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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 08
Author: Richard F. Burton, - To be updated
Language: English
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                        THE BOOK OF THE
                A Plain and Literal Translation
              of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

                  Translated and Annotated by
                       Richard F. Burton

                          VOLUME EIGHT
              Privately Printed By The Burton Club

                          A Message to
                       Frederick Hankey,
            formerly of No. 2, Rue Laffitte, Paris.

My Dear Fred,

     If there be such a thing as "continuation," you will see
these lines in the far Spirit-land and you will find that your
old friend has not forgotten you and Annie.

                         Richard F. Burton.

                 Contents of the Eighth Volume

     King Mohammed Bin Sabaik and the Merchant Hasan (continued)
     a.   Story of Prince Sayf Al-Muluk and the Princess Badi'a
          Al-Jamal (continued)
155. Hassan of Bassorah
156. Khalifah The Fisherman Of Baghdad
     The same from the Breslau Edition
157. Masrur and Zayn Al-Mawasif
158. Ali Nur Al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-Girl

                        The Book Of The

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old Queen heard the handmaid's words she was wroth with sore
wrath because of her and cried, "How shall there be accord
between man and Jinn?" But Safy al-Muluk replied, "Indeed, I will
conform to thy will and be thy page and die in thy love and will
keep with thee covenant and regard non but thee: so right soon
shalt thou see my truth and lack of falsehood and the excellence
of my manly dealing with thee, Inshallah!" The old woman pondered
for a full hour with brow earthwards bent; after which she raised
her head and said to him, "O thou beautiful youth, wilt thou
indeed keep compact and covenant?" He replied, "Yes, by Him who
raised the heavens and dispread the earth upon the waters, I will
indeed keep faith and troth!" Thereupon quoth she, "I will win
for thee thy wish, Inshallah! but for the present go thou into
the garden and take thy pleasure therein and eat of its fruits,
that have neither like in the world nor equal, whilst I send for
my son Shahyal and confabulate with him of the matter. Nothing
but good shall come of it, so Allah please, for he will not
gainsay me nor disobey my commandment and I will marry thee with
his daughter Badi'a al-Jamal. So be of good heart for she shall
assuredly be thy wife, O Sayf al-Muluk." The Prince thanked her
for those words and kissing her hands and feet, went forth from
her into the garden; whilst she turned to Marjanah and said to
her, "Go seek my son Shahyal wherever he is and bring him to me."
So Maranah went out in quest of King Shahyal and found him and
set him before his mother. On such wise fared it with them; but
as regards Sayf al-Muluk, whilst he walked in the garden, lo and
behold! five Jinn of the people of the Blue King espied him and
said to one another, "Whence cometh yonder wight and who brought
him hither? Haply 'tis he who slew the son and heir of our lord
and master the Blue King;" presently adding, 'But we will go
about with him and question him and find out all from him." So
they walked gently and softly up to him, as he sat in a corner of
the garden, and sitting down by him, said to him, "O beauteous
youth, thou didst right well in slaying the son of the Blue King
and delivering from him Daulat Khatun; for he was a treacherous
hound and had tricked her, and had not Allah appointed thee to
her, she had never won free; no, never! But how diddest thou slay
him?" Sayf al-Muluk looked at them and deeming them of the
gardenfolk, answered, "I slew him by means of this ring which is
on my finger." Therewith they were assured that it was he who had
slain him; so they seized him, two of them holding his hands,
whilst other two held his feet and the fifth his mouth, lest he
should cry out and King Shahyal's people should hear him and
rescue him from their hands. Then they lifted him up and flying
away with him ceased not their flight till they came to their
King and set him down before him, saying, "O King of the Age, we
bring thee the murderer of thy son." "Where is he?" asked the
King and they answered, "This is he." So the Blue King said to
Sayf al-Muluk, "How slewest thou my son, the core of my heart and
the light of my sight, without aught of right, for all he had
done thee no ill deed?" Quoth the Prince, "Yea, verily! I slew
him because of his violence and frowardness, in that he used to
seize Kings' daughters and sever them from their families and
carry them to the Ruined Well and the High-builded Castle of
Japhet son of Noah and entreat them lewdly by debauching them. I
slew him by means of this ring on my finger, and Allah hurried
his soul to the fire and the abiding-place dire." Therewithal the
King was assured that this was indeed he who slew his son; so
presently he called his Wazirs and said to them, "This is the
murtherer of my son sans shadow of doubt: so how do you counsel
me to deal with him? Shall I slay him with the foulest slaughter
or torture him with the terriblest torments or how?" Quoth the
Chief Minister, "Cut off his limbs, one a day." Another, "Beat
him with a grievous beating every day till he die." A third, "Cut
him across the middle." A fourth, "Chop off all his fingers and
burn him with fire." A fifth, "Crucify him;" and so on, each
speaking according to his rede. Now there was with the Blue King
an old Emir, versed in the vicissitudes and experienced in the
exchanges of the times, and he said, "O King of the Age, verily I
would say to thee somewhat, and thine is the rede whether thou
wilt hearken or not to my say." Now he was the King's privy
Councillor and the Chief Officer of his empire, and the Sovran
was wont to give ear to his word and conduct himself by his
counsel and gainsay him not in aught. So he rose and kissing
ground before his liege lord, said to him, "O King of the Age, if
I advise thee in this matter, wilt thou follow my advice and
grant me indemnity?" Quoth the King, "Set forth thine opinion,
and thou shalt have immunity." Then quoth he, "O King of the Age,
an thou slay this one nor accept my advice nor hearken to my
word, in very sooth I say that his death were now inexpedient,
for that he his thy prisoner and in thy power, and under thy
protection; so whenas thou wilt, thou mayst lay hand on him and
do with him what thou desirest. Have patience, then, O King of
the Age, for he hath entered the garden of Iram and is become the
betrothed of Badi'a al-Jamal, daughter of King Shahyal, and one
of them. Thy people seized him there and brought him hither and
he did not hide his case from them or from thee. So an thou slay
him, assuredly King Shahyal will seek blood-revenge and lead his
host against thee for his daughter's sake, and thou canst not
cope with him nor make head against his power." So the King
hearkened to his counsel and commanded to imprison the captive.
Thus fared it with Sayf al-Muluk; but as regards the old Queen,
grandmother of Badi'a al-Jamal, when her son Shahyal came to her
she despatched Marjanah in search of Sayf al-Muluk; but she found
him not and returning to her mistress, said, "I found him not in
the garden." So the ancient dame sent for the gardeners and
questioned them of the Prince. Quoth they, "We saw him sitting
under a tree when behold, five of the Blue King's folk alighted
by him and spoke with him, after which they took him up and
having gagged him flew away with him." When the old Queen heard
the damsel's words it was no light matter to her and she was
wroth with exceeding wrath: so she rose to her feet and said to
her son, King Shahyal, "Thou art a King and shall the Blue King's
people come to our garden and carry off our guests unhindered,
and thou alive?" And she proceeded to provoke him, saying, "It
behoveth not that any transgress against us during thy
lifetime."[FN#1] Answered he, "O mother of me, this man slew the
Blue King's son, who was a Jinni and Allah threw him into his
hand. He is a Jinni and I am a Jinni: how then shall I go to him
and make war on him for the sake of a mortal?" But she rejoined,
"Go to him and demand our guest of him, and if he be still alive
and the Blue King deliver him to thee, take him and return; but
an he have slain him, take the King and all his children and
Harim and household depending on him; then bring them to me alive
that I may cut their throats with my own hand and lay in ruins
his reign. Except thou go to him and do my bidding, I will not
acquit thee of my milk and my rearing of thee shall be counted
unlawful."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
grandmother of Badi'a al-Jamal said to Shahyal, "Fare thee to the
Blue King and look after Sayf al-Muluk: if he be still in life
come with him hither; but an he have slain him take that King and
all his children and Harim and the whole of his dependents an
protégés and bring them here alive that I may cut their throats
with my own hand and ruin his realm. Except thou go to him and do
my bidding, I will not acquit thee of my milk and my rearing of
thee shall be accounted unlawful." Thereupon Shahyal rose and
assembling his troops, set out, in deference to his mother,
desiring to content her and her friends, and in accordance with
whatso had been fore-ordained from eternity without beginning;
nor did they leave journeying till they came to the land of the
Blue King, who met them with his army and gave them battle. The
Blue King's host was put to the rout and the conquerors having
taken him and all his sons, great and small, and Grandees and
officers bound and brought them before King Shahyal, who said to
the captive, "O Azrak,[FN#2] where is the mortal Sayf al-Muluk
who whilome was my guest?" Answered the Blue King, "O Shahyal,
thou art a Jinni and I am a Jinni and is't on account of a mortal
who slew my son that thou hast done this deed; yea, the murtherer
of my son, the core of my liver and solace of my soul. How
couldest thou work such work and spill the blood of so many
thousand Jinn?" He replied, "Leave this talk! Knowest thou not
that a single mortal is better, in Allah's sight, than a thousand
Jinn?[FN#3] If he be alive, bring him to me, and I will set thee
free and all whom I have taken of thy sons and people; but an
thou have slain him, I will slaughter thee and thy sons." Quoth
the Malik al-Azrak, "O King, is this man of more account with
thee than my son?"; and quoth Shahyal, "Verily, thy son was an
evildoer who kidnapped Kings' daughters and shut them up in the
Ruined Well and the High-builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah and
entreated them lewdly." Then said the Blue King, "He is with me;
but make thy peace between us." So he delivered the Prince to
Shahyal, who made peace between him and the Blue King, and
Al-Azrak gave him a bond of absolution for the death of his son.
Then Shahyal conferred robes of honour on them and entertained
the Blue King and his troops hospitably for three days, after
which he took Sayf al-Muluk and carried him back to the old
Queen, his own mother, who rejoiced in him with an exceeding joy,
and Shahyal marvelled at the beauty of the Prince and his
loveliness and his perfection. Then the Prince related to him his
story from beginning to end, especially what did befal him with
Badi'a al-Jamal and Shahyal said, "O my mother, since 'tis thy
pleasure that this should be, I hear and I obey all that to
command it pleaseth thee; wherefore do thou take him and bear him
to Sarandib and there celebrate his wedding and marry him to her
in all state, for he is a goodly youth and hath endured horrors
for her sake." So she and her maidens set out with Sayf al-Muluk
for Sarandib and, entering the Garden belonging to the Queen of
Hind, foregathered with Daulat Khatun and Badi'a al-Jamal. Then
the lovers met, and the old Queen acquainted the two Princesses
with all that had passed between Sayf al-Muluk and the Blue King
and how the Prince had been nearhand to a captive's death; but in
repetition is no fruition. Then King Taj al-Muluk father of
Daulat Khatun assembled the lords of his land and drew up the
contract of marriage between Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a al-Jamal;
and he conferred costly robes of honour and gave banquets to the
lieges. Then Sayf al-Muluk rose and, kissing ground before the
King, said to him, "O King, pardon! I would fain ask of thee
somewhat but I fear lest thou refuse it to my disappointment."
Taj al-Muluk replied, "By Allah, though thou soughtest my soul of
me, I would not refuse it to thee, after all the kindness thou
hast done me!" Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, "I wish thee to marry the
Princess Daulat Khatun to my brother Sa'id, and we will both be
thy pages." "I hear and obey," answered Taj al-Muluk, and
assembling his Grandees a second time, let draw up the contract
of marriage between his daughter and Sa'id; after which they
scattered gold and silver and the King bade decorate the city. So
they held high festival and Sayf al-Muluk went in unto Badi'a
al-Jamal and Sa'id went in unto Daulat Khatun on the same night.
Moreover Sayf al-Muluk abode forty days with Badi'a al-Jamal, at
the end of which she said to him, "O King's son, say me, is there
left in thy heart any regret for aught?" And he replied, "Allah
forfend! I have accomplished my quest and there abideth no regret
in my heart at all: but I would fain meet my father and my mother
in the land of Egypt and see if they continue in welfare or not."
So she commanded a company of her slaves to convey them to Egypt,
and they carried them to Cairo, where Sayf al-Muluk and Sa'id
foregathered with their parents and abode with them a week; after
which they took leave of them and returned to Sarandib-city; and
from this time forwards, whenever they longed for their folk,
they used to go to them and return. Then Sayf al-Muluk and Badi'a
al-Jamal abode in all solace of life and its joyance as did Sa'id
and Daulat Khatun, till there came to them the Destroyer of
delights and Severer of societies; and they all died good
Moslems. So glory be to the Living One who dieth not, who
createth all creatures and decreeth to them death and who is the
First, without beginning, and the Last, without end! This is all
that hath come down to us of the story of Sayf al-Muluk and
Badi'a al-Jamal. And Allah alone wotteth the truth.[FN#4] But not
less excellent than this tale is the History of

                    HASAN OF BASSORAH.[FN#5]

There was once of days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, a merchant, who dwelt in the land of Bassorah and who
owned two sons and wealth galore.  But in due time Allah, the
All-hearing the All-knowing, decreed that he should be admitted
to the mercy of the Most High; so he died, and his two sons laid
him out and buried him, after which they divided his gardens and
estates equally between them and of his portion each one opened a
shop.[FN#6]  Presently the elder son, Hasan hight, a youth of
passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, betook
himself to the company of lewd folk, women and low boys,
frolicking with them in gardens and feasting them with meat and
wine for months together and occupying himself not with his
business like as his father had done, for that he exulted in the
abundance of his good. After some time he had wasted all his
ready money, so he sold all his father's lands and houses and
played the wastrel until there remained in his hand nothing,
neither little nor muchel, nor was one of his comrades left who
knew him.  He abode thus anhungred, he and his widowed mother,
three days, and on the fourth day, as he walked along, unknowing
whither to wend, there met him a man of his father's friends, who
questioned him of his case. He told him what had befallen him and
the other said, "O my son, I have a brother who is a goldsmith;
an thou wilt, thou shalt be with him and learn his craft and
become skilled therein." Hasan consented and accompanied him to
his brother, to whom he commended him, saying, "In very sooth
this is my son; do thou teach him for my sake."  So Hasan abode
with the goldsmith and busied himself with the craft; and Allah
opened to him the door of gain and in due course he set up shop
for himself. One day, as he sat in his booth in the bazar, there
came up to him an Ajamí, a foreigner, a Persian, with a great
white beard and a white turband[FN#7] on his head, having the
semblance of a merchant who, after saluting him, looked at his
handiwork and examined it knowingly.  It pleased him and he shook
his head, saying, "By Allah, thou art a cunning goldsmith!  What
may be thy name?" "Hasan," replied the other, shortly.[FN#8]  The
Persian continued to look at his wares, whilst Hasan read in an
old book[FN#9] he hent in hand and the folk were taken up with
his beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, till
the hour of midafternoon prayer, when the shop became clear of
people and the Persian accosted the young man, saying, "O my son,
thou art a comely youth!  What book is that?  Thou hast no sire
and I have no son, and I know an art, than which there is no
goodlier in the world."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian
accosted the young man saying, "O my son, thou art a comely
youth!  Thou hast no sire and I have no son, and I know an art
than which there is no goodlier in the world.  Many have sought
of me instruction therein, but I consented not to instruct any of
them in it; yet hath my soul consented that I teach it to thee,
for thy love hath gotten hold upon my heart and I will make thee
my son and set up between thee and poverty a barrier, so shalt
thou be quit of this handicraft and toil no more with hammer and
anvil,[FN#10] charcoal and fire."  Hasan asked, "O my lord and
when wilt thou teach me this?"; and the Persian answered,
"To-morrow, Inshallah, I will come to thee betimes and make thee
in thy presence fine gold of this copper."  Whereupon Hasan
rejoiced and sat talking with the Persian till nightfall, when he
took leave of him and going in to his mother, saluted her with
the salam and ate with her; but he was dazed, without memory or
reason, for that the stranger's words had gotten hold upon his
heart. So she questioned him and he told her what had passed
between himself and the Persian, which when she heard, her heart
fluttered and she strained him to her bosom, saying, "O my son,
beware of hearkening to the talk of the folk, and especially of
the Persians, and obey them not in aught; for they are sharpers
and tricksters, who profess the art of alchemy[FN#11] and swindle
people and take their money and devour it in vain."  Replied
Hasan, "O my mother, we are paupers and have nothing he may
covet, that he should put a cheat on us.  Indeed, this Persian is
a right worthy Shaykh and the signs of virtue are manifest on
him; Allah hath inclined his heart to me and he hath adopted me
to son."  She was silent in her chagrin, and he passed the night
without sleep, his heart being full of what the Persian had said
to him; nor did slumber visit him for the excess of his joy
therein.  But when morning morrowed, he rose and taking the keys,
opened the shop, whereupon behold, the Persian accosted him.
Hasan stood up to him and would have kissed his hands; but he
forbade him from this and suffered it not, saying, "O Hasan, set
on the crucible and apply the bellows."[FN#12]  So he did as the
stranger bade him and lighted the charcoal.  Then said the
Persian, "O my son, hast thou any copper?" and he replied, "I
have a broken platter." So he bade him work the shears[FN#13] and
cut it into bittocks and cast it into the crucible and blow up
the fire with the bellows, till the copper became liquid, when he
put hand to turband and took therefrom a folded paper and opening
it, sprinkled thereout into the pot about half a drachm of
somewhat like yellow Kohl or eyepowder.[FN#14]  Then he bade
Hasan blow upon it with the bellows, and he did so, till the
contents of the crucible became a lump of gold.[FN#15]  When the
youth saw this, he was stupefied and at his wits' end for the joy
he felt and taking the ingot from the crucible handled it and
tried it with the file and found it pure gold of the finest
quality: whereupon his reason fled and he was dazed with excess
of delight and bent over the Persian's hand to kiss it. But he
forbade him, saying, "Art thou married?" and when the youth
replied "No!" he said, "Carry this ingot to the market and sell
it and take the price in haste and speak not."  So Hasan went
down into the market and gave the bar to the broker, who took it
and rubbed it upon the touchstone and found it pure gold.  So
they opened the biddings at ten thousand dirhams and the
merchants bid against one another for it up to fifteen thousand
dirhams,[FN#16] at which price he sold it and taking the money,
went home and told his mother all that had passed, saying, "O my
mother, I have learnt this art and mystery."  But she laughed at
him, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Seven Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan the goldsmith told his mother what he had done with the
Ajami and cried, "I have learnt this art and mystery," she
laughed at him, saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and she was
silent for vexation.  Then of his ignorance, he took a metal
mortar and returning to the shop, laid it before the Persian, who
was still sitting there and asked him, "O my son, what wilt thou
do with this mortar?"  Hasan answered, "Let us put it in the
fire, and make of it lumps of gold." The Persian laughed and
rejoined, "O my son, art thou Jinn-mad that thou wouldst go down
into the market with two ingots of gold in one day?  Knowest thou
not that the folk would suspect us and our lives would be lost?
Now, O my son, an I teach thee this craft, thou must practise it
but once in each twelvemonth; for that will suffice thee from
year to year."  Cried Hasan, "True, O my lord," and sitting down
in his open shop, set on the crucible and cast more charcoal on
the fire.  Quoth the Persian, "What wilt thou, O my son?"; and
quoth Hasan, "Teach me this craft."  "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"
exclaimed the Persian, laughing; "Verily, O my son, thou art
little of wit and in nowise fitted for this noble craft.  Did
ever any during all his life learn this art on the beaten way or
in the bazars?  If we busy ourselves with it here, the folk will
say of us, These practise alchemy; and the magistrates will hear
of us, and we shall lose our lives.[FN#17]  Wherefore, O my son,
an thou desire to learn this mystery forthright, come thou with
me to my house."  So Hasan barred his shop and went with that
Ajamí; but by the way he remembered his mother's words and
thinking in himself a thousand thoughts he stood still, with
bowed head.  The Persian turned and seeing him thus standing
laughed and said to him, "Art thou mad?  What!  I in my heart
purpose thee good and thou misdoubtest I will harm thee!"
presently adding, "But, if thou fear to go with me to my house, I
will go with thee to thine and teach thee there."  Hasan replied,
"'Tis well, O uncle," and the Persian rejoined, "Go thou before
me."  So Hasan led the way to his own house, and entering, told
his mother of the Persian's coming, for he had left him standing
at the door.  She ordered the house for them and when she had
made an end of furnishing and adorning it, her son bade her go to
one of the neighbours' lodgings.  So she left her home to them
and wended her way, whereupon Hasan brought in the Persian, who
entered after asking leave.  Then he took in hand a dish and
going to the market, returned with food, which he set before the
Persian, saying, "Eat, O my lord, that between us there may be
bread and salt and may Almighty Allah do vengeance upon the
traitor to bread and salt!"  The Persian replied with a smile,
"True, O my son!  Who knoweth the virtue and worth of bread and
salt?"[FN#18]  Then he came forward and ate with Hasan, till they
were satisfied; after which the Ajami said, "O my son Hasan,
bring us somewhat of sweetmeats."  So Hasan went to the market,
rejoicing in his words, and returned with ten saucers[FN#19] of
sweetmeats, of which they both ate and the Persian said, "May
Allah abundantly requite thee, O my son!  It is the like of thee
with whom folk company and to whom they discover their secrets
and teach what may profit him!"[FN#20]  Then said he, "O Hasan
bring the gear."  But hardly did Hasan hear these words than he
went forth like a colt let out to grass in spring-tide, and
hastening to the shop, fetched the apparatus and set it before
the Persian, who pulled out a piece of paper and said, "O Hasan,
by the bond of bread and salt, wert thou not dearer to me than my
son, I would not let thee into the mysteries of this art, for I
have none of the Elixir[FN#21] left save what is in this paper;
but by and by I will compound the simples whereof it is composed
and will make it before thee.  Know, O my son Hasan, that to
every ten pounds of copper thou must set half a drachm of that
which is in this paper, and the whole ten will presently become
unalloyed virgin gold;" presently adding, "O my son, O Hasan,
there are in this paper three ounces,[FN#22] Egyptian measure,
and when it is spent, I will make thee other and more."  Hasan
took the packet and finding therein a yellow powder, finer than
the first, said to the Persian, "O my lord, what is the name of
this substance and where is it found and how is it made?"  But he
laughed, longing to get hold of the youth, and replied, "Of what
dost thou question? Indeed thou art a froward boy!  Do thy work
and hold thy peace." So Hasan arose and fetching a brass platter
from the house, shore it in shreds and threw it into the
melting-pot; then he scattered on it a little of the powder from
the paper and it became a lump of pure gold.  When he saw this,
he joyed with exceeding joy and was filled with amazement and
could think of nothing save the gold; but, whilst he was occupied
with taking up the lumps of metal from the melting-pot, the
Persian pulled out of his turband in haste a packet of Cretan
Bhang, which if an elephant smelt, he would sleep from night to
night, and cutting off a little thereof, put it in a piece of the
sweetmeat.  Then said he, "O Hasan, thou art become my very son
and dearer to me than soul and wealth, and I have a daughter
whose like never have eyes beheld for beauty and loveliness,
symmetry and perfect grace. Now I see that thou befittest none
but her and she none but thee; wherefore, if it be Allah's will,
I will marry thee to her." Replied Hasan, "I am thy servant and
whatso good thou dost with me will be a deposit with the
Almighty!" and the Persian rejoined, "O my son, have fair
patience and fair shall betide thee." Therewith he gave him the
piece of sweetmeat and he took it and kissing his hand, put it in
his mouth, knowing not what was hidden for him in the after time
for only the Lord of Futurity knoweth the Future.  But hardly had
he swallowed it, when he fell down, head foregoing heels, and was
lost to the world; whereupon the Persian, seeing him in such
calamitous case, rejoiced exceedingly and cried, "Thou hast
fallen into my snares, O gallows-carrion, O dog of the Arabs!
This many a year have I sought thee and now I have found thee, O
Hasan!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan the goldsmith ate the bit of sweetmeat given to him by the
Ajami and fell fainting to the ground, the Persian rejoiced
exceedingly and cried, "This many a year have I sought thee and
now I have found thee!"  Then he girt himself and pinioned
Hasan's arms and binding his feet to his hands laid him in a
chest, which he emptied to that end and locked it upon him.
Moreover, he cleared another chest and laying therein all Hasan's
valuables, together with the piece of the first gold-lump and the
second ingot which he had made locked it with a padlock.  Then he
ran to the market and fetching a porter, took up the two chests
and made off with them to a place within sight of the city, where
he set them down on the sea-shore, hard by a vessel at anchor
there.  Now this craft had been freighted and fitted out by the
Persian and her master was awaiting him; so, when the crew saw
him, they came to him and bore the two chests on board.  Then the
Persian called out to the Rais or Captain, saying, "Up and let us
be off, for I have done my desire and won my wish."  So the
skipper sang out to the sailors, saying, "Weigh anchor and set
sail!" And the ship put out to sea with a fair wind.  So far
concerning the Persian; but as regards Hasan's mother, she
awaited him till supper-time but heard neither sound nor news of
him; so she went to the house and finding it thrown open, entered
and saw none therein and missed the two chests and their
valuables; wherefore she knew that her son was lost and that doom
had overtaken him; and she buffeted her face and rent her raiment
crying out and wailing and saying, "Alas, my son, ah!  Alas, the
fruit of my vitals, ah!"  And she recited these couplets,

"My patience fails me and grows anxiety; * And with your absence
     growth of grief I see.
By Allah, Patience went what time ye went! * Loss of all Hope how
     suffer patiently?
When lost my loved one how can' joy I sleep? * Who shall enjoy
     such life of low degree?
Thou 'rt gone and, desolating house and home, * Hast fouled the
     fount erst flowed from foulness free:
Thou wast my fame, my grace 'mid folk, my stay; * Mine aid wast
     thou in all adversity!
Perish the day, when from mine eyes they bore * My friend, till
     sight I thy return to me!"

And she ceased not to weep and wail till the dawn, when the
neighbours came in to her and asked her of her son, and she told
them what had befallen him with the Persian, assured that she
should never, never see him again.  Then she went round about the
house, weeping, and wending she espied two lines written upon the
wall; so she sent for a scholar, who read them to her; and they
were these,

"Leyla's phantom came by night, when drowsiness had overcome me,
     towards morning while my companions were sleeping in the
But when we awoke to behold the nightly phantom, I saw the air
     vacant and the place of visitation was distant."[FN#23]

When Hasan's mother heard these lines, she shrieked and said,
"Yes, O my son!  Indeed, the house is desolate and the
visitation-place is distant!"  Then the neighbours took leave of
her and after they had prayed that she might be vouchsafed
patience and speedy reunion with her son, went away; but she
ceased not to weep all watches of the night and tides of the day
and she built amiddlemost the house a tomb whereon she let write
Hasan's name and the date of his loss, and thenceforward she
quitted it not, but made a habit of incessantly biding thereby
night and day. Such was her case; but touching her son Hasan and
the Ajami, this Persian was a Magian, who hated Moslems with
exceeding hatred and destroyed all who fell into his power.  He
was a lewd and filthy villain, a hankerer after alchemy, an
astrologer and a hunter of hidden hoards, such an one as he of
whom quoth the poet,

"A dog, dog-fathered, by dog-grandsire bred; * No good in dog
     from dog race issued:
E'en for a gnat no resting-place gives he * Who is composed of
     seed by all men shed."[FN#24]

The name of this accursed was Bahrám the Guebre, and he was wont,
every year, to take a Moslem and cut his throat for his own
purposes.  So, when he had carried out his plot against Hasan the
goldsmith, they sailed on from dawn till dark, when the ship made
fast to the shore for the night, and at sunrise, when they set
sail again, Bahram bade his black slaves and white servants bring
him the chest wherein were Hasan.  They did so, and he opened it
and taking out the young man, made him sniff up vinegar and blew
a powder into his nostrils.  Hasan sneezed and vomited the Bhang;
then, opening his eyes, he looked about him right and left and
found himself amiddleward the sea on aboard a ship in full sail,
and saw the Persian sitting by him; wherefore he knew that the
accursed Magian had put a cheat on him and that he had fallen
into the very peril against which his mother had warned him.  So
he spake the saying which shall never shame the sayer, to wit,
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!  Verity, we are Allah's and unto Him we are
returning! O my God, be Thou gracious to me in Thine appointment
and give me patience to endure this Thine affliction, O Lord of
the three Worlds!"  Then he turned to the Persian and bespoke him
softly, saying, "O my father, what fashion is this and where is
the covenant of bread and salt and the oath thou swarest to
me?"[FN#25]  But Bahram stared at him and replied, "O dog,
knoweth the like of me bond of bread and salt? I have slain of
youths like thee a thousand, save one, and thou shalt make up the
thousand."  And he cried out at him and Hasan was silent, knowing
that the Fate-shaft had shot him.--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan beheld himself fallen into the hands of the damned Persian
he bespoke him softly but gained naught thereby for the Ajami
cried out at him in wrath, so he was silent, knowing that the
Fate-shaft had shot him.  Then the accursed bade loose his
pinion-bonds and they gave him a little water to drink, whilst
the Magian laughed and said, "By the virtue of the Fire and the
Light and the Shade and the Heat, methought not thou wouldst fall
into my nets!  But the Fire empowered me over thee and helped me
to lay hold upon thee, that I might win my wish and return and
make thee a sacrifice, to her[FN#26] so she may accept of me."
Quoth Hasan, "Thou hast foully betrayed bread and salt";
whereupon the Magus raised his hand and dealt him such a buffet
that he fell and, biting the deck with his fore-teeth, swooned
away, whilst the tears trickled down his cheeks.  Then the Guebre
bade his servants light him a fire and Hasan said, "What wilt
thou do with it?" Replied the Magian, "This is the Fire, lady of
light and sparkles bright!  This it is I worship, and if thou
wilt worship her even as I, verily I will give thee half my
monies and marry thee to my maiden daughter."  Thereupon Hasan
cried angrily at him, "Woe to thee!  Thou art a miscreant Magian
who to Fire dost pray in lieu of the King of Omnipotent sway,
Creator of Night and Day; and this is naught but a calamity among
creeds!" At this the Magian was wroth and said to him, "Wilt thou
not then conform with me, O dog of the Arabs, and enter my
faith?"  But Hasan consented not to this: so the accursed Guebre
arose and prostrating himself to the fire, bade his pages throw
him flat on his face. They did so, and he beat him with a hide
whip of plaited thongs[FN#27] till his flanks were laid open,
whilst he cried aloud for aid but none aided him, and besought
protection, but none protected him. Then he raised his eyes to
the All-powerful King and sought of Him succour in the name of
the Chosen Prophet.  And indeed patience failed him; his tears
ran down his cheeks, like rain, and he repeated these couplets

"In patience, O my God, Thy doom forecast * I'll bear, an thereby
     come Thy grace at last:
They've dealt us wrong, transgressed and ordered ill; * Haply Thy
     Grace  shall pardon what is past."

Then the Magian bade his negro-slaves raise him to a sitting
posture and bring him somewhat of meat and drink.  So they sat
food before him; but he consented not to eat or drink; and Bahram
ceased not to torment him day and night during the whole voyage,
whilst Hasan took patience and humbled himself in supplication
before Almighty Allah to whom belong Honour and Glory; whereby
the Guebre's heart was hardened against him. They ceased not to
sail the sea three months, during which time Hasan was
continually tortured till Allah Almighty sent forth upon them a
foul wind and the sea grew black and rose against the ship, by
reason of the fierce gale; whereupon quoth the captain and
crew,[FN#28] "By Allah, this is all on account of yonder youth,
who hath been these three months in torture with this Magian.
Indeed, this is not allowed of God the Most High."  Then they
rose against the Magian and slew his servants and all who were
with him; which when he saw, he made sure of death and feared for
himself.  So he loosed Hasan from his bonds and pulling off the
ragged clothes the youth had on, clad him in others; and made
excuses to him and promised to teach him the craft and restore
him to his native land, saying, "O my son, return me not evil for
that I have done with thee."  Quoth Hasan, "How can I ever rely
upon thee again?"; and quoth Bahram, "O my son, but for sin,
there were no pardon.  Indeed, I did all these doings with thee,
but to try thy patience, and thou knowest that the case is
altogether in the hands of Allah."  So the crew and captain
rejoiced in Hasan's release, and he called down blessings on them
and praised the Almighty and thanked Him.  With this the wind was
stilled and the sky cleared and with a fair breeze they continued
their voyage. Then said Hasan to Bahram, "O Master,[FN#29]
whither wendest thou?"  Replied the Magian, "O, my son, I am
bound for the Mountain of Clouds, where is the Elixir which we
use in alchemy."  And the Guebre swore to him by the Fire and the
Light that he had no longer any cause to fear him.  So Hasan's
heart was set at ease and rejoicing at the Persian's words, he
continued to eat and drink and sleep with the Magian, who clad
him in his own raiment.  They ceased not sailing on other three
months, when the ship came to anchor off a long shoreline of many
coloured pebbles, white and yellow and sky-blue and black and
every other hue, and the Magian sprang up and said, "O Hasan,
come, let us go ashore for we have reached the place of our wish
and will."  So Hasan rose and landed with Bahram, after the
Persian had commended his goods to the captain's care. They
walked on inland, till they were far enough from the ship to be
out of sight, when Bahram sat down and taking from his pocket a
kettle-drum[FN#30] of copper and a silken strap, worked in gold
with characts, beat the drum with the strap, until there arose a
cloud of dust from the further side of the waste.  Hasan
marvelled at the Magian's doings and was afraid of him: he
repented of having come ashore with him and his colour changed.
But Bahram looked at him and said, "What aileth thee, O my son?
By the truth of the Fire and the Light, thou hast naught to fear
from me; and, were it not that my wish may never be won save by
thy means, I had not brought thee ashore.  So rejoice in all
good; for yonder cloud of dust is the dust of somewhat we will
mount and which will aid us to cut across this wold and make easy
to us the hardships thereof."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Persian said to Hasan, "In very sooth yonder dust-cloud is the
cloud of something we will mount and which will aid us to cut
across this wold and will make easy to us the hardships thereof."
Presently the dust lifted off three she-dromedaries, one of which
Bahram mounted and Hasan another.  Then they loaded their victual
on the third and fared on seven days, till they came to a wide
champaign and, descending into its midst, they saw a dome vaulted
upon four pilasters of red gold; so they alighted and entering
thereunder, ate and drank and took their rest.  Anon Hasan
chanced to glance aside and seeing from afar a something lofty
said to the Magian, "What is that, O nuncle?"  Bahram replied,
"'Tis a palace," and quoth Hasan, "Wilt thou not go thither, that
we may enter and there repose ourselves and solace ourselves with
inspecting it?"  But the Persian was wroth and said, "Name not to
me yonder palace; for therein dwelleth a foe, with whom there
befel me somewhat whereof this is no time to tell thee."  Then he
beat the kettle-drum and up came the dromedaries, and they
mounted and fared on other seven days.  On the eighth day, the
Magian said, "O Hasan, what seest thou?"  Hasan replied, "I see
clouds and mists twixt east and west."  Quoth Bahram, "That is
neither clouds nor mists, but a vast mountain and a lofty whereon
the clouds split,[FN#31] and there are no clouds above it, for
its exceeding height and surpassing elevation.  Yon mount is my
goal and thereon is the need we seek. 'Tis for that I brought
thee hither, for my wish may not be won save at thy hands.  Hasan
hearing this gave his life up for lost and said to the Magian,
"By the right of that thou worshippest and by the faith wherein
thou believest, I conjure thee to tell me what is the object
wherefor thou hast brought me!"  Bahram replied, "The art of
alchemy may not be accomplished save by means of a herb which
groweth in the place where the clouds pass and whereon they
split. Such a site is yonder mountain upon whose head the herb
groweth and I purpose to send thee up thither to fetch it; and
when we have it, I will show thee the secret of this craft which
thou desirest to learn."  Hasan answered, in his fear, "'Tis
well, O my master;" and indeed he despaired of life and wept for
his parting from his parent and people and patrial stead,
repenting him of having gainsaid his mother and reciting these
two couplets,

"Consider but thy Lord, His work shall bring * Comfort to thee,
     with quick  relief and near:
Despair not when thou sufferest sorest bane: * In bane how many
     blessed  boons appear!"

They ceased not faring on till they came to the foothills of that
mountain where they halted; and Hasan saw thereon a palace and
asked Bahram, "What be yonder palace?"; whereto he answered,
"'Tis the abode of the Jann and Ghuls and Satans."  Then the
Magian alighted and making Hasan also dismount from his dromedary
kissed his head and said to him, "Bear me no ill will anent that
I did with thee, for I will keep guard over thee in thine ascent
to the palace; and I conjure thee not to trick and cheat me of
aught thou shalt bring therefrom; and I and thou will share
equally therein."  And Hasan replied, "To hear is to obey." Then
Bahram opened a bag and taking out a handmill and a sufficiency
of wheat, ground the grain and kneaded three round cakes of the
flour; after which he lighted a fire and baked the bannocks.
Then he took out the copper kettledrum and beat it with the
broidered strap, whereupon up came the dromedaries. He chose out
one and said, "Hearken, O my son, O Hasan, to what I am about to
enjoin on thee;" and Hasan replied, "'Tis well."  Bahram
continued, "Lie down on this skin and I will sew thee up therein
and lay thee on the ground; whereupon the Rakham birds[FN#32]
will come to thee and carry thee up to the mountain-top.  Take
this knife with thee; and, when thou feelest that the birds have
done flying and have set thee down, slit open therewith the skin
and come forth.  The vultures will then take fright at thee and
fly away; whereupon do thou look down from the mountain head and
speak to me, and I will tell thee what to do."  So he sewed him
up in the skin, placing therein three cakes and a leathern bottle
full of water, and withdrew to a distance. Presently a vulture
pounced upon him and taking him up, flew away with him to the
mountain-top and there set him down.  As soon as Hasan felt
himself on the ground, he slit the skin and coming forth, called
out to the Magian, who hearing his speech rejoiced and danced for
excess of joy, saying to him, "Look behind thee and tell me what
thou seest."  Hasan looked and seeing many rotten bones and much
wood, told Bahram, who said to him, "This be what we need and
seek. Make six bundles of the wood and throw them down to me, for
this is wherewithal we do alchemy."  So he threw him the six
bundles and when he had gotten them into his power he said to
Hasan, "O gallows bird, I have won my wish of thee; and now, if
thou wilt, thou mayst abide on this mountain, or cast thyself
down to the earth and perish.  So saying, he left him[FN#33] and
went away, and Hasan exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!  This hound hath
played the traitor with me."  And he sat bemoaning himself and
reciting these couplets,

"When God upon a man possessed of reasoning, Hearing and sight
     His will in aught to pass would bring,
He stops his ears and blinds his eyes and draws his wit, From
     him, as one  draws out the hairs to paste that cling;
Till, His decrees fulfilled, He gives him back His wit, That
     therewithal he  may receive admonishing.
So say thou not of aught that haps, 'How happened it?' For Fate
     and  fortune fixed do order everything.[FN#34]"

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

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Magian sent Hasan to the mountain-top and made him throw down all
he required he presently reviled him and left him and wended his
ways and the youth exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This damned
hound hath played the traitor."  Then he rose to his feet and
looked right and left, after which he walked on along the
mountain top, in mind making certain of death.  He fared on thus
till he came to the counterslope of the mountain, along which he
saw a dark-blue sea, dashing with billows clashing and yeasting
waves each as it were a lofty mount.  So he sat down and repeated
what he might of the Koran and besought Allah the Most High to
ease him of his troubles, or by death or by deliverance from such
strait.  Then he recited for himself the funeral-prayer[FN#35]
and cast himself down into the main; but, the waves bore him up
by Allah's grace, so that he reached the water unhurt, and the
angel in whose charge is the sea watched over him, so that the
billows bore him safe to land, by the decree of the Most High.
Thereupon he rejoiced and praised Almighty Allah and thanked Him;
after which he walked on in quest of something to eat, for stress
of hunger, and came presently to the place where he had halted
with the Magian, Bahram.  Then he fared on awhile, till behold,
he caught sight of a great palace, rising high in air, and knew
it for that of which he had questioned the Persian and he had
replied, "Therein dwelleth a foe, of mine."  Hasan said to
himself, "By Allah, needs must I enter yonder palace; perchance
relief awaiteth me there."  So coming to it and finding the gate
open, he entered the vestibule, where he saw seated on a bench
two girls like twin moons with a chess-cloth before them and they
were at play.  One of them raised her head to him and cried out
for joy saying, "By Allah, here is a son of Adam, and methinks
'tis he whom Bahram the Magian brought hither this year!" So
Hasan hearing her words cast himself at their feet and wept with
sore weeping and said, "Yes, O my ladies, by Allah, I am indeed
that unhappy." Then said the younger damsel to her elder sister,
"Bear witness against me,[FN#36] O my sister, that this is my
brother by covenant of Allah and that I will die for his death
and live for his life and joy for his joy and mourn for his
mourning." So saying, she rose and embraced him and kissed him
and presently taking him by the hand and her sister with her, led
him into the palace, where she did off his ragged clothes and
brought him a suit of King's raiment wherewith she arrayed him.
Moreover, she made ready all manner viands[FN#37] and set them
before him, and sat and ate with him, she and her sister. Then
said they to him, "Tell us thy tale with yonder dog, the wicked,
the wizard, from the time of thy falling into his hands to that
of thy freeing thee from him; and after we will tell thee all
that hath passed between us and him, so thou mayst be on thy
guard against him an thou see him again." Hearing these words and
finding himself thus kindly received, Hasan took heart of grace
and reason returned to him and he related to them all that had
befallen him with the Magian from first to last.  Then they
asked, "Didst thou ask him of this palace?"; and he answered,
"Yes, but he said, 'Name it not to me; for it belongeth to Ghuls
and Satans.'" At this, the two damsels waxed wroth with exceeding
wrath and said, "Did that miscreant style us Ghuls and Satans?"
And Hasan answered, "Yes." Cried the younger sister, "By Allah, I
will assuredly do him die with the foulest death and make him to
lack the wind of the world!"  Quoth Hasan, "And how wilt thou get
at him, to kill him, for he is a crafty magician?"; and quoth
she, "He is in a garden by name Al-Mushayyad,[FN#38] and there is
no help but that I slay him before long."  Then said her sister,
"Sooth spake Hasan in everything he hath recounted to us of this
cur; but now tell him our tale, that all of it may abide in his
memory."  So the younger said to him, "Know, O my brother, that
we are the daughters of a King of the mightiest Kings of the
Jann, having Marids for troops and guards and servants, and
Almighty Allah blessed him with seven daughters by one wife; but
of his folly such jealousy and stiff-neckedness and pride beyond
compare gat hold upon him that he would not give us in marriage
to any one and, summoning his Wazirs and Emirs, he said to them,
'Can ye tell me of any place untrodden by the tread of men and
Jinn and abounding in trees and fruits and rills?' And quoth
they, 'What wilt thou therewith, O King of the Age?' And quoth
he, 'I desire there to lodge my seven daughters.' Answered they,
'O King, the place for them is the Castle of the Mountain of
Clouds, built by an Ifrit of the rebellious Jinn, who revolted
from the covenant of our lord Solomon, on whom be the peace!
Since his destruction, none hath dwelt there, nor man nor Jinni,
for 'tis cut off[FN#39] and none may win to it.  And the Castle
is girt about with trees and fruits and rills, and the water
running around it is sweeter than honey and colder than snow:
none who is afflicted with leprosy or elephantiasis[FN#40] or
what not else drinketh thereof but he is healed forthright.
Hearing this our father sent us hither, with an escort of his
troops and guards and provided us with all that we need here.
When he is minded to ride to us he beateth a kettle-drum,
whereupon all his hosts present themselves before him and he
chooseth whom he shall ride and dismisseth the rest; but, when he
desireth that we shall visit him, he commandeth his followers,
the enchanters, to fetch us and carry us to the presence; so he
may solace himself with our society and we accomplish our desire
of him; after which they again carry us back hither.  Our five
other sisters are gone a-hunting in our desert, wherein are wild
beasts past compt or calculation and, it being our turn to do
this we two abode at home, to make ready for them food.  Indeed,
we had besought Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) to vouchsafe
us a son of Adam to cheer us with his company and praised be He
who hath brought thee to us!  So be of good cheer and keep thine
eyes cool and clear, for no harm shall befal thee."  Hasan
rejoiced and said, "Alhamdolillah, laud to the Lord who guideth
us into the path of deliverance and inclineth hearts to us!" Then
his sister[FN#41] rose and taking him by the hand, led him into a
private chamber, where she brought out to him linen and furniture
that no mortal can avail unto.  Presently, the other damsels
returned from hunting and birding and their sisters acquainted
them with Hasan's case; whereupon they rejoiced in him and going
into him in his chamber, saluted him with the salam and gave him
joy of his safety.  Then he abode with them in all the solace of
life and its joyance, riding out with them to the chase and
taking his pleasure with them whilst they entreated him
courteously and cheered him with converse, till his sadness
ceased from him and he recovered health and strength and his body
waxed stout and fat, by dint of fair treatment and pleasant time
among the seven moons in that fair palace with its gardens and
flowers; for indeed he led the delightsomest of lives with the
damsels who delighted in him and he yet more in them.  And they
used to give him drink of the honey-dew of their lips[FN#42]
these beauties with the high bosoms, adorned with grace and
loveliness, the perfection of brilliancy and in shape very
symmetry.  Moreover the youngest Princess told her sisters how
Bahram the Magian had made them of the Ghuls and Demons and
Satans,[FN#43] and they sware that they would surely slay him.
Next year the accursed Guebre again made his appearance, having
with him a handsome young Moslem, as he were the moon, bound hand
and foot and tormented with grievous tortures, and alighted with
him below the palace-walls. Now Hasan was sitting under the trees
by the side of the stream; and when he espied Bahram, his heart
fluttered,[FN#44] his hue changed and he smote hand upon
hand.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan the goldsmith saw the Magian, his heart fluttered, his hue
changed and he smote hand upon hand.  Then he said to the
Princesses, "O my sisters, help me to the slaughter of this
accursed, for here he is come back and in your grasp, and he
leadeth with him captive a young Moslem of the sons of the
notables, whom he is torturing with all manner grievous torments.
Lief would I kill him and console my heart of him; and, by
delivering the young Moslem from his mischief and restoring him
to his country and kith and kin and friends, fain would I lay up
merit for the world to come, by taking my wreak of him.[FN#45]
This will be an almsdeed from you and ye will reap the reward
thereof from Almighty Allah."  "We hear and we obey Allah and
thee, O our brother, O Hasan," replied they and binding
chin-veils, armed themselves and slung on their swords: after
which they brought Hasan a steed of the best and equipped him in
panoply and weaponed him with goodly weapons.  Then they all
sallied out and found the Magian who had slaughtered and skinned
a camel, ill-using the young Moslem, and saying to him, "Sit thee
in this hide."  So Hasan came behind him, without his knowledge,
and cried out at him till he was dazed and amazed.  Then he came
up to him, saying, "Hold thy hand, O accursed! O enemy of Allah
and foe of the Moslems! O dog! O traitor! O thou that flame dost
obey! O thou that walkest in the wicked ones' ways, worshipping
the fire and the light and swearing by the shade and the heat!"
Herewith the Magian turned and seeing Hasan, thought to wheedle
him and said to him, "O my son, how diddest thou escape and who
brought thee down to earth?" Hasan replied, "He delivered me, who
hath appointed the taking of thy life to be at my hand, and I
will torture thee even as thou torturedst me the whole way long.
O miscreant, O atheist,[FN#46] thou hast fallen into the twist
and the way thou hast missed; and neither mother shall avail thee
nor brother, nor friend nor solemn covenant shall assist thee;
for thou saidst, O accursed, Whoso betrayeth bread and salt, may
Allah do vengeance upon him! And thou hast broken the bond of
bread and salt; wherefore the Almighty hath thrown thee into my
grasp, and far is thy chance of escape from me."  Rejoined
Bahram, "By Allah, O my son, O Hasan, thou art dearer to me than
my sprite and the light of mine eyes!" But Hasan stepped up to
him and hastily smote him between the shoulders, that the sword
issued gleaming from his throat-tendons and Allah hurried his
soul to the fire, and abiding-place dire.  Then Hasan took the
Magian's bag and opened it, then having taken out the kettle-drum
he struck it with the strap, whereupon up came the dromedaries
like lightning.  So he unbound the youth from his bonds and
setting him on one of the camels, loaded him another with victual
and water,[FN#47] saying, "Wend whither thou wilt."  So he
departed, after Almighty Allah had thus delivered him from his
strait at the hands of Hasan.  When the damsels saw their brother
slay the Magian they joyed in him with exceeding joy and gat
round him, marvelling at his valour and prowess,[FN#48] and
thanked him for his deed and gave him joy of his safety, saying,
"O Hasan thou hast done a deed, whereby thou hast healed the
burning of him that thirsteth for vengeance and pleased the King
of Omnipotence!"  Then they returned to the palace, and he abode
with them, eating and drinking and laughing and making merry; and
indeed his sojourn with them was joyous to him and he forgot his
mother;[FN#49] but while he led with them this goodly life one
day, behold, there arose from the further side of the desert a
great cloud of dust that darkened the welkin and made towards
them.  When the Princess saw this, they said to him, "Rise, O
Hasan, run to thy chamber and conceal thyself; or an thou wilt,
go down into the garden and hide thyself among the trees and
vines; but fear not, for no harm shall befal thee." So he arose
and entering his chamber, locked the door upon himself, and lay
lurking in the palace.  Presently the dust opened out and showed
beneath it a great conquering host, as it were a surging sea,
coming from the King, the father of the damsels. Now when the
troops reached the castle, the Princesses received them with all
honour and hospitably entertained them three days; after which
they questioned them of their case and tidings and they replied
saying, "We come from the King in quest of you."  They asked,
"And what would the King with us?"; and the officers answered,
"One of the Kings maketh a marriage festival, and your father
would have you be present thereat and take your pleasure
therewith." The damsels enquired, "And how long shall we be
absent from our place?"; and they rejoined, "The time to come and
go, and to sojourn may be two months." So the Princesses arose
and going in to the palace sought Hasan, acquainted him with the
case and said to him, "Verily this place is thy place and our
house is thy house; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool
and clear and feel nor grief nor fear, for none can come at thee
here; but keep a good heart and a glad mind, till we return to
thee.  The keys of our chambers we leave with thee; but, O our
brother, we beseech thee, by the bond of brotherhood, in very
deed not to open such a door, for thou hast no need thereto."
Then they farewelled him and fared forth with the troops, leaving
Hasan alone in the palace.  It was not long before his breast
grew straitened and his patience shortened: solitude and sadness
were heavy on him and he sorrowed for his severance from them
with passing chagrin.  The palace for all its vastness, waxed
small to him and finding himself sad and solitary, he bethought
him of the damsels and their pleasant converse and recited these

"The wide plain is narrowed before these eyes * And the landscape
     troubles  this heart of mine.
Since my friends went forth, by the loss of them * Joy fled and
     these  eyelids rail floods of brine:
Sleep shunned these eyeballs for parting woe * And my mind is
     worn with  sore pain and pine:
Would I wot an Time shall rejoin our lots * And the joys of love
     with night-talk combine."

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

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the
departure of the damsels, Hasan sat in the palace sad and
solitary and his breast was straitened by severance.  He used to
ride forth a-hunting by himself in the wold and bring back the
game and slaughter it and eat thereof alone: but melancholy and
disquiet redoubled on him, by reason of his loneliness.  So he
arose and went round about the palace and explored its every
part; he opened the Princesses' apartments and found therein
riches and treasures fit to ravish the beholder's reason; but he
delighted not in aught thereof, by reason of their absence.  His
heart was fired by thinking of the door they had charged him not
to approach or open on any account and he said in himself, "My
sister had never enjoined me not to open this door, except there
were behind it somewhat whereof she would have none to know; but,
by Allah, I will arise and open it and see what is within, though
within it were sudden death!" Then he took the key and, opening
the door,[FN#50] saw therein no treasure but he espied a vaulted
and winding staircase of Yamani onyx at the upper end of the
chamber.  So he mounted the stair, which brought him out upon the
terrace- roof of the palace, whence he looked down upon the
gardens and vergiers, full of trees and fruits and beasts and
birds warbling praises of Allah, the One, the All-powerful; and
said in himself "This is that they forbade to me."   He gazed
upon these pleasaunces and saw beyond a surging sea, dashing with
clashing billows, and he ceased not to explore the palace right
and left, till he ended at a pavilion builded with alternate
courses, two bricks of gold and one of silver and jacinth and
emerald and supported by four columns.  And in the centre he saw
a sitting- room paved and lined with a mosaic of all manner
precious stones such as rubies and emeralds and balasses and
other jewels of sorts; and in its midst stood a basin[FN#51]
brimful of water, over which was a trellis-work of sandalwood and
aloes-wood reticulated with rods of red gold and wands of emerald
and set with various kinds of jewels and fine pearls, each sized
as a pigeon's egg.  The trellis was covered with a climbing vine,
bearing grapes like rubies, and beside the basin stood a throne
of lign-aloes latticed with red gold, inlaid with great pearls
and comprising vari-coloured gems of every sort and precious
minerals  each kind fronting each and symmetrically disposed.
About it the birds warbled with sweet tongues and various voices
celebrating the praises of Allah the Most High: brief, it was a
palace such as nor Cæsar nor Chosroës ever owned; but Hasan saw
therein none of the creatures of Allah, whereat he marvelled and
said in himself, "I wonder to which of the Kings this place
pertaineth, or is it Many-Columned Iram whereof they tell, for
who among mortals can avail to the like of this?"   And indeed he
was amazed at the spectacle and sat down in the pavilion and cast
glances around him marvelling at the beauty of its ordinance and
at the lustre of the pearls and jewels and the curious works
which therein were, no less than at the gardens and orchards
aforesaid and at the birds that hymned the praises of Allah, the
One, the Almighty; and he abode pondering the traces of him whom
the Most High had enabled to rear that structure, for indeed He
is muchel of might.[FN#52] And presently, behold, he espied ten
birds[FN#53] flying towards the pavilion from the heart of the
desert and knew that they were making the palace and bound for
the basin, to drink of its waters: so he hid himself, for fear
they should see him and take flight.  They lighted on a great
tree and a goodly and circled round about it; and he saw amongst
them a bird of marvel-beauty, the goodliest of them all, and the
nine stood around it and did it service; and Hasan marvelled to
see it peck them with its bill and lord it over them while they
fled from it.  He stood gazing at them from afar as they entered
the pavilion and perched on the couch; after which each bird rent
open its neck-skin with its claws and issued out of it; and lo!
it was but a garment of feathers, and there came forth therefrom
ten virgins, maids whose beauty shamed the brilliancy of the
moon.  They all doffed their clothes and plunging into the basin,
washed and fell to playing and sporting one with other; whilst
the chief bird of them lifted up the rest and ducked them down
and they fled from her and dared not put forth their hands to
her.  When Hasan beheld her thus he took leave of his right
reason and his sense was enslaved, so he knew that the Princesses
had not forbidden him to open the door save because of this; for
he fell passionately in love with her, for what he saw of her
beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect grace, as she played
and sported and splashed the others with the water.  He stood
looking upon them whilst they saw him not, with eye gazing and
heart burning and soul[FN#54] to evil prompting; and he sighed to
be with them and wept for longing, because of the beauty and
loveliness of the chief damsel.  His mind was amazed at her
charms and his heart taken in the net of her love; lowe was
loosed in his heart for her sake and there waxed on him a flame,
whose sparks might not be quenched, and desire, whose signs might
not be hidden.  Presently, they came up out of that basin, whilst
Hasan marvelled at their beauty and loveliness and the tokens of
inner gifts in the elegance of their movements. Then he cast a
glance at the chief damsel who stood mother- naked and there was
manifest to him what was between her thighs a goodly rounded dome
on pillars borne, like a bowl of silver or crystal, which
recalled to him the saying of the poet,[FN#55]

"When I took up her shift and discovered the terrace-roof of her
     kaze, I found it as strait as my humour or eke my worldly
So I thrust it, incontinent, in, halfway, and she heaved a sigh.
     'For what dost thou sigh?' quoth I. 'For the rest of it
     sure,' she says."

Then coming out of the water they all put on their dresses and
ornaments, and the chief maiden donned a green dress,[FN#56]
wherein she surpassed for loveliness all the fair ones of the
world and the lustre of her face outshone the resplendent full
moons: she excelled the branches with the grace of her bending
gait and confounded the wit with apprehension of disdain; and
indeed she was as saith the poet,[FN#57]

"A maiden 'twas, the dresser's art had decked with cunning
The sun thou 'd'st say had robbed her cheek and shone with
     borrowed light.
She came to us apparelled fair in under vest of green,
Like as the ripe pomegranate hides beneath its leafy screen;
And when we asked her what might be the name of what she wore,
She answered in a quaint reply that double meaning bore:
The desert's heart we penetrate in such apparel dressed,
And Pierce-heart therefore is the name by which we call the

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

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan saw the damsels issue forth the basin, the chief maiden
robbed his reason with her beauty and loveliness compelling him
to recite the couplets forequoted.  And after dressing they sat
talking and laughing, whilst he stood gazing on them, drowned in
the sea of his love, burning in the flames of passion and
wandering in the Wady of his melancholy thought.  And he said to
himself, "By Allah, my sister forbade me not to open the door,
but for cause of these maidens and for fear lest I should fall in
love with one of them!  How, O Hasan shalt thou woo and win them?
How bring down a bird flying in the vasty firmament?  By Allah
thou hast cast thyself into a bottomless sea and snared thyself
in a net whence there is no escape!  I shall die desolate and
none shall wot of my death."  And he continued to gaze on the
charms of the chief damsel, who was the loveliest creature Allah
had made in her day, and indeed she outdid in beauty all human
beings. She had a mouth magical as Solomon's seal and hair
blacker than the night of estrangement to the love-despairing
man; her brow was bright as the crescent moon of the Feast of
Ramazán[FN#58] and her eyes were like eyes wherewith gazelles
scan; she had a polished nose straight as a cane and cheeks like
blood-red anemones of Nu'uman, lips like coralline and teeth like
strung pearls in carcanets of gold virgin to man, and a neck like
an ingot of silver, above a shape like a wand of Bán: her middle
was full of folds, a dimpled plain such as enforceth the
distracted lover to magnify Allah and extol His might and main,
and her navel[FN#59] an ounce of musk, sweetest of savour could
contain: she had thighs great and plump, like marble columns
twain or bolsters stuffed with down from ostrich ta'en, and
between them a somewhat, as it were a hummock great of span or a
hare with ears back lain while terrace-roof and pilasters
completed the plan; and indeed she surpassed the bough of the
myrobalan with her beauty and symmetry, and the Indian rattan,
for she was even as saith of them the poet whom love did

"Her lip-dews rival honey-sweets, that sweet virginity; *
     Keener than Hindi scymitar the glance she casts at thee:
She shames the bending bough of Bán with graceful movement slow *
     And as she smiles her teeth appear with leven's brilliancy:
When I compared with rose a-bloom the tintage of her cheeks, *
     She laughed in scorn and cried, 'Whoso compares with rosery
My hue and breasts, granados terms, is there no shame in him? *
     How should pomegranates bear on bough such fruit in form or
Now by my beauty and mine eyes and heart and eke by Heaven *
     Of favours mine and by the Hell of my unclemency,
They say 'She is a garden-rose in very pride of bloom'; *
     And yet no rose can ape my cheek nor branch my symmetry!
If any garden own a thing which unto me is like, *
     What then is that he comes to crave of me and only me?"'

They ceased not to laugh and play, whilst Hasan stood still
a-watching them, forgetting meat and drink, till near the hour of
mid-afternoon prayer, when the beauty, the chief damsel, said to
her mates, "O Kings' daughters, it waxeth late and our land is
afar and we are weary of this stead.  Come, therefore, let us
depart to our own place." So they all arose and donned their
feather vests, and becoming birds as they were before, flew away
all together, with the chief lady in their midst.  Then, Hasan,
despairing of their return, would have arisen and gone down into
the palace  but could not move or even stand; wherefore the tears
ran down his cheeks and passion was sore on him and he recited
these couplets,

"May God deny me boon of troth if I * After your absence sweets
     of slumber know:
Yea; since that sev'rance never close mine eyes, * Nor rest
     repose me since departed you!
'Twould seem as though you saw me in your sleep; * Would Heaven
     the dreams of sleep were real-true!
Indeed I dote on sleep though needed not, * For sleep may bring
     me that dear form to view."

Then Hasan walked on, little by little, heeding not the way he
went, till he reached the foot of the stairs, whence he dragged
himself to his own chamber; then he entered and shutting the
door, lay sick eating not nor drinking and drowned in the sea of
his solitude.  He spent the night thus, weeping and bemoaning
himself, till the morning, and when it morrowed he repeated these

"The birds took flight at eve and winged their way; * And sinless
     he who died of Love's death-blow.
I'll keep my love-tale secret while I can * But, an desire
     prevail, its needs must show:
Night brought me nightly vision, bright as dawn; * While nights
     of my desire lack morning-glow.
I mourn for them[FN#61] while they heart-freest sleep * And winds
     of love on me their plaything blow:
Free I bestow my tears, my wealth, my heart * My wit, my sprite:–
     most gain who most bestow!
The worst of woes and banes is enmity * Beautiful maidens deal us
     to our woe.
Favour they say's forbidden to the fair * And shedding lovers'
     blood their laws allow;
That naught can love-sicks do but lavish soul, * And stake in
     love-play life on single throw:[FN#62]
I cry in longing ardour for my love: * Lover can only weep and
     wail Love-lowe."

When the sun rose he opened the door, went forth of the chamber
and mounted to the stead where he was before: then he sat down
facing the pavilion and awaited the return of the birds till
nightfall; but they returned not; wherefore he wept till he fell
to the ground in a fainting-fit. When he came to after his swoon,
he dragged himself down the stairs to his chamber; and indeed,
the darkness was come and straitened upon him was the whole world
and he ceased not to weep and wail himself through the livelong
night, till the day broke and the sun rained over hill and dale
its rays serene.  He ate not nor drank nor slept, nor was there
any rest for him; but by day he was distracted and by night
distressed, with sleeplessness delirious and drunken with
melancholy thought and excess of love-longing.  And he repeated
the verses of the love-distraught poet,

"O thou who shamest sun in morning sheen * The branch
     confounding, yet with nescience blest;
Would Heaven I wot an Time shall bring return * And quench the
     fires which flame unmanifest,--
Bring us together in a close embrace, * Thy cheek upon my cheek,
     thy breast abreast!
Who saith, In Love dwells sweetness? when in Love * Are bitterer
     days than Aloës[FN#63] bitterest."

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

     When it was the Seven Hundred and Eighty-eighty Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan the goldsmith felt love redouble upon him, he recited those
lines; and, as he abode thus in the stress of his
love-distraction, alone and finding none to cheer him with
company, behold, there arose a dust-cloud from the desert,
wherefore he ran down and hid himself knowing that the Princesses
who owned the castle had returned.  Before long, the troops
halted and dismounted round the palace and the seven damsels
alighted and entering, put off their arms and armour of war.  As
for the youngest, she stayed not to doff her weapons and gear,
but went straight to Hasan's chamber, where finding him not, she
sought for him, till she lighted on him in one of the sleeping
closets hidden, feeble and thin, with shrunken body and wasted
bones and indeed his colour was changed and his eyes sunken in
his face for lack of food and drink and for much weeping, by
reason of his love and longing for the young lady.  When she saw
him in this plight, she was confounded and lost her wits; but
presently she questioned him of his case and what had befallen
him, saying, "Tell me what aileth thee, O my brother, that I may
contrive to do away thine affliction, and I will be thy
ransom!"[FN#64] Whereupon he wept with sore weeping and by way of
reply he began reciting,

"Lover, when parted from the thing he loves, * Has naught save
     weary woe and bane to bear.
Inside is sickness, outside living lowe, * His first is fancy and
     his last despair."

When his sister heard this, she marvelled at his eloquence and
loquent speech and his readiness at answering her in verse and
said to him, "O my brother, when didst thou fall into this thy
case and what hath betided thee, that I find thee speaking in
song and shedding tears that throng?  Allah upon thee, O my
brother, and by the honest love which is between us, tell me what
aileth thee and discover to me thy secret, nor conceal from me
aught of that which hath befallen thee in our absence; for my
breast is straitened and my life is troubled because of thee."
He sighed and railed tears like rain, after which he said, "I
fear, O my sister, if I tell thee, that thou wilt not aid me to
win my wish but wilt leave me to die wretchedly in mine anguish."
She replied, "No, by Allah, O my brother, I will not abandon
thee, though it cost me my life!"  So he told her all that had
befallen him, and that the cause of his distress and affliction
was the passion he had conceived for the young lady whom he had
seen when he opened the forbidden door; and how he had not tasted
meat nor drink for ten days past.  Then he wept with sore weeping
and recited these couplets,

"Restore my heart as 'twas within my breast, * Let mine eyes
     sleep again, then fly fro' me.
Deem ye the nights have had the might to change * Love's vow?
     Who changeth may he never be!"

His sister wept for his weeping and was moved to ruth for his
case and pitied his strangerhood; so she said to him, "O my
brother, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for
I will venture being and risk existence to content thee and
devise thee a device wherewith, though it cost me my dear life
and all I hold dear, thou mayst get possession of her and
accomplish thy desire, if such be the will of Allah Almighty.
But I charge thee, O my brother, keep the matter secret from my
sisterhood and discover not thy case to any one of them, lest my
life be lost with thy life.  An they question thee of opening the
forbidden door, reply to them, 'I opened it not; no, never; but I
was troubled at heart for your absence and by my loneliness here
and yearning for you.'"[FN#65] And he answered, "Yes: this is the
right rede."  So he kissed her head and his heart was comforted
and his bosom broadened.  He had been nigh upon death for excess
of affright, for he had gone in fear of her by reason of his
having opened the door; but now his life and soul returned to
him. Then he sought of her somewhat of food and after serving it
she left him, and went in to her sisters, weeping and mourning
for him.  They questioned her of her case and she told them how
she was heavy at heart for her brother, because he was sick and
for ten days no food had found way into his stomach.  So they
asked the cause of his sickness and she answered, "The reason was
our severance from him and our leaving him desolate; for these
days we have been absent from him were longer to him than a
thousand years and scant blame to him, seeing he is a stranger,
and solitary and we left him alone, with none to company with him
or hearten his heart; more by token that he is but a youth and
may be he called to mind his family and his mother, who is a
woman in years, and bethought him that she weepeth for him all
whiles of the day and watches of the night, ever mourning his
loss; and we used to solace him with our society and divert him
from thinking of her." When her sisters heard these words they
wept in the stress of their distress for him and said,
"Wa'lláhi--'fore Allah, he is not to blame!" Then they went out
to the army and dismissed it, after which they went into Hasan
and saluted him with the salam.  When they saw his charms changed
with yellow colour and shrunken body, they wept for very pity and
sat by his side and comforted him and cheered him with converse,
relating to him all they had seen by the way of wonders and
rarities and what had befallen the bridegroom with the bride.
They abode with him thus a whole month, tendering him and
caressing him with words sweeter than syrup; but every day
sickness was added to his sickness, which when they saw, they
bewept him with sore weeping, and the youngest wept even more
than the rest.  At the end of this time, the Princesses having
made up their minds to ride forth a-hunting and a-birding invited
their sister to accompany them, but she said, "By Allah, O my
sisters, I cannot go forth with you whilst my brother is in this
plight, nor indeed till he be restored to health and there cease
from him that which is with him of affliction.  Rather will I sit
with him and comfort him." They thanked her for her kindness and
said to her, "Allah will requite thee all thou dost with this
stranger." Then they left her with him in the palace and rode
forth taking with them twenty days' victual;--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Princesses mounted and rode forth a-hunting and a-birding, after
leaving in the palace their youngest sister sitting by Hasan's
side; and as soon as the damsel knew that they had covered a long
distance from home, she went in to him and said, "O my brother,
come, show me the place where thou sawest the maidens." He
rejoiced in her words, making sure of winning his wish, and
replied, "Bismillah! On my head!" Then he essayed to rise and
show her the place, but could not walk; so she took him up in her
arms, holding him to her bosom between her breasts; and, opening
the staircase-door, carried him to the top of the palace, and he
showed her the pavilion where he had seen the girls and the basin
of water, wherein they had bathed.  Then she said to him, "Set
forth to me, O my brother, their case and how they came."  So he
described to her whatso he had seen of them and especially the
girl of whom he was enamoured; but hearing these words she knew
her and her cheeks paled and her case changed. Quoth he, "O my
sister, what aileth thee to wax wan and be troubled?"; and quoth
she, "O my brother, know thou that this young lady is the
daughter of a Sovran of the Jann, of one of the most puissant of
their Kings, and her father had dominion over men and Jinn and
wizards and Cohens and tribal chiefs and guards and countries and
cities and islands galore and hath immense wealth in store.  Our
father is a Viceroy and one of his vassals and none can avail
against him, for the multitude of his many and the extent of his
empire and the muchness of his monies.  He hath assigned to his
offspring, the daughters thou sawest, a tract of country, a whole
year's journey in length and breadth, a region girt about with a
great river and a deep; and thereto none may attain, nor man nor
Jann.  He hath an army of women, smiters with swords and lungers
with lances, five-and-twenty thousand in number, each of whom,
whenas she mounteth steed and donneth battle-gear, eveneth a
thousand knights of the bravest.  Moreover, he hath seven
daughters, who in valour and prowess equal and even excel their
sisters,[FN#66] and he hath made the eldest of them, the damsel
whom thou sawest,[FN#67] queen over the country aforesaid and who
is the wisest of her sisters and in valour and horsemanship and
craft and skill and magic excels all the folk of her dominions.
The girls who companied with her are the ladies of her court and
guards and grandees of her empire, and the plumed skins wherewith
they fly are the handiwork of enchanters of the Jann.  Now an
thou wouldst get possession of this queen and wed this jewel
seld-seen and enjoy her beauty and loveliness and grace, do thou
pay heed to my words and keep them in thy memory.  They resort to
this place on the first day of every month; and thou must take
seat here and watch for them; and when thou seest them coming
hide thee near the pavilion sitting where thou mayst see them,
without being seen of them, and beware, again beware lest thou
show thyself, or we shall all lose our lives. When they doff
their dress note which is the feather-suit of her whom thou
lovest and take it, and it only, for this it is that carrieth her
to her country, and when thou hast mastered it, thou hast
mastered her.  And beware lest she wile thee, saying, 'O thou who
hast robbed my raiment, restore it to me, because here am I in
thine hands and at thy mercy!' For, an thou give it her, she will
kill thee and break down over us palace and pavilion and slay our
sire: know, then, thy case and how thou shalt act.  When her
companions see that her feather-suit is stolen, they will take
flight and leave her to thee, and beware lest thou show thyself
to them, but wait till they have flown away and she despaireth of
them: whereupon do thou go in to her and hale her by the hair of
her head[FN#68] and drag her to thee; which being done, she will
be at thy mercy.  And I rede thee discover not to her that thou
hast taken the feather-suit, but keep it with care; for, so long
as thou hast it in hold, she is thy prisoner and in thy power,
seeing that she cannot fly to her country save with it.  And
lastly carry her down to thy chamber where she will be thine."
When Hasan heard her words his heart became at ease, his trouble
ceased and affliction left him; so he rose to his feet and
kissing his sister's head, went down from the terrace with her
into the palace, where they slept that night.  He medicined
himself till morning morrowed; and when the sun rose, he sprang
up and opened the staircase-door and ascending to the flat roof
sat there till supper-tide when his sister brought him up
somewhat of meat and drink and a change of clothes and he slept.
And thus they continued doing, day by day until the end of the
month. When he saw the new moon, he rejoiced and began to watch
for the birds, and while he was thus, behold, up they came, like
lightning. As  soon as he espied them, he hid himself where he
could watch them, unwatched by them, and they lighted down one
and all of them, and putting off their clothes, descended into
the basin. All this took place near the stead where Hasan lay
concealed, and as soon as he caught sight of the girl he loved,
he arose and crept under cover, little by little, towards the
dresses, and Allah veiled him so that none marked his approach
for they were laughing and playing with one another, till he laid
hand on the dress.  Now when they had made an end of their
diversion, they came forth of the basin and each of them slipped
on her feather-suit.  But the damsel he loved sought for her
plumage that she might put it on, but found it not; whereupon she
shrieked and beat her cheeks and rent her raiment.  Her
sisterhood[FN#69] came to her and asked what ailed her, and she
told them that her feather-suit was missing; wherefore they wept
and shrieked and buffeted their faces: and they were confounded,
wotting not the cause of this, and knew not what to do. Presently
the night overtook them and they feared to abide with her lest
that which had befallen her should befal them also; so they
farewelled her and flying away left her alone upon the
terrace-roof of the palace, by the pavilion basin.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan
had carried off the girl's plumery, she sought it but found it
not and her sisterhood flew away leaving her alone. When they
were out of sight, Hasan gave ear to her and heard her say, "O
who hast taken my dress and stripped me, I beseech thee to
restore it to me and cover my shame, so may Allah never make thee
taste of my tribulation!" But when Hasan heard her speak thus,
with speech sweeter than syrup, his love for her redoubled,
passion got the mastery of his reason and he had not patience to
endure from her. So springing up from his hiding-place, he rushed
upon her and laying hold of her by the hair dragged her to him
and carried her down to the basement of the palace and set her in
his own chamber, where he threw over her a silken cloak[FN#70]
and left her weeping and biting her hands.  Then he shut the door
upon her and going to his sister, informed her how he had made
prize of his lover and carried her to his sleeping-closet, "And
there," quoth he, "she is now sitting, weeping and biting her
hands."  When his sister heard this, she rose forthright and
betook herself to the chamber, where she found the captive
weeping and mourning.  So she kissed ground before her and
saluted her with the salam and the young lady said to her, "O
King's daughter, do folk like you do such foul deed with the
daughters of Kings?  Thou knowest that my father is a mighty
Sovran and that all the liege lords of the Jinn stand in awe of
him and fear his majesty: for that there are with him magicians
and sages and Cohens and Satans and Marids, such as none may cope
withal, and under his hand are folk whose number none knoweth
save Allah.  How then doth it become you, O daughters of Kings,
to harbour mortal men with you and disclose to them our case and
yours?  Else how should this man, a stranger, come at us?"
Hasan's sister made reply, "O King's daughter, in very sooth this
human is perfect in nobleness and purposeth thee no villainy; but
he loveth thee, and women were not made save for men.  Did he not
love thee, he had not fallen sick for thy sake and well-nigh
given up the ghost for desire of thee." And she told her the
whole tale how Hasan had seen her bathing in the basin with her
attendants, and fallen in love with her, and none had pleased him
but she, for the rest were all her handmaids, and none had
availed to put forth a hand to her. When the Princess heard this,
she despaired of deliverance and presently Hasan's sister went
forth and brought her a costly dress, wherein she robed her.
Then she set before her somewhat of meat and drink and ate with
her and heartened her heart and soothed her sorrows.  And she
ceased not to speak her fair with soft and pleasant words,
saying, "Have pity on him who saw thee once and became as one
slain by thy love;" and continued to console her and caress her,
quoting fair says and pleasant instances. But she wept till
daybreak, when her trouble subsided and she left shedding tears,
knowing that she had fallen into the net and that there was no
deliverance for her.  Then said she to Hasan's sister, "O King's
daughter, with this my strangerhood and severance from my country
and sisterhood which Allah wrote upon my brow, patience becometh
me to support what my Lord hath foreordained."  Therewith the
youngest Princess assigned her a chamber in the palace, than
which there was none goodlier and ceased not to sit with her and
console her and solace her heart, till she was satisfied with her
lot and her bosom was broadened and she laughed and there ceased
from her what trouble and oppression possessed her, by reason of
her separation from her people and country and sisterhood and
parents.  Thereupon Hasan's sister repaired to him, and said,
"Arise, go in to her in her chamber and kiss her hands and
feet."[FN#71]  So he went in to her and did this and bussed her
between the eyes, saying, "O Princess of fair ones and life of
sprites and beholder's delight, be easy of heart, for I took thee
only that I might be thy bondsman till the Day of Doom, and this
my sister will be thy servant; for I, O my lady, desire naught
but to take thee to wife, after the law of Allah and the practice
of His Apostle, and whenas thou wilt, I will journey with thee to
my country and carry thee to Baghdad-city and abide with thee
there: moreover, I will buy thee handmaidens and negro chattels;
and I have a mother, of the best of women, who will do thee
service.  There is no goodlier land than our land; everything
therein is better than elsewhere and its folk are a pleasant
people and bright of face."  Now as he bespake her thus and
strave to comfort her, what while she answered him not a
syllable, lo! there came a knocking at the palace-gate.  So Hasan
went out to see who was at the door and found there the six
Princesses, who had returned from hunting and birding, whereat he
rejoiced and went to meet them and welcomed them.  They wished
him safety and health and he wished them the like; after which
they dismounted and going each to her chamber doffed their soiled
clothes and donned fine linen.  Then they came forth and demanded
the game, for they had taken a store of gazelles and wild cows,
hares and lions, hyaenas, and others; so their suite brought out
some thereof for butchering, keeping the rest by them in the
palace, and Hasan girt himself and fell to slaughtering for them
in due form,[FN#72] whilst they sported and made merry, joying
with great joy to see him standing amongst them hale and hearty
once more.  When they had made an end of slaughtering, they sat
down and addressed themselves to get ready somewhat for breaking
their fast, and Hasan, coming up to the eldest Princess, kissed
her head and on like wise did he with the rest, one after other.
Whereupon said they to him, "Indeed, thou humblest thyself to us
passing measure, O our brother, and we marvel at the excess of
the affection thou showest us.  But Allah forfend that thou
shouldst do this thing, which it behoveth us rather to do with
thee, seeing thou art a man and therefor worthier than we, who
are of the Jinn."[FN#73] Thereupon his eyes brimmed with tears
and he wept sore; so they said to him, "What causeth thee to
weep?  Indeed, thou troublest our pleasant lives with thy weeping
this day.  'Twould seem thou longest after thy mother and native
land.  An things be so, we will equip thee and carry thee to thy
home and thy friends."  He replied, "By Allah, I desire not to
part from you!" Then they asked, "Which of us hath vexed thee,
that thou art thus troubled?"  But he was ashamed to say, "Naught
troubleth me save love of a damsel," lest they should deny and
disavow him: so he was silent and would tell them nothing of his
case. Then his sister came forward and said to them, "He hath
caught a bird from the air and would have you help him to tame
her." Whereupon they all turned to him and cried, "We are at thy
service every one of us and whatsoever thou seekest that will we
do: but tell us thy tale and conceal from us naught of thy case."
So he said to his sister, "Do thou tell them, for I am ashamed
before them nor can I face them with these words."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan said
to his sister, "Do thou tell them my tale, for before them I
stand abashed nor can I face them with these words."  So she said
to them, "O my sisters, when we went away and left alone this
unhappy one, the palace was straitened upon him and he feared
lest some one should come in to him, for ye know that the sons of
Adam are light of wits.  So, he opened the door of the staircase
leading to the roof, of his loneliness and trouble, and sat
there, looking upon the Wady and watching the gate, in his fear
lest any should come thither.  One day, as he sat thus, suddenly
he saw ten birds approach him, making for the palace, and they
lighted down on the brink of the basin which is in the
pavilion-terrace.  He watched these birds and saw, amongst them,
one goodlier than the rest, which pecked the others and flouted
them, whilst none of them dared put out a claw to it.  Presently,
they set their nails to their neck-collars and, rending their
feather-suits, came forth therefrom and became damsels, each and
every, like the moon on fullest night.  Then they doffed their
dress and plunging into the water, fell to playing with one
another, whilst the chief damsel ducked the others, who dared not
lay a finger on her and she was fairest of favour and most famous
of form and most feateous of finery.  They ceased not to be in
this case till near the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when they
came forth of the basin and, donning their feather-shifts, flew
away home.  Thereupon he waxed distracted, with a heart afire for
love of the chief damsel and repenting him that he had not stolen
her plumery.  Wherefore he fell sick and abode on the palace-roof
expecting her return and abstaining from meat and drink and
sleep, and he ceased not to be so till the new moon showed, when
behold, they again made their appearance according to custom and
doffing their dresses went down into the basin.  So he stole the
chief damsel's feather-suit, knowing that she could not fly save
therewith, hiding himself carefully lest they sight him and slay
him.  Then he waited till the rest had flown away, when he arose
and seizing the damsel, carried her down from the terrace into
the castle." Her sisters asked, "Where is she?"; and she
answered, "She is with him in such a chamber." Quoth they,
"Describe her to us, O our sister:" so quoth she, "She is fairer
than the moon on the night of fullness and her face is sheenier
than the sun; the dew of her lips is sweeter than honey and her
shape is straighter and slenderer than the cane; one with eyes
black as night and brow flower-white; a bosom jewel-bright,
breasts like pomegranates twain and cheeks like apples twain, a
waist with dimples overlain, a navel like a casket of ivory full
of musk in grain, and legs like columns of alabastrine vein.  She
ravisheth all hearts with Nature-kohl'd eyne, and a waist
slender-fine and hips of heaviest design and speech that heals
all pain and pine: she is goodly of shape and sweet of smile, as
she were the moon in fullest sheen and shine."  When the
Princesses heard these praises, they turned to Hasan and said to
him, "Show her to us."  So he arose with them, all
love-distraught, and carrying them to the chamber wherein was the
captive damsel, opened the door and entered, preceding the seven
Princesses.  Now when they saw her and noted her loveliness, they
kissed the ground between her hands, marvelling at the fairness
of her favour and the significance which showed her inner gifts,
and said to her, "By Allah, O daughter of the Sovran Supreme,
this is indeed a mighty matter: and haddest thou heard tell of
this mortal among women thou haddest marvelled at him all thy
days.  Indeed, he loveth thee with passionate love; yet, O King's
daughter, he seeketh not lewdness, but desireth thee only in the
way of lawful wedlock.  Had we known that maids can do without
men, we had impeached him from his intent, albeit he sent thee no
messenger, but came to thee in person; and he telleth us he hath
burnt the feather dress; else had we taken it from him."  Then
one of them agreed with the Princess and becoming her deputy in
the matter of the wedding contract, performed the marriage
ceremony between them, whilst Hasan clapped palms with her,
laying his hand in hers, and she wedded him to the damsel by
consent; after which they celebrated her bridal feast, as
beseemeth Kings' daughters, and brought Hasan in to her.  So he
rose and rent the veil and oped the gate and pierced the
forge[FN#74] and brake the seal, whereupon affection for her
waxed in him and he redoubled in love and longing for her.  Then,
since he had gotten that which he sought, he gave himself joy and
improvised these couplets,

"Thy shape's temptation, eyes as Houri's fain * And sheddeth
     Beauty's sheen[FN#75] that radiance rare:
My glance portrayed thy glorious portraiture: * Rubies one-half
     and gems the third part were:
Musk made a fifth: a sixth was ambergris * The sixth a pearl but
     pearl without compare.
Eve never bare a daughter evening thee * Nor breathes thy like in
     Khuld's[FN#76] celestial air.
An thou would torture me 'tis wont of Love * And if thou pardon
     'tis thy choice I swear:
Then, O world bright'ner and O end of wish! * Loss of thy charms
     who could in patience bear?"

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

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan went in unto the King's daughter and did away her
maidenhead, he enjoyed her with exceeding joy and affection for
her waxed in him and he redoubled in love-longing for her; so he
recited the lines aforesaid.  Now the Princesses were standing at
the door and when they heard his verses, they said to her, "O
King's daughter, hearest thou the words of this mortal?  How
canst thou blame us, seeing that he maketh poetry for love of
thee and indeed he hath so done a thousand times."[FN#77]  When
she heard this she rejoiced and was glad and felt happy and Hasan
abode with her forty[FN#78] days in all solace and delight,
joyance and happiest plight, whilst the damsels renewed
festivities for him every day and overwhelmed him with bounty and
presents and rarities; and the King's daughter became reconciled
to her sojourn amongst them and forgot her kith and kin.  At the
end of the forty days, Hasan saw in a dream, one night, his
mother mourning for him and indeed her bones were wasted and her
body had waxed shrunken and her complexion had yellowed and her
favour had changed the while he was in excellent case.  When she
saw him in this state, she said to him, "O my son, O Hasan, how
is it that thou livest thy worldly life at thine ease and
forgettest me?  Look at my plight since thy loss!  I do not
forget thee, nor will my tongue cease to name thy name till I
die; and I have made thee a tomb in my house, that I may never
forget thee.  Would Heaven I knew[FN#79] if I shall live, O my
son, to see thee by my side and if we shall ever again foregather
as we were."  Thereupon Hasan awoke from sleep, weeping and
wailing, the tears railed down his cheeks like rain and he became
mournful and melancholy; his tears dried not nor did sleep visit
him, but he had no rest, and no patience was left to him.  When
he arose, the Princesses came in to him and gave him good-morrow
and made merry with him as was their wont; but he paid no heed to
them; so they asked his wife concerning his case and she said, "I
ken not."  Quoth they, "Question him of his condition."  So she
went up to him and said, "What aileth thee, O my lord?"
Whereupon he moaned and groaned and told her what he had seen in
his dream and repeated these two couplets,

"Indeed afflicted sore are we and all distraught, * Seeking for
     union; yet we find no way:
And Love's calamities upon us grow * And Love though light with
     heaviest weight doth weigh."

His wife repeated to the Princesses what he said and they,
hearing the verses, had pity on him and said to him, "In Allah's
name, do as thou wilt, for we may not hinder thee from visiting
thy mother; nay, we will help thee to thy wish by what means we
may.  But it behoveth that thou desert us not, but visit us,
though it be only once a year." And he answered, "To hear is to
obey: be your behest on my head and eyes!" Then they arose
forthright and making him ready victual for the voyage, equipped
the bride for him with raiment and ornaments and everything of
price, such as defy description, and they bestowed on him gifts
and presents which pens of ready writers lack power to set forth.
Then they beat the magical kettle-drum and up came the
dromedaries from all sides.  They chose of them such as could
carry all the gear they had prepared; amongst the rest
five-and-twenty chests of gold and fifty of silver; and, mounting
Hasan and his bride on others, rode with them three days, wherein
they accomplished a march of three months.  Then they bade them
farewell and addressed themselves to return; whereupon his
sister, the youngest damsel, threw herself on Hasan's neck and
wept till she fainted. When she came to herself, she repeated
these two couplets,

"Ne'er dawn the severance-day on any wise * That robs of sleep
     these heavy-lidded eyes.
From us and thee it hath fair union torn * It wastes our force
     and makes our forms its prize."

Her verses finished she farewelled him, straitly charging him,
whenas he should have come to his native land and have
foregathered with his mother and set his heart at ease, to fail
not of visiting her once in every six months and saying, "If
aught grieve thee or thou fear aught of vexation, beat the
Magian's kettle-drum, whereupon the dromedaries shall come to
thee; and do thou mount and return to us and persist not in
staying away."  He swore thus to do and conjured them to go home.
So they returned to the palace, mourning for their separation
from him, especially the youngest, with whom no rest would stay
nor would Patience her call obey, but she wept night and day.
Thus it was with them; but as regards Hasan and his wife, they
fared on by day and night over plain and desert site and valley
and stony heights through noon-tide glare and dawn's soft light;
and Allah decreed them safety, so that they reached Bassorah-city
without hindrance and made their camels kneel at the door of his
house.  Hasan then dismissed the dromedaries and, going up to the
door to open it, heard his mother weeping and in a faint strain,
from a heart worn with parting-pain and on fire with consuming
bane, reciting these couplets,

"How shall he taste of sleep who lacks repose * Who wakes a-night
     when all in slumber wone?
He owned wealth and family and fame * Yet fared from house and
     home an exile lone:
Live coal beneath his[FN#80] ribs he bears for bane, * And mighty
     longing, mightier ne'er was known:
Passion hath seized him, Passion mastered him; * Yet is he
     constant while he maketh moan:
His case for Love proclaimeth aye that he, * (As prove his tears)
     is  wretched, woebegone."

When Hasan heard his mother weeping and wailing he wept also and
knocked at the door a loud knock.  Quoth she, "Who is at the
door?"; and quoth he, "Open!" Whereupon she opened the door and
knowing him at first sight fell down in a fainting fit; but he
ceased not to tend her till she came to herself, when he embraced
her and she embraced him and kissed him, whilst his wife looked
on mother and son.  Then he carried his goods and gear into the
house, whilst his mother, for that her heart was comforted and
Allah had reunited her with her son versified with these

"Fortune had ruth upon my plight * Pitied my long long bane and
Gave me what I would liefest sight; * And set me free from all
So pardon I the sin that sin * nèd she in days evanisht quite;
E'en to the sin she sinned when she * Bleached my hair-parting
     silvern white."

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

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan
with his mother then sat talking and she asked him, "How faredst
thou, O my son, with the Persian?" whereto he answered, "O my
mother, he was no Persian, but a Magian, who worshipped the fire,
not the All-powerful Sire."  Then he told her how he dealt with
him, in that he had journeyed with him to the Mountain of Clouds
and sewed him up in the camel's skin, and how the vultures had
taken him up and set him down on the summit and what he had seen
there of dead folk, whom the Magian had deluded and left to die
on the crest after they had done his desire. And he told her how
he had cast himself from the mountain-top into the sea and Allah
the Most High had preserved him and brought him to the palace of
the seven Princesses and how the youngest of them had taken him
to brother and he had sojourned with them till the Almighty
brought the Magian to the place where he was and he slew him.
Moreover, he told her of his passion for the King's daughter and
how he had made prize of her and of his seeing her[FN#81] in
sleep and all else that had befallen him up to the time when
Allah vouchsafed them reunion.  She wondered at his story and
praised the Lord who had restored him to her in health and
safety.  Then she arose and examined the baggage and loads and
questioned him of them.  So he told her what was in them, whereat
she joyed with exceeding joy. Then she went up to the King's
daughter, to talk with her and bear her company; but, when her
eyes fell on her, her wits were confounded at her brilliancy and
she rejoiced and marvelled at her beauty and loveliness and
symmetry and perfect grace: and she sat down beside her, cheering
her and comforting her heart while she never ceased to repeat
"Alhamdolillah, O my son, for thy return to me safe and sound!"
Next morning early she went down into the market and bought
mighty fine furniture and ten suits of the richest raiment in the
city, and clad the young wife and adorned her with everything
seemiy.  Then said she to Hasan, "O my son, we cannot tarry in
this town with all this wealth; for thou knowest that we are poor
folk and the people will suspect us of practising alchemy.  So
come, let us depart to Baghdad, the House[FN#82] of Peace, where
we may dwell in the Caliph's Sanctuary, and thou shalt sit in a
shop to buy and sell, in the fear of Allah (to whom belong Might
and Majesty!) and He shall open to thee the door of blessings
with this wealth." Hasan approved her counsel and going forth
straightway, sold the house and summoned the dromedaries, which
he loaded with all his goods and gear, together with his mother
and wife.  Then he went down to the Tigris, where he hired him a
craft to carry them to Baghdad and embarked therein all his
possessions and his mother and wife. They sailed up the river
with a fair wind for ten days till they drew in sight of Baghdad,
at which they all rejoiced, and the ship landed them in the city,
where without stay or delay Hasan hired a storehouse in one of
the caravanserais and transported his goods thither.  He lodged
that night in the Khan, and on the morrow he changed his clothes
and going down into the city, enquired for a broker.  The folk
directed him to one, and when the broker saw him, he asked him
what he lacked.  Quoth he, "I want a house, a handsome one and a
spacious." So the broker showed him the houses at his disposal
and he chose one that belonged to one of the Wazirs and buying it
of him for an hundred thousand golden dinars, gave him the price.
Then he returned to his caravanserai and removed all his goods
and monies to the house; after which he went down to the market
and bought all the mansion needed of vessels and carpets and
other household stuff, besides servants and eunuchs, including a
little black boy for the house.  He abode with his wife in all
solace and delight of life three years, during which time he was
vouchsafed by her two sons, one of whom he named Násir and the
other Mansúr: but, at the end of this time he bethought him of
his sisters, the Princesses, and called to mind all their
goodness to him and how they had helped him to his desire.  So he
longed after them and going out to the marketstreets of the city,
bought trinkets and costly stuffs and fruit-confections, such as
they had never seen or known. His mother asked him the reason of
his buying these rarities and he answered, "I purpose to visit my
sisters, who showed me every kind of kindness and all the wealth
that I at present enjoy is due to their goodness and munificence:
wherefore I will journey to them and return soon, Inshallah!"
Quoth she, "O my son, be not long absent from me;" and quoth he,
"Know, O my mother, how thou shalt do with my wife.  Here is her
feather-dress in a chest, buried under ground in such a place; do
thou watch over it, lest haply she hap on it and take it, for she
would fly away, she and her children, and I should never hear of
them again and should die of grieving for them; wherefore take
heed, O my mother, while I warn thee that thou name this not to
her.  Thou must know that she is the daughter of a King of the
Jinn, than whom there is not a greater among the Sovrans of the
Jann nor a richer in troops and treasure, and she is mistress of
her people and dearest to her father of all he hath. Moreover,
she is passing high-spirited, so do thou serve her thyself and
suffer her not to go forth the door neither look out of window
nor over the wall, for I fear the air for her when it
bloweth,[FN#83] and if aught befel her of the calamities of this
world, I should slay myself for her sake." She replied, "O my
son, I take refuge with Allah[FN#84] from gainsaying thee!  Am I
mad that thou shouldst lay this charge on me and I disobey thee
therein?  Depart, O my son, with heart at ease, and please Allah,
soon thou shalt return in safety and see her and she shall tell
thee how I have dealt with her: but tarry not, O my son, beyond
the time of travel."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan had determined to visit the Princesses, he gave his mother
the orders we have mentioned.[FN#85]  Now, as Fate would have it,
his wife heard what he said to his mother and neither of them
knew it. Then Hasan went without the city and beat the
kettle-drum, whereupon up came the dromedaries and he loaded
twenty of them with rarities of Al-Irak; after which he returned
to his mother and repeated his charge to her and took leave of
her and his wife and children, one of whom was a yearling babe
and the other two years old.  Then he mounted and fared on,
without stopping night or day, over hills and valleys and plains
and wastes for a term of ten days till, on the eleventh, he
reached the palace and went in to his sisters, with the gifts he
had brought them. The Princesses rejoiced at his sight and gave
him joy of his safety, whilst his sister decorated the palace
within and without.  Then they took the presents and, lodging him
in a chamber as before, asked him of his mother and his wife, and
he told them that she had borne him two sons.  And the youngest
Princess, seeing him well and in good case, joyed with exceeding
joy and repeated this couplet,

"I ever ask for news of you from whatso breezes pass * And never
     any but yourselves can pass across my mind."

