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: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 11 [Supplement]
Author: Richard F. Burton, - To be updated
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 "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 11 [Supplement]" ***

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

Diane Doerfler, Denis Barnden, and Robert Sinton.

                  To The Book Of The Thousand
                   And One Nights With Notes
                      Anthropological And

                       Richard F. Burton

                           VOLUME ONE
              Privately Printed By The Burton Club

                  General Studholme J. Hodgson

My Dear General,

     To whom with more pleasure or propriety can I inscribe this
volume than to my preceptor of past times; my dear old friend,
whose deep study and vast experience of such light literature as
The Nights made me so often resort to him for good counsel and
right direction?  Accept this little token of gratitude, and
believe me, with the best of wishes and the kindest of memories,

                    Ever your sincere and attached
                    Richard F. Burton.

London, July 15, 1886.

"To the pure all things are pure"
           (Puris omnia pura)
                       \x97Arab Proverb.

"Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole."
                       \x97"Decameron" \x97conclusion.

"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum
     sed coram Bruto.  Brute! recede, leget."

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

"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One
Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively
small part of these truly enchanting fictions."
          \x97Crichton's "History of Arabia."

                Contents of the Eleventh Volume.

1.   The Sleeper and the Waker
          Story of the Larrikin and the Cook
2.   The Caliph Omar Bin Abd Al-Aziz and the Poets
3.   Al-Hajjaj and the Three Young Men
4.   Harun Al-Rashid and the Woman of the Barmecides
5.   The Ten Wazirs; or the History of King Azadbakht and His Son
     a.   Of the Uselessness of Endeavour Against Persistent Ill
          aa.  Story of the Merchant Who Lost His Luck
     b.   Of Looking To the Ends of Affairs
          bb.  Tale of the Merchant and His Sons
     c.   Of the Advantages of Patience
          cc.  Story of Abu Sabir
     d.   Of the Ill Effects of Impatience
          dd.  Story of Prince Bihzad
     e.   Of the Issues of Good and Evil Actions
          ee.  Story of King Dadbin and His Wazirs
     f.   Of Trust in Allah
          ff.  Story of King Bakhtzaman
     g.   Of Clemency
          gg.  Story of King Bihkard
     h.   Of Envy and Malice
          hh.  Story of Aylan Shah and Abu Tammam
     i.   Of Destiny or That Which Is Written On the Forehead
          ii.  Story of King Ibrahim and His Son
     j.   Of the Appointed Term, Which, if it be Advanced, May
          Not Be Deferred, and if it be Deferred, May Not Be
          jj.  Story of King Sulayman Shah and His Niece
     k.   Of the Speedy Relief of Allah
          kk.  Story of the Prisoner and How Allah Gave Him
6.   Ja'afar Bin Yahya and Abd Al-Malik Bin Salih the Abbaside
7.   Al-Rashid and the Barmecides
8.   Ibn Al-Sammak and Al-Rashid
9.   Al-Maamum and Zubaydah
10.  Al-Nu'uman and the Arab of the Banu Tay
11.  Firuz and His Wife
12.  King Shah Bakht and his Wazir Al-Rahwan
     a.   Tale of the Man of Khorasan, His Son and His Tutor
     b.   Tale of the Singer and the Druggist
     c.   Tale of the King Who Kenned the Quintessence of Things
     d.   Tale of the Richard Who Married His Beautiful Daughter
to the Poor Old Man
     e.   Tale of the Sage and His Three Sons
     f.   Tale of the Prince who Fell in Love With the Picture
     g.   Tale of the Fuller and His Wife and the Trooper
     h.   Tale of the Merchant, The Crone, and the King
     i.   Tale of the Simpleton Husband
     j.   Tale of the Unjust King and the Tither
          ja.  Story of David and Solomon
     k.   Tale of the Robber and the Woman
     l.   Tale of the Three Men and Our Lord Isa
          la.  The Disciple's Story
     m.   Tale of the Dethroned Ruler Whose Reign and Wealth Were
Restored to Him
     n.   Talk of the Man Whose Caution Slew Him
     o.   Tale of the Man Who Was Lavish of His House and His
          Provision to One Whom He Knew Not
     p.   Tale of the Melancholist and the Sharper
     q.   Tale of Khalbas and his Wife and the Learned Man
     r.   Tale of the Devotee Accused of Lewdness
     s.   Tale of the Hireling and the Girl
     t.   Tale of the Weaver Who Became a Leach by Order of His
     u.   Tale of the Two Sharpers Who Each Cozened His Compeer
     v.   Tale of the Sharpers With the Shroff and the Ass
     w.   Tale of the Chear and the Merchants
          wa.  Story of the Falcon and the Locust
     x.   Tale of the King and His Chamberlain's Wife
          xa.  Story of the Crone and the Draper's Wife
     y.   Tale of the Ugly Man and His Beautifule Wife
     z.   Tale of the King Who Lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth
          and Allah Restored Them to Him
     aa.  Tale of Salim the Youth of Khorasan and Salma, His
     bb.  Tale of the King of Hind and His Wazir
Shahrazad and Shahryar

                   The Translator's Foreword.

After offering my cordial thanks to friends and subscribers who
have honoured "The Thousand Nights and a Night" (Kama Shastra
Society) with their patronage and approbation, I would inform
them that my "Anthropological Notes" are by no means exhausted,
and that I can produce a complete work only by means of a
somewhat extensive Supplement.  I therefore propose to print (not
publish), for private circulation only, five volumes, bearing

                      Supplemental Nights
                         to the book of
                The Thousand Nights and a Night

This volume and its successor (Nos. i. and ii.) contain Mr. John
Payne's Tales from the Arabic; his three tomes being included in
my two.  The stories are taken from the Breslau Edition where
they are distributed among the volumes between Nos. iv and xii.,
and from the Calcutta fragment of 1814.  I can say little for the
style of the story-stuff contained in this Breslau text, which
has been edited with phenomenal incuriousness.  Many parts are
hopelessly corrupted, whilst at present we have no means of
amending the commissions and of supplying the omissions by
comparison with other manuscripts.  The Arabic is not only
faulty, but dry and jejune, comparing badly with that of the
"Thousand Nights and a Night," as it appears in the Macnaghten
and the abridged Bulak Texts.  Sundry of the tales are futile;
the majority has little to recommend it, and not a few require a
diviner rather than a translator.  Yet they are valuable to
students as showing the different sources and the heterogeneous
materials from and of which the great Saga-book has been
compounded.  Some are, moreover, striking and novel, especially
parts of the series entitled King Shah Bakht and his Wazir Al-
Rahwan (pp. 191-355).  Interesting also is the Tale of the "Ten
Wazirs" (pp. 55-155), marking the transition of the Persian
Bakhtiy\xE1r-N\xE1meh into Arabic.  In this text also and in this only
is found Galland's popular tale "Abou-Hassan; or, the Sleeper
Awakened," which I have entitled "The Sleeper and the Waker."

