Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Plain and Literal Translation of The Arabian Nights Entertainments, Now Entitled The Book Of The Thousand Nights and A Night Volume 8 (of 17)
Author: Burton, Richard F.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 Entitled The Book Of The Thousand Nights and A Night Volume 8 (of 17)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[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 VIII.


                                   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.



                              A MESSAGE TO

                           Frederick Hankey,

                FORMERLY OF NO. 2, RUE LAFFITTE, PARIS.


            MY DEAR FRED,

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

                                          RICHARD F. BURTON.

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



                     CONTENTS OF THE EIGHTH VOLUME.


                                                                    PAGE

     _a._ STORY OF PRINCE SAYF AL-MULUK AND THE PRINCESS BADI’A
       AL-JAMAL (Continued)                                            1

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

 HASAN OF BASSORAH                                                     7

          (_Lane, III. 335. The Story of Hasan of El-Basrah_).

 KHALIFAH THE FISHERMAN OF BAGHDAD                                   145

        (_Lane, IV. 527. The Story of Khaleefeh the Fisherman._)

 NOTE. THE SAME FROM THE BRESLAU EDITION (IV. 318)                   184

 MASRUR AND ZAYN AL-MAWASIF                                          205

                        (_Lane, III. 573. Note._)

 ALI NUR AL-DIN AND MIRIAM THE GIRDLE-GIRL                           264

                        (_Lane omits, III. 572._)


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old
Queen heard the handmaid’s words she was wroth with sore wrath because
of her and cried, “How shall there be accord between man and Jinn?” But
Sayf al-Muluk replied, “Indeed, I will conform to thy will and be thy
page and die in thy love and will keep with thee covenant and regard
none but thee: so right soon shalt thou see my truth and lack of
falsehood and the excellence of my manly dealing with thee, Inshallah!”
The old woman pondered for a full hour with brow earthwards bent; after
which she raised her head and said to him, “O thou beautiful youth, wilt
thou indeed keep compact and covenant?” He replied, “Yes, by Him who
raised the heavens and dispread the earth upon the waters, I will indeed
keep faith and troth!” Thereupon quoth she, “I will win for thee thy
wish, Inshallah! but for the present go thou into the garden and take
thy pleasure therein and eat of its fruits, that have neither like in
the world nor equal, whilst I send for my son Shahyal and confabulate
with him of the matter. Nothing but good shall come of it, so Allah
please, for he will not gainsay me nor disobey my commandment and I will
marry thee with his daughter Badi’a al-Jamal. So be of good heart for
she shall assuredly be thy wife, O Sayf al-Muluk.” The Prince thanked
her for those words and kissing her hands and feet, went forth from her
into the garden; whilst she turned to Marjanah and said to her, “Go seek
my son Shahyal wherever he is and bring him to me.” So Marjanah went out
in quest of King Shahyal and found him and set him before his mother. On
such wise fared it with them; but as regards Sayf al-Muluk, whilst he
walked in the garden, lo and behold! five Jinn of the people of the Blue
King espied him and said to one another, “Whence cometh yonder wight and
who brought him hither? Haply ’tis he who slew the son and heir of our
lord and master the Blue King;” presently adding, “But we will go about
with him and question him and find out all from him.” So they walked
gently and softly up to him, as he sat in a corner of the garden, and
sitting down by him, said to him, “O beauteous youth, thou didst right
well in slaying the son of the Blue King and delivering from him Daulat
Khatun; for he was a treacherous hound and had tricked her, and had not
Allah appointed thee to her, she had never won free; no, never! But how
diddest thou slay him?” Sayf al-Muluk looked at them and deeming them of
the garden-folk, answered, “I slew him by means of this ring which is on
my finger.” Therewith they were assured that it was he who had slain
him; so they seized him, two of them holding his hands, whilst other two
held his feet and the fifth his mouth, lest he should cry out and King
Shahyal’s people should hear him and rescue him from their hands. Then
they lifted him up and flying away with him ceased not their flight till
they came to their King and set him down before him, saying, “O King of
the Age, we bring thee the murderer of thy son.” “Where is he?” asked
the King and they answered, “This is he.” So the Blue King said to Sayf
al-Muluk, “How slewest thou my son, the core of my heart and the light
of my sight, without aught of right, for all he had done thee no ill
deed?” Quoth the Prince, “Yea, verily! I slew him because of his
violence and frowardness, in that he used to seize Kings’ daughters and
sever them from their families and carry them to the Ruined Well and the
High-builded Castle of Japhet son of Noah and entreat them lewdly by
debauching them. I slew him by means of this ring on my finger, and
Allah hurried his soul to the fire and the abiding-place dire.”
Therewithal the King was assured that this was indeed he who slew his
son; so presently he called his Wazirs and said to them, “This is the
murtherer of my son sans shadow of doubt: so how do you counsel me to
deal with him? Shall I slay him with the foulest slaughter or torture
him with the terriblest torments or how?” Quoth the Chief Minister, “Cut
off his limbs, one a day.” Another, “Beat him with a grievous beating
every day till he die.” A third, “Cut him across the middle.” A fourth,
“Chop off all his fingers and burn him with fire.” A fifth, “Crucify
him;” and so on, each speaking according to his rede. Now there was with
the Blue King an old Emir, versed in the vicissitudes and experienced in
the exchanges of the times, and he said, “O King of the Age, verily I
would say to thee somewhat, and thine is the rede whether thou wilt
hearken or not to my say.” Now he was the King’s privy Councillor and
the Chief Officer of his empire, and the sovran was wont to give ear to
his word and conduct himself by his counsel and gainsay him not in
aught. So he rose and kissing ground before his liege lord, said to him,
“O King of the Age, if I advise thee in this matter, wilt thou follow my
advice and grant me indemnity?” Quoth the King, “Set forth thine
opinion, and thou shalt have immunity.” Then quoth he, “O King of the
Age, an thou slay this one nor accept my advice nor hearken to my word,
in very sooth I say that his death were now inexpedient, for that he is
thy prisoner and in thy power, and under thy protection; so whenas thou
wilt, thou mayst lay hand on him and do with him what thou desirest.
Have patience, then, O King of the Age, for he hath entered the garden
of Iram and is become the betrothed of Badi’a al-Jamal, daughter of King
Shahyal, and one of them. Thy people seized him there and brought him
hither and he did not hide his case from them or from thee. So an thou
slay him, assuredly King Shahyal will seek blood-revenge and lead his
host against thee for his daughter’s sake, and thou canst not cope with
him nor make head against his power.” So the King hearkened to his
counsel and commanded to imprison the captive. Thus fared it with Sayf
al-Muluk; but as regards the old Queen, grandmother of Badi’a al-Jamal,
when her son Shahyal came to her she despatched Marjanah in search of
Sayf al-Muluk; but she found him not and returning to her mistress,
said, “I found him not in the garden.” So the ancient dame sent for the
gardeners and questioned them of the Prince. Quoth they, “We saw him
sitting under a tree when behold, five of the Blue King’s folk alighted
by him and spoke with him, after which they took him up and having
gagged him flew away with him.” When the old Queen heard the damsel’s
words it was no light matter to her and she was wroth with exceeding
wrath: so she rose to her feet and said to her son, King Shahyal, “Art a
King and shall the Blue King’s people come to our garden and carry off
our guests unhindered, and thou alive?” And she proceeded to provoke
him, saying, “It behoveth not that any transgress against us during
_thy_ lifetime.”[1] Answered he, “O mother of me, this man slew the Blue
King’s son, who was a Jinni and Allah threw him into his hand. He is a
Jinni and I am a Jinni: how then shall I go to him and make war on him
for the sake of a mortal?” But she rejoined, “Go to him and demand our
guest of him, and if he be still alive and the Blue King deliver him to
thee, take him and return; but an he have slain him, take the King and
all his children and Hiram and household depending on him; then bring
them to me alive that I may cut their throats with my own hand and lay
in ruins his reign. Except thou go to him and do my bidding, I will not
acquit thee of my milk and my rearing of thee shall be counted
unlawful.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

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

[Illustration: A. Lalauze, Pinx. et Sc.]

-----

Footnote 1:

  Ironicè; we are safe as long as we are defended by such a brave.

Footnote 2:

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

Footnote 3:

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

Footnote 4:

  Here ends vol. iii. of the Mac. Edit.



                         HASAN OF BASSORAH.[5]


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


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

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


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Eightieth Night,

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan
beheld himself fallen into the hands of the damned Persian he bespoke
him softly but gained naught thereby for the Ajami cried out at him in
wrath, so he was silent, knowing that the Fate-shaft had shot him. Then
the accursed bade loose his pinion-bonds and they gave him a little
water to drink, whilst the Magian laughed and said, “By the virtue of
the Fire and the Light and the Shade and the Heat, methought not thou
wouldst fall into my nets! But the Fire empowered me over thee and
helped me to lay hold upon thee, that I might win my wish and return and
make thee a sacrifice[25], to her[26] so she may accept of me.” Quoth
Hasan, “Thou hast foully betrayed bread and salt”; whereupon the Magus
raised his hand and dealt him such a buffet that he fell and, biting the
deck with his fore-teeth, swooned away, whilst the tears trickled down
his cheeks. Then the Guebre bade his servants light him a fire and Hasan
said, “What wilt thou do with it?” Replied the Magian, “This is the
Fire, lady of light and sparkles bright! This it is I worship, and if
thou wilt worship her even as I, verily I will give thee half my monies
and marry thee to my maiden daughter.” Thereupon Hasan cried angrily at
him, “Woe to thee! Thou art a miscreant Magian who to Fire dost pray in
lieu of the King of Omnipotent sway, Creator of Night and Day; and this
is naught but a calamity among creeds!” At this the Magian was wroth and
said to him, “Wilt thou not then conform with me, O dog of the Arabs,
and enter my faith?” But Hasan consented not to this: so the accursed
Guebre arose and prostrating himself to the fire, bade his pages throw
him flat on his face. They did so, and he beat him with a hide whip of
plaited thongs[27] till his flanks were laid open, whilst he cried aloud
for aid but none aided him, and besought protection, but none protected
him. Then he raised his eyes to the All-powerful King and sought of Him
succour in the name of the Chosen Prophet. And indeed patience failed
him; his tears ran down his cheeks, like rain, and he repeated these
couplets twain:—

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasan
saw the damsels issue forth the basin, the chief maiden robbed his
reason with her beauty and loveliness compelling him to recite the
couplets forequoted. And after dressing they sat talking and laughing,
whilst he stood gazing on them, drowned in the sea of his love, burning
in the flames of passion and wandering in the Wady of his melancholy
thought. And he said to himself, “By Allah, my sister forbade me not to
open the door, but for cause of these maidens and for fear lest I should
fall in love with one of them! How, O Hasan shalt thou woo and win them?
How bring down a bird flying in the vasty firmament? By Allah thou hast
cast thyself into a bottomless sea and snared thyself in a net whence
there is no escape! I shall die desolate and none shall wot of my
death.” And he continued to gaze on the charms of the chief damsel, who
was the lovliest creature Allah had made in her day, and indeed she
outdid in beauty all human beings. She had a mouth magical as Solomon’s
seal and hair blacker than the night of estrangement to the
love-despairing man; her brow was bright as the crescent moon of the
Feast of Ramazán[58] and her eyes were like eyes wherewith gazelles
scan; she had a polished nose straight as a cane and cheeks like
blood-red anemones of Nu’uman, lips like coralline and teeth like strung
pearls in carcanets of gold virgin to man, and a neck like an ingot of
silver, above a shape like a wand of Bán: her middle was full of folds,
a dimpled plain such as enforceth the distracted lover to magnify Allah
and extol His might and main, and her navel[59] an ounce of musk,
sweetest of savour could contain: she had thighs great and plump, like
marble columns twain or bolsters stuffed with down from ostrich ta’en,
and between them a somewhat, as it were a hummock great of span or a
hare with ears back lain while terrace-roof and pilasters completed the
plan; and indeed she surpassed the bough of the myrobalan with her
beauty and symmetry, and the Indian rattan, for she was even as saith of
them the poet whom love did unman:[60]—

 Her lip-dews rival honey-sweets, that sweet virginity; ✿ Keener than
    Hindí scymitar the glance she casts at thee:
 She shames the bending bough of Bán with graceful movement slow ✿ And as
    she smiles her teeth appear with leven’s brilliancy:

 When I compared with rose a-bloom the tintage of her cheeks, ✿ She
    laughed in scorn and cried, “Whoso compares with rosery
 My hue and breasts granados terms, is there no shame in him? ✿ How
    should pomegranates bear on bough such fruit in form or blee?
 Now by my beauty and mine eyes and heart and eke by Heaven ✿ Of favours
    mine and by the Hell of my un-clemency,
 They say ‘She is a garden-rose in very pride of bloom’; ✿ And yet no
    rose can ape my cheek nor branch my symmetry!
 If any garden own a thing which unto me is like, ✿ What then is that he
    comes to crave of me and only me?”

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

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

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

 The birds took flight at eve and winged their way; ✿ And sinless he who
    died of Love’s death-blow.
 I’ll keep my love-tale secret while I can ✿ But, an desire prevail, its
    needs must show:
 Night brought me nightly vision, bright as dawn; ✿ While nights of my
    desire lack morning-glow.

 I mourn for them[61] while they heart-freest sleep ✿ And winds of love
    on me their plaything blow:
 Free I bestow my tears, my wealth, my heart ✿ My wit, my sprite:—most
    gain who most bestow!
 The worst of woes and banes is enmity ✿ Beautiful maidens deal us to our
    woe.
 Favour they say’s forbidden to the fair ✿ And shedding lovers’ blood
    their laws allow;
 That naught can love-sicks do but lavish soul, ✿ And stake in love-play
    life on single throw:[62]
 I cry in longing ardour for my love: ✿ Lover can only weep and wail
    Love-lowe.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

[Illustration]


         Now when it was the Seven Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

 How shall he taste of sleep who lacks repose ✿ Who wakes a-night when
    all in slumber wone?
 He ownèd wealth and family and fame ✿ Yet fared from house and home an
    exile lone:

 Live coal beneath his[80] ribs he bears for bane, ✿ And mighty longing,
    mightier ne’er was known:
 Passion hath seized him, Passion mastered him; ✿ Yet is he constant
    while he maketh moan;
 His case for Love proclaimed aye that he, ✿ (As prove his tears) is
    wretched, woe-begone.

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

 O who hast quitted these abodes and faredst lief and light ✿ To other
    objects of thy love with fain and fastest flight!
 Deem’st thou that ’bided I with you in solace and in joy ✿ Or that my
    days amid you all were clear of bane and blight?
 When I was captive ta’en of Love and snarèd in his snare, ✿ He made of
    Love my prison and he fared fro’ me forthright:
 So when my fear was hidden, he made sure that ne’er should I ✿ Pray to
    the One, th’ Omnipotent to render me my right:
 He charged his mother keep the secret with all the care she could, ✿ In
    closet shut and treated me with enemy’s despight:
 But I o’erheard their words and held them fast in memory ✿ And hoped for
    fortune fair and weal and blessings infinite:
 My faring to the Hammam bath then proved to me the means ✿ Of making
    minds of folk to be confounded at my sight:
 Wondered the Bride of Al-Rashíd to see my brilliancy ✿ When she beheld
    me right and left with all of beauty dight:
 Then quoth I, “O our Caliph’s wife, I once was wont to own ✿ A dress of
    feathers rich and rare that did the eyes delight:
 An it were now on me thou shouldst indeed see wondrous things ✿ That
    would efface all sorrows and disperse all sores of sprite:”
 Then deigned our Caliph’s Bride to cry, “Where is that dress of thine?”
    ✿ And I replied, “In house of him kept darkling as the night.”

 So down upon it pounced Masrúr and brought it unto her, ✿ And when ’twas
    there each feather cast a ray of beaming light:
 Therewith I took it from his hand and opened it straightway ✿ And saw
    its plumèd bosom and its buttons pleased my sight:
 And so I clad myself therein and took with me my babes; ✿ And spread my
    wings and flew away with all my main and might;
 Saying, “O husband’s mother mine tell him when cometh he ✿ An ever
    wouldest meet her thou from house and home must flee.”

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

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

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

 Deep in mine eyeballs ever dwells the phantom-form of thee ✿ My heart
    when throbbing or at rest holds fast thy memory:
 And love of thee doth never cease to course within my breast, ✿ As
    course the juices in the fruits which deck the branchy tree:

 And every day I see thee not my bosom straightened is ✿ And even
    censurers excuse the woes in me they see:
 O thou whose love hath gotten hold the foremost in the heart ✿ Of me
    whose fondness is excelled by mine insanity:
 Fear the Compassionate in my case and some compassion show! ✿ Love of
    thee makes me taste of death in bitterest pungency.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next came the sixth and embraced him and recited these two couplets:—

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

Lastly came forward the seventh and embraced him and recited these
couplets:—

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

And eke these two couplets:—

 Indeed I’m heart-broken to see thee start, ✿ Nor can I farewell thee ere
    thou depart;
 Allah wotteth I left not to say adieu ✿ Save for fear that saying would
    melt your heart.

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

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

Then he farewelled them and fared on diligently night and day, till he
came to Baghdad, the House of Peace and Sanctuary of the Abbaside
Caliphs unknowing what had passed during his wayfare. At once entering
his house he went in to his mother to salute her, but found her worn of
body and wasted of bones, for excess of mourning and watching, weeping
and wailing, till she was grown thin as a toothpick and could not answer
him a word. So he dismissed the dromedaries then asked her of his wife
and children and she wept till she fainted, and he seeing her in this
state searched the house for them, but found no trace of them. Then he
went to the store-closet and finding it open and the chest broken and
the feather-dress missing, knew forthright that his wife had possessed
herself thereof and flown away with her children. Then he returned to
his mother and, finding her recovered from her fit, questioned her of
his spouse and babes, whereupon she wept and said, “O my son, may Allah
amply requite thee their loss! These are their three tombs.”[99] When
Hasan heard these words of his mother, he shrieked a loud shriek and
fell down in a fainting-fit in which he lay from the first of the day
till noon-tide; whereupon anguish was added to his mother’s anguish and
she despaired of his life. However, after awhile, he came to himself and
wept and buffeted his face and rent his raiment and went about the house
clean distraught, reciting these two couplets[100]:—

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 Let destiny with slackened rein its course appointed fare! And lie thou
    down to sleep by night, with heart devoid of care;
 For ’twixt the closing of an eye and th’ opening thereof, God hath it in
    His power to change a case from foul to fair.[104]

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

 An I be healed of disease in frame, ✿ I’m unhealed of illness in heart
    and sprite:
 There is no healing disease of love, ✿ Save lover and loved one to
    reunite.

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

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

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


               Now when it was the Eight Hundredth Night,

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and First Night,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


          Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Second Night,

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

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

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

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

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Third Night,

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


          Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fourth Night,

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

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

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fifth Night,

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

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

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

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

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Sixth Night,

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

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

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


          Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Seventh Night,

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

[Illustration]

 The name of what drave me distraught ✿ Hath letters renowned among men:
 A four into five multiplied ✿ And a multiplied six into ten.”[134]

Then Hasan wept and chanted the following Mawwál[135]:—

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

And this also:—

 An wouldst be life-long safe, vaunt not delight; ✿ Never despair, nor
    wone o’erjoyed in sprite!
 Forbear, rejoice not, mourn not o’er thy plight ✿ And in ill day “Have
    not we oped?”—recite.[136]

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

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

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


          Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Eighth Night,

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

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

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Ninth Night,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


           Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Tenth Night,

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

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

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Eleventh Night,

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

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

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


          Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Twelfth Night,

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

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

And also these two:—

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

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


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

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


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

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

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

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

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

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

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

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

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


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

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


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

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

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

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


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Nur
al-Huda, the Queen, to her sister Manar al-Sana, the Princess, “An thou
have married sans our knowledge, why didst thou abandon thy husband and
separate thy sons from their sire and bring them to our land? Thou hast
hidden thy children from us. Thinkest thou we know not of this? Allah
Almighty, He who is cognisant of the concealed, hath made known to us
thy case and revealed thy condition and bared thy nakedness.” Then she
bade her guards seize her and pinion her elbows and shackle her with
shackles of iron. So they did as she commanded and she beat her with a
grievous beating, so that her skin was torn, and hanged her up by the
hair; after which she cast her in prison and wrote the King her father a
writ acquainting him with her case and saying, “There hath appeared in
our land a man, a mortal, by name Hasan, and our sister Manar al-Sana
avoucheth that she is lawfully married to him and bare him two sons,
whom she hath hidden from us and thee; nor did she discover aught of
herself till there came to us this man and informed us that he wedded
her and she tarried with him a long while; after which she took her
children and departed, without his knowledge, bidding as she went his
mother tell her son, whenas longing began to rack to come to her in the
Islands of Wak. So we laid hands on the man and sent the old woman
Shawahi to fetch her and her offspring, enjoining her to bring us the
children in advance of her. And she did so, whilst Manar al-Sana
equipped herself and set out to visit me. When the boys were brought to
me and ere the mother came, I sent for Hasan the mortal who claimeth her
to wife, and he on entering and at first sight knew them and they knew
him; whereby was I certified that the children were indeed his children
and that she was his wife and I learned that the man’s story was true
and he was not to blame, but that the reproach and the infamy rested
with my sister. Now I feared the rending of our honour-veil before the
folk of our Isles; so, when this wanton, this traitress, came in to me,
I was incensed against her and cast her into prison and bastinado’d her
grievously and hanged her up by the hair. Behold, I have acquainted thee
with her case and it is thine to command, and whatso thou orderest us
that we will do. Thou knowest that in this affair is dishonour and
disgrace to our name and to thine, and haply the islanders will hear of
it, and we shall become amongst them a byword; wherefore it besitteth
thou return us an answer with all speed.” Then she delivered the letter
to a courier and he carried it to the King who, when he read it, was
wroth with exceeding wrath with his daughter Manar al-Sana and wrote to
Nur al-Huda, saying, “I commit her case to thee and give thee command
over her life; so, if the matter be as thou sayest, kill her without
consulting me.” When the Queen had received and read her father’s
letter, she sent for Manar al-Sana and they set before her the prisoner
drowned in her blood and pinioned with her hair, shackled with heavy
iron shackles and clad in hair-cloth; and they made her stand in the
presence abject and abashed. When she saw herself in this condition of
passing humiliation and exceeding abjection, she called to mind her
former high estate and wept with sore weeping and recited these two
couplets[1]:—

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

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

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

And also these:—

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

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Twentieth Night,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Then Hasan could no longer contain himself, but took the cap from his
head; whereupon his wife saw him and recognising him screamed a scream
which startled all in the palace, and said to him, “How camest thou
hither? From the sky hast thou dropped or through the earth hast thou
come up?” And her eyes brimmed with tears and Hasan also wept. Quoth
she, “O man, this be no time for tears or blame. Fate hath had its
course and the sight was blinded and the Pen hath run with what was
ordained of Allah when Time was begun: so, Allah upon thee, whencesoever
thou comest, go hide, lest any espy thee and tell my sister and she do
thee and me die!” Answered he, “O my lady and lady of all Queens, I have
adventured myself and come hither, and either I will die or I will
deliver thee from this strait and travel with thee and my children to my
country, despite the nose of this thy wickedest sister.” But as she
heard his words she smiled and for awhile fell to shaking her head and
said, “Far, O my life, far is it from the power of any except Allah
Almighty to deliver me from this my strait! Save thyself by flight and
wend thy ways and cast not thyself into destruction; for she hath
conquering hosts none may withstand. Given that thou tookest me and
wentest forth, how canst thou make thy country and escape from these
islands and the perils of these awesome places? Verily, thou hast seen
on thy way hither, the wonders, the marvels, the dangers and the terrors
of the road, such as none may escape, not even one of the rebel Jinns.
Depart, therefore, forthright and add not cark to my cark and care to my
care, neither do thou pretend to rescue me from this my plight; for who
shall carry me to thy country through all these vales and thirsty wolds
and fatal steads?” Rejoined Hasan, “By thy life, O light of mine eyes, I
will not depart this place nor fare but with thee!” Quoth she, “O man!
How canst thou avail unto this thing and what manner of man art thou?
Thou knowest not what thou sayest! None can escape from these realms,
even had he command over Jinns, Ifrits, magicians, chiefs of tribes and
Marids. Save thyself and leave me; perchance Allah will bring about good
after ill.” Answered Hasan, “O lady of fair ones, I came not save to
deliver thee with this rod and with this cap.” And he told her what had
befallen him with the two boys; but, whilst he was speaking, behold, up
came the Queen and heard their speech. Now when he was ware of her, he
donned the cap and was hidden from sight, and she entered and said to
the Princess, “O wanton, who is he with whom thou wast talking?”
Answered Manar al-Sanar, “Who is with me that should talk with me,
except these children?” Then the Queen took the whip and beat her,
whilst Hasan stood by and looked on, nor did she leave beating her till
she fainted; whereupon she bade transport her to another place. So they
loosed her and carried her to another chamber whilst Hasan followed
unseen. There they cast her down, senseless, and stood gazing upon her,
till she revived and recited these couplets:[169]—

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And also these:—

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

[Illustration]

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


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

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

-----

Footnote 5:

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

Footnote 6:

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

Footnote 7:

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

Footnote 8:

  Persians being always a suspected folk.

Footnote 9:

  Arab. Al-Búdikah afterwards used (Night dcclxxix.) in the sense of
  crucible or melting-pot, in mod. parlance a pipe-bowl; and also
  written Bútakah, an Arab distortion of the Persian “Bútah.”

Footnote 10:

  Arab. Sindán or Sindiyán (Dozy.) Sandán, anvil; Sindán, big, strong
  (Steingass).

Footnote 11:

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

Footnote 12:

  Arab. “Al-Kír,” a bellows also = Kúr, a furnace. For the full meaning
  of this sentence, see my “Book of the Sword,” p. 119.

Footnote 13:

  Lit. “bade him lean upon it with the shears” (Al-Káz).

Footnote 14:

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

Footnote 15:

  Arab. Sabíkah = bar, lamina, from “Sabk” = melting, smelting: the lump
  in the crucible would be hammered out into an ingot in order to
  conceal the operation.

Footnote 16:

  _i.e._ £375.

Footnote 17:

  Such report has cost many a life: the suspicion was and is still
  deadly as heresy in a “new Christian” under the Inquisition.

Footnote 18:

  Here there is a double entendre: openly it means, “Few men recognise
  as they should the bond of bread and salt;” the other sense would be
  (and that accounts for the smile), “What the deuce do I care for the
  bond?”

Footnote 19:

  Arab. “Kabbát” in the Bresl. Edit. “Ka’abán”; Lane (iii. 519) reads
  “Ka’áb plur. of Ka’ab a cup.”

Footnote 20:

  A most palpable sneer. But Hasan is purposely represented as a “softy”
  till aroused and energized by the magic of Love.

Footnote 21:

  Arab. Al-iksír (see Night dcclxxix. supra p. 9): the Greek word ξηρόν
  which has returned from a trip to Arabia and reappeared in Europe as
  “Elixir.”

Footnote 22:

  “Awák” plur. of “Ukíyah,” the well-known “oke,” or “ocque,” a weight
  varying from 1 to 2 lbs. In Morocco it is pronounced “Wukíyah,” and =
  the Spanish ounce (p. 279 Rudimentos del Arabe Vulgar, etc., by Fr.
  José de Lorchundi, Madrid, Rivadeneyra, 1872.)

Footnote 23:

  These lines have occurred in vol. iv. 267, where references to other
  places is given. I quote Lane by way of variety. In the text they are
  supposed to have been written by the Persian, a hint that Hasan would
  never be seen again.

Footnote 24:

  _i.e._ a superfetation of iniquity.

Footnote 25:

  Arab “Kurbán,” Heb. קרבן Corban = offering, oblation to be brought to
  the priest’s house or to the altar of the tribal God Yahveh, Jehovah
  (Levit. ii. 2–3 etc.) Amongst the Maronites Kurban is the host
  (-wafer) and amongst the Turks ’Id al-Kurban (sacrifice-feast) is the
  Greater Bayram, the time of Pilgrimage.

Footnote 26:

  Nár = fire, being feminine, like the names of the other “elements.”

Footnote 27:

  The Egyptian Kurbáj of hippopotamus-hide (Burkh. Nubia, pp. 62, 282)
  or elephant-hide (Turner ii. 365). Hence the Fr. _Cravache_ (as Cravat
  is from Croat).

Footnote 28:

  In Mac. Edit. “Bahriyah”: in Bresl. Edit. “Nawátíyah.” See vol. vi.
  242, for Ναύτης, navita, nauta.

Footnote 29:

  In Bresl. Edit. (iv. 285) “Yá Khwájah,” for which see vol. vi. 46.

Footnote 30:

  Arab. Tabl (vulg. báz) = a kettle-drum about half a foot broad held in
  the left hand and beaten with a stick or leathern thong. Lane refers
  to his description (M.E. ii. chapt. v.) of the Dervish’s drum of
  tinned copper with parchment face, and renders Zakhmah or Zukhmah
  (strap, stirrup-leather) by “plectrum,” which gives a wrong idea. The
  Bresl. Edit. ignores the strap.

Footnote 31:

  The “Spartivento” of Italy, mostly a tall headland which divides the
  clouds. The most remarkable feature of the kind is the Dalmatian
  Island, Pelagosa.

Footnote 32:

  The “Rocs” (Al-Arkhákh) in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 290). The Rakham =
  aquiline vulture.

Footnote 33:

  Lane here quotes a similar incident in the romance “Sayf Zú al-Yazan,”
  so called from the hero, whose son, Misr, is sewn up in a camel’s hide
  by Bahrám, a treacherous Magian, and is carried by the Rukhs to a
  mountain-top.

Footnote 34:

  These lines occurred in Night xxvi. vol. i. 275: I quote Mr. Payne for
  variety.

Footnote 35:

  Thus a Moslem can not only circumcise and marry himself but can also
  bury canonically himself. The form of this prayer is given by Lane M.
  E. chapt. xv.

Footnote 36:

  _i.e._ If I fail in my self-imposed duty, thou shalt charge me
  therewith on the Judgment-day.

Footnote 37:

  Arab. Al-Alwán, plur. of laun (colour). The latter in Egyptian Arabic
  means a “dish of meat.” See Burckhardt No. 279. I repeat that the
  great traveller’s “Arabic Proverbs” wants republishing for two
  reasons. First he had not sufficient command of English to translate
  with the necessary laconism and assonance: secondly in his day British
  Philistinism was too rampant to permit a literal translation.
  Consequently the book falls short of what the Oriental student
  requires; and I have prepared it for my friend Mr. Quaritch.

Footnote 38:

  _i.e._ Lofty, high-builded. See Night dcclxviii. vol. vii. p. 347. In
  the Bresl. Edit. Al-Masíd (as in Al-Kazwíni): in the Mac. Edit.
  Al-Mashíd.

Footnote 39:

  Arab. Munkati’ here = cut off from the rest of the world. Applied to a
  man, and a popular term of abuse in Al-Hijáz, it means one cut off
  from the blessings of Allah and the benefits of mankind; a pauvre
  sire. Pilgrimage ii. 22.

Footnote 40:

  Arab. “Baras au Juzám,” the two common forms of leprosy. See vol. iv.
  51. Popular superstition in Syria holds that coition during the menses
  breeds the Juzám, Dáa al-Kabír (Great Evil) or Dáa al-Fíl (Elephantine
  Evil), _i.e._ Elephantiasis and that the days between the beginning of
  the flow (Sabíl) to that of coition shows the age when the progeny
  will be attacked; for instance if it take place on the first day, the
  disease will appear in the tenth year, on the fourth the fortieth and
  so on. The only diseases really dreaded by the Badawin are leprosy and
  small-pox. Coition during the menses is forbidden by all Eastern
  faiths under the severest penalties. Al-Mas’údi relates how a man thus
  begotten became a determined enemy of Ali; and the ancient Jews
  attributed the magical powers of Joshua Nazarenus to this accident of
  his birth, the popular idea being that sorcerers are thus impurely
  engendered.

Footnote 41:

  By adoption: See vol. iii. 151. This sudden affection (not love)
  suggests the “Come to my arms, my slight acquaintance!” of the
  Anti-Jacobin. But it is true to Eastern nature; and nothing can be
  more charming than this fast friendship between the Princess and
  Hasan.

Footnote 42:

  En tout bien et en tout honneur, be it understood.

Footnote 43:

  He had done nothing of the kind; but the feminine mind is prone to
  exaggeration. Also Hasan had told them a fib, to prejudice them
  against the Persian.

Footnote 44:

  These nervous movements have been reduced to a system in the Turk.
  “Ihtilájnámeh” = Book of palpitations, prognosticating from the
  subsultus tendinum and other involuntary movements of the body from
  head to foot; according to Ja’afar the Just, Daniel the Prophet,
  Alexander the Great; the Sages of Persia and the Wise Men of Greece.
  In England we attend chiefly to the eye and ear.

Footnote 45:

  Revenge, amongst the Arabs, is a sacred duty; and, in their state of
  civilization, society could not be kept together without it. So the
  slaughter of a villain is held to be a sacrifice to Allah, who amongst
  Christians claims for Himself the monopoly of vengeance.

Footnote 46:

  Arab. “Zindík.” See vol. v. 230.

Footnote 47:

  Lane translates this “put for him the remaining food and water:” but
  Al-Ákhar (Mac. Edit.) evidently refers to the Najíb (dromedary).

Footnote 48:

  We can hardly see the heroism of the deed, but it must be remembered
  that Bahram was a wicked sorcerer, whom it was every good Moslem’s
  bounden duty to slay. Compare the treatment of witches in England two
  centuries ago.

Footnote 49:

  The mother, in Arab tales, is _ma mère_, now becoming somewhat
  ridiculous in France on account of the over use of that venerable
  personage.

Footnote 50:

  The forbidden closet occurs also in Sayf Zú al-Yazan, who enters it
  and finds the bird-girls. Trébutien ii, 208 says, “Il est assez
  remarquable qu’il existe en Allemagne une tradition à peu près
  semblable, et qui a fourni le sujet d’un des contes de Musaeus,
  entitulé _le voile enlevé_.” Here Hasan is artfully left alone in a
  large palace without other companions but his thoughts and the reader
  is left to divine the train of ideas which drove him to open the door.

Footnote 51:

  Arab. “Buhayrah” (Bresl. Edit. “Bahrah”), the tank or cistern in the
  Hosh (= court-yard) of an Eastern house. Here, however, it is a
  rain-cistern on the flat roof of the palace (See Night dcccviii).

Footnote 52:

  This description of the view is one of the most gorgeous in The
  Nights.

Footnote 53:

  Here again are the “Swan-maidens” (See vol. v. 346) “one of the
  primitive myths, the common heritage of the whole Aryan (Iranian)
  race.” In Persia Bahram-i-Gúr when carried off by the Dív Sapíd seizes
  the Peri’s dove-coat: in Santháli folk-lore Torica, the Goatherd,
  steals the garment doffed by one of the daughters of the sun; and
  hence the twelve birds of Russian Story. To the same cycle belong the
  Seal-tales of the Faroe Islands (Thorpe’s Northern Mythology) and the
  wise women or mermaids of Shetland (Hibbert). Wayland the smith
  captures a wife by seizing a mermaid’s raiment and so did Sir Hagán by
  annexing the wardrobe of a Danubian water-nymph. Lettsom, the
  translator, mixes up this swan-raiment with that of the Valkyries or
  Choosers of the Slain. In real life stealing women’s clothes is an old
  trick and has often induced them, after having been seen naked, to
  offer their persons spontaneously. Of this I knew two cases in India,
  where the theft is justified by divine example. The blue god Krishna,
  a barbarous and grotesque Hindu Apollo, robbed the raiment of the
  pretty Gopálís (cowherdesses) who were bathing in the Arjun River and
  carried them to the top of a Kunduna tree; nor would he restore them
  till he had reviewed the naked girls and taken one of them to wife.
  See also Imr al-Kays (of the Mu’allakah) with “Onaiza” at the port of
  Daratjuljul (Clouston’s Arabian Poetry, p. 4). A critic has complained
  of my tracing the origin of the Swan-maiden legend to the physical
  resemblance between the bird and a high-bred girl (vol. v. 346). I
  should have explained my theory which is shortly, that we must seek a
  material basis for all so-called supernaturalisms, and that
  anthropomorphism satisfactorily explains the Swan-maiden, as it does
  the angel and the devil. There is much to say on the subject; but this
  is not the place for long discussion.

Footnote 54:

  Arab. “Nafs Ammárah,” corresponding with our canting term “The Flesh.”
  Nafs al-Nátíkah is the intellectual soul or function; Nafs
  al-Ghazabíyah = the animal function and Nafs al Shahwániyah = the
  vegetative property.

Footnote 55:

  The lines occur in vol. ii. 331: I have quoted Mr. Payne. Here they
  are singularly out of place.

Footnote 56:

  Not the “green gown” of Anglo-India _i.e._ a white ball-dress with
  blades of grass sticking to it in consequence of a “fall backwards.”

Footnote 57:

  These lines occur in vol. i. 219: I have borrowed from Torrens (p.
  219).

Footnote 58:

  The appearance of which ends the fast and begins the Lesser Festival.
  See vol. i. 84.

Footnote 59:

  See note, vol. i. 84, for notices of the large navel; much appreciated
  by Easterns.

Footnote 60:

  Arab. “Shá’ir Al-Walahán” = the love-distraught poet; Lane has “a
  distracted poet.” My learned friend Professor Aloys Sprenger has
  consulted, upon the subject of Al-Walahán the well-known Professor of
  Arabic at Halle, Dr. Thorbeck, who remarks that the word (here as
  further on) must be an adjective, mad, love-distraught, not a “lakab”
  or poetical cognomen. He generally finds it written Al-Shá’ir
  al-Walahán (the love-demented poet) not Al-Walahán al-Shá’ir = Walahán
  the Poet. Note this burst of song after the sweet youth falls in love:
  it explains the cause of verse-quotation in The Nights, poetry being
  the natural language of love and battle.

Footnote 61:

  “Them” as usual for “her.”

Footnote 62:

  Here Lane proposes a transposition, for “Wa-huwá (and he) fí
  ’l-hubbi,” to read “Fi ’l-hubbi wa huwa (wa-hwa);” but the latter is
  given in the Mac. Edit.

Footnote 63:

  For the pun in “Sabr” = aloe or patience. See vol. i. 138. In Herr
  Landberg (i. 93) we find a misunderstanding of the couplet—

                 Aw’ákibu s-sabri (Kála ba’azuhum)
                 Mahmúdah: Kultu, “khshi an takhirriní.”

  “The effects of patience” (or aloes) quoth one “are praiseworthy!”
  Quoth I, much I fear lest it make me stool. Mahmúdah is not only un
  laxatif, but a slang name for a confection of aloes.

Footnote 64:

  Arab. “Akúna fidá-ka.” Fidá = ransom, self-sacrifice and Fidá’an =
  instead of. The phrase, which everywhere occurs in The Nights, means,
  “I would give my life to save thine.”

Footnote 65:

  Thus accounting for his sickness, improbably enough but in flattering
  way. Like a good friend (feminine) she does not hesitate a moment in
  prescribing a fib.

Footnote 66:

  _i.e._ the 25,000 Amazons who in the Bresl. Edit. (ii. 308) are all
  made to be the King’s “Banát” = daughters or protégées. The Amazons of
  Dahome (see my “Mission”) who may now number 5,000 are all officially
  wives of the King and are called by the lieges “our mothers.”

Footnote 67:

  The tale-teller _has_ made up his mind about the damsel; although in
  this part of the story she is the chief and eldest sister and
  subsequently she appears as the youngest daughter of the supreme Jinn
  King. The mystification is artfully explained by the extraordinary
  likeness of the two sisters. (See Night dcccxi.)

Footnote 68:

  This is a reminiscence of the old-fashioned “marriage by capture,” of
  which many traces survive, even among the civilised who wholly ignore
  their origin.

Footnote 69:

  Meaning her companions and suite.

Footnote 70:

  Arab. “’Abáah” vulg. “’Abáyah.” See vol. ii. 133.

Footnote 71:

  Feet in the East lack that development of sebaceous glands which
  afflicts Europeans.

Footnote 72:

  _i.e._ cutting the animals’ throats after Moslem law.

Footnote 73:

  In Night dcclxxviii. supra p. 5, we find the orthodox Moslem doctrine
  that “a single mortal is better in Allah’s sight than a thousand
  Jinns.” For, I repeat, Al-Islam systematically exalts human nature
  which Christianity takes infinite trouble to degrade and debase. The
  results of its ignoble teaching are only too evident in the East: the
  Christians of the so-called (and miscalled) “Holy Land” are a disgrace
  to the faith and the idiomatic Persian term for a Nazarene is “Tarsá”
  = funker, coward.

Footnote 74:

  Arab. “Sakaba Kúrahá;” the forge in which children are hammered out?

Footnote 75:

  Arab. “Má al-Maláhat” = water (brilliancy) of beauty.

Footnote 76:

  The fourth of the Seven Heavens, the “Garden of Eternity,” made of
  yellow coral.

Footnote 77:

  How strange this must sound to the Young Woman of London in the
  nineteenth century.

Footnote 78:

  “Forty days” is a quasi-religious period amongst Moslem for praying,
  fasting and religious exercises: here it represents our “honey-moon.”
  See vol. v. p. 62.

Footnote 79:

  Yá layta, still popular. Herr Carlo Landberg (Proverbes et Dietons du
  Peuple Arabe, vol. i. of Syria, Leyden, E. J. Brill, 1883) explains
  layta for rayta (= raayta) by permutation of liquids and argues that
  the contraction is ancient (p. 42). But the Herr is no Arabist:
  “Layta” means “would to Heaven,” or, simply “I wish,” “I pray” (for
  something possible or impossible); whilst “La’alla” (perhaps, it may
  be) prays only for the possible; and both are simply particles
  governing the noun in the oblique, or accusative case.

Footnote 80:

  “His” for “her,” _i.e._ herself, making somewhat of confusion between
  her state and that of her son.

Footnote 81:

  _i.e._ his mother; the words are not in the Mac. Edit.

Footnote 82:

  Baghdad is called House of Peace, amongst other reasons, from the
  Dijlah (Tigris) River and Valley “of Peace.” The word was variously
  written Baghdád, Bághdád, (our old Bughdaud and Bagdat), Baghzáz,
  Baghzán, Baghdán, Baghzám and Maghdád as Makkah and Bakkah (Koran iii.
  90). Religious Moslems held Bágh (idol) and Dád (gift) an ill-omened
  conjunction, and the Greeks changed it to Eirenopolis. (See Ouseley’s
  Oriental Collections, vol. i. pp. 18–20.)

Footnote 83:

  This is a popular saying but hardly a “vulgar proverb.” (Lane iii.
  522). It reminds rather of Shakespear’s:

                   “So loving to my mother,
               That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
                   Visit her face too roughly.”

Footnote 84:

  _i.e._ God forbid that I should oppose thee!

Footnote 85:

  Here the writer again forgets apparently that Shahrazad is speaking:
  she may, however, use the plural for the singular when speaking of
  herself.

Footnote 86:

  _i.e._ She would have pleaded ill-treatment and lawfully demanded to
  be sold.

Footnote 87:

  The Hindus speak of “the only bond that woman knows—her heart.”

