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Title: A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 (of 17)
Author: Burton, Richard F.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 (of 17)" ***



[Illustration: لا لابرار كلّ شي تبر]

                   “TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE.”
                           (Puris omnia pura)

                                                        —_Arab Proverb._

          “Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole.”


              “Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum
                  Sed coram Bruto. Brute! recede, leget.”


            “Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre,
                Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes.”


“The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One Stories makes
us regret that we possess only a comparatively small part of these truly
enchanting fictions.”

                                      —CRICHTON’S “_History of Arabia_.”





                           _THE BOOK OF THE_
                     =Thousand Nights and a Night=


                               VOLUME IV.

                           RICHARD F. BURTON




                            Shammar Edition

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, of which this is

                              Number _547_

                          PRINTED IN U. S. A.




I have no fear that a friend, whose friendship has lasted nearly a third
of a century, will misunderstand my reasons for inscribing his name upon
these pages. You have lived long enough in the East and, as your
writings show, observantly enough to detect the pearl which lurks in the
kitchen-midden, and to note that its lustre is not dimmed nor its value
diminished by its unclean surroundings.

                                            Ever yours sincerely,

                                                      RICHARD F. BURTON.

 ATHENÆUM CLUB, _October 1, 1885_.


                     CONTENTS OF THE FOURTH VOLUME.




     _a._ CONCLUSION OF THE TALE OF KAMAR AL-ZAMAN                  23

       (_Lane II., Chapt. X. Story of Neameh and Noam: p. 186._)

 13. ALA AL-DIN ABU AL-SHAMAT                                       29

   (_Lane, Chapt. XI. Story of Ala ed-Deen Abu-sh-Shámát: p. 250._)

 14. HATIM OF THE TRIBE OF TAYY                                     94

   (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XI. Liberality of Hatim el-Táee after his
                            Death: p. 333_)

 15. MA’AN THE SON OF ZAIDAH AND THE THREE GIRLS                    96

  (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XI. Anecdote of Maan the Son of Záïdeh: p.

 16. MA’AN SON OF ZAIDAH AND THE BADAWI                             97

 17. THE CITY OF LABTAYT                                            99

 18. THE CALIPH HISHAM AND THE ARAB YOUTH                          101


     (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XI. Adventures of Ibráheem the Son of
                         El-Mahdee: p. 336._)


   (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XI. The Discovery and History of Irem Zát
   el-‘Emad, the Terrestrial Paradise of Sheddad the Son of ‘Ad: p.

 21. ISAAC OF MOSUL                                                119

 (_Lane, Note to Chapt. XI. Anecdote of Ishák el-Mósilee and Khadeejeh
                       and El-Ma-moon: p. 347._)

 22. THE SWEEP AND THE NOBLE LADY                                  125

 23. THE MOCK CALIPH                                               130

   (_Lane, Chapt. XIII. Story of Mohammad ‘Alee the Jeweller, or the
                      False Khaleefeh: p. 380._)

 24. ALI THE PERSIAN                                               149


 26. THE LOVER WHO FEIGNED HIMSELF A THIEF                         155

  (_Lane, Note to Chapt. XIII. Anecdote of a Disinterested Lover: p.

 27. JA’AFAR THE BARMECIDE AND THE BEAN-SELLER                     159

    (_Lane, Note to Chapt. XIII. Anecdote of Jaafar el-Barmakee: p.

 28. ABU MOHAMMED HIGHT LAZYBONES                                  162

    (_Lane, Chapt. XIV. Story of Aboo Mohammad the Lazy: p. 406._)


   (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XIV. Anecdote of Yahya the Son of Khalid
                        el-Barmakee: p. 427._)


 (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XIV. Another Anecdote of the Same: p. 429._)

 31. CALIPH AL-MAAMUN AND THE STRANGE SCHOLAR                      185

   (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XIV. Anecdote of El-Ma-moon and a Learned
                            Man: p. 432._)

 32. ALI SHAR AND ZUMURRUD                                         187

     (_Lane, Chapt. XV. Story of ‘Ale Shér and Zumurrud: p. 434._)


    (_Lane, Chapt. XVI. Story of Ibn Mansoor and the Lady Budur and
           Jubeyr the Son of ‘Omeyr esh-Sheybánee: p. 477._)

 34. THE MAN OF AL-YAMAN AND HIS SIX SLAVE GIRLS                   245



     (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Instances of the Vicissitudes of
                          Fortune: p. 497._)


 (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Hosám ed-Deen the Wálee, and a Sharper:
                               p. 501._)


       (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. The Three Wálees: p. 502._)

     _a._ STORY OF THE CHIEF OF THE NEW CAIRO POLICE              _ib._

     _b._ STORY OF THE CHIEF OF THE BULAK POLICE                   273

     _c._ STORY OF THE CHIEF OF THE OLD CAIRO POLICE               274

 39. THE THIEF AND THE SHROFF                                      275

  (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. The Money Changer and the Sharper: p.

 40. THE CHIEF OF THE KUS POLICE AND THE SHARPER                   276


     (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Anecdote of Ibráheem the Son of
                         el-Mahdee: p. 506._)


    (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Anecdote of a Charitable Woman: p.

 43. THE DEVOUT ISRAELITE                                          283

  (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Anecdote of a Charitable Israelite: p.

 44. ABU HASSAN AL-ZIYADI AND THE KHORASAN MAN                     285

 (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. Anecdote of Hassan ez-Ziyádee: p. 511._)

 45. THE POOR MAN AND HIS FRIEND IN NEED                           288

       (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. A Friend in Need: p. 513._)


            (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. A Dream: p. 514._)


  (_Lane, Notes to Chapt. XVI. El-Mutawekkil and Mahboobeh: p. 515._)


 49. THE KING’S DAUGHTER AND THE APE                               297


There lived once in the city of Cufa[1] a man called Al-Rabí’a bin
Hátim, who was one of the chief men of the town, a wealthy and a
healthy, and Heaven had vouchsafed him a son, whom he named Ni’amat
Allah.[2] One day, being in the slave-brokers’ mart, he saw a woman
exposed for sale with a little maid of wonderful beauty and grace on her
arm. So he beckoned to the broker and asked him, “How much for this
woman and her daughter?” He answered “Fifty dinars.” Quoth Al-Rabi’a
“Write the contract of sale and take the money and give it to her
owner.” Then he gave the broker the price and his brokerage and taking
the woman and her child, carried them to his house. Now when the
daughter of his uncle who was his wife saw the slave, she said to her
husband, “O my cousin, what is this damsel?” He replied, “Of a truth, I
bought her for the sake of the little one on her arm; for know that,
when she groweth up, there will not be her like for beauty, either in
the land of the Arabs or the Ajams.” His wife remarked, “Right was thy
rede”; and said to the woman, “What is thy name?” She replied, “O my
lady, my name is Taufík.[3]” “And what is thy daughter’s name?” asked
she. Answered the slave, “Sa’ad, the happy.” Rejoined her mistress,
“Thou sayst sooth, thou art indeed happy, and happy is he who hath
bought thee.” Then quoth she to her husband, “O my cousin, what wilt
thou call her?”; and quoth he, “Whatso thou choosest”; so she, “Then let
us call her Naomi;” and he rejoined, “Good is thy device.” The little
Naomi was reared with Al-Rabi’a’s son Ni’amat in one cradle, so to
speak, till the twain reached the age of ten and each grew handsomer
than the other; and the boy used to address her, “O my sister!” and she,
“O my brother!”, till they came to that age when Al-Rabi’a said to
Ni’amah, “O my son, Naomi is not thy sister but thy slave. I bought her
in thy name whilst thou wast yet in the cradle; so call her no more
sister from this day forth.” Quoth Ni’amah, “If that be so, I will take
her to wife.” Then he went to his mother and told her of this, and she
said to him, “O my son, she is thy handmaid.” So he wedded and went in
unto Naomi and loved her; and two[4] years passed over them whilst in
this condition, nor was there in all Cufa a fairer girl than Naomi, or a
sweeter or a more graceful. As she grew up she learnt the Koran and read
works of science and excelled in music and playing upon all kinds of
instruments; and in the beauty of her singing she surpassed all the folk
of her time. Now one day, as she sat with her husband in the
wine-chamber, she took the lute, tightened the strings, and sang these
two couplets:—

 While thou’rt my lord whose bounty’s my estate, ✿ A sword whereby my
    woes to annihilate,
 Recourse I never need to Amru or Zayd,[5] ✿ Nor aught save thee if way
    to me grow strait!

Ni’amah was charmed with these verses and said to her, “By my life, O
Naomi, sing to us with the tambourine and other instruments!” So she
sang these couplets to a lively measure:—

 By His life who holds my guiding-rein, I swear ✿ I’ll meet on
    love-ground parlous foe nor care:
 Good sooth I’ll vex revilers, thee obey ✿ And quit my slumbers and all
    joy forswear:
 And for thy love I’ll dig in vitals mine ✿ A grave, nor shall my vitals
    weet ‘tis there!

And Ni’amah exclaimed, “Heaven favoured art thou, O Naomi!” But whilst
they led thus the most joyous life, behold! Al-Hajjáj,[6] the Viceroy of
Cufa said to himself, “Needs must I contrive to take this girl named
Naomi and send her to the Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin
Marwán, for he hath not in his palace her like for beauty and sweet
singing.” So he summoned an old woman of the duennas of his wives and
said to her, “Go to the house of Al-Rabi’a and foregather with the girl
Naomi and combine means to carry her off; for her like is not to be
found on the face of the earth.” She promised to do his bidding; so next
morning she donned the woollen clothes of a devotee and hung around her
neck a rosary of beads by the thousand; and, hending in hand a staff and
a leather water-bottle of Yamani manufacture,——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman
promised to do the bidding of Al-Hajjaj, and whenas it was morning she
donned the woollen clothes of a devotee[7] and hung around her neck a
rosary of beads by the thousand and hent in hand a staff and a leather
water-bottle of Yamani manufacture and fared forth crying, “Glory be to
Allah! Praised be Allah! There is no god but _the_ God! Allah is Most
Great! There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!” Nor did she leave off her lauds and her groaning
in prayer whilst her heart was full of guile and wiles, till she came to
the house of Ni’amah bin al-Rabi’a at the hour of noon-prayer, and
knocked at the door. The doorkeeper opened and said to her, “What dost
thou want?” Quoth she, “I am a poor pious woman, whom the time of
noon-prayer hath overtaken, and lief would I pray in this blessed
place.” Answered the porter, “O old woman, this is no mosque nor
oratory, but the house of Ni’amah son of al-Rabi’a.” She replied, “I
know there is neither cathedral-mosque nor oratory like the house of
Ni’amah bin al-Rabi’a. I am a chamberwoman of the palace of the Prince
of True Believers and am come out for worship and the visitation of Holy
Places.” But the porter rejoined, “Thou canst not enter;” and many words
passed between them, till at last she caught hold and hung to him
saying, “Shall the like of me be denied admission to the house of
Ni’amah bin al-Rabi’a, I who have free access to the houses of Emirs and
Grandees?” Anon, out came Ni’amah and, hearing their loud language,
laughed and bade the old woman enter after him. So she followed him into
the presence of Naomi, whom she saluted after the godliest and goodliest
fashion, and, when she looked on her, she was confounded at her
exceeding seemlihead and said to her, “O my lady, I commend thee to the
safeguard of Allah, who made thee and thy lord fellows in beauty and
loveliness!” Then she stood up in the prayer-niche and betook herself to
inclination and prostration and prayer, till day departed and night
darkened and starkened, when Naomi said to her, “O my mother, rest thy
legs and feet awhile.” Replied the old woman, “O my lady, whoso seeketh
the world to come let him weary him in this world, and whoso wearieth
not himself in this world shall not attain the dwellings of the just in
the world to come.” Then Naomi brought her food and said to her, “Eat of
my bread and pray Heaven to accept my penitence and to have mercy on
me.” But she cried, “O my lady, I am fasting. As for thee, thou art but
a girl and it besitteth thee to eat and drink and make merry; Allah be
indulgent to thee!; for the Almighty saith:—All shall be punished except
him who shall repent and believe and shall work a righteous work.”[8] So
Naomi continued sitting with the old woman in talk and presently said to
Ni’amah, “O my lord, conjure this ancient dame to sojourn with us
awhile, for piety and devotion are imprinted on her countenance.” Quoth
he, “Set apart for her a chamber where she may say her prayers; and
suffer no one to go in to her: peradventure, Allah (extolled and exalted
be He!) shall prosper us by the blessing of her presence and never
separate us.” So the old woman passed her night in praying and reciting
the Koran; and when Allah caused the morn to dawn, she went in to
Ni’amah and Naomi and, giving them good morning, said to them, “I pray
Allah have you in His holy keeping!” Quoth Naomi, “Whither away, O my
mother? My lord hath bidden me set apart for thee a chamber, where thou
mayst seclude thee for thy devotions.” Replied the old woman, “Allah
give him long life, and continue His favour to you both! But I would
have you charge the doorkeeper not to stay my coming in to you; and,
Inshallah! I will go the round of the Holy Places and pray for you two
at the end of my devotions every day and night.” Then she went out
(whilst Naomi wept for parting with her knowing not the cause of her
coming), and returned to Al-Hajjaj who said to her, “An thou do my
bidding soon, thou shalt have of me abundant good.” Quoth she, “I ask of
thee a full month;” and quoth he “Take the month.” Thereupon the old hag
fell to daily visiting Ni’amah’s house and frequented his slave-wife,
Naomi;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old hag fell
to visiting daily Ni’amah’s house and frequenting his slave-wife, Naomi;
and both ceased not to honour her, and she used to go in to them morning
and evening and all in the house respected her till, one day, being
alone with Naomi, she said to her, “O my lady! by Allah, when I go to
the Holy Places, I will pray for thee; and I only wish thou wert with
me, that thou mightest look on the Elders of the Faith who resort
thither, and they should pray for thee, according to thy desire.” Naomi
cried, “I conjure thee by Allah take me with thee!”; and she replied,
“Ask leave of thy mother-in-law, and I will take thee.” So Naomi said to
her husband’s mother, “O my lady, ask my master to let us go forth, me
and thee, one day with this my old mother, to prayer and worship with
the Fakirs in the Holy Places.” Now when Ni’amah came in and sat down,
the old woman went up to him and would have kissed his hand, but he
forbade her; so she invoked blessings[9] on him and left the house. Next
day she came again, in the absence of Ni’amah, and she addressed Naomi,
saying, “We prayed for thee yesterday; but arise now and divert thyself
and return ere thy lord come home.” So Naomi said to her mother-in-law,
“I beseech thee, for Allah’s sake, give me leave to go with this pious
woman, that I may sight the saints of Allah in the Holy Places, and
return speedily ere my lord come back.” Quoth Ni’amah’s mother, “I fear
lest thy lord know;” but said the old woman, “By Allah, I will not let
her take seat on the floor; no, she shall look, standing on her feet,
and not tarry.” So she took the damsel by guile and, carrying her to
Al-Hajjaj’s palace, told him of her coming, after placing her in a
lonely chamber; whereupon he went in to her and, looking upon her, saw
her to be the loveliest of the people of the day, never had he beheld
her like. Now when Naomi caught sight of him she veiled her face from
him; but he left her not till he had called his Chamberlain, whom he
commanded to take fifty horsemen; and he bade him mount the damsel on a
swift dromedary, and bear her to Damascus and there deliver her to the
Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan. Moreover, he gave
him a letter for the Caliph, saying, “Bear him this letter and bring me
his answer and hasten thy return to me.” So the Chamberlain, without
losing time, took the damsel (and she tearful for separation from her
lord) and, setting out with her on a dromedary, gave not over journeying
till he reached Damascus. There he sought audience of the Commander of
the Faithful and, when it was granted, the Chamberlain delivered the
damsel and reported the circumstance. The Caliph appointed her a
separate apartment and going into his Harim, said to his wife,
“Al-Hajjaj hath bought me a slave-girl of the daughters of the Kings of
Cufa[10] for ten thousand dinars, and hath sent me this letter.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph
acquainted his wife with the story of the slave-girl, she said to him,
“Allah increase to thee His favour!” Then the Caliph’s sister went in to
the supposed slave-girl and, when she saw her, she said, “By Allah, not
unlucky is the man who hath thee in his house, were thy cost an hundred
thousand dinars!” And Naomi replied, “O fair of face, what King’s palace
is this, and what is the city?” She answered, “This is the city of
Damascus, and this is the palace of my brother, the Commander of the
Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan.[11]” Then she resumed, “Didst thou
not know all this?” Naomi said, “By Allah, O my lady, I had no knowledge
of it!”; when the other asked, “And he who sold thee and took thy price
did he not tell thee that the Caliph had bought thee?” Now when Naomi
heard these words, she shed tears and said to herself, “Verily, I have
been tricked and the trick hath succeeded,” adding to herself, “If I
speak, none will credit me; so I will hold my peace and take patience,
for I know that the relief of Allah is near.” Then she bent her head for
shame, and indeed her cheeks were tanned by the journey and the sun. So
the Caliph’s sister left her that day and returned to her on the morrow
with clothes and necklaces of jewels, and dressed her; after which the
Caliph came in to her and sat down by her side, and his sister said to
him, “Look on this handmaid in whom Allah hath conjoined every
perfection of beauty and loveliness.” So he said to Naomi, “Draw back
the veil from thy face;” but she would not unveil, and he beheld not her
face. However, he saw her wrists and love of her entered his heart; and
he said to his sister, “I will not go in unto her for three days, till
she be cheered by thy converse.” Then he arose and left her, but Naomi
ceased not to brood over her case and sigh for her separation from her
master, Ni’amah, till she fell sick of a fever during the night and ate
not nor drank; and her favour faded and her charms were changed. They
told the Caliph of this and her condition grieved him; so he visited her
with physicians and men of skill, but none could come at a cure for her.
This how it fared with her; but as regards Ni’amah, when he returned
home he sat down on his bed and cried, “Ho, Naomi!” But she answered
not; so he rose in haste and called out, yet none came to him, as all
the women in the house had hidden themselves for fear of him. Then he
went out to his mother, whom he found sitting with her cheek on her
hand, and said to her, “O my mother, where is Naomi?” She answered, “O
my son, she is with one who is worthier than I to be trusted with her,
namely, the devout old woman; she went forth with her to visit
devotionally the Fakirs and return.” Quoth Ni’amah, “Since when hath
this been her habit and at what hour went she forth?” Quoth his mother,
“She went out early in the morning.” He asked, “And how camest thou to
give her leave for this?”; and she answered, “O my son, ‘twas she
persuaded me?” “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great!” exclaimed Ni’amah and, going forth from his
home in a state of distraction, he repaired to the Captain of the Watch
to whom said he, “Dost thou play tricks upon me and steal my slave-girl
away from my house? I will assuredly complain of thee to the Commander
of the Faithful.” Said the Chief of Police, “Who hath taken her?” and
Ni’amah replied, “An old woman of such and such a mien, clad in woollen
raiment and carrying a rosary of beads numbered by thousands.” Rejoined
the other, “Find me the old woman and I will get thee back thy
slave-girl.” “And who knows the old woman?” retorted Ni’amah. “And who
knows the hidden things save Allah (may He be extolled and exalted!)?”
cried the Chief, who knew her for Al-Hajjaj’s procuress. Cried Ni’amah,
“I look to thee for my slave-girl, and Al-Hajjaj shall judge between
thee and me;” and the Master of Police answered, “Go to whom thou wilt.”
So Ni’amah went to the palace of Al-Hajjaj, for his father was one of
the chief men of Cufa; and, when he arrived there, the Chamberlain went
in to the Governor and told him the case; whereupon Al-Hajjaj said,
“Hither with him!” and when he stood before him enquired, “What be thy
business?” Said Ni’amah, “Such and such things have befallen me;” and
the Governor said, “Bring me the Chief of Police, and we will command
him to seek for the old woman.” Now he knew that the Chief of Police was
acquainted with her; so, when he came, he said to him, “I wish thee to
make search for the slave-girl of Ni’amah son of Al-Rabi’a.” And he
answered, “None knoweth the hidden things save Almighty Allah.” Rejoined
Al-Hajjaj, “There is no help for it but thou send out horsemen and look
for the damsel in all the roads, and seek for her in the towns.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Al-Hajjaj said to
the Captain of the watch, “There is no help for it but thou send out
horsemen, and look for the damsel on all the roads and seek for her in
the towns.” Then he turned to Ni’amah and said to him, “An thy
slave-girl return not, I will give thee ten slave-girls from my house
and ten from that of the Chief of Police.” And he again bade the Captain
of the Watch, “Go and seek for the girl.” So he went out, and Ni’amah
returned home full of trouble and despairing of life; for he had now
reached the age of fourteen and there was yet no hair on his
side-cheeks. So he wept and lamented and shut himself up from his
household; and ceased not to weep and lament, he and his mother, till
the morning, when his father came in to him and said, “O my son, of a
truth, Al-Hajjaj hath put a cheat upon the damsel and hath taken her;
but from hour to hour Allah giveth relief.” However grief redoubled on
Ni’amah, so that he knew not what he said nor knew he who came in to
him, and he fell sick for three months; his charms were changed, his
father despaired of him and the physicians visited him and said, “There
is no remedy for him save the damsel.” Now as his father was sitting one
day, behold, he heard tell of a skilful Persian physician, whom the folk
gave out for perfect in medicine and astrology and geomancy. So
Al-Rabi’a sent for him and, seating him by his side, entreated him with
honour and said to him, “Look into my son’s case.” Thereupon quoth he to
Ni’amah, “Give me thy hand.” The young man gave him his hand and he felt
his pulse and his joints and looked in his face; then he laughed and,
turning to his father, said, “Thy son’s sole ailment is one of the
heart.”[12] He replied, “Thou sayest sooth, O sage, but apply thy skill
to his state and case, and acquaint me with the whole thereof and hide
naught from me of his condition.” Quoth the Persian, “Of a truth he is
enamoured of a slave-girl and this slave-girl is either in Bassorah or
Damascus; and there is no remedy for him but reunion with her.” Said
Al-Rabi’a, “An thou bring them together, thou shalt live all thy life in
wealth and delight.” Answered the Persian, “In good sooth this be an
easy matter and soon brought about;” and he turned to Ni’amah and said
to him, “No hurt shall befal thee; so be of good cheer and keep thine
eyes cool and clear.” Then quoth he to Al-Rabi’a, “Bring me out four
thousand dinars of your money;” so he gave them to him, and he added, “I
wish to carry thy son with me to Damascus; and Almighty Allah willing, I
will not return thence but with the damsel.” Then he turned to the youth
and asked, “What is thy name?”; and he answered “Ni’amah.” Quoth the
Persian, “O Ni’amah, sit up and be of good heart, for Allah will reunite
thee with the damsel.” And when he sat up the leach continued, “Be of
good cheer for we set out for Damascus this very day: put thy trust in
the Lord, and eat and drink and be cheerful so as to fortify thyself for
travel.” Upon this the Persian began making preparation of all things
needed, such as presents and rarities; and he took of Al-Rabi’a in all
the sum of ten thousand dinars, together with horses and camels and
beasts of burden and other requisites. Then Ni’amah farewelled his
father and mother and journeyed with the physician to Aleppo. They could
find no news of Naomi there, so they fared on to Damascus, where they
abode three days, after which the Persian took a shop and he adorned
even the shelves with vessels of costly porcelain, with covers of
silver, and with gildings and stuffs of price. Moreover, he set before
himself vases and flagons of glass full of all manner of ointments and
syrups, and he surrounded them with cups of crystal and, placing
astrolabe and geomantic tablet facing him, he donned a physician’s habit
and took his seat in the shop. Then he set Ni’amah standing before him
clad in a shirt and gown of silk and, girding his middle with a silken
kerchief gold-embroidered, said to him, “O Ni’amah, henceforth thou art
my son; so call me naught but sire, and I will call thee naught but
son.” And he replied, “I hear and I obey.” Thereupon the people of
Damascus flocked to the Persian’s shop that they might gaze on the
youth’s goodliness and the beauty of the shop and its contents, whilst
the physician spoke to Ni’amah in Persian and he answered him in the
same tongue, for he knew the language, after the wont of the sons of the
notables. So that Persian doctor soon became known among the townsfolk
and they began to acquaint him with their ailments, and he to prescribe
for them remedies. Moreover, they brought him the water of the sick in
phials,[13] and he would test it and say, “He, whose water this is, is
suffering from such and such a disease,” and the patient would declare,
“Verily this physician sayeth sooth.” So he continued to do the
occasions of the folk and they to flock to him, till his fame spread
throughout the city and into the houses of the great. Now, one day as he
sat in his shop, behold, there came up an old woman riding on an ass
with a stuffed saddle of brocade embroidered with jewels; and, stopping
before the Persian’s shop, drew rein and beckoned him, saying, “Take my
hand.” He took her hand, and she alighted and asked him, “Art thou the
Persian physician from Irak?” “Yes,” answered he, and she said, “Know
that I have a sick daughter.” Then she brought out to him a phial and
the Persian looked at it and said to her, “O my mistress, tell me thy
daughter’s name, that I may calculate her horoscope and learn the hour
in which it will befit her to drink medicine.” She replied, “O my
brother the Persian,[14] her name is Naomi.”——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Persian
heard the name of Naomi, he fell to calculating and writing on his hand
and presently said, “O my lady, I cannot prescribe a medicine for her
till I know what country woman she is, because of the difference of
climate: so tell me in what land she was brought up and what is her
age.” The old woman replied, “She is fourteen years old and she was
brought up in Cufa of Irak.” He asked, “And how long hath she sojourned
in this country?” “But a few months,” answered she. Now when Ni’amah
heard the old woman’s words and recognised the name of his slave-girl,
his heart fluttered and he was like to faint. Then said the Persian,
“Such and such medicines will suit her case;” and the old woman
rejoined, “Then make them up and give me what thou hast mentioned, with
the blessing of Almighty Allah.” So saying, she threw upon the
shop-board ten gold pieces; and he looked at Ni’amah and bade him
prepare the necessary drugs; whereupon she also looked at the youth and
exclaimed, “Allah have thee in his keeping, O my son! Verily, she
favoureth thee in age and mien.” Then said she to the physician, “O my
brother the Persian, is this thy slave or thy son?” “He is my son,”
answered he. So Ni’amah put up the medicine and, placing it in a little
box, took a piece of paper and wrote thereon these two couplets:[15]—

 If Naomi bless me with a single glance, ✿ Let Su’adá sue and Juml joy to
 They said, “Forget her: twenty such thou’lt find.” ✿ But none is like
    her—I will _not_ forget!

He pressed the paper into the box and, sealing it up, wrote upon the
cover the following words in Cufic character, “I am Ni’amah son of
al-Rabi’a of Cufa.” Then he set it before the old woman who took it and
bade them farewell and returned to the Caliph’s palace; and when she
went up with the drugs to the damsel she placed the little box of
medicine at her feet, saying, “O my lady, know that there is lately come
to our town a Persian physician, than whom I never saw a more skilful
nor a better versed in matters of malady. I told him thy name, after
showing him the water-bottle, and forthwith he knew thine ailment and
prescribed a remedy. Then he bade his son make thee up this medicine;
and there is not in Damascus a comelier or a seemlier youth than this
lad of his, nor hath anyone a shop the like of his shop.” So Naomi took
the box and, seeing the names of her lord and his father written on the
cover, changed colour and said to herself, “Doubtless, the owner of this
shop is come in search of me.” So she said to the old woman, “Describe
to me this youth.” Answered the old woman, “His name is Ni’amah, he hath
a mole on his right eyebrow, is richly clad and is perfectly handsome.”
Cried Naomi, “Give me the medicine, whereon be the blessing and help of
Almighty Allah!” So she drank off the potion (and she laughing) and
said, “Indeed, it is a blessed medicine!” Then she sought in the box
and, finding the paper, opened it, read it, understood it and knew that
this was indeed her lord, whereat her heart was solaced and she
rejoiced. Now when the old woman saw her laughing, she exclaimed, “This
is indeed a blessed day!”; and Naomi said, “O nurse, I have a mind for
something to eat and drink.” The old woman said to the serving-women,
“Bring a tray of dainty viands for your mistress”; whereupon they set
food before her and she sat down to eat. And behold in came the Caliph
who, seeing her sitting at meat, rejoiced; and the old woman said to
him, “O Commander of the Faithful, I give thee joy of thy handmaid
Naomi’s recovery! And the cause is that there is lately come to this our
city a physician than whom I never saw a better versed in diseases and
their remedies. I fetched her medicine from him and she hath drunken of
it but once and is restored to health.” Quoth he, “Take a thousand
dinars and apply thyself to her treatment, till she be completely
recovered.” And he went away, rejoicing in the damsel’s recovery, whilst
the old woman betook herself to the Persian’s house and delivered the
thousand dinars, giving him to know that she was become the Caliph’s
slave and also handing him a letter which Naomi had written. He took it
and gave the letter to Ni’amah, who at first sight knew her hand and
fell down in a swoon. When he revived he opened the letter and found
these words written therein: “From the slave despoiled of her Ni’amah,
her delight; her whose reason hath been beguiled and who is parted from
the core of her heart. But afterwards. Of a truth thy letter hath
reached me and hath broadened my breast, and solaced my soul, even as
saith the poet:—

 Thy note came: long lost fingers wrote that note, ✿ Till drop they
    sweetest scents for what they wrote:
 ‘Twas Moses to his mother’s arms restored; ✿ ‘Twas Jacob’s eye-sight
    cured by Joseph’s coat!”[16]

When Ni’amah read these verses, his eyes ran over with tears and the old
woman said to him, “What maketh thee to weep, O my son? Allah never
cause thine eye to shed tears!” Cried the Persian, “O my lady, how
should my son not weep, seeing that this is his slave-girl and he her
lord, Ni’amah son of al-Rabi’a of Cufa; and her health dependeth on her
seeing him, for naught aileth her but loving him.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian cried
out to the old woman, “How shall my son not weep, seeing that this is
his slave-girl and he her lord, Ni’amah son of al-Rabi’a of Cufa; and
the health of this damsel dependeth on her seeing him and naught aileth
her but loving him. So, do thou, O my lady, take these thousand dinars
to thyself and thou shalt have of me yet more than this; only look on us
with eyes of ruth; for we know not how to bring this affair to a happy
end save through thee.” Then she said to Ni’amah, “Say, art thou indeed
her lord?” He replied, “Yes,” and she rejoined, “Thou sayest sooth; for
she ceaseth not continually to name thee.” Then he told her all that had
passed from first to last, and she said, “O youth, thou shalt owe thy
reunion with her to none but myself.” So she mounted and, at once
returning to Naomi, looked in her face and laughed saying, “It is just,
O my daughter, that thou weep and fall sick for thy separation from thy
master, Ni’amah son of Al-Rabi’a of Cufa.” Quoth Naomi, “Verily, the
veil hath been withdrawn for thee and the truth revealed to thee.”
Rejoined the old woman, “Be of good cheer and take heart, for I will
assuredly bring you together, though it cost me my life.” Then she
returned to Ni’amah and said to him, “I went to thy slave-girl and
conversed with her, and I find that she longeth for thee yet more than
thou for her; for although the Commander of the Faithful is minded to
become intimate with her, she refuseth herself to him. But if thou be
stout of purpose and firm of heart, I will bring you together and
venture my life for you, and play some trick and make shift to carry
thee into the Caliph’s palace, where thou shalt meet her, for she cannot
come forth.” And Ni’amah answered, “Allah requite thee with good!” Then
she took leave of him and went back to Naomi and said, “Thy lord is
indeed dying of love for thee and would fain see thee and foregather
with thee. What sayest thou?” Naomi replied, “And I too am longing for
his sight and dying for his love.” Whereupon the old woman took a parcel
of women’s clothes and ornaments and, repairing to Ni’amah, said to him,
“Come with me into some place apart.” So he brought her into the room
behind the shop where she stained his hands and decked his wrists and
plaited his hair, after which she clad him in a slave-girl’s habit and
adorned him after the fairest fashion of woman’s adornment, till he was
as one of the Houris of the Garden of Heaven, and when she saw him thus
she exclaimed, “Blessed be Allah, best of Creators! By Allah, thou art
handsomer than the damsel.[17] Now, walk with thy left shoulder forwards
and thy right well behind, and sway thy hips from side to side.”[18] So
he walked before her, as she bade him; and, when she saw he had caught
the trick of woman’s gait, she said to him, “Expect me to-morrow night,
and Allah willing, I will take and carry thee to the palace. But when
thou seest the Chamberlains and the Eunuchs be bold, and bow thy head
and speak not with any, for I will prevent their speech; and with Allah
is success!” Accordingly, when the morning dawned, she returned and,
carrying him to the palace, entered before him and he after her step by
step. The Chamberlain would have stopped his entering, but the old woman
said to him, “O most ill-omened of slaves, this is the handmaid of
Naomi, the Caliph’s favourite. How durst thou stay her when she would
enter?” Then said she, “Come in, O damsel!”; and the old woman went in
and they ceased not faring on, till they drew near the door leading to
the inner piazza of the palace, when she said to him, “O Ni’amah,
hearten thyself and take courage and enter and turn to the left: then
count five doors and pass through the sixth, for it is that of the place
prepared for thee. Fear nothing, and if any speak to thee, answer not
neither stop.” Then she went up with him to the door, and the
Chamberlain there on guard accosted her, saying, “What damsel is
this?”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Chamberlain accosted the old woman, saying, “What damsel is this?”;
quoth the ancient dame, “Our lady hath a mind to buy her;” and he
rejoined, “None may enter save by leave of the Commander of the
Faithful; so do thou go back with her. I cannot let her pass for thus am
I commanded.” Replied the old woman, “O Chief Chamberlain, use thy
reason. Thou knowest that Naomi, the Caliph’s slave-girl, of whom he is
enamoured, is but now restored to health and the Commander of the
Faithful hardly yet crediteth her recovery. She is minded to buy this
handmaid; so oppose thou not her entrance, lest haply it come to Naomi’s
knowledge and she be wroth with thee and suffer a relapse and this cause
thy head to be cut off.” Then said she to Ni’amah, “Enter, O damsel; pay
no heed to what he saith and tell not the Queen-consort that her
Chamberlain opposed thine entrance.” So Ni’amah bowed his head and
entered the palace, and would have turned to the left, but mistook the
direction and walked to his right; and, meaning to count five doors and
enter the sixth, he counted six and entering the seventh, found himself
in a place whose floor was carpeted with brocade and whose walls were
hung with curtains of gold-embroidered silk. And therein stood censers
of aloes-wood and ambergris and strong-scented musk, and at the upper
end was a couch bespread with cloth of gold on which he seated himself,
marvelling at the magnificence he saw and knowing not what was written
for him in the Secret Purpose. As he sat musing on his case, the
Caliph’s sister, followed by her handmaid, came in upon him; and, seeing
the youth seated there took him for a slave-girl and accosted him and
said, “Who art thou O damsel? and what is thy case and who brought thee
hither?” He made no reply, and was silent, when she continued, “O
damsel! if thou be one of my brother’s concubines and he be wroth with
thee, I will intercede with him for thee and get thee grace.” But he
answered her not a word; so she said to her slave-girl, “Stand at the
door and let none enter.” Then she went up to Ni’amah and looking at him
was amazed at his beauty and said to him, “O lady, tell me who thou art
and what is thy name and how thou camest here; for I have never seen
thee in our palace.” Still he answered not, whereat she was angered and,
putting her hand to his bosom, found no breasts and would have unveiled
him, that she might know who he was; but he said to her, “O my lady, I
am thy slave and I cast myself on thy protection: do thou protect me.”
She said, “No harm shall come to thee, but tell me who thou art and who
brought thee into this my apartment.” Answered he, “O Princess, I am
known as Ni’amah bin al-Rabi’a of Cufa and I have ventured my life for
the sake of my slave-girl Naomi, whom Al-Hajjaj took by sleight and sent
hither.” Said she, “Fear not: no harm shall befal thee;” then, calling
her maid, she said to her, “Go to Naomi’s chamber and send her to me.”
Meanwhile the old woman went to Naomi’s bedroom and said to her, “Hath
thy lord come to thee?” “No, by Allah!” answered Naomi, and the other
said, “Belike he hath gone astray and entered some chamber other than
thine and lost himself.” So Naomi cried, “There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Our last hour is
come and we are all lost.” And while they were sitting and sadly enough
pondering their case, in came the Princess’s handmaid and saluting Naomi
said to her, “My lady biddeth thee to her banquet.” “I hear and I obey,”
answered the damsel and the old woman said, “Belike thy lord is with the
Caliph’s sister and the veil of secrecy hath been rent.” So Naomi at
once sprang up and betook herself to the Princess, who said to her,
“Here is thy lord sitting with me; it seemeth he hath mistaken the
place; but, please Allah, neither thou nor he has any cause for fear.”
When Naomi heard these words, she took heart of grace and went up to
Ni’amah; and her lord when he saw her——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ni’amah saw
his handmaid Naomi, he rose to meet her and strained her to his bosom
and both fell to the ground fainting. As soon as they came to
themselves, the Caliph’s sister said to them, “Sit ye down and take we
counsel for your deliverance from this your strait.” And they answered,
“O our lady, we hear and obey; it is thine to command.” Quoth she, “By
Allah, no harm shall befal you from us!” Then she bade her handmaids
bring meat and drink which was done, and they sat down and ate till they
had enough, after which they sat drinking. Then the cup went round
amongst them and their cares ceased from them; but Ni’amah said, “Would
I knew how this will end.” The Princess asked, “O Ni’amah, dost thou
love thy slave Naomi?”; and he answered, “Of a truth it is my passion
for her which hath brought me to this state of peril for my life.” Then
said she to the damsel, “O Naomi, dost thou love thy lord Ni’amah?”; and
she replied, “O my lady, it is the love of him which hath wasted my body
and brought me to evil case.” Rejoined the Princess, “By Allah, since ye
love each other thus, may he not be who would part you! Be of good cheer
and keep your eyes cool and clear.” At this they both rejoiced and Naomi
called for a lute and, when they brought it, she took it and tuned it
and played a lively measure which enchanted the hearers, and after the
prelude sang these couplets:—

 When the slanderers cared but to part us twain, ✿ We owed no blood-debt
    could raise their ire;
 And they poured in our ears all the din of war, ✿ And aid failed and
    friends, when my want was dire:
 I fought them hard with mine eyes and tears; ✿ With breath and sword,
    with the stream and fire!

Then Naomi gave the lute to her master, Ni’amah, saying, “Sing thou to
us some verse.” So he took it and playing a lively measure, intoned
these couplets:—

 Full Moon if unfreckled would favour thee, ✿ And Sun uneclipsed would
    reflect thy blee:
 I wonder (but love is of wonders full ✿ And ardour and passion and
 How short the way to my love I fare, ✿ Which, from her faring, so long I

Now when he had made an end of his song, Naomi filled the cup and gave
it to him, and he took it and drank it off; then she filled again and
gave the cup to the Caliph’s sister who also emptied it; after which the
Princess in her turn took the lute and tightened the strings and tuned
it and sang these two couplets:—

 Grief, cark and care in my heart reside, ✿ And the fires of love in my
    breast abide;
 My wasted form to all eyes shows clear; ✿ For Desire my body hath

Then she filled the cup and gave it to Naomi, who drank it off and
taking the lute, sang these two couplets:—

 O to whom I gave soul which thou torturest, ✿ And in vain I’d recover
    from fair Unfaith,
 Do grant thy favours my care to cure ✿ Ere I die, for this be my latest

And they ceased not to sing verses and drink to the sweet sound of the
strings, full of mirth and merriment and joy and jollity till behold, in
came the Commander of the Faithful. Now when they saw him, they rose and
kissed the ground before him; and he, seeing Naomi with the lute in her
hand, said to her, “O Naomi, praised be Allah who hath done away from
thee sickness and suffering!” Then he looked at Ni’amah (who was still
disguised as a woman), and said to the Princess, “O my sister, what
damsel is this by Naomi’s side?” She replied, “O Commander of the
Faithful, thou hast here a handmaid, one of thy concubines and the bosom
friend of Naomi who will neither eat nor drink without her.” And she
repeated the words of the poet:—

 Two contraries, and both concur in opposite charms, ✿ And charms so
    contraried by contrast lovelier show.

Quoth the Caliph, “By Allah Omnipotent, verily she is as handsome as
Naomi, and to-morrow I will appoint her a separate chamber beside that
of her friend and send her furniture and stuffs and all that befitteth
her, in honour of Naomi.” Then the Princess called for food and set it
before her brother, who ate and made himself at home in their place and
company. Then filling a cup he signed to Naomi to sing; so she took the
lute, after draining two of them and sang these two couplets:—

 Since my toper-friend in my hand hath given ✿ Three cups that brim and
    bubble, e’er since
 I’ve trailed my skirts throughout night for pride ✿ As tho’, Prince of
    the Faithful, I were thy Prince!

The Prince of True Believers was delighted and filling another cup, gave
it to Naomi and bade her sing again; so after draining the cup and
sweeping the strings, she sang as follows:—

 O most noble of men in this time and stound, ✿ Of whom none may boast he
    is equal found!
 O matchless in greatness of soul and gifts, ✿ O thou Chief, O thou King
    amongst all renowned:
 Lord, who dealest large boons to the Lords of Earth, ✿ Whom thou vexest
    not nor dost hold them bound;
 The Lord preserve thee, and spoil thy foes, ✿ And ne’er cease thy lot
    with good Fortune crowned!

Now when the Caliph heard these couplets, he exclaimed, “By Allah, good!
By Allah, excellent! Verily the Lord hath been copious[19] to thee, O
Naomi! How clever is thy tongue and how clear is thy speech!” And they
ceased not their mirth and good cheer till midnight, when the Caliph’s
sister said to him, “Give ear, O Commander of the Faithful to a tale I
have read in books of a certain man of rank.” “And what is this tale?”
quoth he. Quoth she “Know, O Prince of the Faithful that there lived
once in the city of Cufa a youth called Ni’amah, son of Al-Rabi’a, and
he had a slave-girl whom he loved and who loved him. They had been
reared in one bed; but when they grew up and mutual love gat hold of
them, Fortune smote them with her calamities and Time, the tyrant,
brought upon them his adversity and decreed separation unto them.
Thereupon designing and slanderous folk enticed her by sleight forth of
his house and, stealing her away from his home, sold her to one of the
Kings for ten thousand dinars. Now the girl loved her lord even as he
loved her; so he left kith and kin and house and home and the gifts of
fortune, and set out to search for her and when she was found he devised
means to gain access to her”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph’s
sister said, “And Ni’amah ceased not absenting himself from his kith and
kin and patrial stead, that he might gain access to his handmaid, and he
incurred every peril and lavished his life till he gained access to her,
and her name was Naomi, like this slave-girl. But the interview was
short; they had not been long in company when in came the King, who had
bought her of her kidnapper, and hastily ordered them to be slain,
without doing justice by his own soul and delaying to enquire into the
matter before the command was carried out. Now what sayest thou, O
Commander of the Faithful, of this King’s wrongous conduct?” Answered
the Caliph; “This was indeed a strange thing: it behoved that King to
pardon when he had the power to punish; and he ought to have regarded
three things in their favour. The first was that they loved each other;
the second that they were in his house and in his grasp; and the third
that it befitteth a King to be deliberate in judging and ordering
between folk, and how much more so in cases where he himself is
concerned! Wherefore this King thus did an unkingly deed.” Then said his
sister, “O my brother, by the King of the heavens and the earth, I
conjure thee, bid Naomi sing and hearken to that she shall sing!” So he
said, “O Naomi, sing to me;” whereupon she played a lively measure and
sang these couplets:—

 Beguiled us Fortune who her guile displays, ✿ Smiting the heart,
    bequeathing thoughts that craze,
 And parting lovers whom she made to meet, ✿ Till tears in torrent either
    cheek displays:
 They were and I was and my life was glad, ✿ While Fortune often joyed to
    join our ways;
 I _will_ pour tear-flood, _will_ rain gouts of blood, ✿ Thy loss
    bemoaning through the nights and days!

Now when the Commander of the Faithful heard this verse, he was moved to
great delight and his sister said to him, “O my brother, whoso decideth
in aught against himself, him it behoveth to abide by it and do
according to his word; and thou hast judged against thyself by this
judgement.” Then said she, “O Ni’amah, stand up and do thou likewise up
stand, O Naomi!” So they stood up and she continued, “O Prince of True
Believers, she who standeth before thee is Naomi the stolen, whom
Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Sakafi kidnapped and sent to thee, falsely
pretending in his letter to thee that he had bought her for ten thousand
gold pieces. And this other who standeth before thee is her lord,
Ni’amah, son of Al-Rabi’a; and I beseech thee, by the honour of thy
pious forebears and by Hamzah and Ukayl and Abbas,[20] to pardon them
both and overlook their offence and bestow them one on the other, that
thou mayst win rich reward in the next world of thy just dealing with
them; for they are under thy hand and verily they have eaten of thy meat
and drunken of thy drink; and behold, I make intercession for them and
beg of thee the boon of their blood.” Thereupon quoth the Caliph, “Thou
speakest sooth: I did indeed give judgement as thou sayst, and I am not
one to pass sentence and to revoke it.” Then said he, “O Naomi, say, be
this thy lord?” And she answered, “Even so, O Commander of the
Faithful.” Then quoth he, “No harm shall befal you, I give you each to
other;” adding to the young man, “O Ni’amah, who told thee where she was
and taught thee how to get at this place?” He replied, “O Commander of
the Faithful, hearken to my tale and give ear to my history; for, by the
virtue of thy pious forefathers, I will hide nothing from thee!” And he
told him all that had passed between himself and the Persian physician
and the old nurse, and how she had brought him into the palace and he
had mistaken the doors; whereat the Caliph wondered with exceeding
wonder and said, “Fetch me the Persian.” So they brought him into the
presence and he was made one of his chief officers. Moreover the King
bestowed on him robes of honour and ordered him a handsome present,
saying, “When a man hath shown like this man such artful management, it
behoveth us to make him one of our chief officers.” The Caliph also
loaded Ni’amah and Naomi with gifts and honours and rewarded the old
nurse; and they abode with him seven days in joy and content and all
delight of life, when Ni’amah craved leave to return to Cufa with his
slave-girl. The Caliph gave them permission and they departed and
arrived in due course at Cufa, where Ni’amah was restored to his father
and mother, and they abode in all the joys and jollities of life, till
there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of
societies. Now when Amjad and As’ad heard from Bahram this story, they
marvelled with extreme marvel and said, “By Allah, this is indeed a rare
tale!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad and
As’ad heard this story from Bahram the Magian who had become a Moslem,
they marvelled with extreme marvel and thus passed that night; and when
the next morning dawned, they mounted and riding to the palace, sought
an audience of the King who granted it and received them with high
honour. Now as they were sitting together talking, of a sudden they
heard the townsfolk crying aloud and shouting to one another and calling
for help; and the Chamberlain came in to the King and said to him, “Some
King hath encamped before the city, he and his host, with arms and
weapons displayed, and we know not their object and aim.” The King took
counsel with his Wazir Amjad and his brother As’ad; and Amjad said, “I
will go out to him and learn the cause of his coming.” So he took horse
and, riding forth from the city, repaired to the stranger’s camp, where
he found the King and with him a mighty many and mounted Mamelukes. When
the guards saw him, they knew him for an envoy from the King of the
city; so they took him and brought him before their Sultan. Then Amjad
kissed the ground before him; but lo! the King was a Queen, who was
veiled with a mouth-veil, and she said to Amjad, “Know that I have no
design on this your city and that I am come hither only in quest of a
beardless slave of mine, whom if I find with you, I will do you no harm;
but if I find him not, then shall there befal sore onslaught between me
and you.” Asked Amjad, “O Queen, what like is thy slave and what is his
story and what may be his name?” Said she, “His name is As’ad and my
name is Marjanah, and this slave came to my town in company of Bahram, a
Magian, who refused to sell him to me; so I took him by force, but his
master fell upon him by night and bore him away by stealth and he is of
such and such a favour.” When Amjad heard that, he knew it was indeed
his brother As’ad whom she sought and said to her, “O Queen of the age,
Alhamdolillah, praised be Allah, who hath brought us relief! Verily this
slave whom thou seekest is my brother.” Then he told her their story and
all that had befallen them in the land of exile, and acquainted her with
the cause of their departure from the Islands of Ebony, whereat she
marvelled and rejoiced to have found As’ad. So she bestowed a dress of
honour upon Amjad, and he returned forthright to the King and told him
what had passed, at which they all rejoiced and the King went forth with
Amjad and As’ad to meet Queen Marjanah. When they were admitted to her
presence and sat down to converse with her and were thus pleasantly
engaged, behold, a dust-cloud rose and flew and grew, till it walled the
view. And after a while it lifted and showed beneath it an army dight
for victory, in numbers like the swelling sea, armed and armoured
cap-à-pie who, making for the city, encompassed it around as the ring
encompasseth the little finger;[21] and a bared brand was in every hand.
When Amjad and As’ad saw this, they exclaimed, “Verily to Allah we
belong and to Him we shall return! What is this mighty host? Doubtless,
these are enemies, and except we agree with this Queen Marjanah to fight
them, they will take the town from us and slay us. There is no resource
for us but to go out to them and see who they are.” So Amjad arose and
took horse and passed through the city-gate to Queen Marjanah’s camp;
but when he reached the approaching army he found it to be that of his
grandsire, King Ghayur, father of his mother Queen Budur.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad reached
the approaching host, he found it to be that of his grandsire, Lord of
the Isles and the Seas and the Seven Castles; and when he went into the
presence, he kissed the ground between his hands and delivered to him
the message. Quoth the King, “My name is King Ghayur and I come
wayfaring in quest of my daughter Budur whom fortune hath taken from me;
for she left me and returned not to me, nor have I heard any tidings of
her or of her husband Kamar al-Zaman. Have ye any news of them?” When
Amjad heard this, he hung his head towards the ground for a while in
thought till he felt assured that this King was none other than his
grandfather, his mother’s father; whereupon he raised his head and,
kissing ground before him, told him that he was the son of his daughter
Budur; on hearing which Ghayur threw himself upon him and they both fell
a-weeping.[22] Then said Ghayur, “Praised be Allah, O my son, for
safety, since I have foregathered with thee,” and Amjad told him that
his daughter Budur was safe and sound, and her husband Kamar al-Zaman
likewise, and acquainted him that both abode in a city called the City
of Ebony. Moreover, he related to him how his father, being wroth with
him and his brother, had commanded that both be put to death, but that
his treasurer had taken pity on them and let them go with their lives.
Quoth King Ghayur, “I will go back with thee and thy brother to your
father and make your peace with him.” So Amjad kissed the ground before
him in huge delight and the King bestowed a dress of honour upon him,
after which he returned, smiling, to the King of the City of the Magians
and told him what he had learnt from King Ghayur, whereat he wondered
with exceeding wonder. Then he despatched guest-gifts of sheep and
horses and camels and forage and so forth to King Ghayur, and did the
like by Queen Marjanah; and both of them told her what chanced;
whereupon quoth she, “I too will accompany you with my troops and will
do my endeavour to make this peace.” Meanwhile behold, there arose
another dust-cloud and flew and grew till it walled the view and
blackened the day’s bright hue; and under it they heard shouts and cries
and neighing of steeds and beheld sword glance and the glint of levelled
lance. When this new host drew near the city and saw the two other
armies, they beat their drums and the King of the Magians exclaimed,
“This is indeed naught but a blessed day. Praised be Allah who hath made
us of accord with these two armies; and if it be His will, He shall give
us peace with yon other as well.” Then said he to Amjad and As’ad, “Fare
forth and fetch us news of these troops, for they are a mighty host,
never saw I a mightier.” So they opened the city gates, which the King
had shut for fear of the beleaguering armies, and Amjad and As’ad went
forth and, coming to the new host, found that it was indeed a mighty
many. But as soon as they came to it behold, they knew that it was the
army of the King of the Ebony Islands, wherein was their father, King
Kamar al-Zaman in person. Now when they looked upon him, they kissed
ground and wept; but, when he beheld them, he threw himself upon them
weeping, with sore weeping, and strained them to his breast for a full
hour. Then he excused himself to them and told them what desolation he
had suffered for their loss and exile; and they acquainted him with King
Ghayur’s arrival, whereupon he mounted with his chief officers and
taking with him his two sons, proceeded to that King’s camp. As they
drew near, one of the Princes rode forward and informed King Ghayur of
Kamar al-Zaman’s coming, whereupon he came out to meet him and they
joined company, marvelling at these things and how they had chanced to
foregather in that place. Then the townsfolk made them banquets of all
manner meats and sweetmeats and presented to them horses and camels and
fodder and other guest-gifts and all that the troops needed. And while
this was doing, behold, yet another cloud of dust arose and flew till it
walled the view, whilst earth trembled with the tramp of steed and
tabors sounded like stormy winds. After a while, the dust lifted and
discovered an army clad in coats of mail and armed cap-à-pie; but all
were in black garb, and in their midst rode a very old man whose beard
flowed down over his breast and he also was clad in black. When the King
in the city and the city-folk saw this great host, he said to the other
Kings, “Praised be Allah by whose omnipotent command ye are met here,
all in one day, and have proved all known one to the other! But what
vast and victorious army is this which hemmeth in the whole land like a
wall?” They answered, “Have no fear of them; we are three Kings, each
with a great army, and if they be enemies, we will join thee in doing
battle with them, were they three times as many as they now are.”
Meanwhile, up came an envoy from the approaching host, making for the
city. So they brought him before Kamar al-Zaman, King Ghayur, Queen
Marjanah and the King of the city; and he kissed the ground and said,
“My liege lord cometh from Persia-land; for many years ago he lost his
son and he is seeking him in all countries. If he find him with you,
well and good; but if he find him not, there will be war between him and
you and he will waste your city.” Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, “It shall not
come to that; but how is thy master called in Aiam land?” Answered the
envoy, “He is called King Shahriman, lord of the Khalidan Islands; and
he hath levied these troops in the lands traversed by him, whilst
seeking his son.” Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he cried
out with a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit which lasted a long
while; and anon coming to himself he wept bitter tears and said to Amjad
and As’ad, “Go ye, O my sons, with the herald, salute your grandfather
and my father, King Shahriman, and give him glad tidings of me, for he
mourneth my loss and even to the present time he weareth black raiment
for my sake.” Then he told the other Kings all that had befallen him in
the days of his youth, at which they wondered and, going down with him
from the city, repaired to his father, whom he saluted, and they
embraced and fell to the ground senseless for excess of joy. And when
they revived after a while, Kamar al-Zaman acquainted his father with
all his adventures and the other Kings saluted Shahriman. Then, after
having married Marjanah to As’ad, they sent her back to her kingdom,
charging her not to cease correspondence with them; so she took leave
and went her way. Moreover they married Amjad to Bostan, Bahram’s
daughter, and they all set out for the City of Ebony. And when they
arrived there, Kamar al-Zaman went in to his father-in-law, King
Armanus, and told him all that had befallen him and how he had found his
sons; whereat Armanus rejoiced and gave him joy of his safe return. Then
King Ghayur went in to his daughter, Queen Budur,[23] and saluted her
and quenched his longing for her company, and they all abode a full
month’s space in the City of Ebony; after which the King and his
daughter returned to their own country.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Ghayur set
out with his daughter and his host for his own land, and they took with
them Amjad and returned home by easy marches. And when Ghayur was
settled again in his kingdom, he made his grandson King in his stead;
and as to Kamar al-Zaman he also made As’ad king in his room over the
capital of the Ebony Islands, with the consent of his grandfather, King
Armanus and set out himself, with his father, King Shahriman, till the
two made the Islands of Khalidan. Then the lieges decorated the city in
their honour and they ceased not to beat the drums for glad tidings a
whole month; nor did Kamar al-Zaman leave to govern in his father’s
place, till there overtook them the Destroyer of delights and the
Sunderer of societies; and Allah knoweth all things! Quoth King
Shahryar, “O Shahrazad, this is indeed a most wonderful tale!” And she
answered, “O King, it is not more wonderful than that of


Footnote 1:

  The name is indifferently derived from the red sand about the town or
  the reeds and mud with which it was originally built. It was founded
  by the Caliph Omar, when the old Capital Madáin (Ctesiphon) opposite
  was held unwholesome, on the West bank of the Euphrates, four days’
  march from Baghdad and has now disappeared. Al-Saffáh, the first
  Abbaside, made it his Capital and it became a famous seat of Moslem
  learning; the Kufi school of Arab Grammarians being as renowned as
  their opponents, the Basri (of Bassorah). It gave a name to the
  “Cufic” characters which are, however, of much older date.

Footnote 2:

  “Ni’amat” = a blessing; and the word is perpetually occurring in
  Moslem conversation, “Ni’amatu ‘lláh” (as pronounced) is also a
  favourite P. N. and few Anglo-Indians of the Mutiny date will forget
  the scandalous disclosures of Munshi Ni’amatu ‘llah, who had been sent
  to England by Nana Sahib. Nu’m = prosperity, good fortune, and a P. N.
  like the Heb. “Naomi.”

Footnote 3:

  _i.e._ “causing to be prosperous”; the name, corrupted by the Turks to
  “Tevfik,” is given to either sex, _e.g._ Taufik Pasha of Egypt, to
  whose unprosperous rule and miserable career the signification
  certainly does not apply.

Footnote 4:

  Lane (ii. 187) alters the two to four years.

Footnote 5:

  _i.e._ “to Tom, Dick or Harry:” the names like John Doe and Richard
  Roe are used indefinitely in Arab. Grammar and Syntax. I have noted
  that Amru is written and pronounced Amr: hence Amru, the Conqueror of
  Egypt, when told by an astrologer that Jerusalem would be taken only
  by a _trium literarum homo_, with three letters in his name, sent for
  the Caliph Omar (Omr), to whom the so-called Holy City at once
  capitulated. Hence also most probably, the tale of Bhurtpore and the
  Lord Alligator (Kumbhir), who however did not change from Cotton to
  Combermore for some time after the successful siege.

Footnote 6:

  Bin Yúsuf al-Sakafi, a statesman and soldier of the seventh and eighth
  centuries (A.D.). He was Governor of Al-Hijaz and Al-Irak under the
  fifth and sixth Ommiades, and I have noticed his vigorous rule of the
  Moslems’ Holy Land in my Pilgrimage (iii. 194, etc.). He pulled down
  the Ka’abah and restored it to the condition in which it now is.
  Al-Siyuti (p. 219) accuses him of having suborned a man to murder Ibn
  Omar with a poisoned javelin, and of humiliating the Prophet’s
  companions by “sealing them in the necks and hands,” that is he tied a
  thong upon the neck of each and sealed the knot with lead. In Irak he
  showed himself equally masterful; but an iron hand was required by the
  revolutionists of Kufah and Basrah. He behaved like a good Knight in
  rescuing the Moslem women who called upon his name when taken
  prisoners by Dahir of Debal (Tathá in Sind). Al-Hajjaj was not the
  kind of man the Caliph would have chosen for a pander; but the Shi’ahs
  hated him and have given him a lasting bad name. In the East men
  respect manly measures, not the hysterical, philanthropic
  pseudo-humanitarianism of our modern government which is really the
  cruellest of all. When Ziyád bin Abihi was sent by Caliph Mu’awiyah to
  reform Bassorah, a den of thieves, he informed the lieges that he
  intended to rule by the sword and advised all evil-doers to quit the
  city. The people were forbidden, under pain of death, to walk the
  streets after prayers; on the first night two hundred suffered; on the
  second five and none afterwards. Compare this with our civilised rule
  in Egypt where even bands of brigands, a phenomenon perfectly new and
  unknown to this century, have started up, where crime has doubled in
  quantity and quality, and where “Christian rule” has thoroughly
  scandalised a Moslem land.

Footnote 7:

  The old bawd’s portrait is admirably drawn: all we dwellers in the
  East have known her well: she is so and so. Her dress and manners are
  the same amongst the Hindus (see the hypocritical female ascetic in
  the Katha p. 287) as amongst the Moslems; men of the world at once
  recognise her and the prudent keep out of her way. She is found in the
  cities of Southern Europe, ever pious, ever prayerful; and she seems
  to do her work not so much for profit as for pure or impure enjoyment.
  In the text her task was easy, as she had to do with a pair of

Footnote 8:

  Koran, xxv. 70. I give Sale’s version.

Footnote 9:

  Easterns, I have observed, have no way of saying “Thank you;” they
  express it by a blessing or a short prayer. They have a right to your
  surplus: daily bread is divided, they say and, eating yours, they
  consider it their own. I have discussed this matter in Pilgrimage i.
  75-77, in opposition to those who declare that “gratitude” is unknown
  to Moslems.

Footnote 10:

  Cufa (Kufah) being a modern place never had a “King,” but as the Hindu
  says, “Delhi is far”—it is a far cry to Loch Awe. Here we can hardly
  understand “Malik” as Governor or Viceroy: can it be syn. with Zú-mál

Footnote 11:

  Abd al-Malik has been before mentioned as the “Sweat of a Stone,” etc.
  He died recommending Al-Hajjaj to his son, Al-Walid, and one of his
  sayings is still remembered. “He who desireth to take a female slave
  for carnal enjoyment, let him take a native of Barbary; if he need one
  for the sake of children, let him have a Persian; and whoso desireth
  one for service, let him take a Greek.” Moderns say, “If you want a
  brother (in arms) try a Nubian; one to get you wealth an Abyssinian
  and if you want an ass (for labour) a Sáwahíli, or Zanzibar negroid.”

Footnote 12:

  Probably suggested by the history of Antiochus and Stratonice, with an
  addition of Eastern mystery such as geomancy.

Footnote 13:

  Arab. “Kárúrah”: the “water-doctor” has always been an institution in
  the East and he has lately revived in Europe—especially at the German
  baths and in London.

Footnote 14:

  Lane makes this phrase “O brother of the Persians!” synonymous with “O
  Persian!” I think it means more, a Persian being generally considered
  “too clever by half.”

Footnote 15:

  The verses deal in untranslatable word-plays upon women’s names, Naomi
  (the blessing) Su’adá or Su’ád (the happy, which Mr. Redhouse, in
  Ka’ab’s Mantle-poem, happily renders Beatrice); and Juml (a sum or
  total) the two latter, moreover, being here fictitious.

Footnote 16:

  “And he (Jacob) turned from them, and said, ‘O how I am grieved for
  Joseph!’ And his eyes became white with mourning.... (Quoth Joseph to
  his brethren), ‘Take this my inner garment and throw it on my father’s
  face and he shall recover his sight....’ So, when the messenger of
  good tidings came (to Jacob) he threw it (the shirt) over his face and
  he recovered his eye-sight.”—Koran, xii. 84, 93, 96. The commentators,
  by way of improvement, assure us that the shirt was that worn by
  Abraham when thrown into the fire (Koran, chapt. xvi.) by Nimrod (!).
  We know little concerning “Jacob’s daughters” who named the only
  bridge spanning the upper Jordan, and who have a curious shrine-tomb
  near Jewish “Safed” (North of Tiberias), one of the four “Holy
  Cities.” The Jews ignore these “daughters of Jacob” and travellers
  neglect them.

Footnote 17:

  Easterns, I have remarked, mostly recognise the artistic truth that
  the animal man is handsomer than woman; and that “fair sex” is truly
  only of skin-colour. The same is the general rule throughout creation,
  for instance the stallion compared with the mare, the cock with the
  hen; while there are sundry exceptions such as the Falconidæ.

Footnote 18:

  The Badawi (who is nothing if not horsey) compares the gait of a woman
  who walks well (in Europe rarely seen out of Spain) with the slightly
  swinging walk of a thoroughbred mare, bending her graceful neck and
  looking from side to side at objects as she passes.

Footnote 19:

  Li ‘lláhi (darr’) al-káil, a characteristic idiom. “Darr” = giving
  (rich) milk copiously; and the phrase expresses admiration, “To Allah
  be ascribed (or Allah be praised for) his rich eloquence who said,”
  etc. Some Hebraists would render it, “Divinely (well) did he speak who
  said,” etc., holding “Allah” to express a superlative like “Yah” (Jah)
  in Gen. iv. 1; x. 9. Nimrod was a hunter to the person (or presence)
  of Yah, _i.e._ mighty hunter.

Footnote 20:

  Hamzah and Abbás were the famous uncles of Mohammed often noticed;
  Ukayl is not known; possibly it may be Akíl, a son of the fourth
  Caliph, Ali.

Footnote 21:

  The Eastern ring is rarely plain; and, its use being that of a signet,
  it is always in intaglio: the Egyptians invented engraving
  hieroglyphics on wooden stamps for marking bricks and applied the
  process to the ring. Moses B.C. 1491 (Exod. xxviii. 9) took two
  onyx-stones, and graved on them the names of the children of Israel.
  From this the signet ring was but a step. Herodotus mentions an
  emerald seal set in gold, that of Polycrates, the work of Theodorus
  son of Telecles the Samian (iii. 141). The Egyptians also were
  perfectly acquainted with working in cameo (anaglyph) and rilievo, as
  may be seen in the cavo rilievo of the finest of their hieroglyphs.
  The Greeks borrowed from them the cameo and applied it to gems (_e.g._
  Tryphon’s in the Marlborough collection), and they bequeathed the art
  to the Romans. We read in a modern book “Cameo means an onyx, and the
  most famous cameo in the world is the onyx containing the Apotheosis
  of Augustus.” The ring is given in marriage because it was a seal by
  which orders were signed (Gen. xxxviii. 18 and Esther iii. 10-12). I
  may note that the seal-ring of Cheops (Khufu), found in the Greatest
  Pyramid, was in the possession of my old friend, Doctor Abbott, of
  Auburn (U.S.), and was sold with his collection. It is the oldest ring
  in the world, and settles the Cheops-question.

Footnote 22:

  This habit of weeping when friends meet after long parting is
  customary, I have noted, amongst the American “Indians,” the Badawin
  of the New World; they shed tears thinking of the friends they have
  lost. Like most primitive people they are ever ready to weep as was
  Æneas or Shakespeare’s saline personage:—

             This would make a man, a man of salt
             To use his eyes for garden waterpots.

                                         (King Lear, iv. 6.)

Footnote 23:

  Here poetical justice is not done; in most Arab tales the two
  adulterous Queens would have been put to death.

                     ALA AL-DIN ABU AL-SHAMAT.”[24]

“What is that?” asked he, and she said, It hath reached me that there
lived, in times of yore and years and ages long gone before, a merchant
of Cairo[25] named Shams al-Din, who was of the best and truest-spoken
of the traders of the city; and he had eunuchs and servants and
negro-slaves and handmaids and Mamelukes and great store of money.
Moreover, he was Consul[26] of the Merchants of Cairo and owned a wife,
whom he loved and who loved him; except that he had lived with her forty
years, yet had not been blessed with a son or even a daughter. One day,
as he sat in his shop, he noted that the merchants, each and every, had
a son or two sons or more sitting in their shops like their sires. Now
the day being Friday; he entered the Hammam-bath and made the total
ablution: after which he came out and took the barber’s glass and looked
in it, saying, “I testify that there is no god but _the_ God and I
testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God!” Then he considered his
beard and, seeing that the white hairs in it covered the black,
bethought himself that hoariness is the harbinger of death. Now his wife
knew the time of his coming home and had washed and made herself ready
for him, so when he came in to her, she said, “Good evening,” but he
replied “I see no good.” Then she called to the handmaid, “Spread the
supper-tray;” and when this was done quoth she to her husband, “Sup, O
my lord.” Quoth he, “I will eat nothing,” and pushing the tray away with
his foot, turned his back upon her. She asked, “Why dost thou thus? and
what hath vexed thee?”; and he answered, “Thou art the cause of my
vexation.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams al-Din said
to his wife, “Thou art the cause of my vexation.” She asked,
“Wherefore?” and he answered, “When I opened my shop this morning, I saw
that each and every of the merchants had with him a son or two sons or
more, sitting in their shops like their fathers; and I said to
myself:—He who took thy sire will not spare thee. Now the night I first
visited thee,[27] thou madest me swear that I would never take a second
wife over thee nor a concubine, Abyssinian or Greek or handmaid of other
race; nor would lie a single night away from thee: and behold, thou art
barren, and having thee is like boring into the rock.” Rejoined she,
“Allah is my witness that the fault lies with thee, for that thy seed is
thin.” He asked, “And what showeth the man whose semen is thin?” And she
answered, “He cannot get women with child, nor beget children.” Quoth
he, “What thickeneth the seed? tell me and I will buy it: haply, it will
thicken mine.” Quoth she, “Enquire for it of the druggists.” So he slept
with her that night and arose on the morrow, repenting of having spoken
angrily to her; and she also regretted her cross words. Then he went to
the market and, finding a druggist, saluted him; and when his salutation
was returned said to him, “Say, hast thou with thee a seed-thickener?”
He replied, “I had it, but am out of it: enquire thou of my neighbour.”
Then Shams al-Din made the round till he had asked every one, but they
all laughed at him, and presently he returned to his shop and sat down,
sore troubled. Now there was in the bazar a man who was Deputy Syndic of
the brokers and was given to the use of opium and electuary and green
hashísh.[28] He was called Shaykh Mohammed Samsam and being poor he used
to wish Shams al-Din good morrow every day. So he came to him according
to his custom and saluted him. The merchant returned his salute, but in
ill-temper, and the other, seeing him vexed, said, “O my lord, what hath
crossed thee?” Thereupon Shams al-Din told him all that occurred between
himself and his wife, adding, “These forty years have I been married to
her yet hath she borne me neither son nor daughter; and they say:—The
cause of thy failure to get her with child is the thinness of thy seed;
so I have been seeking a something wherewith to thicken my semen but
found it not.” Quoth Shaykh Mohammed, “O my lord, I have a
seed-thickener, but what wilt thou say to him who causeth thy wife to
conceive by thee after these forty years have passed?” Answered the
merchant, “If thou do this, I will work thy weal and reward thee.” “Then
give me a dinar,” rejoined the broker, and Shams al-Din said, “Take
these two dinars.” He took them and said, “Give me also yonder big bowl
of porcelain.” So he gave it to him and the broker betook himself to a
hashish-seller, of whom he bought two ounces of concentrated Roumi opium
and equal parts of Chinese cubebs, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, ginger,
white pepper and mountain skink[29]; and, pounding them all together,
boiled them in sweet olive-oil; after which he added three ounces of
male frankincense in fragments and a cupful of coriander-seed; and,
macerating the whole, made it into an electuary with Roumi bee-honey.
Then he put the confection in the bowl and carried it to the merchant,
to whom he delivered it, saying, “Here is the seed-thickener, and the
manner of using it is this. Take of my electuary with a spoon after
supping, and wash it down with a sherbet made of rose conserve; but
first sup off mutton and house-pigeon plentifully seasoned and hotly
spiced.” So the merchant bought all this and sent the meat and pigeons
to his wife, saying; “Dress them deftly and lay up the seed-thickener
until I want it and call for it.” She did his bidding and, when she
served up the meats, he ate the evening meal, after which he called for
the bowl and ate of the electuary. It pleased him well, so he ate the
rest and knew his wife. That very night she conceived by him and, after
three months, her courses ceased, no blood came from her and she knew
that she was with child. When the days of her pregnancy were
accomplished, the pangs of labour took her and they raised loud
lullilooings and cries of joy. The midwife delivered her with
difficulty, by pronouncing over the boy at his birth the names of
Mohammed and Ali, and said, “Allah is Most Great!”; and she called in
his ear the call to prayer. Then she wrapped him up and passed him to
his mother, who took him and gave him the breast; and he sucked and was
full and slept. The midwife abode with them three days, till they had
made the mothering-cakes of sugared bread and sweetmeats; and they
distributed them on the seventh day. Then they sprinkled salt against
the evil eye and the merchant, going in to his wife, gave her joy of her
safe delivery, and said, “Where is Allah’s deposit?” So they brought him
a babe of surpassing beauty, the handiwork of the Orderer who is ever
present and, though he was but seven days old, those who saw him would
have deemed him a yearling child. So the merchant looked on his face
and, seeing it like a shining full moon, with moles on either cheek,
said he to his wife, “What hast thou named him?” Answered she, “If it
were a girl I had named her; but this is a boy, so none shall name him
but thou.” Now the people of that time used to name their children by
omens; and, whilst the merchant and his wife were taking counsel of the
name, behold, one said to his friend, “Ho my lord, Ala al-Din!” So the
merchant said, “We will call him Ala al-Din Abú al-Shámát.”[30] Then he
committed the child to the nurse, and he drank milk two years, after
which they weaned him and he grew up and throve and walked upon the
floor. When he came to seven years old, they put him in a chamber under
a trap-door, for fear of the evil eye, and his father said, “He shall
not come out, till his beard grow.” So he gave him in charge to a
handmaid and a blackamoor; the girl dressed him his meals and the slave
carried them to him. Then his father circumcised him and made him a
great feast; after which he brought him a doctor of the law, who taught
him to write and read and repeat the Koran, and other arts and sciences,
till he became a good scholar and an accomplished. One day it so came to
pass that the slave, after bringing him the tray of food went away and
left the trap-door open: so Ala al-Din came forth from the vault and
went in to his mother, with whom was a company of women of rank. As they
sat talking, behold, in came upon them the youth as he were a white
slave drunken[31] for the excess of his beauty; and when they saw him,
they veiled their faces and said to his mother, “Allah requite thee, O
such an one! How canst thou let this strange Mameluke in upon us?
Knowest thou not that modesty is a point of the Faith?” She replied,
“Pronounce Allah’s name[32] and cry Bismillah! this is my son, the fruit
of my vitals and the heir of Consul Shams al-Din, the child of the nurse
and the collar and the crust and the crumb.”[33] Quoth they, “Never in
our days knew we that thou hadst a son”; and quoth she, “Verily his
father feared for him the evil eye and reared him in an under-ground
chamber;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala-al-Din’s
mother said to her lady-friends, “Verily his father feared for him the
evil eye and reared him in an under-ground chamber; and haply the slave
forgot to shut the door and he fared forth; but we did not mean that he
should come out, before his beard was grown.” The women gave her joy of
him, and the youth went out from them into the court yard where he
seated himself in the open sitting-room; and behold, in came the slaves
with his father’s she-mule, and he said to them, “Whence cometh this
mule?” Quoth they, “We escorted thy father when riding her to the shop,
and we have brought her back.” He asked, “What may be my father’s
trade?”; and they answered, “Thy father is Consul of the merchants in
the land of Egypt and Sultan of the Sons of the Arabs.” Then he went in
to his mother and said to her, “O my mother, what is my father’s trade?”
Said she, “O my son, thy sire is a merchant and Consul of the merchants
in the land of Egypt and Sultan of the Sons of the Arabs. His slaves
consult him not in selling aught whose price is less than one thousand
gold pieces, but merchandise worth him an hundred and less they sell at
their own discretion; nor doth any merchandise whatever, little or
muchel, leave the country without passing through his hands and he
disposeth of it as he pleaseth; nor is a bale packed and sent abroad
amongst folk but what is under his disposal. And Almighty Allah, O my
son, hath given thy father monies past compt.” He rejoined, “O my
mother, praised be Allah, that I am son of the Sultan of the Sons of the
Arabs and that my father is Consul of the merchants! But why, O my
mother, do ye put me in the under-ground chamber and leave me prisoner
there?” Quoth she, “O my son, we imprisoned thee not save for fear of
folks’ eyes: ‘the evil eye is a truth,’[34] and most of those in their
long homes are its victims.” Quoth he, “O my mother, and where is a
refuge-place against Fate? Verily care never made Destiny forbear, nor
is there flight from what is written for every wight. He who took my
grandfather will not spare myself nor my father; for, though he live
to-day he shall not live to-morrow. And when my father dieth and I come
forth and say:—I am Ala al-Din, son of Shams al-Din the merchant, none
of the people will believe me, but men of years and standing will
say:—In our lives never saw we a son or a daughter of Shams al-Din. Then
the public Treasury will come down and take my father’s estate, and
Allah have mercy on him who said:—The noble dieth and his wealth passeth
away, and the meanest of men take his women. Therefore, O my mother,
speak thou to my father, that he carry me with him to the bazar and open
for me a shop; so may I sit there with my merchandise and teach me to
buy and sell and take and give.” Answered his mother, “O my son, as soon
as thy sire returneth I will tell him this.” So when the merchant came
home, he found his son Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat sitting with his mother
and said to her, “Why hast thou brought him forth of the under-ground
chamber?” She replied, “O son of my uncle, it was not I that brought him
out; but the servants forgot to shut the door and left it open; so, as I
sat with a company of women of rank, behold, he came forth and walked in
to me.” Then she went on to repeat to him his son’s words; so he said,
“O my son, to-morrow, Inshallah! I will take thee with me to the bazar;
but, my boy, sitting in markets and shops demandeth good manners and
courteous carriage in all conditions.” Ala al-Din passed the night
rejoicing in his father’s promise and, when the morrow came, the
merchant carried him to the Hammam and clad him in a suit worth a mint
of money. As soon as they had broken their fast and drunk their
sherbets, Shams al-Din mounted his she-mule and putting his son upon
another, rode to the market, followed by his boy. But when the
market-folk saw their Consul making towards them, foregoing a youth as
he were a slice of the full moon on the fourteenth night, they said, one
to other, “See thou yonder boy behind the Consul of the merchants;
verily, we thought well of him, but he is, like the leek, gray of head
and green at heart.”[35] And Shaykh Mohammed Samsam, Deputy Syndic of
the market, the man before mentioned, said to the dealers, “O merchants,
we will not keep the like of him for our Shaykh; no, never!” Now it was
the custom anent the Consul when he came from his house of a morning and
sat down in his shop, for the Deputy Syndic of the market to go and
recite to him and to all the merchants assembled around him the Fátihah
or opening chapter of the Koran,[36] after which they accosted him one
by one and wished him good morrow and went away, each to his
business-place. But when Shams al-Din seated himself in his shop that
day as usual, the traders came not to him as accustomed; so he called
the Deputy and said to him, “Why come not the merchants together as
usual?” Answered Mohammed Samsam, “I know not how to tell thee these
troubles, for they have agreed to depose thee from the Shaykh-ship of
the market and to recite the Fatihah to thee no more.” Asked Shams
al-Din, “What may be their reason?”; and asked the Deputy, “What boy is
this that sitteth by thy side and thou a man of years and chief of the
merchants? Is this lad a Mameluke or akin to thy wife? Verily, I think
thou lovest him and inclinest lewdly to the boy.” Thereupon the Consul
cried out at him, saying, “Silence, Allah curse thee, genus and species!
This is my son.” Rejoined the Deputy, “Never in our born days have we
seen thee with a son,” and Shams al-Din answered, “When thou gavest me
the seed-thickener, my wife conceived and bare this youth; but I reared
him in a souterrain for fear of the evil eye, nor was it my purpose that
he should come forth, till he could take his beard in his hand.[37]
However, his mother would not agree to this, and he on his part begged I
would stock him a shop and teach him to sell and buy.” So the Deputy
Syndic returned to the other traders and acquainted them with the truth
of the case, whereupon they all arose to accompany him; and, going in a
body to Shams al-Din’s shop, stood before him and recited the “Opener”
of the Koran; after which they gave him joy of his son and said to him,
“The Lord prosper root and branch! But even the poorest of us, when son
or daughter is born to him, needs must cook a pan-full of custard[38]
and bid his friends and kith and kin; yet hast thou not done this.”
Quoth he, “This I owe you; be our meeting in the garden.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

Her sister Dunyazad said to her, “Pray continue thy story for us, an
thou be awake and not inclined to sleep.” Quoth she:—With pleasure and
goodwill: it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Consul of the
merchants promised them a banquet and said “Be our meeting in the
garden.” So when morning dawned he despatched the carpet-layer to the
saloon of the garden-pavilion and bade him furnish the two. Moreover, he
sent thither all that was needful for cooking, such as sheep and
clarified butter and so forth, according to the requirements of the
case; and spread two tables, one in the pavilion and another in the
saloon. Then Shams al-Din and his boy girded themselves, and he said to
Ala al-Din “O my son, whenas a greybeard entereth, I will meet him and
seat him at the table in the pavilion; and do thou, in like manner,
receive the beardless youths and seat them at the table in the saloon.”
He asked, “O my father, why dost thou spread two tables, one for men and
another for youths?”; and he answered, “O my son, the beardless is
ashamed to eat with the bearded.” And his son thought this his answer
full and sufficient. So when the merchants arrived, Shams al-Din
received the men and seated them in the pavilion, whilst Ala al-Din
received the youths and seated them in the saloon. Then the food was set
on and the guests ate and drank and made merry and sat over their wine,
whilst the attendants perfumed them with the smoke of scented woods, and
the elders fell to conversing of matters of science and traditions of
the Prophet. Now there was amongst them a merchant called Mahmúd of
Balkh, a professing Moslem but at heart a Magian, a man of lewd and
mischievous life who loved boys. And when he saw Ala al-Din from whose
father he used to buy stuffs and merchandise, one sight of his face sent
him a thousand sighs and Satan dangled the jewel before his eyes, so
that he was taken with love-longing and desire and affection and his
heart was filled with mad passion for him. Presently he arose and made
for the youths, who stood up to receive him; and at this moment Ala
al-Din being taken with an urgent call of Nature, withdrew to make
water; whereupon Mahmud turned to the other youths and said to them, “If
ye will incline Ala al-Din’s mind to journeying with me, I will give
each of you a dress worth a power of money.” Then he returned from them
to the men’s party; and, as the youths were sitting, Ala al-Din suddenly
came back, when all rose to receive him and seated him in the place of
highest honour. Presently, one of them said to his neighbour, “O my lord
Hasan, tell me whence came to thee the capital whereon thou tradest.” He
replied, “When I grew up and came to man’s estate, I said to my sire:—O
my father, give me merchandise. Quoth he:—O my son, I have none by me;
but go thou to some merchant and take of him money and traffic with it;
and so learn to buy and sell, give and take. So I went to one of the
traders and borrowed of him a thousand dinars, wherewith I bought stuffs
and carrying them to Damascus, sold them there at a profit of two for
one. Then I bought Syrian stuffs and carrying them to Aleppo, made a
similar gain of them; after which I bought stuffs of Aleppo and repaired
with them to Baghdad, where I sold them with like result, two for one;
nor did I cease trading upon my capital till I was worth nigh ten
thousand ducats.” Then each of the others told his friend some such
tale, till it came to Ala al-Din’s turn to speak, when they said to him,
“And thou, O my lord Ala al-Din?” Quoth he, “I was brought up in a
chamber under-ground and came forth from it only this week; and I do but
go to the shop and return home from the shop.” They remarked, “Thou art
used to wone at home and wottest not the joys of travel, for travel is
for men only.” He replied, “I reck not of voyaging and wayfaring doth
not tempt me.” Whereupon quoth one to the other, “This one is like the
fish: when he leaveth the water he dieth.” Then they said to him, “O Ala
al-Din, the glory of the sons of the merchants is not but in travel for
the sake of gain.” Their talk angered him; so he left them weeping-eyed
and heavy-hearted and mounting his mule returned home. Now his mother
saw him in tears and in bad temper and asked him, “What hath made thee
weep, O my son?”; and he answered, “Of a truth, all the sons of the
merchants put me to shame and said:—Naught is more glorious for a
merchant’s son than travel for gain and to get him gold.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din said to
his mother, “Of a truth all the sons of the merchants put me to shame
and said:—Naught is more honourable for a merchant’s son than travel for
gain.” “O my son, hast thou a mind to travel?” “Even so!” “And whither
wilt thou go?” “To the city of Baghdad; for there folk make double the
cost price on their goods.” “O my son, thy father is a very rich man
and, if he provide thee not with merchandise, I will supply it out of my
own monies.” “The best favour is that which is soonest bestowed; if this
kindness is to be, now is the time.” So she called the slaves and sent
them for cloth-packers; then, opening a store-house, brought out ten
loads of stuffs, which they made up into bales for him. Such was his
case; but as regards his father, Shams al-Din, he looked about and
failed to find Ala al-Din in the garden and enquiring after him, was
told that he had mounted mule and gone home; so he too mounted and
followed him. Now when he entered the house, he saw the bales ready
bound and asked what they were; whereupon his wife told him what had
chanced between Ala al-Din and the sons of the merchants; and he cried,
“O my son, Allah’s malison on travel and stranger-hood! Verily Allah’s
Apostle (whom the Lord bless and preserve!) hath said:—It is of a man’s
happy fortune that he eat his daily bread in his own land; and it was
said of the ancients:—Leave travel, though but for a mile.” Then quoth
he to his son, “Say, art thou indeed resolved to travel and wilt thou
not turn back from it?” Quoth the other, “There is no help for it but
that I journey to Baghdad with merchandise, else will I doff clothes and
don dervish gear and fare a-wandering over the world.” Shams al-Din
rejoined, “I am no penniless pauper but have great plenty of wealth;”
then he showed him all he owned of monies and stuffs and stock-in-trade
and observed, “With me are stuffs and merchandise befitting every
country in the world.” Then he showed him among the rest, forty bales
ready bound, with the price, a thousand dinars, written on each, and
said, “O my son take these forty loads, together with the ten which thy
mother gave thee, and set out under the safeguard of Almighty Allah.
But, O my child, I fear for thee a certain wood in thy way, called the
Lion’s Copse,[39] and a valley hight the Vale of Dogs, for there lives
are lost without mercy.” He said, “How so, O my father?”; and he
replied, “Because of a Badawi bandit named Ajlán.” Quoth Ala al-Din,
“Such is Allah’s luck; if any share of it be mine, no harm shall hap to
me.” Then they rode to the cattle-bazar, where behold, a cameleer[40]
alighted from his she-mule and kissing the Consul’s hand, said to him,
“O my lord, it is long, by Allah, since thou hast employed us in the way
of business.” He replied, “Every time hath its fortune and its men,[41]
and Allah have ruth on him who said:—

 And the old man crept o’er the worldly ways ✿ So bowed, his beard o’er
    his knees down flow’th:
 Quoth I:—What gars thee so doubled go? ✿ Quoth he (as to me his hands he
 My youth is lost, in the dust it lieth; ✿ And see, I bend me to find my

Now when he had ended his verses, he said, “O chief of the caravan, it
is not I who am minded to travel, but this my son.” Quoth the cameleer,
“Allah save him for thee.” Then the Consul made a contract between Ala
al-Din and the man, appointing that the youth should be to him as a son,
and gave him into his charge, saying, “Take these hundred gold pieces
for thy people.” Moreover he bought his son threescore mules and a lamp
and a tomb-covering for the Sayyid Abd al-Kadir of Gílán[43] and said to
him, “O my son, while I am absent, this is thy sire in my stead:
whatsoever he biddeth thee, do thou obey him.” So saying, he returned
home with the mules and servants and that night they made a Khitmah or
perlection of the Koran and held a festival in honour of the Shaykh Abd
al-Kadir al-Jiláni. And when the morrow dawned, the Consul gave his son
ten thousand dinars, saying, “O my son, when thou comest to Baghdad, if
thou find stuffs easy of sale, sell them; but if they be dull, spend of
these dinars.” Then they loaded the mules and, taking leave of one
another, all the wayfarers setting out on their journey, marched forth
from the city. Now Mahmud of Balkh had made ready his own venture for
Baghdad and had moved his bales and set up his tents without the walls,
saying in himself, “Thou shalt not enjoy this youth but in the desert,
where there is neither spy nor marplot to trouble thee.” It chanced that
he had in hand a thousand dinars which he owed to the youth’s father,
the balance of a business-transaction between them; so he went and bade
farewell to the Consul, who charged him, “Give the thousand dinars to my
son Ala al-Din;” and commended the lad to his care, saying, “He is as it
were thy son.” Accordingly, Ala al-Din joined company with Mahmud of
Balkh——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that Ala al-Din joined
company with Mahmud of Balkh who, before beginning the march, charged
the youth’s cook to dress nothing for him, but himself provided him and
his company with meat and drink. Now he had four houses, one in Cairo,
another in Damascus, a third in Aleppo and a fourth in Baghdad. So they
set out and ceased not journeying over waste and wold till they drew
near Damascus, when Mahmud sent his slave to Ala al-Din, whom he found
sitting and reading. He went up to him and kissed his hands, and Ala
al-Din having asked him what he wanted, he answered, “My master saluteth
thee and craveth thy company to a banquet at his place.” Quoth the
youth, “Not till I consult my father Kamál al-Din, the captain of the
caravan.” So he asked advice of the Makaddam,[44] who said, “Do not go.”
Then they left Damascus and journeyed on till they came to Aleppo, where
Mahmud made a second entertainment and sent to invite Ala al-Din; but he
consulted the Chief Cameleer who again forbade him. Then they marched
from Aleppo and fared on, till there remained between them and Baghdad
only a single stage. Here Mahmud prepared a third feast and sent to bid
Ala al-Din to it: Kamal al-Din once more forbade his accepting it, but
he said, “I must needs go.” So he rose and, slinging a sword over his
shoulder, under his clothes, repaired to the tent of Mahmud of Balkh,
who came to meet him and saluted him. Then he set before him a sumptuous
repast and they ate and drank and washed hands. At last Mahmud bent
towards Ala al-Din to snatch a kiss from him, but the youth received the
kiss on the palm of his hand and said to him, “What wouldest thou be
at?” Quoth Mahmud, “In very sooth I brought thee hither that I might
take my pleasure with thee in this jousting-ground, and we will comment
upon the words of him who saith:—

 Say, canst not come to us one momentling, ✿ Like milk of ewekin or aught
 And eat what liketh thee of dainty cate, ✿ And take thy due of fee in
 And bear whatso thou wilt, without mislike, ✿ Of spanling, fistling or a
    spanlong thing?”