In the ten volumes of "The Nights" proper, I mostly avoided
parallels of folk-lore and fabliaux which, however interesting
and valuable to scholars, would have over-swollen the bulk of a
work especially devoted to Anthropology.  In the "Supplementals,"
however, it is otherwise; and, as Mr. W.A. Clouston, the
"Storiologist," has obligingly agreed to collaborate with me, I
shall pay marked attention to this subject, which will thus form
another raison d'\xEAtre for the additional volumes.

Richard F. Burton

Junior Travellers' Club,
December 1, 1886

                      Supplemental Nights

                       To The Book Of The

                  Thousand Nights And A Night

                The Sleeper and the Waker.[FN#1]

It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that there was once at
Baghdad, in the Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, a man and a
merchant, who had a son Ab\xFA al-Hasan-al-Khal\xED'a by name.[FN#2]
The merchant died leaving great store of wealth to his heir who
divided it into two equal parts, whereof he laid up one and spent
of the other half; and he fell to companying with Persians[FN#3]
and with the sons of the merchants and he gave himself up to good
drinking and good eating, till all the wealth[FN#4] he had with
him was wasted and wantoned; whereupon he betook himself to his
friends and comrades and cup-companions and expounded to them his
case, discovering to them the failure of that which was in his
hand of wealth.  But not one of them took heed of him or even
deigned answer him.  So he returned to his mother (and indeed his
spirit was broken) and related to her that which had happened to
him and what had befallen him from his friends, how they had
neither shared with him nor requited him with speech.  Quoth she,
"O Abu al-Hasan, on this wise are the sons[FN#5] of this time: an
thou have aught, they draw thee near to them,[FN#6] and if thou
have naught, they put thee away from them."  And she went on to
condole with him, what while he bewailed himself and his tears
flowed and he repeated these lines:\x97

"An wane my wealth, no mane will succour me, * When my wealth
     waxeth all men friendly show:
How many a friend, for wealth showed friendliness * Who, when my
     wealth departed, turned to foe!"

Then he sprang up and going to the place wherein was the other
half of his good, took it and lived with it well; and he sware
that he would never again consort with a single one of those he
had known, but would company only with the stranger nor entertain
even him but one night and that, when it morrowed, he would never
know him more.  Accordingly he fell to sitting every eventide on
the bridge over Tigris and looking at each one who passed by him;
and if he saw him to be a stranger, he made friends with him and carried him to his house, where he conversed and
caroused with him all night till morning.  Then he dismissed him
and would never more salute him with the Salam nor ever more drew
near unto him neither invited him again.  Thus he continued to do
for the space of a full year, till, one day, while he sat on the
bridge, as was his wont, expecting who should come to him so he
might take him and pass the night with him, behold, up came the
Caliph and Masrur, the Sworder of his vengeance[FN#7] disguised
in merchants' dress, according to their custom.  So Abu al-Hasan
looked at them and rising, because he knew them not, asked them,
"What say ye?  Will ye go with me to my dwelling-place, so ye may
eat what is ready and drink what is at hand, to wit, platter-
bread[FN#8] and meat cooked and wine strained?"  The Caliph
refused this, but he conjured him and said to him, "Allah upon
thee, O my lord, go with me, for thou art my guest this night,
and baulk not my hopes of thee!"  And he ceased not to press him
till he consented; whereat Abu al-Hasan rejoiced and walking on
before him, gave not over talking with him till they came to his
house and he carried the Caliph into the saloon.  Al-Rashid
entered a hall such as an thou sawest it and gazedst upon its
walls, thou hadst beheld marvels; and hadst thou looked narrowly
at its water-conduits thou would have seen a fountain cased with
gold.  The Caliph made his man abide at the door; and, as soon as
he was seated, the host brought him somewhat to eat; so he ate, and Abu al-Hasan ate with him that eating might be grateful
to him.  Then he removed the tray and they washed their hands and
the Commander of the Faithful sat down again; whereupon Abu al-
Hasan set on the drinking vessels and seating himself by his
side, fell to filling and giving him to drink[FN#9] and
entertaining him with discourse.  And when they had drunk their
sufficiency the host called for a slave-girl like a branch of B\xE1n
who took a lute and sang to it these two couplets:\x97

"O thou aye dwelling in my heart, * Whileas thy form is far from
Thou art my sprite by me unseen, * Yet nearest near art thou, my

His hospitality pleased the Caliph and the goodliness of his
manners, and he said to him, "O youth, who art thou?  Make me
acquainted with thyself, so I may requite thee thy kindness."
But Abu al-Hasan smiled and said, "O my lord, far be it, alas!
that what is past should again come to pass and that I company
with thee at other time than this time!"  The Prince of True
Believers asked, "Why so? and why wilt thou not acquaint me with
thy case?" and Abu al-Hasan answered, "Know, O my lord, that my
story is strange and that there is a cause for this affair."
Quoth Al-Rashid, "And what is the cause?" and quoth he, "The
cause hath a tail."  The Caliph[FN#10] laughed at his words and
Abu al-Hasan said, "I will explain to thee this saying by the
tale of the Larrikin and the Cook.  So hear thou, O my lord, the

