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Title: The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 02
Author: Anon., - To be updated
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Arabian Nights Entertainments — Volume 02" ***

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                    The "Aldine" Edition of

               The Arabian Nights Entertainments

                   Illustrated by S. L. Wood


                        In Four Volumes

                            Volume 2

                      Pickering and Chatto

                     Contents of Volume II.

The Story of the Little Hunch-Back
     The Story Told by the Christian Merchant
     The Story Told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor
     The Story Told by the Jewish Physician
     The Story Told by the Tailor
     The Story Told by the Barber
     The Story Told by the Barber's Eldest Brother
     The Story Told by the Barber's Second Brother
     The Story Told by the Barber's Third Brother
     The Story Told by the Barber's Fourth Brother
     The Story Told by the Barber's Fifth Brother
     The Story Told by the Barber's Sixth Brother

The History of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Ecar, and Schemselnihar,
Favourite of Caliph Haroon Al Rusheed

The Story of the Loves of Kummir Al Zummaun, Prince of the Isles
of the Children of
Khaledan, and of Badoura, Princess of China

The Story of the Princes Amgiad and Assad
     The Story of the Prince Amgiad and a Lady of the City of

The Story of Noor Ad Deen and the Fair Persian


There was in former times at Casgar, on the extreme boundaries of
Tartary, a tailor who had a pretty wife, whom he affectionately
loved, and by whom he was beloved with reciprocal tenderness. One
day while he was at work, a little hunch-back seated himself at
the shop door and began to sing, and play upon a tabor. The
tailor was pleased with his performance, and resolved to take him
to his house to entertain his wife: "This little fellow," said
he, "will divert us both this evening." He accordingly invited
him, and the other readily accepted the invitation: so the tailor
shut up his shop, and carried him home. Immediately after their
arrival the tailor's wife placed before them a good dish of fish;
but as the little man was eating, he unluckily swallowed a bone,
which, notwithstanding all that the tailor and his wife could do,
choked him. This accident greatly alarmed them both, dreading, if
the magistrates should hear of it, that they would be punished as
murderers. However, the husband devised a scheme to get rid of
the corpse. He reflected that a Jewish doctor lived just by, and
having formed his plan, his wife and he took the corpse, the one
by the feet and the other by the head, and carried it to the
physician's house. They knocked at the door, from which a steep
flight of stairs led to his chamber. The servant maid came down
without any light, and opening the door, asked what they wanted.
"Have the goodness," said the tailor, "to go up again, and tell
your master we have brought him a man who is very ill, and wants
his advice. Here," continued he, putting a piece of money into
her hand, "give him that beforehand, to convince him that we do
not mean to impose." While the servant was gone up to inform her
master, the tailor and his wife hastily conveyed the hunchbacked
corpse to the head of the stairs, and leaving it there, hurried

In the mean time, the maid told the doctor, that a man and woman
waited for him at the door, desiring he would come down and look
at a sick man whom they had brought with them, and clapped into
his hand the money she had received. The doctor was transported
with joy; being paid beforehand, he thought it must needs be a
good patient, and should not be neglected. "Light, light," cried
he to the maid; "follow me quickly." As he spoke, he hastily ran
towards the head of the stairs without waiting for a light, and
came against the corpse with so much violence that he
precipitated it to the bottom, and had nearly fallen with it.
"Bring me a light," cried he to the maid; "quick, quick." At last
she brought one, and he went down stairs with her; but when he
saw that what he had kicked down was a dead man, he was so
frightened, that he invoked Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Esdras, and all
the other prophets of his nation. "Unhappy man that I am," said
he, "why did I attempt to come without a light! I have killed the
poor fellow who was brought to me to be cured: doubtless I am the
cause of his death, and unless Esdras's ass come to assist me, I
am ruined: Mercy on me, they will be here out of hand, and drag
me out of my house for a murderer."

Notwithstanding the perplexity and confusion into which he was
thrown, he had the precaution to shut his door, for fear any one
passing by should observe the accident of which he reckoned
himself to be the author. He then took the corpse into his wife's
chamber, who was ready to swoon at the sight. "Alas," cried she,
"we are utterly ruined and undone, unless we can devise some
expedient to get the corpse out of our house this night. If we
harbour it till morning we are lost. What a deplorable misfortune
is this! What have you done to kill this man?" "That is not now
the question," replied the Jew; "our business at present is, to
find a remedy for the evil which threatens us."

The doctor and his wife consulted how to dispose of the corpse
that night. The doctor racked his brain in vain, he could not
think of any stratagem to relieve his embarrassment; but his
wife, who was more fertile in invention, said, "A thought is just
come into my head; let us carry the corpse to the terrace of our
house, and throw it down the chimney of our Mussulmaun

This Mussulmaun was one of the sultan's purveyors for furnishing
oil, butter, and articles of a similar nature, and had a magazine
in his house, where the rats and mice made prodigious havoc.

The Jewish doctor approving the proposed expedient, the wife and
he took the little hunch-back up to the roof of the house; and
clapping ropes under his arm-pits, let him down the chimney into
the purveyor's chamber so dexterously that he stood upright
against the wall, as if he had been alive. When they found he had
reached the bottom, they pulled up the ropes, and left the corpse
in that posture. They were scarcely got down into their chamber,
when the purveyor, who had just returned from a wedding feast,
went into his room, with a lanthorn in his hand. He was not a
little surprised to discover a man standing in his chimney; but
being a stout fellow, and apprehending him to be a thief, he took
up a stick, and making straight up to the hunch-back, "Ah!" said
he, "I thought the rats and mice ate my butter and tallow; but it
is you who come down the chimney to rob me? However, I think you
will have no wish to come here again." Upon this he attacked
hunch-back, and struck him several times with his stick. The
corpse fell down flat on the ground, and the purveyor redoubled
his blows. But, observing that the body did not move, he stood a
little time to regard it; and then, perceiving it to be dead,
fear succeeded his anger. "Wretched man that I am," said he,
"what have I done! I have killed a man; alas, I have carried my
revenge too far. Good God, unless thou pity me my life is gone!
Cursed, ten thousand times accursed, be the fat and the oil that
occasioned me to commit so criminal an action." He stood pale and
thunderstruck; he fancied he already saw the officers come to
drag him to condign punishment, and could not tell what
resolution to take.

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor had never noticed the little
man's hump-back when he was beating him, but as soon as he
perceived it, he uttered a thousand imprecations against him.
"Ah, thou cursed hunch-back," cried he, "thou crooked wretch,
would to God thou hadst robbed me of all my fat, and I had not
found thee here. I then should not have been thrown into this
perplexity on account of this and thy vile hunch. Ye stars that
twinkle in the heavens, give your light to none but me in this
dangerous juncture." As soon as he had uttered these words, he
took the crooked corpse upon his shoulders, and carried it to the
end of the street, where he placed it in an upright posture
against a shop; he then returned without once looking behind him.

A few minutes before day-break, a Christian merchant, who was
very rich, and furnished the sultan's palace with various
articles, having sat up all night at a debauch, happened to come
from his house in this direction on his way to the bath. Though
he was intoxicated, he was sensible that the night was far spent,
and that the people would soon be called to morning prayers; he
therefore quickened his pace to get to the bath in time, lest
some Mussulmaun, in his way to the mosque, should meet him and
carry him to prison for a drunkard. When he came to the end of
the street, he had occasion to stop by the shop where the
sultan's purveyor had put the hunch-backed corpse; which being
jostled by him, tumbled upon the merchant's back. The merchant
thinking he was attacked by a robber, knocked it down, and after
redoubling his blows, cried out "Thieves!"

The outcry alarmed the watch, who came up immediately, and
finding a Christian beating a Mussulmaun (for hump-back was of
our religion), "What reason have you," said he, "to abuse a
Mussulmaun in this manner?" "He would have robbed me," replied
the merchant, "and jumped upon my back in order to take me by the
throat." "If he did," said the watch, "you have revenged yourself
sufficiently; come, get off him." At the same time he stretched
out his hand to help little hump-back up, but observing he was
dead, "Oh!" said he, "is it thus that a Christian dares to
assassinate a Mussulmaun?" So saying, he laid hold of the
Christian, and carried him to the house of the officer of the
police, where he was kept till the judge was stirring, and ready
to examine him. In the mean time, the Christian merchant became
sober, and the more he reflected upon his adventure, the less
could he conceive how such slight blows of his fist could have
killed the man.

The judge having heard the report of the watch, and viewed the
corpse, which they had taken care to bring to his house,
interrogated the Christian merchant, who could not deny the
crime, though he had not committed it. But the judge considering
that little hump-back belonged to the sultan, for he was one of
his buffoons, would not put the Christian to death till he knew
the sultan's pleasure. For this end he went to the palace, and
acquainted the sultan with what had happened; and received this
answer: "I have no mercy to show to a Christian who kills a
Mussulmaun." Upon this the judge ordered a stake to be prepared,
and sent criers all over the city to proclaim that they were
about to impale a Christian for killing a Mussulmaun.

At length the merchant was brought to the place of execution; and
the executioner was about to do his duty, when the sultan's
purveyor pushed through the crowd, calling to him to stop for
that the Christian had not committed the murder, but he himself
had done it. Upon that, the officer who attended the execution
began to question the purveyor, who told him every circumstance
of his having killed the little hunchback, and how he had
conveyed his corpse to the place where the Christian merchant had
found it. "You were about," added he, "to put to death an
innocent person; for how can he be guilty of the death of a man
who was dead before he touched him? It is enough for me to have
killed a Mussulmaun without loading my conscience with the death
of a Christian who is not guilty."

The sultan of Casgar's purveyor having publicly charged himself
with the death of the little hunchbacked man, the officer could
do no less than execute justice on the merchant. "Let the
Christian go," said he to the executioner, "and impale this man
in his stead, since it appears by his own confession that he is
guilty." Thereupon the executioner released the merchant, and
seized the purveyor; but just as he was going to impale him, he
heard the voice of the Jewish doctor, earnestly intreating him to
suspend the execution, and make room for him to approach.

When he appeared before the judge, "My lord," said he, "this
Mussulmaun you are going to execute is not guilty. I am the
criminal. Last night a man and a woman, unknown to me, came to my
door with a sick man; my maid went and opened it without a light,
and received from them a piece of money with a commission to come
and desire me, in their name, to step down and look at the
patient. While she was delivering her message, they conveyed the
sick person to the stair-head, and disappeared. I went, without
staying till my servant had lighted a candle, and in the dark
happened to stumble upon the sick person, and kick him down
stairs. At length I saw he was dead, and that it was the crooked
Mussulmaun whose death you are now about to avenge. My wife and I
took the corpse, and, after conveying it up to the roof of the
purveyor, our next neighbour, whom you were going to put to death
unjustly, let it down the chimney into his chamber. The purveyor
finding it in his house, took the little man for a thief, and
after beating him concluded he had killed him. But that it was
not so you will be convinced by this my deposition; I am the sole
author of the murder; and though it was committed undesignedly, I
am resolved to expiate my crime, that I may not have to charge
myself with the death of two Mussulmauns."

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

The chief justice, and all the spectators, wondered at the
strange events which had ensued upon the death of the little
hunch-back. "Let the Jewish doctor go," said the judge, "and
seize the tailor, since he confesses the crime. It is certain
this history is very uncommon, and deserves to be recorded in
letters of gold." The executioner having dismissed the doctor
prepared to impale the tailor.

While the executioner was making ready to impale the tailor, the
sultan of Casgar, wanting the company of his crooked jester,
asked where he was; and one of his officers told him; "The hunch-
back, Sir, whom you inquire after, got drunk last night, and
contrary to his custom slipped out of the palace, and went
strolling about the city, and this morning was found dead. A man
was brought before the chief justice, and charged with the murder
of him; but when he was going to be impaled, up came a man, and
after him another, who took the charge upon themselves and
cleared one another, and the judge is now examining a third, who
gives himself out for the real author of the murder."

Upon this intelligence the sultan of Casgar sent an officer to
the place of execution. "Go," said he, "with all expedition, and
tell the judge to bring the accused persons before me immediately
and bring also the corpse of poor hunch-back, that I may see him
once more." Accordingly the officer went, and happened to arrive
at the place of execution at the very time that the executioner
had laid his hands upon the tailor. He called aloud to him to
suspend the execution. The executioner knowing the officer, did
not dare to proceed, but released the tailor; and then the
officer acquainted the judge with the sultan's pleasure. The
judge obeyed, and went directly to the palace accompanied by the
tailor, the Jewish doctor, and the Christian merchant; and made
four of his men carry the hunch-backed corpse along with him.

When they appeared in the sultan's presence, the judge threw
himself at the prince's feet and after recovering himself, gave
him a faithful relation of what he knew of the story of the
hunch-backed man. The story appeared so extraordinary to the
sultan, that he ordered his own historian to write it down with
all its circumstances. Then addressing himself to the audience;
"Did you ever hear," said he, "such a surprising event as has
happened on the account of my little crooked buffoon?" The
Christian merchant, after falling down, and touching the earth
with his forehead, spoke as follows: "Most puissant monarch, I
know a story yet more astonishing than this; if your majesty will
give me leave, I will relate it. The circumstances are such, that
no one can hear them without emotion." "Well," said the sultan,
"you have my permission:" and the merchant went on as follows:

The Story told by the Christian Merchant.

Sir, before I commence the recital of the story you have
permitted me to relate, I beg leave to acquaint you, that I have
not the honour to be born in any part of your majesty's empire. I
am a stranger, born at Cairo in Egypt, a Copt by nation, and by
religion a Christian. My father was a broker, and realized
considerable property, which he left me at his death. I followed
his example, and pursued the same employment. While I was
standing in the public inn frequented by the corn merchants,
there came up to me a handsome young man, well dressed, and
mounted on an ass. He saluted me, and pulling out a handkerchief,
in which he had a sample of sesame or Turkey corn, asked me how
much a bushel of such sesame would fetch.

I examined the corn the young man shewed me, and told him it was
worth a hundred dirhems of silver per bushel. "Pray," said he,
"look out for some merchant to take it at that price, and come to
me at the Victory gate, where you will see a khan at a distance
from the houses." So saying, he left me the sample, and I shewed
it to several merchants, who told me, that they would take as
much as I could spare at a hundred and ten dirhems per bushel, so
that I reckoned on getting ten dirhems per bushel for my
commission. Full of the expectation of this profit, I went to the
Victory gate, where I found the young merchant expecting me, and
he took me into his granary, which was full of sesame. He had
then a hundred and fifty bushels, which I measured out, and
having carried them off upon asses, sold them for five thousand
dirhems of silver. "Out of this sum," said the young man, "there
are five hundred dirhems coming to you, at the rate of ten
dirhems per bushel. This I give you; and as for the rest which
pertains to me, take it out of the merchants' hands, and keep it
till I call or send for it, for I have no occasion for it at
present." I answered, it should be ready for him whenever he
pleased to demand it; and so, kissing his hand, took leave of
him, with a grateful sense of his generosity.

A month passed before he came near me: then he asked for the sum
he had committed to my trust. I told him it was ready, and should
be counted to him immediately. He was mounted on his ass, and I
desired him to alight, and do me the honour to eat a mouthful
with me before he received his money. "No," said he, "I cannot
alight at present, I have urgent business that obliges me to be
at a place just by; but I will return this way, and then take the
money which I desired you would have in readiness." This said, he
disappeared, and I still expected his return, but it was a full
month before I saw him again. "This young merchant," thought I,
"has great confidence in me, leaving so great a sum in my hands
without knowing me; any other man would have been afraid I should
have run away with it." To be short, he came again at the end of
the third month, and was still mounted on his ass, but more
handsomely dressed than before.

As soon as I saw the young man, I intreated him to alight, and
asked him if he would not take his money? "There is no hurry,"
said he, with a pleasant easy air, "I know it is in good hands; I
will come and take it when my other money is all gone. Adieu,"
continued he, "I will return towards the end of the week." With
that he struck the ass, and soon disappeared. "Well," thought I,
"he says he will see me towards the end of the week, but he may
not perhaps return for a great while; I will make the most I can
of his money, which may bring me much profit."

As it happened, I was not deceived in my conjecture; for it was a
full year before I saw my young merchant again. He then appeared
as richly appareled as before, but seemed to have something on
his spirits. I asked him to do me the honour to walk into my
house. "For this time," replied he, "I will: but on this
condition, that you shall put yourself to no extraordinary charge
on my account." "I will do just as you please," said I, "only do
me the favour to alight and walk in." Accordingly he complied. I
gave orders to have a repast prepared, and while this was doing,
we entered into conversation. All things being ready, we sat
down. I observed he took the first mouthful with his left hand,
and not with the right. I was at a loss what to think of this.
"Ever since I have known this young man," said I inwardly, "he
has always appeared very polite; is it possible he can do this
out of contempt? What can be the reason he does not use his right

After we had done eating, and every thing was taken away, we sat
upon a sofa, and I presented him with a lozenge by way of dainty;
but still he took it with his left hand. I said to him, "Pardon,
Sir, the liberty I take in asking you what reason you have for
not using your right hand? Perhaps you have some complaint in
that hand." Instead of answering, he heaved a deep sigh, and
pulling out his right arm, which he had hitherto kept under his
vest, shewed me, to my great astonishment, that it had been cut
off. "Doubtless you were displeased," said he, "to see me feed
myself with the left hand; but I leave you to judge, whether it
was in my power to do otherwise." "May one ask," said I, "by what
mischance you lost your right hand?" Upon that he burst into
tears, and after wiping his eyes, gave me the following relation.

You must know that I am a native of Bagdad, the son of a rich
merchant, the most eminent in that city for rank and opulence. I
had scarcely launched into the world, when falling into the
company of travellers, and hearing their wonderful accounts of
Egypt, especially of Grand Cairo, I was interested by their
discourse, and felt a strong desire to travel. But my father was
then alive, and would not grant me permission. At length he died;
and being then my own master, I resolved to take a journey to
Cairo. I laid out a large sum of money in the purchase of several
sorts of fine stuffs of Bagdad and Moussol. and departed.

Arriving at Cairo, I went to the khan, called the khan of
Mesrour, and there took lodgings, with a warehouse for my bales,
which I had brought with me upon camels. This done, I retired to
my chamber to rest, after the fatigue of my journey, and gave
some money to my servants, with orders to buy some provisions and
dress them. After I had eaten, I went to view the castle, some
mosques, the public squares, and the other most remarkable

Next day I dressed myself, and ordered some of the finest and
richest of my bales to be selected and carried by my slaves to
the Circassian bazaar, whither I followed. I had no sooner made
my appearance, than I was surrounded with brokers and criers who
had heard of my arrival. I gave patterns of my stuffs to several
of the criers, who shewed them all over the bazaar; but none of
the merchants offered near so much as prime cost and carriage.
This vexed me, and the criers observing I was dissatisfied, said,
"If you will take our advice, we will put you in a way to sell
your goods without loss."

The brokers and the criers, having thus promised to put me in a
way of losing nothing by my goods, I asked them what course they
would have me pursue . "Divide your goods," said they, among
several merchants, they will sell them by retail; and twice a
week, that is on Mondays and Thursdays, you may receive what
money they may have taken. By this means, instead of losing, you
will turn your goods to advantage, and the merchants will gain by
you. In the mean while you will have time to take your pleasure
about the town or go upon the Nile."

I took their advice, and conducted them to my warehouse; from
whence I brought all my goods to the bazaar, and there divided
them among the merchants whom they represented as most reputable
and able to pay; and the merchants gave me a formal receipt
before witnesses, stipulating that I should not making any
demands upon them for the first month.

Having thus regulated my affairs, my mind was occupied with
ordinary pleasures. I contracted acquaintance with divers persons
of nearly the same age with myself, which made the time pass
agreeably. After the first month had expired, I began to visit my
merchants twice a week, taking with me a public officer to
inspect their books of sale, and a banker to see that they paid
me in good money, and to regulate the value of the several coins.
Every pay-day, I had a good sum of money to carry home to my
lodging at the khan of Mesrour. I went on other days to pass the
morning sometimes at one merchant's house, and sometimes at that
of another. In short, I amused myself in conversing with them,
and seeing what passed in the bazaar.

One Monday, as I was sitting in a merchant ‘s shop, whose name
was Buddir ad Deen, a lady of quality, as might easily be
perceived by her air, her apparel, and by a well-dressed slave
attending her, came into the shop, and sat down by me. Her
external appearance, joined to a natural grace that shone in all
her actions, prepossessed me in her favour, and inspired me with
a desire to be better acquainted with her. I know not whether she
observed that I took pleasure in gazing on her, and whether this
attention on my part was not agreeable to her; but she let down
the crepe that hung over the muslin which covered her face, and
gave me the opportunity of seeing her large black eyes; which
perfectly charmed me. In fine, she inflamed my love to the height
by the agreeable sound of her voice, her graceful carriage in
saluting the merchant, and asking him how he did since she had
seen him last.

After conversing with him some time upon indifferent subjects,
she gave him to understand that she wanted a particular kind of
stuff with a gold ground; that she came to his shop, as affording
the best choice of any in all the bazaar; and that if he had any
such as she asked for, he would oblige her in showing them.
Buddir ad Deen produced several pieces, one of which she pitched
upon, and he asked for it eleven hundred dirhems of silver. "I
will," said she, "give you your price for it, but I have not
money enough about me; so I hope you will give me credit till to-
morrow, and in the mean time allow me to carry home the stuff. I
shall not fail," added she, "to send you tomorrow the eleven
hundred dirhems." "Madam," said Buddir ad Deen, "I would give you
credit with all my heart if the stuff were mine; but it belongs
to the young man you see here, and this is the day on which we
settle our accounts." "Why," said the lady in surprise, "do you
use me so? Am not I a customer to your shop  And when I have
bought of you, and carried home the things without paying ready
money for them, did I in any instance fail to send you your money
next morning?" "Madam," said the merchant, "all this is true, but
this very day I have occasion for the money." "There," said she,
throwing the stuff to him, "take your stuff, I care not for you
nor any of the merchants. You are all alike; you respect no one."
As she spoke, she rose up in anger, and walked out.

When I saw that the lady walked away, I felt interested on her
behalf, and called her back, saying, "Madam, do me the favour to
return, perhaps I can find a way to satisfy you both." She
returned, saying, it was on my account that she complied. "Buddir
ad Deen," said I to the merchant, "what is the price you must
have for this stuff that belongs to me?" "I must have," replied
he, "eleven hundred dirhems, I cannot take less." "Give it to the
lady then," said I, "let her take it home with her; I allow a
hundred dirhems profit to yourself, and shall now write you a
note, empowering you to deduct that sum upon the produce of the
other goods you have of mine." In fine, I wrote, signed, and gave
him the note, and then delivered the stuff to the lady. "Madam,"
said I, "you may take the stuff with you, and as for the money,
you may either send it to-morrow or the next day; or, if you
will, accept it as a present from me." "Pardon me," returned she,
"I mean no such thing. You treat me with so much politeness, that
I should be unworthy to appear in the world again, were I to omit
making you my best acknowledgments. May God reward you, by an
increase of your fortune; may you live many years after I am
dead; may the gate of paradise be open to you when you remove to
the other world, and may all the city proclaim your generosity."

These words inspired me with some assurance. "Madam," I replied,
"I desire no other reward for the service I have done you than
the happiness of seeing your face; which will repay me with
interest." I had no sooner spoken than she turned towards me,
took off her veil, and discovered to me a wonderful beauty. I
became speechless with admiration. I could have gazed upon her
for ever; but fearing any one should observe her, she quickly
covered her face, and letting down the crepe, took up the piece
of stuff, and went away, leaving me in a very different state of
mind from that in which I had entered the shop. I continued for
some time in great confusion and perplexity. Before I took leave
of the merchant, I asked him, if he knew the lady; "Yes," said
he, "she is the daughter of an emir."

I went back to the khan of Mesrour, and sat down to supper, but
could not eat, neither could I shut my eyes all the night, which
seemed the longest in my life. As soon as it was day I arose, in
hopes of once more beholding the object that disturbed my repose:
and to engage her affection, I dressed myself much richer than I
had done the day before.

I had but just reached Buddir ad Deen's shop, when I saw the lady
coming in more magnificent apparel than before, and attended by
her slave. When she entered, she did not regard the merchant, but
addressing herself to me, said, "Sir, you see I am punctual to my
word. I am come for the express purpose of paying the sum you
were so kind as to pass your word for yesterday, though you had
no knowledge of me. Such uncommon generosity I shall never

"Madam," said I, "you had no occasion to be in such haste; I was
well satisfied as to my money, and am sorry you should put
yourself to so much trouble." "I had been very unjust," answered
she, "if I had abused your generosity." With these words she put
the money into my hand, and sat down by me.

Having this opportunity of conversing with her, I determined to
improve it, and mentioned to her the love I had for her; but she
rose and left me very abruptly, as if she had been angry with the
declaration I had made. I followed her with my eyes as long as
she continued in sight; then taking leave of the merchant walked
out of the bazaar, without knowing where I went. I was musing on
this adventure, when I felt somebody pulling me behind, and
turning to see who it was, I was agreeably surprised to perceive
it was the lady's slave. "My mistress," said she, "I mean the
young lady you spoke to in the merchant's shop, wants to speak
with you, if you please to give yourself the trouble to follow
me." Accordingly I followed her, and found her mistress sitting
waiting for me in a banker's shop.

She made me sit down by her, and spoke to this purpose. "Do not
be surprised, that I left you so abruptly. I thought it not
proper, before that merchant, to give a favourable answer to the
discovery you made of your affection for me. But to speak the
truth, I was so far from being offended at it, that it gave me
pleasure; and I account myself infinitely happy in having a man
of your merit for my lover. I do not know what impression the
first sight of me may have made on you, but I assure you, I had
no sooner beheld you than I found my heart moved with the
tenderest emotions of love. Since yesterday I have done nothing
but think of what you said to me; and my eagerness to seek you
this morning may convince you of my regard." "Madam," I replied,
transported with love and joy, "nothing can be more agreeable to
me than this declaration. No passion can exceed that with which I
love you. My eyes were dazzled with so many charms, that my heart
yielded without resistance." "Let us not trifle away the time in
needless discourse," said she, interrupting me; "make no doubt of
your sincerity, and you shall quickly be convinced of mine. Will
you do me the honour to come to my residence? Or if you will I
will go to yours." "Madam," I returned, "I am a stranger lodged
in a khan, which is not the proper place for the reception of a
lady of your quality. It is more proper, madam, that I should
visit you at your house; have the goodness to tell me where it
is." The lady consented; "Come," said she, "on Friday, which is
the day after to-morrow, after noon-prayers, and ask for the
house of Abon Schama, surnamed Bercour, late master of the emirs;
there you will find me." This said, we parted; and I passed the
next day in great impatience.

On Friday I put on my richest apparel, and took fifty pieces of
gold in my purse. I mounted an ass I had bespoken the day before,
and set out, accompanied by the man who let me the ass. I
directed the owner of the ass to inquire for the house I wanted;
he found it, and conducted me thither. I paid him liberally,
directing him to observe narrowly where he left me, and not to
fail to return next morning with the ass, to carry me again to
the khan of Mesrour.

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

I did not wait long in the hall, ere the lady I loved appeared,
adorned with pearls and diamonds ; but the splendour of her eyes
far outshone that of her jewels. Her shape, which was now not
disguised by the habit she wore in the city, appeared the most
slender and delicate. I need not mention with what joy we met
once more; it far exceeded all expression. When the first
compliments were over, we sat down upon a sofa, and there
conversed together with the highest satisfaction. We had the most
delicious refreshments served up to us; and after eating,
continued our conversation till night. We then had excellent wine
brought up, and fruit adapted to promote drinking, and timed our
cups to the sound of musical instruments, joined to the voices of
the slaves. The lady of the house sung herself, and by her songs
raised my passion to the height. In short, I passed the night in
full enjoyment.

Next morning I slipped under the bolster of the bed the purse
with the fifty pieces of gold I had brought with me, and took
leave of the lady, who asked me when I would see her again.
"Madam," said I, "I give you my promise to return this night."
She seemed to be transported with my answer, and conducting me to
the door, conjured me at parting to be mindful of my promise.

The same man who had carried me thither waited for me with his
ass, which I mounted, and went directly to the khan; ordering the
man to come to me again in the afternoon at a certain hour, to
secure which, I deferred paying him till that time came.

As soon as I arrived at my lodging, my first care was to order my
people to buy a lamb, and several sorts of cakes, which I sent by
a porter as a present to the lady. When that was done I attended
to my business till the owner of the ass arrived. I then went
along with him to the lady's house, and was received by her with
as much joy as before, and entertained with equal magnificence.

Next morning I took leave, left her another purse with fifty
pieces of gold, and returned to my khan.

I continued to visit the lady every day, and to leave her every
time a purse with fifty pieces of gold, till the merchants whom I
employed to sell my goods, and whom I visited regularly twice a
week, had paid me the whole amount of my goods and, in short, I
came at last to be moneyless, and hopeless of having any more.

In this forlorn condition I walked out of my lodging, not knowing
what course to take, and by chance went towards the castle, where
there was a great crowd to witness a spectacle given by the
sultan of Egypt. As soon as I came up, I wedged in among the
crowd, and by chance happened to stand by a horseman well mounted
and handsomely clothed, who had upon the pommel of his saddle a
bag, half open, with a string of green silk hanging out of it. I
clapped my hand to the bag, concluding the silk-twist might be
the string of a purse within: in the mean time a porter, with a
load of wood upon his back, passed by on the other side of the
horse so near, that the rider was forced to turn his head towards
him, to avoid being hurt, or having his clothes torn by the wood.
In that moment the devil tempted me; I took the string in one
hand, and with the other pulled out the purse so dexterously,
that nobody perceived me. The purse was heavy, and I did not
doubt but it contained gold or silver.

As soon as the porter had passed, the horseman, who probably had
some suspicion of what I had done while his head was turned,
presently put his hand to his bag, and finding his purse was
gone, gave me such a blow, that he knocked me down. This violence
shocked all who saw it. Some took hold of the horse's bridle to
stop the gentleman, and asked him what reason he had to strike
me, or how he came to treat a Mussulmaun so rudely. "Do not you
trouble yourselves," said he briskly, "I had reason for what I
did; this fellow is a thief." At these words I started up, and
from my appearance every one took my part, and cried out he was a
liar, for that it was incredible a young man such as I was should
be guilty of so base an action: but while they were holding his
horse by the bridle to favour my escape, unfortunately passed by
the judge, who seeing such a crowd about the gentleman on
horseback, came up and asked what the matter was. Every body
present reflected on the gentleman for treating me so unjustly
upon the presence of robbery.

The judge did not give ear to all that was said; but asked the
cavalier if he suspected any body else beside me? The cavalier
told him he did not, and gave his reasons why he believed his
suspicions not to be groundless. Upon this the judge ordered his
followers to seize me, which they presently did; and finding the
purse upon me, exposed it to the view of all the people. The
disgrace was so great, I could not bear it, and I swooned away.
In the mean time the judge called for the purse.

When the judge had got the purse in his hand, he asked the
horseman if it was his, and how much money it contained. The
cavalier knew it to be his own, and assured the judge he had put
twenty sequins into it. Upon which the judge called me before
him; "Come, young man," said he, "confess the truth. Was it you
that took the gentleman's purse from him? Do not wait for the
torture to extort confession." Then with downcast eyes, thinking
that if I denied the fact, they, having found the purse upon me,
would convict me of a lie, to avoid a double punishment I looked
up and confessed my guilt. I had no sooner made the confession,
than the judge called people to witness it, and ordered my hand
to be cutoff. This sentence was immediately put in execution, to
the great regret of all the spectators; nay, I observed, by the
cavalier's countenance, that he was moved with pity as much as
the rest. The judge would likewise have ordered my foot to be cut
off, but I begged the cavalier to intercede for my pardon; which
he did, and obtained it.

When the judge was gone, the cavalier came up to me, and holding
out the purse, said, "I see plainly that necessity drove you to
an action so disgraceful and unworthy of such a young man as you
appear. Here, take that fatal purse; I freely give it you, and am
heartily sorry for the misfortune you have undergone." Having
thus spoken, he went away. Being very weak by loss of blood, some
of the good people of the neighbourhood had the kindness to carry
me into a house and give me a glass of cordial; they likewise
dressed my arm, and wrapped up the dismembered hand in a cloth,
which I carried away with me fastened to my girdle.

Had I returned to the khan of Mesrour in this melancholy
condition, I should not have found there such relief as I wanted;
and to offer to go to the young lady was running a great hazard,
it being likely she would not look upon me after being informed
of my disgrace. I resolved, however, to put her to the trial; and
to tire out the crowd that followed me, I turned down several by-
streets, and at last arrived at the lady's house very weak, and
so much fatigued, that I presently threw myself down upon a sofa,
keeping my right arm under my garment, for I took great care to
conceal my misfortune.

In the mean time the lady, hearing of my arrival, and that I was
not well, came to me in haste; and seeing me pale and dejected,
said, "My dear love, what is the matter with you?" "Madam," I
replied, dissembling, "I have a violent pain in my head." The
lady seemed to be much concerned, and asked me to sit down, for I
had arisen to receive her. "Tell me," said she, "how your illness
was occasioned. The last time I had the pleasure to see you, you
were very well. There must be something that you conceal from me,
let me know what it is." I stood silent, and instead of an
answer, tears trickled down my cheeks. "I cannot conceive,"
resumed she, "what it is that afflicts you. Have I unthinkingly
given you any occasion of uneasiness? Or do you come on purpose
to tell me you no longer love me?" "It is not that, madam," said
I, heaving a deep sigh; "your unjust suspicion adds to my

I could not think of discovering to her the true cause. When
night came, supper was brought, and she pressed me to eat; but
considering I could only feed myself with my left hand, I begged
to be excused upon the plea of having no appetite. "It will
return," said she, "if you would but discover what you so
obstinately conceal from me. Your want of appetite, without
doubt, is only owing to your irresolution."

"Alas! madam," returned I, "I find I must resolve at last." I had
no sooner spoken, than she filled me a cup full of wine, and
offering it to me, "Drink that," said she, "it will give you
courage." I reached out my left hand, and took the cup.

When I had taken the cup in my hand, I redoubled my tears and
sighs. "Why do you sigh and weep so bitterly?" asked the lady;
"and why do you take the cup with your left hand, rather than
your right?" "Ah! madam," I replied, "I beseech you excuse me; I
have a swelling in my right hand." "Let me see that swelling,"
said she; "I will open it." I desired to be excused, alleging it
was not ripe enough for such an operation; and drank off the cup,
which was very large. The fumes of the wine, joined to my
weakness and weariness, set me asleep, and I slept very soundly
till morning.

In the mean time the lady, curious to know what ailed my right
hand, lifted up my garment that covered it; and saw to her great
astonishment that it was cut off, and that I had brought it along
with me wrapped up in a cloth. She presently apprehended what was
my reason for declining a discovery, notwithstanding all her
pressing solicitation; and passed the night in the greatest
uneasiness on account of my disgrace, which she concluded had
been occasioned only by the love I bore to her.

When I awoke, I discerned by her countenance that she was
extremely grieved. However, that she might not increase my
uneasiness she said not a word. She called for jelly-broth of
fowl, which she had ordered to be prepared, and made me eat and
drink to recruit my strength. After that, I offered to take leave
of her; but she declared I should not go out of her doors.
"Though you tell me nothing of the matter," said she, "I am
persuaded I am the cause of the misfortune that has befallen you.
The grief that I feel on that account will soon end my days, but
before I die, I must execute a design for your benefit." She had
no sooner spoken, than she called for a judge and witnesses, and
ordered a writing to be drawn up, putting me in possession of her
whole property. After this was done, and every body dismissed,
she opened a large trunk where lay all the purses I had given her
from the commencement of our amour. "There they are all entire,"
said she; "I have not touched one of them. Here is the key ; take
it, for all is yours." After I had returned her thanks for her
generosity and goodness; "What I have done for you," said she,
"is nothing; I shall not be satisfied unless I die, to show how
much I love you." I conjured her, by all the powers of love, to
relinquish such a fatal resolution. But all my remonstrances were
ineffectual: she was so afflicted to see me have but one hand,
that she sickened, and died after five or six weeks' illness.

After mourning for her death as long as was decent, I took
possession of all her property, a particular account of which she
gave me before she died; and the corn you sold for me was part of

"What I have now told you," said he, "will plead my excuse for
eating with my left hand. I am highly obliged to you for the
trouble you have given yourself on my account. I can never
sufficiently recompense your fidelity. Since I have still, thanks
to God, a competent estate, notwithstanding I have spent a great
deal, I beg you to accept of the sum now in your hand, as a
present from me. I have besides a proposal to make to you. As I
am obliged, on account of this fatal accident, to quit Cairo, I
am resolved never to return to it again. If you choose to
accompany me, we will trade together as equal partners, and share
the profits."

I thanked the young man for the present he had made me, and I
willingly embraced the proposal of travelling with him, assuring
him, that his interest should always be as dear to me as my own.

We fixed a day for our departure, and accordingly entered upon
our travels. We passed through Syria and Mesopotamia, travelled
over Persia, and after stopping at several cities, came at last,
sir, to your capital. Some time after our arrival here, the young
man having formed a design of returning to Persia, and settling
there, we balanced our accounts, and parted very good friends. He
went from hence, and I, sir, continue here in your majesty's
service. This is the story I had to relate. Does not your majesty
find it more surprising than that of the hunch-back buffoon?

The sultan of Casgar fell into a passion against the Christian
merchant. "Thou art a presumptuous fellow," said he, "to tell me
a story so little worth hearing, and then to compare it to that
of my jester. Canst thou flatter thyself so far as to believe
that the trifling adventures of a young debauchee are more
interesting than those of my jester? I will have you all four
impaled, to revenge his death.

Hearing this, the purveyor prostrated himself at the sultan's
feet. "Sir," said he, "I humbly beseech your majesty to suspend
your wrath, and hear my story; and if it appears to be more
extraordinary than that of your jester, to pardon us." The sultan
having granted his request, the purveyor began thus.

The Story told by the Sultan of Casgar's Purveyor.

Sir, a person of quality invited me yesterday to his daughter's
wedding. I went to his house in the evening at the hour
appointed, and found there a large company of men of the law,
ministers of justice, and others of the first rank in the city.
After the ceremony was over, we partook of a splendid feast.
Among other dishes set upon the table, there was one seasoned
with garlic, which was very delicious, and generally relished. We
observed, however, that one of the guests did not touch it,
though it stood just before him. We invited him to taste it, but
he intreated us not to press him. "I will take good care," said
he, "how I touch any dish that is seasoned with garlic; I have
not yet forgotten what the tasting of such a dish once cost me."
We requested him to inform us what the reason was of his aversion
to garlic. But before he had time to answer, the master of the
house exclaimed, "Is it thus you honour my table? This dish is
excellent, do not expect to be excused from eating of it; you
must do me that favour as well as the rest." "Sir," said the
gentleman, who was a Bagdad merchant, "I hope you do not think my
refusal proceeds from any mistaken delicacy; if you insist on my
compliance I will submit, but it must be on this condition, that
after having eaten, I may, with your permission, wash my hands
with alkali forty times, forty times more with ashes, and forty
times again with soap. I hope you will not feel displeased at
this stipulation, as I have made an oath never to taste garlic
but on these terms."

As the master of the house, continued the purveyor of the sultan
of Casgar, would not dispense with the merchant's partaking of
the dish seasoned with garlic, he ordered his servants to provide
a basin of water, together with some alkali, the ashes, and soap,
that the merchant might wash as often as he pleased. After he had
given these instructions, he addressed the merchant and said, "I
hope you will now do as we do."

The merchant, apparently displeased with the constraint put upon
him, took up a bit, which he put to his mouth trembling, and ate
with a reluctance that astonished us. But what surprised us yet
more was, that he had no thumb; which none of us had observed
before, though he had eaten of other dishes. "You have lost your
thumb," said the master of the house. "This must have been
occasioned by some extraordinary accident, a relation of which
will be agreeable to the company." "Sir," replied the merchant,
"I have no thumb on either the right or the left hand." As he
spoke he put out his left hand, and shewed us that what he said
was true. "But this is not all," continued he: "I have no great
toe on either of my feet: I was maimed in this manner by an
unheard-of adventure, which I am willing to relate, if you will
have the patience to hear me. The account will excite at once
your astonishment and your pity. Only allow me first to wash my
hands." With this he rose from the table, and after washing his
hands a hundred and twenty times, reseated himself, and proceeded
with his narrative as follows.

In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, my father lived at
Bagdad, the place of my nativity, and was reputed one of the
richest merchants in the city. But being a man addicted to his
pleasures, and neglecting his private affairs, instead of leaving
me an ample fortune, he died in such embarrassed circumstances,
that I was reduced to the necessity of using all the economy
possible to discharge the debts he had contracted. I at last,
however, paid them all; and by care and good management my little
fortune began to wear a smiling aspect.

One morning, as I opened my shop, a lady mounted upon a mule, and
attended by an eunuch and two slaves, stopped near my door, and
with the assistance of the eunuch alighted. "Madam," said the
eunuch, "I told you you would be too early; you see there is no
one yet in the bazaar: had you taken my advice, you might have
saved yourself the trouble of waiting here." The lady looked and
perceiving no shop open but mine, asked permission to sit in it
till the other merchants arrived. With this request I of course
readily complied.

The lady took a seat in my shop, and observing there was no one
in the bazaar but the eunuch and myself, uncovered her face to
take the air. I had never beheld any thing so beautiful. I became
instantly enamoured, and kept my eyes fixed upon her. I flattered
myself that my attention was not unpleasant to her; for she
allowed me time to view her deliberately, and only concealed her
face so far as she thought necessary to avoid being observed.

After she had again lowered her veil, she told me she wanted
several sorts of the richest and finest stuffs, and asked me if I
had them. "Alas! madam," I replied, "I am but a young man just
beginning the world; I have not capital sufficient for such
extensive traffic. I am much mortified not to be able to
accommodate you with the articles you want. But to save you the
trouble of going from shop to shop, when the merchants arrive, I
will, if you please, go and get those articles from them, and
ascertain the lowest prices." She assented to this proposal, and
entered into conversation with me, which I prolonged, making her
believe the merchants that could furnish what she wanted were not
yet come.

I was not less charmed with her wit than I had been before with
the beauty of her face; but was obliged to forego the pleasure of
her conversation. I ran for the stuffs she wanted, and after she
had fixed upon what she liked, we agreed for five thousand
dirhems of coined silver; I wrapped up the stuffs in a small
bundle, and gave it to the eunuch, who put it under his arm. She
then rose and took leave. I followed her with my eyes till she
had reached the bazaar gate, and even after she had remounted her

The lady had no sooner disappeared, than I perceived that love
had led me to a serious oversight. It had so engrossed my
thoughts, that I did not reflect that she went away without
paying, and that I had not informed myself who she was, or where
she resided. I soon felt sensible, however, that I was
accountable for a large sum to the merchants, who, perhaps, would
not have patience to wait for their money: I went to them, and
made the best excuse I could, pretending that I knew the lady;
and then returned home, equally affected with love, and with the
burden of such a heavy debt.

I had desired my creditors to wait eight days for their money:
when this period had elapsed, they did not fail to dun me. I then
intreated them to give me eight days more, to which they
consented; but the next day I saw the lady enter the bazaar,
mounted on her mule, with the same attendants as before, and
exactly the same hour of the day.

She came straight to my shop. "I have made you wait some time,"
said she, "but here is your money at last; carry it to the
banker, and see that it is all good and right." The eunuch who
carried the money went along with me to the banker, and we found
it quite right. I returned, and had the happiness of conversing
with the lady till all the shops of the bazaar were open. Though
we talked but of ordinary things, she gave them such a turn, that
they appeared new and uncommon; and convinced me that I was not
mistaken in admiring her wit at our first interview.

As soon as the merchants had arrived and opened their shops, I
carried to the respective owners the money due for their stuffs,
and was readily intrusted with more, which the lady had desired
to see. She chose some from these to the value of one thousand
pieces of gold, and carried them away as before without paying;
nay, without speaking a word, or informing me who she was. What
distressed me was the consideration that while at this rate she
risked nothing, she left me without any security against being
made answerable for the goods in case she did not return. "She
has paid me," thought I, "a considerable sum; but she leaves me
responsible for a greater, Surely she cannot be a cheat. The
merchants do not know her, they will all come upon me." In short,
my love was not so powerful as to stifle the uneasiness I felt,
when I reflected upon the circumstances in which I was placed. A
whole month passed before I heard any thing of the lady again;
and during that time my alarm increased. The merchants were
impatient for their money, and to satisfy them, I was going to
sell off all I had, when one morning the lady returned with the
same equipage as before.

"Take your weights," said she, "and weigh the gold I have brought
you." These words dispelled my fear, and inflamed my love. Before
we counted the money, she asked me several questions, and
particularly if I was married. I answered I never had been. Then
reaching out the gold to the eunuch, "Let us have your
interposition," said she, "to accommodate our matters." Upon
which the eunuch fell a laughing, and calling me aside, made me
weigh the gold. While I was thus occupied, the eunuch whispered
in my ear, "I know by your eyes you love this lady, and I am
surprised that you have not the courage to disclose your passion.
She loves you more ardently than you do her. Do not imagine that
she has any real occasion for your stuffs. She only makes this
her presence to come here, because you have inspired her with a
violent passion. It was for this reason she asked you if you were
married. It will be your own fault, if you do not marry her." "It
is true," I replied, "I have loved her since I first beheld her;
but I durst not aspire to the happiness of thinking my attachment
could meet her approbation. I am entirely hers, and shall not
fail to retain a grateful sense of your good offices in this

I finished weighing the gold, and while I was putting it into the
bag, the eunuch turned to the lady, and told her I was satisfied;
that being the word they had agreed upon between themselves.
Presently after, the lady rose and took her leave; telling me she
would send her eunuch to me, and that I had only to obey the
directions he might give me in her name.

I carried each of the merchants their money, and waited some days
with impatience for the eunuch. At last he came.

I received the eunuch very kindly, and inquired after his
mistress's health. "You are," said he, "the happiest lover in the
world; she is impatient to see you; aud were she mistress of her
own conduct, would not fail to come to you herself, and willingly
pass in your society all the days of her life." "Her noble mien
and graceful carriage," I replied, "convinced me, that she was a
lady beyond the common rank." "You have not erred in your
judgment on that head," said the eunuch; "she is the favourite of
Zobeide the caliph's wife, who is the more affectionately
attached to her from having brought her up from her infancy, and
intrusts her with all her affairs. Having a wish to marry, she
has declared to her mistress that she has fixed her affections
upon you, and has desired her consent. Zobeide told her, she
would not withhold her consent; but that she would see you first,
in order to judge if she had made a good choice; in which case
she meant herself to defray the expenses of the wedding. Thus you
see your felicity is certain; since you have pleased the
favourite, you will be equally agreeable to the mistress, who
seeks only to oblige her, and would by no means thwart her
inclination. All you have to do is to come to the palace. I am
sent hither to invite you." "My resolution is already formed,"
said I, "and I am ready to follow you whithersoever you please."
"Very well," said the eunuch; "but you know men are not allowed
to enter the ladies' apartments in the palace, and you must be
introduced with great secrecy. The favourite lady has contrived
the matter well. On your side you must act your part discreetly;
for if you do not, your life is at stake."

I gave him repeated assurances punctually to perform whatever he
might require. "Then," said he, "in the evening, you must be at
the mosque built by the caliph's lady on the bank of the Tigris,
and wait there till somebody comes to conduct you." To this I
agreed; and after passing the day in great impatience, went in
the evening to the prayer that is said an hour and a half after
sun-set in the mosque, and remained there after all the people
had departed.

Soon after I saw a boat making up to the mosque, the rowers of
which were all eunuchs, who came on shore, put several large
trunks into the mosque, and then retired. One of them stayed
behind, whom I perceived to be the eunuch that had accompanied
the lady, and had been with me that morning. I saw the lady also
enter the mosque; and approaching her, told her I was ready to
obey her orders. "We have no time to lose," said she; and opening
one of the trunks, desired me to get into it, that being
necessary both for her safety and mine. "Fear nothing," added
she, "leave the management of all to me." I considered with
myself that I had gone too far to recede, and obeyed her orders;
when she immediately locked the trunk. This done, the eunuch her
confidant called the other eunuchs who had brought in the trunks,
and ordered them to carry them on board again. The lady and the
eunuch re-embarked, and the boatmen rowed to Zobeide's apartment.

In the meantime I reflected very seriously upon the danger to
which I had exposed myself, and made vows and prayers, though it
was then too late.

The boat stopped at the palace-gate, and the trunks were carried
into the apartment of the officer of the eunuchs, who keeps the
key of the ladies' apartments, and suffers nothing to enter
without a narrow inspection. The officer was then in bed, and it
was necessary to call him up.

The officer of the eunuchs was displeased at having his rest
disturbed, and severely chid the favourite lady for coming home
so late. "You shall not come off so easily as you think," said
he: "not one of these trunks shall pass till I have opened it."
At the same time he commanded the eunuchs to bring them before
him, and open them one by one. The first they took was that
wherein I lay, which put me into inexpressible fear.

The favourite lady, who had the key, protested it should not be
opened. "You know very well," said she, "I bring nothing hither
but what is for the use of Zobeide, your mistress and mine. This
trunk is filled with rich goods, which I purchased from some
merchants lately arrived, besides a number of bottles of Zemzem
water sent from Mecca; and if any of these should happen to
break, the goods will be spoiled, and you must answer for them;
depend upon it, Zobeide will resent your insolence." She insisted
upon this in such peremptory terms, that the officer did not dare
to open any of the trunks. "Let them go," said he angrily; "you
may take them away." Upon this the door of the women's apartment
was opened, and all the trunks were carried in.

This had been scarcely accomplished, when I heard the people cry,
"Here is the caliph! Here comes the caliph!" This put me in such
alarm, that I wonder I did not die upon the spot; for as they
announced, it proved to be the caliph. "What hast thou got in
these trunks?" said he to the favourite. "Some stuffs," she
replied, "lately arrived, which the empress wishes to see." "Open
them," cried he, "and let me see them." She excused herself,
alleging the stuffs were only proper for ladies, and that by
opening them, his lady would be deprived of the pleasure of
seeing them first. "I say open them," resumed the caliph; "I will
see them." She still represented that her mistress would be angry
with her, if she complied: "No, no," said he, "I will engage she
shall not say a word to you. Come, come, open them, and do not
keep me waiting."

It was necessary to obey, which gave me such alarm, that I
tremble every time I recollect my situation. The caliph sat down;
and the favourite ordered all the trunks to be brought before him
one after another. She opened some of them; and to lengthen out
the time, displayed the beauties of each particular stuff,
thinking in this manner to tire out his patience; but her
stratagem did not succeed. Being as unwilling as myself to have
the trunk where I lay opened, she left that to the last. When all
the rest were viewed, "Come," said the caliph, "let us see what
is in that." I am at a loss to tell you whether I was dead or
alive that moment; for I little thought of escaping such imminent

When Zobeide's favourite saw that the caliph persisted in having
this trunk opened: "As for this," said she, "your majesty will
please to dispense with the opening of it; there are some things
in it which I cannot shew you without your lady be present."
"Well, well," said the caliph, "since that is the case, I am
satisfied; order the trunks to be carried away." The words were
no sooner spoken than they were moved into her chamber, where I
began to revive again.

As soon as the eunuchs, who had brought them, were gone, she
opened the trunk in which I was confined. "Come out," said she;
"go up these stairs that lead to an upper room, and wait there
till I come to you." The door, which led to the stairs, she
locked after me; and that was no sooner done, than the caliph
came and sat down on the very trunk which had been my prison. The
occasion of this visit did not respect me. He wished to question
the lady about what she had seen or heard in the city. So they
conversed together some time; he then left her, and retired to
his apartment.

When she found the coast clear, she came to the chamber where I
lay concealed, and made many apologies for the alarms she had
given me. "My uneasiness," said she, "was no less than yours; you
cannot well doubt of that, since I have run the same risk out of
love to you. Perhaps another person in my situation would not,
upon so delicate an occasion, have had the presence of mind to
manage so difficult a business with so much dexterity; nothing
less than the love I had for you could have inspired me with
courage to do what I have. But come, take heart, the danger is
now over." After much tender conversation, she told me it was
time to go to rest, and that she would not fail to introduce me
to Zobeide her mistress, some hour on the morrow, "which will be
very easy," added she; "for the caliph never sees her but at
night." Encouraged by these words, I slept very well, or if my
sleep was interrupted, it was by agreeable disquietudes, caused
by the hopes of possessing a lady blest with so much wit and

The next day, before I was introduced to Zobeide, her favourite
instructed me how to conduct myself, mentioning what questions
she would probably put to me, and dictating the answers I was to
return. She then carried me into a very magnificent and richly
furnished hall. I had no sooner entered, than twenty female
slaves, advanced in age, dressed in rich and uniform habits, came
out of Zobeide's apartment, and placed themselves before the
throne in two equal rows; they were followed by twenty other
younger ladies, clothed after the same fashion, only their habits
appeared somewhat gayer. In the middle of these appeared Zobeide
with a majestic air, and so laden with jewels, that she could
scarcely walk. She ascended the throne, and the favourite lady,
who had accompanied her, stood just by her right hand; the other
ladies, who were slaves, being placed at some distance on each
side of the throne.

As soon as the caliph's lady was seated, the slaves who came in
first made a sign for me to approach. I advanced between the two
rows they had formed, and prostrated myself upon the carpet that
was under the princess's feet. She ordered me to rise, did me the
honour to ask my name, my family, and the state of my fortune; to
all which I gave her satisfactory answers, as I perceived, not
only by her countenance, but by her words. "I am glad," said she,
"that my daughter," (so she used to call the favourite lady,)
"for I look upon her as such after the care I have take of her
education, has made this choice; I approve of it, and consent to
your marriage. I will myself give orders for having it
solemnized; but I wish my daughter to remain with me ten days
before the solemnity; in that time I will speak to the caliph,
and obtain his consent: mean while do you remain here; you shall
be taken care of."

Pursuant to the commands of the caliph's lady, I remained ten
days in the women's apartments, and during that time was deprived
of the pleasure of seeing the favourite lady: but was so well
used by her orders, that I had no reason to be dissatisfied.

Zobeide told the caliph her resolution of marrying the favourite
lady; and the caliph leaving to her the liberty to act in the
business as she thought proper, granted the favourite a
considerable sum by way of settlement. When the ten days were
expired, Zobeide ordered the contract of marriage to be drawn up
and brought to her, and the necessary preparations being made for
the solemnity, the musicians and the dancers, both male and
female, were called in, and there were great rejoicings in the
palace for nine days. The tenth day being appointed for the last
ceremony of the marriage, the favourite lady was conducted to a
bath, and I to another. At night I had all manner of dishes
served up to me, and among others, one seasoned with garlic, such
as you have now forced me to eat. This I liked so well, that I
scarcely touched any of the other dishes. But to my misfortune,
when I rose from table, instead of washing my hands well, I only
wiped them; a piece of negligence of which I had never before
been guilty.

As it was then night, the whole apartment of the ladies was
lighted up so as to equal the brightness of day. Nothing was to
be heard through the palace but musical instruments, dances, and
acclamations of joy. My bride and I were introduced into a great
hall, where we were placed upon two thrones. The women who
attended her made her robe herself several times, according to
the usual custom on wedding days; and they shewed her to me every
time she changed her habit.

All these ceremonies being over, we were conducted to the nuptial
chamber: as soon as the company retired, I approached my wife;
but instead of returning my transports, she pushed me away, and
cried out, upon which all the ladies of the apartment came
running in to inquire the cause: and for my own part, I was so
thunderstruck, that I stood like a statue, without the power of
even asking what she meant. "Dear sister," said they to her,
"what has happened since we left you? Let us know, that we may
try to relieve you." "Take," said she, "take that vile fellow out
of my sight." "Why, madam?" I asked, "wherein have I deserved
your displeasure?" "You are a villain," said she in a furious
passion, "to eat garlic, and not wash your hands! Do you think I
would suffer such a polluted wretch to poison me? Down with him,
down with him on the ground," continued she, addressing herself
to the ladies, "and bring me a bastinado." They immediately did
as they were desired; and while some held my hands, and others my
feet, my wife, who was presently furnished with a weapon, laid on
me as long as she could stand. She then said to the ladies, "Take
him, send him to the judge, and let the hand be cut off with
which he fed upon the garlic dish."

"Alas!" cried I, "must I be beaten unmercifully, and, to complete
my affliction, have my hand cut off, for partaking of a dish
seasoned with garlic, and forgetting to wash my hands? What
proportion is there between the punishment and the crime? Curse
on the dish, on the cook who dressed it, and on him who served it

"All the ladies who had seen me receive the thousand strokes,
took pity on me, when they heard the cutting off of my hand
mentioned. "Dear madam, dear sister," said they to the favourite
lady, "you carry your resentment too far. We own he is a man
quite ignorant of the world, of your quality, and the respect
that is due to you: but we beseech you to overlook and pardon his
fault." "I have not received adequate satisfaction," said she; "I
will teach him to know the world; I will make him bear sensible
marks of his impertinence, and be cautious hereafter how he
tastes a dish seasoned with garlic without washing his hands."
They renewed their solicitations, fell down at her feet, and
kissing her fair hands, said, "Good madam, moderate your anger,
and grant us the favour we supplicate." She made no reply, but
got up, and after uttering a thousand reproaches against me,
walked out of the chamber: all the ladies followed her, leaving
me in inconceivable affliction.

I continued thus ten days, without seeing any body but an old
female slave that brought me victuals. I asked her what was
become of the favourite lady. "She is sick," said the old woman;
"she is sick of the poisoned smell with which you infected her.
Why did you not take care to wash your hands after eating of that
cursed dish?"  "Is it possible," thought I, "that these ladies
can be so nice, and so vindictive for such a trifling fault!" I
loved my wife notwithstanding all her cruelty, and could not help
pitying her.

One day the old woman told me my spouse was recovered, and gone
to bathe, and would come to see me the next day. "So," said she,
"I would have you call up your patience, and endeavour to
accommodate yourself to her humour. For she is in other respects
a woman of good sense and discretion, and beloved by all the
ladies about the court of our respected mistress Zobeide."

My wife accordingly came on the following evening, and accosted
me thus: "You perceive that I must possess much tenderness to
you, after the affront you have offered me: but still I cannot be
reconciled till I have punished you according to your demerit, in
not washing your hands after eating of the garlic dish." She then
called the ladies, who, by her order, threw me upon the ground;
and after binding me fast, she had the barbarity to cut off my
thumbs and great toes herself, with a razor. One of the ladies
applied a certain root to staunch the blood; but by bleeding and
by the pain, I swooned away.

When I came to myself, they gave me wine to drink, to recruit my
strength. "Ah! madam," said I to my wife, "if ever I again eat of
a dish with garlic in it, I solemnly swear to wash my hands a
hundred and twenty times with alkali, with ashes, and with soap."
"Well," replied she, "upon that condition I am willing to forget
what is past, and live with you as my husband."

"This," continued the Bagdad merchant, addressing himself to the
company, "is the reason why I refused to eat of the dish seasoned
with what is now on the table."

The ladies applied to my wounds not only the root I mentioned,
but likewise some balsam of Mecca, which they were well assured
was not adulterated, because they had it out of the caliph's own
dispensatory. By virtue of that admirable balsam, I was in a few
days perfectly cured, and my wife and I lived together as
agreeably as if I had never eaten of the garlic dish. But having
been all my lifetime used to enjoy my liberty, I grew weary of
being confined to the caliph's palace; yet I said nothing to my
wife on the subject, for fear of displeasing her. However, she
suspected my feelings; and eagerly wished for liberty herself,
for it was gratitude alone that made her continue with Zobeide.
She represented to her mistress in such lively terms the
constraint I was under, in not living in the city with people of
my own rank, as I had always done, that the good princess chose
rather to deprive herself of the pleasure of having her favourite
about her than not to grant what we both equally desired.

A month after our marriage, my wife came into my room with
several eunuchs, each carrying a bag of silver. When the eunuchs
were gone; "You never told me," said she, "that you were uneasy
in being confined to court; but I perceived it, and have happily
found means to make you contented. My mistress Zobeide gives us
permission to quit the palace; and here are fifty thousand
sequins, of which she has made us a present, in order to enable
us to live comfortably in the city. Take ten thousand of them,
and go and buy us a house."

I quickly found a house for the money, and after furnishing it
richly, we went to reside in it, kept a great many slaves of both
sexes, and made a good figure. We thus began to live in a very
agreeable manner: but my felicity was of short continuance; for
at the end of a year my wife fell sick and died.

I might have married again, and lived honourably at Bagdad; but
curiosity to see the world put me upon another plan. I sold my
house, and after purchasing several kinds of merchandize, went
with a caravan to Persia; from Persia I travelled to Samarcand,
and from thence to this city.

"This," said the purveyor to the sultan of Casgar, "is the story
that the Bagdad merchant related in a company where I was
yesterday." "This story," said the sultan, "has something in it
extraordinary; but it does not come near that of the little
hunch-back." The Jewish physician prostrated himself before the
sultan's throne, and addressed the prince in the following
manner: "Sir, if you will be so good as to hear me, I flatter
myself you will be pleased with a story I have to tell you."
"Well spoken," said the sultan; "but if it be not more surprising
than that of little hunch-back, you must not expect to live."

The Jewish physician, finding the sultan of Casgar disposed to
hear him, gave the following relation.

The Story told by the Jewish Physician.

When I was studying physic at Damascus, and was just beginning to
practise that noble profession with some reputation, a slave
called me to see a patient in the governor of the city's family.
Accordingly I went, and was conducted into a room, where I found
a very handsome young man, much dejected by his disorder. I
saluted him, and sat down by him; but he made no return to my
compliments, only a sign with his eyes that he heard me, and
thanked me. "Pray, sir," said I, "give me your hand, that I may
feel your pulse." But instead of stretching out his right, he
gave me his left hand, at which I was extremely surprised.
However, I felt his pulse, wrote him a prescription, and took

I continued my visits for nine days, and every time I felt his
pulse, he still gave me his left hand. On the tenth day he seemed
to be so far recovered, that I only deemed it necessary to
prescribe bathing to him. The governor of Damascus, who was by,
in testimony of his satisfaction with my service, invested me
with a very rich robe, saying, he had appointed me a physician of
the city hospital, and physician in ordinary to his house, where
I might eat at his table when I pleased.

The young man likewise shewed me many civilities, and asked me to
accompany him to the bath. Accordingly we went together, and when
his attendants had undressed him, I perceived he wanted the right
hand, and that it had not long been cut off, which had been the
occasion of his disorder, though concealed from me; for while the
people about him were applying proper remedies externally, they
had called me to prevent the ill consequence of the fever which
was on him. I was much surprised and concerned on seeing his
misfortune; which he observed by my countenance. "Doctor," cried
he, "do not be astonished that my hand is cut off; some day or
other I will tell you the cause; and in that relation you will
hear very surprising adventures."

After we had returned from the bath, we sat down to a collation;
and he asked me if it would be any prejudice to his health if he
went and took a walk out of town in the governor's garden? I made
answer, that the air would be of service to him. "Then," said he,
"if you will give me your company, I will recount to you my
history." I replied I was at his command for all that day. Upon
which he presently called his servants, and we went to the
governor's garden. Having taken two or three turns there, we
seated ourselves on a carpet that his servants had spread under a
tree, which gave a pleasant shade. The young man then gave me his
history in the following terms;

I was born at Moussol, of one of the most considerable families
in the city. My father was the eldest of ten brothers, who were
all alive and married when my grandfather died. All the brothers
were childless, except my father; and he had no child but me. He
took particular care of my education; and made me learn every
thing proper for my rank.

When I was grown up, and began to enter into the world, I
happened one Friday to be at noon-prayers with my father and my
uncles in the great mosque of Moussol. After prayers were over,
the rest of the company going away, my father and my uncles
continued sitting upon the best carpet in the mosque; and I sat
down by them. They discoursed of several things, but the
conversation fell insensibly, I know not how, upon the subject of
travelling. They extolled the beauties and peculiar rarities of
some kingdoms, and of their principal cities. But one of my
uncles said, that according to the uniform report of an infinite
number of voyagers, there was not in the world a pleasanter
country than Egypt, on account of the Nile; and the description
he gave infused into me such high admiration, that from that
moment I had a desire to travel thither. Whatever my other uncles
said, by way of preference to Bagdad and the Tigris, in calling
Bagdad the residence of the Mussulmaun religion, and the
metropolis of all the cities of the earth, made no impression
upon me. My father joined in opinion with those of his brothers
who had spoken in favour of Egypt; which filled me with joy. "Say
what you will," said he, "the man that has not seen Egypt has not
seen the greatest rarity in the world. All the land there is
golden; I mean, it is so fertile, that it enriches its
inhabitants. All the women of that country charm you by their
beauty and their agreeable carriage. If you speak of the Nile,
where is there a more wonderful river? What water was ever
lighter or more delicious? The very slime it carries along in its
overflowing fattens the fields, which produce a thousand times
more than other countries that are cultivated with the greatest
labour. Observe what a poet said of the Egyptians, when he was
obliged to depart from Egypt: ‘Your Nile loads you with blessings
every day; it is for you only that it runs from such a distance.
Alas! in removing from you, my tears will flow as abundantly as
its waters; you are to continue in the enjoyment of its
sweetnesses, while I am condemned to deprive myself of them
against my will.'

"If you look," added my father, "towards the island that is
formed by the two greatest branches of the Nile, what variety of
verdure! What enamel of all sorts of flowers! What a prodigious
number of cities, villages, canals, and a thousand other
agreeable objects! If you turn your eyes on the other side, up
towards Ethiopia, how many other subjects of admiration! I cannot
compare the verdure of so many plains, watered by the different
canals of the island, better than to brilliant emeralds set in
silver. Is not Grand Cairo the largest, the most populous, and
the richest city in the world? What a number of magnificent
edifices both public and private! If you view the pyramids, you
will be filled with astonishment at the sight of the masses of
stone of an enormous thickness, which rear their heads to the
skies! You will be obliged to confess, that the Pharaohs, who
employed such riches, and so many men in building them, must have
surpassed in magnificence and invention all the monarchs who have
appeared since, not only in Egypt, but in all the world, for
having left monuments so worthy of their memory: monuments so
ancient, that the learned cannot agree upon the date of their
erection; yet such as will last to the end of time. I pass over
in silence the maritime cities of the kingdom of Egypt, such as
Damietta, Rosetta, and Alexandria, where nations come for various
sorts of grain, cloth, and an infinite number of commodities
calculated for accommodation and delight. I speak of what I know;
for I spent some years there in my youth, which I shall always
reckon the most agreeable part of my life."

My uncles could make no reply, and assented to all my father had
said of the Nile, of Cairo, and of the whole kingdom of Egypt. My
imagination was so full of these subjects, I could not sleep that
night. Soon after, my uncles declared how much they were struck
with my father's account. They made a proposal to him, that they
should travel all together into Egypt. To this he assented; and
being rich merchants, they resolved to carry with them such
commodities as were likely to suit the market. When I found that
they were making preparations for their departure, I went to my
father, and begged of him, with tears in my eyes, that he would
suffer me to make one of the party, and allow me some stock of
goods to trade with on my own account. "You are too young," said
he, "to travel into Egypt; the fatigue is too great for you; and,
besides, I am sure you will come off a loser in your traffic."
These words, however, did not suppress my eager desire to travel.
I made use of my uncles' interest with my father, who at last
granted me permission to go as far as Damascus, where they were
to leave me, till they had travelled through Egypt. "The city of
Damascus," said my father, "may likewise glory in its beauties,
and my son must be content with leave to go so far." Though my
curiosity to see Egypt was very pressing, I considered he was my
father, and submitted to his will.

I set out from Moussol in company with him and my uncles. We
travelled through Mesopotamia, passed the Euphrates, and arrived
at Aleppo, where we stayed some days. From thence we went to
Damascus, the first sight of which struck me with agreeable
surprise We lodged all together in one khan; and I had the view
of a city that was large, populous, full of handsome people, and
well fortified. We employed some days in walking up and down the
delicious gardens that surrounded it; and we all agreed that
Damascus was justly said to be seated in a paradise. At last my
uncles thought of pursuing their journey; but took care, before
they went, to sell my goods so advantageously for me, that I
gained by them five hundred per cent. This sale brought me a sum
so considerable, as to fill me with delight.

My father and my uncles left me in Damascus, and pursued their
journey. After their departure, I used great caution not to lay
out my money idly. But at the same time I took a stately house,
built of marble, adorned with paintings of gold, silver foliage,
and a garden with fine water-works. I furnished it, not so richly
indeed as the magnificence of the place deserved, but at least
handsomely enough for a young man of my rank. It formerly
belonged to one of the principal lords of the city; but was then
the property of a rich jewel-merchant, to whom I paid for it only
two sherifs a month. I had a number of domestics, and lived
honourably; sometimes I gave entertainments to such people as I
had made an acquaintance with, and sometimes was treated by them.
Thus did I spend my time at Damascus, waiting for my father's
return; no passion disturbed my repose, and my only employment
was conversing with people of credit.

One day, as I sat taking the cool air at my gate, a very
handsome, well-dressed lady came to me, and asked if I did not
sell stuffs? She had no sooner spoken the words, than she went
into my house.

When I saw that the lady had entered the house, I rose, and
having shut the gate, conducted into a hall, and prayed her to
sit down. "Madam," said I, "I have had stuffs fit to be strewn to
you, but at present, I am sorry to say, I have none." She removed
the veil from her face, and discovered such beauty as affected me
with emotions I had never felt before. "I have no occasion for
stuffs," replied she, "I only come to see you, and, if you
please, to pass the evening in your company; all I ask of you is
a light collation."