Then Mahmud of Balkh would have laid hands on Ala al-Din to ravish him;
but he rose and baring his brand, said to him, “Shame on thy gray hairs!
Hast thou no fear of Allah, and He of exceeding awe?[45] May He have
mercy on him who saith:—

 Preserve thy hoary hairs from soil and stain, ✿ For whitest colours are
    the easiest stained!”

And when he ended his verses he said to Mahmud of Balkh, “Verily this
merchandise[46] is a trust from Allah and may not be sold. If I sold
this property to other than thee for gold, I would sell it to thee for
silver; but by Allah, O filthy villain, I will never again company with
thee; no, never!” Then he returned to Kamal al-Din the guide and said to
him, “Yonder man is a lewd fellow, and I will no longer consort with him
nor suffer his company by the way.” He replied, “O my son, did I not say
to thee:—Go not near him? But if we part company with him, I fear
destruction for ourselves; so let us still make one caravan.” But Ala
al-Din cried, “It may not be that I ever again travel with him.” So he
loaded his beasts and journeyed onwards, he and his company, till they
came to a valley, where Ala al-Din would have halted, but the Cameleer
said to him, “Do not halt here; rather let us fare forwards and press
our pace, so haply we make Baghdad before the gates are closed, for they
open and shut them with the sun, in fear lest the Rejectors[47] should
take the city and throw the books of religious learning into the
Tigris.” But Ala al-Din replied to him, “O my father, I came not forth
from home with this merchandise, or travelled hither for the sake of
traffic, but to divert myself with the sight of foreign lands and
folks;” and he rejoined, “O my son, we fear for thee and for thy goods
from the wild Arabs.” Whereupon the youth answered, “Harkye, fellow, art
thou master or man? I will not enter Baghdad till the morning, that the
sons of the city may see my merchandise and know me.” “Do as thou wilt,”
said the other; “I have given thee the wisest advice, but thou art the
best judge of thine own case.” Then Ala al-Din bade them unload the
mules and pitch the tent; so they did his bidding and abode there till
the middle of the night, when he went out to obey a call of nature and
suddenly saw something gleaming afar off. So he said to Kamal al-Din, “O
captain, what is yonder glittering?” The Cameleer sat up and,
considering it straitly, knew it for the glint of spear-heads and the
steel of Badawi weapons and swords. And lo and behold! this was a troop
of wild Arabs under a chief called Ajlán Abú Náib, Shaykh of the Arabs,
and when they neared the camp and saw the bales and baggage, they said
one to another, “O night of loot!” Now when Kamal al-Din heard these
their words he cried, “Avaunt, O vilest of Arabs!” But Abu Naib so smote
him with his throw-spear in the breast, that the point came out gleaming
from his back, and he fell down dead at the tent-door. Then cried the
water-carrier,[48] “Avaunt, O foulest of Arabs!” and one of them smote
him with a sword upon the shoulder, that it issued shining from the
tendons of the throat, and he also fell down dead. (And all this while
Ala al-Din stood looking on.) Then the Badawin surrounded and charged
the caravan from every side and slew all Ala al-Din’s company without
sparing a man: after which they loaded the mules with the spoil and made
off. Quoth Ala al-Din to himself, “Nothing will slay thee save thy mule
and thy dress!”; so he arose and put off his gown and threw it over the
back of a mule, remaining in his shirt and bag-trousers only; after
which he looked towards the tent-door and, seeing there a pool of gore
flowing from the slaughtered, wallowed in it with his remaining clothes
till he was as a slain man drowned in his own blood. Thus it fared with
him; but as regards the Shaykh of the wild Arabs, Ajlan, he said to his
banditti, “O Arabs, was this caravan bound from Egypt for Baghdad or
from Baghdad for Egypt?”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that when the Badawi
asked his banditti, “O Arabs, was this caravan bound from Egypt for
Baghdad or from Baghdad for Egypt?”; they answered, “’Twas bound from
Egypt for Baghdad;” and he said, “Return ye to the slain, for methinks
the owner of this caravan is not dead.” So they turned back to the slain
and fell to prodding and slashing them with lance and sword till they
came to Ala al-Din, who had thrown himself down among the corpses. And
when they came to him, quoth they, “Thou dost but feign thyself dead,
but we will make an end of thee,” and one of the Badawin levelled his
javelin and would have plunged it into his breast when he cried out,
“Save me, O my lord Abd al-Kadir, O Saint of Gilan!” and behold, he saw
a hand turn the lance away from his breast to that of Kamal al-Din the
cameleer, so that it pierced him and spared himself.[49] Then the Arabs
made off; and, when Ala al-Din saw that the birds were flown with their
god-send, he sat up and finding no one, rose and set off running; but,
behold Abu Náib the Badawi looked back and said to his troop, “I see
somewhat moving afar off, O Arabs!” So one of the bandits turned back
and, spying Ala al-Din running, called out to him, saying, “Flight shall
not forward thee and we after thee;” and he smote his mare with his heel
and she hastened after him. Then Ala al-Din seeing before him a watering
tank and a cistern beside it, climbed up into a niche in the cistern
and, stretching himself at full length, feigned to be asleep and said,
“O gracious Protector, cover me with the veil of Thy protection which
may not be torn away!” And lo! the Badawi came up to the cistern and,
standing in his stirrup-irons put out his hand to lay hold of Ala
al-Din; but he said, “O my lady Nafísah[50]! Now is thy time!” And
behold, a scorpion stung the Badawi in the palm and he cried out,
saying, “Help, O Arabs! I am stung;” and he alighted from his mare’s
back. So his comrades came up to him and mounted him again, asking,
“What hath befallen thee?” whereto he answered, “A young scorpion[51]
stung me.” So they departed, with the caravan. Such was their case; but
as regards Ala al-Din, he tarried in the niche, and Mahmud of Balkh bade
load his beasts and fared forwards till he came to the Lion’s Copse
where he found Ala al-Din’s attendants all lying slain. At this he
rejoiced and went on till he reached the cistern and the reservoir. Now
his mule was athirst and turned aside to drink, but she saw Ala al-Din’s
shadow in the water and shied and started; whereupon Mahmud raised his
eyes and, seeing Ala al-Din lying in the niche, stripped to his shirt
and bag-trousers, said to him, “What man this deed to thee hath dight
and left thee in this evil plight?” Answered Ala al-Din, “The Arabs,”
and Mahmud said, “O my son, the mules and the baggage were thy ransom;
so do thou comfort thyself with his saying who said:—

 If thereby man can save his head from death, ✿ His good is worth him but
    a slice of nail!

But now, O my son, come down and fear no hurt.” Thereupon he descended
from the cistern-niche and Mahmud mounted him on a mule, and they fared
on till they reached Baghdad, where he brought him to his own house and
carried him to the bath, saying to him, “The goods and money were the
ransom of thy life, O my son; but, if thou wilt hearken to me, I will
give thee the worth of that thou hast lost, twice told.” When he came
out of the bath, Mahmud carried him into a saloon decorated with gold
with four raised floors, and bade them bring a tray with all manner of
meats. So they ate and drank and Mahmud bent towards Ala al-Din to
snatch a kiss from him; but he received it upon the palm of his hand and
said, “What, dost thou persist in thy evil designs upon me? Did I not
tell thee that, were I wont to sell this merchandise to other than thee
for gold, I would sell it thee for silver?” Quoth Mahmud, “I will give
thee neither merchandise nor mule nor clothes save at this price; for I
am gone mad for love of thee, and bless him who said:—

 Told us, ascribing to his Shaykhs, our Shaykh ✿ Abú Bilál, these words
    they wont to utter:[52]
 Unhealed the lover wones of love desire, ✿ By kiss and clip; his only
    cure’s to futter!”

Ala al-Din replied, “Of a truth this may never be, take back thy dress
and thy mule and open the door that I may go out.” So he opened the
door, and Ala al-Din fared forth and walked on, with the dogs barking at
his heels, and he went forwards through the dark when behold, he saw the
door of a mosque standing open and, entering the vestibule, there took
shelter and concealment; and suddenly a light approached him and on
examining it he saw that it came from a pair of lanthorns borne by two
slaves before two merchants. Now one was an old man of comely face and
the other a youth; and he heard the younger say to the elder, “O my
uncle, I conjure thee by Allah, give me back my cousin!” The old man
replied, “Did I not forbid thee, many a time, when the oath of divorce
was always in thy mouth, as it were Holy Writ?” Then he turned to his
right and, seeing Ala al-Din as he were a slice of the full moon, said
to him, “Peace be with thee! who art thou, O my son?” Quoth he,
returning the salutation of peace, “I am Ala al-Din, son of Shams
al-Din, Consul of the merchants for Egypt. I besought my father for
merchandise; so he packed me fifty loads of stuffs and goods,”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din
continued, “So he packed me fifty loads of goods and gave me ten
thousand dinars, wherewith I set out for Baghdad; but when I reached the
Lion’s Copse, the wild Arabs came out against me and took all my goods
and monies. So I entered the city knowing not where to pass the night
and, seeing this place, I took shelter here.” Quoth the old man, “O my
son, what sayest thou to my giving thee a thousand dinars and a suit of
clothes and a mule worth other two thousand?” Ala al-Din asked, “To what
end wilt thou give me these things, O my uncle?” and the other answered,
“This young man who accompanieth me, is the son of my brother and an
only son; and I have a daughter called Zubaydah[53] the lutist, an only
child who is a model of beauty and loveliness, so I married her to him.
Now he loveth her, but she loatheth him; and when he chanced to take an
oath of triple divorcement and broke it, forthright she left him.
Whereupon he egged on all the folk to intercede with me to restore her
to him; but I told him that this could not lawfully be save by an
intermediate marriage, and we have agreed to make some stranger the
intermediary[54] in order that none may taunt and shame him with this
affair. So, as thou art a stranger, come with us and we will marry thee
to her; thou shalt lie with her to-night and on the morrow divorce her
and we will give thee what I said.” Quoth Ala al-Din to himself, “By
Allah, to bide the night with a bride on a bed in a house is far better
than sleeping in the streets and vestibules!” So he went with them to
the Kazi whose heart, as soon as he saw Ala al-Din, was moved to love
him, and who said to the old man, “What is your will?” He replied, “We
wish to make this young man an intermediary husband for my daughter; but
we will write a bond against him binding him to pay down by way of
marriage-settlement ten thousand gold pieces. Now if after passing the
night with her he divorce her in the morning, we will give him a mule
and dress each worth a thousand dinars, and a third thousand of ready
money; but if he divorce her not, he shall pay down the ten thousand
dinars according to contract.” So they agreed to the agreement and the
father of the bride to be received his bond for the marriage-settlement.
Then he took Ala al-Din and, clothing him anew, carried him to his
daughter’s house and there he left him standing at the door, whilst he
himself went in to the young lady and said, “Take the bond of thy
marriage-settlement, for I have wedded thee to a handsome youth by name
Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat: so do thou use him with the best of usage.”
Then he put the bond into her hands and left her and went to his own
lodging. Now the lady’s cousin had an old duenna who used to visit
Zubaydah, and he had done many a kindness to this woman, so he said to
her, “O my mother, if my cousin Zubaydah see this handsome young man,
she will never after accept my offer; so I would fain have thee contrive
some trick to keep her and him apart.” She answered, “By the life of thy
youth,[55] I will not suffer him to approach her!” Then she went to Ala
al-Din and said to him, “O my son, I have a word of advice to give thee,
for the love of Almighty Allah and do thou accept my counsel, as I fear
for thee from this young woman: better thou let her lie alone and feel
not her person nor draw thee near to her.” He asked, “Why so?”; and she
answered, “Because her body is full of leprosy and I dread lest she
infect thy fair and seemly youth.” Quoth he, “I have no need of her.”
Thereupon she went to the lady and said the like to her of Ala al-Din;
and she replied, “I have no need of him, but will let him lie alone, and
on the morrow he shall gang his gait.” Then she called a slave-girl and
said to her, “Take the tray of food and set it before him that he may
sup.” So the handmaid carried him the tray of food and set it before him
and he ate his fill: after which he sat down and raised his charming
voice and fell to reciting the chapter called Y. S.[56] The lady
listened to him and found his voice as melodious as the psalms of David
sung by David himself,[57] which when she heard, she exclaimed, “Allah
disappoint the old hag who told me that he was affected with leprosy!
Surely this is not the voice of one who hath such a disease; and all was
a lie against him.”[58] Then she took a lute of India-land workmanship
and, tuning the strings, sang to it in a voice so sweet its music would
stay the birds in the heart of heaven; and began these two couplets:—

 I love a fawn with gentle white-black eyes, ✿ Whose walk the willow-wand
    with envy kills:
 Forbidding me he bids for rival mine, ✿ Tis Allah’s grace who grants to
    whom He wills!

And when he heard her chant these lines he ended his recitation of the
chapter, and began also to sing and repeated the following couplet:—

 My Salám to the Fawn in the garments concealed, ✿ And to roses in
    gardens of cheek revealed.

The lady rose up when she heard this, and her inclination for him
redoubled and she lifted the curtain; and Ala al-Din, seeing her,
recited these two couplets:—

 She shineth forth, a moon, and bends, a willow-wand, ✿ And breathes out
    ambergris, and gazes, a gazelle.
 Meseems as if grief loved my heart and when from her ✿ Estrangement I
    abide possession to it fell.[59]

Thereupon she came forward, swinging her haunches and gracefully swaying
a shape the handiwork of Him whose boons are hidden; and each of them
stole one glance of the eyes that cost them a thousand sighs. And when
the shafts of the two regards which met rankled in his heart, he
repeated these two couplets:—

 She ‘spied the moon of Heaven, reminding me ✿ Of nights when met we in
    the meadows li’en:
 True, both saw moons, but sooth to say, it was ✿ Her very eyes I saw,
    and she my eyne.

And when she drew near him, and there remained but two paces between
them, he recited these two couplets:—

 She spread three tresses of unplaited hair ✿ One night, and showed me
    nights not one but four;
 And faced the moon of Heaven with her brow, ✿ And showed me two-fold
    moons in single hour.

And as she was hard by him he said to her, “Keep away from me, lest thou
infect me.” Whereupon she uncovered her wrist[60] to him, and he saw
that it was cleft, as it were in two halves, by its veins and sinews and
its whiteness was as the whiteness of virgin silver. Then said she,
“Keep away from me, thou! for thou art stricken with leprosy, and may be
thou wilt infect me.” He asked, “Who told thee I was a leper?” and she
answered, “The old woman so told me.” Quoth he, “’Twas she told me also
that thou wast afflicted with white scurvy;” and so saying, he bared his
forearms and showed her that his skin was also like virgin silver.
Thereupon she pressed him to her bosom and he pressed her to his bosom
and the twain embraced with closest embrace, then she took him and,
lying down on her back, let down her petticoat-trousers, and in an
instant that which his father had left him rose up in rebellion against
him and he said, “Go it, O Shaykh Zachary[61] of shaggery, O father of
veins!”; and putting both hands to her flanks, he set the
sugar-stick[62] to the mouth of the cleft and thrust on till he came to
the wicket called “Pecten.” His passage was by the Gate of Victories[63]
and therefrom he entered the Monday market, and those of Tuesday and
Wednesday and Thursday,[64] and, finding the carpet after the measure of
the daïs-floor,[65] he plied the box within its cover till he came to
the end of it. And when morning dawned he cried to her, “Alas for
delight which is not fulfilled! The raven[66] taketh it and flieth
away!” She asked, “What meaneth this saying?”; and he answered, “O my
lady, I have but this hour to abide with thee.” Quoth she, “Who saith
so?” and quoth he, “Thy father made me give him a written bond to pay
ten thousand dinars to thy wedding-settlement; and, except I pay it this
very day, they will imprison me for debt in the Kazi’s house; and now my
hand lacketh one half-dirham of the sum.” She asked, “O my lord, is the
marriage-bond in thy hand or in theirs?”; and he answered, “O my lady,
in mine, but I have nothing.” She rejoined, “The matter is easy; fear
thou nothing. Take these hundred dinars: an I had more, I would give
thee what thou lackest; but of a truth my father, of his love for my
cousin, hath transported all his goods, even to my jewellery, from my
lodging to his. But when they send thee a serjeant of the Ecclesiastical
Court,”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young lady
rejoined to Ala al-Din, “And when they send thee at an early hour a
serjeant of the Ecclesiastical Court, and the Kazi and my father bid
thee divorce me, do thou reply, By what law is it lawful and right that
I should marry at nightfall and divorce in the morning? Then kiss the
Kazi’s hand and give him a present, and in like manner kiss the
Assessors’ hands and give each of them ten gold pieces. So they will all
speak with thee, and if they ask thee, Why dost thou not divorce her and
take the thousand dinars and the mule and suit of clothes, according to
contract duly contracted? do thou answer, Every hair of her head is
worth a thousand ducats to me and I will never put her away, neither
will I take a suit of clothes nor aught else. And if the Kazi say to
thee, Then pay down the marriage settlement, do thou reply, I am short
of cash at this present; whereupon he and the Assessors will deal in
friendly fashion with thee and allow thee time to pay.” Now whilst they
were talking, behold, the Kazi’s officer knocked at the door; so Ala
al-Din went down and the man said to him, “Come, speak the Efendi,[67]
for thy father-in-law summoneth thee.” So Ala al-Din gave him five
dinars and said to him, “O Summoner, by what law am I bound to marry at
nightfall and divorce next morning?” The serjeant answered, “By no law
of ours at all, at all; and if thou be ignorant of the religious law, I
will act as thine advocate.” Then they went to the divorce-court and the
Kazi said to Ala al-Din, “Why dost thou not put away the woman and take
what falleth to thee by the contract?” Hearing this he went up to the
Kazi; and, kissing his hand, put fifty dinars in it and said, “O our
lord the Kazi, by what law is it lawful and right that I should marry at
nightfall and divorce in the morning in my own despite?” The Kazi
answered, “Divorce on compulsion and by force is sanctioned by no school
of the Moslems.” Then said the young lady’s father, “If thou wilt not
divorce, pay me the ten thousand dinars, her marriage-settlement.” Quoth
Ala al-Din, “Give me a delay of three days;” but the Kazi said, “Three
days is not time enough; he shall give thee ten.” So they agreed to this
and bound him after ten days either to pay the dowry or to divorce her.
And after consenting he left them and taking meat and rice and clarified
butter[68] and what else of food he needed, returned to the house and
told the young woman all that had passed; whereupon she said, “’Twixt
night and day, wonders may display; and Allah bless him for his say:—

 Be mild when rage shall come to afflict thy soul; ✿ Be patient when
    calamity breeds ire;
 Lookye, the Nights are big with child by Time, ✿ Whose pregnancy bears
    wondrous things and dire.”

Then she rose and made ready food and brought the tray, and they two ate
and drank and were merry and mirthful. Presently, Ala al-Din besought
her to let him hear a little music; so she took the lute and played a
melody that had made the hardest stone dance for glee, and the strings
cried out in present ecstacy, “O Loving One!”;[69] after which she
passed from the adagio into the presto and a livelier measure. As they
thus spent their leisure in joy and jollity and mirth and merriment,
behold, there came a knocking at the door and she said to him; “Go see
who is at the door.” So he went down and opened it and finding four
Dervishes standing without, said to them, “What want ye?” They replied,
“O my lord, we are foreign and wandering religious mendicants, the
viands of whose souls are music and dainty verse, and we would fain take
our pleasure with thee this night till morning doth appear, when we will
wend our way, and with Almighty Allah be thy reward; for we adore music
and there is not one of us but knoweth by heart store of odes and songs
and ritornellos.”[70] He answered, “There is one I must consult;” and he
returned and told Zubaydah who said, “Open the door to them.” So he
brought them up and made them sit down and welcomed them; then he
fetched them food, but they would not eat and said, “O our lord, our
meat is to repeat Allah’s name in our hearts and to hear music with our
ears: and bless him who saith:—

 Our aim is only converse to enjoy, ✿ And eating joyeth only

And just now we heard pleasant music in thy house, but when we entered,
it ceased; and fain would we know whether the player was a slave-girl,
white or black, or a maiden of good family.” He answered, “It was this
my wife,” and told them all that had befallen him, adding, “Verily my
father-in-law hath bound me to pay a marriage settlement of ten thousand
dinars for her, and they have given me ten days’ time.” Said one of the
Dervishes, “Have no care and think of naught but good; for I am Shaykh
of the Convent and have forty Dervishes under my orders. I will
presently collect from them the ten thousand dinars and thou shalt pay
thy father-in-law the wedding settlement. But now bid thy wife make us
music that we may be gladdened and pleasured; for to some folk music is
meat, to others medicine and to others refreshing as a fan.” Now these
four Dervishes were none other than the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, his
Wazir Ja’afar the Barmecide, Abu al-Nowás al-Hasan son of Háni[72] and
Masrur the sworder; and the reason of their coming to the house was that
the Caliph, being heavy at heart, had summoned his Minister and said, “O
Wazir! it is our will to go down to the city and pace its streets, for
my breast is sore straitened.” So they all four donned dervish-dress and
went down and walked about, till they came to that house where, hearing
music, they were minded to know the cause. They spent the night in
joyance and harmony and telling tale after tale until morning dawned,
when the Caliph laid an hundred gold pieces under the prayer-carpet and
all taking leave of Ala al-Din, went their way. Now when Zubaydah lifted
the carpet she found beneath it the hundred dinars and she said to her
husband, “Take these hundred dinars which I have found under the
prayer-carpet; assuredly the Dervishes when about to leave us laid them
there, without our knowledge.” So Ala al-Din took the money and,
repairing to the market, bought therewith meat and rice and clarified
butter and all they required. And when it was night, he lit the
wax-candles and said to his wife, “The mendicants, it is true, have not
brought the ten thousand dinars which they promised me; but indeed they
are poor men.” As they were talking, behold, the Dervishes knocked at
the door and she said, “Go down and open to them.” So he did her bidding
and bringing them up, said to them, “Have you brought me the ten
thousand dinars you promised me?” They answered, “We have not been able
to collect aught thereof as yet; but fear nothing: Inshallah, to-morrow
we will compound for thee some alchemical cookery. But now bid thy wife
play us her very best pieces and gladden our hearts for we love music.”
So she took her lute and made them such melody that had caused the
hardest rocks to dance with glee; and they passed the night in mirth and
merriment, converse and good cheer, till morn appeared with its sheen
and shone, when the Caliph laid an hundred gold pieces under the
prayer-carpet and all, after taking leave of Ala al-Din, went their way.
And they ceased not to visit him thus every night for nine nights; and
each morning the Caliph put an hundred dinars under the prayer-carpet,
till the tenth night, when they came not. Now the reason of their
failure to come was that the Caliph had sent to a great merchant, saying
to him, “Bring me fifty loads of stuffs, such as come from Cairo,”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince of True
Believers said to that merchant, “Bring me fifty loads of stuffs such as
come from Cairo, and let each one be worth a thousand dinars, and write
on each bale its price; and bring me also a male Abyssinian slave.” The
merchant did the bidding of the Caliph who committed to the slave a
basin and ewer of gold and other presents, together with the fifty
loads; and wrote a letter to Ala al-Din as from his father Shams al-Din
and said to him, “Take these bales and what else is with them, and go to
such and such a quarter wherein dwelleth the Provost of the merchants
and say:—Where be Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat? till folk direct thee to his
quarter and his house.” So the slave took the letter and the goods and
what else and fared forth on his errand. Such was his case; but as
regards Zubaydah’s cousin and first husband, he went to her father and
said to him, “Come let us go to Ala al-Din and make him divorce the
daughter of my uncle.” So they set out both together and, when they came
to the street in which the house stood, they found fifty he-mules laden
with bales of stuffs, and a blackamoor riding on a she-mule. So they
said to him, “Whose loads are these?” He replied, “They belong to my
lord Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat; for his father equipped him with
merchandise and sent him on a journey to Baghdad-city; but the wild
Arabs came forth against him and took his money and goods and all he
had. So when the ill news reached his father, he despatched me to him
with these loads, in lieu of those he had lost; besides a mule laden
with fifty thousand dinars, a parcel of clothes worth a power of money,
a robe of sables[73] and a basin and ewer of gold.” Whereupon the lady’s
father said, “He whom thou seekest is my son-in-law and I will show thee
his house.” Meanwhile Ala al-Din was sitting at home in huge concern,
when lo! one knocked, at the door and he said, “O Zubaydah, Allah is
all-knowing! but I fear thy father hath sent me an officer from the Kazi
or the Chief of Police.” Quoth she, “Go down and see what it is.” So he
went down; and, opening the door, found his father-in-law, the Provost
of the merchants with an Abyssinian slave, dusky-complexioned and
pleasant of favour, riding on a mule. When the slave saw him he
dismounted and kissed his hands; and Ala al-Din said, “What dost thou
want?” He replied, “I am the slave of my lord Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat,
son of Shams al-Din, Consul of the merchants for the land of Egypt, who
hath sent me to him with this charge.” Then he gave him the letter and
Ala al-Din opening it found written what followeth:[74]—

 Ho thou my letter! when my friend shall see thee, ✿ Kiss thou the ground
    and buss his sandal-shoon:
 Look thou hie softly and thou hasten not; ✿ My life and rest are in
    those hands so boon.

“After hearty salutions and congratulations and high estimation from
Shams al-Din to his son, Abu al-Shamat. Know, O my son, that news hath
reached me of the slaughter of thy men and the plunder of thy monies and
goods; so I send thee herewith fifty loads of Egyptian stuffs, together
with a suit of clothes and a robe of sables and a basin and ewer of
gold. Fear thou no evil and the goods thou hast lost were the ransom of
thy life; so regret them not and may no further grief befal thee. Thy
mother and the people of the house are doing well in health and
happiness and all greet thee with abundant greetings. Moreover, O my
son, it hath reached me that they have married thee, by way of
intermediary, to the lady Zubaydah the Lutist and they have imposed on
thee a marriage-settlement of ten thousand dinars; wherefore I send thee
also fifty thousand dinars by the slave Salím.”[75] Now when Ala al-Din
had made an end of reading the letter, he took possession of the loads
and, turning to the Provost, said to him, “O my father-in-law, take the
ten thousand dinars, the marriage-settlement of thy daughter Zubaydah,
and take also the loads of goods and dispose of them, and thine be the
profit; only return me the cost-price.” He answered, “Nay, by Allah, I
will take nothing; and, as for thy wife’s settlement, do thou settle the
matter with her.” Then, after the goods had been brought in, they went
to Zubaydah and she said to her sire, “O my father, whose loads be
these?” He said, “These belong to thy husband, Ala al-Din: his father
hath sent them to him instead of those whereof the wild Arabs spoiled
him. Moreover, he hath sent him fifty thousand dinars with a parcel of
clothes, a robe of sables, a she-mule for riding and a basin and ewer of
gold. As for the marriage-settlement that is for thy recking.” Thereupon
Ala al-Din rose and, opening the money-box, gave her her settlement and
the lady’s cousin said, “O my uncle, let him divorce to me my wife;” but
the old man replied, “This may never be now; for the marriage-tie is in
his hand.” Thereupon the young man went out, sore afflicted and sadly
vexed and, returning home, fell sick, for his heart had received its
death-blow; so he presently died. But as for Ala al-Din, after receiving
his goods he went to the bazar and buying what meats and drinks he
needed, made a banquet as usual against the night, saying to Zubaydah,
“See these lying Dervishes; they promised us and broke their promises.”
Quoth she, “Thou art the son of a Consul of the merchants, yet was thy
hand short of half a dirham; how then should it be with poor Dervishes?”
Quoth he, “Almighty Allah hath enabled us to do without them; but if
they come to us never again will I open the door to them.” She asked,
“Why so, whenas their coming footsteps brought us good luck; and,
moreover, they put an hundred dinars under the prayer-carpet for us
every night? Perforce must thou open the door to them an they come.” So
when day departed with its light and in gloom came night, they lighted
the wax candles and he said to her, “Rise, Zubaydah, make us music;” and
behold, at this moment some one knocked at the door, and she said, “Go
and look who is at the door.” So he went down and opened it and seeing
the Dervishes, said, “Oh, fair welcome to the liars! Come up.”
Accordingly they went up with him and he seated them and brought them
the tray of food; and they ate and drank and became merry and mirthful,
and presently said to him, “O my lord, our hearts have been troubled for
thee: what hath passed between thee and thy father-in-law?” He answered,
“Allah compensated us beyond and above our desire.” Rejoined they, “By
Allah, we were in fear for thee”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Dervishes thus
addressed Ala al-Din, “By Allah, we were in fear for thee and naught
kept us from thee but our lack of cash and coin.” Quoth he, “Speedy
relief hath come to me from my Lord; for my father hath sent me fifty
thousand dinars and fifty loads of stuffs, each load worth a thousand
dinars; besides a riding-mule, a robe of sables, an Abyssinian slave and
a basin and ewer of gold. Moreover, I have made my peace with my
father-in-law and my wife hath become my lawful wife by my paying her
settlement; so laud to Allah for that!” Presently the Caliph rose to do
a necessity; whereupon Ja’afar bent him towards Ala al-Din and said,
“Look to thy manners, for thou art in the presence of the Commander of
the Faithful.” Asked he, “How have I failed in good breeding before the
Commander of the Faithful, and which of you is he?” Quoth Ja’afar, “He
who went out but now to make water is the Commander of the Faithful,
Harun al-Rashid, and I am the Wazir Ja’afar; and this is Masrur the
executioner and this other is Abu Nowas Hasan bin Hani. And now, O Ala
al-Din, use thy reason and bethink thee how many days’ journey it is
between Cairo and Baghdad.” He replied, “Five-and-forty days’ journey;”
and Ja’afar rejoined, “Thy baggage was stolen only ten days ago; so how
could the news have reached thy father, and how could he pack thee up
other goods and send them to thee five-and-forty days’ journey in ten
days’ time?” Quoth Ala al-Din, “O my lord and whence then came they?”
“From the Commander of the Faithful,” replied Ja’afar, “of his great
affection for thee.” As they were speaking, lo! the Caliph entered and
Ala al-Din rising, kissed the ground before him and said, “Allah keep
thee, O Prince of the Faithful, and give thee long life; and may the
lieges never lack thy bounty and beneficence!” Replied the Caliph, “O
Ala al-Din, let Zubaydah play us an air, by way of house-warming[76] for
thy deliverance.” Thereupon she played him on the lute so rare a melody
that the very stones shook for glee, and the strings cried out for
present ecstasy, “O Loving One!” They spent the night after the merriest
fashion, and in the morning the Caliph said to Ala al-Din, “Come to the
Divan to-morrow.” He answered, “Hearkening and obedience, O Commander of
the Faithful; so Allah will and thou be well and in good case!” On the
morrow he took ten trays and, putting on each a costly present, went up
with them to the palace; and the Caliph was sitting on the throne when,
behold, Ala al-Din appeared at the door of the Divan, repeating these
two couplets:—

 Honour and Glory wait on thee each morn! ✿ Thine enviers’ noses in the
    dust be set!
 Ne’er cease thy days to be as white as snow; ✿ Thy foeman’s days to be
    as black as jet!

“Welcome, O Ala al-Din!” said the Caliph, and he replied, “O Commander
of the Faithful, the Prophet (whom Allah bless and assain!)[77] was wont
to accept presents; and these ten trays, with what is on them, are my
offering to thee.” The Caliph accepted his gift and, ordering him a robe
of honour, made him Provost of the merchants and gave him a seat in the
Divan. And as he was sitting behold, his father-in-law came in and,
seeing Ala al-Din seated in his place and clad in a robe of honour, said
to the Caliph, “O King of the age, why is this man sitting in my place
and wearing this robe of honour?” Quoth the Caliph, “I have made him
Provost of the merchants, for offices are by investiture and not in
perpetuity, and thou art deposed.” Answered the merchant, “Thou hast
done well, O Commander of the Faithful, for he is ours and one of us.
Allah make the best of us the managers of our affairs! How many a little
one hath become great!” Then the Caliph wrote Ala al-Din a Firman[78] of
investiture and gave it to the Governor who gave it to the crier,[79]
and the crier made proclamation in the Divan saying, “None is Provost of
the merchants but Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, and his word is to be heard,
and he must be obeyed with due respect paid, and he meriteth homage and
honour and high degree!” Moreover, when the Divan broke up, the Governor
went down with the crier before Ala al-Din and the crier repeated the
proclamation and they carried Ala al-Din through the thoroughfares of
Baghdad, making proclamation of his dignity. Next day, Ala al-Din opened
a shop for his slave Salim and set him therein, to buy and sell, whilst
he himself rode to the palace and took his place in the Caliph’s
Divan.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

          Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din rode to
the palace and took his place in the Caliph’s Divan. Now it came to pass
one day, when he sat in his stead as was his wont, behold, one said to
the Caliph, “O Commander of the Faithful, may thy head survive such an
one the cup-companion!; for he is gone to the mercy of Almighty Allah,
but be thy life prolonged!”[80] Quoth the Caliph, “Where is Ala al-Din
Abu al-Shamat?” So he went up to the Commander of the Faithful, who at
once clad him in a splendid dress of honour and made him his
boon-companion; appointing him a monthly pay and allowance of a thousand
dinars. He continued to keep him company till, one day, as he sat in the
Divan, according to his custom attending upon the Caliph, lo and behold!
an Emir came up with sword and shield in hand and said, “O Commander of
the Faithful, may thy head long outlive the Head of the Sixty, for he is
dead this day;” whereupon the Caliph ordered Ala al-Din a dress of
honour and made him Chief of the Sixty, in place of the other who had
neither wife nor son nor daughter. So Ala al-Din laid hands on his
estate and the Caliph said to him, “Bury him in the earth and take all
he hath left of wealth and slaves and handmaids.”[81] Then he shook the
handkerchief[82] and dismissed the Divan, whereupon Ala al-Din went
forth, attended by Ahmad al-Danaf, captain of the right, and Hasan
Shúmán, captain of the left, riding at his either stirrup, each with his
forty men.[83] Presently, he turned to Hasan Shuman and his men and said
to them, “Plead ye for me with the Captain Ahmad al-Danaf that he please
to accept me as his son by covenant before Allah.” And Ahmad assented,
saying, “I and my forty men will go before thee to the Divan every
morning.” Now after this Ala al-Din continued in the Caliph’s service
many days; till one day it chanced that he left the Divan and returning
home, dismissed Ahmad al-Danaf and his men and sat down with his wife
Zubaydah, the lute-player, who lighted the wax candles and went out of
the room upon an occasion. Suddenly he heard a loud shriek; so he rose
up and running in haste to see what was the matter, found that it was
his wife who had cried out. She was lying at full length on the ground
and, when he put his hand to her breast, he found her dead. Now her
father’s house faced that of Ala al-Din, and he, hearing the shriek,
came in and said, “What is the matter, O my lord Ala al-Din?” He
replied, “O my father, may thy head outlive thy daughter Zubaydah! But,
O my father, honour to the dead is burying them.” So when the morning
dawned, they buried her in the earth and her husband and father condoled
with and mutually consoled each other. Thus far concerning her; but as
regards Ala al-Din, he donned mourning dress and declined the Divan,
abiding tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted at home. After a while, the
Caliph said to Ja’afar, “O Wazir, what is the cause of Ala al-Din’s
absence from the Divan?” The Minister answered, “O Commander of the
Faithful, he is in mourning for his wife Zubaydah; and is occupied in
receiving those who come to console him;” and the Caliph said, “It
behoveth us to pay him a visit of condolence.” “I hear and I obey,”
replied Ja’afar. So they took horse, the Caliph and the Minister and a
few attendants, and rode to Ala al-Din’s house and, as he was sitting at
home, behold, the party came in upon him; whereupon he rose to receive
them and kissed the ground before the Caliph, who said to him, “Allah
make good thy loss to thee!” Answered Ala al-Din, “May Allah preserve
thee to us, O Commander of the Faithful!” Then said the Caliph, “O Ala
al-Din, why hast thou absented thyself from the Divan?” And he replied,
“Because of my mourning for my wife, Zubaydah, O Commander of the
Faithful.” The Caliph rejoined, “Put away grief from thee: verily she is
dead and gone to the mercy of Almighty Allah and mourning will avail
thee nothing; no, nothing.” But Ala al-Din said “O Commander of the
Faithful, I shall never leave mourning for her till I die and they bury
me by her side.” Quoth the Caliph, “In Allah is compensation for every
decease, and neither device nor riches can deliver from death; and
divinely gifted was he who said:—

 All sons of woman, albe long preserved, ✿ Are borne upon the bulging
    bier some day.[84]
 How then shall ‘joy man joy or taste delight, ✿ Upon whose cheeks shall
    rest the dust and clay?”

When the Caliph had made an end of condoling with him, he charged him
not to absent himself from the Divan and returned to his palace. And Ala
al-Din, after a last sorrowful night, mounted early in the morning and,
riding to the court, kissed the ground before the Commander of the
Faithful who made a movement as if rising from the throne,[85] to greet
and welcome him; and bade him take his appointed place in the Divan,
saying, “O Ala al-Din, thou art my guest to-night.” So presently he
carried him into his serraglio and calling a slave-girl named Kút
al-Kulúb, said to her, “Ala al-Din had a wife called Zubaydah, who used
to sing to him and solace him of cark and care; but she is gone to the
mercy of Almighty Allah, and now I would have thee play him an air upon
the lute,”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph said to
the damsel Kut al-Kulub, “I would have thee play him upon the lute an
air, of fashion sweet and rare, that he may be solaced of his cark and
care.” So she rose and made sweet music; and the Caliph said to Ala
al-Din, “What sayst thou of this damsel’s voice?” He replied, “Verily, O
Commander of the Faithful, Zubaydah’s voice was the finer; but she is
skilled in touching the lute cunningly and her playing would make a rock
dance with glee.” The Caliph asked, “Doth she please thee?” and he
answered, “She doth, O Commander of the Faithful;” whereupon the King
said, “By the life of my head and the tombs of my forefathers, she is a
gift from me to thee, she and her waiting-women!” Ala al-Din fancied
that the Caliph was jesting with him; but, on the morrow, the King went
in to Kut al-Kulub and said to her, “I have given thee to Ala al-Din;”
whereat she rejoiced, for she had seen and loved him. Then the Caliph
returned from his serraglio-palace to the Divan; and, calling porters,
said to them, “Set all the goods of Kut al-Kulub and her waiting-women
in a litter, and carry them to Ala al-Din’s home.” So they conducted her
to the house and showed her into the pavilion, whilst the Caliph sat in
the hall of audience till the close of day, when the Divan broke up and
he retired to his harem. Such was his case; but as regards Kut al-Kulub,
when she had taken up her lodging in Ala al-Din’s mansion, she and her
women, forty in all, besides the eunuchry, she called two of these
caponised slaves and said to them, “Sit ye on stools, one on the right
and another on the left hand of the door; and, when Ala al-Din cometh
home, both of you kiss his hands and say to him, “Our mistress Kut
al-Kulub requesteth thy presence in the pavilion, for the Caliph hath
given her to thee, her and her women.”” They answered, “We hear and
obey;” and did as she bade them. So, when Ala al-Din returned, he found
two of the Caliph’s eunuchs sitting at the door and was amazed at the
matter and said to himself, “Surely, this is not my own house; or else
what can have happened?” Now when the eunuchs saw him, they rose to him
and, kissing his hands, said to him, “We are of the Caliph’s household
and slaves to Kut al-Kulub, who saluteth thee giving thee to know that
the Caliph hath bestowed her on thee, her and her women, and requesteth
thy presence.” Quoth Ala al-Din, “Say ye to her:—Thou art welcome; but
so long as thou shalt abide with me, I will not enter the pavilion
wherein thou art, for what was the master’s should not become the man’s;
and furthermore ask her:—What was the sum of thy day’s expenditure in
the Caliph’s palace?” So they went in and did his errand to her, and she
answered, “An hundred dinars a day;” whereupon quoth he to himself,
“There was no need for the Caliph to give me Kut al-Kulub, that I should
be put to such expense for her; but there is no help for it.” So she
abode with him awhile and he assigned her daily an hundred dinars for
her maintenance; till, one day, he absented himself from the Divan and
the Caliph said to Ja’afar, “O Wazir, I gave not Kut al-Kulub unto Ala
al-Din but that she might console him for his wife; why, then, doth he
still hold aloof from us?” Answered Ja’afar, “O Commander of the
Faithful, he spake sooth who said:—Whoso findeth his fere, forgetteth
his friends.” Rejoined the Caliph, “Haply he hath not absented himself
without excuse, but we will pay him a visit.” Now some days before this,
Ala al-Din had said to Ja’afar, “I complained to the Caliph of my grief
and mourning for the loss of my wife Zubaydah and he gave me Kut
al-Kulub;” and the Minister replied, “Except he loved thee, he had not
given her to thee. Say hast thou gone in unto her, O Ala al-Din?” He
rejoined, “No, by Allah! I know not her length from her breadth.” He
asked “And why?” and he answered, “O Wazir, what befitteth the lord
befitteth not the liege.” Then the Caliph and Ja’afar disguised
themselves and went privily to visit Ala al-Din; but he knew them and
rising to them kissed the hands of the Caliph, who looked at him and saw
signs of sorrow in his face. So he said to him, “O Ala al-Din, whence
cometh this sorrow wherein I see thee? Hast thou not gone in unto Kut
al-Kulub?” He replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, what befitteth the
lord befitteth not the thrall. No, as yet I have not gone in to visit
her nor do I know her length from her breadth; so pray quit me of her.”
Quoth the Caliph, “I would fain see her and question her of her case;”
and quoth Ala al-Din, “I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful.”
So the Caliph went in——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph went in
to Kut al-Kulub, who rose to him on sighting him and kissed the ground
between his hands; when he said to her, “Hath Ala al-Din gone in unto
thee?” and she answered, “No, O Commander of the Faithful, I sent to bid
him come, but he would not.” So the Caliph bade carry her back to the
Harim and saying to Ala al-Din, “Do not absent thyself from us,”
returned to his palace. Accordingly, next morning, Ala al-Din mounted
and rode to the Divan, where he took his seat as Chief of the Sixty.
Presently the Caliph ordered his treasurer to give the Wazir Ja’afar ten
thousand dinars and said when his order was obeyed, “I charge thee to go
down to the bazar where handmaidens are sold and buy Ala al-Din a
slave-girl with this sum.” So in obedience to the King Ja’afar took Ala
al-Din and went down with him to the bazar. Now as chance would have it,
that very day, the Emir Khálid, whom the Caliph had made Governor of
Baghdad, went down to the market to buy a slave-girl for his son and the
cause of his going was that his wife, Khátún by name, had borne him a
son called Habzalam Bazázah,[86] and the same was foul of favour and had
reached the age of twenty, without learning to mount horse; albeit his
father was brave and bold, a doughty rider ready to plunge into the Sea
of Darkness.[87] And it happened that on a certain night he had a dream
which caused nocturnal pollution, whereof he told his mother who
rejoiced and said to his father, “I want to find him a wife, as he is
now ripe for wedlock.” Quoth Khalid, “The fellow is so foul of favour
and withal so rank of odour, so sordid and beastly that no woman would
take him at a gift.” And she answered, “We will buy him a slave-girl.”
So it befel, for the accomplishing of what Allah Almighty had decreed,
that on the same day Ja’afar and Ala al-Din, the Governor Khalid and his
son went down to the market and behold, they saw in the hands of a
broker, a beautiful girl lovely-faced and of perfect shape, and the
Wazir said to him, “O broker, ask her owner if he will take a thousand
dinars for her.” And as the broker passed by the Governor with the
slave, Habzalam Bazazah cast at her one glance of the eyes which
entailed for himself one thousand sighs; and he fell in love with her
and passion got hold of him and he said, “O my father, buy me yonder
slave-girl.” So the Emir called the broker, who brought the girl to him,
and asked her her name. She replied, “My name is Jessamine;” and he said
to Habzalam Bazazah, “O my son, an she please thee, do thou bid higher
for her.” Then he asked the broker, “What hath been bidden for her?” and
he replied, “A thousand dinars.” Said the Governor’s son, “She is mine
for a thousand pieces of gold and one more;” and the broker passed on to
Ala al-Din who bid two thousand dinars for her; and as often as the
Emir’s son bid another dinar, Ala al-Din bid a thousand. The ugly youth
was vexed at this and said, “O broker! who is it that outbiddeth me for
the slave-girl?” Answered the broker, “It is the Wazir Ja’afar who is
minded to buy her for Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat.” And Ala al-Din
continued till he brought her price up to ten thousand dinars, and her
owner was satisfied to sell her for that sum. Then he took the girl and
said to her, “I give thee thy freedom for the love of Almighty Allah;”
and forthwith wrote his contract of marriage with her and carried her to
his house. Now when the broker returned, after having received his
brokerage, the Emir’s son summoned him and said to him, “Where is the
girl?” Quoth he, “She was bought for ten thousand dinars by Ala al-Din,
who hath set her free and married her.” At this the young man was
greatly vexed and cast down and, sighing many a sigh, returned home,
sick for love of the damsel; and he threw himself on his bed and refused
food, for love and longing were sore upon him. Now when his mother saw
him in this plight, she said to him, “Heaven assain thee, O my son! What
aileth thee?” And he answered, “Buy me Jessamine, O my mother.” Quoth
she, “When the flower-seller passeth I will buy thee a basketful of
jessamine.” Quoth he, “It is not the jessamine one smells, but a
slave-girl ‘named Jessamine, whom my father would not buy for me.” So
she said to her husband, “Why and wherefore didst thou not buy him the
girl?” and he replied, “What is fit for the lord is not fit for the
liege and I have no power to take her: no less a man bought her than Ala
al-Din, Chief of the Sixty.” Then the youth’s weakness redoubled upon
him, till he gave up sleeping and eating, and his mother bound her head
with the fillets of mourning. And while in her sadness she sat at home,
lamenting over her son, behold, came in to her an old woman, known as
the mother of Ahmad Kamákim[88] the arch-thief, a knave who would bore
through a middle wall and scale the tallest of the tall and steal the
very kohl off the eye-ball.[89] From his earliest years he had been
given to these malpractices, till they made him Captain of the Watch,
when he stole a sum of money; and the Chief of Police, coming upon him
in the act, carried him to the Caliph, who bade put him to death on the
common execution-ground.[90] But he implored protection of the Wazir
whose intercession the Caliph never rejected; so he pleaded for him with
the Commander of the Faithful who said, “How canst thou intercede for
this pest of the human race?” Ja’afar answered, “O Commander of the
Faithful, do thou imprison him; whoso built the first jail was a sage,
seeing that a jail is the grave of the living and a joy for the foe.” So
the Caliph bade lay him in bilboes and write thereon, “Appointed to
remain here until death and not to be loosed but on the corpse-washer’s
bench;” and they cast him fettered into limbo. Now his mother was a
frequent visitor to the house of the Emir Khalid, who was Governor and
Chief of Police; and she used to go in to her son in jail and say to
him, “Did I not warn thee to turn from thy wicked ways?”[91] And he
would always answer her, “Allah decreed this to me; but, O my mother,
when thou visitest the Emir’s wife make her intercede for me with her
husband.” So when the old woman came into the Lady Khatun, she found her
bound with the fillets of mourning and said to her, “Wherefore dost thou
mourn?” She replied, “For my son Habzalam Bazazah;” and the old woman
exclaimed, “Heaven assain thy son!; what hath befallen him?” So the
mother told her the whole story, and she said, “What wouldst thou say of
him who should achieve such a feat as would save thy son?” Asked the
lady, “And what feat wilt thou do?” Quoth the old woman, “I have a son
called Ahmad Kamakim, the arch-thief, who lieth chained in jail and on
his bilboes is written:—Appointed to remain till death; so do thou don
thy richest clothes and trick thee out with thy finest jewels and
present thyself to thy husband with an open face and smiling mien; and
when he seeketh of thee what men seek of women, put him off and baulk
him of his will and say:—By Allah, ‘tis a strange thing! When a man
desireth aught of his wife he dunneth her till she doeth it; but if a
wife desire aught of her husband, he will not grant it to her. Then he
will say:—What dost thou want?; and do thou answer:—First swear to grant
my request. If he swear to thee by his head or by Allah, say to
him:—Swear to me the oath of divorce, and do not yield to him, except he
do this. And whenas he hath sworn to thee the oath of divorce, say to
him:—Thou keepest in prison a man called Ahmad Kamakim, and he hath a
poor old mother, who hath set upon me and who urgeth me in the matter
and who saith, Let thy husband intercede for him with the Caliph, that
my son may repent and thou gain heavenly guerdon.” And the Lady Khatun
replied, “I hear and obey.” So when her husband came into her——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-third Night,


She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Governor came
in to his wife, who spoke to him as she had been taught and made him
swear the divorce-oath before she would yield to his wishes. He lay with
her that night and, when morning dawned, after he had made the
Ghusl-ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer, he repaired to the prison and
said, “O Ahmad Kamakim, O thou arch-thief, dost thou repent of thy
works?”; whereto he replied, “I do indeed repent and turn to Allah and
say with heart and tongue:—I ask pardon of Allah.” So the Governor took
him out of jail and carried him to the Court (he being still in bilboes)
and, approaching the Caliph kissed ground before him. Quoth the King, “O
Emir Khalid, what seekest thou?”; whereupon he brought forward Ahmad
Kamakim, shuffling and tripping in his fetters, and the Caliph said to
him, “What! art thou yet alive, O Kamakim?” He replied, “O Commander of
the Faithful, the miserable are long-lived.” Quoth the Caliph to the
Emir, “Why hast thou brought him hither?”; and quoth he, “O Commander of
the Faithful, he hath a poor old mother cut off from the world who hath
none but this son and she hath had recourse to thy slave, imploring him
to intercede with thee to strike off his chains, for he repenteth of his
evil courses; and to make him Captain of the Watch as before.” The
Caliph asked Ahmad Kamakim, “Dost thou repent of thy sins?” “I do indeed
repent me to Allah, O Commander of the Faithful,” answered he; whereupon
the Caliph called for the blacksmith and made him strike off his irons
on the corpse-washer’s bench.[92] Moreover, he restored him to his
former office and charged him to walk in the ways of godliness and
righteousness. So he kissed the Caliph’s hands and, being invested with
the uniform of Captain of the Watch, he went forth, whilst they made
proclamation of his appointment. Now for a long time he abode in the
exercise of his office, till one day his mother went in to the
Governor’s wife, who said to her, “Praised be Allah who hath delivered
thy son from prison and restored him to health and safety! But why dost
thou not bid him contrive some trick to get the girl Jessamine for son
Habzalam Bazazah?” “That will I,” answered she and, going out from her,
repaired to her son. She found him drunk with wine and said to him, “O
my son, no one caused thy release from jail but the wife of the
Governor, and she would have thee find some means to slay Ala al-Din Abu
al-Shamat and get his slave-girl Jessamine for her son Habzalam
Bazazah.” He answered, “That will be the easiest of things; and I must
needs set about it this very night.” Now this was the first night of the
new month, and it was the custom of the Caliph to spend that night with
the Lady Zubaydah, for the setting free of a slave-girl or a Mameluke or
something of the sort. Moreover, on such occasions he used to doff his
royal habit, together with his rosary and dagger-sword and royal signet,
and set them all upon a chair in the sitting-saloon: and he had also a
golden lanthorn, adorned with three jewels strung on a wire of gold, by
which he set great store; and he would commit all these things to the
charge of the eunuchry, whilst he went into the Lady Zubaydah’s
apartment. So arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim waited till midnight, when
Canopus shone bright, and all creatures to sleep were dight whilst the
Creator veiled them with the veil of night. Then he took his drawn sword
in his right and his grappling-hook in his left and, repairing to the
Caliph’s sitting-saloon planted his scaling ladder and cast his grapnel
on to the side of the terrace-roof; then, raising the trap-door, let
himself down into the saloon, where he found the eunuchs asleep. He
drugged them with hemp-fumes;[93] and, taking the Caliph’s dress,
dagger, rosary, kerchief, signet-ring and the lanthorn whereupon were
the pearls, returned whence he came and betook himself to the house of
Ala al-Din, who had that night celebrated his wedding festivities with
Jessamine and had gone in unto her and gotten her with child. So
arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim climbed over into his saloon and, raising one
of the marble slabs from the sunken part of the floor,[94] dug a hole
under it and laid the stolen things therein, all save the lanthorn,
which he kept for himself. Then he plastered down the marble slab as it
before was, and returning whence he came, went back to his own house,
saying, “I will now tackle my drink and set this lanthorn before me and
quaff the cup to its light.”[95] Now as soon as it was dawn of day, the
Caliph went out into the sitting-chamber; and, seeing the eunuchs
drugged with hemp, aroused them. Then he put his hand to the chair and
found neither dress nor signet nor rosary nor dagger-sword nor kerchief
nor lanthorn; whereat he was exceeding wroth and donning the dress of
anger, which was a scarlet suit,[96] sat down in the Divan. So the Wazir
Ja’afar came forward and kissing the ground before him, said, “Allah
avert all evil from the Commander of the Faithful!” Answered the Caliph,
“O Wazir, the evil is passing great!” Ja’afar asked, “What has
happened?” so he told him what had occurred; and, behold, the Chief of
Police appeared with Ahmad Kamakim the robber at his stirrup, when he
found the Commander of the Faithful sore enraged. As soon as the Caliph
saw him, he said to him, “O Emir Khalid, how goes Baghdad?” And he
answered, “Safe and secure.” Cried he, “Thou liest!” “How so, O Prince
of True Believers?” asked the Emir. So he told him the case and added,
“I charge thee to bring me back all the stolen things.” Replied the
Emir, “O Commander of the Faithful, the vinegar worm is of and in the
vinegar, and no stranger can get at this place.”[97] But the Caliph
said, “Except thou bring me these things, I will put thee to death.”
Quoth he, “Ere thou slay me, slay Ahmad Kamakim, for none should know
the robber and the traitor but the Captain of the Watch.” Then came
forward Ahmad Kamakim and said to the Caliph, “Accept my intercession
for the Chief of Police, and I will be responsible to thee for the thief
and will track his trail till I find him; but give me two Kazis and two
Assessors for he who did this thing feareth thee not, nor doth he fear
the Governor nor any other.” Answered the Caliph, “Thou shalt have what
thou wantest; but let search be made first in my palace and then in
those of the Wazir and the Chief of the Sixty.” Rejoined Ahmad Kamakim,
“Thou sayest well, O Commander of the Faithful; belike the man that did
this ill-deed be one who hath been reared in the King’s houshold or in
that of one of his officers.” Cried the Caliph, “As my head liveth,
whosoever shall have done the deed I will assuredly put him to death, be
it mine own son!” Then Ahmad Kamakim received a written warrant to enter
and perforce search the houses;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ahmad Kamakim got
what he wanted, and received a written warrant to enter and perforce
search the houses; so he fared forth, taking in his hand a rod[98] made
of bronze and copper, iron and steel, of each three equal parts. He
first searched the palace of the Caliph, then that of the Wazir Ja’afar;
after which he went the round of the houses of the Chamberlains and the
Viceroys till he came to that of Ala al-Din. Now when the Chief of the
Sixty heard the clamour before his house, he left his wife Jessamine and
went down and, opening the door, found the Master of Police without in
the midst of a tumultuous crowd. So he said, “What is the matter, O Emir
Khalid?” Thereupon the Chief told him the case and Ala al-Din said,
“Enter my house and search it.” The Governor replied, “Pardon, O my
lord; thou art a man in whom trust is reposed and Allah forfend that the
trusty turn traitor!” Quoth Ala al-Din, “There is no help for it but
that my house be searched.” So the Chief of Police entered, attended by
the Kazi and his Assessors; whereupon Ahmad Kamakim went straight to the
depressed floor of the saloon and came to the slab, under which he had
buried the stolen goods and let the rod fall upon it with such violence
that the marble broke in sunder and behold something glittered
underneath. Then said he, “Bismillah; in the name of Allah! Mashallah;
whatso Allah willeth! By the blessing of our coming a hoard hath been
hit upon; wait while we go down into this hiding-place and see what is
therein.” So the Kazi and Assessors looked into the hole and finding
there the stolen goods, drew up a statement[99] of how they had
discovered them in Ala al-Din’s house, to which they set their seals.
Then, they bade seize upon Ala al-Din and took his turband from his
head, and officially registered all his monies and effects which were in
the mansion. Meanwhile, arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim laid hands on
Jessamine, who was with child by Ala al-Din, and committed her to his
mother, saying, “Deliver her to Khatun, the Governor’s lady:” so the old
woman took her and carried her to the wife of the Master of Police. Now
as soon as Habzalam Bazazah saw her, health and heart returned to him
and he arose without stay or delay and joyed with exceeding joy and
would have drawn near her; but she pluckt a dagger from her girdle and
said, “Keep off from me, or I will kill thee and kill myself after.”
Exclaimed his mother, “O strumpet, let my son have his will of thee!”
But Jessamine answered “O bitch, by what law is it lawful for a woman to
marry two men; and how shall the dog be admitted to the place of the
lion?” With this, the ugly youth’s love-longing redoubled and he
sickened for yearning and unfulfilled desire; and refusing food returned
to his pillow. Then said his mother to her, “O harlot, how canst thou
make me thus to sorrow for my son? Needs must I punish thee with
torture; and as for Ala al-Din, he will assuredly be hanged.” “And I
will die for love of him,” answered Jessamine. Then the Governor’s wife
arose and stripped her of her jewels and silken raiment and, clothing
her in petticoat-trousers of sack-cloth and a shift of hair-cloth, sent
her down into the kitchen and made her a scullery-wench, saying, “The
reward for thy constancy shall be to break up fire-wood and peel onions
and set fire under the cooking-pots.” Quoth she, “I am willing to suffer
all manner of hardships and servitude, but I will not suffer the sight
of thy son.” However, Allah inclined the hearts of the slave-girls to
her and they used to do her service in the kitchen. Such was the case
with Jessamine; but as regards Ala al-Din they carried him, together
with the stolen goods, to the Divan where the Caliph still sat upon his
throne. And behold, the King looked upon his effects and said, “Where
did ye find them?” They replied, “In the very middle of the house
belonging to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat;” whereat the Caliph was filled
with wrath and took the things, but found not the lanthorn among them
and said, “O Ala al-Din, where is the lanthorn?” He answered “I stole it
not; I know naught of it; I never saw it; I can give no information
about it!” Said the Caliph, “O traitor, how cometh it that I brought
thee near unto me and thou hast cast me out afar, and I trusted in thee
and thou betrayest me?” And he commanded to hang him. So the Chief of
Police took him and went down with him into the city, whilst the crier
preceded them proclaiming aloud and saying, “This is the reward and the
least of the reward he shall receive who doth treason against the
Caliphs of True Belief!” And the folk flocked to the place where the
gallows stood. Thus far concerning him; but as regards Ahmad al-Danaf,
Ala al-Din’s adopted father, he was sitting making merry with his
followers in a garden, and carousing and pleasuring when lo! in came one
of the water-carriers of the Divan and, kissing the hand of Ahmad
al-Danaf, said to him, “O Captain Ahmad, O Danaf! thou sittest at thine
ease with water flowing at thy feet,[100] and thou knowest not what hath
happened.” Asked Ahmad, “What is it?” and the other answered, “They have
gone down to the gallows with thy son Ala al-Din, adopted by a covenant
before Allah!” Quoth Ahmad, “What is the remedy here, O Hasan Shuuman,
and what sayst thou of this?” He replied, “Assuredly Ala al-Din is
innocent and this blame hath come to him from some one enemy.”[101]
Quoth Ahmad, “What counsellest thou?” and Hasan said, “We must rescue
him, Inshallah!” Then he went to the jail and said to the gaolor, “Give
us some one who deserveth death.” So he gave him one that was likest of
men to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat; and they covered his head and carried
him to the place of execution between Ahmad al-Danaf and Ali al-Zaybak
of Cairo.[102] Now they had brought Ala al-Din to the gibbet, to hang
him, but Ahmad al-Danaf came forward and set his foot on that of the
hangman, who said, “Give me room to do my duty.” He replied, “O
accursed, take this man and hang him in Ala al-Din’s stead; for he is
innocent and we will ransom him with this fellow, even as Abraham
ransomed Ishmael with the ram.”[103] So the hangman seized the man and
hanged him in lieu of Ala al-Din; whereupon Ahmad and Ali took Ala
al-Din and carried him to Ahmad’s quarters and, when there, Ala al-Din
turned to him and said, “O my sire and chief, Allah requite thee with
the best of good!” Quoth he, “O Ala al-Din”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Calamity Ahmad
cried, “O Ala al-Din, what is this deed thou hast done? The mercy of
Allah be on him who said:—Whoso trusteth thee betray him not, e’en if
thou be a traitor. Now the Caliph set thee in high place about him and
styled thee ‘Trusty’ and ‘Faithful’; how then couldst thou deal thus
with him and steal his goods?” “By the Most Great Name, O my father and
chief,” replied Ala al-Din, “I had no hand in this, nor did I such deed,
nor know I who did it.” Quoth Ahmad, “Of a surety none did this but a
manifest enemy and whoso doth aught shall be requited for his deed; but,
O Ala al-Din, thou canst sojourn no longer in Baghdad, for Kings, O my
son, may not pass from one thing to another, and when they go in quest
of a man, ah! longsome is his travail.” “Whither shall I go, O my
chief?” asked Ala al-Din; and he answered, “O my son, I will bring thee
to Alexandria, for it is a blessed place; its threshold is green and its
sojourn is agreeable.” And Ala al-Din rejoined, “I hear and I obey, O my
chief.” So Ahmad said to Hasan Shuuman, “Be mindful and, when the Caliph
asketh for me, say:—He is gone touring about the provinces.” Then,
taking Ala al-Din, he went forth of Baghdad and stayed not going till
they came to the outlying vineyards and gardens, where they met two Jews
of the Caliph’s tax-gatherers, riding on mules. Quoth Ahmad Al-Danaf to
these, “Give me the black-mail;”[104] and quoth they, “Why should we pay
thee black-mail?” whereto he replied, “Because I am the watchman of this
valley.” So they gave him each an hundred gold pieces, after which he
slew them and took their mules, one of which he mounted, whilst Ala
al-Din bestrode the other. Then they rode on till they came to the city
of Ayás[105] and put up their beasts for the night at the Khan. And when
morning dawned, Ala al-Din sold his own mule and committed that of Ahmad
to the charge of the doorkeeper of the caravanserai, after which they
took ship from Ayas port and sailed to Alexandria. Here they landed and
walked up to the bazar and behold, there was a broker crying a shop and
a chamber behind it for nine hundred and fifty dinars. Upon this Ala
al-Din bid a thousand which the broker accepted, for the premises
belonged to the Treasury; and the seller handed over to him the keys and
the buyer opened the shop and found the inner parlour furnished with
carpets and cushions. Moreover, he found there a store-room full of
sails and masts, cordage and seamen’s chests, bags of beads and
cowrie[106]-shells, stirrups, battle-axes, maces, knives, scissors and
such matters, for the last owner of the shop had been a dealer in
second-hand goods.[107] So he took his seat in the shop and Ahmad
al-Danaf said to him, “O my son, the shop and the room and that which is
therein are become thine; so tarry thou here and buy and sell; and
repine not at thy lot for Almighty Allah blesseth trade.” After this he
abode with him three days and on the fourth he took leave of him,
saying, “Abide here till I go back and bring thee the Caliph’s pardon
and learn who hath played thee this trick.” Then he shipped for Ayas,
where he took the mule from the inn and, returning to Baghdad met
Pestilence Hasan and his followers, to whom said he, “Hath the Caliph
asked after me?”; and he replied, “No, nor hast thou come to his
thought.” So he resumed his service about the Caliph’s person and set
himself to sniff about for news of Ala al-Din’s case, till one day he
heard the Caliph say to the Wazir, “See, O Ja’afar, how Ala al-Din dealt
with me!” Replied the Minister, “O Commander of the Faithful, thou hast
requited him with hanging and hath he not met with his reward?” Quoth
he, “O Wazir, I have a mind to go down and see him hanging;” and the
Wazir answered, “Do what thou wilt, O Commander of the Faithful.” So the
Caliph, accompanied by Ja’afar, went down to the place of execution and,
raising his eyes, saw the hanged man to be other than Ala al-Din Abu
al-Shamat, surnamed the Trusty, and said, “O Wazir, this is not Ala
al-Din!” “How knowest thou that it is not he?” asked the Minister, and
the Caliph answered, “Ala al-Din was short and this one is tall.” Quoth
Ja’afar, “Hanging stretcheth.” Quoth the Caliph, “Ala al-Din was fair
and this one’s face is black.” Said Ja’afar, “Knowest thou not, O
Commander of the Faithful, that death is followed by blackness?” Then
the Caliph bade take down the body from the gallows-tree and they found
the names of the two Shaykhs, Abu Bakr and Omar, written on its
heels;[108] whereupon cried the Caliph, “O Wazir, Ala al-Din was a
Sunnite, and this fellow is a Rejecter, a Shi’ah.” He answered, “Glory
be to Allah who knoweth the hidden things, while we know not whether
this was Ala al-Din or other than he.” Then the Caliph bade bury the
body and they buried it; and Ala al-Din was forgotten as though he never
had been. Such was his case; but as regards Habzalam Bazazah, the Emir
Khalid’s son, he ceased not to languish for love and longing till he
died and they joined him to the dust. And as for the young wife
Jessamine, she accomplished the months of her pregnancy and, being taken
with labour-pains, gave birth to a boy-child like unto the moon. And
when her fellow slave-girls said to her, “What wilt thou name him?” she
answered, “Were his father well he had named him; but now I will name
him Aslán.”[109] She gave him suck for two successive years, then weaned
him, and he crawled and walked. Now it so came to pass that one day,
whilst his mother was busied with the service of the kitchen, the boy
went out and, seeing the stairs, mounted to the guest-chamber.[110] And
the Emir Khalid who was sitting there took him upon his lap and
glorified his Lord for that which he had created and fashioned; then
closely eyeing his face, the Governor saw that he was the likest of all
creatures to Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat. Presently, his mother Jessamine
sought for him and finding him not, mounted to the guest-chamber, where
she saw the Emir seated, with the child playing in his lap, for Allah
had inclined his heart to the boy. And when the child espied his mother,
he would have thrown himself upon her; but the Emir held him tight to
his bosom and said to Jessamine, “Come hither, O damsel.” So she came to
him, when he said to her, “Whose son is this?”; and she replied, “He is
my son and the fruit of my vitals.” “And who is his father?” asked the
Emir; and she answered, “His father was Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, but
now he is become thy son.” Quoth Khalid, “In very sooth Ala al-Din was a
traitor.” Quoth she, “Allah deliver him from treason! the Heavens
forfend and forbid that the ‘Trusty’ should be a traitor!” Then said he,
“When this boy shall grow up and reach man’s estate and say to thee:—Who
is my father? say to him:—Thou art the son of the Emir Khalid, Governor
and Chief of Police.” And she answered, “I hear and I obey.” Then he
circumcised the boy and reared him with the goodliest rearing, and
engaged for him a professor of law and religious science, and an expert
pensman who taught him to read and write; so he read the Koran twice and
learnt it by heart and he grew up, saying to the Emir, “O my father!”
Moreover, the Governor used to go down with him to the tilting-ground
and assemble horsemen and teach the lad the fashion of fight and fray,
and the place to plant lance-thrust and sabre-stroke; so that by the
time he was fourteen years old, he became a valiant wight and
accomplished knight and gained the rank of Emir. Now it chanced one day
that Aslan fell in with Ahmad Kamakim, the arch-thief, and accompanied
him as cup-companion to the tavern[111] and behold, Ahmad took out the
jewelled lanthorn he had stolen from the Caliph and, setting it before
him, pledged the wine cup to its light, till he became drunken. So Aslan
said to him, “O Captain, give me this lanthorn;” but he replied, “I
cannot give it to thee.” Asked Aslan, “Why not?”; and Ahmad answered,
“Because lives have been lost for it.” “Whose life?” enquired Aslan; and
Ahmad rejoined, “There came hither a man who was made Chief of the
Sixty; he was named Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat and he lost his life
through this lanthorn.” Quoth Aslan, “And what was that story, and what
brought about his death?” Quoth Ahmad Kamakim, “Thou hadst an elder
brother by name Habzalam Bazazah, and when he reached the age of sixteen
and was ripe for marriage, thy father would have bought him a slave-girl
named Jessamine.” And he went on to tell him the whole story from first
to last of Habzalam Bazazah’s illness and what befel Ala al-Din in his
innocence. When Aslan heard this, he said in thought, “Haply this
slave-girl was my mother Jessamine, and my father was none other than
Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat.” So the boy went out from him sorrowful, and
met Calamity Ahmad, who at sight of him exclaimed, “Glory be to Him unto
whom none is like!” Asked Hasan the Pestilence, “Whereat dost thou
marvel, O my chief?” and Ahmad the Calamity replied, “At the make of
yonder boy Aslan, for he is the likest of human creatures to Ala al-Din
Abu al Shamat.” Then he called the lad and said to him, “O Aslan what is
thy mother’s name?”; to which he replied, “She is called the damsel
Jessamine;” and the other said, “Harkye, Aslan, be of good cheer and
keep thine eyes cool and clear; for thy father was none other than Ala
al-Din Abu al-Shamat: but, O my son, go thou in to thy mother and
question her of thy father.” He said, “Hearkening and obedience,” and,
going in to his mother put the question; whereupon quoth she, “Thy sire
is the Emir Khalid!” “Not so,” rejoined he, “my father was none other
than Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat.” At this the mother wept and said, “Who
acquainted thee with this, O my son?” And he answered “Ahmad Al-Danaf,
Captain of the Guard.” So she told him the whole story, saying, “O my
son, the True hath prevailed and the False hath failed:[112] know that
Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat was indeed thy sire, but it was none save the
Emir Khalid who reared thee and adopted thee as his son. And now, O my
child, when thou seest Ahmad al-Danaf the captain, do thou say to him:—I
conjure thee, by Allah, O my chief, take my blood-revenge on the
murderer of my father Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat!” So he went out from his
mother——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Aslan went out
from his mother and, betaking himself to Calamity Ahmad, kissed his
hand. Quoth the captain, “What aileth thee, O Aslan?” and quoth he, “I
know now for certain that my father was Ali al-Din Abu al-Shamat and I
would have thee take my blood-revenge on his murderer.” He asked, “And
who was thy father’s murderer?” whereto Aslan answered, “Ahmad Kamakim
the Arch-thief.” “Who told thee this?” enquired he, and Aslan rejoined,
“I saw in his hand the jewelled lanthorn which was lost with the rest of
the Caliph’s gear, and I said to him:—Give me this lanthorn! but he
refused, saying, Lives have been lost on account of this; and told me it
was he who had broken into the palace and stolen the articles and
deposited them in my father’s house.” Then said Ahmad al-Danaf, “When
thou seest the Emir Khalid don his harness of war say to him:—Equip me
like thyself and take me with thee. Then do thou go forth and perform
some feat of prowess before the Commander of the Faithful, and he will
say to thee:—Ask a boon of me, O Aslan! And do thou make answer, I ask
of thee this boon, that thou take my blood-revenge on my father’s
murderer. If he say, Thy father is yet alive and is the Emir Khalid, the
Chief of the Police; answer thou:—My father was Ala al-Din Abu
al-Shamat, and the Emir Khalid hath a claim upon me only as the
foster-father who adopted me. Then tell him all that passed between thee
and Ahmad Kamakim and say:—O Prince of True Believers, order him to be
searched and I will bring the lanthorn forth from his bosom.” Thereupon
said Aslan to him, “I hear and obey;” and, returning to the Emir Khalid,
found him making ready to repair to the Caliph’s court and said to him,
“I would fain have thee arm and harness me like thyself and take me with
thee to the Divan.” So he equipped him and carried him thither. Then the
Caliph sallied forth of Baghdad with his troops and they pitched tents
and pavilions without the city; whereupon the host divided into two
parties and forming ranks fell to playing Polo, one striking the ball
with the mall, and another striking it back to him. Now there was among
the troops a spy, who had been hired to slay the Caliph; so he took the
ball and smiting it with the bat drove it straight at the Caliph’s face,
when behold, Aslan fended it off and catching it drove it back at him
who smote it, so that it struck him between the shoulders and he fell to
the ground. The Caliph exclaimed, “Allah bless thee, O Aslan!” and they
all dismounted and sat on chairs. Then the Caliph bade them bring the
smiter of the ball before him and said, “Who tempted thee to do this
thing and art thou friend or foe?” Quoth he, “I am thy foe and it was my
purpose to kill thee.” Asked the Caliph, “And wherefore? Art not a
Moslem?” Replied the spy; “No! I am a Rejecter.”[113] So the Caliph bade
them put him to death and said to Aslan, “Ask a boon of me.” Quoth he,
“I ask of thee this boon, that thou take my blood-revenge on my father’s
murderer.” He said, “Thy father is alive and there he stands on his two
feet.” “And who is he?” asked Aslan; and the Caliph answered, “He is the
Emir Khalid, Chief of Police.” Rejoined Aslan, “O Commander of the
Faithful, he is no father of mine, save by right of fosterage; my father
was none other than Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat.” “Then thy father was a
traitor,” cried the Caliph. “Allah forbid, O Commander of the Faithful,”
rejoined Aslan, “that the ‘Trusty’ should be a traitor! But how did he
betray thee?” Quoth the Caliph, “He stole my habit and what was
therewith.” Aslan retorted, “O Commander of the Faithful, Allah forfend
that my father should be a traitor! But, O my lord, when thy habit was
lost and found didst thou likewise recover the lanthorn which was stolen
from thee?” Answered the Caliph, “We never got it back;” and Aslan said,
“I saw it in the hands of Ahmad Kamakim and begged it of him; but he
refused to give it me, saying:—Lives have been lost on account of this.
Then he told me of the sickness of Habzalam Bazazah, son of the Emir
Khalid, by reason of his passion for the damsel Jessamine, and how he
himself was released from bonds and that it was he who stole the habit
and the lamp: so do thou, O Commander of the Faithful, take my
blood-revenge for my father on him who murdered him.” At once the Caliph
cried, “Seize ye Ahmad Kamakim!” and they seized him; whereupon he
asked, “Where be the Captain, Ahmad al-Danaf?” And when he was summoned
the Caliph bade him search Kamakim; so he put his hand into the thief’s
bosom and pulled out the lanthorn. Said the Caliph, “Come hither, thou
traitor: whence hadst thou this lanthorn?” and Kamakim replied, “I
bought it, O Commander of the Faithful!” The Caliph rejoined, “Where
didst thou buy it?” Then they beat him till he owned that he had stolen
the lanthorn, the habit and the rest, and the Caliph said “What moved
thee to do this thing O traitor, and ruin Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the
Trusty and Faithful?” Then he bade them lay hands on him and on the
Chief of Police, but the Chief said, “O Commander of the Faithful,
indeed I am unjustly treated; thou badest me hang him, and I had no
knowledge of this trick, for the plot was contrived between the old
woman and Ahmad Kamakim and my wife. I crave thine intercession,[114] O
Aslan.” So Aslan interceded for him with the Caliph, who said, “What
hath Allah done with this youngster’s mother?” Answered Khalid, “She is
with me,” and the Caliph continued, “I command that thou order thy wife
to dress her in her own clothes and ornaments and restore her to her
former degree, a lady of rank; and do thou remove the seals from Ala
al-Din’s house and give his son possession of his estate.” “I hear and
obey,” answered Khalid; and, going forth, gave the order to his wife who
clad Jessamine in her own apparel; whilst he himself removed the seals
from Ala al-Din’s house and gave Aslan the keys. Then said the Caliph,
“Ask a boon of me, O Aslan;” and he replied, “I beg of thee the boon to
unite me with my father.” Whereat the Caliph wept and said, “Most like
thy sire was he that was hanged and is dead; but by the life of my
forefathers, whoso bringeth me the glad news that he is yet in the
bondage of this life, I will give him all he seeketh!” Then came forward
Ahmad al-Danaf and, kissing the ground between his hands, said, “Grant
me indemnity, O Commander of the Faithful!” “Thou hast it,” answered the
Caliph; and Calamity Ahmad said, “I give thee the good news that Ala
al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty, the Faithful, is alive and well.”
Quoth the Caliph “What is this thou sayest?” Quoth Al-Danaf, “As thy
head liveth I say sooth; for I ransomed him with another, of those who
deserved death; and carried him to Alexandria, where I opened for him a
shop and set him up as dealer in second-hand goods.” Then said the
Prince of True Believers——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph ordered
Calamity Ahmad, saying, “I charge thee fetch him to me;” and the other
replied, “To hear is to obey;” whereupon the Caliph bade them give him
ten thousand gold pieces and he fared forth for Alexandria. On this wise
it happed with Aslan; but as regards his father, Ala al-Din Abu
al-Shamat, he sold in course of time all that was in his shop excepting
a few things and amongst them a long bag of leather. And happening to
shake the bag there fell out a jewel which filled the palm of the hand,
hanging to a chain of gold and having many facets but especially five,
whereon were names and talismanic characters, as they were ant-tracks.
So he rubbed each face; but none answered him[115] and he said to
himself, “Doubtless it is a piece of variegated onyx;” and then hung it
up in the shop. And behold, a Consul[116] passed along the street; and,
raising his eyes, saw the jewel hanging up; so he seated himself over
against the shop and said to Ala al-Din, “O my lord, is the jewel for
sale?” He answered, “All I have is for sale.” Thereupon the Frank said,
“Wilt thou sell me that same for eighty thousand dinars?” “Allah open!”
replied Ala al-Din. The Frank asked, “Wilt thou sell it for an hundred
thousand dinars?”; and he answered, “I sell it to thee for a hundred
thousand dinars; pay me down the monies.” Quoth the Consul, “I cannot
carry about such sum as its price, for there be robbers and sharpers in
Alexandria; but come with me to my ship and I will pay thee the price
and give thee to boot a bale of Angora wool, a bale of satin, a bale of
velvet and a bale of broadcloth.” So Ala al-Din rose and locked up his
shop, after giving the jewel to the Frank, and committed the keys to his
neighbour, saying, “Keep these keys in trust for me, whilst I go with
this Consul to his ship and return with the price of my jewel. If I be
long absent and there come to thee Ahmad al-Danaf, the Captain who
stablished in this shop, give him the keys and tell him where I am.”
Then he went with the Consul to his ship and no sooner had he boarded it
than the Frank set him a stool and, making him sit down, said to his
men, “Bring the money.” So they brought it and he paid him the price of
the jewel and gave him the four bales he had promised him and one over;
after which he said to him, “O my lord, honour me by accepting a bite or
a sup” And Ala al-Din answered, “If thou have any water, give me to
drink.” So the Frank called for sherbets and they brought drink drugged
with Bhang, of which no sooner had Ala al-Din drunk, than he fell over
on his back; whereupon they stowed away the chairs and shipped the
shoving-poles and made sail. Now the wind blew fair for them till it
drove them into blue water; and when they were beyond sight of land the
Kaptán[117] bade bring Ala al-Din up out of the hold and made him smell
the counter-drug of Bhang; whereupon he opened his eyes and said, “Where
am I?” He replied, “Thou art bound and in my power and if thou hadst
said, Allah open! to an hundred thousand dinars for the jewel, I would
have bidden thee more.” “What art thou?” asked Ala al-Din, and the other
answered, “I am a sea-captain and mean to carry thee to my sweetheart.”
Now as they were talking, behold, a ship hove in sight carrying forty
Moslem merchants; so the Frank captain attacked the vessel and made fast
to it with grappling-irons; then he boarded it with his men and took it
and plundered it; after which he sailed on with his prize, till he
reached the city of Genoa. There the Kaptan, who was carrying off Ala
al-Din, landed and repaired to a palace whose postern gave upon the sea,
and behold, there came down to him a damsel in a chin-veil who said,
“Hast thou brought the jewel and the owner?” “I have brought them both,”
answered he; and she said, “Then give me the jewel.” So he gave it to
her; and, returning to the port, fired his cannon to announce his safe
return; whereupon the King of the city, being notified of that Kaptan’s
arrival, came down to receive him and asked him, “How hath been this
voyage?” He answered, “A right prosperous one, and while voyaging I have
made prize of a ship with one-and forty Moslem merchants.” Said the
King, “Land them at the port:” so he landed the merchants in irons and
Ala al-Din among the rest; and the King and the Kaptan mounted and made
the captives walk before them till they reached the audience-chamber,
when the Franks seated themselves and caused the prisoners to pass in
parade order, one by one before the King who said to the first, “O
Moslem, whence comest thou?” He answered, “From Alexandria;” whereupon
the King said, “O headsman, put him to death.” So the sworder smote him
with the sword and cut off his head: and thus it fared with the second
and the third, till forty were dead and there remained but Ala al-Din,
who drank the cup of his comrades’ sighs and agony and said to himself,
“Allah have mercy on thee, O Ala al-Din. Thou art a dead man.” Then said
the King to him, “And thou, what countryman art thou?” He answered, “I
am of Alexandria,” and the King said, “O headsman, strike off his head.”
So the sworder raised arm and sword, and was about to strike, when
behold, an old woman of venerable aspect presented herself before the
King, who rose to do her honour, and said to him, “O King, did I not bid
thee remember, when the Captain came back with captives, to keep one or
two for the convent, to serve in the church?” The King replied, “O my
mother, would thou hadst come a while earlier! But take this one that is
left.” So she turned to Ala al-Din and said to him, “Say, wilt thou
serve in the church, or shall I let the King slay thee?” Quoth he, “I
will serve in the church.” So she took him and carried him forth of the
court and went to the church, where he said to her, “What service must I
do?” She replied, “Thou must rise with the dawn and take five mules and
go with them to the forest and there cut dry fire-wood and saw it short
and bring it to the convent-kitchen. Then must thou take up the carpets
and sweep and wipe the stone and marble pavements and lay the carpets
down again, as they were; after which thou must take two bushels and a
half of wheat and bolt it and grind it and knead it and make it into
cracknels[118] for the convent; and thou must take also a bushel of
lentils[119] and sift and crush and cook them. Then must thou fetch
water in barrels and fill the four fountains; after which thou must take
three hundred and threescore and six wooden bowls and crumble the
cracknels therein and pour of the lentil-pottage over each and carry
every monk and patriarch his bowl.” Said Ala al-Din,[120] “Take me back
to the King and let him kill me, it were easier to me than this
service.” Replied the old woman, “If thou do truly and rightly the
service that is due from thee thou shalt escape death; but, if thou do
it not, I will let the King kill thee.” And with these words Ala al-Din
was left sitting heavy at heart. Now there were in the church ten blind
cripples, and one of them said to him, “Bring me a pot.” So he brought
it him and he cacked and eased himself therein and said, “Throw away the
ordure.” He did so, and the blind man said, “The Messiah’s blessing be
upon thee, O servant of the church!” Presently behold, the old woman
came in and said to him, “Why hast thou not done thy service in the
church?” Answered he, “How many hands have I, that I should suffice for
all this work?” She rejoined, “Thou fool, I brought thee not hither
except to work;” and she added, “Take, O my son, this rod (which was of
copper capped with a cross) and go forth into the highway and, when thou
meetest the governor of the city, say to him:—I summon thee to the
service of the church, in the name of our Lord the Messiah. And he will
not disobey thee. Then make him take the wheat, sift, grind, bolt,
knead, and bake it into cracknels; and if any gainsay thee, beat him and
fear none.” “To hear is to obey,” answered he and did as she said, and
never ceased pressing great and small into his service; nor did he leave
to do thus for the space of seventeen years. Now one day as he sat in
church lo! the old woman came to him and said, “Go forth of the
convent.” He asked, “Whither shall I go?” and she answered, “Thou canst
pass the night in a tavern or with one of thy comrades.” Quoth he, “Why
dost thou send me forth of the church?” and quoth she, “The Princess
Husn Maryam, daughter of Yohanná,[121] King of this city, purposeth to
visit the church and it befitteth not that any abide in her way.” So he
made a show of obeying her orders and rose up and pretended that he was
leaving the church; but he said in his mind, “I wonder whether the
Princess is like our women or fairer than they! At any rate I will not
go till I have had a look at her.” So he hid himself in a closet with a
window looking into the church and, as he watched, behold, in came the
King’s daughter. He cast at her one glance of eyes that cost him a
thousand sighs, for he found her like the full moon when it cometh
swimming out of the clouds; and he saw with her a young lady——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ala al-Din
looked at the King’s daughter, he saw with her a young lady to whom he
heard her say, “Thy company hath cheered me, O Zubaydah.” So he looked
straitly at the damsel and found her to be none other than his dead
wife, Zubaydah the Lutist. Then the Princess said to Zubaydah, “Come,
play us an air on the lute.” But she answered, “I will make no music for
thee, till thou grant my wish and keep thy word to me.” Asked the
Princess, “And what did I promise thee?”; and Zubaydah answered, “That
thou wouldst reunite me with my husband Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the
Trusty, the Faithful.” Rejoined the Princess, “O Zubaydah, be of good
cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear; play us a piece as a
thank-offering and an ear-feast for reunion with thy husband Ala
al-Din.” “Where is he?” asked Zubaydah, and Maryam answered, “He is in
yonder closet listening to our words.” So Zubaydah played on the lute a
melody which had made a rock dance for glee; and when Ala al-Din heard
it, his bowels yearned towards her and he came forth from the closet
and, throwing himself upon his wife Zubaydah, strained her to his bosom.
She also knew him and the twain embraced and fell to the ground in a
swoon. Then came forward the Princess Husn Maryam and sprinkled
rose-water on them, till they revived when she said to them, “Allah hath
reunited you.” Replied Ala al-Din, “By thy kind offices, O lady.” Then,
turning to his wife, he said to her, “O Zubaydah, thou didst surely die
and we tombed thee in the tomb: how then returnedst thou to life and
camest thou to this place?” She answered, “O my lord, I did not die; but
an Aun[122] of the Jinn snatched me up and flew with me hither. She whom
thou buriedst was a Jinniyah, who shaped herself to my shape and feigned
herself dead; but when you entombed her she broke open the tomb and came
forth from it and returned to the service of this her mistress, the
Princess Husn Maryam. As for me I was possessed[123] and, when I opened
my eyes, I found myself with this Princess thou seest; so I said to
her:—Why hast thou brought me hither. Replied she:—I am predestined to
marry thy husband, Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat: wilt thou then, O Zubaydah,
accept me to co-consort, a night for me and a night for thee? Rejoined
I:—To hear is to obey, O my lady, but where is my husband? Quoth
she:—Upon his forehead is written what Allah hath decreed to him; as
soon as the writing which is there writ is fulfilled to him, there is no
help for it but he come hither, and we will beguile the time of our
separation from him with songs and playing upon instruments of music,
till it please Allah to unite us with him. So I abode all these days
with her till Allah brought us together in this church.” Then Husn
Maryam turned to him and said, “O my lord, Ala al-Din, wilt thou be to
me baron and I be to the femme?” Quoth he, “O my lady, I am a Moslem and
thou art a Nazarene; so how can I intermarry with thee?” Quoth she,
“Allah forbid that I should be an infidel! Nay, I am a Moslemah; for
these eighteen years I have held fast the Faith of Al-Islam and I am
pure of any creed other than that of the Islamite.” Then said he, “O my
lady, I desire a return to my native land;” and she replied, “Know that
I see written on thy forehead things which thou must needs accomplish,
and then thou shalt win to thy will. Moreover, be lief and fain, O Ala
al-Din, that there hath been born to thee a son named Aslan; who now
being arrived at age of discretion, sitteth in thy place with the
Caliph. Know also that Truth hath prevailed and that Falsehood naught
availed; and that the Lord hath withdrawn the curtain of secrecy from
him who stole the Caliph’s goods, that is, Ahmad Kamakim the arch-thief
and traitor; and he now lieth bound and in jail. And know further ‘twas
I who sent thee the jewel and had it put in the bag where thou foundest
it, and ‘twas I who sent the captain that brought thee and the jewel;
for thou must know that the man is enamoured of me and seeketh my
favours and would possess me; but I refused to yield to his wishes or
let him have his will of me; and I said to him:—Thou shalt never have me
till thou bring me the jewel and its owner. So I gave him an hundred
purses and despatched him to thee, in the habit of a merchant, whereas
he is a captain and a war-man; and when they led thee to thy death after
slaying the forty captives, I also sent thee this old woman to save thee
from slaughter.” Said he, “Allah requite thee for us with all good!
Indeed thou hast done well.” Then Husn Maryam renewed at his hands her
profession of Al-Islam; and, when he was assured of the truth of her
speech, he said to her, “O my lady, tell me what are the virtues of this
jewel and whence cometh it?” She answered, “This jewel came from an
enchanted hoard, and it hath five virtues which will profit us in time
of need. Now my lady grandmother, the mother of my father, was an
enchantress and skilled in solving secrets and finding hidden treasures
from one of the which came the jewel into her hands. And as I grew up
and reached the age of fourteen, I read the Evangel and other books and
I found the name of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!) in the
four books, namely the Evangel, the Pentateuch, the Psalms and the
Koran;[124] so I believed in Mohammed and became a Moslemah, being
certain and assured that none is worship-worth save Allah Almighty, and
that to the Lord of all mankind no faith is acceptable save that of
Al-Islam. Now when my lady-grandmother fell sick, she gave me this jewel
and taught me its five virtues. Moreover, before she died, my father
said to her:—Take thy tablets of geomancy and throw a figure, and tell
us the issue of my affair and what will befal me. And she foretold him
that the far-off one[125] should die, slain by the hand of a captive
from Alexandria. So he swore to kill every prisoner from that place and
told the Kaptan of this, saying:—There is no help for it but thou fall
on the ships of the Moslems and seize them and whomsoever thou findest
of Alexandria, kill him or bring him to me. The Captain did his bidding
until he had slain as many in number as the hairs of his head. Then my
grandmother died and I took a geomantic tablet, being minded and
determined to know the future, and I said to myself:—Let me see who will
wed me! Whereupon I threw a figure and found that none should be my
husband save one called Ala al-Din Abu al-Shamat, the Trusty, the
Faithful. At this I marvelled and waited till the times were
accomplished and I foregathered with thee.” So Ala al-Din took her to
wife and said to her, “I desire to return to my own country.” Quoth she,
“If it be so, rise up and come with me.” Then she took him and, hiding
him in a closet of her palace, went in to her father, who said to her,
“O my daughter, my heart is exceeding heavy this day; sit down and let
us make merry with wine, I and thou.” So she sat down with him and he
called for a table of wine; and she plied him till he lost his wits,
when she drugged a cup with Bhang and he drank it off and fell upon his
back. Then she brought Ala al-Din out of the closet and said to him,
“Come; verily thine enemy lieth prostrate, for I made him drunk and
drugged him; so do thou with him as thou wilt.” Accordingly Ala al-Din
went to the King and, finding him lying drugged and helpless, pinioned
him fast and manacled and fettered him with chains. Then he gave him the
counter-drug and he came to himself——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ala al-Din gave
the antidote of Bhang to King Yohanna, father of Husn Maryam, and he
came to himself and found Ala al-Din and his daughter sitting on his
breast. So he said to her, “O my daughter, dost thou deal thus with me?”
She answered “If I be indeed thy daughter, become a Moslem, even as I
became a Moslemah; for the truth was shown to me and I attested it; and
the false, and I deserted it. I have submitted myself unto Allah, The
Lord of the Three Worlds, and am pure of all faiths contrary to that of
Al-Islam in this world and in the next world. Wherefore, if thou wilt
become a Moslem, well and good; if not, thy death were better than thy
life.” Ala al-Din also exhorted him to embrace the True Faith; but he
refused and was contumacious; so Ala al-Din drew a dagger and cut his
throat from ear to ear.[126] Then he wrote a scroll, setting forth what
had happened and laid it on the brow of the dead; after which they took
what was light of load and weighty of worth and turned from the palace
and returned to the church. Here the Princess drew forth the jewel and,
placing her hand upon the facet where was figured a couch, rubbed it;
and behold, a couch appeared before her and she mounted upon it with Ala
al-Din and his wife, Zubaydah, the Lutist, saying, “I conjure thee by
the virtue of the names and talismans and characts engraven on this
jewel, rise up with us, O Couch!” And it rose with them into the air and
flew, till it came to a Wady wholly bare of growth, when the Princess
turned earthwards the facet on which the couch was figured, and it sank
with them to the ground. Then she turned up the face whereon was
fashioned a pavilion and tapping it said, “Let a pavilion be pitched in
this valley;” and there appeared a pavilion, wherein they seated
themselves. Now this Wady was a desert waste, without grass or water; so
she turned a third face of the jewel towards the sky, and said, “By the
virtue of the names of Allah, let trees upgrow here and a river flow
beside them!” And forthwith trees sprang up and by their side ran a
river plashing and dashing. They made the ablution and prayed and drank
of the stream; after which the Princess turned up the three other facets
till she came to the fourth, whereon was portrayed a table of food, and
said, “By the virtue of the names of Allah, let the table be spread!”
And behold, there appeared before them a table, spread with all manner
of rich meats, and they ate and drank and made merry and were full of
joy. Such was their case; but as regards Husn Maryam’s father, his son
went in to waken him and found him slain; and, seeing Ala al-Din’s
scroll, took it and read it, and readily understood it. Then he sought
his sister and finding her not, betook himself to the old woman in the
church, of whom he enquired for her, but she said, “Since yesterday I
have not seen her.” So he returned to the troops and cried out, saying,
“To horse, ye horsemen!” Then he told them what had happened, so they
mounted and rode after the fugitives, till they drew near the pavilion.
Presently Husn Maryam arose and looked up and saw a cloud of dust which
spread till it walled the view, then it lifted and flew, and lo! stood
disclosed her brother and his troops, crying aloud, “Whither will ye
fly, and we on your track!” Then said she to Ala al-Din, “Are thy feet
firm in fight?” He replied, “Even as the stake in bran, I know not war
nor battle, nor swords nor spears.” So she pulled out the jewel and
rubbed the fifth face, that on which were graven a horse and his rider,
and behold, straightway a cavalier appeared out of the desert and ceased
not to do battle with the pursuing host and smite them with the sword,
till he routed them and put them to flight. Then the Princess asked Ala
al-Din, “Wilt thou go to Cairo or to Alexandria?”; and he answered, “To
Alexandria.” So they mounted the couch and she pronounced over it the
conjuration, whereupon it set off with them and, in the twinkling of an
eye, brought them to Alexandria. They alighted without the city and Ala
al-Din hid the women in a cavern, whilst he went into Alexandria and
fetched them outer clothing, wherewith he covered them. Then he carried
them to his shop and, leaving them in the “ben”[127] walked forth to
fetch them the morning-meal, and behold, he met Calamity Ahmad who
chanced to be coming from Baghdad. He saw him in the street and received
him with open arms, saluting him and welcoming him. Whereupon Ahmad
al-Danaf gave him the good news of his son Aslan and how he was now come
to the age of twenty: and Ala al-Din, in his turn, told the Captain of
the Guard all that had befallen him from first to last, whereat he
marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then he brought him to his shop and
sitting-room where they passed the night; and next day he sold his place
of business and laid its price with other monies. Now Ahmad al-Danaf had
told him that the Caliph sought him; but he said, “I am bound first for
Cairo, to salute my father and mother and the people of my house.” So
they all mounted the couch and it carried them to Cairo the God-guarded;
and here they alighted in the street called Yellow,[128] where stood the
house of Shams al-Din. Then Ala al-Din knocked at the door, and his
mother said, “Who is at the door, now that we have lost our beloved for
evermore?” He replied, “’Tis I! Ala al-Din!” whereupon they came down
and embraced him. Then he sent his wives and baggage into the house and
entering himself with Ahmad al-Danaf, rested there three days, after
which he was minded to set out for Baghdad. His father said, “Abide with
me, O my son;” but he answered, “I cannot bear to be parted from my
child Aslan.” So he took his father and mother and fared forth for
Baghdad. Now when they came thither, Ahmad al-Danaf went in to the
Caliph and gave him the glad tidings of Ala al-Din’s arrival and told
him his story; whereupon the King went forth to greet him taking the
youth Aslan, and they met and embraced each other. Then the Commander of
the Faithful summoned the arch-thief Ahmad Kamakim and said to Ala
al-Din, “Up and at thy foe!” So he drew his sword and smote off Ahmad
Kamakim’s head. Then the Caliph held festival for Ala al-Din and,
summoning the Kazis and witnesses, wrote the contract and married him to
the Princess Husn Maryam; and he went in unto her and found her an
unpierced pearl. Moreover, the Caliph made Aslan Chief of the Sixty and
bestowed upon him and his father sumptuous dresses of honour; and they
abode in the enjoyment of all joys and joyance of life, till there came
to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. But the
tales of generous men are manifold and amongst them is the story of


