchant at once
delivered up the gold.

In the "Kathá Sarit Ságara," Book vi. ch. 33, we have probably
the original of this last story:  A wealthy merchant provided a
Bráhman with a lodging near his own house, and every day gave him
a large quantity of unhusked rice and other presents and in
course of time he received like gifts from other great merchants.
In this way the miserly fellow gradually accumulated a thousand
dínárs, and going into the forest he dug a hole and buried it in
the ground, and he went daily to carefully examine the spot.  One
day, however, he discovered that his hoard had been stolen, and
he went to his friend the merchant near whose house he lived,
and, weeping bitterly, told him of his loss, and that he had
resolved to go to a holy bathing-place and there starve himself
to death.  The merchant tried to console him and dissuade him
from his resolution, saying, "Bráhman, why do you long to die for
the loss of your wealth?  Wealth, like an unseasonable cloud,
suddenly comes and goes."  But the Bráhman would not abandon his
fixed determination to commit suicide, for wealth is dearer to
the miser than life itself.  When he was about to depart for the
holy place, the king, having heard of it, came and asked him,
"Bráhman, do you know of any mark by which you can distinguish
the place where you buried your dínárs?"  He replied, "There is a
small tree in the wood, at the foot of which I buried that
money."  Then said the king, "I will find the money and give it
back to you, or I will give it you from my own treasury;--do not
commit suicide, Bráhman."

When the king returned to his palace, he pretended to have a
headache, and summoned all the physicians in the city by
proclamation with beat of drum.  And he took aside every one of
them singly and questioned them privately, saying, "What patients
have you, and what medicines have you prescribed for each?"  And
they thereupon, one by one, answered the king's questions.  At
length a physician said, "The merchant Mátridatta has been out of
sorts, O king, and this is the second day I have prescribed for
him nágabalá (the plant Uraria Lagopodioides)."  Then the king
sent for the merchant, and said to him, "Tell me, who fetched you
the nágabalá?" The merchant replied, "My servant, your highness."
On hearing this, the king at once summoned the servant and said
to him, "Give up that treasure belonging to a Bráhman, consisting
of a store of dínárs, which you found when you were digging at
the foot of the tree for nágabalá."  When the king said this to
him the servant was frightened, and confessed immediately, and
bringing the money left it there.  Then the king summoned the
Bráhman and gave him, who had been fasting meanwhile, the dínárs,
lost and found again, like a second soul external to his body.
Thus did the king by his wisdom recover to the Bráhman his wealth
which had been taken away from the root of the tree, knowing that
that simple grew in such spots.


This is one of three Arabian variants of Chaucer's Man of Law's
Tale (the Story of Constance), of which there are numerous
versions--see my paper entitled "The Innocent Persecuted Wife,"
pp. 365-414 of "Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer's
Canterbury Tales."


Somewhat resembling his, but much more elaborate, is the amusing
story of Ahmed the Cobbler, in Sir John Malcolm's "Sketches of
Persia," ch. xx., the original of which is probably found in the
tale of Harisarman, book vi. ch. 30, of the "Kathá Sarit Ságara,"
and it has many European variants, such as the German story of
Doctor Allwissend, in Grimm's collection, and that of the
Charcoal Burner in Sir George Dasent's "Tales from the Fjeld.--
According to the Persian story, Ahmed the Cobbler had a young and
pretty wife, of whom he was very fond. She was ever forming grand
schemes of riches and splendour, and was firmly persuaded that
she was destined to great fortune. It happened one evening, while
in this frame of mind, that she went to the public baths, where
she saw a lady retiring dressed in a magnificent robe, covered
with jewels, and surrounded by slaves. This was the very
condition she had always longed for, and she eagerly inquired the
name of the happy person who had so many attendants and such fine
jewels. She learned it was the wife of the chief astrologer to
the king. With this information she returned home. Ahmed met her
at the door, but was received with a frown, nor could all his
caresses obtain a smile or a word; for several hours she
continued silent, and in apparent misery, at length she said,
"Cease your caresses, unless you are ready to give me a proof
that you do really and sincerely love me." "What proof of love,"
exclaimed poor Ahmed, "can you desire that I will not give?"
"Give over cobbling, it is a vile, low trade, and never yields
more than ten or twelve dínárs a day. Turn astrologer; your
fortune will be made, and I shall have all I wish and be happy."
"Astrologer!" cried Ahmed--"astrologer! Have you forgotten who I
am--a cobbler, without any learning--that you want me to engage
in a profession which requires so much skill and knowledge?" "I
neither think nor care about your qualifications," said the
enraged wife; "all I know is that if you do not turn astrologer
immediately, I will be divorced from you to-morrow." The cobbler
remonstrated, but in vain. The figure of the astrologer's wife,
with her jewels and her slaves, took complete possession of her
imagination. All night it haunted her: she dreamt of nothing
else, and on awakening declared that she would leave the house if
her husband did not comply with her wishes. What could poor Ahmed
do? He was no astrologer, but he was dotingly fond of his wife,
and he could not bear the idea of losing her. He promised to
obey, and having sold his little stock, bought an astrolabe, an
astronomical almanac, and a table of the twelve signs of the
zodiac. Furnished with these, he went to the marketplace, crying,
"I am an astrologer! I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars,
and the twelve signs of the zodiac; I can calculate nativities; I
can foretell everything that is to happen." No man was better
known than Ahmed the Cobbler. A crowd soon gathered round him.
"What, friend Ahmed," said one, "have you worked till your head
is turned?" "Are you tired of looking down at your last," cried
another, "that you are now looking up at the stars?" These and a
thousand other jokes assailed the ears of the poor cobbler, who
notwithstanding continued to exclaim that he was an astrologer,
having resolved on doing what he could to please his beautiful

It so happened that the king's jeweller was passing by. He was in
great distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the
king. Every search had been made to recover this inestimable
jewel, but to no purpose; and as the jeweller knew he could no
longer conceal its loss from the king, he looked forward to death
as inevitable. In this hopeless state, while wandering about the
town, he reached the crowd around Ahmed, and asked what was the
matter. "Don't you know Ahmed the Cobbler?" said one of the
bystanders, laughing. "He has been inspired and is become an
astrologer." A drowning man will catch at a broken reed: the
jeweller no sooner heard the sound of the word astrologer than he
went up to Ahmed, told him what had happened, and said, "If you
understand your art, you must be able to discover the king's
ruby. Do so, and I will give you two hundred pieces of gold. But
if you do not succeed within six hours, I will use my influence
at court to have you put to death as an impostor." Poor Ahmed was
thunderstruck. He stood long without being able to speak,
reflecting on his misfortunes, and grieving, above all, that his
wife, whom he so loved, had, by her envy and selfishness, brought
him to such a fearful alternative. Full of these sad thoughts, he
exclaimed aloud, "O woman! woman! thou art more baneful to the
happiness of man than the poisonous dragon of the desert!" Now
the lost ruby had been secreted by the jeweller's wife, who,
disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of
her female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her
master speak to the astrologer, drew near; and when she heard
Ahmed, after some moments of abstraction, compare a woman to a
poisonous dragon, she was satisfied that he must know everything.
She ran to her mistress, and, breathless with fear, cried, "You
are discovered by a vile astrologer! Before six hours are past
the whole story will be known, and you will become infamous, if
you are even so fortunate as to escape with life, unless you can
find some way of prevailing on him to be merciful." She then
related what she had seen and heard; and Ahmed's exclamation
carried as complete conviction to the mind of the terrified lady
as it had done to that of her slave. The jeweller's wife hastily
throwing on her veil, went in search of the dreaded astrologer.
When she found him, she erred, "Spare my honour and my life, and
I will confess everything." "What can you have to confess to me?"
said Ahmed, in amazement. "O nothing--nothing with which you are
not already acquainted. You know too well that I stole the king's
ruby. I did so to punish my husband, who uses me most cruelly;
and I thought by this means to obtain riches for myself and have
him put to death. But you, most wonderful man, from whom nothing
is hidden, have discovered and defeated my wicked plan. I beg
only for mercy, and will do whatever you command me." An angel
from heaven could not have brought more consolation to Ahmed than
did the jeweller's wife. He assumed all the dignified solemnity
that became his new character, and said, "Woman! I know all thou
hast done, and it is fortunate for thee that thou hast come to
confess thy sin and beg for mercy before it was too late. Return
to thy house; put the ruby under the pillow of the couch on which
thy husband sleeps; let it be laid on the side farthest from the
door, and be satisfied thy guilt shall never be even suspected."
The jeweller's wife went home and did as she was instructed. In
an hour Ahmed followed her, and told the jeweller he had made his
calculations, and found by the aspect of the sun and moon, and by
the configuration of the stars, that the ruby was at that moment
lying under the pillow of his couch on the side farthest from the
door. The jeweller thought Ahmed must be crazy; but as a ray of
hope is like a ray from heaven to the wretched, he ran to his
couch, and there, to his joy and wonder, found the ruby in the
very place described. He came back to Ahmed, embraced him, called
him his dearest friend and the preserver of his life, gave him
two hundred pieces of gold, declaring that he was the first
astrologer of the age.

Ahmed returned home with his lucky gains, and would gladly have
resumed his cobbling but his wife insisting on his continuing to
practice his new profession, there was no help but to go out
again next day and proclaim his astrological accomplishments. By
mere chance he is the means of a lady recovering a valuable
necklace which she had lost at the bath, and forty chests of gold
stolen from the king's treasury, and is finally rewarded with the
hand of the king's daughter in marriage.


In the "Indian Antiquary" for June 1886 the Rev. J. Hinton
Knowles gives a translation of what he terms a Kashmírí Tale,
under the title of "Pride Abased," which, he says, was told him
by "a Brahman named Mukund Báyú, who resides at Suthú, Srínagar,"
and which is an interesting variant of the Wazír Er-Rahwan's
second story of the King who lost his Realm and Wealth:

                   KASHMIRI VERSION.[FN#512]

There was once a king who was noted throughout his dominions for
daily boasting of his power and riches. His ministers at length
became weary of this self-glorification, and one day when he
demanded of them, as usual, whether there existed in the whole
world another king as powerful as he, they plainly told him that
there was such another potentate, upon which he assembled his
troops and rode forth at their head, challenging the neighbouring
kings to fight with him. Ere long he met with more than his
match, for another king came with a great army and utterly
defeated him, and took possession of his kingdom. Disguising
himself, the humbled king escaped with his wife and two boys, and
arriving at the sea shore, found a ship about to sail. The master
agreed to take him and his family and land them at the port for
which he was bound. But when he beheld the beauty of the queen,
he became enamoured of her, and determined to make her his own.
The queen was the first to go on board the ship, and the king and
his two sons were about to follow, when they were seized by a
party of ruffians, hired by the shipmaster, and held back until
the vessel had got fairly under way. The queen was distracted on
seeing her husband and children left behind, and refused to
listen to the master's suit, who, after having tried to win her
love for several days without success, resolved to sell her as a
slave. Among the passengers was a merchant, who, seeing that the
lady would not accept the shipmaster for her husband, thought
that if he bought her, he might in time gain her affection.
Accordingly he purchased her of the master for a large sum of
money, and then told her that he had done so with a view of
making her his wife. The lady replied that, although the shipman
had no right thus to dispose of her, yet she would consent to
marry him at the end of two years, if she did not during that
period meet with her husband and their two sons, and to this
condition the merchant agreed. In the meanwhile the king, having
sorrowfully watched the vessel till it was out of sight, turned
back with his two boys, who wept and lamented as they ran beside
him. After walking a great distance, he came to a shallow but
rapid river, which he wished to cross, and, as there was no boat
or bridge, he was obliged to wade through the water. Taking up
one of his sons he contrived to reach the other side in safety,
and was returning for the other when the force of the current
overcame him and he was drowned.

When the two boys noticed that their father had perished, they
wept bitterly. Their separation, too, was a further cause for
grief. There they stood, one on either side of the river, with no
means of reaching each other. They shouted, and ran about hither
and thither in their grief, till they had almost wearied
themselves into sleep, when a fisherman came past, who, seeing
the great distress of the boys, took them into his boat, and
asked them who they were, and who were their parents; and they
told him all that had happened. When he had heard their story, he
said, "You have not a father or mother, and I have not a child.
Evidently God has sent you to me. Will you be my own children and
learn to fish, and live in my house?" Of course, the poor boys
were only too glad to find a friend and shelter. "Come," said the
fisherman kindly, leading them out of the boat to a house close
by, "I will look after you." The boys followed most happily, and
went into the fisherman's house, and when they saw his wife they
were still better pleased, for she was very kind to them, and
treated them as if they had been her own children. The two boys
went to school, and when they had learned all that the master
could teach them, they began to help their adoptive father, and
in a little while became most expert and diligent young

Thus time was passing with them, when it happened that a great
fish threw itself on to the bank of the river and could not get
back again into the water. Everybody in the village went to see
the monstrous fish, and cut a slice of its flesh and took it
home. A few people also went from the neighbouring villages, and
amongst them was a maker of earthernware. His wife had heard of
the great fish and urged him to go and get some of the flesh. So
he went, although the hour was late. On his arrival he found that
all the people had returned to their homes. The potter had taken
an axe with him, thinking that the bones would be so great and
strong as to require its use in breaking them. When he struck the
first blow a voice came out of the fish, like that of some one in
pain, at which the potter was greatly surprised. "Perhaps,"
thought he, "the fish is possessed by a bhút.[FN#513] I'll try
again," whereupon he struck another blow with his axe. Again the
voice came forth from the fish, saying, "Woe is me! woe is me!"
On hearing this, the potter thought, "Well, this is evidently not
a bhút, but the voice of an ordinary man. I'll cut the flesh
carefully.  May be that I shall find some poor distressed
person." So he began to cut away the flesh carefully, and
presently he perceived a man's foot, then the legs appeared, and
then the entire body. "Praise be to God," he cried, "the soul is
yet in him." He carried the man to his house as fast as he could,
and on arriving there did everything in his power to recover him.
A large fire was soon got ready, and tea and soup given the man,
and great was the joy of the potter and his wife when they saw
him reviving.[FN#514] For some months the stranger lived with
those good people, and learnt how to make pots and pans and other
articles and thereby helped them considerably. Now it happened
that the king of that country died and it was the custom of the
people to take for their sovereign whomsoever the late king's
elephant and hawk should select. And so on the death of the king
the royal elephant was driven all over the country, and the hawk
was made to fly about, in search of a successor and it came to
pass that the person before whom the elephant saluted and on whom
the hawk alighted was considered as the divinely-chosen one.
Accordingly the elephant and the hawk went about the country, and
in the course of their wanderings came by the house of the potter
who had so kindly succoured the poor man whom he found in the
belly of the monstrous fish; and it chanced that as they passed
the place the stranger was standing by the door, and behold, no
sooner did the elephant and hawk see him than the one bowed down
before him and the other perched on his hand. "Let him be king!
let him be king!" shouted the people who were in attendance on
the elephant, and they prostrated themselves before the stranger
and begged him to accompany them to the palace.[FN#515]

The ministers were glad when they heard the news, and most
respectfully welcomed their new king. As soon as the rites and
ceremonies necessary for the installation of a king had been
observed, his majesty entered on his duties. The first thing he
did was to send for the potter and his wife and grant them some
land and money. In this and other ways such as just judgments,
proper laws, and kindly notices of all who were clever and good,
he won for himself the good opinion and affection of his subjects
and prospered in consequence thereof. After a few months,
however, his health was impaired, and his physicians advised him
to take out-door exercise. Accordingly, he alternately rode,
hunted and fished. He was especially fond of fishing, and
whenever he indulged in this amusement, he was attended by two
sons of a fisherman, who were clever and handsome youths.

About this time the merchant who bought the wife of the poor king
that was carried away by the rapid river visited that country for
purposes of trade. He obtained an interview with the king, and
displayed before him all his precious stones and stuffs. The king
was much pleased to see such treasures, and asked many questions
about them and the countries whence they had been brought. The
merchant satisfied the king's curiosity, and then begged
permission to trade in that country, under his majesty's
protection, which the king readily granted, and ordered that some
soldiers should be placed on guard in the merchant's courtyard,
and sent the fisherman's two sons to sleep in the premises.

One night those two youths not being able to sleep, the younger
asked his brother to tell him a story to pass the time, so he
replied, "I will tell you one out of our own experience: Once
upon a time there lived a great and wealthy king, who was very
proud, and his pride led him to utter ruin and caused him the
sorest afflictions.. One day when going about with his army,
challenging other kings to fight with him, a great and powerful
king appeared and conquered him. He escaped with his wife and two
sons to the sea, hoping to find a vessel, by which he and his
family might reach a foreign land. After walking several miles
they reached the sea-shore and found a ship ready to sail. The
master of the vessel took the queen, but the king and his two
sons were held back by some men, who had been hired by the master
for this purpose, until the ship was under way. The poor king
after this walked long and far till he came to a rapid river. As
there was no bridge or boat near, he was obliged to wade across.
He took one of his boys and got over safely, and was returning
for the other when he stumbled over a stone, lost his footing,
and was carried down the stream; and he has not been heard of
since. A fisherman came along, and, seeing the two boys crying,
took them into his boat, and afterwards to his house, and became
very fond of them, as did also his wife, and they were like
father and mother to them. All this happened a few years ago, and
the two boys are generally believed to be the fisherman's own
sons. O brother, we are these two boys! And there you have my

The tale was so interesting and its conclusion so wonderful that
the younger brother was more awake than before. It had also
attracted the attention of another. The merchant's promised wife,
who happened to be lying awake at the time, and whose room was
separated from the warehouse by a very thin partition, overheard
all that had been said, and she thought within herself, "Surely
these two boys must be my own sons." Presently she was sitting
beside them and asking them many questions. Two years or more had
made great difference in the persons of both the boys, but there
were certain signs which a hundred years could not efface from a
mother's memory. These, together with the answers which she
elicited from them, assured her that she had found her own sons
again. Tears streamed down her face as she embraced them, and
revealed to them that she was the queen, their mother, about whom
they had just been speaking. She then told them all that had
happened to her since she had been parted from them and their
poor father, the king; after which she explained that although
the merchant was a good man and very wealthy yet she did not like
him well enough to become his wife, and proposed a plan for her
getting rid of him. "My device," said she, "is to pretend to the
merchant that you attempted my honour. I shall affect to be very
angry and not give him any peace until he goes to the king and
complains against you. Then will the king send for you in great
wrath and inquire into this matter. In reply you may say it is
all a mistake, for you regard me as your own mother, and in proof
of this you will beg the king to summon me into his presence,
that I may corroborate what you say. Then I will declare that you
are really my own sons, and beseech the king to free me from the
merchant and allow me to live with you in any place I may choose
for the rest of my days."

The sons agreed to this proposal, and next night, when the
merchant was also sleeping in the house, the woman raised a great
cry, so that everybody was awakened by the noise. The merchant
came and asked the cause of the outcry, and she answered, "The
two youths who look after your warehouse have attempted to
violate me, so I screamed in order to make them desist." On
hearing this the merchant was enraged. He immediately bound the
two youths, and, as soon as there was any chance of seeing the
king, took them before him preferred his complaint. "What have
you to say in your defence?" said the king, addressing the
youths; "because, if what this merchant charges against you be
true, I will have you at once put to death. Is this the gratitude
you manifest for all my kindness and condescension towards you?
Say quickly what you have to say." "O king, our benefactor,"
replied the elder brother, "we are not affrighted by your words
and looks, for we are true servants. We have not betrayed your
trust in us, but have always tried to fully your wishes to the
utmost of our power. The charges brought against us by this
merchant are unfounded. We have not attempted to dishonour his
wife; we have rather always regarded her as our own mother. May
it please your majesty to send for the woman and inquire further
into this matter."

The king consented, and the woman was brought before him. "Is it
true," he asked her "what the merchant, your affianced husband,
witnesses against these two youths?" "O king," she replied, "the
youths whom you gave to help the merchant have most carefully
tried to carry out your wishes. But the night before last I heard
their conversation. The elder was telling the younger a tale,
from his own experience, he said. It was a story of a conceited
king who had been defeated by another more powerful than he, and
obliged to fly with his wife and two children to the sea. There,
through the vile trickery of the master of a vessel, the wife was
stolen and taken away to far distant lands, where she became
engaged to a wealthy trader; while the exiled king and his two
sons wandered in another direction, till they came to a river, in
which the king was drowned. The two boys were found by a
fisherman and brought up as his own sons. These two boys, O king,
are before you, and I am their mother, who was taken away and
sold to the trader, and who after two days must be married to
him. For I promised that if within a certain period I should not
meet with my husband and two sons I would be his wife. But I
entreat your majesty to free me from this man. I do not wish to
marry again, now that I have found my two sons. In order to
obtain an audience of your majesty, this trick was arranged with
the two youths."

By the time the woman had finished her story the king's face was
suffused with tears and he was trembling visibly. When he had
somewhat recovered he rose from the throne and going up to the
woman and the two youths embraced them long and fervently. "You
are my own dear wife and children," he cried. "God has sent you
back to me. I, the king, your husband, your father, was not
drowned as you supposed; but was swallowed by a great fish and
nourished by it for some time, and then the monster threw itself
upon the river's bank and I was extricated. A potter and his wife
had pity on me and taught me their trade, and I was just
beginning to earn my living by making earthen vessels when the
late king of this country died, and I was chosen king by the
royal elephant and hawk--I who am now standing here." Then his
majesty ordered the queen and her two sons to be taken into the
inner apartments of the palace, and explained his conduct to the
people assembled. The merchant was politely dismissed from the
country. And as soon as the two princes were old enough to govern
the kingdom, the king committed to them the charge of all
affairs, while he retired with his wife to a sequestered spot and
passed the rest of his days in peace.

The tale of Sarwar and Nír, "as told by a celebrated Bard from
Baraut, in the Merath district," in vol. iii. of Captain R. C.
Temple's "Legends of the Panjáb" (pp. 97-125) though differing in
form somewhat from the Kashmírí version, yet possesses the
leading incidents in common with it, as will be seen from the
following abstract:

                        PANJABI VERSION.

Ambá the rájá of Púná had a beautiful wife named Amlí and two
young sons, Sarwar and Nír. There came to his court one day a
fakír. The rájá promised to give him whatsoever he should desire.
The fakir required Ambá to give up to him all he possessed, or
lose his virtue, and the rájá gave him all, save his wife and two
children, receiving in return the blessings of the fakír, Then
the rájá and the rání went away; he carrying Sarwar in his bosom,
and she with Nír in her lap. For a time they lived on the fruits
and roots of the forest. At length the raní gave her husband her
(jewelled) bodice to sell in the bazar, in order to procure food.
He offered it to Kundan the merchant, who made him sit down and
asked him where he had left the raní and why he did not bring her
with him. Ambá told him that he had left her with their two boys
under the banyan-tree. Then Kundan, leaving Ambá in the shop,
went and got a litter, and proceeding to the banyan-tree showed
the rání the bodice, and said, "Thy husband wishes thee to come
to him." Nothing doubting, the rání entered the litter, and the
merchant sent it off to his own house. Leaving the boys in the
forest, he returned to Ambá, and said to him that he had not
enough money to pay the price of the bodice, so the rájá must
take it back. Ambá took the bodice, and coming to the boys,
learned from Sarwar how their mother had been carried away in a
litter, and he was sorely grieved in his heart, but consoled the
children, saying that their mother had gone to her brother's
house, and that he would take them to her at once. Placing the
two boys on his shoulders he walked along till he came to a
river. He set down Nír and carried Sarwar safely across, but as
he was going back for the other, behold, an alligator seized him.
It was the will of God: what remedy is there against the writing
of Fate? The two boys, separated by the river, sat down and wept
in their sorrow. In the early morning a washerman was up and
spreading his clothes. He heard the two boys weeping and came to
see. He had pity on them and brought them together. Then he took
them to his house, and washed their faces and gave them food. He
put them into a separate house and a Brahman cooked for them and
gave them water.[FN#516] He caused the brothers to be taught all
kinds of learning, and at the end of twelve years they both set
out together to seek their living. They went to the city of
Ujjain, and told the rájá their history--how they had left their
home and kingdom. The rájá gave them arms and suitable clothing,
and appointed them guards over the female apartments.[FN#517] One
day a fisherman caught an alligator in his net. When he cut open
its body, he found in it Rájá Ambá, alive.[FN#518] So he took him
to the rájá of Ujjain, and told how he had found him in the
stomach of an alligator. Ambá related his whole history to the
rájá; how he gave up all his wealth and his kingdom to a fakír,
how his wife had been stolen from him; and how after safely
carrying one of his young sons over the river in returning for
the other he had been swallowed by an alligator. On hearing of
all these misfortunes the rájá of Ujjain pitied him and loved him
in his heart: he adopted Ambá as his son; and they lived together
twenty years, when the rájá died and Ambá obtained the throne.