Transported with joy, I ordered the servants to bring us several
sorts of fruit, and some bottles of wine. These being speedily
served, we ate, drank, and made merry till midnight. In short, I
had not before passed a night so agreeably as this. Next morning
I would have put ten sherifs into the lady's hands, but she drew
back instantly. "I am not come to see you," said she, "from
interested motives; you therefore do me wrong. So far from
receiving money from you, I must insist on your taking some from
me, or else I will see you no more." In speaking this, she put
her hand into her purse, took out ten sherifs, and forced me to
take them, saying, "You may expect me three days hence after sun-
set. She then took leave of me, and I felt that when she went she
carried my heart along with her."

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

She returned a third time; and at that interview, when we were
both warm with wine, she spoke thus: "My dear love, what do you
think of me? Am I not handsome and agreeable?" "Madam," I
replied, "I think this an unnecessary question: the love which I
shew you ought to persuade you that I admire you; I am charmed to
see and to possess you. You are my queen, my sultaness; in you
lies all the felicity of my life." "Ah!" returned she, "I am sure
you would speak otherwise, if you saw a certain lady of my
acquaintance, who is younger and handsomer than I am. She is of
such a pleasant lively temper, that she would make the most
melancholy people merry: I must bring her hither; I spoke of you
to her, and from the account I have given of you she is dying
with desire to see you. She intreated me to procure her that
pleasure, but I did not dare to promise her without speaking to
you beforehand." "Madam," said I, "do what you please; but
whatever you may say of your friend, I defy all her charms to
tear my heart from you, to whom it is so inviolably attached,
that nothing can disengage it." "Be not too positive," returned
she; "I now tell you, I am about to put your heart to a severe

We continued together all night, and next morning at parting,
instead of ten sherifs she gave me fifteen, which I was forced to
accept. "Remember," said she, "that in two days' time you are to
have a new guest; pray take care to give her a good reception: we
will come at the usual hour." I had my hall put in great order,
and a handsome collation prepared against they came.

I waited for the two ladies with impatience and at last they
arrived at the close of the day. They both unveiled, and as I had
been surprised with the beauty of the first, I had reason to be
much more so when I saw her friend. She had regular features, an
elegant person, and such sparkling eyes, that I could hardly bear
their splendour. I thanked her for the honour she did me, and
entreated her to excuse me if I did not give her the reception
she deserved. "No compliments," replied she; "it should be my
part to make them to you, for allowing my friend to bring me
hither. But since you are pleased to suffer it, let us lay aside
all ceremony, and think only of amusing ourselves."

I had given orders, as soon as the ladies arrived, to have the
collation served up, and we soon sat down to our entertainment. I
placed myself opposite the stranger, who never ceased looking
upon me with a smiling countenance. I could not resist her
conquering eyes, and she made herself mistress of my heart,
without opposition. But while she inspired me with a flame, she
caught it herself; and so far from appearing to be under any
constraint, she conversed in very free and lively language.

The other lady, who observed us, did nothing at first but laugh.
"I told you," said she, addressing herself to me, "you would find
my friend full of charms; and I perceive you have already
violated the oath you made of being faithful to me." "Madam,"
replied I, laughing as well as she, "you would have reason to
complain, if I were wanting in civility to a lady whom you
brought hither, and who is your intimate friend; both of you
might then upbraid me for not performing duly the rites of

We continued to drink; but as the wine warmed us, the strange
lady and I ogled one another with so little reserve, that her
friend grew jealous, and quickly gave us a dismal proof of the
inveteracy of her feelings. She rose from the table and went out,
saying, she would be with us presently again: but in a few
moments after, the lady who stayed with me changed countenance,
fell into violent convulsions, and expired in my arms while I was
calling for assistance to relieve her. I went out immediately,
and enquired for the other lady; when my people told me, she had
opened the street door and was gone. I then suspected what was
but too true, that she had been the cause of her friend's death.
She had the dexterity, and the malice, to put some very strong
poison into the last glass, which she gave her with her own hand.

I was afflicted beyond measure with the accident. "What shall I
do?" I exclaimed in agony. "What will become of me?" I considered
there was no time to lose, and it being then moon-light, I
ordered my servants to take up one of the large pieces of marble,
with which the court of my house was paved, dig a hole, and there
inter the corpse of the young lady. After replacing the stone, I
put on a travelling suit, took what money I had; and having
locked up every thing, affixed my own seal on the door of my
house. This done I went to the jewel-merchant my landlord, paid
him what I owed, with a year's rent in advance and giving him the
key, prayed him to keep it for me. "A very urgent affair," said
I, "obliges me to be absent for some time; I am under the
necessity of going to visit my uncles at Cairo." I took my leave
of him, immediately mounted my horse, and departed with my
attendants from Damascus.

I had a good journey, and arrived at Cairo without any accident.
There I met with my uncles, who were much surprised to see me. To
excuse myself, I pretended I was tired of waiting; and hearing
nothing of them, was so uneasy, that I could not be satisfied
without coming to Cairo. They received me kindly, and promised
that my father should not be displeased with me for leaving
Damascus without his permission. I lodged in the same khan with
them, and saw all the curiosities of Cairo.

Having finished their traffic, they began to talk of returning to
Moussol, and to make preparations for their departure; but I,
having a wish to view in Egypt what I had not yet seen, left my
uncles, and went to lodge in another quarter at a distance from
their khan, and did not appear any more till they were gone. They
sought for me all over the city; but not finding me, supposed
remorse for having come to Egypt without my father's consent had
occasioned me to return to Damascus, without saying any thing to
them. So they began their journey, expecting to find me at
Damascus, and there to take me up.

After their departure I continued at Cairo three years, more
completely to indulge my curiosity in seeing all the wonders of
Egypt. During that time I took care to remit money to the jewel-
merchant, ordering him to keep my house for me; for I designed to
return to Damascus, and reside there some years longer. I had no
adventure at Cairo worth relating; but doubtless you will be much
surprised at that which befell me on my return to Damascus.

Arriving at this city, I went to the jewel-merchant's, who
received me joyfully, and would accompany me to my house, to shew
me that no one had entered it whilst I was absent. The seal was
still entire upon the lock; and when I went in, I found every
thing in the order in which I had left it.

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

I rested some days to recover from the fatigues of my journey;
after which, I began to visit my former acquaintance. I abandoned
myself to every species of pleasure, and gradually squandered
away all my money. Being thus reduced, instead of selling my
furniture, I resolved to part with the necklace; but I had so
little skill in pearls, that I took my measures very ill, as you
shall hear.

I went to the bazaar, where I called a crier aside, and strewing
him the necklace, told him I wished to sell it, and desired him
to show it to the principal jewellers. The crier was surprised to
see such a valuable ornament. "How beautiful," exclaimed he,
gazing upon it with admiration, "never did our merchants see any
thing so rich; I am sure I shall oblige them highly in strewing
it to them; and you need not doubt they will set a high price
upon it, in emulation of each other." He carried me to a shop
which proved to be my landlord's: "Stop here," said the crier, "I
will return presently and bring you an answer."

While he was running about to shew the necklace, I sat with the
jeweller, who was glad to see me, and we conversed on different
subjects. The crier returned, and calling me aside, instead of
telling me the necklace was valued at two thousand sherifs,
assured me nobody would give me more than fifty. "The reason is,"
added he, "the pearls are false; consider if you will part with
it at that price." I took him at his word, wanting money. "Go,"
said I, "I take your word, and that of those who know better than
myself; deliver it to them, and bring me the money immediately."

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

which is a clear proof of his having stolen it."

The Judge sent immediately to seize me, and when I came before
him, he asked me if the necklace he had in his hand was not the
same that I had exposed to sale in the bazaar. I told him it was.
"Is it true," demanded he, "that you are willing to sell it for
fifty sherifs,?" I answered I was. "Well," continued he, in a
scoffing way "give him the bastinado; he will quickly confess
notwithstanding his merchant's disguise, that he is only an
artful thief; let him be beaten till he owns his guilt." The pain
of the torture made me tell a lie; I confessed, though it was not
true that I had stolen the necklace; and the judge ordered my
hand to be cut off according to the sentence of our law.

This made a great noise in the bazaar, and I was scarcely
returned to my house when my landlord came. "My son," said he,
"you seem to be a young man well educated, and of good sense; how
is it possible you could be guilty of such an unworthy action, as
that I hear talked of? You gave me an account of your property
yourself, and I do not doubt but the account was just. Why did
not you request money of me, and I would have lent it you?
However, after what has happened, I cannot allow you to remain
longer in my house; you must go and seek for other lodgings." I
was extremely troubled at this; and entreated the jeweller, with
tears in my eyes, to let me stay three days longer; which he

"Alas," thought I, "this misfortune and affront are unsufferable;
how shall I dare to return to Moussol? Nothing I can say to my
father will persuade him that I am innocent."

Three hours after this fatal accident my house was forcibly
entered by the judge's officers, accompanied by my landlord, and
the merchant who had falsely accused me of having stolen the
necklace. I asked them, what brought them there? But instead of
giving me any answer, they bound and gagged me, calling me a
thousand abusive names, and telling me the necklace belonged to
the governor of Damascus, who had lost it above three years
before, and that one of his daughters had not been heard of
since. Judge of my sensations when I heard this intelligence.
However, I summoned all my resolution, "I will," thought I, "tell
the governor the truth, and it will rest with him either to put
me to death, or to protect my innocence."

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

The governor's orders were immediately put in execution; the
jeweller was punished as he deserved. Then the governor, having
ordered all present to withdraw, said to me: "My son, tell me
without fear how this necklace fell into your hands, conceal
nothing from me." I related plainly all that had passed, and
declared I had chosen rather to pass for a thief than to reveal
that tragical adventure. "Good God," exclaimed the governor, "thy
judgments are incomprehensible, and we ought to submit to them
without murmuring. I receive, with entire submission, the stroke
thou hast been pleased to inflict upon me." Then directing his
discourse to me: "My son," said he, "having now heard the cause
of your disgrace, for which I am truly concerned, I will give you
an account of the affliction which has befallen myself. Know
then, that I am the father of both the young ladies you were
speaking of. The first lady, who had the impudence to come to
your house, was my eldest daughter. I had given her in marriage
at Cairo to one of her cousins, my brother's son. Her husband
died, and she returned home corrupted by every vice too often
contracted in Egypt. Before I took her home, her younger sister,
who died in that deplorable manner in your arms, was a truly
virtuous girl, and had never given me any occasion to complain of
her conduce. But after that, the elder sister became very
intimate with her, and insensibly made her as wicked as herself.
The day after the death of the younger not finding her at home, I
asked her elder sister what was become of her; but she, instead
of answering, affected to weep bitterly; from whence I formed a
fatal presage. I pressed her to inform me of what she knew
respecting her sister ‘Father,' replied she, sobbing, ‘I can tell
you no more than that my sister put on yesterday her richest
dress, with her valuable pearl necklace, went out, and has not
been heard of since.' I searched for her all over the town, but
could learn nothing of her unhappy fate. In the mean time the
elder, who doubtless repented of her jealous fury, became
melancholy, and incessantly bewailed the death of her sister; she
denied her self all manner of food, and so put an end to her
deplorable days. Such is the condition of mankind! such are the
misfortunes to which we are exposed! However, my son," added he,
"since we are both of us equally unfortunate, let us unite our
sorrow, and not abandon one another. I will give you in marriage
a third daughter I have still left, she is younger than her
sisters, and in no respect imitates their conduct; besides, she
is handsomer, and I assure you is of a disposition calculated to
make you happy. You shall have no other house but mine, and,
after my death, you and she shall be heirs to all my property."
"My lord," I replied, "I am overcome by your favours, and shall
never be able to make a sufficient acknowledgment." "Enough,"
said he, interrupting me, "let us not waste time in idle words."
He then called for witnesses, ordered the contract of marriage to
be drawn, and I became the husband of his third daughter. He was
not satisfied with punishing the jeweller, who had falsely
accused me, but confiscated for my use all his property, which
was very considerable. As for the rest, since you have been
called to the governor's house, you may have seen what respect
they pay me there. I must tell you further, that a person
despatched by my uncles to Egypt, on purpose to inquire for me
there, passing through this city found me out last night, and
delivered me a letter from them. They inform me of my father's
death, and invite me to come and take possession of his property
at Moussol. But as the alliance and friendship of the governor
have fixed me here, and will not suffer me to leave him, I have
sent back the express with a power, which will secure to me my
inheritance. After what you have heard, I hope you will pardon my
seeming incivility during the course of my illness, in giving you
my left instead of my right hand.

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

The sultan of Casgar was well pleased with this story. "I must
confess," said he to the Jew, "the story you have told me is very
singular; but I declare freely, that of the little hump-back is:
yet more extraordinary, and much more diverting; so you are not
to expect that I will give you your life, any more than the rest.
I will have you all four executed." "Pray, sir, stay a minute,"
said the tailor, advancing, and prostrating himself at the
sultan's feet. "Since your majesty loves pleasant stories, I have
one to tell you that will not displease you." "Well, I will hear
thee too," said the sultan; "but do not flatter thyself that I
will suffer thee to live, unless thou tellest me some adventure
that is yet more diverting than that of my hump-backed jester."
Upon this the tailor, as if he had been sure of success, spoke
boldly to the following purpose.

The Story told by the Tailor.

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

The master of the house was gone out upon some business, but in a
short time returned, and brought with him a young man, a
stranger, very well dressed, and handsome, but lame. When he
entered, we all rose, and out of respect to the master of the
house, invited the young man to sit down with us upon the
estrade. He was going to comply; but suddenly perceiving a barber
in our company, flew backwards, and made towards the door. The
master of the house, surprised at his behaviour, stopped him.
"Where are you going?" demanded he. "I bring you along with me to
do me the honour of being my guest among the rest of my friends,
and you are no sooner got into my house, than you are for running
away." "Sir," replied the young man, "for God's sake do not stop
me, let me go, I cannot without horror look upon that abominable
barber, who, though he was born in a country where all the
natives are white, resembles an Ethiopian; and his soul is yet
blacker and more horrible than his face."

We were all surprised to hear the young man speak in this manner,
and began to have a very bad opinion of the barber, without
knowing what ground the young man had for what he said. Nay, we
protested we would not suffer any one to remain in our company,
who bore so horrid a character. The master of the house intreated
the stranger to tell us what reason he had for hating the barber.
"Gentlemen," resumed the young man, "you must know this cursed
barber is the cause of my being lame, and having fallen into the
most ridiculous and teasing situation you can imagine. For this
reason I have sworn to avoid all the places where he is, and even
not to stay in the cities where he resides. It was for this
reason that I left Bagdad, where he then dwelt; and travelled so
far to settle in this city, at the extremity of Tartary; a place
where I flattered myself I should never see him. And now, after
all, contrary to my expectation, I find him here. This obliges
me, gentlemen, against my will, to deprive myself of the honour
of being merry with you. This very day I shall take leave of your
town, and go, if I can, to hide my head where he cannot come."
This said, he would have left us, but the master of the house
earnestly intreated him to stay, and tell us the cause of his
aversion for the barber, who all this while looked down and said
not a word. We joined with the master of the house in his
request; and at last the young man, yielding to our
importunities, sat down; and, after turning his back on the
barber, that he might not see him, gave us the following
narrative of his adventures.

My father's quality might have entitled him to the highest posts
in the city of Bagdad, but he always preferred a quiet life to
the honours of a public station. I was his only child, and when
he died I had finished my education, and was of age to dispose of
the plentiful fortune he had left me; which I did not squander
away foolishly, but applied to such uses as obtained for me
everybody's respect. I had not yet been disturbed by any passion:
I was so far from being sensible of love, that I bashfully
avoided the conversation of women. One day, walking in the
streets, I saw a large party of ladies before me; and that I
might not meet them, I turned down a narrow lane, and sat down
upon a bench by a door. I was placed opposite a window, where
stood a pot of beautiful flowers, on which I had my eyes fixed,
when the window opened, and a young lady appeared, whose beauty
struck me. Immediately she fixed her eyes upon me; and in
watering the flowerpot with a hand whiter than alabaster, looked
upon me with a smile, that inspired me with as much love for her
as I had formerly aversion for all women. After having watered
her flowers, and darted upon me a glance full of charms that
pierced my heart, she shut the window, and left me in
inconceivable perplexity, from which I should not have recovered,
if a noise in the street had not brought me to myself. I lifted
up my head, and turning, saw the first cauzee of the city,
mounted on a mule, and attended by five or six servants: he
alighted at the door of the house, where the young lady had
opened the window, and went in; from whence I concluded he was
her father. I went home in an altered state of mind; agitated by
a passion the more violent, as I had never felt its assaults
before: I retired to bed in a violent fever, at which all the
family were much concerned. My relations, who had a great
affection for me, were so alarmed by the sudden disorder, that
they importuned me to tell the cause; which I took care not to
discover. My silence created an uneasiness that the physicians
could not dispel, because they knew nothing of my distemper, and
by their medicines rather inflamed than checked it. My relations
began to despair of my life, when an old lady of our
acquaintance, hearing I was ill, came to see me. She considered
me with great attention, and after having examined me,
penetrated, I know not how, into the real cause of my illness.
She took my relations aside, and desired all my people would
retire out of the room, and leave her with me alone.

When the room was clear, she sat down on the side of my bed. "My
son," said she, "you have obstinately concealed the cause of your
illness; but you have no occasion to reveal it to me. I have
experience enough to penetrate into a secret; you will not deny
when I tell you it is love that makes you sick. I can find a way
to cure you, if you will but inform me who that happy lady is,
that could move a heart so insensible as yours; for you have the
character of a woman-hater, and I was not the last who perceived
that such was your disposition; but what I foresaw has come to
pass, and I am now glad of the opportunity to employ my talents
in relieving your pain."

The old lady having thus spoken, paused, expecting my answer; but
though what she had said had made a strong impression upon me, I
durst not lay open to her the bottom of my heart; I only turned
to her, and heaved a deep sigh, without replying a word. "Is it
bashfulness," said she, "that keeps you silent? Or is it want of
confidence in me? Do you doubt the effect of my promise? I could
mention to you a number of young men of your acquaintance, who
have been in the same condition with yourself, and have received
relief from me."

The good lady told me so many more circumstances that I broke
silence, declared to her my complaint, pointed out to her the
place where I had seen the object which occasioned it, and
unravelled all the circumstances of my adventure. "If you
succeed," added I, "and procure me the happiness of seeing that
charming beauty, and revealing to her the passion with which I
burn for her, you may depend upon it I will be grateful." "My
son," replied the old woman, "I know the lady you speak of; she
is, as you rightly judged, the daughter of the first cauzee of
this city: I am not surprised that you are in love with her. She
is the handsomest and most lovely lady in Bagdad, but very proud,
and of difficult access. You know how strict our judges are, in
enjoining the punctual observance of the severe laws that confine
women; and they are yet more strict in the observation of them in
their own families; the cauzee you saw is more rigid in that
point than any of the other magistrates. They are always
preaching to their daughters what a heinous crime it is to shew
themselves to men; and the girls themselves are so prepossessed
with the notion, that they make no other use of their own eves
but to conduct them along the street, when necessity obliges them
to go abroad. I do not say absolutely that the first cauzee's
daughter is of that humour; but that does not hinder my fearing
to meet with as great obstacles on her side, as on her father's.
Would to God you had loved any other, then I should not have had
so many difficulties to surmount. However, I will employ all my
wits to compass the matter; but it requires time. In the mean
while take courage and trust to me."

The old woman took leave; and as I weighed within myself all the
obstacles she had been talking of, the fear of her not succeeding
in her undertaking inflamed my disorder. Next day she came again,
and I read in her countenance that she had no favourable news to
impart. She spoke thus: "My son, I was not mistaken, I have
somewhat else to conquer besides the vigilance of a father. You
love an insensible object, who takes pleasure in making every one
miserable who suffers himself to be charmed by her; she will not
deign them the least comfort: she heard me with pleasure, when I
spoke of nothing but the torment she made you undergo; but I no
sooner opened my mouth to engage her to allow you to see her, and
converse with her, but casting at me a terrible look, ‘You are
very presumptuous,' said she, ‘to make such a proposal to me; I
charge you never to insult me again with such language.'

"Do not let this cast you down," continued she; "I am not easily
disheartened, and am not without hope but I shall compass my
end." To shorten my story, this good woman made several fruitless
attacks in my behalf on the proud enemy of my rest. The vexation
I suffered inflamed my distemper to that degree, that my
physicians gave me over. I was considered as a dead man, when the
old woman came to recall me to life.

That no one might hear what was said, she whispered in my ear;
"Remember the present you owe for the good news I bring you."
These words produced a marvellous effect; I raised myself up in
the bed, and with transport replied, "You shall not go without a
present; but what is the news you bring me?" "Dear sir," said she
"you shall not die; I shall speedily have the pleasure to see you
in perfect health, and very well satisfied with me. Yesterday I
went to see the lady you love, and found her in good humour. As
soon as I entered, I put on a sad countenance heaved many deep
sighs, and began to squeeze out some tears. ‘My good mother,'
demanded she ‘what is the matter with you, why are you so cast
down?' ‘Alas, my dear and honourable lady,' I replied, ‘I have
just been with the young gentleman of whom I spoke to you the
other day, who is dying on your account.' ‘I am at a loss to
know,' said she, ‘how you make me to be the cause of his death.
How can I have contributed to it?' ‘How?' replied I; ‘did not you
tell me the other day, that he sat down before your window when
you opened it to water your flower-pot? He then saw that prodigy
of beauty, those charms that your mirror daily represents to you.
From that moment he languished, and his disorder has so
increased, that he is reduced to the deplorable condition I have

"‘You well remember,' added I, ‘how harshly you treated me at our
last interview; when I was speaking to you of his illness, and
proposing a way to save him from the threatened consequences of
his complaint. After I left you I went directly to his house, and
he no sooner learnt from my countenance that I had brought no
favourable answer than his distemper increased. From that time,
madam, he has been at the point of death; and I doubt whether
your compassion would not now come too late to save his life.'
The fear of your death alarmed her, and I saw her face change
colour. ‘Is your account true?' she asked. ‘Has he actually no
other disorder than what is occasioned by his love of me?' ‘Ah,
madam!' I replied, ‘it is too true; would it were false!' ‘Do you
believe,' said she, ‘that the hopes of seeing me would at all
contribute to rescue him from his danger?' I answered, ‘Perhaps
it may, and if you will permit me, I will try the remedy.'?
‘Well,' resumed she, sighing, ‘give him hopes of seeing me; but
he must pretend to no other favours, unless he aspire to marry
me, and obtains my father's consent.' ‘Madam,' replied I. ‘your
goodness overcomes me; I will instantly seek the young gentleman,
and tell him he is to have the pleasure of an interview with
you.' ‘The best opportunity I can think of,' said she, ‘for
granting him that favour, will be next Friday at the hour of noon
prayers. Let him observe when my father goes out, and then, if
his health permits him to be abroad, come and place himself
opposite the house. I shall then see him from my window, and will
come down and open the door for him: we will converse together
during prayer-time; but he must depart before my father returns.'

"It is now Tuesday," continued the old lady "you have the
interval between this and Friday to recover your strength, and
make the necessary dispositions for the interview." While the
good old lady was speaking, I felt my illness decrease, or
rather, by the time she had done, I found myself perfectly
recovered. "Here, take this," said I, reaching out to her my
purse, which was full, "it is to you alone that I owe my cure. I
reckon this money better employed than all that I gave the
physicians, who have only tormented me during my illness."

When the lady was gone, I found I had strength enough to get up:
and my relations finding me so well, complimented me on the
occasion, and went home.

On Friday morning the old woman came, just as I was dressing, and
choosing out the richest clothes in my wardrobe, said, "I do not
ask you how you are, what you are about is intimation enough of
your health; but will not you bathe before you go?" "That will
take up too much time," I replied; "I will content myself with
sending for a barber, to shave my head." Immediately I ordered
one of my slaves to call a barber that could do his business
cleverly and expeditiously.

The slave brought me the wretch you see here, who came, and after
saluting me, said, "Sir, you look as if you were not well." I
told him I was just recovered from a fit of sickness. "May God,"
resumed he, "deliver you from all mischance; may his grace always
go along with you." "I hope he will grant your wish, for which I
am obliged to you." "Since you are recovering from a fit of
sickness," he continued, "I pray God preserve your health; but
now let me know what I am to do; I have brought my razors and my
lancets, do you desire to be shaved or to be bled?" I replied, "I
am just recovered from a fit of sickness, and you may readily
judge I only want to be shaved: come, do not lose time in
prattling; for I am in haste, and have an appointment precisely
at noon."

The barber spent much time in opening his case, and preparing his
razors Instead of putting water into the basin, he took a very
handsome astrolabe out of his case, and went very gravely out of
my room to the middle of the court to take the height of the sun:
he returned with the same grave pace, and entering my room, said,
"Sir, you will be pleased to know this day is Friday the 18th of
the moon Suffir, in the year 653, from the retreat of our great
prophet from Mecca to Medina, and in the year 7320 of the epocha
of the great Iskender with two horns; and that the conjunction of
Mars and Mercury signifies you cannot choose a better time than
this very day and hour for being shaved. But, on the other hand,
the same conjunction is a bad presage to you. I learn from it,
that this day you run a great risk, not indeed of losing your
life, but of an inconvenience which will attend you while you
live. You are obliged to me for the advice I now give you, to
avoid this accident; I shall be sorry if it befall you."

You may guess, gentlemen, how vexed I was at having fallen into
the hands of such a prattling, impertinent fellow; what an
unseasonable adventure was it for a lover preparing for an
interview with his mistress! I was quite irritated. "I care not,"
said I, in anger, "for your advice and predictions; I did not
call you to consult your astrology; you came hither to shave me;
shave me, or begone." "I will call another barber, sir," replied
he, with a coolness that put me out of all patience; "what reason
have you to be angry with me? You do not know, that all of my
profession are not like me; and that if you made it your business
to search, you would not find such another. You only sent for a
barber; but here, in my person, you have the best barber in
Bagdad, an experienced physician, a profound chemist, an
infallible astrologer, a finished grammarian, a complete orator,
a subtle logician, a mathematician perfectly well versed in
geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and all the refinements of
algebra; an historian fully master of the histories of all the
kingdoms of the universe. Besides, I understand all parts of
philosophy. I have all our sacred traditions by heart. I am a
poet, I am an architect; and what is it I am not? There is
nothing in nature hidden from me. Your deceased father, to whose
memory I pay a tribute of tears every time I think of him, was
fully convinced of my merit; he was fond of me, and spoke of me
in all companies as the first man in the world. Out of gratitude
and friendship for him, I am willing to attach myself to you, to
take you under my protection, and guard you from all the evils
that your stars may threaten."

When I heard all this jargon, I could not forbear laughing,
notwithstanding my anger. "You impertinent prattler!" said I,
"will you have done, and begin to shave me?"

"Sir," replied the barber, "you affront me in calling me a
prattler; on the contrary, all the world gives me the honourable
title of Silent. I had six brothers, whom you might justly have
called prattlers. These indeed were impertinent chatterers, but
for me, who am a younger brother, I am grave and concise in my

For God's sake, gentlemen, do but suppose you had been in my
place. What could I say when I saw myself so cruelly delayed?
"Give him three pieces of gold," said I to the slave who was my
housekeeper, "and send him away, that he may disturb me no more;
I will not be shaved this day." "Sir," said the barber, "pray
what do you mean? I did not come to seek for you, you sent for
me; and as that is the case I swear by the faith of a Moosulmaun,
I will not stir out of these doors till I have shaved you. If you
do not know my value, it is not my fault. Your deceased father
did me more justice. Every time he sent for me to let him blood,
he made me sit down by him, and was charmed with hearing what
witty things I said. I kept him in a continual strain of
admiration; I elevated him; and when I had finished my discourse,
‘My God,' he would exclaim, ‘you are an inexhaustible source of
science, no man can reach the depth of your knowledge.' ‘My dear
sir,' I would answer, ‘you do me more honour than deserve. If I
say anything that is worth hearing, it is owing to the favourable
audience you vouchsafe me; it is your liberality that inspires me
with the sublime thoughts which have the happiness to please
you.' One day, when he was charmed with an admirable discourse I
had made him, he said, ‘Give him a hundred pieces of gold, and
invest him with one of my richest robes.' I instantly received
the present. I then drew his horoscope, and found it the happiest
in the world. Nav. I carried my gratitude further; I let him
blood with cupping-glasses."

This was not all; he spun out another harangue that was a full
half hour long. Tired with hearing him, and fretted at the loss
of time, which was almost spent before I was half ready, I did
not know what to say. "It is impossible," I exclaimed, "there
should be such another man in the world who takes pleasure, as
you do, in making people mad."

I thought I might perhaps succeed better if I dealt mildly with
my barber. "In the name of God," said I, "leave off talking, and
shave me directly: business of the last importance calls me, as I
have already told you." At these words he fell a laughing: "It
would be fortunate," said he, "if our minds were always in the
same state; if we were always wise and prudent. I am willing,
however, to believe, that if you are angry with me, it is your
disorder that has caused the change in your temper, for which
reason you stand in need of some instructions, and you cannot do
better than follow the example of your father and grandfather.
They came and consulted me upon all occasions, and I can say,
without vanity, that they always highly prized my advice. Pray
observe, sir, men never succeed in their undertakings without the
counsel of persons of understanding. A man cannot, says the
proverb, be wise without receiving advice from the wise. I am
entirely at service, and you have only to command me."

"What! cannot I prevail with you then," I demanded,, interrupting
him, "to leave off these long speeches, that tend to nothing but
to distract my head, and detain me from my business? Shave me, I
say, or begone:" with that I started up in anger, stamping my
foot against the ground.

When he saw I was in earnest, he said, "Sir, do not be angry, we
are going to begin." He lathered my head, and began to shave me;
but had not given four strokes with his razor before he stopped,
and addressed me, "Sir, you are hasty, you should avoid these
transports that only come from the devil. I am entitled to some
consideration on account of my age, my knowledge, and my great

"Go on and shave me," said I, interrupting him again, "and talk
no more." "That is to say," replied he, "you have some urgent
business to go about; I will lay you a wager I guess right." "Why
I told you two hours ago," I returned, "you ought to have shaved
me before." "Moderate your passion," replied he; "perhaps you
have not maturely weighed what you are going about; when things
are done precipitately, they are generally repented of. I wish
you would tell me what mighty business this is you are so earnest
upon. I would tell you my opinion of it; besides, you have time
enough, since your appointment is not till noon, and it wants
three hours of that yet."  "I do not mind that," said I; "persons
of honour and of their word are rather before their time than
after. But I forget that by reasoning with you, I give into the
faults of you prattling barbers; have done, have done; shave me."

The more haste I was in, the less speed he made. He laid down the
razor, and took up his astrolabe; then laid down his astrolabe,
and took up his razor again.

The barber quitted his razor again, and took up his astrolabe a
second time; and so left me half shaved, to go and see precisely
what hour it was. Back he came, and exclaimed, "Sir, I knew I was
not mistaken, it wants three hours of noon. I am sure of it, or
else all the rules of astronomy are false." "Just heaven!" cried
I, "my patience is exhausted, I can bear this no longer. You
cursed barber, you barber of mischief, I can scarcely forbear
falling upon you and strangling you." "Softly, sir," said he,
very calmly, without being moved by my anger: "are you not afraid
of a relapse? Be not in a passion, I am going to shave you this
minute." In speaking these words, he clapped his astrolabe in his
case, took up his razor, and passing it over the strap which was
fixed to his belt, fell to shaving me again; but all the while he
was thus employed, the dog could not forbear prattling. "If you
would be pleased, sir," said he, "to tell me what the business is
you are going about at noon, I could give you some advice that
might be of use to you." To satisfy the fellow, I told him I was
going to meet some friends at an entertainment at noon, to make
merry with me on the recovery of ray health.

When the barber heard me talk of regaling; "God bless you this
day, as well as all other days!" he cried: "you put me in mind
that yesterday I invited four or five friends to come and eat
with me as this day; indeed I had forgotten the engagement, and
have made no preparation for them." "Do not let that trouble
you," said I; "though I dine abroad, my larder is always well
furnished. I make you a present of all that it contains; and
besides, I will order you as much wine as you have occasion for;
I have excellent wine in my cellar; only you must hasten to
finish shaving me: and pray remember, as my father made you
presents to encourage you to speak, I give you mine to induce you
to be silent."

He was not satisfied with my promise, but exclaimed, "God reward
you, sir, for your kindness: pray shew me these provisions now,
that I may see if there will be enough to entertain my friends. I
would have them satisfied with the good fare I make them." "I
have," said I, "a lamb, six capons, a dozen chickens, and enough
to make four courses." I ordered a slave to bring all before him,
with four great pitchers of wine. "It is very well," returned the
barber; "but we shall want fruit, and sauce for the meat." These
I ordered likewise; but then he left off shaving, to look over
every thing one after another; and this survey lasted almost half
an hour. I raged and stormed like a madman; but it signified
nothing, the wretch made no more haste. However, he took up his
razor again, and shaved me for some minutes; then stopping
suddenly, exclaimed, "I could not have believed, sir, that you
would have been so liberal; I begin to perceive that your
deceased father lives again in you. Most certainly, I do not
deserve the favours with which you have loaded me; and I assure
you I shall have them in perpetual remembrance; for, sir, to let
you know, I have nothing but what I obtain from the generosity of
such gentlemen as you: in which respect, I am like to Zantout,
who rubs the people in the baths; to Sali, who cries boiled peas
in the streets; to Salout, who sells beans; to Akerscha, who
sells greens; to Aboumecarez, who sprinkles the streets to lay
the dust; and to Cassem, the caliph's lifeguard man. Of all these
persons, not one is apt so be melancholy; they are neither
impertinent nor quarrelsome; they are more contented with their
lot, than the caliph in the midst of his court; they are always
gay, ready to sing and dance, and have each of them their
peculiar song and dance, with which they divert the city of
Bagdad; but what I esteem most in them is, that they are no great
talkers, any more than your slave, that has bow the honour to
speak to you. Here, sir, is the song and dance of Zantout, who
rubs the people in the baths; mind me, pray, and see if I do not
imitate it exactly."

The barber sung the song, and danced the dance of Zantout; and
let me say what I could to oblige him to finish his buffooneries,
he did not cease till he had imitated, in like manner, the songs
and dances of the other persons he had named. "After that,"
addressing himself to me, "I am going," said he, "to invite all
these honest men to my house; if you will take my advice you will
join us, and disappoint your friends, who perhaps are great
talkers. They will only teaze you to death with their impertinent
discourse, and make you relapse into a disorder worse than that
from which you are so lately recovered; whereas at my house you
shall have nothing but pleasure."

Notwithstanding my anger, I could not forbear laughing at the
fellow's impertinence. "I wish I had no business upon my hands,"
I replied, "I would accept your invitation, and go with all my
heart to partake of your entertainment; but I beg to be excused,
I am too much engaged; another day I shall be more at leisure,
and then we will make up the same party. Come, finish shaving me,
and make haste home; perhaps your friends are already arrived at
your house." "Sir," replied he, "do not refuse me the favour I
ask of you; were you but once in our company, it would afford you
so much pleasure as abundantly to compensate you for forsaking
your friends." "Let us talk no more of that," said I; "I cannot
be your guest."

I found I gained no ground by mild terms. "Since you will not
come to my house," replied the barber, "you must allow me to go
along with you: I will carry these things to my house, where my
friends may eat of them if they like, and I will return
immediately; I would not be so uncivil as to leave you alone. You
deserve this piece of complaisance at my hands." "Heavens!" cried
I, "then I shall not get clear of this troublesome fellow to-day.
In the name of the living God, leave off your unreasonable
jargon; go to your friends, drink, eat, and be merry with them,
and leave me at liberty to go to mine. I must go alone, I have no
occasion for company; besides, I must needs tell you, the place
to which I go is not one where you can be received." "You jest,
sir," said he; "if your friends have invited you to a feast, what
should prevent you from allowing me to go with you? You will
please them, I am sure, by introducing to them a man who can talk
wittily like me, and knows how to divert company. But say what
you will, I am determined to accompany you."

These words, gentlemen, perplexed me much. "How," thought I,
"shall I get rid of this cursed barber? If I persist in
contradicting him, we shall never have done."

Besides, I heard at this instant the first call to noon-prayers,
and it was time for me to go. In fine, I resolved to say nothing,
and to make as if I consented to his accompanying me. He then
finished shaving me, and I said to him, "Take some of my servants
to carry these provisions along with you, and return hither; I
will stay for you, and shall not go without you."

At last he went, and I dressed myself as expeditiously as I
could. I heard the last call to prayers, and hastened to set out:
but the malicious barber, who guessed my intention, went with my
servants only within sight of the house and stood there till he
saw them enter it, after which he concealed himself at the corner
of the street, with an intent to observe and follow me. In fine,
when I arrived at the cauzee's door, I looked back and saw him at
the head of the street which alarmed me to the last degree.

The cauzee's door was half open, and as I went in I saw an old
woman waiting for me, who, after she had shut the door, conducted
me to the chamber of the young lady who was the object of my
love; but we had scarcely begun to converse, when we heard a
noise in the streets. The young lady put her head to the window,
and saw through the gate that it was her father already returning
from prayers. At the same time I looked, and saw the barber
sitting over-against the house, on the bench from which I had
first seen the young lady.

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

As soon as the cauzee was come in, he caned one of his slaves,
who had deserved chastisement. This slave made a horrid noise,
which was heard in the streets; the barber thought it was I who
cried out, and was maltreated. Prepossessed with this thought, he
roared out aloud, rent his clothes, threw dust upon his head, and
called the neighbourhood to his assistance. The neighbours
collected, and asked what assistance he wanted? "Alas!" cried he,
"they are assassinating my master, my dear patron;" and without
saying anything more, he ran all the way to my house, with the
very same cry in his mouth. From thence he returned, followed by
all my domestics armed with sticks. They knocked with
inconceivable fury at the door, and the cauzee sent slave to see
what was the matter; but the slave being frightened, returned to
his master, crying, "Sir, above ten thousand men are going to
break into your house by force."

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

As I heard all that the barber said to the cauzee, I sought for a
place to conceal myself, and could find nothing but a large empty
trunk, in which I lay down, and shut it upon me. The barber,
after he had searched everywhere, came into the chamber where I
was, and opened the trunk. As soon as he saw me, he took it upon
his head and carried it away. He descended a high staircase into
a court, which he crossed hastily, and at length reached the
street door. While he was carrying me, the trunk unfortunately
flew open, and not being able to endure the shame of being
exposed to the view and shouts of the mob who followed us, I
leaped out into the street with so much haste, that I have been
lame ever since. I was not sensible of the hurt at first, and
therefore got up quickly to avoid the people, who laughed at me;
nay, I threw handfuls of gold and silver among them, and whilst
they were gathering it up, I made my escape by cross streets and
alleys. But the cursed barber followed me close, crying, "Stay,
sir; why do you run so fast? If you knew how much I am afflicted
at the ill treatment you received from the cauzee, you, who are
so generous, and to whom I and my friends are so much obliged!
Did I not tell you truly, that you would expose your life by your
obstinate refusal to let me go with you? See what has happened to
you, by your own fault; and if I had not resolutely followed, to
see whither you went, what would have become of you? Whither do
you go, sir? Stay for me."

Thus the barber cried aloud in the street it was not enough for
him to have occasioned so great a scandal in the quarter where
the cauzee lived, but he would have it known through the whole
town. I was in such a rage, that I had a great mind to stop and
cut his throat; but considering this would have perplexed me
farther, I chose another course. Perceiving that his calling
after me exposed me to vast numbers of people, who crowded to the
doors or windows, or stopped in the street to gaze at me, I
entered an inn, the chamberlain of which knew me, and finding him
at the gate, whither the noise had brought him, I prayed him, for
the sake of heaven, to hinder that madman from coming in after
me. He promised to do so, and was as good as his word, but not
without a great deal of trouble; for the obstinate barber would
enter in spite of him, and did not retire without calling him a
thousand names. After the chamberlain had shut the gate, the
barber continued telling all he met what great service he had
done me. Thus I rid myself of that troublesome fellow. After
this, the chamberlain prayed me to tell him my adventure, which I
did, and then desired him to let me have an apartment until I was
cured . "But sir," said he, "will it not be more convenient for
you to go home?" "I will not return thither," replied I: "for the
detestable barber will continue plaguing me there, and I shall
die of vexation to be continually teazed by him. Besides, after
what has befallen me to-day, I cannot think of staying any longer
in this town; I must go whither my ill-fortune leads me."
Accordingly, when I was. cured, I took all the money I thought
necessary for my travels, and divided the rest of my property
among my kindred.

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

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

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

The Story of the Barber.

In the reign of the caliph Mustunsir Billah, that is, seeking
victory of God, a prince so famous for his liberality towards the
poor, ten highwaymen infested the roads about Bagdad, and for a
long time committed unheard-of robberies and cruelties. The
caliph, having notice of this, sent for the judge of the police,
some days before the feast of Bairam, and ordered him, on pain of
death, to bring all the ten to him.

The judge of the police used so much diligence, and sent so many
people in pursuit of the ten robbers, that they were taken on the
very day of Bairam. I was walking at the time on the banks of the
Tigris, and saw ten men richly appareled go into a boat. Had I
but observed the guards who had them in custody, I might have
concluded they were robbers; but my attention was fixed on the
men themselves, and thinking they were people who designed to
spend the festival in jollity, I entered the boat with them,
hoping they would not object to my making one of the company. We
descended the Tigris, and landed before the caliph's palace: I
had by this time had leisure to reflect, and to discover my
mistake. When we quitted the boat, we were surrounded by a new
troop of the judge of the police's guard, who bound us all, and
carried us before the caliph. I suffered myself to be bound as
well as the rest, without speaking one word: for what would it
have availed to have spoken, or made any resistance? That had
been the way to have got myself ill-treated by the guards, who
would not have listened to me, for they are brutish fellows, who
will hear no reason: I was with the robbers, and that was enough
to make them believe me to be one of their number.

When we had been brought before the caliph, he ordered the ten
highwaymen's heads to be cut off immediately. The executioner
drew us up in a file within reach of his arm, and by good fortune
I was placed last. He cut off the heads of the ten highwaymen,
beginning at the first; and when he came to me, he stopped. The
caliph perceiving that he did not strike me, grew angry: "Did not
I command thee," said he, "to cut off the heads of ten
highwaymen, and why hast thou cut off but nine?" "Commander of
the faithful," he replied, "Heaven preserve me from disobeying
your majesty's orders: here are ten bodies upon the ground, and
as many heads which I have cut off; your majesty may count them."
When the caliph saw that what the executioner said was true, he
looked at me with amazement, and perceiving that I had not the
face of a highwayman, said to me, "Good old man, how came you to
be among those wretches, who have deserved a thousand deaths?" I
answered, "Commander of the faithful, I will make a true
confession. This morning I saw those ten persons, whose
punishment is a proof of your majesty's justice, take boat: I
embarked with them, thinking they were men going to celebrate
this day, which is the most distinguished in our religion." The
caliph could not forbear laughing at my adventure; and instead of
treating me as a prattling fellow, as this lame young man did, he
admired my discretion and taciturnity. "Commander of the
faithful," I resumed, "your majesty need not wonder at my silence
on such an occasion, as would have made another apt to speak. I
make a particular profession of holding my peace, and on that
account have acquired the glorious title of Silent; by which I am
distinguished from my six brothers. This is the effect of my
philosophy; and, in a word, in this virtue consists my glory and
happiness." "I am glad," said the caliph, smiling, "that they
gave you a title which you know so well how to use. But tell me
what sort of men were your brothers, were they like you?" "By no
means," I replied; "they were all of them loquacious, prating
fellows. And as to their persons, there was still a greater
difference betwixt them and me. The first was hump-backed; the
second had rotten teeth; the third had but one eye; the fourth
was blind; the fifth had his ears cut off; and the sixth had
hare-lips. They had met with such adventures as would enable you
to judge of their characters, had I the honour of relating them
to your majesty:" and the caliph seemed desirous to hear their
several stories, I went on without waiting his commands.


The Story of the Barber's Eldest Brother.

My eldest brother, whose name was Bacbouc the hump-back, was a
tailor: when he came out of his apprenticeship, he hired a shop
opposite a mill, and having but very little business, could
scarcely maintain himself. The miller, on the contrary, was very
wealthy, and had a handsome wife. One day as my brother was at
work in his shop, he saw the miller's wife looking out of the
window, and was charmed with her beauty. The woman took no notice
of him, but shut her window, and made her appearance no more that
day The poor tailor did nothing all day long but lift up his eyes
towards the mill. He pricked his finger oftener than once, and
his work was not very regular. At night, when he was to shut his
shop, he could scarcely tell how to do it, because he still hoped
the miller's wife would once more come to the window; but at last
he was forced to shut up, and go home, where he passed but a very
uncomfortable night. He arose betimes in the morning, and ran to
his shop, in hopes to see his mistress; but he was no happier
than the day before, for the miller's wife did not appear at the
window above a minute in the course of the day, but that minute
made the tailor the most amorous man that ever lived. The third
day he had more ground of satisfaction, for the miller's wife
cast her eyes upon him by chance, and surprised him as he was
gazing at her, which convinced her of what passed in his mind.

No sooner did the miller's wife perceive my brother's
inclination, than, instead of allowing it to excite her
resentment, she resolved to divert herself with it. She looked at
him with a smiling countenance, and my brother returned her
smile, but in so ludicrous a way, that the miller's wife hastily
shut her window, lest her loud laughter should make him sensible
that she only ridiculed him. Poor Bacbouc interpreted her
carriage to his own advantage, and flattered himself that she
looked upon him with pleasure.

The miller's wife resolved to have sport with my brother: she had
a piece of very fine stuff, with which she had a long time
designed to make a vest; she wrapped it up in a fine embroidered
silk handkerchief, and sent it to him by a young slave whom she
kept; who being taught her lesson, went to the tailor's shop, and
told him, "My mistress gives you her service, and prays you to
make her a vest of this stuff according to this pattern; she
changes her dress often, so that her custom will be profitable to
you." My brother doubted not but the miller's wife loved him, and
thought she had sent him work so soon after what had passed
betwixt them, only to signify that she knew his mind, and
convince him that he had obtained her favour. He charged the
slave to tell her mistress, that he would lay aside all work for
hers and that the vest should be ready next morning. He worked at
it with so much diligence, that he finished it in the course of
the same day. Next morning the young slave came to see if the
vest was ready. Bacbouc delivered it to her neatly folded up,
telling her, "I am too much concerned to please your mistress to
neglect her work; I would engage her by my diligence to employ no
other than myself for the time to come." The young slave went
some steps as if she had intended to go away, and then coming
back, whispered to my brother, "I had forgotten part of my
commission; my mistress charged me to make her compliments to
you, and to ask how you passed the night; as for her, poor woman,
she loves you to that degree that she could not sleep." "Tell
her," answered my silly brother, "I have so strong a passion for
her, that for these four nights I have not slept one wink." After
such a compliment from the miller's wife, my brother thought she
would not let him languish long in expectation of her favours.

About a quarter of an hour after, the slave returned to my
brother with a piece of satin: "My mistress," said she, "is very
well pleased with her vest, nothing in the world can fit her
better, and as it is very handsome, she will not wear it without
a new pair of drawers; she prays you to make her one, as soon as
you can, of this piece of satin." "Enough," said Bacbouc, "I will
do it before I leave my shop: you shall have it in the evening."
The miller's wife shewed herself often at her window, and was
very prodigal of her charms, to encourage my brother. You would
have laughed to see him work. The pair of drawers was soon made,
and the slave came for it, but brought the tailor no money,
neither for the trimming he had bought for the vest, nor for the
making. In the mean time, this unfortunate lover, whom they only
amused, though he could not see it, had eaten nothing all that
day, and was forced to borrow money at night to buy his supper.
Next morning, as soon as he arrived at his shop, the young slave
came to tell him that the miller wanted to speak to him. "My
mistress," said she, "spoke to him so much in your praise, when
she shewed him your work, that he has a mind you should work for
him also; she does this on purpose, that the connection she
wishes to form betwixt you and him may crown your mutual wishes
with success." My brother was easily persuaded, and went to the
mill with the slave. The miller received him very kindly, and
shewed him a piece of cloth, and told him he wanted shirts, bade
him make it into twenty, and return him again what was left.

My brother had work enough for five or six days to make twenty
shirts for the miller, who afterwards gave him another piece of
cloth to make him as many pair of drawers. When they were
finished, Bacbouc carried them to the miller, who asked him what
he must have for his pains. My brother answered, he would be
content with twenty dirhems of silver. The miller immediately
called the young slave, and bade her bring him his weights to see
if his money was right. The slave, who had her lesson, looked at
my brother with an angry countenance, to signify to him, that he
would spoil all if he took money. He knew her meaning, and
refused to take any, though he wanted it so much that he was
forced to borrow some to buy the thread to sew the shirts and
drawers. When he left the miller, he came to me to borrow money
to purchase provisions, and told me they did not pay him. I gave
him some copper money I had in my purse, and upon that he
subsisted for some days. It is true, indeed, he lived upon
nothing but broth, nor had he his fill of that.

One day he went to the miller, who was busy at his work, and
thinking my brother came for money, offered him some; but the
young slave being present, made him another sign not to take it,
which he complied with, and told the miller he did not come for
his money, but only to know how he did. The miller thanked him,
and gave him an upper garment to make. Bacbouc carried it to him
the next day. When the miller drew out his purse, the young slave
gave my brother the usual sign, on which he said to the miller,
"Neighbour, there is no haste, we will reckon another time;"  so
that the poor ninny went to his shop again, with three terrible
distempers, love, hunger, and an empty purse. The miller's wife
was not only avaricious, but ill-natured; for, not content with
cheating my brother of his due, she provoked her husband to
revenge himself upon him for making love to her, which they
accomplished thus. The miller invited Bacbouc one night to
supper, and after giving him a very sorry treat, said to him,
"Brother, it is too late for you to return home, you had better
stay here all night," and then took him to a place in the mill,
where there was a bed; there he left him, and went to bed with
his wife. About the middle of the night, the miller came to my
brother, and said, "Neighbour, are you asleep? My mule is ill,
and I have a quantity of corn to grind; you will do me a great
kindness if you will turn the mill in her stead." Bacbouc, to
shew his good nature, told him, he was ready to do him that
service, if he would shew him how. The miller tied him by the
middle in the mule's place, and whipping him soundly over the
back, said to him, "Go on, neighbour." "Ho!" exclaimed my
brother, "why do you beat me?" "It is to make you brisk," replied
the miller, "for without a whip my mule will not go." Bacbouc was
amazed at this treatment, but durst not complain. When he had
gone five or six rounds, he would fain have rested; but the
miller gave him a dozen sound lashes, saying, "Courage,
neighbour! do not stop, pray; you must go on without taking
breath, otherwise you will spoil my meal."

The miller obliged my brother to turn the mill thus all night.
About break of day he left him without untying him, and went to
his wife's chamber. Bacbouc continued there for some time, and at
last the young slave came and untied him. "Ah!" said the
treacherous wretch, "how my mistress and I pitied you! We had no
hand in this wicked trick which her husband has played you." The
wretched Bacbouc answered not a word, he was so much fatigued
with work and blows; but crept home to his house, resolving never
to think more of the miller's wife.

The telling of this story, continued the barber, made the caliph
laugh. "Go home," said he to me, "I have ordered something to be
given you to make up for the loss of the good dinner you
expected." "Commander of the faithful," I replied, "I pray your
majesty to let me stay till I have told the story of my other
brothers." The caliph having signified by his silence that he was
willing to hear me, I went on thus.

The Story of the Barber's Second Brother.

My second brother, who was called Backbarah the Toothless, going
one day through the city, met in a distant street an old woman,
who came up to him, and said, "I want one word with you, pray
stop a moment." He did so, and asked what she would have. "If you
have time to come with me," said she, "I will bring you into a
stately palace, where you shall see a lady as fair as the day.
She will receive you with much pleasure, and treat you with
excellent wine. I need say no more." "But is what you say true?"
demanded my brother. "I am no lying hussy," replied the old
woman. "I say nothing to you but what is true. But hark, I have
something to ask of you. You must be prudent, say but little, and
be extremely polite." Backbarah agreed to all this. The old woman
went on, and he followed her. They came to the gate of a great
palace, where there was a number of officers and domestics. Some
of them would have stopped my brother, but no sooner did the old
woman speak to them than they let him pass. Then turning to my
brother, she said to him, "You must remember that the young lady
I bring you to loves good-nature and modesty, and cannot endure
to be contradicted; if you please her in these respects, you may
be sure to obtain of her what you please." Backbarah thanked her
for this advice, and promised to follow it.

She brought him into a superb court, answerable to the
magnificence of the palace. There was a gallery round it, and a
garden in the middle. The old woman made him sit down on a
handsome sofa, and bade him stay a moment, till she went to
acquaint the young lady with his arrival.

My brother, who had never been in such a stately palace before,
gazed on the fine things that he saw; and judging of his good
fortune by the magnificence of the palace, he was scarcely able
to contain himself for joy. In a short time he heard a great
noise, occasioned by a troop of merry slaves, who came towards
him with loud fits of laughter; and in the middle of them he
perceived a young lady of extraordinary beauty, who was easily
known to be their mistress by the respect they paid her.
Backbarah, who expected private conversation with the lady, was
extremely surprised when he saw so much company with her. In the
mean time, the slaves, as they drew near, put on a grave
countenance; and when the young lady came up to the sofa, my
brother rose and made her a low obeisance. She took the upper
seat, prayed him to sit down, and said to him with a smiling
countenance, "I am much pleased to see you, and wish you all the
happiness you can desire." "Madam," replied Backbarah, "I cannot
desire a greater happiness than to be in your company." "You seem
to be of a pleasant humour," said she, "and to be disposed to
pass the time agreeably."

She commanded a collation to be brought; and immediately a table
was covered with several baskets of fruit and sweetmeats. The
lady sat down at the table with the slaves and my brother; and he
being placed just opposite to her, when he opened his mouth to
eat, she perceived he had no teeth; and taking notice of this to
her slaves, she and they laughed heartily. Backbarah, from time
to time, lifted up his head to look at her, and perceiving her
laugh, concluded it was from the pleasure she derived from his
company, and flattered himself that she would speedily send away
her slaves, and remain with him alone. She guessed his thoughts,
and amusing herself to flatter him in this mistake, addressed him
in the most pleasant language, and presented him the best of
every thing with her own hand. The entertainment being finished,
they rose from the table; ten slaves took musical instruments,
and began to play and sing, and others to dance. My brother, to
please them, danced likewise, and the lady danced with them.
After they had danced some time, they sat down to take breath,
and the young lady calling for a glass of wine, looked upon my
brother with a smiling countenance, to signify that she was going
to drink his health. He rose and stood while she drank. When she
had done instead of giving back the glass, she ordered it to be
filled, and presented it to my brother, that he might pledge her.

My brother took the glass from the young lady's hand, which he
kissed at the same time and stood and drank to her, in return for
the favour she had done him. The lady then made him sit down by
her, and began to caress him. She put her hand behind his head,
and gave him some tips from time to time with her fingers:
ravished with these favours, he thought himself the happiest man
in the world, and felt disposed to kiss the charming lady, but
durst not take that liberty before so many slaves, who had their
eyes upon him, and laughed at their lady's wanton tricks. The
young lady continued to tip him with her fingers, but at last
gave him such a sound box on the ear, that he grew angry; the
colour came into his face, and he rose up to remove to a greater
distance from such a rude playfellow. Then the old woman, who
brought him thither, gave him a look, to let him know that he was
in the wrong, and that he had forgotten her advice, to be very
complaisant. He owned his fault, and to make amends, went near
the young lady again, pretending that he did not remove out of
any ill-humour. She drew him by the arm, made him sit down by
her, and gave him a thousand malicious squeezes. Her slaves took
their part in the diversion; one gave poor Backbarah several
fillips on the nose with all her might; another pulled him by the
ears, as if she would have pulled them off; and others boxed him
in a manner that might have made it appear they were not in jest.
My brother bore all this with admirable patience, affecting a gay
air, and looking at the old woman, said to her with a forced
smile, "You told me, indeed, that I should find the lady
perfectly kind, pleasant, and charming; I am mightily obliged to
you!" "All this is nothing," replied the old woman; "let her go
on, you will see other things by and by." Then the young lady
said to him, "Brother, you are a brave man; I am glad to find you
are so good-humoured and complaisant to bear with my little
caprices, and that your humour is so conformable to mine."
"Madam," replied Backbarah, who was charmed with this address, "l
am no more at my own disposal, I am wholly yours, you may do with
me as you please." "How you oblige me," returned the lady, "by
such submission! I am well pleased with you, and would have you
be so with me: bring him perfume, and rose-water." Upon this, two
slaves went out and returned speedily, one with a silver casket,
filled with the best of aloes wood, with which she perfumed him;
and the other with rose-water, which she sprinkled on his face
and hands. My brother was quite enraptured with this handsome
treatment. After this ceremony, the young lady commanded the
slaves, who had already played on their instruments and sung, to
renew their concerts. They obeyed, and while they were thus
employed, the lady called another slave, and ordered her to take
my brother with her, and do what she knew, and bring him back to
her again. Backbarah, who heard this order, got up quickly, and
going to the old woman, who also rose to accompany him and the
slave, prayed her to inform him what they were to do with him.
"My mistress is only curious," replied the old woman softly; "she
has a mind to see how you look in a woman's dress, and this
slave, who is desired to take you with her, has orders to paint
your eyebrows, to cut off your whiskers, and to dress you like a
woman." "You may paint my eyebrows as much as you please," said
my brother, "I consent to that, because I can wash it off again;
but to shave me, you know I must not permit. How can I appear
abroad again without moustaches?" "Beware of refusing what is
asked of you," returned the old woman, you will spoil your
fortune, which is now in as favourable a train as heart can wish.
The lady loves you, and has a mind to make you happy; and will
you, for a nasty whisker, renounce the most delicious favours
that man can obtain?" Backbarah listened to the old woman, and
without saying a word went to a chamber with the slave, where
they painted his eyebrows with red, cut off his whiskers, and
were going to do the like with his beard.. My brother's patience
then began to fail: "Oh!" said he, "I will never part with my
beard." The slave told him, that it was to no purpose to have
parted with his whiskers, if he would not also part with his
beard, which could never comport with "woman's dress; and she
wondered that a man, who was upon the point of being loved by the
finest lady in Bagdad, should be concerned about his beard. The
old woman threatened him with the loss of the young lady's
favour; so that at last he allowed them to do what they would.
When he was dressed in female attire, they brought him before the
young lady, who laughed so heartily when she saw him, that she
fell backward on the sofa. The slaves laughed and clapped their
hands, so that my brother was quite out of countenance. The young
lady got up, and still laughing, said to him, "After so much
complaisance, I should be very much to blame not to love you with
all my heart: but there is one thing more you must do for me, and
that is, to dance as we do." He obeyed, and the young lady and
her slaves danced with him, laughing as if they had been mad.
After they had danced some time, they all fell upon the poor
wretch, and did so box and kick him, that he fell down like one
out of his senses. The old woman helped him up again: and that he
might not have time to think of his ill-treatment, bade him take
courage, and whispered in his ear, that all his sufferings were
at an end, and that he was just about to receive his reward.

The old woman continued her discourse to Backbarah thus: "You
have only one thing more to do, and that is but a small one. You
must know that my mistress has a custom, when she has drunk a
little, as you see she has done to-day, to let no one that she
loves come near her, except they be stripped to their shirt; and
when they have done so, she takes a little advantage of them and
begins running before them through the gallery, and from chamber
to chamber, till they catch her. This is one more of her humours:
what advantage soever she takes of you, considering your
nimbleness, you will soon overtake her; strip yourself then to
your shirt, undress yourself without ceremony."

My silly brother had done too much to hesitate at anything now.
He undressed himself; and in the mean time the young lady was
stripped to her shift and drawers, that she might run the more
nimbly. When they were ready, the young lady took the advantage
of twenty paces, and then began to run with surprising swiftness:
my brother followed as fast as he could, the slaves in the mean
time laughing heartily and clapping their hands. The young lady,
instead of losing ground, gained upon my brother: she made him
run two or three times round the gallery, and then entering a
long dark passage, made her escape. Backbarah, who still
followed, having lost sight of her in the passage, was obliged to
slacken his pace, because of the darkness of the place: at last
perceiving a light, he ran towards it, and went out at a door,
which was immediately shut after him. You may imagine how he was
surprised to find himself in a street inhabited by curriers, and
they were no less surprised to see him in his shirt, his eyes
painted red, and without beard or moustaches: they began to clap
their hands and shout at him, and some of them ran after him and
lashed his back with leather straps. They then took him and set
him upon an ass which they met by chance, and carried him through
the town exposed to the laughter of the people.

To complete his misfortune, as he went by the judge's house, he
would needs know the cause of the tumult. The curriers told him,
that they saw him come in that condition from the gate of the
apartments of the grand vizier's women, which opened into their
street; upon which the judge ordered unfortunate Backbarah to
have a hundred blows with a cane on the soles of his feet, and
sent him out of the town with orders never to return.

"Thus, commander of the faithful," said I to the caliph, "I have
given an account of the adventure of my second brother, who did
not know that our greatest ladies divert themselves sometimes by
putting such tricks upon young people, who are so foolish as to
be caught in the snare."

The barber, without breaking off, told the story of his third
brother in the following manner.

The Story of the Barber's Third Brother.

Commander of the faithful, my third brother, whose name was
Backbac, was blind, and his evil destiny reduced him to beg from
door to door. He had been so long accustomed to walk through the
streets alone, that he wanted none to lead him: he had a custom
to knock at people's doors, and not to answer till they opened to
him. One day he knocked thus, and the master of the house, who
was alone, cried, "Who is there?" My brother made no answer, and
knocked a second time: the master of the house asked again and
again, "Who is there?" but to no purpose, no one answered; upon
which he came down, opened the door, and asked my brother what he
wanted? "Give me something for Heaven's sake," said Backbac. "You
seem to be blind," replied the master of the house. "Yes, to my
sorrow," answered my brother. "Give me your hand," resumed the
master of the house. My brother did so, thinking he was going to
give him alms; but he only took him by the hand to lead him up to
his chamber. Backbac thought he had been carrying him to dine
with him, as many other people had done. When they reached the
chamber, the man let go his hand, and sitting down, asked him
again what he wanted? "I have already told you," said Backbac,
"that I want something for God's sake." "Good blind man," replied
the master of the house, "all that I can do for you is to wish
that God may restore you your sight." "You might have told me
that at the door," replied my brother, "and not have given me the
trouble to come up stairs." "And why, fool," said the man of the
house, "do not you answer at first, when people ask you who is
there? Why do you give any body the trouble to come and open the
door when they speak to you?" "What will you do with me then?"
asked my brother. "I tell you again," said the man of the house,
"I have nothing to give you." "Help me down the stairs then, as
you brought me up." "The stairs are before you," said the man of
the house, "and you may go down by yourself if you will." My
brother attempted to descend, but missing a step about the middle
of the stairs, fell to the bottom and hurt his head and his back:
he got up again with much difficulty, and went out cursing the
master of the house. who laughed at his fall.

As my brother went out of the house, two blind men, his
companions, were going by, knew him by his voice, and asked him
what was the matter? He told them what had happened; and
afterwards said, "I have eaten nothing to-day; I conjure you to
go along with me to my house, that I may take some of the money
that we three have in common to buy me something for supper." The
two blind men agreed, and they went home with him.

You must know that the master of the house where my brother was
so ill used was a robber, and of a cunning and malicious
disposition. He overheard from his window what Backbac had said
to his companions, and came down and followed them to my
brother's house. The blind men being seated, Backbac said to
them, "Brothers, we must shut the door, and take care there be no
stranger with us." At this the robber was much perplexed, but
perceiving a rope hanging down from a beam, he caught hold of it,
and hung by it, while the blind men shut the door, and felt about
the room with their sticks. When they had done, and had sat down
again in their places, the robber left his rope, and seated
himself softly by my brother, who thinking himself alone with his
blind comrades, said to them, "Brothers, since you have trusted
me with the money, which we have been a long time gathering, I
will show you that I am not unworthy of the confidence you repose
in me. The last time we reckoned, you know we had ten thousand
dirhems, and that we put them into ten bags; I will shew you that
I have not touched one of them:" having so said, he put his hand
among some old clothes, and taking out the bags one after
another, gave them to his comrades, saying, "There they are; you
may judge by their weight that they are whole, or you may tell
them if you please." His comrades answered there was no need,
they did not mistrust him; so he opened one of the bags, and took
out ten dirhems, and each of the other blind men did the like.

My brother put the bags into their place again: after which, one
of the blind men said to him, "There is no need to lay out
anything for supper, for I have collected as much victuals from
good people as will serve us all." At the same time he took out
of his bag bread and cheese, and some fruit, and putting all upon
the table, they began to eat, The robber, who sat at my brother's
right hand, picked out the best, and eat with them; but whatever
care he took to make no noise, Backbac heard his chaps going, and
cried out immediately, "We are undone, there is a stranger among
us:" having so said, he stretched out his hand, and caught hold
of the robber by the arm, cried out "Thieves!" fell upon him, and
struck him. The other blind men fell upon him in like manner; the
robber defended himself as well as he could, and being young and
vigorous, besides having the advantage of his eyes, gave furious
blows, sometimes to one, sometimes to another, and cried out
"Thieves!" louder than they did. The neighbours came running at
the noise, broke open the door, and had much ado to separate the
combatants; but having at last succeeded, they asked the cause of
their quarrel. My brother, who still had hold of the robber,
cried out, "Gentlemen, this man I have hold of is a thief, and
stole in with us on purpose to rob us of the little money we
have." The thief, who shut his eyes as soon as the neighbours
came, feigned himself blind, and exclaimed, "Gentlemen, he is a
liar. I swear to you by heaven, and by the life of the caliph,
that I am their companion, and they refuse to give me my just
share. They have all three fallen upon me, and I demand justice."
The neighbours would not interfere in their quarrel, but carried
them all before the judge.

When they came before the magistrate, the robber, without staying
to be examined, cried out, still feigning himself blind, "Sir,
since you are deputed to administer justice by the caliph, whom
God prosper, I declare to you that we are equally criminal, my
three comrades and I; but we have all engaged, upon oath, to
confess nothing except we be bastinadoed; so that if you would
know our crime, you need only order us to be bastinadoed, and
begin with me." My brother would have spoken, but was not allowed
to do so: and the robber was put under the bastinado.

The robber being under the bastinado, had the courage to bear
twenty or thirty blows; when, pretended to be overcome with pain,
he first opened one eve, and then the other, and crying out for
mercy, begged the judge would put a stop to the blows. The judge
perceiving that he looked upon him with his eyes open, was much
surprised, and said to him, "Rogue, what is the meaning of this
miracle?" "Sir," replied the robber, "I will discover to you an
important secret, if you will pardon me, and give me, as a pledge
that you will keep your word, the seal-ring which you have on
your finger." The judge consented, gave him his ring, and
promised him pardon. "Under this promise," continued the robber,
"I must confess to you sir, that I and my three comrades do all
of us see very well. We feigned ourselves to be blind, that we
might freely enter people's houses, and women's apartments, where
we abuse their weakness. I must farther confess to you, that by
this trick we have gained together ten thousand dirhems. This day
I demanded of my partners two thousand five hundred that belonged
to my share, but they refused because I told them I would leave
them; and they were afraid I should accuse them. Upon my pressing
still to have my share, they fell upon me; for which I appeal to
those people who brought us before you. I expect from your
justice, sir, that you will make them deliver me the two thousand
five hundred dirhems which is my due; and if you have a mind that
my comrades should confess the truth, you must order them three
times as many blows as I have had, and you will find they will
open their eyes as well as I have done."

My brother and the other two blind men would have cleared
themselves of this horrid charge, but the judge would not hear
them: "Villains," said he, "do you feign yourselves blind then,
and, under that pretext of moving their compassion, cheat people,
and commit such crimes?" "He is an impostor," cried my brother,
"and we take God to witness that none of us can see."

All that my brother could say was in vain, his comrades and he
received each of them two hundred blows. The judge expected them
to open their eyes, and ascribed to their obstinacy what really
they could not do. All the while the robber said to the blind
men, "Poor fools that you are, open your eyes, and do not suffer
yourselves to be beaten to death." Then addressing himself to the
judge, said, "I perceive, sir, that they will be maliciously
obstinate to the last, and will never open their eyes. They wish
certainly to avoid the shame of reading their own condemnation in
the face of every one that looks upon them; it were better, if
you think fit, to pardon them, and to send some person along with
me for the ten thousand dirhems they have hidden."

The judge consented to give the robber two thousand five hundred
dirhems, and kept the rest himself; and as for my brother and his
two companions, he thought he shewed them pity by sentencing them
only to be banished. As soon as I heard what had befallen my
brother, I went to him; he told me his misfortune, and I brought
him back secretly to the town. I could easily have justified him
to the judge, and have had the robber punished as he deserved,
but durst not make the attempt, for fear of bringing myself into
danger of assassination. Thus I finished the sad adventure of my
honest blind brother. The caliph laughed at it, as much as at
those he had heard before, and ordered again that something
should be given me; but without staying for it, I began the story
of my fourth brother.

The Story of the Barber's Fourth Brother.

Alcouz was the name of the fourth brother who lost one of his
eyes, upon an occasion that I shall have the honour to relate to
your majesty. He was a butcher by profession, and had a
particular way of teaching rams to fight, by which he gained the
acquaintance and friendship of the chief lords of the country,
who loved that sport, and for that end kept rams at their houses.
He had besides a very good trade, and had his shop always full of
the best meat, because he spared no cost for the prime of every
sort. One day when he was in his shop, an old man with a long
white beard came and bought six pounds of meat of him, gave him
money for it, and went his way. My brother thought the money so
pure and well coined, that he put it apart by itself: the same
old man came every day for five months together, bought a like
quantity of meat, and paid for it in the same kind of money,
which my brother continued to lay apart.