Footnote 24:

  Pronounce Aladdin Abush-Shámát.

Footnote 25:

  Arab. “Misr” vulg. Masr: a close connection of Misraim—the “two
  Misrs,” Egypt, upper and lower.

Footnote 26:

  The Persians still call their Consuls “Shah-bandar,” lit. king of the
  Bandar or port.

Footnote 27:

  Arab. “Dukhúl,” the night of going in, of seeing the bride unveiled
  for the first time, etcætera.

Footnote 28:

  Arab. “Barsh” or “Bars,” the commonest kind. In India it is called
  Ma’jún (= electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or young leaves,
  buds, capsules and florets of hemp (_C. sativa_), poppy-seed and
  flowers of the thorn-apple (_datura_) with milk and sugar-candy,
  nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the consistency of
  treacle which hardens when cold. Several recipes are given by Herklots
  (Glossary _s. v._ Majoon). These electuaries are usually prepared with
  “Charas,” or gum of hemp, collected by hand or by passing a blanket
  over the plant in early morning, and it is highly intoxicating.
  Another intoxicant is “Sabzi,” dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed,
  cucumber-seed, black pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with
  a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc.
  The Hashish of Arabia is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made
  as follows. Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams; black pepper 45
  grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication)
  each 12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of
  watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is a
  preparation of hemp-florets, opium and honey, much affected by the
  lower orders, whence the proverb: “Temper thy sorrow with Zabibah,.”
  In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked in the
  water-pipe. (Burckhardt No. 73). Besides these there is (1) “Post”
  poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in sugared
  sherbets; (2) Datura (_stramonium_) seed, the produce of the
  thorn-apple, bleached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest
  confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing spectral
  visions, delirium tremens, etc.; and (3) various preparations of opium
  especially the “Madad,” pills made up with toasted betel-leaf and
  smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk in the shape of “Kusumba,” a
  pill placed in wet cotton and squeezed in order to strain and clean it
  of the cowdung and other filth with which it is adulterated.

Footnote 29:

  Arab. “Sikankúr” (Gr. Σκίγκος, Lat. Scincus) a lizard (_S.
  officinalis_) which, held in the hand, still acts as an aphrodisiac in
  the East, and which in the Middle Ages was considered a universal
  medicine. In the “Adja’ib al-Hind” (Les Merveilles de l’Inde) we find
  a notice of a bald-headed old man who was compelled to know his wife
  twice a day and twice a night in consequence of having eaten a certain
  fish. (Chapt. lxxviii. of the translation by M. L. Marcel Devic, from
  a manuscript of the tenth century; Paris, Lemaire, 1878). Europeans
  deride these prescriptions, but Easterns know better: they affect the
  fancy, that is, the brain; and often succeed in temporarily relieving
  impotence. The recipes for this evil, which is incurable only when it
  comes from heart-affections, are innumerable in the East; and about
  half of every medical work is devoted to them. Many a quack has made
  his fortune with a few bottles of tincture of cantharides, and a man
  who could discover a specific would become a millionaire in India
  only. The curious reader will consult for specimens the Ananga-Ranga
  Shastra by Koka Pandit; or the “Rujú ‘al-Shaykh ila ‘l-Sabáh fi
  Kuwwati ‘l-Báh” (the Return of the Old Man to Youth in power of
  Procreation) by Ahmad bin Sulaymán known as Ibn Kamál Báshá in 139
  chapters lithographed at Cairo. Of these aphrodisiacs I shall have
  more to say.

Footnote 30:

  Alá al-Din (our old friend Aladdin) = Glory of the Faith, a name of
  which Mohammed, who preferred the simplest, like his own, would have
  highly disapproved. The most grateful names to Allah are Abdallah
  (Allah’s Slave) and Abd al-Rahmán (Slave of the Compassionate); the
  truest are Al-Hárith (the gainer, “bread-winner”) and Al-Hammám (the
  griever); and the hatefullest are Al-Harb (witch) and Al-Murrah
  (bitterness, Abu Murrah being a kunyat or by-name of the Devil). Abu
  al-Shámát (pronounced Abush-shámát) = Father of Moles, concerning
  which I have already given details. These names ending in -Din (faith)
  began with the Caliph Al-Muktadi bi-Amri ‘llah (regn. A.H. 467 =
  1075), who entitled his Wazir “Zahír al-Din” (Backer or Defender of
  the Faith) and this gave rise to the practice. It may be observed that
  the superstition of naming by omens is in no way obsolete.

Footnote 31:

  Meaning that he appeared intoxicated by the pride of his beauty as
  though it had been strong wine.

Footnote 32:

  _i.e._ against the evil eye.

Footnote 33:

  Meaning that he had been delicately reared.

Footnote 34:

  A traditional saying of Mohammed.

Footnote 35:

  So Boccaccio’s “Capo bianco” and “Coda verde.” (Day iv., Introduct.)

Footnote 36:

  The opening chapter is known as the “Mother of the Book,” (as opposed
  to Yá Sín, the “heart of the Koran”) the “Surat (chapter) of Praise,”
  and the “Surat of repetition,” (because twice revealed?) or
  thanksgiving, or laudation (Al-Masáni) and by a host of other names
  for which see Mr. Rodwell who, however, should not write “Fatthah” (p.
  xxv.) nor “Fathah” (xxvii.). The Fátihah, which is to Al-Islam much
  what the “Paternoster” is to Christendom, consists of seven verses, in
  the usual Saj’a or rhymed prose, and I have rendered it as follows:—

  In the name of the Compassionating, the Compassionate! ✿ Praise be to
  Allah who all the Worlds made ✿ The Compassionating, the Compassionate
  ✿ King of the Day of Faith! ✿ Thee only do we adore and of Thee only
  do we crave aid ✿ Guide us to the path which is straight ✿ The path of
  those for whom Thy love is great, not those on whom is hate, nor they
  that deviate ✿ Amen! O Lord of the World’s trine.

  My Pilgrimage (i. 285; ii. 78 and _passim_) will supply instances of
  its application; how it is recited with open hands to catch the
  blessing from Heaven and the palms are drawn down the face (Ibid. i.
  286), and other details.

Footnote 37:

  _i.e._ when the evil eye has less effect than upon children. Strangers
  in Cairo often wonder to see a woman richly dressed leading by the
  hand a filthy little boy (rarely a girl) in rags, which at home will
  be changed to cloth of gold.

Footnote 38:

  Arab. “Asídah” flour made consistent by boiling in water with the
  addition of “Samn” (clarified butter) and honey: more like pap than

Footnote 39:

  Arab. “Ghábah” = I have explained as a low-lying place where the
  growth is thickest and consequently animals haunt it during the

Footnote 40:

  Arab. “Akkám,” one who loads camels and has charge of the luggage. He
  also corresponds with the modern Mukharrij or camel-hirer (Pilgrimage
  i. 339); and hence the word Moucre (Moucres) which, first used by La
  Brocquière (A.D. 1432), is still the only term known to the French.

Footnote 41:

  _i.e._ I am old and can no longer travel.

Footnote 42:

  Taken from Al-Asma’i, the “Romance of Antar,” and the episode of the
  Asafir Camels.

Footnote 43:

  A Mystic of the twelfth century A.D. who founded the Kádirí order (the
  oldest and chiefest of the four universally recognised), to which I
  have the honour to belong, teste my diploma (Pilgrimage, Appendix i.).
  Visitation is still made to his tomb at Baghdad. The Arabs (who have
  no hard g-letter) alter to “Jílán” the name of his birth-place
  “Gilan,” a tract between the Caspian and the Black Seas.

Footnote 44:

  The well-known Anglo-Indian “Mucuddum;” lit. “one placed before (or
  over) others;” an overseer.

Footnote 45:

  Koran xiii. 14.

Footnote 46:

  _i.e._ his chastity: this fashion of objecting to infamous proposals
  is very characteristic: ruder races would use their fists.

Footnote 47:

  Arab. “Ráfizí” = the Shi’ah (tribe, sect) or Persian schismatics who
  curse the first three Caliphs: the name is taken from their own saying
  “Inná rafizná-hum” = verily we have rejected them. The feeling between
  Sunni (the so-called orthodox) and Shi’ah is much like the Christian
  love between a Catholic of Cork and a Protestant from the Black North.
  As Al-Siyuti or any historian will show, this sect became exceedingly
  powerful under the later Abbaside Caliphs, many of whom conformed to
  it and adopted its practices and innovations (as in the Azan or
  prayer-call), greatly to the scandal of their co-religionists. Even in
  the present day the hatred between these representatives of Arab
  monotheism and Persian Guebrism continues unabated. I have given
  sundry instances in my Pilgrimage, _e.g._ how the Persians attempt to
  pollute the tombs of the Caliphs they abhor.

Footnote 48:

  Arab. “Sakká,” the Indian “Bihishtí” (man from Heaven): Each party in
  a caravan has one or more.

Footnote 49:

  These “Kirámát” or Saints’ miracles, which Spiritualists will readily
  accept, are recorded in vast numbers. Most men have half a dozen to
  tell, each of his “Pír” or patron, including the Istidráj or prodigy
  of chastisement (Dabistan, iii. 274).

Footnote 50:

  Great-grand-daughter of the Imam Hasan, buried in Cairo and famed for
  “Kirámát.” Her father, governor of Al-Medinah, was imprisoned by
  Al-Mansur and restored to power by Al-Mahdi. She was married to a son
  of the Imam Ja’afar al-Sadik and lived a life of devotion in Cairo,
  dying in A.H. 218 = 824. The corpse of the Imam al-Shafi’i was carried
  to her house, now her mosque and mausoleum: it stood in the Darb
  al-Sabúa which formerly divided Old from New Cairo and is now one of
  the latter’s suburbs. Lane (M. E. chapt. x.) gives her name but little
  more. The mention of her shows that the writer of the tale or the
  copyist was a Cairene: Abd al-Kadir is world-known: not so the “Sitt.”

Footnote 51:

  Arab. “Farkh akrab” for Ukayrib, a vulgarism.

Footnote 52:

  The usual Egyptian irreverence: he relates his abomination as if it
  were a Hadis or Tradition of the Prophet with due ascription.

Footnote 53:

  A popular name, dim. of Zubdah, cream, fresh butter, “creamkin.”

Footnote 54:

  Arab. “Mustahall,” “Mustahill” and vulg. “Muhallil” (= one who renders
  lawful). It means a man hired for the purpose who marries _pro formâ_
  and after wedding, and bedding with actual consummation, at once
  divorces the woman. He is held the reverse of respectable and no
  wonder. Hence, probably, Mandeville’s story of the Islanders who, on
  the marriage-night, “make another man to lie by their wives, to have
  their maidenhead, for which they give great hire and much thanks. And
  there are certain men in every town that serve for no other thing; and
  they call them cadeberiz, that is to say, the fools of despair,
  because they believe their occupation is a dangerous one.” Burckhardt
  gives the proverb (No. 79), “A thousand lovers rather than one
  Mustahall,” the latter being generally some ugly fellow picked up in
  the streets and disgusting to the wife who must permit his embraces.

Footnote 55:

  This is a woman’s oath, not used by men.

Footnote 56:

  Pronounced “Yá Sín” (chapt. xxxvi.) the “heart of the Koran” much used
  for edifying recitation. Some pious Moslems in Egypt repeat it as a
  Wazífah, or religious task, or as masses for the dead, and all
  educated men know its 83 versets by rote.

Footnote 57:

  Arab. “Ál Dáúd” = the family of David, _i.e._ David himself, a popular
  idiom. The prophet’s recitation of the “Mazámir” (Psalter) worked

Footnote 58:

  There is a peculiar thickening of the voice in leprosy which at once
  betrays the hideous disease.

Footnote 59:

  These lines have occurred in Night clxxxiii. I quote Mr. Payne (in
  loco) by way of variety.

Footnote 60:

  Where the “Juzám” (leprosy, elephantiasis, morbus sacrum, etc. etc.)
  is supposed first to show: the swelling would alter the shape. Lane
  (ii. 267) translates “her wrist which was bipartite.”

Footnote 61:

  Arab. “Zakariyá” (Zacharias): a play upon the term “Zakar” = the sign
  of “masculinity.” Zacharias mentioned in the Koran as the educator of
  the Virgin Mary (chapt. iii.) and repeatedly referred to (chapt. xix.
  etc.), is a well-known personage amongst Moslems and his church is now
  the great Cathedral-Mosque of Aleppo.

Footnote 62:

  Arab. “Ark al-Haláwat” = vein of sweetness.

Footnote 63:

  Arab. “Futúh,” which may also mean openings, has before occurred.

Footnote 64:

  _i.e._ four times without withdrawing.

Footnote 65:

  _i.e._ a correspondence of size, concerning which many rules are given
  in the Ananga-ranga Shastra which justly declares that discrepancy
  breeds matrimonial troubles.

Footnote 66:

  Arab. “Ghuráb al-_Bayn_” = raven of the waste or the parting: hence
  the bird of Odin symbolises separation (which is also called Al-bayn).
  The Raven (Ghurab = Heb. Oreb and Lat. Corvus, one of the prehistoric
  words) is supposed to be seen abroad earlier than any other bird; and
  it is entitled “Abu Zájir,” father of omens, because lucky when flying
  towards the right and _v.v._ It is opposed in poetry to the (white)
  pigeon, the emblem of union, peace and happiness. The vulgar declare
  that when Mohammed hid in the cave the crow kept calling to his
  pursuers, “Ghár! Ghár!” (cavern, cavern): hence the Prophet condemned
  him to wear eternal mourning and ever to repeat the traitorous words.
  This is the old tale of Coronis and Apollo (Ovid, lib. ii.)

                          ——who blacked the raven o’er
              And bid him prate in his white plumes no more.

Footnote 67:

  This use of a Turkish title, “Efendi” being = our esquire, and
  inferior to a Bey, is a rank anachronism, probably of the copyist.

Footnote 68:

  Arab. “Samn” = Hind. “Ghi;” butter melted, skimmed and allowed to

Footnote 69:

  Arab. “Ya Wadúd;” a title of the Almighty: the Mac. Edit. has “O

Footnote 70:

  Arab. “Muwashshahah;” a complicated stanza of which specimens have
  occurred. Mr. Payne calls it a “ballad,” which would be a “Kunyat

Footnote 71:

  Arab. “Baháim” (plur. of Bahímah = Heb. Behemoth), applied in Egypt
  especially to cattle. A friend of the “Oppenheim” house, a name the
  Arabs cannot pronounce, was known throughout Cairo as “Jack al-baháim”
  (of the cows.)

Footnote 72:

  Lit. “The father of side-locks,” a nickname of one of the Tobba Kings.
  This “Hasan of the ringlets” who wore two long pig-tails hanging to
  his shoulders was the Rochester or Piron of his age: his name is still
  famous for brilliant wit, extempore verse and the wildest debauchery.
  D’Herbelot’s sketch of his life is very meagre. “His poetry has
  survived to the present day and (unhappily) we shall hear more of Abu
  Nowás.” On the subject of these patronymics Lane (Mod. Egypt, chapt.
  iv.) has a strange remark that “Abu Dáúd is not the Father of Dáúd or
  Abu Ali the Father of Ali, but whose Father is (or was) Dáúd or Ali.”
  Here, however, he simply confounds Abu = father of (followed by a
  genitive), with Abu-h (for Abu-hu) = he, whose father.

Footnote 73:

  Arab. “Samúr,” applied in slang language to cats and dogs, hence the
  witty Egyptians converted Admiral Seymour (Lord Alcester) into

Footnote 74:

  The home-student of Arabic may take this letter as a model even in the
  present day; somewhat stiff and old-fashioned, but gentlemanly and

Footnote 75:

  Arab. “Salím” (not Sé-lim) meaning the “Safe and sound.”

Footnote 76:

  Arab. “Haláwah” = sweetmeat; meaning an entertainment such as men give
  to their friends after sickness or a journey: it is technically called
  as above, “The Sweetmeat of Safety.”

Footnote 77:

  Arab. “Salát” which from Allah means mercy; from the Angels
  intercession and pardon; and from mankind blessing. Concerning the
  specific effects of blessing the Prophet, see Pilgrimage (ii. 70). The
  formula is often slurred over when a man is in hurry to speak: an
  interrupting friend will say “Bless the Prophet!” and he does so by
  ejaculating “Sa’am.”

Footnote 78:

  Persian, meaning originally a command: it is now applied to a Wazirial
  order as opposed to the “Irádah,” the Sultan’s order.

Footnote 79:

  Arab. “Mashá’ilí”: lit. the cresset-bearer who has before appeared as

Footnote 80:

  Another polite formula for announcing a death.

Footnote 81:

  As he died heirless the property lapsed to the Treasury.

Footnote 82:

  This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the action
  suggests its meaning. Thus it is used in an opposite sense to
  “throwing the kerchief,” a pseudo-Oriental practice whose significance
  is generally understood in Europe.

Footnote 83:

  The body-guard being of two divisions.

Footnote 84:

  Arab. “Hadbá,” lit. “hump-backed;” alluding to the Badawi bier; a pole
  to which the corpse is slung (Lane). It seems to denote the
  protuberance of the corpse when placed upon the bier which before was
  flat. The quotation is from Ka’ab’s Mantle-Poem (Burdah v. 37) “Every
  son of a female, long though his safety may be, is a day borne upon a
  _ridged implement_,” says Mr. Redhouse, explaining the latter as a
  “bier with a ridged lid.” Here we differ: the Janázah with a lid is
  not a Badawi article: the wildlings use the simplest stretcher; and I
  would translate the lines:—

                 The son of woman, whatso his career,
                 One day is borne upon the gibbous bier.

Footnote 85:

  This is a high honour to any courtier.

Footnote 86:

  “Khatun” in Turk. means any lady: mistress, etc., and follows the
  name, _e.g._ Fátimah Khatun. Habzalam Bazazah is supposed to be a
  fanciful compound, uncouth as the named; the first word consisting of
  “Habb” seed, grain; and “Zalam” of Zulm = seed of tyranny. Can it be a
  travesty of “Absalom” (Ab Salám, father of peace)? Lane (ii. 284) and
  Payne (iii. 286) prefer Habazlam and Hebezlem.

Footnote 87:

  Or night. A metaphor for rushing into peril.

Footnote 88:

  Plur. of kumkum, cucurbite, gourd-shaped vessel, jar.

Footnote 89:

  A popular exaggeration for a very expert thief.

Footnote 90:

  Arab. “Buka’at al-dam”: lit. the “low place of blood” (where it
  stagnates): so Al-Buká’ah = Cœlesyria.

Footnote 91:

  That common and very unpleasant phrase, full of egotism and
  self-esteem, “I told you so,” is even more common in the naïve East
  than in the West. In this case the son’s answer is far superior to the
  mother’s question.

Footnote 92:

  In order to keep his oath to the letter.

Footnote 93:

  “Tabannuj” literally “hemping” (drugging with hemp or henbane) is the
  equivalent in Arab medicine of our “anæsthetics.” These have been used
  in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and
  chloroform became the fashion in the civilised West.

Footnote 94:

  Arab. “Durká’ah,” the lower part of the floor, opposed to the “liwan”
  or daïs. Liwán = Al-Aywán (Arab. and Pers.) the hall (including the
  daïs and the sunken parts).

Footnote 95:

  _i.e._ he would toast it as he would a mistress.

Footnote 96:

  This till very late years was the custom in Persia; and Fath Ali Shah
  never appeared in scarlet without ordering some horrible cruelties. In
  Dar-For wearing a red cashmere turban was a sign of wrath and sending
  a blood-red dress to a subject meant that he would be slain.

Footnote 97:

  That is, this robbery was committed in the palace by some one
  belonging to it. References to vinegar are frequent; that of Egypt
  being famous in those days. “Optimum et laudatissimum acetum a Romanis
  habebatur Ægyptum” (Facciolati); and possibly it was sweetened: the
  Gesta (Tale xvii.) mentions “must and vinegar.” In Arab Proverbs, “One
  mind by vinegar and another by wine” = each mind goes its own way.
  (Arab. Prov. ii. 628); or, “with good and bad,” vinegar being spoilt

Footnote 98:

  We have not heard the last of this old “dowsing rod”: the latest form
  of rhabdomancy is an electrical rod invented in the United States.

Footnote 99:

  This is the _procès verbal_ always drawn up on such occasions.

Footnote 100:

  The sight of running water makes a Persian long for strong drink as
  the sight of a fine view makes the Turk feel hungry.

Footnote 101:

  Arab. “Min wahid aduww” a peculiarly Egyptian or rather Cairene

Footnote 102:

  Al-Danaf = the Distressing Sickness: the title would be Ahmad the
  Calamity. Al-Zaybak (the Quicksilver) = Mercury Ali: Hasan “Shuuman” =
  a pestilent fellow. We shall meet all these worthies again and again:
  see the Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo, Night dccviii., a sequel
  to The Rogueries of Dalilah, Night dcxcviii.

Footnote 103:

  For the “Sacrifice-place of Ishmael” (not Isaac) see my Pilgrimage
  (iii. 306). According to all Arab ideas Ishmael, being the eldest son,
  was the chief of the family after his father. I have noted that this
  is the old old quarrel between the Arabs and their cousins the

Footnote 104:

  This black-mail was still paid to the Badawin of Ramlah (Alexandria)
  till the bombardment in 1881.

Footnote 105:

  The famous Issus of Cilicia, now a port-village on the Gulf of

Footnote 106:

  Arab. “Wada’á” = the _concha veneris_, then used as small change.

Footnote 107:

  Arab. “Sakati” = a dealer in “castaway” articles, such as old metal,
  damaged goods, the pluck and feet of animals, etc.

Footnote 108:

  The popular tale of Burckhardt’s death in Cairo was that the names of
  the three first Caliphs were found written upon his slipper-soles and
  that he was put to death by decree of the Olema. It is the merest
  nonsense, as the great traveller died of dysentery in the house of my
  old friend John Thurburn and was buried outside the Bab al-Nasr of
  Cairo, where his tomb was restored by the late Rogers Bay (Pilgrimage
  i. 123).

Footnote 109:

  Prob. a mis-spelling for Arslán, in Turk, a lion, and in slang a

Footnote 110:

  Arab. “Maka’ad”; lit. = sitting-room.

Footnote 111:

  Arab. “Khammárah”; still the popular term throughout Egypt for a
  European Hotel. It is not always intended to be insulting but it is,
  meaning the place where Franks meet to drink forbidden drinks.

Footnote 112:

  A reminiscence of Mohammed who cleansed the Ka’abah of its 360 idols
  (of which 73 names are given by Freytag, Einleitung, etc. pp. 270,
  342-57) by touching them with his staff, whereupon all fell to the
  ground; and the Prophet cried (Koran xvii. 84), “Truth is come, and
  falsehood is vanished: verily, falsehood is a thing that vanisheth”
  (magna est veritas, etc.). Amongst the “idols” are said to have been a
  statue of Abraham and the horns of the ram sacrificed in lieu of
  Ishmael, which (if true) would prove conclusively that the Abrahamic
  legend at Meccah is of ancient date and not a fiction of Al-Islam.
  Hence, possibly, the respect of the Judaising Tobbas of Himyarland for
  the Ka’abah (Pilgrimage, iii. 295).

Footnote 113:

  This was evidently written by a Sunni as the Shí’ahs claim to be the
  only true Moslems. Lane tells an opposite story (ii. 329). It suggests
  the common question in the South of Europe, “Are you a Christian or a

Footnote 114:

  Arab. “Ana fí jírat-ak!” a phrase to be remembered as useful in time
  of danger.

Footnote 115:

  _i.e._ No Jinni, or Slave of the Jewel, was there to answer.

Footnote 116:

  Arab. “Kunsúl” (pron. “Gunsul”) which here means a well-to-do Frank,
  and shows the modern date of the tale as it stands.

Footnote 117:

  From the Ital. “Capitano.” The mention of cannon and other terms in
  this tale shows that either it was written during the last century or
  it has been mishandled by copyists.

Footnote 118:

  Arab. “Minínah”; a biscuit of flour and clarified butter.

Footnote 119:

  Arab. “Waybah;” the sixth part of the Ardabb = 6 to 7 English gallons.

Footnote 120:

  He speaks in half-jest _à la Fellah_; and reminds us of “Hangman,
  drive on the cart!”

Footnote 121:

  Yochanan (whom Jehovah has blessed) Jewish for John, is probably a
  copy of the Chaldean Euahanes, the Oannes of Berosus = Ea Khan, Hea
  the fish. The Greeks made it Joannes; the Arabs “Yohanná” (contracted
  to “Hanná,” Christian) and “Yáhyá” (Moslem). Prester (Priest) John is
  probably Ung Khan, the historian prince conquered and slain by Janghiz
  Khan in A.D. 1202. The modern history of “John” is very extensive:
  there may be a full hundred varieties and derivations of the name.
  “Husn Maryam” = the beauty (spiritual, etc.) of the B.V.

Footnote 122:

  Primarily being middle-aged; then aid, a patron, servant, etc. Also a
  tribe of the Jinn usually made synonymous with “Márid,” evil
  controuls, hostile to men: modern spiritualists would regard them as
  polluted souls not yet purged of their malignity. The text insinuates
  that they were at home amongst Christians and in Genoa.

Footnote 123:

  Arab. “Sar’a” = epilepsy, falling sickness, of old always confounded
  with “possession” (by evil spirits) or “obsession.”

Footnote 124:

  Again the true old charge of falsifying the so-called “Sacred books.”
  Here the Koran is called “Furkán.” Sale (sect. iii.) would assimilate
  this to the Hebr. Perek or Pirka, denoting a section or portion of
  Scripture; but Moslems understand it to be the “Book which
  distinguished (faraka, divided) the true from the false.” Thus Caliph
  Omar was entitled “Fárúk” = the Distinguisher (between right and
  wrong). Lastly, “Furkán,” meaning as in Syr. and Ethiop. deliverance,
  revelation, is applied alike to the Pentateuch and Koran.

Footnote 125:

  Euphemistic for “thou shalt die.”

Footnote 126:

  Lit. “From (jugular) vein to vein” (Arab. Waríd). Our old friend
  Lucretius again: “Tantane relligio,” etc.

Footnote 127:

  As opposed to the “but” or outer room.

Footnote 128:

  Arab. “Darb al-Asfar” in the old Jamalíyah or Northern part of Cairo.

                      HATIM OF THE TRIBE OF TAYY.

It is told of Hátim of the tribe of Tayy,[129] that when he died, they
buried him on the top of a mountain and set over his grave two troughs
hewn out of two rocks and stone girls with dishevelled hair. At the foot
of the hill was a stream of running water, and when wayfarers camped
there, they heard loud crying and keening in the night, from dark till
daybreak; but when they arose in the morning, they found nothing but the
girls carved in stone. Now when Zú ‘l-Kurá’a,[130] King of Himyar, going
forth of his tribe, came to that valley, he halted to pass the night
there——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zu ‘l-Kura’a
passed by the valley he nighted there; and, when he drew near the
mountain, he heard the keening and said, “What lamenting is that on
yonder hill?” They answered him, saying, “Verily this be the tomb of
Hatim al-Táyyi over which are two troughs of stone and stone figures of
girls with dishevelled hair; and all who camp in this place by night
hear this crying and keening.” So he said jestingly, “O Hatim of Tayy!
we are thy guests this night, and we are lank with hunger.” Then sleep
overcame him, but presently he awoke in affright and cried out, saying,
“Help, O Arabs! Look to my beast!” So they came to him, and finding his
she-camel struggling and struck down, they stabbed her in the throat and
roasted her flesh and ate. Then they asked him what had happened and he
said, “When I closed my eyes, I saw in my sleep Hatim of Tayy who came
to me sword in hand and cried:—Thou comest to us and we have nothing by
us. Then he smote my she-camel with his sword, and she had surely died
even though ye had not come to her and slaughtered her.”[131] Now when
morning dawned the King mounted the beast of one of his companions and,
taking the owner up behind him, set out and fared on till midday, when
they saw a man coming towards them, mounted on a camel and leading
another, and said to him, “Who art thou?” He answered, “I am Adi,[132]
son of Hatim of Tayy; where is Zu ‘l-Kura’a, Emir of Himyar?” Replied
they, “This is he;” and he said to the prince, “Take this she-camel in
place of thy beast which my father slaughtered for thee.” Asked Zu
‘l-Kura’a, “Who told thee of this?” and Adi answered, “My father
appeared to me in a dream last night and said to me:—Harkye, Adi; Zu
‘l-Kura’a King of Himyar, sought the guest-rite of me and I, having
naught to give him, slaughtered his she-camel, that he might eat: so do
thou carry him a she-camel to ride, for I have nothing.” And Zu
‘l-Kura’a took her, marvelling at the generosity of Hatim of Tayy alive
and dead. And amongst instances of generosity is the


Footnote 129:

  A noble tribe of Badawin that migrated from Al-Yaman and settled in
  Al-Najd. Their Chief, who died a few years before Mohammed’s birth,
  was Al-Halim (the “black crow”), a model of Arab manliness and
  munificence; and although born in the Ignorance he will enter Heaven
  with the Moslems. Hatim was buried on the hill called Owárid: I have
  already noted this favourite practice of the wilder Arabs and the
  affecting idea that the Dead may still look upon his kith and kin.
  There is not an Arab book nor, indeed, a book upon Arabia which does
  not contain the name of Hatim: he is mentioned as unpleasantly often
  as Aristides.

Footnote 130:

  Lord of “Cattle-feet,” this King’s name is unknown; but the Kámús
  mentions two Kings called Zu ‘l Kalá’a, the Greater and the Less.
  Lane’s Shaykh (ii. 333) opined that the man who demanded Hatim’s
  hospitality was one Abu ‘l-Khaybari.

Footnote 131:

  The camel’s throat, I repeat, is not cut as in the case of other
  animals; the muscles being too strong: it is slaughtered by the
  “nahr,” _i.e._ thrusting a knife into the hollow at the commissure of
  the chest. (Pilgrimage iii. 303.)

Footnote 132:

  Adi became a Moslem and was one of the companions of the Prophet.

                 TALE OF MA’AN THE SON OF ZAIDAH.[133]

It is told of Ma’an bin Záidah that, being out one day a-chasing and
a-hunting, he became athirst but his men had no water with them; and
while thus suffering behold, three damsels met him bearing three skins
of water;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

     Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-first Night,[134]

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that three girls met
him bearing three skins of water; so he begged drink of them, and they
gave him to drink. Then he sought of his men somewhat to give the
damsels but they had no money; so he presented to each girl ten
golden-piled arrows from his quiver. Whereupon quoth one of them to her
friend, “Well-a-day! These fashions pertain to none but Ma’an bin
Zaidah! so let each one of us say somewhat of verse in his praise.” Then
quoth the first:—

 He heads his arrows with piles of gold, ✿ And while shooting his foes is
    his bounty doled:
 Affording the wounded a means of cure, ✿ And a sheet for the bider
    beneath the mould!

And quoth the second:—

 A warrior showing such open hand, ✿ His boons all friends and all foes
 The piles of his arrows of or are made, ✿ So that battle his bounty may
    not withhold!

And quoth the third:—

 From that liberal hand on his foes he rains ✿ Shafts aureate-headed and
 Wherewith the hurt shall chirurgeon pay, ✿ And for slain the shrouds
    round their corpses roll’d.[135]

And there is also told a tale of


Footnote 133:

  A rival in generosity to Hatim: a Persian poet praising his patron’s
  generosity says that it buried that of Hatim and dimmed that of Ma’an
  (D’Herbelot). He was a high official under the last Ommiade, Marwán
  al-Himár (the “Ass,” or the “Century,” the duration of Ommiade rule)
  who was routed and slain in A.H. 132 = 750. Ma’an continued to serve
  under the Abbasides and was a favourite with Al-Mansúr. “More generous
  or bountiful than Ka’ab” is another saying (A. P., i. 325); Ka’ab ibn
  Mámah was a man who, somewhat like Sir Philip Sidney at Zutphen, gave
  his own portion of drink while he was dying of thirst to a man who
  looked wistfully at him, whence the saying “Give drink to thy brother
  the Námiri” (A. P., i. 608). Ka’ab could not mount, so they put
  garments over him to scare away the wild beasts and left him in the
  desert to die. “Scatterer of blessings” (Náshir al-Ni’am) was a title
  of King Malik of Al-Yaman, son of Sharhabil, eminent for his
  liberality. He set up the statue in the Western Desert, inscribed
  “Nothing behind me,” as a warner to others.

Footnote 134:

  Lane (ii. 352) here introduces, between Nights cclxxi and ccxc, a tale
  entitled in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 134.) “The Sleeper and the Waker,”
  _i.e._ the sleeper awakened; and he calls it:—The Story of Abu-l-Hasan
  the Wag. It is interesting and founded upon historical fact; but it
  can hardly be introduced here without breaking the sequence of The
  Nights. I regret this the more as Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal of New York
  has most obligingly sent me an addition to the Breslau text (iv. 137)
  from his MS. But I hope eventually to make use of it.

Footnote 135:

  The first girl calls gold “Tibr” (pure, unalloyed metal); the second
  “Asjad” (gold generally) and the third “Ibríz” (virgin ore, the Greek
  ὄβρυζον). This is a law of Arab rhetoric never to repeat the word
  except for a purpose and, as the language _can_ produce 1,200,000 (to
  100,000 in English) the copiousness is somewhat painful to readers.


Now Ma’an bin Záidah went forth one day to the chase with his company,
and they came upon a herd of gazelles; so they separated in pursuit and
Ma’an was left alone to chase one of them. When he had made prize of it
he alighted and slaughtered it; and as he was thus engaged, he espied a
person[136] coming forth out of the desert on an ass. So he remounted
and riding up to the new-comer, saluted him and asked him, “Whence
comest thou?” Quoth he, “I come from the land of Kuzá’ah, where we have
had a two years’ dearth; but this year it was a season of plenty and I
sowed early cucumbers.[137] They came up before their time, so I
gathered what seemed the best of them and set out to carry them to the
Emir Ma’an bin Zaidah, because of his well-known beneficence and
notorious munificence.” Asked Ma’an, “How much dost thou hope to get of
him?”; and the Badawi answered, “A thousand dinars.” Quoth the Emir,
“What if he say this is too much?” Said the Badawi, “Then I will ask
five hundred dinars.” “And if he say, Too much?” “Then three hundred!”
“And if he say yet, Too much?” “Then two hundred!” “And if he say yet,
Too much?” “Then one hundred!” “And if he say yet, Too much?” “Then,
fifty!” “And if he say yet, Too much?” “Then thirty!” “And if he say
still, Too much?” asked Ma’an bin Zaidah. Answered the Badawi, “I will
make my ass set his four feet in his Honour’s home[138] and return to my
people, disappointed and empty-handed.” So Ma’an laughed at him and
urged his steed till he came up with his suite and returned to his
place, when he said to his chamberlain, “An there come to thee a man
with cucumbers and riding on an ass admit him to me.” Presently up came
the Badawi and was admitted to Ma’an’s presence; but knew not the Emir
for the man he had met in the desert, by reason of the gravity and
majesty of his semblance and the multitude of his eunuchs and
attendants, for he was seated on his chair of estate with his officers
ranged in lines before him and on either side. So he saluted him and
Ma’an said to him “What bringeth thee, O brother of the Arabs?” Answered
the Badawi, “I hoped in the Emir, and have brought him curly cucumbers
out of season.” Asked Ma’an, “And how much dost thou expect of us?” “A
thousand dinars,” answered the Badawi. “This is far too much,” quoth
Ma’an. Quoth he, “Five hundred.” “Too much!” “Then three hundred.” “Too
much!” “Two hundred.” “Too much!” “One hundred.” “Too much!” “Fifty.”
“Too much!” At last the Badawi came down to thirty dinars; but Ma’an
still replied, “Too much!” So the Badawi cried, “By Allah, the man who
met me in the desert brought me bad luck! But I will not go lower than
thirty dinars.” The Emir laughed and said nothing; whereupon the wild
Arab knew that it was he whom he had met and said, “O my lord, except
thou bring the thirty dinars, see ye, there is the ass tied ready at the
door and here sits Ma’an, his honour, at home.” So Ma’an laughed, till
he fell on his back; and, calling his steward, said to him, “Give him a
thousand dinars and five hundred and three hundred and two hundred and
one hundred and fifty and thirty; and leave the ass tied up where he
is.” So the Arab to his amazement, received two thousand one hundred and
eighty dinars, and Allah have mercy on them both and on all generous
men! And I have also heard, O auspicious King, a tale of


Footnote 136:

  Arab. “Shakhs” before noticed.

Footnote 137:

  Arab. “Kussá’á” = the curling cucumber: the vegetable is of the
  cheapest and the poorer classes eat it as “kitchen” with bread.

Footnote 138:

  Arab. “Haram-hu,” a double entendre. Here the Badawi means his Harem
  the inviolate part of the house; but afterwards he makes it mean the
  presence of His Honour.

                       THE CITY OF LABTAYT.[139]

There was once a royal city in the land of Roum, called the City of
Labtayt wherein stood a tower which was always shut. And whenever a King
died and another King of the Greeks took the Kingship after him, he set
on the tower a new and strong lock, till there were four-and-twenty
locks upon the gate, according to the number of the Kings. After this
time, there came to the throne a man who was not of the old royal house,
and he had a mind to open these locks, that he might see what was within
the tower. The grandees of his kingdom forbade him from this and pressed
him to desist and reproved him and blamed him; but he persisted saying,
“Needs must this place be opened.” Then they offered him all that their
hands possessed of monies and treasures and things of price, if he would
but refrain; still he would not be baulked——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the grandees
offered that King all their hands possessed of monies and treasures if
he would but refrain; still he would not be baulked and said, “There is
no help for it but I open this tower.” So he pulled off the locks and
entering, found within the tower figures of Arabs on their horses and
camels, habited in turbands[140] hanging down at the ends, with swords
in baldrick-belts thrown over their shoulders and bearing long lances in
their hands. He found there also a scroll which he greedily took and
read, and these words were written therein:—“Whenas this door is opened
will conquer this country a raid of the Arabs, after the likeness of the
figures here depicted; wherefore beware, and again beware of opening
it.” Now this city was in Andalusia; and that very year Tárik ibn Ziyád
conquered it, during the Caliphate of Al-Walíd son of Abd al-Malik[141]
of the sons of Umayyah; and slew this King after the sorriest fashion
and sacked the city and made prisoners of the women and boys therein and
got great loot. Moreover, he found there immense treasures; amongst the
rest more than an hundred and seventy crowns of pearls and jacinths and
other gems of price; and he found a saloon, wherein horsemen might throw
the spears, full of vessels of gold and silver, such as no description
can comprise. Moreover, he found there the table of food for the Prophet
of Allah, Solomon son of David (peace with both of them!), which is
extant even now in a city of the Greeks; it is told that it was of
grass-green emerald with vessels of gold and platters of jasper.
Likewise he found the Psalms written in the old Ionian[142] character on
leaves of gold bezel’d with jewels; together with a book setting forth
the properties of stones and herbs and minerals, as well as the use of
characts and talismans and the canons of the art of alchymy; and he
found a third volume which treated of the art of cutting and setting
rubies and other precious stones and of the preparation of poisons and
theriacks. There found he also a mappa mundi figuring the earth and the
seas and the different cities and countries and villages of the world;
and he found a vast saloon full of hermetic powder, one drachm of which
elixir would turn a thousand drachms of silver into fine gold; likewise
a marvellous mirror, great and round, of mixed metals, which had been
made for Solomon, son of David (on the twain be peace!) wherein whoso
looked might see the counterfeit presentment of the seven climates of
the world; and he beheld a chamber full of Brahmini[143] jacinths for
which no words can suffice. So he despatched all these things to Walid
bin Abd al-Malik, and the Arabs spread all over the cities of Andalusia
which is one of the finest of lands. This is the end of the story of the
City of Labtayt. And a tale is also told of


Footnote 139:

  Toledo? this tale was probably known to Washington Irving. The “Land
  of Roum” here means simply Frank-land, as we are afterwards told that
  its name was Andalusia, the old Vandal-land, a term still applied by
  Arabs to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.

Footnote 140:

  Arab. “Amáim” (plur. of Imámah) the common word for turband which I
  prefer to write in the old unclipt fashion. We got it through the
  Port. Turbante and the old French Tolliban from the (now obsolete)
  Persian term Dolband = a turband or a sash.

Footnote 141:

  Sixth Ommiade Caliph, A.D. 705-716; from “Tárik” we have “Gibraltar” =
  Jabal al-Tárik.

Footnote 142:

  Arab. “Yunán” = Ionia, applied to ancient Greece as “Roum” is to the
  Græco-Roman Empire.

Footnote 143:

  Arab. “Bahramáni;” prob. alluding to the well-known legend of the
  capture of Somanath (Somnauth) from the Hindus by Mahmud of Ghazni. In
  the Ajá’ib al-Hind (before quoted) the Brahmins are called Abrahamah.


The Caliph Hishám bin Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, was hunting one day, when
he sighted an antelope and pursued it with his dogs. As he was following
the quarry, he saw an Arab youth pasturing sheep and said to him, “Ho
boy, up and after yonder antelope, for it escapeth me!” The youth raised
his head to him and replied, “O ignorant of what to the deserving is
due, thou lookest on me with disdain and speakest to me with contempt;
thy speaking is that of a tyrant true and thy doing what an ass would
do.” Quoth Hisham, “Woe to thee, dost thou not know me?” Rejoined the
youth, “Verily thine unmannerliness hath made thee known to me, in that
thou spakest to me, without beginning by the salutation.”[144] Repeated
the Caliph, “Fie upon thee! I am Hisham bin Abd al-Malik.” “May Allah
not favour thy dwelling-place,” replied the Arab, “nor guard thine
abiding place! How many are thy words and how few thy generous deeds!”
Hardly had he ended speaking, when up came the troop from all sides and
surrounded him as the white encircleth the black of the eye, all and
each saying, “Peace be with thee, O Commander of the Faithful!” Quoth
Hisham, “Cut short this talk and seize me yonder boy.” So they laid
hands on him; and when he saw the multitude of Chamberlains and Wazirs
and Lords of State, he was in nowise concerned and questioned not of
them, but let his chin drop on his breast and looked where his feet
fell, till they brought him to the Caliph[145] when he stood before him,
with head bowed groundwards and saluted him not and spoke him not. So
one of the eunuchs said to him, “O dog of the Arabs, what hindereth thy
saluting the Commander of the Faithful?” The youth turned to him angrily
and replied, “O packsaddle of an ass, it was the length of the way that
hindered me from this and the steepness of the steps and the profuseness
of my sweat.” Then said Hisham (and indeed he was exceeding wroth), “O
boy, verily thy days are come to their latest hour; thy hope is gone
from thee and thy life is past out of thee.” He answered, “By Allah, O
Hisham, verily an my life-term be prolonged and Fate ordain not its
cutting short, thy words irk me not, be they long or short.” Then said
the Chief Chamberlain to him, “Doth it befit thy degree, O vilest of the
Arabs, to bandy words with the Commander of the Faithful?” He answered
promptly, “Mayest thou meet with adversity and may woe and wailing never
leave thee! Hast thou not heard the saying of Almighty Allah?:—One day,
every soul shall come to defend itself.”[146] Hereupon Hisham rose, in
great wrath, and said, “O headsman, bring me the head of this lad; for
indeed he exceedeth in talk, such as passeth conception.” So the sworder
took him and, making him kneel on the carpet of blood, drew his sword
above him and said to the Caliph, “O Commander of the Faithful, this thy
slave is misguided and is on the way to his grave; shall I smite off his
head and be quit of his blood?” “Yes,” replied Hisham. He repeated his
question and the Caliph again answered in the affirmative. Then he asked
leave a third time; and the youth, knowing that, if the Caliph assented
yet once more, it would be the signal of his death, laughed till his
wisdom-teeth showed; whereupon Hisham’s wrath redoubled and he said to
him, “O boy, meseems thou art mad; seest thou not that thou art about to
depart the world? Why then dost thou laugh in mockery of thyself?” He
replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, if a larger life-term befel me,
none can hurt me, great or small; but I have bethought me of some
couplets, which do thou hear, for my death cannot escape thee.” Quoth
Hisham, “Say on and be brief;” so the Arab repeated these couplets:—

 It happed one day a hawk pounced on a bird, ✿ A wildling sparrow driven
    by destiny;
 And held in pounces spake the sparrow thus, ✿ E’en as the hawk rose
    ready home to hie:—
 “Scant flesh have I to fill the maw of thee ✿ And for thy lordly food
    poor morsel I.”
 Then smiled the hawk in flattered vanity ✿ And pride, so set the sparrow
    free to fly.

At this Hisham smiled and said, “By the truth of my kinship to the
Apostle of Allah (whom Allah bless and keep!), had he spoken this speech
at first and asked for aught except the Caliphate, verily I would have
given it to him. Stuff his mouth with jewels,[147] O eunuch and entreat
him courteously;” so they did as he bade them and the Arab went his way.
And amongst pleasant tales is that of


Footnote 144:

  _i.e._ “Peace be with thee!”

Footnote 145:

  _i.e._ in the palace when the hunt was over. The bluntness and
  plain-speaking of the Badawi, which caused the revelation of the
  Koranic chapter “Inner Apartments” (No. xlix.) have always been
  favourite themes with Arab tale-tellers as a contrast with citizen
  suavity and servility. Moreover the Badawi, besides saying what he
  thinks, always tells the truth (unless corrupted by commerce with
  foreigners); and this is a startling contrast with the townsfolk. To
  ride out of Damascus and have a chat with the Ruwalá is much like
  being suddenly transferred from amongst the trickiest of Mediterranean
  people to the bluff society of the Scandinavian North. And the reason
  why the Turk will never govern the Arab in peace is that the former is
  always trying to finesse and to succeed by falsehood, when the truth,
  the whole truth and nothing but the truth is wanted.

Footnote 146:

  Koran, xvi. 112.

Footnote 147:

  A common and expressive way of rewarding the tongue which “spoke
  poetry.” The jewels are often pearls.


They relate that Ibrahím, son of al-Mahdí,[148] brother of Harun
al-Rashid, when the Caliphate devolved to Al-Maamun, the son of his
brother Harun, refused to acknowledge his nephew and betook himself to
Rayy[149]; where he claimed the throne and abode thus a year and eleven
months and twelve days. Meanwhile his nephew, Al-Maamun, awaited his
return to allegiance and his accepting a dependent position till, at
last, despairing of this, he mounted with his horsemen and footmen and
repaired to Rayy in quest of him. Now when the news came to Ibrahim, he
found nothing for it but to flee to Baghdad and hide there, fearing for
his life; and Maamun set a price of an hundred thousand gold pieces upon
his head, to be paid to whoso might betray him. (Quoth Ibrahim) “When I
heard of this price I feared for my head”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim
continued:—Now when I heard of this price I feared for my head and knew
not what to do: so I went forth of my house in disguise at midday,
knowing not whither I should go. Presently I entered a broad street
which was no thoroughfare and said in my mind, “Verily, we are Allah’s
and unto Him we are returning! I have exposed my life to destruction. If
I retrace my steps, I shall arouse suspicion.” Then, being still in
disguise I espied, at the upper end of the street, a negro-slave
standing at his door; so I went up to him and said to him, “Hast thou a
place where I may abide for an hour of the day?” “Yes,” answered he, and
opening the door admitted me into a decent house, furnished with carpets
and mats and cushions of leather. Then he shut the door on me and went
away; and I misdoubted me he had heard of the reward offered for me, and
said to myself, “He hath gone to inform against me.” But, as I sat
pondering my case and boiling like cauldron over fire, behold, my host
came back, accompanied by a porter loaded with bread and meat and new
cooking-pots and gear and a new jar and new gugglets and other needfuls.
He made the porter set them down and, dismissing him, said to me, “I
offer my life for thy ransom! I am a barber-surgeon, and I know it would
disgust thee to eat with me, because of the way in which I get my
livelihood;[150] so do thou shift for thyself and do what thou please
with these things whereon no hand hath fallen.” (Quoth Ibrahim), Now I
was in sore need of food so I cooked me a pot of meat whose like I
remember not ever to have eaten; and, when I had satisfied my want, he
said to me, “O my lord, Allah make me thy ransom! Art thou for wine?;
for indeed it gladdeneth the soul and doeth away care.” “I have no
dislike to it,” replied I, being desirous of the barber’s company; so he
brought me new flagons of glass which no hand had touched and a jar of
excellent wine, and said to me, “Strain for thyself, to thy liking;”
whereupon I cleared the wine and mixed me a most delectable draught.
Then he brought me a new cup and fruits and flowers in new vessels of
earthenware; after which he said to me, “Wilt thou give me leave to sit
apart and drink of my own wine by myself, of my joy in thee and for
thee?” “Do so,” answered I. So I drank and he drank till the wine began
to take effect upon us, when the barber rose and, going to a closet,
took out a lute of polished wood and said to me, “O my lord, it is not
for the like of me to ask the like of thee to sing, but it behoveth
thine exceeding generosity to render my respect its due; so, if thou see
fit to honour thy slave, thine is the high decision.” Quoth I (and
indeed I thought not that he knew me), “How knowest thou that I excel in
song?” He replied, “Glory be to Allah, our lord is too well renowned for
that! Thou art my lord Ibrahim, son of Al-Mahdi, our Caliph of
yesterday, he on whose head Al-Maamun hath set a price of an hundred
thousand dinars to be paid to thy betrayer: but thou art in safety with
me.” (Quoth Ibrahim), When I heard him say this, he was magnified in my
eyes and his loyalty and noble nature were certified to me; so I
complied with his wish and took the lute and tuned it, and sang. Then I
bethought me of my severance from my children and my family and I began
to say:—

 Belike Who Yúsuf to his kin restored ✿ And honoured him in goal, a
    captive wight;
 May grant our prayer to reunite our lots; ✿ For Allah, Lord of Worlds,
    hath all of might.

When the barber heard this, exceeding joy took possession of him and he
was of great good cheer; for it is said that when Ibrahim’s neighbours
heard him only sing out, “Ho, boy, saddle the mule!” they were filled
with delight. Then, being overborne by mirth, he said to me, “O my lord,
wilt thou give me leave to say what is come to my mind, albeit I am not
of the folk of this craft?” I answered, “Do so; this is of thy great
courtesy and kindness.” So he took the lute and sang these verses:—

 To our beloveds we moaned our length of night; ✿ Quoth they, “How short
    the nights that us benight!”
 ‘Tis for that sleep like hood enveils _their_ eyes ✿ Right soon, but
    from _our_ eyes is fair of flight:
 When night falls, dread and drear to those who love, ✿ _We_ mourn;
    _they_ joy to see departing light:
 Had they but dree’d the weird, the bitter dole ✿ We dree, their beds
    like ours had bred them blight.

(Quoth Ibrahim), So I said to him, “By Allah, thou hast shown me a
kindness, O my friend, and hast done away from me the pangs of sorrow.
Let me hear more trifles of thy fashion.” So he sang these couplets:—

 When man keeps honour bright without a stain, ✿ Fair sits whatever robe
    to robe he’s fain!
 She jeered at me because so few we are; ✿ Quoth I:—“There’s ever dearth
    of noble men!”
 Naught irks us we are few, while neighbour tribes ✿ Count many;
    neighbours oft are base-born strain:
 We are a clan which holds not Death reproach, ✿ Which A’mir and
    Samúl[151] hold illest bane:
 Leads us our love of death to fated end; ✿ They hate that ending and
    delay would gain:
 We to our neighbours’ speech aye give the lie; ✿ But when we speak none
    dare give lie again.

(Quoth Ibrahim), When I heard these lines, I was filled with huge
delight and marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then I slept and awoke not
till past nightfall, when I washed my face, with a mind full of the high
worth of this barber-surgeon and his passing courtesy; after which I
wakened him and, taking out a purse I had by me containing a number of
gold pieces, threw it to him, saying, “I commend thee to Allah, for I am
about to go forth from thee, and pray thee to expend what is in this
purse on thine requirements; and thou shalt have an abounding reward of
me, when I am quit of my fear.” (Quoth Ibrahim), But he returned the bag
to me, saying, “O my lord, paupers like myself are of no value in thine
eyes; but how, with due respect to my own generosity, can I take a price
for the boon which fortune hath vouchsafed me of thy favour and thy
visit to my poor abode? Nay, if thou repeat thy words and throw the
purse to me again I will slay myself.” So I put in my sleeve[152] the
purse whose weight was irksome to me.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim son of
Al-Mahdi continued:—So I put in my sleeve the purse whose weight was
irksome to me; and turned to depart, but when I came to the house-door
he said, “O my lord, of a truth this is a safer hiding-place for thee
than any other, and thy keep is no burden to me; so do thou abide with
me, till Allah be pleased to grant thee relief.” Accordingly, I turned
back, saying, “On condition that thou spend of the money in this purse.”
He made me think that he consented to this arrangement, and I abode with
him some days in the utmost comfort; but, perceiving that he spent none
of the contents of the purse, I revolted at the idea of abiding at his
charge and thought it shame to be a burthen on him; so I left the house
disguised in women’s apparel, donning short yellow walking-boots[153]
and veil. Now as soon as I found myself in the street, I was seized with
excessive fear, and going to pass the bridge behold, I came to a place
sprinkled with water,[154] where a trooper, who had been in my service,
looked at me and knowing me, cried out, saying, “This is he whom
Al-Maamun wanteth.” Then he laid hold of me but the love of sweet life
lent me strength and I gave him and his horse a push which threw them
down in that slippery place, so that he became an example to those who
will take example; and the folk hastened to him. Meanwhile, I hurried my
pace over the bridge and entered a main street, where I saw the door of
a house open and a woman standing upon the threshold. So I said to her,
“O my lady, have pity on me and save my life; for I am a man in fear.”
Quoth she, “Enter and welcome;” and carried me into an upper
dining-room, where she spread me a bed and brought me food, saying,
“Calm thy fear, for not a soul shall know of thee.” As she spoke, lo!
there came a loud knocking at the door; so she went and opened, and
suddenly, my friend, whom I had thrown down on the bridge, appeared with
his head bound up, the blood running down upon his clothes and without
his horse. She asked, “O so and so, what accident hath befallen thee?”;
and he answered, “I made prize of the young man whom the Caliph seeketh
and he escaped from me;” whereupon he told her the whole story. So she
brought out tinder[155] and, putting it into a piece of rag bandaged his
head; after which she spread him a bed and he lay sick. Then she came up
to me and said, “Methinks thou art the man in question?” “Even so,”
answered I, and she said, “Fear not: no harm shall befal thee,” and
redoubled in kindness to me. So I tarried with her three days, at the
end of which time she said to me, “I am in fear for thee, lest yonder
man happen upon thee and betray thee to what thou dreadest; so save
thyself by flight.” I besought her to let me stay till nightfall, and
she said, “There is no harm in that.” So, when the night came, I put on
my woman’s gear and betook me to the house of a freed-woman who had once
been our slave. When she saw me she wept and made a show of affliction
and praised Almighty Allah for my safety. Then she went forth, as if she
would go to market intent on hospitable thoughts, and I fancied all was
right; but, ere long, suddenly I espied Ibrahim al-Mosili[156] making
for the house amongst his troopers and servants, and led by a woman on
foot; and looking narrowly at her behold, she was the freed-woman, the
mistress of the house, wherein I had taken refuge. So she delivered me
into their hands, and I saw death face to face. They carried me, in my
woman’s attire, to Al-Maamun who called a general council and had me
brought before him. When I entered I saluted him by the title of Caliph,
saying, “Peace be on thee, O Commander of the Faithful!” and he replied,
“Allah give thee neither peace nor long life.” I rejoined, “According to
thy good pleasure, O Commander of the Faithful!; it is for the claimant
of blood-revenge[157] to decree punishment or pardon; but mercy is
nigher to piety; and Allah hath set thy pardon above all other pardon,
even as He made my sin to excel all other sin. So, if thou punish, it is
of thine equity, and if thou pardon, it is of thy bounty.” And I
repeated these couplets:—

          My sin to thee is great, ✿ But greater thy degree:
          So take revenge, or else ✿ Remit in clemency:
          An I in deeds have not ✿ Been generous, generous be!

(Quoth Ibrahim), At this Al-Maamun raised his head to me an I hastened
to add these two couplets:—

        I’ve sinned enormous sin, ✿ But pardon in thee lies:
        If pardon thou, ‘tis grace; ✿ Justice an thou chastise!

Then Al-Maamun bowed his head and repeated:—

 I am (when friend would raise a rage that mote ✿ Make spittle choke me,
    sticking in my throat)
 His pardoner, and pardon his offence, ✿ Fearing lest I should live a
    friend without.

(Quoth Ibrahim), Now when I heard these words I scented mercy, knowing
his disposition to clemency.[158] Then he turned to his son Al-Abbas and
his brother Abu Ishak and all his chief officers there present and said
to them, “What deem ye of his case?” They all counselled him to do me
dead, but they differed as to the manner of my death. Then said he to
his Wazir Ahmad bin al-Khálid, “And what sayest thou, O Ahmad?” He
answered, “O Commander of the Faithful, an thou slay him, we find the
like of thee who hath slain the like of him; but an thou pardon him, we
find not the like of thee that hath pardoned the like of him.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al-Maamun,
Prince of the Faithful, heard the words of Ahmad bin al-Khalid, he bowed
his head and began repeating:—

 My tribe have slain that brother mine, Umaym, ✿ Yet would shoot back
    what shafts at them I aim:
 If I deal pardon, noble pardon ‘tis; ✿ And if I shoot, my bones ‘twill
    only maim.[159]

And he also recited:—

 Be mild to brother mingling ✿ What is wrong with what is right:
 Kindness to him continue ✿ Whether good or graceless wight:
 Abstain from all reproaching, ✿ An he joy or vex thy sprite:
 Seest not that what thou lovest ✿ And what hatest go unite?
 That joys of longer life-tide ✿ Ever fade with hair turned white?
 That thorns on branches growing ✿ For the pluckt fruit catch thy sight?
 Who never hath done evil, ✿ Doing good for sole delight?
 When tried the sons of worldli- ✿ ness they mostly work unright.

(Quoth Ibrahim), Now when I heard these couplets, I withdrew my woman’s
veil from my head and cried out, with my loudest voice, “Allah is Most
Great! By Allah, the Commander of the Faithful pardoneth me!” Quoth he,
“No harm shall come to thee, O uncle;” and I rejoined, “O Commander of
the Faithful, my sin is too sore for me to excuse it and thy mercy is
too much for me to speak thanks for it.” And I chanted these couplets to
a lively motive:—

 Who made all graces all collected He ✿ In Adam’s loins, our Seventh
    Imam, for thee;[160]
 Thou hast the hearts of men with reverence filled, ✿ Enguarding all with
 Rebelled I never by delusion whelmed ✿ For object other than thy
 And thou hast pardoned me whose like was ne’er ✿ Pardoned before, though
    no man pled my plea:
 Hast pitied little ones like Katá’s[162] young, ✿ And mother’s yearning
    heart a son to see.

Quoth Maamun, “I say, following our lord Joseph (on whom and on our
Prophet be blessing and peace!) let there be no reproach cast on you
this day. Allah forgiveth you; for He is the most merciful of those who
show mercy.[163] Indeed I pardon thee, and restore to thee thy goods and
lands, O uncle, and no harm shall befal thee.” So I offered up devout
prayers for him and repeated these couplets:—

 Thou hast restored my wealth sans greed, and ere ✿ So didst, thou
    deignèdest my blood to spare:
 Then if I shed my blood and wealth, to gain ✿ Thy grace, till even shoon
    from foot I tear,
 Twere but repaying what thou lentest me, ✿ And what unloaned no man to
    blame would care:
 Were I ungrateful for thy lavisht boons, ✿ Baser than thou’rt beneficent
    I were!

Then Al-Maamun showed me honour and favour and said to me, “O uncle, Abu
Ishak and Al-Abbas counselled me to put thee to death.” So I answered,
“And they both counselled thee right, O Commander of the Faithful, but
thou hast done after thine own nature and hast put away what I feared
with what I hoped.” Rejoined Al-Maamun, “O uncle, thou didst extinguish
my rancour with the modesty of thine excuse, and I have pardoned thee
without making thee drink the bitterness of obligation to intercessors.”
Then he prostrated himself in prayer a long while, after which he raised
his head and said to me, “O uncle, knowest thou why I prostrated
myself?” Answered I, “Haply thou didst this in thanksgiving to Allah,
for that He hath given thee the mastery over thine enemy.” He replied,
“Such was not my design, but rather to thank Allah for having inspired
me to pardon thee and for having cleared my mind towards thee. Now tell
me thy tale.” So I told him all that had befallen me with the barber,
the trooper and his wife and with my freed-woman who had betrayed me. So
he summoned the freed-woman, who was in her house, expecting the reward
to be sent for her, and when she came before him he said to her, “What
moved thee to deal thus with thy lord?” Quoth she, “Lust of money.”
Asked the Caliph. “Hast thou a child or a husband?”; and she answered
“No;” whereupon he bade them give her an hundred stripes with a whip and
imprisoned her for life. Then he sent for the trooper and his wife and
the barber-surgeon and asked the soldier what had moved him to do thus.
“Lust of money,” quoth he; whereupon quoth the Caliph, “It befitteth
thee to be a barber-cupper,”[164] and committed him to one whom he
charged to place him in a barber-cupper’s shop, where he might learn the
craft. But he showed honour to the trooper’s wife and lodged her in his
palace, saying, “This is a woman of sound sense and fit for matters of
moment.” Then said he to the barber-cupper, “Verily, thou hast shown
worth and generosity which call for extraordinary honour.” So he
commanded the trooper’s house and all that was therein to be given him
and bestowed on him a dress of honour and in addition fifteen thousand
dinars to be paid annually. And men tell the following tale concerning


Footnote 148:

  Ibrahim Abu Ishák bin al-Mahdi, a pretender to the Caliphate of
  well-known wit and a famed musician surnamed from his corpulence
  “Al-Tannín” = the Dragon or, according to others (Lane ii. 336),
  Al-Tin = the fig. His adventurous history will be found in Ibn
  Khallikan, D’Herbelot and Al-Siyuti.

Footnote 149:

  The Ragha of the Zendavesta, and Rages of the Apocrypha (Tobit,
  Judith, etc.), the old capital of Media Proper, and seat of government
  of Daylam, now a ruin some miles south of Teheran which was built out
  of its remains. Rayy was founded by Hoshang, the primeval king who
  first sawed wood, made doors and dug metal. It is called Rayy
  al-Mahdiyyah because Al-Mahdi held his court there: Harun al-Rashíd
  was also born in it (A.H. 145). It is mentioned by a host of authors
  and names one of the Makamat of Al-Hariri.

