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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 7 (of 17)
Author: Burton, Richard F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night Volume 7 (of 17)" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
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[Illustration]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration: ’لا]

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

                                                        —_Arab Proverb._

          “Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole.”

                                            —“_Decameron_”—_conclusion_.

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

                                                             —_Martial._

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

                                                              —RABELAIS.

“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_.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

_A PLAIN AND LITERAL TRANSLATION OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS.
NOW ENTITULED_



                           _THE BOOK OF THE_
                      Thousand Nights and a Night

   _WITH INTRODUCTION EXPLANATORY NOTES ON THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF
    MOSLEM MEN AND A TERMINAL ESSAY UPON THE HISTORY OF THE NIGHTS_

                              VOLUME VII.


                                   BY
                           RICHARD F. BURTON

[Illustration]

        PRINTED BY THE BURTON CLUB FOR PRIVATE SUBSCRIBERS ONLY

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            Shammar Edition

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, of which this is

                              Number _547_



                          PRINTED IN U. S. A.



                         I INSCRIBE THESE PAGES

                                   TO

                       AN OLD AND VALUED FRIEND,

                            JOHN W. LARKING

                        (WHILOME OF ALEXANDRIA),

       IN WHOSE HOSPITABLE HOME (“THE SYCAMORES”) I MADE MY FINAL

                PREPARATIONS FOR A PILGRIMAGE TO MECCAH

                            AND EL-MEDINAH.

                                                           R. F. BURTON.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                    CONTENTS OF THE SEVENTH VOLUME.


                                                                    PAGE

 CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF GHARIB AND HIS BROTHER AJIB            1

 OTBAH AND RAYYA                                                      91

 HIND DAUGHTER OF AL-NU’MAN AND AL-HAJJAJ                             96

 KHUZAYMAH BIN BISHR AND IKRIMAH AL-FAYYAZ                            99

 YUNUS THE SCRIBE AND THE CALIPH WALID BIN SAHL                      104

 HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE ARAB GIRL                                   108

 AL-ASMA’I AND THE THREE GIRLS OF BASSORAH                           110

 IBRAHIM OF MOSUL AND THE DEVIL                                      113

                       (_Lane, Vol. I. page 223._)

 THE LOVERS OF THE BANU UZRAH                                        117

 THE BADAWI AND HIS WIFE                                             124

                         (_Lane, Vol. I. 521._)

 THE LOVERS OF BASSORAH                                              130

 ISHAK OF MOSUL AND HIS MISTRESS AND THE DEVIL                       136

 THE LOVERS OF AL-MEDINAH                                            139

           (_Lane, Another Anecdote of Two Lovers, III. 252._)

 AL-MALIK AL-NASIR AND HIS WAZIR                                     142

 THE ROGUERIES OF DALILAH THE CRAFTY AND HER DAUGHTER ZAYNAB THE
   CONEY-CATCHER                                                     144

                             (_Lane omits._)

 THE ADVENTURES OF MERCURY ALI OF CAIRO                              172

                             (_Lane omits._)

 ARDASHIR AND HAYAT AL-NUFUS                                         209

                             (_Lane omits._)

 JULNAR THE SEA-BORN AND HER SON KING BADR BASIM OF PERSIA           264

          (_Lane, III. 255, The Story of Jullanar of the Sea._)

 KING MOHAMMED BIN SABAIK AND THE MERCHANT HASAN                     308

                (_Lane, III. 373, Notes to Chapt. xxiv._)

     _a._ STORY OF PRINCE SAYF AL-MULUK AND THE PRINCESS BADI’A
            AL-JAMAL                                                 314

 (_Lane, III. 308, The Story of Seif El-Mulook and Badeea El-Jamal, with
            the Introduction transferred to a note, p. 372._)


       Now when it was the Six Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

Shahrazad continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa’adan
having broken into the palace of King Jamak and pounded to pieces those
therein, the survivors cried out, “Quarter! Quarter!”; and Sa’adan said
to them, “Pinion your King!” So they bound Jamak and took him up, and
Sa’adan drove them before him like sheep and brought them to Gharib’s
presence, after the most part of the citizens had perished by the
enemy’s swords. When the King of Babel came to himself, he found himself
bound and heard Sa’adan say, “I will sup to-night off this King Jamak:”
whereupon he turned to Gharib and cried to him, “I throw myself on thy
mercy.” Replied Gharib, “Become a Moslem, and thou shalt be safe from
the Ghul and from the vengeance of the Living One who ceaseth not.” So
Jamak professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue and Gharib bade loose his
bonds. Then he expounded The Faith to his people and they all became
True Believers; after which Jamak returned to the city and despatched
thence provaunt and henchmen to Gharib; and wine to the camp before
Babel where they passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib gave the signal
for the march and they fared on till they came to Mayyáfárikín,[1] which
they found empty, for its people had heard what had befallen Babel and
had fled to Cufa-city and told Ajib. When he heard the news, his
Doom-day appeared to him and he assembled his braves and informing them
of the enemy’s approach ordered them make ready to do battle with his
brother’s host; after which he numbered them and found them thirty
thousand horse and ten thousand foot.[2] So, needing more, he levied
other fifty thousand men, cavalry and infantry, and taking horse amid a
mighty host, rode forwards, till he came upon his brother’s army
encamped before Mosul and pitched his tents in face of their lines. Then
Gharib wrote a writ and said to his officers, “Which of you will carry
this letter to Ajib?” Whereupon Sahim sprang to his feet and cried, “O
King of the Age, I will bear thy missive and bring thee back an answer.”
So Gharib gave him the epistle and he repaired to the pavilion of Ajib
who, when informed of his coming, said, “Admit him!” and when he stood
in the presence asked him, “Whence comest thou?” Answered Sahim, “From
the King of the Arabs and the Persians, son-in-law of Chosroë, King of
the world, who sendeth thee a writ; so do thou return him a reply.”
Quoth Ajib, “Give me the letter;” accordingly Sahim gave it to him and
he tore it open and found therein:—“In the name of Allah the
Compassionating, the Compassionate! Peace on Abraham the Friend await!
But afterwards. As soon as this letter shall come to thy hand, do thou
confess the Unity of the Bountiful King, Causer of causes and Mover of
the clouds;[3] and leave worshipping idols. An thou do this thing, thou
art my brother and ruler over us and I will pardon thee the deaths of my
father and mother, nor will I reproach thee with what thou hast done.
But an thou obey not my bidding, behold, I will hasten to thee and cut
off thy head and lay waste thy dominions. Verily, I give thee good
counsel, and the Peace be on those who pace the path of salvation and
obey the Most High King!” When Ajib read these words and knew the threat
they contained, his eyes sank into the crown of his head and he gnashed
his teeth and flew into a furious rage. Then he tore the letter in
pieces and threw it away, which vexed Sahim and he cried out upon Ajib,
saying, “Allah wither thy hand for the deed thou hast done!” With this
Ajib cried out to his men, saying, “Seize yonder hound and hew him in
pieces with your hangers.”[4] So they ran at Sahim; but he bared blade
and fell upon them and slew of them more than fifty braves; after which
he cut his way out, though bathed in blood, and won back to Gharib, who
said, “What is this case, O Sahim?” And he told him what had passed,
whereat he grew livid for rage and crying “Allaho Akbar—God is most
great!”—bade the battle-drums beat. So the fighting-men donned their
hauberks and coats of strait-woven mail and baldrick’d themselves with
their swords; the footmen drew out in battle-array, whilst the horsemen
mounted their prancing horses and dancing camels and levelled their long
lances, and the champions rushed into the field. Ajib and his men also
took horse and host charged down upon host.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and
his merry men took horse, Ajib and his troops also mounted and host
charged down upon host. Then ruled the Kazi of Battle, in whose
ordinance is no wrong, for a seal is on his lips and he speaketh not;
and the blood railed in rills and purfled earth with curious embroidery;
heads grew gray and hotter waxed battle and fiercer. Feet slipped and
stood firm the valiant and pushed forwards, whilst turned the
faint-heart and fled, nor did they leave fighting till the day darkened
and the night starkened. Then clashed the cymbals of retreat and the two
hosts drew apart each from other, and returned to their tents, where
they nighted. Next morning, as soon as it was day, the cymbals beat to
battle and derring-do, and the warriors donned their harness of fight
and baldrick’d[5] their blades the brightest bright and with the brown
lance bedight mounted doughty steed every knight and cried out, saying,
“This day no flight!” And the two hosts drew out in battle array, like
the surging sea. The first to open the chapter[6] of war was Sahim, who
drave his destrier between the two lines and played with swords and
spears and turned over all the Capitula of combat till men of choicest
wits were confounded. Then he cried out, saying, “Who is for fighting?
Who is for jousting? Let no sluggard come out or weakling!” Whereupon
there rushed at him a horseman of the Kafirs, as he were a flame of
fire; but Sahim let him not stand long before him ere he overthrew him
with a thrust. Then a second came forth and he slew him also, and a
third and he tare him in twain, and a fourth and he did him to death;
nor did they cease sallying out to him and he left not slaying them,
till it was noon, by which time he had laid low two hundred braves. Then
Ajib cried to his men, “Charge once more,” and sturdy host on sturdy
host down bore and great was the clash of arms and battle-roar. The
shining swords out rang; the blood in streams ran and footman rushed
upon footman; Death showed in van and horse-hoof was shodden with skull
of man; nor did they cease from sore smiting till waned the day and the
night came on in black array, when they drew apart and, returning to
their tents, passed the night there. As soon as morning morrowed the two
hosts mounted and sought the field of fight; and the Moslems looked for
Gharib to back steed and ride under the standards as was his wont, but
he came not. So Sahim sent to his brother’s pavilion a slave who,
finding him not, asked the tent-pitchers,[7] but they answered, “We know
naught of him.” Whereat he was greatly concerned and went forth and told
the troops, who refrained from battle, saying, “An Gharib be absent, his
foe will destroy us.” Now there was for Gharib’s absence a cause strange
but true which we will set out in order due. And it was thus. When Ajib
returned to his camp on the preceding night, he called one of his
guardsmen by name Sayyár and said to him, “O Sayyar, I have not
treasured thee save for a day like this; and now I bid thee enter among
Gharib’s host and, pushing into the marquee of their lord, bring him
hither to me and prove how wily thy cunning be.” And Sayyar said, “I
hear and I obey.” So he repaired to the enemy’s camp and stealing into
Gharib’s pavilion, under the darkness of the night, when all the men had
gone to their places of rest, stood up as though he were a slave to
serve Gharib, who presently, being athirst, called to him for water. So
he brought him a pitcher of water, drugged with Bhang, and Gharib could
not fulfil his need ere he fell down with head distancing heels,
whereupon Sayyar wrapped him in his cloak and carrying him to Ajib’s
tent, threw him down at his feet. Quoth Ajib, “O Sayyar, what is this?”
Quoth he, “This be thy brother Gharib;” whereat Ajib rejoiced and said,
“The blessings of the Idols light upon thee! Loose him and wake him.” So
they made him sniff up vinegar and he came to himself and opened his
eyes; then, finding himself bound and in a tent other than his own,
exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!” Thereupon Ajib cried out at him, saying, “Dost
thou draw on me, O dog, and seek to slay me and take on me thy
blood-wreak of thy father and thy mother? I will send thee this very day
to them and rid the world of thee.” Replied Gharib, “Kafir hound! soon
shalt thou see against whom the wheels of fate shall revolve and who
shall be overthrown by the wrath of the Almighty King, Who wotteth what
is in hearts and Who shall leave thee in Gehenna tormented and
confounded! Have ruth on thyself and say with me:—There is no god but
_the_ God and Abraham is the Friend of God!” When Ajib heard Gharib’s
words, he snarked and snorted and railed at his god, the stone, and
called for the sworder and the leather-rug of blood; but his Wazir, who
was at heart a Moslem though outwardly a Miscreant, rose and kissing
ground before him, said, “Patience, O King, deal not hastily, but wait
till we know the conquered from the conqueror. If we prove the victors,
we shall have power to kill him and, if we be beaten, his being alive in
our hands will be a strength to us.” And the Emirs said, “The Minister
speaketh sooth!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ajib
purposed to slay Gharib, the Wazir rose and said, “Deal not hastily, for
we have always power to kill him!” So Ajib bade lay his brother Gharib
in irons and chain him up in his own tent and set a thousand stout
warriors to guard him. Meanwhile Gharib’s host, when they awoke that
morning and found not their King, were as sheep sans a shepherd; but
Sa’adan the Ghul cried out at them, saying, “O folk, don your war-gear
and trust to your Lord to defend you!” So Arabs and Ajams mounted horse,
after clothing themselves in hauberks of iron and shirting themselves in
straight-knit mail, and sallied forth to the field, the Chiefs and the
colours moving in van. Then dashed out the Ghul of the Mountain, with a
club on his shoulder, two hundred pounds in weight, and wheeled and
careered, saying, “Ho, worshippers of idols, come ye out and renown it
this day, for ’tis a day of onslaught! Whoso knoweth me hath enough of
my mischief and whoso knoweth me not, I will make myself known to him. I
am Sa’adan, servant of King Gharib. Who is for jousting? Who is for
fighting? Let no faint-heart come forth to me to-day or weakling.” And
there rushed upon him a Champion of the Infidels, as he were a flame of
fire, and drove at him, but Sa’adan charged home at him and dealt him
with his club a blow which broke his ribs and cast him lifeless to the
earth. Then he called out to his sons and slaves, saying, “Light the
bonfire, and whoso falleth of the Kafirs do ye dress him and roast him
well in the flame, then bring him to me that I may break my fast on
him!” So they kindled a fire midmost the plain and laid thereon the
slain, till he was cooked, when they brought him to Sa’adan, who gnawed
his flesh and crunched his bones. When the Miscreants saw the
Mountain-Ghul do this deed they were affrighted with sore affright, but
Ajib cried out to his men, saying, “Out on you! Fall upon the Ogre and
hew him in hunks with your scymitars!” So twenty thousand men ran at
Sa’adan, whilst the footmen circled round him and rained upon him darts
and shafts so that he was wounded in four-and-twenty places, and his
blood ran down upon the earth, and he was alone. Then the host of the
Moslems drave at the heathenry, calling for help upon the Lord of the
three Worlds, and they ceased not from fight and fray till the day came
to an end, when they drew apart. But the Infidels had captured Sa’adan,
as he were a drunken man for loss of blood; and they bound him fast and
set him by Gharib who, seeing the Ghul a prisoner, said, “There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! O
Sa’adan, what case is this?” “O my lord,” replied Sa’adan, “it is Allah
(extolled and exalted be He!) who ordaineth joy and annoy and there is
no help but this and that betide.” And Gharib rejoined, “Thou speakest
sooth, O Sa’adan!” But Ajib passed the night in joy and he said to his
men, “Mount ye on the morrow and fall upon the Moslems so shall not one
of them be left alive.” And they replied, “Hearkening and obedience!”
This is how it fared with them; but as regards the Moslems, they passed
the night, dejected and weeping for their King and Sa’adan; but Sahim
said to them, “O folk, be not concerned, for the aidance of Almighty
Allah is nigh.” Then he waited till midnight, when he assumed the garb
of a tent-pitcher; and, repairing to Ajib’s camp, made his way between
the tents and pavilions till he came to the King’s marquee, where he saw
him seated on his throne surrounded by his Princes. So he entered and
going up to the candles which burnt in the tent, snuffed them and
sprinkled levigated henbane on the wicks; after which he withdrew and
waited without the marquee, till the smoke of the burning henbane
reached Ajib and his Princes and they fell to the ground like dead men.
Then he left them and went to the prison tent, where he found Gharib and
Sa’adan, guarded by a thousand braves, who were overcome with sleep. So
he cried out at the guards, saying, “Woe to you! Sleep not; but watch
your prisoners and light the cressets.” Presently he filled a cresset
with firewood, on which he strewed henbane, and lighting it, went round
about the tent with it, till the smoke entered the nostrils of the
guards, and they all fell asleep drowned by the drug; when he entered
the tent and finding Gharib and Sa’adan also insensible he aroused them
by making them smell and sniff at a sponge full of vinegar he had with
him. Thereupon he loosed their bonds and collars, and when they saw him,
they blessed him and rejoiced in him. After this they went forth and
took all the arms of the guards and Sahim said to them, “Go to your own
camp;” while he re-entered Ajib’s pavilion and, wrapping him in his
cloak, lifted him up and made for the Moslem encampment. And the Lord,
the Compassionate, protected him, so that he reached Gharib’s tent in
safety and unrolled the cloak before him. Gharib looked at its contents
and seeing his brother Ajib bound, cried out, “Allaho Akbar—God is Most
Great! Aidance! Victory!” And he blessed Sahim and bade him arouse Ajib.
So he made him smell the vinegar mixed with incense, and he opened his
eyes and, finding himself bound and shackled, hung down his head
earthwards.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Six Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Sahim had
aroused Ajib, whom he had made insensible with henbane and had brought
to his brother Gharib, the captive opened his eyes and, feeling himself
bound and shackled, hung down his head earthwards. Thereupon cried
Sahim, “O Accursed, lift thy head!” So he raised his eyes and found
himself amongst Arabs and Ajams and saw his brother seated on the throne
of his estate and the place of his power, wherefore he was silent and
spake not. Then Gharib cried out and said, “Strip me this hound!” So
they stripped him and came down upon him with whips, till they weakened
his body and subdued his pride, after which Gharib set over him a guard
of an hundred knights. And when this fraternal correction had been
administered they heard shouts of, “There is no God but _the_ God!” and
“God is Most Great!” from the camp of the Kafirs. Now the cause of this
was that, ten days after his nephew King Al-Damigh, Gharib’s uncle, had
set out from Al-Jazirah, with twenty thousand horse, and on nearing the
field of battle, had despatched one of his scouts to get news. The man
was absent a whole day, at the end of which time he returned and told
Al-Damigh all that had happened to Gharib with his brother. So he waited
till the night, when he fell upon the Infidels, crying out, “Allaho
Akbar!” and put them to the edge of the biting scymitar. When Gharib
heard the Takbir,[8] he said to Sahim, “Go find out the cause of these
shouts and war-cries.” So Sahim repaired to the field of battle and
questioned the slaves and camp followers, who told him that King
Al-Damigh had come up with twenty thousand men and had fallen upon the
idolaters by night, saying, “By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will
not forsake my brother’s son, but will play a brave man’s part and beat
back the host of Miscreants and please the Omnipotent King!” So Sahim
returned and told his uncle’s derring-do to Gharib, who cried out to his
men, saying. “Don your arms and mount your steeds and let us succour my
father’s brother!” So they took horse and fell upon the Infidels and put
them to the edge of the sharp sword. By the morning they had killed nigh
fifty thousand of the Kafirs and made other thirty thousand prisoners,
and the rest of Ajib’s army dispersed over the length and breadth of
earth. Then the Moslems returned in victory and triumph, and Gharib rode
out to meet his uncle, whom he saluted and thanked for his help. Quoth
Al-Damigh, “I wonder if that dog Ajib fell in this day’s affair.” Quoth
Gharib, “O uncle, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear:
know that he is with me in chains.” When Al-Damigh heard this he
rejoiced with exceeding joy and the two kings dismounted and entered the
pavilion, but found no Ajib there; whereupon Gharib exclaimed, “O glory
of Abraham, the Friend (with whom be peace!),” adding, “Alas, what an
ill end is this to a glorious day!” and he cried out to the
tent-pitchers, saying, “Woe to you! Where is my enemy who oweth me so
much?” Quoth they, “When thou mountedst and we went with thee, thou
didst not bid us guard him;” and Gharib exclaimed, “There is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” But
Al-Damigh said to him, “Hasten not nor be concerned, for where can he
go, and we in pursuit of him?” Now the manner of Ajib’s escape was in
this wise. His page Sayyar had been ambushed in the camp and when he saw
Gharib mount and ride forth, leaving none to guard his enemy Ajib, he
could hardly credit his eyes. So he waited awhile and presently crept to
the tent and taking Ajib, who was senseless for the pain of the
bastinado, on his back, made off with him into the open country and
fared on at the top of his speed from early night to the next day, till
he came to a spring of water, under an apple tree. There he set down
Ajib from his back and washed his face, whereupon he opened his eyes and
seeing Sayyar, said to him, “O Sayyar, carry me to Cufa that I may
recover there and levy horsemen and soldiers wherewith to overthrow my
foe: and know, O Sayyar, that I am anhungered.” So Sayyar sprang up and
going out to the desert caught an ostrich-poult and brought it to his
lord. Then he gathered fuel and deftly using the fire-sticks kindled a
fire, by which he roasted the bird which he had hallal’d[9] and fed Ajib
with its flesh and gave him to drink of the water of the spring, till
his strength returned to him, after which he went to one of the Badawi
tribal encampments, and stealing thence a steed mounted Ajib upon it and
journeyed on with him for many days till they drew near the city of
Cufa. The Viceroy of the capital came out to meet and salute the King,
whom he found weak with the beating his brother had inflicted upon him;
and Ajib entered the city and called his physicians. When they answered
his summons, he bade them heal him in less than ten days’ time: they
said, “We hear and we obey,” and they tended him till he became whole of
the sickness that was upon him and of the punishment. Then he commanded
his Wazirs to write letters to all his Nabobs and vassals, and he
indited one-and-twenty writs and despatched them to the governors, who
assembled their troops and set out for Cufa by forced marches.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ajib sent
orders to assemble the troops, who marched forthright to Cufa.
Meanwhile, Gharib, being troubled for Ajib’s escape, despatched in quest
of him a thousand braves, who dispersed on all sides and sought him a
day and a night, but found no trace of him; so they returned and told
Gharib, who called for his brother Sahim, but found him not; whereat he
was sore concerned, fearing for him from the shifts of Fortune. And lo!
Sahim entered and kissed ground before Gharib, who rose, when he saw
him, and asked, “Where hast thou been, O Sahim?” He answered, “O King, I
have been to Cufa and there I find that the dog Ajib hath made his way
to his capital and is healed of his hurts: eke, he hath written letters
to his vassals and sent them to his Nabobs who have brought him troops.”
When Gharib heard this, he gave the command to march; so they struck
tents and fared for Cufa. When they came in sight of the city, they
found it compassed about with a host like the surging main, having
neither beginning nor end. So Gharib with his troops encamped in face of
the Kafirs and set up his standards, and darkness fell down upon the two
hosts, whereupon they lighted camp-fires and kept watch till daybreak.
Then King Gharib rose and making the Wuzu-ablution, prayed a two-bow
prayer according to the rite of our father Abraham the Friend (on whom
be the Peace!); after which he commanded the battle-drums to sound the
point of war. Accordingly, the kettle-drums beat to combat and the
standards fluttered whilst the fighting men armour donned and their
horses mounted and themselves displayed and to plain fared. Now the
first to open the gate of war was King Al-Damigh, who urged his charger
between the two opposing armies and displayed himself and played with
the swords and the spears, till both hosts were confounded and at him
marvelled, after which he cried out, saying, “Who is for jousting? Let
no sluggard come out to me or weakling; for I am Al-Damigh, the King,
brother of Kundamir the King.” Then there rushed forth a horseman of the
Kafirs, as he were a flame of fire, and drave at Al-Damigh, without word
said; but the King received him with a lance-thrust in the breast so
dour that the point issued from between his shoulders and Allah hurried
his soul to the fire, the abiding-place dire. Then came forth a second
he slew, and a third he slew likewise, and they ceased not to come out
to him and he to slay them, till he had made an end of six-and-seventy
fighting men. Hereupon the Miscreants and men of might hung back and
would not encounter him; but Ajib cried out to his men and said, “Fie on
you, O folk! if ye all go forth to him, one by one, he will not leave
any of you, sitting or standing. Charge on him all at once and cleanse
of them our earthly wone and strew their heads for your horses’ hoofs
like a plain of stone!” So they waved the awe-striking flag and host was
heaped upon host; blood rained in streams upon earth and railed and the
Judge of battle ruled, in whose ordinance is no unright. The fearless
stood firm on feet in the stead of fight, whilst the faint-heart gave
back and took to flight thinking the day would never come to an end nor
the curtains of gloom would be drawn by the hand of Night; and they
ceased not to battle with swords and to smite till light darkened and
murk starkened. Then the kettle-drums of the Infidels beat the retreat,
but Gharib, refusing to stay his arms, drave at the Paynimry, and the
Believers in Unity, the Moslems, followed him. How many heads and hands
they shore, how many necks and sinews they tore, how many knees and
spines they mashed and how many grown men and youths they to death
bashed! With the first gleam of morning grey the Infidels broke and fled
away, in disorder and disarray; and the Moslems followed them till
middle-day and took over twenty thousand of them, whom they brought to
their tents in bonds to stay. Then Gharib sat down before the gate of
Cufa and commanded a herald to proclaim pardon and protection for every
wight who should leave the worship to idols dight and profess the unity
of His All-might the Creator of mankind and of light and night. So was
made proclamation as he bade in the streets of Cufa and all that were
therein embraced the True Faith, great and small; then they issued forth
in a body and renewed their Islam before King Gharib, who rejoiced in
them with exceeding joy and his breast broadened and he threw off all
annoy. Presently he enquired of Mardas and his daughter Mahdiyah, and,
being told that he had taken up his abode behind the Red Mountain, he
called Sahim and said to him, “Find out for me what is become of thy
father.” Sahim mounted steed without stay or delay and set his
berry-brown spear in rest and fared on in quest till he reached the Red
Mountain, where he sought for his father, yet found no trace of him nor
of his tribe; however, he saw in their stead an elder of the Arabs, a
very old man, broken with excess of years, and asked him of the folk and
whither they were gone. Replied he, “O my son, when Mardas heard of
Gharib’s descent upon Cufa he feared with great fear and, taking his
daughter and his folk, set out with his handmaids and negroes into the
wild and wold, and I wot not whither he went.” So Sahim, hearing the
Shaykh’s words, returned to Gharib and told him thereof, whereat he was
greatly concerned. Then he sat down on his father’s throne and, opening
his treasuries, distributed largesse to each and every of his braves.
And he took up his abode in Cufa and sent out spies to get news of Ajib.
He also summoned the Grandees of the realm, who came and did him homage;
as also did the citizens and he bestowed on them sumptuous robes of
honour and commended the Ryots to their care.——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, after
giving robes of honour to the citizens of Cufa and commending the Ryots
to their care, went out on a day of the days to hunt, with an hundred
horse, and fared on till he came to a Wady, abounding in trees and
fruits and rich in rills and birds. It was a pasturing-place for roes
and gazelles, to the spirit a delight whose scents reposed from the
languor of fight. They encamped in the valley, for the day was clear and
bright, and there passed the night. On the morrow, Gharib made the
Wuzu-ablution and prayed the two-bow dawn-prayer, offering up praise and
thanks to Almighty Allah; when, lo and behold! there arose a clamour and
confusion in the meadows, and he bade Sahim go see what was to do. So
Sahim mounted forthright and rode till he espied goods being plundered
and horses haltered and women carried off and children crying out.
Whereupon he questioned one of the shepherds, saying, “What be all
this?”; and they replied, “This is the Harim of Mardas, Chief of the
Banu Kahtan, and his good and that of his clan; for yesterday Jamrkan
slew Mardas and made prize of his women and children and household stuff
and all the belonging of his tribe. It is his wont to go a-raiding and
to cut off highways and waylay wayfarers and he is a furious tyrant;
neither Arabs nor Kings can prevail against him and he is the scourge
and curse of the country.” Now when Sahim heard these news of his sire’s
slaughter and the looting of his Harim and property, he returned to
Gharib and told him the case, wherefore fire was added to his fire and
his spirit chafed to wipe out his shame and his blood-wit to claim: so
he rode with his men after the robbers till he overtook them and fell
upon them, crying out and saying, “Almighty Allah upon the rebel, the
traitor, the infidel!” and he slew in a single charge one-and-twenty
fighting-men. Then he halted in mid-field, with no coward’s heart, and
cried out, “Where is Jamrkan? Let him come out to me, that I may make
him quaff the cup of disgrace and rid of him earth’s face!” Hardly had
he made an end of speaking, when forth rushed Jamrkan, as he were a
calamity of calamities or a piece of a mountain, cased in steel. He was
a mighty huge[10] Amalekite; and he drave at Gharib without speech or
salute, like the fierce tyrant he was. And he was armed with a mace of
China steel, so heavy, so potent, that had he smitten a hill he had
smashed it. Now when he charged, Gharib met him like a hungry lion, and
the brigand aimed a blow at his head with his mace; but he evaded it and
it smote the earth and sank therein half a cubit deep. Then Gharib took
his battle flail and smiting Jamrkan on the wrist, crushed his fingers
and the mace dropped from his grasp; whereupon Gharib bent down from his
seat in selle and snatching it up, swiftlier than the blinding leven,
smote him therewith full on the flat of the ribs, and he fell to the
earth like a long-stemmed palm-tree. So Sahim took him and pinioning
him, haled him off with a rope, and Gharib’s horsemen fell on those of
Jamrkan and slew fifty of them: the rest fled; nor did they cease flying
till they reached their tribal camp and raised their voices in clamour;
whereupon all who were in the Castle came out to meet them and asked the
news. They told the tribe what had passed; and, when they heard that
their chief was a prisoner, they set out for the valley vying one with
other in their haste to deliver him. Now when King Gharib had captured
Jamrkan and had seen his braves take flight, he dismounted and called
for Jamrkan, who humbled himself before him, saying, “I am under thy
protection, O champion of the Age!” Replied Gharib, “O dog of the Arabs,
dost thou cut the road for the servants of Almighty Allah, and fearest
thou not the Lord of the Worlds?” “O my master,” asked Jamrkan, “and who
is the Lord of the Worlds?” “O dog,” answered Gharib, “and what calamity
dost thou worship?” He said, “O my lord, I worship a god made of
dates[11] kneaded with butter and honey, and at times I eat him and make
me another.” When Gharib heard this, he laughed till he fell backwards
and said, “O miserable, there is none worship-worth save Almighty Allah,
who created thee and created all things and provideth all creatures with
daily bread, from whom nothing is hid and He over all things is
Omnipotent.” Quoth Jamrkan, “And where is this great god, that I may
worship him?” Quoth Gharib, “O fellow, know that this god’s name is
Allah—_the_ God—and it is He who fashioned the heavens and the earth and
garred the trees to grow and the waters to flow. He created wild beasts
and birds and Paradise and Hell-fire and veileth Himself from all eyes
seeing and of none being seen. He, and He only, is the Dweller on high.
Extolled be His perfection! There is no god but He!” When Jamrkan heard
these words, the ears of his heart were opened; his skin shuddered with
horripilation and he said, “O my lord, what shall I say that I may
become of you and that this mighty Lord may accept of me?” Replied
Gharib, “Say:—There is no god but _the_ God and Abraham the Friend is
the Apostle of God!” So he pronounced the profession of the Faith and
was written of the people of felicity. Then quoth Gharib, “Say me, hast
thou tasted the sweetness of Al-Islam?”; and quoth the other, “Yes;”
whereupon Gharib cried, “Loose his bonds!” So they unbound him and he
kissed ground before Gharib and his feet. Now whilst this was going on,
behold, they espied a great cloud of dust that towered till it walled
the wold.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan
islamised and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib; and, as
they were thus, behold, a great cloud of dust towered till it walled the
wold and Gharib said to Sahim, “Go and see for us what it be.” So he
went forth, like a bird in full flight, and presently returned, saying,
“O King of the Age, this dust is of the Banu Amir, the comrades of
Jamrkan.” Whereupon quoth Gharib to the new Moslem, “Ride out to thy
people and offer to them Al-Islam: an they profess, they shall be saved;
but, an they refuse, we will put them to the sword.” So Jamrkan mounted
and driving steed towards his tribesmen, cried out to them; and they
knew him and dismounting, came up to him on foot and said, “We rejoice
in thy safety, O our lord!” Said he, “O folk, whoso obeyeth me shall be
saved; but whoso gainsayeth me, I will cut him in twain with this
scymitar.” And they made answer, saying, “Command us what thou wilt, for
we will not oppose thy commandment.” Quoth he, “Then say with me:—There
is no god but _the_ God and Abraham is the Friend of God!” They asked,
“O our lord, whence haddest thou these words?” And he told them what had
befallen him with Gharib, adding, “O folk, know ye not that I am your
chief in battle-plain and where men of cut and thrust are fain; and yet
a man single-handed me to prisoner hath ta’en and made me the cup of
shame and disgrace to drain?” When they heard his speech, they spoke the
word of Unity and Jamrkan led them to Gharib, at whose hands they
renewed their profession of Al-Islam and wished him glory and victory,
after they had kissed the earth before him. Gharib rejoiced in them and
said to them, “O folk, return to your people and expound Al-Islam to
them;” but all replied, “O our lord, we will never leave thee, whilst we
live; but we will go and fetch our families and return to thee.” And
Gharib said, “Go, and join me at the city of Cufa.” So Jamrkan and his
comrades returned to their tribal camp and offered Al-Islam to their
women and children, who all to a soul embraced the True Faith, after
which they dismantled their abodes and struck their tents and set out
for Cufa driving before them their steeds, camels and sheep. During this
time Gharib returned to Cufa, where the horsemen met him in state. He
entered his palace and sat down on his sire’s throne with his champions
ranged on either hand. Then the spies came forwards, and informed him
that his brother Ajib had made his escape and had taken refuge with
Jaland[12] bin Karkar, lord of the city of Oman and land of Al-Yaman;
whereupon Gharib cried aloud to his host, “O men, make you ready to
march in three days.” Then he expounded Al-Islam to the thirty thousand
men he had captured in the first affair and exhorted them to profess and
take service with him. Twenty thousand embraced the Faith, but the rest
refused and he slew them. Then came forward Jamrkan and his tribe and
kissed the ground before Gharib, who bestowed on him a splendid robe of
honour and made him captain of his vanguard, saying, “O Jamrkan, mount
with the Chiefs of thy kith and kin and twenty thousand horse and fare
on before us to the land of Jaland bin Karkar.” “Hearkening and
obedience,” answered Jamrkan and, leaving the women and children of the
tribe in Cufa, he set forward. Then Gharib passed in review the Harim of
Mardas and his eye lit upon Mahdiyah, who was among the women, wherewith
he fell down fainting. They sprinkled rose-water on his face, till he
came to himself, when he embraced Mahdiyah and carried her into a
sitting-chamber, where he sat with her; and they twain lay together that
night without fornication. Next morning he went out and sitting down on
the throne of his kingship, robed his uncle Al-Damigh with a robe of
honour; and appointed him his viceroy over all Al-Irak, commending
Mahdiyah to his care, till he should return from his expedition against
Ajib; and, when the order was accepted, he set out for the land of
Al-Yaman and the City of Oman with twenty thousand horse and ten
thousand foot. Now, when Ajib and his defeated army drew in sight of
Oman, King Jaland saw the dust of their approach and sent to find out
its meaning scouts who returned and said, “Verily this is the dust of
one hight Ajib, lord of Al-Irak.” And Jaland wondered at his coming to
his country and, when assured of the tidings, he said to his officers,
“Fare ye forth and meet him.” So they went out and met him and pitched
tents for him at the city-gate; and Ajib entered in to Jaland,
weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted. Now Jaland’s wife was the daughter of
Ajib’s paternal uncle and he had children by her; so, when he saw his
kinsman in this plight, he asked for the truth of what ailed him and
Ajib told him all that had befallen him, first and last, from his
brother and said, “O King, Gharib biddeth the folk worship the Lord of
the Heavens and forbiddeth them from the service of simulacres and other
of the gods.” When Jaland heard these words he raged and revolted and
said, “By the virtue of the Sun, Lord of Life and Light, I will not
leave one of thy brother’s folk in existence! But where didst thou quit
them and how many men are they?” Answered Ajib, “I left them in Cufa and
they be fifty thousand horse.” Whereupon Jaland called his Wazir
Jawámard,[13] saying, “Take thee seventy thousand horse and fare to Cufa
and bring me the Moslems alive, that I may torture them with all manner
of tortures.” So Jawamard departed with his host and fared through the
first day and the second till the seventh day, when he came to a Wady
abounding in trees and rills and fruits. Here he called a halt——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jaland
sent Jawamard with his army to Cufa, they came upon a Wady abounding in
trees and rills where a halt was called and they rested till the middle
of the night, when the Wazir gave the signal for departure and mounting,
rode on before them till hard upon dawn, at which time he descended into
a well-wooded valley, whose flowers were fragrant and whose birds
warbled on boughs, as they swayed gracefully to and fro, and Satan blew
into his sides and puffed him up with pride and he improvised these
couplets and cried:—

 I plunge with my braves in the seething sea; ✿ Seize the foe in my
    strength and my valiancy;
 And the doughtiest knights wot me well to be ✿ Friend to friend and
    fierce foe to mine enemy.
 I will load Gharib with the captive’s chains ✿ Right soon, and return in
    all joy and glee;
 For I’ve donned my mail and my weapons wield ✿ And on all sides charge
    at the chivalry.[14]

Hardly had Jawamard made an end of his verses when there came out upon
him from among the trees a horseman of terrible mien covered and clad in
steely sheen, who cried out to him, saying, “Stand, O riff-raff of the
Arabs! Doff thy dress and ground thine arms-gear and dismount thy
destrier and be off with thy life!” When Jawamard heard this, the light
in his eyes became darkest night and he drew his sabre and drove at
Jamrkan, for he it was, saying, “O thief of the Arabs, wilt thou cut the
road for me, who am captain of the host of Jaland bin Karkar and am come
to bring Gharib and his men in bond?” When Jamrkan heard these words, he
said, “How cooling is this to my heart and liver!” And he made at
Jawamard versifying in these couplets:—

 I’m the noted knight in the field of fight, ✿ Whose sabre and spear
    every foe affright!
 Jamrkan am I, to my foes a fear, ✿ With a lance-lunge known unto every
    knight:
 Gharib is my lord, nay my pontiff, my prince, ✿ Where the two hosts dash
    very lion of might:
 An Imam of the Faith, pious, striking awe ✿ On the plain where his foes
    like the fawn take flight;
 Whose voice bids folk to the faith of the Friend, ✿ False, doubling
    idols and gods despite!

Now Jamrkan had fared on with his tribesmen ten days’ journey from
Cufa-city and called a halt on the eleventh day till midnight, when he
ordered a march and rode on devancing them till he descended into the
valley aforesaid and heard Jawamard reciting his verses. So he drave at
him as the driving of a ravening lion, and smiting him with his sword,
clove him in twain and waited till his captains came up, when he told
them what had passed and said to them, “Take each of you five thousand
men and disperse round about the Wady, whilst I and the Banu Amir fall
upon the enemy’s van, shouting, Allaho Akbar—God is Most Great! When ye
hear my slogan, do ye charge them, crying like me upon the Lord, and
smite them with the sword.” “We hear and we obey,” answered they and
turning back to their braves did his bidding and spread themselves about
the sides of the valley in the twilight forerunning the dawn. Presently,
lo and behold! up came the army of Al-Yaman, like a flock of sheep,
filling plain and steep, and Jamrkan and the Banu Amir fell upon them,
shouting, “Allaho Akbar!” till all heard it, Moslems and Miscreants.
Whereupon the True Believers ambushed in the valley answered from every
side and the hills and mountains responsive cried and all things
replied, green and dried, saying, “God is Most Great! Aidance and
Victory to us from on High! Shame to the Miscreants who His name deny!”
And the Kafirs were confounded and smote one another with sabres keen
whilst the True Believers and pious fell upon them like flames of fiery
sheen and naught was seen but heads flying and blood jetting and
faint-hearts hieing. By the time they could see one another’s faces,
two-thirds of the Infidels had perished and Allah hastened their souls
to the fire and abiding-place dire. The rest fled and to the deserts
sped whilst the Moslems pursued them to slay and take captives till
middle-day, when they returned in triumph with seven thousand prisoners;
and but six-and-twenty thousand of the Infidels escaped and the most of
them wounded. Then the Moslems collected the horses and arms, the loads
and tents of the enemy and despatched them to Cufa with an escort of a
thousand horse;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamrkan in his
battle with Jawamard slew him and slew his men; and, after taking many
prisoners and much money and many horses and loads, sent them with an
escort of a thousand riders, to Cufa city. Then he and the army of
Al-Islam dismounted and expounded The saving Faith to the prisoners, who
made profession with heart and tongue; whereupon they released them from
bonds and embraced them and rejoiced in them. Then Jamrkan made his
troops, who had swelled to a mighty many, rest a day and a night and
marched with the dawn, intending to attack Jaland bin Karkar in the city
of Oman; whilst the thousand horse fared back to Cufa with the loot.
When they reached the city, they went in to King Gharib and told him
what had passed, whereat he rejoiced and gave them joy and, turning to
the Ghul of the Mountain, said, “Take horse with twenty thousand and
follow Jamrkan.” So Sa’adan and his sons mounted and set out, amid
twenty thousand horse for Oman. Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated
Kafirs reached Oman and went in to Jaland, weeping and crying, “Woe!”
and “Ruin!” whereat he was confounded and said to them, “What calamity
hath befallen you?” So they told him what had happened and he said, “Woe
to you! How many men were they?” They replied, “O King, there were
twenty standards, under each a thousand men.” When Jaland heard these
words he said, “May the sun pour no blessing on you! Fie upon you! What,
shall twenty thousand overcome you, and you seventy thousand horse and
Jawamard able to withstand three thousand in field of fight?” Then, in
the excess of his rage and mortification, he bared his blade and cried
out to those who were present, saying, “Fall on them!” So the courtiers
drew their swords upon the fugitives and annihilated them to the last
man and cast them to the dogs. Then Jaland cried aloud to his son,
saying, “Take an hundred thousand horse and go to Al-Irak and lay it
waste altogether.” Now this son’s name was Kúraján and there was no
doughtier knight in all the force; for he could charge single-handed
three thousand riders. So he and his host made haste to equip themselves
and marched in battle-array, rank following rank, with the Prince at
their head, glorying in himself and improvising these couplets:—

 I’m Al-Kurajan, and my name is known ✿ To beat all who in wold or in
    city wone!
 How many a soldier my sword at will ✿ Struck down like a cow on the
    ground bestrown?
 How many a soldier I’ve forced to fly ✿ And have rolled their heads as a
    ball is thrown?
 Now I’ll drive and harry the land Irak[15] ✿ And like rain I’ll shower
    the blood of fone;
 And lay hands on Gharib and his men, whose doom ✿ To the wise a warning
    shall soon be shown!

The host fared on twelve days’ journey and, while they were still
marching, behold, a great dust cloud arose before them and walled the
horizon, and the whole region. So Kurajan sent out scouts, saying, “Go
forth and bring me tidings of what meaneth this dust.” They went till
they passed under the enemy’s standards and presently returning said, “O
King, verily this is the dust of the Moslems.” Whereat he was glad and
said, “Did ye count them?” And they answered, “We counted the colours
and they numbered twenty.” Quoth he, “By my faith, I will not send one
man-at-arms against them, but will go forth to them alone by myself and
strew their heads under the horses’ hooves!” Now this was the army of
Jamrkan who, espying the host of the Kafirs and seeing them as a surging
sea, called a halt; so his troops pitched the tents and set up the
standards, calling upon the name of the All-wise One, the Creator of
light and gloom, Lord of all creatures, Who seeth while Him none see,
the High to infinity, extolled and exalted be He! There is no God but
He! The Miscreants also halted and pitched their tents, and Kurajan said
to them, “Keep on your arms, and in armour sleep, for during the last
watch of the night we will mount and trample yonder handful under feet!”
Now one of Jamrkan’s spies was standing nigh and heard what Kurajan had
contrived; so he returned to the host and told his chief who said to
them, “Arm yourselves and as soon as it is night, bring me all the mules
and camels and hang all the bells and clinkets and rattles ye have about
their necks.” Now they had with them more than twenty thousand camels
and mules. So they waited till the Infidels fell asleep, when Jamrkan
commanded them to mount, and they arose to ride and on the Lord of the
Worlds they relied. Then said Jamrkan, “Drive the camels and mules to
the Miscreants’ camp and push them with your spears for goads!” They did
as he bade and the beasts rushed upon the enemy’s tents, whilst the
bells and clinkets and rattles jangled[16] and the Moslems followed at
their heels, shouting, “God is Most Great!” till all the hills and
mountains resounded with the name of the Highmost Deity, to whom belong
glory and majesty! The cattle hearing this terrible din, took fright and
rushed upon the tents and trampled the folk, as they lay asleep.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jamrkan
fell upon them with his men and steeds and camels, and the camp lay
sleeping, the idolaters started up in confusion and, snatching up their
arms, fell upon one another with smiting, till the most part was
slaughtered. And when the day broke, they looked and found no Moslem
slain, but saw them all on horseback, armed and armoured; wherefore they
knew that this was a sleight which had been played upon them, and
Kurajan cried out to the remnant of his folk, “O sons of whores, what we
had a mind to do with them, that have they done with us and their craft
hath gotten the better of our cunning.” And they were about to charge
when, lo and behold! a cloud of dust rose high and walled the
horizon-sky, when the wind smote it, so that it spired aloft and spread
pavilion-wise in the lift and there it hung; and presently appeared
beneath it the glint of helmet and gleam of hauberk and splendid
warriors, baldrick’d with their tempered swords and holding in rest
their supple spears. When the Kafirs saw this, they held back from the
battle and each army sent out, to know the meaning of this dust, scouts,
who returned with the news that it was an army of Moslems. Now this was
the host of the Mountain-Ghul whom Gharib had despatched to Jamrkan’s
aid, and Sa’adan himself rode in their van. So the two hosts of the True
Believers joined company and rushing upon the Paynimry like a flame of
fire, plied them with keen sword and Rudaynian spear and quivering
lance, what while day was darkened and eyes for the much dust starkened.
The valiant stood fast and the faint-hearted coward fled and to the
wilds and the wolds swift sped, whilst the blood over earth was like
torrents shed; nor did they cease from fight till the day took flight
and in gloom came the night. Then the Moslems drew apart from the
Miscreants and returned to their tents, where they ate and slept, till
the darkness fled away and gave place to smiling day; when they prayed
the dawn-prayer and mounted to battle. Now Kurajan had said to his men
as they drew off from fight (for indeed two-thirds of their number had
perished by sword and spear), “O folk, to-morrow, I will champion it in
the stead of war where cut and thrust jar, and where braves push and
wheel I will take the field.” So, as soon as light was seen and morn
appeared with its shine and sheen, took horse the hosts twain and
shouted their slogans amain and bared the brand and hent lance in hand
and in ranks took stand. The first to open the door of war was Kurajan,
who cried out, saying, “Let no coward come out to me this day nor
craven!” Whereupon Jamrkan and Sa’adan stood by the colours, but there
ran at him a captain of the Banu Amir and the two drave each at other
awhile, like two rams butting. Presently Kurajan seized the Moslem by
the jerkin under his hauberk and, dragging him from his saddle, dashed
him to the ground where he left him; upon which the Kafirs laid hands on
him and bound him and bore him off to their tents; whilst Kurajan
wheeled about and careered and offered battle, till another captain came
out, whom also he took prisoner; nor did he leave to do thus till he had
made prize of seven captains before mid-day. Then Jamrkan cried out with
so mighty a cry, that the whole field made reply and heard it the armies
twain, and ran at Kurajan with a heart in rageful pain, improvising
these couplets:—

 Jamrkan am I! and a man of might, ✿ Whom the warriors fear with a sore
    affright:
 I waste the forts and I leave the walls ✿ To wail and weep for the
    wights I smite:
 Then, O Kurajan, tread the rightful road ✿ And quit the paths of thy
    foul unright:
 Own the One True God, who dispread the skies ✿ And made founts to flow
    and the hills pegged tight:
 An the slave embrace the True Faith, he’ll ’scape ✿ Hell-pains and in
    Heaven be deckt and dight!

When Kurajan heard these words, he snarked and snorted and foully abused
the sun and the moon and drave at Jamrkan, versifying with these
couplets:—

 I’m Kurajan, of this age the knight; ✿ And my shade to the lions of
    Shara’[17] is blight:
 I storm the forts and snare kings of beasts ✿ And warriors fear me in
    field of fight;
 Then, Harkye Jamrkan, if thou doubt my word, ✿ Come forth to the combat
    and try my might!

When Jamrkan heard these verses, he charged him with a stout heart and
they smote each at other with swords till the two hosts lamented for
them, and they lunged with lance and great was the clamour between them:
nor did they leave fighting till the time of mid-afternoon prayer was
passed and the day began to wane. Then Jamrkan drave at Kurajan and
smiting him on the breast with his mace,[18] cast him to the ground, as
he were the trunk of a palm-tree; and the Moslems pinioned him and
dragged him off with ropes like a camel. Now when the Miscreants saw
their Prince captive, a hot fever-fit of ignorance seized on them and
they bore down upon the True Believers thinking to rescue him; but the
Moslem champions met them and left most of them prostrate on the earth,
whilst the rest turned and sought safety in flight, seeking surer site,
while the clanking sabres their backsides smite. The Moslems ceased not
pursuing them till they had scattered them over mount and wold, when
they returned from them to the spoil; whereof was great store of horses
and tents and so forth:—good look to it for a spoil! Then Jamrkan went
in to Kurajan and expounded to him Al-Islam, threatening him with death
unless he embraced the Faith. But he refused; so they cut off his head
and stuck it on a spear, after which they fared on towards Oman[19]
city. But as regards the Kafirs, the survivors returned to Jaland and
made known to him the slaying of his son and the slaughter of his host,
hearing which he cast his crown to the ground and buffeting his face,
till the blood ran from his nostrils, fell fainting to the floor. They
sprinkled rose-water on his head, till he came to himself and cried to
his Wazir, “Write letters to all my Governors and Nabobs, and bid them
leave not a smiter with the sword nor a lunger with the lance nor a
bender of the bow, but bring them all to me in one body.” So he wrote
letters and despatched them by runners to the Governors, who levied
their power and joined the King with a prevailing host, whose number was
one hundred and eighty-thousand men. Then they made ready tents and
camels and noble steeds and were about to march when, behold, up came
Jamrkan and Sa’adan the Ghul, with seventy thousand horse, as they were
lions fierce-faced, all steel-encased. When Jaland saw the Moslems
trooping on he rejoiced and said, “By the virtue of the Sun, and her
resplendent light, I will not leave alive one of my foes; no, not one to
carry the news, and I will lay waste the land of Al-Irak, that I may
take my wreak for my son, the havoc-making champion bold; nor shall my
fire be quenched or cooled!” Then he turned to Ajib and said to him, “O
dog of Al-Irak, ’twas thou broughtest this calamity on us! But by the
virtue of that which I worship, except I avenge me of mine enemy I will
do thee die after foulest fashion!” When Ajib heard these words he was
troubled with sore trouble and blamed himself; but he waited till
nightfall, when the Moslems had pitched their tents for rest. Now he had
been degraded and expelled the royal camp together with those who were
left to him of his suite: so he said to them, “O my kinsmen, know that
Jaland and I are dismayed with exceeding dismay at the coming of the
Moslems, and I know that he will not avail to protect me from my brother
nor from any other; so it is my counsel that we make our escape, whilst
all eyes sleep, and flee to King Ya’arub bin Kahtán,[20] for that he
hath more of men and is stronger of reign.” They, hearing his advice
exclaimed “Right is thy rede,” whereupon he bade them kindle fires at
their tent-doors and march under cover of the night. They did his
bidding and set out, so by daybreak they had already fared far away. As
soon as it was morning Jaland mounted with two hundred and sixty
thousand fighting-men, clad cap-à-pie in hauberks and cuirasses and
strait-knit mail-coats, the kettle-drums beat a point of war and all
drew out for cut and thrust and fight and fray. Then Jamrkan and Sa’adan
rode out with forty-thousand stalwart fighting-men, under each standard
a thousand cavaliers, doughty champions, foremost in champaign. The two
hosts drew out in battles and bared their blades and levelled their
limber lances, for the drinking of the cup of death. The first to open
the gate of strife was Sa’adan, as he were a mountain of syenite or a
Marid of the Jinn. Then dashed out to him a champion of the Infidels,
and the Ghul slew him and casting him to the earth, cried out to his
sons and slaves, saying, “Light the fire and roast me this dead one.”
They did as he bade and brought him the roast and he ate it and crunched
the bones, whilst the Kafirs stood looking on from afar; and they cried
out, “Oh for aid from the light-giving Sun!” and were affrighted at the
thought of being slain by Sa’adan. Then Jaland shouted to his men,
saying, “Slay me yonder loathsome beast!” Whereupon another captain of
his host drove at the Ghul; but he slew him, and he ceased not to slay
horseman after horseman, till he had made an end of thirty men. With
this the blamed Kafirs held back and feared to face him, crying, “Who
shall cope with Jinns and Ghuls?” But Jaland raised his voice saying,
“Let an hundred horse charge him and bring him to me, bound or slain.”
So an hundred horse set upon Sa’adan with swords and spears, and he met
them with a heart firmer than flint, proclaiming the unity of the
Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing. Then he
cried aloud, “Allaho Akbar!” and, smiting them with his sword, made
their heads fly and in one onset he slew of them four-and-seventy
whereupon the rest took to flight. So Jaland shouted aloud to ten of his
captains, each commanding a thousand men, and said to them, “Shoot his
horse with arrows till it fall under him, and then lay hands on him.”
Therewith ten thousand horse drove at Sa’adan who met them with a stout
heart; and Jamrkan, seeing this, bore down upon the Miscreants with his
Moslems, crying out, “God is Most Great!” Before they could reach the
Ghul, the enemy had slain his steed and taken him prisoner; but they
ceased not to charge the Infidels, till the day grew dark for dust and
eyes were blinded, and the sharp sword clanged while firm stood the
valiant cavalier and destruction overtook the faint-heart in his fear;
till the Moslems were amongst the Paynims like a white patch on a black
bull.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that battle raged
between the Moslems and the Paynims till the True Believers were like a
white patch on a black bull. Nor did they stint from the mellay till the
darkness fell down, when they drew apart, after there had been slain of
the Infidels men without compt. Then Jamrkan and his men returned to
their tents; but they were in great grief for Sa’adan, so that neither
meat nor sleep was sweet to them, and they counted their host and found
that less than a thousand had been slain. But Jamrkan said, “O folk,
to-morrow I will go forth into the battle-plain and place where cut and
thrust obtain, and slay their champions and make prize of their families
after taking them captives and I will ransom Sa’adan therewith, by the
leave of the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other
thing!” Wherefore their hearts were heartened and they joyed as they
separated to their tents. Meanwhile Jaland entered his pavilion and
sitting down on his sofa of estate, with his folk about him, called for
Sa’adan and forthright on his coming, said to him, “O dog run wood and
least of the Arab brood and carrier of firewood, who was it slew my son
Kurajan, the brave of the age, slayer of heroes and caster down of
warriors?” Quoth the Ghul, “Jamrkan slew him, captain of the armies of
King Gharib, Prince of cavaliers, and I roasted and ate him, for I was
anhungered.” When Jaland heard these words, his eyes sank into his head
for rage and he bade his swordbearer smite Sa’adan’s neck. So he came
forward in that intent, whereupon Sa’adan stretched himself mightily and
bursting his bonds, snatched the sword from the headsman and hewed off
his head. Then he made at Jaland who threw himself down from the throne
and fled; whilst Sa’adan fell on the bystanders and killed twenty of the
King’s chief officers, and all the rest took to flight. Therewith loud
rose the crying in the camp of the Infidels and the Ghul sallied forth
of the pavilion and falling upon the troops smote them with the sword,
right and left, till they opened and left a lane for him to pass; nor
did he cease to press forward, cutting at them on either side, till he
won free of the Miscreants’ tents and made for the Moslem camp. Now
these had heard the uproar among their enemies and said, “Haply some
calamity hath befallen them.” But whilst they were in perplexity,
behold, Sa’adan stood amongst them and they rejoiced at his coming with
exceeding joy; more especially Jamrkan, who saluted him with the salam
as did other True Believers and gave him joy of his escape. Such was the
case with the Moslems; but as regards the Miscreants, when, after the
Ghul’s departure, they and their King returned to their tents, Jaland
said to them, “O folk, by the virtue of the Sun’s light-giving ray and
by the darkness of the Night and the light of the Day and the Stars that
stray, I thought not this day to have escaped death in mellay; for, had
I fallen into yonder fellow’s hands, he had eaten me, as I were a kernel
of wheat or a barley-corn or any other grain.” They replied, “O King,
never saw we any do the like of this Ghul.” And he said, “O folk,
to-morrow do ye all don arms and mount steed and trample them under your
horses’ hooves.” Meanwhile the Moslems had ended their rejoicings at
Sa’adan’s return and Jamrkan said to them, “To-morrow, I will show you
my derring-do and what behoveth the like of me, for by the virtue of
Abraham the Friend, I will slay them with the foulest of slaughters and
smite them with the bite of the sword, till all who have understanding
confounded at them shall stand. But I mean to attack both right and left
wings; so, when ye see me drive at the King under the standards, do ye
charge behind me with a resolute charge, and Allah’s it is to decree
what thing shall be!” Accordingly the two sides lay upon their arms till
the day broke through night and the sun appeared to sight. Then they
mounted swiftlier than the twinkling of the eyelid; the raven of the
wold croaked and the two hosts, looking each at other with the eye of
fascination, formed in line-array and prepared for fight and fray. The
first to open the chapter of war was Jamrkan who wheeled and careered
and offered fight in field; and Jaland and his men were about to charge
when, behold, a cloud of dust up-rolled till it walled the wold and
overlaid the day. Then the four winds smote it and away it floated torn
to rags, and there appeared beneath it cavaliers, with helms black and
garb white and many a princely knight and lances that bite and swords
that smite and footmen who lion-like knew no affright. Seeing this both
armies left fighting and sent out scouts to reconnoitre and report who
thus had come in main and might. So they went and within the dust-cloud
disappeared from sight, and returned after awhile with the news aright
that the approaching host was one of Moslems, under the command of King
Gharib. When the True Believers heard from the scouts of the coming of
their King, they rejoiced and driving out to meet him, dismounted and
kissed the earth between his hands——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Moslems saw the presence of their King Gharib, they joyed with exceeding
joy; and, kissing the earth between his hands, saluted him and gat
around him whilst he welcomed them and rejoiced in their safety. Then
they escorted him to their camp and pitched pavilions for him and set up
standards; and Gharib sat down on his couch of estate, with his Grandees
about him; and they related to him all that had befallen, especially to
Sa’adan. Meanwhile the Kafirs sought for Ajib and finding him not among
them nor in their tents, told Jaland of his flight, whereat his Doomsday
rose and he bit his fingers, saying, “By the Sun’s light-giving round,
he is a perfidious hound and hath fled with his rascal rout to
desert-ground. But naught save force of hard fighting will serve us to
repel these foes; so fortify your resolves and hearten your hearts and
beware of the Moslems.” And Gharib also said to the True Believers,
“Strengthen your courage and fortify your hearts and seek aid of your
Lord, beseeching him to vouchsafe you the victory over your enemies.”
They replied, “O King, soon thou shalt see what we will do in
battle-plain where men cut and thrust amain.” So the two hosts slept
till the day arose with its sheen and shone and the rising sun rained
light upon hill and down, when Gharib prayed the two-bow prayer, after
the rite of Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace!) and wrote a
letter, which he despatched by his brother Sahim to the King of the
Kafirs. When Sahim reached the enemies’ camp, the guards asked him what
he wanted, and he answered them, “I want your ruler.”[21] Quoth they,
“Wait till we consult him anent thee;” and he waited, whilst they went
in to their Sovran and told him of the coming of a messenger, and he
cried, “Hither with him to me!” So they brought Sahim before Jaland, who
said to him, “Who hath sent thee?” Quoth he, “King Gharib sends me, whom
Allah hath made ruler over Arab and Ajam; receive his letter and return
its reply.” Jaland took the writ and opening it, read as follows:—“In
the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate ✿ the One, the
All-knowing, the supremely Great ✿ the Immemorial, the Lord of Noah and
Sálih and Húd and Abraham and of all things He made! ✿ The Peace be on
him who followeth in the way of righteousness and who feareth the issues
of frowardness ✿ who obeyeth the Almighty King and followeth the Faith
saving and preferreth the next world to any present thing! ✿ But
afterwards: O Jaland, none is worthy of worship save Allah alone, the
Victorious, the One, Creator of night and day and the sphere revolving
alway ✿ Who sendeth the holy Prophets and garreth the streams to flow
and the trees to grow, who vaulted the heavens and spread out the earth
like a carpet below ✿ Who feedeth the birds in their nests and the wild
beasts in the deserts ✿ for He is Allah the All-powerful, the Forgiving,
the Long-suffering, the Protector, whom eye comprehendeth on no wise and
who maketh night on day arise ✿ He who sent down the Apostles and their
Holy Writ. Know, O Jaland, that there is no faith but the Faith of
Abraham the Friend; so cleave to the Creed of Salvation and be saved
from the biting glaive and the Fire which followeth the grave ✿ But, an
thou refuse Al-Islam look for ruin to haste and thy reign to be waste
and thy traces untraced ✿ And, lastly, send me the dog Ajib hight that I
may take from him my father’s and mother’s blood-wit.” When Jaland had
read this letter, he said to Sahim, “Tell thy lord that Ajib hath fled,
he and his folk, and I know not whither he is gone; but, as for Jaland,
he will not forswear his faith, and to-morrow, there shall be battle
between us and the Sun shall give us the victory.” So Sahim returned to
his brother with this reply, and when the morning morrowed, the Moslems
donned their arms and armour and bestrode their stout steeds, calling
aloud on the name of the All-conquering King, Creator of bodies and
souls, and magnifying Him with “Allaho Akbar.” Then the kettle-drums of
battle beat until earth trembled, and sought the field all the lordly
warriors and doughty champions. The first to open the gate of battle was
Jamrkan, who drave his charger into mid-plain and played with sword and
javelin, till the understanding was amazed; after which he cried out,
saying, “Ho! who is for tilting? Ho! who is for fighting? Let no
sluggard come out to me to-day nor weakling! I am the slayer of Kurajan
bin Jaland; who will come forth to avenge him?” When Jaland heard the
name of his son, he cried out to his men, “O whore-sons, bring me yonder
horseman who slew my son, that I may eat his flesh and drink his blood.”
So an hundred fighting men charged at Jamrkan, but he slew the most part
of them and put their chief to flight; which feat when Jaland saw, he
cried out to his folk, “At him all at once and assault him with one
assault.” Accordingly they waved the awe-striking banners and host was
heaped on host; Gharib rushed on with his men and Jamrkan did the same
and the two sides met like two seas together clashing. The Yamáni sword
and spear wrought havoc and breasts and bellies were rent, whilst both
armies saw the Angel of Death face to face and the dust of the battle
rose to the skirts of the sky. Ears went deaf and tongues went dumb and
doom from every side came on whilst valiant stood fast and faint-heart
fled: and they ceased not from fight and fray till ended the day, when
the drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart and returned,
each to its tents.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Gharib
ended the battle and the two hosts drew apart and each had returned to
his own tents, he sat down on the throne of his realm and the place of
his reign, whilst his chief officers ranged themselves about him, and he
said, “I am sore concerned for the flight of the cur Ajib and I know not
whither he has gone. Except I overtake him and take my wreak of him, I
shall die of despite.” Whereupon Sahim came forward and kissing the
earth before him, said, “O King, I will go to the army of the Kafirs and
find out what is come of the perfidious dog Ajib.” Quoth Gharib, “Go,
and learn the truth anent the dog.” So Sahim disguised himself in the
habit of the Infidels and became as he were of them; then, making for
the enemy’s camp, he found them all asleep, drunken with war and battle,
and none were on wake save only the guards. He passed on and presently
came to the King’s pavilion where he found King Jaland asleep
unattended; so he crept up and made him smell and sniff up levigated
Bhang and he became as one dead. Then Sahim went out and took a male
mule, and wrapping the King in the coverlet of his bed, laid him on its
back; after which he threw a mat over him and led the beast to the
Moslem camp. Now when he came to Gharib’s pavilion and would have
entered, the guards knew him not and prevented him, saying, “Who art
thou?” He laughed and uncovered his face, and they knew him and admitted
him. When Gharib saw him he said, “What bearest thou there, O Sahim?”;
and he replied, “O King, this is Jaland bin Karkar.” Then he uncovered
him, and Gharib knew him and said, “Arouse him, O Sahim,” So he made him
smell vinegar[22] and frankincense; and he cast the Bhang from his
nostrils and, opening his eyes, found himself among the Moslems;
whereupon quoth he, “What is this foul dream?” and closing his eyelids
again, would have slept; but Sahim dealt him a kick, saying, “Open thine
eyes, O accursed!” So he opened them and asked, “Where am I?”; and Sahim
answered, “Thou art in the presence of King Gharib bin Kundamir, King of
Irak.” When Jaland heard this, he said, “O King, I am under thy
protection! Know that I am not at fault, but that who led us forth to
fight thee was thy brother, and the same cast enmity between us and then
fled.” Quoth Gharib, “Knowest thou whither he is gone?”; and quoth
Jaland, “No, by the light-giving sun, I know not whither.” Then Gharib
bade lay him in bonds and set guards over him, whilst each captain
returned to his own tent, and Jamrkan while wending said to his men, “O
sons of my uncle, I purpose this night to do a deed wherewith I may
whiten my face with King Gharib.” Quoth they, “Do as thou wilt, we
hearken to thy commandment and obey it.” Quoth he, “Arm yourselves and,
muffling your steps while I go with you, let us fare softly and disperse
about the Infidels’ camp, so that the very ants shall not be ware of
you; and, when you hear me cry Allaho Akbar, do ye the like and cry out,
saying, God is Most Great! and hold back and make for the city gate; and
we seek aid from the Most High.” So the folk armed themselves cap-à-pie
and waited till the noon of night, when they dispersed about the enemy’s
camp and tarried awhile when, lo and behold! Jamrkan smote shield with
sword and shouted, “Allaho Akbar!” Thereupon they all cried out the
like, till rang again valley and mountain, hills, sands and ruins. The
Miscreants awoke in dismay and fell one upon other, and the sword went
round amongst them; the Moslems drew back and made for the city gates,
where they slew the warders and entering, made themselves masters of the
town, with all that was therein of treasure and women. Thus it befel
with Jamrkan; but as regards King Gharib, hearing the noise and clamour
of “God is Most Great,” he mounted with his troops to the last man and
sent on in advance Sahim who, when he came near the field of fight, saw
that Jamrkan had fallen upon the Kafirs with the Banu Amir by night and
made them drink the cup of death. So he returned and told all to his
brother, who called down blessings on Jamrkan. And the Infidels ceased
not to smite one another with the biting sword and expending their
strength till the day rose and lighted up the land, when Gharib cried
out to his men, “Charge, O ye noble, and do a deed to please the
All-knowing King!” So the True Believers fell upon the idolaters and
plied upon every false hypocritical breast the keen sword and the
quivering spear. They sought to take refuge in the city; but Jamrkan
came forth upon them with his kinsmen, who hemmed them in between two
mountain-ranges, and slew an innumerable host of them, and the rest fled
into the wastes and wolds.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Six Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Moslem host charged upon the Miscreants they hewed them in pieces with
the biting scymitar and the rest fled to the wastes and wolds; nor did
the Moslems cease pursuing them with the sword, till they had scattered
them abroad in the plains and stony places. Then they returned to Oman
city, and King Gharib entered the palace of the King and, sitting down
on the throne of his kingship, with his Grandees and Officers ranged
right and left, sent for Jaland. They brought him in haste and Gharib
expounded to him Al-Islam; but he rejected it; wherefore Gharib bade
crucify him on the gate of the city, and they shot at him with shafts
till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib honourably robed Jamrkan
and said to him, “Thou shalt be lord of this city and ruler thereof with
power to loose and to bind therein, for it was thou didst open it with
thy sword and thy folk.” And Jamrkan kissed the King’s feet, thanked him
and wished him abiding victory and glory and every blessing. Moreover
Gharib opened Jaland’s treasuries and saw what was therein of coin,
whereof he gave largesse to his captains and standard-bearers and
fighting-men, yea, even to the girls and children; and thus he lavished
his gifts ten days long. After this, one night he dreamt a terrible
dream and awoke, troubled and trembling. So he aroused his brother Sahim
and said to him, “I saw in my vision that we were in a wide valley, when
there pounced down on us two ravening birds of prey, never in my life
saw I greater than they; their legs were like lances, and as they
swooped we were in sore fear of them.” Replied Sahim, “O King, this be
some great enemy; so stand on thy guard against him.” Gharib slept not
the rest of the night and, when the day broke, he called for his courser
and mounted. Quoth Sahim, “Whither goest thou, my brother?” and quoth
Gharib, “I awoke heavy at heart; so I mean to ride abroad ten days and
broaden my breast.” Said Sahim, “Take with thee a thousand braves;” but
Gharib replied, “I will not go forth but with thee and only thee.” So
the two brothers mounted and, seeking the dales and leasows, fared on
from Wady to Wady and from meadow to meadow, till they came to a valley
abounding in streams and sweet-smelling flowers and trees laden with all
manner eatable fruits, two of each kind. Birds warbled on the branches
their various strains; the mocking-bird trilled out her sweet notes fain
and the turtle filled with her voice the plain. There sang the
nightingale, whose chant arouses the sleeper, and the merle with his
note like the voice of man and the cushat and the ring-dove, whilst the
parrot with its eloquent tongue answered the twain. The valley pleased
them and they ate of its fruits and drank of its waters, after which
they sat under the shadow of its trees till drowsiness overcame them and
they slept,—glory be to Him who sleepeth not! As they lay asleep, lo!
two fierce Marids swooped down on them and, taking each one on his
shoulders, towered with them high in air, till they were above the
clouds. So Gharib and Sahim awoke and found themselves betwixt heaven
and earth; whereupon they looked at those who bore them and saw that
they were two Marids, the head of the one being as that of a dog and the
head of the other as that of an ape[23] with hair like horses’ tails and
claws like lions’ claws, and both were big as great palm-trees. When
they espied this case, they exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” Now the cause of this
was that a certain King of the Kings of the Jinn, hight Mura’ash, had a
son called Sá’ik, who loved a damsel of the Jinn, named Najmah;[24] and
the twain used to foregather in that Wady under the semblance of two
birds. Gharib and Sahim saw them thus and deeming them birds, shot at
them with shafts but wounding only Sa’ik whose blood flowed. Najmah
mourned over him; then, fearing lest the like calamity befal herself,
snatched up her lover and flew with him to his father’s palace, where
she cast him down at the gate. The warders bore him in and laid him
before his sire who, seeing the pile sticking in his rib exclaimed,
“Alas, my son! Who hath done with thee this thing, that I may lay waste
his abiding-place and hurry on his destruction, though he were the
greatest of the Kings of the Jann?” Thereupon Sa’ik opened his eyes and
said, “O my father, none slew me save a mortal in the Valley of
Springs.” Hardly had he made an end of these words, when his soul
departed; whereupon his father buffeted his face, till the blood
streamed from his mouth, and cried out to two Marids, saying, “Hie ye to
the Valley of Springs and bring me all who are therein.” So they betook
themselves to the Wady in question, where they found Gharib and Sahim
asleep, and, snatching them up, carried them to King Mura’ash.[25]——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

[Illustration]


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two
Marids, after snatching up Gharib and Sahim in their sleep, carried them
to Mura’ash, king of the Jann, whom they saw seated on the throne of his
kingship, as he were a huge mountain, with four heads on his body,[26]
the first that of a lion, the second that of an elephant, the third that
of a panther, and the fourth that of a lynx. The Marids set them down
before Mura’ash and said to him, “O King, these twain be they we found
in the Valley of Springs.” Thereupon he looked at them with wrathful
eyes and snarked and snorted and shot sparks from his nostrils, so that
all who stood by feared him. Then said he, “O dogs of mankind, ye have
slain my son and lighted fire in my liver.” Quoth Gharib, “Who is thy
son, and who hath seen him?” Quoth Mura’ash, “Were ye not in the Valley
of Springs and did ye not see my son there, in the guise of a bird, and
did ye not shoot at him with wooden bolts that he died?” Replied Gharib,
“I know not who slew him; and, by the virtue of the Great God, the One,
the Immemorial who knoweth things all, and of Abraham the Friend, we saw
no bird, neither slew we bird or beast!” Now when Mura’ash heard Gharib
swear by Allah and His greatness and by Abraham the Friend, he knew him
for a Moslem (he himself being a worshipper of Fire, not of the
All-powerful Sire), so he cried out to his folk, “Bring me my
Goddess.[27]” Accordingly they brought a brazier of gold and, setting it
before him, kindled therein fire and cast on drugs, whereupon there
arose therefrom green and blue and yellow flames and the King and all
who were present prostrated themselves before the brazier, whilst Gharib
and Sahim ceased not to attest the Unity of Allah Almighty, to cry out
“God is Most Great” and to bear witness to His Omnipotence. Presently,
Mura’ash raised his head and, seeing the two Princes standing in lieu of
falling down to worship, said to them, “O dogs, why do ye not prostrate
yourselves?” Replied Gharib, “Out on you, O ye accursed! Prostration
befitteth not man save to the Worshipful King, who bringeth forth all
creatures into beingness from nothingness and maketh water to well from
the barren rock-well, Him who inclineth heart of sire unto new-born
scion and who may not be described as sitting or standing; the God of
Noah and Salih and Hud and Abraham the Friend, Who created Heaven and
Hell and trees and fruit as well,[28] for He is Allah, the One, the
All-powerful.” When Mura’ash heard this, his eyes sank into his head[29]
and he cried out to his guards, saying, “Pinion me these two dogs and
sacrifice them to my Goddess.” So they bound them and were about to cast
them into the fire when, behold, one of the crenelles of the
palace-parapet fell down upon the brazier and brake it and put out the
fire, which became ashes flying in air. Then quoth Gharib, “God is Most
Great! He giveth aid and victory and He forsaketh those who deny Him,
Fire worshipping and not the Almighty King!” Presently quoth Mura’ash,
“Thou art a sorcerer and hast bewitched my Goddess, so that this thing
hath befallen her.” Gharib replied, “O madman, an the fire had soul or
sense it would have warded off from self all that hurteth it.” When
Mura’ash heard these words, he roared and bellowed and reviled the Fire,
saying, “By my faith, I will not kill you save by the fire!” Then he
bade cast them into gaol; and, calling an hundred Marids, made them
bring much fuel and set fire thereto. So they brought great plenty of
wood and made a huge blaze, which flamed up mightily till the morning,
when Mura’ash mounted an elephant, bearing on its back a throne of gold
dubbed with jewels, and the tribes of the Jinn gathered about him in
their various kinds. Presently they brought in Gharib and Sahim who,
seeing the flaming of the fire, sought help of the One, the
All-conquering Creator of night and day, Him of All-might, whom no sight
comprehendeth, but who comprehendeth all sights, for He is the Subtle,
the All-knowing. And they ceased not humbly beseeching Him till, behold,
a cloud arose from West to East and, pouring down showers of rain, like
the swollen sea, quenched the fire. When the King saw this, he was
affrighted, he and his troops, and entered the palace, where he turned
to the Wazirs and Grandees and said to them, “How say ye of these two
men?” They replied, “O King, had they not been in the right, this thing
had not befallen the fire; wherefore we say that they be true men which
speak sooth.” Rejoined Mura’ash, “Verily the Truth hath been displayed
to me, ay, and the manifest way, and I am certified that the worship of
the fire is false; for, were it goddess, it had warded off from itself
the rain which quenched it and the stone which broke its brasier and
beat it into ashes. Wherefore I believe in Him Who created the fire and
the light and the shade and the heat. And ye, what say ye?” They
answered, “O King, we also hear and follow and obey.” So the King called
for Gharib and embraced him and kissed him between the eyes and then
summoned Sahim; whereupon the bystanders all crowded to kiss their hands
and heads.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Mura’ash
and his men found salvation in the Saving Faith, Al-Islam, he called for
Gharib and Sahim and kissed them between the eyes and so did all the
Grandees who crowded to buss their hands and heads. Then Mura’ash sat
down on the throne of his kingship and, seating Gharib on his right and
Sahim on his left hand, said to them, “O mortals, what shall we say,
that we may become Moslems?” Replied Gharib, “Say:—There is no god but
_the_ God, and Abraham is the Friend of God!” So the King and his folk
professed Al-Islam with heart and tongue, and Gharib abode with them
awhile, teaching them the ritual of prayer. But presently he called to
mind his people and sighed, whereupon quoth Mura’ash, “Verily, trouble
is gone and joy and gladness are come.” Quoth Gharib, “O King, I have
many foes and I fear for my folk from them.” Then he related to him his
history with his brother Ajib from first to last, and the King of the
Jinns said, “O King of men, I will send one who shall bring thee news of
thy people, for I will not let thee go till I have had my fill of thy
face.” Then he called two doughty Marids, by name Kaylaján and Kúraján,
and after they had done him homage, he bade them repair to Al-Yaman and
bring him news of Gharib’s army. They replied, “To hear is to obey,” and
departed. Thus far concerning the brothers; but as regards the Moslems,
they arose in the morning and led by their captains rode to King
Gharib’s palace, to do their service to him; but the eunuchs told them
that the King had mounted with his brother and had ridden forth at peep
o’ day. So they made for the valleys and mountains and followed the
track of the Princes, till they came to the Valley of Springs, where
they found their arms cast down and their two gallant steeds grazing and
said, “The King is missing from this place, by the glory of Abraham the
Friend!” Then they mounted and sought in the valley and the mountains
three days, but found no trace of them; whereupon they began the
mourning ceremonies and, sending for couriers, said to them, “Do ye
disperse yourselves about the cities and sconces and castles, and seek
ye news of our King.” “Hearkening and obedience!” cried the couriers,
who dispersed hither and thither each over one of the Seven Climes and
sought everywhere for Gharib, but found no trace of him. Now when the
tidings came to Ajib by his spies that his brother was lost and there
was no news of the missing, he rejoiced and going in to King Ya’arub bin
Kahtan, sought of him aid which he granted and gave him two hundred
thousand Amalekites, wherewith he set out for Al-Yaman and sat down
before the city of Oman. Jamrkan and Sa’adan sallied forth and offered
him battle, and there were slain of the Moslems much folk, so the True
Believers retired into the city and shut the gates and manned the walls.
At this moment came up the two Marids Kaylajan and Kurajan and, seeing
the Moslem beleaguered waited till nightfall, when they fell upon the
miscreants and plied them with sharp swords of the swords of the Jinn,
each twelve cubits long, if a man smote therewith a rock, verily he
would cleave it in sunder. They charged the Idolators, shouting, “Allaho
Akbar! God is Most Great! He giveth aid and victory and forsaketh those
who deny the Faith of Abraham the Friend!” and whilst they raged amongst
the foes, fire issued from their mouths and nostrils, and they made
great slaughter amongst them. Thereupon the Infidels ran out of their
tents offering battle but, seeing these strange things, were confounded
and their hair stood on end and their reason fled. So they snatched up
their arms and fell one upon other, whilst the Marids shore off their
heads, as a reaper eareth grain, crying, “God is Most Great! We are the
lads of King Gharib, the friend of Mura’ash, King of the Jinn!” The
sword ceased not to go round amongst them till the night was half spent,
when the Misbelievers, imagining that the mountains were all Ifrits,
loaded their tents and treasure and baggage upon camels and made off;
and the first to fly was Ajib.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Misbelievers made off and the first to fly was Ajib. Thereupon the
Moslems gathered together, marvelling at this that had betided the
Infidels and fearing the tribesmen of the Jinn. But the Marids ceased
not from pursuit, till they had driven them far away into the hills and
wolds; and but fifty thousand Rebels[30] of two hundred thousand escaped
with their lives and made for their own land, wounded and sore
discomfited. Then the two Jinns returned and said to them, “O host of
the Moslems, your lord King Gharib and his brother Sahim salute you;
they are the guests of Mura’ash, King of the Jann, and will be with you
anon.” When Gharib’s men heard that he was safe and well, they joyed
with exceeding joy and said to the Marids, “Allah gladden you twain with
good news, O noble spirits!” So Kurajan and Kaylajan returned to
Mura’ash and Gharib; and acquainted them with that which had happened,
whereat Gharib finding the two sitting together felt heart at ease and
said, “Allah abundantly requite you!” Then quoth King Mura’ash, “O my
brother, I am minded to show thee our country and the city of Japhet[31]
son of Noah (on whom be peace!)” Quoth Gharib, “O King, do what seemeth
good to thee.” So he called for three noble steeds and mounting, he and
Gharib and Sahim, set out with a thousand Marids, as they were a piece
of a mountain cloven lengthwise. They fared on, solacing themselves with
the sight of valleys and mountains, till they came to Jabarsá,[32] the
city of Japhet son of Noah (on whom be peace!) where the townsfolk all,
great and small, came forth to meet King Mura’ash and brought them into
the city in great state. Then Mura’ash went up to the palace of Japhet
son of Noah and sat down on the throne of his kingship, which was of
alabaster, ten stages high and latticed with wands of gold wherefrom
hung all manner coloured silks. The people of the city stood before him
and he said to them, “O seed of Yafis bin Nuh, what did your fathers and
grandfathers worship?” They replied, “We found them worshipping Fire and
followed their example, as thou well knowest.” “O folk,” rejoined
Mura’ash, “we have been shown that the fire is but one of the creatures
of Almighty Allah, Creator of all things; and when we knew this, we
submitted ourselves to God, the One, the All-powerful, Maker of night
and day and the sphere revolving alway, Whom comprehendeth no sight, but
Who comprehendeth all sights, for He is the Subtle, the All-wise. So
seek ye Salvation and ye shall be saved from the wrath of the Almighty
One and from the fiery doom in the world to come.” And they embraced
Al-Islam with heart and tongue. Then Mura’ash took Gharib by the hand
and showed him the palace and its ordinance and all the marvels it
contained, till they came to the armoury, wherein were the arms of
Japhet son of Noah. Here Gharib saw a sword hanging to a pin of gold and
asked, “O King, whose is that?” Mura’ash answered, “’Tis the sword of
Yafis bin Nuh, wherewith he was wont to do battle against men and Jinn.
The sage Jardúm forged it and graved on its back names of might.[33] It
is named Al-Máhik—the Annihilator—for that it never descendeth upon a
man, but it annihilateth him, nor upon a Jinni, but it crusheth him; and
if one smote therewith a mountain ’twould overthrow it.” When Gharib
heard tell of the virtues of the sword, he said, “I desire to look on
this blade;” and Mura’ash said, “Do as thou wilt.” So Gharib put out his
hand, and, hending the sword, drew it from its sheath; whereupon it
flashed and Death crept on its edge and glittered; and it was twelve
spans long and three broad. Now Gharib wished to become owner of it, and
King Mura’ash said, “An thou canst smite with it, take it.” “’Tis well,”
Gharib replied, and took it up, and it was in his hand as a staff;
wherefore all who were present, men and Jinn, marvelled and said, “Well
done, O Prince of Knights!” Then said Mura’ash, “Lay thy hand on this
hoard for which the Kings of the earth sigh in vain, and mount, that I
may show thee the city.” Then they took horse and rode forth the palace,
with men and Jinns attending them on foot,——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib and
King Mura’ash rode forth the palace of Japhet, with men and Jinns
attending them on foot, they passed through the streets and
thoroughfares of the town, by palaces and deserted mansions and gilded
doorways, till they issued from the gates and entered gardens full of
trees fruit-bearing and waters welling and birds speaking and
celebrating the praises of Him to whom belong Majesty and Eternity; nor
did they cease to solace themselves in the land till nightfall, when
they returned to the palace of Japhet son of Noah and they brought them
the table of food. So they ate and Gharib turned to the King of the Jann
and said to him, “O King, I would fain return to my folk and my force;
for I know not their plight after me.” Replied Mura’ash, “By Allah, O my
brother, I will not part with thee for a full month, till I have had my
fill of thy sight.” Now Gharib could not say nay, so he abode with him
in the city of Japhet, eating and drinking and making merry, till the
month ended, when Mura’ash gave him great store of gems and precious
ores, emeralds and balass-rubies, diamonds and other jewels, ingots of
gold and silver and likewise ambergris and musk and brocaded silks and
else of rarities and things of price. Moreover he clad him and Sahim in
silken robes of honour gold-inwoven and set on Gharib’s head a crown
jewelled with pearls and diamonds of inestimable value. All these
treasures he made up into even loads for him and, calling five hundred
Marids, said to them, “Get ye ready to travel on the morrow, that we may
bring King Gharib and Sahim back to their own country.” And they
answered, “We hear and we obey.” So they passed the night in the city,
purposing to depart on the morrow, but, next morning, as they were about
to set forth behold, they espied a great host advancing upon the city,
with horses neighing and kettle-drums beating and trumpets braying and
riders filling the earth for they numbered threescore and ten thousand
Marids, flying and diving, under a King called Barkán. Now this Barkan
was lord of the City of Carnelian and the Castle of Gold and under his
rule were five hill-strongholds, in each five hundred thousand Marids;
and he and his tribe worshipped the Fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. He
was a cousin of Mura’ash, the son of his father’s brother, and the cause
of his coming was that there had been among the subjects of King
Mura’ash a misbelieving Marid, who professed Al-Islam hypocritically,
and he stole away from his people and made for the Valley of Carnelian,
where he went in to King Barkan and, kissing the earth before him,
wished him abiding glory and prosperity. Then he told him of Mura’ash
being converted to Al-Islam, and Barkan said, “How came he to tear
himself away from his faith[34]?” So the rebel told him what had passed
and, when Barkan heard it, he snorted and snarked and railed at Sun and
Moon and sparkling Fire, saying, “By the virtue of my faith, I will
surely slay mine uncle’s son and his people and this mortal, nor will I
leave one of them alive!” Then he cried out to the legions of the Jinn
and choosing of them seventy thousand Marids, set out and fared on till
he came to Jabarsá[35] the city of Japhet and encamped before its gates.
When Mura’ash saw this, he despatched a Marid, saying, “Go to this host
and learn all that it wanteth and return hither in haste.” So the
messenger rushed away to Barkan’s camp, where the Marids flocked to meet
him and said to him, “Who art thou?” Replied he, “An envoy from King
Mura’ash;” whereupon they carried him in to Barkan, before whom he
prostrated himself, saying, “O my lord, my master hath sent me to thee,
to learn tidings of thee.” Quoth Barkan, “Return to thy lord and say to
him:—This is thy cousin Barkan, who is come to salute thee.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Marid-envoy of Mura’ash was borne before Barkan and said to him, “O my
lord, my master hath sent me to thee to learn tidings of thee,” Barkan
replied, “Return to thy lord and say to him:—This is thy cousin Barkan
who is come to salute thee!” So the messenger went back and told
Mura’ash, who said to Gharib, “Sit thou on thy throne whilst I go and
salute my cousin and return to thee.” Then he mounted and rode to the
camp of his uncle’s son. Now this was a trick[36] of Barkan, to bring
Mura’ash out and seize upon him, and he said to his Marids, whom he had
stationed about him, “When ye see me embrace him,[37] lay hold of him
and pinion him.” And they replied, “To hear is to obey.” So, when King
Mura’ash came up and entered Barkan’s pavilion, the owner rose to him
and threw his arms round his neck; whereat the Jann fell upon Mura’ash
and pinioned him and chained him. Mura’ash looked at Barkan and said,
“What manner of thing is this?” Quoth Barkan, “O dog of the Jann, wilt
thou leave the faith of thy fathers and grandfathers and enter a faith
thou knowest not?” Rejoined Mura’ash, “O son of my uncle, indeed I have
found the faith of Abraham the Friend to be the True Faith and all other
than it vain.” Asked Barkan, “And who told thee of this?”; and Mura’ash
answered, “Gharib, King of Irak, whom I hold in the highest honour.” “By
the right of the Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat,” cried
Barkan, “I will assuredly slay both thee and him!” And he cast him into
gaol. Now when Mura’ash’s henchman saw what had befallen his lord, he
fled back to the city and told the King’s legionaries who cried out and
mounted. Quoth Gharib, “What is the matter?” And they told him all that
had passed, whereupon he cried out to Sahim, “Saddle me one of the
chargers that King Mura’ash gave me.” Said Sahim, “O my brother, wilt
thou do battle with the Jinn?” Gharib replied, “Yes, I will fight them
with the sword of Japhet son of Noah, seeking help of the Lord of
Abraham the Friend (on whom be the Peace!); for He is the Lord of all
things and sole Creator!” So Sahim saddled him a sorrel horse of the
horses of the Jinn, as he were a castle strong among castles, and he
armed and mounting, rode out with the legions of the Jinn, hauberk’d
cap-à-pie. Then Barkan and his host mounted also and the two hosts drew
out in lines facing each other. The first to open the gate of war was
Gharib, who drave his steed into the mid-field and bared the enchanted
blade, whence issued a glittering light that dazzled the eyes of all the
Jinn and struck terror to their hearts. Then he played[38] with the
sword till their wits were wildered, and cried out, saying, “Allaho
Akbar! I am Gharib, King of Irak. There is no Faith save the Faith of
Abraham the Friend!” Now when Barkan heard Gharib’s words, he said,
“This is he who seduced my cousin from his religion; so, by the virtue
of my faith, I will not sit down on my throne till I have decapitated
this Gharib and suppressed his breath of life and forced my cousin and
his people back to their belief: and whoso baulketh me, him will I
destroy.” Then he mounted an elephant paper-white as he were a tower
plastered with gypsum, and goaded him with a spike of steel which ran
deep into his flesh, whereupon the elephant trumpeted and made for the
battle-plain where cut and thrust obtain; and, when he drew near Gharib,
he cried out to him, saying, “O dog of mankind, what made thee come into
our land, to debauch my cousin and his folk and pervert them from one
faith to other faith. Know that this day is the last of thy worldly
days.” Gharib replied, “Avaunt,[39] O vilest of the Jann!” Therewith
Barkan drew a javelin and making it quiver[40] in his hand, cast it at
Gharib; but it missed him. So he hurled a second javelin at him; but
Gharib caught it in mid-air and after poising it launched it at the
elephant. It smote him on the flank and came out on the other side,
whereupon the beast fell to the earth dead and Barkan was thrown to the
ground, like a great palm-tree. Before he could stir, Gharib smote him
with the flat of Japhet’s blade on the nape of the neck, and he fell
upon the earth in a fainting-fit; whereupon the Marids swooped down on
him and surrounding him pinioned his elbows. When Barkan’s people saw
their king a prisoner, they drove at the others, seeking to rescue him,
but Gharib and the Islamised Jinn fell upon them and gloriously done for
Gharib! indeed that day he pleased the Lord who answereth prayer and
slaked his vengeance with the talisman-sword! Whomsoever he smote, he
clove him in sunder and before his soul could depart he became a heap of
ashes in the fire; whilst the two hosts of the Jinn shot each other with
flamy meteors till the battle-field was wrapped in smoke. And Gharib
tourneyed right and left among the Kafirs who gave way before him, till
he came to King Barkan’s pavilion, with Kaylajan and Kurajan on his
either hand, and cried out to them, “Loose your lord!” So they unbound
Mura’ash and broke his fetters and——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King
Gharib cried out to Kaylajan and Kurajan, saying, “Loose your lord!”,
they unbound Mura’ash and broke his fetters, and he said to them, “Bring
me my arms and my winged horse.” Now he had two flying steeds, one of
which he had given to Gharib and the other he had kept for himself; and
this he mounted after he had donned his battle-harness. Then he and
Gharib fell upon the enemy, flying through the air on their winged
horses, and the true believing Jinn followed them, shouting “Allaho
Akbar—God is Most Great!”—till plains and hills, valleys and mountains
re-worded the cry. The Infidels fled before them and they returned,
after having slain more than thirty thousand Marids and Satans, to the
city of Japhet, where the two Kings sat down on their couches of estate
and sought Barkan, but found him not; for after capturing him they were
diverted from him by stress of battle, where an Ifrit of his servants
made his way to him and loosing him, carried him to his folk, of whom he
found part slain and the rest in full flight. So he flew up with the
King high in air and sat him down in the City of Carnelian and Castle of
Gold, where Barkan seated himself on the throne of his kingship.
Presently, those of his people who had survived the affair came in to
him and gave him joy of his safety; and he said, “O folk, where is
safety? My army is slain and they took me prisoner and have rent in
pieces mine honour among the tribes of the Jann.” Quoth they, “O King,
’tis ever thus that kings still afflict and are afflicted.” Quoth he,
“There is no help but I take my wreak and wipe out my shame, else shall
I be for ever disgraced among the tribes of the Jann.” Then he wrote
letters to the Governors of his fortresses, who came to him right
loyally and, when he reviewed them, he found three hundred and twenty
thousand fierce Marids and Satans; who said to him, “What is thy need?”
And he replied, “Get ye ready to set out in three days’ time;” whereto
they rejoined “Harkening and obedience!” On this wise it befel King
Barkan; but as regards Mura’ash, when he discovered his prisoner’s
escape, it was grievous to him and he said, “Had we set an hundred
Marids to guard him, he had not fled; but whither shall he go from us?”
Then said he to Gharib, “Know, O my brother, that Barkan is perfidious
and will never rest from wreaking blood-revenge on us, but will
assuredly assemble his legions and return to attack us; wherefore I am
minded to forestall him and follow the trail of his defeat, whilst he is
yet weakened thereby.” Replied Gharib, “This is the right rede, and will
best serve our need;” and Mura’ash said, “Oh my brother, let the Marids
bear thee back to thine own country and leave me to fight the battles of
the Faith against the Infidels, that I may be lightened of my sin-load.”
But Gharib rejoined, “By the virtue of the Clement, the Bountiful, the
Veiler, I will not go hence till I do to death all the misbelieving
Jinn; and Allah hasten their souls to the fire and dwelling-place dire;
and none shall be saved but those who worship Allah the One, the
Victorious! But do thou send Sahim back to the city of Oman, so haply he
may be healed of his ailment.” For Sahim was sick. So Mura’ash cried to
the Marids, saying, “Take ye up Sahim and these treasures and bear them
to Oman city.” And after replying, “We hear and we obey,” they took them
and made for the land of men. Then Mura’ash wrote letters to all his
Governors and Captains of fortresses and they came to him with an
hundred and sixty thousand warriors. So they made them ready and
departed for the City of Carnelian and the Castle of Gold, covering in
one day a year’s journey and halted in a valley, where they encamped and
passed the night. Next morning as they were about to set forth, behold,
the vanguard of Barkan’s army appeared, whereupon the Jinn cried out and
the two hosts met and fell each upon other in that valley. Then the
engagement was dight and there befel a sore fight as though an
earthquake shook the site and fair plight waxed foul plight. Earnest
came and jest took flight, and parley ceased ’twixt wight and wight,[41]
whilst long lives were cut short in a trice and the Unbelievers fell
into disgrace and despite; for Gharib charged them, proclaiming the
Unity of the Worshipful, the All-might and shore through necks and left
heads rolling in the dust; nor did night betide before nigh seventy
thousand of the Miscreants were slain, and of the Moslemised over ten
thousand Marids had fallen. Then the kettle-drums beat the retreat, and
the two hosts drew apart,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two
hosts drew apart, Gharib and Mura’ash returned to their tents, after
wiping their weapons, and supper being set before them, they ate and
gave each other joy of their safety, and the loss of their Marids being
so small. As for Barkan, he returned to his tent, grieving for the
slaughter of his champions, and said to his officers, “O folk, an we
tarry here and do battle with them on this wise in three days’ time we
shall be cut off to the last wight.” Quoth they, “And how shall we do, O
King?” Quoth Barkan, “We will fall upon them under cover of night whilst
they are deep in sleep, and not one of them shall be left to tell the
tale. So take your arms and when I give the word of command, attack and
fall on your enemies as one.” Now there was amongst them a Marid named
Jandal whose heart inclined to Al-Islam; so, when he heard the Kafirs’
plot, he stole away from them and going in to King Mura’ash and King
Gharib, told the twain what Barkan had devised; whereupon Mura’ash
turned to Gharib and said to him, “O my brother, what shall we do?”
Gharib replied, “To-night we will fall upon the Miscreants and chase
them into the wilds and the wolds if it be the will of the Omnipotent
King.” Then he summoned the Captains of the Jann and said to them, “Arm
yourselves, you and yours; and, as soon as ’tis dark, steal out of your
tents on foot, hundreds after hundreds, and lie in ambush among the
mountains; and when ye see the enemy engaged among the tents, do ye fall
upon them from all quarters. Hearten your hearts and rely on your Lord,
and ye shall certainly conquer; and behold, I am with you!” So, as soon
as it was dark night, the Infidels attacked the camp, invoking aid of
the fire and light; but when they came among the tents, the Moslems fell
upon them, calling for help on the Lord of the Worlds and saying, “O
Most Merciful of Mercifuls, O Creator of all createds!” till they left
them like mown grass, cut down and dead. Nor did morning dawn before the
most part of the unbelievers were species without souls and the rest
made for the wastes and marshes, whilst Gharib and Mura’ash returned
triumphant and victorious; and, making prize of the enemy’s baggage,
they rested till the morrow, when they set out for the City of Carnelian
and Castle of Gold. As for Barkan, when the battle had turned against
him and most of his lieges were slain, he fled through the dark with the
remnant of his power to his capital where he entered his palace and
assembling his legionaries said to them, “O folk, whoso hath aught of
price, let him take it and follow me to the Mountain Káf, to the Blue
King, lord of the Pied Palace; for he it is who shall avenge us.” So
they took their women and children and goods and made for the
Caucasus-mountain. Presently Mura’ash and Gharib arrived at the City of
Carnelian and Castle of Gold to find the gates open and none left to
give them news; whereupon they entered and Mura’ash led Gharib that he
might show him the city, whose walls were builded of emeralds and its
gates of red carnelian, with studs of silver, and the terrace-roofs of
its houses and mansions reposed upon beams of lign-aloes and
sandal-wood. So they took their pleasure in its streets and alleys, till
they came to the Palace of Gold and entering passed through seven
vestibules, when they drew near to a building, whose walls were of royal
balass-rubies and its pavement of emerald and jacinth. The two Kings
were astounded at the goodliness of the place and fared on from
vestibule to vestibule, till they had passed through the seventh and
happened upon the inner court of the palace wherein they saw four
daïses, each different from the others, and in the midst a jetting fount
of red gold, compassed about with golden lions,[42] from whose mouths
issued water. These were things to daze man’s wit. The estrade at the
upper end was hung and carpeted with brocaded silks of various colours
and thereon stood two thrones of red gold, inlaid with pearls and
jewels. So Mura’ash and Gharib sat down on Barkan’s thrones and held
high state in the Palace of Gold.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Mura’ash and
Gharib took seat on Barkan’s thrones and held high state. Then said
Gharib to Mura’ash, “What thinkest thou to do?” And Mura’ash replied, “O
King of mankind, I have despatched an hundred horse to learn where
Barkan is, that we may pursue him.” Then they abode three days in the
palace, till the scouting Marids returned with the news that Barkan had
fled to the Mountain Kaf and craved protection of the Blue King who
granted it; whereupon quoth Mura’ash to Gharib, “What sayest thou, O my
brother?” and quoth Gharib, “Except we attack them they will attack us.”
So they bade the host make ready for departure and after three days,
they were about to set out with their troops, when the Marids, who had
carried Sahim and the presents back to Oman, returned and kissed ground
before Gharib. He questioned them of his people and they replied, “After
the last affair, thy brother Ajib, leaving Ya’arub bin Kahtan, fled to
the King of Hind and, submitting his case, sought his protection. The
King granted his prayer and writing letters to all his governors, levied
an army as it were the surging sea, having neither beginning nor end,
wherewith he purposeth to invade Al-Irak and lay it waste.” When Gharib
heard this, he said, “Perish the Misbelievers! Verily, Allah Almighty
shall give the victory to Al-Islam and I will soon show them hew and
foin.” Said Mura’ash, “O King of humans, by the virtue of the Mighty
Name, I must needs go with thee to thy kingdom and destroy thy foes and
bring thee to thy wish.” Gharib thanked him and they rested on this
resolve till the morrow, when they set out, intending for Mount Caucasus
and marched many days till they reached the City of Alabaster and the
Pied Palace. Now this city was fashioned of alabaster and precious
stones by Bárik bin Fáki’, father of the Jinn, and he also founded the
Pied Palace, which was so named because edified with one brick of gold
alternating with one of silver, nor was there builded aught like it in
all the world. When they came within half a day’s journey of the city,
they halted to take their rest, and Mura’ash sent out to reconnoitre a
scout who returned and said, “O King, within the City of Alabaster are
legions of the Jinn, for number as the leaves of the trees or as the
drops of rain.” So Mura’ash said to Gharib, “How shall we do, O King of
Mankind?” He replied, “O King, divide your men into four bodies and
encompass with them the camp of the Infidels; then, in the middle of the
night, let them cry out, saying;—God is Most Great! and withdraw and
watch what happeneth among the tribes of the Jinn.” So Mura’ash did as
Gharib counselled and the troops waited till midnight, when they
encircled the foe and shouted, “Allaho Akbar! Ho for the Faith of
Abraham the Friend, on whom be the Peace!” The Misbelievers at this cry
awoke in affright and snatching up their arms, fell one upon other till
the morning, when most part of them were dead bodies and but few
remained. Then Gharib cried out to the True Believers, saying, “Up and
at the remnant of the Kafirs! Behold I am with you, and Allah is your
helper!” So the Moslems drave at the enemy and Gharib bared his magical
blade Al-Mahik and fell upon the foe, lopping off noses and making heads
wax hoary and whole ranks turn tail. At last he came up with Barkan and
smote him and bereft him of life and he fell down, drenched in his
blood. On like wise he did with the Blue King, and by undurn-hour not
one of the Kafirs was left alive to tell the tale. Then Gharib and
Mura’ash entered the Pied Palace and found its walls builded of
alternate courses of gold and silver, with door-sills of crystal and
keystones of greenest emerald. In its midst was a fountain adorned with
bells and pendants and figures of birds and beasts spouting forth water,
and thereby a daïs[43] furnished with gold-brocaded silk, bordered or
embroidered with jewels: and they found the treasures of the palace past
count or description. Then they entered the women’s court, where they
came upon a magnificent serraglio and Gharib saw, among the Blue King’s
woman-folk a girl clad in a dress worth a thousand dinars, never had he
beheld a goodlier. About her were an hundred slave-girls, upholding her
train with golden hooks, and she was in their midst as the moon among
stars. When he saw her, his reason was confounded and he said to one of
the waiting-women, “Who may be yonder maid?” Quoth they, “This is the
Blue King’s daughter, Star o’ Morn.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib asked
the slave-women saying, “Who may be yonder maid,” they replied, “This is
Star o’ Morn, daughter to the Blue King.” Then Gharib turned to Mura’ash
and said to him, “O King of the Jinn, I have a mind to take yonder
damsel to wife.” Replied Mura’ash, “The palace and all that therein is,
live stock and dead, are the prize of thy right hand; for, hadst thou
not devised a stratagem to destroy the Blue King and Barkan, they had
cut us off to the last one: wherefore the treasure is thy treasure and
the folk thy thralls.” Gharib thanked him for his fair speech and going
up to the girl, gazed steadfastly upon her and loved her with exceeding
love, forgetting Fakhr Taj the Princess and even Mahdiyah. Now her
mother was the Chinese King’s daughter whom the Blue King had carried
off from her palace and perforce deflowered, and she conceived by him
and bare this girl, whom he named Star o’ Morn, by reason of her beauty
and loveliness; for she was the very Princess of the Fair. Her mother
died when she was a babe of forty days, and the nurses and eunuchs
reared her, till she reached the age of seventeen; but she hated her
sire and rejoiced in his slaughter. So Gharib put his palm to hers[44]
and went in unto her that night and found her a virgin. Then he bade
pull down the Pied Palace and divided the spoil with the true-believing
Jinn, and there fell to his share one-and-twenty thousand bricks of gold
and silver and money and treasure beyond speech and count. Then Mura’ash
took Gharib and showed him the Mountain Kaf and all its marvels; after
which they returned to Barkan’s fortress and dismantled it and shared
the spoil thereof. Then they repaired to Mura’ash’s capital, where they
tarried five days, when Gharib sought to revisit his native country and
Mura’ash said, “O King of mankind, I will ride at thy stirrup and bring
thee to thine own land.” Replied Gharib, “No, by the virtue of Abraham
the Friend, I will not suffer thee to weary thyself thus, nor will I
take any of the Jinn save Kaylajan and Kurajan.” Quoth the King, “Take
with thee ten thousand horsemen of the Jinn, to serve thee;” but quoth
Gharib, “I will take only as I said to thee.” So Mura’ash bade a
thousand Marids carry him to his native land, with his share of the
spoil; and he commanded Kaylajan and Kurajan to follow him and obey him;
and they answered, “Hearkening and obedience.” Then said Gharib to the
Marids, “Do ye carry the treasure and Star o’ Morn;” for he himself
thought to ride his flying steed. But Mura’ash said to him, “This horse,
O my brother, will live only in our region, and, if it come upon man’s
earth, ’twill die: but I have in my stables a sea-horse, whose fellow is
not found in Al-Irak, no, nor in all the world is its like.” So he
caused bring forth the horse, and when Gharib saw it, it interposed
between him and his wits.[45] Then they bound it and Kaylajan bore it on
his shoulders and Kurajan took what he could carry. And Mura’ash
embraced Gharib and wept for parting from him, saying, “O my brother, if
aught befal thee wherein thou art powerless, send for me and I will come
to thine aid with an army able to lay waste the whole earth and what is
thereon.” Gharib thanked him for his kindness and zeal for the True
Faith and took leave of him; whereupon the Marids set out with Gharib
and his goods; and, after traversing fifty years’ journey in two days
and a night, alighted near the city of Oman and halted to take rest.
Then Gharib sent out Kaylajan, to learn news of his people, and he
returned and said, “O King, the city is beleaguered by a host of
Infidels, as they were the surging sea, and thy people are fighting
them. The drums beat to battle and Jamrkan goeth forth as champion in
the field.” When Gharib heard this, he cried aloud, “God is Most Great!”
and said to Kaylajan, “Saddle me the steed and bring me my arms and
spear; for to-day the valiant shall be known from the coward in the
place of war and battle-stead.” So Kaylajan brought him all he sought
and Gharib armed and belting in baldrick Al-Mahik, mounted the sea-horse
and made toward the hosts. Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan to him, “Set thy
heart at rest and let us go to the Kafirs and scatter them abroad in the
wastes and wilds till, by the help of Allah, the All-powerful, we leave
not a soul alive, no, not a blower of the fire.” But Gharib said, “By
the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will not let you fight them without
me and behold, I mount!” Now the cause of the coming of that great host
was right marvellous.[46]——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Six Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib
had bidden Kaylajan go and learn news of his people, the Jinn fared
forth and presently returning said, “Verily around thy city is a mighty
host!” Now the cause of its coming was that Ajib, having fled the field
after Ya’arub’s army had been put to the rout, said to his people, “O
folk, if we return to Ya’arub bin Kahtan, he will say to us:—But for
you, my son and my people had not been slain; and he will put us to
death, even to the last man. Wherefore, methinks we were better go to
Tarkanán, King of Hind, and beseech him to avenge us.” Replied they,
“Come, let us go thither; and the blessing of the Fire be upon thee!” So
they fared days and nights till they reached King Tarkanan’s capital
city and, after asking and obtaining permission to present himself, Ajib
went in to him and kissed ground before him. Then he wished him what men
use to wish to monarchy and said to him, “O King, protect me, so may
protect thee the sparkling Fire and the Night with its thick darkness!”
Tarkanan looked at Ajib and asked, “Who art thou and what dost thou
want?”; to which the other answered, “I am Ajib King of Al-Irak; my
brother hath wronged me and gotten the mastery of the land and the
subjects have submitted themselves to him. Moreover, he hath embraced
the faith of Al-Islam and he ceaseth not to chase me from country to
country; and behold, I am come to seek protection of thee and thy
power.” When Tarkanan heard Ajib’s words, he rose and sat down and
cried, “By the virtue of the Fire, I will assuredly avenge thee and will
let none serve other than my goddess the Fire!” And he called aloud to
his son, saying, “O my son, make ready to go to Al-Irak and lay it waste
and bind all who serve aught but the Fire and torment them and make
example of them; yet slay them not, but bring them to me, that I may ply
them with various tortures and make them taste the bitterness of
humiliation and leave them a warning to whoso will be warned in this our
while.” Then he chose out to accompany him eighty thousand fighting men
on horseback and the like number on giraffes,[47] besides ten thousand
elephants, bearing on their backs seats[48] of sandal-wood, latticed
with golden rods, plated and studded with gold and silver and shielded
with pavises of gold and emerald; moreover he sent good store of
war-chariots, in each eight men fighting with all kinds of weapons. Now
the Prince’s name was Ra’ad Sháh,[49] and he was the champion of his
time, for prowess having no peer. So he and his army equipped them in
ten day’s time, then set out, as they were a bank of clouds, and fared
on two months’ journey, till they came upon Oman city and encompassed
it, to the joy of Ajib, who thought himself assured of victory. Jamrkan
and Sa’adan and all their fighting-men sallied forth into the field of
fight whilst the kettle-drums beat to battle and the horses neighed. At
this moment up came King Gharib, who, as we have said, had been warned
by Kaylajan; and he urged on his destrier and entered among the Infidels
waiting to see who should come forth and open the chapter of war. Then
out rushed Sa’adan the Ghul and offered combat, whereupon there issued
forth to him one of the champions of Hind; but Sa’adan scarce let him
take stand in front ere he smote him with his mace and crushed his bones
and stretched him on the ground; and so did he with a second and a
third, till he had slain thirty fighting men. Then there dashed out at
him an Indian cavalier, by name Battásh al-Akrán,[50] uncle to King
Tarkanan and of his day the doughtiest man, reckoned worth five thousand
horse in battle-plain and cried out to Sa’adan, saying, “O thief of the
Arabs, hath thy daring reached that degree that thou shouldst slay the
Kings of Hind and their champions and capture their horsemen? But this
day is the last of thy worldly days.” When Sa’adan heard these words,
his eyes waxed blood-red and he drave at Battash and aimed a stroke at
him with his club; but he evaded it and the force of the blow bore
Sa’adan to the ground; and before he could recover himself, the Indians
pinioned him and haled him off to their tents. Now when Jamrkan saw his
comrade a prisoner, he cried out, saying, “Ho for the Faith of Abraham
the Friend!” and clapping heel to his horse, ran at Battash. They
wheeled about awhile, till Battash charged Jamrkan and catching him by
his jerkin[51] tare him from his saddle and cast him to the ground;
whereupon the Indians bound him and dragged him away to their tents. And
Battash ceased not to overcome all who came out to him, Captain after
Captain till he had made prisoners of four-and-twenty Chiefs of the
Moslems, whereat the True Believers were sore dismayed. When Gharib saw
what had befallen his braves, he drew from beneath his knee[52] a mace
of gold weighing six-score pounds which had belonged to Barkan King of
the Jann——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib beheld
what had befallen his braves he drew forth a golden mace which had
belonged to Barkan King of the Jann and clapped heel to his sea-horse,
which bore him like the wind-gust into mid-field. Then he let drive at
Battash, crying out, “God is Most Great! He giveth aid and victory and
He abaseth whoso reject the Faith of Abraham the Friend!” and smote him
with the mace, whereupon he fell to the ground and Gharib, turning to
the Moslems, saw his brother Sahim and said to him, “Pinion me this
hound.” When Sahim heard his brother’s words, he ran to Battash and
bound him hard and fast and bore him off, whilst the Moslem braves
wondered who this knight could be and the Indians said one to other,
“Who is this horseman which came out from among them and hath taken our
Chief prisoner?” Meanwhile Gharib continued to offer battle and there
issued forth to him a captain of the Hindís whom he felled to earth with
his mace, and Kaylajan and Kurajan pinioned him and delivered him over
to Sahim; nor did Gharib leave to do thus, till he had taken prisoner
two-and-fifty of the doughtiest Captains of the army of Hind. Then the
day came to an end and the kettle-drums beat the retreat; whereupon
Gharib left the field and rode towards the Moslem camp. The first to
meet him was Sahim, who kissed his feet in the stirrups and said, “May
thy hand never wither, O champion of the age! Tell us who thou art among
the braves.” So Gharib raised his vizor of mail and Sahim knew him and
cried out, saying, “This is your King and your lord Gharib, who is come
back from the land of the Jann!” When the Moslems heard Gharib’s name,
they threw themselves off their horses’ backs, and, crowding about him,
kissed his feet in the stirrups and saluted him, rejoicing in his safe
return. Then they carried him into the city of Oman, where he entered
his palace and sat down on the throne of his kingship, whilst his
officers stood around him in the utmost joy. Food was set on and they
ate, after which Gharib related to them all that had betided him with
the Jinn in Mount Kaf, and they marvelled thereat with exceeding marvel
and praised Allah for his safety. Then he dismissed them to their
sleeping-places; so they withdrew to their several lodgings, and when
none abode with him but Kaylajan and Kurajan, who never left him, he
said to them, “Can ye carry me to Cufa that I may take my pleasure in my
Harim, and bring me back before the end of the night?” They replied, “O
our lord, this thou askest is easy.” Now the distance between Cufa and
Oman is sixty days’ journey for a diligent horseman, and Kaylajan said
to Kurajan, “I will carry him going and thou coming back.” So he took up
Gharib and flew off with him, in company with Kurajan; nor was an hour
past before they set him down at the gate of his palace, in Cufa. He
went in to his uncle Al-Damigh, who rose to him and saluted him; after
which quoth Gharib, “How is it with my wives Fakhr Taj[53] and
Mahdiyah?” Al-Damigh answered, “They are both well and in good case.”
Then the eunuch went in and acquainted the women of the Harim with
Gharib’s coming, whereat they rejoiced and raised the trill of joy and
gave him the reward for good news. Presently in came King Gharib, and
they rose and saluting him, conversed with him, till Al-Damigh entered,
when Gharib related to them all that had befallen him in the land of the
Jinn, whereat they all marvelled. Then he lay with Fakhr Taj till near
daybreak, when he took leave of his wives and his uncle and mounted
Kurajan’s back, nor was the darkness dispelled before the two Marids set
him down in the city of Oman. Then he and his men armed and he bade open
the gates when, behold, up came a horseman from the host of the Indians,
with Jamrkan and Sa’adan and the rest of the captive captains whom he
had delivered, and committed them to Gharib. The Moslems, rejoicing in
their safety, donned their mails and took horse, while the kettle drums
beat a point of war; and the Miscreants also drew up in line.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Moslem host mounted and rode to the plain of cut and thrust, the first
to open the door of war was King Gharib who, drawing his sword Al-Mahik,
drove his charger between the two ranks and cried out, saying, “Whoso
knoweth me hath enough of my mischief and whoso unknoweth me, to him I
will make myself known. I am Gharib, King of Al-Irak and Al-Yaman,
brother of Ajib.” When Ra’ad Shah, son of the King of Hind, heard this,
he shouted to his captains, “Bring me Ajib.” So they brought him and
Ra’ad Shah said to him, “Thou wottest that this quarrel is thy quarrel
and thou art the cause of all this slaughter. Now yonder standeth thy
brother Gharib middle-most the fight-field and stead where sword and
spear we shall wield; go thou to him and bring him to me a prisoner,
that I may set him on a camel arsy-versy, and make a show of him and
carry him to the land of Hind.” Answered Ajib, “O King, send out to him
other than I, for I am in ill-health this morning.” But Ra’ad Shah
snarked and snorted and cried, “By the virtue of the sparkling Fire and
the light and the shade and the heat, unless thou fare forth to thy
brother and bring him to me in haste, I will cut off thy head and make
an end of thee.” So Ajib took heart and urging his horse up to his
brother in mid-field, said to him, “O dog of the Arabs and vilest of all
who hammer down tent-pegs, wilt thou contend with Kings? Take what to
thee cometh and receive the glad tidings of thy death.” When Gharib
heard this, he said to him, “Who art thou among the Kings?” And Ajib
answered, saying, “I am thy brother, and this day is the last of thy
worldly days.” Now when Gharib was assured that he was indeed his
brother Ajib, he cried out and said, “Ho, to avenge my father and
mother!” Then giving his sword to Kaylajan,[54] he drave at Ajib and
smote him with his mace a smashing blow and a swashing, that went nigh
to beat in his ribs, and seizing him by the mail-gorget tore him from
the saddle and cast him to the ground; whereupon the two Marids pounced
upon him and binding him fast, dragged him off dejected and abject;
whilst Gharib rejoiced in the capture of his enemy and repeated these
couplets of the poet:—

 I have won my wish and my need have scored ✿ Unto Thee be the praise and
    the thanks, O our Lord!
 I grew up dejected and abject; poor, ✿ But Allah vouchsafed me all boons
    implored:
 I have conquered countries and mastered men ✿ But for Thee were I
    naught, O thou Lord adored!