Footnote 88:

  _i.e._ a rarity, a present (especially in Persian).

Footnote 89:

  Arab. Al-bisát wa’ l-masnad lit. the carpet and the cushion.

Footnote 90:

  For “Báb al-bahr” and “Báb al-Barr” see vol. iii. 281.

Footnote 91:

  She was the daughter of Ja’afar bin Mansúr; but, as will be seen, The
  Nights again and again call her father Al-Kásim.

Footnote 92:

  This is an error for the fifth which occurs in the popular saying, “Is
  he the fifth of the sons of Al-Abbás!” _i.e._ Harun al-Rashid. Lane
  (note, in loco) thus accounts for the frequent mention of the Caliph,
  the greatest of the Abbasides in The Nights. But this is a causa non
  causa.

Footnote 93:

  _i.e._ I find thy beauty all-sufficient. So the proverb “The son of
  the quarter (young neighbour) filleth not the eye,” which prefers a
  stranger.

Footnote 94:

  They are mere doggrel, like most of the pieces de circonstance.

Footnote 95:

  Afterwards called Wák Wák, and in the Bresl. Edit. Wák al-Wák. See
  Lane’s notes upon these Islands. Arab Geographers evidently speak of
  two Wak Waks. Ibn al-Fakih and Al-Mas’údi (Fr. Transl., vol. iii. 6–7)
  locate one of them in East Africa beyond Zanzibar and Sofala. “Le
  territoire des Zendjes (Zanzibar-Negroids) commence au canal
  (Al-Khalij) dérivé du haut Nil (the Juln River?) et se prolonge
  jusqu’au pays de Sofalah et des Wak-Wak.” It is simply the peninsula
  of Guardafui (Jard Hafun.) occupied by the Gallas, pagans and
  Christians, before these were ousted by the Moslem Somal; and the
  former perpetually ejaculated “Wak” (God) as Moslems cry upon Allah.
  This identification explains a host of other myths such as the
  Amazons, who as Marco Polo tells us held the “Female Island” Socotra
  (Yule ii. 396). The fruit which resembled a woman’s head (whence the
  puellæ Wakwakienses hanging by the hair from trees), and which when
  ripe called out “Wak Wak” and “Allah al-Khallák” (the Creator) refers
  to the Calabash-tree (_Adausonia digitata_), that grotesque growth, a
  vegetable elephant, whose gourds, something larger than a man’s head,
  hang by a slender filament. Similarly the “cocoa” got its name, in
  Port. = Goblin, from the fancied face at one end. The other Wak Wak
  has been identified in turns with the Seychelles, Madagascar, Malacca,
  Sunda or Java (this by Langlès), China and Japan. The learned Prof. de
  Goeje (Arabishe Berichten over Japan, Amsterdam Muller, 1880) informs
  us that in Canton the name of Japan is Wo-Kwok, possibly a corruption
  of Koku-tan, the ebony-tree (_Diospyros ebenum_) which Ibn Khordábah
  and others find together with gold in an island 4,500 parasangs from
  Suez and East of China. And we must remember that Basrah was the chief
  starting-place for the Celestial Empire during the rule of the Tang
  dynasty (seventh and ninth centuries). Colonel J. W. Watson of Bombay
  suggests New Guinea or the adjacent islands where the Bird of Paradise
  is said to cry “Wak Wak!” Mr. W. F. Kirby in the Preface (p. ix.) to
  his neat little book “The New Arabian Nights,” says: “The Islands of
  Wak-Wak, seven years’ journey from Bagdad, in the story of Hasan, have
  receded to a distance of a hundred and fifty years’ journey in that of
  Majin (of Khorasan). There is no doubt (?) that the Cora Islands, near
  New Guinea, are intended; for the wonderful fruits which grow there
  are Birds of Paradise, which settle in flocks on the trees at sunset
  and sunrise, uttering this very cry.” Thus, like Ophir, Wak Wak has
  wandered all over the world and has been found even in Peru by the
  Turkish work Tárikh al-Hind al-Gharbi = History of the West Indies
  (Orient. Coll. ii. 189).

Footnote 96:

  I accept the emendation of Lane’s Shaykh, “Nasím” (Zephyr) for “Nadím”
  (cup-companion.)

Footnote 97:

  “Jannat al-Ná’im” = Garden of Delights is No. V Heaven, made of white
  diamond.

Footnote 98:

  This appears to her very prettily put.

Footnote 99:

  This is the “House of Sadness” of our old chivalrous Romances. See
  chapt. vi. of “Palmerin of England,” by Francisco de Moraes (ob.
  1572), translated by old Anthony Munday (dateless, 1590?) and
  “corrected” (read spoiled) by Robert Southey. London, Longmans, 1807.

Footnote 100:

  The lines have occurred in Night clix. (vol. iii. 183), I quote Mr.
  Payne who, like Lane, prefers “in my bosom” to “beneath my ribs.”

Footnote 101:

  In this tale the Bresl. Edit, more than once adds “And let us and you
  send a blessing to the Lord of Lords” (or to “Mohammed,” or to the
  “Prophet”); and in vol. v. p. 52 has a long prayer. This is an act of
  contrition in the tale-teller for romancing against the expressed
  warning of the Founder of Al-Islam.

Footnote 102:

  From Bresl. Edit. (vi. 29): the four in the Mac. Edit. are too
  irrelevant.

Footnote 103:

  Arab. Ghayúr = jealous, an admirable epithet which Lane dilutes to
  “changeable”—making a truism of a metaphor.

Footnote 104:

  These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 105:

  _i.e._ One fated to live ten years.

Footnote 106:

  This poetical way of saying “fourteen” suggests Camoens (The Lusiads)
  Canto v. 2.

Footnote 107:

  Arab. “Surrah,” lit. = a purse: a few lines lower down it is called
  “’Ulbah” = a box which, of course, may have contained the bag.

Footnote 108:

  The month which begins the Moslem year.

Footnote 109:

  As an Arab often does when deep in thought. Lane appositely quotes
  John viii. 6. “Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the
  ground.” Mr. Payne translates, “He fell a-drumming on the earth with
  his fingers,” but this does not complete the sense.

Footnote 110:

  _i.e._ “And the peace of Allah be upon thee! that will end thy story.”
  The Arab formula, “Wa al-Salám” (pron. Wassalám) is used in a variety
  of senses.

Footnote 111:

  Like Camoens, one of the model lovers, he calls upon Love to torment
  him still more—ad majorem Dei (amoris) gloriam.

Footnote 112:

  Pron. Aboor-Ruwaysh. “The Father of the little Feather”: he is
  afterwards called “Son of the daughter of the accursed Iblis”; yet, as
  Lane says, “he appears to be a virtuous person.”

Footnote 113:

  Arab. “Kantara al-lijám fí Karbús (bow) sarjih.”

Footnote 114:

  I do not translate “beckoned” because the word would give a wrong
  idea. Our beckoning with the finger moved towards the beckoner makes
  the so-beckoned Eastern depart in all haste. To call him you must wave
  the hand from you.

Footnote 115:

  The Arabs knew what large libraries were; and a learned man could not
  travel without camel-loads of dictionaries.

Footnote 116:

  Arab. “Adim;” now called Bulghár, our Moroccan leather.

Footnote 117:

  Arab. “Zinád,” which Lane renders by “instruments for striking fire,”
  and Mr. Payne, after the fashion of the translators of Al-Hariri,
  “flint and steel.”

Footnote 118:

  A congener of Hasan and Husayn, little used except in Syria where it
  is a favourite name for Christians. The Muhit of Butrus Al-Bostání
  (s.v.) tells us that it also means a bird called Abú Hasan and
  supplies various Egyptian synonyms. In Mod. Arab. Grammar the form
  Fa’’úl is a diminutive as Hammúd for Ahmad, ’Ammúr for ’Amrú. So the
  fem. form, Fa’’úlah, _e.g._ Khaddúgah = little Khadijah and Naffúsah =
  little Nafisah; Ar’úrah = little clitoris: whereas in Heb. it is an
  incrementative _e.g._ dabbúlah a large dablah (cake or lump of dried
  figs, etc).

Footnote 119:

  In the Mac. Edit. “Soldiers of Al-Daylam” _i.e._ warlike as the
  Daylamites or Medes. See vol. ii. 94.

Footnote 120:

  Bilkís, it will be remembered, is the Arab. name of the Queen of Sheba
  who visited Solomon. In Abyssinia she is termed Kebra zá negest or zá
  makadá, the latter (according to Ferdinand Werne’s “African
  Wanderings,” Longmans, 1852) being synonymous with Ityopia or Habash
  (Ethiopia or Abyssinia.)

Footnote 121:

  Arab. “Dakkah,” which Lane translates by “settee.”

Footnote 122:

  Arab. “Ambar al-Khám,” the latter word (raw) being pure Persian.

Footnote 123:

  The author neglects to mention the ugliest part of old-womanhood in
  the East, long empty breasts like tobacco-pouches. In youth the bosom
  is beautifully high, arched and rounded, firm as stone to the touch,
  with the nipples erect and pointing outwards. But after the
  girl-mother’s first child (in Europe _le premier embellit_) all
  changes. Nature and bodily power have been overtasked; then comes the
  long suckling at the mother’s expense: the extension of the skin and
  the enlargement of its vessels are too sudden and rapid for the
  diminished ability of contraction and the bad food aids in the
  continual consumption of vitality. Hence, among Eastern women age and
  ugliness are synonymous. It is only in the highest civilisation that
  we find the handsome old woman.

Footnote 124:

  The name has occurred in the Knightly tale of King Omar and his sons
  vol. ii. 269. She is here called Mother of Calamities, but in p. 123,
  vol. iv. of the Mac. Edit, she becomes “Lady (Zát) al-Dawáhi.” It will
  be remembered that the title means calamitous to the foe.

Footnote 125:

  By this address she assured him that she had no design upon his
  chastity. In Moslem lands it is always advisable to accost a strange
  woman, no matter how young, with, “Yá Ummí!” = O my mother. This is
  pledging one’s word, as it were, not to make love to her.

Footnote 126:

  Apparently the Wakites numbered their Islands as the Anglo-Americans
  do their streets. For this they have been charged with “want of
  imagination”; but the custom is strictly classical. See at Pompeii
  “Reg (io) I; Ins (ula) I, Via Prima, Secunda,” etc.

Footnote 127:

  These are the Puellæ Wakwakienses of whom Ibn Al-Wardi relates after
  an ocular witness, “Here too is a tree which bears fruits like women
  who have fair faces and are hung by their hair. They come forth from
  integuments like large leathern bags (calabash-gourds?) and when they
  sense air and sun they cry “Wak! Wak!” (God! God!) till their hair is
  cut, and when it is cut they die; and the islanders understand this
  cry wherefrom they augur ill.” The Ajáib al-Hind (chapt. xv.) places
  in Wak-land the Samandal, a bird which enters the fire without being
  burnt evidently the Egyptian “Pi-Benni,” which the Greeks
  metamorphised to “Phœnix.” It also mentions a hare-like animal, now
  male then female; and the Somal behind Cape Guardafui tell the same
  tale of their Cynhyænas.

Footnote 128:

  _i.e._ I will keep thee as though thou wert the apple of my eye.

Footnote 129:

  A mere exaggeration of the “Gull-fairs” noted by travellers in sundry
  islands as Ascension and the rock off Brazilian Santos.

Footnote 130:

  Arab. “Kámil wa Basít wa Wáfir” = the names of three popular metres,
  for which see the Terminal Essay.

Footnote 131:

  Arab. “Manáshif” = drying towels, Plur. of Minshafah, and the popular
  term which Dr. Jonathan Swift corrupted to “Munnassaf.” Lane (Nights,
  Introduct. p. ix.)

Footnote 132:

  Arab. “Shafáif” opposed to “Shafah” the mouth-lips.

Footnote 133:

  Fountains of Paradise. This description is a fair instance of how the
  Saj’a (prose-rhyme) dislocates the order; an Arab begins with hair,
  forehead, eyebrows and lashes and when he reaches the nose, he slips
  down to the toes for the sake of the assonance. If the latter be
  neglected the whole list of charms must be otherwise ordered; and the
  student will compare Mr. Payne’s version of this passage with mine.

Footnote 134:

  A fair specimen of the Arab logogriph derived from the Abjad Alphabet
  which contains only the Hebrew and Syriac letters not the six Arabic.
  Thus 4 × 5 = 20 which represents the Kaf (K) and 6 × 10 = 60, or Sin
  (S). The whole word is thus “Kus,” the Greek κυσὸς or κυσσὸς, and the
  lowest word, in Persian as in Arabic, for the female pudenda,
  extensively used in vulgar abuse. In my youth we had at the University
  something of the kind,

                     To five and five and fifty-five
                       The first of letters add
                     To make a thing to please a King
                       And drive a wise man mad.

  Answer VVLVA. Very interesting to the anthropological student is this
  excursus of Hasan, who after all manner of hardships and horrors and
  risking his life to recover his wife and children, breaks out into
  song on the subject of her privities. And it can hardly be
  tale-teller’s gag as both verse and prose show considerable art in
  composition.

Footnote 135:

  Egyptian and Syrian vulgar term for Mawálíyah or Mawáliyah, a short
  poem on subjects either classical or vulgar. It generally consists of
  five lines all rhyming except the penultimate. The metre is a species
  of the Basít which, however, admits of considerable poetical license;
  this being according to Lane the usual “Weight,”

                    ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ / ˘ ¯ ˘ / ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯ / ¯ ¯.

  The scheme is distinctly anapæstic and Mr. Lyall (Translations of
  Ancient Arabic Poetry) compares with a cognate metre, the Tawíl,
  certain lines in Abt Vogler, _e.g._

     “Ye know why the forms are fair, ye hear how the tale is told.”

Footnote 136:

  _i.e._ repeat the chapter of the Koran termed The Opening, and
  beginning with these words, “Have we not opened thy breast for thee
  and eased thee of thy burden which galled thy back? * * * Verily with
  the difficulty cometh ease.!”—Koran xciv. vol. I, 5.

Footnote 137:

  Lane renders Nur al-Hudà (Light of Salvation) by Light of Day which
  would be Nur al-Hadà.

Footnote 138:

  In the Bresl. Edit. “Yá Salám” = O safety!—a vulgar ejaculation.

Footnote 139:

  A favourite idiom meaning from the mischief which may (or will) come
  from the Queen.

Footnote 140:

  He is not strong-minded but his feminine persistency of purpose,
  likest to that of a sitting hen, is confirmed by the “Consolations of
  religion.” The character is delicately drawn.

Footnote 141:

  In token that she intended to act like a man.

Footnote 142:

  This is not rare even in real life: Moslem women often hide and change
  their names for superstitious reasons, from the husband and his
  family.

Footnote 143:

  Arab. “Sabab” which also means cause. Vol. ii. 14. There is the same
  metaphorical use of “Habl” = cord and cause.

Footnote 144:

  Arab. “Himà,” a word often occurring in Arab poetry, domain, a pasture
  or watered land forcibly kept as far as a dog’s bark would sound by
  some masterful chief like “King Kulayb.” (See vol. ii. 77). This
  tenure was forbidden by Mohammed except for Allah and the Apostle
  (_i.e._ himself). Lane translates it “asylum.”

Footnote 145:

  She was a maid and had long been of marriageable age.

Footnote 146:

  The young man had evidently “kissed the Blarney stone”; but the
  flattery is the more telling as he speaks from the heart.

Footnote 147:

  “Inshallah” here being = D. V.

Footnote 148:

  _i.e._ The “Place of Light” (Pharos), or of Splendour. Here we find
  that Hasan’s wife is the youngest sister, but with an extraordinary
  resemblance to the eldest, a very masterful young person. The
  anagnorisis is admirably well managed.

Footnote 149:

  _i.e._ the sweetmeats of the feast provided for the returning
  traveller. The old woman (like others) cannot resist the temptation of
  a young man’s lips. Happily for him she goes so far and no farther.

Footnote 150:

  The first, fourth, fifth and last names have already occurred: the
  others are in order, Star o’ Morn, Sun of Undurn and Honour of
  Maidenhood. They are not merely fanciful, but are still used in Egypt
  and Syria.

Footnote 151:

  Arab. “Fájirah” and elsewhere “’Áhirah,” = whore and strumpet used
  often in loose talk as mere abuse without special meaning.

Footnote 152:

  This to Westerns would seem a most improbable detail, but Easterns
  have their own ideas concerning “Al-Muhabbat al-gharizíyah” = natural
  affection, blood speaking to blood, etc.

Footnote 153:

  One of the Hells (see vol. iv. 143). Here it may be advisable to give
  the names of the Seven Heavens (which are evidently based upon
  Ptolemaic astronomy) and which correspond with the Seven Hells after
  the fashion of Arabian system-mania. (1) Dár al-Jalál (House of
  Glory), made of pearls; (2) Dár al-Salám (of Rest), rubies and
  jacinths; (3) Jannat al-Maawá (Garden of Mansions, not “of mirrors,”
  as Herklots has it, p. 98), made of yellow copper; (4) Jannat al-Khuld
  (of Eternity), yellow coral; (5) Jannat al-Na’ím (of Delights), white
  diamond; (6) Jannat al-Firdaus (of Paradise), red gold; and (7) Jannat
  al-’Adn (of Eden, or Al-Karár = of everlasting abode, which some make
  No. 8), of red pearls or pure musk. The seven Hells are given in vol.
  v. 241; they are intended for Moslems (Jahannam); Christians (Lazà);
  Jews (Hutamah); Sabians (Sa’ír); Guebres (Sakar); Pagans or idolaters
  (Jahím); and Hypocrites (Háwiyah).

Footnote 154:

  Arab. “’Atb,” more literally = “blame,” “reproach.”

Footnote 155:

  Bresl. Edit. In the Mac. “it returned to the place whence I had
  brought it”—an inferior reading.

Footnote 156:

  The dreams play an important part in the Romances of Chivalry, _e.g._
  the dream of King Perion in Amadis de Gaul, chapt. ii. (London;
  Longmans, 1803).

Footnote 157:

  Amongst Moslems bastardy is a sore offence and a love-child is
  exceedingly rare. The girl is not only carefully guarded but she also
  guards herself knowing that otherwise she will not find a husband.
  Hence seduction is all but unknown. The wife is equally well guarded
  and lacks opportunities hence adultery is found difficult except in
  books. Of the Ibn (or Walad) Harám (bastard as opposed to the Ibn
  Halál) the proverb says, “This child is not thine, so the madder he be
  the more is thy glee!” Yet strange to say public prostitution has
  never been wholly abolished in Al-Islam. Al-Mas’údi tell us that in
  Arabia were public prostitutes (Bagháyá), even before the days of the
  Apostle, who affected certain quarters as in our day the Tartúshah of
  Alexandria and the Hosh Bardak of Cairo. Here says Herr Carlo Landberg
  (p. 57, Syrian Proverbs) “Elles parlent une langue toute à elle.” So
  pretentious and dogmatic a writer as the author of Proverbes et
  Dictons de la Province de Syrie, ought surely to have known that the
  Hosh Bardak is the head-quarters of the Cairene Gypsies. This author,
  who seems to write in order to learn, reminds me of an acute Oxonian
  undergraduate of my day who, when advised to take a “coach,” became a
  “coach” himself.

Footnote 158:

  These lines occur in vol. vii. p. 340. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 159:

  She shows all the semi-maniacal rancour of a good woman, or rather a
  woman who has not broken the eleventh commandment, “Thou shalt not be
  found out,” against an erring sister who has been discovered. In the
  East also these unco’ gúid dames have had, and too often have, the
  power to carry into effect the cruelty and diabolical malignity which
  in London and Paris must vent itself in scan. mag. and anonymous
  letters.

Footnote 160:

  These faintings and trances are as common in the Romances of Chivalry
  _e.g._ Amadis of Gaul, where they unlace the garments to give more
  liberty, pour cold water on the face and bathe the temples and pulses
  with diluted vinegar (for rose water) exactly as they do in The
  Nights.

Footnote 161:

  So Hafiz, “Bád-i-Sabá chu bugzarí” etc.

Footnote 162:

  Arab. “Takiyah.” See vol. i. 224 and for the Tarn-Kappe vol. iv. p.
  176. In the Sinthásana Dwatrinsati (vulgo. Singhásan Battísí), or
  Thirty-two Tales of a Throne, we find a bag always full of gold, a
  bottomless purse; earth which rubbed on the forehead overcomes all; a
  rod which during the first watch of the night furnishes jewelled
  ornaments; in the second a beautiful girl; in the third invisibility,
  and in the fourth a deadly foe or death; a flower-garland which
  renders the possessor invisible and an unfading lotus-flower which
  produces a diamond every day.

Footnote 163:

  Arab. “Judad,” plur. of Jadíd, lit. = new coin, ergo applied to those
  old and obsolete; 10 Judad were = one nusf or half dirham.

Footnote 164:

  Arab. “Raff,” a shelf proper, running round the room about 7–7⅓ feet
  from the ground. During my day it was the fashion in Damascus to range
  in line along the Raff splendid porcelain bowls brought by the
  Caravans in olden days from China, whilst on the table were placed
  French and English specimens of white and gold “china” worth perhaps a
  franc each.

Footnote 165:

  Lane supposes that the glass and chinaware had fallen upon the divan
  running round the walls under the Raff and were not broken.

Footnote 166:

  These lines have occurred in Night dclxxxix. vol. vii. p. 119. I quote
  Lane.

Footnote 167:

  The lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 168:

  This formula, I repeat, especially distinguishes the Tale of Hasan of
  Bassorah.

Footnote 169:

  These lines have occurred in vol. i. 249. I quote Lane.

Footnote 170:

  She speaks to the “Gallery,” who would enjoy a loud laugh against
  Mistress Gadabout. The end of the sentence must speak to the heart of
  many a widow.

Footnote 171:

  These lines occur in vol. i. 25: so I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 172:

  Arab. “Musáhikah;” the more usual term for a Tribade is “Sahíkah” from
  “Sahk” in the sense of rubbing: both also are applied to onanists and
  masturbators of the gender feminine.

Footnote 173:

  _i.e._ by way of halter. This jar is like the cask in Auerbach’s
  Keller; and has already been used by witches; Night dlxxxvii. vol. vi.
  158.

Footnote 174:

  Here they are ten but afterwards they are reduced to seven: I see no
  reason for changing the text with Lane and Payne.

Footnote 175:

  Wazir of Solomon. See vol. i. 42; and vol. iii. 97.

Footnote 176:

  Arab. Ism al-A’azam, the Ineffable Name, a superstition evidently
  derived from the Talmudic fancies of the Jews concerning their tribal
  god, Yah or Yahvah.

Footnote 177:

  The tradition is that Mohammed asked Akáf al-Wadá’ah “Hast a wife?”;
  and when answered in the negative, “Then thou appertainest to the
  brotherhood of Satans! An thou wilt be one of the Christian monks then
  company therewithal; but an thou be of us, know that it is our custom
  to marry!”

Footnote 178:

  The old woman, in the East as in the West, being the most vindictive
  of her kind. I have noted (Pilgrimage iii. 70) that a Badawi will
  sometimes though in shame take the blood-wit; but that if it be
  offered to an old woman she will dash it to the ground and clutch her
  knife and fiercely swear by Allah that she will not eat her son’s
  blood.

Footnote 179:

  Neither dome nor fount etc. are mentioned before, the normal
  inadvertency.

Footnote 180:

  In Eastern travel the rest comes before the eating and drinking.

Footnote 181:

  Arab. ’Id (pron. ’Eed) which I have said (vol. i. 42, 317) is applied
  to the two great annual festivals, the “Fete of Sacrifice,” and the
  “Break-Fast.” The word denotes restoration to favour and Moslems
  explain as the day on which Adam (and Eve) who had been expelled from
  Paradise for disobedience was re-established (U’ída) by the relenting
  of Allah. But the name doubtless dates amongst Arabs from days long
  before they had heard of the “Lord Nomenclator.”

Footnote 182:

  Alluding to Hasan seizing her feather dress and so taking her to wife.

Footnote 183:

  Arab. “Kharajú” = they (masc.) went forth, a vulgarism for “Kharajna”
  (fem.)

Footnote 184:

  Note the notable housewife who, at a moment when youth would forget
  everything, looks to the main chance.

Footnote 185:

  Arab. “Al-Malakút” (not “Malkút” as in Freytag) a Sufi term for the
  world of Spirits (De Lacy Christ, Ar. i. 451). Amongst Eastern
  Christians it is vulgarly used in the fem. and means the Kingdom of
  Heaven, also the preaching of the Gospel.



                   KHALIFAH THE FISHERMAN OF BAGHDAD.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

And also these twain:—

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

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

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

[Illustration]

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph came
upon Khalifah the Fisherman and gave him his own gown in jest wherewith
the man fared home. Such was his case; but as regards Harun al-Rashid,
he had gone out a-hunting and a-fishing only to divert his thoughts from
the damsel, Kut al-Kulub. But when Zubaydah heard of her and of the
Caliph’s devotion to her, the Lady was fired with the jealousy which the
more especially fireth women, so that she refused meat and drink and
rejected the delights of sleep and awaited the Caliph’s going forth on a
journey or what not, that she might set a snare for the damsel. So when
she learnt that he was gone hunting and fishing, she bade her women
furnish the Palace fairly and decorate it splendidly and serve up viands
and confections; and amongst the rest she made a China dish of the
daintiest sweetmeats that can be made wherein she had put Bhang. Then
she ordered one of her eunuchs go to the damsel Kut al-Kulub and bid her
to the banquet, saying, “The Lady Zubaydah bint Al-Kasim, the wife of
the Commander of the Faithful, hath drunken medicine to-day and, having
heard tell of the sweetness of thy singing, longeth to divert herself
with somewhat of thine art.” Kut al-Kulub replied, “Hearing and
obedience are due to Allah and the Lady Zubaydah,” and rose without stay
or delay, unknowing what was hidden for her in the Secret Purpose. Then
she took with her what instruments she needed and, accompanying the
eunuch, ceased not faring till she stood in the presence of the
Princess. When she entered she kissed ground before her again and again,
then rising to her feet, said, “Peace be on the Lady of the exalted seat
and the presence whereto none may avail, daughter of the house Abbásí
and scion of the Prophet’s family! May Allah fulfil thee of peace and
prosperity in the days and the years[230]!” Then she stood with the rest
of the women and eunuchs, and presently the Lady Zubaydah raised her
eyes and considered her beauty and loveliness. She saw a damsel with
cheeks smooth as rose and breasts like granado, a face moon-bright, a
brow flower-white and great eyes black as night; her eyelids were
langour-dight and her face beamed with light, as if the sun from her
forehead arose and the murks of the night from the locks of her brow;
and the fragrance of musk from her breath strayed and flowers bloomed in
her lovely face inlaid; the moon beamed from her forehead and in her
slender shape the branches swayed. She was like the full moon shining in
the nightly shade; her eyes wantoned, her eyebrows were like a bow
arched and her lips of coral moulded. Her beauty amazed all who espied
her and her glances amated all who eyed her. Glory be to Him who formed
her and fashioned her and perfected her! Brief, she was even as saith
the poet of one who favoured her:—

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

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

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

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

 She hath eyes whose babes wi’ their fingers sign ✿ To sweet tunes
    without a discordant line.

And as the poet also said in this couplet:—

 And, when she announceth the will to sing, ✿ For Union-joy ’tis a time
    divine!

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

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

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

 Sweetly discourses she on Persian string ✿ And Unintelligence makes
    understand.
 And teaches she that Love’s a murtherer, ✿ Who oft the reasoning Moslem
    hath unmann’d.

 A maid, by Allah, in whose palm a thing ✿ Of painted wood like mouth can
    speech command.
 With lute she stauncheth flow of Love; and so ✿ Stops flow of blood the
    cunning leach’s hand.

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

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

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


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fortieth Night,

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

 I long once more the love that was between us to regain, ✿ That I may
    quench the fire of grief and bate the force of bane.

 O lords of me, have ruth upon the stress my passion deals ✿ Enough to me
    is what you doled of sorrow and of pain.
 ’Tis life to me an deign you keep the troth you deigned to plight ✿ ’Tis
    death to me an troth you break and fondest vows profane:
 Given I’ve sinned a sorry sin, yet grant me ruth, for naught ✿ By Allah,
    sweeter is than friend who is of pardon fain.

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

 Behold a house that’s like the Dwelling of Delight;[260] ✿ Its aspect
    heals the sick and banishes despite.
 Its sojourn for the great and wise appointed is, ✿ And Fortune fair
    therein abideth day and night.

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

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

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

-----

Footnote 186:

  This is so rare, even amongst the poorest classes in the East, that it
  is mentioned with some emphasis.

Footnote 187:

  A beauty amongst the Egyptians, not the Arabs.

Footnote 188:

  True Fellah-“chaff.”

Footnote 189:

  Alluding to the well-known superstition, which has often appeared in
  The Nights, that the first object seen in the morning, such as a crow,
  a cripple, or a cyclops determines the fortunes of the day. Notices in
  Eastern literature are as old as the days of the Hitopadesa; and there
  is a something instinctive in the idea to a race of early risers. At
  an hour when the senses are most impressionable the aspect of
  unpleasant spectacles has double effect.

Footnote 190:

  Arab. “Masúkah,” the stick used for driving cattle, _bâton gourdin_
  (Dozy). Lane applies the word to a wooden plank used for levelling the
  ground.

Footnote 191:

  _i.e._ the words I am about to speak to thee.

Footnote 192:

  Arab. “Sahífah,” which may mean “page” (Lane) or “book” (Payne).

Footnote 193:

  Pronounce, “Abussa’ádát” = Father of Prosperities: Lane imagines that
  it came from the Jew’s daughter being called “Sa’adat.” But the latter
  is the Jew’s wife (Night dcccxxxiii) and the word in the text is
  plural.

Footnote 194:

  Arab. “Furkh samak” lit. a fish-chick, an Egyptian vulgarism.

Footnote 195:

  Arab. “Al-Rasíf”; usually a river-quay, levée, an embankment. Here it
  refers to the great dyke which distributed the Tigris-water.

Footnote 196:

  Arab. “Dajlah,” see vol. i, p. 180. It is evidently the origin of the
  biblical “Hid-dekel” “Hid” = fierceness, swiftness.

Footnote 197:

  Arab. “Bayáz” a kind of Silurus (_S. Bajad_, Forsk.) which Sonnini
  calls Bayatto, Saksatt and Hébedé; also Bogar (Bakar, an ox). The skin
  is lubricous, the flesh is soft and insipid and the fish often grows
  to the size of a man. Captain Speke and I found huge specimens in the
  Tanganyika Lake.

Footnote 198:

  Arab. “Mu’allim,” vulg. “M’allim,” prop. = teacher, master esp. of a
  trade, a craft. In Egypt and Syria it is a civil address to a Jew or a
  Christian, as Hájj is to a Moslem.

Footnote 199:

  Arab. “Gharámah,” an exaction, usually on the part of government like
  a corvée etc. The Éuropeo-Egyptian term is _Avania_ (Ital.) or
  _Avanie_ (French.)

Footnote 200:

  Arab. “Sayyib-hu” an Egyptian vulgarism found also in Syria. Hence
  Sáibah, a woman who lets herself go (a-whoring) etc. It is syn. with
  “Dashar,” which Dozy believes to be a softening of Jashar; as Jashsh
  became Dashsh.

Footnote 201:

  The Silurus is generally so called in English on account of the length
  of its feelers acting mustachios.

Footnote 202:

  See Night dcccvii, vol. viii. p. 94.

Footnote 203:

  This extraordinary confusion of two distinct religious mythologies
  cannot be the result of ignorance. Educated Moslems know at least as
  much as Christians do, on these subjects, but the Ráwi or story-teller
  speaks to the “Gallery.” In fact it becomes a mere “chaff” and The
  Nights give some neat specimens of our modern linguistic.

Footnote 204:

  See vol. ii. 197. “Al-Siddíkah” (fem.) is a title of Ayishah, who,
  however, does not appear to have deserved it.

Footnote 205:

  The Jew’s wife.

Footnote 206:

  Here is a double entendre. The fisherman meant a word or two. The Jew
  understood the Shibboleth of the Moslem Creed, popularly known as the
  “Two Words,”—I testify that there is no Ilah (god) but Allah (the God)
  and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah. Pronouncing
  this formula would make the Jew a Moslem. Some writers are surprised
  to see a Jew ordering a Moslem to be flogged; but the former was rich
  and the latter was poor. Even during the worst days of Jewish
  persecutions their money-bags were heavy enough to lighten the greater
  part, if not the whole of their disabilities. And the Moslem saying
  is, The Jew is never your (Moslem or Christian) equal: he must be
  either above you or below you. This is high, because unintentional
  praise of the (self-) Chosen People.

Footnote 207:

  He understands by the “two words” (Kalmatáni) the Moslem’s double
  profession of belief; and Khalifah’s reply embodies the popular idea
  that the number of Moslems (who will be saved) is preordained and that
  no art of man can add to it or take from it.

Footnote 208:

  Arab. Mamarr al-Tujjár (passing-place of the traders) which Lane
  renders “A chamber within the place through which the merchants
  passed.” At the end of the tale (Night dcccxlv.) we find him living in
  a Khan and the Bresl. Edit. (see my terminal note) makes him dwell in
  a magazine (_i.e._ ground-floor store-room) of a ruined Khan.

Footnote 209:

  The text is somewhat too concise and the meaning is that the fumes of
  the Hashish he had eaten (“his mind under the influence of hasheesh,”
  says Lane) suggested to him, etc.

Footnote 210:

  Arab. “Mamrak” either a simple aperture in ceiling or roof for light
  and air or a more complicated affair of lattice-work and plaster; it
  is often octagonal and crowned with a little dome. Lane calls it
  “Memrak,” after the debased Cairene pronunciation, and shows its base
  in his sketch of a Ka’áh (M. E. Introduction).

Footnote 211:

  Arab. “Kamar.” This is a practice especially amongst pilgrims. In
  Hindostan the girdle, usually a waist-shawl, is called Kammar-band our
  old “Cummerbund.” Easterns are too sensible not to protect the pit of
  the stomach, that great ganglionic centre, against sun, rain and wind,
  and now our soldiers in India wear flannel-belts on the march.

Footnote 212:

  Arab. “Fa-immá ’alayhá wa-immá bihá,” _i.e._ whether (luck go) against
  it or (luck go) with it.

Footnote 213:

  “O vilest of sinners!” alludes to the thief. “A general plunge into
  worldly pursuits and pleasures announced the end of the
  pilgrimage-ceremonies. All the devotees were now “whitewashed”—the
  book of their sins was a _tabula rasa_: too many of them lost no time
  in making a new departure down South and in opening a fresh account”
  (Pilgrimage iii. 365). I have noticed that my servant at Jeddah would
  carry a bottle of Raki, uncovered by a napkin, through the main
  streets.

Footnote 214:

  The copper cucurbites in which Solomon imprisoned the rebellious
  Jinns, often alluded to in The Nights.

Footnote 215:

  _i.e._ Son of the Chase: it is prob. a corruption of the Persian
  Kurnas, a pimp, a cuckold, and introduced by way of chaff,
  intelligible only to a select few “fast men.”

Footnote 216:

  For the name see vol. i. 61, in the Tale of Ghánim bin ’Ayyúb where
  the Caliph’s concubine is also drugged by the Lady Zubaydah.

Footnote 217:

  We should say, “What is this?” etc. The lines have occurred before so
  I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 218:

  Zubaydah, I have said, was the daughter of Ja’afar, son of the Caliph
  al-Mansur, second Abbaside. The story-teller persistently calls her
  daughter of Al-Kásim for some reason of his own; and this he will
  repeat in Night dcccxxxix.

Footnote 219:

  Arab. “Shakhs,” a word which has travelled as far as Hindostan.

Footnote 220:

  Arab. “Shamlah” described in dictionaries, as a cloak covering the
  whole body. For Hizám (girdle) the Bresl. Edit. reads “Hirám” vulg.
  “Ehrám,” the waistcloth, the Pilgrim’s attire.

Footnote 221:

  He is described by Al-Siyúti (p. 309) as “very fair, tall, handsome
  and of captivating appearance.”

Footnote 222:

  Arab. “Uzn al-Kuffah” lit. “Ear of the basket,” which vulgar Egyptian
  pronounce “Wizn,” so “Wajh” (face) becomes “Wishsh” and so forth.

Footnote 223:

  Arab. Bi-fardayn = with two baskets, lit. “two singles,” but the
  context shows what is meant. English Frail and French _Fraile_ are
  from Arab. “Farsalah” a parcel (now esp. of coffee-beans) evidently
  derived from the low Lat. “Parcella” (Du Cange, Paris, Firmin Didot,
  1845). Compare “ream,” vol. v. 109.

Footnote 224:

  Arab. Sátúr, a kind of chopper which here would be used for the
  purpose of splitting and cleaning and scaling the fish.

Footnote 225:

  And, consequently, that the prayer he is about to make will find ready
  acceptance.

Footnote 226:

  Arab. “Ruh bilá Fuzúl” (lit. excess, exceeding) still a popular
  phrase.

Footnote 227:

  _i.e._ better give the fish than have my head broken.

Footnote 228:

  Said ironicè, a favourite figure of speech with the Fellah: the day
  began badly and threatened to end unluckily.

Footnote 229:

  The penalty of Theft. See vol. i. 274.

Footnote 230:

  This is the model of a courtly compliment; and it would still be
  admired wherever Arabs are not “frankified.”

Footnote 231:

  Arab. “Shibábah;” Lane makes it a kind of reed-flageolet.

Footnote 232:

  These lines occur in vol. i. 76; I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 233:

  The instinctive way of juggling with Heaven like our sanding the sugar
  and going to church.

Footnote 234:

  Arab. “Yá Shukayr,” from Shakar, being red (clay etc.): Shukár is an
  anemone or a tulip and Shukayr is its dim. form. Lane’s Shaykh made it
  a dim. of “Ashkar” = tawny, ruddy (of complexion), so the former
  writes, “O Shukeyr.” Mr. Payne prefers “O Rosy cheeks.”

Footnote 235:

  For “Sandal,” see vol. ii. 50. Sandalí properly means an Eunuch clean
  _rasé_, but here Sandal is a P.N. = Sandal-wood.

Footnote 236:

  Arab. “Yá mumátil,” one who retards payment.

Footnote 237:

  Arab. “Kirsh al-Nukhál” = Guts of bran, a term little fitted for the
  handsome and distinguished Persian. But Khalifah is a
  Fellah-_grazioso_ of normal assurance shrewd withal; he blunders like
  an Irishman of the last generation and he uses the first epithet that
  comes to his tongue. See Night dcccxliii. for the sudden change in
  Khalifah.

Footnote 238:

  So the Persian “May your shadow never be less” means, I have said, the
  shadow which you throw over your servant. Shade, cold water and fresh
  breezes are the joys of life in arid Arabia.

Footnote 239:

  When a Fellah demanded money due to him by the Government of Egypt, he
  was at once imprisoned for arrears of taxes and thus prevented from
  being troublesome. I am told that matters have improved under English
  rule, but I “doubt the fact.”

Footnote 240:

  This freak is of course not historical. The tale-teller introduces it
  to enhance the grandeur and majesty of Harun al-Rashid, and the vulgar
  would regard it as a right kingly diversion. Westerns only wonder that
  such things could be.

Footnote 241:

  Uncle of the Prophet: for his death see Pilgrimage ii. 248.

Footnote 242:

  First cousin of the Prophet, son of Abú Tálib, a brother of Al-Abbás
  from whom the Abbasides claimed descent.

Footnote 243:

  _i.e._ I hope thou hast or Allah grant thou have good tidings to tell
  me.

Footnote 244:

  Arab. “Nákhúzah Zulayt.” The former, from the Persian Nákhodá or
  ship-captain which is also used in a playful sense “a godless wight,”
  one owning no (ná) God (Khudá). Zulayt = a low fellow, blackguard.

Footnote 245:

  Yásamín and Narjis, names of slave-girls or eunuchs.

Footnote 246:

  Arab. Tamar-hanná, the cheapest of dyes used ever by the poorest
  classes. Its smell, I have said, is that of newly mown hay, and is
  prized like that of the tea-rose.

Footnote 247:

  The formula (meaning, “What has he to do here?”) is by no means
  complimentary.

Footnote 248:

  Arab. “Jarrah” (pron. “Garrah”) a “jar.” See Lane (M. E. chapt. v.)
  who was deservedly reproached by Baron von Hammer for his superficial
  notices. The “Jarrah” is of pottery, whereas the “Dist” is a large
  copper chauldron and the Khalkínah one of lesser size.

Footnote 249:

  _i.e._ What a bother thou art, etc.

Footnote 250:

  This sudden transformation, which to us seems exaggerated and
  unnatural, appears in many Eastern stories and in the biographies of
  their distinguished men, especially students. A youth cannot master
  his lessons; he sees a spider climbing a slippery wall and after
  repeated falls succeeding. Allah opens the eyes of his mind, his
  studies become easy to him, and he ends with being an Allámah
  (doctissimus).

Footnote 251:

  Arab. “Bismillah, Námí!” here it is not a blessing but a simple
  invitation, “Now please go to sleep.”

Footnote 252:

  The modern inkcase of the Universal East is a lineal descendant of the
  wooden palette with writing reeds. See an illustration of that of
  “Amásis, the good god and lord of the two lands” (circ. B.C. 1350) in
  British Museum (p. 41, “The Dwellers on the Nile,” by E. A. Wallis
  Bridge, London, 56, Paternoster Row, 1885).

Footnote 253:

  This is not ironical, as Lane and Payne suppose, but a specimen of
  inverted speech—Thou art in luck this time!

Footnote 254:

  Arab. Marhúb = terrible: Lane reads Mar’úb = terrified. But the former
  may also mean, threatened with something terrible.

Footnote 255:

  _i.e._ in Kut al-Kulúb.

Footnote 256:

  Lit. to the son of thy paternal uncle, _i.e._ Mohammed.

Footnote 257:

  In the text he tells the whole story beginning with the eunuch and the
  hundred dinars, the chest, etc.; but—“of no avail is a twice-told
  tale.”

Footnote 258:

  Koran xxxix. 54. I have quoted Mr. Rodwell who affects the Arabic
  formula, omitting the normal copulatives.

Footnote 259:

  Easterns find it far easier to “get the chill of poverty out of their
  bones” than Westerns.

Footnote 260:

  Arab. “Dar al-Na’ím.” Name of one of the seven stages of the Moslem
  heaven. This style of inscription dates from the days of the
  hieroglyphs. A papyrus describing the happy town of Raamses ends with
  these lines:—

            Daily is there a supply of food:
            Within it gladness doth ever brood

                   *       *       *       *       *

            Prolonged, increased; abides there Joy, etc., etc.

Footnote 261:

  Arab. Ansár = auxiliaries, the men of Al-Medinah (Pilgrimage ii. 130,
  etc.).

Footnote 262:

  Arab. Asháb = the companions of the Prophet who may number 500
  (Pilgrimage ii. 81, etc.).

                  *       *       *       *       *

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



                    KHALIF THE FISHERMAN OF BAGHDAD.


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

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

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

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

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

-----

Footnote 263:

  Arab. “Hásilah” prob. a corner of a “Godown” in some Khan or
  Caravanserai.