Story of the Larrikin[FN#11] and the Cook

One of the ne'er-do-wells found himself one fine morning without
aught and the world was straightened upon him and patience failed
him; so he lay down to sleep and ceased not slumbering till the
sun stang him and the foam came out upon his mouth, whereupon he
arose, and he was penniless and had not even so much as a single
dirham.  Presently he arrived at the shop of a Cook, who had set
his pots and pans over the fire and washed his saucers and wiped
his scales and swept his shop and sprinkled it; and indeed his
fats and oils were clear and clarified and his spices fragrant
and he himself stood behind his cooking-pots ready to serve
customers.  So the Larrikin, whose wits had been sharpened by
hunger, went in to him and saluting him, said to him, "Weigh me
half a dirham's worth of meat and a quarter of a dirham's worth
of boiled grain[FN#12] and the like of bread."  So the Kitchener
weighed it out to him and the good-for-naught entered the shop,
whereupon the man set the food before him and he ate till he had
gobbled up the whole and licked the saucers and sat perplexed,
knowing not how he should do with the Cook concerning the price
of that he had eaten, and turning his eyes about upon everything
in the shop; and as he looked, behold, he caught sight of an
earthen pan lying arsy-versy upon its mouth; so he raised it from
the ground and found under it a horse's tail, freshly cut off and
the blood oozing from it; whereby he knew that the Cook
adulterated his meat with horseflesh.  When he discovered this
default, he rejoiced therein and washing his hands, bowed his
head and went out; and when the Kitchener saw that he went and
gave him naught, he cried out, saying, "Stay, O pest, O burglar!"
So the Larrikin stopped and said to him, "Dost thou cry out upon
me and call to me with these words, O cornute?"  Whereat the Cook
was angry and coming down from the shop, cried, "What meanest
thou by thy speech, O low fellow, thou that devourest meat and
millet and bread and kitchen and goest forth with 'the
Peace[FN#13] be on thee!' as it were the thing had not been, and
payest down naught for it?"  Quoth the Lackpenny, "Thou liest, O
accursed son of a cuckold!"  Whereupon the Cook cried out and
laying hold of his debtor's collar, said, "O Moslems, this fellow
is my first customer[FN#14] this day and he hath eaten my food
and given me naught."  So the folk gathered about them and blamed
the Ne'er-do-well and said to him, "Give him the price of that
which thou hast eaten."  Quoth he, "I gave him a dirham before I
entered the shop;" and quoth the Cook, "Be everything I sell this
day forbidden to me, if he gave me so much as the name of a coin!
By Allah, he gave me naught but ate my food and went out and
would have made off, without aught said."  Answered the Larrikin,
"I gave thee a dirham," and he reviled the Kitchener, who
returned his abuse; whereupon he dealt him a buffet and they
gripped and grappled and throttled each other.  When the folk saw
them fighting, they came up to them and asked them, "What is this
strife between you and no cause for it?" and the Lackpenny
answered, "Ay, by Allah, but there is a cause for  it, and the
cause hath a tail!"  Whereupon, cried the Cook, "Yea, by Allah,
now thou mindest me of thyself and thy dirham!  Yes, he gave me a
dirham and but a quarter of the coin is spent.  Come back and
take the rest of the price of thy dirham."  For he understood
what was to do, at the mention of the tail; "and I, O my brother"
(added Abu al-Hasan), "my story hath a cause, which I will tell
thee."  The Caliph laughed at his speech and said, "By Allah,
this is none other than a pleasant tale!  Tell me thy story and
the cause."  Replied the host, "With love and goodly gree!  Know,
O my lord, that my name is Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a and that my
father died and left me abundant wealth, of which I made two
parts.  One I laid up and with the other I betook myself to
enjoying the pleasures of friendship and conviviality and
consorting with intimates and boon-companions and with the sons
of the merchants, nor did I leave one but I caroused with him and
he with me, and I lavished all my money on comrades and good
cheer, till there remained with me naught;[FN#15] whereupon I
betook myself to the friends and fellow-topers upon whom I had
wasted my wealth, so perhaps they might provide for my case; but,
when I visited them and went round about to them all, I found no
vantage in one of them, nor would any so much as break a bittock
of bread in my face.  So I wept for myself and repairing to my
mother, complained to her of my case.  Quoth she:\x97'Such are
friends; an thou have aught, they frequent thee and devour thee,
but, an thou have naught, they cast thee off and chase thee
away.'  Then I brought out the other half of my money and bound
myself to an oath that I would never entertain any save one
single night, after which I would never again salute him nor
notice him; hence my saying to thee:\x97'Far be it, alas! that what
is past should again come to pass, for I will never again company
with thee after this night.'"  When the Commander of the Faithful
heard this, he laughed a loud laugh and said, "By Allah, O my
brother, thou art indeed excused in this matter, now that I know
the cause and that the cause hath a tail.  Nevertheless,
Inshallah, I will not sever myself from thee."  Replied Abu al-
Hasan, "O my guest, did I not say to thee, 'Far be it, alas! that
what is past should again come to pass?  For indeed I will never
again foregather with any!'"  Then the Caliph rose and the host
set before him a dish of roast goose and a bannock of first-
bread[FN#16] and sitting down, fell to cutting off morsels and
morselling the Caliph therewith.  They gave not over eating till
they were filled, when Abu al-Hasan brought basin and ewer and
potash[FN#17] and they washed their hands.  Then he lighted three
wax-candles and three lamps, and spreading the drinking-cloth,
brought strained wine, clear, old and fragrant, whose scent was
as that of virgin musk.  He filled the first cup and saying, "O
my boon-companion, be ceremony laid aside between us by thy
leave!  Thy slave is by thee; may I not be afflicted with thy
loss!" drank it off and filled a second cup, which he handed to
the Caliph with due reverence.  His fashion pleased the Commander
of the Faithful, and the goodliness of his speech and he said to
himself, "By Allah, I will assuredly requite him for this!"  Then
Abu al-Hasan filled the cup again and handed it to the Caliph,
reciting these two couplets:[FN#18]\x97

"Had we thy coming known, we would for sacrifice * Have poured
     thee out heart's blood or blackness of the eyes;
Ay, and we would have spread our bosoms in thy way, * That so thy
     feet might fare on eyelids, carpet-wise."