Meanwhile the beautiful Rání Amlí, the wife of Ambá, had
continued to refuse the merchant Kundan's reiterated proffers of
love. At length he said to her, "Many days have passed over thee,
live now in my house as my wife." And she replied, "Let me bathe
in the Ganges, and then I will dwell in thy house." So he took
elephants and horses and lakhs of coin, and set the rání in a
litter and started on the journey. When he reached the city of
Ujjain, he made a halt and pitched his tents. Then he went before
Rájá Ambá and said, "Give me a guard, for the nights are dark.
Hitherto I have had much trouble and no ease at nights. I am
going to bathe in the Ganges, to give alms and much food to
Brahmans. I am come, rájá, to salute thee, bringing many things
from my house."

The rájá sent Sarwar and Nír as guards. They watched the tents,
and while the rain was falling the two brothers began talking
over their sorrows, saying "What can our mother be doing? Whither
hath our father gone?" Their mother overheard them talking, and
by the will of God she recognised the princes; then she tore open
the tent, and cried aloud, "All my property is gone! Who brought
this thief to my tent?" The rání had both Sarwar and Nír seized,
and brought before Rájá Ambá on the charge of having stolen her
property. The rájá held a court, and began to ask questions,
saying, "Tell me what hath passed during the night. How much of
thy property hath gone, my friend? I will do thee justice,
according to thy desire: my heart is grieved that thy goods are
gone." Then said the raní, "Be careful of the young elephant! The
lightning flashes and the heavy rain is falling. Said Nír, 'Hear,
brother Sarwar, who knows whither our mother hath gone?' And I
recognised my son; so I made all this disturbance, raja [in order
to get access to thee]". [FN#519] Hearing this, Rájá Ambá rose up
and took her to his breast--Amlí and Ambá met again through the
mercy of God. The rájá gave orders to have Kundan hanged, saving,
"Do it at once, he is a scoundrel; undo him that he may not
live." They quickly fetched the executioners and put on the
noose; and then was Kundan strangled. The rání dwelt in the
palace and all her troubles passed far away. She fulfilled all
her obligations, and obtained great happiness through her virtue.

                        TIBETAN VERSION.

Under the title of "Krisa Gautami" in the collection of "Tibetan
Tales from Indian Sources," translated by Mr. Ralston from the
German of Von Schiefner, we have what appears to be a very much
garbled form of an old Buddhist version of our story. The heroine
is married to a young merchant, whose father gives him some
arable land in a hill district, where he resides with Krisa
Guatami his wife.

When the time came for her to expect her confinement, she
obtained leave of her husband to go to her parents' house in
order that she might have the attendance of her mother. After her
confinement and the naming of the boy, she returned home. When
the time of her second confinement drew near, she again expressed
to her husband a desire to go to her parents. Her husband set out
with her and the boy in a waggon; but by the time they had gone
half way she gave birth to a boy. When the husband saw that this
was to take place he got out of the waggon, sat under a tree, and
fell asleep. While he was completely overcome by slumber a snake
bit him and he died. When his wife in her turn alighted from the
waggon, and went up to the tree in order to bring him the joyful
tidings that a son was born unto him, he, as he had given up the
ghost, made no reply. She seized him by the hand and found that
he was dead. Then she began to weep. Meantime a thief carried off
the oxen. After weeping for a long time, and becoming very
mournful, she looked around on every side, pressed the new-born
babe to her bosom, took the elder child by the hand, and set out
on her way. As a heavy rain had unexpectedly fallen, all the
lakes, ponds, and springs were full of water, and the road was
flooded by the river. She reflected that if she were to cross the
water with both the children at once, she and they might meet
with a disaster, and therefore the children had better be taken
over separately. So she seated the elder boy on the bank of the
river, and took the younger one in her arms, walked across to the
other side and laid him down upon the bank. Then she went back
for the elder boy. But while she was in the middle of the river,
the younger boy was carried off by a jackal. The elder boy
thought that his mother was calling him, and sprang into the
water. The bank was very steep, so he fell down and was killed.
The mother hastened after the jackal, who let the child drop and
ran off. When she looked at it, she found that it was dead. So
after she had wept over it, she threw it into the water. When she
saw that the elder was being carried along by the stream, she
became still more distressed. She hastened after him, and found
that he was dead. Bereft of both husband and children, she gave
way to despair, and sat down alone on the bank, with only the
lower part of her body covered. There she listened to the howling
of the wind, the roaring of the forest and of the waves, as well
as the singing of various kinds of birds. Then wandering to and
fro, with sobs and tears of woe, she lamented the loss of her
husband and her two children.

She meets with one of her father's domestics, who informs her
that her parents and their servants had all been destroyed by a
hurricane, and that "he only had escaped" to tell her the sad
tidings. After this she is married to a weaver, who ill-uses her,
and she escapes from him one night. She attaches herself to some
travellers returning from a trading expedition in the north, and
the leader of the caravan takes her for his wife. The party are
attacked by robbers and the leader is killed. She then becomes
the wife of the chief of the robbers, who in his turn finds death
at the hands of the king of that country, and she is placed in
his zenana.

The king died, and she was buried alive in his tomb, after having
had great honour shown to her by the women, the princes, the
ministers, and a vast concourse of people. Some men from the
north who were wont to rob graves broke into this one also. The
dust they raised entered into Krisa Gautami's nostrils, and made
her sneeze. The grave-robbers were terrified, thinking that she
was a demon (vetála), and they fled; but Krisa Gautami escaped
from the grave through the opening which they had made. Conscious
of all her troubles, and affected by the want of food, just as a
violent storm arose, she went out of her mind. Covered with
merely her underclothing, her hands and feet foul and rough, with
long locks and pallid complexion, she wandered about until she
reached Sravastí. There, at the sight of Bhagavant, she recovered
her intellect. Bhagavant ordered Ananda to give her an overrobe,
and he taught her the doctrine, and admitted her into the
ecclesiastical body, and he appointed her the chief of the
Bhikshunís who had embraced discipline.[FN#520]

This remarkable story is one of those which reached Europe long
anterior to the Crusades. It is found in the Greek martyr acts,
which were probably composed in the eighth century, where it is
told of Saint Eustache, who was before his baptism a captain of
Trajan, named Placidus, and the same legend reappears, with
modifications of the details, in many mediæval collections and
forms the subject of several romances. In most versions the motif
is similar to that of the story of Job. The following is the
outline of the original legend, according to the Greek martyr

                    LEGEND OF ST. EUSTACHE.

As Placidus one day hunted in the forest, the Saviour appeared to
him between the antlers of a hart, and converted him. Placidus
changed his name into Eustache, when he was baptised with his
wife and sons. God announced to him by an angel his future
martyrdom. Eustache was afflicted by dreadful calamities, lost
all his estate, and was compelled to go abroad as a beggar with
his wife and his children. As he went on board a ship bound for
Egypt, his wife was seized by the shipmaster and carried off.
Soon after, when Eustache was travelling along the shore, his two
children were borne off by a lion and a leopard. Eustache then
worked for a long time as journeyman, till he was discovered by
the emperor Trajan, who had sent out messengers for him, and
called him to court. Reappointed captain, Eustache undertook an
expedition against the Dacians. During this war he found his wife
in a cottage as a gardener--the shipmaster had fallen dead to the
ground as he ventured to touch her--and in the same cottage he
found again his two sons as soldiers: herdsmen had rescued them
from the wild beasts and brought them up. Glad was their meeting
again! But as they returned to Rome they were all burnt in a
glowing bull of brass by the emperor's order, because they
refused to sacrifice to the heathen gods.[FN#521]

The story of Placidus, which forms chapter 110 of the continental
"Gesta Romanorum," presents few and unimportant variations from
the foregoing: Eustatius came to a river the water of which ran
so high that it seemed hazardous to attempt to cross it with both
the children at the same time; one therefore he placed upon the
bank, and then passed over with the other in his arms, and having
laid it on the ground, he returned for the other child. But in
the midst of the river, looking back, he beheld a wolf snatch up
the child he had just carried over and run with it into the
adjoining wood. He turned to rescue it, but at that instant a
huge lion approached the other child and disappeared with it.
After the loss of his two boys Eustatius journeyed on till he
came to a village, where he remained for fifteen years, tending
sheep as a hired servant, when he was discovered by Trajan's
messengers, and so on.

The story is so differently told in one of the Early English
translations of the "Gesta Romanorum" in the Harleian MSS. 7333
(re-edited by Herrtage for the E.E.T. Soc., pp. 87-91) that it is
worth while, for purposes of comparison, reproducing it here in

                  OLD ENGLISH "GESTA" VERSION.

Averios was a wise emperour regnyng in the cite of Rome; and he
let crye a grete feste, and who so ever wold come to that feste,
and gete victory in the tournament, he shuld have his doughter to
wyf, after his decease. So there was a doughti knyght, and hardy
in armys, and specially in tournament, the which hadde wyf, and
two yong children of age of thre yere; and when this knyght had
herd this crye, in a clere morowenyng[FN#522] he entred in to a
forest, and there he herd a nyghtingale syng upon a tre so
swetly, that he herd never so swete a melody afore that tyme. The
knyght sette him doun undre the tre, and seid to him self, "Now,
Lord, if I myght knowe what this brid[FN#523] shold
bemene!"[FN#524] There come an old man, and seid to him, "That
thou shalt go within tines thre daies to the emperours feste and
thou shalt suffre grete persecution or thou come there, and if
thou be constant, and pacient in all thi tribulacion, thy sorowe
shal turne the[FN#525] to grete joy, and, ser. this is the
interpretacion of his song." When this was seid, the old man
vanysshed, and the brid fly away. Tho[FN#526] the knyght had
grete merviell; he yede[FN#527] to his wif, and told her the
cas.[FN#528] "Ser." quod she, "the will of God be fulfilled, but
I counsel! that we go to the feste of the emperour and that ye
thynk on the victory in the tournament, by the which we may be
avaunced[FN#529] and holpen."[FN#530] When the knyght had made
all thing redy, there come a grete fire in the nyght; and
brent[FN#531] up all his hous and all his goodis, for which he
had grete sorowe in hert, nevertheles, notwithstondyng ail this,
he yede forthe toward the see, with his wife, and with his two
childryn, and there he hired a ship, to passe over. When thei
come to londe, the maister of the shippe asked of the knyght his
hire for his passage, for him, and for his wif and for his two
childryn. "Dere freed," said the knyght to him, "dere freed,
suffre me, and thou shalt have all thyn, for I go now to the
feste of the emperour, where I trust to have the victory in
turnement, and then thou shalt be wele ypaied." "Nay, by the
feith that I owe to the emperour," quod that other, "hit shal not
be so, for but if [FN#532] you pay now, I shal horde thi wif to
wed,[FN#533] tyll tyme that I be paled fully my salary." And he
seid that for he desired the love of the lady. Tho the knyght
profren his two childryn to wed, so that he myght have his wif;
and the shipman seid, "Nay, such wordis beth[FN#534] vayn, for,"
quod he, "or[FN#535] I wol have my mede, or els I wolle horde thi
wif." So the knyght lefte his wif with him, and kyst her with
bitter teris; and toke the two childryn, scil. oon on his arme,
and that othir in his nek, and so he yede forth to the turnement.
Aftir, the maister of the shippe wolde have layn by the lady, but
she denyed hit, and seid, that she had lever dey[FN#536] than
consente therto. So within short tyme, the maister drew to a
fer[FN#537] fond, and there he deied; and the lady beggid her
brede fro core to core, and knew not in what fond her husbond was
duellinge. The knyght was gon toward the paleis, and at the last
he come by a depe water, that was impossible to be passid,
but[FN#538] hit were in certein tyme, when hit was at the lowist.
The knyght sette doun oo[FN#539] child, and bare the othir over
the water; and aftir that he come ayen[FN#540] to fecche over the
othir, but or[FN#541] he myght come to him, there come a lion,
and bare him awey to the forest. The knyght pursued aftir, but he
myght not come to the lion, and then he wept bitterly, and yede
ayen over the water to the othir child, and or he were ycome, a
bere had take the child, and ran therwith to the forest. When the
knyght saw that, sore he wepte, and seid, "Alias! that ever I was
bore, for now have I lost wif and childryn. O thou brid! thi song
that was so swete is yturned in to grete sorowe, and hath ytake
away myrth fro my hert." Aftir this he turned toward the feste,
and made him redy toward the turnement, and there he bare him so
manly, and so doutely in the turnement and that twies or thries,
that he wan the victory, and worship, and wynnyng of that day.
For the emperour hily avauncid him, and made him maister of his
oste,[FN#542] and commaundid that all shuld obey to him, and he
encresid, and aros from day to day in honure and richesse. And he
went aftirward in a certain day in the cite, [and] he found a
precious stone, colourid with thre maner of colours, as in oo
partie[FN#542] white, in an othir partie red, and in the thrid
partie blak. Anon he went to a lapidary, that was expert in the
vertue of stonys; and he seid, that the vertue of thilke[FN#544]
stone was this, who so ever berith the stone upon him, his
hevynesse[FN#545] shall turne in to joy; and if he be
povere,[FN#546] he shal be made riche; and if he hath lost
anything, he shall fynde hit ayen with grete joy. And when the
knyght herd this, he was glad and blith, and thought in him self,
"I am in grete hevynesse and poverte, for I have lost all that I
had, and by this stone I shal recovere all ayen, whether hit be
so or no, God wote!" Aftir, when he must go to bataile of the
emperour he gadrid togidre[FN#547] all the oste, and among them
he found two yong knyghtis, semely in harneis,[FN#548] and wele
i-shape, the which he hired for to go with him yn bataill of the
emperour. And when thei were in the bataill, there was not oon in
all the batail that did so doutely,[FN#549] as did tho[FN#550]
two knyghtis that he hired; and therof this knyght, maister of
the ost, was hily gladid. When the bataill was y-do,[FN#551]
tines two yong knyghtes yede to her oste[FN#552] in the cite; and
as they sat to-gidir, the elder seid to the yonger, "Dere freed,
hit is long sithen[FN#553] that we were felawys,[FN#554] and we
have grete grace of God,for in everybatailwe have the victory;
and therfore I pray you, telle me of what contre ye were ybore,
and in what nacion? For I askid never this of the or now; and if
thou wilt telle me soth,[FN#555] I shall telle my kynrede and
where I was borne." And when oo felawe spak thus to the othir, a
faire lady was loggid[FN#556] in the same ostry;[FN#557] and when
she herd the elder knyght speke, she herkened to him; but she
knew neither of hem,[FN#558] and yit she was modir of both, and
wyf of the maister of the oste,[FN#559] the which also the
maister of the shippe withheld for ship hire, but ever God kept
her fro synne. Then spake the yonger knyght, "Forsoth, good man,
I note[FN#560] who was my fader or who was my modir, ne[FN#561]
in what stede[FN#562] I was borne, but I have this wele in mynde
that my fader was a knyght, and that he bare me over the water,
and left my eldir brothir in the fond; and as he passid over ayen
to fecche him, there come a lion, and toke me up but a man of the
cite come with houndis, and when he saw him, he made him to leve
me with his houndis."[FN#563] "Now sothly," quod that othir, "and
in the same maner hit happid vith me. For I was the sone of a
knyght, and had only a brothir; and my fader brought me and my
brothir, and my modir, over the see toward the emperour; and for
my fader had not to pay to the maister of the ship for the
fraught, he left my modir to wed; and then my fader toke me with
my yong brothir, and brought us on his teak, and in his armys,
tyll that we come unto a water, and there left me in a side of
the water, and bare over my yong brothir; and or my fader myght
come to me ayene, to bare me over, ther come a bere, and bore me
to wode;[FN#564] and the people that saw him, make grete cry, and
for fere the bere let me falle, and so with thelke[FN#565] poeple
I duellid x. yere, and ther I was y-norisshed." When the modir
herd tines wordis, she seid, "Withoute douse tines teen my
sonys," and ran to hem anon, and fil upon her[FN#566] nekkes, and
wepte sore for joy, and seid, "Al dere sonys, I am your modir,
that your fader left with the maister of the shippe; and I know
wele by your wordis and signes that ye teeth true brethern. But
how it is with your fader that I know not, but God, that all
seth,[FN#567] yeve[FN#568] me grace to fynd my husbond." And alle
that nyght tines thre were in gladnes. On the morow the modir
rose up, and the childryn, scil. the knyghtis, folowid; and as
thei yede, the maister of the oste mette with hem in the strete
and though he were her fader, he knew hem not, but[FN#569] as
thei had manli fought the day afore; and therfor he salued hem
honurably, and askid of hem what feir lady that was, that come
with hem? Anon as his lady herd his voys, and perceyved a certeyn
signe in his frount,[FN#570] she knew fully therby that it was
her husbond; and therfore she ran to him, and crypt him and kyst
him, and for joy fille doun to the erth, as she had be deaf. So
aftir this passion, she was reised up; and then the maister seid
to her, "Telle me, feir woman, whi thou clippest me, and kyssist
me so?" She seid, "I am thi wif, that thou leftist with the
maister of the ship; and tines two knyghtis bene your sonys. Loke
wele on my front, and see." Then the knyght byheld her were, with
a good avisement,[FN#571] and knew wele by diverse tokyns that
she was his wif; and anon kyst her, and the sonys eke; and
blessid hiely God, that so had visited hem. Tho went he ayen to
his fond, with his wif, and with his children, and endid faire
his lif.

From the legend of St. Eustache the romances of Sir Isumbras,
Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, and Sir Torrent of Portugal are
derived. In the last, while the hero is absent aiding the king of
Norway with his sword, his wife Desonelle is delivered of twins,
and her father, King Calamond, out of his hatred of her, causes
her and the babes to be put to sea in a boat; but a favourable
wind saves them from destruction, and drives the boat upon the
coast of Palestine. As she is wandering aimlessly along the
shore, a huge griffin appears and seizes one of her children, and
immediately after a leopard drags away the other. With submission
she suffers her miserable fate, relying on the help of the Holy
Virgin. The king of Jerusalem, just returning from a voyage,
happened to find the leopard with the child, which he ordered to
be saved and delivered to him. Seeing from the foundling's golden
ring that the child was of noble descent, and pitying its
helpless state, he took it into his palace, and brought him up as
if he were his own son, at his court. The dragon with the other
child was seen by a pious hermit, St. Antony, who, though son of
the king of Greece, had in his youth forsaken the world. Through
his prayer St. Mary made the dragon put down the infant. Antony
carried him to his father, who adopted him and ordered him to be
baptised. Desonelle wandered up and down, after the loss of her
children, till she happened to meet the king of Nazareth hunting.
He, recognising her as the king of Portugal's daughter, gave her
a kind welcome and assistance, and at his court she lived several
years in happy retirement. Ultimately she is re-united to her
husband and her two sons, when they have become famous knights.

The following is an epitome of "Sir Isumbras," from Ellis's
"Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances" (Bohr's ed. p. 479

                    ROMANCE OF SIR ISUMBRAS.

There was once a knight, who, from his earliest infancy, appeared
to be the peculiar favourite of Fortune. His birth was noble; his
person equally remarkable for strength and beauty, his
possessions so extensive as to furnish the amusements of hawking
and hunting in the highest perfection. Though he had found no
opportunity of signalising his courage in war, he had borne away
the prize at numberless tournaments; his courtesy was the theme
of general praise; his hall was the seat of unceasing plenty; it
was crowded with minstrels, whom he entertained with princely
liberality, and the possession of a beautiful wife and three
lovely children completed the sum of earthly happiness.

Sir Isumbras had many virtues, but he had one vice. In the pride
of his heart he forgot the Giver of all good things, and
considered the blessings so abundantly showered upon him as the
proper and just reward of his distinguished merit. Instances of
this overweening presumption might perhaps be found in all ages
among the possessors of wealth and power; but few sinners have
the good fortune to be recalled, like Sir Isumbras, by a severe
but salutary punishment, to the pious sentiments of Christian

It was usual with knights to amuse themselves with hawking or
hunting whenever they were not occupied by some more serious
business; and, as business seldom intervened, they thus amused
themselves every day in the year. One morning, being mounted on
his favourite steed, surrounded by his dogs, and with a hawk on
his wrist, Sir Isumbras cast his eyes on the sky, and discovered
an angel, who, hovering over him, reproached him with his pride,
and announced the punishment of instant and complete degradation.
The terrified knight immediately fell on his knees; acknowledged
the justice of his sentence; returned thanks to Heaven for
deigning to visit him with adversity while the possession of
youth and health enabled him to endure it; and, filled with
contrition, prepared to return from the forest. But scarcely had
the angel disappeared when his good steed suddenly fell dead
under him, the hawk dropped from his wrist; his hounds wasted and
expired; and, being thus left alone, he hastened on foot towards
his palace, filled with melancholy forebodings, but impatient to
learn the whole extent of his misfortune.

He was presently met by a part of his household, who, with many
tears, informed him that his horses and oxen had been suddenly
struck dead with lightning, and that his capons were all stung to
death with adders. He received the tidings with humble
resignation, commanded his servants to abstain from murmurs
against Providence, and passed on. He was next met by a page, who
related that his castle was burned to the ground, that many of
his servants had lost their lives, and that his wife and children
had with great difficulty escaped from the flames. Sir Isumbras,
rejoiced that Heaven had yet spared those who were most dear to
him, bestowed upon the astonished page his purse of gold as a
reward for the intelligence.

          A doleful sight then gan he see;
          His wife and children three
             Out of the fire were fled:
          There they sat, under a thorn,
          Bare and naked as they were born,
             Brought out of their bed.
          A woful man then was he,
          When he saw them all naked be,
             The lady said, all so blive,
          "For nothing, sir, be ye adrad."
          He did off his surcoat of pallade,[FN#572]
             And with it clad his wife.
          His scarlet mantle then shore[FN#573] he;
          Therein he closed his children three
             That naked before him stood.

He then proposed to his wife that, as an expiation of their sins,
they should at once under take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; so,
cutting with his knife a sign of the cross on his bare shoulder,
he set off with the four companions of his misery resolving to
beg his bread till they should arrive at the Holy Sepulchre.
After passing through "seven lands," supported by the scanty alms
of the charitable, they arrived at length at a forest, where they
wandered during three days without meeting a single habitation.
Their food was reduced to the few berries which they were able to
collect; and the children, unaccustomed to such hard fare began
to sink under the accumulated difficulties of their journey. In
this situation they were stopped by a wide and rapid though
shallow river. Sir Isumbras, taking his eldest son in his arms,
carried him over to the opposite bank and placing him under a
bush of broom, directed him to dry his tears, and amuse himself
by playing with the blossoms till his return with his brothers.
But scarcely had he left the place when lion, starting from a
neighbouring thicket, seized the child and bore him away into the
recesses of the forest. The second son became, in like manner,-
the prey of an enormous leopard, and the disconsolate mother,
when carried over with her infant to the fatal spot, was with
difficulty persuaded to survive the loss of her two elder
children. Sir Isumbras, though he could not repress the tears
extorted by this cruel calamity, exerted himself to console his
wife and humbly confessing his sins, contented himself with
praying that his present misery might be accepted by Heaven as a
partial expiation.

          Through forest they went days three,
          Till they came to the Greekish sea;
             They grette,[FN#574] and were full wo!
          As they stood upon the land,
          They saw a fleet sailand,[FN#575]
             Three hundred ships and mo.[FN#576]
          With top-casters set on-loft,
          Richly then were they wrought,
             With joy and mickle[FN#577] pride:
          A heathen king was therein,
          That Christendom came to win;
             His power was full wide.

It was now seven days since the pilgrims had tasted bread or
meat, the soudan's[FN#578] galley therefore, was no sooner moored
to the beach than the hastened on board to beg for food The
soudan, under the apprehension that they were spies, ordered them
to be driven back on shore; but his attendants observed to him
that these could not be common beggars that the robust limbs and
tall stature of the husband proved him to be a knight in
disguise, and that the delicate complexion of the wife, who was
"bright as blossom on tree," formed a striking contrast to the
ragged apparel with which she was very imperfectly covered. They
were now brought into the royal presence; and the soudan,
addressing Sir Isumbras, immediately offered him as much treasure
as he should require, on condition that he should renounce
Christianity and consent to fight under the Saracen banners. The
answer was a respectful but peremptory refusal, concluded by an
earnest petition for a little food; but the soudan, having by
this time turned his eyes from Sir Isumbras to the beautiful
companion of his pilgrimage, paid no attention to his request.

          The soudan beheld that lady there,
          Him thought an angel that she were,
             Comen a-down from heaven;
          "Man! I will give thee gold and fee,
          An thou that woman will sellen me,
             More than thou can neven.[FN#579]
          I will give thee an hundred pound
          Of pennies that been whole and round,
             And rich robes seven:
          She shall be queen of my land,
          And all men bow unto her hand,
             And none withstand her steven."[FN#580]
          Sir Isumbras said, "Nay!
          My wife I will nought sell away,
             Though ye me for her sloo![FN#581]
          I weddid her in Goddislay,
          To hold her to mine ending day,
             Both for weal and wo."