Footnote 150:

  Human blood being especially impure.

Footnote 151:

  Jones, Brown and Robinson.

Footnote 152:

  Arab. “Kumm;” the Moslem sleeve is mostly (like his trousers) of ample
  dimensions and easily converted into a kind of carpet-bag by
  depositing small articles in the middle and gathering up the edge in
  the hand. In this way carried the weight would be less irksome than
  hanging to the waist. The English of Queen Anne’s day had regular
  sleeve-pockets for memoranda, etc., hence the saying, to have in one’s

Footnote 153:

  Arab. “Khuff” worn under the “Bábúg” (a corruption of the Persian
  pá-push = feet-covers, papooshes, slippers). Lane M. E. chapt. i.

Footnote 154:

  Done in hot weather throughout the city, a dry line for camels being
  left in mid-street to prevent the awkward beasts slipping. The
  watering of the Cairo streets of late years has been excessive; they
  are now lines of mud in summer as well as in winter and the effluvia
  from the droppings of animals have, combined with other causes,
  seriously deteriorated the once charming climate. The only place in
  Lower Egypt, which has preserved the atmosphere of 1850, is Suez.

Footnote 155:

  Arab. “Hurák:” burnt rag, serving as tinder for flint and steel, is a
  common styptic.

Footnote 156:

  Of this worthy something has been said and there will be more in a
  future page.

Footnote 157:

  _i.e._ the person entitled to exact the blood-wit.

Footnote 158:

  Al-Maamum was a man of sense with all his fanaticism. One of his
  sayings is preserved, “Odious is contentiousness in Kings; more odious
  vexation in judges uncomprehending a case; yet more odious is
  shallowness of doctors in religions and most odious are avarice in the
  rich, idleness in youth, jesting in age and cowardice in the soldier.”

Footnote 159:

  The second couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. but Lane’s Shaykh has
  supplied it. (ii. 339)

Footnote 160:

  Adam’s loins, the “Day of Alast,” and the Imam (who stands _before_
  the people in prayer) have been explained. The “Seventh Imam” here is
  Al-Maamun, the seventh Abbaside—the Ommiades being, as usual, ignored.

Footnote 161:

  He sinned only for the pleasure of being pardoned, which is poetical
  and hardly practical or probable.

Footnote 162:

  The Katá (sand-grouse) always enters into Arab poetry because it is
  essentially a desert bird; and here the comparison is good because it
  lays its eggs in the waste far from water which it must drink morning
  and evening. Its cry is interpreted “man sakat, salam” (silent and
  safe), but it does not practice that precept, for it is usually
  betrayed by its piping Kata! Kata! Hence the proverb, “More veracious
  than the sand-grouse;” and “Speak not falsely, for the Kata sayeth
  sooth,” is Komayt’s saying. It is an emblem of swiftness: when the
  brigand-poet Shanfara boasts, “The ash-coloured Katas can drink only
  my leavings, after hastening all night to slake their thirst in the
  morning,” it is a hyperbole boasting of his speed. In Sind it is
  called the “rock pigeon” and it is not unlike a grey partridge when on
  the wing.

Footnote 163:

  Joseph to his brethren, Koran, xii. 92, when he gives them his “inner
  garment” to throw over his father’s face.

Footnote 164:

  Arab. “Hajjám” = a cupper who scarifies forehead and legs, a bleeder,
  a (blood-) sucker. The slang use of the term is to thrash, lick,
  wallop (Burckhardt, Prov. 34)


It is related that Abdullah bin Abi Kilábah went forth in quest of a
she-camel which had strayed from him; and, as he was wandering in the
deserts of Al-Yaman and the district of Sabá,[166] behold, he came upon
a great city girt by a vast castle around which were palaces and
pavilions that rose high into middle air. He made for the place thinking
to find there folk of whom he might ask concerning his she-camel; but,
when he reached it, he found it desolate, without a living soul in it.
So (quoth he) I alighted and, hobbling my dromedary,——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Abi
Kilabah continued:—I dismounted and hobbling my dromedary, and composing
my mind, entered into the city. Now when I came to the castle, I found
it had two vast gates (never in the world was seen their like for size
and height) inlaid with all manner jewels and jacinths, white and red,
yellow and green. Beholding this I marvelled with great marvel and
thought the case mighty wondrous; then entering the citadel in a flutter
of fear and dazed with surprise and affright, I found it long and wide
about equalling Al-Medinah[167] in point of size; and therein were lofty
palaces laid out in pavilions all built of gold and silver and inlaid
with many-coloured jewels and jacinths and chrysolites and pearls. And
the door-leaves in the pavilions were like those of the castle for
beauty; and their floors were strewn with great pearls and balls, no
smaller than hazel-nuts, of musk and ambergris and saffron. Now when I
came within the heart of the city and saw therein no created beings of
the Sons of Adam I was near swooning and dying for fear. Moreover, I
looked down from the great roofs of the pavilion-chambers and their
balconies and saw rivers running under them; and in the main streets
were fruit-laden trees and tall palms; and the manner of their building
was one brick of gold and one of silver. So I said in myself, “Doubtless
this is the Paradise promised for the world to come.” Then I loaded me
with the jewels of its gravel and the musk of its dust as much as I
could carry and returned to my own country, where I told the folk what I
had seen. After a time the news reached Mu’áwiyah, son of Abu Sufyán,
who was then Caliph in Al-Hijaz; so he wrote to his lieutenant in San’á
of Al-Yaman to send for the teller of the story and question him of the
truth of the case. Accordingly the lieutenant summoned me and questioned
me of my adventure and of all appertaining to it; and I told him what I
had seen, whereupon he despatched me to Mu’awiyah, before whom I
repeated the story of the strange sights; but he would not credit it. So
I brought out to him some of the pearls and balls of musk and ambergris
and saffron, in which latter there was still some sweet savour; but the
pearls were grown yellow and had lost pearly colour.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah son of
Abu Kilabah continued:—But the pearls were grown yellow and had lost
pearly colour. Now Mu’awiyah wondered at this and, sending for Ka’ab
al-Ahbar[168] said to him, “O Ka’ab, I have sent for thee to ascertain
the truth of a certain matter and hope that thou wilt be able to certify
me thereof.” Asked Ka’ab, “What is it, O Commander of the Faithful?”;
and Mu’awiyah answered, “Wottest thou of any city founded by man which
is builded of gold and silver, the pillars whereof are of chrysolite and
rubies and its gravel pearls and balls of musk and ambergris and
saffron?” He replied, “Yes, O Commander of the Faithful, this is ‘Iram
with pillars decked and dight, the like of which was never made in the
lands,’[169] and the builder was Shaddad son of Ad the Greater.” Quoth
the Caliph, “Tell us something of its history,” and Ka’ab said:—Ad the
Greater had two sons, Shadíd and Shaddád who, when their father died,
ruled conjointly in his stead, and there was no King of the Kings of the
earth but was subject to them. After awhile Shadid died and his brother
Shaddad reigned over the earth alone. Now he was fond of reading in
antique books; and, happening upon the description of the world to come
and of Paradise, with its pavilions and galleries and trees and fruits
and so forth, his soul moved him to build the like thereof in this
world, after the fashion aforesaid. Now under his hand were an hundred
thousand Kings, each ruling over an hundred thousand chiefs.[170]
commanding each an hundred thousand warriors; so he called these all
before him and said to them, “I find in ancient books and annals a
description of Paradise, as it is to be in the next world, and I desire
to build me its like in this world. Go ye forth therefore to the
goodliest tract on earth and the most spacious and build me there a city
of gold and silver, whose gravel shall be chrysolite and rubies and
pearls; and for support of its vaults make pillars of jasper. Fill it
with palaces, whereon ye shall set galleries and balconies and plant its
lanes and thoroughfares with all manner trees bearing yellow-ripe fruits
and make rivers to run through it in channels of gold and silver.”
Whereat said one and all, “How are we able to do this thing thou hast
commanded, and whence shall we get the chrysolites and rubies and pearls
whereof thou speakest?” Quoth he, “What! weet ye not that the Kings of
the world are subject to me and under my hand and that none therein dare
gainsay my word?” Answered they, “Yes, we know that.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lieges
answered, “Yes, we know that;” whereupon the King rejoined, “Fare ye
then to the mines of chrysolites and rubies and pearls and gold and
silver and collect their produce and gather together all of value that
is in the world and spare no pains and leave naught; and take also for
me such of these things as be in men’s hands and let nothing escape you:
be diligent and beware of disobedience.” And thereupon he wrote letters
to all the Kings of the world and bade them gather together whatso of
these things was in their subjects’ hands, and get them to the mines of
precious stones and metals, and bring forth all that was therein, even
from the abysses of the seas. This they accomplished in the space of 20
years, for the number of rulers then reigning over the earth was three
hundred and sixty Kings; and Shaddad presently assembled from all lands
and countries architects and engineers and men of art and labourers and
handicraftsmen, who dispersed over the world and explored all the wastes
and wolds and tracts and holds. At last they came to an uninhabited
spot, a vast and fair open plain clear of sand-hills and mountains, with
founts flushing and rivers rushing, and they said, “This is the manner
of place the King commanded us to seek and ordered us to find.” So they
busied themselves in building the city even as bade them Shaddad, King
of the whole earth in its length and breadth; leading the fountains in
channels and laying the foundations after the prescribed fashion.
Moreover, all the Kings of earth’s several reigns sent thither jewels
and precious stones and pearls large and small and carnelian and refined
gold and virgin silver upon camels by land, and in great ships over the
waters, and there came to the builders’ hands of all these materials so
great a quantity as may neither be told nor counted nor conceived. So
they laboured at the work three hundred years; and, when they had
brought it to end, they went to King Shaddad and acquainted him
therewith. Then said he, “Depart and make thereon an impregnable castle,
rising and towering high in air, and build around it a thousand
pavilions, each upon a thousand columns of chrysolite and ruby and
vaulted with gold, that in each pavilion a Wazir may dwell.” So they
returned forthwith and did this in other twenty years; after which they
again presented themselves before King Shaddad and informed him of the
accomplishment of his will. Then he commanded his Wazirs, who were a
thousand in number, and his Chief Officers and such of his troops and
others as he put trust in, to prepare for departure and removal to
Many-columned Iram, in the suite and at the stirrup of Shaddad, son of
Ad, King of the world; and he bade also such as he would of his women
and his Harim and of his handmaids and eunuchs make them ready for the
journey. They spent twenty years in preparing for departure, at the end
of which time Shaddad set out with his host.——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shaddad bin Ad
fared forth, he and his host, rejoicing in the attainment of his desire
till there remained but one day’s journey between him and Iram of the
Pillars. Then Allah sent down on him and on the stubborn unbelievers
with him a mighty rushing sound from the Heavens of His power, which
destroyed them all with its vehement clamour, and neither Shaddad nor
any of his company set eyes on the city.[171] Moreover, Allah blotted
out the road which led to the city, and it stands in its stead unchanged
until the Resurrection Day and the Hour of Judgement. So Mu’awiyah
wondered greatly at Ka’ab al-Ahbar’s story and said to him, “Hath any
mortal ever made his way to that city?” He replied, “Yes; one of the
companions of Mohammed (on whom be blessing and peace!) reached it,
doubtless and forsure after the same fashion as this man here seated.”
And (quoth Al-Sha’abi[172]) it is related, on the authority of learned
men of Himyar in Al-Yaman that Shaddad, when destroyed with all his host
by the sound, was succeeded in his Kingship by his son Shaddad the Less,
whom he left viceregent in Hazramaut[173] and Saba, when he and his
marched upon Many-columned Iram. Now as soon as he heard of his father’s
death on the road, he caused his body to be brought back from the desert
to Hazramaut and bade them hew him out a tomb in a cave, where he laid
the body on a throne of gold and threw over the corpse threescore and
ten robes of cloth of gold, purfled with precious stones. Lastly at his
sire’s head he set up a tablet of gold whereon were graven these

       Take warning O proud, ✿ And in length o’ life vain!
       I’m Shaddád son of Ad, ✿ Of the forts castellain;
       Lord of pillars and power, ✿ Lord of tried might and main,
       Whom all earth-sons obeyed ✿ For my mischief and bane;
       And who held East and West ✿ In mine awfullest reign.
       He preached me salvation ✿ Whom God did assain,[174]
       But we crossed him and asked ✿ “Can no refuge be ta’en?”
       When a Cry on us cried ✿ From th’ horizon plain,
       And we fell on the field ✿ Like the harvested grain,
       And the Fixt Day await ✿ We, in earth’s bosom lain!

Al-Sa’alibi also relateth:—It chanced that two men once entered this
cave and found steps at its upper end; so they descended and came to an
under-ground chamber, an hundred cubits long by forty wide and an
hundred high. In the midst stood a throne of gold, whereon lay a man of
huge bulk, filling the whole length and breadth of the throne. He was
covered with jewels and raiment gold-and-silver-wrought, and at his head
was a tablet of gold bearing an inscription. So they took the tablet and
carried it off, together with as many bars of gold and silver and so
forth as they could bear away. And men also relate the tale of


Footnote 165:

  The Bresl. Edit. (vii. 171-174) entitles this tale, “Story of Shaddád
  bin Ad and the City of Iram the Columned;” but it relates chiefly the
  building by the King of the First Adites who, being promised a future
  Paradise by Prophet Húd, impiously said that he would lay out one in
  this world. It also quotes Ka’ab al-Ahbár as an authority for
  declaring that the tale is in the “Pentateuch of Moses.” Iram was in
  al-Yaman near Adan (our Aden) a square of ten parasangs (or leagues
  each = 18,000 feet) every way; the walls were of red (baked) brick 500
  cubits high and 20 broad, with four gates of corresponding grandeur.
  It contained 300,000 Kasr (palaces) each with a thousand pillars of
  gold-bound jasper, etc. (whence its title). The whole was finished in
  five hundred years; and, when Shaddad prepared to enter it, the “Cry
  of Wrath” from the Angel of Death slew him and all his many. It is
  mentioned in the Koran (chapt. lxxxix. 6-7) as “Irem adorned with
  lofty buildings (or pillars).” But Ibn Khaldun declares that
  commentators have embroidered the passage; Iram being the name of a
  powerful clan of the ancient Adites and “imád” being a tent-pole:
  hence “Iram with the numerous tents or tent-poles.” Al-Bayzawi tells
  the story of Abdullah ibn Kilabah (D’Herbelot’s Colabah). At Aden I
  met an Arab who had seen the mysterious city on the borders of
  Al-Ahkáf, the waste of deep sands, west of Hadramaut; and probably he
  had, the mirage or sun-reek taking its place. Compare with this tale
  “The City of Brass” (Night dlxv.).

Footnote 166:

  The biblical “Sheba,” named from the great-grandson of Joctan; whence
  the Queen (Bilkis) visited Solomon. It was destroyed by the Flood of

Footnote 167:

  The full title of the Holy City is “Madinat al-Nabi” = the City of the
  Prophet; of old Yasrib (Yathrib) the Iatrippa of the Greeks
  (Pilgrimage, ii. 119). The reader will remember that there are two
  “Yasribs;” that of lesser note being near Hujr in the

Footnote 168:

  “Ka’ab of the Scribes,” a well-known traditionist and religious poet
  who died (A.H. 32) in the Caliphate of Osman. He was a Jew who
  islamised; hence his name (Ahbár, plur. of Hibr, a Jewish scribe,
  doctor of science, etc. Jarrett’s El-Siyuti, p. 123). He must not be
  confounded with another Ka’ab al-Ahbár the Poet of the (first)
  Cloak-poem or “Burdah,” a noble Arab who was a distant cousin of
  Mohammed, and whose tomb at Hums (Emesa) is a place of pious
  visitation. According to the best authorities (no Christian being
  allowed to see them) the cloak given to the bard by Mohammed is still
  preserved together with the Khirkah or Sanjak Sherif (“Holy Coat” or
  Banner, the national oriflamme) at Stambul in the Upper Seraglio
  (Pilgrimage, i. 213). Many authors repeat this story of Mu’awiyah, the
  Caliph, and Ka’ab of the Burdah, but it is an evident anachronism, the
  poet having been dead nine years before the ruler’s accession (A.H.

Footnote 169:

  Koran, lxxxix. 6-7.

Footnote 170:

  Arab. “Kahramán” from Pers., braves, heroes.

Footnote 171:

  The Deity in the East, is as whimsical a despot as any of his
  “shadows” or “viceregents.” In the text Shaddád is killed for mere
  jealousy—a base passion utterly unworthy of a godhead; but one to
  which Allah was greatly addicted.

Footnote 172:

  Some traditionist; but whether Sha’abi, Shi’abi or Shu’abi we cannot

Footnote 173:

  The Hazarmaveth of Genesis (x. 26) in South Eastern Arabia. Its people
  are the Adramitæ (mod. Hazrami) of Ptolemy who places in their land
  the Arabiæ Emporium, as Pliny does his Massola. They border upon the
  Homeritæ or men of Himyar, often mentioned in The Nights. Hazramaut is
  still practically unknown to us, despite the excursions of many
  travellers; and the hard nature of the people, the Swiss of Arabia,
  offers peculiar obstacles to exploration.

Footnote 174:

  _i.e._ the prophet Hud generally identified (?) with Heber. He was
  commissioned (Koran, chapt. vii.) to preach Al-Islam to his tribe the
  Adites who worshipped four goddesses, Sákiyah (the rain-giver),
  Rázikah (food-giver), Háfizah (the saviouress) and Sálimah (who healed
  sickness). As has been seen he failed, so it was useless to send him.

                            ISAAC OF MOSUL.

Quoth Isaac of Mosul:[175]—I went out one night from Al-Maamun’s
presence, on my way to my house; and, being taken with a pressing need
to make water, I turned aside into a by-street and stood in the middle
fearing lest something might hurt me, if I squatted against a wall.[176]
Presently, I espied something hanging down from one of the houses; so I
felt it to find out what it might be and found that it was a great
four-handled basket,[177] covered with brocade. Said I to myself, “There
must be some reason for this,” and knew not what to think; then
drunkenness led me to seat myself in the basket, and behold, the people
of the house pulled me up, thinking me to be the person they expected.
Now when I came to the top of the wall; lo! four damsels were there, who
said to me, “Descend and welcome and joy to thee!” Then one of them went
before me with a wax candle and brought me down into a mansion, wherein
were furnished sitting-chambers, whose like I had never seen save in the
palace of the Caliphate. So I sat down and after a while, the curtains
were suddenly drawn from one side of the room and, behold, in came
damsels walking in procession and hending in hand lighted flambeaux of
wax and censers full of Sumatran aloes-wood, and amongst them a young
lady as she were the rising full moon. So I stood up to her and she
said, “Welcome to thee for a visitor!” and then she made me sit down
again and asked me how I came thither. Quoth I, “I was returning home
from the house of an intimate friend and went astray in the dark; then,
being taken in the street with an urgent call to make water, I turned
aside into this lane, where I found a basket let down. The strong wine
which I had drunk led me to seat myself in it and it was drawn up with
me into this house, and this is my story.” She rejoined, “No harm shall
befal thee, and I hope thou wilt have cause to praise the issue of thine
adventure.” Then she added, “But what is thy condition?” I said, “A
merchant in the Baghdad bazar” and she, “Canst thou repeat any verses?”
“Some small matter,” quoth I. Quoth she “Then call a few to mind and let
us hear some of them.” But I said, “A visitor is bashful and timid; do
thou begin.” “True,” replied she and recited some verses of the poets,
past and present, choosing their choicest pieces; and I listened not
knowing whether more to marvel at her beauty and loveliness or at the
charm of her style of declamation. Then said she, “Is that bashfulness
of thine gone?” and I said, “Yes, by Allah!” so she rejoined, “Then, if
thou wilt, recite us somewhat.” So I repeated to her a number of poems
by old writers, and she applauded, saying, “By Allah, I did not think to
find such culture among the trade folk, the sons of the bazar!” Then she
called for food——Whereupon quoth Shahrazad’s sister Dunyazad, “How
pleasant is this tale and enjoyable and sweet to the ear and sound to
the sense!” But she answered, “And what is this story compared with that
which thou shalt hear on the morrow’s night, if I be alive and the King
deign spare me!” Then Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Isaac of Mosul
continued:—Then the damsel called for food and, when it was served to
her, she fell to eating it and setting it before me; and the
sitting-room was full of all manner sweet-scented flowers and rare
fruits, such as are never found save in Kings’ houses. Presently, she
called for wine and drank a cup, after which she filled another and gave
it to me, saying, “Now is the time for converse and story-telling.” So I
bethought myself and began to say, “It hath reached me that such and
such things happened; and there was a man who said so and so,” till I
had told her a number of pleasing tales and adventures with which she
was delighted and cried, “’Tis marvellous that a merchant should bear in
memory such store of stories like these, for they are fit for Kings.”
Quoth I, “I had a neighbour who used to consort with Kings and carouse
with them; so, when he was at leisure, I visited his house and he hath
often told me what thou hast heard.” Thereupon she exclaimed “By my
life, but thou hast a good memory!” So we continued to converse thus,
and as often as I was silent, she would begin, till in this way we
passed the most part of the night, whilst the burning aloes-wood
diffused its fragrance and I was in such case that if Al-Maamun had
suspected it, he would have flown like a bird with longing for it. Then
said she to me, “Verily, thou art one of the most pleasant of men,
polished, passing well bred and polite; but there lacketh one thing.”
“What is that?” asked I, and she answered, “If thou only knew how to
sing verses to the lute!” I answered, “I was passionately fond of this
art aforetime, but finding I had no taste for it, I abandoned it, though
at times my heart yearneth after it. Indeed, I should love to sing
somewhat well at this moment and fulfil my night’s enjoyment.” Then she,
“Meseemeth thou hintest a wish for the lute to be brought?” and I, “It
is thine to decide, if thou wilt so far favour me, and to thee be the
thanks.” So she called for a lute and sang a song in a voice whose like
I never heard, both for sweetness of tone and skill in playing, and
perfection of art. Then said she, “Knowest thou who composed this air
and whose are the words of this song?” “No,” answered I; and she said,
“The words are so and so’s and the air is Isaac’s.” I asked, “And hath
Isaac then (may I be thy sacrifice!) such a talent?” She replied,
“Bravo![178] Bravo, Isaac! indeed, he excelleth in this art.” I
rejoined, “Glory be to Allah who hath given this man what he hath
vouchsafed unto none other!” Then she said, “And how would it be, an
thou heard this song from himself?” This wise we went on till break of
day-dawn, when there came to her an old woman, as she were her nurse,
and said to her, “Verily, the time is come.” So she rose in haste and
said to me, “Keep what hath passed between us to thyself; for such
meetings are in confidence;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel
whispered, “Keep what hath passed between us to thyself, for such
meetings are in confidence;” and I replied, “May I be thy ransom! I
needed no charge to this.” Then I took leave of her and she sent a
handmaid to show me the way and open the house door; so I went forth and
returned to my own place, where I prayed the morning prayer and slept.
Now after a time there came to me a messenger from Al-Maamun, so I went
to him and passed the day in his company. And when the night fell I
called to mind my yesternight’s pleasure, a thing from which none but an
ignoramus would abstain, and betook myself to the street, where I found
the basket, and seating myself therein, was drawn up to the place in
which I had passed the previous night. When the lady saw me, she said,
“Indeed, thou hast been assiduous;” and I answered, “Meseemeth rather
that I am neglectful.” Then we fell to discoursing and passed the night
as before in general conversation and reciting verses and telling rare
tales, each in turn, till daybreak, when I wended me home; and I prayed
the dawn-prayer and slept. Presently there came to me a messenger from
Al-Maamun; so I went to him and spent my day with him till nightfall,
when the Commander of the Faithful said to me, “I conjure thee to sit
here, whilst I go out for a want and come back.” As soon as the Caliph
was gone, and quite gone, my thoughts began to tempt and try me and,
calling to mind my late delight, I recked little what might befal me
from the Prince of True Believers. So I sprang up and turning my back
upon the sitting-room, ran to the street aforesaid, where I sat down in
the basket and was drawn up as before. When the lady saw me, she said,
“I begin to think thou art a sincere friend to us.” Quoth I, “Yea, by
Allah!” and quoth she, “Hast thou made our house thine abiding-place?” I
replied, “May I be thy ransom! A guest claimeth guest-right for three
days and if I return after this, ye are free to spill my blood.” Then we
passed the night as before; and when the time of departure drew near, I
bethought me that Al-Maamun would assuredly question me nor would ever
be content save with a full explanation: so I said to her, “I see thee
to be of those who delight in singing. Now I have a cousin, the son of
my father’s brother, who is fairer than I in face and higher of rank and
better of breeding; and he is the most intimate of Allah’s creatures
with Isaac.” Quoth she, “Art thou a parasite[179] and an importunate
one?” Quoth I, “It is for thee to decide in this matter;” and she, “If
thy cousin be as thou hast described him, it would not mislike us to
make acquaintance with him.” Then, as the time was come, I left her and
returned to my house, but hardly had I reached it, ere the Caliph’s
runners came down on me and carried me before him by main force and
roughly enough.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Isaac of Mosul
continued:—And hardly had I reached my house ere the Caliph’s runners
came down upon me and carried me before him by main force and roughly
enough. I found him seated on a chair, wroth with me, and he said to me,
“O Isaac, art thou a traitor to thine allegiance?” replied I, “No, by
Allah, O Commander of the Faithful!” and he rejoined, “What hast thou
then to say? tell me the whole truth;” and I, “Yes, I will, but in
private.” So he signed to his attendants, who withdrew to a distance,
and I told him the case, adding, “I promised her to bring thee,” and he
said, “Thou didst well.” Then we spent the day in our usual pleasures,
but Al-Maamun’s heart was taken up with her, and hardly was the
appointed time come, when we set out. As we went along, I cautioned him,
saying, “Look that thou call me not by my name before her; and I will
demean myself like thine attendant.” And having agreed upon this, we
fared forth till we came to the place, where we found two baskets
hanging ready. So we sat down in them and were drawn up to the usual
place, where the damsel came forward and saluted us. Now when Al-Maamun
saw her, he was amazed at her beauty and loveliness; and she began to
entertain him with stories and verses. Presently, she called for wine
and we fell to drinking, she paying him special attention and he
repaying her in kind. Then she took the lute and sang these verses:—

 My lover came in at the close of night, ✿ I rose till he sat and
    remained upright;
 And said “Sweet heart, hast thou come this hour? ✿ Nor feared on the
    watch and ward to ‘light:”
 Quoth he “The lover _had_ cause to fear, ✿ But Love deprived him of wits
    and fright.”

And when she ended her song she said to me, “And is thy cousin also a
merchant?” I answered, “Yes,” and she said, “Indeed, ye resemble each
other nearly.” But when Al-Maamun had drunk three pints,[180] he grew
merry with wine and called out, saying, “Ho, Isaac!” And I replied,
“Labbayk’, Adsum, O Commander of the Faithful,” whereupon quoth he,
“Sing me this air.” Now when the young lady learned that he was the
Caliph, she withdrew to another place and disappeared; and, as I had
made an end of my song Al-Maamun said to me, “See who is the master of
this house”; whereupon an old woman hastened to make answer, saying, “It
belongs to Hasan bin Sahl.”[181] “Fetch him to me,” said the Caliph. So
she went away and after a while behold, in came Hasan, to whom said
Al-Maamun “Hast thou a daughter?” He said, “Yes, and her name is
Khadijah.” Asked the Caliph, “Is she married?” Answered Hasan, “No, by
Allah!” Said Al-Maamun, “Then I ask her of thee in marriage.” Replied
her father, “O Commander of the Faithful, she is thy handmaid and at thy
commandment.” Quoth Al-Maamun, “I take her to wife at a present
settlement of thirty thousand dinars, which thou shalt receive this very
morning; and, when the money has been paid thee, do thou bring her to us
this night.” And Hasan answered, “I hear and I obey.” Thereupon we went
forth and the Caliph said to me, “O Isaac, tell this story to no one.”
So I kept it secret till Al-Maamun’s death. Surely never did man’s life
gather such pleasures as were mine these four days’ time, whenas I
companied with Al-Maamun by day and Khadijah by night; and, by Allah,
never saw I among men the like of Al-Maamun nor among women have I ever
set eyes on the like of Khadijah; no, nor on any that came near her in
lively wit and pleasant speech! And Allah is All-knowing. But amongst
stories is that of


Footnote 175:

  Son of Ibrahim al-Mosili, a musician poet and favourite with the
  Caliphs Harun al-Rashid and Al-Maamun. He made his name immortal by
  being the first who reduced Arab harmony to systematic rules; and he
  wrote a biography of musicians referred to by Al-Hariri in the Séance
  of Singar.

Footnote 176:

  This must not be confounded with the “pissing against the wall” of 1
  Kings, xiv. 10, where watering against a wall denotes a man as opposed
  to a woman.

Footnote 177:

  Arab. “Zambíl” or “Zimbíl,” a limp basket made of plaited palm-leaves
  and generally two handled. It is used for many purposes, from carrying
  poultry to carrying earth.

Footnote 178:

  Here we have again the Syriac “Bakhkh^{un} Bakhkh^{un}” = well done!
  It is the Pers. Áferín and means “all praise be to him.”

Footnote 179:

  Arab. “A Tufayli?” So the Arab. Prov. (ii. 838) “More intrusive than
  Tufayl” (prob. the P.N. of a notorious spunger). The Badawin call
  “Wárish” a man who sits down to meat unbidden and to drink Wághil; but
  townsfolk apply the latter to the “Wárish.”

Footnote 180:

  Arab. “Artál” = rotoli, pounds; and

                           A pint is a pound
                           All the world round;

  except in highly civilised lands where the pint has a curious power of

Footnote 181:

  One of Al-Maamun’s Wazirs. The Caliph married his daughter whose true
  name was Búrán; but this tale of girl’s freak and courtship was
  invented (?) by Ishak. For the splendour of the wedding and the
  munificence of the Minister see Lane, ii. 350-352.

                     THE SWEEP AND THE NOBLE LADY.

During the season of the Meccan pilgrimage, whilst the people were
making circuit about the Holy House and the place of compassing was
crowded, behold, a man laid hold of the covering of the Ka’abah[182] and
cried out, from the bottom of his heart, saying, “I beseech thee, O
Allah, that she may once again be wroth with her husband and that I may
know her!” A company of the pilgrims heard him and seized him and
carried him to the Emir of the pilgrims, after a sufficiency of blows;
and, said they, “O Emir, we found this fellow in the Holy Places, saying
thus and thus.” So the Emir commanded to hang him; but he cried, “O
Emir, I conjure thee, by the virtue of the Apostle (whom Allah bless and
preserve!), hear my story and then do with me as thou wilt.” Quoth the
Emir, “Tell thy tale forthright.” Know then, O Emir, quoth the man, that
I am a sweep who works in the sheep-slaughterhouses and carries off the
blood and the offal to the rubbish-heaps outside the gates. And it came
to pass as I went along one day with my ass loaded, I saw the people
running away and one of them said to me, “Enter this alley, lest haply
they slay thee.” Quoth I, “What aileth the folk running away?” and one
of the eunuchs, who were passing, said to me, “This is the Harim[183] of
one of the notables and her eunuchs drive the people out of her way and
beat them all, without respect to persons.” So I turned aside with the
donkey——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the man:—So
I turned aside with the donkey and stood still awaiting the dispersal of
the crowd; and I saw a number of eunuchs with staves in their hands,
followed by nigh thirty women slaves, and amongst them a lady as she
were a willow-wand or a thirsty gazelle, perfect in beauty and grace and
amorous languor, and all were attending upon her. Now when she came to
the mouth of the passage where I stood, she turned right and left and,
calling one of the Castratos, whispered in his ear; and behold, he came
up to me and laid hold of me, whilst another eunuch took my ass and made
off with it. And when the spectators fled, the first eunuch bound me
with a rope and dragged me after him till I knew not what to do; and the
people followed us and cried out, saying, “This is not allowed of Allah!
What hath this poor scavenger done that he should be bound with ropes?”
and praying the eunuchs, “Have pity on him and let him go, so Allah have
pity on you!” And I the while said in my mind, “Doubtless the eunuchry
seized me, because their mistress smelt the stink of the offal and it
sickened her. Belike she is with child or ailing; but there is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!”
So I continued walking on behind them, till they stopped at the door of
a great house; and, entering before me, brought me into a big hall—I
know not how I shall describe its magnificence—furnished with the finest
furniture. And the women also entered the hall; and I bound and held by
the eunuch and saying to myself, “Doubtless they will torture me here
till I die and none know of my death.” However, after a while, they
carried me into a neat bath-room leading out of the hall; and as I sat
there, behold, in came three slave-girls who seated themselves round me
and said to me, “Strip off thy rags and tatters.” So I pulled off my
threadbare clothes and one of them fell a-rubbing my legs and feet
whilst another scrubbed my head and a third shampooed my body. When they
had made an end of washing me, they brought me a parcel of clothes and
said to me, “Put these on”; and I answered, “By Allah, I know not how!”
So they came up to me and dressed me, laughing together at me the while;
after which they brought casting-bottles full of rose-water, and
sprinkled me therewith. Then I went out with them into another saloon;
by Allah, I know not how to praise its splendour for the wealth of
paintings and furniture therein; and entering it, I saw a person seated
on a couch of Indian rattan——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the sweep
continued:—When I entered that saloon I saw a person seated on a couch
of Indian rattan, with ivory feet and before her a number of damsels.
When she saw me she rose to me and called me; so I went up to her and
she seated me by her side. Then she bade her slave-girls bring food, and
they brought all manner of rich meats, such as I never saw in all my
life; I do not even know the names of the dishes, much less their
nature. So I ate my fill and when the dishes had been taken away and we
had washed our hands, she called for fruits which came without stay or
delay and ordered me eat of them; and when we had ended eating she bade
one of the waiting-women bring the wine furniture. So they set on
flagons of divers kinds of wine and burned perfumes in all the censers,
what while a damsel like the moon rose and served us with wine to the
sound of the smitten strings; and I drank, and the lady drank, till we
were seized with wine and the whole time I doubted not but that all this
was an illusion of sleep. Presently, she signed to one of the damsels to
spread us a bed in such a place, which being done, she rose and took me
by the hand and led me thither, and lay down and I lay with her till the
morning, and as often as I pressed her to my breast I smelt the
delicious fragrance of musk and other perfumes that exhaled from her and
could not think otherwise but that I was in Paradise or in the vain
phantasies of a dream. Now when it was day, she asked me where I lodged
and I told her, “In such a place;” whereupon she gave me leave to
depart, handing to me a kerchief worked with gold and silver and
containing somewhat tied in it, and took leave of me, saying, “Go to the
bath with this.” I rejoiced and said to myself, “If there be but five
coppers here, it will buy me this day my morning meal.” Then I left her,
as though I were leaving Paradise, and returned to my poor crib where I
opened the kerchief and found in it fifty miskals of gold. So I buried
them in the ground and, buying two farthings’ worth of bread and
“kitchen,”[184] seated me at the door and broke my fast; after which I
sat pondering my case and continued so doing till the time of
afternoon-prayer, when lo! a slave-girl accosted me saying, “My mistress
calleth for thee.” I followed her to the house aforesaid and, after
asking permission, she carried me into the lady, before whom I kissed
the ground, and she commanded me to sit and called for meat and wine as
on the previous day; after which I again lay with her all night. On the
morrow, she gave me a second kerchief, with other fifty dinars therein,
and I took it and going home, buried this also. In such pleasant
condition I continued eight days running, going in to her at the hour of
afternoon-prayer and leaving her at daybreak; but, on the eighth night,
as I lay with her, behold, one of her slave-girls came running in and
said to me, “Arise, go up into yonder closet.” So I rose and went into
the closet, which was over the gate, and presently I heard a great
clamour and tramp of horse; and, looking out of the window which gave on
the street in front of the house, I saw a young man as he were the
rising moon on the night of fulness come riding up attended by a number
of servants and soldiers who were about him on foot. He alighted at the
door and entering the saloon found the lady seated on the couch; so he
kissed the ground between her hands then came up to her and kissed her
hands; but she would not speak to him. However, he continued patiently
to humble himself, and soothe her and speak her fair, till he made his
peace with her, and they lay together that night.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the scavenger
continued:—Now when her husband had made his peace with the young lady,
he lay with her that night; and next morning, the soldiers came for him
and he mounted and rode away; whereupon she drew near to me and said,
“Sawst thou yonder man?” I answered, “Yes;” and she said, “He is my
husband, and I will tell thee what befel me with him. It came to pass
one day that we were sitting, he and I, in the garden within the house,
and behold, he rose from my side and was absent a long while, till I
grew tired of waiting and said to myself:—Most like, he is in the privy.
So I arose and went to the water-closet, but not finding him there, went
down to the kitchen, where I saw a slave-girl; and when I enquired for
him, she showed him to me lying with one of the cookmaids. Hereupon, I
swore a great oath that I assuredly would do adultery with the foulest
and filthiest man in Baghdad; and the day the eunuch laid hands on thee,
I had been four days going round about the city in quest of one who
should answer to this description, but found none fouler nor filthier
than thy good self. So I took thee and there passed between us that
which Allah fore-ordained to us; and now I am quit of my oath.” Then she
added, “If, however, my husband return yet again to the cookmaid and lie
with her, I will restore thee to thy lost place in my favours.” Now when
I heard these words from her lips, what while she pierced my heart with
the shafts of her glances, my tears streamed forth, till my eyelids were
chafed sore with weeping, and I repeated the saying of the poet:—

 Grant me the kiss of that left hand ten times; ✿ And learn it hath than
    right hand higher grade;[185]
 For ‘tis but little since that same left hand ✿ Washed off Sir Reverence
    when ablution made.

Then she made them give me other fifty dinars (making in all four
hundred gold pieces I had of her) and bade me depart. So I went out from
her and came hither, that I might pray Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) to make her husband return to the cookmaid, that haply I might be
again admitted to her favours. When the Emir of the pilgrims heard the
man’s story, he set him free and said to the bystanders, “Allah upon
you, pray for him, for indeed he is excusable.” And men also tell the
tale of


Footnote 182:

  I have described this scene, the wretch clinging to the curtain and
  sighing and crying as if his heart would break (Pilgrimage iii. 216
  and 220). The same is done at the place Al-Multazam, “the attached
  to;” (ibid. 156) and various spots called Al-Mustajáb, “where prayer
  is granted” (ibid. 162). At Jerusalem the “Wailing place of the Jews”
  shows queer scenes; the worshippers embrace the wall with a peculiar
  wriggle crying out in Hebrew, “O build Thy House, soon, without
  delay,” etc.

Footnote 183:

  _i.e._ The wife. The scene in the text was common at Cairo twenty
  years ago; and no one complained of the stick. See Pilgrimage i., 120.

Footnote 184:

  Arab. “Udm, Udum” (plur. of Idám) = “relish,” olives, cheese, pickled
  cucumbers, etc.

Footnote 185:

  I have noticed how the left hand is used in the East. In the second
  couplet we have “Istinjá” = washing the fundament after stool. The
  lines are highly appropriate for a nightman. Easterns have many foul
  but most emphatic expressions like those in the text: I have heard a
  mother say to her brat, “I would eat thy merde!” (_i.e._ how I love

                            THE MOCK CALIPH.

It is related that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, was one night restless
with extreme restlessness, so he summoned his Wazir Ja’afar the
Barmecide, and said to him, “My breast is straitened and I have a desire
to divert myself to-night by walking about the streets of Baghdad and
looking into folks’ affairs; but with this precaution that we disguise
ourselves in merchants’ gear, so none shall know us.” He answered,
“Hearkening and obedience.” They rose at once and doffing the rich
raiment they wore, donned merchants’ habits and sallied forth three in
number, the Caliph, Ja’afar and Masrur the sworder. Then they walked
from place to place, till they came to the Tigris and saw an old man
sitting in a boat; so they went up to him and saluting him, said, “O
Shaykh, we desire thee of thy kindness and favour to carry us
a-pleasuring down the river, in this thy boat, and take this dinar to
thy hire.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they said to
the old man, “We desire thee to carry us a-pleasuring in this thy boat
and take this dinar;” he answered, “Who may go a-pleasuring on the
Tigris? The Caliph Harun al-Rashid every night cometh down Tigris-stream
in his state-barge[186] and with him one crying aloud:—Ho, ye people
all, great and small, gentle and simple, men and boys, whoso is found in
a boat on the Tigris by night, I will strike off his head or hang him to
the mast of his craft! And ye had well nigh met him; for here cometh his
carrack.” But the Caliph and Ja’afar said, “O Shaykh, take these two
dinars, and run us under one of yonder arches, that we may hide there
till the Caliph’s barge have passed.” The old man replied, “Hand over
your gold and rely we on Allah, the Almighty!” So he took the two dinars
and embarked them in the boat; and he put off and rowed about with them
awhile, when behold, the barge came down the river in mid-stream, with
lighted flambeaux and cressets flaming therein. Quoth the old man, “Did
not I tell you that the Caliph passed along the river every night?”; and
ceased not muttering, “O Protector, remove not the veils of Thy
protection!” Then he ran the boat under an arch and threw a piece of
black cloth over the Caliph and his companions, who looked out from
under the covering and saw, in the bows of the barge, a man holding in
hand a cresset of red gold which he fed with Sumatran lign-aloes and the
figure was clad in a robe of red satin, with a narrow turband of Mosul
shape round on his head; and over one of his shoulders hung a sleeved
cloak[187] of cramoisy satin, and on the other was a green silk bag full
of the aloes-wood, with which he fed the cresset by way of fire-wood.
And they sighted in the stern another man, clad like the first and
bearing a like cresset, and in the barge were two hundred white slaves,
standing ranged to the right and left; and in the middle a throne of red
gold, whereon sat a handsome young man, like the moon, clad in a dress
of black, embroidered with yellow gold. Before him they beheld a man, as
he were the Wazir Ja’afar, and at his head stood an eunuch, as he were
Masrur, with a drawn sword in his hand; besides a score of
cup-companions. Now when the Caliph saw this, he turned and said, “O
Ja’afar,” and the Minister replied, “At thy service, O Prince of True
Believers.” Then quoth the Caliph, “Belike this is one of my sons,
Al-Amin or Al-Maamun.” Then he examined the young man who sat on the
throne and finding him perfect in beauty and loveliness and stature and
symmetric grace, said to Ja’afar, “Verily, this young man abateth nor
jot nor tittle of the state of the Caliphate! See, there standeth before
him one as he were thyself, O Ja’afar; yonder eunuch who standeth at his
head is as he were Masrur and those courtiers as they were my own. By
Allah, O Ja’afar, my reason is confounded and I am filled with amazement
at this matter!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph
saw this spectacle his reason was confounded and he cried, “By Allah, I
am filled with amazement at this matter!” and Ja’afar replied, “And I
also, by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful.” Then the barge passed on
and disappeared from sight; whereupon the boatman pushed out again into
the stream, saying, “Praised be Allah for safety, since none hath fallen
in with us!” Quoth the Caliph, “O, old man, doth the Caliph come down
the Tigris-river every night?” The boatman answered, “Yes, O my lord;
and on such wise hath he done every night this year past.” “O Shaykh,”
rejoined Al-Rashid, “we wish thee of thy favour to await us here
to-morrow night and we will give thee five golden dinars, for we are
stranger folk, lodging in the quarter Al-Khandak, and we have a mind to
divert ourselves.” Said the oldster, “With joy and good will!” Then the
Caliph and Ja’afar and Masrur left the boatman and returned to the
palace, where they doffed their merchants’ habits and, donning their
apparel of state, sat down each in his several stead; and came the Emirs
and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Officers; and the Divan assembled and
was crowded as of custom. But when day ended and all the folk had
dispersed and wended each his own way, the Caliph said to his Wazir,
“Rise, O Ja’afar, let us go and amuse ourselves by looking on the second
Caliph.” At this, Ja’afar and Masrur laughed, and the three, donning
merchants’ habits, went forth by a secret postern and made their way
through the city, in great glee, till they came to the Tigris, where
they found the greybeard sitting and awaiting them. They embarked with
him in the boat and hardly had they sat down before up came the mock
Caliph’s barge; and, when they looked at it attentively, they saw
therein two hundred Mamelukes other than those of the previous night,
while the link-bearers cried aloud as of wont. Quoth the Caliph, “O
Wazir, had I heard tell of this, I had not believed it; but I have seen
it with my own sight.” Then said he to the boatman, “Take, O Shaykh,
these ten dinars and row us along abreast of them, for they are in the
light and we in the shade, and we can see them and amuse ourselves by
looking on them, but they cannot see us.” So the man took the money and
pushing off ran abreast of them in the shadow of the barge——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that the Caliph Harun
al-Rashid said to the old man, “Take these ten dinars and row us abreast
of them;” to which he replied, “I hear and I obey.” And he fared with
them and ceased not going in the blackness of the barge, till they came
amongst the gardens that lay alongside of them and sighted a large
walled enclosure; and presently, the barge cast anchor before a postern
door, where they saw servants standing with a she-mule saddled and
bridled. Here the mock Caliph landed and, mounting the mule, rode away
with his courtiers and his cup-companions preceded by the
cresset-bearers crying aloud, and followed by his household which busied
itself in his service. Then Harun al-Rashid, Ja’afar and Masrur landed
also and, making their way through the press of servants, walked on
before them. Presently, the cresset-bearers espied them and seeing three
persons in merchants’ habits, and strangers to the country, took offence
at them; so they pointed them out and brought them before the other
Caliph, who looked at them and asked, “How came ye to this place and who
brought you at this tide?” They answered, “O our lord, we are foreign
merchants and far from our homes, who arrived here this day and were out
a-walking to-night, and behold, ye came up and these men laid hands on
us and brought us to thy presence; and this is all our story.” Quoth the
mock Caliph, “Since ye be stranger folk no harm shall befal you; but had
ye been of Baghdad, I had struck off your heads.” Then he turned to his
Wazir and said to him, “Take these men with thee; for they are our
guests to-night.” “To hear is to obey, O our lord,” answered he; and
they companied him till they came to a lofty and splendid palace set
upon the firmest base; no Sultan possesseth such a place; rising from
the dusty mould and upon the marges of the clouds laying hold. Its door
was of Indian teak-wood inlaid with gold that glowed; and through it one
passed into a royal-hall in whose midst was a jetting fount girt by a
raised estrade. It was provided with carpets and cushions of brocade and
small pillows and long settees and hanging curtains; it was furnished
with a splendour that dazed the mind and dumbed the tongue, and upon the
door were written these two couplets:—

 A Palace whereon be blessings and praise! ✿ Which with all their beauty
    have robed the Days:
 Where marvels and miracle-sights abound, ✿ And to write its honours the
    pen affrays.

The false Caliph entered with his company, and sat down on a throne of
gold set with jewels and covered with a prayer-carpet of yellow silk;
whilst the boon-companions took their seats and the sword-bearer of high
works stood before him. Then the tables were laid and they ate; after
which the dishes were removed and they washed their hands and the
wine-service was set on with flagons and bowls in due order. The cup
went round till it came to the Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who refused the
draught and the mock Caliph said to Ja’afar, “What mattereth thy friend
that he drinketh not?” He replied, “O my lord, indeed ‘tis a long while
he hath drunk naught of this.” Quoth the sham Caliph, “I have drink
other than this, a kind of apple-wine,[188] that will suit thy
companion.” So he bade them bring the cider which they did forthright
when the false Caliph, coming up to Harun al-Rashid, said to him, “As
often as it cometh to thy turn drink thou of this.” Then they continued
to drink and make merry and pass the cup till the wine rose to their
brains and mastered their wits;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the false Caliph
and his co-sitters sat at their cups and gave not over drinking till the
wine rose to their brains and mastered their wits; and Harun al-Rashid
said to the Minister, “O Ja’afar, by Allah, we have no such vessels as
these. Would to Heaven I knew what manner of man this youth is!” But
while they were talking privily the young man cast a glance upon them
and seeing the Wazir whisper the Caliph said, “’Tis rude to whisper.” He
replied, “No rudeness was meant: this my friend did but say to
me:—Verily I have travelled in most countries and have caroused with the
greatest of Kings and I have companied with noble captains; yet never
saw I a goodlier ordering than this entertainment nor passed a more
delightful night; save that the people of Baghdad are wont to say, Wine
without music often leaves _you_ sick.” When the second Caliph heard
this, he smiled pleasantly and struck with a rod he had in his hand a
round gong;[189] and behold, a door opened and out came a eunuch,
bearing a chair of ivory, inlaid with gold glittering fiery red and
followed by a damsel of passing beauty and loveliness, symmetry and
grace. He set down the chair and the damsel seated herself on it, as she
were the sun shining sheen in a sky serene. In her hand she had a lute
of Hindu make, which she laid in her lap and bent down over it as a
mother bendeth over her little one, and sang to it, after a prelude in
four-and-twenty modes, amazing all wits. Then she returned to the first
mode and to a lively measure chanted these couplets:—

 Love’s tongue within my heart speaks plain to thee, ✿ Telling thee
    clearly I am fain of thee;
 Witness the fevers of a tortured heart, ✿ And ulcered eyelid tear-flood
    rains for thee;
 God’s fate o’ertaketh all created things! ✿ I knew not love till learnt
    Love’s pain of thee.

Now when the mock Caliph heard these lines sung by the damsel, he cried
with a great cry and rent his raiment to the very skirt, whereupon they
let down a curtain over him and brought him a fresh robe, handsomer than
the first. He put it on and sat as before, till the cup came round to
him, when he struck the gong a second time and lo! a door opened and out
of it came a eunuch with a chair of gold, followed by a damsel fairer
than the first, bearing a lute, such as would strike the envious mute.
She sat down on the chair and sang to her instrument these two

 How patient bide, with love in sprite of me, ✿ And tears in tempest[190]
    blinding sight of me?
 By Allah, life has no delight of me! ✿ How gladden heart whose core is
    blight of me?

No sooner had the youth heard this poetry than he cried out with a loud
cry and rent his raiment to the skirt: whereupon they let down the
curtain over him and brought him another suit of clothes. He put it on
and, sitting up as before, fell again to cheerful talk, till the cup
came round to him, when he smote once more upon the gong and out came a
eunuch with a chair, followed by a damsel fairer than she who forewent
her. So she sat down on the chair, with a lute in her hand, and sang
thereto these couplets:—

 Cease ye this farness; ‘bate this pride of you, ✿ To whom my heart
    clings, by life-tide of you!
 Have ruth on hapless, mourning, lover-wretch, ✿ Desire-full, pining,
    passion-tried of you:
 Sickness hath wasted him, whose ecstasy ✿ Prays Heaven it may be
    satisfied of you;
 Oh fullest moons[191] that dwell in deepest heart! ✿ How can I think of
    aught by side of you?

Now when the young man heard these couplets, he cried out with a great
cry and rent his raiment, whereupon they let fall the curtain over him
and brought him other robes. Then he returned to his former case with
his boon-companions and the bowl went round as before, till the cup came
to him, when he struck the gong a fourth time and the door opening, out
came a page-boy bearing a chair followed by a damsel. He set the chair
for her and she sat down thereon and taking the lute, tuned it and sang
to it these couplets:—

 When shall disunion and estrangement end? ✿ When shall my bygone joys
    again be kenned?
 Yesterday we were joined in same abode; ✿ Conversing heedless of each
    envious friend:[192]
 Trickt us that traitor Time, disjoined our lot ✿ And our waste home to
    desert fate condemned:
 Wouldst have me, Grumbler! from my dearling fly? ✿ I find my vitals
    blame will not perpend:
 Cease thou to censure; leave me to repine; ✿ My mind e’er findeth
    thoughts that pleasure lend.
 O Lords[193] of me who brake our troth and plight, ✿ Deem not to lose
    your hold of heart and sprite!

When the false Caliph heard the girl’s song, he cried out with a loud
outcry and rent his raiment——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, When the false Caliph heard the girl’s song, he cried with a
loud outcry and rent his raiment and fell to the ground fainting;
whereupon they would have let down the curtain over him, as of custom;
but its cords stuck fast and Harun al-Rashid, after considering him
carefully, saw on his body the marks of beating with palm-rods and said
to Ja’afar, “By Allah, he is a handsome youth, but a foul thief!”
“Whence knowest thou that, O Commander of the Faithful?” asked Ja’afar,
and the Caliph answered, “Sawest thou not the whip-scars on his ribs?”
Then they let fall the curtain over him and brought him a fresh dress,
which he put on and sat up as before with his courtiers and
cup-companions. Presently he saw the Caliph and Ja’afar whispering
together and said to them, “What is the matter, fair sirs?” Quoth
Ja’afar, “O my lord, all is well,[194] save that this my comrade, who
(as is not unknown to thee) is of the merchant-company and hath visited
all the great cities and countries of the world and hath consorted with
kings and men of highest consideration, saith to me:—Verily, that which
our lord the Caliph hath done this night is beyond measure extravagant,
never saw I any do the like doings in any country; for he hath rent such
and such dresses, each worth a thousand dinars and this is surely
excessive unthriftiness.” Replied the second Caliph, “Ho thou, the money
is my money and the stuff my stuff, and this is by way of largesse to my
suite and servants; for each suit that is rent belongeth to one of my
cup-companions here present, and I assign to them with each suit of
clothes the sum of five hundred dinars.” The Wazir Ja’afar replied,
“Well is whatso thou doest, O our lord,” and recited these two

 Virtue in hand of thee hath built a house, ✿ And to mankind thou dost
    thy wealth expose:
 If an the virtues ever close their doors, ✿ That hand would be a key the
    lock to unclose.

Now when the young man heard these verses recited by the Minister
Ja’afar, he ordered him to be gifted with a thousand dinars and a dress
of honour. Then the cup went round among them and the wine was sweet to
them; but, after a while quoth the Caliph to Ja’afar, “Ask him of the
marks on his sides, that we may see what he will say by way of reply.”
Answered Ja’afar, “Softly, O my lord, be not hasty and soothe thy mind,
for patience is more becoming.” Rejoined the Caliph, “By the life of my
head and by the revered tomb of Al-Abbas,[195] except thou ask him, I
will assuredly stop thy breath!” With this the young man turned towards
the Minister and said to him, “What aileth thee and thy friend to be
whispering together? Tell me what is the matter with you.” “It is
nothing save good,” replied Ja’afar; but the mock Caliph rejoined, “I
conjure thee, by Allah, tell me what aileth you and hide from me nothing
of your case.” Answered the Wazir, “O my lord, verily this one here saw
on thy sides the marks of beating with whips and palm-fronds and
marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel, saying:—How came the Caliph to
be beaten?; and he would fain know the cause of this.” Now when the
youth heard this, he smiled and said, “Know ye that my story is wondrous
and my case marvellous; were it graven with needles on the eye-corners,
it would serve as a warner to whoso would be warned.” And he sighed and
repeated these couplets:—

 Strange is my story, passing prodigy; ✿ By Love I swear, my ways wax
    strait on me!
 An ye desire to hear me, listen, and ✿ Let all in this assembly silent
 Heed ye my words which are of meaning deep, ✿ Nor lies my speech; ‘tis
    truest verity.
 I’m slain[196] by longing and by ardent love; ✿ My slayer’s the pearl of
    fair virginity.
 She hath a jet black eye like Hindi blade, ✿ And bowèd eyebrows shoot
    her archery;
 My heart assures me our Imam is here, ✿ This age’s Caliph, old nobility:
 Your second, Ja’afar hight, is his Wazir; ✿ A Sáhib,[197] Sahib-son of
    high degree:
 The third is called Masrur who wields the sword: ✿ Now, if in words of
    mine some truth you see,
 I have won every wish by this event ✿ Which fills my heart with joy and
    gladdest gree.

When they heard these words Ja’afar swore to him an ambiguous oath that
they were not those he named, whereupon he laughed and said:—Know, O my
lords, that I am not the Commander of the Faithful and that I do but
style myself thus, to win my will of the sons of the city. My true name
is Mohammed Ali, son of Ali the Jeweller, and my father was one of the
notables of Baghdad, who left me great store of gold and silver and
pearls and coral and rubies and chrysolites and other jewels, besides
messuages and lands, Hammam-baths and brickeries, orchards and
flower-gardens. Now as I sat in my shop one day surrounded by my eunuchs
and dependents, behold, there came up a young lady, mounted on a
she-mule and attended by three damsels like moons. Riding up to my shop
she alighted and seated herself by my side and said, “Art thou Mohammed
the Jeweller?” Replied I, “Even so! I am he, thy Mameluke, thy chattel.”
She asked, “Hast thou a necklace of jewels fit for me?” and I answered,
“O my lady, I will show thee what I have; and lay all before thee and,
if any please thee, it will be of thy slave’s good luck; if they please
thee not, of his ill fortune.” Now I had by me an hundred necklaces and
showed them all to her; but none of them pleased her and she said, “I
want a better than those I have seen.” I had a small necklace which my
father had bought at an hundred thousand dinars and whose like was not
to be found with any of the great kings; so I said to her, “O my lady, I
have yet one necklace of fine stones fit for bezels, the like of which
none possesseth, great or small.” Said she, “Show it to me,” so I showed
it to her, and she said, “This is what I wanted and what I have wished
for all my life;” adding, “What is its price?” Quoth I, “It cost my
father an hundred thousand dinars;” and she said, “I will give thee five
thousand dinars to thy profit.” I answered, “O my lady, the necklace and
its owner are at thy service and I cannot gainsay thee.” But she
rejoined, “Needs must thou have the profit, and I am still most grateful
to thee.” Then she rose without stay or delay; and, mounting the mule in
haste, said to me, “O my lord, in Allah’s name, favour us with thy
company to receive the money; for this thy day with us is white as
milk.”[198] So I shut the shop and accompanied her, in all security,
till we came to a house, on which were manifest the signs of wealth and
rank; for its door was wrought with gold and silver and ultramarine, and
thereon were written these two couplets:—

 Hola, thou mansion! woe ne’er enter thee; ✿ Nor be thine owner e’er
    misused of Fate;
 Excellent mansion to all guests art thou, ✿ When other mansions to the
    guest are strait.

The young lady dismounted and entered the house, bidding me sit down on
the bench at the gate, till the money-changer should arrive. So I sat
awhile, when behold, a damsel came out to me and said, “O my lord, enter
the vestibule; for it is a dishonour that thou shouldst sit at the
gate.” Thereupon I arose and entered the vestibule and sat down on the
settle there; and, as I sat, lo! another damsel came out and said to me,
“O my lord, my mistress biddeth thee enter and sit down at the door of
the saloon, to receive thy money.” I entered and sat down, nor had I sat
a moment when behold, a curtain of silk which concealed a throne of gold
was drawn aside, and I saw seated thereon the lady who had made the
purchase; and round her neck she wore the necklace which looked pale and
wan by the side of a face as it were the rounded moon. At her sight, my
wit was troubled and my mind confounded, by reason of her exceeding
beauty and loveliness; but when she saw me she rose from her throne and
coming close up to me, said, “O light of mine eyes, is every handsome
one like thee pitiless to his mistress?” I answered, “O my lady, beauty,
all of it, is in thee and is but one of thy hidden charms.” And she
rejoined, “O Jeweller, know that I love thee and can hardly credit that
I have brought thee hither.” Then she bent towards me and I kissed her
and she kissed me and, as she caressed me, drew me towards her and to
her breast she pressed me.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Jeweller
continued:—Then she bent towards me and kissed and caressed me; and, as
she caressed me, drew me towards her and to her breast she pressed me.
Now she knew by my condition that I had a mind to enjoy her; so she said
to me, “O my lord, wouldst thou foregather with me unlawfully? By Allah,
may he not live who would do the like of this sin and who takes pleasure
in talk unclean! I am a maid, a virgin whom no man hath approached, nor
am I unknown in the city. Knowest thou who I am?” Quoth I, “No, by
Allah, O my lady!”; and quoth she, “I am the Lady Dunyá, daughter of
Yáhyá bin Khálid the Barmecide and sister of Ja’afar, Wazir to the
Caliph.” Now as I heard this, I drew back from her, saying, “O my lady,
it is no fault of mine if I have been over-bold with thee; it was thou
didst encourage me to aspire to thy love, by giving me access to thee.”
She answered, “No harm shall befal thee, and needs must thou attain thy
desire in the only way pleasing to Allah. I am my own mistress and the
Kazi shall act as my guardian in consenting to the marriage contract;
for it is my will that I be to thee wife and thou be to me man.” Then
she sent for the Kazi and the witnesses and busied herself with making
ready; and, when they came, she said to them, “Mohammed Ali, bin Ali the
Jeweller, seeketh me in wedlock and hath given me the necklace to my
marriage-settlement; and I accept and consent.” So they wrote out the
contract of marriage between us; and ere I went in to her the servants
brought the wine-furniture and the cups passed round after the fairest
fashion and the goodliest ordering; and, when the wine mounted to our
heads, she ordered a damsel, a lute-player,[199] to sing. So she took
the lute and sang to a pleasing and stirring motive these couplets:—

 He comes; and fawn and branch and moon delight these eyne ✿ Fie[200] on
    his heart who sleeps o’ nights without repine;
 Fair youth, for whom Heaven willed to quench in cheek one light, ✿ And
    left another light on other cheek bright li’en:
 I fain finesse my chiders when they mention him, ✿ As though the hearing
    of his name I would decline;
 And willing ear I lend when they of other speak; ✿ Yet would my soul
    within outflow in floods of brine:
 Beauty’s own prophet, he is all a miracle ✿ Of heavenly grace, and
    greatest shows his face for sign:[201]
 To prayer Bilál-like cries that Mole upon his cheek ✿ To ward from
    pearly brow all eyes of ill design:[202]
 The censors of their ignorance would my love dispel ✿ But after Faith I
    can’t at once turn Infidel.

We were ravished by the sweet music she made striking the strings, and
the beauty of the verses she sang; and the other damsels went on to sing
and to recite one after another, till ten had so done; when the Lady
Dunya took the lute and playing a lively measure, chanted these

 I swear by swayings of that form so fair, ✿ Aye from thy parting fiery
    pangs I bear:
 Pity a heart which burneth in thy love, ✿ O bright as fullest moon in
    blackest air!
 Vouchsafe thy boons to him who ne’er will cease ✿ In light of wine-cup
    all thy charms declare,
 Amid the roses which with varied hues ✿ Are to the myrtle-bush[203] a
    mere despair.

When she had finished her verse; I took the lute from her hands and,
playing a quaint and no vulgar prelude sang the following verses:—

 Laud to my Lord who gave thee all of loveliness; ✿ Myself amid thy
    thralls I willingly confess:
 O thou, whose eyes and glances captivate mankind, ✿ Pray that I ‘scape
    those arrows shot with all thy stress!
 Two hostile rivals water and enflaming fire ✿ Thy cheek hath married,
    which for marvel I profess:
 Thou art Sa’ír in heart of me and eke Na’ím;[204] ✿ Thou _agro-dolce_,
    eke heart’s sweetest bitterness.

When she heard this my song she rejoiced with exceeding joy; then,
dismissing her slave-women, she brought me to a most goodly place, where
they had spread us a bed of various colours. She did off her clothes and
I had a lover’s privacy of her and found her a pearl unpierced and a
filly unridden. So I rejoiced in her and never in my born days spent I a
more delicious night.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mohammed bin Ali
the Jeweller continued:—So I went in unto the Lady Dunya, daughter of
Yahya bin Khalid the Barmecide, and I found her a pearl unthridden and a
filly unridden. So I rejoiced in her and repeated these couplets:—

 O Night here stay! I want no morning light; ✿ My lover’s face to me is
    lamp and light:[205]
 As ring of ring-dove round his neck’s my arm; ✿ And made my palm his
    mouth-veil; and, twas right.
 This be the crown of bliss, and ne’er we’ll cease ✿ To clip, nor care to
    be in other plight.

And I abode with her a whole month, forsaking shop and family and home,
till one day she said to me, “O light of my eyes, O my lord Mohammed, I
have determined to go to the Hammam to-day; so sit thou on this couch
and rise not from thy place, till I return to thee.” “I hear and I
obey,” answered I, and she made me swear to this; after which she took
her women and went off to the bath. But by Allah, O my brothers, she had
not reached the head of the street ere the door opened and in came an
old woman, who said to me, “O my lord Mohammed, the Lady Zubaydah
biddeth thee to her, for she hath heard of thy fine manners and
accomplishments and skill in singing.” I answered, “By Allah, I will not
rise from my place, till the Lady Dunya come back.” Rejoined the old
woman, “O my lord, do not anger the Lady Zubaydah with thee and vex her
so as to make her thy foe: nay, rise up and speak with her and return to
thy place.” So I rose at once and followed her into the presence of the
Lady Zubaydah and, when I entered her presence she said to me, “O light
of the eye, art thou the Lady Dunya’s beloved?” “I am thy Mameluke, thy
chattel,” replied I. Quoth she, “Sooth spake he who reported thee
possessed of beauty and grace and good breeding and every fine quality;
indeed, thou surpassest all praise and all report. But now sing to me,
that I may hear thee.” Quoth I, “Hearkening and obedience;” so she
brought me a lute, and I sang to it these couplets:—

 The hapless lover’s heart is of his wooing weary grown; ✿ And hand of
    sickness wasted him till naught but skin and bone:
 Who should be amid the riders which the haltered camels urge, ✿ But that
    same lover whose beloved doth in the litters wone:

 To Allah’s charge I leave that moon-like Beauty in your tents ✿ Whom my
    heart loves, albe my glance on her may ne’er be thrown.
 Now she is fain; then she is fierce: how sweet her coyness shows; ✿ Yea,
    sweet whatever doth or saith to lover lovèd one!

When I had finished my song she said to me, “Allah assain thy body and
thy voice! Verily, thou art perfect in beauty and good breeding and
singing. But now rise and return to thy place, ere the Lady Dunya come
back, lest she find thee not and be wroth with thee.” Then I kissed the
ground before her and the old woman forewent me till I reached the door
whence I came. So I entered and, going up to the couch, found that my
wife had come back from the bath and was lying asleep there. Seeing this
I sat down at her feet and rubbed them; whereupon she opened her eyes
and seeing me, drew up both her feet and gave me a kick that threw me
off the couch,[206] saying, “O traitor, thou hast been false to thine
oath and hast perjured thyself. Thou swarest to me that thou wouldst not
rise from thy place; yet didst thou break thy promise and go to the Lady
Zubaydah. By Allah, but that I fear public scandal, I would pull down
her palace over her head!” Then said she to her black slave, “O Sawáb,
arise and strike off this lying traitor’s head, for we have no further
need of him.” So the slave came up to me and, tearing a strip from his
skirt, bandaged with it my eyes[207] and would have struck off my
head;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mohammed the
Jeweller continued:—So the slave came up to me and, tearing a strip from
his skirt, bandaged with it my eyes and would have struck off my head;
but all her women, great and small, rose and came up to her and said to
her, “O our lady, this is not the first who hath erred: indeed, he knew
not thy humour and hath done thee no offence deserving death.” Replied
she, “By Allah, I must needs set my mark on him.” And she bade them bash
me; so they beat me on my ribs and the marks ye saw are the scars of
that fustigation. Then she ordered them to cast me out, and they carried
me to a distance from the house and threw me down like a log. After a
time I rose and dragged myself little by little to my own place, where I
sent for a surgeon and showed him my hurts; and he comforted me and did
his best to cure me. As soon as I was recovered I went to the Hammam
and, as my pains and sickness had left me, I repaired to my shop and
took and sold all that was therein. With the proceeds, I bought me four
hundred white slaves, such as no King ever got together, and caused two
hundred of them to ride out with me every day. Then I made me yonder
barge whereon I spent five thousand gold pieces; and styled myself
Caliph and appointed each of my servants to the charge of some one of
the Caliph’s officers and clad him in official habit. Moreover, I made
proclamation, “Whoso goeth a-pleasuring on the Tigris by night, I will
strike off his head, without ruth or delay;” and on such wise have I
done this whole year past, during which time I have heard no news of the
lady neither happened upon any trace of her. Then wept he copiously and
repeated these couplets:—

 By Allah! while the days endure ne’er shall forget her I, ✿ Nor draw to
    any nigh save those who draw her to me nigh:
 Like to the fullest moon her form and favour show to me; ✿ Laud to her
    All-creating Lord, laud to the Lord on high!
 She left me full of mourning, sleepless, sick with pine and pain ✿ And
    ceaseth not my heart to yearn her mystery[208] to espy.

Now when Harun al-Rashid heard the young man’s story and knew the
passion and transport and love-lowe that afflicted him, he was moved to
compassion and wonder and said, “Glory be to Allah, who hath appointed
to every effect a cause!” Then they craved the young man’s permission to
depart; which being granted, they took leave of him, the Caliph
purposing to do him justice meet, and him with the utmost munificence
entreat; and they returned to the palace of the Caliphate, where they
changed clothes for others befitting their state and sat down, whilst
Masrur the Sworder of High Justice stood before them. After awhile,
quoth the Caliph to Ja’afar, “O Wazir, bring me the young man”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the Caliph
to his Minister, “Bring me the young man with whom we were last night.”
“I hear and obey,” answered Ja’afar and, going to the youth, saluted
him, saying, “Obey the summons of the Commander of the Faithful, the
Caliph Harun al-Rashid.” So he returned with him to the palace, in great
anxiety by reason of the summons; and, going in to the King, kissed
ground before him; and offered up a prayer for the endurance of his
glory and prosperity, for the accomplishment of his desires, for the
continuance of his beneficence and for the cessation of evil and
punishment; ordering his speech as best he might and ending by saying,
“Peace be on thee, O Prince of True Believers and Protector of the folk
of the Faith!” Then he repeated these two couplets:—

 Kiss thou his fingers which no fingers are; ✿ Keys of our daily bread
    those fingers ken:
 And praise his actions which no actions are; ✿ But precious necklaces
    round necks of men.

So the Caliph smiled in his face and returned his salute, looking on him
with the eye of favour; then he bade him draw near and sit down before
him and said to him, “O Mohammed Ali, I wish thee to tell me what befel
thee last night, for it was strange and passing strange.” Quoth the
youth, “Pardon, O Commander of the Faithful, give me the kerchief of
immunity, that my dread may be appeased and my heart eased.” Replied the
Caliph, “I promise thee safety from fear and woes.” So the young man
told him his story from first to last, whereby the Caliph knew him to be
a lover and severed from his beloved and said to him, “Desirest thou
that I restore her to thee?” “This were of the bounty of the Commander
of the Faithful,” answered the youth and repeated these two couplets:—

 Ne’er cease thy gate be Ka’abah to mankind; ✿ Long may its threshold
    dust man’s brow beseem!
 That o’er all countries it may be proclaimed, ✿ This is the Place and
    thou art Ibrahim.[209]

Thereupon the Caliph turned to his Minister and said to him, “O Ja’afar,
bring me thy sister, the Lady Dunya, daughter of the Wazir Yahya bin
Khalid!” “I hear and I obey,” answered he and fetched her without let or
delay. Now when she stood before the Caliph he said to her, “Dost thou
know who this is?”; and she replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, how
should women have knowledge of men?”[210] So the Caliph smiled and said,
“O Dunya, this is thy beloved, Mohammed bin Ali the Jeweller. We are
acquainted with his case, for we have heard the whole story from
beginning to end, and have apprehended its inward and its outward; and
it is no more hidden from me, for all it was kept in secrecy.” Replied
she, “O Commander of the Faithful, this was written in the Book of
Destiny; I crave the forgiveness of Almighty Allah for the wrong I have
wrought, and pray thee to pardon me of thy favour.” At this the Caliph
laughed and, summoning the Kazi and witnesses, renewed the
marriage-contract between the Lady Dunya and her husband, Mohammed Ali
son of the Jeweller whereby there betided them, both her and him the
utmost felicity, and to their enviers mortification and misery.
Moreover, he made Mohammed Ali one of his boon-companions, and they
abode in joy and cheer and gladness, till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies. And men also relate
the pleasant tale of


Footnote 186:

  Arab. “Harrák,” whence probably our “Carack” and “Carrack” (large
  ship), in dictionaries derived from Carrus Marinus.

Footnote 187:

  Arab. “Gháshiyah” = lit. an étui, a cover; and often a saddle-cover
  carried by the groom.

Footnote 188:

  Arab. “Sharáb al-tuffáh” = melapio or cider.

Footnote 189:

  Arab. “Mudawwarah,” which generally means a small round cushion, of
  the Marocco-work well known in England. But one does not strike a
  cushion for a signal; so we must revert to the original sense of the
  word “something round,” as a circular plate of wood or metal, a gong,
  a “bell” like that of the Eastern Christians.

Footnote 190:

  Arab. “Túfán” (from the root tauf, going round) a storm, a circular
  gale, a cyclone; the term universally applied in Al-Islam to the
  “Deluge,” the “Flood” of Noah. The word is purely Arabic; with a
  quaint likeness to the Gr. τυφῶν, in Pliny typhon, whirlwind, a giant
  (Typhœus) whence “Typhon” applied to the great Egyptian god “Set.” The
  Arab word extended to China and was given to the hurricanes which the
  people call “Tae-foong,” great winds, a second whimsical resemblance.
  But Sir John Davis (ii. 383) is hardly correct when he says, “the name
  typhoon, in itself a corruption of the Chinese term, bears a singular
  (though we must suppose an accidental) resemblance to the Greek

Footnote 191:

  Plurale majestatis acting superlative; not as Lane supposes (ii. 224)
  “a number of full moons, not only one.” Eastern tongues abound in
  instances beginning with Genesis (i. 1), “Gods (he) created the
  heaven,” etc. It is still preserved in Badawi language and a wildling
  greatly to the astonishment of the citizens will address his friend
  “Yá Rijál” = O men!

Footnote 192:

  Arab. “Hásid” = an envier: in the fourth couplet “Azúl” (Azzál, etc.)
  = a chider, blamer; elsewhere “Lawwám” = accuser, censor, slanderer;
  “Wáshí” = whisperer, informer; “Rakib” = spying, envious rival;
  “Ghábit” = one emulous without envy; and “Shámit” = a “blue” (fierce)
  enemy who rejoices over another’s calamities. Arabic literature
  abounds in allusions to this unpleasant category of “damned
  ill-natured friends;” and Spanish and Portuguese letters, including
  Brazilian, have thoroughly caught the trick. In the Eastern mind the
  “blamer” would be aided by the “evil eye.”

Footnote 193:

  Another plural for a singular, “O my beloved!”

Footnote 194:

  Arab. “Khayr” = good news, a euphemistic reply even if the tidings be
  of the worst.

Footnote 195:

  Abbás (from ‘Abs, being austere; and meaning the “grim-faced”) son of
  Abd al-Muttalib; uncle to Mohammed and eponym of the Abbaside
  Khalifahs. A.D. 749 = 1258.

Footnote 196:

  Katíl = the Irish “kilt.”

Footnote 197:

  This has been explained as a wazirial title of the time.

Footnote 198:

  The phrase is intelligible in all tongues: in Arabic it is opposed to
  “dark as night,” “black as mud” and a host of unsavoury antitheses.

Footnote 199:

  Arab. “Awwádah,” the popular word; not Udíyyah as in Night cclvi. “Ud”
  liter. = wood and “Al-Ud” = the wood is, I have noted, the origin of
  our “lute.” The Span. “laud” is larger and deeper than the guitar, and
  its seven strings are played upon with a plectrum of buffalo-horn.

Footnote 200:

  Arab. “Tabban lahu!” = loss (or ruin) to him. So “bu’dan lahu” = away
  with him, abeat in malam rem; and “Suhkan lahu” = Allah and mercy be
  far from him, no hope for him!

Footnote 201:

  Arab. “Áyah” = Koranic verset, sign, miracle.

Footnote 202:

  The mole on cheek calls to prayers for his preservation; and it is
  black as Bilal the Abyssinian. Fajran may here mean either “A-morning”
  or “departing from grace.”

Footnote 203:

  _i.e._ the young beard (myrtle) can never hope to excel the beauties
  of his cheeks (roses).

Footnote 204:

  _i.e._ Hell and Heaven.

Footnote 205:

  The first couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. (ii. 171) which gives only
  a single couplet; but it is found in the Bres. Edit. which entitles
  this tale “Story of the lying (or false = kázib) Khalífah.” Lane (ii.
  392) of course does not translate it.

Footnote 206:

  In the East cloth of frieze that mates with cloth of gold must expect
  this treatment. Fath Ali Shah’s daughters always made their husbands
  enter the nuptial bed by the foot end.

Footnote 207:

  This is always done and for two reasons; the first humanity, that the
  blow may fall unawares; and, secondly, to prevent the sufferer
  wincing, which would throw out the headsman.

Footnote 208:

  Arab. “Ma’áni-há,” lit. her meanings, _i.e._ her inner woman opposed
  to the formal seen by every one.

Footnote 209:

  Described in my Pilgrimage (iii. 168, 174 and 175): it is the stone
  upon which the Patriarch stood when he built the Ka’abah and is said
  to show the impress of the feet; but unfortunately I could not afford
  five dollars entrance-fee. Caliph Omar placed the station where it now
  is; before his time it adjoined the Ka’abah. The meaning of the text
  is, Be thy court a place of pious visitation, etc. At the “Station of
  Abraham” prayer is especially blessed and expects to be granted. “This
  is the place where Abraham stood; and whoever entereth therein shall
  be safe” (Koran ii. 119). For the other fifteen places where petitions
  are favourably heard by Heaven see ibid. iii. 211-12.

Footnote 210:

  As in the West, so in the East, women answer an unpleasant question by
  a counter-question.

                            ALI THE PERSIAN.

It is said that the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, being restless one night,
sent for his Wazir and said to him, “O Ja’afar, I am sore wakeful and
heavy-hearted this night, and I desire of thee what may solace my spirit
and cause my breast to broaden with amusement.” Quoth Ja’afar, “O
Commander of the Faithful, I have a friend, by name Ali the Persian, who
hath store of tales and pleasant stories, such as lighten the heart and
make care depart.” Quoth the Caliph, “Fetch him to me,” and quoth
Ja’afar, “Hearkening and obedience;” and, going out from before him,
sent to seek Ali the Persian and when he came said to him, “Answer the
summons of the Commander of the Faithful.” “To hear is to obey,”
answered Ali;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian
replied, “To hear is to obey;” and at once followed the Wazir into the
presence of the Caliph who bade him be seated and said to him, “O Ali,
my heart is heavy within me this night and it hath come to my ear that
thou hast great store of tales and anecdotes; so I desire of thee that
thou let me hear what will relieve my despondency and brighten my
melancholy.” Said he, “O Commander of the Faithful, shall I tell thee
what I have seen with my eyes or what I have heard with my ears?” He
replied, “An thou have seen aught worth the telling, let me hear that.”
Replied Ali:—Hearkening and obedience. Know thou, O Commander of the
Faithful, that some years ago I left this my native city of Baghdad on a
journey, having with me a lad who carried a light leathern bag.
Presently we came to a certain city, where, as I was buying and selling
behold, a rascally Kurd fell on me and seized my wallet perforce,
saying, “This is my bag, and all which is in it is my property.”
Thereupon, I cried aloud “Ho Moslems,[211] one and all, deliver me from
the hand of the vilest of oppressors!” But the folk said, “Come, both of
you, to the Kazi and abide ye by his judgement with joint consent.” So I
agreed to submit myself to such decision and we both presented ourselves
before the Kazi, who said, “What bringeth you hither and what is your
case and your quarrel?” Quoth I, “We are men at difference, who appeal
to thee and make complaint and submit ourselves to thy judgement.” Asked
the Kazi, “Which of you is the complainant?”; so the Kurd came
forward[212] and said, “Allah preserve our lord the Kazi! Verily, this
bag is my bag and all that is in it is my swag. It was lost from me and
I found it with this man mine enemy.” The Kazi asked, “When didst thou
lose it?”; and the Kurd answered, “But yesterday, and I passed a
sleepless night by reason of its loss.” “And it be thy bag,” quoth the
Kazi, “tell me what is in it.” Quoth the Kurd, “There were in my bag two
silver styles for eye-powder and antimony for the eyes and a kerchief
for the hands, wherein I had laid two gilt cups and two candlesticks.
Moreover it contained two tents and two platters and two spoons and a
cushion and two leather rugs and two ewers and a brass tray and two
basins and a cooking-pot and two water-jars and a ladle and a
sacking-needle and a she-cat and two bitches and a wooden trencher and
two sacks and two saddles and a gown and two fur pelisses and a cow and
two calves and a she-goat and two sheep and an ewe and two lambs and two
green pavilions and a camel and two she-camels and a lioness and two
lions and a she-bear and two jackals and a mattrass and two sofas and an
upper chamber and two saloons and a portico and two sitting-rooms and a
kitchen with two doors and a company of Kurds who will bear witness that
the bag is my bag.” Then said the Kazi to me, “And thou, sirrah, what
sayest thou?” So I came forward, O commander of the Faithful (and indeed
the Kurd’s speech had bewildered me) and said, “Allah advance our lord
the Kazi! Verily, there was naught in this my wallet, save a little
ruined tenement and another without a door and a dog-house and a boys’
school and youths playing dice and tents and tent-ropes and the cities
of Bassorah and Baghdad and the palace of Shaddad bin Ad and an
ironsmith’s forge and a fishing-net and cudgels and pickets and girls
and boys and a thousand pimps who will testify that the bag is my bag.”
Now when the Kurd heard my words, he wept and wailed and said, “O my
lord the Kazi, this my bag is known and what is in it is a matter of
renown; for in this bag there be castles and citadels and cranes and
beasts of prey and men playing chess and draughts. Furthermore, in this
my bag is a brood-mare and two colts and a stallion and two blood-steeds
and two long lances; and it containeth eke a lion and two hares and a
city and two villages and a whore and two sharking panders and an
hermaphrodite and two gallows-birds and a blind man and two wights with
good sight and a limping cripple and two lameters and a Christian
ecclesiastic and two deacons and a patriarch and two monks and a Kazi
and two assessors, who will be evidence that the bag is my bag.” Quoth
the Kazi to me, “And what sayst thou, O Ali?” So, O Commander of the
Faithful, being filled with rage, I came forward and said, “Allah keep
our lord the Kazi!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Persian
continued:—So being filled with rage, O Commander of the Faithful, I
came forward and said, “Allah keep our lord the Kazi! I had in this my
wallet a coat of mail and a broadsword and armouries and a thousand
fighting rams and a sheep-fold with its pasturage and a thousand barking
dogs and gardens and vines and flowers and sweet smelling herbs and figs
and apples and statues and pictures and flagons and goblets and
fair-faced slave-girls and singing-women and marriage-feasts and tumult
and clamour and great tracts of land and brothers of success, which were
robbers, and a company of daybreak-raiders with swords and spears and
bows and arrows and true friends and dear ones and intimates and
comrades and men imprisoned for punishment and cup-companions and a drum
and flutes and flags and banners and boys and girls and brides (in all
their wedding bravery), and singing-girls and five Abyssinian women and
three Hindi maidens and four damsels of Al-Medinah and a score of Greek
girls and eighty Kurdish dames and seventy Georgian ladies and Tigris
and Euphrates and a fowling net and a flint and steel and many-columned
Iram and a thousand rogues and pimps and horse-courses and stables and
mosques and baths and a builder and a carpenter and a plank and a nail
and a black slave with his flageolet and a captain and a caravan-leader
and towns and cities and an hundred thousand dinars and Cufa and
Anbár[213] and twenty chests full of stuffs and twenty store-houses for
victual and Gaza and Askalon and from Damietta to Al-Sawán[214]; and the
palace of Kisra Anushirwán and the kingdom of Solomon and from Wadi
Nu’umán to the land of Khorasán and Balkh and Ispahán and from India to
the Sudán. Therein also (may Allah prolong the life of our lord the
Kazi!) are doublets and cloths and a thousand sharp razors to shave off
the Kazi’s beard, except he fear my resentment and adjudge the bag to be
my bag.” Now when the Kazi heard what I and the Kurd avouched, he was
confounded and said, “I see ye twain be none other than two pestilent
fellows, atheistical villains who make sport of Kazis and magistrates
and stand not in fear of reproach. Never did tongue tell nor ear hear
aught more extraordinary than that which ye pretend. By Allah, from
China to Shajarat Umm Ghaylán, nor from Fars to Sudan nor from Wadi
Nu’uman to Khorasan, was ever heard the like of what ye avouch or
credited the like of what ye affirm. Say, fellows, be this bag a
bottomless sea or the Day of Resurrection that shall gather together the
just and unjust?” Then the Kazi bade them open the bag; so I opened it
and behold, there was in it bread and a lemon and cheese and olives. So
I threw the bag down before the Kurd and ganged my gait. Now when the
Caliph heard this tale from Ali the Persian, he laughed till he fell on
his back and made him a handsome present.[215] And men also relate a


Footnote 211:

  This “Cry of Haro” often occurs throughout The Nights. In real life it
  is sure to collect a crowd, especially if an Infidel (non-Moslem) be
  its cause.