Then he abode with them in all honour and hospitality, for three
months, spending his time in feasting and merrymaking, joy and
delight, hunting and sporting.  So fared it with him; but as
regards his wife, she abode with his mother two days after her
husband's departure, and on the third day, she said to her,
"Glory be to God!  Have I lived with him three years and shall I
never go to the bath?" Then she wept and Hasan's mother had pity
on her condition and said to her, "O my daughter, here we are
strangers and thy husband is abroad.  Were he at home, he would
serve thee himself, but, as for me, I know no one.  However, O my
daughter, I will heat thee water and wash thy head in the
Hammam-bath which is in the house." Answered the King's daughter,
"O my lady, hadst thou spoken thus to one of the slave-girls, she
had demanded to be sold in the Sultan's open market and had not
abode with thee.[FN#86] Men are excusable, because they are
jealous and their reason telleth them that, if a woman go forth
the house, haply she will do frowardness.  But women, O my lady,
are not all equal and alike and thou knowest that, if woman have
a mind to aught, whether it be the Hammam or what not else, none
hath power over her to guard her or keep her chaste or debar her
from her desire; for she will do whatso she willeth and naught
restraineth her but her reason and her religion."[FN#87] Then she
wept and cursed fate and bemoaned herself and her strangerhood,
till Hasan's mother was moved to ruth for her case and knew that
all she said was but truth and that there was nothing for it but
to let her have her way.  So she committed the affair to Allah
(extolled and exalted be He!) and making ready all that they
needed for the bath, took her and went with her to the Hammam.
She carried her two little sons with her, and when they entered,
they put off their clothes and all the women fell to gazing on
the Princess and glorifying God (to whom belong Might and
Majesty!) for that He had created so fair a form. The women of
the city, even those who were passing by, flocked to gaze upon
her, and the report of her was noised abroad in Baghdad till the
bath was crowded that there was no passing through it.  Now it
chanced there was present on that day and on that rare occasion
with the rest of the women in the Hammam, one of the slave-girls
of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, by name
Tohfah[FN#88] the Lutanist, and she, finding the Hammam over
crowded and no passing for the throng of women and girls, asked
what was to do; and they told her of the young lady.  So she
walked up to her and, considering her closely, was amazed at her
grace and loveliness and glorified God (magnified be His
majesty!) for the fair forms He hath created.  The sight hindered
her from her bath, so that she went not farther in nor washed,
but sat staring at the Princess, till she had made an end of
bathing and coming forth of the caldarium donned her raiment,
whereupon beauty was added to her beauty.  She sat down on the
divan,[FN#89] whilst the women gazed upon her; then she looked at
them and veiling herself, went out.  Tohfah went out with her and
followed her, till she saw where she dwelt, when she left her and
returned to the Caliph's palace; and ceased not wending till she
went in to the Lady Zubaydah and kissed ground between her hands;
whereupon quoth her mistress, "O Tohfah, why hast thou tarried in
the Hammam?"  She replied, "O my lady, I have seen a marvel,
never saw I its like amongst men or women, and this it was that
distracted me and dazed my wit and amazed me, so that I forgot
even to wash my head."  Asked Zubaydah, "And what was that?" ;
and Tohfah answered, "O my lady, I saw a damsel in the bath,
having with her two little boys like moons, eye never espied her
like, nor before her nor after her, neither is there the fellow
of her form in the whole world nor her peer amongst Ajams or
Turks or Arabs.  By the munificence, O my lady, an thou toldest
the Commander of the Faithful of her, he would slay her husband
and take her from him, for her like is not to be found among
women.  I asked of her mate and they told me that he is a
merchant Hasan of Bassorah hight.  Moreover, I followed her from
the bath to her own house and found it to be that of the Wazir,
with the two gates, one opening on the river and the other on the
land.[FN#90]  Indeed, O my lady, I fear lest the Prince of True
Believers hear of her and break the law and slay her husband and
take love-liesse with her."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

     When it was the Seven Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Tohfah, after seeing the King's daughter, described her beauty to
the Lady Zubaydah ending with, "Indeed, O my mistress, I fear
lest the Prince of True Believers hear of her and break the law
and slay her mate and take her to wife," Zubaydah cried, "Woe to
thee, O Tohfah, say me, doth this damsel display such passing
beauty and loveliness that the Commander of the Faithful should,
on her account, barter his soul's good for his worldly lust and
break the Holy Law!  By Allah, needs must I look on her, and if
she be not as thou sayest, I will bid strike off thy head! O
strumpet, there are in the Caliph's Serraglio three hundred and
three score slave girls, after the number of the days of the
year, yet is there none amongst them so excellent as thou
describest!" Tohfah replied, "No, by Allah, O my lady!: nor is
there her like in all Baghdad; no, nor amongst the Arabs or the
Daylamites nor hath Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!)
created the like of her!" Thereupon Zuhaydah called for Masrur,
the eunuch, who came and kissed the ground before her, and she
said to him, "O Masrur, go to the Wazir's house, that with the
two gates, one giving on the water and the other on the land, and
bring me the damsel who dwelleth there, also her two children and
the old woman who is with her, and haste thou and tarry not."
Said Masrur, "I hear and I obey," and repairing to Hasan's house,
knocked at the door.  Quoth the old woman, "Who is at the door?"
and quoth he, "Masrur, the eunuch of the Commander of the
Faithful."   So she opened the door and he entered and saluted
her with the salam; whereupon she returned his salute and asked
his need; and he replied, "The Lady Zubaydah, daughter of
Al-Kasim[FN#91] and queen-spouse of the Commander of the Faithful
Harun al-Rashid sixth[FN#92] of the sons of Al-Abbas, paternal
uncle of the Prophet (whom Allah bless and keep!) summoneth thee
to her, thee and thy son's wife and her children; for the women
have told her anent her and her beauty." Rejoined the old woman,
"O my lord Masrur, we are foreigner folk and the girl's husband
(my son) who is abroad and far from home hath strictly charged me
not to go forth nor let her go forth in his absence, neither show
her to any of the creatures of Allah Almighty; and I fear me, if
aught befal her and he come back, he will slay himself; wherefore
of thy favour I beseech thee, O Masrur, require us not of that
whereof we are unable." Masrur retorted, "O my lady, if I knew
aught to be feared for you in this, I would not require you to
go; the Lady Zubaydah desireth but to see her and then she may
return.  So disobey not or thou wilt repent; and like as I take
you, I will bring you both back in safety, Inshallah!" Hasan's
mother could not gainsay him; so she went in and making the
damsel ready, brought her and her children forth and they all
followed Masrur to the palace of the Caliphate where he carried
them in and seated them on the floor before the Lady Zubaydah.
They kissed ground before her and called down blessings upon her;
and Zubaydah said to the young lady (who was veiled), "Wilt thou
not uncover thy face, that I may look on it?" So she kissed the
ground between her hands and discovered a face which put to shame
the full moon in the height of heaven.  Zubaydah fixed her eyes
on her and let their glances wander over her, whilst the palace
was illumined by the light of her countenance; whereupon the
Queen and the whole company were amazed at her beauty and all who
looked on her became Jinn-mad and unable to bespeak one another.
As for Zubaydah, she rose and making the damsel stand up,
strained her to her bosom and seated her by herself on the couch.
Moreover, she bade decorate the palace in her honour and calling
for a suit of the richest raiment and a necklace of the rarest
ornaments put them upon her.  Then said she to her, "O liege lady
of fair ones, verily thou astoundest me and fillest mine
eyes.[FN#93] What arts knowest thou?" She replied, "O my lady, I
have a dress of feathers, and could I but put it on before thee,
thou wouldst see one of the fairest of fashions and marvel
thereat, and all who saw it would talk of its goodliness,
generation after generation."  Zubaydah asked, "And where is this
dress of thine?"; and the damsel answered, "'Tis with my
husband's mother.  Do thou seek it for me of her." So Zubaydah
said to the old woman, "O my lady the pilgrimess, O my mother, go
forth and fetch us her feather-dress, that we may solace
ourselves by looking on what she will do, and after take it back
again." Replied the old woman, "O my lady, this damsel is a liar.
Hast thou ever seen any of womankind with a dress of feathers?
Indeed, this belongeth only to birds." But the damsel said to the
Lady Zubaydah, "As thou livest, O my lady, she hath a
feather-dress of mine and it is in a chest, which is buried in
such a store-closet in the house." So Zubaydah took off her neck
a rivière of jewels, worth all the treasures of Chosroe and
Cæsar, and gave it to the old woman, saying, "O my mother, I
conjure thee by my life, take this necklace and go and fetch us
this dress, that we may divert ourselves with the sight thereof,
and after take it again!"  But she sware to her that she had
never seen any such dress and wist not what the damsel meant by
her speech.  Then the Lady Zubaydah cried out at her and taking
the key from her, called Masrur and said to him as soon as her
came, "Take this key and go to the house; then open it and enter
a store-closet there whose door is such and such and amiddlemost
of it thou wilt find a chest buried.  Take it out and break it
open and bring me the feather-dress which is therein and set it
before me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Lady
Zubaydah, having taken the key from Hasan's mother, handed it to
Masrur, saying, "Take this key and open such a closet; then bring
forth of it the chest; break it open; bring me the feather-dress
which is therein and set it before me." "Hearkening and
obedience," replied he and taking the key went forth, whereupon
the old woman arose and followed him, weeping-eyed and repenting
her of having given ear to the damsel and gone with her to the
bath, for her desire to go thither was but a device.  So she went
with him to the house and opened the door of the closet, and he
entered and brought out the chest.  Then he took therefrom the
feather,dress and wrapping it in a napkin, carried it to the Lady
Zubaydah, who took it and turned it about, marvelling at the
beauty of its make; after which she gave it to the damsel,
saying, "Is this thy dress of feathers?"  She replied, "Yes, O my
lady," and at once putting forth her hand, took it joyfully. Then
she examined it and rejoiced to find it whole as it was, not a
feather gone.  So she rose and came down from beside the Lady
Zubaydah and taking her sons in her bosom, wrapped herself in the
feather-dress and became a bird, by the ordinance of Allah (to
whom belong Might and Majesty!), whereat Zubaydah marvelled as
did all who were present.  Then she walked with a swaying and
graceful gait and danced and sported and flapped her wings,
whilst all eyes were fixed on her and all marvelled at what she
did.  Then said she with fluent tongue, "Is this goodly, O my
ladies?"; and they replied, "Yes, O Princess of the fair! All
thou dost is goodly." Said she, "And this, O my mistresses, that
I am about to do is better yet." Then she spread her wings and
flying up with her children to the dome of the palace, perched on
the saloon-roof whilst they all looked at her, wide-eyed and
said, "By Allah, this is indeed a rare and peregrine fashion!
Never saw we its like." Then, as she was about to take flight for
her own land, she bethought her of Hasan and said, "Hark ye, my
mistresses!" and she improvised these couplets,[FN#94]

"O who bast quitted these abodes and faredst lief and light * To
     other objects of thy love with fain and fastest flight!
Deem'st thou that 'bided I with you in solace and in joy * Or
     that my days amid you all were clear of bane and blight?
When I was captive ta'en of Love and snarèd in his snare, * He
     made of Love my prison and he fared fro' me forthright:
So when my fear was hidden, he made sure that ne'er should I *
     Pray to the One, th' Omnipotent to render me my right:
He charged his mother keep the secret with all the care she
     could, * In closet shut and treated me with enemy's
But I o'erheard their words and held them fast in memory * And
     hoped for fortune fair and weal and blessings infinite:
My faring to the Hammam-bath then proved to me the means * Of
     making minds of folk to be confounded at my sight:
Wondered the Bride of Al-Rashid to see my brilliancy * When she
     beheld me right and left with all of beauty dight:
Then quoth I, 'O our Caliph's wife, I once was wont to own * A
     dress of feathers rich and rare that did the eyes delight:
An it were now on me thou shouldst indeed see wondrous things *
     That would efface all sorrows and disperse all sores of
Then deigned our Caliph's Bride to cry, 'Where is that dress of
     thine?' * And I replied, 'In house of him kept darkling as
     the night.'
So down upon it pounced Masrúr and brought it unto her, * And
     when 'twas there each feather cast a ray of beaming light:
Therewith I took it from his hand and opened it straightway * And
     saw its plumèd bosom and its buttons pleased my sight:
And so I clad myself therein and took with me my babes; * And
     spread my wings and flew away with all my main and might;
Saying, 'O husband's mother mine tell him when cometh he * An
     ever wouldest meet her thou from house and home must flee."'

When she had made an end of her verses, the Lady Zubaydah said to
her, "Wilt thou not come down to us, that we may take our fill of
thy beauty, O fairest of the fair?  Glory be to Him who hath
given thee eloquence and brilliance!" But she said, "Far be from
me that the Past return should see!" Then said she to the mother
of the hapless, wretched Hasan, "By Allah, O my lady, O mother of
my husband, it irketh me to part from thee; but, whenas thy son
cometh to thee and upon him the nights of severance longsome
shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see and whenas
breezes of love and longing shake him dolefully, let him come in
the islands of Wák[FN#95] to me." Then she took flight with her
children and sought her own country, whilst the old woman wept
and beat her face and moaned and groaned till she swooned away.
When she came to herself, she said to the Lady Zubaydah,  "O my
lady, what is this thou hast done?"  And Zubaydah said to her, "O
my lady the pilgrimess, I knew not that this would happen and
hadst thou told me of the case and acquainted me with her
condition, I had not gainsaid thee.  Nor did I know until now
that she was of the Flying Jinn; else had I not suffered her to
don the dress nor permitted her to take her children: but now, O
my lady, words profit nothing; so do thou acquit me of offence
against thee."  And the old woman could do no otherwise than
shortly answer, "Thou art acquitted.!" Then she went forth the
palace of the Caliphate and returned to her own house, where she
buffeted her face till she swooned away, When she came to
herself, she pined for her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren
and for the sight of her son and versified with these couplets,

"Your faring on the parting-day drew many a tear fro' me, * Who
     must your flying from the home long mourn in misery:
And cried I for the parting pang in anguish likest fire * And
     tear-floods chafed mine eyelids sore that ne'er of tears
     were free;
'Yes, this is Severance, Ah, shall we e'er oy return of you? *
     For your departure hath deprived my power of privacy!'
Ah, would they had returned to me in covenant of faith * An they
     return perhaps restore of past these eyne may see."

Then arising she dug in the house three graves and betook herself
to them with weeping all whiles of the day and watches of the
night; and when her son's absence was longsome upon her and grief
and yearning and unquiet waxed upon her, she recited these

"Deep in mine eye-balls ever dwells the phantom-form of thee * My
     heart when throbbing or at rest holds fast thy memory:
And love of thee doth never cease to course within my breast, *
     As course the juices in the fruits which deck the branchy
And every day I see thee not my bosom straightened is * And even
     censurers excuse the woes in me they see:
O thou whose love hath gotten hold the foremost in the heart * Of
     me whose fondness is excelled by mine insanity:
Fear the Compassionate in my case and some compassion show! *
     Love of thee makes me taste of death in bitterest pungency."

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

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that
Hasan's mother bewept through the watches of the night and the
whiles of the day her separation from her son and his wife and
children.  On this wise it fared with her; but as regards Hasan,
when he came to the Princesses, they conjured him to tarry with
them three months, after which long sojourn they gave him five
loads of gold and the like of silver and one load of victual and
accompanied him on his homeward way till he conjured them to
return, whereupon they farewelled him with an embrace; but the
youngest came up to him, to bid him adieu and clasping his neck
wept till she fainted. Then she recited these two  couplets,

"When shall the severance-fire be quenched by union, love, with
     you? * When shall I win my wish of you and days that were
The parting-day affrighted me and wrought me dire dismay * And
     doubleth woe, O master mine, by the sad word 'Adieu.'"

Anon came forward the second Princess and embraced him and
recited these two couplets,

"Farewelling thee indeed is like to bidding life farewell * And
     like the loss of Zephyr[FN#96] 'tis to lose thee far our
Thine absence is a flaming fire which burneth up my heart * And
     in thy presence I enjoy the Gardens of Delight."[FN#97]

Presently came forward the third and embraced him and recited
these two couplets,

"We left not taking leave of thee (when bound to other goal) *
     From aught of ill intention or from weariness and dole:
Thou art my soul, my very soul, the only soul of me: * And how
     shall I farewell myself and say, 'Adieu my Soul?'"[FN#98]

After her came forward the fourth and embraced him and recited
these two couplets,

"Nought garred me weep save where and when of severance spake he,
     * Persisting in his cruel will with sore persistency:
Look at this pearl-like ornament I've hung upon mine ear: * 'Tis
     of the tears of me compact, this choicest jewelry!"

In her turn came forward the fifth and embraced him and recited
these two couplets,

"Ah, fare thee not; for I've no force thy faring to endure, * Nor
     e'en to say the word farewell before my friend is sped:
Nor any patience to support the days of severance, * Nor any
     tears on ruined house and wasted home to shed."

Next came the sixth and embraced him and recited these two

"I cried, as the camels went off with them, * And Love pained my
     vitals with sorest pain:
Had I a King who would lend me rule * I'd seize every ship that
     dares sail the Main."

Lastly came forward the seventh and embraced him and recited
these couplets,

"When thou seest parting, be patient still, * Nor let foreign
     parts deal thy soul affright:
But abide, expecting a swift return, * For all hearts hold
     parting in sore despight."

And eke these two couplets,

"Indeed I'm heartbroken to see thee start, * Nor can I farewell
     thee ere thou depart;
Allah wotteth I left not to say adieu * Save for fear that saying
     would melt your heart."

Hasan also wept for parting from them, till he swooned, and
repeated these couplets,

"Indeed, ran my tears on the severance-day * Like pearls I
     threaded in necklace-way
The cameleer drove his camels with song * But I lost heart,
     patience and strength and stay:
I bade them farewell and retired in grief * From tryst-place and
     camp where my dearlings lay:
I turned me unknowing the way nor joyed * My soul, but in hopes
     to return some day.
Oh listen, my friend, to the words of love * God forbid thy heart
     forget all I say!
O my soul when thou partest wi' them, part too * With all joys of
     life nor for living pray!"

Then he farewelled them and fared on diligently night and day,
till he came to Baghdad, the House of Peace and Sanctuary of the
Abbaside Caliphs, unknowing what had passed during his wayfare.
At once entering his house he went in to his mother to salute
her, but found her worn of body and wasted of bones, for excess
of mourning and watching, weeping and wailing, till she was grown
thin as a toothpick and could not answer him a word.  So he
dismissed the dromedaries then asked her of his wife and children
and she wept till she fainted, and he seeing her in this state
searched the house for them, but found no trace of them.  Then he
went to the store-closet and finding it open and the chest broken
and the feather-dress missing, knew forthright that his wife had
possessed herself thereof and flown away with her children.  Then
he returned to his mother and, finding her recovered from her
fit, questioned her of his spouse and babes, whereupon she wept
and said, "O my son, may Allah amply requite thee their loss!
These are their three tombs."[FN#99] When Hasan heard these words
of his mother, he shrieked a loud shriek and fell down in a
fainting-fit in which he lay from the first of the day till
noon-tide; whereupon anguish was added to his mother's anguish
and she despaired of his life.  However, after a-while, he came
to himself and wept and buffeted his face and rent his raiment
and went about the house clean distraught, reciting these two

"Folk have made moan of passion before me, of past years, * And
     live and dead for absence have suffered pains and fears;
But that within my bosom I harbour, with mine eyes * I've never
     seen the like of nor heard with mine ears."

Then finishing his verses he bared his brand and coming up to his
mother, said  to her, "Except thou tell me the truth of the case,
I will strike off thy head and kill myself." She replied, "O my
son, do not such deed: put up thy sword and sit down, till I tell
thee what hath passed."  So he sheathed his scymitar and sat by
her side, whilst she recounted to him all that had happened in
his absence from first to last, adding, "O my son, but that I saw
her weep in her longing for the bath and feared that she would go
and complain to thee on thy return, and thou wouldst be wroth
with me.  I had never carried her thither; and were it not that
the Lady Zubaydah was wroth with me and took the key from me by
force, I had never brought out the feather-dress, though I died
for it. But thou knowest, O my son, that no hand may measure
length with that of the Caliphate.  When they brought her the
dress, she took it and turned it over, fancying that somewhat
might be lost thereof, but she found it uninjured; wherefore she
rejoiced and making her children fast to her waist, donned the
feather-vest, after the Lady Zubaydah had pulled off to her all
that was upon herself and clad her therein, in honour of her and
because of her beauty.  No sooner had she donned the dress than
she shook and becoming a bird, promenaded about the palace,
whilst all who were present gazed at her and marvelled at her
beauty and loveliness.  Then she flew up to the palace roof and
perching thereon, looked at me and said: 'Whenas thy son cometh
to thee and the nights of separation upon him longsome shall be
and he craveth reunion and meeting to see and whenas the breezes
of love and longing shake him dolefully let him leave his native
land and journey to the Islands of Wak and seek me.' This, then,
is her story and what befel in thine absence."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon
as Hasan's mother had made an end of her story, he gave a great
cry and fell down in a fainting fit which continued till the end
of day, when he revived and fell to buffeting his face and
writhing on the floor like a scotched snake.  His mother sat
weeping by his head until midnight, when he came to himself and
wept sore and recited these couplets',[FN#101]

"Pause ye and see his sorry state since when ye fain withdrew; *
     Haply, when wrought your cruelty, you'll have the grace to
For an ye look on him, you'll doubt of him by sickness-stress *
     As though, by Allah, he were one before ye never knew.
He dies for nothing save for love of you, and he would be *
     Numbered amid the dead did not he moan and groan for you.
And deem not pangs of severance sit all lightly on his soul; *
     'Tis heavy load on lover-wight; 'twere lighter an ye slew."

Then having ended his verse he rose and went round about the
house, weeping and wailing, groaning and bemoaning himself, five
days, during which he tasted nor meat nor drink.  His mother came
to him and conjured him, till he broke his fast, and besought him
to leave weeping; but he hearkened not to her and continued to
shed tears and lament, whilst she strove to comfort him and he
heeded her not.  Then he recited these couplets,[FN#102]

"Beareth for love a burden sore this soul of me, * Could break a
     mortal's back however strong that be;
I am distraught to see my case and languor grows * Making my day
     and night indifferent in degree:
I own to having dreaded Death before this day: * This day I hold
     my death mine only remedy."

And Hasan ceased not to do thus till daybreak, when his eyes
closed and he saw in a dream his wife grief-full and repentant
for that which she had done.  So he started up from sleep crying
out and reciting these two couplets,

"Their image bides with me, ne'er quits me, ne'er shall fly; *
     But holds within my heart most honourable stead;
But for reunion-hope, I'd see me die forthright, * And but for
     phantom-form of thee my sleep had fled."

And as morning morrowed he redoubled his lamentations.  He abode
weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, wakeful by night and eating
little, for a whole month, at the end of which he bethought him
to repair to his sisters and take counsel with them in the matter
of his wife, so haply they might help him to regain her.
Accordingly he summoned the dromedaries and loading fifty of them
with rarities of Al-Irak, committed the house to his mother's
care and deposited all his goods in safe keeping, except some few
he left at home.  Then he mounted one of the beasts and set out
on his journey single handed, intent upon obtaining aidance from
the Princesses, and he stayed not till he reached the Palace of
the Mountain of Clouds, when he went in to the damsels and gave
them the presents in which they rejoiced. Then they wished him
joy of his safety and said to him, "O our brother, what can ail
thee to come again so soon, seeing thou wast with us but two
months since?"  Whereupon he wept and improvised these couplets,

"My soul for loss of lover sped I sight; * Nor life enjoying
     neither  life's delight:
My case is one whose cure is all unknown; * Can any cure the sick
     but doctor wight?
O who hast reft my sleep-joys, leaving me * To ask the breeze
     that blew from that fair site,--
Blew from my lover's land (the land that owns * Those charms so
     sore a grief in soul excite),
'O breeze, that visitest her land, perhaps * Breathing her scent,
     thou mayst revive my sprite!'"

And when he ended his verse he gave a great cry and fell down in
a fainting-fit.  The Princesses sat round him, weeping over him,
till he recovered and repeated these two couplets,

"Haply and happily may Fortune bend her rein * Bringing my love,
     for Time's a freke of jealous strain;[FN#103]
Fortune may prosper me, supply mine every want, * And bring a
     blessing where before were ban and bane."

Then he wept till he fainted again, and presently coming to
himself recited the two following couplets,

"My wish, mine illness, mine unease! by Allah, own * Art thou
     content? then I in love contented wone!
Dost thou forsake me thus sans crime or sin * Meet me in ruth, I
     pray, and be our parting gone."

Then he wept till he swooned away once more and when he revived
he repeated these couplets,

"Sleep fled me, by my side wake ever shows * And hoard of
     tear-drops from these eyne aye flows;
For love they weep with beads cornelian-like * And growth of
     distance greater dolence grows:
Lit up my longing, O my love, in me * Flames burning 'neath my
     ribs with fiery throes!
Remembering thee a tear I never shed * But in it thunder roars
     and leven glows."

Then he wept till he fainted away a fourth time, and presently
recovering, recited these couplets,

"Ah! for lowe of love and longing suffer ye as suffer we? * Say,
     as pine we and as yearn we for you are pining ye?
Allah do the death of Love, what a bitter draught is his! * Would
     I  wot of Love what plans and what projects nurseth he!
Your faces radiant-fair though afar from me they shine, * Are
     mirrored in our eyes whatsoever the distance be;
My heart must ever dwell on the memories of your tribe; * And the
     turtle-dove reneweth all as oft as moaneth she:
Ho thou dove, who passest night-tide in calling on thy fere, *
     Thou doublest my repine, bringing grief for company;
And leavest thou mine eyelids with weeping unfulfilled * For the
     dearlings who departed, whom we never more may see:
I melt for the thought of you at every time and hour, * And I
     long for you when Night showeth cheek of blackest blee."

Now when his sister heard these words and saw his condition and
how he lay fainting on the floor, she screamed and beat her face
and the other Princesses hearing her scream came out and learning
his misfortune and the transport of love and longing and the
passion and distraction that possessed him they questioned him of
his case.  He wept and told them what had befallen in his absence
and how his wife had taken flight with her children, wherefore
they grieved for him and asked him what she said at leave-taking.
Answered he, "O my sisters, she said to my mother, 'Tell thy son,
whenas he cometh to thee and the nights of sever- ance upon him
longsome shall be and he craveth reunion and meeting to see, and
whenas the winds of love and longing shake him dolefully, let him
fare in the Islands of Wak to me." When they heard his words they
signed one to other with their eyes and shook their heads, and
each looked at her sister, whilst Hasan looked at them all.  Then
they bowed their heads groundwards and bethought themselves
awhile; after which they raised their heads and said, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great!"; presently adding, "Put forth thy hand to heaven and when
thou reach thither, then shalt thou win to thy wife.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Princesses said to Hasan, "Put forth thy hand to Heaven and when
thou reach thither, then shalt thou win to wife and children,"
thereat the tears ran down his cheeks like rain and wet his
clothes, and he recited these couplets,

"Pink cheeks and eyes enpupil'd black have dealt me sore
     despight; * And whenas wake overpowered sleep my patience
     fled in fright:
The fair and sleek-limbed maidens hard of heart withal laid waste
     * My very bones till not a breath is left for man to sight:
Houris, who fare with gait of grace as roes o'er sandy-mound: *
     Did Allah's saints behold their charms they'd doat thereon
Faring as fares the garden breeze that bloweth in the dawn. * For
     love of them a sore unrest and troubles rack my sprite:
I hung my hopes upon a maid, a loveling fair of them, * For whom
     my heart still burns with lowe in Lazá-hell they light;--
A dearling soft of sides and haught and graceful in her gait, *
     Her grace is white as morning, but her hair is black as
She stirreth me!  But ah, how many heroes have her cheeks *
     Upstirred for love, and eke her eyes that mingle black and

Then he wept, whilst the Princesses wept for his weeping, and
they were moved to compassion and jealousy for him.  So they fell
to comforting him and exhorting him to patience and offering up
prayers for his reunion with his wife; whilst his sister said to
him, "O my brother, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and
clear and be patient; so shalt thou win thy will; for whoso hath
patience and waiteth, that he seeketh attaineth.  Patience
holdeth the keys of relief and indeed the poet saith,

'Let destiny with slackened rein its course appointed fare!  And
     lie thou down to sleep by night, with heart devoid of care;
For 'twixt the closing of an eye and th' opening thereof, God
     hath it in His power to change a case from foul to

So hearten thy heart and brace up thy resolve, for the son of ten
years dieth not in the ninth.[FN#105]  Weeping and grief and
mourning gender sickness and disease; wherefore do thou abide
with us till thou be rested, and I will devise some device for
thy winning to thy wife and children, Inshallah--so it please
Allah the Most High!"  And he wept sore and recited these verses,

"An I be healed of disease in frame, * I'm unhealed of illness in
     heart and sprite:
There is no healing disease of love, * Save lover and loved one
     to re-unite."

Then he sat down beside her and she proceeded to talk with him
and comfort him and question him of the cause and the manner of
his wife's departure. So he told her and she said, "By Allah, O
my brother, I was minded to bid thee burn the feather-dress, but
Satan made me forget it."  She ceased not to converse with him
and caress him and company with him other ten days, whilst sleep
visited him not and he delighted not in food; and when the case
was longsome upon him and unrest waxed in him, he versified with
these couplets,

"A beloved familiar o'erreigns my heart * And Allah's ruling
     reigns evermore:
She hath all the Arab's united charms * This gazelle who feeds on
     my bosom's core.
Though my skill and patience for love of her fail, * I weep
     whilst I wot that 'tis vain to deplore.
The dearling hath twice seven years, as though * She were moon of
     five nights and of five plus four."[FN#106]

When the youngest Princess saw him thus distracted for love and
longing for passion and the fever-heat of desire, she went in to
her sisterhood weeping-eyed and woeful-hearted, and shedding
copious tears threw herself upon them, kissed their feet and
besought them to devise some device for bringing Hasan to the
Islands of Wak and effecting his reunion with his wife and wees.
She ceased not to conjure them to further her brother in the
accomplishment of his  desire and to weep before them, till she
made them weep and they said to her, "Hearten thy heart:  we will
do our best endeavour to bring about his reunion with his family,
Inshallah!" And he abode with them a whole year, during which his
eyes never could retain their tears.  Now the sisterhood had an
uncle, brother-german to their sire and his name was Abd
al-Kaddús, or Slave of the Most Holy; and he loved the eldest
with exceeding love and was wont to visit her once a year and do
all she desired. They had told him of Hasan's adventure with the
Magian and how he had been able to slay him; whereat he rejoiced
and gave the eldest Princess a pouch[FN#107] which contained
certain perfumes, saying, "O daughter of my brother, an thou be
in concern for aught, or if aught irk thee, or thou stand in any
need, cast of these perfumes upon fire naming my name and I will
be with thee forthright and will do thy desire." This speech was
spoken on the first of Moharram[FN#108]; and the eldest Princess
said to one of the sisterhood, "Lo, the year is wholly past and
my uncle is not come.  Rise, bring me the fire-sticks and the box
of perfumes." So the damsel arose rejoicing and, fetching what
she sought, laid it before her sister, who opened the box and
taking thence a little of the perfume, cast it into the fire
naming her unde's name; nor was it burnt out ere appeared a
dust-cloud at the farther end of the Wady; and presently lifting,
it discovered a Shaykh riding on an elephant, which moved at a
swift and easy pace, and trumpeted under the rider.  As soon as
he came within sight of the Princesses, he began making signs to
them with his hands and feet; nor was it long ere he reached the
castle and, alighting from the elephant, came in to them,
whereupon they embraced him and kissed his hands and saluted him
with the salam.  Then he sat down, whilst the girls talked with
him and questioned him of his absence. Quoth he, "I was sitting
but now with my wife, your aunt, when I smelt the perfumes and
hastened to you on this elephant.  What wouldst thou, O daughter
of my brother?"  Quoth she, "O uncle, indeed we longed for thee,
as the year is past and 'tis not thy wont to be absent from us
more than a twelvemonth." Answered he, "I was busy, but I
purposed to come to you to-morrow." Wherefore they thanked him
and blessed him and sat talking with him.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

             When it was the Eight Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
girls sat down to chat with their uncle the eldest said to him "O
my uncle, we told thee the tale of Hasan of Bassorah, whom Bahram
the Magian brought and how he slew the wizard and how, after
enduring all manner of hardships and horrors, he made prize of
the Supreme King's daughter and took her to wife and journeyed
with her to his native land?" Replied he, "Yes, and what befel
him after that?" Quoth the Princess, "She played him false after
he was blest with two sons by her; for she took them in his
absence and fled with them to her own country, saying to his
mother: 'Whenas thy son returneth to thee and asketh for me and
upon him the nights of severance longsome shall be and he craveth
reunion and meeting to see and whenas the breezes of love and
longing shake him dolefully, let him come in the Islands of Wak
to me.'" When Abd al-Kaddus heard this, he shook his head and bit
his forefinger; then, bowing his brow groundwards he began to
make marks on the earth with his finger-tips;[FN#109] after which
he again shook his head and looked right and left and shook his
head a third time, whilst Hasan watched him from a place where he
was hidden from him.  Then said the Princesses to their uncle,
"Return us some answer, for our hearts are rent in sunder." But
he shook his head at them, saying, "O my daughters, verily hath
this man wearied himself in vain and cast himself into grievous
predicament and sore peril; for he may not gain access to the
Islands of Wak." With this the Princesses called Hasan, who came
forth and, advancing to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, kissed his hand and
saluted him.  The old man rejoiced in him and seated him by his
side; whereupon quoth the damsels, "O uncle, acquaint our brother
Hasan with that thou hast told us."  So he said to Hasan, "O my
son, put away from thee this peine forte et dure; for thou canst
never gain access to the Islands of Wak, though the Flying Jinn
and the Wandering Stars were with thee; for that betwixt thee and
these islands are seven Wadys and seven seas and seven mighty
mountains.  How then canst thou come at this stead and who shall
bring thee thither?  Wherefore, Allah upon thee, O my son, do
thou reckon thy spouse and sons as dead and turn back forthright
and weary not thy sprite!  Indeed, I give thee good counsel, an
thou wilt but accept it."  Hearing these words from the Shaykh,
Hasan wept till he fainted, and the Princesses sat round him,
weeping for his weeping, whilst the youngest sister rent her
raiment and buffeted her face, till she swooned away.  When
Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus saw them in this transport of grief and
trouble and mourning, he was moved to ruth for them and cried,
"Be ye silent!"  Then said he to Hasan, "O my son, hearten thy
heart and rejoice in the winning of thy wish, an it be the will
of Allah the Most High;" presently adding, "Rise, O my son, take
courage and follow me."  So Hasan arose forthright and after he
had taken leave of the Princesses followed him, rejoicing in the
fulfilment of his wish. Then the Shaykh called the elephant and
mounting, took Hasan up behind him and fared on three days with
their nights, like the blinding leven, till he came to a vast
blue mountain, whose stones were all of azure hue and amiddlemost
of which was a cavern, with a door of Chinese iron.  Here he took
Hasan's hand and let him down and alighting dismissed the
elephant.  Then he went up to the door and knocked, whereupon it
opened and there came out to him a black slave, hairless, as he
were an Ifrit, with brand in right hand and targe of steel in
left.  When he saw Abd al-Kaddus, he threw sword and buckler from
his grip and coming up to the Shaykh kissed his hand.  Thereupon
the old man took Hasan by the hand and entered with him, whilst
the slave shut the door behind them; when Hasan found himself in
a vast cavern and a spacious, through which ran an arched
corridor and they ceased not faring on therein a mile or so, till
it abutted upon a great open space and thence they made for an
angle of the mountain wherein were two huge doors cast of solid
brass.  The old man opened one of them and said to Hasan, "Sit at
the door, whilst I go within and come back to thee in haste, and
beware lest thou open it and enter." Then he fared inside and,
shutting the door after him, was absent during a full sidereal
hour, after which he returned, leading a black stallion, thin of
flank and short of nose, which was ready bridled and saddled,
with velvet housings; and when it ran it flew, and when it flew,
the very dust in vain would pursue; and brought it to Hasan,
saying, "Mount!" So he mounted and Abd al-Kaddus opened the
second door, beyond which appeared a vast desert.  Then the twain
passed through the door into that desert and the old man said to
him, "O my son, take this scroll and wend thou whither this steed
will carry thee.  When thou seest him stop at the door of a
cavern like this, alight and throw the reins over the saddle-bow
and let him go.  He will enter the cavern, which do thou not
enter with him, but tarry at the door five days, without being
weary of waiting.  On the sixth day there will come forth to thee
a black Shaykh, clad all in sable, with a long white beard,
flowing down to his navel. As soon as thou seest him, kiss his
hands and seize his skirt and lay it on thy head and weep before
him, till he take pity on thee and he will ask thee what thou
wouldst have.  When he saith to thee, 'What is thy want?' give
him this scroll which he will take without speaking and go in and
leave thee.  Wait at the door other five days, without wearying,
and on the sixth day expect him; and if he come out to thee
himself, know that thy wish will be won, but, if one of his pages
come forth to thee, know that he who cometh forth to thee,
purposeth to kill thee; and--the Peace![FN#110]  For know, O my
son, that whoso self imperilleth doeth himself to death;"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and First Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after
handing the scroll to Hasan, Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus told him what
would befal him and said, "Whoso self imperilleth doeth himself
to death; but also who ventureth naught advantageth naught.
However an thou fear for thy life, cast it not into danger of
destruction; but, an thou fear not, up and do thy will, for I
have expounded to thee the whole case.  Yet shouldest thou be
minded to return to thy friends, the elephant is still here and
he will carry thee to my nieces, who will restore thee to thy
country and return thee to thy home, and Allah will vouchsafe
thee a better than this girl, of whom thou art enamoured." Hasan
answered the Shaykh, saying, "And how shall life be sweet to me,
except I win my wish?  By Allah, I will never turn back, till I
regain my beloved or my death overtake me!" And he wept and
recited these couplets,

"For loss of lover mine and stress of love I dree, * I stood
     bewailing self in deep despondency.
Longing for him, the Spring-camp's dust I kissed and kissed, *
     But this bred more of grief and galling reverie.
God guard the gone, who in our hearts must e'er abide * With
     nearing woes and joys which still the farther flee.
They say me, 'Patience!' But they bore it all away: * On
     parting-day, and left me naught save tormentry.
And naught affrighted me except the word he said, * 'Forget me
     not when gone nor drive from memory.'
To whom shall turn I? hope in whom when you are lost? * Who were
     my only hopes and joys and woes of me?
But ah, the pang of home-return when parting thus! * How joyed at
     seeing me return mine enemy.
Then well-away! this 'twas I guarded me against! * And ah, thou
     lowe of Love double thine ardency![FN#111]
An fled for aye my friends I'll not survive the flight; * Yet an
     they deign return, Oh joy!  Oh ecstacy!
Never, by Allah tears and weeping I'll contain * For loss of you,
     but tears on tears and tears will rain."

When Abd al-Kaddus heard his verse he knew that he would not turn
back from his desire nor would words have effect on him, and was
certified that naught would serve him but he must imperil
himself, though it lose him his life.  So he said to him, "Know,
O my son, that the Islands of Wak are seven islands, wherein is a
mighty host, all virgin girls, and the Inner Isles are peopled by
Satans and Marids and warlocks and various tribesmen of the Jinn;
and whoso entereth their land never returneth thence; at least
none hath done so to this day.  So, Allah upon thee, return
presently to thy people, for know that she whom thou seekest is
the King's daughter of all these islands: and how canst thou
attain to her?  Hearken to me, O my son, and haply Allah will
vouchsafe thee in her stead a better than she."  "O my lord,"
answered Hasan, though for the love of her I were cut in pieces
yet should I but redouble in love and transport!  There is no
help but that I enter the Wak Islands and come to the sight of my
wife and children; and Inshallah, I will not return save with her
and with them." Said the Shaykh, "Then nothing will serve thee
but thou must make the journey?" Hasan replied "Nothing! and I
only ask of thee thy prayers for help and aidance; so haply Allah
will reunite me with my wife and children right soon." Then he
wept for stress of longing and recited these couplets,

"You are my wish, of creatures brightest-light * I deem you lief
     as hearing, fain as sight:
You hold my heart which hath become your home * And since you
     left me, lords, right sore's my plight:
Then think not I have yielded up your love, * Your love which set
     this wretch in fierce affright:
You went and went my joy whenas you went; * And waned and wax'ed
     wan the brightest light:
You left me lone to watch the stars in woe: * Railing tears
     likest rain-drops infinite.
Thou'rt longsome to the wight, who pining lies * On wake,
     moon-gazing through the night,
O Night! Wind! an thou pass the tribe where they abide * Give
     them my greeting, life is fain of flight.
And tell them somewhat of the pangs I bear: * The loved one
     kenneth not my case aright."

Then he wept with sore weeping till he fainted away; and when he
came to himself, Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus said to him, "O my son,
thou hast a mother; make her not taste the torment of thy loss."
Hasan replied, "By Allah, O my lord, I will never return except
with my wife, or my death shall overtake me." And he wept and
wailed and recited these couplets,

"By Love's right! naught of farness thy slave can estrange * Nor
     am I one to fail in my fealty:
I suffer such pains did I tell my case * To folk, they'd cry,
     'Madness! clean witless is he!'
Then ecstasy, love-longing, transport and lowe! * Whose case is
     such case how shall ever he be?"

With this the old man knew that he would not turn from his
purpose, though it cost him his life; so he handed him the scroll
and prayed for him and charged him how he should do, saying "I
have in this letter given a strict charge concerning thee to Abú
al-Ruwaysh,[FN#112] son of Bilkís, daughter of Mu'in, for he is
my Shaykh and my teacher, and all, men and Jinn, humble
themselves to him and stand in awe of him.  And now go with the
blessing of God." Hasan forthright set out giving the horse the
rein, and it flew off with him swiftlier than lightning, and
stayed not in its course ten days, when he saw before him a vast
loom black as night, walling the world from East to West.  As he
neared it, the stallion neighed under him, whereupon there
flocked to it horses in number as the drops of rain, none could
tell their tale or against them prevail, and fell to rubbing
themselves against it.  Hasan was affrighted at them and fared
forwards surrounded by the horses, without drawing rein till he
came to the cavern which Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus had described to
him.  The steed stood still at the door and Hasan alighted and
bridged the bridle over the saddle-bow[FN#113]; whereupon the
steed entered the cavern, whilst the rider abode without, as the
old man had charged him, pondering the issue of his case in
perplexity and distraction and unknowing what would befal
him.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

        When it was the Eight Hundred and Second Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan,
dismounting from the steed, stood at the cavern-mouth pondering
the issue of his case and unknowing what might befal him.  He
abode standing on the same spot five days with their nights,
sleepless, mournful, tearful-eyed; distracted, perplexed,
pondering his severance from home and family, comrades and
friends, with weeping eye-lids and heavy heart. Then he bethought
him of his mother and of what might yet happen to him and of his
separation from his wife and children and of all that he had
suffered, and he recited these couplets,

"With you is my heart-cure a heart that goes; * And from
     hill-foot of eyelids the tear-rill flows:
And parting and sorrow and exile and dole * And farness from
     country and throe that o'erthrows:
Naught am I save a lover distracted by love, * Far parted from
     loved one and wilted by woes.
And 'tis Love that hath brought me such sorrow, say where * Is
     the noble of soul who such sorrow unknows?"

Hardly had Hasan made an end of his verses, when out came the
Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh, a blackamoor and clad in black raiment,
and at first sight he knew him by the description that Abd
al-Kaddus had given him.  He threw himself at his feet and rubbed
his cheeks on them and seizing his skirt, laid it on his head and
wept before him.  Quoth the old man, "What wantest thou, O my
son?" Whereupon he put out his hand to him with the letter, and
Abu al-Ruwaysh took it and reentered the cavern, without making
him any answer.  So Hasan sat down at the cave-mouth in his place
other five days as he had been bidden, whilst concern grew upon
him and terror redoubled on him and restlessness gat hold of him,
and he fell to weeping and bemoaning himself for the anguish of
estrangement and much watching. And he recited these couplets,

"Glory to Him who guides the skies! * The lover sore in sorrow
Who hath not tasted of Love's food * Knows not what mean its
Did I attempt to stem my tears * Rivers of blood would fount and
How many an intimate is hard * Of heart, and pains in sorest
An she with me her word would keep, * Of tears and sighs I'd fain
But I'm forgone, rejected quite * Ruin on me hath cast her eyes.
At my fell pangs fell wildlings weep * And not a bird for me but

Hasan ceased not to weep till dawn of the sixth day, when Shaykh
Abu al-Ruwaysh came forth to him, clad in white raiment, and with
his hand signed[FN#114] to him to enter.  So he went in,
rejoicing and assured of the winning of his wish, and the old man
took him by the hand and leading him into the cavern, fared on
with him half a day's journey, till they reached an arched
doorway with a door of steel.  The Shaykh opened the door and
they two entered a vestibule vaulted with onyx stones and
arabesqued with gold, and they stayed not walking till they came
to a great hall and a wide, paved and walled with marble.  In its
midst was a flower-garden containing all manner trees and flowers
and fruits, with birds warbling on the boughs and singing the
praises of Allah the Almighty Sovran; and there were four daises,
each facing other, and in each dais a jetting fountain, at whose
corners stood lions of red gold, spouting gerbes from their
mouths into the basin.  On each dais stood a chair, whereon sat
an elder, with exceeding store of books before him[FN#115] and
censers of gold, containing fire and perfumes, and before each
elder were students, who read the books to him.  Now when the
twain entered, the elders rose to them and did them honour;
whereupon Abu al-Ruwaysh signed to them to dismiss their scholars
and they did so.  Then the four arose and seating themselves
before that Shaykh, asked him of the case of Hasan to whom he
said, "Tell the company thy tale and all that hath betided thee
from the beginning of thine adventure to the end." So Hasan wept
with sore weeping and related to them his story with Bahram;
whereupon all the Shaykhs cried out and said, "Is this indeed he
whom the Magian caused to climb the Mountain of Clouds by means
of the vultures, sewn up in the camel-hide?" And Hasan said,
"Yes."  So they turned to the Shaykh, Abu al-Ruwaysh and said to
him, "O our Shaykh, of a truth Bahram contrived his mounting to
the mountaintop; but how came he down and what marvels saw he
there?" And Abu al-Ruwaysh said, "O Hasan, tell them how thou
camest down and acquaint them with what thou sawest of marvels."
So he told them all that had befallen him, first and last; how he
had gotten the Magian into his power and slain him, how he had
delivered the youth from him and sent him back to his own
country, and how he had captured the King's daughter of the Jinn
and married her; yet had she played him false and taken the two
boys she had borne him and flown away; brief, he related to them
all the hardships and horrors he had undergone; whereat they
marvelled, each and every, and said to Abu al-Ruwaysh, "O elder
of elders, verily by Allah, this youth is to be pitied!  But
belike thou wilt aid him to recover his wife and wees."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and Third Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan told his tale to the elders, they said to Shaykh Abu
al-Ruwaysh, "This youth is to be pitied and haply thou wilt aid
him to recover his wife and wees." He replied, "O my brothers, in
very sooth this is a grave matter and a perilous; and never saw I
any loathe his life save this youth.  You know that the Islands
of Wak are hard of access and that none may come to them but at
risk of life; and ye know also the strength of their people and
their guards.  Moreover I have sworn an oath not to tread their
soil nor transgress against them in aught; so how shall this man
come at the daughter of the Great King, and who hath power to
bring him to her or help him in this matter?" Replied the other,
"O Shaykh of Shaykhs, verily this man is consumed with desire and
he hath endangered himself to bring thee a scroll from thy
brother Abd al-Kaddus; wherefore it behoveth thee to help him."
And Hasan arose and kissed Abu al-Ruwaysh's feet and raising the
hem of his garment laid it on his head, weeping and crying. "I
beseech thee, by Allah, to reunite me with my wife and children,
though it cost me my life and my soul!"  The four elders all wept
for his weeping and said to Abu al-Ruwaysh, "Deal generously with
this unhappy and show him kindness for the sake of thy brother
Abd al-Kaddus and profit by this occasion to earn reward from
Allah for helping him." Quoth he, "This wilful youth weeteth not
what he undertaketh; but Inshallah! we will help him after the
measure of our means, nor leave aught feasible undone." When
Hasan heard the Shaykh's word he rejoiced and kissed the hands of
the five elders, one after other, imploring their aidance.
Thereupon Abd al-Ruwaysh took inkcase and a sheet of paper and
wrote a letter, which he sealed and gave to Hasan, together with
a pouch of perfumed leather,[FN#116] containing incense and
fire-sticks[FN#117] and other needs, and said to him, "Take
strictest care of this pouch, and whenas thou fallest into any
strait, burn a little of the incense therein and name my name,
whereupon I will be with thee forthright and save thee from thy
stress." Moreover, he bade one of those present fetch him an
Ifrit of the Flying Jinn; and he did so incontinently; whereupon
quoth Abu al-Ruwaysh to the fire-drake, "What is thy name!"
Replied the Ifrit, "Thy thrall is hight Dahnash bin Faktash." And
the Shaykh said "Draw near to me!" So Dahnash drew near to him
and he put his mouth to his ear and said somewhat to him, whereat
the Ifrit shook his head and answered, "I accept, O elder of
elders!" Then said Abu al-Ruwaysh to Hasan, "Arise, O my son,
mount the shoulders of this Ifrit, Dahnash the Flyer; but, when
he heaveth thee heavenwards and thou hearest the angels
glorifying God a-welkin with 'Subhána Iláh,' have a care lest
thou do the like; else wilt thou perish and he too." Hasan
replied, "I will not say a word; no, never;" and the old man
continued, "O Hasan, after faring with thee all this day,
to-morrow at peep of dawn he will set thee down in a land cleanly
white, like unto camphor, whereupon do thou walk on ten days by
thyself, till thou come to the gate of a city.  Then enter and
enquire for the King of the city; and when thou comest to his
presence, salute him with the salam and kiss his hand: then give
him this scroll and consider well whatso he shall counsel thee,"
Hasan replied, "Hearing and obeying," and rose up and mounted the
Ifrit's shoulders, whilst the elders rose and offered up prayers
for him and commended him to the care of Dahnash the Firedrake.
And when he had perched on the Flyer's back the Ifrit soared with
him to the very confines of the sky, till he heard the angels
glorifying God in Heaven, and flew on with him a day and a night
till at dawn of the next day he set him down in a land white as
camphor, and went his way, leaving him there.  When Hasan found
himself in the land aforesaid with none by his side he fared on
night and day for ten days, till he came to the gate of the city
in question and entering, enquired for the King.  They directed
him to him and told him that his name was King Hassún,[FN#118]
Lord of the Land of Camphor, and that he had troops and soldiers
enough to fill the earth in its length and breadth.  So he sought
audience of him and, being admitted to his presence, found him a
mighty King and kissed ground between his hands. Quoth the King,
"What is thy want?" Whereupon Hasan kissed the letter and gave it
to him.  The King read it and shook his head awhile, then said to
one of his officers, "Take this youth and lodge him in the house
of hospitality."  So he took him and stablished him in the
guest-house, where he tarried three days, eating and drinking and
seeing none but the eunuch who waited on him and who entertained
him with discourse and cheered him with his company, questioning
him of his case and how he came to that city; whereupon he told
him his whole story, and the perilous condition wherein he was.
On the fourth day, that eunuch carried him before the King, who
said to him, "O Hasan, thou comest to me, seeking to enter the
Islands of Wak, as the Shaykh of Shaykhs adviseth me. O my son, I
would send thee thither this very day, but that by the way are
many perils and thirsty wolds full of terrors; yet do thou have
patience and naught save fair shall befal thee, for needs must I
devise to bring thee to thy desire, Inshallah!  Know, O my son,
that here is a mighty host,[FN#119] equipped with arms and steeds
and warlike gear, who long to enter the Wak Islands and lack
power thereto.  But, O my son, for the sake of the Shaykh Abu
al-Ruwaysh, son of Bilkis,[FN#120] the daughter of Mu'in, I may
not send thee back to him unfulfilled of thine affair.  Presently
there will come to us ships from the Islands of Wak and the first
that shall arrive I will send thee on board of her and give thee
in charge to the sailors, so they may take care of thee and carry
thee to the Islands.  If any question thee of thy case and
condition, answer him saying, 'I am kinsman to King Hassun, Lord
of the Land of Camphor;' and when the ship shall make fast to the
shore of the Islands of Wak and the master shall bid thee land,
do thou land.  Now as soon as thou comest ashore, thou wilt see a
multitude of wooden settles all about the beach, of which do thou
choose thee one and crouch under it and stir not.  And when dark
night sets in, thou wilt see an army of women appear and flock
about the goods landed from the ship, and one of them will sit
down on the settle, under which thou hast hidden thyself,
whereupon do thou put forth thy hand to her and take hold of her
and implore her protection. And know thou, O my son, that an she
accord thee protection, thou wilt win thy wish and regain thy
wife and children; but, if she refuse to protect thee, make thy
mourning for thyself and give up all hope of life, and make sure
of death for indeed thou art a dead man.  Understand, O my son,
that thou adventurest thy life and this is all I can do for thee,
and--the peace!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

        When it was the Eight Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said,  It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King
Hassun spake these words to Hasan and charged him as we have
related, ending with, "This is all I can do for thee and know
that except the Lord of Heaven had aided thee, thou hadst not
come hither!" The youth wept till he swooned away, and when he
recovered, he recited these two couplets,

"A term decreed my lot I 'spy; * And, when its days shall end, I
Though lions fought with me in lair * If Time be mine I'd beat
     them, I!"

Then having ended his verse he kissed the ground before the
Sovran and said to him, "O mighty King, how many days remain till
the coming of the ships?" Replied the other, "In a month's time
they will come and will tarry here, selling their cargueson,
other two months, after which they will return to their own
country; so hope not to set out save after three whole months."
Then the King bade him return to the house of hospitality and
bade supply him with all that he needed of meat and drink and
raiment fit for Kings.  Hasan abode in the guest-house a month,
at the end of which the vessels arrived and the King and the
merchants went forth to them, taking Hasan with them. Amongst
them he saw a ship with much people therein, like the shingles
for number; none knew their tale save He who created them.  She
was anchored in mid-harbour and had cocks which transported her
lading to the shore.  So Hasan abode till the crew had landed all
the goods and sold and bought and to the time of departure there
wanted but three days; whereupon the King sent for him and
equipped him with all he required and gave him  great gifts:
after which he summoned the captain of the great ship and said to
him, "Take this youth with thee in the vessel, so none may know
of him save thou, and carry him to the Islands of Wak and leave
him there; and bring him not back."  And the Rais said, "To hear
is to obey: with love and gladness!" Then quoth the King to
Hasan, "Look thou tell none of those who are with thee in the
ship thine errand nor discover to them aught of thy case; else
thou art a lost man;" and quoth he, "Hearing and obedience!" With
this he farewelled the King, after he had wished him long life
and victory over his enviers and his enemies; wherefore the King
thanked him and wished him safety and the winning of his wish.
Then he committed him to the captain, who laid him in a chest
which he embarked in a dinghy, and bore him aboard, whilst the
folk were busy in breaking bulk and no man doubted but the chest
contained somewhat of merchandise.  After this, the vessels set
sail and fared on without ceasing ten days, and on the eleventh
day they made the land.  So the Rais set Hasan ashore and, as he
walked up the beach, he saw wooden settles[FN#121] without
number, none knew their count save Allah, even as the King had
told him. He went on, till he came to one that had no fellow and
hid under it till nightfall, when there came up a mighty many of
women, as they were locusts over-swarming the land and they
marched afoot and armed cap-à-pie in hauberks and strait-knit
coats of mail hending drawn swords in their hands, who, seeing
the merchandise landed from the ships, busied themselves
therewith. Presently they sat down to rest themselves, and one of
them seated herself on the settle under which Hasan had crouched:
whereupon he took hold of the hem of her garment and laid it on
his head and throwing himself before her, fell to kissing her
hands and feet and weeping and crying, "Thy protection! thy
good-will!" Quoth she, "Ho, thou!  Arise and stand up, ere any
see thee and slay thee." So he came forth and springing up kissed
her hands and wept and said to her, "O my mistress, I am under
thy protection!"; adding, "Have ruth on one who is parted from
his people and wife and children, one who hath haste to rejoin
them and one who adventureth life and soul for their sake! Take
pity on me and be assured that therefor Paradise will be thy
reward; or, an thou wilt not receive me, I beseech thee, by Allah
the Great, the Concealer, to conceal my case!" The merchants
stared to see him talking with her; and she, hearing his words
and beholding his humility, was moved to ruth for him; her heart
inclined to him and she knew that he had not ventured himself and
come to that place, save for a grave matter.  So she said to him,
"O my son, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear,
hearten thy heart and take courage and return to thy hiding-place
till the coming night, and Allah shall do as He will." Then she
took leave of him and Hasan crept under the wooden settle as
before, whilst the troops lighted flambeaux of wax mixed with
aloes-wood and Nadd-perfume and crude ambergris[FN#122] and
passed the night in sport and delight till the morning.  At
daybreak, the boats returned to the shore and the merchants
busied themselves with buying and selling and the transport of
the goods and gear till nightfall, whilst Hasan lay hidden
beneath the settle, weeping-eyed and woeful-hearted, knowing not
what was decreed to him in the secret preordainment of Allah.  As
he was thus, behold, the merchant-woman with whom he had taken
refuge came up to him and giving him a habergeon and a helmet, a
spear, a sword and a gilded girdle, bade him don them and seat
himself on the settle after which she left him, for fear of the
troops. So he arose and donned the mail-coat and helmet and
clasped the girdle about his middle; then he slung the sword over
his shoulder till it hung under his armpit, and taking the spear
in his hand, sat down on that settle, whilst his tongue neglected
not to name Allah Almighty and call on Him for protection.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan received the weapons which the merchant-woman had given to
him, saying, "Sit thee upon the settle and let none wot thy
case," he armed himself and took his seat, whilst his tongue
neglected not to name Allah Almighty and to call upon Him for
protection.  And behold, there appeared cressets and lanthorns
and flambeaux and up came the army of women.  So he arose and
mingling with them, became as one of them.  A little before
daybreak, they set out, and Hasan with them, and fared on till
they came to their camp, where they dispersed each to her tent,
and Hasan followed one of them and lo! it was hers for whose
protection he had prayed.  When she entered, she threw down her
arms and doffed her hauberk and veil.  So Hasan did the like and
looking at his companion, saw her to be a grizzled old woman
blue-eyed and big-nosed, a calamity of calamities, the foulest of
all created things, with face pock-marked and eyebrows bald,
gap-toothed and chap-fallen, with hair hoary, nose running and
mouth slavering;[FN#123] even as saith the like of her the poet,

"In her cheek-corners nine calamities * Wone, and when shown,
     each one Jehannam is:
Hideous the face and favour foulest foul * As cheek of hog; yea,
     'tis a cesspool phiz."

And indeed she was like a pied snake or a scald she-wolf.  Now
when the old woman looked at Hasan, she marvelled and said, "How
came this one to these lands and in which of the ships was he and
how arrived he hither in safety?"  And she fell to questioning
him of his case and admiring at his arrival, whereupon he fell at
her feet and rubbed his face on them and wept till he fainted;
and, when he recovered himself, he recited these couplets,

"When will Time grant we meet, when shall we be * Again united
     after severance stark?
And I shall win my choicest wish and view? * Blame end and Love
     abide without remark?
Were Nile to flow as freely as my tears, * 'Twould leave no
     region but with water-mark:
'Twould overthrow Hijaz and Egypt-land * 'Twould deluge Syria and
     'twould drown Irák.
This, O my love, is caused by thy disdain, * Be kind and promise
     meeting fair and fain!"

Then he took the crone's skirt and laid it on his head and fell
to weeping and craving her protection.  When she saw his ardency
and transport and anguish and distress, her heart softened to him
and she promised him her safeguard, saying, "Have no fear
whatsoever." Then she questioned him of his case and he told her
the manner of his coming thither and all that had befallen him
from beginning to end, whereat she marvelled and said, "This that
hath betide thee, methinks, never betided any save thyself and
except thou hadst been vouchsafed the especial protection of
Allah, thou hadst not been saved: but now, O my son, take comfort
and be of good courage; thou hast nothing more to fear, for
indeed thou hast won thy wish and attained thy desire, if it
please the Most High!"  Thereat Hasan rejoiced with joy exceeding
and she sent to summon the captains of the army to her presence,
and it was the last day of the month.  So they presented
themselves and the old woman said to them, "Go out and proclaim
to all the troops that they come forth to-morrow at daybreak and
let none tarry behind, for whoso tarryeth shall be slain." They
replied, "We hear and we obey," and going forth, made
proclamation to all the host anent a review next morning, even as
she bade them, after which they returned and told her of this;
whereby Hasan knew that she was the Commander-in-chief of the
army and the Viceregent in authority over them; and her name was
Shawahí the Fascinator, entituled Umm al-Dawáhi, or Mother of
Calamities.[FN#124] She ceased not to bid and forbid and Hasan
doffed not off his arms from his body that day.  Now when the
morning broke, all the troops fared forth from their places, but
the old woman came not out with them, and as soon as they were
sped and the stead was clear of them, she said to Hasan, "Draw
near unto me, O my son[FN#125]." So he drew near unto her and
stood between her hands.  Quoth she, "Why and wherefore hast thou
adventured thyself so boldly as to enter this land, and how came
thy soul to consent to its own undoing?  Tell me the truth and
the whole truth and fear aught of ill come of it, for thou hast
my plighted word and I am moved to compassion for thy case and
pity thee and have taken thee under my protection.  So, if thou
tell me the truth, I will help thee to win thy wish, though it
involve the undoing of souls and the destruction of bodies; and
since thou hast come to seek me, no hurt shall betide thee from
me, nor will I suffer any to have at thee with harm of all who be
in the Islands of Wak." So he told her his tale from first to
last, acquainting her with the matter of his wife and of the
birds; how he had captured her as his prize from amongst the ten
and married her and abode with her, till she had borne him two
sons, and how she had taken her children and flown away with
them, whenas she knew the way to the feather-dress.  Brief, he
concealed from her no whit of his case, from the beginning to
that day.  But when Shawahi heard his relation, she shook her
head and said to him, "Glory be to God who hath brought thee
hither in safety and made thee hap upon me!  For, hadst thou
happened on any but myself, thou hadst lost thy life without
winning thy wish; but the truth of thine intent and thy fond
affection and the excess of thy love-longing for thy wife and
yearning for thy children, these it was that have brought thee to
the attainment of thine aim.  Didst thou not love her and love
her to distraction, thou hadst not thus imperilled thyself, and
Alhamdolillah--Praised be Allah--for thy safety!  Wherefore it
behoveth us to do thy desire and conduce to thy quest, so thou
mayst presently attain that thou seekest, if it be the will of
Almighty Allah.  But know, O my son, that thy wife is not here,
but in the seventh of the Islands of Wak and between us and it is
seven months' journey, night and day. From here we go to an
island called the Land of Birds, wherein, for the loud crying of
the birds and the flapping of their wings, one cannot hear other
speak."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old
woman said to Hasan, "Indeed thy wife is in the Seventh
Island,[FN#126] the greatest amongst the Islands of Wak and
betwixt us and it is a seven-months' journey.  From here we fare
for the Land of Birds, whereon for the force of their flying and
the flapping of their wings, we cannot hear one other speak.
Over that country we journey night and day, eleven days, after
which we come forth of it to another called the Land of Ferals
where, for stress of roaring of lions and howling of wolves and
laughing of hyaenas and the crying of other beasts of prey we
shall hear naught, and therein we travel twenty days' journey.
Then we issue therefrom and come to a third country, called the
Land of the Jánn, where, for stress of the crying of the Jinn and
the flaming of fires and the flight of sparks and smoke from
their mouths and the noise of their groaning and their arrogance
in blocking up the road before us, our ears will be deafened and
our eyes blinded, so that we shall neither hear nor see, nor dare
any look behind him, or he perisheth: but there horseman boweth
head on saddle-bow and raiseth it not for three days.  After
this, we abut upon a mighty mountain and a running river
contiguous with the Isles of Wak, which are seven in number and
the extent whereof is a whole year's journey for a well-girt
horseman.  And thou must know, O my son, that these troops are
all virgin girls, and that the ruler over us is a woman of the
Archipelago of Wak. On the bank of the river aforesaid is another
mountain, called Mount Wak, and it is thus named by reason of a
tree which beareth fruits like heads of the Sons of Adam.[FN#127]
When the sun riseth on them, the heads cry out all, saying in
their cries:-- 'Wak!  Wak!  Glory be to the Creating King,
Al-Khallák!' And when we hear their crying, we know that the sun
is risen.  In like manner, at sundown, the heads set up the same
cry, 'Wak! Wak!  Glory to Al-Khallak!' and so we know that the
sun hath set.  No man may abide with us or reach to us or tread
our earth: and betwixt us and the abiding-place of the Queen who
ruleth over us is a month's journey from this shore, all the
lieges whereof are under her hand, as are also the tribes of the
Jinn, Marids and Satans, while of the warlocks none kenneth the
number save He who created them.  Wherefore, an thou be afraid, I
will send with thee one who will convey thee to the coast and
there bring one who will embark thee on board a ship that bear
thee to thine own land.  But an thou be content to tarry with us,
I will not forbid thee and thou shalt be with me in mine
eye,[FN#128] till thou win thy wish, Inshallah!" Quoth he, "O my
lady, I will never quit thee till I foregather with my wife or
lose my life!"; and quoth she, "This is a light matter; be of
good heart, for soon shalt thou come to thy desire, Allah
willing; and there is no help but that I let the Queen know of
thee, that she may help thee to attain thine aim." Hasan blessed
her and kissed her head and hands, thanking her for her good deed
and exceeding kindness and firm will.  Then he set out with her,
pondering the issue of his case and the horrors of his
strangerhood; wherefore he fell a-weeping and a-wailing and
recited these couplets,

"A Zephyr bloweth from the lover's site; * And thou canst view me
     in the saddest plight:
The Night of Union is as brilliant morn; * And black the
     Severance-day as blackest night:
Farewelling friend is sorrow sorest sore * Parting from lover's
     merest undelight.
I will not blame her harshness save to her, * And 'mid mankind
     nor friend nor fere I sight:
How can I be consoled for loss of you? * Base censor's blame
     shall not console my sprite!
O thou in charms unique, unique's my love; * O peerless thou, my
     heart hath peerless might!
Who maketh semblance that be loveth you * And dreadeth blame is
     most blame-worthy wight."

Then the old woman bade beat the kettle-drums for departure and
the army set out.  Hasan fared with her, drowned in the sea of
solicitude and reciting verses like those above, whilst she
strave to comfort him and exhorted him to patience; but he awoke
not from his tristesse and heeded not her exhortations.  They
journeyed thus till they came to the boundaries of the Land of
Birds[FN#129] and when they entered it, it seemed to Hasan as if
the world were turned topsy-turvy for the exceeding clamour.  His
head ached and his mind was dazed, his eyes were blinded and his
ears deafened, and he feared with exceeding fear and made certain
of deaths saying to himself, "If this be the Land of Birds, how
will be the Land of Beasts?" But, when the crone hight Shawahi
saw him in this plight, she laughed at him, saying, "O my son, if
this be thy case in the first island, how will it fare with thee,
when thou comest to the others?"  So he prayed to Allah and
humbled himself before the Lord, beseeching Him to assist him
against that wherewith He had afflicted him and bring him to his
wishes; and they ceased not going till they passed out of the
Land of Birds and, traversing the Land of Beasts, came to the
Land of the Jann which when Hasan saw, he was sore affrighted and
repented him of having entered it with them.  But he sought aid
of Allah the Most High and fared on with them, till they were
quit of the Land of the Jann and came to the river and set down
their loads at the foot of a vast mountain and a lofty, and
pitched their tents by the stream-bank.  Then they rested and ate
and drank and slept in security, for they were come to their own
country.  On the morrow the old woman set Hasan a couch of
alabaster, inlaid with pearls and jewels and nuggets of red gold,
by the river-side, and he sat down thereon, having first bound
his face with a chin-kerchief, that discovered naught of him but
his eyes.  Then she bade proclaim among the troops that they
should all assemble before her tent and put off their clothes and
go down into the stream and wash; and this she did that she might
parade before him all the girls, so haply his wife should be
amongst them and he know her.  So the whole army mustered before
her and putting off their clothes, went down into the stream, and
Hasan seated on his couch watched them washing their white skins
and frolicking and making merry, whilst they took no heed of his
inspecting them, deeming him to be of the daughters of the Kings.
When he beheld them stripped of their clothes, his chord
stiffened for that looking at them mother-naked he saw what was
between their thighs, and that of all kinds, soft and rounded,
plump and cushioned; large-lipped, perfect, redundant and
ample,[FN#130] and their faces were as moons and their hair as
night upon day, for that they were of the daughters of the Kings.
When they were clean, they came up out of the water, stark naked,
as the moon on the night of fullness and the old woman questioned
Hasan of them, company by company, if his wife were among them;
but, as often as she asked him of a troop, he made answer, "She
is not among these, O my lady."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventh Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old
woman questioned Hasan of the girls, company after company, if
haply his wife were among them; but as often as she asked him of
a troop, he made answer, "She is not among these, O my lady!"
Last of all, there came up a damsel, attended by ten slave-girls
and thirty waiting-women, all of them high-bosomed maidens.  They
put off their clothes and went down into the river, where the
damsel fell to riding the high horse over her women, throwing
them down and ducking them.  On this wise she continued for a
full hour, after which all came up out of the water and sat down;
and they brought her napkins[FN#131] of gold-purfled silk, with
which she dried herself.  Then they brought her clothes and
jewels and ornaments of the handiwork of the Jinn, and she donned
them and rose and walked with graceful pace among the troops, she
and her maidens.  When Hasan saw her, his heart was ready to fly
from his breast and he said, "Verily this girl is the likest of
all folk to the bird I saw in the basin atop of the palace of my
sisters the Princesses, and she lorded it over her lieges even as
doth this one." The old woman asked, "O Hasan, is this thy
wife?"; and he answered, "No, by thy life, O my lady; this is not
my wife, nor ever in my life have I set eyes on her; neither
among all the girls I have seen in these islands is there the
like of my wife nor her match for symmetry and grace and beauty
and loveliness!" Then said Shawaki, "Describe her to me and
acquaint me with all her attributes, that I may have her in my
mind; for I know every girl in the Islands of Wak, being
commander of the army of maids and governor over them; wherefore,
an thou describe her to me, I shall know her and will contrive
for thee to take her." Quoth he, "My wife hath the fairest face
and a form all grace; smooth is she of cheeks and high of breasts
with eyes of liquid light, calves and thighs plump to sight,
teeth snowy white, with dulcet speech dight; in speech soft and
bland as she were a willow-wand; her gifts are a moral and lips
are red as coral; her eyes wear natural Kohl-dye and her lower
labia[FN#132] in softness lie.  On her right cheek is a mole and
on her waist, under her navel, is a sign; her face shines as the
rondure of the moon in sheen, her waist is slight, her hips a
heavy weight, and the water of her mouth the sick doth heal, as
it were Kausar or Salsabil."[FN#133] Said the old woman, "Give me
an increased account of her, Allah increase thee of passion for
her!" Quoth he, "My wife hath a face the fairest fair and oval
cheeks the rarest rare; neck long and spare and eyes that Kohl
wear; her side face shows the Anemones of Nu'uman, her mouth is
like a seal of cornelian and flashing teeth that lure and stand
one in stead of cup and ewer.  She is cast in the mould of
pleasantness and between her thighs is the throne of the
Caliphate, there is no such sanctuary among the Holy Places; as
saith in its praise the poet,

"The name of what drave me distraught * Hath letters renowned
     among men:
A four into five multiplied * And a multiplied six into

Then Hasan wept and chanted the following Mawwál,[FN#135]

"O heart, an lover false thee, shun the parting bane * Nor to
     forgetfulness thy thoughts constrain:
Be patient; thou shalt bury all thy foes; * Allah ne'er falseth
     man of patience fain."

And this also,

"An wouldst be life,long safe, vaunt not delight; * Never
     despair, nor wone o'erjoyed in sprite!
Forbear, rejoice not, mourn not o'er thy plight * And in ill day
     'Have not we oped?'--recite."[FN#136]

Thereupon the old woman bowed her head groundwards awhile, then,
raising it, said, "Laud be to the Lord, the Mighty of Award!
Indeed I am afflicted with thee, O Hasan!  Would Heaven I had
never known thee!  This woman, whom thou describest to me as thy
wife, I know by description and I know her to be none other than
the eldest daughter of the Supreme King, she who ruleth over all
the Islands of Wak.  So open both eyes and consider thy case; and
if thou be asleep, awake; for, if this woman be indeed thy wife,
it is impossible for thee ever to obtain her, and though thou
come to her, yet couldst thou not avail to her possession, since
between thee and her the distance is as that between earth and
Heaven.  Wherefore, O my son, return presently and cast not
thyself into destruction nor cast me with thee; for meseemeth
thou hast no lot in her; so return whence thou camest lest our
lives be lost."  And she feared for herself and for him.  When
Hasan heard her words, he wept till he fainted and she left not
sprinkling water on his face, till he came to himself, when he
continued to weep, so that he drenched his dress with tears, for
the much cark and care and chagrin which betided him by reason of
her words.  And indeed he despaired of life and said to the old
woman, "O my lady, and how shall I go back, after having come
hither?  Verily, I thought not thou wouldst forsake me nor fail
of the winning of my wish, especially as thou art the
Commander-in-chief of the army of the girls." Answered Shawahl,
"O my son, I doubted not but thy wife was a maid of the maids,
and had I known she was the King's daughter, I had not suffered
thee to come hither nor had I shown the troops to thee, for all
the love I bear thee.  But now, O my son, thou hast seen all the
girls naked; so tell me which of them pleaseth thee and I will
give her to thee, in lieu of thy wife, and do thou put it that
thy wife and children are dead and take her and return to thine
own country in safety, ere thou fall into the King's hand and I
have no means of delivering thee.  So, Allah upon thee, O my son,
hearken unto me.  Choose thyself one of these damsels, in the
stead of yonder woman, and return presently to thy country in
safety and cause me not quaff the cup of thine anguish!  For, by
Allah, thou hast cast thyself into affliction sore and peril
galore, wherefrom none may avail to deliver thee evermore!" But
Hasan hung down his head and wept with long weeping and recited
these couplets,

"'Blame not!' said I to all who blamèd me; * 'Mine eye-lids
     naught but tears were made to dree:'
The tears that brim these orbs have overflowed * My checks, for
     lovers and love's cruelty.
Leave me to love though waste this form of me! * For I of Love
     adore the insanity:
And, Oh my dearling, passion grows on me * For you--and you, why
     grudge me clemency?
You wronged me after swearing troth and plight, * Falsed my
     companionship and turned to flee:
And cup of humbling for your rigours sore * Ye made me drain what
     day departed ye:
Then melt, O heart, with longing for their sight * And, O mine
     eyes, with crowns of tears be dight."

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

        When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old woman said to Hasan, "By Allah, O my son, hearken to my
words!  Choose thee one of these girls in lieu of thy wife and
presently return to thy country in safety," he hung down his head
and recited the couplets quoted above.  Then he wept till he
swooned away and Shawahl sprinkled water on his face till he
revived, when she addressed him, "O my lord, I have no shift
left; because if I carry thee to the city thy life is lost and
mine also: for, when the Queen cometh to know of this, she will
blame me for admitting thee into her lands and islands, whereto
none of Adam's sons hath access, and will slay me for bringing
thee with me and for suffering mortal to look upon the virgins
seen by thee in the sea, whom ne'er touched male, neither
approached mate." And Hasan sware that he had never looked on
them with evil of eye.  She resumed, "O my son, hearken to me and
return to thy country and I will give thee wealth and treasures
and things of price, such as shall suffice thee for all the women
in the world. Moreover, I will give thee a girl of the best of
them, so lend an ear to my words and return presently and imperil
not thyself; indeed I counsel thee with good counsel." But he
wept and rubbed both cheeks against her feet, saying, "O my lady
and mistress and coolth of mine eyes, how can I turn back now
that I have made my way hither, without the sight of those I
desire, and now that I have come near the beloved's site, hoping
for meeting forthright, so haply there may be a portion in
reunion to my plight?"  And he improvised these couplets,

"O Kings of beauty, grace to prisoner ta'en * Of eyelids fit to
     rule the Chosroës' reign:
Ye pass the wafts of musk in perfumed breath; * Your cheeks the
     charms of blooming rose disdain.
The softest Zephyr breathes where pitch ye camp * And thence
     far-scattered sweetness fills the plain:
Censor of me, leave blame and stint advice! * Thou bringest
     wearying words and wisdom vain:
Why heat my passion with this flame and up- * braid me when
     naught thou knowest of its bane?
Captured me eyes with passion maladifs, * And overthrew me with
     Love's might and main:
I scatter tears the while I scatter verse; * You are my theme for
     rhyme and prosy strain.
Melted my vitals glow of rosy cheeks * And in the Lazá-lowe my
     heart is lain:
Tell me, an I leave to discourse of you, * What speech my breast
     shall broaden?
Tell me deign! Life-long I loved the lovelings fair, but ah, * To
     grant my wish eke Allah must be fain!"

Hearing his verses the old woman was moved to ruth for him and
Allah planted the seed of affection for him in her heart; so
coming up to him she consoled him, saying, "Be of good cheer and
keep thine eyes cool and clear and put away trouble from thy
thought, for, by Allah, I will venture my life with thee, till
thou attain thine aim or death undo me!" With this, Hasan's heart
was comforted and his bosom broadened and he sat talking with the
old woman till the end of the day, when all the girls dispersed,
some entering their town-mansions and others nighting in the
tents.  Then the old woman carried him into the city and lodged
him in a place apart, lest any should come to know of him and
tell the Queen of him and she should slay him and slay her who
had brought him thither.  Moreover, she served him herself and
strave to put him in fear of the awful majesty of the Supreme
King, his wife's father; whilst he wept before her and said, "O
my fady, I choose death for myself and loathe this worldly life,
if I foregather not with my wife and children: I have set my
existence on the venture and will either attain my aim or die."
So the old woman fell to pondering the means of bringing him and
his wife together and casting about how to do in the case of this
unhappy one, who had thrown himself into destruction and would
not be diverted from his purpose by fear or aught else; for,
indeed he reeked not of his life and the sayer of bywords saith,
"Lover in nowise hearkeneth he to the speech of the man who is
fancy-free." Now the name of the Queen of the island wherein they
were was Núr al-Hudà,[FN#137] eldest daughter of the Supreme
King, and she had six virgin sisters, abiding with their father,
whose capital and court were in the chief city of that region and
who had made her ruler over all the lands and islands of Wak.  So
when the ancient dame saw Hasan on fire with yearning after his
wife and children, she rose up and repaired to the palace and
going in to Queen Nur al-Huda kissed ground before her; for she
had a claim on her favour because she had reared the King's
daughters one and all and had authority over each and every of
them and was high in honour and consideration with them and with
the King.  Nur al-Huda rose to her as she entered and embracing
her, seated her by her side and asked her of her journey.  She
answered, "By  Allah, O my lady 'twas a blessed journey and I
have brought thee a gift which I will presently present to thee,"
adding, "O my daughter, O Queen of the age and the time, I have a
favour to crave of thee and I fain would discover it to thee,
that thou mayst help me to accomplish it, and but for my
confidence that thou wilt not gainsay me therein, I would not
expose it to thee." Asked the Queen, "And what is thy need?
Expound it to me, and I will accomplish it to thee, for I and my
kingdom and troops are all at thy commandment and disposition."
Therewithal the old woman quivered as quivereth the reed on a day
when the storm-wind is abroad and saying in herself, "O[FN#138]
Protector, protect me from the Queen's mischief!"[FN#139] fell
down before her and acquainted her with Hasan's case, saying, "O
my lady, a man, who had hidden himself under my wooden settle on
the seashore, sought my protection; so I took him under my
safeguard and carried him with me among the army of girls armed
and accoutred so that none might know him, and brought him into
the city; and indeed I have striven to affright him with thy
fierceness, giving him to know of thy power and prowess; but, as
often as I threatened him, he weepeth and reciteth verses and
sayeth, 'Needs must I have my wife and children or die, and I
will not return to my country without them.' And indeed he hath
adventured himself and come to the Islands of Wak, and never in
all my days saw I mortal heartier of heart than he or doughtier
of derring-do, save that love hath mastered him to the utmost of
mastery."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old woman related to Queen Nur al-Huda the adventure of Hasan,
ending with, "Never I saw any one heartier of heart than he save
that love hath mastered him to the utmost of mastery," the Queen,
after lending an attentive ear and comprehending the case, waxed
wroth at her with exceeding wrath and bowed her head awhile
groundwards; then, raising it, she looked at Shawahi and said to
her, "O ill-omened beldam, art thou come to such a pass of
lewdness that thou carriest males, men, with thee into the
Islands of Wak and bringest them into me, unfearing of my
mischief?  Who hath foregone thee with this fashion, that thou
shouldst do thus?  By the head of the King, but for thy claim on
me for fosterage and service, I would forthwith do both him and
thee to die the foulest of deaths, that travellers might take
warning by thee, O accursed, lest any other do the like of this
outrageous deed thou hast done, which none durst hitherto!  But
go and bring him hither forthright, that I may see him; or I will
strike off thy head, O accursed." So the old woman went out from
her, confounded, unknowing whither she went and saying, "All this
calamity hath Allah driven upon me from this Queen because of
Hasan!" and going in to him, said, "Rise, speak with the Queen, O
wight whose last hour is at hand!" So he rose and went with her,
whilst his tongue ceased not to call upon Almighty Allah and say,
"O my God, be gracious to me in Thy decrees and deliver me from
this Thine affliction!"[FN#140] And Shawahi went with him
charging him by the way how he should speak with the Queen.  When
he stood before Nur al-Huda, he found that she had donned the
chinveil[FN#141]; so he kissed ground before her and saluted her
with the salam, improvising these two couplets,

"God make thy glory last in joy of life; * Allah confirm the
     boons he deigned bestow:
Thy grace and grandeur may our Lord increase * And aye Th'
     Almighty aid thee o'er thy foe!"

When he ended his verse Nur al-Huda bade the old woman ask him
questions before her, that she might hear his answers: so she
said to him, "The Queen returneth thy salam-greeting and saith to
thee, 'What is thy name and that of thy country, and what are the
names of thy wife and children, on whose account thou art come
hither?"' Quoth he, and indeed he had made firm his heart and
destiny aided him, "O Queen of the age and tide and peerless
jewel of the epoch and the time, my name is Hasan the fullfilled
of sorrow, and my native city is Bassorah.  I know not the name
of my wife[FN#142] but my children's names are Násir and Mansúr."
When the Queen heard his reply and his provenance, she bespoke
him herself and said, "And whence took she her children?" He
replied, "O Queen, she took them from the city of Baghdad and the
palace of the Caliphate."  Quoth Nur al-Huda, "And did she say
naught to thee at the time she flew away?;" and quoth he, "Yes;
she said to my mother, 'Whenas thy son cometh to thee and the
nights of severance upon him longsome shall be and he craveth
meeting and reunion to see, and whenas the breezes of love and
longing shake him dolefully let him come in the Islands of Wak to
me.'"  Whereupon Queen Nur al-Huda shook her head and said to
him, "Had she not desired thee she had not said to thy mother
this say, and had she not yearned for reunion with thee, never
had she bidden thee to her stead nor acquainted thee with her
abiding-place."  Rejoined Hasan, "O mistress of Kings and asylum
of prince and pauper, whatso happened I have told thee and have
concealed naught thereof, and I take refuge from evil with Allah
and with thee; wherefore oppress me not, but have compassion on
me and earn recompense and requital for me in the world to come,
and aid me to regain my wife and children.  Grant me my urgent
need and cool mine eyes with my children and help me to the sight
of them." Then he wept and wailed and lamenting his lot recited
these two couplets,

"Yea, I will laud thee while the ring-dove moans, * Though fail
     my wish of due and lawful scope:
Ne'er was I whirled in bliss and joys gone by * Wherein I found
     thee not both root and rope."[FN#143]

The Queen shook her head and bowed it in thought a long time;
then, raising it, she said to Hasan (and indeed she was wroth),
"I have ruth on thee and am resolved to show thee in review all
the girls in the city and in the provinces of my island; and in
case thou know thy wife, I will deliver her to thee; but, an thou
know her not and know not her place, I will put thee to death and
crucify thee over the old woman's door." Replied Hasan, "I accept
this from thee, O Queen of the Age, and am content to submit to
this thy condition.  There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"  And he recited these

"You've roused my desire and remain at rest,-- * Waked my wounded
     lids while you slept with zest.
And ye made me a vow ye would not hang back * But your guile when
     you chained me waxt manifest.
I loved you in childhood unknowing Love; * Then slay me not who
     am sore opprest.
Fear ye not from Allah when slaying a friend * Who gazeth on
     stars when folk sleep their best?
By Allah, my kinsmen, indite on my tomb * 'This man was the slave
     of Love's harshest best!'
Haps a noble youth, like me Love's own thrall, * When he sees my
     grave on my name shall call."

Then Queen Nur al-Huda commanded that not a girl should abide in
the city but should come up to the palace and pass in review
before Hasan and moreover she bade Shawahi go down in person and
bring them up herself.  Accordingly all the maidens in the city
presented themselves before the Queen, who caused them to go in
to Hasan, hundred after hundred, till there was no girl left in
the place, but she had shown her to him; yet he saw not his wife
amongst them.  Then said she to him, "Seest thou her amongst
these?"; and he replied, "By thy life, O Queen, she is not
amongst them." With this she was sore enraged against him and
said to the old woman, "Go in and bring out all who are in the
palace and show them to him." So she displayed to him every one
of the palace-girls, but he saw not his wife among them and said
to the Queen, "By the life of thy head, O Queen, she is not among
these." Whereat the Queen was wroth and cried out at those around
her, saying, "Take him and hale him along, face to earth, and cut
off his head, least any adventure himself after him and intrude
upon us in our country and spy out our estate by thus treading
the soil of our islands." So they threw him down on his face and
dragged him along; then, covering his eyes with his skirt, stood
at his head with bared brands awaiting royal permission.
Thereupon Shawahi came forward and kissing the ground before the
Queen, took the hem of her garment and laid it on her head,
saying, "O Queen, by my claim for fosterage, be not hasty with
him, more by token of thy knowledge that this poor wretch is a
stranger, who hath adventured himself and suffered what none ever
suffered before him, and Allah (to whom belong Might and
Majesty,) preserved him from death, for that his life was
ordained to be long.  He heard of thine equity and entered thy
city and guarded site;[FN#144] wherefore, if thou put him to
death, the report will dispread abroad of thee, by means of the
travellers, that thou hatest strangers and slayest them.  He is
in any case at thy mercy and the slain of thy sword, if his wife
be not found in thy dominions; and whensoever thou desireth his
presence, I can bring him back to thee.  Moreover, in very sooth
I took him under my protection only of my trust in thy
magnanimity through my claim on thee for fosterage, so that I
engaged to him that thou wouldst bring him to his desire, for my
knowledge of thy justice and quality of mercy.  But for this, I
had not brought him into thy kingdom; for I said to myself: 'The
Queen will take pleasure in looking upon him, and hearing him
speak his verses and his sweet discourse and eloquent which is
like unto pearls strung on string.' Moreover, he hath entered our
land and eaten of our meat; wherefore he hath a claim upon
us."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

         When it was the Eight Hundred and Tenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Queen Nur al-Huda bade her pages seize Hasan and smite his neck,
the old woman, Shawahi, began to reason with her and say, "Verily
he hath entered our land and eaten of our meat, wherefore he hath
a claim upon us, the more especially since I promised him to
bring him in company with thee; and thou knowest that, parting is
a grievous ill and severance hath power to kill, especially
separation from children.  Now he hath seen all our women, save
only thyself; so do thou show him thy face?" The Queen smiled and
said, "How can he be my husband and have had children by me, that
I should show him my face?" Then she made them bring Hasan before
her and when he stood in the presence, she unveiled her face,
which when he saw, he cried out with a great cry and fell down
fainting.  The old woman ceased not to tend him, till he came to
himself and as soon as he revived he recited these couplets,

"O breeze that blowest from the land Irak * And from their
     corners whoso cry 'Wak!  Wak!'
Bear news of me to friends and say for me * I've tasted
     passion-food of bitter smack.
O dearlings of my love, show grace and ruth * My heart is melted
     for this severance-rack."

When he ended his verse he rose and looking on the Queen's face,
cried out with a great cry, for stress whereof the palace was
like to fall upon all therein.  Then he swooned away again and
the old woman ceased not to tend him till he revived, when she
asked him what ailed him and he answered, "In very sooth this
Queen is either my wife or else the likest of all folk to my
wife."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old woman asked Hasan what ailed him, he answered, "In very sooth
this Queen is either my wife or else the likest of all folk to my
wife." Quoth Nur al-Huda to the old woman, "Woe to thee, O nurse!
This stranger is either Jinn-mad or out of his mind, for he
stareth me in the face with wide eyes and saith I am his wife."
Quoth the old woman, "O Queen, indeed he is excusable; so blame
him not, for the saying saith, 'For the lovesick is no remedy and
alike are the madman and he.'" And Hasan wept with sore weeping
and recited these two couplets,

"I sight their track and pine for longing love; * And o'er their
     homesteads weep I and I yearn:
And I pray Heaven who will'ed we should part, * Will deign to
     grant us boon of safe return."