It evidently would require no small share of casuistry to
construe this declaration into an acceptance of the bargain, but
the Saracens, having heard the offer of their sovereign,
deliberately counted out the stipulated sum on the mantle of Sir
Isumbras; took possession of the lady, carried the knight with
his infant son on shore; beat him till he was scarcely able to
move, and then returned for further orders. During this
operation, the soudan, with his own hand, placed the regal crown
on the head of his intended bride; but recollecting that the
original project of the voyage to Europe was to conquer it, which
might possibly occasion a loss of some time, he delayed his
intended nuptial, and ordered a fast-sailing vessel to convey her
to his dominions, providing her at the same time with a charter
addressed to his subjects, in which he enjoined them to obey her,
from the moment of her landing, as their legitimate sovereign.

The lady, emboldened by these tokens of deference on the part of
her new lord, now fell on her knees and entreated his permission
to pass a few moments in private with her former husband, and the
request was instantly granted by the complaisant Saracen. Sir
Isumbras still smarting from his bruises, was conducted with
great respect and ceremony to his wife, who, embracing him with
tears, earnestly conjured him to seek her out as soon as possible
in her new dominions, to slay his infidel rival, and to take
possession of a throne which was probably reserved to him by
Heaven as an indemnification for his past losses. She then
supplied him with provisions for a fortnight; kissed him and her
infant son; swooned three times, and then set sail for Africa.

Sir Isumbras, who had been set on shore quite confounded by this
quick succession of strange adventures, followed the vessel with
his eyes till it vanished from his sight, and then taking his son
by the hand led him up to some rocky woodlands in the
neighbourhood. Here they sat down under a tree, and after a short
repast, which was moistened with their tears, resumed their
journey. But they were again bewildered in forest, and, after
gaining the summit of the mountain without being able to descry a
single habitation, lay down on the bare ground and resigned
themselves to sleep. The next morning Sir Isumbras found that his
misfortunes were not yet terminated. He had carried his stock of
provisions, together with his gold, the fatal present of the
soudan, enveloped in a scarlet mantle; and scarcely had the sun
darted its first rays on the earth when an eagle, attracted by
the red cloth; swooped down upon the treasure and bore it off in
his talons. Sir Isumbras, waking at the moment, perceived the
theft, and for some time hastily pursued the flight of the bird,
who, he expected, would speedily drop the heavy and useless
burthen but he was disappointed; for the eagle, constantly
towering as he approached the sea, at length directed his flight
towards the opposite shore of Africa. Sir Isumbras slowly
returned to his child, whom he had no longer the means of
feeding, but the wretched father only arrived m time to behold
the boy snatched from him by a unicorn. The knight was now quite
disheartened. But his last calamity was so evidently miraculous
that even the grief of the father was nearly absorbed by the
contrition of the sinner. He fell on his knees and uttered a most
fervent prayer to Jesus and the Virgin, and then proceeded on his

His attention was soon attracted by the sound of a smith's
bellows: he quickly repaired to the forge and requested the
charitable donation of a little food, but was told by the
labourers that he seemed as well able to work as they did, and
they had nothing to throw away in charity.

          Then answered the knight again,
          "For meat would I swink[FN#582] fain."
             Fast he bare and drow,[FN#583]
          They given him meat and drink anon.
          And taughten him to bear stone:
             Then had he shame now.

This servitude lasted a twelvemonth, and seven years expired
before he had fully attained all the mysteries of his new
profession. He employed his few leisure hours in fabricating a
complete suit of armour: every year had brought him an account of
the progress of the Saracens; and he could not help entertaining
a hope that his arm, though so ignobly employed, was destined at
some future day to revenge the wrongs of the Christians, as well
as the injury which he had personally received from the

At length he heard that the Christian army had again taken the
field, that the day was fixed for a great and final effort; and
that a plain at an inconsiderable distance from his shop was
appointed for the scene of action. Sir Isumbras rose before day,
buckled on his armour, and mounting a horse which had hitherto
been employed in carrying coals, proceeded to the field and took
a careful view of the disposition of both armies. When the
trumpets gave the signal to charge, he dismounted, fell on his
knees, and after a short but fervent prayer to Heaven, again
sprang into his saddle and rode into the thickest ranks of the
enemy. His uncouth war-horse and awkward armour had scarcely less
effect than his wonderful address and courage in attracting the
attention of both parties; and when after three desperate
charges, his sorry steed was slain under him, one of the
Christian chiefs make a powerful effort for his rescue, bore him
to a neighbouring eminence, and presented to him a more suitable
coat of armour, and a horse more worthy of the heroic rider.

          When he was armed on that stead
          It is seen where his horse yede,[FN#584]
             And shall be evermore.
          As sparkle glides off the glede,[FN#585]
          In that stour he made many bleed,
             And wrought hem wonder sore.
          He rode up into the mountain,
          The soudan soon hath he slain,
             And many that with him were.
          All that day lasted the fight;
          Sir Isumbras, that noble knight,
             Wan the battle there.
          Knights and squires have him sought,
          And before the king him brought;
             Full sore wounded was he.
          They asked what was his name;
          He said, "Sire, a smith's man;
             What will ye do with me?"
          The Christian king said, than,
          "I trow never smith's man
             In war was half so wight."
          "I bid[FN#586] you, give me meat and drink
          And what that I will after think,
             Till I have kevered[FN#587] my might."
          The king a great oath sware,
          As soon as he whole were,
             That he would dub him knight.
          In a nunnery they him leaved,
          To heal the wound in his heved,[FN#588]
             That he took in that fight.
          The nuns of him were full fain,
          For he had the soudan slain,
             And many heathen hounds;
          For his sorrow they gan sore rue;
          Every day they salved him new,
             And stopped well his wounds.

We may fairly presume, without derogating from the merit of the
holy sisters or from the virtue of their salves and bandages,
that the knight's recovery was no less accelerated by the
pleasure of having chastised the insolent possessor of his wife
and the author of his contumelious beating. In a few days his
health was restored; and having provided himself with a "scrip
and pike" and the other accoutrements of a palmer, he took his
leave of the nuns, directed his steps once more to the "Greekish
Sea," and, embarking on board of a vessel which he found ready to
sail, speedily arrived at the port of Acre.

During seven years, which were employed in visiting every part of
the Holy Land, the penitent Sir Isumbras led a life of continued
labour and mortification: fed during the day by the precarious
contributions of the charitable, and sleeping at night in the
open air, without any addition to the scanty covering which his
pilgrim's weeds, after seven years service, were able to afford.
At length his patience and contrition were rewarded. After a day
spent in fruitless applications for a little food,

          Beside the burgh of Jerusalem
          He set him down by a well-stream,
             Sore wepand[FN#589] for his sin.
          And as he sat, about midnight,
          There came an angel fair and bright,
             And brought him bread and wine;
          He said, "Palmer, well thou be!
          The King of Heaven greeteth well thee;
             Forgiven is sin thine."

Sir Isumbras accepted with pious gratitude the donation of food,
by which his strength was instantly restored, and again set out
on his travels; but he was still a widower, still deprived of his
children, and as poor as ever; nor had his heavenly monitor
afforded him any hint for his future guidance. He wandered
therefore through the country, without any settled purpose, till
he arrived at a "rich burgh," built round a "fair castle," the
possessor of which, he was told, was a charitable queen, who
daily distributed a florin of gold to every poor man who
approached her gates, and even condescended to provide food and
lodging within her palace for such as were distinguished by
superior misery. Sir Isumbras presented himself with the rest;
and his emaciated form and squalid garments procured him instant

          The rich queen in hall was set;
          Knights her served, at hand and feet,
             In rich robes of pall:
          In the floor a cloth was laid;
          "The poor palmer," the steward said,
             "Shall sit above you all."
          Meat and drink forth they brought;
          He sat still, and ate right nought,
             But looked about the hall.
          So mickle he saw of game and glee
          (Swiche mirthis he was wont to see)
             The tears he let down fall.

Conduct so unusual attracted the attention of the whole company,
and even of the queen, who, ordering "a chair with a cushion" to
be placed near the palmer, took her seat in it, entered into
conversation with him on the subject of his long and painful
pilgrimage and was much edified by the moral lessons which he
interspersed in his narrative. But no importunity could induce
him to taste food: he was sick at heart, and required the aid of
solitary meditation to overcome the painful recollections which
continually assailed him The queen was more and more astonished,
but at length left him to his reflections, after declaring that,
"for her lord's soul, or for his love, if he were still alive,"
she was determined to retain the holy palmer in her palace, and
to assign him a convenient apartment, together with a servant to
attend him.

An interval of fifteen years, passed in the laborious occupations
of blacksmith and pilgrim, may be supposed to have produced a
very considerable alteration in the appearance of Sir Isumbras;
and even his voice, subdued by disease and penance, may have
failed to discover the gallant knight under the disguise which he
had so long assumed. But that his wife (for such she was) should
have been equally altered by the sole operation of time that the
air and gestures and action of a person once so dear and so
familiar to him should have awakened no trace of recollection in
the mind of a husband, though in the midst of scenes which
painfully recalled the memory of his former splendour, is more
extraordinary. Be this as it may, the knight and the queen,
though lodged under the same roof and passing much of their time
together, continued to bewail the miseries of their protracted
widowhood. Sir Isumbras, however, speedily recovered, in the
plentiful court of the rich queen, his health and strength, and
with these the desire of returning to his former exercises. A
tournament was proclaimed; and the lists, which were formed
immediately under the widows of the castle, were quickly occupied
by a number of Saracen knights, all of whom Sir Isumbras
successively overthrew. So dreadful was the stroke of his spear,
that many were killed at the first encounter; some escaped with a
few broken bones; others were thrown headlong into the castle
ditch, but the greater number consulted their safety by a timely
flight; while the queen contemplated with pleasure and
astonishment the unparalleled exploits of her favourite palmer.

          Then fell it, upon a day,
          The Knight went him for to play,
             As it was ere his kind;
          A fowl's nest he found on high;
          A red cloth therein he seygh[FN#590]
             Wavand[FN#591] in the wind.
          To the nest he gan win;[FN#592]
          His own mantle he found therein;
             The gold there gan he find.

The painful recollection awakened by this discovery weighed
heavily on the soul of Sir Isumbras. He bore the fatal treasure
to his chamber, concealed it under his bed, and spent the
remainder of the day in tears and lamentations. The images of his
lost wife and children now began to haunt him continually; and
his altered demeanour attracted the attention and excited the
curiosity of the whole court, and even of the queen, who could
only learn from the palmer's attendant that his melancholy seemed
to originate in the discovery of something in a bird's nest. With
this strange report she was compelled to be satisfied, till Sir
Isumbras, with the hope of dissipating his grief, began to resume
his usual exercises in the field, but no sooner had he quitted
his chamber than the "squires" by her command broke open the
door, discovered the treasure, and hastened with it to the royal
apartment. The sight of the gold and the scarlet mantle
immediately explained to the queen the whole mystery of the
palmer's behaviour. She burst into tears; kissed with fervent
devotion the memorial of her lost husband; fell into a swoon; and
on her recovery told the story to her attendants, and enjoined
them to go in quest of the palmer, and to bring him at once
before her. A short explanation removed her few remaining doubts;
she threw herself into the arms of her husband, and the reunion
of this long separated couple was immediately followed by the
coronation of Sir Isumbras and by a protracted series of

The Saracen subjects of the Christian sovereign continued, with
unshaken loyalty, to partake of the plentiful entertainments
provided for all ranks of people on this solemn occasion, but no
sooner had the pious Sir Isumbras signified to them the necessity
of their immediate conversion, than his whole "parliament"
adopted the resolution of deposing and committing to the flames
their newly acquired sovereign, as soon as they should have
obtained the concurrence of the neighbouring princes. Two of
these readily joined their forces for the accomplishment of this
salutary purpose, and invading the territories of Sir Isumbras
with an army of thirty thousand men, sent him, according to usual
custom, a solemn defiance. Sir Isumbras boldly answered the
defiance, issued the necessary orders, called for his arms,
sprang upon his horse, and prepared to march out against the
enemy; when he discovered that his subjects had, to a man,
abandoned him, and that he must encounter singly the whole host
of the invaders.

          Sir Isumbras was bold and keen,
          And took his leave at the queen,
             And sighed wonder sore:
          He said, "Madam, have good day!
          Sickerly, as you I say,
             For now and evermore!"
          "Help me, sir, that I were dight
          In arms, as it were a knight;
             I will with you fare:
          Gif God would us grace send,
          That we may together end,
             Then done were all my care."
          Soon was the lady dight
          In arms, as it were a knight;
             He gave her spear and shield:
          Again[FN#593] thirty thousand Saracens and mo.[FN#594]
          There came no more but they two,
             When they met in field.

Never, probably, did a contest take place between such
disproportioned forces. Sir Isumbras was rather encumbered than
assisted by the presence of his beautiful but feeble helpmate;
and the faithful couple were upon the point of being crushed by
the charge of the enemy, when three unknown knights suddenly made
their appearance, and as suddenly turned the fortune of the day.
The first of these was mounted on a lion, the second on a
leopard, and the third on a unicorn. The Saracen cavalry, at the
first sight of these unexpected antagonists, dispersed in all
directions. But flight and resistance were equally hopeless:
three and twenty thousand unbelievers were soon laid lifeless on
the plain by the talons of the lion and leopard and by the
resistless horn of the unicorn, or by the swords of their young
and intrepid riders; and the small remnant of the Saracen army
who escaped from the general carnage quickly spread, through
every corner of the Mohammedan world the news of this signal and
truly miraculous victory.

Sir Isumbras, who does not seem to have possessed the talent for
unravelling mysteries, had never suspected that his three
wonderful auxiliaries were his own children whom Providence had
sent to his assistance at the moment of his greatest distress,
but he was not the less thankful when informed of the happy
termination of all his calamities. The royal family were received
in the city with every demonstration of joy by his penitent
subjects whose loyalty had been completely revived by the recent
miracle. Magnificent entertainments were provided; after which
Sir Isumbras, having easily overrun the territories of his two
pagan neighbours, who had been slain in the last battle,
proceeded to conquer a third kingdom for his youngest son; and
the four monarchs, uniting their efforts for the propagation of
the true faith, enjoyed the happiness of witnessing the baptism
of all the inhabitants of their respective dominions.

          They lived and died in good intent;
          Unto heaven their souls went,
             When that they dead were.
          Jesu Christ, heaven's king,
          Give us, aye, his blessing,
             And shield us from care!

On comparing these several versions it will be seen that, while
they differ one from another m some of the details, yet the
fundamental outline is identical, with the single exception of
the Tibetan story, which, in common with Tibetan tales generally,
has departed very considerably from the original. A king, or
knight, is suddenly deprived of all his possessions, and with his
wife and two children becomes a wanderer on the face of the
earth; his wife is forcibly taken from him; he afterwards loses
his two sons, he is once more raised to affluence; his sons,
having been adopted and educated by a charitable person, enter
his service, their mother recognises them through overhearing
their conversation; finally husband and wife and children are
happily re-united. Such is the general outline of the story,
though modifications have been made in the details of the
different versions-- probably through its being transmitted
orally in some instances. Thus in the Arabian story, the king is
ruined apparently in consequence of no fault of his own; in the
Panjábí version, he relinquishes his wealth to a fakír as a pious
action; in the Kashmírí and in the romance of Sir Isumbras, the
hero loses his wealth as a punishment for his overweening ride,
in the legend of St. Eustache, as in the story of Job, the
calamities which overtake the Christian convert are designed by
Heaven as a trial of his patience and fortitude; while even in
the corrupted Tibetan story the ruin of the monarch is reflected
in the destruction of the parents of the heroine by a hurricane.
In both the Kashmírí and the Panjábí versions, the father is
swallowed by a fish (or an alligator) in re-crossing the river to
fetch his second child, in the Tibetan story the wife loses her
husband, who is killed by a snake, and having taken one of her
children over the river, she is returning for the other when,
looking back, she discovers her babe in the jaws of a wolf: both
her children perish: in the European versions they are carried
off by wild beasts and rescued by strangers--the romance of Sir
Isumbras is singular in representing the number of children to be
three. Only in the Arabian story do we find the father carrying
his wife and children in safety across the stream, and the latter
afterwards lost in the forest. The Kashmírí and Gesta versions
correspond exactly in representing the shipman as seizing the
lady because her husband could not pay the passage-money: in the
Arabian she is entrapped in the ship, owned by a Magian, on the
pretext that there is on board a woman in labour; in Sir Isumbras
she is forcibly "bought" by the Soudan. She is locked up in a
chest by the Magian; sent to rule his country by the Soudan;
respectfully treated by the merchant in the Kashmírí story, and,
apparently, also by Kandan in the Panjábí legend; in the story of
St. Eustache her persecutor dies and she is living in humble
circumstances when discovered by her husband.--I think there is
internal evidence, apart from the existence of the Tibetan
version, to lead to the conclusion that the story is of Buddhist
extraction, and if such be the fact, it furnishes a further
example of the indebtedness of Christian hagiology to Buddhist
tales and legends.

                             p. 1.

We must, I think, regard this group of tales as being genuine
narratives of the exploits of Egyptian sharpers. From the days of
Herodotus to the present time, Egypt has bred the most expert
thieves in the world. The policemen don't generally exhibit much
ability for coping with the sharpers whose tricks they so well
recount; but indeed our home-grown "bobbies" are not particularly

              THE THIEF'S TALE.--Vol. XII. p. 28.

A parallel to the woman's trick of shaving off the beards and
blackening the faces of the robbers is found in the well-known
legend, as told by Herodotus (Euterpe, 121), of the robbery of
the treasure-house of Rhampsinitus king of Egypt, where the
clever thief, having made the soldiers dead drunk, shaves off the
right side of their beards and then decamps with his brother's
headless body.

         THE NINTH CONSTABLE'S STORY.--Vol. XII. p. 29.

The narrow escape of the singing-girl hidden under a pile of
halfah grass may be compared with an adventure of a fugitive
Mexican prince whose history, as related by Prescott, is as full
of romantic daring and hair's breadth 'scapes as that of
Scanderbeg or the "Young Chevader." This prince had just time to
turn the crest of a hill as his enemies were climbing it on the
other side, when he fell in with a girl who was reaping chian, a
Mexican plant, the seed of which is much used in the drinks of
the country. He persuaded her to cover him with the stalks she
had been cutting. When his pursuers came up and inquired if she
had seen the fugitive, the girl coolly answered that she had, and
pointed out a path as the one he had taken.


The concluding part of this story differs very materially from
that of the Greek legend of Ibycus (fl. B.C. 540), which is thus
related in a small MS. collection of Arabian and Persian
anecdotes in my possession, done into English from the French:

It is written in the history of the first kings that in the reign
of a Grecian king there lived a philosopher named Ibycus, who
surpassed in sagacity all other sages of Greece. Ibycus was once
sent by the king to a neighbouring court. On the way he was
attacked by robbers who, suspecting him to have much money,
formed the design of killing him "Your object in taking my life,"
said Ibycus, "is to obtain my money; I give it up to you, but
allow me to live." The robbers paid no attention to his words,
and persisted in their purpose. The wretched Ibycus, in his
despair, looked about him to see if any one was coming to his as
assistance, but no person was in sight. At that very moment a
flock of cranes flew overhead. "O cranes!" cried Ibycus, "know
that I have been seized in this desert by these wicked men, and I
die from their blows. Avenge me, and demand from them my blood."
At these words the robbers burst into laughter: "To take away
life from those who have lost their reason," they observed, "is
to add nothing to their hurt." So saying, they killed Ibycus and
divided his money. On receipt of the news that Ibycus had been
murdered, the inhabitants of the town were exasperated and felt
great sorrow. They caused strict inquiries to be made for the
murderers, but they could not be found. After some time the
Greeks were celebrating a feast. The inhabitants of the adjoining
districts came in crowds to the temples. The murderers of Ibycus
also came, and everywhere showed themselves. Meanwhile a flock of
cranes appeared in the air and hovered above the people, uttering
cries so loud and prolonged that the prayers and ceremonies were
interrupted. One of the robbers looked with a smile at his
comrades, saying, by way of joke, "These cranes come without
doubt to avenge the blood of Ibycus." Some one of the town, who
was near them, heard these words, repeated them to his neighbour,
and they together reported them to the king The robbers were
taken, strictly cross-examined, confessed their crime, and
suffered for it a just punishment. In this way the cranes
inflicted vengeance on the murderers of Ibycus. But we ought to
see in this incident a matter which is concealed in it: This
philosopher although apparently addressing his words to the
cranes, was really imploring help from their Creator; he hoped,
in asking their aid, that He would not suffer his blood to flow
unavenged. So God accomplished his hopes, and willed that cranes
should be the cause that his death was avenged in order that the
sages of the world should learn from it the power and wisdom of
the Creator.

This ancient legend was probably introduced into Arabian
literature in the 9th century when translations of so many of the
best Greek works were made, and, no doubt, it was adapted in the
following Indian (Muslim) story:[FN#595]

There was a certain pir, or saint, of great wisdom, learning, and
sanctity, who sat by the wayside expounding the Kurán to all who
would listen to him. He dwelt in the out-buildings of a ruined
mosque close by, his only companion being a maina, or
hill-starling, which he had taught to proclaim the excellence of
the formula of his religion, saying, "The Prophet is just!" It
chanced that two travellers passing that way beheld the holy man
at his devotions, and though far from being religious persons yet
tarried a while to hear the words of truth. Evening now drawing
on, the saint invited his apparently pious auditors to his
dwelling, and set before them such coarse food as he had to
offer. Having eaten and refreshed themselves, they were
astonished at the wisdom displayed by the bird, who continued to
repeat holy texts from the Kurán. The meal ended, they all lay
down to sleep, and while the good man reposed, his treacherous
guests, who envied him the possession a bird that in their hands
might be the means of enriching them, determined to steal the
treasure and murder its master. So they stabbed the sleeping
devotee to the heart and then seized hold of the bird's cage.
But, unperceived by them, the door of it had been left open and
the bird was not to be found. After searching for the bird in
vain, they considered it necessary to dispose of the body, since,
if discovered, suspicion would assuredly fall upon them, and
carrying it away to what they deemed a safe distance they buried
it. Vexed to be obliged to leave the place without obtaining the
reward of their evil deeds, they again looked carefully for the
bird, but without success; it was nowhere to be seen, and so they
were compelled to go forward without the object of their search.
The maina had witnessed the atrocious deed, and unseen had
followed the murderers to the place were they had buried the
body, it then perched upon the tree beneath which the saint had
been wont to enlighten the minds of his followers, and when they
assembled flew into their midst, exclaiming, "The Prophet is
just!" making short flights and then returning. These unusual
motions, together with the absence of their preceptor, induced
the people to follow it and directing its flight to the grave of
its master, it uttered a mournful cry over the newly-covered
grave. The villagers, astonished, began to remove the earth, and
soon discovered the bloody corse.  Surprised and horror-stricken,
they looked about for some traces of the murderers, and
perceiving that the bird had resumed the movements which had
first induced them to follow it, they suffered it to lead them
forward. Before evening fell, the avengers came up with two men,
who no sooner heard the maina exclaim, "The Prophet is just'" and
saw the crowd that accompanied it, than they fell upon their
knees, confessing that the Prophet had indeed brought their evil
deeds to light; so, their crime being thus made manifest, summary
justice was inflicted upon them.


An entertaining story, but very inconsistent in the character of
Iblis, who is constantly termed, in good Muslim fashion, "the
accursed," yet seems to be somewhat of a follower of the Prophet,
and on the whole a good-natured sort of fellow. His mode of
expressing his approval of the damsel's musical "talent" is, to
say the least, original.

                WOMEN'S WILES.--Vol. XII. p. 99.

A variant--perhaps an older form--of this story occurs in the
tale of Prince Fadlallah, which is interwoven with the History of
Prince Calaf and the Princess of China, in the Persian tales of
"The Thousand and One Days":

The prince, on his way to Baghdad, is attacked by robbers, his
followers are all slain, and himself made prisoner, but he is set
at liberty by the compassionate wife of the robber-chief during
his absence on a plundering expedition. When he reaches Baghdad
he has no resource but to beg his bread, and having stationed
himself in front of a large mansion, an old female slave
presently comes out and gives him a loaf. At this moment a gust
of wind blew aside the curtain of a window and discovered to his
admiring eyes a most beautiful damsel, of whom he became
immediately enamoured. He inquired of a passerby the name of the
owner of the mansion, and was informed that it belonged to a man
called Mouaffac, who had been lately governor of the city, but
having quarrelled with the kází, who was of a revengeful
disposition, the latter had found means to disgrace him with the
khalíf and to have him deprived of his office. After lingering
near the house in vain till nightfall, in hopes of once more
obtaining a glimpse of this beauty, he retired for the night to a
burying-ground, where he was soon joined by two thieves, who
pressed upon him a share of the good cheer with which they had
provided themselves, but while the thieves were feasting and
talking over a robbery which they had just accomplished, the
police suddenly pounced upon them, and took all three and cast
them into prison.