At the end of five months, Alcouz having a mind to buy a lot of
sheep, and to pay for them in this money, opened his chest; but
instead of finding his money, was extremely surprised to see
nothing in the place where he had laid it, but a parcel of leaves
clipped round. He beat his head, and cried out aloud, which
presently brought the neighbours about him, who were as much
surprised as he, when he told them the story. "O!" cried my
brother, weeping, "that this treacherous old fellow would come
now with his hypocritical looks!" He had scarcely spoken, when he
saw him at a distance; he ran to him, and laid hands on him;
"Moosulmauns," cried he, as loud as he could, "help! hear what a
cheat this wicked fellow has put upon me," and at the same time
told a great crowd of people, who came about him, what he had
formerly told his neighbours. When he had done, the old man said
to him very gravely and calmly, "You had better let me go, and by
that means make amends for the affront you have put upon me
before so many people, for fear I should put a greater affront
upon you, which I should be sorry to do." "How," said my brother,
"what have you to say against me? I am an honest man in my
business, and fear not you, nor any body." "You would have me
speak out then," resumed the old man in the same tone; and
turning to the crowd, said to them, "Know, good people, that this
fellow, instead of selling mutton as he ought to do, sells human
flesh." "You are a cheat," said my brother. "No, no," continued
the old man; "good people, this very minute while I am speaking
to him, there is a man with his throat cut hung up in the shop
like a sheep; do any of you go thither, and see if what I say be
not true."

Just before my brother had opened his chest he had killed a
sheep, dressed it, and exposed it in the shop, according to
custom: he protested that what the old man said was false; but
notwithstanding all his protestations, the credulous mob,
prejudiced against a man accused of such a heinous crime, would
go to see whether the charge were true. They obliged my brother
to quit the old man, laid hold of him, and ran like madmen into
his shop, where they saw, to all appearance, a man hung up with
his throat cut, as the old man had told them; for he was a
magician, and deceived the eyes of all people, as he did my
brother, when he made him take leaves instead of money. At this
sight, one of those who held Alcouz gave him a violent blow with
his fist, and said to him, "Thou wicked villain, dost thou make
us eat man's flesh instead of mutton?" And at the same time the
old man gave him another blow, which beat out one of his eyes.
Every body that could get near him struck him; and not content
with that, they carried him before a judge, with the pretended
carcase of the man, to be evidence against him." "Sir," said the
old magician to the judge, "we have brought you a man, who is so
barbarous as to murder people, and to sell their flesh instead of
mutton. The public expects that you will punish him in an
exemplary manner." The judge heard my brother with patience, but
would believe nothing of the story of the money changed into
leaves, called my brother a cheat, told him he would believe his
own eyes, and ordered him to receive five hundred blows. He
afterwards made him tell him where his money was, took it all
from him, and banished him for ever, after having made him ride
three days through the city upon a camel, exposed to the insults
of the people.

I was not at Bagdad when this tragical adventure befell my fourth
brother. He retired into a remote place, where he lay concealed
till he was cured of the blows with which his back was terribly
mangled. When he was able to walk, he went by night to a certain
town where nobody knew him; and there he took a lodging, from
whence he seldom moved; but being weary of this confined life, he
went to walk in one of the suburbs, where suddenly he heard a
noise of horsemen coming behind him. He was then by chance near
the gate of a house, and fearing, after what had befallen him,
that these horsemen were pursuing him, he opened the gate in
order to hide himself, and after he had shut it, entered a court,
where immediately two servants came and collared him, saying,
"Heaven be praised, that you have come of your own accord to
surrender yourself; you have alarmed us so much these three last
nights, that we could not sleep; nor would you have spared our
lives, if we had not prevented your design." You may well imagine
my brother was much surprised. "Good people," said he, "I know
not what you mean; you certainly take me for somebody else." "No,
no," replied they, "we know that you and your comrades are
robbers: you were not contented to rob our master of all that he
had, and to reduce him to beggary, but you conspired to take his
life. Let us see if you have not a knife about you, which you had
in your hand when you pursued us last night." Having said thus,
they searched him, and found he had a knife. "Ho! ho!" cried
they, laying hold of him, "and dare you say that you are not a
robber?" "Why," said my brother, "cannot a man carry a knife
about him without being a robber? If you will hearken to my
story, instead of having so bad an opinion of me, you will be
touched with compassion at my misfortunes." But far from
attending to him, they fell upon him, trod upon him, took away
his clothes, and tore his shirt. Then seeing the scars on his
back, "O dog," said they, redoubling their blows, "would you have
us believe you are an honest man, when your back shews us the
contrary?" "Alas!" said my brother, "my crimes must be very
great, since, after having been abused already so unjustly, I am
thus treated a second time without being more culpable!"

The two servants, no way moved with his complaint, carried him
before the judge, who asked him how he durst presume to go into
their house, and pursue them with a drawn knife? "Sir," replied
the unfortunate Alcouz, "I am the most innocent man in the world,
and am undone if you will not be pleased to hear me patiently: no
one deserves more compassion." "Sir," exclaimed one of the
domestics, "will you listen to a robber, who enters people's
houses to plunder and murder them? If you will not believe us,
only look upon his back;" and while he said so he uncovered my
brother's back, and shewed it to the judge, who, without any
other information, commanded his officers immediately to give him
a hundred lashes over the shoulders, and made him afterwards be
carried through the town on a camel, with one crying before him,
"Thus are men punished who enter people's houses by force." After
having treated him thus, they banished him the town, and forbad
him ever to return. Some people, who met him after the second
misfortune, brought me word where he was; I went, brought him to
Bagdad privately, and gave him all the assistance I could. The
caliph did not laugh so much at this story as at the other. He
was pleased to pity the unfortunate Alcouz, and ordered something
to be given me. But without giving his servants time to obey his
orders, I continued my discourse, and said to him: "My sovereign
lord and master, you see that I do not talk much; and since your
majesty has been pleased to do me the favour to listen to me so
far, I beg you would likewise hear the adventures of my two other
brothers; I hope they will be as diverting as those of the
former. You may make a complete history of them, that will not be
unworthy of your library: I shall do myself the honour then to
acquaint you, that the fifth brother was called Alnaschar."

The Story of the Barber's Fifth Brother.

Alnaschar, as long as our father lived, was very lazy; instead of
working he used to beg in the evening, and live upon what he got.
Our father died at a very old age, and left among us seven
hundred dirhems: we divided equally, so that each of us had a
hundred for his share. Alnaschar, who had never before possessed
so much money, was much perplexed to know what he should do with
it. He consulted a long time with himself, and at last resolved
to lay it out in glass-ware which he bought of a wholesale
dealer. He put all in an open basket, and sat with it before him,
and his back against a wall, in a place where he might sell it.
In this posture, with his eyes fixed on his basket, he began to
meditate; during which he spoke as follows: "This basket cost me
a hundred dirhems, which is all I have in the world. I shall make
two hundred of them by retailing my glass, and of these two
hundred, which I will again lay out in glass-ware, I shall make
four hundred; and going on thus, I shall at last make four
thousand dirhems; of four thousand I shall easily make eight
thousand, and when I come to ten thousand, I will leave off
selling glass and turn jeweller; I will trade in diamonds,
pearls, and all sorts of precious stones: then when I am as rich
as I can wish, I will buy a fine mansion, a great estate, slaves,
eunuchs, and horses. I will keep a good house, and make a great
figure in the world; I will send for all the musicians and
dancers of both sexes in town. Nor will I stop here, for, I will,
by the favour of Heaven, go on till I get one hundred thousand
dirhems, and when I have amassed so much, I will send to demand
the grand vizier's daughter in marriage; and represent to that
minister, that I have heard much of the wonderful beauty,
understanding, wit, and all the other qualities of his daughter;
in a word, that I will give him a thousand pieces of gold the
first night after we are married; and if the vizier be so uncivil
as to refuse his daughter, which cannot be supposed, I will go
and carry her off before his face, and take her to my house
whether he will or no. As soon as I have married the grand
vizier's daughter, I will buy her ten young black eunuchs, the
handsomest that can be had; I will clothe my self like a prince,
and mounted upon a fine horse, with a saddle of fine gold, with
housings of cloth of gold, finely embroidered with diamonds and
pearls, I will ride through the city, attended by slaves before
and behind. I will go to the vizier's palace in view of all the
people great and small, who will show me the most profound
respect. When I alight at the foot of the vizier's staircase, I
will ascend through my own people, ranged in files on the right
and left; and the grand vizier, receiving me as his son-in-law,
shall give me the right hand and set me above him, to do me the
more honour. If this comes to pass, as I hope it will, two of my
people shall each of them have a purse with a thousand pieces of
gold, which they shall carry with them. I will take one, and
presenting it to the grand vizier, tell him, ‘There is the
thousand pieces of gold that I promised the first night of
marriage:' and I will offer him the other and say to him, ‘There
is as much more, to shew you that I am a man of my word, and even
better than my promise.' After such an action as this, all the
world will talk of my generosity. I will return to my own house
in the same pomp. My wife will send some officer to compliment
me, on account of my visit to the vizier, her father: I will
honour the officer with a fine robe, and send him back with a
rich present. If she send me a present, I will not accept it, but
dismiss the bearer. I will not suffer her to go out of her
apartment on any account whatever, without giving me notice: and
when I have a mind to come to her apartment, it shall be in such
a manner as to make her respect me. In short, no house shall be
better ordered than mine. I will be always richly clad. When I
retire with my wife in the evening, I will sit on the upper seat,
I will affect a grave air, without turning my head to one side or
the other. I will speak little; and whilst my wife, beautiful as
the full moon, stands before me in all her charms, I will make as
if I did not see her. Her women about her will say to me, ‘Our
dear lord and master, here is your spouse, your humble servant,
before you, ready to receive your caresses, but much mortified
that you do not vouchsafe to look upon her; she is wearied with
standing so long, bid her, at least, sit down.' I will make no
answer, which will increase their surprise and grief. They will
prostrate themselves at my feet; and after they have for a
considerable time entreated me to relent, I will at last lift up
my head, give her a careless look, and resume my former posture:
they will suppose that my wife is not handsomely enough dressed,
and will carry her to her closet to change her apparel. At the
same time I will get up and put on a more magnificent suit; they
will return and address me as before, but I will not so much as
look upon my wife, till they have prayed and entreated as long as
they did at first. Thus I will begin on the first day of
marriage, to teach her what she is to expect during the rest of
her life.

"After the ceremonies of the marriage, I will take from one of my
servants, who shall be about me, a purse of five hundred pieces
of gold, which I will give to the tire-women, that they may leave
me alone with my spouse: when they are gone, my wife shall go to
bed first; then I will lie down by her with my back towards her,
and will not say one wore to her all night. The next morning she
will certainly complain of my contempt and of my pride, to her
mother the grand vizier's wife, which will rejoice my heart. Her
mother will come to wait upon me, respectfully kiss my hands, and
say to me, ‘Sir' (for she will not dare to call me son-in-law,
for fear of provoking me by such a familiar style), ‘I entreat
you not to disdain to look on my daughter, and refuse to come
near her. I assure you that her chief delight is to please you,
and that she loves you with all her soul.' But in spite of all my
mother-in-law can say, I will not answer her one word, but keep
an obstinate gravity. Then she will throw herself at my feet,
kiss them repeatedly, and say to me, ‘Sir, is it possible that
you can suspect my daughter's virtue? You are the first man who
ever saw her face: do not mortify her so much; do her the favour
to look upon her, to speak to her, and confirm her in her good
intentions to satisfy you in every thing.' But nothing of this
shall prevail with me. Upon which my mother-in-law will take a
glass of wine, and putting it in the hand of her daughter my
wife, will say, ‘Go, present him this glass of wine yourself;
perhaps he will not be so cruel as to refuse it from so fair a
hand.' My wife will come with the glass and stand trembling
before me; and when she finds that I do not look towards her, but
that I continue to disdain her, she will say to me with tears in
her eyes, ‘My heart, my dear soul, my amiable lord, I conjure
you, by the favours which heaven heaps upon you, to receive this
glass of wine from the hand of your most humble servant:' but I
will not look upon her still, nor answer her. ‘My charming
spouse,' will she say, redoubling her tears, and putting the
glass to my mouth, "I will never cease till I prevail with you to
drink;' then, wearied with her entreaties, I will dart a terrible
look at her, shake my hand in her face, and spurn her from me
with my foot."

My brother was so full of these chimerical visions, that he acted
with his foot as if she had been really before him, and
unfortunately gave such a push to his basket and glasses, that
they were thrown down, and broken into a thousand pieces,

On this fatal accident, he came to himself, and perceiving that
he had brought misfortune upon himself by his insupportable
pride, beat his face, tore his clothes, and cried so loud, that
the neighbours came about him; and the people, who were going to
their noon prayers, stopped to know what was the matter. Being on
a Friday, more people went to prayers than usual; some of them
took pity on Alnaschar, and others only laughed at his
extravagance. In the mean time, his vanity being dispersed with
his property, he bitterly bewailed his loss; and a lady of rank
passing by upon a mule richly caparisoned, my brother's situation
moved her compassion. She asked who he was, and what he cried
for? They told her, that he was a poor man, who had laid out the
little money he possessed in the purchase of a basket of
glassware, that the basket had fallen, and all his glasses were
broken. The lady immediately turned to an eunuch who attended
her, and said to him, "Give the poor man what you have about
you." The eunuch obeyed, and put into my brother's hands a purse
with five hundred pieces of gold. Alnaschar was ready to die with
joy when he received it. He gave a thousand blessings to the
lady, and shutting up his shop, where he had no more occasion to
sit, went to his house.

While he was pondering over his good luck, he heard somebody
knock at his door. Before he opened, he asked who it was, and
knowing by the voice that it was a woman, he let her in. "My
son," said she, "I have a favour to beg of you: the hour of
prayer is come, let me perform my ablutions in your house, that I
may be fit to say my prayers." My brother looking at her, and
seeing that she was well advanced in years, though he knew her
not, granted her request, and sat down again still full of his
new adventure. He put his gold in a long strait purse, proper to
carry at his girdle. The old woman in the mean time said her
prayers, and when she had done, came to my brother and bowed
twice to the ground, so low, that she touched it with her
forehead: then rising up, she wished him all happiness.

The old woman then bowed again, and thanked him for his civility.
Being meanly clad, and very humble, he thought she asked alms;
upon which he offered her two pieces of gold. The old woman
stepped back in a sort of surprise, as if my brother had
affronted her. "Good God!" said she, "what is the meaning of
this? Is it possible, sir, that you took me for one of those
impudent beggars who push into people's houses to ask alms? Take
back your money: thank heaven, I need it not. I belong to a young
lady of this city, who is a perfect beauty, and very rich; she
lets me want for nothing."

My brother was not cunning enough to perceive the craft of the
old woman, who only refused the two pieces of gold, that she
might catch more. He asked her, if she could not procure him the
honour of seeing that lady. "With all my heart," she replied;
"she will be very glad to marry you, and to put you in possession
of her fortune, by making you master of her person. Take up your
money, and follow me." My brother, transported with his good luck
in finding so great a sum of money, and almost at the same time a
beautiful and rich wife, shut his eyes to all other
considerations; so that he took his five hundred pieces of gold,
and followed the old woman. She walked on, and he followed at a
distance, to the gate of a great house, where she knocked. He
came up just as a young Greek slave opened the gate. The old
woman made him enter first, crossed a well-paved court, and
introduced him into a hall, the furniture of which confirmed him
in the good opinion he had conceived of the mistress of the
house. While the old woman went to acquaint the lady, he sat
down, and the weather being hot, put off his turban, and laid it
by him. He speedily saw the young lady enter: her beauty and rich
apparel perfectly surprised him; he arose as soon as he saw her.
The lady, with a smiling countenance, prayed him to sit down
again, and placed herself by him. She told him, she was very glad
to see him; and after having spoken some engaging words, said,
"We do not sit here at our ease. Come, give me your hand." At
these words she presented him hers, and conducted him into an
inner chamber, where she conversed with him for some time: she
then left him, saying that she would be with him in a moment. He
waited for her; but instead of the lady came in a great black
slave with a cimeter in his hand, and looking upon my brother
with a terrible aspect, said to him fiercely, "What have you to
do here?" Alnaschar was so frightened, that he had no power to
answer. The black stripped him, carried off his gold, and gave
him several flesh wounds with his cimeter. My unhappy brother
fell to the ground, where he lay without motion, though he had
still the use of his senses. The black thinking him to be dead,
asked for salt: the Greek slave brought him a basin full: they
rubbed my brother's wounds with it, but he had so much command of
himself, notwithstanding the intolerable pain it put him to, that
he lay still without giving any sign of life. The black and the
Greek slave having retired, the old woman, who had enticed my
brother into the snare, came and dragged him by the feet to a
trapdoor, which she opened, and threw him into a place under
ground, among the bodies of several other people who had been
murdered. He perceived this as soon as he came to himself, for
the violence of the fall had taken away his senses. The salt
rubbed into his wounds preserved his life, and he recovered
strength by degrees, so as to be able to walk. After two days he
opened the trap-door in the night, and finding in the court a
place proper to hide himself in, continued there till break of
day, when he saw the cursed old woman open the street gate, and
go out to seek another victim. He stayed in the place some time
after she was gone, that she might not see him, and then came to
me for shelter, when he told me of his adventures.

In a month's time he was perfectly cured of his wounds by
medicines that I gave him, and resolved to avenge himself of the
old woman, who had put such a barbarous cheat upon him. To this
end he took a bag, large enough to contain five hundred pieces of
gold, and filled it with pieces of glass.

My brother fastened the bag of glass about him, disguised himself
like an old woman, and took a cimeter under his gown. One morning
he met the old woman walking through the town to seek her prey;
he went up to her, and counterfeiting a woman's voice, said,
"Cannot you lend me a pair of scales? I am newly come from
Persia, have brought five hundred pieces of gold with me, and
would know if they are weight." "Good woman," answered the old
hag, "you could not have applied to a fitter person: follow me, I
will conduct you to my son, who changes money, and will weigh
them himself to save you the trouble. Let us make haste, for fear
he should go to his shop." My brother followed her to the house
where she carried him at first, and the Greek slave opened the

The old woman took my brother to the hall where she desired him
to wait till she called her son. The pretended son came, and
proved to be the villainous black slave. "Come, old woman," said
he to my brother, "rise and follow me:" having spoken thus, he
went before to conduct him to the place where he designed to
murder him. Alnaschar got up, followed him, and drawing his
cimeter, gave him such a dexterous blow behind on the neck, that
he cut off his head, which he took in one hand, and dragging the
corpse with the other, threw them both into the place under
ground before-mentioned. The Greek slave, who was accustomed to
the trade, came presently with a basin of salt; but when she saw
Alnaschar with his cimeter in his hand, and without his veil, she
laid down the basin, and fled. But my brother overtaking her, cut
off her head also. The wicked old woman came running at the
noise, and my brother seizing her, said to her, "Treacherous
wretch, do not you know me?" "Alas, Sir!" answered she trembling,
"who are you? I do not remember that I ever saw you." "I am,"
replied he, "the person to whose house you came the other day to
wash and say your prayers. Hypocritical hag, do not you
remember?" Then she fell on her knees to beg his pardon, but he
cut her in four pieces.

There remained only the lady, who knew nothing of what had
passed: he sought her out, and found her in a chamber, where she
was ready to sink when she saw him: she begged her life, which he
generously granted. "Madam," said he, "how could you live with
such wicked people, as I have so justly revenged myself upon?" "I
was," she answered, "wife to an honest merchant; and the old
woman, whose wickedness I did not then know, used sometimes to
come to see me; ‘Madam,' said she to me one day, ‘we have a
wedding at our house, which you will be pleased to see, if you
will give us the honour of your company:' I was persuaded by her,
put on my best apparel, and took with me a hundred pieces of
gold. I followed her; she brought me to this house, where the
black has since kept me by force, and I have been three years
here to my great sorrow." "By the trade which that cursed black
followed," replied my brother, "he must have gathered together a
vast deal of riches." "There is so much," said she "that you will
be made for ever, if you can carry them off: follow me, and you
shall see them." Alnaschar followed her to a chamber, where she
shewed him several coffers full of gold, which he beheld with
admiration. "Go," said she, "and fetch people to carry it all
off." My brother went out, got ten men together, and brought them
with him, but was much surprised to find the gate open, the lady
and the coffers gone, for she being more diligent than he, had
conveyed them all off and disappeared. However, being resolved
not to return empty-handed, he carried off all the furniture of
the house, which was a great deal more than enough to make up the
five hundred pieces of gold he had been robbed of; but when he
went out of the house, he forgot to shut the gate. The
neighbours, who saw my brother and the porters come and go, went
and acquainted the magistrate, for they looked upon my brother's
conduct as suspicious. Alnaschar slept well enough all night, but
the next morning, when he came out of his house, twenty of the
magistrate's men seized him. "Come along with us," said they,
"our master would speak with you." My brother prayed them to have
patience for a moment, and offered them a sum of money to let him
escape; but instead of listening to him, they bound him, and
forced him to go with them. They met in the street an old
acquaintance of my brother's, who stopped them awhile, asked them
why they had seized my brother, offered them a considerable sum
to let him escape, and tell the magistrate they could not find
him, but in vain.

When the officers brought him before the magistrate, he asked him
where he had the goods which he had carried home the preceding
evening? "Sir," replied Alnaschar, "I am ready to tell you all
the truth; but allow me first to have recourse to your clemency,
and to beg your promise, that I shall not be punished." "I give
it you," said the magistrate. My brother then told him the whole
story without disguise, from the period the old woman came into
his house to say her prayers, to the time the lady made her
escape, after he had killed the black, the Greek slave, and the
old woman: and as for what he had carried to his house, he prayed
the judge to leave him part of it, for the five hundred pieces of
gold of which he had been robbed.

The judge, without promising any thing, sent his officers to
bring off the whole, and having put the goods into his own
warehouse, commanded my brother to quit the town immediately, and
never to return, for he was afraid, if he had stayed in the city,
he would have found some way to represent this injustice to the
caliph. In the mean time, Alnaschar obeyed without murmuring, and
left that town to go to another. By the way, he met with
highwaymen, who stripped him naked; and when the ill news was
brought to me, I carried him a suit, and brought him secretly
into the town, where I took the like care of him as I did of his
other brothers.

The Story of the Barber's Sixth Brother.

I have now only to relate the story of my sixth brother, called
Schacabac, with the hare lips. At first he was industrious enough
to improve the hundred dirhems of silver which fell to his share,
and went on very well; but a reverse of fortune brought him to
beg his bread, which he did with a great deal of dexterity. He
studied chiefly to get into great men's houses by means of their
servants and officers, that he might have access to their
masters, and obtain their charity. One day as he passed by a
magnificent house, whose high gate shewed a very spacious court,
where there was a multitude of servants, he went to one of them,
and asked him to whom that house belonged? "Good man," replied
the servant, "whence do you come that you ask me such a question?
Does not all that you behold point out to you that it is the
palace of a Barmecide?" "My brother, who very well knew the
liberality and generosity of the Barmecides, addressed himself to
one of his porters (for he had more than one), and prayed him to
give him alms. "Go in," said he, "nobody hinders you, and address
yourself to the master of the house; he will send you back

My brother, who expected no such civility, thanked the porters,
and with their permission entered the palace, which was so large,
that it took him a considerable time to reach the Barmecide's.
apartment; at last he came to an arcade square building of an
excellent architecture, and entered by parterres of flowers
intersected by walks of several colours, extremely pleasant to
the eye: the lower apartments round this square were most of them
open, and were shut only with great curtains to keep out the sun,
which were opened again when the heat was over to let in the
fresh air.

Such an agreeable place would have struck my brother with
admiration, even if his mind had been more at ease than it was.
He went on till he came into a hall richly furnished and adorned
with painting of gold and azure foliage, where he saw a venerable
man with a long white beard, sitting at the upper end on a sofa,
whence he concluded him to be the master of the house; and in
fact it was the Barmecide himself, who said to my brother in a
very civil manner, that he was welcome; and asked him what he
wanted? "My lord," answered my brother, in a begging tone, "I am
a poor man who stands in need of the help of such rich and
generous persons as yourself." He could not have addressed
himself to a fitter person than this lord, who had a thousand
good qualities.

The Barmecide seemed to be astonished at my brother's answer, and
putting both his hands to his stomach, as if he would rend his
clothes for grief, "Is it possible," cried he, "that I am at
Bagdad, and that such a man as you is so poor as you say? this is
what must never be." My brother, fancying that he was going to
give him some singular mark of his bounty, blessed him a thousand
times, and wished him all happiness. "It shall not be said,"
replied the Barmecide, "that I will abandon you, nor will I have
you leave me." "Sir," replied my brother, "I swear to you I have
not eaten one bit to-day." "Is it true," demanded the Barmecide,
"that you are fasting till now? Alas, poor man! he is ready to
die for hunger. Ho, boy," cried he, with a loud voice, "bring a
basin and water presently, that we may wash our hands." Though no
boy appeared, and my brother saw neither water nor basin, the
Barmecide fell to rubbing his hands as if one had poured water
upon them, and bade my brother come and wash with him. Schacabac
judged by this, that the Barmecide lord loved to be merry, and he
himself understanding raillery, and knowing that the poor must be
complaisant to the rich, if they would have any thing from them,
came forward and did as he was required.

"Come on," said the Barmecide, "bring us something to eat, and do
not let us wait." When he had spoken, though nothing appeared, he
began to cut as if something had been brought him upon a plate,
and putting his hand to his mouth began to chew, and said to my
brother, "Come, friend, eat as freely as if you were at home;
come, eat; you said you were like to die of hunger, but you eat
as if you had no appetite." "Pardon me, my lord," said Schacabac,
who perfectly imitated what he did, "you see I lose no time, and
that I play my part well enough." "How like you this bread," said
the Barmecide; "do not you find it very good?" "O! my lord,"
replied my brother, who saw neither bread nor meat, "I have never
eaten anything so white and so fine." "Eat your belly-full," said
the Barmecide; "I assure you the woman who bakes me this good
bread cost me five hundred pieces of gold to purchase her."

The Barmecide, after having boasted so much of his bread, which
my brother ate only in idea, cried, "Boy, bring us another dish:"
and though no boy appeared, "Come, my good friend," continued he,
"taste this new dish; and tell me if ever you ate better mutton
and barley-broth than this." "It is admirably good," replied my
brother, "and therefore you see I eat heartily." "You oblige me
highly," resumed the Barmecide; "I conjure you then, by the
satisfaction I have to see you eat so heartily, that you eat all
up, since you like it so well." A little while after he called
for a goose and sweet sauce, made up of vinegar, honey, dry
raisins, grey peas, and dry figs, which were brought just in the
same manner as the others had. "The goose is very fat," said the
Barmecide, "eat only a leg and a wing; we must save our stomachs,
for we have abundance of other dishes to come." He actually
called for several others, of which my brother, who was ready to
die of hunger, pretended to eat; but what he boasted of more than
all the rest was a lamb fed with pistachio nuts, which he ordered
to be brought up in the same manner. "Here is a dish," said the
Barmecide "that you will see at nobody's table but my own; I
would have you eat your belly-full of it." Having spoken thus, he
stretched out his hand as if he had had a piece of lamb in it,
and putting it to my brother's mouth, "There," said he, "swallow
that, and you will judge whether I had not reason to boast of
this dish." My brother thrust out his head, opened his mouth, and
made as if he took the piece of lamb, and eat it with extreme
pleasure. "I knew you would like it," said the Barmecide. "There
is nothing in the world finer," replied my brother; "your table
is most delicious." "Come, bring the ragout; I fancy you will
like that as well as you did the lamb: Well, how do you relish
it?" "O! it is wonderful," replied Schacabac; "for here we taste
all at once, amber, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, and the most
odoriferous herbs, and all these delicacies are so well mixed,
that one does not prevent our tasting the other." "How pleasant!
Honour this ragout," said the Barmecide, "by eating heartily of
it. Ho, boy, bring us another ragout." "No, my lord, if it please
you," replied my brother, "for indeed I can eat no more."

"Come, take away then," said the Barmecide, "and bring the
fruit." He stayed a moment as it were to give time for his
servants to carry away; after which, he addressed my brother,
"Taste these almonds, they are good and fresh gathered." Both of
them made as if they had peeled the almonds, and eaten them;
after this, the Barmecide invited my brother to eat something
else. "Look," said he, "there are all sorts of fruits, cakes, dry
sweetmeats, and conserves, take what you like;" then stretching
out his hand, as if he had reached my brother something, "Look,"
he continued, "there is a lozenge, very good for digestion."
Schacabac made as if he ate it, and said, "My lord, there is no
want of musk here." "These lozenges," replied the Barmecide, "are
made at my own house, where nothing is wanting to make every
article good." He still bade my brother eat, and said to him,
"Methinks you do not eat as if you had been so hungry as you
complained you were when you came in." "My lord," replied
Schacabac, whose jaws ached with moving and having nothing to
eat, "I assure you I am so full that I cannot eat one bit more."

"Well, then, friend," resumed the Barmecide, "we must drink now,
after we have eaten so well." "You may drink wine, my lord,"
replied my brother, "but I will drink none if you please, because
I am forbidden." "You are too scrupulous," rejoined the
Barmecide; "do as I do." "I will drink then out of complaisance,"
said Schacabac, "for I see you will have nothing wanting to make
your treat complete; but since I am not accustomed to drink wine,
I am afraid I shall commit some error in point of good breeding,
and contrary to the respect that is due to you; therefore I pray
you, once more, to excuse me from drinking any wine; I will be
content with water." "No, no," said the Barmecide, "you shall
drink wine," and at the same time he commanded some to be
brought, in the same manner as the meat and fruit had been served
before. He made as if he poured out wine, and drank first
himself, and then pouring out for my brother, presented him the
glass, saying, "Drink my health, and let us know if you think
this wine good." My brother made as if he took the glass, and
looked as if the colour was good, and put it to his nose to try
the flavour: he then made a low salute to the Barmecide, to
signify that he took the liberty to drink his health, and lastly
he appeared to drink with all the signs of a man that drinks with
pleasure: "My lord," said he, "this is very excellent wine, but I
think it is not strong enough." "If you would have stronger,"
answered the Barmecide, "you need only speak, for I have several
sorts in my cellar. Try how you like this." Upon which he made as
if he poured out another glass for himself, and one for my
brother; and did this so often, that Schacabac, feigning to be
intoxicated with the wine, and acting a drunken man, lifted up
his hand, and gave the Barmecide such a box on the ear as made
him fall down. He was going to give him another blow, but the
Barmecide holding up his hand to ward it off, cried, "Are you
mad?" Then my brother, making as if he had come to himself again,
said, "My lord, you have been so good as to admit your slave into
your house, and give him a treat; you should have been satisfied
with making me eat, and not have obliged me to drink wine; for I
told you beforehand, that it might occasion me to fail in my
respect for you. I am very sorry for it, and beg you a thousand

Scarcely had he finished these words, when the Barmecide, instead
of being in a passion, fell a laughing with all his might. "I
have been long," said he, "seeking a man of your character."

The Barmecide caressed Schacabac mightily, and told him, "I not
only forgive the blow you have given me, but I desire
henceforward we should be friends, and that you take my house for
your home: you have had the complaisance to accommodate yourself
to my humour, and the patience to keep the jest up to the last;
we will now eat in good earnest." When he had finished these
words, he clapped his hands, and commanded his servants, who then
appeared, to cover the table; which was speedily done, and my
brother was treated with all those dishes in reality, which he
ate of before in fancy. At last they cleared the table, and
brought in the wine, and at the same time a number of handsome
slaves, richly appareled, came and sung some agreeable airs to
their musical instruments. In a word, Schacabac had all the
reason in the world to be satisfied with the Barmecide's civility
and bounty; for he treated him as his familiar friend, and
ordered him a suit from his wardrobe.

The Barmecide found my brother to be a man of so much wit and
understanding, that in a few days after he entrusted him with the
care of his household and all his affairs. My brother acquitted
himself very well in that employment for twenty years; at the end
of which the generous Barmecide died, and leaving no heirs, all
his property was confiscated to the use of the prince; and my
brother lost all he had acquired. Being reduced to his first
condition, he joined a caravan of pilgrims going to Mecca,
designing to accomplish that pilgrimage by their charity; but
unfortunately the caravan was attacked and plundered by a number
of Bedouins, superior to that of the pilgrims. My brother was
then taken as a slave by one of the Bedouins, who put him under
the bastinado for several days, to oblige him to ransom himself.
Schacabac protested that it was all in vain. "I am your slave,"
said he, "you may dispose of me as you please; but I declare to
you that I am extremely poor, and not able to redeem myself." In
a word, my brother discovered to him all his misfortunes, and
endeavoured to soften him with tears; but the Bedouin was not to
be moved, and being vexed to find himself disappointed of a
considerable sum of which he reckoned himself sure, he took his
knife and slit my brother's lips. to avenge himself by this
inhumanity for the loss that he thought he had sustained.

The Bedouin had a handsome wife, and frequently when he went on
his excursions left my brother alone with her. At such times she
used all her endeavours to comfort my brother under the rigour of
his slavery. She gave him tokens enough that she loved him, but
he durst not return her passion, for fear he should repent; and
therefore avoided being alone with her, as much as she sought the
opportunity to be alone with him. She was so much in the habit of
caressing and playing with the miserable Schacabac, whenever she
saw him, that one day she happened to act in the same manner, in
the presence of her husband. My brother, without taking notice
that he observed them (so his sins would have it), played
likewise with her. The Bedouin, immediately supposing that they
lived together in a criminal manner, fell upon my brother in a
rage, and after he had mutilated him in a barbarous manner,
carried him on a camel to the top of a desert mountain, where he
left him. The mountain was on the road to Bagdad, so that the
passengers who saw him there informed me where he was. I went
thither speedily, and found unfortunate Schacabac in a deplorable
condition: I gave him what help he stood in need of, and brought
him back to the city.

This is what I told the caliph; that prince applauded me with new
fits of laughter. "Now," said he, "I cannot doubt but they justly
give you the surname of Silent. No one can say the contrary for
certain reasons, however, I command you to depart this town
immediately, and let me hear no more of you." I yielded to
necessity, and travelled for several years in distant countries.
Understanding at last that the caliph was dead, I returned to
Bagdad, where I found not one of my brothers alive. It was on my
return to this city that I did the lame young man the important
service which you have heard. You are, however, witnesses of his
ingratitude, and of the injurious manner in which he treated me;
instead of testifying his obligation, he rather chose to fly from
me and leave his own country. When I understood that he was not
at Bagdad, though no one could tell me whither he was gone, I
determined to seek him. I travelled from province to province a
long time; and when I least expected, met him this day, but I
little thought to find him so incensed against me.

When the barber had concluded his story, we found that the young
man was not to blame for calling him a great chatterer. However,
he wished him to stay with us, and partake of the entertainment
which the master of the house had prepared. We sat down to table,
and were merry together till afternoon prayers; when all the
company parted, and I went to my shop, till it was time to return
home. It was during this interval that humpback came half drunk
before my shop, where he sung and played on his tabor. I thought
that, by carrying him home with me, I should divert my wife,
therefore I took him in: my wife gave us a dish of fish, and I
presented humpback with some, which he ate, without taking notice
of a bone. He fell down dead before us, and after having in vain
essayed to help him, in the trouble and fear occasioned by such
an unlucky accident, we carried the corpse out, and dexterously
lodged him with the Jewish doctor. The Jewish doctor put him into
the chamber of the purveyor, and the purveyor carried him out
into the street, where it was believed the merchant had killed
him. "This sir," added the tailor, "is what I had to say to
satisfy your majesty, who must pronounce whether we be worthy of
mercy or wrath, life or death."

The sultan of Casgar shewed a satisfaction in his countenance,
which restored the tailor and his comrades to life. "I cannot but
acknowledge," said he, "that I am more struck with the history of
the young cripple, with that of the barber, and with the
adventures of his brothers, than with the story of my jester: but
before I send you all away, and we proceed to bury humpback, I
should like to see the barber who is the occasion of my pardoning
you; since he is in my capital, it is easy to satisfy my
curiosity." At the same time he sent an officer with the tailor
to find him.

The officer and the tailor went immediately and brought the
barber, whom they presented to the sultan: the barber was a
venerable man about ninety years of age; his eye-brows and beard
were white as snow, his ears hanging down, and his nose very
long. The sultan could not forbear laughing when he saw him.
"Silent man," said he to him, "I understand that you know
wonderful stories, will you tell me some of them?"

"Sir," answered the barber, "let us forbear the stories, if you
please, at present. I most humbly beg your majesty to permit me
to ask what that Christian, that Jew, that Moosulmaun and that
dead humpback, who ties on the ground, do here before your
majesty?" The sultan smiled at the barber's freedom, and replied,
"Why do you ask?" "Sir," replied the barber, "it concerns me to
ask, that your majesty may know I am not so great a talker as
some represent me, but a man justly called Silent."

The sultan commanded them to tell him the story of the humpback,
which he seemed earnestly to wish for. When the barber heard it,
he shook his head, as if he would say, there was something under
this which he did not understand. "Truly," cried he, "this is a
surprising story; but I wish to examine humpback a little
nearer." He approached him, sat down on the ground, took his head
between his knees, and after he had looked upon him steadfastly,
fell into so great a fit of laughter, and had so little command
of himself, that he fell backwards on the ground, without
considering that he was before the sultan of Casgar. As soon as
he came to himself, "It is said," cried he, "and not without
reason, that no man dies without a cause. If ever any history
deserved to be written in letters of gold, it is that of this

At this all the people looked on the barber as a buffoon, or an
old dotard. "Silent man," said the sultan, "why do you laugh?"
"Sir," answered the barber, "I swear by your majesty's
benevolence, that humpback is not dead: he is yet alive, and I
shall be content to pass for a madman if I do not convince you
this minute." So saying, he took a box wherein he had several
medicines that he carried about him to use as occasion might
require; and drew out a little phial of balsam, with which he
rubbed humpback's neck a long time; then he took out of his case
a neat iron instrument, which he put betwixt his teeth, and after
he had opened his mouth, he thrust down his throat a pair of
small pincers, with which he took out a bit of fish and bone,
which he shewed to all the people. Immediately humpback sneezed,
stretched forth his arms and feet, opened his eyes, and shewed
several other signs of life.

The sultan of Casgar, and all who were witnesses of this
operation, were less surprised to see humpback revive, after he
had passed a whole night, and great part of a day, without giving
any sign of life, than at the merit and capacity of the barber,
who performed this; and notwithstanding all his faults, began to
look upon him as a great physician. The sultan, transported with
joy and admiration, ordered the story of humpback to be written
down, with that of the barber, that the memory of them might, as
it deserved, be preserved for ever. Nor did he stop here; but,
that the tailor, Jewish doctor, purveyor, and Christian merchant
might remember the adventure, which the accident of humpback had
occasioned to them, with pleasure, he did not send them away till
he had given each of them a very rich robe, with which he caused
them to be clothed in his presence. As for the barber, he
honoured him with a great pension, and kept him near his person.

         The History of Aboulhassen Ali Ebn Becar, and
     Schemselnihar, Favourite of Caliph Maroon Al Rusheed.

In the reign of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed, there lived at
Bagdad a druggist, named Alboussan Ebn Thaher, a very rich
handsome man. He had more wit and politeness than people of his
profession generally possess: his integrity, sincerity, and good
humour made him beloved and sought after by all sorts of people.
The caliph, who knew his merit, had entire confidence in him. He
held him in such high esteem, that he entrusted him to provide
his favourite ladies with all the things they stood in need of.
He chose for them their clothes, furniture, and jewels, with
admirable taste.

His good qualities, and the favour of the caliph, occasioned the
sons of emirs, and other officers of the first rank, to be always
about him: his house was the rendezvous of all the nobility of
the court Among the young lords that went daily to visit him, was
one whom he took more notice of than the rest, and with whom he
contrasted a particular friendship, called Aboulhassen Ali Ebn
Becar, originally of an ancient royal family of Persia. This
family had continued at Bagdad ever since the conquest of that
kingdom. Nature seemed to have taken pleasure in endowing this
young prince with the rarest qualities of body and mind: his face
was so very beautiful, his shape so fine, his air so easy, and
his physiognomy so engaging, that it was impossible to see him
without immediately loving him. When he spoke, he expressed
himself in terms proper and well chosen, with a new and agreeable
turn, and his voice charmed all that heard him: he had besides so
much wit and judgment, that he thought and spoke of all subjects
with admirable exactness. He was so reserved and modest, that he
advanced nothing till after he had taken all possible care to
avoid giving any ground of suspicion that he preferred his own
opinion to that of others.

Being such a person as I have represented him, we need not wonder
that Ebn Thaher distinguished him from all the other young
noblemen of the court, most of whom had the vices which composed
the opposites to his virtues. One day, when the prince was with
Ebn Thaher, there came a lady mounted on a piebald mule, in the
midst of ten female slaves who accompanied her on foot, all very
handsome, as far as could be judged by their air, and through
their veils which covered their faces. The lady had a girdle of a
rose colour, four inches broad, embroidered with pearls and
diamonds of an extraordinary bigness; and for beauty it was easy
to perceive that she surpassed all her women, as far as the full
moon does that of two days old. She came to buy something, and as
she wanted to speak to Ebn Thaher, entered his shop, which was
very neat and spacious; and he received her with all the marks of
the most profound respect, entreating her to sit down, and
directing her to the most honourable place.

In the mean time, the prince of Persia, unwilling to lose such an
opportunity of strewing his good breeding and gallantry, adjusted
the cushion of cloth of gold, for the lady to lean on; after
which he hastily retired, that she might sit down; and having
saluted her, by kissing the carpet under her feet, rose and stood
before her at the lower end of the sofa. It being her custom to
be free with Ebn Thaher, she lifted up her veil, and discovered
to the prince of Persia such an extraordinary beauty as struck
him to the heart. On the other hand, the lady could not refrain
from looking upon the prince, the sight of whom had made the same
impressions upon her. "My lord," said she to him, with an
obliging air, "pray sit down." The prince of Persia obeyed, and
sat on the edge of the sofa. He had his eyes constantly fixed
upon her, and swallowed large draughts of the sweet poison of
love. She quickly perceived what passed in his heart, and this
discovery served to inflame her the more towards him. She arose,
went to Ebn Thaher, and after she had whispered to him the cause
of her coming, asked the name and country of the prince. "Madam,"
answered Ebn Thaher, "this young nobleman's name is Aboulhassen
Ali Ebn Becar, and he is a prince of the blood royal of Persia."

The lady was transported at hearing that the person she already
loved so passionately was of so high a rank. "Do you really
mean," said she, "that he is descended from the kings of Persia?"
"Yes, madam," replied Ebn Thaher, "the last kings of Persia were
his ancestors, and since the conquest of that kingdom, the
princes of his family have always made themselves very acceptable
at the court of our caliphs." "You will oblige me much," added
she, "by making me acquainted with this young nobleman: when I
send this woman," pointing to one of her slaves, "to give you
notice to come and see me, pray bring him with you; I shall be
glad to afford him the opportunity of seeing the magnificence of
my house, that he may have it in his power to say, that avarice
does not reign at Bagdad among persons of quality. You know what
I mean."

Ebn Thaher was a man of too much penetration not to perceive the
lady's mind by these words: "My princess, my queen," replied he,
"God preserve me from giving you any occasion of anger: I shall
always make it a law to obey your commands." At this answer, the
lady bowed to Ebn Thaher, and took her leave; and after she had
given a favorable look to the prince of Persia, she remounted her
mule, and departed.

The prince of Persia was so deeply in love with the lady, that he
looked after her as far as he could; and long after she was out
of sight directed his eyes that way. Ebn Thaher told him, that he
remarked several persons observing him, and began to laugh to see
him in this posture. "Alas!" said the prince, "the world and you
would pity me, if you knew that the beautiful lady, who is just
gone from you, has carried with her the best part of me, and that
the remaining part seeks for an opportunity to go after her. Tell
me, I conjure you," added he, "what cruel lady is this, who
forces people to love her, without giving them time to reflect?"
"My lord," answered Ebn Thaher, "this is the celebrated
Schemselnihar, the principal favourite of the caliph, our
master." "She is justly so called," added the prince, "since she
is more beautiful than the sun at noonday." "True," replied Ebn
Thaher; "therefore the commander of the faithful loves, or rather
adores her. He gave me express orders to furnish her with all
that she asked for, and to anticipate her wishes as far as lies
in my power."

He spoke thus to hinder him from engaging in a passion which
could not but prove unfortunate to him; but this served only to
inflame it the more. "I feared, charming Schemselnihar," cried
he, "I should not be allowed so much as to think of you; I
perceive, however, that without hopes of being loved in return, I
cannot forbear loving you; I will love you then, and bless my lot
that I am the slave of an object fairer than the meridian sun."

While the prince of Persia thus consecrated his heart to the fair
Schemselnihar, this lady, as she went home, contrived how she
might see, and have free converse with him. She no sooner entered
her palace, than she sent to Ebn Thaher the woman she had pointed
out to him, and in whom she placed all her confidence, to tell
him to come and see her without delay, and bring the prince of
Persia with him. The slave came to Ebn Thaher's shop, while he
was speaking to the prince, and endeavouring to dissuade him, by
very strong arguments, from loving the caliph's favourite. When
she saw them together, "Gentlemen," said she, "my honourable
mistress Schemselnihar the chief favourite of the commander of
the faithful, entreats you to come to her palace, where she waits
for you." Ebn Thaher, to testify his obedience, rose up
immediately, without answering the slave, and followed her, not
without some reluctance. The prince also followed he, without
reflecting on the danger there might be in such a visit. The
presence of Ebn Thaher, who had liberty to go to the favourite
when he pleased, made the prince very easy: they followed the
slave, who went a little before them, and entered after her into
the caliph's palace, and joined her at the gate of
Schemselnihar's pavilion, which was ready open. She introduced
them into a great hall, where she prayed them to be seated.

The prince of Persia thought himself in one of those delicious
palaces that are promised to us in the other world: he had never
seen any thing that came near the magnificence of the place. The
carpets, cushions, and other appendages of the sofa, the
furniture, ornaments, and architecture, were surprisingly rich
and beautiful. A little time after Ebn Thaher and he had seated
themselves, a very handsome black slave brought in a table
covered with several delicacies, the admirable smell of which
evinced how deliciously they were seasoned. While they were
eating, the slave who brought them in waited upon them; she took
particular care to invite them to eat of what she knew to be the
greatest dainties. The other slaves brought them excellent wine
after they had eaten. When they had done, there was presented to
each of them a gold basin full of water to wash their hands;
after which, they brought them a golden pot full of the wood of
aloes, with which they perfumed their beards and clothes.
Odoriferous water was not forgotten, but served in a golden
vessel enriched with diamonds and rubies, and it was thrown upon
their beards and faces according to custom; they then resumed
their places, but had scarcely sat down, when the slave entreated
them to arise and follow her. She opened a door, and conducted
them into a large saloon of wonderful structure. It was a dome of
the most agreeable form, supported by a hundred pillars of
marble, white as alabaster. The bases and chapiters of the
pillars were adorned with four-footed beasts, and birds of
various sorts, gilded. The carpet of this noble saloon consisted
of one piece of cloth of gold, embroidered with bunches of roses
in red and white silk; and the dome painted in the same manner,
after the Arabian fashion, presented to the mind one of the most
charming objects. In every space between the columns was a little
sofa adorned in the same manner, and great vessels of china,
crystal, jasper, jet, porphyry, agate, and other precious
materials, garnished with gold and jewels; in these spaces were
also so many large windows, with balconies projecting breast
high, fitted up as the sofas, and looking out into the most
delicious garden; the walks were of little pebbles of different
colours, of the same pattern as the carpet of the saloon; so
that, looking upon the carpet within and without it seemed as if
the dome and the garden with all its ornaments had been upon the
same carpet. The prospect was, at the end of the walks,
terminated by two canals of clear water, of the same circular
figure as the dome, one of which being higher than the other,
emptied its water into the lowermost, in form of a sheet; and
curious pots of gilt brass, with flowers and shrubs, were set
upon the banks of the canals at equal distances. Those walks lay
betwixt great plots of ground planted with straight and bushy
trees, where a thousand birds formed a melodious concert, and
diverted the eye by flying about, and playing together, or
fighting in the air.

The prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher were a long time engaged in
viewing the magnificence of the place, and expressed their
surprise at every thing thing saw, especially the prince, who had
never beheld any thing like it. Ebn Thaher, though he had been
several times in that delicious place, could not but observe many
new beauties, In a word they never grew weary in admiring so many
singularities, and were thus agreeably employed, when they
perceived a company of ladies richly appareled sitting without,
at some distance from the dome, each of them upon a seat of
Indian plane wood inlaid with silver filigree in compartments,
with instruments of music in their hands, waiting for orders to
play. They both went forward, and had a full view of the ladies,
and on the right they saw a great court with a stair up from the
garden, encompassed with beautiful apartments. The slave had left
them, and being alone, they conversed together; "For you, who are
a wise man," said the prince of Persia, "I doubt not but you look
with a great deal of satisfaction upon all these marks of
grandeur and power; for my part, I do not think there is any
thing in the world more surprising. But when I consider that this
is the glorious habitation of the lovely Schemselnihar, and that
the greatest monarch of the earth keeps her here, I confess to
you that I look upon myself to be the most unfortunate of all
mankind, and that no destiny can be more cruel than mine, to love
an object possessed by my rival, and that too in a place where he
is so potent, that I cannot think myself sure of my life one

Ebn Thaher, hearing the prince of Persia speak, replied, "Sir, I
wish you could give me as good assurance of the happy success of
your passion, as I can give you of the safety of your life.
Though this stately palace belongs to the caliph, who built it on
purpose for Schemselnihar, and called it the palace of eternal
pleasures, and though it makes part of his own palace, yet you
must know that this lady lives here at absolute liberty. She is
not beset by eunuchs to be spies upon her; this is her private
house, absolutely at her disposal. She goes into the city when
she pleases, and returns again, without asking leave of any body:
and the caliph never comes to see her, but he sends Mesrour, the
chief of his eunuchs, to give her notice, that she may be
prepared to receive him. Therefore you may be easy, and give full
attention to the concert of music, which, I perceive,
Schemselnihar is preparing for you."

Just as Ebn Thaher had spoken these words, the prince of Persia,
and he, saw the favourite's trusty slave giving orders to the
ladies to begin to sing, and play with the instruments: they all
began immediately to play together as a prelude, and after they
had played some time, one of them began to sing alone, and
accompanied herself at the same time admirably upon her lute,
being informed beforehand upon what subject she was to sing. The
words were so agreeable to the prince of Persia's sentiments,
that he could not forbear applauding her at the end of the
couplet. "Is it possible," cried he, "that you have the gift of
knowing people's hearts, and that the knowledge of what is
passing in my mind has occasioned you to give us a taste of your
charming voice by those words? I should not express myself
otherwise, were I to choose." The lady made no reply, but went on
and sung several other stanzas, with which the prince was so
affected, that he repeated some of them with tears in his eyes;
which discovered plainly enough that he applied them to himself.
When she had finished, she and her companions rose up and sung a
chorus, signifying by their words, that the full moon was going
to rise in all her splendour, and that they should speedily see
her approach the sun. Intimating, that Schemselnihar was coming,
and that the prince of Persia would soon have the pleasure of
beholding her.

In fact, as they looked towards the court, they saw
Schemselnihar's confidant coming towards them, followed by ten
black women, who, with much difficulty, carried a throne of
massive silver curiously wrought, which they set down before them
at a certain distance; the black slaves then retired behind the
trees, to the entrance of a walk. After this came twenty handsome
ladies richly appareled alike; they advanced in two rows, each
singing and playing upon instruments which she held in her hands,
and placed themselves on each side of the throne.

All these things kept the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher in so
much the greater expectation, as they were curious to know how
they would end. At length they saw advancing from the gate
through which the ten black women had proceeded ten other ladies
equally handsome, and well dressed, who halted a few moments,
expecting the favourite, who came out last, and placed herself in
the midst of them.

Schemselnihar was easily distinguished from the rest, by her fine
shape and majestic air, as well as by a sort of mantle, of a very
fine stuff of gold and sky-blue, fastened to her shoulders, over
her other apparel, which was the most handsome, most magnificent,
and best contrived that could be imagined.

The pearls, rubies, and diamonds, which adorned her, were well
disposed; not many in number, but chosen with taste, and of
inestimable value. She came forward, with a majesty resembling
the sun in its course amidst the clouds, which receive his
splendour without hiding his lustre, and sat upon the silver
throne that had been brought for her.

As soon as the prince of Persia saw Schemselnihar, his eyes were
rivetted on her. "We cease inquiring," said he to Ebn Thaher,
"after what we seek, when once it is in view; and no doubt
remains, when once the truth is made apparent. Do you see this
charming beauty? She is the cause of all my sufferings, which I
bless, and will never forbear to bless, however severe and
lasting. At the sight of this objets, I am not my own master; my
soul is disturbed, and rebels, and seems disposed to leave me. Go
then, my soul, I allow thee; but let it be for the welfare and
preservation of this weak body. It is you, cruel Ebn Thaher, who
are the cause of this disorder, in bringing me hither. You
thought to do me a great pleasure; but I perceive I am only come
to complete my ruin. Pardon me," he continued, interrupting
himself; "I am mistaken. I would come, and can blame no one but
myself;" and at these words he burst into tears. "I am glad,"
said Ebn Thaher, "that you do me justice. When I told you at
first, that Schemselnihar was the caliph's chief favourite, I did
it on purpose to prevent that fatal passion which you please
yourself with entertaining. All that you see here ought to
disengage you, and you are to think of nothing but of
acknowledging the honour which Schemselnihar has done you, by
ordering me to bring you with me; recall then your wandering
reason, and prepare to appear before her, as good breeding
requires. See, she advances: were we to begin again, I would take
other measures, but since the thing is done, I pray God we may
not have cause to repent. All that I have now to say to you is,
that love is a traitor, who may involve you in difficulties from
which you will never be able to extricate yourself."

Ebn Thaher had no time to say more, because Schemselnihar
approached, and sitting down upon her throne, saluted them both
by bowing her head; but she fixed her eyes on the prince of
Persia, and they spoke to one another in a silent language
intermixed with sighs; by which in a few moments they spoke more
than they could have done by words in a much longer time. The
more Schemselnihar, looked upon the prince, the more she found in
his looks to confirm her opinion that he was in love with her;
and being thus persuaded of his passion, thought herself the
happiest woman in the world. At last she turned her eyes from
him, to command the women, who began to sing first, to come near;
they rose, and as they advanced, the black women, who came out of
the walk into which they had retired, brought their seats, and
placed them near the window, in the front of the dome where Ebn
Thaher and the prince of Persia stood, and their seats were so
disposed, that, with the favourite's throne and the women on each
side of her, they formed a semicircle before them.

The women, who were sitting before she came resumed their places,
with the permission of Schemselnihar, who ordered them by a sign;
that charming favourite chose one of those women to sing, who,
after she had spent some moments in tuning her lute, sung a song,
the meaning whereof was, that when two lovers entirely loved one
another with affection boundless, their hearts, though in two
bodies, were united; and, when any thing opposed their desires,
could say with tears in their eyes, "If we love because we find
one another amiable, ought we to be blamed? Let destiny bear the

Schemselnihar evinced so plainly by her eyes and gestures that
those words were applicable to herself and the prince of Persia,
that he could not contain himself. He arose, and advancing to a
balustrade, which he leaned upon, beckoned to one of the
companions of the woman who had just done singing, to approach.
When she had got near enough, he said to her, "Do me the favour
to accompany me with your lute, in a song which you shall hear me
sing." He then sung with an air so tender and passionate, as
perfectly expressed the violence of his love. As soon as he had
done, Schemselnihar, following his example, said to one of the
women, "Attend to me likewise, and accompany my song." At the
same time she sung in such a manner, as more deeply to penetrate
the heart of the prince of Persia, who answered her by a new air,
more passionate than the former.

The two lovers having declared their mutual affection by their
songs, Schemselnihar yielded to the force of hers. She arose from
her throne in transport, and advanced towards the door of the
hall. The prince, who perceived her design, rose up immediately,
and went to meet her. They met at the door, where they took one
another by the hand, and embraced with so much passion, that they
fainted, and would have fallen, if the woman who followed
Schemselnihar had not hindered them. They supported them to a
sofa, where they were brought to themselves, by throwing
odoriferous water on their faces, and applying pungent odours to
their nostrils.

When they had recovered, the first thing Schemselnihar did was to
look about: and not seeing Ebn Thaher, she asked, with eagerness,
where he was? He had withdrawn out of respect whilst her women
were engaged in recovering her, and dreaded, not without reason,
that some disagreeable consequence might follow what he had seen;
but as soon as he heard Schemselnihar inquire for him, he came

Schemselnihar was much pleased to see Ebn Thaher, and expressed
her joy in the most obliging terms: "Ebn Thaher, I know not how
to make you proper returns for the great obligations you have put
upon me; without you, I should never have seen the prince of
Persia, nor have loved the most amiable person in the world.
Assure yourself I shall not die ungrateful, and that my
gratitude, if possible, shall be equal to the obligation." Ebn
Thaher answered this compliment by a low obeisance, and wished
the favourite the accomplishment of all her desires.

Schemselnihar, turning towards the prince of Persia, who sat by
her, and looking upon him with some confusion after what had
passed, said to him, "I am well assured you love me, and how
great soever your love may be to me, you need not doubt but mine
is as great towards you: but let us not flatter ourselves; for,
notwithstanding this conformity of our sentiments, I see nothing
for you and me but trouble, impatience, and tormenting grief.
There is no other remedy for our evils but to love one another
constantly, to refer ourselves to the disposal of Heaven, and to
wait its determination of our destiny." "Madam," replied the
prince of Persia, "you will do me the greatest injustice, if you
doubt for a moment the continuance of my love. It is so
interwoven with my soul, that I can justly say it makes the best
part of it, and will continue so after death. Pains, torments,
obstacles, nothing shall prevent my loving you." Speaking these
words he shed tears in abundance, and Schemselnihar was not able
to restrain hers.

Ebn Thaher took this opportunity to speak to the favourite.
"Madam, allow me to represent to you, that, instead of melting
into tears, you ought to rejoice that you are now together. I
understand not this grief. What will it be when you are obliged
to part? But why do I talk of that? We have been a long while
here, and you know, madam, it is time for us to be going." "Ah!
how cruel are you!" replied Schemselnihar, "You, who know the
cause of my tears, have you no pity for my unfortunate condition?
Oh! sad fatality! What have I done to subject myself to the
severe law of not being able to join with the only person I

Persuaded as she was that Ebn Thaher spoke to her only out of
friendship, she did not take amiss what he said, but made a
proper use of his intimation She made a sign to the slave her
confidant, who immediately went out, and in a little time brought
a collation of fruits upon a small silver table, which she set
down betwixt her mistress and the prince of Persia. Schemselnihar
took some of the best, and presented it to the prince, praying
him to eat it for her sake; he took it, and put to his mouth that
part which she had touched; and then he presented some to her,
which she took, and ate in the same manner. She did not forget to
invite Ebn Thaher to eat with them; but he thinking himself not
safe in that place, and wishing himself at home, ate only out of
complaisance. After the collation was taken away, they brought a
silver basin, with water in a vessel of gold, and washed
together; they afterwards returned to their places, and three of
the ten black women brought each a cup of rock crystal full of
exquisite wine, upon a golden salver; which they placed before
Schemselnihar, the prince of Persia, and Ebn Thaher. That they
might be the more private, Schemselnihar kept with her only ten
black women, with ten others who began to sing, and play upon
instruments; and after she had sent away all the rest, she took
up one of the cups, and holding it in her hand sung some tender
words, which one of her women accompanied with her lute. When she
had done, she drank, and afterwards took up one of the other cups
and presented it to the prince, praying him to drink for love of
her, as she had drunk for love of him. He received the cup with a
transport of love and joy; but before he drank, he sung also a
song, which another woman accompanied with an instrument: and as
he sang the tears fell from his eyes in such abundance, that he
could not forbear expressing in his song, that he knew not
whether he was going to drink the wine she had presented to him,
or his own tears. Schemselnihar at last presented the third cup
to Ebn Thaher, who thanked her for her kindness, and for the
honour she did him.

After this she took a lute from one of her women, and sung to it
in such a passionate manner, that she seemed to be transported
out of herself: and the prince of Persia stood with his eyes
fixed upon her, as if he had been enchanted. At this instant, her
trusty slave came in great alarm, and addressing herself to her
mistress, said, "Madam Mesrour and two other officers, with
several eunuchs that attend them, are at the gate, and want to
speak with you from the caliph." When the prince of Persia and
Ebn Thaher heard these words, they changed colour, and began to
tremble as if they had been undone: but Schemselnihar who
perceived their agitation, revived their courage by a sigh.

After Schemselnihar had quieted the fears of the prince of Persia
and Ebn Thaher, she ordered the slave, her confidant, to go and
speak to Mesrour, and the two other officers, till she had put
herself in a condition to receive them, and could send her to
introduce them. Immediately she ordered all the windows of' the
saloon to be shut, and the painted cloth on the side of the
garden to be let down: and after having assured the prince and
Ebn Thaher that they might continue there without any fear, she
went out at the gate leading to the garden, and closed it upon
them: but whatever assurance she had given them of their safety,
they were full of apprehension all the while they remained there.

As soon as Schemselnihar had reached the garden with the women
that had followed her, she ordered all the seats, which served
the women who played on the instruments, to be placed near the
window, where the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher heard them; and
having got things in order, she sat down upon her silver throne:
she then sent notice to the slave her confidant to bring in the
chief of the eunuchs, and his two subaltern officers.

They appeared, followed by twenty black eunuchs all handsomely
clothed, with cimeters by their sides, and gold belts of four
inches broad. As soon as they perceived the favourite
Schemselnihar at a distance, they made her a profound reverence,
which she returned them from her throne. When they approached,
she arose and went to meet Mesrour, who advanced first; she asked
what news he brought? He answered, "Madam, the commander of the
faithful has sent me to signify that he cannot live longer
without seeing you; he designs to do himself that pleasure this
night, and I am come to give you notice, that you may be ready to
receive him. He hopes, madam, that you will receive him with as
much pleasure as he feels impatience to see you."

At these words the favourite Schemselnihar prostrated herself to
the ground, as a mark of that submission with which she received
the caliph's order. When she rose, she said, "Pray tell the
commander of the faithful, that I shall always reckon it my glory
to execute his majesty's commands, and that his slave will do her
utmost to receive him with all the respect that is due to him."
At the same time she ordered the slave her confidant to tell the
black women appointed for that service to get the palace ready to
receive the caliph, and dismissing the chief of the eunuchs, said
to him, "You see it requires some time to get all things ready,
therefore I entreat you to curb his majesty's impatience, that,
when he arrives, he may not find things out of order."

The chief of the eunuchs and his retinue being gone,
Schemselnihar returned to the saloon, extremely concerned at the
necessity she was under of sending back the prince of Persia
sooner than she had intended. She came up to him again with tears
in her eyes, which heightened Ebn Thaher's fear, who thought it
no good omen. "Madam," said the prince to her, "I perceive you
are come to tell me that we must part: if there be nothing more
to dread, I hope Heaven will give me the patience which is
necessary to support your absence." "Alas!" replied the too
tender Schemselnihar, "how happy do I think you, and how unhappy
do I think myself, when I compare your lot with my sad destiny!
No doubt you will suffer by my absence, but that is all, and you
may comfort yourself with hopes of seeing me again; but as for
me, just Heaven! what a terrible trial am I brought to! I must
not only be deprived of the sight of the only person whom I love,
but I must be tormented with the presence of one whom you have
made hateful to me. Will not the arrival of the caliph put me in
mind of your departure? And how can I, when I am taken up with
your dear image, express to that prince the joy which he always
observed in my eyes whenever he came to see me? I shall have my
mind perplexed when I speak to him, and the least complaisance
which I shew to his love will stab me to the heart. Can I relish
his kind words and caresses? Think, prince, to what torments I
shall be exposed when I can see you no more." Her tears and sighs
hindered her from going on, and the prince of Persia would have
replied, but his own grief, and that of his mistress, deprived
him of the power of speech.

Ebn Thaher, who only wished to get out of the palace, was obliged
to comfort them, and to exhort them to have patience: but the
trusty slave again interrupted them. "Madam," said she to
Schemselnihar, "you have no time to lose; the eunuchs begin to
arrive, and you know the caliph will be here immediately." "O
Heaven! how cruel is this separation!" cried the favourite. "Make
haste," said she to the confidant, "take them both to the gallery
which looks into the garden on the one side, and to the Tigris on
the other; and when the night grows dark, let them out by the
back gate, that they may retire with safety." Having spoken thus,
she tenderly embraced the prince of Persia, without being able to
say one word more, and went to meet the caliph in such disorder
as cannot well be imagined.

In the mean time, the trusty slave conducted the prince and Ebn
Thaher to the gallery, as Schemselnihar had appointed; and left
them there, assuring them, as she closed the door upon them, that
they had nothing to fear, and that she would come for them when
it was time

When Schemselnihar's trusty slave had left the prince of Persia
and Ebn Thaher, they forgot she had assured them they had nothing
to apprehend. They examined the gallery, and were seized with
extreme fear, because they knew no means of escape, if the caliph
or any of his officers should happen to come there.

A great light, which they suddenly beheld through the lattices on
the garden side, caused them to approach them to see from whence
it came. It was occasioned by a hundred flambeaux of white wax,
carried by as many young eunuchs: these were followed by more
than a hundred others, who guarded the ladies of the caliph's
palace, clothed, and armed with cimeters, in the same manner as
those I spoke of before; and the caliph came after them, betwixt
Mesrour their captain on his right, and Vassif their second
officer on his left hand.

Schemselnihar waited for the caliph at the entrance of a walk,
accompanied by twenty women all of surprising beauty, adorned
with necklaces and ear-rings of large diamonds; they played and
sung on their instruments, and formed a charming concert. The
favourite no sooner saw the prince appear, but she advanced and
prostrated herself at his feet; and while she was doing this,
"Prince of Persia," said she, within herself, "if your sad eyes
witness what I do, judge of my hard lot; if I were humbling
myself so before you, my heart would feel no reluctance."

The caliph was delighted to see Schemselnihar: "Rise, madam,"
said he to her, "come near, I am angry with myself that I should
have deprived myself so long of the pleasure of seeing you." As
he spoke, he took her by the hand, and, with many tender
expressions, went and sat down upon the silver throne which
Schemselnihar caused to be brought for him, and she sat down on a
seat before him. The twenty women made a circle round them upon
other seats, while the young eunuchs, who carried flambeaux,
dispersed themselves at a certain distance from one another, that
the caliph might the better enjoy the cool of the evening.

When the caliph had seated himself, he looked round him, and
beheld with great satisfaction the garden illuminated with many
other lights, besides those flambeaux which the young eunuchs
held; but taking notice that the saloon was shut, expressed his
surprise, and demanded the reason. It was done on purpose to
surprise him; for he had no sooner spoken, than all the windows
flew open at once, and he saw it illuminated within and without,
in a much better manner than ever he had beheld it before.
"Charming Schemselnihar," cried he, at this sight, "I understand
you; you would have me know there are as fine nights as days.
After what I have seen, I cannot deny this."

Let us return to the prince of Persia and Ebn Thaher, whom we
left in the gallery. Ebn Thaher could not enough admire all that
he saw: "I am not young," said he, "and I have seen great
entertainments in my time; but I do not think any thing can be
seen so surprising and magnificent! All that is said of enchanted
palaces does not come up to the prodigious spectacle we now
behold. What riches and magnificence united!"

The prince of Persia was not at all interested by the objects
which so delighted Ebn Thaher; he could look on nothing but
Schemselnihar, and the presence of the caliph threw him into
inconceivable grief. "Dear Ebn Thaher," he exclaimed, "would to
God I had my mind as much at liberty to attend to those objects
of admiration as you! But alas! I am in a quite different
situation, all these things serve only to increase my torment.
Can I see the caliph familiar with the objets of my love, and not
die of grief? Must so ardent a passion as mine be disturbed with
so potent a rival? O heavens! How cruel and strange is my
destiny! It is but a moment since I esteemed myself the most
fortunate lover in the world, and at this instant I feel a death
stroke to my heart. I cannot resist it, my dear Ebn Thaher; my
patience is exhausted, my disorder overwhelms me, and my courage
fails." While he was speaking, he saw something pass in the
garden, which obliged him to be silent and to turn all his
attention that way.

The caliph had ordered one of the women, who was near him, to
play upon her lute, and she began to sing. The words she sung
were very passionate, and the caliph, persuaded that she sung
thus by order of Schemselnihar, who had frequently entertained
him with the like testimonies of her affection, interpreted them
in his own favour. But this was not now Schemselnihar's meaning;
she applied them to her dear Ali Ebn Becar, and was so sensibly
touched with grief, to have before her an object whose presence
she could no longer enjoy, that she fainted and fell backwards
upon her seat, which having no arms to support her, she must have
fallen, had not some of the women given her timely assistance,
taken her up, and carried her into the saloon.

Ebn Thaher, who was in the gallery, being surprised at this
accident, turned towards the prince of Persia; but instead of
finding him standing, and looking through the window as before,
he was extremely amazed to discover him Iying at his feet
motionless. This convinced him of the violence of the prince's
passion for Schemselnihar, and he admired that strange effect of
sympathy, which put him into a mortal fear on account of the
place they were in. He did all he could to recover the prince,
but in vain. Ebn Thaher was in this perplexity, when
Schemselnihar's confidant opened the gallery door, and entered
out of breath, as one who knew not where she was. "Come
speedily," cried she "that I may let you out; all is in confusion
here; and I fear this will be the last of our days." "Alas! how
would you have us go?" replied Ebn Thaher, with a mournful voice;
"approach, and see what a condition the prince of Persia is in."
When the slave saw him in a swoon, she ran for water, and
returned in an instant.