When Ra’ad Shah saw how evilly Ajib fared with his brother, he called
for his charger and donning his harness and habergeon, mounted and
dashed out a-field. As soon as he drew near King Gharib, he cried out at
him, saying, “O basest of Arabs and bearer of scrubs,[55] who art thou,
that thou shouldest capture Kings and braves? Down from thy horse and
put elbows behind back and kiss my feet and set my warriors free and go
with me in bond of chains to my reign that I may pardon thee and make
thee a Shaykh in our own land, so mayst thou eat there a bittock of
bread.” When Gharib heard these words he laughed till he fell backwards
and answered, saying, “O mad hound and mangy wolf, soon shalt thou see
against whom the shifts of Fortune will turn!” Then he cried out to
Sahim, saying, “Bring me the prisoners;” so he brought them, and Gharib
smote off their heads; whereupon Ra’ad Shah drave at him, with the
driving of a lordly champion and the onslaught of a fierce slaughterer
and they falsed and feinted and fought till nightfall, when the
kettle-drums beat the retreat.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
kettle-drums beat the retreat, the two Kings parted and returned, each
to his own place where his people gave him joy of his safety. And the
Moslems said to Gharib, “’Tis not thy wont, O King, to prolong a fight;”
and he replied, “O folk, I have done battle with many royalties[56] and
champions; but never saw I a harder hitter than this one. Had I chosen
to draw Al-Mahik upon him, I had mashed his bones and made an end of his
days: but I delayed with him, thinking to take him prisoner and give him
part enjoyment in Al-Islam.” Thus far concerning Gharib; but as regards
Ra’ad Shah, he returned to his marquee and sat upon his throne, when his
Chiefs came in to him and asked him of his adversary, and he answered,
“By the truth of the sparkling Fire, never in my life saw I the like of
yonder brave! But to-morrow I will take him prisoner and lead him away
dejected and abject.” Then they slept till daybreak, when the
battle-drums beat to fight and the swords in baldric were dight; and
war-cries were cried amain and all mounted their horses of generous
strain and drew out into the field, filling every wide place and hill
and plain. The first to open the door of war was the rider outrageous
and the lion rageous, King Gharib, who drave his steed between the two
hosts and wheeled and careered over the field, crying, “Who is for fray,
who is for fight? Let no sluggard come out to me this day nor dullard!”
Before he had made an end of speaking, out rushed Ra’ad Shah, riding on
an elephant, as he were a vast tower, in a seat girthed with silken
bands; and between the elephant’s ears sat the driver, bearing in hand a
hook, wherewith he goaded the beast and directed him right and left.
When the elephant drew near Gharib’s horse, and the steed saw a creature
it had never before set eyes on, it took fright;[57] wherefore Gharib
dismounted and gave the horse to Kaylajan. Then he drew Al-Mahik and
advanced to meet Ra’ad Shah afoot, walking on till he faced the
elephant. Now it was Ra’ad Shah’s wont, when he found himself
overmatched by any brave, to mount an elephant, taking with him an
implement called the lasso,[58] which was in the shape of a net, wide at
base and narrow at top with a running cord of silk passed through rings
along its edges. With this he would attack horsemen and casting the
meshes over them, draw the running noose and drag the rider off his
horse and make him prisoner; and thus had he conquered many cavaliers.
So, as Gharib came up to him, he raised his hand and, bespreading the
net over him, pulled him on to the back of the elephant and cried out to
the beast to return to the Indian camp. But Kaylajan and Kurajan had not
left Gharib and, when they beheld what had befallen their lord, they
laid hold of the elephant, whilst Gharib strove with the net, till he
rent it in sunder. Upon this the two Marids seized Ra’ad Shah and bound
him with a cord of palm-fibre. Then the two armies drove each at other
and met with a shock like two seas crashing or two mountains together
dashing, whilst the dust rose to the confines of the sky and blinded was
every eye. The battle waxed fierce and fell, the blood ran in rills, nor
did they cease to wage war with lunge of lance and sway of sword in
lustiest way, till the day darkened and the night starkened, when the
drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew asunder.[59] Now the
Moslems were evilly entreated that day by reason of the riders on
elephants and giraffes,[60] and many of them were killed and most of the
rest were wounded. This was grievous to Gharib, who commanded the hurt
to be medicined and turning to his Chief Officers, asked them what they
counselled. Answered they, “O King, ’tis only the elephants and giraffes
that irk us; were we but quit of them, we should overcome the enemy.”
Quoth Kaylajan and Kurajan, “We twain will unsheath our swords and fall
on them and slay the most part of them.” But there came forward a man of
Oman, who had been privy counsellor to Jaland, and said, “O King, I will
be surety for the host, an thou wilt but hearken to me and follow my
counsel.” Gharib turned to his Captains and said to them, “Whatsoever
this wise man shall say to you that do.”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib
said to his Captains, “Whatsoever this wise man shall say to you, that
do”; they replied, “Hearing and obeying!” So the Omani chose out ten
captains and asked them, “How many braves have ye under your hands?”;
and they answered, “Ten thousand fighting-men.” Then he carried them
into the armoury and armed five thousand of them with harquebuses and
other five thousand with cross-bows and taught them to shoot with these
new weapons.[61] Now as soon as it was day, the Indians came out to the
field, armed cap-à-pie, with the elephants, giraffes and champions in
their van; whereupon Gharib and his men mounted and both hosts drew out
and the big drums beat to battle. Then the man of Oman cried out to the
archers and harquebusiers to shoot, and they plied the elephants and
giraffes with shafts and leaden bullets, which entered the beasts’
flanks, whereat they roared out and turning upon their own ranks, trod
them down with their hoofs. Presently the Moslems charged the
Misbelievers and outflanked them right and left, whilst the elephants
and giraffes trampled them and drove them into the hills and wolds,
whither the Moslems followed hard upon them with the keen-edged sword
and but few of the giraffes and elephants escaped. Then King Gharib and
his folk returned, rejoicing in their victory; and on the morrow they
divided the loot and rested five days; after which King Gharib sat down
on the throne of his kingship and sending for his brother Ajib, said to
him, “O dog, why hast thou assembled the Kings against us? But He who
hath power over all things hath given us the victory over thee. So
embrace the Saving Faith and thou shalt be saved, and I will forbear to
avenge my father and mother on thee therefor, and I will make thee King
again as thou wast, placing myself under thy hand.” But Ajib said, “I
will not leave my faith.” So Gharib bade lay him in irons and appointed
an hundred stalwart slaves to guard him; after which he turned to Ra’ad
Shah and said to him, “How sayst thou of the faith of Al-Islam?” Replied
he, “O my lord, I will enter thy faith; for, were it not a true Faith
and a goodly, thou hadst not conquered us. Put forth thy hand and I will
testify that there is no god but _the_ God and that Abraham the Friend
is the Apostle of God.” At this Gharib rejoiced and said to him, “Is thy
heart indeed stablished in the sweetness of this Belief?” And he
answered, saying, “Yes, O my lord!” Then quoth Gharib, “O, Ra’ad Shah,
wilt thou go to thy country and thy kingdom?”; and quoth he, “O, my
lord, my father will put me to death, for that I have left his faith.”
Gharib rejoined, “I will go with thee and make thee king of the country
and constrain the folk to obey thee, by the help of Allah the Bountiful,
the Beneficent.” And Ra’ad Shah kissed his hands and feet. Then Gharib
rewarded the counsellor who had caused the rout of the foe and gave him
great wealth; after which he turned to Kaylajan and Kurajan, and said to
them, “Harkye, Chiefs of the Jinn, ’tis my will that ye carry me,
together with Ra’ad Shah and Jamrkan and Sa’adan to the land of Hind.”
“We hear and we obey,” answered they. So Kurajan took up Jamrkan and
Sa’adan, whilst Kaylajan took Gharib and Ra’ad Shah and made for the
land of Hind.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two
Marids had taken up Gharib and Jamrkan, Sa’adan the Ghul and Ra’ad Shah,
they flew on with them from sundown till the last of the night, when
they set them down on the terrace of King Tarkanan’s palace at Cashmere.
Now news was brought to Tarkanan by the remnants of his host of what had
befallen his son, whereat he slept not neither took delight in aught,
and he was troubled with sore trouble. As he sat in his Harim, pondering
his case, behold, Gharib and his company descended the stairways of the
palace and came in to him; and when he saw his son and those who were
with him, he was confused and fear took him of the Marids. Then Ra’ad
Shah turned to him and said, “How long wilt thou persist in thy
frowardness, O traitor and worshipper of the Fire? Woe to thee! Leave
worshipping the Fire and serve the Magnanimous Sire, Creator of day and
night, whom attaineth no sight.” When Tarkanan heard his son’s speech,
he cast at him an iron club he had by him; but it missed him and fell
upon a buttress of the palace and smote out three stones. Then cried the
King, “O dog, thou hast destroyed mine army and hast forsaken thy faith
and comest now to make me do likewise!” With this Gharib went up to him
and dealt him a cuff on the neck which knocked him down; whereupon the
Marids bound him fast and all the Harim-women fled. Then Gharib sat down
on the throne of kingship and said to Ra’ad Shah, “Do thou justice upon
thy father.” So Ra’ad Shah turned to him and said, “O perverse old man,
become one of the saved and thou shalt be saved from the fire and the
wrath of the All-powerful.” But Tarkanan cried, “I will not die save in
my own faith.” Whereupon Gharib drew Al-Mahik and smote him therewith,
and he fell to the earth in two pieces, and Allah hurried his soul to
the fire and abiding-place dire.[62] Then Gharib bade hang his body over
the palace gate and they hung one-half on the right hand and the other
on the left and waited till day, when Gharib caused Ra’ad Shah don the
royal habit and sit down on his father’s throne, with himself on his
dexter hand and Jamrkan and Sa’adan and the Marids standing right and
left; and he said to Kaylajan and Kurajan, “Whoso entereth of the
Princes and Officers, seize him and bind him, and let not a single
Captain escape you.” And they answered, “Hearkening and obedience!”
Presently, the Officers made for the palace, to do their service to the
King, and the first to appear was the Chief Captain who, seeing King
Tarkanan’s dead body cut in half and hanging on either side of the gate,
was seized with terror and amazement. Then Kaylajan laid hold of him by
the collar and threw him and pinioned him; after which he dragged him
into the palace and before sunrise they had bound three hundred and
fifty Captains and set them before Gharib, who said to them, “O folk,
have you seen your King hanging at the palace-gate?” Asked they, “Who
hath done this deed?”; and he answered, “I did it, by the help of Allah
Almighty; and whoso opposeth me, I will do with him likewise.” Then
quoth they, “What is thy will with us?”; and quoth he, “I am Gharib,
King of Al-Irak, he who slew your warriors; and now Ra’ad Shah hath
embraced the Faith of Salvation and is become a mighty King and ruler
over you. So do ye become True Believers and all shall be well with you;
but, if ye refuse, you shall repent it.” So they pronounced the
profession of the Faith and were enrolled among the people of felicity.
Then said Gharib, “Are your hearts indeed stablished in the sweetness of
the Belief?”; and they replied, “Yes”; whereupon he bade release them
and clad them in robes of honour, saying, “Go to your people and expound
Al-Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith, spare him; but if he refuse
slay him.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Gharib
said to the troops of Ra’ad Shah, “Go to your people and offer Al-Islam
to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him; but if he refuse, slay
him.” So they went out and, assembling the men under their command,
explained what had taken place and expounded Al-Islam to them, and they
all professed, except a few, whom they put to death; after which they
returned and told Gharib, who blessed Allah and glorified Him, saying,
“Praised be the Almighty who hath made this thing easy to us without
strife!” Then he abode in Cashmere of India forty days, till he had
ordered the affairs of the country and cast down the shrines and temples
of the Fire and built in their stead mosques and cathedrals, whilst
Ra’ad Shah made ready for him rarities and treasures beyond count and
despatched them to Al-Irak in ships. Then Gharib mounted on Kaylajan’s
back and Jamrkan and Sa’adan on that of Kurajan, after they had taken
leave of Ra’ad Shah; and journeyed through the night till break of day,
when they reached Oman city where their troops met them and saluted them
and rejoiced in them. Then they set out for Cufa where Gharib called for
his brother Ajib and commanded to hang him. So Sahim brought hooks of
iron and driving them into the tendons of Ajib’s heels, hung him over
the gate; and Gharib bade them shoot him; so they riddled him with
arrows, till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib entered his
palace and sitting down on the throne of his kingship, passed the day in
ordering the affairs of the state. At nightfall he went in to his Harim,
where Star o’ Morn came to meet him and embraced him and gave him joy,
she and her women, of his safety. He spent that day and lay that night
with her and on the morrow, after he had made the Ghusl-ablution and
prayed the dawn-prayer, he sat down on his throne and commanded
preparation to be made for his marriage with Mahdiyah. Accordingly they
slaughtered three thousand head of sheep and two thousand oxen and a
thousand he-goats and five hundred camels and the like number of horses,
beside four thousand fowls and great store of geese; never was such
wedding in Al-Islam to that day. Then he went in to Mahdiyah and took
her maidenhead and abode with her ten days; after which he committed the
kingdom to his uncle Al-Damigh, charging him to rule the lieges justly,
and journeyed with his women and warriors, till he came to the ships
laden with the treasures and rarities which Ra’ad Shah had sent him, and
divided the monies among his men who from poor became rich. Then they
fared on till they reached the city of Babel, where he bestowed on Sahim
Al-Layl a robe of honour and appointed him Sultan of the city.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, after
robing his brother Sahim and appointing him Sultan, abode with him ten
days, after which he set out again and journeyed nor stinted travel till
he reached the castle of Sa’adan the Ghul, where they rested five days.
Then quoth Gharib to Kaylajan and Kurajan, “Pass over to Isbánír
al-Madáin, to the palace of the Chosroe, and find what is come of Fakhr
Taj and bring me one of the King’s kinsmen, who shall acquaint me with
what hath passed.” Quoth they, “We hear and we obey,” and set out
forthright for Isbanir. As they flew between heaven and earth, behold,
they caught sight of a mighty army, as it were the surging sea, and
Kaylajan said to Kurajan, “Let us descend and determine what be this
host.” So they alighted and walking among the troops, found them
Persians and questioned the soldiers whose men they were and whither
they were bound; whereto they made answer, “We are _en route_ for
Al-Irak, to slay Gharib and all who company him.” When the Marids heard
these words, they repaired to the pavilion of the Persian general, whose
name was Rustam, and waited till the soldiers slept, when they took up
Rustam, bed and all, and made for the castle where Gharib lay. They
arrived there by midnight and going to the door of the King’s pavilion,
cried, “Permission!” which when he heard, he sat up and said, “Come in.”
So they entered and set down the couch with Rustam asleep thereon.
Gharib asked, “Who be this?” and they answered, “This be a Persian
Prince, whom we met coming with a great host, thinking to slay thee and
thine, and we have brought him to thee, that he may tell thee what thou
hast a mind to know.” “Fetch me an hundred braves!” cried Gharib, and
they fetched them; whereupon he bade them, “Draw your swords and stand
at the head of this Persian carle!” Then they awoke him and he opened
his eyes; and, finding an arch of steel over his head, shut them again,
crying, “What be this foul dream?” But Kaylajan pricked him with his
sword-point and he sat up and said, “Where am I?” Quoth Sahim, “Thou art
in the presence of King Gharib, son-in-law of the King of the Persians.
What is thy name and whither goest thou?” When Rustam heard Gharib’s
name, he bethought himself and said in his mind, “Am I asleep or awake?”
Whereupon Sahim dealt him a buffet, saying, “Why dost thou not answer?”
And he raised his head and asked, “Who brought me from my tent out of
the midst of my men?” Gharib answered, “These two Marids brought thee.”
So he looked at Kaylajan and Kurajan and skited in his bag-trousers.
Then the Marids fell upon him, baring their tusks and brandishing their
blades, and said to him, “Wilt thou not rise and kiss ground before King
Gharib?” And he trembled at them and was assured that he was not asleep;
so he stood up and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib,
saying, “The blessing of the Fire be on thee, and long life be thy life,
O King!” Gharib cried, “O dog of the Persians, fire is not worshipful,
for that it is harmful and profiteth not save in cooking food.” Asked
Rustam, “Who then is worshipful?”; and Gharib answered, “Alone
worship-worth is God, who formed thee and fashioned thee and created the
heavens and the earth.” Quoth the Ajami, “What shall I say that I may
become of the party of this Lord and enter thy Faith?”; and quoth
Gharib, “Say:—There is no god but _the_ God, and Abraham is the Friend
of God.” So Rustam pronounced the profession of the Faith and was
enrolled among the people of felicity. Then said he to Gharib, “Know, O
my lord, that thy father-in-law, King Sabúr, seeketh to slay thee; and
indeed he hath sent me with an hundred thousand men, charging me to
spare none of you.” Gharib rejoined, “Is this my reward for having
delivered his daughter from death and dishonour? Allah will requite him
his ill intent. But what is thy name?” The Persian answered, “My name is
Rustam, general of Sabur;” and Gharib, “Thou shalt have the like rank in
my army,” adding, “But tell me, O Rustam, how is it with the Princess
Fakhr Taj?” “May thy head live, O King of the age!” “What was the cause
of her death?” Rustam replied, “O my lord, no sooner hadst thou left us
than one of the Princess’s women went in to King Sabur and said to
him:—O my master, didst thou give Gharib leave to lie with the Princess
my mistress? whereto he answered:—No, by the virtue of the fire! and
drawing his sword, went in to his daughter and said to her:—O foul
baggage, why didst thou suffer yonder Badawi to sleep with thee, without
dower or even wedding? She replied:—O my papa, ’twas thou gavest him
leave to sleep with me. Then he asked:—Did the fellow have thee? but she
was silent and hung down her head. Hereupon he cried out to the midwives
and slave-girls, saying:—Pinion me this harlot’s elbows behind her and
look at her privy parts. So they did as he bade them and after
inspecting her slit said to him:—O King, she hath lost her maidenhead.
Whereupon he ran at her and would have slain her, but her mother rose up
and threw herself between them crying:—O King, slay her not, lest thou
be for ever dishonoured; but shut her in a cell till she die. So he cast
her into prison till nightfall, when he called two of his courtiers and
said to them:—Carry her afar off and throw her into the river Jayhun and
tell none. They did his commandment, and indeed her memory is forgotten
and her time is past.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib
asked news of Fakhr Taj, Rustam informed him that she had been drowned
in the river by her sire’s command. And when Gharib heard this, the
world waxed wan before his eyes and he cried, “By the virtue of Abraham
the Friend, I will assuredly go to yonder dog and overwhelm him and lay
waste his realm!” Then he sent letters to Jamrkan and to the governors
of Mosul and Mayyáfárikín; and, turning to Rustam, said to him, “How
many men hadst thou in thine army?” He replied, “An hundred thousand
Persian horse;” and Gharib rejoined, “Take ten thousand horse and go to
thy people and occupy them with war; I will follow on thy trail.” So
Rustam mounted and taking ten thousand Arab horse made for his tribe,
saying in himself, “I will do a deed shall whiten my face with King
Gharib.” So he fared on seven days, till there remained but half a day’s
journey between him and the Persian camp; when, dividing his host into
four divisions he said to his men, “Surround the Persians on all sides
and fall upon them with the sword.” They rode on from eventide till
midnight, when they had compassed the camp of the Ajamis, who were
asleep in security, and fell upon them, shouting, “God is Most Great!”
Whereupon the Persians started up from sleep and their feet slipped and
the sabre went round amongst them; for the All-knowing King was wroth
with them, and Rustam wrought amongst them as fire in dry fuel; till, by
the end of the night, the whole of the Persian host was slain or wounded
or fled, and the Moslems made prize of their tents and baggage, horses,
camels and treasure-chests. Then they alighted and rested in the tents
of the Ajamis till King Gharib came up and, seeing what Rustam had done
and how he had gained by stratagem a great and complete victory, he
invested him with a robe of honour and said to him, “O Rustam, it was
thou didst put the Persians to the rout; wherefore all the spoil is
thine.” So he kissed Gharib’s hand and thanked him, and they rested till
the end of the day, when they set out for King Sabur’s capital.
Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated force reached Isbanir and went
in to Sabur, crying out and saying, “Alas!” and “Well-away!” and “Woe
worth the day!” Quoth he, “What hath befallen you and who with his
mischief hath smitten you?” So they told him all that had passed and
said, “Naught befel us except that thy general Rustam fell upon us in
the darkness of the night because he had turned Moslem; nor did Gharib
come near us.” When the King heard this, he cast his crown to the ground
and said, “There is no worth left us!” Then he turned to his son Ward
Shah[63] and said to him, “O my son, there is none for this affair save
thou.” Answered Ward Shah, “By thy life, O my father, I will assuredly
bring Gharib and his chiefs of the people in chains and slay all who are
with him.” Then he numbered his army and found it two hundred and twenty
thousand men. So they slept, intending to set forth on the morrow; but,
next morning, as they were about to march, behold, a cloud of dust arose
and spread till it walled the world and baffled the sight of the
farthest-seeing wight. Now Sabur had mounted to farewell his son, and
when he saw this mighty great dust, he let call a runner and said to
him, “Go find me out the cause of this dust-cloud.” The scout went and
returned, saying, “O my lord, Gharib and his braves are upon you;”
whereupon they unloaded their bât-beasts and drew out in line of battle.
When Gharib came up and saw the Persians ranged in row, he cried out to
his men, saying, “Charge with the blessing of Allah!” So they waved the
flags, and the Arabs and the Ajamis drave one at other and folk were
heaped upon folk. Blood ran like water and all souls saw death face to
face; the brave advanced and pressed forward to assail and the coward
hung back and turned tail and they ceased not from fight and fray till
ended day, when the kettle-drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew
apart. Then Sabur commanded to pitch his camp hard over the city-gate,
and Gharib set up his pavilions in front of theirs; and every one went
to his tent.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two hosts
drew apart, every one went to his tent until the morning. As soon as it
was day, the two hosts mounted their strong steeds and levelled their
lances and wore their harness of war; then they raised their
slogan-cries and drew out in battle-array, whilst came forth all the
lordly knights and the lions of fights. Now the first to open the gate
of battle was Rustam, who urged his charger into mid-field and cried
out, “God is most Great! I am Rustam champion-in-chief of the Arabs and
Ajams. Who is for tilting, who is for fighting? Let no sluggard come out
to me this day or weakling!” Then there rushed forth to him a champion
of the Persians; the two charged each other and there befel between them
a sore fight, till Rustam sprang upon his adversary and smote him with a
mace he had with him, seventy pounds in weight, and beat his head down
upon his breast, and he fell to the earth, dead and in his blood
drowned. This was no light matter to Sabur and he commanded his men to
charge; so they drave at the Moslems, invoking the aid of the
light-giving Sun, whilst the True Believers called for help upon the
Magnanimous King. But the Ajams, the Miscreants, outnumbered the Arabs,
the Moslems, and made them drain the cup of death; which when Gharib saw
he drew his sword Al-Mahik and crying out his war-cry, fell upon the
Persians, with Kaylajan and Kurajan at either stirrup; nor did he leave
playing upon them with blade till he hewed his way to the
standard-bearer and smote him on the head with the flat of his sword,
whereupon he fell down in a fainting-fit and the two Marids bore him off
to their camp. When the Persians saw the standard fall, they turned and
fled and for the city-gates made; but the Moslems followed them with the
blade and they crowded together to enter the city, so that they could
not shut the gates and there died of them much people. Then Rustam and
Sa’adan, Jamrkan and Sahim, Al-Damigh, Kaylajan and Kurajan and all the
braves Mohammedan and the champions of Faith Unitarian fell upon the
misbelieving Persians in the gates, and the blood of the Kafirs ran in
the streets like a torrent till they threw down their arms and harness
and called out for quarter; whereupon the Moslems stayed their swords
from the slaughter and drove them to their tents, as one driveth a flock
of sheep. Meanwhile Gharib returned to his pavilion, where he doffed his
gear and washed himself of the blood of the Infidels; after which he
donned his royal robes and sat down on his chair of estate. Then he
called for the King of the Persians and said to him, “O dog of the
Ajams, what moved thee to deal thus with thy daughter? How seest thou me
unworthy to be her baron?” And Sabur answered, saying, “O King, punish
me not because of that deed which I did; for I repent me and confronted
thee not in fight but in my fear of thee.”[64] When Gharib heard these
words he bade throw him flat and beat him. So they bastinadoed him, till
he could no longer groan, and cast him among the prisoners. Then Gharib
expounded Al-Islam to the Persians and one hundred and twenty thousand
of them embraced The Faith, and the rest he put to the sword. Moreover
all the citizens professed Al-Islam and Gharib mounted and entered in
great state the city Isbanir al-Madain. Then he went into the King’s
palace and sitting down on Sabur’s throne, gave robes and largesse and
distributed the booty and treasure among the Arabs and Persians,
wherefore they loved him and wished him victory and honour and endurance
of days. But Fakhr Taj’s mother remembered her daughter and raised the
voice of mourning for her, and the palace was filled with wails and
cries. Gharib heard this and entering the Harim, asked the women what
ailed them, whereupon the Princess’s mother came forward and said, “O my
lord, thy presence put me in mind of my daughter and how she would have
joyed in thy coming, had she been alive and well.” Gharib wept for her
and sitting down on his throne, called for Sabur, and they brought him
stumbling in his shackles. Quoth Gharib to him, “O dog of the Persians,
what didst thou do with thy daughter?” “I gave her to such an one and
such an one,” quoth the King, “saying:—Drown her in the river Jayhún.”
So Gharib sent for the two men and asked them, “Is what he saith true?”
Answered they, “Yes; but, O King, we did not drown her, nay we took pity
on her and left her on the banks of the Jayhun, saying:—Save thyself and
return not to the city, lest the King slay thee and slay us with thee.
This is all we know of her.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Six Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two men
ended the tale of Fakhr Taj with these words, “And we left her upon the
bank of the river Jayhun!” Now, when Gharib heard this he bade bring the
astrologers and said to them, “Strike me a board of geomancy and find
out what is come of Fakhr Taj, and whether she is still in the bonds of
life or dead.” They did so and said, “O King of the age, it is manifest
to us that the Princess is alive and hath borne a male child; but she is
with a tribe of the Jinn, and will be parted from thee twenty years;
count, therefore, how many years thou hast been absent in travel.” So he
reckoned up the years of his absence and found them eight years and
said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great!”[65] Then he sent for all Sabur’s Governors of
towns and strongholds and they came and did him homage. Now one day
after this, as he sat in his palace, behold, a cloud of dust appeared in
the distance and spread till it walled the whole land and darkened the
horizon. So he summoned the two Marids and bade them reconnoitre, and
they went forth under the dust cloud and snatching up a horseman of the
advancing host, returned and set him down before Gharib, saying, “Ask
this fellow, for he is of the army.” Quoth Gharib, “Whose power is
this?” and the man answered, “O King, ’tis the army of Khirad Shah,[66]
King of Shiras, who is come forth to fight thee.” Now the cause of
Khirad Shah’s coming was this. When Gharib defeated Sabur’s army, as
hath been related, and took him prisoner, the King’s son fled, with a
handful of his father’s force and ceased not flying till he reached the
city of Shiras, where he went into King Khirad Shah and kissed ground
before him, whilst the tears ran down his cheeks. When the King saw him
in this case, he said to him, “Lift thy head, O youth, and tell me what
maketh thee weep.” He replied, “O King, a King of the Arabs, by name
Gharib, hath fallen on us and captured the King my sire and slain the
Persians making them drain the cup of death.” And he told him all that
had passed from first to last. Quoth Khirad Shah, “Is my wife[67] well?”
and quoth the Prince, “Gharib hath taken her.” Cried the King “As my
head liveth, I will not leave a Badawi or a Moslem on the face of the
earth!” So he wrote letters to his Viceroys, who levied their troops and
joined him with an army which when reviewed numbered eighty-five
thousand men. Then he opened his armouries and distributed arms and
armour to the troops, after which he set out with them and journeyed
till he came to Isbanir, and all encamped before the city-gate. Hereupon
Kaylajan and Kurajan came in to Gharib and kissing his knee, said to
him, “O our Lord, heal our hearts and give us this host to our share.”
And he said, “Up and at them!” So the two Marids flew aloft high in the
lift and lighting down in the pavilion of the King of Shiras, found him
seated on his chair of estate, with the Prince of Persia, Ward Shah son
of Sabur, sitting on his right hand, and about him his Captains, with
whom he was taking counsel for the slaughter of the Moslems. Kaylajan
came forward and caught up the Prince and Kurajan snatched up the King
and the twain flew back with them to Gharib, who caused beat them till
they fainted. Then the Marids returned to the Shirazian camp and,
drawing their swords, which no mortal man had strength to wield, fell
upon the Misbelievers and Allah hurried their souls to the Fire and
abiding-place dire, whilst they saw no one and nothing save two swords
flashing and reaping men, as a husbandman reaps corn. So they left their
tents and mounting their horses bare-backed, fled; and the Marids
pursued them two days and slew of them much people; after which they
returned and kissed Gharib’s hand. He thanked them for the deed they had
done and said to them, “The spoil of the Infidels is yours alone: none
shall share with you therein.” So they called down blessings on him and
going forth, gathered the booty together and abode in their own homes.
On this wise it fared with them; but as regards Gharib and his
lieges,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


        Now when it was the Six Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Gharib
had put to flight the host of Khirad Shah, he bade Kaylajan and Kurajan
take the spoil to their own possession nor share it with any; so they
gathered the booty and abode in their own homes. Meanwhile the remains
of the beaten force ceased not flying till they reached the city of
Shiras and there lifted up the voice of weeping and began the ceremonial
lamentations for those of them that had been slain. Now King Khirad Shah
had a brother Sírán the Sorcerer hight, than whom there was no greater
wizard in his day, and he lived apart from his brother in a certain
stronghold, called the Fortalice of Fruits,[68] in a place abounding in
trees and streams and birds and blooms, half a day’s journey from
Shiras. So the fugitives betook them thither and went in to Siran the
Sorcerer, weeping and wailing aloud. Quoth he, “O folk, what garreth you
weep?” and they told him all that had happened, especially how the two
Marids had carried off his brother Khirad Shah; whereupon the light of
his eyes became night and he said, “By the virtue of my faith, I will
certainly slay Gharib and all his men and leave not one alive to tell
the tale!” Then he pronounced certain magical words and summoned the Red
King, who appeared and Siran said to him, “Fare for Isbanir and fall on
Gharib, as he sitteth upon his throne.” Replied he, “Hearkening and
obedience!” and, gathering his troops, repaired to Isbanir and assailed
Gharib, who seeing him, drew his sword Al-Mahik and he and Kaylajan and
Kurajan fell upon the army of the Red King and slew of them five hundred
and thirty and wounded the King himself with a grievous wound; whereupon
he and his people fled and stayed not in their flight, till they reached
the Fortalice of Fruits and went into Siran, crying out and exclaiming,
“Woe!” and “Ruin!” And the Red King said to Siran, “O sage, Gharib hath
with him the enchanted sword of Japhet son of Noah, and whomsoever he
smiteth therewith he severeth him in sunder, and with him also are two
Marids from Mount Caucasus, given to him by King Mura’ash. He it is who
slew the blue King and Barkan Lord of the Carnelian City, and did to
death much people of the Jinn.” When the Enchanter heard this, he said
to the Red King, “Go,” and he went his ways; whereupon he resumed his
conjurations, and calling up a Marid, by name Zu’ázi’a gave him a drachm
of levigated Bhang and said to him, “Go thou at Isbanir, and enter King
Gharib’s palace and assume the form of a sparrow. Wait till he fall and
there be none with him; then put the Bhang up his nostrils and bring him
to me.” “To hear is to obey,” replied the Marid and flew to Isbanir,
where, changing himself into a sparrow, he perched on the window of the
palace and waited till all Gharib’s attendants retired to their rooms
and the King himself slept. Then he flew down and going up to Gharib,
blew the powdered Bhang into his nostrils, till he lost his senses,
whereupon he wrapped him in the bed-coverlet and flew off with him, like
the storm-wind, to the Fortalice of Fruits; where he arrived at midnight
and laid his prize before Siran. The Sorcerer thanked him and would have
put Gharib to death, as he lay senseless under Bhang; but a man of his
people withheld him saying, “O Sage, an thou slay him, his friend King
Mura’ash will fall on us with all his Ifrits and lay waste our realm.”
“How then shall we do with him?” asked Siran, and the other answered,
“Cast him into the Jayhun while he is still in Bhang and he shall be
drowned and none will know who threw him in.” And Siran bade the Marid
take Gharib and cast him into Jayhun river.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

[Illustration]

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took
Gharib and carried him to the Jayhun purposing to cast him therein, but
it was grievous to him to drown him, wherefore he made a raft of wood
and binding it with cords, pushed it out (and Gharib thereon) into the
current, which carried it away. Thus fared it with Gharib; but as
regards his people, when they awoke in the morning and went in to do
their service to their King, they found him not and seeing his rosary on
the throne, awaited him awhile, but he came not. So they sought out the
head Chamberlain and said to him, “Go into the Harim and look for the
King: for it is not his habit to tarry till this time.” Accordingly, the
Chamberlain entered the Serraglio and enquired for the King, but the
women said, “Since yesterday we have not seen him.” Thereupon he
returned and told the Officers, who were confounded and said, “Let us
see if he have gone to take his pleasure in the gardens.” Then they went
out and questioned the gardeners if they had seen the King, and they
answered, “No;” whereat they were sore concerned and searched all the
garths till the end of the day, when they returned in tears. Moreover,
the two Marids sought for him all round the city, but came back after
three days, without having happened on any tidings of him. So the people
donned black and made their complaint to the Lord of all worshipping men
who doth as he is fain. Meanwhile, the current bore the raft along for
five days till it brought it to the salt sea, where the waves disported
with Gharib and his stomach, being troubled, threw up the Bhang. Then he
opened his eyes and finding himself in the midst of the main, a
plaything of the billows, said, “There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Would to Heaven I wot who
hath done this deed by me!” Presently as he lay, perplexed concerning
his case, lo! he caught sight of a ship sailing by and signalled with
his sleeve to the sailors, who came to him and took him up, saying, “Who
art thou and whence comest thou?” He replied, “Do ye feed me and give me
to drink, till I recover myself, and after I will tell you who I am.” So
they brought him water and victual, and he ate and drank and Allah
restored to him his reason. Then he asked them, “O folk, what countrymen
are ye and what is your Faith?;” and they answered, “We are from
Karaj[69] and we worship an idol called Minkásh.” Cried Gharib,
“Perdition to you and your idol! O dogs, none is worthy of worship save
Allah who created all things, who saith to a thing Be! and it becometh.”
When they heard this, they rose up and fell upon him in great wrath and
would have seized him. Now he was without weapons, but whomsoever he
struck, he smote down and deprived of life, till he had felled forty
men, after which they overcame him by force of numbers and bound him
fast, saying, “We will not slay him save in our own land, that we may
first show him to our King.” Then they sailed on till they came to the
city of Karaj.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship’s
crew seized Gharib and bound him fast they said, “We will not slay him
save in our own land.” Then they sailed on till they came to the city of
Karaj, the builder whereof was an Amalekite, fierce and furious; and he
had set up at each gate of the city a magical figure of copper which,
whenever a stranger entered, blew a blast on a trumpet, that all in the
city heard it and fell upon the stranger and slew him, except they
embraced their creed. When Gharib entered the city, the figure stationed
at the gate blew such a horrible blast that the King was affrighted and
going into his idol, found fire and smoke issuing from its mouth, nose
and eyes. Now a Satan had entered the belly of the idol and speaking as
with its tongue, said, “O King, there is come to thy city one hight
Gharib, King of Al-Irak, who biddeth the folk quit their belief and
worship his Lord; wherefore, when they bring him before thee, look thou
spare him not.” So the King went out and sat down on his throne; and
presently, the sailors brought in Gharib and set him before the
presence, saying, “O King, we found this youth shipwrecked in the midst
of the sea, and he is a Kafir and believeth not in our gods.” Then they
told him all that had passed and the King said, “Carry him to the house
of the Great Idol and cut his throat before him, so haply our god may
look lovingly upon us.” But the Wazir said, “O King, it befitteth not to
slaughter him thus, for he would die in a moment: better we imprison him
and build a pyre of fuel and burn him with fire.” Thereupon the King
commanded to cast Gharib into gaol and caused wood to be brought, and
they made a mighty pyre and set fire to it, and it burnt till the
morning. Then the King and the people of the city came forth and the
Ruler sent to fetch Gharib; but his lieges found him not; so they
returned and told their King who said, “And how made he his escape?”
Quoth they, “We found the chains and shackles cast down and the doors
fast locked.” Whereat the King marvelled and asked, “Hath this fellow to
Heaven up flown or into the earth gone down?;” and they answered, “We
know not.” Then said the King, “I will go and question my God, and he
will inform me whither he is gone.” So he rose and went in, to prostrate
himself to his idol, but found it not and began to rub his eyes and say,
“Am I in sleep or on wake?” Then he turned to his Wazir and said to him,
“Where is my God and where is my prisoner? By my faith, O dog of Wazirs,
haddest thou not counselled me to burn him, I had slaughtered him; for
it is he who hath stolen my god and fled; and there is no help but I
take blood-wreak of him!” Then he drew his sword and struck off the
Wazir’s head. Now there was for Gharib’s escape with the idol a strange
cause and it was on this wise. When they had shut him up in a cell
adjoining the doomed shrine under which stood the idol, he rose to pray,
calling upon the name of Almighty Allah and seeking deliverance of Him,
to whom be honour and glory! The Marid who had charge of the idol and
spoke in its name, heard him and fear got hold upon his heart and he
said, “O shame upon me! Who is this seeth me while I see him not?” So he
went in to Gharib and throwing himself at his feet, said to him, “O my
Lord, what must I say that I may become of thy company and enter thy
religion?” Replied Gharib, “Say:—There is no god but _the_ God and
Abraham is the Friend of God.” So the Marid pronounced the profession of
Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Now his name was
Zalzál, son of Al-Muzalzil,[70] one of the Chiefs of the Kings of the
Jinn. Then he unbound Gharib and taking him and the idol, made for the
higher air.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took up
Gharib and the idol and made for the higher air. Such was his case; but
as regards the King, when his soldiers saw what had befallen and the
slaughter of the Wazir they renounced the worship of the idol and
drawing their swords, slew the King; after which they fell on one
another, and the sword went round amongst them three days, till there
abode alive but two men, one of whom prevailed over the other and killed
him. Then the boys attacked the survivor and slew him and fell to
fighting amongst themselves, till they were all killed; and the women
and girls fled to the hamlets and forted villages; wherefore the city
became desert and none dwelt therein but the owl. Meanwhile, the Marid
Zalzal flew with Gharib towards his own country, the Island of Camphor
and the Castle of Crystal and the Land of the Enchanted Calf, so called
because its King Al-Muzalzil, had a pied calf, which he had clad in
housings brocaded with red gold, and worshipped as a god. One day the
King and his people went in to the calf and found him trembling; so the
King said, “O my God, what hath troubled thee?” whereupon the Satan in
the calf’s belly cried out and said, “O Muzalzil, verily thy son hath
deserted to the Faith of Abraham the Friend, at the hands of Gharib Lord
of Al-Irak;” and went on to tell him all that had passed from first to
last. When the King heard the words of his calf he was confounded and
going forth, sat down upon his throne. Then he summoned his Grandees who
came in a body, and he told them what he had heard from the idol,
whereat they marvelled and said, “What shall we do, O King?” Quoth he,
“When my son cometh and ye see him embrace him, do ye lay hold of him.”
And they said, “Hearkening and obedience!” After two days came Zalzal
and Gharib, with the King’s idol of Karaj, but no sooner had they
entered the palace-gate than the Jinn seized on them and carried them
before Al-Muzalzil, who looked at his son with eyes of ire and said to
him, “O dog of the Jann, hast thou left thy Faith and that of thy
fathers and grandfathers?” Quoth Zalzal, “I have embraced the True
Faith, and on like wise do thou (Woe be to thee!) seek salvation and
thou shalt be saved from the wrath of the King Almighty in sway, Creator
of Night and Day.” Therewith his father waxed wroth and said, “O son of
adultery, dost confront me with these words?” Then he bade clap him in
prison and turning to Gharib, said to him, “O wretch of a mortal, how
hast thou abused my son’s wit and seduced him from his Faith?” Quoth
Gharib, “Indeed, I have brought him out of wrongousness into the way of
righteousness, out of Hell into Heaven and out of unfaith to the True
Faith.” Whereupon the King cried out to a Marid called Sayyár, saying,
“Take this dog and cast him into the Wady of Fire, that he may perish.”
Now this valley was in the “Waste Quarter[71]” and was thus named from
the excess of its heat and the flaming of its fire, which was so fierce
that none who went down therein could live an hour, but was destroyed;
and it was compassed about by mountains high and slippery wherein was no
opening. So Sayyar took up Gharib and flew with him towards the Valley
of Fire, till he came within an hour’s journey thereof, when being
weary, he alighted in a valley full of trees and streams and fruits, and
setting down from his back Gharib chained as he was, fell asleep for
fatigue. When Gharib heard him snore, he strove with his bonds till he
burst them; then, taking up a heavy stone, he cast it down on the
Marid’s head and crushed his bones, so that he died on the spot. Then he
fared on into the valley.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib after
killing the Marid fared on into the valley and found himself in a great
island in mid-ocean, full of all fruits that lips and tongue could
desire. So he abode alone on the island, drinking of its waters and
eating of its fruits and of fish that he caught, and days and years
passed over him, till he had sojourned there in his solitude seven
years. One day, as he sat, behold, there came down on him from the air
two Marids, each carrying a man; and seeing him they said, “Who art
thou, O fellow, and of which of the tribes art thou?” Now they took him
for a Jinni, because his hair was grown long; and he replied, saying, “I
am not of the Jann,” whereupon they questioned him, and he told them all
that had befallen him. They grieved for him and one of the Ifrits said,
“Abide thou here till we bear these two lambs to our King, that he may
break his fast on the one and sup on the other, and after we will come
back and carry thee to thine own country.” He thanked them and said,
“Where be the lambs?” Quoth they, “These two mortals are the lambs.” And
Gharib said, “I take refuge with Allah the God of Abraham the Friend,
the Lord of all creatures, who hath power over everything!” Then the
Marids flew away and Gharib abode awaiting them two days, when one of
them returned, bringing with him a suit of clothes wherewith he clad
him. Then he took him up and flew with him sky-high out of sight of
earth, till Gharib heard the angels glorifying God in heaven, and a
flaming shaft issued from amongst them and made for the Marid, who fled
from it towards the earth. The meteor pursued him, till he came within a
spear’s cast of the ground, when Gharib leaped from his shoulders and
the fiery shaft overtook the Marid, who became a heap of ashes. As for
Gharib, he fell into the sea and sank two fathoms deep, after which he
rose to the surface and swam for two days and two nights, till his
strength failed him and he made certain of death. But, on the third day
as he was despairing he caught sight of an island steep and mountainous;
so he swam for it and landing, walked on inland, where he rested a day
and a night, feeding on the growth of the ground. Then he climbed to the
mountain top, and, descending the opposite slope, fared on two days till
he came in sight of a walled and bulwarked city, abounding in trees and
rills. He walked up to it; but, when he reached the gate, the warders
seized on him, and carried him to their Queen, whose name was Ján
Sháh.[72] Now she was five hundred years old, and every man who entered
the city, they brought to her and she made him sleep with her, and when
he had done his work, she slew him and so had she slain many men. When
she saw Gharib, he pleased her mightily; so she asked him, “What be thy
name and Faith and whence comest thou?” and he answered, “My name is
Gharib King of Irak, and I am a Moslem.” Said she, “Leave this Creed and
enter mine and I will marry thee and make thee King.” But he looked at
her with eyes of ire and cried, “Perish thou and thy faith!” Cried she,
“Dost thou blaspheme my idol, which is of red carnelian, set with pearls
and gems?” And she called out to her men, saying, “Imprison him in the
house of the idol; haply it will soften his heart.” So they shut him up
in the domed shrine and locking the doors upon him, went their way.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they took
Gharib, they jailed him in the idol’s domed shrine; and locking the
doors upon him, went their way. As soon as they were gone, Gharib gazed
at the idol, which was of red carnelian, with collars of pearls and
precious stones about its neck, and presently he went close to it and
lifting it up, dashed it on the ground and brake it in bits; after which
he lay down and slept till daybreak. When morning morrowed, the Queen
took seat on her throne and said, “O men, bring me the prisoner.” So
they opened the temple doors and entering, found the idol broken in
pieces, whereupon they buffeted their faces till the blood ran from the
corners of their eyes. Then they made at Gharib to seize him; but he
smote one of them with his fist and slew him, and so did he with another
and yet another, till he had slain five-and-twenty of them and the rest
fled and went in to Queen Jan Shah, shrieking loudly. Quoth she, “What
is the matter?” and quoth they, “The prisoner hath broken thine idol and
slain thy men,” and told her all that had passed. When she heard this,
she cast her crown to the ground and said, “There is no worth left in
idols!” Then she mounted amid a thousand fighting-men and rode to the
temple, where she found Gharib had gotten him a sword and come forth and
was slaying men and overthrowing warriors. When she saw his prowess, her
heart was drowned in the love of him and she said to herself, “I have no
need of the idol and care for naught save this Gharib, that he may lie
in my bosom the rest of my life.” Then she cried to her men, “Hold aloof
from him and leave him to himself!”; then, going up to him she muttered
certain magical words, whereupon his arm became benumbed, his forearm
relaxed and the sword dropped from his hand. So they seized him and
pinioned him, as he stood confounded, stupefied. Then the Queen returned
to her palace, and seating herself on her seat of estate, bade her
people withdraw and leave Gharib with her. When they were alone, she
said to him, “O dog of the Arabs, wilt thou shiver my idol and slay my
people?” He replied, “O accursed woman, had he been a god he had
defended himself?” Quoth she, “Stroke me and I will forgive thee all
thou hast done.” But he replied, saying, “I will do nought of this.” And
she said, “By the virtue of my faith, I will torture thee with grievous
torture!” So she took water and conjuring over it, sprinkled it upon him
and he became an ape. And she used to feed and water and keep him in a
closet, appointing one to care for him; and in this plight he abode two
years. Then she called him to her one day and said to him, “Wilt thou
hearken to me?” And he signed to her with his head, “Yes.” So she
rejoiced and freed him from the enchantment. Then she brought him food
and he ate and toyed with her and kissed her, so that she trusted in
him. When it was night she lay down and said to him, “Come, do thy
business.” He replied, “’Tis well;” and, mounting on her breast, seized
her by the neck and brake it, nor did he arise from her till life had
left her. Then, seeing an open cabinet, he went in and found there a
sword of damascened[73] steel and a targe of Chinese iron; so he armed
himself cap-à-pie and waited till the day. As soon as it was morning, he
went forth and stood at the gate of the palace. When the Emirs came and
would have gone in to do their service to the Queen, they found Gharib
standing at the gate, clad in complete war-gear; and he said to them, “O
folk, leave the service of idols and worship the All-wise King, Creator
of Night and Day, the Lord of men, the Quickener of dry bones, for He
made all things and hath dominion over all.” When the Kafirs heard this,
they ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending lion and charged
through them again and again, slaying of them much people;——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

[Illustration]

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Kafirs
fell upon Gharib, he slew of them much people; but, when the night came,
they overcame him by dint of numbers and would have taken him by
strenuous effort, when behold, there descended upon the Infidels a
thousand Marids, under the command of Zalzal, who plied them with the
keen sabre and made them drink the cup of destruction, whilst Allah
hurried their souls to Hell-fire, till but few were left of the people
of Jan Shah to tell the tale and the rest cried out, “Quarter! Quarter!”
and believed in the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from
other thing, the Destroyer of the Jabábirah[74] and Exterminator of the
Akásirah, Lord of this world and of the next. Then Zalzal saluted Gharib
and gave him joy of his safety; and Gharib said to him, “How knowest
thou of my case?” and he replied, “O my lord, my father kept me in
prison two years, after sending thee to the Valley of Fire; then he
released me, and I abode with him another year, till I was restored to
favour with him, when I slew him and his troops submitted to me. I ruled
them for a year’s space till, one night, I lay down to sleep, having
thee in thought, and saw thee in a dream, fighting against the people of
Jan Shah; wherefore I took these thousand Marids and came to thee.” And
Gharib marvelled at this happy conjuncture. Then he seized upon Jan
Shah’s treasures and those of the slain and appointed a ruler over the
city; after which the Marids took up Gharib and the monies and he lay
the same night in the Castle of Crystal. He abode Zalzal’s guest six
months, when he desired to depart; so Zalzal gave him rich presents and
despatched three thousand Marids, who brought the spoils of Karaj-city
and added them to those of Jan Shah. Then Zalzal loaded forty thousand
Marids with the treasure and himself taking up Gharib, flew with his
host towards the city of Isbanir al-Madain where they arrived at
midnight. But as Gharib glanced around he saw the walls invested on all
sides by a conquering army,[75] as it were the surging sea, so he said
to Zalzal, “O my brother, what is the cause of this siege and whence
came this army?” Then he alighted on the terrace-roof of his palace and
cried out, saying, “Ho, Star o’ Morn! Ho, Mahdiyah!” Whereupon the twain
started up from sleep in amazement and said, “Who calleth us at this
hour?” Quoth he, “’Tis I, your lord, Gharib, the Marvellous One of the
deeds wondrous.” When the Princesses heard their lord’s voice, they
rejoiced and so did the women and the eunuchs. Then Gharib went down to
them and they threw themselves upon him and lullilooed with cries of
joy, so that all the palace rang again and the Captains of the army
awoke and said, “What is to do?” So they made for the palace and asked
the eunuchs, “Hath one of the King’s women given birth to a child?”; and
they answered, “No; but rejoice ye, for King Gharib hath returned to
you.” So they rejoiced, and Gharib, after salams to the women came forth
amongst his comrades, who threw themselves upon him and kissed his hands
and feet, returning thanks to Almighty Allah and praising Him. Then he
sat down on his throne, with his officers sitting about him, and
questioned them of the beleaguering army. They replied, “O King, these
troops sat down before the city three days ago and there are amongst
them Jinns as well as men; but we know not what they want, for we have
had with them neither battle nor speech.” And presently they added, “The
name of the commander of the besieging army is Murad Shah and he hath
with him an hundred thousand horse and three thousand foot, besides two
hundred tribesmen of the Jinn.” Now the manner of his coming was
wondrous.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause of this
army coming upon Isbanir city was wondrous. When the two men, whom Sabur
had charged to drown his daughter Fakhr Taj, let her go, bidding her
flee for her life, she went forth distracted, unknowing whither to turn
and saying, “Where is thine eye, O Gharib, that thou mayst see my case
and the misery I am in?”; and wandered on from country to country, and
valley to valley, till she came to a Wady abounding in trees and
streams, in whose midst stood a strong-based castle and a lofty-builded
as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. So she betook herself
thither and entering the fortalice, found it hung and carpeted with
stuffs of silk and great plenty of gold and silver vessels; and therein
were an hundred beautiful damsels. When the maidens saw Fakhr Taj, they
came up to her and saluted her, deeming her of the virgins of the Jinn,
and asked her of her case. Quoth she, “I am daughter to the Persians’
King;” and told them all that had befallen her; which when they heard,
they wept over her and condoled with her and comforted her, saying, “Be
of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for here shalt thou
have meat and drink and raiment, and we all are thy handmaids.” She
called down blessings on them and they brought her food, of which she
ate till she was satisfied. Then quoth she to them, “Who is the owner of
this palace and lord over you girls?” and quoth they, “King Salsál, son
of Dál, is our master; he passeth a night here once in every month and
fareth in the morning to rule over the tribes of the Jann.” So Fakhr Taj
took up her abode with them and after five days she gave birth to a male
child, as he were the moon. They cut his navel cord and kohl’d his eyes
then they named him Murad Shah, and he grew up in his mother’s lap.
After a while came King Salsal, riding on a paper-white elephant, as he
were a tower plastered with lime and attended by the troops of the Jinn.
He entered the palace, where the hundred damsels met him and kissed
ground before him, and amongst them Fakhr Taj. When the King saw her, he
looked at her and said to the others, “Who is yonder damsel?”; and they
replied, “She is the daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians and Turks
and Daylamites.” Quoth he, “Who brought her hither?” So they repeated to
him her story; whereat he was moved to pity for her and said to her,
“Grieve not, but take patience till thy son be grown a man, when I will
go to the land of the Ajams and strike off thy father’s head from
between his shoulders and seat thy son on the throne in his stead.” So
she rose and kissed his hands and blessed him. Then she abode in the
castle and her son grew up and was reared with the children of the King.
They used to ride forth together a-hunting and birding and he became
skilled in the chase of wild beasts and ravening lions and ate of their
flesh, till his heart became harder than the rock. When he reached the
age of fifteen, his spirit waxed big in him and he said to Fakhr Taj, “O
my mamma, who is my papa?” She replied, “O my son, Gharib, King of Irak,
is thy father and I am the King’s daughter, of the Persians,” and she
told him her story. Quoth he, “Did my grandfather indeed give orders to
slay thee and my father Gharib?”; and quoth she, “Yes.” Whereupon he,
“By the claim thou hast on me for rearing me, I will assuredly go to thy
father’s city and cut off his head and bring it into thy presence!”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Murad Shah
son of Fakhr Taj thus bespake his mother, she rejoiced in his speech.
Now he used to go a-riding with two hundred Marids till he grew to man’s
estate, when he and they fell to making raids and cutting off the roads
and they pushed their razzias ever farther till one day he attacked the
city of Shiraz and took it. Then he proceeded to the palace and cut off
the King’s head, as he sat on his throne, and slew many of his troops,
whereupon the rest cried “Quarter! Quarter!” and kissed his stirrups.
Finding that they numbered ten thousand horse, he led them to Balkh,
where he slew the King of the city and put his men to the rout and made
himself master of the riches of the place. Thence he passed to
Núrayn,[76] at the head of an army of thirty thousand horse, and the
Lord of Nurayn came out to him, with treasure and tribute, and did him
homage. Then he went on to Samarcand of the Persians and took the city,
and after that to Akhlát[77] and took that town also; nor was there any
city he came to but he captured it. Thus Murad Shah became the head of a
mighty host, and all the booty he made and spoils in the sundry cities
he divided among his soldiery, who loved him for his valour and
munificence. At last he came to Isbanir al-Madain and sat down before
it, saying, “Let us wait till the rest of my army come up, when I will
seize on my grandfather and solace my mother’s heart by smiting his neck
in her presence.” So he sent for her, and by reason of this, there was
no battle for three days, when Gharib and Zalzal arrived with the forty
thousand Marids, laden with treasure and presents. They asked concerning
the besiegers, but none could enlighten them beyond saying that the host
had been there encamped for three days without a fight taking place.
Presently came Fakhr Taj, and her son Murad Shah embraced her saying,
“Sit in thy tent till I bring thy father to thee.” And she sought
succour for him of the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of the heavens and
the Lord of the earths. Next morning, as soon as it was day, Murad Shah
mounted and rode forth, with the two hundred Marids on his right hand
and the Kings of men on his left, whilst the kettle-drums beat to
battle. When Gharib heard this, he also took to horse and, calling his
people to the combat, rode out, with the Jinn on his dexter hand and the
men on his sinistral. Then came forth Murad Shah, armed cap-à-pie and
drave his charger right and left, crying, “O folk, let none come forth
to me but your King. If he conquer me, he shall be lord of both armies,
and if I conquer him, I will slay him, as I have slain others.” When
Gharib heard his speech, he said, “Avaunt, O dog of the Arabs!” And they
charged at each other and lunged with lances, till they broke, then
hewed at each other with swords, till the blades were notched; nor did
they cease to advance and retire and wheel and career, till the day was
half spent and their horses fell down under them, when they dismounted
and gripped each other. Then Murad Shah seizing Gharib lifted him up and
strove to dash him to the ground; but Gharib caught him by the ears and
pulled him with his might, till it seemed to the youth as if the heavens
were falling on the earth[78] and he cried out, with his heart in his
mouth, saying, “I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!” So
Gharib bound him,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Six Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib
caught Murad Shah by the ears and well nigh tore them off he cried, “I
yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!” So Gharib bound him,
and the Marids his comrades would have charged and rescued him, but
Gharib fell on them with a thousand Marids and was about to smite them
down, when they cried out, “Quarter! Quarter!” and threw away their
arms. Then Gharib returned to his Shahmiyánah which was of green silk,
embroidered with red gold and set with pearls and gems; and, seating
himself on his throne, called for Murad Shah. So they brought him,
shuffling in his manacles and shackles. When the prisoner saw him, he
hung down his head for shame; and Gharib said to him, “O dog of the
Arabs, who art thou that thou shouldst ride forth and measure thyself
against kings?” Replied Murad Shah, “O my lord, reproach me not, for
indeed I have excuse.” Quoth Gharib, “What manner of excuse hast thou?”;
And quoth he, “Know, O my lord, that I came out to avenge my mother and
my father on Sabur, King of the Persians; for he would have slain them;
but my mother escaped and I know not whether he killed my father or
not.” When Gharib heard these words, he replied, “By Allah, thou art
indeed excusable! But who were thy father and mother and what are their
names?” Murad Shah said, “My sire was Gharib, King of Al-Irak, and my
mother Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabur of Persia.” When Gharib heard
this, he gave a great cry and fell down fainting. They sprinkled
rose-water on him, till he came to himself, when he said to Murad Shah,
“Art thou indeed Gharib’s son by Fakhr Taj?”; and he replied, “Yes.”
Cried Gharib, “Thou art a champion, the son of a champion. Loose my
child!” And Sahim and Kaylajan went up to Murad Shah and set him free.
Then Gharib embraced his son and, seating him beside himself, said to
him, “Where is thy mother?” “She is with me in my tent,” answered Murad
Shah; and Gharib said, “Bring her to me.” So Murad Shah mounted and
repaired to his camp, where his comrades met him, rejoicing in his
safety, and asked him of his case; but he answered, “This is no time for
questions.” Then he went in to his mother and told her what had passed;
whereat she was gladdened with exceeding gladness: so he carried her to
Gharib, and they two embraced and rejoiced in each other. Then Fakhr Taj
and Murad Shah islamised and expounded The Faith to their troops, who
all made profession with heart and tongue. After this, Gharib sent for
Sabur and his son Ward Shah, and upbraided them for their evil dealing
and expounded Al-Islam to them; but they refused to profess; wherefore
he crucified them on the gate of the city and the people decorated the
town and held high festival. Then Gharib crowned Murad Shah with the
crown of the Chosroes and made him King of the Persians and Turks and
Medes; moreover, he made his uncle Al-Damigh, King over Al-Irak, and all
the peoples and lands submitted themselves to Gharib. Then he abode in
his kingship, doing justice among his lieges, wherefore all the people
loved him, and he and his wives and comrades ceased not from all solace
of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and Sunderer
of Societies, and extolled be the perfection of Him whose glory endureth
for ever and aye and whose boons embrace all His creatures! This is
every thing that hath come down to us of the history of Gharib and
Ajib.——And Abdullah bin Ma’amar al-Kaysi hath thus related the tale of

-----

Footnote 1:

  Mayyáfárikín, whose adjective for shortness is “Fárikí”: the place is
  often mentioned in the Nights as the then capital of Diyár Bakr,
  thirty parasangs from Násibín, the classical Nisibis, between the
  upper Euphrates and Tigris.

Footnote 2:

  This proportion is singular to moderns but characterised Arab and more
  especially Turcoman armies.

Footnote 3:

  Such is the bathos caused by the Saja’-assonance: in the music of the
  Arabic it contrasts strangely with the baldness of translation. The
  same is the case with the Koran, beautiful in the original and
  miserably dull in European languages; it is like the glorious style of
  the “Anglican Version” by the side of its bastard brothers in
  Hindostani or Marathi; one of these marvels of stupidity translating
  the “Lamb of God” by “God’s little goat.”

Footnote 4:

  This incident is taken from the Life of Mohammed who, in the “Year of
  Missions” (A.H. 7) sent letters to foreign potentates bidding them
  embrace Al-Islam; and, his seal being in three lines, Mohammed |
  Apostle | of Allah, Khusrau Parwíz (= the Charming) was offended
  because his name was placed below Mohammed’s. So he tore the letter in
  pieces adding, says Firdausi, these words:—

               Hath the Arab’s daring performed such feat,
               Fed on camel’s milk and the lizard’s meat,
               That he cast on Kayánian crown his eye?
               Fie, O whirling world! on thy faith and fie!

  Hearing of this insult Mohammed exclaimed, “Allah shall tear his
  kingdom!” a prophecy which was of course fulfilled, or we should not
  have heard of it. These lines are horribly mutilated in the Dabistan
  iii. 99.

Footnote 5:

  This “Taklíd” must not be translated “girt on the sword.” The Arab
  carries his weapon by a baldrick or bandoleer passed over his right
  shoulder. In modern days the “Majdal” over the left shoulder supports
  on the right hip a line of Tatárif or brass cylinders for cartridges:
  the other cross-belt (Al-Masdar) bears on the left side the Kharízah
  or bullet-pouch of hide; and the Hizám or waist-belt holds the dagger
  and extra cartridges. (Pilgrimage iii. 90.)

Footnote 6:

  Arab. “Bab,” which may mean door or gate. The plural form (Abwáb)
  occurs in the next line, meaning that he displayed all manner of
  martial prowess.

Footnote 7:

  Arab. “Farrásh” (also used in Persian), a man of general utility who
  pitches tents, sweeps the floors, administers floggings, etc. etc.
  (Pilgrimage iii. 90).

Footnote 8:

  _i.e._ the slogan-cry of “Allaho Akbar,” which M. C. Barbier de
  Meynard compares with the Christian “Te Deum.”

Footnote 9:

  The Anglo-Indian term for the Moslem rite of killing animals for food.
  (Pilgrimage i. 377.)

Footnote 10:

  Arab “tawílan jiddan”—a hideous Cairenism in these days; but formerly
  used by Al-mas’údí and other good writers.

Footnote 11:

  Arab “’Ajwah,” enucleated dates pressed together into a solid mass so
  as to be sliced with a knife like cold pudding. The allusion is to the
  dough-idols of the Hanífah tribe, whose eating their gods made the
  saturnine Caliph Omar laugh.

Footnote 12:

  Mr. Payne writes “Julned.” In a fancy name we must not look for
  grammar; but a quiescent lám (_l_) followed by nún (_n_) is unknown to
  Arabic while we find sundry cases of “lan” (fath’d lám and nún), and
  Jalandah means noxious or injurious. In Oman also there was a dynasty
  called Julándah, for which see Mr. Badger xiii:. and _passim_.

Footnote 13:

  Doubtless for Jawán-mard—un giovane, a brave. (See vol. iv., p. 208).

Footnote 14:

  Mr. Payne transposes the distichs, making the last first. I have
  followed the Arabic order finding it in the Mac. and Bul. Edits. (ii.
  129).

Footnote 15:

  Al-Irak like Al-Yaman may lose the article in verse.

Footnote 16:

  Arab. “Ka’ka’at”: hence Jabal Ka’ka’án, the higher levels in Meccah,
  of old inhabited by the Jurhamites and so called from their clashing
  and jangling arms; whilst the Amalekites dwelt in the lower grounds
  called Jiyád from their generous steeds (Pilgrimage iii. 191).

Footnote 17:

  Al-Shara’, a mountain in Arabia.

Footnote 18:

  See vol. vi., 249. “This (mace) is a dangerous weapon when struck on
  the shoulders or unguarded arm: I am convinced that a blow with it on
  a head armoured with a salade (cassis cælata, a light iron helmet)
  would stun a man” (says La Brocquière).

Footnote 19:

  Oman, which the natives pronounce “Amán,” is the region best known by
  its capital, Maskat. These are the Omana Moscha and Omanum Emporium of
  Ptolemy and the Periplus. Ibn Batutah writes Ammán, but the best
  dictionaries give “Oman.” (N.B.—Mr. Badger, p. 1, wrongly derives
  Sachalitis from “Sawáhíly”: it is evidently “Sáhili.”) The people bear
  by no means the best character: Ibn Batutah (fourteenth century) says,
  “their wives are most base; yet, without denying this, their husbands
  express nothing like jealousy on the subject.” (Lee, p. 62.)

Footnote 20:

  The name I have said of a quasi historical personage, son of Joktan,
  the first Arabist and the founder of the Tobbá (“successor”) dynasty
  in Al-Yaman; while Jurham, his brother, established that of Al-Hijaz.
  The name is probably chosen because well-known.

Footnote 21:

  Arab “Hákim”: lit. one who orders; often confounded by the
  unscientific with Hakím, a doctor, a philosopher. The latter
  re-appears in the Heb. Khákhám applied in modern days to the Jewish
  scribe who takes the place of the Rabbi.

Footnote 22:

  As has been seen, acids have ever been and are still administered as
  counter-inebriants, while hot spices and sweets greatly increase the
  effect of Bhang, opium, henbane, datura, &c. The Persians have a most
  unpleasant form of treating men when dead-drunk with wine or spirits.
  They hang them up by the heels, as we used to do with the drowned, and
  stuff their mouths with human ordure which is sure to produce emesis.

Footnote 23:

  Compare the description of the elephant-faced Vetála (Kathá S.S. Fasc.
  xi. p. 388).

Footnote 24:

  The lover’s name Sá’ik = the Striker (with lightning); Najmah, the
  beloved = the star.

Footnote 25:

  I have modified the last three lines of the Mac. Edit. which contain a
  repetition evidently introduced by the carelessness of the copyist.

Footnote 26:

  The Hindu Charvakas explain the Triad, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, by
  the sexual organs and upon Vishnu’s having four arms they gloss, “At
  the time of sexual intercourse, each man and woman has as many.”
  (Dabistan ii. 202). This is the Eastern view of Rabelais’ “beast with
  two backs.”

Footnote 27:

  Arab. “Rabbat-i,” my she Lord, fire (nár) being feminine.

Footnote 28:

  The prose-rhyme is answerable for this galimatias.

Footnote 29:

  A common phrase equivalent to our “started from his head.”

Footnote 30:

  Arab. “Máridúna” = rebels (against Allah and his orders).

Footnote 31:

  Arab. Yáfis or Yáfat. He had eleven sons and was entitled Abú al-Turk
  because this one engendered the Turcomans as others did the Chinese,
  Scythians, Slaves (Saklab), Gog, Magog, and the Muscovites or
  Russians. According to the Moslems there was a rapid falling off in
  size amongst this family. Noah’s grave at Karak (the Ruin) a suburb of
  Zahlah, in La Brocquière’s “Valley of Noah, where the Ark was built,”
  is 104 ft. 10 in. long by 8 ft. 8 in. broad. (N.B.—It is a bit of the
  old aqueduct which Mr. Porter, the learned author of the “Giant Cities
  of Bashan,” quotes as a “traditional memorial of primeval
  giants”—talibus carduis pascuntur asini!). Nabi Ham measures only 9
  ft. 6 in. between headstone and tombstone, being in fact about as long
  as his father was broad.

Footnote 32:

  See Night dcliv., vol. vii., p. 43, _infra_.

Footnote 33:

  According to Turcoman legends (evidently post-Mohammedan) Noah gave
  his son Japhet a stone inscribed with the Greatest Name, and it had
  the virtue of bringing on or driving off rain. The Moghuls long
  preserved the tradition and hence probably the sword.

Footnote 34:

  This expresses Moslem sentiment; the convert to Al-Islam being
  theoretically respected and practically despised. The Turks call him a
  “Burmá” = twister, a turncoat, and no one either trusts him or
  believes in his sincerity.

Footnote 35:

  The name of the city first appears here: it is found also in the Bul.
  Edit., vol. ii, p. 132.

Footnote 36:

  Arab. “’Amala hílah,” a Syro-Egyptian vulgarism.

Footnote 37:

  _i.e._ his cousin, but he will not use the word.

Footnote 38:

  Arab. “La’ab,” meaning very serious use of the sword: we still
  preserve the old “sword-play.”

Footnote 39:

  Arab. “Ikhsa,” from a root meaning to drive away a dog.

Footnote 40:

  Arab. “Hazza-hu,” the quivering motion given to the “Harbak” (a light
  throw-spear or javelin) before it leaves the hand.

Footnote 41:

  Here the translator must either order the sequence of the sentences or
  follow the rhyme.

Footnote 42:

  Possibly taken from the Lions’ Court in the Alhambra = (Dár) Al-hamrá,
  the Red House.

Footnote 43:

  Arab. “Sházarwán” from Pers. Shadurwán, a palace, cornice, etc. That
  of the Meccań Ka’abah is a projection of about a foot broad in pent
  house shape sloping downwards and two feet above the granite pavement:
  its only use appears in the large brass rings welded into it to hold
  down the covering. There are two breaks in it, one under the doorway
  and the other opposite Ishmael’s tomb; and pilgrims are directed
  during circuit to keep the whole body outside it.

Footnote 44:

  The “Musáfahah” before noticed, (vol. vi., p. 287).

Footnote 45:

  _i.e._ He was confounded at its beauty.

Footnote 46:

  Arab. “’Ajíb,” punning upon the name.

Footnote 47:

  Arab. “Zarráf” (whence our word) from “Zarf” = walking hastily: the
  old “camelopard” which originated the nursery idea of its origin. It
  is one of the most timid of the antelope tribe and unfit for riding.

Footnote 48:

  Arab. “Takht,” a useful word, meaning even a saddle. The usual term is
  “Haudaj” = the Anglo-Indian “howdah.”

Footnote 49:

  “Thunder-King,” Arab. and Persian.

Footnote 50:

  _i.e._ “He who violently assaults his peers” (the best men of the
  age). Batshat al-Kubrá = the Great Disaster, is applied to the unhappy
  “Battle of Bedr” (Badr) on Ramazan 17, A.H. 2 (= Jan. 13, 624) when
  Mohammed was so nearly defeated that the Angels were obliged to assist
  him (Koran, chapts. iii. 11; i. 42; viii. 9). Mohammed is soundly
  rated by Christian writers for beheading two prisoners Utbah ibn
  Rabí’a who had once spat on his face and Nazir ibn Háris who recited
  Persian romances and preferred them to the “foolish fables of the
  Koran.” What would our forefathers have done to a man who spat in the
  face of John Knox and openly preferred a French play to the
  Pentateuch?

Footnote 51:

  Arab. “Jilbáb” either habergeon (mail-coat) or the buff-jacket worn
  under it.

Footnote 52:

  A favourite way, rough and ready, of carrying light weapons; often
  alluded to in The Nights. So Khusrawán in Antar carried “under his
  thighs four small darts, each like a blazing flame.”

Footnote 53:

  Mr. Payne very reasonably supplants here and below Fakhr Taj (who in
  Night dcxxxiv. is left in her father’s palace and who is reported to
  be dead in Night dclxvii.) by Star o’ Morn. But the former is also
  given in the Bul. Edit. (ii. 148), so the story-teller must have
  forgotten all about her. I leave it as a model specimen of Eastern
  incuriousness.

Footnote 54:

  There is some chivalry in his unwillingness to use the magical blade.
  As a rule the Knights of Romance utterly ignore fair play and take
  every dirty advantage in the magic line that comes to hand.

Footnote 55:

  Arab. “Hammál al-Hatabi” = one who carries to market the fuel-sticks
  which he picks up in the waste. In the Koran (chapt. cxi.) it is
  applied to Umm Jamíl, wife of Mohammed’s hostile cousin, Abd al-Uzza,
  there termed Abú Lahab (Father of smokeless Flame) with the implied
  meaning that she will bear fuel to feed Hell-fire.

Footnote 56:

  Arab. “Akyál,” lit. whose word (Kaul) is obeyed, a title of the
  Himyarite Kings, of whom Al-Bergendi relates that one of them left an
  inscription at Samarcand, which many centuries ago no man could read.
  This evidently alludes to the dynasty which preceded the “Tobba” and
  to No. xxiv. Shamar Yar’ash (Shamar the Palsied). Some make him son of
  Malik surnamed Náshir al-Ni’am (Scatterer of Blessings) others of
  Afríkús (No. xviii.), who, according to Al-Jannabi, Ahmad bin Yusuf
  and Ibn Ibdun (Pocock, Spec. Hist. Arab.) founded the Berber (Barbar)
  race, the remnants of the Causanites expelled by the “robber, Joshua
  son of Nún,” and became the eponymous of “Africa.” This word which,
  under the Romans, denoted a small province on the Northern Sea-board,
  is, I would suggest, A’far-Káhi (Afar-land), the Afar being now the
  Dankali race, the country of Osiris whom my learned friend, the late
  Mariette Pasha, derived from the Egyptian “Punt” identified by him
  with the Somali country. This would make “Africa,” as it ought to be,
  an Egyptian (Coptic) term.

Footnote 57:

  Herodotus (i. 80) notes this concerning the camel. Elephants are not
  allowed to walk the streets in Anglo-Indian cities, where they have
  caused many accidents.

Footnote 58:

  Arab. Wahk or Wahak, suggesting the Roman retiarius. But the lasso
  pure and simple, the favourite weapon of shepherd and herdsmen was
  well-known to the old Egyptians and in ancient India. It forms one of
  the T-letters in the hieroglyphs.

Footnote 59:

  Compare with this and other Arab battle-pieces the Pandit’s
  description in the Kathá Sarit Sagara, _e.g._ “Then a confused battle
  arose with dint of arrow, javelin, lance, mace and axe, costing the
  lives of countless soldiers (N.B.—Millions are nothing to him); rivers
  of blood flowed with the bodies of elephants and horses for
  alligators, with the pearls from the heads of elephants for sands and
  with the heads of heroes for stones. That feast of battle delighted
  the flesh-loving demons who, drunk with blood instead of wine, were
  dancing with the palpitating trunks,” etc., etc. Fasc. xii. 526.

Footnote 60:

  The giraffe is here mal-placé: it is, I repeat, one of the most timid
  of the antelope tribe. Nothing can be more graceful than this huge
  game as it stands under a tree extending its long and slender neck to
  the foliage above it; but when in flight all the limbs seem loose and
  the head is carried almost on a level with the back.

Footnote 61:

  The fire-arms may have been inserted by the copier; the cross-bow
  (Arcubalista) is of unknown antiquity. I have remarked in my book of
  the Sword (p. 19) that the bow is the first crucial evidence of the
  distinction between the human weapon and the bestial arm, and like the
  hymen or membrane of virginity proves a difference of degree if not of
  kind between man and the so-called lower animals. I note from Yule’s
  Marco Polo (ii., 143) “that the cross-bow was re-introduced into
  European warfare during the twelfth century”; but the arbalest was
  well known to the _bon roi_ Charlemagne (Regnier Sat. X).

Footnote 62:

  In Al-Islam this was unjustifiable homicide, excused only because the
  Kafir had tried to slay his own son. He should have been summoned to
  become a tributary and then, on express refusal, he might legally have
  been put to death.

Footnote 63:

  _i.e._ “Rose King,” like the Sikh name “Gulab Singh” = Rosewater Lion,
  sounding in translation almost too absurd to be true.

Footnote 64:

  “Repentance acquits the penitent” is a favourite and noble saying
  popular in Al-Islam. It is first found in Seneca; and is probably as
  old as the dawn of literature.

Footnote 65:

  Here an ejaculation of impatience.

Footnote 66:

  _i.e._ “King Intelligence”: it has a ludicrous sound suggesting only
  “Dandanha-i-Khirad” = wisdom-teeth. The Mac. Edit. persistently keeps
  “Ward Shah,” copyist-error.

Footnote 67:

  _i.e._ Fakhr Taj, who had been promised him in marriage. See Night
  dcxxxiii. _supra_, vol. vi.

Footnote 68:

  The name does not appear till further on, after vague Eastern fashion
  which, here and elsewhere I have not had the heart to adopt. The same
  may be found in Ariosto, _passim_.

Footnote 69:

  A town in Persian Irak, unhappily far from the “Salt sea.”

Footnote 70:

  “Earthquake son of Ennosigaius” (the Earthquake-maker).

Footnote 71:

  Arab. “Ruba’al-Kharáb” or Ruba’al-Khálí (empty quarter), the great
  central wilderness of Arabia covering some 50,000 square miles and
  still left white on our maps (Pilgrimage, i. 14).

Footnote 72:

  Pers. “Life King,” women also assume the title of Shah.

Footnote 73:

  Arab. “Mujauhar”: the watery or wavy mark upon Eastern blades is
  called the “jauhar,” lit. = jewel. The peculiarity is also called
  water and grain, which gives rise to a host of _double-entendres_,
  puns, paronomasias and conceits more or less frigid.

Footnote 74:

  Etymologically meaning tyrants or giants; and applied to great heathen
  conquerors like Nimrod and the mighty rulers of Syria, the Anakim,
  Giants and other peoples of Hebrew fable. The Akásirah are the
  Chosroës before noticed.

Footnote 75:

  Arab. “Askar jarrár” lit. “drawing”: so in Egyptian slang “Nás jarrár”
  = folk who wish to draw your money out of your pocket, greedy cheats.

Footnote 76:

  In Turkestan: the name means “Two lights.”

Footnote 77:

  In Armenia, mentioned by Sadik Isfaháni (Transl. p. 62).

Footnote 78:

  This is the only ludicrous incident in the tale which justifies Von
  Hammer’s suspicion. Compare it with the combat between Rustam and his
  son Sohráb.



                          OTBAH[79] AND RAYYA.


I went one year on the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah, and when I
had accomplished my pilgrimage, I turned back for visitation of the tomb
of the Prophet, whom Allah bless and keep! One night, as I sat in the
garden,[80] between the tomb and the pulpit, I heard a low moaning in a
soft voice; so I listened to it and it said:—

 Have the doves that moan in the lotus-tree ✿ Woke grief in thy heart and
    bred misery?
 Or doth memory of maiden in beauty deckt ✿ Cause this doubt in thee,
    this despondency?
 O night, thou art longsome for love-sick sprite ✿ Complaining of Love
    and its ecstacy:
 Thou makest him wakeful, who burns with fire ✿ Of a love, like the live
    coal’s ardency.
 The moon is witness my heart is held ✿ By a moonlight brow of the
    brightest blee:
 I reckt not to see me by Love ensnared ✿ Till ensnared before I could
    reck or see.

Then the voice ceased and not knowing whence it came to me I abode
perplexed; but lo! it again took up its lament and recited:—

 Came Rayya’s phantom to grieve thy sight ✿ In the thickest gloom of the
    black-haired Night!
 And hath love of slumber deprived those eyes ✿ And the phantom-vision
    vexed thy sprite?
 I cried to the Night, whose glooms were like ✿ Seas that surge and
    billow with might, with might:
 “O Night, thou art longsome to lover who ✿ Hath no aid nor help save the
    morning-light!”
 She replied, “Complain not that I am long: ✿ ’Tis love is the cause of
    thy longsome plight!”

Now, at the first of the couplets, I sprang up and made for the quarter
whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended repeating them, ere I was
with the speaker and saw a youth of the utmost beauty, the hair of whose
side face had not sprouted and in whose cheeks tears had worn twin
trenches.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah ibn
Ma’amar al-Kaysi thus continued:—So I sprang up and made for the quarter
whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended repeating the verses, ere
I was with the speaker and saw a youth on whose side face the hair had
not sprouted and in whose cheeks tears had worn twin trenches. Quoth I
to him, “Fair befal thee for a youth!”; and quoth he, “And thee also!
Who art thou?” I replied, “Abdullah bin Ma’amar al-Kaysi;” and he said,
“Dost thou want aught?” I rejoined, “I was sitting in the garden and
naught hath troubled me this night but thy voice. With my life would I
ransom thee! What aileth thee?” He said, “Sit thee down.” So I sat down
and he continued, “I am Otbah bin al-Hubáb bin al-Mundhir bin al-Jamúh
the Ansárí.[81] I went out in the morning to the Mosque Al-Ahzáb[82] and
occupied myself there awhile with prayer-bows and prostrations, after
which I withdrew apart, to worship privily. But lo! up came women, as
they were moons, walking with a swaying gait, and surrounding a damsel
of passing loveliness, perfect in beauty and grace, who stopped before
me and said:—O Otbah, what sayst thou of union with one who seeketh
union with thee? Then she left me and went away; and since that time I
have had no tidings of her nor come upon any trace of her; and behold, I
am distracted and do naught but remove from place to place.” Then he
cried out and fell to the ground fainting. When he came to himself, it
was as if the damask of his cheeks were dyed with safflower,[83] and he
recited these couplets:—

 I see you with my heart from far countrie ✿ Would Heaven you also me
    from far could see
 My heart and eyes for you are sorrowing; ✿ My soul with you abides and
    you with me.
 I take no joy in life when you’re unseen ✿ Or Heaven or Garden of
    Eternity.

Said I, “O Otbah, O son of my uncle, repent to thy Lord and crave pardon
for thy sin; for before thee is the terror of standing up to Judgment.”
He replied, “Far be it from me so to do. I shall never leave to love
till the two mimosa-gatherers return.”[84] I abode with him till
daybreak, when I said to him, “Come let us go to the Mosque Al-Ahzab.”
So we went thither and sat there, till we had prayed the midday prayers,
when lo! up came the women; but the damsel was not among them. Quoth
they to him, “O Otbah, what thinkest thou of her who seeketh union with
thee?” He said, “And what of her?”; and they replied, “Her father hath
taken her and departed to Al-Samawah.”[85] I asked them the name of the
damsel and they said, “She is called Rayyá, daughter of Al-Ghitríf
al-Sulami.”[86] Whereupon Otbah raised his head and recited these
verses:—

 My friends, Rayyá hath mounted soon as morning shone, ✿ And to Samáwah’s
    wilds her caravan is gone.
 My friends, I’ve wept till I can weep no more, Oh, say, ✿ Hath any one a
    tear that I can take on loan.

Then said I to him, “O Otbah, I have brought with me great wealth,
wherewith I desire to succour generous men; and by Allah, I will lavish
it before thee,[87] so thou mayst attain thy desire and more than thy
desire! Come with me to the assembly of the Ansaris.” So we rose and
went, till we entered their assembly, when I salam’d to them and they
returned my greeting civilly. Then quoth I, “O assembly, what say ye of
Otbah and his father?”: and they replied, “They are of the princes of
the Arabs.” I continued, “Know that he is smitten with the calamity of
love and I desire your furtherance to Al-Samawah.” And they said, “To
hear is to obey.” So they mounted with us, the whole party, and we rode
till we drew near the place of the Banu Sulaym. Now when Ghitrif heard
of our being near, he hastened forth to meet us, saying, “Long life to
you, O nobles!”; whereto we replied, “And to thee also! Behold we are
thy guests.” Quoth he, “Ye have lighted down at a most hospitable abode
and ample;” and alighting he cried out, “Ho, all ye slaves, come down!”
So they came down and spread skin-rugs and cushions and slaughtered
sheep and cattle; but we said, “We will not taste of thy food, till thou
have accomplished our need.” He asked, “And what is your need?”; and we
answered, “We demand thy noble daughter in marriage for Otbah bin Hubab
bin Mundhir the illustrious and well-born.” “O my brethren,” said he,
“she whom you demand is owner of herself, and I will go in to her and
tell her.” So he rose in wrath[88] and went in to Rayya, who said to
him, “O my papa, why do I see thee show anger?” And he replied, saying,
“Certain of the Ansaris have come upon me to demand thy hand of me in
marriage.” Quoth she, “They are noble chiefs; the Prophet, on whom be
the choicest blessings and peace, intercedeth for them with Allah. For
whom among them do they ask me?” Quoth he, “For a youth known as Otbah
bin al-Hubab;” and she said, “I have heard of Otbah that he performeth
what he promiseth and findeth what he seeketh.” Ghitrif cried, “I swear
that I will never marry thee to him; no, never, for there hath been
reported to me somewhat of thy converse with him.” Said she, “What was
that? But in any case, I swear that the Ansaris shall not be uncivilly
rejected; wherefore do thou offer them a fair excuse.” “How so?” “Make
the dowry heavy to them and they will desist.” “Thou sayst well,” said
he, and going out in haste, told the Ansaris, “The damsel of the
tribe[89] consenteth; but she requireth a dowry worthy herself. Who
engageth for this?” “I,” answered I. Then said he, “I require for her a
thousand bracelets of red gold and five thousand dirhams of the coinage
of Hajar[90] and a hundred pieces of woollen cloth and striped
stuffs[91] of Al-Yaman and five bladders of ambergris.” Said I, “Thou
shalt have that much; dost thou consent?”; and he said, “I do consent.”
So I despatched to Al-Medinah the Illumined[92] a party of the Ansaris,
who brought all for which I had become surety; whereupon they
slaughtered sheep and cattle and the folk assembled to eat of the food.
We abode thus forty days when Ghitrif said to us, “Take your bride.” So
we sat her in a dromedary-litter and her father equipped her with thirty
camel-loads of things of price; after which we farewelled him and
journeyed till we came within a day’s journey of Al-Medinah the
Illumined, when there fell upon us horsemen, with intent to plunder, and
methinks they were of the Banu Sulaym. Otbah drove at them and slew of
them much people, but fell back, wounded by a lance-thrust, and
presently dropped to the earth. Then there came to us succour of the
country people, who drove away the highwaymen; but Otbah’s days were
ended. So we said, “Alas for Otbah, oh!;” and the damsel hearing it cast
herself down from the camel and throwing herself upon him, cried out
grievously and repeated these couplets:—

 Patient I seemed, yet Patience shown by me ✿ Was but self-guiling till
    thy sight I see:
 Had my soul done as due my life had gone, ✿ Had fled before mankind
    forestalling thee:
 Then, after me and thee none shall to friend ✿ Be just, nor any soul
    with soul agree.

Then she sobbed a single sob and gave up the ghost. We dug one grave for
them and laid them in the earth, and I returned to the dwellings of my
people, where I abode seven years. Then I betook me again to Al-Hijaz
and entering Al-Medinah the Illumined for pious visitation said in my
mind, “By Allah, I will go again to Otbah’s tomb!” So I repaired
thither, and, behold, over the grave was a tall tree, on which hung
fillets of red and green and yellow stuffs.[93] So I asked the people of
the place, “How be this tree called?”; and they answered, “The tree of
the Bride and the Bridegroom.” I abode by the tomb a day and a night,
then went my way; and this is all I know of Otbah. Almighty Allah have
mercy upon him! And they also tell this tale of

-----

Footnote 79:

  I cannot understand why Trébutien, iii., 457, writes this word Afba.
  He remarks that it is the “Oina and Riya” of Jámí, elegantly
  translated by M. de Chezy in the Journal Asiatique, vol. 1, 144.

Footnote 80:

  I have described this part of the Medinah Mosque in Pilgrimage ii,
  62–69. The name derives from a saying of Mohammed (of which there are
  many variants), “Between my tomb and my pulpit is a garden of the
  Gardens of Paradise” (Burckhardt, Arabia, p. 337). The whole Southern
  portico (not only a part) now enjoys that honoured name and the tawdry
  decorations are intended to suggest a parterre.

Footnote 81:

  Mohammed’s companions (Asháb), numbering some five hundred, were
  divided into two orders, the Muhájirin (fugitives) or Meccans who
  accompanied the Apostle to Al-Medinah (Pilgrimage ii. 138) and the
  Ansár (Auxiliaries) or Medinites who invited him to their city and
  lent him zealous aid (Ibid ii. 130). The terms constantly occur in
  Arab history.

Footnote 82:

  The “Mosque of the Troops,” also called Al-Fath (victory), the largest
  of the “Four Mosques:” it is still a place of pious visitation where
  prayer is granted. Koran, chapt. xxxiii., and Pilgrimage ii. 325.

Footnote 83:

  Arab. “Al-Wars,” with two meanings. The Alfáz Adwiyah gives it =
  Kurkum, curcuma, turmeric, safran d’Inde; but popular usage assigns it
  to Usfur, Kurtum or safflower (_carthamus tinctorius_). I saw the
  shrub growing all about Harar which exports it, and it is plentiful in
  Al-Yaman (Niebuhr, p. 133), where women affect it to stain the skin a
  light yellow and remove freckles: it is also an internal remedy in
  leprosy. But the main use is that of a dye, and the Tob stained with
  Wars is almost universal in some parts of Arabia. Sonnini (p. 510)
  describes it at length and says that Europeans in Egypt call it
  “Parrot-seeds” because the bird loves it, and the Levant trader
  “Saffrenum.”

Footnote 84:

  Two men of the great ’Anazah race went forth to gather Karaz, the
  fruit of the Sant (_Mimosa Nilotica_) both used for tanning, and never
  returned. Hence the proverb which is obsolete in conversation. See
  Burckhardt, Prov. 659: where it takes the place of “_ad Graecas
  Kalendas_.”

Footnote 85:

  Name of a desert (Mafázah) and a settlement on the Euphrates’ bank
  between Basrah and the site of old Kufah near Kerbela; the well known
  visitation place in Babylonian Irak.

Footnote 86:

  Of the Banu Sulaym tribe; the adjective is Sulami not Sulaymi.

Footnote 87:

  Arab. “Amám-ak” = before thee (in space); from the same root as Imám =
  antistes, leader of prayer; and conducing to perpetual puns, _e.g._
  “You are Imám-i (my leader) and therefore should be Amám-i” (in
  advance of me).

Footnote 88:

  He was angry, as presently appears, because he had heard of certain
  love passages between the two and this in Arabia is a dishonour to the
  family.

Footnote 89:

  Euphemy for “my daughter.”

Footnote 90:

  The Badawin call a sound dollar “Kirsh hajar” or “Riyal hajar” (a
  stone dollar; but the word is spelt with the greater _h_).

Footnote 91:

  Arab. Burdah and Habárah. The former often translated mantle is a
  thick woollen stuff, brown or gray, woven oblong and used like a plaid
  by day and by night. Mohammed’s Burdah woven in his Harem and given to
  the poet, Ka’ab, was 7½ ft. long by 4½: it is still in the upper
  Serraglio of Stambul. In early days the stuff was mostly striped; now
  it is either plain or with lines so narrow that it looks like one
  colour. The Habarah is a Burd made in Al-Yaman and not to be
  confounded with the Egyptian mantilla of like name (Lane, M. E. chapt.
  iii).

Footnote 92:

  Every Eastern city has its special title. Al-Medinah is entitled
  “Al-Munawwarah” (the Illumined) from the blinding light which
  surrounds the Prophet’s tomb and which does not show to eyes profane
  (Pilgrimage ii. 3). I presume that the idea arose from the huge lamps
  of “The Garden.” I have noted that Mohammed’s coffin suspended by
  magnets is an idea unknown to Moslems, but we find the fancy in
  Al-Harawi related of St. Peter, “Simon Cephas (the rock) is in the
  City of Great Rome, in its largest church within a silver ark hanging
  by chains from the ceiling.” (Lee, Ibn Batutah, p. 161).