In the morning they were examined by the kází, and the thieves,
seeing it was useless to deny it, confessed their crime.  The
prince then told the kází how he chanced to fall into company of
the thieves, who confirmed all he said, and he was set at
liberty. Then the kází began to question him as to how he had
employed his time since he came to Baghdád, to which he answered
very frankly but concealed his rank. On his mentioning the brief
glance he had of the beautiful lady at the window of the
ex-governor's house, the kází's eyes sparkled with apparent
satifaction, and he assured the prince that he should have the
lady for his bride; for, believing the prince to be a mere
beggarly adventurer, he resolved to foist him on Mouaffac as the
son of a great monarch So, having sent the prince to the bath and
provided him with rich garments, the kází dispatched a messenger
to request Mouaffac to come to him on important business. When
the ex-governor arrived, the kází told him blandly that there was
now an excellent opportunity for doing away the ill will that had
so long existed between them. "It is this," continued he: "the
prince of Basra, having fallen in love with your daughter from
report of her great beauty, has just come to Baghdád, unknown to
his father, and intends to demand her of you in marriage. He is
lodged in my house, and is most anxious that this affair should
be arranged by my interposition, which is the more agreeable to
me, since it will, I trust, be the means of reconciling our
differences." Mouaffac expressed his surprise that the prince of
Basra should think of marrying his daughter, and especially that
the proposal should come through the kází, of all men. The kází
begged him to forget their former animosity and consent to the
immediate celebration of the nuptials. While they were thus
talking, the prince entered, in a magnificent dress, and was not
a little astonished to be presented to Mouaffac by the
treacherous kází as the prince of Basra, who had come as a suitor
for his daughter in marriage. The ex-governor saluted him with
every token of profound respect, and expressed his sense of the
honour of such an alliance: his daughter was unworthy to wait
upon the meanest of the prince's slaves. In brief, the marriage
is at once celebrated, and the prince duly retires to the bridal
chamber with the beauteous daughter of Mouaffac. But in the
morning, at an early hour, a servant of the kází knocks at his
door, and, on the prince opening it, says that he brings him his
rags of clothes and is required to take back the dress which the
kází had lent him yesterday to personate the prince of Basra. The
prince, having donned his tattered garments, said to his wife,
"The kází thinks he has married you to a wretched beggar, but I
am no whit inferior in rank to the prince of Basra--I am also a
prince, being the only son of the king of Mosel," and then
proceeded to recount all his adventures. When he had concluded
his recital, the lady despatched a servant to procure a suitable
dress for the prince, which when he had put on, she said, "I see
it all: the kází no doubt, believes that by this time we are all
overwhelmed with shame and grief. But what must be his feelings
when he learns that he has been a benefactor to his enemies!
Before you disclose to him your real rank, however, we must
contrive to punish him for his malicious intentions. There is a
dyer in this town who has a frightfully ugly daughter-- but leave
this affair in my hands."

The lady then dressed herself in plain but becoming apparel, and
went out of the house alone. She proceeded to the court of the
kází, who no sooner cast his eyes upon her than he was struck
with her elegant form. He sent an officer to inquire of her who
she was and what she had come about. She made answer that she was
the daughter of an artisan in the city. and that she desired to
have some private conversation with the kází. When the officer
reported the lady's reply, the kází directed her to be conducted
into a private chamber, where he presently joined her, and
gallantly placed his services at her disposal. The lady now
removed her veil, and asked him whether he saw anything ugly or
repulsive in her features. The kází on seeing her beautiful face
was suddenly plunged in the sea of love, and declared that her
forehead was of polished silver, her eyes were sparkling
diamonds, her mouth a ruby casket containing a bracelet of
pearls. Then she displayed her arms, so white and plump, the
sight of which threw the kází into ecstasies and almost caused
him to faint. Quoth the lady, "I must tell you, my lord, that
with all the beauty I possess, my father, a dyer in the city,
keeps me secluded, and declares to all who come to ask me in
marriage that I am an ugly, deformed monster, a mere skeleton,
lame, and full of diseases." On this the kází burst into a tirade
against the brutal father who could thus traduce so much beauty,
and vowed that he would make her his wife that same day. The
lady, after expressing her fears that he would not find it easy
to gain her father's consent, took her leave and returned home.

The kází lost no time in sending for the dyer, and, after
complimenting him upon his reputation for piety, said to him, "I
am informed that behind the curtain of chastity you have a
daughter ripe for marriage. Is not this true?" Replied the dyer,
"My lord, you have been rightly informed. I have a daughter who
is indeed fully ripe for marriage, or she is more than thirty
years of age, but the poor creature is not fit to be a wife to
any man. She is very ugly, lame, leprous, and foolish. In short,
she is such a monster that I am obliged to keep her out of all
people's sight." "Ha!" exclaimed the kází, "you can't impose on
me with such a tale. I was prepared for it. But let me tell you
that I myself am ready and willing to marry that same ugly and
leprous daughter of yours, with all her defects." When the dyer
heard this, he looked the kází full in the face and said, "My
lord, you are welcome to divert yourself by making a jest of my
daughter." No," replied the kází "I am quite in earnest. I demand
your daughter in marriage." The dyer broke into laughter, saying,
'By Allah, some one has meant to play you a trick, my lord. I
forewarn you that she is ugly, lame, and leprous."  "True,"
responded the kází, with a knowing smile; "I know her by these
tokens. I shall take her notwithstanding." The dyer, seeing him
determined to marry his daughter, and being now convinced that he
had been imposed upon by some ill-wisher, thought to himself, "I
must demand of him a round sum of money which may cause him to
cease troubling me any further about my poor daughter." So he
said to the kází, "My lord, I am ready to obey your command; but
I will not part with my daughter unless you pay me beforehand a
dowry of a thousand sequins." Replied the kází, "Although,
methinks, your demand is somewhat exorbitant, yet I will pay you
the money at once." which having done, he ordered the contract to
be drawn up. But when it came to be signed the dyer declared that
he would not sign save in the presence of a hundred men of the
law.  "Thou art very distrustful," said the kází, "but I will
comply in everything, for I am resolved to make sure of thy
daughter." So he sent for all the men of law in the city, and
when they were assembled at the house of the kází, the dyer said
that he was now willing to sign the contract; "But I declare," he
added, "in the presence of these honourable witnesses, that I do
so on the condition that if my daughter should not prove to your
liking when you have seen her, and you should determine to
divorce her, you shall oblige yourself to give her a thousand
sequins of gold in addition to the same amount which I have
already received from you. "Agreed," said the kází, "I oblige
myself to it, and call this whole assembly to be witnesses. Art
thou now satisfied?" "I am," replied the dyer, who then went his
way, saying that he would at once send him his bride.

As soon as the dyer was gone, the assembly broke up, and the kází
was left a house. He had been two years married to the daughter
of a merchant of Baghdád, whom he had hitherto lived on very
amicable terms. When she heard that he was arranging for a second
marriage, she came to him in a great rage. "How now," said she,
"two hands in one glove! two swords in one scabbard! two wives in
one house! Go, fickle man! Since the caresses of a young and
faithful wife cannot secure your constancy, I am ready to yield
my place to my rival and retire to my own family. Repudiate me--
return my dowry--and you shall never see me more." "I am glad you
have thus anticipated me," answered the kází, "for I was somewhat
perplexed how to acquaint you of my new marriage." So saying, he
opened a coffer and took out a purse of five hundred sequins of
gold, and putting it into her hands, "There, woman," said he,
"thy dowry is in that purse: begone, and take with you what
belongs to you. I divorce thee once; I divorce thee twice, three
times I divorce thee. And that thy parents may be satisfied thou
art divorced from me, I shall give thee a certificate signed by
myself and my nayb." This he did accordingly, and his wife went
to her father's house, with her bill of divorce and her dowry.

The kází then gave orders to furnish an apartment sumptuously for
the reception of his bride. The floor was spread with velvet
carpets, the walls were hung with rich tapestry, and couches of
gold and silver brocade were placed around the room. The bridal
chamber was decked with caskets filled with the most exquisite
perfumes. When everything was in readiness, the kází impatiently
expected the arrival of his bride, and at last was about to
despatch a messenger to the dyer's when a porter entered,
carrying a wooden chest covered with a piece of green taffeta.
"What hast thou brought me there, friend?" asked the kází. "My
lord," replied the porter, setting the chest on the floor, "I
bring your bride." The kází opened the chest, and discovered a
woman of three feet and a half, defective in every limb and
feature. He was horrified at the sight of this object, and
throwing the covering hastily over it, demanded of the porter,
"What wouldst thou have me do with this frightful creature?" "My
lord," said the porter, "this is the daughter of Omar the dyer,
who told me that you had espoused her out of pure inclination."
"O Allah!" exclaimed the kází, "is it possible to marry such a
monster as this?" Just then, the dyer, well knowing that the kází
must be surprised, came in. "Thou wretch," cried the kází, "how
cost thou dare to trifle with me? In place of this hideous
object, send hither your other daughter, whose beauty is beyond
comparison; otherwise thou shalt soon know what it is to insult
me." Quoth the dyer, "My lord, I swear, by Him who out of
darkness produced light, that I have no other daughter but this.
I told you repeatedly that she was not for your purpose, but you
would not believe my words. Who, then, is to blame?" Upon this
the kází began to cool, and said so the dyer, "I must tell you,
friend Omar, that this morning there came to me a most beautiful
damsel, who pretended that you were her father, and that you
represented her to everybody as a monster, on purpose to deter
all suitors that came to ask her in marriage." "My lord,"
answered the dyer, "this beautiful damsel must be an impostor;
some one, undoubtedly, owes you a grudge." Then the kází, having
reflected for a few minutes, said to the dyer, "Bid the porter
carry thy daughter home again. Keep the thousand sequins of gold
which I gave thee, but ask no more of me, if thou desirest that
we should continue friends." The dyer, knowing the implacable
disposition of the kází, thought it advisable to content himself
with what he had already gained, and the kází, having formally
divorced his hideous bride, sent her away with her father. The
affair soon got wind in the city and everybody was highly
diverted with the trick practiced on the kází.

It will be observed that in the Arabian story there are two
clever devices: that of the lady who tricks the boastful
merchant, whose motto was that men's craft is superior to women's
craft, into marrying the ugly daughter of the kází; and that of
the merchant to get rid of his bad bargain by disgusting the kází
with the alliance. The scene at the house of the worthy judge--
the crowd of low rascals piping, drumming, and capering, and
felicitating themselves on their pretended kinsman the merchant's
marriage--is highly humorous. This does not occur in the Persian
story, because it is the kází, who has been duped into marrying
the dyer's deformed daughter, and she is therefore simply packed
off again to her father's house.

That the tales of the "Thousand and One Days" are not (as is
supposed by the writer of an article on the several English
versions of The Nights in the "Edinburgh Review" for July 1886,
p. 167) mere imitations of Galland[FN#596] is most certain, apart
from the statement in the preface to Petis' French translation,
which there is no reason to doubt--see vol. x. of The Nights, p.
166, note 1. Sir William Ouseley, in his Travels, vol. ii., p.
21, note, states that he brought from Persia a manuscript which
comprised, inter alia, a portion of the "Hazár ú Yek Rúz," or the
Thousand and One Days, which agreed with Petis' translation of
the same stories. In the Persian collection entitled "Shamsa ú
Kuhkuha" occur several of the tales and incidents, for example,
the Story of Nasiraddoli King of Mousel, the Merchant of Baghdád,
and the Fair Zeinib, while the Story of the King of Thibet and
the Princess of the Naimans has its parallel in the Turkish "Kirk
Vazír," or Forty Vazírs. Again, the Story of Couloufe and the
Beautiful Dilara reminds us of that of Haji the Cross-grained in
Malcolm's "Sketches of Persia." But of the French translation not
a single good word can be said--the Oriental "costume" and
phraseology have almost entirely disappeared, and between Petis
de la Croix and the author of "Gil Blas"--who is said to have had
a hand in the work--the tales have become ludicrously
Frenchified. The English translation made from the French is, if
possible, still worse. We there meet with "persons of quality,"
"persons of fashion," with "seigneurs," and a thousand and one
other inconsistencies and absurdities. A new translation is much
to be desired. The copy of the Persian text made by Petis is
probably in the Paris Library and Ouseley's fragment is doubtless
among his other Oriental MSS. in the Bodleian. But one should
suppose that copies of the "Hazár ú Yek Rúz" may be readily
procured at Ispahán or Tehrán, and at a very moderate cost, since
the Persians now-a-days are so poor in general that they are
eager to exchange any books they possess for the "circulating


This is an excellent tale, the incidents occur naturally and the
reader's interest in the fortunes of the hero and heroine never
flags. The damsel's sojourn with the old Muezzin--her dispatching
him daily to the shroff--bears some analogy to part of the tale
of Ghanim the Slave of Love (vol. ii. of The Nights), which, by
the way, finds close parallels in the Turkish "Forty Vazírs" (the
Lady's 18th story in Mr. Gibb's translation), the Persian
"Thousand and One Days" (story of Aboulcasem of Basra), and the
"Bagh o Bahár" (story of the First Dervish). This tale is, in
fact, a compound of incidents occurring in a number of different
Arabian fictions.


Here we have another instance of a youth falling in love with the
portrait of a pretty girl (see ante, p. 236). The doughty deeds
performed by the young prince against thousands of his foes throw
into the shade the exploits of the Bedouin hero Antar, and those
of our own famous champions Sir Guy of Warwick and Sir Bevis of

                       ADDITIONAL NOTES.

                  FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE, p. 216.

I find yet another variant of this story in my small MS.
collection of Arabian and Persian anecdotes, translated from the
French (I have not ascertained its source):

They relate that a lord of Basra, while walking one day in his
garden, saw the wife of his gardener, who was very beautiful and
virtuous. He gave a commission to his gardener which required him
to leave his home. He then said to his wife "Go and shut all the
doors." She went out and soon returned, saying, "I have shut all
the doors except one, which I am unable to shut." The lord asked,
"And where is that door?" She replied "That which is between you
and the respect due to your Maker: there is no way of closing
it." When the lord heard these words, he asked the woman's
pardon, and became a better and a wiser man.

We have here a unique form of the wide-spread tale of "The Lion's
Track," which, while it omits the husband's part, yet reflects
the virtuous wife's rebuke of the enamoured sultan.

              THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST, p. 219.

If Straparola's version is to be considered as an adaptation of
Ser Giovanni's novella-- which I do not think very probable--it
must be allowed to be an improvement on his model. In the Arabian
story the singer is first concealed in a mat, next in the oven,
and again in the mat, after which he escapes by clambering over
the parapet of the druggist's roof to that of an adjoining house,
and his subsequent adventures seem to be added from a different
story. In Ser Giovanni's version the lover is first hid beneath a
heap of half dried clothes, and next behind the street door, from
which he escapes the instant the husband enters, and the latter
is treated as a madman by the wife's relatives and the
neighbours--an incident which has parallels in other tales of
women's craft and its prototype, perhaps, in the story of the man
who compiled a book of the Wiles of Woman, as told in "Syntipas,"
the Greek version of the Book of Sindibad. In Straparola the
lover--as in the Arabian story--is concealed three times, first
in a basket, then between two boardings, and lastly in a chest
containing law papers; and the husband induces him to recount his
adventures in presence of the lady's friends, which having
concluded, the lover declares the story to be wholly fictitious:
this is a much more agreeable ending than that of Giovanni's
story, and, moreover, it bears a close analogy to the latter part
of the Persian tale, where the lover exclaims he is right glad to
find it all a dream. Straparola's version has another point of
resemblance in the Persian story--so far as can be judged from
Scott's abstract--and also in the Arabian story: the lover
discovers the lady by chance, and is not advised to seek out some
object of love, as in Giovanni; in the Arabian the singer is
counselled by the druggist to go about and entertain wine
parties. Story-comparers have too much cause to be dissatisfied
with Jonathan Scott's translation of the "Bahár-i- Dánish"--a
work avowedly derived from Indian sources--although it is far
superior to Dow's garbled version. The abstracts of a number of
the tales which Scott gives in an appendix, while of some use,
are generally tantalising: some stories he has altogether omitted
"because they are similar to tales already well known"
(unfortunately the comparative study of popular fictions was
hardly begun in his time), while of others bare outlines are
furnished, because he considered them "unfit for general
perusal." But his work, even as it is, has probably never been
"generally" read, and he seems to have had somewhat vague notions
of "propriety," to judge by his translations from the Arabic and
Persian. A complete English rendering of the "Bahár-i-Dánish"
would be welcomed by all interested in the history of fiction.


The trick played on the silly fuller of dressing him up as a
Turkish soldier resembles that of the Three Deceitful Women who
found a gold ring in the public bath, as related in the Persian
story-book, "Shamsa ú Kuhkuha:"

When the wife of the superintendent of police was apprised that
her turn had come, she revolved and meditated for some time what
trick she was to play off on her lord, and after having come to a
conclusion she said one evening to him, "To-morrow I wish that we
should both enjoy ourselves at home without interruptions, and I
mean to prepare some cakes." He replied, "Very well, my dear; I
have also longed for such an occasion." The lady had a servant
who was very obedient and always covered with the mantle of
attachment to her. The next morning she called this youth and
said to him, "I have long contemplated the hyacinth grove of thy
symmetrical stature; and I know that thou travellest constancy
and faithfully on the road of compliance with all my wishes, and
that thou seekest to serve me. I have a little business which I
wish thee to do for me." The servant answered, "I shall be happy
to comply. Then the lady gave him a thousand diners and said, "Go
to the convent which is in our vicinity; give this money to one
of the kalandars there and say to him, 'A prisoner whom the Amír
had surrendered to the police has escaped last night. He closely
resembles thee, and as the superintendent of the police is unable
to account to the Amír, he has sent a man to take thee instead of
the escaped criminal. I have compassion for thee and mean to
rescue thee. Take this sum of money; give me thy dress; and flee
from the town; for if thou remainest in it till the morning thou
wilt be subjected to torture and wilt lose thy life.'" The
servant acted as he was bid, and brought the garments to his
mistress. When it was morning she said to her husband, "I know
you have long wished to eat sweetmeats, and I shall make some
to-day." He answered, "Very well." His wife made all her
preparations and commenced to bake the sweetmeats. He said to
her, "Last night a theft was committed in a certain place, and I
sat up late to extort confessions; and as I have spent a
sleepless night, I feel tired and wish to repose a little." The
lady replied, "Very well."

Accordingly the superintendent of the police reclined on the
pillow of rest; and when the sweetmeat was ready his wife took a
little and putting an opiate into it she handed it to him,
saying, "How long will you sleep? To-day is a day of feasting and
pleasure, not of sleep and laziness. Lift up your head and see
whether I have made the sweets according to your taste." He
raised his head, swallowed a piece of the hot cake and lay down
again. The morsel was still in his throat when consciousness left
and a deep sleep overwhelmed him. His wife immediately undressed
him and put on him the garments of the kalandar. The servant
shaved his head and made some tattoo marks on his body. When the
night set in the lady called her servant and said, "Hyacinth, be
kind enough to take the superintendent on thy back, and carry him
to the convent instead of that kalandar, and if he wishes to
return to the house in the morning, do not let him." The servant
obeyed. Towards dawn the superintendent recovered his senses a
little; but as the opiate had made his palate very bitter, he
became extremely thirsty. He fancied that he was in his own
house, and so he exclaimed, "Narcissus, bring water." The
kalandars awoke from sleep, and after hearing several shouts of
this kind, they concluded that he was under the influence of
bang, and said, "Poor fellow! the narcissus is in the garden;
this is the convent of sufferers, and there are green garments
enough here. Arise and sober thyself, for the morning and
harbinger of benefits as well as of the acquisition of the
victuals for subsistence is approaching." When the superintendent
heard these words he thought they were a dream, for he had not
yet fully recovered his senses. He sat quietly, but was amazed on
beholding the walls and ceiling of the convent: he got up, looked
at the clothes in which he was dressed and at the marks tattooed
on his body, and began to doubt whether he was awake or asleep.
He washed his face, and perceived that the caravan of his
mustachios had likewise departed from the plain of his

In this state of perplexity he went out of the convent and
proceeded to his house. There his wife, with her male and female
servants, was expecting his arrival. He approached the house and
placed his hand on the knocker of the door, but was received by
Hyacinth, who said, "Kalandar, whom seekest thou?" The
superintendent rejoined, "I want to enter the house." Hyacinth
continued, "Thou hast to-day evidently taken thy morning draught
of bang earlier and more copiously than usual, since thou hast
foolishly mistaken the road to thy convent. Depart! This is not a
place in which vagabond kalandars are harboured. This is the
palace of the superintendent of the police. and if the symurgh
looks with incivility from the fastness of the west of Mount Káf
at this place, the wings of its impertinence will at once become
singed." The superintendent said, "What nonsense art thou
speaking? Go out of my way, for I do not relish thy imbecile
prattle." But when he wanted to enter, Hyacinth struck him with a
bludgeon on the shoulder, which the superintendent returned with
a box on the ear, and both began to wrestle together. At that
moment the lady and her maid-servants rushed forth from the rear
and assailed him with sticks and stones, shouting, "This kalandar
wishes in plain daylight to force his way into the house of the
superintendent. What a pity that the superintendent is sick, or
else this crime would have to be expiated on the gallows!" In the
meantime all the neighbours assembled, and on seeing the
shameless kalandar's proceedings they cried, "Look at that
impudent kalandar who wants forcibly to enter the house of the
superintendent." Ultimately the crowd amounted to more than five
hundred persons, and the gentleman was put to flight and pursued
by all the little boys, who pelted him with stones till they
expelled him from the town.

At the distance of three farsangs from the town there was a
village where the superintendent concealed himself in the corner
of a mosque. During the evenings he went from house to house and
begged for food to sustain life, until his mustachios again grew
and the tattooed scars gradually began to disappear. Whenever
anyone inquired for the superintendent at his house, he was
informed by the servants that the gentleman was sick. After one
month had expired, the grief of separation and the misery of his
condition had again driven him back to the city. He went to the
convent because fear hindered him from going to the house. His
wife happened one day to catch a glimpse of him from her window,
and perceived him sitting in the same dress with a company of
kalandars. She felt compassion for him, called the servant and
said, "The superintendent has had enough of this!" She made a
loaf of bread and put some opiate into it, and said, "When the
kalandars are asleep, you must go and place this loaf under the
pillow of the superintendent." The servant obeyed, and when the
gentleman awoke in the middle of the night he was surprised to
find the loaf. He fancied that when his companions had during the
night returned from begging, they had placed it there, and so he
ate some of it. During the same night the servant went there by
the command of the lady, took his master on his back and carried
him home. When it was morning, the lady took off the kalandar's
clothes from her husband and dressed him in his own garments, and
began to make sweetmeats as on the former occasion. After some
time he began to move, and his wife exclaimed, "O superintendent,
do not sleep so much. I have told you that we shall spend this
day in joy and pleasure, and it was not fair of you to pass the
time in this lazy way. Lift up your head and see what beautiful
sweetmeats I have baked for you." When he opened his eyes, and
saw himself dressed in his own clothes and at home, the rosebush
of his amazement again brought forth the flowers of astonishment,
and he said, "God be praised! What has happened to me?" He sat
up, and exclaimed, "Wife, things have happened to me which I can
scarcely describe." She replied, "From the uneasy motions which
you have made in your sleep, it appears you must have had
extraordinary dreams." "Dreams, forsooth," said he, "since the
moment I lay down I have experienced the most strange
adventures." "Certainly," rejoined the lady, "last night you have
been eating food disagreeing with your constitution, and to-day
the vapours of it have ascended into your brains, and have caused
you all this distress." The superintendent said, "Yes last night
we went to a party in the house of Serjeant Bahman, and there was
roasted pillau, of which I ate somewhat more than usual, and the
vapour of it has occasioned me all this trouble.''[FN#597]

Strikingly similar to this story is the trick of the first lady
on her husband in the "Fabliau des Trois Dames qui trouverent un
Anel." Having made him drunk, she causes his head to be shaved,
dresses him in the habit of a monk, and carries him, assisted by
her lover, to the entrance of a convent. When he awakes and sees
himself thus transformed he imagines that God by a miraculous
exercise of His grace had called him to the monastic life. He
presents himself before the abbot and requests to be received
among the brethren. The lady hastens to the convent in
well-feigned despair, and is exhorted to be resigned and to
congratulate her husband on the saintly vow he has taken. "Many a
good man, ' says the poet, "has been betrayed by woman and by her
harlotry. This one became a monk in the abbey, where he abode a
very long time. Wherefore, I counsel all people who hear this
story told, that they ought not to trust in their wives, nor in
their households, if they have not first proved that they are
full of virtues. Many a man has been deceived by women and by
their treachery. This one became monk against right, who would
never have been such in his life, if his wife had not deceived

The second lady's trick in the fabliau is a very close parallel
to the story in The Nights, vol. v. p. 96.[FN#599] She had for
dinner on a Friday some salted and smoked eels, which her husband
bade her cook, but there was no fire in the house. Under the
pretext of going to have them cooked at a neighbour's fire she
goes out and finds her lover, at whose house she remains a whole
week. On the following Friday, at the hour of dinner, she enters
a neighbour's house and asks leave to cook the eels, saying that
her husband is angry with her for having no fire, and that she
did not dare to go back, lest he should take off her head. As
soon as the eels are cooked she carries them piping hot to her
own house. The husband asks her where she has been for eight
days, and commences to beat her. She cries for help and the
neighbours come in, and amongst them the one at whose fire the
eels had been cooked, who swears that the wife had only just left
her house and ridicules the husband for his assertion that she
had been away a whole week. The husband gets into a great rage
and is locked up for a madman.