Footnote 264:

  Arab. “Funduk” from the Gr. πανδοχεῖον, whence the Italian Fondaco
  _e.g._ at Venice the Fondaco de’ Turchi.

Footnote 265:

  Arab. “Astár” plur. of Satr: in the Mac. Edit. Sátúr, both (says Dozy)
  meaning “Couperet” (a hatchet). Habicht translates it “a measure for
  small fish,” which seems to be a shot and a bad shot as the text talks
  only of means of carrying fish. Nor can we accept Dozy’s emendation
  Astál (plur. of Satl) pails, situlæ. In Petermann’s Reisen (i. 89)
  Satr = assiette.

Footnote 266:

  Which made him expect a heavy haul.

Footnote 267:

  Arab. “Urkúb” = tendon Achilles in man hough or pastern in beast, etc.
  It is held to be an incrementative form of ’Akab (heel); as Kur’úb of
  Ka’b (heel) and Khurtúm of Khatm (snout).

Footnote 268:

  Arab. “Karmút” and Zakzúk. The former (pronounced Garmút) is one of
  the many Siluri (S. Carmoth Niloticus) very common and resembling the
  Shál. It is smooth and scaleless with fleshy lips and soft meat and as
  it haunts muddy bottoms it was forbidden to the Ancient Egyptians. The
  Zakzúk is the young of the Shál (Synodontis Schal: Seetzen); its
  plural form Zakázik (pronounced Zigázig) gave a name to the
  flourishing town which has succeeded to old Bubastis and of which I
  have treated in “Midian” and “Midian Revisited.”

Footnote 269:

  “Yá A’awar” = O one eye! _i.e._ the virile member. So the vulgar
  insult “Ya ibn al-aur” (as the vulgar pronounce it) “O son of a yard!”
  When Al-Mas’údi writes (Fr. Trans. vii. 106), “Udkhul usbu’ak fi
  aynih,” it must not be rendered “Il faut lui faire violence”: thrust
  thy finger into his eye (’Ayn) means “put thy penis up his fundament!”
  (’Ayn being = Dubur). The French remarks, “On en trouverait
  l’équivalent dans les bas-fonds de notre langue.” So in English “pig’s
  eye,” “blind eye.” etc.

Footnote 270:

  Arab. Nabbút = a quarterstaff: see vol. i. 234.

Footnote 271:

  Arab. “Banní,” vulg. Benni and in Lane (Lex. Bunni) the Cyprinus Bynni
  (Forsk.), a fish somewhat larger than a barbel with lustrous silvery
  scales and delicate flesh, which Sonnini believes may be the
  “Lepidotes” (smooth-scaled) mentioned by Athenæus. I may note that the
  Bresl. Edit. (iv. 332) also affects the Egyptian vulgarism
  “Farkh-Banni” of the Mac. Edit. (Night dcccxxxii.)

Footnote 272:

  The story-teller forgets that Khalif had neither basket nor knife.

Footnote 273:

  Arab. “Rayhán” which may here mean any scented herb.

Footnote 274:

  In the text “Fard Kalmah,” a vulgarism. The Mac. Edit. (Night
  dcccxxxv.) more aptly says, “Two words” (Kalmatáni, vulg. Kalmatayn)
  the Twofold Testimonies to the Unity of Allah and the Mission of His
  Messenger.

Footnote 275:

  The lowest Cairene chaff which has no respect for itself or others.

Footnote 276:

  Arab. “Karrat azlá’ hú”: alluding to the cool skin of healthy men when
  digesting a very hearty meal.

Footnote 277:

  This is the true Fellah idea. A peasant will go up to his proprietor
  with the “rint” in gold pieces behind his teeth and undergo an immense
  amount of flogging before he spits them out. Then he will return to
  his wife and boast of the number of sticks he has eaten instead of
  paying at once and his spouse will say, “Verily thou art a man.”
  Europeans know nothing of the Fellah. Napoleon Buonaparte, for
  political reasons, affected great pity for him and horror of his
  oppressors, the Beys and Pashas; and this affectation gradually became
  public opinion. The Fellah must either tyrannise or be tyrannised
  over; he is never happier than under a strong-handed despotism and he
  has never been more miserable than under British rule or rather
  misrule. Our attempts to constitutionalise him have made us the
  laughing-stock of Europe.

Footnote 278:

  The turban is a common substitute for a purse with the lower classes
  of Egyptians; and an allusion to the still popular practice of
  turban-snatching will be found in vol. i. p. 259.

Footnote 279:

  Arab. “Sálih,” a devotee; here, a naked Dervish.

Footnote 280:

  Here Khalif is made a conspicuous figure in Baghdad like Boccaccio’s
  Calandrino and Co. He approaches in type the old Irishman now extinct,
  destroyed by the reflux action of Anglo-America (U.S.) upon the
  miscalled “Emerald Isle.” He blunders into doing and saying funny
  things whose models are the Hibernian “bulls” and acts purely upon the
  impulse of the moment, never reflecting till (possibly) after all is
  over.

Footnote 281:

  Arab. “Kaylúlah,” explained in vol. i. 51.

Footnote 282:

  _i.e._ thy bread lawfully gained. The “Bawwák” (trumpeter) like the
  “Zammár” (piper of the Mac. Edit.) are discreditable craftsmen,
  associating with Almahs and loose women and often serving as their
  panders.

Footnote 283:

  _i.e._ he was indecently clad. Man’s “shame” extends from navel to
  knees. See vol. vi. 30.

Footnote 284:

  Rashád would be = garden-cresses or stones: Rashíd the
  heaven-directed.

Footnote 285:

  Arab. “Uff ’alayka” = fie upon thee! Uff = lit. Sordes Aurium and Tuff
  (a similar term of disgust) = Sordes unguinum. To the English reader
  the blows administered to Khalif appear rather hard measure. But a
  Fellah’s back is thoroughly broken to the treatment and he would take
  ten times as much punishment for a few piastres.

Footnote 286:

  Arab. “Zurayk” dim. of Azrak = blue-eyed. See vol. iii. 104.

Footnote 287:

  Of Baghdad.

Footnote 288:

  Arab. “Hásil,” _i.e._ cell in a Khan for storing goods: elsewhere it
  is called a Makhzan (magazine) with the same sense.

Footnote 289:

  The Bresl. text (iv. 347) abbreviates, or rather omits; so that in
  translation details must be supplied to make sense.

Footnote 290:

  Arab. “Kamán,” vulgar Egyptian, a contraction from Kamá (as) + anna
  (since, because). So “Kamán shuwayh” = wait a bit; “Kamán marrah” =
  once more and “Wa Kamána-ka” = that is why.

Footnote 291:

  _i.e._ Son of the Eagle: See vol. iv. 177. Here, however, as the text
  shows it is hawk or falcon. The name is purely fanciful and made
  mnemonically singular.

Footnote 292:

  The Egyptian Fellah knows nothing of boxing like the Hausá man; but he
  is fond of wrestling after a rude and uncultivated fashion, which
  would cause shouts of laughter in Cumberland and Cornwall. And there
  are champions in this line. See vol. iii. 93.

Footnote 293:

  The usual formula. See vol. ii. 5.

Footnote 294:

  As the Fellah still does after drinking a cuplet (“fingán” he calls
  it) of sugared coffee.

Footnote 295:

  He should have said “white,” the mourning colour under the Abbasides.

Footnote 296:

  Anglicè, “Fine feathers make fine birds”; and in Eastern parlance,
  “Clothe the reed and it will become a bride.” (Labbis al-Búsah tabkí
  ’Arúsah, Spitta Bey, No. 275.) I must allow myself a few words of
  regret for the loss of this Savant, one of the most single-minded men
  known to me. He was vilely treated by the Egyptian Government, under
  the rule of the Jew-Moslem Riyáz; and, his health not allowing him to
  live in Austria, he died shortly after return home.

Footnote 297:

  Arab. “Saub (Tobe) ’Atábi”: see vol. iii. 149.

Footnote 298:

  In text “Kimkhá,” which Dozy also gives Kumkh = chenille, tissu de
  soie veloutee: Damasquète de soie or et argent de Venise, du Levant, à
  fleurs, etc. It comes from Kamkháb or Kimkháb, a cloth of gold, the
  well-known Indian “Kimcob.”

Footnote 299:

  Here meaning = Enter in Allah’s name!

Footnote 300:

  The Arabs have a saying, Wine breeds gladness, music merriment and
  their offspring is joy.

Footnote 301:

  Arab. “Jokh al-Saklát,” rich kind of brocade on broadcloth.

Footnote 302:

  Arab. “Hanabát,” which Dozy derives from O. German Hnapf, Hnap now
  Napf: thence too the Lat. Hanapus and Hanaperium: Ital. Anappo, Nappo;
  Provenc. Enap and French and English “Hanap” = rich bowl, basket, bag.
  But this is known even to the dictionaries.

Footnote 303:

  Arab. “Kirám,” nobles, and “Kurúm,” vines, a word which appears in
  Carmel = Karam-El (God’s vineyard).

Footnote 304:

  Arab. “Suláf al-Khandarísí,” a contradiction. Suláf = the ptisane of
  wine. Khandarísí, from Greek χόνδρος, lit. gruel, applies to old wine.

Footnote 305:

  _i.e._ in bridal procession.

Footnote 306:

  Arab. “Al-’Arús,” one of the innumerable tropical names given to wine
  by the Arabs. Mr. Payne refers to Grangeret de la Grange, Anthologie
  Arabe, p. 190.



                    MASRUR AND ZAYN AL-MAWASIF.[307]


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 As a crescent-moon in the garth her form ✿ ’Mid Basil and Jasmine and
    Rose I scan;
 And Violet faced by the Myrtle-spray ✿ And Nu’umán’s bloom and
    Myrobalan:
 By her perfume the Zephyrs perfumèd breathe ✿ And with scented sighings
    the branches fan.
 O Garden, thou perfect of beauty art ✿ All charms comprising in perfect
    plan;
 And melodious birdies sing madrigals ✿ And the Full Moon[308] shineth in
    branch-shade wan;

 Its ring-dove, its culver, its mocking-bird ✿ And its Philomel sing my
    soul t’ unman;
 And the longing of love all my wits confuseth ✿ For her charms, As the
    man whom his wine bemuseth.

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

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

“Ho, thou! Begone about thy business, for we are none of the woman-tribe
who are neither thine nor another’s.[309]” And he answered, “O my lady,
I said nothing ill.” Quoth she, “Thou soughtest to divert thyself[310]
and thou hast had thy diversion; so wend thy ways.” Quoth he, “O my
lady, belike thou wilt give me a draught of water, for I am athirst.”
Whereupon she cried, “How canst thou drink of a Jew’s water, and thou a
Nazarene?” But he replied, “O my lady, your water is not forbidden to us
nor ours unlawful to you, for we are all as one creation.” So she said
to her slave-girl, “Give him to drink;” and she did as she was bidden.
Then she called for the table of food, and there came four damsels,
high-bosomed maids, bearing four trays of meats and four gilt flagons
full of strong old-wine, as it were the tears of a slave of love for
clearness, and a table around whose edge were graven these couplets:—

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

And when the high-breasted maids had set all this before him, quoth she,
“Thou soughtest to drink of our drink; so up and at our meat and drink!”
He could hardly credit what his ears had heard and sat down at the table
forthright; whereupon she bade her nurse[311] give him a cup, that he
might drink. Now her slave-girls were called, one Hubúb, another Khutúb
and the third Sukúb,[312] and she who gave him the cup was Hubub. So he
took the cup and looking at the outside there saw written these
couplets:—

 Drain not the bowl but with lovely wight ✿ Who loves thee and wine makes
    brighter bright.
 And ’ware her Scorpions[313] that o’er thee creep ✿ And guard thy tongue
    lest thou vex her sprite.

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

 And ’ware her Scorpions when pressing them, ✿ And hide her secrets from
    foes’ despight.

Whereupon Masrur laughed her-wards and she asked him, “What causeth thee
to laugh?” “For the fulness of my joy,” quoth he. Presently, the breeze
blew on her and the scarf[314] fell from her head and discovered a
fillet[315] of glittering gold, set with pearls and gems and jacinths;
and on her breast was a necklace of all manner ring-jewels and precious
stones, to the centre of which hung a sparrow of red gold, with feet of
red coral and bill of white silver and body full of Nadd-powder and pure
ambergris and odoriferous musk. And upon its back was engraved:—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Behind the veil a damsel sits with gracious beauty dight, ✿ Praise to
    the Lord who decked her with these inner gifts of sprite!
 Guards her the garden and the bird fain bears her company; ✿ Gladden her
    wine-draughts and the bowl but makes her brighter-bright.
 Apple and Cassia-blossom show their envy of her cheeks; ✿ And borrows
    Pearl resplendency from her resplendent light;
 As though the sperm that gendered her were drop of marguerite[316] ✿
    Happy who kisses her and spends in her embrace the night.

So Masrur entered into a long discourse with Hubub and presently said to
her, “O Hubub, hath thy mistress a husband or not?” She replied, “My
lady hath a husband; but he is actually abroad on a journey with
merchandise of his.” Now whenas he heard that her husband was abroad on
a journey, his heart lusted after her and he said, “O Hubub, glorified
be He who created this damsel and fashioned her! How sweet is her beauty
and her loveliness and her symmetry and perfect grace! Verily, into my
heart is fallen sore travail for her. O Hubub, so do that I come to
enjoy her, and thou shalt have of me what thou wilt of wealth and what
not else.” Replied Hubub, “O Nazarene, if she heard thee speak thus, she
would slay thee, or else she would kill herself, for she is the daughter
of a Zealot[317] of the Jews nor is there her like amongst them: she
hath no need of money and she keepeth herself ever cloistered,
discovering not her case to any.” Quoth Masrur, “O Hubub, an thou wilt
but bring me to enjoy her, I will be to thee slave and foot page and
will serve thee all my life and give thee whatsoever thou seekest of
me.” But quoth she, “O Masrur, in very sooth this woman hath no lust for
money nor yet for men, because my lady Zayn al-Mawasif is of the
cloistered, going not forth her house-door in fear lest folk see her;
and but that she bore with thee by reason of thy strangerhood, she had
not permitted thee to pass her threshold; no, not though thou wert her
brother.” He replied, “O Hubub, be thou our go-between and thou shalt
have of me an hundred gold dinars and a dress worth as much more, for
that the love of her hath gotten hold of my heart.” Hearing this she
said, “O man, let me go about with her in talk and I will return thee an
answer and acquaint thee with what she saith. Indeed, she loveth those
who berhyme her and she affecteth those who set forth her charms and
beauty and loveliness in verse, and we may not prevail over her save by
wiles and soft speech and beguilement.” Thereupon Hubub rose and going
up to her mistress, accosted her with privy talk of this and that and
presently said to her, “O my lady, look at yonder young man, the
Nazarene; how sweet is his speech and how shapely his shape!” When Zayn
al-Mawasif heard this, she turned to her and said, “An thou like his
comeliness love him thyself. Art thou not ashamed to address the like of
me with these words? Go, bid him begone about his business; or I will
make it the worse for him.” So Hubub returned to Masrur, but acquainted
him not with that which her mistress had said. Then the lady bade her
hie to the door and look if she saw any of the folk, lest foul befal
them. So she went and returning, said, “O my lady, without are folk in
plenty and we cannot let him go forth this night.” Quoth Zayn
al-Mawasif, “I am in dole because of a dream I have seen and am fearful
therefrom.” And Masrur said, “What sawest thou? Allah never trouble thy
heart!” She replied, “I was asleep in the middle of the night, when
suddenly an eagle swooped down upon me from the highest of the clouds
and would have carried me off from behind the curtain, wherefore I was
affrighted at him. Then I awoke from sleep and bade my women bring me
meat and drink, so haply, when I had drunken, the dolour of the dream
would cease from me.” Hearing this, Masrur smiled and told her his dream
from first to last and how he had caught the dove, whereat she marvelled
with exceeding marvel. Then he went on to talk with her at great length
and said, “I am now certified of the truth of my dream, for thou art the
dove and I the eagle, and there is no hope but that this must be, for,
the moment I set eyes on thee, thou tookest possession of my vitals and
settest my heart afire for love of thee!” Thereupon Zayn al-Mawasif
became wroth with exceeding wrath and said to him, “I take refuge with
Allah from this! Allah upon thee, begone about thy business ere the
neighbours espy thee and there betide us sore reproach,” adding,
“Harkye, man! Let not thy soul covet that it shall not obtain. Thou
weariest thyself in vain; for I am a merchant’s wife and a merchant’s
daughter and thou art a druggist; and when sawest thou a druggist and a
merchant’s daughter conjoined by such sentiment?” He replied, “O my
lady, never lacked love-liesse between folk[318]; so cut thou not off
from me hope of this and whatsoever thou seekest of me of money and
raiment and ornaments and what not else, I will give thee.” Then he
abode with her in discourse and mutual blaming whilst she still
redoubled in anger, till it was black night, when he said to her, “O my
lady, take this gold piece and fetch me a little wine, for I am athirst
and heavy hearted.” So she said to the slave-girl Hubub, “Fetch him wine
and take naught from him, for we have no need of his dinar.” So she went
whilst Masrur held his peace and bespake not the lady, who suddenly
improvised these lines:—

 Leave this thy design and depart, O man! ✿ Nor tread paths where
    lewdness and crime trepan!
 Love is a net shall enmesh thy sprite, ✿ Make thee rise a-morning sad,
    weary and wan:
 For our spy thou shalt eke be the cause of talk; ✿ And for thee shall
    blame me my tribe and clan:

 Yet scant I marvel thou lovest a Fair:— ✿ Gazelles hunting lions we aye
    shall scan!

And he answered her with these:—

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

Hearing these lines she exclaimed, “Away from me! Quoth the saw ‘Whoso
looseth his sight wearieth his sprite.’ By Allah, I am tired of
discourse with thee and chiding, and indeed thy soul coveteth that shall
never become thine; nay, though thou gave me my weight in gold, thou
shouldst not get thy wicked will of me; for, I know naught of the things
of the world, save pleasant life, by the boon of Allah Almighty!” He
answered, “O my lady Zayn al-Mawasif, ask of me what thou wilt of the
goods of the world.” Quoth she, “What shall I ask of thee? For sure thou
wilt fare forth and prate of me in the highway and I shall become a
laughing-stock among the folk and they will make a byword of me in
verse, me who am the daughter of the chief of the merchants and whose
father is known of the notables of the tribe. I have no need of money or
raiment and such love will not be hidden from the people and I shall be
brought to shame, I and my kith and kin.” With this Masrur was
confounded and could make her no answer; but presently she said,
“Indeed, the master-thief, if he steal, stealeth not but what is worth
his neck, and every woman who doth lewdness with other than her husband
is styled a thief; so, if it must be thus and no help[319], thou shalt
give me whatsoever my heart desireth of money and raiment and ornaments
and what not.” Quoth he, “An thou sought of me the world and all its
regions contain from its East to its West, ’twere but a little thing,
compared with thy favour;” and quoth she, “I will have of thee three
suits, each worth a thousand Egyptian dinars, and adorned with gold and
fairly purfled with pearls and jewels and jacinths, the best of their
kind. Furthermore I require that thou swear to me thou wilt keep my
secret nor discover it to any and that thou wilt company with none but
me; and I in turn will swear to thee a true oath that I will never false
thee in love.” So he sware to her the oath she required and she sware to
him, and they agreed upon this; after which she said to her nurse Hubub,
“To-morrow go thou with Masrur to his lodging and seek somewhat of musk
and ambergris and Nadd and rose-water and see what he hath. If he be a
man of condition, we will take him into favour; but an he be otherwise
we will leave him.” Then said she to him, “O Masrur, I desire somewhat
of musk and ambergris and aloes-wood and Nadd; so do thou send it me by
Hubub;” and he answered, “With love and gladness; my shop is at thy
disposal!” Then the wine went round between them and their séance was
sweet; but Masrur’s heart was troubled for the passion and pining which
possessed him; and when Zayn al-Mawasif saw him in this plight, she said
to her slave-girl Sukub, “Arouse Masrur from his stupor; mayhap he will
recover.” Answered Sukub, “Hearkening and obedience,” and sang these
couplets:—

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

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

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

Then Masrur answered her improvisation and began to say these lines:—

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

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

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

When Zayn al-Mawasif heard his verses, she cast at him a glance of eyes,
that bequeathed him a thousand regrets and sighs and his wits and soul
were ravished in such wise, and answered him with these couplets[320]:—

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

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


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif bade the chessboard be brought, they set it between her
hands; and Masrur was amazed at this, when she turned to him and said,
“Wilt have red or white?” He replied, “O Princess of the fair and
adornment of morning air, do thou take the red for they formous are and
fitter for the like of thee to bear and leave the white to my care.”
Answered she, “So be it;” and, taking the red pieces, ranged them
opposite the white, then put out her hand to a piece purposing the first
pass into the battle-plain. Masrur considered her fingers, which were
white as paste, and was confounded at their beauty and shapely shape;
whereupon she turned to him and said, “O Masrur, be not bedazed, but
take patience and calm thyself.” He rejoined, “O thou whose beauty
shameth the moon, how shall a lover look on thee and have
patience-boon?” And while this was doing she cried, “Checkmate[321]!”
and beat him; wherefore she knew that he was Jinn-mad for love of her
and said to him, “O Masrur, I will not play with thee save for a set
stake.” He replied, “I hear and obey,” and she rejoined, “Swear to me
and I will swear to thee that neither of us will cheat[322] the
adversary.” So both sware this and she said, “O Masrur, an I beat thee,
I will have ten dinars of thee, but an thou beat me, I will give thee a
mere nothing.” He expected to win, so he said, “O my lady, be not false
to thine oath, for I see thou art an overmatch for me at this game!”
“Agreed,” said she and they ranged their men and fell again to playing
and pushing on their pawns and catching them up with the queens and
aligning and matching them with the castles and solacing them with the
onslaught of the knights. Now the “Adornment of Qualities” wore on head
a kerchief of blue brocade so she loosed it off and tucking up her
sleeve, showed a wrist like a shaft of light and passed her palm over
the red pieces, saying to him, “Look to thyself.” But he was dazzled at
her beauty, and the sight of her graces bereft him of reason, so that he
became dazed and amazed and put out his hand to the white men, but it
alit upon the red. Said she, “O Masrur, where be thy wits? The red are
mine and the white thine;” and he replied, “Whoso looketh at thee
perforce loseth all his senses.” Then, seeing how it was with him, she
took the white from him and gave him the red, and they played and she
beat him. He ceased not to play with her and she to beat him, whilst he
paid her each time ten dinars, till, knowing him to be distraught for
love of her, she said, “O Masrur, thou wilt never win to thy wish,
except thou beat me, for such was our understanding; and henceforth, I
will not play with thee save for a stake of an hundred dinars a game.”
“With love and gladness,” answered he and she went on playing and ever
beating him and he paid her an hundred dinars each time; and on this
wise they abode till the morning, without his having won a single game,
when he suddenly sprang to his feet. Quoth she, “What wilt thou do, O
Masrur?”; and quoth he, “I mean to go to my lodging and fetch somewhat
of money: it may be I shall come to my desire.” “Do whatso seemeth good
to thee,” said she; so he went home and taking all the money he had,
returned to her improvising these two couplets:—

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

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


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

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

 Of Time and what befel me I complain, ✿ Mourning my loss by chess and
    eyes of bane.
 For love of gentlest, softest-sided fair ✿ Whose like is not of maids or
    mortal strain:
 The shafts of glances from those eyne who shot ✿ And led her conquering
    host to battle-plain
 Red men and white men and the clashing Knights ✿ And, crying “Look to
    thee!” came forth amain:
 And, when down charging, finger-tips she showed ✿ That gloomed like
    blackest night for sable stain,
 The Whites I could not rescue, could not save ✿ While ecstasy made
    tear-floods rail and rain:
 The Pawns and Castles with their Queens fell low ✿ And fled the Whites
    nor could the brunt sustain:
 Yea, with her shaft of glance at me she shot ✿ And soon that shaft had
    pierced my heart and brain:
 She gave me choice between her hosts, and I ✿ The Whites like moonlight
    first to choose was fain,
 Saying, “This argent folk best fitteth me ✿ I love them, but the Red by
    thee be ta’en!”

 She playèd me for free accepted stake ✿ Yet amorous mercy I could ne’er
    obtain:
 O fire of heart, O pine and woe of me, ✿ Wooing a fair like moon mid
    starry train:
 Burns no my heart O no! nor aught regrets ✿ Of good or land, but ah! her
    eyes’ disdain!
 Amazed I’m grown and dazed for drearihead ✿ And blame I Time who brought
    such pine and pain.
 Quoth she, “Why art thou so bedazed!” quoth I ✿ “Wine-drunken wight
    shall more of wine assain?”
 That mortal stole my sense by silk-soft shape, ✿ Which doth for
    heart-core hardest rock contain.
 I nervèd self and cried, “This day she’s mine” ✿ By bet, nor fear I
    prove she unhumàne:
 My heart ne’er ceased to seek possession, till ✿ Beggared I found me for
    conditions twain:
 Will youth you loveth shun the Love-dealt blow, ✿ Tho’ were he whelmed
    in Love’s high-surging main?
 So woke the slave sans e’en a coin to turn, ✿ Thralled to repine for
    what he ne’er shall gain!

Zayn al-Mawasif hearing these words marvelled at the eloquence of his
tongue and said to him, “O Masrur, leave this madness and return to thy
right reason and wend thy ways; for thou hast wasted all thy moveables
and immoveables at the chess-game, yet hast not won thy wish, nor hast
thou any resource or device whereby thou mayst attain to it.” But he
turned to her and said, “O my lady, ask of me whatso thou wilt and thou
shalt have it; for I will bring it to thee and lay it at thy feet.”
Answered she, “O Masrur, thou hast no money left.” “O goal of all hopes,
if I have no money, the folk will help me.” “Shall the giver turn
asker?” “I have friends and kinsfolk, and whatsoever I seek of them,
they will give me.” “O Masrur, I will have of thee four pods of musk and
four vases of civet[323] and four pounds of ambergris and four thousand
dinars and four hundred pieces of royal brocade, purfled with gold. An
thou bring me these things, O Masrur, I will grant thee my favours.”
“This is a light matter to me, O thou that puttest the moons to shame,”
replied he and went forth to fetch her what she sought. She sent her
maid Hubub after him, to see what worth he had with the folk of whom he
had spoken to her; but, as he walked along the highways he turned and
seeing her afar off, waited till she came up to him and said to her,
“Whither away, O Hubub?” So she said to him, “My mistress sent me to
follow for this and that,” and he replied, “By Allah, O Hubub, I have
nothing to hand!” She asked, “Then why didst thou promise her?”; and he
answered, “How many a promise made is unkept of its maker! Fine words in
love-matters needs must be.” When she heard this from him, she said, “O
Masrur, be of good cheer and eyes clear for, by Allah, most assuredly I
will be the means of thy coming to enjoy her!” Then she left him nor
ceased walking till she stood before her mistress weeping with sore
weeping, and said, “O my lady, indeed he is a man of great
consideration, and good repute among the folk.” Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif,
“There is no device against the destiny of Almighty Allah! Verily, this
man found not in me a pitiful heart, for that I despoiled him of his
substance and he got of me neither affection nor complaisance in
granting him amorous joy; but, if I incline to his inclination, I fear
lest the thing be bruited abroad.” Quoth Hubub, “O my lady, verily,
grievous upon us is his present plight and the loss of his good and thou
hast with thee none save thyself and thy slave-girl Sukub; so which of
us two would dare prate of thee, and we thy handmaids?” With this, she
bowed her head for a while groundwards and the damsels said to her, “O
my lady, it is our rede that thou send after him and show him grace and
suffer him not ask of the sordid; for how bitter is such begging!” So
she accepted their counsel and calling for inkcase and paper, wrote him
these couplets:—

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

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

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

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


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that while Masrur,
transported by passion and love-longing, was repeating his couplets in
sing-song tone Hubub knocked at his door; so he rose and opened to her,
and she entered and gave him the letter. He read it and said to her, “O
Hubub, what is behind thee of thy lady’s news[324]?” She answered, “O my
lord, verily, in this letter is that dispenseth me from reply, for thou
art of those who readily descry!” Thereat he rejoiced with joy exceeding
and repeated these two couplets:—

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

Then he wrote a letter answering hers and gave it to Hubub, who wrote it
and returned with it to her mistress and forthright fell to extolling
his charms to her and expiating on his good gifts and generosity; for
she was become a helper to him, to bring about his union with her lady.
Quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, “O Hubub, indeed he tarrieth to come to us;” and
quoth Hubub, “He will certainly come soon.” Hardly had she made an end
of speaking when behold, he knocked at the door, and she opened to him
and brought him in to her mistress, who saluted him with the salam[325]
and welcomed him and seated him by her side. Then she said to Hubub,
“Bring me a suit of brocade;” so she brought a robe broidered with gold
and Zayn al-Mawasif threw it over him, whilst she herself donned one of
the richest dresses and crowned her head with a net of pearls of the
freshest water. About this she bound a fillet of brocade, purfled with
pearls, jacinths and other jewels, from beneath which she let down two
tresses[326] each looped with a pendant of ruby, charactered with
glittering gold, and she loosed her hair, as it were the sombrest night;
and lastly she incensed herself with aloes-wood and scented herself with
musk and ambergris, and Hubub said to her, “Allah save thee from the
evil eye!” Then she began to walk, swaying from side to side with
gracefullest gait, whilst Hubub who excelled in verse-making, recited in
her honour these couplets:—

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

So Zayn al-Mawasif thanked her and went up to Masrur, as she were full
moon displayed. But when he saw her, he rose to his feet and exclaimed,
“An my thought deceive me not, she is no human, but one of the brides of
Heaven!” Then she called for food and they brought a table, about whose
marge were written these couplets[327]:—

 Dip thou with spoons in saucers four and gladden heart and eye With many
    a various kind of stew and fricassee and fry.
 Thereon fat quails (ne’er shall I cease to love and tender them) And
    rails and fowls and dainty birds of all the kinds that fly.
 Glory to God for the Kabobs, for redness all aglow, And potherbs,
    steeped in vinegar, in porringers thereby!

 Fair fall the rice with sweet milk dressed, wherein the hands did plunge
    And eke the forearms of the fair were buried, bracelet-high!
 How my heart yearneth with regret over two plates of fish That by two
    manchet-cakes of bread of Tewarij[328] did lie!

Then they ate and drank and made mirth and merriment, after which the
servants removed the table of food and set on the wine service; so cup
and tasse[329] passed round between them and they were gladdened in
soul. Then Masrur filled the cup and saying, “O whose thrall am I and
who is my mistress!”[330] chanted these improvised couplets:—

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

When he ended his extempore song she said, “O Masrur, whoso religiously
keepeth his faith and hath eaten our bread and salt, it behoveth us to
give him his due; so put away from thee all thought of what hath been
and I will restore thee thy lands and houses and all we have taken from
thee.” He replied, “O my lady, I acquit thee of that whereof thou
speakest, though thou hadst been false to the oath and covenant between
us; for I will go and become a Moslem.” Zayn al-Mawasif protested that
she would follow suit[331] when Hubub cried to her, “O my lady, thou art
young of years and knowest many things, and I claim the intercession of
Almighty Allah with thee for, except thou do my bidding and heal my
heart, I will not lie the night with thee in the house.” And she
replied, “O Hubub, it shall be as thou wilt. Rise and make us ready
another sitting-room.” So she sprang to her feet and gat ready a room
and adorned and perfumed it after fairest fashion even as her lady loved
and preferred; after which she again set on food and wine, and the cup
went round between them and their hearts were glad.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif bade her maid Hubub make ready a private sitting-room she
arose and did her bidding, after which she again set food and wine
before them and cup and tasse went round gladdening their hearts.
Presently quoth Zayn al-Mawasif, “O Masrur, come is the time of Union
and favour; so, as thou studiest my love to savour recite us some verses
surpassing of flavour.” Upon this he recited the following ode[332]:—

       I am taken: my heart burns with living flame
       For Union shorn whenas Severance came,
       In the love of a damsel who forced my soul
       And with delicate cheeklet my reason stole.
       She hath eyebrows united and eyes black-white
       And her teeth are leven that smiles in light:
       The tale of her years is but ten plus four;—
       Tears like Dragon’s blood[333] for her love I pour.
       First I saw that face ’mid parterre and rill,
       Outshining full Lune on horizon-hill;
       And stood like a captive for awe, and cried,
       “Allah’s Peace, O who in demesne[334] doth hide!”
       She returned my salam, gaily answering
       With the sweetest speech likest pearls a-string.
       But when heard my words, she right soon had known
       My want and her heart waxed hard as stone,
       And quoth she, “Be not this a word silly-bold?”
       But quoth I, “Refrain thee nor flyte and scold!
       An to-day thou consent such affair were light;
       Thy like is the loved, mine the lover-wight!”
       When she knew my mind she but smiled in mirth
       And cried, “Now, by the Maker of Heaven and Earth!
       “I’m a Jewess of Jewry’s driest e’er seen
       And thou art naught save a Nazarene.
       “Why seek my favours? Thine’s other caste;
       An this deed thou do thou’lt repent the past.
       “Say, does Love allow with two Faiths to play?
       Men shall blame thee like me, at each break of day!
       “Wilt thou laugh at beliefs and deride their rite,
       And in thine and mine prove thee sinful sprite?
       “An thou lovedest me thou hadst turnèd Jew,
       Losing worlds for love and my favours due;
       “And by the Evangel strong oath hadst sworn
       To keep our secret intact from scorn!”
       So I took the Torah and sware strong oath
       I would hold to the covenant made by both.
       Then by law, religion and creed I sware,
       And bound her by oaths that most binding were;
       And asked her, “Thy name, O my dear delight?”
       And she, “Zayn al-Mawásif at home I’m hight!”
       “O Zayn al-Mawasif!” (cried I) “Hear my call:
       Thy love hath made me thy veriest thrall!”
       Then I peeped ’neath her chin-veil and ’spied such charms
       That the longing of love filled my heart with qualms.
       ’Neath the curtain I ceased not to humble me,
       And complain of my heart-felt misery;
       But when she saw me by Love beguiled
       She raised her face-veil and sweetly smiled:
       And when breeze of Union our faces kiss’d
       With musk-pod she scented fair neck and wrist;
       And the house with her essences seemed to drip,
       And I kissed pure wine from each smiling lip:
       Then like branch of Bán ’neath her robe she swayed
       And joys erst unlawful[335] she lawful made:
       And joined, conjoined through our night we lay
       With clip, kiss of inner lip, _langue fourrée_.
       The world hath no grace but the one loved fere
       In thine arms to clasp with possession sheer!
       With the morn she rose and she bade Good-bye
       While her brow shone brighter than moon a-sky;
       Reciting at parting (while tear-drops hung
       On her cheeks, these scattered and other strung),[336]
       “Allah’s pact in mind all my life I’ll bear
       And the lovely nights and strong oath I sware.”

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

 Joy from stroke of string doth to me incline, ✿ And sweet is a-morning
    our early wine;
 Whenas Love unveileth the amourist’s heart, ✿ And by rending the veil he
    displays his sign,
 With a draught so pure, so dear, so bright, ✿ As in hand of Moons[337]
    the Sun’s sheeny shine
 O’ nights it cometh with joy to ’rase ✿ The hoar of sorrow by boon
    divine.

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

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

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


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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif said to Masrur, “An thou be occupied with love of me, make us
some verses on that hath passed between us,” “With love and gladness,”
he replied and improvised the following Kasídah[338]:—

 Stand thou and hear what fell to me ✿ For love of you gazelle to dree!
 Shot me a white doe with her shaft ✿ O’ glances wounding woundily.
 Love was my ruin, for was I ✿ Straitened by longing ecstasy:
 I loved and woo’d a young coquette ✿ Girded by strong artillery,
 Whom in a garth I first beheld ✿ A form whose sight was symmetry.
 I greeted her and when she deigned ✿ Greeting return, “Salám,” quoth she
 “What be thy name?” said I, she said, ✿ My name declares my
    quality![339]
 “Zayn al-Mawásif I am hight.” ✿ Cried I, “Oh deign I mercy see,
 “Such is the longing in my heart ✿ No lover claimeth rivalry!”
 Quoth she, “With me an thou ’rt in love ✿ And to enjoy me pleadest plea,
 “I want of thee oh! muchel wealth; ✿ Beyond all compt my wants o’ thee!
 “I want o’ thee full many a robe ✿ Of sendal, silk and damaskry;
 “A quarter quintal eke of musk: ✿ These of one night shall pay the fee.
 “Pearls, unions and carnelian[340]-stones ✿ The bestest best of
    jewelry!”
 Of fairest patience showed I show ✿ In contrariety albe:
 At last she favoured me one night ✿ When rose the moon a crescent wee;
 An stranger blame me for her sake ✿ I say, “O blamers listen ye!
 She showeth locks of goodly length ✿ And black as blackest night its
    blee;
 While on her cheeks the roses glow ✿ Like Lazá-flame incendiary:
 In every eyelash is a sword ✿ And every glance hath archery:
 Her liplets twain old wine contain, ✿ And dews of fount-like purity:
 Her teeth resemble strings o’ pearls, ✿ Arrayed in line and fresh from
    sea:
 Her neck is like the neck of doe, ✿ Pretty and carven perfectly:
 Her bosom is a marble slab ✿ Whence rise two breasts like towers on lea:
 And on her stomach shows a crease ✿ Perfumed with rich perfumery;
 Beneath which same there lurks a Thing ✿ Limit of mine expectancy.”

 A something rounded, cushioned-high ✿ And plump, my lords, to high
    degree:
 To me ’tis likest royal throne ✿ Whither my longings wander free;
 There ’twixt two pillars man shall find ✿ Benches of high-built tracery.
 It hath specific qualities ✿ Drive sanest men t’ insanity;
 Full mouth it hath like mouth of neck ✿ Or well begirt by stony key;
 Firm lips with camelry’s compare ✿ And shows it eye of cramoisie.
 An draw thou nigh with doughty will ✿ To do thy doing lustily,
 Thou’ll find it fain to face thy bout ✿ And strong and fierce in
    valiancy.
 It bendeth backwards every brave ✿ Shorn of his battle-bravery.
 At times imberbe, but full of spunk ✿ To battle with the Paynimry.
 ’Twill show thee liveliness galore ✿ And perfect in its raillery:
 Zayn al-Mawasif it is like ✿ Complete in charms and courtesy.
 To her dear arms one night I came ✿ And won meed given lawfully:
 I passed with her that self-same night ✿ (Best of my nights!) in
    gladdest glee;
 And when the morning rose, she rose ✿ And crescent like her visnomy:
 Then swayed her supple form as sway ✿ The lances lopt from limber tree;
 And when farewelling me she cried, ✿ “When shall such nights return to
    me?”
 Then I replied, “O eyen-light, ✿ When He vouchsafeth His decree!”[341]

Zayn al-Mawasif was delighted with this Ode and the utmost gladness gat
hold of her. Then said she, “O Masrur day-dawn draweth nigh and there is
naught for it save to fly for fear of scandal and spy!” He replied, “I
hear and obey,” and rising led her to her lodging, after which he
returned to his quarters[342] and passed the rest of the night pondering
on her charms. When the morning morrowed with its sheen and shone, he
made ready a splendid present and carried it to her and sat by her side.
And thus they abode awhile, in all solace of life and its delight, till
one day there came to Zayn al-Mawasif a letter from her husband
reporting to her his speedy return. Thereupon she said in herself, “May
Allah not keep him nor quicken him! If he come hither, our life will be
troubled: would Heaven I might despair of him!” Presently entered Masrur
and sat with her at chat, as was his wont, whereupon she said to him, “O
Masrur, I have received a missive from my mate, announcing his speedy
return from his wayfaring. What is to be done, since neither of us
without other can live?” He replied, “I know not; but thou art better
able to judge, being acquainted with the ways of thy man, more by token
that thou art one of the sharpest-witted of women and past mistress of
devices such as devise that whereof fail the wise.” Quoth she, “He is a
hard man and jealous of his household: but, when he shall come home and
thou hearest of his coming, do thou repair to him and salute him and sit
down by his side, saying:—O my brother, I am a druggist. Then buy of him
somewhat of drugs and spices of sorts and call upon him frequently and
prolong thy talks with him and gainsay him not in whatsoever he shall
bid thee; so haply that I would contrive may betide, as it were by
chance.” “I hear and I obey,” quoth Masrur and fared forth from her,
with heart afire for love. When her husband came home, she rejoiced in
meeting him and after saluting him bade him welcome; but he looked in
her face and seeing it pale and sallow (for she had washed it with
saffron, using one of women’s arts), asked her of her case. She answered
that she had been sick, she and her women, from the time of his
wayfaring, adding, “Verily, our hearts have been engrossed with thoughts
of thee because of the length of thine absence.” And she went on to
complain to him of the misery of separation and to pour forth copious
tears, saying, “Hadst thou but a companion with thee, my heart had not
borne all this cark and care for thee. So, Allah upon thee, O my lord,
travel not again without a comrade and cut me not off from news of thee,
that my heart and mind may be at rest concerning thee!”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Zayn
al-Mawasif said to her mate, “Travel not without comrade and cut me not
off from news of thee, that my heart and mind may be at rest concerning
thee,” he replied, “With love and gladness! By Allah thy bede is good
indeed and right is thy rede! By thy life, it shall be as thou dost
heed.” Then he unpacked some of his stock-in-trade and carrying the
goods to his shop, opened it and sat down to sell in the Soko.[343] No
sooner had he taken his place than lo and behold! up came Masrur and
saluting him, sat down by his side and began talking and talked with him
awhile. Then he pulled out a purse and taking forth gold, handed it to
Zayn al-Mawasif’s man and said, “Give me the worth of these dinars in
drugs and spices of sorts, that I may sell them in my shop.” The Jew
replied, “I hear and I obey,” and gave him what he sought. And Masrur
continued to pay him frequent visits till, one day, the merchant said to
him, “I have a mind to take me a man to partner in trade.” Quoth Masrur,
“And I also, desire to take a partner; for my father was a merchant in
the land of Al-Yaman and left me great store of money and I fear lest it
fare from me.” Quoth the Jew, turning towards him, “Wilt thou be my
partner, and I will be thy partner and a true friend and comrade to thee
at home and abroad; and I will teach thee selling and buying, giving and
taking.” And Masrur rejoined, “With all my heart.” So the merchant
carried him to his place and seated him in the vestibule, whilst he went
in to his wife and said to her, “I have provided me with a partner and
have bidden him hither as a guest; so do thou get us ready good
guest-cheer.” Whenas she heard this, she rejoiced divining that it was
Masrur, and made ready a magnificent banquet,[344] of her delight in the
success of her device. Then, when the guest drew nigh, her husband said
to her, “Come out with me to him and bid him welcome and say, Thou
gladdenest us[345]!” But Zayn al-Mawasif made a show of anger, crying,
“Wilt thou have me display myself before a strange man? I take refuge
with Allah! Though thou cut me to bits, I will not appear before him!”
Rejoined he, “Why shouldst thou be abashed at him, seeing that he is a
Nazarene and we are Jews and, to boot, we are become chums, he and I?”
Quoth she, “I am not minded to present myself before a strange man, on
whom I have never once set eyes and whom I know not any wise.” Her
husband thought she spoke sooth and ceased not to importune her, till
she rose and veiling herself, took the food and went out to Masrur and
welcomed him; whereupon he bowed his head groundwards, as he were
ashamed, and the Jew, seeing such dejection said in himself, “Doubtless,
this man is a devotee.” They ate their fill and the table being removed,
wine was set on. As for Zayn al-Mawasif, she sat over against Masrur and
gazed on him and he gazed on her till ended day, when he went home, with
a heart to fire a prey. But the Jew abode pondering the grace and the
comeliness of him; and, as soon as it was night, his wife according to
custom served him with supper and they seated themselves before it. Now
he had a mocking-bird which was wont, whenever he sat down to meat, to
come and eat with him and hover over his head; but in his absence the
fowl was grown familiar with Masrur and used to flutter about him as he
sat at meals. Now when Masrur disappeared and the master returned, it
knew him not and would not draw near him, and this made him thoughtful
concerning his case and the fowl’s withdrawing from him. As for Zayn
al-Mawasif, she could not sleep with her heart thinking of Masrur, and
thus it was with her a second and even a third night, till the Jew
became aware of her condition and, watching her while she sat
distraught, began to suspect somewhat wrong. On the fourth night, he
awoke in the middle thereof and heard his wife babbling in her sleep and
naming Masrur, what while she lay on her husband’s bosom, wherefore he
misdoubted her; but he dissembled his suspicions and when morning
morrowed he repaired to his shop and sat therein. Presently, up came
Masrur and saluted him. He returned his salam and said to him, “Welcome,
O my brother!” adding anon, “I have wished for thee;” and he sat talking
with him for an hour or so, after which he said to him, “Rise, O my
brother, and hie with me to my house, that we may enter into the pact of
brotherhood.”[346] Replied Masrur, “With joy and goodly gree,” and they
repaired to the Jew’s house, where the master went in and told his wife
of Masrur’s visit, for the purpose of conditioning their partnership,
and said, “Make us ready a goodly entertainment, and needs must thou be
present and witness our brotherhood.” But she replied, “Allah upon thee,
cause me not show myself to this strange man, for I have no mind to
company with him.” So he held his peace and forbore to press her and
bade the waiting-women bring food and drink. Then he called the
mocking-bird but it knew not its lord and settled upon Masrur’s lap; and
the Jew said to him, “O my master, what is thy name?” He answered, “My
name is Masrur;” whereupon the Jew remembered that this was the name
which his wife had repeated all night long in her sleep. Presently, he
raised his head and saw her making signs[347] with her forefingers to
Masrur and motioning to him with her eyes, wherefore he knew that he had
been completely cozened and cuckolded and said, “O my lord, excuse me
awhile, till I fetch my kinsmen, so they may be present at our swearing
brotherhood.” Quoth Masrur, “Do what seemeth good to thee;” whereupon
the Jew went forth the house and returning privily by a back way——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

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

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

When Zayn al-Mawasif heard this, her side-muscles trembled and quoth she
to her handmaid, “Heardest thou those lines?”; whereupon quoth the girl,
“I never heard him in my born days recite the like of these verses; but
let him say what he will.” Then having assured himself of the truth of
his suspicions, the Jew began to sell all his property, saying to
himself, “Unless I part them by removing her from her mother land the
twain will not turn back from this that they are engaged in, no, never!”
So, when he had converted all his possessions into coin, he forged a
letter and read it to Zayn al-Mawasif, declaring that it had come from
his kinsmen, who invited him to visit them, him and his wife. She asked,
“How long shall we tarry with them?” and he answered, “Twelve days.”
Accordingly she consented to this and said, “Shall I take any of my
maids with me?”; whereto he replied, “Take Hubub and Sukub and leave
Khutub here.” Then he made ready a handsome camel-litter[348] for his
spouse and her women and prepared to set out with them; whilst she sent
to her leman, telling him what had betided her and saying, “O Masrur, an
the trysting-time[349] that is between us pass and I come not back, know
that he hath cheated and cozened us and planned a plot to separate us
each from other, so forget thou not the plighted faith betwixt us, for I
fear that he hath found out our love and I dread his craft and perfidy.”
Then, whilst her man was busy about his march she fell a-weeping and
lamenting and no peace was left her, night or day. Her husband saw this,
but took no note thereof; and when she saw there was scant help for it,
she gathered together her clothes and gear and deposited them with her
sister, telling her what had befallen her. Then she farewelled her and
going out from her, drowned in tears, returned to her own house, where
she found her husband had brought the camels and was busy loading them,
having set apart the handsomest dromedary for her riding, and when she
saw this and knew that needs must she be separated from Masrur, she waxt
clean distraught. Presently it chanced that the Jew went out on some
business of his; so she fared forth to the first or outer door and wrote
thereon these couplets:——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

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

 Bear our salams, O Dove, from this our stead ✿ From lover to beloved far
    severèd!
 Bid him fro’ me ne’er cease to yearn and mourn ✿ O’er happy days and
    hours for ever fled:
 Eke I in grief shall ever mourn and yearn, ✿ Dwelling on days of love
    and lustihead;
 Long was our joyance, seeming aye to last, ✿ When night and morning to
    reunion led;
 Till croaked the Raven[350] of the Wold one day ✿ His cursed croak and
    did our union dead.
 We sped and left the homestead dark and void ✿ Its gates unpeopled and
    its dwellers sped.