Footnote 93:

  Here the fillets are hung instead of the normal rag-strips to denote
  an honoured tomb. Lane (iii. 242) and many others are puzzled about
  the use of these articles. In many cases they are suspended to trees
  in order to transfer sickness from the body to the tree and whoever
  shall touch it. The Sawáhílí people term such articles a Keti (seat or
  vehicle) for the mysterious haunter of the tree who prefers occupying
  it to the patient’s person. Briefly the custom still popular
  throughout Arabia, is African and Fetish.



             HIND DAUGHTER OF AL-NU’MAN AND AL-HAJJAJ.[94]


It is related that Hind daughter of Al-Nu’man was the fairest woman of
her day, and her beauty and loveliness were reported to Al-Hajjaj, who
sought her in marriage and lavished much treasure on her. So he took her
to wife, engaging to give her a dowry of two hundred thousand dirhams in
case of divorce, and when he went into her, he abode with her a long
time. One day after this, he went in to her and found her looking at her
face in the mirror and saying:—

 Hind is an Arab filly purest bred, ✿ Which hath been covered by a
    mongrel mule;
 An colt of horse she throw by Allah! well; ✿ If mule, it but results
    from mulish rule.[95]

When Al-Hajjaj heard this, he turned back and went his way, unseen of
Hind; and, being minded to put her away, he sent Abdullah bin Táhir to
her, to divorce her. So Abdullah went in to her and said to her,
“Al-Hajjaj Abu Mohammed saith to thee: Here be the two hundred thousand
dirhams of thy contingent dowry he oweth thee; and he hath deputed me to
divorce thee.” Replied she, “O Ibn Tahir, I gladly agree to this; for
know that I never for one day took pleasure in him; so, if we separate,
by Allah, I shall never regret him, and these two hundred thousand
dirhams I give to thee as a reward for the glad tidings thou bringest me
of my release from yonder dog of the Thakafites.”[96] After this, the
Commander of the Faithful, Abd al-Malik bin Marwán, heard of her beauty
and loveliness, her stature and symmetry, her sweet speech and the
amorous grace of her glances and sent to her, to ask her in
marriage;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince of
True Believers, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, hearing of the lady’s beauty
and loveliness, sent to ask her in marriage; and she wrote him in reply
a letter, in which, after the glorification of Allah and benediction of
His Prophet, she said, “But afterwards. Know, O Commander of the
Faithful, that the dog hath lapped in the vase.” When the Caliph read
her answer, he laughed and wrote to her, citing his saying (whom may
Allah bless and keep!) “If a dog lap in the vessel of one of you, let
him wash seven times, once thereof with earth,” and adding, “Wash the
affront from the place of use.”[97] With this she could not gainsay him;
so she replied to him, saying (after praise and blessing), “O Commander
of the Faithful I will not consent save on one condition, and if thou
ask me what it is, I reply that Al-Hajjaj lead my camel to the town
where thou tarriest barefoot and clad as he is.”[98] When the Caliph
read her letter, he laughed long and loudly and sent to Al-Hajjaj,
bidding him do as she wished. He dared not disobey the order, so he
submitted to the Caliph’s commandment and sent to Hind, telling her to
make ready for the journey. So she made ready and mounted her litter,
when Al-Hajjaj with his suite came up to Hind’s door and as she mounted
and her damsels and eunuchs rode around her, he dismounted and took the
halter of her camel and led it along, barefooted, whilst she and her
damsels and tirewomen laughed and jeered at him and made mock of him.
Then she said to her tirewoman, “Draw back the curtain of the litter;”
and she drew back the curtain, till Hind was face to face with
Al-Hajjaj, whereupon she laughed at him and he improvised this couplet:—

 Though now thou jeer, O Hind, how many a night ✿ I’ve left thee wakeful
    sighing for the light.

And she answered him with these two:—

 We reck not, an our life escape from bane, ✿ For waste of wealth and
    gear that went in vain:
 Money may be regained and rank re-won ✿ When one is cured of malady and
    pain.

And she ceased not to laugh at him and make sport of him, till they drew
near the city of the Caliph, when she threw down a dinar with her own
hand and said to Al-Hajjaj, “O camel-driver, I have dropped a dirham;
look for it and give it to me.” So he looked and seeing naught but the
dinar, said, “This is a dinar.” She replied, “Nay, ’tis a dirham.” But
he said, “This is a dinar.” Then quoth she, “Praised be Allah who hath
given us in exchange for a paltry dirham a dinar! Give it us.” And
Al-Hajjaj was abashed at this. Then he carried her to the palace of the
Commander of the Faithful, and she went in to him and became his
favourite.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that men also tell a
tale anent

-----

Footnote 94:

  Al-Mas’údí (chapt. xcv.), mentions a Hind bint Asmá and tells a
  facetious story of her and the “enemy of Allah,” the poet Jarír.

Footnote 95:

  Here the old Shiah hatred of the energetic conqueror of Oman crops out
  again. Hind’s song is that of Maysum concerning her husband Mu’áwiyah
  which Mrs. Godfrey Clark (’Ilâm-en-Nâs, p. 108) thus translates:—

           A hut that the winds make tremble
             Is dearer to me than a noble palace;
           And a dish of crumbs on the floor of my home
             Is dearer to me than a varied feast;
           And the soughing of the breeze through every crevice
             Is dearer to me than the beating of drums.

  Compare with Dr. Carlyle’s No. X.:—

              The russet suit of camel’s hair
                With spirits light and eye serene
              Is dearer to my bosom far
                Than all the trappings of a queen, etc. etc.

  And with mine (Pilgrimage iii. 262):—

          O take these purple robes away,
            Give back my cloak of camel’s hair
          And bear me from this towering pile
            To where the black tents flap i’ the air, etc. etc.

Footnote 96:

  Al-Hajjaj’s tribal name was Al-Thakifi or descendant of Thakíf.
  According to Al-Mas’udi, he was son of Faríghah (the tall Beauty) by
  Yúsuf bin Ukayl the Thakafite and vint au monde tout difforme avec
  l’anus obstrué. As he refused the breast, Satan, in human form,
  advised suckling him with the blood of two black kids, a black
  buck-goat and a black snake; which had the desired effect.

Footnote 97:

  Trébutien, iii. 465, translates these sayings into Italian.

Footnote 98:

  Making him a “Kawwád” = leader, _i.e._ pimp; a true piece of feminine
  spite. But the Caliph prized Al-Hajjaj too highly to treat him as in
  the text.



             KHUZAYMAH BIN BISHR AND IKRIMAH AL-FAYYAZ.[99]


There lived once, in the days of the Caliph Sulayman bin Abd
al-Malik[100] a man of the Banu Asad, by name Khuzaymah bin Bishr, who
was famed for bounty and abundant wealth and excellence and righteous
dealing with his brethren. He continued thus till times grew strait with
him and he became in need of the aid of those Moslem brethren on whom he
had lavished favour and kindness. So they succoured him a while and then
grew weary of him, which when he saw, he went in to his wife who was the
daughter of his father’s brother, and said to her, “O my cousin, I find
a change in my brethren; wherefore I am resolved to keep my house till
death come to me.” So he shut his door and abode in his home, living on
that which he had by him, till it was spent and he knew not what to do.
Now Ikrimah al-Raba’í, surnamed Al-Fayyáz, governor of Mesopotamia,[101]
had known him, and one day, as he sat in his audience-chamber, mention
was made of Khuzaymah, whereupon quoth Ikrimah, “How is it with him?”
And quoth they, “He is in a plight past telling, and hath shut his door
and keepeth the house.” Ikrimah rejoined, “This cometh but of his
excessive generosity: but how is it that Khuzaymah bin Bishr findeth nor
comforter nor requiter?” And they replied, “He hath found naught of
this.” So when it was night, Ikrimah took four thousand dinars and laid
them in one purse; then, bidding saddle his beast, he mounted and rode
privily to Khuzaymah’s house, attended only by one of his pages,
carrying the money. When he came to the door, he alighted and taking the
purse from the page made him withdraw afar off; after which he went up
to the door and knocked. Khuzaymah came out to him, and he gave him the
purse, saying, “Better thy case herewith.” He took it and finding it
heavy put it from his hand and laying hold of the bridle of Ikrimah’s
horse, asked, “Who art thou? My soul be thy ransom!” Answered Ikrimah,
“O man I come not to thee at a time like this desiring that thou
shouldst know me.” Khuzaymah rejoined, “I will not let thee go till thou
make thyself known to me,” whereupon Ikrimah said “I am hight Jábir
Atharát al-Kirám.”[102] Quoth Khuzaymah, “Tell me more.” But Ikrimah
cried, “No,” and fared forth, whilst Khuzaymah went in to his cousin and
said to her, “Rejoice for Allah hath sent us speedy relief and wealth;
if these be but dirhams, yet are they many. Arise and light the lamp.”
She said, “I have not wherewithal to light it.” So he spent the night
handling the coins and felt by their roughness that they were dinars,
but could not credit it. Meanwhile Ikrimah returned to his own house and
found that his wife had missed him and asked for him, and when they told
her of his riding forth, she misdoubted of him, and said to him, “Verily
the Wali of Al-Jazirah rideth not abroad after such an hour of the
night, unattended and secretly, save to a wife or a mistress.” He
answered, “Allah knoweth that I went not forth to either of these.”
“Tell me then wherefore thou wentest forth?” “I went not forth at this
hour save that none should know it.” “I must needs be told.” “Wilt thou
keep the matter secret, if I tell thee?” “Yes!” So he told her the state
of the case, adding, “Wilt thou have me swear to thee?” Answered she,
“No, no, my heart is set at ease and trusteth in that which thou hast
told me.” As for Khuzaymah, soon as it was day he made his peace with
his creditors and set his affairs in order; after which he got him ready
and set out for the Court of Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik, who was then
sojourning in Palestine.[103] When he came to the royal gate, he sought
admission of the chamberlain, who went in and told the Caliph of his
presence. Now he was renowned for his beneficence and Sulayman knew of
him; so he bade admit him. When he entered, he saluted the Caliph after
the usual fashion of saluting[104] and the King asked, “O Khuzaymah,
what hath kept thee so long from us?” Answered he, “Evil case,” and
quoth the Caliph, “What hindered thee from having recourse to us?” Quoth
he, “My infirmity, O Commander of the Faithful!” “And why,” said
Sulayman, “comest thou to us now?” Khuzaymah replied, “Know, O Commander
of the Faithful, that I was sitting one night late in my house, when a
man knocked at the door and did thus and thus;” and he went on to tell
him of all that had passed between Ikrimah and himself from first to
last. Sulayman asked, “Knowest thou the man?” and Khuzaymah answered,
“No, O Commander of the Faithful, he was reserved[105] and would say
naught save:—I am hight Jabir Atharat al-Kiram.” When Sulayman heard
this, his heart burned within him for anxiety to discover the man, and
he said, “If we knew him, truly we would requite him for his
generosity.” Then he bound for Khuzaymah a banner[106] and made him
Governor of Mesopotamia, in the stead of Ikrimah al-Fayyaz; and he set
out for Al-Jazirah. When he drew near the city, Ikrimah and the people
of the place came forth to meet him and they saluted each other and went
on into the town, where Khuzaymah took up his lodging in the
Government-house and bade take security for Ikrimah and that he should
be called to account.[107] So an account was taken against him and he
was found to be in default for much money; whereupon Khuzaymah required
of him payment, but he said, “I have no means of paying aught.” Quoth
Khuzaymah, “It must be paid;” and quoth Ikrimah, “I have it not; do what
thou hast to do.” So Khuzaymah ordered him to gaol.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Khuzaymah, having
ordered the imprisonment of Ikrimah al-Fayyaz, sent to him again to
demand payment of the debt; but he replied, “I am not of those who
preserve their wealth at the expense of their honour; do what thou
wilt.” Then Khuzaymah bade load him with irons and kept him in prison a
month or more, till confinement began to tell upon him and he became
wasted. After this, tidings of his plight travelled to the daughter of
his uncle who was troubled with sore concern thereat and, sending for a
freedwoman of hers, a woman of abundant judgment, and experience, said
to her, “Go forthwith to the Emir Khuzaymah’s gate and say:—I have a
counsel for the Emir. If they ask what it is, add:—I will not tell it
save to himself; and when thou enterest to him, beg to see him in
private and when private ask him:—What be this deed thou hast done? Hath
Jabir Atharat al-Kiram deserved of thee no better reward than to be cast
into strait prison and hard bond of irons?” The woman did as she was
bid, and when Khuzaymah heard her words, he cried out at the top of his
voice, saying, “Alas, the baseness of it! Was it indeed he?” And she
answered, “Yes.” Then he bade saddle his beast forthwith and, summoning
the honourable men of the city, repaired with them to the prison and
opening the door, went in with them to Ikrimah, whom they found sitting
in evil case, worn out and wasted with blows and misery. When he looked
at Khuzaymah, he was abashed and hung his head; but the other bent down
to him and kissed his face; whereupon he raised his head and asked,
“What maketh thee do this?” Answered Khuzaymah, “The generosity of thy
dealing and the vileness of my requital.” And Ikrimah said, “Allah
pardon us and thee!” Then Khuzaymah commanded the jailor to strike off
Ikrimah’s fetters and clap them on his own feet; but Ikrimah said, “What
is this thou wilt do?” Quoth the other, “I have a mind to suffer what
thou hast suffered.” Quoth Ikrimah, “I conjure thee by Allah, do not
so!” Then they went out together and returned to Khuzaymah’s house,
where Ikrimah would have farewelled him and wended his way; but he
forbade him and Ikrimah said, “What is thy will of me?” Replied
Khuzaymah, “I wish to change thy case, for my shame before the daughter
of thine uncle is yet greater than my shame before thee.” So he bade
clear the bath and entering with Ikrimah, served him there in person and
when they went forth he bestowed on him a splendid robe of honour and
mounted him and gave him much money. Then he carried him to his house
and asked his leave to make his excuses to his wife and obtained her
pardon. After this he besought him to accompany him to the Caliph, who
was then abiding at Ramlah[108] and he agreed. So they journeyed
thither, and when they reached the royal quarters the chamberlain went
in and acquainted the Caliph Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik with Khuzaymah’s
arrival, whereat he was troubled and said, “What! is the Governor of
Mesopotamia come without our command? This can be only on some grave
occasion.” Then he bade admit him and said, before saluting him, “What
is behind thee, O Khuzaymah?” Replied he, “Good, O Commander of the
Faithful.” Asked Sulayman, “What bringeth thee?”; and he answered,
saying, “I have discovered Jabir Atharat al-Kiram and thought to gladden
thee with him, knowing thine excessive desire to know him and thy
longing to see him.” “Who is he?” quoth the Caliph and quoth Khuzaymah,
“He is Ikrimah al-Fayyaz.” So Sulayman called for Ikrimah, who
approached and saluted him as Caliph; and the King welcomed him and
making him draw near his sitting-place, said to him, “O Ikrimah, thy
good deed to him hath brought thee naught but evil,” adding, “Now write
down in a note thy needs each and every, and that which thou desirest.”
He did so and the Caliph commanded to do all that he required and that
forthwith. Moreover he gave him ten thousand dinars more than he asked
for and twenty chests of clothes over and above that he sought, and
calling for a spear, bound him a banner and made him Governor over
Armenia and Azarbiján[109] and Mesopotamia, saying, “Khuzaymah’s case is
in thy hands, an thou wilt, continue him in his office, and if thou
wilt, degrade him.” And Ikrimah said, “Nay, but I restore him to his
office, O Commander of the Faithful.” Then they went out from him and
ceased not to be Governors under Sulayman bin Abd al-Malik all the days
of his Caliphate. And they also tell a tale of

-----

Footnote 99:

  _i.e._ “The overflowing,” with benefits; on account of his generosity.

Footnote 100:

  The seventh Ommiade A. H. 96–99 (715–719). He died of his fine
  appetite after eating at a sitting a lamb, six fowls, seventy
  pomegranates, and 11¼ lbs. of currants. He was also proud of his youth
  and beauty and was wont to say, “Mohammed was the Apostle and Abu Bakr
  witness to the Truth; Omar the Discriminator and Othman the Bashful,
  Mu’awiyah the Mild and Yazid the Patient; Abd al-Malik the
  Administrator and Walid the Tyrant; but I am the Young King!”

Footnote 101:

  Arab. Al-Jazírah, “the Island;” name of the region and the capital.

Footnote 102:

  _i.e._ “Repairer of the Slips of the Generous,” an evasive reply,
  which of course did not deceive the questioner.

Footnote 103:

  Arab. “Falastín,” now obselete. The word has echoed far west and the
  name of the noble race has been degraded to “Philister,” a bourgeois,
  a greasy burgher.

Footnote 104:

  Saying, “The Peace be with thee, O Prince of True Believers!”

Footnote 105:

  Arab. “Mutanakkir,” which may also mean proud or in disguise.

Footnote 106:

  On appointment as viceroy. See vol. iii., 307.

Footnote 107:

  The custom with outgoing Governors. It was adopted by the Spaniards
  and Portuguese especially in America. The generosity of Ikrimah
  without the slightest regard to justice or common honesty is
  characteristic of the Arab in story-books.

Footnote 108:

  The celebrated half-way house between Jaffa and Jerusalem.

Footnote 109:

  Alias the Kohistan or mountain region, Susiana (Khuzistan) whose
  capital was Susa; and the head quarters of fire-worship. Azar (fire)
  was the name of Abraham’s father whom Eusebius calls “Athar”
  (Pilgrimage iii. 336).



            YUNUS THE SCRIBE AND THE CALIPH WALID BIN SAHL.


There lived in the reign of the Caliph Hishám,[110] son of Abd al-Malik,
a man called Yúnus the Scribe well-known to the general, and he set out
one day on a journey to Damascus, having with him a slave-girl of
surpassing beauty and loveliness, whom he had taught all that was
needful to her and whose price was an hundred thousand dirhams. When
they drew near to Damascus, the caravan halted by the side of a lake and
Yunus went down to a quiet place with his damsel and took out some
victual he had with him and a leather bottle of wine. As he sat at meat,
behold, came up a young man of goodly favour and dignified presence,
mounted on a sorrel horse and followed by two eunuchs, and said to him,
“Wilt thou accept me to guest?” “Yes,” replied Yunus. So the stranger
alighted and said, “Give me to drink of thy wine.” Yunus gave him to
drink and he said, “If it please thee, sing us a song.” So Yunus sang
this couplet extempore:—

 She joineth charms were never seen conjoined in mortal dress: ✿ And for
    her love she makes me love my tears and wakefulness.

At which the stranger rejoiced with exceeding joy and Yunus gave him to
drink again and again, till the wine got the better of him and he said,
“Bid thy slave-girl sing.” So she improvised this couplet:—

 A houri, by whose charms my heart is moved to sore distress: ✿ Nor wand
    of tree nor sun nor moon her rivals I confess!

The stranger was overjoyed with this and they sat drinking till
nightfall, when they prayed the evening-prayer and the youth said to
Yunus, “What bringeth thee to our city?” He replied, “Quest of
wherewithal to pay my debts and better my case.” Quoth the other, “Wilt
thou sell me this slave-girl for thirty thousand dirhams?” Whereto quoth
Yunus, “I must have more than that.” He asked, “Will forty thousand
content thee?”; but Yunus answered, “That would only settle my debts,
and I should remain empty-handed.” Rejoined the stranger, “We will take
her of thee at fifty thousand dirhams[111] and give thee a suit of
clothes to boot and the expenses of thy journey and make thee a sharer
in my condition as long as thou livest.” Cried Yunus, “I sell her to
thee on these terms.” Then said the young man, “Wilt thou trust me to
bring thee the money to-morrow and let me take her with me, or shall she
abide with thee till I pay thee down her price?” Whereto wine and shame
and awe of the stranger led Yunus to reply, “I will trust thee; take her
and Allah bless thee in her!” Whereupon the visitor bade one of his
pages sit her before him on his beast, and mounting his own horse,
farewelled of Yunus and rode away out of sight. Hardly had he left him,
when the seller bethought himself and knew that he had erred in selling
her and said to himself, “What have I done? I have delivered my
slave-girl to a man with whom I am unacquainted, neither know I who he
is; and grant that I were acquainted with him, how am I to get at him?”
So he abode in thought till the morning, when he prayed the dawn-prayers
and his companions entered Damascus, whilst he sat, perplexed and
wotting not what to do, till the sun scorched him and it irked him to
abide there. He thought to enter the city, but said in his mind, “If I
enter Damascus, I cannot be sure but that the messenger will come and
find me not, in which case I shall have sinned against myself a second
sin.” Accordingly he sat down in the shade of a wall that was there, and
towards the wane of day, up came one of the eunuchs whom he had seen
with the young man, whereat great joy possessed Yunus and he said in
himself, “I know not that aught hath ever given me more delight than the
sight of this castrato.” When the eunuch reached him, he said to him, “O
my lord, we have kept thee long waiting”; but Yunus disclosed nothing to
him of the torments of anxiety he had suffered. Then quoth the castrato,
“Knowest thou the man who bought the girl of thee?”; and quoth Yunus,
“No,” to which the other rejoined, “’Twas Walid bin Sahl,[112] the Heir
Apparent.” And Yunus was silent. Then said the eunuch, “Ride,” and made
him mount a horse he had with him and they rode till they came to a
mansion, where they dismounted and entered. Here Yunus found the damsel,
who sprang up at his sight and saluted him. He asked her how she had
fared with him who had bought her and she answered, “He lodged me in
this apartment and ordered me all I needed.” Then he sat with her
awhile, till suddenly one of the servants of the house-owner came in and
bade him rise and follow him. So he followed the man into the presence
of his master and found him yesternight’s guest, whom he saw seated on
his couch and who said to him, “Who art thou?” “I am Yunus the Scribe.”
“Welcome to thee, O Yunus! by Allah, I have long wished to look on thee;
for I have heard of thy report. How didst thou pass the night?” “Well,
may Almighty Allah advance thee.” “Peradventure thou repentedest thee of
that thou didst yesterday and saidst to thyself: I have delivered my
slave-girl to a man with whom I am not acquainted, neither know I his
name nor whence he cometh?” “Allah forbid, O Emir, that I should repent
over her! Had I made gift of her to the Prince, she were the least of
the gifts that are given unto him,”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Yunus
the Scribe said to Walid, “Allah forbid I should repent over her! Had I
made gift of her to the Prince, she were the least of gifts that are
given to him, nor indeed is she worthy of his rank,” Walid rejoined, “By
Allah, but I repented me of having carried her away from thee and said
to myself:—This man is a stranger and knoweth me not, and I have taken
him by surprise and acted inconsiderately by him, in my haste to take
the damsel! Dost thou recall what passed between us?” Quoth Yunus,
“Yes!” and quoth Walid, “Dost thou sell this damsel to me for fifty
thousand dirhams?” And Yunus said, “I do.” Then the Prince called to one
of his servants to bring him fifty thousand dirhams and a thousand and
five hundred dinars to boot, and gave them all to Yunus, saying, “Take
the slave’s price: the thousand dinars are for thy fair opinion of us
and the five hundred are for thy viaticum and for what present thou
shalt buy for thy people. Art thou content?” “I am content,” answered
Yunus and kissed his hands, saying, “By Allah, thou hast filled my eyes
and my hands and my heart!” Quoth Walid, “By Allah, I have as yet had no
privacy of her nor have I taken my fill of her singing. Bring her to
me!” So she came and he bade her sit, then said to her, “Sing.” And she
sang these verses:—

 O thou who dost comprise all Beauty’s boons! ✿ O sweet of nature, fain
    of coquetry!
 In Turks and Arabs many beauties dwell; ✿ But, O my fawn, in none thy
    charms I see.
 Turn to thy lover, O my fair, and keep ✿ Thy word, though but in
    visioned phantasy:
 Shame and disgrace are lawful for thy sake ✿ And wakeful nights full
    fill with joy and glee:
 I’m not the first for thee who fared distraught; ✿ Slain by thy love how
    many a many be!
 I am content with thee for worldly share ✿ Dearer than life and good art
    thou to me!

When he heard this, he was delighted exceedingly and praised Yunus for
his excellent teaching of her and her fair education. Then he bade his
servants bring him a roadster with saddle and housings for his riding,
and a mule to carry his gear, and said to him, “O Yunus, when it shall
reach thee that command hath come to me, do thou join me; and, by Allah,
I will fill thy hands with good and advance thee to honour and make thee
rich as long as thou livest!” So Yunus said, “I took his goods and went
my ways; and when Walid succeeded to the Caliphate, I repaired to him;
and by Allah, he kept his promise and entreated me with high honour and
munificence. Then I abode with him in all content of case and rise of
rank and mine affairs prospered and my wealth increased and goods and
farms became mine, such as sufficed me and will suffice my heirs after
me; nor did I cease to abide with Walid, till he was slain, the mercy of
Almighty Allah be on him!” And men tell a tale concerning

-----

Footnote 110:

  Tenth Ommiade A.H. 105–125 (= 724–743), a wise and discreet ruler with
  an inclination to avarice and asceticism. According to some, the
  Ommiades produced only three statesmen, Mu’awiyah, Abd al-Malik and
  Hisham; and the reign of the latter was the end of sage government and
  wise administration.

Footnote 111:

  About £1,250, which seems a long price; but in those days Damascus had
  been enriched with the spoils of the world adjacent.

Footnote 112:

  Eleventh Ommiade dynasty, A.H. 125–126 (= 743–744). Ibn Sahl (son of
  ease, _i.e._ free and easy) was a nickname; he was the son of Yazíd
  II. and brother of Hishám. He scandalised the lieges by his
  profligacy, wishing to make the pilgrimage in order to drink upon the
  Ka’abah-roof; so they attacked the palace and lynched him. His death
  is supposed to have been brought about (27th of Jamáda al-Akhirah =
  April 16, 744) by his cousin and successor Yazíd (No. iii.) surnamed
  the Retrencher. The tale in the text speaks well for him; but
  generosity amongst the Arabs covers a multitude of sins, and people
  say, “Better a liberal sinner than a stingy saint.”



                   HARUN AL-RASHID AND THE ARAB GIRL.


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was walking one day with Ja’afar the
Barmecide, when he espied a company of girls drawing water and went up
to them, having a mind to drink. As he drew near, one of them turned to
her fellows and improvised these lines:—

 Thy phantom bid thou fleet, and fly ✿ Far from the couch whereon I lie;
 So I may rest and quench the fire, ✿ Bonfire in bones aye flaming high;
 My love-sick form Love’s restless palm ✿ Rolls o’er the rug whereon I
    sigh:
 How ’tis with me thou wottest well ✿ How long, then, union wilt deny?

The Caliph marvelled at her elegance and eloquence.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph,
hearing the girl’s verses, marvelled at her elegance and eloquence, and
said to her, “O daughter of nobles, are these thine own or a quotation?”
Replied she, “They are my very own,” and he rejoined, “An thou say sooth
keep the sense and change the rhyme.” So she said:—

 Bid thou thy phantom distance keep ✿ And quit this couch the while I
    sleep;
 So I may rest and quench the flames ✿ Through all my body rageful creep,
 In love-sick one, whom passion’s palms ✿ Roll o’er the bed where grief I
    weep.
 How ’tis with me thou wottest well; ✿ All but thy union hold I cheap!

Quoth the Caliph, “This also is stolen”; and quoth she, “Nay, ’tis my
very own.” He said, “If it be indeed thine own, change the rhyme again
and keep the sense.” So she recited the following:—

 Unto thy phantom deal behest ✿ To shun my couch the while I rest,
 So I repose and quench the fire ✿ That burns what lieth in my breast,
 My weary form Love’s restless palm ✿ Rolls o’er with boon of sleep
    unblest.
 How ’tis with me thou wottest well ✿ When union’s bought ’tis haply
    best!

Quoth Al-Rashid, “This too is stolen”; and quoth she, “Not so, ’tis
mine.” He said, “If thy words be true change the rhyme once more.” And
she recited:—

 Drive off the ghost that ever shows ✿ Beside my couch when I’d repose,
 So I may rest and quench the fire ✿ Beneath my ribs e’er flames and
    glows,
 In love-sick one, whom passion’s palms ✿ Roll o’er the couch where
    weeping flows,
 How ’tis with me thou wottest well ✿ Will union come as union goes?

Then said the Caliph, “Of what part of this camp art thou?”; and she
replied, “Of its middle in dwelling and of its highest in
tent-poles.”[113] Wherefore he knew that she was the daughter of the
tribal chief. “And thou,” quoth she, “of what art thou among the
guardians of the horses?”; and quoth he, “Of the highest in tree and of
the ripest in fruit.” “Allah protect thee, O Commander of the Faithful!”
said she, and kissing ground called down blessings on him. Then she went
away with the maidens of the Arabs, and the Caliph said to Ja’afar,
“There is no help for it but I take her to wife.” So Ja’afar repaired to
her father and said to him, “The Commander of the Faithful hath a mind
to thy daughter.” He replied, “With love and goodwill, she is a gift as
a handmaid to His Highness our Lord the Commander of the Faithful.” So
he equipped her and carried her to the Caliph, who took her to wife and
went in to her, and she became of the dearest of his women to him.
Furthermore, he bestowed on her father largesse such as succoured him
among Arabs, till he was transported to the mercy of Almighty Allah. The
Caliph, hearing of his death, went in to her greatly troubled; and, when
she saw him looking afflicted, she entered her chamber and doffing all
that was upon her of rich raiment, donned mourning apparel and raised
lament for her father. It was said to her, “What is the reason of
this?”; and she replied, “My father is dead.” So they repaired to the
Caliph and told him and he rose and going in to her, asked her who had
informed her of her father’s death; and she answered “It was thy face, O
Commander of the Faithful!” Said he, “How so?”; and she said, “Since I
have been with thee, I never saw thee on such wise till this time, and
there was none for whom I feared save my father, by reason of his great
age; but may thy head live, O Commander of the Faithful!” The Caliph’s
eyes filled with tears and he condoled with her; but she ceased not to
mourn for her father, till she followed him—Allah have mercy on the
twain! And a tale is also told of

-----

Footnote 113:

  The tents of black wool woven by the Badawi women are generally
  supported by three parallel rows of poles lengthways and crossways
  (the highest line being the central) and the covering is pegged down.
  Thus the outline of the roofs forms two or more hanging curves, and
  these characterise the architecture of the Tartars and Chinese; they
  are still preserved in the Turkish (and sometimes in the European)
  “Kiosque,” and they have extended to the Brazil where the upturned
  eaves, often painted vermilion below, at once attract the traveller’s
  notice.



               AL-ASMA’I AND THE THREE GIRLS OF BASSORAH.


The Commander of the Faithful Harun Al-Rashid was exceeding restless one
night and rising from his bed, paced from chamber to chamber, but could
not compose himself to sleep. As soon as it was day, he said, “Fetch me
Al-Asma’i!”[114] So the eunuch went out and told the doorkeepers; these
sent for the poet and when he came, informed the Caliph who bade admit
him and said to him, “O Asma’i, I wish thee to tell me the best thou
hast heard of stories of women and their verses.” Answered Al-Asma’i,
“Hearkening and obedience! I have heard great store of women’s verses;
but none pleased me save three sets of couplets I once heard from three
girls.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Al-Asma’i said
to the Prince of True Believers, “Verily I have heard much, but nothing
pleased me save three sets of couplets improvised by as many girls.”
Quoth the Caliph, “Tell me of them,” and quoth he, “Know then, O
Commander of the Faithful, that I once abode in Bassorah, and one day,
as I was walking, the heat was sore upon me and I sought for a
siesta-place but found none. However by looking right and left I came
upon a porch swept and sprinkled, at the upper end whereof was a wooden
bench under an open lattice-window, whence exhaled a scent of musk. I
entered the porch and sitting down on the bench, would have stretcht me
at full length when I heard from within a girl’s sweet voice talking and
saying:—O my sisters, we are here seated to spend our day in friendly
converse; so come, let us each put down an hundred dinars and recite a
line of verse; and whoso extemporiseth the goodliest and sweetest line,
the three hundred dinars shall be hers.” “With love and gladness,” said
the others; and the eldest recited the first couplet which is this:—

 Would he come to my bed during sleep ’twere delight ✿ But a visit on
    wake were delightsomer sight!

Quoth the second:—

 Naught came to salute me in sleep save his shade ✿ But “welcome, fair
    welcome,” I cried to the spright!

Then said the youngest:—


 My soul and my folk I engage for the youth ✿ Musk-scented I see in my
                            bed every night!

Quoth I, “An she be fair as her verse hath grace, the thing is complete
in every case.” Then I came down from my bench[115] and was about to go
away, when behold, the door opened and out came a slave-girl, who said
to me, “Sit, O Shaykh!” So I climbed up and sat down again when she gave
me a scroll, wherein was written, in characters of the utmost beauty,
with straight Alifs,[116] big-bellied Hás and rounded Waws, the
following:—We would have the Shaykh (Allah lengthen his days!) to know
that we are three maidens, sisters, sitting in friendly converse, who
have laid down each an hundred dinars, conditioning that whoso recite
the goodliest and sweetest couplet shall have the whole three hundred
dinars; and we appoint thee umpire between us: so decide as thou seest
best, and the Peace be on thee! Quoth I to the girl, Here to me inkcase
and paper. So she went in and, returning after a little, brought me a
silvered inkcase and gilded pens[117] with which I wrote these
couplets:—

 They talked of three beauties whose converse was quite ✿ Like the talk
    of a man with experience dight:
 Three maidens who borrowed the bloom of the dawn ✿ Making hearts of
    their lovers in sorriest plight.
 They were hidden from eyes of the prier and spy ✿ Who slept and their
    modesty mote not affright;
 So they opened whatever lay hid in their hearts ✿ And in frolicsome fun
    began verse to indite.
 Quoth one fair coquette with her amorous grace ✿ Whose teeth for the
    sweet of her speech flashèd bright:—
 Would he come to my bed during sleep ’twere delight ✿ But a visit on
    wake were delightsomer sight!
 When she ended, her verse by her smiling was gilt: ✿ Then the second
    ’gan singing as nightingale might:—
 Naught came to salute me in sleep save his shade ✿ But welcome, fair
    welcome, I cried to the spright!
 But the third I preferred for she said in reply, ✿ With expression most
    apposite, exquisite:—
 My soul and my folk I engage for the youth ✿ Musk-scented I see in my
    bed every night!
 So when I considered their words to decide, ✿ And not make me the mock
    of the cynical wight;
 I pronounced for the youngest, declaring her verse ✿ Of all verses be
    that which is nearest the right.

Then I gave the scroll to the slave-girl, who went upstairs with it, and
behold, I heard a noise of dancing and clapping of hands and Doomsday
astir. Quoth I to myself, “’Tis no time for me to stay here.” So I came
down from the platform and was about to go away, when the damsel cried
out to me, “Sit down, O Asma’i!” Asked I, “Who gave thee to know that I
was Al-Asma’i?” and she answered, “O Shaykh, an thy name be unknown to
us, thy poetry is not!” So I sat down again and suddenly the door opened
and out came the first damsel, with a dish of fruits and another of
sweetmeats. I ate of both and praised their fashion and would have
ganged my gait; but she cried out, “Sit down, O Asma’i!” Wherewith I
raised my eyes to her and saw a rosy palm in a saffron sleeve, meseemed
it was the full moon rising splendid in the cloudy East. Then she threw
me a purse containing three hundred dinars and said to me, “This is mine
and I give it to thee by way of douceur in requital of thy judgment.”
Quoth the Caliph, “Why didst thou decide for the youngest?” and quoth
Al-Asma’i, “O Commander of the Faithful, whose life Allah prolong! the
eldest said:—I should delight in him, if he visited my couch in sleep.
Now this is restricted and dependent upon a condition which may befal or
may not befal; whilst, for the second, an image of dreams came to her in
sleep, and she saluted it; but the youngest’s couplet said that she
actually lay with her lover and smelt his breath sweeter than musk and
she engaged her soul and her folk for him, which she had not done, were
he not dearer to her than her sprite.” Said the Caliph, “Thou didst
well, O Asma’i,” and gave him other three hundred ducats in payment of
his story. And I have heard a tale concerning

-----

Footnote 114:

  See vol. iv., 159. The author of “Antar,” known to Englishmen by the
  old translation of Mr. Terrick Hamilton, secretary of Legation at
  Constantinople. There is an abridgement of the forty-five volumes of
  Al-Asma’i’s “Antar” which mostly supplies or rather supplied the
  “Antariyyah” or professional tale-tellers; whose theme was the heroic
  Mulatto lover.

Footnote 115:

  The “Dakkah” or long wooden sofa, as opposed to the “mastabah” or
  stone bench, is often a tall platform and in mosques is a kind of ambo
  railed round and supported by columns. Here readers recite the Koran:
  Lane (M.E. chapt. iii.) sketches it in the “Interior of a Mosque.”

Footnote 116:

  Alif (ا) Ha (ه) and Waw (و‎), the first, twenty-seventh and
  twenty-sixth letters of the Arabic alphabet: No. 1 is the most simple
  and difficult to write calligraphically.

Footnote 117:

  Reeds washed with gold and used for love-letters, &c.



                  IBRAHIM OF MOSUL AND THE DEVIL.[118]


Quoth Abu Ishak Ibrahim al-Mausili:—I asked Al-Rashid once to give me a
day’s leave that I might be private with the people of my household and
my brethren, and he gave me leave for Saturday the Sabbath. So I went
home and betook myself to making ready meat and drink and other
necessaries and bade the doorkeepers shut the doors and let none come in
to me. However, presently, as I sat in my sitting-chamber, with my women
who were looking after my wants, behold, there appeared an old man of
comely and reverend aspect,[119] clad in white clothes and a shirt of
fine stuff with a doctor’s turband on his head and a silver-handled
staff in his hand, and the house and porch were full of the perfumes
wherewith he was scented. I was greatly vexed at his coming in to me and
thought to turn away the doorkeepers; but he saluted me after the
goodliest fashion and I returned his greeting and bade him be seated. So
he sat down and began entertaining me with stories of the Arabs and
their verses, till my anger left me and methought my servants had sought
to pleasure me by admitting a man of such good breeding and fine
culture. Then I asked him, “Art thou for meat?”; and he answered, “I
have no need of it.” “And for drink?” quoth I, and quoth he, “That is as
thou wilt.” So I drank off a pint of wine and poured him out the like.
Then said he, “O Abu Ishak, wilt thou sing us somewhat, so we may hear
of thine art that wherein thou excellest high and low?” His words
angered me; but I swallowed my anger and taking the lute played and
sang. “Well done, O Abu Ishak!”[120] said he; whereat my wrath redoubled
and I said to myself, “Is it not enough that he should intrude upon me,
without my leave, and importune me thus, but he must call me by name, as
though he knew not the right way to address me?” Quoth he, “An thou wilt
sing something more we will requite thee.” I dissembled my annoyance and
took the lute and sang again, taking pains with what I sang and rising
thereto altogether, in consideration of his saying, “We will requite
thee.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Shaykh said to Abu Ishak, “If thou wilt sing something more we will
requite thee,” I dissembled my annoyance (continued Ibrahim) and, taking
the lute, sang again with great attention to my singing and rising
altogether thereto, in consideration of his saying, “We will requite
thee.” He was delighted, and cried, “Well done, O my lord!”; presently
adding, “Dost thou give me leave to sing?” “As thou wilt,” answered I,
deeming him weak of wit, in that he should think to sing in my presence,
after that which he had heard from me. So he took the lute and swept the
strings, and by Allah, I fancied they spoke in Arabic tongue, with a
sweet and liquid and murmurous voice; then he began and sang these
couplets:—

 I bear a hurt heart, who will sell me for this ✿ A heart whole and free
    from all canker and smart?
 Nay, none will consent or to barter or buy ✿ Such loss, ne’er from
    sorrow and sickness to part:
 I groan wi’ the groaning of wine-wounded men ✿ And pine for the pining
    ne’er freeth my heart.

And by Allah, meseemed the doors and the walls and all that was in the
house answered and sang with him, for the beauty of his voice, so that I
fancied my very limbs and clothes replied to him, and I abode amazed and
unable to speak or move, for the trouble of my heart. Then he sang these
couplets:—

 Culvers of Liwa![121] to your nests return; ✿ Your mournful voices
    thrill this heart of mine.
 Then back a-copse they flew, and well-nigh took ✿ My life and made me
    tell my secret pine.
 With cooing call they one who’s gone, as though ✿ Their breasts were
    maddened with the rage of wine:
 Ne’er did mine eyes their like for culvers see ✿ Who weep yet tear-drops
    never dye their eyne.

And also these couplets:—

 O Zephyr of Najd, when from Najd thou blow, ✿ Thy breathings heap only
    new woe on woe!
 The turtle bespake me in bloom of morn ✿ From the cassia-twig and the
    willow-bough
 She moaned with the moaning of love-sick youth ✿ And exposed love-secret
    I ne’er would show:
 They say lover wearies of love when near ✿ And is cured of love an afar
    he go:

 I tried either cure which ne’er cured my love; ✿ But that nearness is
    better than farness I know:[122]
 Yet,—the nearness of love shall no ’vantage prove ✿ An whoso thou lovest
    deny thee of love.

Then said he, “O Ibrahim, sing this song after me, and preserving the
mode thereof in thy singing, teach it to thy slave-girls.” Quoth I,
“Repeat it to me.” But he answered, “There needs no repetition; thou
hast it by heart nor is there more to learn.” Then he suddenly vanished
from my sight. At this I was amazed and running to my sword drew it and
made for the door of the Harim, but found it closed and said to the
women, “What have ye heard?” Quoth they, “We have heard the sweetest of
singing and the goodliest.” Then I went forth amazed, to the house-door
and, finding it locked, questioned the doorkeepers of the old man. They
replied, “What old man? By Allah, no one hath gone in to thee this day!”
So I returned pondering the matter, when, behold, there arose from one
of the corners of the house, a Vox et præterea nihil, saying, “O Abu
Ishak, no harm shall befal thee. ’Tis I, Abú Murrah,[123] who have been
thy cup-companion this day, so fear nothing!” Then I mounted and rode to
the palace, where I told Al-Rashid what had passed, and he said, “Repeat
to me the airs thou heardest from him.” So I took the lute and played
and sang them to him; for, behold, they were rooted in my heart. The
Caliph was charmed with them and drank thereto, albeit he was no
confirmed wine-bibber, saying, “Would he would some day pleasure us with
his company, as he hath pleasured thee!”[124] Then he ordered me a
present and I took it and went away. And men relate this story anent

-----

Footnote 118:

  Lane introduced this tale into vol. i., p. 223, notes on chapt. iii.,
  apparently not knowing that it was in The Nights. He gives a mere
  abstract, omitting all the verse, and he borrowed it either from the
  Halbat Al-Kumayt (chapt. xiv.) or from Al-Mas’údí (chapt. cxi.). (See
  the French translation, vol. vi. p. 340). I am at pains to understand
  why M. C. Barbier de Maynard writes “Réchid” with an accented vowel;
  although French delicacy made him render, by “fils de courtisane,” the
  expression in the text, “O biter of thy mother’s enlarged (or
  uncircumcised) clitoris” (Bazar).

Footnote 119:

  In Al-Mas’údí the Devil is “a young man fair of favour and formous of
  figure,” which is more appropriate to a “Tempter.” He also wears light
  stuffs of dyed silks.

Footnote 120:

  It would have been more courteous in an utter stranger to say, O my
  lord.

Footnote 121:

  The Arab Tempe (of fiction, not of grisly fact).

Footnote 122:

  These four lines are in Al-Mas’údi, chapt. cxviii. Fr. trans. vii.
  313, but that author does not tell us who wrote them.

Footnote 123:

  _i.e._ Father of Bitterness = the Devil. This legend of the Foul Fiend
  appearing to Ibrahim of Mosul (and also to Isam, N. dcxcv.) seems to
  have been accepted by contemporaries and reminds us of similar
  visitations in Europe—notably to Dr. Faust. One can only exclaim,
  “Lor, papa, what nonsense you are talking!” the words of a small girl
  whose father thought proper to indoctrinate her into certain Biblical
  stories. I once began to write a biography of the Devil; but I found
  that European folk-lore had made such an unmitigated fool of the grand
  old Typhon-Ahriman as to take away from him all human interest.

Footnote 124:

  In Al-Mas’údi the Caliph exclaims, “Verily thou hast received a visit
  from Satan!”



                   THE LOVERS OF THE BANU UZRAH.[125]


Quoth Masrur the Eunuch:—The Caliph Harun Al-Rashid was very wakeful one
night and said to me, “See which of the poets is at the door to-night.”
So I went out and finding Jamíl bin Ma’amar al-Uzrí[126] in the
antechamber, said to him, “Answer the Commander of the Faithful.” Quoth
he, “I hear and I obey,” and going in with me, saluted the Caliph, who
returned his greeting and bade him sit down. Then he said to him, “O
Jamil, hast thou any of thy wonderful new stories to tell us?” He
replied, “Yes, O Commander of the Faithful: wouldst thou fainer hear
that which I have seen with mine eyes or that which I have only heard?”
Quoth the Caliph, “Tell me something thou hast actually beheld.” Quoth
Jamil, “’Tis well, O Prince of True Believers; incline thy heart to me
and lend me thine ears.” The Caliph took a bolster of red brocade,
purfled with gold and stuffed with ostrich-feathers and, laying it under
his thighs, propped up both elbows thereon; then he said to Jamil,
“Now[127] for thy tale, O Jamil!” Thereupon he begun:—Know, O Commander
of the Faithful, that I was once desperately enamoured of a certain girl
and used to pay her frequent visits.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saving her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph
had propped his elbows upon the brocaded cushion, he said, “Out with thy
tale, O Jamil!” and the poet begun:—Know, O Commander of the Faithful, I
was desperately in love with a girl and used often to visit her, because
she was my desire and delight of all the things of this world. After a
while, her people removed with her, by reason of scarcity of pasture,
and I abode some time without seeing her, till I grew restless for
desire and longed for her sight and the flesh[128] urged me to journey
to her. One night, I could hold out no longer; so I rose and saddling my
she-camel, bound on my turban and donned my oldest dress.[129] Then I
baldricked myself with my sword and slinging my spear behind me, mounted
and rode forth in quest of her. I fared on fast till, one night, it was
pitch dark and exceeding black, yet I persisted in the hard task of
climbing down Wadys and up hills, hearing on all sides the roaring of
lions and howling of wolves and the cries of the wild beasts. My reason
was troubled thereat and my heart sank within me; but for all that my
tongue ceased not to call on the name of Almighty Allah. As I went along
thus, sleep overtook me and the camel carried me aside out of my road,
till, presently, something[130] smote me on the head, and I woke,
startled and alarmed, and found myself in a pasturage full of trees and
streams and birds on the branches, warbling their various speech and
notes. As the trees were tangled I alighted and, taking my camel’s
halter in hand, fared on softly with her, till I got clear of the thick
growth and came out into the open country, where I adjusted her saddle
and mounted again, knowing not where to go nor whither the Fates should
lead me; but, presently, peering afar into the desert, I espied a fire
in its middle depth. So I smote my camel and made for the fire. When I
drew near, I saw a tent pitched, and fronted by a spear stuck in the
ground, with a pennon flying[131] and horses tethered and camels
feeding, and said in myself, “Doubtless there hangeth some grave matter
by this tent, for I see none other than it in the desert.” So I went up
thereto and said, “Peace be with you, O people of the tent, and the
mercy of Allah and His blessing!” Whereupon there came forth to me a
young man as youths are when nineteen years old, who was like the full
moon shining in the East, with valour written between his eyes, and
answered, saying, “And with thee be the Peace, and Allah’s mercy and His
blessing! O brother of the Arabs, methinks thou hast lost thy way?”
Replied I, “Even so, direct me right, Allah have mercy on thee!” He
rejoined, “O brother of the Arabs, of a truth this our land is infested
with lions and the night is exceeding dark and dreary, beyond measure
cold and gloomy, and I fear lest the wild beasts rend thee in pieces;
wherefore do thou alight and abide with me this night in ease and
comfort, and to-morrow I will put thee in the right way.” Accordingly, I
dismounted and hobbled my she-camel with the end of her halter;[132]
then I put off my heavy upper clothes and sat down. Presently the young
man took a sheep and slaughtered it and kindled a brisk fire; after
which he went into the tent and bringing out finely powdered salt and
spices, fell to cutting off pieces of mutton and roasting them over the
fire and feeding me therewith, weeping at one while and sighing at
another. Then he groaned heavily and wept sore and improvised these
couplets:—

 There remains to him naught save a flitting breath ✿ And an eye whose
    babe ever wandereth.
 There remains not a joint in his limbs, but what ✿ Disease firm fixt
    ever tortureth.
 His tears are flowing, his vitals burning; ✿ Yet for all his tongue
    still he silenceth.
 All foemen in pity beweep his woes; ✿ Ah for freke whom the foeman
    pitieth!

By this I knew, O Commander of the Faithful, that the youth was a
distracted lover (for none knoweth passion save he who hath tasted the
passion-savour), and quoth I to myself, “Shall I ask him?” But I
consulted my judgment and said, “How shall I assail him with
questioning, and I in his abode?” So I restrained myself and ate my
sufficiency of the meat. When we had made an end of eating, the young
man arose and entering the tent, brought out a handsome basin and ewer
and a silken napkin, whose ends were purfled with red gold and a
sprinkling-bottle full of rose-water mingled with musk. I marvelled at
his dainty delicate ways and said in my mind, “Never wot I of delicacy
in the desert.” Then we washed our hands and talked a while, after which
he went into the tent and making a partition between himself and me with
a piece of red brocade, said to me, “Enter, O Chief of the Arabs, and
take thy rest; for thou hast suffered more of toil and travel than
sufficeth this night and in this thy journey.” So I entered and finding
a bed of green brocade, doffed my dress and passed a night such as I had
never passed in my life.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Six Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jamil spoke,
saying:—Never in my life passed I a night like that. I pondered the
young man’s case, till the world was dark and all eyes slept, when I was
aroused by the sound of a low voice, never heard I a softer or sweeter.
I raised the curtain which hung between us and saw a damsel (never
beheld I a fairer of face), by the young man’s side and they were both
weeping and complaining, one to other of the pangs of passion and desire
and of the excess of their longing for union.[133] Quoth I, “By Allah, I
wonder who may be this second one! When I entered this tent, there was
none therein save this young man.” And after reflection I added,
“Doubtless this damsel is of the daughters of the Jinn and is enamoured
of this youth; so they have secluded themselves with each other in this
solitary place.” Then I considered her closely and behold, she was a
mortal and an Arab girl, whose face, when she unveiled, shamed the
shining sun, and the tent was lit up by the light of her countenance.
When I was assured that she was his beloved, I bethought me of
lover-jealousy; so I let drop the curtain and covering my face, fell
asleep. As soon as it was dawn I arose and donning my clothes, made the
Wuzu-ablution and prayed such prayers as are obligatory and which I had
deferred. Then I said, “O brother of the Arabs, wilt thou direct me into
the right road and thus add to thy favours?” He replied, “At thy
leisure, O chief of the Arabs, the term of the guest-rite is three
days,[134] and I am not one to let thee go before that time.” So I abode
with him three days, and on the fourth day as we sat talking, I asked
him of his name and lineage. Quoth he “As for my lineage, I am of the
Banú Odhrah; my name is such an one, son of such an one and my father’s
brother is called such an one.” And behold, O Commander of the Faithful,
he was the son of my paternal uncle and of the noblest house of the Banu
Uzrah. Said I, “O my cousin, what moved thee to act on this wise,
secluding thyself in the waste and leaving thy fair estate and that of
thy father and thy slaves and handmaids?” When he heard my words, his
eyes filled with tears and he replied, “Know, O my cousin, that I fell
madly in love of the daughter of my father’s brother, fascinated by her,
distracted for her, passion-possessed as by a Jinn, wholly unable to let
her out of my sight. So I sought her in marriage of her sire, but he
refused and married her to a man of the Banu Odhrah, who went in to her
and carried her to his abiding-place this last year. When she was thus
far removed from me and I was prevented from looking on her, the fiery
pangs of passion and excess of love-longing and desire drove me to
forsake my clan[135] and friends and fortune and take up my abode in
this desert, where I have grown used to my solitude.” I asked, “Where
are their dwellings?” and he answered, “They are hard by, on the crest
of yonder hill; and every night, at the dead time, when all eyes sleep,
she stealeth secretly out of the camp, unseen of any one, and I satisfy
my desire of her converse and she of mine.[136] So I abide thus,
solacing myself with her a part of the night, till Allah work out that
which is to be wrought; either I shall compass my desire, in spite[137]
of the envious, or Allah will determine for me and He is the best of
determinators.” Now when the youth told me his case, O Commander of the
Faithful, I was concerned for him and perplexed by reason of my jealousy
for his honour; so I said to him, “O son of my uncle, wilt thou that I
point out to thee a plan and suggest to thee a project, whereby (please
Allah) thou shalt find perfect welfare and the way of right and
successful issue whereby the Almighty shall do away from thee that thou
dreadest?” He replied, “Say on, O my cousin”; and quoth I, “When it is
night and the girl cometh, set her on my she-camel which is swift of
pace, and mount thou thy steed, whilst I bestride one of these
dromedaries. So will we fare on all night and when the morrow morns, we
shall have traversed wolds and wastes, and thou wilt have attained thy
desire and won the beloved of thy heart. The Almighty’s earth is wide,
and by Allah, I will back thee with heart and wealth and sword.”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Jamil advised
the elopement and night journey, promising his aid as long as he lived,
the youth accepted and said, “O cousin, wait till I take counsel with
her, for she is quick-witted and prudent and hath insight into affairs.”
So (continued Jamil) when the night darkened and the hour of her coming
arrived, and he awaiting her at the appointed tide, she delayed beyond
her usual time, and I saw him go forth the door of the tent and opening
his mouth, inhale the wafts of breeze that blew from her quarter, as if
to snuff her perfume, and he repeated these two couplets:—

 Breeze of East who bringest me gentle air ✿ From the place of sojourn
    where dwells my fair:
 O Breeze, of the lover thou bearest sign, ✿ Canst not of her coming some
    signal bear?

Then he entered the tent and sat weeping awhile; after which he said to
me, “O my cousin, some mischance must have betided the daughter of mine
uncle, or some accident must have hindered her from coming to me this
night,” presently adding, “But abide where thou art, till I bring thee
the news.” And he took sword and shield and was absent a while of the
night, after which he returned, carrying something in hand and called
aloud to me. So I hastened to him and he said, “O my cousin, knowest
thou what hath happened?” I replied, “No, by Allah!” Quoth he, “Verily,
I am distraught concerning my cousin this night; for, as she was coming
to me, a lion met her in the way and devoured her, and there remaineth
of her but what thou seest.” So saying, he threw down what he had in his
hand, and behold, it was the damsel’s turband and what was left of her
bones. Then he wept sore and casting down his bow,[138] took a bag and
went forth again saying, “Stir not hence till I return to thee, if it
please Almighty Allah.” He was absent a while and presently returned,
bearing in his hand a lion’s head, which he threw on the ground and
called for water. So I brought him water, with which he washed the
lion’s mouth and fell to kissing it and weeping; and he mourned for her
exceedingly and recited these couplets:—

 Ho thou lion who broughtest thyself to woe, ✿ Thou art slain and worse
    sorrows my bosom rend!
 Thou hast reft me of fairest companionship, ✿ Made her home Earth’s womb
    till the world shall end.
 To Time, who hath wrought me such grief, I say, ✿ “Allah grant in her
    stead never show a friend!”

Then said he to me, “O cousin, I conjure thee by Allah and the claims of
kindred and consanguinity[139] between us, keep thou my charge. Thou
wilt presently see me dead before thee; whereupon do thou wash me and
shroud me and these that remain of my cousin’s bones in this robe and
bury us both in one grave and write thereon these two couplets:”—

 On Earth surface we lived in rare ease and joy ✿ By fellowship joined in
    one house and home.
 But Fate with her changes departed us, ✿ And the shroud conjoins us in
    Earth’s cold womb.

Then he wept with sore weeping and, entering the tent, was absent
awhile, after which he came forth, groaning and crying out. Then he gave
one sob and departed this world. When I saw that he was indeed dead, it
was grievous to me and so sore was my sorrow for him that I had
well-nigh followed him for excess of mourning over him. Then I laid him
out and did as he had enjoined me, shrouding his cousin’s remains with
him in one robe and laying the twain in one grave. I abode by their tomb
three days, after which I departed and continued to pay frequent pious
visits[140] to the place for two years. This then is their story, O
Commander of the Faithful! Al-Rashid was pleased with Jamil’s story and
rewarded him with a robe of honour and a handsome present. And men also
tell a tale concerning

-----

Footnote 125:

  Al-Mas’udi, chapt. cxix. (Fr. transl. vii., 351) mentions the Banu
  Odhrah as famed for lovers and tells the pathetic tale of ’Orwah and
  ’Afrá.

Footnote 126:

  Jamil bin Ma’amar the poet has been noticed in Vol. ii. 102; and he
  has no business here as he died years before Al-Rashid was born. The
  tale begins like that of Ibn Mansúr and the Lady Budúr (Night
  cccxxvii.), except that Mansur does not offer his advice.

Footnote 127:

  Arab “Halumma,” an interjection = bring! a congener of the Heb.
  “Halúm,” the grammarians of Kufah and Bassorah are divided concerning
  its origin.

Footnote 128:

  Arab. “Nafs-í” which here corresponds with our canting “the flesh,”
  the “Old Adam,” &c.

Footnote 129:

  Arab. “Atmárí” used for travel. The Anglo-Americans are the only
  people who have the common sense to travel (where they are not known)
  in their “store clothes” and reserve the worst for where they are
  known.

Footnote 130:

  _e.g._, a branch or bough.

Footnote 131:

  Arab. “Ráyah káimah,” which Lane translates a “beast standing”!

Footnote 132:

  Tying up the near foreleg just above the knee; and even with this a
  camel can hop over sundry miles of ground in the course of a night.
  The hobbling is shown in Lane (Nights vol. ii., p. 46).

Footnote 133:

  As opposed to “Severance” in the old knightly language of love, which
  is now apparently lost to the world. I tried it in the Lyrics of
  Camoens and found that I was speaking a forgotten tongue, which
  mightily amused the common sort of critic and reviewer.

Footnote 134:

  More exactly three days and eight hours, after which the guest becomes
  a friend, and as in the Argentine prairies is expected to do friend’s
  duty. The popular saying is, “The entertainment of a guest is three
  days; the viaticum (jáizah) is a day and a night, and whatso exceedeth
  this is alms.”

Footnote 135:

  Arab. “’Ashírah.” Books tell us there are seven degrees of connection
  among the Badawin: Sha’ab, tribe or rather race, nation (as the
  Anazah) descended from a common ancestor; Kabílah the tribe proper
  (whence _les Kabyles_); Fasílah (sept), Imárah, Ashirah (all a man’s
  connections); Fakhiz (lit. the thigh, _i.e._, his blood relations) and
  Batn (belly) his kith and kin. Practically Kabílah is the tribe,
  Ashírah the clan, and Bayt the household; while Hayy may be anything
  between tribe and kith and kin.

Footnote 136:

  This is the true platonic love of noble Arabs, the Ishk ’uzrí, noted
  in vol. ii., 104.

Footnote 137:

  Arab. “’Alà raghm,” a favourite term. It occurs in theology; for
  instance, when the Shi’ahs are asked the cause of such and such a
  ritual distinction they will reply, “Ala raghmi ’l-Tasannun”: lit. =
  to spite the Sunnis.

Footnote 138:

  In the text “Al-Kaus” for which Lane and Payne substitute a shield.
  The bow had not been mentioned but—_n’importe_, the Arab reader would
  say. In the text it is left at home because it is a cowardly,
  far-killing weapon compared with sword and lance. Hence the Spaniard
  calls and justly calls the knife the “bravest of arms” as it wants a
  man behind it.

Footnote 139:

  Arab. “Rahim” or “Rihm” = womb, uterine relations, pity or sympathy,
  which may here be meant.

Footnote 140:

  Reciting Fátihahs and so forth, as I have described in the Cemetery of
  Al-Medinah (ii. 300). Moslems do not pay for prayers to benefit the
  dead like the majority of Christendom and, according to Calvinistic
  Wahhábi-ism, their prayers and blessings are of no avail. But the
  mourner’s heart loathes reason and he prays for his dead instinctively
  like the so-termed “Protestant.” Amongst the latter, by the bye, I
  find four great _Sommités_, (1) Paul of Tarsus who protested against
  the Hebraism of Peter; (2) Mohammed who protested against the
  perversions of Christianity; (3) Luther who protested against Italian
  rule in Germany, and lastly (4) one (who shall be nameless) that
  protests against the whole business.



                     THE BADAWI AND HIS WIFE.[141]


Caliph Mu’áwiyah was sitting one day in his palace[142] at Damascus, in
a room whose windows were open on all four sides, that the breeze might
enter from every quarter. Now it was a day of excessive heat, with no
breeze from the hills stirring, and the middle of the day, when the heat
was at its height, and the Caliph saw a man coming along, scorched by
the heat of the ground and limping, as he fared on barefoot. Mu’awiyah
considered him awhile and said to his courtiers, “Hath Allah (may He be
extolled and exalted!) created any miserabler than he who need must hie
abroad at such an hour and in such sultry tide as this?” Quoth one of
them, “Haply he seeketh the Commander of the Faithful;” and quoth the
Caliph, “By Allah, if he seek me, I will assuredly give to him, and if
he be wronged, I will certainly succour him. Ho, boy! Stand at the door,
and if yonder wild Arab seek to come in to me, forbid him not
therefrom.” So the page went out and presently the Arab came up to him
and he said, “What dost thou want?” Answered the other, “I want the
Commander of the Faithful,” and the page said, “Enter.” So he entered
and saluted the Caliph,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the page
allowed him to enter, the Badawi saluted the Caliph, who said to him,
“Who art thou?” Replied the Arab, “I am a man of the Banú Tamím.”[143]
“And what bringeth thee here at this season?” asked Mu’awiyah; and the
Arab answered, “I come to thee, complaining and thy protection
imploring.” “Against whom?” “Against Marwan bin al-Hakam,[144] thy
deputy,” replied he, and began reciting:—

 Mu’áwiyah,[145] thou gen’rous lord, and best of men that be; ✿ And oh,
    thou lord of learning, grace and fair humanity,
 Thee-wards I come because my way of life is strait to me: ✿ O help! and
    let me not despair thine equity to see.
 Deign thou redress the wrong that dealt the tyrant whim of him ✿ Who
    better had my life destroyed than made such wrong to dree.

 He robbed me of my wife Su’ád and proved him worst of foes, ✿ Stealing
    mine honour ’mid my folk with foul iniquity;
 And went about to take my life before th’ appointed day ✿ Hath dawned
    which Allah made my lot by destiny’s decree.

Now when Mu’awiyah heard him recite these verses, with the fire flashing
from his mouth, he said to him, “Welcome and fair welcome, O brother of
the Arabs! Tell me thy tale and acquaint me with thy case.” Replied the
Arab, “O Commander of the Faithful, I had a wife whom I loved passing
dear with love none came near; and she was the coolth of mine eyes and
the joy of my heart; and I had a herd of camels, whose produce enabled
me to maintain my condition; but there came upon us a bad year which
killed off hoof and horn and left me naught. When what was in my hand
failed me and wealth fell from me and I lapsed into evil case, I at once
became abject and a burden to those who erewhile wished to visit me; and
when her father knew it, he took her from me and abjured me and drove me
forth without ruth. So I repaired to thy deputy, Marwan bin al-Hakam,
and asked his aid. He summoned her sire and questioned him of my case,
when he denied any knowledge of me.” Quoth I, “Allah assain the Emir! An
it please him to send for the woman and question her of her father’s
saying, the truth will appear.” So he sent for her and brought her; but
no sooner had he set eyes on her than he fell in love with her; so,
becoming my rival, he denied me succour and was wroth with me, and sent
me to prison, where I became as I had fallen from heaven and the wind
had cast me down in a far land. Then said Marwan to her father, “Wilt
thou give her to me to wife, on a present settlement of a thousand
dinars and a contingent dowry of ten thousand dirhams,[146] and I will
engage to free her from yonder wild Arab!” Her father was seduced by the
bribe and agreed to the bargain; whereupon Marwan sent for me and
looking at me like an angry lion, said to me, “O Arab, divorce Su’ad.” I
replied, “I will not put her away; but he set on me a company of his
servants, who tortured me with all manner of tortures, till I found no
help for it but to divorce her. I did so and he sent me back to prison,
where I abode till the days of her purification were accomplished, when
he married her and let me go. So now I come hither in thee hoping and
thy succour imploring and myself on thy protection throwing.” And he
spoke these couplets:—

     Within my heart is fire ✿ Whichever flameth higher;
     Within my frame are pains ✿ For skill of leach too dire.
     Live coals in vitals burn ✿ And sparks from coal up spire:
     Tears flood mine eyes and down ✿ Coursing my cheek ne’er tire:
     Only God’s aid and thine ✿ I crave for my desire!

Then he was convulsed,[147] and his teeth chattered and he fell down in
a fit, squirming like a scotched snake. When Mu’awiyah heard his story
and his verse, he said, “Marwan bin al-Hakam hath transgressed against
the laws of the Faith and hath violated the Harim of True
Believers!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Caliph Mu’awiyah heard the wild Arab’s words, he said, “The son of
al-Hakam hath indeed transgressed against the laws of the Faith and hath
violated the Harim of True Believers,” presently adding, “O Arab, thou
comest to me with a story, the like whereof I never heard!” Then he
called for inkcase and paper and wrote to Marwan as follows:—Verily it
hath reached me that thou transgresseth the laws of the Faith with
regard to thy lieges. Now it behoveth the Wali who governeth the folk to
keep his eyes from their lusts and stay his flesh from its delights. And
after he wrote many words, which (quoth he who told me the tale) I omit,
for brevity’s sake, and amongst them these couplets:—

 Thou wast invested (woe to thee!)[148] with rule for thee unfit; ✿ Crave
    thou of Allah pardon for thy foul adultery.
 Th’ unhappy youth to us is come complaining ’mid his groans ✿ And asks
    redress for parting-grief and saddened me through thee.

 An oath have I to Allah sworn shall never be forsworn; ✿ Nay, for I’ll
    do what Faith and Creed command me to decree.
 An thou dare cross me in whate’er to thee I now indite ✿ I of thy flesh
    assuredly will make the vulture free.
 Divorce Su’ad, equip her well, and in the hottest haste ✿ With Al-Kumayt
    and Zíbán’s son, hight Nasr, send to me.

Then he folded the letter and, sealing it with his seal, delivered it to
Al-Kumayt[149] and Nasr bin Zíbán (whom he was wont to employ on weighty
matters, because of their trustiness) who took the missive and carried
it to Al-Medinah, where they went in to Marwan and saluting him
delivered to him the writ and told him how the case stood. He read the
letter and fell a-weeping; but he went in to Su’ad (as ’twas not in his
power to refuse obedience to the Caliph) and, acquainting her with the
case, divorced her in the presence of Al-Kumayt and Nasr; after which he
equipped her and delivered her to them, together with a letter to the
Caliph wherein he versified as follows:—

 Hurry not, Prince of Faithful Men! with best of grace thy vow ✿ I will
    accomplish as ’twas vowed and with the gladdest gree.
 I sinned not adulterous sin when loved her I, then how ✿ Canst charge me
    with advowtrous deed or any villainy?
 Soon comes to thee that splendid sun which hath no living peer ✿ On
    earth, nor aught in mortal men or Jinns her like shalt see.

This he sealed with his own signet and gave to the messengers who
returned with Su’ad to Damascus and delivered to Mu’awiyah the letter,
and when he had read it he cried, “Verily, he hath obeyed handsomely,
but he exceedeth in his praise of the woman.” Then he called for her and
saw beauty such as he had never seen, for comeliness and loveliness,
stature and symmetrical grace; moreover, he talked with her and found
her fluent of speech and choice in words. Quoth he, “Bring me the Arab.”
So they fetched the man, who came, sore disordered for shifts and
changes of fortune, and Mu’awiyah said to him, “O Arab, an thou wilt
freely give her up to me, I will bestow upon thee in her stead three
slave girls, high-bosomed maids like moons, with each a thousand dinars;
and I will assign thee on the Treasury such an annual sum as shall
content thee and enrich thee.” When the Arab heard this, he groaned one
groan and swooned away, so that Mu’awiyah thought he was dead; and, as
soon as he revived, the Caliph said to him, “What aileth thee?” The Arab
answered, “With heavy heart and in sore need have I appealed to thee
from the injustice of Marwan bin al-Hakam; but to whom shall I appeal
from thine injustice?” And he versified in these couplets:—

 Make me not (Allah save the Caliph!) one of the betrayed ✿ Who from the
    fiery sands to fire must sue for help and aid:
 Deign thou restore Su’ád to this afflicted heart distraught, ✿ Which
    every morn and eve by sorest sorrow is waylaid:
 Loose thou my bonds and grudge me not and give her back to me; ✿ And if
    thou do so ne’er thou shalt for lack of thanks upbraid!

Then said he, “By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, wert thou to give
me all the riches contained in the Caliphate, yet would I not take them
without Su’ad.” And he recited this couplet:—

 I love Su’ád and unto all but hers my love is dead, ✿ Each morn I feel
    her love to me is drink and daily bread.

Quoth the Caliph, “Thou confessest to having divorced her and Marwan
owned the like; so now we will give her free choice. An she choose other
than thee, we will marry her to him, and if she choose thee, we will
restore her to thee.” Replied the Arab, “Do so.” So Mu’awiyah said to
her, “What sayest thou, O Su’ad? Which dost thou choose; the Commander
of the Faithful, with his honour and glory and dominion and palaces and
treasures and all else thou seest at his command, or Marwan bin al-Hakam
with his violence and tyranny, or this Arab, with his hunger and
poverty?” So she improvised these couplets:—

 This one, whom hunger plagues, and rags enfold, ✿ Dearer than tribe and
    kith and kin I hold;
 Than crownèd head, or deputy Marwán, ✿ Or all who boast of silver coins
    and gold.

Then said she, “By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I will not
forsake him for the shifts of Fortune or the perfidies of Fate, there
being between us old companionship we may not forget, and love beyond
stay and let; and indeed ’tis but just that I bear with him in his
adversity, even as I shared with him in prosperity.” The Caliph
marvelled at her wit and love and constancy and, ordering her ten
thousand dirhams, delivered her to the Arab, who took his wife and went
away.[150] And they likewise tell a tale of

-----

Footnote 141:

  Lane transfers this to vol. i. 520 (notes to chapt. vii.); and gives a
  mere abstract as of that preceding.

Footnote 142:

  We learn from Ibn Batutah that it stood South of the Great Mosque and
  afterwards became the Coppersmiths’ Bazar. The site was known as
  Al-Khazrá (the Green) and the building was destroyed by the Abbasides.
  See Defrémery and Sanguinetti, i. 206.

Footnote 143:

  This great tribe or rather nation has been noticed before (vol. ii.
  170). The name means “Strong,” and derives from one Tamim bin Murr of
  the race of Adnan, nat. circ. A.D. 121. They hold the North-Eastern
  uplands of Najd, comprising the great desert Al-Dahná and extend to
  Al-Bahrayn. They are split up into a multitude of clans and septs; and
  they can boast of producing two famous sectarians. One was Abdullah
  bin Suffár, head of the Suffriyah; and the other Abdullah bin Ibáz
  (Ibadh) whence the Ibázíyah heretics of Oman who long included her
  princes. Mr. Palgrave wrongly writes Abadeeyah and Biadeeyah and my
  “Bayázi” was an Arab vulgarism used by the Zanzibarians. Dr. Badger
  rightly prefers Ibáziyah which he writes Ibâdhiyah (Hist. of the
  Imams, etc.)

Footnote 144:

  Governor of Al-Medinah under Mu’awiyah and afterwards (A.H. 64–65 =
  683–4) fourth Ommiade. Al-Siyúti (p. 216) will not account him amongst
  the princes of the Faithful, holding him a rebel against Al-Zubayr.
  Ockley makes Ibn al-Zubayr ninth and Marwán tenth Caliph.

Footnote 145:

  The address, without the vocative particle, is more emphatic; and the
  P.N. Mu’awiyah seems to court the omission.

Footnote 146:

  This may also mean that the £500 were the woman’s “mahr” or marriage
  dowry and the £250 a present to buy the father’s consent.

Footnote 147:

  Quite true to nature. See an account of the quasi-epileptic fits to
  which Syrians are subject and by them called Al-Wahtah in “The Inner
  Life of Syria,” i. 233.

Footnote 148:

  Arab “Wayha-k” here equivalent to Wayla-k. M. C. Barbier de Meynard
  renders the first “mon ami” and the second “misérable.”

Footnote 149:

  This is an instance when the article (Al) is correctly used with one
  proper name and not with another. Al-Kumayt (P. N. of poet) lit. means
  a bay horse with black points: Nasr is victory.

Footnote 150:

  This anecdote, which reads like truth, is ample set off for a
  cart-load of abuse of women. But even the Hindus, determined
  misogynists in books, sometimes relent. Says the Katha Sarit Sagara:
  “So you see, King, honourable matrons are devoted to their husbands,
  and it is not the case that all women are always bad” (ii. 624). Let
  me hope that after all this Mistress Su’ad did not lead her husband a
  hardish life.



                        THE LOVERS OF BASSORAH.


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid was sleepless one night; so he sent for
Al-Asma’i and Husayn al-Khalí’a[151] and said to them, “Tell me a story
you twain and do thou begin, O Husayn.” He said, “’Tis well, O Commander
of the Faithful;” and thus began:—Some years ago, I dropped down stream
to Bassorah, to present to Mohammed bin Sulayman al-Rabí’í[152] a
Kasidah or elegy I had composed in his praise; and he accepted it and
bade me abide with him. One day, I went out to Al-Mirbad,[153] by way of
Al-Muháliyah;[154] and, being oppressed by the excessive heat, went up
to a great door, to ask for drink, when I was suddenly aware of a
damsel, as she were a branch swaying, with eyes languishing, eyebrows
arched and finely pencilled and smooth cheeks rounded, clad in a shift
the colour of a pomegranate-flower, and a mantilla of Sana’á[155] work;
but the perfect whiteness of her body overcame the redness of her shift,
through which glittered two breasts like twin granadoes and a waist, as
it were a roll of fine Coptic linen, with creases like scrolls of pure
white paper stuffed with musk.[156] Moreover, O Prince of True
Believers, round her neck was slung an amulet of red gold that fell down
between her breasts, and on the plain of her forehead were brow-locks
like jet.[157] Her eyebrows joined and her eyes were like lakes; she had
an aquiline nose and thereunder shell-like lips showing teeth like
pearls. Pleasantness prevailed in every part of her; but she seemed
dejected, disturbed, distracted and in the vestibule came and went,
walking upon the hearts of her lovers, whilst her legs[158] made mute
the voices of their ankle-rings; and indeed she was as saith the poet:—

    Each portion of her charms we see ✿ Seems of the whole a simile.

I was overawed by her, O Commander of the Faithful, and drew near her to
greet her, and behold, the house and vestibule and highways breathed
fragrant with musk. So I saluted her and she returned my salam with a
voice dejected and heart depressed and with the ardour of passion
consumed. Then said I to her, “O my lady, I am an old man and a stranger
and sore troubled by thirst. Wilt thou order me a draught of water, and
win reward in heaven?” She cried, “Away, O Shaykh, from me! I am
distracted from all thought of meat and drink.”——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel
said, “O Shaykh, I am distracted from all thought of meat and drink.”
Quoth I (continued Husayn), “By what ailment, O my lady?” and quoth she,
“I love one who dealeth not justly by me and I desire one who of me will
none. Wherefore I am afflicted with the wakefulness of those who wake
star-gazing.” I asked, “O my lady, is there on the wide expanse of earth
one to whom thou hast a mind and who to thee hath no mind?” Answered
she, “Yes; and this for the perfection of beauty and loveliness and
goodliness wherewith he is endowed.” “And why standeth thou in this
porch?” enquired I. “This is his road,” replied she, “and the hour of
his passing by.” I said, “O my lady, have ye ever foregathered and had
such commerce and converse as might cause this passion?” At this she
heaved a deep sigh; the tears rained down her cheeks, as they were dew
falling upon roses, and she versified with these couplets:—

 We were like willow-boughs in garden shining ✿ And scented joys in
    happiest life combining;
 Whenas one bough from other self would rend ✿ And oh! thou seest this
    for that repining!

Quoth I, “O maid, and what betideth thee of thy love for this man?”; and
quot. she, “I see the sun upon the walls of his folk and I think the sun
is he; or haply I catch sight of him unexpectedly and am confounded and
the blood and the life fly my body and I abide in unreasoning plight a
week or e’en a se’nnight.” Said I, “Excuse me, for I also have suffered
that which is upon thee of love-longing and distraction of soul and
wasting of frame and loss of strength; and I see in thee pallor of
complexion and emaciation, such as testify of the fever-fits of desire.
But how shouldst thou be unsmitten of passion and thou a sojourner in
the land of Bassorah?” Said she, “By Allah, before I fell in love of
this youth, I was perfect in beauty and loveliness and amorous grace
which ravished all the Princes of Bassorah, till he fell in love with
me.” I asked, “O maid, and who parted you?”; and she answered, “The
vicissitudes of fortune,” but the manner of our separation was strange;
and ’twas on this wise. One New Year’s day I had invited the damsels of
Bassorah and amongst them a girl belonging to Sírán, who had bought her
out of Oman for fourscore thousand dirhams. She loved me and loved me to
madness and when she entered she threw herself upon me and well-nigh
tore me in pieces with bites and pinches.[159] Then we withdrew apart,
to drink wine at our ease, till our meat was ready[160] and our delight
was complete, and she toyed with me and I with her, and now I was upon
her and now she was upon me. Presently, the fumes of the wine moved her
to strike her hand on the inkle of my petticoat-trousers, whereby it
became loosed, unknown of either of us, and my trousers fell down in our
play. At this moment he came in unobserved and, seeing me thus, was
wroth at the sight and made off, as the Arab filly hearing the tinkle of
her bridle.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the maiden said
to Husayn al-Khali’a, “When my lover saw me playing, as I described to
thee, with Siran’s girl, he went forth in anger. And ’tis now, O Shaykh,
three years ago, and since then I have never ceased to excuse myself to
him and coax him and crave his indulgence, but he will neither cast a
look at me from the corner of his eye, nor write me a word nor speak to
me by messenger nor hear from me aught.” Quoth I, “Harkye maid, is he an
Arab or an Ajam?”; and quoth she, “Out on thee! He is of the Princes of
Bassorah.” “Is he old or young?” asked I; and she looked at me
laughingly and answered, “Thou art certainly a simpleton! He is like the
moon on the night of its full, smooth-cheeked and beardless, nor is
there any defect in him except his aversion to me.” Then I put the
question, “What is his name?” and she replied, “What wilt thou do with
him?” I rejoined, “I will do my best to come at him, that I may bring
about reunion between you.” Said she, “I will tell thee on condition
that thou carry him a note;” and I said, “I have no objection to that.”
Then quoth she, “His name is Zamrah bin al-Mughayrah, hight Abú
al-Sakhá,[161] and his palace is in the Mirbad.” Therewith she called to
those within for inkcase and paper and tucking up[162] her sleeves,
showed two wrists like broad rings of silver. She then wrote after the
Basmalah as follows, “My lord, the omission of blessings[163] at the
head of this my letter shows mine insufficiency, and know that had my
prayer been answered, thou hadst never left me; for how often have I
prayed that thou shouldest not leave me, and yet thou didst leave me!
Were it not that distress with me exceedeth the bounds of restraint,
that which thy servant hath forced herself to do in writing this writ
were an aidance to her, despite her despair of thee, because of her
knowledge of thee that thou wilt fail to answer. Do thou fulfil her
desire, my lord, of a sight of thee from the porch, as thou passest in
the street, wherewith thou wilt quicken the dead soul in her. Or, far
better for her still than this, do thou write her a letter with thine
own hand (Allah endow it with all excellence!), and appoint it in
requital of the intimacy that was between us in the nights of time past,
whereof thou must preserve the memory. My lord, was I not to thee a
lover sick with passion? An thou answer my prayer, I will give to thee
thanks and to Allah praise; and so—The Peace!”[164] Then she gave me the
letter and I went away. Next morning I repaired to the door of the
Viceroy Mohammed bin Sulayman, where I found an assembly of the notables
of Bassorah, and amongst them a youth who adorned the gathering and
surpassed in beauty and brightness all who were there; and indeed the
Emir Mohammed set him above himself. I asked who he was and behold, it
was Zamrah himself: so I said in my mind, “Verily, there hath befallen
yonder unhappy one that which hath befallen her[165]!” Then I betook
myself to the Mirbad and stood waiting at the door of his house, till he
came riding up in state, when I accosted him and invoking more than
usual blessings on him, handed him the missive. When he read it and
understood it he said to me, “O Shaykh, we have taken other in her
stead. Say me, wilt thou see the substitute?” I answered, “Yes.”
Whereupon he called out a woman’s name, and there came forth a damsel
who shamed the two greater lights; swelling-breasted, walking the gait
of one who hasteneth without fear, to whom he gave the note, saying, “Do
thou answer it.” When she read it, she turned pale at the contents and
said to me, “O old man, crave pardon of Allah for this that thou hast
brought.” So I went out, O Commander of the Faithful, dragging my feet
and returning to her asked leave to enter. When she saw me, she asked,
“What is behind thee?”; and I answered, “Evil and despair.” Quoth she,
“Have thou no concern of him. Where are Allah and His power?”[166] Then
she ordered me five hundred dinars and I took them and went away. Some
days after I passed by the place and saw there horsemen and footmen. So
I went in and lo! these were the companions of Zamrah, who were begging
her to return to him; but she said, “No, by Allah, I will not look him
in the face!” And she prostrated herself in gratitude to Allah and
exultation over Zamrah’s defeat. Then I drew near her, and she pulled
out to me a letter, wherein was written, after the Bismillah, “My lady,
but for my forbearance towards thee (whose life Allah lengthen!) I would
relate somewhat of what betided from thee and set out my excuse, in that
thou trans-gressedst against me, whenas thou wast manifestly a sinner
against thyself and myself in breach of vows and lack of constancy and
preference of another over us; for, by Allah, on whom we call for help
against that which was of thy free-will, thou didst transgress against
the love of me; and so—The Peace!” Then she showed me the presents and
rarities he had sent her, which were of the value of thirty thousand
dinars. I saw her again after this, and Zamrah had married her. Quoth
Al-Rashid, “Had not Zamrah been beforehand with us, I should certainly
have had to do with her myself.”[167] And men tell the tale of

-----

Footnote 151:

  Al-Khalí’a has been explained in vol. i. 311: the translation of
  Al-Mas’udi (vi. 10) renders it “scélérat.” Abú Alí al-Husayn the Wag
  was a Bassorite and a worthy companion of Abu Nowas the Debauchee; but
  he adorned the Court of Al-Amin the son, not of Al-Rashid the father.

Footnote 152:

  Governor of Bassorah, but not in Al-Husayn’s day.

Footnote 153:

  The famous market-place where poems were recited; mentioned by
  Al-Hariri

Footnote 154:

  A quarter of Bassorah.

Footnote 155:

  Capital of Al-Yaman, and then famed for its leather and other work
  (vol. v. 16).

Footnote 156:

  The creases in the stomach like the large navel are always insisted
  upon. Says the Kathá (ii. 525) “And he looked on that torrent river of
  the elixir of beauty, adorned with a waist made charming by those
  wave-like wrinkles,” etc.

Footnote 157:

  Arab. Sabaj (not Sabah, as the Mac. Edit. misprints it): I am not sure
  of its meaning.

Footnote 158:

  A truly Arab conceit, suggesting—

               The mind, the music breathing from her face;

  her calves moved rhythmically, suggesting the movement and consequent
  sound of a musical instrument.

Footnote 159:

  The _morosa voluptas_ of the Catholic divines. The Sapphist described
  in the text would procure an orgasm (_in gloria_, as the Italians call
  it) by biting and rolling over the girl she loved; but by loosening
  the trouser-string she evidently aims at a closer tribadism—the Arab
  “Musáhikah.”

Footnote 160:

  We drink (or drank) after dinner; Easterns before the meal and
  half-Easterns (like the Russians) before and after. We talk of liquor
  being unwholesome on an empty stomach; but the truth is that all is
  purely habit. And as the Russian accompanies his Vodki with caviare,
  etc., so the Oriental drinks his Raki or Mahayá (Ma al-hayát—aqua
  vitæ) alternately with a Salátah, for whose composition see Pilgrimage
  i. 198. The Eastern practice has its advantages: it awakens the
  appetite, stimulates digestion and, what Easterns greatly regard, it
  is economical; half a bottle doing the work of a whole. Bhang and
  Kusumbá (opium dissolved and strained through a pledget of cotton) are
  always drunk before dinner and thus the “jolly” time is the
  preprandial, not the postprandial.

Footnote 161:

  “Abu al-Sakhá” (pronounced Abussakhá) = Father of munificence.

Footnote 162:

  Arab. “Shammara,” also used for gathering up the gown, so as to run
  the faster.

Footnote 163:

  _i.e._, blessing the Prophet and all True Believers (herself
  included).

Footnote 164:

  The style of this letter is that of a public scribe in a Cairo
  market-place thirty years ago.

Footnote 165:

  _i.e._ she could not help falling in love with this beauty man.

Footnote 166:

  “Kudrat,” used somewhat in the sense of our vague “Providence.” The
  sentence means, leave Omnipotence to manage him. Mr. Redhouse, who
  forces a likeness between Moslem and Christian theology, tells us that
  “Qader is unjustly translated by Fate and Destiny, an old pagan idea
  abhorrent to Al-Islam which reposes on God’s providence.” He makes
  Kazá and Kismet quasi synonyms of “Qazá” and “Qader,” the former
  signifying God’s decree, the latter our allotted portion; and he would
  render both by dispensation. Of course it is convenient to forget the
  Guarded Tablet of the learned and the Night of Power and
  skull-lectures of the vulgar. The eminent Turkish scholar would also
  translate Salát by worship (du’á being prayer) because it signifies a
  simple act of adoration without entreaty. If he will read the Opener
  of the Koran, recited in every set of prayers, he will find an
  especial request to be “led to the path which is straight.” These
  vagaries are seriously adopted by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb in his Ottoman
  Poems (p. 245, etc.) London: Trübner and Co., 1882; and they deserve,
  I think, reprehension, because they serve only to mislead; and the
  high authority of the source whence they come necessarily recommends
  them to many.

Footnote 167:

  The reader will have noticed the likeness of this tale to that of Ibn
  Mansúr and the Lady Budúr (vol. iv., 228 _et seq._) For this reason
  Lane leaves it untranslated (iii. 252).



          ISHAK OF MOSUL AND HIS MISTRESS AND THE DEVIL.[168]


Quoth Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Mausili:—I was in my house one night in the
winter-time, when the clouds had dispread themselves and the rains
poured down in torrents, as from the mouths of water-skins, and the folk
forbore to come and go about the ways for that which was therein of rain
and slough. Now I was straitened in breast because none of my brethren
came to me nor could I go to them, by reason of the mud and mire; so I
said to my servant, “Bring me wherewithal I may divert myself.”
Accordingly he brought me meat and drink, but I had no heart to eat,
without someone to keep me company, and I ceased not to look out of
window and watch the ways till nightfall, when I bethought myself of a
damsel belonging to one of the sons of Al-Mahdi,[169] whom I loved and
who was skilled in singing and playing upon instruments of music, and
said to myself, “Were she here with us to-night, my joy would be
complete and my night would be abridged of the melancholy and
restlessness which are upon me.” At this moment one knocked at the door,
saying, “Shall a beloved enter in who standeth at the door?” Quoth I to
myself, “Meseems the plant of my desire hath fruited.” So I went to the
door and found my mistress, with a long green skirt[170] wrapped about
her and a kerchief of brocade on her head, to fend her from the rain.
She was covered with mud to her knees and all that was upon her was
drenched with water from gargoyles[171] and house-sprouts; in short, she
was in sorry plight. So I said to her, “O my mistress, what bringeth
thee hither through all this mud?” Replied she, “Thy messenger came and
set forth to me that which was with thee of love and longing, so that I
could not choose but yield and hasten to thee.” I marvelled at this——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
came and knocked at Ishak’s door, he went forth to her and cried, “O my
lady, what bringeth thee hither through all this mud?”; and she replied,
“Thy messenger came and set forth to me that which was with thee of love
and longing, so that I could not choose but yield and hasten to thee.” I
marvelled at this, but did not like to tell her that I had sent no
messenger; wherefore I said, “Praised be Allah for that He hath brought
us together, after all I have suffered by the mortification of patience!
Verily, hadst thou delayed an hour longer, I must have run to thee,
because of my much love for thee and longing for thy presence.” Then I
called to my boy for water, that I might better her plight, and he
brought a kettle full of hot water such as she wanted. I bade pour it
over her feet, whilst I set to work to wash them myself; after which I
called for one of my richest dresses and clad her therein after she had
doffed the muddy clothes. Then, as soon as we were comfortably seated, I
would have called for food, but she refused and I said to her, “Art thou
for wine?”; and she replied, “Yes.” So I fetched cups and she asked me,
“Who shall sing?” “I, O my princess!” “I care not for that;” “One of my
damsels?” “I have no mind to that either!” “Then sing thyself.” “Not I!”
“Who then shall sing for thee?” I enquired, and she rejoined, “Go out
and seek some one to sing for me.” So I went out, in obedience to her,
though I despaired of finding any one in such weather and fared on till
I came to the main street, where I suddenly saw a blind man striking the
earth with his staff and saying, “May Allah not requite with weal those
with whom I was! When I sang, they listened not, and when I was silent,
they made light of me.” So I said to him, “Art thou a singer?” and he
replied, “Yes.” Quoth I, “Wilt thou finish thy night with us and cheer
us with thy company?”; and quoth he, “If it be thy will, take my hand.”
So I took his hand and, leading him to my house, said to the damsel, “O
my mistress, I have brought a blind singer, with whom we may take our
pleasure and he will not see us.” She said, “Bring him to me.” So I
brought him in and invited him to eat. He ate but a very little and
washed his hands, after which I brought him wine and he drank three
cupsful. Then he said to me, “Who art thou?”; and I replied, “I am Ishak
bin Ibrahim al-Mausili.” Quoth he, “I have heard of thee and now I
rejoice in thy company;” and I, “O my lord, I am glad in thy gladness.”
He said, “O Ishak, sing to me.” So I took the lute, by way of jest, and
cried, “I hear and I obey.” When I had made an end of my song, he said
to me, “O Ishak, thou comest nigh to be a singer!” His words belittled
me in mine own eyes and I threw the lute from my hand; whereupon he
said, “Hast thou not with thee some one who is skilled in singing?”
Quoth I, “I have a damsel with me;” and quoth he, “Bid her sing.” I
asked him, “Wilt thou sing, when thou hast had enough of her singing?”;
and he answered “Yes.” So she sang and he said, “Nay, thou hast shown no
art.” Whereupon she flung the lute from her hand in wrath and cried, “We
have done our best: if thou have aught, favour us with it by way of an
alms.” Quoth he, “Bring me a lute hand hath not touched.” So I bade the
servant bring him a new lute and he tuned it and preluding in a mode I
knew not began to sing, improvising these couplets:—

 Clove through the shades and came to me in night so dark and sore ✿ The
    lover weeting of herself ’twas trysting-tide once more:
 Naught startled us but her salám and first of words she said ✿ “May a
    belovèd enter in who standeth at the door!”

When the girl heard this, she looked at me askance and said, “What
secret was between us could not thy breast hold for one hour, but thou
must discover it to this man?” However, I swore to her that I had not
told him and excused myself to her and fell to kissing her hands and
tickling her breasts and biting her cheeks, till she laughed and,
turning to the blind man, said to him, “Sing, O my lord!” So he took the
lute and sang these two couplets:—

 Ah, often have I sought the fair; how often lief and fain ✿ My palming
    felt the finger ends that bear the varied stain!
 And tickled pouting breasts that stand firm as pomegranates twain ✿ And
    bit the apple of her cheek kissed o’er and o’er again.

So I said to her, “O my princess, who can have told him what we were
about?” Replied she, “True,” and we moved away from him. Presently quoth
he, “I must make water;” and quoth I, “O boy, take the candle and go
before him.” Then he went out and tarried a long while. So we went in
search of him, but could not find him; and behold, the doors were locked
and the keys in the closet, and we knew not whether to heaven he had
flown or into earth had sunk. Wherefore I knew that he was Iblís and
that he had done me pimp’s duty, and I returned, recalling to myself the
words of Abu Nowas in these couplets:—

I marvel in Iblis such pride to see ✿ Beside his low intent and
villeiny: He sinned to Adam who to bow refused, ✿ Yet pimps for all of
Adam’s progeny.

And they tell a tale concerning

-----

Footnote 168:

  Lane also omits this tale (iii. 252). See Night dclxxxviii., vol. vii.
  p. 113 _et seq._, for a variant of the story.

Footnote 169:

  Third Abbaside, A. H. 158–169 (= 775–785), and father of Harun
  Al-Rashid. He is known chiefly for his eccentricities, such as cutting
  the throats of all his carrier-pigeons, making a man dine off marrow
  and sugar and having snow sent to him at Meccah, a distance of 700
  miles.

Footnote 170:

  Arab. Mirt; the dictionaries give a short shift, cloak or breeches of
  wool or coarse silk.

Footnote 171:

  Arab. “Mayázíb” plur. of the Pers. Mízáb (orig. Míz-i-áb = channel of
  water) a spout for roof-rain. That which drains the Ka’abah on the N.
  W. side is called Mizáb al-Rahmah (Gargoyle of Mercy) and pilgrims
  stand under it for a douche of holy water. It is supposed to be of
  gold, but really of silver gold-plated and is described of Burckhardt
  and myself (Pilgrimage iii. 164). The length is 4 feet 10 in.; width 9
  in.; height of sides 8 in.; and slope at mouth 1 foot 6 in. long.



                       THE LOVERS OF AL-MEDINAH.


Quoth Ibrahim the father of Ishak,[172] I was ever a devoted friend to
the Barmecide family. And it so happened to me one day, as I sat at home
quite alone, a knock was heard at the door; so my servant went out and
returned, saying, “A comely youth is at the door, asking admission.” I
bade admit him and there came in to me a young man, on whom were signs
of sickness, and he said, “I have long wished to meet thee, for I have
need of thine aid.” “What is it thou requirest?” asked I. Whereupon he
pulled out three hundred dinars and laying them before me, said, “I
beseech thee to accept these and compose me an air to two couplets I
have made.” Said I, “Repeat them to me;”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
youth came in to Ibrahim and placed the gold in his hands, saying,
“Prithee accept it and compose me an air to two couplets.” He replied,
“Recite them to me,” whereupon he recited:—

 By Allah, glance of mine! thou hast opprest ✿ My heart, so quench the
    fire that burns my breast.
 Blames me the world because in him[173] I live ✿ Yet cannot see him till
    in shroud I rest.

Accordingly, quoth Ibrahim, I set the verses to an air plaintive as a
dirge and sang it to him; whereupon he swooned away and I thought that
he was dead. However, after a while, he came to himself, and said to me,
“Repeat the air.” But I conjured him by Allah to excuse me, saying, “I
fear lest thou die.” “Would Heaven it were so!” replied he and ceased
not humbly to importune me, till I had pity on him and repeated it;
whereupon he cried out with a grievous cry and fell into a fit worse
than before and I doubted not but that he was dead; but I sprinkled
rose-water on him till he revived and sat up. I praised Allah for his
recovery and laying the ducats before him, said, “Take thy money and
depart from me.” Quoth he, “I have no need of the money and thou shalt
have the like of it, if thou wilt repeat the air.” My breast broadened
at the mention of the money and I said, “I will repeat it, but on three
conditions: the first, that thou tarry with me and eat of my victual,
till thou regain strength; the second, that thou drink wine enough to
hearten thy heart; and the third, that thou tell me thy tale.” He agreed
to this and ate and drank; after which he said:—“I am of the citizens of
Al-Medinah and I went forth one day a-pleasuring with my friends; and,
following the road to Al-Akík,[174] saw a company of girls and amongst
them a damsel as she were a branch pearled with dew, with eyes whose
sidelong glances were never withdrawn till they had stolen away his soul
who looked on them. The maidens rested in the shade till the end of the
day, when they went away, leaving in my heart wounds slow to heal. I
returned next morning to scent out news of her, but found none who could
tell me of her; so I sought her in the streets and markets, but could
come on no trace of her; wherefore I fell ill of grief and told my case
to one of my kinsmen, who said to me, No harm shall befal thee: the days
of spring are not yet past and the skies show sign of rain,[175]
whereupon she will go forth, and I will go out with thee, and do thou
thy will. His words comforted my heart and I waited till Al-Akik ran
with water, when I went forth with my friends and kinsmen and sat in the
very same place where I first saw her.” We had not been seated long
before up came the women, like horses running for a wager; and I
whispered to a girl of my kindred, “Say to yonder damsel—Quoth this man
to thee, He did well who spoke this couplet:—

 She shot my heart with shaft, then turned on heel ✿ And flying dealt
    fresh wound and scarring wheal.”

So she went to her and repeated my words, to which she replied saying,
“Tell him that he said well who answered in this couplet:—

 The like of whatso feelest thou we feel; ✿ Patience! perchance swift
    cure our hearts shall heal.”

I refrained from further speech for fear of scandal and rose to go away.
She rose at my rising, and I followed and she looked back at me, till
she saw I had noted her abode. Then she began to come to me and I to go
to her, so that we foregathered and met often, till the case was noised
abroad and grew notorious and her sire came to know of it. However, I
ceased not to meet her most assiduously and complained of my condition
to my father, who assembled our kindred and repaired to ask her in
marriage for me, of her sire, who cried, “Had this been proposed to me
before he gave her a bad name by his assignations, I would have
consented; but now the thing is notorious and I am loath to verify the
saying of the folk.” Then (continued Ibrahim) I repeated the air to him
and he went away, after having acquainted me with his abode, and we
became friends. Now I was devoted to the Barmecides; so next time
Ja’afar bin Yahya sat to give audience, I attended, as was my wont, and
sang to him the young man’s verses. They pleased him and he drank some
cups of wine and said, “Fie upon thee! whose song is this?” So I told
him the young man’s tale and he bade me ride over to him and give him
assurances of the winning of his wish. Accordingly I fetched him to
Ja’afar who asked him to repeat his story. He did so and Ja’afar said,
“Thou art now under my protection: trust me to marry thee to her.” So
his heart was comforted and he abode with us. When the morning morrowed
Ja’afar mounted and went in to Al-Rashid, to whom he related the story.
The Caliph was pleased with it and sending for the young man and myself,
commanded me to repeat the air and drank thereto. Then he wrote to the
Governor of Al-Hijaz, bidding him despatch the girl’s father and his
household in honourable fashion to his presence and spare no expense for
their outfit. So, in a little while, they came and the Caliph, sending
for the man, commanded him to marry his daughter to her lover; after
which he gave him an hundred thousand dinars, and the father went back
to his folk. As for the young man, he abode one of Ja’afar’s
cup-companions till there happened what happened;[176] whereupon he
returned with his household to Al-Medinah; may Almighty Allah have mercy
upon their souls one and all! And they also tell, O auspicious King, a
tale of

-----

Footnote 172:

  The Mac. and Bul. Edits. have by mistake “Son of Ishak.” Lane has
  “Is-hak the son of Ibrahim” following Trébutien (iii. 483) but
  suggests in a note the right reading as above.

Footnote 173:

  Again masculine for feminine.

Footnote 174:

  There are two of this name. The Upper Al-Akik contains the whole site
  of Al-Medinah; the Lower is on the Meccan road about four miles S.W.
  of the city. The Prophet called it “blessed” because ordered by an
  angel to pray therein. The poets have said pretty things about it,
  _e.g._

    O friend, this is the vale Akík; here stand and strive in thought:
    If not a very lover, strive to be by love distraught!

  for whose esoteric meaning see Pilgrimage ii. 24. I passed through
  Al-Akík in July when it was dry as summer dust and its “beautiful
  trees” were mere vegetable mummies.

Footnote 175:

  Those who live in the wet climates of the Northern temperates can
  hardly understand the delight of a shower in rainless lands, like
  Arabia and Nubia. In Sind we used to strip and stand in the downfall
  and raise faces sky-wards to get the full benefit of the douche. In
  Southern Persia food is hastily cooked at such times, wine strained,
  Kaliuns made ready and horses saddled for a ride to the nearest
  gardens and a happy drinking-bout under the cypresses. If a man
  refused, his friends would say of him, “See how he turns his back upon
  the blessing of Allah!” (like an ass which presents its tail to the
  weather).

Footnote 176:

  _i.e._ the destruction of the Barmecides.



                    AL-MALIK AL-NASIR AND HIS WAZIR.


There was given to Abú Ámir bin Marwán,[177] a boy of the Christians,
than whom never fell eyes on a handsomer. Al-Nasir the conquering Soldan
saw him and said to Abu Amir, who was his Wazir, “Whence cometh this
boy?” Replied he, “From Allah;” whereupon the other, “Wilt thou terrify
us with stars and make us prisoner with moons?” Abu Amir excused himself
to him and preparing a present, sent it to him with the boy, to whom he
said, “Be thou part of the gift: were it not of necessity, my soul had
not consented to give thee away.” And he wrote with him these two
couplets:—

 My lord, this full moon takes in Heaven of thee new birth; ✿ Nor can
    deny we Heaven excelleth humble earth:
 Thee with my soul I please and—oh! the pleasant case! ✿ No man e’er saw
    I who to give his soul prefer’th.

The thing pleased Al-Nasir and he requited him with much treasure and
the Minister became high in favour with him. After this, there was
presented to the Wazir a slave-girl, one of the loveliest women in the
world, and he feared lest this should come to the King’s ears and he
desire her, and the like should happen as with the boy. So he made up a
present still costlier than the first and sent it with her to the
King,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Abu
Amir, when presented with the beautiful slave-girl, feared lest it come
to the Conquering King’s ears and that the like should happen as with
the boy, so he made up a present still costlier than the first and sent
it with her to his master, accompanying it with these couplets:—

 My lord, this be the Sun, the Moon thou hadst before; ✿ So the two
    greater lights now in thy Heaven unite:
 Conjunction promising to me prosperity, ✿ And Kausar-draught to thee and
    Eden’s long delight.
 Earth shows no charms, by Allah, ranking as their third, ✿ Nor King who
    secondeth our Conquering King in might.

Wherefore his credit redoubled with Al-Nasir; but, after a while, one of
his enemies maligned him to the King, alleging that there still lurked
in him a hot lust for the boy and that he ceased not to desire him,
whenever the cool northern breezes moved him, and to gnash his teeth for
having given him away. Cried the King, “Wag not thou thy tongue at him,
or I will shear off thy head.” However, he wrote Abu Amir a letter, as
from the boy, to the following effect: “O my lord, thou knowest that
thou wast all and one to me and that I never ceased from delight with
thee. Albeit I am with the Sultan, yet would I choose rather solitude
with thee, but that I fear the King’s majesty: wherefore devise thou to
demand me of him.” This letter he sent to Abu Amir by a little
foot-page, whom he enjoined to say, “This is from such an one: the King
never speaketh to him.” When the Wazir read the letter and heard the
cheating message, he noted the poison-draught[178] and wrote on the back
of the note these couplets:—

 Shall man experience-lectured ever care ✿ Fool-like to thrust his head
    in lion’s lair?
 I’m none of those whose wits to love succumb ✿ Nor witless of the snares
    my foes prepare:
 Wert thou my sprite, I’d give thee loyally; ✿ Shall sprite, from body
    sundered, backwards fare?