The device of the third lady seems a reflection of the
"Elopement," but without the underground tunnel between the
houses of the wife and the lover. The lady proposes to her lover
to marry him, and he believes that she is only jesting, seeing
that she is already married, but she assures him that she is
quite in earnest, and even undertakes that her husband will
consent. The lover is to come for her husband and take him to the
house of Dan Eustace, where he has a fair niece, whom the lover
is to pretend he wishes to espouse, if he will give her to him.
The wife will go thither, and she will have done her business
with Eustace before they arrive. Her husband cannot but believe
that he has left her at home, and she will be so apparelled that
he cannot recognise her. This plan is accordingly carried out.
The lover asks the husband for the hand of his niece in marriage,
to which he joyously consents, and without knowing it makes a
present of his own wife. "All his life long the lover possessed
her, because the husband gave and did not lend her; nor could he
ever get her back."

Le Grand mentions that this fabliau is told at great length in
the tales of the Sieur d'Ouville, tome iv. p. 255. In the
"Facetiæ Bebelianæ," p. 86, three women wager which of them will
play the best trick on her husband. One causes him to believe he
is a monk, and he goes and sings mass, the second husband
believed himself to be dead, and allows himself to be carried to
that mass on a bier; and the third sings in it quite naked.
(There is a very similar story in Campbell's "Popular Tales of
the West Highlands.") It is also found, says Le Grand, in the
"Convivales Sermones," tome i. p. 200, in the "Delices de
Verboquet," p. 166; and in the Facetiæ of Lod. Domenichi, p. 172.
In the "Comes pour Rire," p. 197, three women find a diamond, and
the arbiter whom they select promises it, as in the fabliau, to
her who concocts the best device for deceiving her husband, but
their ruses are different.

End of Supplemental Nights Volume 2.

                   Arabian Nights, Volume 12

[FN#1] Bresi. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 321-99, Nights dccccxxx-xl.

[FN#2] Arab. "Iklím" from the Gr. {Greek}, often used as amongst
us (e.g. "other climes") for land.

[FN#3] Bibars whose name is still famous and mostly pronounced
"Baybars," the fourth of the Baharite Mamelukes whom I would call
the "Soldans." Originally a slave of Al-Sálih, seventh of the
Ayyubites, he rose to power by the normal process, murdering his
predecessor, in A. D. 1260; and he pushed his conquests from
Syria to Armenia. In his day "Saint" Louis died before Tunis (A.
D. 1270).

[FN#4] There are sundry Sáhils or shore-lands. "Sahil Misr" is
the River-side of Cairo often extended to the whole of Lower
Egypt (vol. i. 290): here it means the lowlands of Palestine once
the abode of the noble Philistines; and lastly the term extends
to the sea-board of Zanzibar, where, however, it is mostly used
in the plur. "Sawáhil"=the Shores.

[FN#5] Arab. "Sammár" (from Samar,=conversatio nocturna),=the
story-teller who in camp or house whiles away the evening hours.

[FN#6] "Flag of the Faith:" Sanjar in old Persian=a Prince, a

[FN#7] "Aider of the Faith."

[FN#8] These policemen's tales present a curious contrast with
the detective stories of M. Gaboriau and his host of imitators.
In the East the police, like the old Bow Street runners, were and
are still recruited principally amongst the criminal classes on
the principle of "Set a thief," &c. We have seen that the
Barmecide Wazirs of Baghdad "anticipated Fourier's doctrine of
the passionel treatment of lawless inclinations," and employed as
subordinate officers, under the Wali or Prefect of Police,
accomplished villains like Ahmad al-Danaf (vol. iv. 75), Hasan
Shuuman and Mercury Ali (ibid.) and even women (Dalilah the
Crafty) to coerce and checkmate their former comrades. Moreover a
gird at the police is always acceptable, not only to a
coffee-house audience, but even to a more educated crowd; witness
the treatment of the "Charley" and the "Bobby" in our truly
English pantomimes.

[FN#9] i.e. the Chief of Police, as the sequel shows.

[FN#10] About £4.

[FN#11] i.e. of the worlds visible and invisible.

[FN#12] Arab. "Mukaddam:" see vol. iv, 42.

[FN#13] "Faithful of Command;" it may be a title as well as a P.
N. For "Al-Amín," see vol. iv. 261.

[FN#14] i. e. "What have I to do with, etc.?" or "How great is
the difference between me and her." The phrase is still popular
in Egypt and Syria; and the interrogative form only intensifies
it. The student of Egyptian should always try to answer a
question by a question. His labours have been greatly facilitated
by the conscientious work of my late friend Spitta Bey. I tried
hard to persuade the late Rogers Bey, whose knowledge of Egyptian
and Syrian (as opposed to Arabic) was considerable, that a simple
grammar of Egyptian was much wanted; he promised to undertake it)
but death cut short the design.

[FN#15] Arab. "Nawwáb," plur. of Náib (lit. deputies,
lieutenants)=a Nabob. Till the unhappy English occupation of
Egypt, the grand old Kil'ah (Citadel) contained the palace of the
Pasha and the lodgings and offices of the various officials.
Foreign rulers, if they are wise, should convert it into a fort
with batteries commanding the town, like that of Hyderabad, in

[FN#16] For this famous and time-honoured building, see vol. i.

[FN#17] Arab. "Tamkín," gravity, assurance.

[FN#18] Arab. " Iyál-hu" lit. his family, a decorous
circumlocution for his wives and concubines.

[FN#19] Arab. "Darb," lit. a road; here a large thoroughfare.

[FN#20] When Mohammed Ali Pasha (the "Great") began to rule, he
found Cairo "stifled" with filth, and gave orders that each
householder, under pain of confiscation, should keep the street
before his house perfectly clean. This was done after some
examples had been made and the result was that since that time
Cairo never knew the plague. I am writing at Tangier where a
Mohammed Ali is much wanted.

[FN#21] i.e. Allah forfend!

[FN#22] Arab. "Mustauda'"=a strong place where goods are
deposited and left in charge.

[FN#23] Because, if she came to grief, the people of the street,
and especially those of the adjoining houses would get into
trouble. Hence in Moslem cities, like Damascus and Fez, the Hárát
or quarters are closed at night with strong wooden doors, and the
guards will not open them except by means of a silver key.
Mohammed Ali abolished this inconvenience, but fined and
imprisoned all night-walkers who carried no lanterns. See
Pilgrimage, vol. i. 173,

[FN#24] As Kazi of the quarter he was ex-officio guardian of the
orphans and their property, and liable to severe punishment
(unless he could pay for the luxury) in case of fraud or neglect.

[FN#25] Altogether six thousand dinars=£3000. This sentence is
borrowed from the sequel and necessary to make the sense clear.

[FN#26] i.e. "I am going at once to complain of thee before the
king unless thou give me due satisfaction by restoring the money
and finding the thief."

[FN#27] The Practice (of the Prophet) and the Holy Law (Koranic):
see vols. v. 36, 167 and i. 169.

[FN#28] In the corrupt text "Who knew me not;" thus spoiling the

[FN#29] Arab. "Maut Ahmar"=violent or bloody death. For the
various coloured deaths, see vol. vi. 250.

[FN#30] i.e. for lack of sleep.

[FN#31] i.e. of the Kazi.

[FN#32] Arab. "Mubáh," in the theologic sense, an action which is
not sinful (harám) or quasisinful (makruh); vulgarly "permitted,
allowed"; so Shahrazad "ceased to say her say permitted" (by

[FN#33] Arab. "Yá Khawand"; see vol. vii. 315.

[FN#34] i.e. we both make different statements equally credible,
but without proof, and the case will go against me, because thou
art the greater man.

[FN#35] Arab. "Irtiyád"=seeking a place where to stale, soft and
sloping, so that the urine spray may not defile the dress. All
this in one word!

[FN#36] Arab. "Bahár," the red buphthalmus sylvester often used
for such comparisons. In Algeria it is called 'Aráwah: see the
Jardin Parfumé, p. 245, note 144.

[FN#37] i.e. parties.

[FN#38] i.e. amongst men.

[FN#39] Almost as neat as "oú sont les neiges d'autan?"

[FN#40] Arab. "Ádí," one transgressing, an enemy, a scoundrel.

[FN#41] It was probably stuck in the ground like an amphora.

[FN#42] i.e. hush up the matter.

[FN#43] In Egypt; the former being the Eastern of the Seven
Provinces extending to the Pelusium branch, and the latter to the
Canobic. The "Barári" or deserts, i.e. grounds not watered by the
Nile, lie scattered between the two and both are bounded South by
the Kalúbíyah Province and Middle Egypt.

 [FN#44] i.e. a man ready of wit and immediate of action, as
opposed to his name Al-Atwash -- one notable for levity of mind.

[FN#45] The negative is emphatic, "I certainly saw a Jew," etc.

[FN#46] The "Irish bull" is in the text; justified by--

          They hand-in-hand, with wand'ring steps and slow
          Through Eden took their solitary way,

[FN#47] As we should say, "There are good pickings to be had out
of this job." Even in the last generation a Jew or a Christian
intriguing with an Egyptian or Syrian Moslemah would be offered
the choice of death or Al-Islam. The Wali dared not break open
the door because he was not sure of his game.

[FN#48] The Jew rose seemingly to fetch his valuables and ran
away, thus leaving the Wali no proof that he had been there in
Moslem law which demands ocular testimony, rejects circumstantial
evidence and ignores such partial witnesses as the policeman who
accompanied his Chief. This I have before explained.

[FN#49] Arab. "Raba'," lit.=spring-quarters. See Marba', iii. 79.

[FN#50] Arab. "Ni'am," an exception to the Abbé Sicard's rule.
"La consonne N est l'expression naturelle du doute chez toutes
les nations, par ce que le son que rend la touche nasale, quand
l'homme incertain examine s'il fera ce qu'on lui demande; ainsi
NE ON, NE OT, NE EC, NE IL, d'où l'on a fait non, not, nec, nil.

[FN#51] For this "Haláwat al-Miftáh," or sweetmeat of the
key-money, the French denier a Dieu, Old English "God's penny,"
see vol. vii. 212, and Pilgrimage i. 62.

[FN#52] Showing that car. cop. had taken place. Here we find the
irregular use of the inn, perpetuated in not a few of the monster
hotels throughout Europe.

[FN#53] For its rules and right performance see vol. vi. 199.

[FN#54] i.e. the "Basil(issa)," mostly a servile name, see vol.
i. 19.

[FN#55] Arab. "La'alla," used to express the hope or expectation
of some event of possible occurrence; thus distinguished from
"Layta"--Would heaven! utinam! O si! etc.-- expressing desire or

[FN#56] Arab. "Balát," in Cairo the flat slabs of limestone and
sandstone brought from the Turah quarries, which supplied stone
for the Jízah Pyramids.

[FN#57] Arab. "Yá Mu'arras!" here=O fool and disreputable; see
vol. i. 338.

[FN#58] These unfortunates in hot climates enjoy nothing so much
as throwing off the clothes which burn their feverish skins: see
Pilgrimage iii. 385. Hence the boys of Eastern cities, who are
perfect imps and flibbertigibbets, always raise the cry "Majnún"
when they see a man naked whose sanctity does not account for his

[FN#59] Arab. "Daur al-Ká'ah"=the round opening made in the
ceiling for light and ventilation.

[FN#60] Arab. "La-nakhsifanna" with the emphatic termination
called by grammarians "Nún al-taakid"--the N of injunction. Here
it is the reduplicated form, the Nun al-Sakílah or heavy N. The
addition of Lá (not) e.g. "Lá yazrabanna"=let him certainly not
strike answers to the intensive or corroborative negative of the
Greek effected by two negations or even more. In Arabic as in
Latin and English two negatives make an affirmative.

[FN#61] Parturition and death in warm climates, especially the
damp-hot like Egypt are easy compared with both processes in the
temperates of Europe. This is noticed by every traveller. Hence
probably Easterns have never studied the artificial Euthanasia
which is now appearing in literature. See p. 143 "My Path to
Atheism," by Annie Besant, London: Freethought Publishing
Company, 28, Stonecutter Street, E. C., 1877, based upon the
Utopia of the highly religious Thomas Moore. Also "Essay on
Euthanasia," by P. D. Williams, Jun., and Mr. Tollemache in the
"Nineteenth Century."

[FN#62] i.e. he whose turn it is to sit on the bench outside the
police office in readiness for emergencies.

[FN#63] Arab. "'Udúl" (plur. of 'Ádil), gen. men of good repute,
qualified as witnesses in the law court, see vol. iv. 271. It is
also used (as below) for the Kazi's Assessors.

[FN#64] About £80.

[FN#65] Arab. "Kitáb"=book, written bond. This officiousness of
the neighbours is thoroughly justified by Moslem custom; and the
same scene would take place in this our day. Like the Hindú's,
but in a minor degree, the Moslem's neighbours form a volunteer
police which oversees his every action. In the case of the Hindú
this is required by the exigencies of caste, an admirable
institution much bedevilled by ignorant Mlenchbas, and if
"dynamiting" become the fashion in England, as it threatens to
become, we shall be obliged to establish "Vigilance Committees"
which will be as inquisitorial as caste

[FN#66] e.g. writing The contract of A. with B., daughter of
Such-an-one, etc.

[FN#67] Arab. "Hujjat," which may also mean an excuse.

[FN#68] The last clause is supplied by Mr. Payne to stop a gap in
the broken text.

[FN#69] The text idiotically says "To the King."

[FN#70] In the text "Nahnu"=we, for I, a common vulgarism in
Egypt and Syria.

[FN#71] This clause has required extensive trimming; the text
making the Notary write out the contract (which was already
written) in the woman's house.

[FN#72] Arab. "Husn tadbír"=lit. "beauty of his contrivance."
Husn, like pulcher, beau and bello, is applied to moral
intellectual qualities as well as to physical and material. Hence
the {Greek} or old gentleman which in Romaic becomes Calogero, a

[FN#73] i.e. that some one told me the following tale.

[FN#74] Arab. "Mutawallí": see vol. i. 259.

[FN#75] i.e. his Moslem neighbours.

[FN#76] In the text is a fearful confusion of genders.

[FN#77] Her object was to sue him for the loss of the pledge and
to demand fabulous damages.

[FN#78] Arab. "Ya'tamidúna hudá-hum"=purpose the right direction,
a skit at the devotees of her age and sex; and an impudent
comment upon the Prefect's address "O she-devil!"

[FN#79] The trick has often been played in modern times at fairs,
shows, etc. Witness the old joe Miller of the "Moving Multitude."

[FN#80] Apparently meaning the forbidden pleasures of wine and
wassail, loose talk and tales of women's wiles, a favourite
subject with the lewder sort of Moslem.

[FN#81] i.e. women's tricks.

[FN#82] The "Turkoman" in the text first comes in afterwards.

[FN#83] Arab. "Kásid," the old Anglo-lndian "Cossid"; see vol.
vii. 340.

[FN#84] Being a merchant he wore dagger and sword, a safe
practice as it deters attack and far better than carrying hidden
weapons, derringers and revolvers which, originating in the
United States, have now been adopted by the most civilised
nations in Europe.

[FN#85] I have noted (vol. ii. 186, iv. 175) the easy expiation
of perjury amongst Moslems, an ugly blot in their moral code.

[FN#86] i.e. Enter in the name of Allah.

[FN#87] i.e. Damn your soul for leading me into this danger!

[FN#88] Arab. "Saff Kamaríyát min al-Zujáj." The Kamaríyah is
derived by Lane (Introd. M.E.) from Kamar=moon; by Baron Von
Hammer from Khumárawayh, second of the Banu-Tulún dynasty, at the
end of the ixth century A.D., when stained glass was introduced
into Egypt. N.B.--It must date from many centuries before. The
Kamariyah are coloured glass windows about 2 feet high by 18
inches wide, placed in a row along the upper part of the
Mashrabíyah or projecting lattice-window, and are formed of small
panes of brightly-stained glass set in rims of gypsum-plaster,
the whole framed in wood. Here the allusion is to the "Mamrak" or
dome-shaped skylight crowning the room. See vol. viii. 156.

[FN#89] i.e. easily arrested them.

[FN#90] The reader will not forget the half-penitent Captain of
Bandits in Gil Blas.

[FN#91] Arab. "Abtál"=champions, athletes, etc., plur. of Batal,
a brave: so Batalat=a virago. As the root Batala=it was vain, the
form "Battál" may mean either a hero or a bad lot: see vol. viii.
335; x. 72,73.

[FN#92] Arab. "Fityán;" plur. of Fatà; see vol. i, 67.

[FN#93] This was in popular parlance "adding insult to injury:"
the blackening their faces was a promise of Hell-fire.

[FN#94] Arab. "Shayyan li 'lláh!" lit.=(Give me some) Thing for
(the love of) Allah. The answer in Egypt. is "Allah
ya'tík:"=Allah will give it thee (not I), or, "Yaftah 'Allah,"=
Allah open (to thee the door of subsistence): in Marocco "Sir fí
hálik" (pron. Sirf hák)= Go about thy business. In all cities
there is a formula which suffices the asker; but the Ghashím
(Johny Raw) who ignores it, is pestered only the more by his
protestations that "he left his purse at home," etc.

[FN#95] i.e. engaged her for a revel and paid her in advance.

[FN#96] Arab. "Rasílah"=a (she) partner, to accompany her on the

[FN#97] Suggesting that they are all thieves who had undergone
legal mutilation.

[FN#98] Arab. "Nuzhat-í:" see vol. ii. 81.

[FN#99] Arab. "Muhattakát;" usually "with torn veils" (fem.
plur.) here "without veils," metaphor. meaning in disgrace, in

[FN#100] For this reedy Poa, see vol. ii. 18.

[FN#101] I have repeatedly noticed that singing and all music
are, in religious parlance, "Makruh," blameable though not
actually damnable; and that the first step after "getting
religion" is to forswear them.

[FN#102] i.e. to find the thief or make good the loss.

[FN#103] i.e. the claimants.

[FN#104] Arab. "Sakiyah:" see vol. i. 123.

[FN#105] The lower orders of Egypt and Syria are addicted to this
bear-like attack; so the negroes imitate fighting-rams by butting
with their stony heads. Let me remark that when Herodotus (iii.
12), after Psammenitus' battle of Pelusium in B.C. 524, made the
remark that the Egyptian crania were hardened by shaving and
insolation and the Persians were softened by wearing head-cloths,
he tripped in his anthropology. The Iranian skull is naturally
thin compared with that of the negroid Egyptian and the negro.

[FN#106] Arab. "Farkalah," {Greek} from flagellum; cattle-whip
with leathern thongs. Lane, M.E.; Fleischer Glos. 83-84; Dozy

[FN#107] This clause is supplied to make sense.

[FN#108] i.e. to crucify him by nailing him to an upright board.

[FN#109] i.e. a native of the Hauran, Job's country east of
Damascus, now a luxuriant waste, haunted only by the plundering
Badawin and the Druzes of the hills, who are no better; but its
stretches of ruins and league-long swathes of stone over which
the vine was trained, show what it has been and what it will be
again when the incubus of Turkish mis-rule shall be removed from
it. Herr Schuhmacher has lately noted in the Hauran sundry Arab
traditions of Job; the village Nawá, where he lived; the Hammam
'Ayyub, where he washed his leprous skin; the Dayr Ayyub, a
monastery said to date from the third century; and the Makan
Ayyub at Al-Markáz, where the semi-mythical patriarch and his
wife are buried. The "Rock of Job", covered by a mosque, is a
basaltic monolith 7 feet high by 4, and is probably connected
with the solar worship of the old Phœnicians.

[FN#110] This habit "torquere mero," was a favourite with the
mediæval Arabs. Its effect varies greatly with men's characters,
making some open-hearted and communicative, and others more
cunning and secretive than in the normal state. So far it is an
excellent detection of disposition, and many a man passes off
well when sober who has shown himself in liquor a rank snob.
Among the lower orders it provokes what the Persians call
Bad-mastí (le vin méchant) see Pilgrimage iii. 385.

[FN#111] This mystery is not unfamiliar to the modern
"spiritualist;" and all Eastern tongues have a special term for
the mysterious Voice. See vol. i. 142.

[FN#112] Arab. "Alaykum:" addressed to a single person. This is
generally explained by the "Salam" reaching the ears of Invisible
Controls, and even the Apostle. We find the words cruelly
distorted in the Pentamerone of Giambattista Basile (partly
translated by John E. Taylor, London: Bogue, 1848), "The Prince,
coming up to the old woman heard an hundred Licasalemme," p. 383.

[FN#113] Arab. "Al-Zalamah"; the policeman; see vol. vi. 214.

[FN#114] i.e. in my punishment.

[FN#115] i.e. on Doomsday thou shalt get thy deserts.

[FN#116] i.e. what I could well afford.

[FN#117] Arab. Hirfah=a trade, a guild, a corporation: here the
officers of police.

[FN#118] Gen. "tip-cat" (vol. ii. 314.) Here it would mean a rude
form of tables or backgammon, in which the players who throw
certain numbers are dubbed Sultan and Wazir, and demean
themselves accordingly. A favourite bit of fun with Cairene boys
of a past generation was to "make a Pasha;" and for this
proceeding, see Pilgrimage, vol. i. 119.

[FN#119] In Marocco there is great difficulty about finding an
executioner who becomes obnoxious to the Thár, vendetta or
blood-revenge. For salting the criminal's head, however, the
soldiers seize upon the nearest Jew and compel him to clean out
the brain and to prepare it for what is often a long journey.
Hence, according to some, the local name of the Ghetto,
Al-Malláh,=the salting-ground.

[FN#120] Mr. Payne suspects that "laban," milk, esp. artificially
soured (see vol. vi, 201), is a clerical error for "jubn"=cheese.
This may be; but I follow the text as the exaggeration is greater

[FN#121] i.e. in relinquishing his blood-wite for his brother.

[FN#122] The Story-teller, probably to relieve the monotony of
the Constables' histories, here returns to the original cadre. We
must not forget that in the Bresl. Edit. the Nights are running
on, and that the charming queen is relating the adventure of
Al-Malik al-Zahir.

[FN#123] Arab. "Za'amu"=they opine, they declare, a favourite
term with the Bresl. Edit.

[FN#124] Arab. "Zirtah" the coarsest of terms for what the French
nuns prettily termed un sonnet; I find ung sonnet also in Nov.
ii. of the Cent nouvelles Nouvelles. Captain Lockett (p. 32)
quotes Strepsiades in The Clouds {Greek} "because he cannot
express the bathos of the original (in the Tale of Ja'afar and
the old Badawi) without descending to the oracular language of
Giacoma Rodogina, the engastrymythian prophetess." But Sterne was
by no means so squeamish. The literature of this subject is
extensive, beginning with "Peteriana, ou l'art de peter," which
distinguishes 62 different tones. After dining with a late friend
en garcon we went into his sitting-room and found on the table 13
books and booklets upon the Crepitus Ventris, and there was some
astonishment as not a few of the party had never seen one.

[FN#125] This tale is a replica of the Cranes of Ibycus. This was
a Rhegium man who when returning to Corinth, his home, was set
upon by robbers and slain. He cast his dying eyes heavenwards and
seeing a flight of cranes called upon them to avenge him and this
they did by flying over the theatre of Corinth on a day when the
murderers were present and one cried out, "Behold the avengers of
Ibycus!" Whereupon they were taken and put to death. So says
Paulus Hieronymus, and the affecting old tale has newly been sung
in charming verse by Mr. Justin H. McCarthy ("Serapion." London:
Chatto and Windus).

[FN#126] This scene is perfectly true to Badawi life; see my
Pilgrimage iii. 68.

[FN#127] Arab. "Durráj": so it is rendered in the French
translation of Al-Masudi, vii. 347.

[FN#128] A fair friend found the idea of Destiny in The Nights
become almost a night-mare. Yet here we suddenly alight upon the
true Johnsonian idea that conduct makes fate. Both extremes are
as usual false. When one man fights a dozen battles unwounded and
another falls at the first shot we cannot but acknowledge the
presence of that mysterious "luck" whose laws, now utterly
unknown to us, may become familiar with the ages. I may note that
the idea of an appointed hour beyond which life may not be
prolonged, is as old as Homer (Il. ??? 487).