Then she went to the second door and wrote thereon these couplets:—

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

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

 Fare softly, Masrúr! an her sanctuary ✿ Thou seek, and read what a-door
    writ she.
 Ne’er forget Love-plight, if true man; how oft ✿ Hast savoured Nights’
    bitter and sweetest gree!
 O Masrúr! forget not her neighbourhood ✿ For wi’ thee must her gladness
    and joyance flee!
 But beweep those dearest united days ✿ When thou camest veilèd in
    secresy;
 Wend for sake of us over farthest wone; ✿ Span the wold for us, for us
    dive in sea;
 Allah bless the past days! Ah, how glad they were ✿ When in Gardens of
    Fancy the flowers pluckt we!
 The nights of Union from us are fled ✿ And parting-glooms dim their
    radiancy;
 Ah! had this lasted as hopèd we, but ✿ He left only our breasts and the
    rosery.
 Will revolving days on Re-union dawn? ✿ Then our vow to the Lord shall
    accomplisht be.
 Learn thou our lots are in hand of Him ✿ Who on lines of skull[351]
    writes our destiny!

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

 Allah’s peace on thee, House of Vacancy! ✿ Ceased in thee all our joys,
    all our jubilee.
 O thou Dove of the homestead, ne’er cease to bemoan ✿ Whose moons and
    full moons[352] sorest severance dree:
 Masrúr, fare softly and mourn our loss; ✿ Loving thee our eyes lose
    their brilliancy:
 Would thy sight had seen, on our marching day, ✿ Tears shed by a heart
    in Hell’s flagrancy!
 Forget not the plight in the garth-shade pledged ✿ When we set enveiléd
    in privacy:

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

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

Said her husband, “O Zayn al-Mawasif grieve not for thy departure from
thy dwelling; for thou shalt return to it ere long Inshallah!” And he
went on to comfort her heart and soothe her sorrow. Then all set out and
fared on till they came without the town and struck into the high road,
whereupon she knew that separation was certain and this was very
grievous to her. And while such things happened Masrur sat in his
quarters, pondering his case and that of his mistress, and his heart
forewarned him of severance. So he rose without stay and delay and
repairing to her house, found the outer door padlocked and read the
couplets she had written thereon; upon which he fell down in a fainting
fit. When he came to himself, he opened the first door and entering,
read what was written upon the second and likewise upon the third doors;
wherefore passion and love-longing and distraction grew on him. So he
went forth and hastened in her track, till he came up with the light
caravan[353] and found her at the rear, whilst her husband rode in the
van, because of his merchandise. When he saw her, he clung to the
litter, weeping and wailing for the anguish of parting, and recited
these couplets:—

 Would I wot for what crime shot and pierced are we ✿ Thro’ the days with
    Estrangement’s archery!
 O my heart’s desire, to thy door I came ✿ One day, when high waxt mine
    expectancy:
 But I found the home waste as the wold and void ✿ And I ’plained my pine
    and groaned wretchedly:
 And I asked the walls of my friends who fared ✿ With my heart in pawn
    and in pendency;

 And they said, “All marched from the camp and left ✿ An ambushed sorrow
    on hill and lea;”
 And a writ on the walls did they write, as write ✿ Folk who keep their
    faith while the Worlds are three.

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


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

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

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

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

 No breeze of Union to the lover blows ✿ But moan he maketh burnt with
    fiery woes:
 The Zephyr fans him at the dawn o’ day; ✿ But when he wakes the horizon
    lonely shows:

 On bed of sickness strewn in pain he lies, ✿ And weeps he bloody tears
    in burning throes,
 For the fair neighbour with my heart they bore ✿ ’Mid travellers urging
    beasts with cries and blows
 By Allah from their stead no Zephyr blew ✿ But sniffed I as the wight on
    eyeballs goes;[354]
 And snuff the sweetest South as musk it breathes ✿ And on the longing
    lover scent bestows.

Then Masrur returned, mad with love-longing, to her house, and finding
it lone from end to end[355] and forlorn of friend, wept till he wet his
clothes; after which he swooned away and his soul was like to leave his
body. When he revived, he recited these two couplets:—

 O Spring-camp have ruth on mine overthrowing ✿ My abjection, my
    leanness, my tears aye flowing,
 Waft the scented powder[356] of breezes they breathe ✿ In hope it cure
    heart of a grief e’er growing.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

 How oft bewailing the place shall be this coming and going, ✿ While the
    House bemoaneth its builder with tear-flood ever a-flowing?
 Here was bestest joy ere fared my friend with the caravan hieing ✿ And
    its dwellers and brightest-suns[357] ne’er ceased in its walls
    a-glowing:
 Where be those fullest moons that here were alway arising? ✿ Bedimmed
    them the Shafts of Days their charms of spirit unknowing:

 Leave then what is past of the Fair thou wast ever with love espying ✿
    And look; for haply the days may restore them without foreshowing:
 For hadst thou not been, its dwellers had never departed flying ✿ Nor
    haddest thou seen the Crow with ill-omened croak a-crying.

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

 Still cleaves to this homestead mine ecstasy, ✿ And redoubled pine for
    its dwellers I dree;
 And I send to your quarters the tale of my love ✿ And the cup of your
    love gave the Cup-boy to me.
 And for faring of you and your farness from home ✿ My wounded lids are
    from tears ne’er free:
 O thou leader of litters, turn back with my love ✿ For my heart
    redoubleth its ardency:

 Greet my love and say him that naught except ✿ Those brown-red lips
    deals me remedy:
 They bore him away and our union rent ✿ And my vitals with
    Severance-shaft shot he:
 My love, my lowe and my longing to him ✿ Convey, for of parting no cure
    I see:
 I swear an oath by your love that I ✿ Will keep pact and covenant
    faithfully,
 To none I’ll incline or forget your love ✿ How shall love-sick lover
    forgetful be?
 So with you be the peace and my greeting fair ✿ In letters that perfume
    of musk-pod bear.

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


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

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

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

Then she sprinkled the letter with powder of musk and ambergris and,
having sealed it with her signet, committed it to a merchant, saying,
“Deliver it to none save to my sister.” When it reached Nasim she sent
it to Masrur, who kissed it and laid it on his eyes and wept till he
fell into a trance. Such was their case; but as regards the Jew, he
presently heard of their correspondence and began again to travel from
place to place with Zayn al-Mawasif and her damsels, till she said to
him, “Glory to God! How long wilt thou fare with us and bear us afar
from our homes?” Quoth he, “I will fare on with you a year’s journey, so
no more letters may reach you from Masrur. I see how you take all my
monies and give them to him; so all that I miss I shall recover from
you: and I shall see if Masrur will profit you or have power to deliver
you from my hand.” Then he repaired to a blacksmith, after stripping her
and her damsels of their silken apparel and clothing them in raiment of
hair-cloth, and bade him make three pairs of iron shackles. When they
were ready, he brought the smith in to his wife, having said to him,
“Put the shackles on the legs of these three slave-girls.” The first
that came forward was Zayn al-Mawasif, and when the blacksmith saw her,
his sense forsook him and he bit his finger tips and his wit fled forth
his head and his transport grew sore upon him. So he said to the Jew,
“What is the crime of these damsels?” Replied the other, “They are my
slave-girls, and have stolen my good and fled from me.” Cried the smith,
“Allah disappoint thy jealous whims! By the Almighty, were this girl
before the Kazi of Kazis,[358] he would not even reprove her, though she
committed a thousand crimes a day. Indeed, she showeth not thief’s
favour and she cannot brook the laying of irons on her legs.” And he
asked him as a boon not to fetter her, interceding with him to forbear
the shackles. When she saw the blacksmith taking her part in this wise
she said to her husband, “I conjure thee, by Allah, bring me not forth
before yonder strange man!” Said he, “Why then camest thou forth before
Masrur?”; and she made him no reply. Then he accepted the smith’s
intercession, so far as to allow him to put a light pair of irons on her
legs, for that she had a delicate body, which might not brook harsh
usage, whilst he laid her handmaids in heavy bilboes, and they ceased
not, all three, to wear hair-cloth night and day till their bodies
became wasted and their colour changed. As for the blacksmith, exceeding
love had fallen on his heart for Zayn al-Mawasif; so he returned home in
great concern and he fell to reciting extempore these couplets:—

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

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

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

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


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
blacksmith told Zayn al-Mawasif what the Kazi had said, and how he
summoned them that he might apply the Lex Talionis to their adversary,
she rejoined, “How can we go to him, seeing the door is locked on us and
our feet shackled and the Jew hath the keys?” The smith replied, “I will
make the keys for the padlocks and therewith open door and shackles.”
Asked she, “But who will show us the Kazi’s house?”; and he answered, “I
will describe it to you.” She enquired, “But how can we appear before
him, clad as we are in hair-cloth reeking with sulphur?” And the smith
rejoined, “The Kazi will not reproach this to you, considering your
case.” So saying, he went forthright and made keys for the padlocks,
wherewith he opened the door and the shackles, and loosing the irons
from their legs, carried them forth and guided them to the Kazi’s
mansion. Then Hubub did off the hair-cloth garments from her lady’s body
and carried her to the Hammam, where she bathed her and attired her in
silken raiment, and her colour returned to her. Now it happened, by
exceeding good fortune, that her husband was abroad at a bride-feast in
the house of one of the merchants; so Zayn al-Mawasif, the Adornment of
Qualities, adorned herself with the fairest ornaments and repaired to
the Kazi, who at once on espying her rose to receive her. She saluted
him with softest speech and winsomest words, shooting him through the
vitals the while with the shafts of her glances, and said, “May Allah
prolong the life of our lord the Kazi and strengthen him to judge
between man and man!” Then she acquainted him with the affair of the
blacksmith and how he had done nobly by them, whenas the Jew had
inflicted on her and her women heart-confounding torments; and how his
victims deathwards he drave, nor was there any found to save. “O
damsel,” quoth the Kazi, “what is thy name?” “My name is Zayn
al-Mawasif,—Adornment of Qualities—and this my handmaid’s name is
Hubub.” “Thy name accordeth with the named and its sound conformeth with
its sense.” Whereupon she smiled and veiled her face, and he said to
her, “O Zayn al-Mawasif, hast thou a husband or not?” “I have no
husband”; “And what is thy Faith?” “That of Al-Islam, and the religion
of the Best of Men.” “Swear to me by Holy Law replete with signs and
instances that thou ownest the creed of the Best of Mankind.” So she
swore to him and pronounced the profession of the Faith. Then asked the
Kazi, “How cometh it that thou wastest thy youth with this Jew?” And she
answered, “Know, O Kazi (may Allah prolong thy days in contentment and
bring thee to thy will and thine acts with benefits seal!), that my
father left me, after his death, fifteen thousand dinars, which he
placed in the hands of this Jew, that he might trade therewith and share
his gains with me, the head of the property[359] being secured by legal
acknowledgment. When my father died, the Jew coveted me and sought me in
marriage of my mother, who said:—How shall I drive her from her Faith
and cause to become a Jewess? By Allah, I will denounce thee to the
rulers! He was affrighted at her words and taking the money, fled to the
town of Adan.[360] When we heard where he was, we came to Adan in search
of him, and when we foregathered with him there, he told us that he was
trading in stuffs with the monies and buying goods upon goods. So we
believed him and he ceased not to cozen us till he cast us into jail and
fettered us and tortured us with exceeding sore torments; and we are
strangers in the land and have no helper save Almighty Allah and our
lord the Kazi.” When the Judge heard this tale he asked Hubub the nurse,
“Is this indeed thy lady and are ye strangers and is she unmarried?”;
and she answered, “Yes.” Quoth he, “Marry her to me and on me be
incumbent manumission of my slaves and fasting and pilgrimage and
almsgiving of all my good an I do you not justice on this dog and punish
him for that he hath done!” And quoth she, “I hear and obey.” Then said
the Kazi, “Go, hearten thy heart and that of thy lady; and to-morrow,
Inshallah, I will send for this Miscreant and do you justice on him and
ye shall see prodigies of his punishment.” So Hubub called down
blessings upon him and went forth from him with her mistress, leaving
him with passion and love-longing fraught and with distress and desire
distraught. Then they enquired for the house of the second Kazi and
presenting themselves before him, told him the same tale. On like wise
did the twain, mistress and maid with the third and the fourth, till
Zayn al-Mawasif had made her complaint to all the four Kazis, each of
whom fell in love with her and besought her to wed him, to which she
consented with a “Yes”; nor wist any one of the four that which had
happened to the others. All this passed without the knowledge of the
Jew, who spent the night in the house of the bride-feast. And when
morning morrowed, Hubub arose and gat ready her lady’s richest raiment;
then she clad her therewith and presented herself with her before the
four Kazis in the court of justice. As soon as she entered, she veiled
her face and saluted the judges, who returned her salam and each and
every of them recognised her. One was writing, and the reed-pen dropped
from his hand, another was talking, and his tongue became tied, and a
third was reckoning and blundered in his reckoning; and they said to
her, “O admirable of attributes and singular among beauties! be not thy
heart other than hearty, for we will assuredly do thee justice and bring
thee to thy desire.” So she called down blessings on them and farewelled
them and went her ways.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

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

 Rain showers of torrent tears, O Eyne and see ✿ An they will quench the
    fires that flame in me:
 After my robes of gold-embroidered silk ✿ I wake to wear the frieze of
    monkery:
 And all my raiment reeks of sulphur-fumes ✿ When erst my shift shed
    musky fragrancy:
 And hadst thou, O Masrúr, my case descried, ✿ Ne’er hadst thou borne my
    shame and ignomy.
 And eke Hubúb in iron chains is laid ✿ By Miscreant who unknows God’s
    Unity.
 The creed of Jewry I renounce and home, ✿ The Moslem’s Faith accepting
    faithfully
 Eastwards[361] I prostrate self in fairest guise ✿ Holding the only True
    Belief that be:

 Masrúr! forget not love between us twain ✿ And keep our vows and troth
    with goodly gree:
 I’ve changed my faith for sake of thee, and I ✿ For stress of love will
    cleave to secrecy:
 So haste to us, an us in heart thou bear, ✿ As noble spirit, nor as
    laggard fare.

After this she wrote a letter to Masrur, describing to him all that the
Jew had done with her from first to last and enclosed the verses
aforesaid. Then she folded the scroll and gave it to her maid Hubub,
saying, “Keep this in thy pocket, till we send it to Masrur.” Upon these
doings lo and behold! in came the Jew and seeing them joyous, said to
them, “How cometh it that I find you merry? Say me, hath a letter
reached you from your bosom friend Masrur?” Replied Zayn al-Mawasif, “We
have no helper against thee save Allah, extolled and exalted be He! He
will deliver us from thy tyranny, and except thou restore us to our
birth-place and homestead, we will complain of thee to-morrow to the
Governor of this town and to the Kazi.” Quoth he, “Who struck off the
shackles from your legs? But needs must I let make for each of you
fetters ten pounds in weight and go round about the city with you.”
Replied Hubub, “All that thou purposest against us thou shall fall into
thyself, so it please Allah the Most High, by token that thou hast
exiled us from our homes, and to-morrow we shall stand, we and thou,
before the Governor of the city.” They nighted on this wise and next
morning the Jew rose up in haste and went out to order new shackles,
whereupon Zayn al-Mawasif arose and repaired with her women to the
court-house, where she found the four Kazis and saluted them. They all
returned her salutation and the Kazi of Kazis said to those about him,
“Verily this damsel is lovely as the Venus-star[362] and all who see her
love her and bow before her beauty and loveliness.” Then he despatched
four sergeants, who were Sharífs,[363] saying, “Bring ye the criminal
after abjectest fashion.” So, when the Jew returned with the shackles
and found none in the house, he was confounded; but, as he abode in
perplexity, suddenly up came the officers and laying hold of him beat
him with a sore beating and dragged him face downwards before the Kazi.
When the judge saw him, he cried out in his face and said to him, “Woe
to thee, O foe of God, is it come to such a pass with thee that thou
doest the deed thou hast done and bringest these women far from their
country and stealest their monies and wouldst make them Jews? How durst
thou seek to make Miscreants of Moslems?” Answered the Jew, “O my lord
this woman is my wife.” Now when the Kazis heard this, they all cried
out, saying, “Throw this hound on the ground and come down on his face
with your sandals and beat him with sore blows, for his offence is
unpardonable.” So they pulled off his silken gear and clad him in his
wife’s raiment of hair-cloth, after which they threw him down and
plucked out his beard and belaboured him about the face with sandals.
Then they sat him on an ass, face to crupper, arsi-versy, and making him
take its tail in his hand, paraded him round about the city, ringing the
bell before him in every street; after which they brought him back to
the Judges in sorriest plight; and the four Kazis with one voice
condemned him to have his feet and hands cut off and lastly to be
crucified. When the accursed heard this sentence his sense forsook him
and he was confounded and said, “O my lords the Kazis, what would ye of
me?” They replied, “Say thou:—This damsel is not my wife and the monies
are her monies, and I have transgressed against her and brought her far
from her country.” So he confessed to this and the Kazis recorded his
confession in legal form and taking the money from him, gave it to Zayn
al-Mawasif, together with the document. Then she went away and all who
saw her were confounded at her beauty and loveliness, whilst each of the
Kazis looked for her committing herself to him. But, when she came to
her lodging, she made ready all matters she needed and waited till
night. Then she took what was light of load and weighty of worth, and
setting out with her maids under cover of the murks three days with
their nights fared on without stopping. Thus it was with her; but as
regards the Kazis they ordered the Jew to prison.——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Kazis ordered
the Jew to prison and on the morrow they looked for Zayn al-Mawasif
coming to them, they and their assessors; but she presented herself not
to any of them. Then said the Chief Kazi, “I wish to-day to make an
excursion without the town on business there.” So he mounted his
she-mule and taking his page with him, went winding about the streets of
the town, searching its length and width for Zayn al-Mawasif, but never
finding her. On this errand he came upon the other three Kazis, going
about on the same, each deeming himself the only one to whom she had
given tryst. He asked them whither they were riding and why they were
going about the streets; when they told him their business, whereby he
saw that their plight was as his plight and their quest as his quest. So
they all four rode throughout the city, seeking her, but could hit on no
trace of her and returned to their houses, sick for love, and lay down
on the bed of langour. Presently the Chief Kazi bethought himself of the
blacksmith; so he sent for him and said to him, “O blacksmith, knowest
thou aught of the damsel whom thou didst direct to me? By Allah, an thou
discover her not to me, I will whack thee with whips.” Now when the
smith heard this, he recited these couplets[364]:—

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

Then said the blacksmith, “By Allah, O my lord, since she fared forth
from thy worshipful presence,[365] I have not set eyes on her; no, not
once. Indeed she took possession of my heart and wits and all my talk
and thoughts are of her. I went to her lodging but found her not, nor
found I any who could give me news of her, and it is as if she had dived
into the depths of the sea or had ascended to the sky.” Now when the
Kazi heard this, he groaned a groan, that his soul was like to depart
therefor, and he said, “By Allah, well it were had we never seen her!”
Then the smith went away, whilst the Kazi fell down on his bed and
became sick of languor for her sake, and on like wise fared it with the
other three Kazis and assessors. The mediciners paid them frequent
calls, but found in them no ailment requiring a leach: so the
city-notables went in to the Chief Kazi and saluting him, questioned him
of his case; whereupon he sighed and showed them that was in his heart,
reciting these couplets:—

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

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

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

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

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

Then he sobbed one sob and his soul fled his flesh; whereupon they gat
ready his funeral and buried him commending him to the mercy of Allah;
after which they repaired to the third Kazi and the fourth, and there
befel them the like of what befel their brethren.[366] Furthermore, they
found the Assessors also sick for love of her, and indeed all who saw
her died of her love or, an they died not, lived on tortured with the
lowe of passion——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the city folk
found all the Kazis and the Assessors sick for love of her, and all who
saw her died love-sick or, an they died not, lived on tortured with the
lowe of passion for stress of pining to no purpose—Allah have mercy on
them one and all! Meanwhile Zayn al-Mawasif and her women drave on with
all diligence till they were far distant from the city and it so
fortuned that they came to a convent by the way, wherein dwelt a Prior
called Danis and forty monks.[367] When the Prior saw her beauty, he
went out to her and invited her to alight, saying, “Rest with us ten
days and after wend your ways.” So she and her damsels alighted and
entered the convent; and when Danis saw her beauty and loveliness, she
debauched his belief and he was seduced by her: wherefore he fell to
sending the monks, one after other with love-messages; but each who saw
her fell in love with her and sought her favours for himself, whilst she
excused and denied herself to them. But Danis ceased not his
importunities till he had dispatched all the forty, each one of whom
fell love-sick at first sight and plied her with blandishments never
even naming Danis; whilst she refused and rebuffed them with harsh
replies. At last when Danis’s patience was at an end and his passion was
sore on him, he said in himself, “Verily, the sooth-sayer saith:—Naught
scratcheth my skin but my own nail and naught like my own feet for mine
errand may avail.” So up he rose and made ready rich meats, and it was
the ninth day of her sojourn in the convent where she had purposed only
to rest. Then he carried them in to her and set them before her, saying,
“Bismillah, favour us by tasting the best of the food at our command.”
So she put forth her hand, saying, “For the name of Allah the
Compassionating, the Compassionate!” and ate, she and her handmaidens.
When she had made an end of eating, he said to her, “O my lady, I wish
to recite to thee some verses.” Quoth she, “Say on,” and he recited
these couplets:—

 Thou hast won my heart by cheek and eye of thee, ✿ I’ll praise for love
    in prose and poesy.

 Wilt fly a lover, love-sick, love-distraught ✿ Who strives in dreams
    some cure of love to see?
 Leave me not fallen, passion-fooled, since I ✿ For pine have left
    uncared the Monast’ry:
 O Fairest, ’tis thy right to shed my blood, ✿ So rue my case and hear
    the cry of me!

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

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

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


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

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

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

Then another monk recited the following couplets:—

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

A third monk followed with these extempore lines:—

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

Then a fourth recited the following couplets:—

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

And a fifth these[369]:—

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

And a sixth the following:—

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

And a seventh these:—

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

And on like wise all the rest of the monks shed tears and repeated
verses. As for Danis, the Prior, weeping and wailing redoubled on him,
for that he found no way to her enjoyment, and he chanted the following
couplets[370]:—

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

Then, despairing of her, they took counsel together and with one mind
agreed to fashion her image and set it up with them, and applied
themselves to this till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
Severer of societies. Meanwhile, Zayn al-Mawasif fared on, without
ceasing, to find her lover Masrur, till she reached her own house. She
opened the doors, and entered; then she sent to her sister Nasim, who
rejoiced with exceeding joy at the news of her return and brought her
the furniture and precious stuffs left in her charge. So she furnished
the house and dressed it, hanging the curtains over the doors and
burning aloes-wood and musk and ambergris and other essences till the
whole place reeked with the most delightful perfumes: after which the
Adornment of Qualities donned her finest dress and decorations and sat
talking with her maids, whom she had left behind when journeying, and
related to them all that had befallen her first and last. Then she
turned to Hubub and giving her dirhams, bade her fetch them something to
eat. So she brought meat and drink and when they had made an end of
eating and drinking,[371] Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub go and see where
Masrur was and how it fared with him. Now he knew not of her return; but
abode with concern overcast and sorrow might not be overpast;——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

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

 My wrongs hide I, withal they show to sight; ✿ And now mine eyes from
    sleep to wake are dight.
 I cry when melancholy tries my sprite ✿ Last not, O world nor work more
    despight;
           Lo hangs my soul ’twixt hardship and affright.


 Were the Sultan hight Love but fair to me, ✿ Slumber mine eyes’
    companion were to me,
 My Lords, some little mercy spare to me, ✿ Chief of my tribe: be
    debonnair to me,
           Whom Love cast down, erst rich now pauper-wight!

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

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

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

As he made an end of his recitation, he found himself walking adown in
Zayn al-Mawasif’s street and smelt the sweet savour of the pastiles
wherewithal she had incensed the house; wherefore his vitals fluttered
and his heart was like to leave his breast and desire flamed up in him
and distraction redoubled upon him; when lo, and behold! Hubub, on her
way to do her lady’s errand suddenly appeared at the head of the street
and he rejoiced with joy exceeding. When she saw him, she went up to him
and saluting him, gave him the glad news of her mistress’s return,
saying, “She hath sent me to bid thee to her.” Whereat he was glad
indeed, with gladness naught could exceed; and she took him and returned
with him to the house. When Zayn al-Mawasif saw him, she came down to
him from the couch and kissed him and he kissed her and she embraced him
and he embraced her; nor did they leave kissing and embracing till both
swooned away for stress of affection and separation. They lay a long
while senseless, and when they revived, Zayn al-Mawasif bade Hubub fetch
her a gugglet of sherbet of sugar and another of sherbet of lemons. So
she brought what she desired and they sat eating and drinking nor ceased
before nightfall, when they fell to recalling all that had befallen them
from commencement to conclusion. Then she acquainted him with her return
to Al-Islam, whereat he rejoiced and he also became a Moslem. On like
wise did her women, and they all repented to Allah Almighty of their
infidelity. On the morrow she bade send for the Kazi and the witnesses
and told them that she was a widow and had completed the
purification-period and was minded to marry Masrur. So they drew up the
wedding-contract between them and they abode in all delight of life.
Meanwhile, the Jew, when the people of Adan released him from prison,
set out homewards and fared on nor ceased faring till he came within
three days’ journey of the city. Now as soon as Zayn al-Mawasif heard of
his coming she called for her handmaid Hubub and said to her, “Go to the
Jews’ burial-place and there dig a grave and plant on it sweet basil and
jessamine and sprinkle water thereabout. If the Jew come and ask thee of
me, answer:—My mistress died twenty days ago of chagrin on thine
account. If he say, show me her tomb, take him to the grave and after
weeping over it and making moan and lament before him, contrive to cast
him therein and bury him alive.”[372] And Hubub answered, “I hear and I
obey.” Then they laid up the furniture in the store closets, and Zayn
al-Mawasif removed to Masrur’s lodging, where he and she abode eating
and drinking, till the three days were past; at the end of which the Jew
arrived and knocked at the door of his house. Quoth Hubub, “Who’s at the
door?”; and quoth he, “Thy master.” So she opened to him and he saw the
tears railing down her cheeks and said, “What aileth thee to weep and
where is thy mistress?” She replied, “My mistress is dead of chagrin on
thine account.” When he heard this, he was perplexed and wept with sore
weeping and presently said, “O Hubub, where is her tomb?” So she carried
him to the Jews’ burial-ground and showed him the grave she had dug;
whereupon he shed bitter tears and recited this pair of couplets[373]:—

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

Then he wept again with bitter tears and recited these also:—

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

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

 The world sware that for ever ’twould gar me grieve: ✿ ’Tis false, O
    world, so thine oath retrieve[374]!
 The blamer is dead and my love’s in my arms: ✿ Rise to herald of joys
    and tuck high thy sleeve[375]!

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

-----

Footnote 307:

  _i.e._ “Adornment of (good) Qualities.” See the name punned on in
  Night dcccli. Lane omits this tale because it contains the illicit
  “Amours of a Christian and a Jewess who dupes her husband in various
  abominable ways.” The text has been taken from the Mac. and the Bresl.
  Edits. x. 72 etc. In many parts the former is a mere Epitome.

Footnote 308:

  The face of her who owns the garden.

Footnote 309:

  _i.e._ I am no public woman.

Footnote 310:

  _i.e._ with the sight of the garden and its mistress—purposely left
  vague.

Footnote 311:

  Arab. “Dádat.” Night dcclxxvi. vol. vii. p. 372.

Footnote 312:

  Meaning respectively “Awaking” (or blowing hard), “Affairs” (or
  Misfortunes) and “Flowing” (blood or water). They are evidently
  intended for the names of Jewish slave-girls.

Footnote 313:

  _i.e._ the brow-curls, or accroche-cœurs. See vol. i. 168.

Footnote 314:

  Arab. “Wisháh” usually applied to woman’s broad belt, stomacher
  (Al-Hariri Ass. of Rayy).

Footnote 315:

  The old Greek, “Stephane.”

Footnote 316:

  Alluding to the popular fancy of the rain-drop which becomes a pearl.

Footnote 317:

  Arab. “Ghází” = one who fights for the faith.

Footnote 318:

  _i.e._ people of different conditions.

Footnote 319:

  The sudden change appears unnatural to Europeans; but an Eastern girl
  talking to a strange man in a garden is already half won. The beauty,
  however, intends to make trial of her lover’s generosity before
  yielding.

Footnote 320:

  These lines have occurred in the earlier part of the Night: I quote
  Mr. Payne for variety.

Footnote 321:

  Arab. “Al-Sháh mát” = the King is dead, Pers. and Arab. grotesquely
  mixed: Europeans explain “Checkmate” in sundry ways, all more or less
  wrong.

Footnote 322:

  Cheating (Ghadr) is so common that Easterns who have no tincture of
  Western civilisation look upon it not only as venial but laudable when
  one can take advantage of a simpleton. No idea of “honour” enters into
  it. Even in England the old lady whist-player of the last generation
  required to be looked after pretty closely—if Mr. Charles Dickens is
  to be trusted.

Footnote 323:

  Arab. “Al-Gháliyah,” whence the older English Algallia. See vol. i.
  128. The Voyage of Linschoten, etc. Hakluyt Society MDCCCLXXXV., with
  notes by my learned friend the late Arthur Coke Burnell whose early
  death was so sore a loss to Oriental students.

Footnote 324:

  A favourite idiom, “What news bringest thou?” (“O Asám!” Arab. Prov.
  ii. 589) used by Háris bin Amrú, King of Kindah, to the old woman Asám
  whom he had sent to inspect a girl he purposed marrying.

Footnote 325:

  Amongst the Jews the Arab Salám becomes “Shalúm” and a Jewess would
  certainly not address this ceremonial greeting to a Christian. But
  Eastern story-tellers care little for these minutiæ; and the
  “Adornment of Qualities,” was not by birth a Jewess as the sequel will
  show.

Footnote 326:

  Arab. “Sálifah,” the silken plaits used as adjuncts. See vol. iii.
  313.

Footnote 327:

  I have translated these lines in vol. i. 131, and quoted Mr. Torrens
  in vol. iv. 235. Here I borrow from Mr. Payne.

Footnote 328:

  Mr. Payne notes:—Apparently some place celebrated for its fine bread,
  as Gonesse in seventeenth-century France. It occurs also in Bresl.
  Edit. (iv. 203) and Dozy does not understand it. But Arj the root =
  good odour.

Footnote 329:

  Arab. “Tás,” from Pers. Tásah. M. Charbonneau, a Professor of Arabic
  at Constantine and Member of the Asiatic Soc. Paris, who published the
  Histoire de Chams-Eddine et Nour-Eddine with Maghrabi punctuation
  (Paris, Hachette, 1852) remarks the similarity of this word to Tazza
  and a number of other whimsical coincidences as Zauj, ζυγός, jugum;
  Inkár, negare; matrah, matelas; Ishtirá, acheter etc. To which I may
  add wasat, waist; zabad, civet; Bás, buss (kiss); uzrub (pron. Zrub),
  drub; Kat’, cut; Tarík, track; etc., etc.

Footnote 330:

  We should say “To her (I drink)” etc.

Footnote 331:

  This is _ad captandum_. The lovers becoming Moslems would secure the
  sympathy of the audience. In the sequel (Night dccclviii) we learn
  that the wilful young woman was a born Moslemah who had married a Jew
  but had never Judaized.

Footnote 332:

  The doggrel of this Kasidah is not so phenomenal as some we have seen.

Footnote 333:

  Arab. ’Andam = Brazil wood, vol. iii. 263.

Footnote 334:

  Arab. “Himà.” See supra, p. 102.

Footnote 335:

  _i.e._ her favours were not lawful till the union was sanctified by
  heart-whole (if not pure) love.

Footnote 336:

  Arab. “Mansúr wa munazzam” = oratio soluta et ligata.

Footnote 337:

  _i.e._ the cup-bearers.

Footnote 338:

  Which is not worse than usual.

Footnote 339:

  _i.e._ “Ornament of Qualities.”

Footnote 340:

  The ’Akík, a mean and common stone, ranks high in Moslem poetry on
  account of the saying of Mohammed recorded by Ali and Ayishah “Seal
  with seals of Carnelian.” (’Akik).

Footnote 341:

  See note ii. at the end of this volume.

Footnote 342:

  Arab. “Mahall” as opposed to the lady’s “Manzil,” which would be
  better “Makám.” The Arabs had many names for their old habitations,
  _e.g._: Kubbah, of brick; Sutrah, of sun-dried mud; Hazírah, of wood;
  Tiráf, a tent of leather; Khabáa, of wool; Kash’a, of skins; Nakhád,
  of camel’s or goat’s hair; Khaymah, of cotton cloth; Wabar, of soft
  hair as the camel’s undercoat and Fustát (the well-known P.N.), a tent
  of horsehair or any hair (Sha’ar) but Wabar.

Footnote 343:

  This is the Maghribi form of the Arab. Súk = a bazar-street, known
  from Tanjah (Tangiers) to Timbuctoo.

Footnote 344:

  Arab. “Walímah” usually = a wedding-feast. According to the learned
  Nasíf al-Yazají the names of entertainments are as follows: Al-Jafalà
  = a general invitation, opp. to Al-Nakarà, especial; Khurs, a
  childbirth feast; ’Akíkah, when the boy-babe is first shaved; A’zár =
  circumcision-feast; Hizák, when the boy has finished his perlection of
  the Koran; Milák, on occasion of marriage-offer; Wazímah, a mourning
  entertainment; Wakírah = a “house-warming”; Nakí’ah, on returning from
  wayfare; ’Akírah, at beginning of the month Rajab; Kirà = a
  guest-feast and Maadubah, a feast for other cause; any feast.

Footnote 345:

  Arab. “Anistaná” the pop. phrase = thy company gladdens us.

Footnote 346:

  Here “Muákhát” or making mutual brotherhood would be = entering into a
  formal agreement for partnership. For the forms of “making
  brotherhood,” see vol. iii. 15.

Footnote 347:

  Arab. “Ishárah” in classical Arab. signs with the finger (beckoning);
  Aumá, with the hand; Ramz, with the lips; Khalaj, with the eyelids
  (wink); and Ghamz, with the eye. Aumáz is a furtive glance, especially
  of women, and Ilház, a side-glance from lahaza, limis oculis intuitus
  est. See Preston’s Al-Hariri, p. 181.

Footnote 348:

  Arab. “Haudaj” (Hind. Haudah, vulg. Howda = elephant-saddle), the
  women’s camel-litter, a cloth stretched over a wooden frame. See the
  Prize-poem of Lebid, v. 12.

Footnote 349:

  _i.e._ the twelve days’ visit.

Footnote 350:

  See note, vol. vii. 267. So Dryden (Virgil):—

            And the hoarse raven on the blasted bough
            By croaking to the left presaged the coming blow.

  And Gay (Fable xxxvii.):—

                     That raven on the left-hand oak,
                     Curse on his ill-betiding croak!

  In some Persian tales two crows seen together are a good omen.

Footnote 351:

  Vulgar Moslems hold that each man’s fate is written in the sutures of
  his skull but none can read the lines. See vol. iii. 123.

Footnote 352:

  _i.e._ cease not to bemoan her lot whose moon-faced beloved ones are
  gone.

Footnote 353:

  Arab. “Rukb” used of a return caravan; and also meaning travellers on
  camels. The vulgar however apply “Rákib” (a camel-rider) to a man on
  horseback who is properly Fáris plur. “Khayyálah,” while “Khayyál” is
  a good rider. Other names are “Fayyál” (elephant-rider), Baghghál
  (mule-rider) and Hammár (donkey-rider).

Footnote 354:

  A popular exaggeration. See vol. i. 117.

Footnote 355:

  Lit. Empty of tent-ropes (Atnáb).

Footnote 356:

  Arab. “’Abír,” a fragrant powder sprinkled on face, body and clothes.
  In India it is composed of rice flower or powdered bark of the mango,
  Deodar (_uvaria longifolia_), Sandal-wood, lign-aloes or curcuma
  (_zerumbat_ or _zedoaria_) with rose-flowers, camphor, civet and
  anise-seed. There are many of these powders: see in Herklots Chiksá,
  Phul, Ood, Sundul, Uggur, and Urgujja.

Footnote 357:

  _i.e._ fair faced boys and women. These lines are from the Bresl.
  Edit. x. 160.

Footnote 358:

  _i.e._ the Chief Kazi. For the origin of the Office and title see vol.
  ii. 90, and for the Kazi al-Arab who administers justice among the
  Badawin see Pilgrimage iii. 45.

Footnote 359:

  Arab. “Raas al-Mál” = capital, as opposed to Ribá or Ribh = interest.
  This legal expression has been adopted by all Moslem races.

Footnote 360:

  Our Aden which is thus noticed by Abulfeda (A.D. 1331): “Aden in the
  lowlands of Tehámah * * * also called Abyana from a man (who found
  it?), built upon the sea-shore, a station (for land travellers) and a
  sailing-place for merchant ships India-bound, is dry and sunparcht
  (Kashifah, squalid, scorbutic) and sweet water must be imported. * * *
  It lies 86 parasangs from San’á but Ibn Haukal following the
  travellers makes it three stages. The city, built on the skirt of a
  wall-like mountain, has a water-gate and a land-gate known as Bab
  al-Sákayn. But ’Adan Lá’ah (the modest, the timid, the less known as
  opposed to Abyan, the better known?) is a city in the mountains of
  Sabir, Al-Yaman, whence issued the supporters of the Fatimite Caliphs
  of Egypt.” ’Adan etymologically means in Arab. and Heb. pleasure
  (ἥδονη), Eden (the garden), the Heaven in which spirits will see Allah
  and our “Coal-hole of the East,” which we can hardly believe ever to
  have been an Eden. Mr. Badger who supplied me with this note described
  the two Adens in a paper in Ocean Highways, which he cannot now find.
  In the ’Ajáib al-Makhlúkát, Al-Kazwíni (ob. A.D. 1275) derives the
  name from Ibn Sinán bin Ibrahím; and is inclined there to place the
  Bír al-Mu’attal (abandoned well) and the Kasr al-Mashíd (lofty palace)
  of Koran xxii. 44; and he adds “Kasr al-Misyad” to those mentioned in
  the tale of Sayf al-Mulúk and Badí’a al-Jamál.