At last the prince of Persia, after they had thrown water on his
face, recovered. "Prince," said Ebn Thaher to him, "we run the
risk of perishing if we stay here any longer; exert yourself,
therefore, let us endeavour to save our lives." He was so feeble,
that he could not rise alone; Ebn Thaher and the confidant lent
him their hands, and supported him on each side. They reached a
little iron gate which opened towards the Tigris, went out at it,
and came to the side of a little canal which communicated with
the river. The confidant clapped her hands, and immediately a
little boat appeared, and came towards them with one rower. Ali
Ebn Becar and his comrade went aboard, and the confidant remained
at the side of the canal. As soon as the prince was seated in the
boat, he stretched out one hand towards the palace, and laying
the other on his heart, exclaimed with a feeble voice, "Dear
object of my soul, receive my faith with this hand, while I
assure you with the other, that my heart shall for ever preserve
the fire with which it burns for you."

In the mean time the boatman rowed with all his might, and
Schemselnihar's confidant accompanied the prince of Persia and
Ebn Thaher walking along the side of the canal, until they came
to the Tigris, and when she could go no farther she took leave of
them and returned.

The prince of Persia continued very feeble. Ebn Thaher comforted
him, and exhorted him to take courage. "Consider," said he, "that
when we are landed, we have a great way to walk before we reach
my house, and I would not advise you to go to your palace, which
is a great deal farther, at this hour and in this condition." At
last they went out of the boat, but the prince had so little
strength that he could not walk, which put Ebn Thaher into great
perplexity. He recollected he had a friend in the neighbourhood,
and carried the prince thither with great difficulty. His friend
received him very cheerfully, and when he had made them sit down,
he asked them where they had been so late. Ebn Thaher answered,
"I heard this evening that a man who owed me a considerable sum
of money was setting out on a long voyage. I lost no time to find
him, and by the way I met with this young nobleman, to whom I am
under a thousand obligations; for knowing my debtor, he did me
the favour to go along with me. We had a great deal of trouble to
bring the man to reason. We have at length succeeded, and that is
the cause of our being so late. In our return home, this good
lord, to whom I am for ever bound to shew all possible respect,
was attacked by a sudden illness, which made me take the liberty
to knock at your door, flattering myself that you would be
pleased to lodge us this night."

Ebn Thaher's friend took all this for truth, told them they were
welcome, and offered the prince of Persia, whom he knew not, all
the assistance he could desire; but Ebn Thaher spoke for the
prince, and said, that his distemper was of such a nature as to
require nothing but rest. His friend understood by this that they
desired to go to bed. Upon which he conducted them to an
apartment, where he left them.

Though the prince of Persia slept, he was interrupted by
troublesome dreams, which represented Schemselnihar in a swoon at
the caliph's feet, and increased his affliction. Ebn Thaher was
very impatient to be at home, and doubted not but his family was
under great apprehension, because he never used to sleep out. He
arose and departed early in the morning, after he had taken leave
of his friend, who rose at break of day to prayers At last he
reached his house, and the first thing the prince of Persia did,
who had walked so far with much trouble, was to lie down upon a
sofa, as weary as if he had been a long journey. Not being in a
state to go to his own palace, Ebn Thaher ordered a chamber to be
prepared for him, and sent to acquaint his friends with his
condition, and where he was. In the mean time he begged him to
compose himself, to command in his house, and to dispose of all
things as he pleased. "I thank you heartily for your obliging
offers," said the prince; "but that I may not be any ways
troublesome to you, I conjure you to deal with me as if I were
not at your house. I would not stay one moment, if I thought my
presence would incommode you in the least."

As soon as Ebn Thaher had time to recollect himself, he told his
family all that had passed at Schemselnihar's palace, and
concluded by thanking God, who had delivered him from the danger
he had been in. The prince of Persia's principal domestics came
to receive his orders at Ebn Thaher's house, and in a little time
there arrived several of his friends, who had notice of his
indisposition. Those friends passed the greatest part of the day
with him; and though their conversation could not extinguish
those melancholy ideas which were the cause of his trouble, yet
it afforded him some relief. He would have taken his leave of Ebn
Thaher towards the evening; but this faithful friend found him
still so weak, that he obliged him to stay till next day, and in
the mean time, to divert him, gave a concert of vocal and
instrumental music in the evening; but this concert served only
to remind him of the preceding night, and renewed his trouble,
instead of assuaging it; so that next day his distemper seemed to
increase. Upon this Ebn Thaher did not oppose his going home, but
took care to accompany him; and when he was with him alone in his
chamber, he represented to him all those arguments which might
influence him to a generous effort to overcome his passion, which
in the end would neither prove fortunate to himself nor to the
favourite. "Ah! dear Ebn Thaher," exclaimed the prince, "how easy
is it for you to give this advice, but how hard for me to follow
it! I am sensible of its importance, but am not able to profit by
it. I have said already, that I shall carry to the grave the love
I bear to Schemselnihar." When Ebn Thaher saw that he could gain
nothing upon the prince, he took his leave, and would have

The prince of Persia interrupted him, and said, "Kind Ebn Thaher,
since I have declared to you that it is not in my power to follow
your wise counsels, I beg you would not charge it on me as a
crime, nor forbear to give me the usual testimonies of your
friendship. You cannot do me a greater favour than to inform me
of the destiny of my dear Schemselnihar, when you hear of her.
The uncertainty I am in concerning her fate, and the
apprehensions her fainting have occasioned in me, keep me in this
languishing condition you reproach me with." "My lord," answered
Ebn Thaher, "you have reason to hope that her fainting was not
attended with any bad consequences: her confidant will quickly
come and inform me of the issue; and as soon as I know the
particulars, I will not fail to impart them."

Ebn Thaher left the prince in this hope, and returned home, where
he expected Schemselnihar's confidant all the rest of the day,
but in vain, nor did she come on the following. His uneasiness to
know the state of the prince of Persia's health would not suffer
him to wait any longer without seeing him. He went to his palace
to exhort him to patience, and found him lying on his bed as ill
as ever, surrounded by a great many of his friends, and several
physicians, who used all their art to discover the cause of his
disorder. As soon as he saw Ebn Thaher, he looked at him with a
smile, to signify that he had two things to tell him; the one,
that he was glad to see him; the other how much the physicians,
who could not discover the cause of his illness, were out in
their reasonings.

His friends and physicians retired one after another, so that Ebn
Thaher being alone with him, approached his bed to ask him how he
had been since he had last seen him. "I must tell you," answered
the prince, "that my passion, which continually gathers new
strength, and the uncertainty of the lovely Schemselnihar's fate,
augment my disorder every moment, and cast me into such a state
as afflicts my kindred and friends, and breaks the measures of my
physicians, who do not understand it. You cannot think," he
added, "how much I suffer by seeing so many people about me, who
importune me, and whom I cannot in civility put away. Your
company alone relieves me; but I conjure you not to dissemble
with me: what news do you bring of Schemselnihar? Have you seen
her confidant? What says she to you?" Ebn Thaher answered, that
he had not seen her yet. No sooner had he communicated to the
prince of Persia this sad intelligence, than the tears came into
his eyes; he could not answer one word, his heart was so
oppressed. "Prince," added Ebn Thaher, "suffer me to tell you,
that you are too ingenious in tormenting yourself. In the name of
God, wipe away your tears: if any of your people should come in,
they would discover you by this, notwithstanding the care you
ought to take to conceal your thoughts." Whatever his judicious
adviser could say, it was not possible for the prince to refrain
from weeping. "Wise Ebn Thaher," said he, when he had recovered
his speech, "I may indeed hinder my tongue from revealing the
secrets of my heart, but I have no power over my tears, upon such
an alarming subject as Schemselnihar's danger. If that adorable
and only objets of my desires be no longer in the world, I shall
not survive her a moment." "Reject so afflicting a thought,"
replied Ebn Thaher; "Schemselnihar is yet alive, you need not
doubt it: if you have heard no news of her, it is because she
could find no opportunity to send to you, and I hope you will
hear from her to-day." To this he added several other consoling
arguments, and then withdrew.

Ebn Thaher had scarcely reached his own house, when
Schemselnihar's confidant arrived with a melancholy countenance,
which he reckoned a bad omen. He asked news of her mistress.
"Tell me yours first," said the confidant, "for I was in great
trouble to see the prince of Persia go away in that condition."
Ebn Thaher told her all that she wished to know, and when he had
done, the slave began thus: "If the prince of Persia has
suffered, and does still suffer for my mistress, she suffers no
less for him. After I departed from you, I returned to the
saloon, where I found Schemselnihar not yet recovered from her
swoon, notwithstanding all the assistance they endeavoured to
give her. The caliph was sitting near her with all the signs of
real grief. He asked all the women, and me in particular, if we
knew the cause of her disorder; but we kept all secret, and told
him we were altogether ignorant of it. In the mean time we all
wept to see her suffer so long, and forgot nothing that might any
ways relieve her. In a word, it was almost midnight before she
came to herself. The caliph, who had the patience to wait the
event, was rejoiced at her recovery, and asked Schemselnihar the
cause of her illness. As soon as she heard him speak, she
endeavoured to recover her seat; and after she had kissed his
feet, before he could hinder her, ‘Sir,' said she, ‘I have reason
to complain of heaven, that it did not allow me to expire at your
majesty's feet to testify thereby how sensible I am of your

"‘I am persuaded you love me,' replied the caliph, ‘and I command
you to preserve yourself for my sake. You have probably exceeded
in something to-day, which has occasioned this indisposition;
take care, I entreat you; abstain from it for the future. I am
glad to see you better, and advise you to stay here to-night, and
not return to your chamber, for fear the motion should affect
you.' He then commanded a little wine to be brought to strengthen
her; and taking leave of her, returned to his apartment.

"As soon as the caliph had departed, my mistress gave me a sign
to come near her. She asked me earnestly concerning you: I
assured her that you had been gone a long time, which made her
easy on that head. I took care not to speak of the prince of
Persia's fainting, lest she should fall into the same state, from
which we had so much trouble to recover her: but my precautions
were in vain, as you shall hear. ‘Prince,' exclaimed she, ‘I
henceforth renounce all pleasure as long as I am deprived of the
sight of you. If I have understood your heart right, I only
follow your example. You will not cease to weep and mourn until I
see you.' At these words, which she uttered in a manner
expressive of the violence of her passion, she fainted a second
time in my arms.

"My companions and I were a long time recovering her; at last she
came to herself; and then I said to her, ‘Madam, are you resolved
to kill yourself, and to make us also die with you? I entreat
you, in the name of the prince of Persia, who is so deeply
interested in your life, to preserve it.' ‘I am much obliged to
you,' replied she, ‘ for your care, your zeal, and your advice;
but alas! they are useless to me: you are not to flatter us with
any hopes, for we can expect no end of our torment but in the

"One of my companions would have diverted these sad thoughts by
playing on the lute, but she commanded her to be silent, and
ordered all of them to retire, except me, whom she kept all night
with her. O heavens! what a night it was! she passed it in tears
and groans, and incessantly naming the prince of Persia. She
lamented her lot, that had destined her to the caliph, whom she
could not love, and not for him whom she loved so dearly.

"Next morning, as she was not commodiously lodged in the saloon,
I helped her to her chamber, which she had no sooner reached,
than all the physicians of the palace came to see her, by order
of the caliph, who was not long before he arrived himself. The
medicines which the physicians prescribed to Schemselnihar were
ineffectual, because they were ignorant of the cause of her
malady, which was augmented by the presence of the caliph. She
got a little rest however this night, and as soon as she awoke,
she charged me to come to you, to learn some news of the prince
of Persia." "I have already informed you of his case," said Ebn
Thaher; "so return to your mistress, and assure her, that the
prince of Persia waits for some account of her with an impatience
equal to her own. Above all, exhort her to moderation, and to
overcome her feelings, for fear she should drop before the caliph
some word, which may prove fatal to us all." "As for me," replied
the confidant, "I confess I dread her transports. I have taken
the liberty to tell her my mind, and am persuaded that she will
not take it ill that I tell her this from you."

Ebn Thaher, who had but just come from the prince of Persia's
lodgings, thought it not convenient to return so soon, and
neglect his own important affairs; he therefore went not till the
evening. The prince was alone, and no better than in the morning.
"Ebn Thaher," said he to him, as soon as he saw him, "you have
doubtless many friends, but they do not know your worth, which
you discover to me by your zeal, your care, and the trouble you
give yourself to oblige me. I am confounded with all that you do
for me with so much affection, and I know not how I shall be able
to express my gratitude." "Prince," answered Ebn Thaher, "do not
speak thus, I entreat you. I am ready, not only to give one of my
eyes to save one of yours, but to sacrifice my life for you. But
this is not the present business. I come to tell you that
Schemselnihar sent her confidant to ask me about you, and at the
same time to inform me of her condition. You may assure yourself
that I said nothing but what might confirm the excess of your
passion for her mistress, and the constancy with which you love
her." Then Ebn Thaher gave him a particular account of all that
had passed betwixt the trusty slave and him. The prince listened
with all the different emotions of fear, jealousy, affection, and
compassion, which this conversation could inspire, making, upon
every thing which he heard, all the afflicting or comforting
reflections that so passionate a lover was capable of.

Their conversation continued so long that the night was far
advanced, so that the prince of Persia obliged Ebn Thaher to stay
with him. The next morning, as this trusty friend returned home,
there came a woman to him whom he knew to be Schemselnihar's
confidant, and immediately she spoke to him thus: "My mistress
salutes you, and I am come to entreat you in her name to deliver
this letter to the prince of Persia." The zealous Ebn Thaher took
the letter, and returned to the prince, accompanied by the
confidant slave.

When Ebn Thaher entered the prince of Persia's house with
Schemselnihar's confidant, he prayed her to stay, and wait for
him a moment in the ante-room. As soon as the prince saw him, he
asked earnestly what news he had to communicate? "The best you
can expect," answered Ebn Thaher: "you are as dearly beloved as
you love; Schemselnihar's confidant is in your anteroom; she has
brought you a letter from her mistress, and waits for your orders
to come in." "Let her enter," cried the prince, with a transport
of joy; and so saying, sat up to receive her.

The prince's attendants retired as soon as they saw Ebn Thaher,
and left him alone with their master. Ebn Thaher opened the door
himself, and brought in the confidant. The prince knew her, and
received her with great politeness. "My lord," said she to him,
"I am sensible of the affliction you have endured since I had the
honour to conduct you to the boat which waited to bring you back;
but I hope the letter I have brought will contribute to your
cure." So saying, she presented him the letter. He took it, and
after he had kissed it several times, opened it, and read as

Letter from Schemselnihar to the Prince of Persia.

"The person who will deliver to you this letter will give you
more correct information concerning me than I can, for I have not
been myself since I saw you. Deprived of your presence, I
endeavour to deceive myself by conversing with you by these ill-
written lines, with the same pleasure as if I had the happiness
of speaking to you in person.

"It is said that patience is a cure for all evils, but instead of
relieving it heightens my sufferings. Although your picture is
deeply engraver in my heart, my eyes desire to have the original
continually before them; and they will lose all their light, if
they be any considerable time deprived of this felicity. May I
flatter myself that yours have the same impatience to see me?
Yes, I can; their tender glances have sufficiently assured me of
this. How happy, prince, would it be for you, how happy for
Schemselnihar, if our united desires were not thwarted by
invincible obstacles; obstacles which afflict me the more
sensibly as they affect you.

"These thoughts which my fingers write, and which I express with
incredible pleasure, repeating them again and again, proceed from
the bottom of my heart, and from the incurable wound which you
have made in it; a wound which I bless a thousand times,
notwithstanding the cruel torments I endure through your absence.
I would reckon all that opposes our love nothing, were I only
allowed to see you sometimes with freedom; I should then enjoy
your company, and what could I desire more?

"Do not imagine that I say more than I think. Alas! whatever
expressions I use, I feel that I think more than I can tell you.
My eyes, which are continually watching and weeping for your
return; my afflicted heart, which desires you alone; the sighs
that escape me as often as I think on you, and that is every
moment; my imagination, which represents no other object to me
than my dear prince; the complaints that I make to heaven for the
rigour of my destiny; m a word, my grief, my distress, my
torments, which have allowed me no ease since I was deprived of
your presence, will vouch for what I write.

"Am not I unhappy to be born to dove, without hope of enjoying
the object of my passion? This afflicting thought oppresses me so
that I should die, were I not persuaded that you love me: but
this sweet comfort balances my despair, and preserves my life.
Tell me that you love me always. I will keep your letter
carefully, and read it a thousand times a-day: I shall endure my
afflictions with less impatience: I pray heaven may cease to be
angry at us, and grant us an opportunity to say that we love one
another without fear; and that we shall never cease thus to love.
Adieu. I salute Ebn Thaher, to whom we are so much obliged."

The prince of Persia was not satisfied with reading the letter
once; he thought he had perused it with too little attention, and
therefore read it again with more leisure; and while so doing,
sometimes heaved deep sighs, sometimes shed tears, and sometimes
broke out into transports of joy and tenderness as the contents
affected him. In short, he could not keep his eyes off those
characters drawn by so beloved a hand, and was beginning to read
it a third time, when Ebn Thaher observed to him that the
confidant had no time to lose, and that he ought to think of
giving an answer. "Alas!" cried the prince, "how would you have
me reply to so kind a letter! In what terms shall I express
myself in my present disturbed state! My mind is tossed with a
thousand tormenting thoughts, which are lost the moment they are
conceived, to make way for others. So long as my body is
influenced by the impressions of my mind, how shall I be able to
hold the paper, or guide a reed to write."

So saying, he took out of a little desk which was near him,
paper, a cane ready cut, and an inkhorn.

The prince of Persia, before he began to write, gave
Schemselnihar's letter to Ebn Thaher, and prayed him to hold it
open while he wrote, that by casting his eyes upon it he might
the better see what to answer. He began to write; but the tears
that fell from his eyes upon the paper obliged him several times
to stop, that they might fall the more freely. At last he
finished his letter, and giving it to Ebn Thaher, "Read it, I
pray," said he, "and do me the favour to see if the disorder of
my mind has allowed me to give a favourable answer." Ebn Thaher
took it, and read as follows:

The Prince of Persia's Answer to Schemselnihar's Letter.

"I was plunged in the deepest grief when I received your letter,
but at the sight of it I was transported with unspeakable joy.
When I beheld the characters written by your fair hand, my eyes
were enlightened by a stronger light than they lost, when yours
were suddenly closed at the feet of my rival. The words contained
in your kind epistle are so many rays which have dispelled the
darkness wherewith my soul was obscured; they shew me how much
you suffer from your love of me, and that you are not ignorant of
what I endure on your account. Thus they comfort me in my
afflictions. On the one hand they cause me to shed tears in
abundance; and on the other, inflame my heart with a fire which
supports it, and prevents my dying of grief. I have not had one
moment's rest since our cruel separation. Your letter alone gave
me some ease. I kept a mournful silence till the moment I
received it, and then recovered my speech. I was buried in
profound melancholy, but it inspired me with joy, which
immediately appeared in my eyes and countenance. But my surprise
at receiving a favour which I had not yet deserved was so great,
that I knew not how to begin to testify my thankfulness. In a
word, after having kissed it several times, as a precious pledge
of your goodness, I read it over and over, and was confounded at
the excess of my good fortune. You would have me declare that I
always love you. Ah! did I not love you so perfectly as I do, I
could not forbear adoring you, after all the marks you have given
me of an affection so uncommon: yes, I love you, my dear soul,
and shall account it my glory to burn all my days with that sweet
fire you have kindled in my heart. I will never complain of that
ardour with which I feel it consumes me: and how rigorous soever
the evils I suffer, I will bear them with fortitude, in hopes
some time or other to see you. Would to heaven it were to-day,
and that, instead of sending you my letter, I might be allowed to
come and assure you in person, that I die for you! My tears
hinder me from saying more. Adieu."

Ebn Thaher could not read these last lines without weeping. He
returned the letter to the prince of Persia, and assured him it
wanted no correction. The prince closed it, and when he had
sealed it, he desired the trusty slave to come near, and said to
her, "This is my answer to you dear mistress's letter. I conjure
you to carry it to her, and to salute her in my name." The slave
took the letter, and retired with Ebn Thaher.

After Ebn Thaher had walked some way with the slave, he left her,
and went to his house, and began to think in earnest upon the
amorous intrigue in which he found himself unhappily engaged. He
considered, that the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar,
notwithstanding their interest to conceal their correspondence,
conducted themselves with so little discretion, that it could not
be long a secret. He drew all the consequences from it, which a
man of good sense might have anticipated. "Were Schemselnihar,"
said he to himself, "a lady of common rank, I would contribute
all in my power to make her and her lover happy; but she is the
caliph's favourite, and no man can without danger attempt to
engage the affections of the objets of his choice. His anger
would fall in the first instance on Schemselnihar; it will next
cost the prince of Persia his life, and I should be involved in
his misfortune. In the mean time I have my honour, my quiet, my
family, and my property to preserve. I must, while I can,
extricate myself out of such a perilous situation."

These thoughts occupied his mind all that day. Next morning he
went to the prince of Persia, with a design of making one more
effort to induce him to conquer his passion. He represented to
him what he had before urged in vain; that it would be much
better for him to summon all his resolution, to overcome his
inclination for Schemselnihar, than to suffer himself to be
hurried away by it; and that his passion was so much the more
dangerous, as his rival was powerful. "In short, sir," added he,
"if you will hearken to me, you ought to think of nothing but to
triumph over your love; otherwise you run the risk of destroying
yourself with Schemselnihar, whose life ought to be dearer to you
than your own. I give you this advice as a friend, for which you
will some time or other thank me."

The prince heard Ebn Thaher with great impatience, but suffered
him to speak his mind, and then replied to him thus: "Ebn Thaher,
do you think I can cease to love Schemselnihar, who loves me so
tenderly? She is not afraid to expose her life for me, and would
you have me regard mine? No; whatever misfortunes befall me, I
will love Schemselnihar to my last breath."

Abn Thaher, shocked at the obstinacy of the prince of Persia,
left him hastily, and going to his own house, recalled his former
reflections, and began to think seriously what he should do. In
the mean time a jeweller, one of his intimate friends, came to
see him. The jeweller had perceived that Schemselnihar's
confidant came oftener to Ebn Thaher than usual, and that he was
constantly with the prince of Persia, whose sickness was known to
every one, though not the cause. This had awakened the jeweller's
suspicions, and finding Ebn Thaher very pensive, he presently
judged that he was perplexed with some important affair, and
fancying that he knew the cause, he asked what Schemselnihar's
confidant wanted with him? Ebn Thaher being struck with this
question, would have dissembled, and told him, that it was on
some trifling errand she came so frequently to him. "You do not
tell me the truth," said the jeweller, "and your dissimulation
only serves to prove to me that this trifle is a more important
affair than at first I thought it to be."

Ebn Thaher, perceiving that his friend pressed him so much, said
to him, "It is true, that it is an affair of the greatest
consequence. I had resolved to keep it secret, but since I know
how much you are my friend, I choose rather to make you my
confidant, than to suffer you to be under a mistake about it. I
do not bind you to secrecy, for you will easily judge by what I
am going to tell you how impossible it is to keep it unknown."
After this preamble, he told him the amour between Schemselnihar
and the prince of Persia. "You know," he continued, "in what
esteem I am at court, in the city, and with lords and ladies of
the greatest quality; what a disgrace would it be for me, should
this rash amour come to be discovered? But what do I say; should
not I and my family be completely ruined! That is what perplexes
my mind; but I have just formed my resolution: I will go
immediately and satisfy my creditors, and recover my debts, and
when I have secured my property, will retire to Bussorah, and
stay till the storm, that I foresee, is blown over. My friendship
for Schemselnihar and the prince of Persia makes me very sensible
to what dangers they are exposed. I pray heaven to convince them
of their peril, and to preserve them; but if their evil destiny
should bring their attachment to the knowledge of the caliph, I
shall, at least, be out of the reach of his resentment; for I do
not think them so wicked as to design to involve me in their
misfortunes. It would be the height of ingratitude, and a bad
reward for the service I have done them, and the good advice I
have given, particularly to the prince of Persia, who may save
both himself and his mistress from this precipice. He may as
easily leave Bagdad as I; and absence will insensibly disenage
him from a passion, which will only increase whilst he continues
in this place."

The jeweller was extremely surprised at what Ebn Thaher told him.
"What you say," said he, "is of so much importance, that I cannot
understand how Schemselnihar and the prince could have abandoned
themselves to such a violent passion. What inclination soever
they may have for one another, instead of yielding to it, they
ought to resist it, and make a better use of their reason. Is it
possible they can be insensible of the danger of their
correspondence? How deplorable is their blindness! I anticipate
all its consequences as well as yourself; but you are wise and
prudent, and I approve your resolution; as it is the only way to
deliver yourself from the fatal events which you have reason to
fear." After this conversation the jeweller rose, and took his
leave of Ebn Thaher.

Before the jeweller retired, Ebn Thaher conjured him by the
friendship betwixt them, to say nothing of what he had heard.
"Fear not," replied the jeweller, "I will keep this secret at the
peril of my life."

Two days after, the jeweller went to Ebn Thaher's shop, and
seeing it shut, he doubted not but he had executed his design;
but, to be more sure, he asked a neighbour, if he knew why it was
not opened? The neighbour answered that he knew not, unless Ebn
Thaher was gone a journey. There was no need of his enquiring
farther, and he immediately thought of the prince of Persia:
"Unhappy prince," said he to himself, "what will be your grief
when you hear this news? How will you now carry on your
correspondence with Schemselnihar? I fear you will die of
despair. I pity you, and must repair your loss of a too timid

The business that obliged him to come abroad was of no
consequence, so that he neglected it, and though he had no
knowledge of the prince of Persia, only by having sold him some
jewels, he went to his house. He addressed himself to one of his
servants, and desired him to tell his master, that he wished to
speak with him about business of very great importance. The
servant returned immediately to the jeweller, and introduced him
to the prince's chamber. He was leaning on a sofa, with his head
on a cushion. As soon as the prince saw him, he rose up to
receive and welcome him, and entreated him to sit down; asked him
if he could serve him in any thing, or if he came to tell him any
thing interesting concerning himself. "Prince," answered the
jeweller, "though I have not the honour to be particularly
acquainted with you, yet the desire of testifying my zeal has
made me take the liberty to come to your house, to impart to you
a piece of news that concerns you. I hope you will pardon my
boldness for my good intention."

After this introduction, the jeweller entered upon the matter,
and continued: "Prince, I shall have the honour to tell you, that
it is a long time since conformity of disposition, and some
business we have had together, united Ebn Thaher and myself in
strict friendship. I know you are acquainted with him, and that
he has employed himself in obliging you to his utmost. I have
learnt this from himself, for he keeps nothing secret from me,
nor I from him. I went just now to his shop, and was surprised to
find it shut. I addressed myself to one of his neighbours, to ask
the reason; he answered me, that two days ago Ebn Thaher took
leave of him, and other neighbours, offering them his service at
Bussorah, whither he is gone, said he, about an affair of great
importance. Not being satisfied with this answer, my concern for
his welfare determined me to come and ask if you knew any thing
particular concerning this his sudden departure."

At this discourse, which the jeweller accommodated to the
subject, the better to compass his design, the prince of Persia
changed colour, and looked at the jeweller in a manner which
convinced him how much he was disconcerted at the intelligence.
"I am surprised at what you inform me," said he; "a greater
misfortune could not befall me: Ah!" he continued, with tears in
his eyes, "if what you tell me be true, I am undone! Has Ebn
Thaher, who was all my comfort, in whom I put all my confidence,
left me? I cannot think of living after so cruel a blow."

The jeweller needed no more to convince him fully of the prince
of Persia's violent passion, which Ebn Thaher had told him of:
mere friendship would not make him speak so; nothing but love
could produce such lively sensations.

The prince continued some moments absorbed in melancholy
thoughts; at last he lifted up his head, and calling one of his
servants, said, "Go, to Ebn Thaher's house, and ask some of his
domestics if he be gone to Bussorah: run, and come back quickly
with the answer." While the servant was gone, the jeweller
endeavoured to entertain the prince of Persia with indifferent
subjects; but the prince gave little heed to him. He was a prey
to fatal grief: sometimes he could not persuade himself that Ebn
Thaher was gone, and at others he did not doubt of it, when he
reflected upon the conversation he had had with him the last time
he had seen him, and the abrupt manner in which he had left him.

At last the prince's servant returned, and reported that he had
spoken with one of Ebn Thaher's servants, who assured him that he
had been gone two days to Bussorah. "As I came from Ebn Thaher's
house," added the servant. "a slave well dressed met me, and
after she had asked me if I had the honour to belong to you, told
me she wanted to speak with you, and begged at the same time that
she might accompany me: she is in the outer room, and I believe
has a letter to deliver to you from some person of consequence."
The prince commanded her to be immediately introduced, not
doubting but it was Schemselnihar's confidant slave, as indeed it
was. The jeweller knew her, having seen her several times at Ebn
Thaher's house: she could not have come at a better time to save
the prince from despair. She saluted him. The prince of Persia
returned the salute of Schemselnihar's confidant. The jeweller
arose as soon as he saw her and retired, to leave them at liberty
to converse together. The confidant, after she had spoken some
time with the prince, took her leave and departed. She left him
quite another person from what he was before; his eyes appeared
brighter, and his countenance more gay, which satisfied the
jeweller that the good slave came to tell him something
favourable to his amour.

The jeweller having taken his place again near the prince, said
to him smiling, "I see, prince, you have business of importance
at the caliph's palace." The prince of Persia, astonished and
alarmed at these words, answered the jeweller, "What leads you to
suppose that I have business at the caliph's palace?" "I judge
so," replied the jeweller, "by the slave who has just left you."
"And to whom, think you, belongs this slave?" demanded the
prince. "To Schemselnihar the caliph's favourite," answered the
jeweller: "I know," continued he, "both the slave and her
mistress, who has several times done me the honour to come to my
house, and buy jewels. Besides, I know that Schemselnihar keeps
nothing secret from this slave; and I have seen her pass
backwards and forwards for several days along the streets, as I
thought very much troubled; I imagined that it was for some
affair of consequence concerning her mistress."

The jeweller's words greatly troubled the prince of Persia. "He
would not say so," said he to himself, "if he did not suspect, or
rather were not acquainted with my secret." He remained silent
for some time, not knowing what course to take. At last he began,
and said to the jeweller, "You have told me things which make me
believe that you know yet more than you have acquainted me with;
it concerns my repose that I be perfectly informed; I conjure you
therefore not to conceal any thing from me."

Then the jeweller, who desired nothing more, gave him a
particular account of what had passed betwixt Ebn Thaher and
himself. He informed him that he was apprised of his
correspondence with Schemselnihar. and forgot not to tell him
that Ebn Thaher, alarmed at the danger of being his confidant in
the matter, had communicated to him his intention of retiring to
Bussorah, until the storm which he dreaded should be blown over.
"This he has executed," added the jeweller, "and I am surprised
how he could determine to abandon you, in the condition he
informed me you were in. As for me, prince, I confess, I am moved
with compassion towards you, and am come to offer you my service.
If you do me the favour to accept of it, I engage myself to be as
faithful to you as Ebn Thaher; besides, I promise to be more
resolute. I am ready to sacrifice my honour and life for you:
and, that you may not doubt of my sincerity, I swear by all that
is sacred in our religion, to keep your secret inviolable. Be
persuaded then, prince, that you will find in me the friend whom
you have lost." This declaration encouraged the prince, and
comforted him under Ebn Thaher's absence. "I am glad," said he to
the jeweller, "to find in you a reparation of my loss; I want
words to express the obligations I am under to you. I pray God to
recompense your generosity, and I accept your obliging offer with
all my heart. Believe me," continued he, "Schemselnihar's
confidant came to speak to me concerning you. She told me that it
was you who advised Ebn Thaher to go from Bagdad; these were the
last words she spoke to me, as she went away, and she seemed
persuaded of what she said; but they do not do you justice. I
doubt not, after what you have told me, she is deceived."
"Prince" replied the jeweller, "I have had the honour to give you
a faithful account of my conversation with Ebn Thaher. It is
true, when he told me he meant to retire to Bussorah, I did not
oppose his design; but let not this prevent your putting
confidence in me. I am ready to serve you with all imaginable
zeal. If you do not use my service, this shall not hinder me from
keeping your secret religiously, according to my oath." "I have
already told you," replied the prince, "that I did not believe
what the confidant said: it is her zeal which inspired her with
this groundless suspicion, and you ought to excuse it, as I do."

They continued their conversation for some time, and consulted
together about the most convenient means to keep up the prince's
correspondence with Schemselnihar. They agreed to begin by
undeceiving the confidant, who was so unjustly prepossessed
against the jeweller. The prince engaged to remove her mistake
the first time he saw her again, and to intreat her to address
herself to the jeweller whenever she might bring letters, or any
other information from her mistress to him. In short, they
determined, that she ought not to come so frequently to the
prince's house, because thereby she might lead to the discovery
of what it was of so great importance to conceal. At last the
jeweller arose, and, after having again intreated the prince of
Persia to place an unreserved confidence in him, withdrew.

The jeweller returning to his house perceived before him a
letter, which somebody had dropped in the street. He took it up,
and as it was not sealed, he opened it, and read as follows:

Letter from Schemselnihar to the Prince of Persia.

"I have received from my confidant intelligence which gives me no
less concern than it must give you. In Ebn Thaher, we have indeed
sustained a great loss; but let this not hinder you, dear prince,
from thinking of your own preservation. If our friend has
abandoned us through fear, let us consider that it is a
misfortune which we could not avoid. I confess Ebn Thaher has
left us at a time when we most needed his assistance; but let us
bear this unexpected stroke with patience, and let us not forbear
to love one another constantly. Fortify your heart under this
misfortune. The object of our wishes is not to be obtained
without trouble. Let us not be discouraged, but hope that heaven
will favour us, and that, after so many afflictions, we shall see
a happy accomplishment of our desires. Adieu."

While the jeweller was conversing with the prince of Persia, the
confidant had time to return to the palace and communicate to her
mistress the ill news of Ebn Thaher's departure. Schemselnihar
immediately wrote this letter, and sent back her confidant with
it to the prince of Persia, but she negligently dropped it on her

The jeweller was glad to find it, for it furnished him with an
opportunity of justifying himself to the confidant, and bringing
her to the point he desired. When he had read it, he perceived
the slave seeking for it with the greatest anxiety. He closed it
again quickly, and put it into his bosom; but the slave observed
him, and running to him, said, "Sir, I have dropped a letter,
which you had just now in your hand; I beseech you to restore
it." The jeweller, pretending not to hear her, continued his way
till he came to his house. He left his door open, that the
confidant, who followed him, might enter after him. She followed
him in, and when she came to his apartment, said, "Sir, you can
make no use of that letter you have found, and you would not
hesitate to return it to me, if you knew from whom it came, and
to whom it is directed. Besides, allow me to tell you, you cannot
honestly keep it."

Before the jeweller returned her any answer he made her sit down,
and then said to her, "Is not this letter from Schemselnihar, and
is it not directed to the prince of Persia?" The slave, who
expected no such question, blushed. "The question embarrasses
you," continued he; "but I assure you I do not put it rashly: I
could have given you the letter in the street, but I wished you
to follow me, on purpose that I might come to some explanation
with you. Is it just, tell me, to impute a misfortune to persons
who have no ways contributed towards it? Yet this you have done,
in telling the prince of Persia that it was I who advised Ebn
Thaher to leave Bagdad for his own safety. I do not intend to
waste time in justifying myself; it is enough that the prince of
Persia is fully persuaded of my innocence; I will only tell you,
that instead of contributing to Ebn Thaher's departure, I have
been extremely afflicted at it, not so much from my friendship to
him, as out of compassion for the condition in which he left the
prince of Persia, whose correspondence with Schemselnihar he has
discovered to me. As soon as I knew certainly that Ebn Thaher was
gone from Bagdad, I went and presented myself to the prince, in
whose house you found me, to inform him of this event, and to
offer to undertake the service in which he had been employed; and
provided you put the same confidence in me, that you did in Ebn
Thaher, it will be your own fault if you do not make my
assistance of use to you. Inform your mistress of what I have
told you, and assure her, that though I should die for engaging
in so dangerous an intrigue, I should not repent of having
sacrificed myself for two lovers so worthy of one another."

The confidant, after having heard the jeweller with great
satisfaction, begged him to pardon the ill opinion she had
conceived of him, for the zeal she had for her mistress's
interest.? I am beyond measure glad," she added, "that
Schemselnihar and the prince have found in you a person so fit to
supply Ebn Thaher's place I will not fail to convince my mistress
of the good-will you bear her."

After the confidant had testified to the jeweller her joy to see
him so well disposed to serve Schemselnihar and the prince of
Persia, the jeweller took the letter out of his bosom, and
restored it to her, saying, "Go, carry it quickly to the prince,
and return this way that I may see his reply. Forget not to give
him an account of our conversation."

The confidant took the letter and carried it to the prince, who
answered it immediately. She returned to the jeweller's house to
shew him the answer, which was in these words:

The Prince of Persia's Answer to Schemselnihar.

"Your precious letter has had a great effect upon me, but not so
great as I could have wished. You endeavour to comfort me for the
loss of Ebn Thaher; alas! however sensible I am of this, it is
but the least of my troubles. You know these troubles, and you
know also that your presence alone can cure me. When will the
time come that I shall enjoy it without fear of a separation? How
distant does it seem to me! or shall we flatter ourselves that we
may ever see it? You command me to preserve myself; I will obey
you, since I have renounced my own will to follow only yours.

After the jeweller had read this letter, he returned it to the
confidant, who said, as she was going away, "I will desire my
mistress to put the same confidence in you that she did in Ebn
Thaher. You shall hear of me to-morrow." Accordingly, next day
she returned with a pleasant countenance. "Your very looks," said
he to her, "inform me that you have brought Schemselnihar to the
point you wished." "It is true," replied the confidant, "and you
shall hear how I succeeded. I found yesterday, on my return,
Schemselnihar expecting me with impatience, I gave her the prince
of Persia's letter, and she read it with tears in her eyes. When
she had done, I saw that she had abandoned herself to her usual
sorrow. ‘Madam,' said I to her, ‘it is doubtless Ebn Thaher's
removal that troubles you; but suffer me to conjure you in the
name of God, to alarm yourself no farther on this account. We
have found another Ebn Thaher, who offers to oblige you with
equal zeal; and, what is yet more important, with greater
courage.' Then I spoke to her of you," continued the slave, "and
acquainted her with the motive which led you to the prince of
Persia's house. In short, I assured her that you would keep
inviolably the secret betwixt her and the prince of Persia, and
that you were resolved to favour their amour with all your might.
She seemed to be much relieved by my discourse. ‘Ah! what
obligations,' said she, ‘are the prince of Persia and I under to
that honest man you speak of! I must be acquainted with him and
see him, that I may hear from his own mouth what you tell me, and
thank him for such unheard-of generosity towards persons on whose
account he is no way obliged to interest himself. The sight of
him will give me pleasure, and I shall omit nothing to confirm
him in those good sentiments. Fail not to bring him to me to-
morrow.' Therefore, sir, be so good as to accompany me to the

The confidant's proposal perplexed the jeweller. "Your mistress,"
replied he, "must allow me to say that she has not duly
considered what she requires of me. Ebn Thaher's access to the
caliph gave him admission every where; and the officers who knew
him, allowed him free access to Schemselnihar's palace; but as
for me, how dare I enter? You see clearly that it is impossible.
I entreat you to represent to Schemselnihar the reasons which
prevent me from affording her that satisfaction; and acquaint her
with all the ill consequences that would attend my compliance. lf
she considered it ever so little, she would find that it would
expose me needlessly to very imminent danger."

The confidant endeavoured to encourage the jeweller. "Can you
believe," said she, "that Schemselnihar is so unreasonable as to
expose you to the least danger by bringing you to her, from whom
she expects such important services? Consider with yourself that
there is not the least appearance of risk. My mistress and I are
too much interested in this affair to involve you in any danger.
You may depend upon me, and leave yourself to my conduit. After
the thing is over you will be the first to confess that your
apprehensions were groundless."

The jeweller yielded to the confidant's assurances, and rose up
to follow her, but notwithstanding his boasted courage, he was
seized with such terror that his whole body trembled. "In your
present state," said she, "I perceive it will be better for you
to remain at home, and that Schemselnihar should take other
measures to see you. It is not to be doubted but that to satisfy
her desire she will come hither herself: the case being so, sir,
I would not have you go: I am persuaded it will not be long ere
you see her here." The confidant foresaw this; for she no sooner
informed Schemselnihar of the jeweller's fear, but she prepared
to go to his house.

He received her with all the expressions of profound respect.
When she sat down, being a little fatigued, she unveiled herself,
and exhibited to the jeweller such beauty as convinced him that
the prince of Persia was excusable in giving his heart to the
caliph's favourite. Then she saluted the jeweller with a graceful
air, and said to him, "I could not hear with what zeal you have
engaged in the prince of Persia's concerns and mine, without
immediately determining to express my gratitude in person. I
thank heaven for having so soon made up to us the loss of Ebn

Schemselnihar said many other obliging things to the jeweller,
after which she returned to her palace. The jeweller went
immediately to give an account of this visit to the prince of
Persia; who said to him, as soon as he saw him, "I have expected
you impatiently. The trusty slave has brought me a letter from
her mistress, but it does not relieve me. Whatever the lovely
Schemselnihar says, I dare not hope, and my patience is
exhausted; I know not now what measures to pursue; Ebn Thaher's
departure reduces me to despair. He was my only support: in him I
have lost every thing. I had flattered myself with some hopes by
reason of his access to Schemselnihar."

After these words, which the prince spoke with so much eagerness,
that he gave the jeweller no time to interrupt him, he said to
the prince, "No man can take more interest in your affliction
than I do; and if you will have patience to hear me you will
perceive that I can relieve you." Upon this the prince became
silent, and listened to him. "I see," said the jeweller, "that
the only way to give you satisfaction is to devise a plan that
will afford you an opportunity of conversing freely with
Schemselnihar. This I wish to procure you, and to-morrow will
make the attempt. You must by no means expose yourself to enter
Schemselnihar's palace; you know by experience the danger of that
step. I know a fitter place for this interview, where you will be
safe." When the jeweller had finished, the prince embraced him
with transports of joy. "You revive," said he, "by this promise,
a wretched lover, who was condemned to die. You have fully
repaired the loss of Ebn Thaher; whatever you do will be well
performed; I leave myself entirely to your conduct."

After the prince had thus thanked him for his zeal, the jeweller
returned home, and next morning Schemselnihar's confidant came to
him. He told her that he had given the prince of Persia hopes
that he should shortly see her mistress. "I am come on purpose,"
answered she, "to concert measures with you for that end. I think
this house will be convenient enough for their interview." "I
could receive them very well here," replied he, "but I think they
will have more liberty in another house of mine where no one
resides at present; I will immediately furnish it for their
reception." "There remains nothing then for me to do," replied
the confidant, "but to bring Schemselnihar to consent to this. I
will go and speak to her, and return speedily with an answer."

She was as diligent as her promise, and returning to the
jeweller, told him that her mistress would not fail to keep the
appointment in the evening. In the mean time she gave him a
purse, and told him it was to prepare a collation. He carried her
immediately to the house where the lovers were to meet, that she
might know whither to bring her mistress: and when she was gone,
he went to borrow from his friends gold and silver plate,
tapestry, rich cushions, and other furniture, with which he
furnished the house very magnificently; and when he had put all
things in order, went to the prince of Persia.

You may easily conceive the prince of Persia's joy, when the
jeweller told him that he came to conduct him to the house he had
prepared to receive him and Schemselnihar. This news made him
forget all his former trouble. He put on a magnificent robe, and
went without his retinue along with the jeweller; who led him
through several by-streets that nobody might observe them, and at
last brought him to the house, where they conversed together
until Schemselnihar's arrival.

They did not wait long for this passionate lover. She came after
evening prayer, with her confidant, and two other slaves. It is
impossible to express the excess of joy that seized these two
lovers when they saw one another. They sat down together upon a
sofa, looking upon one another for some time, without being able
to speak, they were so much overjoyed: but when their speech
returned, they soon made up for their silence. They said to each
other so many tender things, as made the jeweller, the confidant,
and the two other slaves weep. The jeweller however restrained
his tears, to attend the collation, which he brought in himself.
The lovers ate and drank little, after which they sat down again
upon the sofa: Schemselnihar asked the jeweller if he had a lute,
or any other instrument, The jeweller, who took care to provide
all that could please her, brought her a lute: she spent some
time in tuning it, and then sung.

While Schemselnihar was charming the prince of Persia, and
expressing her passion by words composed extempore, a great noise
was heard; and immediately the slave, whom. the jeweller had
brought with him, came in great alarm to tell him that some
people were breaking in at the gate; that he asked who they were,
but instead of any answer the blows were redoubled. The jeweller,
being alarmed, left Schemselnihar and the prince to inform
himself of the truth of this intelligence. No sooner had he got
to the court, than he perceived, notwithstanding the darkness of
the night, a company of men armed with spears and cimeters, who
had broken the gate, and came directly towards him. He stood
close to a wall for fear of his life, and saw ten of them pass
without being perceived by them. Finding he could give no great
assistance to the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar, he
contented himself with lamenting their fate, and fled for refuge
to a neighbour's house, who was not yet gone to bed. He did not
doubt but this unexpected violence was by the caliph's order,
who, he thought, had been informed of his favourite's meeting the
prince of Persia there. He heard a great noise in his house,
which continued till midnight: and when all was quiet, as he
thought, he desired his neighbour to lend him a cimeter; and
being thus armed, went on till he came to the gate of his own
house: he entered the court full of fear, and perceived a man,
who asked him who he was; he knew by his voice that it was his
own slave. "How did you manage," said he, "to avoid being taken
by the watch?" "Sir," answered the slave, "I hid myself in a
corner of the court, and I went out as soon as I heard the noise.
But it was not the watch who broke into your house: they were
robbers, who within these few days robbed another house in this
neighbourhood. They doubtless had notice of the rich furniture
you brought hither, and had that in view."

The jeweller thought his slave's conjecture probable enough. He
entered the house, and saw that the robbers had taken all the
furniture out of the apartment where he received Schemselnihar
and her lover, that they had also carried off the gold and silver
plate, and, in a word, had left nothing. Perceiving this
desolation, he exclaimed, "O heaven! I am irrecoverably ruined!
What will my friends say, and what excuse can I make when I shall
tell them that the robbers have broken into my house, and robbed
me of all they had generously lent me? I shall never be able to
make up their loss. Besides, what is become of Schemselnihar and
the prince of Persia? This business will be so public, that it
will be impossible but it must reach the caliph's ears. He will
get notice of this meeting, and I shall fall a sacrifice to his
fury." The slave, who was very much attached to him, endeavoured
to comfort him. "As to Schemselnihar," said he, "the robbers
would probably consent themselves with stripping her, and you
have reason to think that she is retired to her palace with her
slaves. The prince of Persia too has probably escaped, so that
you have reason to hope the caliph will never know of this
adventure. As for the loss your friends have sustained, that is a
misfortune that you could not avoid. They know very well the
robbers are numerous, that they have not only pillaged the house
I have already spoken of, but many other houses of the principal
noblemen of the court: and they are not ignorant that,
notwithstanding the orders given to apprehend them, nobody has
been yet able to seize any of them. You will be acquitted by
restoring your friends the value of the things that are stolen,
and, blessed be God, you will have enough left."

While they were waiting for day-light, the jeweller ordered the
slave to mend the street door, which was broken, as well as he
could: after which he returned to his usual residence with his
slave, making melancholy reflections on what had happened. "Ebn
Thaher," said he to himself, "has been wiser than I; he foresaw
the misfortune into which I have blindly thrown myself: would to
God I had never meddled in this intrigue, which will, perhaps,
cost me my life!"

It was scarcely day when the report of the robbery spread through
the city, and a great many of his friends and neighbours came to
his house to express their concern for his misfortune; but were
curious to know the particulars. He thanked them for their
affection, and had at least the consolation, that he heard no one
mention Schemselnihar. or the prince of Persia: which made him
believe they were at their houses, or in some secure place.

When the jeweller was alone, his servants brought him something
to eat, but he had no appetite. About noon one of his slaves came
to tell him there was a man at the gate, whom he knew not, that
desired to speak with him. The jeweller, not choosing to receive
a stranger into his house, rose up, and went to speak to him.
"Though you do not know me," said the man; "I know you, and I am
come to talk to you about an important affair." The jeweller
desired him to come in. "No," answered the stranger "if you
please, rather take the trouble to go with me to your other
house." "How know you," asked the jeweller, "that I have another
house?" "I know very well," answered the stranger; "follow me,
and do not fear any thing: I have something to communicate which
will please you." The jeweller went immediately with him; and
after he had considered by the way how the house they were going
to had been robbed, he said to him that it was not fit to receive

When they were before the house, and the stranger saw the gate
half broken down, he said to the jeweller, "I see you have told
me the truth. I will conduct you to a place where we shall be
better accommodated." When he had thus spoken, he went on, and
walked all the rest of the day without stopping. The jeweller
being fatigued with his walk, vexed to see night approach, and
that the stranger went on without telling him where he was going,
began to lose his patience, when they came to a path which led to
the Tigris. As soon as they reached the river, they embarked in a
little boat, and went over. The stranger led the jeweller through
a long street, where he had never been before; and after he had
brought him through several by-streets, he stopped at a gate,
which he opened. He made the jeweller go in before him, he then
shut and bolted the gate, with a huge iron bolt, and conducted
him to a chamber, where there were ten other men, all of them as
great strangers to the jeweller as he who had brought him hither.

These ten men received him without much ceremony. They desired
him to sit down, of which he had great need; for he was not only
out of breath with walking so far, but his terror at finding
himself with people whom he thought he had reason to fear would
have disabled him from standing. They waited for their leader to
go to supper, and as soon as he came it was served up. They
washed their hands, obliged the jeweller to do the like, and to
sit at table with them. After supper the men asked him, if he
knew whom he spoke to? He answered, "No; and that he knew not the
place he was in." "Tell us your last night's adventure," said
they to him, "and conceal nothing from us." The jeweller, being
astonished at this request, answered, "Gentlemen, it is probable
you know it already." "That is true," replied they; "the young
man and the young lady, who were at your house yesternight, told
it us; but we would know it from your own mouth." The jeweller
needed no more to inform him that he spoke to the robbers who had
broken into and plundered his house. "Gentlemen," said he, "I am
much troubled for that young man and lady; can you give me any
tidings of them?"

Upon the jeweller's inquiry of the thieves, if they knew any
thing of the young man and the young lady, they answered, "Be not
concerned for them, they are safe and well," so saying, they
shewed him two closets, where they assured him they were
separately shut up. They added, "We are informed you alone know
what relates to them, which we no sooner came to understand, but
we shewed them all imaginable respect, and were so far from doing
them any injury, that we treated them with all possible kindness
on your account. We answer for the same," proceeded they, "for
your own person, you may put unlimited confidence in us."

The jeweller being encouraged by this assurance, and overjoyed to
hear that the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar were safe,
resolved to engage the robbers yet farther in their interest. He
commended them, flattered them, and gave them a thousand
benedictions. "Gentlemen," said he, "I must confess I have not
the honour to know you, yet it is no small happiness to me that I
am not wholly unknown to you; and I can never be sufficiently
grateful for the favours which that knowledge has procured me at
your hands. Not to mention your great humanity, I am fully
persuaded now, that persons of your character are capable of
keeping a secret faithfully, and none are so fit to undertake a
great enterprise, which you can best bring to a good issue by
your zeal, courage, and intrepidity. Confiding in these
qualities, which are so much your due, I hesitate not to tell you
my whole history, with that of those two persons you found in my
house, with all the fidelity you desire me."

After the jeweller had thus secured, as he thought, the
confidence of the robbers, he made no scruple to relate to them
the whole amour of the prince of Persia and Schemselnihar, from
the beginning of it to the time he had received them into his

The robbers were greatly astonished at all the particulars they
heard, and could not forbear exclaiming, "How! is it possible
that the young man should be the illustrious Ali Ebn Becar,
prince of Persia, and the young lady the fair and celebrated
beauty Schemselnihar?" The jeweller assured them nothing was more
certain, and that they need not think it strange, that persons of
so distinguished a character should wish not to be known.

Upon this assurance of their quality, the robbers went
immediately, one after another, and threw themselves at their
feet, imploring their pardon, and protesting that nothing of the
kind would have happened to them, had they been informed of the
quality of their persons before they broke into the house; and
that they would by their future conduct endeavour to make amends
for the crime they had thus ignorantly committed. Then turning to
the jeweller, they told him, they were heartily sorry they could
not restore to him all that had been taken from him, part of it
being no longer in their possession. but as for what remained, if
he would content himself with his plate, it should be forthwith
put into his hand.

The jeweller was overjoyed at the favour done him, and after the
robbers had delivered to him the plate, they required of the
prince, Schemselnihar, and him, to promise them upon oath, that
they would not betray them, and they would carry them to a place
whence they might easily return to their respective homes. The
prince, Schemselnihar, and the jeweller, replied, that they might
rely on their words, but since they desired an oath of them, they
solemnly swore not to discover them. The thieves, satisfied with
this, immediately went out with them.

On the way, the jeweller, uneasy at not seeing the confidant and
the two slaves, came up to Schemselnihar, and begged her to
inform him what was become of them. She answered, she knew
nothing of them, and that all she could tell him was, that she
was carried away from his house, ferried over the river, and
brought to the place from whence they were just come.

Schemselnihar and the jeweller had no farther conversation; they
let the robbers conduit them with the prince to the river's side,
when the robbers immediately took boat, and carried them over to
the opposite bank.

While the prince, Schemselnihar, and the jeweller were landing,
they heard the noise of the horse patrol coming towards them,
just as the boat had conveyed the robbers back.

The commander of the brigade demanded of the prince,
Schemselnihar, and the jeweller, who they were, and whence they
had come so late? Frightened as they were, and apprehensive of
saying any thing that might prejudice them, they could not speak;
but at length it was necessary they should. The jeweller's mind
being most at ease, he said, "Sir, I can assure you, we are
respectable people of the city. The persons who have just landed
us, and are now returned to the other side of the water, are
thieves, who having last night broke open the house where we
were, pillaged it, and afterwards carried us to their quarters,
whence by fair words, we prevailed on them to let us have our
liberty; and they brought us hither. They have restored us part
of the booty they had taken from us." At which words he shewed
the parcel of plate he had recovered.

The commander, not satisfied with what the jeweller had told him,
came up to him and the prince of Persia, and looking steadfastly
at them, said, "Tell me truly, who is this lady? How came you to
know her?"

These questions embarrassed them so much that neither of them
could answer; till at length Schemselnihar extricated them from
their difficulty, and taking the commander aside, told him who
she was; which he no sooner heard, than he alighted with
expressions of great respect and politeness, and ordered his men
to bring two boats.

When the boats were come, he put Schemselnihar into one, and the
prince of Persia and the jeweller into the other, with two of his
people in each boat; with orders to accompany each of them
whithersoever they were bound. The boats took different routes,
but we shall at present speak only of that which contained the
prince and the jeweller.

The prince, to save his guides trouble, bade them land the
jeweller at his house, naming the place. The guide, by this
direction, stopped just before the caliph's palace, which put
both him and the jeweller into great alarm; for although they had
heard the commander's orders to his men, they could not help
imagining they were to be delivered up to the guard, to be
brought before the caliph next morning.

This nevertheless was not the intention of the guides. For after
they had landed them, they, by their master's command,
recommended them to an officer of the caliph's guard who assigned
them two soldiers to conduct them by land to the prince's house,
which was at some distance from the river. They arrived there,
but so tired and weary that they could hardly move.

The prince being come home, with the fatigue of his journey, and
this misadventure to himself and Schemselnihar, which deprived
him of all hope of ever seeing her more, fell into a swoon on his
sofa. While the greatest part of his servants were endeavoring to
recover him, the rest gathered about the jeweller, and begged him
to tell them what had happened to the prince their lord, whose
absence had occasioned them such inexpressible uneasiness.

While the greatest part of the prince's domestics were
endeavouring to recover him from his swoon, others of them got
about the jeweller, desiring to know what had happened to their
lord. The jeweller, who took care to discover nothing that was
not proper for them to know, told them that it was an
extraordinary case, but that it was not a time to relate it, and
that they would do better to go and assist the prince. By good
fortune the prince came to himself that moment, and those that
but just before required his history with so much earnestness
retreated to a respectful distance.

Although the prince had in some measure recovered his
recollection, he continued so weak that he could not open his
mouth to speak. He answered only by signs, even to his nearest
relations, when they spoke to him. He remained in this condition
till next morning, when the jeweller came to take leave of him.
He could answer only by a movement of his eyes, and holding out
his right hand; but when he saw he was laden with a bundle of
plate, which the thieves had returned to him, he made a sign to
his servants that they should take it and carry it to his house.

The jeweller had been expected with great impatience by his
family the day he departed with the stranger; but now he was
quite given over, and it was no longer doubted but some disaster
had befallen him. His wife, children, and servants, were in the
greatest alarm, and lamenting him. When he arrived, their joy was
excessive; yet they were troubled to see that he was so much
altered in the short interval, that he was hardly to be known.
This was occasioned by the great fatigue of the preceding day,
and the fears he had undergone all night, which would not permit
him to sleep. Finding himself much indisposed, he continued at
home two days, and would admit only one of his intimate friends
to visit him.

The third day, finding himself something better, he thought he
might recover strength by going abroad to take the air; and
therefore went to the shop of a rich merchant of his
acquaintance, with whom he continued long in conversation. As he
was rising to take leave of his friend to return home, he
observed a woman making a sign to him, whom he presently knew to
be the confidant of Schemselnihar. Between fear and joy, he made
what haste he could away, without looking at her; but she
followed him, as he feared she would, the place they were in
being by no means proper to converse in. As he quickened his
pace, she, not being able to overtake him, every now and then
called out to him to stay.

He heard her; but after what had happened, he did not think fit
to speak to her in public, for fear of giving cause to suspect
that he was connected with Schemselnihar. It was known to every
body in Bagdad, that this woman belonged to her, and executed all
her little commissions. He continued the same pace, and at length
reached a mosque, where he knew but few people came. He entered,
and she followed him, and they had a long conversation together,
without any body overhearing them.

Both the jeweller and confidant expressed much joy at seeing each
other, after the strange adventure of the robbers, and their
reciprocal apprehension for each other, without regarding their
own particular persons.

The jeweller wished her to relate to him how she escaped with the
two slaves, and what she knew of Schemselnihar from the time he
lost sight of her; but so great was her eagerness to know what
had happened to him from the time of their unexpected separation,
that he found himself obliged to satisfy her. "Having given you
the detail you desired," said he, "oblige me in your turn," which
she did in the following manner.

"When I first saw the robbers, I hastily imagined that they were
soldiers of the caliph's guard, and that the caliph being
informed of Schemselnihar's going out, had sent them to put her,
the prince, and all of us to death. Under this impression I
immediately got up to the terrace of your house, when the thieves
entered the apartment where the prince and Schemselnihar were,
and I was soon after followed by that lady's two slaves. From
terrace to terrace, we came at last to a house of very honest
people, who received us with much civility, and with whom we
lodged that night.

"Next morning, after thanking the master of the house for our
good usage, we returned to Schemselnihar's palace, where we
entered in great disorder and distress, because we could not
learn the fate of the two unfortunate lovers. The other women of
Schemselnihar were astonished to see me return without their
lady. We told them, we had left her at the house of one of her
female friends, and that she would send for us when she wished to
come home; with which excuse they seemed well satisfied.

"For my part, I spent the day in great uneasiness, and when night
arrived, opening a small private gate, I espied a little boat on
the canal which seemed driven by the stream. I called to the
waterman, and desired him to row up each side of the river, and
look if he could not see a lady; and if he found her, to bring
her along with him. The two slaves and I waited impatiently for
his return, and at length, about midnight, we saw the boat coming
down with two men in it, and a woman lying along in the stern.
When the boat was come up, the two men helped the woman to rise,
and then it was I knew her to be Schemselnihar. I cannot express
my joy at seeing her.

"I gave my hand to Schemselnihar to help her out of the boat; she
had great need of my assistance, for she could hardly stand. When
she was landed, she whispered me in a tone expressive of her
affliction, and bade me go and take a purse of one thousand
pieces of gold and give it to the two soldiers that had
accompanied her. I left her to the care of the two slaves to
support her, and having ordered the two soldiers to wait for me a
moment, I took the purse, and returned instantly; I gave it to
them, and having paid the waterman, shut the door.

"I then followed my lady, and overtook her before she had reached
her chamber. We immediately undressed her, and put her to bed,
where she had not long been, before she became so ill that for
the whole of the night we almost despaired of her life. The day
following, her other women expressed a great desire to see her;
but I told them she had been greatly fatigued, and wanted rest.
The other two women and I gave her all the assistance in our
power; but we should have given over every hope of her recovery,
had I not at last perceived that the wine which we every now and
then gave her had a sensible effect in recruiting her strength.
By importunity we at length prevailed with her to eat.

"When she recovered the use of her speech, for she had hitherto
only wept, groaned, and sighed, I begged of her to tell me how
she had escaped out of the hands of the robbers. ‘Why would you
require of me,' said she, with a profound sigh, ‘to renew my
grief? Would to God the robbers had taken away my life, rather
than have preserved it; my misfortunes would then have had an
end, whereas I live but to increase my sufferings.'

"Madam,' I replied, ‘I beg you would not refuse me this favour.
You cannot but know that the wretched feel a consolation in
relating their greatest misfortunes; what I ask would alleviate
yours, if you would have the goodness to gratify me.'

"‘Hear then,' said she, ‘the most afflicting adventure that could
possibly have happened to one so deeply in love as myself, who
considered myself as at the utmost point of my wishes. You must
know, when I first saw the robbers enter, sword in hand, I
considered it as the last moment of our lives. But death was not
an object of regret, since I thought I was to die with the prince
of Persia. However, instead of murdering us, as I expected, two
of the robbers were ordered to take care of us, whilst their
companions were busied in packing up the goods they found in the
house. When they had done, and got their bundles upon their
backs, they went out, and took us with them.

"‘As we went along, one of those that had charge of us demanded
of me who I was? I answered, I was a dancer. He put the same
question to the prince, who replied, he was a citizen.

"When we had reached the place of our destination, a new alarm
seized us. They gathered about us, and after having considered my
dress, and the rich jewels I was adorned with, they seemed to
suspect I had disguised my quality. "Dancers," said they, "do not
use to be dressed as you are. Tell us truly who you are?"

"‘When they saw I made no reply, they asked the prince once more
who he was, for they told him they plainly perceived he was not
the person he pretended to be. He did not satisfy them much more
than I had done; he only told them he came to see the jeweller,
naming him, who was the owner of the house where they found us.
"I know this jeweller," replied one of the rogues, who seemed to
have some authority over the rest: "I owe him some obligations,
which he knows nothing of, and I take upon me to bring him hither
to-morrow morning; but you must not expect," continued he, "to be
released till he arrives and tells us who you are; in the mean
time, I promise you there shall be no injury offered to you."

"‘ The jeweller was brought next morning, who thinking to oblige
us, as he really did, declared to the robbers the whole truth.
They immediately came and asked my pardon, and I believe did the
like to the prince, who was shut up in another room. They
protested to me, they would not have broken open the house where
we were, had they known it was the jeweller's. They soon after
took us (the prince, the jeweller, and myself), carried us to the
river side, put us aboard a boat, and rowed us across the water;
but we were no sooner landed, than a party of horse-patrol came
up to us.

"The robbers fled; I took the commander aside, and told him my
name, and that the night before I had been seized by robbers, who
forced me along with them; but having been told who I was,
released me, and the two persons he saw with me, on my account.
He alighted out of respect to me; and expressing great joy at
being able to oblige me, caused two boats to be brought: putting
me and two of his soldiers, whom you have seen, into one, he
escorted me hither: but what is become of the prince and his
friend I cannot tell.

"‘I trust,' added she, melting into tears, ‘no harm has befallen
them since our separation; and I do not doubt but the prince's
concern for me is equal to mine for him. The jeweller, to whom we
have been so much obliged, ought to be recompensed for the loss
he has sustained on our account. Fail not, therefore, to take two
purses of a thousand pieces of gold in each, and carry them to
him to-morrow morning in my name, and be sure to inquire after
the prince's welfare.'

"When my good mistress had done speaking, I endeavoured, as to
the last article of inquiring into the prince's welfare, to
persuade her to endeavour to triumph over her passion, after the
danger she had so lately escaped almost by miracle. ‘Make me no
answer,' said she, ‘but do what I require.'

"I was obliged to be silent, and am come hither to obey her
commands. I have been at your house, but not finding you at home,
and uncertain as I was of where you might be found, was about
going to the prince of Persia; but not daring to attempt the
journey, I have left the two purses with a particular friend, and
if you will wait here, I will go and fetch them immediately."

The confidant soon returned to the jeweller in the mosque, where
she had left him, and giving him the two purses, bade him out of
them satisfy his friends. "They are much more than is necessary,"
said he, "but I dare not refuse the present from so good and
generous a lady to her most humble servant; I beseech you to
assure her from me, that I shall preserve an eternal remembrance
of her goodness." He then agreed with the confidant, that she
should find him at the house where she had first seen him,
whenever she had occasion to impart any thing from Schemselnihar,
or to hear any tidings of the prince of Persia: and so they

The jeweller returned home well pleased, not only that he had got
wherewithal so fully to satisfy his friends, but also to think
that no person in Bagdad could possibly know that the prince and
Schemselnihar had been in his other house when it was robbed. It
is true, he had acquainted the thieves with it, but on their
secrecy he thought he might very well depend. Next morning he
visited the friends who had obliged him, and found no difficulty
in satisfying them. He had money in hand to furnish his other
house, in which he placed servants. Thus he forgot all his past
danger, and the next evening waited on the prince of Persia.

The prince's domestics told the jeweller, that he came very
opportunely, as the prince, since he had parted with him, was
reduced to such a state that his life was in danger. They
introduced him softly into his chamber, and he found him in a
condition that excited his pity. He was lying on his bed, with
his eyes closed; but when the jeweller saluted him, and exhorted
him to take courage, he recollected him, opened his eyes, and
gave him a look that sufficiently declared the greatness of his
affliction, infinitely beyond what he felt after he first saw
Schemselnihar. He grasped him by the hand, to testify his
friendship, and told him, in a feeble voice, that he was
extremely obliged to him for coming so far to visit one so
unhappy and wretched.

"Prince," replied the jeweller, "mention not, I beseech you, any
obligations you owe to me. I wish the good offices I have
endeavoured to do you had had a better effect; but at present,
let us talk only of your health; which, in the state I see you, I
fear you greatly injure by unreasonably abstaining from proper

The prince's servants took this opportunity to tell him, it was
with the greatest difficulty they had prevailed on their master
to take the smallest refreshment, and that for some time he had
taken nothing. This obliged the jeweller to entreat the prince to
let his servants bring him something to eat.

After the prince had, through the persuasion of the jeweller,
eaten more than he had hitherto done, he commanded the servants
to leave him alone with his friend. When the room was clear, he
said, "Besides the misfortune that distracts me, I have been
exceedingly concerned to think what a loss you have sustained on
my account; and it is but just I should make you some recompence.
But before I do this, after begging your pardon a thousand times,
I conjure you to tell me whether you have learnt any tidings of
Schemselnihar, since I had the misfortune to be parted from her."

Here the jeweller, instructed by the confidant, related to him
all that he knew of Schemselnihar's arrival at her palace, her
state of health from that time till she recovered, and how she
had sent her confidant to him to inquire after his welfare.

To all this the prince replied only by sighs and tears. He made
an effort to get up, and calling his servants, went himself to
his wardrobe, and having caused several bundles of rich furniture
and plate to be packed up, he ordered them to be carried to the
jeweller's house.

The jeweller would fain have declined this kind offer; but
although he represented that Schemselnihar had already made him
more than sufficient amends for what he had lost, the prince
would be obeyed. The jeweller was therefore obliged to make all
possible acknowledgments, and protested how much he was
confounded at his highness's liberality. He would then have taken
his leave, but the prince desired him to stay, and they passed
good part of the night in conversation.

Next morning the jeweller waited again on the prince, who made
him sit down by him. "You know," said he, "there is an end
proposed in all things: that which the lover proposes, is to
enjoy the beloved object in spite of all opposition. If once he
loses that hope, he must not think to live. Such is my hard case;
for twice when I have been at the very point of fulfilling my
desires, I have suddenly been torn from her I loved in the most
cruell manner imaginable. It remains for me only to think of
death, and I had sought it, but that our holy religion forbids
suicide; but I need not anticipate it; I need not wait long."
Here he stopped, and vented his passion in groans, sighs, sobs,
and tears, which flowed abundantly.

The jeweller, who knew no better way of diverting him from his
despair than by bringing Schemselnihar into his mind, and giving
him some shadow of hope, told him, he feared the confidant might
be come from her lady, and therefore it would not be proper to
stay any longer from home. "I will let you go," said the prince,
"but conjure you, that if you see her, you recommend to her to
assure Schemselnihar, that if I die, as I expect to do shortly, I
shall love her to the last moment, even in the grave."