The reader has been told (vol. vii. 135) that "Kazá" is Fate in a
general sense, the universal and eternal Decree of Allah, while
"Kadar" is its special and particular application to man's lot,
that is Allah's will in bringing forth events at a certain time
and place. But the former is popularly held to be of two
categories, one Kazá al-Muham which admits of modification and
Kazá al-Muhkam, absolute and unchangeable, the doctrine of
irresistible predestination preached with so much energy by St.
Paul (Romans ix. 15-24), and all the world over men act upon the
former while theoretically holding to the latter. Hence "Chinese
Gordon," whose loss to England is greater than even his friends
suppose, wrote "It is a delightful thing to be a fatalist,"
meaning that the Divine direction and pre-ordination of all
things saved him so much trouble of forethought and afterthought.
In this tenet he was not only a Calvinist but also a Moslem whose
contradictory ideas of Fate and Freewill (with responsibility)
are not only beyond Reason but are contrary to Reason; and
although we may admit the argumentum ad verecundiam, suggesting
that there are things above (or below) human intelligence, we are
not bound so to do in the case of things which are opposed to the
common sense of mankind. Practically, however, the Moslem
attitude is to be loud in confessing belief of "Fate and Fortune"
before an event happens and after it wisely to console himself
with the conviction that in no way could he have escaped the
occurrence. And the belief that this destiny was in the hands of
Allah gives him a certain dignity especially in the presence of
disease and death which is wanting in his rival religionist the
Christian. At the same time the fanciful picture of the Turk
sitting stolidly under a shower of bullets because Fate will not
find him out unless it be so written is a freak i.e. fancy rarely
found in real life.

There are four great points of dispute amongst the schoolmen in
Al-Islam; (1) the Unity and Attributes of Allah, (2) His promises
and threats, (3) historical as the office of Imám and (4)
Predestination and the justice thereof. On the latter subject
opinions range over the whole cycle of possibilities. For
instance, the Mu'tazilites, whom the learned Weil makes the
Protestants and Rationalists of Al-Islam, contend that the word
of Allah was created in subjecto, ergo, an accident and liable to
perish, and one of their school, the Kádiriyah (=having power)
denies the existence of Fate and contends that Allah did not
create evil but left man an absolutely free agent. On the other
hand, the Jabarlyah (or Mujabbar=the compelled) is an absolute
Fatalist who believes in the omnipotence of Destiny and deems
that all wisdom consists in conforming with its decrees.
Al-Mas'udi (chaps. cxxvii.) illustrates this by the saying of a
Moslem philosopher that chess was the invention of a Mu'tazil,
while Nard (backgammon with dice) was that of a Mujabbar proving
that play can do nothing against Destiny. Between the two are the
Ashariyah; trimmers whose standpoint is hard to define; they
would say, "Allah creates the power by which man acts, but man
wills the action," and care not to answer the query, "Who created
the will ?" (See Pocock, Sale and the Dabistan ii. 352.) Thus
Sa'adi says in the Gulistan (iii. 2), "The wise have pronounced
that though daily bread be allotted, yet it is so conditionally
upon using means to acquire it, and although calamity be
predestined, yet it is right to secure oneself against the
portals by which it may have access." Lastly, not a few doctors
of Law and Religion hold that Kaza al-Muhkam, however absolute,
regards only man's after or final state; and upon this subject
they are of course as wise as other people, and--no wiser. Lane
has treated the Moslem faith in Destiny very ably and fully
(Arabian Nights, vol. i. pp. 58-61), and he being a man of
moderate and orthodox views gives valuable testimony.

[FN#129] Arab. "Shaykh al-Hujjáj." Some Santon like Hasan al-
Marábit, then invoked by the Meccan pilgrims: see Pilgrimage, i.
321. It can hardly refer to the famous Hajjáj bin Yúsuf al-Sakafí
(vol. iv. 3).

[FN#130] Here the Stories of the Sixteen Constables abruptly end,
after the fashion of the Bresl. Edit. They are summarily
dismissed even without the normal "Bakhshísh."

[FN#131] Bresl. Edit. vol xi. pp. 400-473 and vol. xii. pp. 4-50,
Nights dccccxli.-dcccclvii. For Kashghar, see vol. i. 255.

[FN#132] Mr. Payne proposes to translate "'Anbar" by amber, the
semi-fossilised resin much used in modern days, especially in
Turkey and Somaliland, for bead necklaces. But, as he says, the
second line distinctly alludes to the perfume which is sewn in
leather and hung about the neck, after the fashion of our ancient
pomanders (pomme d' ambre).

[FN#133] i.e. The Caliph: see vol. i. p. 50.

[FN#134] Arab. "Adab :" see vol. i. 132, etc. In Moslem dialects
which borrow more or less from Arabic, "Bí-adabí"--without being
Adab, means rudeness, disrespect, "impertinence" (in its modern

[FN#135] i.e. Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab musicians: see
vol. iv. 119.

[FN#136] The elder brother of Ja'afar, by no means so genial or
fitted for a royal frolic. See Terminal Essay.

[FN#137] Ibn Habíb, a friend of Isaac, and a learned grammarian
who lectured at Basrah.

[FN#138] A suburb of Baghdad, mentioned by Al Mas'údi.

[FN#139] Containing the rooms in which the girl or girls were
sold. See Pilgrimage i. 87.

[FN#140] Dozy quotes this passage but cannot explain the word

[FN#141] "A passage has apparently dropped out here. The Khalif
seems to have gone away without buying, leaving Ishak behind,
whereupon the latter was accosted by another slave-girl, who came
out of a cell in the corridor." So says Mr. Payne. vol. ii. 207.
The "raiser of the veil" means a fitting purchaser.

[FN#142] i.e. "Choice gift of the Fools," a skit upon the girl's
name "Tohfat al-Kulúb"=Choice gift of the Hearts. Her folly
consisted in refusing to be sold at a high price, and this is
often seen in real life. It is a Pundonor amongst good Moslems
not to buy a girl and not to sleep with her, even when bought,
against her will.

[FN#143] "Every one cannot go to Corinth." The question makes the
assertion emphatic.

[FN#144] i.e. The Narrows of the (Dervishes') convent.

[FN#145] Arab. "Akwà min dahni 'l-lanz." These unguents have been
used in the East from time immemorial whilst the last generation
in England knew nothing of anointing with oil for incipient
consumption. A late friend of mine, Dr. Stocks of the Bombay
Establishment, and I proposed it as long back as 1845; but in
those days it was a far cry from Sind to London.

[FN#146] The sequel will explain why she acted in this way.

[FN#147] i.e. Thou hast made my gold piece (10 shill.) worth only
a doit by thy superiority in the art and mystery of music.

[FN#148] Arab. "Uaddíki," Taadiyah (iid. of Adá, he assisted)
means sending, forwarding. In Egypt and Syria we often find the
form "Waddi" for Addi, imperative.

[FN#149] Again "he" for "she".

[FN#150] i.e. Honey and wine.

[FN#151] i.e. he died.

[FN#152] i.e. if my hand had lost its cunning.

[FN#153] Arab. "Thiyáb 'Amúdiyah": 'Amud=tent prop or column, and
Khatt 'Amúd=a perpendicular line.

[FN#154] i.e. a choice gift. The Caliph speaks half ironically.
"Where's this wonderful present etc?" So further on when he
compares her with the morning.

[FN#155] Again the usual pun upon the name.

[FN#156] Throughout the East this is the action of a servant or a
slave, practised by freemen only when in danger of life or
extreme need an i therefore humiliating.

[FN#157] It had been thrown down from the Mamrak or small dome
built over such pavilions for the purpose of light by day and
ventilation by night. See vol. i. 257, where it is called by the
Persian term "Badhánj."

[FN#158] The Nights have more than once applied this patronymic
to Zubaydah. See vol. viii. 56, 158.

[FN#159] Arab. "Mutahaddisín"=novi homines, upstarts.

[FN#160] i.e.. thine auspicious visits.

[FN#161] He being seated on the carpet at the time.

[FN#162] A quotation from Al-Farazdat who had quarrelled with his
wife Al-Howár (see the tale in Ibn Khallikan, i. 521), hence "the
naked intercessor" became proverbial for one who cannot be

[FN#163] i.e. Choice Gift of the Breasts, that is of hearts, the
continens for the contentum.

[FN#164] Pron. "Abuttawáif," the Father of the (Jinn-)tribes. It
is one of the Moslem Satan's manifold names, alluding to the
number of his servants and worshippers, so far agreeing with that
amiable Christian doctrine, "Few shall be saved."

[FN#165] Mr. Payne supplies this last clause from the sequence.

[FN#166] i.e. "Let us go," with a euphemistic formula to defend
her from evil influences. Iblis uses the same word to prevent her
being frightened.

[FN#167] Arab. "Al-Mustaráh," a favourite haunting place of the
Jinn, like the Hammám and other offices for human impurity. For
its six names Al-Khalá, Al-Hushsh, Al-Mutawazzá, Al-Kaníf,
Al-Mustaráh, and Mirház, see Al-Mas'udi, chap. cxxvii., and
Shiríshi's commentary to Hariri's 47, Assembly.

[FN#168] Which, in the East, is high and prominent whilst the
cantle forms a back to the seat and the rider sits as in a baby's
chair. The object is a firm seat when fighting: "across country"
it is exceedingly dangerous.

[FN#169] In Swedenborg's "Arcane Cœlestia" we read, "When man's
inner sight is opened which is that of kits spirit; then there
appear the things of another life which cannot be made visible to
the bodily sight." Also "Evil spirits, when seen by eyes other
than those of their infernal associates, present themselves by
correspondence in the beast (fera) which represents their
particular lust and life, in aspect direful and atrocious." These
are the Jinns of Northern Europe.

[FN#170] This exchange of salams was a sign of her being in

[FN#171] Arab. "Shawáhid," meaning that heart testifies to heart.

[FN#172] i.e. A live coal, afterwards called Zalzalah, an
earthquake; see post p. 76. "Wakhímah"=an unhealthy land, and
"Sharárah"=a spark.

[FN#173] I need hardly note the inscriptions upon the metal trays
sold to Europeans. They are usually imitation words so that
infidel eyes may not look upon the formulæ of prayer; and the
same is the case with table-cloths, etc., showing a fancy Tohgra
or Sultanic sign-manual.

[FN#174] i.e.. I cannot look at them long.

[FN#175] Evidently a diabolical way of clapping his hands in
applause. This description of the Foul Fiend has an element of
grotesqueness which is rather Christian than Moslem.

[FN#176] Arab. "Rikkí al-Saut," which may also mean either "lower
thy voice," or "change the air to one less touching."

[FN#177] "Your" for "thy."

[FN#178] i.e. written on the "Guarded Tablet" from all eternity.

[FN#179] Arab. "Al-'Urs wa'al Tubúr" which can only mean, 'the
wedding (which does not drop out of the tale) and the

[FN#180] I here propose to consider at some length this curious
custom which has prevailed amongst so many widely separated
races. Its object has been noted (vol. v. 209), viz. to diminish
the sensibility of the glans, no longer lubricated with prostatic
lymph; thus the part is hardened against injury and disease and
its work in coition is prolonged. On the other hand, "præputium
in coitu voluptatem (of the woman) auget, unde femina præputiatis
concubitum malunt quam cum Turcis ac Judæis " says Dimerbroeck
(Anatomic). I vehemently doubt the fact. Circumcision was
doubtless practised from ages immemorial by the peoples of
Central Africa, and Welcker found traces of it in a mummy of the
xvith century B.C. The Jews borrowed it from the Egyptian
priesthood and made it a manner of sacrament, "uncircumcised"
being="unbaptised," that is, barbarian, heretic; it was a seal of
reconciliation, a sign of alliance between the Creator and the
Chosen People, a token of nationality imposed upon the body
politic. Thus it became a cruel and odious protestation against
the brotherhood of man, and the cosmopolitan Romans derided the
verpæ ac verpi. The Jews also used the term figuratively as the
"circumcision of fruits" (Lev. xix. 23), and of the heart (Deut.
x. 16), and the old law gives copious historical details of its
origin and continuance. Abraham first amputated his horny
"calotte" at aet. 99, and did the same for his son and household
(Gen. xvii. 24-27). The rite caused a separation between Moses
and his wife (Exod. iv. 25). It was suspended during the Desert
Wanderings and was resumed by Joshua (v. 3-7), who cut off two
tons' weight of prepuces. The latter became, like the scalps of
the Scythians and the North-American "Indians" trophies of
victory; Saul promised his daughter Michol to David for a dowry
of one hundred, and the son-in-law brought double tale.

Amongst the early Christians opinions concerning the rite
differed. Although the Founder of Christianity was circumcised,
St. Paul, who aimed at a cosmopolitan faith discouraged it in the
physical phase. St. Augustine still sustained that the rite
removed original sin despite the Fathers who preceded and
followed him, Justus, Tertullian, Ambrose and others. But it
gradually lapsed into desuetude and was preserved only in the
outlying regions. Paulus Jovius and Munster found it practised in
Abyssinia, but as a mark of nobility confined to the descendants
of "Nicaules, queen of Sheba." The Abyssinians still follow the
Jews in performing the rite within eight days after the birth and
baptise boys after forty and girls after eighty days. When a
circumcised man became a Jew he was bled before three witnesses
at the place where the prepuce had been cut off and this was
called the "Blood of alliance." Apostate Jews effaced the sing of
circumcision: so in 1 Matt. i. 16, fecerunt sibi præputia et
recesserunt a Testamento Sancto. Thus making prepuces was called
by the Hebrews Meshookim=recutitis, and there is an allusion to
it in 1 Cor. vii. 18, 19, {Greek} (Farrar, Paul ii. 70). St.
Jerome and others deny the possibility; but Mirabeau (Akropodie)
relates how Father Conning by liniments of oil, suspending
weights, and wearing the virga in a box gained in 43 days 7¼
lines. The process is still practiced by Armenians and other
Christians who, compelled to Islamise, wish to return to
Christianity. I cannot however find a similar artifice applied to
a circumcised clitoris. The simplest form of circumcision is mere
amputation of the prepuce and I have noted (vol. v. 209) the
difference between the Moslem and the Jewish rite, the latter
according to some being supposed to heal in kindlier way. But the
varieties of circumcision are immense. Probably none is more
terrible than that practiced in the Province Al-Asír, the old
Ophir, Iying south of Al-Hijáz, where it is called Salkh,
lit.=scarification The patient, usually from ten to twelve years
old, is placed upon raised ground holding m right hand a spear,
whose heel rests upon his foot and whose point shows every
tremour of the nerves. The tribe stands about him to pass
judgment on his fortitude and the barber performs the operation
with the Jumbiyah-dagger, sharp as a razor. First he makes a
shallow cut, severing only the skin across the belly immediately
below the navel, and similar incisions down each groin; then he
tears off the epidermis from the cuts downwards and flays the
testicles and the penis, ending with amputation of the foreskin.
Meanwhile the spear must not tremble and in some clans the lad
holds a dagger over the back of the stooping barber, crying, "Cut
and fear not!" When the ordeal is over, he exclaims, "Allaho
Akbar!" and attempts to walk towards the tents soon falling for
pain and nervous exhaustion, but the more steps he takes the more
applause he gains. He is dieted with camel's milk, the wound is
treated with salt and turmeric, and the chances in his favour are
about ten to one. No body-pile or pecten ever grows upon the
excoriated part which preserves through life a livid ashen hue.
Whilst Mohammed Ali Pasha occupied the province he forbade
"scarification" under pain of impalement, but it was resumed the
moment he left Al-Asir. In Africa not only is circumcision
indigenous, the operation varies more or less in the different
tribes. In Dahome it is termed Addagwibi, and is performed
between the twelfth and twentieth year. The rough operation is
made peculiar by a double cut above and below; the prepuce being
treated in the Moslem, not the Jewish fashion (loc. cit.). Heated
sand is applied as a styptic and the patient is dieted with
ginger-soup and warm drinks of ginger-water, pork being
especially forbidden. The Fantis of the Gold Coast circumcise in
sacred places, e.g., at Accra on a Fetish rock rising from the
sea The peoples of Sennaar, Taka, Masawwah and the adjacent
regions follow the Abyssinian custom. The barbarous Bissagos and
Fellups of North Western Guinea make cuts on the prepuce without
amputating it; while the Baquens and Papels circumcise like
Moslems. The blacks of Loango are all "verpæ," otherwise they
would be rejected by the women. The Bantu or Caffre tribes are
circumcised between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, the "Fetish
boys," as we call them, are chalked white and wear only grass
belts; they live outside the villages in special houses under an
old "medicine-man," who teaches them not only virile arts but
also to rob and fight. The "man-making" may last five months and
ends in fêtes and dances: the patients are washed in the river,
they burn down their quarters, take new names, and become adults,
donning a kind of straw thimble over the prepuce. In Madagascar
three several cuts are made causing much suffering to the
children, and the nearest male relative swallows the prepuce. The
Polynesians circumcise when childhood ends and thus consecrate
the fecundating organ to the Deity. In Tahiti the operation is
performed by the priest, and in Tonga only the priest is exempt.
The Maories on the other hand, fasten the prepuce over the glans,
and the women of the Marquesas Islands have shown great cruelty
to shipwrecked sailors who expose the glans. Almost all the known
Australian tribes circumcise after some fashion: Bennett supposes
the rite to have been borrowed from the Malays, while Gason
enumerates the "Kurrawellie wonkauna among the five mutilations
of puberty. Leichhardt found circumcision about the Gulf of
Carpentaria and in the river-valleys of the Robinson and
Macarthur: others observed it on the Southern Coast a nd among
the savages of Perth, where it is noticed by Salvado. James
Dawson tells us "Circumciduntur pueri," etc., in Western
Victoria. Brough Smyth, who supposes the object is to limit
population (?), describes on the Western Coast and in Central
Australia the "Corrobery"-dance and the operation performed with
a quartz-flake. Teichelmann details the rite in Southern
Australia where the assistants--all men, women, and children
being driven away--form a "manner of human altar" upon which the
youth is laid for circumcision. He then receives the normal two
names, public and secret, and is initiated into the mysteries
proper for men. The Australians also for Malthusian reasons
produce an artificial hypospadias, while the Karens of New Guinea
only split the prepuce longitudinally (Cosmos p. 369, Oct. 1876);
the indigens of Port Lincoln on the West Coast split the virga:--
Fenditur usque ad urethram a parse infera penis between the ages
of twelve and fourteen, says E. J. Eyre in 1845. Missionary
Schurmann declares that they open the urethra. Gason describes in
the Dieyerie tribe the operation 'Kulpi" which is performed when
the beard is long enough for tying. The member is placed upon a
slab of tree-bark, the urethra is incised with a quartz-flake
mounted in a gum handle and a splinter of bark is inserted to
keep the cut open. These men may appear naked before women who
expect others to clothe themselves. Miklucho Maclay calls it
"Mike" in Central Australia: he was told by a squatter that of
three hundred men only three or four had the member intact in
order to get children, and that in one tribe the female births
greatly outnumbered the male. Those mutilated also marry: when
making water they sit like women slightly raising the penis, this
in coition becomes flat and broad and the semen does not enter
the matrix. The explorer believes that the deed of kind is more
quickly done (?). Circumcision was also known to the New World.
Herrera relates that certain Mexicans cut off the ears and
prepuce of the newly born child, causing many to die. The Jews
did not adopt the female circumcision of Egypt described by Huet
on Origen--"Circumcisio feminarum fit resectione            (sive
clitoridis) quæ pars in Australium mulieribus ita crescit ut
ferro est coërcenda." Here we have the normal confusion between
excision of the nymphæ (usually for fibulation) and circumcision
of the clitoris. Bruce notices this clitoridectomy among the
Aybssinians. Werne describes the excision on the Upper White Nile
and I have noted the complicated operation among the Somali
tribes. Girls in Dahome are circumcised by ancient sages femmes,
and a woman in the natural state would be derided by every one
(See my Mission to Dahome, ii. 159) The Australians cut out the
clitoris, and as I have noted elsewhere extirpate the ovary for
Malthusian purposes (Journ Anthrop. Inst., vol. viii. of 1884).

[FN#181] Arab. "Kayrawán" which is still the common name for
curlew, the peewit and plover being called (onomatopoetically)
"Bibat" and in Marocco Yahúdi, certain impious Jews having been
turned into the Vanellus Cristatus which still wears the black
skullcap of the

[FN#182] Arab. "Sawáki," the leats which irrigate the ground and
are opened and closed with

[FN#183] The eighth (in altitude) of the many-storied Heavens.

[FN#184] Arab. "Ihramat li al-Salát,"i.e., she pronounced the
formula of Intention (Niyat) with out which prayer is not valid,
ending with Allaho Akbar--Allah is All-great. Thus she had
clothed herself, as it were, in prayer and had retired from the
world pro temp.

[FN#185] i.e.. the prayers of the last day and night which she
had neglected while in company with the Jinns. The Hammam is not
a pure place to pray in; but the Farz or Koranic orisons should
be recited there if the legal term be hard upon its end.

[FN#186] Slaves, male as well as female, are as fond of talking
over their sale as European dames enjoy looking back upon the
details of courtship and marriage.

[FN#187] Arab. "Du'á,"=supplication, prayer, as opposed to
'Salát"=divine worship, "prayers" For the technical meaning of
the latter see vol. iv. 65. I have objected to Mr. Redhouse's
distinction without a difference between Moslem's worship and
prayer: voluntary prayers: are not prohibited to them and their
praises of the Lord are mingled, as amongst all worshippers, with

[FN#188] Al-Muzfir=the Twister; Zafáir al-Jinn=Adiantum capillus
veneris Lúlúah=The Pearl, or Wild Heifer; see vol. ix. 218.

[FN#189] Arab. "Bi jildi 'l-baker." I hope that captious critics
will not find fault with my rendering, as they did in the case of
Fals ahmar=a red cent, vol. i. 321.

[FN#190] Arab. "Farásah"=lit. knowing a horse. Arabia abounds in
tales illustrating abnormal powers of observation. I have noted
this in vol. viii. 326.

[FN#191] i.e. the owner of this palace.

[FN#192] She made the Ghusl not because she had slept with a man,
but because the impurity of Satan's presence called for the major
ablution before prayer.

[FN#193] i.e. she conjoined the prayers of nightfall with those
of dawn.

[FN#194] i.e.. Those of midday, mid-afternoon and sunset.

[FN#195] Arab. "Sahbá" red wine preferred for the morning

[FN#196] The Apostle who delighted in women and perfumes. Persian
poetry often alludes to the rose which, before white, was dyed
red by his sweat.

[FN#197] For the etymology of Julnár--Byron's "Gulnare"--see vol.
vii. 268. Here the rhymer seems to refer to its origin; Gul
(Arab. Jul) in Persian a rose; and Anár, a pomegranate, which in
Arabic becomes Nár=fire.

[FN#198] i.e. "The brilliant," the enlightened.

[FN#199] i.e.. the moral beauty.

[FN#200] A phenomenon well known to spiritualists and to "The
House and the Haunter." An old Dutch factory near Hungarian Fiume
is famed for this mode of "obsession" the inmates hear the sound
of footfalls, etc., behind them, especially upon the stairs; and
see nothing.

[FN#201] The two short Koranic chapters, The Daybreak (cxiii.)
and The Men (cxiv. and last) evidently so called from the words
which occur in both (versets i., "I take refuge with"). These
"Ma'úzatáni," as they are called, are recited as talismans or
preventives against evil, and are worn as amulets inscribed on
parchment; they are also often used in the five canonical
prayers. I have translated them in vol. iii. 222.

[FN#202] The artistes or fugleman at prayer who leads off the
orisons of the congregation; and applied to the Caliph as the
head of the faith. See vol. ii. 203 and iv. 111.

[FN#203] Arab. " 'Ummár" i.e. the Jinn, the "spiritual creatures"
which walk this earth, and other non-humans who occupy it.

[FN#204] A parallel to this bodiless Head is the Giant Face,
which appears to travellers (who expect it) in the Lower Valley
of the Indus. See Sind Re-visited, ii. 155.

[FN#205] Arab. "Ghalílí"=my yearning.

[FN#206] Arab. "Ahbábu-ná" plur. for singular=my beloved.

[FN#207] i.e. her return.

[FN#208] Arab. "Arja'" lit. return! but here meaning to stop. It
is much used by donkey-boys from Cairo to Fez in the sense of
"Get out of the way." Hence the Spanish arre! which gave rise to
arriero=a carrier, a muleteer.

[FN#209] Arab. "Afras" lit.=a better horseman.

[FN#210] A somewhat crippled quotation from Koran lvi. 87-88, "As
for him who is of those brought near unto Allah, there shall be
for him easance and basil and a Garden of Delights (Na'ím)."

[FN#211] i.e. Queen Sunbeam.

[FN#212] See vol. i. 310 for this compound perfume which contains
musk, ambergris and other essences.

[FN#213] I can hardly see the sequence of this or what the
carpets have to do here.

[FN#214] Here, as before, some insertion has been found

[FN#215] Arab. "Dukhúlak" lit.=thy entering, entrance, becoming

[FN#216] Or "And in this there shall be to thee great honour over
all the Jinn."