Footnote 361:

  Meaning that she had been carried to the Westward of Meccah.

Footnote 362:

  Arab. “Zahrawíyah” which contains a kind of double entendre. Fátimah
  the Prophet’s only daughter is titled Al-Zahrá the “bright-blooming”;
  and this is also an epithet of Zohrah the planet Venus. For Fatimah
  see vol. vi. 145. Of her Mohammed said, “Love your daughters, for I
  too am a father of daughters” and, “Love them, they are the
  comforters, the dearlings.” The Lady appears in Moslem history a
  dreary young woman (died æt. 28) who made this world, like Honorius, a
  hell in order to win a next-world heaven. Her titles are Zahrá and
  Batúl (Pilgrimage ii. 90) both signifying virgin. Burckhardt
  translates Zahrá by “bright blooming” (the etymological sense); it
  denotes literally a girl who has not menstruated, in which state of
  purity the Prophet’s daughter is said to have lived and died. “Batúl”
  has the sense of a “clean maid” and is the title given by Eastern
  Christians to the Virgin Mary. The perpetual virginity of Fatimah even
  after motherhood (Hasan and Husayn) is a point of orthodoxy in
  Al-Islam as Juno’s with the Romans and Umá’s with the Hindu
  worshippers of Shiva. During her life Mohammed would not allow Ali a
  second wife, and he held her one of the four perfects, the other three
  being Asia wife of “Pharaoh,” the Virgin Mary and Khadíjah his own
  wife. She caused much scandal after his death by declaring that he had
  left her the Fadak estate (Abulfeda I, 133, 273) a castle with a fine
  palm-orchard near Khaybar. Abu Bakr dismissed the claim quoting the
  Apostle’s Hadis. “We prophets are folk who will away nothing: what we
  leave is alms gift to the poor,” and Shi’ahs greatly resent his
  decision. (See Dabistan iii. 51–52 for a different rendering of the
  words). I have given the popular version of the Lady Fatimah’s death
  and burial (Pilgrimage ii. 315) and have remarked that Moslem
  historians delight in the obscurity which hangs over her last
  resting-place, as if it were an honour even for the receptacle of her
  ashes to be concealed from the eyes of men. Her repute is a curious
  comment on Tom Hood’s

                 “Where woman has never a soul to save.”

Footnote 363:

  For Sharif and Sayyid, descendants of Mohammed, see vol. iv. 170.

Footnote 364:

  These lines have occurred with variants in vol. iii. 257, and iv. 50.

Footnote 365:

  Arab. “Hazrat,” esp. used in India and corresponding with our mediæval
  “_præsentia vostra_.”

Footnote 366:

  This wholesale slaughter by the tale-teller of worshipful and reverend
  men would bring down the gallery like a Spanish tragedy in which all
  the actors are killed.

Footnote 367:

  They are called indifferently “Ruhbán” = monks or “Batárikah” =
  patriarchs. See vol. ii. 89.

Footnote 368:

  Arab. “Khilál.” The toothpick, more esteemed by the Arabs than by us,
  is, I have said, often used by the poets as an emblem of attenuation
  without offending good taste. Nizami (Layla u Majnún) describes a
  lover as “thin as a toothpick.” The “elegant” Hariri (Ass. of Barkaid)
  describes a toothpick with feminine attributes, “shapely of shape,
  attractive, provocative of appetite, delicate as the leanest of
  lovers, polished as a poniard and bending as a green bough.”

Footnote 369:

  From Bresl. Edit. x. 194.

Footnote 370:

  Trébutien (vol. ii. 344 et seq.) makes the seven monks sing as many
  anthems, viz. (1) Congregamini; (2) Vias tuas demonstra mihi; (3)
  Dominus illuminatis; (4) Custodi linguam; (5) Unam petii a Domino; (6)
  Nec adspiciat me visus, and (7) Turbatus est a furore oculus meus.
  Dánis the Abbot chaunts Anima mea turbata est valdè.

Footnote 371:

  A neat and characteristic touch: the wilful beauty eats and drinks
  before she thinks of her lover. Alas for Masrur married.

Footnote 372:

  The unfortunate Jew, who seems to have been a model husband
  (Orientally speaking), would find no pity with a coffee-house audience
  because he had been guilty of marrying a Moslemah. The union was null
  and void therefore the deliberate murder was neither high nor petty
  treason. But, The Nights, though their object is to adorn a tale,
  never deliberately attempt to point a moral and this is one of their
  many charms.

Footnote 373:

  These lines have repeatedly occurred. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 374:

  _i.e._ by the usual expiation. See vol. iii. 136.

Footnote 375:

  Arab. “Shammirí” = up and ready!



            ALI NUR AL-DIN AND MIRIAM THE GIRDLE-GIRL.[376]


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

 A merchant I spied whose lovers ✿ Were fighting in furious guise:
 Quoth he, “Why this turmoil of people?” ✿ Quoth I, “Trader, for those
    fine eyes!”

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

 Came a merchant to pay us a visit ✿ Whose glance did my heart surprise:
 Quoth he, “What surprised thee so?” ✿ Quoth I, “Trader, ’twas those fine
    eyes.”

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

 “Describe me!” a fair one said. ✿ Said I, “Thou ’art Beauty’s queen.”
 And, speaking briefest speech, ✿ “All charms in thee are seen.”

And as saith of him one of his describers:—

 His mole upon plain of cheek is like ✿ Ambergrís-crumb on marble plate,
 And his glances likest the sword proclaim ✿ To all Love’s rebels “The
    Lord is Great!”[377]

The young merchants invited him saying, “O my lord Nur al-Din, we wish
thee to go this day a-pleasuring with us in such a garden.” And he
answered, “Wait till I consult my parent, for I cannot go without his
consent.” As they were talking, behold, up came Taj al-Din, and his son
looked to him and said, “O father mine, the sons of the merchants have
invited me to wend a-pleasuring with them in such a garden. Dost thou
grant me leave to go?” His father replied, “Yes, O my son, fare with
them;” and gave him somewhat of money. So the young men mounted their
mules and asses and Nur al-Din mounted a she-mule and rode with them to
a garden, wherein was all that soul desireth and that eye charmeth. It
was high of walls which from broad base were seen to rise; and it had a
gateway vault-wise with a portico like a saloon and a door azure as the
skies, as it were one of the gates of Paradise: the name of the
door-keeper was Rizwán,[378] and over the gate were trained an hundred
trellises which grapes overran; and these were of various dyes, the red
like coralline, the black like the snouts of Súdán[379]-men and the
white like egg of the pigeon-hen. And in it peach and pomegranate were
shown and pear, apricot and pomegranate were grown and fruits with and
without stone hanging in clusters or alone,——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

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

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

And as saith another on the same theme:—

 Grape-bunches likest as they sway ✿ A-stalk, my body frail and snell:
 Honey and water thus in jar, ✿ When sourness past, make Hydromel.

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

 Garth Heaven-watered wherein clusters waved ✿ On boughs which full of
    sap to bend were fain:
 And, when the branches danced on Zephyr’s palm, ✿ The Pleiads shower’d
    as gifts[380] fresh pearls for rain.

And within the arbour were written these two couplets:—

 Come with us, friend, and enter thou ✿ This garth that cleanses rust of
    grief:
 Over their skirts the Zephyrs trip[381] ✿ And flowers in sleeve to laugh
    are lief.[382]

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

 The Zephyr breatheth o’er its branches, like ✿ Fair girls that trip as
    in fair skirts they pace:
 Its rills resemble swords in hands of knights ✿ Drawn from the scabbard
    and containing-case.[383]

And again as singeth the songster:—

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

On the trees of the garden were all manner fruits, each in two
sorts, and amongst them the pomegranate, as it were a ball of
silver-dross,[384] whereof saith the poet and saith right well:—

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

And even as quoth another bard:—

 Close prest appear to him who views th’ inside ✿ Red rubies in brocaded
    skirts bedight:
 Granado I compare with marble dome ✿ Or virgin’s breasts delighting
    every sight:
 Therein is cure for every ill as e’en ✿ Left an Hadís the Prophet pure
    of sprite;
 And Allah (glorify His name) eke deigned ✿ A noble say in Holy Book
    indite.[385]

The apples were the sugared and the musky and the Dámáni, amazing the
beholder, whereof saith Hassán the poet:—

 Apple which joins hues twain, and brings to mind ✿ The cheek of lover
    and beloved combined:
 Two wondrous opposites on branch they show ✿ This dark[386] and that
    with hue incarnadined
 The twain embraced when spied the spy and turned ✿ This red, that yellow
    for the shame designed.[387]

There also were apricots of various kinds, almond and camphor and Jíláni
and ’Antábi,[388] whereof saith the poet:—

 And Almond-apricot suggesting swain ✿ Whose lover’s visit all his wits
    hath ta’en.
 Enough of love-sick lovers’ plight it shows ✿ Of face deep yellow and
    heart torn in twain.[389]

And saith another and saith well:—

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

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

 ’Tis as the Figs with clear white skins outthrown ✿ By foliaged trees,
    athwart whose green they peep,
 Were sons of Roum that guard the palace-roof ✿ When shades close in and
    night-long ward they keep.[390]

And saith another and saith well:—

 Welcome[391] the Fig! To us it comes ✿ Ordered in handsome plates they
    bring:
 Likest a Sufrah[392]-cloth we draw ✿ To shape of bag without a ring.

And how well saith a third:—

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

And how excellent is the saying of one of them!—

 Quoth they (and I had trained my taste thereto ✿ Nor cared for other
    fruits whereby they swore),
 “Why lovest so the Fig?” whereto quoth I ✿ “Some men love Fig and others
    Sycamore.”[393]

And are yet goodlier those of another:—

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

And in that garth were also pears of various kinds Sinaïtic,[394]
Aleppine and Grecian growing in clusters and alone, parcel green and
parcel golden——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.


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

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

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

And Sultani[395] peaches of shades varied, yellow and red, whereof saith
the poet:—

    Like Peach in vergier growing ✿ And sheen of Andam[396] showing:
    Whose balls of yellow gold, ✿ Are dyed with blood-gouts flowing.

There were also green almonds of passing sweetness, resembling the
cabbage[397] of the palm-tree, with their kernels within three tunics
lurking of the Munificent King’s handiworking, even as is said of them:—

 Three coats yon freshest form endue ✿ God’s work of varied shape and
    hue:
 Hardness surrounds it night and day; ✿ Prisoning without a sin to rue.

And as well saith another:—

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

And as saith a third better than he:—

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

And as saith yet another and saith well:—

 Mine eyes ne’er looked on aught the Almond like ✿ For charms, when
    blossoms[398] in the Prime show bright:

 Its head to hoariness of age inclines ✿ The while its cheek by youth’s
    fresh down is dight.

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

 Look at the Lote-tree, note on boughs arrayed ✿ Like goodly apricots on
    reed-strown floor,[399]
 Their morning-hue to viewer’s eye is like ✿ Cascavels[400] cast of
    purest golden ore.

And as saith another and saith right well:—

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

And in that garth grew blood oranges, as they were the Khaulanján,[401]
whereof quoth the enamoured poet[402]:—

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

And quoth another and quoth well:—

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

And yet another as well:—

 Like are the Orange-hills[403] when Zephyr breathes ✿ Swaying the boughs
    and spray with airy grace,
 Her cheeks that glow with lovely light when met ✿ At greeting-tide by
    cheeks of other face.

And a fourth as fairly:—

 And fairest Fawn, we said to him “Portray ✿ This garth and oranges thine
    eyes survey:”
 And he, “Your garden favoureth my face, ✿ Who gathereth orange gathereth
    fire alwày.”

In that garden too grew citrons, in colour as virgin gold, hanging down
from on high and dangling among the branches, as they were ingots of
growing gold;[404] and saith thereof the ’namoured poet:—

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

And shaddocks,[405] that among their boughs hung laden as though each
were the breast of a gazelle-like maiden, contenting the most longing
wight, as saith of them the poet and saith aright:—

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

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

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

Moreover in this garden were all manner of other fruits and
sweet-scented herbs and plants and fragrant flowers, such as jessamine
and henna and water-lilies[406] and spikenard[407] and roses of every
kind and plantain[408] and myrtle and so forth; and indeed it was
without compare, seeming as it were a piece of Paradise to whoso beheld
it. If a sick man entered it, he came forth from it like a raging lion,
and tongue availeth not to its description, by reason of that which was
therein of wonders and rarities which are not found but in Heaven: and
how should it be otherwise when its door-keeper’s name was Rizwan?
Though widely different were the stations of those twain! Now when the
sons of the merchants had walked about gazing at the garden after taking
their pleasure therein, they sat down in one of its pavilions and seated
Nur al-Din in their midst.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the sons
of the merchants sat down in the pavilion they seated Nur al-Din in
their midst on a rug of gold-purfled leather of Al-Táif,[409] leaning on
a pillow[410] of minever, stuffed with ostrich down. And they gave him a
fan of ostrich feathers, whereon were written these two couplets:—

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

Then they laid by their turbands and outer clothes and sat talking and
chatting and inducing one another to discourse, while they all kept
their eyes fixed on Nur al-Din and gazed on his beauteous form. After
the sitting had lasted an hour or so, up came a slave with a tray on his
head, wherein were platters of china and crystal containing viands of
all sorts (for one of the youths had so charged his people before coming
to the garden); and the meats were of whatever walketh earth or wingeth
air or swimmeth waters, such as Katá-grouse and fat quails and
pigeon-poults and mutton and chickens and the delicatest fish. So, the
tray being sat before them, they fell to and ate their fill; and when
they had made an end of eating, they rose from meat and washed their
hands with pure water and musk-scented soap, and dried them with napery
embroidered in silk and bugles; but to Nur al-Din they brought a napkin
laced with red gold whereon he wiped his hands. Then coffee[411] was
served up and each drank what he would, after which they sat talking,
till presently the garden-keeper who was young went away and returning
with a basket full of roses, said to them, “What say ye, O my masters,
to flowers?” Quoth one of them, “There is no harm in them,[412]
especially roses, which are not to be resisted.” Answered the gardener,
“’Tis well, but it is of our wont not to give roses but in exchange for
pleasant converse; so whoever would take aught thereof, let him recite
some verses suitable to the situation.” Now they were ten sons of
merchants of whom one said, “Agreed: give me thereof and I will recite
thee somewhat of verse apt to the case.” Accordingly the gardener gave
him a bunch of roses[413] which he took and at once improvised these
three couplets:—

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

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

 Take, O my lord, to thee the Rose ✿ Recalling scent by musk be shed.
 Like virginette by lover eyed ✿ Who with her sleeves[414] enveileth
    head.

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

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

Then he gave a bunch to a fourth and he recited these two couplets:—

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

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

 Wands of green chrysolite bare issue, which ✿ Were fruits like ingots of
    the growing gold.[415]
 And drops, a dropping from its leaves, were like ✿ The tears my
    languorous eyelids railed and rolled.

Then he gave a sixth a bunch and he recited these two couplets:—

 O Rose, thou rare of charms that dost contain ✿ All gifts and Allah’s
    secrets singular,
 Thou’rt like the loved one’s cheek where lover fond ✿ And fain of Union
    sticks the gold dinár.[416]

Then he gave a bunch to a seventh and he recited these two couplets:—

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

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

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

Then he gave a bunch to a ninth and he recited these two couplets:—

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

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

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

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

 Dawn heralds day-light: so wine pass round, ✿ Old wine, fooling sage
    till his wits he tyne:
 Wot I not for its purest clarity ✿ An ’tis wine in cup or ’tis cup in
    wine.[417]

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

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

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

 We’ll drink and Allah pardon sinners all ✿ And cure of ills by sucking
    cups I’ll find:
 Nor aught the sin deceives me; yet said He ✿ “In it there be
    advantage[418] to mankind.”

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

 Pass round the cup to the old and the young man, too, And take the bowl
    from the hand of the shining moon,[419]
 But without music, I charge you, forbear to drink; I see even horses
    drink to a whistled tune.”[420]

Therewith up sprang the gardener lad and mounting one of the young men’s
mules, was absent awhile, after which he returned with a Cairene girl,
as she were a sheep’s tail fat and delicate, or an ingot of pure silvern
ore or a dinar on a porcelain plate or a gazelle in the wold forlore.
She had a face that put to shame the shining sun and eyes
Babylonian[421] and brows like bows bended and cheeks rose-painted and
teeth pearly-hued and lips sugared and glances languishing and breasts
ivory white and body slender and slight, full of folds and with dimples
dight and hips like pillows stuffed and thighs like columns of Syrian
stone, and between them what was something like a sachet of spices in
wrapper swathed. Quoth the poet of her in these couplets:—

 Had she shown her shape to idolaters’ sight, ✿ They would gaze on her
    face and their gods detest:
 And if in the East to a monk she’d show’d, ✿ He’d quit Eastern posture
    and bow to West.[422]
 An she crached in the sea and the briniest sea ✿ Her lips would give it
    the sweetest zest.

And quoth another in these couplets:—

 Brighter than Moon at full with kohl’d eyes she came ✿ Like Doe, on
    chasing whelps of Lioness intent:
 Her night of murky locks lets fall a tent on her ✿ A tent of hair[423]
    that lacks no pegs to hold the tent;
 And roses lighting up her roseate cheeks are fed ✿ By hearts and livers
    flowing fire for languishment:
 An ’spied her all the Age’s Fair to her they’d rise ✿ Humbly,[424] and
    cry “The meed belongs to precedent!”

And how well saith a third bard[425]:—

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

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


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the gardener
brought a girl whom we have described possessed of the utmost beauty and
loveliness and fine stature and symmetrical grace as it were she the
poet signified when he said[426]:—

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

And how goodly is the saying of another and how excellent!—

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

Then said the young gardener to her, “Know thou, O lady of the fair,
brighter than any constellation which illumineth air we sought, in
bringing thee hither naught but that thou shouldst entertain with
converse this comely youth, my lord Nur al-Din, for he hath come to this
place only this day.” And the girl replied, “Would thou hadst told me,
that I might have brought what I have with me!” Rejoined the gardener,
“O my lady, I will go and fetch it to thee.” “As thou wilt,” said she:
and he, “Give me a token.” So she gave him a kerchief and he fared forth
in haste and returned after awhile, bearing a green satin bag with
slings of gold. The girl took the bag from him and opening it shook it,
whereupon there fell thereout two-and-thirty pieces of wood, which she
fitted one into other, male into female and female into male[427] till
they became a polished lute of Indian workmanship. Then she uncovered
her wrists and laying the lute in her lap, bent over it with the bending
of mother over babe, and swept the strings with her finger-tips;
whereupon it moaned and resounded and after its olden home yearned; and
it remembered the waters that gave it drink and the earth whence it
sprang and wherein it grew and it minded the carpenters who cut it and
the polishers who polished it and the merchants who made it their
merchandise and the ships that shipped it; and it cried and called aloud
and moaned and groaned; and it was as if she asked it of all these
things and it answered her with the tongue of the case, reciting these
couplets[428]:—

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

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

 Would they[429] the lover seek without ado, ✿ He to his heavy grief had
    bid adieu:

 With him had vied the Nightingale[430] on bough ✿ As one far parted from
    his lover’s view:
 Rouse thee! awake! The Moon lights Union-night ✿ As tho’ such Union woke
    the Morn anew.
 This day the blamers take of us no heed ✿ And lute-strings bid us all
    our joys ensue.
 Seest not how four-fold things conjoin in one ✿ Rose, myrtle, scents and
    blooms of golden hue[431].
 Yea, here this day the four chief joys unite ✿ Drink and dinars, beloved
    and lover true:
 So win thy worldly joy, for joys go past ✿ And naught but storied tales
    and legends last.

When Nur al-Din heard the girl sing these lines he looked on her with
eyes of love and could scarce contain himself for the violence of his
inclination to her; and on like wise was it with her, because she
glanced at the company who were present of the sons of the merchants and
she saw that Nur al-Din was amongst the rest as moon among stars; for
that he was sweet of speech and replete with amorous grace, perfect in
stature and symmetry, brightness and loveliness, pure of all defect,
than the breeze of morn softer, than Tasnim blander, as saith of him the
poet[432]:—

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

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


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

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

 A lutanist to us inclined ✿ And stole our wits bemused with wine:
 And said to us her lute, “The Lord ✿ Bade us discourse by voice divine.”

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

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

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

 A Moon, when he bends him those eyes lay bare ✿ A brand that gars gazing
    gazelle despair:
 A King, rarest charms are the host of him ✿ And his lance-like shape men
    with cane compare:
 Were his softness of sides to his heart transferred ✿ His friend had not
    suffered such cark and care:
 Ah for hardest heart and for softest sides! ✿ Why not that to these
    alter, make here go there?
 O thou who accusest my love excuse: ✿ Take eternal and leave me the
    transient share.[433]

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

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

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

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

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

 The sun yellowed not in the murk gloom li’en ✿ But lay pearl enveiled
    ’neath horizon-chine;
 Nor showed its crest to the eyes of Morn ✿ But took refuge from parting
    with Morning-shine.[434]
 Take my tear-drops that trickle as chain on chain ✿ And they’ll tell my
    case with the clearest sign.
 An my tears be likened to Nile-flood, like ✿ Malak’s[435] flooded flat
    be this love o’ mine.
 Quoth she, “Bring thy riches!” Quoth I, “Come, take!” ✿ “And thy sleep?”
    “Yes, take it from lids of eyne!”

When the girl heard Nur al-Din’s words and noted the beauty of his
eloquence her senses fled and her wit was dazed and love of him gat hold
upon her whole heart. So she pressed him to her bosom and fell to
kissing him like the billing of doves, whilst he returned her caresses
with successive kisses; but preeminence appertaineth to precedence.[436]
When she had made an end of kissing, she took the lute and recited these
couplets:—

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

And also these two couplets:—

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

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


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the girl gave
to Nur al-Din all she had doffed, saying, “O beloved of my heart, in
very sooth the gift is after the measure of the giver.” So he accepted
this from her and gave it back to her and kissed her on the mouth and
cheeks and eyes. When this was ended and done, for naught is durable
save the Living, the Eternal, Provider of the peacock and the owl,[437]
Nur al-Din rose from the séance and stood upon his feet, because the
darkness was now fallen and the stars shone out; whereupon quoth the
damsel to him, “Whither away, O my lord?”; and quoth he, “To my father’s
home.” Then the sons of the merchants conjured him to night with them,
but he refused and mounting his she-mule, rode, without stopping, till
he reached his parent’s house, where his mother met him and said to him,
“O my son, what hath kept thee away till this hour? By Allah, thou hast
troubled myself and thy sire by thine absence from us, and our hearts
have been occupied with thee.” Then she came up to him, to kiss him on
his mouth, and smelling the fumes of the wine, said, “O my son, how is
it that, after prayer and worship thou hast become a wine-bibber and a
rebel against Him to whom belong creation and commandment?” But Nur
al-Din threw himself down on the bed and lay there. Presently in came
his sire and said, “What aileth Nur al-Din to lie thus?”; and his mother
answered, “’Twould seem his head acheth for the air of the garden.” So
Taj al-Din went up to his son, to ask him of his ailment, and salute
him, and smelt the reek of wine.[438] Now the merchant loved not
wine-drinkers; so he said to Nur al-Din, “Woe to thee, O my son! Is
folly come to such a pass with thee, that thou drinkest wine?” When Nur
al-Din heard his sire say this, he raised his hand, being yet in his
drunkenness, and dealt him a buffet, when by decree of the Decreer the
blow lit on his father’s right eye which rolled down on his cheek;
whereupon he fell a-swoon and lay therein awhile. They sprinkled
rose-water on him till he recovered, when he would have beaten his son;
but the mother withheld him, and he swore, by the oath of divorce from
his wife that, as soon as morning morrowed, he would assuredly cut off
his son’s right hand.[439] When she heard her husband’s words, her
breast was straitened and she feared for her son and ceased not to
soothe and appease his sire, till sleep overcame him. Then she waited
till moon-rise, when she went in to her son, whose drunkenness had now
departed from him, and said to him, “O Nur al-Din, what is this foul
deed thou diddest with thy sire?” He asked, “And what did I with him?”;
and answered she, “Thou dealtest him a buffet on the right eye and
struckest it out so that it rolled down his cheek; and he hath sworn by
the divorce-oath that, as soon as morning shall morrow he will without
fail cut off thy right hand.” Nur al-Din repented him of that he had
done, whenas repentance profited him naught, and his mother said to him,
“O my son, this penitence will not profit thee; nor will aught avail
thee but that thou arise forthwith and seek safety in flight: go forth
the house privily and take refuge with one of thy friends and there what
Allah shall do await, for he changeth case after case and state upon
state.” Then she opened a chest and taking out a purse of an hundred
dinars said, “O my son, take these dinars and provide thy wants
therewith, and when they are at an end, O my son, send and let me know
thereof, that I may send thee other than these, and at the same time
convey to me news of thyself privily: haply Allah will decree thee
relief and thou shalt return to thy home.” And she farewelled him and
wept passing sore, nought could be more. Thereupon Nur al-Din took the
purse of gold and was about to go forth, when he espied a great purse
containing a thousand dinars, which his mother had forgotten by the side
of the chest. So he took this also and binding the two purses about his
middle,[440] set out before dawn threading the streets in the direction
of Búlák, where he arrived when day broke and all creatures arose,
attesting the unity of Allah the Opener and went forth each of them upon
his several business, to win that which Allah had unto him allotted.
Reaching Bulak he walked on along the river-bank till he sighted a ship
with her gangway out and her four anchors made fast to the land. The
folk were going up into her and coming down from her, and Nur al-Din,
seeing some sailors there standing, asked them whither they were bound,
and they answered, “To Rosetta-city.” Quoth he, “Take me with you;” and
quoth they, “Well come, and welcome to, thee to thee, O goodly one!” So
he betook himself forthright to the market and buying what he needed of
vivers and bedding and covering, returned to the port and went on board
the ship, which was ready to sail and tarried with him but a little
while before she weighed anchor and fared on, without stopping, till she
reached Rosetta,[441] where Nur al-Din saw a small boat going to
Alexandria. So he embarked in it and traversing the sea-arm of Rosetta
fared on till he came to a bridge called Al-Jámí, where he landed and
entered Alexandria by the gate called the Gate of the Lote-tree. Allah
protected him, so that none of those who stood on guard at the gate saw
him, and he walked on till he entered the city.——And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


        Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur al-Din
entered Alexandria he found it a city goodly of pleasaunces, delightful
to its inhabitants and inviting to inhabit therein. Winter had fared
from it with his cold and Prime was come to it with his roses: its
flowers were kindly ripe and welled forth its rills. Indeed, it was a
city goodly of ordinance and disposition; its folk were of the best of
men, and when the gates thereof were shut, its folk were safe.[442] And
it was even as is said of it in these couplets:—

 Quoth I to a comrade one day, ✿ A man of good speech and raré,
 “Describe Alexandria.” ✿ Quoth he, “’Tis a march-town[2] fair.”
 Quoth I, “Is there living therein?” ✿ And he, “An the wind blow there.”

Or as saith one of the poets:—

 Alexandria’s a frontier;[443] ✿ Whose dews of lips are sweet and clear;
 How fair the coming to it is, ✿ So one therein no raven speer!

Nur al-Din walked about the city and ceased not walking till he came to
the merchants’ bazar, whence he passed on to the mart of the
money-changers and so on in turn to the markets of the confectioners and
fruiterers and druggists, marvelling, as he went, at the city, for that
the nature of its qualities accorded with its name.[444] As he walked in
the druggists’ bazar, behold, an old man came down from his shop and
saluting him, took him by the hand and carried him to his home. And Nur
al-Din saw a fair by-street, swept and sprinkled, whereon the zephyr
blew and made pleasantness pervade it and the leaves of the trees
overshaded it. Therein stood three houses and at the upper end a
mansion, whose foundations were firm sunk in the water and its walls
towered to the confines of the sky. They had swept the space before it
and they had sprinkled it freshly; so it exhaled the fragrance of
flowers, borne on the zephyr which breathed upon the place; and the
scent met there who approached it on such wise as it were one of the
gardens of Paradise. And, as they had cleaned and cooled the by-street’s
head, so was the end of it with marble spread. The Shaykh carried Nur
al-Din into the house and setting somewhat of food before him ate with
his guest. When they had made an end of eating, the druggist said to
him, “When camest thou hither from Cairo?”; and Nur al-Din replied,
“This very night, O my father.” Quoth the old man, “What is thy name?”;
and quoth he, “Ali Nur al-Din.” Said the druggist, “O my son, O Nur
al-Din, be the triple divorce incumbent on me, an thou leave me so long
as thou abidest in this city; and I will set thee apart a place wherein
thou mayst dwell.” Nur al-Din asked, “O my lord the Shaykh, let me know
more of thee”; and the other answered, “Know, O my son, that some years
ago I went to Cairo with merchandise, which I sold there and bought
other, and I had occasion for a thousand dinars. So thy sire Taj al-Din
weighed them out[445] for me, all unknowing me, and would take no
written word of me, but had patience with me till I returned hither and
sent him the amount by one of my servants, together with a gift. I saw
thee, whilst thou wast little; and, if it please Allah the Most High, I
will repay thee somewhat of the kindness thy father did me.” When Nur
al-Din heard the old man’s story, he showed joy and pulling out with a
smile the purse of a thousand dinars, gave it to his host the Shaykh and
said to him, “Take charge of this deposit for me, against I buy me
somewhat of merchandise whereon to trade.” Then he abode some time in
Alexandria city taking his pleasure every day in its thoroughfares,
eating and drinking and indulging himself with mirth and merriment till
he had made an end of the hundred dinars he had kept by way of
spending-money; whereupon he repaired to the old druggist, to take of
him somewhat of the thousand dinars to spend, but found him not in his
shop and took a seat therein to await his return. He sat there gazing
right and left and amusing himself with watching the merchants and
passers-by, and as he was thus engaged behold, there came into the bazar
a Persian riding on a she-mule and carrying behind him a damsel; as she
were argent of alloy free or a fish Balti[446] in mimic sea or a
doe-gazelle on desert lea. Her face outshone the sun in shine and she
had witching eyne and breasts of ivory white, teeth of marguerite,
slender waist and sides dimpled deep and calves like tails of fat
sheep[447]; and indeed she was perfect in beauty and loveliness, elegant
stature and symmetrical grace, even as saith one, describing her[448]:—

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

Presently the Persian lighted down from his she-mule and making the
damsel also dismount loudly summoned the broker and said to him as soon
as he came, “Take this damsel and cry her for sale in the market.” So he
took her and leading her to the middlemost of the bazar disappeared for
a while and presently he returned with a stool of ebony, inlaid with
ivory, and setting it upon the ground, seated her thereon. Then he
raised her veil and discovered a face as it were a Median targe[449] or
a cluster of pearls[450]: and indeed she was like the full moon, when it
filleth on its fourteenth night, accomplished in brilliant beauty. As
saith the poet:—

 Vied the full moon for folly with her face, ✿ But was eclipsed[451] and
    split for rage full sore;
 And if the spiring Bán with her contend ✿ Perish her hands who load of
    fuel bore[452]!

And how well saith another:—

 Say to the fair in the wroughten veil ✿ How hast made that monk-like
    worshipper ail?

 Light of veil and light of face under it ✿ Made the hosts of darkness to
    fly from bale;
 And, when came my glance to steal look at cheek, ✿ With a meteor-shaft
    the Guard made me quail.[453]

Then said the broker to the merchants,[454] “How much do ye bid for the
union-pearl of the diver and prize-quarry of the fowler?” Quoth one,
“She is mine for an hundred dinars.” And another said, “Two hundred,”
and a third, “Three hundred”; and they ceased not to bid, one against
other, till they made her price nine hundred and fifty dinars, and there
the biddings stopped awaiting acceptance and consent.[455]——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

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

 Quoth she to me,—and sore enraged for wounded pride was she, ✿ For she
    in sooth had bidden me to that which might not be,—
 “An if thou swive me not forthright, as one should swive his wife, ✿
    Thou be made a cuckold straight, reproach it not to me.
 Meseems thy yard is made of wax, for very flaccidness; ✿ For when I rub
    it with my hand, it softens instantly.”[456]

And said he likewise of his yard:—

 I have a yard that sleeps in base and shameful way ✿ When grants my
    lover boon for which I sue and pray:
 But when I wake o’ mornings[457] all alone in bed, ✿ ’Tis fain o’ foin
    and fence and fierce for futter-play.

And again quoth he thereof of his yard:—

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

When the old merchant heard this ill flouting from the damsel, he was
wroth with wrath exceeding beyond which was no proceeding and said to
the broker, “O most ill-omened of brokers, thou hast not brought into
the market this ill-conditioned wench but to gibe me and make mock of me
before the merchants.” Then the broker took her aside and said to her,
“O my lady, be not wanting in self-respect. The Shaykh at whom thou
didst mock is the Syndic of the bazar and Inspector[458] thereof and a
committee-man of the council of the merchants.” But she laughed and
improvised these two couplets:—

 It behoveth folk who rule in our time, ✿ And ’tis one of the duties of
    magistrateship,
 To hang up the Wali above his door ✿ And beat with a whip the Mohtasib!

Adding, “By Allah, O my lord, I will not be sold to yonder old man; so
sell me to other than him, for haply he will be abashed at me and vend
me again and I shall become a mere servant[459] and it beseemeth not
that I sully myself with menial service; and indeed thou knowest that
the matter of my sale is committed to myself.” He replied, “I hear and I
obey,” and carried her to a man which was one of the chief merchants.
And when standing hard by him the broker asked, “How sayst thou, O my
lady? Shall I sell thee to my lord Sharíf al-Dín here for nine hundred
and fifty gold pieces?” She looked at him and, seeing him to be an old
man with a dyed beard, said to the broker, “Art thou silly, that thou
wouldst sell me to this worn out Father Antic? Am I cotton refuse or
threadbare rags that thou marchest me about from greybeard to greybeard,
each like a wall ready to fall or an Ifrit smitten down of a fire-ball?”
As for the first, the poet had him in mind when he said[460]:—

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

And how goodly is the saying of the poet:—

 The wise have said that white of hair is light that shines and robes ✿
    The face of man with majesty and light that awes the sight;
 Yet until hoary seal shall stamp my parting-place of hair ✿ I hope and
    pray that same may be black as the blackest night.
 Albe Time-whitened beard of man be like the book he bears[461] ✿ When to
    his Lord he must return, I’d rather ’twere not white.

And yet goodlier is the saying of another:—

 A guest hath stolen on my head and honour may he lack! ✿ The sword a
    milder deed hath done that dared these locks to hack.
 Avaunt, O Whiteness,[462] wherein naught of brightness gladdens sight ✿
    Thou ’rt blacker in the eyes of me than very blackest black!

As for the other, he is a model of wantonness and scurrilousness and a
blackener of the face of hoariness; his dye acteth the foulest of lies:
and the tongue of his case reciteth these lines[463]:—

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

And how excellent is the saying of the poet:—

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

When the old man with dyed beard heard such words from the slave-girl,
he raged with exceeding rage in fury’s last stage and said to the
broker, “O most ill-omened of brokers, this day thou hast brought to our
market naught save this gibing baggage to flout at all who are therein,
one after other, and fleer at them with flyting verse and idle jest?”
And he came down from his shop and smote on the face the broker who took
her an angered and carried her away saying to her, “By Allah, never in
my life saw I a more shameless wench than thyself[464]! Thou hast cut
off my daily bread and thine own this day and all the merchants will
bear me a grudge on thine account.” Then they saw on the way a merchant
called Shihab al-Dín who bid ten dinars more for her, and the broker
asked her leave to sell her to him. Quoth she, “Trot him out that I may
see him and question him of a certain thing, which if he have in his
house, I will be sold to him; and if not, then not.” So the broker left
her standing there and going up to Shihab al-Din, said to him, “O my
lord, know that yonder damsel tells me she hath a mind to ask thee
somewhat, which an thou have, she will be sold to thee. Now thou hast
heard what she said to thy fellows, the merchants,”——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

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

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

And quoth another poet:—

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

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

 Drawn in thy shoulders are and spine thrust out, ✿ As seeking star which
    Satan gave the lout[465];
 Or as he tasted had first smack of scourge ✿ And looked in marvel for a
    second bout.

And saith another on the same theme:—

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

And another on a similar subject:—

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

With this the broker hurried up to her and, carrying her to another
merchant, said to her, “Wilt thou be sold to this one?” She looked at
him and said, “In very sooth this man is blue-eyed[466]; how wilt thou
sell me to him?” Quoth one of the poets:—

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

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

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

And quoth another[467]:—

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

With this the broker took her and turned away with her, and she asked,
“Whither goest thou with me?” He answered, “Back to thy master the
Persian; it sufficeth me what hath befallen me because of thee this day;
for thou hast been the means of spoiling both my trade and his by thine
ill manners.” Then she looked about the market right and left, front and
rear till, by the decree of the Decreer her eyes fell on Ali Nur al-Din
the Cairene. So she gazed at him and saw him[468] to be a comely youth
of straight slim form and smooth of face, fourteen years old, rare in
beauty and loveliness and elegance and amorous grace like the full moon
on the fourteenth night with forehead flower-white, and cheeks rosy red,
neck like alabaster and teeth than jewels finer and dews of lips sweeter
than sugar, even as saith of him one of his describers:—

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

And how well saith another bard:—

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

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


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

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

 Waters of beauty o’er his cheeks flow bright. ✿ And rain his glances
    shafts that sorely smite:
 Choked are his lovers an he deal disdain’s ✿ Bitterest draught denaying
    love-delight.
 His forehead and his stature and my love ✿ Are perfect perfected
    perfection-dight;
 His raiment folds enfold a lovely neck ✿ As crescent moon in collar
    buttoned tight:
 His eyne and twinnèd moles and tears of me ✿ Are night that nighteth to
    the nightliest night.

 His eyebrows and his features and my frame[469] ✿ Crescents on crescents
    are as crescents slight:
 His pupils pass the wine-cup to his friends ✿ Which, albe sweet, tastes
    bitter to my sprite;
 And to my thirsty throat pure drink he dealt ✿ From smiling lips what
    day we were unite:
 Then is my blood to him, my death to him ✿ His right and rightful and
    most righteous right.

The girl gazed at Nur al-Din and said, “O my lord, Allah upon thee, am I
not beautiful?”; and he replied, “O Princess of fair ones, is there in
the world a comelier than thou?” She rejoined, “Then why seest thou all
the other merchants bid high for me and art silent nor sayest a word
neither addest one dinar to my price? ’Twould seem I please thee not, O
my lord!” Quoth he, “O my lady, were I in my own land, I had bought thee
with all that my hand possesseth of monies;” and quoth she, “O my lord,
I said not, Buy me against thy will yet, didst thou but add somewhat to
my price, it would hearten my heart, though thou buy me not, so the
merchants may say:—Were not this girl handsome, yonder merchant of Cairo
had not bidden for her, for the Cairenes are connoisseurs in
slave-girls.” These words abashed Nur al-Din and he blushed and said to
the broker, “How high are the biddings for her?” He replied, “Her price
hath reached nine hundred and sixty dinars,[470] besides brokerage, as
for the Sultan’s dues, they fall on the seller.” Quoth Nur al-Din, “Let
me have her for a thousand dinars, brokerage and price.” And the damsel
hastening to the fore and leaving the broker, said, “I sell myself to
this handsome young man for a thousand dinars.” But Nur al-Din held his
peace. Quoth one, “We sell to him;” and another, “He deserveth her;” and
a third, “Accursed, son of accursed, is he who biddeth and doth not
buy!”; and a fourth, “By Allah, they befit each other!” Then, before Nur
al-Din could think, the broker fetched Kazis and witnesses, who wrote
out a contract of sale and purchase; and the broker handed the paper to
Nur al-Din, saying, “Take thy slave-girl and Allah bless thee in her for
she beseemeth none but thee and none but thou beseemeth her.” And he
recited these two couplets:—

 Boon Fortune sought him in humblest way[471] ✿ And came to him
    draggle-tailed, all a-stir:
 And none is fittest for him but she ✿ And none is fittest but he for
    her.

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


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din said
to the ancient druggist, “The damsel is of the children of the Franks;”
and the Shaykh said, “O my son, the best of the girls of the Franks are
to be had in this our town for an hundred dinars, and by Allah, O my
son, they have cheated thee in the matter of this damsel! However, an
thou have taken a fancy to her, lie with her this night and do thy will
of her and to-morrow morning go down with her to the market and sell
her, though thou lose by her two hundred dinars, and reckon that thou
hast lost them by shipwreck or hast been robbed of them on the road.”
Nur al-Din replied, “Right is thy rede, O uncle, but thou knowest that I
had but the thousand dinars wherewith I purchased the damsel, and now I
have not a single dirham left to spend; so I desire of thy favour and
bounty that thou lend me fifty dirhams, to provide me withal, till
to-morrow, when I will sell her and repay thee out of her price.” Said
the old man, “Willingly, O my son,” and counted out to him the fifty
dirhams. Then he said to him, “O my son, thou art but young in years and
the damsel is fair, so belike thy heart will be taken with her and it
will be grievous to thee to vend her. Now thou hast nothing to live on
and these fifty dirhams will readily be spent and thou wilt come to me
and I shall lend thee once and twice and thrice, and so on up to ten
times; but, an thou come to me after this, I will not return thy
salam[472] and our friendship with thy father will end ill.” Nur al-Din
took the fifty dirhams and returned with them to the damsel, who said to
him, “O my lord, wend thee at once to the market and fetch me twenty
dirhams’ worth of stained silk of five colours and with the other thirty
buy meat and bread and fruit and wine and flowers.” So he went to the
market and purchasing for her all she sought, brought it to her,
whereupon she rose and tucking up her sleeves, cooked food after the
most skilful fashion, and set it before him. He ate and she ate with
him, till they had enough, after which she set on the wine, and she
drank and he drank, and she ceased not to ply him with drink and
entertain him with discourse, till he became drunken and fell asleep.
Thereupon she arose without stay or delay and taking out of her bundle a
budget of Táifí leather[473] opened it and drew forth a pair of knitting
needles, wherewith she fell to work and stinted not till she had made a
beautiful zone, which she folded up in a wrapper after cleaning it and
ironing it and laid it under her pillow. Then she doffed her dress till
she was mother-naked and lying down beside Nur al-Din shampoo’d him till
he awoke from his heavy sleep. He found by his side a maiden like virgin
silver, softer than silk and delicater than a tail of fatted sheep than
standard more conspicuous and goodlier than the red camel,[474] in
height five feet tall with breasts firm and full, brows like bended
bows, eyes like gazelles’ eyes and cheeks like blood-red anemones, a
slender waist with dimples laced and a navel holding an ounce of the
unguent benzoin, thighs like bolsters stuffed with ostrich-down, and
between them what the tongue fails to set forth and at mention whereof
the tears jet forth. Brief it was as it were she to whom the poet
alluded in these two couplets:—

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

And how excellent is the saying of another bard[475]:—

 A Moon she rises, Willow-wand she waves ✿ Breathes ambergris and gazeth
    a gazelle.
 Meseems that sorrow wooes my heart and wins ✿ And when she wends makes
    haste therein to dwell.
 Her face is fairer than the Stars of Wealth[476] ✿ And sheeny brows the
    crescent Moon excel.