The jeweller returned home, and waited in expectation of seeing
the confidant, who came some hours after, but all in tears, and
in great affliction. The jeweller alarmed, asked her what was the
matter? She answered, that Schemselnihar, the prince, herself,
and he, were all ruined. "Hear the sad news," said she, "as it
was told me just upon my entering the palace after I had left you

"Schemselnihar had for some fault chastised one of the slaves you
saw with her when you met in your other house. The slave, enraged
at the ill treatment, ran immediately away, and finding the gate
open, went out; so that we have just reason to believe she has
discovered all to an eunuch of the guard, who gave her

"But this is not all; the other slave her companion has fled too,
and has taken refuge in the caliph's palace. So that we may well
fear she has borne her part in this discovery: for just as I came
away, the caliph had sent twenty of his eunuchs for
Schemselnihar, who have carried her to the palace. I just found
means to come and tell you this. I know not what has passed, yet
I fear no good; but above all, I recommend to you to keep the
secret inviolate."

The confidant added to what she had related before to the
jeweller, that it was proper he should go immediately and
acquaint the prince with the whole affair, that he might be
prepared for every event, and keep faithful to the common cause.
She went away in haste, without staying for any answer.

What answer could the jeweller have made in the condition he was
in? He stood motionless as if thunderstruck. He found, however,
that there was no time to be lost, and immediately went to give
the prince information. He addressed him with an air, that
sufficiently shewed the bad news he brought. "Prince," said he,
"arm yourself with courage and patience, and prepare to receive
the most terrible shock that ever you had to encounter."

"Tell me in a few words," replied the prince, "what is the
matter, without keeping me in suspense; I am, if necessary,
prepared to die."

Then the jeweller repeated all that he had learnt from the
confidant. "You see," continued he, "your destruction is
inevitable. Rise, save yourself by flight, for the time is
precious. You, of all men, must not expose yourself to the anger
of the caliph, and, less than any, confess in the midst of

At these words the prince was ready to expire through grief,
affliction, and fear. However, he recovered himself, and asked
the jeweller what resolution he would advise him to take in this
conjuncture, every moment of which ought to be employed. The
jeweller told him, he thought nothing remained, but that he
should immediately take horse, and hasten away towards Anbar,
that he might get thither before day. "Take what servants and
swift horses you think necessary," continued he, "and suffer me
to escape with you."

The prince, seeing nothing more to be done, immediately gave
orders to prepare such an equipage as would be least troublesome;
took money and jewels, and having taken leave of his mother,
departed with the jeweller and such servants as he had chosen.

They travelled all night without stopping, till at length, both
their horses and themselves being spent with so long a journey,
they halted to rest themselves.

They had hardly alighted before they found themselves surrounded
and assaulted by a band of robbers. They defended their lives for
some time courageously; but at length the prince's servants being
all killed, both he and the jeweller were obliged to yield at
discretion. The robbers, however, spared their dives, but after
they had seized the horses and baggage, they took away their
clothes and left them naked.

When the thieves were gone, the prince said to the jeweller,
"What think you of our adventure and condition? Had I not better
have tarried in Bagdad, and awaited my death?" "Prince," replied
the jeweller, "it is the decree of Heaven that we should thus
suffer. It has pleased God to add affliction to affliction. and
we must not murmur, but receive his chastisements with
submission. Let us stay no longer here, but seek for some retreat
where we may perhaps be relieved."

"Let me die," said the prince; "for what signifies it whether I
die here or elsewhere. Perhaps while we are talking,
Schemselnihar is no more, and why should I endeavour to live
after she is dead!" The jeweller, by his entreaty, at length
prevailed on him, and they had not gone far before they came to a
mosque, which was open; they entered it, and passed there the
remainder of the night.

At day-break a man came into the mosque. When he had ended his
prayer, as he turned about to go away, he perceived the prince
and jeweller, who were sitting in a corner. He came up to them,
and after having saluted them with a great deal of civility,
said, "I perceive you are strangers."

The jeweller answered, "You are not deceived. We have been robbed
to-night in coming from Bagdad, as you may see, and have retired
hither for shelter, but we know not to whom to apply." "If you
think fit to accompany me to my house," answered the man, "I will
give you all the assistance in my power."

Upon this obliging offer, the jeweller turned to the prince, and
whispered, "This man, as you perceive, sir, does not know us, and
we have reason to fear that somebody else may come who does. We
cannot, I think, refuse his offer." "Do as you please," said the
prince; "I am willing to be guided by your discretion."

The man observing the prince and jeweller consulting together,
and thinking they made some difficulty to accept his offer, asked
them if they were resolved what to do? The jeweller answered "We
are ready to follow you; all we hesitate about is that we are
ashamed to appear thus naked."

Fortunately the man had it in his power to cover them
sufficiently till they could get to his house. As soon as they
had entered, he brought a very handsome suit for each of them. As
he thought they must be hungry, and might wish to be alone, he
had several dishes brought to them by a slave; but they ate
little, especially the prince who was so dejected and dispirited,
that he gave the jeweller cause to fear he would die. Their host
visited them several times in the course of the day, and in the
evening, as he knew they wanted rest, he left them early. But he
was no sooner in bed, than the jeweller was forced to call him
again to assist at the death of the prince of Persia. He found
him breathe short, and with difficulty, which gave him reason to
fear he had but few minutes to live. Coming near him, the prince
said, "It is all over, and I am glad you are witness of my last
words. I quit life with a great deal of satisfaction; I need not
tell you the reason, for you know it already. All my concern is,
that I cannot die in the arms of my dear mother, who has always
loved me tenderly, and for whom I had a reciprocal affection. Let
her know how much I was concerned at this, and request her in my
name to have my body removed to Bagdad, that she may have an
opportunity to bedew my tomb with her tears, and assist my
departed soul with her prayers." He then took notice of the
master of the house, and thanked him for his kindness in taking
him in; and after desiring him to let his body rest with him till
it should be conveyed to Bagdad, he expired.

The day after the prince's death, the jeweller took the
opportunity of a numerous caravan that was going to Bagdad, and
arrived there in safety. He first went home to change his
clothes, and then hastened to the prince's palace, where every
body was alarmed at not seeing the prince with him. He desired
them to acquaint the prince's mother that he wished to speak with
her, and it was not long before he was introduced to her in a
hall, with several of her women about her. "Madam," said he to
her, with an air that sufficiently denoted the ill news he
brought, "God preserve you, and shower down upon you the choicest
of his blessings. You cannot be ignorant that he alone disposes
of us at his pleasure."

The princess would not permit him to proceed, but exclaimed,
"Alas! you bring me the news of my son's death?" She and her
women at the same time wept and sobbed loudly. At length she
checked her sighs and groans, and begged of him to continue
without concealing from her the least circumstance of such a
melancholy separation. He satisfied her, and when he had done,
she farther demanded of him, if her son the prince had not given
him in charge something more particular in his last moments? He
assured her his last words were, that it was to him the most
afflicting circumstance that he must die so far distant from his
dear mother, and that the only thing he wished was, that she
would have his corpse transported to Bagdad. Accordingly early
next morning the princess set out with her women and great part
of her slaves, to bring her son's body to her own palace.

When the jeweller, whom she had detained, had seen her depart, he
returned home very sad and melancholy, at the reflection that so
accomplished and amiable a prince was thus cut off in the flower
of his age.

As he walked towards his house, dejected and musing, he saw a
woman standing before him. He recognized her to be
Schemselnihar's confidant. At the sight of her, his tears began
to flow afresh but he said nothing to her; and going into his own
house, she followed him.

They sat down; when the jeweller beginning the conversation,
asked the confidant, with a deep sigh, if she had heard of the
death of the prince of Persia, and if it was on his account that
she grieved. "Alas!" answered she, "What! is that charming prince
then dead? He has not lived long after his dear Schemselnihar.
Beauteous souls," continued she, "in whatsoever place ye now are,
ye must be happy that your loves will no more be interrupted.
Your bodies were an obstacle to your wishes; but Heaven has
delivered you from them; ye may now form the closest union."

The jeweller, who had heard nothing of Schemselnihar's death, and
had not reflected that the confidant was in mourning, suffered
fresh grief at this intelligence. "Is Schemselnihar then dead?"
cried he. "She is," replied the confidant, weeping afresh, "and
it is for her I wear these weeds. The circumstances of her death
were extraordinary," continued she, "and deserve to be known to
you: but before I give you an account of them, I beg you to
acquaint me with those of the prince of Persia, whom, with my
dearest friend and mistress, I shall lament as long as I live."

The jeweller then gave the confidant the information she desired;
and after he had told her all, even to the departure of the
prince's mother to bring her son's body to Bagdad, she began and
said, "You have not forgotten that I told you the caliph had sent
for Schemselnihar to his palace. He had, as we had every reason
to believe, been informed of the amour betwixt her and the prince
by the two slaves, whom he had examined apart. You may imagine,
he would be exceedingly enraged at Schemselnihar's conduct, and
give striking proofs of his jealousy and of his impending
vengeance against the prince. But this was by no means the case.
He pitied Schemselnihar, and in some measure blamed himself for
what had happened, in giving her so much freedom to walk about
the city without being attended by his eunuchs. This is the only
conclusion that could be drawn from his extraordinary behavior
towards her, as you will hear.

"He received her with an open countenance; and when he observed
that the melancholy which oppressed her did not lessen her beauty
(for she appeared thus before him without surprise or fear), with
a goodness worthy himself, he said ‘Schemselnihar, I cannot bear
your appearing before me thus with an air which gives me infinite
pain. You must needs be sensible how much I have always loved
you, and be convinced of the sincerity of my passion by the
continued demonstrations I have given of it. I can never change
my mind, for I love you more than ever. You have enemies,
Schemselnihar,' proceeded he, ‘and those enemies have insinuated
things against your conduct, but all they have said against you
has not made the least impression upon me. Shake off then this
melancholy, and prepare to entertain me this night with some
amusing conversation, after your accustomed manner.' He said many
other obliging things to her, and then desired her to step into a
magnificent apartment near her own, and wait for him.

"The afflicted Schemselnihar was very sensible of the caliph's
kindness; but the more she thought herself obliged to him, the
more she was concerned that she was so far removed, perhaps for
ever, from her prince, without whom she could not live.

"This interview between the caliph and Schemselnihar," continued
the confidant, "took place whilst I was come to speak to you, and
I learned the particulars of it from my companions who were
present. But I had no sooner left you," proceeded she, "than I
went to my dear mistress again, and was eye-witness to what
happened in the evening. I found her in the apartment I told you
of; and as she though I came from you, she drew near me, and
whispering me, said, ‘I am much obliged to you for the service
you have done me, but I feel it will be the last.' She said no
more; but I was not in a place proper to offer any thing to
comfort her.

"The caliph was introduced at night with the sound of instruments
which her women played upon, and the collation was immediately
served up. He took his mistress by the hand, and made her sit
down with him on the sofa; she put such a force upon herself to
please him, that she expired a few minutes after. In short, she
was hardly set down, when she fell backwards. The caliph believed
she had only fainted, and so we all thought; but she never
recovered, and in this manner we lost her.

"The caliph did her the honour to weep over her, not being able
to refrain from tears; and before he left the room ordered all
the musical instruments to be broken; this was immediately done.
I stayed with her corpse all night, and next morning washed and
dressed her for her funeral, bathing her with my tears. The
caliph had her interred in a magnificent tomb he had erected for
her in her lifetime, in a place she had desired to be buried in.
Now since you tell me," said she, "the prince of Persia's body is
to be brought to Bagdad, I will use my best endeavours that he
shall be interred in the same tomb."

The jeweller was much surprised at this resolution of the
confidant, and said, "Certainly you do not consider that the
caliph will never suffer this?" "You think the thing impossible,"
replied she; "it is not. You will alter your opinion when I tell
you that the caliph has given liberty to all her slaves, with a
pension to each for their support. He has committed to me the
care and keeping of my mistress's tomb, and allotted me an annual
income for that purpose, and for my maintenance. Besides, the
caliph, who was not ignorant of the amour between Schemselnihar
and the prince, as I have already told you, without being
offended, will not be sorry if after her death he be buried with
her." To all this the jeweller had not a word to say. He
earnestly entreated the confidant to conduct him to her
mistress's tomb, that he might say his prayers over her. When he
came in sight of it, he was not a little surprised to find a vast
concourse of people of both sexes, who were come thither from all
parts of Bagdad. As he could not come near the tomb, he said his
prayers at a distance; and then going to the confidant, who was
waiting hard by, said to her, "I am now so far from thinking that
what you proposed cannot be put in execution, that you and I need
only publish abroad what we know of the amour of this unfortunate
couple, and how the prince died much about the same time with his
mistress. Before his corpse arrives, all Bagdad will concur to
desire that two such faithful lovers, whom nothing could divide
in affection whilst they lived, should not be separated when
dead." It happened as he said; for as soon as it was known that
the corpse was within a day's journey of the city, an infinite
number of people went above twenty miles to meet it, and
afterwards walked before it till it came to the city gate; where
the confidant, waiting for that purpose, presented herself before
the prince's mother, and begged of her in the name of the whole
city, who earnestly desired it, that she would be pleased to
consent that the bodies of the two lovers, who had but one heart
whilst they lived, from the time their mutual passion commenced,
might be buried in the same tomb. The princess immediately
consented; and the corpse of the prince, instead of being
deposited in his own burying-place, was laid by Schemselnihar's
side, after it had been carried along in procession at the head
of an infinite number of people of all ranks. From that time all
the inhabitants of Bagdad, and even strangers from all parts of
the world where the Mahummedan religion prevails have held that
tomb in the highest veneration, and pay their devotions at it.

     The Story of the Loves of Kummir Al Zummaun, Prince of
     the Isles of the Children of Khaledan, and of Badoura,
                       Princess of China.

About twenty days' sail from the coast of Persia, there are
islands in the main ocean called the Islands of the Children of
Khaledan. These islands are divided into four great provinces,
which have all of them very flourishing and populous cities,
forming together a powerful kingdom. It was formerly governed by
a king named Shaw Zummaun, who had four lawful wives, all
daughters of kings, and sixty concubines.

Shaw Zummaun thought himself the most happy monarch of the world,
on account of his peaceful and prosperous reign. One thing only
disturbed his happiness; which was, that he was advanced in
years, and had no children, though he had so many wives. He knew
not to what to attribute this barrenness; and what increased his
affliction was, that he was likely to leave his kingdom without a
successor. He dissembled his discontent, and this dissimulation
only heightened his uneasiness. At length he broke silence; and
one day after he had complained bitterly of his misfortune to his
grand vizier, he asked him if he knew any remedy for it?

That wise minister replied, "If what your majesty requires of me
had depended on the ordinary rules of human wisdom, you had soon
had an answer to your satisfaction; but my experience and
knowledge fall far short of your question. It is to God only that
we can apply in cases of this kind. In the midst of our
prosperities, which often tempt us to forget him, he is pleased
to mortify us in some instance, that we may address our thoughts
to him, acknowledge his omnipotence, and ask of him what we ought
to expect from him alone. Your majesty has subjects," proceeded
he "who make a profession of honouring and serving God, and
suffering great hardships for his sake; to them I would advise
you to have recourse, and engage them, by alms, to join their
prayers with yours. Perhaps some one among them may be so pure
and pleasing to God as to obtain a hearing for your prayers."

Shaw Zummaun approved this advice, and thanked his vizier. He
immediately caused alms to be given to every community of these
holy men in his dominions: and having sent for the superiors,
declared to them his intention, and desired them to acquaint
their devout men with it.

The king obtained of Heaven what he requested, for in nine
months' time he had a son by one of his wives. To express his
gratitude to Heaven, he sent fresh alms to the communities of
devotees, and the prince's birth-day was celebrated not only in
his capital, but throughout his dominions, for a whole week. The
prince was brought to him as soon as born, and he found him so
beautiful that he gave him the name of Kummir al Zummaun, or Moon
of the Age.

He was brought up with all imaginable care; and when he had
arrived at a proper age, his father appointed him an experienced
governor and able preceptors. These persons, distinguished by
their capacity, found in him a ready wit capable of receiving all
the instructions that were proper to be given him, as well in
relation to morals as other knowledge which a prince ought to
possess. As he grew up, he learned all his exercises, and
acquitted himself with such grace and wonderful address, as to
charm all that saw him, and particularly the sultan his father.

When he had attained the age of fifteen, the sultan, who tenderly
loved him, and gave him every day new marks of his affection,
proposed to afford a still higher demonstration by resigning his
throne to him, and he accordingly acquainted his grand vizier
with his intentions. "I fear," said he, "lest my son should lose
in the inactivity of youth those advantages which nature and my
education have give him; therefore, since I am advanced in age,
and ought to think of retirement I propose to resign the
government to him, and pass the remainder of my days in the
satisfaction of seeing him reign. I have borne the fatigue of a
crown till I am weary of it, and think it is now proper for me to

The grand vizier declined offering all the reasons he could have
alleged to dissuade the sultan from such a proceeding; on the
contrary, he appeared to acquiesce with him in his opinion.
"Sir," replied he, "the prince is yet but young, and it would
not, in my humble opinion, be advisable to burden him with the
weight of a crown so soon. Your majesty fears, with great reason,
his youth may be corrupted by indolence: but to avoid this
danger, do not you think it would be proper to marry him?
Marriage forms attachment, and prevents dissipation. Your majesty
might then admit him of your council, where he would learn by
degrees the art of reigning; and so be prepared to receive your
authority, whenever by your own experience you shall think him

Shaw Zummaun approved the advice of his prime minister; and
summoned the prince to appear before him, at the same time that
he dismissed the grand vizier.

The prince, who had been accustomed to see his father only at
certain times without being sent for, was a little startled at
this summons; when, therefore, he came into his presence, he
saluted him with great respect, and stood with his eyes fixed on
the ground.

The sultan perceiving his constraint, addressed him with great
mildness, "Do you know, son, for what reason I have sent for
you?" The prince modestly replied, "God alone knows the heart: I
shall hear it from your majesty with pleasure." "I sent for you,"
resumed the sultan, "to inform you that it is my intention to
provide a proper marriage for you: what do you think of my

The prince heard this with great uneasiness: he was greatly
agitated, and knew not what answer to make. After a few moments
silence, he replied, "Sir, I beseech you to pardon me if I seem
surprised at the declaration you have made. I did not expect such
proposals at my present age. I know not whether I could prevail
on myself to marry, on account of the trouble incident to a
married life, and the many treacheries of women, which I have
read of. I may not be always of the same mind, yet I conceive it
will require time to determine on what your majesty requires of

The prince's answer extremely afflicted his father. He was not a
little grieved to discover his aversion to marriage; yet would
not charge him with disobedience, nor exert his paternal
authority. He contented himself with telling him, he would not
force his inclinations, but give him time to consider of the
proposal; and reflect, that a prince destined to govern a great
kingdom ought to take some care to leave a successor; and that in
giving himself that satisfaction he communicated it to his
father, who would be glad to see himself revive in his son and
his issue.

Shaw Zummaun said no more to the prince but admitted him into his
council, and gave him every reason to be satisfied. At the end of
the year he took him aside, and said to him; "My son, have you
thoroughly considered what I proposed to you last year about
marrying? Will you still refuse me that pleasure I expect from
your obedience, and suffer me to die without affording me that

The prince seemed less disconcerted than before; and was not long
answering his father to this effect: "Sir, I have not neglected
to consider of your proposal; but after the maturest reflection
find myself more confirmed in my resolution to continue in a
state of celibacy. The infinite mischief which women have caused
in the world, and which are on record in our histories, and the
accounts I daily hear to their disadvantage, are the motives
which powerfully influence me against having any thing to do with
them; so that I hope your majesty will pardon me if I presume to
tell you, it will be in vain to solicit me any further upon this
subject." As soon as he had thus spoken, he quitted the sultan
abruptly without waiting his answer.

Any monarch but Shaw Zummaun would have been angry at such
freedom in a son, and would have made him repent; but he loved
him, and preferred gentle methods before he proceeded to
compulsion. He communicated this new cause of discontent to his
prime minister. "I have followed your advice," said he, "but
Kummir al Zummaun is farther than ever from complying with my
desires. He delivered his determination in such free terms, that
it required all my reason and moderation to keep my temper.
Fathers who so earnestly desire children as I did this son are
fools, who seek to deprive themselves of that rest which it is in
their own power to enjoy without control. Tell me, I beseech you,
how I shall reclaim a disposition so rebellious to my will?"

"Sir," answered the grand vizier, "patience brings many things
about that before seemed impracticable; but it may be this affair
is of a nature not likely to succeed that way. Your majesty will
have no cause to reproach yourself for precipitation, if you
would give the prince another year to consider your proposal. If
in this interval he return to his duty, you will have the greater
satisfaction, as you will have employed only paternal love to
induce him; and if he still continue averse when this is expired,
your majesty may in full council observe, that it is highly
necessary for the good of the state that he should marry; and it
is not likely he will refuse to comply before so grave an
assembly, which you honour with your presence."

The sultan, who so anxiously desired to see his son married,
thought this long delay an age; however, though with much
difficulty, he yielded to his grand vizier's reasons, which he
could not disapprove.

After the grand vizier was gone, the sultan went to the apartment
of the mother of prince Kummir al Zummaun, to whom he had often
expressed his desire to see the prince married. When he had told
her, with much concern, how his son had a second time refused to
comply with his wishes, and the indulgence which, by the advice
of his grand vizier, he was inclined to shew him; he said, "I
know he has more confidence in you than he has in me, and will be
more likely to attend to your advice. I therefore desire you
would take an opportunity to talk to him seriously, and urge upon
him, that if he persists in his obstinacy, he will oblige me to
have recourse to measures which would be disagreeable to me, and
which would give him cause to repent having disobeyed me."

Fatima, for so was the lady called, told the prince the first
time she saw him, that she had been informed of his second
refusal to marry; and how much chagrin his resolution had
occasioned his father. "Madam," replied the prince, "I beseech
you not to renew my grief upon that head. I fear, under my
present uneasiness, something may escape me, which may not be
consistent with the respect I owe you." Fatima judged from this
answer that this was not a proper time to speak to him, and
therefore deferred what she had to say to another opportunity.

Some considerable time after, Fatima thought she had found a more
favourable season, which gave her hopes of being heard upon that
subject. "Son," said she, "I beg of you, if it be not
disagreeable, to tell me what reason you have for your great
aversion to marriage? If it be the wickedness of some women,
nothing can be more unreasonable and weak. I will not undertake
the defence of those that are bad; there are a great number of
them undoubtedly; but it would be the height of injustice on
their account to condemn all the sex. Alas! my son, you have in
your books read of many bad women, who have occasioned great
mischief, and I will not excuse them: but you do not consider how
many monarchs, sultans, and other princes there have been in the
world, whose tyrannies, barbarities, and cruelties astonish those
that read of them, as well as myself. Now, for one wicked woman,
you will meet with a thousand tyrants and barbarians; and what
torment do you think must a good woman undergo, who is matched
with any of these wretches?"

"Madam," replied the prince, "I doubt not there are a great
number of wise, virtuous, good, affable, and well-behaved women
in the world; would to God they all resembled you! But what
deters me is, the hazardous choice a man is obliged to make, and
oftentimes one has not the liberty of following his inclination.

"Let us suppose then, madam," continued he, "that I had a mind to
marry, as the sultan my father so earnestly desires; what wife,
think you, would he be likely to provide for me? Probably a
princess whom he would demand of some neighbouring prince, and
who would think it an honour done him to send her. Handsome or
ugly, she must be taken; nay, suppose no other princess excelled
her in beauty, who can be certain that her temper would be good;
that she would be affable, complaisant, easy, obliging, and the
like? That her conversation would generally turn on solid
subjects, and not on dress, fashions, ornaments, and a thousand
such fooleries, which would disgust any man of sense? In a word,
that she would not be haughty, proud, arrogant, impertinent,
scornful, and waste an estate in frivolous expenses, such as gay
clothes, jewels, toys, and foolish mistaken magnificence?

"You see, madam," continued he, "by one single article, how many
reasons a man may have to be disgusted at marriage. Let this
princess be ever so perfect, accomplished, and irreproachable in
her conduct, I have yet a great many more reasons not to alter my
opinion and resolution."

"What, son," exclaimed Fatima; "have you then more reasons after
those you have already alleged? I do not doubt of being able to
answer them, and stop your mouth with a word." "You may proceed,
madam," returned the prince, "and perhaps I may find a reply to
your answer."

"I mean, son," said Fatima, "that it is easy for a prince, who
has had the misfortune to marry such a wife as you describe, to
get rid of her, and take care that she may not ruin the state."
"Ah, madam," replied the prince, "but you do not consider what a
mortification it would be to a person of my quality to be obliged
to come to such an extremity. Would it not have been more for his
honour and quiet that he had never run such a risk?"

"But, son," said Fatima once more, "as you take the case, I
apprehend you have a mind to be the last king of your race, who
have reigned so long and gloriously over the isles of the
children of Khaledan?"

"Madam," replied the prince, "for myself I do not desire to
survive the king my father; and if I should die before him, it
would be no great matter of wonder, since so many children have
died before their parents. But it is always glorious to a race of
kings, that it should end with a prince worthy to be so, as I
should endeavour to make myself like my predecessors, and like
the first of our race."

From that time Fatima had frequent conferences with her son the
prince on the same subject; and she omitted no opportunity or
argument to endeavour to root out his aversion to the fair sex;
but he eluded all her reasonings by such arguments as she could
not well answer, and continued unaltered.

The year expired, and, to the great regret of the sultan, prince
Kummir al Zummaun gave not the least proof of having changed his
sentiments. One day, therefore, when there was a great council
held, the prime vizier, the other viziers, the principal officers
of the crown, and the generals of the army being present, the
sultan thus addressed the prince: "My son, it is now a long while
since I expressed to you my earnest desire to see you married,
and I imagined you would have had more complaisance for a father,
who required nothing unreasonable of you, than to oppose him so
long. But after such a resistance on your part, which has almost
worn out my patience, I have thought fit to propose the same
thing once more to you in the presence of my council. It is not
merely to oblige a parent that you ought to have acceded to my
wish, the well-being of my dominions requires your compliance,
and this assembly join with me in expecting it: declare yourself,
then; that your answer may regulate my proceedings."

The prince answered with so little reserve, or rather with so
much warmth, that the sultan, enraged to see himself thwarted by
him in full council, exclaimed, "How, unnatural son! have you the
insolence to talk thus to your father and sultan?" He ordered the
guards to take him away, and carry him to an old tower that had
been long unoccupied; where he was shut up, with only a bed, a
little furniture, some books, and one slave to attend him.

Kummir al Zummaun, thus deprived of liberty, was nevertheless
pleased that he had the freedom to converse with his books, which
made him regard his confinement with indifference. In the evening
he bathed and said his prayers; and after having read some
chapters in the Koraun, with the same tranquillity of mind as if
he had been in the sultan's palace, he undressed himself and went
to bed, leaving his lamp burning by him while he slept.

In this tower was a well, which served in the daytime for a
retreat to a certain fairy, named Maimoune, daughter of Damriat,
king or head of a legion of genies. It was about midnight when
Maimoune sprung lightly to the mouth of the well, to wander about
the world after her wonted custom, where her curiosity led her.
She was surprised to see a light in the prince's chamber. She
entered, and without stopping at the slave who lay at the door,
approached the bed.

The prince had but half covered his face with the bed-clothes,
which Maimoune lifted up, and perceived the finest young man she
had ever seen in her rambles through the world. "What beauty, or
rather what prodigy of beauty," said she within herself, "must
this youth appear, when the eyes, concealed by such well-formed
eyelids, shall be open? What crime can he have committed, that a
man of his high rank can deserve to be treated thus rigorously?"
for she had already heard his story, and could hardly believe it.

She could not forbear admiring the prince, till at length having
kissed him gently on both cheeks, and in the middle of the
forehead, without waking him, she laid the bed-clothes in the
order they were in before, and took her flight into the air. As
she was ascending into the middle region, she heard a great
flapping of wings, towards which she directed her course; and
when she approached, she knew it was a genie who made the noise,
but it was one of those that are rebellious against God. As for
Maimoune, she belonged to that class whom the great Solomon had
compelled to acknowledge him.

This genie, whose name was Danhasch, and son of Schamhourasch,
knew Maimoune, and was seized with fear, being sensible how much
power she had over him by her submission to the Almighty. He
would fain have avoided her, but she was so near him, he must
either fight or yield. He therefore broke silence first.

"Brave Maimoune," said he, in the tone of a suppliant, "swear to
me in the name of the great God, that you will not hurt me; and I
swear also on my part not to do you any harm."

"Cursed genie," replied Maimoune, "what hurt canst thou do me? I
fear thee not; but I will grant thee this favour; I will swear
not to do thee any harm. Tell me then, wandering spirit, whence
thou comest, what thou hast seen, and what thou hast done this
night?" "Fair lady," answered Danhasch, "you meet me in a good
time to hear something very wonderful."

Danhasch, the genie rebellious against God, proceeded and said to
Maimoune, "Since you desire, I will inform you that I have come
from the utmost limits of China, which comprise the remotest
islands of this hemisphere. . . . . But, charming Maimoune," said
Danhasch, who trembled with fear at the sight of this fairy, so
that he could hardly speak, "promise me at least you will forgive
me, and let me proceed after I have satisfied your request."

"Go on, cursed spirit," replied Maimoune; "go on, and fear
nothing. Dost thou think I am as perfidious as thyself, and
capable of breaking the solemn oath I have made? Be sure you
relate nothing but what is true, or I shall clip thy wings, and
treat thee as thou deserves"

Danhasch, a little encouraged by the words of Maimoune, said, "My
dear lady, I will tell you nothing but what is strictly true, if
you will but have the goodness to hear me. The country of China,
from whence I come, is one of the largest and most powerful
kingdoms of the earth, on which depend the remotest islands of
this hemisphere, as I have already told you. The king of this
country is at present Gaiour, who has an only daughter, the
finest woman that ever was seen in the world since it has been a
world. Neither you nor I, neither your class nor mine, nor all
our respective genies, have expressions forcible enough, nor
eloquence sufficient to convey an adequate description of her
charms. Her hair is brown, and of such length as to trail on the
ground; and so thick, that when she has fastened it in buckles on
her head, it may be fitly compared to one of those fine clusters
of grapes whose fruit is so very large. Her forehead is as smooth
as the best polished mirror, and admirably formed. Her eyes are
black, sparkling, and full of fire. Her nose is neither too long
nor too short, and her mouth small and of a vermilion colour. Her
teeth are like two rows of pearls, and surpass the finest in
whiteness. When she moves her tongue to speak, she utters a sweet
and most agreeable voice; and expresses herself in such terms, as
sufficiently indicate the vivacity of her wit. The whitest
alabaster is not fairer than her neck. In a word, by this
imperfect sketch, you may guess there is no beauty likely to
exceed her in the world.

"Any one that did not know the king, the father of this
incomparable princess, would be apt to imagine, from the great
respect and kindness he shews her, that he was enamoured with
her. Never did a lover more for the most beloved mistress than he
has been seen to do for her. The most violent jealousy never
suggested such measures as his care has led him to adopt, to keep
her from every one but the man who is to marry her: and that the
retreat in which he has resolved to place her may not seem
irksome, he has built for her seven palaces, the most
extraordinary and magnificent that ever were known.

"The first palace is of rock crystal, the second of brass, the
third of fine steel, the fourth of another kind of brass more
valuable than the former and also than steel, the fifth of
touchstone, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of massive gold.
He has furnished these palaces most sumptuously, each in a manner
corresponding to the materials of the structure. He has
embellished the gardens with parterres of grass and flowers,
intermixed with pieces of water, water-works, jets d'eau, canals,
cascades, and several great groves of trees, where the eye is
lost in the perspective, and where the sun never enters, and all
differently arranged. King Gaiour, in a word, has shewn that his
paternal love has led him to spare no expense.

"Upon the fame of this incomparable princess's beauty, the most
powerful neighbouring kings have sent ambassadors to solicit her
in marriage. The king of China received them all in the same
obliging manner; but as he resolved not to marry his daughter
without her consent, and she did not like any of the parties, the
ambassadors were forced to return as they came, as to the subject
of their embassy; they were perfectly satisfied with the great
honours and civilities they had received.

"‘Sir,' said the princess to the king her father, ‘ you have an
inclination to see me married, and think to oblige me by it; but
where shall I find such stately palaces and delicious gardens as
are furnished me by your majesty? Through your good pleasure I am
under no constraint, and have the same honours shewn to me as are
paid to yourself. These are advantages I cannot expect to find
any where else, whoever may be my husband; men love to be
masters, and I have no inclination to be commanded.'

"After several other embassies on the same occasion, there
arrived one from a king more opulent and powerful than any of the
preceding. This prince the king of China recommended to his
daughter for her husband, urging many forcible arguments to shew
how much it would be to her advantage to accept him, but she
entreated her father to excuse her compliance for the reasons she
had before urged. He pressed her; but instead of consenting, she
lost all the respect due to the king her father: ‘ Sir,' said
she, in anger, ‘talk to me no more of this or any other match,
unless you would have me plunge this dagger in my bosom, to
deliver myself from your importunities'

"The king, greatly enraged, said, ‘Daughter, you are mad, and I
must treat you accordingly.' In a word, he had her shut up in a
single apartment of one of his palaces, and allowed her only ten
old women to wait upon her, and keep her company, the chief of
whom had been her nurse That the kings his neighbours, who had
sent embassies to him on her account, might not think any more of
her, he despatched envoys to them severally, to let them know how
averse his daughter was to marriage; and as he did not doubt but
she was really mad, he charged them to make known in every court,
that if there were any physician that would undertake to cure
her, he should, if he succeeded, have her for his pains.

"Fair Maimoune," continued Danhasch, "all that I have told you is
true; and I have gone every day regularly to contemplate this
incomparable beauty, to whom I would be sorry to do the least
harm, notwithstanding my natural inclination to mischief. Come
and see her, I conjure you; it would be well worth your while.
When you have seen from your own observation that I am no liar, I
am persuaded you will think yourself obliged to me for the sight
of a princess unequalled in beauty."

Instead of answering Danhasch, Maimoune burst out into violent
laughter, which lasted for some time; and Danhasch, not knowing
what might be the occasion of it, was astonished beyond measure.
When she had done laughing, she exclaimed, "Good, good, very
good! You would have me then believe all you have told me? I
thought you designed to tell me something surprising and
extraordinary, and you have been talking all this while of a mad
woman. Fie, fie! what would you say, cursed genie, if you had
seen the beautiful prince from whom I am just come, and whom I
love as he deserves. I am confident you would soon give up the
contest, and not pretend to compare your choice with mine."

"Agreeable Maimoune," replied Danhasch, "may I presume to ask who
this prince you speak of is?" "Know," answered Maimoune, "the
same thing has happened to him as to your princess. The king his
father would have married him against his will; but after much
importunity, he frankly told him he would have nothing to do with
a wife. For this reason he is at this moment imprisoned in an old
tower where I reside."

"I will not absolutely contradict you," replied Danhasch; "but,
my pretty lady, you must give me leave to be of opinion, till I
have seen your prince, that no mortal upon earth can equal my
princess in beauty." "Hold thy tongue, cursed sprite," replied
Maimoune. "I tell thee once more thou art wrong." "I will not
contend with you," said Danhasch, "but the way to be convinced,
whether what I say be true or false, is to accept of my proposal
to go and see my princess, and after that I will go with you to
your prince."

"There is no need I should be at so much trouble," replied
Maimoune; "there is another way to satisfy us both; and that is,
for you to bring your princess, and place her at my prince's bed-
side: by this means it will be easy for us to compare them
together, and determine the dispute."

Danhasch consented, and determined to set out immediately for
China. But Maimoune drew him aside, and told him, she must first
shew him the tower whither he was to bring the princess. They
flew together to the tower, and when Maimoune had strewn it to
Danhasch, she cried, "Go fetch your princess, and do it quickly,
you will find me here."

Danhasch left Maimoune, and flew towards China, whence he soon
returned with incredible speed, bringing the fair princess along
with him asleep. Maimoune received him, and introduced him into
the chamber of Kummir al Zummaun, where they placed the princess
by the prince's side.

When the prince and princess were thus laid together, there arose
a sharp contest between the genie and the fairy about the
preference of their beauty. They were some time admiring and
comparing them without speaking; at length Danhasch said to
Maimoune, "You see, and I have already told you, my princess was
handsomer than your prince; now, I hope, you are convinced."

"How! convinced!" replied Maimoune; "I am not convinced, and you
must be blind, if you cannot see that my prince excels in the
comparison. That the princess is fair, I do not deny; but if you
compare them together without prejudice, you will soon see the

"How much soever I may compare them," returned Danhasch, "I shall
never change my opinion. I saw at first sight what I now behold,
and time will not make me see differently: however, this shall
not hinder my yielding to you, charming Maimoune, if you desire
it." "What! have you yield to me as a favour! I scorn it," said
Maimoune, "I would not receive a favour at the hand of such a
wicked genie. I will refer the matter to an umpire, and if you do
not consent, I shall win by your refusal."

Danhasch, who was ready to have shewn a different kind of
complaisance, no sooner gave his consent, than Maimoune stamped
with her foot. The earth opened, and out came a hideous, hump-
backed, squinting, and lame genie, with six horns upon his head,
and claws on his hands and feet. As soon as he was come out, and
the earth had closed, perceiving Maimoune, he threw himself at
her feet, and then rising on one knee, inquired her commands.

"Rise, Caschcasch," said Maimoune, "I brought you hither to
determine a difference between me and this cursed Danhasch. Look
on that bed, and tell me without partiality who is the handsomer
of those two that lie there asleep, the young man or the young

Caschcasch looked on the prince and princess with great
attention, admiration, and surprise; and after he had considered
them a good while, without being able to determine, he turned to
Maimoune, and said, "Madam, I must confess I should deceive you,
and betray myself, if I pretended to say one was handsomer than
the other. The more I examine them, the more clearly it appears
to me each possesses, in a sovereign degree, the beauty of which
both partake. Neither of them appears to have the least defect,
to yield to the other the palm of superiority; but if there be
any difference, the best way to determine it is, to awaken them
one after the other, and to agree that the person who shall
express most love for the other by ardour, eagerness, and
passion, shall be deemed to have in some respect less beauty."

This proposal of Caschcasch's pleased both Maimoune and Danhasch.
Maimoune then changed herself into a flea, and leaping on the
prince's neck, stung him so smartly, that he awoke, and put up
his hand to the place; but Maimoune skipped away, and resumed her
pristine form, which, like those of the two genies, was
invisible, the better to observe what he would do.

In drawing back his hand, the prince chanced to let it fall on
that of the princess of China. He opened his eyes, and was
exceedingly surprised to find lying by him a lady of the greatest
beauty. He raised his head, and leaned on his elbow, the better
to observe her. Her blooming youth and incomparable beauty fired
him in a moment with a flame of which he had never yet been
sensible, and from which he had hitherto guarded himself with the
greatest attention.

Love seized on his heart in the most lively manner, and he
exclaimed, "What beauty! what charms! my heart! my soul!" As he
spoke he kissed her forehead, her cheeks, and her mouth with so
little caution, that he would have awakened her, had she not
slept sounder than ordinary, through the enchantment of Danhasch.

"How!" said the prince, "do you not awake at these testimonies of
love?" He was going to awake her, but suddenly refrained. "Is not
this she," said he, "that the sultan my father would have had me
marry? He was in the wrong not to let me see her sooner. I should
not have offended him by my disobedience and passionate language
to him in public, and he would have spared himself the confusion
which I have occasioned him."

The prince began to repent sincerely of the fault he had
committed, and was once more on the point of awaking the princess
of China. "It may be," said he, "that the sultan my father has a
mind to surprise me; and has sent this young lady to try if I had
really that aversion to marriage which I pretended. Who knows but
he has brought her himself, and is hidden behind the hangings, to
observe me, and make me ashamed of my dissimulation? The second
fault would be greater than the first. At all events, I will
content myself with this ring, as a remembrance of her."

He then gently drew off a ring which the princess had on her
finger, and immediately replaced it with one of his own. After
this he fell into a more profound sleep than before, through the
enchantment of the genies.

Danhasch now transformed himself into a flea in his turn, and bit
the princess so rudely on the lip, that she awoke, started up,
and on opening her eyes, was not a little surprised to see a man
lying by her side. From surprise she proceeded to admiration, and
from admiration to a transport of joy, at beholding so beautiful
and lovely a youth.

"What!" cried she, "is it you the king my father has designed me
for a husband? Would that I had known it, for then I should not
have displeased him, nor been deprived of a husband whom I cannot
forbear loving. Wake then, awake!"

So saying, she took the prince by the arm, and shook him so
violently, that he would have awaked, had not Maimoune increased
his sleep by her enchantment. She shook him several times, and
finding he did not awake, exclaimed, "What is come to thee? what
jealous rival, envying thy happiness and mine, has had recourse
to magic to throw thee into this unconquerable drowsiness when
thou shouldst be most awake?" Tired at length with her fruitless
endeavours to awaken the prince; "Since," said she, "I find it is
not in my power to awake thee, I will no longer disturb thy
repose, but wait our next meeting." After having kissed his
cheek, she lay down and fell asleep by enchantment.

Maimoune now cried out to Danhasch, "Ah, cursed genie, art thou
not now convinced how much thy princess is inferior to my prince?
Another time believe me when I assert any thing." Then turning to
Caschcasch, "As for you," said she, "I thank you for your
trouble; take the princess, in conjunction with Danhasch, and
convey her back again to her bed, from whence he has taken her."
Danhasch and Caschcasch did as they were commanded, and Maimoune
retired to her well.

Kummir al Zummaun on waking next morning, looked if the lady whom
he had seen the night before were by him. When he found she was
gone, he cried out, "I thought indeed this was a trick the king
my father designed to play me. I am glad I was aware of it." He
then awaked the slave, who was still asleep, and after he had
washed and said his prayers, took a book and read some time.

After these usual exercises, he called the slave, and said to
him, "Come hither, and be sure you do not tell me a lie. How came
the lady hither who lay with me to-night, and who brought her?"

"My lord," answered the slave with great astonishment, "I know
not what lady your highness speaks of." "I speak," said the
prince, "of her who came, or rather was brought hither, and lay
with me to-night." "My lord," replied the slave, "I swear I know
of no such lady; and how should she come in without my knowledge,
since I lay at the door?"

"You are a lying knave," replied the prince, "and in the plot to
vex and provoke me." He then gave him a box on the ear, which
knocked him down; and after having stamped upon him for some
time, he tied the well-rope under his arms, and plunged him
several times into the water, neck and heels. "I will drown
thee," cried he, "if thou dost not tell me directly who this lady
was, and who brought her."

The slave, perplexed and half dead, said within himself, "The
prince must have lost his senses through grief, and I shall not
escape if I do not tell him a falsehood. My lord," cried he, in a
suppliant tone, "I beseech your highness to spare my life, and I
will tell you the truth."

The prince drew the slave up, and pressed him to tell him. As
soon as he was out of the well, "My lord," said he, trembling,
"your highness must perceive it is impossible for me to satisfy
you in my present condition; I beg you to give me leave first to
go and change my clothes." "I permit you, but do it quickly,"
said the prince; "and be sure you conceal nothing."

The slave went out, and having locked the door upon the prince,
ran to the palace just as he was. The king was at that time in
discourse with his prime vizier, to whom he had just related the
grief in which he had passed the night on account of his son's
disobedience and opposition to his will.

The minister endeavoured to comfort his master, by telling him,
the prince himself had given him cause for his severity. "Sir,"
said he, "your majesty need not repent of having treated your son
in this manner. Have but patience to let him continue a while in
prison, and assure yourself his heat will abate, and he will
submit to all you require."

The grand vizier had but just done speaking when the slave came
in, and cast himself at the feet of the sovereign. "My lord,"
said he, "I am sorry to be the messenger of ill news to your
majesty, which I know must occasion you fresh affliction. The
prince is distracted; he raves of a lady having lain with him all
night, and his treatment of me, as you may see, too plainly
proves the state of his mind." Then he proceeded to relate the
particulars of what the prince had said, and the violence with
which he had been treated.

The king, who did not expect to hear any thing of this afflicting
kind, said to the prime minister, "This is a melancholy turn,
very different from the hopes you gave me: go immediately and
examine the condition of my son."

The grand vizier obeyed; and coming into the prince's chamber,
found him sitting on his bed with a book in his hand, which he
was reading.

After mutual salutations, the vizier said, "My lord, I wish that
a slave of yours were punished for coming to alarm the king your
father by news that he has brought him."

"What is it," demanded the prince, "that could give my father so
much uneasiness?"

"Prince," answered the vizier, "God forbid that the intelligence
he has conveyed to your father concerning you should be true;
indeed, I find it to be false, by the calm temper in which I
observe you, and which I pray you to continue."

"It may be," replied the prince, "he did not make himself well
understood; but since you are come, who ought to know something
of the matter, permit me to ask you who that lady was that lay
with me last night?"

The grand vizier was thunderstruck at this question; he recovered
himself and said, "My lord, be not surprised at my astonishment
at your question. Is it possible, that a lady or any other person
should penetrate by night into this place without entering at the
door, and walking over the body of your slave? I beseech you,
recollect yourself, and you will find it is only a dream which
has made this impression on you."

"I give no ear to what you say," replied the prince, raising his
voice. "I must know from you absolutely what is become of the
lady; and if you hesitate, I am in a place where I shall soon be
able to force you to obey me."

At this stern language, the grand vizier began to feel more
alarmed than before, and to think how he could extricate himself.
He endeavoured to pacify the prince, and begged of him, in the
most humble and guarded manner, to tell him if he had seen this

"Yes, yes," answered the prince, "I have seen her, and am very
well satisfied you sent her here to tempt me. She played the part
in which you had instructed her admirably well. She pretended to
be asleep, and I had no sooner fallen into a slumber, than she
arose and left me. You know all this; for I doubt not she has
been to make her report to you."

"My lord," replied the vizier, "I swear to you nothing of this
kind has been acted; neither your father nor I sent this lady you
speak of; permit me therefore once more to suggest to your
highness, that you have only seen this lady in a dream."

"Do you come to affront and contradict me," said the prince in a
rage, "and to tell me to my face, that what I have told you is a
dream?" At the same time he took him by the beard, and loaded him
with blows, as long as he could stand.

The grand vizier endured with respectful patience all the
violence of the prince's indignation, and could not help saying
within himself, "Now am I in as bad a condition as the slave, and
shall think myself happy, if I can, like him, escape from any
further danger." In the midst of repeated blows, he cried out but
for a moment's audience, which the prince, after he had nearly
tired himself with beating him, consented to give him.

"I own, my prince," said the grand vizier dissembling, "there is
something in what your highness suspects; but you cannot be
ignorant of the necessity a minister is under to obey his royal
master's commands: yet, if you will but be pleased to set me at
liberty, I will go and tell him any thing on your behalf that you
shall think fit to require." "Go then," said the prince, "and
tell him from me, if he pleases, I will marry the lady he sent
me, or, rather, that was brought to me last night. Do this
immediately, and bring me a speedy answer." The grand vizier made
a profound reverence and went away, not thinking himself
altogether safe till he had got out of the tower, and had closed
the door on the prince.

He came and presented himself before Shaw Zummaun, with a
countenance that sufficiently shewed he had been ill used, and
which the king could not behold without concern. "Well," said the
king, "in what condition did you find my son?" "Sir," answered
the vizier, "what the slave reported to your majesty is but too
true." He then began to relate his interview with the prince, how
he flew into a passion upon his endeavouring to persuade him it
was impossible the lady he spoke of should have been introduced;
the ill treatment he had received from him; how he had used him,
and by what means he had made his escape.

The king, the more concerned as he loved the prince with
excessive tenderness, resolved to find out the truth, and
therefore proposed to go himself and see his son in the tower,
accompanied by the grand vizier.

The prince received his father in the tower, where he was
confined, with great respect. The king put several questions to
him, which he answered calmly. The king every now and then looked
on the grand vizier, as intimating he did not find his son had
lost his wits, but rather thought he had lost his.

The king at length spoke of the lady to the prince. "My son,"
said he, "I desire you to tell me what lady it was who lay with
you last night."

"Sir," answered the prince, "I beg of your majesty not to give me
more vexation on that head, but rather to oblige me by letting me
have her in marriage; whatever aversion I may hitherto have
discovered for women, this young lady has charmed me to that
degree, that I cannot help confessing my weakness. I am ready to
receive her at your majesty's hands, with the deepest gratitude."

Shaw Zummaun was surprised at this answer of the prince, so
remote, as he thought, from the good sense he had strewn before.
"My son," said he, "you fill me with the greatest astonishment by
what you say: I swear to you I know nothing of the lady you
mention; and if any such has come to you, it was without my
knowledge or privily. But how could she get into this tower
without my consent? For whatever my grand vizier told you, it was
only to appease your anger, it must therefore be a mere dream;
and I beg of you not to believe otherwise, but recover your

"Sir," replied the prince, "I should be for ever unworthy of your
majesty's favour, if I did not give entire credit to what you are
pleased to say but I humbly beseech you at the same time to give
a patient hearing to what I shall relate, and then to judge
whether what I have the honour to tell you be a dream or not."

The prince then related to his father how he had been awaked,
exaggerating the beauty and charms of the lady he found by his
side, the instantaneous love he conceived for her, and the pains
he took to awaken her without effect. Shewing the king the ring
he had taken from her finger he added, "After this, I hope you
will be convinced that I have not lost my senses, as you have
been almost made to believe."

Shaw Zummaun was so perfectly convinced of the truth of what his
son had been telling him, that he could make no reply, remaining
astonished for some time, and not being able to utter a syllable.

The prince took advantage of this opportunity, and said, "The
passion I have conceived for this charming lady, whose lovely
image I bear continually in my mind, is so ardent, that I cannot
resist it. I entreat you therefore to have compassion, and
procure me the happiness of being united to her."

"Son," replied the king, "after what I have just heard, and what
I see by the ring on your finger, I cannot doubt but that your
passion is real, and that you have seen this lady, who is the
object of it. Would to God I knew who she was. I would instantly
comply with your wishes, and should be the happiest father in the
world! But where shall I seek her? How came she here, and by what
conveyance, without my consent? Why did she come to sleep with
you only to display her beauty, to kindle a flame of love while
she slept, and then leave you while you were in a slumber? These
things, I must confess, I do not understand; and if heaven do not
favour us in our perplexity, I fear we must both go down to the
grave together." As he spoke, he took the prince by the hand, and
said, "Come then, my son, let us go and grieve together; you with
hopeless love, and I with seeing your affliction, without being
able to afford you relief."

Shaw Zummaun then led his son out of the tower, and conveyed him
to the palace, where he had no sooner arrived, than in despair at
loving an unknown object he fell sick, and took to his bed; the
king shut himself up with him, without attending to the affairs
of his kingdom for many days.

The prime minister, who was the only person that had admittance,
at length informed him, that the whole court, and even the
people, began to murmur at not seeing him, and that he did not
administer justice every day as he was wont to do; adding, he
knew not what disorder it might occasion. "I humbly beg your
majesty, therefore," proceeded he, "to pay some attention. I am
sensible your majesty's company is a great comfort to the prince,
and that his tends to relieve your grief; but you must not run
the risk of letting all be lost. Permit me to propose to your
majesty, to remove with the prince to the castle near the port,
where you may give audience to your subjects twice a week only.
During these absences the prince will be so agreeably amused with
the beauty, prospect, and good air of the place, that he will
bear them with the less uneasiness."

The king approved this proposal: he removed thither with the
prince; and, excepting when he gave audience, never left him, but
passed all his time endeavouring to comfort him by sharing his

Whilst matters passed thus in the capital of Shaw Zummaun, the
two genies, Danhasch and Caschcasch, had carried the princess of
China back to the palace where the king her father had confined
her, and laid her in her bed as before.

When she awoke next morning, and found that prince Kummir al
Zummaun was not by her, she cried out in such a manner to her
women, that she soon brought them to her bed. Her nurse, who
arrived first, desired to be informed if any thing disagreeable
had happened to her.

"Tell me," said the princess, "what is become of the young man
that has passed the night with me, and whom I love with all my
soul?" "Madam," replied the nurse, "we cannot understand your
highness, unless you will be pleased to explain yourself."

"A young man, the handsomest and most amiable," said the
princess, "slept with me last night, whom, with all my caresses,
I could not awake; I ask you where he is?"'

"Madam,"answered the nurse, "your highness asks us these
questions in jest. I beseech you to rise." "I am in earnest,"
said the princess, "and I must know where this young man is."
"Madam," insisted the nurse, "you were alone when you went to bed
last night; and how any man could come to you without our
knowledge we cannot imagine, for we all lay about the door of
your chamber, which was locked, and I had the key in my pocket."

At this the princess lost all patience,and taking her nurse by
the hair of her head, and giving her two or three sound cuffs,
cried, "You shall tell me where this young man is, you old
sorceress, or I will put you to death."

The nurse struggled to get from her, and at last succeeded. She
went immediately with tears in her eyes, and her face all bloody,
to complain to the queen, who was not a little surprised to see
her in this condition, and asked who had misused her.

"Madam," began the nurse, "you see how the princess has treated
me; she had certainly murdered me, if I had not had the good
fortune to escape out of her hands." She then related what had
been the cause of all that violent passion in the princess. The
queen was surprised at her account, and could not guess how she
came to be so infatuated as to take that for a reality which
could be no other than a dream. "Your majesty must conclude from
all this," continued the nurse, "that the princess is out of her
senses. You will think so yourself if you will go and see her."

The queen's affection for the princess deeply interested her in
what she heard; she ordered the nurse to follow her; and they
immediately went together to the princess's palace.

The queen of China sat down by her daughter's bed-side on her
arrival in her apartment, and after she had informed herself
about her health began to ask her what had made her so angry with
her nurse, as to treat her in the manner she had done.
"Daughter," said she, "this is not right, and a great princess
like you should not suffer herself to be so transported by

"Madam," replied the princess, "I plainly perceive your majesty
is come to mock me; but I declare I will never let you rest till
you consent to my marrying the young man who lay with me last
night. You must know where he is, and therefore I beg of your
majesty to let him come to me again."

"Daughter," answered the queen, "you surprise me; I do not
understand your meaning." The princess now forgot all respect for
the queen; "Madam," replied she, "the king my father and you have
persecuted me about marrying, when I had no inclination; I now
have an inclination, and I will have this young man I told you of
for my husband, or I will destroy myself."

The queen endeavoured to calm the princess by conciliatory
language: "Daughter," said she, "you know well you are guarded in
this apartment, how then could any man come to you?" But instead
of attending to her, the princess interrupted her, by such
extravagancies as obliged the queen to leave her, and retire in
great affliction, to inform the king of all that had passed.

When the king had heard the account, he wished likewise to be
satisfied in person, and coming to his daughter's apartment,
asked her, if what he had been told was true? "Sir," replied the
princess, "let us talk no more of that; I only beseech your
majesty to grant me the favour, that I may marry the young man I
lay with last night."

"What! daughter," said the king, "has any one lain with you last
night?" "How, sir," replied the princess, without giving him time
to go on, "do you ask me if any one lay with me last night? Your
majesty knows that but too well. He was the most beautiful youth
the sun ever saw: I ask him of you for my husband; I entreat you
do not refuse me. But that your majesty may not longer doubt
whether I have seen this young man, whether he has lain with me,
whether I have caressed him, or whether I did not my utmost to
awake him without succeeding, see, if you please, this ring." She
then reached forth her hand, and shewed the king a man's ring on
her finger. The king was perplexed what to think. He had confined
his daughter as mad, he began now to think her more insane than
ever. Without saying any thing more to her, lest she might do
violence to herself or somebody about her, he had her chained,
and confined more closely than before, allowing her only the
nurse to wait on her, with a good guard at the door.

The king, exceedingly concerned at this indisposition of his
daughter, sought all possible means to effect her cure. He
assembled his council, and after having acquainted them with her
condition "If any of you," said he, "is capable of undertaking to
restore her to health, and succeed, I will give her to him in
marriage, and make him heir to my dominions."

The desire of obtaining a handsome young princess, and the hopes
of one day governing so great a kingdom as that of China, had a
powerful effect on an emir, already advanced in years, who was
present at this council. As he was well skilled in magic, he
offered the king to recover his daughter, and flattered himself
with success. "I consent to the trial," said the king; "but I
forgot to tell you one condition, and that is, that if you do not
succeed, you shall lose your head. It would not be reasonable you
should have so great a reward, and yet run no risk: and what I
say to you," continued the king, "I say to all others who shall
come after you, that they may consider beforehand what they

The emir accepted the condition, and the king conducted him to
the princess's place of confinement. She covered her face as soon
as she saw them enter, and exclaimed, "Your majesty surprises me,
in bringing with you a man whom I do not know, and by whom my
religion forbids me to let myself be seen." "Daughter," replied
the king, "you need not be scandalized, it is only one of my
emirs who is come to demand you in marriage." "It is not, I
perceive, the person that you have already given me, and whose
faith is plighted by the ring I wear," replied the princess; "be
not offended that I will never marry any other."

The emir expected the princess would have said or done some
extravagant thing, and was not a little disappointed when he
heard her talk so calmly and rationally; for he then concluded
that her disease was nothing but a violent and deep-rooted
passion. He therefore threw himself at his majesty's feet, and
said, "After what I have heard and observed, sir, it will be to
no purpose for me to think of curing the princess, since I have
no remedies proper for her malady; for which reason I humbly
submit my life to your majesty's pleasure." The king, enraged at
his incapacity, and the trouble he had given him, caused him to
be immediately beheaded.

Some days after, unwilling to have it said that he had neglected
his daughter's cure, the king put forth a proclamation in his
capital, importing, that if there were any physician, astrologer,
or magician who would undertake to restore the princess to her
senses, he needed only to offer himself, and he should be
employed, on condition of losing his head if he failed. He had
the same published in the other principal cities and towns of his
dominions, and in the courts of the princes his neighbours.

The first that presented himself was an astrologer and magician,
whom the king caused to be conducted to the princess's prison by
an eunuch. The astrologer drew forth, out of a bag he carried
under his arm, an astrolabe, a small sphere, a chafing-dish,
several sorts of drugs proper for fumigations, a brass pot, with
many other articles, and desired he might have a fire.

The princess demanded what all these preparations were for.
"Madam," answered the eunuch, "they are to exorcise the evil
spirit that possesses you, to shut him up in this pot, and throw
him into the sea."

"Foolish astrologer," replied the princess, "I have no occasion
for any of your preparations, but am in my perfect senses, and
you alone are mad. If your art can bring him I love to me, I
shall be obliged to you; otherwise you may go about your
business, for I have nothing to do with you." "Madam," said the
astrologer, "if your case be so, I shall desist from all
endeavours, believing the king your father only can remove your
disorder:" so putting up his trinkets again, he marched away,
much concerned that he had so easily undertaken to cure an
imaginary malady.

The eunuch conducted the astrologer to the king, whom the
astrologer thus addressed: "According to what your majesty
published in your proclamation, and what you were pleased to
confirm to me yourself, I thought the princess was insane, and
depended on being able to recover her by the secrets I have long
been acquainted with; but I soon found she had no other disease
but that of love, over which my art has no power: your majesty
alone is the physician who can cure her, by giving her in
marriage the person whom she desires."

The king was much enraged at the astrologer, and had his head
instantly cut off. A hundred and fifty astrologers, physicians,
and magicians, came on this account, who all underwent the same
fate; and their heads were set upon poles on every gate of the

The princess of China's nurse had a son whose name was Marzavan,
who had been foster-brother to the princess, and brought up with
her, The friendship was so great during their childhood, and all
the time they had been together, that as they grew up, even some
time after their separation, they treated each other as brother
and sister.

Marzavan, among other studies, had from his youth been much
addicted to judicial astrology, geomancy, and the like secret
arts, wherein he became exceedingly skilful. Not satisfied with
what he had learned from masters, he travelled, and there was
hardly any person of note in any science or art, but he sought
him in the most remote cities, to obtain information, so great
was his thirst after knowledge.

After several years' absence in foreign parts, he returned to the
capital of his native country, where, seeing so many heads on the
gate by which he entered, he was exceedingly surprised, and
demanded for what reason they had been placed there; but he more
particularly inquired after the princess his foster-sister. As he
could not receive an answer to one inquiry without the other, he
heard at length a general account of what had happened, and
waited for further particulars till he could see his mother, the
princess's nurse.

Although the nurse, the mother of Marzavan, was much employed
about the princess, yet she no sooner heard her son was returned,
than she found time to come out, embrace him, and converse with
him a little. Having told him, with tears in her eyes, the
unhappy condition of the princess, and for what reason the king
her father had confined her; her son desired to know if she could
not procure him a private view of her royal mistress, without the
king's knowledge. After some pause, she told him she could give
him no answer for the present; but if he would meet her the next
day at the same hour, she would inform him.

The nurse knowing none could approach the princess but herself;
without leave of the eunuch, who commanded the guard at the gate,
addressed: herself to him, and said, "You know I have brought up
and suckled the princess, and you may likewise have heard that I
had a daughter whom I brought up along with her. This daughter
has been since married, yet the princess still does her the
honour to love her, and wishes to see her, without any person's
observing her enter or depart."

The nurse was proceeding, but the eunuch interrupted her and
exclaimed, "Say no more, I will with pleasure do any thing to
oblige the princess; go and fetch your daughter, or send for her
about midnight,and the gate shall be open for you."

As soon as it was dark, the nurse went to Marzavan, and having
dressed him so well in women's clothes, that nobody could suspect
he was a man, carried him along with her; and the eunuch
believing it was her daughter, admitted them.

The nurse, before she presented Marzavan, went to the princess,
and said, "Madam, this is not a woman I have brought to you, it
is my son Marzavan in disguise, newly arrived from his travels;
having a great desire to kiss your hand, I hope your highness
will vouchsafe him that honour."

"What! my brother Marzavan," exclaimed the princess, with great
joy; "approach, and take off that veil; for it is not
unreasonable that a brother and a sister should see each other
without covering their faces."

Marzavan saluted her with profound respect, while, without giving
him time to speak, she continued, "I rejoice to see you returned
in good health, after so many years' absence, and without sending
any account of your welfare, even to your good mother."

"Madam," replied Marzavan, "I am infinitely obliged to your
goodness. I hoped to have heard a better account of your health
than has been given me, and which I lament to find confirmed by
your appearance. It gives me pleasure, however, to have come so
seasonably to bring your highness that remedy which your
situation requires. Should I reap no other benefit from my
studies and travels, I should think myself amply recompensed."

Having thus spoken, Marzavan drew out of his pocket a book and
some other things, which from the account he had had from his
mother of the princess's distemper, he thought he might want. The
princess, observing these preparations, exclaimed, "What!
brother, are you one of those who believe me mad? Undeceive
yourself, and hear me."

The princess then related to Marzavan all the particulars of her
story, without omitting the least circumstance, even to the ring
which was exchanged for hers, and which she shewed him. "I have
not concealed the least incident from you," continued she; "there
is something in this business which I cannot comprehend, and
which has given occasion for some persons to think me mad. But no
one will attend to the rest, which is literally as I have

After the princess had concluded, Marzavan, filled with wonder
and astonishment, remained for some time with his eyes fixed on
the ground, without speaking a word; but at length he lifted up
his head, and said, "If it be as your highness says, and which I
do not in the least doubt, I do not despair of being able to
procure you the gratification of your wishes. But I must first
entreat your highness to arm yourself with patience, till I have
travelled over kingdoms which I have not yet visited, and when
you hear of my return, be assured the object of your desire is
not far distant." Having thus spoken, Marzavan took leave of the
princess, and set out the next morning on his intended travels.

He journeyed from city to city, from province to province, and
from island to island; and in every place he visited, he could
hear of nothing but the princess Badoura (which was the princess
of China's name) and her history.

About four months after, our traveller arrived at Torf, a sea-
port town, large and populous, where the theme was changed; he no
more heard of the princess Badoura, but all the talk was of
prince Kummir al Zummaun, who was sick, and whose history greatly
resembled hers. Marzavan was extremely delighted on hearing this,
and informed himself where the prince was to be found. There were
two ways to it; one, by land and sea; the other, by sea only,
which was the shortest.

Marzavan chose the latter; and embarking on board a merchant
ship, arrived safely in sight of Shaw Zummaun's capital; but just
before it entered the port, the ship struck upon a rock, by the
unskilfulness of the pilot, and foundered: it went down in sight
of the castle, where at that time were the king and his grand

Marzavan, who could swim well, immediately upon the ship's
sinking cast himself into the sea, and got safe on shore under
the castle, where he was soon relieved by the grand vizier's
order. After he had changed his clothes, and been well treated,
he was introduced to the grand vizier, who lead sent for him.

Marzavan being a young man of good address, the minister received
him with great politeness; and was induced, from the just and
pertinent answers he returned to the questions put to him, to
regard him with great esteem. Finding by degrees that he
possessed great variety and extent of information, he said to
him, "From what I can understand, I perceive you are no common
man; you have travelled much: would to God you had discovered
some remedy for a malady which has been long a source of great
affliction at this court."

Marzavan replied, if he knew what malady it was, he might perhaps
find a remedy applicable to it.

The grand vizier then related to him the story of prince Kummir
al Zummaun. He concealed nothing relating to his birth, which had
been so earnestly desired, his education, the wish of the king
his father to see him early married, his resistance and
extraordinary aversion from marriage, his disobeying his father
in full council, his imprisonment, his extravagancies in prison,
which were afterwards changed into a violent passion for some
unknown lady, who, he pretended, had exchanged a ring with him,
though, for his part, he verily believed there was no such person
in the world.

Marzavan gave great attention to all the grand vizier said, and
was infinitely rejoiced to find that, by means of his shipwreck,
he had so fortunately lighted on the person he was seeking. He
saw no reason to doubt that the prince was the man whom the
princess of China so ardently loved, and that this princess was
equally the object of his passion. Without explaining himself
farther to the vizier, he desired to see the prince, that he
might be better able to judge of his disorder and its cure.
"Follow me," said the grand vizier, "and you will find the king
with him, who has already desired I should introduce you."

On entering the prince's chamber, the first thing Marzavan
observed was the prince upon his bed languishing, and with his
eyes shut. Notwithstanding his condition, and regardless of the
presence of the king his father, who was sitting by him, he could
not avoid exclaiming, "Heavens! was there ever a greater
resemblance?" He meant to the princess of China; for it seems the
princess and the prince were much alike.

This exclamation of Marzavan excited the prince's curiosity; he
opened his eyes and looked at him. Marzavan, who had a ready wit,
seized that opportunity, and made his compliment in extempore
verse; but in such a disguised manner, that neither the king nor
the grand vizier under stood his meaning. He represented so
exactly what had happened to him with the princess of China, that
the prince had no reason to doubt he knew her, and could give him
tidings of her. His countenance immediately brightened up with

After Marzavan had finished his compliment in verse, which
surprised Kummir al Zummaun so agreeably, the prince took the
liberty of making a sign to the king his father, to give his
place to Marzavan, and allow him to sit by him.

The king, overjoyed at this alteration, which inspired him with
hopes of his son's speedy recovery, quitted his place, and taking
Marzavan by the hand, led him to it, obliging him to sit. He then
demanded of him who he was, and whence he had come? And upon
Marzavan's answering he was a subject of China, and came from
that kingdom, the king exclaimed, "Heaven grant you may be able
to recover my son from this profound melancholy; I shall be
eternally obliged to you, and all the world shall see how
handsomely I will reward you." Having said thus, he left the
prince to converse at full liberty with the stranger, whilst he
went and rejoiced with the grand vizier on this happy incident.

Marzavan leaning down to the prince, addressed him in a low
voice: "Prince, it is time you should cease to grieve. The lady,
for whom you suffer, is the princess Badoura, daughter of Gaiour,
king of China. This I can assure your highness from what she has
told me of her adventure, and what I have learned of yours. She
has suffered no less on your account than you have on hers." Here
he related all that he knew of the princess's story, from the
night of their extraordinary interview.

He omitted not to acquaint him how the king had treated those who
had failed in their endeavours to cure the princess of her
indisposition. "But your highness is the only person," added he,
"that can cure her effectually, and you may present yourself
without fear. However, before you undertake so long a voyage, I
would have you perfectly recovered, and then we will take what
measures may be necessary. Think then immediately of the recovery
of your health."

This account had a marvellous effect on the prince. The hopes of
speedily fulfilling his desires so much relieved him, that he
felt he had strength sufficient to rise, and begged permission of
his father to dress himself, with such an air as gave him
incredible pleasure.

Shaw Zummaun, without inquiring into the means he had used to
produce this wonderful effect, could not refrain from embracing
Marzavan, and soon after went out of the prince's chamber with
the grand vizier, to publish the agreeable tidings. He ordered
public rejoicings for several days together, gave great largesses
to his officers and the people, and alms to the poor, and caused
the prisoners to be set at liberty throughout his kingdom The joy
was soon general in the capital, and in every part of his

Kummir al Zummaun, though extremely weakened by almost continual
privation of sleep and long abstinence, soon recovered his
health. When he found himself in a condition to undertake the
voyage, he took Marzavan aside, and said, "Dear Marzavan, it is
now time to perform the promise you have made me. My impatience
to behold the charming princess, and to relieve her of the
torments she is now suffering on my account, is such, that if we
do not shortly depart, I shall relapse into my former
indisposition. One thing still afflicts me," continued he, "and
that is the difficulty I shall find, from his tender affection
for me, to obtain my father's permission to travel into a distant
country. You observe he scarcely allows me to be a moment out of
his sight."

At these words the prince wept. Marzavan then replied, "I foresaw
this difficulty, and I will take care it shall not obstruct us.
My principal design in this voyage was to cure the princess of
China of her malady, and this on account of the mutual affection
which we have borne to each other from our birth, as well as from
the zeal and affection I otherwise owe her. I should therefore be
wanting in my duty to her, if I did not use my best endeavours to
effect her cure and yours. This is then the mode I have devised
to obtain the king your father's consent. You have not stirred
abroad for some time, therefore request his permission to go upon
a hunting party with me. He will no doubt comply. When you have
obtained his leave, obtain two fleet coursers for each of us to
be got ready, one to mount, the other to change, and leave the
rest to me."