Then said Hasan to the Queen once more, "By Allah, thou art not
my wife, but thou art the likest of all folk to her!" Hereupon
Nur al-Huda laughed till she fell backwards and rolled round on
her side.[FN#145] Then she said to him, "O my friend, take thy
time and observe me attentively: answer me at thy leisure what I
shall ask thee and put away from thee insanity and perplexity and
inadvertency for relief is at hand." Answered Hasan, "O mistress
of Kings and asylum of all princes and paupers, when I looked
upon thee, I was distracted, seeing thee to be either my wife or
the likest of all folk to her; but now ask me whatso thou wilt."
Quoth she, "What is it in thy wife that resembleth me?"; and
quoth he, "O my lady, all that is in thee of beauty and
loveliness, elegance and amorous grace, such as the symmetry of
thy shape and the sweetness of thy speech and the blushing of thy
cheeks and the jutting of thy breasts and so forth, all
resembleth her and thou art her very self in thy faculty of
parlance and the fairness of thy favour and the brilliancy of thy
brow."[FN#146] When the Queen heard this, she smiled and gloried
in her beauty and loveliness and her cheeks reddened and her eyes
wantoned; then she turned to Shawahi Umm Dawahi and said to her,
"O my mother, carry him back to the place where he tarried with
thee and tend him thyself, till I examine into his affair; for,
an he be indeed a man of manliness and mindful of friendship and
love and affection, it behoveth we help him to win his wish, more
by token that he hath sojourned in our country and eaten of our
victual, not to speak of the hardships of travel he hath suffered
and the travail and horrors he hath undergone.  But, when thou
hast brought him to thy house, commend him to the care of thy
dependents and return to me in all haste; and Allah Almighty
willing![FN#147] all shall be well." Thereupon Shawahi carried
him back to her lodging and charged her handmaids and servants
and suite wait upon him and bring him all he needed nor fail in
what was his due. Then she returned to Queen Nur al-Huda, who
bade her don her arms and set out, taking with her a thousand
doughty horsemen.  So she obeyed and donned her war-gear and
having collected the thousand riders reported them ready to the
Queen, who bade her march upon the city of the Supreme King, her
father, there to alight at the abode of her youngest sister,
Manár al-Saná[FN#148] and say to her, "Clothe thy two sons in the
coats of mail which their aunt hath made them and send them to
her; for she longeth for them." Moreover the Queen charged her
keep Hasan's affair secret and say to Manar al-Sana, after
securing her children, "Thy sister inviteth thee to visit her."
"Then," she continued, "bring the children to me in haste and let
her follow at her leisure.  Do thou come by a road other than her
road and journey night and day and beware of discovering this
matter to any.  And I swear by all manner oaths that, if my
sister prove to be his wife and it appear that her children are
his, I will not hinder him from taking her and them and departing
with them to his own country."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        When it was the Eight Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Oueen said, "I swear by Allah and by all manner of oaths that if
she prove to be his wife, I will not hinder him from taking her
but will aid him thereto and eke to departing with them to his
mother-land." And the old woman put faith in her words, knowing
not what she purposed in her mind, for the wicked Jezebel had
resolved that if she were not his wife she would slay him; but if
the children resembled him, she would believe him.  The Queen
resumed, "O my mother, an my thought tell me true, my sister
Manar al-Sana is his wife, but Allah alone is All-knowing! seeing
that these traits of surpassing beauty and excelling grace, of
which he spoke, are found in none except my sisters and
especially in the youngest." The old woman kissed her hand and
returning to Hasan, told him what the Queen had said, whereat he
was like to fly for joy and coming up to her, kissed her head.
Quoth she, "O my son, kiss not my head, but kiss me on the mouth
and be this kiss by way of sweetmeat for thy salvation.[FN#149]
Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear and grudge
not to kiss my mouth, for I and only I was the means of thy
foregathering with her.  So take comfort, and hearten thy heart
and broaden thy breast and gladden thy glance and console thy
soul for, Allah willing, thy desire shall be accomplished at my
hand." So saying, she bade him farewell and departed, whilst he
recited these two couplets,

"Witnesses unto love of thee I've four; * And wants each case two
     witnesses; no more!
A heart aye fluttering, limbs that ever quake, * A wasted frame
     and tongue that speech forswore."

And also these two,

"Two things there be, an blood-tears thereover * Wept eyes till
     not one trace thou couldst discover,
Eyes ne'er could pay the tithe to them is due * The prime of
     youth and severance from lover."

Then the old woman armed herself and, taking with her a thousand
weaponed horsemen, set out and journeyed till she came to the
island and the city where dwelt the Lady Manar al-Sana and
between which and that of her sister Queen Nur al-Huda was three
days' journey.  When Shawahi reached the city, she went in to the
Princess and saluting her, gave her her sister's salam and
acquainted her with the Queen's longing for her and her children
and that she reproached her for not visiting her. Quoth Manar
al-Sana, "Verily, I am beholden to my sister and have failed of
my duty to her in not visiting her, but I will do so forthright."
Then she bade pitch her tents without the city and took with her
for her sister a suitable present of rare things. Presently, the
King her father looked out of a window of his palace, and seeing
the tents pitched by the road, asked of them, and they answered
him, "The Princess Manar al-Sana hath pitched her tents by the
way-side, being minded to visit her sister Queen Nur al-Huda."
When the  King heard this, he equipped troops to escort her to
her sister and brought out to her from his treasuries meat and
drink and monies and jewels and rarities which beggar
description.  Now the King had seven daughters, all
sisters-german by one mother and father except the youngest: the
eldest was called Núr al-Hudà, the second Najm al-Sabáh, the
third Shams al-Zuhà, the fourth Shajarat al-Durr, the fifth Kút
al-Kulúb, the sixth Sharaf al-Banát and the youngest Manar
al-Sana, Hasan's wife, who was their sister by the father's side
only.[FN#150]  Anon the old woman again presented herself and
kissed ground before the Princess, who said to her, "Hast thou
any need, O my mother?"  Quoth Shawahi, "Thy sister, Queen Nur
al-Huda, biddeth thee clothe thy sons in the two habergeons which
she fashioned for them and send them to her by me, and I will
take them and forego thee with them and be the harbinger of glad
tidings and the announcer of thy coming to her." When the
Princess heard these words, her colour changed and she bowed her
head a long while, after which she shook it and looking up, said
to the old woman, "O my mother, my vitals tremble and my heart
fluttereth when thou namest my children; for, from the time of
their birth none hath looked on their faces either Jinn or man,
male or female, and I am jealous for them of the zephyr when it
breatheth in the night." Exclaimed the old woman, "What words are
these, O my lady?  Dost thou fear for them from thy sister?"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old
woman said to the Princess Manar al-Sana, "What words be these, O
my lady?  Dost thou fear for them from thy sister? Allah
safeguard thy reason!  Thou mayst not cross the Queen's majesty
in this matter, for she would be wroth with thee.  However, O my
lady, the children are young, and thou art excusable in fearing
for them, for those that love well are wont to deem ill: but, O
my daughter, thou knowest my tenderness and mine affection for
thee and thy children, for indeed I reared thee before them.  I
will take them in my charge and make my cheek their pillow and
open my heart and set them within, nor is it needful to charge me
with care of them in the like of this case; so be of cheerful
heart and tearless eye and send them to her, for, at the most, I
shall but precede thee with them a day or at most two days."  And
she ceased not to urge her, till she gave way, fearing her
sister's fury and unknowing what lurked for her in the dark
future, and consented to send them with the old woman.  So she
called them and bathed them and equipped them and changed their
apparel.  Then she clad them in the two little coats of mail and
delivered them to Shawahi, who took them and sped on with them
like a bird, by another road than that by which their mother
should travel, even as the Queen had charged her; nor did she
cease to fare on with all diligence, being fearful for them, till
she came in sight of Nur al-Huda's city, when she crossed the
river and entering the town, carried them in to their aunt.  The
Queen rejoiced at their sight and embraced them, and pressed them
to her breast; after which she seated them, one upon the right
thigh and the other upon the left; and turning round said to the
old woman, "Fetch me Hasan forthright, for I have granted him my
safeguard and have spared him from my sabre and he hath sought
asylum in my house and taken up his abode in my courts, after
having endured hardships and horrors and passed through all
manner mortal risks, each terribler than other; yet hitherto is
he not safe from drinking the cup of death and from cutting off
his breath." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Queen Nur al-Huda bade the old woman bring Hasan she said,
"Verily he hath endured hardships and horrors and passed through
all manner mortal risks each terribler than other; yet hitherto
he is not safe from death and from the cutting off of his
breath." Replied Shawahi, "An I bring him to thee, wilt thou
reunite him with these his children?  Or, if they prove not his,
wilt thou pardon him and restore him to his own country?"
Hearing these her words the Queen waxed exceeding wroth and cried
to her, "Fie upon thee, O ill-omened old woman!  How long wilt
thou false us in the matter of this strange man who hath dared to
intrude himself upon us and hath lifted our veil and pried into
our conditions? Say me: thinkest thou that he shall come to our
land and look upon our faces and betray our honour, and after
return in safety to his own country and expose our affairs to his
people, wherefore our report will be bruited abroad among all the
Kings of the quarters of the earth and the merchants will journey
bearing tidings of us in all directions, saying, 'A mortal
entered the Isles of Wak and traversed the Land of the Jinn and
the lands of the Wild Beasts and the Islands of Birds and set
foot in the country of the Warlocks and the Enchanters and
returned in safety?' This shall never be; no, never; and I swear
by Him who made the Heavens and builded them; yea, by Him who
dispread the earth and smoothed it, and who created all creatures
and counted them, that, an they be not his children, I will
assuredly slay him and strike his neck with mine own hand!" Then
she cried out at the old woman, who fell down for fear; and set
upon her the Chamberlain and twenty Mamelukes, saying, "Go with
this crone and fetch me in haste the youth who is in her house."
So they dragged Shawahi along, yellow with fright and with
side-muscles quivering, till they came to her house, where she
went in to Hasan, who rose to her and kissed her hands and
saluted her.  She returned not his salam, but said to him, "Come;
speak the Queen.  Did I not say to thee: 'Return presently to
thine own country and I will give thee that to which no mortal
may avail?' And did I forbid thee from all this?  But thou
wouldst not obey me nor listen to my words; nay, thou rejectedst
my counsel and chosest to bring destruction on me and on thyself.
Up, then, and take that which thou hast chosen; for death is near
hand.  Arise: speak with yonder vile harlot[FN#151] and tyrant
that she is!" So Hasan arose, broken-spirited, heavy, hearted,
and full of fear, and crying, "O Preserver, preserve Thou me! O
my God, be gracious to me in that which Thou hast decreed to me
of Thine affliction and protect me, O Thou the most Merciful of
the Mercifuls!" Then, despairing of his life, he followed the
twenty Mamelukes, the Chamberlain and the crone to the Queen's
presence, where he found his two sons Nasir and Mansur sitting in
her lap, whilst she played and made merry with them.  As soon as
his eyes fell on them, he knew them and crying a great cry fell
down a-fainting for excess of joy at the sight of his
children.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan's eyes fell upon his two sons, he knew them both and crying
a great cry fell down a-fainting.  They also knew him[FN#152] and
natural affection moved them so that they freed themselves from
the Queen's lap and fell upon Hasan, and Allah (to whom belong
Might and Majesty,) made them speak and say to him, "O our
father!" Whereupon the old woman and all who were present wept
for pity and tenderness over them and said, "Praised be Allah,
who hath reunited you with your Sire!"  Presently, Hasan came to
himself and embracing his children, wept till again he swooned
away, and when he revived, he recited these verses,

"By rights of you, this heart of mine could ne'er aby * Severance
     from you albeit Union death imply!
Your phantom saith to me, 'A-morrow we shall meet!' * Shall I
     despite the foe the morrow-day espy?
By rights of you I swear, my lords, that since the day * Of
     severance ne'er the sweets of lips enjoyèd I!
An Allah bade me perish for the love of you, * Mid greatest
     martyrs for your love I lief will die.
Oft a gazelle doth make my heart her browsing stead * The while
     her form of flesh like sleep eludes mine eye:
If in the lists of Law my bloodshed she deny, * Prove it two
     witnesses those cheeks of ruddy dye."

When Nur al-Huda was assured that the little ones were indeed
Hasan's children and that her sister, the Princess Manar al-Sana,
was his wife, of whom he was come in quest, she was wroth against
her with wrath beyond measure.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur
al-Huda was certified that the little ones were Hasan's children
and that her sister Manar al-Sana was his wife of whom he had
come in quest, she raged with exceeding rage, too great to be
assuaged and screamed in Hasan's face and reviled him and kicked
him in the breast, so that he fell on his back in a swoon. Then
she cried out at him, saying, "Arise! fly for thy life.  But that
I swore that no evil should betide thee from me, should thy tale
prove true, I would slay thee with mine own hand forthright!" And
she cried out at the old woman, who fell on her face for fear,
and said to her, "By Allah, but that I am loath to break the oath
that I swore, I would put both thee and him to death after the
foulest fashion!"; presently adding, "Arise, go out from before
me in safety and return to thine own country, for I swear by my
fortune, if ever mine eye espy thee or if any bring thee in to me
after this, I will smite off thy head and that of whoso bringeth
thee!" Then she cried out to her officers, saying, "Put him out
from before me!" So they thrust him out, and when he came to
himself, he recited these couplets,

"You're far, yet to my heart you're nearest near; * Absent yet
     present in my sprite you appear:
By Allah, ne'er to other I've inclined * But tyranny of Time in
     patience bear!
Nights pass while still I love you and they end, * And burns my
     breast with flames of fell Sa'ir;[FN#153]
I was a youth who parting for an hour * Bore not, then what of
     months that make a year?
Jealous am I of breeze-breath fanning thee; * Yea jealous-mad of
     fair soft-sided fere!"

Then he once more fell down in a swoon, and when he came to
himself, he found himself without the palace whither they had
dragged him on his face; so he rose, stumbling over his skirts
and hardly crediting his escape from Nur al-Huda.  Now this was
grievous to Shawahi; but she dared not remonstrate with the Queen
by reason of the violence of her wrath.  And forthright Hasan
went forth, distracted and knowing not whence to come or whither
to go; the world, for all its wideness, was straitened upon him
and he found none to speak a kind word with him and comfort him,
nor any to whom he might resort for counsel or to apply for
refuge; wherefore he made sure of death for that he could not
journey to his own country and knew none to travel with him,
neither wist he the way thither nor might he pass through the
Wady of the Jann and the Land of Beasts and the Islands of Birds.
So giving himself up for lost he bewept himself, till he fainted,
and when he revived, he bethought him of his children and his
wife and of that might befal her with her sister, repenting him
of having come to those countries and of having hearkened to
none, and recited these couplets,

"Suffer mine eye-babes weep lost of love and tears express: *
     Rare is my solace and increases my distress:
The cup of Severance-chances to the dregs I've drained; * Who is
     the man to bear love-loss with manliness?
Ye spread the Carpet of Disgrace[FN#154] betwixt us twain; * Ah,
     when shalt be uprolled, O Carpet of Disgrace?
I watched the while you slept; and if you deemed that I * Forgot
     your love I but forget forgetfulness:
Woe's me! indeed my heart is pining for the love * Of you, the
     only leaches who can cure my case:
See ye not what befel me from your fell disdain? * Debased am I
     before the low and high no less.
I hid my love of you but longing laid it bare, * And burns my
     heart wi' fire of passion's sorest stress:
Ah! deign have pity on my piteous case, for I * Have kept our
     troth in secresy and patent place!
Would Heaven I wot shall Time e'er deign us twain rejoin! * You
     are my heart's desire, my sprite's sole happiness:
My vitals bear the Severance-wound: would Heaven that you * With
     tidings from your camp would deign my soul to bless!"

Then he went on, till he came without the city, where he found
the river, and walked along its bank, knowing not whither he
went.  Such was Hasan's case; but as regards his wife Manar
al-Sana, as she was about to carry out her purpose and to set
out, on the second day after the departure of the old woman with
her children, behold, there came in to her one of the
chamberlains of the King her sire, and kissed ground between his
hands,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Manar al-Sana was about to set out upon the journey, behold, a
chamberlain of the King, her sire, came in to her and kissing the
ground before her, said, "O Princess, the Supreme King, thy
father saluteth thee and biddeth thee to him." So she rose and
accompanied the chamberlain to learn what was required by her
father, who seated her by his side on the couch, and said to her,
"O my daughter, know that I have this night had a dream which
maketh me fear for thee and that long sorrow will betide thee
from this thy journey." Quoth she, "How so, O my father, and what
didst thou see in thy dream?" and quoth he, "I dreamt that I
entered a hidden hoard, wherein was great store of monies, of
jewels, of jacinths and of other riches; but 'twas as if naught
pleased me of all this treasure and jewelry save seven bezels,
which were the finest things there. I chose out one of the seven
jewels, for it was the smallest, finest and most lustrous of them
and its water pleased me; so I took it in my hand-palm and fared
forth of the treasury.  When I came without the door, I opened my
hand, rejoicing, and turned over the jewel, when, behold, there
swooped down on me out of the welkin a strange bird from a far
land (for it was not of the birds of our country) and, snatching
it from my hand, returned with it whence it came.[FN#155]
Whereupon sorrow and concern and sore vexation overcame me and my
exceeding chagrin so troubled me that I awoke, mourning and
lamenting for the loss of the jewel.  At once on awaking I
summoned the interpreters and expounders of dreams and declared
to them my dream,[FN#156] and they said to me: 'Thou hast seven
daughters, the youngest of whom thou wilt lose, and she will be
taken from thee perforce, without thy will.'  Now thou, O my
girl, art the youngest and dearest of my daughters and the most
affectionate of them to me, and look'ye thou art about to journey
to thy sister, and I know not what may befal thee from her; so go
thou not; but return to thy palace." But when the Princess heard
her father's words, her heart fluttered and she feared for her
children and bent earthwards her head awhile: then she raised it
and said to her sire, "O King, Queen Nur al-Huda hath made ready
for me an entertainment and awaiteth my coming to her, hour by
hour.  These four years she hath not seen me and if I delay to
visit her, she will be wroth with me.  The utmost of my stay with
her shall be a month and then I will return to thee. Besides, who
is the mortal who can travel our land and make his way to the
Islands of Wak?  Who can gain access to the White Country and the
Black Mountain and come to the Land of Camphor and the Castle of
Crystal, and how shall he traverse the Island of Birds and the
Wady of Wild Beasts and the Valley of the Jann and enter our
Islands?  If any stranger came hither, he would be drowned in the
seas of destruction: so be of good cheer and eyes without a tear
anent my journey; for none may avail to tread our earth." And she
ceased not to persuade him, till he deigned give her leave to
depart.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Princess ceased not to persuade him till he deigned give her
leave to depart, and bade a thousand horse escort her to the
river and abide there, till she entered her sister's city and
palace and returned to them, when they should take her and carry
her back to him.  Moreover, he charged her tarry with her sister
but two days and return to him in haste; and she answered,
"Hearing and obedience." Then rising up she went forth and he
with her and farewelled her.  Now his words had sunken deep into
her heart and she feared for her children; but it availeth not to
fortify herself by any device against the onset of Destiny.  So
she set out and fared on diligently three days, till she came to
the river and pitched her tents on its bank.  Then she crossed
the stream, with some of her counsellors, pages and suite and,
going up to the city and the palace, went in to Queen Nur
al-Huda, with whom she found her children who ran to her weeping
and crying out, "O our father!"  At this, the tears railed from
her eyes and she wept; then she strained them to her bosom,
saying, "What! Have you seen your sire at this time?  Would the
hour had never been, in which I left him!  If I knew him to be in
the house of the world, I would carry you to him." Then she
bemoaned herself and her husband and her children weeping and
reciting these couplets,

"My friends, despight this distance and this cruelty, * I pine
     for you, incline to you where'er you be.
My glance for ever turns toward your hearth and home * And mourns
     my heart the bygone days you woned with me,
How many a night foregathered we withouten fear * One loving,
     other faithful ever, fain and free!"

When her sister saw her fold her children to her bosom, saying,
"'Tis I who have done thus with myself and my children and have
ruined my own house!" she saluted her not, but said to her, "O
whore, whence haddest thou these children?  Say, hast thou
married unbeknown to thy sire or hast thou committed
fornication?[FN#157]  An thou have played the piece, it behoveth
thou be exemplarily punished; and if thou have married sans our
knowledge, why didst thou abandon thy husband and separate thy
sons from thy sire and bring them hither?"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth
Nur al-Huda, the Queen, to her sister Manar al-Sana, the
Princess, "An thou have married sans our knowledge, why didst
thou abandon thy husband and separate thy sons from their sire
and bring them to our land?  Thou hast hidden thy children from
us.  Thinkest thou we know not of this?  Allah Almighty, He who
is cognisant of the concealed, hath made known to us thy case and
revealed thy condition and bared thy nakedness." Then she bade
her guards seize her and pinion her elbows and shackle her with
shackles of iron.  So they did as she commanded and she beat her
with a grievous beating, so that her skin was torn, and hanged
her up by the hair; after which she cast her in prison and wrote
the King her father a writ acquainting him with her case and
saying, "There hath appeared in our land a man, a mortal, by name
Hasan, and our sister Manar al-Sana avoucheth that she is
lawfully married to him and bare him two sons, whom she hath
hidden from us and thee; nor did she discover aught of herself
till there came to us this man and informed us that he wedded her
and she tarried with him a long while; after which she took her
children and departed, without his knowledge, bidding as she went
his mother tell her son, whenas longing began to rack to come to
her in the Islands of Wak.  So we laid hands on the man and sent
the old woman Shawahi to fetch her and her offspring, enjoining
her to bring us the children in advance of her.  And she did so,
whilst Manar al-Sana equipped herself and set out to visit me.
When the boys were brought to me and ere the mother came, I sent
for Hasan the mortal who claimeth her to wife, and he on entering
and at first sight knew them and they knew him; whereby was I
certified that the children were indeed his children and that she
was his wife and I learned that the man's story was true and he
was not to blame, but that the reproach and the infamy rested
with my sister.  Now I feared the rending of our honour-veil
before the folk of our Isles; so when this wanton, this
traitress, came in to me, I was incensed against her and cast her
into prison and bastinado'd her grievously and hanged her up by
the hair.  Behold, I have acquainted thee with her case and it is
thine to command, and whatso thou orderest us that we will do.
Thou knowest that in this affair is dishonour and disgrace to our
name and to thine, and haply the islanders will hear of it, and
we shall become amongst them a byword; wherefore it befitteth
thou return us an answer with all speed."  Then she delivered the
letter to a courier and he carried it to the King, who, when he
read it, was wroth with exceeding wrath with his daughter Manar
al-Sana and wrote to Nur al-Huda, saying, "I commit her case to
thee and give thee command over her life; so, if the matter be as
thou sayest, kill her without consulting me." When the Queen had
received and read her father's letter, she sent for Manar al-Sana
and they set before her the prisoner drowned in her blood and
pinioned with her hair, shackled with heavy iron shackles and
clad in hair-cloth; and they made her stand in the presence
abject and abashed.  When she saw herself in this condition of
passing humiliation and exceeding abjection, she called to mind
her former high estate and wept with sore weeping and recited
these two couplets,

"O Lord my foes are fain to slay me in despight * Nor deem I
     anywise to find escape by flight:
I have recourse to Thee t' annul what they have done; * Thou art
     th' asylum, Lord, of fearful suppliant wight."

Then wept she grievously, till she fell down in a swoon, and
presently coming to herself, repeated these two couplets,[FN#158]

"Troubles familiar with my heart are grown and I with them, *
     Erst shunning; for the generous are sociable still.
Not one mere kind alone of woe doth lieger with me lie; * Praised
     be God! There are with me thousands of kinds of ill."

And also these,

"Oft times Mischance shall straiten noble breast * With grief,
     whence issue is for Him to shape:
But when the meshes straitest, tightest, seem * They loose,
     though deemed I ne'er to find escape."

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

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Queen Nur al-Huda ordered into the presence her sister Princess
Manar al-Sana, they set her between her hands and she, pinioned
as she was recited the verses aforesaid.  Then the Queen[FN#159]
sent for a ladder of wood and made the eunuchs lay her on her
back, with her arms spread out and bind her with cords thereto;
after which she bared her head and wound her hair about the
ladder-rungs and indeed all pity for her was rooted out from her
heart.  When Manar al-Sana saw herself in this state of abjection
and humiliation, she cried out and wept; but none succoured her.
Then said she to the Queen, "O my sister, how is thy heart
hardened against me? Hast thou no mercy on me nor pity on these
little children?" But her words only hardened her sister's heart
and she insulted her, saying, "O Wanton! O harlot!  Allah have no
ruth on whoso sueth for thee!  How should I have compassion on
thee, O traitress?" Replied Manar al-Sana who lay stretched on
the ladder, "I appeal from thee to the Lord of the Heavens,
concerning that wherewith thou revilest me and whereof I am
innocent! By Allah, I have done no whoredom, but am lawfully
married to him, and my Lord knoweth an I speak sooth or not!
Indeed, my heart is wroth with thee, by reason of thine excessive
hardheartedness against me!  How canst thou cast at me the charge
of harlotry, without knowledge?  But my Lord will deliver me from
thee and if that whoredom whereof thou accusest me be true, may
He presently punish me for it!" Quoth Nur al-Huda after a few
moments of reflection "How durst thou bespeak me thus?" and rose
and beat her till she fainted away;[FN#160] whereupon they
sprinkled water on her face till she revived; and in truth her
charms were wasted for excess of beating and the straitness of
her bonds and the sore insults she had suffered.  Then she
recited these two couplets,

"If aught I've sinned in sinful way, * Or done ill deed and gone
The past repent I and I come * To you and for your pardon pray!"

When Nur al-Huda heard these lines, her wrath redoubled and she
said to her, "Wilt speak before me in verse, O whore, and seek to
excuse thyself for the mortal sins thou hast sinned?  'Twas my
desire that thou shouldst return to thy husband, that I might
witness thy wickedness and matchless brazenfacedness; for thou
gloriest in thy lewdness and wantonness and mortal heinousness."
Then she called for a palm-stick and, whenas they brought the
Jaríd, she arose and baring arms to elbows, beat her sister from
head to foot; after which she called for a whip of plaited
thongs, wherewith if one smote an elephant, he would start off at
full speed, and came down therewith on her back and her stomach
and every part of her body, till she fainted.  When the old woman
Shawahi saw this, she fled forth from the Queen's presence,
weeping and cursing her; but Nur al-Huda cried out to her
eunuchs, saying, "Fetch her to me!" So they ran after her and
seizing her, brought her back to the Queen, who bade throw her on
the ground and making them lay hold of her, rose and took the
whip, with which she beat her, till she swooned away, when she
said to her waiting-women, "Drag this ill-omened beldam forth on
her face and put her out." And they did as she bade them.  So far
concerning them; but as regards Hasan, he walked on beside the
river, in the direction of the desert, distracted, troubled, and
despairing of life; and indeed he was dazed and knew not night
from day for stress of affliction.  He ceased not faring  on
thus, till he came to a tree whereto he saw a scroll hanging:  so
he took it and found written thereon these couplets,

"When in thy mother's womb thou wast, * I cast thy case the
     bestest best;
And turned her heart to thee, so she * Fosterèd thee on fondest
We will suffice thee in whate'er * Shall cause thee trouble or
We'll aid thee in thine enterprise * So rise and bow to our

When he had ended reading this scroll, he made sure of
deliverance from trouble and of winning reunion with those he
loved.  Then he walked forward a few steps and found himself
alone in a wild and perilous wold wherein there was none to
company with him; upon which his heart sank within him for horror
and loneliness and his side-muscles trembled, for that fearsome
place, and he recited these couplets,

"O Zephyr of Morn, an thou pass where the dear ones dwell, * Bear
     greeting of lover who ever in love-longing wones!
And tell them I'm pledged to yearning and pawned to pine * And
     the might of my passion all passion of lovers unthrones.
Their sympathies haply shall breathe in a Breeze like thee * And
     quicken forthright this framework of rotting bones."[FN#161]

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

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan read the scroll he was certified of deliverance from his
trouble and made sure of winning reunion with those he loved.
Then he walked forward a couple of steps and stopped finding
himself alone in a wild and perilous wold wherein was none to
company with him, so he wept sore and recited the verses before
mentioned.  Then he walked on a few steps farther beside the
river, till he came upon two little boys of the sons of the
sorcerers, before whom lay a rod of copper graven with talismans,
and beside it a skull-cap[FN#162] of leather, made of three gores
and wroughten in steel with names and characts.  The cap and rod
were upon the ground and the boys were disputing and beating each
other, till the blood ran down between them; whilst each cried,
"None shall take the wand but I."  So Hasan interposed and parted
them, saying, "What is the cause of your contention?" and they
replied, "O uncle, be thou judge of our case, for Allah the Most
High hath surely sent thee to do justice between us." Quoth
Hasan, "Tell me your case, and I will judge between you;"  and
quoth one of them, "We twain are brothers-german and our sire was
a mighty magician, who dwelt in a cave on yonder mountain. He
died and left us this cap and rod; and my brother saith, 'None
shall have the rod but I,' whilst I say the like; so be thou
judge between us and deliver us each from other." Hasan asked,
"What is the difference between the rod and the cap and what is
their value?  The rod appears to be worth six coppers[FN#163] and
the cap three;" whereto they answered, "Thou knowest not their
properties." "And what are their properties?" "Each of them hath
a wonderful secret virtue, wherefore the rod is worth the revenue
of all the Islands of Wak and their provinces and dependencies,
and the cap the like!" "By Allah, O my sons, discover to me their
secret virtues." So they said, "O uncle, they are extraordinary;
for our father wrought an hundred and thirty and five years at
their contrivance, till he brought them to perfection and
ingrafted them with secret attributes which might serve him
extraordinary services and engraved them after the likeness of
the revolving sphere, and by their aid he dissolved all spells;
and when he had made an end of their fashion, Death, which all
needs must suffer, overtook him.  Now the hidden virtue of the
cap is, that whoso setteth it on his head is concealed from all
folks' eyes, nor can any see him, whilst it remaineth on his
head; and that of the rod is that whoso owneth it hath authority
over seven tribes of the Jinn, who all serve the order and
ordinance of the rod; and whenever he who possesseth it smiteth
therewith on the ground, their Kings come to do him homage, and
all the Jinn are at his service." Now when Hasan heard these
words, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then said in
himself, "By Allah, I shall conquer every foe by means of this
rod and cap, Inshallah! and I am worthier of them both than these
two boys.  So I will go about forthright to get them from the
twain by craft, that I may use them to free myself and my wife
and children from yonder tyrannical Queen, and then we will
depart from this dismal stead, whence there is no deliverance for
mortal man nor flight.  Doubtless, Allah caused me not to fall in
with these two lads, but that I might get the rod and cap from
them." Then he raised his head and said to the two boys, "If ye
would have me decide the case, I will make trial of you and see
what each of you deserveth. He who overcometh his brother shall
have the rod and he who faileth shall have the cap." They
replied,"'O uncle, we depute thee to make trial of us and do thou
decide between us as thou deems fit."  Hasan asked, "Will ye
hearken to me and have regard to my words?"; and they answered,
"Yes." Then said he, "I will take a stone and throw it and he who
outrunneth his brother thereto and picketh it up shall take the
rod, and the other who is outraced shall take the cap." And they
said, "We accept and consent to this thy proposal." Then Hasan
took a stone and threw it with his might, so that it disappeared
from sight. The two boys ran under and after it and when they
were at a distance, he donned the cap and hending the rod in
hand, removed from his place that he might prove the truth of
that which the boys had said, with regard to their scant
properties.  The younger outran the elder and coming first to the
stone, took it and returned with it to the place where they had
left Hasan, but found no signs of him.  So he called to his
brother, saying, "Where is the man who was to be umpire between
us?" Quoth the other, "I espy him not neither wot I whether he
hath flown up to heaven above or sunk into earth beneath." Then
they sought for him, but saw him not, though all the while he was
standing in his stead hard by them.  So they abused each other,
saying, "Rod and Cap are both gone; they are neither mine nor
thine: and indeed our father warned us of this very thing; but we
forgot whatso he said." Then they retraced their steps and Hasan
also entered the city, wearing the cap and bearing the rod; and
none saw him. Now when he was thus certified of the truth of
their speech, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and making the
palace, went up into the lodging of Shawahi, who saw him not,
because of the cap.  Then he walked up to a shelf[FN#164] over
her head upon which were vessels of glass and chinaware, and
shook it with his hand, so that what was thereon fell to the
ground.  The old woman cried out and beat her face; then she rose
and restored the fallen things to their places,[FN#165] saying in
herself, "By Allah, methinks Queen Nur al-Huda hath sent a Satan
to torment me, and he hath tricked me this trick!  I beg Allah
Almighty, deliver me from her and preserve me from her wrath,
for, O Lord, if she deal thus abominably with her half-sister,
beating and hanging her, dear as she is to her sire, how will she
do with a stranger like myself, against whom she is
incensed?"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the ancient
Lady of Calamities cried, "When Queen Nur al-Huda doeth such
misdeed to her sister, what will she do to a stranger like
myself, against whom she is incensed?" Then said she, "I conjure
thee, O devil, by the Most Compassionate, the Bountiful-great,
the High of Estate, of Dominion Elate who man and Jinn did
create, and by the writing upon the seal of Solomon David-son (on
both be the Peace!) speak to me and answer me;" Quoth Hasan, "I
am no devil; I am Hasan, the afflicted, the distraught." Then he
raised the cap from his head and appeared to the old woman, who
knew him and taking him apart, said to him, "What is come to thy
reason, that thou returnest hither?  Go hide thee; for, if this
wicked woman have tormented thy wife with such torments, and she
her sister, what will she do, an she light on thee?" Then she
told him all that had befallen his spouse and that wherein she
was of travail and torment and tribulation, and straitly
described all the pains she endured adding, "And indeed the Queen
repenteth her of having let thee go and hath sent one after thee,
promising him an hundred-weight of gold and my rank in her
service; and she hath sworn that, if he bring thee back, she will
do thee and thy wife and children dead." And she shed tears and
discovered to Hasan what the Queen had done with herself, whereat
he wept and said, "O my lady, how shall I do to escape from this
land and deliver myself and my wife and children from this
tyrannical Queen and how devise to return with them in safety to
my own country?" Replied the old woman, "Woe to thee!  Save
thyself." Quoth he, "There is no help but I deliver her and my
children from the Queen perforce and in her despite;" and quoth
Shawahi, "How canst thou forcibly rescue them from her?  Go and
hide thyself, O my son, till Allah Almighty empower thee." Then
Hasan showed her the rod and the cap, whereat she rejoiced with
joy exceeding and cried, "Glory be to Him who quickeneth the
bones, though they be rotten!  By Allah, O my son, thou and thy
wife were but of lost folk; now, however, thou art saved, thou
and thy wife and children!  For I know the rod and I know its
maker, who was my Shaykh in the science of Gramarye.  He was a
mighty magician and spent an hundred and thirty and five years
working at this rod and cap, till he brought them to perfection,
when Death the Inevitable overtook him.  And I have heard him say
to his two boys, 'O my sons, these two things are not of your
lot, for there will come a stranger from a far country, who will
take them from you by force, and ye shall not know how he taketh
them.' Said they, 'O our father, tell us how he will avail to
take them.'  But he answered, 'I wot not.' And O my son," added
she, "how availedst thou to take them?" So he told her how he had
taken them from the two boys, whereat she rejoiced and said, "O
my son, since thou hast gotten the whereby to free thy wife and
children, give ear to what I shall say to thee.  For me there is
no woning with this wicked woman, after the foul fashion in which
she durst use me; so I am minded to depart from her to the caves
of the Magicians and there abide with them until I die.  But do
thou, O my son, don the cap and hend the rod in hand and enter
the place where thy wife and children are.  Unbind her bonds and
smite the earth with the rod saying, 'Be ye present, O servants
of these names!' whereupon the servants of the rod will appear;
and if there present himself one of the Chiefs of the Tribes,
command him whatso thou shalt wish and will." So he farewelled
her and went forth, donning the cap and hending the rod, and
entered the place where his wife was. He found her well-nigh
lifeless, bound to the ladder by her hair, tearful-eyed and
woeful-hearted, in the sorriest of plights, knowing no way to
deliver herself.  Her children were playing under the ladder,
whilst she looked at them and wept for them and herself, because
of the barbarities and sore treatings and bitter penalties which
had befallen her; and he heard her repeat these couplets[FN#166],

"There remained not aught save a fluttering, breath and an eye
     whose owner is confounded.
And a desirous lover whose bowels are burned with fire
     notwithstanding which she is silent.
The exulting foe pitieth her at the sight of her.  Alas for her
     whom the exulting foe pitieth!"

When Hasan saw her in this state of torment and misery and
ignominy and infamy, he wept till he fainted; and when he
recovered he saw his children playing and their mother aswoon for
excess of pain; so he took the cap from his head and the children
saw him and cried out, "O our father!" Then he covered his head
again and the Princess came to herself, hearing their cry, but
saw only her children weeping and shrieking, "O our father!" When
she heard them name their sire and weep, her heart was broken and
her vitals rent asunder and she said to them, "What maketh you in
mind of your father at this time?" And she wept sore and cried
out, from a bursten liver and an aching bosom, "Where are ye and
where is your father?" Then she recalled the days of her union
with Hasan and what had befallen her since her desertion of him
and wept with sore weeping till her cheeks were seared and
furrowed and her face was drowned in a briny flood.  Her tears
ran down and wetted the ground and she had not a hand loose to
wipe them from her cheeks, whilst the flies fed their fill on her
skin, and she found no helper but weeping and no solace but
improvising verses. Then she repeated these couplets,

"I call to mind the parting-day that rent our loves in twain,
     When, as I turned away, the tears in very streams did rain.
The cameleer urged on his beasts with them, what while I found
     Nor strength nor fortitude, nor did my heart with me remain.
Yea, back I turned, unknowing of the road nor might shake off The
     trance of grief and longing love that numbed my heart and
And worst of all betided me, on my return, was one Who came to
     me, in lowly guise, to glory in my pain.
Since the belovèd's gone, O soul, forswear the sweet of life Nor
     covet its continuance, for, wanting him, 'twere vain.
List, O my friend, unto the tale of love, and God forbid That I
     should speak and that thy heart to hearken should not deign!
As 'twere El Asmaï himself, of passion I discourse Fancies rare
     and marvellous, linked in an endless chain."[FN#167]

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

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

She continued, When Hasan went in to his wife he saw his children
and heard her repeating the verses afore mentioned.[FN#168] Then
she turned right and left, seeking the cause of her children's
crying out, "O our father!" but saw no one and marvelled that her
sons should name their sire at that time and call upon him.  But
when Hasan heard her verses, he wept till he swooned away and the
tears railed down his cheeks like rain.  Then he drew near the
children and raised the cap from his head unseen of his wife,
whereupon they saw him and they knew him and cried out, saying,
"O our father!" Their mother fell a-weeping again, when she heard
them name their sire's name and said, "There is no avoiding the
doom which Almighty Allah hath decreed!" adding, "O Strange!
What garreth them think of their father at this time and call
upon him, albeit it is not of their wont?" Then she wept and
recited these couplets,

"The land of lamping moon is bare and drear; * O eyne of me pour
     forth the brimming tear!
They marched: how shall I now be patient? * That I nor heart nor
     patience own I swear!
O ye, who marched yet bide in heart of me, * Will you, O lords of
     me, return to that we were?
What harm if they return and I enjoy * Meeting, and they had ruth
     on tears of care?
Upon the parting-day they dimmed these eyne, * For sad surprise,
     and lit the flames that flare.
Sore longed I for their stay, but Fortune stayed * Longings and
     turned my hope to mere despair.
Return to us (O love!) by Allah, deign! * Enow of tears have
     flowed for absence-bane."

Then Hasan could no longer contain himself, but took the cap from
his head; whereupon his wife saw him and recognising him screamed
a scream which startled all in the palace, and said to him, "How
camest thou hither?  From the sky hast thou dropped or through
the earth hast thou come up?" And her eyes brimmed with tears and
Hasan also wept.  Quoth she, "O man, this be no time for tears or
blame.  Fate hath had its course and the sight was blinded and
the Pen hath run with what was ordained of Allah when Time was
begun: so, Allah upon thee, whencesoever thou comest, go hide,
lest any espy thee and tell my sister and she do thee and me
die!" Answered he, "O my lady and lady of all Queens, I have
adventured myself and come hither, and either I will die or I
will deliver thee from this strait and travel with thee and my
children to my country, despite the nose of this thy wickedest
sister."  But as she heard his words she smiled and for awhile
fell to shaking her head and said, "Far, O my fife, far is it
from the power of any except Allah Almighty to deliver me from
this my strait! Save thyself by flight and wend thy ways and cast
not thyself into destruction; for she hath conquering hosts none
may withstand.  Given that thou tookest me and wentest forth, how
canst thou make thy country and escape from these islands and the
perils of these awesome places?  Verily, thou hast seen on thy
way hither, the wonders, the marvels, the dangers and the terrors
of the road, such as none may escape, not even one of the rebel
Jinns. Depart, therefore, forthright and add not cark to my cark
and care to my care, neither do thou pretend to rescue me from
this my plight; for who shall carry me to thy country through all
these vales and thirsty wolds and fatal steads?" Rejoined Hasan,
"By thy life, O light of mine eyes, I will not depart this place
nor fare but with thee!" Quoth she, "O man!  How canst thou avail
unto this thing and what manner of man art thou?  Thou knowest
not what thou sayest!  None can escape from these realms, even
had he command over Jinns, Ifrits, magicians, chiefs of tribes
and Marids.  Save thyself and leave me; perchance Allah will
bring about good after ill." Answered Hasan, "O lady of fair
ones, I came not save to deliver thee with this rod and with this
cap." And he told her what had befallen him with the two boys;
but, whilst he was speaking, behold, up came the Queen and heard
their speech.  Now when he was ware of her, he donned the cap and
was hidden from sight, and she entered and said to the Princess,
"O wanton, who is he with whom thou wast talking?" Answered Manar
al-Sanar, "Who is with me that should talk with me, except these
children?" Then the Quee took the whip and beat her, whilst Hasan
stood by and looked on, nor did she leave beating her till she
fainted; whereupon she bade transport her to another place.  So
they loosed her and carried her to another chamber whilst Hasan
followed unseen.  There they cast her down, senseless, and stood
gazing upon her, till she revived and recited these

"I have sorrowed on account of our disunion with a sorrow that
     made the tears to overflow from my eyelids;
And I vowed that if Fortune reunite us, I would never again
     mention our separation;
And I would say to the envious, Die ye with regret; By Allah I
     have now attained my desire!
Joy hath overwhelmed me to such a degree that by its excess it
     hath made me weep.
O eye, how hath weeping become thy habit?  Thou weepest in joy as
     well, as in sorrows."

When she ceased her verse the slave-girls went out from her and
Hasan took off the cap; whereupon his wife said to him, "See, O
man, all this befel me not save by reason of my having rebelled
against thee and transgressed thy commandment and gone forth
without thy leave.[FN#170] So, Allah upon thee blame me not for
my sins and know that women never wot a man's worth till they
have lost him.  Indeed, I have offended and done evil; but I
crave pardon of Allah Almighty for whatso I did, and if He
reunite us, I will never again gainsay thee in aught, no,
never!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan's
wife besought pardon of him saying, "Blame me not for my sin; and
indeed I crave mercy of Allah Almighty." Quoth Hasan (and indeed
his heart ached for her), "'Twas not thou that wast in fault;
nay, the fault was mine and mine only, for I fared forth and left
thee with one who knew not thy rank, neither thy worth nor thy
degree.  But know, O beloved of my heart and fruit of my vitals
and light of mine eyes, that Allah (blessed be He!) hath ordained
to me power of releasing thee; so, say me, wouldst thou have me
carry thee to thy father's home, there to accomplish what Allah
decreeth unto thee, or wilt thou forthright depart with me to
mine own country, now that relief is come to thee?" Quoth she,
"Who can deliver me save the Lord of the Heavens? Go to thy
motherland and put away from thee false hope; for thou knowest
not the perils of these parts which, an thou obey me not, soon
shalt thou sight." And she improvised these couplets,

"On me and with me bides thy volunty; * Why then such anger such
     despite to me?
Whate'er befel us Heaven forbid that love * Fade for long time or
     e'er forgotten be!
Ceased not the spy to haunt our sides, till seen * Our love
     estranged and then estranged was he:
In truth I trusted to fair thoughts of thine * Though spake the
     wicked spy maliciously.
We'll keep the secret 'twixt us twain and bold * Although the
     brand of blame unsheathed we see.
The livelong day in longing love I spend * Hoping acceptance-
     message from my friend."

Then wept she and her children, and the handmaidens heard them:
so they came in to them and found them weeping, but saw not Hasan
with them; wherefore they wept for ruth of them and damned Queen
Nur al-Huda.  Then Hasan took patience till night came on and her
guards had gone to their sleeping-places, when he arose and
girded his waist; then went up to her and, loosing her, kissed
her on the head and between the eyes and pressed her to his
bosom, saying, "How long have we wearied for our mother-land and
for reunion there!  Is this our meeting in sleep, or on wake?"
Then he took up the elder boy and she took up the younger and
they went forth the palace; and Allah veiled them with the veil
of His protection, so that they came safe to the outer gate which
closed the entrance to the Queen's Serraglio. But finding it
locked from without, Hasan said, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!  Verily we
are Allah's and unto Him shall we return!" With this they
despaired of escape and Hasan beat hand upon hand, saying, "O
Dispeller of dolours!  Indeed, I had bethought me of every thing
and considered its conclusion but this; and now, when it is
daybreak, they will take us, and what device have we in this
case?" And he recited the following two couplets,[FN#171]

"Thou madest fair thy thought of Fate, whenas the days were fair,
     And fearedst not the unknown ills that they to thee might
The nights were fair and calm to thee; thou wast deceived by
     them, For in the peace of night is born full many a
     troublous thing."

Then Hasan wept and his wife wept for his weeping and for the
abasement she had suffered and the cruelties of Time and Fortune,

"Baulks me my Fate as tho' she were my foe; * Each day she
     showeth me new cark and care:
Fate, when I aim at good, brings clear reverse, * And lets foul
     morrow wait on day that's fair."

And also these,

"Irks me my Fate and clean unknows that I * Of my high worth her
     shifts and shafts despise.
She nights parading what ill-will she works: * I night parading
     Patience to her eyes."

Then his wife said to him, "By Allah, there is no relief for us
but to kill ourselves and be at rest from this great and weary
travail; else we shall suffer grievous torment on the morrow."
At this moment, behold, they heard a voice from without the door
say, "By Allah, O my lady Manar al-Sana, I will not open to thee
and thy husband Hasan, except ye obey me in whatso I shall say to
you!" When they heard these words they were silent for excess of
fright and would have returned whence they came; when lo! the
voice spake again saying, "What aileth you both to be silent and
answer me not?"  Therewith they knew the speaker for the old
woman Shawahi, Lady of Calamities, and said to her, "Whatsoever
thou biddest us, that will we do; but first open the door to us;
this being no time for talk." Replied she, "By Allah, I will not
open to you until ye both swear to me that you will take me with
you and not leave me with yonder whore: so, whatever befalleth
you shall befal me and if ye escape, I shall escape, and if ye
perish, I shall perish: for yonder abominable woman,
tribade[FN#172] that she is! entreateth me with indignity and
still tormenteth me on your account; and thou, O my daughter,
knowest my worth." Now recognising her they trusted in her and
sware to her an oath such as contented her, whereupon she opened
the door to them and they fared forth and found her riding on a
Greek jar of red earthenware with a rope of palm-fibres about its
neck,[FN#173] which rolled under her and ran faster than a Najdi
colt, and she came up to them, and said, "Follow me and fear
naught, for I know forty modes of magic by the least of which I
could make this city a dashing sea, swollen with clashing
billows, and ensorcel each damsel therein to a fish, and all
before dawn.  But I was not able to work aught of my mischief,
for fear of the King her father and of regard to her sisters, for
that they are formidable, by reason of their many guards and
tribesmen and servants.  However, soon will I show you wonders of
my skill in witchcraft; and now let us on, relying upon the
blessing of Allah and His good aid." Now Hasan and his wife
rejoiced in this, making sure of escape, --And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Hasan and his wife, accompanied by the ancient dame Shawahi,
fared forth from the palace, they made sure of deliverance and
they walked on till they came without the city, when he fortified
his heart and, smiting the earth with the rod, cried, "Ho, ye
servants of these names, appear to me and acquaint me with your
conditions!" Thereupon the earth clave asunder and out came
ten[FN#174] Ifrits, with their feet in the bowels of the earth
and their heads in the clouds.  They kissed the earth three times
before Hasan and said as with one voice, "Adsumus!  Here are we
at thy service, O our lord and ruler over us! What dost thou bid
us do? For we hear and obey thy commandment.  An thou wilt, we
will dry thee up seas and remove mountains from their places." So
Hasan rejoiced in their words and at their speedy answer to his
evocation then taking courage and bracing up his resolution, he
said to them, "Who are ye and what be your names and your races,
and to what tribes and clans and companies appertain ye?" They
kissed the earth once more and answered as with one voice,
saying, "We are seven Kings, each ruling over seven tribes of the
Jinn of all conditions, and Satans and Marids, flyers and divers,
dwellers in mountains and wastes and wolds and haunters of the
seas: so bid us do whatso thou wilt; for we are thy servants and
thy slaves, and whoso possesseth this rod hath dominion over an
our necks and we owe him obedience."  Now when Hasan heard this,
he rejoiced with joy exceeding, as did his wife and the old
woman, and presently he said to the Kings of the Jinn, "I desire
of you that ye show me your tribes and hosts and guards." "O our
lord," answered they, "if we show thee our tribes, we fear for
thee and these who are with thee, for their name is legion and
they are various in form and fashion, figure and favour.  Some of
us are heads sans bodies and others bodies sans heads, and others
again are in the likeness of wild beasts and ravening lions.
However, if this be thy will, there is no help but we first show
thee those of us who are like unto wild beasts.  But, O our lord,
what wouldst thou of us at this present?"  Quoth Hasan, "I would
have you carry me forthwith to the city of Baghdad, me and my
wife and this honest woman." But, hearing his words they hung
down their heads and were silent, whereupon Hasan asked them,
"Why do ye not reply?" And they answered as with one voice, "O
our lord and ruler over us, we are of the covenant of Solomon son
of David (on the twain be Peace!) and he sware us in that we
would bear none of the sons of Adam on our backs; since which
time we have borne no mortal on back or shoulder: but we will
straightway harness thee horses of the Jinn, that shall carry
thee and thy company to thy country." Hasan enquired, "How far
are we from Baghdad?" and they, "Seven years' journey for a
diligent horseman." Hasan marvelled at this and said to them,
"Then how came I hither in less than a year?"; and they said,
"Allah softened to thee the hearts of His pious servants else
hadst thou never come to this country nor hadst thou set eyes on
these regions; no, never!  For the Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, who
mounted thee on the elephant and the magical horse, traversed
with thee, in ten days, three years' journey for a well-girt
rider, and the Ifrit Dahnash, to whom the Shaykh committed thee,
carried thee a three years' march in a day and a night; all which
was of the blessing of Allah Almighty, for that the Shaykh Abu
al-Ruwaysh is of the seed of Asaf bin Barkhiyá[FN#175] and
knoweth the Most Great name of Allah.[FN#176]  Moreover, from
Baghdad to the palace of the damsels is a year's journey, and
this maketh up the seven years." When Hasan heard this, he
marvelled with exceeding marvel and cried, "Glory be to God,
Facilitator of the hard, Fortifier of the weak heart,
Approximator of the far and Humbler of every froward tyrant, Who
hath eased us of every accident and carried me to these countries
and subjected to me these creatures and reunited me with my wife
and children!  I know not whether I am asleep or awake or if I be
sober or drunken!" Then he turned to the Jinn and asked, "When ye
have mounted me upon your steeds, in how many days will they
bring us to Baghdad?"; and they answered, "They will carry you
thither under the year, but not till after ye have endured
terrible perils and hardships and horrors and ye have traversed
thirsty Wadys and frightful wastes and horrible steads without
number; and we cannot promise thee safety, O our lord, from the
people of these islands,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jann
said to Hasan, "We cannot promise thee safety, O our lord, from
this Islandry, nor from the mischief of the Supreme King and his
enchanters and warlocks.  It may be they will overcome us and
take you from us and we fall into affliction with them, and all
to whom the tidings shall come after this will say to us: 'Ye are
wrong-doers!  How could ye go against the Supreme King and carry
a mortal out of his dominions, and eke the King's daughter with
him?' adding, 'Wert thou alone with us the thing were light; but
He who conveyed thee hither is capable to carry thee back to thy
country and reunite thee with thine own people forthright and in
readiest plight.  So take heart and put thy trust in Allah and
fear not; for we are at thy service, to convey thee to thy
country." Hasan thanked them therefor and said, "Allah requite
you with good! but now make haste with the horses;" they replied,
"We hear and we obey," and struck the ground with their feet,
whereupon it opened and they disappeared within it and were
absent awhile, after which they suddenly reappeared with three
horses, saddled and bridled, and on each saddle-bow a pair of
saddle-bags, with a leathern bottle of water in one pocket and
the other full of provaunt.  So Hasan mounted one steed and took
a child before him, whilst his wife mounted a second and took the
other child before her.  Then the old woman alighted from the jar
and bestrode the third horse and they rode on, without ceasing,
all night.  At break of day, they turned aside from the road and
made for the mountain, whilst their tongues ceased not to name
Allah. Then they fared on under the highland all that day, till
Hasan caught sight of a black object afar as it were a tall
column of smoke a-twisting skywards; so he recited somewhat of
the Koran and Holy Writ, and sought refuge with Allah from Satan
the Stoned.  The black thing grew plainer as they drew near, and
when hard by it, they saw that it was an Ifrit, with a head like
a huge dome and tusks like grapnels and jaws like a lane and
nostrils like ewers and ears like leathern targes and mouth like
a cave and teeth like pillars of stone and hands like winnowing
forks and legs like masts: his head was in the cloud and his feet
in the bowels of the earth had plowed.  Whenas Hasan gazed upon
him he bowed himself and kissed the ground before him, saying, "O
Hasan, have no fear of me; for I am the chief of the dwellers in
this land, which is the first of the Isles of Wak, and I am a
Moslem and an adorer of the One God.  I have heard of you and
your coming and when I knew of your case, I desired to depart
from the land of the magicians to another land, void of
inhabitants and far from men and Jinn, that I might dwell there
alone and worship Allah till my fated end came upon me.  So I
wish to accompany you and be your guide, till ye fare forth of
the Wak Islands; and I will not appear save at night; and do ye
hearten your hearts on my account; for I am a Moslem, even as ye
are Moslems." When Hasan heard the Ifrit's words, he rejoiced
with exceeding joy and made sure of deliverance; and he said to
him, "Allah requite thee weal!  Go with us relying upon the
blessing of Allah!" So the Ifrit forewent them and they followed,
talking and making merry, for their hearts were pleased and their
breasts were eased and Hasan fell to telling his wife all that
had befallen him and all the hardships he had undergone, whilst
she excused herself to him and told him, in turn, all she had
seen and suffered. They ceased not faring all that night.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they ceased
not faring all that night and the horses bore them like the
blinding leven, and when the day rose all put their hands to the
saddle-bags and took forth provaunt which they ate and water
which they drank.  Then they sped diligently on their way,
preceded by the Ifrit, who turned aside with them from the beaten
track into another road, till then untrodden, along the seashores
and they ceased not faring on, without stopping, across Wadys and
wolds a whole month, till on the thirty-first day there arose
before them a dust-cloud, that walled the world and darkened the
day; and when Hasan saw this, he was confused and turned pale;
and more so when a frightful crying and clamour struck their
ears.  There, upon the old woman said to him, "O my son, this is
the army of the Wak Islands, that hath overtaken us; and
presently they will lay violent hands on us." Hasan asked, "What
shall I do, O my mother?"; and she answered, "Strike the earth
with the rod." He did so whereupon the Seven Kings presented
themselves and saluted him with the salam, kissing ground before
him and saying, "Fear not neither grieve." Hasan rejoiced at
these words and answered them, saying, "Well said, O Princes of
the Jinn and the Ifrits!  This is your time!" Quoth they, "Get ye
up to the mountain-top, thou and thy wife and children and she
who is with thee and leave us to deal with them, for we know that
you all are in the right and they in the wrong and Allah will aid
us against them."  So Hasan and his wife and children and the old
woman dismounted and dismissing the horses, ascended the flank of
the mountain.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan
with his wife, his children and the ancient dame ascended the
mountain-flank after they had dismissed the coursers.  Presently,
up came Queen Nur al-Huda, with the troops right and left, and
the captains went round about among the host and ranged them rank
by rank in battle array.  Then the hosts charged down upon each
other and clashed together the twain with a mighty strain, the
brave pressed on amain and the coward to fly was fain and the
Jinn cast flames of fire from their mouths, whilst the smoke of
them rose up to the confines of the sky and the two armies
appeared and disappeared.  The champions fought and heads flew
from trunks and the blood ran in rills; nor did brand leave to
play and blood to flow and battle fire to flow, till the murk o'
night came, when the two hosts drew apart and, alighting from
their steeds rested upon the field by the fires they had kindled.
Therewith the Seven Kings went up to Hasan and kissed the earth
before him.  He pressed forwards to meet them and thanked them
and prayed Allah to give them the victory and asked them how they
had fared with the Queen's troops.  Quoth they, "They will not
withstand us more than three days, for we had the better of them
to-day, taking some two thousand of them prisoners and slaying of
them much folk whose compt may not be told.  So be of good cheer
and broad of breast." Then they farewelled him and went down to
look after the safety of their troops; and they ceased not to
keep up the fires till the morning rose with its sheen and shone,
when the fighting-men mounted their horses of noble strain and
smote one another with thin-edged skean and with brawn of bill
they thrust amain nor did they cease that day battle to darraign.
Moreover, they passed the night on horseback clashing together
like dashing seas; raged among them the fires of war and they
stinted not from battle and jar, till the armies of Wak were
defeated and their power broken and their courage quelled; their
feet slipped and whither they fled soever defeat was before them;
wherefore they turned tail and of flight began to avail: but the
most part of them were slain and their Queen and her chief
officers and the grandees of her realm were captive ta'en.  When
the morning morrowed, the Seven Kings presented themselves before
Hasan and set for him a throne of alabaster inlaid with pearls
and jewels, and he sat down thereon.  They also set thereby a
throne of ivory, plated with glittering gold, for the Princess
Manar al-Sana and another for the ancient dame Shawahi Zat
al-Dawahi.  Then they brought before them the prisoners and among
the rest, Queen Nur al-Huda with elbows pinioned and feet
fettered, whom when Shawahi saw, she said to her, "Thy
recompense, O harlot, O tyrant, shall be that two bitches be
starved and two mares stinted of water, till they be athirst:
then shalt thou be bound to the mares' tails and these driven to
the river, with the bitches following thee that they may rend thy
skin; and after, thy flesh shall be cut off and given them to
eat.  How couldst thou do with thy sister such deed, O strumpet,
seeing that she was lawfully married, after the ordinance of
Allah and of His Apostle?  For there is no monkery in Al-Islam
and marriage is one of the institutions of the Apostles (on whom
be the Peace!)[FN#177] nor were women created but for men." Then
Hasan commanded to put all the captives to the sword and the old
woman cried out, saying, "Slay them all and spare none[FN#178]!"
But, when Princess Manar al-Sana saw her sister in this plight, a
bondswoman and in fetters, she wept over her and said, "O my
sister, who is this hath conquered us and made us captives in our
own country?" Quoth Nur al-Huda, "Verily, this is a mighty
matter.  Indeed this man Hasan hath gotten the mastery over us
and Allah hath given him dominion over us and over all our realm
and he hath overcome us, us and the Kings of the Jinn." And quoth
her sister, "Indeed, Allah aided him not against you nor did he
overcome you nor capture you save by means of this cap and rod."
So Nur al-Huda was certified and assured that he had conquered
her by means thereof and humbled herself to her sister, till she
was moved to ruth for her and said to her husband, "What wilt
thou do with my sister? Behold, she is in thy hands and she hath
done thee no misdeed that thou shouldest punish her." Replied
Hasan, "Her torturing of thee was misdeed enow." But she
answered, saying, "She hath excuse for all she did with me. As
for thee, thou hast set my father's heart on fire for the loss of
me, and what will be his case, if he lose my sister also?" And he
said to her, "'Tis thine to decide; do whatso thou wilt." So she
bade loose her sister and the rest of the captives, and they did
her bidding.  Then she went up to Queen Nur al-Huda and embraced
her, and they wept together a long while; after which quoth the
Queen, "O my sister, bear me not malice for that I did with
thee;" and quoth Manar al-Sana, "O my sister, this was
foreordained to me by Fate." Then they sat on the couch talking
and Manar al-Sana made peace between the old woman and her
sister, after the goodliest fashion, and their hearts were set at
ease.  Thereupon Hasan dismissed the servants of the rod thanking
them for the succour which they had afforded him against his
foes, and Manar al-Sana related to her sister all that had
befallen her with Hasan her husband and every thing he had
suffered for her sake, saying, "O my sister, since he hath done
these deeds and is possessed of this might and Allah Almighty
hath gifted him with such exceeding prowess, that he hath entered
our country and beaten thine army and taken thee prisoner and
defied our father, the Supreme King, who hath dominion over all
the Princes of the Jinn, it behoveth us to fail not of what is
due to him." Replied Nur al-Huda, "By Allah, O my sister, thou
sayest sooth in whatso thou tellest me of the marvels which this
man hath seen and suffered; and none may fail of respect to him.
But was all this on thine account, O my sister?"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Princess Manar al-Sana repeated to her sister these praises of
Hasan, the other replied, "By Allah, this man can claim all
respect more by token of his generosity. But was all this on
thine account?" "Yes," answered Manar al-Sana, and they passed
the night in converse till the morning morrowed and the sun rose
and they were minded to depart.  So they farewelled one another
and Manar al-Sana gave God-speed to the ancient dame after the
reconciling her with Queen Nur al-Huda.  Thereupon Hasan smote
the earth with the rod and its servants the Jinn appeared and
saluted him, saying, "Praised be Allah, who hath set thy soul at
rest!  Command us what thou wilt, and we will do it for thee in
less than the twinking of an eye." He thanked them for their
saying and said to them  "Allah requite you with good! Saddle me
two steeds of the best."  So they brought him forthwith two
saddled coursers, one of which he mounted, taking his elder son
before him, and his wife rode the other, taking the younger son
in front of her.  Then the Queen and the old woman also backed
horse and departed, Hasan and his wife following the right and
Nur al-Huda and Shawahi the left hand road.  The spouses fared on
with their children, without stopping, for a whole month, till
they drew in sight of a city, which they found compassed about
with trees and streams and, making the trees, dismounted beneath
them thinking to rest there.  As they sat talking, behold, they
saw many horsemen coming towards them, whereupon Hasan rose and
going to meet them, saw that it was King Hassun, lord of the Land
of Camphor and Castle of Crystal, with his attendants.  So Hasan
went up to the King and kissed his hands and saluted him; and
when Hassun saw him, he dismounted and seating himself with Hasan
upon carpets under the trees returned his salam and gave him joy
of his safety and rejoiced in him with exceeding joy, saying to
him, "O Hasan, tell me all that hath befallen thee, first and
last."  So he told him all of that, whereupon the King marvelled
and said to him, "O my son, none ever reached the Islands of Wak
and returned thence but thou, and indeed thy case is wondrous;
but Alhamdolillah--praised be God--for safety!"  Then he mounted
and bade Hasan ride with his wife and children into the city,
where he lodged them in the guest-house of his palace; and they
abode with him three days, eating and drinking in mirth and
merriment, after which Hasan sought Hassun's leave to depart to
his own country and the King granted it.  Accordingly they took
horse and the King rode with them ten days, after which he
farewelled them and turned back, whilst Hasan and his wife and
children fared on a whole month, at the end of which time they
came to a great cavern, whose floor was of brass.  Quoth Hasan to
his wife, "Kennest thou yonder cave?"; and quoth she, "No."  Said
he, "Therein dwelleth a Shaykh, Abu al-Ruwaysh hight, to whom I
am greatly beholden, for that he was the means of my becoming
acquainted with King Hassun." Then he went on to tell her all
that had passed between him and Abu al-Ruwaysh, and as he was
thus engaged, behold, the Shaykh himself issued from the
cavernmouth. When Hasan saw him, he dismounted from his steed and
kissed his hands, and the old man saluted him and gave him joy of
his safety and rejoiced in him.  Then he carried him into the
antre and sat down with him, whilst Hasan related to him what had
befallen him in the Islands of Wak; whereat the Elder marvelled
with exceeding marvel and said, "O Hasan, how didst thou deliver
thy wife and children?" So he told them the tale of the cap and
the rod, hearing which he wondered and said, "O Hasan, O my son,
but for this rod and the cap, thou hadst never delivered thy wife
and children." And he replied, "Even so, O my lord." As they were
talking, there came a knocking at the door and Abu al-Ruwaysh
went out and found Abd al-Kaddus mounted on his elephant.  So he
saluted him and brought him into the cavern, where he embraced
Hasan and congratulated him on his safety, rejoicing greatly in
his return.  Then said Abu al-Ruwaysh to Hasan, "Tell the Shaykh
Abd al-Kaddus all that hath befallen thee, O Hasan." He repeated
to him every thing that had passed, first and last, till he came
to the tale of the rod and cap,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Hasan
began relating to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus and Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh
(who sat chattting in the cave) all that had passed, first and
last, till he came to the tale of the rod and cap; where, upon
quoth Abd al-Kaddus, "O my son, thou hast delivered thy wife and
thy children and hast no further need of the two.  Now we were
the means of thy winning to the Islands of Wak, and I have done
thee kindness for the sake of my nieces, the daughters of my
brother; wherefore I beg thee, of thy bounty and favour, to give
me the rod and the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh the cap." When Hasan
heard this, he hung down his head, being ashamed to reply, "I
will not give them to you," and said in his mind, "Indeed these
two Shaykhs have done me great kindness and were the means of my
winning to the Islands of Wak, and but for them I had never made
the place, nor delivered my children, nor had I gotten me this
rod and cap." So he raised his head and answered, "Yes, I will
give them to you: but, O my lords, I fear lest the Supreme King,
my wife's father, come upon me with his commando and combat with
me in my own country, and I be unable to repel them, for want of
the rod and the cap." Replied Abd al-Kaddus, "Fear not, O my son;
we will continually succour thee and keep watch and ward for thee
in this place; and whosoever shall come against thee from thy
wife's father or any other, him we will fend off from thee;
wherefore be thou of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear,
and hearten thy heart and broaden thy breast and feel naught
whatsoever of fear, for no harm shall come to thee." When Hasan
heard this he was abashed and gave the cap to Abu al-Ruwaysh,
saying to Abd al-Kaddus, "Accompany me to my own country and I
will give thee the rod." At this the two elders rejoiced with
exceeding joy and made him ready riches and treasures which
beggar all description. He abode with them three days, at the end
of which he set out again and the Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus made ready
to depart with him.  So he and his wife mounted their beasts and
Abd al-Kaddus whistled, when, behold, a mighty big elephant
trotted up with fore hand and feet on amble from the heart of the
desert and he took it and mounted it. Then they farewelled Abu
al-Ruwaysh who disappeared within his cavern; and they fared on
across country, traversing the land in its length and breadth
wherever Abd al-Kaddus guided them by a short cut and an easy
way, till they drew near the land of the Princesses; whereupon
Hasan rejoiced at finding himself once more near his mother, and
praised Allah for his safe return and reunion with his wife and
children after so many hardships and perils; and thanked Him for
His favours and bounties, reciting these couplets,

"Haply shall Allah deign us twain unite * And lockt in strict
     embrace we'll hail the light:
And wonders that befel me I'll recount, * And all I suffered from
     the Severance-blight:
And fain I'll cure mine eyes by viewing you * For ever yearned my
     heart to see your sight:
I hid a tale for you my heart within * Which when we meet o' morn
     I'll fain recite:
I'll blame you for the deeds by you were done * But while blame
     endeth love shall stay in site."

Hardly had he made an end of these verses, when he looked and
behold, there rose to view the Green Dome[FN#179] and the jetting
Fount and the Emerald Palace, and the Mountain of Clouds showed
to them from afar; whereupon quoth Abd al-Kaddus, "Rejoice, O
Hasan, in good tidings: to-night shalt thou be the guest of my
nieces!" At this he joyed with exceeding joy and as also did his
wife, and they alighted at the domed pavilion, where they took
their rest[FN#180] and ate and drank; after which they mounted
horse again and rode on till they came upon the palace. As they
drew near, the Princesses who were daughters of the King, brother
to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, came forth to meet them and saluted them
and their uncle who said to them, "O daughters of my brother,
behold, I have accomplished the need of this your brother Hasan
and have helped him to regain his wife and children." So they
embraced him and gave him joy of his return in safety and health
and of his reunion with his wife and children, and it was a day
of festival[FN#181] with them.  Then came forward Hasan's sister,
the youngest Princess, and embraced him, weeping with sore
weeping, whilst he also wept for his long desolation: after which
she complained to him of that which she had suffered for the
pangs of separation and weariness of spirit in his absence and
recited these two couplets,

"After thy faring never chanced I'spy * A shape, but did thy form
     therein descry:
Nor closed mine eyes in sleep but thee I saw, * E'en as though
     dwelling 'twixt the lid and eye."

When she had made an end of her verses, she rejoiced with joy
exceeding and Hasan said to her, "O my sister, I thank none in
this matter save thyself over all thy sisters, and may Allah
Almighty vouchsafe thee aidance and countenance!" Then he related
to her all that had past in his journey, from first to last, and
all that he had undergone, telling her what had betided him with
his wife's sister and how he had delivered his wife and wees and
he also described to her all that he had seen of marvels and
grievous perils, even to how Queen Nur al-Huda would have slain
him and his spouse and children and none saved them from her but
the Lord the Most High.  Moreover, he related to her the
adventure of the cap and the rod and how Abd al-Kaddus and Abu
al-Ruwaysh had asked for them and he had not agreed to give them
to the twain save for her sake; wherefore she thanked him and
blessed him wishing him long life; and he cried, "By Allah, I
shall never forget all the kindness thou hast done me from incept
to conclusion."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan
foregathered with the Princesses, he related to his sister all
that he had endured and said to her, "Never will I forget what
thou hast done for me from incept to conclusion." Then she turned
to his wife Manar al-Sana and embraced her and pressed her
children to her breast, saying to her, "O daughter of the Supreme
King, was there no pity in thy bosom, that thou partedst him and
his children and settedst his heart on fire for them?  Say me,
didst thou desire by this deed that he should die?" The Princess
laughed and answered, "Thus was it ordained of Allah (extolled
and exalted be He!) and whoso beguileth folk, him shall Allah
begule."[FN#182]  Then they set on somewhat of meat and drink,
and they all ate and drank and made merry.  They abode thus ten
days in feast and festival, mirth and merry-making, at the end of
which time Hasan prepared to continue his journey.  So his sister
rose and made him ready riches and rarities, such as defy
description.  Then she strained him to her bosom, because of
leavetaking, and threw her arms round his neck whilst he recited
on her account these couplets,

"The solace of lovers is naught but far, * And parting is naught
     save grief singular:
And ill-will and absence are naught but woe, * And the victims of
     Love naught but martyrs are;
And how tedious is night to the loving wight * From his true love
     parted 'neath evening star!
His tears course over his cheeks and so * He cries, 'O tears be
     there more to flow?'"

With this Hasan gave the rod to Shaykh Abd al-Kaddus, who joyed
therein with exceeding joy and thanking him and securing it
mounted and returned to his own place.  Then Hasan took horse
with his wife and children and departed from the Palace of the
Princesses, who went forth[FN#183] with him, to farewell him.
Then they turned back and Hasan fared on, over wild and wold, two
months and ten days, till he came to the city of Baghdad, the
House of Peace, and repairing to his home by the private postern
which gave upon the open country, knocked at the door.  Now his
mother, for long absence, had forsworn sleep and given herself to
mourning and weeping and wailing, till she fell sick and ate no
meat, neither took delight in slumber but shed tears night and
day.  She ceased not to call upon her son's name albeit she
despaired of his returning to her; and as he stood at the door,
he heard her weeping and reciting these couplets,

"By Allah, heal, O my lords, the unwhole * Of wasted frame and
     heart worn with dole:
An you grant her a meeting 'tis but your grace * Shall whelm in
     the boons of the friend her soul:
I despair not of Union the Lord can grant * And to weal of
     meeting our woes control!"

When she had ended her verses, she heard her son's voice at the
door, calling out, "O mother, mother ah! fortune hath been kind
and hath vouchsafed our reunion!"  Hearing his cry she knew his
voice and went to the door, between belief and misbelief; but,
when she opened it she saw him standing there and with him his
wife and children; so she shrieked aloud, for excess of joy, and
fell to the earth in a fainting-fit.  Hasan ceased not soothing
her, till she recovered and embraced him; then she wept with joy,
and presently she called his slaves and servants and bade them
carry all his baggage into the house.[FN#184]  So they brought in
every one of the loads, and his wife and children entered also,
whereupon Hasan's mother went up to the Princess and kissed her
head and bussed her feet, saying, "O daughter of the Supreme
King, if I have failed of thy due, behold, I crave pardon of
Almighty Allah." Then she turned to Hasan and said to him, "O my
son, what was the cause of this long strangerhood?" He related to
her all his adventures from beginning to end; and when she heard
tell of all that had befallen him, she cried a great cry and fell
down a-fainting at the very mention of his mishaps.  He solaced
her, till she came to herself and said, "By Allah, O my son, thou
hast done unwisely in parting with the rod and the cap for, hadst
thou kept them with the care due to them, thou wert master of the
whole earth, in its breadth and length; but praised be Allah, for
thy safety, O my son, and that of thy wife and children!" They
passed the night in all pleasance and happiness, and on the
morrow Hasan changed his clothes and donning a suit of the
richest apparel, went down into the bazar and bought black slaves
and slave-girls and the richest stuffs and ornaments and
furniture such as carpets and costly vessels and all manner other
precious things, whose like is not found with Kings.  Moreover,
he purchased houses and gardens and estates and so forth and
abode with his wife and his children and his mother, eating and
drinking and pleasuring: nor did they cease from all joy of life
and its solace till there came to them the Destroyer of delights
and the Severer of societies.  And Glory be to Him who hath
dominion over the Seen and the Unseen,[FN#185] who is the Living,
the Eternal, Who dieth not at all!  And men also recount the
adventures of

               Khalifah the Fisherman of Baghdad

There was once in tides of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, in the city of Baghdad, a fisherman, Khalífah hight, a
pauper wight, who had never once been married in all his days.
[FN#186]  It chanced one morning, that he took his net and went
with it to the river, as was his wont, with the view of fishing
before the others came.  When he reached the bank, he girt
himself and tucked up his skirts; then stepping into the water,
he spread his net and cast it a first cast and a second but it
brought up naught.  He ceased not to throw it, till he had made
ten casts, and still naught came up therein; wherefore his breast
was straitened and his mind perplexed concerning his case and he
said, "I crave pardon of God the Great, there is no god but He,
the Living, the Eternal, and unto Him I repent.  There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great!  Whatso He willeth is and whatso He nilleth is not!  Upon
Allah (to whom belong Honour and Glory!) dependeth daily bread!
Whenas He giveth to His servant, none denieth him; and whenas He
denieth a servant, none giveth to him."  And of the excess of his
distress, he recited these two couplets,

"An Fate afflict thee, with grief manifest, * Prepare thy
     patience and make broad thy breast;
For of His grace the Lord of all the worlds * Shall send to wait
     upon unrest sweet Rest."

Then he sat awhile pondering his case, and with his head bowed
down recited also these couplets,

"Patience with sweet and with bitter Fate! * And weet that His
     will He shall consummate:
Night oft upon woe as on abscess acts * And brings it up to the
     bursting state:
And Chance and Change shall pass o'er the youth * And fleet from
     his thoughts and no more shall bait."

Then he said in his mind, "I will make this one more cast,
trusting in Allah, so haply He may not disappoint my hope;" and
he rose and casting into the river the net as far as his arm
availed, gathered the cords in his hands and waited a full hour,
after which he pulled at it and, finding it heavy,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Khalifah the Fisherman had cast his net sundry times into the
stream, yet had it brought up naught, he pondered his case and
improvised the verses afore quoted.  Then he said in his mind, "I
will make this one more cast, trusting in Allah who haply will
not disappoint my hope."  So he rose and threw the net and waited
a full hour, after which time he pulled at it and, finding it
heavy, handled it gently and drew it in, little by little, till
he got it ashore, when lo and behold! he saw in it a one-eyed,
lame-legged ape.  Seeing this quoth Khalifah, "There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! verily, we are
Allah's and to Him we are returning!  What meaneth this heart-
breaking, miserable ill-luck and hapless fortune?  What is come
to me this blessed day?  But all this is of the destinies of
Almighty Allah!"  Then he took the ape and tied him with a cord
to a tree which grew on the river-bank, and grasping a whip he
had with him, raised his arm in the air, thinking to bring down
the scourge upon the quarry, when Allah made the ape speak with a
fluent tongue, saying, "O Khalifah, hold thy hand and beat me
not, but leave me bounden to this tree and go down to the river
and cast thy net, confiding in Allah; for He will give thee thy
daily bread."  Hearing this Khalifah went down to the river and
casting his net, let the cords run out.  Then he pulled it in and
found it heavier than before; so he ceased not to tug at it, till
he brought it to land, when, behold, there was another ape in it,
with front teeth wide apart, [FN#187] Kohl-darkened eyes and
hands stained with Henna-dyes; and he was laughing and wore a
tattered waistcloth about his middle.  Quoth Khalifah, "Praised
be Allah who hath changed the fish of the river into apes!"
[FN#188]  then, going up to the first ape, who was still tied to
the tree, he said to him, "See, O unlucky, how fulsome was the
counsel thou gavest me!  None but thou made me light on this
second ape: and for that thou gavest me good-morrow with thy one
eye and thy lameness, [FN#189] I am become distressed and weary,
without dirham or dinar."  So saying, he hent in hand a stick
[FN#190] and flourishing it thrice in the air, was about to come
down with it upon the lame ape, when the creature cried out for
mercy and said to him, "I conjure thee, by Allah, spare me for
the sake of this my fellow and seek of him thy need; for he will
guide thee to thy desire!"  So he held his hand from him and
throwing down the stick, went up to and stood by the second ape,
who said to him, "O Khalifah, this my speech [FN#191] will profit
thee naught, except thou hearken to what I say to thee; but, an
thou do my bidding and cross me not, I will be the cause of thine
enrichment."  Asked Khalifah, "And what hast thou to say to me
that I may obey there therein?"  The Ape answered, "Leave me
bound on the bank and hie thee down to the river; then cast thy
net a third time, and after I will tell thee what to do."  So he
took his net and going down to the river, cast it once more and
waited awhile.  Then he drew it in and finding it heavy, laboured
at it and ceased not his travail till he got it ashore, when he
found in it yet another ape; but this one was red, with a blue
waistcloth about his middle; his hands and feet were stained with
Henna and his eyes blackened with Kohl.  When Khalifah saw this,
he exclaimed, "Glory to God the Great!  Extolled be the
perfection of the Lord of Dominion!  Verily, this is a blessed
day from first to last: its ascendant was fortunate in the
countenance of the first ape, and the scroll [FN#192] is known by
its superscription!  Verily, to-day is a day of apes: there is
not a single fish left in the river, and we are come out to-day
but to catch monkeys!"  Then he turned to the third ape and said,
"And what thing art thou also, O unlucky?"  Quoth the ape, "Dost
thou not know me, O Khalifah!"; and quoth he, "Not I!"  The ape
cried, "I am the ape of Abu al-Sa'ádát [FN#193] the Jew, the
shroff."  Asked Khalifah, "And what dost thou for him?"; and the
ape answered, "I give him good-morrow at the first of the day,
and he gaineth five ducats; and again at the end of the day, I
give him good-even and he gaineth other five ducats."  Whereupon
Khalifah turned to the first ape and said to him, "See, O
unlucky, what fine apes other folks have!  As for thee, thou
givest me good-morrow with thy one eye and thy lameness and thy
ill-omened phiz and I become poor and bankrupt and hungry!"  So
saying, he took the cattle-stick and flourishing it thrice in the
air, was about to come down with it on the first ape, when Abu
al-Sa'adat's ape said to him, "Let him be, O Khalifah, hold thy
hand and come hither to me, that I may tell thee what to do." So
Khalifah threw down the stick and walking up to him cried, "And
what hast thou to say to me, O monarch of all monkeys?"  Replied
the ape, "Leave me and the other two apes here, and take thy net
and cast it into the river; and whatever cometh up, bring it to
me, and I will tell thee what shall gladden thee."--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-third Night

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the ape
of Abu al-Sa'adat said to Khalifah, "Take thy net and cast it
into the river; and whatever cometh up, bring it to me, and I
will tell thee what shall gladden thee."  He replied, "I hear and
obey," and took the net and gathered it on his shoulder, reciting
these couplets,

"When straitened is my breast I will of my Creator pray, * Who
     may and can the heaviest weight lighten in easiest way;
For ere man's glance can turn or close his eye by God His grace *
     Waxeth the broken whole and yieldeth jail its prison-prey.
Therefore with Allah one and all of thy concerns commit * Whose
     grace and favour men of wit shall nevermore gainsay."

And also these twain,

"Thou art the cause that castest men in ban and bane; * Sorrow
     e'en so and sorrow's cause Thou canst assain:
Make me not covet aught that lies beyond my reach; * How many a
     greedy wight his wish hath failed to gain!"

Now when Khalifah had made an end of his verse, he went down to
the river and casting his net, waited awhile; after which he drew
it up and found therein a fine young fish, [FN#194] with a big
head, a tail like a ladle and eyes like two gold pieces.  When
Khalifah saw this fish, he rejoiced, for he had never in his life
caught its like, so he took it, marvelling, and carried it to the
ape of Abu al-Sa'adat the Jew, as ‘twere he had gotten possession
of the universal world.  Quoth the ape, "O Khalifah, what wilt
thou do with his and with thine ape?"; and quoth the Fisherman,
"I will tell thee, O monarch of monkeys all I am about to do.
Know then that first, I will cast about to make away with yonder
accursed, my ape, and take thee in his stead and give thee every
day to eat of whatso thou wilt."  Rejoined the ape, "Since thou
hast made choice of me, I will tell thee how thou shalt do
wherein, if it please Allah Almighty, shall be the mending of thy
fortune.  Lend thy mind, then, to what I say to thee and ‘tis
this!:  Take another cord and tie me also to a tree, where leave
me and go to the midst of The Dyke [FN#195] and cast thy net into
the Tigris. [FN#196]  Then after waiting awhile, draw it up and
thou shalt find therein a fish, than which thou never sawest a
finer in thy whole life.  Bring it to me and I will tell thee how
thou shalt do after this."  So Khalifah rose forthright and
casting his net into the Tigris, drew up a great cat-fish
[FN#197] the bigness of a lamb; never had he set eyes on its
like, for it was larger than the first fish.  He carried it to
the ape, who said to him, "Gather thee some green grass and set
half of it in a basket; lay the fish therein and cover it with
the other moiety.  Then, leaving us here tied, shoulder the
basket and betake thee to Baghdad.  If any bespeak thee or
question thee by the way, answer him not, but fare on till thou
comest to the market-street of the money-changers, at the upper
end of whereof thou wilt find the shop of Master [FN#198] Abu al-
Sa'adat the Jew, Shaykh of the shroffs, and wilt see him sitting
on a mattress, with a cushion behind him and two coffers, one for
gold and one for silver, before him, while around him stand his
Mamelukes and negro-slaves and servant-lads.  Go up to him and
set the basket before him, saying ‘O Abu al-Sa'adat, verily I
went out to-day to fish and cast my net in thy name and Allah
Almighty sent me this fish.'  He will ask, ‘Hast thou shown it to
any but me?;' and do thou answer, "No, by Allah!'  then will he
take it of thee and give thee a dinar.  Give it back to him and
he will give thee two dinars; but do thou return them also and so
do with everything he may offer thee; and take naught from him,
though he give thee the fish's weight in gold.  Then will he say
to thee, ‘Tell me what thou wouldst have,' and do thou reply, "By
Allah, I will not sell the fish save for two words!'  He will
ask, ‘What are they?' and do thou answer, ‘Stand up and say,
‘Bear witness, O ye who are present in the market, that I give
Khalifah the fisherman my ape in exchange for his ape, and that I
barter for his lot my lot and luck for his luck.'  This is the
price of the fish, and I have no need of gold.'  If he do this, I
will every day give thee good-morrow and good-even, and every day
thou shalt gain ten dinars of good gold; whilst this one-eyed,
lame-legged ape shall daily give the Jew good-morrow, and Allah
shall afflict him every day with an avanie [FN#199] which he must
needs pay, nor will he cease to be thus afflicted till he is
reduced to beggary and hath naught.  Hearken then to my words; so
shalt thou prosper and be guided aright."  Quoth Khalifah, "I
accept thy counsel, O monarch of all the monkeys!  But, as for
this unlucky, may Allah never bless him!  I know not what to do
with him."  Quoth the ape, "Let him go [FN#200] into the water,
and let me go also."  "I hear and obey," answered Khalifah and
unbound the three apes, and they went down into the river.  Then
he took up the cat-fish [FN#201] which he washed then laid it in
the basket upon some green grass, and covered it with other; and
lastly shouldering his load, set out chanting the following
Mawwál, [FN#202]

"Thy case commit to a Heavenly Lord and thou shalt safety see; *
     Act kindly through thy worldly life and live repentance-
Mate not with folk suspected, lest eke thou shouldst suspected be
     * And from reviling keep thy tongue lest men revile at

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

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalifah
the fisherman, after ending his song, set out with the basket
upon his shoulder and ceased not faring till he entered the city
of Baghdad.  And as he threaded the streets the folk knew him and
cried out to him, saying, "What hast thou there, O Khalifah?" but
he paid no heed to them and passed on till he came to the market-
street of the money-changers and fared between the shops, as the
ape had charged him, till he found the Jew seated at the upper
end, with his servants in attendance upon him, as he were a King
of the Kings of Khorason.  He knew him at first sight; so he went
up to him and stood before him, whereupon Abu al-Sa'adat raised
his eyes and recognising him, said, "Welcome, O Khalifah!  What
wantest thou and what is thy need?  If any have missaid thee or
spited thee, tell me and I will go with thee to the Chief of
Police, who shall do thee justice on him."  Replied Khalifah,
"Nay, as thy head liveth, O chief of the Jews, none hath missaid
me.  But I went forth this morning to the river and, casting my
net into the Tigris on thy luck, brought up this fish."
Therewith he opened the basket and threw the fish before the Jew
who admired it and said, "By the Pentateuch and the Ten
Commandments, [FN#203] I dreamt last night that the Virgin came
to me and said, ‘Know, O Abu al-Sa'adat, that I have sent thee a
pretty present!'  and doubtless ‘tis this fish."  Then he turned
to Khalifah and said to him, "By thy faith, hath any seen it but
I?"  Khalifah replied, "No by Allah and by Abu Bakr the
Viridical, [FN#204] none hath seen it save thou, O chief of the
Jews!"  Whereupon the Jew turned to one of his lads and said to
him, "Come, carry this fish to my house and bid Sa'ádah [FN#205]
dress it and fry and broil it, against I make an end of my
business and hie me home."  And Khalifah said, "Go, O my lad; let
the master's wife fry some of it and broil the rest."  Answered
the boy, "I hear and I obey, O my lord" and, taking the fish,
went away with it to the house.  Then the Jew put out his hand
and gave Khalifah the fisherman a dinar, saying, "Take this for
thyself, O Khalifah, and spend it on thy family."  When Khalifah
saw the dinar on his palm, he took it, saying, "Laud to the Lord
of Dominion!" as if he had never seen aught of gold in his life;
and went somewhat away; but, before he had gone far, he was
minded of the ape's charge and turning back threw down the ducat,
saying, "Take thy gold and give folk back their fish!  Dost thou
make a laughing stock of folk?  The Jew hearing this thought he
was jesting and offered him two dinars upon the other, but
Khalifah said, "Give me the fish and no nonsense.  How knewest
thou I would sell it at this price?"  Whereupon the Jew gave him
two more dinars and said, "Take these five ducats for thy fish
and leave greed."  So Khalifah hent the five dinars in hand and
went away, rejoicing, and gazing and marvelling at the gold and
saying, "Glory be to God!  There is not with the Caliph of
Baghdad what is with me this day!"  Then he ceased not faring on
till he came to the end of the market-street, when he remembered
the words of the ape and his charge, and returning to the Jew,
threw him back the gold.  Quoth he, "What aileth thee, O
Khalifah?  Dost thou want silver in exchange for gold?"  Khalifah
replied,  "I want nor dirhams nor dinars.  I only want thee to
give me back folk's fish."  With this the Jew waxed wroth and
shouted out at him, saying, "O fisherman, thou bringest me a fish
not worth a sequin and I give thee five for it; yet art thou not
content!  Art thou Jinn-mad?  Tell me for how much thou wilt sell
it."  Answered Khalifah, "I will not sell it for silver nor for
gold, only for two sayings [FN#206] thou shalt say me."  When the
Jew heard speak of the "Two Sayings," his eyes sank into his
head, he breathed hard and ground his teeth for rage and said to
him, "O nail-paring of the Moslems, wilt thou have me throw off
my faith for the sake of thy fish, and wilt thou debauch me from
my religion and stultify my belief and my conviction which I
inherited of old from my forbears?"  Then he cried out to the
servants who were in waiting and said, "Out on you!  Bash me this
unlucky rogue's neck and bastinado him soundly!"  So they came
down upon him with blows and ceased not beating him till he fell
beneath the shop, and the Jew said to them, "Leave him and let
him rise."  Whereupon Khalifah jumped up, as if naught ailed him,
and the Jew said to him, "Tell me what price thou asketh for this
fish and I will give it thee: for thou hast gotten but scant good
of us this day."  Answered the Fisherman, "Have no fear for me, O
master, because of the beating; for I can eat ten donkeys'
rations of stick."  The Jew laughed at his words and said, "Allah
upon thee, tell me what thou wilt have and by the right of my
Faith, I will give it thee!"  The Fisherman replied, "Naught from
thee will remunerate me for this fish save the two words whereof
I spake."  And the Jew said, "Meseemeth thou wouldst have me
become a Moslem?" [FN#207]  Khalifah rejoined, "By Allah, O Jew,
an thou islamise ‘twill nor advantage the Moslems nor damage the
Jews; and in like manner, an thou hold to thy misbelief ‘twill
nor damage the Moslems nor advantage the Jews.  But what I desire
of thee is that thou rise to thy feet and say, ‘Bear witness
against me, O people of the market, that I barter my ape for the
ape of Khalifah the Fisherman and my lot in the world for his lot
and my luck for his luck.'"  Quoth the Jew, "If this be all thou
desirest ‘twill sit lightly upon me."  --And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jew
said to Khalifah the Fisherman, "If this be all thou desirest,
‘twill sit lightly upon me."  So he rose without stay or delay
and standing on his feet, repeated the required words; after
which he turned to the Fisherman and asked him, "Hast thou aught
else to ask of me?"  "No," answered he, and the Jew said, "Go in
peace!"  Hearing this Khalifah sprung to his feet forthright;
took up his basket and net and returned straight to the Tigris,
where he threw his net and pulled it in.  He found it heavy and
brought it not ashore but with travail, when he found it full of
fish of all kinds.  Presently, up came a woman with a dish, who
gave me a dinar, and he gave her fish for it; and after her an
eunuch, who also bought a dinar's worth of fish, and so forth
till he had sold ten dinars' worth.  And he continued to sell ten
dinars' worth of fish daily for ten days, till he had gotten an
hundred dinars.  Now Khalifah the Fisherman had quarters in the
Passage of the Merchants, [FN#208] and, as he lay one night in
his lodging much bemused with Hashish, he said to himself, "O
Khalifah, the folk all know thee for a poor fisherman, and now
thou hast gotten an hundred golden dinars.  Needs must the
Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, hear of this from
some one, and haply he will be wanting money and will send for
thee and say to thee, ‘I need a sum of money and it hath reached
me that thou hast an hundred dinars: so do thou lend them to me
those same.'  I shall answer, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, I am
a poor man, and whoso told thee that I had an hundred dinars lied
against me; for I have naught of this.'  Thereupon he will commit
me to the Chief of Police, saying, "Strip him of his clothes and
torment him with the bastinado till he confess and give up the
hundred dinars in his possession.  Wherefore, meseemeth to
provide against this predicament, the best thing I can do, is to
rise forthright and bash myself with the whip, so to use myself
to beating."  And his Hashish [FN#209] said to him, "Rise, doff
thy dress."  So he stood up and putting off his clothes, took a
whip he had by him and set handy a leathern pillow; then he fell
to lashing himself, laying every other blow upon the pillow and
roaring out the while, "Alas! Alas! By Allah, ‘tis a false
saying, O my lord, and they have lied against me; for I am a poor
fisherman and have naught of the goods of the world!"  The noise
of the whip falling on the pillow and on his person resounded in
the still of night and the folk heard it, and amongst others the
merchants, and they said, "Whatever can ail the poor fellow, that
he crieth and we hear the noise of blows falling on him?"
‘Twould seem robbers have broken in upon him and are tormenting
him."  Presently they all came forth of their lodgings, at the
noise of the blows and the crying, and repaired to Khalifah's
room, but they found the door locked and said one to other,
"Belike the robbers have come in upon him from the back of the
adjoining saloon.  It behoveth us to climb over by the roofs."
So they clomb over the roofs and coming down through the sky-
light, [FN#210] saw him naked and flogging himself and asked him,
"What aileth thee, O Khalifah?"  He answered, "Know, O folk, that
I have gained some dinars and fear lest my case be carried up to
the Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid, and he send for me
and demand of me those same gold pieces; where upon I should
deny, and I fear that, if I deny, he will torture me, so I am
torturing myself, by way of accustoming me to what may come."
The merchants laughed at him and said, "Leave this fooling, may
Allah not bless thee and the dinars thou hast gotten!  Verily
thou hast disturbed us this night and hast troubled our hearts."
So Khalifah left flogging himself and slept till the morning,
when he rose and would have gone about his business, but
bethought him of his hundred dinars and said in his mind, "An I
leave them at home, thieves will steal them, and if I put them in
a belt [FN#211] about my waist, peradventure some one will see me
and lay in wait for me till he come upon me in some lonely place
and slay me and take the money: but I have a device that should
serve me well, right well."  So he jumped up forthright and made
him a pocket in the collar of his gaberdine and tying the hundred
dinars up in a purse, laid them in the collar-pocket.  Then he
took his net and basket and staff and went down to the Tigris, --
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalifah
the Fisherman, having set his hundred dinars in the collar-pocket
took basket, staff and net and went down to the Tigris, where he
made a cast but brought up naught.  So he removed from that place
to another and threw again, but once more the net came up empty;
and he went on removing from place to place till he had gone half
a day's journey from the city, ever casting the net which kept
bringing up naught.  So he said to himself, "By Allah, I will
throw my net a-stream but his once more, whether ill come of it
or weal!" [FN#212]  Then he hurled the net with all his force, of
the excess and his wrath and the purse with the hundred dinars
flew out of his collar-pocket and, lighting in mid-stream, was
carried away by the strong current; whereupon he threw down the
net and plunged into the water after the purse.  He dived for it
nigh a hundred times, till his strength was exhausted and he came
up for sheer fatigue without chancing on it.  When he despaired
of finding the purse, he returned to the shore, where he was
nothing but staff, net and basket and sought for his clothes, but
could light on no trace of them: so he said in himself, "O vilest
of those wherefor was made the byword, ‘The pilgrimage is not
perfected save by copulation with the camel!" [FN#213]  Then he
wrapped the net about him and taking staff in one hand and basket
in other, went trotting about like a camel in rut, running right
and left and backwards and forwards, dishevelled and dusty, as he
were a rebel Marid let loose from Solomon's prison. [FN#214]  So
far for what concerns the Fisherman Khalifah; but as regards the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid, he had a friend, a jeweller called Ibn
al-Kirnás, [FN#215] and all the traders, brokers and middle-men
knew him for the Caliph's merchant; wherefore there was naught
sold in Baghdad, by way of rarities and things of price or
Mamelukes or handmaidens, but was first shown to him.  As he sat
one day in his shop, behold, there came up to him the Shaykh of
the brokers, with a slave-girl, whose like seers never saw, for
she was of passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and perfect
grace, and among her gifts was that she knew all arts and
sciences and could make verses and play upon all manner musical
instruments.  So Ibn al-Kirnas bought her for five thousand
golden dinars and clothed her with other thousand; after which he
carried her to the Prince of True Believers, with whom she lay
the night and who made trial of her in every kind of knowledge
and accomplishment and found her versed in all sorts of arts and
sciences, having no equal in her time.  Her name was Kút al-Kulúb
[FN#216] and she was even as saith the poet,

"I fix my glance on her, whene'er she wends; * And non-acceptance
     of my glance breeds pain:
She favours graceful-necked gazelle at gaze; * And ‘Graceful as
     gazelle' to say we're fain."