When Al-Nasir knew of this answer, he marvelled at the Wazir’s quickness
of wit and would never again lend ear to aught of insinuations against
him. Then said he to him, “How didst thou escape falling into the net?”
And he replied, “Because my reason is unentangled in the toils of
passion.” And they also tell a tale of

-----

Footnote 177:

  He was Wazir to the Great “Saladin” (Saláh al-Din = one conforming
  with the Faith): see vol. iv. 271, where Saladin is also entitled
  al-Malik al-Nasir = the Conquering King. He was a Kurd and therefore
  fond of boys (like Virgil, Horace, etc.), but that perversion did not
  prevent his being one of the noblest of men. He lies in the Great
  Amawi Mosque of Damascus and I never visited a tomb with more
  reverence.

Footnote 178:

  Arab. “Ahassa bi’l-Shurbah;” in our idiom “he smelt a rat.”



    THE ROGUERIES OF DALILAH THE CRAFTY AND HER DAUGHTER ZAYNAB THE
                          CONEY-CATCHER.[179]


There lived in the time of Harun al-Rashid a man named Ahmad al-Danaf
and another Hasan Shúmán[180] hight, the twain past masters in fraud and
feints, who had done rare things in their day; wherefore the Caliph
invested them with caftans of honour and made them Captains of the watch
for Baghdad (Ahmad of the right hand and Hasan of the left hand); and
appointed to each of them a stipend of a thousand dinars a month and
forty stalwart men to be at their bidding. Moreover to Calamity Ahmad
was committed the watch of the district outside the walls. So Ahmad and
Hasan went forth in company of the Emir Khalid, the Wali or Chief of
Police, attended each by his forty followers on horseback, and preceded
by the Crier, crying aloud and saying, “By command of the Caliph! None
is captain of the watch of the right hand but Ahmad al-Danaf and none is
captain of the watch of the left hand but Hasan Shuman, and both are to
be obeyed when they bid and are to be held in all honour and worship.”
Now there was in the city an old woman called Dalílah the Wily, who had
a daughter by name Zaynab the Coney-catcher. They heard the proclamation
made and Zaynab said to Dalilah, “See, O my mother, this fellow, Ahmad
al-Danaf! He came hither from Cairo, a fugitive, and played the
double-dealer in Baghdad, till he got into the Caliph’s company and is
now become captain of the right hand, whilst that mangy chap Hasan
Shuman is captain of the left hand, and each hath a table spread morning
and evening and a monthly wage of a thousand dinars; whereas we abide
unemployed and neglected in this house, without estate and without
honour, and have none to ask of us.” Now Dalilah’s husband had been
town-captain of Baghdad with a monthly wage of one thousand dinars; but
he died leaving two daughters, one married and with a son by name Ahmad
al-Lakít[181] or Ahmad the Abortion; and the other called Zaynab, a
spinster. And this Dalilah was a past mistress in all manner of craft
and trickery and double dealing; she could wile the very dragon out of
his den and Iblis himself might have learnt deceit of her. Her
father[182] had also been governor of the carrier-pigeons to the Caliph
with a solde of one thousand dinars a month. He used to rear the birds
to carry letters and messages, wherefore in time of need each was dearer
to the Caliph than one of his own sons. So Zaynab said to her mother,
“Up and play off some feint and fraud that may haply make us
notorious”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Zaynab thus
addressed her dam, “Up and play off some feint and fraud which may haply
make us notorious in Baghdad, so perchance we shall win our father’s
stipend for ourselves.” Replied the old trot, “As thy head liveth, O my
daughter, I will play off higher-class rogueries in Baghdad than ever
played Calamity Ahmad or Hasan the Pestilent.” So saying, she rose and
threw over her face the Lisám-veil and donned clothes such as the poorer
Sufis wear, petticoat-trousers falling over her heels, and a gown of
white wool with a broad girdle. She also took a pitcher[183] and filled
it with water to the neck; after which she set three dinars in the mouth
and stopped it up with a plug of palm-fibre. Then she threw round her
shoulder, baldrick-wise, a rosary as big as a load of firewood, and
taking in her hand a flag, made of parti-coloured rags, red and yellow
and green, went out, crying, “Allah! Allah!” with tongue celebrating the
praises of the Lord, whilst her heart galloped in the Devil’s
race-course, seeking how she might play some sharping trick upon town.
She walked from street to street, till she came to an alley swept and
watered and marble-paved, where she saw a vaulted gateway, with a
threshold of alabaster, and a Moorish porter standing at the door, which
was of sandal-wood plated with brass and furnished with a ring of silver
for knocker. Now this house belonged to the Chief of the Caliph’s
Serjeant-ushers, a man of great wealth in fields, houses and allowances,
called the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarík, or Evil of the Way, and therefor
called because his blow forewent his word. He was married to a fair
damsel, Khátún[184] hight, whom he loved and who had made him swear, on
the night of his going in unto her, that he would take none other to
wife over her nor lie abroad for a single night. And so things went on
till one day, he went to the Diyan and saw that each Emir had with him a
son or two. Then he entered the Hammam-bath and looking at his face in
the mirror, noted that the white hairs in his beard overlay its black,
and he said in himself, “Will not He who took thy sire bless thee with a
son?” So he went in to his wife, in angry mood, and she said to him,
“Good evening to thee”; but he replied, “Get thee out of my sight: from
the day I saw thee I have seen naught of good.” “How so?” quoth she.
Quoth he, “On the night of my going in unto thee, thou madest me swear
to take no other wife over thee, and this very day I have seen each Emir
with a son and some with two. So I minded me of death[185]; and also
that to me hath been vouchsafed neither son nor daughter and that whoso
leaveth no male hath no memory. This, then, is the reason of my anger,
for thou art barren; and knowing thee is like planing a rock.” Cried
she, “Allah’s name upon thee. Indeed, I have worn out the mortars with
beating wool and pounding drugs,[186] and I am not to blame; the
barrenness is with thee, for that thou art a snub-nosed mule and thy
sperm is weak and watery and impregnateth not neither getteth children.”
Said he, “When I return from my journey, I will take another wife;” and
she, “My luck is with Allah!” Then he went out from her and both
repented of the sharp words spoken each to other. Now as the Emir’s wife
looked forth of her lattice, as she were a Bride of the Hoards[187] for
the jewellery upon her, behold, there stood Dalilah espying her and
seeing her clad in costly clothes and ornaments, said to herself,
“’Twould be a rare trick, O Dalilah, to entice yonder young lady from
her husband’s house and strip her of all her jewels and clothes and make
off with the whole lot.” So she took up her stand under the windows of
the Emir’s house, and fell to calling aloud upon Allah’s name and
saying, “Be present, O ye Walis, ye friends of the Lord!” Whereupon
every woman in the street looked from her lattice and, seeing a matron
clad, after Sufi fashion, in clothes of white wool, as she were a
pavilion of light, said, “Allah bring us a blessing by the aidance of
this pious old person, from whose face issueth light!” And Khatun, the
wife of the Emir Hasan, burst into tears and said to her handmaid, “Get
thee down, O Makbúlah, and kiss the hand of Shaykh Abú Alí, the porter,
and say to him:—Let yonder Religious enter to my lady, so haply she may
get a blessing of her.” So she went down to the porter and kissing his
hand, said to him, “My mistress telleth thee:—Let yonder pious old woman
come in to me, so may I get a blessing of her; and belike her
benediction may extend to us likewise.”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


               Now when it was the Seven Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the handmaid
went down and said to the porter, “Suffer yonder Religious enter to my
lady so haply she may get a blessing of her, and we too may be blessed,
one and all,” the gate-keeper went up to Dalilah and kissed her hand,
but she forbade him, saying, “Away from me, lest my ablution be made
null and void.[188] Thou, also, art of the attracted God-wards and
kindly looked upon by Allah’s Saints and under His especial
guardianship. May He deliver thee from this servitude, O Abu Ali!” Now
the Emir owed three months’ wage to the porter who was straitened
thereby, but knew not how to recover his due from his lord; so he said
to the old woman, “O my mother, give me to drink from thy pitcher, so I
may win a blessing through thee.” She took the ewer from her shoulder
and whirled it about in air, so that the plug flew out of its mouth and
the three dinars fell to the ground. The porter saw them and picked them
up, saying in his mind, “Glory to God! This old woman is one of the
Saints that have hoards at their command! It hath been revealed to her
of me that I am in want of money for daily expenses; so she hath
conjured me these three dinars out of the air.” Then said he to her,
“Take, O my aunt, these three dinars which fell from thy pitcher;” and
she replied, “Away with them from me! I am of the folk who occupy not
themselves with the things of the world, no never! Take them and use
them for thine own benefit, in lieu of those the Emir oweth thee.” Quoth
he, “Thanks to Allah for succour! This is of the chapter of revelation!”
Thereupon the maid accosted her and kissing her hand, carried her up to
her mistress. She found the lady as she were a treasure, whose guardian
talisman had been loosed; and Khatun bade her welcome and kissed her
hand. Quoth she, “O my daughter, I come not to thee save for thy weal
and by Allah’s will.” Then Khatun set food before her; but she said, “O
my daughter, I eat naught except of the food of Paradise and I keep
continual fast breaking it but five days in the year. But, O my child, I
see thee chagrined and desire that thou tell me the cause of thy
concern.” “O my mother,” replied Khatun, “I made my husband swear, on my
wedding-night, that he would wive none but me, and he saw others with
children and longed for them and said to me:—Thou art a barren thing! I
answered:—Thou art a mule which begetteth not; so he left me in anger,
saying, When I come back from my journey, I will take another wife, for
he hath villages and lands and large allowances, and if he begat
children by another, they will possess the money and take the estates
from me.” Said Dalilah, “O my daughter, knowest thou not of my master,
the Shaykh Abú al-Hamlát,[189] whom if any debtor visit, Allah quitteth
him his debt, and if a barren woman, she conceiveth?” Khatun replied, “O
my mother, since the day of my wedding I have not gone forth the house,
no, not even to pay visits of condolence or congratulation.” The old
woman rejoined, “O my child, I will carry thee to him and do thou cast
thy burden on him and make a vow to him: haply when thy husband shall
return from his journey and lie with thee thou shalt conceive by him and
bear a girl or a boy: but, be it female or male, it shall be a dervish
of the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat.” Thereupon Khatun rose and arrayed herself
in her richest raiment, and donning all her jewellery said, “Keep thou
an eye on the house,” to her maid, who replied, “I hear and obey, O my
lady.” Then she went down and the porter Abu Ali met her and asked her,
“Whither away, O my lady?” “I go to visit the Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat;”
answered she; and he, “Be a year’s fast incumbent on me! Verily yon
Religious is of Allah’s saints and full of holiness, O my lady, and she
hath hidden treasure at her command, for she gave me three dinars of red
gold and divined my case, without my asking her, and knew that I was in
want.” Then the old woman went out with the young lady Khatun, saying to
her, “Inshallah, O my daughter, when thou hast visited the Shaykh Abu
al-Hamlat, there shall betide thee solace of soul and by leave of
Almighty Allah thou shalt conceive, and thy husband the Emir shall love
thee by the blessing of the Shaykh and shall never again let thee hear a
despiteful word.” Quoth Khatun, “I will go with thee to visit him, O my
mother!” But Dalilah said to herself, “Where shall I strip her and take
her clothes and jewellery, with the folk coming and going?” Then she
said to her, “O my daughter, walk thou behind me, within sight of me,
for this thy mother is a woman sorely burdened; everyone who hath a
burden casteth it on me and all who have pious offerings[190] to make
give them to me and kiss my hand.” So the young lady followed her at a
distance, whilst her anklets tinkled and her hair-coins[191] clinked as
she went, till they reached the bazar of the merchants. Presently, they
came to the shop of a young merchant, by name Sídí Hasan who was very
handsome[192] and had no hair on his face. He saw the lady approaching
and fell to casting stolen glances at her, which when the old woman saw,
she beckoned to her and said, “Sit down in this shop, till I return to
thee.” Khatun obeyed her and sat down in the shop-front of the young
merchant, who cast at her one glance of eyes that cost him a thousand
sighs. Then the old woman accosted him and saluted him, saying, “Tell
me, is not thy name Sidi Hasan, son of the merchant Mohsin?” He replied,
“Yes, who told thee my name?” Quoth she, “Folk of good repute direct me
to thee. Know that this young lady is my daughter and her father was a
merchant, who died and left her much money. She is come of marriageable
age and the wise say:—Offer thy daughter in marriage and not thy son;
and all her life she hath not come forth the house till this day. Now a
divine warning and a command given in secret bid me wed her to thee; so,
if thou art poor, I will give thee capital and will open for thee
instead of one shop two shops.” Thereupon quoth the young merchant to
himself, “I asked Allah for a bride, and He hath given me three things,
to wit, coin, clothing, and coynte.” Then he continued to the old trot,
“O my mother, that whereto thou directest me is well; but this long
while my mother saith to me:—I wish to marry thee, but I object
replying, I will not marry except on the sight of my own eyes.” Said
Dalilah, “Rise and follow my steps, and I will show her to thee,
naked.”[193] So he rose and took a thousand dinars, saying in himself,
“Haply we may need to buy somewhat”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and First Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman
said to Hasan, son of Mohsin the merchant, “Rise up and follow me, and I
will show her naked to thee.” So he rose and took with him a thousand
dinars, saying in himself, “Haply we may need to buy somewhat or pay the
fees for drawing up the marriage contract.” The old woman bade him walk
behind the young lady at a distance but within shot of sight and said to
herself, “Where wilt thou carry the young lady and the merchant that
thou mayest strip them both whilst his shop is still shut?” Then she
walked on and Khatun after her, followed by the young merchant, till she
came to a dyery, kept by a master dyer, by name Hajj Mohammed, a man of
ill-repute; like the colocasia[194] seller’s knife cutting male and
female, and loving to eat both figs and pomegranates.[195] He heard the
tinkle of the ankle rings and, raising his head, saw the lady and the
young man. Presently the old woman came up to him and, after salaaming
to him and sitting down opposite him, asked him, “Art thou not Hajj
Mohammed the dyer?” He answered, “Yes, I am he: what dost thou want?”
Quoth she, “Verily, folks of fair repute have directed me to thee. Look
at yonder handsome girl, my daughter, and that comely beardless youth,
my son; I brought them both up and spent much money on both of them.
Now, thou must know that I have a big old ruinous house which I have
shored up with wood, and the builder saith to me:—Go and live in some
other place, lest belike it fall upon thee; and when this is repaired
return hither. So I went forth to seek me a lodging, and people of worth
directed me to thee, and I wish to lodge my son and daughter with thee.”
Quoth the dyer in his mind, “Verily, here is fresh butter upon cake come
to thee.” But he said to the old woman, “’Tis true I have a house and
saloon and upper floor; but I cannot spare any part thereof, for I want
it all for guests and for the indigo-growers my clients.” She replied,
“O my son, ’twill be only for a month or two at the most, till our house
be repaired, and we are strange folk. Let the guest-chamber be shared
between us and thee, and by thy life, O my son, an thou desire that thy
guests be ours, we will welcome them and eat with them and sleep with
them.” Then he gave her the keys, one big and one small and one crooked,
saying to her, “The big key is that of the house, the crooked one that
of the saloon and the little one that of the upper floor.” So Dalilah
took the keys and fared on, followed by the lady who forwent the young
merchant, till she came to the lane wherein was the house. She opened
the door and entered, introducing the damsel to whom said she, “O my
daughter, this (pointing to the saloon) is the lodging of the Shaykh Abu
al-Hamlat; but go thou into the upper floor and loose thy outer veil and
wait till I come to thee.” So she went up and sat down. Presently
appeared the young merchant, whom Dalilah carried into the saloon,
saying, “Sit down, whilst I fetch my daughter and show her to thee.” So
he sat down and the old trot went up to Khatun who said to her, “I wish
to visit the Shaykh, before the folk come.” Replied the beldame, “O my
daughter, we fear for thee.” Asked Khatun, “Why so?” and Dalilah
answered, “Because here is a son of mine, a natural who knoweth not
summer from winter, but goeth ever naked. He is the Shaykh’s deputy and,
if he saw a girl like thee come to visit his chief, he would snatch her
earrings and tear her ears and rend her silken robes.[196] So do thou
doff thy jewellery and clothes and I will keep them for thee, till thou
hast made thy pious visitation.” Accordingly the damsel did off her
outer dress and jewels and gave them to the old woman, who said, “I will
lay them for thee on the Shaykh’s curtain, that a blessing may betide
thee.” Then she went out, leaving the lady in her shift and
petticoat-trousers, and hid the clothes and jewels in a place on the
staircase; after which she betook herself to the young merchant, whom
she found impatiently awaiting the girl, and he cried, “Where is thy
daughter, that I may see her?” But she smote palm on breast and he said,
“What aileth thee?” Quoth she, “Would there were no such thing as the
ill neighbour and the envious! They saw thee enter the house with me and
asked me of thee; and I said:—This is a bridegroom I have found for my
daughter. So they envied me on thine account and said to my girl, Is thy
mother tired of keeping thee, that she marrieth thee to a leper?
Thereupon I swore to her that she should not see thee save naked.” Quoth
he, “I take refuge with Allah from the envious,” and baring his forearm,
showed her that it was like silver. Said she, “Have no fear; thou shalt
see her naked, even as she shall see thee naked;” and he said, “Let her
come and look at me.” Then he put off his pelisse and sables and his
girdle and dagger and the rest of his raiment, except his shirt and
bag-trousers, and would have laid the purse of a thousand dinars with
them, but Dalilah cried, “Give them to me, that I may take care of
them.” So she took them and fetching the girl’s clothes and jewellery
shouldered the whole and locking the door upon them went her ways.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Second Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old
woman had taken the property of the young merchant and the damsel and
wended her ways, having locked the door upon them, she deposited her
spoils with a druggist of her acquaintance and returned to the dyer,
whom she found sitting, awaiting her. Quoth he, “Inshallah, the house
pleaseth thee?”; and quoth she, “There is a blessing in it; and I go now
to fetch porters to carry hither our goods and furniture. But my
children would have me bring them a _panade_ with meat; so do thou take
this dinar and buy the dish and go and eat the morning meal with them.”
Asked the dyer, “Who shall guard the dyery meanwhile and the people’s
goods that be therein?”; and the old woman answered, “Thy lad!” “So be
it,” rejoined he, and taking a dish and cover, went out to do her
bidding. So far concerning the dyer who will again be mentioned in the
tale; but as regards the old woman, she fetched the clothes and jewels
she had left with the druggist and going back to the dyery, said to the
lad, “Run after thy master, and I will not stir hence till you both
return.” “To hear is to obey,” answered he and went away, while she
began to collect all the customers’ goods. Presently, there came up an
ass-driver, a scavenger, who had been out of work for a week and who was
an Hashísh-eater to boot; and she called him, saying, “Hither, O
donkey-boy!” So he came to her and she asked, “Knowest thou my son the
dyer?”; whereto he answered, “Yes, I know him.” Then she said, “The poor
fellow is insolvent and loaded with debts, and as often as he is put in
prison, I set him free. Now we wish to see him declared bankrupt and I
am going to return the goods to their owners; so do thou lend me thine
ass to carry the load and receive this dinar to its hire. When I am
gone, take the handsaw and empty out the vats and jars and break them,
so that if there come an officer from the Kází’s court, he may find
nothing in the dyery.” Quoth he, “I owe the Hajj a kindness and will do
something for Allah’s love.” So she laid the things on the ass and, the
Protector protecting her, made for her own house; so that she arrived
there in safety and went in to her daughter Zaynab, who said to her, “O
my mother, my heart hath been with thee! What hast thou done by way of
roguery?” Dalilah replied, “I have played off four tricks on four
wights; the wife of the Serjeant-usher, a young merchant, a dyer and an
ass-driver, and have brought thee all their spoil on the donkey-boy’s
beast.” Cried Zaynab, “O my mother, thou wilt never more be able to go
about the town, for fear of the Serjeant-usher, whose wife’s raiment and
jewellery thou hast taken, and the merchant whom thou hast stripped
naked, and the dyer whose customers’ goods thou hast stolen and the
owner of the ass.” Rejoined the old woman, “Pooh, my girl! I reck not of
them, save the donkey-boy, who knoweth me.” Meanwhile the dyer bought
the meat-panade and set out for the house, followed by his servant with
the food on head. On his way thither, he passed his shop, where he found
the donkey-boy breaking the vats and jars and saw that there was neither
stuff nor liquor left in them and that the dyery was in ruins. So he
said to him, “Hold thy hand, O ass-driver;” and the donkey-boy desisted
and cried, “Praised be Allah for thy safety, O master! Verily my heart
was with thee.” “Why so?” “Thou art become bankrupt and they have filed
a docket of thine insolvency.” “Who told thee this?” “Thy mother told
me, and bade me break the jars and empty the vats, that the Kazi’s
officers might find nothing in the shop, if they should come.” “Allah
confound the far One!”[197] cried the dyer; “My mother died long ago.”
And he beat his breast, exclaiming, “Alas, for the loss of my goods and
those of the folk!” The donkey-boy also wept and ejaculated, “Alas, for
the loss of my ass!”; and he said to the dyer, “Give me back my beast
which thy mother stole from me.” The dyer laid hold of him by the throat
and fell to buffeting him, saying, “Bring me the old woman;” whilst the
other buffeted him in return saying, “Give me back my beast.” So they
beat and cursed each other, till the folk collected around them——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Third Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the dyer caught
hold of the donkey-boy and the donkey-boy caught hold of the dyer and
they beat and cursed each other till the folk collected round them and
one of them asked, “What is the matter, O Master Mohammed?” The
ass-driver answered, “I will tell thee the tale,” and related to them
his story, saying, “I deemed I was doing the dyer a good turn; but, when
he saw me he beat his breast and said, My mother is dead. And now, I for
one require my ass of him, it being he who hath put this trick on me,
that he might make me lose my beast.” Then said the folk to the dyer, “O
Master Mohammed, dost thou know this matron, that thou didst entrust her
with the dyery and all therein?” And he replied, “I know her not; but
she took lodgings with me to-day, she and her son and daughter.” Quoth
one, “In my judgment, the dyer is bound to indemnify the ass-driver.”
Quoth another, “Why so?” “Because,” replied the first, “he trusted not
the old woman nor gave her his ass save only because he saw that the
dyer had entrusted her with the dyery and its contents.” And a third
said, “O master, since thou hast lodged her with thee, it behoveth thee
to get the man back his ass.” Then they made for the house, and the tale
will come round to them again. Meanwhile, the young merchant remained
awaiting the old woman’s coming with her daughter, but she came not nor
did her daughter; whilst the young lady in like manner sat expecting her
return with leave from her son, the God-attended one, the Shaykh’s
deputy, to go in to the holy presence. So weary of waiting, she rose to
visit the Shaykh by herself and went down into the saloon, where she
found the young merchant, who said to her, “Come hither! where is thy
mother, who brought me to marry thee?” She replied, “My mother is dead,
art thou the old woman’s son, the ecstatic, the deputy of the Shaykh Abu
al-Hamlat?” Quoth he, “The swindling old trot is no mother of mine; she
hath cheated me and taken my clothes and a thousand dinars.” Quoth
Khatun, “And me also hath she swindled for she brought me to see the
Shaykh Abu al-Hamlat and in lieu of so doing she hath stripped me.”
Thereupon he, “I look to thee to make good my clothes and my thousand
dinars;” and she, “I look to thee to make good my clothes and
jewellery.” And, behold, at this moment in came the dyer and seeing them
both stripped of their raiment, said to them, “Tell me where your mother
is.” So the young lady related all that had befallen her and the young
merchant related all that had betided him, and the Master-dyer
exclaimed, “Alas, for the loss of my goods and those of the folk!”; and
the ass-driver ejaculated, “Alas, for my ass! Give me, O dyer, my ass!”
Then said the dyer, “This old woman is a sharper. Come forth, that I may
lock the door.” Quoth the young merchant, “’Twere a disgrace to thee
that we should enter thy house dressed and go forth from it undressed.”
So the dyer clad him and the damsel and sent her back to her house where
we shall find her after the return of her husband. Then he shut the
dyery and said to the young merchant, “Come, let us go and search for
the old woman and hand her over to the Wali,[198] the Chief of Police.”
So they and the ass-man repaired to the house of the master of police
and made their complaint to him. Quoth he, “O folk, what want ye?” and
when they told him he rejoined, “How many old women are there not in the
town! Go ye and seek for her and lay hands on her and bring her to me,
and I will torture her for you and make her confess.” So they sought for
her all round the town; and an account of them will presently be
given.[199] As for old Dalilah the Wily, she said, “I have a mind to
play off another trick,” to her daughter who answered, “O my mother, I
fear for thee;” but the beldam cried, “I am like the bean husks which
fall, proof against fire and water.” So she rose, and donning a
slave-girl’s dress of such as serve people of condition, went out to
look for some one to defraud. Presently she came to a by-street, spread
with carpets and lighted with hanging lamps, and heard a noise of
singing-women and drumming of tambourines. Here she saw a handmaid
bearing on her shoulder a boy, clad in trousers laced with silver and a
little Abá-cloak of velvet, with a pearl embroidered Tarbush-cap on his
head, and about his neck a collar of gold set with jewels. Now the house
belonged to the Provost of the Merchants of Baghdad, and the boy was his
son. He had a virgin daughter, to boot, who was promised in marriage,
and it was her betrothal they were celebrating that day. There was with
her mother a company of noble dames and singing-women, and whenever she
went upstairs or down, the boy clung to her. So she called the
slave-girl and said to her, “Take thy young master and play with him,
till the company break up.” Seeing this, Dalilah asked the handmaid,
“What festivities are these in your mistress’s house;” and was answered,
“She celebrates her daughter’s betrothal this day, and she hath
singing-women with her.” Quoth the old woman to herself, “O Dalilah, the
thing to do is to spirit away this boy from the maid,”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old trot
said to herself, “O Dalilah, the thing to do is to spirit away this boy
from the maid!” she began crying out, “O disgrace! O ill luck!” Then
pulling out a brass token, resembling a dinar, she said to the maid, who
was a simpleton, “Take this ducat and go in to thy mistress and say to
her:—Umm al-Khayr rejoiceth with thee and is beholden to thee for thy
favours, and on the day of assembly she and her daughters will visit
thee and handsel the tiring-women with the usual gifts.” Said the girl,
“O my mother, my young master here catcheth hold of his mamma, whenever
he seeth her;” and she replied “Give him to me, whilst thou goest in and
comest back.” So she gave her the child and taking the token, went in;
whereupon Dalilah made off with the boy to a by-lane, where she stripped
him of his clothes and jewels, saying to herself, “O Dalilah, ’twould
indeed be the finest of tricks, even as thou hast cheated the maid and
taken the boy from her, so now to carry on the game and pawn him for a
thousand dinars.” So she repaired to the jewel-bazar, where she saw a
Jew goldsmith seated with a cage full of jewellery before him, and said
to herself, “’Twould be a rare trick to chouse this Jew fellow and get a
thousand gold pieces worth of jewellery from him and leave the boy in
pledge for it.” Presently the Jew looked at them and seeing the boy with
the old woman, knew him for the son of the Provost of the Merchants. Now
the Israelite was a man of great wealth, but would envy his neighbour if
he sold and himself did not sell; so espying Dalilah, he said to her,
“What seekest thou, O my mistress?” She asked, “Art thou Master
Azariah[200] the Jew?” having first enquired his name of others; and he
answered, “Yes.” Quoth she, “This boy’s sister, daughter of the
Shahbandar of the Merchants, is a promised bride, and to-day they
celebrate her betrothal; and she hath need of jewellery. So give me two
pair of gold ankle-rings, a brace of gold bracelets, and pearl
ear-drops, with a girdle, a poignard and a seal-ring.” He brought them
out and she took of him a thousand dinars’ worth of jewellery, saying,
“I will take these ornaments on approval; and whatso pleaseth them, they
will keep and I will bring thee the price and leave this boy with thee
till then.” He said, “Be it as thou wilt!” So she took the jewellery and
made off to her own house, where her daughter asked her how the trick
had sped. She told her how she had taken and stripped the Shahbandar’s
boy, and Zaynab said, “Thou wilt never be able to walk abroad again in
the town.” Meanwhile, the maid went in to her mistress and said to her,
“O my lady, Umm al-Khayr saluteth thee and rejoiceth with thee and on
assembly-day she will come, she and her daughters, and give the
customary presents.” Quoth her mistress, “Where is thy young master?”
Quoth the slave-girl, “I left him with her lest he cling to thee, and
she gave me this, as largesse for the singing-women.” So the lady said
to the chief of the singers, “Take thy money;” and she took it and found
it a brass counter; whereupon the lady cried to the maid, “Get thee
down, O whore, and look to thy young master.” Accordingly, she went down
and finding neither boy nor old woman, shrieked aloud and fell on her
face. Their joy was changed into annoy, and behold, the Provost came in,
when his wife told him all that had befallen and he went out in quest of
the child, whilst the other merchants also fared forth and each sought
his own road. Presently, the Shahbandar, who had looked everywhere,
espied his son seated, naked, in the Jew’s shop and said to the owner,
“This is my son.” “’Tis well,” answered the Jew. So he took him up,
without asking for his clothes, of the excess of his joy at finding him;
but the Jew laid hold of him, saying, “Allah succour the Caliph against
thee!”[201] The Provost asked, “What aileth thee, O Jew?”; and he
answered, “Verily the old woman took of me a thousand dinars’ worth of
jewellery for thy daughter, and left this lad in pledge for the price;
and I had not trusted her, but that she offered to leave the child whom
I knew for thy son.” Said the Provost, “My daughter needeth no
jewellery, give me the boy’s clothes.” Thereupon the Jew shrieked out,
“Come to my aid, O Moslems!” but at that moment up came the dyer and the
ass-man and the young merchant, who were going about, seeking the old
woman, and enquired the cause of their jangle. So they told them the
case and they said, “This old woman is a cheat, who hath cheated us
before you.” Then they recounted to them how she had dealt with them,
and the Provost said, “Since I have found my son, be his clothes his
ransom! If I come upon the old woman, I will require them of her.” And
he carried the child home to his mother, who rejoiced in his safety.
Then the Jew said to the three others, “Whither go ye?”; and they
answered, “We go to look for her.” Quoth the Jew, “Take me with you,”
presently adding, “Is there any one of you knoweth her?” The donkey-boy
cried, “I know her;” and the Jew said, “If we all go forth together, we
shall never catch her; for she will flee from us. Let each take a
different road, and be our rendezvous at the shop of Hajj Mas’úd, the
Moorish barber.” They agreed to this and set off, each in a different
direction. Presently, Dalilah sallied forth again to play her tricks and
the ass-driver met her and knew her. So he caught hold of her and said
to her, “Woe to thee! Hast thou been long at this trade?” She asked,
“What aileth thee?”; and he answered, “Give me back my ass.” Quoth she,
“Cover what Allah covereth, O my son! Dost thou seek thine ass and the
people’s things?” Quoth he, “I want my ass; that’s all;” and quoth she,
“I saw that thou wast poor: so I deposited thine ass for thee with the
Moorish barber. Stand off, whilst I speak him fair, that he may give
thee the beast.” So she went up to the Maghrabi and kissed his hand and
shed tears. He asked her what ailed her and she said, “O my son, look at
my boy who standeth yonder. He was ill and exposed himself to the air,
which injured his intellect. He used to buy asses and now, if he stand
he saith nothing but, My ass! if he sit he crieth, My ass! and if he
walk he crieth, My ass! Now I have been told by a certain physician that
his mind is disordered and that nothing will cure him but drawing two of
his grinders and cauterising him twice on either temple. So do thou take
this dinar and call him to thee, saying:—Thine ass is with me.” Said the
barber, “May I fast for a year, if I do not give him his ass in his
fist!” Now he had with him two journeymen, so he said to one of them,
“Go, heat the irons.” Then the old woman went her way and the barber
called to the donkey-boy,[202] saying, “Thine ass is with me, good
fellow! come and take him, and as thou livest, I will give him into thy
palm.” So he came to him and the barber carried him into a dark room,
where he knocked him down and the journeymen bound him hand and foot.
Then the Maghrabi arose and pulled out two of his grinders and fired him
on either temple; after which he let him go, and he rose and said, “O
Moor, why hast thou used me with this usage?” Quoth the barber, “Thy
mother told me that thou hadst taken cold whilst ill, and hadst lost thy
reason, so that, whether sitting or standing or walking, thou wouldst
say nothing but My ass! So here is thine ass in thy fist.” Said the
other, “Allah requite thee for pulling out my teeth.” Then the barber
told him all that the old woman had related and he exclaimed, “Allah
torment her!”; and the twain left the shop and went out, disputing. When
the barber returned, he found his booth empty, for, whilst he was
absent, the old woman had taken all that was therein and made off with
it to her daughter, whom she acquainted with all that had befallen and
all she had done. The barber, seeing his place plundered, caught hold of
the donkey-boy and said to him, “Bring me thy mother.” But he answered,
saying, “She is not my mother; she is a sharper who hath cozened much
people and stolen my ass.” And lo! at this moment up came the dyer and
the Jew and the young merchant, and seeing the Moorish barber holding on
to the ass-driver who was fired on both temples, they said to him, “What
hath befallen thee, O donkey-boy?” So he told them all that had betided
him and the barber did the like; and the others in turn related to the
Moor the tricks the old woman had played them. Then he shut up his shop
and went with them to the office of the Police-master to whom they said,
“We look to thee for our case and our coin.”[203] Quoth the Wali, “And
how many old women are there not in Baghdad! Say me, doth any of you
know her?” Quoth the ass-man, “I do; so give me ten of thine officers.”
He gave them half a score archers and they all five went out, followed
by the sergeants, and patrolled the city, till they met the old woman,
when they laid hands on her and carrying her to the house of the Chief
of Police, stood waiting under his office windows till he should come
forth. Presently, the warders fell asleep, for excess of watching with
their chief, and old Dalilah feigned to follow their example, till the
ass-man and his fellows slept likewise, when she stole away from them
and, going in to the Wali’s Harim, kissed the hand of the mistress of
the house and asked her, “Where is the Chief of Police?” The lady
answered, “He is asleep; what wouldst thou with him?” Quoth Dalilah, “My
husband is a merchant of chattels and gave me five Mamelukes to sell,
whilst he went on a journey. The Master of Police met me and bought them
of me for a thousand dinars and two hundred for myself, saying:—Bring
them to my house. So I have brought them.”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fifth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old
woman, entering the Harim of the Police-Master, said to his wife,
“Verily the Wali bought of me five slaves for one thousand ducats and
two hundred for myself, saying:—Bring them to my quarters. So I have
brought them.” Hearing the old woman’s story she believed it and asked
her, “Where are the slaves?” Dalilah replied, “O my lady, they are
asleep under the palace window”; whereupon the dame looked out and
seeing the Moorish barber clad in a Mameluke habit and the young
merchant as he were a drunken Mameluke[204] and the Jew and the dyer and
the ass-driver as they were shaven Mamelukes, said in herself, “Each of
these white slaves is worth more than a thousand dinars.” So she opened
her chest and gave the old woman the thousand ducats, saying, “Fare thee
forth now and come back anon; when my husband waketh, I will get thee
the other two hundred dinars from him.” Answered the old woman, “O my
lady, an hundred of them are thine, under the sherbet-gugglet whereof
thou drinkest,[205] and the other hundred do thou keep for me against I
come back,” presently adding, “Now let me out by the private door.” So
she let her out, and the Protector protected her and she made her way
home to her daughter, to whom she related how she had gotten a thousand
gold pieces and sold her five pursuers into slavery, ending with, “O my
daughter, the one who troubleth me most is the ass-driver, for he
knoweth me.” Said Zaynab, “O my mother, abide quiet awhile and let what
thou hast done suffice thee, for the crock shall not always escape the
shock.” When the Chief of Police awoke, his wife said to him, “I give
thee joy of the five slaves thou hast bought of the old woman.” Asked
he, “What slaves?” And she answered, “Why dost thou deny it to me? Allah
willing, they shall become like thee people of condition.” Quoth he, “As
my head liveth, I have bought no slaves! Who saith this?” Quoth she,
“The old woman, the brokeress, from whom thou boughtest them; and thou
didst promise her a thousand dinars for them and two hundred for
herself.” Cried he, “Didst thou give her the money?” And she replied,
“Yes; for I saw the slaves with my own eyes, and on each is a suit of
clothes worth a thousand dinars; so I sent out to bid the sergeants have
an eye to them.” The Wali went out and, seeing the five plaintiffs, said
to the officers, “Where are the five slaves we bought for a thousand
dinars of the old woman?” Said they, “There are no slaves here; only
these five men, who found the old woman, and seized her and brought her
hither. We fell asleep, whilst waiting for thee, and she stole away and
entered the Harim. Presently out came a maid and asked us:—Are the five
with you with whom the old woman came?”; and we answered, “Yes.” Cried
the Master of Police, “By Allah, this is the biggest of swindles!”; and
the five men said, “We look to thee for our goods.” Quoth the Wali, “The
old woman, your mistress, sold you to me for a thousand gold pieces.”
Quoth they, “That were not allowed of Allah; we are free-born men and
may not be sold, and we appeal from thee to the Caliph.” Rejoined the
Master of Police, “None showed her the way to the house save you, and I
will sell you to the galleys for two hundred dinars apiece.” Just then,
behold, up came the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarik who, on his return from
his journey had found his wife stripped of her clothes and jewellery and
heard from her all that had passed; whereupon quoth he, “The Master of
Police shall answer me this” and repairing to him, said, “Dost thou
suffer old women to go round about the town and cozen folk of their
goods? This is thy duty and I look to thee for my wife’s property.” Then
said he to the five men, “What is the case with you?” So they told him
their stories and he said, “Ye are wronged men,” and turning to the
Master of Police, asked him, “Why dost thou arrest them?” Answered he,
“None brought the old wretch to my house save these five, so that she
took a thousand dinars of my money and sold them to my women.” Whereupon
the five cried, “O Emir Hasan, be thou our advocate in this cause.” Then
said the Master of Police to the Emir, “Thy wife’s goods are at my
charge and I will be surety for the old woman. But which of you knoweth
her?” They cried, “We all know her: send ten apparitors with us, and we
will take her.” So he gave them ten men, and the ass-driver said to
them, “Follow me, for I should know her with blue eyes.”[206] Then they
fared forth and lo! they meet old Dalilah coming out of a by-street: so
they at once laid hands on her and brought her to the office of the Wali
who asked her, “Where are the people’s goods?” But she answered, saying,
“I have neither gotten them nor seen them.” Then he cried to the gaoler,
“Take her with thee and clap her in gaol till the morning;” but he
replied, “I will not take her nor will I imprison her lest she play a
trick on me and I be answerable for her.” So the Master of Police
mounted and rode out with Dalilah and the rest to the bank of the
Tigris, where he bade the lamp-lighter crucify her by her hair. He drew
her up by the pulley and bound her on the cross; after which the Master
of Police set ten men to guard her and went home. Presently, the night
fell down and sleep overcame the watchmen. Now a certain Badawi had
heard one man say to a friend, “Praise be to Allah for thy safe return!
Where hast thou been all this time?” Replied the other, “In Baghdad
where I broke my fast on honey-fritters.”[207] Quoth the Badawi to
himself, “Needs must I go to Baghdad and eat honey-fritters therein”;
for in all his life he had never entered Baghdad nor seen fritters of
the sort. So he mounted his stallion and rode on towards Baghdad, saying
in his mind, “’Tis a fine thing to eat honey-fritters! On the honour of
an Arab, I will break my fast with honey-fritters and naught else!”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Sixth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the wild Arab
mounted horse and made for Baghdad saying in his mind, “’Tis a fine
thing to eat honey-fritters! On the honour of an Arab I will break my
fast with honey-fritters and naught else;” and he rode on till he came
to the place where Dalilah was crucified and she heard him mutter these
words. So he went up to her and said to her, “What art thou?” Quoth she,
“I throw myself on thy protection, O Shaykh of the Arabs!” and quoth he,
“Allah indeed protect thee! But what is the cause of thy crucifixion?”
Said she, “I have an enemy, an oilman, who frieth fritters, and I
stopped to buy some of him, when I chanced to spit and my spittle fell
on the fritters. So he complained of me to the Governor, who commanded
to crucify me, saying:—I adjudge that ye take ten pounds of
honey-fritters and feed her therewith upon the cross. If she eat them,
let her go, but if not, leave her hanging. And my stomach will not brook
sweet things.” Cried the Badawi, “By the honour of the Arabs, I departed
not the camp but that I might taste of honey-fritters! I will eat them
for thee.” Quoth she, “None may eat them, except he be hung up in my
place.” So he fell into the trap and unbound her; whereupon she bound
him in her stead, after she had stripped him of his clothes and turband
and put them on; then covering herself with his burnous and mounting his
horse, she rode to her house, where Zaynab asked her, “What meaneth this
plight?”; and she answered, “They crucified me;” and told her all that
had befallen her with the Badawi. This is how it fared with her; but as
regards the watchmen, the first who woke roused his companions and they
saw that the day had broken. So one of them raised his eyes and cried,
“Dalilah.” Replied the Badawi, “By Allah! I have not eaten all night.
Have ye brought the honey-fritters?” All exclaimed, “This is a man and a
Badawi,” and one of them asked him, “O Badawi, where is Dalilah and who
loosed her?” He answered, “’Twas I; she shall not eat the honey-fritters
against her will; for her soul abhorreth them.” So they knew that the
Arab was ignorant of her case, whom she had cozened, and said to one
another, “Shall we flee or abide the accomplishment of that which Allah
hath written for us?” As they were talking, up came the Chief of Police,
with all the folk whom the old woman had cheated, and said to the
guards, “Arise, loose Dalilah.” Quoth the Badawi, “We have not eaten
to-night. Hast thou brought the honey-fritters?” Whereupon the Wali
raised his eyes to the cross and seeing the Badawi hung up in the stead
of the old woman, said to the watchmen, “What is this?” “Pardon, O our
lord!” “Tell me what hath happened.” “We were weary with watching with
thee on guard and said:—Dalilah is crucified. So we fell asleep, and
when we awoke, we found the Badawi hung up in her room; and we are at
thy mercy.” “O folk, Allah’s pardon be upon you! She is indeed a clever
cheat!” Then they unbound the Badawi, who laid hold of the Master of
Police, saying, “Allah succour the Caliph against thee! I look to none
but thee for my horse and clothes!” So the Wali questioned him and he
told him what had passed between Dalilah and himself. The magistrate
marvelled and asked him, “Why didst thou release her?”; and the Badawi
answered, “I knew not that she was a felon.” Then said the others, “O
Chief of Police, we look to thee in the matter of our goods; for we
delivered the old woman into thy hands and she was in thy guard; and we
cite thee before the Divan of the Caliph.” Now the Emir Hasan had gone
up to the Divan, when in came the Wali with the Badawi and the five
others, saying, “Verily, we are wronged men!” “Who hath wronged you?”
asked the Caliph; so each came forward in turn and told his story, after
which said the Master of Police, “O Commander of the Faithful, the old
woman cheated me also and sold me these five men as slaves for a
thousand dinars, albeit they are free-born.” Quoth the Prince of True
Believers, “I take upon myself all that you have lost”; adding to the
Master of Police, “I charge thee with the old woman.” But he shook his
collar, saying, “O Commander of the Faithful, I will not answer for her;
for, after I had hung her on the cross, she tricked this Badawi and,
when he loosed her, she tied him up in her room and made off with his
clothes and horse.” Quoth the Caliph, “Whom but thee shall I charge with
her?”; and quoth the Wali, “Charge Ahmad al-Danaf, for he hath a
thousand dinars a month and one-and-forty followers, at a monthly wage
of an hundred dinars each.” So the Caliph said, “Harkye, Captain Ahmad!”
“At thy service, O Commander of the Faithful,” said he; and the Caliph
cried, “I charge thee to bring the old woman before us.” Replied Ahmad,
“I will answer for her.” Then the Caliph kept the Badawi and the five
with him,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


          Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Seventh Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Caliph
said to Calamity Ahmad, “I charge thee to bring the old woman before
us,” he said, “I will answer for her, O Commander of the Faithful!” Then
the Caliph kept the Badawi and the five with him, whilst Ahmad and his
men went down to their hall,[208] saying to one another, “How shall we
lay hands on her, seeing that there are many old women in the town?” And
quoth Ahmad to Hasan Shuman, “What counsellest thou?” Whereupon quoth
one of them, by name Ali Kitf al-Jamal,[209] to al-Danaf, “Of what dost
thou take counsel with Hasan Shuman? Is the Pestilent one any great
shakes?” Said Hasan, “O Ali, why dost thou disparage me? By the Most
Great Name, I will not company with thee at this time!”; and he rose and
went out in wrath. Then said Ahmad, “O my braves, let every sergeant
take ten men, each to his own quarter and search for Dalilah.” All did
his bidding, Ali included, and they said, “Ere we disperse let us agree
to rendezvous in the quarter Al-Kalkh.” It was noised abroad in the city
that Calamity Ahmad had undertaken to lay hands on Dalilah the Wily, and
Zaynab said to her, “O my mother, an thou be indeed a trickstress, do
thou befool Ahmad al-Danaf and his company.” Answered Dalilah, “I fear
none save Hasan Shuman;” and Zaynab said, “By the life of my brow-lock,
I will assuredly get thee the clothes of all the one-and-forty.” Then
she dressed and veiled herself and going to a certain druggist, who had
a saloon with two doors, salamed to him and gave him an ashrafi and said
to him, “Take this gold piece as a douceur for thy saloon and let it to
me till the end of the day.” So he gave her the keys and she fetched
carpets and so forth on the stolen ass and furnishing the place, set on
each raised pavement a tray of meat and wine. Then she went out and
stood at the door, with her face unveiled and behold, up came Ali Kitf
al-Jamal and his men. She kissed his hand; and he fell in love with her,
seeing her to be a handsome girl, and said to her, “What dost thou
want?” Quoth she, “Art thou Captain Ahmad al-Danaf?”; and quoth he, “No,
but I am of his company and my name is Ali Camel-shoulder.” Asked she,
“Whither fare you?”; and he answered, “We go about in quest of a
sharkish old woman, who hath stolen folk’s good, and we mean to lay
hands on her. But who art thou and what is thy business?” She replied,
“My father was a taverner at Mosul and he died and left me much money.
So I came hither, for fear of the Dignities, and asked the people who
would protect me, to which they replied:—None but Ahmad al-Danaf.” Said
the men, “From this day forth, thou art under his protection”; and she
replied, “Hearten me by eating a bit and drinking a sup of water.”[210]
They consented and entering, ate and drank till they were drunken, when
she drugged them with Bhang and stripped them of their clothes and arms;
and on like wise she did with the three other companions. Presently,
Calamity Ahmad went out to look for Dalilah, but found her not, neither
set eyes on any of his followers, and went on till he came to the door
where Zaynab was standing. She kissed his hand and he looked on her and
fell in love with her. Quoth she, “Art thou Captain Ahmad al-Danaf?”;
and quoth he, “Yes: who art thou?” She replied, “I am a stranger from
Mosul. My father was a vintner at that place and he died and left me
much money wherewith I came to this city, for fear of the powers that
be, and opened this tavern. The Master of Police hath imposed a tax on
me, but it is my desire to put myself under thy protection and pay thee
what the police would take of me, for thou hast the better right to it.”
Quoth he, “Do not pay him aught: thou shalt have my protection and
welcome.” Then quoth she, “Please to heal my heart and eat of my
victual.” So he entered and ate and drank wine, till he could not sit
upright, when she drugged him and took his clothes and arms. Then she
loaded her purchase on the Badawi’s horse and the donkey-boy’s ass and
made off with it, after she had aroused Ali Kitf al-Jamal.
Camel-shoulder awoke and found himself naked and saw Ahmad and his men
drugged and stripped: so he revived them with the counter-drug and they
awoke and found themselves naked. Quoth Calamity Ahmad, “O lads, what is
this? We were going to catch her, and lo! this strumpet hath caught us!
How Hasan Shuman will rejoice over us! But we will wait till it is dark
and then go away.” Meanwhile Pestilence Hasan said to the hall-keeper,
“Where are the men?”; and as he asked, up they came naked; and he
recited these two couplets[211]:—

 Men in their purposes are much alike, ✿ But in their issues difference
    comes to light:
 Of men some wise are, others simple souls; ✿ As of the stars some dull,
    some pearly bright.

Then he looked at them and asked, “Who hath played you this trick and
made you naked?”; and they answered, “We went in quest of an old woman,
and a pretty girl stripped us.” Quoth Hasan, “She hath done right well.”
They asked, “Dost thou know her?”; and he answered, “Yes, I know her and
the old trot too.” Quoth they, “What shall we say to the Caliph?”; and
quoth he, “O Danaf, do thou shake thy collar before him, and he will
say:—Who is answerable for her; and if he ask why thou hast not caught
her; say thou:—We know her not; but charge Hasan Shuman with her. And if
he give her into my charge, I will lay hands on her.” So they slept that
night and on the morrow they went up to the Caliph’s Divan and kissed
ground before him. Quoth he, “Where is the old woman, O Captain Ahmad?”
But he shook his collar. The Caliph asked him why he did so, and he
answered, “I know her not; but do thou charge Hasan Shuman to lay hands
on her, for he knoweth her and her daughter also.” Then Hasan interceded
for her with the Caliph, saying, “Indeed, she hath not played off these
tricks, because she coveted the folk’s stuff, but to show her cleverness
and that of her daughter, to the intent that thou shouldst continue her
husband’s stipend to her and that of her father to her daughter. So an
thou wilt spare her life I will fetch her to thee.” Cried the Caliph,
“By the life of my ancestors, if she restore the people’s goods, I will
pardon her on thine intercession!” And said the Pestilence, “Give me a
pledge, O Prince of True Believers!” Whereupon Al-Rashid gave him the
kerchief of pardon. So Hasan repaired to Dalilah’s house and called to
her. Her daughter Zaynab answered him and he asked her, “Where is thy
mother?” “Upstairs,” she answered; and he said, “Bid her take the
people’s goods and come with me to the presence of the Caliph; for I
have brought her the kerchief of pardon, and if she will not come with a
good grace, let her blame only herself.” So Dalilah came down and tying
the kerchief about her neck gave him the people’s goods on the
donkey-boy’s ass and the Badawi’s horse. Quoth he, “There remain the
clothes of my Chief and his men”; and quoth she, “By the Most Great
Name, ’twas not I who stripped them!” Rejoined Hasan, “Thou sayst sooth,
it was thy daughter Zaynab’s doing, and this was a good turn she did
thee.” Then he carried her to the Divan and laying the people’s goods
and stuff before the Caliph, set the old trot in his presence. As soon
as he saw her, he bade throw her down on the carpet of blood, whereat
she cried, “I cast myself on thy protection, O Shuman!” So he rose and
kissing the Caliph’s hands, said, “Pardon, O Commander of the Faithful!
Indeed, thou gavest me the kerchief of pardon.” Said the Prince of True
Believers, “I pardon her for thy sake: come hither, O old woman; what is
thy name?” “My name is Wily Dalilah,” answered she, and the Caliph said,
“Thou art indeed crafty and full of guile.” Whence she was dubbed
Dalilah the Wily One. Then quoth he, “Why hast thou played all these
tricks on the folk and wearied our hearts?” and quoth she, “I did it not
of lust for their goods, but because I had heard of the tricks which
Ahmad al-Danaf and Hasan Shuman played in Baghdad and said to myself:—I
too will do the like. And now I have returned the folk their goods.” But
the ass-driver rose and said, “I invoke Allah’s law[212] between me and
her; for it sufficed her not to take my ass, but she must needs egg on
the Moorish barber to tear out my eye-teeth and fire me on both
temples.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


          Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
donkey-boy rose and cried out, “I invoke Allah’s law between me and her;
for it sufficed her not to take my ass, but she must needs egg on the
barber to tear out my eye-teeth and fire me on both temples;” thereupon
the Caliph bade give him an hundred dinars and ordered the dyer the
like, saying, “Go; set up thy dyery again.” So they called down
blessings on his head and went away. The Badawi also took his clothes
and horse and departed, saying, “’Tis henceforth unlawful and forbidden
me to enter Baghdad and eat honey-fritters.” And the others took their
goods and went away. Then said the Caliph, “Ask a boon of me, O
Dalilah!”; and she said, “Verily, my father was governor of the
carrier-pigeons to thee and I know how to rear the birds; and my husband
was town-captain of Baghdad. Now I wish to have the reversion of my
husband and my daughter wisheth to have that of her father.” The Caliph
granted both their requests and she said, “I ask of thee that I may be
portress of thy Khan.” Now he had built a Khan of three stories, for the
merchants to lodge in, and had assigned to its service forty slaves and
also forty dogs he had brought from the King of the Sulaymániyah,[213]
when he deposed him; and there was in the Khan a cook-slave, who cooked
for the chattels and fed the hounds for which he let make collars. Said
the Caliph, “O Dalilah, I will write thee a patent of guardianship of
the Khan, and if aught be lost therefrom, thou shalt be answerable for
it.” “’Tis well,” replied she; “but do thou lodge my daughter in the
pavilion over the door of the Khan, for it hath terraced roofs, and
carrier-pigeons may not be reared to advantage save in an open space.”
The Caliph granted her this also and she and her daughter removed to the
pavilion in question, where Zaynab hung up the one-and-forty dresses of
Calamity Ahmad and his company. Moreover, they delivered to Dalilah the
forty pigeons which carried the royal messages, and the Caliph appointed
the Wily One mistress over the forty slaves and charged them to obey
her. She made the place of her sitting behind the door of the Khan, and
every day she used to go up to the Caliph’s Divan, lest he should need
to send a message by pigeon-post and stay there till eventide whilst the
forty slaves stood on guard at the Khan; and when darkness came on they
loosed the forty dogs that they might keep watch over the place by
night. Such were the doings of Dalilah the Wily One in Baghdad and much
like them were

-----

Footnote 179:

  This and the next tale are omitted by Lane (iii. 254) on “account of
  its vulgarity, rendered more objectionable by indecent incidents.” It
  has been honoured with a lithographed reprint at Cairo A.H. 1278 and
  the Bresl. Edit. ix. 193 calls it the “Tale of Ahmad al-Danaf with
  Dalílah.”

Footnote 180:

  “Ahmad, the Distressing Sickness,” or “Calamity”; Hasan the Pestilent
  and Dalílah the bawd. See vol. ii. 329, and vol. iv. 75.

Footnote 181:

  A fœtus, a foundling, a contemptible fellow.

Footnote 182:

  In the Mac. Edit. “her husband”: the end of the tale shows the error,
  _infra_, p. 171. The Bresl. Edit., x. 195, informs us that Dalilah was
  a “Faylasúfíyah” = philosopheress.

Footnote 183:

  Arab. “Ibrík” usually a ewer, a spout-pot, from the Pers. Ab-ríz =
  water-pourer; the old woman thus vaunted her ceremonial purity. The
  basin and ewer are called in poetry “the two rumourers,” because they
  rattle when borne about.

Footnote 184:

  Khátún in Turk. is = a lady, a dame of high degree; at times, as here
  and elsewhere, it becomes a P. N.

Footnote 185:

  Arab. “Maut,” a word mostly avoided in the Koran and by the Founder of
  Christianity.

Footnote 186:

  Arab. “Akákír,” drugs, spices, simples which cannot be distinguished
  without study and practice. Hence the proverb (Burckhardt, 703), Is
  this an art of drugs?—difficult as the druggist’s craft?

Footnote 187:

  _i.e._ Beautiful as the fairy damsels who guard enchanted treasures,
  such as that of Al-Shamardal (vol. vi. 221).

Footnote 188:

  _i.e._ by contact with a person in a state of ceremonial impurity;
  servants are not particular upon this point and “Salát mamlúkíyah”
  (Mameluke’s prayers) means praying without ablution.

Footnote 189:

  _i.e._ Father of assaults, burdens or pregnancies; the last being here
  the meaning.

Footnote 190:

  Ex votos and so forth.

Footnote 191:

  Arab. “Iksah,” plaits, braids, also the little gold coins and other
  ornaments worn in the hair, now mostly by the middle and lower
  classes. Low Europeans sometimes take advantage of the native
  prostitutes by detaching these valuables, a form of “bilking” peculiar
  to the Nile-Valley.

Footnote 192:

  In Bresl. Edit. Malíh Kawí (pron. ’Awi), a Cairene vulgarism.

Footnote 193:

  Meaning without veil or upper clothing.

Footnote 194:

  Arab. “Kallakás” the edible African arum before explained. This
  Colocasia is supposed to bear, unlike the palm, male and female
  flowers in one spathe.

Footnote 195:

  See vol. iii. 302. The figs refer to the anus and the pomegranates,
  like the sycomore, to the female parts. Me nec fæmina nec puer, &c.,
  says Horace in pensive mood.

Footnote 196:

  It is in accordance to custom that the Shaykh be attended by a
  half-witted fanatic who would be made furious by seeing gold and silks
  in the reverend presence so coyly curtained.

Footnote 197:

  In English, “God damn everything an inch high!”

Footnote 198:

  Burckhardt notes that the Wali, or chief police officer at Cairo, was
  exclusively termed Al-Agha and quotes the proverb (No. 156) “One night
  the whore repented and cried:—What! no Wali (Al-Aghá) to lay whores by
  the heels?” Some of these Egyptian by-words are most amusing and
  characteristic; but they require literal translation, not the timid
  touch of the last generation. I am preparing, for the use of my
  friend, Bernard Quaritch, a bonâ fide version which awaits only the
  promised volume of Herr Landberg.

Footnote 199:

  Lit. for “we leave them for the present”; the formula is much used in
  this tale, showing another hand, author or copyist.

Footnote 200:

  Arab. “Uzrah.”

Footnote 201:

  _i.e._ “Thou art unjust and violent enough to wrong even the Caliph!”

Footnote 202:

  I may note that a “donkey-boy” like our “post-boy” can be of any age
  in Egypt.

Footnote 203:

  They could legally demand to be recouped but the chief would have
  found some pretext to put off payment. Such at least is the legal
  process of these days.

Footnote 204:

  _i.e._ drunk with the excess of his beauty.

Footnote 205:

  A delicate way of offering a fee. When officers commanding regiments
  in India contracted for clothing the men, they found these douceurs
  under their dinner-napkins. All that is now changed; but I doubt the
  change being an improvement: the public is plundered by a “Board”
  instead of an individual.

Footnote 206:

  This may mean, I should know her even were my eyes blue (or blind)
  with cataract and the Bresl. Edit. ix., 231, reads “Ayní” = my eye; or
  it may be, I should know her by her staring, glittering, hungry eyes,
  as opposed to the “Hawar” soft-black and languishing (Arab. Prov. i.
  115, and ii. 848). The Prophet said “blue-eyed (women) are of good
  omen.” And when one man reproached another saying “Thou art Azrak”
  (blue-eyed!) he retorted, “So is the falcon!” “Zurk-an” in Kor. xx.
  102, is translated by Mr. Rod well “leaden eyes.” It ought to be
  blue-eyed, dim-sighted, purblind.

Footnote 207:

  Arab. “Zalábiyah bi-’Asal.”

Footnote 208:

  Arab. “Ká’ah,” their mess-room, barracks.

Footnote 209:

  _i.e._ Camel shoulder-blade.

Footnote 210:

  So in the Brazil you are invited to drink a _copa d’agua_ and find a
  splendid banquet. There is a smack of Chinese ceremony in this
  practice which lingers throughout southern Europe; but the less
  advanced society is, the more it is fettered by ceremony and
  “etiquette.”

Footnote 211:

  The Bresl. Edit. (ix. 239) prefers these lines:—

  Some of us be hawks and some sparrow-hawks, ✿ And vultures some which
     at carrion pike;
  And maidens deem all alike we be ✿ But, save in our turbands, we’re
     not alike.

Footnote 212:

  Arab. Shar’a = holy law; here it especially applies to Al-Kisás = _lex
  talionis_, which would order her eye-tooth to be torn out.

Footnote 213:

  _i.e._, of the Afghans. Sulaymáni is the Egypt and Hijazi term for an
  Afghan and the proverb says “Sulaymáni harámi”—the Afghan is a
  villainous man. See Pilgrimage i. 59, which gives them a better
  character. The Bresl. Edit. simply says, “King Sulaymán.”



              THE ADVENTURES OF MERCURY ALI OF CAIRO.[214]


Now as regards the works of Mercury ’Alí; there lived once at
Cairo,[215] in the days of Saláh the Egyptian, who was Chief of the
Cairo Police and had forty men under him, a sharper named Ali, for whom
the Master of Police used to set snares and think that he had fallen
therein; but, when they sought for him, they found that he had fled like
zaybak, or quicksilver, wherefore they dubbed him Ali Zaybak or Mercury
Ali of Cairo. Now one day, as he sat with his men in his hall, his heart
became heavy within him and his breast was straitened. The hall-keeper
saw him sitting with frowning face and said to him, “What aileth thee, O
my Chief? If thy breast be straitened take a turn in the streets of
Cairo, for assuredly walking in her markets will do away with thy irk.”
So he rose up and went out and threaded the streets awhile, but only
increased in cark and care. Presently, he came to a wine-shop and said
to himself, “I will go in and drink myself drunken.” So he entered and
seeing seven rows of people in the shop, said, “Harkye, taverner! I will
not sit except by myself.” Accordingly, the vintner placed him in a
chamber alone and set strong pure wine before him whereof he drank till
he lost his senses. Then he sallied forth again and walked till he came
to the road called Red, whilst the people left the street clear before
him, out of fear of him. Presently, he turned and saw a water-carrier
trudging along, with his skin and gugglet, crying out and saying, “O
exchange! There is no drink but what raisins make, there is no
love-delight but what of the lover we take and none sitteth in the place
of honour save the sensible freke[216]!” So he said to him, “Here, give
me to drink!” The water-carrier looked at him and gave him the gugglet
which he took and gazing into it, shook it up and lastly poured it out
on the ground. Asked the water-carrier, “Why dost thou not drink?”; and
he answered, saying, “Give me to drink.” So the man filled the cup a
second time and he took it and shook it and emptied it on the ground;
and thus he did a third time. Quoth the water-carrier, “An thou wilt not
drink, I will be off.” And Ali said, “Give me to drink.” So he filled
the cup a fourth time and gave it to him; and he drank and gave the man
a dinar. The water-carrier looked at him with disdain and said,
belittling him, “Good luck to thee! Good luck to thee, my lad! Little
folk are one thing and great folk another!”——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Ninth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
water-carrier receiving the dinar, looked at the giver with disdain and
said, “Good luck to thee! Good luck to thee! Little folk are one thing
and great folk another.” Now when Mercury Ali heard this, he caught hold
of the man’s gaberdine and drawing on him a poignard of price, such an
one as that whereof the poet speaketh in these two couplets:—

 Watered steel-blade, the world perfection calls, ✿ Drunk with the viper
    poison foes appals,
 Cuts lively, burns the blood whene’er it falls; ✿ And picks up gems from
    pave of marble halls;[217]

cried to him, “O Shaykh, speak reasonably to me! Thy water-skin is worth
if dear three dirhams, and the gugglets I emptied on the ground held a
pint or so of water.” Replied the water-carrier “’Tis well,” and Ali
rejoined, “I gave thee a golden ducat: why, then dost thou belittle me?
Say me, hast thou ever seen any more valiant than I or more generous
than I?” Answered the water-carrier; “I have indeed, seen one more
valiant than thou and eke more generous than thou; for, never, since
women bare children, was there on earth’s face a brave man who was not
generous.” Quoth Ali, “and who is he thou deemest braver and more
generous than I?” Quoth the other, “Thou must know that I have had a
strange adventure. My father was a Shaykh of the Water-carriers who give
drink in Cairo and, when he died, he left me five male camels, a
he-mule, a shop and a house; but the poor man is never satisfied; or, if
he be satisfied he dieth. So I said to myself:—I will go up to Al-Hijaz;
and, taking a string of camels, bought goods on tick, till I had run in
debt for five hundred ducats, all of which I lost in the pilgrimage.
Then I said in my mind:—If I return to Cairo the folk will clap me in
jail for their goods. So I fared with the pilgrims-caravan of Damascus
to Aleppo and thence I went on to Baghdad, where I sought out the Shaykh
of the Water-carriers of the city and finding his house I went in and
repeated the opening chapter of the Koran to him. He questioned me of my
case and I told him all that had betided me, whereupon he assigned me a
shop and gave me a water-skin and gear. So I sallied forth a-morn
trusting in Allah to provide, and went round about the city. I offered
the gugglet to one, that he might drink; but he cried, I have eaten
naught whereon to drink; for a niggard invited me this day and set two
gugglets before me; so I said to him:—O son of the sordid, hast thou
given me aught to eat that thou offerest me drink after it? Wherefore
wend thy ways, O water-carrier, till I have eaten somewhat: then come
and give me to drink.” Thereupon I accosted another and he said:—Allah
provide thee! And so I went on till noon, without taking hansel, and I
said to myself, Would Heaven I had never come to Baghdad! Presently, I
saw the folk running as fast as they could; so I followed them and
behold, a long file of men riding two and two and clad in steel, with
double neck-rings and felt bonnets and burnouses and swords and
bucklers. I asked one of the folk whose suite this was, and he answered,
That of Captain Ahmad al-Danaf. Quoth I, And what is he? and quoth the
other, He is town-captain of Baghdad and her Divan, and to him is
committed the care of the suburbs. He getteth a thousand dinars a month
from the Caliph and Hasan Shuman hath the like. Moreover, each of his
men draweth an hundred dinars a month; and they are now returning to
their barrack from the Divan. And lo! Calamity Ahmad saw me and cried
out, Come give me drink. So I filled the cup and gave it him, and he
shook it and emptied it out, like unto thee; and thus he did a second
time. Then I filled the cup a third time and he took a draught as thou
diddest; after which he asked me, O water-carrier, whence comest thou?
And I answered, From Cairo, and he, Allah keep Cairo and her citizens!
What may bring thee thither? So I told him my story and gave him to
understand that I was a debtor fleeing from debt and distress. He cried,
Thou art welcome to Baghdad; then he gave me five dinars and said to his
men, For the love of Allah be generous to him. So each of them gave me a
dinar and Ahmad said to me, O Shaykh, what while thou abidest in Baghdad
thou shalt have of us the like every time thou givest us to drink.
Accordingly, I paid them frequent visits and good ceased not to come to
me from the folk till, one day, reckoning up the profit I had made of
them, I found it a thousand dinars and said to myself, The best thing
thou canst do is to return to Egypt. So I went to Ahmad’s house and
kissed his hand, and he said, What seekest thou? Quoth I, I have a mind
to depart; and I repeated these two couplets:—

 Sojourn of stranger, in whatever land, ✿ Is like the castle based upon
    the wind:
 The breaths of breezes level all he raised. ✿ And so on homeward-way’s
    the stranger’s mind.

I added, The caravan is about to start for Cairo and I wish to return to
my people. So he gave me a she-mule and an hundred dinars and said to
me, I desire to send somewhat by thee, O Shaykh! Dost thou know the
people of Cairo? Yes, answered I;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.


           Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Tenth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ahmad
al-Danaf had given the water-carrier a she-mule and an hundred dinars
and said to him, “I desire to send a trust by thee. Dost thou know the
people of Cairo?” I answered (quoth the water-carrier), “Yes; and he
said, Take this letter and carry it to Ali Zaybak of Cairo and say to
him, Thy Captain saluteth thee and he is now with the Caliph. So I took
the letter and journeyed back to Cairo, where I paid my debts and plied
my water-carrying trade; but I have not delivered the letter, because I
know not the abode of Mercury Ali.” Quoth Ali, “O elder, be of good
cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear: I am that Ali, the first of
the lads of Captain Ahmad: here with the letter!” So he gave him the
missive and he opened it and read these two couplets:—

 “O adornment of beauties to thee write I ✿ On a paper that flies as the
    winds go by:
 Could I fly, I had flown to their arms in desire, ✿ But a bird with cut
    wings; how shall ever he fly?”

“But after salutation from Captain Ahmad al-Danaf to the eldest of his
sons, Mercury Ali of Cairo. Thou knowest that I tormented Salah al-Din
the Cairene and befooled him till I buried him alive and reduced his
lads to obey me, and amongst them Ali Kitf al-Jamal; and I am now become
town-captain of Baghdad in the Divan of the Caliph who hath made me
overseer of the suburbs. An thou be still mindful of our covenant, come
to me; haply thou shalt play some trick in Baghdad which may promote
thee to the Caliph’s service, so he may appoint thee stipends and
allowances and assign thee a lodging, which is what thou wouldst see and
so peace be on thee.” When Ali read this letter, he kissed it and laying
it on his head, gave the water-carrier ten dinars; after which he
returned to his barracks and told his comrades and said to them, “I
commend you one to other.” Then he changed all his clothes and, donning
a travelling cloak and a tarboosh, took a case, containing a spear of
bamboo-cane, four-and-twenty cubits long, made in several pieces, to fit
into one another. Quoth his lieutenant, “Wilt thou go a journey when the
treasury is empty?”; and quoth Ali, “When I reach Damascus I will send
you what shall suffice you.” Then he set out and fared on, till he
overtook a caravan about to start, whereof were the Shahbandar, or
Provost of the Merchants, and forty other traders. They had all loaded
their beasts, except the Provost, whose loads lay upon the ground, and
Ali heard his caravan-leader, who was a Syrian, say to the muleteers,
“Bear a hand, one of you!” But they reviled him and abused him. Quoth
Ali in himself, “None will suit me so well to travel withal as this
leader.” Now Ali was beardless and well-favoured; so he went up to and
saluted the leader who welcomed him and said, “What seekest thou?”
Replied Ali, “O my uncle, I see thee alone with forty mule-loads of
goods; but why hast thou not brought hands to help thee?” Rejoined the
other, “O my son, I hired two lads and clothed them and put in each
one’s pocket two hundred dinars; and they helped me till we came to the
Dervishes’ Convent,[218] when they ran away.” Quoth Ali, “Whither are
you bound?” and quoth the Syrian, “to Aleppo,” when Ali said, “I will
lend thee a hand.” Accordingly they loaded the beasts and the Provost
mounted his she-mule and they set out he rejoicing in Ali; and presently
he loved him and made much of him and on this wise they fared on till
nightfall, when they dismounted and ate and drank. Then came the time of
sleep and Ali lay down on his side and made as if he slept; whereupon
the Syrian stretched himself near him and Ali rose from his stead and
sat down at the door of the merchant’s pavilion. Presently, the Syrian
turned over and would have taken Ali in his arms, but found him not and
said to himself, “Haply he hath promised another and he hath taken him;
but I have the first right and another night I will keep him.” Now Ali
continued sitting at the door of the tent till nigh upon daybreak, when
he returned and lay down near the Syrian, who found him by his side,
when he awoke, and said to himself, “If I ask him where he hath been, he
will leave me and go away.” So he dissembled with him and they went on
till they came to a forest, in which was a cave, where dwelt a rending
lion. Now whenever a caravan passed, they would draw lots among
themselves and him on whom the lot fell they would throw to the beast.
So they drew lots and the lot fell not save upon the Provost of the
Merchants. And lo! the lion cut off their way awaiting his pray,
wherefore the Provost was sore distressed and said to the leader, “Allah
disappoint the fortunes[219] of the far one and bring his journey to
naught! I charge thee, after my death, give my loads to my children.”
Quoth Ali the Clever One, “What meaneth all this?” So they told him the
case and he said, “Why do ye run from the tom-cat of the desert? I
warrant you I will kill him.” So the Syrian went to the Provost and told
him of this and he said, “If he slay him, I will give him a thousand
dinars,” and said the other merchants, “We will reward him likewise one
and all.” With this Ali put off his mantle and there appeared upon him a
suit of steel; then he took a chopper of steel[220] and opening it
turned the screw; after which he went forth alone and standing in the
road before the lion, cried out to him. The lion ran at him, but Ali of
Cairo smote him between the eyes with his chopper and cut him in sunder,
whilst the caravan-leader and the merchants looked on. Then said he to
the leader, “Have no fear, O nuncle!” and the Syrian answered, saying,
“O my son, I am thy servant for all future time.” Then the Provost
embraced him and kissed him between the eyes and gave him the thousand
dinars, and each of the other merchants gave him twenty dinars. He
deposited all the coin with the Provost and they slept that night till
the morning, when they set out again, intending for Baghdad, and fared
on till they came to the Lion’s Clump and the Wady of Dogs, where lay a
villain Badawi, a brigand and his tribe, who sallied forth on them. The
folk fled from the highwaymen, and the Provost said, “My monies are
lost!”; when, lo! up came Ali in a buff coat hung with bells, and
bringing out his long lance, fitted the pieces together. Then he seized
one of the Arab’s horses and mounting it cried out to the Badawi Chief,
saying, “Come out to fight me with spears!” Moreover he shook his bells
and the Arab’s mare took fright at the noise and Ali struck the chief’s
spear and broke it. Then he smote him on the neck and cut off his
head.[221] When the Badawin saw their chief fall, they ran at Ali, but
he cried out, saying, “Allaho Akbar—God is Most Great!”—and, falling on
them broke them and put them to flight. Then he raised the Chief’s head
on his spear-point and returned to the merchants, who rewarded him
liberally and continued their journey, till they reached Baghdad.
Thereupon Ali took his money from the Provost and committed it to the
Syrian caravan-leader, saying, “When thou returnest to Cairo, ask for my
barracks and give these monies to my deputy.” Then he slept that night
and on the morrow he entered the city and threading the streets enquired
for Calamity Ahmad’s quarters; but none would direct him thereto.[222]
So he walked on, till he came to the square Al-Nafz, where he saw
children at play, and amongst them a lad called Ahmad al-Lakít,[223] and
said to himself, “O my Ali, thou shalt not get news of them but from
their little ones.” Then he turned and seeing a sweetmeat-seller bought
Halwá of him and called to the children; but Ahmad al-Lakit drove the
rest away and coming up to him, said, “What seekest thou?” Quoth Ali, “I
had a son and he died and I saw him in a dream asking for sweetmeats:
wherefore I have bought them and wish to give each child a bit.” So
saying, he gave Ahmad a slice, and he looked at it and seeing a dinar
sticking to it, said, “Begone! I am no catamite: seek another than I.”
Quoth Ali, “O my son, none but a sharp fellow taketh the hire, even as
he is a sharp one who giveth it. I have sought all day for Ahmad
al-Danaf’s barrack, but none would direct me thereto; so this dinar is
thine an thou wilt guide me thither.” Quoth the lad, “I will run before
thee and do thou keep up with me, till I come to the place, when I will
catch up a pebble with my foot[224] and kick it against the door; and so
shalt thou know it.” Accordingly he ran on and Ali after him, till they
came to the place, when the boy caught up a pebble between his toes and
kicked it against the door so as to make the place known.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ahmad the
Abortion had made known the place, Ali laid hold of him and would have
taken the dinar from him, but could not; so he said to him, “Go: thou
deservest largesse for thou art a sharp fellow, whole of wit and stout
of heart. Inshallah, if I become a captain to the Caliph, I will make
thee one of my lads.” Then the boy made off and Ali Zaybak went up to
the door and knocked; whereupon quoth Ahmad al-Danaf, “O doorkeeper,
open the door; that is the knock of Quicksilver Ali the Cairene.” So he
opened the door and Ali entered and saluted with the salam Ahmad who
embraced him, and the Forty greeted him. Then Calamity Ahmad gave him a
suit of clothes, saying, “When the Caliph made me captain, he clothed my
lads and I kept this suit[225] for thee.” Then they seated him in the
place of honour and setting on meat they ate well and drink they drank
hard and made merry till the morning, when Ahmad said to Ali, “Beware
thou walk not about the streets of Baghdad, but sit thee still in this
barrack.” Asked Ali, “Why so? Have I come hither to be shut up? No, I
came to look about me and divert myself.” Replied Ahmad, “O my son,
think not that Baghdad be like Cairo. Baghdad is the seat of the
Caliphate; sharpers abound therein and rogueries spring therefrom as
worts spring out of earth.” So Ali abode in the barrack three days when
Ahmad said to him, “I wish to present thee to the Caliph, that he may
assign thee an allowance.” But he replied, “When the time cometh.” So he
let him go his own way. One day, as Ali sat in the barrack, his breast
became straitened and his soul troubled and he said in himself, “Come,
let us up and thread the ways of Baghdad and broaden my bosom.” So he
went out and walked from street to street, till he came to the middle
bazar, where he entered a cook-shop and dined;[226] after which he went
out to wash his hands. Presently he saw forty slaves, with felt bonnets
and steel cutlasses, come walking, two by two; and last of all came
Dalilah the Wily, mounted on a she-mule, with a gilded helmet which bore
a ball of polished steel, and clad in a coat of mail, and such like. Now
she was returning from the Divan to the Khan of which she was portress;
and when she espied Ali, she looked at him fixedly and saw that he
resembled Calamity Ahmad in height and breadth. Moreover, he was clad in
a striped Abá-cloak and a burnous, with a steel cutlass by his side and
similar gear, while valour shone from his eyes, testifying in favour of
him and not in disfavour of him. So she returned to the Khan and going
in to her daughter, fetched a table of sand, and struck a geomantic
figure, whereby she discovered that the stranger’s name was Ali of Cairo
and that his fortune overcame her fortune and that of her daughter.
Asked Zaynab, “O my mother, what hath befallen thee that thou hast
recourse to the sand-table?” Answered Dalilah, “O my daughter, I have
seen this day a young man who resembleth Calamity Ahmad, and I fear lest
he come to hear how thou didst strip Ahmad and his men and enter the
Khan and play us a trick, in revenge for what we did with his chief and
the forty; for methinks he has taken up his lodging in al-Danaf’s
barrack.” Zaynab rejoined, “What is this? Methinks thou hast taken his
measure.” Then she donned her fine clothes and went out into the
streets. When the people saw her, they all made love to her and she
promised and sware and listened and coquetted and passed from market to
market, till she saw Ali the Cairene coming, when she went up to him and
rubbed her shoulder against him. Then she turned and said, “Allah give
long life to folk of discrimination!” Quoth he, “How goodly is thy form!
To whom dost thou belong?”; and quoth she, “To the gallant[227] like
thee;” and he said, “Art thou wife or spinster?” “Married,” said she.
Asked Ali, “Shall it be in my lodging or thine?”[228] and she answered,
“I am a merchant’s daughter and a merchant’s wife and in all my life I
have never been out of doors till to-day, and my only reason was that
when I made ready food and thought to eat, I had no mind thereto without
company. When I saw thee, love of thee entered my heart: so wilt thou
deign solace my soul and eat a mouthful with me?” Quoth he, “Whoso is
invited, let him accept.” Thereupon she went on and he followed her from
street to street, but presently he bethought himself and said, “What
wilt thou do and thou a stranger? Verily ’tis said:—Whoso doth whoredom
in his strangerhood, Allah will send him back disappointed. But I will
put her off from thee with fair words.” So he said to her, “Take this
dinar and appoint me a day other than this;” and she said, “By the
Mighty Name, it may not be but thou shalt go home with me as my guest
this very day and I will take thee to fast friend.” So he followed her
till she came to a house with a lofty porch and a wooden bolt on the
door and said to him, “Open this lock.”[229] Asked he “Where is the
key?”; and she answered, “’Tis lost.” Quoth he, “Whoso openeth a lock
without a key is a knave whom it behoveth the ruler to punish, and I
know not how to open doors without keys?[230]” With this she raised her
veil and showed him her face, whereat he took one glance of eyes that
cost him a thousand sighs. Then she let fall her veil on the lock and
repeating over it the names of the mother of Moses, opened it without a
key and entered. He followed her and saw swords and steel-weapons
hanging up; and she put off her veil and sat down with him. Quoth he to
himself, “Accomplish what Allah hath decreed to thee,” and bent over
her, to take a kiss of her cheek; but she caught the kiss upon her palm,
saying, “This beseemeth not but by night.” Then she brought a tray of
food and wine, and they ate and drank; after which she rose and drawing
water from the well, poured it from the ewer over his hands, whilst he
washed them. Now whilst they were on this wise, she cried out and beat
upon her breast, saying, “My husband had a signet-ring of ruby, which
was pledged to him for five hundred dinars, and I put it on; but ’twas
too large for me, so I straitened it with wax, and when I let down the
bucket,[231] that ring must have dropped into the well. So turn thy face
to the door, the while I doff my dress and go down into the well and
fetch it.” Quoth Ali, “’Twere shame on me that thou shouldst go down
there I being present; none shall do it save I.” So he put off his
clothes and tied the rope about himself and she let him down into the
well. Now there was much water therein and she said to him, “The rope is
too short; loose thyself and drop down.” So he did himself loose from
the rope and dropped into the water, in which he sank fathoms deep
without touching bottom; whilst she donned her mantilla and taking his
clothes, returned to her mother——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.


          Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali of Cairo
was in the well, Zaynab donned her mantilla and, taking his clothes,
returned to her mother and said, “I have stripped Ali the Egyptian and
cast him into the Emir Hasan’s well, whence alas for his chance of
escaping!”[232] Presently, the Emir Hasan, the master of the house, who
had been absent at the Divan, came home and, finding the door open, said
to his Syce, “Why didst thou not draw the bolt?” “O my lord,” replied
the groom, “indeed I locked it with my own hand.” The Emir cried, “As my
head liveth, some robber hath entered my house!” Then he went in and
searched, but found none and said to the groom, “Fill the ewer, that I
may make the Wuzu-ablution.” So the man lowered the bucket into the well
but, when he drew it up, he found it heavy and looking down, saw
something therein sitting; whereupon he let it fall into the water and
cried out, saying, “O my lord, an Ifrit came up to me out of the well!”
Replied the Emir, “Go and fetch four doctors of the law, that they may
read the Koran over him, till he go away.” So he fetched the doctors and
the Emir said to them, “Sit round this well and exorcise me this Ifrit.”
They did as he bade them; after which the groom and another servant
lowered the bucket again and Ali clung to it and hid himself under it
patiently till he came near the top, when he sprang out and landed among
the doctors, who fell a-cuffing one another and crying out, “Ifrit!
Ifrit!” The Emir looked at Ali and seeing him a young man, said to him,
“Art thou a thief?” “No,” replied Ali; “Then what dost thou in the
well?” asked the Emir; and Ali answered, “I was asleep and dreamt a wet
dream;[233] so I went down to the Tigris to wash myself and dived,
whereupon the current carried me under the earth and I came up in this
well.” Quoth the other, “Tell the truth.”[234] So Ali told him all that
had befallen him, and the Emir gave him an old gown and let him go. He
returned to Calamity Ahmad’s lodging and related to him all that had
passed. Quoth Ahmad, “Did I not warn thee that Baghdad is full of women
who play tricks upon men?” And quoth Ali Kitf al-Jamal, “I conjure thee
by the Mighty Name, tell me how it is that thou art the chief of the
lads of Cairo and yet hast been stripped by a girl?” This was grievous
to Ali and he repented him of not having followed Ahmad’s advice. Then
the Calamity gave him another suit of clothes and Hasan Shuman said to
him, “Dost thou know the young person?” “No,” replied Ali; and Hasan
rejoined, “’Twas Zaynab, the daughter of Dalilah the Wily, the portress
of the Caliph’s Khan; and hast thou fallen into her toils, O Ali?” Quoth
he, “Yes,” and quoth Hasan, “O Ali, ’twas she who took thy Chief’s
clothes and those of all his men.” “This is a disgrace to you all!” “And
what thinkest thou to do?” “I purpose to marry her.” “Put away that
thought far from thee, and console thy heart of her.” “O Hasan, do thou
counsel me how I shall do to marry her.” “With all my heart: if thou
wilt drink from my hand and march under my banner, I will bring thee to
thy will of her.” “I will well.” So Hasan made Ali put off his clothes;
and, taking a cauldron heated therein somewhat as it were pitch,
wherewith he anointed him and he became like unto a blackamoor slave.
Moreover, he smeared his lips and cheeks and pencilled his eyes with red
Kohl.[235] Then he clad him in a slave’s habit and giving him a tray of
kabobs and wine, said to him, “There is a black cook in the Khan who
requires from the bazar only meat; and thou art now become his like; so
go thou to him civilly and accost him in friendly fashion and speak to
him in the blacks’ lingo, and salute him, saying, ’Tis long since we met
in the beer-ken. He will answer thee, I have been too busy: on my hands
be forty slaves, for whom I cook dinner and supper, besides making ready
a tray for Dalilah and the like for her daughter Zaynab and the dogs’
food. And do thou say to him, Come, let us eat kabobs and lush
swipes.[236] Then go with him into the saloon and make him drunken and
question him of his service, how many dishes and what dishes he hath to
cook, and ask him of the dogs’ food and the keys of the kitchen and the
larder; and he will tell thee; for a man, when he is drunken, telleth
all he would conceal were he sober. When thou hast done this drug him
and don his clothes and sticking the two knives in thy girdle, take the
vegetable-basket and go to the market and buy meat and greens, with
which do thou return to the Khan and enter the kitchen and the larder
and cook the food. Dish it up and put Bhang in it, so as to drug the
dogs and the slaves and Dalilah and Zaynab and lastly serve up. When all
are asleep, hie thee to the upper chamber and bring away every suit of
clothes thou wilt find hanging there. And if thou have a mind to marry
Zaynab, bring with thee also the forty carrier-pigeons.” So Ali went to
the Khan and going in to the cook, saluted him and said, “’Tis long
since I have met thee in the beer-ken.” The slave replied, “I have been
busy cooking for the slaves and the dogs.” Then he took him and making
him drunken, questioned him of his work. Quoth the kitchener, “Every day
I cook five dishes for dinner and the like for supper; and yesterday
they sought of me a sixth dish,[237] yellow rice,[238] and a seventh, a
mess of cooked pomegranate seed.” Ali asked, “And what is the order of
thy service?” and the slave answered, “First I serve up Zaynab’s tray,
next Dalilah’s; then I feed the slaves and give the dogs their
sufficiency of meat, and the least that satisfies them is a pound each.”
But, as fate would have it, he forgot to ask him of the keys. Then he
drugged him and donned his clothes; after which he took the basket and
went to the market. There he bought meat and greens.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ali of Cairo,
after drugging the cook-slave with Bhang, took the two knives which he
stuck in his belt and, carrying the vegetable-basket, went to the market
where he bought meat and greens; and, presently returning to the Khan,
he saw Dalilah seated at the gate, watching those who went in and came
out, and the forty slaves with her, armed. So he heartened his heart and
entered; but Dalilah knew him and said to him, “Back, O captain of
thieves! Wilt thou play a trick on me in the Khan?” Thereupon he
(dressed as a slave) turned and said to her, “What sayest thou, O
portress?” She asked, “What hast thou done with the slave, our cook?;
say me if thou hast killed or drugged him?” He answered, “What cook? Is
there here another slave-cook than I?” She rejoined, “Thou liest, thou
art Mercury Ali the Cairene.” And he said to her, in slaves’ patois, “O
portress, are the Cairenes black or white? I will slave for you no
longer.” Then said the slaves to him, “What is the matter with thee, O
our cousin?” Cried Dalilah, “This is none of your uncle’s children, but
Ali Zaybak the Egyptian; and meseems he hath either drugged your cousin
or killed him.” But they said, “Indeed this is our cousin Sa’adu’llah
the cook;” and she, “Not so, ’tis Mercury Ali, and he hath dyed his
skin.” Quoth the sharper, “And who is Ali? I am Sa’adu’llah.” Then she
fetched unguent of proof, with which she anointed Ali’s forearm and
rubbed it; but the black did not come off; whereupon quoth the slaves,
“Let him go and dress us our dinner.” Quoth Dalilah, “If he be indeed
your cousin, he knoweth what you sought of him yesternight[239] and how
many dishes he cooketh every day.” So they asked him of this and he
said, “Every day I cook you five dishes for the morning and the like for
the evening meal, lentils and rice and broth and stew[240] and sherbet
of roses; and yesternight ye sought of me a sixth dish and a seventh, to
wit yellow rice and cooked pomegranate seed.” And the slaves said
“Right!” Then quoth Dalilah, “In with him and if he know the kitchen and
the larder, he is indeed your cousin; but, if not, kill him.” Now the
cook had a cat which he had brought up, and whenever he entered the
kitchen it would stand at the door and spring to his back, as soon as he
went in. So, when Ali entered, the cat saw him and jumped on his
shoulders; but he threw it off and it ran before him to the door of the
kitchen and stopped there. He guessed that this was the kitchen door; so
he took the keys and seeing one with traces of feathers thereon, knew it
for the kitchen key and therewith opened the door. Then he entered and
setting down the greens, went out again, led by the cat, which ran
before him and stopped at another door. He guessed that this was the
larder and seeing one of the keys marked with grease, knew it for the
key and opened the door therewith; whereupon quoth the slaves, “O
Dalilah, were he a stranger, he had not known the kitchen and the
larder, nor had he been able to distinguish the keys thereof from the
rest; verily, he is our cousin Sa’adu’llah.” Quoth she, “He learned the
places from the cat and distinguished the keys one from the other by the
appearance: but this cleverness imposeth not upon _me_.” Then he
returned to the kitchen where he cooked the dinner and, carrying
Zaynab’s tray up to her room, saw all the stolen clothes hanging up;
after which he went down and took Dalilah her tray and gave the slaves
and the dogs their rations. The like he did at sundown and drugged
Dalilah’s food and that of Zaynab and the slaves. Now the doors of the
Khan were opened and shut with the sun. So Ali went forth and cried out,
saying, “O dwellers in the Khan, the watch is set and we have loosed the
dogs; whoso stirreth out after this can blame none save himself.” But he
had delayed the dogs’ supper and put poison therein; consequently when
he set it before them, they ate of it and died while the slaves and
Dalilah and Zaynab still slept under Bhang. Then he went up and took all
the clothes and the carrier-pigeons and, opening the gate, made off to
the barrack of the Forty, where he found Hasan Shuman the Pestilence who
said to him, “How hast thou fared?” Thereupon he told him what had
passed and he praised him. Then he caused him put off his clothes and
boiled a decoction of herbs wherewith he washed him, and his skin became
white as it was; after which he donned his own dress and going back to
the Khan, clad the cook in the habit he had taken from him and made him
smell to the counter-drug; upon which the slave awoke and going forth to
the greengrocer’s, bought vegetables and returned to the Khan. Such was
the case with Al-Zaybak of Cairo; but as regards Dalilah the Wily, when
the day broke, one of the lodgers in the Khan came out of his chamber
and, seeing the gate open and the slaves drugged and the dogs dead, he
went in to her and found her lying drugged, with a scroll on her neck
and at her head a sponge steeped in the counter-drug. He set the sponge
to her nostrils and she awoke and asked, “Where am I?” The merchant
answered, “When I came down from my chamber I saw the gate of the Khan
open and the dogs dead and found the slaves and thee drugged.” So she
took up the paper and read therein these words, “None did this deed save
Ali the Egyptian.” Then she awoke the slaves and Zaynab by making them
smell the counter-Bhang and said to them, “Did I not tell you that this
was Ali of Cairo?”; presently adding to the slaves, “But do ye conceal
the matter.” Then she said to her daughter, “How often have I warned
thee that Ali would not forego his revenge? He hath done this deed in
requital of that which thou diddest with him and he had it in his power
to do with thee other than this thing; but he refrained therefrom out of
courtesy and a desire that there should be love and friendship between
us.” So saying, she doffed her man’s gear and donned woman’s attire[241]
and, tying the kerchief of peace about her neck, repaired to Ahmad
al-Danaf’s barrack. Now when Ali entered with the clothes and the
carrier-pigeons, Hasan Shuman gave the hall-keeper the price of forty
pigeons and he bought them and cooked them amongst the men. Presently
there came a knock at the door and Ahmad said, “That is Dalilah’s knock:
rise and open to her, O hall-keeper.” So he admitted her and——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Dalilah
was admitted, Hasan asked her, “What bringeth thee hither, O ill-omened
old woman? Verily, thou and thy brother Zurayk the fishmonger are of a
piece!”; and she answered, “O captain I am in the wrong and this my neck
is at thy mercy; but tell me which of you it was that played me this
trick?” Quoth Calamity Ahmad, “’Twas the first of my lads.” Rejoined
Dalilah, “For the sake of Allah intercede with him to give me back the
carrier-pigeons and what not, and thou wilt lay me under great
obligation.” When Hasan heard this he said, “Allah requite thee, O Ali!
Why didst thou cook the pigeons?”; and Ali answered, “I knew not that
they were carrier-pigeons.” Then said Ahmad, “O hall-keeper bring us the
cooked pigeons.” So he brought them and Dalilah took a piece and tasting
it, said, “This is none of the carrier-pigeons’ flesh, for I fed them on
grains of musk and their meat is become even as musk.” Quoth Shuman, “An
thou desire to have the carrier-pigeons, comply with Ali’s will.” Asked
she “What is that?” And Hasan answered, “He would have thee marry him to
thy daughter Zaynab.” She said, “I have not command over her except of
affection”; and Hasan said to Ali the Cairene “Give her the pigeons.” So
he gave them to her, and she took them and rejoiced in them. Then quoth
Hasan to her, “There is no help but thou return us a sufficient reply”;
and Dalilah rejoined, “If it be indeed his wish to marry her, it availed
nothing to play this clever trick upon us: it behoveth him rather to
demand her in marriage of her mother’s brother and her guardian, Captain
Zurayk, him who crieth out, saying:—Ho! a pound of fish for two
farthings! and who hangeth up in his shop a purse containing two
thousand dinars.” When the Forty heard this, they all rose and cried
out, saying, “What manner of blather is this, O harlot? Dost thou wish
to bereave us of our brother Ali of Cairo?” Then she returned to the
Khan and said to her daughter, “Ali the Egyptian seeketh thee in
marriage.” Whereat Zaynab rejoiced, for she loved him because of his
chaste forbearance towards her,[242] and asked her mother what had
passed. So she told her, adding, “I made it a condition that he should
demand thy hand of thine uncle, so I might make him fall into
destruction.” Meanwhile Ali turned to his fellows and asked them, “What
manner of man is this Zurayk?”; and they answered, “He was chief of the
sharpers of Al-Irak land and could all but pierce mountains and lay hold
upon the stars. He would steal the Kohl from the eye and, in brief, he
had not his match for roguery; but he hath repented his sins and
forsworn his old way of life and opened him a fishmonger’s shop. And now
he hath amassed two thousand dinars by the sale of fish and laid them in
a purse with strings of silk, to which he hath tied bells and rings and
rattles of brass, hung on a peg within the doorway. Every time he
openeth his shop he suspendeth the said purse and crieth out,
saying:—Where are ye, O sharpers of Egypt, O prigs of Al-Irak, O
tricksters of Ajam-land? Behold, Zurayk the fishmonger hath hung up a
purse in front of his shop, and whoso pretendeth to craft and cunning,
and can take it by sleight, it is his. So the long fingered and
greedy-minded come and try to take the purse, but cannot; for, whilst he
frieth his fish and tendeth the fire, he layeth at his feet scone-like
circles of lead; and whenever a thief thinketh to take him unawares and
maketh a snatch at the purse he casteth at him a load of lead and
slayeth him or doeth him a damage. So O Ali, wert thou to tackle him,
thou wouldst be as one who jostleth a funeral cortège, unknowing who is
dead;[243] for thou art no match for him, and we fear his mischief for
thee. Indeed, thou hast no call to marry Zaynab, and he who leaveth a
thing alone liveth without it.” Cried Ali, “This were shame, O comrades;
needs must I take the purse: but bring me a young lady’s habit.” So they
brought him women’s clothes and he clad himself therein and stained his
hands with Henna, and modestly hung down his veil. Then he took a lamb
and killing it, cut out the long intestine[244] which he cleaned and
tied up below; moreover he filled it with the blood and bound it between
his thighs; after which he donned petticoat-trousers and walking boots.
He also made himself a pair of false breasts with birds’ crops and
filled them with thickened milk and tied round his hips and over his
belly a piece of linen, which he stuffed with cotton, girding himself
over all with a kerchief of silk well starched. Then he went out, whilst
all who saw him exclaimed, “What a fine pair of hind cheeks!” Presently
he saw an ass-driver coming, so he gave him a dinar and mounting, rode
till he came to Zurayk’s shop, where he saw the purse hung up and the
gold glittering through it. Now Zurayk was frying fish, and Ali said, “O
ass-man, what is that smell?” Replied he, “It’s the smell of Zurayk’s
fish.” Quoth Ali, “I am a woman with child and the smell harmeth me; go,
fetch me a slice of the fish.” So the donkey-boy said to Zurayk, “What
aileth thee to fry fish so early and annoy pregnant women with the
smell? I have here the wife of the Emir Hasan Sharr al-Tarik, and she is
with child; so give her a bit of fish, for the babe stirreth in her
womb. O Protector, O my God, avert from us the mischief of this day!”
Thereupon Zurayk took a piece of fish and would have fried it, but the
fire had gone out and he went in to rekindle it. Meanwhile Ali
dismounted and sitting down, pressed upon the lamb’s intestine till it
burst and the blood ran out from between his legs. Then he cried aloud,
saying, “O my back! O my side!” Whereupon the driver turned and seeing
the blood running, said, “What aileth thee, O my lady?” Replied Ali, “I
have miscarried”; whereupon Zurayk looked out and seeing the blood fled
affrighted into the inner shop. Quoth the donkey-driver, “Allah torment
thee, O Zurayk! The lady hath miscarried and thou art no match for her
husband. Why must thou make a stench so early in the morning? I said to
thee:—Bring her a slice, but thou wouldst not.” Thereupon, he took his
ass and went his way and, as Zurayk still did not appear, Ali put out
his hand to the purse; but no sooner had he touched it than the bells
and rattles and rings began to jingle and the gold to chink. Quoth
Zurayk, who returned at the sound, “Thy perfidy hath come to light, O
gallows-bird! Wilt thou put a cheat on me and thou in a woman’s habit?
Now take what cometh to thee!” And he threw a cake of lead at him, but
it went agley and lighted on another; whereupon the people rose against
Zurayk and said to him, “Art thou a tradesman, or a swashbuckler? An
thou be a tradesman, take down thy purse and spare the folk thy
mischief.” He replied, “Bismillah, in the name of Allah! On my head be
it.” As for Ali, he made off to the barrack and told Hasan Shuman what
had happened, after which he put off his woman’s gear and donning a
groom’s habit which was brought to him by his chief took a dish and five
dirhams. Then he returned to Zurayk’s shop and the fishmonger said to
him, “What dost thou want, O my master?”[245] He showed him the dirhams
and Zurayk would have given him of the fish in the tray, but he said, “I
will have none save hot fish.” So he set fish in the earthen pan and
finding the fire dead, went in to relight it; whereupon Ali put out his
hand to the purse and caught hold of the end of it. The rattles and
rings and bells jingled and Zurayk said, “Thy trick hath not deceived
me. I knew thee for all thou art disguised as a groom by the grip of thy
hand on the dish and the dirhams.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali of
Egypt put out his hand to the purse, the bells and rings jingled and
Zurayk said, “Thy trick hath not deceived me; for all thou comest
disguised as a groom I knew thee by the grip of thy hand on the dish and
the dirhams!” So saying, he threw the lead at him, but he avoided it and
it fell into the pan full of hot fish and broke it and overturned it,
fat and all, upon the breast and shoulders of the Kazi, who was passing.
The oil ran down inside his clothes to his privy parts and he cried out,
“O my privities! What a sad pickle you are in! Alas, unhappy I! Who hath
played me this trick?” Answered the people, “O our lord, it was some
small boy that threw a stone into the pan: but for Allah’s ward, it had
been worse.” Then they turned and seeing the loaf of lead and that it
was Zurayk who had thrown it, rose against him and said to him, “O
Zurayk, this is not allowed of Allah! Take down the purse or it shall go
ill for thee.” Answered he, “I will take it down, Inshallah!” Meanwhile
Ali returned to the barrack and told his comrades who cried, “Where is
the purse?”, all that had passed and they said, “Thou hast exhausted
two-thirds of his cunning.” Then he changed his groom’s dress for the
garb of a merchant and going out, met a snake-charmer, with a bag of
serpents and a wallet containing his kit to whom said he, “O charmer,
come and amuse my lads, and thou shalt have largesse.” So he accompanied
him to the barrack, where he fed him and drugging him with Bhang, doffed
his clothes and put them on. Then he took the bags and repairing to
Zurayk’s shop began to play the reed-pipe. Quoth Zurayk, “Allah provide
thee!” But Ali pulled out the serpents and cast them down before him;
whereat the fish-seller, who was afraid of snakes, fled from them into
the inner shop. Thereupon Ali picked up the reptiles and, thrusting them
back into the bag, stretched out his hand and caught hold of the end of
the purse. The rings again rang and the bells and rattles jangled, and
Zurayk cried, “Wilt thou never cease to play me tricks? Now thou
feignest thyself a serpent-charmer!” So saying, he took up a piece of
lead, and hurled it at Ali; but it missed him and fell on the head of a
groom, who was passing by, following his master, a trooper, and knocked
him down. Quoth the soldier, “Who felled him?”; and the folk said,
“’Twas a stone fell from the roof.” So the soldier passed on and the
people, seeing the piece of lead, went up to Zurayk and cried to him,
“Take down the purse!”; and he said, “Inshallah, I will take it down
this very night!” Ali ceased not to practice upon Zurayk till he had
made seven different attempts but without taking the purse. Then he
returned the snake-charmer his clothes and kit and gave him due
benevolence; after which he went back to Zurayk’s shop and heard him
say, “If I leave the purse here to-night, he will dig through the
shop-wall and take it; I will carry it home with me.” So he arose and
shut the shop; then he took down the purse and putting it in his bosom
set out home, till he came near his house, when he saw a wedding in a
neighbour’s lodging and said to himself, “I will hie me home and give my
wife the purse and don my fine clothes and return to the marriage.” And
Ali followed him. Now Zurayk had married a black girl, one of the freed
women of the Wazir Ja’afar and she had borne him a son, whom he named
Abdallah, and he had promised her to spend the money in the purse on the
occasion of the boy’s circumcision and of his marriage-procession. So he
went into his house and, as he entered, his wife saw that his face was
overcast and asked him, “What hath caused thy sadness?” Quoth he, “Allah
hath afflicted me this day with a rascal who made seven attempts to get
the purse, but without avail;” and quoth she, “Give it to me, that I may
lay it up against the boy’s festival-day.” (Now Ali, who had followed
him lay hidden in a closet whence he could see and hear all.) So he gave
her the purse and changed his clothes, saying, “Keep the purse safely, O
Umm Abdallah, for I am going to the wedding.” But she said, “Take thy
sleep awhile.” So he lay down and fell asleep. Presently, Ali rose and
going on tiptoe to the purse, took it and went to the house of the
wedding and stood there, looking on at the fun. Now meanwhile, Zurayk
dreamt that he saw a bird fly away with the purse and awaking in
affright, said to his wife, “Rise; look for the purse.” So she looked
and finding it gone, buffeted her face and said, “Alas the blackness of
thy fortune, O Umm Abdallah! A sharper hath taken the purse.” Quoth
Zurayk, “By Allah it can be none other than rascal Ali who hath plagued
me all day! He hath followed me home and seized the purse; and there is
no help but that I go and get it back.” Quoth she, “Except thou bring
it, I will lock on thee the door and leave thee to pass the night in the
street.” So he went up to the house of the wedding, and seeing Ali
looking on, said to himself, “This is he who took the purse; but he
lodgeth with Ahmad al-Danaf.” So he forewent him to the barrack and,
climbing up at the back, dropped down into the saloon, where he found
every one asleep. Presently there came a rap at the door and Zurayk
asked, “Who is there?” “Ali of Cairo,” answered the knocker; and Zurayk
said, “Hast thou brought the purse?” So Ali thought it was Hasan Shuman
and replied, “I have brought it;[246] open the door.” Quoth Zurayk,
“Impossible that I open to thee till I see the purse; for thy chief and
I have laid a wager about it.” Said Ali, “Put out thy hand.” So he put
out his hand through the hole in the side-door and Ali laid the purse in
it; whereupon Zurayk took it and going forth, as he had come in,
returned to the wedding. Ali stood for a long while at the door, but
none opened to him; and at last he gave a thundering knock that awoke
all the men and they said, “That is Ali of Cairo’s peculiar rap.” So the
hall-keeper opened to him and Hasan Shuman said to him, “Hast thou
brought the purse?” Replied Ali, “Enough of jesting, O Shuman: didst
thou not swear that thou wouldest not open to me till I showed thee the
purse, and did I not give it thee through the hole in the side door? And
didst thou not say to me, I am sworn never to open the door till thou
show me the purse?” Quoth Hasan, “By Allah, ’twas not I who took it, but
Zurayk!” Quoth Ali, “Needs must I get it again,” and repaired to the
house of the wedding, where he heard the buffoon[247] say, “Bravo,[248]
O Abu Abdallah! Good luck to thee with thy son!” Said Ali, “My luck is
in the ascendant,” and going to the fishmonger’s lodging, climbed over
the back wall of the house and found his wife asleep. So he drugged her
with Bhang and clad himself in her clothes. Then he took the child in
his arms and went round, searching, till he found a palm-leaf basket
containing buns,[249] which Zurayk of his niggardliness, had kept from
the Greater Feast. Presently, the fishmonger returned and knocked at the
door, whereupon Ali imitated his wife’s voice and asked, “Who is at the
door?” “Abu Abdallah,” answered Zurayk and Ali said, “I swore that I
would not open the door to thee, except thou broughtest back the purse.”
Quoth the fishmonger, “I have brought it.” Cried Ali, “Here with it into
my hand before I open the door;” and Zurayk answered, saying, “Let down
the basket and take it therein.” So Sharper Ali let down the basket and
the other put the purse therein, whereupon Ali took it and drugged the
child. Then he aroused the woman and making off by the back way as he
had entered, returned with the child and the purse and the basket of
cakes to the barrack and showed them all to the Forty, who praised his
dexterity. Thereupon he gave them cakes, which they ate, and made over
the boy to Hasan Shuman, saying, “This is Zurayk’s child; hide it by
thee.” So he hid it and fetching a lamb, gave it to the hall-keeper who
cooked it whole, wrapped in a cloth, and laid it out shrouded as it were
a dead body. Meanwhile Zurayk stood awhile, waiting at the door, then
gave a knock like thunder and his wife said to him, “Hast thou brought
the purse?” He replied, “Didst thou not take it up in the basket thou
diddest let down but now?”; and she rejoined, “I let no basket down to
thee, nor have I set eyes on the purse.” Quoth he, “By Allah the sharper
hath been beforehand with me and hath taken the purse again!” Then he
searched the house and found the basket of cakes gone and the child
missing and cried out, saying, “Alas, my child!” Whereupon the woman
beat her breast and said, “I and thee to the Wazir, for none hath killed
my son save this sharper, and all because of thee.” Cried Zurayk, “I
will answer for him.” So he tied the kerchief of truce about his neck
and going to Ahmad al-Danaf’s lodging, knocked at the door. The
hall-keeper admitted him and as he entered Hasan Shuman asked him, “What
bringeth thee here?” He answered, “Do ye intercede with Ali the Cairene
to restore me my child and I will yield to him the purse of gold.” Quoth
Hasan, “Allah requite thee, O Ali! Why didst thou not tell me it was his
child?” “What hath befallen him?” cried Zurayk, and Hasan replied, “We
gave him raisins to eat, and he choked and died; and this is he.” Quoth
Zurayk “Alas, my son! What shall I say to his mother?” Then he rose and
opening the shroud, saw it was a lamb barbecued and said, “Thou makest
sport of me, O Ali!” Then they gave him the child and Calamity Ahmad
said to him, “Thou didst hang up the purse, proclaiming that it should
be the property of any sharper who should be able to take it, and Ali
hath taken it; so ’tis the very property of our Cairene.” Zurayk
answered, “I make him a present of it;” but Ali said to him, “Do thou
accept it on account of thy niece Zaynab.” And Zurayk replied, “I accept
it.” Then quoth the Forty, “We demand of thee Zaynab in marriage for Ali
of Cairo;” but quoth he, “I have no control over her save of kindness.”
Hasan asked, “Dost thou grant our suit?”; and he answered, “Yes, I will
grant her in marriage to him who can avail to her mahr or
marriage-settlement.” “And what is her dowry?” enquired Hasan; and
Zurayk replied, “She hath sworn that none shall mount her breast save
the man who bringeth her the robe of Kamar, daughter of Azariah the Jew
and the rest of her gear.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zurayk
replied to Shuman, “She hath sworn that none shall ride astraddle upon
her breast save the man who bringeth her the clothes of Kamar, daughter
of Azariah the Jew and her crown and girdle and pantoufle[250] of gold,”
Ali cried, “If I do not bring her the clothes this very night, I
renounce my claim to her.” Rejoined Zurayk, “O Ali, thou art a dead man
if thou play any of thy pranks on Kamar.” “Why so?” asked Ali and the
other answered, “Her father, Jew Azariah, is a skilful, wily, perfidious
magician who hath the Jinn at his service. He owneth without the city a
castle, whose walls are one brick of gold and one of silver and which is
visible to the folk only whilst he is therein: when he goeth forth, it
disappeareth. He brought his daughter this dress I speak of from an
enchanted treasure, and every day he layeth it in a charger of gold and,
opening the windows of the palace, crieth out:—Where are the sharpers of
Cairo, the prigs of Al-Irak, the master-thieves of Ajam-land? Whoso
prevaileth to take this dress, ’tis his. So all the long fingered ones
essayed the adventure, but failed to take it, and he turned them by his
magic into apes and asses.” But Ali said, “I will assuredly take it, and
Zaynab shall be displayed therein.”[251] So he went to the shop of the
Jew and found him a man of stern and forbidding aspect, seated with
scales and stone-weights and gold and silver and nests of drawers and so
forth before him, and a she-mule tethered hard by. Presently he rose and
shutting his shop, laid the gold and silver in two purses, which he
placed in a pair of saddle-bags and set on the she-mule’s back. Then he
mounted and rode till he reached the city-outskirts followed, without
his knowledge, by Ali, when he took out some dust from a pocket-purse
and, muttering over it, sprinkled it upon the air. No sooner had he done
this than sharper Ali saw a castle which had not its like, and the Jew
mounted the steps upon his beast which was a subject Jinni; after which
he dismounted and taking the saddle-bags off her back, dismissed the
she-mule and she vanished. Then he entered the castle and sat down.
Presently, he arose and opening the lattices, took a wand of gold, which
he set up in the open window and, hanging thereto a golden charger by
chains of the same metal, laid in it the dress, whilst Ali watched him
from behind the door, and presently he cried out, saying, “Where are the
sharpers of Cairo? Where are the prigs of Al-Irak, the master-thieves of
the Ajam-land? Whoso can take this dress by his sleight, ’tis his!” Then
he pronounced certain magical words and a tray of food spread itself
before him. He ate and conjured a second time, whereupon the tray
disappeared; and yet a third time, when a table of wine was placed
between his hands and he drank. Quoth Ali, “I know not how I am to take
the dress except if he be drunken.” Then he stole up behind the Jew
whinger in grip; but the other turned and conjured, saying to his hand,
“Hold with the sword;” whereupon Ali’s right arm was held and abode
half-way in the air hending the hanger. He put out his left hand to the
weapon, but it also stood fixed in the air, and so with his right foot,
leaving him standing on one foot. Then the Jew dispelled the charm from
him and Ali became as before. Presently Azariah struck a table of sand
and found that the thief’s name was Mercury Ali of Cairo; so he turned
to him and said, “Come nearer! Who art thou and what dost thou here?” He
replied, “I am Ali of Cairo, of the band of Ahmad al-Danaf. I sought the
hand of Zaynab, daughter of Dalilah the Wily, and she demanded thy
daughter’s dress to her dowry; so do thou give it to me and become a
Moslem, an thou wouldst save thy life.” Rejoined the Jew, “After thy
death! Many have gone about to steal the dress, but failed to take it
from me; wherefore an thou deign be advised, thou wilt begone and save
thyself; for they only seek the dress of thee, that thou mayst fall into
destruction; and indeed, had I not seen by geomancy that thy fortune
overrideth my fortunes I had smitten thy neck.” Ali rejoiced to hear
that his luck overcame that of the Jew and said to him, “There is no
help for it but I must have the dress and thou must become a True
Believer.” Asked the Jew, “Is this thy will and last word,” and Ali
answered, “Yes.” So the Jew took a cup and filling it with water,
conjured over it and said to Ali, “Come forth from this shape of a man
into the form of an ass.” Then he sprinkled him with the water and
straightway he became a donkey, with hoofs and long ears, and fell to
braying after the manner of asinines. The Jew drew round him a circle
which became a wall over against him, and drank on till the morning,
when he said to Ali, “I will ride thee to-day and give the she-mule a
rest.” So he locked up the dress, the charger, the rod and the charms in
a cupboard[252] and conjured over Ali, who followed him. Then he set the
saddle-bags on his back and mounting, fared forth of the Castle,
whereupon it disappeared from sight and he rode into Baghdad, till he
came to his shop, where he alighted and emptied the bags of gold and
silver into the trays before him. As for Ali, he was tied up by the
shop-door, where he stood in his asinine form hearing and understanding
all that passed, without being able to speak. And behold, up came a
young merchant with whom fortune had played the tyrant and who could
find no easier way of earning his livelihood than water-carrying. So he
brought his wife’s bracelets to the Jew and said to him, “Give me the
price of these bracelets, that I may buy me an ass.” Asked the Jew,
“What wilt thou do with him?”; and the other answered, “O master, I mean
to fetch water from the river on his back, and earn my living thereby.”
Quoth the Jew, “Take this ass of mine.” So he sold him the bracelets and
received the ass-shaped Ali of Cairo in part payment and carried him
home. Quoth Ali to himself, “If the Ass-man clap the pannel on thee and
load thee with water-skins and go with thee half a score journeys a day
he will ruin thy health and thou wilt die.” So, when the water-carrier’s
wife came to bring him his fodder, he butted her with his head and she
fell on her back; whereupon he sprang on her and smiting her brow with
his mouth, put out and displayed that which his begetter left him. She
cried aloud and the neighbours came to her assistance and beat him and
raised him off her breast. When her husband the intended water-carrier
came home, she said to him, “Now either divorce me or return the ass to
his owner.” He asked, “What hath happened?”; and she answered, “This is
a devil in the guise of a donkey. He sprang upon me, and had not the
neighbours beaten him off my bosom he had done with me a foul thing.” So
he carried the ass back to the Jew, who said to him, “Wherefore hast
thou brought him back?” and he replied, “He did a foul thing with my
wife.” So the Jew gave him his money again and he went away; and Azariah
said to Ali, “Hast thou recourse to knavery, unlucky wretch that thou
art, in order that”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