When the Caliph heard his verses, he took the cup from his hand
and kissed it and drank it off and returned it to Abu al-Hasan,
who make him an obeisance and filled it and drank.  Then he
filled again and kissing the cup thrice, recited these lines:\x97

"Your presence honoureth the base, * And we confess the deed of
An you absent yourself from us, * No freke we find to fill your

Then he gave the cup to the Caliph, saying, "Drink it in health
and soundness!  It doeth away malady and bringeth remedy and
setteth the runnels of health to flow free."  So they ceased not
carousing and conversing till middle-night, when the Caliph said
to his host, "O my brother, hast thou in they heart a
concupiscence thou wouldst have accomplished or a contingency
thou wouldst avert?"  Said he, "By Allah, there is no regret in
my heart save that I am not empowered with bidding and
forbidding, so I might manage what is in my mind!"  Quoth the
Commander of the Faithful, "By Allah, and again by Allah,[FN#19]
O my brother, tell me what is in thy mind!"  And quoth Abu al-
Hasan, "Would Heaven I might be Caliph for one day and avenge
myself on my neighbors, for that in my vicinity is a mosque and
therein four shaykhs, who hold it a grievance when there cometh a
guest to my, and they trouble me with talk and worry me in words
and menace me that they will complain of me to the Prince of True
Believers, and indeed they oppress me exceedingly, and I crave of
Allah the Most High power for one day, that I may beat each and
every of them with four hundred lashes, as well as the Im\xE1m of
the mosque, and parade them round about the city of Baghdad and
bid cry before them: 'This is the reward and the least of the
reward of whoso exceedeth in talk and vexeth the folk and
turneth their joy to annoy.'  This is what I wish, and no more."
Said the Caliph, "Allah grant thee that thou seekest!  Let us
crack one last cup and rise ere the dawn draw near, and to-morrow
night I will be with thee again."  Said Abu al-Hasan, "Far be
it!"  Then the Caliph crowned a cup, and putting therein a piece
of Cretan Bhang,[FN#20] gave it to his host and said to him, "My
life on thee, O my brother, drink this cup from my hand!" and Abu
al-Hasan answered, "Ay, by thy life, I will drink it from thy
hand."  So he took it and drank it off; but hardly had it settled
in his stomach, when his head forewent his heels and he fell to
the ground like one slain; whereupon the Caliph went out and said
to his slave Masrur, "Go in to yonder young man, the house
master, and take him up and bring him to me at the palace; and
when thou goest, shut the door."  So saying, he went away, whilst
Masrur entered, and taking up Abu al-Hasan, shut the door behind
him, and made after his master, till he reached with him the
palace what while the night drew to an end and the cocks began
crowing,[FN#21] and set him down before the Commander of the
Faithful, who laughed at him.[FN#22]  Then he sent for Ja'afar
the Barmecide and when he came before him, said to him, "Note
thou yonder young man" (pointing to Abu al-Hasan), "and when thou
shalt see him to-morrow seated in my place of estate and on the
throne[FN#23] of my Caliphate and clad in my royal clothing,
stand thou in attendance upon him and enjoin the Emirs and
Grandees and the folk of my household and the officers of my
realm to be upon their feet, as in his service and obey him in
whatso he shall bid them do; and thou, if he speak to thee of
aught, do it and hearken unto his say and gainsay him not in
anything during this coming day."  Ja'afar acknowledged the order
with "Hearkening and obedience" and withdrew, whilst the Prince
of True Believers went in to the palace women, who came up to
him, and he said to them, "When this sleeper shall awake to-
morrow, kiss ye the ground between his hands, and do ye wait upon
him and gather round about him and clothe him in the royal
clothing and serve him with the service of the Caliphate and deny
not aught of his estate, but say to him, 'Thou art the Caliph.'"
Then he taught them what they should say to him and how they
should do with him and withdrawing to a retired room,[FN#24] let
down a curtain before himself and slept.  Thus fared it with the
Caliph; but as regards Abu al-Hasan, he gave not over snoring in
his sleep till the day brake clear, and the rising of the sun
drew near, when a woman in waiting came up to him and said to
him, "O our lord, the morning prayer!"  Hearing these words he
laughed and opening his eyes, turned them about the palace and
found himself in an apartment whose walls were painted with gold
and lapis lazuli and its ceiling dotted and starred with red
gold.  Around it were sleeping chambers, with curtains of gold-
embroidered silk let down over their doors, and all about vessels
of gold and porcelain and crystal and furniture and carpets
dispread and lamps burning before the niche wherein men prayed,
and slave-girls and eunuchs and Mamelukes and black slaves and
boys and pages and attendants.  When he saw this he was
bewildered in his wit and said, "By Allah, either I am dreaming a
dream, or this is Paradise and the Abode of Peace!"[FN#25]  And
he shut his eyes and would have slept again.  Quoth one of the
eunuchs, "O my lord, this is not of thy wont, O Commander of the
Faithful!"  Then the rest of the handmaids of the palace came up
to him and lifted him into a sitting posture, when he found
himself upon a mattrass raised a cubit's height from the ground
and all stuffed with floss silk.  So they seated him upon it and
propped his elbow with a pillow, and he looked at the apartment
and its vastness and saw those eunuchs and slave-girls in
attendance upon him and standing about his head, whereupon he
laughed at himself and said, "By Allah, 'tis not as I were on
wake, yet I am not asleep!  And in his perplexity he bowed his
chin upon his bosom and then opened his eyes, little by little,
smiling and saying, "What is this state wherein I find myself?"
Then he arose and sat up, whilst the damsels laughed at him
privily; and he was bewildered in his wit, and bit his finger;
and as the bite pained him, he cried, "Oh!" and was vexed; and
the Caliph watched him, whence he saw him not, and laughed.
Presently Abu al-Hasan turned to a damsel and called to her;
whereupon she answered, "At thy service, O Prince of True
Believers!"  Quoth he, "what is thy name?" and quoth she,
"Shajarat al-Durr."[FN#26]  Then he said to her, "By the
protection of Allah, O damsel, am I Commander of the Faithful?"
She replied, "Yes, indeed, by the protection of Allah thou in
this time art Commander of the Faithful."  Quoth he, "By Allah,
thou liest, O thousandfold whore!"[FN#27]  Then he glanced at the
Chief Eunuch and called to him, whereupon he came to him and
kissing the ground before him, said, "Yes, O Commander of the
Faithful."  Asked Abu al-Hasan, "Who is Commander of the
Faithful?" and the Eunuch answered "Thou."  And Abu al-Hasan
said, "Thou liest, thousandfold he-whore that thou art!"  Then he
turned to another eunuch and said to him, "O my chief,[FN#28] by
the protection of Allah, am I Prince of the True Believers?"
Said he, "Ay, by Allah, O my lord, thou art in this time