Footnote 212:

  In the East a cunning fellow always makes himself the claimant or

Footnote 213:

  On the Euphrates some 40 miles west of Baghdad. The word is written
  “Anbár” and pronounced “Ambár” as usual with the “n” before “b”; the
  case of the Greek double Gamma.

Footnote 214:

  Syene on the Nile.

Footnote 215:

  The tale is in the richest Rabelaisian humour; and the requisitions of
  the “Saj’a” (rhymed prose) in places explain the grotesque
  combinations. It is difficult to divine why Lane omits it; probably he
  held a hearty laugh not respectable.


It is said that Ja’afar the Barmecide was one night carousing with
Al-Rashid, who said, “O Ja’afar, it hath reached me that thou hast
bought such and such a slave-girl. Now I have long sought her for she is
passing fair; and my heart is taken up with love of her, so do thou sell
her to me.” He replied, “I will not sell her, O Commander of the
Faithful.” Quoth he, “Then give her to me.” Quoth the other, “Nor will I
give her.” Then Al-Rashid exclaimed, “Be Zubaydah triply divorced an
thou shall not either sell or give her to me!” Then Ja’afar, exclaimed,
“Be my wife triply divorced an I either sell or give her to thee!” After
awhile they recovered from their tipsiness and were aware of having
fallen into a grave dilemma, but knew not by what device to extricate
themselves. Then said Al-Rashid, “None can help us in this strait but
Abú Yúsuf.”[216] So they sent for him, and this was in the middle of the
night; and when the messenger reached him, he arose in alarm, saying to
himself, “I should not be sent for at this tide and time, save by reason
of some question of moment to Al-Islam.” So he went out in haste and
mounted his she-mule, saying to his servant, “Take the mule’s nose-bag
with thee; it may be she hath not finished her feed; and when we come to
the Caliph’s palace, put the bag on her, that she may eat what is left
of her fodder, during the last of the night.” And the man replied, “I
hear and obey.” Now when the Imam was admitted to the presence,
Al-Rashid rose to receive him and seated him on the couch beside himself
(where he was wont to seat none save the Kazi), and said to him, “We
have not sent for thee at this untimely time and tide save to advise us
upon a grave matter, which is such and such and wherewith we know not
how to deal.” And he expounded to him the case. Abu Yusuf answered, “O
Commander of the Faithful, this is the easiest of things.” Then he
turned to Ja’afar and said, “O Ja’afar, sell half of her to the
Commander of the Faithful and give him the other half; so shall ye both
be quit of your oaths.” The Caliph was delighted with this and both did
as he prescribed. Then said Al-Rashid, “Bring me the girl at once,”—
—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

       Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph Harun
al-Rashid commanded, “Bring me the girl at once, for I long for her
exceedingly.” So they brought her and the Caliph said to Abu Yusuf, “I
have a mind to have her forthright; for I cannot bear to abstain from
her during the prescribed period of purification; now how is this to be
done?” Abu Yusuf replied, “Bring me one of thine own male slaves who
hath never been manumitted.” So they brought one and Abu Yusuf said,
“Give me leave to marry her to him; then let him divorce her before
consummation; and thus shall it be lawful for thee to lie with her
before purification.” This second expedient pleased the Caliph yet more
than the first; he sent for the Mameluke and, whenas he came, said to
the Kazi, “I authorise thee to marry her to him.” So the Imam proposed
the marriage to the slave, who accepted it and performed the ceremony;
after which he said to the slave, “Divorce her, and thou shalt have an
hundred dinars.” But he replied, “I won’t do this;” and the Imam went on
to increase his offer, and the slave to refuse till he bid him a
thousand dinars. Then the man asked him, “Doth it rest with me to
divorce her, or with thee or with the Commander of the Faithful?” He
answered, “It is in thy hand.” “Then by Allah,” quoth the slave, “I will
never do it; no, never!” Hearing these words the Caliph was exceeding
wroth and said to the Imam, “What is to be done, O Abu Yusuf?” Replied
he, “Be not concerned, O Commander of the Faithful; the thing is easy.
Make this slave the damsel’s chattel.” Quoth Al-Rashid, “I give him to
her;” and the Imam said to the girl, “Say:—I accept.” So she said, “I
accept;” whereon quoth Abu Yusuf, “I pronounce separation from bed and
board and divorce between them, for that he hath become her property,
and so the marriage is annulled.” With this, Al-Rashid rose to his feet
and exclaimed, “It is the like of thee that shall be Kazi in my time.”
Then he called for sundry trays of gold and emptied them before Abu
Yusuf, to whom he said, “Hast thou wherein to put this?” The Imam
bethought him of the mule’s nose-bag; so he sent for it and, filling it
with gold, took it and went home. And on the morrow, he said to his
friends, “There is no easier nor shorter road to the goods of this world
and the next, than that of religious learning; for, see, I have gotten
all this money by answering two or three questions.” So consider thou, O
polite reader,[217] the pleasantness of this anecdote, for it compriseth
divers goodly features, amongst which are the complaisance of Ja’afar to
Al-Rashid, and the wisdom of the Caliph who chose such a Kazi and the
excellent learning of Abu Yusuf, may Almighty Allah have mercy on their
souls one and all! And they also tell the


Footnote 216:

  A lawyer of the eighth century, one of the chief pupils of the Imam
  Abu Hanifah, and Kazi of Baghdad under the third, fourth and fifth
  Abbasides. The tale is told in the quasi-historical Persian work
  “Nigáristán” (The Picture-gallery), and is repeated by Richardson,
  Diss. 7, xiii. None seem to have remarked that the distinguished
  legist, Abu Yusuf, was on this occasion a law-breaker; the Kazi’s duty
  being to carry out the code, not to break it by the tricks of a
  cunning attorney. In Harun’s day, however, some regard was paid to
  justice; not under his successors, one of whom, Al-Muktadir bi’lláh
  (A.H. 295 = 907), made the damsel Yamika President of the Diwán
  al-Mazálim (Court of the Wronged), a tribunal which took cognizance of
  tyranny and oppression in high places.

Footnote 217:

  Here the writer evidently forgets that Shahrazad is telling the story
  to the King, as Boccaccio (ii. 7) forgets that Pamfilo is speaking.
  Such inconsequences are common in Eastern story-books and a
  goody-goody sentiment is always heartily received as in an English


When Khálid ibn Abdallah al-Kasri[218] was Emir of Bassorah, there came
to him one day a company of men dragging a youth of exceeding beauty and
lofty bearing and perfumed attire; whose aspect expressed good breeding,
abundant wit and dignity of the gravest. They brought him before the
Governor, who asked what it was and they replied, “This fellow is a
thief, whom we caught last night in our dwelling-house.” Whereupon
Khalid looked at him and was pleased with his well-favouredness and
elegant aspect; so he said to the others, “Loose him,” and going up to
the young man, asked what he had to say for himself. He replied, “Verily
the folk have spoken truly and the case is as they have said.” Quoth
Khalid, “And what moved thee to this and thou so noble of port and
comely of mien?” Quoth the other “The lust after worldly good, and the
ordinance of Allah (extolled and exalted be He!).” Rejoined Khalid, “Be
thy mother bereaved of thee![219] Hadst thou not, in thy fair face and
sound sense and good breeding, what should restrain thee from thieving?”
Answered the young man, “O Emir, leave this talk and proceed to what
Almighty Allah hath ordained; this is what my hands have earned, and,
‘God is not unjust towards mankind.’”[220] So Khalid was silent awhile
considering the matter; then he bade the young man draw near him and
said, “Verily, thy confession before witnesses perplexeth me, for I
cannot believe thee to be a thief: haply thou hast some story that is
other than one of theft; and if so tell it me.” Replied the youth, “O
Emir, imagine naught other than what I have confessed to in thy
presence; for I have no tale to tell save that verily I entered these
folks’ house and stole what I could lay hands on, and they caught me and
took the stuff from me and carried me before thee.” Then Khalid bade
clap him in gaol and commanded a crier to cry throughout Bassorah, “O
yes! O yes! Whoso be minded to look upon the punishment of such an one,
the thief, and the cutting-off of his hand, let him be present to-morrow
morning at such a place!” Now when the young man found himself in
prison, with irons on his feet, he sighed heavily and with tears
streaming from his eyes extemporised these couplets:—

 When Khálid menaced off to strike my hand ✿ If I refuse to tell him of
    her case;
 Quoth I, “Far, far fro’ me that I should tell ✿ A love, which ever shall
    my heart engrace;
 Loss of my hand for sin I have confessed ✿ To me were easier than to
    shame her face.”

The warders heard him and went and told Khalid who, when it was dark
night, sent for the youth and conversed with him. He found him clever
and well-bred, intelligent, lively and a pleasant companion; so he
ordered him food and he ate. Then after an hour’s talk said Khalid, “I
know indeed thou hast a story to tell that is no thief’s; so when the
Kazi shall come to-morrow morning and shall question thee about this
robbery, do thou deny the charge of theft and avouch what may avert the
pain and penalty of cutting off thy hand; for the Apostle (whom Allah
bless and keep!) saith:—In cases of doubt, eschew punishment.” Then he
sent him back to prison——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalid, after
conversing with the youth, sent him back to prison, where he passed the
night. And when morning dawned the folk assembled to see his hand cut
off, nor was there a soul in Bassorah, man or woman, but was present to
look upon the punishment of that handsome youth. Then Khalid mounted in
company of the notables of the city and others; and, summoning all four
Kazis, sent for the young man, who came hobbling and stumbling in his
fetters. There was none saw him but wept over him and the women all
lifted up their voices in lamentation as for the dead. Then the Kazi
bade silence the women and said to the prisoner, “These folk avouch that
thou didst enter their dwelling-house and steal their goods: belike thou
stolest less than a quarter dinar[221]?” Replied he, “Nay, I stole that
and more.” “Peradventure,” rejoined the Kazi, “thou art partner with the
folk in some of the goods?” Quoth the young man; “Not so: it was all
theirs, and I had no right in it.” At this the Khalid was wroth and rose
and smote him on the face with his whip, applying to his own case this

 Man wills his wish to him accorded be; ✿ But Allah naught accords save
    what He wills.

Then he called for the butcher to do the work, who came and drew forth
his knife and taking the prisoner’s hand set the blade to it, when,
behold, a damsel pressed through the crowd of women clad in tattered
clothes,[222] and cried out and threw herself on the young man. Then she
unveiled and showed a face like the moon; whereupon the people raised a
mighty clamour and there was like to have been a riot amongst them and a
violent scene. But she cried out her loudest, saying, “I conjure thee,
by Allah, O Emir, hasten not to cut off this man’s hand, till thou have
read what is in this scroll!” So saying, she gave him a scroll, and
Khalid took it and opened it and read therein these couplets:—

 “Ah Khalid! this one is a slave of love distraught, ✿ And these bowed
    eyelashes sent shaft that caused his grief:
 Shot him an arrow sped by eyes of mine, for he, ✿ Wedded to burning
    love, of ills hath no relief:
 He hath avowed a deed he never did, the while ✿ Deeming this better than
    disgrace of lover lief:
 Bear then, I pray, with this distracted lover mine ✿ Whose noble nature
    falsely calls himself a thief!”

When Khalid had read these lines; he withdrew himself from the people
and summoned the girl and questioned her; and she told him that the
young man was her lover and she his mistress; and that thinking to visit
her he came to the dwelling of her people and threw a stone into the
house, to warn her of his coming. Her father and brothers heard the
noise of the stone and sallied out on him; but he, hearing them coming,
caught up all the household stuff and made himself appear a robber to
cover his mistress’s honour. “Now when they saw him they seized him
(continued she), crying:—A thief! and brought him before thee, whereupon
he confessed to the robbery and persisted in his confession, that he
might spare me disgrace; and this he did, making himself a thief, of the
exceeding nobility and generosity of his nature.” Khalid answered, “He
is indeed worthy to have his desire;” and, calling the young man to him,
kissed him between the eyes. Then he sent for the girl’s father and
bespoke him, saying, “O Shaykh, we thought to carry out the law of
mutilation in the case of this young man; but Allah (to whom be Honour
and Glory!) hath preserved us from this, and I now adjudge him the sum
of ten thousand dirhams, for that he would have given his hand for the
preservation of thine honour and that of thy daughter and for the
sparing of shame to you both. Moreover, I adjudge other ten thousand
dirhams to thy daughter, for that she made known to me the truth of the
case; and I ask thy leave to marry her to him.” Rejoined the old man, “O
Emir, thou hast my consent.” So Khalid praised Allah and thanked Him and
improved the occasion by preaching a goodly sermon and a prayerful;——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khalid praised
Allah and thanked Him and improved the occasion by preaching a goodly
sermon and a prayerful; after which he said to the young man, “I give
thee to wife the damsel, such an one here present, with her own
permission and her father’s consent; and her wedding settlement shall be
this money, to wit, ten thousand dirhams.” “I accept this marriage at
thy hands,” replied the youth; and Khalid bade them carry the money on
brass trays in procession to the young man’s house, whilst the people
dispersed, fully satisfied. “And surely (quoth he who tells the
tale[223]) never saw I a rarer day than this, for that it began with
tears and annoy; and it ended with smiles and joy.” And in contrast of
this story is this piteous tale of


Footnote 218:

  In the Mac. Edit. (ii. 182) “Al-Kushayri.” Al-Kasri was Governor of
  the two Iraks (_i.e._ Bassorah and Cufa) in the reign of Al-Hisham,
  tenth Ommiade (A.D. 723-741).

Footnote 219:

  Arab. “Thakalata-k Ummak!” This is not so much a curse as a playful
  phrase, like “Confound the fellow.” So “Kátala-k Allah” (Allah slay
  thee) and “Lá abá lak” (thou hast no father or mother). These words
  are even complimentary on occasions, as a good shot or a fine
  recitation, meaning that the praised far excels the rest of his tribe.

Footnote 220:

  Koran, iii. 178.

Footnote 221:

  Arab. “Al-Nisáb” = the minimum sum (about half-a-crown) for which
  mutilation of the hand is prescribed by religious law. The punishment
  was truly barbarous, it chastised a rogue by means which prevented
  hard honest labour for the rest of his life.

Footnote 222:

  To show her grief.

Footnote 223:

  Abú Sa’íd Abd al-Malik bin Kurayb, surnamed Al-Asma’i from his
  grandfather, flor. A.H. 122-306 (= 739-830) and wrote amongst a host
  of compositions the well-known Romance of Antar. See in D’Herbelot the
  right royal directions given to him by Harun al-Rashid.


When Harun al-Rashid crucified Ja’afar the Barmecide[224] he commanded
that all who wept or made moan for him should also be crucified; so the
folk abstained from that. Now it chanced that a wild Arab, who dwelt in
a distant wold, used every year to bring to the aforesaid Ja’afar an
ode[225] in his honour, for which he rewarded him with a thousand
dinars; and the Badawi took them and, returning to his own country,
lived upon them, he and his family, for the rest of the year.
Accordingly, he came with his ode at the wonted time and, finding that
Ja’afar had been crucified, betook himself to the place where his body
was hanging, and there made his camel kneel down and wept with sore
weeping and mourned with grievous mourning; and he recited his ode and
fell asleep. Presently Ja’afar the Barmecide appeared to him in a vision
and said, “Verily thou hast wearied thyself to come to us and findest us
as thou seest; but go to Bassorah and ask for a man there whose name is
such and such, one of the merchants of the town, and say to
him:—Ja’afar, the Barmecide, saluteth thee and biddeth thee give me a
thousand dinars, by the token of the bean.” Now when the wild Arab
awoke, he repaired to Bassorah, where he sought out the merchant and
found him and repeated to him what Ja’afar had said in the dream;
whereupon he wept with weeping so sore that he was like to depart the
world. Then he welcomed the Badawi and seated him by his side and made
his stay pleasant and entertained him three days as an honoured guest;
and when he was minded to depart he gave him a thousand and five hundred
dinars, saying, “The thousand are what is commanded to thee, and the
five hundred are a gift from me to thee; and every year thou shalt have
of me a thousand gold pieces.” Now when the Arab was about to take
leave, he said to the merchant, “Allah upon thee, tell me the story of
the bean, that I may know the origin of all this.” He answered:—In the
early part of my life I was poor and hawked hot beans[226] about the
streets of Baghdad to keep me alive. So I went out one raw and rainy
day, without clothes enough on my body to protect me from the weather;
now shivering for excess of cold and now stumbling into the pools of
rain-water, and altogether in so piteous a plight as would make me
shudder with goose-skin to look upon. But it chanced that Ja’afar that
day was seated with his officers and his concubines, in an upper chamber
overlooking the street when his eyes fell on me; so he took pity on my
case and, sending one of his dependents to fetch me to him, said as soon
as he saw me, “Sell thy beans to my people.” So I began to mete out the
beans with a measure I had by me; and each who took a measure of beans
filled the measure with gold pieces till all my store was gone and my
basket was clean empty. Then I gathered together the gold I had gotten,
and Ja’afar said to me, “Hast thou any beans left?” “I know not,”
answered I, and then sought in the basket, but found only one bean. So
Ja’afar took from me the single bean and, splitting it in twain, kept
one half himself and gave the other to one of his concubines, saying,
“For how much wilt thou buy this half bean?” She replied, “For the tale
of all this gold twice-told;” whereat I was confounded and said to
myself, “This is impossible.” But, as I stood wondering, behold, she
gave an order to one of her handmaids and the girl brought me the sum of
the collected monies twice-told. Then said Ja’afar, “And I will buy the
half I have by me for double the sum of the whole,” presently adding,
“Now take the price of thy bean.” And he gave an order to one of his
servants, who gathered together the whole of the money and laid it in my
basket; and I took it and went my ways. Then I betook myself to
Bassorah, where I traded with the monies and Allah prospered me amply,
to Him be the praise and the thanks! So, if I give thee every year a
thousand dinars of the bounty of Ja’afar, it will in no wise injure me.
Consider then the munificence of Ja’afar’s nature and how he was praised
both alive and dead, the mercy of Allah Almighty be upon him! And men
also recount the tale of


Footnote 224:

  There are many accounts of his death; but it is generally held that he
  was first beheaded. The story in the text is also variously told and
  the Persian “Nigáristán” adds some unpleasant comments upon the House
  of Abbas. The Persians, for reasons which will be explained in the
  terminal Essay, show the greatest sympathy with the Barmecides; and
  abominate the Abbasides even more than the latter detested the

Footnote 225:

  Not written, as the European reader would suppose.

Footnote 226:

  Arab. “Fúl al-hárr” = beans like horsebeans soaked and boiled as
  opposed to the “Fúl Mudammas” (esp. of Egypt) = unshelled beans
  steamed and boiled all night and eaten with linseed oil as “kitchen”
  or relish. Lane (M. E., chapt. v.) calls them after the debased
  Cairene pronunciation, Mudemmes. A legend says that, before the days
  of Pharaoh (always he of Moses), the Egyptians lived on pistachios
  which made them a witty, lively race. But the tyrant remarking that
  the domestic ass, which eats beans, is degenerate from the wild ass,
  uprooted the pistachio-trees and compelled the lieges to feed on beans
  which made them a heavy, gross, cowardly people fit only for burdens.
  Badawis deride “bean-eaters” although they do not loathe the pulse
  like onions. The principal result of a bean diet is an extraordinary
  development of flatulence both in stomach and intestines: hence,
  possibly, Pythagoras who had studied ceremonial purity in Egypt,
  forbade the use, unless he referred to venery or political business. I
  was once sitting in the Greek quarter of Cairo dressed as a Moslem
  when arose a prodigious hubbub of lads and boys, surrounding a couple
  of Fellahs. These men had been working in the fields about a mile east
  of Cairo; and, when returning home, one had said to the other, “If
  thou wilt carry the hoes I will break wind once for every step we
  take.” He was as good as his word and when they were to part he cried,
  “And now for thy bakhshish!” which consisted of a volley of fifty,
  greatly to the delight of the boys.

                     ABU MOHAMMED HIGHT LAZYBONES.

It is told that Harun al-Rashid was sitting one day on the throne of the
Caliphate, when there came in to him a youth of his eunuchry, bearing a
crown of red gold, set with pearls and rubies and all manner of other
gems and jewels, such as money might not buy; and, bussing the ground
between his hands, said, “O Commander of the Faithful, the Lady Zubaydah
kisseth the earth before thee”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say. Whereupon quoth her sister
Dunyazad, “How pleasant is thy tale and profitable; and how sweet is thy
speech and how delectable!” “And where is this,” replied Shahrazad,
“compared with what I shall tell you next night an I live and the King
grant me leave!” Thereupon quoth the King to himself, “By Allah, I will
not slay her until I hear the end of her tale.”

               Now when it was the Three Hundredth Night,

Quoth Dunyazad, “Favour us, O my sister, with thy tale,” and she
replied, “With joy and good will, if the King accord me leave;”
whereupon the King said, “Tell thy tale, O Shahrazad.” So she
pursued:—It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth said to
the Caliph, “The Lady Zubaydah kisseth the earth before thee and saith
to thee, Thou knowest she hath bidden make this crown, which lacketh a
great jewel for its dome-top; and she hath made search among her
treasures, but cannot find a jewel of size to suit her mind.” Quoth the
Caliph to his Chamberlains and Viceregents, “Make search for a great
jewel, such as Zubaydah desireth.” So they sought, but found nothing
befitting her and told the Caliph who, vexed and annoyed thereat,
exclaimed, “How am I Caliph and King of the Kings of the earth and
cannot find so small a matter as a jewel? Woe to you! Ask of the
merchants.” So they enquired of the traders, who replied, “Our lord the
Caliph will not find a jewel such as he requireth save with a man of
Bassorah, by name Abú Mohammed hight Lazybones.” Thereupon they
acquainted the Caliph with this and he bade his Wazir Ja’afar send a
note to the Emir Mohammed al-Zubaydí, Governor of Bassorah, commanding
him to equip Abu Mohammed Lazybones and bring him into the presence of
the Commander of the Faithful. The Minister accordingly wrote a note to
that effect and despatched it by Masrur, who set out forthright for the
city of Bassorah, and went in to the Emir Mohammed al-Zubaydi, who
rejoiced in him and treated him with the highmost honour. Then Masrur
read him the mandate of the Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid,
to which he replied, “I hear and I obey,” and forthwith despatched him,
with a company of his followers, to Abu Mohammed’s house. When they
reached it, they knocked at the door, whereupon a page came out and
Masrur said to him, “Tell thy lord, The Commander of the Faithful
summoneth thee.” The servant went in and told his master, who came out
and found Masrur, the Caliph’s Chamberlain, and a company of the
Governor’s men at the door. So he kissed ground before Masrur and said,
“I hear and obey the summons of the Commander of the Faithful; but first
enter ye my house.” They replied, “We cannot do that, save in haste;
even as the Prince of True Believers commanded us, for he awaiteth thy
coming.” But he said, “Have patience with me a little, till I set my
affairs in order.” So after much pressure and abundant persuasion, they
entered the house with him and found the vestibule hung with curtains of
azure brocade, purfled with red gold, and Abu Mohammed Lazybones bade
one of his servants carry Masrur to the private Hammam. Now this bath
was in the house and Masrur found its walls and floors of rare and
precious marbles, wrought with gold and silver, and its waters mingled
with rose-water. Then the servants served Masrur and his company with
the perfection of service; and, on their going forth of the Hammam, clad
them in robes of honour, brocade-work interwoven with gold. And after
leaving the bath Masrur and his men went in to Abu Mohammed Lazybones
and found him seated in his upper chamber; and over his head hung
curtains of gold-brocade, wrought with pearls and jewels, and the
pavilion was spread with cushions, embroidered in red gold. Now the
owner was sitting softly upon a quilted cloth covering a settee inlaid
with stones of price; and, when he saw Masrur, he went forward to meet
him and bidding him welcome, seated him by his side. Then he called for
the food-trays; so they brought them, and when Masrur saw the tables, he
exclaimed, “By Allah, never did I behold the like of these appointments
in the palace of the Commander of the Faithful!” For indeed the trays
contained every manner of meat all served in dishes of gilded
porcelain.[227] So we ate and drank and made merry till the end of the
day (quoth Masrur) when the host gave to each and every of us five
thousand dinars; and on the morrow he clad us in dresses of honour of
green and gold and entreated us with the utmost worship. Then said
Masrur to him, “We can tarry no longer for fear of the Caliph’s
displeasure.” Answered Abu Mohammed Lazybones, “O my lord, have patience
with us till the morrow, that we may equip ourselves, and we will then
depart with you.” So they tarried with him that day and slept the night;
and next morning Abu Mohammed’s servants saddled him a she-mule with
selle and trappings of gold, set with all manner of pearls and stones of
price; whereupon quoth Masrur to himself, “I wonder when Abu Mohammed
shall present himself in such equipage, if the Caliph will ask him how
he came by all this wealth.” Thereupon they took leave of Al-Zubaydi
and, setting out from Bassorah, fared on, without ceasing to fare till
they reached Baghdad-city and presented themselves before the Caliph,
who bade Abu Mohammed be seated. He sat down and addressed the Caliph in
courtly phrase, saying, “O Commander of the Faithful, I have brought
with me an humble offering by way of homage: have I thy gracious
permission to produce it?” Al-Rashid replied, “There is no harm in
that,”[228] whereupon Abu Mohammed bade his men bring in a chest, from
which he took a number of rarities, and amongst the rest, trees of gold
with leaves of white emerald,[229] and fruits of pigeon-blood rubies and
topazes and new pearls and bright. And as the Caliph was struck with
admiration he fetched a second chest and brought out of it a tent of
brocade, crowned with pearls and jacinths and emeralds and jaspers and
other precious stones; its poles were of freshly-cut Hindi aloes-wood,
and its skirts were set with the greenest smaragds. Thereon were
depicted all manner of animals such as beasts and birds, spangled with
precious stones, rubies, emeralds, chrysolites and balasses and every
kind of precious metal. Now when Al-Rashid saw these things, he rejoiced
with exceeding joy and Abu Mohammed Lazybones said to him, “O Commander
of the Faithful, deem not that I have brought these to thee, fearing
aught or coveting anything; but I knew myself to be but a man of the
people and that such things befitted none save the Commander of the
Faithful. And now, with thy leave, I will show thee, for thy diversion,
something of what I can do.” Al-Rashid replied, “Do what thou wilt, that
we may see.” “To hear is to obey,” said Abu Mohammed and, moving his
lips, beckoned the palace battlements,[230] whereupon they inclined to
him; then he made another sign to them, and they returned to their
place. Presently he made a sign with his eye, and there appeared before
him closets with closed doors, to which he spoke, and lo! the voices of
birds answered him from within. The Caliph marvelled with passing marvel
at this and said to him, “How camest thou by all this, seeing that thou
art known only as Abu Mohammed Lazybones, and they tell me that thy
father was a cupper, serving in a public Hammam, who left thee nothing?”
Whereupon he answered, Listen to my story——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Mohammed
Lazybones thus spake to the Caliph:—O Prince of True Believers, listen
to my story, for it is a marvellous and its particulars are wondrous;
were it graven with graver-needles upon the eye-corners it were a warner
to whoso would be warned. Quoth Al-Rashid, “Let us hear all thou hast to
say, O Abu Mohammed!” So he began:—Know then, O Commander of the
Faithful (Allah prolong to thee glory and dominion!), the report of the
folk, that I am known as the Lazybones and that my father left me
nothing, is true; for he was, as thou hast said, nothing but a
barber-cupper in a Hammam. And I throughout my youth was the idlest
wight on the face of the earth; indeed, so great was my sluggishness
that, if I lay at full length in the sultry season and the sun came
round upon me, I was too lazy to rise and remove from the sun to the
shade. And thus I abode till I reached my fifteenth year, when my father
deceased in the mercy of Allah Almighty and left me nothing. However, my
mother used to go out a-charing and feed me and give me to drink, whilst
I lay on my side. Now it came to pass that one day she came in to me
with five silver dirhams, and said to me, “O my son, I hear that Shaykh
Abú al-Muzaffar[231] is about to go a voyage to China.” (Now this Shaykh
was a good and charitable man who loved the poor.) “So come, O my son,
take these five silver bits; and let us both carry them to him and beg
him to buy thee therewith somewhat from the land of China; so haply thou
mayst make a profit of it by the bounty of Allah, whose name be
exalted!” I was too idle to move for her; but she swore by the Almighty
that, except I rose and went with her, she would bring me neither meat
nor drink nor come in to me, but would leave me to die of hunger and
thirst. Now when I heard her words, O Commander of the Faithful, I knew
she would do as she threatened for her knowledge of my sluggishness; so
I said to her, “Help me to sit up.” She did so, and I wept the while and
said to her, “Bring me my shoes.” Accordingly, she brought them and I
said, “Put them on my feet.” She put them on my feet and I said, “Lift
me up off the ground.” So she lifted me up and I said, “Support me, that
I may walk.” So she supported me and I continued to fare a-foot, at
times stumbling over my skirts, till we came to the river-bank, where we
saluted the Shaykh and I said to him, “O my uncle, art thou Abu
al-Muzaffar?” “At thy service,” answered he, and I, “Take these dirhams
and with them buy me somewhat from the land of China: haply Allah may
vouchsafe me a profit of it.” Quoth the Shaykh to his companions, “Do ye
know this youth?” They answered, “Yes, he is known as Abu Mohammed
Lazybones, and we never saw him stir from his house till this moment.”
Then said he to me, “O my son, give me the silver with the blessing of
Almighty Allah!” So he took the money, saying, “Bismillah—in the name of
Allah!”—and I returned home with my mother. Presently Shaykh Abu
al-Muzaffar set sail, with a company of merchants, and stayed not till
they reached the land of China, where he and his bought and sold; and,
having won what they wished, set out on their homeward voyage. When they
had been three days at sea, the Shaykh said to his company, “Stay the
vessel!” They asked, “What dost thou want?” and he answered, “Know that
I have forgotten the commission wherewith Abu Mohammed Lazybones charged
me; so let us turn back that we may lay out his money on somewhat
whereby he may profit.” They cried, “We conjure thee, by Allah Almighty
turn not back with us; for we have traversed a long distance and a sore,
and while so doing we have endured sad hardship and many terrors.” Quoth
he, “There is no help for it but we return;” and they said, “Take from
us double the profit of the five dirhams, and turn us not back.” He
agreed to this and they collected for him an ample sum of money.
Thereupon they sailed on, till they came to an island wherein was much
people; when they moored thereto and the merchants went ashore, to buy
thence a stock of precious metals and pearls and jewels and so forth.
Presently Abu al-Muzaffar saw a man seated, with many apes before him,
and amongst them one whose hair had been plucked off; and as often as
their owner’s attention was diverted from them, the other apes fell upon
the plucked one and beat him and threw him on their master; whereupon
the man rose and bashed them and bound them and punished them for this;
and all the apes were wroth with the plucked ape on this account and
tunded him the more. When Shaykh Abu al-Muzaffar saw this, he felt for
and took compassion upon the plucked ape and said to his master, “Wilt
thou sell me yonder monkey?” Replied the man, “Buy,” and Abu al-Muzaffar
rejoined, “I have with me five dirhams, belonging to an orphan lad. Wilt
thou sell it me for that sum?” Answered the monkey-merchant, “It is a
bargain; and Allah give thee a blessing of him!” So he made over the
beast and received his money; and the Shaykh’s slaves took the ape and
tied him up in the ship. Then they loosed sail and made for another
island, where they cast anchor; and there came down divers, who plunged
for precious stones, pearls and other gems; so the merchants hired them
to dive for money and they dived. Now when the ape saw them doing this,
he loosed himself from his bonds and, jumping off the ship’s side,
plunged with them, whereupon quoth Abu al-Muzaffar, “There is no Majesty
and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! The
monkey is lost to us with the luck of the poor fellow for whom we bought
him.” And they despaired of him; but, after a while, the company of
divers rose to the surface, and behold, among them was the ape, with his
hands full of jewels of price, which he threw down before Abu
al-Muzaffar. The Shaykh marvelled at this and said, “There is much
mystery in this monkey!” Then they cast off and sailed till they came to
a third island, called the Isle of the Zunúj,[232] who are a people of
the blacks, which eat the flesh of the sons of Adam. When the blacks saw
them, they boarded them in dug-outs[233] and, taking all in the vessel,
pinioned them and carried them to their King, who bade slaughter certain
of the merchants. So they slaughtered them by cutting their throats and
ate their flesh; and the rest of the traders passed the night in bonds
and were in sore concern. But when it was midnight, the ape arose and
going up to Abu al-Muzaffar, loosed his bonds; and, as the others saw
him free, they said, “Allah grant our deliverance may be at thy hands, O
Abu al-Muzaffar!” But he replied, “Know, that he who delivered me, by
leave of Allah Almighty, was none other than this monkey”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Three Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al-Muzaffar
declared, “None loosed me, by leave of Allah Almighty, save this monkey
and I buy my release of him at a thousand dinars;” whereupon the
merchants rejoined, “And we likewise, each and every, will pay him a
thousand dinars if he release us.” With this the ape arose and went up
to them and loosed their bonds one by one, till he had freed them all,
when they made for the vessel and boarding her, found all safe and
nothing missing from her. So they cast off and set sail; and presently
Abu al-Muzaffar said to them, “O merchants, fulfil your promise to the
monkey.” “We hear and we obey,” answered they; and each one paid him one
thousand dinars, whilst Abu al-Muzaffar brought out to him the like sum
of his own monies, so that a great heap of coin was collected for the
ape. Then they fared on till they reached Bassorah-city where their
friends came out to meet them; and when they had landed the Shaykh said,
“Where is Abu Mohammed Lazybones?” The news reached my mother, who came
to me as I lay asleep and said to me, “O my son, verily the Shaykh Abu
al-Muzaffar hath come back and is now in the city; so rise and go thou
to him and salute him and enquire what he hath brought thee; it may be
Allah Almighty have opened to thee the door of fortune with somewhat.”
Quoth I, “Lift me from the ground and prop me up, whilst I go forth and
walk to the river-bank.” After which I went out and walked on, stumbling
over my skirts, till I met the Shaykh, who exclaimed at sight of me,
“Welcome to him whose money hath been the means of my release and that
of these merchants, by the will of Almighty Allah.” Then he continued,
“Take this monkey I bought for thee and carry him home and wait till I
come to thee.” So I took the ape and went off, saying in my mind, “By
Allah, this is naught but rare merchandise!” and led it home, where I
said to my mother, “Whenever I lie down to sleep, thou biddest me rise
and trade; see now this merchandise with thine own eyes.” Then I sat me
down and as I sat, up came the slaves of Abu al-Muzaffar and said to me,
“Art thou Abu Mohammed Lazybones?” “Yes” answered I; and behold, Abu
al-Muzaffar appeared behind them. So I rose up to him and kissed his
hands: and he said, “Come with me to my home.” “Hearkening and
obedience,” answered I and accompanied him to his house, where he bade
his servants bring me what money the monkey had earned for me. So they
brought it and he said to me, “O my son, Allah hath blessed thee with
this wealth, by way of profit on thy five dirhams.” Then the slaves set
down the treasure in chests, which they had carried on their heads, and
Abu al-Muzaffar gave me the keys saying, “Go before the slaves to thy
house; for in sooth all this wealth is thine.” So I returned to my
mother, who rejoiced in this and said to me, “O my son, Allah hath
blessed thee with all these riches; so put off thy laziness and go down
to the bazar and sell and buy.” At once I shook off my dull sloth, and
opened a shop in the bazar, where the ape used to sit on the same divan
with me, eating with me when I ate and drinking when I drank. But, every
day, he was absent from dawn till noon, when he came back bringing with
him a purse of a thousand dinars, which he laid by my side, and sat
down; and he ceased not so doing for a great while, till I amassed much
wealth, wherewith, O Commander of the Faithful, I purchased houses and
lands, and I planted gardens and I bought me white slaves and negroes
and concubines. Now it came to pass one day, as I sat in my shop, with
the ape sitting at my side on the same carpet, behold, he began to turn
right and left, and I said to myself, “What aileth the beast?” Then
Allah made the ape speak with a ready tongue, and he said to me, “O Abu
Mohammed!” Now when I heard him speak, I was sore afraid; but he said to
me, “Fear not; I will tell thee my case. I am a Marid of the Jinn and
came to thee because of thy poor estate; but to-day thou knowest not the
amount of thy wealth; and now I have need of thee and if thou do my
will, it shall be well for thee.” I asked, “What is it?” and he
answered, “I have a mind to marry thee to a girl like the full moon.”
Quoth I, “How so?”; and quoth he, “To-morrow don thou thy richest dress
and mount thy mule, with the saddle of gold, and ride to the Haymarket.
There enquire for the shop of the Sharif[234] and sit down beside him
and say to him:—I come to thee as a suitor craving thy daughter’s hand.
If he say to thee:—Thou hast neither cash nor rank nor family; pull out
a thousand dinars and give them to him, and if he ask more, give him
more and tempt him with money.” Whereto I replied, “To hear is to obey;
I will do thy bidding, Inshallah!” So on the next morning I donned my
richest clothes, mounted my she-mule with trappings of gold and rode to
the Haymarket where I asked for the Sharif’s shop; and finding him there
seated, alighted and saluted him and seated myself beside him——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and Third Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Mohammed
Lazybones continued:—So I alighted and, saluting him seated myself
beside him and my Mamelukes and negro-slaves stood before me. Said the
Sharif, “Haply, thou hast some business with us which we may have
pleasure of transacting?” Replied I, “Yes, I have business with thee.”
Asked he, “And what is it?”; and I answered, “I come to thee as a suitor
for thy daughter’s hand.” So he said, “Thou hast neither cash nor rank
nor family;” whereupon I pulled him out a purse of a thousand dinars,
red gold, and said to him, “This is my rank[235] and my family”; and he
(whom Allah bless and keep!) hath said:—The best of ranks is wealth. And
how well quoth the poet:—

 Whoso two dirhams hath, his lips have learnt ✿ Speech of all kinds with
    eloquence bedight:
 Draw near[236] his brethren and crave ear of him, ✿ And him thou seest
    haught in pride-full height:
 Were’t not for dirhams wherein glories he, ✿ Hadst found him ‘mid
    mankind in sorry plight.
 When richard errs in words they all reply, ✿ “Sooth thou hast spoken and
    hast said aright!.”
 When pauper speaketh truly all reply ✿ “Thou liest;” and they hold his
    sayings light.[237]
 “Verily dirhams in earth’s every stead ✿ Clothe men with rank and make
    them fair to sight;
 Gold is the very tongue of eloquence; ✿ Gold is the best of arms for
    wight who’d fight!”

Now when the Sharif heard these my words and understood my verse, he
bowed his head awhile groundwards then raising it, said, “If it must be
so, I will have of thee other three thousand gold pieces.” “I hear and I
obey,” answered I, and sent one of my Mamelukes home for the money. As
soon as he came back with it, I handed it to the Sharif who, when he saw
it in his hands, rose and bidding his servants shut his shop, invited
his brother merchants of the bazar to the wedding; after which he
carried me to his house and wrote out my contract of marriage with his
daughter saying to me, “After ten days, I will bring thee to pay her the
first visit.” So I went home rejoicing and, shutting myself up with the
ape, told him what had passed; and he said “Thou hast done well.” Now
when the time appointed by the Sharif drew near, the ape said to me,
“There is a thing I would have thee do for me; and thou shalt have of me
(when it is done) whatso thou wilt.” I asked, “What is that?” and he
answered, “At the upper end of the chamber wherein thou shalt meet thy
bride, the Sharif’s daughter, stands a cabinet, on whose door is a
ring-padlock of copper and the keys under it. Take the keys and open the
cabinet in which thou shalt find a coffer of iron with four flags, which
are talismans, at its corners; and in its midst stands a brazen basin
full of money, wherein is tied a white cock with a cleft comb; while on
one side of the coffer are eleven serpents and on the other a knife.
Take the knife and slaughter the cock; cut away the flags and upset the
chest, then go back to the bride and do away her maidenhead. This is
what I have to ask of thee.” “Hearkening and obedience,” answered I, and
betook myself to the house of the Sharif. So as soon as I entered the
bride-chamber, I looked for the cabinet and found it even as the ape had
described it. Then I went in unto the bride and marvelled at her beauty
and loveliness and stature and symmetrical grace, for indeed they were
such as no tongue can set forth. I rejoiced in her with exceeding joy;
and in the middle of the night, when my bride slept, I rose and, taking
the keys, opened the cabinet. Then I seized the knife and slew the cock
and threw down the flags and upset the coffer, whereupon the girl awoke
and, seeing the closet open and the cock with cut throat, exclaimed,
“There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious,
the Great! The Marid hath got hold of me!” Hardly had she made an end of
speaking, when the Marid swooped down upon the house and, snatching up
the bride, flew away with her; whereupon there arose a mighty clamour
and behold, in came the Sharif, buffetting his face and crying, “O Abu
Mohammed, what is this deed thou hast done? Is it thus thou requitest
us? I made this talisman in the cabinet fearing for my daughter from
this accursed one who, for these six years, hath sought to steal away
the girl, but could not. But now there is no more abiding for thee with
us; so wend thy ways.” Thereupon I went forth and returned to my own
house, where I made search for the ape but could not find him nor any
trace of him; whereby I knew that it was he who was the Marid, and that
he had carried off my wife and had tricked me into destroying the
talisman and the cock, the two things which hindered him from taking
her, and I repented, rending my raiment and cuffing my face. And there
was no land but was straitened upon me; so I made for the desert
forthright and ceased not wandering on till night overtook me, for I
knew not whither I was going. And whilst I was deep in sad thought
behold, I met two serpents, one tawny and the other white, and they were
fighting to kill each other. So I took up a stone and with one cast slew
the tawny serpent, which was the aggressor; whereupon the white serpent
glided away and was absent for a while, but presently she returned
accompanied by ten other white serpents which glided up to the dead
serpent and tore her in pieces, so that only the head was left. Then
they went their ways and I fell prostrate for weariness on the ground
where I stood; but as I lay, pondering my case lo! I heard a Voice
though I saw no one and the Voice versified with these two couplets:—

 Let Fate with slackened bridle fare her pace, ✿ Nor pass the night with
    mind which cares an ace.
 Between eye-closing and its opening, ✿ Allah can foulest change to
    fairest case.

Now when I heard this, O Commander of the Faithful, great concern gat
hold of me and I was beyond measure troubled; and behold, I heard a
Voice from behind me extemporise these couplets:—

 O Moslem! thou whose guide is Alcorán, ✿ Joy in what brought safe peace
    to thee, O man.
 Fear not what Satan haply whispered thee, ✿ And in us see a
    Truth-believing clan.

Then said I, “I conjure thee, by the truth of Him thou worshippest, let
me know who thou art!” Thereupon the Invisible Speaker assumed the form
of a man and said, “Fear not; for the report of thy good deed hath
reached us, and we are a people of the true-believing Jinn. So, if thou
lack aught, let us know it, that we may have the pleasure of fulfilling
thy want.” Quoth I, “Indeed I am in sore need, for I am afflicted with a
grievous affliction and no one was ever afflicted as I am!” Quoth he,
“Perchance thou art Abu Mohammed Lazybones?” and I replied, “Yes.” He
rejoined, “I, O Abu Mohammed, am the brother of the white serpent, whose
foe thou slewest; we are four brothers by one father and mother, and we
are all indebted to thee for thy kindness. And know thou that he who
played this trick on thee in the likeness of an ape, is a Marid of the
Marids of the Jinn; and had he not used this artifice, he had never been
able to get the girl; for he hath loved her and had a mind to take her
this long while, but he was hindered of that talisman; and had it
remained as it was, he could never have found access to her. However,
fret not thyself for that; we will bring thee to her and kill the Marid;
for thy kindness is not lost upon us.” Then he cried out with a terrible
outcry——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

          Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit
continued, “Verily thy kindness is not lost upon us.” Then he cried out
with a terrible outcry in a horrible voice, and behold, there appeared a
troop of the Jinn, of whom he enquired concerning the ape; and one of
them said, “I know his abiding-place;” and the other asked “Where
abideth he?” Said the speaker “He is in the City of Brass whereon sun
riseth not.” Then said the first Jinni to me, “O Abu Mohammed, take one
of these our slaves, and he will carry thee on his back and teach thee
how thou shalt get back the girl; but know that this slave is a Marid of
the Marids and beware, whilst he is carrying thee, lest thou utter the
name of Allah, or he will flee from thee and thou wilt fall and be
destroyed.” “I hear and obey,” answered I and chose out one of the
slaves, who bent down and said to me, “Mount.” So I mounted on his back,
and he flew up with me into the firmament, till I lost sight of the
earth and saw the stars as they were the mountains of earth fixed and
firm[238] and heard the angels crying, “Praise be to Allah,” in heaven
while the Marid held me in converse, diverting me and hindering me from
pronouncing the name of Almighty Allah.[239] But, as we flew, behold,
One clad in green raiment,[240] with streaming tresses and radiant face,
holding in his hand a javelin whence flew sparks of fire, accosted me,
saying, “O Abu Mohammed, say:—There is no god but _the_ God and Mohammed
is the Apostle of God; or I will smite thee with this javelin.” Now
already I felt heart-broken by my forced silence as regards calling on
the name of Allah; so I said, “There is no god but _the_ God, and
Mohammed is the Apostle of God.” Whereupon the shining One smote the
Marid with his javelin and he melted away and became ashes; whilst I was
thrown from his back and fell headlong towards the earth, till I dropped
into the midst of a dashing sea, swollen with clashing surge. And
behold, I fell hard by a ship with five sailors therein, who seeing me,
made for me and took me up into the vessel; and they began to speak to
me in some speech I knew not; but I signed to them that I understood not
their speech. So they fared on till the last of the day, when they cast
out a net and caught a great fish and they broiled it and gave me to
eat; after which they ceased not sailing on till they reached their city
and carried me to their King and set me in his presence. So I kissed
ground before him, and he bestowed on me a dress of honour and said to
me in Arabic (which he knew well), “I appoint thee one of my officers.”
Thereupon I asked him the name of the city, and he replied, “It is
called Hanád[241] and is in the land of China.” Then he committed me to
his Wazir, bidding him show me the city, which was formerly peopled by
Infidels, till Almighty Allah turned them into stones; and there I abode
a month’s space, diverting myself with viewing the place, nor saw I ever
greater plenty of trees and fruits than there. And when this time had
past, one day, as I sat on the bank of a river, behold, there accosted
me a horseman, who said to me, “Art thou not Abu Mohammed Lazybones?”
“Yes,” answered I; whereupon, he said, “Fear not, for the report of thy
good deed hath reached us.” Asked I, “Who art thou?” and he answered, “I
am a brother of the white serpent, and thou art hard by the place where
is the damsel whom thou seekest.” So saying, he took off his clothes and
clad me therein, saying, “Fear not, for the slave who perished under
thee was one of our slaves.” Then the horseman took me up behind him and
rode on with me to a desert place, when he said, “Dismount now and walk
on between these two mountains, till thou seest the City of Brass;[242]
then halt afar off and enter it not, ere I return to thee and tell thee
how thou shalt do.” “To hear is to obey,” replied I and, dismounting
from behind him, walked on till I came to the city, the walls whereof I
found of brass. Then I began to pace round about it, hoping to find a
gate, but found none; and presently as I persevered behold, the
serpent’s brother rejoined me and gave me a charmed sword which should
hinder any from seeing me,[243] then went his way. Now he had been gone
but a little while, when lo! I heard a noise of cries and found myself
in the midst of a multitude of folk whose eyes were in their breasts;
and seeing me quoth they, “Who art thou, and what cast thee into this
place?” So I told them my story, and they said, “The girl thou seekest
is in this city with the Marid; but we know not what he hath done with
her. Now we are brethren of the white serpent,” adding, “Go thou to
yonder spring and note where the water entereth, and enter thou with it;
for it will bring thee into the city.” I did as they bade me, and
followed the water-course, till it brought me to a Sardáb, a vaulted
room under the earth, from which I ascended and found myself in the
midst of the city. Here I saw the damsel seated upon a throne of gold,
under a canopy of brocade, girt round by a garden full of trees of gold,
whose fruits were jewels of price, such as rubies and chrysolites,
pearls and coral. And the moment she saw me, she knew me and accosted me
with the Moslem salutation, saying, “O my lord, who guided thee hither?”
So I told her all that had passed, and she said, “Know, that the
accursed Marid, of the greatness of his love for me, hath told me what
bringeth him bane and what bringeth him gain; and that there is here a
talisman by means whereof he could, an he would, destroy the city and
all that are therein; and whoso possesseth it, the Ifrits will do his
commandment in everything. It standeth upon a pillar”—Whereat I asked
her, “And where is the pillar?” and she answered, “It is in such a
place.” “And what manner of thing may the talisman be?” said I: said
she, “It is in the semblance of a vulture[244] and upon it is a writing
which I cannot read. So go thou thither and seize it, and set it before
thee and, taking a chafing-dish, throw into it a little musk, whereupon
there will arise a smoke which will draw the Ifrits to thee, and they
will all present themselves before thee, nor shall one be absent; also
they shall be subject to thy word and, whatsoever thou biddest them,
that will they do. Arise therefore and fall to this thing, with the
blessing of Almighty Allah.” I answered, “Hearkening and obedience” and,
going to the column, did as she bade me, whereupon the Ifrits all
presented themselves before me saying, “Here are we, O our lord!
Whatsoever thou biddest us, that will we do.” Quoth I, “Bind the Marid
who brought the damsel hither from her home.” Quoth they, “We hear and
obey,” and off they flew and bound that Marid in straitest bonds and
returned after a while, saying, “We have done thy bidding.” Then I
dismissed them and, repairing to my wife, told her what had happened and
said to her, “O my bride, wilt thou go with me?” “Yes,” answered she. So
I carried her forth of the vaulted chamber whereby I had entered the
city and we fared on, till we fell in with the folk who had shown me the
way to find her.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that he continued on
this wise:—And we fared on till we fell in with the folk who had shown
me the way to her. So I said to them, “Point me out a path which shall
lead me to my home,” and they did accordingly, and brought us a-foot to
the sea-shore and set us aboard a vessel which sailed on before us with
a fair wind, till we reached Bassorah-city. And when we entered the
house of my father-in-law and her people saw my wife, they rejoiced with
exceeding joy. Then I fumigated the vulture with musk and lo! the Ifrits
flocked to me from all sides, saying, “At thy service; what wilt thou
have us do?” So I bade them transport all that was in the City of Brass
of monies and noble metals and stones of price to my house in Bassorah,
which they did; and I then ordered them to bring me the ape. They
brought him before me, abject and contemptible, and I said to him, “O
accursed, why hast thou dealt thus perfidiously with me?” Then I
commanded the Ifrits to shut him in a brazen vessel;[245] so they put
him in a brazen cucurbite and sealed it with lead. But I abode with my
wife in joy and delight; and now, O Commander of the Faithful, I have
under my hand precious things in such measure and rare jewels and other
treasure and monies on such wise as neither reckoning may express nor
may limits comprise; and, if thou lust after wealth or aught else, I
will command the Jinn at once to do thy desire. But all this is of the
bounty of Almighty Allah. Thereupon the Commander of the Faithful
wondered greatly and bestowed on him imperial gifts, in exchange for his
presents, and entreated him with the favour he deserved. And men also
tell the tale of the


Footnote 227:

  No porcelain was ever, as far as we can discover, made in Egypt or
  Syria of the olden day; but, as has been said, there was a regular
  caravan-intercourse with China. At Damascus I dug into the huge
  rubbish-heaps and found quantities of pottery, but no China. The same
  has lately been done at Clysma, the artificial mound near Suez, and
  the glass and pottery prove it to have been a Roman work which
  defended the mouth of the old classical sweet-water canal.

Footnote 228:

  Arab. “Lá baas ba-zálik,” conversational for “Lá jaram” = there is no
  harm in it, no objection to it; and, sometimes, “it is a matter of

Footnote 229:

  A white emerald is yet unknown; but this adds only to the Oriental
  extravagance of the picture. I do not think with Lane (ii. 426) that
  “abyaz” here can mean “bright.” Dr. Steingass suggests a clerical
  error for “khazar” (green).

Footnote 230:

  Arab. “Sharárif” plur. of Shurráfah = crenelles or battlements; mostly
  trefoil-shaped; _remparts coquets_ which a six-pounder would crumble.

Footnote 231:

  Pronounce Abul-Muzaffar = Father of the Conqueror.

Footnote 232:

  I have explained the word in my “Zanzibar, City, Island and Coast,”
  vol. i. chapt. v. There is still a tribe, the Wadoe, reputed cannibal
  on the opposite low East African shore. These blacks would hardly be
  held “sons of Adam.” “Zanj” corrupted to “Zinj” (plur. Zunúj) is the
  Persian “Zang” or “Zangi,” a black, altered by the Arabs, who ignore
  the hard _g_; and, with the suffixion of the Persian -bár (region, as
  in Malabar) we have Zang-bár which the Arabs have converted to
  “Zanjibar,” in poetry “Mulk al Zunúj” = Land of the Zang. The term is
  old; it is the Zingis or Zipgisa of Ptolemy and the Zingium of Cosmas
  Indicopleustes; and it shows the influence of Persian navigation in
  pre-Islamitic ages. For further details readers will consult “The Lake
  Regions of Central Africa” vol. i. chapt. ii.

Footnote 233:

  Arab. “Kawárib” plur. of “Kárib” prop. a dinghy, a small boat
  belonging to a ship. Here it refers to the canoe (a Carib word) pop.
  “dug-out” and classically “monoxyle,” a boat made of a single
  tree-trunk hollowed by fire and trimmed with axe and adze. Some of
  these rude craft which, when manned, remind one of saturnine Caliph
  Omar’s “worms floating on a log of wood,” measure 60 feet long and

Footnote 234:

  _i.e._ A descendant of Mohammed in general and especially through
  Husayn Ali-son. Here the text notes that the chief of the bazar was of
  this now innumerable stock, who inherit the title through the mother
  as well as through the father.

Footnote 235:

  Arab. “Hasab” (= quantity), the honour a man acquires for himself;
  opposed to “Nasab” (genealogy) honours inherited from ancestry: the
  Arabic well expresses my old motto (adopted by Chinese Gordon):—

                           Honour, not Honours.

Footnote 236:

  Note the difference between “Takaddum” (= standing in presence of,
  also superiority in excellence) and “Takádum” (priority in time).

Footnote 237:

  Lane (ii. 427) gives a pleasant Eastern illustration of this saying.

Footnote 238:

  A Koranic fancy; the mountains being the pegs which keep the earth in
  place. “And he hath thrown before the earth mountains firmly rooted,
  lest it should move with you.” (Koran, chapt. xvi.) The earth when
  first created was smooth and thereby liable to a circular motion, like
  the celestial orbs; and, when the Angels asked who could stand on so
  tottering a frame, Allah fixed it the next morning by throwing the
  mountains in it and pegging them down. A fair prolepsis of the
  Neptunian theory.

Footnote 239:

  Easy enough for an Englishman to avoid saying “by God,” but this
  common incident in Moslem folk-lore appeals to the peoples who are
  constantly using the word Allah Wallah, Billah, etc. The Koran
  expressly says, “Make not Allah the scope (object, lit. arrow-butt) of
  your oaths” (chapt. ii. 224); yet the command is broken every minute.

Footnote 240:

  This must be the ubiquitous Khizr, the Green Prophet; when Ali
  appears, as a rule he is on horseback.

Footnote 241:

  The name is apparently imaginary; and a little below we find that it
  was close to Jinn-land. China was very convenient for this purpose:
  the medieval Moslems, who settled in considerable numbers at Canton
  and elsewhere, knew just enough of it to know their own ignorance of
  the vast empire. Hence the Druzes of the Libanus still hold that part
  of their nation is in the depths of the Celestial Empire.

Footnote 242:

  I am unwilling to alter the old title to “City of Copper” as it should
  be; the pure metal having been technologically used long before the
  alloy of copper and zinc. But the Maroccan City (Night dlxvi. _et
  seq._) was of brass (not copper). The Hindus of Upper India have an
  Iram which they call Hari Chand’s city (Colonel Tod); and I need
  hardly mention the Fata Morgana, Island of Saint Borondon; Cape
  Fly-away; the Flying Dutchman, etc. etc., all the effect of “looming.”

Footnote 243:

  This sword which makes men invisible and which takes place of
  Siegfried’s Tarnkappe (invisible cloak) and of “Fortunatus’ cap” is
  common in Moslem folk-lore. The idea probably arose from the venerable
  practice of inscribing the blades with sentences, verses and magic

Footnote 244:

  Arab. “’Ukáb,” in books an eagle (especially black) and P. N. of
  constellation but in pop. usage = a vulture. In Egypt it is the
  Neophron Percnopterus (Jerdon) or N. Gingianus (Latham), the Dijájat
  Far’aun or Pharaoh’s hen. This bird has been known to kill the Báshah
  sparrow-hawk (Jerdon i. 60); yet, curious to say, the reviewers of my
  “Falconry in the Valley of the Indus” questioned the fact, known to so
  many travellers, that the falcon is also killed by this “tiger of the
  air,” despite the latter’s feeble bill (pp. 35-38). I was faring badly
  at their hands when the late Mr. Burckhardt Barker came to the rescue.
  Falconicide is popularly attributed, not only to the vulture, but also
  to the crestless hawk-eagle (Nisætus Bonelli) which the Hindus call
  Morángá = peacock-slayer.

Footnote 245:

  Here I translate “Nahás” = brass; as the “kumkum” (cucurbite) is made
  of mixed metal, not of copper.



It is told that Harun al-Rashid, in the days before he became jealous of
the Barmecides, sent once for one of his guards, Sálih by name, and said
to him, “O Salih, go to Mansúr[246] and say to him:—Thou owest us a
thousand thousand dirhams and we require of thee immediate payment of
this amount. And I command thee, O Salih, unless he pay it between this
hour and sundown, sever his head from his body and bring it to me.” “To
hear is to obey,” answered Salih and, going to Mansur, acquainted him
with what the Caliph had said; whereupon quoth he, “I am a lost man, by
Allah; for all my estate and all my hand owneth, if sold for their
utmost value, would not fetch a price of more than an hundred thousand
dirhams. Whence then, O Salih, shall I get the other nine hundred
thousand?” Salih replied, “Contrive how thou mayst speedily acquit
thyself, else thou art a dead man; for I cannot grant thee an
eye-twinkling of delay after the time appointed me by the Caliph; nor
can I fail of aught which the Prince of True Believers hath enjoined on
me. Hasten, therefore, to devise some means of saving thyself ere the
time expire.” Quoth Mansur, “O Salih, I beg thee of thy favour to bring
me to my house, that I may take leave of my children and family and give
my kinsfolk my last injunctions.” Now Salih relateth:—So I went with him
to his house where he fell to bidding his family farewell, and the house
was filled with a clamour of weeping and lamentations and calling for
help on Almighty Allah. Thereupon I said to him, “I have bethought me
that Allah may haply vouchsafe thee relief at the hands of the
Barmecides. Come, let us go to the house of Yáhyá bin Khálid.” So we
went to Yahya’s house, and Mansur told him his case, whereat he was sore
concerned and bowed him groundwards for a while; then raising his head,
he called his treasurer and said to him, “How much have we in our
treasury?” “A matter of five thousand dirhams,” answered the treasurer,
and Yahya bade him bring them and sent a messenger to his son, Al-Fazl,
saying, “I am offered for sale a splendid estate which may never be laid
waste; so send me somewhat of money.” Al-Fazl sent him a thousand
thousand dirhams, and he despatched a messenger with a like message to
his son Ja’afar, saying, “We have a matter of much moment and for it we
want money;” whereupon Ja’afar at once sent him a thousand thousand
dirhams; nor did Yahya leave sending to his kinsmen of the Barmecides,
till he had collected from them a great sum of money for Mansur. But
Salih and the debtor knew not of this; and Mansur said to Yahya, “O my
lord, I have laid hold upon thy skirt, for I know not whither to look
for the money but to thee, in accordance with thy wonted generosity; so
discharge thou the rest of my debt for me and make me thy freed slave.”
Thereupon Yahya hung down his head and wept; then he said to a page,
“Harkye, boy, the Commander of the Faithful gave our slave-girl Danánír
a jewel of great price: go thou to her and bid her send it to us.” The
page went out and presently returned with the jewel, whereupon quoth
Yahya, “O Mansur, I bought this jewel of the merchant for the Commander
of the Faithful, at a price of two hundred thousand dinars,[247] and he
gave it to our slave-girl Dananir, the lute-player; and when he sees it
with thee, he will know it and spare thy blood and do thee honour for
our sake; and now, O Mansur, verily thy money is complete.” (Salih
continued) So I took the money and the jewel and carried them to
Al-Rashid together with Mansur, but on the way I heard him repeat this
couplet, applying it to his own case:—

 ‘Twas not of love that fared my feet to them; ✿ ‘Twas that I feared me
    lest they shoot their shafts!

Now when I heard this, I marvelled at his evil nature and his depravity
and mischief-making and his ignoble birth and provenance and, turning
upon him, I said, “There is none on the face of the earth better or more
righteous than the Barmecides, nor any baser nor more wrongous than
thou; for they bought thee off from death and delivered thee from
destruction, giving thee what should save thee; yet thou thankest them
not nor praisest them, neither acquittest thee after the manner of the
noble; nay, thou meetest their benevolence with this speech.” Then I
went to Al-Rashid and acquainted him with all that had passed——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Salih
continued:—So I acquainted the Commander of the Faithful with all that
passed and Al-Rashid marvelled at the generosity and benevolence of
Yahya and the vileness and ingratitude of Mansur and bade restore the
jewel to Yahya, saying, “Whatso we have given it befitteth us not to
take again.” After that Salih returned to Yahya, and acquainted him with
the tale of Mansur and his ill-conduct; whereupon replied he, “O Salih,
when a man is in want, sick at heart and sad of thought, he is not to be
blamed for aught that falleth from him; for it cometh not from the
heart;” and on this wise he took to seeking excuse for Mansur. But Salih
wept and exclaimed, “Never shall the revolving heavens bring forth into
being the like of thee, O Yahya! Alas, and well-away, that one of such
noble nature and generosity should be laid in the dust!” And he repeated
these two couplets:—

 Haste to do kindness thou dost intend; ✿ Thou canst not always on boons
 How many from bounty themselves withheld, ✿ Till means of bounty had
    come to end!

And men tell another tale of the


Footnote 246:

  Mansur al-Nimrí, a poet of the time and a protégé of Yahya’s son,

Footnote 247:

  This was at least four times Mansur’s debt.

                              IN HIS NAME.

There was between Yahyá bin Khálid and Abdullah bin Málik
al-Khuzá’i[248] an enmity which they kept secret; the reason of the
hatred being that Harun al-Rashid loved Abdullah with exceeding love, so
that Yahya and his sons were wont to say that he had bewitched the
Commander of the Faithful. And thus they abode a long while, with
rancour in their hearts, till it fell out that the Caliph invested
Abdullah with the government of Armenia[249] and despatched him thither.
Now soon after he had settled himself in his seat of government, there
came to him one of the people of Irak, a man of good breeding and
excellent parts and abundant cleverness; but he had lost his money and
wasted his wealth and his estate was come to ill case; so he forged a
letter to Abdullah bin Malik in the name of Yahya bin Khalid and set out
therewith for Armenia. Now when he came to the Governor’s gate, he gave
the letter to one of the Chamberlains, who took it and carried it to his
master. Abdullah opened it and read it and, considering it attentively,
knew it to be forged; so he sent for the man, who presented himself
before him and called down blessings upon him and praised him and those
of his court. Quoth Abdullah to him, “What moved thee to weary thyself
on this wise and bring me a forged letter? But be of good heart; for we
will not disappoint thy travail.” Replied the other, “Allah prolong the
life of our lord the Wazir! If my coming annoy thee, cast not about for
a pretext to repel me, for Allah’s earth is wide and He who giveth daily
bread still liveth. Indeed, the letter I bring thee from Yahya bin
Khalid is true and no forgery.” Quoth Abdullah, “I will write a letter
to my agent[250] at Baghdad and command him enquire concerning this same
letter. If it be true, as thou sayest, and genuine and not forged by
thee, I will bestow on thee the Emir-ship of one of my cities; or, if
thou prefer a present, I will give thee two hundred thousand dirhams,
besides horses and camels of price and a robe of honour. But, if the
letter prove a forgery, I will order thou be beaten with two hundred
blows of a stick and thy beard be shaven.” So Abdullah bade confine him
in a chamber and furnish him therein with all he needed, till his case
should be made manifest. Then he despatched a letter to his agent at
Baghdad, to the following effect:—“There is come to me a man with a
letter purporting to be from Yahya bin Khalid. Now I have my suspicions
of this letter: therefore delay thou not in the matter, but go thyself
and look carefully into the case and let me have an answer with all
speed, in order that we may know what is true and what is untrue.” When
the letter reached Baghdad, the agent mounted at once——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Three Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the agent of
Abdullah son of Malik al-Khuza’i, on receipt of the letter at Baghdad,
mounted at once and repaired to the house of Yahya bin Khalid, whom he
found sitting with his officers and boon-companions. After the usual
salute he gave him the letter and Yahya read it and said to the agent,
“Come back to me to-morrow for my written answer.” Now when the agent
had gone away, Yahya turned to his companions and said, “What doth he
deserve who forgeth a letter in my name and carrieth it to my foe?” They
answered all and each, saying this and that, and every one proposing
some kind of punishment; but Yahya said, “Ye err in that ye say and this
your counsel is of the baseness of your spirits and the meanness of your
minds. Ye all know the close favour of Abdullah with the Caliph and ye
weet of what is between him and us of anger and enmity; and now Almighty
Allah hath made this man the means of reconciliation between us; and
hath fitted him for such purpose and hath appointed him to quench the
fire of ire in our hearts, which hath been growing these twenty years;
and by his means our differences shall be adjusted. Wherefore it
behoveth me to requite such man by verifying his assertion and amending
his estate; so I will write him a letter to Abdullah son of Malik,
praying that he may use him with increase of honour and continue to him
his liberality.” Now when his companions heard what he said, they called
down blessings on him and marvelled at his generosity and the greatness
of his magnanimity. Then he called for paper and ink and wrote Abdullah
a letter in his own hand, to the following effect:—“In the name of
Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate! Of a truth thy letter
hath reached me (Allah give thee long life!) and I am glad to hear of
thy safety and am pleased to be assured of thine immunity and
prosperity. It was thy thought that a certain worthy man had forged a
letter in my name and that he was not the bearer of any message from the
same; but the case is not so, for the letter I myself wrote, and it was
no forgery; and I hope, of thy courtesy and consideration and the
nobility of thy nature, that thou wilt gratify this generous and
excellent man of his hope and wish, and honour him with the honour he
deserveth and bring him to his desire and make him the special object of
thy favour and munificence. Whatso thou dost with him, it is to me that
thou dost the kindness, and I am thankful to thee accordingly.” Then he
superscribed the letter and after sealing it, delivered it to the agent,
who despatched it to Abdullah. Now when the Governor read it, he was
charmed with its contents, and sending for the man, said to him,
“Whichever of the two promised boons is the more acceptable to thee that
will I give thee.” The man replied, “The money gift were more acceptable
to me than aught else,” whereupon Abdullah ordered him two hundred
thousand dirhams and ten Arab horses, five with housings of silk and
other five with richly ornamented saddles, used in state processions;
besides twenty chests of clothes and ten mounted white slaves and a
proportionate quantity of jewels of price. Moreover, he bestowed on him
a dress of honour and sent him to Baghdad in great splendour. So when he
came thither, he repaired to the door of Yahya’s house, before he went
to his own folk, and craved permission to enter and have audience. The
Chamberlain went in to Yahya and said to him, “O my lord, there is one
at the door who craveth speech of thee; and he is a man of apparent
wealth, courteous in manner, comely of aspect and attended by many
servants.” Then Yahya bade admit him; and, when he entered and kissed
the ground before him, Yahya asked him, “Who art thou?” He answered,
“Hear me, O my lord, I am he who was done dead by the tyranny of
fortune, but thou didst raise me to life again from the grave of
calamities and exalt me to the paradise of my desires. I am the man who
forged a letter in thy name and carried it to Abdullah bin Malik
al-Khuza’i.” Yahya asked, “How hath he dealt with thee and what did he
give thee?”; and the man answered, “He hath given me, thanks to thy hand
and thy great liberality and benevolence and to thy comprehensive
kindness and lofty magnanimity and thine all-embracing generosity, that
which hath made me a wealthy man and he hath distinguished me with his
gifts and favours. And now I have brought all that he gave me and here
it is at thy door; for it is thine to decide and the command is in thy
hand.” Rejoined Yahya, “Thou hast done me better service than I did thee
and I owe thee a heavy debt of gratitude and every gift the white
hand[251] can give, for that thou hast changed into love and amity the
hate and enmity that were between me and a man whom I respect and
esteem. Wherefore I will give thee the like of what Abdullah bin Malik
gave thee.” Then he ordered him money and horses and chests of apparel,
such as Abdullah had given him; and thus that man’s fortune was restored
to him by the munificence of these two generous ones. And folk also
relate the tale of the


Footnote 248:

  Intendant of the Palace to Harun al-Rashid. The Bres. Edit. (vii. 254)
  begins, “They tell that there arose full enmity between Ja’afar
  Barmecide and a Sahib of Misr” (Wazir or Governor of Egypt). Lane (ii.
  429) quotes to this purpose amongst Arab historians Fakhr al-Dín (De
  Sacy’s Chrestomathie Arabe i., p. 26, edit. ii.).

Footnote 249:

  Arab. “Armaníyah” which Egyptians call after their mincing fashion
  “Irminiyeh:” hence “Ermine” (Mus Ponticus). Armaniyah was much more
  extensive than our Armenia, now degraded to a mere province of Turkey,
  and the term is understood to include the whole of the old Parthian

Footnote 250:

  Even now each Pasha-governor must keep a “Wakíl” in Constantinople to
  intrigue and bribe for him at head-quarters.

Footnote 251:

  The symbol of generosity, of unasked liberality, the “black hand”
  being that of niggardness.


It is said of Al-Maamun that, among the Caliphs of the house of Abbas,
there was none more accomplished in all branches of knowledge than he.
Now on two days in each week, he was wont to preside at conferences of
the learned, when the lawyers and theologians disputed in his presence,
each sitting in his several rank and room. One day as he sat thus, there
came into the assembly a stranger, clad in ragged white clothes, who
took seat in an obscure place behind the doctors of the law. Then the
assembly began to speak and debate difficult questions, it being the
custom that the various propositions should be submitted to each in
turn, and that whoso bethought him of some subtle addition or rare
conceit, should make mention of it. So the question went round till it
came to the strange man, who spake in his turn and made a goodlier
answer than any of the doctors’ replies; and the Caliph approved his
speech.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

          Now when it was the Three Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph
Al-Maamun approved his speech and ordered him to come up from his low
place to a high stead. Now when the second question came to him, he made
a still more notable answer, and Al-Maamun ordered him to be preferred
to a yet higher seat; and when the third question reached him, he made
answer more justly and appropriately than on the two previous occasions,
and Al-Maamun bade him come up and sit near himself. Presently the
discussion ended when water was brought and they washed their hands;
after which food was set on and they ate; and the doctors arose and
withdrew; but Al-Maamun forbade the stranger to depart with them and,
calling him to himself, treated him with especial favour and promised
him honour and profit. Thereupon they made ready the séance of wassail;
the fair-faced cup-companions came and the pure wine[252] went round
amongst them, till the cup came to the stranger, who rose to his feet
and spake thus, “If the Commander of the Faithful permit me, I will say
one word.” Answered the Caliph, “Say what thou wilt.” Quoth the man,
“Verily the Exalted Intelligence (whose eminence Allah increase!)
knoweth that his slave was this day, in the august assembly, one of the
unknown folk and of the meanest of the company; and the Commander of the
Faithful raised his rank and brought him near to himself, little as were
the wit and wisdom he displayed, preferring him above the rest and
advancing him to a station and a degree whereto his thought aspired not.
But now he is minded to part him from that small portion of intellect
which raised him high from his lowness and made him great after his
littleness. Heaven forfend and forbid that the Commander of the Faithful
should envy his slave what little he hath of understanding and worth and
renown! Now, if his slave should drink wine, his reason would depart far
from him and ignorance draw near to him and steal away his good
breeding; so would he revert to that low and contemptible degree, whence
he sprang, and become ridiculous and despicable in the eyes of the folk.
I hope, therefore, that the August Intelligence, of his power and bounty
and royal generosity and magnanimity, will not despoil his slave of this
jewel.” When the Caliph Al-Maamun heard his speech, he praised him and
thanked him and making him sit down again in his place, showed him high
honour and ordered him a present of an hundred thousand silver pieces.
Moreover he mounted him upon a horse and gave him rich apparel; and in
every assembly he was wont to exalt him and show him favour over all the
other doctors of law and religion till he became the highest of them all
in rank. And Allah is All-knowing.[253] Men also tell a tale of


Footnote 252:

  Arab. “Ráh” = pure (and old) wine. Arabs, like our classics, usually
  drank their wine tempered. So Imr al-Kays in his Mu’allakah says,
  “Bring the well-tempered wine, that seems to be saffron-tinctured;
  and, when water-mixed, o’erbrims the cup.” (v. 2).

Footnote 253:

  There is nothing that Orientals relish more than these “goody-goody”
  preachments; but they read and forget them as readily as Westerns.

                      ALI SHAR[254] AND ZUMURRUD.

There lived once in the days of yore and the good old times long gone
before, in the land of Khorasan, a merchant called Majd al-Dín, who had
great wealth and many slaves and servants, white and black, young and
old; but he had not been blessed with a child until he reached the age
of threescore, when Almighty Allah vouchsafed him a son, whom he named
Alí Shár. The boy grew up like the moon on the night of fulness; and
when he came to man’s estate and was endowed with all kinds of
perfections, his father fell sick of a death-malady and, calling his son
to him, said, “O my son, the fated hour of my decease is at hand, and I
desire to give thee my last injunctions.” He asked, “And what are they,
O my father?”; and he answered, “O my son, I charge thee, be not
over-familiar with any[255] and eschew what leadeth to evil and
mischief. Beware lest thou sit in company with the wicked; for he is
like the blacksmith; if his fire burn thee not, his smoke shall bother
thee: and how excellent is the saying of the poet:[256]—

                In thy whole world there is not one,
                Whose friendship thou may’st count upon,
                Nor plighted faith that will stand true,
                When times go hard, and hopes are few.
                Then live apart and dwell alone,
                Nor make a prop of any one,
                I’ve given a gift in that I’ve said,
                Will stand thy friend in every stead.”

And what another saith:—

    Men are a hidden malady; ✿ Rely not on the sham in them:
    For perfidy and treachery ✿ Thou’lt find, if thou examine them.

And yet a third saith:—

 Cònverse with men hath scanty weal, except ✿ To while away the time in
    chat and prate:
 Then shun their intimacy, save it be ✿ To win thee lore, or better thine

And a fourth saith:—

 If a sharp-witted wight e’er tried mankind, ✿ I’ve eaten that which only
    tasted he:[257]
 Their amity proved naught but wile and guile, ✿ Their faith I found was
    but hypocrisy.

Quoth Ali, “O my father, I have heard thee and I will obey thee; what
more shall I do?” Quoth he, “Do good whenas thou art able; be ever kind
and courteous to men and regard as riches every occasion of doing a good
turn; for a design is not always easily carried out”; and how well saith
the poet:—

 ‘Tis not at every time and tide unstable, ✿ We can do kindly acts and
 When thou art able hasten thee to act, ✿ Lest thine endeavour prove anon

Said Ali, “I have heard thee and I will obey thee.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth replied,
“I have heard thee and I will obey thee; what more?” And his sire
continued, “Be thou, O my son, mindful of Allah, so shall He be mindful
of thee. Ward thy wealth and waste it not; for an thou do, thou wilt
come to want the least of mankind. Know that the measure of a man’s
worth is according to that which his right hand hendeth”: and how well
saith the poet:[258]—

 When fails my wealth no friend will deign befriend, ✿ And when it waxeth
    all men friendship show:
 How many a foe for wealth became my friend, ✿ Wealth lost, how many a
    friend became a foe!

Asked Ali, “What more?” And Majd al-Din answered, “O my son, take
counsel of those who are older than thou and hasten not to do thy
heart’s desire. Have compassion on those who are below thee, so shall
those who are above thee have compassion on thee; and oppress none, lest
Allah empower one who shall oppress thee. How well saith the poet:—

 Add other wit to thy wit, counsel craving, ✿ For man’s true course hides
    not from minds of two:
 Man is a mirror which but shows his face, ✿ And by two mirrors he his
    back shall view.

And as saith another:[259]—

                  Act on sure grounds, nor hurry fast,
                  To gain the purpose that thou hast
                  And be thou kindly to all men
                  So kindly thou’lt be called again;
                  For not a deed the hand can try,
                  Save ‘neath the hand of God on high,
                  Nor tyrant harsh work tyranny,
                  Uncrushed by tyrant harsh as he.

And as saith yet another:[260]—

 Tyrannize not, if thou hast the power to do so; for the tyrannical is in
    danger of revenges.
 Thine eye will sleep while the oppressed, wakeful, will call down curses
    on thee, and God’s eye sleepeth not.

Beware of wine-bibbing, for drink is the root of all evil: it doeth away
the reason and bringeth to contempt whoso useth it; and how well saith
the poet:—

 By Allah, wine shall not disturb me, while my soul ✿ Join body, nor
    while speech the words of me explain:
 No day will I be thralled to wine-skin cooled by breeze[261] ✿ Nor
    choose a friend save those who are of cups unfain.

This, then, is my charge to thee; bear it before thine eyes, and Allah
stand to thee in my stead.” Then he swooned away and kept silent awhile;
and, when he came to himself, he besought pardon of Allah and pronounced
the profession of the Faith, and was admitted to the mercy of the
Almighty. So his son wept and lamented for him and presently made proper
preparation for his burial; great and small walked in his funeral
procession and Koran-readers recited Holy Writ about his bier; nor did
Ali Shar omit aught of what was due to the dead. Then they prayed over
him and committed him to the dust and wrote these two couplets upon his

 Thou wast create of dust and cam’st to life, ✿ And learned’st in
    eloquence to place thy trust;
 Anon, to dust returning, thou becamest ✿ A corpse, as though ne’er taken
    from the dust.

Now his son Ali Shar grieved for him with sore grief and mourned him
with the ceremonies usual among men of note; nor did he cease to weep
the loss of his father till his mother died also, not long afterwards,
when he did with her as he had done with his sire. Then he sat in the
shop, selling and buying and consorting with none of Almighty Allah’s
creatures, in accordance with his father’s injunction. This wise he
continued to do for a year, at the end of which time there came in to
him by craft certain whoreson fellows and consorted with him, till he
turned after their example to lewdness and swerved from the way of
righteousness, drinking wine in flowing bowls and frequenting fair women
night and day; for he said to himself, “Of a truth my father amassed
this wealth for me, and if I spend it not, to whom shall I leave it? By
Allah, I will not do save as saith the poet:—

   An through the whole of life ✿ Thou gett’st and gain’st for self;
   Say, when shalt thou enjoy ✿ Thy gains and gotten pelf?”

And Ali Shar ceased not to waste his wealth all whiles of the day and
all watches of the night, till he had made away with the whole of his
riches and abode in pauper case and troubled at heart. So he sold his
shop and lands and so forth, and after this he sold the clothes off his
body, leaving himself but one suit; and, as drunkenness quitted him and
thoughtfulness came to him, he fell into grief and sore care. One day,
when he had sat from daybreak to mid-afternoon without breaking his
fast, he said in his mind, “I will go round to those on whom I spent my
monies: perchance one of them will feed me this day.” So he went the
round of them all; but, as often as he knocked at any one’s door of
them, the man denied himself and hid from him, till his stomach ached
with hunger. Then he betook himself to the bazar of the merchants——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

           Now when it was the Three Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar feeling
his stomach ache with hunger, betook himself to the merchants’ bazar
where he found a crowd of people assembled in ring, and said to himself,
“I wonder what causeth these folk to crowd together thus? By Allah, I
will not budge hence till I see what is within yonder ring!” So he made
his way into the ring and found therein a damsel exposed for sale who
was five feet tall,[262] beautifully proportioned, rosy of cheek and
high of breast; and who surpassed all the people of her time in beauty
and loveliness and elegance and grace; even as saith one, describing

 As she willèd she was made, and in such a way that when ✿ She was cast
    in Nature’s mould neither short nor long was she:
 Beauty woke to fall in love with the beauties of her form, ✿ Where
    combine with all her coyness her pride and pudency:

 The full moon is her face[263] and the branchlet is her shape, ✿ And the
    musk-pod is her scent—what like her can there be?
 ‘Tis as though she were moulded from water of the pearl, ✿ And in every
    lovely limblet another moon we see!