[Illustration]

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
water-carrier brought back the ass, its Jew owner returned to him the
monies and turning to Ali of Cairo said, “Hast thou recourse to knavery,
unlucky wretch that thou art, in order that he may return thee to me?
But since it pleaseth thee to be an ass, I will make thee a spectacle
and a laughing stock to great and small.” Then he mounted him and rode
till he came without the city, when he brought out the ashes in powder
and conjuring over it sprinkled it upon the air and immediately the
Castle appeared. He entered and taking the saddle-bags off the ass’s
back set up the rod and hung to it the charger wherein were the clothes
proclaiming aloud, “Where be the clever ones of all quarters who may
avail to take this dress?” Then he conjured as before and meat was set
before him and he ate and then wine when he drank; after which he took a
cup of water and muttering certain words thereover, sprinkled it on the
ass Ali, saying, “Quit this form and return to thy former shape.” Ali
straightway became a man once more and Azariah said to him, “O Ali, take
good advice and be content with my mischief. Thou hast no call to marry
Zaynab nor to take my daughter’s dress, for ’tis no easy matter for
thee: so leave greed and ’twill be better for thee; else will I turn
thee into a bear or an ape or set on thee an Ifrit, who will cast thee
behind the Mountain Kaf.” He replied, “I have engaged to take the dress
and needs must I have it and thou must Islamize or I will slay thee.”
Rejoined the Jew, “O Ali, thou art like a walnut; unless it be broken it
cannot be eaten.” Then he took a cup of water and conjuring over it,
sprinkled Ali with somewhat thereof, saying, “Take thou shape of bear;”
whereupon he instantly became a bear and the Jew put a collar about his
neck, muzzled him and chained him to a picket of iron. Then he sat down
and ate and drank, now and then throwing him a morsel of his orts and
emptying the dregs of the cup over him, till the morning, when he rose
and laid by the tray and the dress and conjured over the bear, which
followed him to the shop. There the Jew sat down and emptied the gold
and silver into the trays before Ali, after binding him by the chain;
and the bear there abode seeing and comprehending but not able to speak.
Presently up came a man and a merchant, who accosted the Jew and said to
him, “O Master, wilt thou sell me yonder bear? I have a wife who is my
cousin and is sick; and they have prescribed for her to eat bears’ flesh
and anoint herself with bears’ grease.” At this the Jew rejoiced and
said to himself, “I will sell him to this merchant, so he may slaughter
him and we be at peace from him.” And Ali also said in his mind, “By
Allah, this fellow meaneth to slaughter me; but deliverance is with the
Almighty.” Then said the Jew, “He is a present from me to thee.” So the
merchant took him and carried him to the butcher, to whom he said,
“Bring thy tools and company me.” The butcher took his knives and
followed the merchant to his house, where he bound the beast and fell to
sharpening his blade: but, when he went up to him to slaughter him, the
bear escaped from his hands and rising into the air, disappeared from
sight between heaven and earth; nor did he cease flying till he alighted
at the Jew’s castle. Now the reason thereof was on this wise. When the
Jew returned home, his daughter questioned him of Ali and he told her
what had happened; whereupon she said, “Summon a Jinni and ask him of
the youth, whether he be indeed Mercury Ali or another who seeketh to
put a cheat on thee.” So Azariah called a Jinni by conjurations and
questioned him of Ali; and he replied, “’Tis Ali of Cairo himself. The
butcher hath pinioned him and whetted his knife to slaughter him.” Quoth
the Jew, “Go, snatch him up and bring him hither, ere the butcher cut
his throat.” So the Jinni flew off and, snatching Ali out of the
butcher’s hands, bore him to the palace and set him down before the Jew,
who took a cup of water and conjuring over it, sprinkled him therewith,
saying, “Return to thine own shape.” And he straightway became a man
again as before. The Jew’s daughter Kamar,[253] seeing him to be a
handsome young man, fell in love with him and he fell in love with her;
and she said to him, “O unlucky one, why dost thou go about to take my
dress, enforcing my father to deal thus with thee?” Quoth he, “I have
engaged to get it for Zaynab the Coney-catcher, that I may wed her
therewith.” And she said, “Others than thou have played pranks with my
father to get my dress, but could not win to it,” presently adding, “So
put away this thought from thee.” But he answered, “Needs must I have
it, and thy father must become a Moslem, else I will slay him.” Then
said the Jew, “See, O my daughter, how this unlucky fellow seeketh his
own destruction,” adding, “Now I will turn thee into a dog.” So he took
a cup graven with characters and full of water and conjuring over it,
sprinkled some of it upon Ali, saying, “Take thou form of dog.”
Whereupon he straightway became a dog, and the Jew and his daughter
drank together till the morning, when the father laid up the dress and
charger and mounted his mule. Then he conjured over the dog, which
followed him, as he rode towards the town, and all dogs barked at
Ali[254] as he passed, till he came to the shop of a broker, a seller of
second-hand goods, who rose and drove away the dogs, and Ali lay down
before him. The Jew turned and looked for him, but finding him not,
passed onwards. Presently, the broker shut up his shop and went home,
followed by the dog, which, when his daughter saw enter the house, she
veiled her face and said, “O my papa, dost thou bring a strange man in
to me?” He replied, “O my daughter, this is a dog.” Quoth she, “Not so,
’tis Ali the Cairene, whom the Jew Azariah hath enchanted;” and she
turned to the dog and said to him, “Art not Ali of Cairo?” And he signed
to her with his head, “Yes.” Then her father asked her, “Why did the Jew
enchant him?”; and she answered, “Because of his daughter Kamar’s dress;
but I can release him.” Said the broker, “An thou canst indeed do him
this good office, now is the time,” and she, “If he will marry me, I
will release him.” And he signed to her with his head, “Yes.” So she
took a cup of water, graven with certain signs and conjuring over it,
was about to sprinkle Ali therewith, when lo and behold! she heard a
great cry and the cup fell from her hand. She turned and found that it
was her father’s handmaid, who had cried out; and she said to her, “O my
mistress, is’t thus thou keepest the covenant between me and thee? None
taught thee this art save I, and thou didst agree with me that thou
wouldst do naught without consulting me and that whoso married thee
should marry me also, and that one night should be mine and one night
thine.” And the broker’s daughter said, “’Tis well.” When the broker
heard the maid’s words, he asked his daughter, “Who taught the maid?”;
and she answered, “O my papa, enquire of herself.” So he put the
question and she replied, “Know, O my lord, that, when I was with
Azariah the Jew, I used to spy upon him and listen to him, when he
performed his gramarye; and when he went forth to his shop in Baghdad, I
opened his books and read in them, till I became skilled in the
Cabbala-science. One day, he was warm with wine and would have me lie
with him, but I objected, saying, I may not grant thee this except thou
become a Moslem. He refused and I said to him, Now for the Sultan’s
market.[255] So he sold me to thee and I taught my young mistress,
making it a condition with her that she should do naught without my
counsel, and that whoso might wed her should wed me also, one night for
me and one night for her.” Then she took a cup of water and conjuring
over it, sprinkled the dog therewith; saying, “Return thou to form of
man.” And he straightway was restored to his former shape; whereupon the
broker saluted him with the salam and asked him the reason of his
enchantment. So Ali told him all that had passed——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the broker,
having saluted Ali of Cairo with the salam, asked him the reason of his
enchantment and what had befallen him; and he answered by telling him
all that had passed, when the broker said to him, “Will not my daughter
and the handmaid suffice thee?” but he answered, “Needs must I have
Zaynab also.” Now suddenly there came a rap at the door and the maid
said, “Who is at the door?” The knocker replied, “Kamar, daughter of
Azariah the Jew; say me, is Ali of Cairo with you?” Replied the broker’s
daughter, “O thou daughter of a dog! If he be with us, what wilt thou
with him? Go down, O maid, and open to her.” So the maid let her in, and
when she looked upon Ali and he upon her, he said, “What bringeth thee
hither O dog’s daughter?” Quoth she, “I testify that there is no god but
_the_ God and I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of God.” And,
having thus Islamised, she asked him, “Do men in the Faith of Al-Islam
give marriage portions to women or do women dower men?” Quoth he, “Men
endow women.” “Then,” said she, “I come and dower myself for thee,
bringing thee, as my marriage-portion, my dress together with the rod
and charger and chains and the head of my father, the enemy of thee and
the foeman of Allah.” And she threw down the Jew’s head before him. Now
the cause of her slaying her sire was as follows. On the night of his
turning Ali into a dog, she saw, in a dream, a speaker who said to her,
“Become a Moslemah.” She did so; and as soon as she awoke next morning
she expounded Al-Islam to her father who refused to embrace the Faith;
so she drugged him with Bhang and killed him. As for Ali, he took the
gear and said to the broker, “Meet we to-morrow at the Caliph’s Divan,
that I may take thy daughter and the handmaid to wife.” Then he set out
rejoicing, to return to the barrack of the Forty. On his way he met a
sweetmeat seller, who was beating hand upon hand and saying, “There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!
Folk’s labour hath waxed sinful and man is active only in fraud!” Then
said he to Ali, “I conjure thee, by Allah, taste of this confection!” So
Ali took a piece and ate it and fell down senseless, for there was Bhang
therein; whereupon the sweetmeat-seller seized the dress and the charger
and the rest of the gear and thrusting them into the box where he kept
his sweetmeats hoisted it up and made off. Presently he met a Kazi, who
called to him, saying, “Come hither, O sweetmeat seller!” So he went up
to him and setting down his sack laid the tray of sweetmeats upon it and
asked, “What dost thou want?” “Halwá and dragées,[256]” answered the
Kazi and, taking some in his hand, said, “Both of these are
adulterated.” Then he brought out sweetmeats from his breast-pocket[257]
and gave them to the sweetmeat-seller, saying, “Look at this fashion;
how excellent it is! Eat of it and make the like of it.” So he ate and
fell down senseless, for the sweetmeats were drugged with Bhang,
whereupon the Kazi bundled him into the sack and made off with him,
charger and chest and all, to the barrack of the Forty. Now the Judge in
question was Hasan Shuman and the reason of this was as follows. When
Ali had been gone some days in quest of the dress and they heard no news
of him, Calamity Ahmad said to his men, “O lads, go and seek for your
brother Ali of Cairo.” So they sallied forth in quest of him and among
the rest Hasan Shuman the Pestilence, disguised in a Kazi’s gear. He
came upon the sweetmeat-seller and, knowing him for Ahmad al-Lakit[258]
suspected him of having played some trick upon Ali; so he drugged him
and did as we have seen. Meanwhile, the other Forty fared about the
streets and highways making search in different directions, and amongst
them Ali Kitf al-Jamal, who espying a crowd, made towards the people and
found the Cairene Ali lying drugged and senseless in their midst. So he
revived him and he came to himself and seeing the folk flocking around
him asked, “Where am I?” Answered Ali Camel-shoulder and his comrades,
“We found thee lying here drugged but know not who drugged thee.” Quoth
Ali, “’Twas a certain sweetmeat-seller who drugged me and took the gear
from me; but where is he gone?” Quoth his comrades, “We have seen
nothing of him; but come, rise and go home with us.” So they returned to
the barrack, where they found Ahmad al-Danaf, who greeted Ali and
enquired if he had brought the dress. He replied, “I was coming hither
with it and other matters, including the Jew’s head, when a
sweetmeat-seller met me and drugged me with Bhang and took them from
me.” Then he told him the whole tale ending with, “If I come across that
man of goodies again, I will requite him.” Presently Hasan Shuman came
out of a closet and said to him, “Hast thou gotten the gear, O Ali?” So
he told him what had befallen him and added, “If I know whither the
rascal is gone and where to find the knave, I would pay him out. Knowest
thou whither he went?” Answered Hasan, “I know where he is,” and opening
the door of the closet, showed him the sweetmeat-seller within, drugged
and senseless. Then he aroused him and he opened his eyes and finding
himself in presence of Mercury Ali and Calamity Ahmad and the Forty,
started up and said, “Where am I and who hath laid hands on me?” Replied
Shuman, “’Twas I laid hands on thee;” and Ali cried, “O perfidious
wretch, wilt thou play thy pranks on me?” And he would have slain him:
but Hasan said to him, “Hold thy hand for this fellow is become thy
kinsman.” “How my kinsman?” quoth Ali; and quoth Hasan, “This is Ahmad
al-Lakit son of Zaynab’s sister.” Then said Ali to the prisoner, “Why
didst thou thus, O Lakit?” and he replied, “My grandmother, Dalilah the
Wily, bade me do it; only because Zurayk the fishmonger foregathered
with the old woman and said:—Mercury Ali of Cairo is a sharper and a
past master in knavery, and he will certainly slay the Jew and bring
hither the dress. So she sent for me and said to me, O Ahmad, dost thou
know Ali of Cairo? Answered I:—Indeed I do and ’twas I directed him to
Ahmad al-Danaf’s lodging when he first came to Baghdad. Quoth she:—Go
and set thy nets for him, and if he have brought back the gear, put a
cheat on him and take it from him. So I went round about the highways of
the city, till I met a sweetmeat-seller and buying his clothes and
stock-in-trade and gear for ten dinars, did what was done.” Thereupon
quoth Ali, “Go back to thy grandmother and Zurayk, and tell them that I
have brought the gear and the Jew’s head and say to them:—Meet me
to-morrow at the Caliph’s Divan, there to receive Zaynab’s dowry.” And
Calamity Ahmad rejoiced in this and said, “We have not wasted our pains
in rearing thee, O Ali!” Next morning Ali took the dress, the charger,
the rod and the chains of gold, together with the head of Azariah the
Jew mounted on a pike, and went up, accompanied by Ahmad al-Danaf and
the Forty, to the Divan, where they kissed ground before the Caliph——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali the
Cairene went up to the Caliph’s Divan, accompanied by his uncle Ahmad
al-Danaf and his lads they kissed ground before the Caliph who turned
and seeing a youth of the most valiant aspect, enquired of Calamity
Ahmad concerning him and he replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, this
is Mercury Ali the Egyptian captain of the brave boys of Cairo, and he
is the first of my lads.” And the Caliph loved him for the valour that
shone from between his eyes, testifying for him and not against him.
Then Ali rose; and, casting the Jew’s head down before him, said, “May
thine every enemy be like this one, O Prince of True Believers!” Quoth
Al-Rashid, “Whose head is this?”; and quoth Ali, “’Tis the head of
Azariah the Jew.” “Who slew him?” asked the Caliph. So Ali related to
him all that had passed, from first to last, and the Caliph said, “I had
not thought thou wouldst kill him, for that he was a sorcerer.” Ali
replied, “O Commander of the Faithful, my Lord made me prevail to his
slaughter.” Then the Caliph sent the Chief of Police to the Jew’s
palace, where he found him lying headless; so he laid the body on a
bier,[259] and carried it to Al-Rashid, who commanded to burn it.
Whereat, behold, up came Kamar and kissing the ground before the Caliph,
informed him that she was the daughter of Jew Azariah and that she had
become a Moslemah. Then she renewed her profession of Faith before the
Commander of the Faithful and said to him “Be thou my intercessor with
Sharper Ali that he take me to wife.” She also appointed him her
guardian to consent to her marriage with the Cairene, to whom he gave
the Jew’s palace and all its contents, saying, “Ask a boon of me.” Quoth
Ali, “I beg of thee to let me stand on thy carpet and eat of thy table;”
and quoth the Caliph, “O Ali, hast thou any lads?” He replied, “I have
forty lads; but they are in Cairo.” Rejoined the Caliph, “Send to Cairo
and fetch them hither,” presently adding, “But, O Ali, hast thou a
barrack for them?” “No,” answered Ali; and Hasan Shuman said, “I make
him a present of my barrack with all that is therein, O Commander of the
Faithful.” However, the Caliph retorted, saying, “Thy lodging is thine
own, O Hasan;” and he bade his treasurer give the court architect ten
thousand dinars, that he might build Ali a hall with four daïses and
forty sleeping-closets for his lads. Then said he, “O Ali, hast thou any
further wish, that we may command its fulfilment?”; and said Ali, “O
King of the age, be thou my intercessor with Dalilah the Wily that she
give me her daughter Zaynab to wife and take the dress and gear of
Azariah’s girl in lieu of dower.” Dalilah accepted the Caliph’s
intercession and accepted the charger and dress and what not, and they
drew up the marriage contracts between Ali and Zaynab and Kamar, the
Jew’s daughter and the broker’s daughter and the handmaid. Moreover, the
Caliph assigned him a solde with a table morning and evening, and
stipends and allowances for fodder; all of the most liberal. Then Ali
the Cairene fell to making ready for the wedding festivities and, after
thirty days, he sent a letter to his comrades in Cairo, wherein he gave
them to know of the favours and honours which the Caliph had bestowed
upon him and said, “I have married four maidens and needs must ye come
to the wedding.” So, after a reasonable time the forty lads arrived and
they held high festival; he homed them in his barrack and entreated them
with the utmost regard and presented them to the Caliph, who bestowed on
them robes of honour and largesse. Then the tiring-women displayed
Zaynab before Ali in the dress of the Jew’s daughter, and he went in
unto her and found her a pearl unthridden and a filly by all save
himself unridden. Then he went in unto the three other maidens and found
them accomplished in beauty and loveliness. After this it befel that Ali
of Cairo was one night on guard by the Caliph who said to him, “I wish
thee O Ali, to tell me all that hath befallen thee from first to last
with Dalilah the Wily and Zaynab the Coney-catcher and Zurayk the
Fishmonger.” So Ali related to him all his adventures and the Commander
of the Faithful bade record them and lay them up in the royal
muniment-rooms. So they wrote down all that had befallen him and kept it
in store with other histories for the people of Mohammed the Best of
Men. And Ali and his wives and comrades abode in all solace of life, and
its joyance, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and
Sunderer of Societies; and Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) is
All-knowing![260] And also men relate the tale of

-----

Footnote 214:

  This is a sequel to the Story of Dalilah and both are highly relished
  by Arabs. The Bresl. Edit. ix. 245, runs both into one.

Footnote 215:

  Arab. Misr, Masr, the Capital, says Savary, applied alternately to
  Memphis, Fostat and Grand Cairo each of which had a Jízah (pron.
  Gízah), skirt, angle outlying suburb.

Footnote 216:

  For the curious street-cries of old Cairo see Lane (M. E. chapt. xiv.)
  and my Pilgrimage (i. 120): here the rhymes are of Zabíb (raisins),
  habíb (lover) and labíb (man of sense).

Footnote 217:

  The Mac. and Bul. Edits. give two silly couplets of moral advice:—

  Strike with thy stubborn steel, and never fear ✿ Aught save the
     Godhead of Almighty Might;
  And shun ill practices and never show ✿ Through life but generous
     gifts to human sight.

  The above is from the Bresl. Edit. ix. 247.

Footnote 218:

  Arab. “Al-Khanakah” now more usually termed a Takíyah (Pilgrim. i.
  124).

Footnote 219:

  Arab. “Ka’b al-ba’íd” (Bresl. Edit. ix. 255) = heel or ankle, metaph.
  for fortune, reputation: so the Arabs say the “Ka’b of the tribe is
  gone!” Here “the far one” = the caravan-leader.

Footnote 220:

  Arab. “Sharít,” from Sharata = he Scarified; “Mishrat” = a lancet and
  “Sharítah” = a mason’s rule. Mr. Payne renders “Sharít” by whinyard:
  it must be a chopper-like weapon, with a pin or screw (laulab) to keep
  the blade open like the snap of the Spaniard’s cuchillo. Dozy explains
  it = epée, synonyme de Sayf.

Footnote 221:

  Text “Dimágh,” a Persianism when used for the head: the word properly
  means brain or meninx.

Footnote 222:

  They were afraid even to stand and answer this remarkable ruffian.

Footnote 223:

  Ahmad the Abortion, or the Foundling, nephew (sister’s son) of Zaynab
  the Coney-catcher. See _supra_, p. 145.

Footnote 224:

  Here the sharp lad discovers the direction without pointing it out. I
  need hardly enlarge upon the prehensile powers of the Eastern foot:
  the tailor will hold his cloth between his toes and pick up his needle
  with it, whilst the woman can knead every muscle and at times catch a
  mosquito between the toes. I knew an officer in India whose mistress
  hurt his feelings by so doing at a critical time when he attributed
  her movement to pleasure.

Footnote 225:

  Arab. “Hullah” = dress. In old days it was composed of the Burd or
  Ridá, the shoulder-cloth from 6 to 9 or 10 feet long, and the Izár or
  waistcloth which was either tied or tucked into a girdle of leather or
  metal. The woman’s waistcloth was called Nitáh and descended to the
  feet while the upper part was doubled and provided with a Tikkah or
  string over which it fell to the knees overhanging the lower folds.
  This doubling of the “Hujrah,” or part round the waist, was called the
  “Hubkah.”

Footnote 226:

  Arab. “Taghaddá,” the dinner being at eleven a.m. or noon.

Footnote 227:

  Arab. Ghandúr for which the Dictionaries give only “fat, thick.” It
  applies in Arabia especially to a Harámi, brigand or freebooter, most
  honourable of professions, slain in foray or fray, opposed to “Fatís”
  or carrion (the _corps crévé_ of the Klephts), the man who dies the
  straw-death. Pilgrimage iii. 66.

Footnote 228:

  My fair readers will note with surprise how such matters are hurried
  in the East. The picture is, however, true to life in lands where
  “flirtation” is utterly unknown and, indeed, impossible.

Footnote 229:

  Arab. “Zabbah,” the wooden bolt (before noticed) which forms the lock
  and is opened by a slider and pins. It is illustrated by Lane (M. E.
  Introduction).

Footnote 230:

  _i.e._ I am not a petty thief.

Footnote 231:

  Arab. “Satl” = kettle, bucket. Lat. Situla (?)

Footnote 232:

  _i.e._ “there is no chance of his escaping.” It may also mean, “And
  far from him (Hayhát) is escape.”

Footnote 233:

  Arab. “Ihtilám,” the sign of puberty in boy or girl; this, like all
  emissions of semen, voluntary or involuntary, requires the Ghuzl or
  total ablution before prayers can be said, etc. See vol. v. 199, in
  the Tale of Tawaddud.

Footnote 234:

  This is the way to take an Eastern when he tells a deliberate lie; and
  it often surprises him into speaking the truth.

Footnote 235:

  The conjunctiva in Africans is seldom white; often it is red and more
  frequently yellow.

Footnote 236:

  So in the texts, possibly a clerical error for the wine which he had
  brought with the kabobs. But beer is the especial tipple of African
  slaves in Egypt.

Footnote 237:

  Arab. Laun, prop. = color, hue; but applied to species and genus, our
  “kind”; and especially to dishes which differ in appearance; whilst in
  Egypt it means any dish.

Footnote 238:

  Arab. “Zardah” = rice dressed with honey and saffron. Vol. ii. 313.
  The word is still common in Turkey.

Footnote 239:

  Arab. “Laylat Ams,” the night of yesterday (Al-bárihah) not our “last
  night” which would be the night of the day spoken of.

Footnote 240:

  Arab. “Yakhní,” a word much used in Persia and India and properly
  applied to the complicated broth prepared for the rice and meat. For a
  good recipe see Herklots, Appendix xxix.

Footnote 241:

  In token of defeat and in acknowledgment that she was no match for
  men.

Footnote 242:

  This is a neat touch of nature. Many a woman, even of the world, has
  fallen in love with a man before indifferent to her because he did not
  take advantage of her when he had the opportunity.

Footnote 243:

  The slightest movement causes a fight at a funeral or a
  wedding-procession in the East; even amongst the “mild Hindus.”

Footnote 244:

  Arab. “Al-Musrán” (plur. of “Masír”) properly the intestines which
  contain the chyle. The bag made by Ali was, in fact, a “Cundum” (so
  called from the inventor, Colonel Cundum of the Guards in the days of
  Charles Second) or “French letter”; une capote anglaise, a “check upon
  child.” Captain Grose says (Class. Dict. etc. s.v. Cundum) “The dried
  gut of a sheep worn by a man in the act of coition to prevent venereal
  infection. These machines were long prepared and sold by a matron of
  the name of Philips at the Green Canister in Half Moon Street in the
  Strand * * * Also a false scabbard over a sword and the oilskin case
  for the colours of a regiment.” Another account is given in the Guide
  Pratique des Maladies Secrètes, Dr. G. Harris, Bruxelles. Librairie
  Populaire. He calls these petits sachets de baudruche “Candoms, from
  the doctor who invented them.” (Littré ignores the word) and declares
  that the famous Ricord compared them with a bad umbrella which a storm
  can break or burst, while others term them cuirasses against pleasure
  and cobwebs against infection. They were much used in the last
  century. “Those pretended stolen goods were Mr. Wilkes’s Papers, many
  of which tended to prove his authorship of the North Briton, No. 45,
  April 23, 1763, and some _Cundums_ enclosed in an envelope” (Records
  of C. of King’s Bench, London, 1763). “Pour finir l’inventaire de ces
  curiosités du cabinet de Madame Gourdan, il ne faut pas omettre une
  multitude de _redingottes_ appelées _d’Angleterre_, je ne sais
  pourquois. Vous connoissez, au surplus, ces espèces de boucliers qu’on
  oppose aux traits empoisonnés de l’amour; et qui n’emoussent que ceux
  du plaisir.” (L’Observateur Anglois, Londres 1778, iii. 69). Again we
  read:—

          “Les capotes mélancoliques
          Qui pendent chez les gros Millan (?)
          S’enflent d’elles-mêmes, lubriques,
          Et dechargent en se gonflant.”

                                              Passage Satyrique.

  Also in Louis Prolat:—

               “Il fuyait, me laissant une capote au cul.”

  The articles are now of two kinds mostly of baudruche (sheep’s gut)
  and a few of caoutchouc. They are made almost exclusively in the
  faubourgs of Paris, giving employment to many women and young girls;
  Grenelle turns out the baudruche and Grenelle and Lilas the
  India-rubber article; and of the three or four makers M. Deschamps is
  best known. The sheep’s gut is not joined in any way but of single
  piece as it comes from the animal after, of course, much manipulation
  to make it thin and supple; the inferior qualities are stuck together
  at the sides. Prices vary from 4½ to 36 francs per gross. Those of
  India-rubber are always joined at the side with a solution especially
  prepared for the purpose. I have also heard of fish-bladders but can
  give no details on the subject. The Cundum was unknown to the ancients
  of Europe although syphilis was not: even prehistoric skeletons show
  traces of its ravages.

Footnote 245:

  Arab. “Yá Ustá” (for “Ustáz.”) The Pers. term is Ustád = a
  craft-master, an artisan and especially a barber. Here it is merely a
  polite address.

Footnote 246:

  In common parlance Arabs answer a question (like the classics of
  Europe who rarely used Yes and No, Yea and Nay), by repeating its last
  words. They have, however, many affirmative particles _e.g._ Ni’am
  which answers a negative “Dost thou not go?”—Ni’am (Yes!); and Ajal, a
  stronger form following a command, _e.g._ Sir (go)—Ajal, Yes verily.
  The popular form is Aywá (’lláhi) = Yes, by Allah. The chief negatives
  are Má and Lá, both often used in the sense of “There is not.”

Footnote 247:

  Arab. “Khalbús,” prop. the servant of the Almah-girls who acts buffoon
  as well as pimp. The “Maskharah” (whence our “mask”) corresponds with
  the fool or jester of mediæval Europe: amongst the Arnauts he is
  called “Suttari” and is known by his fox’s tails: he mounts a mare,
  tom-toms on the kettle-drum and is generally one of the bravest of the
  corps. These buffoons are noted for extreme indecency: they generally
  appear in the ring provided with an enormous phallus of whip-cord and
  with this they charge man, woman and child, to the infinite delight of
  the public.

Footnote 248:

  Arab. “Shúbash” pronounced in Egypt Shobash: it is the Persian
  Sháh-básh lit. = be a King, equivalent to our bravo. Here, however,
  the allusion is to the buffoon’s cry at an Egyptian feast, “Shohbash
  ’alayk, yá Sáhib al-faraj,” = a present is due from thee, “O giver of
  the fête!” See Lane M. E. xxvii.

Footnote 249:

  Arab. “Ka’ak al-I’d:” the former is the Arab form of the Persian
  “Kahk” (still retained in Egypt) whence I would derive our word
  “cake.” It alludes to the sweet cakes which are served up with dates,
  the quatre mendiants and sherbets during visits of the Lesser (not the
  greater) Festival, at the end of the Ramazan fast. (Lane M.E. xxv).

Footnote 250:

  Arab. “Tásúmah,” a rare word for a peculiar slipper. Dozy (s.v.) says
  only, espèce de chaussure, sandale, pantoufle, soulier.

Footnote 251:

  Arab. “Ijtilá” = the displaying of the bride on her wedding night so
  often alluded to in The Nights.

Footnote 252:

  Arab. Khiskhánah; a mixed word from Khaysh = canvass or stuffs
  generally and Pers. Khánah = house room. Dozy (s.v.) says _armoire_,
  _buffet_.

Footnote 253:

  The Bresl. Edit. “Kamaríyah” = Moon-like (fem.) for Moon.

Footnote 254:

  Every traveller describes the manners and customs of dogs in Eastern
  cities where they furiously attack all canine intruders. I have
  noticed the subject in writing of Al-Medinah where the beasts are
  confined to the suburbs (Pilgrimage ii. 52–54).

Footnote 255:

  She could legally compel him to sell her; because, being an Infidel,
  he had attempted to debauch a Moslemah.

Footnote 256:

  Arab. “Haláwat wa Mulabbas”; the latter etymologically means one
  dressed or clothed. Here it alludes to almonds, etc., clothed or
  coated with sugar. See Dozy s.v. “labas.”

Footnote 257:

  Arab. “’Ubb” from a root = being long: Dozy (s.v.), says poche au
  sein; Habb al-’ubb is a woman’s ornament.

Footnote 258:

  Who, it will be remembered, was Dalilah’s grandson.

Footnote 259:

  Arab. “Tábút,” a term applied to the Ark of the Covenant (Koran ii.
  349), which contained Moses’ rod and shoes, Aaron’s mitre, the
  manna-pot, the broken Tables of the Law, and the portraits of all the
  prophets which are to appear till the end of time—an extensive list
  for a box measuring 3 by cubits. Europeans often translate it coffin,
  but it is properly the wooden case placed over an honoured grave.
  “Irán” is the Ark of Moses’ exposure, also the large hearse on which
  tribal chiefs were carried to earth.

Footnote 260:

  _i.e._ What we have related is not “Gospel Truth.”



                   ARDASHIR AND HAYAT AL-NUFUS.[261]


There was once in the city of Shíráz a mighty King called Sayf al-A’azam
Shah, who had grown old, without being blessed with a son. So he
summoned the physicists and physicians and said to them, “I am now in
years and ye know my case and the state of the kingdom and its
ordinance; and I fear for my subjects after me; for that up to this
present I have not been vouchsafed a son.” Thereupon they replied, “We
will compound thee a somewhat of drugs wherein shall be efficacy, if it
please Almighty Allah!” So they mixed him drugs, which he used and knew
his wife carnally, and she conceived by leave of the Most High Lord, who
saith to a thing, “Be,” and it becometh. When her months were
accomplished, she gave birth to a male child like the moon, whom his
father named Ardashir,[262] and he grew up and throve and applied
himself to the study of learning and letters, till he attained the age
of fifteen. Now there was in Al-Irak a King called Abd al-Kádir who had
a daughter, by name Hayát al-Nufús, and she was like the rising full
moon; but she had an hatred for men and the folk very hardly dared name
mankind in her presence. The Kings of the Chosroës had sought her in
marriage of her sire; but, when he spoke with her thereof, she said,
“Never will I do this; and if thou force me thereto, I will slay
myself.” Now Prince Ardashir heard of her fame and fell in love with her
and told his father who, seeing his case, took pity on him and promised
him day by day that he should marry her. So he despatched his Wazir to
demand her in wedlock, but King Abd al-Kadir refused, and when the
Minister returned to King Sayf al-A’azam and acquainted him with what
had befallen his mission and the failure thereof, he was wroth with
exceeding wrath and cried, “Shall the like of me send to one of the
Kings on a requisition and he accomplish it not?” Then he bade a herald
make proclamation to his troops, bidding them bring out the tents and
equip them for war with all diligence, though they should borrow money
for the necessary expenses; and he said, “I will on no wise turn back,
till I have laid waste King Abd al-Kadir’s dominions and slain his men
and plundered his treasures and blotted out his traces!” When the report
of this reached Ardashir he rose from his carpet-bed, and going in to
his father, kissed ground[263] between his hands and said, “O mighty
King, trouble not thyself with aught of this thing”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when report
of this reached the Prince he went in to his sire the King and, kissing
ground between his hands, said, “O mighty King, trouble not thy soul
with aught of this thing and levy not thy champions and armies neither
spend thy monies. Thou art stronger than he, and if thou loose upon him
this thy host, thou wilt lay waste his cities and dominions and spoil
his good and slay his strong men and himself; but when his daughter
shall come to know what hath befallen her father and his people by
reason of her, she will slay herself, and I shall die on her account;
for I can never live after her; no, never.” Asked the King, “And what
then thinkest thou to do, O my son?” and the Prince answered, “I will
don a merchant’s habit and cast about how I may win to the Princess and
compass my desire of her.” Quoth Sayf al-A’azam, “Art thou determined
upon this?”; and quoth the Prince, “Yes, O my sire;” whereupon the King
called to his Wazir, and said to him, “Do thou journey with my son, the
core of my heart, and help him to win his will and watch over him and
guide him with thy sound judgment, for thou standest to him even in my
stead.” “I hear and obey,” answered the Minister; and the King gave his
son three hundred thousand dinars in gold and great store of jewels and
precious stones and goldsmiths’ ware and stuffs and other things of
price. Then Prince Ardashir went in to his mother and kissed her hands
and asked her blessing. She blessed him and, forthright opening her
treasures, brought out to him necklaces and trinkets and apparel and all
manner of other costly objects hoarded up from the time of the bygone
Kings, whose price might not be evened with coin. Moreover, he took with
him of his Mamelukes and negro-slaves and cattle all that he needed for
the road and clad himself and the Wazir and their company in traders’
gear. Then he farewelled his parents and kinsfolk and friends; and,
setting out, fared on over wolds and wastes all hours of the day and
watches of the night; and whenas the way was longsome upon him he
improvised these couplets:—

 My longing bred of love with mine unease for ever grows; ✿ Nor against
    all the wrongs of time one succourer arose:
 When Pleiads and the Fishes show in sky the rise I watch, ✿ As
    worshipper within whose breast a pious burning glows:
 For Star o’ Morn I speer until at last when it is seen, ✿ I’m madded
    with my passion and my fancy’s woes and throes:
 I swear by you that never from your love have I been loosed; ✿ Naught am
    I save a watcher who of slumber nothing knows!
 Though hard appear my hope to win, though languor aye increase, ✿ And
    after thee my patience fails and ne’er a helper shows;
 Yet will I wait till Allah shall be pleased to join our loves; ✿ I’ll
    mortify the jealous and I’ll mock me of my foes.

When he ended his verse he swooned away and the Wazir sprinkled
rose-water on him, till the Prince came to himself, when the Minister
said to him, “O King’s son, possess thy soul in patience; for the
consequence of patience is consolation, and behold, thou art on the way
to whatso thou wishest.” And he ceased not to bespeak him fair and
comfort him till his trouble subsided; and they continued their journey
with all diligence. Presently, the Prince again became impatient of the
length of the way and bethought him of his beloved and recited these
couplets:—

 Longsome is absence, restlessness increaseth and despite; ✿ And burn my
    vitals in the blaze my love and longings light:
 Grows my hair gray from pains and pangs which I am doomèd bear ✿ For
    pine, while tear-floods stream from eyes and sore offend my sight:
 I swear, O Hope of me, O End of every wish and will, ✿ By Him who made
    mankind and every branch with leafage dight,
 A passion-load for thee, O my Desire, I must endure, ✿ And boast I that
    to bear such load no lover hath the might.
 Question the Night of me and Night thy soul shall satisfy ✿ Mine eyelids
    never close in sleep throughout the livelong night.

Then he wept with sore weeping and ’plained of that he suffered for
stress of love-longing; but the Wazir comforted him and spoke him fair,
promising him the winning of his wish; after which they fared on again
for a few days, when they drew near to the White City, the capital of
King Abd al-Kadir, soon after sunrise. Then said the Minister to the
Prince, “Rejoice, O King’s son, in all good; for see, yonder is the
White City, that which thou seekest.” Whereat the Prince rejoiced with
exceeding joy and recited these couplets:—

 My friends, I yearn in heart distraught for him; ✿ Longing abides and
    with sore pains I brim:
 I mourn like childless mother, nor can find ✿ One to console me when the
    light grows dim;
 Yet when the breezes blow from off thy land, ✿ I feel their freshness
    shed on heart and limb;
 And rail mine eyes like water-laden clouds, ✿ While in a tear-sea shed
    by heart I swim.

Now when they entered the White City they asked for the Merchants’ Khan,
a place of moneyed men; and when shown the hostelry they hired three
magazines and on receiving the keys[264] they laid up therein all their
goods and gear. They abode in the Khan till they were rested, when the
Wazir applied himself to devise a device for the Prince,——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Prince and
the Minister alighted at the Khan and lodged their goods in the
ground-floor magazines and there settled their servants. Then they
tarried awhile till they had rested when the Wazir arose and applied
himself to devise a device for the Prince, and said to him, “I have
bethought me of somewhat wherein, methinks, will be success for thee, so
it please Almighty Allah.” Quoth Ardashir, “O thou Wazir of good
counsel, do what cometh to thy mind, and may the Lord direct thy rede
aright!” Quoth the Minister, “I purpose to hire thee a shop in the
market-street of the stuff-sellers and set thee therein; for that all,
great and small, have recourse to the bazar and, meseems, when the folk
see thee with their own eyes sitting in the shop their hearts will
incline to thee and thou wilt thus be enabled to attain thy desire, for
thou art fair of favour and souls incline to thee and sight rejoiceth in
thee.” The other replied, “Do what seemeth good to thee.” So the Wazir
forthright began to robe the Prince and himself in their richest raiment
and, putting a purse of a thousand dinars in his breast-pocket, went
forth and walked about the city, whilst all who looked upon them
marvelled at the beauty of the King’s son, saying, “Glory be to Him who
created this youth ’of vile water’[265]! Blessed be Allah excellentest
of Creators!” Great was the talk anent him and some said, “This is no
mortal, ’this is naught save a noble angel’”;[266] and others, “Hath
Rizwán, the doorkeeper of the Eden-garden, left the gate of Paradise
unguarded, that this youth hath come forth?” The people followed them to
the stuff-market, where they entered and stood, till there came up to
them an old man of dignified presence and venerable appearance, who
saluted them, and they returned his salam. Then the Shaykh said to them,
“O my lords, have ye any need, that we may have the honour of
accomplishing?”; and the Wazir asked him, “Who art thou, O elder?” He
answered, “I am the Overseer of the market.” Quoth the Wazir, “Know
then, O Shaykh, that this youth is my son and I wish to hire him a shop
in the bazar, that he may sit therein and learn to sell and buy and take
and give, and come to ken merchants’ ways and habits.” “I hear and I
obey,” replied the Overseer and brought them without stay or delay the
key of a shop, which he caused the brokers sweep and clean. And they did
his bidding. Then the Wazir sent for a high mattress, stuffed with
ostrich-down, and set it up in the shop, spreading upon it a small
prayer-carpet, and a cushion fringed with broidery of red gold. Moreover
he brought pillows and transported thither so much of the goods and
stuffs that he had brought with him as filled the shop. Next morning the
young Prince came and opening the shop, seated himself on the divan, and
stationed two Mamelukes, clad in the richest of raiment before him and
two black slaves of the goodliest of the Abyssinians in the lower part
of the shop. The Wazir enjoined him to keep his secret from the folk, so
thereby he might find aid in the winning of his wishes; then he left him
and charging him to acquaint him with what befel him in the shop, day by
day returned to the Khan. The Prince sat in the shop till night as he
were the moon at its fullest, whilst the folk, hearing tell of his
comeliness, flocked to the place, without errand, to gaze on his beauty
and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace and glorify the Almighty
who created and shaped him, till none could pass through that bazar for
the excessive crowding of the folk about him. The King’s son turned
right and left, abashed at the throng of people that stared at him,
hoping to make acquaintance with some one about the court, of whom he
might get news of the Princess; but he found no way to this, wherefore
his breast was straitened. Meanwhile, the Wazir daily promised him the
attainment of his desire and the case so continued for a time till, one
morning, as the youth sat in the shop, there came up an old woman of
respectable semblance and dignified presence clad in raiment of
devotees[267] and followed by two slave-girls like moons. She stopped
before the shop and, having considered the Prince awhile, cried, “Glory
be to God who fashioned that face and perfected that figure!” Then she
saluted him and he returned her salam and seated her by his side. Quoth
she, “Whence cometh thou, O fair of favour?”; and quoth he, “From the
parts of Hind, O my mother; and I have come to this city to see the
world and look about me.” “Honour to thee for a visitor! What goods and
stuffs hast thou? Show me something handsome, fit for Kings.” “If thou
wish for handsome stuffs, I will show them to thee; for I have wares
that beseem persons of every condition.” “O my son, I want somewhat
costly of price and seemly to sight; brief, the best thou hast.” “Thou
must needs tell me for whom thou seekest it, that I may show thee goods
according to the rank of the requirer.” “Thou speakest sooth, O my son,”
said she, “I want somewhat for my mistress Hayat al-Nufus, daughter of
Abd al-Kadir, lord of this land and King of this country.” Now when
Ardashir heard his mistress’s name, his reason flew for joy and his
heart fluttered and he gave no order to slave or servant, but, putting
his hand behind him, pulled out a purse of an hundred dinars and offered
it to the old woman, saying, “This is for the washing of thy clothes.”
Then he again put forth his hand and brought out of a wrapper a dress
worth ten thousand dinars or more and said to her, “This is of that
which I have brought to your country.” When the old woman saw it, it
pleased her and she asked, “What is the price of this dress, O perfect
in qualities?” Answered he, “I will take no price for it!” whereupon she
thanked him and repeated her question; but he said, “By Allah, I will
take no price for it. I make thee a present of it, an the Princess will
not accept it and ’tis a guest-gift from me to thee. Alhamdolillah—Glory
be to God—who hath brought us together, so that, if one day I have a
want, I shall find thee a helper to me in winning it!” She marvelled at
the goodliness of his speech and the excess of his generosity and the
perfection of his courtesy and said to him, “What is thy name, O my
lord?” He replied, “My name is Ardashir;” and she cried, “By Allah this
is a rare name! Therewith are Kings’ sons named, and thou art in a guise
of the sons of the merchants!” Quoth he, “Of the love my father bore me,
he gave me this name, but a name signifieth naught;” and quoth she in
wonder, “O my son, take the price of thy goods.” But he swore that he
would not take aught. Then the old lady said to him, “O my dear one,
Truth (I would have thee know) is the greatest of all things and thou
hadst not dealt thus generously by me but for a special reason: so tell
me thy case and thy secret thought; belike thou hast some wish to whose
winning I may help thee.” Thereupon he laid his hand in hers and, after
exacting an oath of secrecy, told her the whole story of his passion for
the Princess and his condition by reason thereof. The old woman shook
her head and said, “True; but O my son, the wise say, in the current
adage:—An thou wouldest be obeyed, abstain from ordering what may not be
made; and thou, my son, thy name is Merchant, and though thou hadst the
keys of the Hidden Hoards, yet wouldst thou be called naught but
Merchant. An thou wouldst rise to high rank, according to thy station,
then seek the hand of a Kazi’s daughter or even an Emir’s; but why, O my
son, aspirest thou to none but the daughter of the King of the age and
the time, and she a clean maid, who knoweth nothing of the things of the
world and hath never in her life seen anything but her palace wherein
she dwelleth? Yet, for all her tender age, she is intelligent, shrewd,
vivacious, penetrating, quick of wit, sharp of act and rare of rede: her
father hath no other child and she is dearer to him than his life and
soul. Every morning he cometh to her and giveth her good-morrow, and all
who dwell in the palace stand in dread of her. Think not, O my son, that
any dare bespeak her with aught of these words; nor is there any way for
me thereto. By Allah, O my son, my heart and vitals love thee and were
it in my power to give thee access to her, I would assuredly do it; but
I will tell thee somewhat, wherein Allah may haply appoint the healing
of thy heart, and will risk life and goods for thee, till I win thy will
for thee.” He asked, “And what is that, O my mother”; and she answered,
“Seek of me the daughter of a Wazir or an Emir, and I will grant thy
request; but it may not be that one should mount from earth to heaven at
one bound.” When the Prince heard this, he replied to her with courtesy
and sense, “O my mother, thou art a woman of wit and knowest how things
go. Say me doth a man, when his head irketh him, bind up his hand?”
Quoth she, “No, by Allah, O my son”; and quoth he, “Even so my heart
seeketh none but her and naught slayeth me but love of her. By Allah, I
am a dead man, and I find not one to counsel me aright and succour me!
Allah upon thee, O my mother, take pity on my strangerhood and the
streaming of my tears!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ardashir, the
King’s son said to the old woman, “Allah upon thee, O my mother, take
pity on my strangerhood and the streaming of my tears.” Replied she, “By
Allah, O my son, thy words rend my heart, but my hand hath no cunning
wherewith to help thee.” Quoth he, “I beseech thee of thy favour, carry
her a letter and kiss her hands for me.” So she had compassion on him
and said, “Write what thou wilt and I will bear it to her.” When he
heard this, he was ready to fly for joy and calling for ink-case and
paper, wrote these couplets:—

 O Hayát al-Nufús, be gen’rous, and incline ✿ To one who loving thee for
    parting’s doomed to pine.
 I was in all delight, in gladsomest of life, ✿ But now I am distraught
    with sufferings condign.
 To wakefulness I cling through longsomeness of night ✿ And with me
    sorrow chats[268] through each sad eve of mine;
 Pity a lover sad, a sore afflicted wretch ✿ Whose eyelids ever ulcered
    are with tearful brine;
 And when the morning comes at last, the real morn ✿ He finds him drunken
    and distraught with passion’s wine.

Then he folded the scroll and kissing it, gave it to the old woman;
after which he put his hand to a chest and took out a second purse
containing an hundred dinars, which he presented to her, saying, “Divide
this among the slave girls.” She refused it and cried, “By Allah, O my
son, I am not with thee for aught of this!”; however, he thanked her and
answered, “There is no help but that thou accept of it.” So she took it
and kissing his hands, returned home; and going in to the Princess,
cried, “O my lady, I have brought thee somewhat the like whereof is not
with the people of our city, and it cometh from a handsome young man,
than whom there is not a goodlier on earth’s face!” She asked, “O my
nurse, and whence cometh the youth?” and the old woman answered, “From
the parts of Hind; and he hath given me this dress of gold brocade,
embroidered with pearls and gems and worth the Kingdom of Chosroës and
Cæsar.” Thereupon she opened the dress and the whole palace was
illuminated by its brightness, because of the beauty of its fashion and
the wealth of unions and jewels wherewith it was broidered, and all who
were present marvelled at it. The Princess examined it and, judging it
to be worth no less than a whole year’s revenue of her father’s kingdom,
said to the old woman, “O my nurse, cometh this dress from him or from
another?”[269] Replied she, “From him;” and Hayat al-Nufus asked, “Is
this trader of our town or a stranger?” The old woman answered, “He is a
foreigner, O my lady, newly come hither; and by Allah he hath servants
and slaves; and he is fair of face, symmetrical of form, well mannered,
open-handed and open-hearted, never saw I a goodlier than he, save
thyself.” The King’s daughter rejoined, “Indeed this is an extraordinary
thing, that a dress like this, which money cannot buy, should be in the
hands of a merchant! What price did he set on it, O my nurse?” Quoth
she, “By Allah, he would set no price on it, but gave me back the money
thou sentest by me and swore that he would take naught thereof,
saying:—’Tis a gift from me to the King’s daughter; for it beseemeth
none but her; and if she will not accept it, I make thee a present of
it.” Cried the Princess, “By Allah, this is indeed marvellous generosity
and wondrous munificence! But I fear the issue of his affair, lest
haply[270] he be brought to necessity. Why didst thou not ask him, O my
nurse, if he had any desire, that we might fulfil it for him?” The nurse
replied, “O my lady, I did ask him, and he said to me:—I have indeed a
desire; but he would not tell me what it was. However, he gave me this
letter and said:—Carry it to the Princess.” So Hayat al-Nufus took the
letter and opened and read it to the end; whereupon she was sore chafed;
and lost temper and changing colour for anger she cried out to the old
woman, saying, “Woe to thee, O nurse! What is the name of this dog who
durst write this language to a King’s daughter? What affinity is there
between me and this hound that he should address me thus? By Almighty
Allah, Lord of the well Zemzem and of the Hatim Wall,[271] but that I
fear the Omnipotent, the Most High, I would send and bind the cur’s
hands behind him and slit his nostrils, and shear off his nose and ears
and after, by way of example, crucify him on the gate of the bazar
wherein is his booth!” When the old woman heard these words, she waxed
yellow; her side muscles[272] quivered and her tongue clave to her
mouth; but she heartened her heart and said, “Softly, O my lady! What is
there in his letter to trouble thee thus? Is it aught but a memorial
containing his complaint to thee of poverty or oppression, from which he
hopeth to be relieved by thy favour?” Replied she, “No, by Allah, O my
nurse, ’tis naught of this; but verses and shameful words! However, O my
nurse, this dog must be in one of three cases: either he is Jinn-mad,
and hath no wit, or he seeketh his own slaughter, or else he is assisted
to his wish of me by some one of exceeding puissance and a mighty
Sultan. Or hath he heard that I am one of the baggages of the city, who
lie a night or two with whosoever seeketh them, that he writeth me
immodest verses to debauch my reason by talking of such matters?”
Rejoined the old woman, “By Allah, O my lady, thou sayst sooth! But reck
not thou of yonder ignorant hound, for thou art seated in thy lofty,
firm-builded and unapproachable palace, to which the very birds cannot
soar neither the wind pass over it, and as for him, he is clean
distraught. Wherefore do thou write him a letter and chide him angrily
and spare him no manner of reproof, but threaten him with dreadful
threats and menace him with death and say to him:—Whence hast thou
knowledge of me, that thou durst write me, O dog of a merchant, O thou
who trudgest far and wide all thy days in wilds and wolds for the sake
of gaining a dirham or a dinar? By Allah, except thou awake from thy
sleep and put off thine intoxication, I will assuredly crucify thee on
the gate of the market-street wherein is thy shop!” Quoth the Princess,
“I fear lest he presume, if I write to him”; and quoth the nurse, “And
pray what is he and what is his rank that he should presume to us?
Indeed, we write him but to the intent that his presumption may be cut
off and his fear magnified.” And she ceased not craftily to persuade
her, till she called for ink-case and paper and wrote him these
couplets:—

 O thou who claimest to be prey of love and ecstasy; ✿ Thou, who for
    passion spendest nights in grief and saddest gree:
 Say, dost thou (haughty one!) desire enjoyment of the moon? ✿ Did man
    e’er sue the moon for grace whate’er his lunacy?
 I verily will counsel thee with rede the best to hear: ✿ Cut short this
    course ere come thou nigh sore risk, nay death, to dree!
 If thou to this request return, surely on thee shall fall ✿ Sore
    punishment, for vile offence a grievous penalty.
 Be reasonable then, be wise, hark back unto thy wits; ✿ Behold, in very
    truth I speak with best advice to thee:
 By Him who did all things that be create from nothingness; ✿ Who dressed
    the face of heaven with stars in brightest radiancy:
 If in the like of this thy speech thou dare to sin again! ✿ I’ll surely
    have thee crucified upon a trunk of tree.

Then she rolled up the letter and gave it to the old woman who took it
and, repairing to Ardashir’s shop, delivered it to him,——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman
took that letter from Hayat al-Nufus she fared forth till she found the
youth who was sitting in his shop and gave it to him, saying, “Read
thine answer and know that when she perused thy paper she was wroth with
exceeding wrath; but I soothed her and spake her fair, till she
consented to write thee a reply.” He took the letter joyfully but, when
he had read it and understood its drift, he wept sore, whereat the old
woman’s heart ached and she cried, “O my son, Allah never cause thine
eyes to weep nor thy heart to mourn! What can be more gracious than that
she should answer thy letter when thou hast done what thou diddest?” He
replied, “O my mother what shall I do for a subtle device? Behold, she
writeth to me, threatening me with death and crucifixion and forbidding
me from writing to her; and I, by Allah, see my death to be better than
my life; but I beg thee of thy grace[273] to carry her another letter
from me.” She said, “Write and I warrant I’ll bring thee an answer. By
Allah, I will assuredly venture my life to win for thee thy wish, though
I die to pleasure thee!” He thanked her and kissing her hands, wrote
these verses:—

 Do you threaten me wi’ death for my loving you so well? ✿ When Death to
    me were rest and all dying is by Fate?
 And man’s death is but a boon, when so longsome to him grows ✿ His life,
    and rejected he lives in lonest state:
 Then visit ye a lover who hath ne’er a soul to aid; ✿ For on pious works
    of men Heaven’s blessing shall await.
 But an ye be resolved on this deed then up and on; ✿ I’m in bonds to
    you, a bondsman confined within your gate:
 What path have I whose patience without you is no more? ✿ How is this,
    when a lover’s heart in stress of love is strait?
 O my lady show me ruth, who by passion am misused; ✿ For all who love
    the noble stand for evermore excused.

He then folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, together with
two purses of two hundred dinars, which she would have refused, but he
conjured her by oath to accept of them. So she took them both and said,
“Needs must I bring thee to thy desire, despite the noses of thy foes.”
Then she repaired to the palace and gave the letter to Hayat al-Nufus
who said, “What is this, O my nurse? Here are we in a correspondence and
thou coming and going! Indeed, I fear lest the matter get wind and we be
disgraced.” Rejoined the old woman, “How so, O my lady? Who dare speak
such word?” So she took the letter and after reading and understanding
it she smote hand on hand, saying, “Verily, this is a calamity which is
fallen upon us, and I know not whence this young man came to us!” Quoth
the old woman, “O my lady, Allah upon thee, write him another letter;
but be rough with him this time and say to him:—An thou write me another
word after this, I will have thy head struck off.” Quoth the Princess,
“O my nurse, I am assured that the matter will not end on such wise;
’twere better to break off this exchange of letters; and, except the
puppy take warning by my previous threats, I will strike off his head.”
The old woman said, “Then write him a letter and give him to know this
condition.” So Hayat al-Nufus called for pen-case and paper and wrote
these couplets:—

 Ho, thou heedless of Time and his sore despight! ✿ Ho, thou heart whom
    hopes of my favours excite!

 Think O pride-full! would’st win for thyself the skies? ✿ Would’st
    attain to the moon shining clear and bright?
 I will burn thee with fire that shall ne’er be quenched, ✿ Or will slay
    thee with scymitar’s sharpest bite!
 Leave it, friend, and ’scape the tormenting pains, ✿ Such as turn
    hair-partings[274] from black to white.
 Take my warning and fly from the road of love; ✿ Draw thee back from a
    course nor seemly nor right!

Then she folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, who was puzzled
and perplexed by the matter. She carried it to Ardashir, and the Prince
read the letter and bowed his head to the earth, making as if he wrote
with his finger and speaking not a word. Quoth the old woman, “How is it
I see thee silent stay and not say thy say?”; and quoth he, “O my
mother, what shall I say, seeing that she doth but threaten me and
redoubleth in hardheartedness and aversion?” Rejoined the nurse, “Write
her a letter of what thou wilt: I will protect thee; nor let thy heart
be cast down, for needs must I bring you twain together.” He thanked her
for her kindness and kissing her hand, wrote these couplets:—

 A heart, by Allah! never soft to lover-wight, ✿ Who sighs for union only
    with his friends, his sprite!
 Who with tear-ulcered eyelids evermore must bide, ✿ When falleth upon
    earth first darkness of the night:
 Be just, be gen’rous, lend thy ruth and deign give alms ✿ To
    love-molested lover, parted, forced to flight!
 He spends the length of longsome night without a doze; ✿ Fire-brent and
    drent in tear-flood flowing infinite:
 Ah; cut not off the longing of my fondest heart ✿ Now disappointed,
    wasted, flutt’ring for its blight.

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, together with
three hundred dinars, saying, “This is for the washing of thy hands.”
She thanked him and kissed his hands, after which she returned to the
palace and gave the letter to the Princess, who took it and read it and
throwing it from her fingers, sprang to her feet. Then she walked, shod
as she was with pattens of gold, set with pearls and jewels, till she
came to her sire’s palace, whilst the vein of anger started out between
her eyes, and none dared ask her of her case. When she reached the
palace, she enquired for the King, and the slave-girls and concubines
replied to her, “O my lady, he is gone forth a-hunting and sporting.” So
she returned, as she were a rending lioness, and bespake none for the
space of three hours, when her brow cleared and her wrath cooled. As
soon as the old woman saw that her irk and anger were past, she went up
to her and, kissing ground between her hands, asked her, “O my lady,
whither went those noble steps?” The Princess answered, “To the palace
of the King my sire.” “And could no one do thine errand?” enquired the
nurse. Replied the Princess, “No, for I went to acquaint him of that
which hath befallen me with yonder cur of a merchant, so he might lay
hands on him and on all the merchants of his bazar and crucify them over
their shops nor suffer a single foreign merchant to tarry in our town.”
Quoth the old woman, “And was this thine only reason, O my lady, for
going to thy sire?”; and quoth Hayat al-Nufus, “Yes, but I found him
absent a-hunting and sporting and now I await his return.” Cried the old
nurse, “I take refuge with Allah, the All-hearing, the All-knowing!
Praised be He! O my lady, thou art the most sensible of women and how
couldst thou think of telling the King these fond words, which it
behoveth none to publish?” Asked the Princess, “And why so?” and the
nurse answered, “Suppose thou had found the King in his palace and told
him all this tale and he had sent after the merchants and commanded to
hang them over their shops, the folk would have seen them hanging and
asked the reason and it would have been answered them:—They sought to
seduce the King’s daughter.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman
said to the Princess, “Suppose thou had told this to the King and he had
ordered the merchants to be hanged, would not folk have seen them and
have asked the cause of the execution when the answer would have
been:—They sought to seduce the King’s daughter? Then would they have
dispread divers reports concerning thee, some saying:—She abode with
them ten days, away from her palace, till they had taken their fill of
her; and other some in otherguise; for woman’s honour, O my lady, is
like curded milk, the least dust fouleth it; and like glass, which, if
it be cracked, may not be mended. So beware of telling thy sire or any
other of this matter, lest thy fair fame be smirched, O mistress mine,
for ’twill never profit thee to tell folk aught; no, never! Weigh what I
say with thy keen wit, and if thou find it not just, do whatso thou
wilt.” The Princess pondered her words, and seeing them to be altogether
profitable and right, said, “Thou speakest sooth, O my nurse; but anger
had blinded my judgment.” Quoth the old woman, “Thy resolve to tell no
one is pleasing to the Almighty; but something remaineth to be done: we
must not let the shamelessness of yonder vile dog of a merchant pass
without notice. Write him a letter and say to him:—O vilest of traders,
but that I found the King my father absent, I had straightway commanded
to hang thee and all thy neighbours. But thou shalt gain nothing by
this; for I swear to thee, by Allah the Most High, that an thou return
to the like of this talk, I will blot out the trace of thee from the
face of earth! And deal thou roughly with him in words, so shalt thou
discourage him in this attempt and arouse him from his heedlessness.”
“And will these words cause him to abstain from his offending?” asked
the Princess; and the old woman answered, “How should he not abstain?
Besides, I will talk with him and tell him what hath passed.” So the
Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote these couplets:—

 To win our favours still thy hopes are bent; ✿ And still to win thy will
    art confident!
 Naught save his pride-full aim shall slay a man; ✿ And he by us shall
    die of his intent.
 Thou art no lord of might, no chief of men, ✿ Nabob or Prince or Soldan
    Heaven-sent;
 And were this deed of one who is our peer, ✿ He had returned with hair
    for fear white-sprent:
 Yet will I deign once more excuse thy sin ✿ So from this time thou prove
    thee penitent.

Then she gave the missive to the old woman, saying, “O my nurse, do thou
admonish this puppy lest I be forced to cut off his head and sin on his
account.” Replied the old woman, “By Allah, O my lady, I will not leave
him a side to turn on!” Then she returned to the youth and, when salams
had been exchanged, she gave him the letter. He read it and shook his
head, saying, “Verily, we are Allah’s and unto him shall we return!”
adding, “O my mother, what shall I do? My fortitude faileth me and my
patience palleth upon me!” She replied, “O my son, be long-suffering:
peradventure, after this Allah shall bring somewhat to pass. Write that
which is in thy mind and I will fetch thee an answer, and be of good
cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear; for needs must I bring about
union between thee and her,—Inshallah!” He blessed her and wrote to the
Princess a note containing these couplets:—

 Since none will lend my love a helping hand, ✿ And I by passion’s bale
    in death low-lain,
 I bear a flaming fire within my heart ✿ By day and night nor place of
    rest attain,
 How cease to hope in thee, my wishes’ term? ✿ Or with my longings to be
    glad and fain?
 The Lord of highmost Heaven to grant my prayer ✿ Pray I, whom love of
    lady fair hath slain;
 And as I’m clean o’erthrown by love and fear, ✿ To grant me speedy union
    deign, oh deign!

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, bringing out at
the same time a purse of four hundred dinars. She took the whole and
returning to the palace sought the Princess to whom she gave the letter;
but the King’s daughter refused to take it and cried, “What is this?”
Replied the old woman, “O my lady, this is only the answer to the letter
thou sentest to that merchant dog.” Quoth Hayat al-Nufus, “Didst thou
forbid him as I told thee?”; and quoth she, “Yes, and this is his
reply.” So the Princess took the letter and read it to the end; then she
turned to the old woman and exclaimed, “Where is the result of thy
promise?” “O my lady, saith he not in his letter that he repenteth and
will not again offend, excusing himself for the past?” “Not so, by
Allah!: on the contrary, he increaseth.” “O my lady, write him a letter
and thou shalt presently see what I will do with him.” “There needeth
nor letter nor answer.” “I must have a letter that I may rebuke him
roughly and cut off his hopes.” “Thou canst do that without a letter.”
“I cannot do it without the letter.” So Hayat al-Nufus called for
pen-case and paper and wrote these verses:—

 Long have I chid thee but my chiding hindereth thee not ✿ How often
    would my verse with writ o’ hand ensnare thee, ah!
 Then keep thy passion hidden deep and ever unrevealed, ✿ And if thou
    dare gainsay me Earth shall no more bear thee, ah!

 And if, despite my warning, thou dost to such words return ✿ Death’s
    Messenger[275] shall go his rounds and dead declare thee, ah!
 Soon shall the wold’s fierce chilling blast o’erblow that corse o’
    thine; ✿ And birds o’ the wild with ravening bills and beaks shall
    tear thee, ah!
 Return to righteous course; perchance that same will profit thee; ✿ If
    bent on wilful aims and lewd I fain forswear thee, ah!

When she had made an end of her writing this, she cast the writ from her
hand in wrath, and the old woman picked it up and went with it to
Ardashir. When he read it to the last he knew that she had not softened
to him, but only redoubled in rage against him, and that he would never
win to meet her, so he bethought himself to write her an answer invoking
Allah’s help against her. Thereupon he indited these couplets:—

 O Lord, by the Five Shaykhs, I pray deliver me ✿ From love, which gars
    me bear such grief and misery.
 Thou knowest what I bear for passion’s fiery flame; ✿ What stress of
    sickness for that merciless maid I dree.
 She hath no pity on the pangs to me decreed ✿ How long on weakly wight
    shall last her tyranny?
 I am distraught for her with passing agonies ✿ And find no friend, O
    folk! to hear my plaint and plea.
 How long, when Night hath drooped her pinions o’er the world ✿ Shall I
    lament in public as in privacy?
 For love of you I cannot find forgetfulness; ✿ And how forget when
    Patience taketh wings to flee?
 O thou wild parting-bird[276] say is she safe and sure ✿ From shift and
    change of time and the world’s cruelty?

Then he folded the scroll and gave it to the old woman, adding a purse
of five hundred dinars; and she took it and carried it to the Princess,
who read it to the end and learned its purport. Then, casting it from
her hand, she cried, “Tell me O wicked old woman, the cause of all that
hath befallen me from thee and from thy cunning and thine advocacy of
him, so that thou hast made me write letter after letter and thou
ceasest not to carry messages, going and coming between us twain, till
thou hast brought about a correspondence and a connection. Thou leavest
not to say:—I will ensure thee against his mischief and cut off from
thee his speech; but thou speakest not thus save only to the intent that
I may continue to write thee letters and thou to fetch and carry between
us, evening and morning, till thou ruin my repute. Woe to thee! Ho,
eunuchs, seize her!” Then Hayat al-Nufus commanded them to beat her, and
they lashed her till her whole body flowed with blood and she fainted
away, whereupon the King’s daughter caused her slave-women to drag her
forth by the feet and cast her without the palace and bade one of them
stand by her head till she recovered, and say to her, “The Princess hath
sworn an oath that thou shalt never return to and re-enter this palace;
and she hath commanded to slay thee without mercy an thou dare return
hither.” So, when she came to herself, the damsel told her what the
King’s daughter said and she answered, “Hearkening and obedience.”
Presently the slave-girls fetched a basket and a porter whom they caused
carry her to her own house; and they sent after her a physician, bidding
him tend her assiduously till she recovered. He did what he was told to
do and as soon as she was whole she mounted and rode to the shop of
Ardashir who was concerned with sore concern for her absence and was
longing for news of her. As soon as he saw her, he sprang up and coming
to meet her, saluted her; then he noticed that she was weak and ailing;
so he questioned her of her case and she told him all that had befallen
her from her nursling. When he heard this, he found it grievous and
smote hand upon hand, saying, “By Allah, O my mother, this that hath
betided thee straiteneth my heart! But, what, O my mother, is the reason
of the Princess’s hatred to men?” Replied the old woman, “Thou must know
O my son, that she hath a beautiful garden, than which there is naught
goodlier on earth’s face and it chanced that she lay there one night. In
the joyance of sleep, she dreamt a dream and ’twas this, that she went
down into the garden, where she saw a fowler set up his net and strew
corn thereabout, after which he withdrew and sat down afar off to await
what game should fall into it. Ere an hour had passed the birds flocked
to pick up the corn and a male pigeon[277] fell into the net and
struggled in it, whereat all the others took fright and fled from him.
His mate was amongst them, but she returned to him after the shortest
delay; and, coming up to the net, sought out the mesh wherein his foot
was entangled and ceased not to peck at it with her bill, till she
severed it and released her husband, with whom she flew away. All this
while, the fowler sat dozing, and when he awoke, he looked at the net
and found it spoilt. So he mended it and strewed fresh grain, then
withdrew to a distance and sat down to watch it again. The birds soon
returned and began to pick up the corn, and among the rest the pair of
pigeons. Presently, the she-pigeon fell into the net and struggled to
get free; whereupon all the other birds flew away, and her mate, whom
she had saved, fled with the rest and did not return to her. Meantime,
sleep had again overcome the fowler; and, when he awoke after long
slumbering, he saw the she-pigeon caught in the net; so he went up to
her and freeing her feet from the meshes, cut her throat. The Princess
startled by the dream awoke troubled, and said:—Thus do men with women,
for women have pity on men and throw away their lives for them, when
they are in difficulties; but if the Lord decree against a woman and she
fall into calamity, her mate deserteth her and rescueth her not, and
wasted is that which she did with him of kindness. Allah curse her who
putteth her trust in men, for they ill requite the fair offices which
women do them! And from that day she conceived an hatred to men.” Said
the King’s son, “O my mother, doth she never go out into the highways?”;
and the old woman replied, “Nay, O my son; but I will tell thee somewhat
wherein, Allah willing, there shall be profit for thee. She hath a
garden which is of the goodliest pleasaunces of the age; and every year,
at the time of the ripening of the fruits, she goeth thither and taketh
her pleasure therein only one day, nor layeth the night but in her
pavilion. She entereth the garden by the private wicket of the palace
which leadeth thereto; and thou must know that it wanteth now but a
month to the time of her going forth. So take my advice and hie thee
this very day to the keeper of that garden and make acquaintance with
him and gain his good graces, for he admitteth not one of Allah’s
creatures into the garth, because of its communication with the
Princess’s palace. I will let thee know two days beforehand of the day
fixed for her coming forth, when do thou repair to the garden, as of thy
wont, and make shift to night there. When the King’s daughter cometh be
thou hidden in some place or other;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman
charged the King’s son, saying, “I will let thee know two days
beforehand of the King’s daughter going down to the garden: do thou hide
thee in some place or other; and, when thou espiest her, come forth and
show thyself to her. When she seeth thee, she will fall in love with
thee; for thou art fair to look upon and love covereth all things. So
keep thine eyes cool and clear[278] and be of good cheer, O my son, for
needs must I bring about union between thee and her.” The young Prince
kissed her hand and thanked her and gave her three pieces of Alexandrian
silk and three of satin of various colours, and with each piece, linen
for shifts and stuff for trousers and a kerchief for the turband and
fine white cotton cloth of Ba’albak for the linings, so as to make her
six complete suits, each handsomer than its sister. Moreover, he gave
her a purse containing six hundred gold pieces and said to her, “This is
for the tailoring.” She took the whole and said to him, “O my son, art
thou not pleased to acquaint me with thine abiding-place and I also will
show thee the way to my lodging?” “Yes,” answered he and sent a Mameluke
with her to note her home and show her his own house. Then he rose and
bidding his slaves shut the shop, went back to the Wazir, to whom he
related all that had passed between him and the old woman, from first to
last. Quoth the Minister, “O my son, should the Princess Hayat al-Nufus
come out and look upon thee and thou find no favour with her what wilt
thou do?” Quoth Ardashir, “There will be nothing left but to pass from
words to deeds and risk my life with her; for I will snatch her up from
amongst her attendants and set her behind me on a swift horse and make
for the wildest of the wold. If I escape, I shall have won my wish and
if I perish, I shall be at rest from this hateful life.” Rejoined the
Minister, “O my son, dost thou think to do this thing and live? How
shall we make our escape, seeing that our country is far distant, and
how wilt thou deal thus with a King of the Kings of the Age, who hath
under his hand an hundred thousand horse, nor can we be sure but that he
will despatch some of his troops to cut off our way? Verily, there is no
good in this project which no wise man would attempt.” Asked Ardashir,
“And how then shall we do, O Wazir of good counsel? For unless I win her
I am a dead man without a chance.” The Minister answered, “Wait till
to-morrow when we will visit this garden and note its condition and see
what betideth us with the care-taker.” So when the morning morrowed they
took a thousand dinars in a poke and, repairing to the garden, found it
compassed about with high walls and strong, rich in trees and rill-full
leas and goodly fruiteries. And indeed its flowers breathed perfume and
its birds warbled amid the bloom as it were a garden of the gardens of
Paradise. Within the door sat a Shaykh, an old man on a stone bench and
they saluted him. When he saw them and noted the fairness of their
favour, he rose to his feet after returning their salute, and said, “O
my lords, perchance ye have a wish which we may have the honour of
satisfying?” Replied the Wazir, “Know, O elder, that we are strangers
and the heat hath overcome us: our lodging is afar off at the other end
of the city; so we desire of thy courtesy that thou take these two
dinars and buy us somewhat of provaunt and open us meanwhile the door of
this flower garden and seat us in some shaded place, where there is cold
water, that we may cool ourselves there, against thou return with the
provision, when we will eat, and thou with us, and then, rested and
refreshed, we shall wend our ways.” So saying, he pulled out of his
pouch a couple of dinars and put them into the keeper’s hand. Now this
care-taker was a man aged threescore and ten, who had never in all his
life possessed so much money: So, when he saw the two dinars in his
hand, he was like to fly for joy and rising forthwith opened the garden
gate to the Prince and the Wazir, and made them enter and sit down under
a wide-spreading, fruit-laden, shade-affording tree, saying, “Sit ye
here and go no further into the garden, for it hath a privy door
communicating with the palace of the Princess Hayat al-Nufus.” They
replied, “We will not stir hence.” Whereupon he went out to buy what
they had ordered and returned after awhile, with a porter bearing on his
head a roasted lamb and bread. They ate and drank together and talked
awhile, till, presently, the Wazir, looking about him in all corners
right and left, caught sight of a lofty pavilion at the farther end of
the garden; but it was old and the plaster was peeled from its walls and
its buttresses were broken down. So he said to the Gardener, “O Shaykh,
is this garden thine own or dost thou hire it?”; and he replied, “I am
neither owner nor tenant of the garden, only its care-taker.” Asked the
Minister, “And what is thy wage?” whereto the old man answered, “A dinar
a month,” and quoth the Wazir, “Verily they wrong thee, especially an
thou have a family.” Quoth the elder, “By Allah, O my lord; I have eight
children and I”—The Wazir broke in, “There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Thou makest me bear thy
grief my poor fellow! What wouldst thou say of him who should do thee a
good turn, on account of this family of thine?” Replied the old man, “O
my lord, whatsoever good thou dost shall be garnered up for thee with
God the Most High!” Thereupon said the Wazir, “O Shaykh, thou knowest
this garden of thine to be a goodly place; but the pavilion yonder is
old and ruinous. Now I mean to repair it and stucco it anew and paint it
handsomely, so that it will be the finest thing in the garth; and when
the owner comes and finds the pavilion restored and beautified, he will
not fail to question thee concerning it. Then do thou say:—O my lord, at
great expense I set it in repair, for that I saw it in ruins and none
could make use of it nor could anyone sit therein. If he says:—Whence
hadst thou the money for this? reply, I spent of my own money upon the
stucco, thereby thinking to whiten my face with thee and hoping for thy
bounties. And needs must he recompense thee fairly over the extent of
thine expenses. To-morrow I will bring builders and plasterers and
painters to repair this pavilion and will give thee what I promised
thee.” Then he pulled out of his poke a purse of five hundred dinars and
gave it to the Gardener, saying, “Take these gold pieces and expend them
upon thy family and let them pray for me and for this my son.” Thereupon
the Prince asked the Wazir, “What is the meaning of all this?” and he
answered, “Thou shalt presently see the issue thereof.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir
gave five hundred ducats to the old Gardener, saying, “Take these gold
pieces and expend them upon thy family and let them pray for this my
son,” the old man looked at the gold and his wits fled; so he fell down
at the Wazir’s feet, kissing them and invoking blessings on him and his
son; and when they went away, he said to them, “I shall expect you
to-morrow: for by Allah Almighty, there must be no parting between us,
night or day.” Next morning the Wazir went to the Prince’s shop and sent
for the syndic of the builders; then he carried him and his men to the
garth, where the Gardener rejoiced in their sight. He gave them the
price of rations[279] and what was needful to the workmen for the
restoration of the pavilion, and they repaired it and stucco’d it and
decorated it. Then said the Minister to the painters, “Harkye, my
masters, listen to my words and apprehend my wish and my aim. Know that
I have a garden like this, where I was sleeping one night among the
nights and saw in a dream a fowler set up nets and sprinkle corn
thereabout. The birds flocked to pick up the grain, and a cock-bird fell
into the net, whereupon the others took fright and flew away, and
amongst the rest his mate: but, after awhile, she returned alone and
picked at the mesh that held his feet, till she set him free and they
flew away together. Now the fowler had fallen asleep and, when he awoke,
he found the net empty; so he mended it and strewing fresh grain sat
down afar off, waiting for game to fall into that snare. Presently the
birds assembled again to pick up the grains, and amongst the rest the
two pigeons. By-and-by, the hen-bird fell into the net, when all the
other birds took fright at her and flew away, and her husband flew with
them and did not return; whereupon the fowler came up and taking the
quarry, cut her throat. Now, when her mate flew away with the others, a
bird of raven seized him and slew him and ate his flesh and drank his
blood, and I would have you pourtray me the presentment of this my
dream, even as I have related it to you, in the liveliest colours,
laying the fair scene in this rare garden, with its walls and trees and
rills, and dwell especially on the fowler and the falcon. If ye do this
I have set forth to you and the work please me, I will give you what
shall gladden your hearts, over and above your wage.” The painters,
hearing these words, applied themselves with all diligence to do what he
required of them and wrought it out in masterly style; and when they had
made an end of the work, they showed it to the Wazir who, seeing his
so-called dream set forth as it was[280] was pleased and thanked them
and rewarded them munificently. Presently, the Prince came in, according
to his custom, and entered the pavilion, unweeting what the Wazir had
done. So when he saw the portraiture of the fowler and the birds and the
net and beheld the male pigeon in the clutches of the hawk, which had
slain him and was drinking his blood and eating his flesh, his
understanding was confounded and he returned to the Minister and said,
“O Wazir of good counsel, I have seen this day a marvel which, were it
graven with needle-gravers on the eye-corners would be a warner to whoso
will be warned?” Asked the Minister, “And what is that, O my lord?”; and
the Prince answered, “Did I not tell thee of the dream the Princess had
and how it was the cause of her hatred for men?” “Yes,” replied the
Wazir; and Ardashir rejoined, “By Allah, O Minister, I have seen the
whole dream pourtrayed in painting, as I had eyed it with mine own eyes;
but I found therein a circumstance which was hidden from the Princess,
so that she saw it not, and ’tis upon this that I rely for the winning
of my wish.” Quoth the Wazir, “And what is that, O my son?”; and quoth
the Prince, “I saw that, when the male bird flew away; and, leaving his
mate entangled in the net, failed to return and save her, a falcon
pounced on him and slaying him, ate his flesh and drank his blood. Would
to Heaven the Princess had seen the whole of the dream and had beheld
the cause of his failure to return and rescue her!” Replied the Wazir,
“By Allah, O auspicious King, this is indeed a rare thing and a
wonderful!” And the King’s son ceased not to marvel at the picture and
lament that the King’s daughter had not beheld the dream to its end,
saying in himself, “Would she had seen it to the last or might see the
whole over again, though but in the imbroglio of sleep!” Then quoth the
Wazir to him, “Thou saidst to me:—Why wilt thou repair the pavilion?;
and I replied:—Thou shalt presently see the issue thereof. And behold,
now its issue thou seest; for it was I did this deed and bade the
painters pourtray the Princess’s dream thus and paint the male bird in
the pounces of the falcon which eateth his flesh and drinketh his blood;
so that when she cometh to the pavilion, she will behold her dream
depicted and see how the cock-pigeon was slain and excuse him and turn
from her hate for men.” When the Prince heard the Wazir’s words, he
kissed his hands and thanked him, saying, “Verily, the like of thee is
fit to be Minister to the most mighty King, and, by Allah, an I win my
wish and return to my sire, rejoicing, I will assuredly acquaint him
with this, that he may redouble in honouring thee and advance thee in
dignity and hearken to thine every word.” So the Wazir kissed his hand
and they both went to the old Gardener and said, “Look at yonder
pavilion and see how fine it is!” And he replied, “This is all of your
happy thought.” Then said they, “O elder, when the owners of the place
question thee concerning the restoration of the pavilion, say
thou:—’Twas I did it of my own monies; to the intent that there may
betide thee fair favour and good fortune.” He said, “I hear and I obey”;
and the Prince continued to pay him frequent visits. Such was the case
with the Prince and the Wazir; but as regards Hayat al-Nufus, when she
ceased to receive the Prince’s letters and messages and when the old
woman was absent from her, she rejoiced with joy exceeding and concluded
that the young man had returned to his own country. One day, there came
to her a covered tray from her father; so she uncovered it and finding
therein fine fruits, asked her waiting-women, “Is the season of these
fruits come?” Answered they, “Yes.” Thereupon she cried, “Would we might
make ready to take our pleasure in the flower-garden!”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Princess,
after receiving the fruit from her sire, asked, “Is the season of these
fruits set in?”; and they answered, “Yes!” Thereupon she cried, “Would
we might make ready to take our pleasure in the flower-garden!” “O my
lady,” they replied, “thou sayest well, and by Allah, we also long for
the garden!” So she enquired, “How shall we do, seeing that every year
it is none save my nurse who taketh us to walk in the garden and who
pointeth out to us the various trees and plants; and I have beaten her
and forbidden her from me? Indeed, I repent me of what was done by me to
her, for that, in any case, she is my nurse and hath over me the right
of fosterage. But there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” When her handmaids heard this, they all
sprang up; and, kissing the ground between her hands, exclaimed, “Allah
upon thee, O my lady, do thou pardon her and bid her to the presence!”;
and quoth she, “By Allah, I am resolved upon this; but which of you will
go to her, for I have prepared her a splendid robe of honour?” Hereupon
two damsels came forward, by name Bulbul and Siwád al-’Ayn, who were
comely and graceful and the principals among the Princess’s women, and
her favourites. And they said, “We will go to her, O King’s daughter!”;
and she said, “Do what seemeth good to you.” So they went to the house
of the nurse and knocked at the door and entered; and she, recognising
the twain, received them with open arms and welcomed them. When they had
sat awhile with her, they said to her, “O nurse, the Princess pardoneth
thee and desireth to take thee back into favour.” She replied, “This may
never be, though I drink the cup of ruin! Hast thou forgotten how she
put me to shame before those who love me and those who hate me, when my
clothes were dyed with my blood and I well nigh died for stress of
beating, and after this they dragged me forth by the feet, like a dead
dog, and cast me without the door? So by Allah, I will never return to
her nor fill my eyes with her sight!” Quoth the two girls, “Disappoint
not our pains in coming to thee nor send us away unsuccessful. Where is
thy courtesy uswards? Think but who it is that cometh in to visit thee:
canst thou wish for any higher of standing than we with the King’s
daughter?” She replied, “I take refuge with Allah: well I wot that my
station is less than yours; were it not that the Princess’s favour
exalted me above all her women, so that, were I wroth with the greatest
of them, she had died in her skin of fright.” They rejoined, “All is as
it was and naught is in anywise changed. Indeed, ’tis better than
before, for the Princess humbleth herself to thee and seeketh a
reconciliation without intermediary.” Said the old woman, “By Allah,
were it not for your presence and intercession with me, I had never
returned to her; no, not though she had commanded to slay me!” They
thanked her for this and she rose and dressing herself accompanied them
to the palace. Now when the King’s daughter saw her, she sprang to her
feet in honour, and the old woman said, “Allah! Allah! O King’s
daughter, say me, whose was the fault, mine or thine?” Hayat al-Nufus
replied, “The fault was mine, and ’tis thine to pardon and forgive. By
Allah, O my nurse, thy rank is high with me and thou hast over me the
right of fosterage; but thou knowest that Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) hath allotted to His creatures four things, disposition, life,
daily bread and death; nor is it in man’s power to avert that which is
decreed. Verily, I was beside myself and could not recover my senses;
but, O my nurse, I repent of what deed I did.” With this, the crone’s
anger ceased from her and she rose and kissed the ground before the
Princess, who called for a costly robe of honour and threw it over her,
whereat she rejoiced with exceeding joy in the presence of the
Princess’s slaves and women. When all ended thus happily, Hayat al-Nufus
said to the old woman, “O my nurse, how go the fruits and growths of our
garth?”; and she replied, “O my lady, I see excellent fruits in the
town; but I will enquire of this matter and return thee an answer this
very day.” Then she withdrew, honoured with all honour and betook
herself to Ardashir, who received her with open arms and embraced her
and rejoiced in her coming, for that he had expected her long and
longingly. She told him all that had passed between herself and the
Princess and how her mistress was minded to go down into the garden on
such a day.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old woman
betook herself to the Prince and told him all that had passed between
herself and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus; and how her mistress was minded
to go down into the garden on such a day and said to him, “Hast thou
done as I bade thee with the Warder of the garden and hast thou made him
taste of thy bounties?” He replied, “Yes, and the oldster is become my
good friend: my way is his way and he would well I had need of him.”
Then he told her all that had happened and of the dream-paintings which
the Wazir had caused to be limned in the pavilion; especially of the
fowler, the net and the falcon: whereat she joyed with great joy and
said, “Allah upon thee, do thou set thy Minister midmost thy heart, for
this that he hath done pointeth to the keenness of his wit and he hath
helped thee to the winning thy wish. So rise forthright, O my son, and
go to the Hammam-bath and don thy daintiest dress, wherein may be our
success. Then fare thou to the Gardener and make shift to pass the night
in the garden, for though he should give the earth full of gold none may
win to pass into it, whilst the King’s daughter is therein. When thou
hast entered, hide thee where no eye may espy thee and keep concealed
till thou hear me cry:—O Thou whose boons are hidden, save us from that
we fear! Then come forth from thine ambush and walk among the trees and
show thy beauty and loveliness which put the moons to shame, to the
intent that Princess Hayat al-Nufus may see thee and that her heart and
soul may be filled with love of thee; so shalt thou attain to thy wish
and thy grief be gone.” “To hear is to obey,” replied the young Prince
and gave her a purse of a thousand dinars, which she took and went away.
Thereupon Ardashir fared straight for the bath and washed; after which
he arrayed himself in the richest of robes of the apparel of the Kings
of the Chosroës and girt his middle with a girdle wherein were conjoined
all manner precious stones and donned a turband inwoven with red gold
and purfled with pearls and gems. His cheeks shone rosy-red and his lips
were scarlet; his eyelids like the gazelle’s wantoned; like a
wine-struck wight in his gait he swayed; beauty and loveliness garbed
him, and his shape shamed the bowing of the bough. Then he put in his
pocket a purse containing a thousand dinars and, repairing to the
flower-garden, knocked at the door. The Gardener opened to him and
rejoicing with great joy salamed to him in most worshipful fashion;
then, observing that his face was overcast, he asked him how he did. The
King’s son answered, “Know, O elder, that I am dear to my father and he
never laid his hand on me till this day, when words arose between us and
he abused me and smote me on the face and struck me with his staff and
drave me away. Now I have no friend to turn to and I fear the perfidy of
Fortune, for thou knowest that the wrath of parents is no light thing.
Wherefore I come to thee, O uncle, seeing that to my father thou art
known, and I desire of thy favour that thou suffer me abide in the
garden till the end of the day, or pass the night there, till Allah
grant good understanding between myself and my sire.” When the old man
heard these words he was concerned anent what had occurred and said, “O
my lord, dost thou give me leave to go to thy sire and be the means of
reconciliation between thee and him?” Replied Ardashir, “O uncle, thou
must know that my father is of impatient nature, and irascible; so an
thou proffer him reconciliation in his heat of temper he will make thee
no answer; but when a day or two shall have passed, his heat will
soften. Then go thou in to him and thereupon he will relent.”
“Hearkening and obedience,” quoth the Gardener; “but, O my lord, do thou
come with me to my house, where thou shalt night with my children and my
family and none shall reproach this to us.” Quoth Ardashir, “O uncle, I
must be alone when I am angry.”[281] The old man said, “It irketh me
that thou shouldst lie solitary in the garden, when I have a house.” But
Ardashir said, “O uncle, I have an aim in this, that the trouble of my
mind may be dispelled from me and I know that in this lies the means of
regaining his favour and softening his heart to me.” Rejoined the
Gardener, “I will fetch thee a carpet to sleep on and a coverlet
wherewith to cover thee;” and the Prince said, “There is no harm in
that, O uncle.” So the keeper rose and opened the garden to him, and
brought him the carpet and coverlet, knowing not that the King’s
daughter was minded to visit the garth. On this wise fared it with the
Prince; but as regards the nurse, she returned to the Princess and told
her that the fruits were kindly ripe on the garden trees; whereupon she
said, “O my nurse, go down with me to-morrow into the garden, that we
may walk about in it and take our pleasure,—Inshallah; and send
meanwhile to the Gardener, to let him know what we purpose.” So she sent
to the Gardener to say:—The Princess will visit the parterre to-morrow,
so leave neither water-carriers nor tree-tenders therein, nor let one of
Allah’s creatures enter the garth. When word came to him, he set his
water-ways and channels in order and, going to Ardashir, said to him, “O
my lord, the King’s daughter is mistress of this garden; and I have only
to crave thy pardon, for the place is thy place and I live only in thy
favours, except that my tongue is under thy feet.[282] I must tell thee
that the Princess Hayat al-Nufus hath a mind to visit it to-morrow at
the first of the day and hath bidden me leave none therein who might
look upon her. So I would have thee of thy favour go forth of the garden
this day, for the Queen will abide only in it till the time of
mid-afternoon prayer and after it shall be at thy service for se’nnights
and fortnights, months and years.” Ardashir asked, “O elder, haply we
have caused thee some mishap?”; and the other answered, “By Allah, O my
lord, naught hath betided me from thee but honour!” Rejoined the Prince,
“An it be so, nothing but all good shall befal thee through us; for I
will hide in the garden and none shall espy me, till the King’s daughter
hath gone back to her palace.” Said the Gardener, “O my lord, an she
espy the shadow of a man in the garden or any of Allah’s male creatures
she will strike off my head;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Gardener said to the Prince, “An the King’s daughter espy the shadow of
a man in her garden, she will strike off my head;” the youth replied,
“Have no fear, I will on no wise let any see me. But doubtless to-day
thou lackest of spending-money for thy family.” Then he put his hand to
his purse and pulled out five hundred ducats, which he gave to him
saying, “Take this gold and lay it out on thy family, that thy heart may
be at ease concerning them.” When the Shaykh looked upon the gold, his
life seemed a light thing to him[283] and he suffered the Prince to
tarry where he was, charging him straitly not to show himself in the
garden. Then he left him loitering about. Meanwhile, when the eunuchs
went in to the Princess at break of day, she bade open the private
wicket leading from the palace to the parterres and donned a royal robe,
embroidered with pearls and jewels and gems, over a shift of fine silk
purfled with rubies. Under the whole was that which tongue refuseth to
explain, whereat was confounded the brain and whose love would embrave
the craven’s strain. On her head she set a crown of red gold, inlaid
with pearls and gems and she tripped in pattens of cloth of gold,
embroidered with fresh pearls[284] and adorned with all manner precious
stones. Then she put her hand upon the old woman’s shoulder and
commanded to go forth by the privy door; but the nurse looked at the
garden and, seeing it full of eunuchs and handmaids walking about,
eating the fruits and troubling the streams and taking their ease of
sport and pleasure in the water said to the Princess, “O my lady, is
this a garden or a madhouse?” Quoth the Princess, “What meaneth thy
speech, O nurse?”; and quoth the old woman, “Verily the garden is full
of slave-girls and eunuchs, eating of the fruits and troubling the
streams and scaring the birds and hindering us from taking our ease and
sporting and laughing and what not else; and thou hast no need of them.
Wert thou going forth of thy palace into the highway, this would be
fitting, as an honour and a ward to thee; but, now, O my lady, thou
goest forth of the wicket into the garden, where none of Almighty
Allah’s creatures may look on thee.” Rejoined the Princess, “By Allah, O
nurse mine, thou sayst sooth! But how shall we do?”; and the old woman
said, “Bid the eunuchs send them all away and keep only two of the
slave-girls, that we may make merry with them.” So she dismissed them
all, with the exception of two of her handmaids who were most in favour
with her. But when the old woman saw that her heart was light and that
the season was pleasant to her, she said to her, “Now we can enjoy
ourselves aright: so up and let us take our pleasance in the garden.”
The Princess put her hand upon her shoulder and went out by the private
door. The two waiting-women walked in front and she followed them
laughing at them and swaying gracefully to and fro in her ample robes;
whilst the nurse forewent her, showing her the trees and feeding her
with fruits; and so they fared on from place to place, till they came to
the pavilion, which when the King’s daughter beheld and saw that it had
been restored, she asked the old woman, “O my nurse, seest thou yonder
pavilion? It hath been repaired and its walls whitened.” She answered,
“By Allah, O my lady, I heard say that the keeper of the garden had
taken stuffs of a company of merchants and sold them and bought bricks
and lime and plaster and stones and so forth with the price; so I asked
him what he had done with all this, and he said:—I have repaired the
pavilion which lay in ruins, presently adding:—And when the merchants
sought their due of me, I said to them, Wait till the Princess visit the
garden and see the repairs and they satisfy her; then will I take of her
what she is pleased to bestow on me, and pay you what is your due. Quoth
I—What moved thee to do this thing?; and quoth he:—I saw the pavilion in
ruins, the coigns thrown down and the stucco peeled from the walls, and
none had the grace to repair it; so I borrowed the coin on my own
account and restored the place; and I trust in the King’s daughter to
deal with me as befitteth her dignity. I said:—The Princess is all
goodness and generosity and will no doubt requite thee. And he did all
this but in hopes of thy bounty.” Replied the Princess, “By Allah, he
hath dealt nobly in rebuilding it and hath done the deed of generous
men! Call me my purse-keeperess.” The old woman accordingly fetched the
purse-keeperess, whom the Princess bade give the Gardener two thousand
dinars; whereupon the nurse sent to him, bidding him to the presence of
the King’s daughter. But when the messenger said to him, “Obey the
Queen’s order,” the Gardener felt feeble and, trembling in every joint,
said in himself, “Doubtless, the Princess hath seen the young man, and
this day will be the most unlucky of days for me.” So he went home and
told his wife and children what had happened and gave them his last
charges and farewelled them, while they wept for and with him. Then he
presented himself before the Princess, with a face the colour of
turmeric and ready to fall flat at full length. The old woman remarked
his plight and hastened to forestall him, saying, “O Shaykh, kiss the
earth in thanksgiving to Almighty Allah and be constant in prayer to Him
for the Princess. I told her what thou didst in the matter of repairing
the ruined pavilion, and she rejoiceth in this and bestoweth on thee two
thousand dinars in requital of thy pains; so take them from the
purse-keeperess and kiss the earth before the King’s daughter and bless
her and wend thy way.” Hearing these words he took the gold and kissed
the ground before Hayat al-Nufus, calling down blessings on her. Then he
returned to his house, and his family rejoiced in him and blessed
him[285] who had been the prime cause of this business.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Care-taker took the two thousand ducats from the Princess and returned
to his house, all his family rejoiced in him and blessed him who had
been the prime cause of this business. Thus it fared with these; but as
regards the old woman, she said to the Princess, “O my lady, this is
indeed become a fine place! Never saw I a purer white than its
plastering nor properer than its painting! I wonder if he have also
repaired it within: else hath he made the outside white and left the
inside black. Come, let us enter and inspect.” So they went in, the
nurse preceding, and found the interior painted and gilded in the
goodliest way. The Princess looked right and left, till she came to the
upper end of the estrade, when she fixed her eyes upon the wall and
gazed long and earnestly thereat; whereupon the old woman knew that her
glance had lighted on the presentment of her dream and took the two
waiting-women away with her, that they might not divert her mind. When
the King’s daughter had made an end of examining the painting, she
turned to the old woman, wondering and beating hand on hand, and said to
her, “O my nurse, come, see a wondrous thing which were it graven with
needle-gravers on the eye corners would be a warner to whoso will be
warned.” She replied, “And what is that, O my lady?”; when the Princess
rejoined, “Go, look at the upper end of the estrade, and tell me what
thou seest there.” So she went up and considered the dream-drawing: then
she came down, wondering, and said, “By Allah, O my lady, here is
depicted the garden and the fowler and his net and the birds and all
thou sawest in thy dream; and verily, nothing but urgent need withheld
the male pigeon from returning to free his mate after he had fled her,
for I see him in the talons of a bird of raven which hath slaughtered
him and is drinking his blood and rending his flesh and eating it; and
this, O my lady, caused his tarrying to return and rescue her from the
net. But, O my mistress, the wonder is how thy dream came to be thus
depicted, for, wert thou minded to set it forth in painture, thou hadst
not availed to portray it. By Allah, this is a marvel which should be
recorded in histories! Surely, O my lady, the angels appointed to attend
upon the sons of Adam, knew that the cock-pigeon was wronged of us,
because we blamed him for deserting his mate; so they embraced his cause
and made manifest his excuse; and now for the first time we see him in
the hawk’s pounces a dead bird.” Quoth the Princess, “O my nurse,
verily, Fate and Fortune had course against this bird, and we did him
wrong.” Quoth the nurse, “O my mistress, foes shall meet before Allah
the Most High: but, O my lady, verily, the truth hath been made manifest
and the male pigeon’s excuse certified to us; for had the hawk not
seized him and drunk his blood and rent his flesh he had not held aloof
from his mate, but had returned to her, and set her free from the net;
but against death there is no recourse, nor, O my lady, is there aught
in the world more tenderly solicitous than the male for the female,
among all creatures which Almighty Allah hath created. And especially
’tis thus with man; for he starveth himself to feed his wife, strippeth
himself to clothe her, angereth his family to please her and disobeyeth
and denieth his parents to endow her. She knoweth his secrets and
concealeth them and she cannot endure from him a single hour.[286] An he
be absent from her one night, her eyes sleep not, nor is there a dearer
to her than he: she loveth him more than her parents and they lie down
to sleep in each other’s arms, with his hand under her neck and her hand
under his neck, even as saith the poet:—

 I made my wrist her pillow and I lay with her in litter; ✿ And I said to
    Night “Be long!” while the full moon showed glitter:
 Ah me, it _was_ a night, Allah never made its like; ✿ Whose first was
    sweetest sweet and whose last was bitt’rest bitter![287]

Then he kisseth her and she kisseth him; and I have heard of a certain
King that, when his wife fell sick and died, he buried himself alive
with her, submitting himself to death, for the love of her and the
strait companionship which was between them. Moreover, a certain King
sickened and died, and when they were about to bury him, his wife said
to her people: Let me bury myself alive with him: else will I slay
myself and my blood shall be on your heads. So, when they saw she would
not be turned from this thing, they left her, and she cast herself into
the grave with her dead husband, of the greatness of her love and
tenderness for him.” And the old woman ceased not to ply the Princess
with anecdotes of conjugal love between men and women, till there ceased
that which was in her heart of hatred for the sex masculine; and when
she felt that she had succeeded in renewing in her the natural
inclination of woman to man, she said to her, “’Tis time to go and walk
in the garden.” So they fared forth from the pavilion and paced among
the trees. Presently the Prince chanced to turn and his eyes fell on
Hayat al-Nufus; and when he saw the symmetry of her shape and the
rosiclearness of her cheeks and the blackness of her eyes and her
exceeding grace and her passing loveliness and her excelling beauty and
her prevailing elegance and her abounding perfection, his reason was
confounded and he could not take his eyes off her. Passion annihilated
his right judgment and love overpassed all limits in him; his vitals
were occupied with her service and his heart was aflame with the fire of
repine, so that he swooned away and fell to the ground. When he came to
himself, she had passed from his sight and was hidden from him among the
trees;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Prince
Ardashir, who lay hid in the garden, saw the Princess and her nurse
walking amongst the trees, he swooned away for very love-longing. When
he came to himself Hayat al-Nufus had passed from his sight and was
hidden from him among the trees; so he sighed from his heart-core and
improvised these couplets:—

 Whenas mine eyes behold her loveliness, ✿ My heart is torn with love’s
    own ecstasy.