[FN#217] Mr. Payne thus amends the text, "How loathly is yonder
Genie Meimoun! There is no eating (in his presence);" referring
back to p. 61.

[FN#218] i.e. "I cannot bear to see him!"

[FN#219] This assertion of dignity, which is permissible in
royalty, has been absurdly affected by certain "dames" in
Anglo-Egypt who are quite the reverse of queenly; and who degrade
"dignity" to the vulgarest affectation.

[FN#220] i.e. "May thy visits never fail me!"

[FN#221] i.e. Ash-coloured, verging upon white.

[FN#222] i.e. "She will double thy store of presents."

[FN#223] The Arab boy who, unlike the Jew, is circumcised long
after infancy and often in his teens, thus making the ceremony
conform after a fashion with our "Confirmation," is displayed
before being operated upon, to family and friends; and the seat
is a couch covered with the richest tapestry. So far it resembles
the bride-throne.

[FN#224] Tohfah.

[FN#225] i.e. Hindu, Indian.

[FN#226] Japhet, son of Noah.

[FN#227] Mr. Payne translates "Take this and glorify thyself
withal over the people of the world." His reading certainly makes
better sense, but I do not see how the text can carry the
meaning. He also omits the bussing of the bosom, probably for
artistic reasons.

[FN#228] A skit at Ishák, making the Devil praise him. See vol.
vii. 113.

[FN#229] Arab. "Mawázi" (plur. of Mauza')=lit. places, shifts,

[FN#230] The bed (farsh), is I presume, the straw-spread (?)
store-room where the apples are preserved.

[FN#231] Arab. "Farkh warak", which sounds like an atrocious

[FN#232] The Moss-rose; also the eglantine, or dog-rose, and the
sweet-briar, whose leaf, unlike other roses, is so odorous.

[FN#233] The lily in Heb., derived by some from its six (shash)
leaves, and by others from its vivid cheerful brightness. "His
lips are lilies" (Cant. v. 13), not in colour, but in odoriferous

[FN#234] The barber is now the usual operator; but all operations
began in Europe with the "barber-surgeon."

[FN#235] Sic in text xii. 20. It may be a misprint for Abú
al-Tawaif, but it can also mean "O Shaykh of the Tribes (of

[FN#236] The capital of King Al-Shisban.

[FN#237] Arab "Fajj", the Spanish "Vega" which, however, means a
mountain-plain, a plain.

[FN#238] i.e. I am quite sure: emphatically.

[FN#239] i.e. all the Jinn's professions of affection and
promises of protection were mere lies.

[FN#240] In the original this apodosis is wanting: see vol. vi.
203, 239.

[FN#241] Arab. "Dáhiyat al-Dawáhí;" see vol. ii. 87.

[FN#242] Arab. "Al-Jabal al-Mukawwar"= Chaîne de montagnes de
forme demi circulaire, from Kaur, a park, an enceinte.

[FN#243] Arab. "Rúhí" lit. my breath, the outward sign of life.

[FN#244] i.e. Káf.

[FN#245] i.e. A bit of burning charcoal.

[FN#246] Arab. "Al-yad al-bayzá,"=lit. The white hand: see vol.
iv. 185.

[FN#247] Showing the antiquity of "Après moi le déluge," the fame
of all old politicians and aged statesmen who can expect but a
few years of life. These "burning questions" (e.g. the Bulgarian)
may be smothered for a time, but the result is that they blaze
forth with increased violence. We have to thank Lord Palmerston
(an Irish landlord) for ignoring the growth of Fenianism and
another aged statesman for a sturdy attempt to disunite the
United Kingdom. An old nation wants young blood at its head.

[FN#248] Suggesting the nursery rhyme:

          Fee, fo, fum
          I smell the blood of an Englishman.

[FN#249] i.e. why not at once make an end of her.

[FN#250] The well-known war-cry.

[FN#251] Lit. "Smoke" pop. applied, like our word, to tobacco.
The latter, however, is not here meant.

[FN#252] Arab. "Ghuráb al-bayn," of the wold or of parting. See
vol. vii. 226.

[FN#253] Arab. "Haláwah"; see vol. iv. 60.

[FN#254] Here the vocative particle "Yá" is omitted.

[FN#255] Lit. "The long-necked (bird)" before noticed with the
Rukh (Roc) in vol. v. 122. Here it becomes a Princess, daughter
of Bahrám-i-Gúr (Bahram of the Onager, his favourite game), the
famous Persian king in the fifth century, a contemporary of
Theodosius the younger and Honorius. The "Anká" is evidently the
Iranian Símurgh.

[FN#256] "Chamber" is becoming a dangerous word in English. Roars
of laughter from the gods greeted the great actor's declamation,
"The bed has not been slept in! Her little chamber is empty!"

[FN#257] Choice Gift of the breast (or heart).

[FN#258] From the Calc. Edit. (1814–18), Nights cxcvi.–cc., vol.
ii., pp. 367–378. The translation has been compared and collated
with that of Langlès (Paris, 1814), appended to his Edition of
the Voyages of Sindbad. The story is exceedingly clever and well
deserves translation.

[FN#259] It is regretable that this formula has not been
preserved throughout The Nights: it affords, I have noticed, a
pleasing break to the long course of narrative.

[FN#260] Arab. "Banát-al-hawá" lit. daughters of love, usually
meaning an Anonyma, a fille de joie; but here the girl is of good
repute, and the offensive term must be modified to a gay,
frolicsome lass.

[FN#261] Arab. "Jabhat," the lintel opposed to the threshold.

[FN#262] Arab. "Ghattí," still the popular term said to a child
showing its nakedness, or a lady of pleasure who insults a man by
displaying any part of her person.

[FN#263] She is compared with a flashing blade (her face) now
drawn from its sheath (her hair) then hidden by it.

[FN#264] The "Muajjalah" or money paid down before consummation
was about £25; and the "Mu'ajjalah" or coin to be paid contingent
on divorce was about £75. In the Calc. Edit ii. 371, both dowers
are £35.

[FN#265] All the blemishes which justify returning a slave to the

[FN#266] Media: see vol. ii. 94. The "Daylamite prison" was one
of many in Baghdad.

[FN#267] See vol. v. 199. I may remark that the practice of
bathing after copulation was kept up by both sexes in ancient
Rome. The custom may have originated in days when human senses
were more acute. I have seen an Arab horse object to be mounted
by the master when the latter had not washed after sleeping with
a woman.

[FN#268] On the morning after a happy night the bridegroom still
offers coffee and Halwá to friends.

[FN#269] i.e. More bewitching.

[FN#270] Arab. "Sharífí" more usually Ashrafi, the Port. Xerafim,
a gold coin = 6s.–7s.

[FN#271] The oft-repeated Koranic quotation.

[FN#272] Arab. "'Irk": our phrase is "the apple of the eye."

[FN#273] Meaning that he was a Sayyid or a Sharíf.

[FN#274] i.e. than a Jew or a Christian. So the Sultan, when
appealed to by these religionists, who were as usual squabbling
and fighting, answered, "What matter if the dog tear the hog or
the hog tear the dog"?

[FN#275] The "Sharí'at" forbidding divorce by force.

[FN#276] i.e. protect my honour.

[FN#277] For this proverb see vol. v. 138. 1 have remarked that
"Shame" is not a passion in Europe as in the East; the Western
equivalent to the Arab. "Hayá' 'would be the Latin "Pudor."

[FN#278] Arab. "Talákan báinan," here meaning a triple divorce
before witnesses, making it irrevocable.

[FN#279] i.e. who had played him that trick.

[FN#280] The Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 50-116, Nights
dcccclviii- dcccclxv.) entitles it "Tale of Abu al-Hasan the
Damascene and his son Sídí Nur al-Dín ' Alí." Sídí means simply,
"my lord," but here becomes part of the name, a practice
perpetuated in Zanzibar. See vol. v.283.

[FN#281] i.e. at the hours of canonical prayers and other
suitable times he made an especial orison (du'á) for issue.

[FN#282] See vol. i.85, for the traditional witchcraft of

[FN#283] i.e. More or less thoroughly.

[FN#284] i.e. "He who quitteth not his native country diverteth
not himself with a sight of the wonders of the world."

[FN#285] For similar sayings, see vol. ix.257, and my Pilgrimage

[FN#286] i.e. relying upon, etc.

[FN#287] The Egyptian term for a khan, called in Persia
caravanserai (karwán-serái); and in Marocco funduk, from the
Greek; whence the Spanish "fonda." See vol. i. 92.

[FN#288] Arab. "Baliyah," to jingle with "Bábiliyah."

[FN#289] As a rule whenever this old villain appears in The
Nights, it is a signal for an outburst of obscenity. Here,
however, we are quittes pour la peur. See vol. v. 65 for some of
his abominations.

[FN#290] The lines are in vols. viii.279 and ix.197. I quote Mr.

[FN#291] Lady or princess of the Fair (ones).

[FN#292] i.e. of buying.

[FN#293] Arab. "Azán-hú=lit. its ears.

[FN#294] Here again the policeman is made a villain of the
deepest dye; bad enough to gratify the intelligence of his
deadliest enemy, a lodging-keeper in London.

[FN#295] i.e. You are welcome to it and so it becomes lawful
(halál) to you.

[FN#296] Arab. "Sijn al-Dam," the Carcere duro inasprito (to
speak Triestine), where men convicted or even accused of
bloodshed were confined.

[FN#297] Arab. "Mabásim"; plur. of Mabsim, a smiling mouth which
shows the foreteeth.

[FN#298] The branchlet, as usual, is the youth's slender form.

[FN#299] Subaudi, "An ye disdain my love."

[FN#300] In the text "sleep."

[FN#301] "Them" and "him" for "her."

[FN#302] 'Urkúb, a Jew of Yathrib or Khaybar, immortalised in the
A.P. (i. 454) as "more promise-breaking than 'Urkúb."

[FN#303] Uncle of Mohammed. See vol. viii. 172.

[FN#304] First cousin of Mohammed. See ib.

[FN#305] This threat of "'Orf with her 'ead" shows the Caliph's

[FN#306] Arab. "Al-Bashkhánah."

[FN#307] i.e. Amen. See vol. ix. 131.

[FN#308] When asked, on Doomsday, his justification for having
slain her.

[FN#309] Khorasan which included our Afghanistan, turbulent then
as now, was in a chronic state of rebellion during the latter
part of Al-Rashid's reign.

[FN#310] The brutality of a Moslem mob on such occasions is
phenomenal: no fellow-feeling makes them decently kind. And so at
executions even women will take an active part in insulting and
tormenting the criminal, tearing his hair, spitting in his face
and so forth. It is the instinctive brutality with which wild
beasts and birds tear to pieces a wounded companion.

[FN#311] The popular way of stopping hemorrhage by plunging the
stump into burning oil which continued even in Europe till
Ambrose Paré taught men to take up the arteries.

[FN#312] i.e. folk of good family.

[FN#313] i.e. the result of thy fervent prayers to Allah for me.

[FN#314] Arab. "Al-Abárík" plur. of lbrik, an ewer containing
water for the Wuzu-ablution. I have already explained that a
Moslem wishing to be ceremonially pure, cannot wash as Europeans
do, in a basin whose contents are fouled by the first touch.

[FN#315] Arab. "Náihah ,the præfica or myriologist. See vol. i.
311. The proverb means, "If you want a thing done, do it

[FN#316] Arab. "Burka'," the face veil of Egypt, Syria, and
Arabia with two holes for the eyes, and the end hanging to the
waist, a great contrast with the "Lithám or coquettish fold of
transparent muslin affected by modest women in Stambul.

[FN#317] i.e. donned petticoat-trousers and walking boots other
than those she was wont to wear.

[FN#318] "Surah" (Koranic chapter) may be a clerical error for
"Súrah" (with a Sád) = sort, fashion (of food).

[FN#319] This is solemn religious chaff; the Shaykh had doubtless
often dipped his hand abroad in such dishes; but like a good
Moslem, he contented himself at home with wheaten scones and
olives, a kind of sacramental food like bread and wine in
southern Europe. But his retort would be acceptable to the True
Believer who, the strictest of conservatives, prides himself on
imitating in all points, the sayings and doings of the Apostle.

[FN#320] i.e. animals that died without being ceremonially

[FN#321] Koran ii. 168. This is from the Chapter of the Cow where
"that which dieth of itself (carrion), blood, pork, and that over
which other name but that of Allah (i.e. idols) hath been
invoked" are forbidden. But the verset humanely concludes:
"Whoso, however, shall eat them by constraint, without desire, or
as a transgressor, then no sin shall be upon him."

[FN#322] i.e. son of Simeon=a Christian.

[FN#323] Arab. and Heb. "Haykal," suggesting the idea of large
space, a temple, a sanctuary, a palace which bear a suspicious
likeness to the Accadian Ê-kal or Great House = the old Egyptian
Perao (Pharaoh?), and the Japanese "Mikado."

[FN#324] Wine, carrion and pork being lawful to the Moslem if
used to save life. The former is also the sovereignest thing for
inward troubles, flatulence, indigestion, etc. See vol. v. 2, 24.

[FN#325] Arab. "Názilah," i.e., a curse coming down from Heaven.

[FN#326] Here and below, a translation of her name.

[FN#327] "A picture of Paradise which is promised to the
God-fearing! Therein are rivers of water which taint not; and
rivers of milk whose taste changeth not; and rivers of wine,
etc."--Koran xlvii. 16.

[FN#328]  Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
          Sermons and soda-water the day after.
                                   Don Juan ii. 178.

[FN#329] The ox (Bakar) and the bull (Taur, vol. i. 16) are the
Moslem emblems of stupidity, as with us are the highly
intelligent ass and the most sagacious goose.

[FN#330] In Arab. "'Ud" means primarily wood; then a lute. See
vol. ii. 100. The Muezzin, like the schoolmaster, is popularly
supposed to be a fool.

[FN#331] I have noticed that among Arab lovers it was the fashion
to be jealous of the mistress's nightly phantom which, as amongst
mesmerists, is the lover's embodied will.

[FN#332] i.e. I will lay down my life to save thee from sorrow--a
common-place hyperbole of love.

[FN#333] Arab. "Katl." I have noticed the Hibernian "kilt" which
is not a bull but, like most provincialisms and Americanisms, a
survival, an archaism. In the old Frisian dialect, which agrees
with English in more words than "bread, butter and cheese," we
find the primary meaning of terms which with us have survived
only in their secondary senses, e.g. killen = to beat and slagen
= to strike. Here is its great value to the English philologist.
When the Irishman complains that he is "kilt" we know through the
Frisian what he really means.

[FN#334] The decency of this description is highly commendable
and I may note that the Bresl. Edit. is comparatively free from
erotic pictures.

[FN#335] i.e. "I commit him to thy charge under God."

[FN#336] This is an Americanism, but it translates passing well
"Al-iláj" = insertion.

[FN#337] Arab. (and Heb.) "Tarjumán" = a dragoman, for which see
vol. i. 100. In the next tale it will occur with the sense of

[FN#338] See vol. i. p. 35.

[FN#339] After putting to death the unjust Prefect.

[FN#340] Arab. "Lajlaj." See vol. ix. 322.

[FN#341] Arab. "Mawálid" lit. = nativity festivals (plur. of
Maulid). See vol. ix. 289.

[FN#342] Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. pp. 116-237, Nights
dcccclxvi-dcccclxxix. Mr. Payne entitles it "El Abbas and the
King's Daughter of Baghdad."

[FN#343] "Of the Shayban tribe." I have noticed (vol. ii. 1) how
loosely the title Malik (King) is applied in Arabic and in
mediæval Europe. But it is ultra-Shakespearean to place a Badawi
King in Baghdad, the capital founded by the Abbasides and ruled
by those Caliphs till their downfall.

[FN#344] i.e. Irák Arabí (Chaldæa) and 'Ajami (Western Persia).
For the meaning of Al-Irák, which always, except in verse, takes
the article, see vol. ii. 132.

[FN#345] See supra, p. 135. Mr. Payne suspects a clerical error
for "Turkumániyah" = Turcomanish; but this is hardly acceptable.

[FN#346] As fabulous a personage as "King Kays."

[FN#347] Possibly a clerical error for Zabíd, the famous capital
of the Tahámah or lowlands of Al-Yaman.

[FN#348] The Moslem's Holy Land whose capital is Meccah.

[FN#349] A hinted protest against making a picture or a statue
which the artist cannot quicken; as this process will be demanded
of him on Doomsday. Hence also the Princess is called Máriyah
(Maria, Mary), a non-Moslem name.

[FN#350] i.e. day and night, for ever.

[FN#351] Koran xxxiii. 38; this concludes a "revelation"
concerning the divorce and marriage to Mohammed of the wife of
his adopted son Zayd. Such union, superstitiously held incestuous
by all Arabs, was a terrible scandal to the rising Faith, and
could be abated only by the "Commandment of Allah." It is hard to
believe that a man could act honestly after such fashion; but we
have seen in our day a statesman famed for sincerity and
uprightness honestly doing things the most dishonest possible.
Zayd and Abu Lahab (chap. cxi. i.) are the only contemporaries of
Mohammed named in the Koran.

[FN#352] i.e. darkened behind him.

[FN#353] Here we have again, as so common in Arab romances, the
expedition of a modified Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

[FN#354] Arab. "Arzi-há" = in its earth, its outlying suburbs.

[FN#355] The king's own tribe.

[FN#356] i.e. he was always "spoiling for a fight."

[FN#357] In the text the two last sentences are spoken by Amir
and the story-teller suddenly resumes the third person.

[FN#358] Mr. Payne translates this "And God defend the right" (of
plunder according to the Arabs).

[FN#359] Arab. "Lilláhi darruk"; see vol. iv. 20. Captain Lockett
(p.28) justly remarks that "it is a sort of encomiastic
exclamation of frequent occurrence in Arabic and much easier to
comprehend than translate." Darra signifies flowing freely (as
milk from the udder) and was metaphorically transferred to bounty
and to indoles or natural capacity. Thus the phrase means "your
flow of milk is by or through Allah." i.e., of unusual abundance.

[FN#360] The words are euphemistic: we should say "comest thou to
our succour."

[FN#361] i.e. If his friend the Devil be overstrong for thee,
flee him rather than be slain; as

          He who fights and runs away
          Shall live to fight another day.

[FN#362] i.e. I look to Allah for said (and keep my powder dry).

[FN#363] i.e. to the next world.

[FN#364] This falling backwards in laughter commonly occurs
during the earlier tales; it is, however, very rare amongst the

[FN#365] i.e. as he were a flying Jinni, swooping down and
pouncing falcon-like upon a mortal from the upper air.

[FN#366] This may be (reading Imraan = man, for Amran = matter)
"a masterful man"; but I can hardly accept it.

[FN#367] Arab. "Bundukí," the adj. of Bunduk, which the Moslems
evidently learned from Slav sources; Venedik being the Dalmatian
corruption of Venezia. See Dubrovenedik in vol. ii. 219.

[FN#368] i.e. the castle's square.

[FN#369] In sign of quitting possession. Chess in Europe is
rarely played for money, with the exception of public matches:
this, however, is not the case amongst Easterns, who are also for
the most part as tricky as an old lady at cribbage rightly named.

[FN#370] i.e, he was as eloquent and courtly as he could be.

[FN#371] Arab. "Ya Zínat al-Nisá," which may either be a P.N. or
a polite address as Bella fé (Handsome woman) is to any feminine
in Southern Italy.

[FN#372] Arab. "Raas Ghanam": this form of expressing singularity
is common to Arabic and the Eastern languages, which it has

[FN#373] This most wearisome form of politeness is common in the
Moslem world, where men fondly think that the more you see of
them the more you like of them. Yet their Proverbial Philosophy
("the wisdom of many and the wit of one") strongly protests
against the practice: I have already quoted Mohammed's saying,
"Zur ghibban, tazid Hibban"--visits rare keep friendship fair.

[FN#374] This clause in the text is evidently misplaced (vol.

[FN#375] Arab. Dara' or Dira'=armour, whether of leather or
metal; here the coat worn under the mail.

[FN#376] Called from Rustak, a quarter of Baghdad. For Rustak
town see vol. vi. 289.

[FN#377] From Damietta comes our "dimity." The classical name was
Tamiáthis apparently Coptic græcised: the old town on the shore
famed in Crusading times was destroyed in A.H. 648 = 1251.

[FN#378] Easterns are always startled by sudden summons to the
presence either of King or Kazi: here the messenger gives the
youth to understand that it is in kindness, not in anger.

[FN#379] i.e. in not sending for thee to court instead of
allowing thee to live in the city without guest-rite.

[FN#380] In sign of agitation: the phrase has often been used in
this sense and we find it also in Al-Mas'udi.

[FN#381] I would remind the reader that the "Dawát" (ink-case)
contains the reed-pens.

[FN#382] Two well-known lovers.

[FN#383] On such occasions the old woman (and Easterns are hard
de dolo vetularum) always assents to the sayings of her prey,
well knowing what the doings will inevitably be.

[FN#384] Travellers, Nomads, Wild Arabs.

[FN#385] Whither they bear thee back dead with the women crying
and keening.

[FN#386] Arab. Aznání = emaciated me.

[FN#387] Either the Deity or the Love-god.

[FN#388] Arab. "Himà" = the tribal domain, a word which has often

[FN#389] "O ye who believe! seek help through patience and
prayer: verily, Allah is with the patient." Koran ii. 148. The
passage refers to one of the battles, Bedr or Ohod.

[FN#390] Arab. "Sirr" (a secret) and afterwards "Kitmán"
(concealment) i.e. Keeping a lover down-hearted.

[FN#391] Arab. "'Alkam" = the bitter gourd, colocynth; more
usually "Hanzal."

[FN#392] "For Jazírah" = insula, island, used in the sense of
"peninsula," see vol. i. 2.

[FN#393] Meccah and Al-Medinah. Pilgrimage i. 338 and ii. 57,
used in the proverb "Sharr fi al-Haramayn" = wickedness in the
two Holy Places.

[FN#394] Arab. Al-hamd (o li'llah).

[FN#395] i.e. play, such as the chase, or an earnest matter, such
as war, etc.

[FN#396] Arab. "Mizwad," or Mizwad = lit. provision-bag, from Zád
= viaticum; afterwards called Kirbah (pron. Girbah, the popular
term), and Sakl. The latter is given in the Dictionaries as
Askálah = scala, échelle, stage, plank.

[FN#397] Those blood-feuds are most troublesome to the traveller,
who may be delayed by them for months: and, until a peace be
patched up, he will never be allowed to pass from one tribe to
their enemies. A quarrel of the kind prevented my crossing Arabia
from Al-Medinah to Maskat (Pilgrimage, ii. 297), and another in
Africa from visiting the head of the Tanganyika Lake. In all such
journeys the traveller who has to fight against Time is almost
sure to lose.

[FN#398] i.e. his fighting-men.

[FN#399] The popular treatment of a detected horse-thief, for
which see Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia (1829), and Notes on the
Bedouins and Wahabys (1830).

[FN#400] Arab "Ashírah": see vol. vii. 121.

[FN#401] Arab. "Musáfahah" -. see vol. vi. 287.

[FN#402] In the text, "To the palace of the king's daughter."

[FN#403] Arab. "Marj Salí'" = cleft meadow (here and below). Mr.
Payne suggests that this may be a mistranscription for Marj Salí'
(with a Sád) = a treeless champaign. It appears to me a careless
blunder for the Marj akhzar (green meadow) before mentioned.

[FN#404] The palace, even without especial and personal reasons,
not being the place for a religious and scrupulous woman.

[FN#405] "i.e. those of El Aziz, who had apparently entered the
city or passed through it on their way to the camp of El Abbas."
This is Mr. Payne's suggestion.

[FN#406] Arab "Hatif"; gen. = an ally.

[FN#407] Not wishing to touch the hand of a strange woman.

[FN#408] i.e. a mere passer-by, a stranger; alluding to her

[FN#409] The Bactrian or double-humped dromedary. See vol. iii.
67. Al-Mas'udi (vii. 169) calls it "Jamal fálij," lit. = the

[FN#410] i.e. Stars and planets.

[FN#411] i.e. Sang in tenor tones which are always in falsetto.

[FN#412] Arab. Tahzíb = reforming morals, amending conduct,
chastening style.

[FN#413] i.e. so as to show only the whites, as happens to the

[FN#414] i.e. for love of and longing for thy youth.

[FN#415] i.e. leather from Al-Táif: see vol. viii. 303. The text
has by mistake Tálifí.

[FN#416] i.e. she was at her last breath, when cured by the magic
of love.

[FN#417] i.e. violateth my private apartment.

[FN#418] The voice (Sházz) is left doubtful: it may be girl's,
nightingale's, or dove's.

[FN#419] Arab. "Hibá" partly induced by the rhyme. In desert
countries the comparison will be appreciated: in Sind the fine
dust penetrates into a closed book.

[FN#420] i.e. he smuggled it in under his 'Abá-cloak: perhaps it
was a better brand than that made in the monastery.