And her name was Zumurrud—the Smaragdine. So when Ali Shar saw her, he
marvelled at her beauty and grace and said, “By Allah, I will not stir
hence till I see how much this girl fetcheth, and know who buyeth her!”
So he took standing-place amongst the merchants, and they thought he had
a mind to buy her, knowing the wealth he had inherited from his parents.
Then the broker stood at the damsel’s head and said, “Ho, merchants! Ho,
ye men of money! Who will open the gate of biddings for this damsel, the
mistress of moons, the union pearl, Zumurrud the curtain-maker, the
sought of the seeker and the delight of the desirous? Open the biddings’
door and on the opener be nor blame nor reproach for evermore.”
Thereupon quoth one merchant, “Mine for five hundred dinars;” “and ten,”
quoth another. “Six hundred,” cried an old man named Rashíd al-Din, blue
of eye[264] and foul of face. “And ten,” cried another. “I bid a
thousand,” rejoined Rashid al-Din; whereupon the rival merchants were
tongue-tied, and held their peace and the broker took counsel with the
girl’s owner, who said, “I have sworn not to sell her save to whom she
shall choose: so consult her.” Thereupon the broker went up to Zumurrud
and said to her, “O mistress of moons, this merchant hath a mind to buy
thee.” She looked at Rashid al-Din and finding him as we have said,
replied, “I will not be sold to a greybeard, whom decrepitude hath
brought to such evil plight. Allah inspired his saying who saith:—

 I craved of her a kiss one day; but soon as she beheld ✿ My hoary
 hairs, though I my luxuries and wealth display’d;

 She proudly turned away from me, showed shoulders, cried aloud:— ✿ ‘No!
    no! by Him, whose hest mankind from nothingness hath made,
 For hoary head and grizzled chin I’ve no especial love: ✿ What! stuff my
    mouth with cotton[265] ere in sepulchre I’m laid?’”

Now when the broker heard her words he said, “By Allah, thou art
excusable, and thy price is ten thousand gold pieces!” So he told her
owner that she would not accept of old man Rashid al-Din, and he said,
“Consult her concerning another.” Thereupon a second man came forward
and said, “Be she mine for what price was offered by the oldster she
would have none of;” but she looked at him and seeing that his beard was
dyed, said “What be this fashion lewd and base and the blackening of the
hoary face?” And she made a great show of wonderment and repeated these

 Showed me Sir Such-an-one a sight and what a frightful sight! ✿ A neck,
    by Allah, only made for slipper-sole to smite:[266]
 A beard the meetest racing-ground where gnats and lice contend, ✿ A brow
    fit only for the ropes thy temples chafe and bite.[267]
 O thou enravisht by my cheek and beauties of my form, ✿ Why so translate
    thyself to youth and think I deem it right?
 Dyeing disgracefully that white of reverend aged hairs, ✿ And hiding for
    foul purposes their venerable white!
 Thou goest with one beard and comest back with quite another, ✿ Like
    Punch-and-Judy man who works the Chinese shades by night.[268]

And how well saith another:—

 Quoth she, “I see thee dye thy hoariness:”[269] ✿ “To hide, O ears and
    eyes! from thee,” quoth I:
 She roared with laugh and said, “Right funny this; ✿ Thou art so lying
    e’en thy hair’s a lie!”

Now when the broker heard her verse he exclaimed, “By Allah thou hast
spoken sooth!” The merchant asked what she said: so the broker repeated
the verses to him; and he knew that she was in the right while he was
wrong and desisted from buying her. Then another came forward and said,
“Ask her if she will be mine at the same price;” but, when he did so,
she looked at him and seeing that he had but one eye, said, “This man is
one-eyed; and it is of such as he that the poet saith:[270]—

 Consort not with the Cyclops e’en a day; ✿ Beware his falsehood and his
    mischief fly:
 Had this monocular a jot of good, ✿ Allah had ne’er brought blindness to
    his eye!”

Then said the broker, pointing to another bidder, “Wilt thou be sold to
this man?” She looked at him and seeing that he was short of
stature[271] and had a beard that reached to his navel, cried, “This is
he of whom the poet speaketh:—

 I have a friend who hath a beard ✿ Allah to useless length unroll’d:
 ‘Tis like a certain[272] winter night, ✿ Longsome and darksome, drear
    and cold.”

Said the broker, “O my lady, look who pleaseth thee of these that are
present, and point him out, that I may sell thee to him.” So she looked
round the ring of merchants, examining one by one their physiognomies,
till her glance fell on Ali Shar,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the girl’s
glance fell on Ali Shar, she cast at him a look with longing eyes, which
cost her a thousand sighs, and her heart was taken with him; for that he
was of favour passing fair and pleasanter than zephyr or northern air;
and she said, “O broker, I will be sold to none but to this my lord,
owner of the handsome face and slender form whom the poet thus

      Displaying that fair face ✿ The tempted they assailed;
      Who, had they wished me safe ✿ That lovely face had veiled!”

For none shall own me but he, because his cheek is smooth and the water
of his mouth sweet as Salsabil;[273] his spittle is a cure for the sick
and his charms daze and dazzle poet and proser, even as saith one of

 His honey-dew of lips is wine; his breath ✿ Musk and those teeth, smile
    shown, are camphor’s hue:
 Rizwán[274] hath turned him out o’ doors, for fear ✿ The Houris lapse
    from virtue at the view;
 Men blame his bearing for its pride, but when ✿ In pride the full moon
    sails, excuse is due.

Lord of the curling locks and rose-red cheeks and ravishing look of whom
saith the poet:—

 The fawn-like one a meeting promised me ✿ And eye expectant waxed and
    heart upstirred:
 His eyelids bade me hold his word as true; ✿ But, in their
    languish,[275] can he keep his word?

And as saith another:—

 Quoth they, “Black letters on his cheek are writ! ✿ How canst thou love
    him and a side-beard see?”
 Quoth I, “Cease blame and cut your chiding short; ✿ If those be letters
    ‘tis a forgery:”
 Gather his charms all growths of Eden-garth ✿ Whereto those
    Kausar[276]-lips bear testimony.

When the broker heard the verses she repeated on the charms of Ali Shar,
he marvelled at her eloquence, no less than at the brightness of her
beauty; but her owner said to him, “Marvel not at her splendour which
shameth the noonday sun, nor that her memory is stored with the choicest
verses of the poets; for, besides this, she can repeat the glorious
Koran, according to the seven readings,[277] and the august Traditions,
after ascription and authentic transmission; and she writeth the seven
modes of handwriting[278] and she knoweth more learning and knowledge
than the most learned. Moreover, her hands are better than gold and
silver; for she maketh silken curtains and selleth them for fifty gold
pieces each; and it taketh her but eight days to make a curtain.”
Exclaimed the broker, “O happy the man who hath her in his house and
maketh her of his choicest treasures!”; and her owner said to him, “Sell
her to whom she will.” So the broker went up to Ali Shar and, kissing
his hands, said to him, “O my lord, buy thou this damsel, for she hath
made choice of thee.”[279] Then he set forth to him all her charms and
accomplishments, and added, “I give thee joy if thou buy her, for this
be a gift from Him who is no niggard of His giving.” Whereupon Ali bowed
his head groundwards awhile, laughing at himself and secretly saying,
“Up to this hour I have not broken my fast; yet I am ashamed before the
merchants to own that I have no money wherewith to buy her.” The damsel,
seeing him hang down his head, said to the broker, “Take my hand and
lead me to him, that I may show my beauty to him and tempt him to buy
me; for I will not be sold to any but to him.” So the broker took her
hand and stationed her before Ali Shar, saying, “What is thy good
pleasure, O my lord?” But he made him no answer, and the girl said to
him, “O my lord and darling of my heart, what aileth thee that thou wilt
not bid for me? Buy me for what thou wilt and I will bring thee good
fortune.” So he raised his eyes to her and said, “Is buying perforce?
Thou art dear at a thousand dinars.” Said she, “Then buy me, O my lord,
for nine hundred.” He cried, “No,” and she rejoined, “Then for eight
hundred;” and though he again said, “Nay,” she ceased not to abate the
price, till she came to an hundred dinars. Quoth he, “I have not by me a
full hundred.” So she laughed and asked, “How much dost thou lack of an
hundred?” He answered, “By Allah, I have neither an hundred dinars, nor
any other sum; for I own neither white coin nor red cash, neither dinar
nor dirham. So look out thou for another and a better customer.” And
when she knew that he had nothing, she said to him, “Take me by the hand
and carry me aside into a by-lane, as if thou wouldst examine me
privily.” He did so and she drew from her bosom a purse containing a
thousand dinars, which she gave him, saying, “Pay down nine hundred to
my price and let the hundred remain with thee by way of provision.” He
did as she bid him and, buying her for nine hundred dinars, paid down
the price from her own purse and carried her to his house. When she
entered it, she found a dreary desolate saloon without carpets or
vessels; so she gave him other thousand dinars, saying, “Go to the bazar
and buy three hundred dinars’ worth of furniture and vessels for the
house and three dinars’ worth of meat and drink.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

          Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
slave-girl, “Bring us meat and drink for three dinars; furthermore a
piece of silk, the size of a curtain, and bring golden and silvern
thread and sewing-silk of seven colours.” Thus he did, and she furnished
the house and they sat down to eat and drink; after which they went to
bed and took their pleasure one of the other. And they lay the night
embraced behind the curtain and were even as saith the poet:[280]—

 Cleave fast to her thou lovest and let the envious rail amain; For
    calumny and envy ne’er to favour love were fain.
 Lo, whilst I slept, in dreams I saw thee lying by my side And, from thy
    lips the sweetest, sure, of limpid springs did drain.
 Yea, true and certain all I saw is, as I will avouch, And ‘spite the
    envier, thereto I surely will attain.
 There is no goodlier sight, indeed, for eyes to look upon. Than when one
    couch in its embrace enfoldeth lovers twain.
 Each to the other’s bosom clasped, clad in their twinned delight. Whilst
    hand with hand and arm with arm about their necks enchain,
 Lo, when two hearts are straitly knit in passion and desire, But on cold
    iron smite the folk who chide at them in vain.
 Thou, that for loving censurest the votaries of love, canst thou assain
    a heart diseased or heal a cankered brain?
 If in thy time thou find but one to love thee and be true, I rede thee
    cast the world away and with that one remain.

So they lay together till the morning and love for the other waxed
firmly fixed in the heart of each. And on rising, Zumurrud took the
curtain and embroidered it with coloured silks and purfled it with
silver and gold thread and she added thereto a border depicting round
about it all manner birds and beasts; nor is there in the world a feral
but she wrought his semblance. This she worked in eight days, till she
had made an end of it, when she trimmed it and glazed and ironed it and
gave it to her lord, saying, “Carry it to the bazar and sell it to one
of the merchants at fifty dinars; but beware lest thou sell it to a
passer-by, as this would cause a separation between me and thee, for we
have foes who are not unthoughtful of us.” “I hear and I obey,” answered
he and, repairing to the bazar, sold the curtain to a merchant, as she
bade him; after which he bought a piece of silk for another curtain and
gold and silver and silken thread as before and what they needed of
food, and brought all this to her, giving her the rest of the money. Now
every eight days she made a curtain, which he sold for fifty dinars, and
on this wise passed a whole year. At the end of that time, he went as
usual to the bazar with a curtain, which he gave to the broker; and
there came up to him a Nazarene who bid him sixty dinars for it; but he
refused, and the Christian continued bidding higher and higher, till he
came to an hundred dinars and bribed the broker with ten ducats. So the
man returned to Ali Shar and told him of the proffered price and urged
him to accept the offer and sell the article at the Nazarene’s
valuation, saying, “O my lord, be not afraid of this Christian for that
he can do thee no hurt.” The merchants also were urgent with him; so he
sold the curtain to the Christian, albeit his heart misgave him; and,
taking the money, set off to return home. Presently, as he walked, he
found the Christian walking behind him; so he said to him, “O
Nazarene,[281] why dost thou follow in my footsteps?” Answered the other
“O my lord, I want a something at the end of the street, Allah never
bring thee to want!”; but Ali Shar had barely reached his place before
the Christian overtook him; so he said to him, “O accursed, what aileth
thee to follow me wherever I go?” Replied the other, “O my lord, give me
a draught of water, for I am athirst; and with Allah be thy
reward!”[282] Quoth Ali Shar to himself, “Verily, this man is an Infidel
who payeth tribute and claimeth our protection[283] and he asketh me for
a draught of water; by Allah, I will not baulk him!”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Ali Shar to
himself, “This man is a tributary Unbeliever and he asked me for a
draught of water; by Allah, I will not baulk him!” So he entered the
house and took a gugglet of water; but the slave-girl Zumurrud saw him
and said to him, “O my love, hast thou sold the curtain?” He replied,
“Yes;” and she asked, “To a merchant or to a passer-by? for my heart
presageth a parting.” And he answered, “To whom but to a merchant?”
Thereupon she rejoined, “Tell me the truth of the case, that I may order
my affair; and why take the gugglet of water?” And he, “To give the
broker to drink,” upon which she exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!”; and she
repeated these two couplets:[284]—

 O thou who seekest separation, act leisurely, and let not the embrace of
    the beloved deceive thee!
 Act leisurely; for the nature of fortune is treacherous, and the end of
    every union is disjunction.

Then he took the gugglet and, going out, found the Christian within the
vestibule and said to him, “How comest thou here and how darest thou, O
dog, enter my house without my leave?” Answered he, “O my lord, there is
no difference between the door and the vestibule, and I never intended
to stir hence, save to go out; and my thanks are due to thee for thy
kindness and favour, thy bounty and generosity.” Then he took the mug
and emptying it, returned it to Ali Shar, who received it and waited for
him to rise up and to go; but he did not move. So Ali said to him, “Why
dost thou not rise and wend thy way?”; and he answered, “O my lord, be
not of those who do a kindness and then make it a reproach, nor of those
of whom saith the poet:[285]—

 They’re gone who when thou stoodest at their door ✿ Would for thy wants
    so generously cater:
 But stand at door of churls who followed them, ✿ They’d make high favour
    of a draught of water!”

And he continued, “O my lord, I have drunk, and now I would have thee
give me to eat of whatever is in the house, though it be but a bit of
bread or a biscuit with an onion.” Replied Ali Shar, “Begone, without
more chaffer and chatter; there is nothing in the house.” He persisted,
“O my lord, if there be nothing in the house, take these hundred dinars
and bring us something from the market, if but a single scone, that
bread and salt may pass between us.”[286] With this, quoth Ali Shar to
himself, “This Christian is surely mad; I will take his hundred dinars
and bring him somewhat worth a couple of dirhams and laugh at him.” And
the Nazarene added, “O my lord, I want but a small matter to stay my
hunger, were it but a dry scone and an onion; for the best food is that
which doeth away appetite, not rich viands”; and how well saith the

 Hunger is sated with a bone-dry scone, ✿ How is it then[287] in woes of
    want I wone?
 Death is all-justest, lacking aught regard ✿ For Caliph-king and beggar

Then quoth Ali Shar, “Wait here, while I lock the saloon and fetch thee
somewhat from the market;” and quoth the Christian, “To hear is to
obey.” So Ali Shar shut up the saloon and, locking the door with a
padlock, put the key in his pocket: after which he went to market and
bought fried cheese and virgin honey and bananas[288] and bread, with
which he returned to the house. Now when the Christian saw the
provision, he said, “O my lord, this is overmuch; ‘tis enough for half a
score of men and I am alone; but belike thou wilt eat with me.” Replied
Ali, “Eat by thyself, I am full;” and the Christian rejoined, “O my
lord, the wise say, Whoso eateth not with his guest is a son of a
whore.” Now when Ali Shar heard these words from the Nazarene, he sat
down and ate a little with him, after which he would have held his
hand;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar sat down
and ate a little with him, after which he would have held his hand; but
the Nazarene privily took a banana and peeled it; then, splitting it in
twain, put into one half concentrated Bhang, mixed with opium, a drachm
whereof would overthrow an elephant; and he dipped it in the honey and
gave it to Ali Shar, saying, “O my lord, by the truth of thy religion, I
adjure thee to take this.” So Ali Shar, being ashamed to make him
forsworn, took it and swallowed it; but hardly had it settled well in
his stomach, when his head forwent both his feet and he was as though he
had been a year asleep. As soon as the Nazarene saw this, he rose to his
feet as he had been a scald wolf or a cat-o’-mount[289] at bay and,
taking the saloon key, left Ali Shar prostrate and ran off to rejoin his
brother. And the cause of his so doing was that the Nazarene’s brother
was the same decrepit old man who purposed to buy Zumurrud for a
thousand dinars, but she would none of him and jeered him in verse. He
was an Unbeliever inwardly, though a Moslem outwardly, and had called
himself Rashid al-Din;[290] and when Zumurrud mocked him and would not
accept of him, he complained to his brother, the aforesaid Christian who
played this sleight to take her from her master Ali Shar; whereupon his
brother, Barsúm by name, said to him, “Fret not thyself about the
business; for I will make shift to seize her for thee, without expending
either dinar or dirham.” Now he was a skilful wizard, crafty and wicked;
so he watched his time and ceased not his practices till he played Ali
Shar the trick before related; then, taking the key, he went to his
brother and acquainted him with what had passed. Thereupon Rashid al-Din
mounted his she-mule and repaired with his brother and his servants to
the house of Ali Shar, taking with him a purse of a thousand dinars,
wherewith to bribe the Chief of Police, should he meet him. He opened
the saloon-door, and the men who were with him rushed in upon Zumurrud
and forcibly seized her, threatening her with death, if she spoke; but
they left the place as it was and took nothing therefrom. Lastly, they
left Ali Shar lying in the vestibule after they had shut the door on him
and laid the saloon key by his side. Then the Christian carried the girl
to his own house and setting her amongst his handmaids and concubines,
said to her, “O strumpet, I am the old man whom thou didst reject and
lampoon; but now I have thee, without paying dinar or dirham.” Replied
she (and her eyes streamed with tears), “Allah requite thee, O wicked
old man, for sundering me and my lord!” He rejoined, “Wanton minx and
whore that thou art, thou shalt see how I will punish thee! By the truth
of the Messiah and the Virgin, except thou obey me and embrace my faith,
I will torture thee with all manner of torture!” She replied, “By Allah,
though thou cut my flesh to bits I will not forswear the faith of
Al-Islam! It may be Almighty Allah will bring me speedy relief, for He
doth even as He is lief, and the wise say:—Better body to scathe than a
flaw in faith.” Thereupon the old man called his eunuchs and women,
saying, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down and he ceased not to
beat her with grievous beating, whilst she cried for help and no help
came; then she no longer implored aid but fell to saying, “Allah is my
sufficiency, and He is indeed all-sufficient!” till her groans ceased
and her breath failed her and she fell into a fainting-fit. Now when his
heart was soothed by bashing her, he said to the eunuchs, “Drag her
forth by the feet and cast her down in the kitchen, and give her nothing
to eat.” And after quietly sleeping that night, on the morrow the
accursed old man sent for her and beat her again, after which he bade
the Castrato return her to her place. When the burning of the blows had
cooled, she said, “There is no God but _the_ God and Mohammed is the
Apostle of God! Allah is my sufficiency and excellent is my Guardian!”
And she called for succour upon our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and
keep!)——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zumurrud called
for succour upon our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!). Such
was her case; but as regards Ali Shar, he ceased not sleeping till next
day, when the Bhang quitted his brain and he opened his eyes, and cried
out, “O Zumurrud”; but no one answered him. So he entered the saloon and
found the empty air and the fane afar;[291] whereby he knew that it was
the Nazarene who had played him this trick. And he groaned and wept and
lamented and again shed tears, repeating these couplets:—

 O Love thou’rt instant in thy cruellest guise; ✿ Here is my heart ‘twixt
    fears and miseries:
 Pity, O lords, a thrall who, felled on way ✿ Of Love, erst wealthy now a
    beggar lies:
 What profits archer’s art if, when the foe ✿ Draw near, his bowstring
    snap ere arrow flies:
 And when griefs multiply on generous man ✿ And urge, what fort can fend
    from destinies?
 How much and much I warded parting, but ✿ ‘When Destiny descends she
    blinds our eyes?’

And when he had ended his verse, he sobbed with loud sobs and repeated
also these couplets:—

 Enrobes with honour sands of camp her foot-step wandering lone; ✿ Pines
    the poor mourner as she wins the stead where wont to wone:
 She turns to resting-place of tribe, and yearns thereon to view ✿ The
    spring-camp lying desolate with ruins overstrown:
 She stands and questions of the site, but with the tongue of case ✿ The
    mount replies, ‘There is no path that leads to union, none!
 ‘Tis as the lightning flash erewhile bright glittered o’er the camp ✿
    And died in darkling air no more to be for ever shown.’

And he repented when repentance availed him naught, and wept and rent
his raiment. Then he hent in hand two stones and went round about the
city, beating his breast with the stones and crying, “O Zumurrud!”
whilst the small boys flocked round him, calling out, “A madman! A
madman!” and all who knew him wept for him, saying, “This is such an
one: what evil hath befallen him?” Thus he continued doing all that day
and, when night darkened on him, he lay down in one of the city-lanes
and slept till morning. On the morrow, he went round about town with the
stones till eventide, when he returned to his saloon to pass therein the
night. Presently, one of his neighbours saw him, and this worthy old
woman said to him, “O my son, Heaven give thee healing! How long hast
thou been mad?” And he answered her with these two couplets:[292]—

 They said, Thou ravest upon the person thou lovest. And I replied, The
    sweets of life are only for the mad.
 Drop the subject of my madness, and bring her upon whom I rave. If she
    cure my madness do not blame me.

So his old neighbour knew him for a lover who had lost his beloved and
said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great! O my son, I wish thou wouldest acquaint me with the
tale of thine affliction. Peradventure Allah may enable me to help thee
against it, if it so please Him.” So he told her all that had befallen
him with Barsum the Nazarene and his brother the wizard who had named
himself Rashid al-Din and, when she understood the whole case, she said,
“O my son, indeed thou hast excuse.” And her eyes railed tears and she
repeated these two couplets:—

 Enough for lovers in this world their ban and bane: ✿ By Allah, lover
    ne’er in fire of Sakar fries:
 For, sure, they died of love-desire they never told ✿ Chastely, and to
    this truth tradition testifies.[293]

And after she had finished her verse, she said, “O my son, rise at once
and buy me a crate, such as the jewel-pedlars carry; buy also bangles
and seal-rings and bracelets and ear-rings and other gew-gaws wherein
women delight and grudge not the cash. Put all the stock into the crate
and bring it to me and I will set it on my head and go round about, in
the guise of a huckstress and make search for her in all the houses,
till I happen on news of her—Inshallah!” So Ali Shar rejoiced in her
words and kissed her hands, then, going out, speedily brought her all
she required; whereupon she rose and donned a patched gown and threw
over her head a honey-yellow veil, and took staff in hand and, with the
basket on her head, began wandering about the passages and the houses.
She ceased not to go from house to house and street to street and
quarter to quarter, till Allah Almighty led her to the house of the
accursed Rashid al-Din the Nazarene where, hearing groans within, she
knocked at the door,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman
heard groans within the house, she knocked at the door, whereupon a
slave-girl came down and opening to her, saluted her. Quoth the old
woman, “I have these trifles for sale: is there any one with you who
will buy aught of them?” “Yes,” answered the damsel and, carrying her
indoors, made her sit down; whereupon all the slave-girls came round her
and each bought something of her. And as the old woman spoke them fair
and was easy with them as to price, all rejoiced in her, because of her
kind ways and pleasant speech. Meanwhile, she looked narrowly at the ins
and outs of the place to see who it was she had heard groaning, till her
glance fell on Zumurrud, when she knew her and she began to show her
customers yet more kindness. At last she made sure that Zumurrud was
laid prostrate; so she wept and said to the girls, “O my children, how
cometh yonder young lady in this plight?” Then the slave-girls told her
all what had passed, adding, “Indeed this matter is not of our choice;
but our master commanded us to do thus, and he is now on a journey?” She
said, “O my children, I have a favour to ask of you, and it is that you
loose this unhappy damsel of her bonds, till you know of your lord’s
return, when do ye bind her again as she was; and you shall earn a
reward from the Lord of all creatures.” “We hear and obey,” answered
they and at once loosing Zumurrud, gave her to eat and drink. Thereupon
quoth the old woman, “Would my leg had been broken, ere I entered your
house!” And she went up to Zumurrud and said to her, “O my daughter,
Heaven keep thee safe; soon shall Allah bring thee relief.” Then she
privily told her that she came from her lord, Ali Shar, and agreed with
her to be on the watch for sounds that night, saying, “Thy lord will
come and stand by the pavilion-bench and whistle[294] to thee; and when
thou hearest him, do thou whistle back to him and let thyself down to
him by a rope from the window, and he will take thee and go away with
thee.” So Zumurrud thanked the old woman, who went forth and returned to
Ali Shar and told him what she had done, saying, “Go this night, at
midnight, to such a quarter, for the accursed carle’s house is there and
its fashion is thus and thus. Stand under the window of the upper
chamber and whistle; whereupon she will let herself down to thee; then
do thou take her and carry her whither thou wilt.” He thanked her for
her good offices and with flowing tears repeated these couplets:—

 Now with their says and saids[295] no more vex me the chiding race; ✿ My
    heart is weary and I’m worn to bone by their disgrace:
 And tears a truthful legend[296] with a long ascription-chain ✿ Of my
    desertion and distress the lineage can trace.
 O thou heart-whole and free from dole and dolours I endure, ✿ Cut short
    thy long persistency nor question of my case:
 A sweet-lipped one and soft of sides and cast in shapeliest mould ✿ Hath
    stormed my heart with honied lure and honied words of grace.
 No rest my heart hath known since thou art gone, nor ever close ✿ These
    eyes, nor patience-aloe scape the hopes I dare to trace:
 Ye have abandoned me to be the pawn of vain desire, ✿ In squalid state
    ‘twixt enviers and they who blame to face:
 As for forgetting you or love ‘tis thing I never knew; ✿ Nor in my
    thought shall ever pass a living thing but you.

And when he ended his verses, he sighed and shed tears and repeated also
these couplets:—

 Divinely were inspired his words who brought me news of you; ✿ For
    brought he unto me a gift was music in mine ear:
 Take he for gift, if him content, this worn-out threadbare robe, ✿ My
    heart, which was in pieces torn when parting from my fere.

He waited till night darkened and, when came the appointed time, he went
to the quarter she had described to him and saw and recognised the
Christian’s house; so he sat down on the bench under the gallery.
Presently drowsiness overcame him and he slept (Glory be to Him who
sleepeth not!), for it was long since he had tasted sleep, by reason of
the violence of his passion, and he became as one drunken with slumber.
And while he was on this wise——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that while he lay
asleep, behold, a certain thief, who had come out that night and prowled
about the skirts of the city to steal somewhat, happened by the decree
of Destiny, on the Nazarene’s house. He went round about it, but found
no way of climbing up into it, and presently on his circuit he came to
the bench, where he saw Ali Shar asleep and stole his turband; and, as
he was taking it, suddenly Zumurrud looked out and seeing the thief
standing in the darkness, took him for her lord; whereupon she let
herself down to him by the rope with a pair of saddle-bags full of gold.
Now when the robber saw that, he said to himself, “This is a wondrous
thing, and there must needs be some marvellous cause to it.” Then he
snatched up the saddle-bags, and threw Zumurrud over his shoulders and
made off with both like the blinding lightning. Quoth she, “Verily, the
old woman told me that thou wast weak with illness on my account; and
here thou art, stronger than a horse.” He made her no reply; so she put
her hand to his face and felt a beard like the broom of palm-frond used
for the Hammam,[297] as if he were a hog which had swallowed feathers
and they had come out of his gullet; whereat she took fright and said to
him, “What art thou?” “O strumpet,” answered he, “I am the sharper
Jawán[298] the Kurd, of the band of Ahmad al-Danaf; we are forty
sharpers, who will all piss our tallow into thy womb this night, from
dusk to dawn.” When she heard his words, she wept and beat her face,
knowing that Fate had gotten the better of her and that she had no
resource but resignation and to put her trust in Allah Almighty. So she
took patience and submitted herself to the ordinance of the Lord,
saying, “There is no god but _the_ God! As often as we escape from one
woe, we fall into a worse.” Now the cause of Jawan’s coming thither was
this: he had said to Calamity-Ahmad, “O Sharper-captain,[299] I have
been in this city before and know a cavern without the walls which will
hold forty souls; so I will go before you thither and set my mother
therein. Then will I return to the city and steal somewhat for the luck
of all of you and keep it till you come; so shall you be my guests and I
will show you hospitality this day.” Replied Ahmad al-Danaf, “Do what
thou wilt.” So Jawan went forth to the place before them and set his
mother in the cave; but, as he came out he found a trooper lying asleep,
with his horse picketed beside him; so he cut his throat and, taking his
clothes and his charger and his arms, hid them with his mother in the
cave, where also he tethered the horse. Then he betook himself to the
city and prowled about, till he happened on the Christian’s house and
did with Ali Shar’s turband and Zumurrud and her saddle-bags as we have
said. He ceased not to run, with Zumurrud on his back, till he came to
the cavern, where he gave her in charge of his mother, saying, “Keep
thou watch over her till I return to thee at first dawn of day,” and
went his ways.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Kurdish
Jawan to his mother, “Keep thou watch over her till I come back to thee
at first dawn of day,” and went his ways. Now Zumurrud said to herself,
“Why am I so heedless about saving my life and wherefore await till
these forty men come?: they will take their turns to board me, till they
make me like a water-logged ship at sea.” Then she turned to the old
woman, Jawan’s mother, and said to her, “O my aunt, wilt thou not rise
up and come without the cave, that I may louse thee in the sun?”[300]
Replied the old woman, “Ay, by Allah, O my daughter: this long time have
I been out of reach of the bath; for these hogs cease not to carry me
from place to place.” So they went without the cavern, and Zumurrud
combed out her head hair and killed the lice on her locks, till the
tickling soothed her and she fell asleep; whereupon Zumurrud arose and,
donning the clothes of the murthered trooper, girt her waist with his
sword and covered her head with his turband, so that she became as she
were a man. Then, mounting the horse, after she had taken the saddle
bags full of gold she breathed a prayer, “O good Protector, protect me I
adjure thee by the glory of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!),”
adding these words in thought, “If I return to the city belike one of
the trooper’s folk will see me, and no good will befal me.” So she
turned her back on the town and rode forth into the wild and the waste.
And she ceased not faring forth with her saddle-bags and the steed,
eating of the growth of the earth and drinking of its waters, she and
her horse, for ten days and, on the eleventh, she came in sight of a
city pleasant and secure from dread, and stablished in happy stead.
Winter had gone from it with his cold showers, and Prime had come to it
with his roses and orange-blossoms and varied flowers; and its blooms
were brightly blowing; its streams were merrily flowing and its birds
warbled coming and going. And she drew near the dwellings and would have
entered the gate when she saw the troops and Emirs and Grandees of the
place drawn up, whereat she marvelled seeing them in such unusual case
and said to herself, “The people of the city are all gathered at its
gate: needs must there be a reason for this.” Then she made towards
them; but, as she drew near, the soldiery dashed forward to meet her
and, dismounting all, kissed the ground between her hands and said, “Aid
thee Allah, O our lord the Sultan!” Then the notables and dignitaries
ranged themselves before her in double line, whilst the troops ordered
the people in, saying, “Allah aid thee and make thy coming a blessing to
the Moslems, O Sultan of all creatures! Allah establish thee, O King of
the time and union-pearl of the day and the tide!” Asked Zumurrud, “What
aileth you, O people of this city?” And the Head Chamberlain answered,
“Verily, He hath given to thee who is no niggard in His giving; and He
hath been bountiful to thee and hath made thee Sultan of this city and
ruler over the necks of all who are therein; for know thou it is the
custom of the citizens, when their King deceaseth leaving no son, that
the troops should sally forth to the suburbs and sojourn there three
days: and whoever cometh from the quarter whence thou hast come, him
they make King over them. So praised be Allah who hath sent us of the
sons of the Turks a well-favoured man; for had a lesser than thou
presented himself, he had been Sultan.” Now Zumurrud was clever and
well-advised in all she did: so she said, “Think not that I am of the
common folk of the Turks! nay, I am of the sons of the great, a man of
condition; but I was wroth with my family, so I went forth and left
them. See these saddle-bags full of gold which I have brought under me
that, by the way, I might give alms thereof to the poor and the needy.”
So they called down blessings upon her and rejoiced in her with
exceeding joy and she also joyed in them and said in herself, “Now that
I have attained to this”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Zumurrud to
herself, “Now that I have attained to this case, haply Allah will
reunite me with my lord in this place, for He can do whatso He willeth.”
Then the troops escorted her to the city and, all dismounting, walked
before her to the palace. Here she alighted and the Emirs and Grandees,
taking her under both armpits,[301] carried her into the palace and
seated her on the throne; after which they all kissed ground before her.
And when duly enthroned she bade them open the treasuries and gave
largesse to all the troops, who offered up prayers for the continuance
of her reign, and all the townsfolk accepted her rule and all the lieges
of the realm. Thus she abode awhile bidding and forbidding, and all the
people came to hold her in exceeding reverence and heartily to love her,
by reason of her continence and generosity; for taxes she remitted and
prisoners she released and grievances she redressed; but, as often as
she bethought her of her lord, she wept and besought Allah to reunite
her and him; and one night, as she chanced to be thinking of him and
calling to mind the days she had passed with him, her eyes ran over with
tears and she versified in these two couplets:—

 My yearning for thee though long is fresh, ✿ And the tears which chafe
 these eyelids increase:
 When I weep, I weep from the burn of love, ✿ For to lover severance is

And when she had ended her verse, she wiped away her tears and repairing
to the palace, betook herself to the Harim, where she appointed to the
slave-girls and concubines separate lodgings and assigned them pensions
and allowances, giving out that she was minded to live apart and devote
herself to works of piety. So she applied herself to fasting and
praying, till the Emirs said, “Verily, this Sultan is eminently devout;”
nor would she suffer any male attendants about her, save two little
eunuchs to serve her. And on this wise she held the throne a whole year,
during which time she heard no news of her lord, and failed to hit upon
his traces, which was exceeding grievous to her; so, when her distress
became excessive, she summoned her Wazirs and Chamberlains and bid them
fetch architects and builders and make her in front of the palace a
horse-course, one parasang long and the like broad. They hastened to do
her bidding, and lay out the place to her liking; and, when it was
completed, she went down into it and they pitched her there a great
pavilion, wherein the chairs of the Emirs were ranged in due order.
Moreover, she bade them spread on the racing-plain tables with all
manners of rich meats and when this was done she ordered the Grandees to
eat. So they ate and she said to them, “It is my will that, on seeing
the new moon of each month, ye do on this wise and proclaim in the city
that no man shall open his shop, but that all our lieges shall come and
eat of the King’s banquet, and that whoso disobeyeth shall be hanged
over his own door.”[303] So they did as she bade them, and ceased not so
to do till the first new moon of the second year appeared; when Zumurrud
went down into the horse-course and the crier proclaimed aloud, saying,
“Ho, ye lieges and people one and all, whoso openeth store or shop or
house shall straightway be hanged over his own door; for it behoveth you
to come in a body and eat of the King’s banquet.” And when the
proclamation became known, they laid the tables and the subjects came in
hosts; so she bade them sit down at the trays and eat their fill of all
the dishes. Accordingly they sat down and she took place on her chair of
state, watching them, whilst each who was at meat said to himself,
“Verily the King looketh at none save me.” Then they fell to eating and
the Emirs said to them, “Eat and be not ashamed; for this pleaseth the
King.” So they ate their fill and went away, blessing the Sovereign and
saying, one to the other, “Never in our days saw we a Sultan who loved
the poor as doth this Sultan.” And they wished him length of life. Upon
this Zumurrud returned to her palace,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Queen Zumurrud
returned to her palace, rejoicing in her device and saying to herself,
“Inshallah, I shall surely by this means happen on news of my lord Ali
Shar.” When the first day of the second month came round, she did as
before and when they had spread the tables she came down from her palace
and took place on her throne and commanded the lieges to sit down and
fall to. Now as she sat on her throne, at the head of the tables,
watching the people take their places company by company and one by one,
behold her eye fell on Barsum, the Nazarene who had bought the curtain
of her lord; and she knew him and said in her mind, “This is the first
of my joy and the winning of my wish.” Then Barsum came up to the table
and, sitting down with the rest to eat, espied a dish of sweet rice,
sprinkled with sugar; but it was far from him, so he pushed up to it
through the crowd and, putting out his hand to it, seized it and set it
before himself. His next neighbour said to him, “Why dost thou not eat
of what is before thee? Is not this a disgrace to thee? How canst thou
reach over for a dish which is distant from thee? Art thou not ashamed?”
Quoth Barsum, “I will eat of none save this same.” Rejoined the other,
“Eat then, and Allah give thee no good of it!” But another man, a
Hashish-eater, said, “Let him eat of it, that I may eat with him.”
Replied his neighbour, “O unluckiest of Hashish-eaters, this is no meat
for thee; it is eating for Emirs. Let it be, that it may return to those
for whom it is meant and they eat it.” But Barsum heeded him not and
took a mouthful of the rice and put it in his mouth; and was about to
take a second mouthful when the Queen, who was watching him, cried out
to certain of her guards, saying, “Bring me yonder man with the dish of
sweet rice before him and let him not eat the mouthful he hath ready but
throw it from his hand.”[304] So four of the guards went up to Barsum
and haled him along on his face, after throwing the mouthful of rice
from his hand, and set him standing before Zumurrud, whilst all the
people left eating and said to one another, “By Allah, he did wrong in
not eating of the food meant for the likes of him.” Quoth one, “For me I
was content with this porridge[305] which is before me.” And the
Hashish-eater said, “Praised be Allah who hindered me from eating of the
dish of sugared rice for I expected it to stand before him and was
waiting only for him to have his enjoyment of it, to eat with him, when
there befel him what we see.” And the general said, one to other, “Wait
till we see what shall befal him.” Now as they brought him before Queen
Zumurrud she cried, “Woe to thee, O blue eyes! What is thy name and why
comest thou to our country?” But the accursed called himself out of his
name, having a white turband[306] on, and answered, “O King, my name is
Ali; I work as a weaver and I came hither to trade.” Quoth Zumurrud,
“Bring me a table of sand and a pen of brass,” and when they brought her
what she sought, she took the sand and the pen, and struck a geomantic
figure in the likeness of a baboon; then, raising her head, she looked
hard at Barsum for an hour or so and said to him, “O dog, how darest
thou lie to Kings? Art thou not a Nazarene, Barsum by name, and comest
thou not hither in quest of somewhat? Speak the truth, or by the glory
of the Godhead, I will strike off thy head!” At this Barsum was
confounded and the Emirs and bystanders said, “Verily, this King
understandeth geomancy: blessed be He who hath gifted him!” Then she
cried out upon the Christian and said, “Tell me the truth, or I will
make an end of thee!” Barsum replied, “Pardon, O King of the age; thou
art right as regards the table, for the far one[307] is indeed a
Nazarene”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Barsum replied,
“Pardon, O King of the age; thou art right as regards the table, for thy
slave is indeed a Nazarene.” Whereupon all present, gentle and simple,
wondered at the King’s skill in hitting upon the truth by geomancy, and
said, “Verily this King is a diviner, whose like there is not in the
world.” Thereupon Queen Zumurrud bade flay the Nazarene and stuff his
skin with straw and hang it over the gate of the race-course. Moreover,
she commanded to dig a pit without the city and burn therein his flesh
and bones and throw over his ashes offal and ordure. “We hear and obey,”
answered they, and did with him all she bade; and, when the folk saw
what had befallen the Christian, they said, “Serve him right; but what
an unlucky mouthful was that for him!” And another said, “Be the far
one’s wife divorced if this vow be broken: never again to the end of my
days will I eat of sugared rice!”; and the Hashish-eater cried “Praised
be Allah, who spared me this fellow’s fate by saving me from eating of
that same rice!” Then they all went out, holding it thenceforth unlawful
to sit over against the dish of sweet rice as the Nazarene had sat. Now
when the first day of the third month came, they laid the tables
according to custom, and covered them with dishes and chargers, and
Queen Zumurrud came down and sat on her throne, with her guards in
attendance, as of wont, in awe of her dignity and majesty. Then the
townsfolk entered as before and went round about the tables, looking for
the place of the dish of sweet rice, and quoth one to another, “Hark ye,
O Hájí[308] Khalaf!”; and the other answered, “At thy service, O Hájí
Khálid.” Said Khálid, “Avoid the dish of sweet rice and look thou eat
not thereof; for, if thou do, by early morning thou will be
hanged.”[309] Then they sat down to meat around the table; and, as they
were eating, Queen Zumurrud chanced to look from her throne and saw a
man come running in through the gate of the horse-course; and having
considered him attentively, she knew him for Jawan the Kurdish thief who
murdered the trooper. Now the cause of his coming was this: when he left
his mother, he went to his comrades and said to them, “I did good
business yesterday; for I slew a trooper and took his horse. Moreover
there fell to me last night a pair of saddle-bags, full of gold, and a
young lady worth more than the money in pouch; and I have left all that
with my mother in the cave.” At this they rejoiced and repaired to the
cavern at nightfall, whilst Jawan the Kurd walked in front and the rest
behind; he wishing to bring them the booty of which he had boasted. But
he found the place clean empty and questioned his mother, who told him
all that had befallen her; whereupon he bit his hands for regret and
exclaimed, “By Allah, I will assuredly make search for the harlot and
take her, wherever she is, though it be in the shell of a
pistachio-nut,[310] and quench my malice on her!” So he went forth in
quest of her and ceased not journeying from place to place, till he came
to Queen Zumurrud’s city. On entering he found the town deserted and,
enquiring of some women whom he saw looking from the windows, they told
him that it was the Sultan’s custom to make a banquet for the people on
the first of each month and that all the lieges were bound to go and eat
of it. Furthermore the women directed him to the racing-ground, where
the feast was spread. So he entered at a shuffling trot; and, finding no
place empty, save that before the dish of sweet rice already noticed,
took his seat right opposite it and stretched out his hand towards the
dish; whereupon the folk cried out to him, saying, “O our brother, what
wouldst thou do?” Quoth he, “I would eat my fill of this dish.” Rejoined
one of the people, “If thou eat of it thou wilt assuredly find thyself
hanged to-morrow morning.” But Jawan said, “Hold thy tongue and talk not
so unpleasantly.” Then he stretched out his hand to the dish and drew it
to him; but it so chanced that the Hashish-eater of whom we have spoken,
was sitting by him; and when he saw him take the dish, the fumes of the
Hashish left his head and he fled from his place and sat down afar off,
saying, “I will have nothing to do with yonder dish.” Then Jawan the
Kurd put out his hand (which was very like a raven’s claws),[311]
scooped up therewith half the dishful and drew out his neave as it were
a camel’s hoof——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jawan the Kurd
drew his neave from the dish as it were a camel’s hoof and rolled the
lump of rice in the palm of his hand, till it was like a big orange, and
threw it ravenously into his mouth; and it rolled down his gullet, with
a rumble like thunder and the bottom of the deep dish appeared where
said mouthful had been. Thereupon quoth to him one sitting by his side,
“Praised be Allah for not making me meat between thy hands; for thou
hast cleared the dish at a single mouthful;” and quoth the
Hashish-eater, “Let him eat; methinks he hath a hanging face.” Then,
turning to Jawan he added, “Eat and Allah give thee small good of it.”
So Jawan put out his hand again and taking another mouthful, was rolling
it in his palm like the first, when behold, the Queen cried out to the
guards saying, “Bring me yonder man in haste and let him not eat the
mouthful in his hand.” So they ran and seizing him as he hung over the
dish, brought him to her, and set him in her presence, whilst the people
exulted over his mishap and said one to the other, “Serve him right, for
we warned him, but he would not take warning. Verily, this place is
bound to be the death of whoso sitteth therein, and yonder rice bringeth
doom to all who eat of it.” Then said Queen Zumurrud to Jawan, “What is
thy name and trade and wherefore comest thou to our city?” Answered he,
“O our lord the Sultan, my name is Othman; I work as a gardener and am
come hither in quest of somewhat I have lost.” Quoth Zumurrud, “Here
with a table of sand!” So they brought it, and she took the pen and
drawing a geomantic scheme, considered it awhile, then raising her head,
exclaimed, “Woe to thee, thou losel! How darest thou lie to Kings? This
sand telleth me that of a truth thy name is Jawan the Kurd and that thou
art by trade a robber, taking men’s goods in the way of unright and
slaying those whom Allah hath forbidden to slay save for just cause.”
And she cried out upon him, saying, “O hog, tell me the truth of thy
case or I will cut off thy head on the spot.” Now when he heard these
words, he turned yellow and his teeth chattered; then, deeming that he
might save himself by truth-telling, he replied, “O King, thou sayest
sooth; but I repent at thy hands henceforth and turn to Allah Almighty!”
She answered, “It were not lawful for me to leave a pest in the way of
Moslems;” and cried to her guards, “Take him and skin him and do with
him as last month ye did by his like.” They obeyed her commandment; and,
when the Hashish-eater saw the soldiers seize the man, he turned his
back upon the dish of rice, saying, “’Tis a sin to present my face to
thee!” And after they had made an end of eating, they dispersed to their
several homes and Zumurrud returned to her palace and dismissed her
attendants. Now when the fourth month came round, they went to the
race-course and made the banquet, according to custom, and the folk sat
awaiting leave to begin. Presently Queen Zumurrud entered; and, sitting
down on her throne, looked at the tables and saw that room for four
people was left void before the dish of rice, at which she wondered. Now
as she was looking around, behold, she saw a man come trotting in at the
gate of the horse-course; and he stayed not till he stood over the
food-trays; and, finding no room, save before the dish of rice, took his
seat there. She looked at him and knowing him for the accursed Christian
who called himself Rashid al-Din, said in her mind, “How blessed is this
device of the food,[312] into whose toils this infidel hath fallen!” Now
the cause of his coming was extraordinary, and it was on this wise. When
he returned from his travels——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the accursed,
who had called himself Rashid Al-Din, returned from travel, his
household informed him that Zumurrud was missing and with her a pair of
saddle-bags full of money; on hearing which ill tidings he rent his
raiment and buffetted his face and plucked out his beard. Then he
despatched his brother Barsum in quest of her to lands adjoining and,
when he was weary of awaiting news of him, he went forth himself, to
seek for him and for the girl, whenas fate led him to the city of
Zumurrud. He entered it on the first day of the month and finding the
streets deserted and the shops shut and women idling at the windows, he
asked them the reason why, and they told him that the King made a
banquet on the first of each month for the people, all of whom were
bound to attend it, nor might any abide in his house or shop that day;
and they directed him to the racing-plain. So he betook himself thither
and found the people crowding about the food, and there was never a
place for him save in front of the rice-dish now well-known. Here then
he sat and put forth his hand to eat thereof, whereupon Zumurrud cried
out to her guards, saying, “Bring me him who sitteth over against the
dish of rice.” So they knew him by what had before happened and laid
hands on him and brought him before Queen Zumurrud, who said to him,
“Out on thee! What is thy name and trade, and what bringeth thee to our
city?” Answered he, “O King of the age, my name is Rustam[313] and I
have no occupation, for I am a poor dervish.” Then said she to her
attendants, “Bring me table of sand and pen of brass.” So they brought
her what she sought, as of wont; and she took the pen and made the dots
which formed the figure and considered it awhile, then raising her head
to Rashid al-Din, she said, “O dog, how darest thou lie to Kings? Thy
name is Rashid al-Din the Nazarene, thou art outwardly a Moslem, but a
Christian at heart, and thine occupation is to lay snares for the
slave-girls of the Moslems and make them captives. Speak the truth, or I
will smite off thy head.” He hesitated and stammered, then replied,
“Thou sayest sooth, O King of the age!” Whereupon she commanded to throw
him down and give him an hundred blows with a stick on each sole and a
thousand stripes with a whip on his body; after which she bade flay him
and stuff his skin with hards of flax and dig a pit without the city,
wherein they should burn his corpse and cast on his ashes offal and
ordure. They did as she bade them and she gave the people leave to eat.
So they ate and when they had eaten their fill they went their ways,
while Queen Zumurrud returned to her palace, saying, “I thank Allah for
solacing my heart of those who wronged me.” Then she praised the Creator
of the earth and the heavens and repeated these couplets:—

 They ruled awhile and theirs was harsh tyrannic rule, ✿ But soon that
    rule went by as though it never were:
 If just they had won justice; but they sinned, and so ✿ The world
    collected all its bane for them to bear:
 So died they and their case’s tongue declares aloud ✿ This is for that;
    so of the world your blaming spare.

And when her verse was ended she called to mind her lord Ali Shar and
wept flowing tears; but presently recovered herself and said, “Haply
Allah, who hath given mine enemies into my hand, will vouchsafe me the
speedy return of my beloved;” and she begged forgiveness of Allah (be He
extolled and exalted!),——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen begged
forgiveness of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!), and said, “Haply He
will vouchsafe me speedy reunion with my beloved Ali Shar for He can do
what He willeth and to His servants showeth grace, ever mindful of their
case!” Then she praised Allah and again besought forgiveness of Him,
submitting herself to the decrees of destiny, assured that each
beginning hath his end, and repeating the saying of the poet:—

 Take all things easy; for all worldly things ✿ In Allah’s hand are ruled
    by Destiny:
 Ne’er shall befal thee aught of things forbidden, ✿ Nor what is bidden
    e’er shall fail to thee!

And what another saith:—

 Roll up thy days[314] and easy shall they roll ✿ Through life, nor haunt
    the house of grief and dole:
 Full many a thing, which is o’er hard to find, ✿ Next hour shall bring
    thee to delight thy soul.

And what a third saith[315]:—

 Be mild what time thou ‘rt ta’en with anger and despite ✿ And patient,
    if there fall misfortune on thy head.
 Indeed, the nights are quick and great with child by Time ✿ And of all
    wondrous things are hourly brought to bed.

And what a fourth saith:—

 Take patience which breeds good if patience thou can learn; ✿ Be
    calm-souled, scaping anguish-draughts that gripe and bren:
 Know, that if patience with good grace thou dare refuse, ✿ With
    ill-graced patience thou shalt bear what wrote the Pen.

After which she abode thus another whole month’s space, judging the folk
and bidding and forbidding by day, and by night weeping and bewailing
her separation from her lord Ali Shar. On the first day of the fifth
month, she bade them spread the banquet on the race-plain, according to
custom, and sat down at the head of the tables, whilst the lieges
awaited the signal to fail to, leaving the place before the dish of rice
vacant. She sat with eyes fixed upon the gate of the horse-course,
noting all who entered and saying in her soul, “O Thou who restoredest
Joseph to Jacob and diddest away the sorrows of Job,[316] vouchsafe of
Thy might and Thy majesty to restore me my lord Ali Shar; for Thou over
all things art Omnipotent, O Lord of the Worlds! O Guide of those who go
astray! O Hearer of those that cry! O Answerer of those who pray, answer
Thou my prayer, O Lord of all creatures.” Now hardly had she made an end
of her prayer and supplication when behold, she saw entering the gate of
the horse-plain a young man, in shape like a willow branch, the
comeliest of youths and the most accomplished, save that his face was
wan and his form wasted by weariness. Now as he entered and came up to
the tables, he found no seat vacant save that over against the dish of
sweet rice so he sat down there; and, when Zumurrud looked upon him, her
heart fluttered and, observing him narrowly, she knew him for her lord
Ali Shar, and was like to have cried out for joy, but restrained
herself, fearing disgrace before the folk; and, albeit her bowels
yearned over him and her heart beat wildly, she hid what she felt. Now
the cause of his coming thither was on this wise. After he fell asleep
upon the bench and Zumurrud let herself down to him and Jawan the Kurd
seized her, he presently awoke and found himself lying with his head
bare, so he knew that some one had come upon him and had robbed him of
his turband whilst he slept. So he spoke the saying which shall never
shame its sayer and, which is, “Verily, we are Allah’s and to Him are we
returning!” and, going back to the old woman’s house, knocked at the
door. She came out and he wept before her, till he fell down in a
fainting fit. Now when he came to himself, he told her all that had
passed, and she blamed him and chid him for his foolish doings saying,
“Verily thine affliction and calamity come from thyself.” And she gave
not over reproaching him, till the blood streamed from his nostrils and
he again fainted away. When he recovered from his swoon——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali Shar
recovered from his swoon he saw the old woman bewailing his griefs and
weeping over him; so he complained of his hard lot and repeated these
two couplets:—

 How bitter to friends is a parting, ✿ And a meeting how sweet to the
 Allah join all the lovers He parteth, ✿ And save me who of love ne’er

The old woman mourned over him and said to him, “Sit here, whilst I go
in quest of news for thee and return to thee in haste.” “To hear is to
obey,” answered he. So she left him on her good errand and was absent
till midday, when she returned and said to him, “O Ali, I fear me thou
must die in thy grief; thou wilt never see thy beloved again save on the
bridge Al-Sirát;[318] for the people of the Christian’s house, when they
arose in the morning, found the window giving on the garden torn from
its hinges and Zumurrud missing, and with her a pair of saddle-bags full
of the Christian’s money. And when I came thither, I saw the Chief of
Police standing at the door, he and his many, and there is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” Now, as
Ali Shar heard these words, the light in his sight was changed to the
darkness of night and he despaired of life and made sure of death; nor
did he leave weeping, till he lost his senses. When he revived, love and
longing were sore upon him; there befel him a grievous sickness and he
kept his house a whole year; during which the old woman ceased not to
bring him doctors and ply him with ptisanes and diet-drinks and make him
savoury broths till, after the twelve-month ended, his life returned to
him. Then he recalled what had passed and repeated these couplets:—

 Severance-grief nighmost, union done to death, ✿ Down-railing
    tear-drops, heart fire tortureth!
 Redoubleth pine in one that hath no peace ✿ For love and wake and woe he
 O Lord, if there be thing to joy my soul ✿ Deign Thou bestow it while I
    breathe my breath.

When the second year began, the old woman said to him, “O my son, all
this thy weeping and wailing will not bring thee back thy mistress.
Rise, therefore, gird the loins of resolution and seek for her in the
lands: peradventure thou shalt light on some news of her.” And she
ceased not to exhort and hearten him, till he took courage and she
carried him to the Hammam. Then she made him drink strong wine and eat
white meats, and thus she did with him for a whole month, till he
regained strength; and setting out, journeyed without ceasing till he
arrived at Zumurrud’s city, where he went to the horse-course, and sat
down before the dish of sweet rice and put out his hand to eat of it.
Now when the folk saw this, they were concerned for him and said to him,
“O young man, eat not of that dish, for whoso eateth thereof, misfortune
befalleth him.” Answered he, “Leave me to eat of it, and let them do
with me what they will, so haply shall I be at rest from this wearying
life.” Accordingly he ate a first mouthful, and Zumurrud was minded to
have him brought before her; but then she bethought her that belike he
was anhungered and said to herself, “It were properer to let him eat his
fill.” So he went on eating, whilst the folk looked at him in
astonishment, waiting to see what would betide him; and, when he had
satisfied himself, Zumurrud said to certain of her eunuchry, “Go to
yonder youth who eateth of the rice and bring him to me in courteous
guise, saying:—Answer the summons of the King who would have a word with
thee on some slight matter.” They replied, “We hear and obey,” and going
straightways up to Ali Shar, said to him, “O my lord, be pleased to
answer the summons of the King and let thy heart be at ease.” Quoth he,
“Hearkening and obedience;” and followed the eunuchs,——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali Shar rejoined,
“Hearkening and obedience;” and followed the eunuchs, whilst the people
said to one another, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I wonder what the King will do with
him!” And others said, “He will do him naught but good: for had he
intended to harm him, he had not suffered him to eat his fill.” Now when
the Castratos set him in presence of Zumurrud he saluted and kissed the
earth before her, whilst she returned his salutation and received him
with honour. Then she asked him, “What may be thy name and trade, and
what brought thee to our city?”; and he answered, “O King my name is Ali
Shar; I am of the sons of the merchants of Khorasan; and the cause of my
coming hither is to seek for a slave-girl whom I have lost for she was
dearer to me than my hearing and my seeing, and indeed my soul cleaveth
to her, since I lost her; and such is my tale.” So saying he wept, till
he swooned away; whereupon she bade them sprinkle rose-water on his
face, which they did till he revived, when she said, “Here with the
table of sand and the brass pen.” So they brought them and she took the
pen and struck a geomantic scheme which she considered awhile; and then
cried, “Thou hast spoken sooth, Allah will grant thee speedy reunion
with her; so be not troubled.” Upon this she commanded her
head-chamberlain to carry him to the bath and afterwards to clothe him
in a handsome suit of royal apparel, and mount him on one of the best of
the King’s horses and finally bring him to the palace at the last of the
day. So the Chamberlain, after saying “I hear and I obey,” took him
away; whilst the folk began to say to one another, “What maketh the King
deal thus courteously with yonder youth?” And quoth one, “Did I not tell
you that he would do him no hurt?; for he is fair of aspect; and this I
knew, ever since the King suffered him to eat his fill.” And each said
his say; after which they all dispersed and went their ways. As for
Zumurrud, she thought the night would never come, that she might be
alone with the beloved of her heart. As soon as it was dark, she
withdrew to her sleeping-chamber and made her attendants think her
overcome with sleep; and it was her wont to suffer none to pass the
night with her save those two little eunuchs who waited upon her. After
a while when she had composed herself, she sent for her dear Ali Shar
and sat down upon the bed, with candles burning over her head and feet,
and hanging lamps of gold lighting up the place like the rising sun.
When the people heard of her sending for Ali Shar, they marvelled
thereat and each man thought his thought and said his say; but one of
them declared, “At all events the King is in love with this young man,
and to-morrow he will make him generalissimo of the army.”[319] Now when
they brought him into her, he kissed the ground between her hands and
called down blessings on her, and she said in her mind, “There is no
help for it but that I jest with him awhile, before I make myself known
to him.”[320] Then she asked him, “O Ali, say me, hast thou been to the
Hammam?”[321] and he answered, “Yes, O my lord.” Quoth she, “Come, eat
of this chicken and meat, and drink of this wine and sherbet of sugar;
for thou art weary; and after that come thou hither.” “I hear and I
obey,” replied he, and did as she commanded him do. Now when he had made
an end of eating and drinking, she said to him, “Come up with me on the
couch and shampoo[322] my feet.” So he fell to rubbing feet and kneading
calves, and found them softer than silk. Then said she, “Go higher with
the massage;” and he, “Pardon me, O my lord, to the knee but no
farther!” Whereupon quoth she, “Durst thou disobey me?: it shall be an
ill-omened night for thee!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

      Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zumurrud cried to
her lord, Ali Shar, “Durst thou disobey me?: it shall be an ill-omened
night for thee! Nay, but it behoveth thee to do my bidding and I will
make thee my minion and appoint thee one of my Emirs.” Asked Ali Shar,
“And in what must I do thy bidding, O King of the age?” and she
answered, “Doff thy trousers and lie down on thy face.” Quoth he, “That
is a thing in my life I never did; and if thou force me thereto, verily
I will accuse thee thereof before Allah on Resurrection-day. Take
everything thou hast given me and let me go from thy city.” And he wept
and lamented; but she said, “Doff thy trousers and lie down on thy face,
or I will strike off thy head.” So he did as she bade him and she
mounted upon his back; and he felt what was softer than silk and
smoother than cream and said in himself, “Of a truth, this King is nicer
than all the women!” Now for a time she abode on his back, then she
turned over on the bed, and he said to himself, “Praised be Allah! It
seemeth his yard is not standing.” Then said she, “O Ali, it is of the
wont of my prickle that it standeth not, except they rub it with their
hands; so, come, rub it with thy hand, till it be at stand, else will I
slay thee.” So saying, she lay down on her back and taking his hand, set
it to her parts, and he found these same parts softer than silk; white,
plumply-rounded, protuberant, resembling for heat the hot room of the
bath or the heart of a lover whom love-longing hath wasted. Quoth Ali in
himself, “Verily, our King hath a coynte; this is indeed a wonder of
wonders!” And lust gat hold on him and his yard rose and stood upright
to the utmost of its height; which when Zumurrud saw, she burst out
laughing and said to him, “O my lord, all this happeneth and yet thou
knowest me not!” He asked “And who art thou, O King?”; and she answered,
“I am thy slave-girl Zumurrud.” Now whenas he knew this and was
certified that she was indeed his very slave-girl, Zumurrud, he kissed
her and embraced her and threw himself upon her as the lion upon the
lamb. Then he sheathed his steel rod in her scabbard and ceased not to
play the porter at her door and the preacher in her pulpit and the
priest[323] at her prayer-niche, whilst she with him ceased not from
inclination and prostration and rising up and sitting down, accompanying
her ejaculations of praise and of “Glory to Allah!” with passionate
movements and wrigglings and claspings of his member[324] and other
amorous gestures, till the two little eunuchs heard the noise. So they
came and peeping from behind the curtains saw the King lying on his back
and upon him Ali Shar, thrusting and slashing whilst she puffed and blew
and wriggled. Quoth they, “Verily, this be no man’s wriggle: belike this
King is a woman.”[325] But they concealed their affair and discovered it
to none. And when the morrow came, Zumurrud summoned all the troops and
the lords of the realm and said to them, “I am minded to journey to this
man’s country; so choose you a viceroy, who shall rule over you till I
return to you.” And they answered, “We hear and we obey.” Then she
applied herself to making ready the wants of the way, to wit provaunt
and provender, monies and rarities for presents, camels and mules and so
forth; after which she set out from her city with Ali Shar, and they
ceased not faring on, till they arrived at his native place, where he
entered his house and gave many gifts to his friends and alms and
largesse to the poor. And Allah vouchsafed him children by her, and they
both lived the gladdest and happiest of lives, till there came to them
the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies and the Garnerer
of graves. And glorified be He the Eternal without cease, and praised be
He in every case! And amongst other tales they tell one of


Footnote 254:

  Lane (ii. 435) ill-advisedly writes “Sher,” as “the word is evidently
  Persian signifying a Lion.” But this is only in the debased Indian
  dialect; a Persian, especially a Shirazi, pronounces “Shír.” And this
  is how it is written in the Bresl. Edit., vii. 262. “Shár” is
  evidently a fancy name, possibly suggested by the dynastic name of the
  Ghurjistan or Georgian Princes.

Footnote 255:

  Again old experience, which has learned at a heavy cost how many a
  goodly apple is rotten at the core.

Footnote 256:

  This couplet has occurred in Night xxi. I give Torrens (p. 206) by way
  of specimen.

Footnote 257:

  Arab. “Záka” = merely tasting a thing which may be sweet with a bitter

Footnote 258:

  This tetrastich was in Night xxx. with a difference.

Footnote 259:

  The lines have occurred in Night xxx. I quote Torrens, p. 311.

Footnote 260:

  This tetrastich is in Night clxix. I borrow from Lane (ii. 62).

Footnote 261:

  The rude but effective refrigerator of the desert Arab who hangs his
  water-skin to the branch of a tree and allows it to swing in the wind.

Footnote 262:

  Arab. “Khumásiyah” which Lane (ii. 438) renders “of quinary stature.”
  Usually it means five spans, but here five feet, showing that the girl
  was young and still growing. The invoice with a slave always notes her
  height in spans measured from ankle-bone to ear and above seven she
  loses value as being full grown. Hence Sudási (fem. Sudásiyah) is a
  slave six spans high, the Shibr or full span (9 inches) not the Fitr
  or short span from thumb to index. Faut is the interval between every
  finger; Ratab between index and medius, and Atab between medius and

Footnote 263:

  “Moon-faced” now sounds sufficiently absurd to us, but it was not
  always so. Solomon (Cant. vi. 10) does not disdain the image “fair as
  the moon, clear as the sun;” and those who have seen a moon in the sky
  of Arabia will thoroughly appreciate it. We find it amongst the
  Hindus, the Persians, the Afghans, the Turks and all the nations of
  Europe. We have, finally, the grand example of Spenser:—

           Her spacious forehead, like the clearest moon, etc.

Footnote 264:

  Blue eyes have a bad name in Arabia as in India: the witch Zarká of
  Al-Yamamah was noted for them; and “blue-eyed” often means
  “fierce-eyed,” alluding to the Greeks and Daylamites, mortal enemies
  to Ishmael. The Arabs say “ruddy of mustachio, blue of eye and black
  of heart.”

Footnote 265:

  Before explained as used with camphor to fill the dead man’s mouth.

Footnote 266:

  As has been seen, slapping on the neck is equivalent to our “boxing
  ears,” but much less barbarous and likely to injure the child. The
  most insulting blow is that with shoe, sandal or slipper because it
  brings foot in contact with head. Of this I have spoken before.

Footnote 267:

  Arab. “Hibál” (= ropes) alluding to the A’akál-fillet which binds the
  Kúfiyah-kerchief on the Badawi’s head (Pilgrimage, i. 346).

Footnote 268:

  Arab. “Khiyál”; afterwards called Kara Gyuz (= “black eyes,” from the
  celebrated Turkish Wazir). The _mise-en-scène_ was like that of Punch,
  but of transparent cloth, lamp-lit inside and showing silhouettes
  worked by hand. Nothing could be more Fescennine than Kara Gyuz, who
  appeared with a phallus longer than himself and made all the
  Consuls-General periodically complain of its abuse; while the
  dialogue, mostly in Turkish, was even more obscene. Most ingenious
  were Kara Gyuz’s little ways of driving on an obstinate donkey and of
  tackling a huge Anatolian pilgrim. He mounted the Neddy’s back, face
  to tail, and inserting his left thumb like a clyster, hammered it with
  his right, when the donkey started at speed. For the huge pilgrim he
  used a ladder. These shows, now obsolete, used to enliven the
  Ezbekiyah Gardens every evening and explain Ovid’s words.

                  Delicias videam, _Nile jocose_, tuas!

Footnote 269:

  Mohammed (Mishkát al-Masábih ii. 360-62) says, “Change the whiteness
  of your hair but not with anything black.” Abu Bakr, who was two years
  and some months older than the Prophet, used tincture of Henna and
  Katam. Old Turkish officers justify black dyes because these make them
  look younger and fiercer. Henna stains white hair orange red; and the
  Persians apply after it a paste of indigo leaves; the result is
  successively leek-green, emerald-green, bottle-green and lastly
  lamp-black. There is a stage in life (the youth of old age) when man
  uses dyes: presently he finds that the whole face wants dye; that the
  contrast between juvenile coloured hair and ancient skin is ridiculous
  and that it is time to wear white.

Footnote 270:

  This prejudice extends all over the East: the Sanskrit saying is
  “Kvachit káná bhaveta sádhus”—now and then a monocular is honest. The
  left eye is the worst and the popular idea is, I have said, that the
  damage will come by the injured member.

Footnote 271:

  The Arabs say like us, “Short and thick is never quick” and “Long and
  thin has little in.”

Footnote 272:

  Arab. “Ba’azu layáli,” some night when his mistress failed him.

Footnote 273:

  The fountain in Paradise before noticed.

Footnote 274:

  Before noticed as the Moslem St. Peter (as far as the keys go).

Footnote 275:

  Arab “Munkasir” = broken, frail, languishing—the only form of the
  _maladive_ allowed. Here again we have masculine for feminine: the
  eyelids show love-desire, but, etc.

Footnote 276:

  The river of Paradise.

Footnote 277:

  See Night xii, “The Second Kalandar’s Tale;” vol. i. 113.

Footnote 278:

  Lane (ii. 472) refers for specimens of calligraphy to Herbin’s
  “Développements, etc.” There are many more than seven styles of
  writing as I have shown in Night xiii.; vol. i. 129.

Footnote 279:

  Amongst good Moslems this would be a claim upon a man.

Footnote 280:

  These lines have occurred twice already: and first appear in Night
  xxii. I have borrowed from Mr. Payne (iv. 46).

Footnote 281:

  Arab. “Ya Nasráni”; the address is not intrinsically slighting but it
  may easily be made so. I have elsewhere noted that when Julian (is
  said to have) exclaimed “Vicisti Nazarene!” he was probably thinking
  in Eastern phrase “Nasarta, yá Nasráni!”

Footnote 282:

  Thirst is the strongest of all pleas to an Eastern, especially to a
  Persian who never forgets the sufferings of his Imam, Husayn, at
  Kerbela: he would hardly withhold it from the murderer of his father.
  There is also a Hadis, “Thou shalt not refuse water to him who
  thirsteth in the desert.”

Footnote 283:

  Arab. “Zimmi” which Lane (ii. 474) aptly translates a “tributary.” The
  Koran (chapt. ix.) orders Unbelievers to Islamize or to “pay tribute
  by right of subjection” (lit. an yadin = out of hand, an expression
  much debated). The least tribute is one dinar per annum which goes to
  the poor-rate; and for this the Kafir enjoys protection and _almost_
  all the civil rights of Moslems. As it is a question of “loaves and
  fishes” there is much to say on the subject; “loaves and fishes” being
  the main base and foundation of all religious establishments.

Footnote 284:

  This tetrastich has before occurred; so I quote Lane (ii. 444).

Footnote 285:

  In Night xxxv. the same occurs with a difference.

Footnote 286:

  The old rite, I repeat, has lost amongst all but the noblest of Arab
  tribes the whole of its significance; and the traveller must be
  careful how he trusts to the phrase “Nahnu málihin”—we are bound
  together by the salt.

Footnote 287:

  Arab. “Aláma” = Alá-má = upon what? wherefore?

Footnote 288:

  Arab. “Mauz”; hence the Linnean name Musa (paradisiaca, etc). The word
  is explained by Sale (Koran, chapt. xxxvii. 146) as “a small tree or
  shrub;” and he would identify it with Jonah’s gourd.

Footnote 289:

  Lane (ii. 446) “bald wolf or empowered fate,” reading (with Mac.) Kazá
  for Kattan (cat).

Footnote 290:

  _i.e._ “The Orthodox in the Faith.” Ráshid is a proper name; witness
  that scourge of Syria, Ráshid Pasha. Born in 1830, of the Haji Nazir
  Agha family, Darrah-Beys of Macedonian Draina, he was educated in
  Paris where he learned the usual hatred of Europeans: he entered the
  Egyptian service in 1851; and, presently exchanging it for the
  Turkish, became in due time Wali (Governor-General) of Syria which he
  plundered most shamelessly. Recalled in 1872, he eventually entered
  the Ministry and on June 15, 1876, he was shot down, with other
  villians like himself, by gallant Captain Hasan, the Circassian
  (Yarham-hu ‘lláh!).

Footnote 291:

  Quoted from a piece of verse, of which more presently.

Footnote 292:

  This tetrastich has occurred before (Night cxciii.). I quote Lane (ii.
  449), who quotes Dryden’s Spanish Friar:-

                  There is a pleasure sure in being mad
                  Which none but madmen know.

Footnote 293:

  Lane (ii. 449) gives a tradition of the Prophet, “Whoso is in love,
  and acteth chastely, and concealeth (his passion) and dieth, dieth a
  martyr.” Sakar is No. 5 Hell for Magi, Guebres, Parsis, etc.; it is
  used in the comic Persian curse, “Fi’n-nári wa Sakar al-jadd
  w’al-pidar”—In Hell and Sakar his grandfather and his father.

Footnote 294:

  Arab. “Sifr”: I have warned readers that whistling is considered a
  kind of devilish speech by the Arabs, especially the Badawin; and that
  the traveller must avoid it. It savours of idolatry: in the Koran we
  find (chapt. viii. 35), “Their prayer at the House of God (Ka’abah) is
  none other than whistling and hand-clapping;” and tradition says that
  they whistled through their fingers. Besides many of the Jinn have
  only round holes by way of mouths and their speech is whistling—a kind
  of bird-language like sibilant English.

Footnote 295:

  Arab. “Kíl wa kál” = lit. “it was said and he said;” a popular phrase
  for chit-chat, tittle-tattle, prattle and prate, etc.

Footnote 296:

  Arab. “Hadis,” comparing it with a tradition of the Prophet.

Footnote 297:

  Arab. “Mikashshah,” the thick part of a midrib of a palm-frond soaked
  for some days in water and beaten out till the fibres separate. It
  makes an exceedingly hard, although not a lasting broom.

Footnote 298:

  Persian, “the youth, the brave;” Sansk. Yuván; and Lat. Juvenis. The
  Kurd, in tales, is generally a sturdy thief; and in real life is
  little better.

Footnote 299:

  Arab. “Yá Shátir;” lit. O clever one (in a bad sense).

Footnote 300:

  Lane (ii. 453) has it, “that I may dress thy hair,” etc. This is
  Bowdlerising with a witness.

Footnote 301:

  The sign of respect when a personage dismounts (Pilgrimage i. 77).

Footnote 302:

  So the Hindus speak of “the defilement of separation” as if it were an

Footnote 303:

  Lane (i. 605) gives a long and instructive note on these public royal
  banquets which were expected from the lieges by Moslem subjects. The
  hanging-penalty is, perhaps, a little exaggerated; but we find the
  same excess in the priestly Gesta Romanorum.

Footnote 304:

  Had he eaten it he would have become her guest. Amongst the older
  Badawin it was sufficient to spit upon a man (in entreaty) to claim
  his protection: so the horse-thieves when caught were placed in a hole
  in the ground covered over with matting to prevent this happening.
  Similarly Saladin (Saláh al-Din) the chivalrous would not order a cup
  of water for the robber, Reynald de Châtillon, before putting him to

Footnote 305:

  Arab. “Kishk” properly “Kashk” = wheat-meal coarsely ground and eaten
  with milk or broth. It is _de rigueur_ with the Egyptian Copts on the
  “Friday of Sorrow” (Good Friday): and Lane gives the recipe for making
  it (M. E. chapt. xxvi).

Footnote 306:

  In those days distinctive of Moslems.

Footnote 307:

  The euphemism has before been noticed: the Moslem reader would not
  like to pronounce the words “I am a Nazarene.” The same formula occurs
  a little lower down to save the reciter or reader from saying “Be _my_
  wife divorced,” etc.

Footnote 308:

  Arab. “Hájj,” a favourite Egyptianism. We are wrong to write Hajji
  which an Eastern would pronounce Háj-jí.

Footnote 309:

  This is Cairene “chaff.”

Footnote 310:

  Whose shell fits very tight.

Footnote 311:

  His hand was like a raven’s because he ate with thumb and two fingers
  and it came up with the rice about it like a camel’s hoof in dirty
  ground. This refers to the proverb (Burckhardt, 756), “He comes down a
  crow-claw (small) and comes up a camel-hoof (huge and round).”

Footnote 312:

  Easterns have a superstitious belief in the powers of food: I knew a
  learned man who never sat down to eat without a ceremonious salam to
  his meat.

Footnote 313:

  Lane (ii. 464), uses the vile Turkish corruption “Rustum,” which, like
  its fellow “Rustem,” would make a Persian shudder.

Footnote 314:

  Arab. “Darrij” _i.e._ let them slide (_Americanicè_).

Footnote 315:

  This tetrastich has occurred before: so I quote Mr. Payne (_in loco_).

Footnote 316:

  Shaykh of Al-Butnah and Jábiyah, therefore a Syrian of the Hauran near
  Damascus and grandson to Isú (Esau). Arab mystics (unlike the vulgar
  who see only his patience) recognise that inflexible integrity which
  refuses to utter “words of wind” and which would not, against his
  conscience, confess to wrong-doing merely to pacify the Lord who was
  stronger than himself. The Classics taught this noble lesson in the
  case of Prometheus _versus_ Zeus. Many articles are called after Job
  _e.g._ Ra’ará’ Ayyub or Ghubayrá (_inula Arabica_ and _undulata_), a
  creeper with which he rubbed himself and got well:—the Copts do the
  same on “Job’s Wednesday,” _i.e._ that before Whit Sunday O.S. Job’s
  father is a nickname of the camel, etc. etc.

Footnote 317:

  Lane (_in loco_) renders “I am of their number.” But “fí al-siyák”
  means popularly “(driven) to the point of death.”

Footnote 318:

  Lit. = “pathway, road”; hence the bridge well known as “finer than a
  hair and sharper than a sword,” over which all (except Khadijah and a
  chosen few) must pass on the Day of Doom; a Persian apparatus bodily
  annexed by Al-Islam. The old Guebres called it Pul-i-Chinávar or
  Chinávad and the Jews borrowed it from them as they did all their
  fancies of a future life against which Moses had so gallantly fought.
  It is said that a bridge over the grisly “brook Kedron” was called
  Sirát (the road) and hence the idea, as that of hell-fire from
  Ge-Hinnom (Gehenna) where children were passed through the fire to
  Moloch. A doubtful Hadis says, “The Prophet declared Al-Sirát to be
  the name of a bridge over hell-fire, dividing Hell from Paradise” (pp.
  17, 122, Reynold’s trans. of Al-Siyuti’s Traditions, etc.). In Koran
  i. 5, “Sirát” is simply a path, from sarata, he swallowed, even as the
  way devours (makes a lakam or mouthful of) those who travel it. The
  word was orig. written with Sín but changed for easier articulation to
  Sád, one of the four Hurúf al-Mutabbakát (ط, ض, ص and ظ), “the
  flattened,” formed by the broadened tongue in contact with the palate.
  This Sad also by the figure Ishmám (= conversion) turns slightly to a
  Zá, the intermediate between Sin and Sad.

Footnote 319:

  The rule in Turkey where catamites rise to the highest rank: _C’est un
  homme de bonne famille_ (said a Turkish officer in Egypt) _il a été
  acheté_. Hence “Alfi” (one who costs a thousand) is a well-known
  cognomen. The Pasha of the Syrian caravan, with which I travelled, had
  been the slave of a slave and he was not a solitary instance
  (Pilgrimage i. 90).

Footnote 320:

  The device of the banquet is dainty enough for any old Italian
  _novella_; all that now comes is pure Egyptian polissonnerie speaking
  to the gallery and being answered by roars of laughter.

Footnote 321:

  _i.e._ art thou ceremonially pure and therefore fit for handling by a
  great man like myself?

Footnote 322:

  In past days before Egypt was “frankified” many overlanders used to
  wash away the traces of travel by a Turkish bath which mostly ended in
  the appearance of a rump-wriggling little lad who offered to shampoo
  them. Many accepted his offices without dreaming of his usual use or

Footnote 323:

  Arab. “Imám.” This is (to a Moslem) a most offensive comparison
  between prayer and car. cop.

Footnote 324:

  Arab “Fi zaman-hi,” alluding to a peculiarity highly prized by
  Egyptians; the use of the constrictor vaginæ muscles, the sphincter
  for which Abyssinian women are famous. The “Kabbázah” (= holder), as
  she is called, can sit astraddle upon a man and can provoke the
  venereal orgasm, not by wriggling and moving but by tightening and
  loosing the male member with the muscles of her privities, milking it
  as it were. Consequently the _casse-noisette_ costs treble the money
  of other concubines (Ananga-Ranga, p. 127).

Footnote 325:

  The little eunuchs had evidently studied the Harem.


It is related that the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid was
uneasy[326] one night and could not sleep; so that he ceased not to toss
from side to side for very restlessness, till, growing weary of this, he
called Masrur and said to him, “Ho, Masrur, find me some one who may
solace me in this my wakefulness.” He answered, “O Prince of True
Believers, wilt thou walk in the palace-garden and divert thyself with
the sight of its blooms and gaze upon the stars and constellations and
note the beauty of their ordinance and the moon among them rising in
sheen over the water?” Quoth the Caliph, “O Masrur, my heart inclineth
not to aught of this.” Quoth he, “O my lord, there are in thy palace
three hundred concubines, each of whom hath her separate chamber. Do
thou bid all and every retire into her own apartment and then do thou go
thy rounds and amuse thyself with gazing on them without their
knowledge.” The Caliph replied, “O Masrur, the palace is my palace and
the girls are my property: furthermore my soul inclineth not to aught of
this.” Then Masrur rejoined, “O my lord, summon the doctors of law and
religion and the sages of science and poets, and bid them contend before
thee in argument and disputation and recite to thee songs and verses and
tell thee tales and anecdotes.” Replied the Caliph, “My soul inclineth
not to aught of this;” and Masrur rejoined, “O my lord, bid pretty boys
and the wits and the cup-companions attend thee and solace thee with
witty sallies.” “O Masrur,” ejaculated the Caliph, “indeed my soul
inclineth not to aught of this.” “Then, O my lord,” cried Masrur,
“strike off my head;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Masrur cried out
to the Caliph, “O my lord, strike off my head; haply that will dispel
thine unease and do away the restlessness that is upon thee.” So
Al-Rashid laughed at his saying and said, “See which of the
boon-companions is at the door.” Thereupon he went out and returning,
said, “O my lord, he who sits without is Ali bin Mansur of Damascus, the
Wag.”[327] “Bring him to me,” quoth Harun: and Masrur went out and
returned with Ibn Mansur, who said, on entering, “Peace be with thee, O
Commander of the Faithful!” The Caliph returned his salutation and said
to him, “O Ibn Mansur, tell us some of thy stories.” Said the other, “O
Commander of the Faithful, shall I tell thee what I have seen with my
eyes or what I have only heard tell?” Replied the Caliph, “If thou have
seen aught worth telling, let us hear it; for hearing is not like
seeing.” Said Ibn Mansur, “O Commander of the Faithful, lend me thine
ear and thy heart;” and he answered, “O Ibn Mansur, behold, I am
listening to thee with mine ears and looking at thee with mine eyes and
attending to thee with my heart.” So Ibn Mansur began:—Know then, O
Commander of the Faithful, that I receive a yearly allowance from
Mohammed bin Sulaymán al-Háshimi, Sultan of Bassorah; so I went to him,
once upon a time, as usual, and found him ready to ride out hunting and
birding. I saluted him and he returned my salute, and said, “O son of
Mansur, mount and come with us to the chase:” but I said, “O my lord, I
can no longer ride; so do thou station me in the guest-house and give
thy chamberlains and lieutenants charge over me.” And he did so and
departed for his sport. His people entreated me with the utmost honour
and entertained me with the greatest hospitality; but said I to myself,
“By Allah, it is a strange thing that for so long I have been in the
habit of coming from Baghdad to Bassorah, yet know no more of this town
than from palace to garden and from garden to palace; When shall I find
an occasion like this to view the different parts and quarters of
Bassorah? I will rise forthwith and walk forth alone and divert myself
and digest what I have eaten.” Accordingly I donned my richest dress and
went out a-walking about Bassorah. Now it is known to thee, O Commander
of the Faithful, that it hath seventy streets, each seventy leagues[328]
long, the measure of Irak; and I lost myself in its by-streets and
thirst overcame me. Presently, as I went along, O Prince of True
Believers, behold, I came to a great door, whereon were two rings of
brass,[329] with curtains of red brocade drawn before it. And on either
side of the door was a stone bench and over it was a trellis, covered
with a creeping vine that hung down and shaded the doorway. I stood
still to gaze upon the place, and presently heard a sorrowful voice,
proceeding from a heart which did not rejoice, singing melodiously and
chanting these cinquains:—

 My body bides the sad abode of grief and malady, ✿ Caused by a fawn
    whose land and home are in a far countrie:
 O ye two Zephyrs of the wold which caused such pain in me ✿ By Allah,
    Lord of you! to him my heart’s desire, go ye
         And chide him so perchance ye soften him I pray.