 I wake o’erthrown, cast-down on face of earth ✿ Nor can the
    Princess[288] my sore torment see.
 She turned and ravished this sad Love-thrall’d sprite; ✿ Mercy, by
    Allah, ruth; nay, sympathy!
 O Lord, afford me union, deign Thou soothe ✿ My soul, ere grave-niche
    house this corse of me;
 I’ll kiss her ten times ten times, and times ten ✿ For lover’s wasted
    cheek the kisses be!

The old woman ceased not to lead the Princess a-pleasuring about the
garden, till they reached the place where the Prince lay ambushed, when,
behold she said, “O Thou whose bounties are hidden, vouchsafe us
assurance from that we fear!” The King’s son hearing the signal, left
his lurking-place and, surprised by the summons, walked among the trees,
swaying to and fro with a proud and graceful gait and a shape that
shamed the branches. His brow was crowned with pearly drops and his
cheeks red as the afterglow, extolled be Allah the Almighty in that He
hath created! When the King’s daughter caught sight of him, she gazed a
long while on him and noticed his beauty and grace and loveliness and
his eyes that wantoned like the gazelle’s, and his shape that outvied
the branches of the myrobalan; wherefore her wits were confounded and
her soul captivated and her heart transfixed with the arrows of his
glaces. Then she said to the old woman, “O my nurse, whence came yonder
handsome youth?”; and the nurse asked, “Where is he, O my lady?” “There
he is,” answered Hayat al-Nufus; “near hand, among the trees.” The old
woman turned right and left, as if she knew not of his presence, and
cried, “And pray, who can have taught this youth the way into this
garden?” Quoth Hayat al-Nufus, “Who shall give us news of the young man?
Glory be to Him who created men! But say me, dost thou know him, O my
nurse?” Quoth the old woman, “O my lady, he is the young merchant who
wrote to thee by me.” The Princess (and indeed she was drowned in the
sea of her desire and the fire of her passion and love-longing) broke
out, “O my nurse, how goodly is this youth! Indeed he _is_ fair of
favour. Methinks, there is not on the face of earth a goodlier than he!”
Now when the old woman was assured that the love of him had gotten
possession of the Princess, she said to her, “Did I not tell thee, O my
lady, that he was a comely youth with a beaming favour?” Replied Hayat
al-Nufus, “O my nurse, King’s daughters know not the ways of the world
nor the manners of those that be therein, for that they company with
none, neither give they nor take they. O my nurse, how shall I do to
bring about a meeting and present myself to him, and what shall I say to
him and what will he say to me?” Said the old woman, “What device is
left me? Indeed, we were confounded in this matter by thy behaviour”;
and the Princess said, “O my nurse, know thou that if any ever died of
passion, I shall do so, and behold, I look for nothing but death on the
spot by reason of the fire of my love-longing.” When the old woman heard
her words and saw the transport of her desire for him, she answered, “O
my lady, now as for his coming to thee, there is no way thereto; and
indeed thou art excused from going to him, because of thy tender age;
but rise with me and follow me. I will accost him: so shalt thou not be
put to shame, and in the twinkling of an eye affection shall ensue
between you.” The King’s daughter cried, “Go thou before me, for the
decree of Allah may not be rejected.” Accordingly they went up to the
place where Ardashir sat, as he were the full moon at its fullest, and
the old woman said to him, “See O youth, who is present before thee!
’Tis the daughter of our King of the age, Hayat al-Nufus: bethink thee
of her rank and appreciate the honour she doth thee in coming to thee
and rise out of respect for her and stand before her.” The Prince sprang
to his feet in an instant and his eyes met her eyes, whereupon they both
became as they were drunken without wine. Then the love of him and
desire redoubled upon the Princess and she opened her arms and he his,
and they embraced; but love-longing and passion overcame them and they
swooned away and fell to the ground and lay a long while without sense.
The old woman, fearing scandalous exposure, carried them both into the
pavilion, and, sitting down at the door, said to the two waiting-women,
“Seize the occasion to take your pleasure in the garden, for the
Princess sleepeth.” So they returned to their diversion. Presently the
lovers revived from their swoon and found themselves in the pavilion,
whereat quoth the Prince, “Allah upon thee, O Princess of fair ones, is
this vision or sleep-illusion?” Then the twain embraced and intoxicated
themselves without wine, complaining each to other of the anguish of
passion; and the Prince improvised these couplets:—

 Sun riseth sheen from her brilliant brow, ✿ And her cheek shows the
    rosiest afterglow:

 And when both appear to the looker-on, ✿ The skyline star ne’er for
    shame will show:
 An the leven flash from those smiling lips, ✿ Morn breaks and the rays
    dusk and gloom o’erthrow.
 And when with her graceful shape she sways, ✿ Droops leafiest
    Bán-tree[289] for envy low:
 Me her sight suffices; naught crave I more: ✿ Lord of Men and Morn, be
    her guard from foe!
 The full moon borrows a part of her charms; ✿ The sun would rival but
    fails his lowe.
 Whence could Sol aspire to that bending grace? ✿ Whence should Luna see
    such wit and such mind-gifts know?
 Who shall blame me for being all love to her, ✿ ’Twixt accord and
    discord aye doomed to woe:
 ’Tis she won my heart with those forms that bend ✿ What shall lover’s
    heart from such charms defend?

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


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prince
had made an end of his verses, the Princess strained him to her bosom
and kissed him on the mouth and between the eyes; whereupon his soul
returned to him and he fell to complaining to her of that he had endured
for stress of love and tyranny of longing and excess of transport and
distraction and all he had suffered for the hardness of her heart.
Hearing those words she kissed his hands and feet and bared her
head,[290] whereupon the gloom gathered and the full moons dawned
therein. Then said she to him, “O my beloved and term of all my wishes,
would the day of estrangement had never been and Allah grant it may
never return between us!” And they embraced and wept together, whilst
she recited these couplets:—

 O who shamest the Moon and the sunny glow: ✿ Thou whose slaught’ring
    tyranny lays me low;
 With the sword of a look thou hast shorn my heart, ✿ How escape thy
    sword-glance fatal of blow?
 Thus eke are thine eyebrows a bow that shot ✿ My bosom with shafts of
    fiercest lowe:
 From thy cheeks’ rich crop cometh Paradise; ✿ How, then, shall my heart
    the rich crop forego?
 Thy graceful shape is a blooming branch, ✿ And shall pluck the fruits
    who shall bear that bough.
 Perforce thou drawest me, robst my sleep; ✿ In thy love I strip me and
    shameless show:[291]
 Allah lend thee the rays of most righteous light, ✿ Draw the farthest
    near and a tryst bestow:
 Then have ruth on the vitals thy love hath seared, ✿ And the heart that
    flies to thy side the mo’e!

And when she ended her recitation, passion overcame her and she was
distraught for love and wept copious tears, rain-like streaming down.
This burnt the Prince’s heart and he in turn became troubled and
distracted for love of her. So he drew nearer to her and kissed her
hands and wept with sore weeping and they ceased not from
lover-reproaches and converse and versifying, until the call to
mid-afternoon prayer (nor was there aught between them other than this),
when they bethought them of parting and she said to him, “O light of
mine eyes and core of my heart, the time of severance has come between
us twain: when shall we meet again?” “By Allah,” replied he (and indeed
her words shot him as with shafts), “to mention of parting I am never
fain!” Then she went forth of the pavilion, and he turned and saw her
sighing sighs would melt the rock and weeping shower-like tears;
whereupon he for love was sunken in the sea of desolation and improvised
these couplets:—

 O my heart’s desire! grows my misery ✿ From the stress of love, and what
    cure for me?
 By thy face, like dawn when it lights the dark, ✿ And thy hair whose hue
    beareth night-tide’s blee,
 And thy form like the branch which in grace inclines ✿ To Zephyr’s[292]
    breath blowing fain and free,
 By the glance of thine eyes like the fawn’s soft gaze, ✿ When she views
    pursuer of high degree,

 And thy waist down borne by the weight of hips, ✿ These so heavy and
    that lacking gravity,
 By the wine of thy lip-dew, the sweetest of drink, ✿ Fresh water and
    musk in its purity,
 O gazelle of the tribe, ease my soul of grief, ✿ And grant me thy
    phantom in sleep to see!

Now when she heard his verses in praise of her, she turned back to him
and embracing him, with a heart on fire for the anguish of severance,
fire which naught save kisses and embraces might quench, cried, “Sooth
the byword saith, Patience is for a lover and not the lack thereof.
There is no help for it but I contrive a means for our reunion.” Then
she farewelled him and fared forth, knowing not where she set her feet,
for stress of her love; nor did she stay her steps till she found
herself in her own chamber. When she was gone, passion and love-longing
redoubled upon the young Prince and the delight of sleep was forbidden
him, and the Princess in her turn tasted not food and her patience
failed and she sickened for desire. As soon as dawned the day, she sent
for the nurse, who came and found her condition changed and she cried,
“Question me not of my case; for all I suffer is due to thy handiwork.
Where is the beloved of my heart?” “O my lady, when did he leave thee?
Hath he been absent from thee more than this night?” “Can I endure
absence from him an hour? Come, find some means to bring us together
speedily, for my soul is like to flee my body.” “O my lady, have
patience till I contrive thee some subtle device, whereof none shall be
ware.” “By the Great God, except thou bring him to me this very day, I
will tell the King that thou hast corrupted me, and he will cut off thy
head!” “I conjure thee, by Allah, have patience with me, for this is a
dangerous matter!” And the nurse humbled herself to her, till she
granted her three days’ delay, saying, “O my nurse, the three days will
be three years to me; and if the fourth day pass and thou bring him not,
I will go about to slay thee.” So the old woman left her and returned to
her lodging, where she abode till the morning of the fourth day, when
she summoned the tirewomen of the town and sought of them fine dyes and
rouge for the painting of a virgin girl and adorning; and they brought
her cosmetics of the best. Then she sent for the Prince and, opening her
chest, brought out a bundle containing a suit of woman’s apparel, worth
five thousand dinars, and a head-kerchief fringed with all manner gems.
Then said she to him, “O my son, hast thou a mind to foregather with
Hayat al-Nufus?”; and he replied, “Yes.” So she took a pair of tweezers
and pulled out the hairs of his face and pencilled his eyes with
Kohl.[293] Then she stripped him and painted him with Henna[294] from
his nails to his shoulders and from his insteps to his thighs and
tattooed[295] him about the body, till he was like red roses upon
alabaster slabs. After a little, she washed him and dried him and
bringing out a shift and a pair of petticoat-trousers made him put them
on. Then she clad him in the royal suit aforesaid and, binding the
kerchief about his head, veiled him and taught him how to walk, saying,
“Advance thy left and draw back thy right.” He did her bidding and
forewent her, as he were a Houri faring abroad from Paradise. Then said
she to him, “Fortify thy heart, for thou art going to the King’s palace,
where there will without fail be guards and eunuchs at the gate; and if
thou be startled at them and show doubt or dread, they will suspect thee
and examine thee, and we shall both get into grievous trouble and haply
lose our lives: wherefore an thou feel thyself unable to this, tell me.”
He answered, “In very sooth this thing hath no terrors for me, so be of
good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear.” Then she went out
preceding him till the twain came to the palace-gate, which was full of
eunuchs. She turned and looked at him, as much as to say, “Art thou
troubled or no?” and finding him all unchanged, went on. The chief
eunuch glanced at the nurse and knew her but, seeing a damsel following
her, whose charms confounded the reason, he said in his mind, “As for
the old woman, she is the nurse; but as for the girl who is with her
there is none in our land resembleth her in favour or approacheth her in
fairness save the Princess Hayat al-Nufus, who is secluded and never
goeth out. Would I knew how she came into the streets and would Heaven I
wot whether or no ’twas by leave of the King!” Then he rose to learn
somewhat concerning her and well nigh thirty castratos followed him;
which when the old woman saw, her reason fled for fear and she said,
“Verily, we are Allah’s and to Him we shall return! Without recourse we
are dead folk this time.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old
nurse saw the head of the eunuchry and his assistants making for her she
was in exceeding fear and cried, “There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily we are God’s and
unto him we shall return; without recourse we be dead folk this time.”
When the head eunuch heard her speak thus, fear gat hold upon him, by
reason of that which he knew of the Princess’s violence and that her
father was ruled by her, and he said to himself, “Belike the King hath
commanded the nurse to carry his daughter forth upon some occasion of
hers, whereof she would have none know; and if I oppose her, she will be
wroth with me and will say:—This eunuch fellow stopped me, that he might
pry into my affairs. So she will do her best to kill me, and I have no
call to meddle in this matter.” So saying, he turned back, and with him
the thirty assistants who drove the people from the door of the palace;
whereupon the nurse entered and saluted the eunuchs with her head,
whilst all the thirty stood to do her honour and returned her salam. She
led in the Prince and he ceased not following her from door to door, and
the Protector protected them, so that they passed all the guards, till
they came to the seventh door: it was that of the great pavilion,
wherein was the King’s throne, and it communicated with the chambers of
his women and the saloons of the Harim, as well as with his daughter’s
pavilion. So the old woman halted and said, “Here we are, O my son, and
glory be to Him who hath brought us thus far in safety! But, O my son,
we cannot foregather with the Princess except by night; for night
enveileth the fearful.” He replied, “True, but what is to be done?”
Quoth she, “Hide thee in this black hole,” showing him behind the door a
dark and deep cistern, with a cover thereto. So he entered the cistern,
and she went away and left him there till ended day, when she returned
and carried him into the palace, till they came to the door of Hayat
al-Nufus’s apartment. The old woman knocked and a little maid came out
and said, “Who is at the door?” Said the nurse, “’Tis I,” whereupon the
maid returned and craved permission of her lady, who said, “Open to her
and let her come in with any who may accompany her.” So they entered and
the nurse, casting a glance around, perceived that the Princess had made
ready the sitting-chamber and ranged the lamps in row and lighted
candles of wax in chandeliers of gold and silver and spread the divans
and estrades with carpets and cushions. Moreover, she had set on trays
of food and fruits and confections and she had perfumed the place with
musk and aloes-wood and ambergris. She was seated among the lamps and
the tapers and the light of her face outshone the lustre of them all.
When she saw the old woman, she said to her, “O nurse, where is the
beloved of my heart?”; and the other replied, “O my lady, I cannot find
him nor have mine eyes espied him; but I have brought thee his own
sister; and here she is.” Cried the Princess, “Art thou Jinn-mad? What
need have I of his sister? Say me, an a man’s head irk him, doth he bind
up his hand?” The old woman answered, “No, by Allah, O my lady! But look
on her, and if she pleases thee, let her be with thee.” Then she
uncovered the Prince’s face, whereupon Hayat al-Nufus knew him and
running to him, pressed him to her bosom, and he pressed her to his
breast. Then they both fell down in a swoon and lay without sense a long
while. The old woman sprinkled rose-water upon them till they came to
themselves, when she kissed him on the mouth more than a thousand times
and improvised these couplets:—

 Sought me this heart’s dear love at gloom of night; ✿ I rose in honour
    till he sat forthright,
 And said, “O aim of mine, O sole desire ✿ In such night-visit hast of
    guards no fright?”
 Replied he, “Yes, I fearèd much, but Love ✿ Robbed me of all my wits and
    reft my sprite.”
 We clipt with kisses and awhile clung we ✿ For here ’twas safe; nor
    feared we watchman-wight:
 Then rose we parting without doubtful deed ✿ And shook out skirts where
    none a stain could sight.

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


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when her lover
visited Hayat al-Nufus in her palace, the twain embraced and she
improvised some happy couplets beseeming the occasion. And when she had
ended her extempore lines she said, “Is it indeed true that I see thee
in my abode and that thou art my cup-mate and my familiar?” Then passion
grew on her and love was grievous to her, so that her reason well-nigh
fled for joy and she improvised these couplets:—

 With all my soul I’ll ransom him who came to me in gloom ✿ Of night,
    whilst I had waited long to see his figure loom;
 And naught aroused me save his weeping voice of tender tone ✿ And
    whispered I, “Fair fall thy foot and welcome and well come!”
 His cheek I kissed a thousand times, and yet a thousand more; ✿ Then
    clipt and clung about his breast enveiled in darkling room.
 And cried, “Now verily I’ve won the aim of every wish ✿ So praise and
    prayers to Allah for this grace now best become.”
 Then slept we even as we would the goodliest of nights ✿ Till morning
    came to end our night and light up earth with bloom.

As soon as it was day, she made him enter a place in her apartment
unknown to any and he abode there till nightfall, when she brought him
out and they sat in converse and carouse. Presently he said to her, “I
wish to return to my own country and tell my father what hath passed
between us, that he may equip his Wazir to demand thee in marriage of
thy sire.” She replied, “O my love, I fear, an thou return to thy
country and kingdom, thou wilt be distracted from me and forget the love
of me; or that thy father will not further thy wishes in this matter and
I shall die. Meseems the better rede were that thou abide with me and in
my hand-grasp, I looking on thy face, and thou on mine, till I devise
some plan, whereby we may escape together some night and flee to thy
country; for I have cut off my hopes from my own people and I despair of
them.” He rejoined, “I hear and obey;” and they fell again to their
carousal and conversing. He tarried with her thus for some time till,
one night, the wine was pleasant to them and they lay not down nor did
they sleep till break of day. Now it chanced that one of the Kings sent
her father a present, and amongst other things, a necklace of union
jewels, nine-and-twenty grains, to whose price a King’s treasures might
not suffice. Quoth Abd-al-Kadir, “This rivière beseemeth none but my
daughter Hayat al-Nufus;” and, turning to an eunuch, whose jaw-teeth the
Princess had knocked out for reasons best known to herself,[296] he
called to him and said, “Carry the necklace to thy lady and say to
her:—One of the Kings hath sent thy father this, as a present, and its
price may not be paid with money; put it on thy neck.” The slave took
the necklace, saying in himself, “Allah Almighty make it the last thing
she shall put on in this world, for that she deprived me of the benefit
of my grinder-teeth!”; and repairing to the Princess’s apartment, found
the door locked and the old woman asleep before the threshold. He shook
her, and she awoke in affright and asked, “What dost thou want?”; to
which he answered, “The King hath sent me on an errand to his daughter.”
Quoth the nurse, “The key is not here, go away, whilst I fetch it;” but
quoth he, “I cannot go back to the King without having done his
commandment.” So she went away, as if to fetch the key; but fear
overtook her and she sought safety in flight. Then the eunuch awaited
her awhile; then, finding she did not return, he feared that the King
would be angry at his delay; so he rattled at the door and shook it,
whereupon the bolt gave way and the leaf opened. He entered and passed
on, till he came to the seventh door and walking in to the Princess’s
chamber found the place splendidly furnished and saw candles and flagons
there. At this spectacle he marvelled and going close up to the bed,
which was curtained by a hanging of silk, embroidered with a net-work of
jewels, drew back the curtain from before the Princess and saw her
sleeping with her arms about the neck of a young man handsomer than
herself; whereat he magnified Allah Almighty, who had created such a
youth of vile water, and said, “How goodly be this fashion for one who
hateth men! How came she by this fellow? Methinks ’twas on his account
that she knocked out my back teeth!” Then he drew the curtain and made
for the door; but the King’s daughter awoke in affright and seeing the
eunuch, whose name was Káfúr, called to him. He made her no answer: so
she came down from the bed on the estrade; and catching hold of his
skirt laid it on her head and kissed his feet, saying, “Veil what Allah
veileth!” Quoth he, “May Allah not veil thee nor him who would veil
thee! Thou didst knock out my grinders and saidst to me:—Let none make
mention to me aught of men and their ways!” So saying, he disengaged
himself from her grasp and running out, locked the door on them and set
another eunuch to guard it. Then he went in to the King who said to him?
“Hast thou given the necklace to Hayat al-Nufus?” The eunuch replied,
“By Allah, thou deservest altogether a better fate;” and the King asked,
“What hath happened? Tell me quickly;” whereto he answered, “I will not
tell thee, save in private and between our eyes,” but the King retorted,
saying, “Tell me at once and in public.” Cried the eunuch, “Then grant
me immunity.” So the King threw him the kerchief of immunity and he
said, “O King, I went into the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and found her
asleep in a carpeted chamber and on her bosom was a young man. So I
locked the door upon the two and came back to thee.” When the King heard
these words he started up and taking a sword in his hand, cried out to
the Rais of the eunuchs, saying, “Take thy lads and go to the Princess’s
chamber and bring me her and him who is with her as they twain lie on
the bed; but cover them both up.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


       Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King
commanded the head eunuch to take his lads and to fetch and set before
him Hayat al-Nufus and him who was with her, the chief and his men
entered the Princess’s apartment where he found her standing up,
dissolved in railing tears, and the Prince by her side; so he said to
them, “Lie down on the bed, as thou wast and let him do likewise.” The
King’s daughter feared for her lover[297] and said to him, “This is no
time for resistance.” So they both lay down and the eunuchs covered them
up and carried the twain into the King’s presence. Thereupon Abd
al-Kadir pulled off the coverings and the Princess sprang to her feet.
He looked at her and would have smitten her neck: but the Prince threw
himself on the father’s breast, saying, “The fault was not hers but mine
only: kill me before thou killest her.” The King made at him, to cut him
down, but Hayat al-Nufus cast herself on her father and said, “Kill me
not him; for he is the son of a great King, lord of all the land in its
length and breadth.” When the King heard this, he turned to the Chief
Wazir, who was a gathering-place of all that is evil, and said to him,
“What sayst thou of this matter, O Minister?” Quoth his Wazir, “What I
say is that all who find themselves in such case as this have need of
lying, and there is nothing for it but to cut off both their heads,
after torturing them with all manner of tortures.” Hereupon the King
called his sworder of vengeance, who came with his lads, and said to
him, “Take this gallows bird and strike off his head and after do the
like with this harlot and burn their bodies, and consult me not about
them a second time.” So the headsmen put his hand to her back, to take
her; but the King cried out at him and cast at him somewhat he hent in
hand, which had well-nigh killed him, saying, “O dog, how durst thou
show ruth to those with whom I am wroth? Put thy hand to her hair and
drag her along by it, so that she may fall on her face.” Accordingly he
haled her by her hair and the Prince in like manner to the place of
blood, where he tore off a piece of his skirt and therewith bound the
Prince’s eyes putting the Princess last, in the hope that some one would
intercede for her. Then, having made ready the Prince he swung his sharp
sword three times (whilst all the troops wept and prayed Allah to send
them deliverance by some intercessor), and raised his hand to cut off
Ardashir’s head when, behold, there arose a cloud of dust, that spread
and flew till it veiled the view. Now the cause thereof was that when
the young Prince had delayed beyond measure, the King, his sire, had
levied a mighty host and had marched with it in person to get tidings of
his son. Such was his case; but as regards King Abd al-Kadir, when he
saw this, he said, “O wights, what is the meaning of yonder dust that
dimmeth sights?” The Grand Wazir sprang up and went out to reconnoitre
and found behind the cloud men like locusts, of whom no count could be
made nor aught avail of aid, filling the hills and plains and valleys.
So he returned with the report to the King, who said to him, “Go down
and learn for us what may be this host and the cause of its marching
upon our country. Ask also of their commander and salute him for me and
enquire the reason of his coming. An he came in quest of aught, we will
aid him, and if he have a blood-feud with one of the Kings, we will ride
with him; or, if he desire a gift, we will handsel him; for this is
indeed a numerous host and a power uttermost, and we fear for our land
from its mischief.” So the Minister went forth and walked among the
tents and troopers and body-guards, and ceased not faring on from the
first of the day till near sundown, when he came to the warders with
gilded swords in tents star-studded. Passing these, he made his way
through Emirs and Wazirs and Nabobs and Chamberlains, to the pavilion of
the Sultan, and found him a mighty King. When the King’s officers saw
him, they cried out to him, saying, “Kiss ground! Kiss ground!”[298] He
did so and would have risen, but they cried out at him a second and a
third time. So he kissed the earth again and again and raised his head
and would have stood up, but fell down at full length for excess of awe.
When at last he was set between the hands of the King he said to him,
“Allah prolong thy days and increase thy sovranty and exalt thy rank, O
thou auspicious King! And furthermore, of a truth, King Abd al-Kadir
saluteth thee and kisseth the earth before thee and asketh on what
weighty business thou art come. An thou seek to avenge thee for blood on
any King, he will take horse in thy service; or, an thou come in quest
of aught, wherein it is in his power to help thee, he standeth up at thy
service on account thereof.” So Ardashir’s father replied to the Wazir,
saying, “O messenger, return to thy lord and tell him that the most
mighty King Sayf al-A’azam Shah, Lord of Shiraz, had a son who hath been
long absent from him and news of him have not come and all traces of him
have been cut off. An he be in this city, he will take him and depart
from you; but, if aught have befallen him or any mischief have ensued to
him from you, his father will lay waste your land and make spoil of your
goods and slay your men and seize your women. Return, therefore, to thy
lord in haste and tell him this, ere evil befal him.” Answered the
Minister, “To hear is to obey!” and turned to go away, when the
Chamberlains cried out to him, saying, “Kiss ground! Kiss ground!” So he
kissed the ground a score of times and rose not till his life-breath was
in his nostrils.[299] Then he left the King’s high court and returned to
the city, full of anxious thought concerning the affair of this King and
the multitude of his troops, and going in to King Abd al-Kadir, pale
with fear and trembling in his side-muscles, acquainted him with that
had befallen him;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.


       Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir returned
from the court of the Great King, pale with fear and with side-muscles
quivering for dread exceeding; and acquainted his lord with that had
befallen him. Hereat disquietude and terror for himself and for his
people laid hold upon him and he said to the Minister, “O Wazir, and who
is this King’s son?” Replied the other, “’Tis even he whom thou badest
put to death, but praised be Allah who hastened not his slaughter! Else
had his father wasted our lands and spoiled our good.” Quoth the King,
“See now thy corrupt judgment, in that thou didst counsel us to slay
him! Where is the young man, the son of yonder magnanimous King?” And
quoth the Wazir, “O mighty King, thou didst command him be put to
death.” When the King heard this, he was clean distraught and cried out
from his heart’s core and in-most of head, saying, “Woe to you! Fetch me
the Headsman forthright, lest death fall on him!” So they fetched the
Sworder and he said, “O King of the Age, I have smitten off his head
even as thou badest me.” Cried Abd al-Kadir, “O dog, an this be true, I
will assuredly send thee after him.” The Headsman replied, “O King, thou
didst command me to slay him without consulting thee a second time.”
Said the King, “I was in my wrath; but speak the truth, ere thou lose
thy life;” and said the Sworder, “O King, he is yet in the chains of
life.” At this Abd al-Kadir rejoiced and his heart was set at rest; then
he called for Ardashir, and when he came, he stood up to receive him and
kissed his mouth, saying, “O my son, I ask pardon of Allah Almighty for
the wrong I have done thee, and say thou not aught that may lower my
credit with thy sire, the Great King.” The Prince asked “O King of the
Age, and where is my father?” and the other answered, “He is come hither
on thine account.” Thereupon quoth Ardashir, “By thy worship, I will not
stir from before thee till I have cleared my honour and the honour of
thy daughter from that which thou laidest to our charge; for she is a
pure virgin. Send for the midwives and let them examine her before thee.
An they find her maidenhead gone, I give thee leave to shed my blood;
and if they find her a clean maid, her innocence of dishonour and mine
also will be made manifest.” So he summoned the midwives, who examined
the Princess and found her a pure virgin and so told the King, seeking
largesse of him. He gave them what they sought, putting off his royal
robes to bestow on them, and in like manner he was bountiful to all who
were in the Harim. And they brought forth the scent-cups and perfumed
all the Lords of estate and Grandees; and not one but rejoiced with
exceeding joy. Then the King threw his arms about Ardashir’s neck and
entreated him with all worship and honour, bidding his chief eunuchs
bear him to the bath. When he came out, he cast over his shoulders a
costly robe and crowned him with a coronet of jewels; he also girt him
with a girdle of silk, purfled with red gold and set with pearls and
gems, and mounted him on one of his noblest mares, with selle and
trappings of gold inlaid with pearls and jewels. Then he bade his
Grandees and Captains mount on his service and escort him to his
father’s presence; and charged him tell his sire that King Abd al-Kadir
was at his disposal, hearkening to and obeying him in whatso he should
bid or forbid. “I will not fail of this,” answered Ardashir and
farewelling him, repaired to his father who, at sight of him, was
transported for delight and springing up, advanced to meet him and
embraced him, whilst joy and gladness spread among all the host of the
Great King. Then came the Wazirs and Chamberlains and Captains and
guards and kissed the ground before the Prince and rejoiced in his
coming: and it was a great day with them for enjoyment, for the King’s
son gave leave to those of King Abd al-Kadir’s officers who had
accompanied him and others of the townsfolk, to view the ordinance of
his father’s host, without let or stay, so they might know the multitude
of the Great King’s troops and the might of his empire. And all who had
seen him selling stuffs in the linendrapers’ bazar marvelled how his
soul could have consented thereto, considering the nobility of his
spirit and the loftiness of his dignity; but it was his love and
inclination to the King’s daughter that to this had constrained him.
Meanwhile, news of the multitude of her lover’s troops came to Hayat
al-Nufus, who was still jailed by her sire’s commandment, till they knew
what he should order respecting her, whether pardon and release or death
and burning; and she looked down from the terrace-roof of the palace
and, turning towards the mountains, saw even these covered with armed
men. When she beheld all those warriors and knew that they were the army
of Ardashir’s father, she feared lest he should be diverted from her by
his sire and forget her and depart from her, whereupon her father would
slay her. So she called a handmaid that was with her in her apartment by
way of service, and said to her, “Go to Ardashir, son of the Great King,
and fear not. When thou comest into his presence, kiss the ground before
him and tell him what thou art and say to him:—My lady saluteth thee and
would have thee to know that she is a prisoner in her father’s palace,
awaiting his sentence, whether he be minded to pardon her or put her to
death, and she beseecheth thee not to forget her or forsake her; for
to-day thou art all-powerful; and, in whatso thou commandest, no man
dare cross thee. Wherefore, an it seem good to thee to rescue her from
her sire and take her with thee, it were of thy bounty, for indeed she
endureth all these trials for thy sake. But, an this seem not good to
thee, for that thy desire of her is at an end, still speak to thy sire,
so haply he may intercede for her with her father and he depart not,
till he have made him set her free and taken surety from and made
covenant with him, that he will not go about to put her to death nor
work her aught of harm. This is her last word to thee, may Allah not
desolate her of thee, and so The Peace!”[300]——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


      Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the bondmaid
sent by Hayat al-Nufus made her way to Ardashir and delivered him her
lady’s message, which when he heard, he wept with sore weeping and said
to her, “Know that Hayat al-Nufus is my mistress and that I am her slave
and the captive of her love. I have not forgotten what was between us
nor the bitterness of the parting day; so do thou say to her, after thou
hast kissed her feet, that I will speak with my father of her, and he
shall send his Wazir, who sought her aforetime in marriage for me, to
demand her hand once more of her sire, for he dare not refuse. So, if he
send to her to consult her, let her make no opposition; for I will not
return to my country without her.” Then the handmaid returned to Hayat
al-Nufus; and, kissing her hands, delivered to her the message, which
when she heard, she wept for very joy and returned thanks to Almighty
Allah. Such was her case; but as regards Ardashir, he was alone with his
father that night and the Great King questioned him of his case,
whereupon he told him all that had befallen him, first and last. Then
quoth the King, “What wilt thou have me do for thee, O my son? An thou
desire Abd al-Kadir’s ruin, I will lay waste his lands and spoil his
hoards and dishonour his house.” Replied Ardashir, “I do not desire
that, O my father, for he hath done nothing to me deserving thereof; but
I wish for union with her; wherefore I beseech thee of thy favour to
make ready a present for her father, (but let it be a magnificent gift!)
and send it to him by thy Minister, the man of just judgment.” Quoth the
King, “I hear and consent;” and sending for the treasures he had laid up
from time past, brought out all manner precious things and showed them
to his son, who was pleased with them. Then he called his Wazir and bade
him bear the present with him[301] to King Abd al-Kadir and demand his
daughter in marriage for Ardashir, saying, “Accept the present and
return him a reply.” Now from the time of Ardashir’s departure, King Abd
al-Kadir had been troubled and ceased not to be heavy at heart, fearing
the laying waste of his reign and the spoiling of his realm; when
behold, the Wazir came in to him and saluting him, kissed ground before
him. He rose up standing and received him with honour; but the Minister
made haste to fall at his feet and kissing them cried, “Pardon, O King
of the Age! The like of thee should not rise to the like of me, for I am
the least of servants’ slaves. Know, O King, that Prince Ardashir hath
acquainted his father with some of the favours and kindnesses thou hast
done him, wherefore he thanketh thee and sendeth thee in company of thy
servant who standeth before thee, a present, saluting thee and wishing
thee especial blessings and prosperities.” Abd al-Kadir could not
believe what he heard of the excess of his fear, till the Wazir laid the
present before him, when he saw it to be such gift as no money could
purchase nor could one of the Kings of the earth avail to the like
thereof; wherefore he was belittled in his own eyes and springing to his
feet, praised Almighty Allah and glorified Him and thanked the Prince.
Then said the Minister to him, “O noble King, give ear to my word and
know that the Great King sendeth to thee, desiring thine alliance, and I
come to thee seeking and craving the hand of thy daughter, the chaste
dame and treasured gem Hayat al-Nufus, in wedlock for his son Ardashir,
wherefore, if thou consent to this proposal and accept of him, do thou
agree with me for her marriage-portion.” Abd al-Kadir hearing these
words replied, “I hear and obey. For my part, I make no objection, and
nothing can be more pleasurable to me; but the girl is of full age and
reason and her affair is in her own hand. So be assured that I will
refer it to her and she shall chose for herself.” Then he turned to the
chief eunuch and bade him go and acquaint the Princess with the event.
So he repaired to the Harim and, kissing the Princess’s hands,
acquainted her with the Great King’s offer adding, “What sayest thou in
answer?” “I hear and I obey,” replied she.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the chief
eunuch of the Harim having informed the Princess how she had been
demanded in marriage by the Great King and having heard her reply, “I
hear and I obey,” returned therewith to the King and gave him this
answer, whereat he rejoiced with exceeding joy and, calling for a costly
robe of honour, threw it over the Wazir’s shoulders. Furthermore, he
ordered him ten thousand dinars and bade him carry the answer to the
Great King and crave leave for him to pay him a visit. “Hearing and
obeying,” answered the Minister; and, returning to his master, delivered
him the reply and Abd al-Kadir’s message, and repeated all their talk,
whereat he rejoiced greatly and Ardashir was transported for delight and
his breast broadened and he was a most happy man. King Sayf al-A’azam
also gave King Abd al-Kadir leave to come forth to visit him; so, on the
morrow, he took horse and rode to the camp of the Great King, who came
to meet him and saluting him, seated him in the place of honour, and
gave him welcome; and they two sat whilst Ardashir stood before them.
Then arose an orator of the King Abd al-Kadir’s court and pronounced an
eloquent discourse, giving the Prince joy of the attainment of his
desire and of his marriage with the Princess, a Queen among King’s
daughters. When he sat down the Great King caused bring a chest full of
pearls and gems, together with fifty thousand dinars, and said to King
Abd al-Kadir, “I am my son’s deputy in all that concerneth this matter.”
So Abd al-Kadir acknowledged receipt of the marriage-portion and amongst
the rest, fifty thousand dinars for the nuptial festivities; after which
they fetched the Kazis and the witnesses, who wrote out the contract of
marriage between the Prince and Princess, and it was a notable day,
wherein all lovers made merry and all haters and enviers were mortified.
They spread the marriage-feasts and banquets and lastly Ardashir went in
unto the Princess and found her a jewel which had been hidden, an union
pearl unthridden and a filly that none but he had ridden, so he notified
this to his sire. Then King Sayf al-A’azam asked his son, “Hast thou any
wish thou wouldst have fulfilled ere we depart?”; and he answered, “Yes,
O King, know that I would fain take my wreak of the Wazir who entreated
us on evil wise and the eunuch who forged a lie against us.” So the King
sent forthright to Abd al-Kadir, demanding of him the Minister and the
castrato, whereupon he despatched them both to him and he commanded to
hang them over the city gate. After this, they abode a little while and
then sought of Abd al-Kadir leave for his daughter to equip her for
departure. So he equipped her and mounted her in a Takhtrawán, a
travelling litter of red gold, inlaid with pearls and gems and drawn by
noble steeds. She carried with her all her waiting-women and eunuchs, as
well as the nurse, who had returned, after her flight, and resumed her
office. Then King Sayf al-A’azam and his son mounted and Abd al-Kadir
mounted also with all the lords of his land, to take leave of his
son-in-law and daughter; and it was a day to be reckoned of the
goodliest of days. After they had gone some distance, the Great King
conjured Abd al-Kadir to turn back; so he farewelled him and his son,
after he had strained him to his breast and kissed him between the eyes
and thanked him for his grace and favours and commended his daughter to
his care. Then he went in to the Princess and embraced her; and she
kissed his hands and they wept in the standing-place of parting. After
this he returned to his capital and Ardashir and his company fared on,
till they reached Shiraz, where they celebrated the marriage-festivities
anew. And they abode in all comfort and solace and joyance of life, till
there came to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies;
the Depopulator of palaces and the Garnerer of graveyards. And men also
relate the tale of

-----

Footnote 261:

  Omitted by Lane (iii. 252) “because little more than a repetition” of
  Taj al-Mulúk and the Lady Dunyá. This is true; but the nice progress
  of the nurse’s pimping is a well-finished picture and the old woman’s
  speech (_infra_ p. 243) is a gem.

Footnote 262:

  Artaxerxes; in the Mac. Edit. Azdashír, a misprint.

Footnote 263:

  I use “kiss ground” as we say “kiss hands.” But it must not be
  understood literally: the nearest approach would be to touch the earth
  with the finger-tips and apply them to the lips or brow. Amongst
  Hindus the Ashtánga-prostration included actually kissing the ground.

Footnote 264:

  The “key” is mentioned because a fee so called (miftáh) is paid on its
  being handed to the new lodger (Pilgrimage i. 62).

Footnote 265:

  The Koranic term for semen, often quoted.

Footnote 266:

  Koran, xii. 31, in the story of Joseph, before noticed.

Footnote 267:

  Probably the white woollens, so often mentioned, whose use is now
  returning to Europe, where men have a reasonable fear of dyed stuffs,
  especially since Aniline conquered Cochineal.

Footnote 268:

  Arab. “samír,” one who enjoys the musámarah or night-talk outside the
  Arab tents. “Samar” is the shade of the moon, or half darkness when
  only stars shine without a moon, or the darkness of a moonless night.
  Hence the proverb (A. P. ii. 513) “Má af’al-hú al-samar wa’l kamar;” I
  will not do it by moon-darkness or by moonshine, _i.e._ never. I have
  elsewhere remarked that “Early to bed and early to rise” is a
  civilised maxim; most barbarians sit deep into the night in the light
  of the moon of a camp-fire and will not rise till nearly noon. They
  agree in our modern version of the old saw:—

                Early to bed and early to rise
                Makes a man surly and gives him red eyes.

  The Shayks of Arab tribes especially transact most of their public
  business during the dark hours.

Footnote 269:

  Suspecting that it had been sent by some Royal lover.

Footnote 270:

  Arab. “Rubbamá” a particle more emphatic than rubba, = perhaps,
  sometimes, often.

Footnote 271:

  “The broken (wall)” from Hatim = breaking. It fences the Hijr or space
  where Ishmael is buried (vol. vi. 205); and I have described it in
  Pilgrimage iii. 165.

Footnote 272:

  Arab. “Faráis” (plur. of farísah): the phrase has often occurred and
  is = our “trembled in every nerve.” As often happens in Arabic, it is
  “horsey;” alluding to the shoulder-muscles (not shoulder-blades,
  Preston p. 89) between neck and flank which readily quiver in
  blood-horses when excited or frightened.

Footnote 273:

  Arab. “Fazl” = exceeding goodness as in “Fazl wa ma’rifah” = virtue
  and learning.

Footnote 274:

  Arab. “Al-Mafárik” (plur. of Mafrak), = the pole or crown of the head,
  where the hair parts naturally and where baldness mostly begins.

Footnote 275:

  Arab. Ná’í al-maut, the person sent round to announce a death to the
  friends and relations of the deceased and invite them to the funeral.

Footnote 276:

  Arab. Táir al-bayn, any bird, not only the Hátim or black crow, which
  announces separation. Crows and ravens flock for food to the camps
  broken up for the springtide and autumnal marches, and thus become
  emblems of desertion and desolation. The same birds are also connected
  with Abel’s burial in the Koran (v. 34), a Jewish tradition borrowed
  by Mohammed. Lastly, here is a paronomasia in the words “Ghuráb
  al-Bayn” = Raven of the Wold (the black bird with white breast and red
  beak and legs): “Ghuráb” (Heb. Oreb) connects with Cuba =
  strangerhood, exile, and “Bayn” with distance, interval, disunion, the
  desert (between the cultivated spots). There is another and a similar
  pun anent the Bán-tree; the first word meaning “he fared, he left.”

Footnote 277:

  Arab. “Tayr,” any flying thing, a bird; with true Arab carelessness
  the writer waits till the tale is nearly ended before letting us know
  that the birds are pigeons (Hamám).

Footnote 278:

  Arab. “Karalynn.” The Arabs say, “Allah cool thine eye,” because tears
  of grief are hot and those of joy cool (Al-Asma’i); others say the
  cool eye is opposed to that heated by watching; and Al-Hariri (Ass.
  xxvii.) makes a scorching afternoon “hotter than the tear of a
  childless mother.” In the burning climate of Arabia coolth and
  refrigeration are equivalent to refreshment and delight.

Footnote 279:

  Arab. “Muunah,” the “Mona” of Maroccan travellers (English not Italian
  who are scandalised by “Mona”) meaning the provisions supplied gratis
  by the unhappy villagers to all who visit them with passport from the
  Sultan. Our cousins German have lately scored a great success by
  paying for all their rations which the Ministers of other nations,
  England included, were mean enough to accept.

Footnote 280:

  Arab. “Kaannahu huwa”; lit. = as he (was) he. This reminds us of the
  great grammarian, Sibawayh, whose name the Persians derive from
  “Apple-flavour” (Sib + BA). He was disputing, in presence of Harun
  al-Rashid with a rival Al-Kiss, and advocated the Bastian form,
  “Fa-izá huwa hú” (behold, it was he) against the Ku fan, “Fa-izá huwa
  IA” (behold, it was him). The enemy overcame him by appealing to
  Badawin, who spoke impurely, whereupon Sibawayh left the court,
  retired to Khorasan and died, it is said of a broken heart.

Footnote 281:

  This is a sign of the Sada or melancholic temperament in which black
  bile predominates. It is supposed to cause a distaste for society and
  a longing for solitude, an unsettled habit of mind and neglect of
  worldly affairs. I remarked that in Arabia students are subject to it,
  and that amongst philosophers and literary men of Mecca and Al-Medinah
  there was hardly one who was not spoken of as a “Sada.” See Pilgrimage
  ii. 49, 50.

Footnote 282:

  _i.e._ I am a servant and bound to tell thee what my orders are.

Footnote 283:

  A touching lesson how tribes settle matters in the East.

Footnote 284:

  _i.e._ fresh from water (Arab. “Rutub”), before the air can tarnish
  them. The pearl (margarita) in Arab is Lulu’; the “Union” or large
  pearl Durr, plur. Durar. In modern parlance Durr is the second quality
  of the twelve into which pearls are divided.

Footnote 285:

  _i.e._ the Wazir, but purposely left vague.

Footnote 286:

  The whole of the nurse’s speech is admirable: its naïve and striking
  picture of conjugal affection goes far to redeem the grossness of The
  Nights.

Footnote 287:

  The bitterness was the parting in the morning.

Footnote 288:

  English “Prin´cess,” too often pronounced in French fashion Princess.

Footnote 289:

  In dictionaries “Bán” (Anglice ben-tree) is the myrobalan which
  produces gum benzoin. It resembles the tamarisk. Mr. Lyall (p. 74
  Translations of Ancient Arab Poetry, Williams and Norgate, 1885),
  calls it a species of Moringa, tall, with plentiful and intensely
  green foliage used for comparisons on account of its straightness and
  graceful shape of its branches. The nut supplies a medicinal oil.

Footnote 290:

  A sign of extreme familiarity: the glooms are the hands and the full
  moons are the eyes.

Footnote 291:

  Arab. “Khal’a al-’izár”: lit. = stripping off jaws or side-beard.

Footnote 292:

  Arab. “Shimál” = the north wind.

Footnote 293:

  An operation well described by Juvenal—

                Illa supercilium, modicâ fuligine tactum,
                Obliquâ producit acu, pingitque, trementes
                Attolens oculos.

  Sonnini (Travels in Egypt, chapt. xvi.) justly remarks that this
  pencilling the angles of the eyes with Kohl, which the old Levant
  trade called _alquifoux_ or _arquifoux_, makes them appear large and
  more oblong; and I have noted that the modern Egyptian (especially
  Coptic) eye, like that of the Sphinx and the old figures looks in
  profile as if it were seen in full (Pilgrimage i. 214).

Footnote 294:

  The same traveller notes a singular property in the Henna-flower that
  when smelt closely it exhales a “very powerful spermatic odour,” hence
  it became a favourite with women as the tea-rose with us. He finds it
  on the nails of mummies, and identifies it with the Kupros of the
  ancient Greeks (the moderns call it Kene or Kena) and the Βότρυς τῆς
  κύπρου (Botrus cypri) of Solomon’s Song (i. 14). The Hebr. is
  “Copher,” a well-known word which the A. V. translates by “a cluster
  of camphire (?) in the vineyards of En-gedi”; and a note on iv. 13
  ineptly adds, “or, cypress.” The Revised Edit. amends it to “a cluster
  of henna-flowers.” The Solomonic (?) description is very correct; the
  shrub affects vineyards, and about Bombay forms fine hedges which can
  be smelt from a distance.

Footnote 295:

  Hardly the equivalent of the Arab. “Kataba” (which includes true
  tattooing with needles) and is applied to painting “patches” of blue
  or green colour, with sprigs and arabesques upon the arms and
  especially the breasts of women. “Kataba” would also be applied to
  striping the fingers with Henna which becomes a shining black under a
  paste of honey, lime and sal-ammoniac. This “patching” is alluded to
  by Strabo and Galen (Lane M. E. chapt ii.); and we may note that
  savages and barbarians can leave nothing of beauty unadorned; they
  seem to hate a plain surface like the Hindu silversmith, whose art is
  shown only in chasing.

Footnote 296:

  A violent temper, accompanied with _voies de fait_ and personal
  violence, is by no means rare amongst Eastern princesses; and terrible
  tales are told in Persia concerning the daughters of Fath Ali Shah.
  Few men and no woman can resist the temptations of absolute command.
  The daughter of a certain Dictator all-powerful in the Argentine
  Republic was once seen on horseback with a white bridle of peculiar
  leather; it was made of the skin of a man who had boasted of her
  favours. The slave-girls suffer first from these masterful young
  persons and then it is the turn of the eunuchry.

Footnote 297:

  A neat touch; she was too thoroughbred to care for herself first.

Footnote 298:

  Here the ground or earth is really kissed.

Footnote 299:

  Corresponding with our phrase, “His heart was in his mouth.”

Footnote 300:

  Very artful is the contrast of the love-lorn Princess’s humility with
  her furious behaviour, in the pride of her purity, while she was yet a
  virginette and fancy free.

Footnote 301:

  Arab. “Suhbat-hu” lit. = in company with him, a popular idiom in Egypt
  and Syria. It often occurs in the Bresl. Edit.



       JULNAR THE SEA-BORN AND HER SON KING BADR BASIM OF PERSIA.


There was once in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
in Ajam-land, a King Shahrimán[302] hight, whose abiding-place was
Khorásán. He owned an hundred concubines, but by none of them had he
been blessed with boon of child, male or female, all the days of his
life. One day, among the days, he bethought him of this and fell
lamenting for that the most part of his existence was past and he had
not been vouchsafed a son, to inherit the kingdom after him, even as he
had inherited it from his fathers and forebears; by reason whereof there
betided him sore cark and care and chagrin exceeding. As he sat thus one
of his Mamelukes came in to him and said, “O my lord, at the door is a
slave-girl with her merchant, and fairer than she eye hath never seen.”
Quoth the King, “Hither to me with merchant and maid!”; and both came in
to him. Now when Shahriman beheld the girl, he saw that she was like a
Rudaynian lance,[303] and she was wrapped in a veil of gold-purfled
silk. The merchant uncovered her face, whereupon the place was illumined
by her beauty and her seven tresses hung down to her anklets like
horses’ tails. She had Nature-kohl’d eyes, heavy hips and thighs and
waist of slenderest guise; her sight healed all maladies and quenched
the fire of sighs, for she was even as the poet cries:—

 I love her madly for she is perfect fair, ✿ Complete in gravity and
    gracious way;
 Nor over-tall nor over-short, the while ✿ Too full for trousers are
    those hips that sway:
 Her shape is midmost ’twixt o’er small and tall; ✿ Nor long to blame nor
    little to gainsay:
 O’erfall her anklets tresses black as night ✿ Yet in her face resplends
    eternal day.

The King seeing her marvelled at her beauty and loveliness, her symmetry
and perfect grace and said to the merchant, “O Shaykh, how much for this
maiden?” Replied the merchant, “O my lord, I bought her for two thousand
dinars of the merchant who owned her before myself, since when I have
travelled with her three years and she hath cost me, up to the time of
my coming hither, other three thousand gold pieces; but she is a gift
from me to thee.” The King robed him with a splendid robe of honour and
ordered him ten thousand ducats, whereupon he kissed his hands, thanking
him for his bounty and beneficence, and went his ways. Then the King
committed the damsel to the tire-women, saying, “Amend ye the case of
this maiden[304] and adorn her and furnish her a bower and set her
therein.” And he bade his chamberlains carry her everything she needed
and shut all the doors upon her. Now his capital wherein he dwelt, was
called the White City and was seated on the sea-shore; so they lodged
her in a chamber, whose latticed casements overlooked the main.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King after
taking the maiden, committed her to the tire-women bidding them amend
her case and set her in a bower, and ordered his chamberlains to shut
all the doors upon her when they had lodged her in a chamber whose
latticed casements overlooked the main. Then Shahriman went in to her;
but she spake not to him neither took any note of him.[305] Quoth he,
“’Twould seem she hath been with folk who have not taught her manners.”
Then he looked at the damsel and saw her surpassing beauty and
loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, with a face like the rondure
of the moon at its full or the sun shining in the sheeny sky. So he
marvelled at her charms of favour and figure and he praised Allah the
Creator (magnified be His might!), after which he walked up to her and
sat him down by her side; then he pressed her to his bosom and seating
her on his thighs, sucked the dew of her lips, which he found sweeter
than honey. Presently he called for trays spread with richest viands of
all kinds and ate and fed her by mouthfuls, till she had enough; yet she
spoke not one word. The King began to talk to her and asked her of her
name; but she abode still silent and uttered not a syllable nor made him
any answer, neither ceased to hang down her head groundwards; and it was
but the excess of her beauty and loveliness and the amorous grace that
saved her from the royal wrath. Quoth he to himself, “Glory be to God,
the Creator of this girl! How charming she is, save that she speaketh
not! But perfection belongeth only to Allah the Most High.” And he asked
the slave-girls whether she had spoken, and they said, “From the time of
her coming until now she hath not uttered a word nor have we heard her
address us.” Then he summoned some of his women and concubines and bade
them sing to her and make merry with her, so haply she might speak.
Accordingly they played before her all manner instruments of music and
sports and what not and sang, till the whole company was moved to mirth,
except the damsel, who looked at them in silence, but neither laughed
nor spoke. The King’s breast was straitened; thereupon he dismissed the
women and abode alone with that damsel: after which he doffed his
clothes and disrobing her with his own hand, looked upon her body and
saw it as it were a silvern ingot. So he loved her with exceeding love
and falling upon her, took her maidenhead and found her a pure virgin;
whereat he rejoiced with excessive joy and said in himself, “By Allah,
’tis a wonder that a girl so fair of form and face should have been left
by the merchants a clean maid as she is!”[306] Then he devoted himself
altogether to her, heeding none other and forsaking all his concubines
and favourites, and tarried with her a whole year as it were a single
day. Still she spoke not till, one morning he said to her (and indeed
the love of her and longing waxed upon him), “O desire of souls, verily
passion for thee is great with me, and I have forsaken for thy sake all
my slave-girls and concubines and women and favourites and I have made
thee my portion of the world and had patience with thee a whole year;
and now I beseech Almighty Allah, of His favour, to soften thy heart to
me, so thou mayst speak to me. Or, an thou be dumb, tell me by a sign,
that I may give up hope of thy speech. I pray the Lord (extolled be He!)
to vouchsafe me by thee a son child, who shall inherit the kingdom after
me; for I am old and lone and have none to be my heir. Wherefore, Allah
upon thee, an thou love me, return me a reply.” The damsel bowed her
head awhile in thought, and presently raising it, smiled in his face;
whereat it seemed to him as if lightning filled the chamber. Then she
said, “O magnanimous liege lord, and valorous lion, Allah hath answered
thy prayer, for I am with child by thee and the time of my delivery is
near at hand, though I know not if the unborn babe be male or
female.[307] But, had I not conceived by thee, I had not spoken to thee
one word.” When the King heard her speech, his face shone with joy and
gladness and he kissed her head and hands for excess of delight, saying,
“Alhamdolillah—laud to Lord—who hath vouchsafed me the things I
desired!; first, thy speech, and secondly, thy tidings that thou art
with child by me.” Then he rose up and went forth from her and, seating
himself on the throne of his kingship, in an ecstasy of happiness, bade
his Wazir distribute to the poor and needy and widows and others an
hundred thousand dinars, by way of thank-offering to Allah Most High and
alms on his own account. The Minister did as bidden by the King who,
returning to the damsel, sat with her and embraced and pressed her to
his breast, saying, “O my lady, my queen, whose slave I am, prithee what
was the cause of this thy silence? Thou hast been with me a whole year,
night and day, waking and sleeping, yet hast not spoken to me till this
day.” She replied, “Hearken, O King of the Age, and know that I am a
wretched exile, broken-hearted and far-parted from my mother and my
family and my brother.” When the King heard her words, he knew her
desire and said, “As for thy saying that thou art wretched, there is for
such speech no ground, inasmuch as my kingdom and good and all I possess
are at thy service and I also am become thy bondman; but, as for thy
saying:—I am parted from my mother and brother and family, tell me where
they are and I will send and fetch them to thee.” Thereupon she
answered, “Know, then, O auspicious King, that I am called Julnár[308]
the Sea-born and that my father was of the Kings of the Main. He died
and left us his reign, but while we were yet unsettled, behold, one of
the other Kings arose against us and took the realm from our hands. I
have a brother called Sálih, and my mother also is a woman of the sea;
but I fell out with my brother “The Pious” and swore that I would throw
myself into the hands of a man of the folk of the land. So I came forth
of the sea and sat down on the edge of an island in the moonshine,[309]
where a passer-by found me and, carrying me to his house, besought me of
love-liesse; but I smote him on the head, so that he all but died;
whereupon he carried me forth and sold me to the merchant from whom thou
hadst me, and this was a good man and a virtuous; pious, loyal and
generous. Were it not that thy heart loved me and that thou promotedest
me over all thy concubines, I had not remained with thee a single hour,
but had cast myself from this window into the sea and gone to my mother
and family; but I was ashamed to fare them-wards, being with child by
thee; for they would have deemed evilly of me and would not have
credited me, even although I swore to them, an I told them that a King
had bought me with his gold and made me his portion of the world and
preferred me over all his wives and every thing that his right hand
possessed. This then is my story and—the Peace!”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Julnar[310] the Sea-born, answering the question of King Shahriman, told
him her past from first to last, the King thanked her and kissed her
between the eyes, saying, “By Allah, O my lady and light of mine eyes, I
cannot bear to be parted from thee one hour; and given thou leave me, I
shall die forthright. What then is to be done?” Replied she, “O my lord,
the time of my delivery is at hand and my family needs must be present,
that they may tend me; for the women of the land know not the manner of
child-bearing of the women of the sea, nor do the daughters of the ocean
know the manner of the daughters of the earth; and when my people come,
I shall be reconciled to them and they will be reconciled to me.” Quoth
the King, “How do the people of the sea walk therein, without being
wetted?”; and quoth she, “O King of the Age, we walk in the waters with
our eyes open, as do ye on the ground, by the blessing of the names
graven upon the seal-ring of Solomon David-son (on whom be peace!). But,
O King, when my kith and kin come, I will tell them how thou boughtest
me with thy gold, and hast entreated me with kindness and benevolence.
It behoveth that thou confirm my words to them and that they witness
thine estate with their own eyes and they learn that thou art a King,
son of a King.” He rejoined, “O my lady, do what seemeth good to thee
and what pleaseth thee; and I will consent to thee in all thou wouldst
do.” The damsel continued, “Yes, we walk in the sea and see what is
therein and behold the sun, moon, stars and sky, as it were on the
surface of earth; and this irketh us naught. Know also that there be
many peoples in the main and various forms and creatures of all kinds
that are on the land, and that all that is on the land compared with
that which is in the main is but a very small matter.” And the King
marvelled at her words. Then she pulled out from her bosom two bits of
Comorin lign-aloes and, kindling fire in a chafing-dish, chose somewhat
of them and threw it in, then she whistled a loud whistle and spake
words none understood. Thereupon arose a great smoke and she said to the
King, who was looking on, “O my lord, arise and hide thyself in a
closet, that I may show thee my brother and mother and family, whilst
they see thee not; for I design to bring them hither, and thou shalt
presently espy a wondrous thing and shalt marvel at the several
creatures and strange shapes which Almighty Allah hath created.” So he
arose without stay or delay and entering a closet, fell a-watching what
she should do. She continued her fumigations and conjurations till the
sea foamed and frothed turbid and there rose from it a handsome young
man of a bright favour, as he were the moon at its full, with brow
flower-white, cheeks of ruddy light and teeth like the marguerite. He
was the likest of all creatures to his sister and the tongue of the case
spoke in his praise these two couplets:—

 The full moon groweth perfect once a month ✿ But thy face each day we
    see perfectèd.
 And the full moon dwelleth in single sign, ✿ But to thee all hearts be a
    dwelling stead.

After him there came forth of the sea an ancient dame with hair speckled
gray and five maidens, as they were moons, bearing a likeness to the
damsel hight Julnar. The King looked upon them as they all walked upon
the face of the water, till they drew near the window and saw Julnar,
whereupon they knew her and went in to her. She rose to them and met
them with joy and gladness, and they embraced her and wept with sore
weeping. Then said they to her, “O Julnar, how couldst thou leave us
four years, and we unknowing of thine abiding place? By Allah the world
hath been straitened upon us for stress of severance from thee, and we
have had no delight of food or drink; no, not for one day, but have wept
with sore weeping night and day for the excess of our longing after
thee!” Then she fell to kissing the hands of the youth her brother and
her mother and cousins, and they sat with her awhile, questioning her of
her case and of what had betided her, as well as of her present estate.
“Know,” replied she, “that, when I left you, I issued from the sea and
sat down on the shore of an island, where a man found me and sold me to
a merchant, who brought me to this city and sold me for ten thousand
dinars to the King of the country, who entreated me with honour and
forsook all his concubines and women and favourites for my sake and was
distracted by me from all he had and all that was in his city.” Quoth
her brother, “Praised be Allah, who hath reunited us with thee! But now,
O my sister, ’tis my purpose that thou arise and go with us to our
country and people.” When the King heard these words, his wits fled him
for fear lest the damsel accept her brother’s words and he himself avail
not to stay her, albeit he loved her passionately, and he became
distracted with fear of losing her. But Julnar answered, “By Allah, O my
brother, the mortal who bought me is lord of this city and he is a
mighty King and a wise man, good and generous with extreme generosity.
Moreover, he is a personage of great worth and wealth and hath neither
son nor daughter. He hath entreated me with honour and done me all
manner of favour and kindness; nor, from the day of his buying me to
this time have I heard from him an ill word to hurt my heart; but he
hath never ceased to use me courteously; doing nothing save with my
counsel, and I am in the best of case with him and in the perfection of
fair fortune. Furthermore, were I to leave him, he would perish; for he
cannot endure to be parted from me an hour; and if I left him, I also
should die, for the excess of the love I bear him, by reason of his
great goodness to me during the time of my sojourn with him; for, were
my father alive, my estate with him would not be like my estate with
this great and glorious and puissant potentate. And verily, ye see me
with child by him and praise be to Allah, who hath made me a daughter of
the Kings of the sea, and my husband the mightest of the Kings of the
land, and Allah, in very sooth, he hath compensated me for whatso I
lost.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Julnar the
Sea-born told her brother all her tale, adding “Allah hath not cut me
off, but hath compensated me for whatso I lost. Now this King hath no
issue, male or female, so I pray the Almighty to vouchsafe me a son who
shall inherit of this mighty sovran that which the Lord hath bestowed
upon him of lands and palaces and possessions.” Now when her brother and
the daughters of her uncle heard this her speech, their eyes were cooled
thereby and they said, “O Julnar, thou knowest thy value with us and
thou wottest the affection we bear thee and thou art certified that thou
art to us the dearest of all creatures and thou art assured that we seek
but ease for thee, without travail or trouble. Wherefore, an thou be in
unease, arise and go with us to our land and our folk; but, an thou be
at thine ease here, in honour and happiness, this is our wish and our
will; for we desire naught save thy welfare in any case.”[311] Quoth
she, “By Allah, I am here in the utmost ease and solace and honour and
grace!” When the King heard what she said, he joyed with a heart set at
rest and thanked her silently for this; the love of her redoubled on him
and entered his heart-core and he knew that she loved him as he loved
her and that she desired to abide with him, that she might see his child
by her. Then Julnar bade her women lay the tables and set on all sorts
of viands, which had been cooked in kitchen under her own eyes, and
fruits and sweetmeats, whereof she ate, she and her kinsfolk. But,
presently, they said to her, “O Julnar, thy lord is a stranger to us,
and we have entered his house, without his leave or weeting. Thou hast
extolled to us his excellence and eke thou hast set before us of his
victual whereof we have eaten; yet have we not companied with him nor
seen him, neither hath he seen us nor come to our presence and eaten
with us, so there might be between us bread and salt.” And they all left
eating and were wroth with her, and fire issued from their mouths, as
from cressets; which when the King saw, his wits fled for excess of fear
of them. But Julnar arose and soothed them and going to the closet where
was the King her lord, said to him, “O my lord, hast thou seen and heard
how I praised thee and extolled thee to my people and hast thou noted
what they said to me of their desire to carry me away with them?” Quoth
he, “I both heard and saw: May the Almighty abundantly requite thee for
me! By Allah, I knew not the full measure of thy fondness until this
blessed hour, and now I doubt not of thy love to me!” Quoth she, “O my
lord, is the reward of kindness aught but kindness? Verily, thou hast
dealt generously with me and hast entreated me with worship and I have
seen that thou lovest me with the utmost love, and thou hast done me all
manner of honour and kindness and preferred me above all thou lovest and
desirest. So how should my heart be content to leave thee and depart
from thee, and how should I do thus after all thy goodness to me? But
now I desire of thy courtesy that thou come and salute my family, so
thou mayst see them and they thee and pure love and friendship may be
between you; for know, O King of the Age, that my brother and mother and
cousins love thee with exceeding love, by reason of my praises of thee
to them, and they say:—We will not depart from thee nor go to our homes
till we have foregathered with the King and saluted him. For indeed they
desire to see thee and make acquaintance with thee.” The King replied,
“To hear is to obey, for this is my very own wish.” So saying, he rose
and went in to them and saluted them with the goodliest salutation; and
they sprang up to him and received him with the utmost worship, after
which he sat down in the palace and ate with them; and he entertained
them thus for the space of thirty days. Then, being desirous of
returning home, they took leave of the King and Queen and departed with
due permission to their own land, after he had done them all possible
honour. Awhile after this, Julnar completed the days of her pregnancy
and the time of her delivery being come, she bore a boy, as he were the
moon at its full; whereat the utmost joy betided the King, for that he
had never in his life been vouchsafed son or daughter. So they held high
festival and decorated the city seven days, in the extreme of joy and
jollity: and on the seventh day came Queen Julnar’s mother, Faráshah
Hight,[312] and brother and cousins, whenas they knew of her
delivery.——And Shahrazad perceived the light of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

[Illustration]

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Julnar was
brought to bed and was visited by her people, the King received them
with joy at their coming and said to them, “I said that I would not give
my son a name till you should come and name him of your knowledge.” So
they named him Badr Básim,[313] and all agreed upon this name. Then they
showed the child to his uncle Salih, who took him in his arms and
arising began to walk about the chamber with him in all directions right
and left. Presently he carried him forth of the palace and going down to
the salt sea, fared on with him, till he was hidden from the King’s
sight. Now when Shahriman saw him take his son and disappear with him in
the depth of the sea, he gave the child up for lost and fell to weeping
and wailing; but Julnar said to him, “O King of the Age, fear not,
neither grieve for thy son, for I love my child more than thou and he is
with my brother; so reck thou not of the sea neither fear for him
drowning. Had my brother known that aught of harm would betide the
little one, he had not done this deed; and he will presently bring thee
thy son safe, Inshallah—an it please the Almighty.” Nor was an hour past
before the sea became turbid and troubled and King Salih came forth and
flew from the sea till he came up to them with the child lying quiet and
showing a face like the moon on the night of fulness. Then, looking at
the King he said, “Haply thou fearedst harm for thy son, whenas I
plunged into the sea with him?” Replied the father, “Yes, O my lord, I
did indeed fear for him and thought he would never be saved therefrom.”
Rejoined Salih, “O King of the land, we pencilled his eyes with an
eye-powder we know of and recited over him the names graven upon the
seal-ring of Solomon David-son (on whom be the Peace!), for this is what
we use to do with children newly born among us; and now thou needst not
fear for him drowning or suffocation in all the oceans of the world, if
he should go down into them; for, even as ye walk on the land, so walk
we in the sea.” Then he pulled out of his pocket a casket, graven and
sealed and, breaking open the seals, emptied it; whereupon there fell
from it strings of all manner jacinths and other jewels, besides three
hundred bugles of emerald and other three hundred hollow gems, as big as
ostrich eggs, whose light dimmed that of sun and moon. Quoth Salih, “O
King of the Age, these jewels and jacinths are a present from me to
thee. We never yet brought thee a gift, for that we knew not Julnar’s
abiding-place neither had we of her any tidings or trace; but now that
we see thee to be united with her and we are all become one thing, we
have brought thee this present; and every little while we will bring
thee the like thereof, Inshallah! for that these jewels and jacinths are
more plentiful with us than pebbles on the beach and we know the good
and the bad of them and their whereabouts and the way to them, and they
are easy to us.” When the King saw the jewels, his wits were bewildered
and his sense was astounded and he said, “By Allah, one single gem of
these jewels is worth my realm!” Then he thanked for his bounty Salih
the Sea-born and, looking towards Queen Julnar, said, “I am abashed
before thy brother, for that he hath dealt munificently by me and
bestowed on me this splendid gift, which the folk of the land were
unable to present.” So she thanked her brother for his deed and he said,
“O King of the Age, thou hast the prior claim on us and it behoves us to
thank thee, for thou hast entreated our sister with kindness and we have
entered thy dwelling and eaten of thy victual;” and the poet
saith[314]:—

 Had _I_ wept before _she_ did in my passion for Saada, I had healed my
    soul before repentance came.
 But _she_ wept before _I_ did: her tears drew mine; and I said, The
    merit belongs to the precedent.

“And” (resumed Salih the Pious) “if we stood on our faces in thy
service, O King of the Age, a thousand years, yet had we not the might
to requite thee, and this were but a scantling of thy due.” The King
thanked him with heartiest thanks and the Merman and Merwomen abode with
him forty days’ space, at the end of which Salih arose and kissed the
ground before his brother-in-law, who asked “What wantest thou, O
Salih?” He answered, “O King of the Age, indeed thou hast done us
overabundant favours, and we crave of thy bounties that thou deal
charitably with us and grant us permission to depart; for we yearn after
our people and country and kinsfolk and our homes; so will we never
forsake thy service nor that of my sister and my nephew; and by Allah, O
King of the Age, ’tis not pleasant to my heart to part from thee; but
how shall we do, seeing that we have been reared in the sea and that the
sojourn of the shore liketh us not?” When the King heard these words he
rose to his feet and farewelled Salih the Sea-born and his mother and
his cousins, and all wept together, because of parting and presently
they said to him, “Anon we will be with thee again, nor will we forsake
thee, but will visit thee every few days.” Then they flew off and
descending into the sea, disappeared from sight.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the relations
of Julnar the Sea-born farewelled the King and her, weeping together
because of parting; then they flew off and descending into the depths
disappeared from sight. After this King Shahriman showed the more
kindness to Julnar and honoured her with increase of honour; and the
little one grew up and flourished, whilst his maternal uncle and grandam
and cousins visited the King every few days and abode with him a month
or two months at a time. The boy ceased not to increase in beauty and
loveliness with increase of years, till he attained the age of fifteen
and was unique in his perfection and symmetry. He learnt writing and
Koran-reading; history, syntax and lexicography; archery, spear-play and
horsemanship and what not else behoveth the sons of Kings; nor was there
one of the children of the folk of the city, men or women, but would
talk of the youth’s charms, for he was of surpassing beauty and
perfection, even such an one as is praised in the saying of the
poet:[315]—

 The whiskers write upon his cheek, with ambergris on pearl, Two lines,
    as ’twere with jet upon an apple, line for line.
 Death harbours in his languid eye and slays with every glance, And in
    his cheek is drunkenness, and not in any wine.

And in that of another:—

 Upsprings from table of his lovely cheek[316] ✿ A growth like broidery
    my wonder is:
 As ’twere a lamp that burns through night hung up ✿ Beneath the
    gloom[317] in chains of ambergris.

And indeed the King loved him with exceeding love, and summoning his
Wazir and Emirs and the Chief Officers of state and Grandees of his
realm, required of them a binding oath that they would make Badr Basim
King over them after his sire; and they sware the oath gladly, for the
sovran was liberal to the lieges, pleasant in parley and a very compend
of goodness, saying naught but that wherein was advantage for the
people. On the morrow Shahriman mounted, with all his troops and Emirs
and Lords, and went forth into the city and returned. When they drew
near the palace, the King dismounted, to wait upon his son who abode on
horseback, and he and all the Emirs and Grandees bore the saddlecloth of
honour before him, each and every of them bearing it in his turn, till
they came to the vestibule of the palace, where the Prince alighted and
his father and the Emirs embraced him and seated him on the throne of
Kingship, whilst they (including his sire) stood before him. Then Badr
Basim judged the people, deposing the unjust and promoting the just and
continued so doing till near upon noon, when he descended from the
throne and went in to his mother, Julnar the Sea-born, with the crown
upon his head, as he were the moon. When she saw him, with the King
standing before him, she rose and kissing him, gave him joy of the
Sultanate and wished him and his sire length of life and victory over
their foes. He sat with her and rested till the hour of mid-afternoon
prayer, when he took horse and repaired, with the Emirs before him, to
the Maydán-plain, where he played at arms with his father and his lords,
till nightfall, when he returned to the palace, preceded by all the
folk. He rode forth thus every day to the tilting-ground, returning to
sit and judge the people and do justice between carl and churl; and thus
he continued doing a whole year, at the end of which he began to ride
out a-hunting and a-chasing and to go round about in the cities and
countries under his rule, proclaiming security and satisfaction and
doing after the fashion of Kings; and he was unique among the people of
his day for glory and valour and just dealing among the subjects. And it
chanced that one day the old King fell sick and his fluttering heart
forebode him of translation to the Mansion of Eternity. His sickness
grew upon him till he was nigh upon death, when he called his son and
commended his mother and subjects to his care and caused all the Emirs
and Grandees once more swear allegiance to the Prince and assured
himself of them by strongest oaths; after which he lingered a few days
and departed to the mercy of Almighty Allah. His son and widow and all
the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords mourned over him, and they built him a
tomb and buried him therein. They ceased not ceremonially to mourn for
him a whole month, till Salih and his mother and cousins arrived and
condoled with their grieving for the King and said, “O Julnar, though
the King be dead, yet hath he left this noble and peerless youth, and
not dead is whoso leaveth the like of him, the rending lion and the
shining moon;”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Salih brother
of Julnar and her mother and cousins said to her, “Albeit the King be
dead, yet hath he left behind him as successor this noble and peerless
youth, the rending lion and the shining moon.” Thereupon the Grandees
and notables of the Empire went in to King Badr Basim and said to him,
“O King, there is no harm in mourning for the late sovran: but
over-mourning beseemeth none save women; wherefore occupy thou not thy
heart and our hearts with mourning for thy sire; inasmuch as he hath
left thee behind him, and whoso leaveth the like of thee is not dead.”
Then they comforted him and diverted him and lastly carried him to the
bath. When he came out of the Hammam, he donned a rich robe, purfled
with gold and embroidered with jewels and jacinths; and, setting the
royal crown on his head, sat down on his throne of kingship and ordered
the affairs of the folk, doing equal justice between strong and weak,
and exacting from the prince the dues of the pauper; wherefore the
people loved him with exceeding love. Thus he continued doing for a full
year, whilst, every now and then, his kinsfolk of the sea visited him,
and his life was pleasant and his eye was cooled. Now it came to pass
that his uncle Salih went in one night of the nights to Julnar and
saluted her; whereupon she rose and embracing him seated him by her side
and asked him, “O my brother, how art thou and my mother and my
cousins.” He answered, “O my sister, they are well and glad and in good
case, lacking naught save a sight of thy face.” Then she set somewhat of
food before him and he ate, after which talk ensued between the twain
and they spake of King Badr Basim and his beauty and loveliness, his
symmetry and skill in cavalarice and cleverness and good breeding. Now
Badr was propped upon his elbow hard by them; and, hearing his mother
and uncle speak of him, he feigned sleep and listened to their
talk.[318] Presently Salih said to his sister, “Thy son is now seventeen
years old and is unmarried, and I fear least mishap befal him and he
have no son; wherefore it is my desire to marry him to a Princess of the
princesses of the sea, who shall be a match for him in beauty and
loveliness.” Quoth Julnar, “Name them to me for I know them all.” So
Salih proceeded to enumerate them to her, one by one, but to each she
said, “I like not this one for my son; I will not marry him but to one
who is his equal in beauty and loveliness and wit and piety and good
breeding and magnanimity and dominion and rank and lineage.”[319] Quoth
Salih, “I know none other of the daughters of the Kings of the sea, for
I have numbered to thee more than an hundred girls and not one of them
pleaseth thee: but see, O my sister, whether thy son be asleep or no.”
So she felt Badr and finding on him the signs of slumber said to Salih,
“He is asleep; what hast thou to say and what is thine object in making
sure his sleeping?” Replied he, “O my sister, know that I have bethought
me of a Mermaid of the mermaids who befitteth thy son; but I fear to
name her, lest he be awake and his heart be taken with her love and
maybe we shall be unable to win to her; so should he and we and the
Grandees of the realm be wearied in vain and trouble betide us through
this;” for, as saith the poet:—

 Love, at first sight, is a spurt of spray;[320] ✿ But a spreading sea
    when it gaineth sway.

When she heard these words, she cried, “Tell me the condition of this
girl, and her name for I know all the damsels of the sea, Kings’
daughters and others; and, if I judge her worthy of him, I will demand
her in marriage for him of her father, though I spend on her whatso my
hand possesseth. So recount to me all anent her and fear naught, for my
son sleepeth.” Quoth Salih, “I fear lest he be awake;” and the poet
saith:—

 I loved him, soon as his praise I heard; ✿ For ear oft loveth ere eye
    survey.

But Julnar said, “Speak out and be brief and fear not, O my brother.” So
he said, “By Allah, O my sister, none is worthy of thy son save the
Princess Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal,[321] for that she is
like unto him in beauty and loveliness and brilliancy and perfection;
nor is there found, in sea or on land, a sweeter or pleasanter of gifts
than she; for she is prime in comeliness and seemlihead of face and
symmetrical shape of perfect grace; her cheek is ruddy dight, her brow
flower white, her teeth gem-bright, her eyes blackest black and whitest
white, her hips of heavy weight, her waist slight and her favour
exquisite. When she turneth she shameth the wild cattle[322] and the
gazelles and when she walketh, she breedeth envy in the willow branch:
when she unveileth her face outshineth sun and moon and all who look
upon her she enslaveth soon: sweet-lipped and soft-sided indeed is she.”
Now when Julnar heard what Salih said, she replied, “Thou sayest sooth,
O my brother! By Allah, I have seen her many and many a time and she was
my companion, when we were little ones; but now we have no knowledge of
each other, for constraint of distance; nor have I set eyes on her for
eighteen years. By Allah, none is worthy of my son but she!” Now Badr
heard all they said and mastered what had passed, first and last, of
these praises bestowed on Jauharah daughter of King Al-Samandal; so he
fell in love with her on hearsay, pretending sleep the while, wherefore
fire was kindled in his heart on her account full sore and he was
drowned in a sea without bottom or shore.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Badr
Basim heard the words of his uncle Salih and his mother Julnar, praising
the daughter of King Al-Samandal, a flame of fire burnt in his heart
full sore and he was drowned in a sea which hath nor bottom nor shore.
Then Salih, looking at his sister, exclaimed, “By Allah, O my sister,
there is no greater fool among the Kings of the sea than her father nor
one more violent of temper than he! So name thou not the girl to thy
son, till we demand her in marriage of her father. If he favour us with
his assent, we will praise Allah Almighty; and if he refuse us and will
not give her to thy son to wife, we will say no more about it and seek
another match.” Answered Julnar, “Right is thy rede;” and they parleyed
no more; but Badr passed the night with a heart on fire with passion for
Princess Jauharah. However he concealed his case and spake not of her to
his mother or his uncle, albeit he was on coals of fire for love of her.
Now when it was morning, the King and his uncle went to the Hammam-bath
and washed, after which they came forth and drank wine and the servants
set food before them, whereof they and Julnar ate their sufficiency, and
washed their hands. Then Salih rose and said to his nephew and sister,
“With your leave, I would fain go to my mother and my folk for I have
been with you some days and their hearts are troubled with awaiting me.”
But Badr Basim said to him, “Tarry with us this day;” and he consented.
Then quoth the King, “Come, O my uncle, let us go forth to the garden.”
So they sallied forth and promenaded about the pastures and took their
solace awhile, after which King Badr lay down under a shady tree,
thinking to rest and sleep; but he remembered his uncle’s description of
the maiden and her beauty and loveliness and shed railing tears,
reciting these two couplets[323]:—

 Were it said to me while the flame is burning within me, ✿ And the fire
    blazing in my heart and bowels,
 Wouldst thou rather that thou shouldest behold them ✿ Or a draught of
    pure water?—I would answer, Them.

Then he sighed and wept and lamented, reciting these verses also:—

 Who shall save me from love of a lovely gazelle, ✿ Brighter browed than
    the sunshine, my bonnibel!
 My heart, erst free from her love, now burns ✿ With fire for the maid of
    Al-Samandal.