The following day the prince did as he had been instructed. He
acquainted the king he was desirous of taking the air, and, if he
pleased, would go and hunt for two or three days with Marzavan.
The king gave his consent, but wished him not to be absent more
than one night, since too much exercise at first might impair his
health and a longer absence would make him uneasy. He then
ordered him to choose the best horses in the royal stable, and
took particular care that nothing should be wanting for his
accommodation. When all was ready, he embraced the prince, and
having recommended to Marzavan to be careful of him, he let him
go. Kummir al Zummaun and Marzavan were soon mounted, when, to
amuse the two grooms who led the spare horses, they made as if
they were going to hunt, and under this pretence got as far from
the city and out of the high road as was possible. When night
began to approach, they alighted at a caravanserai or inn, where
they supped, and slept till about midnight; when Marzavan
awakened the prince, and desired his highness to let him have his
dress, and to take another for himself, which was brought in his
baggage. Thus equipped, they mounted the fresh horses, and after
Marzavan had taken one of the grooms' horses by the bridle, they
left the caravanserai.

At day-break they found themselves in a forest, where four roads
met. Here Marzavan, desiring the prince to wait for him a little,
went into the wood. He then cut the throat of the groom's horse,
and after having torn the suit which the prince had taken off,
and besmeared it with blood, threw it into the highway.

The prince inquired his reason for what he had done. He replied,
he was sure that when the king his father found he did not
return, and should learn that he had departed without the grooms,
he would suspect something wrong, and immediately send in quest
of them. "they who may come this way, finding this bloody habit,
will conclude you are devoured by wild beasts, and that I have
escaped to avoid the king's anger. The king, concluding you are
dead, will stop further pursuit, and we may have leisure to
continue our journey without fear of being followed." "I must
confess," continued Marzavan, "it is a violent way of proceeding,
to alarm a fond father with the death of his son, but his joy
will be the greater when he shall hear you are alive and happy."
"Breve Marzavan," replied the prince, "I cannot but approve such
an ingenious stratagem, or sufficiently admire your conduct: you
place me under fresh obligations to you."

The prince and Marzavan being well provided for their expenses,
continued their journey both by land and sea, and found no other
obstacle but the length of the time which it necessarily took up.
They arrived at length at the capital of China, where Marzavan,
instead of going to his house, carried the prince to a public
inn. They remained there incognito three days, to rest themselves
after the fatigue of the voyage; during which time Marzavan
caused an astrologer's habit to be made for the prince. The three
days being expired, they went together to the bath, where the
prince put on his astrologer's dress: from thence Marzavan
conducted him to the neighbourhood of the king of China's palace,
where he left him, to go and inform his mother of his arrival.

Kummir al Zummaun, instructed by Marzavan what he was to do, came
next morning to the gate of the king's palace, and cried aloud,
"I am an astrologer, and am come to cure the illustrious princess
Badoura, daughter of the most high and mighty monarch Gaiour king
of China, on the conditions proposed by his majesty, to marry her
if I succeed, or else to lose my life for my fruitless and
presumptuous attempt."

Besides the guards and porters at the gate, this incident drew
together a great number of people about the prince. There had no
physician, astrologer, or magician appeared for a long time on
this account, being deterred by the many tragical examples of ill
success that appeared before; it was therefore thought there
remained no more of these professions in the world, or none so
mad as those that had already forfeited their lives.

The prince's appearance, his noble air, and blooming youth, made
every one who saw him pity him. "What mean you, sir," said some
that were nearest to him, "thus to expose a life of such
promising expectations to certain death? Cannot the heads you see
on all the gates of this city deter you from such an undertaking?
In the name of God consider what you do! abandon this rash
attempt, and depart."

The prince continued firm, notwithstanding all these
remonstrances; and as he saw no one coming to introduce him, he
repeated the same cry with a boldness that made every body
tremble. They all then exclaimed, "Let him alone, he is resolved
to die; God have mercy on his youth and his soul!"" He then
proceeded to cry a third time in the same manner, when the grand
vizier came in person, and introduced him to the king of China.

As soon as the prince came into the presence, he bowed and kissed
the ground. The king, who, among all that had hitherto
presumptuously exposed their lives on this occasion, had not
before seen one worthy of his attention, felt real compassion for
Kummir al Zummaun, on account of the danger to which he exposed
himself. "Young man," said he, "I can hardly believe that at this
age you can have acquired experience enough to dare attempt the
cure of my daughter. I wish you may succeed, and would give her
to you in marriage with all my heart, and with the greatest joy,
more willingly than I should have done to others that have
offered themselves before you; but I must declare to you at the
same time, though with great concern, that if you fail,
notwithstanding your noble appearance and your youth, you must
lose your head."

"Sir," replied the prince, "I have infinite obligations to your
majesty for the honour you design me, and the great goodness you
shew to a stranger; but I desire your majesty to believe I would
not have come from so remote a country as I have done, the name
of which perhaps may be unknown in your dominions, if I had not
been certain of the cure I propose. What would not the world say
of my fickleness, if, after such great fatigues and so many
dangers as I have undergone in the pursuit, I should abandon this
generous enterprise? Even your majesty would lose that esteem you
have conceived for me. If I perish, I shall die with the
satisfaction of not having forfeited your good opinion. I beseech
your majesty therefore to keep me no longer from displaying the
certainty of my art, by the proof I am ready to afford."

The king now commanded the eunuch, who had the custody of the
princess, to introduce Kummir al Zummaun into her apartment: but
before he would let him go, reminded him once more that he was at
liberty to renounce his design; but the prince paid no regard to
this, and with astonishing resolution and eagerness followed the

When they had entered a long gallery, at the end of which was the
princess's apartment, the prince, who saw himself so near the
objets of his wishes, who had occasioned him so many tears,
pushed on, and got before the eunuch.

The eunuch redoubling his pace, with difficulty got up to him,
"Wither so fast?"" cried he, taking him by the arm; "you cannot
get in without me; and it should seem you have a great desire for
death, thus to run to it headlong. Not one of all those many
astrologers and magicians I have introduced before made such
haste as yourself, to a place whence I fear you will come but too

"Friend," replied the prince, looking earnestly on the eunuch,
and continuing his pace, "this was because none of the
astrologers you speak of were so confident in their art as I am:
they were certain indeed they should die, if they did not
succeed, .but they had no certainty of their success. On this
account they had reason to tremble on approaching this spot,
where I am sure to find my happiness." He had just spoken these
words when he reached the door. The eunuch opened it, and
introduced him into a great hall, whence was an entrance into the
princess's apartment, divided from it only by a piece of

The prince stopped before he entered, speaking more softly to the
eunuch for fear of being heard by the princess. "To convince
you," said he; "there is neither presumption, nor whim, nor
youthful conceit in my undertaking, I leave it to your choice
whether I shall cure the princess in her presence, or where we
are, without going any farther, or seeing her?"

The eunuch was amazed to hear the prince talk to him with such
confidence: he left off jeering, and said seriously to him, "It
is no matter where it is done, provided it be effected: cure her
how you will, if you succeed you will gain immortal honour, not
only in this court, but over all the world."

The prince replied, "It will be best then to cure her without
seeing her, that you may be witness of my skill; notwithstanding
my impatience to see a princess of her rank, who is to be my
wife, yet out of respect to you, I will deprive myself of that
pleasure for a little while." Being furnished with every thing
proper for an astrologer to carry about him, he took pen, ink,
and paper our of his pocket, and wrote the following billet to
the princess.

"The impassioned Kummir al Zummaun cannot recite the
inexpressible pain he has endured since that fatal night in which
your charms deprived him of the liberty which he had resolved to
preserve. He only tells you that he devoted his heart to you in
your charming slumbers; those obstinate slumbers which hindered
him from beholding the brightness of your piercing eyes,
notwithstanding all his endeavours to oblige you to open them. He
presumed to present you with his ring as a token of his passion;
and to take yours in exchange, which he encloses. If you
condescend to return his as a reciprocal pledge of love, he will
esteem himself the happiest of mankind. If not, the sentence of
death, which your refusal must draw upon him, will be received
with resignation, since he will perish on account of his love for

When the prince had finished his billet, he folded it up, and
enclosed in it the princess's ring. "There, friend," said he to
the eunuch, "carry this to your mistress; if it does not cure her
as soon as she reads it, and sees what it contains, I give you
leave to tell every body, that I am the most ignorant and
impudent astrologer that ever existed."

The eunuch entering the princess of China's apartment, gave her
the packet, saying, "The boldest astrologer that ever lived is
arrived here, and pretends, that on reading this letter and
seeing what it encloses, you will be cured; I wish he may prove
neither a liar nor an impostor."

The princess Badoura took the billet, and opened it with
indifference: but when she saw the ring, she had not patience to
read it through: she rose hastily, broke the chain that held her,
ran to the door and opened it. They immediately recognized each
other, tenderly embraced, and without being able to speak for
excess of joy, looked at one another, wondering how they met
again after their first interview. The princess's nurse, who ran
to the door with her, made them come into her apartment, where
the princess Badoura gave the prince her ring, saying, "Take it,
I cannot keep it without restoring yours; which I will never part
with; neither can it be in better hands."

The eunuch went immediately to inform the king of China of what
had happened: "Sir," said he, "all the astrologers and doctors
who have hitherto pretended to cure the princess were fools
compared with the present. He made use neither of schemes nor
conjurations, of perfumes, nor any thing else, but cured her
without seeing her." The monarch was agreeably surprised at this
intelligence, and going to the princess's apartment, he embraced
her, and afterwards the prince, and taking his hand joined it to
the princess's, saying, "Happy stranger, whoever you are, I will
keep my word, and give you my daughter for your wife; though, by
what I see in you, it is impossible for me to believe you are
really what you pretend, and would have me take you to be."

Kummir al Zummaun thanked the king in the most humble
expressions, that he might the better shew his gratitude. "As for
my condition," said he, "I must own I am not an astrologer, as
your majesty has guessed; I only put on the habit of one, that I
might succeed the more easily in my ambition to be allied to the
most potent monarch in the world. I was born a prince, and the
son of a king and of a queen; my name is Kummir al Zummaun; my
father is Shaw Zummaun, who now reigns over the islands that are
well known by the name of the Islands of the Children of
Khaledan." He then related to him his history, and how wonderful
had been the origin of his love; that the princess's was
altogether as marvellous; and that both were confirmed by the
exchange of the two rings.

When the prince had done speaking, the king said to him, "This
history is so extraordinary, it deserves to be known to
posterity; I will take care it shall; and the original being
deposited in my royal archives, I will spread copies of it
abroad, that my own kingdoms and the kingdoms around me may know

The marriage was solemnized the same day, and the rejoicings were
universal all over the empire of China. Nor was Marzavan
forgotten: the king gave him an honourable post in his court, and
a promise of further advancement.

The prince and princess enjoyed the fulness of their wishes in
the sweets of marriage; and the king kept continual feastings for
several months, to manifest his joy on the occasion.

In the midst of these pleasures Kummir al Zummaun dreamt one
night that he saw his father on his bed at the point of death,
and heard him thus address his attendants: "My son, to whom I
gave birth; my son, whom I so tenderly loved whom I bred with so
much fondness, so much care, has abandoned me, and is himself the
cause of my death." He awoke with a profound sigh, which alarmed
the princess, who asked him the cause.

"Alas! my love," replied the prince, "perhaps at the very moment
while I am speaking, the king my father is no more." He then
acquainted her with his melancholy dream, which occasioned him so
much uneasiness. The princess, who studied to please him in every
thing, went to her father the next day, kissed his hand, and thus
addressed him: "I have a favour to beg of your majesty, and I
beseech you not to deny me; but that you may not believe I ask it
at the solicitation of the prince my husband, I assure you
beforehand he knows nothing of my request: it is, that you will
grant me your permission to go with him and visit his father."

"Daughter," replied the king, "though I shall be sorry to part
with you for so long a time as a journey to a place so distant
will require, yet I cannot disapprove of your resolution; it is
worthy of yourself: go, child, I give you leave, but on condition
that you stay no longer than a year in Shaw Zummaun's court. I
hope the king will agree to this, that we shall alternately see,
he his son and his daughter-in-law, and I my daughter and my son-

The princess communicated the king of China's consent to her
husband, who was transported to receive it, and returned her
thanks for this new token of her love.

The king of China gave orders for preparations to be made for
their departure; and when all things were ready, he accompanied
the prince and princess several days' journey on their way; they
parted at length with much affliction on both sides: the king
embraced them; and having desired the prince to be kind to his
daughter, and to love her always with the same tenderness he now
did, he left them to proceed, and to divert himself, hunted as he
returned to his capital.

When the prince and princess had recovered from their grief, they
comforted themselves with considering how glad Shaw Zummaun would
be to see them, and how they should rejoice to see the king.

After travelling about a month, they one day entered a plain of
great extent, planted at convenient distances with tall trees,
forming an agreeable shade. The day being unusually hot, the
prince thought it best to encamp there, and proposed it to
Badoura, who, having the same wish, the more readily consented.
They alighted in one of the finest spots; a tent was presently
set up; the princess, rising from the shade under which she had
sat down, entered it. The prince then ordered his attendants to
pitch their tents, and went himself to give directions. The
princess, weary with the fatigues of the journey, bade her women
untie her girdle, which they laid down by her; and she falling
asleep, they left her alone.

Kummir al Zummaun having seen all things in order, came to the
tent where the princess was sleeping: he entered, and sat down
without making any noise, intending to repose himself; but
observing the princess's girdle lying by her, he took it up, and
looked at the diamonds and rubies one by one. In viewing it he
observed a little purse hanging to it, sewed neatly on the stuff,
and tied fast with a riband; he felt it, and found it contained
something solid. Desirous to know what it was, he opened the
purse, and took out a cornelian, engraven with unknown figures
and characters. "This cornelian," said the prince to himself,
"must be something very valuable, or my princess would not carry
it with so much care." It was Badoura's talisman, which the queen
of China had given her daughter as a charm, that would keep her,
as she said, from any harm as long as she had it about her.

The prince, the better to look at the talisman, took it out to
the light, the tent being dark; and while he was holding it up in
his hand, a bird darted down from the air and snatched it away
from him.

One will easily conceive the concern and grief of the prince,
when he saw the bird fly away with the talisman. He was more
troubled than words can express, and cursed his unseasonable
curiosity, by which his dear princess had lost a treasure, that
was so precious, and so valued by her.

The bird having got its prize, settled on the ground not far off,
with the talisman in its mouth. The prince drew near it, hoping
it would drop it; but as he approached, the bird took wing, and
settled again on the ground further off. Kummir al Zummaun
followed, and the bird took a further flight: the prince being
very dexterous at a mark, thought to kill it with a stone, and
still pursued; the further it flew, the more eager he grew in
pursuing, keeping it always in view. Thus the bird drew him along
from hill to valley, and valley to hill, all the day, every step
leading him out of the way from the plain where he had left his
camp and the princess Badoura: and instead of perching at night
on a bush, where he might probably have taken it, roosted on a
high tree, safe from his pursuit. The prince, vexed to the heart
at having taken so much pains to no purpose, thought of
returning; "But," said he to himself, "which way shall I return?
Shall I go down the hills and valleys which I have passed overt'
Shall I wander in darkness? and will my strength bear me out? How
shall I dare appear before my princess without her talisman?"
Overwhelmed with such thoughts, and tired with the pursuit, sleep
came upon him, and he lay down under a tree, where he passed the

He awoke the next morning before the bird had left the tree, and
as soon as he saw it on the wing, followed it again the whole of
that day, with no better success than he had done the last,
eating nothing but herbs and fruits as he went. He did the same
for ten days together, pursuing the bird, and keeping it in view
from morning to night, lying always under the tree where it
roosted. On the eleventh day, the bird continued flying, and
Kummir al Zummaun pursuing it, came near a great city. When the
bird had reached the walls, it flew over them, and the prince saw
no more of it; so that he despaired of ever recovering the
princess Badoura's talisman.

The prince, whose grief was beyond expression, went into the
city, which was built on the seaside, and had a fine port; he
walked up and down the streets without knowing where he was, or
where to stop. At last he came to the port, in as great
uncertainty as ever what he should do. Walking along the shore,
he perceived the gate of a garden open, and an old gardener at
work in it; the good man looking up, saw he was a stranger and a
Moosulmaun, and asked him to come in, and shut the door after

Kummir al Zummaun entered, and demanded of the gardener why he
was so cautious? "Because," replied the old man, "I see you are a
stranger newly arrived; and this city is inhabited for the most
part by idolaters, who have a mortal aversion to us Moosulmauns,
and treat a few of us that are here with great barbarity. I
suppose you did not know this, and it is a miracle that you have
escaped as you have thus far: these idolaters being very apt to
fall upon strangers, or draw them into a snare. I bless God, who
has brought you into a place of safety."

Kummir al Zummaun thanked the honest gardener for his advice, and
the security he offered him in his house; he would have said
more, but the good man interrupted him, saying, "Let us leave
complimenting; you are weary, and must want to refresh yourself.
Come in, and rest." He conducted him into his little hut; and
after the prince had eaten heartily of what he set before him,
with a cordiality that charmed him, he requested him to relate
how he had come there.

The prince complied; and when he had finished his story, without
concealing any part of it, asked him which was the nearest route
to his father's territories; saying, "It is in vain for me to
think of finding my princess where I left her, after wandering
eleven days from the spot by so extraordinary an adventure. Ah!"
continued he, "how do I know she is alive?" and saying this, he
burst into tears. The gardener replied, "There was no possibility
of his going thither by land, the ways were so difficult, and the
journey so long; besides, there was no accommodation for his
subsistence; or, if there were, he must necessarily pass through
the countries of so many barbarous nations, that he would never
reach his father's. It was a year's journey from the city where
he then was to any country inhabited only by Moosulmauns; that
the quickest passage for him would be to go to the isle of Ebene,
whence he might easily transport himself to the isles of the
children of Khaledan; that a ship sailed from the port every year
to Ebene, and he might take that opportunity of returning to
those islands. "The ship departed," said he, "but a few days ago;
if you had come a little sooner, you might have taken your
passage in it. You must wait till it makes the voyage again, and
if you will stay with me and accept of my house, such as it is,
you shall be as welcome to it as to your own."

The prince was glad he had met with such an asylum, in a place
where he had no acquaintance. He accepted the offer, and lived
with the gardener till the time arrived that the ship was to sail
to the isle of Ebene. He spent the interval in working by day in
the garden, and passing the night in sighs, tears, and
complaints, thinking of his dear princess Badoura. We must leave
him in this place, to return to the princess, whom we left asleep
in her tent.

The princess slept a long time, and when she awoke, wondered that
the prince was not with her; she called her women, and asked if
they knew where he was. They told her they saw him enter the
tent, but did not see him go out. While they were talking to her,
she took up her girdle, found her little purse open, and that the
talisman was gone. She did not doubt but that the prince had
taken it to see what it was, and that he would bring it back with
him. She waited for him impatiently till night, and could not
imagine what made him stay away from her so long.

When it was quite dark, and she could hear no tidings of him, she
fell into violent grief: she cursed the talisman, and him that
made it; and, had not she been restrained by duty, would have
cursed the queen her mother, who had given her such a fatal
present. She was the more troubled, because she could not imagine
how her talisman should have caused the prince's separation from
her; she did not however lose her judgment, and came to a
courageous resolution, not common with persons of her sex.

Only herself and her women knew of the prince's absence; for his
men were reposing or asleep in their tents. The princess, fearing
they would betray her, if they had any knowledge of this
circumstance, moderated her grief, and forbade her women to say
or do any thing that might create the least suspicion. She then
laid aside her own habit, and put on one of Kummir al Zummaun's.
She was so much like him, that the next day, when she came
abroad, the male attendants took her for the prince.

She commanded them to pack up their baggage and begin their
march; and when all things were ready, she ordered one of her
women to go into her litter, she herself mounting on horseback,
and riding by her side.

She travelled several months by land and sea; the princess
continuing the journey under the name of Kummir al Zummaun. They
touched at Ebene in their way to the isles of the children of
Khaledan, and went to the capital of the island, where a king
reigned, whose name was Armanos. The persons who first landed,
giving out that the ship carried prince Kummir al Zummaun, who
was returning from a long voyage, and was forced in by a storm,
the news of his arrival was soon carried to court.

King Armanos, accompanied by his courtiers' went immediately to
wait on the prince, and met the princess just as she was landing,
and going to the palace that had been prepared for her. He
received her as the son of a king, who was his friend, and with
whom he always kept up a good understanding: he conducted her to
the palace, where an apartment was prepared for her and all her
attendants; though she would fain have excused herself. He shewed
her all possible honour, and entertained her three days together
with extraordinary magnificence. At the end of this time king
Armanos understanding that the princess intended proceeding on
her voyage, charmed with the air and qualities of such an
accomplished prince, as he supposed her, took an opportunity when
she was alone, and spoke to her in this manner: "You see, prince,
that I am old, and to my great mortification have not a son to
whom I may leave my crown. Heaven has only blest me with one
daughter, whose beauty cannot be better matched than with a
prince of your rank and accomplishments. Instead of going home,
stay and accept my crown, which I will resign in your favour. It
is time for me to rest, and nothing could be a greater pleasure
to me in my retirement, than to see my people ruled by so worthy
a successor to my throne."

The king's offer to bestow his only daughter in marriage, and
with her his kingdom, on the princess Badoura, put her into
unexpected perplexity. She thought it would not become a princess
of her rank to undeceive the king, and to own that she was not
prince Kummir al Zummaun, whose part she had hitherto acted so
well. She was also afraid to decline the honour he offered her,
lest, being so much bent upon the conclusion of the marriage, his
kindness might turn to aversion, and he might attempt something
even against her life.

These considerations, added to the prospect of obtaining a
kingdom for the prince her husband, in case she found him again,
determined her to accept the proposal of king Armanos, and marry
his daughter. After having stood silent for some minutes, she
with blushes, which the king took for a sign of modesty,
answered, "I am infinitely obliged to your majesty for your good
opinion of me, for the honour you do me, and the great favour you
offer, which I cannot pretend to merit, and dare not refuse."

"But," continued she, "I cannot accept this great alliance on any
other condition, than that your majesty will assist me with your
counsels, and that I do nothing without having first obtained
your approbation."

The marriage treaty being thus concluded, the ceremony was put
off till the next day. In the mean time princess Badoura gave
notice to her officers, who still took her for their prince, of
what she was about to do, that they might not be surprised,
assuring them the princess Badoura consented. She talked also to
her women, and charged them to continue to keep the secret she
had entrusted to them.

The king of the isle of Ebene, rejoicing that he had found a son-
in-law so much to his satisfaction, next morning summoned his
council, and acquainted them with his design of marrying his
daughter to prince Kummir al Zummaun, whom he introduced to them,
and told them he resigned the crown to him, and required them to
acknowledge him for their king, and swear fealty to him. Having
said this, he descended from his throne, and the princess
Badoura, by his order, ascended it. As soon as the council broke
up, the new king was proclaimed through the city, rejoicings were
appointed for several days, and couriers despatched over all the
kingdom, to see the same ceremonies observed with the usual
demonstrations of joy.

At night there were extraordinary feastings at the palace, and
the princess Haiatalnefous was conducted to the princess Badoura,
whom every body took for a man, dressed like a royal bride: the
wedding was solemnized with the utmost splendour: they were left
together, and retired to bed. In the morning, while the princess
Badoura went to receive the compliments of the nobility in the
hall of audience, where they congratulated her on her marriage
and accession to the throne, king Armanos and his queen went to
the apartment of their daughter to inquire after her health.
Instead of answering, she held down her head, and by her looks
they saw plainly enough that she was disappointed.

King Armanos, to comfort the princess Haiatalnefous, bade her not
be troubled. "Prince Kummir al Zummaun," said he, "when he landed
here might think only of going to his father's court. Though we
have engaged him to stay by arguments, with which he ought to be
well satisfied, yet it is probable he grieves at being so
suddenly deprived of the hopes of seeing either his father or any
of his family. You must wait till those first emotions of filial
love are over; he will then conduct himself towards you as a good
husband ought to do."

The princess Badoura, under the name and character of Kummir al
Zummaun, the king of Ebene, spent the whole day in receiving the
compliments of the courtiers and the nobility of the. kingdom who
were in and about the city, and in reviewing the regular troops
of her household; and entered on the administration of affairs
with so much dignity and judgment, that she gained the general
applause of all who were witnesses of her conduct.

It was evening before she returned to queen Haiatalnefous's
apartment, and she perceived by the reception she gave her, that
the bride was not at all pleased with the preceding night. She
endeavoured to dissipate her grief by a long conversation, in
which she employed all the wit she had (and she possessed a good
share), to persuade her she loved her entirely. She then gave her
time to go to bed, and while she was undressing she went to her
devotions; her prayers were so long, that queen Haiatalnefous was
asleep before they were ended. She then left off, and lay down
softly by the new queen, without waking her, and was as much
afflicted at being forced to act a part which did not belong to
her, as in the loss of her dear Kummir al Zummaun, for whom she:
ceased not to sigh. She rose as soon as it was day, before
Haiatalnefous was awake; and, being dressed in her royal robes as
king, went to council.

King Armanos, as he had done the day before, came early to visit
the queen his daughter, whom he found in tears; he wanted nothing
more to be informed of the cause of her trouble. Provoked at the
contempt, as he thought, put upon his daughter, of which he could
not imagine the reason: "Daughter," said he, "have patience for
another night. I raised your husband to the throne, and can pull
him down again, and drive him thence with shame, unless he shews
you proper regard. His treatment of you has provoked me so much,
I cannot tell to what my resentment may transport me; the affront
is as great to me as to you."

It was late again before the princess Badoura came to queen
Haiatalnefous. She talked to her as she had done the night
before, and after the same manner went to her devotions, desiring
the queen to go to bed. But Haiatalnefous would not be so served;
she held her back, and obliged her to sit down. "Tell me, I
beseech you," said she, "what can you dislike in a princess of my
youth and beauty, who not only loves but adores you, and thinks
herself the happiest of women in having so amiable a prince for
her husband. Any body but me would be not merely offended but
shocked by the slight, or rather the unpardonable affront you
have put upon me, and abandon you to your evil destiny. However,
though I did not love you so well as I do, yet out of pure good-
nature and humanity, which makes me pity the misfortunes of
persons for whom I am less concerned, I cannot forbear telling
you, that the king my father is enraged against you for your
behaviour towards me, and to-morrow will make you feel the weight
of his just anger, if you continue to neglect me as you have
hitherto done. Do not therefore drive to despair a princess, who,
notwithstanding all your ill usage, cannot help loving you."

This address embarrassed the princess Badoura inexpressibly. She
did not doubt the truth of what Haiatalnefous had said. King
Armanos's coldness to her the day before had given her but too
much reason to see he was highly dissatisfied with her. The only
way to justify her conduit was, to communicate her sex to the
princess Haiatalnefous. But though she had foreseen she should be
under a necessity of making such a discovery to her, yet her
uncertainty as to the manner in which she would receive it, made
her tremble; but, considering that if Kummir al Zummaun was
alive, he must necessarily touch at the isle of Ebene in his way
to his father's kingdom, she ought to preserve herself for his
sake; and that it was impossible to do this, if she did not let
the princess Haiatalnefous know who and what she was, she
resolved to venture the experiment.

The princess Badoura stood as one who had been struck dumb, and
Haiatalnefous being impatient to hear what she could say, was
about to speak to her again, when she prevented her by these
words: "Lovely and too charming princess! I own I have been in
the wrong, and I condemn myself for it; but I hope you will
pardon me, and keep the secret I am going to reveal to you for my

She then opened her bosom, and proceeded thus: "See, princess, if
a woman like yourself does not deserve to be forgiven. I believe
you will be so generous, at least when you know my story, and the
afflicting circumstance that forced me to act the part I have

The princess Badoura having discovered her sex to the princess of
the isle of Ebene, she again prayed her to keep the secret, and
to pretend to be satisfied with her as a husband, till the
prince's arrival, which she hoped would be in a little time.

"Princess," replied Haiatalnefous, "your fortune is indeed
strange, that a marriage, so happy as yours, should be shortened
by so unaccountable an accident, after a passion so reciprocal
and full of wonders. Pray heaven you may soon meet with your
husband again, and assure yourself I will keep religiously the
secret committed to me. It will be to me the greatest pleasure in
the world to be the only person in the great kingdom of the isle
of Ebene who knows what and who you are, while you go on
governing the people as happily as you have begun. I only ask of
you at present to be your friend." Then the two princesses
tenderly embraced each other, and after a thousand expressions of
mutual friendship lay down to rest.

The two princesses having decided on a way to make belief that
the marriage had been consummated: queen Haiatalnefous's women
were deceived themselves next morning, and it deceived Armanos,
his queen, and the whole court. From this time the princess
Badoura rose in the king's esteem and affection, governing the
kingdom peaceably and prosperously.

While things passed as already mentioned in the court of the isle
of Ebene, prince Kummir al Zummaun remained in the city of
idolaters with the gardener, who had offered him his house for a
retreat till the ship should sail to convey him away.

One morning early, when the prince was as usual preparing to work
in the garden, the gardener prevented him, saying, "This day is a
great festival among the idolaters, and because they abstain from
all work themselves, to spend the time in their assemblies and
public rejoicings, they will not let the Moosulmauns labour; who,
to gain their favour, generally attend their shows, which are
worth seeing. You will therefore have nothing to do to-day: I
leave you here. As the time approaches, at which it is usual for
the ship to sail for the isle of Ebene, I will call on some of my
friends to know when it will depart, and secure you a passage."
The gardener put on his best apparel, and went out.

When the prince was alone, instead of going out to share in the
public joy of the city, his solitude brought to his mind, with
more than usual violence, the loss of his dear princess. He
walked up and down the garden sighing and lamenting, till the
noise which two birds made on a neighbouring tree led him to lift
up his head, to see what was the matter.

Kummir al Zummaun was surprised to observe that the birds were
fighting furiously: in a very little while, one of them fell down
dead at the foot of the tree; the victorious bird took wing
again, and flew away.

In an instant, two other large birds, that had beheld the battle
at a distance, came from the other side of the garden, and
pitched on the ground, one at the feet, and the other at the head
of the dead bird: they looked at it for some time, shaking their
heads in token of grief; after which they dug a grave with their
talons, and buried it.

When they had filled up the grave with the earth they had turned
up, they flew away, but returned in a few minutes, bringing with
them the bird that had committed the murder, one holding one of
its wings in its beak, and the other one of its legs; the
criminal all the while crying out in a doleful manner, and
struggling to escape. They carried it to the grave of the bird
which it had lately sacrificed to its rage, and there killed it
in just revenge for the murder it had committed. They opened its
belly, tore out the entrails, left the body on the spot unburied,
and flew away.

The prince had remained in astonishment all the time that he
stood beholding this singular spectacle. He now drew near the
tree where this scene had passed, and casting his eyes on the
scattered entrails of the bird that had been last killed, spied
something red hanging out of the stomach. He took it up, and
found it was his beloved princess Badoura's talisman, which had
cost him so much pain and sorrow, and so many sighs, since the
bird had snatched it out of his hand. "Ah, cruel!" said he to
himself; still looking on the bird, "thou took'st delight in
doing mischief, so I have the less reason to complain of that
which thou didst to me: but the greater it was, the more do I
wish well to those that revenged my quarrel, punishing thee for
the murder of one of their own kind."

It is impossible to express the prince's joy: "Dear princess,"
continued he to himself, "this happy minute, which restores to me
a treasure so precious to thee, is, without doubt, a presage of
our meeting again, and perhaps sooner than I think of. Thank
heaven who sent me this good fortune, and gives me hope of the
greatest felicity that my heart can desire."

Saying this, he kissed the talisman, wrapped it up in a riband,
and tied it carefully about his arm. He had been almost every
night a stranger to rest, the recollection of his misfortunes
keeping him awake, but this night he enjoyed calm repose: he rose
somewhat later the next morning than he used to do, and went to
the gardener for orders. The good man bade him root up an old
tree which bore no fruit.

Kummir al Zummaun took an axe and began his work. In cutting off
a branch of the root, he found his axe struck against something
that resisted the blow. He removed the earth, and discovered a
broad plate of brass, under which was a staircase of ten steps.
He went down, and at the bottom saw a cavity about six yards
square with fifty brass urns placed in order, each with a cover
over it. He opened them all, one after another, and found they
were all of them full of gold-dust. He came out of the cave,
rejoicing that he had found such a vast treasure, put the brass
plate on the staircase, and had the tree rooted up by the
gardener's return.

The gardener had ascertained that the ship which was bound for
the isle of Ebene, would sail in a few days, but the exact time
was not yet fixed. His friend promised to let him know the day,
if he called upon him on the morrow; and while the prince was
rooting up the tree, he went to have his answer. He returned with
a joyful countenance, by which the prince guessed he brought him
good news. "Son," said the old man (so he always called him on
account of the difference of years between him and the prince)
"be joyful, and prepare to embark in three days; the ship will
then certainly sail; I have agreed with the captain for your

"In my present situation," replied Kummir al Zummaun, "you could
not bring me more agreeable intelligence; and in return, I have
also tidings that will be as welcome to you: come along with me,
and you shall see what good fortune heaven has in store for you."

The prince led the gardener to the place where he had rooted up
the tree, made him go down into the cave, shewed him what a
treasure he had discovered, thanking Providence for rewarding his
virtue, and the pains he had been at for so many years. "What do
you mean?" replied the gardener: "do you imagine I will take
these riches as mine? The property is yours: I have no right to
it. For fourscore years, since my father's death, I have done
nothing but dig in this garden, and could not discover this
treasure, which is a sign it was destined for you, since God has
permitted you to find it. It is better suited to a prince like
you than to me; I have one foot in the grave, and am in no want
of any thing. Providence has bestowed it upon you, just when you
are returning to that country, which will one day be your own,
where you will make good use of it."

Kummir al Zummaun would not be surpassed in generosity by the
gardener. They disputed for some time. At last the prince
solemnly protested, that he would have none of it, unless the
gardener would divide it with him. The good man, to please the
prince, consented; so they shared it between them, and each had
twenty-five urns.

"Having thus divided it, son," said the gardener to the prince,
"it is not enough that you have got this treasure; we must now
contrive to carry it privately aboard, otherwise you will run the
risk of losing it. There are no olives in the isle of Ebene,
those that are exported hence are a good commodity there: you
know I have plenty of them, take what you will; fill fifty pots,
half with the gold-dust and half with olives, and I will get them
carried to the ship when you embark."

The prince followed this advice, and spent the rest of the day in
packing up the gold and the olives in the fifty pots, and fearing
the talisman, which he wore on his arm, might be lost again, he
carefully put it into one of the pots, with a particular mark to
distinguish it from the rest. When they were all ready to be
shipped, night coming on, the prince retired with the gardener,
and related to him the battle of the birds, with the circumstance
by which he had found the talisman. The gardener was equally
surprised and joyful to hear it on his account. Whether the old
man was quite worn out with age, or had exhausted himself too
much that day, the gardener had a very bad night; he grew worse
the next day, and on the third day, when the prince was to
embark, was so ill, that it was plain he was near his end. As
soon as day broke, the captain of the ship came with several
seamen to the gardener's; they knocked at the garden-door, which
the prince opened to them. They asked him for the passenger who
was to go with them. The prince answered, "I am he; the gardener
who agreed with you for my passage is sick, and cannot be spoken
with; come in, and let your men carry those pots of olives and my
baggage aboard for me; I will only take leave of the gardener,
and follow you."

The seamen took the pots and the baggage, and the captain bade
the prince make haste, the wind being fair.

When the captain and his men were gone, Kummir al Zummaun went to
the gardener to take his leave of him, and thanked him for all
his good offices; but found him in the agonies of death, and had
scarcely time to bid him rehearse the articles of his faith,
which all good Moosulmauns do before they die, before the
gardener expired.

The prince being under the necessity of embarking immediately,
hastened to pay the last duty to the deceased. He washed his
body, buried him in his own garden, and having nobody to assist
him, it was almost evening before he had put him into the ground.
As soon as he had done, he ran to the water-side, carrying with
him the key of the garden, designing, if he had time, to give it
to the landlord; otherwise to deposit it in some trusty person's
hand before a witness, that he might have it after he was gone.
When he reached the port, he was told the ship had sailed several
hours, and was already out of sight. It had waited three hours
for him, and the wind standing fair, the captain durst not stay

It is easy to imagine that Kummir al Zummaun was exceedingly
grieved at being forced to remain longer in a country where he
neither had, nor wished to have, any acquaintance; to think that
he must wait another year for the opportunity he had lost. But
the greatest affliction of all was, his having parted with the
princess Badoura's talisman, which he now considered lost. The
only course left him was to return to the garden from whence he
had come, to rent it of the landlord and continue to cultivate it
by himself, deploring his misery and misfortunes. He hired a boy
to assist him to do some part of the drudgery: that he might not
lose the other half of the treasure which came to him by the
death of the gardener, who died without heirs, he put the gold-
dust into fifty other jars, which he filled up with olives, to be
ready against the ship's return.

While the prince was beginning another year of labour, sorrow,
and impatience, the ship having a fair wind, continued her voyage
to the isle of Ebene, and happily arrived at the capital.

The palace being by the sea side, the new king, or rather the
princess Badoura, espying the ship as she was entering into the
port, with all her flags, asked what vessel it was: she was
answered, that it came annually from the city of the idolaters,
and was generally richly laden.

The princess, who always had Kummir al Zummaun in her mind,
imagined that the prince might be aboard; and resolved to visit
the ship and meet him, without discovering herself; but to
observe him, and take proper measures for their making themselves
mutually known. Under pretence of inquiring what merchandize was
on board, and having the first sight of the goods, she commanded
a horse to be brought, which she mounted, accompanied by several
officers in waiting, and arrived at the port, just as the captain
came ashore. She ordered him to be brought before her, asked
whence he had come, how long he had been on his voyage, and what
good or bad fortune he had met with: if he had no stranger of
quality aboard, and particularly with what his ship was laden.

The captain gave a satisfactory answer to all her demands; and as
to passengers, assured her there were none but merchants in his
ship, who used to come every year, and bring rich stuffs from
several parts of the world to trade with, the finest linens
painted and plain, diamonds, musk, ambergris, camphire, civet,
spices, drugs, olives, and many other articles.

The princess Badoura loved olives extremely when she heard the
captain speak of them, "Land them," said she, "I will take them
off your hands; as to the other goods, tell the merchants to
bring them to me, and let me see them before they dispose of, or
shew them to any one."

The captain taking her for the king of the isle of Ebene,
replied, "Sire, there are fifty great jars of olives, but they
belong to a merchant whom I was forced to leave behind. I gave
him notice myself that I stayed for him, and waited a long time,
but he not coming, and the wind offering, I was afraid of losing
the opportunity, and so set sail." The princess answered, "No
matter, bring them ashore; we will nevertheless make a bargain
for them."

The captain sent the boat, which in a little time returned with
the olives. The princess demanded how much the fifty jars might
be worth in the isle of Ebene? "Sir," replied the captain, "the
merchant is very poor, and your majesty will do him a singular
favour if you give him one thousand pieces of silver."

"To satisfy him," said the princess, "and because you tell me he
is poor, I will order you one thousand pieces of gold for him,
which do you take care to give him." The money was accordingly
paid, and the jars carried to the palace.

Night drawing on the princess withdrew into the inner palace, and
went to the princess Haiatalnefous's apartment, ordering the
olives to be brought thither. She opened one jar to let the
princess Haiatalnefous taste them, and poured them into a dish.
Great was her astonishment, when she found the olives were
mingled with gold-dust. "What can this mean!" said she, "It is
wonderful beyond comprehension." Her curiosity increasing from so
extraordinary an adventure, she ordered Haiatalnefous's women to
open and empty all the jars in her presence; and her wonder was
still greater, when she saw that the olives in all of them were
mixed with gold-dust; but when she saw her talisman drop out, she
was so surprised that she fainted away. Haiatalnefous and her
women brought the princess to herself, by throwing cold water in
her face. When she recovered, she took the talisman, and kissed
it again and again; but not being willing that the princess
Haiatalnefous's women, who were ignorant of her disguise, should
hear what she said, and it growing late, she dismissed them.
"Princess," said she to Haiatalnefous, as soon as they were gone,
"you who have heard my story, doubtless, guessed it was at the
sight of the talisman that I fainted. This is that talisman, and
the fatal cause of my dosing my husband; but as it was that which
caused our separation, so I foresee it will be the means of our

The next day, as soon as it was light, she sent for the captain
of the ship; and when he came, spoke to him thus: "I want to know
something more of the merchant to whom the olives belong, that I
bought of you yesterday. I think you told me you left him behind
in the city of the idolaters; can you tell me what is his
employment there?"

"Yes," replied the captain, "I can speak from my own knowledge. I
agreed for his passage with a very old gardener, who told me I
should find him in his garden, where he worked under him. He
shewed me the place, and for that reason I told your majesty he
was poor. I went thither to call him. I told him what haste I was
in, spoke to him myself in the garden, and cannot be mistaken in
the man."

"If what you say is true," replied the princess, "you must set
sail this very day for the city of idolaters, and bring me that
gardener's man, who is my debtor; else I will not only confiscate
all your goods and those of your merchants, but your life and
theirs shall answer for his. I have ordered my seal to be put on
the warehouses where their goods are deposited, which shall not
be taken off till your return: this is all I have to say to you;
go and do as I command you."

The captain could make no reply to this order, the disobeying of
which must have proved of such loss to him and his merchants. He
acquainted them with it; and they hastened him away as fast as
they could, after he had laid in a stock of provisions and fresh
water for his voyage.

They were so diligent, that he set sail the same day. He had a
prosperous voyage to the city of the idolaters, where he arrived
in the night. When he was got as near the city as he thought
convenient, he would not cast anchor, but lay to off shore; and
going into his boat, with six of his stoutest seamen, landed a
little way off the port, whence he went directly to the garden of
Kummir al Zummaun.

Though it was about midnight when he came there, the prince was
not asleep. His separation from the fair princess of China his
wife afflicted him as usual. He cursed the minute in which his
curiosity tempted him to touch the fatal girdle.

Thus was he passing those hours which are devoted to rest, when
he heard somebody knock at the garden-door: he ran hastily to it;
but he had no sooner opened it than the captain and his seamen
took hold of him, and carried him to the boat, and so on ship-
board. As soon as he was safely lodged, they set sail, and made
the best of their way to the isle of Ebene.

Hitherto Kummir al Zummaun, the captain, and his men, had not
said a word to one another; at last the prince asked the captain,
whom he knew again, why they had taken him away by force? The
captain in his turn demanded of the prince, whether he was not a
debtor of the king of Ebene? "I the king of Ebene's debtor!"
replied the prince in amazement; "I do not know him, and have
never set foot in his kingdom." The captain answered, "You should
know that better than I; you will talk to him yourself in a
little while; till then stay here and have patience."

The captain was not long on his voyage back to the isle of Ebene.
Though it was night when he cast anchor in the port, he landed
immediately, and taking his prisoner with him, hastened to the
palace, where he demanded to be introduced to the king.

The princess Badoura had withdrawn into the inner palace, but as
soon as she heard of the captain's return, she came out to speak
to him. Immediately as she cast her eyes on the prince, for whom
she had shed so many tears, she recognized him in his gardener's
habit. As for the prince, who trembled in the presence of a king,
as he thought her, to whom he was to answer for an imaginary
debt, it could not enter into his thoughts, that the person whom
he so earnestly desired to see stood before him. If the princess
had followed the dictates of her inclination, she would have run
to him, and, by embracing, discovered herself to him; but she put
a constraint on herself, believing that it was for the interest
of both that she should act the king a little longer before she
made herself known. She contented herself for the present to put
him into the hands of an officer, who was then in waiting,
charging him to take care of him, and use him well, till the next

When the princess Badoura had provided for Kummir al Zummaun, she
turned to the captain, whom she was now to reward for the
important service he had done her. She commanded another officer
to go immediately to take the seal off the warehouse which
contained his goods, and gave him a rich diamond, worth much more
than the expense he had been at in both his voyages. She also
bade him keep the thousand pieces of gold she had given for the
olives, telling him she would make up the account with the
merchant whom he had brought with him.

This done, she returned to the princess of the isle of Ebene's
apartment, to whom she communicated her joy, praying her to keep
the secret still. She told how she intended to manage the
discovering of herself to Kummir al Zumrnaun, and resignation of
the kingdom to him; adding, there was so vast a distance between
a gardener, as he would appear to the public, and a great prince,
that it might be dangerous to raise him at once from the lowest
condition of the people to the highest honour, however justice
might require it should be done. The princess of the isle of
Ebene was so far from betraying her, that she rejoiced with her,
and entered into the design.

The next morning the princess of China ordered Kummir al Zummaun
to be conducted early to the bath, and then to be appareled in
the robes of an emir or governor of a province. She commanded him
to be introduced into the council, where his fine person and
majestic air drew upon him the eyes of all the lords present.

The princess Badoura herself was charmed to see him look as
lovely as ever, and her pleasure inspired her to speak the more
warmly in his praise. When she spoke to the council, having
ordered the prince to take his seat among the emirs, she
addressed them thus: "My lords, Kummir al Zummaun, whom I have
advanced to the same dignity with yourselves, is not unworthy of
the place assigned him. I have known enough of him in my travels
to answer for him, and I can assure you he will make his merit
known to all of you, as well by his velour, as by a thousand
other brilliant qualities, and the extent of his genius."

The prince was extremely amazed to hear the king of the isle of
Ebene, whom he was far from taking for a woman, much less for his
dear princess, name him, and declare that he knew him, while he
thought himself certain he had never seen him before. He was much
more surprised when he heard him praise him so highly. Those
praises however from the mouth of majesty did not disconcert him,
though he received them with such modesty, as shewed that he
deserved them. He prostrated himself before the throne of the
king, and rising again, said, "Sire, I want words to express my
gratitude to your majesty for the honour you have done me; I
shall do all in my power to render myself worthy of your royal

From the council-board the prince was conducted to a palace,
which the princess Badoura had ordered to be fitted up for him;
where he found officers and domestics ready to obey his commands,
a stable full of fine horses, and every thing suitable to the
quality of an emir. When he was in his closet, the steward of his
household brought him a strong box full of gold for his expenses.

The less he could conceive whence his happiness proceeded, the
more he wondered, but he never once imagined that he owed it to
the princess of China.

Two or three days after, the princess Badoura, that he might be
nearer her person and in a more distinguished post, made him high
treasurer, which office had lately become vacant. He conducted
himself in his new charge with so much integrity, yet obliging
every body, that he not only gained the friendship of the great,
but also the affections of the people, by his uprightness and

Kummir al Zummaun had been the happiest man in the world, to see
himself in so high favour with a foreign king as he conceived,
and increasing in the esteem of all his subjects, if he had had
his princess with him. In the midst of his good fortune he never
ceased lamenting her, and grieved that he could hear no tidings
of her, especially in a country which she must necessarily have
visited in her way to his father's court after their separation.
He would have mistrusted something, had the princess still gone
by the name of Kummir al Zummaun, which she took with his habit;
but on her accession to the throne, she had changed it, and taken
that of Armanos, in honour of the old king her father-in-law.

The princess desiring that her husband should owe the discovery
of her to herself alone, resolved to put an end to her own
torments and his; for she had observed, that as often as she
discoursed with him about the affairs of office, he heaved such
deep sighs, as could be addressed to nobody but her. While she
herself lived in such a constraint, that she could endure it no

The princess Badoura had no sooner formed her resolution in
concert with the princess Haiatalnefous, than she the same day
took Kummir al Zummaun aside, saying, "I must talk with you about
an affair which requires much consideration, and on which I want
your advice. As I do not see how it can be done so conveniently
as in the night, come hither in the evening, and leave word at
home not to be waited for; I will take care to provide you a

Kummir al Zummaun came punctually to the palace at the hour
appointed by the princess; she took him with her into the inner
apartment, and having told the chief eunuch, who prepared to
follow her, that she had no occasion for his service, conducted
him into a different apartment from that of the princess
Haiatalnefous, where she used to sleep.

When the prince and princess entered the chamber, she shut the
door, and taking the talisman out of a little box, gave it to
Kummir al Zummaun, saying, "It is not long since an astrologer
presented me with this talisman; you being skilful in all things,
may perhaps tell me its use."

Kummir al Zummaun took the talisman, and drew near a lamp to view
it. As soon as he recollected it, with an astonishment which gave
the princess great pleasure, "Sire," said he to the prince, "your
majesty asked me the use of this talisman. Alas! its only purpose
is to kill me with grief and despair, if I do not quickly find
the most charming and lovely princess in the world to whom it
belonged, whose loss it occasioned me by a strange adventure, the
recital of which will move your majesty to pity such an
unfortunate husband and lover as I am."

"You shall tell me the particulars another time," replied the
princess; "I know something of them already: remain here a
little, and I will soon return to you."

At these words she went into her closet, put off her royal
turban, and in a few minutes dressed herself in her female
attire; and having the girdle round her, which she had on the day
of their separation, re-entered the chamber.

Kummir al Zummaun immediately recognized his dear princess, ran
to her, and tenderly embraced her, exclaiming, "How much am I
obliged to the king who has so agreeably surprised me!" "Do not
expect to see the king any more," replied the princess, embracing
him in her turn, with tears in her eyes: "you see him in me; sit
down, and I will explain this enigma to you."

They seated themselves, and the princess related the plan she had
formed in the plain where they were encamped the last time they
were together, as soon as she perceived she waited for him to no
purpose; how she went through with it till she arrived at the
isle of Ebene, where she had been obliged to marry the princess
Haiatalnefous, and accept of the crown, which king Armanos
offered her as a condition of the marriage: how the princess,
whose merit she highly extolled, had obliged her to make
declaration of her sex: and how she found the talisman in the
pots of olives mingled with the gold-dust, which she had bought,
and how this circumstance had proved the cause of her sending for
him from the city of the idolaters.

When she had concluded her adventure, she obliged the prince to
tell her by what means the talisman had occasioned their
separation. He satisfied her inquiries; after which, it growing
late, they retired to rest.

The princess Badoura and Kummir al Zummaun rose next morning as
soon as it was light, but the princess would no more put on her
royal robes as king; she dressed herself in her female attire,
and then sent the chief eunuch to king Armanos, her father-in-
law, to desire he would oblige her by coming to her apartment.

When the king entered the chamber, he was amazed at seeing a lady
who was unknown to him, and the high treasurer with her, who was
not by etiquette permitted to come within the inner palace. He
sat down, and asked where the king was.

The princess answered, "Yesterday I was king, but to-day I am
only princess of China, wife to the true prince Kummir al
Zummaun. If your majesty will have patience to hear our
adventures, I hope you will not condemn me for putting an
innocent deceit upon you." The king bade her go on, and heard her
narrative from beginning to end with astonishment. The princess
on finishing said to him, "Sir, though women do not easily comply
with the liberty assumed by men to have several wives; yet if
your majesty will consent to give your daughter the princess
Haiatalnefous in marriage to the prince, I will with all my heart
yield up to her the rank and quality of queen, which of right
belongs to her, and content myself with the second place. If this
precedence were not her due, I would resign it to her, after the
obligation I have to her for keeping my secret so generously. If
your majesty refer it to her consent, I am sure of that, having
already consulted her; and I will pass my word that she will be
very well satisfied."

King Armanos listened to the princess with astonishment, and when
she had done, turned to Kummir al Zummaun, saying, "Son, since
the princess Badoura your wife, whom I have all along thought to
be my son-in-law, through a deceit of which I cannot complain,
assures me, that she will divide your bed with my daughter; I
would know if you are willing to marry her, and accept of the
crown, which the princess Badoura would deservedly wear, if she
did not quit it out of love to you." "Sir," replied Kummir al
Zummaun, "though I desire nothing so earnestly as to see the king
my father, yet the obligations I have to your majesty and the
princess Haiatalnefous are so weighty, I can refuse her nothing."
The prince was then proclaimed king, and married the same day
with all possible demonstrations of joy; and had every reason to
be well pleased with the princess Haiatalnefous's beauty, wit,
and love for him.

The two queens lived together afterwards on the same friendly
terms and in the same cordiality as they had done before, both
being contented with Kummir al Zummaun's equal carriage towards

The next year each brought him a son at the same time, and the
births of the two princes were celebrated with extraordinary
rejoicings: the first, whom the princess Badoura was delivered
of, was named Amgiad (most illustrious); and the other, born of
queen Haiatalnefous, Assad (most virtuous).

           The Story of the Princes Amgiad and Assad.

The two princes were brought up with great care; and, when they
were old enough, had the same governor, the same instructors in
the arts and sciences, and the same master for each exercise. The
affection which from their infancy they conceived for each other
occasioned an uniformity of manners and inclination, which
increased it. When they were of an age to have separate
households, they loved one another so tenderly, that they begged
the king to let them live together. He consented, and they had
the same domestics, the same equipages, the same apartment, and
the same table. Kummir al Zummaun had formed so good an opinion
of their capacity and integrity, that he made no scruple of
admitting them into his council at the age of eighteen, and
letting them, by turns, preside there, while he took the
diversion of hunting, or amused himself with his queens at his
houses of pleasure.

The princes being equally handsome, the two queens loved them
with incredible tenderness; but the princess Badoura had a
greater kindness for prince Assad, queen Haiatalnefous's son,
than for her own; and queen Haiatalnefous loved Amgiad, the
princess Badoura's son, better than her own son Assad.

The two queens thought at first this inclination was nothing but
a regard which proceeded from an excess of their own friendship
for each other, which they still preserved: but as the two
princes advanced in years, that friendship grew into a violent
love, when they appeared in their eyes to possess graces that
blinded their reason. They knew how criminal their passion was,
and did all they could to resist it; but the familiar intercourse
with them, and the habit of admiring, praising, and caressing
them from their infancy, which they could not restrain when they
grew up, inflamed their desires to such a height as to overcome
their reason and virtue. It was their and the princes' ill-
fortune, that the latter being used to be so treated by them, had
not the least suspicion of their infamous passion.

The two queens had not concealed from each other this passion,
but had not the boldness to declare it to the princes they loved;
they at last resolved to do it by a letter, and to execute their
wicked design, availed themselves of the king's absence, when he
was gone on a hunting party for three or four days.

Prince Amgiad presided at the council on the day of his father's
departure, and administered justice till two or three o'clock in
the afternoon. As he returned to the palace from the council-
chamber, an eunuch took him aside, and gave him a letter from
queen Haiatalnefous. Amgiad took it, and read it with horror.
"Traitor," said he, to the eunuch. as soon as he had perused it
through, "is this the fidelity thou owest thy master and thy
king?" At these words he drew his sabre and cut off his head.

Having done this in a transport of anger he ran to the princess
Badoura his mother, shewed her the letter, told her the contents
of it, and from whom it came. Instead of hearkening to him, she
fell into a passion, and said, "Son, it is all a calumny and
imposture; queen Haiatalnefous is a very discreet princess, and
you are very bold to talk to me against her." The prince, enraged
at his mother, exclaimed, "You are both equally wicked, and were
it not for the respect I owe my father, this day should have been
the last of Haiatalnefous's life."

Queen Badoura might have imagined by the example of her son
Amgiad, that prince Assad, who was not less virtuous, would not
receive more favourably a declaration of love, similar to that
which had been made to his brother. Yet that did not hinder her
persisting in her abominable design; she, the next day, wrote him
a letter, which she entrusted to an old woman who had access to
the palace, to convey to him.

The old woman watched her opportunity to put it into his hands as
he was coming from the council-chamber, where he presided that
day in his turn. The prince took it, and reading it, fell into
such a rage, that, without giving himself time to finish it, he
drew his sabre and punished the old woman as she deserved. He ran
immediately to the apartment of his mother queen Haiatalnefous,
with the letter in his hand: he would have shewn it to her, but
she did not give him time, crying out, "I know what you mean; you
are as impertinent as your brother Amgiad: be gone, and never
come into my presence again."

Assad stood as one thunder-struck at these words, so little
expected. He was so enraged, that he had like to have given fatal
demonstrations of his anger; but he contained himself, and
withdrew without making any reply, fearing if he stayed he might
say something unworthy the greatness of his soul. Amgiad had not
mentioned to him the letter which he had received the preceding
day; and finding by what his mother had said to him that she was
altogether as criminal as queen Haiatalnefous, he went to his
brother, to chide him for not communicating the hated secret to
him, and to mingle his own sorrow with his.

The two queens, rendered desperate by finding in the two princes
such virtue as should have made them look inwardly on themselves,
renounced all sentiments of nature and of mothers and conspired
together to destroy them. They made their women believe the two
princes had attempted their virtue: they counterfeited the matter
to the life by their tears, cries, and curses; and lay in the
same bed, as if the resistance they pretended to have made had
reduced them almost to death's-door.

When Kummir al Zummaun returned to the palace from hunting, he
was much surprised to find them in bed together, in tears, acting
despondency so well, that he was touched with compassion. He
asked them with earnestness what had happened to them.

At this question, the dissembling queens wept and sobbed more
bitterly than before; and after he had pressed them again and
again to tell him, queen Badoura at last answered him: "Sir, our
grief is so well founded, that we ought not to see the light of
the sun, or live a day, after the violence that has been offered
us by the unparalleled brutality of the princes your sons. They
formed a horrid design, encouraged by your absence, and had the
boldness and insolence to attempt our honour. Your majesty will
excuse us from saying any more; you may guess the rest by our

The king sent for the two princes, and would have killed them
both with his own hand, had not old king Armanos his father-in-
law, who was present, held his hand: "Son," said he, "what are
you going to do? Will you stain your hands and your palace with
your own blood? There are other ways of punishing them, if they
are really guilty."

He endeavoured thus to appease him, and desired him to examine
whether they did indeed commit the crime of which they were

It was no difficult matter for Kummir al Zummaun to restrain
himself so far as not to butcher his own children. He ordered
them to be put under arrest, and sent for an emir called Jehaun-
dar, whom he commanded to conduct them out of the city, and put
them to death, at a great distance, and in what place he pleased,
but not to see him again, unless he brought their clothes with
him, as a token of his having executed his orders.

Jehaun-dar travelled with them all night, and early next morning
made them alight, telling them, with tears in his eyes, the
commands he had received. "Believe me, princes," said he, "it is
a trying duty imposed on me by your father, to execute this cruel
order: would to heaven I could avoid it!" The princes replied,
"Do your duty; we know well you are not the cause of our death,
and forgive you with all our hearts."

They then embraced, and bade each other a last adieu with so much
tenderness, that it was a long time before they could leave one
another's arms. Prince Assad was the first who prepared himself
for the fatal stroke. "Begin with me," said he "that I may not
have the affliction to see my dear brother Amgiad die." To this
Amgiad objected; and Jehaun-dar could not, without weeping more
than before, be witness of this dispute between them; which
shewed how perfect and sincere was their affection.

At last they determined the contest, by desiring Jehaun-dar to
tie them together, and put them in the most convenient posture
for him to give them the fatal stroke at one blow. "Do not refuse
the comfort of dying together to two unfortunate brothers, who
from their birth have shared every thing, even their innocence,"
said the generous princes.

Jehaun-dar granted their request; he tied them to each other,
breast to breast; and when he had placed them so that he thought
he might strike the blow with more certainty, asked them if they
had any thing to command him before they died.

"We have only one thing to desire of you," replied the princes,
"which is, to assure the king our father on your return, that we
are innocent; but that we do not charge him with our deaths,
knowing he is not well informed of the truth of the crime of
which we are accused."

Jehaun-dar promised to do what they desired and drew his sabre,
when his horse, being tied to a tree just by, started at the
sight of the sabre, which glittered against the sun, broke his
bridle, and ran away into the country.

He was a very valuable horse, and so richly caparisoned, that the
emir could not bear the loss of him. This accident so vexed him,
that instead of beheading the two princes, he threw away his
sabre, and ran after his horse.

The horse galloped on before him, and led him several miles into
a wood. Jehaun-dar followed him, and the horse's neighing roused
a lion that was asleep. The lion started up, and instead of
running after the horse, made directly towards Jehaun-dar, who
thought no more of his horse, but how to save his life. He ran
into the thickest of the wood, the lion keeping him in view,
pursuing him among the trees. In this extremity he said to
himself, "Heaven had not punished me in this manner, but to shew
the innocence of the princes whom I was commanded to put to
death; and now, to my misfortune, I have not my sabre to defend

While Jehaun-dar was gone, the two princes were seized with a
violent thirst, occasioned by the fear of death, notwithstanding
their noble resolution to submit to the king their father's cruel

Prince Amgiad told the prince his brother there was a spring not
far off. "Ah! brother," said Assad, "we have so little time to
live, what need have we to quench our thirst? We can bear it a
few minutes longer."

Amgiad taking no notice of his brother's remonstrance, unbound
himself, and the prince his brother. They went to the spring, and
having refreshed themselves, heard the roaring of the lion. They
also heard Jehaun-dar's dreadful cries in the wood, which he and
the horse had entered. Amgiad took up the sabre which lay on the
ground, saying to Assad, "Come, brother, let us go and save the
unfortunate Jehaun-dar; perhaps we may arrive soon enough to
deliver him from the danger to which he is now exposed."

The two princes ran to the wood, and entered it just as the lion
was going to fall on Jehaun-dar. The beast seeing prince Amgiad
advancing towards him with a sabre in his hand, left his prey,
and rushed towards him with great fury. The prince met him
intrepidly, and gave him a blow so forcibly and dexterously, that
it felled him to the ground.

When Jehaun-dar saw that he owed his life to the two princes, he
threw himself at their feet, and thanked them for the obligation,
in words which sufficiently testified his gratitude. "Princes,"
said he, rising up and kissing their hands, with tears in his
eyes, "God forbid that ever I should attempt any thing against
your lives, after you have so kindly and bravely saved mine. It
shall never he said, that the emir Jehaun-dar was guilty of such

"The service we have done you," answered the princes, "ought not
to prevent you from executing the orders you have received: let
us first catch your horse, and then return to the place where you
left us."--They were at no great trouble to take the horse, whose
mettle was abated with running. When they had restored him to
Jehaun-dar, and were come near the fountain, they begged of him
to do as their father had commanded; but all to no purpose. "I
only take the liberty to desire," said Jehaun-dar, "and I pray
you not to deny me, that you will divide my clothes between you,
and give me yours; and go to such a distance, that the king your
father may never hear of you more."

The princes were forced to comply with his request. Each of them
gave him his clothes, and covered themselves with what he could
spare them of his. He also gave them all the money he had about
him, and took his leave of them.

After the emir Jehaun-dar had parted from the princes, he passed
through the wood where Amgiad had killed the lion, in whose blood
he dipped their clothes: which having done, he proceeded on his
way to the capital of the isle of Ebene.

On his arrival there, Kummir al Zummaun inquired if he had done
as commanded? Jehaun-dar replied, "Behold, sir, the proofs of my
obedience;" giving him at the same time the princes' clothes.

"How did they bear their punishment?" Jehaun-dar answered, "With
wonderful constancy and resignation to the decrees of heaven,
which shewed how sincerely they made profession of their
religion: but particularly with great respect towards your
majesty, and an inconceivable submission to the sentence of
death. ‘We die innocent,' said they; ‘but we do not murmur: we
take our death from the hand of heaven, and forgive our father;
for we know he has not been rightly informed of the truth.'"

Kummir al Zummaun was sensibly touched at Jehaun-dar's relation.
A thought occurred to him to search the princes' pockets; he
began with prince Amgiad's where he found a letter open, which he
read. He no sooner recognized the hand-writing than he was
chilled with horror. He then, trembling, put his hand into that
of Assad, and finding there queen Badoura's letter, his horror
was so great, that he fainted.

Never was grief equal to Kummir all Zummaun's, when he recovered
from his fit: "Barbarous father," cried he, "what hast thou done?
Thou hast murdered thy own children, thy innocent children! Did
not their wisdom, their modesty, their obedience, their
submission to thy will in all things, their virtue, all plead in
their behalf? Blind and insensible father! dost thou deserve to
live after the execrable crime thou hast committed? I have
brought this abomination on my own head; and heaven chastises me
for not persevering in that aversion to women with which I was
born. And, oh ye detestable wives! I will not, no, I will not, as
ye deserve, wash off the guilt of your sins with your blood; ye
are unworthy of my rage: but I will never see you more!"

Kummir al Zummaun was a man of too much religion to break his
vow: he commanded the two queens to be lodged in separate
apartments that very day, where they were kept under strong
guards, and he never saw them again as long as he lived.

While the king of the isle of Ebene was afflicting himself for
the loss of his sons, of whose death he thought he had been the
author by his too rashly condemning them, the royal youths
wandered through deserts, endeavouring to avoid all places that
were inhabited, and shun every human creature. They lived on
herbs and wild fruits, and drank only rain-water, which they
found in the crevices of the rocks. They slept and watched by
turns at night, for fear of wild beasts.

When they had travelled about a month, they came to the foot of a
frightful mountain of black stones, and to all appearance
inaccessible. They at last espied a kind of path, but so narrow
and difficult that they durst not venture to follow it: this
obliged them to go along by the foot of the mountain, in hopes of
finding a more easy way to reach the summit, but could discover
nothing like a path, so they were forced to return to that which
they had neglected. They still thought it would be in vain for
them to attempt it. They deliberated for a long time what they
should do, and at last, encouraging one another, resolved to

The more they advanced the higher and steeper the mountain
appeared, which made them think several times of giving over
their enterprise. When the one was weary, the other stopped, and
they took breath together; sometimes they were both so tired,
that they wanted strength to proceed: then despairing of being
able to reach the top they thought they must lie down and die of
fatigue and weariness. A few minutes after, when they found they
recovered strength, they animated each other and went on.

Notwithstanding all their endeavours, their courage and
perseverance, they could not reach the summit that day; night
came on, and prince Assad was so spent, that he stopped and said
to Amgiad, "Brother, I can go no farther, I am just dying." "Let
us rest ourselves," replied prince Amgiad, "as long as you will,
and have a good heart: it is but a little way to the top, and the
moon befriends us."

They rested about half an hour, and then Assad making a new
effort, they ascended what remained of the way to the summit,
where they both at last arrived, and lay down. Amgiad rose first,
and advancing, saw a tree at a little distance. He went to it,
and found it was a pomegranate, with large fruit upon it, and he
perceived there was a spring at its foot: he ran to his brother
Assad to tell him the good news, and conduct him to the tree by
the fountain side. Here they refreshed themselves by eating each
a pomegranate, after which they fell asleep.

When they awoke the next morning, "Come, brother," said Amgiad to
Assad, "let us go on; I see the mountain is easier to be
travelled over on this side than the other, all our way now is
down hill." But Assad was so tired with the preceding day's
exertions, that he wanted three days' repose to recover himself.

They spent these days as they had done many before, in conversing
on their mothers' inordinate passion, which had reduced them to
such a deplorable state: but, said they, "Since heaven has so
visibly declared itself in our favour, we ought to bear our
misfortunes with patience, and comfort ourselves with hopes that
we shall see an end of them."

After having rested three days, the two brothers continued their
travels. As the mountain on that side was composed of several
shelves of extensive flat, they were five days in descending
before they came into the plain. They then discovered a large
city, at which they rejoiced: "Brother," said Amgiad to Assad,
"are not you of my opinion that you should stay in some place out
of the city, where I may find you again, while I go and inform
myself what country we are in, and when I come back I will bring
provisions with me? It may not be safe for us to go there

"Brother," replied Assad, "your plan is both safe and prudent,
and I approve of what you say but if one of us must part from the
other on that account, I will not suffer it shall be you; you
must allow me to go; for what shall I suffer, if any accident
should befall you?"

"But, brother," answered Amgiad, "the very accident you fear
would befall me, I have as much reason to fear would happen to
you: I entreat you to let me go, and do you remain here
patiently." "I will never consent to this," said Assad; "if any
ill happen to me, it will be some comfort to think you are safe."
Amgiad was forced to submit, and Assad going towards the city, he
stayed under the trees at the foot of the mountain.

Prince Assad took the purse of money which Amgiad had in charge,
and went forwards towards the city. He had not proceeded far in
the first street, before he met with a reverend old man with a
cane in his hand. He was neatly dressed, and the prince took him
for a man of note in the place, who would not put a trick upon
him, so he accosted him thus: "Pray, my lord, which is the way to
the market-place?" The old man looked at prince Assad smiling;
"Child," said he, "it is plain you are a stranger, or you would
not have asked that question."

"Yes, my lord, I am a stranger," replied Assad. The old man
answered, "You are welcome then; our country will be honoured by
the presence of so handsome a young man as you are: tell me what
business you have at the market-place."

"My lord," replied Assad, "it is near two months since my brother
and I set out from our own country: we have not ceased
travelling, and we arrived here but to-day; my brother, tired
with such a long journey, stays at the foot of the mountain, and
I am come to buy some provisions for him and myself."

"Son," said the old man, "you could not have come in a better
time, and I am glad of it for your and your brother's sake. I
made a feast today for some friends of mine: come along with me;
you shall eat as much as you please; and when you have done, I
will give you enough to last your brother and yourself several
days. Do not spend your money, when there is no occasion;
travellers are always in want of it: while you are eating I will
give you an account of our city, which no one can do better than
myself, who have borne all the honourable offices in it. It is
well for you that you happen to light upon me; for I must tell
you, all our citizens cannot so well assist and inform you. I can
assure you some of them are very wicked. Come, you shall see the
difference between a real honest man, as I am, and such as boast
of being so, and are not."

"I am infinitely obliged to you," replied Assad, "for your
kindness; I put myself entirely into your hands, and am ready to
go with you where you please."