And quoth a third also:—

 They shine fullest Moons, unveil Crescent-bright; ✿ Sway tenderest
    Branches and turn wild kine;
 ’Mid which is a Dark-eyed for love of whose charms ✿ The Sailors[477]
    would joy to be ground low-li’en.

So Nur al-Din turned to her at once and clasping her to his bosom,
sucked first her upper lip and then her under lip and slid his tongue
between the twain into her mouth. Then he rose to her and found her a
pearl unthridden and a filly none but he had ridden. So he abated her
maidenhead and had of her amorous delight and there was knitted between
them a love-bond which might never know breach nor severance.[478] He
rained upon her cheeks kisses like the falling of pebbles into water,
and struck with stroke upon stroke, like the thrusting of spears in
battle brunt; for that Nur al-Din still yearned after clipping of necks
and sucking of lips and letting down of tress and pressing of waist and
biting of cheek and cavalcading on breast with Cairene buckings and
Yamani wrigglings and Abyssinian sobbings and Hindí pamoisons and Nubian
lasciviousness and Rífí leg-liftings[479] and Damiettan moanings and
Sa’ídí[480] hotness and Alexandrian languishment[481] and this damsel
united in herself all these virtues, together with excess of beauty and
loveliness, and indeed she was even as saith of her the poet:—

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

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


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din lay
with that damsel through the night in solace and delight, the twain
garbed in the closely buttoned garments of embrace, safe and secure
against the misways of nights and days, and they passed the dark hours
after the goodliest fashion, fearing naught, in their joys love-fraught,
from excess of talk and prate. As saith of them the right excellent
poet[482]:—

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

When the morning morrowed in sheen and shone, Nur al-Din awoke from deep
sleep and found that she had brought water:[483] so they made the
Ghusl-ablution, he and she, and he performed that which behoved him of
prayer to his Lord, after which she set before him meat and drink, and
he ate and drank. Then the damsel put her hand under her pillow and
pulling out the girdle which she had knitted during the night, gave it
to Nur al-Din, who asked, “Whence cometh this girdle?”[484] Answered
she, “O my lord, ’tis the silk thou boughtest yesterday for twenty
dirhams. Rise now and go to the Persian bazar and give it to the broker,
to cry for sale, and sell it not for less than twenty gold pieces in
ready money.” Quoth Nur al-Din, “O Princess of fair ones how can a
thing, that cost twenty dirhams and will sell for as many dinars, be
made in a single night?”; and quoth she, “O my lord, thou knowest not
the value of this thing; but go to the market therewith and give it to
the broker, and when he shall cry it, its worth will be made manifest to
thee.” Herewith he carried the zone to the market and gave it to the
broker, bidding him cry it, whilst he himself sat down on a masonry
bench before a shop. The broker fared forth and returning after a while
said to him, “O my lord, rise take the price of thy zone, for it hath
fetched twenty dinars money down.” When Nur al-Din heard this, he
marvelled with exceeding marvel and shook with delight. Then he rose,
between belief and misbelief, to take the money and when he had received
it, he went forthright and spent it all on silk of various colours and
returning home, gave his purchase to the damsel, saying, “Make this all
into girdles and teach me likewise how to make them, that I may work
with thee; for never in the length of my life saw I a fairer craft than
this craft nor a more abounding in gain and profit. By Allah, ’tis
better than the trade of a merchant a thousand times!” She laughed at
his language and said, “O my lord, go to thy friend the druggist and
borrow other thirty dirhams of him, and to-morrow repay him from the
price of the girdle the thirty together with the fifty already loaned to
thee.” So he rose and repaired to the druggist and said to him, “O
Uncle, lend me other thirty dirhams, and to-morrow, Almighty Allah
willing, I will repay thee the whole fourscore.” The old man weighed him
out thirty dirhams, wherewith he went to the market and buying meat and
bread, dried fruits, and flowers as before, carried them home to the
damsel whose name was Miriam,[485] the Girdle-girl. She rose forthright
and making ready rich meats, set them before her lord Nur al-Din; after
which she brought the wine-service and they drank and plied each other
with drink. When the wine began to play with their wits, his pleasant
address and inner grace pleased her, and she recited these two
couplets:—

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

He said, “O my lady Miriam,[486] what aileth thee to weep?”; and she
replied, “I weep for the anguish of parting for my heart presageth me
thereof.” Quoth he, “O lady of fair ones, and who shall interpose
between us, seeing that I love thee above all creatures and tender thee
the most?”; and quoth she, “And I love thee twice as well as thou me;
but fair opinion of fortune still garreth folk fall into affliction, and
right well saith the poet[487]:—

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

Presently she added, “O my lord Nur al-Din, an thou desire to nonsuit
separation, be on thy guard against a swart-visaged oldster, blind of
the right eye and lame of the left leg; for he it is who will be the
cause of our severance. I saw him enter the city and I opine that he is
come hither in quest of me.” Replied Nur al-Din, “O lady of fair ones,
if my eyes light on him, I will slay him and make an example of him.”
Rejoined she, “O my lord, slay him not; but talk not nor trade with him,
neither buy nor sell with him nor sit nor walk with him nor speak one
word to him, no, not even the answer prescribed by law[488] and I pray
Allah to preserve us from his craft and his mischief?” Next morning, Nur
al-Din took the zone and carried it to the market, where he sat down on
a shop-bench and talked with the sons of the merchants, till the
drowsiness preceding slumber overcame him and he lay down on the bench
and fell asleep. Presently, behold, up came the Frank whom the damsel
had described to him, in company with seven others, and seeing Nur
al-Din lying asleep on the bench, with his head wrapped in the kerchief
which Miriam had made for him and the edge thereof in his grasp, sat
down by him and hent the end of the kerchief in hand and examined it
turning it over for some time. Nur al-Din sensed that there was
something and awoke; then, seeing the very man of whom Miriam had warned
him sitting by his side, cried out at him with a great cry which
startled him. Quoth the Frank, “What aileth thee to cry out thus at us?
Have we taken from thee aught?”; and quoth Nur al-Din, “By Allah, O
accursed, haddest thou taken aught from me, I would carry thee before
the Chief of Police!” Then said the Frank, “O Moslem, I conjure thee by
thy faith and by that wherein thou believest, inform me whence thou
haddest this kerchief;” and Nur al-Din replied, “’Tis the handiwork of
my lady mother,”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Frank
asked Nur al-Din anent the maker of the kerchief, he answered, saying,
“In very sooth this kerchief is the handiwork of my mother, who made it
for me with her own hand.” Quoth the Frank, “Wilt thou sell it to me and
take ready money for it?” and quoth Nur al-Din, “By Allah, I will not
sell it to thee or to any else, for she made none other than it.” “Sell
it to me and I will give thee to its price this very moment five hundred
dinars, money down; and let her who made it make thee another and a
finer.” “I will not sell it at all, for there is not the like of it in
this city.” “O my lord, wilt thou sell it for six hundred ducats of fine
gold?” And the Frank went on to add to his offer hundred by hundred,
till he bid nine hundred dinars; but Nur al-Din said, “Allah will open
to me otherwise than by my vending it. I will never sell it, not for two
thousand dinars nor more than that; no, never.” The Frank ceased not to
tempt him with money, till he bid him a thousand dinars, and the
merchants present said, “We sell thee the kerchief at that price:[489]
pay down the money.” Quoth Nur al-Din, “I will not see it, I swear by
Allah!”[490] But one of the merchants said to him, “Know thou, O my son,
that the value of this kerchief is an hundred dinars at most and that to
an eager purchaser, and if this Frank pay thee down a thousand for it,
thy profit will be nine hundred dinars, and what gain canst thou desire
greater than this gain? Wherefore ’tis my rede that thou sell him this
kerchief at that price and bid her who wrought it make thee other finer
than it: so shalt thou profit nine hundred dinars by this accursed
Frank, the enemy of Allah and of The Faith.” Nur al-Din was abashed at
the merchants and sold the kerchief to the Frank, who, in their
presence, paid him down the thousand dinars, with which he would have
returned to his handmaid to congratulate her on what had passed; but the
stranger said, “Harkye, O company of merchants, stop my lord Nur al-Din,
for you and he are my guests this night. I have a jar of old Greek wine
and a fat lamb, fresh fruit, flowers and confections; wherefore do ye
all cheer me with your company to-night and not one of you tarry
behind.” So the merchants said, “O my lord Nur al-Din, we desire that
thou be with us on the like of this night, so we may talk together, we
and thou, and we pray thee, of thy favour and bounty, to bear us
company, so we and thou, may be the guests of this Frank, for he is a
liberal man.” And they conjured him by the oath of divorce[491] and
hindered him by main force from going home. Then they rose forthright
and shutting up their shops, took Nur al-Din and fared with the Frank,
who brought them to a goodly and spacious saloon, wherein were two
daïses. Here he made them sit and set before them a scarlet tray-cloth
of goodly workmanship and unique handiwork, wroughten in gold with
figures of breaker and broken, lover and beloved, asker and asked,
whereon he ranged precious vessels of porcelain and crystal, full of the
costliest confections, fruits and flowers, and brought them a flagon of
old Greek wine. Then he bade slaughter a fat lamb and kindling fire,
proceeded to roast of its flesh and feed the merchants therewith and
give them draughts of that wine, winking at them the while to ply Nur
al-Din with drink. Accordingly they ceased not plying him with wine till
he became drunken and took leave of his wits; so when the Frank saw that
he was drowned in liquor, he said to him, “O my lord Nur al-Din, thou
gladdenest us with thy company to-night: welcome, and again welcome to
thee?” Then he engaged him awhile in talk, till he could draw near to
him, when he said, with dissembling speech, “O my lord, Nur al-Din, wilt
thou sell me thy slave-girl, whom thou boughtest in presence of these
merchants a year ago for a thousand dinars? I will give thee at this
moment five thousand gold pieces for her and thou wilt thus make four
thousand ducats profit.” Nur al-Din refused, but the Frank ceased not to
ply him with meat and drink and lure him with lucre, still adding to his
offers, till he bid him ten thousand dinars for her; whereupon Nur
al-Din, in his drunkenness, said before the merchants, “I sell her to
thee for ten thousand dinars: hand over the money.” At this the Frank
rejoiced with joy exceeding and took the merchants to witness the sale.
They passed the night in eating and drinking, mirth and merriment, till
the morning, when the Frank cried out to his pages, saying, “Bring me
the money.” So they brought it to him and he counted out ten thousand
dinars to Nur al-Din, saying, “O my lord, take the price of thy
slave-girl, whom thou soldest to me last night, in the presence of these
Moslem merchants.” Replied Nur al-Din, “O accursed, I sold thee nothing
and thou liest anent me, for I have no slave-girls.” Quoth the Frank,
“In very sooth thou didst sell her to me and these merchants were
witnesses to the bargain.” Thereupon all said, “Yes, indeed! thou
soldest him thy slave-girl before us for ten thousand dinars, O Nur
al-Din and we will all bear witness against thee of the sale. Come, take
the money and deliver him the girl, and Allah will give thee a better
than she in her stead. Doth it irk thee, O Nur al-Din, that thou
boughtest the girl for a thousand dinars and hast enjoyed for a year and
a half her beauty and loveliness and taken thy fill of her converse and
her favours? Furthermore thou hast gained some ten thousand golden
dinars by the sale of the zones which she made thee every day and thou
soldest for twenty sequins, and after all this thou hast sold her again
at a profit of nine thousand dinars over and above her original price.
And withal thou deniest the sale and belittlest and makest difficulties
about the profit! What gain is greater than this gain and what profit
wouldst thou have profitabler than this profit? An thou love her thou
hast had thy fill of her all this time: so take the money and buy thee
another handsomer than she; or we will marry thee to one of our
daughters, lovelier than she, at a dowry of less than half this price,
and the rest of the money will remain in thy hand as capital.” And the
merchants ceased not to ply him with persuasion and specious arguments
till he took the ten thousand dinars, the price of the damsel, and the
Frank straightway fetched Kazis and witnesses, who drew up the contract
of sale by Nur al-Din of the handmaid hight Miriam the Girdle-girl. Such
was his case; but as regards the damsel’s, she sat awaiting her lord
from morning till sundown and from sundown till the noon of night; and
when he returned not, she was troubled and wept with sore weeping. The
old druggist heard her sobbing and sent his wife, who went in to her and
finding her in tears, said to her, “O my lady, what aileth thee to
weep?” Said she, “O my mother, I have sat waiting the return of my lord,
Nur al-Din all day; but he cometh not, and I fear lest some one have
played a trick on him, to make him sell me, and he have fallen into the
snare and sold me.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Miriam the
Girdle-girl said to the druggist’s wife, “I am fearful lest some one
have been playing a trick on my lord to make him sell me, and he have
fallen into the snare and sold me.” Said the other, “O my lady Miriam,
were they to give thy lord this hall full of gold as thy price, yet
would he not sell thee, for what I know of his love to thee. But, O my
lady, belike there be a company come from his parents at Cairo and he
hath made them an entertainment in the lodging where they alighted,
being ashamed to bring them hither, for that the place is not spacious
enough for them or because their condition is less than that he should
bring them to his own house; or belike he preferred to conceal thine
affair from them, so passed the night with them; and Inshallah!
to-morrow he will come to thee safe and sound. So burden not thy soul
with cark and care, O my lady, for of a certainty this is the cause of
his absence from thee last night and I will abide with thee this coming
night and comfort thee, until thy lord return to thee.” So the
druggist’s wife abode with her and cheered her with talk throughout the
dark hours and, when it was morning, Miriam saw her lord enter the
street followed by the Frank and amiddlemost a company of merchants, at
which sight her side-muscles quivered and her colour changed and she
fell a-shaking, as ship shaketh in mid-ocean for the violence of the
gale. When the druggist’s wife saw this, she said to her, “O my lady
Miriam what aileth thee that I see thy case changed and thy face grown
pale and show disfeatured?” Replied she, “By Allah, O my lady, my heart
forebodeth me of parting and severance of union!” And she bemoaned
herself with the saddest sighs, reciting these couplets[492]:—

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

Then Miriam wept passing sore wherethan naught could be more, making
sure of separation, and cried to the druggist’s wife, “O my mother, said
I not to thee that my lord Nur al-Din had been tricked into selling me?
I doubt not but he hath sold me this night to yonder Frank, albeit I
bade him beware of him; but deliberation availeth not against destiny.
So the truth of my words is made manifest to thee.” Whilst they were
talking, behold, in came Nur al-Din, and the damsel looked at him and
saw that his colour was changed and that he trembled and there appeared
on his face signs of grief and repentance: so she said to him, “O my
lord Nur al-Din, meseemeth thou hast sold me.” Whereupon he wept with
sore weeping and groaned and lamented and recited these couplets[493]:—

                When e’er the Lord ’gainst any man,
                Would fulminate some harsh decree,
                And he be wise, and skilled to hear,
                And used to see;
                He stops his ears, and blinds his heart,
                And from his brain ill judgment tears,
                And makes it bald as ’twere a scalp,
                Reft of its hairs[494];
                Until the time when the whole man
                Be pierced by this divine command;
                Then He restores him intellect
                To understand.

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

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

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

 Whom I irk let him fly fro’ me fast and faster ✿ If I name his name I am
    no directer.
 Nor the wide wide world is to me so narrow ✿ That I act expecter to this
    rejecter.[495]

Now this handmaid was the daughter of the King of France, the which is a
wide and spacious city,[496] abounding in manufactures and rarities and
trees and flowers and other growths, and resembleth the city of
Constantinople: and for her going forth of her father’s city there was a
wondrous cause and thereby hangeth a marvellous tale which we will set
out in due order, to divert and delight the hearer[497]——And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause of
Miriam the Girdle-girl leaving her father and mother was a wondrous and
thereby hangeth a marvellous tale. She was reared with her father and
mother in honour and indulgence and learnt rhetoric and penmanship and
arithmetic and cavalarice and all manner crafts, such as broidery and
sewing and weaving and girdle-making and silk-cord making and
damascening gold on silver and silver on gold, brief all the arts both
of men and women, till she became the union-pearl of her time and the
unique gem of her age and day. Moreover, Allah (to whom belong Might and
Majesty!) had endowed her with such beauty and loveliness and elegance
and perfection of grace that she excelled therein all the folk of her
time, and the Kings of the isles sought her in marriage of her sire, but
he refused to give her to wife to any of her suitors, for that he loved
her with passing love and could not bear to be parted from her a single
hour. Moreover, he had no other daughter than herself, albeit he had
many sons, but she was dearer to him than all of them. It fortuned one
year that she fell sick of an exceeding sickness and came nigh upon
death, wherefore she made a vow that, if she recovered from her malady,
she would make the pilgrimage to a certain monastery, situate in such an
island, which was high in repute among the Franks, who used to make vows
to it and look for a blessing therefrom. When Miriam recovered from her
sickness, she wished to accomplish her vow anent the monastery and her
sire despatched her to the convent in a little ship, with sundry
daughters of the city-notables to wait upon her and patrician Knights to
protect them all. As they drew near the island, there came out upon them
a ship of the ships of the Moslems, champions of The Faith, warring in
Allah’s way, who boarded the vessel and making prize of all therein,
knights and maidens, gifts and monies, sold their booty in the city of
Kayrawán.[498] Miriam herself fell into the hands of a Persian merchant,
who was born impotent[499] and for whom no woman had ever discovered her
nakedness; so he set her to serve him. Presently, he fell ill and
sickened well nigh unto death, and the sickness abode with him two
months, during which she tended him after the goodliest fashion, till
Allah made him whole of his malady, when he recalled her tenderness and
loving-kindness to him and the persistent zeal with which she had nurst
him and being minded to requite her the good offices she had done him,
said to her, “Ask a boon of me?” She said, “O my lord, I ask of thee
that thou sell me not but to the man of my choice.” He answered, “So be
it. I guarantee thee. By Allah, O Miriam, I will not sell thee but to
him of whom thou shalt approve, and I put thy sale in thine own hand.”
And she rejoiced herein with joy exceeding. Now the Persian had
expounded to her Al-Islam and she became a Moslemah and learnt of him
the rules of worship. Furthermore during that period the Persian had
taught her the tenets of The Faith and the observances incumbent upon
her: he had made her learn the Koran by heart and master somewhat of the
theological sciences and the traditions of the Prophet; after which, he
brought her to Alexandria-city and sold her to Nur al-Din, as we have
before set out. Meanwhile, when her father, the King of France, heard
what had befallen his daughter and her company, he saw Doomsday break
and sent after her ships full of knights and champions, horsemen and
footmen; but they fell not in any trace of her whom they sought in the
Islands[500] of the Moslems; so all returned to him, crying out and
saying, “Well-away!” and “Ruin!” and “Well worth the day!” The King
grieved for her with exceeding grief and sent after her that one-eyed
lameter, blind of the left,[501] for that he was his chief Wazir, a
stubborn tyrant and a froward devil,[502] full of craft and guile,
bidding him make search for her in all the lands of the Moslems and buy
her, though with a shipload of gold. So the accursed sought her, in all
the islands of the Arabs and all the cities of the Moslems, but found no
sign of her till he came to Alexandria-city where he made quest for her
and presently discovered that she was with Nur al-Din Ali the Cairene,
being directed to the trace of her by the kerchief aforesaid, for that
none could have wrought it in such goodly guise but she. Then he bribed
the merchants to help him in getting her from Nur al-Din and beguiled
her lord into selling her, as hath been already related. When he had her
in his possession, she ceased not to weep and wail: so he said to her,
“O my lady Miriam, put away from thee this mourning and grieving and
return with me to the city of thy sire, the seat of thy kingship and the
place of thy power and thy home, so thou mayst be among thy servants and
attendants and be quit of this abasement and this strangerhood. Enough
hath betided me of travail, of travel and of disbursing monies on thine
account, for thy father bade me buy thee back, though with a shipload of
gold; and now I have spent nigh a year and a half in seeking thee.” And
he fell to kissing her hands and feet and humbling himself to her; but
the more he kissed and grovelled she only redoubled in wrath against
him, and said to him, “O accursed, may Almighty Allah not vouchsafe thee
to win thy wish!” Presently his pages brought her a she-mule with
gold-embroidered housings and mounting her thereon, raised over her head
a silken canopy, with staves of gold and silver, and the Franks walked
round about her, till they brought her forth the city by the
sea-gate,[503] where they took boat with her and rowing out to a great
ship in harbour embarked therein. Then the monocular Wazir cried out to
the sailors, saying, “Up with the mast!” So they set it up forthright
and spreading the newly bent sails and the colours manned the sweeps and
put out to sea. Meanwhile Miriam continued to gaze upon Alexandria, till
it disappeared from her eyes, when she fell a-weeping in her privacy
with sore weeping——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.


         Now when it was the Eight Hundred and Eightieth Night,

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

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

Then she could not refrain from weeping and wailing. So the
patrician[504] knights came up to her and would have comforted her, but
she heeded not their consoling words, being distracted by the claims of
passion and love-longing. And she shed tears and moaned and complained
and recited these couplets:—

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Peace be with you, sans you naught compensateth me ✿ The near, the far,
    two cases only here I see:
 I yearn for you at every hour and tide as yearns ✿ For water-place
    wayfarer plodding wearily.

 With you abide my hearing, heart and eyen-sight ✿ And (sweeter than the
    honeycomb) your memory.
 Then, O my Grief when fared afar your retinue ✿ And bore that ship away
    my sole expectancy.

And Nur al-Din wept and wailed, bemoaned himself and complained, crying
out and saying, “O Miriam! O Miriam! Was it but a vision of thee I saw
in sleep or in the allusions of dreams?” And by reason of that which
grew on him of regrets, he recited these couplets[505]:—

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

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

 O Maryam of beauty[506] return, for these eyne ✿ Are as densest clouds
    railing drops in line:
 Ask amid mankind and my railers shall say ✿ That mine eyelids are
    drowning these eyeballs of mine.

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

 Shall we e’er be unite after severance-tide ✿ And return in the
    perfectest cheer to bide?
 In my heart indeed is a lowe of love ✿ And I’m pained by the spies who
    my pain deride:
 My days I pass in amaze distraught, ✿ And her image a-nights I would see
    by side:
 By Allah, no hour brings me solace of love ✿ And how can it when
    makebates vex me and chide?
 A soft-sided damsel of slenderest waist ✿ Her arrows of eyne on my heart
    hath plied?
 Her form is like Bán[507]-tree branch in garth ✿ Shame her charms the
    sun who his face most hide:
 Did I not fear God (be He glorified!) ✿ “My Fair be glorified!” Had I
    cried.

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


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

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

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

Then Nur al-Din went forthright to the market and bought what he needed
of vitiacum and other necessaries for the voyage and returned to the
Rais, who said to him, “O my son, what is that thou hast with thee?”
said he, “My provisions and all whereof I have need for the voyage.”
Thereupon quoth the old man, laughing, “O my son, art thou going
a-pleasuring to Pompey’s Pillar[508]? Verily, between thee and that thou
seekest is two months’ journey an the wind be fair and the weather
favourable.” Then he took of him somewhat of money and going to the
bazar, bought him a sufficiency of all that he needed for the voyage and
filled him a large earthen jar[509] with fresh water. Nur al-Din abode
in the ship three days until the merchants had made an end of their
precautions and preparations and embarked, when they set sail and
putting out to sea, fared on one-and-fifty days. After this, there came
out upon them corsairs,[510] pirates who sacked the ship and taking Nur
al-Din and all therein prisoners, carried them to the city of France and
paraded them before the King, who bade cast them into jail, Nur al-Din
amongst the number. As they were being led to prison the galleon[511]
arrived with the Princess Miriam and the one-eyed Wazir, and when it
made the harbour, the lameter landed and going up to the King gave him
the glad news of his daughter’s safe return: whereupon they beat the
kettle-drums for good tidings and decorated the city after the goodliest
fashion. Then the King took horse, with all his guards and lords and
notables and rode down to the sea to meet her. The moment the ship cast
anchor she came ashore, and the King saluted her and embraced her and
mounting her on a blood-steed, bore her to the palace, where her mother
received her with open arms, and asked her of her case and whether she
was a maid as before or whether she had become a woman carnally known by
man.[512] She replied, “O my mother, how should a girl, who hath been
sold from merchant to merchant in the land of Moslems, a slave
commanded, abide a virgin? The merchant who bought me threatened me with
the bastinado and violenced me and took my maidenhead, after which he
sold me to another and he again to a third.” When the Queen heard these
her words, the light in her eyes became night and she repeated her
confession to the King who was chagrined thereat and his affair was
grievous to him. So he expounded her case to his Grandees and
Patricians[513] who said to him, “O King, she hath been defiled by the
Moslems and naught will purify her save the striking off of an hundred
Mohammedan heads.” Whereupon the King sent for the True Believers he had
imprisoned; and they decapitated them, one after another, beginning with
the captain, till none was left save Nur al-Din. They tare off a strip
of his skirt and binding his eyes therewith, led him to the rug of blood
and were about to smite his neck, when behold, an ancient dame came up
to the King at that very moment and said, “O my lord, thou didst vow to
bestow upon each and every church five Moslem captives, to help us in
the service thereof, so Allah would restore thee thy daughter the
Princess Miriam; and now she is restored to thee, so do thou fulfil thy
vow.” The King replied, “O my mother, by the virtue of the Messiah and
the Veritable Faith, there remaineth to me of the prisoners but this one
captive, whom they are about to put to death: so take him with thee to
help in the service of the church, till there come to me more prisoners
of the Moslems, when I will send thee other four. Hadst thou come
earlier, before they hewed off the heads of these, I had given thee as
many as thou wouldest have.” The old woman thanked the King for his boon
and wished him continuance of life, glory and prosperity. Then without
loss of time she went up to Nur al-Din, whom she raised from the rug of
blood; and, looking narrowly at him saw a comely youth and a dainty,
with a delicate skin and a face like the moon at her full; whereupon she
carried him to the church and said to him, “O my son, doff these clothes
which are upon thee, for they are fit only for the service of the
Sultan.[514]” So saying the ancient dame brought him a gown and hood of
black wool and a broad girdle,[515] in which she clad and cowled him;
and, after binding on his belt, bade him do the service of the church.
Accordingly, he served the church seven days, at the end of which time
behold, the old woman came up to him and said, “O Moslem, don thy silken
dress and take these ten dirhams and go out forthright and divert
thyself abroad this day, and tarry not here a single moment, lest thou
lose thy life.” Quoth he, “What is to do, O my mother?”; and quoth she,
“Know, O my son, that the King’s daughter, the Princess Miriam the
Girdle-girl, hath a mind to visit the church this day, to seek a
blessing by pilgrimage and to make oblation thereto, a douceur[516] of
thank-offering for her deliverance from the land of the Moslems and in
fulfilment of the vows she vowed to the Messiah, so he would save her.
With her are four hundred damsels, not one of whom but is perfect in
beauty and loveliness and all of them are daughters of Wazirs and Emirs
and Grandees: they will be here during this very hour and if their eyes
fall on thee in this church, they will hew thee in pieces with swords.”
Thereupon Nur al-Din took the ten dirhams from the ancient dame, and
donning his own dress, went out to the bazar and walked about the city
and took his pleasure therein, till he knew its highways and gates,——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Nur al-Din,
after donning his own dress and taking the ten dirhams from the ancient
dame, fared forth to the market streets and wandered about a while till
he knew every quarter of the city, after which he returned to the
church[517] and saw the Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the
King of France come up to the fane, attended by four hundred damsels,
high-bosomed maids like moons, amongst whom was the daughter of the
one-eyed Wazir and those of the Emirs and Lords of the realm; and she
walked in their midst as she were moon among stars. When his eyes fell
upon her Nur al-Din could not contain himself, but cried out from the
core of his heart, “O Miriam! O Miriam!” When the damsels heard his
outcry they ran at him with swords shining bright like flashes of
leven-light and would have slain him forthright. But the Princess turned
and looking on him, knew him with fullest knowledge, and said to her
maidens, “Leave this youth; doubtless he is mad, for the signs of
madness be manifest on his face.” When Nur al-Din heard this, he
uncovered his head and rolled his eyes and made signs with his hands and
twisted his legs, foaming the while at the mouth. Quoth the Princess,
“Said I not that the poor youth was mad? Bring him to me and stand off
from him, that I may hear what he saith; for I know the speech of the
Arabs and will look into his case and see if his madness admit of cure
or not.” So they laid hold of him and brought him to her; after which
they withdrew to a distance and she said to him, “Hast thou come hither
on my account and ventured thy life for my sake and feignest thyself
mad?” He replied, “O my lady, hast thou not heard the saying of the
poet[518]?:—

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

Miriam replied, “By Allah, O Nur al-Din, indeed thou hast sinned against
thyself, for I warned thee of this before it befel thee: yet wouldst
thou not hearken to me, but followedst thine own lust: albeit that
whereof I gave thee to know I learnt not by means of inspiration nor
physiognomy[519] nor dreams, but by eye-witness and very sight; for I
saw the one-eyed Wazir and knew that he was not come to Alexandria but
in quest of me.” Said he, “O my lady Miriam, we seek refuge with Allah
from the error of the intelligent[520]!” Then his affliction redoubled
on him and he recited this saying[521]:—

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

Then Nur al-Din and Princess Miriam ceased not from lovers’ chiding
which to trace would be tedious, relating each to other that which had
befallen them and reciting verses and making moan, one to other, of the
violence of passion and the pangs of pine and desire, whilst the tears
ran down their cheeks like rivers, till there was left them no strength
to say a word and so they continued till day departed and night
darkened. Now the Princess was clad in a green dress, purfled with red
gold and broidered with pearls and gems which enhanced her beauty and
loveliness and inner grace; and right well quoth the poet of her[522]:—

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

And when night darkened on them the Lady Miriam went up to her women and
asked them, “Have ye locked the door?”; and they answered, “Indeed we
have locked it.” So she took them and went with them to a place called
the Chapel of the Lady Mary the Virgin, Mother of Light, because the
Nazarenes hold that there are her heart and soul. The girls betook
themselves to prayer for blessings from above and circuited all the
church; and when they had made an end of their visitation, the Princess
turned to them and said, “I desire to pass the night alone in the
Virgin’s chapel and seek a blessing thereof, for that yearning after it
hath betided me, by reason of my long absence in the land of the
Moslems; and as for you, when ye have made an end of your visitation, do
ye sleep whereso ye will.” Replied they, “With love and goodly gree: be
it as thou wilt!”; and leaving her alone in the chapel, dispersed about
the church and slept. The Lady Miriam waited till they were out of sight
and hearing, then went in search of Nur al-Din, whom she found sitting
in a corner on live coals, awaiting her. He rose and kissed her hands
and feet and she sat down and seated him by her side. Then she pulled
off all that was upon her of raiment and ornaments and fine linen and
taking Nur al-Din in her arms strained him to her bosom. And they ceased
not, she and he, from kissing and clipping and strumming to the tune of
“hocus-pocus,[523]” saying the while, “How short are the nights of Union
and the nights of Disunion how long are they!” and reciting these
verses:—

 O Night of Union, Time’s virginal prize, ✿ White star of the Nights with
    auroral dyes,
 Thou garrest Dawn after Noon to rise ✿ Say art thou Kohl in Morning’s
    Eyes,
 Or wast thou Slumber to bleared eye lief?
 O Night of Parting, how long thy stay ✿ Whose latest hours aye the first
    portray,
 This endless circle that noways may ✿ Show breach till the coming of
    Judgment-day,
 Day when dies the lover of parting-grief.[524]

As they were in this mighty delight and joy engrossing they heard one of
the servants of the Saint[525] smite the gong[526] upon the roof, to
call the folk to the rites of their worship, and he was even as saith
the poet: —

 I saw him strike the gong and asked of him straightway, ✿ “Who made the
    Fawn[527] at striking gong so knowing, eh?”
 And to my soul, “What smiting irketh thee the more ✿ Striking the gong
    or striking note of going,[528] say?”

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


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

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

 I ceasèd not to kiss that cheek with budding roses dight ✿ And eyes down
    cast and bit the same with most emphatic bite;
 Until we were _in gloria_[529] and lay him down the spy ✿ And sank his
    eyes within his brain declining further sight:
 And struck the gongs as they that had the charge of them were like ✿
    Muezzin crying duty-prayers in Allah’s book indite.
 Then rose she up right hastily and donned the dress she’d doffed ✿ Sore
    fearing lest a shooting-star[530] upon our heads alight.
 And cried, “O wish and will of me, O end of all my hopes! ✿ Behold the
    morning comes to us in brightest whitest light.”
 I swear if but one day of rule were given to my life ✿ And I were made
    an Emperor of majesty and might,
 Adown I’d break the buttresses of churches one and all ✿ And by their
    slaughter rid the earth of every shaveling wight.

Then the Lady Miriam pressed him to her bosom and kissed his cheek and
asked him, “O Nur al-Din, how long hast thou been in this town?” “Seven
days.” “Hast thou walked about in it, and dost thou know its ways and
issues and its sea-gates and land gates?” “Yes!” “Knowest thou the way
to the offertory-chest[531] of the church?” “Yes!” “Since thou knowest
all this, as soon as the first third[532] of the coming night is over,
go to the offertory-chest and take thence what thou wishest and willest.
Then open the door that giveth upon the tunnel[533] leading to the sea,
and go down to the harbour, where thou wilt find a little ship and ten
men therein, and when the Rais shall see thee, he will put out his hand
to thee. Give him thy hand and he will take thee up into the ship, and
do thou wait there till I come to thee. But ’ware and have a care lest
sleep overtake thee this night, or thou wilt repent whenas repentance
shall avail thee naught.” Then the Princess farewelled him and going
forth from Nur al-Din, aroused from sleep her women and the rest of the
damsels, with whom she betook herself to the church door and knocked;
whereupon the ancient dame opened to her and she went forth and found
the knights and varlets standing without. They brought her a dapple
she-mule and she mounted: whereupon they raised over her head a
canopy[534] with curtains of silk, and the knights took hold of the
mule’s halter. Then the guards[535] encompassed her about drawn brand in
hand and fared on with her, followed by her, till they brought her to
the palace of the King her father. Meanwhile, Nur al-Din abode concealed
behind the curtain, under cover of which Miriam and he had passed the
night till it was broad day, when the main door was opened and the
church became full of people. Then he mingled with the folk and accosted
the old Prioress, the guardian[536] of the shrine, who said to him,
“Where didst thou lie last night?” Said he, “In the town as thou badest
me.” Quoth she, “O my son, thou hast done the right thing; for, hadst
thou nighted in the Church, she had slain thee on the foulest wise.” And
quoth he, “Praised be Allah who hath delivered me from the evil of this
night!” Then he busied himself with the service of the church and ceased
not busying till day departed and night with darkness starkened when he
arose and opened the offertory-chest and took thence of jewels whatso
was light of weight and weighty of worth. Then he tarried till the first
watch of the night was past, when he made his way to the postern of the
tunnel and opening it, went forth, calling on Allah for protection, and
ceased not faring on until, after finding and opening the door, he came
to the sea. Here he discovered the vessel moored to the shore near the
gate; and her skipper, a tall old man of comely aspect with a long
beard, standing in the waist, his ten men being ranged before him. Nur
al-Din gave him his hand, as Miriam had bidden him, and the captain took
it and pulling him on board of the ship cried out to his crew, saying,
“Cast off the moorings and put out to sea with us, ere day break.” Said
one of the ten, “O my lord the Captain, how shall we put out now, when
the King hath notified us that to-morrow he will embark in this ship and
go round about the sea, being fearful for his daughter Miriam from the
Moslem thieves?” But the Rais cried out at them saying, “Woe to you, O
accursed; Dare ye gainsay me and bandy words with me?” So saying the old
captain bared his blade and with it dealt the sailor who had spoken a
thrust in the throat, that the steel came out gleaming from his nape,
and quoth another of the sailors, “What hath our comrade done of crime,
that thou shouldst cut his throat?” Thereupon the captain clapped hand
to sword and smote off the speaker’s head, nor did he leave smiting the
rest of the sailors, till he had slain them all, one after other, and
cast the ten bodies ashore. Then he turned to Nur al-Din and cried out
at him with a terrible great cry, that made him tremble, saying, “Go
down and pull up the mooring-stake.” Nur al-Din feared lest he should
strike him also with the sword; so he sprang up and leapt ashore and
pulling up the stake jumped aboard again, swiftlier than the dazzling
leven. The captain ceased not to bid him do this and do that and tack
and wear hither and thither and look at the stars, and Nur al-Din did
all that he bade him, with heart a-quaking for affright; whilst he
himself spread the sails, and the ship fared with the twain into the
dashing sea, swollen with clashing billows.——And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


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

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

 To all who unknown my love for the May ✿ From whom Fate disjoins me O
    say, I pray,
 “Ask my kith and kin of my love that aye ✿ Ensweetens my verses to
    lovely lay:
         For the loss of the tribesmen my life o’er sway!”
 Their names when named heal all malady; ✿ Cure and chase from heart
    every pain I dree:
 And my longings for love reach so high degree ✿ That my Sprite is
    maddened each morn I see,
         And am grown of the crowd to be saw and say.
 No blame in them will I e’er espy: ✿ No! nor aught of solace sans them
    descry:
 Your love hath shot me with pine, and I ✿ Bear in heart a flame that
    shall never die,
         But fire my liver with fiery ray.
 All folk my sickness for marvel score ✿ That in darkest night I wake
    evermore
 What ails them to torture this heart forlore ✿ And deem right for loving
    my blood t’ outpour:
         And yet—how justly unjust are they!

 Would I wot who ’twas could obtain of you ✿ To wrong a youth who’s so
    fain of you:
 By my life and by Him who made men of you ✿ And the spy tell aught I
    complain of you
         He lies, by Allah, in foulest way!
 May the Lord my sickness never dispel, ✿ Nor ever my heart of its pains
    be well,
 What day I regret that in love I fell ✿ Or laud any land but wherein ye
    dwell:
         Wring my heart and ye will or make glad and gay!
 I have vitals shall ever be true to you ✿ Though racked by the rigours
    not new to you
 Ere this wrong and this right I but sue to you: ✿ Do what you will to
    thrall who to you
         Shall ne’er grudge his life at your feet to lay.

When Nur al-Din ceased to sing, the Princess Miriam marvelled at his
song and thanked him therefor, saying, “Whoso’s case is thus it behoveth
him to walk the ways of men and never do the deed of curs and cowards.”
Now she was stout of heart and cunning in the sailing of ships over the
salt sea, and she knew all the winds and their shiftings and every
course of the main. So Nur al-Din said, “O my lady, hadst thou prolonged
this case on me,[537] I had surely died for stress of affright and
chagrin, more by token of the fire of passion and love-longing and the
cruel pangs of separation.” She laughed at his speech and rising without
stay or delay brought out somewhat of food and liquor; and they ate and
drank and enjoyed themselves and made merry. Then she drew forth rubies
and other gems and precious stones and costly trinkets of gold and
silver and all manner things of price, light of weight and weighty of
worth, which she had taken from the palace of her sire and his
treasuries, and displayed them to Nur al-Din, who rejoiced therein with
joy exceeding. All this while the wind blew fair for them and merrily
sailed the ship nor ceased sailing till they drew near the city of
Alexandria and sighted its landmarks, old and new, and Pompey’s Pillar.
When they made the port Nur al-Din landed forthright and securing the
ship to one of the Fulling-Stones,[538] took somewhat of the treasures
that Miriam had brought with her, and said to her, “O my lady, tarry in
the ship, against I return and carry thee up into the city in such way
as I should wish and will.” Quoth she, “It behoveth that this be done
quickly, for tardiness in affairs engendereth repentance.” Quoth he,
“There is no tardiness in me;” and, leaving her in the ship, went up
into the city to the house of the druggist his father’s old friend, to
borrow of his wife for Miriam veil and mantilla, and walking boots and
petticoat-trousers after the usage of the women of Alexandria, unknowing
that there was appointed to betide him of the shifts of Time, the Father
of Wonders, that which was far beyond his reckoning. Thus it befel Nur
al-Din and Miriam the Girdle-girl; but as regards her sire the King of
France, when he arose in the morning, he missed his daughter and
questioned her women and her eunuchs of her. Answered they, “O our lord,
she went out last night, to go to Church and after that we have no
tidings of her.” But, as the King talked with them, behold, there arose
so great a clamour of cries below the palace, that the place rang
thereto, and he said, “What may be the news?” The folk replied, “O King,
we have found ten men slain on the sea-shore, and the royal yacht is
missing. Moreover we saw the postern of the Church, which giveth upon
the tunnel leading to the sea, wide open; and the Moslem prisoner, who
served in the Church, is missing.” Quoth the King, “An my ship be lost,
without doubt or dispute.”——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King
of France missed his daughter they brought him tidings of her, saying,
“Thy yacht is lost”; and he replied, “An the craft be lost, without
dispute or doubt my daughter is in it.” So he summoned without stay or
delay the Captain of the Port and cried out at him, saying, “By the
virtue[1] of the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, except thou and
thy fighting men overtake my ship forthright and bring it back to me,
with those who are therein, I will do thee die the foulest of deaths and
make a terrible example of thee!” Thereupon the captain went out from
before him, trembling, and betook himself to the ancient dame of the
Church, to whom said he, “Heardest thou aught from the captive, that was
with thee, anent his native land and what countryman he was?”[539] And
she answered, “He used to say, I come from the town of Alexandria.” When
the captain heard the old woman’s words he returned forthright to the
port and cried out to the sailors, “Make ready and set sail.” So they
did his bidding and straightway putting out to sea, fared night and day
till they sighted the city of Alexandria at the very time when Nur
al-Din landed, leaving the Princess in the ship. They soon espied the
royal yacht and knew her; so they moored their own vessel at a distance
therefrom and putting off in a little frigate they had with them, which
drew but two cubits of water and in which were an hundred fighting-men,
amongst them the one-eyed Wazir (for that he was a stubborn tyrant and a
froward devil and a wily thief, none could avail against his craft, as
he were Abu Mohammed al-Battál[540]), they ceased not rowing till they
reached the bark and boarding her, all at once, found none therein save
the Princess Miriam. So they took her and the ship, and returning to
their own vessel, after they had landed and waited a long while,[541]
set sail forthright for the land of the Franks, having accomplished
their errand, without a fight or even drawing sword. The wind blew fair
for them and they sailed on, without ceasing and with all diligence,
till they reached the city of France and landing with the Princess
Miriam carried her to her father, who received her, seated on the throne
of his Kingship. As soon as he saw her, he said to her, “Woe to thee, O
traitress! What ailed thee to leave the faith of thy fathers and
forefathers and the safeguard of the Messiah, on whom is our reliance,
and follow after the faith of the Vagrants,[542] to wit, the faith of
Al-Islam, the which arose with the sword against the Cross and the
Images?” Replied Miriam, “I am not at fault, I went out by night to the
church, to visit the Lady Mary and seek a blessing of her, when there
fell upon me unawares a band of Moslem robbers, who gagged me and bound
me fast and carrying me on board the barque, set sail with me for their
own country. However, I beguiled them and talked with them of their
religion, till they loosed my bonds; and ere I knew it thy men overtook
me and delivered me. And by the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith
which is no liar and the Cross and the Crucified thereon, I rejoiced
with joy exceeding in my release from them and my bosom broadened and I
was glad for my deliverance from the bondage of the Moslems!” Rejoined
the King, “Thou liest, O whore! O adultress! By the virtue of that which
is revealed of prohibition and permission in the manifest Evangel,[543]
I will assuredly do thee die by the foulest of deaths and make thee the
vilest of examples! Did it not suffice thee to do as thou didst the
first time and put off thy lies upon us, but thou must return upon us
with thy deceitful inventions?” Thereupon the King bade kill her and
crucify her over the palace gate; but, at that moment the one-eyed
Wazir, who had long been enamoured of the Princess, came in to him and
said, “Ho King! slay her not, but give her to me to wife, and I will
watch over her with the utmost warding, nor will I go in unto her, till
I have built her a palace of solid stone, exceeding high of foundation,
so no thieves may avail to climb up to its terrace-roof; and when I have
made an end of building it, I will sacrifice thirty Moslems before the
gate thereof, as an expiatory offering to the Messiah for myself and for
her.” The King granted his request and bade the priests and monks and
patriarchs marry the Princess to him; so they did his bidding, whereupon
he bade set about building a strong and lofty palace, befitting her rank
and the workmen fell to work upon it. On this wise it betided the
Princess Miriam and her sire and the one-eyed Wazir; but as regards Nur
al-Din, when he came back with the petticoat-trousers and mantilla and
walking boots and all the attire of Alexandrian women which he had
borrowed of the druggist’s wife, he “found the air void and the fane
afar[544]”;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.