[FN#421] i.e. the delights of Paradise promised by the Prophet.

[FN#422] Again, "he" for "she," making the lover's address more
courtly and delicate.

[FN#423] i.e. take refuge with Allah from the evil eye of her

[FN#424] i.e. an thou prank or adorn thyself: I have translated
literally, but the couplet strongly suggests "nonsense verses."

[FN#425] Arab. "Santír:" Lane (M.E., chapt. xviii.) describes it
as resembling the Kanún (dulcimer or zither) but with two oblique
peg-pieces instead of one and double chords of wire (not treble
strings of lamb's gut) and played upon with two sticks instead of
the little plectra. Dozy also gives Santir from {Greek}, the
Fsaltrún of Daniel.

[FN#426] i.e. That which is ours shall be thine, and that which
is incumbent on thee shall be incumbent on us = we will assume
thy debts and responsibilities.

[FN#427] This passage is sadly disjointed in the text: I have
followed Mr. Payne's ordering.

[FN#428] The Arab of noble tribe is always the first to mount his
own mare: he also greatly fears her being put out to full speed
by a stranger, holding that this should be reserved for occasions
of life and death; and that it can be done to perfection only
once during the animal's life.

[FN#429] The red (Ahmar) dromedary like the white-red (Sabah)
were most valued because they are supposed best to bear the heats
of noon; and thus "red camels" is proverbially used for wealth.
When the head of Abu Jahl was brought in after the Battle of
Bedr, Mahommed exclaimed, "'Tis more acceptable to me than a red

[FN#430] i.e. Couriers on dromedaries, the only animals used for
sending messages over long distances.

[FN#431] These guest-fires are famous in Arab poetry. So
Al-Harírí (Ass. of Banu Haram) sings:--

          A beacon fire I ever kindled high;

i.e. on the hill-tops near the camp, to guide benighted
travellers. Also the Lamíyat al-Ajam says:--

          The fire of hospitality is ever lit on the high

This natural telegraph was used in a host of ways by the Arabs of
The Ignorance; for instance, when a hated guest left the camp
they lighted the "Fire of Rejection," and cried, "Allah, bear him
far from us!" Nothing was more ignoble than to quench such fire:
hence in obloquy of the Fazár tribe it was said:--

          Ne'er trust Fazár with an ass, for they
               Once roasted ass-pizzle, the rabble rout:
          And, when sight they guest, to their dams they say,
               "Piss quick on the guest-fire and put it out!"
     (Al-Mas"udi vi. 140.)

[FN#432] i.e. of rare wood, set with rubies.

[FN#433] i.e. whose absence pained us.

[FN#434] Mr. Payne and I have long puzzled over these enigmatical
and possibly corrupt lines: he wrote to me in 1884, "This is the
first piece that has beaten me." In the couplet above (vol. xii.
230) "Rayhání" may mean "my basil-plant" or "my food" (the latter
Koranic), "my compassion," etc.; and Súsání is equally ancipitous
"My lilies" or "my sleep": see Bard al-Susan = les douceurs du
sommeil in Al-Mas'údi vii. 168.

[FN#435] The "Niká" or sand hill is the swell of the throat: the
Ghaur or lowland is the fall of the waist: the flower is the
breast anent which Mr. Payne appropriately quotes the well-known
lines of Fletcher:

          "Hide, O hide those hills of snow,
          That thy frozen bosom bears,
          On whose tops the pinks that grow
          Are of those that April wears."

[FN#436] Easterns are right in regarding a sleepy languorous look
as one of the charms of women, and an incitement to love because
suggestive only of bed. Some men also find the same pleasure in a
lacrymose expression of countenance, seeming always to call for
consolation: one of the most successful women I know owes her
exceptional good fortune to this charm.

[FN#437] Arab. "Hájib,"eyebrow or chamberlain; see vol. iii. 233.
The pun is classical used by a host of poets including Al-Harírí.

[FN#438] Arab. "Tarfah." There is a Tarfia Island in the
Guadalquivir and in Gibraltar a "Tarfah Alto" opposed to "Tarfali
bajo." But it must not be confounded with Tarf = a side, found in
the Maroccan term for "The Rock" Jabal al-Tarf = Mountain of the
Point (of Europe).

[FN#439] For Solomon and his flying carpet see vol. iii. 267.

[FN#440] Arab. "Bilád al-Maghrib (al-Aksa," in full) = the
Farthest Land of the setting Sun, shortly called Al-Maghrib and
the people "Maghribi." The earliest occurrence of our name
Morocco or Marocco I find in the "Marákiyah" of Al-Mas'udi (iii.
241), who apparently applies it to a district whither the Berbers

[FN#441] The necklace-pearls are the cup-bearer's teeth.

[FN#442] In these unregenerate days they would often be summoned
to the houses of the royal family; but now they had "got
religion" and, becoming freed women, were resolved to be
"respectable." In not a few Moslem countries men of wealth and
rank marry professional singers who, however loose may have been
their artistic lives, mostly distinguish themselves by decency of
behaviour often pushed to the extreme of rigour. Also jeune
coquette, vieille dévote is a rule of the world, Eastern and

[FN#443] Bresl. Edit., vol. xii p. 383 (Night mi).  The king is
called as usual "Shahrbán," which is nearly synonymous with

[FN#444] i.e. the old Sindibae-Námeh (see vol. vi. 122), or "The
Malice of Women" which the Bresl. Edit. entitles, "Tale of the
King and his Son and his Wife and the Seven Wazirs."  Here it
immediately follows the Tale of Al-Abbas and Mariyah and occupies
pp. 237-383 of vol. xii, (Nights dcccclxxix-m).

[FN#445] i.e. Those who commit it.

[FN#446] The connection between this pompous introduction and the
story which follows is not apparent.  The "Tale of the Two Kings
and the Wazir's Daughters" is that of Shahrazad told in the third
person, in fact a rechauffé of the Introduction.  But as some
three years have passed since the marriage, and the dénouement of
the plot is at hand, the Princess is made, with some art I think,
to lay the whole affair before her husband in her own words, the
better to bring him to a "sense of his duty."

[FN#447] Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. Pp. 384-412.

[FN#448] This clause is taken from the sequence, where the older
brother's kingdom is placed in China.

[FN#449] For the Tobbas = "Successors" or the Himyaritic kings,
see vol. i. 216.

[FN#450] Kayásirah, opp. to Akásirah, here and in many other

[FN#451] See vol. ii. 77. King Kulayb ("little dog") al-Wá'il, a
powerful chief of the Banu Ma'ad in the Kasín district of Najd,
who was connected with the war of Al-Basús.  He is so called
because he lamed a pup (kulayb) and tied it up in the midst of
his Himá (domain, place of pasture and water), forbidding men to
camp within sound of its bark or sight of his fire.  Hence "more
masterful than Kulayb," A.P. ii. 145, and Al-Hariri Ass. Xxvi.
(Chenery, p. 448).  This angry person came by his death for
wounding in the udder a trespassing camel (Sorab) whose owner was
a woman named Basús.  Her friend (Jasús) slew him; and thus arose
the famous long war between the tribes Wá'il Bakr and Taghlib.
It gave origin to the saying, "Die thou and be an expiation for
the shoe-latchet of Kulayb."

[FN#452] Arab. "Mukhaddarát," maidens concealed behind curtains
and veiled in the Harem.

[FN#453] i.e. the professional Ráwis or tale-reciters who learned
stories by heart from books like "The Arabian Nights."  See my
Terminal Essay, vol. x. 144.

[FN#454] Arab. "Bid'ah," lit. = an innovation, a new thing, an
invention, any change from the custom of the Prophet and the
universal practice of the Faith, where it be in the cut of the
beard or a question of state policy.  Popularly the word =
heterodoxy, heresy; but theologically it is not necessarily used
in a bad sense.  See vol. v. 167.

[FN#455] About three parts of this sentence have been supplied by
Mr. Payne, the careless scribe having evidently omitted it.

[FN#456] Here, as in the Introduction (vol. i. 24), the king
consummates his marriage in presence of his virgin sister-in-law,
a process which decency forbids amongst Moslems.

[FN#457] Al-Mas'udi (vol. iv. 213) uses this term to signify
viceroy in "Shahryár Sajastán."

[FN#458] i.e. his indifference to the principles of right and
wrong, which is a manner of moral intoxication.

[FN#459] i.e. hath mentioned the office of Wazir (in Koran xx.

[FN#460] i.e. Moslems, who practice the Religion of Resignation.

[FN#461] Koran xxxiii. 35.  This is a proemium to the
"revelation" concerning Zayd and Zaynab.

[FN#462] i.e. I have an embarras de richesse in my repertory.

[FN#463] The title is from the Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 398-
402).  Mr. Payne calls it "The Favourite and her Lover."

[FN#464] The practice of fumigating gugglets is universal in
Egypt (Lane, M. E., chapt. v.); but I never heard of musk being
so used.

[FN#465] Arab.  "Laysa fi 'l-diyári dayyár"--a favourite jingle.

[FN#466] Arab.  "Khayr Kathir" (pron. Katír) which also means
"abundant kindness."

[FN#467] Dozy says of "Hunayní" (Haíní), Il semble être le nom
d'un vêtement.  On which we may remark, Connu!

[FN#468] Arab.  Harísah:  see vol. i. 131.  Westerns make a sad
mess of this dish when they describe it as une sorte d'olla
podrida (the hotch-pot), une pâtée de viandes, de froment et de
légumes secs (Al-Mas'udi viii. 438).  Whenever I have eaten it,
it was always a meat-pudding, for which see vol. i. 131.

[FN#469] Evidently one escaped because she was sleeping with the
Caliph, and a second because she had kept her assignation.

[FN#470] Mr. Payne entitles it, "The Merchant of Cairo and the
Favourite of the Khalif el Mamoun el Hakim bi Amrillah."

[FN#471] See my Pilgrimage (i. 100): the seat would be on the
same bit of boarding where the master sits or on a stool or bench
in the street.

[FN#472] This is true Cairene chaff, give and take; and the
stranger must accustom himself to it before he can be at home
with the people.

[FN#473] i.e. In Rauzah-Island: see vol. v. 169.

[FN#474] There is no historical person who answers to these name,
"The Secure, the Ruler by Commandment of Allah."  The cognomen
applies to two soldans of Egypt, of whom the later Abu al-Abbas
Ahmad the Abbaside (A.D. 1261-1301) has already been mentioned in
The Nights (vol. v. 86).  The tale suggests the earlier Al-Hakim
(Abu Ali al-Mansúr, the Fatimite, A.D. 995-1021), the God of the
Druze "persuasion;" and the tale-teller may have purposely
blundered in changing Mansúr to Maamún for fear of offending a
sect which has been most dangerous in the matter of assassination
and which is capable of becoming so again.

[FN#475] Arab.  "'Alá kulli hál" = "whatever may betide," or
"willy-nilly."  The phrase is still popular.

[FN#476] The dulce desipere of young lovers, he making a buffoon
of himself to amuse her.

[FN#477] "The convent of Clay," a Coptic monastery near Cairo.

[FN#478] i.e. this is the time to show thyself a man.

[FN#479] The Eastern succedaneum for swimming corks and other
"life-preservers."  The practice is very ancient; we find these
guards upon the monuments of Egypt and Babylonia.

[FN#480] Arab.  "Al-Khalíj," the name, still popular, of the
Grand Canal of Cairo, whose banks, by-the-by, are quaint and
picturesque as anything of the kind in Holland.

[FN#481] We say more laconically "A friend in need."

[FN#482] Arab.  "Názir al-Mawárís," the employé charged with the
disposal of legacies and seizing escheats to the Crown when
Moslems die intestate.  He is usually a prodigious rascal as in
the text.  The office was long kept up in Southern Europe, and
Camoens was sent to Macao as "Provedor dos defuntos e ausentes."

[FN#483] Sir R. F. Burton has since found two more of "Galland's"
tales in an Arabic text of The Nights, namely, Aladdin and Zeyn

[FN#484] i.e. wondering; thus Lady Macbeth says:

          "You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting,
          With most admired disorder."---Macbeth, iii. 4

[FN#485] Ludovicus Vives, one of the most learned of Spanish
authors, was born at Valentia in 1492 and died in 1540.

[FN#486] There was an older "Tútí Náma," which Nakhshabí
modernised, made from a Sanskrit story-book, now lost, but its
modern representative is the "Suka Saptatí," or Seventy (Tales)
of a Parrot in which most of Nakhshabi's tales are found.

[FN#487] According to Lescallier's French translation of the
"Bakhtyár Náma," made from two MSS. = "She had previously had a
lover, with whom, unknown to her father, she had intimate
relations, and had given birth to a beautiful boy, whose
education she secretly confided to some trusty servants."

[FN#488] There is a slight mistake in the passage in p. 313
supplied from the story in vol. vi.  It is not King Shah Bakht,
but the other king, who assures his chamberlain that "the lion"
has done him no injury.

[FN#489] Such was formerly the barbarous manner of treating the

[FN#490] From "Tarlton's Newes out of Purgatorie."

[FN#491] A basket

[FN#492] In the fabliau "De la Dame qui atrappa un Prêtre, un
Prêvôt, et un Forestier" (or Constant du Hamel), the lady, on the
pretext that her husband is at the door, stuffs her lovers, as
they arrive successively, unknown to each other, into a large tub
full of feathers and afterwards exposes them to public ridicule.

[FN#493] Until

[FN#494] Requite

[FN#495] Accidents

[FN#496] A boarding

[FN#497] The letter I is very commonly substituted for "ay" in
16th century English books.

[FN#498] Oesterley mentions a Sanskrit redaction of the Vampyre
Tales attributed to Sivadása, and another comprised in the

[FN#499] And well might his sapient majesty "wonder"!  The humour
of this passage is exquisite.

[FN#500] In the Tamil version (Babington's translation of the
"Vedála Kadai") there are but two brothers, one of whom is
fastidious in his food, the other in beds: the latter lies on a
bed stuffed with flowers, deprived of their stalks.  In the
morning he complains of pains all over his body, and on examining
the bed one hair is found amongst the flowers.  In the Hindí
version, the king asks him in the morning whether he had slept
comfortably.  "O great King," he replied; "I did not sleep all
night."  "How so?" quoth he.  "O great King, in the seventh fold
of the bedding there is a hair, which pricked me in the back,
therefore I could not sleep."  The youth who was fastidious about
the fair sex had a lovely damsel laid beside him, and he was on
the point of kissing her, but on smelling her breath he turned
away his face, and went to sleep.  Early in the morning the king
(who had observed through a lattice what passed) asked him, "Did
you pass the night pleasantly?"  He replied that he did not,
because the smell of a goat proceeded from the girl's mouth,
which made him very uneasy.  The king then sent for the procuress
and ascertained that the girl had been brought up on goat's milk.

[FN#501] Mélusine: Revue de Mythologie, Littárature Populaire,
Traditions, et Usages.  Dirigée par H. Gaidoz et E. Rolland.--

[FN#502] The trick of the clever Magyar in marking all the other
sleepers as the king's mother had marked herself occurs in the
folk-tales of most countries, especially in the numerous
versions of the Robbery of the King's Treasury, which are brought
together in my work on the Migrations of Popular Tales and
Fictions (Blackwood), vol. ii., pp. 113-165.

[FN#503] A mythical saint, or prophet, who, according to the
Muslim legend, was despatched by one of the ancient kings of
Persia to procure him some of the Water of Life.  After a tedious
journey, Khizr reached the Fountain of Immortality, but having
drank of its waters, it suddenly vanished.  Muslims believe that
Khizr still lives, and sometimes appears to favoured individuals,
always clothed in green, and acts as their guide in difficult

[FN#504] "Spake these words to the king"--certainly not those
immediately preceding! but that, if the king would provide for
him during three years, at the end of that period he would show
Khizr to the king.

[FN#505] Mr. Gibb compares with this the following passage from
Boethius, "De Consolatione Philosophiæ," as translated by
Chaucer:  "All thynges seken ayen to hir propre course, and all
thynges rejoysen on hir retourninge agayne to hir nature."

[FN#506] In this tale, we see, Khizr appears to the distressed in
white raiment.

[FN#507] In an old English metrical version of the "Seven Sages,"
the tutors of the prince, in order to test his progress in
general science, secretly place an ivy leaf under each of the
four posts of his bed, and when he awakes in the morning--

          "Par fay!" he said, "a ferli cas!
          Other ich am of wine y-drunk,
          Other the firmament is sunk,
          Other wexen is the ground,
          The thickness of four leavès round!
          So much to-night higher I lay,
          Certes, than yesterday."

[FN#508] See also the same story in The Nights, vols. vii. and
viii., which Mr. Kirby considers as probably a later version.
(App. vol. x. of The Nights, p. 442).

[FN#509] So, too, in the "Bahár-i-Dánish" a woman is described as
being so able a professor in the school of deceit, that she could
have instructed the devil in the science of stratagem: of another
it is said that by her wiles she could have drawn the devil's
claws; and of a third the author declares, that the devil himself
would own there was no escaping from her cunning!

[FN#510] There is a similar tale by the Spanish novelist Isidro
de Robles (circa 1660), in which three ladies find a diamond ring
in a fountain; each claims it; at length they agree to refer the
dispute to a count of their acquaintance who happened to be close
by.  He takes charge of the ring and says to the ladies, "Whoever
in the space of six weeks shall succeed in playing off on her
husband the most clever and ingenious trick (always having due
regard to his honour) shall possess the ring; in the meantime it
shall remain in my hands."  This story was probably brought by
the Moors to Spain, whence it may have passed into France, since
it is the subject of a faliau, by Haisiau the trouvrè, entitled
"Des Trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel," which is found in
Méon's edition of Barbazan, 1808, tome iii. pp. 220-229, and in
Le Grand, ed. 1781, tome iv. pp. 163-165.

[FN#511] Idiots and little boys often figure thus in popular
tales:  readers of Rabelais will remember his story of the Fool
and the Cook; and there is a familiar example of a boy's
precocity in the story of the Stolen Purse--"Craft and Malice of
Women," or the Seven Wazirs, vol. vi. of The Nights.

[FN#512] I have considerably abridged Mr. Knowles' story in
several places.

[FN#513] A species of demon.

[FN#514] This is one of the innumerable parallels to the story of
Jonah in the "whale's" belly which occur m Asiatic fictions. See,
for some instances, Tawney's translation of the "Kathá Sarit
Ságara," ch. xxxv. and [xxiv.; "Indian Antiquary," Sept. 1885,
Legend of Ahlá; Miss Stokes' "Indian Fairy Tales," pp. 75, 76,
and Steel and Temple's "Wide-Awake Stories from the Panjáb and
Kashmír," p. 411. In Lucian's "Vera Historia," a monster fish
swallows a ship and her crew, who live a long time in the
extensive regions comprised in its internal economy. See also
Herrtage's "Gesta Romanorum" (Early English Text Society), p.

[FN#515] In the Arabian version the people resolve to leave the
choice of a new king to the royal elephant because they could not
agree among themselves (vol. i., p. 224), but in Indian fictions
such an incident frequently occurs as a regular custom. In the
"Sivandhi Sthala Purana," a legendary account of the famous
temple at Trichinopoli, as supposed to be told by Gautama to
Matanga and other sages, it is related that a certain king having
mortally offended a holy devotee, his capital and all its
inhabitants were, in consequence of a curse pronounced by the
enraged saint, buried beneath a shower of dust. ''Only the queen
escaped, and in her flight she was delivered of a male-child.
After some time. the chiefs of the Chola kingdom, proceeding to
elect a king, determined, by the advice of the saint to crown
whomsoever the late monarch's elephant should pitch upon. Being
turned loose for this purpose, the elephant discovered and
brought to Trisira-málí the child of his former master, who
accordingly became the Chola king." (Wilson's Desc. Catal. of
Mackenzie MSS., i. 17.) In a Manipurí story of two brothers, Turi
and Basanta--"Indian Antiquary," vol. iii.--the elder is chosen
king in like manner by an elephant who meets him in the forest,
and takes him on his back to the palace, where he is immediately
placed on the throne See also "Wide-Awake Stories Tom the Panjáb
and Kashmír," by Mrs. Steel and Captain Temple, p. 141; and Rev.
Lal Behari Day's "Folk-Tales of Bengal," p. 100 for similar
instances. The hawk taking part, in this story, with the elephant
in the selection of a king does not occur m any other tale known
to me.

[FN#516] So that their caste might not be injured. A dhobí, or
washerman, is of much lower caste than a Bráhman or a Khshatriya.

[FN#517] A responsible position in a rájá's palace.

[FN#518] "And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and
three nights." Rájá Ambá must have been fully twelve years in the
stomach of the alligator.

[FN#519] This device of the mother to obtain speech of the king
is much more natural than that adopted in the Kashmiri version.

[FN#520] The story of Abú Sábir (see vol. i. p. 58 ff.) may also
be regarded as an analogue. He is unjustly deprived of all his
possessions, and, with his wife and two young boys, driven forth
of his village. The children are borne off by thieves, and their
mother forcibly carried away by a horseman. Abú Sábir, after many
sufferings, is raised from a dungeon to a throne. He regains his
two children and his wife, who had steadfastly refused to cohabit
with her captor.

[FN#521] Introduction to the romance of "Torrent of Portingale,"
re-edited (for the Early English Text Society, 1886) by E. Adam,
Ph.D., pp. xxi. xxii.

[FN#522] Morning.

[FN#523] Bird.

[FN#524] Mean; betoken.

[FN#525] Thee.

[FN#526] Tho: then.

[FN#527] Yede: went.

[FN#528] Case.

[FN#529] Avaunced: advanced; promoted.

[FN#530] Holpen: helped.

[FN#531] Brent: burnt.

[FN#532] But if: unless.

[FN#533] To wed: in pledge, in security.

[FN#534] Beth: are.

[FN#535] Or: either.

[FN#536] Lever dey: rather die.

[FN#537] Far, distant.

[FN#538] Unless.

[FN#539] Oo: one.

[FN#540] Ayen: again.

[FN#541] Or: ere, before.

[FN#542] Army; host.

[FN#543] Part.

[FN#544] That.

[FN#545] Grief, sorrow.

[FN#546] Poor.

[FN#547] Gathered, or collected, together.

[FN#548] Arms; accoutrements; dress.

[FN#549] Bravely.

[FN#550] Those.

[FN#551] Done, ended.

[FN#552] Their lodgings, inn.

[FN#553] Since.

[FN#554] Comrades.

[FN#555] Truly.

[FN#556] Lodged.

[FN#557] Inn.

[FN#558] Hem: them.

[FN#559] Chief of the army.

[FN#560] I note: I know not.

[FN#561] Nor.

[FN#562] Place.

[FN#563] That is by means of his hounds.

[FN#564] A wood.

[FN#565] Those.

[FN#566] Her: their.

[FN#567] Looks towards; attends to.

[FN#568] Give.

[FN#569] Excepting, unless.

[FN#570] Face, countenance.

[FN#571] Care, close examination.

[FN#572] Pallata, Lat. (Paletot, O. Fr. ), sometimes signifying a
particular stuff, and sometimes a particular dress.  See Du

[FN#573] Cut; divided

[FN#574] Wept.

[FN#575] Sailing.

[FN#576] More.

[FN#577] Much.

[FN#578] Sultan.

[FN#579] Name.

[FN#580] Voice, i.e., command.

[FN#581] Slew.

[FN#582] Labour.

[FN#583] Drew.

[FN#584] Went.

[FN#585] Burning coal.

[FN#586] Pray; beg.

[FN#587] Recovered.

[FN#588] Head.

[FN#589] Weeping.

[FN#590] Saw.

[FN#591] Waving.

[FN#592] Began to climb.

[FN#593] Against.

[FN#594] More.

[FN#595] From an early volume of the "Asiatic Journal," the
number of which I did not "make a note of--thus, for once at
least, disregarding the advice of the immortal Captain Cuttle.

[FN#596] "It was no wonder," says this writer, "that his (i.e.
Galland's) version of the 'Arabian Nights' achieved a universal
popularity, and was translated into many languages, and that it
provoked a crowd of imitations, from 'Les Mille et Un Jours' to
the 'Tales of the Genii.'"

[FN#597] This is a version of The Sleeper and the Waker--with a
vengeance! Abú Hasan the Wag, the Tinker, and the Rustic, and
others thus practiced upon by frolic-loving princes and dukes,
had each, at least, a most delightful "dream." But when a man is
similarly handled by the "wife of his bosom"--in stories, only,
of course--the case is very different as the poor chief of police
experienced. Such a "dream" as his wife induced upon him we may
be sure he would remember "until that day that he did creep into
his sepulchre!"

[FN#598] I call this "strikingly similar" to the preceding
Persian story, although it has fewer incidents and the lady's
husband remains a monk, she could not have got him back even had
she wished; for, having taken the vows, he was debarred from
returning to "the world " which a kalandar or dervish may do as
often as he pleases.

[FN#599] "The Woman's trick against her Husband."

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