The old man, as he walked along by his side, laughed inwardly, to
think he had got the prince in his clutches; and all the way,
lest he should perceive his dissimulation, talked of various
subjects, to preserve the favourable opinion Assad had of him.
Among other things, he said, "It must be confessed you were very
fortunate to have spoken to me, rather than to any one else: I
thank God I met with you; you will know why, when you come to my

At length they arrived at the residence of the old man, who
introduced Assad into a hall, where there were forty such old
fellows as himself, who made a circle round a flaming fire, which
they were adoring. The prince was not less struck with horror at
the sight of so many men mistakenly worshipping the creature for
the Creator, than he was with fear at finding himself betrayed
into so abominable a place.

While the prince stood motionless with astonishment, the old
cheat saluted the forty gray-headed men. "Devout adorers of
fire," said he to them, "this is a happy day for us; where is
Gazban? call him."

He spake these words aloud, when a negro who waited at the lower
end of the hall immediately came up to him. This black was
Gazban, who, as soon as he saw the disconsolate Assad, imagined
for what purpose he was called. He rushed upon him immediately,
threw him down, and bound his hands with wonderful activity. When
he had done, "Carry him down," said the old man, "and fail not to
order my daughters, Bostama and Cavama, to give him every day a
severe bastinado, with only a loaf morning and night for his
subsistence; this is enough to keep him alive till the next ship
departs for the blue sea and the fiery mountain, where he shall
be offered up an acceptable sacrifice to our divinity."

As soon as the old man had given the cruel order, Gazban hurried
prince Assad under the hall, through several doors, till they
came to a dungeon, down to which led twenty steps; there he left
him in chains of prodigious weight and bigness, fastened to his
feet. When he had done, he went to give the old man's daughters
notice: but their father had before sent for them, and given them
their instructions himself: "Daughters," said he to them, "go
down and give the Mussulmaun I just now brought in the bastinado:
do not spare him; you cannot better shew your zeal for the
worship of the fire."

Bostama and Cavama, who were bred up in their hatred to the
faithful, received this order with joy. They descended into the
dungeon that instant, stripped Assad, and bastinadoed him
unmercifully, till the blood issued out of his wounds and he was
almost dead. After this cruel treatment, they put a loaf of bread
and a pot of water by him, and retired.

Assad did not come to himself again for a long time; when he
revived, he burst out into a flood of tears, deploring his
misery. His comfort however was, that this misfortune had not
happened to his brother.

Amgiad waited for his brother till evening with impatience; as
two, three, or four of the clock in the morning arrived, and
Assad did not return, he was in despair. He spent the night in
extreme uneasiness; and as soon as it was day went to the city,
where he was surprised to see but very few Mussulmauns. He
accosted the first he met, and asked him the name of the place.
He was told it was the city of the Magicians, so called from the
great number of magicians, who adored the fire; and that it
contained but few Mussulmauns. Amgiad then demanded how far it
was to the isle of Ebene? He was answered, four months' voyage by
sea, and a year's journey by land. The man he talked to left him
hastily, having satisfied him as to these two questions.

Amgiad, who had been but six weeks coming from the isle of Ebene
with his brother Assad, could not comprehend how they had reached
this city in so short a time, unless it was by enchantment, or
that the way across the mountain was a much shorter one, but not
frequented because of its difficulty.

Going farther into the town, he stopped at a tailor's shop, whom
he knew to be a Mussulmaun by his dress. Having saluted him, he
sat down, and told him the occasion of the trouble he was in.

When prince Amgiad had done talking, the tailor replied, "If your
brother has fallen into the hands of some magicians, depend upon
it you will never see him more. He is lost past all recovery; and
I advise you to comfort yourself as well as you can, and to
beware of falling into the same misfortune: to which end, if you
will take my advice, you shall stay at my house, and I will tell
you all the tricks of these magicians, that you may take care of
yourself, when you go out." Amgiad, afflicted for the loss of his
brother, accepted the tailor's offer and thanked him a thousand
times for his kindness to him.

The Story of the Prince Amgiad and a Lady of the City of the

For a whole month prince Amgiad never went out of the tailor's
house without being accompanied by his host. At last he ventured
to go alone to the bath. As he was returning home, he met a lady
on the way. Seeing a handsome young man, she lifted up her veil,
asked him with a smiling air, and bewitching look, whither he was
going? Amgiad was overpowered by her charms, and replied, "Madam,
I am going to my own house, or, if you please, I will go to

"My lord," resumed the lady, with a smile, "ladies of my quality
never take men to their houses, they always accompany them to

Amgiad was much perplexed by this unexpected reply. He durst not
venture to take her home to his landlord's house, lest he should
give him offence, and thereby lose his protection, of which he
had so much need, in a city which required him to be always on
his guard. He knew so little of the town, that he could not tell
where to convey her, and he could not make up his mind to suffer
the adventure to go unimproved. In this uncertainty, he
determined to throw himself upon chance; and without making any
answer, went on, and the lady followed him. Amgiad led her from
street to street, from square to square, till they were both
weary with walking. At last they entered a street, at the end of
which was a closed gateway leading to a handsome mansion. On each
side of the gateway was a bench. Amgiad sat down on one of them,
as if to take breath: and the lady, more weary than he, seated
herself on the other.

When she had taken her seat, she asked him, whether that was his
house? "You see it, madam," said Amgiad. "Why do you not open the
gate then," demanded the lady; "what do you wait for?" "Fair
lady," answered Amgiad, "I have not the key; I left it with my
slave, when I sent him on an errand, and he cannot be come back
yet: besides, I ordered him afterwards to provide something good
for dinner; so that I am afraid we shall wait a long time for

The prince, meeting with so many obstacles to the satisfying of
his passion, began to repent of having proceeded so far, and
contrived this answer, in hopes that the lady would take the
hint, would leave him out of resentment, and seek elsewhere for a
lover; but he was mistaken.

"This is a most impertinent slave," said the lady, "to make us
wait so long. I will chastise him myself as he deserves, if you
do not, when he comes back. It is not decent that I should sit
here alone with a man." Saying this, she arose, and took up a
stone to break the lock, which was only of wood, and weak,
according to the fashion of the country.

Amgiad gave himself over for a lost man, when he saw the door
forced open. He paused to consider whether he should go into the
house or make off as fast as he could, to avoid the danger which
he believed was inevitable; and he was going to fly when the lady

Seeing he did not enter, she asked, "Why do not you come into
your house?" The prince answered, "I am looking to see if my
slave is coming, fearing we have nothing ready." "Come in, come
in," resumed she,  we had better wait for him within doors than

Amgiad, much against his will, followed her into the house.
Passing through a spacious court, neatly paved, they ascended by
several steps into a grand vestibule, which led to a large open
hall very well furnished, where he and the lady found a table
ready spread with all sorts of delicacies, another heaped with
fruit, and a sideboard covered with bottles of wine.

When Amgiad beheld these preparations, he gave himself up for
lost. "Unfortunate Amgiad," said he to himself, "thou wilt soon
follow thy dear brother Assad."

The lady, on the contrary, transported at the sight, exclaimed,
"How, my lord, did you fear there was nothing ready? You see your
slave has done more than you expected. But, if I am not mistaken,
these preparations were made for some other lady, and not for me:
no matter, let her come, I promise you I will not be jealous; I
only beg the favour of you to permit me to wait on her and you."

Amgiad, greatly as he was troubled at this accident, could not
help laughing at the lady's pleasantry. "Madam," said he,
thinking of something else that tormented his mind, "there is
nothing in what you imagine; this is my common dinner, and no
extraordinary preparation, I assure you." As he could not bring
himself to sit down at a. table which was not provided for him,
he would have taken his seat on a sofa, but the lady would not
permit him. "Come, sir," said she, "you must be hungry after
bathing, let us eat and enjoy ourselves."

Amgiad was forced to comply: they both sat down, and began to
regale themselves. After having taken a little, the lady took a
bottle and glass, poured out some wine, and when she had drunk
herself, filled another glass, and gave it to Amgiad, who pledged
her. The more the prince reflected on this adventure, the more he
was amazed that the master of the house did not appear; and that
a mansion, so rich and well provided, should be left without a
servant. "It will be fortunate," said he to himself, "if the
master of the house do not return till I am got clear of this
intrigue." While he was occupied with these thoughts, and others
more troublesome, she ate and drank heartily, and obliged him to
do the same. Just as they were proceeding to the dessert, the
master of the house arrived.

It happened to be Bahader, master of the horse to the king of the
magicians. This mansion belonged to him, but he commonly resided
in another; and seldom came to this, unless to regale himself
with two or three chosen friends He always sent provisions from
his other house on such occasions, and had done so this day by
some of his servants, who were just gone when the lady and Amgiad

Bahader came as he used to do, in disguise, and without
attendants, and a little before the time appointed for the
assembling of his friends. He was not a little surprised to find
the door broken open; he entered, making no noise, and hearing
some persons talking and making merry in the hall, he stole along
under the wall, and put his head half way within the door to see
who they were.

Perceiving a young man and a young lady eating at his table the
victuals that had been provided for his friends and himself, and
that there was no great harm done, he resolved to divert himself
with the adventure.

The lady's back was a little turned towards him, and she did not
see the master of the horse, but Amgiad perceived him
immediately. The glass was at the time in his hand, and he was
going to drink; he changed colour at the sight of Bahader, who
made a sign to him not to say a word, but to come and speak to

Amgiad drank and rose: "Where are you going?" inquired the lady.
The prince answered, "Pray, madam, stay here a little; I shall
return directly." Bahader waited for him in the vestibule, and
led him into the court to talk to him without being overheard by
the lady.

When Bahader and Amgiad were in the court, Bahader demanded of
the prince, how the lady came into his house? and why they broke
open his door? "My lord," replied Amgiad, "you may very
reasonably think me guilty of a very unwarrantable action: but if
you will have patience to hear me, I hope I shall convince you of
my innocence." He then related, in a few words, what had
happened, without disguising any part of the truth; and to shew
him that he was not capable of committing such an action as to
break into a house, told him he was a prince, and informed him of
the reason of his coming to the city of the magicians.

Bahader, who was a good man, was pleased with an opportunity of
obliging one of Amgiad's rank: for by his air, his actions, and
his well-turned conversation, he did not in the least doubt the
truth of what he had asserted. "Prince," said Bahader, "I am glad
I can oblige you in so pleasent an adventure. Far from disturbing
the feast, it will gratify me to contribute to your satisfaction
in any thing. Before I say any more on this subject, I must
inform you my name is Bahader; I am master of the horse to the
king of the magicians; I commonly reside in another house, which
I have in the city, and come here sometimes to have the more
liberty with my friends. You have made this lady believe you have
a slave, though you have none; I will personate that slave, and
that this may not make you uneasy, and to prevent your excuses, I
repeat again, that I will positively have it to be so; you will
soon know my reason. Go to your place, and continue to divert
yourself. When I return again, and come to you in a slave's
habit, chide me for staying so long, do not be afraid even to
strike me. I will wait upon you while you are at table till
night; you shall sleep here, and so shall the lady, and to-morrow
morning you may send her home with honour. I shall afterwards
endeavour to do you more important services: go, and lose no
time." Amgiad would have made him an answer, but the master of
the horse would not suffer him, forcing him to return to the
lady. He had scarcely reentered the hall before Bahader's
friends, whom he had invited, arrived. Bahader excused himself
for not entertaining them that day, telling them they would
approve of his reason when they should be informed of it, which
they should be in due time. When they were gone, he went and
dressed himself in a slave's habit.

Prince Amgiad returned to the lady much pleased at finding the
house belonged to a man of quality, who had received him so
courteously. When he sat down again, he said, "Madam, I beg a
thousand pardons for my rudeness. I was vexed that my slave
should tarry so long; the rascal shall pay for it when he comes:
I will teach him to make me wait so for him."

"Let not that trouble you," said the lady. "The evil is his; if
he is guilty of any faults, let him pay for it: but do not let us
think of him, we will enjoy ourselves without him."

They continued at the table with the more pleasure, as Amgiad was
under no apprehensions of the consequence of the lady's
indiscretion in breaking open the door. The prince was now as
merry as the lady: they said a thousand pleasant things, and
drank more than they ate, till Bahader arrived in his disguise.

Bahader entered like a slave who feared his master's displeasure
for staying out when he had company with him. He fell down at his
feet and kissed the ground, to implore his clemency; and when he
had done, stood behind him with his hands across, waiting his

"Sirrah," said Amgiad, with a fierce tone, and angry look, "where
have you been? What have you been doing, that you came no

"My lord," replied Bahader, "I ask your pardon; I was executing
your orders, and did not think you would return home so early."

"You are a rascal," said Amgiad, "and I will break your bones, to
teach you to lie, and disappoint me." He then rose up, took a
stick, and gave him two or three slight blows; after which he sat
down again.

The lady was not satisfied with this chastisement. She also rose,
took the stick, and fell upon Bahader so unmercifully, that the
tears came into his eyes. Amgiad, offended to the last degree at
the freedom she took, and that she should use one of the king's
chief officers so ill, called out to her in vain to forbear. "Let
me alone," said she "I will give him enough, and teach him to be
absent so long another time." She continued beating him with
great fury, till Amgiad rose from the table, and forced the stick
out of her hand which she did not relinquish without much
struggling. When she found she could beat Bahader no longer, she
sat down, railed at and cursed him.

Bahader wiped his eyes, and stood up to fill out wine When he saw
they had done eating and drinking, he took away the cloth,
cleared the hall, put every thing in its place; and night coming
on, lighted up the lamps. Every time he came in, or went out, the
lady muttered, threatened him, and gave him abusive language, to
Amgiad's great regret, who would have hindered her, but could
not. When it was time for them to retire to bed, Bahader prepared
one for them on the sofa, and withdrew into a chamber, where he
laid himself down, and soon fell asleep, having been fatigued
with his beating. Amgiad and the lady entertained one another for
some time afterwards. The lady before she went to bed having
occasion to go to another part of the house, passing through the
vestibule, heard Bahader snore, and having seen a sabre hanging
up in the hall, turned back, and said to Amgiad, "My lord, as you
love me, do one thing for me." "In what can I serve you?" asked
the prince. "Oblige me so far as to take down this sabre and cut
off your slave's head." Amgiad was astonished at such a proposal
from a lady, and made no doubt but it was the wine she had drunk
that induced her to make it. "Madam," said he, "let us suffer him
to rest, he is not worthy of your farther notice: I have beaten
him, and you have beaten him: that ought to be sufficient;
besides, I am in other respects well satisfied with him."

"That shall not satisfy me," replied the lady, in a violent
passion; "the rascal shall die, if not by your hands, by mine."
As she spoke, she took down the sabre from the place where it
hung, drew it out of the scabbard, and prepared to execute her
wicked design.

Amgiad met her in the vestibule, saying, "You shall be satisfied,
madam, since you will have it so; but I should be sorry that any
one besides myself should kill my slave." When she had given him
the sabre, "Come, follow me," said he; "make no noise, lest we
should awaken him." They went into Bahader's chamber, where
Amgiad, instead of striking him, aimed his blow at the lady, and
cut off her head, which fell upon Bahader.

Bahader was awakened by the head of the lady falling upon him. He
was amazed to see Amgiad standing by him with a bloody sabre, and
the body of the lady lying headless on the ground. The prince
told him what had passed, and said, "I had no other way to
prevent this furious woman from killing you, but to take away her
life." "My lord," replied Bahader, full of gratitude, "persons of
your rank and generosity are incapable of doing such a wicked
action: as she desired of you. You are my deliverer, and I cannot
sufficiently thank you." After having embraced him, to evince the
sense he entertained of his obligations to him, he said, "We must
carry this corpse out before it is quite day; leave it to me, I
will do it." Amgiad would not consent to this, saying, "He would
carry it away himself, since he had struck the blow." Bahader
replied, "You are a stranger in this city, and cannot do it so
well as one who is acquainted with the place. I must do it, if
for no other reason, yet for the safety of both of us, to prevent
our being questioned about her death. Remain you here, and if I
do not return before day, you may be sure the watch has seized
me; and for fear of the worst, I will by writing give this house
and furniture for your habitation."

When he had written, signed, and delivered the paper to prince
Amgiad, he put the lady's body in a bag, head and all; laid it on
his shoulder, and went out with it from one street to another,
taking the way to the sea-side. He had not proceeded far before
he met one of the judges of the city, who was going the rounds in
person. Bahader was stopped by the judge's followers, who,
opening the bag, found the body of a murdered lady, bundled up
with the head. The judge, who knew the master of the horse
notwithstanding his disguise, took him home to his house, and not
daring to put him to death without telling the king, on account
of his rank, carried him to court as soon as it was day. When the
king had been informed by the judge of the crime Bahader had, as
he believed from the circumstances, committed, he addressed
himself to the master of the horse as follows: "It is thus then
that thou murderess my subjects, to rob them, and then wouldst
throw their dead bodies into the sea, to hide thy villainy? Let
us get rid of him; execute him immediately."

Innocent as Bahader was, he received sentence of death with
resignation, and said not a word in his justification. The judge
carried him to his house, and while the pale was preparing, sent
a crier to publish throughout the city, that at noon the master
of the horse was to be impaled for a murder.

Prince Amgiad, who had in vain expected Bahader's return, was
struck with consternation when he heard the crier publish the
approaching execution of the master of the horse. "If," said he
to himself, "any one ought to die for the murder of such a wicked
woman, it is I, and not Bahader; I will never suffer an innocent
man to be punished for the guilty." Without deliberating, he then
hastened to the place of execution, whither the people were
running from all parts.

When Amgiad saw the judge bringing Bahader to the pale, he went
up to him, and said, "I am come to assure you, that the master of
the horse, whom you are leading to execution, is wholly innocent
of the lady's death; I alone am guilty of the crime, if it be
one, to have killed a detestable woman, who would have murdered
Bahader." He then related to him how it had happened.

The prince having informed the judge of the manner in which he
had met her coming from the bath; how she had occasioned his
going into the master of the horse's pleasure-house, and all that
had passed to the moment in which he was forced to cut off her
head, to save Bahader's life; the judge ordered execution to be
stopped, and conducted Amgiad to the king, taking the master of
the horse with them.

The king wished to hear the story from Amgiad himself; and the
prince, the better to prove his own innocence and that of the
master of the horse, embraced the opportunity to discover who he
was, and what had driven him and his brother Assad to that city,
with all the accidents that had befallen them, from their
departure from the Isle of Ebene.

The prince having finished his account, the king said to him, "I
rejoice that I have by this means been made acquainted with you;
I not only give you your own life, and that of my master of the
horse, whom I commend for his kindness to you, but I restore him
to his office; and as for you, prince, I declare you my grand
vizier, to make amends for your father's unjust usage, though it
is also excusable, and I permit you to employ all the authority
with which I now invest you to find out prince Assad."

Amgiad having thanked the king for the honour he had done him, on
taking possession of his office of grand vizier used every
possible means to find out the prince his brother. He ordered the
common criers to promise a great reward to any who should
discover him, or give any tidings of him. He sent men up and down
the country to the same purpose; but in vain.

Assad in the meanwhile continued in the dungeon in chains;
Bostama and Cavama, the cunning old conjuror's daughters,
treating him daily with the same cruelty and inhumanity as at

The solemn festival of the adorers of fire approached; and a ship
was fitted out for the fiery mountain as usual: the captain's
name was Behram, a great bigot to his religion. He loaded it with
proper merchandize; and when it was ready to sail, put Assad in a
chest, which was half full of goods, a few crevices being left
between the boards to give him air.

Before the ship sailed, the grand vizier Amgiad, who had been
told that the adorers of fire used to sacrifice a Mussulmaun
every year on the fiery mountain, suspecting that Assad might
have fallen into their hands, and be designed for a victim,
resolved to search the ship in person. He ordered all the
passengers and seamen to be brought upon deck, and commanded his
men to search all over the ship, which they did, but Assad could
not be found, he was so well concealed.

When the grand vizier had done searching the vessel, she sailed.
As soon as Behram was got out to sea, he ordered prince Assad to
be taken out of the chest, and fettered, to secure him, lest he
should throw himself into the sea in despair since he knew he was
going to be sacrificed.

The wind was very favourable for a few days, after which there
arose a furious storm. The vessel was driven out of her course,
so that neither Behram nor his pilot knew where they were. They
were afraid of being wrecked on the rocks, for in the violence of
the storm they discovered land, and a dangerous shoal before
them. Behram perceived that he was driven into the port and
capital of queen Margiana, which occasioned him great

This queen Margiana was a devout professor of the Mahummedan
faith, and a mortal enemy to the adorers of fire. She had
banished all of them out of her dominions, and would not suffer
their ships to touch at her ports.

It was no longer in the power of Behram to avoid putting into the
harbour, for he had no alternative but to be dashed to pieces
against the frightful rocks that lay off the shore. In this
extremity he held a council with his pilot and seamen. "My lads,"
said he, "you see to what a necessity we are reduced. We must
choose one of two things; either to resolve to be swallowed up by
the waves, or put into queen Margiana's port, whose hatred to all
persons of our religion you well know. She will certainly seize
our vessel and put us all to death, without mercy. I see but one
way to escape her, which is, to take off the fetters from the
Mussulmaun we have aboard, and dress him like a slave. When queen
Margiana commands me to come before her, and asks what trade I
follow, I will tell her I deal in slaves; that I have sold all I
had, but one, whom I keep to be my clerk, because he can read and
write. She will by this means see him, and he being handsome, and
of her own religion, will have pity on him. No doubt she will
then ask to buy him of me, and on this account will let us stay
in the port till the weather is fair. If any of you have any
thing else to propose that will be preferable, I am ready to
attend to it." The pilot and seamen applauded his judgment, and
agreed to follow his advice.

Behram commanded prince Assad's chains to be taken off, and had
him neatly habited like a slave, as became one who was to pass
for his clerk before the queen of the country. They had scarcely
time to do this, before the ship drove into the port, and dropped

Queen Margiana's palace was so near the sea, that her garden
extended down to the shore. She saw the ship anchor, and sent to
the captain to come to her, and the sooner to satisfy her
curiosity waited for him in her garden.

Behram landed with prince Assad, whom he required to confirm what
he had said of his being a slave, and his clerk. When he was
introduced to the queen, he threw himself at her feet, and
informed her of the necessity he was under to put into her port:
that he dealt in slaves, and had sold all he had but one, who was
Assad, whom he kept for his clerk.

The queen was taken with Assad from the moment she first saw him,
and was extremely glad to hear that he was a slave; resolving to
buy him, cost what he would. She asked Assad what was his name.

"Great queen," he replied, with tears in his eyes, "does your
majesty ask what my name was formerly, or what it is now?" The
queen answered, "Have you two names then?" "Alas! I have," said
Assad: "I was once called Assad (most happy); and now my name is
Motar" (devoted to be sacrificed).

Margiana not being able to comprehend the meaning of his answer,
interpreted it to refer to his condition of a slave. "Since you
are clerk to the captain," said she, "no doubt you can write
well; let me see your hand."

Behram had furnished Assad with pen, ink, and paper, as a token
of his office, that the queen might take him for what he designed
she should.

The prince stepped a little aside, and wrote as follows, suitable
to his wretched circumstances:

"The blind man avoids the ditch into which the clear-sighted
falls. Fools advance themselves to honours, by discourses which
signify nothing, while men of sense and eloquence live in poverty
and contempt. The Mussulmaun with all his riches is miserable.
The infidel triumphs. We cannot hope things will be otherwise.
The Almighty has decreed it shall be so."

Assad presented the paper to queen Margiana, who admired alike
the moral of the sentences, and the goodness of the writing. She
needed no more to have her heart inflamed, and to feel a sincere
concern for his misfortunes. She had no sooner read the lines,
than she addressed herself to Behram, saying, "Do which you will,
either sell me this slave, or make me a present of him; perhaps
it will turn most to your account to do the latter."

Behram answered insolently, that he could neither give nor sell
him; that he wanted his slave, and would keep him.

Queen Margiana, provoked at his rudeness, would not talk to him
any more on the subject. She took the prince by the arm, and
turned him before her to the palace, sending Behram word, that if
he stayed the night in her port, she would confiscate his goods,
and burn his ship. He was therefore forced to return to his
vessel, and prepare to put to sea again, notwithstanding the
tempest had not yet subsided.

Queen Margiana, on entering her palace, commanded supper to be
got ready; and while it was providing, she ordered Assad to be
brought into her apartment, where she bade him sit down. Assad
would have excused himself: "It becomes not a slave," said he,
"to presume to this honour."

"To a slave! "replied the queen: "you were so a moment ago;
henceforward you are no more a slave. Sit down near me, and tell
me the story of your life; for by what you wrote, and the
insolence of that slave-merchant, I guess there is something
extraordinary in your history."

Prince Assad obeyed her; and sitting down, began thus: "Mighty
queen, your majesty is not mistaken, in thinking there is
something extraordinary in the story of my life: it is indeed
more so than you can imagine. The ills, the incredible torments I
have suffered, and the death to which I was devoted, and from
which I am delivered by your royal generosity, will shew the
greatness of my obligation to you, never to be forgotten. But
before I enter into particulars of my miseries, which will strike
horror into the hearts of all that hear them, I must trace the
origin of them to its source."

This preamble increased queen Margiana's curiosity. The prince
then told her of his royal birth; of his brother Amgiad, and
their mutual friendship; of their mothers' criminal passion, the
cause of all their sufferings; of the king his father's rage; how
miraculously their lives were saved; how he had lost his brother;
how he had been long imprisoned and tortured, and was devoted to
be sacrificed on the fiery mountain.

When Assad had finished his recital' the queen was more than ever
enraged at the adorers of fire. "Prince," said she, "though I
have always had an aversion to the adorers of fire, yet hitherto
I have had some humanity for them: but after their barbarous
usage of you, and their execrable design to sacrifice you, I will
henceforth wage perpetual war against them."

She was proceeding, but supper being served in, she made prince
Assad sit down at table with her, being charmed with his beauty
and eloquence, and touched with a passion which she hoped soon to
have an opportunity of making known to him "Prince," said she,
"we must make you amends for so many fasts and wretched meals, to
which the pitiless adorers of fire made you submit; you must want
nourishment after such sufferings." With conversation of this
kind she helped him at supper; and ordered him to drink a good
deal of wine to recover his spirits; by which means he drank more
than he could well bear.

The cloth being taken away, Assad having occasion to go out, took
an opportunity when the queen did not observe him. He descended
into the court, and seeing the garden-door open, went into it.
Being tempted by the pleasantness of the place, he walked there
for some time. At last he came to a fountain, where he washed his
face and hands to refresh himself, and lying down on the turf by
the fountain, fell asleep.

Behram, to prevent the queen from executing her threats, had
weighed anchor, vexed at the loss of Assad, by which he was
disappointed of a most acceptable sacrifice. He comforted himself
as well as he could, with the thoughts that the storm was over,
and that a land breeze favoured his getting off the coast. As
soon as he was towed out of the port by the help of his boat,
before it was hoisted up into the ship again, "Stop, my lads,"
said he to the seamen, "do not come on board yet; I will give you
some casks to fill with water, and wait for you." Behram had
observed, while he was talking to the queen in the garden, that
there was a fountain at the end of it, near the port. "Go," said
he, "land before the palace-garden; the wall is not above breast
high, you may easily get over; there is a basin in the middle of
the garden, where you may fill all your barrels, and hand them
aboard without difficulty."

The sailors went ashore at the place he directed them to, and
laying their casks on their shoulders easily got over the wall.

As they approached the basin, they perceived a man sleeping on
the grass, and knew him to be Assad. They immediately divided
themselves; and while some of the crew filled their barrels with
as little noise as possible, others surrounded Assad, and watched
to seize him if he should awake.

He slept on undisturbed, giving them time to fill all their
casks; which they afterwards handed over the wall to others of
the crew who waited to carry them aboard.

They next seized Assad, and conveyed him away, without giving him
time to recollect himself. They got him over the wall into their
boat with the casks, and rowed to the ship. When they drew near
her they cried out for joy, "Captain, sound your trumpets, beat
your drums, we have brought you your slave."

Behram, who could not imagine how the seamen could find and take
him again, and did not see Assad in the boat, it being night,
waited their arrival with impatience, to ask what they meant; but
when he saw him, he could not contain himself for joy. He
commanded him to be chained, without staying to inquire how they
came by him; and having hoisted the boat on board, set sail for
the fiery mountain.

In the meanwhile queen Margiana was in alarm. She was not at
first apprehensive when she found prince Assad was gone out,
because she did not doubt but he would soon return When some time
had passed without his appearing, she began to be uneasy, and
commanded her women to look for him. They sought for him in every
direction, and at night renewed their search by torch-light, but
all to no purpose.

Queen Margiana was so impatient and alarmed, that she went
herself with lights, and finding the garden-door open, entered,
and walked all over it with her women to seek for him. Passing by
the fountain and basin, she espied a slipper, which she took up,
and knew it to be prince Assad's, her women also recognized it to
be his. This circumstance, together with the water being spilt
about the edge of the basin, induced her to believe that Behram
had carried him off. She sent immediately to see if he was still
in the port; and hearing he had sailed a little before it was
dark, that he lay-to some time off the shore, while he sent his
boat for water from the fountain, she sent word to the commander
of ten ships of war, which lay always ready in the harbour, to
sail on the shortest notice, that she would embark herself next
morning as soon as it was day. The commander lost no time,
ordered the captains, seamen and soldiers aboard, and was ready
to sail at the time appointed. She embarked, and when the
squadron was at sea, told the commander her intention. "Make all
the sail you can," said she, "and chase the merchantman that
sailed last night out of this port. If you capture it, I assign
it to you as your property; but if you fail, your life shall

The ten ships chased Behram's vessel two whole days without
seeing her. The third day in the morning they discovered her, and
at noon had so surrounded her, that she could not escape.

As soon as Behram espied the ten ships of war, he made sure it
was queen Margiana's squadron in pursuit of him; and upon that he
ordered Assad to be bastinadoed, which he had done every day. He
was much perplexed what to do, when he found he was surrounded.
To keep Assad, was to declare himself guilty; to kill him was as
dangerous, for he feared some marks of the murder might be seen.
He therefore commanded him to be unfettered and brought from the
bottom of the hold where he lay. When he came before him, "It is
thou," said he, "that art the cause of my being pursued;" and so
saying, he flung him into the sea.

Prince Assad being an expert swimmer, made such good use of his
feet and hands, that he reached the shore in safety. The first
thing he did after he had landed, was to thank God who had
delivered him from so great a danger, and once more rescued him
out of the hands of the adorers of fire. He then stripped
himself, and wringing the water out of his clothes, spread them
on a rock, where, by the heat of the sun, and of the rock, they
soon dried. After this he lay down to rest himself, deploring his
miserable condition, not knowing in what country he was nor which
way to direct his course. He dressed himself again and walked on,
keeping as near the sea-side as he could. At last he entered a
kind of path, which he followed, and travelled on ten days
through an uninhabited country, living on herbs, plants, and wild
fruits. At last he approached a city, which he recognized to be
that of the magicians, where he had been so ill used and where
his brother Amgiad was grand vizier.

He rejoiced to discover where he was, but resolved not to
approach any of the adorers of fire, and to converse only with
Moosulmauns, for he remembered he had seen some the first time he
entered the town. It being late, and knowing the shops were
already shut, and few people in the streets, he resolved to
remain in a burying ground near the city, where there were
several tombs built in the form of mausoleums. He found the door
of one of them open, which he entered, designing to pass the
night there.

We must now return to Behram's ship, which, after he had thrown
prince Assad overboard, was soon surrounded on all sides by queen
Margiana's squadron. The ship in which queen Margiana was in
person first came up with him, and Behram, being in no condition
of defence against so many, furled his sails as a mark of his

The queen herself boarded his ship, and demanded where the clerk
was, whom he had the boldness to take or cause to be taken out of
her palace. Behram replied, "O queen! I swear by your majesty, he
is not in my ship; you will, by searching, be convinced of my

Margiana ordered the ship to be searched as narrowly as possible,
but she could not find the man, whom she so much wished to
recover, as well on account of her love for him, as of the
generosity for which she was distinguished. She once resolved to
kill Behram with her own hand, but refrained, and contented
herself with seizing his ship and cargo, and turning him and his
men on shore in their boat.

Behram and his seamen arrived at the city of the magicians the
same night as Assad, and stopped at the same burying-ground, the
city gates being shut, intending to stay in some tomb till the
next day, when they should be opened again.

To Assad's misfortune, Behram came to that in which the prince
was sleeping with his head wrapped up in his habit, and entered
it. Assad awoke at the noise of his footsteps, and demanded who
was there.

Behram immediately recognized him. "Hah, hah," said he, "thou art
the man who has ruined me for ever; thou hast escaped being
sacrificed this year, but depend on it thou shalt not be so
fortunate the next." Saying this, he flew upon him, clapped his
handkerchief into his mouth to prevent his making a noise, and
with the assistance of his seamen bound him.

The next morning as soon as the city gates were open, Behram and
his men easily carried Assad through streets, where no one was
yet stirring, to the old man's house, where he had been so
inhumanly treated. As soon as he was brought in, he was again
thrown into the same dungeon. Behram acquainted the old man with
the unfortunate circumstances of his return, and the ill success
of his voyage. The old savage, upon this, commanded his two
daughters Bostama and Cavama to treat him, if possible, more
cruelly than before.

Assad was overwhelmed with terror at seeing himself again in the
hands of persecutors from whom he had suffered so much, and
expected the repetition of the torments from which he hoped that
he had been delivered. He was lamenting the severity of his fate,
when Bostama entered with a stick in her hand, a loaf and a
pitcher of water. He trembled at the sight of this unmerciful
wretch, and at the very thoughts of the sufferings he was to
endure for another year, at the conclusion of which he was to die
the most horrible death.

Bostama treated prince Assad as inhumanly as she had done during
his first confinement. But his cries, lamentations, and earnest
entreaties to her to spare him, joined with his tears, were so
affecting, that she could not help shedding tears. "My lord,"
said she, covering his shoulders again, "I ask a thousand pardons
for my inhuman treatment of you formerly, and for making you once
more feel its effect. Till now I was afraid of disobeying a
father, who is unjustly enraged against you, and resolved on your
destruction, but at last I abhor this barbarity. Be comforted,
your evil days are over. I will endeavour by better treatment to
make amends for all my crimes, of the enormity of which you will
find I am duly sensible. You have hitherto regarded me as an
infidel; henceforth believe me one of your own religion; having
been taught it by a slave, I hope your lessons will complete my
conversion. To convince you of my sincerity, I first beg pardon
of the true God for all my sins, in dealing so cruelly by you,
and I trust he will put it in my power to set you entirely at

This address afforded the prince much comfort. He thanked the
Almighty for the change wrought in her heart, He also thanked her
for her favourable disposition towards him, and omitted no
arguments which he thought would have any effect in confirming
her conversion to the Moosulmaun religion. He afterwards related
to her the whole story of his life to that time. When he was
fully assured of her good intentions respecting him, he asked her
how she could continue to keep her sister Cavama in ignorance of
them; and prevent her treating him as barbarously as she used to
do? "Let not that trouble you," replied Bostama; "I know how to
order matters so that she shall never come near you."

She accordingly every day prevented her sister's coming down into
the dungeon, where she often visited the prince. Instead of
carrying him bread and water, she now brought him the best wine
and the choicest victuals she could procure, which were prepared
by her twelve Mahommedan slaves. She ate with him herself from
time to time, and did all in her power to alleviate his

A few days afterwards, Bostama, as she stood at her father's
door, observed the public crier making proclamation, but she
could not hear what it was about, being too far off. As he was
proceeding in the direction of her father's house, she went in,
and holding the door half open, perceived that he went before the
grand vizier Amgiad, brother to Assad; who was accompanied by
several officers, and other attendants.

The crier, a few steps from the house, repeated the proclamation
with a loud voice, as follows: "The most excellent and
illustrious grand vizier is come in person to seek for his dear
brother, from whom he was separated about a year ago. He is a
young man of such an appearance; if any one has him in keeping,
or knows where he is, his excellency commands that they bring him
forth, or give him notice where to find him, promising a great
reward to the person that shall give the information. If any one
conceal him, and he be hereafter found, his excellency declares'
he shall be punished with death, together with his wife,
children, and all his family, and his house to be razed to the

Bostama, as soon as she had heard this, shut the door as fast as
she could, and ran to Assad in the dungeon. "Prince," said she,
with joy, "your troubles are at an end; follow me immediately.
She had taken off his fetters the day he was brought in, and the
prince followed her into the street, where she cried, "There he
is, there he is!"

The grand vizier, who was not far from the house, returned. Assad
knew him to be his brother, ran to him, and embraced him. Amgiad,
who immediately recollected him, returned his embrace with all
possible tenderness; made him mount one of his officers' horses,
who alighted for that purpose; and conducted him in triumph to
the palace, where he presented him to the king, by whom he was
advanced to the post of a vizier.

Bostama not wishing to return to her father's house, which was
the next day razed to the ground, was sent to the queen's

The old man her father, Behram, and all their families were
brought before the king, who condemned them to be beheaded. They
threw themselves at his feet, and implored his mercy. "There is
no mercy for you to expect," said the king, "unless you renounce
the adoration of fire, and profess the Mahummedan religion."

They accepted the condition, and were pardoned at the
intercession of Assad, in consideration of Bostama's friendship;
for whose sake Cavama's life, and the lives of the rest of their
families were saved.

Amgiad, in consideration of Behram turning Mussulmaun, and to
compensate for the loss which he had suffered before he deserved
his favour, made him one of his principal officers, and lodged
him in his house. Behram, being informed of Amgiad and his
brother Assad's story, proposed to his benefactor, to fit out a
vessel to convey them to their father's court: "For," said he,
"the king must certainly have heard of your innocence, and
impatiently desire to see you: otherwise we can easily inform him
of the truth before we land, and if he is still in the same mind,
you can but return."

The two brothers accepted the proposal, communicated it to the
king of the city of the magicians, who approved of it; and
commanded a ship to be equipped. Behram undertook the employment
cheerfully, and soon got in readiness to sail. The two princes,
when they understood the ship was ready, waited upon the king to
take leave. While they were making their compliments, and
thanking the king for his favours, they were interrupted by a
great tumult in the city: and presently an officer came to give
them notice that a numerous army was advancing against the city,
nobody knowing who they were, or whence they had come.

The king being alarmed at the intelligence, Amgiad addressed him
thus: "Sir, though I have just resigned into your majesty's hands
the dignity of your first minister, with which you were pleased
to honour me, I am ready to do you all the service in my power. I
desire therefore that you would be pleased to let me go and see
who this enemy is, that comes to attack you in your capital,
without having first declared war."

The king desired him to do so. Amgiad departed immediately, with
a very small retinue, to see what enemy approached, and what was
the reason of their coming.

It was not long before prince Amgiad descried the army, which
appeared very formidable, and which approached nearer and nearer.
The advanced guards received him favourably, and conducted him to
a princess, who stopped, and commanded her army to halt, while
she talked with the prince; who, bowing profoundly to her,
demanded if she came as a friend or an enemy: if as an enemy,
what cause of complaint she had against the king his master?

"I come as a friend," replied the princess, "and have no cause of
complaint against the king of the city of the magicians. His
territories and mine are so situated, that it is almost
impossible for us to have any dispute. I only come to require a
slave named Assad, to be delivered up to me. He was carried away
by one Behram, a captain of a ship belonging to this city, the
most insolent man in the world. I hope your king will do me
justice, when he knows I am Margiana."

The prince answered, "Mighty queen, the slave whom you take so
much pains to seek is my brother: I lost him, and have found him
again. Come, and I will deliver him up to you myself; and will do
myself the honour to tell you the rest of the story: the king my
master will rejoice to see you."

The queen ordered her army to pitch their tents, and encamp where
they were; and accompanied prince Amgiad to the city and palace,
where he presented her to the king; who received her in a manner
becoming her dignity. Assad, who was present, and knew her as
soon as he saw her, also paid his respects to her. She appeared
greatly rejoiced to see him. While they were thus engaged,
tidings came, that an army more powerful than the former
approached on the other side of the city.

The king of the magicians was more terrified than before,
understanding the second army was more numerous than the first,
for he saw this by the clouds of dust they raised, which hid the
face of the heavens. "Amgiad," cried he, "what shall we do now? a
new army comes to destroy us." Amgiad guessed what the king
meant; he mounted on horseback again, and galloped towards the
second army. He demanded of the advanced guards to speak with
their general, and they conducted him to their king. When he drew
near him, he alighted, prostrated himself to the ground, and
asked what he required of the king his master.

The monarch replied, "I am Gaiour, king of China; my desire to
learn tidings of a daughter, whose name is Badoura, whom I
married to Kummir al Zummaun, son of Shaw Zummaun, king of the
isles of the children of Khaledan, obliged me to leave my
dominions. I suffered that prince to go to see his father, on
condition that he came back in a year with my daughter; from that
time I have heard nothing of them. Your king will lay an infinite
obligation on an afflicted father, by telling him if he knows
what is become of them."

Prince Amgiad, perceiving by his discourse that the king was his
grandfather, kissed his hand with tenderness, and answered him
thus: "I hope your majesty will pardon my freedom, when you know
that I only pay my duty to my grandfather. I am the son of Kummir
al Zummaun, king of the isle of Ebene, and of queen Badoura, for
whom you are thus troubled; and I doubt not but they are both in
good health in their kingdom."

The king of China, overjoyed to see his grandson, tenderly
embraced him. Such a meeting, so happy and unexpected, drew tears
from both. The king inquiring on what occasion he had come into a
strange country, the prince told him all that had happened to him
and his brother Assad. When he had finished his relation, "My
son," replied the king of China, "it is not just that such
innocent princes as you are should be longer ill used. Comfort
yourself, I will carry you and your brother home, and make your
peace. Return, and acquaint your brother with my arrival."

While the king of China encamped in the place where prince Amgiad
met him, the prince returned to inform the king of the magicians,
who waited for him impatiently, how he had succeeded.

The king was astonished that so mighty a king as that of China
should undertake such a long and troublesome journey, out of a
desire to see his daughter. He gave orders to make preparations
for his reception, and went forth to meet him.

While these things were transacting, a great dust was seen on
another side of the town; and suddenly news was brought of the
arrival of a third army, which obliged the king to stop, and to
desire prince Amgiad once more to see who they were, and on what
account they came.

Amgiad went accordingly, and prince Assad accompanied him. They
found it was Kummir al Zummaun their father's army, with whom he
was coming to seek for them. He was so grieved for the loss of
his sons, that at last emir Jehaun-dar declared that he had saved
their lives, which made him resolve to seek for them wherever he
was likely to find them.

The afflicted father embraced the two princes with tears of joy,
which put an end to those he had a long time shed for grief. The
princes had no sooner told him the king of China, his father-in-
law, was arrived, than, accompanied by them and a small party, he
rode to wait upon him in his camp. They had not gone far, before
they saw a fourth army advancing in good order, which seemed to
come from Persia.

Kummir al Zummaun desired the two princes to go and see what army
it was, and he would in the meanwhile wait for them. They
departed immediately, and coming up to it, were presented to the
king to whom the army belonged; and, after having saluted him
with due reverence, they demanded on what design he approached so
near the king of the magicians' capital. The grand vizier, who
was present, answered in the name of the king his master, "The
monarch to whom you speak is Shaw Zummaun, king of the isles of
the children of Khaledan, who has a longtime travelled, thus
attended, to seek his son, who left his dominions many years ago:
if you know any thing of him, you cannot oblige him more than by
communicating to him all the information in your power."

The princes only replied, that they would shortly bring him an
answer, and galloping back as fast as they could, told Kummir al
Zummaun that the king his father was approaching with his army.

Wonder, surprise, joy, and grief, had such an effect on Kummir al
Zummaun, that he fainted as soon as he heard he was so near.
Prince Amgiad and prince Assad, by their assiduities, at length
brought him to himself; and when he had recovered his strength,
he went to his father's tent, and threw himself at his feet.

Never was there a more affecting interview. Shaw Zummaun gently
upbraided his son with unkindness in so cruelly leaving him; and
Kummir al Zummaun discovered a hearty sorrow for the fault which
love had urged him to commit.

The three kings, and queen Margiana, stayed three days at the
court of the king of the magicians, who treated them
magnificently. These three days were rendered more remarkable by
prince Assad's marriage with queen Margiana, and prince Amgiad
with Bostama, for the service she had done his brother Assad.

At length the three kings, and queen Margiana, with her husband
Assad, returned to their respective kingdoms. As for Amgiad, the
king of the magicians had such an affection for him, he could not
part with him; and being very old, he resigned his crown to him.
Amgiad, when he had the supreme authority, did his utmost to
exterminate the worship of fire, and establish the Mahummedan
religion throughout his dominions.


The city of Bussorah was for many years the capital of a kingdom
tributary to the caliphs of Arabia. The king who governed it in
the days of the caliph Haroon al Rusheed was named Zinebi, who
not thinking it proper to commit the administration of his
affairs to a single vizier, made choice of two, Khacan and Saouy.

Khacan was of a sweet, generous, and affable temper, and took
pleasure in obliging, to the utmost of his power, those with whom
he had any business to transact, without violating the justice
which it became him to dispense to all. He was therefore
universally respected, at court, in the city, and throughout the
whole kingdom; and the praises he so highly deserved were the
general theme.

Saouy was of a very different character: he was always sullen and
morose, and disgusted every body, without regard to their rank or
quality. Instead of commanding respect by the liberal
distribution of his immense wealth, he was so perfect a miser as
to deny himself the necessaries of life. In short, nobody could
endure him; and nothing good was said of him. But what rendered
him most hateful to the people, was his implacable aversion to
Khacan. He was always putting the worst construction on the
actions of that worthy minister, and endeavouring as much as
possible to prejudice him with the king.

One day after council, the king of Bussorah amused himself with
his two viziers and some other members. The conversation turned
upon the female slaves that are daily bought and sold, and who
hold nearly the same rank as the lawful wives. Some were of
opinion, that personal beauty in slaves so purchased was of
itself sufficient to render them proper substitutes for wives,
which, often on account of alliance or interest in families, men
are obliged to marry, though they are not always possessed of any
perfection, either of mind or body.

Others maintained, and amongst the rest Khacan, that personal
charms were by no means the only qualifications to be desired in
a slave; but that they ought to be accompanied with a great share
of wit, a cultivated understanding, modesty, and, if possible,
every agreeable accomplishment. The reason they gave was, that
nothing could be more gratifying to persons on whom the
management of important affairs devolved, than, after having
spent the day in fatiguing employment, to have a companion in
their retirement, whose conversation would be not only pleasing,
but useful and instructive: for, in short, continued they, there
is but little difference between brutes and those men who keep a
slave only to look at, and to gratify a passion that we have in
common with them.

The king entirely concurred in this opinion, and accordingly
ordered Khacan to buy him a slave, of perfect beauty, mistress of
all the qualifications they had enumerated, and possessed, above
all things, of an enlightened understanding.

Saouy, jealous of the honour the king had done Khacan, and
differing widely with him in opinion, said, "Sire, it will be
very difficult to find a slave so accomplished as your majesty
requires; and should such a one be discovered, which I scarcely
believe possible, she will be cheap at ten thousand pieces of
gold." "Saouy," replied the king, "I perceive plainly you think
the sum too great; it may be so for you, though not for me." Then
turning to his high treasurer, he ordered him to send the ten
thousand pieces of gold to the vizier's house.

Khacan, as soon as he had returned home, sent for all the brokers
who used to deal in women-slaves, and strictly charged them,
that, if ever they met with one who answered the description he
gave them, they should immediately apprise him. The brokers,
partly to oblige the vizier, and partly for their own interest,
promised to use their utmost endeavours to procure for him one
that would accord with his wishes. Scarcely a day passed but they
brought him a slave for his inspection, but he always discovered
in each something defective.

One day, early in the morning, as Khacan was mounting his horse
to go to court, a broker came to him, and, taking hold of the
stirrup with great eagerness, told him a Persian merchant had
arrived very late the day before, who had a slave to sell, so
surprisingly beautiful that she excelled all the women his eyes
had ever beheld; "And for wit and knowledge," added he, "the
merchant engages she shall match the most acute and learned
persons of the age."

Khacan, overjoyed at this intelligence, which promised him a
favourable opportunity for making his court, ordered him to bring
the slave to his palace against his return, and departed.

The broker failed not to be at the vizier's at the appointed
hour; and Khacan, finding the lovely slave so much beyond his
expectation, immediately gave her the name of the fair Persian.
As he had himself much wit and learning, he soon perceived by her
conversation, that it was in vain to search further for a slave
that surpassed her in any of the qualifications required by the
king; and therefore he asked the broker at what sum the Persian
merchant valued her.

"Sir," replied the broker, "he is a man of few words in
bargaining, and he tells me, that the very lowest price he will
take for her is ten thousand pieces of gold: he has also sworn to
me, that, without reckoning his care and pains from the time of
his first taking her under his charge, he has laid out nearly
that sum on her education in masters to improve her form and
cultivate her mind, besides what she has cost him in clothes and
maintenance. As he always thought her fit for a king, he has from
her infancy, when he first bought her, been sparing of nothing
that might contribute towards advancing her to that high
distinction. She plays upon all kinds of instruments to
perfection; she sings, dances, writes better than the most
celebrated authors, makes verses, and there is scarcely any book
but she has read; so that there never was a slave so accomplished
heard of before."

The vizier Khacan, who could estimate the merits of the fair
Persian better than the broker, who only reported what he had
heard from the merchant, was unwilling to defer the bargain to a
future opportunity, and therefore sent one of his servants to
look for the merchant, where the broker told him he was to be

As soon as the Persian merchant arrived, "It is not for myself,
but for the king," said the vizier Khacan, "that I buy your
slave; but, nevertheless, you must let him have her at a more
reasonable price than you have set upon her."

"Sir," replied the merchant, "I should do myself unspeakable
honour in offering her as a present to his majesty, if it became
a person in my situation to make him one of such inestimable
value. I ask no more than her education and accomplishments have
cost me; and all I have to say is, that I believe his majesty
will be extremely pleased with the purchase."

The vizier Khacan would stand no longer bargaining with the
merchant, but paid him the money immediately. "Sir," said he to
the vizier, upon taking his leave of him, "since the slave is
designed for the king's use, give me leave to tell you, that
being extremely fatigued with our long journey, you see her at
present under great disadvantage. Though she has not her equal in
the world for beauty, yet if you please to keep her at your own
house for a fortnight, she will appear quite another creature.
You may then present her to the king with honour and credit; for
which I hope you will think yourself much obliged to me. The sun,
you perceive, has a little injured her complexion; but after two
or three times bathing, and when you have dressed her as you
think proper, she will be so changed, that she will appear
infinitely more charming."

Khacan was pleased with the instructions the merchant gave him,
and resolved to abide by them. He assigned the fair Persian a
particular apartment near his lady's, whom he desired to invite
her to an entertainment, and thenceforth to treat her as a person
designed for the king: he also provided for her several suits of
the richest clothes that could be had, and would become her best.
Before he took his leave of the fair Persian, he said "Your
happiness, madam, cannot be greater than what I am about to
procure for you; you shall judge for yourself; it is for the king
I have purchased you; and I hope he will be even more pleased
with possessing you than I am in having discharged the commission
with which his majesty has honoured me. I think it, however, my
duty to warn you that I have a son, who, though he does not want
wit, is yet young, insinuating, and forward; and to caution you
how you suffer him to come near you." The fair Persian thanked
him for his advice; and after she had given him assurance of her
intention to follow it, he withdrew.

Noor ad Deen, for so the vizier's son was named, had free access
to the apartment of his mother, with whom he usually ate his
meals. He was young, handsome in person, agreeable in manners,
and firm in his temper; and having great readiness of wit, and
fluency of language, was perfect master of the art of persuasion.
He saw the fair Persian; and from their first interview, though
he knew his father had bought her purposely for the king, and had
so informed him, yet he never used the least endeavour to check
the violence of his passion. In short, he resigned himself wholly
to the power of her charms, by which his heart was at first
captivated; and, from his first conversation with her, resolved
to use his utmost endeavours to keep her from the king.

The fair Persian, on her part, had no dislike to Noor ad Deen.
"The vizier," said she to herself, "has done me honour in
purchasing me for the king; but I should have thought myself very
happy if he had designed me only for his own son."

Noor ad Deen was not remiss in improving the advantage he enjoyed
of seeing and conversing with a beauty of whom he was so
passionately enamoured; for he would never leave her till obliged
by his mother. "My son," she would say, "it is not proper for a
young man like you to be always in the women's apartments; go,
mind your studies, and endeavour to qualify yourself to succeed
to the honours of your father."

The fair Persian not having bathed for a considerable time on
account of the length of her journey, the vizier's lady, five or
six days after she was purchased, ordered the bath in her own
house to be got ready purposely for her. She sent her to it
accompanied by many other women-slaves, who were charged by the
vizier's lady to be as attentive to her as to herself, and, after
bathing, to put her on a very rich suit of clothes that she had
provided for her. She was the more careful in order to ingratiate
herself with her husband, by letting him see how much she
interested herself in every thing that contributed to his

As soon as she came out of the bath, the fair Persian, a thousand
times more beautiful than she had appeared to Khacan when he
bought her, went to visit his lady, who at first hardly knew her.
The fair Persian gracefully kissed her hand, and said, "Madam, I
know not how you like me in this dress you have been pleased to
order for me; but your women, who tell me it becomes me so
extremely well they should scarcely know me, certainly flatter
me. From you alone I expect to hear the truth; but, if what they
say be really so, I am indebted to you, madam, for the advantage
it has given me."

"Oh! my daughter," cried the vizier's lady, transported with joy,
"you have no reason to believe my women have flattered you; I am
better skilled in beauty than they; and, setting aside your
dress, which becomes you admirably well, your beauty is so much
improved by the bath, that I hardly knew you myself. If I thought
the bath was warm enough, I would take my turn; for I am now of
an age to require its frequent use." "Madam," replied the fair
Persian, "I have nothing to say to the undeserved civilities you
have been pleased to shew me. As for the bath, it is in fine
order; and if you design to go in, you have no time to lose, as
your women can inform you."

The vizier's lady, considering that she had not bathed for some
days, was desirous to avail herself of that opportunity; and
accordingly acquainted her women with her intention, who
immediately prepared all things necessary for the occasion. The
fair Persian withdrew to her apartment; and the vizier's lady,
before she went to bathe, ordered two little female slaves to
stay with her, with a strict charge that if Noor ad Deen came,
they should not give him admittance.

While the vizier's lady was bathing, and the fair slave was alone
in her apartment, Noor ad Deen came in, and not finding his
mother in her chamber, went directly towards the fair Persian's,
and found the two little slaves in the antechamber. He asked them
where his mother was? They told him in the bath. "Where is the
fair Persian, then?" demanded Noor ad Deen. "In her chamber,"
answered the slaves; "but we have positive orders from your
mother not to admit you."

The entrance into the fair Persian's chamber being only covered
with a piece of tapestry, Noor ad Deen went to lift it up, in
order to enter, but was opposed by the two slaves, who placed
themselves before it, to stop his passage. He presently caught
them both by the arms, and, thrusting them out of the
antechamber, locked the door upon them. They immediately ran with
loud lamentations to the bath, and with tears in their eyes, told
their lady, that Noor ad Deen, having driven them away by force,
had gone into the fair Persian's chamber.

The vizier's lady received the account of her son's presumption
with the greatest concern. She immediately left the bath, and
dressing herself with all possible speed, came directly to the
fair Persian's chamber; but before she could get thither, Noor ad
Deen had gone away.

The fair Persian was extremely surprised to see the vizier's lady
enter her chamber in tears, and in the utmost confusion. "Madam,"
said she, "may I presume to ask you the occasion of your concern;
and what accident has happened in the bath, to make you leave it
so soon?"

"What!" cried the vizier's lady, "can you so calmly ask that.
question, after my son has been with you alone in your chamber?
Can there happen a greater misfortune to him or me?"

"I beseech you, madam," replied the fair slave, "what prejudice
can this action of Noor ad Deen's do to you or him?"

"How," returned the vizier's lady, "did not my husband tell you
that you were designed for the king, and sufficiently caution you
to beware of our son?"

"I have not forgotten that, madam," replied the fair Persian;
"but your son came to tell me the vizier his father had changed
his purpose, and instead of reserving me for the king, as he
first designed, had made him a present of my person. I easily
believed him; for, oh! think how a slave as I am, accustomed from
my infant years to the laws of servitude, could or ought to
resist him! I must own I did it with the less reluctance, on
account of the affection for him, which the freedom of our
conversation and daily intercourse has excited in my heart. I
could without regret resign the hope of ever being the king's,
and think myself perfectly happy in spending my whole life with
Noor ad Deen."

At this discourse of the fair Persian's, the vizier's lady
exclaimed, "Would to God that what you say were true! I should
hear it with joy; but, believe me, Noor ad Deen has deceived you;
for it is impossible his father should ever make him such a
present. Ah! wretched youth, how miserable has he made me! and
more especially his father, by the dismal consequences we must
all expect to share with him! Neither my prayers nor tears will
be able to prevail, or obtain a pardon for him; for as soon as
his father hears of his violence to you, he will inevitably
sacrifice him to his resentment." At these words she wept
bitterly; and the slaves, who were as much alarmed for Noor ad
Deen as herself, joined in her tears.

Shortly after the vizier Khacan entered; and being surprised to
find his lady and her slaves all in tears, and the fair Persian
very melancholy asked the reason; but instead of answering him
his wife and the slaves continued weeping and lamenting. This
astonished him still more; at last, addressing himself to his
wife, "I command you," said he, "to let me know the reason of
your tears, and to tell me the whole truth."

The disconsolate lady could no longer refuse to satisfy her
husband. "Sir," said she, "first promise not to use me unkindly
on account of what I shall inform you, since I assure you, that
what has happened has not been occasioned by any fault of mine."
Without waiting for his answer, she then proceeded, "whilst I was
bathing with my women, your son seizing that fatal opportunity to
ruin us both, came hither, and made the fair Persian believe,
that instead of reserving her for the king, you had given her to
him as a present. I will not say what he did after such a wicked
falsehood, but shall leave you to judge. This is the cause of my
affliction, on your account, and his, for whom I want confidence
to implore your pardon."

It is impossible to express the vizier Khacan's distraction at
this account of the insolence of his son. "Ah!" cried he, beating
his breast, and tearing his beard, "miserable son! unworthy of
life! hast thou at last thrown thy father from the highest
pinnacle of happiness into a misfortune that must inevitably
involve thee also in his ruin? neither will the king be satisfied
with thy blood or mine, to avenge the affront offered to his
royal person."

His lady endeavoured to comfort him. "Afflict yourself no more,"
said she; "I shall easily raise, with part of my jewels, ten
thousand pieces of gold, and you may buy another slave, more
beautiful and more worthy of the king."

"Ah!" replied the vizier, "could you think me capable of being so
extremely afflicted at losing ten thousand pieces of gold? It is
not that loss, nor the loss of all I am worth, for that I should
not feel; but the forfeiting my honour, more precious than all
the riches in the world, that distresses me." "However," replied
the lady, "a loss that can be repaired by money cannot be so very

"How!" exclaimed the vizier; "do you not know that Saouy is my
mortal enemy; and as soon as this affair comes to his knowledge,
do you think he will not exult over me before the king? ‘Your
majesty,' will he not say to him, ‘is always talking of Khacan's
zeal and affection for your service; but see what a proof he has
lately given of his claim to the regard you have hitherto shewn
him. He has received ten thousand pieces of gold to buy a slave;
and, to do him justice, he has most honourably acquitted himself
of that commission, by purchasing the most beautiful that ever
eyes beheld; but, instead of bringing her to your majesty, he has
thought it better to make a present of her to his son. "Here, my
son," said he, "take this slave, since thou art more worthy of
her than the king."' Then, with his usual malice, will he not go
on, ‘His son has her now entirely in his possession, and every
day revels in her arms, without the least disturbance. This, sir,
is the exact truth, that I have done myself the honour of
acquainting you with; and if your majesty questions my veracity,
you may easily satisfy yourself.' Do you not plainly see,"
continued the vizier, "how, upon such a malicious insinuation as
this, I am every moment liable to have my house forced by the
king's guards, and the fair Persian taken from me, besides a
thousand other misfortunes that will unavoidably follow?" "Sir,"
replied the vizier's lady to her husband, "I am sensible the
malice of Saouy is very great, and that, if he have but the least
intimation of this affair, he will certainly give it a turn very
disadvantageous to your interest; but how is it possible that he
or any one else should know what has been privately transacted in
your family? Suppose it comes to the king's ears, and he should
ask you about it; cannot you say, that upon a strict examination
you did not deem the slave so fit for his majesty's use as you
had at first thought her; that the merchant has cheated you;
that, indeed, she has considerable beauty, but is by no means so
accomplished as she had been represented. The king will certainly
believe what you say, and Saouy be vexed to the soul, to see all
his malicious design of ruining you disappointed. Take courage
then, and, if you will follow my advice, send for all the
brokers, tell them you do not like the fair Persian, and order
them to be as expeditious as possible in procuring for you
another slave."

As this advice appeared rational to the vizier Khacan, and as his
passion began to cool, he resolved to abide by it, but his
indignation against his son remained as violent as ever.

Noor ad Deen did not make his appearance during the whole of that
day, and not daring to hide himself among his young companions,
lest his father should search for him in their houses, he went a
little way out of town, and took sanctuary in a garden, where he
had never been before, and where he was totally unknown. He did
not return home till it was very late, when he knew his father
was in bed; and then his mother's women, opening the door very
softly; admitted him without any noise. He quitted the house
again next morning before his father was stirring; and this plan
he pursued for a whole month, to his great mortification. Indeed,
the women never flattered him, but told him plainly, his father's
anger was not at all diminished, and that he protested if he came
into his sight he would certainly kill him.

The vizier's lady learnt from her women that Noor ad Deen slept
every night in the house, but she could not summon resolution to
supplicate her husband for his pardon. At last, however, she
ventured. One day she said to him, "I have hitherto been silent,
sir, not daring to take the liberty of talking to you about your
son; but now give me leave to ask what you design to do with him?
It is impossible for a son to have acted more criminally towards
a father than he has done, in depriving you of the honour and
gratification of presenting to the king a slave so accomplished
as the fair Persian. This I acknowledge; but, after all, are you
resolved to destroy him, and, instead of a light evil no more to
be thought of, to draw upon yourself a far greater than perhaps
you at present apprehend? Are you not afraid that the malicious
world, which inquires after the reason of your son's absconding,
may find out the true cause, which you are so desirous of
concealing? Should that happen, you would justly fall into a
misfortune, which it is so much your interest to avoid."

"Madam," returned the vizier, "there is much reason in what you
have urged; but I cannot think of pardoning our son, till I have
mortified him as he deserves." "He will be sufficiently
mortified," replied the lady, "if you will only do what has just
suggested itself to my mind. Your son comes home every night
after you have retired; he sleeps here, and steals out every
morning before you are stirring. Wait for his coming in to-night,
make as if you designed to kill him, upon which I will run to his
assistance, and when he finds he owes his life entirely to my
prayers and entreaties, you may oblige him to take the fair
Persian on what condition you please. He loves her, and I am well
satisfied the fair slave has no aversion for him."

Khacan readily consented to this stratagem. Accordingly, when
Noor ad Deen came at the usual hour, before the door was opened,
he placed himself behind it: as soon as he entered, he rushed
suddenly upon him, and got him down under his feet. Noor ad Deen,
lifting up his head, saw his father with a dagger in his hand,
ready to stab him.

At that instant his mother arrived, and catching hold of the
vizier's arm, cried, "Sir, what are you doing?" "Let me alone,"
replied the vizier, "that I may kill this base, unworthy son."
"You shall kill me first," returned the mother; "never will I
suffer you to imbue your hands in your own blood." Noor ad Deen
improved this moment. "My father," cried he with tears in his
eyes, "I implore your clemency and compassion; nor must you deny
me pardon, since I ask it in his name before whom we must all
appear at the last day."

Khacan suffered the dagger to be taken out of his hand; and as
soon as Noor ad Deen was released, he threw himself at his
father's feet and kissed them, to shew how sincerely he repented
of having offended him. "Son," said the vizier, "return thanks to
your mother, since it is for her sake I pardon you. I propose
also to give you the fair Persian, on condition that you will
bind yourself by an oath not to regard her any longer as a slave,
but as your wife; that you will not sell her, nor ever be
divorced from her. As she possesses an excellent understanding,
and abundantly more wit and prudence than yourself, I doubt not
but that she will be able to moderate those rash sallies of
youth, which are otherwise so likely to effect your ruin."

Noor ad Deen, who little expected such indulgent treatment,
returned his father a thousand thanks, and the fair Persian and
he were well pleased with being united to each other.

The vizier Khacan, without waiting for the king's inquiries about
the success of the commission he had given him, took particular
care to mention the subject often, representing to his majesty
the many difficulties he met, and how fearful he was of not
acquitting himself to his majesty's satisfaction. In short, he
managed the business with so much address, that the king
insensibly forgot it. Though Saouy had gained some intimation of
the transaction, yet Khacan was so much in the king's favour,
that he was afraid to divulge what he had heard.

This delicate affair had now been kept rather more than a year
with greater secrecy than the vizier at first expected, when
being one day in the bath, and some important business obliging
him to leave it, warm as he was, the air, which was then cold,
struck to his breast, caused a defluxion to fall upon his lungs,
which threw him into a violent fever, and confined him to his
bed. His illness increasing every day, and perceiving he had not
long to live, he thus addressed himself to his son, who never
quitted him during the whole of his illness: "My son," said he,
"I know not whether I have well employed the riches heaven has
blessed me with, but you see they are not able to save me from
the hands of death. The last thing I desire of you with my dying
breath is, that you would be mindful of the promise you made me
concerning the fair Persian, and in this assurance I shall die

These were the vizier Khacan's last words. He expired a few
moments after, and left his family, the court, and the whole
city, in great affliction, The king lamented him as a wise,
zealous, and faithful minister; and the people bewailed him as
their protector and benefactor.. Never was there a funeral in
Bussorah solemnized with greater pomp and magnificence. The
viziers, emirs, and in general all the grandees of the court,
strove for the honour of bearing his coffin, one after another,
upon their shoulders, to the place of burial; and both rich and
poor accompanied him, dissolved in tears.

Noor ad Deen exhibited all the demonstrations of a sorrow
proportioned to the loss he had sustained, and long refrained
from seeing any company. At last he admitted of a visit from an
intimate acquaintance. His friend endeavoured to comfort him; and
finding him inclined to hear reason, told him, that having paid
what was due to the memory of his father, and fully satisfied all
that decency required of him, it was now high time to appear
again in the world, to converse with his friends, and maintain a
character suitable to his birth and talents. "For," continued he,
"though we should sin against the laws both of nature and
society, and be thought insensible, if on the death of our
fathers we neglected to pay them the duties which filial love
imposes upon us; yet having performed these, and put it out of
the power of any to reproach us for our conduct, it behoves us to
return to the world, and our customary occupations. Dry up your
tears then, and reassume that wonted air of gaiety which has
always inspired with joy those who have had the honour of your

This advice seemed too reasonable to be rejected, and had Noor ad
Deen strictly abided by it, he would certainly have avoided all
the misfortunes that afterwards befell him. He entertained his
friend honourably; and when he took his leave, desired him to
come again the next day, and bring with him three or four friends
of their acquaintance. By this means he insensibly fell into the
society of about ten young men nearly of his own age, with whom
he spent his time in continual feasting and entertainments; and
scarcely a day passed but he made every one of them some
considerable present.

The fair Persian, who never approved of his extravagant way of
living, often spoke her mind freely. "I question not," said she,
"but the vizier your father has left you an ample fortune: but
great as it may be, be not displeased with your slave for telling
you, that at this rate of living you will quickly see an end of
it. We may sometimes indeed treat our friends, and be merry with
them; but to make a daily practice of it, is certainly the high
road to ruin and destruction: for your own honour and reputation,
you would do better to follow the footsteps of your deceased
father, that in time you may rise to that dignity by which he
acquired so much glory and renown."

Noor ad Deen hearkened to the fair Persian with a smile: and when
she had done, "My charmer," said he, with the same air of gaiety,
"say no more of that; let us talk of nothing but mirth and
pleasure. In my father's lifetime I was always under restraint;
and I am now resolved to enjoy the liberty I so much sighed for
before his death. It will be time enough for me hereafter to
think of leading the sober, regular life you talk of; and a man
of my age ought to taste the pleasures of youth."

What contributed still more to the ruin of Noor ad Deen's
fortune, was his unwillingness to reckon with his steward; for
whenever he brought in his accounts, he still sent him away
without examining them: "Go, go," said he, "I trust wholly to
your honesty; only take care to provide good entertainments for
my friends."

"You are the master, sir," replied he, "and I but the steward;
however, you would do well to think upon the proverb, ‘He that
spends much, and has but little, must at last insensibly be
reduced to poverty.' You are not contented with keeping an
extravagant table, but you must lavish away your estate with both
hands: and were your coffers as large as mountains, they would
not be sufficient to maintain you." "Begone," replied Noor ad
Deen, "I want not your grave lessons; only take care to provide
good eating and drinking, and trouble your head no farther about
the rest."

In the meantime, Noor ad Deen's friends were constant guests at
his table, and never failed to take advantage of the easiness of
his temper. They praised and flattered him, extolling his most
indifferent actions; but, above all, they took particular care to
commend whatever belonged to him; and in this they found their
account. "Sir," said one of them, "I came the other day by your
estate that lies in such a place; nothing can be so magnificent
or so handsomely furnished as your house; and the garden
belonging to it is a paradise upon earth." "I am very glad it
pleases you," replied Noor ad Deen: "bring me pen, ink, and
paper; without more words, it is at your service; I make you a
present of it." No sooner had others commended one of his houses,
baths, or public buildings erected for the use of strangers, the
yearly revenue of which was very considerable, than he
immediately gave them away. The fair Persian could not forbear
stating to him how much injury he did himself; but, instead of
paying any regard to her remonstrances, he continued his
extravagances, and the first opportunity that offered, squandered
away the little he had left.