And where is this [FN#217] beside the saying of another?

"Give me brunettes; the Syrian spears, so limber and so straight,
     Tell of the slender dusky maids, so lithe and proud of gait.
Languid of eyelids, with a down like silk upon her cheek, Within
     her wasting lover's heart she queens it still in state."

On the morrow the Caliph sent for Ibn al-Kirnas the Jeweller, and
bade him receive ten thousand dinars as to her price.  And his
heart was taken up with the slave-girl Kut al-Kulub and he
forsook the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, for all she was the
daughter of his father's brother [FN#218] and he abandoned all
his favorite concubines and abode a whole month without stirring
from Kut al-Kulub's side save to go to the Friday prayers and
return to her in all haste.  This was grievous to the Lords of
the Realm and they complained thereof to the Wazir Ja'afar the
Barmecide, who bore with the Commander of the Faithful and waited
till the next Friday, when he entered the cathedral-mosque and,
foregathering with the Caliph, related to him all that occurred
to him of extra-ordinary stories anent seld-seen love and lovers,
with intent to draw out what was in his mind.  Quoth the Caliph,
"By Allah, O Ja'afar, this is not of my choice; but my heart is
caught in the snare of love and wot I not what is to be done!"
The Wazir Ja'afar replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, thou
knowest how this girl Kut al-Kulub is become at thy disposal and
of the number of thy servants, and that which hand possesseth
soul coveteth not.  Moreover, I will tell thee another thing
which is that the highest boast of Kings and Princes is in
hunting and the pursuit of sport and victory; and if thou apply
thyself to this, perchance it will divert thee from her, and it
may be thou wilt forget her."  Rejoined the Caliph, "Thou sayest
well, O Ja'afar; come let us go a-hunting forthright, without
stay or delay."  So soon as Friday prayers were prayed, they left
the mosque and at once mounting their she-mules rode forth to the
chase. --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Caliph Harun al-Rashid and the Wazir Ja'afar would go forth
a-hunting and a-chasing, they mounted two she-mules and fared on
into the open country, occupied with talk, and their attendants
outwent them.  Presently the heat became overhot and Al-Rashid
said to his Wazir, "O Ja'afar, I am sore athirst."  Then he
looked around and espying a figure in the distance on a high
mound, asked Ja'afar, "Seest thou what I see?"  Answered the
Wazir, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful; I see a dim figure on a
high mound; belike he is the keeper of a garden or of a cucumber-
plot, and in whatso wise water will not be lacking in his
neighborhood;" presently adding, "I will go to him and fetch thee
some."  But Al-Rashid said, "My mule is swifter than thy mule; so
do thou abide here, on account of the troops, whilst I go myself
to him and get of this person [FN#219] drink and return."  So
saying, he urged his she-mule, which started off like racing wind
or railing-water and, in the twinkling of an eye, made the mound,
where he found the figure he had seen to be none other than
Khalifah the Fisherman, naked and wrapped in the net; and indeed
he was horrible to behold, as to and fro he rolled with eyes for
very redness like cresset-gleam and dusty hair in dishevelled
trim, as he were an Ifrit or a lion grim.  Al-Rashid saluted him
and he returned his salutation; but he was wroth and fires might
have been lit at his breath.  Quoth the Caliph, "O man, hast thou
any water?"; and quoth Khalifah, "Ho thou, art thou blind, or
Jinn-mad?  Get thee to the river Tigris, for ‘tis behind this
mound."  So Al-Rashid went around the mound and going down to the
river, drank and watered his mule: then without a moment's delay
he returned to Khalifah and said to him, "What aileth thee, O
man, to stand here, and what is thy calling?" The Fisherman
cried, "This is a stranger and sillier question than that about
the water!  Seest thou not the gear of my craft on my shoulder?"
Said the Caliph, "Belike thou art a fisherman?"; and he replied,
"Yes."  Asked Al-Rashid, "Where is thy gaberdine, [FN#220] and
where are thy waistcloth and girdle and where be the rest of thy
raiment?"  Now these were the very things which had been taken
from Khalifah, like for like; so, when he heard the Caliph name
them, he got into his head that it was he who had stolen his
clothes from the river-bank and coming down from the top of the
mound, swiftlier than the blinding leven, laid hold of the mule's
bridle, saying, "Harkye, man, bring me back my things and leave
jesting and joking."  Al-Rashid replied, "By Allah, I have not
seen thy clothes nor know aught of them!"  Now the Caliph had
large cheeks and a small mouth; [FN#221] so Khalifah said to him,
"Belike, thou art by trade a singer or a piper on pipes?  But
bring me back my clothes fairly and without more ado, or I will
bash thee with this my staff till thou bepiss thyself and befoul
they clothes."  When Al-Rashid saw the staff in the Fisherman's
hand and that he had the vantage of him, he said to himself, "By
Allah, I cannot brook from this mad beggar half a blow of that
staff!"  Now he had on a satin gown; so he pulled it off and gave
it to Khalifah, saying, "O man, take this in place of thy
clothes." The Fisherman took it and turned it about and said, "My
clothes are worth ten of this painted 'Abá-cloak;" and rejoined
the Caliph, "Put it on till I bring thee thy gear."  So Khalifah
donned the gown, but finding it too long for him, took a knife he
had with him, tied to the handle of his basket, [FN#222] and cut
off nigh a third of the skirt, so that it fell only beneath his
knees.  Then he turned to Al-Rashid and said to him, "Allah upon
thee, O piper, tell me what wage thou gettest every month from
thy master, for thy craft of piping."  Replied the Caliph, "My
wage is ten dinars a month," and Khalifah continued, "By Allah,
my poor fellow, thou makest me sorry for thee!  Why, I make thy
ten dinars every day!  hast thou a mind to take service with me
and I will teach thee the art of fishing and share my gain with
thee?  So shalt thou make five dinars a day and be my slavey and
I will protect thee against thy master with this staff."  Quoth
Al-Rashid, "I will well"; and quoth Khalifah, "Then get off thy
she-ass and tie her up, so she may serve us to carry the fish
hereafter, and come hither, that I may teach thee to fish
forthright."  So Al-Rashid alighted and hobbling his mule, tucked
his skirts into his girdle, and Khalifah said to him, "O piper,
lay hold of the net thus and put it over thy forearm thus and
cast it into the Tigris thus."  Accordingly, the Caliph took
heart of grace and, doing as the fisherman showed him, threw the
net and pulled at it, but could not draw it up.  So Khalifah came
to his aid and tugged at it with him; but the two together could
not hale it up: where upon said the fisherman, "O piper of ill-
omen, for the first time I took thy gown in place of my clothes;
but this second time I will have thine ass and will beat thee to
boot, till thou bepiss and beskite thyself!  An I find my net
torn."  Quoth Al-Rashid, "Let the twain of us pull at once."  So
they both pulled together and succeeded with difficulty in
hauling that net ashore, when they found it full of fish of all
kinds and colours;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Khalifah the Fisherman and the Caliph hauled that net ashore,
they found it full of fish of all kinds; and Khalifah said to Al-
Rashid, "By Allah, O piper, thou art foul of favor but, an thou
apply thyself to fishing, thou wilt make a mighty fine fisherman.
But now 'twere best thou bestraddle thine ass and make for the
market and fetch me a pair of frails, [FN#223] and I will look
after the fish till thou return, when I and thou will load it on
thine ass's back.  I have scales and weights and all we want, so
we can take them with us and thou wilt have nothing to do but to
hold the scales and pouch the price; for here we have fish worth
twenty dinars.  So be fast with the frails and loiter not."
Answered the Caliph, "I hear and obey" and mounting, left him
with his fish, and spurred his mule, in high good humour, and
ceased not laughing over his adventures with the Fisherman, till
he came up to Ja'afar, who said to him, "O Commander of the
Faithful, belike, when thou wentest down to drink, thou found a
pleasant flower-garden and enteredst and tookest thy pleasure
therein alone?"  At this Al-Rashid fell a laughing again and all
the Barmecides rose and kissed the ground before him, saying, "O
Commander of the Faithful, Allah make joy to endure for thee and
do away annoy from thee!  What was the cause of thy delaying when
thou faredst to drink and what hath befallen thee?"  Quoth the
Caliph, "Verily, a right wonderous tale and a joyous adventure
and a wonderous hath befallen me."  And he repeated to them what
had passed between himself and the Fisherman and his words, "Thou
stolest my clothes!" and how he had given him his gown and how he
had cut off a part of it, finding it too long for him.  Said
Ja'afar, "By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I had it in mind
to beg the gown of thee; but now I will go straight to the
Fisherman and buy it of him."  The Caliph replied, "By Allah, he
hath cut off a third part of the skirt and spoilt it!  But, O
Ja'afar, I am tired with fishing in the river, for I have caught
great store of fish which I left on the bank with my master
Khalifah, and he is watching them and waiting for me to return to
him with a couple of frails and a matchet. [FN#224]  Then we are
to go, I and he, to the market and sell the fish and share the
price."  Ja'afar rejoined, "O Commander of the Faithful, I will
bring you a purchaser for your fish."  And Al-Rashid retorted, "O
Ja'afar, by the virtue of my holy forefathers, whoso bringeth me
one of the fish that are before Khalifah, who taught me angling,
I will give him for it a gold dinar."  So the crier proclaimed
among the troops that they should go forth and buy fish for the
Caliph, and they all arose and made for the river-side.  Now,
while Khalifah was expecting the Caliph's return with the two
frails, behold, the Mamelukes swooped down upon him like vultures
and took the fish and wrapped them in gold-embroidered kerchiefs,
beating one another in their eagerness to get at the Fisherman.
Whereupon quoth Khalifah, "Doubtless these are of the fish of
Paradise!" [FN#225] and hending two fish in right hand and left,
plunged into the water up to his neck and fell a-saying, "O
Allah, by the virtue of these fish, let Thy servant the piper, my
partner, come to me at this very moment."  And suddenly up to him
came a black slave which was the chief of the Caliph's negro
eunuchs.  He had tarried behind the rest, by reason of his horse
having stopped to make water by the way, and finding that naught
remained of the fish, little or much, looked right and left, till
he espied Khalifah standing in the stream, with a fish in either
hand, and said to him, "Come hither, O Fisherman!"  But Khalifah
replied, "Begone and none of your impudence!" [FN#226]  So the
eunuch went up to him and said, "Give me the fish and I will pay
thee their price."  Replied the Fisherman, "Art thou little of
wit?  I will not sell them."  Therewith the eunuch drew his mace
upon him, and Khalifah cried out, saying, "Strike not, O loon!
Better largesse than the mace." [FN#227]  So saying, he threw the
two fishes to the eunuch, who took them and laid them in his
kerchief.  Then he put hand in pouch, but found not a single
dirham and said to Khalifah, "O Fisherman, verily thou art out of
luck for, by Allah, I have not a silver about me!  But come to-
morrow to the Palace of the Caliphate and ask for the eunuch
Sandal; whereupon the castratos will direct thee to me and by
coming thither thou shalt get what falleth to thy lot and
therewith wend thy ways."  Quoth Khalifah, "Indeed, this is a
blessed day and its blessedness was manifest from the first of
it!"[FN#228] Then he shouldered his net and returned to Baghdad;
and as he passed through the streets, the folk saw the Caliph's
gown on him and stared at him till he came to the gate of his
quarter, by which was the shop of the Caliph's tailor.  When the
man saw him wearing a dress of the apparel of the Caliph, worth a
thousand dinars, he said to him, "O Khalifah, whence hadst thou
that gown?"  Replied the Fisherman, "What aileth thee to be
impudent?  I had it of one whom I taught to fish and who is
become my apprentice. O forgave him the cutting off of his hand
[FN#229] for that he stole my clothes and gave me this cape in
their place."  So the tailor knew that the Caliph had come upon
him as he was fishing and jested with him and given him the
gown;--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She resume, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Caliph came upon Khalifah the Fisherman and gave him his own gown
in jest wherewith the man fared home.  Such was his case; but as
regards Harun al-Rashid, he had gone out a-hunting and a-fishing
only to divert his thoughts from the damsel, Kut al-Kulub.  But
when Zubaydah heard of her and of the Caliph's devotion to her,
the Lady was fired with the jealousy which the more especially
fireth women, so that she refused meat and drink and rejected the
delights of sleep and awaited the Caliph's going forth on a
journey or what not, that she might set a snare for the damsel.
So when she learnt that he was gone hunting and fishing, she bade
her women furnish the Palace fairly and decorate it splendidly
and serve up viands and confections; and amongst the rest she
made a China dish of the daintiest sweetmeats that can be made
wherein she had put Bhang.  Then she ordered one of her eunuchs
go to the damsel Kut al-Kulub and bid her to the banquet, saying,
"The Lady Zubaydah bint Al-Kasim, the wife of the Commander of
the Faithful, hath drunken medicine to-day and, having heard tell
of the sweetness of thy singing, longeth to divert herself
somewhat of thine art."  Kut al-Kulub replied, "Hearing and
obedience are due to Allah and the Lady Zubaydah," and rose
without stay or delay, unknowing what was hidden for her in the
Secret Purpose.  Then she took with her what instruments she
needed and, accompanying the eunuch, ceased not fairing till she
stood in the presence of the Princess.  When she entered she
kissed ground before her again and again, then rising to her
feet, said, "Peace be on the Lady of the exalted house Abbasi and
scion of the Prophet's family!  May Allah fulfil thee of peace
and prosperity in the days and the years!" [FN#230] Then she
stood with the rest of the women and eunuchs, and presently the
Lady Zubaydah raised her eyes and considered her beauty and
loveliness.  She saw a damsel with cheeks smooth as rose and
breasts like granado, a face moon-bright, a brow flower-white and
great eyes black as night; her eyelids were langour-dight and her
face beamed with light, as if the sun from her forehead arose and
the murks of the night from the locks of her brow; and the
fragrance of musk from her breath strayed and flowers bloomed in
her lovely face inlaid; the moon beamed from her forehead and in
her slender shape the branches swayed.  She was like the full
moon shining in the nightly shade; her eyes wantoned, her
eyebrows were like a bow arched and her lips of coral moulded.
Her beauty amazed all who espied her and her glances amated all
who eyed her.  Glory be to Him who formed her and fashioned her
and perfected her!  Brief, she was even as saith the poet of one
who favoured her,

"When she's incensed thou seest folk like slain, * And when she's
     pleased, their souls are quick again:
Her eyne are armed with glances magical * Wherewith she kills and
     quickens as she's fain.
The Worlds she leadeth captive with her eyes * As tho' the Worlds
     were all her slavish train."

Quoth the Lady Zubaydah, "Well come, and welcome and fair cheer
to thee, O Kut al-Kulub!  Sit and divert us with thine art and
the goodliness of thine accomplishments."  Quoth the damsel, "I
hear and I obey"; and, putting out her hand, took the tambourine,
whereof one of its praisers speaketh in the following verses,

"Ho thou o' the tabret, my heart takes flight * And love-smit
     cries while thy fingers smite!
Thou takest naught but a wounded heart, * The while for
     acceptance longs the wight:
So say thou word or heavy or light; * Play whate'er thou please
     it will charm the sprite.
Sois bonne, unveil thy cheek, ma belle * Rise, deftly dance and
     all hearts delight."

Then she smote the tambourine briskly and so sang thereto, that
she stopped the birds in the sky and the place danced with them
blithely; after which she laid down the tambourine and took the
pipe [FN#231] whereof it is said,

"She hath eyes whose babes wi' their fingers sign * To sweet
     tunes without a discordant line."

And as the poet also said in this couplet,

"And, when she announceth the will to sing, * For Union-joy 'tis
     a time divine!"

Then she laid down the pipe, after she had charmed therewith all
who were present, and took up the lute, whereof saith the poet,

"How many a blooming bough in the glee-girl's hand is fain * as
     lute to 'witch great souls by charm of cunning strain!
She sweeps tormenting lute strings by her artful touch * Wi'
     finger-tips that surely chain with endless chain."

Then she tightened its pegs and tuned its strings and laying it
in her lap, bended over it as mother bendeth over child; and it
seemed as it were of her and her lute that the poet spoke in
these couplets,

"Sweetly discourses she on Persian string * And Unintelligence
     makes understand.
And teaches she that Love's a murtherer, * Who oft the reasoning
     Moslem hath unmann'd.
A maid, by Allah, in whose palm a thing * Of painted wood like
     mouth can speech command.
With lute she stauncheth flow of Love; and so * Stops flow of
     blood the cunning leach's hand."

Then she preluded in fourteen different modes and sang to the
lute an entire piece, so as to confound the gazers and delight
her hearers.  After which she recited these two couplets,

"The coming unto thee is blest: * Therein new joys for aye
Its blisses are continuous * Its blessings never end."

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

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the maiden,
Kut al-Kulub, after singing these songs and sweeping the strings
in presence of the Lady Zubaydah, rose and exhibited tricks of
sleight of hand and legerdemain and all manner pleasing arts,
till the Princess came near to fall in love with her and said to
herself, "Verily, my cousin Al-Rashid is not to blame for loving
her!"  Then the damsel kissed ground before Zubaydah and sat
down, whereupon they set food before her.  Presently they brought
her the drugged dish of sweetmeats and she ate thereof; and
hardly had it settled in her stomach when her head fell backward
and she sank on the ground sleeping.  With this, the Lady said to
her women, "Carry her up to one of the chambers, till I summon
her"; and they replied, "We hear and we obey."  Then said she to
one of her eunuchs, "Fashion me a chest and bring it hitherto to
me!", and shortly afterwards she bade make the semblance of a
tomb and spread the report that Kut al-Kulub had choked and died,
threatening her familiars that she would smite the neck of
whoever should say, "She is alive."  Now, behold, the Caliph
suddenly returned from the chase, and the first enquiry he made
was for the damsel.  So there came to him one of his eunuchs,
whom the Lady Zubaydah had charged to declare she was dead, if
the Caliph should ask for her and, kissing ground before him,
said, "May thy head live, O my lord!  Be certified that Kut al-
Kulub choked in eating and is dead."  Whereupon cried Al-Rashid,
"God never gladden thee with good news, O thou bad slave!" and
entered the Palace, where he heard of her death from every one
and asked, "Where is her tomb?"  So they brought him to the
sepulchre and showed him the pretended tomb, saying, "This is her
burial-place."  When he saw it, he cried out and wept and
embraced it, quoting these two couplets, [FN#232]

"By Allah, O tomb, have her beauties ceased and disappeared from
     sight * And is the countenance changed and wan, that shone
     so wonder-bright?
O tomb, O tomb, thou art neither heaven nor garden, verily: * How
     comes it then that swaying branch and moon in thee unite?

The Caliph, weeping sore for her, abode by the tomb a full hour,
after which he arose and went away, in the utmost distress and
the deepest melancholy.  So the Lady Zubaydah saw that her plot
had succeeded and forthright sent for the eunuch and said,
"Hither with the chest!"  He set it before her, when she bade
bring the damsel and locking her up therein, said to the Eunuch,
"Take all pains to sell this chest and make it a condition with
the purchaser that he buy it locked; then give alms with its
price." [FN#233]  So he took it and went forth, to do her
bidding.  Thus fared it with these; but as for Khalifah the
Fisherman, when morning morrowed and shone with its light and
sheen, he said to himself, "I cannot do aught better to-day than
visit the Eunuch who bought the fish of me, for he appointed me
to come to him in the Palace of the Caliphate."  So he went forth
of his lodging, intending for the palace, and when he came
thither, he found Mamelukes, negro-slaves and eunuchs standing
and sitting; and looking at them, behold, seated amongst them was
the Eunuch who had taken the fish of him, with the white slaves
waiting on him.  Presently, one of the Mameluke-lads called out
to him; whereupon the Eunuch turned to see who he was an lo! it
was the Fisherman.  Now when Khalifah was ware that he saw him
and recognized him, he said to him, "I have not failed thee, O my
little Tulip! [FN#234]  On this wise are men of their word."
Hearing his address, Sandal the Eunuch [FN#235] laughed and
replied, "By Allah, thou art right, O Fisherman," and put his
hand to his pouch, to give him somewhat; but at that moment there
arose a great clamour.  So he raised his head to see what was to
do and finding that it was the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide coming
forth from the Caliph's presence, he rose to him and forewent
him, and they walked about, conversing for a longsome time.
Khalifah the Fisherman waited awhile; then, growing weary of
standing and finding that the Eunuch took no heed of him, he set
himself in his way and beckoned to him from afar, saying, "O my
lord Tulip, give me my due and let me go!"  The Eunuch heard him,
but was ashamed to answer him because of the minister's presence;
so he went on talking with Ja'afar and took no notice whatever of
the Fisherman.  Whereupon quoth Khalifah, "O Slow o' Pay!
[FN#236]  May Allah put to shame all churls and all who take
folks's goods and are niggardly with them!  I put myself under
thy protection, O my lord Bran-belly, [FN#237] to give me my due
and let me go!"  The Eunuch heard him, but was ashamed to answer
him before Ja'afar; and the Minister saw the Fisherman beckoning
and talking to him, though he knew not what he was saying; so he
said to Sandal, misliking his behaviour, "O Eunuch, what would
yonder beggar with thee?"  Sandal replied, "Dost thou not know
him, O my lord the Wazir?"; and Ja'afar answered, "By Allah, I
know him not!  How should I know a man I have never seen but at
this moment?"  Rejoined the Eunuch, "O my lord, this is the
Fisherman whose fish we seized on the banks of the Tigris.  I
came too late to get any and was ashamed to return to the Prince
of True Believers, empty-handed, when all the Mamelukes had some.
Presently I espied the Fisherman standing in mid-stream, calling
on Allah, with four fishes in his hands, and said to him, ‘Give
me what thou hast there and take their worth.'  He handed me the
fish and I put my hand into my pocket, purposing to gift him with
somewhat, but found naught therein and said, ‘Come to me in the
Palace, and I will give thee wherewithal to aid thee in thy
poverty.  So he came to me to-day and I was putting hand to
pouch, that I might give him somewhat, when thou camest forth and
I rose to wait on thee and was diverted with thee from him, till
he grew tired of waiting and this is the whole story, how he
cometh to be standing here." --And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Sandal the Eunuch related to Ja'afar the Barmecide the tale of
Khalifah the Fisherman, ending with, "This is the whole story and
how he cometh to be standing here!" the Wazir, hearing this
account, smiled and said, "O Eunuch, how is it that this
Fisherman cometh in his hour of need and thou satisfiest him not?
Dost thou not know him, O Chief of the Eunuchs?"  "No," answered
Sandal and Ja'afar said, "This is the Master of the Commander of
the Faithful, and his partner and our lord the Caliph has arisen
this morning, strait of breast, heavy of heart and troubled of
thought, nor is there aught will broaden his breast save this
fisherman.  So let him not go, till I crave the Caliph's pleasure
concerning him and bring him before him; perchance Allah will
relieve him of his oppression and console him for the loss of Kut
al-Kulub, by means of the Fisherman's presence, and he will give
him wherewithal to better himself; and thou wilt be the cause of
this."  Replied Sandal, "O my lord, do as thou wilt and may Allah
Almighty long continue thee a pillar of the dynasty of the
Commander of the Faithful, whose shadow Allah perpetuate [FN#238]
and prosper it, root and branch!"  Then the Wazir Ja'afar rose up
and went in to the Caliph, and Sandal ordered the Mamelukes not
to leave the Fisherman; whereupon Khalifah cried, "How goodly is
thy bounty, O Tulip! The seeker is become the sought.  I come to
seek my due, and they imprison me for debts in arrears!" [FN#239]
When Ja'afar came in to the presence of the Caliph, he found him
sitting with his head bowed earthwards, breast straitened and
mind melancholy, humming the verses of the poet,

"My blamers instant bid that I for her become consoled; * But I,
     what can I do, whose heart declines to be controlled?
And how can I in patience bear the loss of lovely maid, * When
     fails me patience for a love that holds with firmest hold!
Ne'er I'll forget her nor the bowl that 'twixt us both went round
     * And wine of glances maddened me with drunkenness

Whenas Ja'afar stood in the presence, he said, "Peace be upon
thee, O Commander of the Faithful, Defender of the honour of the
Faith and descendant of the uncle of the Prince of the Apostles,
Allah assain him and save him and his family one and all!"  The
Caliph raised his head and answered, "And on thee be peace and
the mercy of Allah and His blessings!"  Quoth Ja'afar; "With
leave of the Prince of True Believers, his servant would speak
without restraint."  Asked the Caliph, "And when was restraint
put upon thee in speech and thou the Prince of Wazirs?  Say what
thou wilt."  Answered Ja'afar, "When I went out, O my lord, from
before thee, intending for my house, I saw standing at the door
thy master and teacher and partner, Khalifah the Fisherman, who
was aggrieved at thee and complained of thee saying, ‘Glory be to
God!  I taught him to fish and he went away to fetch me a pair of
frails, but never came back: and this is not the way of a good
partner or of a good apprentice.'  So, if thou hast a mind to
partnership, well and good; and if not, tell him, that he may
take to partner another."  Now when the Caliph heard these words
he smiled and his straitness of breast was done away with and he
said, "My life on thee, is this the truth thou sayest, that the
Fisherman standeth at the door?" and Ja'afar replied, "By thy
life, O Commander of the Faithful, he standeth at the door."
Quoth the Caliph, "O Ja'afar, by Allah, I will assuredly do my
best to give him his due!  If Allah at my hands send him misery,
he shall have it; and if prosperity he shall have it."  Then he
took a piece of paper and cutting it in pieces, said to the
Wazir, "O Ja'afar, write down with thine own hand twenty sums of
money, from one dinar to a thousand, and the names of all kinds
of offices and dignitaries from the least appointment to the
Caliphate; also twenty kinds of punishment from the lightest
beating to death." [FN#240]  "I hear and obey, O Commander of the
Faithful," answered Ja'afar, and did as he was bidden.  Then said
the Caliph, "O Ja'afar, I swear by my holy forefathers and by my
kinship to Hamzah [FN#241] and Akil, [FN#242] that I mean to
summon the fisherman and bid him take one of these papers, whose
contents none knowesth save thou and I; and whatsoever is written
in the paper which he shall choose, I will give it to him; though
it be the Caliphate I will divest myself thereof and invest him
therewith and grudge it not to him; and, on the other hand, if
there be written therein hanging or mutilation or death, I will
execute it upon him.  Now go and fetch him to me."  When Ja'afar
heard this, he said to himself, "There is no Majesty and there is
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!  It may be
somewhat will fall to this poor wretch's lot that will bring
about his destruction, and I shall be the cause.  But the Caliph
hath sworn; so nothing remains now but to bring him in, and
naught will happen save whatso Allah willeth."  Accordingly he
went out to Khalifah the Fisherman and laid hold of his hand to
carry him in to the Caliph, whereupon his reason fled and he said
in himself, "What a stupid I was to come after yonder ill-omened
slave, Tulip, whereby he hath brought me in company with Bran-
belly!"  Ja'afar fared on with him, with Mamelukes before and
behind, whilst he said, "Doth not arrest suffice, but these must
go behind and before me, to hinder my making off?" till they had
traversed seven vestibules, when the Wazir said to him, "Mark my
words, O Fisherman!  Thou standest before the Commander of the
Faithful and Defender of the Faith!"  Then he raised the great
curtain and Khalifah's eyes fell on the Caliph, who was seated on
his couch, with the Lords of the realm standing in attendance
upon him.  As soon as he knew him, he went up to him and said,
"Well come, and welcome to thee, O piper! ‘Twas not right of thee
to make thyself a Fisherman and go away, leaving me sitting to
guard the fish, and never to return!  For, before I was aware,
there came up Mamelukes on beasts of all manner colours, and
snatched away the fish from me, I standing alone, and this was
all of thy fault; for, hadst thou returned with the frails
forthright, we had sold an hundred dinars' worth of fish.  And
now I come to seek my due, and they have arrested me but thou,
who hath imprisoned thee also in this place?"  The Caliph smiled
and raising a corner of the curtain, put forth his head and said
to the Fisherman, "Come hither and take thee one of these
papers."  Quoth Khalifah the Fisherman, "Yesterday thou wast a
fisherman, and to-day thou hast become an astrologer; but the
more trades a man hath, the poorer he waxeth."  Thereupon,
Ja'afar, said, "Take the paper at once, and do as the Commander
of the Faithful biddeth thee without prating."  So he came
forward and put forth his hand saying, "Far be it from me that
this piper should ever again be my knave and fish with me!"  Then
taking the paper he handed it to the Caliph, saying, "O piper,
what hath come out for me therein? Hide naught thereof."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Khalifah the Fisherman took up one of the papers and handed it to
the Caliph he said, "O piper, what have come out to me therein?
Hide naught thereof."  So Al-Rashid received it and passed it on
to Ja'afar and said to him, "Read what is therein."  He looked at
it and said, "There is no Majesty there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"  Said the Caliph, "Good news,
[FN#243] O Ja'afar?  What seest thou therein?"  Answered the
Wazir, "O Commander of the Faithful, there came up from the
paper, ‘Let the Fisherman receive an hundred blows with a
stick.'"  So the Caliph commanded to beat the Fisherman and they
gave him an hundred sticks: after which he arose, saying, "Allah
damn this, O Bran-belly!  Are jail and sticks part of the game?"
Then said Ja'afar, "O Commander of the Faithful, this poor devil
is come to the river, and how shall he go away thirsting?  We
hope that among the alms-deeds of the Commander of the Faithful,
he may have leave to take another paper, so haply somewhat may
come out wherewithal he may succor his poverty." Said the Caliph,
"By Allah, O Ja'afar, if he take another paper and death be
written therein, I will assuredly kill him, and thou wilt be the
cause."  Answered Ja'afar, "If he die he will be at rest."  But
Khalifah the Fisherman said to him, "Allah ne'er gladden thee
with good news!  Have I made Baghdad strait upon you, that ye
seek to slay me?"  Quoth Ja'afar, "Take thee a paper and crave
the blessing of Allah Almighty!"  So he put out his hand and
taking a paper, gave it to Ja'afar, who read it and was silent.
The Caliph asked, "Why art thou silent, O son of Yahya?"; and he
answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, there hath come out on
this paper, ‘Naught shall be given to the Fisherman.'"  Then said
the Caliph, "His daily bread will not come from us: bid him fare
forth from before our face."  Quoth Ja'afar, "By the claims of
thy pious forefathers, let him take a third paper, it may be it
will bring him alimony;" and quoth the Caliph, "Let him take one
and no more."  So he put out his hand and took a third paper, and
behold, therein was written, "Let the Fisherman be given one
dinar."  Ja'afar cried to him, "I sought good fortune for thee,
but Allah willed not to thee aught save this dinar."  And
Khalifah answered, "Verily, a dinar for every hundred sticks were
rare good luck, may Allah not send thy body health!"  The Caliph
laughed at him and Ja'afar took him by the hand and led him out.
When he reached the door, Sandal the eunuch saw him and said to
him, "Hither, O Fisherman!  Give us portion of that which the
Commander of the Faithful hath bestowed on thee, whilst jesting
with thee."  Replied Khalifah, "By Allah, O Tulip, thou art
right!  Wilt share with me, O nigger?  Indeed I have eaten stick
to the tune of an hundred blows and have earned one dinar, and
thou art but too welcome to it."  So saying, he threw him the
dinar and went out, with the tears flowing down the plain of his
cheeks.  When the eunuch saw him in this plight, he knew that he
had spoken sooth and called to the lads to fetch him back: so
they brought him back and Sandal, putting his hand to his pouch,
pulled out a red purse, whence he emptied an hundred golden
dinars into the Fisherman's hand, saying, "Take this gold in
payment of thy fish and wend thy ways."  So Khalifah, in high
good humor, took the hundred ducats and the Caliph's one dinar
and went his way, and forgot the beating.  Now, as Allah willed
it for the furthering of that which He had decreed, he passed by
the mart of the hand-maidens and seeing there a mighty ring where
many folks were foregathering, said to himself, "What is this
crowd?"  So he brake through the merchants and others, who said,
"Make wide for the Skipper Rapscallion, [FN#244] and let him
pass."  Then he looked and behold, he saw a chest, with an eunuch
seated thereon and an old man standing by it, and the Shaykh was
crying, "O merchants, O men of money, who will hasten and hazard
his coin for this chest of unknown contents from the Palace of
the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, wife of the Commander of the
Faithful?  How much shall I say for you, Allah bless you all!"
Quoth one of the merchants, "By Allah, this is a risk!  But I
will say one word and no blame to me.  Be it mine for twenty
dinars."  Quoth another, "Fifty," and they went on bidding, one
against other, till the price reached an hundred ducats.  Then
said the crier, "Will any of you bid more, O merchants?"  And
Khalifah the Fisherman said, "Be it mine for an hundred ducats
and one dinar."  The merchants, hearing these words, thought he
was jesting and laughed at him, saying, "O eunuch sell it to
Khalifah for an hundred ducats and one dinar!"  Quoth the eunuch,
"By Allah, I will sell it to none but him!  Take it, O Fisherman,
the Lord bless thee in it, and here with thy gold."  So Khalifah
pulled out the ducats and gave them to the eunuch, who, the
bargain being duly made, delivered to him the chest and bestowed
the price in alms on the spot; after which he returned to the
Palace and acquainted the Lady Zubaydah with what he had done,
whereat she rejoiced.  Meanwhile the Fisherman hove the chest on
shoulder, but could not carry it on this wise for the excess of
its weight; so he lifted it on to his head and thus bore it to
the quarter where he lived.  Here he set it down and being weary,
sat awhile, bemusing what had befallen him and saying in himself,
"Would Heaven I knew what is in this chest!"  Then he opened the
door of his lodging and haled the chest until he got it into his
closet; after which he strove to open it, but failed.  Quoth he,
"What folly possessed me to buy this chest?  There is no help for
it but to break it open and see what is herein."  So he applied
himself to the lock, but could not open it, and said to himself,
"I will leave it till to-morrow."  Then he would have stretched
him out to sleep, but could find no room; for the chest filled
the whole closet.  So he got upon it and lay him down; but, when
he had lain awhile, behold, he felt something stir under him
whereat sleep forsook him and his reason fled.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Khalifah the Fisherman lay down upon the chest and thus tarried
awhile, behold, something stirred beneath him; whereat he was
affrighted and his reason fled.  So he arose and cried, "Meseems
there be Jinns in the chest.  Praise to Allah who suffered me not
to open it!  For, had I done so, they had risen against me in the
dark and slain me, and from them would have befallen me naught of
good."  Then he lay down again when, lo! The chest moved a second
time, more than before; whereupon he sprang to his feet and said,
"There it goes again: but this is terrible!"  And he hastened to
look for the lamp, but could not find it and had not the
wherewithal to buy another.  So he went forth and cried out, "Ho,
people of the quarter!"  Now the most part of the folk were
asleep; but they awoke at his crying and asked, "What aileth
thee, O Khalifah?"  He answered, "Bring me a lamp, for the Jinn
are upon me."  They laughed at him and gave him a lamp, wherewith
he returned to his closet.  Then he smote the lock of the chest
with a stone and broke it and opening it, saw a damsel like a
Houri lying asleep within.  Now she had been drugged with Bhang,
but at that moment she threw up the stuff and awoke; then she
opened her eyes and feeling herself confined and cramped, moved.
At this sight quoth Khalifah, "By Allah, O my lady, whence art
thou?"; and quoth she, "Bring me Jessamine, and Narcissus."
[FN#245]  and Khalifah answered, "There is naught here but Henna-
flowers." [FN#246]  thereupon she came to herself and considering
Khalifah, said to him, "What art thou?" presently adding, "And
where am I?"  He said, "Thou art in my lodging."  Asked she, "Am
I not in the Palace of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid?"  And quoth
he, "What manner of thing is Al-Rashid? [FN#247]  O madwoman,
Thou art naught but my slave-girl: I bought thee this very day
for an hundred dinars and one dinar, and brought thee home, and
thou wast asleep in this here chest."  When she had heard these
words she said to him, "What is thy name?"  Said he, "My name is
Khalifah.  How comes my star to have grown propitious, when I
know my ascendant to have been otherwise?"  She laughed and
cried, "Spare me this talk!  Hast thou anything to eat?"  Replied
he, "No, by Allah, nor yet to drink!  I have not eaten these two
days, and am now in want of a morsel."  She asked, "Hast thou no
money?"; and he said, "Allah keep this chest which hath beggared
me: I gave all I had for it and am become bankrupt." The damsel
laughed at him and said, "Up with thee and seek of thy neighbours
somewhat for me to eat, for I am hungry."  So he went forth and
cried out, "Ho, people of the quarter!"  Now the folk were
asleep; but they awoke and asked, "What aileth thee, O Khalifah?"
Answered he, O my neighbours, I am hungry and have nothing to
eat."  So one came down to him with a bannock and another with
broken meats and third with a bittock of cheese and a fourth with
a cucumber; and so on till he lap was full and he returned to his
closet and laid the whole between her hands, saying, "Eat."  But
she laughed at him, saying, "How can I eat of this, when I have
not a mug of water whereof to drink?  I fear to choke with a
mouthful and die."  Quoth he, "I will fill thee this
pitcher."[FN#248]  so he took the pitcher and going forth, stood
in the midst of the street and cried out, saying, "Ho, people of
the quarter!"  Quoth they, "What calamity is upon thee to-night,
[FN#249] O Khalifah!"  And he said, "Ye gave me food and I ate;
but now I am a-thirst; so give me to drink."  Thereupon one came
down to him with a mug and another with an ewer and a third with
a gugglet; and he filled his pitcher and, bearing it back, said
to the damsel, "O my lady, thou lackest nothing now."  Answered
she, "True, I want nothing more at this present."  Quoth he,
"Speak to me and say me thy story."  And quoth she, "Fie upon
thee! An thou knowest me not, I will tell thee who I am.  I am
Kut al-Kulub, the Caliph's handmaiden, and the Lady Zubaydah was
jealous of me; so she drugged me with Bhang and set me in this
chest," presently adding, "Alham-dolillah--praised be God--for
that the matter hath come to easy issue and no worse!  But this
befel me not save for thy good luck, for thou wilt certainly get
of the Caliph Al-Rashid money galore, that will be the means of
thine enrichment."  Quoth Khalifah, "I not Al-Rashid he in whose
Palace I was imprisoned?"  "Yes," answered she; and he said, "By
Allah, never saw I more niggardly wight than he, that piper
little of good and wit!  He gave me an hundred blows with a stick
yesterday and but one dinar, for all I taught him to fish and
made him my partner; but he played me false."  Replied she,
"Leave this unseemly talk, and open thine eyes and look thou bear
thyself respectfully, whenas thou seest him after this, and thou
shalt win thy wish."  When he heard her words, it was if he had
been asleep and awoke; and Allah removed the veil from his
judgment, because of his good luck, [FN#250] and he answered, "On
my head and eyes!"  Then said he to her, "Sleep, in the name of
Allah." [FN#251]  so she lay down and fell asleep (and he afar
from her) till the morning, when she sought of him inkcase
[FN#252] and paper and, when they were brought wrote to Ibn al-
Kirnas, the Caliph's friend, acquainting him with her case and
how at the end of all that had befallen her she was with Khalifah
the Fisherman, who had bought her.  Then she gave him the scroll,
saying, "Take this and hie thee to the jewel-market and ask for
the shop of Ibn al-Kirnas the Jeweller and give him this paper
and speak not."  "I hear and I obey," answered Khalifah and going
with the scroll to the market, enquired for the shop of Ibn al-
Kirnas.  They directed him to thither and on entering it he
saluted the merchant, who returned his salim with contempt and
said to him, "What dost thou want?"  Thereupon he gave him the
letter and he took it, but read it not, thinking the Fisherman a
beggar, who sought an alms of him, and said to one of his lads,
"Give him half a dirham."  Quoth Khalifah, "I want to alms; read
the paper."  So Ibn al-Kirnas took the letter and read it; and no
sooner knew its import than he kissed it and laying it on his
head--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ibn
al-Kirnas read the letter and knew its import, he kissed it and
laid it on his head; then he arose and said to Khalifah, "O my
brother, where is thy house?"  Asked Khalifah, "What wantest thou
with my house?  Wilt thou go thither and steal my slave-girl?"
Then Ibn al-Kirnas answered, "No so: on the contrary, I will buy
thee somewhat whereof you may eat, thou and she."  So he said,
"My house is in such a quarter;" and the merchant rejoined, "Thou
hast done well.  May Allah not give thee health, O unlucky one!"
[FN#253]  Then he called out to two of his slaves and said to
them, "Carry this man to the shop of Mohsin the Shroff and say to
him, ‘O Mohsin, give this man a thousand dinars of gold;' then
bring him back to me in haste."  So they carried him to the
money-changer, who paid him the money, and returned with him to
their master, whom they found mounted on a dapple she-mule worth
a thousand dinars, with Mamelukes and pages about him, and by his
side another mule like his own, saddled and bridled.  Quoth the
jeweller to Khalifah, "Bismillah, mount this mule."  Replied he,
"I won't; for by Allah, I fear she throw me;" and quoth Ibn al-
Kirnas, "By God, needs must thou mount."  So he came up and
mounting her, face to crupper, caught hold of her tail and cried
out; whereupon she threw him on the ground and they laughed at
him; but he rose and said, "Did I not tell thee I would not mount
this great jenny-ass?"  Thereupon Ibn al-Kirnas left him in the
market and repairing to the Caliph, told him of the damsel; after
which he returned and removed her to his own house.  Meanwhile,
Khalifah went home to look after the handmaid and found the
people of the quarter foregathering and saying, "Verily, Khalifah
is to-day in a terrible pickle! [FN#254]  Would we knew whence he
can have gotten this damsel?"  Quoth one of them, "He is a mad
pimp; haply he found her lying on the road drunken, and carried
her to his own house, and his absence showeth his offence."  As
they were talking, behold, up came Khalifah, and they said to
him, "What a plight is thine, O unhappy! Knowest thou not what is
come for thee?"  He replied, "No, by Allah!" and they said, "But
just now there came Mamelukes and took away thy slave-girl whom
thou stolest, and sought for thee, but found thee not."  Asked
Khalifah, "And how came they to take my slave-girl?"; and quoth
one, "Had he falled in their way, they had slain him."  But he,
so far from heeding  them, returned running to the shop of Ibn
al-Kirnas, whom he met riding, and said to him, "By Allah, 'twas
not right of thee to wheedle me and meanwhile send thy Mamelukes
to take my slave-girl!"  Replied the jeweller, "O idiot, come
with me and hold thy tongue."  So he took him and carried him
into a house handsomely builded, where he found the damsel seated
on a couch of gold, with ten slave-girls like moons round her.
Sighting her Ibn al-Kirnas kissed ground before her and she said,
"What hast thou done with my new master, who bought me with all
he owned?"  He replied, "O my lady, I gave him a thousand gold
dinars;" and related to her Khalifah's history from first to
last, whereat she laughed and said, "Blame him not; for he is but
a common wight.  These other thousand dinars are a gift from me
to him and Almighty Allah willing, he shall win of the Caliph
what shall enrich him."  As they were talking, there came an
eunuch from the Commander of the Faithful, in quest of Kut al-
Kulub, for, when he knew that she was in the house of Ibn al-
Kirnas, he could not endure the severance, but bade bring her
forthwith.  So she repaired to the Palace, taking Khalifah with
her, and going into the presence, kissed ground before the
Caliph, who rose to her, saluting and welcoming her, and asked
her how she had fared with him who had bought her.  She replied,
"He is a man, Khalifah the Fisherman hight, and there he standeth
at the door.  He telleth me that he hath an account to settle
with the Commander of the Faithful, by reason of a partnership
between him and the Caliph in fishing."  Asked al-Rashid, "Is he
at the door?" and she answered, "Yes."  So the Caliph sent for
him and he kissed ground before him and wished him endurance of
glory and prosperity.  The Caliph marvelled at him and laughed at
him and said to him, "O Fisherman, wast thou in very deed my
partner [FN#255] yesterday?"  Khalifah took his meaning and
heartening his heart and summoning spirit replied, "By Him who
bestowed upon thee the succession to thy cousin, [FN#256] I know
her not in anywise and have had no commerce with her save by way
of sight and speech!"  Then he repeated to him all that had
befallen him, since he last saw him, [FN#257] whereat the Caliph
laughed and his breast broadened and he said to Khalifah, "Ask of
us what thou wilt, O thou to bringest to owners their own!"  But
he was silent; so the Caliph ordered him fifty thousand dinars of
gold and a costly dress of honour such as great Sovrans don, and
a she-mule, and gave him black slaves of the Súdán to serve him,
so that he became as he were one of the Kings of that time.  The
Caliph was rejoiced at the recovery of his favourite and knew
that all this was the doing of his cousin-wife, the Lady
Zubaydah,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph
rejoiced at the recovery of Kut al-Kulub and knew that all this
was the doing of the Lady Zubaydah, his cousin-wife; wherefore he
was sore enraged against her and held aloof from her a great
while, visiting her not neither inclining to pardon her.  When
she was certified of this, she was sore concerned for his wrath
and her face, that was wont to be rosy, waxed pale and wan till,
when her patience was exhausted, she sent a letter to her cousin,
the Commander of the Faithful making her excuses to him and
confessing her offences, and ending with these verses

"I long once more the love that was between us to regain, * That
     I may quench the fire of grief and bate the force of bane.
O lords of me, have ruth upon the stress my passion deals *
     Enough to me is what you doled of sorrow and of pain.
‘Tis life to me an deign you keep the troth you deigned to plight
     * ‘Tis death to me an troth you break and fondest vows
Given I've sinned a sorry sin, ye grant me ruth, for naught * By
     Allah, sweeter is than friend who is of pardon fain."

When the Lady Zubaydah's letter reached the Caliph, and reading
it he saw that she confessed her offence and sent her excuses to
him therefor, he said to himself, "Verily, all sins doth Allah
forgive; aye, Gracious, Merciful is He!" [FN#258]  And he
returned her an answer, expressing satisfaction and pardon and
forgiveness for what was past, whereat she rejoiced greatly.  As
for Khalifah, the Fisherman, the Caliph assigned him a monthly
solde of fifty dinars and took him into especial favour, which
would lead to rank and dignity, honour and worship.  Then he
kissed ground before the Commander of the Faithful and went forth
with stately gait.  When he came to the door, the Eunuch Sandal,
who had given him the hundred dinars, saw him and knowing him,
said to him, "O Fisherman, whence all this?"  So he told him all
that had befallen him, first and last, whereat Sandal rejoiced,
because he had been the cause of his enrichment, and said to him,
"Wilt thou not give me largess of this wealth which is now become
thine?"  So Khalifah put hand to pouch and taking out a purse
containing a thousand dinars, gave it to the Eunuch, who said,
"Keep thy coins and Allah bless thee therein!" and marvelled at
his manliness and at the liberality of his soul, for all his late
poverty. [FN#259]  Then leaving the eunuch, Khalifah mounted his
she-mule and rode, with the slaves' hands on her crupper, till he
came to his lodging at the Khan, whilst the folk stared at him in
surprise for that which had betided him of advancement.  When he
alighted from his beast they accosted him and enquired the cause
of his change from poverty to prosperity, and he told them all
that had happened to him from incept to conclusion.  Then he
bought a fine mansion and laid out thereon much money, till it
was perfect in all points.  And he took up his abode therein and
was wont to recite thereon these two couplets,

"Behold a house that's like the Dwelling of Delight; [FN#260] *
     Its aspect heals the sick and banishes despite.
Its sojourn for the great and wise appointed it, * And Fortune
     fair therein abideth day and night."

Then, as soon as he was settled in his house, he sought him in
marriage the daughter of one of the chief men of the city, a
handsome girl, and went in unto her and led a life of solace and
satisfaction, joyaunce and enjoyment; and he rose to passing
affluence and exceeding prosperity.  So, when he found himself in
this fortunate condition, he offered up thanks to Allah (extolled
and excelled be He!) for what He had bestowed on him of wealth
exceeding and of favours ever succeeding, praising his Lord with
the praise of the grateful and chanting the words of the poet,

"To Thee be praise, O Thou who showest unremitting grace; * O
     Thou whose universal bounties high and low embrace!
To Thee be praise from me! Then deign accept my praise for I *
     Accept Thy boons and gifts with grateful soul in every case.
Thou hast with favours overwhelmed me, benefits and largesse *
     And gracious doles my memory ne'er ceaseth to retrace.
All men from mighty main, Thy grace and goodness, drain and
     drink; * And in their need Thou, only Thou, to them art
So for the sake of him who came to teach mankind in ruth *
     Prophet, pure, truthful-worded scion of the noblest race;
Ever be Allah's blessing and His peace on him and all * His aids
     [FN#261] and kin while pilgrims fare his noble tomb to face!
And on his helpmeets [FN#262] one and all, Companions great and
     good, * Though time Eternal while the bird shall sing in
     shady wood!"

And thereafter Khalifah continued to pay frequent visits to the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid, with whom he found acceptance and who
ceased not to overwhelm him with boons and bounty: and he abode
in the enjoyment of the utmost honour and happiness and joy and
gladness and in riches more than sufficing and in rank ever
rising; brief, a sweet life and a savoury, pure as pleasurable,
till there came to him the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer
of societies; and extolled be the perfection of Him to whom
belong glory and permanence and He is the Living, the Eternal,
who shall never die!

NOTE.  I have followed the example of Mr. Payne and have
translated in its entirety the Tale of Khalifah the Fisherman
from the Breslau Edit. (Vol. iv. Pp. 315-365, Night ccxxi-
ccxxxii.) in preference to the unsatisfactory process of
amalgamating it with that of the Mac. Edit. given above.

               Khalifah The Fisherman of Baghdad.

There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, in the city of Baghdad, a fisherman, by name Khalíf, a
man of muckle talk and little luck. One day, as he sat in his
cell,[FN#263] he bethought himself and said, "There is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!
Would Heaven I knew what is my offence in the sight of my Lord
and what caused the blackness of my fortune and my littleness of
luck among the fishermen, albeit (and I say it who should not) in
the city of Baghdad there is never a fisherman like myself." Now
he lodged in a ruined place called a Khan, to wit, an
inn,[FN#264] without a door, and when he went forth to fish, he
would shoulder the net, without basket or fish-slicers,[FN#265]
and when the folk would stare at him and say to him, "O Khalif,
why not take with thee a basket, to hold the fish thou
catchest?"; he would reply, "Even as I carry it forth empty, so
would it come back, for I never manage to catch aught." One night
he arose, in the darkness before dawn, and taking his net on his
shoulder, raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Allah mine, O Thou
who subjectedst the sea to Moses son of Imrán, give me this day
my daily bread, for Thou art the best of bread-givers!" Then he
went down to the Tigris and spreading his net, cast it into the
river and waited till it had settled down, when he haled it in
and drew it ashore, but behold, it held naught save a dead dog.
So he cast away the carcase, saying, "O morning of ill doom! What
a handsel is this dead hound, after I had rejoiced in its
weight[FN#266]!" Then he mended the rents in the net, saying,
"Needs must there after this carrion be fish in plenty, attracted
by the smell," and made a second cast. After awhile, he drew up
and found in the net the hough[FN#267] of a camel, that had
caught in the meshes and rent them right and left. When Khalif
saw his net in this state, he wept and said, "There is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I
wonder what is my offence and the cause of the blackness of my
fortune and the littleness of my luck, of all folk, so that I
catch neither cat-fish nor sprat,[FN#268] that I may broil on the
embers and eat, for all I dare say there is not in the city of
Baghdad a fisherman like me." Then with a Bismillah he cast his
net a third time, and presently drawing it ashore found therein
an ape scurvy and one-eyed, mangy, and limping, hending an ivory
rod in forehand. When Khalif saw this, he said, "This is indeed a
blessed opening! What art thou, O ape?" "Dost thou not know me?"
"No, by Allah, I have no knowledge of thee!" "I am thine ape!"
"What use is there in thee, O my ape?" "Every day I give thee
good-morrow, so Allah may not open to thee the door of daily
bread." "Thou failest not of this, O one-eye[FN#269] of ill-omen!
May Allah never bless thee! Needs must I pluck out thy sound eye
and cut off thy whole leg, so thou mayst become a blind cripple
and I be quit of thee. But what is the use of that rod thou
hendest in hand?" "O Khalif, I scare the fish therewith, so they
may not enter thy net." "Is it so?: then this very day will I
punish thee with a grievous punishment and devise thee all manner
torments and strip thy flesh from thy bones and be at rest from
thee, sorry bit of goods that thou art!" So saying, Khalif the
Fisherman unwound from his middle a strand of rope and binding
him to a tree by his side, said, "Lookee, O dog of an ape! I mean
to cast the net again and if aught come up therein, well and
good; but, if it come up empty, I will verily and assuredly make
an end of thee, with the cruellest tortures and be quit of thee,
thou stinking lot." So he cast the net and drawing it ashore,
found in it another ape and said, "Glory be to God the Great! I
was wont to pull naught but fish out of this Tigris, but now it
yieldeth nothing but apes." Then he looked at the second ape and
saw him fair of form and round of face with pendants of gold in
his ears and a blue waistcloth about his middle, and he was like
unto a lighted taper. So he asked him, "What art thou, thou also,
O ape?"; and he answered, saying, "O Khalif, I am the ape of Abú
al-Sa'ádát the Jew, the Caliph's Shroff. Every day, I give him
good-morrow, and he maketh a profit of ten gold pieces." Cried
the Fisherman, "By Allah, thou art a fine ape, not like this
ill-omened monkey o' mine!" So saying, he took a stick[FN#270]
and came down upon the sides of the ape, till he broke his ribs
and he jumped up and down. And the other ape, the handsome one,
answered him, saying, "O Khalif, what will it profit thee to beat
him, though thou belabour him till he die?" Khalif replied, "How
shall I do? Shall I let him wend his ways that he may scare me
the fish with his hang-dog face and give me good-even and
good-morrow every day, so Allah may not open to me the door of
daily bread? Nay, I will kill him and be quit of him and I will
take thee in his stead; so shalt thou give me good-morrow and I
shall gain ten golden dinars a day." Thereupon the comely ape
made answer, "I will tell thee a better way than that, and if
thou hearken to me, thou shalt be at rest and I will become thine
ape in lieu of him." Asked the Fisherman, "And what dost thou
counsel me?"; and the ape answered, saying, "Cast thy net and
thou shalt bring up a noble fish, never saw any its like, and I
will tell thee how thou shalt do with it." Replied Khalif,
"Lookee, thou too! An I throw my net and there come up therein a
third ape, be assured that I will cut the three of you into six
bits." And the second ape rejoined, "So be it, O Khalif. I agree
to this thy condition." Then Khalif spread the net and cast it
and drew it up, when behold, in it was a fine young
barbel[FN#271] with a round head, as it were a milking-pail,
which when he saw, his wits fled for joy and he said, "Glory be
to God! What is this noble creature? Were yonder apes in the
river, I had not brought up this fish." Quoth the seemly ape, "O
Khalif, an thou give ear to my rede, 'twill bring thee good
fortune"; and quoth the Fisherman, "May God damn him who would
gainsay thee henceforth!" Thereupon the ape said, "O Khalif, take
some grass and lay the fish thereon in the basket[FN#272] and
cover it with more grass and take also somewhat of basil[FN#273]
from the green grocer's and set it in the fish's mouth. Cover it
with a kerchief and push thee through the bazar of Baghdad.
Whoever bespeaketh thee of selling it, sell it not but fare on,
till thou come to the market street of the jewellers and
money-changers. Then count five shops on the right-hand side and
the sixth shop is that of Abu al-Sa'adat the Jew, the Caliph's
Shroff. When thou standest before him, he will say to thee, ‘What
seekest thou?'; and do thou make answer, ‘I am a fisherwight, I
threw my net in thy name and took this noble barbel, which I have
brought thee as a present.' If he give thee aught of silver, take
it not, be it little or mickle, for it will spoil that which thou
wouldst do, but say to him, ‘I want of thee naught save one word,
that thou say to me, ‘I sell thee my ape for thine ape and my
luck for thy luck.' An the Jew say this, give him the fish and I
shall become thine ape and this crippled, mangy and one-eyed ape
will be his ape." Khalif replied, "Well said, O ape," nor did he
cease faring Baghdad-wards and observing that which the ape had
said to him, till he came to the Jew's shop and saw the Shroff
seated, with eunuchs and pages about him, bidding and forbidding
and giving and taking. So he set down his basket, saying, "O
Sultan of the Jews, I am a fisher-wight and went forth to-day to
the Tigris and casting my net in thy name, cried, ‘This is for
the luck of Abu al-Sa'adat;' and there came up to me this Banni
which I have brought thee by way of present." Then he lifted the
grass and discovered the fish to the Jew, who marvelled at its
make and said, "Extolled be the perfection of the Most Excellent
Creator!" Then he gave the fisherman a dinar, but he refused it
and he gave him two. This also he refused and the Jew stayed not
adding to his offer, till he made it ten dinars; but he still
refused and Abu al-Sa'adat said to him, "By Allah, thou art a
greedy one. Tell me what thou wouldst have, O Moslem!" Quoth
Khalif, "I would have of thee but a single word. [FN#274]" When
the Jew heard this , he changed colour and said, "Wouldst thou
oust me from my faith? Wend thy ways;" and Khalif said to him,
"By Allah, O Jew, naught mattereth an thou become a Moslem or a
Nazarene!" Asked the Jew, "Then what wouldst thou have me say?";
and the fisherman answered, "Say, I sell thee my ape for thy ape
and my luck for thy luck." The Jew laughed, deeming him little of
wit, and said by way of jest, "I sell thee my ape for thy ape and
my luck for thy luck. Bear witness against him, O merchants! By
Allah, O unhappy, thou art debarred from further claim on me!" So
Khalif turned back, blaming himself and saying, "There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! Alas that I did not take the gold!" and fared on blaming
himself in the matter of the money till he came to the Tigris,
but found not the two apes, whereupon he wept and slapped his
face and strewed dust on his head, saying, "But that the second
ape wheedled me and put a cheat on me, the one-eyed ape had not
escaped." And he gave not over wailing and weeping, till heat and
hunger grew sore on him: so he took the net, saying, "Come, let
us make a cast, trusting in Allah's blessing; belike I may catch
a cat-fish or a barbel which I may boil and eat." So he threw the
net and waiting till it had settled, drew it ashore and found it
full of fish, whereat he was consoled and rejoiced and busied
himself with unmeshing the fish and casting them on the earth.
Presently, up came a woman seeking fish and crying out, "Fish is
not to be found in the town." She caught sight of Khalif, and
said to him, "Wilt thou sell this fish, O Master?" Answered
Khalif, "I am going to turn it into clothes, 'tis all for sale,
even to my beard.[FN#275] Take what thou wilt." So she gave him a
dinar and he filled her basket. Then she went away and behold, up
came another servant, seeking a dinar's worth of fish; nor did
the folk cease till it was the hour of mid-afternoon prayer and
Khalif had sold ten golden dinars' worth of fish. Then, being
faint and famisht, he folded and shouldered his net and,
repairing to the market, bought himself a woollen gown, a calotte
with a plaited border and a honey-coloured turband for a dinar
receiving two dirhams by way of change, wherewith he purchased
fried cheese and a fat sheep's tail and honey and setting them in
the oilman's platter, ate till he was full and his ribs felt
cold[FN#276] from the mighty stuffing. Then he marched off to his
lodgings in the magazine, clad in the gown and the honey-coloured
turband and with the nine golden dinars in his mouth, rejoicing
in what he had never in his life seen. He entered and lay down,
but could not sleep for anxious thoughts and abode playing with
the money half the night. Then said he in himself, "Haply the
Caliph may hear that I have gold and say to Ja'afar, ‘Go to
Khalif the Fisherman and borrow us some money of him.' If I give
it him, it will be no light matter to me, and if I give it not,
he will torment me; but torture is easier to me than the giving
up of the cash.[FN#277] However, I will arise and make trial of
myself if I have a skin proof against stick or not." So he put
off his clothes and taking a sailor's plaited whip, of an hundred
and sixty strands, ceased not beating himself, till his sides and
body were all bloody, crying out at every stroke he dealt himself
and saying "O Moslems! I am a poor man! O Moslems, I am a poor
man! O Moslems, whence should I have gold, whence should I have
coin?" till the neighbours, who dwelt with him in that place,
hearing him crying and saying, "Go to men of wealth and take of
them," thought that thieves were torturing him, to get money from
him, and that he was praying for aidance. Accordingly they
flocked to him each armed with some weapon and finding the door
of his lodging locked and hearing him roaring out for help,
deemed that the thieves had come down upon him from the
terrace-roof; so they fell upon the door and burst it open. Then
they entered and found him mother-naked and bareheaded with body
dripping blood, and altogether in a sad pickle; so they asked
him, "What is this case in which we find thee? Hast thou lost thy
wits and hath Jinn-madness betided thee this night?" And he
answered them, "Nay; but I have gold with me and I feared lest
the Caliph send to borrow of me and it were no light matter to
give him aught; yet, an I gave not to him 'tis only too sure that
he would put me to the torture; wherefore I arose to see if my
skin were stick-proof or not." When they heard these words they
said to him, "May Allah not assain thy body, unlucky madman that
thou art! Of a surety thou art fallen mad to-night! Lie down to
sleep, may Allah never bless thee! How many thousand dinars hast
thou, that the Caliph should come and borrow of thee?" He
replied, "By Allah, I have naught but nine dinars." And they all
said, "By Allah, he is not otherwise than passing rich!" Then
they left him wondering at his want of wit, and Khalif took his
cash and wrapped it in a rag, saying to himself, "Where shall I
hide all this gold? An I bury it, they will take it, and if I put
it out on deposit, they will deny that I did so, and if I carry
it on my head,[FN#278] they will snatch it, and if I tie it to my
sleeve, they will cut it away." Presently, he espied a little
breast-pocket in the gown and said, "By Allah, this is fine! 'Tis
under my throat and hard by my mouth: if any put out his hand to
hend it, I can come down on it with my mouth and hide it in my
throttle." So he set the rag containing the gold in the pocket
and lay down, but slept not that night for suspicion and trouble
and anxious thought. On the morrow, he fared forth of his lodging
on fishing intent and, betaking himself to the river, went down
into the water, up to his knees. Then he threw the net and shook
it with might and main; whereupon the purse fell down into the
stream. So he tore off gown and turband and plunged in after it,
saying, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great!" Nor did he give over diving and
searching the stream-bed, till the day was half spent, but found
not the purse. Now one saw him from afar diving and plunging and
his gown and turband lying in the sun at a distance from him,
with no one by them; so he watched him, till he dived again when
he dashed at the clothes and made off with them. Presently,
Khalif came ashore and, missing his gown and turband, was
chagrined for their loss with passing cark and care and ascended
a mound, to look for some passer-by, of whom he might enquire
concerning them, but found none. Now the Caliph Harun al-Rashid
had gone a-hunting and chasing that day; and, returning at the
time of the noon heat, was oppressed thereby and thirsted; so he
looked for water from afar and seeing a naked man standing on the
mound said to Ja'afar, "Seest thou what I see?" Replied the
Wazir, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful; I see a man standing on
a hillock." Al-Rashid asked, "What is he?"; and Ja'afar answered,
"Haply he is the guardian of a cucumber-plot." Quoth the Caliph,
"Perhaps he is a pious man[FN#279]; I would fain go to him,
alone, and desire of him his prayers; and abide ye where you
are." So he went up to Khalif and saluting him with the salam
said to him, "What art thou, O man?" Replied the fisherman, "Dost
thou not know me? I am Khalif the Fisherman;" and the Caliph
rejoined, "What? The Fisherman with the woollen gown and the
honey-coloured turband[FN#280]?" When Khalif heard him name the
clothes he had lost, he said in himself, "This is he who took my
duds: belike he did but jest with me." So he came down from the
knoll and said, "Can I not take a noontide nap[FN#281] but thou
must trick me this trick? I saw thee take my gear and knew that
thou wast joking with me." At this, laughter got the better of
the Caliph and he said; "What clothes hast thou lost? I know
nothing of that whereof thou speakest, O Khalif." Cried the
Fisherman, "By God the Great, except thou bring me back the gear,
I will smash thy ribs with this staff!" (For he always carried a
quarterstaff.) Quoth the Caliph, "By Allah, I have not seen the
things whereof thou speakest!"; and quoth Khalif "I will go with
thee and take note of thy dwelling-place and complain of thee to
the Chief of Police, so thou mayst not trick me this trick again.
By Allah, none took my gown and turband but thou, and except thou
give them back to me at once, I will throw thee off the back of
that she-ass thou ridest and come down on thy pate with this
quarterstaff, till thou canst not stir!" Thereupon he tugged at
the bridle of the mule so that she reared up on her hind legs and
the Caliph said to himself, "What calamity is this I have fallen
into with this madman?" Then he pulled off a gown he had on,
worth an hundred dinars, and said to Khalif, "Take this gown in
lieu of thine own." He took it and donning it saw it was too
long; so he cut it short at the knees and turbanded his head with
the cut-off piece; then said to the Caliph, "What art thou and
what is thy craft? But why ask? Thou art none other than a
trumpeter." Al-Rashid asked, "What showed thee that I was a
trumpeter by trade?"; and Khalif answered, "Thy big nostrils and
little mouth." Cried the Caliph, "Well guessed! Yes, I am of that
craft." Then said Khalif, "An thou wilt hearken to me, I will
teach thee the art of fishing: 'twill be better for thee than
trumpeting and thou wilt eat lawfully[FN#282]." Replied the
Caliph, "Teach it me so that I may see whether I am capable of
learning it." And Khalif said, "Come with me, O trumpeter." So
the Caliph followed him down to the river and took the net from
him, whilst he taught him how to throw it. Then he cast it and
drew it up, when, behold, it was heavy, and the fisherman said,
"O trumpeter, an the net be caught on one of the rocks, drag it
not too hard, or I twill break and by Allah, I will take thy
she-ass in payment thereof!" The Caliph laughed at his words and
drew up the net, little by little, till he brought it ashore and
found it full of fish; which when Khalif saw, his reason fled for
joy and presently he cried, "By Allah, O trumpeter, thy luck is
good in fishing! Never in my life will I part with thee! But now
I mean to send thee to the fish-bazar, where do thou enquire for
the shop of Humayd the fisherman and say to him, ‘My master
Khalif saluteth thee and biddeth thee send him a pair of frails
and a knife, so he may bring thee more fish than yesterday.' Run
and return to me forthright!" The Caliph replied (and indeed he
was laughing), "On my head, O master!" and, mounting his mule,
rode back to Ja'afar, who said to. him, "Tell me what hath
betided thee." So the Caliph told him all that had passed between
Khalif the Fisherman and himself, from first to last, adding, "I
left him awaiting my return to him with the baskets and I am
resolved that he shall teach me how to scale fish and clean
them." Quoth Ja'afar, "And I will go with thee to sweep up the
scales and clean out the shop." And the affair abode thus, till
presently the Caliph cried, "O Ja'afar, I desire of thee that
thou despatch the young Mamelukes, saying to them, ‘Whoso
bringeth me a fish from before yonder fisherman, I will give him
a dinar;' for I love to eat of my own fishing." Accordingly
Ja'afar repeated to the young white slaves what the Caliph had
said and directed them where to find the man. They came down upon
Khalif and snatched the fish from him; and when he saw them and
noted their goodliness, he doubted not but that they were of the
black-eyed Houris of Paradise: so he caught up a couple of fish
and ran into the river, saying, "O Allah mine, by the secret
virtue of these fish, forgive me!" Suddenly, up came the chief
eunuch, questing fish, but he found none; so seeing Khalif
ducking and rising in the water, with the two fish in his hands,
called out to him, saying, "O Khalif, what hast thou there?"
Replied the fisherman, "Two fish," and the eunuch said, "Give
them to me and take an hundred dinars for them." Now when Khalif
heard speak of an hundred dinars, he came up out of the water and
cried, "Hand over the hundred dinars." Said the eunuch, "Follow
me to the house of Al-Rashid and receive thy gold, O Khalif; and,
taking the fish, made off to the Palace of the Caliphate.
Meanwhile Khalif betook himself to Baghdad, clad as he was in the
Caliph's gown, which reached only to above his knees,[FN#283]
turbanded with the piece he had cut off therefrom and girt about
his middle with a rope, and he pushed through the centre of the
city. The folk fell a-laughing and marvelling at him and saying,
"Whence hadst thou that robe of honour?" But he went on, asking,
"Where is the house of Al-Rashád[FN#284]?;" and they answered,
"Say, ‘The house of Al-Rashíd';" and he rejoined, "'Tis all the
same," and fared on, till he came to the Palace of the Caliphate.
Now he was seen by the tailor, who had made the gown and who was
standing at the door, and when he noticed it upon the Fisherman,
he said to him, "For how many years hast thou had admission to
the palace?" Khalif replied "Ever since I was a little one;" and
the tailor asked, "Whence hadest thou that gown thou hast spoilt
on this wise?" Khalif answered, "I had it of my apprentice the
trumpeter." Then he went up to the door, where he found the Chief
Eunuch sitting with the two fishes by his side: and seeing him
sable-black of hue, said to him, "Wilt thou not bring the hundred
dinars, O uncle Tulip?" Quoth he, "On my head, O Khalif," when,
behold, out came Ja'afar from the presence of the Caliph and
seeing the fisherman talking with the Eunuch and saying to him,
"This is the reward of goodness, O nuncle Tulip," went in to
Al-Rashid and said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, thy
master the Fisherman is with the Chief Eunuch, dunning him for an
hundred dinars." Cried the Caliph, "Bring him to me, O Ja'afar;"
and the Minister answered, "Hearing and obeying." So he went out
to the Fisherman and said to him, "O Khalif, thine apprentice the
trumpeter biddeth thee to him;" then he walked on, followed by
the other till they reached the presence-chamber, where he saw
the Caliph seated, with a canopy over his head. When he entered,
Al-Rashid wrote three scrolls and set them before him, and the
Fisherman said to him, "So thou hast given up trumpeting and
turned astrologer!" Quoth the Caliph to him, "Take thee a
scroll." Now in the first he had written, "Let him be given a
gold piece," in the second, "An hundred dinars," and in the
third, "Let him be given an hundred blows with a whip." So Khalif
put out his hand and by the decree of the Predestinator, it
lighted on the scroll wherein was written, "Let him receive an
hundred lashes," and Kings, whenas they ordain aught, go not back
therefrom. So they threw him prone on the ground and beat him an
hundred blows, whilst he wept and roared for succour, but none
succoured him, and said, "By Allah, this is a good joke O
trumpeter! I teach thee fishing and thou turnest astrologer and
drawest me an unlucky lot. Fie upon thee,[FN#285] in thee is
naught of good!" When the Caliph heard his speech, he fell
fainting in a fit of laughter and said, "O Khalif, no harm shall
betide thee: fear not. Give him an hundred gold pieces." So they
gave him an hundred dinars, and he went out, and ceased not
faring forth till he came to the trunk-market, where he found the
folk assembled in a ring about a broker, who was crying out and
saying, "At an hundred dinars, less one dinar! A locked chest!"
So he pressed on and pushed through the crowd and said to the
broker, "Mine for an hundred dinars!" The broker closed with him
and took his money, whereupon there was left him nor little nor
much. The porters disputed awhile about who should carry the
chest and presently all said, "By Allah, none shall carry this
chest but Zurayk!"[FN#286] And the folk said, "Blue-eyes hath the
best right to it." So Zurayk shouldered the chest, after the
goodliest fashion, and walked a-rear of Khalif. As they went
along, the Fisherman said in himself, "I have nothing left to
give the porter; how shall I rid myself of him? Now I will
traverse the main streets with him and lead him about, till he be
weary and set it down and leave it, when I will take it up and
carry it to my lodging." Accordingly, he went round about the
city with the porter from noontide to sundown, till the man began
to grumble and said, "O my lord, where is thy house?" Quoth
Khalif, "Yesterday I knew it, but to-day I have forgotten it."
And the porter said, "Give me my hire and take thy chest." But
Khalif said, "Go on at thy leisure, till I bethink me where my
house is," presently adding, "O Zurayk, I have no money with me.
'Tis all in my house and I have forgotten where it is." As they
were talking, there passed by them one who knew the Fisherman and
said to him, "O Khalif, what bringeth thee hither?" Quoth the
porter, "O uncle, where is Khalif's house?" and quoth he, "'Tis
in the ruined Khan in the Rawásín Quarter."[FN#287] Then said
Zurayk to Khalif, "Go to; would Heaven thou hadst never lived nor
been!" And the Fisherman trudged on, followed by the porter, till
they came to the place when the Hammal said, "O thou whose daily
bread Allah cut off in this world, have we not passed this place
a score of times? Hadst thou said to me, 'Tis in such a stead,
thou hadst spared me this great toil; but now give me my wage and
let me wend my way." Khalif replied "Thou shalt have silver, if
not gold. Stay here, till I bring thee the same." So he entered
his lodging and taking a mallet he had there, studded with forty
nails (wherewith an he smote a camel, he had made an end of it),
rushed upon the porter and raised his forearm to strike him
therewith; but Zurayk cried out at him, saying, "Hold thy hand! I
have no claim on thee," and fled. Now having got rid of the
Hammal, Khalif carried the chest into the Khan, whereupon the
neighbours came down and flocked about him, saying, "O Khalif,
whence hadst thou this robe and this chest?" Quoth he, "From my
apprentice Al-Rashid who gave them to me," and they said, "The
pimp is mad! Al-Rashid will assuredly hear of his talk and hang
him over the door of his lodging and hang all in the Khan on
account of the droll. This is a fine farce!" Then they helped him
to carry the chest into his lodging and it filled the whole
closet.[FN#288] Thus far concerning Khalif; but as for the
history of the chest, it was as follows: The Caliph had a Turkish
slave-girl, by name Kut al-Kulúb, whom he loved with love
exceeding and the Lady Zubaydah came to know of this from himself
and was passing jealous of her and secretly plotted mischief
against her. So, whilst the Commander of the Faithful was absent
a-sporting and a-hunting, she sent for Kut al-Kulub and, inviting
her to a banquet, set before her meat and wine, and she ate and
drank. Now the wine was drugged with Bhang; so she slept and
Zubaydah sent for her Chief Eunuch and putting her in a great
chest, locked it and gave it to him, saying, "Take this chest and
cast it into the river." Thereupon he took it up before him on a
he-mule and set out with it for the sea, but found it unfit to
carry; so, as he passed by the trunk-market, he saw the Shaykh of
the brokers and salesmen and said to him, "Wilt thou sell me this
chest, O uncle?" The broker replied, "Yes, we will do this much."
"But," said the Eunuch, "look thou sell it not except locked;"
and the other, "'Tis well; we will do that also."[FN#289] So he
set down the chest, and they cried it for sale, saying, "Who will
buy this chest for an hundred dinars?"; and behold, up came
Khalif the Fisherman and bought the chest after turning it over
right and left; and there passed between him and the porter that
which hath been before set out. Now as regards Khalif the
Fisherman; he lay down on the chest to sleep, and presently Kut
al-Kulub awoke from her Bhang and finding herself in the chest,
cried out and said, "Alas!" Whereupon Khalif sprang off the
chest-lid and cried out and said, "Ho, Moslems! Come to my help!
There are Ifrits in the chest." So the neighbours awoke from
sleep and said to him, "What mattereth thee, O madman?" Quoth he,
"The chest is full of Ifrits;" and quoth they, "Go to sleep; thou
hast troubled our rest this night may Allah not bless thee! Go in
and sleep, without madness." He ejaculated, "I cannot sleep;" but
they abused him and he went in and lay down once more. And
behold, Kut al-Kulub spoke and said, "Where am I?" Upon which
Khalif fled forth the closet and said, "O neighbours of the
hostelry, come to my aid!" Quoth they, "What hath befallen thee?
Thou troublest the neighbours' rest." "O folk, there be Ifrits in
the chest, moving and speaking." "Thou liest: what do they say?"
"They say, ‘Where am I?'" "Would Heaven thou wert in Hell! Thou
disturbest the neighbours and hinderest them of sleep. Go to
sleep, would thou hadst never lived nor been!" So Khalif went in
fearful because he had no place wherein to sleep save upon the
chest-lid when lo! as he stood, with ears listening for speech,
Kut al-Kulub spake again and said, "I'm hungry." So in sore
affright he fled forth and cried out, "Ho neighbours! ho dwellers
in the Khan, come aid me!" Said they, "What is thy calamity
now?"[FN#290] And he answered, "The Ifrits in the chest say, ‘We
are hungry.'" Quoth the neighbours one to other, "'Twould seem
Khalif is hungry; let us feed him and give him the supper-orts;
else he will not let us sleep to-night." So they brought him
bread and meat and broken victuals and radishes and gave him a
basket full of all kinds of things, saying, "Eat till thou be
full and go to sleep and talk not, else will we break thy ribs
and beat thee to death this very night." So he took the basket
with the provaunt and entered his lodging. Now it was a moonlight
night and the moon shone in full sheen upon the chest and lit up
the closet with its light, seeing this he sat down on his
purchase and fell to eating of the food with both hands.
Presently Kut al-Kulub spake again and said, "Open to me and have
mercy upon me, O Moslems!" So Khalif arose and taking a stone he
had by him, broke the chest open and behold, therein lay a young
lady as she were the sun's shining light with brow flower-white,
face moonbright, cheeks of rose-hue exquisite and speech sweeter
than sugar-bite, and in dress worth a thousand dinars and more
bedight. Seeing this his wits flew from his head for joy and he
said, "By Allah, thou art of the fair!" She asked him, "What art
thou, O fellow?" and he answered, "O my lady, I am Khalif the
Fisherman." Quoth she, "Who brought me hither?"; and quoth he, "I
bought thee, and thou art my slave-girl." Thereupon said she, "I
see on thee a robe of the raiment of the Caliph." So he told her
all that had betided him, from first to last, and how he had
bought the chest; wherefore she knew that the Lady Zubaydah had
played her false; and she ceased not talking with him till the
morning, when she said to him, "O Khalif, seek me from some one
inkcase and reed-pen and paper and bring them to me." So he found
with one of the neighbours what she sought and brought it to her,
whereupon she wrote a letter and folded it and gave it to him,
saying, "O Khalif, take this paper and carry it to the
jewel-market, where do thou enquire for the shop of Abu al-Hasan
the jeweller and give it to him." Answered the Fisherman, "O my
lady, this name is difficult to me; I cannot remember it." And
she rejoined, "Then ask for the shop of Ibn al-'Ukáb."[FN#291]
Quoth he, "O my lady, what is an 'Ukab?"; and quoth she, "'Tis a
bird which folk carry on fist with eyes hooded." And he
exclaimed, "O my lady, I know it." Then he went forth from her
and fared on, repeating the name, lest it fade from his memory;
but, by the time he reached the jewel-market, he had forgotten
it. So he accosted one of the merchants and said to him, "Is
there any here named after a bird?" Replied the merchant, "Yes,
thou meanest Ibn al-Ukab." Khalif cried, "That's the man I want,"
and making his way to him, gave him the letter, which when he
read and knew the purport thereof, he fell to kissing it and
laying it on his head; for it is said that Abu al-Hasan was the
agent of the Lady Kut al-Kulub and her intendant over all her
property in lands and houses. Now she had written to him, saying,
"From Her Highness the Lady Kut al-Kulub to Sir Abu al-Hasan the
jeweller. The instant this letter reacheth thee, set apart for us
a saloon completely equipped with furniture and vessels and
negro-slaves and slave-girls and what not else is needful for our
residence and seemly, and take the bearer of the missive and
carry him to the bath. Then clothe him in costly apparel and do
with him thus and thus." So he said "Hearing and obeying," and
locking up his shop, took the Fisherman and bore him to the bath,
where he committed him to one of the bathmen, that he might serve
him, according to custom. Then he went forth to carry out the
Lady Kut al-Kulub's orders. As for Khalif, he concluded, of his
lack of wit and stupidity, that the bath was a prison and said to
the bathman, "What crime have I committed that ye should lay me
in limbo?" They laughed at him and made him sit on the side of
the tank, whilst the bathman took hold of his legs, that he might
shampoo them. Khalif thought he meant to wrestle with him and
said to himself, "This is a wrestling-place[FN#292] and I knew
naught of it." Then he arose and seizing the bathman's legs,
lifted him up and threw him on the ground and broke his ribs. The
man cried out for help, whereupon the other bathmen came in a
crowd and fell upon Khalif and overcoming him by dint of numbers,
delivered their comrade from his clutches and tunded him till he
came to himself. Then they knew that the Fisherman was a
simpleton and served him till Abu al-Hasan came back with a dress
of rich stuff and clad him therein; after which he brought him a
handsome she-mule, ready saddled, and taking him by the hand,
carried him forth of the bath and said to him, "Mount." Quoth he,
"How shall I mount? I fear lest she throw me and break my ribs
into my belly." Nor would he back the mule, save after much
travail and trouble, and they stinted not faring on, till they
came to the place which Abu al-Hasan had set apart for the Lady
Kut al-Kulub. Thereupon Khalif entered and found her sitting,
with slaves and eunuchs about her and the porter at the door,
staff in hand, who when he saw the Fisherman sprang up and
kissing his hand, went before him, till he brought him within the
saloon. Here the Fisherman saw what amazed his wit, and his eye
was dazzled by that which he beheld of riches past count and
slaves and servants, who kissed his hand and said, "May the bath
be a blessing to thee!"[FN#293] When he entered the saloon and
drew near unto Kut al-Kulub, she sprang up to him and taking him
by the hand, seated him on a high-mattrassed divan. Then she
brought him a vase of sherbet of sugar, mingled with rosewater
and willow-water, and he took it and drank it off and left not a
single drop. Moreover, he ran his finger round the inside of the
vessel[FN#294] and would have licked it, but she forbade him,
saying, "That is foul." Quoth he, "Silence; this is naught but
good honey;" and she laughed at him and set before him a tray of
meats, whereof he ate his sufficiency. Then they brought an ewer
and basin of gold, and he washed his right hand and abode in the
gladdest of life and the most honourable. Now hear what befel the
Commander of the Faithful. When he came back from his journey and
found not Kut al-Kulub, he questioned the Lady Zubaydah of her
and she said, "She is verily dead, may thy head live, O Prince of
True Believers!" But she had bidden dig a grave amiddlemost the
Palace and had built over it a mock tomb, for her knowledge of
the love the Caliph bore to Kut al-Kulub: so she said to him, "O
Commander of the Faithful, I made her a tomb amiddlemost the
Palace and buried her there." Then she donned black,[FN#295] a
mere sham and pure pretence; and feigned mourning a great while.
Now Kut al-Kulub knew that the Caliph was come back from his
hunting excursion; so she turned to Khalif and said to him,
"Arise; hie thee to the bath and come back." So he rose and went
to the Hammam-bath, and when he returned, she clad him in a dress
worth a thousand dinars and taught him manners and respectful
bearing to superiors. Then said she to him, "Go hence to the
Caliph and say to him, ‘O Commander of the Faithful, 'tis my
desire that this night thou deign be my guest.'" So Khalif arose
and mounting his she-mule, rode, with pages and black slaves
before him, till he came to the Palace of the Caliphate. Quoth
the wise, "Dress up a stick and 'twill look chique."[FN#296] And
indeed his comeliness was manifest and his goodliness and the
folk marvelled at this. Presently, the Chief Eunuch saw him, the
same who had given him the hundred dinars that had been the cause
of his good fortune; so he went in to the Caliph and said to him,
"O Commander of the Faithful, Khalif the Fisherman is become a
King, and on him is a robe of honour worth a thousand dinars."
The Prince of True Believers bade admit him; so he entered and
said, "Peace be with thee, O Commander of the Faithful and
Vice-regent of the Lord of the three Worlds and Defender of the
folk of the Faith! Allah Almighty prolong thy days and honour thy
dominion and exalt thy degree to the highmost height!" The Caliph
looked at him and marvelled at him and how fortune had come to
him at unawares; then he said to him, "O Khalif, whence hadst
thou that robe which is upon thee?" He replied, "O Commander of
the Faithful, it cometh from my house." Quoth the Caliph, "Hast
thou then a house?"; and quoth Khalif, "Yea, verily! and thou, O
Commander of the Faithful, art my guest this day." Al-Rashid
said, "I alone, O Khalif, or I and those who are with me?"; and
he replied, "Thou and whom thou wilt." So Ja'afar turned to him
and said, "We will be thy guests this night;" whereupon he kissed
ground again and withdrawing, mounted his mule and rode off,
attended by his servants and suite of Mamelukes leaving the
Caliph marvelling at this and saying to Ja'afar, "Sawest thou
Khalif, with his mule and dress, his white slaves and his
dignity? But yesterday I knew him for a buffoon and a jester."
And they marvelled at this much. Then they mounted and rode, till
they drew near Khalif's house, when the Fisherman alighted and,
taking a bundle from one of his attendants, opened it and pulled
out therefrom a piece of tabby silk[FN#297] and spread it under
the hoofs of the Caliph's she-mule; then he brought out a piece
of velvet-Kimcob[FN#298] and a third of fine satin and did with
them likewise; and thus he spread well nigh twenty pieces of rich
stuffs, till Al-Rashid and his suite had reached the house; when
he came forward and said, "Bismillah,[FN#299] O Commander of the
Faithful!" Quoth Al-Rashid to Ja'afar, "I wonder to whom this
house may belong," and quoth he, "It belongeth to a man hight Ibn
al-Ukab, Syndic of the jewellers." So the Caliph dismounted and
entering, with his courtiers, saw a high-builded saloon, spacious
and boon, with couches on daïs and carpets and divans strown in
place. So he went up to the couch that was set for himself on
four legs of ivory, plated with glittering gold and covered with
seven carpets. This pleased him and behold, up came Khalif, with
eunuchs and little white slaves, bearing all manner sherbets,
compounded with sugar and lemon and perfumed with rose and
willow-water and the purest musk. The Fisherman advanced and
drank and gave the Caliph to drink, and the cup-bearers came
forward and served the rest of the company with the sherbets.
Then Khalif brought a table spread with meats of various colours
and geese and fowls and other birds, saying, "In the name of
Allah!" So they ate their fill; after which he bade remove the
tables and kissing the ground three times before the Caliph
craved his royal leave to bring wine and music.[FN#300] He
granted him permission for this and turning to Ja'afar, said to
him, "As my head liveth, the house and that which is therein is
Khalif's; for that he is ruler over it and I am in admiration at
him, whence there came to him this passing prosperity and
exceeding felicity! However, this is no great matter to Him who
saith to a thing, ‘Be!' and it becometh; what I most wonder at is
his understanding, how it hath increased, and whence he hath
gotten this loftiness and this lordliness; but, when Allah
willeth weal unto a man, He amendeth his intelligence before
bringing him to worldly affluence." As they were talking, behold,
up came Khalif, followed by cup-bearer lads like moons, belted
with zones of gold, who spread a cloth of siglaton[FN#301] and
set thereon flagons of chinaware and tall flasks of glass and
cups of crystal and bottles and hanaps[FN#302] of all colours;
and those flagons they filled with pure clear and old wine, whose
scent was as the fragrance of virgin musk and it was even as
saith the poet,

"Ply me and also my mate be plied * With pure wine prest in the
     olden tide.[FN#303]
Daughter of nobles[FN#304] they lead her forth[FN#305] * In
     raiment of goblets beautified.
They belt her round with the brightest gems, * And pearls and
     unions, the Ocean's pride;
So I by these signs and signets know * Wherefore the Wine is
     entitled ‘Bride.'[FN#306]"

And round about these vessels were confections and flowers, such
as may not be surpassed. When Al-Rashid saw this from Khalif, he
inclined to him and smiled upon him and invested him with an
office; so Khalif wished him continuance of honour and endurance
of days and said, "Will the Commander of the Faithful deign give
me leave to bring him a singer, a lute-player her like was never
heard among mortals ever?" Quoth the Caliph, "Thou art
permitted!" So he kissed ground before him and going to a secret
closet, called Kut al-Kulub, who came after she had disguised and
falsed and veiled herself, tripping in her robes and trinkets;
and she kissed ground before the Commander of the Faithful. Then
she sat down and tuning the lute, touched its strings and played
upon it, till all present were like to faint for excess of
delight; after which she improvised these verses,

"Would Heaven I wot, will ever Time bring our beloveds back
     again? * And, ah! will Union and its bliss to bless two
     lovers deign?
Will Time assure to us united days and joinèd joy, * While from
     the storms and stowres of life in safety we remain?
Then O Who bade this pleasure be, our parting past and gone, *
     And made one house our meeting-stead throughout the Nights
By him, draw near me, love, and closest cling to side of me *
     Else were my wearied wasted life, a vanity, a bane."