When Salih heard what his nephew said, he smote hand upon hand and said,
“There is no god but _the_ God! Mohammed is the Apostle of God and there
is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great!” adding, “O my son, heardest thou what passed between me and thy
mother respecting Princess Jauharah?” Replied Badr Basim, “Yes, O my
uncle, and I fell in love with her by hearsay through what I heard you
say. Indeed, my heart cleaveth to her and I cannot live without her.”
Rejoined his uncle, “O King, let us return to thy mother and tell her
how the case standeth and crave her leave that I may take thee with me
and seek the Princess in marriage of her sire; after which we will
farewell her and I and thou will return. Indeed, I fear to take thee and
go without her leave, lest she be wroth with me; and verily the right
would be on her side, for I should be the cause of her separation from
us. Moreover, the city would be left without king and there would be
none to govern the citizens and look to their affairs; so should the
realm be disordered against thee and the kingship depart from thy
hands.” But Badr Basim, hearing these words, cried, “O my uncle, if I
return to my mother and consult her on such matter, she will not suffer
me to do this; wherefore I will not return to my mother nor consult
her.” And he wept before him and presently added, “I will go with thee
and tell her not and after will return.” When Salih heard what his
nephew said, he was confused anent his case and said, “I crave help of
the Almighty in any event.” Then, seeing that Badr Basim was resolved to
go with him, whether his mother would let him or no, he drew from his
finger a seal-ring, whereon were graven certain of the names of Allah
the Most High, and gave it to him, saying, “Put this on thy finger, and
thou shalt be safe from drowning and other perils and from the mischief
of sea-beasts and great fishes.” So King Badr Basim took the ring and
set it on his finger. Then they drove into the deep——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Badr Basim and his
uncle, after diving into the deep, fared on till they came to Salih’s
palace, where they found Badr Basim’s grandmother, the mother of his
mother, seated with her kinsfolk; and, going in to them, kissed their
hands. When the old Queen saw Badr, she rose to him and embracing him,
kissed him between the eyes and said to him, “A blessed coming, O my
son! How didst thou leave thy mother Julnar?” He replied, “She is well
in health and fortune, and saluteth thee and her uncle’s daughters.”
Then Salih related to his mother what had occurred between him and his
sister and how King Badr Basim had fallen in love with the Princess
Jauharah daughter of Al-Samandal by report and told her the whole tale
from beginning to end adding, “He hath not come save to demand her in
wedlock of her sire;” which when the old Queen heard, she was wroth
against her son with exceeding wrath and sore troubled and concerned and
said, “O Salih, O my son, in very sooth thou diddest wrong to name the
Princess before thy nephew, knowing, as thou dost, that her father is
stupid and violent, little of wit and tyrannical of temper, grudging his
daughter to every suitor; for all the Monarchs of the Main have sought
her hand, but he rejected them all; nay, he would none of them,
saying:—Ye are no match for her in beauty or in loveliness or in aught
else. Wherefore we fear to demand her in wedlock of him, lest he reject
us, even as he hath rejected others; and we are a folk of high spirit
and should return broken-hearted.” Hearing these words Salih answered,
“O my mother, what is to do? For King Badr Basim saith:—There is no help
but that I seek her in marriage of her sire, though I expend my whole
kingdom; and he avoucheth that, an he take her not to wife, he will die
of love for her and longing.” And Salih continued, “He is handsomer and
goodlier than she; his father was King of all the Persians, whose King
he now is, and none is worthy of Jauharah save Badr Basim. Wherefore I
purpose to carry her father a gift of jacinths and jewels befitting his
dignity, and demand her of him in marriage. An he object to us that he
is a King, behold, our man also is a King and the son of a King; or, if
he object to us her beauty, behold our man is more beautiful than she;
or, again, if he object to us the vastness of his dominion, behold our
man’s dominion is vaster than hers and her father’s and numbereth more
troops and guards, for that his kingdom is greater than that of
Al-Samandal. Needs must I do my endeavour to further the desire of my
sister’s son, though it relieve me of my life; because I was the cause
of whatso hath betided; and, even as I plunged him into the ocean of her
love, so will I go about to marry him to her, and may Almighty Allah
help me thereto!” Rejoined his mother, “Do as thou wilt, but beware of
giving her father rough words, whenas thou speakest with him; for thou
knowest his stupidity and violence and I fear lest he do thee a
mischief, for he knoweth not respect for any.” And Salih answered,
“Hearkening and obedience.” Then he sprang up and taking two bags full
of gems such as rubies and bugles of emerald, noble ores and all manner
jewels gave them to his servants to carry and set out with his nephew
for the palace of Al-Samandal. When they came thither, he sought
audience of the King and being admitted to his presence, kissed ground
before him and saluted him with the goodliest Salam. The King rose to
him and honouring him with the utmost honour, bade him be seated. So he
sat down and presently the King said to him, “A blessed coming: indeed
thou has desolated us, O Salih! But what bringeth thee to us? Tell me
thine errand that we may fulfil it to thee.” Whereupon Salih arose and,
kissing the ground a second time, said, “O King of the age, my errand is
to Allah and the magnanimous liege lord and the valiant lion, the report
of whose good qualities the caravans far and near have dispread and
whose renown for benefits and beneficence and clemency and graciousness
and liberality to all climes and countries hath sped.” Thereupon he
opened the two bags and, displaying their contents before Al-Samandal,
said to him, “O King of the Age, haply wilt thou accept my gift and by
showing favour to me heal my heart.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Salih
offered his gift to the King, saying, “My aim and end is that the Sovran
show favour to me and heal my heart by accepting my present,” King
Al-Samandal asked, “With what object dost thou gift me with this gift?
Tell me thy tale and acquaint me with thy requirement. An its
accomplishment be in my power I will straightway accomplish it to thee
and spare thee toil and trouble; and if I be unable thereunto, Allah
compelleth not any soul aught beyond its power.”[324] So Salih rose and
kissing ground three times, said, “O King of the Age, that which I
desire thou art indeed able to do; it is in thy power and thou art
master thereof; and I impose not on the King a difficulty, nor am I
Jinn-demented, that I should crave of the King a thing whereto he
availeth not; for one of the sages saith:—An thou wouldst be complied
with ask that which can be readily supplied. Wherefore, that of which I
am come in quest, the King (whom Allah preserve!) is able to grant.” The
King replied, “Ask what thou wouldst have, and state thy case and seek
thy need.” Then said Salih,[325] “O King of the Age, know that I come as
a suitor, seeking the unique pearl and the hoarded jewel, the Princess
Jauharah, daughter of our lord the King; wherefore, O King disappoint
thou not thy suitor.” Now when the King heard this, he laughed till he
fell backwards, in mockery of him and said, “O Salih, I had thought thee
a man of worth and a youth of sense, seeking naught save what was
reasonable and speaking not save advisedly. What then hath befallen thy
reason and urged thee to this monstrous matter and mighty hazard, that
thou seekest in marriage daughters of Kings, lords of cities and
climates? Say me, art thou of a rank to aspire to this great eminence
and hath thy wit failed thee to this extreme pass that thou affrontest
me with this demand?” Replied Salih, “Allah amend the King! I seek her
not for myself (albeit, an I did, I am her match and more than her
match, for thou knowest that my father was King of the Kings of the sea,
for all thou art this day our King), but I seek her for King Badr Basim,
lord of the lands of the Persians and son of King Shahriman, whose
puissance thou knowest. An thou object that thou art a mighty great
King, King Badr is a greater; and if thou object thy daughter’s beauty,
King Badr is more beautiful than she and fairer of form and more
excellent of rank and lineage; and he is the champion of the people of
his day. Wherefore, if thou grant my request, O King of the Age thou
wilt have set the thing in its stead; but, if thou deal arrogantly with
us, thou wilt not use us justly nor travel with us the ’road which is
straight[326].’ Moreover, O King, thou knowest that the Princess
Jauharah, the daughter of our lord the King, must needs be wedded and
bedded, for the sage saith, a girl’s lot is either grace of marriage or
the grave.[327] Wherefore, an thou mean to marry her, my sister’s son is
worthier of her than any other man.” Now when King Al-Samandal heard
Salih’s words, he was wroth with exceeding wrath; his reason well nigh
fled and his soul was like to depart his body for rage, and he cried, “O
dog, shall the like of thee dare to bespeak me thus and name my daughter
in the assemblies,[328] saying that the son of thy sister Julnar is a
match for her? Who art thou and who is this sister of thine and who is
her son and who was his father,[329] that thou durst say to me such say
and address me with such address? What are ye all, in comparison with my
daughter, but dogs?” And he cried out to his pages, saying, “Take yonder
gallows-bird’s head?” So they drew their swords and made for Salih, but
he fled and for the palace-gate sped; and reaching the entrance, he
found of his cousins and kinsfolk and servants, more than a thousand
horse armed cap-à-pie in iron and close knitted mail-coats, hending in
hand spears and naked swords glittering white. And these when they saw
Salih come running out of the palace (they having been sent by his
mother to his succour,) questioned him and he told them what was to do;
whereupon they knew that the King was a fool and violent-tempered to
boot. So they dismounted and baring their blades, went in to the King
Al-Samandal, whom they found seated upon the throne of his Kingship,
unaware of their coming and enraged against Salih with furious rage; and
they beheld his eunuchs and pages and officers unprepared. When the King
saw them enter, drawn brand in hand, he cried out to his people, saying
“Woe to you! Take me the heads of these hounds!” But ere an hour had
sped Al-Samandal’s party were put to the rout and relied upon flight,
and Salih and his kinsfolk seized upon the King and pinioned him.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Salih and
his king-folk pinioned the King, Princess Jauharah awoke and knew that
her father was a captive and his guards slain. So she fled forth the
palace to a certain island, and climbing up into a high tree, hid
herself in its summit. Now when the two parties came to blows, some of
King Al-Samandal’s pages fled and Badr Basim meeting them, questioned
them of their case and they told him what had happened. But when he
heard that the King was a prisoner, Badr feared for himself and fled,
saying in his heart, “Verily, all this turmoil is on my account and none
is wanted but I.” So he sought safety in flight, security to sight,
knowing not whither he went; but destiny from Eternity fore-ordained
drave him to the very island where the Princess had taken refuge, and he
came to the very tree whereon she sat and threw himself down, like a
dead man, thinking to lie and repose himself and knowing not there is no
rest for the pursued, for none knoweth what Fate hideth for him in the
future. As he lay down, he raised his eyes to the tree and they met the
eyes of the Princess. So he looked at her and seeing her to be like the
moon rising in the East, cried, “Glory to Him who fashioned yonder
perfect form, Him who is the Creator of all things and who over all
things is Almighty! Glory to the Great God, the Maker, the Shaper and
Fashioner! By Allah, if my presentiments be true, this is Jauharah,
daughter of King Al-Samandal! Methinks that, when she heard of our
coming to blows with her father, she fled to this island and, happening
upon this tree, hid herself on its head; but, if this be not the
Princess herself, ’tis one yet goodlier than she.” Then he bethought
himself of her case and said in himself, “I will arise and lay hands on
her and question her of her condition; and, if she be indeed the she, I
will demand her in wedlock of herself and so win my wish.” So he stood
up and said to her, “O end of all desire, who art thou and who brought
thee hither?” She looked at Badr Basim and seeing him to be as the full
moon,[330] when it shineth from under the black cloud, slender of shape
and sweet of smile, answered, “O fair of fashion, I am Princess
Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal, and I took refuge in this place,
because Salih and his host came to blows with my sire and slew his
troops and took him prisoner, with some of his men; wherefore I fled,
fearing for my very life,” presently adding, “And I weet not what
fortune hath done with my father.” When King Badr Basim heard these
words he marvelled with exceeding marvel at this strange chance and
thought. “Doubtless I have won my wish by the capture of her sire.” Then
he looked at Jauharah and said to her, “Come down, O my lady; for I am
slain for love of thee and thine eyes have captivated me. On my account
and thine are all these broils and battles; for thou must know that I am
King Badr Basim, Lord of the Persians and Salih is my mother’s brother
and he it is who came to thy sire to demand thee of him in marriage. As
for me, I have quitted my kingdom for thy sake, and our meeting here is
the rarest coincidence. So come down to me and let us twain fare for thy
father’s palace, that I may beseech uncle Salih to release him and I may
make thee my lawful wife.” When Jauharah heard his words, she said in
herself, “’Twas on this miserable gallows bird’s account, then, that all
this hath befallen and that my father hath fallen prisoner and his
chamberlains and suite have been slain and I have been departed from my
palace, a miserable exile and have fled for refuge to this island. But,
an I devise not against him some device to defend myself from him, he
will possess himself of me and take his will of me; for he is in love
and for aught that he doeth a lover is not blamed.” Then she beguiled
him with winning words and soft speeches, whilst he knew not the perfidy
against him she purposed, and asked him, “O my lord and light of my
eyes, say me, art thou indeed King Badr Basim, son of Queen Julnar?” And
he answered, “Yes, O my lady.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Jauharah,
daughter of King Al-Samandal, asked the youth, “Art thou in very soth
King Badr Basim, son of Queen Julnar?” And he answered, “Yes, O my
lady!” Then she, “May Allah cut off my father and gar his kingdom cease
from him and heal not his heart neither avert from him strangerhood, if
he could desire a comelier than thou or aught goodlier than these fair
qualities of thine! By Allah, he is of little wit and judgment!”
presently adding, “But, O King of the Age, punish him not for that he
hath done; more by token that an thou love me a span, verily I love thee
a cubit. Indeed, I have fallen into the net of thy love and am become of
the number of thy slain. The love that was with thee hath transferred
itself to me and there is left thereof with thee but a tithe of that
which is with me.” So saying, she came down from the tree and drawing
near him strained him to her bosom and fell to kissing him; whereat
passion and desire for her redoubled on him and doubting not but she
loved him, he trusted in her, and returned her kisses and caresses.
Presently he said to her, “By Allah, O Princess, my uncle Salih set
forth to me not a fortieth part of thy charms; no, nor a
quarter-carat[331] of the four-and-twenty.” Then Jauharah pressed him to
her bosom and pronounced some unintelligible words; then spat on his
face, saying, “Quit this form of man and take shape of bird, the
handsomest of birds, white of robe, with red bill and legs.” Hardly had
she spoken, when King Badr Basim found himself transformed into a bird,
the handsomest of birds, who shook himself and stood looking at her. Now
Jauharah had with her one of her slave-girls, by name Marsínah;[332] so
she called her and said to her, “By Allah, but that I fear for the life
of my father, who is his uncle’s prisoner, I would kill him! Allah never
requite him with good! How unlucky was his coming to us; for all this
trouble is due to his hard-headedness! But do thou, O slave-girl, bear
him to the Thirsty Island and leave him there to die of thirst.” So
Marsinah carried him to the island in question and would have returned
and left him there; but she said in herself, “By Allah, the lord of such
beauty and loveliness deserveth not to die of thirst!” So she went forth
from that island and brought him to another abounding in trees and
fruits and rills and, setting him down there, returned to her mistress
and told her, “I have left him on the Thirsty Island.” Such was the case
with Badr Basim; but as regards King Salih, he sought for Jauharah after
capturing the King and killing his folk; but, finding her not, returned
to his palace and said to his mother, “Where is my sister’s son, King
Badr Basim?” “By Allah, O my son,” replied she, “I know nothing of him!
For when it reached him that you and King Al-Samandal had come to blows
and that strife and slaughter had betided between you, he was affrighted
and fled.” When Salih heard this, he grieved for his nephew and said, “O
my mother, by Allah, we have dealt negligently by King Badr and I fear
lest he perish or lest one of King Al-Samandal’s soldiers or his
daughter Jauharah fall in with him. So should we come to shame with his
mother and no good betide us from her, for that I took him without her
leave.” Then he despatched guards and scouts throughout the sea and
elsewhere to seek for Badr; but they could learn no tidings of him; so
they returned and told King Salih, wherefore cark and care redoubled on
him and his breast was straitened for King Badr Basim. So far concerning
nephew and uncle, but as for Julnar the Sea-born, after their departure
she abode in expectation of them, but her son returned not and she heard
no report of him. So when many days of fruitless waiting had gone by,
she arose and going down into the sea, repaired to her mother, who
sighting her rose to her and kissed her and embraced her, as did the
Mermaids her cousins. Then she questioned her mother of King Badr Basim,
and she answered, saying, “O my daughter, of a truth he came hither with
his uncle, who took jacinths and jewels and carrying them to King
Al-Samandal, demanded his daughter in marriage for thy son; but he
consented not and was violent against thy brother in words. Now I had
sent Salih nigh upon a thousand horse and a battle befel between him and
King Al-Samandal; but Allah aided thy brother against him, and he slew
his guards and troops and took himself prisoner. Meanwhile, tidings of
this reached thy son, and it would seem as if he feared for himself;
wherefore he fled forth from us, without our will, and returned not to
us, nor have we heard any news of him.” Then Julnar enquired for King
Salih, and his mother said, “He is seated on the throne of his kingship,
in the stead of King Al-Samandal, and hath sent in all directions to
seek thy son and Princess Jauharah.” When Julnar heard the maternal
words, she mourned for her son with sad mourning and was highly incensed
against her brother Salih for that he had taken him and gone down with
him into the sea without her leave; and she said, “O my mother, I fear
for our realm; as I came to thee without letting any know; and I dread
tarrying with thee, lest the state fall into disorder and the kingdom
pass from our hands. Wherefore I deem best to return and govern the
reign till it please Allah to order our son’s affair for us. But look ye
forget him not neither neglect his case; for should he come to any harm,
it would infallibly kill me, since I see not the world save in him and
delight but in his life.” She replied, “With love and gladness, O my
daughter. Ask not what we suffer by reason of his loss and absence.”
Then she sent to seek for her grandson, whilst Julnar returned to her
kingdom, weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, and indeed the gladness of the
world was straitened upon her.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen Julnar
returned from her mother to her own realm, her breast was straitened and
she was in ill-case. So fared it with her; but as regards King Badr
Basim, after Princess Jauharah had ensorcelled him and had sent him with
her handmaid to the Thirsty Island, saying, “Leave him there to die of
thirst,” and Marsinah had set him down in a green islet, he abode days
and nights in the semblance of a bird eating of its fruits and drinking
of its waters and knowing not whither to go nor how to fly; till, one
day, there came a certain fowler to the island to catch somewhat
wherewithal to get his living. He espied King Badr Basim in his form of
a white-robed bird, with red bill and legs, captivating the sight and
bewildering the thought; and, looking thereat, said in himself, “Verily,
yonder is a beautiful bird: never saw I its like in fairness or form.”
So he cast his net over Badr and taking him, carried him to the town,
mentally resolved to sell him for a high price. On his way one of the
townsfolk accosted him and said, “For how much this fowl, O fowler?”
Quoth the fowler, “What wilt thou do with him an thou buy him?” Answered
the other, “I will cut his throat and eat him;” whereupon said the
birder, “Who could have the heart to kill this bird and eat him? Verily,
I mean to present him to our King, who will give me more than thou
wouldest give me and will not kill him, but will divert himself by
gazing upon his beauty and grace, for in all my life, since I have been
a fowler, I never saw his like among land game or water fowl. The utmost
thou wouldst give me for him, however much thou covet him, would be a
dirham, and, by Allah Almighty, I will not sell him!” Then he carried
the bird up to the King’s palace and when the King saw it, its beauty
and grace pleased him and the red colour of its beak and legs. So he
sent an eunuch to buy it, who accosted the fowler and said to him, “Wilt
thou sell this bird?” Answered he, “Nay, ’tis a gift from me to the
King”[333] So the eunuch carried the bird to the King and told him what
the man had said; and he took it and gave the fowler ten dinars,
whereupon he kissed ground and fared forth. Then the eunuch carried the
bird to the palace and placing him in a fine cage, hung him up after
setting meat and drink by him. When the King came down from the Divan,
he said to the eunuch, “Where is the bird? Bring it to me, that I may
look upon it; for, by Allah, ’tis beautiful!” So the eunuch brought the
cage and set it between the hands of the King, who looked and seeing the
food untouched, said, “By Allah, I wis not what it will eat, that I may
nourish it!” Then he called for food and they laid the tables and the
King ate. Now when the bird saw the flesh and meats and fruits and
sweetmeats, he ate of all that was upon the trays before the King,
whereat the Sovran and all the bystanders marvelled and the King said to
his attendants, eunuchs and Mamelukes, “In all my life I never saw a
bird eat as doth this bird!” Then he sent an eunuch to fetch his wife
that she might enjoy looking upon the bird, and he went in to summon her
and said, “O my lady, the King desireth thy presence, that thou mayst
divert thyself with the sight of a bird he hath bought. When we set on
the food, it flew down from its cage and perching on the table, ate of
all that was thereon. So arise, O my lady, and solace thee with the
sight for it is goodly of aspect and is a wonder of the wonders of the
age.” Hearing these words she came in haste; but, when she noted the
bird, she veiled her face and turned to fare away. The King rose up and
looking at her, asked, “Why dost thou veil thy face when there is none
in presence save the women and eunuchs who wait on thee and thy
husband?” Answered she, “O King, this bird is no bird, but a man like
thyself.” He rejoined, “Thou liest, this is too much of a jest. How
should he be other than a bird?”; and she “O King, by Allah, I do not
jest with thee nor do I tell thee aught but the truth; for verily this
bird is King Badr Basim, son of King Shahriman, Lord of the land of the
Persians, and his mother is Julnar the Sea-born.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
King’s wife said to the King, “Verily, this is no bird but a man like
thyself: he is King Badr Basim son of King Shariman and his mother is
Julnar the Sea-born,” quoth the King, “And how came he in this shape?”;
and quoth she, “Princess Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal, hath
enchanted him:” and told him all that had passed with King Badr Basim
from first to last.[334] The King marvelled exceedingly at his wife’s
words and conjured her, on his life, to free Badr from his enchantment
(for she was the notablest enchantress of her age), and not leave him in
torment, saying, “May Almighty Allah cut off Jauharah’s hand, for a foul
witch as she is! How little is her faith and how great her craft and
perfidy!” Said the Queen, “Do thou say to him:—O Badr Basim, enter
yonder closet!” So the King bade him enter the closet and he went in
obediently. Then the Queen veiled her face and taking in her hand a cup
of water,[335] entered the closet, where she pronounced over the water
certain incomprehensible words ending with, “By the virtue of these
mighty names and holy verses and by the majesty of Allah Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth, the Quickener of the dead and Appointer of
the means of daily bread and the terms determined, quit this thy form
wherein thou art and return to the shape in which the Lord created
thee!” Hardly had she made an end of her words, when the bird trembled
once and became a man; and the King saw before him a handsome youth,
than whom on earth’s face was none goodlier. But when King Badr Basim
found himself thus restored to his own form he cried, “There is no god
but _the_ God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God! Glory be to the
Creator of all creatures and Provider of their provision, and Ordainer
of their life-terms preordained!” Then he kissed the King’s hand and
wished him long life, and the King kissed his head and said to him, “O
Badr Basim, tell me thy history from commencement to conclusion.” So he
told him his whole tale, concealing naught; and the King marvelled
thereat and said to him, “O Badr Basim, Allah hath saved thee from the
spell: but what hath thy judgment decided and what thinkest thou to do?”
Replied he, “O King of the Age, I desire of thy bounty that thou equip
me a ship with a company of thy servants and all that is needful; for
’tis long since I have been absent and I dread lest the kingdom depart
from me. And I misdoubt me my mother is dead of grief for my loss; and
this doubt is the stronger for that she knoweth not what is come of me
nor whether I am alive or dead. Wherefore, I beseech thee, O King, to
crown thy favours to me by granting me what I seek.” The King, after
beholding the beauty and grace of Badr Basim and listening to his sweet
speech, said, “I hear and obey.” So he fitted him out a ship, to which
he transported all that was needful and which he manned with a company
of his servants; and Badr Basim set sail in it, after having taken leave
of the King. They sailed over the sea ten successive days with a
favouring wind; but, on the eleventh day, the ocean became troubled with
exceeding trouble, the ship rose and fell and the sailors were powerless
to govern her. So they drifted at the mercy of the waves, till the craft
neared a rock in mid-sea which fell upon her[336] and broke her up and
all on board were drowned, save King Badr Basim who got astride one of
the planks of the vessel, after having been nigh upon destruction. The
plank ceased not to be borne by the set of the sea, whilst he knew not
whither he went and had no means of directing its motion, as the wind
and waves wrought for three whole days. But on the fourth the plank
grounded with him on the sea-shore where he sighted a white city, as it
were a dove passing white, builded upon a tongue of land that jutted out
into the deep and it was goodly of ordinance, with high towers and lofty
walls against which the waves beat. When Badr Basim saw this, he
rejoiced with exceeding joy, for he was well-nigh dead of hunger and
thirst, and dismounting from the plank, would have gone up the beach to
the city; but there came down to him mules and asses and horses, in
number as the sea-sands and fell to striking at him and staying him from
landing. So he swam round to the back of the city, where he waded to
shore and entering the place, found none therein and marvelled at this,
saying, “Would I knew to whom doth this city belong, wherein is no lord
nor any liege, and whence came these mules and asses and horses that
hindered me from landing?” And he mused over his case. Then he walked on
at hazard till he espied an old man, a grocer.[337] So he saluted him
and the other returned his salam and seeing him to be a handsome young
man, said to him, “O youth, whence comest thou and what brought thee to
this city?” Badr told him his story; at which the old man marvelled and
said, “O my son, didst thou see any on thy way?” He replied, “Indeed, O
my father, I wondered in good sooth to sight a city void of folk.” Quoth
the Shaykh, “O my son, come up into the shop, lest thou perish.” So Badr
Basim went up into the shop and sat down; whereupon the old man set
before him somewhat of food, saying, “O my son, enter the inner shop;
glory be to Him who hath preserved thee from yonder she-Sathanas!” King
Badr Basim was sore affrighted at the grocer’s words; but he ate his
fill and washed his hands; then glanced at his host and said to him, “O
my lord, what is the meaning of these words? Verily thou hast made me
fearful of this city and its folk.” Replied the old man, “Know, O my
son, that this is the City of the Magicians and its Queen is as she were
a she-Satan, a sorceress and a mighty enchantress, passing crafty and
perfidious exceedingly. All thou sawest of horses and mules and asses
were once sons of Adam like thee and me; they were also strangers, for
whoever entereth this city, being a young man like thyself, this
miscreant witch taketh him and hometh him for forty days, after which
she enchanteth him, and he becometh a mule or a horse or an ass, of
those animals thou sawest on the sea-shore.”——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the old grocer
related to King Badr Basim the history of the enchantress ending with,
“All these people hath she spelled; and, when it was thy intent to land
they feared lest thou be transmewed like themselves; so they counselled
thee by signs that said:—Land not, of their solicitude for thee, fearing
that haply she should do with thee like as she had done with them. She
possessed herself of this city and seized it from its citizens by
sorcery and her name is Queen Láb, which being interpreted, meaneth in
Arabic ’Almanac of the Sun.’”[338] When Badr Basim heard what the old
man said, he was affrighted with sore affright and trembled like reed in
wind saying in himself, “Hardly do I feel me free from the affliction
wherein I was by reason of sorcery, when Destiny casteth me into yet
sorrier case!” And he fell a-musing over his condition and that which
had betided him. When the Shaykh looked at him and saw the violence of
his terror, he said to him, “O my son, come, sit at the threshold of the
shop and look upon yonder creatures and upon their dress and complexion
and that wherein they are by reason of gramarye and dread not; for the
Queen and all in the city love and tender me and will not vex my heart
or trouble my mind.” So King Badr Basim came out and sat at the
shop-door, looking out upon the folk; and there passed by him a world of
creatures without number. But when the people saw him, they accosted the
grocer and said to him, “O elder, is this thy captive and thy prey
gotten in these days?” The old man replied, “He is my brother’s son, I
heard that his father was dead; so I sent for him and brought him here
that I might quench with him the fire of my home-sickness.” Quoth they,
“Verily, he is a comely youth; but we fear for him from Queen Lab, lest
she turn on thee with treachery and take him from thee, for she loveth
handsome young men.” Quoth the Shaykh, “The Queen will not gainsay my
commandment, for she loveth and tendereth me; and when she shall know
that he is my brother’s son, she will not molest him or afflict me in
him neither trouble my heart on his account.” Then King Badr Basim abode
some months with the grocer, eating and drinking, and the old man loved
him with exceeding love. One day, as he sat in the shop according to his
custom, behold, there came up a thousand eunuchs, with drawn swords and
clad in various kinds of raiment and girt with jewelled girdles: all
rode Arabian steeds and bore in baldrick Indian blades. They saluted the
grocer, as they passed his shop and were followed by a thousand damsels
like moons, clad in various raiments of silks and satins fringed with
gold and embroidered with jewels of sorts, and spears were slung to
their shoulders. In their midst rode a damsel mounted on a Rabite mare,
saddled with a saddle of gold set with various kinds of jewels and
jacinths; and they reached in a body the Shaykh’s shop. The damsels
saluted him and passed on, till, lo and behold! up came Queen Lab, in
great state, and seeing King Badr Basim sitting in the shop, as he were
the moon at its full, was amazed at his beauty and loveliness and became
passionately enamoured of him, and distraught with desire of him. So she
alighted and sitting down by King Badr Basim said to the old man,
“Whence hadst thou this handsome one?”; and the Shaykh replied, “He is
my brother’s son, and is lately come to me.” Quoth Lab, “Let him be with
me this night, that I may talk with him;” and quoth the old man, “Wilt
thou take him from me and not enchant him?” Said she, “Yes,” and said
he, “Swear to me.” So she sware to him that she would not do him any
hurt or ensorcell him, and bidding bring him a fine horse, saddled and
bridled with a golden bridle and decked with trappings all of gold set
with jewels, gave the old man a thousand dinars, saying, “Use
this.”[339] Then she took Badr Basim and carried him off, as he were the
full moon on its fourteenth night, whilst all the folk, seeing his
beauty, were grieved for him and said, “By Allah, verily, this youth
deserveth not to be bewitched by yonder sorceress, the accursed!” Now
King Badr Basim heard all they said, but was silent, committing his case
to Allah Almighty, till they came to——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Badr Basim
ceased not faring with Queen Lab and her suite till they came to her
palace-gate, where the Emirs and eunuchs and Lords of the realm took
foot and she bade the Chamberlains dismiss her Officers and Grandees,
who kissed ground and went away, whilst she entered the palace with Badr
Basim and her eunuchs and women. Here he found a place, whose like he
had never seen at all, for it was builded of gold and in its midst was a
great basin brimfull of water midmost a vast flower-garden. He looked at
the garden and saw it abounding in birds of various kinds and colours,
warbling in all manner tongues and voices, pleasurable and plaintive.
And everywhere he beheld great state and dominion and said, “Glory be to
God, who of His bounty and long-suffering provideth those who serve
other than Himself!” The Queen sat down at a latticed window overlooking
the garden on a couch of ivory, whereon was a high bed, and King Badr
Basim seated himself by her side. She kissed him and pressing him to her
breast, bade her women bring a tray of food. So they brought a tray of
red gold, inlaid with pearls and jewels and spread with all manner of
viands and he and she ate, till they were satisfied, and washed their
hands; after which the waiting-women set on flagons of gold and silver
and glass, together with all kinds of flowers and dishes of dried
fruits. Then the Queen summoned the singing-women and there came ten
maidens, as they were moons, hending all manner of musical instruments.
Queen Lab crowned a cup and drinking it off, filled another and passed
it to King Badr Basim, who took it and drank; and they ceased not to
drink till they had their sufficiency. Then she bade the damsels sing,
and they sang all manner modes till it seemed to Badr Basim as if the
palace danced with him for joy. His sense was ecstasied and his breast
broadened, and he forgot his strangerhood and said in himself, “Verily,
this Queen is young and beautiful[340] and I will never leave her; for
her kingdom is vaster than my kingdom and she is fairer than Princess
Jauharah.” So he ceased not to drink with her till eventide came, when
they lighted the lamps and waxen candles and diffused censer-perfumes;
nor did they leave drinking, till they were both drunken, and the
singing-women sang the while. Then Queen Lab, being in liquor, rose from
her seat and lay down on a bed and dismissing her women called to Badr
Basim to come and sleep by her side. So he lay with her, in all delight
of life till the morning.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Queen
awoke she repaired to the Hammam-bath in the palace, King Badr Basim
being with her, and they bathed and were purified; after which she clad
him in the finest of raiment and called for the service of wine. So the
waiting women brought the drinking-gear and they drank. Presently, the
Queen arose and taking Badr Basim by the hand, sat down with him on
chairs and bade bring food, whereof they ate, and washed their hands.
Then the damsels fetched the drinking-gear and fruits and flowers and
confections, and they ceased not to eat and drink,[341] whilst the
singing-girls sang various airs till the evening. They gave not over
eating and drinking and merry-making for a space of forty days, when the
Queen said to him, “O Badr Basim, say me whether is the more pleasant,
this place or the shop of thine uncle the grocer?” He replied, “By
Allah, O Queen, this is the pleasanter, for my uncle is but a beggarly
man, who vendeth pot-herbs.” She laughed at his words and the twain lay
together in the pleasantest of case till the morning, when King Badr
Basim awoke from sleep and found not Queen Lab by his side, so he said,
“Would Heaven I knew where can she have gone!” And indeed he was
troubled at her absence and perplexed about the case, for she stayed
away from him a great while and did not return; so he donned his dress
and went seeking her but not finding her, and he said to himself,
“Haply, she is gone to the flower-garden.” Thereupon he went out into
the garden and came to a running rill beside which he saw a white
she-bird and on the stream-bank a tree full of birds of various colours,
and he stood and watched the birds without their seeing him. And behold,
a black bird flew down upon that white she-bird and fell to billing her
pigeon-fashion, then he leapt on her and trod her three consecutive
times, after which the bird changed and became a woman. Badr looked at
her and lo! it was Queen Lab. So he knew that the black bird was a man
transmewed and that she was enamoured of him and had transformed herself
into a bird, that he might enjoy her; wherefore jealousy got hold upon
him and he was wroth with the Queen because of the black bird. Then he
returned to his place and lay down on the carpet-bed and after an hour
or so she came back to him and fell to kissing him and jesting with him;
but being sore incensed against her he answered her not a word. She saw
what was to do with him and was assured that he had witnessed what befel
her when she was a white bird and was trodden by the black bird; yet she
discovered naught to him but concealed what ailed her. When he had done
her need, he said to her, “O Queen, I would have thee give me leave to
go to my uncle’s shop, for I long after him and have not seen him these
forty days.” She replied, “Go to him but tarry not from me, for I cannot
brook to be parted from thee, nor can I endure without thee an hour.” He
said, “I hear and I obey,” and mounting, rode to the shop of the Shaykh,
the grocer, who welcomed him and rose to him and embracing him said to
him, “How hast thou fared with yonder idolatress?” He replied, “I was
well in health and happiness till this last night,” and told him what
had passed in the garden with the black bird.[342] Now when the old man
heard his words, he said, “Beware of her, for know that the birds upon
the trees were all young men and strangers, whom she loved and enchanted
and turned into birds. That black bird thou sawest was one of her
Mamelukes whom she loved with exceeding love, till he cast his eyes upon
one of her women. Wherefore she changed him into a black bird;”——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Badr
Basim acquainted the old grocer with all the doings of Queen Lab and
what he had seen of her proceedings, the Shaykh gave him to know that
all the birds upon the tree were young men and strangers whom she had
enchanted, and that the black bird was one of her Mamelukes whom she had
transmewed. “And,” continued the Shaykh, “whenas she lusteth after him
she transformeth herself into a she-bird that he may enjoy her, for she
still loveth him with passionate love. When she found that thou knewest
of her case, she plotted evil against thee, for she loveth thee not
wholly. But no harm shall betide thee from her, so long as I protect
thee; therefore fear nothing; for I am a Moslem, by name Abdallah, and
there is none in my day more magical than I; yet do I not make use of
gramarye save upon constraint. Many a time have I put to naught the
sorceries of yonder accursed and delivered folk from her, and I care not
for her, because she can do me no hurt: nay, she feareth me with
exceeding fear, as do all in the city who, like her, are magicians and
serve the fire, not the Omnipotent Sire. So to-morrow, come thou to me
and tell me what she doth with thee; for this very night she will cast
about to destroy thee, and I will tell thee how thou shalt do with her,
that thou mayst save thyself from her malice.” Then King Badr Basim
farewelled the Shaykh and returned to the Queen whom he found awaiting
him. When she saw him, she rose and seating him and welcoming him
brought him meat and drink and the two ate till they had enough and
washed their hands; after which she called for wine and they drank till
the night was well nigh half spent, when she plied him with cup after
cup till he was drunken and lost sense[343] and wit. When she saw him
thus, she said to him, “I conjure thee by Allah and by whatso thou
worshippest, if I ask thee a question wilt thou inform me rightly and
answer me truly?” And he being drunken, answered, “Yes, O my lady.”
Quoth she, “O my lord and light of mine eyes, when thou awokest last
night and foundest me not, thou soughtest me, till thou sawest me in the
garden, under the guise of a white she-bird, and also thou sawest the
black bird leap on me and tread me. Now I will tell the truth of this
matter. That black bird was one of my Mamelukes, whom I loved with
exceeding love; but one day he cast his eyes upon a certain of my
slave-girls, wherefore jealousy gat hold upon me and I transformed him
by my spells into a black bird and her I slew. But now I cannot endure
without him a single hour; so, whenever I lust after him, I change
myself into a she-bird and go to him, that he may leap me and enjoy me,
even as thou hast seen. Art thou not therefore incensed against me,
because of this, albeit, by the virtue of Fire and Light, Shade and
Heat, I love thee more than ever and have made thee my portion of the
world?” He answered (being drunken), “Thy conjecture of the cause of my
rage is correct, and it had no reason other than this.” With this she
embraced him and kissed him and made great show of love to him; then she
lay down to sleep and he by her side. Presently, about midnight she rose
from the carpet-bed and King Badr Basim was awake; but he feigned sleep
and watched stealthily to see what she would do. She took out of a red
bag a something red, which she planted a-middlemost the chamber, and it
became a stream, running like the sea; after which she took a handful of
barley and strewing it on the ground, watered it with water from the
river; whereupon it became wheat in the ear, and she gathered it and
ground it into flour. Then she set it aside and returning to bed, lay
down by Badr Basim till morning when he arose and washed his face and
asked her leave to visit the Shaykh his uncle. She gave him permission
and he repaired to Abdallah and told him what had passed. The old man
laughed and said, “By Allah, this miscreant witch plotteth mischief
against thee; but reck thou not of her ever!” Then he gave him a pound
of parched corn[344] and said to him, “Take this with thee and know
that, when she seeth it, she will ask thee:—What is this and what wilt
thou do with it? Do thou answer:—Abundance of good things is good; and
eat of it. Then will she bring forth to thee parched grain of her own
and say to thee:—Eat of this Sawík; and do thou feign to her that thou
eatest thereof, but eat of this instead, and beware and have a care lest
thou eat of hers even a grain; for, an thou eat so much as a grain
thereof, her spells will have power over thee and she will enchant thee
and say to thee:—Leave this form of a man. Whereupon thou wilt quit
thine own shape for what shape she will. But, an thou eat not thereof,
her enchantments will be null and void and no harm will betide thee
therefrom; whereat she will be shamed with shame exceeding and say to
thee:—I did but jest with thee! Then will she make a show of love and
fondness to thee; but this will all be but hypocrisy in her and craft.
And do thou also make a show of love to her and say to her:—O my lady
and light of mine eyes, eat of this parched barley and see how delicious
it is. And if she eat thereof, though it be but a grain, take water in
thy hand and throw it in her face, saying:—Quit this human form (for
what form soever thou wilt have her take). Then leave her and come to me
and I will counsel thee what to do.” So Badr Basim took leave of him and
returning to the palace, went in to the Queen, who said to him, “Welcome
and well come and good cheer to thee!” And she rose and kissed him,
saying, “Thou hast tarried long from me, O my lord.” He replied, “I have
been with my uncle, and he gave me to eat of this Sawik.” Quoth she, “We
have better than that.” Then she laid his parched Sawik in one plate and
hers in another and said to him, “Eat of this, for ’tis better than
thine.” So he feigned to eat of it and when she thought he had done so,
she took water in her hand and sprinkled him therewith, saying, “Quit
this form, O thou gallows-bird, thou miserable, and take that of a mule
one-eyed and foul of favour.” But he changed not; which when she saw,
she arose and went up to him and kissed him between the eyes, saying, “O
my beloved, I did but jest with thee; bear me no malice because of
this.” Quoth he, “O my lady, I bear thee no whit of malice; nay, I am
assured that thou lovest me: but eat of this my parched barley.” So she
eat a mouthful of Abdallah’s Sawik; but no sooner had it settled in her
stomach than she was convulsed; and King Badr Basim took water in his
palm and threw it in her face, saying, “Quit this human form and take
that of a dapple mule.” No sooner had he spoken than she found herself
changed into a she-mule, whereupon the tears rolled down her cheeks and
she fell to rubbing her muzzle against his feet. Then he would have
bridled her, but she would not take the bit; so he left her and, going
to the grocer, told him what had passed. Abdallah brought out for him a
bridle and bade him rein her forthwith. So he took it to the palace, and
when she saw him, she came up to him and he set the bit in her mouth and
mounting her, rode forth to find the Shaykh. But when the old man saw
her, he rose and said to her, “Almighty Allah confound thee, O accursed
woman!” Then quoth he to Badr, “O my son, there is no more tarrying for
thee in this city; so ride her and fare with her whither thou wilt and
beware lest thou commit the bridle[345] to any.” King Badr thanked him
and farewelling him, fared on three days, without ceasing, till he drew
near another city and there met him an old man, gray-headed and comely,
who said to him, “Whence comest thou, O my son?” Badr replied, “From the
city of this witch”; and the old man said, “Thou art my guest to-night.”
He consented and went with him; but by the way behold, they met an old
woman, who wept when she saw the mule, and said, “There is no god but
_the_ God! Verily, this mule resembleth my son’s she-mule, which is
dead, and my heart acheth for her; so, Allah upon thee, O my lord, do
thou sell her to me!” He replied, “By Allah, O my mother, I cannot sell
her.” But she cried, “Allah upon thee, do not refuse my request, for my
son will surely be a dead man except I buy him this mule.” And she
importuned him, till he exclaimed, “I will not sell her save for a
thousand dinars,” saying in himself, “Whence should this old woman get a
thousand gold pieces?” Thereupon she brought out from her girdle a purse
containing a thousand ducats, which when King Badr Basim saw, he said,
“O my mother, I did but jest with thee; I cannot sell her.” But the old
man looked at him and said, “O my son, in this city none may lie, for
whoso lieth they put to death.” So King Badr Basim lighted down from the
mule.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Badr Basim
dismounted from and delivered the mule to the old woman, she drew the
bit from her mouth and, taking water in her hand, sprinkled the mule
therewith, saying, “O my daughter, quit this shape for that form wherein
thou wast aforetime!” Upon this she was straightway restored to her
original semblance and the two women embraced and kissed each other. So
King Badr Basim knew that the old woman was Queen Lab’s mother and that
he had been tricked and would have fled; when, lo! the old woman
whistled a loud whistle and her call was obeyed by an Ifrit as he were a
great mountain, whereat Badr was affrighted and stood still. Then the
old woman mounted on the Ifrit’s back, taking her daughter behind her
and King Badr Basim before her, and the Ifrit flew off with them; nor
was it a full hour ere they were in the palace of Queen Lab, who sat
down on the throne of kingship and said to Badr, “Gallows-bird that thou
art, now am I come hither and have attained to that I desired and soon
will I show thee how I will do with thee and with yonder old man the
grocer! How many favours have I shown him! Yet he doth me frowardness;
for thou hast not attained thine end but by means of him.” Then she took
water and sprinkled him therewith, saying, “Quit the shape wherein thou
art for the form of a foul-favoured fowl, the foulest of all fowls; and
she set him in a cage and cut off from him meat and drink;” but one of
her women seeing this cruelty, took compassion on him and gave him food
and water without her knowledge. One day, the damsel took her mistress
at unawares and going forth the palace, repaired to the old grocer, to
whom she told the whole case, saying, “Queen Lab is minded to make an
end of thy brother’s son.” The Shaykh thanked her and said, “There is no
help but that I take the city from her and make thee Queen thereof in
her stead.” Then he whistled a loud whistle and there came forth to him
an Ifrit with four wings, to whom he said, “Take up this damsel and
carry her to the city of Julnar the Sea-born and her mother
Faráshah[346] for they twain are the most powerful magicians on face of
earth.” And he said to the damsel, “When thou comest thither, tell them
that King Badr Basim is Queen Lab’s captive.” Then the Ifrit took up his
load and, flying off with her, in a little while set her down upon the
terrace roof of Queen Julnar’s palace. So she descended and going in to
the Queen, kissed the earth and told her what had passed to her son,
first and last, whereupon Julnar rose to her and entreated her with
honour and thanked her. Then she let beat the drums in the city and
acquainted her lieges and the lords of her realm with the good news that
King Badr Basim was found; after which she and her mother Farashah and
her brother Salih assembled all the tribes of the Jinn and the troops of
the main; for the Kings of the Jinn obeyed them since the taking of King
Al-Samandal. Presently they all flew up into the air and lighting down
on the city of the sorceress, sacked the town and the palace and slew
all the Unbelievers therein in the twinkling of an eye. Then said Julnar
to the damsel, “Where is my son?” And the slave-girl brought her the
cage and signing to the bird within, cried, “This is thy son.” So Julnar
took him forth of the cage and sprinkled him with water, saying, “Quit
this shape for the form wherein thou wast aforetime;” nor had she made
an end of her speech ere he shook and became a man as before; whereupon
his mother, seeing him restored to human shape, embraced him and he wept
with sore weeping. On like wise did his uncle Salih and his grandmother
and the daughters of his uncle and fell to kissing his hands and feet.
Then Julnar sent for Shaykh Abdallah and thanking him for his kind
dealing with her son, married him to the damsel, whom he had despatched
to her with news of him, and made him King of the city. Moreover, she
summoned those who survived of the citizens (and they were Moslems), and
made them swear fealty to him and take the oath of loyalty, whereto they
replied, “Hearkening and obedience!” Then she and her company farewelled
him and returned to their own capital. The townsfolk came out to meet
them, with drums beating, and decorated the place three days and held
high festival, of the greatness of their joy for the return of their
King Badr Basim. After this Badr said to his mother, “O my mother,
naught remains but that I marry and we be all united.” She replied,
“Right is thy rede, O my son, but wait till we ask who befitteth thee
among the daughters of the Kings.” And his grandmother Farashah, and the
daughters of both his uncles said, “O Badr Basim, we will help thee to
win thy wish forthright.” Then each of them arose and fared forth
questing in the lands, whilst Julnar sent out her waiting women on the
necks of Ifrits, bidding them leave not a city nor a King’s palace
without noting all the handsome girls that were therein. But, when King
Badr Basim saw the trouble they were taking in this matter, he said to
Julnar, “O my mother, leave this thing, for none will content me save
Jauharah, daughter of King Al-Samandal; for that she is indeed a
jewel,[347] according to her name.” Replied Julnar, “I know that which
thou seekest;” and bade forthright bring Al-Samandal the King. As soon
as he was present, she sent for Badr Basim and acquainted him with the
King’s coming, whereupon he went in to him. Now when Al-Samandal was
aware of his presence, he rose to him and saluted him and bade him
welcome; and King Badr Basim demanded of him his daughter Jauharah in
marriage. Quoth he, “She is thine handmaid and at thy service and
disposition,” and despatched some of his suite bidding them seek her
abode and, after telling her that her sire was in the hands of King Badr
Basim, to bring her forthright. So they flew up into the air and
disappeared and they returned after a while, with the Princess who, as
soon as she saw her father, went up to him and threw her arms round his
neck. Then looking at her he said, “O my daughter, know that I have
given thee in wedlock to this magnanimous Sovran, and valiant lion King
Badr Basim, son of Queen Julnar the Sea-born, for that he is the
goodliest of the folk of his day and most powerful and the most exalted
of them in degree and the noblest in rank; he befitteth none but thee
and thou none but him.” Answered she, “I may not gainsay thee, O my
sire; do as thou wilt, for indeed chagrin and despite are at an end, and
I am one of his handmaids.” So they summoned the Kazi and the witnesses
who drew up the marriage-contract between King Badr Basim and the
Princess Jauharah, and the citizens decorated the city and beat the
drums of rejoicing, and they released all who were in the jails, whilst
the King clothed the widows and the orphans and bestowed robes of honour
upon the Lords of the Realm and Emirs and Grandees: and they made
bride-feasts and held high festival night and morn ten days, at the end
of which time they displayed the bride, in nine different dresses,
before King Badr Basim who bestowed an honourable robe upon King
Al-Samandal and sent him back to his country and people and kinsfolk.
And they ceased not from living the most delectable of life and the most
solaceful of days, eating and drinking and enjoying every luxury, till
there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of
Societies; and this is the end of their story,[348] may Allah have mercy
on them all! Moreover, O auspicious King, a tale is also told anent

-----

Footnote 302:

  In the Mac. Edit. “Shahzamán,” a corruption of Sháh Zamán = King of
  the Age. (See vol. i. 2.)

Footnote 303:

  For a note on this subject see vol. ii. 1.

Footnote 304:

  _i.e._ bathe her and apply cosmetics to remove all traces of travel.

Footnote 305:

  These pretentious and curious displays of coquetry are not uncommon in
  handsome slave-girls when newly bought; and it is a kind of pundonor
  to humour them. They may also refuse their favours and a master who
  took possession of their persons by brute force would be blamed by his
  friends, men and women. Even the most despotic of despots, Fath Ali
  Shah of Persia, put up with refusals from his slave-girls and did not,
  as would the mean-minded, marry them to the grooms or cooks of the
  palace.

Footnote 306:

  Such continence is rarely shown by the young Jallabs or slave-traders;
  when older they learn how much money is lost with the chattel’s
  virginity.

Footnote 307:

  Midwives in the East, as in the less civilised parts of the West, have
  many nostrums for divining the sex of the unborn child.

Footnote 308:

  Arabic (which has no written “g”) from Pers. Gulnár (Gul-i-anár)
  pomegranate-flower, the “Gulnare” of Byron who learnt his Orientalism
  at the Mekhitarist (Armenian) Convent, Venice. I regret to see the
  little honour now paid to the gallant poet in the land where he should
  be honoured the most. The systematic depreciation was begun by the
  late Mr. Thackeray, perhaps the last man to value the noble
  independence of Byron’s spirit; and it has been perpetuated, I regret
  to see, by better judges. These critics seem wholly to ignore the fact
  that Byron founded a school which covered Europe from Russia to Spain,
  from Norway to Sicily, and which from England passed over to the two
  Americas. This exceptional success, which has not yet fallen even to
  Shakespeare’s lot, was due to genius only, for the poet almost ignored
  study and poetic art. His great misfortune was being born in England
  under the Georgium Sidus. Any Continental people would have regarded
  him as one of the prime glories of his race.

Footnote 309:

  Arab. “Fí al-Kamar,” which Lane renders “in the moonlight.” It seems
  to me that the allusion is to the Comorin Islands; but the sequel
  speaks simply of an island.

Footnote 310:

  The Mac. Edit. misprints Julnár as Julnáz (so the Bul. Edit. ii. 233),
  and Lane’s Jullanár is an Egyptian vulgarism. He is right in
  suspecting the “White City” to be imaginary; but its sea has no
  apparent connection with the Caspian. The mermen and mermaids appear
  to him to be of an inferior order of the Jinn, termed Al-Ghawwásah,
  the Divers, who fly through air and are made of fire which at times
  issues from their mouths.

Footnote 311:

  Arab. “’Alà Kulli hál,” a popular phrase, like the Anglo-American
  “anyhow.”

Footnote 312:

  In the text the name does not appear till near the end of the tale.

Footnote 313:

  _i.e._ Full moon smiling.

Footnote 314:

  These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 264, so I quote Lane ii. 499.

Footnote 315:

  These lines occurred in vol. ii. 301. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 316:

  Arab. “Khadd” = cheek from the eye-orbit to the place where the beard
  grows; also applied to the side of a rough highland, the side-planks
  of a litter, etc. etc.

Footnote 317:

  The black hair of youth.

Footnote 318:

  This manner of listening is not held dishonourable amongst Arabs or
  Easterns generally; who, however, hear as little good of themselves as
  westerns declare in proverb.

Footnote 319:

  Arab. “Hasab wa nasab,” before explained as inherited degree and
  acquired dignity. See vol. iv. 171.

Footnote 320:

  Arab. Mujájat = spittle running from the mouth: hence Lane, “is like
  running saliva,” which, in poetry is not pretty.

Footnote 321:

  Arab. and Heb. Salmandra from Pers. Samandal (—dar—duk—dun, etc), a
  Salamander, a mouse which lives in fire, some say a bird in India and
  China and others confuse with the chameleon (Bochart Hiero. Part ii.
  chapt. vi).

Footnote 322:

  Arab. “Mahá” one of the four kinds of wild cows or bovine antelopes,
  bubalus, Antelope defassa, A. leucoryx, etc.

Footnote 323:

  These lines have occurred in vol. iii. 279; so I quote Lane (iii. 274)
  by way of variety; although I do not like his “bowels.”

Footnote 324:

  The last verse (286) of chapt. ii. The Cow: “compelleth” in the sense
  of “burdeneth.”

Footnote 325:

  Salih’s speeches are euphuistic.

Footnote 326:

  From the Fátihah.

Footnote 327:

  A truly Eastern saying, which ignores the “old maids” of the West.

Footnote 328:

  _i.e._ naming her before the lieges as if the speaker were her and his
  superior. It would have been more polite not to have gone beyond “the
  unique pearl and the hoarded jewel”: the offensive part of the speech
  was using the girl’s name.

Footnote 329:

  Meaning emphatically that one and all were nobodies.

Footnote 330:

  Arab. Badr, the usual pun.

Footnote 331:

  Arab. Kirát (κεράτιον) the bean of the _Abrus precatorius_, used as a
  weight in Arabia and India and as a bead for decoration in Africa. It
  is equal to four Kamhahs or wheat-grains and about 3 grs. avoir.; and
  being the twenty-fourth of a miskal, it is applied to that proportion
  of everything. Thus the Arabs say of a perfect man, “He is of
  four-and-twenty Kirát” _i.e._ pure gold. See vol. iii. 239.

Footnote 332:

  The (she) myrtle: Kazimirski (A. de Biberstein) Dictionnaire
  Arabe-Francais (Paris Maisonneuve 1867) gives Marsín = Rose de
  Jericho: myrte.

Footnote 333:

  Needless to note that the fowler had a right to expect a return
  present worth double or treble the price of his gift. Such is the
  universal practice of the East: in the West the extortioner says, “I
  leave it to you, sir!”

Footnote 334:

  And she does tell him all that the reader well knows.

Footnote 335:

  This was for sprinkling him, but the texts omit that operation. Arabic
  has distinct terms for various forms of metamorphosis. “Naskh” is
  change from a lower to a higher, as beast to man; “Maskh” (the common
  expression) is the reverse; “Raskh” is from animate to inanimate (man
  to stone) and “Faskh” is absolute wasting away to corruption.

Footnote 336:

  I render this improbable detail literally: it can only mean that the
  ship was dashed against a rock.

Footnote 337:

  Who was probably squatting on his shop-counter. The “Bakkál” (who must
  not be confounded with the _épicier_), lit. “vender of herbs” =
  greengrocer, and according to Richardson used incorrectly for Baddál
  (?) vendor of provisions. Popularly it is applied to a seller of oil,
  honey, butter and fruit, like the Ital. “Pizzicagnolo” =
  Salsamentarius, and in N. West Africa to an inn-keeper.

Footnote 338:

  Here the Shaykh is mistaken: he should have said, “The Sun in old
  Persian.” “Almanac” simply makes nonsense of the Arabian Circe’s name.
  In Arab. it is “Takwím,” whence the Span. and Port. “Tacuino:” in Heb.
  Hakamathá-Takunah = sapientia dispositionis astrorum (Asiat. Research.
  iii. 120).

Footnote 339:

  _i.e._ for thy daily expenses.

Footnote 340:

  _Un adolescent aime toutes les femmes._ Man is by nature polygamic
  whereas woman as a rule is monogamic and polyandrous only when tired
  of her lover. For the man, as has been truly said, loves the woman,
  but the love of the woman is for the love of the man.

Footnote 341:

  I have already noted that the heroes and heroines of Eastern
  love-tales are always _bonnes fourchettes_: they eat and drink hard
  enough to scandalise the sentimental amourist of the West; but it is
  understood that this abundant diet is necessary to qualify them for
  the Herculean labours of the love night.

Footnote 342:

  Here again a little excision is necessary; the reader already knows
  all about it.

Footnote 343:

  Arab. “Hiss,” prop. speaking a perception (as of sound or motion) as
  opposed to “Hadas,” a surmise or opinion without proof.

Footnote 344:

  Arab. “Sawík,” the old and modern name for native frumenty, green
  grain (mostly barley) toasted, pounded, mixed with dates or sugar and
  eaten on journeys when cooking is impracticable. M. C. de Perceval
  (iii. 54), gives it a different and now unknown name; and Mr. Lane
  also applies it to “ptisane.” It named the “Day of Sawaykah” (for
  which see Pilgrimage ii. 19), called by our popular authors the “War
  of the Meal-sacks.”

Footnote 345:

  Mr. Keightley (H. 122–24 Tales and Popular Fictions, a book now
  somewhat obselete) remarks, “There is nothing said about the bridle in
  the account of the sale (_infra_), but I am sure that in the original
  tale, Badr’s misfortunes must have been owing to his having parted
  with it. In Chaucer’s Squier’s Tale the bridle would also appear to
  have been of some importance.” He quotes a story from the Notti
  Piacevoli of Straparola, the Milanese, published at Venice in 1550.
  And there is a popular story of the kind in Germany.

Footnote 346:

  Here, for the first time we find the name of the mother who has often
  been mentioned in the story. Faráshah is the fem. or singular form of
  “Farásh,” a butterfly, a moth. Lane notes that his Shaykh gives it the
  very unusual sense of “a locust.”

Footnote 347:

  Punning upon Jauharah = “a jewel” a name which has an Hibernian smack.

Footnote 348:

  In the old version “All the lovers of the Magic Queen resumed their
  pristine forms as soon as she ceased to live;” moreover, they were all
  sons of kings, princes, or persons of high degree.



            KING MOHAMMED BIN SABAIK AND THE MERCHANT HASAN.


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
a King of the Kings of the Persians, by name Mohammed bin Sabáik, who
ruled over Khorásán-land and used every year to go on razzia into the
countries of the Miscreants in Hind and Sind and China and the lands of
Máwarannahr beyond the Oxus and other regions of the barbarians and what
not else. He was a just King, a valiant and a generous, and loved
table-talk[349] and tales and verses and anecdotes and histories and
entertaining stories and legends of the ancients. Whoso knew a rare
recital and related it to him in such fashion as to please him he would
bestow on him a sumptuous robe of honour and clothe him from head to
foot and give him a thousand dinars, and mount him on a horse saddled
and bridled besides other great gifts; and the man would take all this
and wend his way. Now it chanced that one day there came an old man
before him and related to him a rare story, which pleased the King and
made him marvel, so he ordered him a magnificent present, amongst other
things a thousand dinars of Khorasan and a horse with its housings and
trappings. After this, the bruit of the King’s munificence was blazed
abroad in all countries and there heard of him a man, Hasan the Merchant
hight, who was generous, open-handed and learned, a scholar and an
accomplished poet. Now that King had an envious Wazir, a multum-in-parvo
of ill, loving no man, rich nor poor, and whoso came before the King and
he gave him aught he envied him and said, “Verily, this fashion
annihilateth wealth and ruineth the land; and such is the custom of the
King.” But this was naught save envy and despite in that Minister.
Presently the King heard talk of Hasan the Merchant and sending for him,
said to him as soon as he came into the presence, “O Merchant Hasan,
this Wazir of mine vexeth and thwarteth me concerning the money I give
to poets and boon-companions and story-tellers and glee-men, and I would
have thee tell me a goodly history and a rare story, such as I have
never before heard. An it please me, I will give thee lands galore, with
their forts, in free tenure, in addition to thy fiefs and untaxed lands;
besides which I will put my whole kingdom in thy hands and make thee my
Chief Wazir; so shalt thou sit on my right hand and rule my subjects.
But, an thou bring me not that which I bid thee, I will take all that is
in thy hand and banish thee my realm.” Replied Hasan, “Hearkening and
obedience to our lord the King! But thy slave beseecheth thee to have
patience with him a year; than will he tell thee a tale, such as thou
hast never in thy life heard, neither hath other than thou heard its
like, not to say a better than it.” Quoth the King, “I grant thee a
whole year’s delay.” And he called for a costly robe of honour wherein
he robed Hasan, saying, “Keep thy house and mount not horse, neither go
nor come for a year’s time, till thou bring me that I seek of thee. An
thou bring it, especial favour awaiteth thee and thou mayst count upon
that which I have promised thee; but, an thou bring it not, thou art not
of us nor are we of thee.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Mohammed
son of Sabaik said to Hasan the Merchant, “An thou bring me that I seek
of thee, especial favour awaiteth thee and thou mayest now rejoice in
that which I have promised thee; but, an thou bring it not, thou art not
of us nor are we of thee.” Hasan kissed ground before the King and went
out from the presence. Then he chose five of the best of his Mamelukes,
who could all write and read and were learned, intelligent,
accomplished; and he gave each of them five thousand dinars, saying, “I
reared you not save for the like of this day; so do ye help me to
further the King’s desire and deliver me from his hand.” Quoth they,
“What wilt thou have us do? Our lives be thy ransom!” Quoth he, “I wish
you to go each to a different country and seek out diligently the
learned and erudite and literate and the tellers of wondrous stories and
marvellous histories and do your endeavour to procure me the story of
Sayf al-Mulúk. If ye find it with any one, pay him what price soever he
asketh for it although he demand a thousand dinars; give him what ye may
and promise him the rest and bring me the story; for whoso happeneth on
it and bringeth it to me, I will bestow on him a costly robe of honour
and largesse galore, and there shall be to me none more worshipped than
he.” Then said he to one of them, “Hie thou to Al-Hind and Al-Sind and
all their provinces and dependencies.” To another, “Hie thou to the home
of the Persians and to China and her climates.” To the third, “Hie thou
to the land of Khorasan with its districts.” To the fourth, “Hie thou to
Mauritania and all its regions, districts, provinces and quarters.” And
to the fifth, “Hie thou to Syria and Egypt and their outliers.”
Moreover, he chose them out an auspicious day and said to them, “Fare ye
forth this day and be diligent in the accomplishment of my need and be
not slothful, though the case cost you your lives.” So they farewelled
him and departed, each taking the direction prescribed to him. Now, four
of them were absent four months, and searched but found nothing; so they
returned and told their master, whose breast was straitened, that they
had ransacked towns and cities and countries for the thing he sought,
but had happened upon naught thereof. Meanwhile, the fifth servant
journeyed till he came to the land of Syria and entered Damascus, which
he found a pleasant city and a secure, abounding in trees and rills,
leas and fruiteries and birds chanting the praises of Allah the One, the
All-powerful of sway, Creator of Night and Day. Here he tarried some
time, asking for his master’s desire, but none answered him wherefore he
was on the point of departing thence to another place, when he met a
young man running and stumbling over his skirts. So he asked to him,
“Wherefore runnest thou in such eagerness and whither dost thou press?”
And he answered, “There is an elder here, a man of learning, who every
day at this time taketh his seat on a stool[350] and relateth tales and
stories and delectable anecdotes, whereof never heard any the like; and
I am running to get me a place near him and fear I shall find no room,
because of the much folk.” Quoth the Mameluke, “Take me with thee;” and
quoth the youth, “Make haste in thy walking.” So he shut his door and
hastened with him to the place of recitation, where he saw an old man of
bright favour seated on a stool holding forth to the folk. He sat down
near him and addressed himself to hear his story, till the going down of
the sun, when the old man made an end of his tale and the people, having
heard it all, dispersed from about him; whereupon the Mameluke accosted
him and saluted him, and he returned his salam and greeted him with the
utmost worship and courtesy. Then said the messenger to him, “O my lord
Shaykh, thou art a comely and reverend man, and thy discourse is goodly;
but I would fain ask thee of somewhat.” Replied the old man, “Ask of
what thou wilt!” Then said the Mameluke, “Hast thou the story of Sayf
al-Muluk and Badí’a al-Jamál?” Rejoined the elder, “And who told thee of
this story and informed thee thereof?” Answered the messenger, “None
told me of it, but I am come from a far country, in quest of this tale,
and I will pay thee whatever thou askest for its price if thou have it
and wilt, of thy bounty and charity, impart it to me and make it an alms
to me, of the generosity of thy nature for, had I my life in my hand and
lavished it upon thee for this thing, yet were it pleasing to my heart.”
Replied the old man, “Be of good cheer and keep thine eye cool and
clear: thou shalt have it; but this is no story that one telleth in the
beaten highway, nor do I give it to every one.” Cried the other, “By
Allah, O my lord, do not grudge it me, but ask of me what price thou
wilt.” And the old man, “If thou wish for the history give me an hundred
dinars and thou shalt have it; but upon five conditions.” Now when the
Mameluke knew that the old man had the story and was willing to sell it
to him, he joyed with exceeding joy and said, “I will give thee the
hundred dinars by way of price and ten to boot as a gratuity and take it
on the conditions of which thou speakest.” Said the old man, “Then go
and fetch the gold pieces, and take that thou seekest.” So the messenger
kissed his hands and joyful and happy returned to his lodging, where he
laid an hundred and ten dinars[351] in a purse he had by him. As soon as
morning morrowed, he donned his clothes and taking the dinars, repaired
to the story-teller, whom he found seated at the door of his house. So
he saluted him and the other returned his salam. Then he gave him the
gold and the old man took it and carrying the messenger into his house
made him sit down in a convenient place, when he set before him inkcase
and reed-pen and paper and giving him a book, said to him, “Write out
what thou seekest of the night-story[352] of Sayf al-Muluk from this
book.” Accordingly the Mameluke fell to work and wrote till he had made
an end of his copy, when he read it to the old man, and he corrected it
and presently said to him, “Know, O my son, that my five conditions are
as follows; firstly, that thou tell not this story in the beaten high
road nor before women and slave-girls nor to black slaves nor
feather-heads; nor again to boys; but read it only before Kings and
Emirs and Wazirs and men of learning, such as expounders of the Koran
and others.” Thereupon the messenger accepted the conditions and kissing
the old man’s hand, took leave of him, and fared forth.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Mameluke of Hasan the Merchant had copied the tale out of the book
belonging to the old man of Damascus, and had accepted his conditions
and farewelled him, he fared forth on the same day, glad and joyful, and
journeyed on diligently, of the excess of his contentment, for that he
had gotten the story of Sayf al-Muluk, till he came to his own country,
when he despatched his servant to bear the good news to his master and
say to him, “Thy Mameluke is come back in safety and hath won his will
and his aim.” (Now of the term appointed between Hasan and the King
there wanted but ten days.) Then, after taking rest in his own quarters
he himself went in to the Merchant and told him all that had befallen
him and gave him the book containing the story of Sayf al-Muluk and
Badi’a al-Jamal, when Hasan joyed with exceeding joy at the sight and
bestowed on him all the clothes he had on and gave him ten thoroughbred
horses and the like number of camels and mules and three negro chattels
and two white slaves. Then Hasan took the book and copied out the story
plainly in his own hand; after which he presented himself before the
King and said to him, “O thou auspicious King, I have brought thee a
night-story and a rarely pleasant relation, whose like none ever heard
at all.” When these words reached the King’s ear, he sent forthright for
all the Emirs, who were men of understanding, and all the learned
doctors and folk of erudition and culture and poets and wits; and Hasan
sat down and read the history before the King, who marvelled thereat and
approved it, as did all who were present, and they showered gold and
silver and jewels upon the Merchant. Moreover, the King bestowed on him
a costly robe of honour of the richest of his raiment and gave him a
great city with its castles and outliers; and he appointed him one of
his Chief Wazirs and seated him on his right hand. Then he caused the
scribes write the story in letters of gold and lay it up in his privy
treasures; and whenever his breast was straitened, he would summon Hasan
and he would read him the story,[353] which was as follows:—


   _STORY OF PRINCE SAYF AL-MULUK AND THE PRINCESS BADI’A AL-JAMAL._

There was once, in days of old and in ages and times long told, a King
in Egypt called Asim bin Safwán,[354] who was a liberal and beneficent
sovran, venerable and majestic. He owned many cities and sconces and
fortresses and troops and warriors and had a Wazir named Fáris bin
Sálih,[355] and he and all his subjects worshipped the sun and the fire,
instead of the All-powerful Sire, the Glorious, the Victorious. Now this
King was become a very old man, weakened and wasted with age and
sickness and decrepitude; for he had lived an hundred and fourscore
years and had no child, male or female, by reason whereof he was ever in
cark and care from morning to night and from night to morn. It so
happened that one day of the days, he was sitting on the throne of his
Kingship, with his Emirs and Wazirs and Captains and Grandees in
attendance on him, according to their custom, in their several stations,
and whenever there came in an Emir, who had with him a son or two sons,
or haply three who stood at the sides of their sires the King envied him
and said in himself, “Every one of these is happy and rejoiceth in his
children, whilst I, I have no child, and to-morrow I die and leave my
reign and throne and lands and hoards, and strangers will take them and
none will bear me in memory nor will there remain any mention of me in
the world.” Then he became drowned in the sea of thought and for the
much thronging of griefs and anxieties upon his heart, like travellers
faring for the well, he shed tears and descending from his throne, sat
down upon the floor,[356] weeping and humbling himself before the Lord.
Now when the Wazir and notables of the realm and others who were present
in the assembly saw him do thus with his royal person, they feared for
their lives and let the poursuivants cry aloud to the lieges, saying,
“Hie ye to your homes and rest till the King recover from what aileth
him.” So they went away, leaving none in the presence save the Minister
who, as soon as the King came to himself, kissed ground between his
hands and said, “O King of the Age and the time, wherefore this weeping
and wailing? Tell me who hath transgressed against thee of the Kings or
Castellans or Emirs or Grandees, and inform me who hath thwarted thee, O
my liege lord, that we may all fall on him and tear his soul from his
two sides.” But he spake not neither raised his head; whereupon the
Minister kissed ground before him a second time and said to him, “O
Master,[357] I am even as thy son and thy slave, nay, I have reared
thee; yet know I not the cause of thy cark and chagrin and of this thy
case; and who should know but I who should stand in my stead between thy
hands? Tell me therefore why this weeping and wherefore thine
affliction.” Nevertheless, the King neither opened his mouth nor raised
his head, but ceased not to weep and cry with a loud crying and lament
with exceeding lamentation and ejaculate, “Alas!” The Wazir took
patience with him awhile, after which he said to him, “Except thou tell
me the cause of this thine affliction, I will set this sword to my heart
and will slay myself before thine eyes, rather than see thee thus
distressed.” Then King Asim raised his head and, wiping away his tears,
said, “O Minister of good counsel and experience, leave me to my care
and my chagrin, for that which is in my heart of sorrow sufficeth me.”
But Faris said, “Tell me, O King, the cause of this thy weeping, haply
Allah will appoint thee relief at my hands.”——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir said
to King Asim, “Tell me the cause of this thy weeping: haply Allah shall
appoint thee relief at my hands.” Replied the King, “O Wazir, I weep not
for monies nor horses nor kingdoms nor aught else, but that I am become
an old man, yea, very old nigh upon an hundred and fourscore years of
age, and I have not been blessed with a child, male or female: so, when
I die, they will bury me and my trace will be effaced and my name cut
off; the stranger will take my throne and reign and none will ever make
mention of my being.” Rejoined the Minister Faris, “O King of the Age, I
am older than thou by an hundred years yet have I never been blest with
boon of child and cease not day and night from cark and care and
concern; so how shall we do, I and thou?” Quoth Asim, “O Wazir, hast
thou no device or shift in this matter?” and quoth the Minister, “Know,
O King that I have heard of a Sovran in the land of Sabá[358] by name
Solomon David-son (upon the twain be the Peace!),[359] who pretendeth to
prophetship and avoucheth that he hath a mighty Lord who can do all
things and whose kingdom is in the Heavens and who hath dominion over
all mankind and birds and beasts and over the wind and the Jinn.
Moreover, he kenneth the speech of birds and the language of every other
created thing; and withal, he calleth all creatures to the worship of
his Lord and discourseth to them of their service. So let us send him a
messenger in the King’s name and seek of him our need, beseeching him to
put up prayer to his Lord, that He vouchsafe each of us boon of issue.
If his Faith be soothfast and his Lord Omnipotent, He will assuredly
bless each of us with a child male or female, and if the thing thus fall
out, we will enter his faith and worship his Lord; else will we take
patience and devise us another device.” The King cried, “This is well
seen, and my breast is broadened by this thy speech; but where shall we
find a messenger befitting this grave matter, for that this Solomon is
no Kinglet and the approaching him is no light affair? Indeed, I will
send him none, on the like of this matter, save thyself; for thou art
ancient and versed in all manner affairs and the like of thee is the
like of myself; wherefore I desire that thou weary thyself and journey
to him and occupy thyself sedulously with accomplishing this matter, so
haply solace may be at thy hand.” The Minister said, “I hear and I obey;
but rise thou forthwith and seat thee upon the throne, so the Emirs and
Lords of the realm and officers and the lieges may enter applying
themselves to thy service, according to their custom; for they all went
away from thee, troubled at heart on thine account. Then will I go out
and set forth on the Sovran’s errand.” So the King arose forthright and
sat down on the throne of his kingship, whilst the Wazir went out and
said to the Chamberlain, “Bid the folk proceed to their service, as of
their wont.” Accordingly the troops and Captains and Lords of the land
entered, after they had spread the tables and ate and drank and withdrew
as was their wont, after which the Wazir Faris went forth from King Asim
and, repairing to his own house, equipped himself for travel and
returned to the King, who opened to him the treasuries and provided him
with rarities and things of price and rich stuffs and gear without
compare, such as nor Emir nor Wazir hath power to possess. Moreover,
King Asim charged him to accost Solomon with reverence, foregoing him
with the salam but not exceeding in speech; “and (continued he) then do
thou ask of him thy need, and if he say ’tis granted, return to us in
haste, for I shall be awaiting thee.” Accordingly, the Minister kissed
hands and took the presents and setting out, fared on night and day,
till he came within fifteen days’ journey of Saba. Meanwhile Allah
(extolled and exalted be He!) inspired Solomon the son of David (the
Peace be upon both!) and said to him, “O Solomon, the King of Egypt
sendeth unto thee his Chief Wazir, with a present of rarities and such
and such things of price; so do thou also despatch thy Counsellor Asaf
bin Barkhiyá to meet him with honour and with victual at the
halting-places; and when he cometh to thy presence, say unto
him:—Verily, thy King hath sent thee in quest of this and that and thy
business is thus and thus. Then do thou propound to him The Saving
Faith.”[360] Whereupon Solomon bade his Wazir make ready a company of
his retainers and go forth to meet the Minister of Egypt with honour and
sumptuous provision at the halting-places. So Asaf made ready all that
was needed for their entertainment and setting out, fared on till he
fell in with Faris and accosted him with the salam, honouring him and
his company with exceeding honour. Moreover, he brought them provaunt
and provender at the halting-places and said to them, “Well come and
welcome and fair welcome to the coming guests! Rejoice in the certain
winning of your wish! Be your souls of good cheer and your eyes cool and
clear and your breasts be broadened!” Quoth Faris in himself, “Who
acquainted him with this?”; and he said to Asaf,[361] “O my lord, and
who gave thee to know of us and our need?” “It was Solomon son of David
(on whom be the Peace!), told us of this!” “And who told our lord
Solomon?” “The Lord of the heaven and the earth told him, the God of all
creatures!” “This is none other than a mighty God!” “And do ye not
worship him?” “We worship the Sun, and prostrate ourselves thereto.” “O
Wazir Faris, the sun is but a star of the stars created by Allah
(extolled and exalted be He!), and Allah forbid that it should be a
Lord! Because whiles it riseth and whiles it setteth, but our Lord is
ever present and never absent and He over all things is Omnipotent!”
Then they journeyed on a little while till they came to the land Saba
and drew near the throne of Solomon David-son, (upon the twain be
peace!), who commanded his hosts of men and Jinn and others[362] to form
line on their road. So the beasts of the sea and the elephants and
leopards and lynxes and all beasts of the land ranged themselves in
espalier on either side of the way, after their several kinds, and
similarly the Jinn drew out in two ranks, appearing all to mortal eyes
without concealment, in divers forms grisly and gruesome. So they lined
the road on either hand, and the birds bespread their wings over the
host of creatures to shade them, warbling one to other in all manner of
voices and tongues. Now when the people of Egypt came to this terrible
array, they dreaded it and durst not proceed; but Asaf said to them,
“Pass on amidst them and walk forward and fear them not: for they are
slaves of Solomon son of David, and none of them will harm you.” So
saying, he entered between the ranks, followed by all the folk and
amongst them the Wazir of Egypt and his company, fearful: and they
ceased not faring forwards till they reached the city, where they lodged
the embassy in the guest-house and for the space of three days
entertained them sumptuously entreating them with the utmost honour.
Then they carried them before Solomon, prophet of Allah (on whom be the
Peace!), and when entering they would have kissed the earth before him;
but he forbade them, saying, “It besitteth not a man prostrate himself
to earth save before Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!), Creator
of Earth and Heaven and all other things; wherefore, whosoever of you
hath a mind to sit let him be seated in my service, or to stand, let him
stand, but let none stand to do me worship.” So they obeyed him and the
Wazir Faris and some of his intimates sat down, whilst certain of the
lesser sort remained afoot to wait on him. When they had sat awhile, the
servants spread the tables and they all, men and beasts, ate their
sufficiency.[363] Then Solomon bade Faris expound his errand, that it
might be accomplished, saying, “Speak and hide naught of that wherefor
thou art come; for I know why ye come and what is your errand, which is
thus and thus.” The King of Egypt who despatched thee, Asim hight, hath
become a very old man, infirm, decrepit; and Allah (whose name be
exalted!) hath not blessed him with offspring, male or female. So he
abode in cark and care and chagrin from morn to night and from night to
morn. It so happened that one day of the days as he sat upon the throne
of his kingship with his Emirs and Wazirs, and Captains and Grandees in
attendance on him, he saw some of them with two sons, others with one
and others with even three who came with their sire to do him service.
So he said in himself, of the excess of his sorrow, “Who shall get my
kingdom after my death? Will any save a stranger take it? And thus shall
I pass out of being as though I had never been!” On this account he
became drowned in the sea of thought, until his eyes were flooded with
tears and he covered his face with his kerchief and wept with sore
weeping. Then he rose from off his throne and sat down upon the floor
wailing and lamenting and none knew what was in heart as he grovelled in
the ground save Allah Almighty.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Solomon
David-son (upon both of whom be peace!) after disclosing to the Wazir
Faris that which had passed between himself and his master, King Asim,
said to him, “Is this that I have told thee the truth, O Wazir?” Replied
Faris, “O prophet of Allah, this thou hast said is indeed sooth and
verity; but when we discoursed of this matter, none was with the King
and myself, nor was any ware of our case; who, then told thee of all
these things?” Answered Solomon, “They were told to me by my Lord who
knoweth whatso is concealed[364] from the eye and what is hidden in the
breasts.” Quoth Faris, “O Prophet of Allah, verily this is none other
than a mighty Lord and an omnipotent God!” And he Islamized with all his
many. Then said Solomon to him, “Thou hast with thee such and such
presents and rarities;” and Faris replied “Yes.” The prophet continued,
“I accept them all and give them in free gift unto thee. So do ye rest,
thou and thy company, in the place where you have been lodging, till the
fatigue of the journey shall cease from you; and to-morrow, Inshallah!
thine errand shall be accomplished to the uttermost, if it be the will
of Allah the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth and the light which
followeth the gloom; Creator of all creatures.” So Faris returned to his
quarters and passed the night in deep thought. But when morning morrowed
he presented himself before the Lord Solomon, who said to him, “When
thou returnest to King Asim bin Safwan and you twain are reunited, do ye
both go forth some day armed with bow, bolts and brand, and fare to such
a place, where ye shall find a certain tree. Mount upon it and sit
silent until the mid-hour between noon-prayer and that of mid-afternoon,
when the noontide heat hath cooled; then descend and look at the foot of
the tree, whence ye will see two serpents come forth, one with a head
like an ape’s and the other with a head like an Ifrit’s. Shoot them ye
twain with bolts and kill them both; then cut off a span’s length from
their heads and the like from their tails and throw it away. The rest of
the flesh cook and cook well and give it to your wives to eat: then lie
with them that night and, by Allah’s leave, they shall conceive and bear
male children.” Moreover, he gave him a seal-ring a sword and a wrapper
containing two tunics[365] embroidered with gold and jewels, saying, “O
Wazir Faris, when your sons grow up to man’s estate, give to each of
them one of these tunics.” Then said he, “In the name of Allah! May the
Almighty accomplish your desire! And now nothing remaineth for thee but
to depart, relying on the blessing of the Lord the Most High, for the
King looketh for thy return night and day and his eye is ever gazing on
the road.” So the Wazir advanced to the prophet Solomon son of David
(upon both of whom be the Peace!) and farewelled him and fared forth
from him after kissing his hands. Rejoicing in the accomplishment of his
errand he travelled on with all diligence night and day, and ceased not
wayfaring till he drew near to Cairo, when he despatched one of his
servants to acquaint King Asim with his approach and the successful
issue of his journey; which when the King heard he joyed with exceeding
joy, he and his Grandees and Officers and troops especially in the
Wazir’s safe return. When they met, the Minister dismounted and, kissing
ground before the King, gave him the glad news anent the winning of his
wish in fullest fashion; after which he expounded the True Faith to him,
and the King and all his people embraced Al-Islam with much joy and
gladness. Then said Asim to his Wazir, “Go home and rest this night and
a week to boot; then go to the Hammam-bath and come to me, that I may
inform thee of what we shall have to consider.” So Faris kissed ground
and withdrew, with his suite, pages and eunuchs, to his house, where he
rested eight days; after which he repaired to the King and related to
him all that had passed between Solomon and himself, adding, “Do thou
rise and go forth with me alone.” Then the King and the Minister took
two bows and two bolts and repairing to the tree indicated by Solomon,
clomb up into it and there sat in silence till the mid-day heat had
passed away and it was near upon the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, when
they descended and looking about them saw a serpent-couple[366] issue
from the roots of the tree. The King gazed at them, marvelling to see
them ringed with collars of gold about their necks, and said to Faris,
“O Wazir, verily these snakes have golden torques! By Allah, this is
forsooth a rare thing! Let us catch them and set them in a cage and keep
them to look upon.” But the Minister said, “These hath Allah created for
profitable use;[367] so do thou shoot one and I will shoot the other
with these our shafts.” Accordingly they shot at them with arrows and
slew them; after which they cut off a span’s length of their heads and
tails and threw it away. Then they carried the rest to the King’s
palace, where they called the kitchener and giving him that flesh said,
“Dress this meat daintily, with onion-sauce[368] and spices, and ladle
it out into two saucers and bring them hither at such an hour, without
delay!”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King and
the Wazir gave the serpents’ flesh to the kitchener, saying, “Cook it
and ladle it out into two saucers and bring them hither without delay!”;
the cook took the meat and went with it to the kitchen, where he cooked
it and dressed it in skilful fashion with a mighty fine onion-sauce and
hot spices; after which he ladled it out into two saucers and set them
before the King and the Wazir, who took each a dish and gave their wives
to eat of the meat. Then they went in that night unto them and knew them
carnally, and by the good pleasure of Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) and His all-might and furtherance, they both conceived on one and
the same night. The King abode three months, troubled in mind and saying
in himself, “I wonder whether this thing will prove true or untrue”;
till one day, as the lady his Queen was sitting, the child stirred in
her womb and she felt a pain and her colour changed. So she knew that
she was with child and calling the chief of her eunuchs, gave him this
command, “Go to the King, wherever he may be and congratulate him
saying:—O King of the Age, I bring thee the glad tidings that our lady’s
pregnancy is become manifest, for the child stirreth in her womb.” So
the eunuch went out in haste, rejoicing, and finding the King alone,
with cheek on palm, pondering this thing, kissed ground between his
hands and acquainted him with his wife’s pregnancy. When the King heard
his words, he sprang to his feet and in the excess of his joy, he
kissed[369] the eunuch’s hands and head and doffing the clothes he had
on, gave them to him. Moreover, he said to those who were present in his
assembly, “Whoso loveth me, let him bestow largesse upon this man.”[370]
And they gave him of coin and jewels and jacinths and horses and mules
and estates and gardens what was beyond count or calculation. At that
moment in came the Wazir Faris and said to Asim, “O my master, but now I
was sitting alone at home and absorbed in thought, pondering the matter
of the pregnancy and saying to myself:—Would I wot an this thing be true
and whether my wife Khátún[371] have conceived or not! when, behold, an
eunuch came in to me and brought me the glad tidings that his lady was
indeed pregnant, for that her colour was changed and the child stirred
in her womb; whereupon, in my joy, I doffed all the clothes I had on and
gave them to him, together with a thousand dinars, and made him Chief of
the Eunuchs.” Rejoined the King, “O Minister, Allah (extolled and
exalted be He!) hath, of His grace and bounty and goodness, and
beneficence, made gift to us of the True Faith and brought us out of
night into light, and hath been bountiful to us, of His favour and
benevolence; wherefore I am minded to solace the folk and cause them to
rejoice.” Quoth Faris, “Do what thou wilt,”[372] and quoth the King, “O
Wazir, go down without stay or delay and set free all who are in the
prisons, both criminals and debtors, and whoso transgresseth after this,
we will requite as he deserveth even to the striking off of his head.
Moreover, we forgive the people three years’ taxes, and do thou set up
kitchens all around about the city walls[373] and bid the kitcheners
hang over the fire all kinds of cooking pots and cook all manner of
meats, continuing their cooking night and day, and let all comers, both
of our citizens and of the neighbouring countries, far and near, eat and
drink and carry to their houses. And do thou command the people to make
holiday and decorate the city seven days and shut not the taverns night
nor day;[374] and if thou delay I will behead thee!”[375] So he did as
the King bade him and the folk decorated the city and citadel and
bulwarks after the goodliest fashion and, donning their richest attire,
passed their time in feasting and sporting and making merry, till the
days of the Queen’s pregnancy were accomplished and she was taken, one
night, with labour pains hard before dawn. Then the King bade summon all
the Olema and astronomers, mathematicians and men of learning,
astrologers, scientists and scribes in the city, and they assembled and
sat awaiting the throwing of a bead into the cup[376] which was to be
the signal to the Astrophils, as well as to the nurses and attendants,
that the child was born. Presently, as they sat in expectation, the
Queen gave birth to a boy like a slice of the moon when fullest and the
astrologers fell to calculating and noted his star and nativity and drew
his horoscope. Then, on being summoned they rose and, kissing the earth
before the King, gave him the glad tidings, saying, “In very sooth the
new-born child is of happy augury and born under an auspicious aspect,
but” they added, “in the first of his life there will befall him a thing
which we fear to name before the King.” Quoth Asim, “Speak and fear
not;” so quoth they, “O King, this boy will fare forth from this land
and journey in strangerhood and suffer shipwreck and hardship and
prisonment and distress, and indeed he hath before him the sorest of
sufferings; but he shall free him of them in the end, and win to his
wish and live the happiest of lives the rest of his days, ruling over
subjects with a strong hand and having dominion in the land, despite
enemies and enviers.” Now when the King heard the astrologers’ words, he
said, “The matter is a mystery; but all that Allah Almighty hath written
for the creature of good and bad cometh to pass and needs must betide
him from this day to that a thousand solaces.” So he paid no heed to
their words or attention to their speeches but bestowed on them robes of
honour, as well upon all who were present, and dismissed them; when,
behold, in came Faris the Wazir and kissed the earth before the King in
huge joy, saying, “Good tidings, O King! My wife hath but now given
birth to a son, as he were a slice of the moon.” Replied Asim, “O Wazir,
go, bring thy wife and child hither, that she may abide with my wife in
my palace, and they shall bring up the two boys together.” So Faris
fetched his wife and son and they committed the two children to the
nurses wet and dry. And after seven days had passed over them, they
brought them before the King and said to him, “What wilt thou name the
twain?” Quoth he, “Do ye name them;” but quoth they, “None nameth the
son save his sire.” So he said, “Name my son Sayf al-Muluk, after my
grandfather, and the Minister’s son Sái’d.”[377] Then he bestowed robes
of honour on the nurses wet and dry and said to them, “Be ye ruthful
over them and rear them after the goodliest fashion.” So they brought up
the two boys diligently till they reached the age of five, when the King
committed them to a doctor of Sciences[378] who taught them to read the
Koran and write. When they were ten years old, King Asim gave them in
charge to masters, who instructed them in cavalarice and shooting with
shafts and lunging with lance and play of Polo and the like till, by the
time they were fifteen years old, they were clever in all manner of
martial exercises, nor was there one to vie with them in horsemanship,
for each of them would do battle with a thousand men and make head
against them single handed. So when they came to years of discretion,
whenever King Asim looked on them he joyed in them with exceeding joy;
and when they attained their twenty-fifth year, he took Faris his
Minister apart one day and said to him, “O Wazir, I am minded to consult
with thee concerning a thing I desire to do.” Replied he, “Whatever thou
hast a mind to do, do it; for thy judgment is blessed.” Quoth the King,
“O Wazir, I am become a very old and decrepit man, sore stricken in
years, and I desire to take up my abode in an oratory, that I may
worship Allah Almighty and give my kingdom and Sultanate to my son Sayf
al-Muluk for that he is grown a goodly youth, perfect in knightly
exercises and intellectual attainments, polite letters and gravity,
dignity and the art of government. What sayst thou, O Minister, of this
project?” And quoth the counsellor, “Right indeed is thy rede: the idea
is a blessed and a fortunate, and if thou do this, I will do the like
and my son Sa’id shall be the Prince’s Wazir, for he is a comely young
man and complete in knowledge and judgment. Thus will the two youths be
together, and we will order their affair and neglect not their case, but
guide them to goodness and in the way that is straight.” Quoth the King,
“Write letters and send them by couriers to all the countries and cities
and sconces and fortresses that be under our hands, bidding their chiefs
be present on such a day at the Horse-course of the Elephant.”[379] So
the Wazir went out without stay or delay and despatched letters of this
purport to all the deputies and governors of fortresses and others under
King Asim; and he commanded also that all in the city should be present
far and near, high and low. When the appointed time drew nigh, King Asim
bade the tent-pitchers plant pavilions in the midst of the Champ-de-Mars
and decorate them after the most sumptuous fashion and set up the great
throne whereon he sat not but on festivals. And they at once did his
bidding. Then he and all his Nabobs and Chamberlains and Emirs sallied
forth, and he commanded proclamation be made to the people, saying, “In
the name of Allah, come forth to the Maydán!” So all the Emirs and
Wazirs and Governors of provinces and Feudatories[380] came forth to the
place of assembly and, entering the royal pavilion, addressed themselves
to the service of the King as was their wont, and abode in their several
stations some sitting and others standing, till all the people were
gathered together, when the King bade spread the tables and they ate and
drank and prayed for him. Then he commanded the Chamberlains[381] to
proclaim to the people that they should not depart: so they made
proclamation to them, saying, “Let none of you fare hence till he have
heard the King’s words!” So they withdrew the curtains of the royal
pavilion and the King said, “Whoso loveth me, let him remain till he
have heard my speech!” Whereupon all the folk sat down in mind tranquil
after they had been fearful, saying, “Wherefore have we been summoned by
the King?” Then the Sovran rose to his feet, and making them swear that
none would stir from his stead, said to them, “O ye Emirs and Wazirs and
Lords of the land; the great and the small of you, and all ye who are
present of the people; say me, wot ye not that this kingdom was an
inheritance to me from my fathers and forefathers?” Answered they, “Yes,
O King we all know that.” And he continued, “I and you, we all
worshipped the sun and moon, till Allah (extolled and exalted be He!)
vouchsafed us the knowledge of the True Faith and brought us out of
darkness unto light, and directed us to the religion of Al-Islam. Know
that I am become a very old man, feeble and decrepit, and I desire to
take up my abode in a hermitage[382] there to worship Allah Almighty and
crave His pardon for past offences and make this my son Sayf al-Muluk
ruler. Ye know full well that he is a comely youth, eloquent, liberal,
learned, versed in affairs, intelligent, equitable; wherefore I am
minded presently to resign to him my realm and to make him ruler over
you and seat him as Sultan in my stead, whilst I give myself to solitude
and to the worship of Allah in an oratory and my son and heir shall
judge between you. What say ye then, all of you?” Thereupon they all
rose and kissing ground before him, made answer with “Hearing and
obedience,” saying, “O our King and our defender an thou should set over
us one of thy blackamoor slaves we would obey him and hearken to thy
word and accept thy command: how much more then with thy son Sayf
al-Muluk? Indeed, we accept of him and approve him on our eyes and
heads!” So King Asim bin Safwan arose and came down from his seat and
seating his son on the great throne,[383] took the crown from his own
head and set it on the head of Sayf al-Muluk and girt his middle with
the royal girdle.[384] Then he sat down beside his son on the throne of
his kingship, whilst the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords of the land and all
the rest of the folk rose and kissed ground before him, saying, “Indeed,
he is worthy of the kingship and hath better right to it than any
other.” Then the Chamberlains made proclamation crying, “Amán! Amán!
Safety! Safety!” and offered up prayers for his victory and prosperity.
And Sayf al-Muluk scattered gold and silver on the heads of the lieges
one and all.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Asim
seated his son, Sayf al-Muluk, upon the throne and all the people prayed
for his victory and prosperity, the youth scattered gold and silver on
the heads of the lieges, one and all, and conferred robes of honour and
gave gifts and largesse. Then, after a moment, the Wazir Faris arose and
kissing ground said, “O Emirs, O Grandees, ye ken that I am Wazir and
that my Wazirate dateth from old, before the accession of King Asim bin
Safwan, who hath now divested himself of the Kingship and made his son
King in his stead?” Answered they, “Yes, we know that thy Wazirate is
from sire after grandsire.” He continued, “And now in my turn I divest
myself of office and invest this my son Sa’id, for he is intelligent,
quick-witted, sagacious. What say ye all?” And they replied, “None is
worthy to be Wazir to King Sayf al-Muluk but thy son Sa’id, and they
befit each other.” With this Faris arose and taking off his Wazirial
turband, set it on his son’s head and eke laid his ink-case of office
before him, whilst the Chamberlains and the Emirs said, “Indeed, he is
deserving of the Wazirship” and the Heralds cried aloud, “Mubárak!
Mubárak!—Felix sit et faustus!” After this, King Asim and Faris the
Minister arose and, opening the royal treasuries, conferred magnificent
robes of honour on all the Viceroys and Emirs and Wazirs and Lords of
the land and other folk and gave salaries and benefactions and wrote
them new mandates and diplomas with the signatures of King Sayf al-Muluk
and his Wazir Sa’id. Moreover, he made distribution of money to the
men-at-arms and gave guerdons, and the provincials abode in the city a
full week ere they departed each to his own country and place. Then King
Asim carried his son and his Wazir Sa’id back to the palace which was in
the city and bade the treasurer bring the seal-ring and signet,[385]
sword and wrapper; which being done, he said to the two young men, “O my
sons, come hither and let each of you choose two of these things and
take them.” The first to make choice was Sayf al-Muluk, who put out his
hand and took the ring and the wrapper, whilst Sa’id took the sword and
the signet; after which they both kissed the King’s hands and went away
to their lodging. Now Sayf al-Muluk opened not the wrapper to see what
was therein, but threw it on the couch where he and Sa’id slept by
night, for it was their habit to lie together. Presently they spread
them the bed and the two lay down with a pair of wax candles burning
over them, and slept till midnight, when Sayf al-Muluk awoke and, seeing
the bundle at his head, said in his mind, “I wonder what thing of price
is in this wrapper my father gave me!” So he took it together with a
candle and descended from the couch leaving Sa’id sleeping and carried
the bundle into a closet, where he opened it and found within a tunic of
the fabric of the Jánn. He spread it out and saw on the lining[386] of
the back, the portraiture wroughten in gold of a girl and marvellous was
her loveliness; and no sooner had he set eyes on the figure than his
reason fled his head and he became Jinn-mad for love thereof, so that he
fell down in a swoon and presently recovering, began to weep and lament,
beating his face and breast and kissing her. And he recited these
verses:—

 Love, at the first, is a spurt of spray[387] ✿ Which Doom disposes and
    Fates display;
 Till, when deep diveth youth in passion-sea ✿ Unbearable sorrows his
    soul waylay.

And also these two couplets:—

 Had I known of love in what fashion he ✿ Robbeth heart and soul I had
    guarded me:
 But of malice prepense I threw self away, ✿ Unwitting of Love what his
    nature be.

And Sayf al-Muluk ceased not to weep and wail and beat face and breast,
till Sa’id awoke and missing him from the bed and seeing but a single
candle, said to himself, “Whither is Sayf al-Muluk gone?” Then he took
the other candle and went round about the palace, till he came upon the
closet where he saw the Prince lying at full length, weeping with sore
weeping and lamenting aloud. So he said to him, “O my brother, for what
cause are these tears and what hath befallen thee? Speak to me and tell
me the reason thereof.” But Sayf al-Muluk spoke not neither raised his
head and continued to weep and wail and beat hand on breast. Seeing him
in this case quoth Sa’id, “I am thy Wazir and thy brother, and we were
reared together, I and thou; so an thou do not unburden thy breast and
discover thy secret to me, to whom shalt thou reveal it and disclose its
cause?” And he went on to humble himself and kiss the ground before him
a full hour, whilst Sayf al-Muluk paid no heed to him nor answered him a
word, but gave not over weeping. At last, being affrighted at his case
and weary of striving with him, he went out and fetched a sword, with
which he returned to the closet, and setting the point to his own
breast, said to the Prince, “Rouse thee, O my brother! An thou tell me
not what aileth thee, I will slay myself and see thee no longer in this
case.” Whereupon Sayf al-Muluk raised his head towards the Wazir and
answered him, “O my brother, I am ashamed to tell thee what hath betided
me;” but Sa’id said, “I conjure thee by Allah, Lord of Lords, Liberator
of Necks,[388] Causer of causes, the One, the Ruthful, the Gift-full,
the Bountiful, that thou tell me what aileth thee and be not abashed at
me, for I am thy slave and thy Minister and counsellor in all thine
affairs!” Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, “Come and look at this likeness.” So
Sa’id looked at it awhile and considering it straitly, behold, he saw
written, as a crown over its head, in letters of pearl, these words,
“This is the counterfeit presentment of Badi’a al-Jamal, daughter of
Shahyál bin Shárukh, a King of the Kings of the true-believing Jann who
have taken up their abode in the city of Babel and sojourn in the garden
of Iram, Son of ’Ad the Greater”[389]——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sa’id,
son of the Wazir Faris, had read to Sayf al-Muluk son of King Asim the
writ on the tunic, which showed the portraiture of Badi’a al-Jamal,
daughter of Shahyal bin Sharukh, a King of the Kings of the Moslem Jinns
dwelling in Babel-city and in the Garden of Iram, son of ’Ad the
Greater, he cried, “O my brother, knowest thou of what woman this is the
presentment, that we may seek for her?” Sayf al-Muluk replied, “No, by
Allah, O my brother, I know her not!” and Sa’id rejoined, “Come, read
this writing on the crown.” So Sayf al-Muluk read it and cried out from
his heart’s core and very vitals, saying, “Alas! Alas! Alas!” Quoth
Sa’id, “O my brother, an the original of the portrait exist and her name
be Badi’a al-Jamal, and she abide in the world, I will hasten to seek
her, that thou mayst win thy will without delay. But, Allah upon thee, O
my brother, leave this weeping and ascend thy throne, that the Officers
of the State may come in to do their service to thee, and in the undurn,
do thou summon the merchants and fakirs and travellers and pilgrims and
paupers and ask of them concerning this city and the garden of Iram;
haply by the help and blessing of Allah (extolled and exalted be He!),
some one of them shall direct us thither.” So, when it was day, Sayf
al-Muluk went forth and mounted the throne, clasping the tunic in his
arms, for he could neither stand nor sit without it, nor would sleep
visit him save it were with him; and the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords and
Officers came in to him. When the Divan was complete all being assembled
in their places he said to his Minister, “Go forth to them and tell them
that the King hath been suddenly struck by sickness and he, by Allah,
hath passed the night in ill case.” So Sa’id fared forth and told the
folk what he said; which when old King Asim heard, he was concerned for
his son and, summoning the physicians and astrologers, carried them in
to Sayf al-Muluk. They looked at him and prescribed him ptisans and
diet-drinks, simples and medicinal waters and wrote him characts and
incensed him with Nadd and aloes-wood and ambergris three days’ space;
but his malady persisted three months, till King Asim was wroth with the
leaches and said to them, “Woe to you, O dogs! What? Are all of you
impotent to cure my son? Except ye heal him forthright, I will put the
whole of you to death.” The Archiater replied, “O King of the Age, in
very sooth we know that this is thy son and thou wottest that we fail
not of diligence in tending a stranger; so how much more with medicining
thy son? But thy son is afflicted with a malady hard to heal, which, if
thou desire to know, we will discover it to thee.” Quoth Asim, “What
then find ye to be the malady of my son?”; and quoth the leach, “O King
of the Age, thy son is in love and he loveth one to whose enjoyment he
hath no way of access.” At this the King was wroth and asked, “How know
ye that my son is in love and how came love to him?”; they answered,
“Enquire of his Wazir and brother Sa’id, for he knoweth his case.” The
King rose and repaired to his private closet and summoning Sa’id said to
him, “Tell me the truth of thy brother’s malady.” But Sa’id replied, “I
know it not.” So King Asim said to the Sworder, “Take Sa’id and bind his
eyes and strike his neck.” Whereupon Sa’id feared for himself and cried,
“O King of the Age, grant me immunity.” Replied the King, “Speak and
thou shalt have it.” “Thy son is in love.” “With whom is he in love?”
“With a King’s daughter of the Jann.” “And where could he have espied a
daughter of the Jinns?” “Her portrait was wroughten on the tunic that
was in the bundle given thee by Solomon, prophet of Allah!” When the
King heard this, he rose, and going in to Sayf al-Muluk, said to him, “O
my son, what hath afflicted thee? What is this portrait whereof thou art
enamoured? And why didst thou not tell me?” He replied, “O my sire, I
was ashamed to name this to thee and could not bring myself to discover
aught thereof to any one at all; but now thou knowest my case, look how
thou mayest do to cure me.” Rejoined his father, “What is to be done?
Were this one of the daughters of men we might devise a device for
coming at her; but she is a King’s daughter of the Jinns and who can woo
and win her, save it be Solomon David-son, and hardly he?[390] However,
O my son, do thou arise forthright and hearten thy heart and take horse
and ride out a-hunting or to weapon-play in the Maydan. Divert thyself
with eating and drinking and put away cark and care from thy heart, and
I will bring thee an hundred maids of the daughters of Kings; for thou
hast no need to the daughters of the Jann, over whom we lack control and
of kind other than ours.” But he said, “I cannot renounce her nor will I
seek other than her.” Asked King Asim, “How then shall we do, O my
son?”; and Sayf al-Muluk answered, “Bring us all the merchants and
travellers and wanderers in the city, that we may question them thereof.
Peradventure, Allah will lead us to the city of Babel and the garden of
Iram.” So King Asim bade summon all the merchants in the city and
strangers and sea-captains and, as each came, enquired of him anent the
city of Babel and its peninsula[391] and the garden of Iram; but none of
them knew these places nor could any give him tidings thereof. However,
when the séance broke up, one of them said, “O King of the Age, an thou
be minded to ken this thing, up and hie thee to the land of China; for
it hath a vast city[392] and a safe wherein are store of rarities and
things of price and folk of all kinds; and thou shalt not come to the
knowledge of this city and garden but from its folk; it may be one of
them will direct thee to that thou seekest.” Whereupon quoth Sayf
al-Muluk, “O my sire, equip me a ship, that I may fare to the
China-land; and do thou rule the reign in my stead.” Replied the old
King, “O my son, abide thou on the throne of thy kingship and govern thy
commons, and I myself will make the voyage to China and ask for thee of
the city of Babel and the garden of Iram.” But Sayf al-Muluk rejoined,
“O my sire, in very sooth this affair concerneth me and none can search
after it like myself: so, come what will, an thou give me leave to make
the voyage, I will depart and wander awhile. If I find trace or tidings
of her, my wish will be won, and if not, belike the voyage will broaden
my breast and recruit my courage; and haply by foreign travel my case
will be made easy to me, and if I live, I shall return to thee safe and
sound.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sayf al-Muluk
said to his sire King Asim, “Equip me a ship that I may fare therein to
the China-land and search for the object of my desire. If I live I shall
return to thee safe and sound.” The old King looked at his son and saw
nothing for it but to do what he desired; so he gave him the leave he
wanted and fitted him forty ships, manned with twenty thousand armed
Mamelukes, besides servants, and presented him with great plenty of
money and necessaries and warlike gear, as much as he required. When the
ships were laden with water and victual, weapons and troops, Sayf
al-Muluk’s father and mother farewelled him and King Asim said, “Depart,
O my son, and travel in weal and health and safety. I commend thee to
Him with Whom deposits are not lost.”[393] So the Prince bade adieu to
his parents and embarked, with his brother Sa’id, and they weighed
anchor and sailed till they came to the City of China. When the Chinamen
heard of the coming of forty ships, full of armed men and stores,
weapons and hoards, they made sure that these were enemies come to
battle with them and siege them; so they bolted the gates of the town
and made ready the mangonels.[394] But Sayf al-Muluk, hearing of this,
sent two of his Chief Mamelukes to the King of China, bidding them say
to him, “This is Sayf al-Muluk, son of King Asim of Egypt, who is come
to thy city as a guest, to divert himself by viewing thy country awhile,
and not for conquest or contention; wherefore, an thou wilt receive him,
he will come ashore to thee; and if not he will return and will not
disquiet thee nor the people of thy capital.” They presented themselves
at the city gates and said, “We are messengers from King Sayf al-Muluk.”
Whereupon the townsfolk opened the gates and carried them to their King,
whose name was Faghfúr[395] Sháh and between whom and King Asim there
had erst been acquaintance. So, when he heard that the new-comer Prince
was the son of King Asim, he bestowed robes of honour on the messengers
and, bidding open the gates, made ready guest-gifts and went forth in
person with the chief officers of his realm, to meet Sayf al-Muluk, and
the two Kings embraced. Then Faghfur said to his guest, “Well come and
welcome and fair cheer to him who cometh to us! I am thy slave and the
slave of thy sire: my city is between thy hands to command and whatso
thou seekest shall be brought before thee.” Then he presented him with
the guest-gifts and victual for the folk at their stations; and they
took horse, with the Wazir Sa’id and the chiefs of their officers and
the rest of their troops, and rode from the sea-shore to the city, which
they entered with cymbals clashing and drums beating in token of
rejoicing. There they abode in the enjoyment of fair entertainment for
forty days, at the end of which quoth the King of China to Sayf
al-Muluk, “O son of my brother, how is thy case[396]? Doth my country
please thee?”; and quoth Sayf al-Muluk, “May Allah Almighty long honour
it with thee, O King!” Said Faghfur, “Naught hath brought thee hither
save some need which hath occurred to thee; and whatso thou desirest of
my country I will accomplish it to thee.” Replied Sayf al-Muluk, “O
King, my case is a wondrous,” and told him how he had fallen in love
with the portrait of Badi’a al-Jamal, and wept bitter tears. When the
King of China heard his story, he wept for pity and solicitude for him
and cried, “And what wouldst thou have now, O Sayf al-Muluk?”; and he
rejoined, “I would have thee bring me all the wanderers and travellers,
the seafarers and sea-captains, that I may question them of the original
of this portrait; perhaps one of them may give me tidings of her.” So
Faghfur Shah sent out his Nabobs and Chamberlains and body-guards to
fetch all the wanderers and travellers in the land, and they brought
them before the two Kings, and they were a numerous company. Then Sayf
al-Muluk questioned them of the City of Babel and the Garden of Iram,
but none of them returned him a reply, whereupon he was bewildered and
wist not what to do; but one of the sea-captains said to him, “O
auspicious King, an thou wouldst know of this city and that garden up
and hie thee to the Islands of the Indian realm.”[397] Thereupon Sayf
al-Muluk bade bring the ships; which being done, they freighted them
with vivers and water and all that they needed, and the Prince and his
Wazir re-embarked, with all their men, after they had farewelled King
Faghfur Shah. They sailed the seas four months with a fair wind, in
safety and satisfaction till it chanced that one day of the days there
came out upon them a wind and the billows buffeted them from all
quarters. The rain and hail[398] descended on them and during twenty
days the sea was troubled for the violence of the wind; wherefor the
ships drave one against other and brake up, as did the carracks[399] and
all on board were drowned, except Sayf al-Muluk and some of his
servants, who saved themselves in a little cock-boat. Then the wind fell
by the decree of Allah Almighty and the sun shone out; whereupon Sayf
al-Muluk opened his eyes and seeing no sign of the ships nor aught but
sky and sea, said to the Mamelukes who were with him, “Where are the
carracks and cock-boats and where is my brother Sa’id?” They replied, “O
King of the Age, there remain nor ships nor boats nor those who were
therein; for they are all drowned and become food for fishes.” Now when
he heard this, he cried aloud and repeated the saying which whoso saith
shall not be confounded, and it is, “There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” Then he fell to buffeting
his face and would have cast himself into the sea, but his Mamelukes
withheld him, saying, “O King, what will this profit thee? Thou hast
brought all this on thyself; for, hadst thou hearkened to thy father’s
words, naught thereof had betided thee. But this was written from all
eternity by the will of the Creator of Souls.”——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sayf
al-Muluk would have cast himself into the main, his Mamelukes withheld
him saying, “What will this profit thee? Thou hast done this deed by
thyself, yet was it written from all eternity by the will of the Creator
of Souls, that the creature might accomplish that which Allah hath
decreed unto him. And indeed, at the time of thy birth, the astrologers
assured thy sire that all manner troubles should befal thee. So there is
naught for it but patience till Allah deliver us from this our strait.”
Replied the Prince, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Neither is there refuge nor fleeing from
that which He decreeth!” And he sighed and recited these couplets:—

 By the Compassionate, I’m dazed about my case, for lo! Troubles and
    griefs beset me sore; I know not whence they grow.
 I will be patient, so the folk, that I against a thing Bitt’rer than
    very aloes’ self,[400] endurèd have, may know.

 Less bitter than my patience is the taste of aloes-juice; I’ve borne
    with patience what’s more hot than coals with fire aglow.
 In this my trouble what resource have I, save to commit My case to Him
    who orders all that is, for weal or woe?

Then he became drowned in the depth of thoughts and his tears ran down
upon his cheeks like torrent-rain; and he slept a while of the day,
after which he awoke and sought of food somewhat. So they set meat
before him and he ate his sufficiency, till they removed the food from
before him, whilst the boat drove on with them they knew not whither it
was wandering. It drifted with them at the will of the winds and the
waves, night and day a great while, till their victual was spent and
they saw themselves shent and were reduced to extreme hunger and thirst
and exhaustion, when behold, suddenly they sighted an island from afar
and the breezes wafted them on, till they came thither. Then, making the
cock-boat fast to the coast and leaving one therein to guard it, they
fared on into the island, where they found abundance of fruits of all
colours and ate of them till they were satisfied. Presently, they saw a
person sitting among those trees and he was long-faced, of strange
favour and white of beard and body. He called to one of the Mamelukes by
his name, saying, “Eat not of these fruits, for they are unripe; but
come hither to me, that I may give thee to eat of the best and the
ripest.” The slave looked at him and thought that he was one of the
shipwrecked, who had made his way to that island; so he joyed with
exceeding joy at sight of him and went close up to him, knowing not what
was decreed to him in the Secret Purpose nor what was writ upon his
brow. But, when he drew near, the stranger in human shape leapt upon
him, for he was a Marid,[401] and riding upon his shoulder-blades and
twisting one of his legs about his neck, let the other hang down upon
his back, saying, “Walk on, fellow; for there is no escape for thee from
me and thou art become mine ass.” Thereupon the Mameluke fell a-weeping
and cried out to his comrades, “Alas, my lord! Flee ye forth of this
wood and save yourselves, for one of the dwellers therein hath mounted
on my shoulders, and the rest seek you, desiring to ride you like me.”
When they heard these words, all fled down to the boat and pushed off to
sea; whilst the islanders followed them into the water, saying, “Whither
wend ye? Come, tarry with us and we will mount on your backs and give
you meat and drink, and you shall be our donkeys.” Hearing this they
hastened the more seawards till they left them in the distance and fared
on, trusting in Allah Almighty; nor did they leave faring for a month,
till another island rose before them and thereon they landed. Here they
found fruits of various kinds and busied themselves with eating of them,
when behold, they saw from afar, somewhat lying in the road, a hideous
creature as it were a column of silver. So they went up to it and one of
the men gave it a kick, when lo! it was a thing of human semblance, long
of eyes and cloven of head and hidden under one of his ears, for he was
wont, whenas he lay down to sleep, to spread one ear under his head and
cover his face with the other ear.[402] He snatched up the Mameluke who
had kicked him and carried him off into the middle of the island, and
behold, it was all full of Ghuls who eat the sons of Adam. The man cried
out to his fellows, “Save yourselves, for this is the island of the
man-eating Ghuls, and they mean to tear me to bits and devour me.” When
they heard these words they fled back to the boat, without gathering any
store of the fruits and, putting out to sea, fared on some days till it
so happened that they came to another island, where they found a high
mountain. So they climbed to the top and there saw a thick copse. Now
they were sore anhungered; so they took to eating of the fruits; but,
before they were aware, there came upon them from among the trees black
men of terrible aspect, each fifty cubits high with eye-teeth[403]
protruding from their mouths like elephants’ tusks; and, laying hands on
Sayf al-Muluk and his company, carried them to their King, whom they
found seated on a piece of black felt laid on a rock, and about him a
great company of Zanzibar-blacks, standing in his service. The
blackamoors who had captured the Prince and his Mamelukes set them
before the King and said to him, “We found these birds among the trees”;
and the King was sharp-set; so he took two of the servants and cut their
throats and ate them;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
Zanzibar-blacks took Sayf al-Muluk and his Mamelukes and set them before
the King, saying, “O King, we came upon these birds among the trees.”
Thereupon the King seized two of the Mamelukes and cut their throats and
ate them; which, when Sayf al-Muluk saw, he feared for himself and wept
and repeated these verses:—

 Familiar with my heart are woes and with them I ✿ Who shunned them; for
    familiar are great hearts and high.
 The woes I suffer are not all of single kind ✿ I have, thank Allah,
    varied thousands to aby!

Then he sighed and repeated these also:—

 The World hath shot me with its sorrows till ✿ My heart is coverèd with
    shafts galore;
 And now, when strike me other shafts, must break ✿ Against th’ old
    points the points that latest pour.