In short, Noor ad Deen did nothing for a whole year but feast and
make merry, wasting and consuming, with the utmost prodigality,
the great wealth that his predecessors, and the good vizier his
father, had with so much pains and care acquired and preserved.

The year was but just expired, when a person one day knocked at
the door of the hall, where he and his friends were at dinner
together by themselves, having sent away the slaves, that they
might enjoy the greater liberty.

One of his friends offered to rise; but Noor ad Deen stepping
before him, opened the door himself. It was the steward; and Noor
ad Deen, going a little out of the hall to know his business,
left the door half open.

The friend that offered to rise from his seat, seeing it was the
steward, and being curious to know what he had to say, placed
himself between the hangings and the door, where he plainly
overheard the steward's discourse to his master. "Sir," said he,
"I ask a thousand pardons for coming to disturb you in the height
of your pleasure; but what I have to say is of such importance,
that I thought myself bound in duty to acquaint you with it. I am
come, sir, to make up my last accounts, and to tell you, that
what I all along foresaw, and have often warned you of, is at
last come to pass. I have not the smallest piece left of all the
sums I have received from you for your expenses; the other funds
you assigned me are all exhausted. The farmers, and those that
owe you rent, have made it so plainly appear to me, that you have
assigned over to others what they held of you, that it is
impossible for me to get any more from them on your account. Here
are my books; if you please, examine them; and if you wish I
should continue useful to you, assign me other funds, or else
give me leave to quit your service." Noor ad Deen was so
astonished at his statement, that he gave him no answer.

The friend who had been listening all this while, and had heard
every syllable of what the steward said, immediately came in, and
told the company what he had overheard. "It is your business,
gentlemen," said he, "to make your use of this caution; for my
part, I declare to you, this is the last visit I design ever to
make Noor ad Deen." "Nay," replied they, "if matters go thus, we
have as little business here as you; and for the future shall
take care not to trouble him with our company."

Noor ad Deen returned presently after; notwithstanding all his
efforts to appear gay to his guests, he could not so dissemble
his concern, but they plainly perceived the truth of what they
had heard. He was scarcely sat down in his place, when one of his
friends arose: "Sir," said he, "I am sorry I cannot have the
honour of keeping you company any longer; and therefore I hope
you will excuse my rudeness in leaving you so soon." "What urgent
affair," demanded Noor ad Deen, "obliges you to be going so
soon?" "My wife, sir," he replied, "is brought to bed to-day; and
upon such an occasion, you know a husband's company is always
necessary." So making a very low bow, he went away. A minute
afterwards a second took his leave, with another excuse. The rest
did the same, one after another, till at last not one of the ten
friends that had hitherto kept Noor ad Deen company remained.

As soon as they were gone, Noor ad Deen, little suspecting the
resolution they had formed never to see him again, went directly
to the fair Persian's apartment; to whom he related all the
steward had told him, and seemed extremely concerned at the ill
state of his affairs. "Sir," said the fair Persian, "allow me to
say, you would never take my advice, but always managed your
concerns after your own way, and now you see the fatal
consequences. I find I was not mistaken, when I presaged to what
a miserable condition you would bring yourself at last: but what
afflicts me the more is, that at present you do not see the worst
of your misfortunes. Whenever I presumed freely to remonstrate
with you, ‘Let us be merry,' you replied, ‘and improve the time
that Fortune offers us; perhaps she will not always be so
prodigal of her favours:' but was I to blame in telling you, that
we are ourselves the makers of our own fortunes by a prudent
management of them? You would not hearken to me; and I was
forced, however reluctantly, to let you go on."

"I must own," replied Noor ad Deen, "I was extremely in the wrong
in not following the advice which with such admirable prudence
you gave me. It is true, I have spent my estate; but do you not
consider, it is among a chosen set of friends, whom I have long
known, and who, I am persuaded, have more generosity and
gratitude than to abandon me in distress?" "Sir," replied the
fair Persian, "if you have nothing but the gratitude of your
friends to depend on, your case is desperate; for, believe me,
that hope is ill-grounded, and you will tell me so yourself in

To this Noor ad Deen replied, "Charming Persian, I have a better
opinion of my friends' generosity: to-morrow I design to visit
them all, before the usual time of their coming hither; and you
shall see me return with a round sum that they will assist me
with. I am resolved to alter my way of living, and, with the
money they lend me, to set up in some business."

Next morning, Noor ad Deen visited his ten friends, who lived in
the same street. He knocked at the first door, where one of the
richest of them resided. A slave came to the door: but before he
would open it, asked who was there. "Tell your master," said he
to the slave, "it is Noor ad Deen, the late vizier Khacan's son."
The slave opened the door, and shewed him into a hall, where he
left him, in order to inform his master, who was in an inner
room, that Noor ad Deen was come to wait on him, "Noor ad Deen!"
cried he, in a disdainful tone, loud enough for him to hear: "go
tell him I am not at home; and whenever he may come again, be
sure you give him the same answer." The slave returned, and told
Noor ad Deen he thought his master was within, but was mistaken.

Noor ad Deen came away in the greatest confusion. "Ah! base,
ungrateful wretch!" cried he, "to treat me so to-day after the
vows and protestations of friendship that he made me yesterday."
He went to another door, but that friend ordered his slave also
to say he was gone out. He had the same answer at the third; and,
in short, all the rest denied themselves, though every one was at

Noor ad Deen now began in earnest to reflect with himself, and
see the folly of relying upon the protestations of attachment
that his false friends had solemnly made him in the time of his
prosperity, when he could treat them sumptuously, and load them
with favours. "It is true," said he to himself, "that a fortunate
man, as I was, may be compared to a tree laden with fruit, which,
as long as there is any on its boughs, people will be crowding
round, and gathering; but as soon as it is stripped of all, they
immediately leave it, and go to another." He smothered his
passion as much as possible while he was abroad; but no sooner
was he got home than he gave a loose to his affliction, and
discovered it to the fair Persian.

The fair Persian seeing him so extremely concerned, guessed he
had not found his friends so ready to assist him as he expected.
"Well, sir," said she, "are you now convinced of the truth of
what I told you?" "Ah!" cried he, "thou hast been too true a
prophetess; for not one of them would know me, see me, or speak
to me. Who could ever have believed, that persons so highly
obliged to me, and on whom I have spent my estate, could have
used me so ungratefully? I am distracted; and I fear shall commit
some action unworthy myself, in the deplorable and desperate
condition I am reduced to, unless you assist me with your prudent
advice." "Sir," replied the fair Persian, "I see no other way of
supporting yourself in your misfortunes, but selling off your
slaves and furniture, and living on the money they produce, till
heaven points out some other means to deliver you from your
present misery."

Noor ad Deen was loth to resort to this expedient; but what could
he do in the necessitous circumstances to which he was reduced?
He first sold off his slaves, those unprofitable mouths, which
would have been a greater expense to him than in his present
condition he could bear. He lived on the money for some time; and
when it was spent, ordered his goods to be carried into the
market-place, where they were sold for half their value, though
there were among them several articles that had cost immense
sums. Upon the produce of these he lived a considerable time; but
this supply failing at last, he had nothing left by which he
could raise any more money, of which he informed the fair Persian
in the most sorrowful expressions.

Noor ad Deen little expected the answer this prudent woman made
him. "Sir," said she, "I am your slave; and the late vizier your
father gave ten thousand pieces of gold for me. I know I am a
little sunk in value since that time; but I believe I shall sell
for pretty near that sum. Let me entreat you then instantly to
carry me to the market, and expose me to sale; and with the money
that you get for me, which will be very considerable, you may
turn merchant in some city where you are not known, and by that
means find a way of living, if not in splendour, yet with
happiness and content."

"Lovely and adorable Persian!" cried Noor ad Deen, "is it
possible you can entertain such a thought? Have I given you such
slender proofs of my love, that you should think me capable of so
base an action? But suppose me so vile a wretch, could I do it
without being guilty of perjury, after the oath I have taken to
my late father never to sell you? I would sooner die than break
it, and part with you, whom I love infinitely beyond myself;
though, by the unreasonable proposal you have made me, you shew
me that your love is by no means reciprocal."

"Sir," replied the fair Persian, "I am convinced that your
passion for me is as sincere as you express; and heaven, who
knows with what reluctance I have made this proposal which
induces you to think so hardly of me, is my witness, that mine is
as great as yours; but to silence your reasons, I need only bid
you remember, that necessity has no law. I love you to that
degree that it is impossible for you to love me more; and be
assured, that to what master soever I shall belong, my love for
you will continue undiminished; and if you are ever able to
redeem me, as I hope you may, it will be the greatest pleasure in
the world to be restored to you again. I confess it is a fatal
and cruel necessity to which we are driven; but I see no other
way of freeing ourselves from the misery that involves us both."

Noor ad Deen, convinced of the truth of what the fair Persian had
said, and that there was no other way of avoiding a shameful
poverty, was forced to yield to her proposal. Accordingly he led
her to the market where the women-slaves are exposed to sale,
with a regret that cannot easily be expressed. He applied himself
to a broker, named Hagi Hassan. "Hagi Hassan," said he, "here is
a slave whom I mean to sell; what will they give for her?"

Hagi Hassan desired Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian to walk
into a room; and when she had pulled off the veil that covered
her face, "Sir," said Hagi Hassan, in surprise, "if I am not
mistaken, this is the slave your father, the late vizier, gave
ten thousand pieces of gold for?" Noor ad Deen assured him she
was the same and Hagi Hassan gave him some hopes of selling her
at a high price, and promised to use all his art to raise her
value as high as he could.

Hagi Hassan and Noor ad Deen went out of the room; and Hagi
Hassan locked the fair Persian in. He went immediately to the
merchants; but they being busy in buying slaves from different
countries, Greeks, Franks, Africans, Tartars, and others, he was
forced to wait till the market was over. When the sale was ended,
and the greatest part of them were got together again, "My
masters," said he to them, with an air of gaiety in his looks and
actions, "every thing that is round is not a nut, every thing
that is long is not a fig, all that is red is not flesh, and all
eggs are not fresh; it is true you have seen and bought a great
many slaves in your lives, but you never yet saw one comparable
to her I am going to tell you of. She is the very pearl of
slaves. Come, follow me, you shall see her yourselves, and judge
at what rate I shall cry her."

The merchants followed Hagi Hassan into the apartment where he
had left the fair Persian, and as soon as they beheld her were so
surprised at her beauty, that they unanimously agreed, four
thousand pieces of gold was the very lowest price they could set
upon her. The merchants left the room; and Hagi Hassan, who came
out with them, without going any farther, proclaimed with a loud
voice, "Four thousand pieces of gold for a Persian slave."

None of the merchants had yet offered anything, and were
consulting together about what they might afford to give for her,
when the vizier Saouy appeared. Perceiving Noor ad Deen in the
market, he said to himself, "Noor ad Deen is certainly still
making money of his goods" (for he knew he had exposed them to
sale), "and is come hither to buy a slave with the product." He
advanced forward just as Hagi Hassan began to proclaim a second
time, "Four thousand pieces of gold for a Persian slave."

The vizier Saouy, who concluded by the high price, that the slave
must be extraordinarily beautiful, was very desirous to see her;
so spurring his horse forward, he rode up to Hagi Hassan, who was
surrounded by the merchants. "Open the door," said he, "and let
me see the slave." It was not the custom to shew a slave to a
particular person after the merchants had seen her, and were
treating for her; but none of them durst dispute their right with
the vizier; and Hagi Hassan was obliged to open the door, and he
made a sign to the fair Persian to come forward, that Saouy might
see her, without alighting from his horse.

The vizier was astonished at the sight of so beautiful a slave;
and knowing the broker's name (having formerly dealt with him),
"Hagi Hassan," said he, "is it not at four thousand pieces of
gold that you cry her?" "Yes, sir," answered he; "the merchants
just now agreed that I should put her up at that price: I wait
their advance; and I question not but they will give a great deal

"If no one offers more, I will give that sum," replied Saouy,
looking at the merchants at the same time with a countenance that
forbad them to advance the price. He was so universally dreaded,
that no one durst speak a word, even to complain of his
encroaching upon their privilege.

The vizier having stayed some time, and finding none of the
merchants outbid him, "What do you stay for?" said he to Hagi
Hassan. "Inquire after the seller, and strike a bargain with him
at four thousand pieces of gold, or ask if he demands more."

Hagi Hassan having locked the chamber-door, went to confer with
Noor ad Deen. "Sir," said he to him, "I am very sorry to bring
you the ill news of your slave's going to be sold for nothing."
"How so?" replied Noor ad Deen. "Why sir," continued Hagi Hassan,
"you must know that the business at first went on well; for as
soon as the merchants had seen your slave, they ordered me,
without hesitation, to cry her at four thousand pieces of gold;
accordingly I cried her at that price, but presently the vizier
Saouy came, and his presence has stopped the mouths of all the
merchants, who seemed disposed to raise her, at least to the same
price your deceased father gave for her. Saouy will give no more
than four thousand pieces; and it is much against my inclination
that I am come to tell you his despicable offer. The slave indeed
is your own; but I will never advise you to part with her upon
those terms, since you and every one else are sensible of her
being worth infinitely more; besides, he is base enough to
contrive a way to trick you out of the money."

"Hagi Hassan," replied Noor ad Deen, "I am highly obliged to thee
for thy advice: do not think I will ever sell my slave to any
enemy of our family; my necessities, indeed, are at present very
great; but I would sooner die in the utmost poverty than consent
to delivering her up to him. I have only one thing to beg of
thee, who art skilful in all the turns and shifts of sale, that
thou wouldst put me in a way to prevent the completion of the

"Sir," said Hagi Hassan, "nothing is more easy: you must pretend
that, being in a violent passion with your slave, you swore to
expose her in the market, and for the sake of your oath have now
brought her hither, without any intention of selling her. This
will satisfy every one; and Saouy will have nothing to say
against it. Come along with me then; and just as I am presenting
her to Saouy as if it were by your own consent, pull her to you,
give her two or three blows, and send her home." "I thank thee
for thy counsel," said Noor ad Deen, "and will make use of it."

Hagi Hassan went back to the chamber; and having privately
acquainted the fair Persian with their design, that she might not
be surprised, took her by the hand, and led her to the vizier
Saouy, who was still on horseback at the door "Sir," said he,
"here is the slave, she is yours; take her."

The words were scarcely out of Hagi Hassan's mouth, when Noor ad
Deen, catching hold of the fair Persian, pulled her to him, and
giving her a box on the ear, "Come hither, impertinence," said
he, "and get you home again; for though your ill-humour obliged
me to swear I should bring you hither, yet I never intended to
sell you: I have business for you to do yet; and it will be time
enough to part with you when I have nothing else left."

This conduct of Noor ad Deen put the vizier Saouy into a violent
passion. "Miserable debauchee," cried he, "wouldst thou have me
believe thou hast any thing else left to make money of but thy
slave?" and at the same instant, spurring his horse directly
against him, endeavoured to carry off the fair Persian. Noor ad
Deen. nettled to the quick at the affront the vizier had put upon
him, quitted the fair Persian, and laying hold of his horse's
bridle, made him run two or three paces backwards. "Vile dotard,"
said he to the vizier, "I would tear thy soul out of thy body
this moment, were it not out of respect for the crowd of people
here present."

The vizier Saouy being hated by all, there was not one among them
but was pleased to see Noor ad Deen mortify him; and by signs
they gave him to understand, that he might revenge himself upon
him as much as he pleased, for nobody would interfere in their

Saouy endeavoured to force Noor ad Deen to quit the bridle; but
he being a lusty, vigorous man, and encouraged by those that
stood by, pulled him off his horse, gave him several blows, and
dashed his head against the stones, till it was all over blood.
The slaves who waited upon the vizier would have drawn their
cimeters, and fallen upon Noor ad Deen; but the merchants
interposing prevented them. "What do you mean?" said they to
them; "do you not see that one is a vizier, the other a vizier's
son? Let them fight it out; perhaps they will be reconciled one
time or another; whereas, if you had killed Noor ad Deen, your
master, with all his greatness, could not have been able to
protest you against the law?"

Noor ad Deen having given over beating the vizier Saouy, left him
in the mire, and taking the fair Persian, marched home with her,
attended by the people, with shouts and acclamations for the
action he had performed.

The vizier, cruelly bruised with the blows he had received, made
shift to get up, with the assistance of his slaves, and had the
mortification to see himself besmeared with blood and dirt. He
leaned on the shoulders of two slaves, and in that condition went
straight to the palace in the sight of all the people, with the
greater confusion, because no one pitied him. As soon as he
reached the king's apartment, he began to cry out, and call for
justice in a lamentable tone. The king ordered him to be
admitted; and asked who it was that had abused and put him into
that miserable plight. "Sire," cried Saouy, "it is the favour of
your majesty, and being admitted into your sacred councils, that
has occasioned me to be so barbarously treated." "Say no more of
that," replied the king, "only let me hear the whole story
simply, and who the offender is; and if he is in the wrong, you
may depend upon it he shall be severely punished."

"Sire," said Saouy, telling the whole matter to his own
advantage, "having occasion for a cook, I went to the market of
women-slaves to buy one: when I came thither, there was a slave
just cried at four thousand pieces of gold; I ordered them to
bring her before me, and I think my eyes never did nor will
behold a more beautiful creature: I had no sooner examined her
beauty with the highest satisfaction, than I immediately asked to
whom she belonged; and upon inquiry found that Noor ad Deen, son
to the late vizier Khacan, had the disposing of her.

"Your majesty may remember, that about two or three years ago,
you gave that vizier ten thousand pieces of gold, strictly
charging him to buy you a slave with that sum. The money, indeed,
was laid out upon this very slave; but instead of bringing her to
your majesty, thinking his son deserved her better, he made him a
present of her. Noor ad Deen, since his father's death, having
wasted his whole fortune in riot and feasting, has nothing left
but this slave, whom he at last resolved to part with; and she
was to be sold in his name, I sent for him; and, without
mentioning any thing of his father's prevarication, or rather
treachery to your majesty, I in the civilest manner said to him,
‘Noor ad Deen, the merchants, I perceive, have put your slave up
at four thousand pieces of gold; and I question not, but, in
emulation of each other, they will raise the price considerably:
let me have her for the four thousand pieces; I am going to buy
her for the king our lord and master; this will be a handsome
opportunity of making your court to him: and his favour will be
worth far more than the merchants can propose to give you.'

"Instead of returning me a civil answer, the insolent wretch,
beholding me with a fierce air, "Impotent villain,' said he, ‘I
would rather give my slave to a Jew for nothing than to thee for
money.' ‘Noor ad Deen,' I replied, without passion, though I had
some reason to be a little warm,'you do not consider, that by
talking in this manner you affront the king, who raised both your
father and me to the honours we have enjoyed.'

"This admonition, instead of softening him, only provoked him to
a higher degree; so that, falling upon me like a madman, without
regard to my age or rank, he pulled me off my horse, and put me
into this miserable plight. I beseech your majesty to consider,
that it is on your account I have been so publicly affronted."

The abused king, highly incensed against Noor ad Deen by this
relation, so full of malice and artifice, discovered by his
countenance the violence of his anger; and turning to the captain
of his guards, who stood near him, "Take forty of your soldiers,"
said he, "immediately plunder Noor ad Deen's house, and having
ordered it to be razed to the ground, bring him and his slave to
the presence."

Before the captain of the guards was gone out of the king's
presence, an officer belonging to the court, who overheard the
order given, hastened out. His name was Sangiar; and he had been
formerly a slave of the vizier Khacan who had introduced him at
court, where by degrees he had raised himself.

Sangiar, full of gratitude to his old master and affection for
Noor ad Deen, whom he remembered a child, being no stranger to
Saouy's hatred of Khacan's family, could not hear the order
without concern. "This action," said he to himself, "may not be
altogether so black as Saouy has represented it. He has
prejudiced the king against him, who will certainly put him to
death, without allowing him time to justify himself." He made so
much haste to Noor ad Deen's house, as to get thither soon enough
to acquaint him with what had passed at court, and give him time
to provide for his own and the fair Persian's safety. He knocked
so violently at the door, that Noor ad Deen, who had been a great
while without any servant, ran immediately to open it. "My dear
lord," said Sangiar, "there is no safety for you in Bussorah; you
must lose no time, but depart hence this moment."

"How so?" demanded Noor ad Deen. "What is the reason I must be
gone so soon?" "Make haste away, sir," replied Sangiar, "and take
your slave with you. In short, Saouy has been just now
acquainting the king, after his own way of telling it, all that
passed between you and him; and the captain of the guards will be
here in an instant, with forty soldiers, to seize you and the
fair Persian. Take these forty pieces of gold to assist you in
repairing to some place of safety. I would give you more if I had
it about me. Excuse my not staying any longer; I leave you with
reluctance." Sangiar gave Noor ad Deen but just time to thank
him, and departed.

Noor ad Deen acquainted the fair Persian with the absolute
necessity of their going that moment. She only put on her veil;
they both stole out of the house, and were fortunate enough not
only to get clear of the city, but also safely to arrive at the
Euphrates, which was not far off, where they embarked in a vessel
that lay ready to weigh anchor.

As soon as they were on board, the captain came on deck amongst
his passengers. "Children," said he to them, "are you all here?
have any of you any more business to do in the city? or have you
left any thing behind you?" They were all there, they answered
him, and ready; so that he might sail as soon as he pleased. When
Noor ad Deen came aboard, the first question he asked was,
whither the vessel was bound? and being told for Bagdad, he
rejoiced at it. The captain, having weighed anchor, set sail; and
the vessel, with a very favourable wind, lost sight of Bussorah.

The captain of the guards came to Noor ad Deen's house, and
knocked at the door; but no one answering, he ordered his
soldiers to break it open, who immediately obeyed him, and rushed
in. They searched the house; but neither he nor the fair Persian
were to be found. The captain of the guards made them inquire of
the neighbours; and he himself asked if they had seen them
lately. It was all in vain; for if they had seen him go out of
his house, so universally beloved was Noor ad Deen by the people,
that not one of them would have said the least word to his
prejudice. While they were rifling the house, and levelling it to
the ground, he went to acquaint the king with the news. "Look for
them," said he, "every where; for I am resolved to have them."

The captain of the guards made a second search, and the king
dismissed the vizier Saouy with honour. "Go home," said he,
"trouble yourself no farther to punish Noor ad Deen; I will
revenge your injuries."

Without delay the king ordered to be proclaimed throughout the
whole city a reward of a thousand pieces of gold for any person
that should apprehend Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian, also a
severe punishment upon those who should conceal them. No tidings
however could be heard of them; and the vizier Saouy had only the
comfort of seeing the king espouse his quarrel.

In the mean time, Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian, after a
prosperous voyage, landed safe at Bagdad. As soon as the captain
came within sight of that city, pleased that his voyage was at an
end, "Rejoice, my children," cried he to the passengers; "yonder
is that great and wonderful city, where there is a perpetual
concourse of people from all parts of the world: there you shall
meet with innumerable crowds, and never feel the extremity of
cold in winter, nor the excess of heat in summer, but enjoy an
eternal spring with all its flowers, and the delicious fruits of

When the vessel came to anchor, a little below the city, the
passengers went ashore, each to their respective place of abode.
Noor ad Deen gave the captain five pieces of gold for his
passage, and went ashore also with the fair Persian; but being a
perfect stranger in Bagdad, was at a loss for a lodging. They
rambled a considerable time along the gardens that bordered on
the Tigris, and keeping close to one of them that was enclosed
with a very long wall, at the end of it they turned into a street
well paved, where they perceived a magnificent gateway and a
fountain near it.

The inner door happened to be shut, but the portal was open, in
which there was an estrade on each side. "This is a very
convenient place for us," said Noor ad Deen to the fair Persian;
"night comes on apace; and though we have eaten nothing since our
landing, I am for passing the night here, and to-morrou we shall
have time enough to look for a lodging." "Sir," replied the fair
Persian, "you know your wishes are mine; les us go no farther,
since you are willing to stay here." Each of them having drunk a
draught of water at the fountain, they laid themselves down upon
one of the estrades; and after a little chat, being soothed by
the agreeable murmur of the water, fell asleep.

The garden belonged to the caliph: and in the middle of it there
was a pavilion, called the pavilion of pictures, because its
chief ornaments were pictures after the Persian manner, drawn by
the most celebrated painters in Persia, whom the caliph had sent
for on purpose. The stately hall within this pavilion was lighted
by fourscore arches and a lustre in each; but these were lighted
only when the caliph came thither to spend the evening. On such
occasions they made a glorious illumination, and could be seen at
a great distance in the country on that side, and by great part
of the city.

The office of keeper of this pleasure house was at this time held
by a very aged officer, named Scheich Ibrahim, whom the caliph,
for some important service, had put into that employment, with
strict charge not to let all sorts of people in, but especially
to suffer no one either to sit or lie down on the estrades at the
outward door, that they might always be clean; and whenever he
found any body there, to punish them severely.

Some business had obliged this officer to go abroad, and he was
not yet returned. When he came back, there was just day-light
enough for him to discern two persons asleep upon one of the
estrades, with their heads under a piece of linen, to defend them
from the gnats. "Very well," said Scheich Ibrahim to himself;
"these people disobey the caliph's orders: but I will take care
to teach them better manners." Upon this he opened the door very
softly, and a moment after returned with a cane in his hand, and
his sleeve tucked up to the elbow: he was just going to lay on
them both with all his might, but withholding his arm, began to
reason with himself after this manner: "Thou wast going, without
reflection, to strike these people, who perhaps are strangers,
destitute of a lodging, and utterly ignorant of the caliph's
order; so that it would be advisable to know first who they are."
Upon this he gently lifted up the linen that covered their heads,
and was astonished to see a young man so well shaped, and a young
woman so beautiful; he then waked Noor ad Deen, by pulling him
softly by the feet.

Noor ad Deen, lifting up his head, and seeing an old man with a
long white beard standing at his feet, got up, and throwing
himself upon his knees, and taking his hand, kissed it. "Good
father," said he, "Heaven preserve you!" "What do you want, my
son?" replied Scheich Ibrahim; "who are you, and whence came
you?" "We are strangers newly arrived," answered Noor ad Deen,
"and would fain tarry here till to-morrow." "This is not a proper
place for you," said Scheich Ibrahim; "come in with me, and I
will find one fitter for you to sleep in than this; and the sight
of the garden, which is very fine, will please you, when you see
it to-morrow by day light." "Is this garden your own?" asked Noor
ad Deen. "Yes," replied Scheich Ibrahim, smiling; "it is an
inheritance left me by my father: pray walk in, for I am sure you
will not repent seeing it."

Noor ad Deen rose to thank Scheich Ibrahim for the civility he
had strewn, as did afterwards the fair Persian; and they entered
the garden. Scheich Ibrahim locked the door, and going before,
led them to a spot from whence, at one view, they might see the
disposition, grandeur, and beauty of the whole.

Noor ad Deen had seen very fine gardens, but never any comparable
to this. Having satisfied his curiosity, as he was walking in one
of the walks, he turned about to the officer, and asked his name.
As soon as he had told him it was Scheich Ibrahim; "Scheich
Ibrahim," said he to him, "I must confess this is a charming
garden indeed. Heaven send you long to enjoy the pleasures of it;
we cannot sufficiently thank you for the favour you have done by
shewing us a place so well worth seeing; however, it is but just
that we should make you some amends for your kindness; here are
two pieces of gold; take them and get us something to eat, that
we may be merry together."

At the sight of the two pieces of gold, Scheich Ibrahim, who was
a great admirer of that metal, laughed in his sleeve: he took
them, and leaving Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian by
themselves, went to provide what was necessary; for he was alone.
Said he to himself with great joy, "these are generous people; I
should have done very wrong, if, through imprudence, I had ill-
treated and driven them away. A tenth part of the money will
suffice to treat them; and the rest I will keep for my pains."

While Scheich Ibrahim was gone to fetch something for his own
supper, as well as for his guests Noor ad Deen and the fair
Persian walked up and down the garden, till at last they came to
the pavilion of pictures. They stood awhile to admire its
wonderful structure, size, and loftiness; and after taking a full
view of it on every side, went up many steps of fine white marble
to the hall-door, which they found locked.

They were but just returned to the bottom of the steps, when
Scheich Ibrahim arrived, loaded with provisions. "Scheich
Ibrahim," said Noor ad Deen, in great surprise, "did you not tell
us that this was your garden?" "I did," replied Scheich Ibrahim,
"and do so still." "And does this magnificent pavilion also
belong to you?" Scheich Ibrahim was staggered at this unexpected
question. "If," said he to himself, "I should say it is none of
mine, they will ask me how I can be master of the garden and not
of the pavilion.' As he had made them believe the garden was his,
he said the same of the pavilion. "My son," said he, "the
pavilion is not distinct from the garden; but they both belong to
me." "If so," said Noor ad Deen, "since you invite us to be your
guests to-night, do us the favour to shew us the inside of it;
for if we may judge by the outward appearance, it must certainly
be extraordinarily magnificent."

It would have been a great piece of incivility in Scheich Ibrahim
to refuse this favour, after what he had already done: moreover,
he considered that the caliph not having given him notice,
according to his usual custom, it was likely he would not be
there that night, and therefore resolved to treat his guests, and
sup with them in the pavilion. He laid the provisions on the
first step, while he went to his apartment for the key: he soon
returned with a light, and opened the door.

Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian entered the hall, and were
never tired with admiring the beauty and richness of the place.
Indeed, without saying anything of the pictures. which were
admirably well drawn, the sofas were very noble and costly; and
besides lustres suspended from every arch, there was between each
a silver branch supporting a wax candle. Noor ad Deen could not
behold these glorious objects without recollecting his former
splendour, and sighing.

In the mean time Scheich Ibrahim was getting supper ready; and
the cloth being laid upon a sofa, and every thing in order, Noor
ad Deen, the fair Persian, and he sat down and ate together. When
supper was finished, and they had washed their hands, Noor ad
Deen opened a lattice, and calling the fair Persian to him, "Come
hither," said he, "and with me admire the charming prospect and
beauty of the garden by moon-light; nothing can be more
agreeable." She came to him; and they both enjoyed the view,
while Scheich Ibrahim was busy in taking away the cloth.

When Scheich Ibrahim came to his guests again, Noor ad Deen asked
him whether he had any liquor to treat them with. "What liquor
would you have?" replied Scheich Ibrahim--"Sherbet? I have the
best in the world; but sherbet, you know, my son, is never drunk
after supper."

"I know that very well," said Noor ad Deen; "it is not sherbet,
but another sort of liquor that we ask you for, and I am
surprised at your not understanding me." "It is wine then you
mean?" said Scheich Ibrahim. "You guess right," replied Noor ad
Deen, "and if you have any, oblige us with a bottle: you know a
bottle after supper is a very proper companion to spend the hours
with till bed-time."

"Heaven defend me from keeping wine in my house," cried Scheich
Ibrahim, "and from ever coming to a place where any is found! A
man who, like me, has been a pilgrimage four times to Mecca, has
renounced wine for ever."

"You would do us a singular kindness," said Noor ad Deen, "in
getting a little for our own drinking; and if it be not too much
trouble, I will put you in a way how you may do it, without going
into a vintner's shop, or so much as laying your hand upon the
vessel that contains it." "Upon that condition I will do it,"
replied Scheich Ibrahim, "only let me know what I am to do."

"Why then," said Noor ad Deen, "we just now saw an ass tied at
the entrance of your garden, which certainly must be yours, and
which you may make use of in this extremity: here are two pieces
of gold more; take them, and lead your ass with the panniers to
the next vintner's; you may stand at as great a distance as you
please, do but give something to the first person that comes by,
and desire him to go with your ass, and procure two pitchers of
wine; put one in one pannier, in another, another, which he must
pay for out of the money you give him, and so let him bring the
ass back to you: you will have nothing to do, but to drive the
beast hither before you; we will take the wine out of the
panniers: by this means you will do nothing that will give you
any scruple."

The two last pieces of gold that Scheich Ibrahim was going to
receive wrought wonderfully upon his mind. "Ah! my son," cried
he, "you have an excellent contrivance; and had it not been for
your invention, I should never have thought of this way of
getting you some wine without any scruple of conscience." Away he
went to execute the orders, which he did in a little time; and,
upon his return, Noor ad Deen taking the pitchers out of the
panniers, carried them into the hall.

Scheich Ibrahim having led the ass to the place from whence he
took him, came back again, "Scheich Ibrahim," said Noor ad Deen,
"we cannot enough thank you for the trouble we have already given
you; but we want something yet." "What is that? "replied Scheich:
"what more service can I do you?" "We have no cups to drink out
of," said Noor ad Deen, "and a little fruit, if you had any,
would be very acceptable." "Do but say what you have a mind to,"
replied Scheich Ibrahim, "and you shall have every thing to your
heart's content."

Down went Scheich Ibrahim, and in a short time spread a carpet
for them with beautiful porcelain dishes, full of all sorts of
delicious fruits, besides gold and silver cups to drink out of;
and having asked them if they wanted any thing else, he withdrew,
though they pressed him earnestly to stay.

Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian sat down again, and drank each
a cup. They were pleased with the wine, which was excellent.
"Well, my dear," said Noor ad Deen to the fair Persian, "are we
not the most fortunate persons in the world, after so many
dangers, to meet with so charming and agreeable a place? Let us
be merry, and think no more on the hardships of our voyage. Can
my happiness be greater in this world, than to have you on one
side of me, and my glass on the other?" They drank freely, and
diverted themselves with agreeable conversation, each singing a

Both having very fine voices, but especially the fair Persian,
their singing attracted Scheich Ibrahim, who had stood hearkening
a great while on the steps, without discovering himself. He could
contain himself no longer; but thrusting his head in at the door,
"Courage, sir," said he to Noor ad Deen, whom he took to be quite
drunk, "I am glad to see you so pleased."

"Ah! Scheich Ibrahim," cried Noor ad Deen, turning to him, "you
are a glorious man, and we are extremely obliged to you. We dare
not ask you to drink a cup; but walk in; come, sit down, and let
us have the honour at least of your company." "Go on, go on,"
said Scheich Ibrahim; "the pleasure of hearing your songs is
sufficient for me." Upon this he immediately retired.

The fair Persian perceiving Scheich Ibrahim, through one of the
windows, standing upon the steps, told Noor ad Deen of it. "Sir,"
said she, "you see what an aversion he has for wine; yet I
question not in the least to make him drink, if you will do as I
would have you." Noor ad Deen asked her what it was. "Do but say
the word," replied he, "and I am ready to do what you please."
"Prevail with him then only to come in, and bear us company; some
time after fill up a bumper, and give it him; if he refuses,
drink it yourself, pretend to be asleep, and leave the rest to

Noor ad Deen understood the fair Persian's design, and called to
Scheich Ibrahim, who came again to the door. "Scheich Ibrahim,"
said he, "we are your guests; you have entertained us in the most
obliging manner, and will you now refuse our solicitations to
honour us with your company? We do not ask you to drink, but only
the favour of seeing you."

Scheich Ibrahim being at last prevailed upon, came into the hall,
and sat down on the edge of a sofa nearest to the door. "You do
not sit well there," said Noor ad Deen, "and we cannot have the
honour of seeing you; pray come nearer, and sit you down by the
lady; she will like it much." "I will obey you," replied Scheich
Ibrahim, so coming forward, simpering, to think he should be
seated near so beautiful a creature, he placed himself at some
distance from the fair Persian. Noor ad Deen desired a song of
her, in return for the honour Scheich Ibrahim had done them; and
she sung one that charmed him.

When the fair Persian had ended her song, Noor ad Deen poured out
a cup of wine, and presented it to Scheich Ibrahim. "Scheich
Ibrahim," said he, "I entreat you, drink this to our healths."
"Sir," replied he, starting back, as if he abhorred the very
sight of the wine, "I beseech you to excuse me; I have already
told you that I have forsworn the use of wine these many years."
"Then since you will not drink our healths," said Noor ad Deen,
"give me leave to drink yours."

While Noor ad Deen was drinking, the fair Persian cut half an
apple, and presented it to Scheich Ibrahim. "Though you refused
drinking," said she, "yet I believe you will not refuse tasting
this apple; it is very excellent." Scheich Ibrahim had no power
to refuse it from so fair a hand; but taking it with a very low
bow, put it in his mouth. She said a great many pleasant things
on the occasion; and Noor ad Deen, falling back upon a sofa,
pretended to fall fast asleep. The fair Persian presently
advanced towards Scheich Ibrahim, and speaking in a low voice,
"Look at him," said she, "thus in all our merry parties he
constantly serves me; and no sooner has he drunk a cup or two,
but he falls asleep, and leaves me alone; but I hope you will
have the goodness to keep me company till he awakes."

At this the fair Persian took a cup, and filling it with wine,
offered it to Scheich Ibrahim. "Here," said she, "drink off this
to my health; I am going to pledge you." Scheich Ibrahim made a
great many difficulties, and begged her to excuse him from
drinking; but she pressed him so, that overcome by her charms and
entreaties he took the cup, and drank off every drop of the wine.

The good old man loved a chirruping cup to his heart, but was
ashamed to drink among strangers. He often went to the tavern in
private, as many other people do; and he did not take the
precaution recommended, but went directly where he was well known
(night serving him instead of a cloak), and saved the money that
Noor ad Deen had ordered him to give the messenger who was to
have gone for the wine.

While Scheich Ibrahim was eating fruit after his draught, the
fair Persian filled him out another, which he received with less
difficulty than the former, but made none at all at the third. In
short, a fourth was quaffing, when Noor ad Deen started up from
his pretended sleep; and bursting out into a violent fit of
laughter, and looking at him, "Ha! ha!" said he, "Scheich
Ibrahim, have I caught you at last? did you not tell me you had
forsworn wine? and now you have drunk it all up from me."

Scheich Ibrahim, not expecting to be surprised, blushed a little;
however, that did not spoil his draught; but when he had done,
"Sir," said he laughing, "if there is any crime in what I have
done, it lies at this fair lady's door, not mine: for who could
possibly resist so many charms?"

The fair Persian, who perfectly understood Noor ad Deen, took
Scheich Ibrahim's part. "Let him talk," said she, "Scheich
Ibrahim, take no notice of him, but let us drink on and be
merry." Awhile after Noor ad Deen filled out a cup for himself
and the fair Persian; but when Scheich Ibrahim saw that Noor ad
Deen had forgotten him in his turn, he took his cup, and
presenting it to the fair Persian, "Madam," said he, "do you
suppose I cannot drink as well as you?"

At these words Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian laughed very
heartily. They poured him out some wine; and sat laughing,
chatting, and drinking, till near midnight. About that hour the
fair Persian began to notice that there was but one candle on the
carpet. "Scheich Ibrahim," said she to the good old officer, "you
have afforded us but one candle, when there are so many wax-
lights yonder; pray do us the favour to light some of them, that
we may see a little better what we are doing."

Scheich Ibrahim making use of the liberty that wine inspires when
it gets into the head, and not caring to be interrupted in his
discourse, bade the fair Persian light them herself. "It is
fitter for a young person like you to do it," said he, "than for
me; but be sure not to light above five or six" Up rose the fair
Persian immediately, and taking a wax candle in her hand, lighted
it with that which stood upon the carpet, and without any regard
to Scheich Ibrahim's order, lighted up the whole fourscore.

By and by, while Scheich Ibrahim was entertaining the fair
Persian with some discourse, Noor ad Deen took his turn to desire
him to light up some of the candles in the lustres, not taking
notice that all the wax-lights were already in a blaze.
"Certainly," replied Scheich Ibrahim, "you must be very lazy, or
less vigorous than I am, that you are not able to light them
yourself; get you gone, and light them; but be sure you light no
more than three." To work he went; but instead of that number, he
lighted them all, and opened the shutters of the fourscore
windows, before Scheich Ibrahim, who was deeply engaged with the
fair Persian, knew any thing of the matter.

The caliph Haroon al Rusheed being not yet gone to rest, was in a
room of his palace on the river Tigris, from whence he could
command a view both of the garden and pavilion. He accidentally
opened the casement, and was extremely surprised at seeing the
pavilion illuminated; and at first, by the greatness of the
light, thought the city was on fire. The grand vizier Jaaffier
was still with him, waiting for his going to rest. The caliph, in
a great rage, called the vizier to him. "Careless vizier," said
he, "come hither, come hither; look at the pavilion of pictures,
and tell me the reason of its being illuminated at this hour, now
I am not there."

The grand vizier at this account fell into a violent trembling;
but when he came nearer, and with his own eyes saw the truth of
what the caliph had told him, he was more alarmed than before.
Some excuse must be made to appease the caliph's anger.
"Commander of the true believers," said he, "all that I can say
to your majesty about this matter is, that some five or six days
ago Scheich Ibrahim came to acquaint me, that he had a design to
assemble the ministers of his mosque, to assist at a ceremony he
was ambitious of performing in honour of your majesty's
auspicious reign. I asked him if I could be any way serviceable
to him in this affair; upon which he entreated me to get leave of
your majesty to perform the ceremony in the pavilion. I sent him
away with leave to hold the assembly, telling him I would take
care to acquaint your majesty with it; and I ask pardon for
having quite forgotten it." "Scheich Ibrahim," continued he, "has
certainly made choice of this day for the ceremony; and after
treating the ministers of his mosque, was willing to indulge them
with the sight of this illumination."

"Jaaffier," said the caliph, with a tone that plainly shewed his
anger was a little mollified, "according to your own account, you
have committed three faults; the first, in giving Scheich Ibrahim
leave to perform this ceremony in my pavilion, for a person in
such an office is not worthy of so great an honour; the second,
in not acquainting me with it; and the third, in not diving into
the bottom of the good old man's intention. For my part, I am
persuaded he only did it to try if he could get any money towards
bearing the charge of it; but that never came into your head."

The grand vizier, overjoyed to hear the caliph put the matter
upon that footing, very willingly owned the faults he reproached
him with, and freely confessed he was to blame in not giving
Scheich Ibrahim a few pieces of gold. "Since the case is so,"
added the caliph, "it is just that thou shouldst be punished for
thy mistakes, but thy punishment shall be light: thou shalt spend
the remainder of the night as I mean to do, with these honest
people, whose company I shall be well pleased with; and while I
am putting on a citizen's habit, go thou and disguise thyself
with Mesrour, and come both of you along with me."

The vizier would have persuaded him it was late, and that all the
company would be gone before he could get thither: but the caliph
said he would positively go. The vizier, who knew that not a
syllable of what he had said was true, began to be in great
consternation; but there was no reply to be made, and go he must.

The caliph then, disguised like a citizen, with the grand vizier
Jaaffier and Mesrour, chief of the eunuchs, stole out of the
palace together. They rambled through the streets of Bagdad till
they came to the garden; the door, through the carelessness of
Scheich Ibrahim, was open, he having forgotten to shut it when he
came back with the wine. The caliph was very angry at this.
"Jaaffier," said he to the grand vizier, "what excuse have you
for the door's being open at this unseasonable hour?" "Is it
possible that Scheich Ibrahim makes a custom of leaving it thus
all night? I rather believe the hurry of the feast has been the
occasion of this neglect."

The caliph went into the garden; and when he came to the
pavilion, resolving not to go into the hall till he knew what was
doing, consulted with the grand vizier whether it was not his
best way to climb up into one of the trees that was near, to
observe what was going forward. The grand vizier casting his eyes
upon the door, perceived it stood half open, and told the caliph.
It seems Scheich Ibrahim had left it so, when he was prevailed
upon to come in and bear Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian

The caliph laying aside his first design, stole softly up to the
hall-door, which standing half open, he could see all the company
within, without being discovered himself.

But how was he surprised, when he saw a lady of incomparable
beauty and a handsome young man sitting, with Scheich Ibrahim by
them. Scheich Ibraham held a cup in his hand. "My fair lady,"
said he to the fair Persian, "a true toper never drinks without
singing a song first: if you please to hear, I will give you one
of my best songs."

Scheich Ibrahim sung, and the caliph was the more surprised,
because till that moment he never knew of his drinking wine, but
always took him for a grave, solid man, as he seemed to be to
outward appearance. The caliph retired from the door with the
same caution as he had made his approaches to it; and coming to
the grand vizier, who was standing on the steps a little lower,
"Come up," said he to him, "and see if those within are the
ministers of the mosque, as you would have made me believe."

By the tone of voice in which the caliph spoke these last words,
the vizier understood that things went ill on his side: however,
he went up the steps; but when he had peeped in at the door, and
saw the three sitting in that condition, he trembled for his
life. He returned to the caliph, but in such confusion, that he
knew not what to say. "What riotous doings are here?" said the
caliph to him: "who are these people that have presumed to take
the liberty of diverting themselves in my garden and pavilion?
and how durst Scheich Ibrahim give them admittance, and partake
of the diversion with them? I must, however, confess, I never saw
two persons more beautiful or better paired in my life; and
therefore, before I discover my anger, I will inform myself
better, and know who they are, and the reason of their being
here." He went to the door again to observe them more narrowly;
and the vizier, who followed, stood behind him, while he fixed
his eyes upon them. They both plainly heard every word that
Scheich Ibrahim said to the fair Persian. "Is there any thing, my
charming lady, wanting to render the pleasure of the evening more
complete?" "Nothing but a lute," replied the fair Persian, "and
methinks, if you could get me one, all would be well." "Can you
play upon it?" said Scheich Ibrahim. "Fetch me one," replied the
fair Persian, "and you shall hear whether I can or not."

Scheich Ibrahim, without stirring very far from his place, took a
lute out of a press, and presented it to the fair Persian, who
begun to tune it. The caliph, in the mean time, turning to the
grand vizier, "Jaaffier," said he, "the young lady is going to
play upon the lute; and if she performs well, I will forgive her,
and the young man for her sake; but as for thee, I will have thee
impaled." "Commander of the true believers," replied the grand
vizier, "if that is your intention, I wish to God she may play
ill." "Why so?" said the caliph. "Because," replied the grand
vizier, "the longer we live in this world, the more reason we
shall have to comfort ourselves with the hopes of dying in good
sociable company." The caliph, who loved a repartee, began to
laugh at this; and putting his ear to the opening of the door,
listened to hear the fair Persian play.

The fair Persian began in such a style, that, from the first
moment of her touching the lute, the caliph perceived she did it
with a masterly hand. Afterwards accompanying the lute with her
voice, which was admirably fine, she sung and played with so much
skill and sweetness, that the caliph was quite ravished to hear

As soon as the fair Persian had finished her song, the caliph
went down the steps, and the vizier followed him. When he came to
the bottom, "I never," said he to the vizier, "heard a more
charming voice, or a lute better touched. Isaac, whom I thought
the most skilful player in the world, does not come up to her. I
am so charmed with her music, that I will go in, and hear her
play before me. We must, therefore, consider how I can do it."

"Commander of the true believers," said the grand vizier, "if you
should go in, and Scheich Ibrahim chance to know you, he would
infallibly die with the fright." "It is that which hurts me,"
replied the caliph, "and I should be loth to be the occasion of
his death, after so many years service. A thought is just come
into my head, that may succeed; stay here with Mesrour, and wait
for me in the next walk."

The neighbourhood of the Tigris had given the caliph an
opportunity of turning the stream under a stately bridge into his
garden, through a piece of water, whither the choicest fish of
the river used to retire. The fishermen knew it well; but the
caliph had expressly charged Scheich Ibrahim not to suffer any of
them to come near it. However, that night, a fisherman passing by
the garden-door, which the caliph had left open as he found it,
made use of the opportunity, and going in, went directly to the

The fisherman immediately fell to work with his nets, and was
just ready to draw them, when the caliph, fearing what would be
the effect of Scheich Ibrahim's negligence, but willing to make
use of it to bring his design about, came to the same place. The
fisherman, in spite of his disguise, knew him, and throwing
himself at his feet, humbly implored his pardon, and excused
himself on account of his poverty. "Rise," said the caliph, "and
be not afraid; only draw your nets, that I may see what fish you
have got."

The fisherman, recovered of his fright, quickly obeyed the
caliph's orders. He drew out five or six very large fishes; and
the caliph choosing the two biggest, tied them together by the
head, with the twig of a tree. "After this," said he to the
fisherman, "give me thy clothes, and take mine." The exchange was
soon made; and the caliph being dressed like a fisherman, even to
his boots and turban, "Take thy nets," said he to the fisherman,
"and get thee about thy business."

When the fisherman, well pleased with his good fortune, was gone,
the caliph, taking the two fishes in his hand, went to look after
the grand vizier and Mesrour; he first met Jaaffier, who, not
knowing him, asked what he wanted, and bade him go about his
business. The caliph fell a laughing; by which the vizier
recognising him, "Commander of the true believers," said he, "is
it possible it can be you? I knew you not; and I ask a thousand
pardons for my rudeness. You are so disguised that you may
venture into the hall without any fear of being discovered by
Scheich Ibrahim."  Stay you here with Mesrour," said the caliph,
"while I go and play my part."

The caliph went up to the hall, and knocked at the door. Noor ad
Deen hearing him first, told Scheich Ibrahim of it, who asked who
was there? The caliph opened the door, and stepping a little way
into the hall to shew himself, "Scheich Ibrahim," said he, "I am
the fisherman Kerim, who being informed of your design to treat
some of your friends, have brought you two very fine fishes,
fresh caught, to ask if you have any occasion for them."

Noor ad Deen and the fair Persian were pleased to hear him name
fish. "Pray," said the latter to Scheich Ibrahim, "let him come
in, that we may look at them." Scheich Ibrahim, by this time, was
incapable of asking this counterfeit fisherman how or which way
he came thither, his whole thought being only to oblige the fair
Persian. With much ado he turned his head towards the door, being
quite drunk, and, in a stammering tone, calling to the caliph,
whom he took to be a fisherman, "Come hither, thou nightly
thief," said he, "and let us see what thou hast got."

The caliph went forwards, and counterfeiting all the actions of a
fisherman, presented the two fishes. "These are very fine ones
indeed," said the fair Persian, "and if they were well dressed
and seasoned, I should be glad to eat some of them." "The lady is
in the right," answered Scheich Ibrahim; "but what can you do
with your fish, unless it were dressed? Go, dress it thyself, and
bring it to us; thou wilt find every thing necessary in my

The caliph went back to the grand vizier. "Jaaffier," said he, "I
have been very well received; but they want the fish to be
dressed." "I will take care to dress it myself," said the grand
vizier, "and they shall have it in a moment." "Nay," replied the
caliph, "so eager am I to accomplish my design, that I will take
that trouble myself; for since I have personated the fisherman so
well, surely I can play the cook for once; in my younger days, I
dealt a little in cookery, and always came off with credit." So
saying, he went directly towards Scheich Ibrahim's lodgings, and
the grand vizier and Mesrour followed him.

They all fell to work; and though Scheich Ibrahim's kitchen was
not very large, yet there was every thing in it that they wanted.
The fish was quickly cooked; and the caliph served it up, putting
to every one's place a lemon to squeeze into the sauce, if they
thought proper. They all ate very heartily, but especially Noor
ad Deen and the fair Persian; and the caliph stood before them.

As soon as the repast was over, Noor ad Deen looking at the
caliph, "Fisherman," said he, "there never was better fish eaten;
and you have done us the greatest favour." At the same time,
putting his hand into his bosom, and pulling out a purse of
thirty pieces of gold, the remainder of forty that Sangiar, the
officer of the king of Bussorah, had given him just upon his
departure, "Take it," said he to him; "if I had any more, thou
shouldst have it; had I known thee in my prosperity, I would have
taken care to secure thee from want: do not refuse the small
present I make thee, but accept of it as kindly as if it were
much greater."

The caliph took the purse, thanked Noor ad Deen, and perceiving
by the weight that it contained gold, "Sir," said he to him, "I
cannot enough thank you for your liberality, and I think myself
very fortunate in having to do with a person of your generosity;
but before I take my leave I have a favour to ask, which I beg
you not to deny me. Yonder is a lute, which makes me believe that
the lady understands playing upon it; and if you can prevail with
her to play but one tune, I shall go away perfectly satisfied;
for a lute, sir, is an instrument I am particularly fond of."

"Fair Persian," said Noor ad Deen, immediately addressing himself
to her, "I ask that favour of you, and I hope you will not refuse
me." She took up the lute without more entreaties, and putting it
presently in tune, played and sung with such an air, as charmed
the very soul of the caliph. Afterwards she played upon the lute
without singing, but with so much strength and softness, as to
transport him into an ecstasy.

When the fair Persian had given over playing, the caliph cried
out, "What a voice! what a hand! what skill! Was there ever finer
singing, or better playing upon the lute? Never was there any
seen or heard like it."

Noor ad Deen, who was accustomed to give all that belonged to him
to persons who praised him, said, "Fisherman, I find thou hast
some taste for music; since thou art so delighted with her
performance, she is thine, I make thee a present of her." At the
same time he rose up, and taking his robe which he had laid by,
was going away, and leaving the caliph, whom he believed to be no
other than a fisherman, in possession of the fair Persian.

The fair Persian was extremely surprised at Noor ad Deen's
liberality; she took hold of him, and looking tenderly at him,
"Whither, sir," said she, "are you going? sit down in your place,
I entreat you, and hearken to what I am going to sing and play."
He did as she desired him, and then the fair Persian, touching
the lute, and looking upon him with tears in her eyes, sung some
verses that she had made ex tempore, to reproach him with his
indifference, and the easiness as well as cruelty with which he
resigned her to Kerim. She only hinted, without explaining
herself any farther to a fisherman; for she, as well as Noor ad
Deen, was ignorant of his being the caliph. When she had done
playing, she put the lute down by her, and clapped a handkerchief
to her face, to hide the tears she could not repress.

Noor ad Deen made no answer to all these reproaches, but by his
silence seemed to declare he did not repent of what he had done
The caliph, surprised at what he had heard, said, "Sir, as far as
I see, this beautiful, rare, and accomplished lady, of whom so
generously you have made me a present, is your slave?" "It is
very true, Kerim," replied Noor ad Deen, "and thou wouldst be
more surprised than thou art now, should I tell thee all the
misfortunes that have happened to me upon her account." "Ah! I
beseech you, sir," replied the caliph, still behaving like a
fisherman, "oblige me so far as to let me hear part of your

Noor ad Deen, who had already obliged him in several things of
more consequence, was so complaisant as to relate the whole story
to him. He began with the vizier his father's buying the fair
Persian for the king of Bussorah, and omitted nothing of what he
had done, or what had happened to him, from that time to their
arrival at Bagdad, and to the very moment he was talking to him.

When Noor ad Deen had ended his story, "And whither are you going
now?" asked the caliph. "Where Heaven shall direct me," answered
Noor ad Deen. "If you will believe me," replied the caliph, "you
shall go no farther, but, on the contrary, you must return to
Bussorah: I will write a short letter, which you shall give the
king in my name: you shall see upon the reading it, he will give
you a very handsome reception, and nobody will dare to speak
against you."

"Kerim," said Noor ad Deen, "what thou hast told me is very
singular; I never heard that a poor fisherman, as thou art, had
any correspondence with a king?" "Be not astonished at that,"
replied the caliph: "you must know, that we both studied together
under the same masters, and were always the best friends in the
world: it is true, fortune has not been equally favourable to us;
she has made him a king, and me a fisherman. But this inequality
has not lessened our friendship. He has often expressed a
readiness and desire to advance my fortune, but I always refused;
and am better pleased with the satisfaction of knowing that he
will never deny me whatever I ask for the service and advantage
of my friends: let me do it, and you shall see the success."

Noor ad Deen consented to what the caliph had proposed; and there
being every thing necessary for writing in the hall, the caliph
wrote a letter to the king of Bussorah; at the top of which he
placed this form, "In the name of the most merciful God," to shew
he would be absolutely obeyed.

"Haroon al Rusheed, son of Mhadi, sends this letter to Zinebi,
his cousin. As soon as Noor ad Deen, son to the late vizier
Khacan, the bearer, has delivered you this letter, and you have
read it, pull off the royal vestments, put them on his shoulders,
and place him in thy seat without fail. Farewell."

The caliph folded up the letter, sealed it, and giving it to Noor
ad Deen, without saying any thing of what was in it, "Go," said
he, "embark immediately in a vessel that is ready to go off (as
there did constantly every day at the same hour); you may sleep
when you are aboard."

Noor ad Deen took the letter, and departed with the little money
he had about him when Sangiar gave him his purse; and the fair
Persian, distracted with grief at his departure, retired to one
of the sofas, and wept bitterly.

Noor ad Deen was scarcely gone out of the hall, when Scheich
lbrahim, who had been silent during the whole transaction,
looking steadfastly upon the caliph, whom he still took for the
fisherman Kerim, "Hark'e," said he, "Kerim, thou hast brought us
two fishes, that are worth twenty pieces of copper at most, and
thou hast got a purse and a slave: but dost thou think to have
all for thyself? I here declare, that I will go halves with thee
in the slave; and as for the purse, shew me what is in the
inside: if it is silver, thou shalt have one piece for thyself;
but if it is gold, I will have it all, and give thee in exchange
some pieces of copper which I have in my purse."

The caliph, before his serving up the fish, had dispatched the
grand vizier to his palace, with orders to get four slaves with a
rich habit, and to wait on the other side of the pavilion till he
gave a signal with his finger against the window. The grand
vizier performed his commission; and he, Mesrour, and the four
slaves, waited at the appointed place, expecting the sign.

The caliph, still personating the fisherman, answered Scheich
Ibrahim boldly, "I know not what there is in the purse; gold or
silver, you shall freely go my halves: but as to the slave, I
will have her all to myself; and if you will not accept these
conditions, you shall have nothing."

Scheich lbrahim, enraged to the last degree at this insolence,
considering him only as a fisherman, snatched up one of the china
dishes which were on the table, and flung it at the caliph's
head. The caliph easily avoided the blow, being thrown by a
person in liquor; but the dish striking against the wall, was
dashed into a thousand pieces. Scheich Ibrahim grew more enraged
at having missed his aim, and catching up the candle that stood
upon the table, rose from his seat, and went staggering down a
pair of back-stairs to look for a cane.

The caliph took this opportunity, and striking his hands against
the window, the grand vizier, Mesrour, and the four slaves were
with him in an instant: the slaves quickly pulled off the
fisherman's clothes, and put him on the habit they had brought.
They had not quite dressed the caliph, who had seated himself on
the throne that was in the hall, but were busy about him when
Scheich Ibrahim, spurred on by interest, came back with a cane in
his hand, with which he designed to pay the pretended fisherman
soundly; but instead of finding him, he saw his clothes in the
middle of the hall, and the caliph on his throne, with the grand
vizier and Mesrour on each side of him. He stood awhile gazing on
this unexpected sight, doubting whether he was awake or asleep.
The caliph fell a laughing at his astonishment; and calling to
him, "Scheich Ibrahim," said he, "What dost thou want? whom dost
thou look after?"

Scheich Ibrahim, no longer doubting that it was the caliph,
immediately threw himself at his feet, with his face and long
beard to the ground. "Commander of the true believers," cried he,
"your vile slave has offended you; but he implores your clemency,
and asks a thousand pardons for his offence." As soon as the
slaves had finished dressing him, he came down from his throne,
and advancing towards him, "Rise," said he, "I forgive thee."

The caliph then addressed himself to the fair Persian, who had
suspended her sorrow as soon as she understood that the garden
and pavilion belonged to that prince, and not to Scheich Ibrahim,
as he had all along made her believe, and that it was he himself
disguised in the fisherman's clothes. "Fair Persian," said he,
"rise, and follow me: by what you have lately seen, you ought to
know who I am, and to believe that I am above taking any
advantage of the present which Noor ad Deen, with a generosity
not to be paralleled, has made me of your person. I have sent him
to Bussorah as king; and when I have given him the dispatches
necessary for his establishment, you shall go thither and be
queen. In the mean time I am going to order an apartment for you
in my palace, where you shall be treated according to your

This discourse encouraged the fair Persian, and comforted her
very sensibly. The joy for the advancement of Noor ad Deen, whom
she passionately loved, to so high an honour, made her sufficient
amends for her affliction. The caliph kept his promise, and
recommended her to the care of his empress Zobeide, whom he
acquainted with the esteem he had entertained for Noor ad Deen.

Noor ad Deen's return to Bussorah was more fortunate, and
speedier by some days than he could have expected. Upon his
arrival, without visiting any of his friends or relations he went
directly to the palace, where the king at that time was giving
public audience. With the letter held up in his hand, he pressed
through the crowd, who presently made way for him to come forward
and deliver it. The king took and opened it, and his colour
changed in reading it; he kissed it thrice, and was just about to
obey the caliph's orders, when he bethought himself of strewing
it to the vizier Saony, Noor ad Deen's irreconcileable enemy.

Saouy, who had discovered Noor ad Deen, and began to conjecture,
with great uneasiness, what might be the design of his coming,
was no less surprised than the king at the order contained in the
letter; and being as much concerned in it, he instantly devised a
method to evade it. He pretended not to have read the letter
quite through, and therefore desiring a second view of it, turned
himself a little on one side as if he wanted a better light, and,
without being perceived by any body, dexterously tore off from
the top of it the form which shewed the caliph would be
absolutely obeyed, and putting it into his mouth, swallowed it.

After this egregious piece of villainy, Saouy turned to the king,
and giving him the letter, "Sir," said he to him in a low voice,
"what does your majesty intend to do?" "What the caliph has
commanded me," replied the king. "Have a care, sir," said the
wicked vizier, "what you do. It is true this is the caliph's
hand, but the form is not to it." The king had observed it, but
in his confusion thought his eyes had deceived him when he saw it
was gone.

"Sir," continued the vizier, "we have no reason to doubt but that
the caliph, on the complaints he has made against your majesty
and myself, has granted him this letter to get rid of him, and
not with any intention of having the order contained in it
executed. Besides, we must consider he has sent no express with a
patent; and without that the order is of no force. And since a
king like your majesty was never deposed without that formality,
any other man as well as Noor ad Deen might come with a forged
letter: let who will bring such a letter as this, it ought not to
be put in execution. Your majesty may depend upon it, that is
never done; and I will take upon myself all the consequence of
disobeying this order."

King Zinebi, easily persuaded by this pernicious counsel, left
Noor ad Deen entirely to the discretion of the vizier Saouy, who
led him to his house in a very insulting manner; and after
causing him to be bastinadoed till he was almost dead, he ordered
him to a prison, where he commanded him to be put into the
darkest and deepest dungeon, with a strict charge to the gaoler
to give him nothing but bread and water.

When Noor ad Deen, half dead with the strokes, came to himself,
and found what a dismal dungeon he was in, he bewailed his
misfortunes in the most pathetic manner. "Ah! fisherman," cried
he, "how hast thou cheated me; and how easy have I been in
believing thee! Could I, after the civility I shewed thee, expect
such inhuman and barbarous usage? However, may Heaven reward
thee; for I cannot persuade myself that thy intention was so
base; and I will with patience wait the end of my afflictions."

The disconsolate Noor ad Deen remained six whole days in this
miserable condition; and Saouy did not forget that he had
confined him there; but being resolved to put him to a shameful
death, and not daring to do it by his own authority, to
accomplish his villainous design, loaded some of his slaves with
rich presents, which he, at the head of them, went and presented
to the king. "Behold, sire," said he, with the blackest malice,
"what the new king has sent you upon his accession to the crown,
and begs your majesty to accept."

The king taking the matter just as Saouy intended, "What!"
replied he, "is that wretch still living? I thought you had put
him to death already." "Sire, I have no power," answered the
vizier, "to take any person's life; that only belongs to your
majesty." "Go," said the king, "behead him instantly; I give you
full authority." "Sire," replied the vizier Saouy, "I am
infinitely obliged to your majesty for the justice you do me; but
since Noor ad Deen has publicly affronted me, I humbly beg the
favour, that his execution may be performed before the palace;
and that the criers may publish it in every quarter of the city,
so that every body may be satisfied he has made a sufficient
reparation for the affront." The king granted his request; and
the criers in performing their office diffused universal sorrow
through the whole city. The memory of his father's virtues being
yet fresh among them, no one could hear, without horror and
indignation, that the son was going to suffer an ignominious

Saouy went in person to the prison, accompanied by twenty slaves,
ministers of his cruelty, who took Noor ad Deen out of the
dungeon, and put him upon a shabby horse without a saddle. When
Noor ad Deen saw himself in the hands of his enemy, "Thou
triumphest now," said he, "and abusest thy power; but I trust in
the truth of what is written in our scripture, ‘You judge
unjustly, and in a little time you shall be judged yourself.'"
The vizier Saouy triumphed in his heart. "What! insolent," said
he, "darest thou insult me yet? but I care not what may happen to
me, so I have the pleasure of seeing thee lose thy head in the
public view of all Bussorah. Thou oughtest also to remember what
another of our books says, ‘What signifies if one dies the next
day after the death of his enemy?'"

The vizier, implacable in his hatred and enmity, surrounded by
his slaves in arms, conducted Noor ad Deen towards the palace.
The people were ready to fall upon him as he passed; and if any
one had set the example, would certainly have stoned him to
death. When he had brought him to the place of suffering, which
was to be in sight of the king's apartment, he left him in the
executioner's hands, and went straight to the king, who was in
his closet, ready to glut his eyes with the bloody spectacle he
had prepared.

The king's guard and the vizier's slaves, who made a circle round
Noor ad Deen, had much trouble to withstand the people, who made
all possible efforts to break through, and carry him off by
force. The executioner coming up to him, said, "I hope you will
forgive me, I am but a slave, and cannot help doing my duty. If
you have no occasion for any thing more, I beseech you to prepare
yourself; for the king is just going to give me orders to strike
the blow."

The unfortunate Noor ad Deen, at that moment, looking round upon
the people, "Will no charitable body," cried he, "bring me a
little water to quench my thirst?" Which immediately they did,
and handed it up to him upon the scaffold. The vizier Saouy
perceiving this delay, called out to the executioner from the
king's closet window, where he had planted himself, "Strike, what
dost thou stay for?" At these inhuman words the whole place
echoed with loud imprecations against him; and the king, jealous
of his authority, made it appear, by enjoining him to stop
awhile, that he was angry at his presumption. But there was
another reason; for the king that very moment casting his eye
towards a street that faced him, saw a troop of horsemen
advancing full speed towards the palace. "Vizier," said the king
immediately, "look yonder; what is the meaning of those
horsemen?" Saouy, who knew not who they might be, earnestly
pressed the king to give the executioner the sign. "No," replied
the king; "I will first know who those horsemen are." It was the
vizier Jaaffier, with his train, who came in person from Bagdad
by the caliph's order.

To understand the occasion of this minister's coming to Bussorah,
we must observe, that after Noor ad Deen's departure with the
letter, the caliph the next day, nor for several days after,
thought not of sending him the patent which he mentioned to the
fair Persian. He happened one day to be in the inner palace,
which was that of the women, and passing by her apartment, heard
the sound of a fine voice: he listened to it; and he had no
sooner heard the words of one complaining for the absence of
somebody, than he asked the officer of the eunuchs who attended
him who the woman was that lived in that apartment? The officer
told him it was the young stranger's slave whom he had sent to
Bussorah to be king in the room of Mahummud Zinebi.

"Ah! poor Noor ad Deen," cried the caliph, "I had forgotten thee;
but hasten," said he to the officer, "and bid Jaaffier come to
me." The vizier was with him in an instant. As soon as he came,
"Jaaffier," said he, "I have hitherto neglected sending the
patent which was to confirm Noor ad Deen king of Bussorah; but we
have no time now to draw up one; therefore immediately take post-
horses, and with some of your servants, make what haste you can
to that city. If Noor ad Deen is no longer alive, but put to
death by them, order the vizier Saouy to be impaled; but if he is
living, bring him to me with the king and the vizier."

The grand vizier stayed no longer than just to get on horseback;
and being attended by a great train of officers belonging to his
household departed for Bussorah, where he arrived in the manner
and at the time already mentioned. As soon as he came to the
palace-yard, the people cleared the way for him, crying out, "A
pardon for Noor ad Deen!" and with his whole train he rode into
the palace, even to the very stairs, where he alighted.

The king of Bussorah, knowing him to be the caliph's chief
minister, went to meet him, and received him at the entrance of
his apartment. The first question the vizier asked was, If Noor
ad Deen was living? and if he was, he desired that he might be
sent for. The king made answer, he was alive, and gave orders to
have him brought in. Accordingly he soon made his appearance as
he was, bound with cords. The grand vizier Jaaffier caused him to
be unbound, and setting him at liberty, ordered the vizier Saoay
to be seized, and bound him with the same cords.

The grand vizier remained but one night at Bussorah; and,
according to the order he had received, carried Saouy, the king
of Bussorah, and Noor ad Deen, along with him. Upon his arrival
at Bagdad, he presented them to the caliph: and after he had
given him an account of his journey, and particularly the
miserable condition in which he found Noor ad Deen, and his ill-
usage by the advice and malice of Saony, the caliph desired Noor
ad Deen to behead the vizier himself. "Commander of the true
believers," said the generous youth, "notwithstanding the injury
this wicked man has done me, and the mischief he endeavoured to
do my deceased father, I should think myself the basest of
mankind if I stained my hands with his blood." The caliph was
pleased with his generosity, and ordered justice to be done by
the executioner.

The caliph would fain have sent Noor ad Deen to Bussorah as king:
but he humbly begged to be excused from accepting the offer.
"Commander of the true believers," said Noor ad Deen, "the city
of Bussorah, after the misfortunes that have happened to me
there, will be so much my aversion, that I beseech your majesty
to give me leave to keep the oath which I have made, of never
returning thither again; and I shall think it my greatest glory
to serve near your royal person, if you are pleased to allow me
the honour." The caliph consented; and placing him among the
number of those courtiers who were his greatest favourites,
restored the fair Persian to him again. To all these favours he
added a plentiful fortune; and he and the fair Persian lived
together thenceforth, with all the happiness this world could

As for the king of Bussorah, the caliph contented himself with
hinting how careful he ought to be in the choice of his viziers,
and sent him back to his kingdom.

End of Volume 2.

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