Commander of the Faithful and Viceregent of the Lord of the three
Worlds."  Abu al-Hasan laughed at himself and doubted of his
reason and was bewildered at what he beheld, and said, "In one
night do I become Caliph?  Yesterday I was Abu al-Hasan the Wag,
and to-day I am Commander of the Faithful."  Then the Chief
Eunuch came up to him and said, "O Prince of True Believers (the
name of Allah encompass thee!) thou art indeed Commander of the
Faithful and Viceregent of the Lord of the three Worlds!"  And
the slave-girls and eunuchs flocked round about him, till he
arose and abode wondering at his case.  Hereupon the Eunuch
brought him a pair of sandals wrought with raw silk and green
silk and purfled with red gold, and he took them and after
examining them set them in his sleeve; whereat the Castrato cried
out and said, "Allah! Allah! O my lord, these are sandals for the
treading of thy feet, so thou mayst wend to the wardrobe."  Abu
al-Hasan was confounded, and shaking the sandals from his sleeve,
put them on his feet, whilst the Caliph died[FN#29] of laughter
at him.  The slave forewent him to the chapel of ease, where he
entered and doing his job,[FN#30] came out into the chamber,
whereupon the slave-girls brought him a basin of gold and an ewer
of silver and poured water on his hands[FN#31] and he made the
Wuz\xFA-ablution.  Then they spread him a prayer-carpet and he
prayed.  Now he knew not how to pray[FN#32] and gave not over
bowing and prostrating for twenty inclinations,[FN#33] pondering
in himself the while and saying, "By Allah, I am none other than
the Commander of the Faithful in very truth!  This is assuredly
no dream, for all these things happen not in a dream."  And he
was convinced and determined in himself that he was Prince of
True Believers, so he pronounced the Sal\xE1m[FN#34] and finished
his prayers; whereupon the Mamelukes and slave-girls came round
about him with bundled suits of silken and linen stuffs and clad
him in the costume of the Caliphate and gave the royal dagger in
his hand.  Then the Chief Eunuch came in and said, "O Prince of
True Believers, the Chamberlain is at the door craving permission
to enter."  Said he, "Let him enter!" whereupon he came in and
after kissing ground offered the salutation, "Peace be upon thee,
O Commander of the Faithful!"  At this Abu al-Hasan rose and
descended from the couch to the floor; whereupon the official
exclaimed, "Allah! Allah! O Prince of True Believers, wottest
thou not that all men are thy lieges and under thy rule and that
it is not meet for the Caliph to rise to any man?"  Presently the
Eunuch went out before him and the little white slaves behind
him, and they ceased not going till they raised the curtain and
brought him into the hall of judgment and the throne-room of the
Caliphate.  There he saw the curtains and the forty doors and Al-
'Ijl\xED and  Al-Rak\xE1sh\xED the poet, and 'Ibd\xE1n and Jad\xEDm and Abu
Ish\xE1k[FN#35] the cup-companion and beheld swords drawn and the
lions[FN#36] compassing the throne as the white of the eye
encircleth the black, and gilded glaives and death-dealing bows
and Ajams and Arabs and Turks and Daylamites and folk and peoples
and Emirs and Wazirs and Captains and Grandees and Lords of the
land and men of war in band, and in very sooth there appeared the
might of the house of Abbas[FN#37] and the majesty of the
Prophet's family.  So he sat down upon the throne of the
Caliphate and set the dagger[FN#38] on his lap, whereupon all
present came up to kiss ground between his hands and called down
on him length of life and continuance of weal.  Then came forward
Ja'afar the Barmecide and kissing the ground, said, "Be the wide
world of Allah the treading of thy feet and may Paradise be thy
dwelling-place and the Fire the home of thy foes!  Never may
neighbor defy thee nor the lights of fire die out for
thee,[FN#39] O Caliph of all cities and ruler of all countries!"
Therewithal Abu al-Hasan cried out at him and said, "O dog of the
sons of Barmak, go down forthright, thou and the chief of the
city police, to such a place in such a street and deliver an
hundred dinars of gold to the mother of Abu al-Hasan the Wag and
bear her my salutation.  Then, go to such a mosque and take the
four Shaykhs and the Im\xE1m and scourge each of them with a
thousand[FN#40] lashes and mount them on beasts, face to tail,
and parade them round about all the city and banish them to a place
other than this city; and bid the crier make cry before them,
saying:  'This is the reward and the least of the reward of whoso
multiplieth words and molesteth his neighbors and damageth their
delights and stinteth their eating and drinking!'"  Ja'afar
received the command and answered, "With obedience"; after which
he went down from before Abu al-Hasan to the city and did all he
had ordered him to do.  Meanwhile, Abu al-Hasan abode in the
Caliphate, taking and giving, bidding and forbidding, and
carrying out  his command till the end of the day, when he gave
leave and permission to withdraw, and the Emirs and Officers of
state departed to their several occupations and he looked towards
the Chamberlain and the rest of the attendants and said,
"Begone!"  Then the Eunuchs came to him and calling down on him
length of life and continuance of weal, walked in attendance upon
him and raised the curtain, and he entered the pavilion of the
Harem, where he found candles lighted and lamps burning and
singing-women smiting on instruments, and ten slave-girls, high-
bosomed maids.  When he saw this, he was confounded in his wit
and said to himself, "By Allah, I am in truth Commander of the
Faithful!" presently adding, "or haply these are of the J\xE1nn and
he who was my guest yesternight was one of their kings who saw no
way to requite my favours save by commanding his Ifrits to
address me as Prince of True Believers.  But an these be of the
Jann may Allah deliver me in safety from their mischief!"  As
soon as he appeared, the slave-girls rose to him and carrying him
up on to the da\xEFs,[FN#41] brought him a great tray, bespread with
the richest viands.  So he ate thereof with all his might and
main, till he had gotten his fill, when he called one of the
handmaids and said to her, "What is thy name?"  Replied she, "My
name is Miskah,"[FN#42] and he said to another, "What is thy
name?"  Quoth she, "My name is Tarkah."[FN#43]  Then he asked a
third, "What is thy name?" who answered, "My name is
Tohfah;"[FN#44] and he went on to question the damsels of their
names, one after other, till he had learned the ten, when he rose
from that place and removed to the wine-chamber.  He found it
every way complete and saw therein ten great trays, covered with
all fruits and cakes and every sort of sweetmeats.  So he sat
down and ate thereof after the measure of his competency, and
finding there three troops of singing-girls, was amazed and made
the girls eat.  Then he sat and the singers also seated
themselves, whilst the black slaves and the white slaves and the
eunuchs and pages and boys stood, and of the slave-girls some sat
and some stood.  The damsels sang and warbled all varieties of
melodies and the place rang with the sweetness of the songs,