 And tell us all his words if he to hear your speech shall deign, ✿ And
    unto him the tidings bear of lovers ‘twixt you twain:
 And both vouchsafe to render me a service free and fain, ✿ And lay my
    case before him showing how I e’er complain:
         And say, “What ails thy bounden thrall this wise to drive away,

 Without a fault committed and without a sin to show; ✿ Or heart that
    leans to other wight or would thy love forego:
 Or treason to our plighted troth or causing thee a throe?” ✿ And if he
    smile then say ye twain in accents soft and slow,
         “An thou to him a meeting grant ‘twould be the kindest way!

 For he is gone distraught for thee, as well indeed, he might. ✿ His eyes
    are wakeful and he weeps and wails the livelong night:”
 If seem he satisfied by this why then ‘tis well and right, ✿ But if he
    show an angry face and treat ye with despite,
         Trick him and “Naught we know of him!” I beg you both to

Quoth I to myself, “Verily, if the owner of this voice be fair, she
conjoineth beauty of person and eloquence and sweetness of voice.” Then
I drew near the door, and began raising the curtain little by little,
when lo! I beheld a damsel, white as a full moon when it mooneth on its
fourteenth night, with joined eyebrows twain and languorous lids of
eyne, breasts like pomegranates twin and dainty lips like double
carnelian, a mouth as it were the seal of Solomon, and teeth ranged in a
line that played with the reason of proser and rhymer, even as saith the

 O pearly mouth of friend, who set those pretty pearls in line, ✿ And
    filled thee full of whitest chamomile and reddest wine?
 Who lent the morning-glory in thy smile to shimmer and shine ✿ Who with
    that ruby-padlock dared thy lips to seal and sign!
 Who looks on thee at early morn with stress of joy and bliss ✿ Goes mad
    for aye, what then of him who wins a kiss of thine?

And as saith another:—

         O pearl-set mouth of friend ✿ Pity poor Ruby’s cheek;
         Boast not o’er one who owns ✿ Thee, union and unique.

In brief she comprised all varieties of loveliness and was a seduction
to men and women, nor could the gazer satisfy himself with the sight of
her charms; for she was as the poet hath said of her:—

 When comes she, slays she; and when back she turns, ✿ She makes all men
    regard with loving eyes:
 A very sun! a very moon! but still ✿ From hurt and harmful ills her
    nature flies.
 Opes Eden’s garden when she shows herself; ✿ And full moon see we o’er
    her necklace rise.

Now as I was looking at her through an opening of the curtain, behold,
she turned; and, seeing me standing at the door, said to her handmaid,
“See who is at the door.” So the slave-girl came up to me and said, “O
Shaykh, hast thou no shame, or do impudent airs suit hoary hairs?” Quoth
I, “O my mistress, I confess to the hoary hairs, but as for impudent
airs, I think not to be guilty of unmannerliness.” Then the mistress
broke in, “And what can be more unmannerly than to intrude thyself upon
a house other than thy house and gaze on a Harim other than thy Harim?”
I pleaded, “O my lady, I have an excuse;” and when she asked, “And what
is thine excuse?” I answered, “I am a stranger and so thirsty that I am
well-nigh dead of thirst.” She rejoined, “We accept thine excuse,”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young lady
rejoined, “We accept thine excuse,” and calling one of her slave-maids,
said to her, “O Lutf,[331] give him to drink in the golden tankard.” So
she brought me a tankard of red gold, set with pearls and gems of price,
full of water mingled with virgin musk and covered with a napkin of
green silk; and I addressed myself to drink and was long about my
drinking, for I stole glances at her the while, till I could prolong my
stay no longer. Then I returned the tankard to the girl, but did not
offer to go; and she said to me, “O Shaykh, wend thy way.” But I said,
“O my lady, I am troubled in mind.” She asked me “For what?” and I
answered, “For the turns of Time and the change of things.” Replied she,
“Well mayst thou be troubled thereat for Time breedeth wonders. But what
hast thou seen of such surprises that thou shouldst muse upon them?”
Quoth I, “I was thinking of the whilom owner of this house, for he was
my intimate in his lifetime.” Asked she, “What was his name?”; and I
answered, “Mohammed bin Ali the Jeweller and he was a man of great
wealth. Tell me did he leave any children?” Said she, “Yes, he left a
daughter, Budur by name, who inherited all his wealth?.” Quoth I,
“Meseemeth thou art his daughter?” “Yes,” answered she, laughing; then
added, “O Shaykh, thou hast talked long enough; now wend thy ways.”
Replied I, “Needs must I go, but I see thy charms are changed by being
out of health; so tell me thy case; it may be Allah will give thee
comfort at my hands.” Rejoined she, “O Shaykh, if thou be a man of
discretion, I will discover to thee my secret; but first tell me who
thou art, that I may know whether thou art worthy of confidence or not;
for the poet saith:[332]—

 None keepeth a secret but a faithful person: with the best of mankind it
    remaineth concealed.
 I have kept my secret in a house with a lock, whose key is lost and
    whose door is sealed.”

Thereto I replied, “O my lady, an thou wouldest know who I am, I am Ali
bin Mansúr of Damascus, the Wag, cup-companion to the Commander of the
Faithful, Harun al-Rashid.” Now when she heard my name, she came down
from her seat and saluting me, said, “Welcome, O Ibn Mansur! Now will I
tell thee my case and entrust thee with my secret. I am a lover
separated from her beloved.” I answered, “O my lady, thou art fair and
shouldest be on love-terms with none but the fair. Whom then dost thou
love?” Quoth she, “I love Jubayr bin Umayr al-Shaybáni, Emir of the Banú
Shaybán;[333]” and she described to me a young man than whom there was
no prettier fellow in Bassorah. I asked, “O my lady, have interviews or
letters passed between you?” and she answered, “Yes, but our love was
tongue-love, not heart and soul-love; for he kept not his trust nor was
he faithful to his troth.” Said I, “O my lady, and what was the cause of
your separation?”; and she replied, “I was sitting one day whilst my
handmaid here combed my hair. When she had made an end of combing it,
she plaited my tresses, and my beauty and loveliness charmed her; so she
bent over me and kissed my cheek.[334] At that moment he came in
unawares, and, seeing the girl kiss my cheek, straightways turned away
in anger, vowing eternal separation and repeating these two couplets:—

 If another share in the thing I love, ✿ I abandon my love and live lorn
    of love.
 My beloved is worthless if aught she will, ✿ Save that which her lover
    doth most approve.

And from the time he left me to this present hour, O Ibn Mansur, he hath
neither written to me nor answered my letters.” Quoth I, “And what
purposest thou to do?” Quoth she, “I have a mind to send him a letter by
thee. If thou bring me back an answer, thou shalt have of me five
hundred gold pieces; and if not, then an hundred for thy trouble in
going and coming.” I answered, “Do what seemeth good to thee; I hear and
I obey thee.” Whereupon she called to one of her slave-girls, “Bring me
inkcase and paper,” and she wrote thereon these couplets:—

 Beloved, why this strangeness, why this hate? ✿ When shall thy pardon
    reunite us two?
 Why dost thou turn from me in severance? ✿ Thy face is not the face I am
    wont to know.
 Yes, slanderers falsed my words, and thou to them ✿ Inclining, madest
    spite and envy grow.
 An hast believed their tale, the Heavens forbid ✿ Now thou believe it
    when dost better trow!
 By thy life tell what hath reached thine ear; ✿ Thou know’st what said
    they and so justice show.
 An it be true I spoke the words, my words ✿ Admit interpreting and
    change allow:
 Given that the words of Allah were revealed, ✿ Folk changed the
    Torah[335] and still changing go:
 What slanders told they of mankind before! ✿ Jacob heard Joseph blamed
    by tongue of foe.
 Yea, for myself and slanderer and thee ✿ An awful day of reckoning there
    shall be.

Then she sealed the letter and gave it to me; and I took it and carried
it to the house of Jubayr bin Umayr, whom I found absent a-hunting. So I
sat down to wait for him; and behold, he returned from the chase; and
when I saw him, O Prince of True Believers, come riding up, my wit was
confounded by his beauty and grace. As soon as he sighted me sitting at
the house-door, he dismounted and coming up to me embraced me and
saluted me; and meseemed I embraced the world and all therein. Then he
carried me into his house and, seating me on his own couch, called for
food. They brought a table of Khalanj-wood of Khorasan with feet of
gold, whereon were all manners of meats, fried and roasted and the like.
So I seated myself at the table and examining it with care found these
couplets engraved upon it:[336]——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali son of Mansur
continued:—So I seated myself at the table of Jubayr bin Umayr
al-Shaybani and, examining it with care, found these couplets engraven
upon it:—

                  On these which once were chicks,
                  Your mourning glances fix,
          Late dwellers in the mansion of the cup,
                  Now nearly eaten up!
                      Let tears bedew
                  The memory of that stew,
                  Those partridges, once roast,
                      Now lost!

          The daughters of the grouse in plaintive strain;
          Bemourn, and still bemourn, and mourn again!
                  The children of the fry,
                      We lately saw
                  Half smothered in pilau,
          With buttery mutton fritters smoking by!
                  Alas! my heart, the fish!
                      Who filled his dish,

          With flaky form in varying colours spread
          On the round pastry cake of household bread!
                  Heaven sent us that kabob!
                      For no one could
                  (Save heaven he should rob)
          Produce a thing so excellently good,
                  Or give us roasted meat
          With basting oil so savourily replete!

          But, oh! mine appetite, alas! for thee!
                  Who on that furmeaty
          So sharpset wast a little while ago—
          That furmeaty, which mashed by hands of snow,
                  A light reflection bore,
          Of the bright bracelets that those fair hands wore;
                  Again remembrance glads my sense
                  With visions of its excellence!

                  Again I see the cloth unrolled
                  Rich worked in many a varied fold!
                  Be patient, oh! my soul, they say
                  Fortune rules all that’s new and strange,
                  And though she pinches us to-day,
          To-morrow brings full rations, and a change![337]

Then said Jubayr, “Put forth thy hand to our food and ease our heart by
eating of our victual.” Answered I, “By Allah, I will not eat a
mouthful, till thou grant me my desire.” He asked, “What is thy
desire?”; so I brought out the letter and gave it to him; but, when he
had read it and mastered its contents, he tore it in pieces and throwing
it on the floor, said to me, “O Ibn Mansur, I will grant thee whatever
thou askest save thy desire which concerneth the writer of this letter,
for I have no answer to her.” At this I rose in anger; but he caught
hold of my skirts, saying, “O Ibn Mansur, I will tell thee what she said
to thee, albeit I was not present with you.” I asked, “And what did she
say to me?”; and he answered, “Did not the writer of this letter say to
thee, If thou bring me back an answer, thou shalt have of me five
hundred ducats; and if not, an hundred for thy pains?” “Yes,” replied I;
and he rejoined, “Abide with me this day and eat and drink and enjoy
thyself and make merry, and thou shalt have thy five hundred ducats.” So
I sat with him and ate and drank and made merry and enjoyed myself and
entertained him with talk deep into the night;[338] after which I said
to him, “O my master, is there no music in thy house.” He answered,
“Verily for many a day we have drunk without music.” Then he called out,
saying, “Ho, Shajarat al-Durr!” Whereupon a slave-girl answered him from
her chamber and came in to us, with a lute of Hindu make, wrapped in a
silken bag. And she sat down and, laying the lute in her lap, preluded
in one-and-twenty modes; then, returning to the first, she sang to a
lively measure these couplets:—

 Whoso ne’er tasted of Love’s sweets and bitter draught, ✿ No difference
    kens ‘twixt presence-bliss and absence-stress;
 And so, who hath declined from Love’s true road, ✿ No difference kens
    ‘twixt smooth and ruggedness:
 I ceased not to oppose the votaries of love, ✿ Till I had tried its
    sweets and bitters not the less:
 How many a night my pretty friend conversed with me ✿ And sipped I from
    his lips honey of love-liesse:
 Now have I drunk its cup of bitterness, until ✿ To bondman and to
    freedman I have proved me base.
 How short-aged was the night together we enjoyed, ✿ When seemed it day
    break came on nightfall’s heel to press!
 But Fate had vowed to disunite us lovers twain, ✿ And she too well hath
    kept her vow, that votaress.
 Fate so decreed it! None her sentence can withstand: ✿ Where is the
    wight who dares oppose his Lord’s command?

Hardly had she finished her verses, when her lord cried out with a great
cry and fell down in a fit; whereupon exclaimed the damsel, “May Allah
not punish thee, O old man! This long time have we drunk without music,
for fear the like of this falling sickness befal our lord. But now go
thou to yonder chamber and there sleep.” So I went to the chamber which
she showed me and slept till the morning, when behold, a page brought me
a purse of five hundred dinars and said to me, “This is what my master
promised thee; but return thou not to the damsel who sent thee, and let
it be as though neither thou nor we had ever heard of this matter.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” answered I and taking the purse, went my
way. Still I said to myself, “The lady must have expected me since
yesterday; and by Allah there is no help but I return to her and tell
her what passed between me and him: otherwise she will revile me and
revile all who come from my country.” So I went to her and found her
standing behind the door; and when she saw me she said, “O Ibn Mansur,
thou hast done nothing for me!” I asked, “Who told thee of this?”; and
she answered, “O Ibn Mansur, yet another thing hath been revealed to
me;[339] and it is that, when thou handedst him the letter, he tore it
in pieces and throwing it on the floor, said to thee:—O Ibn Mansur, I
will grant thee whatever thou askest save thy desire which concerneth
the writer of this letter; for I have no answer to her missive. Then
didst thou rise from beside him in anger; but he laid hold of thy
skirts, saying:—O son of Mansur, abide with me to-day, for thou art my
guest, and eat and drink and make merry; and thou shalt have thy five
hundred ducats. So thou didst sit with him, eating and drinking and
making merry, and entertainedst him with talk deep into the night and a
slave-girl sang such an air and such verses, whereupon he fell down in a
fit.” So, O Commander of the Faithful, I asked her “Wast thou then with
us?”; and she answered, “O Ibn Mansur, hast thou not heard the saying of
the poet:—

 The hearts of lovers have eyes I ken, ✿ Which see the unseen by vulgar

However, O Ibn Mansur, the night and day shift not upon anything but
they bring to it change.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lady
exclaimed, “O Ibn Mansur, the night and the day shift not upon anything
but they bring to it change!” Then she raised her glance to heaven and
said, “O my God and my Leader and my Lord, like as Thou hast afflicted
me with love of Jubayr bin Umayr, even so do Thou afflict him with love
of me, and transfer the passion from my heart to his heart!”[340] Then
she gave me an hundred sequins for my trouble in going and coming and I
took it and returned to the palace, where I found the Sultan come home
from the chase; so I got my pension of him and fared back to Baghdad.
And when next year came, I repaired to Bassorah, as usual, to seek my
pension, and the Sultan paid it to me; but, as I was about to return to
Baghdad, I bethought me of the Lady Budur and said to myself, “By Allah,
I must needs go to her and see what hath befallen between her and her
lover!” So I went to her house and finding the street before her door
swept and sprinkled and eunuchs and servants and pages standing before
the entrance, said to myself, “Most like grief hath broken the lady’s
heart and she is dead, and some Emir or other hath taken up his abode in
her house.” So I left it and went on to the house of Jubayr, son of
Umayr the Shaybani, where I found the benches of the porch broken down
and ne’er a page at the door, as of wont, and said to myself, “Haply he
too is dead.” Then I stood still before the door of his house and with
my eyes running over with tears, bemoaned it in these couplets:—

 O Lords of me, who fared but whom my heart e’er followeth; ✿ Return; and
    so my festal days with you shall be renewed!
 I stand before the home of you, bewailing your abode; ✿ Quiver mine
    eyelids and my eyes with tears are ever dewed:
 I ask the house and its remains that seem to weep and wail, ✿ “Where is
    the man who whilom wont to lavish goods and good?”
 It saith, “Go, wend thy way; those friends like travellers have fared ✿
    From Springtide-camp, and buried lie of earth and worms the food!”
 Allah ne’er desolate us so we lose their virtues’ light ✿ In length and
    breadth, but ever be the light in spirit viewed!

As I, O Prince of True Believers, was thus keening over the folk of the
house,[341] behold, out came a black slave therefrom and said to me,
“Hold thy peace, O Shaykh! May thy mother be reft of thee! Why do I see
thee bemoaning the house on this wise?” Quoth I, “I frequented it of
yore, when it belonged to a good friend of mine.” Asked the slave, “What
was his name?”; and I answered, “Jubayr bin Umayr the Shaybani.”
Rejoined he, “And what hath befallen him? Praised be Allah, he is yet
here with us in the enjoyment of property and rank and prosperity,
except that Allah hath stricken him with love of a damsel called the
Lady Budur; and he is so whelmed by his love of her and his longing for
her, that he is like a great rock cumbering the ground. If he hunger, he
saith not, Give me meat; nor, if he thirst, doth he say, Give me drink.”
Quoth I, “Ask leave for me to go in to him.” Said the slave, “O my lord,
wilt thou go in to one who understandeth or to one who understandeth
not?”; and I said, “There is no help for it but I see him whatever be
the case.” Accordingly he went in to ask and presently returned with
permission for me to enter, whereupon I went in to Jubayr and found him
like a rock that cumbereth the ground, understanding neither sign nor
speech; and when I spoke to him he answered me not. Then said one of his
servants, “O my lord, if thou remember aught of verse, repeat it and
raise thy voice; and he will be aroused by this and speak with thee.” So
I versified in these two couplets:—

 Hast quit the love of Moons[342] or dost persist? ✿ Dost wake o’ nights
    or close in sleep thine eyes?
 If aye thy tears in torrents flow, then learn ✿ Eternal thou shalt dwell
    in Paradise.[342]

When he heard these verses he opened his eyes and said, “Welcome, O son
of Mansur! Verily, the jest is become earnest.” Quoth I, “O my lord, is
there aught thou wouldst have me do for thee?” Answered he, “Yes, I
would fain write her a letter and send it to her by thee. If thou bring
me back her answer, thou shalt have of me a thousand dinars; and if not,
two hundred for thy pains.” So I said, “Do what seemeth good to
thee;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibn Mansur
continued:—So I said, “Do what seemeth good to thee;” whereupon he
called to one of his slave-girls, “Bring me ink case and paper;” and
wrote these couplets:—

 I pray in Allah’s name, O Princess mine, be light ✿ On me, for Love hath
    robbed me of my reason’s sight!
 ‘Slaved me this longing and enthralled me love of you; ✿ And clad in
    sickness garb, a poor and abject wight.
 I wont ere this to think small things of Love and hold, ✿ O Princess
    mine, twas silly thing and over-slight.
 But when it showed me swelling surges of its sea, ✿ To Allah’s hest I
    bowed and pitied lovers’ plight.
 An will you, pity show and deign a meeting grant; ✿ An will you, kill me
    still forget not good requite.[343]

Then he sealed the letter and gave it to me. So I took it and, repairing
to Budur’s house, raised the door-curtain little by little, as before,
and looking in behold, I saw ten damsels, high-bosomed virgins, like
moons, and the Lady Budur as she were the full moon among the stars,
sitting in their midst, or the sun, when it is clear of clouds and mist;
nor was there on her any trace of pain or care. And as I looked and
marvelled at her case, she turned her glance upon me and, seeing me
standing at the door, said to me, “Well come, and welcome and all hail
to thee, O Ibn Mansur! Come in.” So I entered and saluting her gave her
the letter; and she read it and when she understood it, she said
laughingly to me, “O Ibn Mansur,” the poet lied not when he sang:—

 Indeed I’ll bear my love for thee with firmest soul, ✿ Until from thee
    to me shall come a messenger.

“Look’ye, O Ibn Mansur, I will write thee an answer, that he may give
thee what he promised thee.” And I answered, “Allah requite thee with
good!” So she called out to a handmaid, “Bring inkcase and paper,” and
wrote these couplets:—

 How comes it I fulfilled my vow the while that vow broke you? ✿ And,
    seen me lean to equity, iniquity wrought you?
 ‘Twas you initiated wrongous dealing and despite: ✿ You were the
    treachetour and treason came from only you!
 I never ceased to cherish mid the sons of men my troth; ✿ And keep your
    honour brightest bright and swear by name of you,
 Until I saw with eyes of me what evil you had done; ✿ Until I heard with
    ears of me what foul report spread you.

 Shall I bring low my proper worth while raising yours so high? ✿ By
    Allah, had you honoured me eke I had honoured you!
 But now uprooting severance I will fain console my heart, ✿ And wring my
    fingers clean of you for evermore to part!

Quoth I, “By Allah, O my lady, between him and death there is but the
reading of this letter!” So I tore it in pieces and said to her, “Write
him other than these lines.” “I hear and obey,” answered she and wrote
the following couplets—

 Indeed I am consolèd now and sleep without a tear, ✿ And all that
    happened slandering tongues have whispered in mine ear:
 My heart obeyed my hest and soon forgot thy memory, ✿ And learnt mine
    eyelids ‘twas the best to live in severance sheer:
 He lied who said that severance is a bitterer thing than gall: ✿ It
    never disappointed me; like wine I find it cheer:
 I learnt to hate all news of thee, e’en mention of thy name, ✿ And turn
    away and look thereon with loathing pure and mere:
 Lookye! I cast thee out of heart and far from vitals mine; ✿ Then let
    the slanderer wot this truth and see I am sincere.

Quoth I, “By Allah, O my lady, when he shall read these verses, his soul
will depart his body!” Quoth she, “O Ibn Mansur, is passion indeed come
to such a pass with him that thou sayest this saying?” Quoth I, “Had I
said more than this verily it were but the truth: but mercy is of the
nature of the noble.” Now when she heard this her eyes brimmed over with
tears and she wrote him a note, I swear by Allah, O Commander of the
Faithful, there is none in thy Chancery could write the like of it; and
therein were these couplets:—

 How long shall I thy coyness and thy great aversion see? ✿ Thou hast
    satisfied my censurers and pleased their enmity:
 I did amiss and wot it not; so deign to tell me now ✿ Whatso they told
    thee, haply ‘twas the merest calumny.
 I wish to welcome thee, dear love, even as welcome I ✿ Sleep to these
    eyes and eyelids in the place of sleep to be.
 And since ‘tis thou hast made me drain th’ unmixèd cup of love, ✿ If me
    thou see with wine bemused heap not thy blame on me!

And when she had written the missive,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Budur had
written the missive, she sealed it and gave it to me; and I said, “O
my lady, in good sooth this thy letter will make the sick man whole
and ease the thirsting soul.” Then I took it and went from her, when
she called me back and said to me, “O son of Mansur, say to him:—She
will be thy guest this night.” At this I joyed with exceeding great
joy and carried the letter to Jubayr, whom I found with his eyes fixed
intently on the door, expecting the reply and as soon as I gave him
the letter and he opened and read it and understood it, he uttered a
great cry and fell down in a fainting fit. When he came to himself, he
said to me, “O Ibn Mansur, did she indeed write this note with her
hand and feel it with her fingers?” Answered I, “O my lord, do folk
write with their feet?” And by Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I
had not done speaking these words, when we heard the tinkle-tinkle of
her anklets in the vestibule and she entered. And seeing her he sprang
to his feet as though nothing pained or ailed him and embraced her
like the letter L embraceth the letter A;[344] and the infirmity, that
erst would not depart at once left him.[345] Then he sat down, but she
abode standing and I said to her, “O my lady, why dost thou not sit?”
Said she, “O Ibn Mansur, save on a condition that is between us, I
will not sit.” I asked, “And what is that?”; and she answered, “None
may know lovers’ secrets,” and putting her mouth to Jubayr’s ear
whispered to him; whereupon he replied, “I hear and I obey.” Then he
rose and said somewhat in a whisper to one of his slaves, who went out
and returned in a little while with a Kazi and two witnesses.
Thereupon Jubayr stood up and taking a bag containing an hundred
thousand dinars, said, “O Kazi, marry me to this young lady and write
this sum to her marriage-settlement.” Quoth the Kazi to her, “Say
thou, I consent to this.” “I consent to this,” quoth she, whereupon he
drew up the contract of marriage and she opened the bag; and, taking
out a handful of gold, gave it to the Kazi and the witnesses and
handed the rest to Jubayr. Thereupon the Kazi and the witnesses
withdrew, and I sat with them, in mirth and merriment, till the most
part of the night was past, when I said in my mind, “These are lovers
and they have been this long while separated. I will now arise and go
sleep in some place afar from them and leave them to their privacy,
one with other.” So I rose, but she caught hold of my skirts, saying,
“What thinkest thou to do?” “Nothing but so and so,” answered I; upon
which she rejoined, “Sit thee down; and when we would be rid of thee,
we will send thee away.” So I sat down with them till near daybreak,
when she said to me, “O Ibn Mansur, go to yonder chamber; for we have
furnished it for thee and it is thy sleeping-place.” Thereupon I arose
and went thither and slept till morning, when a page brought me basin
and ewer, and I made the ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer. Then I
sat down and presently, behold, Jubayr and his beloved came out of the
bath in the house, and I saw them both wringing their locks.[346] So I
wished them good morning and gave them joy of their safety and
reunion, saying to Jubayr, “That which began with constraint and
conditions hath ended in cordial contentment.” He answered, “Thou
sayest well, and indeed thou deservest thy honorarium;” and he called
his treasurer, and said, “Bring hither three thousand dinars.” So he
brought a purse containing the gold pieces and Jubayr gave it to me,
saying, “Favour us by accepting this.” But I replied, “I will not
accept it till thou tell me the manner of the transfer of love from
her to thee, after so huge an aversion.” Quoth he, “Hearkening and
obedience! Know that we have a festival called New Year’s day,[347]
when all the people fare forth and take boat and go a-pleasuring on
the river. So I went out with my comrades, and saw a skiff, wherein
were ten damsels like moons and amongst them, the Lady Budur lute in
hand.” She preluded in eleven modes, then, returning to the first,
sang these two couplets:—

 Fire is cooler than fires in my breast, ✿ Rock is softer than heart of
    my lord,
 Marvel I that he’s formèd to hold ✿ In water-soft frame heart rock-hard!

“Said I to her:—Repeat the couplets and the air! But she would
not;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jubayr continued,
“So cried I to her:—Repeat the couplets and the air! But she would not;
whereupon I bade the boatmen pelt her with oranges, and they pelted her
till we feared her boat would founder. Then she went her way, and this
is how the love was transferred from her heart to mine.” So I wished
them joy of their union; and, taking the purse with its contents, I
returned to Baghdad. Now when the Caliph heard Ibn Mansur’s story his
heart was lightened and the restlessness and oppression from which he
suffered forsook him. And they also tell the tale of


Footnote 326:

  Lane (ii. 494) relates from Al-Makrizi, that when Khamárawayh,
  Governor of the Egypt (ninth century), suffered from insomnia his
  physician ordered a pool of quicksilver, 50 by 50 cubits, to be laid
  out in front of his palace, now the Rumaylah square. “At the corners
  of the pool were silver pegs to which were attached by silver rings,
  strong bands of silk, and a bed of skins, inflated with air, being
  thrown upon the pool and secured by the bands remained in a continual
  state of agreeable vacillation.” We are not told that the Prince was
  thereby salivated like the late Colonel Sykes when boiling his mercury
  for thermometric experiments.

Footnote 327:

  The name seems now unknown. “Al-Khalí’a” is somewhat stronger than
  “Wag,” meaning at least a “wicked wit.” Properly it is the Span.
  “perdido,” a youth cast off (Khala’) by his friends; though not so
  strong a term as “Harfúsh” = a blackguard.

Footnote 328:

  Arab. “Farsakh” = parasang.

Footnote 329:

  Arab. “Nahás asfar” = yellow copper, brass as opposed to Nahás ahmar =
  copper. The reader who cares to study the subject will find much about
  it in my “Book of The Sword,” chapt. iv.

Footnote 330:

  Lane (ii. 479) translates one stanza of this mukhammas (pentastich)
  and speaks of “five more,” which would make six.

Footnote 331:

  A servile name, Delicacy, Elegance.

Footnote 332:

  These verses have occurred twice: (Night ix. etc.) so I give Lane’s
  version (ii. 482).

Footnote 333:

  A Badawi tribe to which belonged the generous Ma’an bin Za’idah, often
  mentioned in The Nights.

Footnote 334:

  Wealthy harems, I have said, are hot-beds of Sapphism and Tribadism.
  Every woman past her first youth has a girl whom she calls her
  “Myrtle” (in Damascus). At Agbome, capital of Dahome, I found that a
  troop of women was kept for the use of the “Amazons” (Mission to
  Gelele, ii. 73). Amongst the wild Arabs, who ignore Socratic and
  Sapphic perversions, the lover is always more jealous of his beloved’s
  girl-friends than of men rivals. In England we content ourselves with
  saying that women corrupt women more than men do.

Footnote 335:

  The Hebrew Pentateuch; Roll of the Law.

Footnote 336:

  I need hardly notice the brass trays, platters and table-covers with
  inscriptions which are familiar to every reader: those made in the
  East for foreign markets mostly carry imitation inscriptions lest
  infidel eyes fall upon Holy Writ.

Footnote 337:

  These six distichs are in Night xiii. I borrow Torrens (p. 125) to
  show his peculiar treatment of spinning out 12 lines to 38.

Footnote 338:

  Arab. “Musámirah” = chatting at night. Easterns are inordinately fond
  of the practice and the wild Arabs often sit up till dawn, talking
  over the affairs of the tribe, indeed a Shaykh is expected to do so.
  “Early to bed and early to rise” is a civilised not a savage or a
  barbarous saying. Samír is a companion in night talk; Rafík of the
  road; Rahíb in riding horse or camel; Ká’id in sitting; Sharíb and
  Rafís at drink, and Nadím at table: Ahíd is an ally, and Sharík a
  partner—all on the model of “Fa’íl.”

Footnote 339:

  In both lover and beloved the excess of love gave them this

Footnote 340:

  The prayer will be granted for the excess (not the purity) of her

Footnote 341:

  This wailing over the Past is one of the common-places of Badawi
  poetry. The traveller cannot fail, I repeat, to notice the chronic
  melancholy of peoples dwelling under the brightest skies.

Footnote 342:

  Moons = Budúr: in Paradise as a martyr.

Footnote 343:

  _i.e._ to intercede for me in Heaven; as if the young woman were the

Footnote 344:

  The comparison is admirable as the two letters are thus written
  [Illustration] or لا. It occurs in Al-Hariri (Ass. of Ramlah)

             So I embraced him close as Lám cleaves to Alif;

  And again:—

            She laid aside reluctance and I embraced her close
            As if I were Lám and my love Alif.

  The Lomad-Olaph in Syraic is similarly colligated.

Footnote 345:

  Here is a double entendre “and the infirm letters (viz. a, w and y)
  not subject to accidence, left him.” The three make up the root “Awi”
  = pitying, condoling.

Footnote 346:

  Showing that consummation had taken place. It was a sign of good
  breeding to avoid all “indecent hurry” when going to bed. In some
  Moslem countries the bridegroom does not consummate the marriage for
  seven nights; out of respect for (1) father (2) mother (3) brother and
  so forth. If he hurry matters he will be hooted as an “impatient man”
  and the wise will quote, “Man is created of precipitation” (Koran
  chapt. xxi. 38), meaning hasty and inconsiderate. I remark with
  pleasure that the whole of this tale is told with commendable
  delicacy. O si sic omnia!

Footnote 347:

  Pers. Nauroz (= nau roz, new day): here used in the Arab. plur.
  “Nawáriz” as it lasted six days. There are only four universal
  festivals; the solstices and the equinoxes; and every successive
  religion takes them from the sun and perverts them to its own private
  purposes. Lane (ii. 496) derives the venerable Nauroz whose birth is
  hid in the outer glooms of antiquity from “the Jewish Passover” (!)


The Caliph Al-Maamun was sitting one day in his palace, surrounded by
his Lords of the realm and Officers of state, and there were present
also before him all his poets and cup-companions, amongst the rest one
named Mohammed of Bassorah. Presently the Caliph turned and said to him,
“O Mohammed, I wish thee forthwith to tell me something that I have
never before heard.” He replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, dost thou
wish me to tell thee a thing I have heard with my ears or a thing I have
seen with my eyes?” Quoth Al-Maamun, “Tell me whichever is the rarer;”
so Mohammed Al-Basri began:—Know, then, O Commander of the Faithful,
that there lived once upon a time a wealthy man, who was a native of
Al-Yaman; but he emigrated from his native land and came to this city of
Baghdad, whose sojourn so pleased him that he transported hither his
family and possessions. Now he had six slave-girls, like moons one and
all; the first white, the second brown, the third fat, the fourth lean,
the fifth yellow and the sixth lamp-black; and all six were comely of
countenance and perfect in accomplishments and skilled in the arts of
singing and playing upon musical instruments. Now it so chanced that,
one day, he sent for the girls and called for meat and wine; and they
ate and drank and were mirthful and made merry. Then he filled the cup
and, taking it in his hand, said to the blonde girl, “O new-moon face,
let us hear somewhat of thy pleasant songs.” So she took the lute and
tuning it, made music thereon with such sweet melody that the place
danced with glee; after which she played a lively measure and sang these

 I have a friend, whose form is fixed within mine eyes,[348] ✿ Whose name
    deep buried in my very vitals lies:
 Whenas remembers him my mind all heart am I, ✿ And when on him my gaze
    is turned I am all eyes.
 My censor saith, “Forswear, forget, the love of him,” ✿ “Whatso is not
    to be, how shall’t be?” My reply is.
 Quoth I, “O Censor mine, go forth from me, avaunt! ✿ And make not light
    of that on humans heavy lies.”

Hereat their master rejoiced and, drinking off his cup, gave the damsels
to drink, after which he said to the berry-brown girl, “O
brasier-light[349] and joy of the sprite, let us hear thy lovely voice,
whereby all that hearken are ravished with delight.” So she took the
lute and thereon made harmony till the place was moved to glee; then,
captivating all hearts with her graceful swaying, she sang these

 I swear by that fair face’s life, I’ll love but thee ✿ Till death us
    part; nor other love but thine I’ll see;
 O full moon, with thy loveliness mantilla’d o’er, ✿ The loveliest of our
    earth beneath thy banner be:
 Thou, who surpassest all the fair in pleasantness ✿ May Allah, Lord of
    worlds, be everywhere with thee!

The master rejoiced and drank off his cup and gave the girls to drink;
after which he filled again; and, taking the goblet in his hand, signed
to the fat girl and bade her sing and play a different motive. So she
took the lute and striking a grief-dispelling measure, sang these

 An thou but deign consent, O wish to heart affied! ✿ I care not wrath
    and rage to all mankind betide.
 And if thou show that fairest face which gives me life, ✿ I reck not an
    diminished heads the Kings go hide.
 I seek thy favours only from this ‘versal world: ✿ O thou in whom all
    beauty doth firm-fixt abide!

The man rejoiced and, emptying his cup, gave the girls to drink. Then he
signed to the thin girl and said to her, “O Houri of Paradise, feed thou
our ears with sweet words and sounds.” So she took the lute; and, tuning
it, preluded and sang these two couplets:—

 Say me, on Allah’s path[350] hast death not dealt to me, ✿ Turning from
    me while I to thee turn patiently:
 Say me, is there no judge of Love to judge us twain, ✿ And do me justice
    wronged, mine enemy, by thee?

Their lord rejoiced and, emptying the cup, gave the girls to drink. Then
filling another he signed to the yellow girl and said to her, “O sun of
the day, let us hear some nice verses.” So she took the lute and,
preluding after the goodliest fashion, sang these couplets:—

 I have a lover and when drawing him, ✿ He draws on me a sword-blade
    glancing grim:
 Allah avenge some little of his wrongs, ✿ Who holds my heart yet wreaks
    o’erbearing whim:
 Oft though I say, “Renounce him, heart!” yet heart ✿ Will to none other
    turn excepting him.
 He is my wish and will of all men, but ✿ Fate’s envious hand to me’s aye
    grudging him.

The master rejoiced and drank and gave the girls to drink; then he
filled the cup and taking it in hand, signed to the black girl, saying,
“O pupil of the eye, let us have a taste of thy quality, though it be
but two words.” So she took the lute and tuning it and tightening the
strings, preluded in various modes, then returned to the first and sang
to a lively air these couplets:—

 Ho ye, mine eyes, let prodigal tears go free; ✿ This ecstasy would see
    my being unbe:[351]
 All ecstasies I dree for sake of friend ✿ I fondle, maugre enviers’
 Censors forbid me from his rosy cheek, ✿ Yet e’er inclines my heart to
 Cups of pure wine, time was, went circuiting ✿ In joy, what time the
    lute sang melody,
 While kept his troth the friend who madded me, ✿ Yet made me rising star
    of bliss to see:
 But—with Time, turned he not by sin of mine; ✿ Than such a turn can
    aught more bitter be?
 Upon his cheek there grows and glows a rose, ✿ Nay two, whereof grant
    Allah one to me!
 An were prostration[352] by our law allowed ✿ To aught but Allah, at his
    feet I had bowed.

Thereupon rose the six girls and, kissing the ground before their lord,
said to him, “Do thou justice between us, O our lord!” So he looked at
their beauty and loveliness and the contrast of their colours and
praised Almighty Allah and glorified Him. Then said he, “There is none
of you but hath learnt the Koran by heart, and mastered the musical art
and is versed in the chronicles of yore and the doings of peoples which
have gone before; so it is my desire that each one of you rise and,
pointing finger at her opposite, praise herself and dispraise her
co-concubine; that is to say, let the blonde point to the brunette, the
plump to the slender and the yellow to the black girl; after which the
rivals, each in her turn, shall do the like with the former; and be this
illustrated with citations from Holy Writ and somewhat of anecdotes and
verse, so as to show forth your fine breeding and elegance of your
pleading.” And they answered him, “We hear and we obey!”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the handmaids
answered the man of Al-Yaman, “We hear and we obey!” Accordingly the
blonde rose first and, pointing at the black girl, said to her:—Out on
thee, blackamoor! It is told by tradition that whiteness saith:—I am the
shining light, I am the rising moon of the fourteenth night. My hue is
patent and my brow is resplendent and of my beauty quoth the poet:—

 White girl with softly rounded polished cheeks ✿ As if a pearl concealed
    by Beauty’s boon:
 Her stature Alif-like;[353] her smile like Mím[354] ✿ And o’er her eyes
    two brows that bend like Nún.[355]
 ‘Tis as her glance were arrow, and her brows ✿ Bows ever bent to shoot
    Death-dart eftsoon:
 If cheek and shape thou view, there shalt thou find ✿ Rose, myrtle,
    basil and Narcissus wone.
 Men wont in gardens plant and set the branch; ✿ How many garths thy
    stature-branch doth own!

So my colour is like the hale and healthy day and the newly-culled
orange-spray and the star of sparkling ray;[356] and indeed quoth
Almighty Allah, in His precious Book, to his prophet Moses (on whom be
peace!):—Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, without
hurt.[357] And again He saith:—But they whose faces shall become white,
shall be in the mercy of Allah; therein shall they remain for ever.[358]
My colour is a sign, a miracle, and my loveliness supreme and my beauty
a term extreme. It is on the like of me that raiment showeth fair and
fine and to the like of me that hearts incline. Moreover, in whiteness
are many excellences; for instance, the snow falleth white from heaven,
and it is traditional that the beautifullest of colours is white. The
Moslems also glory in white turbands; but I should be tedious, were I to
tell all that may be told in praise of white; little and enough is
better than too much of unfilling stuff. So now I will begin with thy
dispraise, O black, O colour of ink and blacksmith’s dust, thou whose
face is like the raven which bringeth about the parting of lovers.
Verily, the poet saith in praise of white and blame of black:—

 Seest not that pearls are prized for milky hue, ✿ But with a dirham buy
    we coals in load?
 And while white faces enter Paradise, ✿ Black faces crowd Gehenna’s
    black abode.

And indeed it is told in certain histories, related on the authority of
devout men, that Noah (on whom be peace!) was sleeping one day, with his
sons Cham and Shem seated at his head, when a wind sprang up and,
lifting his clothes, uncovered his nakedness; whereat Cham looked and
laughed and did not cover him: but Shem arose and covered him.
Presently, their sire awoke and learning, what had been done by his
sons, blessed Shem and cursed Cham. So Shem’s face was whitened and from
him sprang the prophets and the orthodox Caliphs and Kings; whilst
Cham’s face was blackened and he fled forth to the land of Abyssinia,
and of his lineage came the blacks.[359] All people are of one mind in
affirming the lack of understanding of the blacks, even as saith the
adage, “How shall one find a black with a mind?” Quoth her master, “Sit
thee down, thou hast given us sufficient and even excess.” Thereupon he
signed to the negress, who rose and, pointing her finger at the blonde,
said:—Dost thou not know that in the Koran sent down to His prophet and
apostle, is transmitted the saying of God the Most High, “By the night
when it covereth all things with darkness; by the day when it shineth
forth!”[360] If the night were not the more illustrious, verily Allah
had not sworn by it nor had given it precedence of the day. And indeed
all men of wit and wisdom accept this. Knowest thou not that black is
the ornament of youth and that, when hoariness descendeth upon the head,
delights pass away and the hour of death draweth in sight? Were not
black the most illustrious of things, Allah had not set it in the core
of the heart[361] and the pupil of the eye; and how excellent is the
saying of the poet:—

 I love not black girls but because they show ✿ Youth’s colour, tinct of
    eye and heart-core’s hue;
 Nor are in error who unlove the white, ✿ And hoary hairs and
    winding-sheet eschew.

And that said of another:—

  Black[362] girls, not white, are they ✿ All worthy love I see:
  Black girls wear dark-brown lips;[363] ✿ Whites, blotch of leprosy.

And of a third:—

 Black girls in acts are white, and ‘tis as though ✿ Like eyes, with
    purest shine and sheen they show;
 If I go daft for her, be not amazed; ✿ Black bile[364] drives
    melancholic-mad we know:
 ‘Tis as my colour were the noon of night; ✿ For all no moon it be, its
    splendours glow.

Moreover, is the foregathering of lovers good but in the night? Let this
quality and profit suffice thee. What protecteth lovers from spies and
censors like the blackness of night’s darkness; and what causeth to them
to fear discovery like the whiteness of the dawn’s brightness? So, how
many claims to honour are there not in blackness and how excellent is
the saying of the poet!—

 I visit them, and night-black lendeth aid to me ✿ Seconding love, but
    dawn-white is mine enemy.

And that of another:—

 How many a night I’ve passed with the beloved of me, ✿ While gloom with
    dusky tresses veilèd our desires:
 But when the morn-light showed it caused me sad affright; ✿ And I to
    Morning said, “Who worship light are liars!”[365]

And saith a third:—

 He came to see me, hiding neath the skirt of night, ✿ Hasting his steps
    as wended he in cautious plight.
 I rose and spread my cheek upon his path like rug, ✿ Abject, and trailed
    my skirt to hide it from his sight;
 But rose the crescent moon and strave its best to show ✿ The world our
    loves, like nail-slice raying radiant light:[366]
 Then what befel befel: I need not aught describe; ✿ But think thy best,
    and ask me naught of wrong or right.
 Meet not thy lover save at night for fear of slander ✿ The Sun’s a
    tittle-tattler and the Moon’s a pander.

And a fifth:—

 I love not white girls blown with fat who puff and pant; ✿ The maid for
    me is young brunette embonpoint-scant.
 I’d rather ride a colt that’s dark upon the day ✿ Of race, and set my
    friends upon the elephant.

And a sixth:—

 My lover came to me one night, ✿ And clipt we both with fond embrace;
 And lay together till we saw ✿ The morning come with swiftest pace.
 Now I pray Allah and my Lord ✿ To reunite us of His grace;
 And make night last me long as he ✿ Lies in the arms that tightly lace.

Were I to set forth all the praises of blackness, my tale would be
tedious; but little and enough is better than too much of unfilling
stuff. As for thee, O blonde, thy colour is that of leprosy and thine
embrace is suffocation,[367] and it is of report that hoar-frost and icy
cold[368] are in Gehenna for the torment of the wicked. Again, of things
black and excellent is ink, wherewith is written Allah’s word; and were
it not for black ambergris and black musk, there would be no perfumes to
carry to Kings. How many glories I may not mention dwell in blackness,
and how well saith the poet:—

 Seest not that musk, the nut-brown musk, e’er claims the highest price,
    ✿ Whilst for a load of whitest lime none more than dirham bids?
 And while white speck upon the eye deforms the loveliest youth, ✿ Black
    eyes discharge the sharpest shafts in lashes from their lids.

Quoth her master, “Sit thee down: this much sufficeth.” So she sat down
and he signed to the fat girl, who rose——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man of
Al-Yaman, the master of the handmaids, signed to the fat girl who rose
and, pointing her finger at the slim girl, bared her calves and wrists
and uncovered her stomach, showing its dimples and the plump rondure of
her navel. Then she donned a shift of fine stuff, that exposed her whole
body, and said:—Praised be Allah who created me, for that He beautified
my face and made me fat and fair of the fattest and fairest; and likened
me to branches laden with fruit, and bestowed upon me abounding beauty
and brightness: and praised be He no less, for that He hath given me the
precedence and honoured me, when He mentioneth me in His holy Book!
Quoth the Most High, “And he brought a fatted calf.”[369] And He hath
made me like unto a vergier full of peaches and pomegranates. In very
sooth even as the townsfolk long for fat birds and eat of them and love
not lean birds, so do the sons of Adam desire fat meat and eat of it.
How many vauntful attributes are there not in fatness, and how well
saith the poet:—

 Farewell thy love, for see, the Cafilah’s[370] on the move: ✿ O man,
    canst bear to say adieu and leave thy love?
 ‘Tis as her going were to seek her neighbour’s tent, ✿ The gait of fat
    fair maid, whom hearts shall all approve.

Sawest thou ever one stand before a flesher’s stall but sought of him
fat flesh? The wise say, “Joyance is in three things, eating meat and
riding meat and putting meat into meat.”[371] As for thee, O thin one,
thy calves are like the shanks of sparrows or the pokers of furnaces;
and thou art a cruciform plank or a piece of flesh poor and rank; there
is naught in thee to gladden the heart; even as saith the poet:—

 With Allah take I refuge from whatever driveth me ✿ To bed with one like
    footrasp[372] or the roughest ropery:
 In every limb she hath a horn that butteth me whene’er ✿ I fain would
    rest, so morn and eve I wend me wearily.

Quoth her master, “Sit thee down: this much sufficeth.” So she sat down
and he signed to the slender girl, who rose, as she were a willow-wand,
or a rattan-frond or a stalk of sweet basil, and said:—Praised be Allah
who created me and beautified me and made my embraces the end of all
desire and likened me to the branch, whereto all hearts incline. If I
rise, I rise lightly; if I sit, I sit prettily; I am nimble-witted at a
jest and merrier-souled than mirth itself. Never heard I one describe
his mistress, saying, “My beloved is the bigness of an elephant or like
a mountain long and broad;” but rather, “My lady hath a slender waist
and a slim shape.”[373] Furthermore a little food filleth me and a
little water quencheth my thirst; my sport is agile and my habit active;
for I am sprightlier than the sparrow and lighter-skipping than the
starling. My favours are the longing of the lover and the delight of the
desirer; for I am goodly of shape, sweet of smile and graceful as the
bending willow-wand or the rattan-cane[374] or the stalk of the
basil-plant; nor is there any can compare with me in loveliness, even as
saith one of me:—

 Thy shape with willow branch I dare compare, ✿ And hold thy figure as my
    fortunes fair:
 I wake each morn distraught, and follow thee, ✿ And from the rival’s eye
    in fear I fare.

It is for the like of me that amourists run mad and that those who
desire me wax distracted. If my lover would draw me to him, I am drawn
to him; and if he would have me incline to him, I incline to him and not
against him. But now, as for thee, O fat of body, thine eating is the
feeding of an elephant, and neither much nor little filleth thee. When
thou liest with a man who is lean, he hath no ease of thee; nor can he
anyways take his pleasure of thee; for the bigness of thy belly holdeth
him off from going in unto thee and the fatness of thy thighs hindereth
him from coming at thy slit. What goodness is there in thy grossness,
and what courtesy or pleasantness in thy coarseness? Fat flesh is fit
for naught but the flesher, nor is there one point therein that pleadeth
for praise. If one joke with thee, thou art angry; if one sport with
thee, thou art sulky; if thou sleep, thou snorest; if thou walk, thou
lollest out thy tongue! if thou eat, thou art never filled. Thou art
heavier than mountains and fouler than corruption and crime. Thou hast
in thee nor agility nor benedicite nor thinkest thou of aught save meat
and sleep. When thou pissest thou swishest; if thou turd thou gruntest
like a bursten wine-skin or an elephant transmogrified. If thou go to
the water-closet, thou needest one to wash thy gap and pluck out the
hairs which overgrow it; and this is the extreme of sluggishness and the
sign, outward and visible, of stupidity.[375] In short, there is no good
thing about thee, and indeed the poet saith of thee:—

 Heavy and swollen like an urine-bladder blown, ✿ With hips and thighs
    like mountain propping piles of stone;
 Whene’er she walks in Western hemisphere, her tread ✿ Makes the far
    Eastern world with weight to moan and groan.

Quoth her master, “Sit thee down, this sufficeth;” so she sat down and
he signed to the yellow girl, who rose to her feet and praised Allah
Almighty and magnified His name, calling down peace and blessing on
Mohammed the best of His creatures; after which she pointed her finger
at the brunette and said to her,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

      Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the yellow
girl stood up and praised Almighty Allah and magnified His name; after
which she pointed her finger at the brown girl and said to her:—I am the
one praised in the Koran, and the Compassionate hath described my
complexion and its excellence over all other hues in His manifest Book,
where Allah saith, “A yellow, pure yellow, whose colour gladdeneth the
beholders.”[376] Wherefore my colour is a sign and portent and my grace
is supreme and my beauty a term extreme; for that my tint is the tint of
a ducat and the colour of the planets and moons and the hue of ripe
apples. My fashion is the fashion of the fair, and the dye of saffron
outvieth all other dyes; so my semblance is wondrous and my colour
marvellous. I am soft of body and of high price, comprising all
qualities of beauty. My colour is essentially precious as virgin gold,
and how many boasts and glories doth it not unfold! Of the like of me
quoth the poet:—

 Her golden yellow is the sheeny sun’s; ✿ And like gold sequins she
    delights the sight:
 Saffron small portion of her glance can show; ✿ Nay,[377] she outvies
    the moon when brightest bright.

And I shall at once begin in thy dispraise, O berry-brown girl! Thy
tincture is that of the buffalo, and all souls shudder at thy sight. If
thy colour be in any created thing, it is blamed; if it be in food, it
is poisoned; for thy hue is the hue of the dung-fly; it is a mark of
ugliness even in dogs; and among the colours it is one which strikes
with amazement and is of the signs of mourning. Never heard I of brown
gold or brown pearls or brown gems. If thou enter the privy, thy colour
changeth, and when thou comest out, thou addest ugliness to ugliness.
Thou art a non-descript; neither black, that thou mayst be recognised,
nor white, that thou mayst be described; and in thee there is no good
quality, even as saith the poet:—

 The hue of dusty motes is hers; that dull brown hue of hers ✿ Is mouldy,
    like the dust and mud by Cossid’s foot upthrown:[378]
 I never look upon her brow, e’en for eye-twinkling’s space, ✿ But in
    brown study fall I and my thoughts take browner tone.

Quoth her master, “Sit thee down; this much sufficeth;” so she sat down
and he signed to the brunette. Now she was a model of beauty and
loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace; soft of skin, slim of shape,
of stature rare, and coal-black hair; with cheeks rosy-pink, eyes
black-rimmed by nature’s hand, face fair, and eloquent tongue; moreover
slender-waisted and heavy-hipped. So she rose and said:—Praise be to
Allah who hath created me neither leper-white nor bile-yellow nor
charcoal-black, but hath made my colour to be beloved of men of wit and
wisdom; for all the poets extol berry-brown maids in every tongue and
exalt their colour over all other colours. To “brown of hue (they say)
praise is due;” and Allah bless him who singeth:—

 And in brunettes is mystery, could’st thou but read it right, ✿ Thy
    sight would never dwell on others, be they red or white:
 Free-flowing conversation, amorous coquettishness ✿ Would teach Hárut
    himself a mightier spell of magic might.

And saith another:—

 Give me brunettes, so limber, lissom, lithe of sway, ✿ Brunettes tall,
    slender, straight like Samhar’s nut-brown lance;[379]
 Languid of eyelids and with silky down on either cheek, ✿ Who fixed in
    lover’s heart work to his life mischance.

And yet another:—

 Now, by my life, brown hue hath point of comeliness ✿ Leaves whiteness
    nowhere and high o’er the Moon takes place;
 But an of whiteness aught it borrowed self to deck, ✿ ‘Twould change its
    graces and would pale for its disgrace:
 Not with his must[380] I’m drunken, but his locks of musk ✿ Are wine
    inebriating all of human race.
 His charms are jealous each of each, and all desire ✿ To be the down
    that creepeth up his lovely face.

And again another:—

 Why not incline me to that show of silky down, ✿ On cheeks of dark
    brunette, like bamboo spiring brown?
 Whenas high rank in beauty poets sing, they say ✿ Brown ant-like
    specklet worn by nenuphar in crown.
 And see I sundry lovers tear out others’ eyne ✿ For the brown mole
    beneath that jetty pupil shown,
 Then why do censors blame me for one all a mole? ✿ Allah I pray demolish
    each molesting clown![381]

My form is all grace and my shape is built on heavy base; Kings desire
my colour which all adore, rich and poor. I am pleasant, active,
handsome, elegant, soft of skin and prized for price: eke I am perfect
in seemlihead and breeding and eloquence; my aspect is comely and my
tongue witty; my temper is bright and my play a pretty sight. As for
thee, thou art like unto a mallow growing about the Lúk Gate;[382] in
hue sallow and streaked-yellow and made all of sulphur. Aroynt thee, O
copper-worth of jaundiced sorrel, O rust of brass-pot, O face of owl in
gloom, and fruit of the Hell-tree Zakkúm;[383] whose bedfellow, for
heart-break, is buried in the tomb. And there is no good thing in thee,
even as saith the poet of the like of thee:—

 Yellowness, tincturing her tho’ nowise sick or sorry, ✿ Straitens my
    hapless heart and makes my head sore ache;
 An thou repent not, Soul! I’ll punish thee with kissing[384] ✿ Her lower
    face that shall mine every grinder break!

And when she ended her lines, quoth her master, “Sit thee down, this
much sufficeth!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the yellow
girl ended her recitation, quoth her master, “Sit thee down; this much
sufficeth!” Then he made peace between them and clad them all in
sumptuous robes of honour and hanselled them with precious jewels of
land and sea. And never have I seen, O Commander of the Faithful, any
when or any where, aught fairer than these six damsels fair. Now when
Al-Maamun heard this story from Mohammed of Bassorah, he turned to him
and said, “O Mohammed, knowest thou the abiding-place of these damsels
and their master, and canst thou contrive to buy them of him for us?” He
answered, “O Commander of the Faithful, indeed I have heard that their
lord is wrapped up in them and cannot bear to be parted from them.”
Rejoined the Caliph, “Take thee ten thousand gold pieces for each girl,
that is sixty thousand for the whole purchase; and carry the coin to his
house and buy them of him.” So Mohammed of Bassorah took the money and,
betaking himself to the Man of Al-Yaman, acquainted him with the wish of
the Prince of True Believers. He consented to part with them at that
price to pleasure the Caliph; and despatched them to Al-Maamun, who
assigned them an elegant abode and therein used to sit with them as
cup-companions; marvelling at their beauty and loveliness, at their
varied colours and at the excellence of their conversation. Thus matters
stood for many a day; but, after awhile, when their former owner could
no longer bear to be parted from them, he sent a letter to the Commander
of the Faithful complaining to him of his own ardent love-longing for
them and containing, amongst other contents, these couplets:—

 Captured me six, all bright with youthful blee; ✿ Then on all six be
    best salams from me!
 They are my hearing, seeing, very life; ✿ My meat, my drink, my joy, my
 I’ll ne’er forget the favours erst so charmed ✿ Whose loss hath turned
    my sleep to insomny:
 Alack, O longsome pining and O tears! ✿ Would I had farewelled all
 Those eyes, with bowed and well arched eyebrows[385] dight, ✿ Like bows
    have struck me with their archery.

Now when the letter came to the hands of Al-Maamun, he robed the six
damsels in rich raiment; and, giving them threescore thousand dinars,
sent them back to their lord who joyed in them with exceeding joy,[386]
(more especially for the monies they brought him) and abode with them in
all the comfort and pleasance of life, till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies. And men also recount
the tale of


Footnote 348:

  Again the “babes” of the eyes.

Footnote 349:

  _i.e._ whose glance is as the light of the glowing braise or (embers).
  The Arab. “Mikbás” = pan or pot full of small charcoal, is an article
  well known in Italy and Southern Europe. The word is apparently used
  here because it rhymes with “Anfás” (souls, spirits).

Footnote 350:

  _i.e._ martyrdom; a Koranic term “fi sabíli ‘llahi” = on the way of

Footnote 351:

  These rhymes in -y, -ee and -ie are purposely affected, to imitate the
  cadence of the Arabic.

Footnote 352:

  Arab. Sujúd, the ceremonial prostration, touching the ground with the
  forehead. So in the Old Testament “he bowed (or fell down) and
  worshipped” (Gen. xxiv., 26: Mat. ii., 11), of which our translation
  gives a wrong idea.

Footnote 353:

  Thus written ا hence as has been seen, a girl is called Alfiyyah =

Footnote 354:

  _i.e._ the medial form of m =

Footnote 355:

  _i.e._ the inverted n.

Footnote 356:

  It may also mean a “Sevigné of pearls.”

Footnote 357:

  Koran xxvii. 12. This was one of the nine “signs” to wicked “Pharaoh.”
  The “hand of Moses” is a symbol of power and ability (Koran vii. 105).
  The whiteness was supernatural beauty, not leprosy of the Jews (Exod.
  iv. 6); but brilliancy, after being born red or black: according to
  some commentators, Moses was a negro.

Footnote 358:

  Koran iii. 103; the other faces become black. This explains, I have
  noticed, the use of the phrases in blessing and cursing.

Footnote 359:

  Here we have the naked legend of the negro’s origin; one of those
  nursery tales in which the ignorant of Christendom still believe. But
  the deduction from the fable and the testimony to the negro’s lack of
  intelligence, though unpleasant to our ignorant negrophils, are
  factual and satisfactory.

Footnote 360:

  Koran, xcii. 1, 2: an oath of Allah to reward and punish with Heaven
  and Hell.

Footnote 361:

  Alluding to the “black drop” in the heart: it was taken from
  Mohammed’s by the Archangel Gabriel. The fable seems to have arisen
  from the verse “Have we not opened thy breast?” (Koran, chapt. xciv.
  1). The popular tale is that Halímah, the Badawi nurse of Mohammed, of
  the Banu Sa’ad tribe, once saw her son, also a child, running towards
  her and asked him what was the matter. He answered, “My little brother
  was seized by two men in white who stretched him on the ground and
  opened his belly!” For a full account and deductions see the Rev. Mr.
  Badger’s article, “Muhammed” (p. 959) in vol. iii. “Dictionary of
  Christian Biography.”

Footnote 362:

  Arab, “Sumr,” lit. brown (as it is afterwards used), but politely
  applied to a negro: “Yá Abu Sumrah!” O father of brownness.

Footnote 363:

  Arab. “Lumá” = dark hue of the inner lips admired by the Arabs and to
  us suggesting most unpleasant ideas. Mr. Chenery renders it “dark red”
  and “ruddy,” altogether missing the idea.

Footnote 364:

  Arab. “Saudá,” feminine of aswad (black), and meaning black bile
  (melancholia) as opposed to leucocholia.

Footnote 365:

  _i.e._ the Magians, Sabians, Zoroastrians.

Footnote 366:

  The “Unguinum fulgor” of the Latins who did not forget to celebrate
  the shining of the nails although they did not Henna them like
  Easterns. Some, however, have suggested that Ῥοδοδάκτυλος alludes to
  colouring matter.

Footnote 367:

  Women with white skins are supposed to be heating and unwholesome:
  hence the Hindu Rajahs slept with dark girls in the hot season.

Footnote 368:

  Moslems sensibly have a cold as well as a hot Hell, the former called
  Zamharir (lit. “intense cold”) or Al-Barahút, after a well in
  Hazramaut; as Gehenna (Arab. Jahannam) from the furnace-like ravine
  East of Jerusalem (Night cccxxv). The icy Hell is necessary _in
  terrorem_ for peoples who inhabit cold regions and who in a hot Hell
  only look forward to an eternity of “coals and candles” gratis. The
  sensible missionaries preached it in Iceland till foolishly forbidden
  by Papal Bull.

Footnote 369:

  Koran ii. 26; speaking of Abraham when he entertained the angels

Footnote 370:

  Arab “Rakb,” usually applied to a fast-going caravan of dromedary
  riders (Pilgrimage ii. 329). The “Cafilah” is Arab.: “Caravan” is a
  corruption of the Pers. Karwán.

Footnote 371:

  A popular saying. It is interesting to contrast this dispute between
  fat and thin with the Shakespearean humour of Falstaff and Prince

Footnote 372:

  Arab. “Dalak” vulg Hajar al-Hammam (Hammam-stone). The comparison is
  very apt: the rasps are of baked clay artificially roughened (see
  illustrations in Lane M. E. chapt. xvi.) The rope is called “Masad,” a
  bristling line of palm-fibre like the coir now familiarly known in

Footnote 373:

  Although the Arab’s ideal of beauty, as has been seen and said,
  corresponds with ours, the Egyptians (Modern) the Maroccans and other
  negrofied races like “walking tun-butts” as Clapperton called his
  amorous widow.

Footnote 374:

  Arab. “Khayzar” or “Khayzarán” the rattan-palm. Those who have seen
  this most graceful “palmijuncus” in its native forest will recognise
  the neatness of the simile.

Footnote 375:

  This is the popular idea of a bushy “veil of nature” in women: it is
  always removed by depilatories and vellication. When Bilkis Queen of
  Sheba discovered her legs by lifting her robe (Koran xxvii.), Solomon
  was minded to marry her, but would not do so till the devils had by a
  depilatory removed the hair. The popular preparation (called Núrah)
  consists of quicklime 7 parts, and Zirník or orpiment, 3 parts: it is
  applied in the Hammam to a perspiring skin, and it must be washed off
  immediately the hair is loosened or it burns and discolours. The rest
  of the body-pile (Sha’arat opp. to Sha’ar = hair) is eradicated by
  applying a mixture of boiled honey with turpentine or other gum, and
  rolling it with the hand till the hair comes off. Men I have said
  remove the pubes by shaving, and pluck the hair of the armpits, one of
  the vestages of pre-Adamite man. A good depilatory is still a
  desideratum, the best perfumers of London and Paris have none which
  they can recommend. The reason is plain: the hair-bulb can be
  eradicated only by destroying the skin.

Footnote 376:

  Koran, ii. 64: referring to the heifer which the Jews were ordered to

Footnote 377:

  Arab. “kallá,” a Koranic term possibly from Kull (all) and lá (not) =
  prorsus non—altogether not!

Footnote 378:

  “Habáb” or “Habá,” the fine particles of dust, which we call motes.
  The Cossid (Arab. Kásid) is the Anglo-Indian term for a running
  courier (mostly under Government), the Persian “Shátir” and the Guebre

Footnote 379:

  Arab. “Samhari” a very long thin lance so called after Samhar, the
  maker, or the place of making. See vol. ii. p. 1. It is supposed to
  cast, when planted in the ground, a longer shadow in proportion to its
  height, than any other thing of the kind.

Footnote 380:

  Arab. “Suláfah;” properly _ptisane_ which flows from the grapes before
  pressure. The plur. “Sawálif” also means tresses of hair and past
  events: thus there is a “triple entendre.” And again “he” is used for

Footnote 381:

  There is a pun in the last line, “Khálun (a mole) khallauni” (rid me),

Footnote 382:

  Of old Fustát, afterwards part of Southern Cairo, a proverbially
  miserable quarter, hence the saying, “They quoted Misr to Káhirah
  (Cairo), whereon Bab al-Luk rose with its grass,” in derision of
  nobodies who push themselves forward. Burckhardt, Prov. 276.

Footnote 383:

  Its fruits are the heads of devils; a true Dantesque fancy. Koran,
  chapt. xvii. 62, “the tree cursed in the Koran” and in chapt. xxxvii,
  60, “is this better entertainment, or the tree of Al-Zakkúm?”
  Commentators say that it is a thorn bearing a bitter almond which
  grows in the Tehamah and was therefore promoted to Hell.

Footnote 384:

  Arab. “Lasm” (lathm) as opposed to Bausah or boseh (a buss) and Kublah
  (a kiss, generic).

Footnote 385:

  Arab. “Jufún” (plur. of Jafn) which may mean eyebrows or eyelashes and
  only the context can determine which.

Footnote 386:

  Very characteristic of Egyptian manners is the man who loves six girls
  equally well, who lends them, as it were, to the Caliph; and who takes
  back the goods as if in no wise damaged by the loan.


The Caliph, Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, being one night
exceedingly restless and thoughtful with sad thought, rose from his
couch and walked about the by-ways of his palace, till he came to a
chamber, over whose doorway hung a curtain. He raised that curtain and
saw, at the upper end of the room, a bedstead whereon lay something
black, as it were a man asleep, with a wax taper on his right hand and
another on his left; and as the Caliph stood wondering at the sight,
behold, he remarked a flagon full of old wine whose mouth was covered by
the cup. The Caliph wondered even more at this, saying, “How came this
black by such wine-service?” Then, drawing near the bedstead, he found
that it was a girl lying asleep there, curtained by her hair; so he
uncovered her face and saw that it was like the moon, on the night of
his fulness.[387] So the Caliph filled himself a cup of wine and drank
it to the roses of her cheeks; and, feeling inclined to enjoy her,
kissed a mole on her face, whereupon she started up from sleep, and
cried out, “O Trusted of Allah,[388] what may this be?” Replied he, “A
guest who knocketh at thy door, hoping that thou wilt give him
hospitality till the dawn;” and she answered; “Even so! I will serve him
with my hearing and my sight.” So she brought forward the wine and they
drank together, after which she took the lute and tuning the strings,
preluded in one-and-twenty modes, then returning to the first, played a
lively measure and sang these couplets:—

 The tongue of love from heart bespeaks my sprite, ✿ Telling I love thee
    with love infinite:

 I have an eye bears witness to my pain, ✿ And fluttering heart sore hurt
    by parting-plight.
 I cannot hide the love that harms my life; ✿ Tears ever roll and growth
    of pine I sight:
 I knew not what love was ere loving thee; ✿ But Allah’s destiny to all
    is dight.

And when her verses were ended she said, “O Commander of the Faithful, I
have been wronged!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel cried,
“O Commander of the Faithful, I have been wronged!” Quoth he, “How so,
and who hath wronged thee?” Quoth she “Thy son bought me awhile ago, for
ten thousand dirhams, meaning to give me to thee; but thy wife, the
daughter of thine uncle, sent him the said price and bade him shut me up
from thee in this chamber.” Whereupon said the Caliph. “Ask a boon of
me,” and she, “I ask thee to lie with me to-morrow night.” Replied the
Caliph, “Inshallah!” and leaving her, went away. Now as soon as it was
morning, he repaired to his sitting-room and called for Abu Nowás, but
found him not and sent his chamberlain to ask after him. The chamberlain
found him in a tavern, pawned and pledged for a score of a thousand
dirhams, which he had spent on a certain beardless youth, and questioned
him of his case. So he told him what had betided him with the comely boy
and how he had spent upon him a thousand silver pieces; whereupon quoth
the chamberlain, “Show him to me; and if he be worth this, thou art
excused.” He answered, “Patience, and thou shalt see him presently.” As
they were talking together, up came the lad, clad in a white tunic,
under which was another of red and under this yet another black. Now
when Abu Nowas saw him, he sighed a loud sigh and improvised these

 He showed himself in shirt of white, ✿ With eyes and eyelids
 Quoth I, “Dost pass and greet me not? ✿ Though were thy greeting a
 Blest He who clothed in rose thy cheeks, ✿ Creates what wills He by His
 Quoth he, “Leave prate, forsure my Lord ✿ Of works is wondrous infinite:
 My garment’s like my face and luck; ✿ All three are white on white on

When the beardless one heard these words, he doffed the white tunic and
appeared in the red; and when Abu Nowas saw him he redoubled in
expressions of admiration and repeated these couplets:—

 He showed in garb anemone-red, ✿ A foeman “friend” entitulèd:
 Quoth I in marvel, “Thou’rt full moon ✿ Whose weed shames rose however
 Hath thy cheek stained it red, or hast ✿ Dyed it in blood by lovers
 Quoth he, “Sol gave me this for shirt ✿ When hasting down the West to
 So garb and wine and hue of cheek ✿ All three are red on red on red.”

And when the verses came to an end, the beardless one doffed the red
tunic and stood in the black; and, when Abu Nowas saw him, he redoubled
in attention to him and versified in these couplets:—

 He came in sable-huèd sacque ✿ And shone in dark men’s heart to rack:
 Quoth I, “Dost pass and greet me not? ✿ Joying the hateful envious pack?
 Thy garment’s like thy locks and like ✿ My lot, three blacks on black on

Seeing this state of things and understanding the case of Abu Nowas and
his love-longing, the Chamberlain returned to the Caliph and acquainted
him therewith; so he bade him pouch a thousand dirhams and go and take
him out of pawn. Thereupon the Chamberlain returned to Abu Nowas and,
paying his score, carried him to the Caliph, who said, “Make me some
verses containing the words, O Trusted of Allah, what may this be?”
Answered he, “I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Nowas
answered, “I hear and I obey, O Commander of the Faithful!” and
forthwith he improvised these couplets:—

 Long was my night for sleepless misery; ✿ Weary of body and of thought
    ne’er free:
 I rose and in my palace walked awhile, ✿ Then wandered thro’ the halls
    of Haremry:

 Till chanced I on a blackness, which I found ✿ A white girl hid in hair
    for napery:
 Here to her for a moon of brightest sheen! ✿ Like willow-wand and veiled
    in pudency:
 I quaffed a cup to her; then drew I near, ✿ And kissed the beauty-spot
    on cheek had she:
 She woke astart, and in her sleep’s amaze, ✿ Swayed as the swaying
    branch in rain we see;
 Then rose and said to me, “O Trusted One ✿ Of Allah, O Amin, what may
    this be?”
 Quoth I, “A guest that cometh to thy tents ✿ And craves till morn thy
 She answered, “Gladly I, my lord, will grace ✿ And honour such a guest
    with ear and eye.”

Cried the Caliph, “Allah strike thee dead! it is as if thou hadst been
present with us.”[389] Then he took him by the hand and carried him to
the damsel and, when Abu Nowas saw her clad in a dress and veil of blue,
he expressed abundant admiration and improvised these couplets:—

 Say to the pretty one in veil of blue, ✿ “By Allah, O my life, have ruth
    on dole!
 For, when the fair entreats her lover foul, ✿ Sighs rend his bosom and
    bespeak his soul:
 By charms of thee and whitest cheek I swear thee, ✿ Pity a heart for
    love lost all control:
 Bend to him, be his stay ‘gainst stress of love, ✿ Nor aught accept what
    saith the ribald fool.”

Now when he ended his verse, the damsel set wine before the Caliph; and,
taking the lute, played a lively measure and sang these couplets:—

 Wilt thou be just to others in thy love, and do ✿ Unright, and put me
    off, and take new friend in lieu?
 Had lovers Kazi unto whom I might complain ✿ Of thee, he’d peradventure
    grant the due I sue:
 If thou forbid me pass your door, yet I afar ✿ Will stand, and viewing
    you waft my salams to you!

The Caliph bade her ply Abu Nowas with wine, till he lost his right
senses; thereupon he gave him a full cup, and he drank a draught of it
and held the cup in his hand till he slept. Then the Commander of the
Faithful bade the girl take the cup from his grasp and hide it; so she
took it and set it between her thighs; moreover he drew his scymitar
and, standing at the head of Abu Nowas, pricked him with the point;
whereupon he awoke and saw the drawn sword and the Caliph standing over
him. At this sight the fumes of the wine fled from his head and the
Caliph said to him, “Make me some verses and tell me therein what is
become of thy cup; or I will cut off thy head.” So he improvised these

 My tale, indeed, is tale unlief; ✿ ‘Twas yonder fawn who play’d the
 She stole my cup of wine, before ✿ The sips and sups had dealt relief;
 And hid it in a certain place, ✿ My heart’s desire and longing grief.
 I name it not, for dread of him ✿ Who hath of it command-in-chief.

Quoth the Caliph, “Allah strike thee dead![390] How knewest thou that?
But we accept what thou sayst.” Then he ordered him a dress of honour
and a thousand dinars, and he went away rejoicing. And among tales they
tell is one of


Footnote 387:

  The moon is masculine possibly by connection with the Assyrian
  Lune-god “Sin”; but I can find no cause for the Sun (Shams) being

Footnote 388:

  Arab. “Al-Amin,” a title of the Prophet. It is usually held that this
  proud name, “The honest man,” was applied by his fellow-citizens to
  Mohammed in early life; and that in his twenty-fifth year, when the
  Eighth Ka’abah was being built, it induced the tribes to make him
  their umpire concerning the distinction of placing in position the
  “Black Stone” which Gabriel had brought from Heaven to be set up as
  the starting-post for the seven circuitings. He distributed the honour
  amongst the clans and thus gave universal satisfaction. His Christian
  biographers mostly omit to record an anecdote which speaks so highly
  in Mohammed’s favour (Pilgrimage iii. 192.)

Footnote 389:

  The idea is that Abu Nowas was a thought-reader—such being the
  prerogative of inspired poets in the East. His drunkenness and
  debauchery only added to his power. I have already noticed that “Allah
  strike thee dead” (Kátala-k Allah) is like our phrase, “Confound the
  fellow, how clever he is.”

Footnote 390:

  Again said facetiously, “Devil take you!”


Some time erst there was a man, who had accumulated debts, and his case
was straitened upon him, so that he left his people and family and went
forth in distraction; and he ceased not wandering on at random till he
came after a time to a city tall of walls and firm of foundations. He
entered it in a state of despondency and despair, harried by hunger and
worn with the weariness of his way. As he passed through one of the main
streets, he saw a company of the great going along; so he followed them
till they reached a house like to a royal palace. He entered with them,
and they stayed not faring forwards till they came in presence of a
person seated at the upper end of a saloon, a man of the most dignified
and majestic aspect, surrounded by pages and eunuchs, as he were of the
sons of the Wazirs. When he saw the visitors, he rose to greet them and
received them with honour; but the poor man aforesaid was confounded at
his own boldness, when beholding——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the poor man
aforesaid was confounded at his own boldness, when beholding the
goodliness of the place and the crowd of servants and attendants; so
drawing back, in perplexity and fear for his life sat down apart in a
place afar off, where none should see him. Now it chanced that whilst he
was sitting, behold, in came a man with four sporting-dogs, whereon were
various kinds of raw silk and brocade[391] and wearing round their necks
collars of gold with chains of silver, and tied up each dog in a place
set privy for him; after which he went out and presently returned with
four dishes of gold, full of rich meats, which he set severally before
the dogs, one for each. Then he went away and left them, whilst the poor
man began to eye the food, for stress of hunger, and longed to go up to
one of the dogs and eat with him; but fear of them withheld him.
Presently, one of the dogs looked at him and Allah Almighty inspired the
dog with a knowledge of his case; so he drew back from the platter and
signed to the man, who came and ate till he was filled. Then he would
have withdrawn, but the dog again signed to him to take for himself the
dish and what food was left in it, and pushed it towards him with his
fore-paw. So the man took the dish and leaving the house, went his way,
and none followed him. Then he journeyed to another city where he sold
the dish and buying with the price a stock-in-trade, returned to his own
town. There he sold his goods and paid his debts; and he throve and
became affluent and rose to perfect prosperity. He abode in his own
land; but after some years had passed he said to himself, “Needs must I
repair to the city of the owner of the dish, and' carry him a fit and
handsome present and pay him the money-value of that which his dog
bestowed upon me.” So he took the price of the dish and a suitable gift;
and, setting out, journeyed day and night, till he came to that city; he
entered it and sought the place where the man lived; but he found there
naught save ruins mouldering in row and croak of crow, and house and
home desolate and all conditions in changed state. At this, his heart
and soul were troubled, and he repeated the saying of him who saith:—

 Void are the private rooms of treasury: ✿ As void were hearts of fear
    and piety:
 Changed is the Wady nor are its gazelles ✿ Those fawns, nor sand-hills
    those I wont to see.

And that of another:—

 In sleep came Su’adá’s[392] shade and wakened me ✿ Near dawn, when
    comrades all a-sleeping lay:
 But waking found I that the shade was fled, ✿ And saw air empty and
    shrine far away.

Now when the man saw these mouldering ruins and witnessed what the hand
of time had manifestly done with the place, leaving but traces of the
substantial things that erewhiles had been, a little reflection made it
needless for him to enquire of the case; so he turned away. Presently,
seeing a wretched man, in a plight which made him shudder and feel
goose-skin, and which would have moved the very rock to ruth, he said to
him, “Ho thou! What have time and fortune done with the lord of this
place? Where are his lovely faces, his shining full moons and splendid
stars; and what is the cause of the ruin that is come upon his abode, so
that nothing save the walls thereof remain?” Quoth the other, “He is the
miserable thou seest mourning that which hath left him naked.” But
knowest thou not the words of the Apostle (whom Allah bless and keep!),
wherein is a lesson to him who will learn by it and a warning to whoso
will be warned thereby and guided in the right way, “Verily it is the
way of Allah Almighty to raise up nothing of this world, except He cast
it down again?”[393] “If thou question of the cause of this accident,
indeed it is no wonder, considering the chances and changes of Fortune.
I was the lord of this place and I builded it and founded it and owned
it; and I was the proud possessor of its full moons lucent and its
circumstance resplendent and its damsels radiant and its garniture
magnificent, but Time turned and did away from me wealth and servants
and took from me what it had lent (not given); and brought upon me
calamities which it held in store hidden. But there must needs be some
reason for this thy question: so tell it me and leave wondering.”
Thereupon, the man who had waxed wealthy being sore concerned, told him
the whole story, and added, “I have brought thee a present, such as
souls desire, and the price of thy dish of gold which I took; for it was
the cause of my affluence after poverty, and of the replenishment of my
dwelling-place, after desolation, and of the dispersion of my trouble
and straitness.” But the man shook his head, and weeping and groaning
and complaining of his lot answered, “Ho thou! methinks thou art mad;
for this is not the way of a man of sense. How should a dog of mine make
generous gift to thee of a dish of gold and I meanly take back the price
of what a dog gave? This were indeed a strange thing! Were I in
extremest unease and misery, by Allah, I would not accept of thee aught;
no, not the worth of a nail-paring! So return whence thou camest in
health and safety.”[394] Whereupon the merchant kissed his feet and
taking leave of him, returned whence he came, praising him and reciting
this couplet:—

 Men and dogs together are all gone by; ✿ So peace be with all of them!
    dogs and men!

And Allah is All-knowing! Again men tell the tale of


Footnote 391:

  In all hot-damp countries it is necessary to clothe dogs, morning and
  evening especially: otherwise they soon die of rheumatism and loin

Footnote 392:

  = Beatrice. A fragment of these lines is in Night cccxv. See also
  Night dcclxxxi.

Footnote 393:

  The Moslems borrowed the horrible idea of a “jealous God” from their
  kinsmen, the Jews. Every race creates its own Deity after the fashion
  of itself: Jehovah is distinctly a Hebrew; the Christian Theos is
  originally a Judæo-Greek and Allah a half-Badawi Arab. In this tale
  Allah, despotic and unjust, brings a generous and noble-minded man to
  beggary, simply because he fed his dogs off gold plate. Wisdom and
  morality have their infancy and youth: the great value of such tales
  as these is to show and enable us to measure man’s development.

Footnote 394:

  In Trébutien (Lane ii. 501) the merchant says to ex-Dives, “Thou art
  wrong in charging Destiny with injustice. If thou art ignorant of the
  cause of thy ruin I will acquaint thee with it. Thou feddest the dogs
  in dishes of gold and leftest the poor to die of hunger.” A
  superstition, but intelligible.


There was once in the coast-fortress of Alexandria, a Chief of Police,
Husám al-Din hight, the sharp Scymitar of the Faith. Now one night as he
sat in his seat of office, behold, there came in to him a trooper-wight
who said, “Know, O my lord the Chief, that I entered your city this
night and alighted at such a khan and slept there till a third part of
the night was past, when I awoke and found my saddle-bags sliced open
and a purse of a thousand gold pieces stolen from them.” No sooner had
he done speaking than the Chief summoned his chief officials and bade
them lay hands on all in the khan and clap them in limbo till the
morning; and on the morrow, he caused bring the rods and whips used in
punishment; and, sending for the prisoners, was about to flog them till
they confessed in the presence of the owner of the stolen money when,
lo! a man broke through the crowd till he came up to the Chief of
Police,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Chief was
about to flog them when lo! a man broke through the crowd till he came
up to the Chief of Police and the trooper and said, “Ho! Emir, let these
folk go, for they are wrongously accused. It was I who robbed this
trooper, and see, here is the purse I stole from his saddle-bags.” So
saying, he pulled out the purse from his sleeve and laid it before
Husam' al-Din, who said to the soldier, “Take thy money and pouch it;
thou now hast no ground of complaint against the people of the khan.”
Thereupon these folk and all who were present fell to praising the thief
and blessing him; but he said, “Ho! Emir, the skill is not in that I
came to thee in person and brought thee the purse; the cleverness was in
taking it a second time from this trooper.” Asked the Chief, “And how
didst thou do to take it, O sharper?”; and the robber replied, “O Emir,
I was standing in the Shroff’s[395] bazar at Cairo, when I saw this
soldier receive the gold in change and put it in yonder purse; so I
followed him from by-street to by-street, but found no occasion of
stealing it. Then he travelled from Cairo and I followed him from town
to town, plotting and planning by the way to rob him, but without avail,
till he entered this city and I dogged him to the khan. I took up my
lodging beside him and watched him till he fell asleep and I heard him
sleeping; when I went up to him softly, softly; and I slit open his
saddle-bags with this knife, and took the purse in the way I am now
taking it.” So saying, he put out his hand and took the purse from
before the Chief of Police and the trooper both of whom, together with
the folk, drew back watching him and thinking he would show them how he
took the purse from the saddle-bags. But, behold! he suddenly broke into
a run and threw himself into a pool of standing water[396] hard by. So
the Chief of the Police shouted to his officers, “Stop thief!” and many
made after him; but before they could doff their clothes and descend the
steps, he had made off; and they sought for him, but found him not; for
that the by-streets and lanes of Alexandria all communicate. So they
came back without bringing the purse; and the Chief of Police said to
the trooper, “Thou hast no demand upon the folk; for thou foundest him
who robbed thee and receivedst back thy money, but didst not keep it.”
So the trooper went away, having lost his money, whilst the folk were
delivered from his hands and those of the Chief of Police; and all this
was of the favour of Almighty Allah.[397] And they also tell the tale of


Footnote 395:

  Arab. “Sarráf” = a money-changer.