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

She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nur
al-Din, “found the air void[545] and the fane afar,” his heart sank
within him and he wept floods of tears and recited these verses[546]:—

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

Then Nur al-Din walked on along the sea-shore and turned right and left,
till he saw folk gathered together on the beach and heard them say, “O
Moslems, there remaineth no honour to Alexandria-city, since the Franks
enter it and snatch away those who are therein and return to their own
land, at their leisure[547] nor pursued of any of the Moslems or
fighters for the Faith!” Quoth Nur al-Din to them, “What is to do?”; and
quoth they, “O my son, one of the ships of the Franks, full of armed
men, came down but now upon the port and carried off a ship which was
moored here, with her that was therein, and made unmolested for their
own land.” Nur al-Din fell down a-swoon, on hearing these words; and
when he recovered they questioned him of his case and he told them all
that had befallen him first and last; whereupon they all took to
reviling him and railing at him, saying, “Why couldst thou not bring her
up into the town without mantilla and muffler?” And all and each of the
folk gave him some grievous word, berating him with sharp speech, and
shooting at him some shaft of reproach, albeit one said, “Let him be;
that which hath befallen him sufficeth him,” till he again fell down in
a fainting-fit. And behold, at this moment, up came the old druggist,
who, seeing the folk gathered together, drew near to learn what was the
matter and found Nur al-Din lying a-swoon in their midst. So he sat down
at his head and arousing him, said to him as soon as he recovered, “O my
son, what is this case in which I see thee?” Nur al-Din said, “O uncle,
I had brought back in a barque my lost slave-girl from her father’s
city, suffering patiently all I suffered of perils and hardships; and
when I came with her to this port, I made the vessel fast to the shore
and leaving her therein, repaired to thy dwelling and took of thy
consort what was needful for her, that I might bring her up into the
town; but the Franks came and capturing barque and damsel made off
unhindered, and returned to their own land.” Now when the Shaykh, the
druggist, heard this, the light in his eyes became night and he grieved
with sore grieving for Nur al-Din and said to him, “O my son, why didst
thou not bring her out of the ship into the city without mantilla? But
speech availeth not at this season; so rise, O my son, and come up with
me to the city; haply Allah will vouchsafe thee a girl fairer than she,
who shall console thee for her. Alhamdolillah—praised be Allah—who hath
not made thee lose aught by her! Nay, thou hast gained by her. And
bethink thee, O my son, that Union and Disunion are in the hands of the
Most High King.” Replied Nur al-Din, “By Allah, O uncle, I can never be
consoled for her loss nor will I ever leave seeking her, though on her
account I drink the cup of death!” Rejoined the druggist, “O my son, and
what art thou minded to do?” Quoth Nur al-Din, “I am minded to return to
the land of the Franks[548] and enter the city of France and emperil
myself there; come what may, loss of life or gain of life.” Quoth the
druggist, “O my son, there is an old saw:—Not always doth the crock
escape the shock; and if they did thee no hurt the first time, belike
they will slay thee this time, more by token that they know thee now
with full knowledge.” Quoth Nur al-Din, “O my uncle, let me set out and
be slain for the love of her straightway and not die of despair for her
loss by slow torments.” Now as Fate determined there was then a ship in
port ready to sail, for its passengers had made an end of their
affairs[549] and the sailors had pulled up the mooring-stakes, when Nur
al-Din embarked in her. So they shook out their canvas and relying on
the Compassionate, put out to sea and sailed many days, with fair wind
and weather, till behold, they fell in with certain of the Frank
cruisers, which were scouring those waters and seizing upon all ships
they saw, in their fear for the King’s daughter from the Moslem
corsairs: and as often as they made prize of a Moslem ship, they carried
all her people to the King of France, who put them to death in
fulfilment of the vow he had vowed on account of his daughter Miriam.
So, seeing the ship wherein was Nur al-Din they boarded her and taking
him and the rest of the company prisoners, to the number of an hundred
Moslems, carried them to the King and set them between his hands. He
bade cut their throats. Accordingly they slaughtered them all forthwith,
one after another, till there was none left but Nur al-Din, whom the
headsman had left to the last, in pity of his tender age and slender
shape. When the King saw him, he knew him right well and said to him,
“Art thou not Nur al-Din, who was with us before?” Said he, “I was never
with thee; and my name is not Nur al-Din, but Ibrahim.” Rejoined the
King; “Thou liest, thou art Nur al-Din, he whom I gave to the ancient
dame the Prioress, to help her in the service of the church.” But Nur
al-Din replied, “O my lord, my name is Ibrahim.” Quoth the King, “Wait a
while,” and bade his knights fetch the old woman forthright, saying,
“When she cometh and seeth thee, she will know an thou be Nur al-Din or
not.” At this juncture, behold, in came the one-eyed Wazir who had
married the Princess and kissing the earth before the King said to him,
“Know, O King, that the palace is finished; and thou knowest now I vowed
to the Messiah that, when I had made an end of building it, I would cut
thirty Moslems’ throats before its doors; wherefore I am come to take
them of thee, that I may sacrifice them and so fulfil my vow to the
Messiah. They shall be at my charge, by way of loan, and whenas there
come prisoners to my hands, I will give thee other thirty in lieu of
them.” Replied the King, “By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith
which is no liar, I have but this one captive left!” And he pointed to
Nur al-Din, saying, “Take him and slaughter him at this very moment and
the rest I will send thee, when there come to my hands other prisoners
of the Moslems.” Thereupon the one-eyed Wazir arose and took Nur al-Din
and carried him to his palace, thinking to slaughter him on the
threshold of the gate; but the painters said to him, “O my lord, we have
two days’ painting yet to do: so bear with us and delay to cut the
throat of this captive, till we have made an end of our work; haply by
that time the rest of the thirty will come, so thou mayst despatch them
all at one bout and accomplish thy vow in a single day.” Thereupon the
Wazir bade imprison Nur al-Din——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.


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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir
bade imprison Nur al-Din, they carried him to the stables and left him
there in chains, hungering and thirsting and making moan for himself;
for indeed he saw death face to face. Now it fortuned, by the ordinance
of Destiny and foreordained Fate, that the King had two stallions, own
brothers,[550] such as the Chosroe Kings might sigh in vain to possess
themselves of one of them; they were called Sábik and Láhik[551] and one
of them was pure silvern white while the other was black as the darksome
night. And all the Kings of the isles had said, “Whoso stealeth us one
of these stallions, we will give him all he seeketh of red gold and
pearls and gems;” but none could avail to steal them. Now one of them
fell sick of a jaundice and there came a whiteness over his eyes[552];
whereupon the King gathered together all the farriers in the city to
treat him; but they all failed of his cure. Presently the Wazir came
into the King; and finding him troubled because of the horse, thought to
do away his concern and said to him, “O King, give me the stallion and I
will cure him.” The King consented and caused carry the horse to the
stable wherein Nur al-Din lay chained; but, when he missed his brother,
he cried out with an exceeding great cry and neighed, so that he
affrighted all the folk. The Wazir, seeing that he did thus but because
he was parted from his brother, went to tell the King, who said, “If
this, which is but a beast, cannot brook to be parted from his brother,
how should it be with those that have reason?” And he bade his grooms
take the other horse and put him with his brother in the Wazir’s
stables, saying, “Tell the Minister that the two stallions be a gift
from me to him, for the sake of my daughter Miriam.” Nur al-Din was
lying in the stable, chained and shackled, when they brought in the two
stallions and he saw that one of them had a film over his eyes. Now he
had some knowledge of horses and of the doctoring of their diseases; so
he said to himself, “This by Allah is my opportunity! I will go to the
Wazir and lie to him, saying, “I will heal thee this horse:” then will I
do with him somewhat that shall destroy his eyes, and he will slay me
and I shall be at rest from this woe-full life.” So he waited till the
Wazir entered the stable, to look upon the steed, and said to him, “O my
lord, what will be my due, an I heal this horse, and make his eyes whole
again?” Replied the Wazir, “As my head liveth, an thou cure him, I will
spare thy life and give thee leave to crave a boon of me!” And Nur
al-Din said, “O my lord, bid my hands be unbound!” So the Wazir bade
unbind him and he rose and taking virgin glass,[553] brayed it and mixed
it with unslaked lime and a menstruum of onion-juice. Then he applied
the whole to the horse’s eyes and bound them up, saying in himself, “Now
will his eyes be put out and they will slay me and I shall be at rest
from this woe-full life.” Then he passed the night with a heart free
from the uncertainty[554] of cark and care, humbling himself to Allah
the Most High and saying, “O Lord, in Thy knowledge is that which
dispenseth with asking and craving!” Now when the morning morrowed and
the sun shone, the Wazir came to the stable and, loosing the bandage
from the horse’s eyes considered them and found them finer than before,
by the ordinance of the King who openeth evermore. So he said to Nur
al-Din, “O Moslem, never in the world saw I the like of thee for the
excellence of thy knowledge. By the virtue of the Messiah and the Faith
which is no liar, thou makest me with wonder to admire, for all the
farriers of our land have failed to heal this horse!” Then he went up to
Nur al-Din and, doing off his shackles with his own hand, clad him in a
costly dress and made him his master of the Horse; and he appointed him
stipends and allowances and lodged him in a story over the stables. So
Nur al-Din abode awhile, eating and drinking and making merry and
bidding and forbidding those who tended the horses; and whoso neglected
or failed to fodder those tied up in the stable wherein was his service,
he would throw down and beat with grievous beating and lay him by the
legs in bilboes of iron. Furthermore, he used every day to descend and
visit the stallions and rub them down with his own hand, by reason of
that which he knew of their value in the Wazir’s eyes and his love for
them; wherefore the Minister rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and his
breast broadened and he was right glad, unknowing what was to be the
issue of his case. Now in the new palace, which the one-eyed Wazir had
bought for the Princess Miriam, was a lattice-window overlooking his old
house and the flat wherein Nur al-Din lodged. The Wazir had a daughter,
a virgin of extreme loveliness, as she were a fleeing gazelle or a
bending branchlet, and it chanced that she sat one day at the lattice
aforesaid and behold, she heard Nur al-Din singing and solacing himself
under his sorrows by improvising these verses:—

 O my Censor who wakest a-morn to see ✿ The joys of life and its jubilee!
 Had the fangs of Destiny bitten thee ✿ In such bitter case thou hadst
    pled this plea:—
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 But from Fate’s despight thou art safe this day;— ✿ From her falsest fay
    and her crying “Nay!”
 Yet blame him not whom his woes waylay ✿ Who distraught shall say in his
    agony,
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 Excuse such lovers in flight abhorr’d ✿ Nor to Love’s distresses thine
    aid afford:
 Lest thy self be bound by same binding cord ✿ And drink of Love’s
    bitterest injury.
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 In His service I wont as the days went by ✿ With freest heart through
    the nights to lie;
 Nor tasted wake, nor of Love aught reckt ✿ Ere my heart to subjection
    summoned he:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 None weet of Love and his humbling wrong ✿ Save those he sickened so
    sore, so long,
 Who have lost their wits ’mid the lover-throng ✿ Draining bitterest cup
    by his hard decree:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 How oft in Night’s gloom he cause wake to rue ✿ Lovers’ eyne, and from
    eyelids their sleep withdrew;
 Till tears to the railing of torrents grew, ✿ Overflowing cheeks,
    unconfined and free:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 How many a man he has joyed to steep ✿ In pain, and for pine hath he
    plundered sleep,—
 Made don garb of mourning the deepest deep ✿ And even his dreaming
    forced to flee:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 How oft sufferance fails me! How bones are wasted ✿ And down my cheeks
    torrent tear-drops hasted:

 And embittered She all the food I tasted ✿ However sweet it was wont to
    be:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 Most hapless of men who like me must love, ✿ And must watch when Night
    droops her wing from above,
 Who, Swimming the main where affection drove ✿ Must sigh and sink in
    that gloomy sea:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 Who is he to whom Love e’er stinted spite ✿ And who scaped his springes
    and easy sleight;
 Who free from Love lived in life’s delight? ✿ Where is he can boast of
    such liberty?
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!
 Deign Lord such suffering wight maintain ✿ Then best Protector, protect
    him deign!
 Establish him and his life assain ✿ And defend him from all calamity:
                   Ah me, for Love and his case, ah me:
                   My heart is burnt by the fires I dree!

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


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

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

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

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

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

Said the Wazir’s daughter, “O Princess, let not thy breast be
straitened, but come with me straightway to the lattice; for there is
with us in the stable[555] a comely young man, slender of shape and
sweet of speech, and meseemeth he is a parted lover.” Miriam asked, “And
by what sign knowest thou that he is a parted lover?”; and she answered,
“O Queen, I know it by his improvising odes and verses all watches of
the night and tides of the day.” Quoth the Princess in herself, “If what
the Wazir’s daughter says be true, these are assuredly the traits of the
baffled, the wretched Ali Nur al-Din. Would I knew if indeed he be the
youth of whom she speaketh?” At this thought, love-longing and
distraction of passion redoubled on her and she rose at once and walking
with the maiden to the lattice, looked down upon the stables, where she
saw her love and lord Nur al-Din and fixing her eyes steadfastly upon
him, knew him with the bestest knowledge of love, albeit he was sick, of
the greatness of his affection for her and of the fire of passion, and
the anguish of separation and yearning and distraction. Sore upon him
was emaciation and he was improvising and saying:—

 My heart is a thrall; my tears ne’er abate ✿ And their rains the railing
    of clouds amate;
 ’Twixt my weeping and watching and wanting love; ✿ And whining and
    pining for dearest mate.
 Ah my burning heat, my desire, my lowe! ✿ For the plagues that torture
    my heart are eight;
 And five upon five are in suite of them; ✿ So stand and listen to all I
    state:
 Mem’ry, madding thoughts, moaning languishment, ✿ Stress of longing
    love, plight disconsolate;
 In travail, affliction and strangerhood, ✿ And annoy and joy when on her
    I wait.
 Fail me patience and stay for engrossing care ✿ And sorrows my suffering
    soul regrate.
 On my heart the possession of passion grows ✿ O who ask of what fire in
    my heart’s create,
 Why my tears in vitals should kindle flame, ✿ Burning heart with ardours
    insatiate,
 Know, I’m drowned in Deluge[556] of tears and my soul ✿ From Lazá-lowe
    fares to Háwiyah-goal.[557]

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

 I hope for Union with my love which I may ne’er obtain ✿ At all, but
    bitterness of life is all the gain I gain:
 My tears are likest to the main for ebb and flow of tide; ✿ But when I
    meet the blamer-wight to staunch my tears I’m fain.
 Woe to the wretch who garred us part by spelling of his spells;[558] ✿
    Could I but hend his tongue in hand I’d cut his tongue in twain:
 Yet will I never blame the days for whatso deed they did ✿ Mingling with
    merest, purest gall the cup they made me drain!
 To whom shall I address myself; and whom but you shall seek ✿ A heart
    left hostage in your Court, by you a captive ta’en?
 Who shall avenge my wrongs on you,[559] tyrant despotical ✿ Whose
    tyranny but grows the more, the more I dare complain?
 I made him regnant of my soul that he the reign assain ✿ But me he
    wasted wasting too the soul I gave to reign.
 Ho thou, the Fawn, whom I so lief erst gathered to my breast ✿ Enow of
    severance tasted I to own its might and main,
 Thou’rt he whose favours joined in one all beauties known to man, ✿ Yet
    I thereon have wasted all my Patience’ fair domain.
 I entertained him in my heart whereto he brought unrest ✿ But I am
    satisfied that I such guest could entertain.
 My tears for ever flow and flood, likest the surging sea ✿ And would I
    wot the track to take that I thereto attain.
 Yet sore I fear that I shall die in depths of my chagrin ✿ And must
    despair for evermore to win the wish I’d win.

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

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

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

NOTE. (p. 93).—There is something wondrous naïve in a lover who, when
asked by his mistress to sing a song in her honour, breaks out into
versical praises of her parts. But even the classical Arab authors did
not disdain such themes. See in Al-Harírí (Ass. of Mayyáfarikín) where
Abú Zayd laments the impotency of old age in form of a Rasy or funeral
oration (Preston p. 484, and Chenery p. 221). It completely deceived Sir
William Jones, who inserted it into the chapter “De Poesi Funebri,” p.
527 (Poeseos Asiaticæ Commentarii) gravely noting, “Hæc Elegia non
admodum dissimilis esse videtur pulcherrimi illius carminis de Sauli et
Jonathani obitu; at que adeò versus iste ’ubi provocant adversarios
nunquam rediit a pugnæ contentione sine spiculo sanguine imbuto,’ ex
Hebræo reddi videtur,

             A sanguine occisorum, a fortium virorum adipe,
             Arcus Jonathani non rediit irritus.”

I need hardly say with Captain Lockett (226) that this “Sabb warrior,”
this Arabian Achilles is the celebrated Bonus Deus or Hellespontiacus of
the Ancients. The oration runs thus:—

         O folk I have a wondrous tale, so rare
         Much shall it profit hearers wise and ware!
         I saw in salad-years a potent Brave
         And sharp of edge and point his warrior glaive;
         Who entered joust and list with hardiment
         Fearless of risk, of victory confident,
         His vigorous onset straitest places oped
         And easy passage through all narrows groped:
         He ne’er encountered foe in single fight
         But came from tilt with spear in blood stained bright;
         Nor stormed a fortress howso strong and stark—
         With fencèd gates defended deep and dark—
         When shown his flag without th’ auspicious cry
         “Aidance from Allah and fair victory nigh!”[560]
         Thuswise full many a night his part he played
         In strength and youth-tide’s stately garb arrayed,
         Dealing to fair young girl delicious joy
         And no less welcome to the blooming boy.
         But Time ne’er ceased to stint his wondrous strength
         (Steadfast and upright as the gallows’ length)
         Until the Nights o’erthrew him by their might
         And friends contemned him for a feckless wight;
         Nor was a wizard but who wasted skill
         Over his case, nor leach could heal his ill.
         Then he abandoned arms abandoned him
         Who gave and took salutes so fierce and grim;
         And now lies prostrate drooping haughty crest;
         For who lives longest him most ills molest.
         Then see him, here he lies on bier for bed:—
         Who will a shroud bestow on stranger dead?

A fair measure of the difference between Eastern and Western manners is
afforded by such a theme being treated by their gravest writers and the
verses being read and heard by the gravest and most worshipful men,
whilst amongst us Preston and Chenery do not dare even to translate
them. The latter, indeed, had all that immodest modesty for which
English professional society is notable in this xix^{th} century. He
spoiled by needlessly excluding from a scientific publication (Mem.
R.A.S.) all of my Proverbia Communia Syriaca (See Unexplored Syria, i.
364) and every item which had a shade of double entendre. But Nemesis
frequently found him out: during his short and obscure rule in Printing
House Square The Thunderer was distinguished by two of the foulest
indecencies that ever appeared in an English paper.

-----

Footnote 376:

  I borrow the title from the Bresl. Edit. x. 204. Mr. Payne prefers
  “Ali Noureddin and the Frank King’s Daughter.” Lane omits also this
  tale because it resembles Ali Shar and Zumurrud (vol. iv. 187) and Alá
  al-Din Abu al-Shámát (vol. iv. 29), “neither of which is among the
  text of the collection.” But he has unconsciously omitted one of the
  highest interest. Dr. Bacher (Germ. Orient. Soc.) finds the original
  in Charlemagne’s daughter Emma and his secretary Eginhardt as given in
  Grimm’s _Deutsche Sagen_. I shall note the points of resemblance as
  the tale proceeds. The correspondence with the King of France may be a
  garbled account of the letters which passed between Harun al-Rashid
  and Nicephorus, “the Roman dog.”

Footnote 377:

  Arab. “Allaho Akbar,” the Moslem slogan or war-cry. See vol. ii. 89.

Footnote 378:

  The gate-keeper of Paradise. See vol. iii. 15, 20.

Footnote 379:

  Negroes. Vol. iii. 75.

Footnote 380:

  Arab. “Nakat,” with the double meaning of to spot and to handsel
  especially dancing and singing women; and, as Mr. Payne notes in this
  acceptation it is practically equivalent to the English phrase “to
  mark (or cross) the palm with silver.” I have translated “Anwá” by
  Pleiads; but it means the setting of one star and simultaneous rising
  of another foreshowing rain. There are seven Anwá (plur. of nawa) in
  the Solar year viz. Al-Badri (Sept.-Oct.); Al-Wasmiyy (late autumn and
  December); Al-Waliyy (to April); Al-Ghamír (June); Al-Busriyy (July);
  Bárih al-Kayz (August) and Ahrák al-Hawá extending to September 8.
  These are tokens of approaching rain, metaphorically used by the poets
  to express “bounty.” See Preston’s Hariri (p. 43) and Chenery upon the
  Ass. of the Banu Haram.

Footnote 381:

  _i.e._ They trip and stumble in their hurry to get there.

Footnote 382:

  Arab. “Kumm” = sleeve or petal. See vol. v. 32.

Footnote 383:

  Arab. “Kiráb” = sword-case of wood, the sheath being of leather.

Footnote 384:

  Arab. “Akr kayrawán,” both rare words.

Footnote 385:

  A doubtful tradition in the Mishkát al-Masábih declares that every
  pomegranate contains a grain from Paradise. See vol. i. 134. The
  Koranic reference is to vi. 99.

Footnote 386:

  Arab. “Aswad,” lit. black but used for any dark colour, here green as
  opposed to the lighter yellow.

Footnote 387:

  The idea has occurred in vol. i. 158.

Footnote 388:

  So called from the places where they grow.

Footnote 389:

  See vol. vii. for the almond-apricot whose stone is cracked to get at
  the kernel.

Footnote 390:

  For Roum see vol. iv. 100: in Morocco “Roumi” means simply a European.
  The tetrastich alludes to the beauty of the Greek slaves.

Footnote 391:

  Arab. “Ahlan” in adverb form lit. = “as one of the household”: so in
  the greeting “Ahlan wa Sahlan” (and at thine ease), wa Marhabá (having
  a wide free place).

Footnote 392:

  For the Sufrah table-cloth see vol. i. 178.

Footnote 393:

  See vol. iii. 302, for the unclean allusion in fig and sycamore.

Footnote 394:

  In the text “of Tor”: see vol. ii. 242. The pear is mentioned by Homer
  and grows wild in South Europe. Dr. Victor Hehn (The Wanderings of
  Plants, etc.) comparing the Gr. ἄπιος with the Lat. pyrus, suggests
  that the latter passed over to the Kelts and Germans amongst whom the
  fruit was not indigenous. Our fine pears are mostly from the East.
  _e.g._ the “bergamot” is the Beg Armud, Prince of Pears, from Angora.

Footnote 395:

  _i.e._ “Royal:” it may or may not come from Sultaníyah, a town near
  Baghdad. See vol. i. 83; where it applies to oranges and citrons.

Footnote 396:

  ’Andam = Dragon’s blood: see vol. iii. 263.

Footnote 397:

  Arab. “Jamár,” the palm-pith and cabbage, both eaten by Arabs with
  sugar.

Footnote 398:

  Arab. “Anwár” = lights, flowers (mostly yellow): hence the Moroccan
  “N’wár,” with its usual abuse of Wakf or quiescence.

Footnote 399:

  Mr. Payne quotes Eugène Fromentin, “Un Eté dans le Sahara,” Paris,
  1857, p. 194. Apricot drying can be seen upon all the roofs at
  Damascus where, however, the season for each fruit is unpleasantly
  short, ending almost as soon as it begins.

Footnote 400:

  Arab. Jalájal = small bells for falcons: in Port. cascaveis, whence
  our word.

Footnote 401:

  Khulanján. Sic all editions; but Khalanj, or Khaulanj adj. Khalanji, a
  tree with a strong-smelling wood which held in hand as a chaplet acts
  as perfume, as is probably intended. In Span. Arabic it is the
  Erica-wood. The “Muhit” tells us that is a tree parcel yellow and red
  growing in parts of India and China, its leaf is that of the Tamarisk
  (Tarfá); its flower is coloured red, yellow and white; it bears a
  grain like mustard-seed (Khardal) and of its wood they make
  porringers. Hence the poet sings:—

  Yut ’amu ’l-shahdu fí ’l-jifáni, wa yuska ✿ Labanu ’l-Bukhti fi Kusá’i
     ’l-Khalanji:
  Honey’s served to them in platters for food; ✿ Camels’ milk in bowls
     of the Khalanj wood.

  The pl. Khalánij is used by Himyán bin Kaháfah in this “bayt”:—

  Hattá izá má qazati ’l-Hawáijá ✿ Wa malaat Halába-há ’l-Khalánijá:
  Until she had done every work of hers ✿ And with sweet milk had filled
     the porringers.

Footnote 402:

  In text Al-Shá’ir Al-Walahán, vol. iii. 226.

Footnote 403:

  The orange I have said is the growth of India and the golden apples of
  the Hesperides were not oranges but probably golden nuggets. Captain
  Rolleston (_Globe_, Feb. 5, ’84, on “Morocco-Lixus”) identifies the
  Garden with the mouth of the Lixus River while M. Antichan would
  transfer it to the hideous and unwholesome Bissagos Archipelago.

Footnote 404:

  Arab. “Ikyán,” the living gold which is supposed to grow in the
  ground.

Footnote 405:

  For the Kubbád or Captain Shaddock’s fruit see vol. ii. 310, where it
  is misprinted Kubád.

Footnote 406:

  Full or Fill in Bresl. Edit. = Arabian Jessamine or cork-tree φελλόν.
  The Bul. and Mac. Edits. read “filfil” = pepper or palm-fibre.

Footnote 407:

  Arab. “Sumbul al-’Anbari”; the former word having been introduced into
  England by patent medicines. “Sumbul” in Arab. and Pers. means the
  hyacinth, the spikenard or the Sign Virgo.

Footnote 408:

  Arab. “Lisán al-Hamal” lit. = Lamb’s tongue.

Footnote 409:

  See in Bresl. Edit. x, 221. Taif, a well-known town in the mountain
  region East of Meccah, and not in the Holy Land, was once famous for
  scented goat’s leather. It is considered to be a “fragment of Syria”
  (Pilgrimage ii. 207) and derives its name = the circumambulator from
  its having circuited pilgrim-like round the Ka’abah (Ibid.)

Footnote 410:

  Arab. “Mikhaddah” = cheek-pillow: Ital. guanciale. In Bresl. Edit.
  Mudawwarah (a round cushion) Sinjabiyah (of Ermine). For “Mudawwarah”
  see vol. iv. 135.

Footnote 411:

  “Coffee” is here evidently an anachronism and was probably inserted by
  the copyist. See vol. v. 169, for its first mention. But “Kahwah” may
  have preserved its original meaning = strong old wine (vol. ii. 261);
  and the amount of wine-drinking and drunkenness proves that the coffee
  movement had not set in.

Footnote 412:

  _i.e._ they are welcome. In Marocco “Lá baas” means, “I am pretty
  well” (in health).

Footnote 413:

  The Rose (Ward) in Arab. is masculine, sounding to us most uncouth.
  But there is a fem. form Wardah = a single rose.

Footnote 414:

  Arab. “Akmám,” pl. of Kumm, a sleeve, a petal. See vol. iv. 107 and
  supra p. 267. The Moslem woman will show any part of her person rather
  than her face, instinctively knowing that the latter may be recognised
  whereas the former cannot. The traveller in the outer East will see
  ludicrous situations in which the modest one runs away with hind parts
  bare and head and face carefully covered.

Footnote 415:

  Arab. Ikyán which Mr. Payne translates “vegetable gold” very
  picturesquely but not quite preserving the idea. See supra p. 272.

Footnote 416:

  It is the custom for fast youths, in Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere to
  stick small gold pieces, mere spangles of metal on the brows, cheeks
  and lips of the singing and dancing girls and the perspiration and
  mask of cosmetics make them adhere for a time till fresh movement
  shakes them off.

Footnote 417:

  See the same idea in vol. i. 132, and 349.

Footnote 418:

  “They will ask thee concerning wine and casting of lots; say:—In both
  are great sin and great advantages to mankind; but the sin of them
  both is greater than their advantage.” See Koran ii. 216. Mohammed
  seems to have made up his mind about drinking by slow degrees; and the
  Koranic law is by no means so strict as the Mullahs have made it. The
  prohibitions, revealed at widely different periods and varying in
  import and distinction, have been discussed by Al-Bayzáwi in his
  commentary on the above chapter. He says that the first revelation was
  in chapt. xvi. 69 but, as the passage was disregarded, Omar and others
  consulted the Apostle who replied to them in chapt. ii. 216. Then, as
  this also was unnoticed, came the final decision in chapt. v. 92,
  making wine and lots the work of Satan. Yet excuses are never wanting
  to the Moslem, he can drink Champagne and Cognac, both unknown in
  Mohammed’s day and he can use wine and spirits medicinally, like
  sundry of ourselves, who turn up the nose of contempt at the idea of
  drinking for pleasure.

Footnote 419:

  _i.e._ a fair-faced cup-bearer. The lines have occurred before: so I
  quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 420:

  It is the custom of the Arabs to call their cattle to water by
  whistling; not to whistle to them, as Europeans do, whilst making
  water.

Footnote 421:

  _i.e._ bewitching. See vol. i. 85. These incompatible metaphors are
  brought together by the Saj’a (prose rhyme) in—“iyah.”

Footnote 422:

  Mesopotamian Christians, who still turn towards Jerusalem, face the
  West, instead of the East, as with Europeans: here the monk is so
  dazed that he does not know what to do.

Footnote 423:

  Arab. “Bayt Sha’ar” = a house of hair (tent) or a couplet of verse.
  Watad (a tent-peg) also is prosodical, a foot when the two first
  letters are “moved” (vowelled) and the last is jazmated (quiescent),
  _e.g._ Lakad. It is termed Majmú’a (united), as opposed to “Mafrúk”
  (separated), _e.g._ Kabla, when the “moved” consonants are disjoined
  by a quiescent.

Footnote 424:

  Lit. standing on their heads, which sounds ludicrous enough in
  English, not in Arabic.

Footnote 425:

  These lines are in vol. iii. 251. I quote Mr. Payne who notes “The
  bodies of Eastern women of the higher classes by dint of continual
  maceration, Esther-fashion, in aromatic oils and essences, would
  naturally become impregnated with the sweet scents of the cosmetics
  used.”

Footnote 426:

  These lines occur in vol. i. 218: I quote Torrens for variety.

Footnote 427:

  So we speak of a “female screw.” The allusion is to the dove-tailing
  of the pieces. This personification of the lute has occurred before:
  but I solicit the reader’s attention to it; it has a fulness of
  Oriental flavour all its own.

Footnote 428:

  I again solicit the reader’s attention to the simplicity, the pathos
  and the beauty of this personification of the lute.

Footnote 429:

  “They” for she.

Footnote 430:

  The Arabs very justly make the “’Andalíb” = nightingale, masculine.

Footnote 431:

  Anwár = lights or flowers: See Night dccclxv. supra p. 270.

Footnote 432:

  These couplets have occurred in vol. i. 168: so I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 433:

  _i.e._ You may have his soul but leave me his body: company with him
  in the next world and let me have him in this.

Footnote 434:

  Alluding to the Koranic (cxiii. 1.), “I take refuge with the Lord of
  the Daybreak from the mischief of that which He hath created, etc.”
  This is shown by the first line wherein occurs the Koranic word
  “Ghásik” (cxiii. 3) which may mean the first darkness when it
  overspreadeth or the moon when it is eclipsed.

Footnote 435:

  “Malak” = level ground; also tract on the Nile sea. Lane M.E. ii. 417,
  and Burckhardt Nubia 482.

Footnote 436:

  This sentiment has often been repeated.

Footnote 437:

  The owl comes in because “Búm” (pron. boom) rhymes with Kayyúm = the
  Eternal.

Footnote 438:

  For an incident like this see my Pilgrimage (vol. i. 176). How true to
  nature the whole scene is; the fond mother excusing her boy and the
  practical father putting the excuse aside. European paternity,
  however, would probably exclaim, “The beast’s in liquor!”

Footnote 439:

  In ancient times this seems to have been the universal and perhaps
  instinctive treatment of the hand that struck a father. By Nur
  al-Din’s flight the divorce-oath became technically null and void for
  Taj al-Din had sworn to mutilate his son next morning.

Footnote 440:

  So Roderic Random and his companions “sewed their money between the
  lining and the waistband of their breeches, except some loose silver
  for immediate expense on the road.” For a description of these purses
  see Pilgrimage i. 37.

Footnote 441:

  Arab. Rashid (our Rosetta), a corruption of the Coptic Trashit; ever
  famous for the Stone.

Footnote 442:

  For a parallel passage in praise of Alexandria see vol. i. 290, etc.
  The editor or scribe was evidently an Egyptian.

Footnote 443:

  Arab. “Saghr” (Thagr), the opening of the lips showing the teeth. See
  vol. i. p. 156.

Footnote 444:

  Iskandariyah, the city of Iskandar or Alexander the Great, whose
  “Soma” was attractive to the Greeks as the corpse of the Prophet
  Daniel afterwards was to the Moslems. The choice of site, then
  occupied only by the pauper village of Rhacotis, is one proof of many
  that the Macedonian conqueror had the inspiration of genius.

Footnote 445:

  _i.e._ paid them down. See vol. i. 281; vol. ii. 145.

Footnote 446:

  Arab. “Baltiyah,” Sonnini’s “Bolti” and Nébuleux (because it is
  dozid-coloured when fried), the Labrus Niloticus from its labra or
  large fleshy lips. It lives on the “leaves of Paradise” hence the
  flesh is delicate and savoury and it is caught with the épervier or
  sweep-net in the Nile, canals and pools.

Footnote 447:

  Arab. “Liyyah,” not a delicate comparison, but exceedingly apt besides
  rhyming to “Baltiyah.” The cauda of the “five-quarter sheep, whose
  tails are so broad and thick that there is as much flesh upon them as
  upon a quarter of their body,” must not be confounded with the lank
  appendage of Our English muttons. See i. 25, Dr. Burnell’s Linschoten
  (Hakluyt Soc. 1885).

Footnote 448:

  A variant occurs in vol. iv. 191.

Footnote 449:

  Arab. “Tars Daylami,” a small shield of bright metal.

Footnote 450:

  Arab. “Kaukab al-durri,” see Pilgrimage ii. 82.

Footnote 451:

  Arab. “Kusúf” applied to the moon; Khusúf being the solar eclipse.

Footnote 452:

  “May Abú Lahab’s hands perish ... and his wife be a bearer of
  faggots!” Koran cxi. 184. The allusion is neat.

Footnote 453:

  Alluding to the Angels who shoot down the Jinn. See vol. i. 224. The
  index misprints “Shibáh.”

Footnote 454:

  For a similar scene see Ali Shar and Zumurrud, vol. iv. 187.

Footnote 455:

  _i.e._ of the girl whom as the sequel shows, her owner had promised
  not to sell without her consent. This was and is a common practice.
  See vol. iv. 192.

Footnote 456:

  These lines have occurred in vol. iii. p. 303. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 457:

  Alluding to the erectio et distensio penis which comes on before dawn
  in tropical lands and which does not denote any desire for women. Some
  Anglo-Indians term the symptom _signum salutis_, others a urine-proud
  pizzle.

Footnote 458:

  Arab. “Mohtasib,” in the Maghrib “Mohtab,” the officer charged with
  inspecting weights and measures and with punishing fraud in various
  ways such as nailing the cheat’s ears to his shop’s shutter, etc.

Footnote 459:

  Every where in the Moslem East the slave holds himself superior to the
  menial freeman, a fact which I would impress upon the several
  Anti-slavery Societies, honest men whose zeal mostly exceeds their
  knowledge, and whose energy their discretion.

Footnote 460:

  These lines, extended to three couplets, occur in vol. iv. 193. I
  quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 461:

  “At this examination (on Judgment Day) Mohammedans also believe that
  each person will have the book, wherein all the actions of his life
  are written, delivered to him; which books the righteous will receive
  in their right hand, and read with great pleasure and satisfaction;
  but the ungodly will be obliged to take them, against their wills, in
  their left (Koran xvii. xviii. lxix. and lxxxiv.), which will be bound
  behind their backs, their right hand being tied to their necks.” Sale,
  Preliminary Discourse; Sect. iv.

Footnote 462:

  “Whiteness” (bayáz) also meaning lustre, honour.

Footnote 463:

  This again occurs in vol. iv. 194. So I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 464:

  Her impudence is intended to be that of a captive Princess.

Footnote 465:

  _i.e._ bent groundwards.

Footnote 466:

  See vol. iv. 192. In Marocco Za’ar is applied to a man with fair skin,
  red hair and blue eyes (Gothic blood?) and the term is not
  complimentary as “Sultan Yazid Za’ar.”

Footnote 467:

  The lines have occurred before (vol. iv. 194). I quote Mr. Lane ii.
  440. Both he and Mr. Payne have missed the point in “ba’zu layáli” a
  certain night when his mistress had left him so lonely.

Footnote 468:

  Arab. “Raat-hu.” This apparently harmless word suggests one similar in
  sound and meaning which gave some trouble in its day. Says Mohammed in
  the Koran (ii. 98) “O ye who believe! say not (to the Apostle) Rá’iná
  (look at us) but Unzurná (regard us).” “Rá’iná” as pronounced in
  Hebrew means “our bad one.”

Footnote 469:

  By reason of its leanness.

Footnote 470:

  In the Mac. Edit. “Fifty.” For a scene which illustrates this
  mercantile transaction see my Pilgrimage i. 88, and its deduction.
  “How often is it our fate, in the West as in the East, to see in
  bright eyes and to hear from rosy lips an implied, if not an expressed
  ‘Why don’t you buy me?’ or, worse still, ‘Why _can’t_ you buy me?’”

Footnote 471:

  See vol. ii. 165 dragging or trailing the skirts = walking without the
  usual strut or swagger: here it means assuming the humble manners of a
  slave in presence of the master.

Footnote 472:

  This is the Moslem form of “boycotting”: so amongst early Christians
  they refused to give one another God-speed. Amongst Hindús it takes
  the form of refusing “Hukkah (pipe) and water” which practically makes
  a man an outcast. In the text the old man expresses the popular
  contempt for those who borrow and who do not repay. He had evidently
  not read the essay of Elia on the professional borrower.

Footnote 473:

  See note p. 273.

Footnote 474:

  _i.e._ the best kind of camels.

Footnote 475:

  This first verse has occurred three times.

Footnote 476:

  Arab. “Surayyá” in Dictionaries a dim. of Sarwá = moderately rich. It
  may either denote abundance of rain or a number of stars forming a
  constellation. Hence in Job (xxxviii. 31) it is called a heap (kímah).

Footnote 477:

  Pleiads in Gr. the Stars whereby men sail.

Footnote 478:

  This is the Eastern idea of the consequence of satisfactory coition
  which is supposed to be the very seal of love. Westerns have run to
  the other extreme.

Footnote 479:

  “Al-Ríf” simply means lowland: hence there is a Ríf in the Nile-delta.
  The word in Europe is applied chiefly to the Maroccan coast opposite
  Gibraltar (not, as is usually supposed the North-Western seaboard)
  where the Berber-Shilhá race, so famous as the “Rif pirates” still
  closes the country to travellers.

Footnote 480:

  _i.e._ Upper Egypt.

Footnote 481:

  These local excellencies of coition are described jocosely rather than
  anthropologically.

Footnote 482:

  See vol. i. 223: I take from Torrens, p. 223.

Footnote 483:

  For the complete ablution obligatory after copulation before prayers
  can be said. See vol. vi. 199.

Footnote 484:

  Arab. “Zunnár,” the Greek ζωνάριον, for which, see vol. ii. 215.

Footnote 485:

  Miriam (Arabic Maryam), is a Christian name, in Moslem lands. Abú
  Maryam “Mary’s father” (says Motarrazi on Al-Hariri, Ass. of
  Alexandria) is a term of contempt, for men are called after sons
  (_e.g._ Abu Zayd), not after daughters. In more modern authors Abu
  Maryam is the name of ushers and lesser officials in the Kazi’s court.

Footnote 486:

  This formality, so contrary to our Western familiarity after
  possession, is an especial sign of good breeding amongst Arabs and
  indeed all Eastern nations. It reminds us of the “grand manner” in
  Europe two hundred years ago, not a trace of which now remains.

Footnote 487:

  These lines are in Night i. ordered somewhat differently: so I quote
  Torrens (p. 14).

Footnote 488:

  _i.e._ to the return Salám—“And with thee be peace and the mercy of
  Allah and His blessings!” See vol. ii. 146. The enslaved Princess had
  recognised her father’s Wazir and knew that he could have but one
  object, which being a man of wit and her lord a “raw laddie,” he was
  sure to win.

Footnote 489:

  It is quite in Moslem manners for the bystanders to force the sale
  seeing a silly lad reject a most advantageous offer for sentimental
  reasons. And the owner of the article would be bound by their consent.

Footnote 490:

  Arab. “Wa’llahi.” “Bi” is the original particle of swearing, a Harf
  al-jarr (governing the genitive as Bi’lláhi) and suggesting the idea
  of adhesion: “Wa” (noting union) is its substitute in oath-formulæ and
  “Ta” takes the place of Wa as Ta’lláhi. The three-fold forms are
  combined in a great “swear.”

Footnote 491:

  _i.e._ of divorcing their own wives.

Footnote 492:

  These lines have occurred before: I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 493:

  These lines are in Night xxvi., vol. i. 275: I quote Torrens (p. 277),
  with a correction for “when ere.”

Footnote 494:

  This should be “draws his senses from him as one pulls hairs out of
  paste.”

Footnote 495:

  Rághib and Záhid: see vol. v. 141.

Footnote 496:

  Carolus Magnus then held court in Paris; but the text evidently
  alludes to one of the port-cities of Provence as Marseille which we
  English will miscall Marseilles.

Footnote 497:

  Here the writer, not the young wife, speaks; but as a tale-teller he
  says “hearer” not “reader.”