When the King heard his weeping and wailing, he said, “Verily these
birds have sweet voices and their song pleaseth me: put them in cages.”
So they set them each in his own cage and hung them up at the King’s
head that he might listen to their warbling. On this wise Sayf al-Muluk
and his Mamelukes abode and the blackamoors gave them to eat and drink:
and now they wept and now laughed, now spake and now were hushed, whilst
the King of the blacks delighted in the sound of their voices. And so
they continued for a long time. Now this King had a daughter married in
another island who, hearing that her father had birds with sweet voices,
sent a messenger to him seeking of him some of them. So he sent her, by
her Cossid,[404] Sayf al-Muluk and three of his men in four cages; and,
when she saw them, they pleased her and she bade hang them up in a place
over her head. The Prince fell to marvelling at that which had befallen
him and calling to mind his former high and honourable estate and
weeping for himself; and the three servants wept for themselves; and the
King’s daughter deemed that they sang. Now it was her wont, whenever any
one from the land of Egypt or elsewhere fell into her hands and he
pleased her, to advance him to great favour with her; and by the decree
of Allah Almighty it befel that, when she saw Sayf al-Muluk she was
charmed by his beauty and loveliness and symmetry and perfect grace, and
she commanded to entreat him and his companions with honour and to loose
them from their cages. Now one day she took the Prince apart and would
have him enjoy her; but he refused, saying, “O my lady, I am a banisht
wight and with passion for a beloved one in piteous plight, nor with
other will I consent to love-delight.” Then she coaxed him and
importuned him, but he held aloof from her, and she could not approach
him nor get her desire of him by any ways and means. At last, when she
was weary of courting him in vain, she waxed wroth with him and his
Mamelukes, and commanded that they should serve her and fetch her wood
and water. In such condition they abode four years till Sayf al-Muluk
became weary of his life and sent to intercede with the Princess, so
haply she might release them and let them wend their ways and be at rest
from that their hard labour. So she sent for him and said to him, “If
thou wilt do my desire, I will free thee from this thy durance vile and
thou shalt go to thy country, safe and sound.” And she wept and ceased
not to humble herself to him and wheedle him, but he would not hearken
to her words; whereupon she turned from him, in anger, and he and his
companions abode on the island in the same plight. The islanders knew
them for “The Princess’s birds” and durst not work them any wrong; and
her heart was at ease concerning them, being assured that they could not
escape from the island. So they used to absent themselves from her two
and three days at a time and go round about the desert parts in all
directions, gathering firewood, which they brought to the Princess’s
kitchen; and thus they abode five[405] years. Now one day it so chanced
that the Prince and his men were sitting on the sea-shore, devising of
what had befallen, and Sayf al-Muluk, seeing himself and his men in such
case, bethought him of his mother and father and his brother Sa’id and,
calling to mind what high degree he had been in, fell a-weeping and
lamenting passing sore, whilst his slaves wept likewise. Then said they
to him, “O King of the Age, how long shall we weep? Weeping availeth
not; for this thing was written on our brows by the ordinance of Allah,
to whom belong Might and Majesty. Indeed, the Pen runneth with that He
decreeth and nought will serve us but patience: haply Allah (extolled
and exalted be He!) who hath saddened us shall gladden us!” Quoth he, “O
my brothers, how shall we win free from this accursed woman? I see no
way of escape for us, save Allah of his grace deliver us from her; but
methinks we may flee and be at rest from this hard labour.” And quoth
they, “O King of the Age, whither shall we flee? For the whole island is
full of Ghuls which devour the Sons of Adam, and whithersoever we go,
they will find us there and either eat us or capture and carry us back
to that accursed, the King’s daughter, who will be wroth with us.” Sayf
al-Muluk rejoined, “I will contrive you somewhat, whereby peradventure
Allah Almighty shall deliver us and help us to escape from this island.”
They asked, “And how wilt thou do?”; and he answered, “Let us cut some
of these long pieces of wood, and twist ropes of their bark and bind
them one with another, and make of them a raft[406] which we will launch
and load with these fruits: then we will fashion us paddles and embark
on the raft after breaking our bonds with the axe. It may be that
Almighty Allah will make it the means of our deliverance from this
accursed woman and vouchsafe us a fair wind to bring us to the land of
Hind, for He over all things is Almighty!” Said they, “Right is thy
rede,” and rejoiced thereat with exceeding joy. So they arose without
stay or delay and cut with their axes wood for the raft and twisted
ropes to bind the logs and at this they worked a whole month. Every day
about evening they gathered somewhat of fuel and bore it to the
Princess’s kitchen, and employed the rest of the twenty-four hours
working at the raft.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sayf al-Muluk
and his Mamelukes, having cut the wood and twisted the ropes for their
raft, made an end of it and launched it upon the sea; then, after
breaking their bonds with the axe, and loading the craft with fruits
plucked from the island-trees, they embarked at close of day; nor did
any wot of their intent. They put out to sea in their raft and paddled
on four months, knowing not whither the craft carried them, till their
provaunt failed them and they were suffering the severest extreme of
hunger and thirst, when behold, the sea waxed troubled and foamed and
rose in high waves, and there came forth upon them a frightful
crocodile,[407] which put out its claw and catching up one of the
Mamelukes swallowed him. At the sight of this horror Sayf al-Muluk wept
bitterly and he and the two men[408] that remained to him pushed off
from the place where they had seen the crocodile, sore affrighted. After
this they continued drifting on till one day they espied a mountain
terrible tall and spiring high in air, whereat they rejoiced, when
presently an island appeared. They made towards it with all their might
congratulating one another on the prospect of making land; but hardly
had they sighted the island on which was the mountain, when the sea
changed face and boiled and rose in big waves and a second crocodile
raised its head and putting out its claw caught up the two remaining
Mamelukes and swallowed them. So Sayf al-Muluk abode alone, and making
his way to the island, toiled till he reached the mountain-top, where he
looked about and found a copse, and walking among the trees fell to
eating of the fruits. Presently, he saw among the branches more than
twenty great apes, each bigger than a he-mule, whereat he was seized
with exceeding fear. The apes came down and surrounded him;[409] then
they forewent him, signing to him to follow them, and walked on, and he
too, till he came to a castle, tall of base and strong of build whose
ordinance was one brick of gold and one of silver. The apes entered and
he after them, and he saw in the castle all manner of rarities, jewels
and precious metals such as tongue faileth to describe. Here also he
found a young man, passing tall of stature with no hair on his cheeks,
and Sayf al-Muluk was cheered by the sight for there was no human being
but he in the castle. The stranger marvelled exceedingly at sight of the
Prince and asked him, “What is thy name and of what land art thou and
how camest thou hither? Tell me thy tale and hide from me naught
thereof.” Answered the Prince, “By Allah, I came not hither of my own
consent nor is this place of my intent; yet I cannot but go from place
to place till I win my wish.” Quoth the youth, “And what is thy
object?”; and quoth the other, “I am of the land of Egypt and my name is
Sayf al-Muluk son of King Asim bin Safwan”; and told him all that had
passed with him, from first to last. Whereupon the youth arose and stood
in his service, saying, “O King of the Age, I was erst in Egypt and
heard that thou hadst gone to the land of China; but where is this land
and where lies China-land?[410] Verily, this is a wondrous thing and
marvellous matter!” Answered the Prince, “Sooth thou speakest but, when
I left China-land, I set out, intending for the land of Hind and a
stormy wind arose and the sea boiled and broke all my ships”; brief, he
told him all that had befallen him till he came thither; whereupon quoth
the other, “O King’s son, thou hast had enough of strangerhood and its
sufferings; Alhamdolillah,—praised be Allah who hath brought thee
hither! So now do thou abide with me, that I may enjoy thy company till
I die, when thou shalt become King over this island, to which no bound
is known, and these apes thou seest are indeed skilled in all manner of
crafts; and whatso thou seekest here shalt thou find.” Replied Sayf
al-Muluk, “O my brother, I may not tarry in any place till my wish be
won, albeit I compass the whole world in pursuit thereof and make quest
of every one so peradventure Allah may bring me to my desire or my
course lead me to the place wherein is the appointed term of my days,
and I shall die my death.” Then the youth turned with a sign to one of
the apes, and he went out and was absent awhile, after which he returned
with other apes girt with silken zones.[411] They brought the trays and
set on near[412] an hundred chargers of gold and saucers of silver,
containing all manner of meats. Then they stood, after the manner of
servants between the hands of Kings, till the youth signalled to the
Chamberlains, who sat down, and he whose wont it was to serve stood,
whilst the two Princes ate their sufficiency. Then the apes cleared the
table and brought basins and ewers of gold, and they washed their hands
in rose water; after which they set on fine sugar and nigh forty
flagons, in each a different kind of wine, and they drank and took their
pleasure and made merry and had a fine time. And all the apes danced and
gambolled before them, what while the eaters sat at meat; which when
Sayf al-Muluk saw, he marvelled at them and forgot that which had
befallen him of sufferings.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Sayf
al-Muluk saw the gestures and gambols of the apes, he marvelled thereat
and forgot that which had betided him of strangerhood and its
sufferings. At nightfall they lighted waxen candles in candlesticks of
gold studded with gems and set on dishes of confections and fruits of
sugar-candy. So they ate; and when the hour of rest was come, the apes
spread them bedding and they slept. And when morning morrowed, the young
man arose, as was his wont, before sunrise and waking Sayf al-Muluk said
to him, “Put thy head forth of this lattice and see what standeth
beneath it.” So he put out his head and saw the wide waste and all the
wold filled with apes, whose number none knew save Allah Almighty. Quoth
he, “Here be great plenty of apes, for they cover the whole country: but
why are they assembled at this hour?” Quoth the youth, “This is their
custom. Every Sabbath,[413] all the apes in the island come hither, some
from two and three days’ distance, and stand here till I awake from
sleep and put forth my head from this lattice, when they kiss ground
before me and go about their business.” So saying, he put his head out
of the window; and when the apes saw him, they kissed the earth before
him and went their way. Sayf al-Muluk abode with the young man a whole
month when he farewelled him and departed, escorted by a party of nigh a
hundred apes, which the young man bade escort him. They journeyed with
him seven days, till they came to the limits of their islands,[414] when
they took leave of him and returned to their places, while Sayf al-Muluk
fared on alone over mount and hill, desert and plain, four months’
journey, one day anhungered and the next satiated, now eating of the
herbs of the earth and then of the fruits of the trees, till he repented
him of the harm he had done himself by leaving the young man; and he was
about to retrace his steps to him, when he saw a something black afar
off and said to himself, “Is this a city or trees? But I will not turn
back till I see what it is.” So he made towards it and when he drew
near, he saw that it was a palace tall of base. Now he who built it was
Japhet son of Noah (on whom be peace!) and it is of this palace that God
the Most High speaketh in His precious Book, whenas He saith, “And an
abandoned well and a high-builded palace.”[415] Sayf al-Muluk sat down
at the gate and said in his mind, “Would I knew what is within yonder
palace and what King dwelleth there and who shall acquaint me whether
its folk are men or Jinn? Who will tell me the truth of the case?” He
sat considering awhile, but, seeing none go in or come out, he rose and
committing himself to Allah Almighty entered the palace and walked on,
till he had counted seven vestibules; yet saw no one. Presently looking
to his right he beheld three doors, while before him was a fourth, over
which hung a curtain. So he went up to this and raising the curtain,
found himself in a great hall[416] spread with silken carpets. At the
upper end rose a throne of gold whereon sat a damsel, whose face was
like the moon, arrayed in royal raiment and beautified as she were a
bride on the night of her displaying; and at the foot of the throne was
a table of forty trays spread with golden and silvern dishes full of
dainty viands. The Prince went up and saluted her, and she returned his
salam, saying, “Art thou of mankind or of the Jinn?” Replied he, “I am a
man of the best of mankind;[417] for I am a King, son of a King.” She
rejoined, “What seekest thou? Up with thee and eat of yonder food, and
after tell me thy past from first to last and how thou camest hither.”
So he sat down at the table and removing the cover from a tray of meats
(he being hungry) and ate till he was full; then washed his right hand
and going up to the throne, sat down by the damsel who asked him, “Who
art thou and what is thy name and whence comest thou and who brought
thee hither?” He answered, “Indeed my story is a long but do thou first
tell me who and what and whence thou art and why thou dwellest in this
place alone.” She rejoined, “My name is Daulat Khátún[418] and I am the
daughter of the King of Hind. My father dwelleth in the Capital-city of
Sarandíb and hath a great and goodly garden, there is no goodlier in all
the land of Hind or its dependencies; and in this garden is a great
tank. One day, I went out into the garden with my slave-women and I
stripped me naked and they likewise and, entering the tank, fell to
sporting and solacing ourselves therein. Presently, before I could be
ware, a something as it were a cloud swooped down on me and snatching me
up from amongst my handmaids, soared aloft with me betwixt heaven and
earth, saying, “Fear not, O Daulat Khatun, but be of good heart.” Then
he flew on with me a little while, after which he set me down in this
palace and straightway without stay or delay became a handsome young man
daintily apparelled, who said to me:—Now dost thou know me? Replied
I:—No, O my lord; and he said:—I am the Blue King, Sovran of the Jann;
my father dwelleth in the Castle Al-Kulzum[419] hight, and hath under
his hand six hundred thousand Jinn, flyers and divers. It chanced that
while passing on my way I saw thee and fell in love with thee for thy
lovely form: so I swooped down on thee and snatched thee up from among
the slave-girls and brought thee to this the High-builded Castle, which
is my dwelling-place. None may fare hither be he man or be he Jinni, and
from Hind hither is a journey of an hundred and twenty years: wherefore
do thou hold that thou wilt never again behold the land of thy father
and thy mother; so abide with me here, in contentment of heart and
peace, and I will bring to thy hands whatso thou seekest.” Then he
embraced me and kissed me,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel said
to Sayf al-Muluk, “Then the King of the Jann, after he had acquainted me
with his case, embraced me and kissed me, saying:—Abide here and fear
nothing; whereupon he went away from me for an hour and presently
returned with these tables and carpets and furniture. He comes to me
every Third[420] and abideth with me three days and on Friday, at the
time of mid-afternoon prayer, he departeth and is absent till the
following Third. When he is here, he eateth and drinketh and kisseth and
huggeth me, but doth naught else with me, and I am a pure virgin, even
as Allah Almighty created me. My father’s name is Táj al-Mulúk, and he
wotteth not what is come of me nor hath he hit upon any trace of me.
This is my story: now tell me thy tale.” Answered the Prince, “My story
is a long and I fear lest while I am telling it to thee the Ifrit come.”
Quoth she “He went out from me but an hour before thy entering and will
not return till Third: so sit thee down and take thine ease and hearten
thy heart and tell me what hath betided thee, from beginning to end.”
And quoth he, “I hear and I obey.” So he fell to telling her all that
had befallen him from commencement to conclusion but, when she heard
speak of Badi’a al-Jamal, her eyes ran over with railing tears and she
cried, “O Badi’a al-Jamal, I had not thought this of thee! Alack for our
luck! O Badi’a al-Jamal, dost thou not remember me nor say:—My sister
Daulat Khatun whither is she gone?” And her weeping redoubled, lamenting
for that Badi’a al-Jamal had forgotten her.[421] Then said Sayf
al-Muluk, “O Daulat Khatun, thou art a mortal and she is a Jinniyah: how
then can she be thy sister?” Replied the Princess, “She is my sister by
fosterage and this is how it came about. My mother went out to solace
herself in the garden, when labour-pangs seized her and she bare me. Now
the mother of Badi’a al-Jamal chanced to be passing with her guards,
when she also was taken with travail-pains; so she alighted in a side of
the garden and there brought forth Badi’a al-Jamal. She despatched one
of her women to seek food and childbirth-gear of my mother, who sent her
what she sought and invited her to visit her. So she came to her with
Badi’a al-Jamal and my mother suckled the child, who with her mother
tarried with us in the garden two months. And before wending her ways
the mother of Badi’a al-Jamal gave my mother somewhat,[422] saying:—When
thou hast need of me, I will come to thee a middlemost the garden, and
departed to her own land; but she and her daughter used to visit us
every year and abide with us awhile before returning home. Wherefore an
I were with my mother, O Sayf al-Muluk, and if thou wert with me in my
own country and Badi’a al-Jamal and I were together as of wont, I would
devise some device with her to bring thee to thy desire of her: but I am
here and they know naught of me; for that an they kenned what is become
of me, they have power to deliver me from this place; however, the
matter is in Allah’s hands (extolled and exalteth be He!) and what can I
do?” Quoth Sayf al-Muluk, “Rise and let us flee and go whither the
Almighty willeth;” but, quoth she, “We cannot do that: for, by Allah,
though we fled hence a year’s journey that accursed would overtake us in
an hour and slaughter us.” Then said the Prince, “I will hide myself in
his way, and when he passeth by I will smite him with the sword and slay
him.” Daulat Khatun replied, “Thou canst not succeed in slaying him save
thou slay his soul.” Asked he, “And where is his soul?”; and she
answered, “Many a time have I questioned him thereof but he would not
tell me, till one day I pressed him and he waxed wroth with me and said
to me:—How often wilt thou ask me of my soul? What hast thou to do with
my soul? I rejoined:——O Hátim,[423] there remaineth none to me but thou,
except Allah; and my life dependeth on thy life and whilst thou livest,
all is well for me; so, except I care for thy soul and set it in the
apple of this mine eye, how shall I live in thine absence? An I knew
where thy soul abideth, I would never cease whilst I live, to hold it in
mine embrace and would keep it as my right eye. Whereupon said he to
me:——What time I was born, the astrologers predicted that I should lose
my soul at the hands of the son of a king of mankind. So I took it and
set it in the crop of a sparrow, and shut up the bird in a box. The box
I set in a casket, and enclosing this in seven other caskets and seven
chests, laid the whole in a alabastrine coffer,[424] which I buried
within the marge of yon earth-circling sea; for that these parts are far
from the world of men and none of them can win hither. So now see I have
told thee what thou wouldst know, and do thou tell none thereof, for it
is a secret between me and thee.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

[Illustration]


        Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Daulat Khatun
acquainted Sayf al-Muluk with the whereabouts of the soul of the Jinni
who had carried her off and repeated to him his speech ending with, “And
this is a secret between me and thee!” “I rejoined,” quoth she:—“To whom
should I tell it, seeing that none but thou cometh hither with whom I
may talk thereof?” adding, “By Allah, thou hast indeed set thy soul in
the strongest of strongholds to which none may gain access! How should a
man win to it, unless the impossible be fore-ordained and Allah decree
like as the astrologers predicted?” Thereupon the Jinni:—Peradventure
one may come, having on his finger the seal-ring of Solomon son of David
(on the twain be peace!) and lay his hand with the ring on the face of
the water, saying:—“By the virtue of the names engraven upon this ring,
let the soul of such an one come forth! Whereupon the coffer will rise
to the surface and he will break it open and do the like with the chests
and caskets, till he come to the little box, when he will take out the
sparrow and strangle it, and I shall die.” Then said Sayf al-Muluk, “I
am the King’s son of whom he spake, and this is the ring of Solomon
David-son on my finger: so rise, let us go down to the sea-shore and see
if his words be leal or leasing!” Thereupon the two walked down to the
sea-shore and the Princess stood on the beach, whilst the Prince waded
into the water to his waist and laying his hand with the ring on the
surface of the sea, said, “By the virtue of the names and talismans
engraven on this ring, and by the might of Sulayman bin Dáúd (on whom be
the Peace!), let the soul of Hatim the Jinni, son of the Blue King, come
forth!” Whereat the sea boiled in billows and the coffer of alabaster
rose to the surface. Sayf al-Muluk took it and shattered it against the
rock and broke open the chests and caskets, till he came to the little
box and drew thereout the sparrow. Then the twain returned to the castle
and sat down on the throne; but hardly had they done this, when lo and
behold! there arose a dust-cloud terrifying and some huge thing came
flying and crying, “Spare me, O King’s son, and slay me not; but make me
thy freedman, and I will bring thee to thy desire!” Quoth Daulat Khatun,
“The Jinni cometh; slay the sparrow, lest this accursed enter the palace
and take it from thee and slaughter me and slaughter thee after me.” So
the Prince wrung the sparrow’s neck and it died, whereupon the Jinni
fell down at the palace-door and became a heap of black ashes. Then said
Daulat Khatun, “We are delivered from the hand of yonder accursed; what
shall we do now?”; and Sayf al-Muluk replied, “It behoveth us to ask aid
of Allah Almighty who hath afflicted us; belike He will direct us and
help us to escape from this our strait.” So saying, he arose and pulling
up[425] half a score of the doors of the palace, which were of
sandal-wood and lign-aloes with nails of gold and silver, bound them
together with ropes of silk and floss[426]-silk and fine linen and
wrought of them a raft, which he and the Princess aided each other to
hale down to the sea-shore. They launched it upon the water till it
floated and, making it fast to the beach, returned to the palace, whence
they removed all the chargers of gold and saucers of silver and jewels
and precious stones and metals and what else was light of load and
weighty of worth and freighted the raft therewith. Then they embarked
after fashioning two pieces of wood into the likeness of paddles and
casting off the rope-moorings, let the raft drift out to sea with them,
committing themselves to Allah the Most High, who contenteth those that
put their trust in Him and disappointeth not them who rely upon Him.
They ceased not faring on thus four months until their victual was
exhausted and their sufferings waxed severe and their souls were
straitened; so they prayed Allah to vouchsafe them deliverance from that
danger. But all this time when they lay down to sleep, Sayf al-Muluk set
Daulat Khatun behind him and laid a naked brand at his back, so that,
when he turned in sleep the sword was between them.[427] At last it
chanced one night, when Sayf al-Muluk was asleep and Daulat Khatun
awake, that behold, the raft drifted landwards and entered a port
wherein were ships. The Princess saw the ships and heard a man, he being
the chief and head of the captains, talking with the sailors; whereby
she knew that this was the port of some city and that they were come to
an inhabited country. So she joyed with exceeding joy and waking the
Prince said to him, “Ask the captain the name of the city and harbour.”
Thereupon Sayf al-Muluk arose and said to the captain, “O my brother,
how is this harbour hight and what be the names of yonder city and its
King?” Replied the Captain, “O false face![428] O frosty beard! an thou
knew not the name of this port and city, how camest thou hither?” Quoth
Sayf al-Muluk, “I am a stranger and had taken passage in a merchant ship
which was wrecked and sank with all on board; but I saved myself on a
plank and made my way hither; wherefore I asked thee the name of the
place, and in asking is no offence.” Then said the captain, “This is the
city of ’Amáriyah and this harbour is called Kamín al-Bahrayn.”[429]
When the Princess heard this she rejoiced with exceeding joy and said,
“Praised be Allah!” He asked, “What is to do?”; and she answered, “O
Sayf al-Muluk, rejoice in succour near hand; for the King of this city
is my uncle, my father’s brother.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.


       Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Daulat Khatun
said to Sayf al-Muluk, “Rejoice in safety near hand; for the King of
this city is my uncle, my father’s brother and his name is ’Áli
al-Mulúk,”[430] adding, “Say thou then to the captain:—Is the Sultan of
the city, Ali al-Muluk, well?” He asked but the captain was wroth with
him and cried, “Thou sayest:—I am a stranger and never in my life came
hither. Who then told thee the name of the lord of the city?” When
Daulat Khatun heard this, she rejoiced and knew him for Mu’ín
al-Dín,[431] one of her father’s captains. Now he had fared forth in
search of her, after she was lost and finding her not, he never ceased
cruising till he came to her uncle’s city. Then she bade Sayf al-Muluk
say to him, “O Captain Mu’in al-Din, come and speak with thy mistress!”
So he called out to him as she bade, whereat he was wroth with exceeding
wrath and answered, “O dog, O thief, O spy, who art thou and how knowest
thou me?” Then he said to one of the sailors, “Give me an
ash[432]-stave, that I may go to yonder plaguing Arab and break his
head.” So he took the stick and made for Sayf al-Muluk, but, when he
came to the raft, he saw a something, wondrous, beauteous, which
confounded his wits and considering it straitly he made sure that it was
Daulat Khatun sitting there, as she were a slice of the moon; whereat he
said to the Prince, “Who is that with thee?” Replied he, “A damsel by
name Daulat Khatun.” When the captain heard the Princess’s name and knew
that she was his mistress and the daughter of his King, he fell down in
a fainting-fit, and when he came to himself, he left the raft and whatso
was thereon and riding up to the palace, craved an audience of the King;
whereupon the chamberlain went in to the presence and said, “Captain
Mu’in al-Din is come to bring thee good news; so bid he be brought in.”
The King bade admit him; accordingly he entered and kissing ground[433]
said to him, “O King, thou owest me a gift for glad tidings; for thy
brother’s daughter Daulat Khatun hath reached our city safe and sound,
and is now on a raft in the harbour, in company with a young man like
the moon on the night of its full.” When the King heard this, he
rejoiced and conferred a costly robe of honour on the captain. Then he
straightway bade decorate the city in honour of the safe return of his
brother’s daughter, and sending for her and Sayf al-Muluk, saluted the
twain and gave them joy of their safety; after which he despatched a
messenger to his brother, to let him know that his daughter was found
and was with him. As soon as the news reached Taj al-Muluk he gat him
ready and assembling his troops set out for his brother’s capital, where
he found his daughter and they rejoiced with exceeding joy. He sojourned
with his brother a week, after which he took his daughter and Sayf
al-Muluk and returned to Sarandib, where the Princess foregathered with
her mother and they rejoiced at her safe return; and held high festival
and that day was a great day, never was seen its like. As for Sayf
al-Muluk, the King entreated him with honour and said to him, “O Sayf
al-Muluk, thou hast done me and my daughter all this good for which I
cannot requite thee nor can any requite thee, save the Lord of the three
Worlds; but I wish thee to sit upon the throne in my stead and rule the
land of Hind, for I offer thee of my throne and kingdom and treasures
and servants, all this in free gift to thee.” Whereupon Sayf al-Muluk
rose and kissing the ground before the King, thanked him and answered,
“O King of the Age, I accept all thou givest me and return it to thee in
freest gift: for I, O King of the Age, covet not sovranty nor sultanate
nor desire aught but that Allah the Most High bring me to my desire.”
Rejoined the King, “O Sayf al-Muluk these my treasures are at thy
disposal: take of them what thou wilt, without consulting me, and Allah
requite thee for me with all weal!” Quoth the Prince, “Allah advance the
King! There is no delight for me in money or in dominion till I win my
wish: but now I have a mind to solace myself in the city and view its
thoroughfares and market-streets.” So the King bade bring him a mare of
the thoroughbreds, saddled and bridled; and Sayf al-Muluk mounted her
and rode through the streets and markets of the city. As he looked about
him right and left, lo! his eyes fell on a young man, who was carrying a
tunic and crying it for sale at fifteen dinars: so he considered him and
saw him to be like his brother Sa’id; and indeed it was his very self,
but he was wan of blee and changed for long strangerhood and the
travails of travel, so that he knew him not. However, he said to his
attendants, “Take yonder youth and carry him to the palace where I
lodge, and keep him with you till my return from the ride when I will
question him.” But they understood him to say, “Carry him to the
prison,” and said in themselves “Haply this is some runaway Mameluke of
his.” So they took him and bore him to the bridewell, where they laid
him in irons and left him seated in solitude, unremembered by any.
Presently Sayf al-Muluk returned to the palace, but he forgot his
brother Sa’id, and none made mention of him. So he abode in prison, and
when they brought out the prisoners, to cut ashlar from the quarries
they took Sa’id with them, and he wrought with the rest. He abode a
month’s space, in this squalor and sore sorrow, pondering his case and
saying in himself, “What is the cause of my imprisonment?”; while Sayf
al-Muluk’s mind was diverted from him by rejoicing and other things; but
one day, as he sat, he bethought him of Sa’id and said to his Mamelukes,
“Where is the white slave I gave into your charge on such a day?” Quoth
they, “Didst thou not bid us bear him to the bridewell?”; and quoth he,
“Nay I said not so; I bade you carry him to my palace after the ride.”
Then he sent his Chamberlains and Emirs for Sa’id and they fetched him
in fetters, and loosing him from his irons set him before the Prince,
who asked him, “O young man, what countryman art thou?”; and he
answered, “I am from Egypt and my name is Sa’id, son of Faris the
Wazir.” Now hearing these words Sayf al-Muluk sprang to his feet and
throwing himself off the throne and upon his friend, hung on his neck,
weeping aloud for very joy and saying, “O my brother, O Sa’id, praise be
Allah for that I see thee alive! I am thy brother Sayf al-Muluk, son of
King Asim.” Then they embraced and shed tears together and all who were
present marvelled at them. After this Sayf al-Muluk bade his people bear
Sa’id to the Hammam-bath: and they did so. When he came out, they clad
him in costly clothing and carried him back to Sayf al-Muluk who seated
him on the throne beside himself. When King Taj al-Muluk heard of the
reunion of Sayf al-Muluk and his brother Sa’id, he joyed with joy
exceeding and came to them, and the three sat devising of all that had
befallen them in the past from first to last. Then said Sa’id:—O my
brother, O Sayf al-Muluk, when the ship sank with all on board I saved
myself on a plank with a company of Mamelukes and it drifted with us a
whole month, when the wind cast us, by the ordinance of Allah Almighty,
upon an island. So we landed and entering among the trees took to eating
of the fruits, for we were anhungred. Whilst we were busy eating, there
fell on us unawares, folk like Ifrits[434] and springing on our
shoulders rode us[435] and said to us, “Go on with us; for ye are become
our asses.” So I said to him who had mounted me, “What art thou and why
mountest thou me?” At this he twisted one of his legs about my neck,
till I was all but dead, and beat upon my back the while with the other
leg, till I thought he had broken my backbone. So I fell to the ground
on my face, having no strength left in me for famine and thirst. From my
fall he knew that I was hungry and taking me by the hand, led me to a
tree laden with fruit which was a pear-tree[436] and said to me, “Eat
thy fill of this tree.” So I ate till I had enough and rose to walk
against my will; but, ere I had fared afar the creature turned and
leaping on my shoulders again drove me on, now walking, now running and
now trotting, and he the while mounted on me, laughing and saying,
“Never in my life saw I a donkey like unto thee!” We abode thus for
years till, one day of the days, it chanced that we saw there great
plenty of vines, covered with ripe fruit; so we gathered a quantity of
grape-bunches and throwing them into a pit, trod them with our feet,
till the pit became a great water-pool. Then we waited awhile and
presently returning thither, found that the sun had wroughten on the
grape-juice and it was become wine. So we used to drink it till we were
drunken and our faces flushed and we fell to singing and dancing and
running about in the merriment of drunkenness[437]; whereupon our
masters said to us, “What is it that reddeneth your faces and maketh you
dance and sing?” We replied, “Ask us not, what is your quest in
questioning us hereof?” But they insisted, saying, “You must tell us so
that we may know the truth of the case,” till we told them how we had
pressed grapes and made wine. Quoth they, “Give us to drink thereof”;
but quoth we, “The grapes are spent.” So they brought us to a Wady,
whose length we knew not from its breadth nor its beginning from its end
wherein were vines each bunch of grapes on them weighing twenty
pounds[438] by the scale and all within easy reach, and they said,
“Gather of these.” So we gathered a mighty great store of grapes and
finding there a big trench bigger than the great tank in the King’s
garden we filled it full of fruit. This we trod with our feet and did
with the juice as before till it became strong wine, which it did after
a month; whereupon we said to them, “’Tis come to perfection; but in
what will ye drink it?” And they replied, “We had asses like unto you;
but we ate them and kept their heads: so give us to drink in their
skulls.” We went to their caves which we found full of heads and bones
of the Sons of Adam, and we gave them to drink, when they became drunken
and lay down, nigh two hundred of them. Then we said to one another,
“Is’t not enough that they should ride us, but they must eat us also?
There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious,
the Great! But we will ply them with wine, till they are overcome by
drunkenness, when we will slay them and be at rest from them.”
Accordingly, we awoke them and fell to filling the skulls and gave them
to drink, but they said, “This is bitter.” We replied, “Why say ye ’tis
bitter? Whoso saith thus, except he drink of it ten times, he dieth the
same day.” When they heard this, they feared death and cried to us,
“Give us to drink the whole ten times.” So we gave them to drink, and
when they had swallowed the rest of the ten draughts they waxed drunken
exceedingly and their strength failed them and they availed not to mount
us. Thereupon we dragged them together by their hands and laying them
one upon another, collected great plenty of dry vine-stalks and branches
and heaped it about and upon them: then we set fire to the pile and
stood afar off, to see what became of them.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa’id
continued:—When we set fire to the pile wherein were the Ghuls, I with
the Mamelukes stood afar off to see what became of them; and, as soon
the fire was burnt out, we came back and found them a heap of ashes,
wherefore we praised Allah Almighty who had delivered us from them. Then
we went forth about the island and sought the sea-shore, where we parted
and I and two of the Mamelukes fared on till we came to a thick copse
full of fruit and there busied ourselves with eating, and behold,
presently up came a man tall of stature long of beard and lengthy of
ear, with eyes like cressets driving before him and feeding a great
flock of sheep:[439] When he saw us he rejoiced and said to us, “Well
come, and fair welcome to you! Draw near me that I may slaughter you an
ewe of these sheep and roast it and give you to eat.” Quoth we, “Where
is thine abode?” And quoth he, “Hard by yonder mountain; go on towards
it till ye come to a cave and enter therein, for you will see many
guests like yourselves; and do ye sit with them, whilst we make ready
for you the guest-meal.” We believed him so fared on, as he bade us,
till we came to the cavern, where we found many guests, Sons of Adam
like ourselves, but they were all blinded[440]; and when we entered, one
said, “I’m sick”; and another, “I’m weak.” So we cried to them, “What is
this you say and what is the cause of your sickness and weakness?” They
asked, “Who are ye?”; and we answered, “We are guests.” Then said they,
“What hath made you fall into the hands of yonder accursed? But there is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great?
This is a Ghul who devoureth the Sons of Adam and he hath blinded us and
meaneth to eat us.” Said we, “And how did he blind you?” and they
replied, “Even as he will blind yourselves anon.” Quoth we, “And how
so?” And quoth they, “He will bring you bowls of soured milk[441] and
will say to you:—Ye are weary with wayfare: take this milk and drink it.
And when ye have drunken thereof, ye will become blind like us.” Said I
to myself, “There is no escape for us but by contrivance.” So I dug a
hole in the ground and sat over it. After an hour or so in came the
accursed Ghul with bowls of milk, whereof he gave to each of us, saying,
“Ye come from the desert and are athirst: so take this milk and drink
it, whilst I roast you the flesh.” I took the cup and carried it to my
mouth but emptied it into the hole; then I cried out, “Alas! my sight is
gone and I am blind!” and clapping my hand to my eyes, fell a-weeping
and a-wailing, whilst the accursed laughed and said, “Fear not, thou art
now become like mine other guests.” But, as for my two comrades, they
drank the milk and became blind. Thereupon the Ghul arose and stopping
up the mouth of the cavern came to me and felt my ribs, but found me
lean and with no flesh on my bones: so he tried another and finding him
fat, rejoiced. Then he slaughtered three sheep and skinned them and
fetching iron spits, spitted the flesh thereon and set them over the
fire to roast. When the meat was done, he placed it before my comrades,
who ate and he with them; after which he brought a leather-bag full of
wine and drank thereof and lay down prone and snored. Said I to myself,
“He’s drowned in sleep: how shall I slay him?” Then I bethought me of
the spits and thrusting two of them into the fire, waited till they were
as red-hot coals: whereupon I arose and girded myself and taking a spit
in each hand went up to the accursed Ghul and thrust them into his eyes,
pressing upon them with all my might. He sprang to his feet for sweet
life and would have laid hold of me; but he was blind. So I fled from
him into the inner cavern, whilst he ran after me; but I found no place
of refuge from him nor whence I might escape into the open country, for
the cave was stopped up with stones; wherefore I was bewildered and said
to the blind men, “How shall I do with this accursed?” Replied one of
them, “O Sa’id, with a run and a spring mount up to yonder niche[442]
and thou wilt find there a sharpened scymitar of copper: bring it to me
and I will tell thee what to do.” So I clombed to the niche and taking
the blade, returned to the blind man, who said to me, “Smite him with
the sword in his middle, and he will die forthright.” So I rushed after
the Ghul, who was weary with running after me and felt for the blind men
that he might kill them and, coming up to him smote him with the sword a
single stroke across his waist and he fell in twain. Then he screamed
and cried out to me, “O man, an thou desire to slay me, strike me a
second stroke.” Accordingly, I was about to smite him another cut; but
he who had directed me to the niche and the scymitar said, “Smite him
not a second time, for then he will not die, but will live and destroy
us.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Sa’id
continued:—Now when I struck the Ghul with the sword he cried out to me,
“O man, an thou desire to slay me, strike me a second stroke!” I was
about so to do when he who had directed me to the scymitar said, “Smite
him not a second time, for then he will not die but will live and
destroy us!” So I held my hand as he bade me, and the Ghul died. Then
said the blind man to me, “Open the mouth of the cave and let us fare
forth; so haply Allah may help us and bring us to rest from this place.”
And I said, “No harm can come to us now; let us rather abide here and
repose and eat of these sheep and drink of this wine, for long is the
land. Accordingly we tarried there two months, eating of the sheep and
of the fruits of the island and drinking the generous grape-juice till
it so chanced one day, as we sat upon the beach, we caught sight of a
ship looming large in the distance; so we made signs for the crew and
holla’d to them.” They feared to draw near, knowing that the island was
inhabited by a Ghul[443] who ate Adamites, and would have sheered off;
but we ran down to the marge of the sea and made signs to them, with our
turband-ends and shouted to them, whereupon one of the sailors, who was
sharp of sight, said to the rest, “Harkye, comrades, I see these men
formed like ourselves, for they have not the fashion of Ghuls.” So they
made for us, little by little, till they drew near us in the dinghy[444]
and were certified that we were indeed human beings, when they saluted
us and we returned their salam and gave them the glad tidings of the
slaying of the accursed, wherefore they thanked us. Then we carried to
the ship all that was in the cave of stuffs and sheep and treasure,
together with a viaticum of the island-fruits, such as should serve us
days and months, and embarking, sailed on with a fair breeze three days;
at the end of which the wind veered round against us and the air became
exceeding dark; nor had an hour passed before the wind drave the craft
on to a rock, where it broke up and its planks were torn asunder.[445]
However, the Great God decreed that I should lay hold of one of the
planks, which I bestrode, and it bore me along two days, for the wind
had fallen fair again, and I paddled with my feet awhile, till Allah the
Most High brought me safe ashore and I landed and came to this city,
where I found myself a stranger, solitary, friendless, not knowing what
to do; for hunger was sore upon me and I was in great tribulation.
Thereupon I, O my brother, hid myself and pulling off this my tunic,
carried it to the market, saying in my mind, “I will sell it and live on
its price, till Allah accomplish to me whatso he will accomplish.” Then
I took the tunic in my hand and cried it for sale, and the folk were
looking at it and bidding for it, when, O my brother, thou camest by and
seeing me commandedst me to the palace; but thy pages arrested and
thrust me into the prison and there I abode till thou bethoughtest thee
of me and badst bring me before thee. So now I have told thee what befel
me, and Alhamdolillah—Glorified be God—for reunion! Much marvelled the
two Kings at Sa’id’s tale and Taj al-Muluk having made ready a goodly
dwelling for Sayf al-Muluk and his Wazir, Daulat Khatun used to visit
the Prince there and thank him for his favours and talk with him. One
day, he met her and said to her, “O my lady, where is the promise thou
madest me, in the palace of Japhet son of Noah, saying:—Were I with my
people, I would make shift to bring thee to thy desire?” And Sa’id said
to her, “O Princess, I crave thine aid to enable him to win his will.”
Answered she, “Yea, verily; I will do my endeavour for him, that he may
attain his aim, if it please Allah Almighty.” And she turned to Sayf
al-Muluk and said to him, “Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and
clear.” Then she rose and going in to her mother, said to her, “Come
with me forthright and let us purify ourselves and make fumigations[446]
that Badi’a al-Jamal and her mother may come and see me and rejoice in
me.” Answered the Queen, “With love and goodly gree;” and rising, betook
herself to the garden and burnt off these perfumes which she always had
by her; nor was it long before Badi’a al-Jamal and her mother made their
appearance. The Queen of Hind foregathered with the other Queen and
acquainted her with her daughter’s safe return, whereat she rejoiced;
and Badi’a al-Jamal and Daulat Khatun foregathered likewise and rejoiced
in each other. Then they pitched the pavilions[447] and dressed dainty
viands and made ready the place of entertainment; whilst the two
Princesses withdrew to a tent apart and ate together and drank and made
merry; after which they sat down to converse, and Badi’a al-Jamal said,
“What hath befallen thee in thy strangerhood?” Replied Daulat Khatun, “O
my sister how sad is severance and how gladsome is reunion; ask me not
what hath befallen me! Oh, what hardships mortals suffer!” cried she,
“How so?” and the other said to her, “O my sister, I was immured in the
High-builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah, whither the son of the Blue
King carried me off till Sayf al-Muluk slew the Jinni and brought me
back to my sire;” and she told her to boot all that the Prince had
undergone of hardships and horrors before he came to the Castle.[448]
Badi’a al-Jamal marvelled at her tale and said, “By Allah, O my sister,
this is the most wondrous of wonders! This Sayf al-Muluk is indeed a
man! But why did he leave his father and mother and betake himself to
travel and expose himself to these perils?” Quoth Daulat Khatun, “I have
a mind to tell thee the first part of his history; but shame of thee
hindereth me therefrom.” Quoth Badi’a al-Jamal, “Why shouldst thou have
shame of me, seeing that thou art my sister and my bosom-friend and
there is muchel a matter between thee and me and I know thou willest me
naught but well? Tell me then what thou hast to say and be not abashed
at me and hide nothing from me and have no fear of consequences.”
Answered Daulat Khatun, “By Allah, all the calamities that have betided
this unfortunate have been on thine account and because of thee!” Asked
Badi’a al-Jamal, “How so, O my sister?”; and the other answered, “Know
that he saw thy portrait wrought on a tunic which thy father sent to
Solomon son of David (on the twain be peace!) and he opened it not
neither looked at it, but despatched it, with other presents and
rarities to Asim bin Safwan, King of Egypt, who gave it, still unopened,
to his son Sayf al-Muluk. The Prince unfolded the tunic, thinking to put
it on, and seeing thy portrait, became enamoured of it; wherefore he
came forth in quest of thee, and left his folk and reign and suffered
all these terrors and hardships on thine account.”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Daulat Khatun
related to Badi’a al-Jamal the first part of Sayf al-Muluk’s history;
how his love for her was caused by the tunic whereon her presentment was
wrought; how he went forth, passion-distraught, in quest of her; how he
forsook his people and his kingdom for her sake and how he had suffered
all these terrors and hardships on her account. When Badi’a al-Jamal
heard this, she blushed rosy red and was confounded at Daulat Khatun and
said, “Verily this may never, never be; for man accordeth not with the
Jann.” Then Daulat Khatun went on to praise Sayf al-Muluk and extol his
comeliness and courage and cavalarice, and ceased not repeating her
memories of his prowess and his excellent qualities till she ended with
saying, “For the sake of Almighty Allah and of me, O sister mine, come
and speak with him, though but one word!” But Badi’a al-Jamal cried, “By
Allah, O sister mine, this that thou sayest I will not hear, neither
will I assent to thee therein;” and it was as if she heard naught of
what the other said and as if no love of Sayf al-Muluk and his beauty
and bearing and bravery had gotten hold upon her heart. Then Daulat
Khatun humbled herself and said, “O Badi’a al-Jamal, by the milk we have
sucked, I and thou, and by that which is graven on the seal-ring of
Solomon (on whom be peace!) hearken to these my words for I pledged
myself in the High-builded Castle of Japhet, to show him thy face. So
Allah upon thee, show it to him once, for the love of me, and look
thyself on him!” And she ceased not to weep and implore her and kiss her
hands and feet, till she consented and said, “For thy sake I will show
him my face once and he shall have a single glance.” With that Daulat
Khatun’s heart was gladdened and she kissed her hands and feet. Then she
went forth and fared to the great pavilion in the garden and bade her
slave-women spread it with carpets and set up a couch of gold and place
the wine-vessels in order; after which she went into Sayf al-Muluk and
to his Wazir Sa’id, whom she found seated in their lodging, and gave the
Prince the glad tidings of the winning of his wish, saying, “Go to the
pavilion in the garden, thou and thy brother, and hide yourselves there
from the eyes of men so none in the palace may espy you, till I come to
you with Badi’a al-Jamal.” So they rose and repaired to the appointed
pavilion, where they found the couch of gold set and furnished with
cushions, and meat and wine ready served. So they sat awhile, whilst
Sayf al-Muluk bethought him of his beloved and his breast was straitened
and love and longing assailed him: wherefore he rose and walked forth
from the vestibule of the pavilion. Sa’id would have followed him, but
he said to him, “O my brother, follow me not, but sit in thy stead till
I return to thee.” So Sa’id abode seated, whilst Sayf al-Muluk went down
into the garden, drunken with the wine of desire and distracted for
excess of love-longing and passion-fire: yearning agitated him and
transport overcame him and he recited these couplets:—

 O passing Fair[449] I have none else but thee; ✿ Pity this slave in thy
    love’s slavery!
 Thou art my search, my joy and my desire! ✿ None save thyself shall love
    this heart of me:

 Would Heaven I knew thou knewest of my wails ✿ Night-long and eyelids
    oped by memory.
 Bid sleep to sojourn on these eyen-lids ✿ Haply in vision I thy sight
    shall see.
 Show favour then to one thus love-distraught: ✿ Save him from ruin by
    thy cruelty!
 Allah increase thy beauty and thy weal; ✿ And be thy ransom every enemy!
 So shall on Doomsday lovers range beneath ✿ Thy flag, and beauties
    ’neath thy banner be.

Then he wept and recited these also:—

 That rarest beauty ever bides my foe ✿ Who holds my heart and lurks in
    secresy:
 Speaking, I speak of nothing save her charms ✿ And when I’m dumb in
    heart-core woneth she.

Then he wept sore and recited the following:—

 And in my liver higher flames the fire; ✿ You are my wish and longsome
    still I yearn:
 To you (none other!) bend I and I hope ✿ (Lovers long-suffering are!)
    your grace to earn;
 And that you pity me whose frame by Love ✿ Is waste and weak his heart
    with sore concern:
 Relent, be gen’rous, tender-hearted, kind: ✿ From you I’ll ne’er remove,
    from you ne’er turn!

Then he wept and recited these also:—

 Came to me care when came the love of thee, ✿ Cruel sleep fled me like
    thy cruelty:
 Tells me the messenger that thou art wroth: ✿ Allah forefend what evils
    told me he!

Presently Sa’id waxed weary of awaiting him and going forth in quest of
him, found him walking in the garden, distraught and reciting these two
couplets:—

 By Allah, by th’ Almighty, by his right[450] ✿ Who read the
    Koran-Chapter “Fátir”[451] hight;
 Ne’er roam my glances o’er the charms I see; ✿ Thy grace, rare beauty,
    is my talk by night.

So he joined him and the twain walked about the garden together solacing
themselves and ate of its fruits. Such was their case;[452] but as
regards the two Princesses, they came to the pavilion and entering
therein after the eunuchs had richly furnished it, according to command,
sat down on the couch of gold, beside which was a window that gave upon
the garden. The castratos then set before them all manner rich meats and
they ate, Daulat Khatun feeding her foster-sister by mouthfuls,[453]
till she was satisfied; when she called for divers kinds of sweetmeats,
and when the neutrals brought them, they ate what they would of them and
washed their hands. After this Daulat Khatun made ready wine and its
service, setting on the ewers and bowls and she proceeded to crown the
cups and give Badi’a al-Jamal to drink, filling for herself after and
drinking in turn. Then Badi’a al-Jamal looked from the window into the
garden and gazed upon the fruits and branches that were therein, till
her glance fell on Sayf al-Muluk, and she saw him wandering about the
parterres, followed by Sa’id, and she heard him recite verses, raining
the while railing tears. And that glance of eyes cost her a thousand
sighs,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Badi’a
al-Jamal caught sight of Sayf al-Muluk as he wandered about the garden,
that glance of eyes cost her a thousand sighs, and she turned to Daulat
Khatun and said to her (and indeed the wine sported with her senses), “O
my sister, who is that young man I see in the garden, distraught,
love-abying, disappointed, sighing?” Quoth the other, “Dost thou give me
leave to bring him hither, that we may look on him?”; and quoth the
other, “An thou can avail to bring him, bring him.” So Daulat Khatun
called to him, saying, “O King’s son, come up to us and bring us thy
beauty and thy loveliness!” Sayf al-Muluk recognised her voice and came
up into the pavilion; but no sooner had he set eyes on Badi’a al-Jamal,
than he fell down in a swoon; whereupon Daulat Khatun sprinkled on him a
little rose-water and he revived. Then he rose and kissed ground before
Badi’a al-Jamal who was amazed at his beauty and loveliness; and Daulat
Khatun said to her, “Know, O Princess, that this is Sayf al-Muluk, whose
hand saved me by the ordinance of Allah Almighty and he it is who hath
borne all manner burthens on thine account: wherefore I would have thee
look upon him with favour.” Hearing this Badi’a al-Jamal laughed and
said, “And who keepeth faith, that this youth should do so? For there is
no true love in men.” Cried Sayf al-Muluk, “O Princess, never shall lack
of faith be in me, and all men are not created alike.” And he wept
before her and recited these verses:—

 O thou, Badí’a ’l-Jamál, show thou some clemency ✿ To one those lovely
    eyes opprest with witchery!
 By rights of beauteous hues and tints thy cheeks combine ✿ Of snowy
    white and glowing red anemone,
 Punish not with disdain one who is sorely sick ✿ By long, long parting
    waste hath waxed this frame of me:
 This is my wish, my will, the end of my desire, ✿ And Union is my hope
    an haply this may be!

Then he wept with violent weeping; and love and longing got the mastery
over him and he greeted her with these couplets:—

 Peace be to you from lover’s wasted love, ✿ All noble hearts to noble
    favour show:
 Peace be to you! Ne’er fail your form my dreams; ✿ Nor hall nor chamber
    the fair sight forego!
 Of you I’m jealous: none may name your name: ✿ Lovers to lovers aye
    should bend thee low:
 So cut not off your grace from him who loves ✿ While sickness wastes and
    sorrows overthrow.
 I watch the flowery stars which frighten me; ✿ While cark and care mine
    every night foreslow.
 Nor Patience bides with me nor plan appears: ✿ What shall I say when
    questioned of my foe?
 God’s peace be with you in the hour of need, ✿ Peace sent by lover
    patient bearing woe!

Then for the excess of his desire and ecstasy he repeated these couplets
also:—

 If I to aught save you, O lords of me, incline; ✿ Ne’er may I win of you
    my wish, my sole design!
 Who doth comprise all loveliness save only you? ✿ Who makes the Doomsday
    dawn e’en now before these eyne?
 Far be it Love find any rest, for I am one ✿ Who lost for love of you
    this heart, these vitals mine.

When he had made an end of his verses, he wept with sore weeping and she
said to him, “O Prince, I fear to grant myself wholly to thee lest I
find in thee nor fondness nor affection; for oftentimes man’s fidelity
is small and his perfidy is great and thou knowest how the lord Solomon,
son of David (on whom be the Peace!), took Bilkis to his love but,
whenas he saw another fairer than she, turned from her thereto.” Sayf
al-Muluk replied, “O my eye and O my soul, Allah hath not made all men
alike, and I, Inshallah, will keep my troth and die beneath thy feet.
Soon shalt thou see what I will do in accordance with my words, and for
whatso I say Allah is my warrant.” Quoth Badi’a al-Jamal, “Sit and be of
good heart and swear to me by the right of thy Faith and let us covenant
together that each will not be false to other; and whichever of us
breaketh faith may Almighty Allah punish!” At these words he sat down
and set his hand in her hand and they sware each to other that neither
of them would ever prefer to the other any one, either of man or of the
Jann. Then they embraced for a whole hour and wept for excess of their
joy, whilst passion overcame Sayf al-Muluk and he recited these
couplets:—

 I weep for longing love’s own ardency ✿ To her who claims the heart and
    soul of me.
 And sore’s my sorrow parted long from you, ✿ And short’s my arm to reach
    the prize I see;
 And mourning grief for what my patience marred ✿ To blamer’s eye
    unveiled my secresy;
 And waxed strait that whilome was so wide ✿ Patience nor force remains
    nor power to dree.
 Would Heaven I knew if God will ever deign to join ✿ Our lives, and from
    our cark and care and grief set free!

After this mutual troth-plighting, Sayf al-Muluk arose and walked in the
garden and Badi’a al-Jamal arose also and went forth also afoot followed
by a slave-girl bearing somewhat of food and a flask[454] of wine. The
Princess sat down and the damsel set the meat and wine before her: nor
remained they long ere they were joined by Sayf al-Muluk, who was
received with greeting and the two embraced and sat them down.——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that having provided
food and wine, Badi’a al-Jamal met Sayf al-Muluk with greetings, and the
twain having embraced and kissed sat them down awhile to eat and drink.
Then said she to him, “O King’s son, thou must now go to the garden of
Iram, where dwelleth my grandmother, and seek her consent to our
marriage. My slave-girl Marjánah will convey thee thither and as thou
farest therein thou wilt see a great pavilion of red satin, lined with
green silk. Enter the pavilion heartening thyself and thou wilt see
inside it an ancient dame sitting on a couch of red gold set with pearls
and jewels. Salute her with respect and courtesy; then look at the foot
of the couch, where thou wilt descry a pair of sandals[455] of cloth
interwoven with bars of gold, embroidered with jewels. Take them and
kiss them and lay them on thy head[456]; then put them under thy right
armpit and stand before the old woman, in silence and with thy head
bowed down. If she ask thee, Who art thou and how camest thou hither and
who led thee to this land? And why hast thou taken up the sandals? make
her no answer, but abide silent till Marjanah enter, when she will speak
with her and seek to win her approof for thee and cause her look on thee
with consent; so haply Allah Almighty may incline her heart to thee and
she may grant thee thy wish.” Then she called the handmaid Marjanah
hight and said to her, “As thou lovest me, do my errand this day and be
not neglectful therein! An thou accomplish it, thou shalt be a free
woman for the sake of Allah Almighty, and I will deal honourably by thee
with gifts and there shall be none dearer to me than thou, nor will I
discover my secrets to any save thee. So, by my love for thee, fulfil
this my need and be not slothful therein.” Replied Marjanah, “O my lady
and light of mine eyes, tell me what is it thou requirest of me, that I
may accomplish it with both mine eyes.” Badi’a rejoined, “Take this
mortal on thy shoulders and bear him to the bloom-garden of Iram and the
pavilion of my grandmother, my father’s mother, and be careful of his
safety. When thou hast brought him into her presence and seest him take
the slippers and do them homage, and hearest her ask him, saying:—Whence
art thou and by what road art come and who led thee to this land, and
why hast thou taken up the sandals and what is thy need that I give heed
to it? do thou come forward in haste and salute her with the salam and
say to her:—O my lady, I am she who brought him hither and he is the
King’s son of Egypt.[457] ’Tis he who went to the High-builded Castle
and slew the son of the Blue King and delivered the Princess Daulat
Khatun from the Castle of Japhet son of Noah and brought her back safe
to her father: and I have brought him to thee, that he may give thee the
glad tidings of her safety: so deign thou be gracious to him. Then do
thou say to her:—Allah upon thee! is not this young man handsome, O my
lady? She will reply, Yes; and do rejoin:—O my lady, indeed he is
complete in honour and manhood and valour and he is lord and King of
Egypt and compriseth all praiseworthy qualities. An she ask thee, What
is his need? do thou make answer, My lady saluteth thee and saith to
thee, how long shall she sit at home, a maid and unmarried? Indeed, the
time is longsome upon her for she is as a magazine wherein wheat is
heaped up.[458] What then is thine intent in leaving her without a mate
and why dost thou not marry her in thy life-tide and that of her mother,
like other girls? If she say, How shall we do to marry her? An she have
any one in mind, let her tell us of him, and we will do her will as far
as may be! do thou make answer, O my lady, thy daughter saith to thee,
“Ye were minded aforetime to marry me to Solomon (on whom be peace!) and
portrayed him my portrait on a tunic. But he had no lot in me; so he
sent the tunic to the King of Egypt and he gave it to his son, who saw
my portrait figured thereon and fell in love with me; wherefore he left
his father and mother’s realm and turning away from the world and whatso
is therein, went forth at a venture, a wanderer, love-distraught, and
hath borne the utmost hardships and honors for my sake of me.” Now thou
seest his beauty and loveliness, and thy daughter’s heart is enamoured
of him; so, if ye have a mind to marry her, marry her to this young man
and forbid her not from him for he is young and passing comely and King
of Egypt, nor wilt thou find a goodlier than he; and if ye will not give
her to him, she will slay herself and marry none neither man nor Jinn.”
“And,” continued Badi’a al-Jamal, “Look thou, O Marjanah, _ma mie_,[459]
how thou mayst do with my grandmother, to win her consent, and beguile
her with soft words, so haply she may do my desire.” Quoth the damsel,
“O my lady, upon my head and eyes will I serve thee and do what shall
content thee.” Then she took Sayf al-Muluk on her shoulders and said to
him, “O King’s son, shut thine eyes.” He did so and she flew up with him
into the welkin; and after awhile she said to him, “O King’s son, open
thine eyes.” He opened them and found himself in a garden, which was
none other than the garden of Iram; and she showed him the pavilion and
said, “O Sayf al-Muluk, enter therein!” Thereupon he pronounced the name
of Allah Almighty and entering cast a look upon the garden, when he saw
the old Queen sitting on the couch, attended by her waiting women. So he
drew near her with courtesy and reverence and taking the sandals bussed
them and did as Badi’a al-Jamal had enjoined him. Quoth the ancient
dame, “Who art thou and what is thy country; whence comest thou and who
brought thee hither and what may be thy wish? Wherefore dost thou take
the sandals and kiss them and when didst thou ask of me a favour which I
did not grant?” With this in came Marjanah[460] and saluting her
reverently and worshipfully, repeated to her what Badi’a al-Jamal had
told her; which when the old Queen heard, she cried out at her and was
wroth with her and said, “How shall there be accord between man and
Jinn?”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

-----

Footnote 349:

  Arab. “Munádamah,” = conversation over the cup (Lane), used somewhat
  in the sense of “Musámarah” = talks by moonlight.

Footnote 350:

  Arab. “Kursi,” a word of many meanings; here it would allude to the
  square crate-like seat of palm-fronds used by the Ráwi or public
  reciter of tales when he is not pacing about the coffee-house.

Footnote 351:

  Von Hammer remarks that this is precisely the sum paid in Egypt for a
  MS. copy of The Nights.

Footnote 352:

  Arab. “Samar,” the origin of Musámarah, which see, vol. iv. 237.

Footnote 353:

  The pomp and circumstance, with which the tale is introduced to the
  reader showing the importance attached to it. Lane, most injudiciously
  I think, transfers the Proemium to a note in chapt. xxiv., thus
  converting an Arabian Night into an Arabian Note.

Footnote 354:

  ’Asim = defending (honour) or defended, son of Safwán = clear, cold
  (dry). Trébutien ii. 126, has Safran.

Footnote 355:

  Fáris = the rider, the Knight, son of Sálih = the righteous, the
  pious, the just.

Footnote 356:

  In sign of the deepest dejection, when a man would signify that he can
  fall no lower.

Footnote 357:

  Arab. Yá Khawand (in Bresl. Edit. vol. iv. 191) and fem. form
  Khawandah (p. 20) from Pers. Kháwand or Kháwandagár = superior, lord,
  master; Khudáwand is still used in popular as in classical Persian,
  and is universally understood in Hindostan.

Footnote 358:

  The Biblical Sheba, whence came the Queen of many Hebrew fables.

Footnote 359:

  These would be the interjections of the writer or story-teller. The
  Mac. Edit. is here a sketch which must be filled up by the Bresl.
  Edit. vol. iv. 189–318: “Tale of King Asim and his son Sayf al-Mulúk
  with Badí’a al-Jamál.”

Footnote 360:

  The oath by the Seal-ring of Solomon was the Stygian “swear” in
  Fairy-land. The signet consisted of four jewels, presented by as many
  angels, representing the Winds, the Birds, Earth (including sea) and
  Spirits, and the gems were inscribed with as many sentences (1) To
  Allah belong Majesty and Might; (2) All created things praise the
  Lord; (3) Heaven and Earth are Allah’s slaves and (4) There is no god
  but _the_ God and Mohammed is His messenger. For Sakhr and his theft
  of the signet see Dr. Weil’s, “The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud.”

Footnote 361:

  Trébutien (ii. 128) remarks, “Cet Assaf peut être celui auquel David
  adresse plusieurs de ses psaumes, et que nos interprètes disent avoir
  été son maître de chapelle” (from Biblioth. Orient).

Footnote 362:

  Mermen, monsters, beasts, etc.

Footnote 363:

  This is in accordance with Eastern etiquette; the guest must be fed
  before his errand is asked. The Porte, in the days of its pride,
  managed in this way sorely to insult the Ambassadors of the most
  powerful European kingdoms and the first French Republic had the
  honour of abating the barbarians’ nuisance. So the old Scottish
  Highlanders never asked the name or clan of a chance guest, lest he
  prove a foe before he had eaten their food.

Footnote 364:

  In Bresl. Edit. (301) Kháfiyah: in Mac. Kháinah, the perfidy.

Footnote 365:

  So in the Mac. Edit., in the Bresl. only one “Kabá” or Kaftan; but
  from the sequel it seems to be a clerical error.

Footnote 366:

  Arab. “Su’ubán” (Thu’ubán) popularly translated “basilisk.” The
  Egyptians suppose that when this serpent forms ring round the Ibn ’Irs
  (weasel or ichneumon) the latter emits a peculiar air which causes the
  reptile to burst.

Footnote 367:

  _i.e._ that prophesied by Solomon.

Footnote 368:

  Arab. “Takliyah” from kaly, a fry: Lane’s Shaykh explained it as
  “onions cooked in clarified butter, after which they are put upon
  other cooked food.” The mention of onions points to Egypt as the
  origin of this tale and certainly not to Arabia, where the
  strong-smelling root is hated.

Footnote 369:

  Von Hammer quotes the case of the Grand Vizier Yúsuf throwing his own
  pelisse over the shoulders of the Aleppine Merchant who brought him
  the news of the death of his enemy, Jazzár Pasha.

Footnote 370:

  This peculiar style of generosity was also the custom in contemporary
  Europe.

Footnote 371:

  Khátún, which follows the name (_e.g._ Hurmat Khatun), in India
  corresponds with the male title Khan, taken by the Pathán Moslems
  (_e.g._ Pír Khán). Khánum is the affix to the Moghul or Tartar
  nobility, the men assuming a double designation _e.g._ Mirza Abdallah
  Beg. See Oriental collections (Ouseley’s) vol. i. 97.

Footnote 372:

  Lit. “Whatso thou wouldest do that do!” a contrast with our European
  laconism.

Footnote 373:

  These are booths built against and outside the walls, made of
  palm-fronds and light materials.

Footnote 374:

  Von Hammer in Trébutien (ii. 135) says, “Such rejoicings are still
  customary at Constantinople, under the name of Donánmá, not only when
  the Sultanas are _enceintes_, but also when they are brought to bed.
  In 1803 the rumour of the pregnancy of a Sultana, being falsely
  spread, involved all the Ministers in useless expenses to prepare for
  a Donánmá which never took place.” Lane justly remarks upon this
  passage that the title Sultán precedes while the feminine Sultánah
  follows the name.

Footnote 375:

  These words (Bresl. Edit.) would be spoken in jest, a grim joke
  enough, but showing the elation of the King’s spirits.

Footnote 376:

  A signal like a gong: the Mac. Edit. reads “Tákah,” = in at the
  window.

Footnote 377:

  Sayf al-Mulúk = “Sword (Egyptian Sif, Arab. Sayf, Gr. ξίφος) of the
  Kings”; and he must not be called tout bonnement Sayf. Sái’d = the
  forearm.

Footnote 378:

  Arab. Fakíh = a divine, from Fikh = theology, a man versed in law and
  divinity _i.e._ (1) the Koran and its interpretation comprehending the
  sacred ancient history of the creation and prophets (Chapters iii, iv,
  v and vi), (2) the traditions and legends connected with early Moslem
  History and (3) some auxiliary sciences as grammar, syntax and
  prosody; logic, rhetoric and philosophy. See p. 18 of “El-Mas’údí,’s
  Historical Encyclopædia etc.,” by my friend Prof. Aloys Springer,
  London 1841. This fine fragment printed by the Oriental Translation
  Fund has been left unfinished when the Asiatic Society of Paris has
  printed in Eight Vols. 8vo the text and translation of MM. Barbier de
  Meynard and Pavet de Courteille. What a national disgrace! And the
  same with the mere abridgment of Ibn Batutah by Prof. Lee (Orient. Tr.
  Fund 1820) when the French have the fine Edition and translation by
  Defrémery and Sanguinetti with index etc. in 4 vols. 8vo 1858–59. But
  England is now content to rank in such matters as encouragement of
  learning, endowment of research etc., into the basest of kingdoms, and
  the contrast of status between the learned Societies of London and of
  Paris, Berlin, Vienna or Rome is mortifying to an Englishman—a
  national opprobrium.

Footnote 379:

  Arab. Maydán al-Fíl prob. for Birkat al-Fíl, the Tank of the Elephant
  before-mentioned. Lane quotes Al-Makrizi who in his Khitat informs us
  that the lakelet was made about the end of the seventh century (A.
  H.), and in the seventeenth year of the eighth century became the site
  of stables. The Bresl. Edit. (iv. 214) reads “Maydan al-’Adl,” prob.
  for Al-’Ádil the name of the King who laid out the Maydán.

Footnote 380:

  Arab. Asháb al-Ziyá’, the latter word mostly signifies estates
  consisting, strictly speaking, of land under artificial irrigation.

Footnote 381:

  The Bresl. Edit. iv. 215 has “Chawáshiyah” = ’Chiaush, the Turkish
  word, written with the Pers. “ch,” a letter which in Arabic is
  supplanted by “sh,” everywhere except in Morocco.

Footnote 382:

  Arab. “Záwiyah” lit. a corner, a cell. Lane (M. E. chapt. xxiv.)
  renders it “a small kiosque,” and translates the famous Zawiyat
  al-Umyán (Blind Men’s Angle) near the south-eastern corner of the
  Azhar or great Collegiate Mosque of Cairo, “Chapel of the Blind”
  (chapt. ix.). In popular parlance it suggests a hermitage.

Footnote 383:

  Arab. “Takht,” a Pers. word used as more emphatic than the Arab.
  Sarír.

Footnote 384:

  This girding the sovereign is found in the hieroglyphs as a
  peculiarity of the ancient Kings of Egypt, says Von Hammer referring
  readers to Denon.

Footnote 385:

  Arab. “Mohr,” which was not amongst the gifts of Solomon in Night
  dcclx. The Bresl. Edit. (p. 220) adds “and the bow,” which is also de
  trop.

Footnote 386:

  Arab. “Batánah,” the ordinary lining opp. to Tazríb, or quilting with
  a layer of cotton between two folds of cloth. The idea in the text is
  that the unhappy wearer would have to carry his cross (the girl) on
  his back.

Footnote 387:

  This line has occurred in Night dccxliv. _supra_ p. 280.

Footnote 388:

  Arab. “Mu’attik al-Rikáb” _i.e._ who frees those in bondage from the
  yoke.

Footnote 389:

  In the Mac. Edit. and in Trébutien (ii. 143) the King is here called
  Schimakh son of Scharoukh, but elsewhere, Schohiali = Shahyál, in the
  Bresl. Edit. Shahál. What the author means by “Son of ’Ád the
  Greater,” I cannot divine.

Footnote 390:

  Lit. “For he is the man who can avail thereto,” with the meaning given
  in the text.

Footnote 391:

  Arab. Jazírat, insula or peninsula, vol. i. 2.

Footnote 392:

  Probably Canton with which the Arabs were familiar.

Footnote 393:

  _i.e._ “Who disappointeth not those who put their trust in Him.”

Footnote 394:

  Arab. “Al-Manjaníkát” plur. of manjanik, from Gr. Μάγγανον, Lat.
  Manganum (Engl. Mangonel from the dim. Mangonella). Ducange
  Glossarium, s.v. The Greek is applied originally to defensive weapons,
  then to the artillery of the day, Ballista, catapults, etc. The
  kindred Arab. form “Manjanín” is applied chiefly to the Noria or
  Persian water-wheel.

Footnote 395:

  Faghfúr is the common Moslem title for the Emperors of China; in the
  Kamus the first syllable is Zammated (Fugh); in Al-Mas’udi (chapt.
  xiv.) we find Baghfúr and in Al-Idrisi Baghbúgh, or Baghbún. In
  Al-Asma’i Bagh = god or idol (Pehlewi and Persian); hence according to
  some Baghdád (?) and Bághistán a pagoda (?). Sprenger (Al-Mas’údi, p.
  327) remarks that Baghfúr is a literal translation of Tien-tse and
  quotes Visdelou, “pour mieux faire comprendre de quel ciel ils veulent
  parler, ils poussent la généalogie (of the Emperor) plus loin. Ils lui
  donnent le ciel pour père, la terre pour mère, le soleil pour frère
  aîné et la lune pour sœur aînée.”

Footnote 396:

  Arab. “Kayf hálak” = how de doo? the salutation of a Fellah.

Footnote 397:

  _i.e._ subject to the Maharajah of Hind.

Footnote 398:

  This is not a mistake: I have seen heavy hail in Africa, N. Lat. 4°;
  within sight of the Equator.

Footnote 399:

  Arab. “Harrákat,” here used in the sense of smaller craft, and
  presently for a cock-boat.

Footnote 400:

  See vol. i. 138: here by way of variety I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 401:

  This explains the Arab idea of the “Old Man of the Sea” in Sindbad the
  Seaman (vol. vi. 50). He was not a monkey nor an unknown monster; but
  an evil Jinni of the most powerful class, yet subject to defeat and
  death.

Footnote 402:

  These Plinian monsters abound in Persian literature. For a specimen
  see Richardson Dissert. p. xlviii.

Footnote 403:

  Arab. “Anyáb,” plur. of “Náb” = canine tooth (eye-tooth of man), tusks
  of horse and camel etc.

Footnote 404:

  Arab. “Kásid,” the Anglo-Indian Cossid. The post is called Baríd from
  the Persian “burídah” (cut) because the mules used for the purpose
  were dock-tailed. Barid applies equally to the post-mule, the rider
  and the distance from one station (Sikkah) to another which varied
  from two to six parasangs. The letter-carrier was termed Al-Faránik
  from the Pers. Parwánah, a servant. In the Diwán al-Baríd
  (Post-office) every letter was entered in a Madraj or list called in
  Arabic Al-Askidár from the Persian “Az Kih dárí” = from whom hast thou
  it?

Footnote 405:

  “Ten years” in the Bresl. Edit. iv. 244.

Footnote 406:

  In the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 245) we find “Kalak,” a raft, like those used
  upon the Euphrates, and better than the “Fulk,” or ship, of the Mac.
  Edit.

Footnote 407:

  Arab. Timsah from Coptic (Old Egypt) Emsuh or Msuh. The animal cannot
  live in salt-water, a fact which proves that the Crocodile Lakes on
  the Suez Canal were in old days fed by Nile-water; and this was
  necessarily a Canal.

Footnote 408:

  So in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 245). In the Mac. text “one man,” which
  better suits the second crocodile, for the animal can hardly be
  expected to take two at a time.

Footnote 409:

  He had ample reason to be frightened. The large Cynocephalus is
  exceedingly dangerous. When travelling on the Gold Coast with my late
  friend Colonel De Ruvignes, we suddenly came in the grey of the
  morning upon a herd of these beasts. We dismounted, hobbled our nags
  and sat down, sword and revolver in hand. Luckily it was feeding time
  for the vicious brutes, which scowled at us but did not attack us.
  During my four years’ service on the West African Coast I heard enough
  to satisfy me that these powerful beasts often kill men and rape
  women; but I could not convince myself that they ever kept the women
  as concubines.

Footnote 410:

  As we should say in English it is a far cry to Loch Awe: the Hindu
  byword is, “Dihlí (Delhi) is a long way off.” See vol. i. 37.

Footnote 411:

  Arab. Fútah, a napkin, a waistcloth, the Indian Zones alluded to by
  the old Greek travellers.

Footnote 412:

  Arab. “Yají (it comes) miat khwánjah”—quite Fellah talk.

Footnote 413:

  As Trébutien shows (ii. 155) these apes were a remnant of some ancient
  tribe possibly those of Ád who had gone to Meccah to pray for rain and
  thus escaped the general destruction. See vol. i. 65. Perhaps they
  were the Jews of Aylah who in David’s day were transformed into
  monkeys for fishing on the Sabbath (Saturday). Koran ii. 61.

Footnote 414:

  I can see no reason why Lane purposely changes this to “the extremity
  of their country.”

Footnote 415:

  Koran xxii. 44, Mr. Payne remarks:—This absurd addition is probably
  due to some copyist, who thought to show his knowledge of the Koran,
  but did not understand the meaning of the verse from which the
  quotation is taken and which runs thus, “How many cities have We
  destroyed, whilst yet they transgressed, and they are laid low on
  their own foundations and wells abandoned and high-builded palaces!”
  Mr. Lane observes that the words are either misunderstood or purposely
  misapplied by the author of the tale. Purposeful perversions of Holy
  Writ are very popular amongst Moslems and form part of their rhetoric;
  but such is not the case here. According to Von Hammer (Trébutien ii.
  154), “Eastern geographers place the Bir al-Mu’utallal (Ruined Well)
  and the Kasr al-Mashíd (High-builded Castle) in the province of
  Hadramaut, and we wait for a new Niebuhr to inform us what are the
  monuments or the ruins so called.” His text translates puits arides et
  palais de plâtre (not likely!). Lane remarks that Mashíd mostly means
  “plastered,” but here = Mushayyad, lofty, explained in the Jalálayn
  Commentary as = rafí’a, high-raised. The two places are also mentioned
  by Al-Mas’údi; and they occur in Al-Kazwíni (see Night dccclviii.):
  both of these authors making the Koran directly allude to them.

Footnote 416:

  Arab. (from Pers.) Aywán which here corresponds with the Egyptian
  “líwán” a tall saloon with estrades.

Footnote 417:

  This naïve style of “renowning it” is customary in the East,
  contrasting with the servile address of the subject—“thy slave” etc.

Footnote 418:

  Daulat (not Dawlah) the Anglo-Indian Dowlat; prop. meaning the shifts
  of affairs, hence, fortune, empire, kingdom. Khátún = “lady,” I have
  noted, follows the name after Turkish fashion.

Footnote 419:

  The old name of Suez-town from the Greek Clysma (the shutting), which
  named the Gulf of Suez “Sea of Kulzum.” The ruins in the shape of a
  huge mound, upon which Sá’id Pasha built a Kiosk-palace, lie to the
  north of the modern town and have been noticed by me, (Pilgrimage,
  Midian etc.) The Rev. Prof. Sayce examined the mound and from the
  Roman remains found in it determined it to be a fort guarding the old
  mouth of the Old Egyptian Sweet-water Canal which then debouched near
  the town.

Footnote 420:

  _i.e._ Tuesday. See vol. iii, 249.

Footnote 421:

  Because being a Jinniyah the foster-sister could have come to her and
  saved her from old maidenhood.

Footnote 422:

  Arab. “Hájah” properly a needful thing. This consisted according to
  the Bresl. Edit. of certain perfumes, by burning which she could
  summon the Queen of the Jinn.

Footnote 423:

  Probably used in its sense of a “black crow.” The Bresl. Edit. (iv.
  261). has “Khátim” (seal-ring) which is but one of its almost
  innumerable misprints.

Footnote 424:

  Here it is called “Tábik” and afterwards “Tábút.”

Footnote 425:

  _i.e._ raising from the lower hinge-pins. See vol. ii 214.

Footnote 426:

  Arab. Abrísam or Ibrísam (from Persian Abrísham or Ibrísham) = raw
  silk or floss, _i.e._ untwisted silk.

Footnote 427:

  This knightly practice, evidently borrowed from the East, appears in
  many romances of chivalry _e.g._ When Sir Tristran is found by King
  Mark asleep beside Ysonde (Isentt) with drawn sword between them, the
  former cried:—

                         Gif they weren in sinne
                           Nought so they no lay.

  And we are told:—

                     Sir Amys and the lady bright
                       To bed gan they go;
                     And when they weren in bed laid,
                     Sir Amys his sword out-brayed
                     And held it between them two.

  This occurs in the old French romance of Amys and Amyloun which is
  taken into the tale of the Ravens in the Seven Wise Masters where
  Ludovic personates his friend Alexander in marrying the King of
  Egypt’s daughter and sleeps every night with a bare blade between him
  and the bride. See also Aladdin and his lamp. An Englishman remarked,
  “The drawn sword would be little hindrance to a man and maid coming
  together.” The drawn sword represented _only_ the Prince’s honour.

Footnote 428:

  Arab. “Ya Sáki’ al-Wajh,” which Lane translates by “lying” or “liar.”

Footnote 429:

  Kamín (in Bresl. Edit. “bayn” = between) Al-Bahrayn = Ambuscade or
  lurking-place of the two seas. The name of the city in Lane is
  “’Emareeych” imaginary but derived from Emarch (’imárah) = being
  populous. Trébutien (ii. 161) takes from Bresl. Edit. “Amar” and
  translates the port-name, “le lieu de refuge des deux mers.”

Footnote 430:

  _i.e._ “High of (among) the Kings.” Lane proposes to read ’Ali al-Mulk
  = high in dominion.

Footnote 431:

  Pronounce Mu’inuddeen = Aider of the Faith. The Bresl. Edit. (iv. 266)
  also reads “Mu’in al-Riyásah” = Mu’in of the Captaincies.

Footnote 432:

  Arab. Shúm = a tough wood used for the staves with which donkeys are
  driven. Sir Gardner Wilkinson informed Lane that it is the ash.

Footnote 433:

  In Persian we find the fuller metaphorical form, “kissing the ground
  of obedience.”

Footnote 434:

  For the Shaykh of the Sea(-board) in Sindbad the Seaman see vol. vi.
  50.

Footnote 435:

  That this riding is a facetious exaggeration of the African practice I
  find was guessed by Mr. Keightley.

Footnote 436:

  Arab. “Kummasra”: the root seems to be “Kamsara” = being slender or
  compact.

Footnote 437:

  Lane translates, “by reason of the exhilaration produced by
  intoxication.” But the Arabic here has no assonance. The passage also
  alludes to the drunken habits of those blameless Ethiopians, the races
  of Central Africa where, after midday a chief is rarely if ever found
  sober. We hear much about drink in England but Englishmen are mere
  babes compared with these stalwart Negroes. In Unyamwezi I found all
  the standing bedsteads of pole-sleepers and bark-slabs disposed at an
  angle of about 20 degrees for the purpose of draining off the huge
  pottle-fulls of Pombe (Osirian beer) drained by the occupants; and,
  comminxit lectum potus might be said of the whole male population.

Footnote 438:

  This is not exaggerated. When at Hebron I saw the biblical spectacle
  of two men carrying a huge bunch slung to a pole, not so much for the
  weight as to keep the grapes from injury.

Footnote 439:

  The Mac. and Bul. Edits. add, “and with him a host of others after his
  kind”; but these words are omitted by the Bresl. Edit. and apparently
  from the sequel there was only one Ghul-giant.

Footnote 440:

  Probably alluding to the most barbarous Persian practice of plucking
  or tearing out the eyes from their sockets. See Sir John Malcolm’s
  description of the capture of Kirmán and Morier (in Zohrab, the
  hostage) for the wholesale blinding of the Asterabadian by the
  Eunuch-King Agha Mohammed Shah. I may note that the mediæval Italian
  practice called _bacinare_, or scorching with red-hot basins, came
  from Persia.

Footnote 441:

  Arab. “Laban” as opposed to “Halíb”: in Night dcclxxiv (_infra_ p.
  365) the former is used for sweet milk, and other passages could be
  cited. I have noted that all galaktophagi, or milk-drinking races,
  prefer the artificially soured to the sweet, choosing the fermentation
  to take place outside rather than inside their stomachs. Amongst the
  Somal I never saw man, woman or child drink a drop of fresh milk; and
  they offered considerable opposition to our heating it for coffee.

Footnote 442:

  Arab. Tákah not “an aperture” as Lane has it, but an arched hollow in
  the wall.

Footnote 443:

  In Trébutien (ii. 168) the cannibal is called “Goul Eli-Fenioun” and
  Von Hammer remarks, “There is no need of such likeness of name to
  prove that all this episode is a manifest imitation of the adventures
  of Ulysses in Polyphemus’ cave; * * * and this induces the belief that
  the Arabs have been acquainted with the poems of Homer.” Living
  intimately with the Greeks they could not have ignored the Iliad and
  the Odyssey: indeed we know by tradition that they had translations,
  now apparently lost. I cannot however, accept Lane’s conjecture that
  “the story of Ulysses and Polyphemus may have been of Eastern origin.”
  Possibly the myth came from Egypt, for I have shown that the opening
  of the Iliad bears a suspicious likeness to the proem of Pentaur’s
  Epic.

Footnote 444:

  Arab. Shakhtúr.

Footnote 445:

  In the Bresl. Edit. the ship is not wrecked but lands Sa’id in safety.

Footnote 446:

  So in the Shah-nameh the Símurgh-bird gives one of her feathers to her
  protégé Zál which he will throw into the fire when she is wanted.

Footnote 447:

  Bresl. Edit. Al-Zardakhánát Arab. plur. of Zarad-Khánah, a bastard
  word = armoury, from Arab. Zarad (hauberk) and Pers. Khánah = house
  etc.

Footnote 448:

  Some retrenchment was here found necessary to avoid “damnable
  iteration.”

Footnote 449:

  _i.e._ Badi’a al-Jamal.

Footnote 450:

  Mohammed.

Footnote 451:

  Koran xxxv. “The Creator” (Fátir) or the Angels, so called from the
  first verse.

Footnote 452:

  In the Bresl. Edit. (p. 263) Sayf al-Muluk drops asleep under a tree
  to the lulling sound of a Sákiyah or water-wheel, and is seen by
  Badi’a al-Jamal, who falls in love with him and drops tears upon his
  cheeks, etc. The scene, containing much recitation is long and well
  told.

Footnote 453:

  Arab. “Lukmah” = a _bouchée_ of bread, meat, fruit or pastry, and
  especially applied to the rice balled with the hand and delicately
  inserted into a friend’s mouth.

Footnote 454:

  Arab. “Saláhiyah,” also written Saráhiyah: it means an ewer-shaped
  glass-bottle.

Footnote 455:

  Arab “Sarmújah,” of which Von Hammer remarks that the dictionaries
  ignore it; Dozy gives the forms Sarmúj, Sarmúz and Sarmúzah and
  explains them by “espèce de guêtre, de sandale ou de mule, qu’on
  chausse par-dessus la botte.”

Footnote 456:

  In token of profound submission.

Footnote 457:

  Arab. “Misr” in Ibn Khaldún is a land whose people are settled and
  civilised hence “Namsur” = we settle; and “Amsár” = settled provinces.
  Al-Misrayn was the title of Basrah and Kufah the two military
  cantonments founded by Caliph Omar on the frontier of conquering
  Arabia and conquered Persia. Hence “Tamsír” = founding such posts,
  which were planted in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. In these camps
  were stationed the veterans who had fought under Mohammed; but the
  spoils of the East soon changed them to splendid cities where luxury
  and learning flourished side by side. Sprenger (Al-Mas’údi pp. 19,
  177) compares them ecclesiastically with the primitive Christian
  Churches such as Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch. But the Moslems
  were animated with an ardent love of liberty and Kufah under Al-Hajjaj
  the masterful, lost 100,000 of her turbulent sons without the thirst
  for independence being quenched. This can hardly be said of the Early
  Christians who, with the exception of a few staunch-hearted martyrs,
  appear in history as pauvres diables and poules mouillées, ever
  oppressed by their own most ignorant and harmful fancy that the world
  was about to end.

Footnote 458:

  _i.e._ Waiting to be sold and wasting away in single cursedness.

Footnote 459:

  Arab. “Yá dádati”: dádat is an old servant-woman or slave, often
  applied to a nurse, like its congener the Pers. Dádá, the latter often
  pronounced Daddeh, as Daddeh Bazm-árá in the Kuisum-nameh (Atkinson’s
  “Customs of the Women of Persia,” London, 8vo. 1832).

Footnote 460:

  Marjánah has been already explained. D’Herbelot derives from it the
  Romance name _Morgante la Déconvenue_, here confounding Morgana with
  Urganda; and Keltic scholars make Morgain = Mor Gwynn—the white maid
  (p. 10, Keightley’s Fairy Mythology, London, Whittaker, 1833).



                            END OF VOL. VII.

[Illustration: والسلام]



                                 INDEX


 Abú Amir bin Marwán, 142

 Abú al-Hamlát = father of assaults, etc., 149

 Abú Alí al-Husayn the Wag, 130

 Abú al-Sakhá = father of munificence, 133

 Account asked from outgoing Governors, 102

 —— of them will be presently given = we leave them for the present, 157

 Acids applied as counter-inebriants, 32

 Address without vocative particle more emphatic, 125

 Addressing by the name not courteous, 114

 Adolescent (un, aime toutes les femmes), 299

 Affirmative and negative particles, 195

 Africa (suggested derivation of the name), 60

 Agha (Al-) = chief police officer, 156

 Ahassa bi’l-Shurbah = “he smelt a rat”, 144

 Ajal = yes verily, 195

 ’Ajwah = dates pressed into a solid mass and—deified, 14

 Akákír = drugs, spices, 147

 Akhlát (town in Armenia), 88

 Akík (al-) two of the name, 140

 Akyál, title of the Himyarite Kings, 60

 Alà Kulli hál = in any case, 272

 Alà raghm = in spite of, 121

 Alas for his chance of escaping = there is none, 183

 Ali Zaybak = Mercury Ali, 172

 ’Álí al-Mulúk = high among the Kings, 354

 Alif, Há, Wáw as tests of calligraphy, 112

 Alhambra = (Dár) al-hamrá, the Red, 49

 Allah confound the far One (hard swearing), 155

 —— succour the Caliph against thee, 159

 —— is All-knowing, 209

 Alláho Akbar, the Arab slogan-cry, 8

 ’Amala hílah for tricking a Syro-Egyptian vulgarism, 43

 Amám-ak = before thee, 94

 ’Amáriyah (Pr. N. of town), 353

 Amend her case = bathe her etc., 266

 Amsár (pl. of Misr) = settled provinces, 371

 Ansár = Medinite auxiliaries, 92

 Ape _see_ Cynocephalus

 Apes (remnant of some ancient tribe), 346

 Arabian Night converted into an Arabian Note, 314

 Ardashir = Artaxerxes, 209

 Asaf (Solomon’s Wazir), 318

 Asháb (division of), 92

 Asháb al-Ziyá’ = Feudatories, 327

 ’Ashírah = clan, 121

 ’Ásim = defending, 314

 Askar jarrár = drawing (conquering) army, 85

 Asma’í (Al-) author of Antar, 110

 Atmárí = rags (for travelling clothes), 118

 Avaunt = Ikhsa, be chased like a dog, 45

 Aywá (’llahi) = yes, by Allah, 195

 Aywán (saloon with estrades), 347

 Azarbiján = Kohistan, 104

 Azdashír misprint for Ardashír, 209

 Azrak = blue-eyed (so is the falcon), 164


 Báb = gate (for chapter, etc.), 3

 Badr Básím (Pr. N.) = Full moon smiling, 274

 Bakkál = greengrocer, etc., 295

 Bán = myrobalan, 247

 Banner in sign of Investiture, 101

 Banú Tamím (tribe), 125

 Baríd = Post, 340

 Batshat al-Kubrá = the great disaster (battle of Badr), 55

 Battásh al-Akrán = he who assaults his peers, 55

 Batánah = lining, 330

 Battles described, 61

 Bead thrown into a cup (signal of delivery), 324

 Beast with two backs (Eastern view of), 35

 Bir (Al-) al-Mu’utallal = the Ruined Well, 346

 Blessings at the head of letters, 133

 Blue eyes = blind with cataract, or staring, glittering, hungry, 164

 Bow a cowardly weapon, 123

 Breslau edition quoted, 168; 172; 173; 177; 202; 316; 321; 324; 326;
    327; 329; 341; 342; 343; 350; 353; 354; 363; 367

 Bride of the Hoards, 147

 Bridle (not to be committed to another), 304

 Bulak ed. quoted, 173; 359

 Burdah = plaid of striped stuff, 95

 Burckhardt quoted, 91; 93; 156

 Byron (depreciated where he ought to be honoured most), 268


 Caliphs: Hishám, 104

 —— Walid bin Sahl, 106

 —— Mahdí (Al-), 136

 Canton (city of), 334

 Capotes mélancoliques, 190

 Chaste forbearance towards a woman frequently causes love, 189

 Chawáshiyah = Chamberlains, 327

 Coffer (Ar. Tábik, Tábút), 350

 “Compelleth” in the sense of “burdeneth”, 285

 Conjugal affection (striking picture of), 243

 Copa d’agua excuse for a splendid banquet, 168

 Colocasia (Ar. Kallakás), 151

 Combat reminding of that of Rustam and Sohráb, 89

 Conjunctive in Africans seldom white, 184

 Connection (tribal seven degrees of), 121

 Converts theoretically respected and practically despised, 43

 Creases in the stomach insisted upon, 130

 Cross-bows, 62

 Cuirasses against pleasure, cobwebs against infection, 190

 Cundums (French letters), 190

 Cynocephalus (kills men and rapes women), 344


 Dakkah = long wooden bench etc., 111

 Damsel of the tribe = daughter of the chief, 95

 Daulat = fortune, empire, kingdom (Pr. N.), 347

 Deposits are not lost with Him = He disappointeth not etc., 334

 Devotees (white woollen raiment of), 214

 Dimágh = brain, meninx (for head), 178

 Dirhams (50,000 = about £1,250), 105

 Diwán al-Baríd = Post Office, 340

 Dogs (in Eastern cities), 202

 Donánmá (rejoicings for the pregnancy of a Sultana), 324

 Donkey-boy like our “post-boy” of any age, 160

 Donning woman’s attire in token of defeat, 188

 Doors (pulled up = raised from the lower hinge-pins), 352

 Drinking before or after dinner or both, 132

 Drugs (is this an art of?), 147

 Drunk with the excess of his beauty, 162

 Drunken habits of Central African races, 357


 “Early to bed” etc. (modern version of the same), 217

 Elephant-faced Vetála, 34

 Elephants frighting horses, 61

 Eli-Fenioun = Polyphemus, 361

 Euphemism of speech, 134; 142

 Euphuistic speech, 285

 Eyes “sunk” into the head for our “starting” from it, 36

 —— (plucking or tearing out of, a Persian practice), 359


 Fagfúr (Mosl. title for the Emperor of China), 335

 Fakíh = divine, 325

 Falastín, degraded to “Philister”, 101

 Faráis (pl. of farísah) = shoulder-muscles, 219

 Faránik (Al-) = letter-carrier, 340

 Faráshah, noun of unity of Farásh = butterfly, moth, 305

 Fárikí, adjective of Mayyáfárikín, 1

 Fáris = rider, knight, 314

 Farrásh, a man of general utility, tent-pitcher etc., 4

 Father of Bitterness = the Devil, 116

 Fátihah quoted, 286

 Fátir = creator (chapter of the Koran), 366

 Fatís = carrion, corps crévé, 181

 Faylasúfiyah = philosopheress, 145

 Fayyaz (al-) = the overflowing, 99

 Fazl = grace, exceeding goodness, 220

 Fearing for the lover first, 256

 Fee delicately offered, 162

 Fí al-Kamar in the moonshine (perhaps allusion to the Comorin islands),
    269

 Fig = anus, 151

 Fights frequent at funerals or wedding processions, 190

 Fillets hung on trees to denote an honoured tomb, 96

 Fikh = theology, 325

 Fire-arms mentioned, 62

 Flirtation impossible in the East, 181

 Floor (sitting upon the, sign of deepest dejection), 314

 Foot (prehensile powers of the Eastern), 179

 Fortalice of fruits (Ar. Hisn al-Fákihah), 75

 French letters (all about them), 190

 Fumigations to cite Jinnis etc., 363

 Fútah = napkin, waistcloth, 345


 Galaktophagi prefer sour milk to sweet, 360

 Garden (in the Prophet’s tomb at Al-Medinah), 91

 Generosity (peculiar style of), 323

 Ghandúr = a gallant, 181

 Ghuráb al-Bayn = Raven of the Wold, 226

 “Gift from me to,” etc. = “I leave it to you, sir”, 292

 Giraffe, one of the most timid of the antelope tribe, 54

 —— unfit for riding, 62

 Girding the sovereign (found in the hieroglyphs), 328

 Gloom = black hair of youth, 277

 Glooms gathering and full moons dawning for hands and eyes, 247

 Gold (when he looked upon it, his life seemed a light thing to him),
    240

 Grapes (bunch of, weighing twenty pounds, no exaggeration), 358

 Grim joke (showing elation of spirits), 324

 Ground (really kissed), 257

 Guest-rite, 121

 —— (must be fed before his errand is asked), 319


 Habb al-’Ubb (a woman’s ornament), 205

 Hadas = surmise, 302

 Hail within sight of the Equator, 336

 Hájah = a needful thing (for somewhat), 349

 Hajar-coinage (?), 95

 Hajjáj (al-) bin Yúsuf al-Thakifí, 97

 Hákim = ruler, not to be confounded with Hakím, a doctor, etc., 29

 Haláwat = sweets, 205

 Halumma = bring!, 117

 Hallaling = Anglo-Indian term for the Moslem rite of killing animals
    for food, 9

 Hammál al-Hatabi = one who carries fuel-sticks, 59

 Harbak = javelin, 45

 Harrakát = carracks (also used for cock-boat), 336

 Hasab wa Nasal = inherited degree and acquired dignity, 279

 Hatim = broken wall (at Meccah), 219

 Hátim (Pr. N.) = black crow, 350

 Hazza-hu = he made it quiver, 45

 Henna-flower (its spermatic odour), 250

 Heroes and heroines of love-tales are bonnes fourchettes, 300

 Hind bint Asmá and the poet Jarír, 96

 Hishám (Caliph), 104

 Hisn al-Fákihah = Fortalice of fruits, 75

 Hiss = (sensual) perception, 302

 Hobbling a camel (how done), 119

 Hubkah = doubling of a woman’s waistcloth, 180

 Hullah = dress, 180

 Humility of the love-lorn Princess artfully contrasted with her former
    furiosity, 261


 Ibáziyah sect, 125

 Ibrík = ewer, 146

 Ibrísam = raw silk, floss, 352

 Ihtilám = wet dreams, 183

 Ijtilá = displaying of the bride, 198

 Iksah = plait, etc., 150

 Iliad and Pentaur’s Epic, 362

 Incuriousness of the Eastern story-teller, 57

 Indian realm, 336

 Infidel should not be killed unless refusing to become a Moslem or a
    tributary, 64

 Irak for Al-Irak in verse, 20

 Irán = hearse, Moses’ ark, 207

 Ishk ’Uzrí = platonic love, 121


 Jabábirah = tyrants, giants, 84

 Jábarsá, the city of Japhet, 40; 43

 Jábir Atharát al-Kirám = Repairer of the Slips of the Generous, 100

 Jaland, not Julned, 16

 Jamil bin Ma’amar al-Uzrí (poet), 117

 Ján-Sháh = Life King, 82

 Japhet (Ar. Yáfis or Yáfat), 40

 —— his sword, 41

 Jauharah (Pr. N. = jewel), 307

 Jawámard for Jawán-mard, un giovane, a brave, 17

 Jazírah (al-) = Mesopotamia, 100

 —— Insula for Peninsula, 333

 Jilbáb = habergeon, buff jacket, 56

 Julnár = Pers. Gul-i-anár (pomegranate flower), 268


 Ka’ah = mess-room, barracks, 167

 Kaannahu huwa = as he (was) he, 233

 Ka’ak al’-I’d = buns (cake?), 196

 Ka’b = heel, ankle; fortune, 177

 Ka’ka’at = jangling noise, 21

 Kalak = raft, 342

 Kamaríyah = moon-like, 202

 Kamin al-Bahrayn = Ambuscade of the two seas, 353

 Karaj (town in Persian Irak), 77

 Kárizán (al-) = the two mimosa gatherers, 93

 Karr aynan = keep thine eye cool, 229

 Kásid = Anglo-Indian Cossid, 77

 Kasr al-Mashíd = high-built Castle, 346

 Kataba (for tattooing), 250

 Kawwad = leader (for pimp), 98

 Kayf hálak = how de doo?, 336

 Kazá, Kismet and “Providence”, 135

 “Key” = fee paid on the keys being handed to a lodger, 212

 Khadd = cheek, 277

 Kháfiyah = concealed; Kháinah = perfidy, 320

 Khal’a al-’izár = stripping of jaws or side-beard, 248

 Khalbús = buffoon, 195

 Khalí’a (Al-) = the Wag, 130

 Khánakah = Dervishes’ convert, 177

 Khátún = lady; Pr. N., 146

 Khazrá (al-) = the Green, palace of Mu’áwiyah, 124

 Khirad Shah = King Intelligence; Pr. N., 73

 Khiskhánah = cupboard, 199

 Kirát (bean of Abrus precatorius), 289

 Kisás (Al-) = lex talionis, 170

 “Kiss ground” not to be taken literally, 210

 Kitf al-Jamal = Camel shoulder-blade, 167

 Knife, “bravest of arms”, 123

 Koran quoted (iii. 11; i. 42; viii. 9), 55

 —— (cxi.), 59

 —— (xxxiii.), 92

 —— (xx. 102), 164

 —— (xii. 31), 213

 —— (ii. 286), 285

 —— (ii. 61; xxii. 44), 346

 —— (xxxv.), 366

 Kudrat = Omnipotence, 135

 Kulzum (Al-), old name of Suez-town, 348

 Kumayt (Al-) = bay horse with black points, 128

 Kumasrá (Kummasrá) = pear, 357

 Kursí = stool, 311


 La’ab = sword-play, 44

 Láb (old Pers. for Sun), 296

 Laban = sweet milk, 360

 Lakít = fœtus, foundling, contemptible fellow, 145

 Lane quoted, 95; 96; 111; 113; 118; 119; 123; 124; 135; 136; 139; 144;
    172; 182; 195; 196; 209; 269; 275; 280; 282; 303; 309; 314; 328; 361

 Laun = colour, hue (for dish), 185

 Laylat ams = yesternight, 186

 Legs making mute the anklets, 131

 Letter torn tears a kingdom, 2

 Letters (French), 190

 Listening not held dishonourable, 279

 Liwá = Arab Tempe, 115

 Líwán = Aywán (saloon with estrades), 347

 Lukmah = bouchée, mouthful, 367


 Magazine (as one wherein wheat is heaped up = unmarried), 372

 Mujájat = saliva, 280

 Mahá = wild cattle, 280

 Malíh Kawí = very handsome (Cairene vulgarism), 150

 Mafárik (Al-) = partings of the hair, 222

 Mace, a dangerous weapon, 24

 Mahayá = Má al-Hayát = aqua vitæ, 132

 Mahdí (Al-), Caliph, 136

 Mahr = marriage dowry, settlement, 126

 Malík al-Násír (Saladin), 142

 Manjaníkát = mangonels, 335

 Mariduna = Rebels against Allah, 39

 Marsín = myrtle, 290

 Marwán bin al-Hakam (Governor of Al-Medinah), 125

 Masculine for feminine, 140

 Maskharah = masker (buffoon), 195

 Maut = death, 147

 Mayazib (pl. of mízáb) = gargoyles, 136

 Maydán al-Fíl, 326

 Maysum’s song, 97

 Mayyáfárikín capital of Diyár Bakr, 1

 Mercury Ali (his story sequel to that of Dalílah), 172

 Metamorphosis (terms of), 294

 Milk-drinking races prefer the soured milk to the sweet, 360

 Mirbad (al-), market place at Bassorah, 130

 Misr, Masr = Capital (applied to Memphis, Fostat and Cairo), 172

 —— (for Egypt), 370

 Mohammed (Allah’s right hand), 366

 Mohammed bin Sulaymán al-Rabí’í (Governor of Bassorah), 130

 Mohr = signet, 329

 Monsters (abounding in Persian literature), 339

 Morosa voluptas, 132

 Mosque Al-Ahzáb = Mosque of the troops, 92

 MS. copy of The Nights (price of one in Egypt), 312

 Mu’attik al-Rikáb = Liberator of Necks, 331

 Muhájirin = companions in Mohammed’s flight, 92

 Mu’in al-Dín = Aider of the Faith, 354

 Mujauhar = damascened, 84

 Mulabbas = dragées, 205

 Munádamah = table-talk, 309

 Munawwarah (al-) = The Illumined (Title of Al-Medinah), 95

 Musáfahah = putting palm to palm, 52

 Musáhikah = tribadism, 132

 Musámarah = night-talk by moonlight, 217

 Mosquito caught between the toes, 179

 Musrán (Al-) = guts, 190

 Mutanakkir = disguised, proud, reserved, 101

 Muunah = provisions, 232


 Náb (pl. Anyáb) = canine tooth, tusk, 339

 Nafs-í = my soul for “the flesh”, 118

 Ná’í al-maut = messenger of death, 226

 Naked = without veil or upper clothing, 151

 Names frequently do not appear till near the end of a tale, 43; 274

 Naming a girl by name offensive, 286

 Ni’am = yes in answer to a negative, 195

 Night (its last the bitter parting), 243

 Nitáh = a woman’s waist cloth, 180

 Nostrils (his life-breath was in his = his heart was in his mouth), 258

 Nostrums for divining the sex of the unborn child, 268

 Núrayn = two lights (town in Turkestan), 88


 Offerings (pious) = ex votos etc., 150

 “Old maids” ignored in the East, 286

 “Old Man of the Sea” (a Márid or evil Jinn), 338

 Oman with its capital Maskat = Omana Moscha, 24

 Opening doors without a key is the knavish trick of a petty thief, 182


 Payne quoted, 16; 18; 57; 123; 277; 337

 Pearls (fresh from water), 240

 Pencilling the eyes with kohl, 250

 Pens (gilded) = reeds washed with gold, 112

 Pilgrimage quoted (iii. 90), 34

 —— (i. 377), 9

 —— (iii. 191), 21

 —— (i. 14), 80

 —— (ii. 62; 69), 91

 —— (ii. 130; 138; 325), 92

 —— (ii. 3), 95

 —— (iii. 336), 104

 —— (ii. 300), 124

 —— (iii. 164), 136

 —— (ii. 24), 140

 —— (i. 59), 171

 —— (i. 120), 172

 —— (i. 124), 177

 —— (iii. 66), 181

 —— (ii. 52–54), 202

 —— (i. 62), 212

 —— (iii. 165), 219

 Police-master legally answerable for losses, 161

 Pomegranate = female parts, 151

 Prin´cess English, Princess French, 245

 Proportion of horse and foot in Arab and Turcoman armies, 1

 Protestants (four great _Sommités_), 124

 Pun, 53; 288; 307


 Ra’ad Sháh, Pr. N. = thunder-king, 55

 Rabbat-í = my she-Lord, applied to the fire, 36

 Rahim, Rihm = womb for uterine relations, 123

 Raiment of devotees (white wool), 214

 Ramlah (half-way house between Jaffa and Jerusalem), 103

 Ráyah Káimah = pennon flying (not “beast standing”), 118

 “Renowning it” (naïve style of), 347

 Repentance acquits the penitent, 72

 Repetition, 293; 301

 Riding on men as donkeys (facetious exaggeration of African practice),
    357

 Rock (falling upon a ship), 295

 Ruba’al-Kharáb = the waste quarter, 80

 Rubbamá = perhaps, sometimes, 218

 Rudaynian lance (like a), 265

 Rumourers (the two) = basin and ewer, 146

 Rutub (applying to pearls) = fresh from water, 240


 Sabá = the Biblical Sheba, 316

 Sabaj (a black shell), 131

 Safwán = clear, cold, 314

 Sá’ik = the Striker, 35

 Saja’-assonance bald in translation, 2

 —— answerable for galimatias, 36

 Salát mamlúkíyah = praying without ablution, 148

 Salátah (how composed), 132

 Sálih (Pr. N.) = righteous, pious, just, 314

 Samandal (Al-) = Salamander, 280

 Samar = night-story, 312

 Samáwah (Al-) visitation place in Babylonian Irak, 93

 Samír = night-talker, 217

 Sana’á (famed for leather and other work), 130

 Sandals (kissed and laid on the head in token of submission), 370

 Sarmújah = sandals, leggings, slippers, 370

 Satl = kettle, bucket (situla?), 182

 Saudawí = of a melancholic temperament, 238

 Sawík = parched corn, 303

 Sayf ξίφος al-Mulúk = Sword of the Kings, 325

 Seal-ring of Solomon (oath by), 317

 Set-off for abuse of women, 130

 Shahyál bin Shárukh (Pr. N.), 331

 Shakhtúr = dinghy, 362

 Shammara = he tucked up (sleeve or gown), 133

 Shara (Al-), mountain in Arabia, 23

 Shara’ = holy law, 170

 Sharít = chopper, sword, 178

 Shaykh attended by a half-witted lunatic, 152

 Shaykh of the Sea (-board), 357

 Shazarwán = Pers. Shadurwán, palace, cornice, etc., 51

 Sibawayh (Grammarian), 233

 Side-muscles (her quiver = she trembles in every nerve), 219

 Slave (Moslemah can compel an infidel master who has attempted her
    seduction to sell her), 203

 Sleeping with a sword between them, 352

 Shower (how delightful in rainless lands), 141

 Shúm (a tough wood used for staves), 354

 Shubash = Bravo!, 195

 Slave-girls (newly bought pretentious and coquettish), 266

 Solomon (oath by his seal-ring), 317

 Street cries of Cairo, 172

 Style of a Cairene public scribe, 134

 Suhbat-hu = in company with him, 262

 Sulamí (not Sulaymi) = of the tribe Banú Sulaym, 93

 Sulaymán bin Abd al-Malik (Caliph), 99

 Sulaymáníyah = Afghans, 171

 Saráhíyah (vulg. Saláhíyah = glass-bottle), 370

 Su’ubán = “basilisk,” large serpent, 322

 Sword (between two sleepers represents _only_ the man’s honour), 353


 Tábik = coffer, 350

 Tábút = bier, ark, etc., 207

 —— (coffer), 350

 Taghaddá = he dined, 180

 Táir al-bayn = parting bird, 226

 Tákah = arched hollow in the wall, niche, 361

 Takht, a “seat” from a throne to a saddle, 55

 —— (more emphatical than Sarír), 328

 Taklíd = baldricking, not girding a sword, 3

 Taklíyah = onion-sauce, 322

 Takwím = Tacuino (for Almanac), 296

 Tamsír (derived from Misr) = founding a military cantonment, 371

 Tásúmah = sandal, slipper, 197

 Taverns, 324

 Tayr = any flying thing, bird, 227

 Tawílan jiddan, now a Cairenism, 13

 Tazríb = quilting, 330

 “Tell the truth!” way of taking an Eastern liar, 183

 Tent (how constructed), 109

 “There is no Majesty,” etc., as ejaculation of impatience, 73

 Third = Tuesday, 349

 Timsah = crocodile, 343

 Tongue (my, is under thy feet), 239


 ’Ubb = breast-pocket, 205

 Union opposed to “Severance”, 120

 “Use this” (_i.e._ for thy daily expenses), 298

 Uzrah = Azariah, 158


 Vile water (Koranic term for semen), 213

 Violent temper (frequent amongst Eastern princesses), 254

 Virginity of slave-girls (respected by the older slave-trader, rarely
    by the young), 267

 Visits to the tombs, 124


 Wahk, Wahak = Lasso, 61

 Wahtah = quasi-epileptic fit, 127

 Walíd bin Sahl (Caliph), 106

 Ward Shah = Rose King, 70

 Wars (al-) = carthamus tinctorius, 93

 Wayha-k equivalent to Wayla-k, 127

 Weapons carried under the thigh, 56

 —— magic, 59

 —— new forms of, 62

 “Whatso thou wouldest do that do” = Do what thou wilt, 324

 “Where lies China-land?” = it is a far cry to Lock Awe, 344

 “Who art thou?” etc. (meaning “you are nobodies”), 286

 “Whoso loveth me, let him bestow largesse upon this man”, 323

 Women (blue-eyed of good omen), 164


 Ya’arub bin Kahtán, 25

 Yá Dâdatí = “ma mie”, 372

 Yáfis, Yáfat = Japhet, 40

 Yají miat khwánjah = near an hundred chargers, 345

 Yá Khawand = O Master, 315

 Yakhní = stew, broth, 186

 Yá Sákí’ al-Wajh = O false face!, 353

 Yá Ustá (for Ustáz) = O my Master, 192

 Yúsuf (Grand Vizier, and his pelisse), 323


 Zabbah = wooden bolt, 182

 Zalábiyah bi-’Asal = honey fritters, 164

 Zalzál son of Muzalzil = Earthquake son of Ennosigaius, 79

 Zardah = rice dressed with honey and saffron, 189

 Zardakhánat = Zarad (Ar. for hauberk) – Khánah (Pers. for house), 363

 Zarráf = giraffe, 54

 Záwiyah = corner (for cell, oratory), 328

 Zurk = blue-eyed, dim-sighted, purblind, 164

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES


 1. Changed ‘hog’ to ‘dog’ on p. 31.
 2. Changed ‘fainted’ to ‘feinted’ on p. 60.
 3. Changed ‘thy want’ to ‘thy wont’ on p. 60.
 4. Changed ‘put to the route’ to ‘put to the rout’ on p. 287.
 5. Added missing target for footnote on p. 301.
 6. Changed ‘They son’ to ‘Thy son’ on p. 444.
 7. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
    errors.
 8. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 9. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.





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