Footnote 396:

  Arab. “Birkah,” a common feature in the landscapes of Lower Egypt; it
  is either a natural pool left by the overflow of the Nile; or, as in
  the text, a built-up tank, like the “Táláb” for which India is famous.
  Sundry of these Birkahs are or were in Cairo itself; and some are
  mentioned in The Nights.

Footnote 397:

  This sneer at the “military” and the “police” might come from an
  English convict’s lips.


Once upon a time Al-Malik al-Násir[398] sent for the Wális or Chiefs of
Police of Cairo, Bulak, and Fostat[399] and said to them, “I desire each
of you to recount me the marvellousest thing that hath befallen him
during his term of office.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Al-Malik
al-Nasir to the three Walis, “I desire each of you to recount me the
marvellousest thing which hath befallen him during his term of office.”
So they answered, “We hear and we obey.” Then said the Chief of the
Police of Cairo, “Know thou, O our lord the Sultan, the most wonderful
thing that befel me, during my term of office, was on this wise:” and he


There were in this city two men of good repute fit to bear witness[400]
in matters of murder and wounds; but they were both secretly addicted to
intrigues with low women and to wine-bibbing and to dissolute doings,
nor could I succeed (do what I would) in bringing them to book; and I
began to despair of success. So I charged the taverners and
confectioners and fruiterers and candle-chandlers and the keepers of
brothels and bawdy houses to acquaint me of these two good men whenever
they should anywhere be engaged in drinking or other debauchery, or
together or apart; and ordered that, if they both or if either of them
bought at their shops aught for the purpose of wassail and carousal, the
vendors should not conceal it from me. And they replied, “We hear and
obey.” Presently it chanced that one night, a man came to me and said,
“O my master, know that the two just men, the two witnesses, are in such
a street in such a house, engaged in abominable wickedness.” So I
disguised myself, I and my body-servant, and ceased not trudging till I
came to the house and knocked at the door, whereupon a slave-girl came
out and opened to me, saying, “Who art thou?” I entered without
answering her and saw the two legal witnesses and the house-master
sitting, and lewd women by their side and before them great plenty of
wine. When they saw me, they rose to receive me, and made much of me,
seating me in the place of honour and saying to me, “Welcome for an
illustrious guest and well come for a pleasant cup-companion!” And on
this wise they met me without showing a sign of alarm or trouble.
Presently, the master of the house arose from amongst us and went out
and returned after a while with three hundred dinars, when the men said
to me, without the least fear, “Know, O our lord the Wali, it is in thy
power to do even more than disgrace and punish us; but this will bring
thee in return nothing but weariness: so we reck thou wouldest do better
to take this much money and protect us; for Almighty Allah is named the
Protector and loveth those of His servants who protect their Moslem
neighbours; and thou shalt have thy reward in this world and due
recompense in the world to come.” So I said to myself, “I will take the
money and protect them this once; but, if ever again I have them in my
power, I will take my wreak of them;” for, you see, the money had
tempted me. Thereupon I took it and went away thinking that no one would
know it; but, next day, on a sudden one of the Kazi’s messengers came to
me and said to me, “O Wali, be good enough to answer the summons of the
Kazi who wanteth thee.” So I arose and accompanied him, knowing not the
meaning of all this; and when I came into the judge’s presence, I saw
the two witnesses and the master of the house, who had given me the
money, sitting by his side. Thereupon this man rose and sued me for
three hundred dinars, nor was it in my power to deny the debt; for he
produced a written obligation and his two companions, the legal
witnesses, testified against me that I owed the amount. Their evidence
satisfied the Kazi and he ordered me to pay the sum; nor did I leave the
Court till they had of me the three hundred gold pieces. So I went away,
in the utmost wrath and shame, vowing mischief and vengeance against
them and repenting that I had not punished them. Such, then is the most
remarkable event which befel me during my term of office. Thereupon rose
the Chief of the Bulak Police and said, “As for me, O our lord the
Sultan, the most marvellous thing that happened to me, since I became
Wali, was as follows:” and he began


I was once in debt to the full amount of three hundred thousand gold
pieces;[401] and, being distressed thereby, I sold all that was behind
me and what was before me and all I hent in hand, but I could collect no
more than an hundred thousand dinars——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali of Bulak
continued:—So I sold all that was behind and before me, but could
collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars and remained in great
perplexity. Now one night, as I sat at home in this state, behold, there
came a knocking; so I said to one of my servants, “See who is at the
door.” He went out and returned, wan of face, changed in countenance and
with his side-muscles a-quivering; so I asked him, “What aileth thee?”;
and he answered, “There is a man at the door; he is half naked, clad in
skins, with sword in hand and knife in girdle, and with him are a
company of the same fashion and he asketh for thee.” So I took my sword
and going out to see who these were, behold, I found them as the boy had
reported and said to them, “What is your business?” They replied, “Of a
truth we be thieves and have done fine work this night; so we appointed
the swag to thy use, that thou mayst pay therewith the debts which
sadden thee and deliver thee from thy distress.” Quoth I, “Where is the
plunder?”; and they brought me a great chest, full of vessels of gold
and silver; which when I saw, I rejoiced and said to myself, “Herewith I
will settle all claims upon me and there will remain as much again.” So
I took the money and going inside said in my mind, “It were ignoble to
let them fare away empty-handed.” Whereupon I brought out the hundred
thousand dinars I had by me and gave it to them, thanking them for their
kindness; and they pouched the monies and went their way, under cover of
the night so that none might know of them. But when morning dawned I
examined the contents of the chest, and found them copper and tin[402]
washed with gold worth five hundred dirhams at the most; and this was
grievous to me, for I had lost what monies I had and trouble was added
to my trouble. Such, then, is the most remarkable event which befel me
during my term of office. Then rose the Chief of the Police of Old Cairo
and said, “O our lord the Sultan, the most marvellous thing that
happened to me, since I became Wali, was on this wise;” and he began


I once hanged ten thieves each on his own gibbet, and especially charged
the guards to watch them and hinder the folk from taking any one of them
down. Next morning when I came to look at them, I found two bodies
hanging from one gallows and said to the guards, “Who did this, and
where is the tenth gibbet?” But they denied all knowledge of it, and I
was about to beat them till they owned the truth, when they said, “Know,
O Emir, that we fell asleep last night, and when we awoke, we found that
some one had stolen one of the bodies, gibbet and all; so we were
alarmed and feared thy wrath. But, behold, up came a peasant-fellow
driving his ass; whereupon we laid hands on him and killed him and
hanged his body upon this gallows, in the stead of the thief who had
been stolen.”[403] Now when I heard this, I marvelled and asked them,
“What had he with him?”; and they answered, “He had a pair of
saddle-bags on the ass.” Quoth I, “What was in them?”; quoth they, “We
know not.” So I said, “Bring them hither;” and when they brought them to
me I bade open them, behold, therein was the body of a murdered man, cut
in pieces. Now as soon as I saw this, I marvelled at the case and said
in myself, “Glory to God! The cause of the hanging of this peasant was
none other but his crime against this murdered man; and thy Lord is not
unjust towards His servants.”[404] And men also tell the tale of


Footnote 398:

  Lit. “The conquering King;” a dynastic title assumed by Saláh al-Dín
  (Saladin) and sundry of the Ayyúbi (Eyoubite) sovereigns of Egypt,
  whom I would call the “Soldans.”

Footnote 399:

  “Káhirah” (_i.e._ City of Mars—the Planet) is our Cairo: Bulak is the
  port-suburb on the Nile, till 1858 wholly disjoined from the City; and
  Fostat is the outlier popularly called Old Cairo. The latter term is
  generally translated “town of leathern tents;” but in Arabic “fustát”
  is an abode of Sha’ar = hair, such as horse-hair, in fact any hair but
  “Wabar” = soft hair, as the camel’s. See Lane, Lex.

Footnote 400:

  Arab. “Adl” = just: a legal witness to whose character there is no
  tangible objection—a prime consideration in Moslem law. Here “Adl” is
  evidently used ironically for a hypocritical rascal.

Footnote 401:

  Lane (ii. 503) considers three thousand dinars (the figure in the
  Bres. Edit) “a more probable sum.” Possibly: but, I repeat,
  exaggeration is one of the many characteristics of The Nights.

Footnote 402:

  Calc. Edit. “Kazír”: the word is generally written “Kazdír,” Sansk.
  Kastira, both probably from the Greek κασσιτέρος.

Footnote 403:

  This would have passed for a peccadillo in the “good old days.” As
  late as 1840 the Arnaut soldiers used to “pot” any peasant who dared
  to ride (instead of walking) past their barracks. Life is cheap in hot

Footnote 404:

  Koran, xli. 46—a passage expounding the doctrine of free will: “He who
  doth right, doth it to the advantage of his own soul; and he who doth
  evil, doth it against the same; for thy Lord,” etc.

                       THE THIEF AND THE SHROFF.

A certain Shroff, bearing a bag of gold pieces, once passed by a company
of thieves, and one of these sharpers said to the others, “I, and I
only, have the power to steal yonder purse.” So they asked, “How wilt
thou do it?”; and he answered, “Lookye all!”; and followed the
money-changer, till he entered his house, when he threw the bag on a
shelf[405] and, being affected with diabetes, went into the chapel of
ease to do his want, calling to the slave-girl, “Bring me an ewer of
water.” She took the ewer and followed him to the privy, leaving the
door open, whereupon the thief entered and, seizing the money-bag, made
off with it to his companions, to whom he told what had passed.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the thief took the
money-bag and made off with it to his companions to whom he told what
had passed. Said they, “By Allah, thou hast played a clever trick! ‘tis
not every one could do it; but, presently the money-changer will come
out of the privy; and, missing the bag of money, he will beat the
slave-girl and torture her with grievous torture. ‘Tis as though thou
hast at present done nothing worthy of praise; so, if thou be indeed a
sharper, return and save the girl from being beaten and questioned.”
Quoth he, “Inshallah! I will save both girl and purse.” Then the prig
went back to the Shroff’s house and found him punishing the girl because
of the purse; so he knocked at the door and the man said, “Who is
there?” Cried the thief, “I am the servant of thy neighbour in the
Exchange;” whereupon he came out to him and said, “What is thy
business?” The thief replied, “My master saluteth thee and saith to
thee:—Surely thou art deranged and thoroughly so, to cast the like of
this bag of money down at the door of thy shop and go away and leave it.
Had a stranger hit upon it he had made off with it and, except my master
had seen it and taken care of it, it had assuredly been lost to thee.”
So saying, he pulled out the purse and showed it to the Shroff who on
seeing it said, “That is my very purse,” and put out his hand to take
it; but the thief said, “By Allah, I will not give thee this same, till
thou write me a receipt declaring that thou hast received it! for indeed
I fear my master will not believe that thou hast recovered the purse,
unless I bring him thy writing to that effect, and sealed with thy
signet-seal.” The money-changer went in to write the paper required; and
in the meantime the thief made off with the bag of money and thus was
the slave-girl saved her beating. And men also tell a tale of


Footnote 405:

  Arab. “Suffah”; whence our Sofa. In Egypt it is a raised shelf
  generally of stone, about four feet high and headed with one or more
  arches. It is an elaborate variety of the simple “Ták” or niche, a
  mere hollow in the thickness of the wall. Both are used for such
  articles as basin, ewer and soap; coffee-cups, water-bottles, etc.


It is related that Alá al-Dín, Chief of Police at Kús,[406] was sitting
one night in his house, when behold, a personage of handsome appearance
and dignified aspect came to the door, accompanied by a servant bearing
a chest upon his head and, standing there said to one of the Wali’s
young men, “Go in and tell the Emir that I would have audience of him on
some privy business.” So the servant went in and told his master, who
bade admit the visitor. When he entered, the Emir saw him to be a man of
handsome semblance and portly presence; so he received him with honour
and high distinction, seating him beside himself, and said to him, “What
is thy wish?” Replied the stranger, “I am a highwayman and am minded to
repent at thy hands and turn to Almighty Allah; but I would have thee
help me to this, for that I am in thy district and under thine
inspection. Now I have here a chest, wherein are matters worth some
forty thousand dinars; and none hath so good a right to it as thou; so
do thou take it and give me in exchange a thousand dinars, of thine own
monies lawfully gotten, that I may have a little capital, to aid me in
my repentance,[407] and save me from resorting to sin for my
subsistence; and with Allah Almighty be thy reward!” Speaking thus he
opened the chest and showed the Wali that it was full of trinkets and
jewels and bullion and ring-gems and pearls, whereat he was amazed and
rejoiced with great joy. So he cried out to his treasurer, saying,
“Bring hither a certain purse containing a thousand dinars,”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali cried out
to his treasurer, saying, “Bring hither a certain purse containing a
thousand dinars”; and gave it to the highwayman, who took it and
thanking him, went his way under cover of the night. Now when it was the
morrow, the Emir sent for the chief of the goldsmiths and showed him the
chest and what was therein; but the goldsmith found it nothing but tin
and brass, and the jewels and bezel-stones and pearls all of glass;
whereat the Wali was sore chagrined and sent in quest of the highwayman;
but none could come at him. And men also tell the tale of


Footnote 406:

  In Upper Egypt (Apollinopolis Parva) pronounced “Goos,” the Coptic
  Kos-Birbir, once an emporium of the Arabian trade.

Footnote 407:

  This would appeal strongly to a pious Moslem.


The Caliph Al-Maamún once said to his uncle Ibrahim bin Al-Mahdí, “Tell
us the most remarkable thing that thou hast ever seen.” Answered he:—I
hear and obey, O Commander of the Faithful. Know that I rode out one
day, a-pleasuring, and my ride brought me to a place where I smelt the
reek of food. So my soul longed for it and I halted, O Prince of True
Believers, perplexed and unable either to go on or to go in. Presently,
I raised my eyes and lo! I espied a lattice-window and behind it a
wrist, than which I never beheld aught lovelier. The sight turned my
brain and I forgot the smell of the food and began to plan and plot how
I should get access to the house. After awhile, I observed a tailor hard
by and going up to him, saluted him. He returned my salam and I asked
him, “Whose house is that?” And he answered, “It belongeth to a merchant
called such an one, son of such an one, who consorteth with none save
merchants.” As we were talking, behold, up came two men, of comely
aspect with intelligent countenances, riding on horseback; and the
tailor told me that they were the merchant’s most intimate friends and
acquainted me with their names. So I urged my beast towards them and
said to them, “Be I your ransom! Abu Fulán[408] awaiteth you!”; and I
rode with them both to the gate, where I entered and they also. Now when
the master of the house saw me with them he doubted not but I was their
friend; so he welcomed me and seated me in the highest stead. Then they
brought the table of food and I said in myself, “Allah hath granted me
my desire of the food; and now there remain the hand and the wrist.”
After awhile, we removed for carousal to another room, which I found
tricked out with all manner of rarities; and the host paid me particular
attention, addressing his talk to me, for that he took me to be a guest
of his guests; whilst in like manner these two made much of me, taking
me for a friend of their friend the house-master. Thus I was the object
of politest attentions till we had drunk several cups of wine and there
came into us a damsel as she were a willow-wand of the utmost beauty and
elegance, who took a lute and playing a lively measure, sang these

 Is it not strange one house us two contain ✿ And still thou draw’st not
    near, or talk we twain?
 Only our eyes tell secrets of our souls, ✿ And broken hearts by lovers’
    fiery pain;
 Winks with the eyelids, signs the eyebrow knows; ✿ Languishing looks and
    hand saluting fain.

When I heard these words my vitals were stirred, O Commander of the
Faithful, and I was moved to delight, for her excessive loveliness and
the beauty of the verses she sang; and I envied her her skill and said,
“There lacketh somewhat to thee, O damsel!” Whereupon she threw the lute
from her hand in anger, and cried, “Since when are ye wont to bring
ill-mannered louts into your assemblies?” Then I repented of what I had
done, seeing the company vexed with me, and I said in my mind, “My hopes
are lost by me”; and I weeted no way of escaping blame but to call for a
lute, saying, “I will show you what escaped her in the air she played.”
Quoth the folk, “We hear and obey”; so they brought me a lute and I
tuned the strings and sang these verses:—

 This is thy friend perplexed for pain and pine, ✿ Th’ enamoured, down
    whose breast course drops of brine:
 He hath this hand to the Compassionate raised ✿ For winning wish, and
    that on hearts is lien:
 O thou who seest one love-perishing, ✿ His death is caused by those
    hands and eyne![409]

Whereupon the damsel sprang up and throwing herself at my feet, kissed
them and said, “It is thine to excuse, O my Master! By Allah, I knew not
thy quality nor heard I ever the like of this performance!” And all
began extolling me and making much of me, being beyond measure
delighted, and at last they besought me to sing again. So I sang a merry
air, whereupon they all became drunken with music and wine, their wits
left them and they were carried off to their homes, while I abode alone
with the host and the girl. He drank some cups with me and then said, “O
my lord, my life hath been lived in vain for that I have not known the
like of thee till the present. Now, by Allah, tell me who thou art, that
I may ken who is the cup-companion whom Allah hath bestowed on me this
night.” At first I returned him evasive answers and would not tell him
my name; but he conjured me till I told him who I was; whereupon he
sprang to his feet——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim son of
Al-Mahdi continued:—Now when the house-master heard my name he sprang to
his feet and said, “Indeed I wondered that such gifts should belong to
any but the like of thee; and Fortune hath done me a good turn for which
I cannot thank her too much. But, haply, this is a dream; for how could
I hope that one of the Caliphate house should visit my humble home and
carouse with me this night?” I conjured him to be seated; so he sat down
and began to question me as to the cause of my visit in the most
courteous terms. So I told him the whole affair, first and last, hiding
naught, and said to him, “Now as to the food I have had my will, but of
the hand and wrist I have still to win my wish.” Quoth he, “Thou shalt
have thy desire of the hand and wrist also, Inshallah!” Then said he to
the slave-girl, “Ho, such an one, bid such an one come down.” And he
called his slave-girls down, one by one and showed them to me; but I saw
not my mistress among them, and he said, “O my lord, there is none left
save my mother and sister; but, by Allah, I must needs have them also
down and show them to thee.” So I marvelled at his courtesy and
large-heartedness and said, “May I be thy sacrifice! Begin with the
sister;” and he answered, “With joy and goodwill.” So she came down and
he showed me her hand and behold, she was the owner of the hand and
wrist. Quoth I, “Allah make me thy ransom! this is the damsel whose hand
and wrist I saw at the lattice.” Then he sent his servants without stay
or delay for witnesses and bringing out two myriads[410] of gold pieces,
said to the witnesses, “This our lord and master, Ibrahim son of
Al-Mahdi, paternal uncle of the Commander of the Faithful, seeketh in
marriage my sister such an one; and I call you to witness that I give
her in wedlock to him and that he hath settled upon her ten thousand
dinars.” And he said to me, “I give thee my sister in marriage, at the
portion aforesaid.” “I consent,” answered I, “and am herewith content.”
Whereupon he gave one of the bags to her and the other to the witnesses,
and said to me, “O our lord, I desire to adorn a chamber for thee, where
thou mayst sleep with thy wife.” But I was abashed at his generosity and
was ashamed to lie with her in his house; so I said, “Equip her and send
her to my place.” “And by thy being, O Commander of the Faithful, he
sent me with her such an equipage that my house, for all its greatness,
was too strait to hold it! And I begot on her this boy that standeth in
thy presence.” Then Al-Maamun marvelled at the man’s generosity and
said, “Gifted of Allah is he! Never heard I of his like.” And he bade
Ibrahim bin al-Mahdi bring him to court, that he might see him. He
brought him and the Caliph conversed with him; and his wit and good
breeding so pleased him that he made him one of his chief officers. And
Allah is the Giver, the Bestower! Men also relate the tale of


Footnote 408:

  _i.e._ “the father of a certain person”; here the merchant whose name
  may have been Abu’l Hasan, etc. The useful word (thingumbob, what d’ye
  call him, donchah, etc.) has been bodily transferred into Spanish and
  Portugese—Fulano. It is of old genealogy, found in the Heb. Fuluní
  which applies to a person only in Ruth iv. 1; but is constantly so
  employed by Rabbinic writers. The Greek use ὁ δεῖνα.

Footnote 409:

  Lit. “by his (_i.e._ her) hand,” etc. Hence Lane (ii. 507) makes
  nonsense of the line.

Footnote 410:

  Arab. “Badrah,” as has been said, is properly a weight of 10,000
  dirhams or drachmas; but popularly used for largesse thrown to the
  people at festivals.


A certain King once made proclamation to the people of his realm saying,
“If any of you give alms of aught, I will verily and assuredly cut off
his hand;” wherefore all the people abstained from alms-deed, and none
could give anything to any one. Now it chanced that one day a beggar
accosted a certain woman (and indeed hunger was sore upon him), and said
to her, “Give me an alms”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that, quoth the beggar
to the woman, “Give me an alms however small.” But she answered him,
“How can I give thee aught, when the King cutteth off the hands of all
who give alms?” Then he said, “I conjure thee by Allah Almighty, give me
an alms;” so when he adjured her by the Holy Name of Allah, she had ruth
on him and gave him two scones. The King heard of this; whereupon he
called her before him and cut off her hands, after which she returned to
her house. Now it chanced after a while that the King said to his
mother, “I have a mind to take a wife; so do thou marry me to a fair
woman.” Quoth she, “There is among our female slaves one who is
unsurpassed in beauty; but she hath a grievous blemish.” The King asked,
“What is that?” and his mother answered, “She hath had both her hands
cut off.” Said he, “Let me see her.” So she brought her to him, and he
was ravished by her and married her and went in unto her; and begat upon
her a son. Now this was the woman who had given two scones as an alms to
the asker, and whose hands had been cut off therefor; and when the King
married her, her fellow-wives envied her and wrote to the common husband
that she was an unchaste, having just given birth to the boy; so he
wrote to his mother, bidding her carry the woman into the desert and
leave her there. The old Queen obeyed his commandment and abandoned the
woman and her son in the desert; whereupon she fell to weeping for that
which had befallen her and wailing with exceeding sore wail. As she went
along, she came to a river and knelt down to drink, being overcome with
excess of thirst, for fatigue of walking and for grief; but, as she bent
her head, the child which was at her neck fell into the water. Then she
sat weeping bitter tears for her child, and as she wept, behold came up
two men, who said to her, “What maketh thee weep?” Quoth she, “I had a
child at my neck, and he hath fallen into the water.” They asked, “Wilt
thou that we bring him out to thee?” and she answered, “Yes.” So they
prayed to Almighty Allah, and the child came forth of the water to her,
safe and sound. Then said they, “Wilt thou that Allah restore thee thy
hands as they were?” “Yes,” replied she: whereupon they prayed to Allah
(extolled and exalted be He!) and her hands were restored to her,
goodlier than before. Then said they, “Knowest thou who we are?” and she
replied, “Allah is all-knowing;”[411] and they said, “We are thy two
Scones of Bread, which thou gavest in alms to the asker and which were
the cause of the cutting off of thy hands.[412] So praise thou Allah
Almighty for that He hath restored to thee thy hands and thy child.”
Then she praised Almighty Allah and glorified Him. And men relate a tale


Footnote 411:

  Arab. “Allaho A’alam”; (God knows!) here the popular phrase for our,
  “I know not;” when it would be rude to say bluntly “M’adri” = “don’t

Footnote 412:

  There is a picturesque Moslem idea that good deeds become incarnate
  and assume human shapes to cheer the doer in his grave, to greet him
  when he enters Paradise and so forth. It was borrowed from the highly
  imaginative faith of the Guebre, the Zoroastrian. On Chinavad or
  Chanyud-pul (Sirát), the Judgement bridge 37 rods (_rasan_) long,
  straight and 37 fathoms broad for the good, and crooked and narrow as
  sword-edge for the bad, a nymph-like form will appear to the virtuous
  and say, “I am the personification of thy good deeds!” In Hell there
  will issue from a fetid gale a gloomy figure with head like a minaret,
  red eyeballs, hooked nose, teeth like pillars, spear-like fangs, snaky
  locks etc., and when asked who he is he will reply, “I am the
  personification of thine evil acts!” (Dabistan i. 285.) The Hindus
  also personify everything.

                         THE DEVOUT ISRAELITE.

There was once a devout man of the children of Israel,[413] whose family
span cotton-thread; and he used every day to sell the yarn and buy fresh
cotton, and with the profit he laid in daily bread for his household.
One morning he went out and sold the day’s yarn as wont, when there met
him one of his brethren, who complained to him of need; so he gave him
the price of the thread and returned, empty-handed, to his family, who
said to him, “Where is the cotton and the food?” Quoth he, “Such an one
met me and complained to me of want; whereupon I gave him the price of
the yarn.” And they said, “How shall we do? We have nothing to sell.”
Now they had a cracked trencher[414] and a jar; so he took them to the
bazar but none would buy them of him. However presently, as he stood in
the market, there passed by a man with a fish——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man took the
trencher and jar to the bazar, but none would buy them of him. However
there presently passed by a man with a fish which was so stinking and so
swollen that no one would buy it of him, and he said to the Jew, “Wilt
thou sell me thine unsaleable ware for mine?” “Yes,” answered the Jew;
and, giving him the wooden trencher and jar, took the fish and carried
it home to his family, who said, “What shall we do with this fish?”
Quoth he, “We will broil it and eat it, till it please Allah to provide
bread for us.” So they took it and ripping open its belly, found therein
a great pearl and told the head of the household who said, “See ye if it
be pierced: if so, it belongeth to some one of the folk; if not, ‘tis a
provision of Allah for us.” So they examined it and found it unpierced.
Now when it was the morrow, the Jew carried it to one of his brethren
which was an expert in jewels, and the man asked, “O such an one! whence
haddest thou this pearl?”; whereto the Jew answered, “It was a gift of
Almighty Allah to us,” and the other said, “It is worth a thousand
dirhams and I will give thee that; but take it to such an one, for he
hath more money and skill than I.” So the Jew took it to the jeweller,
who said, “It is worth seventy thousand dirhams and no more.” Then he
paid him that sum and the Jew hired two porters to carry the money to
his house. As he came to his door, a beggar accosted him, saying, “Give
me of that which Allah hath given thee.” Quoth the Jew to the asker,
“But yesterday we were even as thou; take thee half this money:” so he
made two parts of it, and each took his half. Then said the beggar,
“Take back thy money and Allah bless and prosper thee in it; I am a
Messenger,[415] whom thy Lord hath sent to try thee.” Quoth the Jew, “To
Allah be the praise and the thanks!” and abode in all delight of life he
and his household till death. And men recount this story of


Footnote 413:

  Arab. “Banú Israíl;” applied to the Jews when theirs was the True
  Faith _i.e._ “before the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, whose mission
  completed that of Moses and made it obsolete (Matrúk) even as the
  mission of Jesus was completed and abrogated by that of Mohammed.” The
  term “Yahúd” = Jew is applied scornfully to the Chosen People after
  they rejected the Messiah, but as I have said “Israelite” is used on
  certain occasions, Jew on others.

Footnote 414:

  Arab. “Kasa’ah,” a wooden bowl, a porringer; also applied to a saucer.

Footnote 415:

  Arab. “Rasúl” = one sent, an angel, an “apostle;” not to be
  translated, as by the vulgar, “prophet.” Moreover Rasul is higher than
  Nabí (prophet), such as Abraham Isaac, etc., depositaries of Al-Islam,
  but with a succession restricted to their own families. Nabi-mursil
  (Prophet-apostle) is the highest of all, one sent with a book: of
  these are now only four, Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed, the
  writings of the rest having perished. In Al-Islam also angels rank
  below men, being only intermediaries (= ἄγγελοι, nuncii, messengers)
  between the Creator and the Created. This knowledge once did me a good
  turn at Harar, not a safe place in those days (First Footsteps in East
  Africa, p. 349).


Quoth Abú Hassán al-Ziyádi[416]:—I was once in straitened case and so
needy that the grocer, the baker and other tradesmen dunned and
importuned me; and my misery became extreme, for I knew of no resource
nor what to do. Things being on this wise there came to me one day
certain of my servants and said to me, “At the door is a pilgrim wight,
who seeketh admission to thee.” Quoth I, “Admit him.” So he came in and
behold, he was a Khorasání. We exchanged salutations and he said to me,
“Tell me, art thou Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi?”; and I replied, “Yes, what is
thy wish?” Quoth he, “I am a stranger and am minded to make the
pilgrimage; but I have with me a great sum of money, which is burdensome
to bear: so I wish to deposit these ten thousand dirhams with thee
whilst I make my pilgrimage and return. If the caravan march back and
thou see me not, then know that I am dead, in which case the money is a
gift from me to thee; but if I come back, it shall be mine.” I answered,
“Be it as thou wilt, an thus please Allah Almighty.” So he brought out a
leather bag and I said to the servant, “Fetch the scales;” and when he
brought them the man weighed out the money and handed it to me, after
which he went his way. Then I called the purveyors and paid them my
liabilities——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say

         Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Abu Hassan
al-Ziyadi:—I called the purveyors and paid them my liabilities and spent
freely and amply, saying to myself, “By the time he returns, Allah will
have relieved me with one or other of the bounties He hath by Him.”
However, on the very next day. the servant came in to me and said, “Thy
friend the Khorasan man is at the door.” “Admit him,” answered I. So he
came in and said to me, “I had purposed to make the pilgrimage; but news
hath reached me of the decease of my father, and I have resolved to
return; so give me the monies I deposited with thee yesterday.” When I
heard this, I was troubled and perplexed beyond measure of perplexity
known to man and wotted not what reply to make him; for, if I denied it,
he would put me on my oath, and I should be disgraced in the world to
come; whilst, if I told him that I had spent the money, he would make an
outcry and dishonour me before men. So I said to him, “Allah give thee
health! This my house is no stronghold nor site of safe custody for this
money. When I received thy leather bag, I sent it to one with whom it
now is; so do thou return to us to-morrow and take thy money,
Inshallah!”[417] So he went away and I passed the night in great
concern, because of his return to me; sleep visited me not nor could I
close my eyes; so I rose and bade the boy saddle me the she-mule.
Answered he, “O my lord, it is yet but the first third of the night and
indeed we have hardly had time to rest.” I returned to my bed, but sleep
was forbidden to me and I ceased not to awaken the boy, and he to put me
off, till break of day, when he saddled me the mule, and I mounted and
rode out, not knowing whither to go. I threw the reins on the mule’s
shoulders and gave myself up to regrets and melancholy thoughts, whilst
she fared on with me to the eastward of Baghdad. Presently, as I went
along, behold, I saw a number of people approaching me and turned aside
into another path to avoid them; but seeing that I wore a turband in
preacher-fashion,[418] they followed me and hastening up to me, said,
“Knowest thou the lodging of Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi?” “I am he,” answered
I; and they rejoined, “Obey the summons of the Commander of the
Faithful.” Then they carried me before Al-Maamun, who said to me, “Who
art thou?” Quoth I, “An associate of the Kazi Abu Yúsuf and a doctor of
the law and traditions.” Asked the Caliph, “By what surname art thou
known?”[419] and I answered, “Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi;” whereupon quoth he,
“Expound to me thy case.” So I recounted to him my case and he wept sore
and said to me, “Out on thee!” The Apostle of Allah (whom Allah bless
and assain!) would not let me sleep this night, because of thee; for in
early darkness[420] he appeared to me and said, “Succour Abu Hassan
al-Ziyadi.” Whereupon I awoke and, knowing thee not, went to sleep
again; but he came to me a second time and said to me, “Woe to thee!
Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi.” I awoke a second time, but knowing thee
not I went to sleep again; and he came to me a third time and still I
knew thee not and went to sleep again. Then he came to me once more and
said, “Out on thee! Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi!” “After that I dared
not sleep any more, but watched the rest of the night and aroused my
people and sent them on all sides in quest of thee.” Then he gave me one
myriad of dirhams, saying, “This is for the Khorasani,” and other ten
thousand, saying, “Spend freely of this and amend thy case therewith,
and set thine affairs in order.” Moreover, he presented me with thirty
thousand dirhams, saying, “Furnish thyself with this, and when the
Procession-day[421] is being kept, come thou to me, that I may invest
thee with some office.” So I went forth from him with the money and
returned home, where I prayed the dawn-prayer; and behold, presently
came the Khorasani, so I carried him into the house and brought out to
him one myriad of dirhams, saying, “Here is thy money.” Quoth he, “It is
not my very money; how cometh this?” So I told him the whole story, and
he wept and said, “By Allah, haddest thou told me the fact at first, I
had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah, I will not accept aught of
this money”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
Khorasani to Al-Ziyadi, “By Allah, haddest thou told me the fact at
first, I had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah, I will not accept
aught of this money and thou art lawfully quit of it.” So saying, he
went away and I set my affairs in order and repaired on the
Procession-day to Al-Maamun’s Gate, where I found him seated. When he
saw me present myself he called me to him and, bringing forth to me a
paper from under his prayer-carpet, said to me, “This is a patent,
conferring on thee the office of Kazi of the western division of
Al-Medinah, the Holy City, from the Bab-al Salám[422] to the furthest
limit of the township; and I appoint thee such and such monthly
allowances. So fear Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) and be mindful
of the solicitude of His Apostle (whom may He bless and keep!) on thine
account.” Then the folk marvelled at the Caliph’s words and asked me
their meaning; whereupon I told them the story from beginning to end and
it spread abroad amongst the people. “And” (quoth he who telleth the
tale) “Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi ceased not to be Kazi of Al-Medinah, the
Holy City, till he died in the days of Al-Maamun—the mercy of Allah be
on him!” And among the tales men tell is one of


Footnote 416:

  A doctor of law in the reign of Al-Maamun.

Footnote 417:

  Here the exclamation is = D.V.; and it may be assumed generally to
  have that sense.

Footnote 418:

  Arab. “Taylasán,” a turban worn hood-fashion by the “Khatib” or
  preacher. I have sketched it in my Pilgrimage and described it (iii.
  315). Some Orientalists derive Taylasan from Atlas = satin, which is
  peculiarly inappropriate. The word is apparently barbarous and
  possibly Persian like Kalansuwah, the Dervish-cap. “Thou son of a
  Taylasán” = a barbarian (De Sacy, Chrest. Arab. ii. 269).

Footnote 419:

  Arab. Kinyah vulg. “Kunyat” = patronymic or matronymic; a name
  beginning with “Abu” (father) or with “Umm” (mother). There are so few
  proper names in Al-Islam that such surnames, which, as will be seen,
  are of infinite variety, become necessary to distinguish individuals.
  Of these sobriquets I shall give specimens further on.

Footnote 420:

  “Whoso seeth me in his sleep, seeth me truly; for Satan cannot assume
  my semblance,” said (or is said to have said) Mohammed. Hence the
  vision is true although it comes in early night and not before dawn.
  See Lane M. E., chapt. ix.

Footnote 421:

  Arab. “Al-Maukab;” the day when the pilgrims march out of the city; it
  is a holiday for all, high and low.

Footnote 422:

  “The Gate of Salutation;” at the S. Western corner of the Mosque where
  Mohammed is buried (Pilgrimage ii. 60 and plan). Here “Visitation”
  (Ziyárah) begins.


There was once a rich man who lost all he had and became destitute,
whereupon his wife advised him to ask aid and assistance of one of his
intimates. So he betook himself to a certain friend of his and
acquainted him with his necessities; and he lent him five hundred dinars
to trade withal. Now in early life he had been a jeweller; so he took
the gold and went to the jewel-bazar, where he opened a shop to buy and
sell. Presently, as he sat in his shop three men accosted him and asked
for his father, and when he told them that he was deceased, they said,
“Say, did he leave issue?” Quoth the jeweller, “He left the slave who is
before you.” They asked, “And who knoweth thee for his son?”; and he
answered, “The people of the bazar,” whereupon they said, “Call them
together, that they may testify to us that thou art his very son.” So he
called them and they bore witness of this; whereupon the three men
delivered to him a pair of saddle-bags, containing thirty thousand
dinars, besides jewels and bullion of high value, saying, “This was
deposited with us in trust by thy father.” Then they went away; and
presently there came to him a woman, who sought of him certain of the
jewels, worth five hundred dinars which she bought and paid him three
thousand for them. Upon this he arose and took five hundred dinars and
carrying them to his friend who had lent him the money, said to him,
“Take the five hundred dinars I borrowed of thee; for Allah hath opened
to me the gate of prosperity.” Quoth the other, “Nay; I gave them to
thee outright, for the love of Allah; so do thou keep them. And take
this paper, but read it not till thou be at home, and do according to
that which is therein.” So he took the money and the paper and returned
home, where he opened the scroll and found therein inscribed these

 Kinsmen of mine were those three men who came to thee; ✿ My sire and
    uncles twain and Sálih bin Ali
 So what for cash thou soldest, to my mother ‘twas ✿ Thou soldest it, and
    coin and gems were sent by me.
 Thus doing I desired not any harm to thee ✿ But in my presence spare
    thee and thy modesty.

And they also recount the story of


There lived once in Baghdad a wealthy man and made of money, who lost
all his substance and became so destitute that he could earn his living
only by hard labour. One night, he lay down to sleep, dejected and heavy
hearted, and saw in a dream a Speaker[424] who said to him, “Verily thy
fortune is in Cairo; go thither and seek it.” So he set out for Cairo;
but when he arrived there, evening overtook him and he lay down to sleep
in a mosque. Presently, by decree of Allah Almighty, a band of bandits
entered the mosque and made their way thence into an adjoining house;
but the owners, being aroused by the noise of the thieves, awoke and
cried out; whereupon the Chief of Police came to their aid with his
officers. The robbers made off; but the Wali entered the mosque and,
finding the man from Baghdad asleep there, laid hold of him and beat him
with palm-rods so grievous a beating that he was well-nigh dead. Then
they cast him into jail, where he abode three days; after which the
Chief of Police sent for him and asked him, “Whence art thou?”; and he
answered, “From Baghdad.” Quoth the Wali, “And what brought thee to
Cairo?”; and quoth the Baghdadi, “I saw in a dream One who said to me,
Thy fortune is in Cairo; go thither to it. But when I came to Cairo the
fortune which he promised me proved to be the palm-rods thou so
generously gavest to me.” The Wali laughed till he showed his
wisdom-teeth and said, “O man of little wit, thrice have I seen in a
dream one who said to me:—There is in Baghdad a house in such a district
and of such a fashion and its courtyard is laid out garden-wise, at the
lower end whereof is a jetting-fountain and under the same a great sum
of money lieth buried. Go thither and take it. Yet I went not; but thou,
of the briefness of thy wit, hast journeyed from place to place, on the
faith of a dream, which was but an idle galimatias of sleep.” Then he
gave him money saying, “Help thee back herewith to thine own
country;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali gave the
Baghdad man some silvers, saying, “Help thee back herewith to thine own
country;” and he took the money and set out upon his homewards march.
Now the house the Wali had described was the man’s own house in Baghdad;
so the wayfarer returned thither and, digging underneath the fountain in
his garden, discovered a great treasure. And thus Allah gave him
abundant fortune; and a marvellous coincidence occurred. And a story is
also current of


Footnote 423:

  The tale is told by Al-Isháki in the reign of Al-Maamun.

Footnote 424:

  The speaker in dreams is the Heb. “Waggid,” which the learned and
  angry Graetz (Geschichte, etc. vol. ix.) absurdly translates


There were in the palace of the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil ala’llah[425] four
thousand concubines, whereof two thousand were Greeks and other two
thousand slave-born Arabians[426] and Abyssinians; and ‘Obayd ibn
Táhir[427] had given him two hundred white girls and a like number of
Abyssinian and native girls. Among these slave-borns was a girl of
Bassorah, hight Mahbúbah, the Beloved, who was of surpassing beauty and
loveliness, elegance and voluptuous grace. Moreover, she played upon the
lute and was skilled in singing and making verses and wrote a beautiful
hand; so that Al-Mutawakkil fell passionately in love with her and could
not endure from her a single hour. But when she saw this affection, she
presumed upon his favour to use him arrogantly, wherefore he waxed
exceeding wroth with her and forsook her, forbidding the people of the
palace to speak with her. She abode on this wise some days, but the
Caliph still inclined to her; and he arose one morning and said to his
courtiers, “I dreamt, last night, that I was reconciled to Mahbubah.”
They answered, “Would Allah this might be on wake!”; and as they were
talking, behold, in came one of the Caliph’s maidservants and whispered
him; so he rose from his throne and entered the Serraglio; for the
whisper had said, “Of a truth we heard singing and lute-playing in
Mahbubah’s chamber and we knew not what this meant.” So he went straight
to her apartment, where he heard her playing upon the lute and singing
the following verses:—

 I wander through the palace, but I sight there not a soul ✿ To whom I
    may complain or will ‘change a word with me.
 It is as though I’d done so grievous rebel-deed ✿ Wherefrom can no
    contrition e’er avail to set me free.

 Have we no intercessor here to plead with King, who came ✿ In sleep to
    me and took me back to grace and amity;
 But when the break of day arose and showed itself again, ✿ Then he
    departing sent me back to dree my privacy?

Now when the Caliph heard her voice, he marvelled at the verse and yet
more at the strange coincidence of their dreams and entered the chamber.
As soon as she perceived him, she hastened to rise and throw herself at
his feet, and kissing them, said, “By Allah, O my lord, this hap is what
I dreamt last night; and, when I awoke, I made the couplets thou hast
heard.” Replied Al-Mutawakkil, “By Allah, I also dreamt the like!” Then
they embraced and made friends and he abode with her seven days with
their nights. Now Mahbubah had written upon her cheek, in musk, the
Caliph’s name, which was Ja’afar: and when he saw this, he improvised
the following:—

 One wrote upon her cheek with musk, his name was Ja’afar hight; ✿ My
    soul for hers who wrote upon her cheek the name I sight!
 If an her fingers have inscribed one line upon her cheek, ✿ Full many a
    line in heart of mine those fingers did indite:
 O thou, whom Ja’afar sole of men possesseth for himself, ✿ Allah fill
    Ja’afar[428] stream-full draught, the wine of thy delight!

When Al-Mutawakkil died, his host of women forgot him, all save
Mahbubah——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al-Mutawakkil
died, his host of women forgot him all save Mahbubah who ceased not to
mourn for him, till she deceased and was buried by his side, the mercy
of Allah be on them both! And men also tell the tale of


Footnote 425:

  Tenth Abbaside. A.D. 849-861.

Footnote 426:

  Arab. “Muwallad” (fem. “Muwalladah”); a rearling, a slave born in a
  Moslem land. The numbers may appear exaggerated, but even the petty
  King of Ashanti had, till the last war, 3333 “wives.”

Footnote 427:

  The Under-prefect of Baghdad.

Footnote 428:

  “Ja’afar,” our old Giaffar (which is painfully like “Gaffer,” _i.e._
  good father) means either a rushing river or a rivulet.


There lived once in Cairo, in the days of the Caliph Al-Hákim bi´
Amri´llah, a butcher named Wardán, who dealt in sheep’s flesh; and there
came to him every day a lady and gave him a dinar, whose weight was nigh
two and a half Egyptian dinars, saying, “Give me a lamb.” So he took the
money and gave her the lamb, which she delivered to a porter she had
with her; and he put it in his crate and she went away with him to her
own place. Next day she came in the forenoon and this went on for a long
time, the butcher gaining a dinar by her every day, till at last he
began to be curious about her case and said to himself, “This woman
buyeth of me a ducat-worth of meat every morning, paying ready money,
and never misseth a single day. Verily, this is a strange thing!” So he
took an occasion of questioning the porter, in her absence, and asked
him, “Whither goest thou every day with yonder woman?”; and he answered,
“I know not what to make of her for surprise; inasmuch as every day,
after she hath taken the lamb of thee, she buyeth necessaries of the
table, fresh and dried fruits and wax-candles a dinar’s worth, and
taketh of a certain person, which is a Nazarene, two flagons of wine,
worth another dinar; and then she leadeth me with the whole and I go
with her to the Wazir’s Gardens, where she blindfoldeth me, so that I
cannot see on what part of earth I set my feet; and, taking me by the
hand, she leadeth me I know not whither. Presently, she sayeth, “Set
down here;” and when I have done so, she giveth me an empty crate she
hath ready and, taking my hand, leadeth me back to the Wazir’s Gardens,
the place where she bound my eyes, and there removeth the bandage and
giveth me ten silver bits.” “Allah be her helper!” quoth Wardan; but he
redoubled in curiosity about her case; disquietude increased upon him
and he passed the night in exceeding restlessness. And quoth the
butcher:—Next morning she came to me as of custom and taking the lamb,
for which she paid the dinar, delivered it to the porter and went away.
So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and followed her without her seeing
me;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Wardan the butcher
continued:—So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and followed her without
her seeing me; nor did I cease to keep her in sight, hiding behind her,
till she left Cairo and came to the Wazir’s Gardens. Then I hid myself
whilst she bandaged the porter’s eyes and followed her again from place
to place till she came to the mountain[430] and stopped at a spot where
there was a great stone. Here she made the porter set down his crate,
and I waited whilst she conducted him back to the Wazir’s Gardens, after
which she returned and, taking out the contents of the basket, instantly
disappeared. Then I went up to that stone and wrenching it up entered
the hole and found behind the stone an open trap-door of brass and a
flight of steps leading downwards. So I descended, little by little,
till I came to a long corridor, brilliantly lighted, and followed it,
till I made a closed door, as it were the door of a saloon. I looked
about the wall-sides near the doorway till I discovered a recess, with
steps therein; then climbed up and found a little niche with a bulls-eye
giving upon a saloon. Thence I looked inside and saw the lady cut off
the choicest parts of the lamb and laying them in a saucepan, throw the
rest to a great big bear, who ate it all to the last bite. Now when she
had made an end of cooking, she ate her fill, after which she set on the
fruits and confections and brought out the wine and fell to drinking a
cup herself and giving the bear to drink in a basin of gold. And as soon
as she was heated with wine, she put off her petticoat-trousers and lay
down on her back; whereupon the bear arose and came up to her and
stroked her, whilst she gave him the best of what belongeth to the sons
of Adam till he had made an end, when he sat down and rested. Presently,
he sprang upon her and rogered her again; and when he ended he again sat
down to rest; and he ceased not so doing till he had futtered her ten
times and they both fell to the ground in a fainting-fit and lay without
motion. Then quoth I to myself, “Now is my opportunity,” and taking a
knife I had with me, that would cut bones before flesh,[431] went down
to them and found them motionless, not a muscle of them moving for their
hard swinking and swiving. So I put my knife to the bear’s gullet and
pressed upon it, till I finished him by severing his head from his body,
and he gave a great snort like thunder, whereat the lady started up in
alarm; and, seeing the bear slain and me standing whittle in hand, she
shrieked so loud a shriek that I thought the soul had left her body.
Then she asked, “O Wardan, is this how thou requitest me my favours?”
And I answered, “O enemy of thine own soul, is there a famine of
men[432] that thou must do this damnable thing?” She made no answer but
bent down over the bear, and looked fondly upon him; then finding his
head divided from his body, said to me, “O Wardan, which of the two
courses wouldst thou take; either obey me in what I shall say and be the
means of thine own safety”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the lady, “O
Wardan, which of the two courses wouldst thou take; either obey me in
what I shall say and be the means of thine own safety and competency to
the end of thy days, or gainsay me and so cause thine own
destruction?”[433] Answered I, “I choose rather to hearken unto thee:
say what thou wilt.” Quoth she, “Then slay me, as thou hast slain this
bear, and take thy need of this hoard and wend thy ways.” Quoth I, “I am
better than this bear: so return thou to Allah Almighty and repent, and
I will marry thee, and we will live on this treasure the rest of our
lives.” She rejoined, “O Wardan, far be it from me! How shall I live
after him? By Allah, an thou slay me not I will assuredly do away thy
life! So leave bandying words with me, or thou art a lost man: this is
all I have to say to thee and peace be with thee!” Then said I, “I will
kill thee, and thou shalt go to the curse of Allah.” So saying, I caught
her by the hair and cut her throat; and she went to the curse of Allah
and of the angels and of all mankind. And after so doing I examined the
place and found there gold and bezel-stones and pearls, such as no one
king could bring together. So I filled the porter’s crate with as much
as I could carry and covered it with the clothes I had on me. Then I
shouldered it and, going up out of the under-ground treasure-chamber,
fared homewards and ceased not faring on, till I came to the gate of
Cairo, where behold, I fell in with ten of the body-guard of Al-Hakim
bi´ Amri´llah[434] followed by the Prince himself, who said to me, “Ho,
Wardan!” “At thy service, O King,” replied I; when he asked, “Hast thou
killed the bear and the lady?” and I answered, “Yes.” Quoth he, “Set
down the basket from thy head and fear naught, for all the treasure thou
hast with thee is thine, and none shall dispute it with thee.” So I set
down the crate before him, and he uncovered it and looked at it; then
said to me, “Tell me their case, albe I know it, as if I had been
present with you.” So I told him all that had passed and he said, “Thou
hast spoken the truth,” adding, “O Wardan, come now with me to the
treasure.” So I returned with him to the cavern, where he found the
trap-door closed and said to me, “O Wardan, lift it; none but thou can
open the treasure, for it is enchanted in thy name and nature.”[435]
Said I, “By Allah, I cannot open it;” but he said, “Go up to it,
trusting in the blessing of Allah.” So I called upon the name of
Almighty Allah and, advancing to the trap-door, put my hand to it;
whereupon it came up as it had been of the lightest. Then said the
Caliph, “Go down and bring hither what is there; for none but one of thy
name and semblance and nature hath gone down thither since the place was
made, and the slaying of the bear and the woman was appointed to be at
thy hand. This was chronicled with me and I was awaiting its
fulfilment.”[436] Accordingly (quoth Wardan) I went down and brought up
all the treasure, whereupon the Caliph sent for beasts of burden and
carried it away, after giving me my crate, with what was therein. So I
bore it home and opened me a shop in the market. “And” (saith he who
telleth the tale) “this market is still extant and is known as Wardan’s
Market.” And I have heard recount another story of


Footnote 429:

  A regular Fellah’s name also that of a village (Pilgrimage i. 43)
  where a pleasant story is told about one Haykal.

Footnote 430:

  The “Mountain” means the rocky and uncultivated ground South of Cairo;
  such as Jabal al-Ahmar and the geological sea-coast flanked by the old
  Cairo-Suez highway.

Footnote 431:

  A popular phrase = our “sharp as a razor.”

Footnote 432:

  _i.e._ are men so few; a favourite Persian phrase.

Footnote 433:

  She is a woman of rank who would cause him to be assassinated.

Footnote 434:

  This is not Al-Hakim bi´ Amri´llah the famous or infamous founder of
  the Druze (Durúz) faith and held by them to be, not an incarnation of
  the Godhead, but the Godhead itself in propriâ personâ, who reigned
  A.D. 926-1021: our Hakim is the orthodox Abbaside Caliph of Egypt who
  dated from two centuries after him (A.D. 1261). Had the former been
  meant, it would have thrown back this part of The Nights to an earlier
  date than is generally accepted. But in a place still to come I shall
  again treat of the subject.

Footnote 435:

  For an account of a similar kind which was told to me during the last
  few years see “Midian Revisited,” i. 15. These hiding-places are
  innumerable in lands of venerable antiquity like Egypt; and, if there
  were any contrivance for detecting hidden treasure, it would make the
  discoverer many times a millionaire.

Footnote 436:

  _i.e._ it had been given to him or his in writing, like the book left
  to the old woman before quoted in “Midian,” etc.

                    THE KING’S DAUGHTER AND THE APE.

There was once a Sultan’s daughter, whose heart was taken with love of a
black slave: he abated her maidenhead and she became passionately
addicted to futtering, so that she could not do without it a single hour
and complained of her case to one of her body-women, who told her that
no thing poketh and stroketh more abundantly than the baboon.[437] Now
it so chanced one day, that an ape-leader passed under her lattice, with
a great ape; so she unveiled her face and looking upon the ape, signed
to him with her eyes, whereupon he broke his bonds and chain and climbed
up to the Princess, who hid him in a place with her, and night and day
he abode there, eating and drinking and copulating. Her father heard of
this and would have killed her;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

        Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Sultan
heard of this work he would have slain his daughter; but she smoked his
design; and, disguising herself in Mameluke’s dress, mounted horse after
loading a mule with gold and bullion, and precious stuffs past all
account; then carrying with her the ape, she fled to Cairo, where she
took up her abode in one of the houses without the city and upon the
verge of the Suez-desert. Now, every day, she used to buy meat of a
young man, a butcher, but she came not to him till after noonday; and
then she was so yellow and disordered in face that he said in his mind,
“There must indeed hang some mystery by this slave.” Accordingly (quoth
the butcher) one day when she came to me as usual, I went out after her
secretly, and ceased not to follow her from place to place, so as she
saw me not, till she came to her lodging on the edge of her waste and
entered; and I looked in upon her through a cranny, and saw her as soon
as she was at home, kindle a fire and cook the meat, of which she ate
enough and served up the rest to a baboon she had by her and he did the
same. Then she put off the slave’s habit and donned the richest of
women’s apparel; and so I knew that she was a lady. After this she set
on wine and drank and gave the ape to drink; and he stroked her nigh
half a score times without drawing till she swooned away, when he spread
over her a silken coverlet and returned to his place. Then I went down
in the midst of the place and the ape, becoming aware of me, would have
torn me in pieces; but I made haste to pull out my knife and slit his
paunch and his bowels fell out. The noise aroused the young lady, who
awoke terrified and trembling; and, when she saw the ape in this case,
she shrieked such a shriek that her soul well nigh fled her body. Then
she fell down in a fainting-fit and when she came to herself, she said
to me, “What moved thee to do thus? Now Allah upon thee, send me after
him!” But I spoke her fair for a while and pledged myself to stand in
the ape’s stead in the matter of much poking, till her trouble subsided
and I took her to wife. But when I came to perform my promise I proved a
failure and I fell short in this matter and could not endure such hard
labour: so I complained of my case and mentioned her exorbitant
requirements to a certain old woman who engaged to manage the affair and
said to me, “Needs must thou bring me a cooking-pot full of virgin
vinegar and a pound of the herb pellitory called wound-wort.”[438] So I
brought her what she sought, and she laid the pellitory in the pot with
the vinegar and set it on the fire, till it was thoroughly boiled. Then
she bade me futter the girl, and I futtered her till she fainted away,
when the old woman took her up (and she unconscious), and set her parts
to the mouth of the cooking-pot. The steam of the pot entered her slit
and there fell from it somewhat which I examined; and behold, it was two
small worms, one black and the other yellow. Quoth the old woman, “The
black was bred of the strokings of the negro and the yellow of stroking
with the baboon.” Now when she recovered from her swoon she abode with
me, in all delight and solace of life, and sought not swiving as before,
for Allah had done away from her this appetite; whereat I marvelled——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

       Now when it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young man
continued:—In truth Allah had done away from her this appetite; whereat
I marvelled and acquainted her with the case. Thereupon I lived with her
and she took the old woman to be to her in the stead of her mother,
“and” (said he who told me the tale) “the old woman and the young man
and his wife abode in joy and cheer till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to the
Ever-living One, who dieth not and in whose hand is Dominion of the
world visible and invisible!”[439] And another tale they tell is that of


Footnote 437:

  Arab. “Kird” (pron. in Egypt “Gird”). It is usually the hideous
  Abyssinian cynocephalus which is tamed by the ape-leader popularly
  called Kuraydati (Lane, M. E., chapt. xx.). The beast has a natural
  penchant for women; I heard of one which attempted to rape a girl in
  the public street and was prevented only by a sentinel’s bayonet. They
  are powerful animals and bite like greyhounds.

Footnote 438:

  Easterns, attribute many complaints (such as toothache) to worms,
  visible as well as microscopic; which may be held a fair prolepsis of
  the “germ-theory” the bacterium, the bacillus, the microbe.
  Nymphomania, the disease alluded to in these two tales is always
  attributed to worms in the vagina.

Footnote 439:

  Bestiality, very rare in Arabia is fatally common amongst those most
  debauched of debauched races, the Egyptian proper and the Sindis.
  Hence the Pentateuch, whose object was to breed a larger population of
  fighting men, made death the penalty for lying with a beast (Deut.
  xxvii. 21). C. S. Sonnini (Travels, English translation, p. 663) gives
  a curious account of Fellah lewdness. “The female crocodile during
  congress is turned upon her back (?) and cannot rise without
  difficulty. Will it be believed that there are men who take advantage
  of the helpless situation of the female, drive off the male, and
  supplant him in this frightful intercourse? Horrible embraces, the
  knowledge of which was wanting to complete the disgusting history of
  human perversity!” The French traveller forgets to add the
  superstitious explanation of this congress which is the sovereignest
  charm for rising to rank and riches. The Ajáib al-Hind tells a tale
  (chapt. xxxix.) of a certain Mohammed bin Bullishad who had issue by a
  she-ape: the young ones were hairless of body and wore quasi-human
  faces; and the father’s sight had become dim by his bestial practice.

                           END OF VOLUME IV.

[Illustration: والسلام]


 Abbás = the grim-faced, 138

 Abd al-Kádir of Gilán (founder of the Kádiri order), 41

 Abd al-Malik bin Marwán (Caliph), 7

 Abdullah bin Abí Kilábah, 113

 Abdullah bin Málik al-Khuzá´i, 181

 Abraham (Place or stone of), 148

 Abu al-Muzaffir = Father of the Conqueror, 166

 Abu Nowas (Pr. N. = father of the side-locks), 55; 264

 Abu Hassán al-Ziyádi, 258

 Abu Yúsuf (the Lawyer), 153

 Adam’s loins, 111

 Adi (son of Hátim al-Táyyí), 95

 Adl = just (ironically), 271

 Adm (Udm) = any relish, 128

 Ahmad al-Danaf (Pr. N. = Calamity-Ahmad), 75

 Akkám = cameleer, caravan-manager, 40

 Alá al-Din (Aladdin) Glory of the Faith, 29; 33

 Aláma = alá-má = upon what? wherefore, 201

 Alast (day of), 111

 Al Dáud (David’s family), 50

 Alfi = one who costs a thousand, 225

 Ali al-Zabak (Pr. N. = Mercury Ali), 75

 Alif-like stature, 249

 Ali Shar (Pr. N.), 187

 Allah (His name pronounced against the evil eye), 34

 Allah (swearing by, forbidden), 175

 —— is all-knowing (= I don’t know), 283

 Amáim (pl. of Imámah) = turbands, 100

 Amín (Al-) = the Trusted of Allah, 261

 Amír and Samúl = Jones, Brown and Robinson, 106

 Amrú (pronounced Amr) and Zayd = Tom, Dick or Harry, 2

 Ana fí jírat-ak = I crave thy intercession (useful phrase), 83

 Anbár (pronounced Ambár), town on the Euphrates, 152

 Antar (Romance quoted), 41

 Antiochus and Stratonice, 10

 Apple(-wine), 134

 —— (many a goodly one rotten at the core), 187

 Ark al-Haláwat = vein of sweetness, sugar stick, for penis, 51

 Armaníyah (Armenia), 182

 Arm-pits (taking a dismounting person under the, a sign of respect), 24

 Artál (_see_ Rotl)

 Asídah (custard, pap), 37

 Aslán (Pr. N. probably for Arslán = lion), 78

 Asma´i (Al-), author of Antar, 159

 Aun (of Jinns, etc.), 88

 Awwádah = a lute-player, 142

 Ayat (Coranic verset, sign, miracle), _ib._

 Ayyás (Issus of Cilicia), 76

 Báb al Lúk (of Fustát), 259

 Báb al Salám (of the Al-Medínah Mosque), 288

 Babes of the eyes, 246

 Baboon (Kird), has a natural penchant for women, 297

 Badawi (bluntness and plain-speaking of), 102

 Badrah = 10,000 dirhams, 281

 Baháim (pl. of Bahímah = Behemoth) applied to cattle, 54

 Bahramáni = Brahman, 101

 Bakh Bakh! = well done!, 121

 Bandage eyes (before beheading), 145

 Banquets (royal), 212

 —— (daintily devised), 226

 Banú Isráíl, 283

 —— Shaybán (Badawi tribe), 233

 Barsh (Bars), commonest form of Bhang, 31

 Bath, coming out of, shows that consummation has taken place, 244

 Bawd (admirably portrayed), 4

 Bean-eating in Egypt, 160

 “Ben” of an Arab shop as opposed to the “but”, 93

 Bestiality (fatally common amongst Egyptians), 299

 Bhang (preparation of), 31

 —— (drugging with = tabannuj), 71

 Bier the (bulging = Hadbá), 63

 Birkah = pool of standing water, 270

 Black-mail (paid to the Badawin of Ramlah), 76

 Blue-eyed (frequently = fierce-eyed), 192

 Boccaccio quoted, 36

 Body-guard (consists of two divisions), 62

 Bread and Salt (to be taken now “cum grano salis”), 200

 Breeze (rude but effective refrigerator), 199

 “Brother of the Persians”, 12

 Brow (like Nún), 249

 Budúr = moons, 249

 Buka´at al-Dam = place of blood (where it stagnates), 68

 Burckhardt (fable anent his death), 78

 Cairo (_see_ Misr).

 —— (Chaff), 215

 —— (Slang), 75

 Calligraphy, 196

 Camel-slaughtering (Nahr), 95

 Capo bianco, Coda verde, 36

 Catamites (rising to highest rank in Turkey), 225

 —— (in Turkish baths), 226

 Chastity (merchandise in trust from Allah), 43

 Child of the nurse, etc. = delicately reared, 34

 China (kingdom), 175

 Chinese Shadows, 193

 Cider (Arab. Sharáb al-Tuffáh), 134

 City of Brass (Copper), 176

 Claimant of blood-revenge, 109

 —— and Defendant, 150

 Cloth of frieze and cloth of gold, 145

 Clothes (tattered, sign of grief), 158

 Consul (Shah-bandar), 29

 —— (Kunsul), 84

 Cowrie (shells, etc., for small change), 77

 Crenelles = Sharáríf, 165

 Crow-claw and Camel-hoof, 217

 Cutting bones before flesh = “sharp as a razor”, 295

 Dalak = footrasp, 254

 Danaf (Al-) = the Distressing Sickness, 75

 Darb al-Asfar = the Street called Yellow, 93

 Darr al-Káil = divinely he spoke who said, 20

 Darrij = Let them slide, 220

 Deity of the East despotic, 118

 —— after the fashion of each race, 267

 Depilation (Solomon and Bilkís), 256

 Dinghy (Kárib), 168

 Divining-rod (dowsing-rod), 73

 Dogs (clothed in hot-damp countries), 266

 Dream (Speaker in a), 239

 Dress (Scarlet of a King in anger), 72

 Drop (black, of the heart), 251

 Drunk (with one’s own beauty), 34

 Dukhúl = going in to the bride, 30

 Durká’ah = lower part of the floor (opposed to Liwán), 71

 Eating (gives rights of guestship), 214

 —— (superstitious belief in its power), 218

 Efendi (Turkish title = our esquire), 53

 Egyptian vulgarism, 107

 —— characteristic, 260

 Embracing (like the Lám embraceth the Alif), 243

 Emerald (white?), 164

 Eunuchs (driving the people out of a lady’s way), 126

 —— (who have studied the Harím), 228

 Euphemy (announcing death), 61

 —— (thou shalt die), 90

 —— (all is well), 138

 —— (the far one is a Nazarene), 215

 Exaggeration characteristic of The Nights, 273

 Eye (the Evil) on children, 37

 —— (babes of the), 246

 Eyes (bandaged before beheading), 145

 —— (blue), 192

 —— (one-eyed men), 194

 Faces (on the day of Judgment), 249

 Far off one (the, shall die), 90

 Farkh Akrab (vulgarism for Ukayrib) = a young scorpion, 46

 Farsakh = parasang, 230

 Fat and Thin (dispute between), 254

 Fátihah (the opening chapter of the Koran), 36

 Firmán = Wazirial order, 61

 Fí sabíli ´llahi = on Allah’s path (martyrdom), 247

 Flatulence produced by bean-eating, 160

 Food (partaken gives rights of protection), 214

 —— (superstitious belief in its power), 218

 Freewill (and the Korán), 275

 Friends weeping when they meet after long parting, 26

 —— (“damned ill-natured” ones), 137

 Fulán = Fulano, a certain person, 278

 Furkán = Koran, 90

 Futúh (openings, victories), 51

 Ghabah = a copse, 40

 Gháshiyah = étui, scabbard; sleeved cloak, 131

 Ghuráb al-Bayn = raven of parting, 52

 Gold (different names of, required by Arabic rhetoric), 97

 Goody goody preachments, 187

 Gong (Mudawwarah), 135

 Hábáb (Habá) = motes, 257

 Habzalam (Pr. N. = seed of tyranny; “Absalom”?), 66

 Hadbá (the bulging bier), 63

 Hadís = tradition of the Prophet, 207

 Hair-dyes (Mohammed), 194

 Hájj (or Háji, not Hajji), 215

 Hajjáj (Al-) bin Yúsuf, Governor, of Al-Hijáz and Al-Irák, 3

 Hajjám = barber-surgeon, cupper, bleeder, 112

 Haláwah = sweetmeat, 60

 Hákim (Al-) bi-Amri ´llah, 296

 Hand (left, how used), 129

 —— (white, symbol of generosity; black of niggardness), 185

 —— (his for her), 279

 Harím (double entendre = Harem and Honour), 98

 —— (= wife), 126

 —— (hot-bed of Sapphism and Tribadism), 234

 Harrák (ship = Carrack?), 130

 Hasan bin Sahl (Wazir of Al-Maamún), 124

 Hasab = quantity, opposed to Nasab = birth, 171

 Hásid = an envier, 137

 Hátim of Tayy (proverbial for Liberality), 94

 Hazramaut (Hazarmaveth), 118

 Heart (black drop in), 256

 Heaven (Na´ím), 143

 Hell (Sa´ír), _ib._

 —— (cold as well as hot), 253

 Hibál = ropes, 193

 Homme acheté = de bonne famille, 225

 Húd (prophet = Heber?), 118

 Hurák = tinder, 108

 Hurry (in a newly married couple indecent), 244

 Hurúf al-Mutabbakát = the flattened sounds, 223

 “I told you so” (even more common in East than West), 69

 Ibrahím bin al-Mahdi (Pretender to the Caliphate), 103

 Ibrahím al-Mosili, 108

 Imám (The Seventh = Caliph Al-Maamún), 111

 —— (the fugleman at the prayer-niche), 227

 Imámah = turband, 100

 Inconsequence (of the Author of The Nights), 155

 Infirmity (and infirm letters), 243

 Inscriptions (on trays, plates, etc.), 235

 Inshallah = D.V., 286

 Insomnia (curious treatment of), 229

 Irádah = Sultan’s order, 61

 Iram (the Many-columned), 113

 Irony, 271

 Irreverence (Egyptian), 47

 Isaac (Ishák) of Mosul, 119

 Ishmael (place of his sacrifice), 75

 Istinjá = washing the fundament after stool, 129

 Ja’afar the Barmecide (mode of his death), 159

 —— (river or rivulet), 292

 Jabal al-Tárik = Gibraltar, 100

 Jacob’s daughters, 14

 Jawán (Pr. N.; Pers. = youth, juvenis), 208

 Job (a Syrian), 221

 “Joyance is three things,” etc., 254

 Jufún = eyebrows or eyelashes, 260

 Jugular vein (from —— to ——), 92

 Justice (poetical, not done), 28

 Juzám = leprosy, 51

 Ka’ab al-Ahbár (of the Scribes, two of the name), 115

 Ka’abah (Pilgrim clinging to its curtain), 125

 Kabbázah = a “holding woman”, 227

 Kahirah = City of Mars (Cairo), 271

 Kahramán (Pers.) = braves, heroes, 115

 Kallá = prorsus non, 257

 Kaptán = Capitano, 85

 Kara Gyuz (_see_ Khiyál).

 Kárib (pl. Kawárib) = dinghy, 168

 Karúrah = bottle for urine, 11

 Kasa’ah = wooden bowl, porringer, 283

 Kasri (Al-) Governor of the two Iraks, 155

 Katá = sand-grouse, 111

 Kátala-k Allah = Allah strike thee dead (facetiously), 264; 265

 Katíl = the Irish “kilt”, 139

 Kausar (river of Paradise), 196

 Kawárib (_see_ Kárib).

 Kazdír = Skr. Kastíra (Tin), 274

 Kerchief (shaking and throwing the), 62

 Khalí’a = a wag, a wicked wit, 229

 Khammárah = wine-shop, tavern, “hotel”, 79

 Khátún (Turk. Lady), 66

 Khayr = good news by euphemy, 138

 Khayzarán = rattan-palm, 255

 Khizr (the Green Prophet), 175

 Khiyál (Chinese shadows), 193

 Khuff = walking-boot, 107

 Khumásiyah = five feet high, 191

 Kíl wa Kál = it was said and he said (chit-chat), 207

 King (dressing in scarlet when wroth), 72

 Kirámát = Saints’ miracles, 45

 Kird = baboon, 297

 Kishk (Kashk) = porridge, 214

 Kissing (names for), 259

 Kohl (he would steal it off the eye-ball = a very expert thief), 68

 Koran quoted (xxv. 70), 5

 —— (xii. 84, 93, 96; xvi.), 14

 —— (opening chapter), 36

 —— (xiii. 14), 43

 —— (chapter Yá Sín), 50

 —— (xvii. 84), 80

 —— (xlix., Inner Apartments), 102

 —— (xvi. 112), _ib._

 —— (xii. 92), 111

 —— (lxxxix. 6-7), 115

 —— (iii. 178), 156

 —— (xvi.), 174

 —— (ii. 224), 175

 —— (xxi. 38), 244

 —— (iii. 103; vii. 105; xxvii. 12), 249

 —— (cxiv. 1), 251

 —— (ii. 26), 254

 —— (ii. 64; xxvii.), 256

 —— (xvii. 62; xxxvii. 16), 259

 —— (xli. 46), 275

 Kúfah (Al-) founded by Omar, 1

 —— (revolutionary spirit of), 3

 Kumkum (cucurbite, gourd-shaped vessel), 68; 178

 Kumm = sleeve, used as a bag, 107

 Kunyat = patro- or matro-nymic, 287

 Kunsul = Consul, 84

 Kús (town in Upper Egypt), 276

 Kussá’a = curling cucumber, 98

 Lá baas bi-zálik = there is no harm in that, 164

 Labtayt (Pr. N. = Toledo), 99

 Lane quoted, 2; 55; 63; 66; 84; 95; 96; 107; 110; 124; 136; 160; 164;
    171; 181; 187; 189; 191; 196; 199; 200; 202; 204; 205; 209; 212;
    214; 219; 222; 228; 231; 233; 244; 254; 268; 271; 273; 279; 287;

 Lasm (Lathm) = kissing the lower face, 259

 Leprosy (thickens voice), 50

 —— (shows first at the wrist), 51

 Letter (model specimen), 57

 Liberality (men proverbial for their), 96

 Life (by the, of thy youth) oath of women, 49

 —— (cheap in hot countries), 275

 Light-worshipers (are liars), 252

 Li’lláhi darru-ka = the Lord has been copious to thee, 20

 Liwán = Al-Aywán, 71

 Love (martyrs of), 205

 —— (clairvoyance), 238

 —— (excess of), _ib._

 Lúk-Gate (proverb referring to), 259

 Lumà = dark hue of the inner lips, 251

 Lutf (servile name = elegance, delicacy), 232

 Maamun (Al-), Caliph, 109

 Ma’an bin Záidah (Pr. N. of a generous Arab), 96

 Ma’áni-há (her meanings = her inner woman), 146

 Madinát al-Nabi (Al-Medinah) = City of the Prophet, 114

 Madness (there is a pleasure in), 204

 Maka’ad = sitting-room, 78

 Malik (Al-) al-Násir = the conquering King, 271

 Man (handsomer than woman), 15

 Mansúr al-Nimri (poet), 179

 Martyrs (of love), 205

 Martyrdom, 247

 Mashá’ilí = cresset-bearer, for public crier, hangman, 61

 Maukab (Al-) = Procession-day, 287

 Mauz = Musa (Banana), 201

 “May thy life be prolonged”, 62

 Melancholy (chronic under the brightest skies), 239

 Men (is there a famine of) = are men so few?, 295

 Mikashshah = broom, 208

 Mikbas (pot of lighted charcoal), 246

 Military and Police sneered at, 270

 Milk, white as, opposed to black as mud, 140

 Mím-like mouth, 249

 Mind (one by vinegar, another by wine = each goes its own way), 72

 Minínah = biscuit, 86

 Misr (vulg. Masr) = Egypt, 29

 Mohammed (his uncles), 22

 —— (traditional saying of), 35

 —— (cleanses the Ka’abah of idols), 80

 —— (on dying the hair, etc.), 194

 —— (on lovers), 205

 —— (on his being seen in sleep), 287

 —— (places the “black stone”), 261

 Mole on cheek (black as Bilál), 142

 Monoculars (rascals), 194

 Moon-faced (not absurd), 192

 Moon (masculine), 261

 Mountain (the, at Cairo), 294

 Mountains (the pegs of the earth), 174

 Mudawwarah (a gong?), 135

 Muhallil (_see_ Mustahall).

 Mukaddam (Anglo-Indicè Mucuddum) = overseer, 42

 Munkasir (broken) = languid, 195

 Musámarah = chatting at night, 237

 Mustahall (Mustahill) = one who marries a thrice divorced woman and
    divorces her to make her lawful for her first husband, 48

 Mutawakkil (Al-), Caliph, 291

 Muwallad = a slave born in a Moslem land, 291

 Muwashshah (stanza), 54

 Myrtle-bush = young beard, 143

 Nafísah (great-grand-daughter of the Imám Hasan), 46

 Nahás = brass, 178

 —— (asfar = brass; ahmar = copper), 230

 Nahr = slaughtering a camel by stabbing, 95

 Na’ím = Heaven, 143

 Nauroz = new (year’s) day, 244

 Negro (Legend of his origin), 250

 Negrofied races like “walking tun-butts”, 255

 Ni’amat = a blessing, 1

 Nisáb (Al-), smallest sum for stealing which the hand is mutilated, 157

 Nún-like brow, 249

 Nymphomania (ascribed to worms in the vagina), 298

 Oath (kept to the letter), 70

 Obayd ibn Táhir (Under-Prefect of Baghdad), 291

 One-eyed men considered rascals, 194

 Pashas’ (agents for bribery in Constantinople), 183

 Payne quoted, 50; 66; 197; 221; 222

 Peccadillo in good old days (murder), 275

 Penis = Ark al-Haláwat, 51

 —— (correspondence of size), 52

 Person (Arabic Shakhs), 97

 Pharaoh (signs to), 249

 Pilgrimage quoted (i. 75-77), 6

 —— (i. 285; ii. 78), 36

 —— (iii. 306), 75

 —— (i. 123), 78

 —— (iii. 295), 80

 —— (iii. 303), 95

 —— (ii. 119), 114

 —— (i. 213), 115

 —— (iii. 156, 162, 216, 220), 125

 —— (iii. 168, 174, 175), 148

 —— (ii. 329), 254

 —— (iii. 192), 261

 —— (i. 43), 293

 Pistachio-nut (tight-fitting shell of), 216

 Plain-speaking of the Badawi, 102

 Plural of Majesty, 156

 Polissonnerie (Egyptian), 226

 Porcelain (not made in Egypt or Syria), 164

 Pride of beauty intoxicates, 34

 Procès verbal (customary with Moslems), 73

 Property (of the heirless lapses to the Treasury), 62

 Pun, 258

 Rabelaisian humour of the richest, 152

 Ráfizi = denier, Shí’ah, 44

 Rag (burnt, used as styptic), 108

 Ráh = pure old wine, 186

 Rakb = fast-going caravan, 254

 Ráshid (Pasha, etc.), 202

 Rasúl = one sent, “apostle,” not prophet, 284

 Raven of the waste or the parting, 52

 Rayy (old capital of Media), 104

 Red dress (sign of wrath), 72

 Repentance (a strong plea for granting aid with a Moslem), 277

 Rings in the East, 24

 Rizwán = Moslem St. Peter, 195

 Rod (divining or “dowsing”), 73

 Rotl (pl. Artál) = rotolo, pound-weight, 124

 Roum = Græco-Roman Empire, 100

 Rustam (not Rustum or Rustem), 219

 Sabá = Biblical Sheba, 113

 Sáhib (Wazirial title), 139

 Sa’ír = Hell, 143

 Sakatí = second-hand dealer, 77

 Sakká (Anglo-Indian Bihishti) = water-carrier, 44

 Salát (blessing, prayer), 60

 Salím (Pr. N. = the “Safe and Sound”), 58

 Salsabíl (fountain in Paradise), 195

 Samharí = lance of Samhar (place or maker), 258

 Samn = melted butter, Ghi, 53

 Samúr (applied to cats and dogs, also to Admiral Seymour), 57

 Sapphism (practised in wealthy Haríms), 234

 Sara’ (epilepsy, falling sickness, possession), 89

 Sarráf = money-changer (Shroff), 270

 Saudá = black bile, melancholia, 251

 Separation (spoken of as a defilement), 211

 Sévigné of pearls, 249

 Shah-bandar = lord of the port (Consul), 29

 Shár, Sher and Shír, 187

 Sharáb al-Tuffáh = cider, 134

 Sharáríf = trefoil-shaped crenelles, 165

 Sharíf = a descendant of Mohammed, 170

 “Short and thick is never quick”, 194

 Shuumán = a pestilent fellow, 75

 Sifr = whistling, 206

 Signet-rings, 24

 Signs (to Pharaoh), 249

 Sikankúr = Σκίγκος (_see_ Aphrodisiacs), 32

 Sinning (for the pleasure of being pardoned), 111

 Sirát (Al-), the bridge of Hell, 223

 Slapping on the nape of neck = “boxing the ears”, 193

 Sleeper and Waker (Tale of the), 96

 Sleeplessness (contrivance against), 228

 Smile (like Mím), 249

 Squatting against a wall, 119

 Stature (Alif-like), 249

 Street (the, called Yellow), 93

 —— (watering), 107

 Stuff his mouth with jewels (reward for poetry), 103

 —— a dead man’s mouth with cotton, 193

 Su’adá = Beatrice, 267

 Suffah = “sofa” (shelf), 275

 Sujúd = prostration, 248

 Suláfah = ptisane of wine, 258

 Sumr = brown, black, 251

 Sunní (versus Shí’ah, _see_ Ráfizí), 82

 Swearing (by Allah forbidden), 175

 Sweetmeat of Safety, 60

 Sword (making invisible), 176

 Syene (town on the Nile), 152

 Tabannuj = drugging with Bhang, 71

 Tabban lahu = perdition to him, 142

 Takaddum and Takádum (difference between), 171

 Tárik (Jabal al-) = Gibraltar, 100

 Taufík (P.N.) = causing to be prosperous, 1

 Taylasán (turband worn by a preacher), 286

 Tayy (noble Arab tribe), 94

 Thakilata-k Ummak = be thy mother bereaved of thee, 156

 Thank you (Eastern equivalent), 6

 Thirst (affecting plea; why?), 199

 Tin (Kazdír), 274

 Tinder (a styptic), 108

 Torrens quoted, 187; 189; 235; 236

 Treasures (enchanted in some one’s name and nature), 296

 Trébutien quoted, 268

 Tribadism, 234

 Truth prevailing, falsehood failing, 80

 Túfán (Typhoon, etc.), 156

 Tufayl (proverbial intruder), 123

 Turband (white, distinctive of Moslems), 214

 Udm (_see_ Adm)

 Ukáb = eagle, vulture, 177

 Ukayl (Akíl?), 22

 Unguium fulgor, 252

 Vellication, 256

 Voice (thickened by leprosy), 50

 Wada’a (_see_ Cowrie), 77

 Waggid (Hebr. speaker in a dream), 289

 Wailing over the past, 239

 Wakíl = agent (_see_ Pashas), 182

 Walid (Al-) bin Abd al-Malik, Caliph, 100

 Wardán (a Fellah name, also of a village), 293

 Waríd (jugular vein), 92

 Water (sight of running, makes a Persian long for strong drink), 75

 Watering the streets, 107

 Waybah = 6 to 7 English gallons, 86

 Whistling (Sifr), 206

 White as milk (opposed to black as mud, etc.), 140

 —— hand (symbol of generosity, etc.), 185

 —— turband (distinctive of Moslems), 214

 —— hand of Moses (sign to Pharaoh), 249

 —— and black faces on the day of Judgment, _ib._

 Woman (old bawd), 4

 —— (names), 12

 —— (less handsome than man), 15

 —— (walk and gait), 16

 —— (bride night), 30

 —— (oath of a), 49

 —— (insolence of princesses), 145

 —— (inner, her meanings), 146

 Woman (answering question by counter-question), 148

 —— (Abyssinian famous as “holders”), 227

 —— (slave name), 232

 —— (intercourse between), 234

 —— (white-skinned supposed to be heating and unwholesome), 253

 Writer of The Nights careless, 155

 Writing (styles of), 196

 Yá Ma’ashar al-Muslimín = Ho! Moslems, 149

 Yá Nasráni = O Nazarene, 199

 Yá Shátir = O clever one (in a bad sense), 209

 Yá Sín (heart of the Koran, chapt. xxxvi.), 50

 Yasrib (ancient name of Al-Medínah), 114

 Yá Wadúd = O loving one, 54

 Yohanná = John, 87

 Yunán = Ionia, ancient Greece, 100

 Záka = he tasted, 188

 Zakariyá and Zakar, 51

 Zakkúm (Al-) tree of Hell, 259

 Zanzibar (cannibals, etc.), 168

 Zaybak (Al-) = the quicksilver, 75

 Zimbíl (Zambíl) = limp basket of palm-leaves, 119

 Zimmí = a (Christian, Jewish or Majúsí) tributary, 199

 Zubaydah (Pr. N.) = creamkin, 48

 Zu ‘l-Kurá’a (Pr. N.) = Lord of cattle-feet, 95



                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Changed bowels to bowls on p. 86.
 2. Added "to" on p. 107.
 3. Added missing footnote anchors on pp. 115, 231, 271, and 296.
 4. Changed An to And on p. 150.
 5. Changed an to am on p. 222.
 6. Changed phase to phrase on p. 264.
 7. Changed he to her on p. 297.
 8. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
 9. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
10. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
11. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 (of 17)" ***

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