When the Caliph heard this, he could not master himself, but rent
his raiment and fell down a-swoon; whereupon all who were present
hastened to doff their dress and throw it over him, whilst Kut
al-Kulub signed to Khalif and said to him, "Hie to yonder chest
and bring us what is therein;" for she had made ready therein a
suit of the Caliph's wear against the like of such hour as this.
So Khalif brought it to her and she threw it over the Commander
of the Faithful, who came to himself and knowing her for Kut al-
Kulub, said, "Is this the Day of Resurrection and hath Allah
quickened those who are in the tombs; or am I asleep and is this
an imbroglio of dreams?" Quoth Kut al-Kulub, "We are on wake, not
on sleep, and I am alive, nor have I drained the cup of death."
Then she told him all that had befallen her, and indeed, since he
lost her, life had not been light to him nor had sleep been
sweet, and he abode now wondering, then weeping and anon afire
for longing. When she had made an end of her story, the Caliph
rose and took her by the hand, intending for her palace, after he
had kissed her inner lips, and had strained her to his bosom;
whereupon Khalif rose and said, "By Allah, O Commander of the
Faithful! Thou hast already wronged me once, and now thou
wrongest me again." Quoth Al-Rashid, "Indeed thou speakest sooth,
O Khalif," and bade the Wazir Ja'afar give him what should
satisfy him. So he straightway gifted him with all for which he
wished and assigned him a village, the yearly revenues whereof
were twenty thousand dinars. Moreover Kut al-Kulub generously
presented him the house and all that was therein of furniture and
hangings and white slaves and slave-girls and eunuchs great and
small. So Khalif became possessed of this passing affluence and
exceeding wealth and took him a wife, and prosperity taught him
gravity and dignity, and good fortune overwhelmed him. The Caliph
enrolled him among his equerries and he abode in all solace of
life and its delights till he deceased and was admitted to the
mercy of Allah. Furthermore they relate a tale anent[FN#307]

              MASRUR AND ZAYN AL-MAWASIF.[FN#308]

There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before a man and a merchant Masrúr hight, who was of the
comeliest of the folk of his tide, a wight of wealth galore and
in easiest case; but he loved to take his pleasure in vergiers
and flower-gardens and to divert himself with the love of the
fair. Now it fortuned one night, as he lay asleep, he dreamt that
he was in a garth of the loveliest, wherein were four birds, and
amongst them a dove, white as polished silver. That dove pleased
him and for her grew up in his heart an exceeding love.
Presently, he beheld a great bird swoop down on him and snatch
the dove from his hand, and this was grievous to him. After which
he awoke and not finding the bird strave with his yearnings till
morning, when he said in himself, "There is no help but that I go
to-day to some one who will expound to me this vision."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the merchant awoke, he strave with his yearnings till morning
when he said to himself, "There is no help but that I go this day
to some one who will expound to me this vision." So he went forth
and walked right and left, till he was far from his
dwelling-place, but found none to interpret the dream to him.
Then he would have returned, but on his way behold, the fancy
took him to turn aside to the house of a certain trader, a man of
the wealthiest, and when he drew near to it, suddenly he heard
from within a plaintive voice from a sorrowful heart reciting
these couplets,

"The breeze o' Morn blows uswards from her trace * Fragrant, and
     heals the love-sick lover's case.
I stand like captive on the mounds and ask * While tears make
     answer for the ruined place:
Quoth I, ‘By Allah, Breeze o' Morning, say * Shall Time and
     Fortune aye this stead regrace?
Shall I enjoy a fawn whose form bewitched * And langourous
     eyelids wasted frame and face?'"

When Masrur heard this, he looked in through the doorway and saw
a garden of the goodliest of gardens, and at its farther end a
curtain of red brocade, purfled with pearls and gems, behind
which sat four damsels, and amongst them a young lady over four
feet and under five in height, as she were the rondure of the
lune and the full moon shining boon: she had eyes Kohl'd with
nature's dye and joined eyebrows, a mouth as it were Solomon's
seal and lips and teeth bright with pearls and coral's light; and
indeed she ravished all wits with her beauty and loveliness and
symmetry and perfect grace. When Masrur espied her, he entered
the porch and went on entering till he came to the curtain:
whereupon she raised her head and glanced at him. So he saluted
her and she returned his salam with sweetest speech; and, when he
considered her more straitly, his reason was dazed and his heart
amazed. Then he looked at the garden and saw that it was full of
jessamine and gilly flowers and violets and roses and orange
blossoms and all manner sweet-scented blooms and herbs. Every
tree was girt about with fruits and there coursed down water from
four daïses, which faced one another and occupied the four
corners of the garden. He looked at the first Líwán and found
written around it with vermilion these two couplets,

"Ho thou the House! Grief never home in thee; * Nor Time work
     treason on thine owner's head:
All good betide the House which every guest * Harbours, when sore
     distrest for way and stead!"

Then he looked at the second daïs and found written thereon in
red gold these couplets,

"Robe thee, O House, in richest raiment Time, * Long as the
     birdies on the branchlets chime!
And sweetest perfumes breathe within thy walls * And lover meet
     beloved in bliss sublime.
And dwell thy dwellers all in joy and pride * Long as the
     wandering stars Heaven-hill shall climb."

Then he looked at the third, whereon he found written in
ultramarine these two couplets,

"Ever thy pomp and pride, O House! display * While starkeneth
     Night and shineth sheeny Day!
Boon Fortune bless all entering thy walls, * And whomso dwell in
     thee, for ever and aye!"

Then he looked at the fourth and saw painted in yellow characters
this couplet,

"This garden and this lake in truth * Are fair sitting-steads, by
     the Lord of Ruth!"

Moreover, in that garden were birds of all breeds, ring-dove and
cushat and nightingale and culver, each singing his several song,
and amongst them the lady, swaying gracefully to and fro in her
beauty and grace and symmetry and loveliness and ravishing all
who saw her. Presently quoth she to Masrur, "Hola man! what
bringeth thee into a house other than thy house and wherefore
comest thou in unto women other than thy women, without leave of
their owner?" Quoth he, "O my lady, I saw this garden, and the
goodliness of its greenery pleased me and the fragrance of its
flowers and the carolling of its birds; so I entered, thinking to
gaze on it awhile and wend my way." Said she, "With love and
gladness!"; and Masrur was amazed at the sweetness of her speech
and the coquetry of her glances and the straightness of her
shape, and transported by her beauty and seemlihead and the
pleasantness of the garden and the birds. So in the disorder of
his spirits he recited these couplets,

"As a crescent-moon in the garth her form * 'Mid Basil and
     jasmine and Rose I scan;
And Violet faced by the Myrtle-spray * And Nu'umán's bloom and
By her perfume the Zephyrs perfumèd breathe * And with scented
     sighings the branches fan.
O Garden, thou perfect of beauty art * All charms comprising in
     perfect plan;
And melodious birdies sing madrigals * And the Full Moon[FN#309]
     shineth in branchshade wan;
Its ring-dove, its culver, its mocking-bird * And its Philomel
     sing my soul t' unman;
And the longing of love all my wits confuseth * For her charms,
     as the man whom his wine bemuseth."

Now when Zayn al-Mawásif heard his verse, she glanced at him with
eyes which bequeathed a thousand sighs and utterly ravished his
wisdom and wits and replied to him in these lines,

"Hope not of our favours to make thy prey * And of what thou
     wishest thy greed allay:
And cease thy longing; thou canst not win * The love of the Fair
     thou'rt fain t' essay,
My glances to lovers are baleful and naught * I reek of thy
     speech: I have said my say!"

"Ho, thou! Begone about thy business, for we are none of the
woman-tribe who are neither thine nor another's.[FN#310]" And he
answered, "O my lady, I said nothing ill." Quoth she, "Thou
soughtest to divert thyself[FN#311] and thou hast had thy
diversion; so wend thy ways." Quoth he, "O my lady, belike thou
wilt give me a draught of water, for I am athirst." Whereupon she
cried, "How canst thou drink of a Jew's water, and thou a
Nazarene?" But he replied, "O my lady, your water is not
forbidden to us nor ours unlawful to you, for we are all as one
creation." So she said to her slave-girl, "Give him to drink;"
and she did as she was bidden. Then she called for the table of
food, and there came four damsels, high-bosomed maids, bearing
four trays of meats and four gilt flagons full of strong
old-wine, as it were the tears of a slave of love for clearness,
and a table around whose edge were graven these couplets,

"For eaters a table they brought and set * In the banquet-hall
     and 'twas dight with gold:
Like th' Eternal Garden that gathers all * Man wants of meat and
     wines manifold."

And when the high-breasted maids had set all this before him,
quoth she, "Thou soughtest to drink of our drink; so up and at
our meat and drink!" He could hardly credit what his ears had
heard and sat down at the table forthright; whereupon she bade
her nurse[FN#312] give him a cup, that he might drink. Now her
slave-girls were called, one Hubúb, another Khutúb and the third
Sukúb,[FN#313] and she who gave him the cup was Hubub. So he took
the cup and looking at the outside there saw written these

"Drain not the howl but with lovely wight * Who loves thee and
     wine makes brighter bright.
And 'ware her Scorpions[FN#314] that o'er thee creep * And guard
     thy tongue lest thou vex her sprite."

Then the cup went round and when he emptied it he looked inside
and saw written,

"And 'ware her Scorpions when pressing them, * And hide her
     secrets from foes' despight."

Whereupon Masrur laughed her-wards and she asked him, "What
causeth thee to laugh?" "For the fulness of my joy," quoth he.
Presently, the breeze blew on her and the scarf[FN#315] fell from
her head and discovered a fillet[FN#316] of glittering gold, set
with pearls and gems and jacinths; and on her breast was a
necklace of all manner ring-jewels and precious stones, to the
centre of which hung a sparrow of red gold, with feet of red
coral and bill of white silver and body full of Nadd-powder and
pure ambergris and odoriferous musk. And upon its back was

"The Nadd is my wine-scented powder, my bread; * And the bosom's
     my bed and the breasts my stead:
And my neck-nape complains of the weight of love, * Of my pain,
     of my pine, of my drearihead."

Then Masrur looked at the breast of her shift and behold, thereon
lay wroughten in red gold this verse,

"The fragrance of musk from the breasts of the fair * Zephyr
     borrows, to sweeten the morning air."

Masrur marvelled at this with exceeding wonder and was dazed by
her charms and amazement gat hold upon him. Then said Zayn
al-Mawásif to him, "Begone from us and go about thy business,
lest the neighbours hear of us and even us with the lewd." He
replied, "By Allah, O my lady, suffer my sight to enjoy the view
of thy beauty and loveliness." With this she was wroth with him
and leaving him, walked in the garden, and he looked at her
shift-sleeve and saw upon it embroidered these lines,

"The weaver-wight wrote with gold-ore bright * And her wrists on
     brocade rained a brighter light:
Her palms are adorned with a silvern sheen; * And favour her
     fingers the ivory's white:
For their tips are rounded like priceless pearl; * And her charms
     would enlighten the nightiest night."

And, as she paced the garth, Masrur gazed at her slippers and saw
written upon them these pleasant lines,

"The slippers that carry these fair young feet * Cause her form
     to bend in its gracious bloom:
When she paces and waves in the breeze she owns, * She shines
     fullest moon in the murkiest gloom."

She was followed by her women leaving Hubub with Masrur by the
curtain, upon whose edge were embroidered these couplets,

"Behind the veil a damsel sits with gracious beauty dight, *
     Praise to the Lord who decked her with these inner gifts of
Guards her the garden and the bird fain bears her company; *
     Gladden her wine-draughts and the bowl but makes her
Apple and Cassia-blossom show their envy of her cheeks; * And
     borrows Pearl resplendency from her resplendent light;
As though the sperm that gendered her were drop of
     marguerite[FN#317] * Happy who kisses her and spends in her
     embrace the night."

So Masrur entered into a long discourse with Hubub and presently
said to her, "O Hubub, hath thy mistress a husband or not?" She
replied, "My lady hath a husband; but he is actually abroad on a
journey with merchandise of his." Now whenas he heard that her
husband was abroad on a journey, his heart lusted after her and
he said, "O Hubub, glorified be He who created this damsel and
fashioned her! How sweet is her beauty and her loveliness and her
symmetry and perfect grace! Verily, into my heart is fallen sore
travail for her. O Hubub, so do that I come to enjoy her, and
thou shalt have of me what thou wilt of wealth and what not
else." Replied Hubub, "O Nazarene, if she heard thee speak thus,
she would slay thee, or else she would kill herself, for she is
the daughter of a Zealot[FN#318] of the Jews nor is there her
like amongst them: she hath no need of money and she keepeth
herself ever cloistered, discovering not her case to any." Quoth
Masrur, "O Hubub, an thou wilt but bring me to enjoy her, I will
be to thee slave and foot page and will serve thee all my life
and give thee whatsoever thou seekest of me." But quoth she, "O
Masrur, in very sooth this woman hath no lust for money nor yet
for men, because my lady Zayn al-Mawasif is of the cloistered,
going not forth her house-door in fear lest folk see her; and but
that she bore with thee by reason of thy strangerhood, she had
not permitted thee to pass her threshold; no, not though thou
wert her brother." He replied, "O Hubub, be thou our go-between
and thou shalt have of me an hundred gold dinars and a dress
worth as much more, for that the love of her hath gotten hold of
my heart." Hearing this she said, "O man, let me go about with
her in talk and I will return thee and answer and acquaint thee
with what she saith. Indeed, she loveth those who berhyme her and
she affecteth those who set forth her charms and beauty and
loveliness in verse, and we may not prevail over her save by
wiles and soft speech and beguilement." Thereupon Hubub rose and
going up to her mistress, accosted her with privy talk of this
and that and presently said to her, "O my lady, look at yonder
young man, the Nazarene; how sweet is his speech and how shapely
his shape!" When Zayn al-Mawasif heard this, she turned to her
and said, "An thou like his comeliness love him thyself. Art thou
not ashamed to address the like of me with these words? Go, bid
him begone about his business; or I will make it the worse for
him." So Hubub returned to Masrur, but acquainted him not with
that which her mistress had said. Then the lady bade her hie to
the door and look if she saw any of the folk, lest foul befal
them. So she went and returning, said, "O my lady, without are
folk in plenty and we cannot let him go forth this night." Quoth
Zayn al-Mawasif, "I am in dole because of a dream I have seen and
am fearful therefrom." And Masrur said, "What sawest thou? Allah
never trouble thy heart!" She replied, "I was asleep in the
middle of the night, when suddenly an eagle swooped down upon me
from the highest of the clouds and would have carried me off from
behind the curtain, wherefore I was affrighted at him. Then I
awoke from sleep and bade my women bring me meat and drink, so
haply, when I had drunken, the dolour of the dream would cease
from me." Hearing this, Masrur smiled and told her his dream from
first to last and how he had caught the dove, whereat she
marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then he went on to talk with her
at great length and said, "I am now certified of the truth of my
dream, for thou art the dove and I the eagle, and there is no
hope but that this must be, for, the moment I set eyes on thee,
thou tookest possession of my vitals and settest my heart a-fire
for love of thee!" Thereupon Zayn al-Mawasif became wroth with
exceeding wrath and said to him, "I take refuge with Allah from
this! Allah upon thee, begone about thy business ere the
neighbours espy thee and there betide us sore reproach," adding,
"Harkye, man! Let not thy soul covet that it shall not obtain.
Thou weariest thyself in vain; for I am a merchant's wife and a
merchant's daughter and thou art a druggist; and when sawest thou
a druggist and a merchant's daughter conjoined by such
sentiment?" He replied, "O my lady, never lacked love-liesse
between folk[FN#319]; so cut thou not off from me hope of this
and whatsoever thou seekest of me of money and raiment and
ornaments and what not else, I will give thee." Then he abode
with her in discourse and mutual blaming whilst she still
redoubled in anger, till it was black night, when he said to her,
"O my lady, take this gold piece and fetch me a little wine, for
I am athirst and heavy hearted." So she said to the slave-girl
Hubub, "Fetch him wine and take naught from him, for we have no
need of his dinar." So she went whilst Masrur held his peace and
bespake not the lady, who suddenly improvised these lines,

"Leave this thy design and depart, O man! * Nor tread paths where
     lewdness and crime trepan!
Love is a net shall enmesh thy sprite, * Make thee rise a-morning
     sad, weary and wan:
For our spy thou shalt eke be the cause of talk; * And for thee
     shall blame me my tribe and clan:
Yet scant I marvel thou lovest a Fair:-- * Gazelles hunting lions
     we aye shall scan!"

And he answered her with these,

"Joy of boughs, bright branch of Myrobalan! * Have ruth on the
     heart all thy charms unman:
Death-cup to the dregs thou garrest me drain * And don weed of
     Love with its bane and ban:
How can soothe I a heart which for stress of pine * Burns with
     living coals which my longings fan?"

Hearing these lines she exclaimed, "Away from me! Quoth the saw
‘Whoso looseth his sight wearieth his sprite.' By Allah, I am
tired of discourse with thee and chiding, and indeed thy soul
coveteth that shall never become thine; nay, though thou gave me
my weight in gold, thou shouldst not get thy wicked will of me;
for, I know naught of the things of the world, save pleasant
life, by the boon of Allah Almighty!" He answered, "O my lady
Zayn al-Mawasif, ask of me what thou wilt of the goods of the
world." Quoth she, "What shall I ask of thee? For sure thou wilt
fare forth and prate of me in the highway and I shall become a
laughing-stock among the folk and they will make a byword of me
in verse, me who am the daughter of the chief of the merchants
and whose father is known of the notables of the tribe. I have no
need of money or raiment and such love will not be hidden from
the people and I shall be brought to shame, I and my kith and
kin." With this Masrur was confounded and could make her no
answer; but presently she said, "Indeed, the master-thief, if he
steal, stealeth not but what is worth his neck, and every woman
who doth lewdness with other than her husband is styled a thief;
so, if it must be thus and no help[FN#320], thou shalt give me
whatsoever my heart desireth of money and raiment and ornaments
and what not." Quoth he, "An thou sought of me the world and all
its regions contain from its East to its West, 'twere but a
little thing, compared with thy favour;" and quoth she, "I will
have of thee three suits, each worth a thousand Egyptian dinars,
and adorned with gold and fairly purfled with pearls and jewels
and jacinths, the best of their kind. Furthermore I require that
thou swear to me thou wilt keep my secret nor discover it to any
and that thou wilt company with none but me; and I in turn will
swear to thee a true oath that I will never false thee in love."
So he sware to her the oath she required and she sware to him,
and they agreed upon this; after which she said to her nurse
Hubub, "To-morrow go thou with Masrur to his lodging and seek
somewhat of musk and ambergris and Nadd and rose-water and see
what he hath. If he be a man of condition, we will take him into
favour; but an he be otherwise we will leave him." Then said she
to him, "O Masrur, I desire somewhat of musk and ambergris and
aloes-wood and Nadd; so do thou send it me by Hubub;" and he
answered, "With love and gladness; my shop is at thy disposal!"
Then the wine went round between them and their séance was sweet:
but Masrur's heart was troubled for the passion and pining which
possessed him; and when Zayn alMawasif saw him in this plight,
she said to her slave-girl Sukub, "Arouse Masrur from his stupor;
mayhap he will recover." Answered Sukub, "Hearkening and
obedience," and sang these couplets,

"Bring gold and gear an a lover thou, * And hymn thy love so
     success shalt row;
Joy the smiling fawn with the black-edged eyne * And the bending
     lines of the Cassiabough:
On her look, and a marvel therein shalt sight, * And pour out thy
     life ere thy life-term show:
Love's affect be this, an thou weet the same; * But, an gold
     deceive thee, leave gold and go!"

Hereupon Masrur understood her and said, "I hear and apprehend.
Never was grief but after came relief, and after affliction
dealing He will order the healing." Then Zayn al-Mawasif recited
these couplets,

"From Love-stupor awake, O Masrur, 'twere best; * For this day I
     dread my love rend thy breast;
And to-morrow I fear me folks' marvel-tale * Shall make us a
     byword from East to West:
Leave love of my like or thou'lt gain thee blame; * Why turn thee
     us-wards? Such love's unblest!
For one strange of lineage whose kin repel * Thou shalt wake
     ill-famed, of friends dispossest:
I'm a Zealot's child and affright the folk: * Would my life were
     ended and I at rest!"

Then Masrur answered her improvisation and began to say these

"To grief leave a heart that to love ne'er ceased; * Nor blame,
     for your blame ever love increased:
You misrule my vitals in tyrant-guise; * Morn and Eve I wend not
     or West or East;
Love's law forbids me to do me die; * They say Love's victim is
     ne'er released:
Well-away! Could I find in Love's Court a judge * I'd 'plain and
     win to my rights at least."

They ceased not from mutual chiding till morning morrowed, when
Zayn al-Mawasif said, "O Masrur 'tis time for thee to depart,
lest one of the folk see thee and foul befal us twain." So he
arose and accompanied by nurse Hubub fared on, till they came to
his lodging, where he talked with her and said to her, "All thou
seekest of me is ready for thee, so but thou wilt bring me to
enjoy her." Hubub replied, "Hearten thy heart;" whereupon he rose
and gave her an hundred dinars, saying "O Hubub, I have by me a
dress worth an hundred gold pieces." Answered she, "O Masrur,
make haste with the trinkets and other things promised her, ere
she change her mind, for we may not take her, save with wile and
guile, and she loveth the saying of verse." Quoth he, "Hearing
and obeying," and bringing her the musk and ambergris and
lign-aloes and rosewater, returned with her to Zayn al-Mawasif
and saluted her. She returned his salam with the sweetest speech,
and he was dazed by her beauty and improvised these lines,

"O thou sheeniest Sun who in night dost shine! * O who stole my
     soul with those large black eyne!
O slim-shaped fair with the graceful neck! * O who shamest Rose
     wi' those checks o' thine!
Blind not our sight wi' thy fell disdain, * Disdain, that shall
     load us with pain and pine;
Passion homes in our inmost, nor will be quenched * The fire of
     yearning in vitals li'en:
Your love has housèd in heart of me * And of issue but you see I
     ne'er a sign:
Then haply you'll pity this hapless wight * Thy sad lover and
     then--O the Morn divine!"

When Zayn al-Mawasif heard his verses, she cast at him a glance
of eyes, that bequeathed him a thousand regrets and sighs and his
wits and soul were ravished in such wise, and answered him with
these couplets[FN#321],

"Think not from her, of whom thou art enamoured aye * To win
     delight; so put desire from thee away.
Leave that thou hop'st, for 'gainst her rigours whom thou lov'st
     * Among the fair, in vain is all thou canst essay.
My looks to lovers bring discomfiture and woe: Indeed, * I make
     no count of that which thou dost say."

When Masrur heard this, he hardened his heart and took patience,
concealing his case and saying in himself, "There is nothing for
it against calamity save longsuffering;" and after this fashion
they abode till nightfall when Zayn al-Mawasif called for food
and they set before her a tray wherein were all manner of dishes,
quails and pigeons and mutton and so forth, whereof they ate
their sufficiency. Then she bade take away the tables and they
did so and fetched the lavatory gear; and they washed their
hands, after which she ordered her women to bring the
candlesticks, and they set on candelabra and candles therein of
camphorated wax. Thereupon quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "By Allah, my
breast is straitened this night and I am afevered;" and quoth
Masrur, "Allah broaden thy breast and banish thy bane!" Then she
said, "O Masrur, I am used to play at chess: say me, knowest
aught of the game?" He replied, "Yes; I am skilled therein;"
whereupon she commanded her handmaid Hubub fetch her the
chessboard. So she went away and presently returning with the
board, set it before her, and behold, it was of ivory-marquetried
ebony with squares marked in glittering gold, and its pieces of
pearl and ruby.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif bade the chessboard be brought, they set it between
her hands; and Masrur was amazed at this, when she turned to him
and said, "Wilt have red or white?" He replied, "O Princess of
the fair and adornment of morning air, do thou take the red for
they formous are and fitter for the like of thee to bear and
leave the white to my care." Answered she, "So be it;" and,
taking the red pieces, ranged them opposite the white, then put
out her hand to a piece purposing the first pass into the
battle-plain. Masrur considered her fingers, which were white as
paste, and was confounded at their beauty and shapely shape;
whereupon she turned to him and said, "O Masrur, be not bedazed,
but take patience and calm thyself." He rejoined, "O thou whose
beauty shameth the moon, how shall a lover look on thee and have
patience-boon?" And while this was doing she cried,
"Checkmate[FN#322]!" and beat him; wherefore she knew that he was
Jinn-mad for love of her and said to him, "O Masrur, I will not
play with thee save for a set stake." He replied, "I hear and
obey," and she rejoined, "Swear to me and I will swear to thee
that neither of us will cheat[FN#323] the adversary." So both
sware this and she said, "O Masrur, an I beat thee, I will have
ten dinars of thee, but an thou beat me, I will give thee a mere
nothing." He expected to win, so he said, "O my lady, be not
false to thine oath, for I see thou art an overmatch for me at
this game!" "Agreed," said she and they ranged their men and fell
again to playing and pushing on their pawns and catching them up
with the queens and aligning and matching them with the castles
and solacing them with the onslaught of the knights. Now the
"Adornment of Qualities" wore on head a kerchief of blue brocade
so she loosed it off and tucking up her sleeve, showed a wrist
like a shaft of light and passed her palm over the red pieces,
saying to him, "Look to thyself." But he was dazzled at her
beauty, and the sight of her graces bereft him of reason, so that
he became dazed and amazed and put out his hand to the white men,
but it alit upon the red. Said she, "O Masrur, where be thy wits?
The red are mine and the white thine;" and he replied, "Whoso
looketh at thee perforce loseth all his senses." Then, seeing how
it was with him, she took the white from him and gave him the
red, and they played and she beat him. He ceased not to play with
her and she to beat him, whilst he paid her each time ten dinars,
till, knowing him to be distraught for love of her, she said, "O
Masrur, thou wilt never win to thy wish, except thou beat me, for
such was our understanding; and henceforth, I will not play with
thee save for a stake of an hundred dinars a game." "With love
and gladness," answered he and she went on playing and ever
beating him and he paid her an hundred dinars each time; and on
this wise they abode till the morning, without his having won a
single game, when he suddenly sprang to his feet. Quoth she,
"What wilt thou do, O Masrur?"; and quoth he, "I mean to go to my
lodging and fetch somewhat of money: it may be I shall come to my
desire." "Do whatso seemeth good to thee," said she; so he went
home and taking all the money he had, returned to her improvising
these two couplets,

"In dream I saw a bird o'er speed (meseem'd), * Love's garden
     decked with blooms that smiled and gleamed:
But I shall ken, when won my wish and will * Of thee, the
     truthful sense of what I dreamed."

Now when Masrur returned to her with all his monies they fell
a-playing again; but she still beat him and he could not beat her
once; and in such case they abode three days, till she had gotten
of him the whole of his coin; whereupon said she, "O Masrur, what
wilt thou do now?"; and he replied, "I will stake thee a
druggist's shop." "What is its worth?" asked she; and he
answered, "Five hundred dinars." So they played five bouts and
she won the shop of him. Then he betted his slave-girls, lands,
houses, gardens, and she won the whole of them, till she had
gotten of him all he had; whereupon she turned to him and said,
"Hast thou aught left to lay down?" Cried he, "By Him who made me
fall into the snare of thy love, I have neither money to touch
nor aught else left, little or much!" She rejoined, "O Masrur,
the end of whatso began in content shall not drive man to repent;
wherefore, an thou regret aught, take back thy good and begone
from us about thy business and I will hold thee quit towards me."
Masrur rejoined, "By Him who decreed these things to us, though
thou sought to take my life 'twere a wee thing to stake for thine
approof, because I love none but thee!" Then said she, "O Masrur,
fare forthright and fetch the Kazi and the witnesses and make
over to me by deed all thy lands and possessions." "Willingly,"
replied he and, going forth without stay or delay, brought the
Kazi and the witnesses and set them before her. When the judge
saw her, his wits fled and his mind was amazed and his reason was
dazed for the beauty of her fingers, and he said to her, "O my
lady, I will not write out the writ of conveyance, save upon
condition that thou buy the lands and mansions and slave-girls
and that they all pass under thy control and into thy
possession." She rejoined, "We're agreed upon that. Write me a
deed, whereby all Masrur's houses and lands and slave-girls and
whatso his right hand possesseth shall pass to Zayn al-Mawasif
and become her property at such a price." So the Kazi wrote out
the writ and the witnesses set hands thereto; whereupon she took
it.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Zayn al-Mawasif took from the Kazi the deed which made over her
lover's property to her, she said to him, "O Masrur, now gang thy
gait." But her slave-girl Hubub turned to him and said, "Recite
us some verses." So he improvised upon that game of chess these

"Of Time and what befel me I complain, * Mourning my loss by
     chess and eyes of bane.
For love of gentlest, softest-sided fair * Whose like is not of
     maids or mortal strain:
The shafts of glances from those eyne who shot * And led her
     conquering host to battle-plain
Red men and white men and the clashing Knights * And, crying
     ‘Look to thee!' came forth amain:
And, when down charging, finger-tips she showed * That gloomed
     like blackest night for sable stain,
The Whites I could not rescue, could not save * While ecstasy
     made tear, floods rail and rain:
The Pawns and Castles with their Queens fell low * And fled the
     Whites nor could the brunt sustain:
Yea, with her shaft of glance at me she shot * And soon that
     shaft had pierced my heart and brain:
She gave me choice between her hosts, and I * The Whites like
     moonlight first to choose was fain,
Saying, ‘This argent folk best fitteth me * I love them, but the
     Red by thee be ta'en!'
She playèd me for free accepted stake * Yet amorous mercy I could
     ne'er obtain:
O fire of heart, O pine and woe of me, * Wooing a fair like moon
     mid starry train:
Burns not my heart O no! nor aught regrets * Of good or land, but
     ah! her eyes' disdain!
Amazed I'm grown and dazed for drearihead * And blame I Time who
     brought such pine and pain.
Quoth she, ‘Why art thou so bedazed!' quoth I * ‘Wine-drunken
     wight shall more of wine assain?'
That mortal stole my sense by silk-soft shape, * Which doth for
     heart-core hardest rock contain.
I nervèd self and cried, ‘This day she's mine' * By bet, nor fear
     I prove she unhumàne:
My heart ne'er ceased to seek possession, till * Beggared I found
     me for conditions twain:
Will youth you loveth shun the Love-dealt blow, * Tho' were he
     whelmed in Love's high-surging main?
So woke the slave sans e'en a coin to turn, * Thralled to repine
     for what he ne'er shall gain!"

Zayn al-Mawasif hearing these words marvelled at the eloquence of
his tongue and said to him, "O Masrur, leave this madness and
return to thy right reason and wend thy ways; for thou hast
wasted all thy moveables and immoveables at the chessgame, yet
hast not won thy wish, nor hast thou any resource or device
whereby thou mayst attain to it." But he turned to her and said,
"O my lady, ask of me whatso thou wilt and thou shalt have it;
for I will bring it to thee and lay it at thy feet." Answered
she, "O Masrur, thou hast no money left." "O goal of all hopes,
if I have no money, the folk will help me." "Shall the giver turn
asker?" "I have friends and kinsfolk, and whatsoever I seek of
them, they will give me." "O Masrur, I will have of thee four
pods of musk and four vases of civet[FN#324] and four pounds of
ambergris and four thousand dinars and four hundred pieces of
royal brocade, purfled with gold. An thou bring me these things,
O Masrur, I will grant thee my favours." "This is a light matter
to me, O thou that puttest the moons to shame," replied he and
went forth to fetch her what she sought. She sent her maid Hubub
after him, to see what worth he had with the folk of whom he had
spoken to her; but, as he walked along the highways he turned and
seeing her afar off, waited till she came up to him and said to
her, "Whither away, O Hubub?" So she said to him, "My mistress
sent me to follow for this and that," and he replied, "By Allah,
O Hubub, I have nothing to hand!" She asked, "Then why didst thou
promise her?"; and he answered, "How many a promise made is
unkept of its maker! Fine words in love-matters needs must be."
When she heard this from him, she said, "O Masrur, be of good
cheer and eyes clear for, by Allah, most assuredly I will be the
means of thy coming to enjoy her!" Then she left him nor ceased
walking till she stood before her mistress weeping with sore
weeping, and said, "O my lady, indeed he is a man of great
consideration, and good repute among the folk." Quoth Zayn
al-Mawasif, "There is no device against the destiny of Almighty
Allah! Verily, this man found not in me a pitiful heart, for that
I despoiled him of his substance and he got of me neither
affection nor complaisance in granting him amorous joy; but, if I
incline to his inclination, I fear lest the thing be bruited
abroad." Quoth Hubub, "O my lady, verily, grievous upon us is his
present plight and the loss of his good and thou hast with thee
none save thyself and thy slave-girl Sukub; so which of us two
would dare prate of thee, and we thy handmaids?" With this, she
bowed her head for a while ground-wards and the damsels said to
her, "O my lady, it is our rede that thou send after him and show
him grace and suffer him not ask of the sordid; for how bitter is
such begging!" So she accepted their counsel and calling for
inkcase and paper, wrote him these couplets,

"Joy is nigh, O Masrúr, so rejoice in true rede; * Whenas night
     shall fall thou shalt do kind-deed:
Crave not of the sordid a loan, fair youth, * Wine stole my wits
     but they now take heed:
All thy good I reft shall return to thee, * O Masrúr, and I'll
     add to them amorous meed;
For indeed th' art patient, and sweet of soul * When wronged by
     thy lover's tyrannic greed.
So haste to enjoy us and luck to thee! * Lest my folk come
     between us speed, love, all speed!
Hurry uswards thou, nor delay, and while * My mate is far, on
     Love's fruit come feed."

Then she folded the paper and gave it to Hubub the handmaid, who
carried it to Masrur and found him weeping and reciting in a
transport of passion and love-longing these lines,

"A breeze of love on my soul did blow * That consumed my liver
     for stress of lowe;
When my sweetheart went all my longings grew; * And with tears in
     torrent mine eyelids flow:
Such my doubt and fears, did I tell their tale * To deaf rocks
     and pebbles they'd melt for woe.
Would Heaven I wot shall I sight delight, * And shall win my wish
     and my friend shall know!
Shall be folded up nights that doomed us part * And I be healed
     of what harms my heart?"

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

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that while
Masrur, transported by passion and love-longing, was repeating
his couplets in sing-song tone Hubub knocked at his door; so he
rose and opened to her, and she entered and gave him the letter.
He read it and said to her, "O Hubub, what is behind thee of thy
lady's news[FN#325]?" She answered, "O my lord, verily, in this
letter is that dispenseth me from reply, for thou art of those
who readily descry!" Thereat he rejoiced with joy exceeding and
repeated these two couplets,

"Came the writ whose contents a new joy revealed, * Which in
     vitals mine I would keep ensealed:
And my longings grew when I kissed that writ, * As were pearl of
     passion therein concealed."

Then he wrote a letter answering hers and gave it to Hubub, who
took it and returned with it to her mistress and forthright fell
to extolling his charms to her and expiating on his good gifts
and generosity; for she was become a helper to him, to bring
about his union with her lady. Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "O Hubub,
indeed he tarrieth to come to us;" and quoth Hubub, "He will
certainly come soon." Hardly had she made an end of speaking when
behold, he knocked at the door, and she opened to him and brought
him in to her mistress, who saluted him with the salam[FN#326]
and welcomed him and seated him by her side. Then she said to
Hubub, "Bring me a suit of brocade;" so she brought a robe
broidered with gold and Zayn al-Mawasif threw it over him, whilst
she herself donned one of the richest dresses and crowned her
head with a net of pearls of the freshest water. About this she
bound a fillet of brocade, purfled with pearls, jacinths and
other jewels, from beneath which she let down two tresses[FN#327]
each looped with a pendant of ruby, charactered with glittering
gold, and she loosed her hair, as it were the sombrest night; and
lastly she incensed herself with aloes-wood and scented herself
with musk and ambergris, and Hubub said to her, "Allah save thee
from the evil eye!" Then she began to walk, swaying from side to
side with gracefullest gait, whilst Hubub who excelled in
verse-making, recited in her honour these couplets,

"Shamed is the bough of Bán by pace of her; * And harmed are
     lovers by the gaze of her.
A moon she rose from murks, the hair of her, * A sun from locks
     the brow encase of her:
Blest he she nights with by the grace of her, * Who dies in her
     with oath by days of her!"

So Zayn al-Mawasif thanked her and went up to Masrur, as she were
full moon displayed. But when he saw her, he rose to his feet and
exclaimed, "An my thought deceive me not, she is no human, but
one of the brides of Heaven!" Then she called for food and they
brought a table, about whose marge were written these

"Dip thou with spoons in saucers four and gladden heart and eye *
     With many a various kind of stew and fricassee and fry.
Thereon fat quails (ne'er shall I cease to love and tender them)
     * And rails and fowls and dainty birds of all the kinds that
Glory to God for the Kabobs, for redness all aglow, * And
     potherbs, steeped in vinegar, in porringers thereby!
Fair fall the rice with sweet milk dressed, wherein the hands did
     plunge * And eke the forearms of the fair were buried,
How my heart yearneth with regret over two plates of fish * That
     by two manchet-cakes of bread of Tewarij[FN#329] did lie!"

Then they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment, after which
the servants removed the table of food and set on the wine
service; so cup and tasse[FN#330] passed round between them and
they were gladdened in soul. Then Masrur filled the cup and
saying, "O whose thrall am I and who is my mistress!"[FN#331]
chanted these improvised couplets,

"Mine eyes I admire that can feed their fill * On charms of a
     girl rising worlds to light:
In her time she hath none to compare for gifts * Of spirit and
     body a mere delight.
Her shape breeds envy in Cassia-tree * When fares she forth in
     her symmetry dight:
With luminous brow shaming moon of dark * And crown-like crescent
     the brightest bright.
When treads she earth's surface her fragrance scents * The Zephyr
     that breathes over plain and height."

When he ended his extempore song she said, "O Masrur, whoso
religiously keepeth his faith and hath eaten our bread and salt,
it behoveth us to give him his due; so put away from thee all
thought of what hath been and I will restore thee thy lands and
houses and all we have taken from thee." He replied, "O my lady,
I acquit thee of that whereof thou speakest, though thou hadst
been false to the oath and covenant between us; for I will go and
become a Moslem." Zayn al-Mawasif protested that she would follow
suit[FN#332] when Hubub cried to her, "O my lady, thou art young
of years and knowest many things, and I claim the intercession of
Almighty Allah with thee for, except thou do my bidding and heal
my heart, I will not lie the night with thee in the house." And
she replied, "O Hubub, it shall be as thou wilt. Rise and make us
ready another sitting-room." So she sprang to her feet and gat
ready a room and adorned and perfumed it after fairest fashion
even as her lady loved and preferred; after which she again set
on food and wine, and the cup went round between them and their
hearts were glad.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Zayn al-Mawasif bade her maid Hubub make ready a private
sitting-room she arose and did her bidding, after which she again
set food and wine before them and cup and tasse went round
gladdening their hearts. Presently quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "O
Masrur, come is the time of Union and favour; so, as thou
studiest my love to savour recite us some verses surpassing of
flavour. " Upon this he recited the following ode[FN#333],

"I am taken: my heart bums with living flame
For Union shorn whenas Severance came,
In the love of a damsel who forced my soul
And with delicate cheeklet my reason stole.
She hath eyebrows united and eyes black-white
And her teeth are leven that smiles in light:
The tale of her years is but ten plus four;
Tears like Dragon's blood[FN#334] for her love I pour.
First I saw that face 'mid parterre and rill,
Outshining full Lune on horizon-hill;
And stood like a captive for awe, and cried,
‘Allah's Peace, O who in demesne[FN#335] doth hide!'
She returned my salam, gaily answering
With the sweetest speech likest pearls a-string.
But when heard my words, she right soon had known
My want and her heart waxed hard as stone,
And quoth she, ‘Be not this a word silly-bold?'
But quoth I, ‘Refrain thee nor flyte and scold!
An to-day thou consent such affair were light;
They like is the loved, mine the lover-wight!'
When she knew my mind she but smiled in mirth
And cried, ‘Now, by the Maker of Heaven and Earth!
I'm a Jewess of Jewry's driest e'er seen
And thou art naught save a Nazarene.
Why seek my favours? Thine's other caste;
An this deed thou do thou'lt repent the past.
Say, does Love allow with two Faiths to play?
Men shall blame thee like me, at each break of day!
Wilt thou laugh at beliefs and deride their rite,
And in thine and mine prove thee sinful sprite?
An thou lovedest me thou hadst turnèd Jew,
Losing worlds for love and my favours due;
And by the Evangel strong oath hadst sworn
To keep our secret intact from scorn!'
So I took the Torah and sware strong oath
I would hold to the covenant made by both.
Then by law, religion and creed I sware,
And bound her by oaths that most binding were;
And asked her, ‘Thy name, O my dear delight?'
And she, ‘Zayn al-Mawásif at home I'm hight!'
‘O Zayn al-Mawasif!' (cried I) ‘Hear my call:
Thy love hath made me thy veriest thrall!'
Then I peeped 'neath her chin-veil and 'spied such charms
That the longing of love filled my heart with qualms.
'Neath the curtain I ceased not to humble me,
And complain of my heart-felt misery;
But when she saw me by Love beguiled
She raised her face-veil and sweetly smiled:
And when breeze of Union our faces kiss'd
With musk-pod she scented fair neck and wrist;
And the house with her essences seemed to drip,
And I kissed pure wine from each smiling lip:
Then like branch of Bán 'neath her robe she swayed
And joys erst unlawful[FN#336] she lawful made:
And joined, conjoined through our night we lay
With clip, kiss of inner lip, langue fourrée.
The world hath no grace but the one loved fere
In thine arms to clasp with possession sheer!
With the morn she rose and she bade Good-bye
While her brow shone brighter than moon a-sky;
Reciting at parting (while tear-drops hung
On her cheeks, these scattered and other strung),[FN#337]
‘Allah's pact in mind all my life I'll bear
And the lovely nights and strong oath I sware.'"

Zayn al-Mawasif was delighted and said to him, "O Masrur, how
goodly are thy inner gifts! May he live not who would harm thy
heart!" Then she entered her boudoir and called him: so he went
in to her and taking her in his arms, embraced her and hugged her
and kissed her and got of her that which he had deemed impossible
and rejoiced in winning the sweet of amorous will. Then said she,
"O Masrur, thy good is unlawful to me and is lawfully thine again
now that we are become lovers." So she returned to him all she
had taken of him and asked him, "O Masrur, hast thou a
flower-garden whither we may wend and take our pleasure?";
whereto he answered, "Yes, O my lady, I have a garden that hath
not its like." Then he returned to his lodgings and bade his
slave-girls make ready a splendid banquet and a handsome room;
after which he summoned Zayn al-Mawasif who came surrounded by
her damsels, and they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment,
whilst the cup passed round between them and their spirits rose
high. Then lover withdrew with beloved and Zayn al-Mawasif said
to Masrur, "I have bethought me of some dainty verses, which I
would fain sing to the lute." He replied, "Do sing them"; so she
took the lute and tuning it, sang to a pleasant air these

"Joy from stroke of string doth to me incline, * And sweet is
     a-morning our early wine;
Whenas Love unveileth the amourist's heart, * And by rending the
     veil he displays his sign,
With a draught so pure, so dear, so bright, * As in hand of
     Moons[FN#338] the Sun's sheeny shine
O' nights it cometh with joy to 'rase * The hoar of sorrow by
     boon divine."

Then ending her verse, she said to him, "O Masrur, recite us
somewhat of thy poetry and favour us with the fruit of thy
thought." So he recited these two couplets,

"We joy in full Moon who the wine bears round, * And in concert
     of lutes that from gardens sound;
Where the dove moans at dawn and where bends the bough * To Morn,
     and all pathways of pleasure are found."

When he had finished his recitation she said to him, "Make us
some verses on that which hath passed between us an thou be
occupied with love of me."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Zayn al-Mawasif said to Masrur, "An thou be occupied with love of
me, make us some verses on that hath passed between us," "With
love and gladness," he replied and improvised the following

"Stand thou and hear what fell to me * For love of you gazelle to
Shot me a white doe with her shaft * O' glances wounding
Love was my ruin, for was I * Straitened by longing ecstasy:
I loved and woo'd a young coquette * Girded by strong artillery,
Whom in a garth I first beheld * A form whose sight was symmetry.
I greeted her and when she deigned * Greeting return, ‘Salám,'
     quoth she
‘What be thy name?' said I, she said, * ‘My name declares my
‘Zayn al-Mawásif I am hight.' * Cried I, ‘Oh deign I mercy see,'
‘Such is the longing in my heart * No lover claimeth rivalry!'
Quoth she, ‘With me an thou 'rt in love * And to enjoy me
     pleadest plea,
I want of thee oh! muchel wealth; * Beyond all compt my wants o'
I want o' thee full many a robe * Of sendal, silk and damaskry;
A quarter quintal eke of musk: * These of one night shall pay the
Pearls, unions and carnelian[FN#341]-stones * The bestest best of
Of fairest patience showed I show * In contrariety albe:
At last she favoured me one night * When rose the moon a crescent
An stranger blame me for her sake * I say, ‘O blamers listen ye!
She showeth locks of goodly length * And black as blackest night
     its blee;
While on her cheeks the roses glow * Like Lazá-flame incendiary:
In every eyelash is a sword * And every glance hath archery:
Her liplets twain old wine contain, * And dews of fount-like
Her teeth resemble strings o' pearls, * Arrayed in line and fresh
     from sea:
Her neck is like the neck of doe, * Pretty and carven perfectly:
Her bosom is a marble slab * Whence rise two breasts like towers
     on lea:
And on her stomach shows a crease * Perfumed with rich perfumery;
Beneath which same there lurks a Thing * Limit of mine
A something rounded, cushioned-high * And plump, my lords, to
     high degree:
To me 'tis likest royal throne * Whither my longings wander free;
There 'twixt two pillars man shall find * Benches of high-built
It hath specific qualities * Drive sanest men t' insanity;
Full mouth it hath like mouth of neck * Or well begirt by stony
Firm lips with camelry's compare * And shows it eye of cramoisie.
An draw thou nigh with doughty will * To do thy doing lustily,
Thou'll find it fain to face thy bout * And strong and fierce in
It bendeth backwards every brave * Shorn of his battle-bravery.
At times imberbe, but full of spunk * To battle with the
'T will show thee liveliness galore * And perfect in its
Zayn al-Mawasif it is like * Complete in charms and courtesy.
To her dear arms one night I came * And won meed given lawfully:
I passed with her that self-same night * (Best of my nights!) in
     gladdest glee;
And when the morning rose, she rose * And crescent like her
Then swayed her supple form as sway * The lances lopt from limber
And when farewelling me she cried, * ‘When shall such nights
     return to me?'
Then I replied, ‘O eyen-light, * When He vouchsafeth His

Zayn al-Mawasif was delighted with this Ode and the utmost
gladness gat hold of her. Then said she, "O Masrur day-dawn
draweth nigh and there is naught for it save to fly for fear of
scandal and spy!" He replied, "I hear and obey," and rising led
her to her lodging, after which he returned to his
quarters[FN#343] and passed the rest of the night pondering on
her charms. When the morning morrowed with its sheen and shone,
he made ready a splendid present and carried it to her and sat by
her side. And thus they abode awhile, in all solace of life and
its delight, till one day there came to Zayn al-Mawasif a letter
from her husband reporting to her his speedy return. Thereupon
she said in herself, "May Allah not keep him nor quicken him! If
he come hither, our life will be troubled: would Heaven I might
despair of him!" Presently entered Masrur and sat with her at
chat, as was his wont, whereupon she said to him, "O Masrur, I
have received a missive from my mate, announcing his speedy
return from his wayfaring. What is to be done, since neither of
us without other can live?" He replied, "I know not; but thou art
better able to judge, being acquainted with the ways of thy man,
more by token that thou art one of the sharpest-witted of women
and past mistress of devices such as devise that whereof fail the
wise." Quoth she, "He is a hard man and jealous of his household:
but, when he shall come home and thou hearest of his coming, do
thou repair to him and salute him and sit down by his side,
saying, ‘O my brother, I am a druggist.' Then buy of him somewhat
of drugs and spices of sorts and call upon him frequently and
prolong thy talks with him and gainsay him not in whatsoever he
shall bid thee; so haply that I would contrive may betide, as it
were by chance." "I hear and I obey," quoth Masrur and fared
forth from her, with heart a-fire for love. When her husband came
home, she rejoiced in meeting him and after saluting him bade him
welcome; but he looked in her face and seeing it pale and sallow
(for she bad washed it with saffron, using one of women's arts),
asked her of her case. She answered that she had been sick, she
and her women, from the time of his wayfaring, adding, "Verily,
our hearts have been engrossed with thoughts of thee because of
the length of thine absence." And she went on to complain to him
of the misery of separation and to pour forth copious tears,
saying, "Hadst thou but a companion with thee, my heart had not
borne all this cark and care for thee. So, Allah upon thee, O my
lord, travel not again without a comrade and cut me not off from
news of thee, that my heart and mind may be at rest concerning
thee!"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif said to her mate, "Travel not without comrade and cut
me not off from news of thee, that my heart and mind may be at
rest concerning thee," he replied, "With love and gladness! By
Allah thy bede is good indeed and right is thy rede! By thy life,
it shall be as thou dost heed." Then he unpacked some of his
stock-in-trade and carrying the goods to his shop, opened it and
sat down to sell in the Soko.[FN#344] No sooner had he taken his
place than lo and behold! up came Masrur and saluting him, sat
down by his side and began talking and talked with him awhile.
Then he pulled out a purse and taking forth gold, handed it to
Zayn al-Mawasif's man and said, "Give me the worth of these
dinars in drugs and spices of sorts, that I may sell them in my
shop." The Jew replied, "I hear and I obey," and gave him what he
sought. And Masrur continued to pay him frequent visits till, one
day, the merchant said to him, "I have a mind to take me a man to
partner in trade." Quoth Masrur, "And I also, desire to take a
partner; for my father was a merchant in the land of Al-Yaman and
left me great store of money and I fear lest it fare from me."
Quoth the Jew, turning towards him, "Wilt thou be my partner, and
I will be thy partner and a true friend and comrade to thee at
home and abroad; and I will teach thee selling and buying, giving
and taking?" And Masrur rejoined, "With all my heart." So the
merchant carried him to his place and seated him in the
vestibule, whilst he went in to his wife and said to her, "I have
provided me with a partner and have bidden him hither as a guest;
so do thou get us ready good guest-cheer." Whenas she heard this,
she rejoiced divining that it was Masrur, and made ready a
magnificent banquet,[FN#345] of her delight in the success of her
device. Then, when the guest drew nigh, her husband said to her,
"Come out with me to him and bid him welcome and say, ‘Thou
gladdenest us[FN#346]!'" But Zayn al-Mawasif made a show of
anger, crying, "Wilt thou have me display myself before a strange
man? I take refuge with Allah! Though thou cut me to bits, I will
not appear before him!" Rejoined he, "Why shouldst thou be
abashed at him, seeing that he is a Nazarene and we are Jews and,
to boot, we are become chums, he and I?" Quoth she, "I am not
minded to present myself before a strange man, on whom I have
never once set eyes and whom I know not any wise." Her husband
thought she spoke sooth and ceased not to importune her, till she
rose and veiling herself, took the food and went out to Masrur
and welcomed him; whereupon he bowed his head groundwards, as he
were ashamed, and the Jew, seeing such dejection said in himself,
"Doubtless, this man is a devotee." They ate their fill and the
table being removed, wine was set on. As for Zayn al-Mawasif, she
sat over against Masrur and gazed on him and he gazed on her till
ended day, when he went home, with a heart to fire a prey. But
the Jew abode pondering the grace and the comeliness of him; and,
as soon as it was night, his wife according to custom served him
with supper and they seated themselves before it. Now he had a
mockingbird which was wont, whenever he sat down to meat, to come
and eat with him and hover over his head; but in his absence the
fowl was grown familiar with Masrur and used to flutter about him
as he sat at meals. Now when Masrur disappeared and the master
returned, it knew him not and would not draw near him, and this
made him thoughtful concerning his case and the fowl's
withdrawing from him. As for Zayn al-Mawasif, she could not sleep
with her heart thinking of Masrur, and thus it was with her a
second and even a third night, till the Jew became aware of her
condition and, watching her while she sat distraught, began to
suspect somewhat wrong. On the fourth night, he awoke in the
middle thereof and heard his wife babbling in her sleep and
naming Masrur, what while she lay on her husband's bosom,
wherefore he misdoubted her; but he dissembled his suspicions and
when morning morrowed he repaired to his shop and sat therein.
Presently, up came Masrur and saluted him. He returned his salam
and said to him, "Welcome, O my brother!" adding anon, "I have
wished for thee;" and he sat talking with him for an hour or so,
after which he said to him, "Rise, O my brother, and hie with me
to my house, that we may enter into the pact of
brotherhood."[FN#347] Replied Masrur, "With joy and goodly gree,"
and they repaired to the Jew's house, where the master went in
and told his wife of Masrur's visit, for the purpose of
conditioning their partnership, and said, "Make us ready a goodly
entertainment, and needs must thou be present and witness our
brotherhood." But she replied, "Allah upon thee, cause me not
show myself to this strange man, for I have no mind to company
with him." So he held his peace and forbore to press her and bade
the waiting-women bring food and drink. Then he called the
mocking-bird but it knew not its lord and settled upon Masrur's
lap; and the Jew said to him, "O my master, what is thy name?" He
answered, "My name is Masrur;" whereupon the Jew remembered that
this was the name which his wife had repeated all night long in
her sleep. Presently, he raised his head and saw her making
signs[FN#348] with her forefingers to Masrur and motioning to him
with her eyes, wherefore he knew that he had been completely
cozened and cuckolded and said, "O my lord, excuse me awhile,
till I fetch my kinsmen, so they may be present at our swearing
brotherhood." Quoth Masrur, "Do what seemeth good to thee;"
whereupon the Jew went forth the house and returning privily by a
back way.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn
al-Mawasif's husband said to Masrur, "Excuse me awhile, till I
fetch my cousins to witness the brother-bond between me and
thee." Then he went forth and, privily returning behind the
sitting-room, there took his station hard by a window which gave
upon the saloon and whence he could watch them without their
seeing him. Suddenly quoth Zayn al-Mawasif to her maid Sukub,
"Whither is thy master gone?"; and quoth she, "He is gone without
the house." Cried the mistress, "Lock the door and bar it with
iron and open thou not till he knock, after thou hast told me."
Answered Sukub, "So shall it be done." Then, while her husband
watched them, she rose and filling a cup with wine, flavoured
with powdered musk and rose-water, went close to Masrur, who
sprang up to meet her, saying, "By Allah, the water of thy mouth
is sweeter than this wine!" "Here it is for thee," said she and
filling her mouth with wine, gave him to drink thereof, whilst he
gave her the like to drink; after which she sprinkled him with
rose-water from front to foot, till the perfume scented the whole
place. All this while, the Jew was looking on and marvelling at
the stress of love that was between them and his heart was filled
with fury for what he saw and he was not only wroth, but jealous
with exceeding jealousy. Then he went out again and coming to the
door found it locked and knocked a loud knock of the excess of
his rage; whereupon quoth Sukub, "O my lady, here is my master;"
and quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, "Open to him; would that Allah had not
brought him back in safety!" So Sukub went and opened the door to
the Jew, who said to her, "What ailed thee to lock the door?"
Quoth she, "It hath never ceased to be locked thus during thine
absence; nor hath it been opened night nor day;" and cried he,
"Thou hast done well; this pleaseth me." Then he went in to
Masrur, laughing and dissembling his chagrin, and said to him, "O
Masrur, let us put off the conclusion of our pact of brotherhood
this day and defer it to another." Replied Masrur, "As thou
wilt," and hied him home, leaving the Jew pondering his case and
knowing not what to do; for his heart was sore troubled and he
said in himself, "Even the mocking-bird disowneth me and the
slave-girls shut the door in my face and favour another." And of
his exceeding chagrin, he fell to reciting these couplets,

"Masrur joys life made fair by all delight of days, * Fulfilled
     of boons, while mine the sorest grief displays.
The Days have falsed me in the breast of her I love * And in my
     heart are fires which all-consuming blaze:
Yea, Time was clear for thee, but now 'tis past and gone * While
     yet her lovely charms thy wit and senses daze:
Espied these eyes of mine her gifts of loveliness: * Oh, hard my
     case and sore my woe on spirit weighs!
I saw the maiden of the tribe deal rich old wine * Of lips like
     Salsabíl to friend my love betrays:
E'en so, O mocking-bird, thou dost betray my breast * And to a
     rival teachest Love and lover-ways:
Strange things indeed and wondrous saw these eyne of me * Which
     were they sleepdrowned still from Sleep's abyss would raise:
I see my best belovèd hath forsworn my love * And eke like my
     mocking-bird fro' me a-startled strays.
By truth of Allah, Lord of Worlds who, whatso wills * His Fate,
     for creatures works and none His hest gainsays,
Forsure I'll deal to that ungodly wight his due * Who but to sate
     his wicked will her heart withdrew!"

When Zayn al-Mawasif heard this, her side-muscles trembled and
quoth she to her handmaid, "Heardest thou those lines?";
whereupon quoth the girl, "I never heard him in my born days
recite the like of these verses; but let him say what he will."
Then having assured himself of the truth of his suspicions, the
Jew began to sell all his property, saying to himself, "Unless I
part them by removing her from her mother land the twain will not
turn back from this that they are engaged in, no, never!" So,
when he had converted all his possessions into coin, he forged a
letter and read it to Zayn al-Mawasif, declaring that it had come
from his kinsmen, who invited him to visit them, him and his
wife. She asked, "How long shall we tarry with them?" and he
answered, "Twelve days." Accordingly she consented to this and
said, "Shall I take any of my maids with me?"; whereto he
replied, "Take Hubub and Sukub and leave Khutub here." Then he
made ready a handsome camel-litter[FN#349] for his spouse and her
women and prepared to set out with them; whilst she sent to her
leman, telling him what had betided her and saying, "O Masrur, an
the trysting-time[FN#350] that is between us pass and I come not
back, know that he hath cheated and cozened us and planned a plot
to separate us each from other, so forget thou not the plighted
faith betwixt us, for I fear that he hath found out our love and
I dread his craft and perfidy." Then, whilst her man was busy
about his march she fell a-weeping and lamenting and no peace was
left her, night or day. Her husband saw this, but took no note
thereof; and when she saw there was scant help for it, she
gathered together her clothes and gear and deposited them with
her sister, telling her what had befallen her. Then she
farewelled her and going out from her, drowned in tears, returned
to her own house, where she found her husband had brought the
camels and was busy loading them, having set apart the handsomest
dromedary for her riding, and when she saw this and knew that
needs must she be separated from Masrur, she waxt clean
distraught. Presently it chanced that the Jew went out on some
business of his; so she fared forth to the first or outer door
and wrote thereon these couplets,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Zayn al-Mawasif saw her spouse summon the camels and knew that
the march needs must be, she waxt clean distraught. Presently it
chanced that the Jew went out on some business so she fared forth
to the first door and wrote thereon these couplets,

"Bear our salams, O Dove, from this our stead * From lover to
     beloved far severèd!
Bid him fro' me ne'er cease to yearn and mourn * O'er happy days
     and hours for ever fled:
Eke I in grief shall ever mourn and yearn, * Dwelling on days of
     love and lustihead;
Long was our joyance, seeming aye to last, * When night and
     morning to reunion led;
Till croaked the Raven[FN#351] of the Wold one day * His cursed
     croak and did our union dead.
We sped and left the homestead dark and void * Its gates
     unpeopled and its dwellers sped."

Then she went to the second door and wrote thereon these

"O who passest this doorway, by Allah, see * The charms of my
     fere in the glooms and make plea
For me, saying, ‘I think of the Past and weep * Yet boot me no
     tears flowing full and free.'
Say, ‘An fail thee patience for what befel * Scatter earth and
     dust on the head of thee!
And o'er travel lands East and West, and deem * God sufficeth thy
     case, so bear patiently!'"

Then she went to the third door and wept sore and thereon wrote
these couplets,

"Fare softly, Masrúr! an her sanctuary * Thou seek, and read what
     a-door writ she.
Ne'er forget Love-plight, if true man; how oft * Hast savoured
     Nights' bitter and sweetest gree!
O Masrúr! forget not her neighbourhood * For wi' thee must her
     gladness and joyance flee!
But beweep those dearest united days * When thou camest veilèd in
Wend for sake of us over farthest wone; * Span the wold for us,
     for us dive in sea;
Allah bless the past days! Ah, how glad they were * When in
     Gardens of Fancy the flowers pluckt we!
The nights of Union from us are fled * And parting-glooms dim
     their radiancy;
Ah! had this lasted as hopèd we, but * He left only our breasts
     and the rosery.
Will revolving days on Re-union dawn? * Then our vow to the Lord
     shall accomplisht be.
Learn thou our lots are in hand of Him * Who on lines of
     skull[FN#352] writes our destiny!"

Then she wept with sore weeping and returned to the house,
wailing and remembering what had passed and saying, "Glory be to
God who hath decreed to us this!" And her affliction redoubled
for severance from her beloved and her departure from her
mother-land, and she recited these couplets,

"Allah's peace on thee, House of Vacancy! * Ceased in thee all
     our joys, all our jubilee.
O thou Dove of the homestead, ne'er cease to bemoan * Whose moons
     and full moons[FN#353] sorest severance dree:
Masrúr, fare softly and mourn our loss; * Loving thee our eyes
     lose their brilliancy:
Would thy sight had seen, on our marching day, * Tears shed by a
     heart in Hell's flagrancy!
Forget not the plight in the garth-shade pledged * When we sat
     enveiléd in privacy:"

Then she presented herself before her husband, who lifted her
into the litter he had let make for her; and, when she found
herself on the camel's back, she recited these couplets,

"The Lord, empty House! to thee peace decree * Long we bore
     therein growth of misery:
Would my life-thread were shorn in that safe abode * And o' night
     I had died in mine ecstasy!
Home-sickness I mourn, and my strangerhood * Irks my soul, nor
     the riddle of future I ree.
Would I wot shall I ever that house resee * And find it, as erst,
     home of joy and glee!"

Said her husband, "O Zayn al-Mawasif grieve not for thy departure
from thy dwelling; for thou shalt return to it ere long
Inshallah!" And he went on to comfort her heart and soothe her
sorrow. Then all set out and fared on till they came without the
town and struck into the high road, whereupon she knew that
separation was certain and this was very grievous to her. And
while such things happened Masrur sat in his quarters, pondering
his case and that of his mistress, and his heart forewarned him
of severance. So he rose without stay and delay and repairing to
her house, found the outer door padlocked and read the couplets
she had written thereon; upon which he fell down in a fainting
fit. When he came to himself, he opened the first door and
entering, read what was written upon the second and likewise upon
the third doors; wherefore passion and love-longing and
distraction grew on him. So he went forth and hastened in her
track, till he came up with the light caravan[FN#354] and found
her at the rear, whilst her husband rode in the van, because of
his merchandise. When he saw her, he clung to the litter, weeping
and wailing for the anguish of parting, and recited these

"Would I wot for what crime shot and pierced are we * Thro' the
     days with Estrangement's archery!
O my heart's desire, to thy door I came * One day, when high waxt
     mine expectancy:
But I found the home waste as the wold and void * And I 'plained
     my pine and groaned wretchedly:
And I asked the walls of my friends who fared * With my heart in
     pawn and in pendency;
And they said, ‘All marched from the camp and left *An ambushed
     sorrow on hill and lea;'
And a writ on the walls did they write, as write * Folk who keep
     their faith while the Worlds are three."

Now when Zayn al-Mawasif heard these lines, she knew that it was
Masrur.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif heard these lines she knew that it was Masrur and
wept, she and her handmaids, and said to him, "O Masrur, I
conjure thee by Allah, turn back, lest my husband see us twain
together!" At her words he swooned away; and when he revived,
they took leave each of other and he recited the following

"The Caravan-chief calleth loud o' night * Ere the Breeze bear
     his cry in the morninglight:
They girded their loads and prepared to fare, * And hurried while
     murmured the leader-wight.
They scent the scene on its every side, * As their march through
     the valley they expedite.
After winning my heart by their love they went * O' morn when
     their track could deceive my sight.
O my neighbour fair, I reckt ne'er to part, * Or the ground
     bedewed with my tears to sight!
Woe betide my heart, now hath Severance hand * To heart and
     vitals dealt bane and blight."

Then he clung to the litter, weeping and wailing, whilst she
besought him to turn back ere morn for fear of scorn. So he came
up to her Haudaj and farewelling her a second time, fell down in
a swoon. He lay an hour or so without life, and when he revived
he found the caravan had fared forth of sight. So he turned in
the direction of their wayfare and scenting the breeze which blew
from their quarter, chanted these improvised lines,

"No breeze of Union to the lover blows * But moan he maketh burnt
     with fiery woes:
The Zephyr fans him at the dawn o' day; * But when he wakes the
     horizon lonely shows:
On bed of sickness strewn in pain he lies, * And weeps he bloody
     tears in burning throes,
For the fair neighbour with my heart they bore * 'Mid travellers
     urging beasts with cries and blows.
By Allah from their stead no Zephyr blew * But sniffed I as the
     wight on eyeballs goes;[FN#355]
And snuff the sweetest South as musk it breathes * And on the
     longing lover scent bestows."

Then Masrur returned, mad with love-longing, to her house, and
finding it lone from end to end[FN#356] and forlorn of friend,
wept till he wet his clothes; after which he swooned away and his
soul was like to leave his body. When he revived, he recited
these two couplets,

"O Spring-camp have ruth on mine overthrowing * My abjection, my
     leanness, my tears aye flowing,
Waft the scented powder[FN#357] of breezes they breathe * In hope
     it cure heart of a grief e'er growing."

Then he returned to his own lodging confounded and tearful-eyed,
and abode there for the space of ten days. Such was his case; but
as regards the Jew, he journeyed on with Zayn al-Mawasif half a
score days, at the end of which he halted at a certain city and
she, being by that time assured that her husband had played her
false, wrote to Masrur a letter and gave it to Hubub, saying,
"Send this to Masrur, so he may know how foully and fully we have
been tricked and how the Jew hath cheated us." So Hubub took it
and despatched it to Masrur, and when it reached, its news was
grievous to him and he wept till he watered the ground. Then he
wrote a reply and sent it to his mistress, subscribing it with
these two couplets,

"Where is the way to Consolation's door * How shall console him
     flames burn evermore?
How pleasant were the days of yore all gone: * Would we had
     somewhat of those days of yore!"

When the missive reached Zayn al-Mawasif, she read it and again
gave it to her handmaid Hubub, saying to her, "Keep it secret!"
However, the husband came to know of their correspondence and
removed with her and her two women to another city, at a distance
of twenty days' march. Thus it befel Zayn al-Mawasif; but as
regards Masrur, sleep was not sweet to him nor was peace peaceful
to him or patience left to him, and he ceased not to be thus
till, one night, his eyes closed for weariness and he dreamt that
he saw Zayn al-Mawasif come to him in the garden and embrace him;
but presently he awoke and found her not: whereupon his reason
fled and his wits wandered and his eyes ran over with tears;
love-longing to the utterest gat hold of his heart and he recited
these couplets,

"Peace be to her, who visits me in sleeping phantasy * Stirring
     desire and growing love to uttermost degree:
Verily from that dream I rose with passion maddenèd * For sight
     of fairest phantom come in peace to visit me:
Say me, can dreams declare the truth anent the maid I love, * And
     quench the fires of thirst and heal my love-sick malady?
Anon to me she is liberal and she strains me to her breast; *
     Anon she soothes mine anxious heart with sweetest
From off her dark-red damask lips the dew I wont to sip * The
     fine old wine that seemed to reek of musk's perfumery.
I wondered at the wondrous things between us done in dreams, *
     And won my wish and all my will of things I hoped to see;
And from that dreamery I rose, yet ne'er could hope to find *
     Trace of my phantom save my pain and fiery misery:
And when I looked on her a-morn, 'twas as a lover mad * And every
     eve was drunken yet no wine brought jollity.
O breathings of the northern breeze, by Allah fro' me bear *
     Them-wards the greetings of my love and best salams that be:
Say them, ‘The wight with whom ye made that plight of fealty *
     Time with his changes made him drain Death's cup and slain
     is he!'"

Then he went out and ceased not to weep till he came to her house
and looking on it, saw it empty and void. Presently, it seemed to
him he beheld her form before him, whereupon fires flamed in him
and his griefs redoubled and he fell down aswoon;--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Masrur saw the vision of Zayn al-Mawasif and felt her embrace, he
joyed with passing joy. As soon as he awoke he sought her house,
but finding it empty and void he fell down a-swoon; and when he
came to himself, he recited these couplets,

"Fro' them inhale I scent of Ottar and of Bán; * So fare with
     heart which ecstasies of love unman:
I'd heal thy longings (love-sick lover!) by return * To site of
     beauty void sans friend or mate to scan:
But still it sickeneth me with parting's ban and bane * Minding
     mine olden plight with friend and partisan."

When he had made an end of these verses, he heard a raven croak
beside the house and wept, saying, "Glory be to God! The raven
croaketh not save over a ruined homestead." Then he moaned and
groaned and recited these couplets,

"What ails the Raven that he croaks my lover's house hard by, *
     And in my vitals lights a fire that flameth fierce and high?
For times now past and gone I spent in joyance of their love *
     With love my heart hath gone to waste and I sore pain aby:
I die of longing love and lowe still in my liver raging * And
     wrote to her but none there is who with the writ may hie:
Ah well-away for wasted frame! Hath farèd forth my friend * And
     if she will o' nights return Oh would that thing wot I!
Then, Ho thou Breeze of East, and thou by morn e'er visit her; *
     Greet her from me and stand where doth her tribe encampèd

Now Zayn al-Mawasif had a sister, by name Nasím--the Zephyr--who
stood espying him from a high place; and when she saw him in this
plight, she wept and sighed and recited these couplets,

"How oft bewailing the place shall be this coming and going, *
     While the House bemoaneth its builder with tear-flood ever
Here was bestest joy ere fared my friend with the caravan hieing
     * And its dwellers and brightest-suns[FN#358] ne'er ceased
     in its walls a-glowing:
Where be those fullest moons that here were always arising? *
     Bedimmed them the Shafts of Days their charms of spirit
Leave then what is past of the Fair thou wast ever with love
     espying * And look; for haply the days may restore them
     without foreshowing:
For hadst thou not been, its dwellers had never departed flying *
     Nor haddest thou seen the Crow with ill-omened croak

Masrur wept sore hearing these verses and apprehending their
significance. Now Nasim knew that which was between him and her
sister of love and longing, ecstasy and passion; so she said to
him, "Allah upon thee, O Masrur, away from this house, lest any
see thee and deem thou comest on my account! Indeed thou hast
caused my sister quit it and now thou wouldst drive me also away.
Thou knowest that, but for thee, the house would not now be void
of its dwellers: so be consoled for her loss and leave her: what
is past is past." When he heard this, he wept bitterly and said
to her, "O Nasim, if I could, I should fly for longing after her;
so how can I be comforted for her?" Quoth she, "Thou hast no
device save patience;" and quoth he, "I beseech thee, for Allah's
sake, write me a writ to her, as from thyself, and get me an
answer from her, to comfort my heart and quench the fire in my
vitals." She replied, "With love and gladness," and took inkcase
and paper, whilst Masrur began to set out to her the violence of
his longing and what tortures he suffered for the anguish of
severance, saying, "This letter is from the lover despairing and
sorrowful * the bereaved, the woeful * with whom no peace can
stay * nor by night nor by day * but he weepeth copious tears
alway. * Indeed, tears his eyelids have ulcerated and his sorrows
have kindled in his liver a fire unsated. His lamentation is
lengthened and restlessness is strengthened and he is as he were
a bird unmated * While for sudden death he awaiteth * Alas, my
desolation for the loss of thee * and alas, my yearning
affliction for the companionship of thee! * Indeed, emaciation
hath wasted my frame * and my tears a torrent became * mountains
and plains are straitened upon me for grame * and of the excess
of my distress, I go saying,

"Still cleaves to this homestead mine ecstasy, * And redoubled
     pine for its dwellers I dree;
And I send to your quarters the tale of my love * And the cup of
     your love gave the Cup-boy to me.
And for faring of you and your farness from home * My wounded
     lids are from tears ne'er free:
O thou leader of litters, turn back with my love * For my heart
     redoubleth its ardency:
Greet my love and say him that naught except * Those brown-red
     lips deals me remedy:
They bore him away and our union rent * And my vitals with
     Severance-shaft shot he:
My love, my lowe and my longing to him * Convey, for of parting
     no cure I see:
I swear an oath by your love that I * Will keep pact and covenant
To none I'll incline or forget your love * How shall love-sick
     lover forgetful be?
So with you be the peace and my greeting fair * In letters that
     perfume of musk-pod bear."

Her sister Nasim admired his eloquence of tongue and the
goodliness of his speech and the elegance of the verses he sang,
and was moved to ruth for him. So she sealed the letter with
virgin musk and incensed it with Nadd-scent and ambergris, after
which she committed it to a certain of the merchants saying,
"Deliver it not to any save to Zayn al-Mawasif or to her handmaid
Hubub." Now when the letter reached her sister, she knew it for
Masrur's dictation and recognised himself in the grace of its
expression. So she kissed it and laid it on her eyes, whilst the
tears streamed from her lids and she gave not over weeping, till
she fainted. As soon as she came to herself, she called for
pencase and paper and wrote him the following answer; complaining
the while of her desire and love-longing and ecstasy and what was
hers to endure of pining for her lover and yearning to him and
the passion she had conceived for him.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn
al-Mawasif wrote the following reply to Masrur's missive: "This
letter to my lord and master I indite * the king of my heart and
my secret sprite * Indeed, wakefulness agitateth me * and
melancholy increaseth on me * and I have no patience to endure
the absence of thee * O thou who excellest sun and moon in
brilliancy * Desire of repose despoileth me * and passion
destroyeth me * and how should it be otherwise with me, seeing
that I am of the number of the dying? *O glory of the world and
Ornament of life, she whose vital spirits are cut off shall her
cup be sweet to quaff? * For that she is neither with the quick
nor with the dead." And she improvised these couplets and said,

"Thy writ, O Masrúr, stirred my sprite to pine * For by Allah,
     all patience and solace I tyne:
When I read thy scripture, my vitals yearned * And watered the
     herbs of the wold these eyne.
On Night's wings I'd fly an a bird * And sans thee I weet not the
     sweets of wine:
Life's unlawful to me since thou faredst far * To bear parting-
     lowe is no force of mine."

Then she sprinkled the letter with powder of musk and ambergris
and, having sealed it with her signet, committed it to a
merchant, saying, "Deliver it to none save to my sister." When it
reached Nasim she sent it to Masrur, who kissed it and laid it on
his eyes and wept till he fell into a trance. Such was their
case; but as regards the Jew, he presently heard of their
correspondence and began again to travel from place to place with
Zayn al-Mawasif and her damsels, till she said to him, "Glory to
God! How long wilt thou fare with us and bear us afar from our
homes?" Quoth he, "I will fare on with you a year's journey, so
no more letters may reach you from Masrur. I see how you take all
my monies and give them to him; so all that I miss I shall
recover from you: and I shall see if Masrur will profit you or
have power to deliver you from my hand." Then he repaired to a
blacksmith, after stripping her and her damsels of their silken
apparel and clothing them in raiment of hair-cloth, and bade him
make three pairs of iron shackles. When they were ready, he
brought the smith in to his wife, having said to him, "Put the
shackles on the legs of these three slave-girls." The first that
came forward was Zayn al-Mawasif, and when the blacksmith saw
her, his sense forsook him and he bit his finger tips and his wit
fled forth his head and his transport grew sore upon him. So he
said to the Jew, "What is the crime of these damsels?" Replied
the other, "They are my slave-girls, and have stolen my good and
fled from me." Cried the smith, "Allah disappoint thy jealous
whims! By the Almighty, were this girl before the Kazi of
Kazis,[FN#359] he would not even reprove her, though she
committed a thousand crimes a day. Indeed, she showeth not
thief's favour and she cannot brook the laying of irons on her
legs." And he asked him as a boon not to fetter her, interceding
with him to forbear the shackles. When she saw the blacksmith
taking her part in this wise she said to her husband, "I conjure
thee, by Allah, bring me not forth before yonder strange man!"
Said he, "Why then camest thou forth before Masrur?"; and she
made him no reply. Then he accepted the smith's intercession, so
far as to allow him to put a light pair of irons on her legs, for
that she had a delicate body, which might not brook harsh usage,
whilst he laid her handmaids in heavy bilboes, and they ceased
not, all three, to wear hair-cloth night and day till their
bodies became wasted and their colour changed. As for the
blacksmith, exceeding love had fallen on his heart for Zayn
al-Mawasif; so he returned home in great concern and he fell to
reciting extempore these couplets,

"Wither thy right, O smith, which made her bear * Those iron
     chains her hands and feet to wear!
Thou hast ensoiled a lady soft and bright, * Marvel of marvels,
     fairest of the fair:
Hadst thou been just, those anklets ne'er had been * Of iron: nay
     of purest gold they were:
By Allah! did the Kázis' Kázi sight * Her charms, he'd seat her
     in the highest chair."

Now it chanced that the Kazi of Kazis passed by the smith's house
and heard him improvise these lines; so he sent for him and as
soon as he saw him said to him, "O blacksmith, who is she on whom
thou callest so instantly and eloquently and with whose love thy
heart is full filled?" The smith sprang to his feet and kissing
the Judge's hand, answered, "Allah prolong the days of our lord
the Kazi and ample his life!" Then he described to him Zayn
al-Mawasif's beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and perfection,
and symmetry and grace and how she was lovely faced and had a
slender waist and heavily based; and acquainted him with the
sorry plight wherein she was for abasement and durance vile and
lack of victual. When the Kazi heard this, he said, "O
blacksmith, send her to us and show her that we may do her
justice, for thou art become accountable for the damsel and
unless thou guide her to us, Allah will punish thee at the Day of
Doom." "I hear and obey," replied the smith and betook himself
without stay and delay to Zayn al-Mawasif's lodging, but found
the door barred and heard a voice of plaintive tone that came
from heart forlorn and lone; and it was Zayn al-Mawasif reciting
these couplets,

"I and my love in union were unite; * And filled my friend to me
     cups clearly bright
Between us reigned high mirth and jollity, * Nor Eve nor Morn
     brought 'noyance or affright
Indeed we spent most joyous time, with cup * And lute and
     dulcimer to add delight,
Till Time estranged our fair companionship; * My lover went and
     blessing turned to blight.
Ah would the Severance-raven's croak were stilled * And
     Union-dawn of Love show blessèd light!"

When the blacksmith heard this, he wept like the weeping of the
clouds. Then he knocked at the door and the women said, "Who is
at the door?" Answered he, "'Tis I, the blacksmith," and told
them what the Kazi had said and how he would have them appear
before him and make their complaint to him, that he might do them
justice on their adversary.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say,

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
blacksmith told Zayn al-Mawasif what the Kazi had said, and how
he summoned them that he might apply the Lex Talionis to their
adversary, she rejoined, "How can we go to him, seeing the door
is locked on us and our feet shackled and the Jew hath the keys?"
The smith replied, "I will make the keys for the padlocks and
therewith open door and shackles." Asked she, "But who will show
us the Kazi's house?"; and he answered, "I will describe it to
you." She enquired, "But how can we appear before him, clad as we
are in haircloth reeking with sulphur?" And the smith rejoined,
"The Kazi will not reproach this to you, considering your case."
So saying, he went forthright and made keys for the padlocks,
wherewith he opened the door and the shackles, and loosing the
irons from their legs, carried them forth and guided them to the
Kazi's mansion. Then Hubub did off the hair-cloth garments from
her lady's body and carried her to the Hammam, where she bathed
her and attired her in silken raiment, and her colour returned to
her. Now it happened, by exceeding good fortune, that her husband
was abroad at a bride-feast in the house of one of the merchants;
so Zayn al-Mawasif, the Adornment of Qualities, adorned herself
with the fairest ornaments and repaired to the Kazi, who at once
on espying her rose to receive her. She saluted him with softest
speech and winsomest words, shooting him through the vitals the
while with the shafts of her glances, and said, "May Allah
prolong the life of our lord the Kazi and strengthen him to judge
between man and man!" Then she acquainted him with the affair of
the blacksmith and how he had done nobly by them, whenas the Jew
had inflicted on her and her women heart-confounding torments;
and how his victims deathwards he drave, nor was there any found
to save. "O damsel," quoth the Kazi, "what is thy name?" "My name
is Zayn al Mawasif,--Adomment of Qualities--and this my
handmaid's name is Hubub." "Thy name accordeth with the named and
its sound conformeth with its sense." Whereupon she smiled and
veiled her face, and he said to her, "O Zayn al-Mawasif, hast
thou a husband or not?" "I have no husband"; "And what Is thy
Faith?" "That of Al-Islam, and the religion of the Best Of Men."
"Swear to me by Holy Law replete with signs and instances that
thou ownest the creed of the Best of Mankind." So she swore to
him and pronounced the profession of the Faith. Then asked the
Kazi, "How cometh it that thou wastest thy youth with this Jew?"
And she answered, "Know, O Kazi (may Allah prolong thy days in
contentment and bring thee to thy will and thine acts with
benefits seal!), that my father left me, after his death, fifteen
thousand dinars, which he placed in the hands of this Jew, that
he might trade therewith and share his gains with me, the head of
the property[FN#360] being secured by legal acknowledgment. When
my father died, the Jew coveted me and sought me in marriage of
my mother, who said, ‘How shall I drive her from her Faith and
cause to become a Jewess? By Allah, I will denounce thee to the
rulers!' He was affrighted at her words and taking the money,
fled to the town of Adan.[FN#361] When we heard where he was, we
came to Adan in search of him, and when we foregathered with him
there, he told us that he was trading in stuffs with the monies
and buying goods upon goods. So we believed him and he ceased not
to cozen us till he cast us into jail and fettered us and
tortured us with exceeding sore torments; and we are strangers in
the land and have no helper save Almighty Allah and our lord the
Kazi." When the judge heard this tale he asked Hubub the nurse,
"Is this indeed thy lady and are ye strangers and is she
unmarried?", and she answered, "Yes." Quoth he, "Marry her to me
and on me be incumbent manumission of my slaves and fasting and
pilgrimage and almsgiving of all my good an I do you not justice
on this dog and punish him for that he hath done!" And quoth she,
"I hear and obey." Then said the Kazi, "Go, hearten thy heart and
that of thy lady; and to-morrow, Inshallah, I will send for this
miscreant and do you justice on him and ye shall see prodigies of
his punishment." So Hubub called down blessings upon him and went
forth from him with her mistress, leaving him with passion and
love-longing fraught and with distress and desire distraught.
Then they enquired for the house of the second Kazi and
presenting themselves before him, told him the same tale. On like
wise did the twain, mistress and maid with the third and the
fourth, till Zayn al-Mawasif had made her complaint to all the
four Kazis, each of whom fell in love with her and besought her
to wed him, to which she consented with a "Yes"; nor wist any one
of the four that which had happened to the others. All this
passed without the knowledge of the Jew, who spent the night in
the house of the bridefeast. And when morning morrowed, Hubub
arose and gat ready her lady's richest raiment; then she clad her
therewith and presented herself with her before the four Kazis in
the court of justice. As soon as she entered, she veiled her face
and saluted the judges, who returned her salam and each and every
of them recognised her. One was writing, and the reed-pen dropped
from his hand, another was talking, and his tongue became tied,
and a third was reckoning and blundered in his reckoning; and
they said to her, "O admirable of attributes and singular among
beauties! be not thy heart other than hearty, for we will
assuredly do thee justice and bring thee to thy desire." So she
called down blessings on them and farewelled them and went her
ways.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Kazis said to Zayn al-Mawasif, "O admirable of attributes and
singular among beauties! Be not thy heart other than hearty for
our doing thy desire and thy winning to thy will." So she called
down blessings on them and farewelled them and went her ways, the
while her husband abode with his friends at the marriage-banquet
and knew naught of her doings. Then she proceeded to beseech the
notaries and scribes and the notables and the Chiefs of Police to
succour her against that unbelieving miscreant and deliver her
from the torment she suffered from him. Then she wept with sore
weeping and improvised these couplets,

"Rain showers of torrent tears, O Eyne and see * An they will
     quench the fires that flame in me:
After my robes of gold-embroidered silk * I wake to wear the
     frieze of monkery:
And all my raiment reeks of sulphur-fumes * When erst my shift
     shed musky fragrancy:
And hadst thou, O Masrúr, my case descried, * Ne'er hadst thou
     borne my shame and ignomy.
And eke Hubúb in iron chains is laid * By Miscreant who unknows
     God's Unity.
The creed of Jewry I renounce and home, * The Moslem's Faith
     accepting faithfully
Eastwards[FN#362] I prostrate self in fairest guise * Holding the
     only True Belief that be:
Masrúr! forget not love between us twain * And keep our vows and
     troth with goodly gree:
I've changed my faith for sake of thee, and I * For stress of
     love will cleave to secrecy:
So haste to us, an us in heart thou bear, * As noble spirit, nor
     as laggard fare."

After this she wrote a letter to Masrur, describing to him all
that the Jew had done with her from first to last and enclosed
the verses aforesaid. Then she folded the scroll and gave it to
her maid Hubub, saying, "Keep this in thy pocket, till we send it
to Masrur." Upon these doings lo and behold! in came the Jew and
seeing them joyous, said to them, "How cometh it that I find you
merry? Say me, hath a letter reached you from your bosom friend
Masrur?" Replied Zayn al-Mawasif, "We have no helper against thee
save Allah, extolled and exalted be He! He will deliver us from
thy tyranny, and except thou restore us to our birth-place and
homestead, we will complain of thee tomorrow to the Governor of
this town and to the Kazi." Quoth he, "Who struck off the
shackles from your legs? But needs must I let make for each of
you fetters ten pounds in weight and go round about the city with
you." Replied Hubub, "All that thou purposest against us thou
shall fall into thyself, so it please Allah the Most High, by
token that thou hast exiled us from our homes, and to-morrow we
shall stand, we and thou, before the Governor of the city." They
nighted on this wise and next morning the Jew rose up in haste
and went out to order new shackles, whereupon Zayn al-Mawasif
arose and repaired with her women to the court-house, where she
found the four Kazis and saluted them. They all returned her
salutation and the Kazi of Kazis said to those about him, "Verily
this damsel is lovely as the Venus-star[FN#363] and all who see
her love her and bow before her beauty and loveliness." Then he
despatched four sergeants, who were Sharífs,[FN#364] saying,
"Bring ye the criminal after abjectest fashion." So, when the Jew
returned with the shackles and found none in the house, he was
confounded; but, as he abode in perplexity, suddenly up came the
officers and laying hold of him beat him with a sore beating and
dragged him face downwards before the Kazi. When the judge saw
him, he cried out in his face and said to him, "Woe to thee, O
foe of God, is it come to such a pass with thee that thou doest
the deed thou hast done and bringest these women far from their
country and stealest their monies and wouldst make them Jews? How
durst thou seek to make miscreants of Moslems?" Answered the Jew,
"O my lord this woman is my wife." Now when the Kazis heard this,
they all cried out, saying, "Throw this hound on the ground and
come down on his face with your sandals and beat him with sore
blows, for his offence is unpardonable." So they pulled off his
silken gear and clad him in his wife's raiment of hair-cloth,
after which they threw him down and plucked out his beard and
belaboured him about the face with sandals. Then they sat him on
an ass, face to crupper, arsi-versy, and making him take its tail
in his hand, paraded him round about the city, ringing the bell
before him in every street; after which they brought him back to
the judges in sorriest plight; and the four Kazis with one voice
condemned him to have his feet and hands cut off and lastly to be
crucified. When the accursed heard this sentence his sense
forsook him and he was confounded and said, "O my lords the
Kazis, what would ye of me?" They replied, "Say thou, ‘This
damsel is not my wife and the monies are her monies, and I have
transgressed against her and brought her far from her country.'"
So he confessed to this and the Kazis recorded his confession in
legal form and taking the money from him, gave it to Zayn
al-Mawasif, together with the document. Then she went away and
all who saw her were confounded at her beauty and loveliness,
whilst each of the Kazis looked for her committing herself to
him. But, when she came to her lodging, she made ready all
matters she needed and waited till night. Then she took what was
light of load and weighty of worth, and setting out with her
maids under cover of the murks three days with their nights fared
on without stopping. Thus it was with her; but as regards the
Kazis they ordered the Jew to prison.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazis
ordered the Jew to prison and on the morrow they looked for Zayn
al-Mawasif coming to them, they and their assessors; but she
presented herself not to any of them. Then said the Chief Kazi,
"I wish to-day to make an excursion without the town on business
there." So he mounted his she-mule and taking his page with him,
went winding about the streets of the town, searching its length
and width for Zayn al-Mawasif, but never finding her. On this
errand he came upon the other three Kazis, going about on the
same, each deeming himself the only one to whom she had given
tryst. He asked them whither they were riding and why they were
going about the streets; when they told him their business,
whereby he saw that their plight was as his plight and their
quest as his quest. So they all four rode throughout the city,
seeking her, but could hit on no trace of her and returned to
their houses, sick for love, and lay down on the bed of langour.
Presently the Chief Kazi bethought himself of the blacksmith; so
he sent for him and said to him, "O blacksmith, knowest thou
aught of the damsel whom thou didst direct to me? By Allah, an
thou discover her not to me, I will whack thee with whips." Now
when the smith heard this, he recited these couplets[FN#365],

"She who my all of love by love of her hath won * Owns every
     Beauty and for others leaves she none:
She gazes, a gazelle; she breathes, fresh ambergris * She waves,
     a lake; she sways, a bough; she shines, a Sun."