Footnote 498:

  Kayrawán, the Arab. form of the Greek Cyrene which has lately been
  opened to travellers and has now lost the mystery which enshrouded it.
  In Hafiz and the Persian poets it is the embodiment of remoteness and
  secrecy; as we till the last quarter century spoke of the “deserts of
  Central Africa.”

Footnote 499:

  Arab. “’Innín”: alluding to all forms of impotence, from dislike,
  natural deficiency or fascination, the favourite excuse. Easterns
  seldom attribute it to the true cause, weak action of the heart; but
  the Romans knew the truth when they described one of its symptoms as
  cold feet. “Clino-pedalis, ad venerem invalidus, ab ea antiqua
  opinione, frigiditatem pedum concubituris admodum officere.” Hence St.
  Francis and the bare-footed Friars. See Glossarium Eroticum Linguæ
  Latinæ, Parisiis, Dondey-Dupré, MDCCCXXVI.

Footnote 500:

  I have noted the use of “island” for “land” in general. So in the
  European languages of the sixteenth century, insula was used for
  peninsula, _e.g._ Insula de Cori = the Corean peninsula.

Footnote 501:

  As has been noticed (vol. i. 333), the monocular is famed for mischief
  and men expect the mischief to come from his blinded eye.

Footnote 502:

  Here again we have a specimen of “inverted speech” (vol. ii. 265);
  abusive epithets intended for a high compliment, signifying that the
  man was a tyrant over rebels and a froward devil to the foe.

Footnote 503:

  Arab. “Bab al-Bahr,” see vol. iii. 281.

Footnote 504:

  Arab. “Batárikah” see vol. ii. 89. The Templars, Knights of Malta and
  other orders half ecclesiastic half military suggested the application
  of the term.

Footnote 505:

  These lines have occurred in vol. i. 280—I quote Torrens (p. 283).

Footnote 506:

  Maryam al-Husn containing a double entendre, “O place of the white doe
  (Rím) of beauty!” The girl’s name was Maryam the Arab. form of Mary,
  also applied to the B.V. by Eastern Christians. Hence a common name of
  Syrian women is “Husn Maryam” = (one endowed with the spiritual
  beauties of Mary: vol. iv. 87). I do not think that the name was
  “manufactured by the Arab story-tellers after the pattern of their own
  names (_e.g._ Nur al-Din or Noureddin, light of the faith, Tajeddin,
  crown of faith, etc.) for the use of their imaginary Christian female
  characters.”

Footnote 507:

  I may here remind readers that the Bán, which some Orientalists will
  write “Ben,” is a straight and graceful species of Moringa with
  plentiful and intensely green foliage.

Footnote 508:

  Arab. “Amúd al-Sawári” = the Pillar of Masts, which is still the local
  name of Diocletian’s column absurdly named by Europeans “Pompey’s
  Pillar.”

Footnote 509:

  Arab. “Batiyah,” also used as a wine-jar (amphora), a flagon.

Footnote 510:

  Arab. “Al-Kursán,” evidently from the Ital. “Corsaro,” a runner. So
  the Port. “Cabo Corso,” which we have corrupted to “Cape Coast Castle”
  (Gulf of Guinea), means the Cape of Tacking.

Footnote 511:

  Arab. “Ghuráb,” which Europeans turn to “Grab.”

Footnote 512:

  Arab. “Sayyib” (Thayyib) a rare word: it mostly applies to a woman who
  leaves her husband after lying once with him.

Footnote 513:

  Arab. “Batárikah:” here meaning knights, leaders of armed men as in
  Night dccclxii., supra p. 256, it means “monks.”

Footnote 514:

  _i.e._ for the service of a temporal monarch.

Footnote 515:

  Arab. “Sayr” = a broad strip of leather still used by way of girdle
  amongst certain Christian religions in the East.

Footnote 516:

  Arab. “Haláwat al-Salámah,” the sweetmeats offered to friends after
  returning from a journey or escaping sore peril. See vol. iv. 60.

Footnote 517:

  So Eginhardt was an _Erzcapeilan_ and belonged to the ghostly
  profession.

Footnote 518:

  These lines are in vols. iii. 258 and iv. 204. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 519:

  Arab. “Firásah,” lit. = skill in judging of horse flesh (Faras) and
  thence applied, like “Kiyáfah,” to physiognomy. One Kári was the first
  to divine man’s future by worldly signs (Al-Maydáni, Arab. prov. ii.
  132) and the knowledge was hereditary in the tribe Mashíj.

Footnote 520:

  Reported to be a “Hadis” or saying of Mohammed, to whom are attributed
  many such shrewd aphorisms, _e.g._ “Allah defend us from the ire of
  the mild (tempered).”

Footnote 521:

  These lines are in vol. i. 126. I quote Torrens (p. 120).

Footnote 522:

  These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 523:

  Arab. “Khák-bák,” an onomatopœia like our flip-flap and a host of
  similar words. This profaning a Christian Church which contained the
  relics of the Virgin would hugely delight the coffee-house _habitués_,
  and the Egyptians would be equally flattered to hear that the son of a
  Cairene merchant had made the conquest of a Frankish Princess Royal.
  That he was an arrant poltroon mattered very little, as his cowardice
  only set off his charms.

Footnote 524:

  _i.e._ after the rising up of the dead.

Footnote 525:

  Arab. “Nafísah,” the precious one _i.e._ the Virgin.

Footnote 526:

  Arab. “Nákús,” a wooden gong used by Eastern Christians which were
  wisely forbidden by the early Moslems.

Footnote 527:

  _i.e._ a graceful, slender youth.

Footnote 528:

  There is a complicated pun in this line: made by splitting the word
  after the fashion of punsters. “Zarbu ’l-Nawákísí = the striking of
  the gongs, and “Zarbu ’l Nawà, Kísí = striking the departure signal:
  decide thou” (fem. addressed to the Nafs, soul or self). I have
  attempted a feeble imitation.

Footnote 529:

  The modern Italian term for the venereal finish.

Footnote 530:

  Arab. “Najm al-Munkazzi,” making the envious spy one of the prying
  Jinns at whom is launched the Shiháb or shooting-star by the angels
  who prevent them listening at the gates of Heaven. See vol. i. 224.

Footnote 531:

  Arab. “Sandúk al-Nuzur,” lit. “the box of vowed oblations.” This act
  of sacrilege would find high favour with the auditory.

Footnote 532:

  The night consisting like the day of three watches. See vol. i.

Footnote 533:

  Arab. “Al-Khaukhah,” a word now little used.

Footnote 534:

  Arab. “Námúsiyah,” lit. mosquito curtains.

Footnote 535:

  Arab. “Jáwashiyah,” see vol. ii. 49.

Footnote 536:

  Arab. “Kayyimah,” the fem. of “Kayyim,” misprinted “Kayim” in vol. ii.
  93.

Footnote 537:

  _i.e._ hadst thou not disclosed thyself. He has one great merit in a
  coward of not being ashamed for his cowardice; and this is a
  characteristic of the modern Egyptian, whose proverb is, “_He ran
  away, Allah shame him!_ is better than, _He was slain, Allah bless
  him!_”

Footnote 538:

  Arab. “Ahjar al-Kassárín” nor forgotten. In those days ships anchored
  in the Eastern port of Alexandria which is now wholly abandoned on
  account of the rocky bottom and the dangerous “Levanter,” which as the
  Gibraltar proverb says

                         Makes the stones canter.

Footnote 539:

  Arab. “Hakk” = rights, a word much and variously used. To express the
  possessive “mine” a Badawi says “Hakki” (pron. Haggi) and “Lílí;” a
  Syrian “Shítí” for Shayyati, my little thing or “taba’i” my dependent;
  an Egyptian “Bitá’i” my portion and a Maghribi “M’tá’i” and “diyyáli”
  (di allazí lí = this that is to me). Thus “mine” becomes a shibboleth.

Footnote 540:

  _i.e._ The “Good for nothing,” the, “Bad’un;” not some forgotten
  ruffian of the day, but the hero of a tale antedating The Nights in
  their present form. See Terminal Essay, s. ii.

Footnote 541:

  _i.e._ Hoping to catch Nur al-Din.

Footnote 542:

  Arab. “Sawwáhún” = the Wanderers, Pilgrims, wandering Arabs, whose
  religion, Al-Islam, so styled by its Christian opponents. And yet the
  new creed was at once accepted by whole regions of Christians, and
  Mauritania, which had rejected Roman paganism and Gothic Christianity.
  This was _e.g._ Syria and the so-called “Holy Land,” not because, as
  is fondly asserted by Christians, Al-Islam was forced upon them by the
  sword, but on account of its fulfilling a need, its supplying a higher
  belief, unity as opposed to plurality, and its preaching a more manly
  attitude of mind and a more sensible rule of conduct. Arabic still
  preserves a host of words special to the Christian creed; and many of
  them have been adopted by Moslems but with changes of signification.

Footnote 543:

  _i.e._ of things commanded and things prohibited. The writer is
  thinking of the Koran in which there are not a few abrogated
  injunctions.

Footnote 544:

  See below for the allusion.

Footnote 545:

  Arab. “Kafrá” = desert place. It occurs in this couplet:

                Wa Kabrun Harbin fí-makánin Kafrin;
                Wa laysa Kurba Kabri Harbin Kabrun.
            Harb’s corse is quartered in coarse wold accurst;
            Nor close to corse of Harb is other corse;—

  words made purposely harsh because uttered by a Jinni who killed a
  traveller named “Harb.” So Homer;—

          πολλὰ δ’ ἄναντα, κάταντα, πάραντά τε δόχμιά τ’ ἦλθον.

  and Pope

       O’er hills, o’er dales, o’er crags, o’er rocks they go, etc.

  See Preface (p. v.) to Captain A. Lockett’s learned and whimsical
  volume, “The Miut Amil” etc. Calcutta, 1814.

Footnote 546:

  These lines have occurred vol. iv. 267. I quote Mr. Lane.

Footnote 547:

  The topothesia is here designedly made absurd. Alexandria was one of
  the first cities taken by the Moslems (A.H. 21 = 642) and the
  Christian pirates preferred attacking weaker places, Rosetta and
  Damietta.

Footnote 548:

  Arab. “Bilád al-Rúm,” here and elsewhere applied to France.

Footnote 549:

  Here the last line of p. 324, vol. iv. in the Mac. Edit. is misplaced
  and belongs to the next page.

Footnote 550:

  Arab. Akhawán shakíkán = brothers german (of men and beasts) born of
  one father and mother, sire and dam.

Footnote 551:

  “The Forerunner” and “the Overtaker,” terms borrowed from the Arab
  Epsom.

Footnote 552:

  Known to us as “the web and pin,” it is a film which affects Arab
  horses in the damp hot regions of Malabar and Zanzibar and soon blinds
  them. This equine cataract combined with loin-disease compels men to
  ride Pegu and other ponies.

Footnote 553:

  Arab. “Zujáj bikr” whose apparent meaning would be glass in the lump
  and unworked. Zaj áj bears, however, the meaning of clove-nails (the
  ripe bud of the clove-shrub) and may possibly apply to one of the
  manifold “Alfáz Adwiyah” (names of drugs). Here, however, pounded
  glass would be all sufficient to blind a horse: it is much used in the
  East especially for dogs affected by intestinal vermicules.

Footnote 554:

  Alluding to the Arab saying “The two rests” (Al-ráhatáni) “certainty
  of success or failure,” as opposed to “Wiswás” when the mind
  fluctuates in doubt.

Footnote 555:

  She falls in love with the groom, thus anticipating the noble
  self-devotion of Miss Aurora Floyd.

Footnote 556:

  Arab. “Túfán” see vol. v. 156: here it means the “Deluge of Noah.”

Footnote 557:

  Two of the Hells. See vol. v. 240.

Footnote 558:

  Lit. “Out upon a prayer who imprecated our parting!”

Footnote 559:

  The use of masculine for feminine has frequently been noted. I have
  rarely changed the gender or the number the plural being often
  employed for the singular (vol. i. 98). Such change may avoid
  “mystification and confusion” but this is the very purpose of the
  substitution which must be preserved if “local colour” is to be
  respected.

Footnote 560:

  The well-known Koranic verse, whereby Allah is introduced into an
  indecent tale and “Holy Writ” is punned upon. I have noticed (iii.
  206) that victory Fat’h lit. = opening everything (as _e.g._ a
  maidenhead).



                           END OF VOL. VIII.

[Illustration: والسلام]



                                 INDEX.


 Abáah (vulg. ’Abáyah) = cloak, 42

 Abír (a fragrant powder sprinkled on face, body and clothes), 240

 Abjad (logogriphs derived from it), 93

 Ablution obligatory after copulation, 305

 Abú al-Ruwaysh = little feather, 77

 Abú al-Sa’ádát = Father of Prosperities, 148

 Abú Lahab and his wife, 291

 Abú Maryam (a term of contempt), 306

 Abú Mohammed al-Battál (hero of an older tale), 335

 Adan = our Aden, 248

 Adím = leather (Bulghár, Marocco), 80

 Áhirah = strumpet (_see_ Fájirah), 109

 Ahjár al-Kassárín = Fulling-stones, 334

 Ahlan = as one of the household, 269

 Air (I fear it for her when it bloweth), 53

 Akhawán shakíkán = (two) brothers german, 340

 Akík = carnelian (“Seal with seals of”), 228

 Akíl (son of Abú Tálib), 172

 Akmám (_see_ Kumm)

 Akr Kayrawán = ball of silver-dross, 267

 Akúna fidá-kȧ = may I be thy ransom, 36

 Alchemy (its practice has cost many a life), 11

 Alexandria (praise of), 289

 Allah (I take refuge with Him from gainsaying thee = God forbid that I
    should oppose thee), 53

 Allah (perpetuate his shadow), 170

 Allaho akbar (the Moslem war-cry), 265

 Alwán (pl. of laun, colour) = viands, dishes; 23

 Amazons (of Dahome), 39

 Ambar al-Khám = rude ambergris, 85

 Amúd al-Sawárí = the Pillar of Masts (Diocletian’s column), 323

 Anagnorisis (admirably managed), 104

 Andalíb = nightingale (masc. in Arabic), 282

 ’Andam = Brazil wood, 225

 Angels shooting Jinn, 292

 Anistaná = thy company gladdens us, 231

 Ansár = auxiliaries, 183

 Anwá, pl. of Nau q.v., 266

 Anwár = lights, flowers, 270; 282

 Apricots (various kinds), 268

 Arabian Odyssey, 7

 Arús (Al-) = the bride (tropical name for wine), 203

 Asaf bin Barkhiya (Solomon’s Wazir), 133

 Asháb = companions, 183

 Astár (pl. of Satr) = chopper, 184

 Aswad = black (used for any dark colour), 268

 ’Atb = blame, reproach (for disgrace), 112

 Atheist (Ar. Zindík), 27

 Atnáb = tent-ropes, 240

 Avanie (Ar. Gharámah), 181

 Awák = ounces (pl. of Ukíyah), 12

 Azrak = blue, 4


 Báb al-Bahr and Báb al-Barr, 55; 318

 Babylonian eyes = bewitching ones, 278

 Baghdád (House of Peace), 51

 Bahr al-azrak = blue river, _not_ Blue Nile, 4

 Bahríyah = crew, 17

 Baltiyah = Labrus Niloticus, 290

 Banát = daughters, protégées, 39

 Bán (species of Moringa), 322

 Banní (Bunní) = Cyprinus Bynni, 187

 Baras = leprosy, 24

 Bastardy (a sore offence amongst Moslems), 115

 Batárikah = patriarchs; monks, 256

 —— = knights, 319; 324

 Bath (may it be a blessing to thee), 200

 Batiyah = jar, flagon, 323

 Bawwák = trumpeter (a discreditable character), 192

 Bayáz = Whiteness, 295

 Bayáz = Silurus Bajad (cat-fish), 150

 Bayt Sha’ar = house of hair (for a couplet), 279

 Báz (vulg. for Tabl) = kettle-drum, 18

 Belt (Ar. Kamar), 156

 Better largesse than the mace, 163

 Bí-Fardayn = “with two singles” (meaning baskets), 162

 Bilád al-Rúm (applied to France), 339

 Bilkís (Queen of Sheba), 82

 Bird-girls, 29

 Bisát (Al-) wa’l-masnad = carpet and cushion, 55

 Bismillah Námí = Now please, go to sleep, 178

 Bismillah = enter in Allah’s name, 202

 Books (of the Judgment-day), 294

 Box (Ar. ’Ulbah), 71

 Boycotting (Oriental forms of), 302

 Bread and salt (bond of), 12

 Breslau edition quoted, 7; 18; 66; 98; 113; 197; 242; 264; 273.

 Búdikah (Bútakah) = crucible, 8

 Buhayrah = tank, cistern, 19

 Búm = owl (introduced to rhyme with Kayyúm = the Eternal), 286

 Burckhardt quoted, 23; 285

 Bystanders (forcing on a sale), 310


 Camels (red the best kind), 303

 Carmel = Karam El (God’s vineyard), 203

 Cask in Auerbach’s Keller, 131

 Cat-fish (Ar. Bayáz), 150

 Chaff, 147; 152; 175; 189

 Change (sudden, of disposition), 213

 Cheating (not only venial but laudable under circumstances), 217

 Checkmate (Pers. Ar. Sháh mát) = the King is dead, _ib._

 Chin-veil donned (showing intention to act like a man), 99

 Cloak (Ar. ’Abáah), 42

 Closet (the forbidden and bird-girls), 29

 Coffee (anachronism), 274

 Coition (the seal of love), 304

 —— (local excellencies of), _ib._

 —— (ablution obligatory after it), 305

 Compliment (model of a courtly one), 165

 Composed of seed by all men shed = superfetation of iniquity, 15

 Confusion of religious mythologies (by way of chaff), 152

 Contrition for romancing, 66

 Cowardice (proverb anent), 333

 Crescent-like (for emaciated), 300

 Crew (Ar. Bahríyah, Nawátíyah), 17


 Dáa al-Kabír (Great Evil) = Dáa al-Fíl (Elephantine Evil, _i.e._,
    Elephantiasis), 24

 Dádat = nurse (Pers.), 209

 Dajlah (Dijlah) = Tigris (Heb. Hid-dekel), 150

 Dakkah = settle, 84

 Dár al-Na’ím = Dwelling of Delight, 183

 Daylam (Al-), soldiers of = warlike as the Daylamites, 82

 Demesne (Ar. Himà), 225

 Dijlah (Tigris) River and Valley of Peace, 51

 Dirhams (thousand = £375), 10

 Disposition (sudden change of), 213

 Dist (Dist) = large copper chauldron, 177

 Diversion of an Eastern Potentate, 171

 Doggrel, 225; 228

 Double entendre, 153; 251

 Dreams (play an important part in the Romances of Chivalry), 113

 Drunken son (excused by mother, rebuked by father), 287

 Dues demanded lead to imprisonment for arrears, 170


 Eating and Drinking (before thinking of the lover), 260

 East and West (confounded by a beauty-dazed monk), 279

 Eginhardt (belongs to the clerical profession), 326

 Entertainments (names of), 231

 Euphemistic speech, 173

 Eye (Thou shalt be in mine = I will keep thee as though thou wert the
    apple of my eye), 90

 Eyes (Babylonian) = bewitching, 278


 Fa-immá ’alayhá wa-immá bihá = whether (luck go) against it or (luck
    go) with it, 157

 Faintings and trances (common in Romances of Chivalry), 118

 Fájirah = harlot (often mere abuse without special meaning), 109

 Fard Kalmah = a single word (vulgarism), 188

 Farkh Samak = fish-chick (for young fish), 149

 Farsalah = parcel, 162

 Fate (written in the sutures of the skull), 237

 Fath = opening (_e.g._ of a maidenhead), 348

 Fátimah (daughter of Mohammed), 252

 Favours (not lawful until sanctified by love), 226

 Fawn (for a graceful youth), 329

 Feet (lack the European development of sebaceous glands), 43

 —— (coldness of, a symptom of impotence), 317

 Female (Amazon) Island, 60

 Feminine (persistency of purpose, confirmed by “Consolations of
    religion”), 99

 —— (mind prone to exaggeration), 25

 —— (friend does not hesitate to prescribe fibs), 37

 Festival (Ar. ’Íd), 142

 Fidá = ransom, self-sacrifice, 36

 Fidá’an = instead of, _ib._

 Fig and Sycamore (unclean allusion in), 269

 Fillet = the Greek “Stephane”, 209

 Fine feathers make fine birds, 201

 Fingán (for Finján) = (coffee-) cup, 200

 Finger (run round the inside of a vessel), _ib._

 Finger-tips (making marks in the ground), 72

 Firásah = physiognomy, 326

 Fish changed into apes (true Fellah-“chaff”), 147

 —— (of Paradise, promising acceptance of prayer), 163

 Flattery (more telling if proceeding from the heart), 104

 Formality (a sign of good breeding), 308

 “Forty days” = our honey-moon, 47

 Fourteen (poetically expressed), 70

 Frail (Ar. Farsalah), 162

 Frame (crescent-like by reason of leanness), 300

 Friend (feminine, does not hesitate to prescribe a fib), 37

 Front-teeth wide apart (a beauty amongst the Egyptians, not the Arabs),
    147

 Funduk = Fondaco, 184

 Funeral oration on an Arabian Achilles (after Hariri), 348

 Full (Fill) = Arabian jessamine, 273


 “Gallery” (Speaking to the), 128

 Ghadr = cheating, 217

 Gháliyah (Al-) = older English “Algallia”, 220

 Gharámah = avanie, 151

 Ghayúr = jealous (applied to Time), 67

 Ghází = one who fights for the faith (Zealot), 211

 Ghuráb = galleon (grab), 323

 Gloria (in, Italian term for the venereal finish), 329

 Gold-pieces (stuck on the cheeks of singing-girls, etc.), 275

 Green gown (Anglo-India = white ball-dress with blades of grass
    behind), 32

 Groom (falling in love with), 345

 “Guebre” (introduced by Lord Byron), 8

 Gull-fairs, 90


 Habitations (names given to them by the Arabs), 229

 Habl = cord; cause, 100

 Háfiz quoted, 120

 Hakk = right (Hakkí = mine), 335

 Haláwat al-Salámah = sweetmeat for the returning of a friend, 325

 Haling by the hair (reminiscence of “marriage by capture”), 40

 Hamzah (uncle of the Prophet), 172

 Hanabát = “hanap”, 202

 Hand (cut off in penalty for theft), 164

 —— (cut off for striking a father), 287

 Hárún al-Rashíd (described by Al-Siyúti), 160

 Hashísh (said to him = his mind, under its influence, suggested to
    him), 155

 Hásil, Hásilah = cell in a Khan for storing goods, 184; 196

 Hassún (diminutive of Hasan), 81

 Haudaj (Hind. Howda) = camel-litter for women, 235

 Háwiyah (name of a Hell), 346

 Hazrat = our mediæval “præsentia vostra”, 254

 “Hearer” not “Reader” addressed, 316

 Heavens (names of the seven), 111

 Hells (names of the seven and intended inhabitants), _ib._

 Heroism of a doubtful character, 27

 Hesperides (apples of, probably golden nuggets), 272

 Himà = guarded side, demesne, 102; 225

 “His” for “her”, 50

 Hizám = girdle, 160

 “Holy Writ” punned upon, 348

 “House of Sadness”, 64

 Housewife (looks to the main chance), 144

 Hubúb (Pr. N.) = awaking, blowing hard, 209

 Humbly (expressed by standing on their heads), 279

 Hump-back (graphically described), 297


 Ibn al-Kirnás (Pr. N.) = son of the chase (for Pers. Kurnas = pimp,
    cuckold?), 157

 Ibn al-’Ukáb (Pr. N.) = Son of the Eagle, 198

 ’Íd = festivals (the two of al-Islám), 142

 Ihtílajnámeh = book of palpitations, 25

 Iksír (Al-) = dry drug (from ξηρόν), 9; 12

 Ikyán = living gold, 272; 275

 Ill-treatment (a slave’s plea for a lawful demand to be sold), 54

 Impudence (intended to be that of a captive Princess), 295

 Inadvertency of the tale-teller, 141

 Ink-case (origin of), 178

 Innín = impotence, 317

 Inshallah = D.V., 104

 Inverted speech, 179

 Irishman (the typical in Arab garb), 191

 Ironical speech, 3

 —— (a favourite with the Fellah), 164

 Ishárah = beckoning, 233

 Iskandariyah = city of Alexander, 289

 Island for Land, 317

 Ism al-A’azam = the most Great name of Allah, 133


 Jalájal = small bells for falcons etc., 271

 Jar (ridden by witches), 131

 Jarrah = jar, 177

 Jawáshíyah = guard, 330

 Jew (never your equal, either above or below you), 153

 —— (marrying a Moslemah deserves no pity), 262

 Jokh al-Saklat = rich brocade on broadcloth, 202

 Judad (for Judad) pl. of Jadíd = “new” (_i.e._ old) coin, 121

 Juggling with heaven, 168

 Jamár = palm-pith and cabbage, 270

 Juzám = Elephantiasis, 24


 Kabbát = saucers, 12

 Kafrà = desert place, 337

 Kamán = Kamá (as) + anna (that, since), 197

 Kamar = belt, 156

 Kámil, Basít, Wáfir (names of three popular metres), 91

 Karbús = saddle-bow, 77

 Karmút = Silurus Carmoth Niloticus, 185

 Karrat azlá’hu = his ribs felt cold (after hearty eating), 189

 Kaukab al-Durrí = cluster of pearls, 291

 Kaylúlah = noon-tide nap, 191

 Kayrawán = the Greek Cyrene, 317

 Kayyimah = guardian (fem.), 330

 Káz (Al-) = shears, 9

 Kází of Kázís = Chief Kazi, 245

 Khák-bák = “hocus pocus” etc., 328

 Khalanj (vessels made of it), 271

 Khalkínah = copper chauldron, 177

 Kharajú = they (masc.) went forth (vulg. for kharajna fem.), 144

 Khaukhah = tunnel, 330

 Koran quoted (iii. 90), 51

 —— (xxxix. 54), 182

 —— (vi. 99), 267

 —— xvi. 69; ii. 216; v. 92, 277

 —— (cxiii. 13), 285

 —— (cxi. 184), 291

 —— (xvii.; xviii.; lxix; lxxxiv.), 294

 Khuld = fourth (yellow coral) heaven, 47

 Khutúb (Pr. N.) = affairs, misfortunes, 209

 Khilál (emblem of attenuation), 258

 Kímiyá = Alchemy (from χυμεία = wet drug), 9

 Kimkhá = (velvet of) “Kimcob”, 201

 Kír = bellows, 9

 Kiráb = wooden sword-case, 267

 Kirám = nobles; Kurúm = vines, 203

 Kirsh al-Nukhál = guts of bran, 169

 Kissing (en tout bien et en tout honneur), 25

 Kohls (many kinds of), 10

 Kubbád = Shaddock, 272

 Kúr = furnace, 9

 —— (= forge where children are hammered out), 46

 Kumm = sleeve; petal, 267; 275

 Kurbáj = cravache, 17

 Kurbán = sacrifice, 16

 Kursán = “Corsaro,” a runner, 323

 Kus(s) = Vulva, 93

 Kusúf = eclipse of the moon, 291

 Kút al-Kulúb (Pr. N.) = nourishment of the hearts, 158


 La Baas = (in Marocco) “I am well”, 274

 Labbis al-Búsah tabkí ’Arúsah = clothe the reed and it becomes a bride,
    201

 Láhik = the Overtaker, 341

 Lane quoted, 7; 14; 18; 21; 27; 35; 53; 62; 67; 77; 80; 84; 94; 97;
    102; 122; 124; 128; 131; 147; 148; 155; 156; 166; 177; 179; 180;
    187; 205; 264; 285; 298; 337

 Largesse (better than the mace), 163

 Lazá (name of a Hell), 346

 Liberality (after Poverty), 182

 Libraries (large ones appreciated by the Arabs), 79

 Lisán al-Hamal = Lamb’s tongue (plantain), 273

 Liyyah = fat sheep (calves like tails of), 291

 Logogriphs, 93

 Love (called upon to torment the lover still more), 75

 Love-children (exceedingly rare among Moslems), 115

 Love-liesse (never lacked between folk, _i.e._ people of different
    conditions), 212

 Lovers (becoming Moslems secure the good-will of the audience), 224

 Lute (personification of), 281


 Má al-Mala = water (brilliancy) of beauty, 47

 Maghdád (for Baghdád, as Makkah and Bakkah), 51

 Mahall = (a man’s) quarters, 229

 Mahmudah = praiseworthy; confection of Aloes, 35

 Malak = level ground, 285

 Malakút (Al-) = The world of spirits (Sufi term), 145

 Mamarr al-Tujjár = passing-place of the traders, 155

 Mamrak = sky-window, etc., 156

 Man (one worthier in Allah’s sight than a thousand Jinn), 5; 44

 Manár al-Saná (Pr. N.) = Place of Light, 104

 Manáshif (pl. of Minshafah q.v.), 92

 Mansúr wa Munazzam = oratio soluta et ligata, 226

 Manzil, Makám = (a lady’s) lodgings, 229

 Marhúb = terrible, 180

 Marriage (“by capture”), 40

 —— (one of the institutions of the Apostles), 137

 Married never once (emphasizes poverty), 145

 Marseille (probably alluded to), 315

 Maryam (a Christian name), 306

 Masúkah = stick used for driving cattle, 147

 Maryam al-Husn = place of the white doe (Rím) of beauty, 321

 Mawwál (for Mawálíyah) = short poem, 94; 151

 Menses (coition during and leprosy), 24

 Mikhaddah = cheek-pillow, 273

 Mine (idioms for expressing it), 335

 Minshafah (pl. Manáshif) = drying towel, 92

 Moharram = first month of the Moslem year, 71

 Mohtasib = Inspector of weights and measures, 293

 Money (carried round the waist), 288

 —— (weighed = paid down), 290

 Monkery (none in Al-Islám), 137

 Monoculars (famed for mischief), 318

 Moons (for cup-bearers), 227

 Mortal (one better in Allah’s sight than a thousand Jinn), 5; 44

 Moslem (dignity contrasting with Christian abasement), 5; 44

 —— (can circumcise, marry and bury himself), 22

 Moslems (their number preordained), 154

 Mother (in Arab. tales = ma mère), 27

 Muákhát = entering in a formal agreement of partnership, 232

 Mu’allim = teacher, master (addressing a Jew or Christian), 150

 Muhabbat (Al-) al-gharizíyah = natural affection, 110

 Munkati’ = cut off, 24

 Musáhikah = Tribade, 130

 Mushayyad = lofty, high-built, 23

 Mystification explained by extraordinary likeness, 40


 Nabbút = quarterstaff, 186

 Nafs Ammárah = the Flesh, 31

 —— al-Nátikah = intellectual soul, _ib._

 —— al-Ghazabiyah = animal function, _ib._

 —— al-Shahwaniyah = vegetative property, _ib._

 Najm al-Sabáh (Pr. N.) = Star o’ Morn, 107

 Nákhúzah Zulayt = Skipper Rapscallion, 175

 Nár = fire (fem. like the names of the other elements), 16

 Narjis = Narcissus (name of a slave girl), 176

 Nasím = Zephyr (emendation for Nadím = cup-bearer), 62

 Navel (largeness of much appreciated), 33

 Nawátíyah = crew (nauta, navita), 17

 Nafísah (Pr. N.) = The Precious one, 328

 Najm al-Munkazzi = shooting star, 329

 Nakat = to spot; to handsel, 266

 Nákús = wooden gong, 328

 Nau (pl. Anwá) setting of one star simultaneous with another’s rising,
    266

 Námúsíyah = mosquito curtain, 330

 News (what is behind thee of, O Asám?), 222

 Night (consists of three watches), 330

 Numbering the streets etc., a classical custom, 88

 Núr al-Hudá (Pr. N.) = Light of Salvation, 97


 Oath (retrieved by expiation), 263

 —— (of divorce), 187; 311

 Object first seen in the morning determines the fortunes of the day,
    147

 Orange (a growth of India), 272

 O whose thrall am I = To her (I drink), 224


 Palmerin of England, 64

 Particles of swearing, 310

 Partner in very deed, 181

 Payne quoted, 21; 32; 64; 70; 72; 80; 117; 125; 130; 131; 148; 158;
    168; 179; 216; 223; 224; 262; 264; 271; 275; 278; 279; 282; 293,
    294; 314; 326; 327.

 Peaches (“Sultání,” Andam), 270

 Pears (various kinds), 269

 Persians always suspected, 8

 Person (Ar. Shakhs), 159

 Physiognomy (Ar. Firásah, Kiyáfah), 326

 Pièces de circonstance (mostly mere doggrel), 59

 Pilgrimage quoted (iii. 70), 137

 —— (iii. 365), 157

 —— (ii. 248), 172

 —— (ii. 130, etc.), 183

 —— (ii. 207), 273

 —— (i. 176), 287

 —— (ii. 82), 291

 —— (i. 88), 300

 Pilgrimage (not perfected save by copulation with the camel), 157

 Pleiads (the stars whereby men sail), 304

 Pomegranate (alluded to in Hadís and Korán), 267

 Pouch (Ar Surrah), 71

 Precedence (claims preeminence), 285

 Premier (Le, embellit), 86

 Prognostication from nervous movements, 25

 Prostitution (never wholly abolished in Islam), 115

 Puellæ Wakwakienses, 89

 Pun (on Sabr), 35

 —— (on a name), 228

 —— (complicated), 329


 Queen’s mischief = the mischief which may (or will) come from the
    Queen, 98


 Raas al-Mál = capital, 248

 Raat-hu = she saw him, 298

 Rághib = expecter; Záhid = rejecter, 315

 Raff = shelf running round a room, 122

 Ráhatáni (Al-) = the two rests, 342

 Rakham = aquiline vulture, 20

 Ramazán (moon of), 33

 Rashad = garden-cresses; stones; Rashíd = the heaven-directed, 194

 Rashid = Rosetta, 288

 Rasíf = river-quay, dyke, 150

 Raven of the Wold, 236

 Rayhán = scented herb, 187

 Rest (in Eastern travel before eating and drinking), 142

 Return-Salám, 309

 Revenge (a sacred duty), 26

 Ribá, Ribh = interest, 248

 Riders (names of on various beasts), 238

 Ríf = low land, 304

 Rizwán (door-keeper of Paradise), 265

 Rose (in Arab. masc.), 274

 Roumí (in Marocco = European), 268

 Ruh bilà Fuzúl = Begone and none of your impudence, 163

 Ruhbán = monks, 256

 Rukb = travellers on camels, return caravan, 238


 Sabab = robe; cause, 100

 Sakaba Kúrahá = he pierced her forge, 46

 Sábik = Forerunner, 341

 Sabíkah = bar, lamina, ingot, 10

 Sabr = patience; Aloës (pun on), 35

 Sacrifice (Ar. Kurbán), 16

 Sadness (House of), 64

 Sahífah = page, book, 148

 Sahíkah = Tribade, 130

 Sa’íd = Upper Egypt, 304

 Sáibah = woman who lets herself go (a-whoring, etc.), 151

 Salám (becomes Shalúm with the Jews), 223

 —— (not returned, a Moslem form of Boycotting), 302

 Sale (forced on by the Bystanders), 310

 Sálifah = silken plait, 223

 Sálih = a pious man, 191

 Sandal (Pr. N.) = Sandal-wood, 169

 Sandúk al-Nuzur = box of vowed oblations, 330

 Sátúr = chopper, 162

 Saub (Tobe) ’Atábi = tabby silk, 201

 Sawwáhún = Wanderers, Pilgrims, 326

 Sayf Zú al Yazan (hero of a Persian Romance), 21

 Sayr = broad girdle, 325

 Sayyib-hu = let him go, 151

 Sayyib (Thayyib) = woman who leaves her husband after consummation, 324

 Scorpions (for brow-curls), 209

 Shadow (may yours never be less), 170

 Shafáif = lower labia, 93

 Sháh (Al-) mát = the King is dead (checkmate), 217

 Shakhs = person, 159

 “Shame” (extends from navel to knees), 193

 Shamlah = gaberdine, 160

 Shammirí = up and ready!, 263

 Shams al-Zuhá (Pr. N.) = Sun of Undurn, 107

 Sharaf al-Banát (Pr. N.) = Honour of Maidenhood, _ib._

 Shásh Abyaz = white turband (distinctive sign of the True Believer), 8

 Shawáhí Umm al-Dawáhí = the Fascinator, mother of Calamities, 87

 Shibábah = reed-pipe, 166

 Siddíkah (Al-) = the veridical (apparently undeserved) title of
    Ayishah, 152

 Signing with the hand _not_ our beckoning, 78

 Signs (by various parts of the body), 233

 Signum salutis, 293

 Sindan, Sandan = anvil, 8

 Sister (by adoption), 25

 Sisterhood = companions, suite, 41

 Sixth Abbaside Caliph error for fifth, 56

 Slave (holds himself superior to a menial freeman), 294

 Slave-girl (can be sold only with her consent), 292

 Slaughter (wholesale for the delight of the gallery), 255

 Slaughtering (by cutting the animal’s throat), 44

 Slaves (if ill-treated may claim to be sold), 54

 Soko (Maghribi form for Súk) = Bazar-street, 230

 Soldiers of Al-Daylam = warlike as the Daylamites, 82

 Solomon’s prison (copper cucurbites), 157

 Son of ten years dieth not in the ninth, 70

 Soul (you may have his, but leave me the body), 284

 Spartivento = mountain whereon the clouds split, 19

 Speaking to the “gallery”, 128

 Speech (this my = the words I am about to speak), 147

 —— (inverted form of), 318

 Spells (for prayers deprecating parting), 347

 Sperm (though it were a drop of marguerite), 210

 Súdán-men = Negroes, 266

 Sukúb (Pr. N.) = flowing, pouring, 209

 Sufrah = table-cloth, 269

 Suláf al-Khandarísí (a contradiction), 203

 Sumbul al ’Anbari = spikenard, 273

 Suns (for fair-faced boys and women), 242

 Sultán (fit for the service of = for the service of a temporal
    monarch), 325

 Supernaturalism (has a material basis), 30

 Surayyá = Stars of wealth, 303

 Surrah = purse, pouch, 71

 Swan-maidens, 30

 Sweetmeat for salvation (provided for the returning traveller), 105


 Tabl = kettle-drum, 18

 Táif (Al-), town famous for scented leather, 273

 Táifí leather, 303

 Takiyah = skull-cap, 120

 Tamar Hanna = Henna flowers, 176

 Tarn-Kappe (making invisible), 120

 Tars Daylamí = Median targe, 291

 Tás (from Pers. Tásah) = tasse, 224

 Tawíl (and Abt. Vogler), 94

 Theft (penalty for), 164

 “Them” for her, 35

 “They” for she, 281

 Thou fillest mine eyes = I find thy beauty all-sufficient, 57

 Tigris (Ar-Dijlah, Dajlah), 150

 Tohfah = rarity, present, 55

 Topothesia (designedly made absurd), 338

 Torture easier to bear than giving up cash, 189

 Torrens quoted 280; 305; 309; 314; 321; 327.

 Trailing the skirt (for assuming humble manners), 301

 Trances and faintings (common in Romances of Chivalry), 118

 Transformation (sudden) of character frequent in Eastern stories, 178

 Tribade (Ar. Sahíkah, Musáhikah), 130

 Túfán = Deluge of Noah, 346

 Tuff = Sordes unguinum (fie! see Uff), 195

 Turban (substitute for a purse), 190

 Two Sayings (double entendre), 153


 Uff ’alayka = fie upon thee! (Uff = sordes aurium), 195

 Ulbah = box, 71

 Urkúb = tendon Achilles, bough, 185

 Uzn al-Kuffah = ear (handle) of the basket, 161


 Verses afore-mentioned (distinguishing formula of “Hasan of Bassorah”),
    126

 —— (purposely harsh), 337

 View (gorgeous description of), 30


 Wa al-Salam (used in a variety of senses), 74

 Wákites (number their islands), 88

 Wák Wák (Islands of), 60

 Walahán (Al-) = the love-distraught (abjective, not lakab), 33

 Wa’lláhi = I swear by Allah, 310

 Walímah = a wedding feast, 231

 Ward = rose; Wardah = a single rose, 274

 Watad = tent-peg (also a prosodical term), 279

 Web and pin (eye disease of horses), 341

 What calamity is upon thee = what a bother thou art, 177

 What manner of thing is Al-Rashíd? = What has he to do here?, 176

 Whistling (to call animals to water), 278

 White (not black) mourning colour under the Abbasides, 200

 Whiteness (for lustre, honour), 295

 Whoso beguileth folk, him shall Allah beguile, 143

 “Why don’t (can’t) you buy me?”, 300

 Wisháh = belt, scarf, 209

 Wine (breeds gladness, etc.), 202

 —— (Mohammed’s teaching anent it), 277

 —— (in cup or cup in wine?), ib.

 Witness (bear it against me, meaning of the phrase), 22

 Woman, Women (stealing of their clothes), 30

 —— (her heart the only bond known by her), 54

 —— (reasons for their aging early in the East), 86

 —— (always to be addressed “Ummí” = my mother), 87

 —— (often hide their names from the husband and his family), 100

 —— (semi-maniacal rancour of a good one against an erring sister), 118

 Woman, (when old, the most vindictive of her kind), 137

 —— (who are neither thine nor another’s), 208

 —— (their bodies impregnated with scent), 279

 Wrestling amongst the Egyptian Fellah, 199


 Yá A’awar = O one-eye (obscene meaning of the phrase), 185

 —— Khwájah = O Master, 18

 —— layta = would to heaven, 48

 —— Mumátil = O Slow o’ pay, 169

 —— Salám = O Safety (a vulgar ejaculation), 98

 —— Shukayr = O little tulip, 168

 Yásamín = Jessamine (name of a slave-girl), 176


 Za’ar = a man with fair skin, red hair, and blue eyes, 297

 Zahrawíyah = lovely as the Venus-star, 251

 Zakhmah (Zukhmah) = strap, stirrup-leather, 18

 Zakzúk = young of the Shál, 185

 Zarbu’l Nawákísi = striking of gongs (pun on the word), 329

 Zayn al-Mawásif (Pr.N.) = Adornment of (good) Qualities, 205

 Zinád = fire-sticks, 80

 Zindik = Atheist, 27

 Zubaydah (wife of Harun al-Rashid), 56; 158

 Zujáj bikr = unworked glass, 342

 Zunnár = ζωνάριον, 305

 Zurayk (diminutive of Azrak = blue-eyed), 195

[Illustration]

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



                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES


 1. Added missing footnote anchor after “sacrifice” on p. 16.
 2. Changed “as is does” to “as it does” on p. 31.
 3. Added missing footnote anchor after “recite” on p. 94.
 4. Changed “manner oaths” to “manner of oaths” on p. 104.
 5. Added missing footnote anchor after “Mawwál” on p. 151.
 6. Changed “δαχμία” to “δόχμιά” in footnote 545.
 7. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
    errors.
 8. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 9. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
10. Superscripts are denoted by a carat before a single superscript
    character or a series of superscripted characters enclosed in curly
    braces, e.g. M^r. or M^{ister}.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Plain and Literal Translation of The Arabian Nights Entertainments, Now Entitled The Book Of The Thousand Nights and A Night Volume 8 (of 17)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home