whilst the pipes cried out and the lutes with them wailed, till
it seemed to Abu al-Hasan that he was in Paradise and his heart
was heartened and his breast broadened.  So he sported and
joyance grew on him and he bestowed robes of honour on the
damsels and gave and bestowed, challenging this girl and kissing
that and toying with a third, plying one with wine and morselling
another with meat, till nightfall.  All this while the Commander
of the Faithful was diverting himself with watching him and
laughing, and when night fell he bade one of the slave-girls drop
a piece of Bhang in the cup and give it to Abu al-Hasan to drink.
So she did his bidding and gave him the cup, which no sooner had
he drunk than his head forewent his feet.[FN#45]   Therewith the
Caliph came forth from behind the curtain, laughing, and calling
to the attendant who had brought Abu al-Hasan to the palace, said
to him, "Carry[FN#46] this man to his own place."  So Masrur took
him up and carrying him to his own house, set him down in the
saloon.  Then he went forth from him, and shutting the saloon-
door upon him, returned to the Caliph, who slept till the morrow.
As for Abu al-Hasan, he gave not over slumbering till Almighty
Allah brought on the morning, when he recovered from the drug and
awoke, crying out and saying, "Ho, Tuff\xE1hah! Ho, R\xE1hat al-Kul\xFAb!
Ho, Miskah! Ho, Tohfah!"[FN#47]  and he ceased not calling upon
the palace handmaids till his mother heard him summoning strange
damsels, and rising, came to him and said, "Allah's name
encompass thee!  Up with thee, O my son, O Abu al-Hasan!  Thou
dreamest."  So he opened his eyes and finding an old woman at his
head, raised his eyes and said to her, "Who art thou?"  Quoth
she, "I am thy mother;" and quoth he, "Thou liest!  I am the
Commander of the Faithful, the Viceregent of Allah."  Whereupon
his mother shrieked aloud and said to him, "Heaven preserve thy
reason!  Be silent, O my son, and cause not the loss of our lives
and the wasting of thy wealth, which will assuredly befal us if
any hear this talk and carry it to the Caliph."  So he rose from
his sleep, and finding himself in his own saloon and his mother
by him, had doubts of his wit, and said to her, "By Allah, O my
mother, I saw myself in a dream in a palace, with slave-girls and
Mamelukes about me and in attendance upon me, and I sat upon the
throne of the Caliphate and ruled.  By Allah, O my mother, this
is what I saw, and in very sooth it was no dream!" then he
bethought himself awhile and said, "Assuredly,[FN#48] I am Abu
al-Hasan al-Khali'a, and this that I saw was only a dream when I
was made Caliph and bade and forbade."  Then he bethought himself
again and said, "Nay, but 'twas not a dream, and I am none other
than the Caliph, and indeed I gave gifts and bestowed honour-
robes."  Quoth his mother to him, "O my son, thou sportest with
thy reason: thou wilt go to the mad-house[FN#49]  and become a
gazing-stock.  Indeed, that which thou hast seen is only from the
foul Fiend, and it was an imbroglio of dreams, for at times Satan
sporteth with men's wits in all manner of ways."[FN#50]  Then
said she to him, "O my son, was there any one with thee
yesternight?"  And he reflected and said, "Yes; one lay the night
with me and I acquainted him with my case and told him my tale.
Doubtless, he was of the Devils and I, O my mother, even as thou
sayst truly, am Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a."  She rejoined, "O my
son, rejoice in tidings of all good, for yesterday's record is
that there came the Wazir Ja'afar the Barmecide and his many, and
beat the Shaykhs of the mosque and the Imam, each a thousand
lashes; after which they paraded them round about the city,
making proclamation before them and saying: 'This is the reward
and the least of the reward of whoso faileth in goodwill to his
neighbours and troubleth on them their lives!'  And he banished
them from Baghdad.  Moreover, the Caliph sent me an hundred
dinars and sent to salute me."  Whereupon Abu al-Hasan cried out
and said to her, "O ill-omened crone, wilt thou contradict me and
tell me that I am not the Prince of True Believers?  'Twas I who
commanded Ja'afar the Barmecide to beat the Shaykhs and parade
them about the city and make proclamations before them, and 'twas
I, very I, who sent thee the hundred dinars and sent to salute
thee, and I, O beldam of ill-luck, am in very deed the Commander
of the Faithful, and thou art a liar, who would make me out an
idiot."  So saying, he rose up and fell upon her, and beat her
with a staff of almond-wood, till she cried out, "Help, O
Moslems!" and he increased the beating upon her, till the folk
heard her cries and coming to her, found Abu al-Hasan bashing his
mother and saying to her, "O old woman of ill-omen, am I not the
Commander of the Faithful?  Thou hast ensorcelled me!"  When the
folk heard his words, they said, "This man raveth," and doubted
not of his madness.  So they came in upon him, and seizing him,
pinioned his elbows, and bore him to the Bedlam.  Quoth the
Superintendent, "What aileth this youth?" and quoth they, "This
is a madman, afflicted of the Jinn."  "By Allah, cried Abu al-
Hasan, "they lie against me!  I am no madman, but the Commander
of the Faithful."  And the Superintendent answered him, saying,
"None lieth but thou, O foulest of the Jinn-maddened!"  Then he
stripped him of his clothes, and clapping on his neck a heavy
chain,[FN#51] bound him to a high lattice and fell to beating him
two bouts a day and two anights; and he ceased not abiding on
this wise the space of ten days.  Then his mother came to him and
said, "O my son, O Abu al-Hasan, return to thy right reason, for
this is the Devil's doing."  Quoth he, "Thou sayst sooth, O my
mother, and bear thou witness of me that I repent me of that talk and
turn me from my madness.  So do thou deliver me, for I am nigh
upon death."  Accordingly his mother went out to the
Superintendent[FN#52] and procured his release and he returned to
his own house.  Now this was at the beginning of the month, and
when it ended, Abu al-Hasan longed to drink liquor and, returning
to his former habit, furnished his saloon and made ready food and
bade bring wine; then, going forth to the bridge, he sat there,
expecting one whom he should converse and carouse with, according
to his custom.  As he sat thus, behold, up came the Caliph and
Masrur to him; but Abu al-Hasan saluted them not and said to Al-
Rashid, "No friendly welcome to thee, O King of the J\xE1nn!"  Quoth
Al-Rashid, "What have I done to thee?" and quoth Abu al-Hasan,
"What more couldst thou do than what thou hast done to me, O
foulest of the Jann?  I have been beaten and thrown into Bedlam,
where all said I was Jinn-mad and this was caused by none save
thyself.  I brought thee to my house and fed thee with my best;
after which thou didst empower thy Satans and Marids to disport
themselves with my wits from morning to evening.  So avaunt and
aroynt thee and wend thy ways!"  The Caliph smiled and, seating
himself by his side said to him, "O my brother, did I not tell
thee that I would return to thee?"  Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "I have
no need of thee; and as the byword sayeth in verse:\x97