Then said the blacksmith, "By Allah, O my lord, since she fared
forth from thy worshipful presence,[FN#366] I have not set eyes
on her; no, not once. Indeed she took possession of my heart and
wits and all my talk and thoughts are of her. I went to her
lodging but found her not, nor found I any who could give me news
of her, and it is as if she had dived into the depths of the sea
or had ascended to the sky." Now when the Kazi heard this, he
groaned a groan, that his soul was like to depart therefor, and
he said, "By Allah, well it were had we never seen her!" Then the
smith went away, whilst the Kazi fell down on his bed and became
sick of langour for her sake, and on like wise fared it with the
other three Kazis and assessors. The mediciners paid them
frequent calls, but found in them no ailment requiring a leach:
so the city-notables went in to the Chief Kazi and saluting him,
questioned him of his case; whereupon he sighed and showed them
that was in his heart, reciting these couplets,

"Stint ye this blame; enough I suffer from Love's malady * Nor
     chide the Kazi frail who fain must deal to folk decree!
Who doth accuse my love let him for me find some excuse: * Nor
     blame; for lovers blameless are in lover-slavery!
I was a Kázi whom my Fate deigned aid with choicest aid * By writ
     and reed and raisèd me to wealth and high degree;
Till I was shot by sharpest shaft that knows nor leach nor cure *
     By Damsel's glance who came to spill my blood and murther
To me came she, a Moslemah and of her wrongs she 'plained * With
     lips that oped on Orient-pearls ranged fair and orderly:
I looked beneath her veil and saw a wending moon at full * Rising
     below the wings of Night engloomed with blackest blee:
A brightest favour and a mouth bedight with wondrous smiles; *
     Beauty had brought the loveliest garb and robed her
By Allah, ne'er beheld my eyes a face so ferly fair * Amid
     mankind whoever are, Arab or Ajamí.
My Fair! What promise didst thou make what time to me thou
     said'st * ‘Whenas I promise I perform, O Kazi, faithfully.'
Such is my stead and such my case calamitous and dire * And ask
     me not, ye men of spunk, what dreadful teen I dree."

When he ended his verse he wept with sore weeping and sobbed one
sob and his spirit departed his body, which seeing they washed
him and shrouded him and prayed over him and buried him graving
on his tomb these couplets,

"Perfect were lover's qualities in him was brought a-morn, *
     Slain by his love and his beloved, to this untimely grave:
Kázi was he amid the folk, and aye 'twas his delight * To foster
     all the folk and keep a-sheath the Justice-glaive:
Love caused his doom and ne'er we saw among mankind before * The
     lord and master louting low before his thrallèd slave."

Then they committed him to the mercy of Allah and went away to
the second Kazi, in company with the physician, but found in him
nor injury nor ailment needing a leach. Accordingly they
questioned him of his case and what preoccupied him; so he told
them what ailed him, whereupon they blamed him and chid him for
his predicament and he answered them with these couplets,

"Blighted by her yet am I not to blame; * Struck by the dart at
     me her fair hand threw.
Unto me came a woman called Hubúb * Chiding the world from year
     to year anew:
And brought a damsel showing face that shamed * Full moon that
     sails through Night-tide's blackest hue,
She showed her beauties and she 'plained her plain * Which tears
     in torrents from her eyelids drew:
I to her words gave ear and gazed on her * Whenas with smiling
     lips she made me rue.
Then with my heart she fared where'er she fared * And left me
     pledged to sorrows soul subdue.
Such is my tale! So pity ye my case * And this my page with
     Kazi's gear indue."

Then he sobbed one sob and his soul fled his flesh; whereupon
they gat ready his funeral and buried him commending him to the
mercy of Allah; after which they repaired to the third Kazi and
the fourth, and there befel them the like of what befel their
brethren.[FN#367] Furthermore, they found the Assessors also sick
for love of her, and indeed all who saw her died of her love or,
an they died not, lived on tortured with the lowe of passion.--
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the city
folk found all the Kazis and the Assessors sick for love of her,
and all who saw her died lovesick or, an they died not, lived on
tortured with the lowe of passion for stress of pining to no
purpose--Allah have mercy on them one and all! Meanwhile Zayn al-
Mawasif and her women drave on with all diligence till they were
far distant from the city and it so fortuned that they came to a
convent by the way, wherein dwelt a Prior called Danis and forty
monks.[FN#368] When the Prior saw her beauty, he went out to her
and invited her to alight, saying, "Rest with us ten days and
after wend your ways." So she and her damsels alighted and
entered the convent; and when Danis saw her beauty and
loveliness, she debauched his belief and he was seduced by her:
wherefore he fell to sending the monks, one after other with
love-messages; but each who saw her fell in love with her and
sought her favours for himself, whilst she excused and denied
herself to them. But Danis ceased not his importunities till he
had dispatched all the forty, each one of whom fell love-sick at
first sight and plied her with blandishments never even naming
Danis; whilst she refused and rebuffed them with harsh replies.
At last when Danis's patience was at an end and his passion was
sore on him, he said in himself, "Verily, the sooth-sayer saith,
‘Naught scratcheth my skin but my own nail and naught like my own
feet for mine errand may avail.'" So up he rose and made ready
rich meats, and it was the ninth day of her sojourn in the
convent where she had purposed only to rest. Then he carried them
in to her and set them before her, saying, "Bismillah, favour us
by tasting the best of the food at our command." So she put forth
her hand, saying, "For the name of Allah the Compassionating, the
Compassionate!" and ate, she and her handmaidens. When she had
made an end of eating, he said to her, "O my lady, I wish to
recite to thee some verses." Quoth she, "Say on," and he recited
these couplets,

"Thou hast won my heart by cheek and eye of thee, * I'll praise
     for love in prose and poesy.
Wilt fly a lover, love-sick, love-distraught * Who strives in
     dreams some cure of love to see?
Leave me not fallen, passion-fooled, since I * For pine have left
     uncared the Monast'ry:
O Fairest, 'tis thy right to shed my blood, * So rue my case and
     hear the cry of me!"

When Zayn al-Mawasif heard his verses, she answered him with
these two couplets,

"O who suest Union, ne'er hope such delight * Nor solicit my
     favours, O hapless wight!
Cease to hanker for what thou canst never have: * Next door are
     the greedy to sore despight."

Hearing this he returned to his place, pondering in himself and
knowing not how he should do in her affair, and passed the night
in the sorriest plight. But, as soon as the darkness was darkest
Zayn al-Mawasif arose and said to her handmaids, "Come, let us
away, for we cannot avail against forty men, monks, each of whom
requireth me for himself." Quoth they, "Right willingly!" So they
mounted their beasts and issued forth the convent gate,--
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zayn
al-Mawasif and her handmaids issued forth the convent gate and,
under favour of the night, rode on till they overtook a caravan,
with which they mingled and found it came from the city of 'Adan
wherein the lady had dwelt. Presently, Zayn al-Mawasif heard the
people of the caravan discoursing of her own case and telling how
the Kazis and Assessors were dead of love for her and how the
townsfolk had appointed in their stead others who released her
husband from prison. Whereupon she turned to her maids and asked
them, "Heard ye that?"; and Hubub answered, "If the monks were
ravished with love of thee, whose belief it is that shunning
women is worship, how should it be with the Kazis, who hold that
there is no monkery in Al-Islam? But let us make our way to our
own country, whilst our affair is yet hidden." So they drave on
with all diligence. Such was their case; but as regards the
monks, on the morrow, as soon as it was day they repaired to Zayn
al-Mawasif's lodging, to salute her, but found the place empty,
and their hearts sickened within them. So the first monk rent his
raiment and improvised these couplets,

"Ho ye, my friends, draw near, for I forthright * From you
     depart, since parting is my lot:
My vitals suffer pangs o' fiery love; * Flames of desire in heart
     burn high and hot,
For sake of fairest girl who sought our land * Whose charms th'
     horizon's full moon evens not.
She fared and left me victimed by her love * And slain by shaft
     those lids death-dealing shot."

Then another monk recited the following couplets,

"O ye who with my vitals fled, have ruth * On this unhappy: haste
     ye homeward-bound:
They fared, and fared fair Peace on farthest track * Yet lingers
     in mine ear that sweetest sound:
Fared far, and far their fane; would Heaven I saw Their shade in
     vision float my couch around:
And when they went wi' them they bore my heart * And in my
     tear-floods all of me left drowned."

A third monk followed with these extempore lines,

"Throne you on highmost stead, heart, ears and sight * Your
     wone's my heart; mine all's your dwelling-site:
Sweeter than honey is your name a-lip, * Running, as 'neath my
     ribs runs vital sprite:
For Love hath made me as a tooth-pick[FN#368] lean * And drowned
     in tears of sorrow and despight:
Let me but see you in my sleep, belike * Shall clear my cheeks of
     tears that lovely sight."

Then a fourth recited the following couplets,

"Dumb is my tongue and scant my speech for thee * And Love the
     direst torture gars me dree:
O thou full Moon, whose place is highest Heaven, * For thee but
     double pine and pain in me."

And a fifth these,[FN#370]

"I love a moon of comely shapely form * Whose slender waist hath
     title to complain:
Whose lip-dews rival must and long-kept wine; * Whose heavy
     haunches haunt the minds of men:
My heart each morning burns with pain and pine * And the
     night-talkers note I'm passion-slain;
While down my cheeks carnelian-like the tears * Of rosy red
     shower down like railing rain."

And a sixth the following,

"O thou who shunnest him thy love misled! * O Branch of Bán, O
     star of highmost stead!
To thee of pine and passion I complain, * O thou who fired me
     with cheeks rosyred.
Did e'er such lover lose his soul for thee, * Or from prostration
     and from prayers fled?"

And a seventh these,

"He seized my heart and freed my tears to flow * Brought strength
     to Love and bade my Patience go.
His charms are sweet as bitter his disdain; * And shafts of love
     his suitors overthrow.
Stint blame, O blamer, and for past repent * None will believe
     thee who dost Love unknow!"

And on like wise all the rest of the monks shed tears and
repeated verses. As for Danis, the Prior, weeping and wailing
redoubled on him, for that he found no way to her enjoyment, and
he chanted the following couplets[FN#371],

"My patience failed me when my lover went * And fled that day
     mine aim and best intent.
O Guide o' litters lead their camels fair, * Haply some day
     they'll deign with me to tent!
On parting-day Sleep parted from my lids * And grew my grieving
     and my joy was shent.
I moan to Allah what for Love I dree'd * My wasted body and my
     forces spent."

Then, despairing of her, they took counsel together and with one
mind agreed to fashion her image and set it up with them, and
applied themselves to this till there came to them the Destroyer
of delights and Severer of societies. Meanwhile, Zayn al-Mawasif
fared on, without ceasing, to find her lover Masrur, till she
reached her own house. She opened the doors, and entered; then
she sent to her sister Nasim, who rejoiced with exceeding joy at
the news of her return and brought her the furniture and precious
stuffs left in her charge. So she furnished the house and dressed
it, hanging the curtains over the doors and burning aloes-wood
and musk and ambergris and other essences till the whole place
recked with the most delightful perfumes: after which the
Adornment of Qualities donned her finest dress and decorations
and sat talking with her maids, whom she had left behind when
journeying, and related to them all that had befallen her first
and last. Then she turned to Hubub and giving her dirhams, bade
her fetch them something to eat. So she brought meat and drink
and when they had made an end of eating and drinking,[FN#372]
Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub go and see where Masrur was and how it
fared with him. Now he knew not of her return; but abode with
concern overcast and sorrow might not be overpast;--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif entered her house she was met by her sister Nasim who
brought her the furniture and stuffs wherewith she furnished the
place; and then she donned her finest dress. But Masrur knew
naught of her return and abode with concern overcast and sorrow
might not be overpast; no peace prevailed with him nor was
patience possible to him. Whenas pine and passion, desire and
distraction waxed on him, he would solace himself by reciting
verse and go to the house and set him its walls to buss. It
chanced that he went out that day to the place where he had
parted from his mistress and repeated this rare song,

"My wrongs hide I, withal they show to sight; * And now mine eyes
     from sleep to wake are dight.
I cry when melancholy tries my sprite * Last not, O world nor
     work more despight;
          Lo hangs my soul 'twixt hardship and affright.
Were the Sultan hight Love but fair to me, * Slumber mine eyes'
     companion were to me,
My Lords, some little mercy spare to me, * Chief of my tribe: be
     debonnair to me,
          Whom Love cast down, erst rich now pauper-wight!

Censors may blame thee but I look beyond * Mine ears I stop and
     leave their lies unconned
And keep my pact wi' those I love so fond: * They say, ‘Thou
     lov'st a runaway!' I respond,
          ‘Whist! whenas Fate descends she blinds the sight!'"

Then he returned to his lodging and sat there weeping, till sleep
overcame him, when he saw in a dream as if Zayn al-Mawasif were
come to the house, and awoke in tears. So he set off to go
thither, improvising these couplets,

"Shall I be consoled when Love hath mastered the secret of me *
     And my heart is aglow with more than the charcoal's ardency?
I love her whose absence I plain before Allah for parting-stower
     * And the shifts of the days and doom which allotted me
When shall our meeting be, O wish O' my heart and will? * O
     favour of fullest Moon, when shall we Re-union see?"

As he made an end of his recitation, he found himself walking
adown in Zayn al-Mawasif's street and smelt the sweet savour of
the pastiles wherewithal she had incensed the house; wherefore
his vitals fluttered and his heart was like to leave his breast
and desire flamed up in him and distraction redoubled upon him;
when lo, and behold! Hubub, on her way to do her lady's errand
suddenly appeared at the head of the street and he rejoiced with
joy exceeding. When she saw him, she went up to him and saluting
him, gave him the glad news of her mistress's return, saying,
"She hath sent me to bid thee to her." Whereat he was glad
indeed, with gladness naught could exceed; and she took him and
returned with him to the house. When Zayn al-Mawasif saw him, she
came down to him from the couch and kissed him and he kissed her
and she embraced him and he embraced her; nor did they leave
kissing and embracing till both swooned away for stress of
affection and separation. They lay a long while senseless, and
when they revived, Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub fetch her a gugglet
of sherbet of sugar and another of sherbet of lemons. So she
brought what she desired and they sat eating and drinking nor
ceased before nightfall, when they fell to recalling all that had
befallen them from commencement to conclusion. Then she
acquainted him with her return to Al-Islam, whereat he rejoiced
and he also became a Moslem. On like wise did her women, and they
ail repented to Allah Almighty of their infidelity. On the morrow
she made send for the Kazi and the witnesses and told them that
she was a widow and had completed the purification period and was
minded to marry Masrur. So they drew up the wedding-contract
between them and they abode in all delight of life. Meanwhile,
the Jew, when the people of Adan released him from prison, set
out homewards and fared on nor ceased faring till he came within
three days' journey of the city. Now as soon as Zayn al-Mawasif
heard of his coming she called for her handmaid Hubub and said to
her, "Go to the Jews' burial-place and there dig a grave and
plant on it sweet basil and jessamine and sprinkle water
thereabout. If the Jew come and ask thee of me, answer, ‘My
mistress died twenty days ago of chagrin on thine account.' If he
say, show me her tomb, take him to the grave and after weeping
over it and making moan and lament before him, contrive to cast
him therein and bury him alive."[FN#373] And Hubub answered, "I
hear and I obey." Then they laid up the furniture in the store
closets, and Zayn al-Mawasif removed to Masrur's lodging, where
he and she abode eating and drinking, till the three days were
past; at the end of which the Jew arrived and knocked at the door
of his house. Quoth Hubub, "Who's at the door?"; and quoth he,
"Thy master." So she opened to him and he saw the tears railing
down her cheeks and said, "What aileth thee to weep and where is
thy mistress?" She replied, "My mistress is dead of chagrin on
thine account." When he heard this, he was perplexed and wept
with sore weeping and presently said, "O Hubub, where is her
tomb?" So she carried him to the Jews' burial-ground and showed
him the grave she had dug; whereupon he shed bitter tears and
recited this pair of couplets,[FN#374]

"Two things there are, for which if eyes wept tear on tear * Of
     blood, till they were like indeed to disappear,
They never could fulfil the Tithe of all their due: * And these
     are prime of youth and loss of loveling dear."

Then he wept again with bitter tears and recited these also,

"Alack and Alas! Patience taketh flight: * And from parting of
     friend to sore death I'm dight:
O how woeful this farness from dear one, and oh * How my heart is
     rent by mine own unright!
Would Heaven my secret I erst had kept * Nor had told the pangs
     and my liverblight:
I lived in all solace and joyance of life * Till she left and
     left me in piteous plight:
O Zayn al-Mawasif, I would there were * No parting departing my
     frame and sprite:
I repent me for troth-breach and blame my guilt * Of unruth to
     her whereon hopes I built."

When he had made an end of this verse, he wept and groaned and
lamented till he fell down a-swoon, whereupon Hubub made haste to
drag him to the grave and throw him in, whilst he was insensible
yet quick withal. Then she stopped up the grave on him and
returning to her mistress acquainted her with what had passed,
whereat she rejoiced with exceeding joy and recited these two

"The world sware that for ever 'twould gar me grieve: *Tis false,
     O world, so thine oath retrieve[FN#375]!
The blamer is dead and my love's in my arms: * Rise to herald of
     joys and tuck high thy sleeve[FN#376]!"

Then she and Masrur abode each with other in eating and drinking
and sport and pleasure and good cheer, till there came to them
the Destroyer of delights and Sunderer of societies and Slayer of
sons and daughters. And I have also heard tell the following tale

                 ALI NUR AL-DIN AND MIRIAM THE

There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before in the parts of Cairo, a merchant named Táj al-Dín who was
of the most considerable of the merchants and of the chiefs of
the freeborn. But he was given to travelling everywhere and loved
to fare over wild and wold, waterless lowland and stony waste,
and to journey to the isles of the seas, in quest of dirhams and
dinars: wherefore he had in his time encountered dangers and
suffered duresse of the way such as would grizzle little children
and turn their black hair grey. He was possessed of black slaves
and Mamelukes, eunuchs and concubines, and was the wealthiest of
the merchants of his time and the goodliest of them in speech,
owning horses and mules and Bactrian camels and dromedaries;
sacks great and small of size; goods and merchandise and stuffs
such as muslins of Hums, silks and brocades of Ba'allak, cotton
of Mery, stuffs of India, gauzes of Baghdad, burnouses of
Moorland and Turkish white slaves and Abyssinian castratos and
Grecian girls and Egyptian boys; and the coverings of his bales
were silk with gold purfled fair, for he was wealthy beyond
compare. Furthermore he was rare of comeliness, accomplished in
goodliness, and gracious in his kindliness, even as one of his
describers doth thus express,

"A merchant I spied whose lovers * Were fighting in furious
Quoth he, 'Why this turmoil of people?' * Quoth I, 'Trader, for
     those fine eyes!'"

And saith another in his praise and saith well enough to
accomplish the wish of him,

"Came a merchant to pay us a visit * Whose glance did my heart
Quoth he, 'What surprised thee so?' * Quoth I, 'Trader, 'twas
     those fine eyes.'"

Now that merchant had a son called Ali Nur al-Din, as he were the
full moon whenas it meeteth the sight on its fourteenth night, a
marvel of beauty and loveliness, a model of form and symmetrical
grace, who was sitting one day as was his wont, in his father's
shop, selling and buying, giving and taking, when the sons of the
merchants girt him around and he was amongst them as moon among
stars, with brow flower-white and cheeks of rosy light in down
the tenderest dight, and body like alabaster-bright even as saith
of him the poet,

"'Describe me!' a fair one said. * Said I, 'Thou art Beauty's
And, speaking briefest speech, * 'All charms in thee are seen.'"

And as saith of him one of his describers,

"His mole upon plain of cheek is like * Ambergrís-crumb on marble
And his glances likest the sword proclaim * To all Love's rebels
     'The Lord is Great!'"[FN#378]

The young merchants invited him saying, "O my lord Nur al-Din, we
wish thee to go this day a-pleasuring with us in such a garden."
And he answered, "Wait till I consult my parent, for I cannot go
without his consent." As they were talking, behold, up came Taj
al-Din, and his son looked at him and said, "O father mine, the
sons of the merchants have invited me to wend a-pleasuring with
them in such a garden. Dost thou grant me leave to go?" His
father replied, "Yes, O my son, fare with them;" and gave him
somewhat of money. So the young men mounted their mules and asses
and Nur al-Din mounted a she-mule and rode with them to a garden,
wherein was all that sould desireth and that eye charmeth. It was
high of walls which from broad base were seen to rise; and it had
a gateway vault-wise with a portico like a saloon and a door
azure as the skies, as it were one of the gates of Paradise: the
name of the door-keeper was Rizwán,[FN#379] and over the gate
were trained an hundred trellises which grapes overran; and these
were of various dyes, the red like coralline, the black like the
snouts of Súdán[FN#380]-men and the white like egg of the
pigeon-hen. And in it peach and pomegranate were shown and pear,
apricot and pomegranate were grown and fruits with and without
stone hanging in clusters or alone,--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the sons of the merchants entered the vergier, they found therein
all that soul desireth or eye charmeth, grapes of many hues
grown, hanging in bunches or alone, even as saith of them the

"Grapes tasting with the taste of wine * Whose coats like
     blackest Raven's shine:
Their sheen, amid the leafage shows, * Like women's fingers
     henna'd fine."

And as saith another on the same theme,

"Grape-bunches likest as they sway * A-stalk, my body frail and
Honey and water thus in jar, * When sourness past, make

Then they entered the arbour of the garden and say there Rizwan
the gate-keeper sitting, as he were Rizwan the Paradise-guardian,
and on the door were written these lines,

"Garth Heaven-watered wherein clusters waved * On boughs which
     full of sap to bend were fain:
And, when the branches danced on Zephyr's palm, * The Pleiads
     shower'd as gifts[FN#381] fresh pearls for rain."

And within the arbour were written these two couplets,

"Come with us, friend, and enter thou * This garth that cleanses
     rust of grief:
Over their skits the Zephyrs trip[FN#382] * And flowers in sleeve
     to laugh are lief."[FN#383]

So they entered and found all manner fruits in view and birds of
every kind and hue, such as ringdove, nightingale and curlew; and
the turtle and the cushat sang their love lays on the sprays.
Therein were rills that ran with limpid wave and flowers suave;
and bloom for whose perfume we crave and it was even as saith of
it the poet in these two couplets,

"The Zephyr breatheth o'er its branches, like * Fair girls that
     trip as in fair skirts they pace:
Its rills resemble swords in hands of knights * Drawn from the
     scabbard and containing-case."[FN#384]

And again as singeth the songster,

"The streamlet swings by branchy wood and aye * Joys in its
     breast those beauties to display;
And Zephyr noting this, for jealousy * Hastens and bends the
     branches other way."

On the trees of the garden were all manner fruits, each in two
sorts, amongst them the pomegranate, as it were a ball of
silver-dross,[FN#385] whereof saith the poet and saith right

"Granados of finest skin, like the breasts * Of maid
     firm-standing in sight of male;
When I strip the skin, they at once display * The rubies
     compelling all sense to quail."

And even as quoth another bard,

"Close prest appear to him who views th' inside * Red rubies in
     brocaded skirts bedight:
Granado I compare with marble dome * Or virgin's breasts
     delighting every sight:
Therein is cure for every ill as e'en * Left an Hadís the Prophet
     pure of sprite;
And Allah (glorify His name) eke deigned * A noble say in Holy
     Book indite.[FN#386]

The apples were the sugared and the musky and the Dámáni, amazing
the beholder, whereof saith Hassan the poet,

"Apple which joins hues twain, and brings to mind * The cheek of
     lover and beloved combined:
Two wondrous opposites on branch they show * This dark[FN#387]
     and that with hue incarnadined
The twain embraced when spied the spy and turned * This red, that
     yellow for the shame designed."[FN#388]

There also were apricots of various kinds, almond and camphor and
Jíláni and 'Antábi,[FN#389] wereof saith the poet,

"And Almond-apricot suggesting swain * Whose lover's visit all
     his wits hath ta'en.
Enough of love-sick lovers' plight it shows * Of face deep yellow
     and heart torn in twain."[FN#390]

And saith another and saith well,

"Look at that Apricot whose bloom contains * Gardens with
     brightness gladding all men's eyne:
Like stars the blossoms sparkle when the boughs * Are clad in
     foliage dight with sheen and shine."

There likewise were plums and cherries and grapes, that the sick
of all diseases assain and do away giddiness and yellow choler
from the brain; and figs the branches between, varicoloured red
and green, amazing sight and sense, even as saith the poet,

"'Tis as the Figs with clear white skins outthrown * By foliaged
     trees, athwart whose green they peep,
Were sons of Roum that guard the palace-roof * When shades close
     in and night-long ward they keep."[FN#391]

And saith another and saith well,

"Welcome[FN#392] the Fig! To us it comes * Ordered in handsome
     plates they bring:
Likest a Surfah[FN#393]-cloth we draw * To shape of bag without a

And how well saith a third,

"Give me the Fig sweet-flavoured, beauty-clad, * Whose inner
     beauties rival outer sheen:
And when it fruits thou tastest it to find * Chamomile's scent
     and Sugar's saccharine:
And eke it favoureth on platters poured * Puff-balls of silken
     thread and sendal green."

And how excellent is the saying of one of them,

"Quoth they (and I had trained my taste thereto * Nor cared for
     other fruits whereby they swore),
'Why lovest so the Fig?' whereto quoth I * 'Some men love Fig and
     others Sycamore.[FN#394]'"

And are yet goodlier those of another,

"Pleaseth me more the fig than every fruit * When ripe and
     hanging from the sheeny bough;
Like Devotee who, when the clouds pour rain, * Sheds tears and
     Allah's power doth avow."

And in that garth were also pears of various kinds
Sinaïtic,[FN#395] Aleppine and Grecian growing in clusters and
alone, parcel green and parcel golden.--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
merchants' sons went down into the garth they saw therein all the
fruits we mentioned and found pears Sinaïtic, Aleppine and
Grecian of every hue, which here clustering there single grew,
parcel green and parcel yellow to the gazer a marvel-view, as
saith of them the poet,

"With thee that Pear agree, whose hue a-morn * Is hue of hapless
     lover yellow pale;
Like virgin cloistered strait in strong Harím * Whose face like
     racing steed outstrips the veil."

And Sultani[FN#396] peaches of shades varied, yellow and red,
whereof saith the poet,

"Like Peach in vergier growing * And sheen of Andam[FN#397]
Whose balls of yellow gold * Are dyed with blood-gouts flowing."

There were also green almonds of passing sweetness, resembling
the cabbage[FN#398] of the palm-tree, with their kernels within
three tunics lurking of the Munificent King's handiworking, even
as is said of them,

"Three coats yon freshest form endue * God's work of varied shape
     and hue:
Hardness surrounds it night and day; * Prisoning without a sin to

And as well saith another,

"Seest not that Almond plucked by hand * Of man from bough where
     wont to dwell:
Peeling it shows the heart within * As union-pearl in oyster-

And as saith a third better than he,

"How good is Almond green I view! * The smallest fills the hand
     of you:
Its nap is as the down upon * The cheeks where yet no beardlet
Its kernels in the shell are seen, * Or bachelors or married two,
As pearls they were of lucent white * Casèd and lapped in
     Jasper's hue."

And as saith yet another and saith well,

"Mine eyes ne'er looked on aught the Almond like * For charms,
     when blossoms[FN#399] in the Prime show bright:
Its head to hoariness of age inclines * The while its cheek by
     youth's fresh down is dight."

And jujube-plums of various colours, grown in clusters and alone
whereof saith one, describing them,

"Look at the Lote-tree, note on boughs arrayed * Like goodly
     apricots on reed-strown floor,[FN#400]
Their morning-hue to viewer's eye is like * Cascavels[FN#401]
     cast of purest golden ore."

And as saith another and saith right well,

"The Jujube-tree each Day * Robeth in bright array.
As though each pome thereon * Would self to sight display.
Like falcon-bell of gold * Swinging from every spray."

And in that garth grew blood oranges, as they were the
Khaulanján,[FN#402] whereof quoth the enamoured poet,[FN#403]

"Red fruits that fill the hand, and shine with sheen * Of fire,
     albe the scarf-skin's white as snow.
'Tis marvel snow on fire doth never melt * And, stranger still,
     ne'er burns this living lowe!"

And quoth another and quoth well,

"And trees of Orange fruiting ferly fair * To those who straitest
     have their charms surveyed;
Like cheeks of women who their forms have decked * For holiday in
     robes of gold brocade."

And yet another as well,

"Like are the Orange-hills[FN#404] when Zephyr breathes * Swaying
     the boughs and spray with airy grace,
Her cheeks that glow with lovely light when met * At greeting-
     tide by cheeks of other face."

And a fourth as fairly,

"And fairest Fawn, we said to him 'Portray * This garth and
     oranges thine eyes survey:'
And he, 'Your garden favoureth my face * Who gathereth orange
     gathereth fire alway.'"

In that garden too grew citrons, in colour as virgin gold,
hanging down from on high and dangling among the branches, as
they were ingots of growing gold;[FN#405] and saith thereof the
'namoured poet,

"Hast seen a Citron-copse so weighed adown * Thou fearest bending
     roll their fruit on mould;
And seemed, when Zephyr passed athwart the tree * Its branches
     hung with bells of purest gold?"

And shaddocks,[FN#406] that among their boughs hung laden as
though each were the breast of a gazelle-like maiden, contenting
the most longing wight, as saith of them the poet and saith

"And Shaddock mid the garden-paths, on bough * Freshest like
     fairest damsel met my sight;
And to the blowing of the breeze it bent * Like golden ball to
     bat of chrysolite."

And the lime sweet of scent, which resembleth a hen's egg, but
its yellowness ornamenteth its ripe fruit, and its fragrance
hearteneth him who plucketh it, as saith the poet who singeth it,

"Seest not the Lemon, when it taketh form, * Catch rays of light
     and all to gaze constrain;
Like egg of pullet which the huckster's hand * Adorneth dyeing
     with the saffron-stain?"

Moreover in this garden were all manner of other fruits and
sweet-scented herbs and plants and fragrant flowers, such as
jessamine and henna and water-lilies[FN#407] and
spikenard[FN#408] and roses of every kind and plantain[FN#409]
and myrtle and so forth; and indeed it was without compare,
seeming as it were a piece of Paradise to whoso beheld it. If a
sick man entered it, he came forth from it like a raging lion,
and tongue availeth not to its description, by reason of that
which was therein of wonders and rarities which are not found but
in Heaven: and how should it be otherwise when its doorkeeper's
name was Rizman? Though widely different were the stations of
those twain! Now when the sons of the merchants had walked about
gazing at the garden after taking their pleasure therein, they
say down in one of its pavilions and seated Nur al-Din in their
midst.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She resume, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
sons of the merchants sat down in the pavilion they seated Nur
al-Din in their midst on a rug of gold-purfled leather of
Al-Táif,[FN#410] leaning on a pillow[FN#411] of minever, stuffed
with ostrich down. And they gave him a fan of ostrich feathers,
whereon were written these two couplets,

"A fan whose breath is fraught with fragrant scent; * Minding of
     happy days and times forspent,
Wafting at every time its perfumed air * O'er face of noble youth
     on honour bent."

Then they laid by their turbands and outer clothes and sat
talking and chatting and inducing one another to discourse, while
they all kept their eyes fixed on Nur al-Din and gazed on his
beauteous form. After the sitting had lasted an hour or so, up
came a slave with a tray on his head, wherein were platters of
china and crystal containing viands of all sorts (for one of the
youths had so charged his people before coming to the garden);
and the meats were of whatever walketh earth or wingeth air or
swimmeth waters, such as Katá-grouse and fat quails and
pigeon-poults and mutton and chickens and the delicatest fish.
So, the tray being sat before them, they fell to and ate their
fill; and when they had made an end of eating, they rose from
meat and washed their hands with pure water and musk-scented
soap, and dried them with napery embroidered in silk and bugles;
but to Nur al-Din they brought a napkin laced with red gold
whereon he wiped his hands. Then coffee[FN#412] was served up and
each drank what he would, after which they sat talking, till
presently the garden-keeper who was young went away and returning
with a basket full of roses, said to them, "What say ye, O my
masters, to flowers?" Quoth one of them, "There is no harm in
them,[FN#413] especially roses, which are not to be resisted."
Answered the gardener, "'Tis well, but it is of our wont not to
give roses but in exchange for pleasant converse; so whoever
would take aught thereof, let him recite some verses suitable to
the situation." Now they were ten sons of merchants of whom one
said, "Agreed: give me thereof and I will recite thee somewhat of
verse apt to the case." Accordingly the gardener gave him a bunch
of roses[FN#414] which he took and at once improvised these three

"The Rose in highest stead I rate * For that her charms ne'er
All fragrant flow'rs be troops to her * Their general of high
Where she is not they boast and vaunt; * But, when she comes,
     they stint their prate."

Then the gardener gave a bunch to another and he recited these
two couplets,

"Take, O my lord, to thee the Rose * Recalling scent by mush be
Like virginette by lover eyed * Who with her sleeves[FN#415]
     enveileth head."

Then he gave a bunch to a third who recited these two couplets,

"Choice Rose that gladdens heart to see her sight; * Of Nadd
     recalling fragrance exquisite.
The branchlets clip her in her leaves for joy, * Like kiss of
     lips that never spake in spite."

Then he gave a bunch to a fourth and he recited these two

"Seest not that rosery where Rose a-flowering displays * Mounted
     upon her steed of stalk those marvels manifold?
As though the bud were ruby-stone and girded all around * With
     chrysolite and held within a little hoard of gold."

Then he gave a posy to a fifth and he recited these two couplets,

"Wands of green chrysolite bare issue, which * Were fruits like
     ingots of the growing gold.[FN#416]
And drops, a dropping from its leaves, were like * The tears my
     languorous eyelids railed and rolled."

Then he gave a sixth a bunch and he recited these two couplets,

"O Rose, thou rare of charms that dost contain * All gifts and
     Allah's secrets singular,
Thou'rt like the loved one's cheek where lover fond * And fain of
     Union sticks the gold dinar."[FN#417]

Then he gave a bunch to a seventh and he recited these two

"To Rose quoth I, 'What gars thy thorns to be put forth * For all
     who touch thee cruellest injury?'
Quoth she, 'These flowery troops are troops of me * Who be their
     lord with spines for armoury.'"

And he gave an eighth a bunch and he recited these two couplets,

"Allah save the Rose which yellows a-morn * Florid, vivid and
     likest the nugget-ore;
And bless the fair sprays that displayed such fowers * And mimic
     suns gold-begilded bore."

Then he gave a bunch to a ninth and he recited these two

"The bushes of golden-hued Rose excite * In the love-sick lover
     joys manifold:
'Tis a marvel shrub watered every day * With silvern lymph and it
     fruiteth gold."

Then he gave a bunch of roses to the tenth and last and he
recited these two couplets,

"Seest not how the hosts of the Rose display * Red hues and
     yellow in rosy field?
I compare the Rose and her arming thorn * To emerald lance
     piercing golden shield."

And whilst each one hent bunch in hand, the gardener brought the
wine-service and setting it before them, on a tray of porcelain
arabesqued with red gold, recited these two couplets,

"Dawn heralds day-light: so wine pass round, * Old wine, fooling
     sage till his wits he tyne:
Wot I not for its purest clarity * An 'tis wine in cup or 'tis
     cup in wine."[FN#418]

Then the gardener filled and drank and the cup went round, till
it came to Nur al-Din's turn, whereupon the man filled and handed
it to him; but he said, "This thing I wot it not nor have I ever
drunken thereof, for therein is great offence and the Lord of
All-might hath forbidden it in His Book." Answered the gardener,
"O my Lord Nur al-Din, an thou forbear to drink only by reason of
the sin, verily Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) is bountiful,
of sufferance great, forgiving and compassionate and pardoneth
the mortalest sins: His mercy embraceth all things, Allah's ruth
be upon the poet who saith,

'Be as thou, wilt, for Allah is bountiful * And when thou sinnest
     feel thou naught alarm:
But 'ware of twofold sins nor ever dare * To give God partner or
     mankind to harm.'"

Then quoth one of the sons of the merchants, "My life on thee, O
my lord Nur al-Din, drink of this cup!" And another conjured him
by the oath of divorce and yet another stood up persistently
before him, till he was ashamed and taking the cup from the
gardener, drank a draught, but spat it out again, crying, "'Tis
bitter." Said the young gardener, "O my lord Nur al-Din, knowest
thou not that sweets taken by way of medicine are bitter?  Were
this not bitter, 'twould lack of the manifold virtues it
possesseth; amongst which are that it digesteth food and
disperseth cark and care and dispelleth flatulence and clarifieth
the blood and cleareth the complexion and quickeneth the body and
hearteneth the hen-hearted and fortifieth the sexual power in
man; but to name all its virtues would be tedious. Quoth one of
the poets,

'We'll drink and Allah pardon sinners all * And cure of ills by
     sucking cups I'll find:
Nor aught the sin deceives me; yet said He * 'In it there be
     advantage[FN#419] to mankind.'"

Then he sprang up without stay or delay and opened one of the
cupboards in the pavilion and taking out a loaf of refined sugar,
broke off a great slice which he put into Nur al-Din's cup,
saying, "O my lord, an thou fear to drink wine, because of its
bitterness, drink now, for 'tis sweet." So he took the cup and
emptied it: whereupon one of his comrades filled him another,
saying, "O my lord Nur al-Din, I am thy slave," and another did
the like, saying, "I am one of thy servants," and a third said,
"For my sake!" and a fourth, "Allah upon thee, O my lord Nur
al-Din, heal my heart!" And so they ceased not plying him with
wine, each and every of the ten sons of merchants till they had
made him drink a total of ten cups. Now Nur al-Din's body was
virgin of wine-bibbing, or never in all his life had he drunken
vine-juice till that hour, wherefore its fumes wrought in his
brain and drunkenness was stark upon him and he stood up (and
indeed his tongue was thick and his speech stammering) and said,
"O company, by Allah, ye are fair and your speech is goodly and
your place pleasant; but there needeth hearing of sweet music;
for drink without melody lacks the chief of its essentiality,
even as saith the poet,

'Pass round the cup to the old and the young man, too, And take
     the bowl from the hand of the shining moon,[FN#420]
But without music, I charge you, forbear to drink; I see even
     horses drink to a whistled tune.'"[FN#421]

Therewith up sprang the gardener lad and mounting one of the
young men's mules, was absent awhile, after which he returned
with a Cairene girl, as she were a sheep's tail, fat and
delicate, or an ingot of pure silvern ore or a dinar on a
porcelain plate or a gazelle in the wold forlore. She had a face
that put to shame the shining sun and eyes Babylonian[FN#422] and
brows like bows bended and cheeks rose-painted and teeth
pearly-hued and lips sugared and glances languishing and breast
ivory white and body slender and slight, full of folds and with
dimples dight and hips like pillows stuffed and thighs like
columns of Syrian stone, and between them what was something like
a sachet of spices in wrapper swathed. Quoth the poet of her in
these couplets,

"Had she shown her shape to idolaters' sight, * They would gaze
     on her face and their gods detest:
And if in the East to a monk she'd show'd, * He'd quit Eastern
     posture and bow to West.[FN#423]
An she crached in the sea and the briniest sea * Her lips would
     give it the sweetest zest."

And quoth another in these couplets,

"Brighter than Moon at full with kohl'd eyes she came * Like Doe,
     on chasing whelps of Lioness intent:
Her night of murky locks lets fall a tent on her * A tent of
     hair[FN#424] that lacks no pegs to hold the tent;
And roses lighting up her roseate cheeks are fed * By hearts and
     livers flowing fire for languishment:
An 'spied her all the Age's Fair to her they'd rise *
     Humbly,[FN#425] and cry 'The meed belongs to precedent!'"

And how well saith a third bard,[FN#426]

"Three things for ever hinder her to visit us, for fear Of the
     intriguing spy and eke the rancorous envier;
Her forehead's lustre and the sound of all her ornaments And the
     sweet scent her creases hold of ambergris and myrth.
Grant with the border of her sleeve she hide her brow and doff
     Her ornaments, how shall she do her scent away from her?"

She was like the moon when at fullest on its fourteenth night,
and was clad in a garment of blue, with a veil of green,
overbrown flower-white that all wits amazed and those of
understanding amated.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying his permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
gardener brought a girl whom we have described, possessed of the
utmost beauty and loveliness and fine stature and symmetrical
grace as it were she the poet signified when he said,[FN#427]

"She came apparelled in a vest of blue,
That mocked the skies and shamed their azure hue;
I thought thus clad she burst upon my sight,
Like summer moonshine on a wintry night."

And how goodly is the saying of another and how excellent,

"She came thick veiled, and cried I, 'O display * That face like
     full moon bright with pure-white ray.'
Quoth she, 'I fear disgrace,' quoth I, 'Cut short * This talk, no
     shift of days thy thoughts affray.'
Whereat she raised her veil from fairest face * And crystal spray
     on gems began to stray:
And I forsooth was fain to kiss her cheek, * Lest she complain of
     me on Judgment-Day.
And at such tide before the Lord on High * We first of lovers
     were redress to pray:
So 'Lord, prolong this reckoning and review' * (Prayed I) 'that
     longer I may sight my may.'"

Then said the young gardener to her, "Know thou, O lady of the
fair, brighter than any constellation which illumineth air we
sought, in bringing thee hither naught but that thou shouldst
entertain with converse this comely youth, my lord Nur al-Din,
for he hath come to this place only this day." And the girl
replied, "Would thou hadst told me, that I might have brought
what I have with me!" Rejoined the gardener, "O my lady, I will
go and fetch it to thee." "As thou wilt," said she: and he, "Give
me a token." So she gave him a kerchief and he fared forth in
haste and returned after awhile, bearing a green satin bag with
slings of gold. The girl took the bag from him and opening it
shook it, whereupon there fell thereout two-and-thirty pieces of
wood, which she fitted one into other, male into female and
female into male[FN#428] till they became a polished lute of
Indian workmanship. Then she uncovered her wrists and laying the
lute in her lap, bent over it with the bending of mother over
babe, and swept the strings with her finger-tips; whereupon it
moaned and resounded and after its olden home yearned; and it
remembered the waters that gave it drink and the earth whence it
sprang and wherein it grew and it minded the carpenters who made
it their merchandise and the ships that shipped it; and it cried
and called aloud and moaned and groaned; and it was as if she
asked it of all these things and it answered her with the tongue
of the case, reciting these couplets,[FN#429]

"A tree whilere was I the Bulbul's home * To whom for love I
     bowed my grass-green head:
They moaned on me, and I their moaning learnt * And in that moan
     my secret all men read:
The woodman fell me falling sans offence, * And slender lute of
     me (as view ye) made:
But, when the fingers smite my strings, they tell * How man
     despite my patience did me dead;
Hence boon-companions when they hear my moan * Distracted wax as
     though by wine misled:
And the Lord softens every heart of me, * And I am hurried to the
     highmost stead:
All who in charms excel fain clasp my waist; * Gazelles of
     languid eyne and Houri maid:
Allah ne'er part fond lover from his joy * Nor live the loved one
     who unkindly fled."

Then the girl was silent awhile, but presently taking the lute in
lap, again bent over it, as mother bendeth over child, and
preluded in many different modes; then, returning to the first,
she sang these couplets,

"Would they [FN#430] the lover seek without ado, * He to his
     heavy grief had bid adieu:
With him had vied the Nightingale[FN#431] on bough * As one far
     parted from his lover's view:
Rouse thee! awake! The Moon lights Union-night * As tho' such
     Union woke the Morn anew.
This day the blamers take of us no heed * And lute-strings bid us
     all our joys ensue.
Seest not how four-fold things conjoin in one * Rose, myrtle,
     scents and blooms of golden hue.[FN#432]
Yea, here this day the four chief joys unite * Drink and dinars,
     beloved and lover true:
So win thy worldly joy, for joys go past * And naught but storied
     tales and legends last."

When Nur al-Din heard the girl sing these lines he looked on her
with eyes of love and could scarce contain himself for the
violence of his inclination to her; and on like wise was it with
her, because she glanced at the company who were present of the
sons of the merchants and she saw that Nur al-Din was amongst the
rest as moon among stars; for that he was sweet of speech and
replete with amorous grace, perfect in stature and symmetry,
brightness and loveliness, pure of all defect, than the breeze of
morn softer, than Tasnim blander, as saith of him the

"By his cheeks' unfading damask and his smiling teeth I swear, By
     the arros that he feathers with the witchery of his air,
By his sides so soft and tender and his glances bright and keen,
     By the whiteness of his forehead and the blackness of his
By his arched imperious eyebrows, chasing slumber from my lids
     With their yeas and noes that hold me 'twixt rejoicing and
By the Scorpions that he launches from his ringlet-clustered
     brows, Seeking still to slay his lovers with his rigours
By the myrtle of his whiskers and the roses of his cheek, By his
     lips' incarnate rubies and his teeth's fine pearls and rare,
By the straight and tender sapling of his shape, which for its
     fruit Doth the twin pomegranates, shining in his snowy
     bosom, wear,
By his heavy hips that tremble, both in motion and repose, And
     the slender waist above them, all too slight their weight to
By the silk of his apparel and his quick and sprightly wit, By
     all attributes of beauty that are fallen to his share;
Lo, the musk exhales its fragrance from his breath, and eke the
     breeze From his scent the perfume borrows, that it scatters
Yea, the sun in all his splendour cannot with his brightness vie
     And the crescent moon's a fragment that he from his nails
     doth pare."

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

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur
al-Din was delighted with the girl's verses and he swayed from
side to side for drunkenness and fell a-praising her and saying,

"A lutanist to us inclined * And stole our wits bemused with
And said to us her lute, 'The Lord * Bade us discourse by voice

When she heard him thus improvise the girl gazed at him with
loving eyes and redoubled in passion and desire for him increased
upon her, and indeed she marvelled at his beauty and loveliness,
symmetry and grace, so that she could not contain herself, but
took the lute in lap again and sang these couplets,

"He blames me for casting on him my sight * And parts fro' me
     bearing my life and sprite:
He repels me but kens what my heart endures * As though Allah
     himself had inspired the wight:
I portrayed his portrait in palm of hand * And cried to mine
     eyes, 'Weep your doleful plight.'
For neither shall eyes of me spy his like * Nor my heart have
     patience to bear its blight:
Wherefore, will I tear thee from breast, O Heart * As one who
     regards him with jealous spite.
And when say I, 'O heart be consoled for pine,' * 'Tis that heart
     to none other shall e'er incline:"

Nur al-Din wondered at the charms of her verse and the elegance
of her expression and the sweetness of her voice and the
eloquence of her speech and his wit fled for stress of love and
longing, and ecstasy and distraction, so that he could not
refrain from her a single moment, but bent to her and strained
her to his bosom: and she in like manner bowed her form over his
and abandoned herself to his embrace and bussed him between the
eyes. Then he kissed her on the mouth and played with her at
kisses, after the manner of the billing of doves; and she met him
with like warmth and did with him as she was done by till the
others were distracted and rose to their feet; whereupon Nur
al-Din was ashamed and held his hand from her. Then she took her
lute and, preluding thereon in manifold modes, lastly returned to
the first and sang these couplets,

"A Moon, when he bends him those eyes lay bare * A brand that
     gars gazing gazelle despair:
A King, rarest charms are the host of him * And his lance-like
     shape men with cane compare:
Were his softness of sides to his heart transferred * His friend
     had not suffered such cark and care:
Ah for hardest heart and for softest sides! * Why not that to
     these alter, make here go there?
O thou who accusest my love excuse: * Take eternal and leave me
     the transient share."[FN#434]

When Nur al-Din heard the sweetness of her voice and the rareness
of her verse, he inclined to her for delight and could not
contain himself for excess of wonderment; so he recited these

"Methought she was the forenoon sun until she donned the veil *
     But lit she fire in vitals mine still flaring fierce and
How had it hurt her an she deigned return my poor salám * With
     fingertips or e'en vouchsafed one little wink of eye?
The cavalier who spied her face was wholly stupefied * By charms
     that glorify the place and every charm outvie.
'Be this the Fair who makes thee pine and long for love liesse? *
     Indeed thou art excused!' 'This is my fairest she;'(quoth I)
Who shot me with the shaft of looks nor deigns to rue my woes *
     Of strangerhood and broken heart and love I must aby:
I rose a-morn with vanquished heart, to longing love a prey * And
     weep I through the live long day and all the night I cry."

The girl marvelled at his eloquence and elegance and taking her
lute, smote thereon with the goodliest of performance, repeating
all the melodies, and sang these couplets,

"By the life o' thy face, O thou life o' my sprite! * I'll ne'er
     leave thy love for despair or delight:
When art cruel thy vision stands hard by my side * And the
     thought of thee haunts me when far from sight:
O who saddenest my glance albe weeting that I * No love but thy
     love will for ever requite?
Thy cheeks are of Rose and thy lips-dews are wine; * Say, wilt
     grudge them to us in this charming site?"

Hereat Nur al-Din was gladdened with extreme gladness and
wondered with the utmost wonder, so he answered her verse with
these couplets,

"The sun yellowed not in the murk gloom li'en * But lay pearl
     enveiled 'neath horizon-chine;
Nor showed its crest to the eyes of Morn * But took refuge from
     parting with Morning-shine.[FN#435]
Take my tear-drops that trickle as chain on chain * And they'll
     tell my case with the clearest sign.
An my tears be likened to Nile-flood, like * Malak's[FN#436]
     flooded flat be this love o'mine.
Quoth she, 'Bring thy riches!' Quoth I, 'Come, take!' * 'And thy
     sleep?' 'Yes, take it from lids of eyne!'"

When the girl heard Nur al-Din's words and noted the beauty of
his eloquence her senses fled and her wit was dazed and love of
him gat hold upon her whole heart. So she pressed him to her
bosom and fell to kissing him like the billing of doves, whilst
he returned her caresses with successive kisses; but preeminence
appertaineth to precedence.[FN#437] When she had made an end of
kissing, she took the lute and recited these couplets,

"Alas, alack and well-away for blamer's calumny! * Whether or not
     I make my moan or plead or show no plea:
O spurner of my love I ne'er of thee so hard would deem * That I
     of thee should be despised, of thee my property.
I wont at lovers' love to rail and for their passion chide, * But
     now I fain debase myself to all who rail at thee:
Yea, only yesterday I wont all amourists to blame * But now I
     pardon hearts that pine for passion's ecstasy;
And of my stress of parting-stowre on me so heavy weighs * At
     morning prayer to Him I'll cry, 'In thy name, O Ali!'"

And also these two couplets,

"His lovers said, 'Unless he deign to give us all a drink * Of
     wine, of fine old wine his lips deal in their purity;
We to the Lord of Threefold Worlds will pray to grant our prayer'
     * And all exclaim with single cry 'In thy name, O Ali!'"

Nur al-Din, hearing these lines and their rhyme, marvelled at the
fluency of her tongue and thanked her, praising her grace and
passing seductiveness; and the damsel, delighted at his praise,
arose without stay or delay and doffing that was upon her of
outer dress and trinkets till she was free of all encumbrance sat
down on his knees and kissed him between the eyes and on his
cheek-mole. Then she gave him all she had put off.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the girl
gave to Nur al-Din all she had doffed, saying, "O beloved of my
heart, in very sooth the gift is after the measure of the giver."
So he accepted this from her and gave it back to her and kissed
her on the mouth and cheeks and eyes. When this was ended and
done, for naught is durable save the Living, the Eternal,
Provider of the peacock and the owl,[FN#438] Nur al-Din rose from
the séance and stood upon his feet, because the darkness was now
fallen and the stars shone out; whereupon quoth the damsel to
him, "Whither away, O my lord?"; and quoth he, "To my father's
home." Then the sons of the merchants conjured him to night with
them, but he refused and mounting his shemule, rode, without
stopping, till he reached his parent's house, where his mother
met him and said to him, "O my son, what hath kept thee away till
this hour? By Allah, thou hast troubled myself and thy sire by
thine absence from us, and our hearts have been occupied with
thee." Then she came up to him, to kiss him on his mouth, and
smelling the fumes of the wine, said, "O my wine-bibber and a
rebel against Him to whom belong creation and commandment?" But
Nur al-Din threw himself down on the bed and lay there. Presently
in came his sire and said, "What aileth Nur al-Din to lie thus?";
and his mother answered, "'Twould seem his head acheth for the
air of the garden." So Taj al-Din went up to his son, to ask him
of his ailment, and salute him, and smelt the reek of
wine.[FN#439] Now the merchant loved not wine-drinkers; so he
said to Nur al-Din, "Woe to thee, O my son! Is folly come to such
a pass with thee, that thou drinkest wine?" When Nur al-Din heard
his sire say this, he raised his hand, being yet in his
drunkenness, and dealt him a buffet, when by decree of the
Decreer the blow lit on his father's right eye which rolled down
on his cheek; whereupon he fell a-swoon and lay therein awhile.
They sprinkled rose-water on him till he recovered, when he would
have beaten his son; but the mother withheld him, and he swore,
by the oath of divorce from his wife that, as soon as morning
morrowed, he would assuredly cut off his son's right
hand.[FN#440] When she heard her husband's words, her breast was
straitened and she feared for he son and ceased not to soothe and
appease his sire, till sleep overcame him. Then she waited till
moon-rise, when she went in to her son, whose drunkenness had now
departed from him, and said to him, "O Nur al-Din, what is this
foul deed thou diddest with thy sire?" He asked, "And what did I
with him?"; and answered she, "Thou dealtest him a buffet on the
right eye and struckest it out so that it rolled down his cheek;
and he hath sworn by the divorce-oath that, as soon as morning
shall morrow he will without fail cut off thy right hand." Nur
al-Din repented him of that he had done, whenas repentance
profited him naught, and his mother sait to him, "O my son, this
penitence will not profit thee; nor will aught avail thee but
that thou arise forthwith and seek safety in flight: go forth the
house privily and take refuge with one of thy friends and there
what Allah shall do await, for he changeth case after case and
state upon state." Then she opened a chest and taking out a purse
of an hundred dinars said, "O my son, take these dinars and
provide thy wants therewith, and when they are at an end, O my
son, send and let me know thereof, that I may send thee other
than these, and at the same time covey to me news of thyself
privily: haply Allah will decree thee relief and thou shalt
return to thy home. And she farewelled him and wept passing sore,
nought could be more. Thereupon Nur al-Din took the purse of gold
and was about to go forth, when he espied a great purse
containing a thousand dinars, which his mother had forgotten by
the side of the chest. So he took this also and binding the two
purses about his middle,[FN#441] set out before dawn threading
the streets in the direction of Búlák, where he arrived when day
broke and all creatures arose, attesting the unity of Allah the
Opener and went forth each of them upon his several business, to
win that which Allah had unto him allotted. Reaching Bulak he
walked on along the riverbank till he sighted a ship with her
gangway out and her four anchors made fast to the land. The folk
were going up into her and coming down from her, and Nur al-Din,
seeing some sailors there standing, asked them whither they were
bound, and they answered, "To Rosetta-city." Quoth he, "Take me
with you;" and quoth they, "Well come, and welcome to thee, to
thee, O goodly one!" So he betook himself forthright to the
market and buying what he needed of vivers and bedding and
covering, returned to the port and went on board the ship, which
was ready to sail and tarried with him but a little while before
she weighed anchor and fared on, without stopping, till she
reached Rosetta,[FN#442] where Nur al-Din saw a small boat going
to Alexandria. So he embarked in it and traversing the sea-arm of
Rosetta fared on till he came to a bridge called Al-Jámí, where
he landed and entered Alexandria by the gate called the Gate of
the Lote-tree. Allah protected him, so that none of those who
stood on guard at the gate saw him, and he walked on till he
entered the city.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

      When it was the Eight Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur
al-Din entered Alexandria he found it a city goodly of
pleasaunces, delightful to its inhabitants and inviting to
inhabit therein. Winter had fared from it with his cold and Prime
was come to it with his roses: its flowers were kindly ripe and
welled forth its rills. Indeed, it was a city goodly of ordinance
and disposition; its folk were of the best of men, and when the
gates thereof were shut, its folk were safe.[FN#443] And it was
even as is said of it in these couplets,

"Quoth I to a comrade one day, * A man of good speech and rare,
'Describe Alexandria.' * Quoth he, 'Tis a march-town fair.'
Quoth I, 'Is there living therein?' * And he, 'An the wind blow

Or as saith one of the poets,

"Alexandria's a frontier;[FN#444] Whose dews of lips are sweet
     and clear;
How fair the coming to it is, * So one therein no raven speer!"

Nur al-Din walked about the city and ceased not walking till her
came to the merchants' bazar, whence he passed on to the mart of
the money-changers and so on in turn to the markets of the
confectioners and fruiterers and druggists, marvelling, as he
went, at the city, for that the nature of its qualities accorded
with its name.[FN#445] As he walked in the druggists' bazar,
behold, an old man came down from his shop and saluting him, took
him by the hand and carried him to his home. And Nur al-Din saw a
fair bystreet, swept and sprinkled, whereon the zephyr blew and
made pleasantness pervade it and the leaves of the trees
overshaded it. Therein stood three houses and at the upper end a
mansion, whose foundations were firm sunk in the water and its
walls towered to the confines of the sky. They had swept the
space before it and they had sprinkled it freshly; so it exhaled
the fragrance of flowers, borne on the zephyr which breathed upon
the place; and the scent met there who approached it on such wise
as it were one of the gardens of Paradise. And, as they had
cleaned and cooed the by-street's head, so was the end of it with
marble spread. The Shaykh carried Nur al-Din into the house and
setting somewhat of food before him ate with his guest. When they
had made an end of eating, the druggist said to him, "When camest
thou hither from Cairo?"; and Nur al-Din replied, "This very
night, O my father." Quoth the old man, "What is thy name?"; and
quoth he, "Ali Nur al-Din." Said the druggist, "O my son, O Nur
al-Din, be the triple divorce incumbent on me, an thou leave me
so long as thou abidest in this city; and I will set thee apart a
place wherein thou mayst dwell." Nur al-Din asked, "O my lord the
Shaykh, let me know more of thee"; and the other answered, "Know,
O my son, that some years ago I went to Cairo with merchandise,
which I sold there and bought other, and I had occasion for a
thousand dinars. So thy sire Taj al-Din weighed them out[FN#446]
for me, all unknowing me, and would take no written word of me,
but had patience with me till I returned hither and sent him the
amount by one of my servants, together with a gift. I saw thee,
whilst thou wast little; and, if it please Allah the Most High, I
will repay thee somewhat of the kindness thy father did me." When
Nur al-Din heard the old man's story, he showed joy and pulling
out with a smile the purse of a thousand dinars, gave it to his
host the Shaykh and said to him, "Take charge of this deposit for
me, against I buy me somewhat of merchandise whereon to trade."
Then he abode some time in Alexandria city taking his pleasure
every day in its thoroughfares, eating and drinking ad indulging
himself with mirth and merriment till he had made an end of the
hundred dinars he had kept by way of spending-money; whereupon he
repaired to the old druggist, to take of him somewhat of the
thousand dinars to spend, but found him not in his shop and took
a seat therein to await his return. He sat there gazing right and
left and amusing himself with watching the merchants and
passers-by, and as he was thus engaged behold, there came into
the bazar a Persian riding on a she-mule and carrying behind him
a damsel; as she were argent of alloy free or a fish
Balti[FN#447] in mimic sea or a doe-gazelle on desert lea. Her
face outshone the sun in shine and she had witching eyne and
breasts of ivory white, teeth of marguerite, slender waist and
sides dimpled deep and calves like tails of fat sheep;[FN#448]
and indeed she was perfect in beauty and loveliness, elegant
stature and symmetrical grace, even as saith one, describing

"'Twas as by will of her she was create * Nor short nor long, but
     Beauty's mould and mate:
Rose blushes reddest when she sees those cheeks * And fruits the
     bough those marvel charms amate:
Moon is her favour, Musk the scent of her * Branch is her shape:–
     she passeth man's estate:
'Tis e'en as were she cast in freshest pearl * And every limblet
     shows a moon innate."

Presently the Persian lighted down from his she-mule and, making
the damsel also dismount, loudly summoned the broker and said to
him as soon as he came, "Take this damsel and cry her for sale in
the market." So he took her and leading her to the middlemost of
the bazar disappeared for a while and presently he returned with
a stool of ebony, inlaid with ivory, and setting it upon the
ground, seated her thereon. Then he raised her veil and
discovered a face as it were a Median targe[FN#450] or a cluster
of pearls:[FN#451] and indeed she was like the full moon, when it
filleth on its fourteenth night, accomplished in brilliant
beauty. As saith the poet,

"Vied the full moon for folly with her face, * But was
     eclipsed[FN#452] and split for rage full sore;
And if the spiring Bán with her contend * Perish her hands who
     load of fuel bore!"[FN#453]

And how well saith another,

"Say to the fair in the wroughten veil * How hast made that
     monk-like worshipper ail?
Light of veil and light of face under it * Made the hosts of
     darkness to fly from bale;
And, when came my glance to steal look at cheek. * With a
     meteor-shaft the Guard made me quail."[FN#454]

Then said the broker to the merchants,[FN#455] "How much do ye
bid for the union-pearl of the diver and prize-quarry of the
fowler?" Quoth one, "She is mine for an hundred dinars." And
another said, "Two hundred," and a third, "Three hundred"; and
they ceased not to bid, one against other, till they made her
price nine hundred and fifty dinars, and there the biddings
stopped awaiting acceptance and consent.[FN#456]--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
merchants bid one against other till they made the price of the
girl nine hundred and fifty dinars. Then the broker went up to
her Persian master and said to him, "The biddings for this thy
slavegirl have reached nine hundred and fifty dinars: so say me,
wilt thou sell her at that price and take the money?" Asked the
Persian, "Doth she consent to this? I desire to fall in with her
wishes, for I sickened on my journey hither and this handmaid
tended me with all possible tenderness, wherefore I sware not to
sell her but to him whom she should like and approve, and I have
put her sale in her own hand. So do thou consult her and if she
say, 'I consent,' sell her to whom thou wilt: but an she say,
'No,' sell her not." So the broker went up to her and asked her,
"O Princess of fair ones, know that thy master putteth thy sale
in thine own hands, and thy price hath reached nine hundred and
fifty dinars; dost thou give me leave to sell thee?" She
answered, "Show me him who is minded to buy me before clinching
the bargain." So he brought her up to one of the merchants a man
stricken with years and decrepit; and she looked at him a long
while, then turned to the broker and said to him, "O broker, art
thou Jinn-mad or afflicted in thy wit?" Replied he, "Why dost
thou ask me this, O Princess of fair ones?"; and said she, "Is it
permitted thee of Allah to sell the like of me to yonder decrepit
old man, who saith of his wife's case these couplets,

'Quoth she to me,--and sore enraged for wounded pride was she, *
     For she in sooth had bidden me to that which might not be,--
'An if thou swive me not forthright, as one should swive his
     wife, * Thou be made a cuckold straight, reproach it not to
Meseems thy yard is made of wax, for very flaccidness; * For when
     I rub it with my hand, it softens instantly.'[FN#457]

And said he likewise of his yard,

'I have a yard that sleeps in base and shameful way * When grants
     my lover boon for which I sue and pray:
But when I wake o' mornings[FN#458] all alone in bed, * 'Tis fain
     o' foin and fence and fierce for futter-play.'

And again quoth he thereof of his yard,

'I have a froward yard of temper ill * Dishonoring him who shows
     it most regard:
It stands when sleep I, when I stand it sleeps * Heaven pity not
     who pitieth that yard!'"

When the old merchant heard this ill flouting from the damsel, he
was wroth with wrath exceeding beyond which was no proceeding and
said to the broker, "O most ill-omened of brokers, thou hast not
brought into the market this ill-conditioned wench but to gibe me
and make mock of me before the merchants." Then the broker took
her aside and said to her, "O my lady, be not wanting in
self-respect. The Shaykh at whom thou didst mock is the Syndic of
the bazar and Inspector[FN#459] thereof and a committee-man of
the council of the merchants." But she laughed and improvised
these two couplets,

"It behoveth folk who rule in our time, * And 'tis one of the
     duties of magistrateship,
To hand up the Wali above his door * And beat with a whip the

Adding, "By Allah, O my lord, I will not be sold to yonder old
man; so sell me to other than him, for haply he will be abashed
at me and vend me again and I shall become a mere servant[FN#460]
and it beseemeth not that I sully myself with menial service; and
indeed thou knowest that the matter of my sale is committed to
myself." He replied, "I hear and I obey," and carried her to a
man which was one of the chief merchants. And when standing hard
by him the broker asked, "How sayst thou, O my lady? Shall I sell
thee to my lord Sharíf al-Dín here for nine hundred and fifty
gold pieces?" She looked at him and, seeing him to be an old man
with a dyed beard, said to the broker, "Art thou silly, that thou
wouldst sell me to this worn out Father Antic? Am I cotton refuse
or threadbare rags that thou marchest me about from greybeard to
greybeard, each like a wall ready to fall or an Ifrit smitten
down of a fire-ball? As for the first, the poet had him in mind
when he said,[FN#461]

'I sought of a fair maid to kiss her lips of coral red, But, 'No,
     by Him who fashioned things from nothingness!' she said.
Unto the white of hoary hairs I never had a mind, And shall my
     mouth be stuffed, forsooth, with cotton, ere I'm dead?'

And how goodly is the saying of the poet,

'The wise have said that white of hair is light that shines and
     robes * The face of man with majesty and light that awes the
Yet until hoary seal shall stamp my parting-place of hair * I
     hope and pray that same may be black as the blackest night.
Albe Time-whitened beard of man be like the book he bears[FN#462]
     * When to his Lord he must return, I'd rather 'twere not

And yet goodlier is the saying of another,

'A guest hath stolen on my head and honour may he lack! * The
     sword a milder deed hath done that dared these locks to
Avaunt, O Whiteness,[FN#463] wherein naught of brightness
     gladdens sight * Thou 'rt blacker in the eyes of me than
     very blackest black!'

As for the other, he is a model of wantonness and scurrilousness
and a blackener of the face of hoariness; his dye acteth the
foulest of lies: and the tongue of his case reciteth these

'Quoth she to me, 'I see thou dy'st thy hoariness;' and I, 'I do
     but hide it from thy sight, O thou mine ear and eye!'
She laughed out mockingly and said, 'A wonder 'tis indeed! Thou
     so aboundest in deceit that even thy hair's a lie.'

And how excellent is the saying of the poet,

'O thou who dyest hoariness with black, * That youth wi' thee
     abide, at least in show;
Look ye, my lot was dyèd black whilome * And (take my word!) none
     other hue 'twill grow.'"

When the old man with dyed beard heard such words from the
slave-girl, he raged with exceeding rage in fury's last stage and
said to the broker, "O most ill-omened of brokers, this day thou
hast brought to our market naught save this gibing baggage to
flout at all who are therein, one after other, and fleer at them
with flyting verse and idle jest?" And he came down from his shop
and smote on the face the broker, who took her an angered and
carried her away, saying to her, "By Allah, never in my life saw
I a more shameless wench than thyself![FN#465] Thou hast cut off
my daily bread and thine own this day and all the merchants will
bear me a grudge on thine account." Then they saw on the way a
merchant called Shihab al-Din who bid ten dinars more for her,
and the broker asked her leave to sell her to him. Quoth she,
"Trot him out that I may see him and question him of a certain
thing, which if he have in his house, I will be sold to him; and
if not, then not." So the broker left her standing there and
going up to Shihab al-Din, said to him, "O my lord, know that
yonder damsel tells me she hath a mind to ask thee somewhat,
which an thou have, she will be sold to thee. Now thou hast heard
what she said to thy fellows, the merchants,"--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
broker said to the merchant, "Thou hast heard what this handmaid
said to thy fellows, the traders, and by Allah, I fear to bring
her to thee, lest she do with thee like as she did with thy
neighbours and so I fall into disgrace with thee: but, an thou
bid me bring her to thee, I will bring her." Quoth the merchant,
"Hither with her to me." "Hearing and obeying," answered the
broker and fetched for the purchaser the damsel, who looked at
him and said, "O my lord, Shihab al-Din, hast thou in thy house
round cushions stuffed with ermine strips?" Replied Shihab
al-Din, "Yes, O Princess of fair ones, I have at home half a
score such cushions; but I conjure thee by Allah, tell me, what
will thou do with them?" Quoth she, "I will bear with thee till
thou be asleep, when I will lay them on thy mouth and nose and
press them down till thou die." Then she turned to the broker and
said to him, "O thou refuse of brokers, meseemeth thou art mad,
in that thou showest me this hour past, first to a pair of
greybeards, in each of whom are two faults, and then thou
proferrest me to my lord Shihab al-Din wherein be three defects;
and thirdly, he is dwarfish, secondly, he hath a nose which is
big, and thirdly, he hath a beard which is long. Of him quoth one
of the poets,

'We never heard of wight nor yet espied * Who amid men three
     gifts hath unified:
To wit, a beard one cubit long, a snout * Span-long and figure
     tall a finger wide:'

And quoth another poet,

'From the plain of his face springs a minaret * Like a bezel of
     ring on his finger set:
Did creation enter that vasty nose * No created thing would
     elsewhere be met.'"

When Shihab al-Din heard this, he came down from his shop and
seized the broker by the collar, saying, "O scurviest of brokers,
what aileth thee to bring us a damsel to flout and make mock of
us, one after other, with her verses and talk that a curse is?"
So the broker took her and carried her away from before him and
fared, saying, "By Allah, all my life long, since I have plied
this profession never set I eyes on the like of thee for
unmannerliness nor aught more curst to me than thy star, for thou
hast cut off my livelihood this day and I have gained no profit
by thee save cuffs on the neck-nape and catching by the collar!"
Then he brought her to the shop of another merchant, owner of
negro slaves and white servants, and stationing her before him,
said to her, "Wilt thou be sold to this my lord 'Alá al-Dín?" She
looked at him and seeing him hump-backed, said, "This is a Gobbo,
and quoth the poet of him,

'Drawn in thy shoulders are and spine thrust out, * As seeking
     star which Satan gave the lout;[FN#466]
Or as he tasted had first smack of scourge * And looked in marvel
     for a second bout.'

And saith another on the same theme,

'As one of you who mounted mule, * A sight for me to ridicule:
Is 't not a farce? Who feels surprise * An start and bolt with
     him the mule?'

And another on a similar subject,

'Oft hunchback addeth to his bunchy back * Faults which gar folk
     upon his front look black:
Like branch distort and dried by length of days * With citrons
     hanging from it loose and slack.'"

With this the broker hurried up to her and, carrying her to
another merchant, said to her, "Wilt thou be sold to this one?"
She looked at him and said, "In very sooth this man is
blue-eyed;[FN#467] how wilt thou sell me to him?" Quoth one of
the poets,

'His eyelids sore and bleared * Weakness of frame denote:
Arise, ye folk and see * Within his eyes the mote!'"

Then the broker carried her to another and she looked at him and
seeing that he had a long beard, said to the broker, "Fie upon
thee! This is a ram, whose tail hath sprouted from his gullet.
Wilt thou sell me to him, O unluckiest of brokers? Hast thou not
heard say: 'All long of beard are little of wits? Indeed, after
the measure of the length of the beard is the lack of sense; and
this is a well-known thing among men of understanding.' As saith
one of the poets,

'Ne'er was a man with beard grown overlong, * Tho' be he therefor
     reverenced and fear'd,
But who the shortness noted in his wits * Added to longness noted
     in his beard.'

And quoth another,[FN#468]

'I have a friend with a beard which God hath made to grow to a
     useless length,
It is like unto one of the nights of winter long and dark and

With this the broker took her and turned away with her, and she
asked, "Whither goest thou with me?" He answered, "Back to thy
master the Persian; it sufficeth me what hath befallen me because
of thee this day; for thou hast been the means of spoiling both
my trade and his by thine ill manners." Then she looked about the
market right and left, front and rear till, by the decree of the
Decreer her eyes fell on Ali Nur al-Din the Cairene. So she gazed
at him and saw him[FN#469] to be a comely youth of straight slim
form and smooth of face, fourteen years old, rare in beauty and
loveliness and elegance and amorous grace like the full moon on
the fourteenth night with forehead flower-white, and cheeks rosy
red, neck like alabaster and teeth than jewels and dews of lips
sweeter than sugar, even as saith of him one of his describers,

"Came to match him in beauty and loveliness rare * Full moons and
     gazelles but quoth I, 'Soft fare!
Fare softly, gazelles, nor yourselves compare * With him and, O
     Moons, all your pains forbear!'"

And how well saith another bard,

"Slim-waisted loveling, from his hair and brow * Men wake a-morn
     in night and light renewed.
Blame not the mole that dwelleth on his cheek * For Nu'uman's
     bloom aye shows spot negro-hued."

When the slave-girl beheld Nur al-Din he interposed between her
and her wits; she fell in love to him with a great and sudden
fall and her heart was taken with affection for him;--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
slave-girl beheld Nur al-Din, her heart was taken with affection
for him; so she turned to the broker and said to him, "Will not
yonder young merchant, who is sitting among the traders in the
gown of striped broadcloth, bid somewhat more for me?" The broker
replied, "O lady of fair ones, yonder young man is a stranger
from Cairo, where his father is chief of the trader-guild and
surpasseth all the merchants and notables of the place. He is but
lately come to this our city and lodgeth with one of his father's
friends; but he hath made no bid for thee nor more nor less."
When the girl heard the broker's words, she drew from her finger
a costly signet-ring of ruby and said to the man, "Carry me to
yonder youth, and if he buy me, this ring shall be thine, in
requital of thy travail with me this day." The broker rejoiced at
this and brought her up to Nur al-Din, and she considered him
straitly and found him like the full moon, perfect in loveliness
and a model of fine stature and symmetric grace, even as saith of
him one of his describers.

"Waters of beauty o'er his cheeks flow bright, * And rain his
     glances shafts that sorely smite:
Choked are his lovers an he deal disdain's * Bitterest draught
     denaying love-delight.
His forehead and his stature and my love * Are perfect perfected
His raiment folds enfold a lovely neck * As crescent moon in
     collar buttoned tight:
His eyne and twinnèd moles and tears of me * Are night that
     nighteth to the nightliest night.
His eyebrows and his features and my frame[FN#470] * Crescents on
     crescents are as crescents slight:
His pupils pass the wine-cup to his friends * Which, albe sweet,
     tastes bitter to my sprite;
And to my thirsty throat pure drink he dealt * From smiling lips
     what day we were unite:
Then is my blood to him, my death to him * His right and rightful
     and most righteous right."

The girl gazed at Nur al-Din and said, "O my lord, Allah upon
thee, am I not beautiful?"; and he replied, "O Princess of fair
ones, is there in the world a comelier than thou?" She rejoined,
"Then why seest thou all the other merchants bid high for me and
art silent nor sayest a word neither addest one dinar to my
price? 'Twould seem I please thee not, O my lord!" Quoth he, "O
my lady, were I in my own land, I had bought thee with all that
my hand possesseth of monies;" and quoth she, "O my lord, I said
not, 'Buy me against thy will,' yet, didst thou but add somewhat
to my price, it would hearten my heart, though thou buy me not,
so the merchants may say, 'Were not this girl handsome, yonder
merchant of Cairo had not bidden for her, for the Cairenes are
connoisseurs in slave-girls.'" These words abashed Nur al-Din and
he blushed and said to the broker, "How high are the biddings for
her?" He replied, "Her price hath reached nine hundred and sixty
dinars,[FN#471] besides brokerage, as for the Sultan's dues, they
fall on the seller." Quoth Nur al-Din, "Let me have her for a
thousand dinars, brokerage and price." And the damsel hastening
to the fore and leaving the broker, said "I sell myself to this
handsome young man for a thousand dinars." But Nur al-Din held
his peace. Quoth one, "We sell to him;" and another, "He
deserveth her;" and a third, "Accursed, son of accursed, is he
who biddeth and doth not buy!"; and a fourth, "By Allah, they
befit each other!" Then, before Nur al-Din could think, the
broker fetched Kazis and witnesses, who wrote out a contract of
sale and purchase; and the broker handed the paper to Nur al-Din,
saying, "Take thy slave-girl and Allah bless thee in her for she
beseemeth none but thee and none but thou beseemeth her." And he
recited these two couplets,

"Boom Fortune sought him in humblest way[FN#472] * And came to
     him draggle-tailed, all a-stir:
And none is fittest for him but she * And none is fittest but he
     for her."

Hereat Nur al-Din was abashed before the merchants; so he arose
without stay or delay and weighed out the thousand dinars which
he had left as a deposit with his father's friend the druggist,
and taking the girl, carried her to the house wherein the Shaykh
had lodged him. When she entered and saw nothing but ragged
patched carpets and worn out rugs, she said to him, "O my lord,
have I no value to thee and am I not worthy that thou shouldst
bear me to thine own house and home wherein are thy goods, that
thou bringest me into thy servant's lodging? Why dost thou not
carry me to thy father's dwelling?" He replied, "By Allah, O
Princess of fair ones, this is my house wherein I dwell; but it
belongeth to an old man, a druggist of this city, who hath set it
apart for me and lodged me therein. I told thee that I was a
stranger and that I am of the sons of Cairo city." She rejoined,
"O my lord, the least of houses sufficeth till thy return to thy
native place; but, Allah upon thee, O my lord, go now and fetch
us somewhat of roast meat and wine and dried fruit and dessert."
Quoth Nur al-Din, "By Allah, O Princess of fair ones, I had no
money with me but the thousand dinars I paid down to thy price
nor possess I any other good. The few dirhams I owned were spent
by me yesterday." Quoth she, "Hast thou no friend in the town, of
whom thou mayst borrow fifty dirhams and bring them to me, that I
may tell thee what thou shalt do therewith?" And he said, "I have
no intimate but the druggist." Then he betook himself forthright
to the druggist and said to him, "Peace be with thee, O uncle!"
He returned his salam and said to him, "O my son, what hast thou
bought for a thousand dinars this day?" Nur al-Din replied, "I
have bought a slave-girl;" and the oldster rejoined, "O my son,
art thou mad that thou givest a thousand dinars for one
slave-girl? Would I knew what kind of slave-girl she is?" Said
Nur al-Din, "She is a damsel of the children of the Franks;"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur
al-Din said to the ancient druggist, "The damsel is of the
children of the Franks;" and the Shaykh said, "O my son, the best
of the girls of the Franks are to be had in this our town for an
hundred dinars, and by Allah, O my son, they have cheated thee in
the matter of this damsel! However, an thou have taken a fancy to
her, lie with her this night and do thy will of her and to-morrow
morning go down with her to the market and sell her, though thou
lose by her two hundred dinars, and reckon that thou hast lost
them by shipwreck or hast been robbed of them on the road." Nur
al-Din replied, "Right is thy rede, O uncle, but thou knowest
that I had but the thousand dinars wherewith I purchased the
damsel, and now I have not a single dirham left to spend; so I
desire of thy favour and bounty that thou lend me fifty dirhams,
to provide me withal, till to-morrow, when I will sell her and
repay thee out of her price." Said the old man, "Willingly, O my
son," and counted out to him the fifty dirhams. Then he said to
him, "O my son, thou art but young in years and the damsel is
fair, so belike thy heart will be taken with her and it will be
grievous to thee to vend her. Now thou hast nothing to live on
and these fifty dirhams will readily be spent and thou wilt come
to me and I shall lend thee once and twice and thrice, and so on
up to ten times; but, an thou come to me after this, I will not
return thy salam[FN#473] and our friendship with thy father will
end ill." Nur al-Din took the fifty dirhams and returned with
them to the damsel, who said to him, "O my lord, wend thee at
once to the market and fetch me twenty dirhams' worth of stained
silk of five colours and with the other thirty buy meat and bread
and fruit and wine and flowers." So he went to the market and
purchasing for her all she sought, brought it to her, whereupon
she rose and tucking up her sleeves, cooked food after the most
skilful fashion, and set it before him. He ate and she ate with
him, till they had enough, after which she set on the wine, and
she drank and he drank, and she ceased not to ply him with drink
and entertain him with discourse, till he became drunken and fell
asleep. Thereupon she arose without stay or delay and taking out
of her bundle a budget of Táifí leather,[FN#474] opened it and
drew forth a pair of knitting needles, wherewith she fell to work
and stinted not till she had made a beautiful zone, which she
folded up in a wrapper after cleaning it and ironing it, and laid
it under her pillow. Then she doffed her dress till she was
mother-naked and lying down beside Nur al-Din shampoo'd him till
he awoke from his heavy sleep. He found by his side a maiden like
virgin silver, softer than silk and delicater than a tail of
fatted sheep, than standard more conspicuous and goodlier than
the red camel,[FN#475] in height five feet tall with breasts firm
and full, brows like bended bows, eyes like gazelles' eyes and
cheeks like blood-red anemones, a slender waist with dimples
laced and a navel holding an ounce of the unguent benzoin, thighs
like bolsters stuffed with ostrich-down, and between them what
the tongue fails to set forth and at mention whereof the tears
jet forth. Brief it was as it were she to whom the poet alluded
in these two couplets,

"From her hair is Night, from her forehead Noon * From her
     side-face Rose; from her lip wine boon:
From her Union Heaven, her Severance Hell: * Pearls from her
     teeth; from her front full Moon."

And how excellent is the saying of another bard,[FN#476]

"A Moon she rises, Willow-wand she waves * Breathes ambergris and
     gazeth a gazelle.
Meseems that sorrow wooes my heart and wins * And when she wends
     makes haste therein to dwell.
Her face is fairer than the Stars of Wealth[FN#477] * And sheeny
     brows the crescent Moon excel."

And quoth a third also,

"They shine fullest Moons, unveil Crescent-bright; *
     Sway tenderest Branches and turn wild kine;
'Mid which is a Dark-eyed for love of whose charms *
     The Sailors[FN#478] would joy to be ground low-li'en."

So Nur al-Din turned to her at once and clasping her to his
bosom, sucked first her upper lip and then her under lip and slid
his tongue between the twain into her mouth. Then he rose to her
and found her a pearl unthridden and a filly none but he had
ridden. So he abated her maidenhead and had of her amorous
delight and there was knitted between them a love-bond which
might never know breach nor severance.[FN#479] He rained upon her
cheeks kisses like the falling of pebbles into water, and struck
with stroke upon stroke, like the thrusting of spears in battle
brunt; for that Nur al-Din still yearned after clipping of necks
and sucking of lips and letting down of tress and pressing of
waist and biting of cheek and cavalcading on breast with Cairene
buckings and Yamani wrigglings and Abyssinian sobbings and Hindí
pamoisons and Nubian lasciviousness and Rífí leg-liftings[FN#480]
and Damiettan moanings and Sa'ídí[FN#481] hotness and Alexandrian
languishment[FN#482] and this damsel united in herself all these
virtues, together with excess of beauty and loveliness, and
indeed she was even as saith of her the poet,

"This is she I will never forget till I die * Nor draw near but
     to those who to her draw nigh.
A being for semblance like Moon at full * Praise her Maker, her
     Modeller glorify!
Tho' be sore my sin seeking love-liesse * On esperance-day ne'er
     repent can I;
A couplet reciting which none can know * Save the youth who in
     couplets and rhymes shall cry,
'None weeteth love but who bears its load * Nor passion, save
     pleasures and pains he aby.'"

So Nur al-Din lay with the damsel through the night in solace and
delight,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din
lay with that damsel through the night in solace and delight, the
twain garbed in the closely buttoned garments of embrace, safe
and secure against the misways of nights and days, and they
passed the dark hours after the goodliest fashion, fearing
naught, in their joys love-fraught, from excess of talk and
prate. As saith of them the right excellent poet,[FN#483]

"Go, visit her thou lovest, and regard not
The words detractors utter; envious churls
Can never favour love. Oh! sure the merciful
Ne'er make a thing more fair to look upon,
Than two fond lovers in each other's arms,
Speaking their passion in a mute embrace.
When heart has turned to heart, the fools would part them
Strike idly on cold steel. So when thou'st found
One purely, wholly thine, accept her true heart,
And live for her alone. Oh! thou that blamest
The love-struck for their love, give o'er thy talk
How canst thou minister to a mind diseased?"

When the morning morrowed in sheen and shone, Nur al-Din awoke
from deep sleep and found that she had brought water:[FN#484] so
they made the Ghusl-ablution, he and she, and he performed that
which behoved him of prayer to his Lord, after which she set
before him meat and drink, and he ate and drank. Then the damsel
put her hand under her pillow and pulling out the girdle which
she had knitted during the night, gave it to Nur al-Din, who
asked, "Whence cometh this girdle?"[FN#485] Answered she, "O my
lord, 'tis the silk thou boughtest yesterday for twenty dirhams.
Rise now and go to the Persian bazar and give it to the broker,
to cry for sale, and sell it not for less than twenty gold pieces
in ready money." Quoth Nur al-Din, "O Princess of fair ones how
can a thing, that cost twenty dirhams and will sell for as many
dinars, be made in a single night?"; and quoth she, "O my lord,
thou knowest not the value of this thing; but go to the market
therewith and give it to the broker, and when he shall cry it,
its worth will be made manifest to thee." Herewith he carried the
zone to the market and gave it to the broker, bidding him cry it,
whilst he himself sat down on a masonry bench before a shop. The
broker fared forth and returning after a while said to him, "O my
lord, rise take the price of thy zone, for it hath fetched twenty
dinars money down." When Nur al-Din heard this, he marvelled with
exceeding marvel and shook with delight. Then he rose, between
belief and misbelief, to take the money and when he had received
it, he went forthright and spent it all on silk of various
colours and returning home, gave his purchase to the damsel,
saying, "Make this all into girdles and teach me likewise how to
make them, that I may work with thee; for never in the length of
my life saw I a fairer craft than this craft nor a more abounding
in gain and profit. By Allah, 'tis better than the trade of a
merchant a thousand times!" She laughed at his language and said,
"O my lord, go to thy friend the druggist and borrow other thirty
dirhams of him, and to-morrow repay him from the price of the
girdle the thirty together with the fifty already loaned to
thee." So he rose and repaired to the druggist and said to him,
"O Uncle, lend me other thirty dirhams, and to-morrow, Almighty
Allah willing, I will repay thee the whole fourscore." The old
man weighed him out thirty dirhams, wherewith he went to the
market and buying meat and bread, dried fruits, and flowers as
before, carried them home to the damsel whose name was
Miriam,[FN#486] the Girdle-girl. She rose forthright and making
ready rich meats, set them before her lord Nur al-Din; after
which she brought the wine-service and they drank and plied each
other with drink. When the wine began to play with their wits,
his pleasant address and inner grace pleased her, and she recited
these two couplets,

"Said I to Slim-waist who the wine engraced * Brought in
     musk-scented bowl and a superfine,
'Was it prest from thy cheek?' He replied 'Nay, nay! * When did
     man from Roses e'er press the Wine?'"

And the damsel ceased not to carouse with her lord and ply him
with cup and bowl and require him to fill for her and give her to
drink of that which sweeteneth the spirits, and whenever he put
forth hand to her, she drew back from him, out of coquetry. The
wine added to her beauty and loveliness, and Nur al-Din recited
these two couplets,

"Slim-waist craved wine from her companeer; * Cried (in meeting
     of friends when he feared for his fere,)
'An thou pass not the wine thou shalt pass the night, * A-banisht
     my bed!' And he felt sore fear."

They ceased not drinking till drunkenness overpowered Nur al-Din
and he slept; whereupon she rose forthright and fell to work upon
a zone, as was her wont. When she had wrought it to end, she
wrapped it in paper and doffing her clothes, lay down by his side
and enjoyed dalliance and delight till morn appeared.--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam
the Girdle-girl, having finished her zone and wrapped it in paper
doffed her dress and lay down by the side of her lord; and then
happened to them what happened of dalliance and delight; and he
did his devoir like a man. On the morrow, she gave him the girdle
and said to him, "Carry this to the market and sell it for twenty
dinars, even as thou soldest its fellow yesterday." So he went to
the bazar and sold the girdle for twenty dinars, after which he
repaired to the druggist and paid him back the eighty dirhams,
thanking him for the bounties and calling down blessings upon
him. He asked, "O my son, hast thou sold the damsel?"; and Nur
al-Din answered, "Wouldst thou have me sell the soul out of my
body?" and he told him all that had passed, from commencement to
conclusion, whereat the druggist joyed with joy galore, than
which could be no more and said to him, "By Allah, O my son, thou
gladdenest me! Inshallah, mayst thou ever be in prosperity!
Indeed I wish thee well by reason of my affection for thy ather
and the continuance of my friendship with him." Then Nur al-Din
left the Shaykh and straightway going to the market, bought meat
and fruit and wine and all that he needed according to his custom
and returned therewith to Miriam. They abode thus a whole year in
eating and drinking and mirth and merriment and love and good
comradeship, and every night she made a zone and he sold it on
the morrow for twenty dinars, wherewith he bought their needs and
gave the rest to her, to keep against a time of necessity. After
the twelvemonth she said to him one day, "O my lord, whenas thou
sellest the girdle to-morrow, buy for me with its price silk of
six colours, because I am minded to make thee a kerchief to wear
on thy shoulders, such as never son of merchant, no, nor King's
son, ever rejoiced in its like." So next day he fared forth to
the bazar and after selling the zone brought her the dyed silks
she sought and Miriam the Girdle-girl wrought at the kerchief a
whole week, for, every night, when she had made an end of the
zone, she would work awhile at the kerchief till it was finished.
Then she gave it to Nur al-Din, who put it on his shoulders and
went out to walk in the market-place, whilst all the merchants
and folk and notables of the town crowded about him, to gaze on
his beauty and that of the kerchief which was of the most
beautiful. Now it chanced that one night, after this, he awoke
from sleep and found Miriam weeping passing sore and reciting
these couplets,

"Nears my parting fro' my love, nigher draws the Severance-day *
     Ah well-away for parting! and again ah well-away!
And in tway is torn my heart and O pine I'm doomed to bear * For
     the nights that erst witnessed our pleasurable play!
No help for it but Envier the twain of us espy * With evil eye
     and win to us his lamentable way.
For naught to us is sorer than the jealousy of men * And the
     backbiter's eyne that with calumny affray."

He said, "O my lady Miriam,[FN#487] what aileth thee to weep?";
and she replied, "I weep for the anguish of parting for my heart
presageth me thereof." Quoth he, "O lady of fair ones, and who
shall interpose between us, seeing that I love thee above all
creatures and tender thee the most?"; and quoth she, "And I love
thee twice as well as thou me; but fair opinion of fortune still
garreth folk fall into affliction, and right well saith the

'Think'st thou thyself all prosperous, in days which prosp'rous
Nor fearest thou impending ill, which comes by Heaven's decree?
We see the orbs of heav'n above, how numberless they are,
But sun and moon alone eclips'd, and ne'er a lesser star!
And many a tree on earth we see, some bare, some leafy green,
Of them, not one is hurt with stone save that has fruitful been!
See'st not th' refluent ocean, bear carrion on its tide,
While pearls beneath its wavy flow, fixed in the deep, abide?'"

Presently she added, "O my lord Nur al-Din, an thou desire to
nonsuit separation, be on thy guard against a swart-visaged
oldster, blind of the right eye and lame of the left leg; for he
it is who will be the cause of our severance. I saw him enter the
city and I opine that he is come hither in quest of me." Replied
Nur al-Din, "O lady of fair ones, if my eyes light on him, I will
slay him and make an example of him." Rejoined she, "O my lord,
slay him not; but talk not nor trade with him, neither buy nor
sell with him nor sit nor walk with him nor speak one word to
him, no, not even the answer prescribed by law,[FN#489] and I
pray Allah to preserve us from his craft and his mischief." Next
morning, Nur al-Din took the zone and carried it to the market,
where he sat down on a shop-bench and talked with the sons of the
merchants, till the drowsiness preceding slumber overcame him and
he lay down on the bench and fell asleep. Presently, behold, up
came the Frank whom the damsel had described to him, in company
with seven others, and seeing Nur al-Din lying asleep on the
bench, with his head wrapped in the kerchief which Miriam had
made for him and the edge thereof in his grasp, sat down by him
and hent the end of the kerchief in hand and examined it, turning
it over for some time. Nur al-Din sensed that there was something
and awoke; then, seeing the very man of whom Miriam had warned
him sitting by his side, cried out at him with a great cry which
startled him. Quoth the Frank, "What aileth thee to cry out thus
at us? Have we taken from thee aught?"; and quoth Nur al-Din, "By
Allah, O accursed, haddest thou taken aught from me, I would
carry thee before the Chief of Police!" Then said the Frank, "O
Moslem, I conjure thee by thy faith and by that wherein thou
believest, inform me whence thou haddest this kerchief;" and Nur
al-Din replied, "Tis the handiwork of my lady mother,"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Frank asked Nur al-Din anent the maker of the kerchief, he
answered, saying, "In very sooth this kerchief is the handiwork
of my mother, who made it for me with her own hand." Quoth the
Frank "Wilt thou sell it to me and take ready money for it?," and
quoth Nur al-Din, "By Allah, I will not sell it to thee or to any
else, for she made none other than it." "Sell it to me and I will
give thee to its price this very moment five hundred dinars,
money down; and let her who made it make thee another and a
finer." "I will not sell it at all, for there is not the like of
it in this city." "O my lord, wilt thou sell it for six hundred
ducats of fine gold?" And the Frank went on to add to his offer
hundred by hundred, till he bid nine hundred dinars; but Nur
al-Din said, "Allah will open to me otherwise than by my vending
it. I will never sell it, not for two thousand dinars nor more
than that; no, never." The Frank ceased not to tempt him with
money, till he bid him a thousand dinars, and the merchants
present said, "We sell thee the kerchief at that price:[FN#490]
pay down the money." Quoth Nur al-Din, "I will not sell it, I
swear by Allah!"[FN#491] But one of the merchants said to him,
"Know thou, O my son, that the value of this kerchief is an
hundred dinars at most and that to an eager purchaser, and if
this Frank pay thee down a thousand for it, thy profit will be
nine hundred dinars, and what gain canst thou desire greater than
this gain? Wherefore 'tis my rede that thou sell him this
kerchief at that price and bid her who wrought it make thee other
finer than it: so shalt thou profit nine hundred dinars by this
accursed Frank, the enemy of Allah and of The Faith." Nur al-Din
was abashed at the merchants and sold the kerchief to the Frank,
who, in their presence, paid him down the thousand dinars, with
which he would have returned to his handmaid to congratulate her
on what had passed; but the stranger said, "Harkye, O company of
merchants, stop my lord Nur al-Din, for you and he are my guests
this night. I have a jar of old Greek wine and a fat lamb, fresh
fruit, flowers and confections; wherefore do ye all cheer me with
your company to-night and not one of you tarry behind." So the
merchants said, "O my lord Nur al-Din, we desire that thou be
with us on the like of this night, so we may talk together, we
and thou, and we pray thee, of thy favour and bounty, to bear us
company, so we and thou, may be the guests of this Frank, for he
is a liberal man." And they conjured him by the oath of
divorce[FN#492] and hindered him by main force from going home.
Then they rose forthright and shutting up their shops, took Nur
al-Din and fared with the Frank, who brought them to a goodly and
spacious saloon, wherein were two daïses. Here he made them sit
and set before them a scarlet tray-cloth of goodly workmanship
and unique handiwork, wroughten in gold with figures of breaker
and broken, lover and beloved, asker and asked, whereon he ranged
precious vessels of porcelain and crystal, full of the costliest
confections, fruits and flowers, and brought them a flagon of old
Greek wine. Then he bade slaughter a fat lamb and kindling fire,
proceeded to roast of its flesh and feed the merchants therewith
and give them draughts of that wine, winking at them the while to
ply Nur al-Din with drink. Accordingly they ceased not plying him
with wine till he became drunken and took leave of his wits; so
when the Frank saw that he was drowned in liquor, he said to him,
"O my lord Nur al-Din, thou gladdenest us with thy company
to-night: welcome, and again welcome to thee." Then he engaged
him awhile in talk, till he could draw near to him, when he said,
with dissembling speech, "O my lord, Nur al-Din, wilt thou sell
me thy slave-girl, whom thou boughtest in presence of these
merchants a year ago for a thousand dinars? I will give thee at
this moment five thousand gold pieces for her and thou wilt thus
make four thousand ducats profit." Nur al-Din refused, but the
Frank ceased not to ply him with meat and drink and lure him with
lucre, still adding to his offers, till he bid him ten thousand
dinars for her; whereupon Nur al-Din, in his drunkenness, said
before the merchants, "I sell her to thee for ten thousand
dinars: hand over the money." At this the Frank rejoiced with joy
exceeding and took the merchants to witness the sale. They passed
the night in eating and drinking, mirth and merriment, till the
morning, when the Frank cried out to his pages, saying, "Bring me
the money." So they brought it to him and he counted out ten
thousand dinars to Nur al-Din, saying, "O my lord, take the price
of thy slave-girl, whom thou soldest to me last night, in the
presence of these Moslem merchants." Replied Nur al-Din, "O
accursed, I sold thee nothing and thou liest anent me, for I have
no slave-girls." Quoth the Frank, "In very sooth thou didst sell
her to me and these merchants were witnesses to the bargain."
Thereupon all said, "Yes, indeed! thou soldest him thy slave-girl
before us for ten thousand dinars, O Nur al-Din and we will all
bear witness against thee of the sale. Come, take the money and
deliver him the girl, and Allah will give thee a better than she
in her stead. Doth it irk thee, O Nur al-Din, that thou boughtest
the girl for a thousand dinars and hast enjoyed for a year and a
half her beauty and loveliness and taken thy fill of her converse
and her favours? Furthermore thou hast gained some ten thousand
golden dinars by the sale of the zones which she made thee every
day and thou soldest for twenty sequins, and after all this thou
hast sold her again at a profit of nine thousand dinars over and
above her original price. And withal thou deniest the sale and
belittlest and makest difficulties about the profit! What gain is
greater than this gain and what profit wouldst thou have
profitabler than this profit? An thou love her thou hast had thy
fill of her all this time: so take the money and buy thee another
handsomer than she; at a dowry of less than half this price, and
the rest of the money will remain in thy hand as capital." And
the merchants ceased not to ply him with persuasion and special
arguments till he took the ten thousand dinars, the price of the
damsel, and the Frank straightway fetched Kazis and witnesses,
who drew up the contract of sale by Nur al-Din of the handmaid
hight Miriam the Girdle-girl. Such was his case; but as regards
the damsel's, she sat awaiting her lord from morning till sundown
and from sundown till the noon of night; and when he returned
not, she was troubled and wept with sore weeping. The old
druggist heard her sobbing and sent his wife, who went in to her
and finding her in tears, said to her, "O my lady, what aileth
her and finding her in tears, said to her, "O my lady, what
aileth thee to weep?" Said she, "O my mother, I have sat waiting
the return of my lord, Nur al-Din all day; but he cometh not, and
I fear lest some one have played a trick on him, to make him sell
me, and he have fallen into the snare and sold me."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam
the Girdle-girl said to the druggist's wife, "I am fearful lest
some one have been playing a trick on my lord to make him sell
me, and he have fallen into the snare and sold me." Said the
other, "O my lady Miriam, were they to give thy lord this hall
full of gold as thy price, yet would he not sell thee, for what I
know of his love to thee. But, O my lady, belike there be a
company come from his parents at Cairo and he hath made them an
entertainment in the lodging where they alighted, being ashamed
to bring them hither, for that the place is not spacious enough
for them or because their condition is less than that he should
bring them to his own house; or belike he preferred to conceal
thine affair from them, so passed the night with them; and
Inshallah! to-morrow he will come to thee safe and sound. So
burden not thy soul with cark and care, O my lady, for of a
certainty this is the cause of his absence from thee last night
and I will abide with thee this coming night and comfort thee,
until thy lord return to thee." So the druggist's wife abode with
her and cheered her with talk throughout the dark hours and, when
it was morning, Miriam saw her lord enter the street followed by
the Frank and amiddlemost a company of merchants, at which sight
her side-muscles quivered and her colour changed and she fell
a-shaking, as ship shaketh in mid-ocean for the violence of the
gale. When the druggist's wife saw this, she said to her, "O my
lady Miriam what aileth thee that I see thy case changed and thy
face grown pale and show disfeatured?" Replied she, "By Allah, O
my lady, my heart forebodeth me of parting and severance of
union!" And she bemoaned herself with the saddest sighs, reciting
these couplets,[FN#493]

"Incline not to parting, I pray; * For bitter its savour is aye.
E'en the sun at his setting turns pale * To think he must part
     from the day;
And so, at his rising, for joy * Of reunion, he's radiant and

Then Miriam wept passing sore wherethan naught could be more,
making sure of separation, and cried to the druggist's wife, "O
my mother, said I not to thee that my lord Nur al-Din had been
tricked into selling me? I doubt not but he hath sold me this
night to yonder Frank, albeit I bade him beware of him; but
deliberation availeth not against destiny. So the truth of my
words is made manifest to thee." Whilst they were talking,
behold, in came Nur al-Din, and the damsel looked at him and saw
that his colour was changed and that he trembled and there
appeared on his face signs of grief and repentance: so she said
to him, "O my lord Nur al-Din, meseemeth thou hast sold me."
Whereupon he wept with sore weeping and groaned and lamented and
recited these couplets,[FN#494]

"When e'er the Lord 'gainst any man,
Would fulminate some harsh decree,
And he be wise, and skilled to hear,
And used to see;
He stops his ears, and blinds his heart,
And from his brain ill judgment tears,
And makes it bald as 'twere a scalp,
Reft of its hairs;[FN#495]
Until the time when the whole man
Be pierced by this divine command;
Then He restores him intellect
To understand."

Then Nur al-Din began to excuse himself to his handmaid, saying,
"By Allah, O my lady Miriam, verily runneth the Reed with whatso
Allah hath decreed. The folk put a cheat on me to make me sell
thee, and I fell into the snare and sold thee. Indeed, I have
sorely failed of my duty to thee; but haply He who decreed our
disunion will vouchsafe us reunion." Quoth she, "I warned thee
against this, for this it was I dreaded." Then she strained him
to her bosom and kissed him between the eyes, reciting these

"Now, by your love! your love I'll ne'er forget, * Though lost my
     life for stress of pine and fret:
I weep and wail through livelong day and night * As moans the
     dove on sandhill-tree beset.
O fairest friends, your absence spoils my life; * Nor find I
     meeting-place as erst we met."

At this juncture, behold, the Frank came in to them and went up
to Miriam, to kiss her hands; but she dealt him a buffet with her
palm on the cheek, saying, "Avaunt, O accursed! Thou hast
followed after me without surcease, till thou hast cozened my
lord into selling me! But O accursed, all shall yet be well,
Inshallah!" The Frank laughed at her speech and wondered at her
deed and excused himself to her, saying, "O my lady Mirian, what
is my offence? Thy lord Nur al-Din here sold thee of his full
consent and of his own free will. Had he loved thee, by the right
of the Messiah, he had not transgressed against thee! And had he
not fulfilled his desire of thee, he had not sold thee." Quoth
one of the poets,

'Whom I irk let him fly fro' me fast and faster * If I name his
     name I am no directer.
Nor the wide wide world is to me so narrow * That I act expecter
     to this rejecter.'"[FN#496]

Now this handmaid was the daughter of the King of France, the
which is a wide an spacious city,[FN#497] abounding in
manufactures and rarities and trees and flowers and other
growths, and resembleth the city of Constantinople; and for her
going forth of her father's city there was a wondrous cause and
thereby hangeth a marvellous tale which we will set out in due
order, to divert and delight the hearer.[FN#498]--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause
of Miriam the Girdle-girl leaving her father and mother was a
wondrous and thereby hangeth a marvellous tale. She was reared
with her father and mother in honour and indulgence and learnt
rhetoric and penmanship and arithmetic and cavalarice and all
manner crafts, such as broidery and sewing and weaving and
girdle-making and silk-cord making and damascening gold on silver
and silver on gold, brief all the arts both of men and women,
till she became the union-pearl of her time and the unique gem of
her age and day. Moreover, Allah (to whom belong Might and
Majesty!) had endowed her with such beauty and loveliness and
elegance and perfection of grace that she excelled therein all
the folk of her time, and the Kings of the isles sought her in
marriage of her sire, but he refused to give her to wife to any
of her suitors, for that he loved her with passing love and could
not bear to be parted from her a single hour. Moreover, he had no
other daughter than herself, albeit he had many sons, but she was
dearer to him than all of them. It fortuned one year that she
fell sick of an exceeding sickness and came nigh upon death,
werefore she made a vow that, if she recovered from her malady,
she would make the pilgrimage to a certain monastery, situate in
such an island, which was high in repute among the Franks, who
used to make vows to it and look for a blessing therefrom. When
Miriam recovered from her sickness, she wished to accomplish her
vow anent the monastery and her sire despatched her to the
convent in a little ship, with sundry daughters of the
city-notables to wait upon her and patrician Knights to protect
them all. As they drew near the island, there came out upon them
a ship of the ships of the Moslems, champions of The Faith,
warring in Allah's way, who boarded the vessel and making prize
of all therein, knights and maidens, gifts and monies, sold their
booty in the city of Kayrawán.[FN#499] Miriam herself fell into
the hands of a Persian merchant, who was born impotent[FN#500]
and for whom no woman had ever discovered her nakedness; so he
set her to serve him. Presently, he fell ill and sickened well
nigh unto death, and the sickness abode with him two months,
during which she tended him after the goodliest fashion, till
Allah made him whole of his malady, when he recalled her
tenderness and loving-kindness to him and the persistent zeal
with which she had nurst him and being minded to requite her the
good offices she had done him, said to her, "Ask a boon of me?"
She said, "O my lord, I ask of thee that thou sell me not but to
the man of my choice." He answered, "So be it. I guarantee thee.
By Allah, O Miriam, I will not sell thee but to him of whom thou
shalt approve, and I put thy sale in thine own hand." And she
rejoiced herein with joy exceeding. Now the Persian had expounded
to her Al-Islam and she became a Moslemah and learnt of him the
rules of worship. Furthermore during that period the Perisan had
taught her the tenets of The Faith and the observances incumbent
upon her: he had made her learn the Koran by heart and master
somewhat of the theological sciences and the traditions of the
Prophet; after which, he brought her to Alexandria-city and sold
her to Nur al-Din, as we have before set out. Meanwhile, when her
father, the King of France, heard what had befallen his daughter
and her company, he saw Doomsday break and sent after her ships
full of knights and champions, horsemen and footsmen; but they
fell not in any trace of her whom they sought in the
Islands[FN#501] of the Moslems; so all returned to him, crying
out and saying, "Well-away!" and "Ruin!" and "Well worth the
day!" The King grieved for her with exceeding grief and sent
after her that one-eyed lameter, blind of the left,[FN#502] for
that he was his chief Wazir, a stubborn tyrant and a froward
devil,[FN#503] full of craft and guile, bidding him make search
for her in all the lands of the Moslems and buy her, though with
a ship-load of gold. So the accursed sought her, in all the
islands of the Arabs and all the cities of the Moslems, but found
no sign of her till he came to Alexandria-city where he made
quest for her and presently discovered that she was with Nur
al-Din Ali the Cairene, being directed to the trace of her by the
kerchief aforesaid, for that none could have wrought it in such
goodly guise but she. Then he bribed the merchants to help him in
getting her from Nur al-Din and beguiled her lord into selling
her, as hath been already related. When he had her in his
possession, she ceased not to weep and wail: so he said to her,
"O my lady Miriam, put away from thee this mourning and grieving
and return with me to the city of thy sire, the seat of thy
kingship and the place of thy power and thy home, so thou mayst
be among thy servants and attendants and be quit of this
abasement and this strangerhood. Enough hath betided me of
travail, of travel and of disbursing monies on thine account, for
thy father bade me buy thee back, though with a shipload of gold;
and now I have spent nigh a year and a half in seeking thee." And
he fell to kissing her hands and feet and humbling himself to
her; but the more he kissed and grovelled she only redoubled in
wrath against him, and said to him, "O accursed, may Almighty
Allah not vouchsafe thee to win thy wish!" Presently his pages
brought her a shemule with gold-embroidered housings and mounting
her thereon, raised over her head a silken canopy, with staves of
gold and silver, and the Franks walked round about her, till they
brought her forth the city by the sea-gate,[FN#504] where they
took boat with her and rowing out to a great ship in harbor
embarked therein. Then the monocular Wazir cried out to the
sailors, saying, "Up with the mast!" So they set it up forthright
and spreading the newly bent sails and the colours manned the
sweeps and put out to sea. Meanwhile Miriam continued to gaze
upon Alexandria, till it disappeared from her eyes, when she fell
a-weeping in her privacy with sore weeping.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       When it was the Eight Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the Wazir of the Frankish King put out to sea in the ship bearing
Miriam the Girdle-girl, she gazed Alexandria-wards till the city
was hidden from her sight when she wailed and wept copious tears
and recited these couplets,

"O dwelling of my friends say is there no return * Uswards? But
     what ken I of matters Allah made?
Still fare the ships of Severance, sailing hastily * And in my
     wounded eyelids tear have ta'en their stead,
For parting from a friend who was my wish and will * Healed every
     ill and every pain and pang allay'd.
Be thou, O Allah, substitute of me for him * Such charge some day
     the care of Thee shall not evade."

Then she could not refrain from weeping and wailing. So the
patrician[FN#505] knights came up to her and would have comforted
her, but she heeded not their consoling words, being distracted
by the claims of passion and love-longing. And she shed tears and
moaned and complained and recited these couplets,

"The tongue of Love within my vitals speaketh * Saying, 'This
     lover boon of Love aye seeketh!'
And burn my liver hottest coals of passion * And parting on my
     heart sore suffering wreaketh.
How shall I face this fiery love concealing * When fro' my
     wounded lids the tear aye leaketh?

In this plight Miriam abode during all the voyage; no peace was
left her at all nor would patience come at her call. Such was her
case in company with the Wazir, the monocular, the lameter; but
as regards Nur al-Din the Cairene, when the ship had sailed with
Miriam, the world was straitened upon him and he had neither
peace nor patience. He returned to the lodging where they twain
had dwelt, and its aspect was black and gloomy in his sight. Then
he saw the métier wherewith she had been wont to make the zones
and her dress that had been upon her beauteous body; so he
pressed them to his breast, whilst the tears gushed from his eyes
and he recited these couplets,

"Say me, will Union after parting e'er return to be * After
     long-lasting torments, after hopeless misery?
Alas! Alas! what wont to be shall never more return * But grant
     me still return of dearest her these eyne may see.
I wonder me will Allah deign our parted lives unite * And will my
     dear one's plighted troth preserve with constancy!
Naught am I save the prey of death since parting parted us; * And
     will my friends consent that I am a wierd so deadly dree?
Alas my sorrow! Sorrowing the lover scant avails; * Indeed I melt
     away in grief and passion's ecstasy:
Past is the time of my delight when were we two conjoined: *
     Would Heaven I wot if Destiny mine esperance will degree!
Redouble then, O Heart, thy pains and, O mine eyes, o'erflow *
     With tears till not a tear remain within these eyne of me?
Again alas for loved ones lost and loss of patience eke! * For
     helpers fail me and my griefs are grown beyond decree.
The Lord of Threefold Worlds I pray He deign to me return * My
     lover and we meet as wont in joy and jubilee."

Then Nur al-Din wept with weeping galore than which naught could
be more; and peering into ever corner of the room, recited these
two couplets,

"I view their traces and with pain I pine * And by their sometime
     home I weep and yearn;
And Him I pray who parting deigned decree * Some day He deign
     vouchsafe me their return!"

Then Nur al-Din sprang to his feet and locking the door of the
house, fared forth running at speed, to the sea shore whence he
fixed his eyes on the place of the ship which had carried off his
Miriam whilst sighs burst from his breast and tears from his lids
as he recited these couplets,

"Peace be with you, sans you naught compensateth me * The near,
     the far, two cases only here I see:
I yearn for you at every hour and tide as yearns * For
     water-place wayfarer plodding wearily.
With you abide my hearing, heart and eyen-sight * And (sweeter
     than the honeycomb) your memory.
Then, O my Grief when fared afar your retinue * And bore that
     ship away my sole expectancy."

And Nur al-Din wept and wailed, bemoaned himself and complained,
crying out and saying, "O Miriam! O Miriam! Was it but a vision
of thee I saw in sleep or in the allusions of dreams?" And by
reason of that which grew on him of regrets, he recited these

"Mazed with thy love no more I can feign patience,
This heart of mine has held none dear but thee!
And if mine eye hath gazed on other's beauty,
Ne'er be it joyed again with sight of thee!
I've sworn an oath I'll ne'er forget to love thee,
And sad's this breast that pines to meet with thee!
Thou'st made me drink a love-cup full of passion,
Blest time! When I may give the draught to thee!
Take with thee this my form where'er thou goest,
And when thou 'rt dead let me be laid near thee!
Call on me in my tomb, my bones shall answer
And sigh responses to a call from thee!
If it were asked, 'What wouldst thou Heaven should order?'
'His will,' I answer, 'First, and then what pleases thee.'"

As Nur al-Din was in this case, weeping and crying out, "O
Miriam! O Miriam!" behold, an old man landed from a vessel and
coming up to him, saw him shedding tears and heard him reciting
these verses,

"O Maryam of beauty[FN#507] return, for these eyne * Are as
     densest clouds railing drops in line:
Ask amid mankind and my railers shall say * That mine eyelids are
     drowning these eyeballs of mine."

Said the old man, "O my son, meseems thou weepest for the damsel
who sailed yesterday with the Frank?" When Nur al-Din heard these
words of the Shaykh he fell down in a swoon and lay for a long
while without life; then, coming to himself, he wept with sore
weeping and improvised these couplets,

"Shall we e'er be unite after severance-tide * And return in the
     perfectest cheer to bide?
In my heart indeed is a lowe of love * And I'm pained by the
     spies who my pain deride:
My days I pass in amaze distraught, * And her image a-nights I
     would see by side:
By Allah, no hour brings me solace of love * And how can it when
     makebates vex me and chide?
A soft-sided damsel of slenderest waist * Her arrows of eyne on
     my heart hath plied?
Her form is like Bán[FN#508]-tree branch in garth * Shame her
     charms the sun who his face most hide:
Did I not fear God (be He glorified!) * 'My Fair be glorified!'
     Had I cried."

The old man looked at him and noting his beauty and grace and
symmetry and the fluency of his tongue and the seductiveness of
his charms, had ruth on him and his heart mourned for his case.
Now that Shaykh was the captain of a ship, bound to the damsel's
city, and in this ship were a hundred Moslem merchants, men of
the Saving Faith; so he said to Nur al-Din, "Have patience and
all will yet be well; I will bring thee to her an it be the will
of Allah, extolled and exalted be He!"--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
old skipper said to Nur al-Din, "I will bring thee to her,
Inshallah!" the youth asked, "When shall we set out?" and the
other said, "Come but three days more and we will depart in peace
and prosperity." Nur al-Din rejoiced at the captain's words with
joy exceeding and thanked him for his bounty and benevolence.
Then he recalled the days of love-liesse dear and union with his
slave-girl without peer, and he shed bitter tears and recited
these couplets,

"Say, will to me and you the Ruthful union show * My lords! Shall
     e'er I win the wish of me or no?
A visit-boon by you will shifty Time vouchsafe? * And seize your
     image eye-lids which so hungry grow?
With you were Union to be sold, I fain would buy; * But ah, I see
     such grace doth all my means outgo!"

Then Nur al-Din went forthright to the market and bought what he
needed of viaticum and other necessaries for the voyage and
returned to the Rais, who said to him, "O my son, what is that
thou hast with thee?" said he, "My provisions and all whereof I
have need for the voyage." Thereupon quoth the old man, laughing,
"O my son, art thou going a-pleasuring to Pompey's
Pillar?[FN#509] Verily, between thee and that thou seekest is two
months' journey and the wind be fair and the weather favourable."
Then he took of him somewhat of money and going to the bazar,
bought him a sufficiency of all that he needed for the voyage and
filled him a large earthen jar[FN#510] with fresh water. Nur
al-Din abode in the ship three days until the merchants had made
an end of their precautions and preparations and embarked, when
they set sail and putting out to sea, fared on one-and-fifty
days. After this, there came out upon them corsairs,[FN#511]
pirates who sacked the ship and taking Nur al-Din and all therein
prisoners, carried them to the city of France and paraded them
before the King, who bade cast them into jail, Nur al-Din amongst
the number. As they were being led to prison the galleon[FN#512]
arrived with the Princess Miriam and the one-eyed Wazir, and when
it made the harbour, the lameter landed and going up to the King
gave him the glad news of his daughter's safe return: whereupon
they beat the kettledrums for good tidings and decorated the city
after the goodliest fashion. Then the King took horse, with all
his guards and lords and notables and rode down to the sea to
meet her. The moment the ship cast anchor she came ashore, and
the King saluted her and embraced her and mounting her on a
bloodsteed, bore her to the palace, where her mother received her
with open arms, and asked her of her case and whether she was a
maid as before or whether she had become a woman carnally known
by man.[FN#513] She replied, "O my mother, how should a girl, who
hath been sold from merchant to merchant in the land of Moslems,
a slave commanded, abide a virgin? The merchant who bought me
threatened me with the bastinado and violenced me and took my
maidenhead, after which he sold me to another and he again to a
third." When the Queen heard these her words, the light in her
eyes became night and she repeated her confession to the King who
was chagrined thereat and his affair was grievous to him. So he
expounded her case to his Grandees and Patricians[FN#514] who
said to him, "O King, she hath been defiled by the Moslems and
naught will purify her save the striking off of an hundred
Mohammedan heads." Whereupon the King sent for the True Believers
he had imprisoned; and they decapitated them, one after another,
beginning with the captain, till none was left save Nur al-Din.
They tare off a strip of his skirt and binding his eyes
therewith, led him to the rug of blood and were about to smite
his neck, when behold, an ancient dame came up to the King at
that very moment and said, "O my lord, thou didst vow to bestow
upon each and every church five Moslem captives, to held us in
the service thereof, so Allah would restore thee thy daughter the
Princess Miriam; and now she is restored to thee, so do thou
fulfil thy vow." The King replied, "O my mother, by the virtue of
the Messiah and the Veritable Faith, there remaineth to me of the
prisoners but this one captive, whom they are about to put to
death: so take him with thee to help in the service of the
church, till there come to me more prisoners of the Moslems, when
I will send thee other four. Hadst thou come earlier, before they
hewed off the heads of these, I had given thee as many as thou
wouldest have." The old woman thanked the King for his boon and
wished him continuance of life, glory and prosperity. Then
without loss of time she went up to Nur al-Din, whom she raised
from the rug of blood; and, looking narrowly at him saw a comely
youth and a dainty, with a delicate skin and a face like the moon
at her full; whereupon she carried him to the church and said to
him, "O my son, doff these clothes which are upon thee, for they
are fit only for the service of the Sultan."[FN#515] So saying
the ancient dame brought him a gown and hood of black wool and a
broad girdle,[FN#516] in which she clad and cowled him; and,
after binding on his belt, bade him do the service of the church.
Accordingly, he served the church seven days, at the end of which
time behold, the old woman came up to him and said, "O Moslem,
don thy silken dress and take these ten dirhams and go out
forthright and divert thyself abroad this day, and tarry not here
a single moment, lest thou lose thy life." Quoth he, "What is to
do, O my mother?"; and quoth she, "Know, O my son, that the
King's daughter, the Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, hath a mind
to visit the church this day, to seek a blessing by pilgrimage
and to make oblation thereto, a douceur[FN#517] of thank-offering
for her deliverance from the land of the Moslems and in
fulfilment of the vows she vowed to the Messiah, so he would save
her. With her are four hundred damsels, not one of whom but is
perfect in beauty and loveliness and all of them are daughters of
Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees: they will be here during this very
hour and if their eyes fall on thee in this church, they will hew
thee in pieces with swords." Thereupon Nur al-Din took the ten
dirhams from the ancient dame, and donning his own dress, went
out to the bazar and walked about the city and took his pleasure
therein, till he knew its highways and gates,--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur
al-Din, after donning his own dress and taking the ten dirhams
from the ancient dame, fared forth to the market streets and
wandered about a while till he knew every quarter of the city,
after which he returned to the church[FN#518] and saw the
Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of France
come up to the fane, attended by four hundred damsels,
high-bosomed maids like moons, amongst whom was the daughter of
the one-eyed Wazir and those of the Emirs and Lords of the realm;
and she walked in their midst as she were moon among stars. When
his eyes fell upon her Nur al-Din could not contain himself, but
cried out from the core of his heart, "O Miriam! O Miriam!" When
the damsels heard his outcry they ran at him with swords shining
bright like flashes of leven-light and would have slain him
forthright. But the Princess turned and looking on him, knew him
with fullest knowledge, and said to her maidens, "Leave this
youth; doubtless he is mad, for the signs of madness be manifest
on his face." When Nur al-Din heard this, he uncovered his head
and rolled his eyes and made signs with his hands and twisted his
legs, foaming the while at the mouth. Quoth the Princess, "Said I
not that the poor youth was mad? Bring him to me and stand off
from him, that I may hear what he saith; for I know the speech of
the Arabs and will look into his case and see if his madness
admit of cure or not." So they laid hold of him and brought him
to her; after which they withdrew to a distance and she said to
him, "Hast thou come hither on my account and ventured thy life
for my sake and feignest thyself mad?" He replied, "O my lady,
hast thou not heard the saying of the poet?,[FN#519]

'Quoth they, 'Thou'rt surely raving mad for her thou lov'st;' and
     I, 'There is no pleasantness in life but for the mad,'
Compare my madness with herself for whom I rave; if she Accord
     therewith, then blame me not for that which I aby.'"

Miriam replied, "By Allah, O Nur al-Din, indeed thou hast sinned
against thyself, for I warned thee of this before it befell thee:
yet wouldst thou not hearken to me, but followest thine own lust:
albeit that whereof I gave thee to know I learnt not by means of
inspiration nor physiognomy[FN#520] nor dreams, but by
eye-witness and very sight; for I saw the one-eyed Wazir and knew
that he was not come to Alexandria but in quest of me." Said he,
"O my lady Miriam, we seek refuge with Allah from the error of
the intelligent!"[FN#521] Then his affliction redoubled on him
and he recited this saying,[FN#522]

"Pass o'er my fault, for 'tis the wise man's wont
Of other's sins to take no harsh account;
And as all crimes have made my breast their site,
So thine all shapes of mercy should unite.
Who from above would mercy seek to know,
Should first be merciful to those below."

Then Nur al-Din and Princess Miriam ceased not from lovers'
chiding which to trace would be tedious, relating each to other
that which had befallen them and reciting verses and making moan,
one to other, of the violence of passion and the pangs of pine
and desire, whilst the tears ran down their cheeks like rivers,
till there was left them no strength to say a word and so they
continued till day deprated and night darkened. Now the Princess
was clad in a green dress, purfled with red gold and broidered
with pearls and gems which enhanced her beauty and loveliness and
inner grace; and right well quoth the poet of her,[FN#523]

"Like the full moon she shineth in garments all of green, With
     loosened vest and collars and flowing hair beseen.
'What is thy name?' I asked her, and she replied, 'I'm she Who
     roasts the hearts of lovers on coals of love and teen.
I am the pure white silver, ay, and the gold wherewith The
     bondsmen from strait prison and dour releasèd been.'
Quoth I, 'I'm all with rigours consumed;' but 'On a rock,' Said
     she, 'such as my heart is, thy plaints are wasted clean.'
'Even if thy heart,' I answered, 'be rock in very deed, Yet hath
     God caused fair water well from the rock, I ween.'"

And when night darkened on them the Lady Miriam went up to her
women and asked them, "Have ye locked the door?"; and they
answered, "Indeed we have locked it." So she took them and went
with them to a place called the hapel of the Lady Mary the
Virgin, Mother of Light, because the Nazarenes hold that there
are her heart and soul. The girls betook themselves to prayer for
blessings from above and circuited all the church; and when they
had made an end of their visitation, the Princess turned to them
and said, "I desire to pass the night alone in the Virgin's
chapel and seek a blessing thereof, for that yearning after it
hath betided me, by reason of my long absence in the land of the
Moslems; and as for you, when ye have made an end of your
visitation, do ye sleep whereso ye will." Replied they, "With
love and goodly gree: be it as thou wilt!"; and leaving her alone
in the chapel, dispersed about the church and slept. The Lady
Miriam waited till they were out of sight and hearing, then went
in search of Nur al-Din, whom she found sitting in a corner on
live coals, awaiting her. He rose and kissed her hands and feet
and she sat down and seated him by her side. Then she pulled off
all that was upon her of raiment and ornaments and fine linen and
taking Nur al-Din in her arms strained him to her bosom. And they
ceased not, she and he, from kissing and clipping and strumming
to the tune of "hocus-pocus,"[FN#524] saying the while, "How
short are the nights of Union and the nights of Disunion how long
are they!" and reciting these verses,

"O Night of Union, Time's virginal prized, * White star of the
     Nights with auroral dyes,
Thou garrest Dawn after Noon to rise * Say art thou Kohl in
     Morning's Eyes,
Or wast thou Slumber to bleared eye lief?
O Night of Parting, how long thy stay * Whose latest hours aye
     the first portray,
This endless circle that noways may * Show breach till the coming
     of Judgment-day,
Day when dies the lover of parting-grief."[FN#525]

As they were in this mighty delight and joy engrossing they heard
one of the servants of the Saint[FN#526] smite the gong[FN#527]
upon the roof, to call the folk to the rites of their worship,
and he was even as saith the poet,

"I saw him strike the gong and asked of him straightway, * Who
     made the Fawn[FN#528] at striking going so knowing, eh?'
And to my soul, 'What smiting irketh thee the more-- * Striking
     the gong or striking note of going,[FN#529] say?'"

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

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din
and Miriam the Girdle-girl rose forthwith and donned her clothes
and ornaments; but this was grievous to Nur al-Din, and his
gladness was troubled; the tears streamed from his eyes and he
recited these couplets,

"I ceasèd not to kiss that cheek with budding roses dight * And
     eyes down cast and bit the same with most emphatic bite;
Until we were in gloria[FN#530] and lay him down the spy * And
     sank his eyes within his brain declining further sight:
And struck the gongs as they that had the charge of them were
     like * Muezzin crying duty-prayers in Allah's book indite.
Then rose she up right hastily and donned the dress she'd doffed
     * Sore fearing lest a shooting-star[FN#531] upon our heads
And cried, 'O wish and will of me, O end of all my hopes! *
     Behold the morning comes to us in brightest whitest light.'
I swear if but one day of rule were given to my life * And I were
     made an Emperor of majesty and might,
Adown I'd break the buttresses of churches one and all * And by
     their slaughter rid the earth of every shaveling wight."

Then the Lady Miriam pressed him to her bosom and kissed his
cheek and asked him, "O Nur al-Din, how long hast thou been in
this town?" "Seven days." "Hast thou walked about in it, and dost
thou know its ways and issues and its sea-gates and land gates?"
"Yes!" "Knowest thou the way to the offertory-chest[FN#532] of
the church?" "Yes!" "Since thou knowest all this, as soon as the
first third[FN#533] of the coming night is over, go to the
offertory-chest and take thence what thou wishest and willest.
Then open the door that giveth upon the tunnel[FN#534] leading to
the sea, and go down to the harbour, where thou wilt find a
little ship and ten men therein, and when the Rais shall see
thee, he will put out his hand to thee. Give him thy hand and he
will take thee up into the ship, and do thou wait there till I
come to thee. But 'ware and have a care lest sleep overtake thee
this night, or thou wilt repent whenas repentance shall avail
thee naught." Then the Princess farewelled him and going forth
from Nur al-Din, aroused from sleep her women and the rest of the
damsels, with whom she betook herself to the church door and
knocked; whereupon the ancient dame opened to her and she went
forth and found the knights and varlets standing without. They
brought her a dapple she-mule and she mounted: whereupon they
raised over her head a canopy[FN#535] with curtains of silk, and
the knights took hold of the mule's halter. Then the
guards[FN#536] encompassed her about, drawn brand in hand, and
fared on with her, followed by her, till they brought her to the
palace of the King her father. Meanwhile, Nur al-Din abode
concealed behind the curtain, under cover of which Miriam and he
had passed the night, till it was broad day, when the main door
was opened and the church became full of people. Then he mingled
with the folk and accosted the old Prioress, the guardian[FN#537]
of the shrine, who said to him, "Where didst thou lie last
night?" Said he, "In the town as thou badest me." Quoth she, "O
my son, thou hast done the right thing; for, hadst thou nighted
in the Church, she had slain thee on the foulest wise." And quoth
he, "Praised be Allah who hath delivered me from the evil of this
night!" Then he busied himself with the service of the church and
ceased not busying till day departed and night with darkness
starkened when he arose and opened the offertory-chest and took
thence of jewels whatso was light of weight and weighty of worth.
Then he tarried till the first watch of the night was past, when
he made his way to the postern of the tunnel and opening it, went
forth, calling on Allah for protection, and ceased not faring on
until, after finding and opening the door, he came to the sea.
Here he discovered the vessel moored to the shore near the gate;
and her skipper, a tall old man of comely aspect with a long
beard, standing in the waist, his ten men being ranged before
him. Nur al-Din gave him his hand, as Miriam had bidden him, and
the captain took it and pulling him on board of the ship cried
out to his crew, saying, "Cast off the moorings and put out to
sea with us, ere day break." Said one of the ten, "O my lord the
Captain, how shall we put out now, when the King hath notified us
that to-morrow he will embark in this ship and go round about the
sea, being fearful for his daughter Miriam from the Moslem
thieves?" But the Rais cried out at them saying, "Woe to you, O
accursed; Dare ye gainsay me and bandy words with me?" So saying
the old captain bared his blade and with it dealt the sailor who
had spoken a thrust in the throat, that the steel came out
gleaming from his nape; and quoth another of the sailors, "What
hath our comrade done of crime, that thou shouldst cut his
throat?" Thereupon the captain clapped hand to sword and smote
the speaker's head, nor did he leave smiting the rest of the
sailors till he had slain them all, one after other, and cast the
ten bodies ashore. Then he turned to Nur al-Din and cried out at
him with a terrible great cry, that made him tremble, saying, "Go
down and pull up the mooring-satke." Nur al-Din feared lest he
should strike him also with the sword; so he sprang up and leapt
ashore and pulling up the stake jumped aboard again, swiftlier
than the dazzling leven. The captain ceased not to bid him do
this and do that and tack and wear hither and thither and look at
the stars, and Nur al-Din did all that he bade him, with heart
a-quaking for affright; whilst he himself spread the sails, and
the ship fared with the twain into the dashing sea, swollen with
clashing billows.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
the old skipper had made sail he drave the ship, aided by Nur
al-Din, into the dashing sea before a favouring gale. Meanwhile,
Nur al-Din held on to the tackle immersed in deep thought, and
drowned in the sea of solicitude, knowing not what was hidden for
him in the future; and whenever he looked at the captain, his
heart quaked and he knew not whither the Rais went with him. He
abode thus, preoccupied with care and doubt, till it was high
day, when he looked at the skipper and saw him take hold of his
long beard and pull at it, whereupon it came off in his hand and
Nur al-Din, examining it, saw that it was but a false beard glued
on. So he straitly considered that same Rais, and behold, it was
the Princess Miriam, his mistress and the dearling of his heart,
who had contrived to waylay the captain and slay him and skinned
off his beard, which she had stuck on to her own face. At this
Nur al-Din was transported for you, and his breast broadened and
he marvelled at her prowess and the stoutness of her heart and
said to her, "Welcome, O my hope and my desire and the end of
mine every wish!" Then love and gladness agitated him and he made
sure of winning to his hopes and his expectancy; wherefore he
broke out into song and chanted these couplets,

"To all who unknown my love for the May * From whom Fate disjoins
     me O say, I pray,
'Ask my kith and kin of my love that aye * Ensweetens my verses
     to lovely lay:
          For the loss of the tribesmen my life o'er sway!'

Their names when named heal all malady; * Cure and chase from
     heart every pain I dree:
And my longings for love reach so high degree * That my Sprite is
     maddened each morn I see,
     And am grown of the crowd to be saw and say.

No blame in them will I e'er espy: * No! nor aught of solace sans
     them descry:
Your love hath shot me with pine, and I * Bear in heart a flame
     that shall never die,
          But fire my liver with fiery ray.

All folk my sickness for marvel score * That in darkest night I
     wake evermore
What ails them to torture this heart forlore * And deem right for
     loving my blood t' outpour:
          And yet--how justly unjust are they!

Would I wot who 'twas could obtain of you * To wrong a youth
     who's so fain of you:
By my life and by Him who made men of you * And the spy tell
     aught I complain of you
          He lies, by Allah, in foulest way!

May the Lord my sickness never dispel, * Nor ever my heart of its
     pains be well,
What day I regret that in love I fell * Or laud any land but
     wherein ye dwell:
          Wring my heart and ye will or make glad and gay!

I have vitals shall ever be true to you * Though racked by the
     rigours not new to you
Ere this wrong and this right I but sue to you: * Do what you
     will to thrall who to you
          Shall ne'er grudge his life at your feet to lay."

When Nur al-Din ceased to sing, the Princess Miriam marvelled at
his song and thanked him therefor, saying, "Whoso's case is thus
it behoveth him to walk the ways of men and never do the deed of
curs and cowards." Now she was stout of heart and cunning in the
sailing of ships over the salt sea, and she knew all the winds
and their shiftings and every course of the main. So Nur al-Din
said, "O my lady, hadst thou prolonged this case on me,[FN#538] I
had surely died for stress of affright and chagrin, more by token
of the fire of passion and love-longing and the cruel pangs of
separation." She laughed at his speech and rising without stay or
delay brought out somewhat of food and liquor; and they ate and
drank and enjoyed themselves and made merry. Then she drew forth
rubies and other gems and precious stones and costly trinkets of
gold and silver and all manner things of price, light of weight
and weighty of worth, which she had taken from the palace of her
sire and his treasuries, and displayed them to Nur al-Din, who
rejoiced therein with joy exceeding. All this while the wind blew
fair for them and merrily sailed the ship nor ceased sailing till
they drew near the city of Alexandria and sighted its landmarks,
old and new, and Pompey's Pillar. When they made the port, Nur
al-Din landed forthright and securing the ship to one of the
Fulling-Stones,[FN#539] took somewhat of the treasures that
Miriam had brought with her, and said to her, "O my lady, tarry
in the ship, against I return and carry thee up into the city in
such way as I should wish and will." Quoth she, "It behoveth that
this be done quickly, for tardiness in affairs engendereth
repentance." Quoth he, "There is no tardiness in me;" and,
leaving her in the ship, went up into the city to the house of
the druggist his father's old fried, to borrow of his wife for
Miriam veil and mantilla, and walking boots and
petticoat-trousers after the usage of the women of Alexandria,
unknowing that there was appointed to betide him of the shifts of
Time, the Father of Wonders, that which was far beyond his
reckoning. Thus it befel Nur al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-girl;
but as regards her sire the King of France, when he arose in the
morning, he missed his daughter and questioned her women and her
eunuchs of her. Answered they, "O our lord, she went out last
night, to go to Church and after that we have no tidings of her."
But, as the King talked with them, behold, there arose so great a
clamour of cries below the palace, that the place rang thereto,
and he said, "What may be the news?" The folk replied, "O King,
we have found ten men slain on the sea-shore, and the royal yacht
is missing. Moreover we saw the postern of the Church, which
giveth upon the tunnel leading to the sea, wide open; and the
Moslem prisoner, who served in the Church, is missing." Quoth the
King, "An my ship be lost, without doubt or dispute."--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King of France missed his daughter they brought him tidings of
her, saying, "Thy yacht is lost"; and he replied, "An the craft
be lost, without dispute or doubt my daughter is in it." So he
summoned without stay or delay the Captain of the Port and cried
out at him, saying, "By the virtue[FN#540] of the Messiah and the
Faith which is no liar, except thou and thy fighting men overtake
my ship forthright and bring it back to me, with those who are
therein, I will do thee die the foulest of deaths and make a
terrible example of thee!" Thereupon the captain went out from
before him, trembling, and betook himself to the ancient dame of
the Church, to whom said he, 'Heardest thou aught from the
captive, that was with thee, anent his native land and what
countryman he was?" And she answered, "He used to say, I come
from the town of Alexandria." When the captain heard the old
woman's words he returned forthright to the port and cried out to
the sailors, "Make ready and set sail." So they did his bidding
and straightway putting out to sea, fared night and day till they
sighted the city of Alexandria at the very time when Nur al-Din
landed, leaving the Princess in the ship. They soon espied the
royal yacht and knew her; so they moored their own vessel at a
distance therefrom and putting off in a little frigate they had
with them, which drew but two cubits of water and in which were
an hundred fighting-men, amongst them the one-eyed Wazir (for
that he was a stubborn tyrant and a froward devil and a wily
thief, none could avail against his craft, as he were Abu
Mohammed al-Battál[FN#541]), they ceased not rowing till they
reached the bark and boarding her, all at once, found none
therein save the Princess Miriam. So they took her and the ship,
and returning to their own vessel, after they had landed and
waited a long while,[FN#542] set sail forthright for the land of
the Franks, having accomplished their errand, without a fight or
even drawing sword. The wind blew fair for them and they sailed
on, without ceasing and with all diligence, till they reached the
city of France and landing with the Princess Miriam carried her
to her father, who received her, seated on the throne of his
Kingship. As soon as he saw her, he said to her, "Woe to thee, O
traitress! What ailed thee to leave the faith of thy fathers and
forefathers and the safeguard of the Messiah, on whom is our
reliance, and follow after the faith of the Vagrants,[FN#543] to
wit, the faith of Al-Islam, the which arose with the sword
against the Cross and the Images?" Replied Miriam, "I am not at
fault, I went out by night to the church, to visit the Lady Mary
and seek a blessing of her, when there fell upon me unawares a
band of Moslem robbers, who gagged me and bound me fast and
carrying me on board the barque, set sail with me for their own
country. However, I beguiled them and talked with them of their
religion, till they loosed my bonds; and ere I knew it thy men
overtook me and delivered me. And by the virtue of the Messiah
and the Faith which is no liar and the Cross and the Crucified
thereon, I rejoiced with joy exceeding in my release from them
and my bosom broadened and I was glad for my deliverance from the
bondage of the Moslems!" Rejoined the King, "Thou liest, O whore!
O adultress! By the virtue of that which is revealed of
prohibition and permission in the manifest Evangel,[FN#544] I
will assuredly do thee die by the foulest of deaths and make thee
the vilest of examples! Did it not suffice thee to do as thou
didst the first time and put off thy lies upon us, but thou must
return upon us with thy deceitful inventions?" Thereupon the King
bade kill her and crucify her over the palace gate; but, at that
moment the one-eyed Wazir, who had long been enamoured of the
Princess, came in to him and said, "Ho King! saly her not, but
give her to me to wife, and I will watch over her with the utmost
warding, nor will I go in unto her, till I have built her a
palace of solid stone, exceeding high of foundation, so no
thieves may avail to climb up to its terrace-roof; and when I
have made an end of building it, I will sacrifice thirty Moslems
before the gate thereof, as an expiatory offering to the Messiah
for myself and for her." The King granted his request and bade
the priests and monks and patriarchs marry the Princess to him;
so they did his bidding, whereupon he bade set about building a
strong and lofty palace, befitting her rank and the workmen fell
to work upon it. On this wise it betided the Princess Miriam and
her sire and the one-eyed Wazir; but as regards Nur al-Din, when
he came back with the petticoat-trousers and mantilla and walking
boots and all the attire of Alexandrian women which he had
borrowed of the druggist's wife, he "found the air void and the
fane afar[FN#545]";--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur
al-Din, "found the aire void[FN#546] and the fane afar," his
heart sank within him and he wept floods of tears and recited
these verses,[FN#547]

"The phantom of Soada came by nigh to wake me towards morning
     while my companions were sleeping in the desert:
But when we awoke to behold the nightly phantom, I saw the air
     vacant, and the place of visitation distant."

Then Nur al-Din walked on along the sea-shore and turned right
and left, till he saw folk gathered together on the beach and
heard them say, "O Moslems, there remaineth no honour to
Alexandria-city, since the Franks enter it and snatch away those
who are therein and return to their own land, at their
leisure[FN#548] nor pursued of any of the Moslems or fighters for
the Faith!" Quoth Nur al-Din to them, "What is to do?"; and quoth
they, "O my son, one of the ships of the Franks, full of armed
men, came down but now upon the port and carried off a ship which
was moored here, with her that was therein, and made unmolested
for their own land." Nur al-Din fell down a-swoon, on hearing
these words; and when he recovered they questioned him of his
case and he told them all that had befallen him first and last;
whereupon they all took to reviling him and railing at him,
saying, "Why couldst thou not bring her up into the town without
mantilla and muffler?" And all and each of the folk gave him some
grievous word, berating him with sharp speech, and shooting at
him some shaft or reproach, albeit one said, "Let him be; that
which hath befallen him sufficeth him," till he again fell down
in a fainting-fit. And behold, at this moment, up came the old
druggist, who, seeing the folk gathered together, drew near to
learn what was the matter and found Nur al-Din lying a-swoon in
their midst. So he sat down at his head and arousing him, said to
him as soon as he recovered, "O my son, what is this case in
which I see thee?" Nur al-Din said, "O uncle, I had brought back
in a barque my lost slave-girl from her father's city, suffering
patiently all I suffered of perils and hardships; and when I came
with her to this port, I made the vessel fast to the shore and
leaving her therein, repaired to thy dwelling and took of thy
consort what was needful for her, that I might bring her up into
the town; but the Franks came and capturing barque and damsel
made off unhindered, and returned to their own land." Now when
the Shaykh, the druggist, heard this, the light in his eyes
became night and he grieved with sore grieving for Nur al-Din and
said to him, "O my son, why didst thou not bring her out of the
ship into the city without mantilla? But speech availeth not at
this season; so rise, O my son, and come up with me to the city;
haply Allah will vouchsafe thee a girl fairer than she, who shall
console thee for her. Alhamdolillah-praised be Allah-who hath not
made thee lose aught by her! Nay, thou hast gained by her. And
bethink thee, O my son, that Union and Disunion are in the hands
of the Most High King.." Replied Nur al-Din, "By Allah, O uncle,
I can never be consoled for her loss nor will I ever leave
seeking her, though on her account I drink the cup of death!"
Rejoined the druggist, "O my son, and what art thou minded to
do?" Quoth Nur al-Din, "I am minded to return to the land of the
Franks[FN#549] and enter the city of France and emperil myself
there; come what may, loss of life or gain of life." Quoth the
druggist, "O my son, there is an old saw, 'Not always doth the
crock escape the shock'; and if they did thee no hurt the first
time, belike they will slay thee this time, more by token that
they know thee now with full knowledge." Quoth Nur al-Din, "O my
uncle, let me set out and be slain for the love of her
straightway and not die of despair for her loss by slow
torments." Now as Fate determined there was then a ship in port
ready to sail, for its passengers had made an end of their
affairs[FN#550] and the sailors had pulled up the mooring-stakes,
when Nur al-Din embarked in her. So they shook out their canvas
and relying on the Compassionate, put out to sea and sailed many
days, with fair wind and weather, till behold, they fell in with
certain of the Frank cruisers, which were scouring those waters
and seizing upon all ships they saw, in their fear for the King's
daughter from the Moslem corsairs: and as often as they made
prize of a Moslem ship, they carried all her people to the King
of France, who put them to death in fulfilment of the vow he had
vowed on account of his daughter Miriam. So, seeing the ship
wherein was Nur al-Din they boarded her and taking him and the
rest of the company prisoners, to the number of an hundred
Moslems, carried them to the King and set them between his hands.
He bade cut their throats. Accordingly they slaughtered them all
forthwith, one after another, till there was none left but Nur
al-Din, whom the headsman had left to the last, in pity of his
tender age and slender shape. When the King saw him, he knew him
right well and said to him, "Art thou not Nur al-Din, who was
with us before?" Said he, "I was never with thee: and my name is
not Nur al-Din, but Ibrahim." Rejoined the King; "Thou liest,
thou art Nur al-Din, he whom I gave to the ancient dame the
Prioress, to help her in the service of the church." But Nur
al-Din replied, "O my lord, my name is Ibrahim." Quoth the King,
"Wait a while," and bade his knights fetch the old woman
forthright, saying, "When she cometh and seeth thee, she will
know an thou be Nur al-Din or not." At this juncture, behold, in
came the one-eyed Wazir who had married the Princess and kissing
the earth before the King said to him, "Know, O King, that the
palace is finished; and thou knowest how I vowed to the Messiah
that, when I had made an end of building it, I would cut thirty
Moslems' throats before its doors; wherefore I am come to take
them of thee, that I may sacrifice them and so fulfil my vow to
the Messiah. They shall be at my charge, by way of loan, and
whenas there come prisoners to my hands, I will give thee other
thirty in lieu of them." Replied the King, 'By the virtue of the
Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, I have but this one
captive left!" And he pointed to Nur al-Din, saying, "Take him
and slaughter him at this very moment and the rest I will send
thee when there come to my hands other prisoners of the Moslems."
Thereupon the one-eyed Wazir arose and took Nur al-Din and
carried him to his palace, thinking to slaughter him on the
threshold of the gate; but the painters said to him, "O my lord,
we have two days' painting yet to do: so bear with us and delay
to cut the throat of this captive, till we have made an end of
our work; haply by that time the rest of the thirty will come, so
thou mayst despatch them all at one bout and accomplish thy vow
in a single day." Thereupon the Wazir bade imprison Nur
al-Din.--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Wazir bade imprison Nur al-Din, they carried him to the stables
and left him there in chains, hungering and thirsting and making
moan for himself; for indeed he saw death face to face. Now it
fortuned, by the ordinance of Destiny and fore-ordained Fate,
that the King had two stallions, own brothers,[FN#551] such as
the Chosroe Kings might sigh in vain to possess themselves of one
of them; they were called Sábik and Láhik[FN#552] and one of them
was pure silvern white while the other was black as the darksome
night. And all the Kings of the isles had said, "Whoso stealeth
us one of these stallions, we will give him all he seeketh of red
gold and pearls and gems;" but none could avail to steal them.
Now one of them fell sick of a jaundice and there came a
whiteness over his eyes;[FN#553] whereupon the King gathered
together all the farriers in the city to treat him; but they all
failed of his cure. Presently the Wazir came into the King; and
finding him troubled because of the horse, thought to do away his
concern and said to him, "O King, give me the stallion and I will
cure him," The King consented and caused carry the horse to the
stable wherein Nur al-Din lay chained; but, when he missed his
brother, he cried out with an exceeding great cry and neighed, so
that he affrighted all the folk. The Wazir, seeing that he did
thus but because he was parted from his brother, went to tell the
King, who said, "If this, which is but a beast, cannot brook to
be parted from his brother, how should it be with those that have
reason?" And he bade his grooms take the other horse and put him
with his brother in the Wazir's stables, saying, "Tell the
Minister that the two stallions be a gift from me to him, for the
sake of my daughter Miriam." Nur al-Din was lying in the stable,
chained and shackled, when they brought in the two stallions and
he saw that one of them had a film over his eyes. Now he had some
knowledge of horses and of the doctoring of their diseases; so he
said to himself, "This by Allah is my opportunity! I will go to
the Wazir and lie to him, saying, 'I will heal thee this horse':
then will I do with him somewhat that shall destroy his eyes, and
he will slay me and I shall be at rest from this woe-full life."
So he waited till the Wazir entered the stable, to look upon the
steed, and said to him, "O my lord, what will be my due, an I
heal this horse, and make his eyes whole again?" Replied the
Wazir, "As my head liveth, an thou cure him, I will spare thy
life and give thee leave to crave a boon of me!" And Nur al-Din
said, "O my lord, bid my hands be unbound!" So the Wazir bade
unbind him and he rose and taking virgin glass,[FN#554] brayed it
and mixed it with unslaked lime and a menstruum of onion-juice.
Then he applied the whole to the horse's eyes and bound them up,
saying in himself, "Now will his eyes be put out and they will
slay me and I shall be at rest from this woe-full life." Then he
passed the night with a heart free from the uncertainty[FN#555]
of cark and care, humbling himself to Allah the Most High and
saying, "O Lord, in Thy knowledge is that which dispenseth with
asking and craving!" Now when the morning morrowed and the sun
shone, the Wazir came to the stable and, loosing the bandage from
the horse's eyes considered them and found them finer than
before, by the ordinance of the King who openeth evermore. So he
said to Nur al-Din, "O Moslem, never in the world saw I the like
of thee for the excellence of thy knowledge. By the virtue of the
Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, thou makest me with
wonder to admire, for all the farriers of our land have failed to
heal this horse!" Then he went up to Nur al-Din and, doing off
his shackles with his own hand, clad him in a costly dress and
made him his master of the Horse; and he appointed him stipends
and allowances and lodged him in a story over the stables. So Nur
al-Din abode awhile, eating and drinking and making merry and
bidding and forbidding those who tended the horses; and whoso
neglected or failed to fodder those tied up in the stable wherein
was his service, he would thrown down and beat with grievous
beating and lay him by the legs in bilboes of iron. Furthermore,
he used every day to descend and visit the stallions and rub them
down with his own hand, by reason of that which he knew of their
value in the Wazir's eyes and his love for them; wherefore the
Minister rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and his breast
broadened and he was right glad, unknowing what was to be the
issue of his case. Now in the new palace, which the one-eyed
Wazir had bought for Princess Miriam, was a lattice-window
overlooking his old house and the flat wherein Nur al-Din lodged.
The Wazir had a daughter, a virgin of extreme loveliness, as she
were a fleeing gazelle or a bending branchlet, and it chanced
that she sat one day at the lattice aforesaid and behold, she
heard Nur al-Din, singing and solacing himself under his sorrows
by improvising these verses,

"O my Censor who wakest a-morn to see * The joys of life and its
Had the fangs of Destiny bitten thee * In such bitter case thou
     hadst pled this plea,
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
But from Fate's despight thou art safe this day;- * From her
     falsest fay and her crying 'Nay!'
Yet blame him not whom his woes waylay * Who distraught shall say
     in his agony,
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
Excuse such lovers in flight abhorr'd * Nor to Love's distreses
     thine aid afford:
Lest thy self be bound by same binding cord * And drink of Love's
     bitterest injury.
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
In His service I wont as the days went by * With freest heart
     through the nights to lie;
Nor tasted wake, nor of Love aught reckt * Ere my heart to
     subjection summoned he:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
None weet of Love and his humbling wrong * Save those he sickened
     so sore, so long,
Who have lost their wits 'mid the lover-throng * Draining
     bitterest cup by his hard decree:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
How oft in Night's gloom he cause wake to rue * Lovers' eyne, and
     from eyelids their sleep withdrew;
Till tears to the railing of torrents grew, * Overflowing cheeks
    , unconfined and free:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
How many a man he has joyed to steep * In pain, and for pine hath
     he plundered sleep,--
Made don garb of mourning the deepest deep * And even his
     dreaming forced to flee:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
How oft sufferance fails me! How bones are wasted * And down my
     cheeks torrent tear-drops hasted:
And embittered She all the food I tasted * However sweet it was
     wont to be:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
Most hapless of men who like me must love, * And must watch when
     Night droops her wing from above,
Who, swimming the main where affection drove * Must sign and sink
     in that gloomy sea:
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
Who is he to whom Love e'er stinted spite * And who scaped his
     springes and easy sleight;
Who free from Love lived in life's delight? * Where is he can
     boast of such liberty?
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'
Deign Lord such suffering wight maintain * Then best Protector,
     protect him deign!
Establish him and his life assain * And defend him from all
     'Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
     My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!'"

And when Nur al-Din ended his say and ceased to sing his rhyming
lay, the Wazir's daughter said to herself, "By the virtue of the
Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, verily this Moslem is a
handsome youth! But doubtless he is a lover separated from his
mistress. Would Heaven I wot an the beloved of this fair one is
fair like unto him and if she pine for him as he for her! An she
be seemly as he is, it behoveth him to pour forth tears and make
moan of passion; but, an she be other than fair, his days are
wasted in vain regrets and he is denied the taste of
delights."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Wazir's daughter said to herself, "An his beloved be fair as he,
it behoveth him to pour forth tears; and, if other than fair, his
heart is wasted in vain regrets!" Now Miriam the Girdle-girl, the
Minister's consort, had removed to the new palace the day before
and the Wazir's daughter knew that she was straitened of breast;
so she was minded to seek her and talk with her and tell her the
tidings of the young man and the rhymes and verses she had heard
him recite; but, before she could carry out her design the
Princess sent for her to cheer her with her converse. So she went
to her and found her heavy at heart and her tears hurrying down
her cheeks; and whilst she was weeping with sore weeping she
recited these couplets,

"My life is gone but love-longings remain * And my breast is
     straitened with pine and pain:
And my heart for parting to melt is fain * Yet hoping that union
     will come again,
     And join us in one who now are twain.
Stint your blame to him who in heart's your thrall * With the
     wasted frame which his sorrows gall,
Nor with aim of arrow his heart appal * For parted lover is
     saddest of all,
     And Love's cup of bitters is sweet to drain!"

Quoth the Wazir's daughter to her, "What aileth thee, O Princess,
to be thus straitened in breast and sorrowful of thought?"
Whereupon Miriam recalled the greatness of the delights that were
past and recited these two couplets,

"I will bear in patience estrangement of friend * And on cheeks
     rail tears that like torrents wend:
Haply Allah will solace my sorrow, for He * Neath the ribs of
     unease maketh ease at end."

Said the Wazir's daughter, "O Princess, let not thy breast be
straitened, but come with me straightway to the lattice; for
there is with us in the stable[FN#556] a comely young man,
slender of shape and sweet of speech, and meseemeth he is a
parted lover." Miriam asked, "And by what sign knowest thou that
he is a parted lover?"; and she answered, "O Queen, I know it by
his improvising odes and verses all watches of the night and
tides of the day." Quoth the Princess in herself, "If what the
Wazir's daughter says be true, these are assuredly the traits of
the baffled, the wretched Ali Nur al-Din. Would I knew if indeed
he be the youth of whom she speaketh." At this thought,
love-longing and distraction of passion redoubled on her and she
rose at once and walking with the maiden to the lattice, looked
down upon the stables, where she saw her love and lord Nur al-Din
and fixing her eyes steadfastly upon him, knew him with the
bestest knowledge of love, albeit he was sick, of the greatness
of his affection for her and of the fire of passion, and the
anguish of separation and yearning and distraction. Sore upon him
was emaciation and he was improvising and saying,

"My heart is a thrall; my tears ne'er abate * And their rains the
     railing of clouds amate;
'Twixt my weeping and watching and wanting love; * And whining
     and pining for dearest mate.
Ah my burning heat, my desire, my lowe! * For the plagues that
     torture my heart are eight;
And five upon five are in suite of them; * So stand and listen to
     all I state:
Mem'ry, madding thoughts, moaning languishment, * Stress of
     longing love, plight disconsolate;
In travail, affliction and strangerhood, * And annoy and joy when
     on her I wait.
Fail me patience and stay for engrossing care * And sorrows my
     suffering soul regrate.
On my heart the possession of passion grows * O who ask of what
     fire in my heart's create,
Why my tears in vitals should kindle flame, * Burning heart with
     ardours insatiate,
Know, I'm drowned in Deluge[FN#557] of tears and my soul * From
     Lazá-lowe fares to Háwiyah-goal."[FN#558]

When the Princess Miriam beheld Nur al-Din and heard his loquence
and verse and speech, she made certain that it was indeed her
lord Nur al-Din; but she concealed her case from the Wazir's
daughter and said to her, "By the virtue of the Messiah and the
Faith which is no liar, I thought not thou knewest of my
sadness!" Then she arose forthright and withdrawing from the
window, returned to her own place, whilst the Wazir's daughter
went to her own occupations. The Princess awaited patiently
awhile, then returned to the window and sat there, gazing upon
her beloved Nur al-Din and delighting her eyes with his beauty
and inner and outer grace. And indeed, she saw that he was like
unto moon at full on fourteenth night; but he was ever sighing
with tears never drying, for that he recalled whatso he had been
abying. So he recited these couplets,

"I hope for Union with my love which I may ne'er obtain * At all,
     but bitterness of life is all the gain I gain:
My tears are likest to the main for ebb and flow of tide; * But
     when I meet the blamer-wight to staunch my tears I'm fain.
Woe to the wretch who garred us part by spelling of his
     spells;[FN#559] * Could I but hend his tongue in hand I'd
     cut his tongue in twain:
Yet will I never blame the days for whatso deed they did *
     Mingling with merest, purest gall the cup they made me
To whom shall I address myself; and whom but you shall seek * A
     heart left hostage in your Court, by you a captive ta'en?
Who shall avenge my wrongs on you,[FN#560] tyrant despotical *
     Whose tyranny but grows the more, the more I dare complain?
I made him regnant of my soul that he the reign assain * But me
     he wasted wasting too the soul I gave to reign.
Ho thou, the Fawn, whom I so lief erst gathered to my breast *
     Enow of severance tasted I to own its might and main,
Thou'rt he whose favours joined in one all beauties known to man,
     * Yet I thereon have wasted all my Patience' fair domain.
I entertained him in my heart whereto he brought unrest * But I
     am satisfied that I such guest could entertain.
My tears for ever flow and flood, likest the surging sea * And
     would I wot the track to take that I thereto attain.
Yet sore I fear that I shall die in depths of my chagrin * And
     must despair for evermore to win the wish I'd win."

When Miriam heard the verses of Nur al-Din the loving-hearted,
the parted; they kindled in her vitals a fire of desire, and
while her eyes ran over with tears, she recited these two

"I longed for him I love; but, when we met, * I was amazed nor
     tongue nor eyes I found.
I had got ready volumes of reproach; * But when we met, could
     syllable no sound."

When Nur al-Din heard the voice of Princess Miriam, he knew it
and wept bitter tears, saying, "By Allah, this is the chanting of
the Lady Miriam."--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

End of Volume 8.

                    Arabian Nights, Volume 8

[FN#1]  Ironicè; we are safe as long as we are defended by such a

[FN#2]  Blue, azure. This is hardly the place for a protest, but
I must not neglect the opportunity of cautioning my readers
against rendering Bahr al-Azrak ("Blue River") by "Blue Nile." No
Arab ever knew it by that name or thereby equalled it with the
White Nile. The term was a pure invention of Abyssinian Bruce who
was well aware of the unfact he was propagating, but his
inordinate vanity and self-esteem, contrasting so curiously with
many noble qualities, especially courage and self-reliance,
tempted him to this and many other a traveller's tale.

[FN#3]  This is orthodox Moslem doctrine and it does something
for the dignity of human nature which has been so unwisely
depreciated and degraded by Christianity. The contrast of Moslem
dignity and Christian abasement in the East is patent to every
unblind traveller.

[FN#4]  Here ends vol. iii. of the Mac. Edit.

[FN#5]  This famous tale is a sister prose-poem to the "Arabian
Odyssey" Sindbad the Seaman; only the Bassorite's travels are in
Jinn-land and Japan.  It has points of resemblance in
"fundamental outline" with the Persian Romance of the Fairy Hasan
Bánú and King Bahrám-i-Gúr. See also the Kathá (s.s.) and the two
sons of the Asúra Máyá; the Tartar "Sidhi Kúr" (Tales of a
Vampire or Enchanted Corpse) translated by Mr. W. J. Thoms (the
Father of "Folk-lore" in 1846,) in "Lays and Legends of various
Nations"; the Persian Bahár-i-Dánish (Prime of Lore). Miss
Stokes' "Indian Fairy Tales"; Miss Frere's "Old Deccan Days" and
Mrs. F. A. Steel's "Tale of the King and his Seven Sons," with
notes by Lieutenant (now Captain) R. C. Temple (Folk-lore of the
Panjab, Indian Antiquary of March, 1882).

[FN#6]  In the Mac.  Edit. (vol. iv. i.) the merchant has two
sons who became one a brazier ("dealer in copper-wares" says Lane
iii. 385) and the other a goldsmith.  The Bresl.  Edit. (v. 264)
mentions only one son, Hasan, the hero of the story which is
entitled, "Tale of Hasan al-Basrí and the Isles of Wák Wák."

[FN#7]  Arab.  "Shásh Abyaz:" this distinctive sign of the True
Believer was adopted by the Persian to conceal his being a
fire-worshipper, Magian or "Guebre." The latter word was
introduced from the French by Lord Byron and it is certainly far
superior to Moore's "Gheber."

[FN#8]  Persians being always a suspected folk.

[FN#9]  Arab.  "Al-Búdikah" afterwards used (Night dcclxxix) in
the sense of crucible or melting-pot, in modern parlance a
pipe-bowl; and also written "Bútakah," an Arab distortion of the
Persian "Bútah."

[FN#10]  Arab.  "Sindán" or "Sindiyán" (Dozy).  "Sandán," anvil;
"Sindán," big, strong (Steingass).

[FN#11]  Arab.  "Kímíya," (see vol. i. 305) properly the
substance which transmutes metals, the "philosopher's stone"
which, by the by, is not a stone; and comes from             , a
fluid, a wet drug, as opposed to Iksír (Al-)              a dry
drug.  Those who care to see how it is still studied will consult
my History of Sindh (chapt. vii) and my experience which pointed
only to the use made of it in base coinage. Hence in mod. tongue
Kímiyáwi, an alchemist, means a coiner, a smasher. The reader
must not suppose that the transmutation of metals is a dead
study: I calculate that there are about one hundred workers in
London alone.

[FN#12]  Arab.  "Al-Kír," a bellows also = Kúr, a furnace.  For
the full meaning of this sentence, see my "Book of the Sword," p.

[FN#13]  Lit.  "bade him lean upon it with the shears" (Al-Káz).

[FN#14]  There are many kinds of Kohls (Hindos.  Surmá and
Kajjal) used in medicine and magic.  See Herklots, p. 227.

[FN#15]  Arab. "Sabíkah" = bar, lamina, from "Sabk" = melting,
smelting: the lump in the crucible would be hammered out into an
ingot in order to conceal the operation

[FN#16]  i.e. £375.

[FN#17]  Such report has cost many a life: the suspicion was and
is still deadly as heresy in a "new Christian" under the

[FN#18]  Here there is a double entendre: openly it means, "Few
men recognise as they should the bond of bread and salt:" the
other sense would be (and that accounts for the smile), "What the
deuce do I care for the bond?"

[FN#19]  Arab.  "Kabbát" in the Bresl. Edit. "Ka'abán ": Lane
(iii. 519) reads "Ka'áb plur. of Ka'ab a cup."

[FN#20]  A most palpable sneer.  But Hasan is purposely
represented as a "softy" till aroused and energized by the magic
of Love.

[FN#21]  Arab.  "Al-iksír" (see Night dcclxxix, supra p. 9): the
Greek word       which has returned from a trip to Arabia and
reappeared in Europe as "Elixir."

[FN#22]  "Awák" plur. of "Ukíyah," the well-known "oke," or
"ocque," a weight varying from 1 to 2 lbs.  In Morocco it is
pronounced "Wukíyah," and = the Spanish ounce (p. 279 Rudimentos
del Arabe Vulgar, etc., by Fr. José de Lorchundi, Madrid,
Rivadencyra, 1872).

[FN#23]  These lines have occurred in vol. iv. 267, where
references to other places are given.  I quote Lane by way of
variety.  In the text they are supposed to have been written by
the Persian, a hint that Hasan would never be seen again.

[FN#24]  i.e. a superfetation of iniquity.

[FN#25]  Arab.  "Kurbán" = offering, oblation to be brought to
the priest's house or to the altar of the tribal God Yahveh,
Jehovah (Levit. ii, 2-3 etc.). Amongst the Maronites Kurban is
the host (-wafer) and amongst the Turks 'Id al-Kurban
(sacrifice-feast) is the Greater Bayram, the time of Pilgrimage.

[FN#26]  Nár = fire, being feminine, like the names of the other

[FN#27]  The Egyptian Kurbáj of hippopotamus-hide (Burkh. Nubia,
pp. 62,282) or elephant-hide (Turner ii. 365).  Hence the Fr.
Cravache (as Cravat is from Croat).

[FN#28]  In Mac. Edit. "Bahriyah": in Bresl. Edit. "Nawátíyah."
See vol. vi. 242, for       , navita, nauta.

[FN#29]  In Bresl. Edit. (iv. 285) "Yá Khwájah," for which see
vol. vi. 46.

[FN#30]  Arab.  "Tabl" (vulg. baz) = a kettle-drum about half a
foot broad held in the left hand and beaten with a stick or
leathern thong.  Lane refers to his description (M.E. ii. chapt.
v.) of the Dervish's drum of tinned copper with parchment face,
and renders Zakhmah or Zukhmah (strap, stirrup-leather) by
"plectrum," which gives a wrong idea. The Bresl. Edit. ignores
the strap.

[FN#31]  The "Spartivento" of Italy, mostly a tall headland which
divides the clouds.  The most remarkable feature of the kind is
the Dalmatian Island, Pelagosa.

[FN#32]  The "Rocs" (Al-Arkhákh) in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 290).
The Rakham = aquiline vulture.

[FN#33]  Lane here quotes a similar incident in the romance "Sayf
Zú al-Yazan," so called from the hero, whose son, Misr, is sewn
up in a camel's hide by Bahrám, a treacherous Magian, and is
carried by the Rukhs to a mountain-top.

[FN#34]  These lines occurred in Night xxvi. vol. i. 275: I quote
Mr. Payne for variety.

[FN#35]  Thus a Moslem can not only circumcise and marry himself
but can also bury canonically himself.  The form of this prayer
is given by Lane M. E. chapt. xv.

[FN#36]  i.e. If I fail in my self-imposed duty, thou shalt
charge me therewith on the Judgment-day.

[FN#37]  Arab.  "Al-Alwán," plur. of laun (colour).  The latter
in Egyptian Arabic means a "dish of meat." See Burckhardt No.
279. I repeat that the great traveller's "Arabic Proverbs" wants
republishing for two reasons.  First he had not sufficient
command of English to translate with the necessary laconism and
assonance: secondly in his day British Philistinism was too
rampant to permit a literal translation. Consequently the book
falls short of what the Oriental student requires; and I have
prepared it for my friend Mr. Quaritch.

[FN#38]  i.e. Lofty, high-builded. See Night dcclxviii. vol. vii.
p. 347. In the Bresl. Edit. Al-Masíd (as in Al-Kazwíni): in the
Mac. Edit. Al-Mashid

[FN#39]  Arab. "Munkati" here = cut off from the rest of the
world. Applied to a man, and a popular term of abuse in Al-Hijáz,
it means one cut off from the blessings of Allah and the benefits
of mankind; a pauvre sire. (Pilgrimage ii. 22.)

[FN#40]  Arab. "Baras au Juzám," the two common forms of leprosy.
See vol. iv. 51. Popular superstition in Syria holds that coition
during the menses breeds the Juzám, Dáa al-Kabír (Great Evil) or
Dáa al-Fíl (Elephantine Evil), i.e. Elephantiasis and that the
days between the beginning of the flow (Sabíl) to that of coition
shows the age when the progeny will be attacked; for instance if
it take place on the first day, the disease will appear in the
tenth year, on the fourth the fortieth and so on.  The only
diseases really dreaded by the Badawin are leprosy and small-pox.
Coition during the menses is forbidden by all Eastern faiths
under the severest penalties. Al-Mas'údi relates how a man thus
begotten became a determined enemy of Ali; and the ancient Jews
attributed the magical powers of Joshua Nazarenus to this
accident of his birth, the popular idea being that sorcerers are
thus impurely engendered.

[FN#41]  By adoption - See vol. iii. 151. This sudden affection
(not love) suggests the "Come to my arms, my slight
acquaintance!" of the Anti-Jacobin.  But it is true to Eastern
nature; and nothing can be more charming than this fast
friendship between the Princess and Hasan.

[FN#42]  En tout bien et en tout honneur, be it understood.

[FN#43]  He had done nothing of the kind; but the feminine mind
is prone to exaggeration. Also Hasan had told them a fib, to
prejudice them against the Persian.

[FN#44]  These nervous movements have been reduced to a system in
the Turk. "Ihtilájnámeh" = Book of palpitations, prognosticating
from the subsultus tendinum and other involuntary movements of
the body from head to foot; according to Ja'afar the Just, Daniel
the Prophet, Alexander the Great; the Sages of Persia and the
Wise Men of Greece. In England we attend chiefly to the eye and

[FN#45]  Revenge, amongst the Arabs, is a sacred duty; and, in
their state of civilization, society could not be kept together
without it. So the slaughter of a villain is held to be a
sacrifice to Allah, who amongst Christians claims for Himself the
monopoly of vengeance.

[FN#46]  Arab.  "Zindík." See vol. v. 230.

[FN#47]  Lane translates this "put for him the remaining food and
water;" but Ai-Akhar (Mac.  Edit.) evidently refers to the Najíb

[FN#48]  We can hardly see the heroism of the deed, but it must
be remembered that Bahram was a wicked sorcerer, whom it was
every good  Moslem's bounden duty to slay.  Compare the treatment
of witches in England two centuries ago.

[FN#49]  The mother in Arab tales is ma mère, now becoming
somewhat ridiculous in France on account of the over use of that
venerable personage.

[FN#50]  The forbidden closet occurs also in Sayf Zú al-Yazan,
who enters it and finds the bird-girls.  Trébutien ii, 208 says,
"Il est assez remarquable qu'il existe en Allemagne une tradition
à peu près semblable, et qui a fourni le sujet d'un des contes de
Musaeus, entitulé, le voile enlevé." Here Hasan is artfully left
alone in a large palace without other companions but his thoughts
and the reader is left to divine the train of ideas which drove
him to open the door.

[FN#51]  Arab.  "Buhayrah" (Bresl. Edit. "Bahrah"), the tank or
cistern in the Hosh (court-yard) of an Eastern house.  Here,
however, it is a rain-cistern on the flat roof of the palace (See
Night dcccviii).

[FN#52]  This description of the view is one of the most gorgeous
in The Nights.

[FN#53]  Here again are the "Swan-maidens" (See vol. v. 346) "one
of the primitive myths, the common heritage of the whole Aryan
(Iranian) race." In Persia Bahram-i-Gúr when carried off by the
Dív Sapíd seizes the Peri's dove-coat: in Santháli folk-lore
Torica, the Goatherd, steals the garment doffed by one of the
daughters of the sun; and hence the twelve birds of Russian
Story.  To the same cycle belong the Seal-tales of the Faroe
Islands (Thorpe's Northern Mythology) and the wise women or
mermaids of Shetland (Hibbert).  Wayland the smith captures a
wife by seizing a mermaid's raiment and so did Sir Hagán by
annexing the wardrobe of a Danubian water-nymph.  Lettsom, the
translator, mixes up this swan-raiment with that of the Valkyries
or Choosers of the Slain. In real life stealing women's clothes
is an old trick and has often induced them, after having been
seen naked, to offer their persons spontaneously.  Of this I knew
two cases in India, where the theft is justified by divine
example.  The blue god Krishna, a barbarous and grotesque Hindu
Apollo, robbed the raiment of the pretty Gopálís (cowherdesses)
who were bathing in the Arjun River and carried them to the top
of a Kunduna tree; nor would he restore them till he had reviewed
the naked girls and taken one of them to wife.  See also Imr
al-Kays (of the Mu'allakah) with "Onaiza" at the port of
Daratjuljul (Clouston's Arabian Poetry, p.4). A critic has
complained of my tracing the origin of the Swan-maiden legend to
the physical resemblance between the bird and a high-bred girl
(vol. v. 346). I should have explained my theory which is
shortly, that we must seek a material basis for all so-called
supernaturalisms, and that anthropomorphism satisfactorily
explains the Swan-maiden, as it does the angel and the devil.
There is much to say on the subject; but this is not the place
for long discussion.

[FN#54]  Arab.  "Nafs Ammárah," corresponding with our canting
term "The Flesh." Nafs al-Nátíkah is the intellectual soul or
function; Nafs al-Ghazabíyah = the animal function and Nafs al
Shahwáníyah = the vegetative property.

[FN#55]  The lines occur in vol. ii. 331: I have quoted Mr.
Payne.  Here they are singularly out of place.

[FN#56]  Not the "green gown" of Anglo-India i.e. a white
ball-dress with blades of grass sticking to it in consequence of
a "fall backwards."

[FN#57]  These lines occur in vol. i. 219: I have borrowed from
Torrens (p. 219).

[FN#58]  The appearance of which ends the fast and begins the
Lesser Festival.  See vol. i. 84.

[FN#59]  See note, vol. i. 84, for notices of the large navel;
much appreciated by Easterns.

[FN#60]  Arab.  "Shá'ir Al-Walahán" = the love-distraught poet;
Lane has "a distracted poet."  My learned friend Professor Aloys
Sprenger has consulted, upon the subject of Al-Walahán the
well-known Professor of Arabic at Halle, Dr. Thorbeck, who
remarks that the word (here as further on) must be an adjective,
mad, love-distraught, not a "lakab" or poetical cognomen.  He
generally finds it written Al-Shá'ir al-Walahán (the
love-demented poet) not Al-Walahán al-Shá'ir = Walahán the Poet.
Note this burst of song after the sweet youth falls in love: it
explains the cause of verse-quotation in The Nights, poetry being
the natural language of love and battle.

[FN#61]  "Them" as usual for "her."

[FN#62]  Here Lane proposes a transposition, for "Wa-huwá (and
he) fi'l-hubbi," to read "Fi 'l-hubbi wa huwa (wa-hwa);" but the
latter is given in the Mac. Edit.

[FN#63]  For the pun in "Sabr"=aloe or patience.  See vol. i.
138. In Herr Landberg (i. 93) we find a misunderstanding of the

     "Aw'ákibu s-sabri (Kála ba'azuhum)
      Mahmúdah:  Kultu, 'khshi an takhirriní.'"

"The effects of patience" (or aloes) quoth one "are
praiseworthy!" Quoth I, "Much I fear lest it make me stool."
Mahmúdah is not only un laxatif, but a slang name for a
confection of aloes.

[FN#64]  Arab. "Akúna fidá-ka." Fidá = ransom, self-sacrifice and
Fidá'an = instead of.  The phrase, which everywhere occurs in The
Nights, means, "I would give my life to save thine "

[FN#65]  Thus accounting for his sickness, improbably enough but
in flattering way.  Like a good friend (feminine) she does not
hesitate a moment in prescribing a fib.

[FN#66]  i.e. the 25,000 Amazons who in the Bresl. Edit. (ii.
308) are all made to be the King's Banát" = daughters or
protégées. The Amazons of Dahome (see my "Mission") who may now
number 5,000 are all officially wives of the King and are called
by the lieges "our mothers."

[FN#67]  The tale-teller has made up his mind about the damsel;
although in this part of the story she is the chief and eldest
sister and subsequently she appears as the youngest daughter of
the supreme Jinn King.  The mystification is artfully explained
by the extraordinary likeness of the two sisters. (See Night

[FN#68]  This is a reminiscence of the old-fashioned "marriage by
capture," of which many traces survive, even among the civilised
who wholly ignore their origin.

[FN#69]  Meaning her companions and suite.

[FN#70]  Arab.  "'Abáah" vulg.  "'Abáyah."  See vol. ii. 133.

[FN#71]  Feet in the East lack that development of sebaceous
glands which afflicts Europeans.

[FN#72]  i.e. cutting the animals' throats after Moslem law.

[FN#73]  In Night dcclxxviii. supra p.5, we find the orthodox
Moslem doctrine that "a single mortal is better in Allah's sight
than a thousand Jinns."  For, I repeat, Al-Islam systematically
exalts human nature which Christianity takes infinite trouble to
degrade and debase.  The results of its ignoble teaching are only
too evident in the East: the Christians of the so-called (and
miscalled) "Holy Land" are a disgrace to the faith and the
idiomatic Persian term for a Nazarene is "Tarsá" = funker,

[FN#74]  Arab.  "Sakaba Kúrahá;" the forge in which children are
hammered out?

[FN#75]  Arab.  "Má al-Maláhat" = water (brilliancy) of beauty.

[FN#76]  The fourth of the Seven Heavens, the "Garden of
Eternity," made of yellow coral.

[FN#77]  How strange this must sound to the Young Woman of London
in the nineteenth century.

[FN#78]  "Forty days" is a quasi-religious period amongst Moslem
for praying, fasting and religious exercises: here it represents
our "honey-moon." See vol. v. p. 62.

[FN#79]  Yá layta, still popular.  Herr Carlo Landberg (Proverbes
et Dictons du Peuple Arabe, vol. i. of Syria, Leyden, E. J.
Brill, 1883) explains layta for rayta (=raayta) by permutation of
liquids and argues that the contraction is ancient (p. 42).  But
the Herr is no Arabist: "Layta" means "would to Heaven," or,
simply "I wish," "I pray" (for something possible or impossible);
whilst "La'alla" (perhaps, it may be) prays only for the
possible:  and both are simply particles governing the noun in
the oblique or accusative case.

[FN#80]  "His" for "her," i.e. herself, making somewhat of
confusion between her state and that of her son.

[FN#81]  i.e. his mother; the words are not in the Mac. Edit.

[FN#82]  Baghdad is called House of Peace, amongst other reasons,
from the Dijlah (Tigris) River and Valley "of Peace." The word
was variously written Baghdád, Bághdád, (our old Bughdaud and
Bagdat), Baghzáz, Baghzán, Baghdán, Baghzám and Maghdád as Makkah
and Bakkah (Koran iii. 90).  Religious Moslems held Bágh (idol)
and Dád (gift) an ill-omened conjunction, and the Greeks changed
it to Eirenopolis. (See Ouseley's Oriental Collcctions, vol. i.
pp. 18-20.)

[FN#83]  This is a popular saying but hardly a "vulgar proverb."
(Lane iii. 522.) It reminds rather of Shakespear's:

     "So loving to my mother,
      That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
      Visit her face too roughly."

[FN#84]  i.e. God forbid that I should oppose thee!

[FN#85]  Here the writer again forgets apparently, that Shahrazad
is speaking: she may, however, use the plural for the singular
when speaking of herself.

[FN#86]  i.e. She would have pleaded ill-treatment and lawfully
demanded to be sold.

[FN#87]  The Hindus speak of "the only bond that woman knows--her

[FN#88]  i.e. a rarity, a present (especially in Persian).

[FN#89]  Arab.  "Al-bisát" wa'l-masnad lit. the carpet and the

[FN#90]  For "Báb al-bahr" and "Báb al-Barr" see vol. iii. 281.

[FN#91]  She was the daughter of Ja'afar bin Mansúr; but, as will
be seen, The Nights again and again called her father Al-Kásim.

[FN#92]  This is an error for the fifth which occurs in the
popular saying, "Is he the fifth of the sons of Al-Abbás!" i.e.
Harun al-Rashid.  Lane (note, in loco) thus accounts for the
frequent mention of the Caliph, the greatest of the Abbasides in
The Nights.  But this is a causa non causa.

[FN#93]  i.e. I find thy beauty all-sufficient.  So the proverb
"The son of the quarter (young neighbour) filleth not the eye,"
which prefers a stranger.

[FN#94]  They are mere doggerel, like most of the pieces de

[FN#95]  Afterwards called Wák Wák, and in the Bresl. Edit. Wák
al-Wák. See Lane's notes upon these Islands.  Arab Geographers
evidently speak of two Wak Waks.  Ibn al-Fakih and Al-Mas'údi
(Fr. Transl., vol. iii. 6-7) locate one of them in East Africa
beyond Zanzibar and Sofala. "Le territoire des Zendjes
(Zanzibar-Negroids) commence au canal (Al-Khalij) dérivé du haut
Nil (the Juln River?) et se prolonge jusqu'au pays de Sofalah et
des Wak-Wak." It is simply the peninsula of Guardafui (Jard
Hafun) occupied by the Gallas, pagans and Christians, before
these were ousted by the Moslem Somal; and the former perpetually
ejaculated "Wak" (God) as Moslems cry upon Allah.  This
identification explains a host of other myths such as the
Amazons, who as Marco Polo tells us held the "Female Island"
Socotra (Yule ii. 396).  The fruit which resembled a woman's head
(whence the puelloe Wakwakienses hanging by the hair from trees),
and which when ripe called out "Wak Wak" and "Allah al-Khallák"
(the Creator) refers to the Calabash-tree (Adausonia digitata),
that grotesque growth, a vegetable elephant, whose gourds,
something larger than a man's head, hang by a slender filament.
Similarly the "cocoa" got its name, in Port. = Goblin, from the
fancied face at one end. The other Wak Wak has been identified in
turns with the Seychelles, Madagascar, Malacca, Sunda or Java
(this by Langlès), China and Japan.  The learned Prof. de Goeje
(Arabishe Berichten over Japan, Amsterdam, Muller, 1880) informs
us that in Canton the name of Japan is Wo-Kwok, possibly a
corruption of Koku-tan, the ebony-tree (Diospyros ebenum) which
Ibn Khor-dábah and others find together with gold in an island
4,500 parasangs from Suez and East of China.  And we must
remember that Basrah was the chief starting-place for the
Celestial Empire during the rule of the Tang dynasty (seventh and
ninth centuries). Colonel J. W. Watson of Bombay suggests New
Guinea or the adjacent islands where the Bird of Paradise is said
to cry "Wak Wak!" Mr. W. F. Kirby in the Preface (p. ix.) to his
neat little book "The New Arabian Nights," says: "The Islands of
Wak-Wak, seven years' journey from Bagdad, in the story of Hasan,
have receded to a distance of a hundred and fifty years' journey
in that of Majin (of Khorasan).  There is no doubt(?) that the
Cora Islands, near New Guinea, are intended; for the wonderful
fruits which grow there are Birds of Paradise, which settle in
flocks on the trees at sunset and sunrise, uttering this very
cry." Thus, like Ophir, Wak Wak has wandered all over the world
and has been found even in Peru by the Turkish work Tárikh
al-Hind al-Gharbi = History of the West Indies (Orient. Coll. iii

[FN#96]  I accept the emendation of Lane's Shaykh, "Nasím "
(Zephyr) for "Nadím " (cup-companion).

[FN#97]  "Jannat al-Ná'im" = Garden of Delights is No. V Heaven,
made of white diamond.

[FN#98]  This appears to her very prettily put.

[FN#99]  This is the "House of Sadness" of our old chivalrous
Romances. See chapt. vi. of "Palmerin of England," by Francisco
de Moraes (ob. 1572), translated by old Anthony Munday (dateless,
1590?) and "corrected" (read spoiled) by Robert Southey, London,
Longmans, 1807.

[FN#100]  The lines have occurred in Night clix. (vol. iii. 183),
I quote Mr. Payne who, like Lane, prefers "in my bosom" to
"beneath my ribs."

[FN#101]  In this tale the Bresl. Edit. more than once adds "And
let us and you send a blessing to the Lord of Lords" (or to
"Mohammed," or to the "Prophet"); and in vol. v. p. 52 has a long
prayer.  This is an act of contrition in the tale-teller for
romancing against the expressed warning of the Founder of

[FN#102]  From Bresl. Edit. (vi. 29): the four in the Mac. Edit.
are too irrelevant.