'Fro' my friend, 'twere meeter and wiser to part, * For what eye
     sees not born shall ne'er sorrow heart.'

And indeed, O my brother, the night thou camest to me and we
conversed and caroused together, I and thou, 'twas as if the
Devil came to me and troubled me that night."  Asked the Caliph,
"And who is he, the Devil?" and answered Abu al-Hasan, "He is
none other than thou;" whereat the Caliph laughed and coaxed him
and spake him fair, saying, "O my brother, when I went out from
thee, I forgot the door and left it open and perhaps Satan came
in to thee."[FN#53]  Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "Ask me not of that
which hath betided me.  What possessed thee to leave the door
open, so that the Devil came in to me and there befel me with him
this and that?"  And he related to him all that had betided him,
first and last (and in repetition is no fruition); what while
the Caliph laughed and hid his laughter.  Then said he to Abu al-
Hasan, "Praised be Allah who hath done away from thee whatso
irked thee and that I see thee once more in weal!"  And Abu al-
Hasan said, "Never again will I take thee to cup-companion or
sitting-comrade; for the proverb saith, 'Whoso stumbleth on a
stone and thereto returneth, upon him be blame and reproach.' And
thou, O my brother, nevermore will I entertain thee nor company
with thee, for that I have not found thy heel propitious to
me."[FN#54]  But the Caliph coaxed him and said, "I have been the
means of thy winning to thy wish anent the Imam and the Shaykhs."
Abu al-Hasan replied, "Thou hast;" and Al-Rashid continued, "And
haply somewhat may betide thee which shall gladden thy heart yet
more."  Abu al-Hasan asked, "What dost thou require of me?" and
the Commander of the Faithful answered, "Verily, I am thy guest;
reject not the guest."  Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "On condition that
thou swear to me by the characts on the seal of Solomon David's
son (on the twain be the Peace!), that thou wilt not suffer thine
Ifrits to make fun of me."  He replied, "To hear is to obey!"
Whereupon the Wag took him and brought him into the saloon and
set food before him and entreated him with friendly speech.  Then
he told him all that had befallen him, whilst the Caliph was like
to die of stifled laughter; after which Abu al-Hasan removed the
tray of food and bringing the wine-service, filled a cup and
cracked it three times, then gave it to the Caliph, saying, "O
boon-companion mine, I am thy slave and let not that which I am
about to say offend thee, and be thou not vexed, neither do thou
vex me."  And he recited these verses:\x97

"Hear one that wills thee well!  Lips none shall bless * Save
     those who drink for drunk and all transgress.
Ne'er will I cease to swill while night falls dark * Till lout my
     forehead low upon my tasse:
In wine like liquid sun is my delight * Which clears all care and
     gladdens allegresse."