[FN#103]  Arab.  "Ghayúr"--jealous, an admirable epithet which
Lane dilutes to "changeable"--making a truism of a metaphor.

[FN#104]  These lines have occurred before.  I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#105]  i.e. One fated to live ten years.

[FN#106]  This poetical way of saying "fourteen" suggests Camoens
(The Lusiads) Canto v. 2.

[FN#107]  Arab.  "Surrah," lit. = a purse: a few lines lower down
it is called "'Ulbah" = a box which, of course, may have
contained the bag.

[FN#108]  The month which begins the Moslem year.

[FN#109]  As an Arab often does when deep in thought.  Lane
appositely quotes John viii. 6. "Jonas stooped down, and with his
finger wrote on the ground." Mr. Payne translates, "He fell
a-drumming on the earth with his fingers," but this does not
complete the sense.

[FN#110]  i.e."And the peace of Allah be upon thee! that will end
thy story."  The Arab formula, "Wa al-Salám" (pron.  Wassalám) is
used in a variety of senses.

[FN#111]  Like Camoens, one of the model lovers, he calls upon
Love to torment him still more--ad majorern Dei (amoris) gloriam.

[FN#112]  Pron.  Aboor-Ruwaysh.  "The Father of the little
Feather": he is afterwards called "Son of the daughter of the
accursed Iblis"; yet, as Lane says, "he appears to be a virtuous

[FN#113]  Arab.  "Kantara al-lijám fi Karbús (bow) sarjih."

[FN#114]  I do not translate "beckoned" because the word would
give a wrong idea.  Our beckoning with the finger moved towards
the beckoner makes the so-beckoned Eastern depart in all haste.
To call him you must wave the hand from you.

[FN#115]  The Arabs knew what large libraries were; and a learned
man could not travel without camel-loads of dictionaries.

[FN#116]  Arab.  "Adim;" now called Bulghár, our Moroccan

[FN#117]  Arab.  "Zinád," which Lane renders by "instruments for
striking fire," and Mr. Payne, after the fashion of the
translators of Al-Hariri, "flint and steel."

[FN#118]  A congener of Hasan and Husayn, little used except in
Syria where it is a favourite name for Christians.  The Muhít of
Butrus Al-Bostáni (s.v.) tells us that it also means a bird
called Abú Hasan and supplies various Egyptian synonyms.  In Mod.
Arab. Grammar the form Fa''úl is a diminutive as Hammúd for
Ahmad, 'Ammúr for 'Amrú. So the fem. form, Fa''úlah, e.g.
Khaddúgah = little Khadijah and Naffúsah=little Nafisah; Ar'úrah
= little clitoris - whereas in Heb. it is an incrementative e.g.
dabbúlah a large dablah (cake or lump of dried figs, etc.).

[FN#119]  In the Mac. Edit. "Soldiers of Al-Daylam" i.e. warlike
as the Daylamites or Medes.  See vol. ii. 94.

[FN#120]  Bilkís, it will be remembered, is the Arab. name of the
Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon.  In Abyssinia she is termed
Kebra zá negest or zá makadá, the latter (according to Ferdinand
Werne's "African Wanderings," Longmans, 1852) being synonymous
with Ityopia or Habash (Ethiopia or Abyssinia).

[FN#121]  Arab.  "Dakkah," which Lane translates by "settee."

[FN#122]  Arab. "Ambar al-Khám" the latter word (raw) being pure

[FN#123]  The author neglects to mention the ugliest part of
old-womanhood in the East, long empty breasts like
tobacco-pouches. In youth the bosom is beautifully high, arched
and rounded, firm as stone to the touch, with the nipples erect
and pointing outwards.  But after the girl-mother's first child
(in Europe le premier embellit) all changes.  Nature and bodily
power have been overtasked; then comes the long suckling at the
mother's expense: the extension of the skin and the enlargement
of its vessels are too sudden and rapid for the diminished
ability of contraction and the bad food aids in the continual
consumption of vitality.  Hence, among Eastern women age and
ugliness are synonymous.  It is only in the highest civilisation
that we find the handsome old woman.

[FN#124]  The name has occurred in the Knightly tale of King Omar
and his sons, Vol. ii. 269.  She is here called Mother of
Calamities,but in p. 123, Vol. iv. of the Mac. Edit. she becomes
"Lady (Zát) al-Dawáhi." It will be remembered that the title
means calamitous to the foe.

[FN#125]  By this address she assured him that she had no design
upon his chastity. In Moslem lands it is always advisable to
accost a strange woman, no matter how young, with, "Yá Ummí!" = O
my mother. This is pledging one's word, as it were, not to make
love to her.

[FN#126]  Apparently the Wakites numbered their Islands as the
Anglo-Americans do their streets.  For this they have been
charged with "want of imagination"; but the custom is strictly
classical. See at Pompeii "Reg (io) I; Ins (ula) 1, Via Prima,
Secunda," etc.

[FN#127]  These are the Puellæ Wakwakienses of whom Ibn Al-Wardi
relates after an ocular witness, "Here too is a tree which bears
fruits like women who have fair faces and are hung by their hair.
They come forth from integuments like large leathern bags
(calabash-gourds?) and when they sense air and sun they cry 'Wak!
Wak!' (God!  God!) till their hair is cut, and when it is cut
they die; and the islanders understand this cry wherefrom they
augure ill." The Ajáib al-Hind (chapt. xv.) places in Wak-land
the Samandal, a bird which enters the fire without being burnt
evidently the Egyptian "Pi-Benni," which the Greeks metamorphised
to "Phoenix." It also mentions a hare-like animal, now male then
female, and the Somal behind Cape Guardafui tell the same tale of
their Cynhyænas.

[FN#128]  i.e. I will keep thee as though thou wert the apple of
my eye.

[FN#129]  A mere exaggeration of the "Gull-fairs" noted by
travellers in sundry islands as Ascension and the rock off
Brazilian Santos.

[FN#130]  Arab.  "Kámil wa Basít wa Wáfir" = the names of three
popular metres, for which see the Terminal Essay.

[FN#131]  Arab.  "Manáshif" = drying towels, Plur. of Minshafah,
and the popular term which Dr. Jonathan Swift corrupted to
"Munnassaf." Lane (Nights, Introduct. p. ix.).

[FN#132]  Arab.  "Shafaif" opposed to "Shafah" the mouth-lips.

[FN#133]  Fountains of Paradise. This description is a fair
instance of how the Saj'a (prose-rhyme) dislocates the order; an
Arab begins with hair, forehead, eyebrows and lashes and when he
reaches the nose, he slips down to the toes for the sake of the
assonance.  If the latter be neglected the whole list of charms
must be otherwise ordered; and the student will compare Mr.
Payne's version of this passage with mine.

[FN#134]  A fair specimen of the Arab logogriph derived from the
Abjad Alphabet which contains only the Hebrew and Syriac letters
not the six Arabic.  Thus 4 X 5=20 which represents the Kaf (K)
and 6 X 10=60, or Sin (S).  The whole word is thus "Kos", the
Greek       or       , and the lowest word, in Persian as in
Arabic, for the female pudenda, extensively used in vulgar abuse.
In my youth we had at the University something of the kind,

     To five and five and fifty-five
     The first of letters add
     To make a thing to please a King
     And drive a wise man mad.

Answer VVLVA.  Very interesting to the anthropological student is
this excursus of Hasan, who after all manner of hardships and
horrors and risking his life to recover his wife and children,
breaks out into song on the subject of her privities.  And it can
hardly be tale-teller's gag as both verse and prose show
considerable art in composition. (See p. 348.)

Supplementary Note To Hasan of Bassorah.

Note(p.93)--There is something wondrous naïve in a lover who,
when asked by his mistress to sing a song in her honour, breaks
out into versical praises of her parts.  But even the classical
Arab authors did not disdain such themes.  See in Al-Harírí (Ass.
of Mayyáfarikín) where Abú Zayd laments the impotency of old age
in form of a Rasy or funeral oration (Preston p. 484, and Chenery
p. 221).  It completely deceived Sir William Jones, who inserted
it into the chapter "De Poesi Funebri," p. 527 (Poeseos Asiaticæ
Commentarii), gravely noting, "Hæc Elegia non admodum dissimilis
esse videtur pulcherrimi illius carminis de Sauli et Jonathani
obitu; at que adeò versus iste ‘ubi provocant adversarios nunquam
rediit a pugnæ contentione sine spiculo sanguine imbuto, ‘ex
Hebræoreddi videtur,

          A sanguine occisorum, a fortium virorum adipe,
          Arcus Jonathani non rediit irritus."

I need hardly say with Captain Lockett (226) that this "Sabb
warrior," this Arabian Achilles, is the celebrated Bonus Deus or
Hellespontiacus of the Ancients.  The oration runs thus:--

          O folk I have a wondrous tale, so rare
          Much shall it profit hearers wise and ware!
          I saw in salad-years a potent Brave
          And sharp of edge and point his warrior glaive;
          Who entered joust and list with hardiment
          Fearless of risk, of victory confident,
          His vigorous onset straitest places oped
          And easy passage through all narrows groped:
          He ne'er encountered foe in single fight
          But came from tilt with spear in blood stained bright;
          Nor stormed a fortress howso strong and stark--
          With fencèd gates defended deep and dark--
          When shown his flag without th' auspicious cry
          "Aidance from Allah and fair victory nigh!"‡
          Thus wise full many a night his part he played
          In strength and youthtide's stately garb arrayed,
          Dealing to fair young girl delicious joy
          And no less welcome to the blooming boy.
          But Time ne'er ceased to stint his wondrous strength
          (Steadfast and upright as the gallow's length)
          Until the Nights o'erthrew him by their might
          And friends contemned him for a feckless wight;
          Nor was a wizard but who wasted skill
          Over his case, nor leach could heal his ill.
          Then he abandoned arms abandoned him
          Who gave and took salutes so fierce and grim;
          And now lies prostrate drooping haughty crest;
          For who lives longest him most ills molest.
          Then see him, here he lies on bier for bet;--
          Who will a shroud bestow on stranger dead?

A fair measure of the difference between Eastern and Western
manners is afforded by such a theme being treated by their
gravest writers and the verses being read and heard by the
gravest and most worshipful men, whilst amongst us Preston and
Chenery do not dare even to translate them.  The latter, indeed,
had all that immodest modesty for which English professional
society is notable in this xixth century.  He spoiled by
needlessly excluding from a scientific publication (Mem. R.A.S.)
all of my Proverbia Communia Syriaca (see Unexplored Sryia, i.
364) and every item which had a shade of double entendre.  But
Nemesis frequently found him out: during his short and obscure
rule in Printing House Square, The Thunderer was distinguished by
two of the foulest indecencies that ever appeared in an English

‡  The well-known Koranic verse, whereby Allah is introduced into
an indecent tale and "Holy Writ" is punned upon.  I have noticed
(iii. 206) that victory Fat'h lit.=opening everything (as e.g. a

[FN#135]  Egyptian and Syrian vulgar term for Mawálíyah or
Mawáliyah, a short poem on subjects either classical or vulgar.
It generally consists of five lines all rhyming except the
penultimate.  The metre is a species of the Basít which, however,
admits of considerable poetical license; this being according to
Lane the usual "Weight,"

         /   /    /  .

The scheme is distinctly anapæstic and Mr. Lyall (Translations of
Ancient Arabic Poetry) compares with a cognate metre, the Tawíl,
certain lines in Abt Vogler, e.g.

     "Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is

[FN#136]  i.e. repeat the chapter of the Koran termed The
Opening, and beginning with these words, "Have we not opened thy
breast for thee and eased thee of thy burden which galled thy
back? *** Verily with the difficulty cometh ease!"--Koran xciv.
vol. 1, 5.

[FN#137]  Lane renders Nur al-Hudà (Light of Salvation) by Light
of Day which would be Nur al-Hadà.

[FN#138]  In the Bresl. Edit.  "Yá Salám"=O safety!--a vulgar

[FN#139]  A favourite idiom meaning from the mischief which may
(or will) come from the Queen.

[FN#140]  He is not strong-minded but his feminine persistency of
purpose, likest to that of a sitting hen, is confirmed by the
"Consolations of religion."  The character is delicately drawn.

[FN#141]  In token that she intended to act like a man.

[FN#142]  This is not rare even in real life: Moslem women often
hide and change their names for superstitious reasons, from the
husband and his family.

[FN#143]  Arab.  "Sabab" which also means cause.  Vol. ii. 14.
There is the same metaphorical use of "Habl"= cord and cause.

[FN#144]  Arab. "Himà," a word often occurring in Arab poetry,
domain, a pasture or watered land forcibly kept as far as a dog's
bark would sound by some masterful chief like "King Kulayb." (See
vol. ii. 77.) This tenure was forbidden by Mohammed except for
Allah and the Apostle (i.e. himself).  Lane translates it

[FN#145]  She was a maid and had long been of marriageable age.

[FN#146]  The young man had evidently "kissed the Blarney stone";
but the flattery is the more telling as he speaks from the heart.

[FN#147]  "Inshallah " here being= D. V.

[FN#148]  i.e. The "Place of Light" (Pharos), or of Splendour.
Here we find that Hasan's wife is the youngest sister, but with
an extraordinary resemblance to the eldest, a very masterful
young person.  The anagnorisis is admirably well managed.

[FN#149]  i.e. the sweetmeats of the feast provided for the
returning traveller.  The old woman (like others) cannot resist
the temptation of a young man's lips.  Happily for him she goes
so far and no farther.

[FN#150]  The first, fourth, fifth and last names have already
occurred: the others are in order, Star o' Morn, Sun of Undtirn
and Honour of Maidenhood.  They are not merely fanciful, but are
still used in Egypt and Syria.

[FN#151]  Arab.  "Fájirah" and elsewhere "Ahirah," =whore and
strumpet used often in loose talk as mere abuse without special

[FN#152]  This to Westerns would seem a most improbable detail,
but Easterns have their own ideas concerning "Al-Muhabbat
al-ghariziyah" =natural affection, blood speaking to blood, etc.

[FN#153]  One of the Hells (see vol. iv. 143).  Here it may be
advisable to give the names of the Seven Heavens (which are
evidently based upon Ptolemaic astronomy) and which correspond
with the Seven Hells after the fashion of Arabian system-mania.
(1) Dar al-Jalál (House of Glory) made of pearls; (2) Dár
al-Salám (of Rest), rubies and jacinths; (3) Jannat al-Maawá
(Garden of Mansions, not "of mirrors," as Herklots has it, p.
98), made of yellow copper; (4) Jannat al-Khuld (of Eternity),
yellow coral; (5) Jannat al-Na'ím (of Delights), white diamond;
(6) Jannat al-Firdaus (of Paradise), red gold; and (7) Jannat
al-'Adn (of Eden, or Al-Karár= of everlasting abode, which some
make No. 8), of red pearls or pure musk.  The seven Hells are
given in vol. v. 241; they are intended for Moslems (Jahannam);
Christians (Lazà); Jews (Hutamah); Sabians (Sa'ir); Guebles
(Sakar); Pagans or idolaters (Jahím); and Hypocrites (Háwiyah).

[FN#154]  Arab.  "'Atb," more literally= "blame," "reproach."

[FN#155]  Bresl. Edit.  In the Mac.  "it returned to the place
whence I had brought it"--an inferior reading.

[FN#156]  The dreams play an important part in the Romances of
Chivalry, e.g. the dream of King Perion in Amadis de Gaul, chapt.
ii. (London; Longmans, 1803).

[FN#157]  Amongst Moslems bastardy is a sore offence and a
love-child is exceedingly rare.  The girl is not only carefully
guarded but she also guards herself knowing that otherwise she
will not find a husband.  Hence seduction is all but unknown. The
wife is equally well guarded and lacks opportunities hence
adultery is found difficult except in books.  Of the Ibn (or
Walad) Harám (bastard as opposed to the Ibn Halál) the proverb
says, "This child is not thine, so the madder he be the more is
thy glee!" Yet strange to say public prostitution has never been
wholly abolished in Al-Islam.  Al-Mas'údi tells us that in Arabia
were public prostitutes'(Bagháyá), even before the days of the
Apostle, who affected certain quarters as in our day the
Tartúshah of Alexandria and the Hosh Bardak of Cairo. Here says
Herr Carlo Landberg (p. 57, Syrian Proverbs) "Elles parlent une
langue toute à elle."  So pretentious and dogmatic a writer as
the author of Proverbes et Dictons de la Province de Syrie, ought
surely to have known that the Hosh Bardak is the head-quarters of
the Cairene Gypsies. This author, who seems to write in order to
learn, reminds me of an acute Oxonian undergraduate of my day
who, when advised to take a "coach," became a "coach" himself.

[FN#158]  These lines occur in vol. vii. p. 340. I quote Mr.

[FN#159]  She shows all the semi-maniacal rancour of a good
woman, or rather a woman who has not broken the eleventh
commandment, "Thou shalt not be found out," against an erring
sister who has been discovered.  In the East also these unco'gúid
dames have had, and too often have, the power to carry into
effect the cruelty and diabolical malignity which in London and
Paris must vent itself in scan. mag. and anonymous letters.

[FN#160]  These faintings and trances are as common in the
Romances of Chivalry e.g. Amadis of Gaul, where they unlace the
garments to give more liberty, pour cold water on the face and
bathe the temples and pulses with diluted vinegar (for rose
water) exactly as they do in The Nights.

[FN#161]  So Hafiz, "Bád-i-Sabá chu bugzarí" etc.

[FN#162]  Arab. "Takiyah." See vol. i. 224 and for the Tarn-Kappe
vol. iv. p. 176. In the Sinthásana Dwatrinsati (vulgo.  Singhásan
Battísí), or Thirty-two Tales of a Throne, we find a bag always
full of gold, a bottomless purse; earth which rubbed on the
forehead overcomes all; a rod which during the first watch of the
night furnishes jewelled ornaments; in the second a beautiful
girl; in the third invisibility, and in the fourth a deadly foe
or death; a flower-garland which renders the possessor invisible
and an unfading lotus-flower which produces a diamond every day.

[FN#163]  Arab.  "Judad," plur. of Jadíd, lit.= new coin, ergo
applied to those old and obsolete; 10 Judad were= one nusf or
half dirham.

[FN#164]  Arab.  "Raff," a shelf proper, running round the room
about 7-7½ feet from the ground.  During my day it was the
fashion in Damascus to range in line along the Raff splendid
porcelain bowls brought by the Caravans in olden days from China,
whilst on the table were placed French and English specimens of
white and gold "china" worth perhaps a franc each.

[FN#165]  Lane supposes that the glass and china-ware had fallen
upon the divan running round the walls under the Raff and were
not broken.

[FN#166]  These lines have occurred in Night dclxxxix. vol. vii.
p. 119. I quote Lane.

[FN#167]  The lines have occurred before.  I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#168]  This formula, I repeat, especially distinguishes the
Tale of Hasan of Bassorah.

[FN#169]  These lines have occurred in vol. 1. 249. I quote Lane.

[FN#170]  She speaks to the "Gallery," who would enjoy a loud
laugh against Mistress Gadabout. The end of the sentence must
speak to the heart of many a widow.

[FN#171]  These lines occur in vol. i. 25: so I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#172]  Arab.  "Musáhikah;" the more usual term for a Tribade
is "Sahíkah" from "Sahk" in the sense of rubbing: both also are
applied to onanists and masturbators of the gender feminine.

[FN#173]  i.e. by way of halter.  This jar is like the cask in
Auerbach's Keller; and has already been used by witches; Night
dlxxxvii. vol. vi. 158.

[FN#174]  Here they are ten but afterwards they are reduced to
seven: I see no reason for changing the text with Lane and Payne.

[FN#175]  Wazir of Solomon.  See vol. i. 42; and vol. iii. 97.

[FN#176]  Arab.  "Ism al-A'azam," the Ineffable Name, a
superstition evidently derived from the Talmudic fancies of the
Jews concerning their tribal god, Yah or Yahvah.

[FN#177]  The tradition is that Mohámmed asked Akáf al-Wadá'ah
"Hast a wife?"; and when answered in the negative, "Then thou
appertainest to the brotherhood of Satans!  An thou wilt be one
of the Christian monks then company therewithal; but an thou be
of us, know that it is our custom to marry!"

[FN#178]  The old woman, in the East as in the West, being the
most vindictive of her kind.  I have noted (Pilgrimage iii. 70)
that a Badawi will sometimes though in shame take the blood-wit;
but that if it be offered to an old woman she will dash it to the
ground and clutch her knife and fiercely swear by Allah that she
will not eat her son's blood.

[FN#179]  Neither dome nor fount etc. are mentioned before, the
normal inadvertency.

[FN#180]  In Eastern travel the rest comes before the eating and

[FN#181]  Arab.  "'Id" (pron.'Eed) which I have said (vol. i. 42,
317) is applied to the two great annual festivals, the "Fête of
Sacrifice," and the "Break-Fast."  The word denotes restoration
to favour and Moslems explain as the day on which Adam (and Eve)
who had been expelled from Paradise for disobedience was
re-established (Uída) by the relenting of Allah.  But the name
doubtless dates amongst Arabs from days long before they had
heard of the "Lord Nomenclator."

[FN#182]  Alluding to Hasan seizing her feather dress and so
taking her to wife.

[FN#183]  Arab.  "Kharajú"=they (masc.) went forth, a vulgarism
for "Kharajna" (fem.)

[FN#184]  Note the notable housewife who, at a moment when youth
would forget everything, looks to the main chance.

[FN#185]  Arab. "Al-Malakút" (not "Malkút" as in Freytag) a Sufi
term for the world of Spirits (De Lacy Christ, Ar. i. 451).
Amongst Eastern Christians it is vulgarly used in the fem. and
means the Kingdom of Heaven, also the preaching of the Gospel.

[FN#186]  This is so rare, even amongst the poorest classes in
the East, that it is mentioned with some emphasis.

[FN#187]  A beauty among the Egyptians, not the Arabs.

[FN#188]  True Fellah--"chaff."

[FN#189]  Alluding to the well-known superstition, which has
often appeared in The Nights, that the first object seen in the
morning, such as a crow, a cripple, or a cyclops determines the
fortunes of the day.  Notices in Eastern literature are as old as
the days of the Hitopadesa; and there is a something instinctive
in the idea to a race of early risers.  At an hour when the
senses are most impressionable the aspect of unpleasant
spectacles ahs double effect.

[FN#190]  Arab.  "Masúkah," the stick used for driving cattle,
bâton gourdin (Dozy).  Lane applies the word to a wooden plank
used for levelling the ground.

[FN#191]  i.e. the words I am about to speak to thee.

[FN#192]  Arab. "Sahifah," which may mean "page" (Lane) or "book"

[FN#193]  Pronounce, "Abussa'ádát" = Father of Prosperities:
Lane imagines that it came from the Jew's daughter being called
"Sa'adat."  But the latter is the Jew's wife (Night dcccxxxiii)
and the word in the text is plural.

[FN#194]  Arab.  "Furkh samak" lit. a fish-chick, an Egyptian

[FN#195]  Arab.  "Al-Rasif"; usually a river-quay, levée, an
embankment.  Here it refers to the great dyke which distributed
the Tigris-water.

[FN#196]  Arab.  "Dajlah," see vol. i, p 180.  It is evidently
the origin of the biblical "Hiddekel" "Hid" = fierceness,

[FN#197]  Arab.  "Bayáz" a kind of Silurus (S. Bajad, Forsk.)
which Sonnini calls Bayatto, Saksatt and Hébedé; also Bogar
(Bakar, an ox).  The skin is lubricous, the flesh is soft and
insipid and the fish often grows to the size of a man.  Captain
Speke and I found huge specimens in the Tangany ika Lake.

[FN#198]  Arab.  "Mu'allim," vulg. "M'allim," prop.= teacher,
master esp. of a trade, a craft.  In Egypt and Syria it is a
civil address to a Jew or a Christian, as Hájj is to a Moslem.

[FN#199]  Arab.  "Gharámah," an exaction, usually on the part of
government like a corvée etc.  The Europeo-Egyptian term is
Avania (Ital.) or Avanie (French).

[FN#200]  Arab.  "Sayyib-hu" an Egyptian vulgarism found also in
Syria.  Hence Sáibah, a woman who lets herself go (a-whoring)
etc.  It is syn. with "Dashar," which Dozy believes to be a
softening of Jashar; and Jashsh became Dashsh.

[FN#201]  The Silurus is generally so called in English on
account of its feeler-acting mustachios.

[FN#202]  See Night dcccvii, vol. viii. p. 94.

[FN#203]  This extraordinary confusion of two distinct religious
mythologies cannot be the result of ignorance.  Educated Moslems
know at least as much as Christians do, on these subjects, but
the Rawi or story-teller speaks to the "Gallery."  In fact it
becomes a mere ‘chaff' and The Nights give some neat specimens of
our modern linguistic.

[FN#204]  See vol. ii. 197.  "Al-Siddíkah" (fem.) is a title of
Ayishah, who, however, does not appear to have deserved it.

[FN#205]  The Jew's wife.

[FN#206]  Here is a double entendre.  The fisherman meant a word
or two.  The Jew understood the Shibboleth of the Moslem Creed,
popularly known as the "Two Words,"--I testify that there is no
Ilah (god) but Allah (the God) and I testify that Mohammed is the
Messenger of Allah.  Pronouncing this formula would make the Jew
a Moslem.  Some writers are surprised to see a Jew ordering a
Moslem to be flogged; but the former was rich and the latter was
poor.  Even during the worst days of Jewish persecutions their
money-bags were heavy enough to lighten the greater part, if not
the whole of their disabilities.  And the Moslem saying is, "The
Jew is never your (Moslem or Christian) equal: he must be either
above you or below you."  This is high, because unintentional
praise of the (self-) Chosen People.

[FN#207]  He understands the "two words" (Kalmatáni) the Moslem's
double profession of belief; and Khalifah's reply embodies the
popular idea that the number of Moslems (who will be saved) is
preordained and that no art of man can add to it or take from it.

[FN#208]  Arab.  "Mamarr al-Tujjár" (passing-place of the
traders) which Lane renders "A chamber within the place through
which the traders passed."  At the end of the tale (Night
dccxlv.) we find him living in a Khan and the Bresl. Edit. (see
my terminal note) makes him dwell in a magazine (i.e. ground-
floor store-room) of a ruined Khan.

[FN#209]  The text is somewhat too concise and the meaning is
that the fumes of the Hashish he had eaten ("his mind under the
influence of hasheesh," says Lane) suggested to him, etc.

[FN#210]  Arab. "Mamrak" either a simple aperture in ceiling or
roof for light and air or a more complicated affair of lattice-
work and plaster; it is often octagonal and crowned with a little
dome.  Lane calls it "Memrak," after the debased Cairene
pronunciation, and shows its base in his sketch of a Ka'áh (M.E.,

[FN#211]  Arab.  "Kamar."  This is a practice especially amongst
pilgrims.  In Hindostan the girdle, usually a waist-shawl, is
called Kammar-band our old "Cummerbund."  Easterns are too
sensible not to protect the pit of the stomach, that great
ganglionic centre, against sun, rain and wind, and now our
soldiers in India wear flannel-belts on the march.

[FN#212]  Arab.  "Fa-immá 'alayhá wa-immá bihá," i.e. whether
(luck go) against it or (luck go) with it.

[FN#213]  "O vilest of sinners!" alludes to the thief.  "A
general plunge into worldly pursuits and pleasures announced the
end of the pilgrimage-ceremonies.  All the devotees were now
"whitewashed"--the book of their sins was a tabula rasa: too many
of them lost no time in making a new departure down South and in
opening a fresh account" (Pilgrimage iii. 365).  I have noticed
that my servant at Jeddah would carry a bottle of Raki, uncovered
by a napkin, through the main streets.

[FN#214]  The copper cucurbites in which Solomon imprisoned the
rebellious Jinns, often alluded to in The Nights.

[FN#215]  i.e. Son of the Chase: it is prob. a corruption of the
Persian Kurnas, a pimp, a cuckold, and introduced by way of
chaff, intelligible only to a select few "fast" men.

[FN#216]  For the name see vol. ii.61, in the Tale of Ghánim bin
'Ayyúb where the Caliph's concubine is also drugged by the Lady

[FN#217]  We should say, "What is this?" etc.  The lines have
occurred before so I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#218]  Zubaydah, I have said, was the daughter of Ja'afar, son
of the Caliph al-Mansur, second Abbaside.  The story-teller
persistently calls her daughter of Al-Kásim for some reason of
his own; and this he will repeat in Night dcccxxxix.

[FN#219]  Arab.  "Shakhs," a word which has travelled as far as

[FN#220]  Arab.  "Shamlah" described in dictionaries, as a cloak
covering the whole body.  For Hizám (girdle) the Bresl. Edit.
reads "Hirám" vulg. "Ehrám," the waist-cloth, the Pilgrim's

[FN#221]  He is described by Al-Siyúti (p. 309) as "very fair,
tall handsome and of captivating appearance."

[FN#222]  Arab.  "Uzn al-Kuffah" lit. "Ear of the basket," which
vulgar Egyptians pronounce "Wizn," so "Wajh" (face) becomes
"Wishsh" and so forth.

[FN#223]  Arab.  "Bi-fardayn" = with two baskets, lit. "two
singles," but the context shows what is meant.  English Frail and
French Fraile are from Arab.  "Farsalah" a parcel (now esp. of
coffee-beans) evidently derived from the low Lat. "Parcella" (Du
Cange, Paris, firmin Didot 1845).  Compare "ream," vol. v. 109.

[FN#224]  Arab.  "Sátúr," a kind of chopper which here would be
used for the purpose of splitting and cleaning and scaling the

[FN#225]  And, consequently, that the prayer he is about to make
will find ready acceptance.

[FN#226]  Arab. "Ruh bilá Fuzúl" (lit. excess, exceeding) still a
popular phrase.

[FN#227]  i.e. better give the fish than have my head broken.

[FN#228]  Said ironicè, a favourite figure of speech with the
Fellah: the day began badly and threatened to end unluckily.

[FN#229]  The penalty of Theft.  See vol. i. 274.

[FN#230]  This is the model of a courtly compliment; and it would
still be admired wherever Arabs are not "frankified."

[FN#231]  Arab.  "Shibábah;" Lane makes it a kind of reed-

[FN#232]  These lines occur in vol. i. 76: I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#233]  The instinctive way of juggling with Heaven like our
sanding the sugar and going to church.

[FN#234]  Arab.  "Yá Shukayr," from Shakar, being red (clay,
etc.): Shukár is an anemone or a tulip and Shukayr is its dim.
Form. Lane's Shaykh made it a dim. of "Ashkar" = tawny, ruddy (of
complexion), so the former writes, "O Shukeyr."  Mr. Payne
prefers "O Rosy cheeks."

[FN#235]  For "Sandal," see vol. ii. 50.  Sandalí properly means
an Eunuch clean rasé, but here Sandal is a P.N. = Sandal-wood.

[FN#236]  Arab.  "Yá mumátil," one who retards payment.

[FN#237]  Arab. "Kirsh al-Nukhál" = guts of bran, a term too
little fitted for the handsome and distinguished Persian.  But
Khalifah is a Fallah-grazioso of normal assurance shrewd withal;
he blunders like an Irishman of the last generation and he uses
the first epithet that comes to his tongue.  See Night dcccxliii.
for the sudden change in Khalifah.

[FN#238]  So the Persian "May your shadow never be less" means, I
have said, the shadow which you throw over your servant. Shade,
cold water and fresh breezes are the joys of life in arid Arabia.

[FN#239]  When a Fellah demanded money due to him by the
Government of Egypt, he was a once imprisoned for arrears of
taxes and thus prevented from being troublesome.  I am told that
matters have improved under English rule, but I "doubt the fact."

[FN#240]  This freak is of course not historical.  The tale-
teller introduces it to enhance the grandeur and majesty of Harun
al-Rashid, and the vulgar would regard it as a right kingly
diversion.  Westerns only wonder that such things could be.

[FN#241]  Uncle of the Prophet: for his death see Pilgrimage ii.

[FN#242]  First cousin of the Prophet, son of Abú Tálib, a
brother of Al-Abbas from whom the Abbasides claimed descent.

[FN#243]  i.e. I hope thou hast or Allah grant thou have good
tidings to tell me.

[FN#244]  Arab.  "Nákhúzah Zulayt."  The former, from the Persian
Nákhodá or ship-captain which is also used in a playful sense "a
godless wight," one owning no (ná) God (Khudá).  Zulayt = a low
fellow, blackguard.

[FN#245]  Yásamín and Narjis, names of slave-girls or eunuchs.

[FN#246]  Arab.  Tamar-hanná, the cheapest of dyes used ever by
the poorest classes.  Its smell, I have said, is that of newly
mown hay, and is prized like that of the tea-rose.

[FN#247]  The formula (meaning, "What has he to do here?") is by
no means complimentary.

[FN#248]  Arab.  "Jarrah" (pron. "Garrah") a "jar."  See Lane
(M.E. chapt. v.) who was deservedly reproached by Baron von
Hammer for his superficial notices.  The "Jarrah" is of pottery,
whereas the "Dist" is a large copper chauldron and the Khalkinah
one of lesser size.

[FN#249]  i.e. What a bother thou art, etc.

[FN#250]  This sudden transformation, which to us seems
exaggerated and unnatural, appears in many Eastern stories and in
the biographies of their distinguished men, especially students.
A youth cannot master his lessons; he sees a spider climbing a
slippery wall and after repeated falls succeeding.  Allah opens
the eyes of his mind, his studies become easy to him, and he ends
with being an Allámah (doctissimus).

[FN#251]  Arab.  "Bismillah, Námí!" here it is not a blessing,
but a simple invitation, "Now please go to sleep."

[FN#252]  The modern inkcase of the Universal East is a lineal
descendant of the wooden palette with writing reeds.  See an
illustration of that of "Amásis, the good god and lord of the two
lands" (circ. B.C. 1350) in British Museum (p. 41, "The Dwellers
on the Nile," by E. A. Wallis Bridge, London, 56, Paternoster
Row, 1885).

[FN#253]  This is not ironical, as Lane and Payne suppose, but a
specimen of inverted speech--Thou art in luck this time!

[FN#254]  Arab.  "Marhúb" = terrible:  Lane reads "Mar'úb" =
terrified.  But the former may also mean, threatened with
something terrible.

[FN#255]  i.e. in Kut al-Kulúb.

[FN#256]  Lit. to the son of thy paternal uncle, i.e. Mohammed.

[FN#257]  In the text he tells of the whole story beginning with
the eunuch and the hundred dinars, the chest, etc.: but -- "of no
avail is a twice-told tale."

[FN#258]  Koran xxxix. 54.  I have quoted Mr. Rodwell who affects
the Arabic formula, omitting the normal copulatives.

[FN#259]  Easterns find it far easier to "get the chill of
poverty out of their bones" than Westerns.

[FN#260]  Arab.  "Dar al-Na'ím."  Name of one of the seven stages
of the Moslem heaven.  This style of inscription dates from the
days of the hieroglyphs.  A papyrus describing the happy town of
Raamses ends with these lines.--

     Daily is there a supply of food:
     Within it gladness doth ever brood
     *              *               *               *
     Prolonged, increased; abides there Joy, etc., etc.

[FN#261]  Arab.  "Ansár" = auxiliaries, the men of Al-Medinah
(Pilgrimage ii. 130, etc.).

[FN#262]  Arab.  "Asháb" = the companions of the Prophet who may
number 500 (Pilgrimage ii. 81, etc.).

[FN#263]  Arab. "Hásilah" prob. a corner of a "Godown" in some
Khan or Caravanserai.

[FN#264]  Arab. "Funduk" from the Gr.           , whence the
Italian Fondaco e.g. at Venice the Fondaco de' Turchi.

[FN#265]  Arab. "Astár" plur. of Satr: in the Mac. Edit. Sátúr,
both (says Dozy) meaning "Couperet" (a hatchet). Habicht
translates it "a measure for small fish," which seems to be a
shot and a bad shot as the text talks only of means of carrying
fish. Nor can we accept Dozy's emendation Astál (plur. of Satl)
pails, situlæ. In Petermann's Reisen (i. 89) Satr=assiette.

[FN#266]  Which made him expect a heavy haul.

[FN#267]  Arab. "Urkúb" = tendon Achilles in man hough or pastern
in beast, etc. It is held to be an incrementative form of 'Akab
(heel); as Kur'úb of Ka'b (heel) and Khurtúm of Khatm (snout).

[FN#268]  Arab. "Karmút" and "Zakzúk." The former (pronounced
Garmút) is one of the many Siluri (S. Carmoth Niloticus) very
common and resembling the Shál. It is smooth and scaleless with
fleshy lips and soft meat and as it haunts muddy bottoms it was
forbidden to the Ancient Egyptians. The Zakzúk is the young of
the Shál (Synodontis Schal: Seetzen); its plural form Zakázik
(pronounced Zigázig) gave a name to the flourishing town which
has succeeded to old Bubastis and of which I have treated in
"Midian" and "Midian Revisited."

[FN#269]  "Yá A'awar"=O one-eye! i.e.. the virile member. So the
vulgar insult "Ya ibn al-aur" (as the vulgar pronounce it) "O son
of a yard!" When AlMas'údi writes (Fr. Trans. vii. 106), "Udkhul
usbu'ak fí aynih," it must not be rendered "Il faut lui faire
violence": thrust thy finger into his eye ('Ayn) means "put thy
penis up his fundament!" ('Ayn being=Dubur). The French remarks,
"On en trouverait l'équivalent dans les bas-fonds de notre
langue," So in English "pig's eye," "blind eye," etc.

[FN#270]  Arab. "Nabbút"=a quarterstaff: see vol. i. 234.

[FN#271]  Arab. "Banní," vulg. Benni and in Lane (Lex. Bunni) the
Cyprinus Bynni (Forsk.), a fish somewhat larger than a barbel
with lustrous silvery scales and delicate flesh, which Sonnini
believes may be the "Lepidotes" (smooth-scaled) mentioned by
Athenæus. I may note that the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 332) also affects
the Egyptian vulgarism "Farkh-Banni" of the Mac. Edit. (Night

[FN#272]  The story-teller forgets that Khalif had neither basket
nor knife.

[FN#273]  Arab. "Rayhán" which may here mean any scented herb.

[FN#274]  In the text "Fard Kalmah," a vulgarism. The Mac. Edit.
(Night dcccxxxv.) more aptly says, "Two words" (Kalmatáni, vulg.
Kalmatayn) the Twofold Testimonies to the Unity of Allah and the
Mission of His Messenger.

[FN#275]  The lowest Cairene chaff which has no respect for
itself or others.

[FN#276]  Arab. "Karrat azlá hú": alluding to the cool skin of
healthy men when digesting a very hearty meal.

[FN#277]  This is the true Fellah idea. A peasant will go up to
his proprietor with the "rint" in gold pieces behind his teeth
and undergo an immense amount of flogging before he spits them
out. Then he will return to his wife and boast of the number of
sticks he has eaten instead of paying at once and his spouse will
say, "Verily thou art a man." Europeans know nothing of the
Fellah. Napoleon Buonaparte, for political reasons, affected
great pity for him and horror of his oppressors, the Beys and
Pashas; and this affectation gradually became public opinion. The
Fellah must either tyrannise or be tyrannised over; he is never
happier than under a strong-handed despotism and he has never
been more miserable than under British rule, or rather, misrule.
Our attempts to constitutionalise him have made us the
laughing-stock of Europe.

[FN#278]  The turban is a common substitute for a purse with the
lower classes of Egyptians; and an allusion to the still popular
practice of turban-snatching will be found in vol. i. p. 259.

[FN#279]  Arab. "Sálih," a devotee; here, a naked Dervish.

[FN#280]  Here Khalif is made a conspicuous figure in Baghdad
like Boccaccio's Calandrino and Co. He approaches in type the old
Irishman now extinct, destroyed by the reflux action Of
Anglo-America (U.S.) upon the miscalled "Emerald Isle." He
blunders into doing and saying funny things whose models are the
Hibernian "bulls" and acts purely upon the impulse of the moment,
never reflecting till (possibly) after all is over.

[FN#281]  Arab. "Kaylúlah," explained in vol. i. 51.

[FN#282]  i.e. thy bread lawfully gained. The "Bawwák"
(trumpeter) like the "Zammár" (piper of the Mac. Edit.) are
discreditable craftsmen, associating with Almahs and loose women
and often serving as their panders.

[FN#283]  i.e. he was indecently clad. Man's "shame" extends from
navel to knees. See vol vi. 30.

[FN#284]  Rashid would be=garden-cresses or stones: Rashíd the

[FN#285]  Arab. "Uff 'alayka"=fie upon thee! Uff=lit. Sordes
Aurium and Tuff (a similar term of disgust)=Sordes unguinum. To
the English reader the blows administered to Khalif appear rather
hard measure. But a Fellah's back is thoroughly broken to the
treatment and he would take ten times as much punishment for a
few piastres.

[FN#286]  Arab. "Zurayk" dim. of Azrak=blue-eyed. See vol. iii.

[FN#287]  Of Baghdad.

[FN#288]  Arab. "Hásil," i.e. cell in a Khan for storing goods:
elsewhere it is called a Makhzan (magazine) with the same sense.

[FN#289]  The Bresl. text (iv. 347) abbreviates, or rather omits;
so that in translation details must be supplied to make sense.

[FN#290]  Arab. "Kamán," vulgar Egyptian, a contraction from
Kama' (as) + anna (since, because). So " Kamán shuwayh"=wait a
bit; " Kamán marrah"=once more and "Wa Karmána-ka"=that is why.

[FN#291]  i.e. Son of the Eagle: See vol. iv. 177. Here, however,
as the text shows it is hawk or falcon. The name is purely
fanciful and made mnemonically singular.

[FN#292]  The Egyptian Fellah knows nothing of boxing like the
Hausá man; but he is fond of wrestling after a rude and
uncultivated fashion, which would cause shouts of laughter in
Cumberland and Cornwall. And there are champions in this line,
See vol. iii. 93.

[FN#293]  The usual formula. See vol. ii. 5.

[FN#294]  As the Fellah still does after drinking a cuplet
("fingán" he calls it) of sugared coffee.

[FN#295]  He should have said "white," the mourning colour under
the Abbasides.

[FN#296]  Anglicè, "Fine feathers make fine birds"; and in
Eastern parlance, "Clothe the reed and it will become a bride."
(Labbis al-Búsah tabkí 'Arúsah, Spitta Bey, No. 275.) I must
allow myself a few words of regret for the loss of this Savant,
one of the most singleminded men known to me. He was vilely
treated by the Egyptian Government, under the rule of the
Jew-Moslem Riyáz; and, his health not allowing him to live in
Austria, he died shortly after return home.

[FN#297]  Arab. " Saub (Tobe) 'Atábi": see vol. iii. 149.

[FN#298]  In text "Kimkhá," which Dozy also gives Kumkh=chenille,
tissu de soie veloutee: Damasquète de soie or et argent de
Venise, du Levant , à fleurs, etc. It comes from Kamkháb or
Kimkháb, a cloth of gold, the well-known Indian "Kimcob."

[FN#299]  Here meaning=Enter in Allah's name!

[FN#300]  The Arabs have a saying, "Wine breeds gladness, music
merriment and their offspring is joy."

[FN#301]  Arab. "Jokh al-Saklát," rich kind of brocade on

[FN#302]  Arab. "Hanabát," which Dozy derives from O. German
Hnapf, Hnap now Napf: thence too the Lat. Hanapus and Hanaperium:
Ital. Anappo, Nappo; Provenc. Enap and French and English
"Hanap"= rich bowl, basket, bag. But this is known even to the

[FN#303]  Arab. " Kirám," nobles, and " Kurúm," vines, a word
which appears in Carmel=Karam-El (God's vineyard).

[FN#304]  Arab. "Suláf al-Khandarísí," a contradiction. Suláf=the
ptisane of wine. Khandarísí, from Greek        , lit. gruel,
applies to old wine.

[FN#305]  i.e. in bridal procession.

[FN#306]  Arab. "Al-'Arús, one of the innumerable tropical names
given to wine by the Arabs. Mr. Payne refers to Grangeret de la
Grange, Anthologie Arabe, p, 190.

[FN#307]  Here the text of the Mac. Edition is resumed.

[FN#308]  i.e. "Adornment of (good) Qualities." See the name
punned on in Night dcccli. Lane omits this tale because it
contains the illicit "Amours of a Christian and a Jewess who
dupes her husband in various abominable ways." The text has been
taken from the Mac. and the Bresl. Edits. x. 72 etc. In many
parts the former is a mere Epitome.

[FN#309]  The face of her who owns the garden.

[FN#310]  i.e. I am no public woman.

[FN#311]  i.e. with the sight of the garden and its mistress--
purposely left vague.

[FN#312]  Arab. "Dádat." Night dcclxxvi. vol. vii. p. 372.

[FN#313]  Meaning respectively "Awaking" (or blowing hard),
"Affairs" (or Misfortunes) and "Flowing" (blood or water). They
are evidently intended for the names of Jewish slave-girls.

[FN#314]  i.e. the brow-curls, or accroche-cœurs. See vol. i.

[FN#315]  Arab. "Wisháh" usually applied to woman's broad belt,
stomacher (Al-Hariri Ass. af Rayy).

[FN#317]  The old Greek "Stephane."

[FN#317]  Alluding to the popular fancy of the rain-drop which
becomes a pearl.

[FN#318]  Arab. "Ghází"=one who fights for the faith.

[FN#319]  i.e. people of different conditions.

[FN#320]  The sudden change appears unnatural to Europeans; but
an Eastern girl talking to a strange man in a garden is already
half won. The beauty, however, intends to make trial of her
lover's generosity before yielding.

[FN#321]  These lines have occurred in the earlier part of the
Night: I quote Mr. Payne for variety.

[FN#322]  Arab. "Al-Sháh mát"=the King is dead, Pers. and Arab.
grotesquely mixed: Europeans explain "Checkmate" in sundry ways,
all more or less wrong.

[FN#323]  Cheating (Ghadr) is so common that Easterns who have no
tincture of Western civilisation look upon it not only as venial
but laudable when one can take advantage of a simpleton. No idea
of "honour" enters into it. Even in England the old lady
whist-player of the last generation required to be looked after
pretty closely--if Mr. Charles Dickens is to be trusted.

[FN#324]  Arab. "Al-Gháliyah," whence the older English Algallia.
See vol. i., 128. The Voyage of Linschoten, etc. Hakluyt Society
MDCCCLXXXV., with notes by my learned friend the late Arthur Coke
Burnell whose early death was so sore a loss to Oriental

[FN#325]  A favourite idiom, "What news bringest thou?" ("O
Asám!" Arab. Prov. ii. 589) used by Háris bin Amrú, King of
Kindah, to the old woman Asám whom he had sent to inspect a girl
he purposed marrying.

[FN#326]  Amongst the Jews the Arab Salám becomes "Shalúm" and a
Jewess would certainly not address this ceremonial greeting to a
Christian. But Eastern storytellers care little for these
minutiæ; and the "Adornment of Qualities," was not by birth a
Jewess as the sequel will show.

[FN#327]  Arab. "Sálifah," the silken plaits used as adjuncts.
See vol. iii, 313.

[FN#328]  I have translated these lines in vol. i. 131, and
quoted Mr. Torrens in vol. iv. 235. Here I borrow from Mr. Payne.

[FN#329]  Mr. Payne notes:--Apparently some place celebrated for
its fine bread, as Gonesse in seventeenth-century France. It
occurs also in Bresl. Edit. (iv. 203) and Dozy does not
understand it. But Arj the root=good odour.

[FN#330]  Arab. "Tás," from Pers. Tásah. M. Charbonneau a
Professor of Arabic at Constantine and Member of the Asiatic Soc.
Paris, who published the Histoire de Chams-Eddine et Nour-Eddine
with Maghrabi punctuation (Paris, Hachette, 1852) remarks the
similarity of this word to Tazza and a number of other whimsical
coincidences as Zauj,       jugum; Inkár, negare; matrah,
matelas; Ishtirá, acheter, etc. To which I may add wasat, waist;
zabad, civet; Bás, buss (kiss); uzrub (pron. Zrub), drub; Kat',
cut; Tarík, track; etc., etc.

[FN#331]  We should say "To her (I drink)" etc.

[FN#332]  This is ad captandum. The lovers becoming Moslems would
secure the sympathy of the audience. In the sequel (Night
dccclviii) we learn that the wilful young woman was a born
Moslemah who had married a Jew but had never Judaized.

[FN#333]  The doggerel of this Kasidah is not so phenomenal as
some we have seen.

[FN#334]  Arab. "'Andam"=Brazil wood, vol. iii. 263.

[FN#335]  Arab. " Himà." See supra, p. 102.

[FN#336]  i.e. her favours were not lawful till the union was
sanctified by heartwhole (if not pure) love.

[FN#337]  Arab. "Mansúr wa munazzam=oratio soluta et ligata.

[FN#338]  i.e. the cupbearers.

[FN#339]  Which is not worse than usual.

[FN#340]  i.e. "Ornament of Qualities."

[FN#341]  The 'Akík, a mean and common stone, ranks high in
Moslem poetry on account of the saying of Mohammed recorded by
Ali and Ayishah "Seal with seals of Carnelian." ('Akik.)

[FN#342]  See note ii. at the end of this volume.

[FN#343]  Arab. "Mahall" as opposed to the lady's "Manzil," which
would be better "Makám." The Arabs had many names for their old
habitations, e.g.; Kubbah, of brick; Sutrah, of sun-dried mud;
Hazírah, of wood; Tiráf, a tent of leather; Khabáa, of wool;
Kash'a, of skins; Nakhád, of camel's or goat's hair; Khaymah, of
cotton cloth; Wabar, of soft hair as the camel's undercoat and
Fustát (the well-known P.N.) a tent of horsehair or any hair
(Sha'ar) but Wabar.

[FN#344]  This is the Maghribi form of the Arab. Súk=a
bazar-street, known from Tanjah (Tangiers) to Timbuctoo.

[FN#345]  Arab. "Walímah" usually=a wedding-feast. According to
the learned Nasíf alYazají the names of entertainments are as
follows: Al-Jafalà=a general invitation, opp. to Al-Nakarà,
especial; Khurs, a childbirth feast; 'Akíkah, when the boy-babe
is first shaved; A'zár=circumcision-feast; Hizák, when the boy
has finished his perlection of the Koran; Milák, on occasion of
marriage-offer; Wazímah, a mourning entertainment; Wakírah=a
"house-warming"; Nakí'ah, on returning from wayfare; 'Akírah, at
beginning of the month Rajab; Kirà=a guest-feast and Maadubah, a
feast for other cause; any feast.

[FN#346]  Arab. "Anistaná" the pop. phrase=thy company gladdens

[FN#347]  Here "Muákhát" or making mutual brotherhood would
be=entering into a formal agreement for partnership. For the
forms of "making brotherhood," see vol. iii. 15.

[FN#348]  Arab. "Ishárah" in classical Arab. signs with the
finger (beckoning); Aumá with the hand; Ramz, with the lips;
Khalaj, with the eyelids (wink); and Ghamz with the eye. Aumáz is
a furtive glance, especially of women, and Ilház, a side-glance
from lahaza, limis oculis intuitus est. See Preston's Al-Hariri,
p. 181.

[FN#349]  Arab. "Haudaj" (Hind. Haudah, vulg.
Howda=elephant-saddle), the women's camel-litter, a cloth
stretched over a wooden frame. See the Prize-poem of Lebid, v.

[FN#350]  i.e. the twelve days' visit.

[FN#351]  See note, vol. vii. 267. So Dryden (Virgil):--

          "And the hoarse raven on the blasted bough
          By croaking to the left presaged the coming blow."

And Gay (Fable xxxvii.),

          "That raven on the left-hand oak,
          Curse on his ill-betiding croak!"

In some Persian tales two crows seen together are a good omen.

[FN#352]  Vulgar Moslems hold that each man's fate is written in
the sutures of his skull but none can read the lines. See vol.
iii. 123.

[FN#353]  i.e. cease not to bemoan her lot whose moon-faced
beloved ones are gone.

[FN#354]  Arab. "Rukb" used of a return caravan; and also meaning
travellers on camels. The vulgar however apply "Rákib" (a
camel-rider) to a man on horseback who is properly Fáris plur.
"Khayyálah," while "Khayyál" is a good rider. Other names are
"Fayyál" (elephant-rider), Baghghál (mule-rider) and Hammár

[FN#355]  A popular exaggeration. See vol. i. 117

[FN#356]  Lit. Empty of tent-ropes (Atnáb).

[FN#357]  Arab. "'Abír," a fragrant powder sprinkled on face,
body and clothes. In India it is composed of rice flower or
powdered bark of the mango, Deodar (uvaria longifolia),
Sandalwood, lign-aloes or curcuma (zerumbat or zedoaria) with
rose-flowers, camphor, civet and anise-seed. There are many of
these powders: see in Herklots Chiksá, Phul, Ood, Sundul, Uggur,
and Urgujja.

[FN#358]  i.e. fair faced boys and women. These lines are from
the Bresl. Edit. x. 160.

[FN#359]  i.e. the Chief Kazi. For the origin of the Office and
title see vol. ii. 90, and for the Kazi al-Arab who administers
justice among the Badawin see Pilgrimage iii. 45.

[FN#360]  Arab. "Raas al-Mál"=capital, as opposed to Ribá or
Ribh=interest. This legal expression has been adopted by all
Moslem races.

[FN#361]  Our Aden which is thus noticed by Abulfeda (A.D. 1331):
"Aden in the lowlands of Tehámah * * * also called Abyana from a
man (who found it?), built upon the seashore, a station (for land
travellers) and a sailing-place for merchant ships India-bound,
is dry and sunparcht (Kashifah, squalid, scorbutic) and sweet
water must be imported. * * * It lies 86 parasangs from San'á but
Ibn Haukal following the travellers makes it three stages. The
city, built on the skirt of a wall-like mountain, has a watergate
and a landgate known as Bab al-Sákayn. But 'Adan Lá'ah (the
modest, the timid, the less known as opposed to Abyan, the better
known?) is a city in the mountains of Sabir, Al-Yaman, whence
issued the supporters of the Fatimite Caliphs of Egypt." 'Adan
etymologically means in Arab. and Heb. pleasure (     ), Eden
(the garden), the Heaven in which spirits will see Allah and our
"Coal-hole of the East," which we can hardly believe ever to have
been an Eden. Mr. Badger who supplied me with this note described
the two Adens in a paper in Ocean Highways, which he cannot now
find. In the 'Ajáib al-Makhlúkát, Al-Kazwíni (ob. A.D. 1275)
derives the name from Ibn Sinán bin Ibrahím; and is inclined
there to place the Bír al-Mu'attal (abandoned well) and the Kasr
alMashíd (lofty palace) of Koran xxii. 44; and he adds "Kasr
al-Misyad" to those mentioned in the tale of Sayf al-Mulúk and
Badí'a al-Jamál.

[FN#362]  Meaning that she had been carried to the Westward of

[FN#363]  Arab. "Zahrawíyah" which contains a kind of double
entendre. Fátimah the Prophet's only daughter is entitled
Al-Zahrá the "bright-blooming"; and this is also an epithet of
Zohrah the planet Venus. For Fatimah see vol. vi. 145. Of her
Mohammed said, "Love your daughters, for I too am a father of
daughters" and, "Love them, they are the comforters, the
dearlings." The Lady appears in Moslem history a dreary young
woman (died æt. 28) who made this world, like Honorius, a hell in
order to win a next-world heaven. Her titles are Zahrá and Batúl
(Pilgrimage ii. 90) both signifying virgin. Burckhardt translates
Zahrá by "bright blooming" (the etymological sense): it denotes
literally a girl who has not menstruated, in which state of
purity the Prophet's daughter is said to have lived and died.
"Batúl" has the sense of a "clean maid" and is the title given by
Eastern Christians to the Virgin Mary. The perpetual virginity of
Fatimah even after motherhood (Hasan and Husayn) is a point of
orthodoxy in Al-Islam as Juno's with the Romans and Umá's with
the Hindú worshippers of Shiva. During her life Mohammed would
not allow Ali a second wife, and he held her one of the four
perfects, the other three being Asia wife of "Pharaoh," the
Virgin Mary and Khadijah his own wife. She caused much scandal
after his death by declaring that he had left her the Fadak
estate (Abulfeda I, 133, 273) a castle with a fine palmorchard
near Khaybar. Abu Bakr dismissed the claim quoting the Apostle's
Hadis, "We prophets are folk who will away nothing: what we leave
is alms-gift to the poor," and Shí'ahs greatly resent his
decision. (See Dabistan iii. 51–52 for a different rendering of
the words.) I have given the popular version of the Lady
Fatimah's death and burial (Pilgrimage ii. 315) and have remarked
that Moslem historians delight in the obscurity which hangs over
her last resting-place, as if it were an honour even for the
receptacle of her ashes to be concealed from the eyes of men. Her
repute is a curious comment on Tom Hood's

          "Where woman has never a soul to save."

[FN#364]  For Sharif and Sayyid, descendants of Mohammed, see
vol. iv. 170.

[FN#365]  These lines have occurred with variants in vol. iii.
257, and iv. 50.

[FN#366]  Arab. "Hazrat," esp. used in India and corresponding
with our mediæval "præsentia vostra."

[FN#367]  This wholesale slaughter by the tale-teller of
worshipful and reverend men would bring down the gallery like a
Spanish tragedy in which all the actors are killed.

[FN#368]  They are called indifferently "Ruhbán"=monks or
"Batárikah"=patriarchs. See vol. ii. 89.

[FN#369]  Arab. "Khilál." The toothpick, more esteemed by the
Arabs than by us, is, I have said, often used by the poets as an
emblem of attenuation without offending good taste. Nizami (Layla
u Majnún) describes a lover as "thin as a toothpick." The
"elegant" Hariri (Ass. of Barkaid) describes a toothpick with
feminine attributes, "shapely of shape, attractive, provocative
of appetite, delicate as the leanest of lovers, polished as a
poinard and bending as a green bough."

[FN#370]  From Bresl. Edit. x. 194.

[FN#371]  Trébutien (vol. ii. 344 et seq.) makes the seven monks
sing as many anthems, viz. (1) Congregamini; (2) Vias tuas
demonstra mihi; (3) Dominus illuminatis; (4) Custodi linguam; (5)
Unam petii a Domino; (6) Nec adspiciat me visus, and (7) Turbatus
est a furore oculus meus. Dánis the Abbot chaunts Anima mea
turbata est valdè.

[FN#372]  A neat and characteristic touch: the wilful beauty eats
and drinks before she thinks of her lover. Alas for Masrur

[FN#373]  The unfortunate Jew, who seems to have been a model
husband (Orientally speaking), would find no pity with a
coffee-house audience because he had been guilty of marrying a
Moslemah. The union was null and void therefore the deliberate
murder was neither high nor petty treason. But, The Nights,
though their object is to adorn a tale, never deliberately
attempt to point a moral and this is one of their many charms.

[FN#374]  These lines have repeatedly occurred. I quote Mr.

[FN#375]  i.e. by the usual expiation. See vol. iii. 136.

[FN#376]  Arab. "Shammirí"=up and ready!

[FN#377]  I borrow the title from the Bresl. Edit. x. 204. Mr.
Payne prefers "Ali Noureddin and the Frank King's Daughter." Lane
omits also this tale because it resembles Ali Shar and Zumurrud
(vol. iv. 187) and Alá al-Din Abu al-Shámát (vol. iv. 29),
"neither of which is among the text of the collection." But he
has unconsciously omitted one of the highest interest. Dr. Bacher
(Germ. Orient. Soc.) finds the original in Charlemagne's daughter
Emma and his secretary Eginhardt as given in Grimm's Deutsche
Sagen. I shall note the points of resemblance as the tale
proceeds. The correspondence with the King of France may be a
garbled account of the letters which passed between Harun
al-Rashid and Nicephorus, "the Roman dog."

[FN#378]  Arab. "Allaho Akbar," the Moslem slogan or war-cry. See
vol. ii. 89.

[FN#379]  The gate-keeper of Paradise. See vol. iii. 15, 20.

[FN#380]  Negroes. Vol. iii. 75.

[FN#381]  Arab. "Nakat," with the double meaning of to spot and
to handsel especially dancing and singing women; and, as Mr.
Payne notes in this acceptation it is practically equivalent to
the English phrase "to mark (or cross) the palm with silver." I
have translated "Anwá" by Pleiads; but it means the setting of
one star and simultaneous rising of another foreshowing rain.
There are seven Anwá (plur. of nawa) in the Solar year viz.
Al-Badri (Sept.-Oct.); Al-Wasmiyy (late autumn and December);
Al-Waliyy (to April); Al-Ghamír (June); Al-Busriyy (July); Bárih
al-Kayz (August) and Ahrák al-Hawá extending to September 8.
These are tokens of approaching rain, metaphorically used by the
poets to express "bounty". See Preston's Hariri (p. 43) and
Chenery upon the Ass. of the Banu Haram.

[FN#382]  i.e. They trip and stumble in their hurry to get there.

[FN#383]  Arab. "Kumm" = sleeve or petal. See vol. v. 32.

[FN#384]  Arab. "Kiráb" = sword-case of wood, the sheath being of

[FN#385]  Arab. "Akr kayrawán," both rare words.

[FN#386]  A doubtful tradition in the Mishkát al-Masábih declares
that every pomegranate contains a grain from Paradise. See vol.
i. 134. The Koranic reference is to vi. 99.

[FN#387]  Arab. "Aswad," lit. black but used for any dark colour,
here green as opposed to the lighter yellow.

[FN#388]  The idea has occurred in vol. i. 158.

[FN#389]  So called from the places where they grow.

[FN#390]  See vol. vii. for the almond-apricot whose stone is
cracked to get at the kernel.

[FN#391]  For Roum see vol. iv. 100: in Morocco "Roumi" means
simply a European. The tetrastich alludes to the beauty of the
Greek slaves.

[FN#392]  Arab. "Ahlan" in adverb form lit. = "as one of the
household": so in the greeting "Ahlan wa Sahlan" (and at thine
ease), wa Marhabá (having a wide free place).

[FN#393]  For the Sufrah table-cloth see vol. i. 178.

[FN#394]  See vol. iii. 302, for the unclean allusion in fig and

[FN#395]  In the text "of Tor": see vol. ii. 242. The pear is
mentioned by Homer and grows wild in South Europe. Dr. Victor
Hehn (The Wanderings of Plants, etc.) comparing the Gr.
with the Lat. Pyrus, suggests that the latter passed over to the
Kelts and Germans amongst whom the fruit was not indigenous. Our
fine pears are mostly from the East. e.g. the "bergamot" is the
Beg Armud, Prince of Pears, from Angora.

[FN#396]  i.e. "Royal," it may or may not come from Sultaníyah, a
town near Baghdad. See vol. i. 83; where it applies to oranges
and citrons.

[FN#397]  'Andam = Dragon's blood: see vol. iii. 263.

[FN#398]  Arab. "Jamár," the palm-pith and cabbage, both eaten by
Arabs with sugar.

[FN#399]  Arab. "Anwár" = lights, flowers (mostly yellow): hence
the Moroccan "N'wár," with its usual abuse of Wakf or quiescence.

[FN#400]  Mr. Payne quotes Eugene Fromèntin, "Un Eté dans le
Sahara," Paris, 1857, p. 194. Apricot drying can be seen upon all
the roofs at Damascus where, however, the season for each fruit
is unpleasantly short, ending almost as soon as it begins.

[FN#401]  Arab. "Jalájal" = small bells for falcons: in Port.
cascaveis, whence our word.

[FN#402]  Khulanján. Sic all editions; but Khalanj, or Khaulanj
adj. Khalanji, a tree with a strong-smelling wood which held in
hand as a chaplet acts as perfume, as is probably intended. In
Span. Arabic it is the Erica-wood. The "Muhit" tells us that is a
tree parcel yellow and red growing in parts of India and China,
its leaf is that of the Tamarisk (Tarfá); its flower is coloured
red, yellow and white; it bears a grain like mustard-seed
(Khardal) and of its wood they make porringers. Hence the poet

"Yut 'amu 'l-shahdu fí 'l-jifáni, wa yuska * Labanu 'l-Bukhti fi
Kusá'i 'l-Khalanji:
Honey's served to them in platters for food; * Camels' milk in
bowls of the Khalanj wood."

The pl. Khalánij is used by Himyán bin Kaháfah in this "bayt",

"Hattá izá má qazati 'l-Hawáijá * Wa malaat Halába-há
Until she had done every work of hers * And with sweet milk had
filled the porringers."

[FN#403]  In text Al-Shá'ir Al-Walahán, vol. iii. 226.

[FN#404]  The orange I have said is the growth of India and the
golden apples of the Hesperides were not oranges but probably
golden nuggets. Captain Rolleston (Globe, Feb. 5, '84, on
"Morocco-Lixus") identifies the Garden with the mouth of the
Lixus River while M. Antichan would transfer it to the hideous
and unwholesome Bissagos Archipelago.

[FN#405]  Arab. "Ikyán," the living gold which is supposed to
grow in the ground.

[FN#406]  For the Kubbad or Captain Shaddock's fruit see vol. ii.
310, where it is misprinted Kubád.

[FN#407]  Full or Fill in Bresl. Edit. = Arabian jessamine or
cork-tree (      ). The Bul. and Mac. Edits. read "filfil" =
pepper or palm-fibre.

[FN#408]  Arab. "Sumbul al-'Anbari"; the former word having been
introduced into England by patent medicines. "Sumbul" in Arab.
and Pers. means the hyacinth, the spikenard or the Sign Virgo.

[FN#409]  Arab. "Lisán al-Hamal" lit. = Lamb's tongue.

[FN#410]  See in Bresl. Edit. X, 221. Taif, a well-known town in
the mountain region East of Meccah, and not in the Holy Land, was
once famous for scented goat's leather. It is considered to be a
"fragment of Syria" (Pilgrimage ii. 207) and derives its name =
the circumambulator from its having circuited pilgrim-like round
Ka'abah (Ibid.).

[FN#411]  Arab. "Mikhaddah" = cheek-pillow: Ital. guanciale. In
Bresl. Edit. Mudawwarah (a round cushion) Sinjabiyah (of Ermine).
For "Mudawwarah" see vol. iv. 135.

[FN#412]  "Coffee" is here evidently an anachronism and was
probably inserted by the copyist. See vol. v. 169, for its first
metnion. But "Kahwah" may have preserved its original meaning =
strong old wine (vol. ii. 261); and the amount of wine-drinking
and drunkenness proves that the coffee movement had not set in.

[FN#413]  i.e. they are welcome. In Marocco "Lá baas" means, "I
am pretty well" (in health).

[FN#414]  The Rose (Ward) in Arab. is masculine, sounding to us
most uncouth. But there is a fem. form Wardah = a single rose.

[FN#415]  Arab. "Akmám," pl. of Kumm, a sleeve, a petal. See vol.
iv. 107 and supra p. 267. The Moslem woman will show any part of
her person rather than her face, instinctively knowing that the
latter may be recognised whereas the former cannot. The traveller
in the outer East will see ludicrous situations in which the
modest one runs away with hind parts bare and head and face
carefully covered.

[FN#416]  Arab. "Ikyán" which Mr. Payne translates "vegetable
gold" very picturesquely but not quite preserving the idea. See
supra p. 272.

[FN#417]  It is the custom for fast youths, in Egypt, Syria, and
elsewhere to stick small gold pieces, mere spangles of metal on
the brows, cheeks and lips of the singing and dancing girls and
the perspiration and mask of cosmetics make them adhere for a
time till fresh movement shakes them off.

[FN#418]  See the same idea in vol. i. 132, and 349.

[FN#419]  "They will ask thee concerning wine and casting of
lots; say: 'In both are great sin and great advantages to
mankind; but the sin of them both is greater than their
advantage.'" See Koran ii. 216. Mohammed seems to have made up
his mind about drinking by slow degrees; and the Koranic law is
by no means so strict as the Mullahs have made it. The
prohibitions, revealed at widely different periods and varying in
import and distinction, have been discussed by Al-Bayzáwi in his
commentary on the above chapter. He says that the first
revelation was in chapt. xvi. 69 but, as the passage was
disregarded, Omar and others consulted the Apostle who replied to
them in chapt. ii. 216. Then, as this also was unnoticed, came
the final decision in chapt. v. 92, making wine and lots the work
of Satan. Yet excuses are never wanting to the Moslem, he can
drink Champagne and Cognac, both unknown in Mohammed's day and he
can use wine and spirits medicinally, like sundry of ourselves,
who turn up the nose of contempt at the idea of drinking for

[FN#420]  i.e. a fair-faced cup-bearer. The lines have occurred
before: so I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#421]  It is the custom of the Arabs to call their cattle to
water by whistling; not to whistle to them, as Europeans do,
whilst making water.

[FN#422]  i.e. bewitching. See vol. i. 85. These incompatible
metaphors are brought together by the Saj'a (prose rhyme)

[FN#423]  Mesopotamian Christians, who still turn towards
Jerusalem, face the West, instead of the East, as with Europeans:
here the monk is so dazed that he does not know what to do.

[FN#424]  Arab. "Bayt Sha'ar" = a house of hair (tent) or a
couplet of verse. Watad (a tentpeg) also is prosodical, a foot
when the two first letters are "moved" (vowelled) and the last is
jazmated (quiescent), e.g. Lakad. It is termed Majmú'a (united),
as opposed to "Mafrúk" (separated), e.g. Kabla, when the "moved"
consonants are disjoined by a quiescent.

[FN#425]  Lit. standing on their heads, which sounds ludicrous
enough in English, not in Arabic.

[FN#426]  These lines are in vol. iii. 251. I quote Mr. Payne who
notes "The bodies of Eastern women of the higher classes by dint
of continual maceration, Esther-fashion, in aromatic oils and
essences, would naturally become impregnated with the sweet
scents of the cosmetics used."

[FN#427]  These lines occur in vol. i. 218: I quote Torrens for

[FN#428]  So we speak of a "female screw." The allusion is to the
dove-tailing of the pieces. This personification of the lute has
occurred before: but I solicit the reader's attention to it; it
has a fulness of Oriental flavour all its own.

[FN#429]  I again solicit the reader's attention to the
simplicity, the pathos and the beauty of this personification of
the lute.

[FN#430]  "They" for she.

[FN#431]  The Arabs very justly make the "'Andalib" =
nightingale, masculine.

[FN#432]  Anwár = lights or flowers: See Night dccclxv. supra p.

[FN#433]  These couplets have occurred in vol. i. 168; so I quote
Mr. Payne.

[FN#434]  i.e. You may have his soul but leave me his body:
company with him in the next world and let me have him in this.

[FN#435]  Alluding to the Koranic (cxiii. 1.), "I take refuge
with the Lord of the Daybreak from the mischief of that which He
hath created, etc." This is shown by the first line wherein
occurs the Koranic word "Ghásik" (cxiii. 3) which may mean the
first darkness when it overspreadeth or the moon when it is

[FN#436]  "Malak" = level ground; also tract on the Nile sea.
Lane M.E. ii. 417, and Bruckhardt Nubia 482.

[FN#437]  This sentiment has often been repeated.

[FN#438]  The owl comes in because "Búm" (pron. boom) rhymes with
Kayyúm = the Eternal.

[FN#439]  For an incident like this see my Pilgrimmage (vol. i.
176). How true to nature the whole scene is; the fond mother
excusing her boy and the practical father putting the excuse
aside. European paternity, however, would probably exclaim, "The
beast's in liquor!"

[FN#440]  In ancient times this seems to have been the universal
and perhaps instinctive treatment of the hand that struck a
father. By Nur al-Din's flight the divorce-oath became
technically null and void for Taj al-Din had sworn to mutilate
his son next morning.

[FN#441]  So Roderic Random and his companions "sewed their money
between the lining and the waistband of their breeches, except
some loose silver for immediate expense on the road." For a
description of these purses see Pilgrimage i. 37.

[FN#442]  Arab. Rashid (our Rosetta), a corruption of the Coptic
Trashit; ever famous for the Stone.

[FN#443]  For a parallel passage in praise of Alexandria see vol.
i. 290, etc. The editor or scribe was evidently an Egyptian.

[FN#444]  Arab. "Saghr" (Thagr), the opening of the lips showing
the teeth. See vol. i. p. 156.

[FN#445]  Iskandariyah, the city of Iskandar or Alexander the
Great, whose "Soma" was attractive to the Greeks as the corpse of
the Prophet Daniel afterwards was to the Moslems. The choice of
site, then occupied only by the pauper village of Rhacotis, is
one proof of many that the Macedonian conqueror had the
inspiration of genius.

[FN#446]  i.e. paid them down. See vol. i. 281; vol. ii. 145.

[FN#447]  Arab. "Baltiyah," Sonnini's "Bolti" and Nébuleux
(because it is dozid-coloured when fried), the Labrus Niloticus
from its labra or large fleshy lips. It lives on the "leaves of
Paradise" hence the flesh is delicate and savoury and it is
caught with the épervier or sweep-net in the Nile, canals and

[FN#448]  Arab. "Liyyah," not a delicate comparison, but
exceedingly apt besides rhyming to "Baltiyah." The cauda of the
"five-quarter sheep, whose tails are so broad and thick that
there is as much flesh upon them as upon a quarter of their
body," must not be confounded with the lank appendage of our
English muttons. See i. 25, Dr. Burnell's Linschoten (Hakluyt
Soc. 1885).

[FN#449]  A variant occurs in vol. ix. 191.

[FN#450]  Arab. "Tars Daylami," a small shield of bright metal.

[FN#451]  Arab. "Kaukab al-durri," see Pilgrimage ii. 82.

[FN#452]  Arab. "Kusúf" applied to the moon; Khusúf being the
solar eclipse.

[FN#453]  May Abú Lahab's hands perish. . . and his wife be a
bearer of faggots!" Korau cxi. 184. The allusion is neat.

[FN#454]  Alluding to the Angels who shoot down the Jinn. See
vol. i. 224. The index misprints "Shibáh."

[FN#455]  For a similar scene see Ali Shar and Zumurrud, vol. iv.

[FN#456]  i.e. of the girl whom as the sequel shows, her owner
had promised not to sell without her consent. This was and is a
common practice. See vol. iv. 192.

[FN#457]  These lines have occurred in vol. iii. p. 303. I quote
Mr. Payne.

[FN#458]  Alluding to the erectio et distensio penis which comes
on before dawn in tropical lands and which does not denote any
desire for women. Some Anglo-Indians term the symptom signum
salutis, others a urine-proud pizzle.

[FN#459]  Arab. "Mohtasib," in the Maghrib "Mohtab," the officer
charged with inspecting weights and measures and with punishing
fraud in various ways such as nailing the cheat's ears to his
shop's shutter, etc.

[FN#460]  Every where in the Moslem East the slave holds himself
superior to the menial freeman, a fact which I would impress upon
the several Anti-slavery Societies, honest men whose zeal mostly
exceeds their knowledge, and whose energy their discretion.

[FN#461]  These lines, extended to three couplets, occur in vol.
iv. 193. I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#462]  "At this examination (on Judgment Day) Mohammedans also
believe that each person will have the book, wherein all the
actions of his life are written, delivered to him; which books
the righteous will receive in their right hand, and read with
great pleasure and satisfaction; but the ungodly will be obliged
to take them, against their wills, in their left (Koran xvii.
xviii. lxix, and lxxxiv.), which will be bound behind their
backs, their right hand being tied to their necks." Sale,
Preliminary Discourse; Sect. iv.

[FN#463]  "Whiteness" (bayáz) also meaning lustre, honour.

[FN#464]  This again occurs in vol. iv. 194. So I quote Mr.

[FN#465]  Her impudence is intended to be that of a captive

[FN#466]  i.e. bent groundwards.

[FN#467]  See vol. iv. 192. In Marocco Za'ar is applied to a man
with fair skin, red hair and blue eyes (Gothic blood?) and the
term is not complimentary as "Sultan Yazid Za'ar."

[FN#468]  The lines have occurred before (vol. iv. 194). I quote
Mr. Lane ii. 440. Both he and Mr. Payne have missed the point in
"ba'zu layáli" a certain night when his mistress had left him so

[FN#469]  Arab. "Raat-hu." This apparently harmless word suggests
one simlar in sound and meaning which gave some trouble in its
day. Says Mohammed in the Koran (ii. 98) "O ye who believe! say
not (to the Apostle) Rá'iná (look at us) but Unzurná (regard
us)." "Rá'iná" as pronounced in Hebrew means "our bad one."

[FN#470]  By reason of its leanness.

[FN#471]  In the Mac. Edit. "Fifty." For a scene which
illustrates this mercantile transaction see my Pilgrimage i. 88,
and its deduction. "How often is it our fate, in the West as in
the East, to see in bright eyes and to hear from rosy lips an
implied, if not an expressed 'Why don't you buy me?' or, worse
still, 'Why can't you buy me?'"

[FN#472]  See vol. ii. 165 dragging or trailing the skirts =
walking without the usual strut or swagger: here it means
assuming the humble manners of a slave in presence of the master.

[FN#473]  This is the Moslem form of "boycotting": so amongst
early Christians they refused to give one another God-speed.
Amongst Hindús it takes the form of refusing "Hukkah (pipe) and
water" which practically makes a man an outcast. In the text the
old man expresses the popular contempt for those who borrow and
who do not repay. He had evidently not read the essay of Elia on
the professional borrower.

[FN#474]  See note p. 273.

[FN#475]  i.e. the best kind of camels.

[FN#476]  This first verse has occurred three times.

[FN#477]  Arab. "Surayyá" in Dictionaries a dim. of Sarwá =
moderately rich. It may either denote abundance of rain or a
number of stars forming a constellation. Hence in Job (xxxviii.
31) it is called a heap (kímah).

[FN#478]  Pleiads in Gr. the Stars whereby men sail.

[FN#479]  This is the Eastern idea of the consequence of
satisfactory coition which is supposed to be the very seal of
love. Westerns have run to the other extreme.

[FN#480]  "Al-Ríf" simply means lowland: hence there is a Ríf in
the Nile-delta. The word in Europe is applied chiefly to the
Maroccan coast opposite Gibraltar (not, as is usually supposed
the North-Western seaboard) where the Berber-Shilhá race, so
famous as the "Rif pirates" still closes the country to

[FN#481]  i.e. Upper Egypt.

[FN#482]  These local excellencies of coition are described
jocosely rather than anthropologically.

[FN#483]  See vol. i. 223: I take from Torrens, p. 223.

[FN#484]  For the complete ablution obligatory after copulation
before prayers can be said. See vol. vi. 199.

[FN#485]  Arab. "Zunnár," the Greek         , for which, see vol.
ii. 215.

[FN#486]  Miriam (Arabic Maryam), is a Christian name, in Moslem
lands. Abú Maryam "Mary's father" (says Motarrazi on Al-Hariri,
Ass. of Alexandria) is a term of contempt, for men are called
after sons (e.g. Abu Zayd), not after daughters. In more modern
authors Abu Maryam is the name of ushers and lesser officials in
the Kazi's court.

[FN#487]  This formality, so contrary to our Western familiarity
after possession, is an especial sign of good breeding amongst
Arabs and indeed all Eastern nations. It reminds us of the "grand
manner" in Europe two hundred years ago, not a trace of which now

[FN#488]  These lines are in Night i. ordered somewhat
differently: so I quote Torrens (p. 14).

[FN#489]  i.e. to the return Salám--"And with thee be peace and
the mercy of Allah and His blessings!" See vol. ii. 146. The
enslaved Princess had recognised her father's Wazir and knew that
he could have but one object, which being a man of wit and her
lord a "raw laddie," he was sure to win.

[FN#490]  It is quite in Moslem manners for the bystanders to
force the sale seeing a silly lad reject a most advantageous
offer for sentimental reasons. And the owner of the article would
be bound by their consent.

[FN#491]  Arab. "Wa'llahi." "Bi" is the original particle of
swearing, a Harf al-jarr (governing the genitive as Bi'lláhi) and
suggesting the idea of adhesion: "Wa" (noting union) is its
substitute in oath-formulæ and "Ta" takes the place of Wa as
Ta'lláhi. The three-fold forms are combined in a great "swear."

[FN#492]  i.e. of divorcing their own wives.

[FN#493]  These lines have occurred before: I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#494]  These lines are in Night xxvi., vol. i. 275: I quote
Torrens (p. 277), with a correction for "when ere."

[FN#495]  This should be "draws his senses from him as one pulls
hair out of paste."

[FN#496]  Rághib and Záhid: see vol. v. 141.

[FN#497]  Carolus Magnus then held court in Paris; but the text
evidently alludes to one of the port-cities of Provence as
Marseille which we English will miscall Marseilles.

[FN#498]  Here the writer, not the young wife, speaks; but as a
tale-teller he says "hearer"not "reader."

[FN#499]  Kayrawán, the Arab. form of the Greek Cyrene which has
lately been opened to travellers and has now lost the mystery
which enschrouded it. In Hafiz and the Persian poets it is the
embodiment of remoteness and secrecy; as we till the last quarter
century spoke of the "deserts of Central Africa."

[FN#500]  Arab. "'Innín": alluding to all forms of impotence,
from dislike, natural deficiency or fascination, the favourite
excuse. Easterns seldom attribute it to the true cause, weak
action of the heart; but the Romans knew the truth when they
described one of its symptoms as cold feet. "Clino-pedalis, ad
venerem invalidus, ab ea antiqua opinione, frigiditatem pedum
concubituris admondum officere." Hence St. Francis and the
bare-footed Friars. See Glossarium Eroticum Linguae Latinæ,
Parisiis, Dondey-Dupré, MDCCCXXVI.

[FN#501]  I have noted the use of "island" for "land" in general.
So in the European languages of the sixteenth century, insula was
used for peninsula, e.g. Insula de Cori = the Corean peninsula.

[FN#502]  As has been noticed (vol. i. 333), the monocular is
famed for mischief and men expect the mischief to come from his
blinded eye.

[FN#503]  Here again we have a specimen of "inverted speech"
(vol. ii. 265); abusive epithets intended for a high compliment,
signifying that the man was a tyrant over rebels and a froward
devil to the foe.

[FN#504]  Arab. "Bab al-Bahr," see vol. iii. 281.

[FN#505]  Arab. "Batárikah" see vol. ii. 89. The Templars,
Knights of Malta and other orders half ecclesiastic, half
military suggested the application of the term.

[FN#506]  These lines have occurred in vol. i. 280--I quote
Torrens (p. 283).

[FN#507]  Maryam al-Husn containing a double entendre, "O place
of the white doe (Rím) of beauty!" The girl's name was Maryam the
Arab. form of Mary, also applied to the B.V. by Eastern
Christians. Hence a common name of Syrian women is "Husn Maryam"
= (one endowed with the spiritual beauties of Mary: vol. iv. 87).
I do not think that the name was "manufactured by the Arab
story-tellers after the pattern of their own names (e.g. Nur
al-Din or Noureddin, light of the faith, Tajeddin, crown of
faith, etc.) for the use of their imaginary Christian female

[FN#508]  I may here remind readers that the Bán, which some
Orientalists will write "Ben," is a straight and graceful species
of Moringa with plentiful and intensely green foliage.

[FN#509]  Arab. "Amúd al-Sawári" = the Pillar of Masts, which is
still the local name of Diocletian's column absurdly named by
Europeans "Pompey's Pillar."

[FN#510]  Arab. "Batiyah," also used as a wine-jar (amphora), a

[FN#511]  Arab. "Al-Kursán," evidently from the Ital. "Corsaro,"
a runner. So the Port. "Cabo Corso," which we have corrupted to
"Cape Coast Castle" (Gulf of Guinea), means the Cape of Tacking.

[FN#512]  Arab. "Ghuráb," which Europeans turn to "Grab."

[FN#513]  Arab. "Sayyib" (Thayyib) a rare word: it mostly applies
to a woman who leaves her husband after lying once with him.

[FN#514]  Arab. "Batárikah:" here meaning knights, leaders of
armed men as in Night dccclxii., supra p. 256, it means "monks."

[FN#515]  i.e. for the service of a temporal monarch.

[FN#516]  Arab. "Sayr" = a broad strip of leather still used by
way of girdle amongst certain Christian religions in the East.

[FN#517]  Arab. "Haláwat al-Salámah," the sweetmeats offered to
friends after returning from a journey or escaping sore peril.
See vol. iv. 60.

[FN#518]  So Eginhardt was an Erzcapellan and belonged to the
ghostly profession.

[FN#519]  These lines are in vols. iii. 258 and iv. 204. I quote
Mr. Payne.

[FN#520]  Arab. "Firásah," lit. = skill in judging of horse flesh
(Faras) and thence applied, like "Kiyáfah," to physiognomy. One
Kári was the first to divine man's future by worldly signs
(Al-Maydáni, Arab. prov. ii. 132) and the knowledge was
hereditary in the tribe Mashíj.

[FN#521]  Reported to be a "Hadis" or saying of Mohammed, to whom
are attributed many such shrewd aphorisms, e.g. "Allah defend us
from the ire of the mild (tempered)."

[FN#522]  These lines are in vol. i. 126. I quote Torrens (p.

[FN#523]  These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#524]  Arab. "Khák-bák," an onomatopœia like our flip-flap and
a host of similar words. This profaning a Christian Church which
contained the relics of the Virgin would hugely delight the
coffee-house habitués, and the Egyptians would be equally
flattered to hear that the son of a Cairene merchant had made the
conquest of a Frankish Princess Royal. That he was an arrant
poltroon mattered very little, as his cowardice only set of his

[FN#525]  i.e. after the rising up of the dead.

[FN#526]  Arab. "Nafísah," the precious one i.e. the Virgin.

[FN#527]  Arab. "Nákús," a wooden gong used by Eastern Christians
which were wisely forbidden by the early Moslems.

[FN#528]  i.e. a graceful, slender youth.

[FN#529]  There is a complicatd pun in this line: made by
splitting the word after the fashion of punsters. "Zarbu
'l-Nawákísí" = the striking of the gongs, and "Zarbu 'l Nawá,
Kísí = striking the departure signal: decide thou (fem. addressed
to the Nafs, soul or self)" I have attempted a feeble imitation.

[FN#530]  The modern Italian term of the venereal finish.

[FN#531]  Arab. "Najm al-Munkazzi," making the envious spy one of
the prying Jinns at whom is launched the Shiháb or shooting-star
by the angels who prevent them listening at the gates of Heaven.
See vol. i. 224.

[FN#532]  Arab. "Sandúk al-Nuzur," lit. "the box of vowed
oblations." This act of sacrilege would find high favour with the

[FN#533]  The night consisting like the day of three watches. See
vol. i.

[FN#534]  Arab. "Al-Khaukhah," a word now little used.

[FN#535]  Arab. "Námúsiyah," lit. mosquito curtains.

[FN#536]  Arab. "Jáwawshiyah," see vol. ii. 49.

[FN#537]  Arab. "Kayyimah," the fem. of "Kayyim," misprinted
"Kayim" in vol. ii. 93.

[FN#538]  i.e. hadst thou not disclosed thyself. He has one great
merit in a coward of not being ashamed for his cowardice; and
this is a characteristic of the modern Egyptian, whose proverb
is, "He ran away, Allah shame him! is better than, He was slain,
Allah bless him!"

[FN#539]  Arab. "Ahjar al-Kassárín" nor forgotten. In those days
ships anchored in the Eastern port of Alexandria which is now
wholly abandoned on account of the rocky bottom and the dangerous
"Levanter," which as the Gibraltar proverb says

          "Makes the stones canter."

[FN#540]  Arab. "Hakk" = rights, a word much and variously used.
To express the possessive "mine" a Badawi says "Hakki" (pron.
Haggi) and "Lílí;" a Syrian "Shítí" for Shayyati, my little thing
or "taba 'i" my dependent; an Egyptian "Bitá' i" my portion and a
Maghribi "M'tá 'i" and "diyyáli" (di allazí lí = this that is to
me). Thus "mine" becomes a shibboleth.

[FN#541]  i.e. The "Good for nothing," the "Bad'un;" not some
forgotten ruffian of the day, but the hero of a tale antedating
The Nights in their present form. See Terminal Essay, x. ii.

[FN#542]  i.e. Hoping to catch Nur al-Din.

[FN#543]  Arab. "Sawwáhún" = the Wanderers, Pilgrims, wandering
Arabs, whose religion, Al-Islam, so styled by its Christain
opponents. And yet the new creed was at once accepted by whole
regions of Christians, and Mauritania, which had rejected Roman
paganism and Gothic Christianity. This was e.g. Syria and the
so-called "Holy Land," not because, as is fondly asserted by
Christians, al-Islam was forced upon them by the sword, but on
account of its fulfilling a need, its supplying a higher belief,
unity as opposed to plurality, and its preaching a more manly
attitude of mind and a more sensible rule of conduct. Arabic
still preserves a host of words special to the Christian creed;
and many of them have been adopted by Moslems but with changes of

[FN#544]  i.e. of things commanded and things prohibited. The
writer is thinking of the Koran in which there are not a few
abrogated injunctions.

[FN#545]  See below for the allusion.

[FN#546]  Arab. "Kafrá" = desert place. It occurs in this

          "Wa Kabrun Harbin fíi-makáanin Kafrin;
           Wa laysa Kurba Kabri Harbin Kabrun."
     "Harb's corse is quartered in coarse wold accurst;
     Nor close to corse of Harb is other corse;--"

words made purposely harsh because uttered by a Jinni who killed
a traveller named "Harb."
So Homer:--

     "       '                ,                    '      ."

and Pope:--

"O'er hills, o'er dales, o'er crags, o'er rocks they go, etc."

See Preface (p. v.) to Captain A. Lockett's learned and whimsical
volume, "The Muit Amil" etc. Calcutta, 1814.

[FN#547]  These lines have occurred vol. iv. 267. I quote Mr.

[FN#548]  The topethesia is here designedly made absurd.
Alexandria was one of the first cities taken by the Moslems (A.H.
21 = 642) and the Christian pirates preferred attacking weaker
places, Rosetta and Damietta.

[FN#549]  Arab. "Bilád al-Rúm," here and elsewhere applied to

[FN#550]  Here the last line of p. 324, vol. iv. in the Mac.
Edit. is misplaced and belongs to the next page.

[FN#551]  Arab. "Akhawán shikíkán" = brothers german (of men and
beasts) born of one father and mother, sire and dam.

[FN#552]  "The Forerunner" and "The Overtaker," terms borrowed
from the Arab Epsom.

[FN#553]  Known to us as "the web and pin," it is a film which
affects Arab horses in the damp hot regions of Malabar and
Zanzibar and soon blinds them. This equine cataract combined with
loin-disease compels men to ride Pegu and other ponies.

[FN#554]  Arab. "Zujáj bikr" whose apparent meaning would be
glass in the lump and unworked. Zaj áj bears, however, the
meaning of clove-nails (the ripe bud of the clove-shrub) and may
possibly apply to one of the manifold "Alfáz Adwiyh" (names of
drugs). Here, however, pounded glass would be all sufficient to
blind a horse: it is much used in the East especially for dogs
affected by intestinal vermicules.

[FN#555]  Alluding to the Arab saying "The two rests"
(Al-ráhatáni) "certainty of success or failure," as opposed to
"Wiswás" when the mind fluctuates in doubt.

[FN#556]  She falls in love with the groom, thus anticipating the
noble self-devotion of Miss Aurora Floyd.

[FN#557]  Arab. "Túfán" see vol. v. 156: here it means the
"Deluge of Noah."

[FN#558]  Two of the Hells. See vol. v. 240.

[FN#559]  Lit. "Out upon a prayer who imprecated our parting!"

[FN#560]  The use of masculine for feminine has frequently been
noted. I have rarely changed the gender or the number the plural
being often employed for the singular (vol. i. 98). Such change
may avoid "mystification and confusion" but this is the very
purpose of the substitution which must be preserved if "local
colour" is to be respected.

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