When the Caliph heard these his verses and saw how apt he was at
couplets, he was delighted with exceeding delight and taking the
cup, drank it off, and the twain ceased not to converse and
carouse till the wine rose to their heads.  Then quoth Abu al-
Hasan to the Caliph, "O boon-companion mine, of a truth I am
perplexed concerning my affair, for meseemed I was Commander of
the Faithful and ruled and gave gifts and largesse, and in very
deed, O my brother, it was not a dream."  Quoth the Caliph,
"These were the imbroglios of sleep," and crumbling a bit of
Bhang into the cup, said to him, "By my life, do thou drink this
cup;" and said Abu al-Hasan, "Surely I will drink it from thy
hand."  Then he took the cup and drank it off, and no sooner had
it settled in his stomach than his head fell to the ground before
his feet.  Now his manners and fashions pleased the Caliph and
the excellence of his composition and his frankness, and he said
in himself, "I will assuredly make him my cup-companion and
sitting-comrade."  So he rose forthright and saying to Masrur,
"Take him up," returned to the palace.  Accordingly, the Eunuch
took up Abu al-Hasan and carrying him to the palace of the
Caliphate, set him down before Al-Rashid, who bade the slaves and
slave-girls compass him about, whilst he himself hid in a place
where Abu al-Hasan could not see him.  Then he commanded one of
the hand-maidens to take the lute and strike it over the Wag's
head, whilst the rest smote upon their instruments.  So they
played and sang, till Abu al-Hasan awoke at the last of the night
and heard the symphony of lutes and tambourines and the sound of
the flutes and the singing of the slave-girls, whereupon he
opened his eyes and finding himself in the palace, with the hand-
maids and eunuchs about him, exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!  Come
to my help this night which meseems more unlucky than the former!
Verily, I am fearful of the Madhouse and of that which I suffered
therein the first time, and I doubt not but the Devil is come to
me again, as before.  O Allah, my Lord, put thou Satan to shame!"
Then he shut his eyes and laid his head in his sleeve, and fell
to laughing softly and raising his head bytimes, but still found
the apartment lighted and the girls singing.  Presently, one of
the eunuchs sat down at his head and said to him, "Sit up, O
Prince of True Believers, and look on thy palace and thy slave-
girls."  Said Abu al-Hasan, "Under the veil of Allah, am I in
truth Commander of the Faithful, and dost thou not lie?
Yesterday I rode not forth neither ruled, but drank and slept,
and this eunuch cometh to make me rise."  Then he sat up and
recalled to thought that which had betided him with his mother
and how he had beaten her and entered the Bedlam, and he saw the
marks of the beating, wherewith the Superintendant had beaten
him, and was perplexed concerning his affair and pondered in
himself, saying, "By Allah, I know not how my case is nor what is
this that betideth me!"  Then, gazing at the scene around him, he
said privily, "All these are of the Jann in human shape, and I
commit my case to Allah."  Presently he turned to one of the
damsels and said to her, "Who am I?"  Quoth she, "Thou art the
Commander of the Faithful;" and quoth he, "Thou liest, O
calamity![FN#55]  If I be indeed the Commander of the Faithful,
bite my finger."  So she came to him and bit it with all her
might, and he said to her, "It doth suffice."  Then he asked the
Chief Eunuch, "Who am I?" and he answered, "Thou art the
Commander of the Faithful."  So he left him and returned to his
wonderment: then, turning to a little white slave, said to him,
"Bite my ear;" and he bent his head low down to him and put his
ear to his mouth.  Now the Mameluke was young and lacked sense;
so he closed his teeth upon Abu al-Hasan's ear with all his
might, till he came near to sever it; and he knew not Arabic, so,
as often as the Wag said to him, "It doth suffice," he concluded
that he said, "Bite like a vice," and redoubled his bite and made
his teeth meet in the ear, whilst the damsels were diverted from
him with hearkening to the singing-girls, and Abu al-Hasan cried
out for succour from the boy and the Caliph lost his sense for
laughter.  Then he dealt the boy a cuff, and he let go his ear,
whereupon all present fell down with laughter and said to the
little Mameluke, "Art mad that thou bitest the Caliph's ear on
this wise?"  And Abu al-Hasan cried to them, "Sufficeth ye not, O
ye wretched Jinns, that which hath befallen me?  But the fault is
not yours: the fault is of your Chief who transmewed you from
Jinn shape to mortal shape.  I seek refuge against you this night
by the Throne-verse and the Chapter of Sincerity[FN#56] and the
Two Preventives!"[FN#57]  So saying the Wag put off his
clothes till he was naked, with prickle and breech exposed, and
danced among the slave-girls.  They bound his hands and he
wantoned among them, while they died of laughing at him and the
Caliph swooned away for excess of laughter.  Then he came to
himself and going forth the curtain to Abu al-Hasan, said to him,
"Out on thee, O Abu al-Hasan!  Thou slayest me with laughter."
So he turned to him and knowing him, said to him, "By Allah, 'tis
thou slayest me and slayest my mother and slewest the Shaykhs and
the Imam of the Mosque!"  After which he kissed ground before him
and prayed for the permanence of his prosperity and the endurance
of his days.  The Caliph at once robed him in a rich robe and
gave him a thousand dinars; and presently he took the Wag into
especial favour and married him and bestowed largesse on him and
lodged him with himself in the palace and made him of the chief
of his cup-companions, and indeed he was preferred with him above
them and the Caliph advanced him over them all.  Now they were
ten in number, to wit, Al-'Ijl\xED and Al-Rak\xE1shi and 'Ibd\xE1n and
Hasan al-Farazdak and Al-Lauz and Al-Sakar and Omar al-Tart\xEDs and
Abu Nowas and Abu Ishak al-Nad\xEDm and Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a, and
by each of them hangeth a story which is told in other than this
book.[FN#58]  And indeed Abu al-Hasan became high in honour with
the Caliph and favoured above all, so that he sat with him and
the Lady Zubaydah bint al-Kasim, whose treasuress Nuzhat al-
Fu\xE1d[FN#59] hight, was given to him in marriage.  After this Abu
al-Hasan the Wag abode with his wife in eating and drinking and
all delight of life, till whatso was with them went the way of
money, when he said to her, "Harkye, O Nuzhat al-Fuad!"  Said
she, "At they service;" and he continued, "I have it in mind to
play a trick on the Caliph[FN#60] and thou shalt do the same with
the Lady Zubaydah, and we will take of them at once, to begin
with, two hundred dinars and two pieces of silk.  She rejoined,
"As thou willest, but what thinkest thou to do?"  And he said,
"We will feign ourselves dead and this is the trick.  I will die
before thee and lay myself out, and do thou spread over me a
silken napkin and loose my turban over me and tie my toes and lay
on my stomach a knife and a little salt.[FN#61]  Then let down
thy hair and betake thyself to thy mistress Zubaydah, tearing thy
dress and slapping thy face and crying out.  She will ask thee,
'What aileth thee?' and do thou answer her, 'May thy head outlive
Abu al-Hasan the Wag; for he is dead.'  She will mourn for me and
weep and bid her new treasuress give thee an hundred dinars and a
piece of silk[FN#62] and will say to thee, 'Go, lay him out and
carry him forth.'  So do thou take of her the hundred dinars and
the piece of silk and come back, and when thou returnest to me, I
will rise up and thou shalt lie down in my place, and I will go
to the Caliph and say to him, 'May thy head outlive Nuzhat al
Fuad,' and rend my raiment and pluck out my beard.  He will mourn
for thee and say to his treasurer, 'Give Abu al-Hasan an hundred
dinars and a piece of silk.'  Then he will say to me, 'Go; lay
her out and carry her forth;' and I will come back to thee."
Therewith Nuzhat al-Fuad rejoiced and said, "Indeed, this is an
excellent device."  Then Abu al-Hasan stretched himself out
forthright and she shut his eyes and tied his feet and covered him
with the napkin and did whatso her lord had bidden her; after
which she tare her gear and bared her head and letting down her
hair, went in to the Lady Zubaydah, crying out and weeping.  When
the Princess saw her in this state, she cried, "What plight is
this? What is thy story and what maketh thee weep?"  And Nuzhat
al-Fuad answered, weeping and loud-wailing the while, "O my lady,
may thy head live and mayst thou survive Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a;
for he is dead!"  The Lady Zubaydah mourned for him and said,
"Alas, poor Abu al-Hasan the Wag!" and she shed tears for him
awhile.  Then she bade her treasuress give Nuzhat al-Fuad an
hundred dinars and a piece of silk and said to her, "O Nuzhat al-
Fuad, go, lay him out and carry him forth."  So she took the
hundred dinars and the piece of silk and returned to her
dwelling, rejoicing, and went in to her spouse and acquainted him
what had befallen, whereupon he arose and rejoiced and girdled
his middle and danced and took the hundred dinars and the piece
of silk and laid them up.  Then he laid out Nuzhat al-Fuad and
did with her as she had done with him; after which he rent his
raiment and plucked out his beard and disordered his turban and
ran out nor ceased running till he came in to the Caliph, who was
sitting in the judgment-hall, and he in this plight, beating his
breast.  The Caliph asked him, "What aileth thee, O Abu al-
Hasan?" and he wept and answered, "Would heaven thy cup-companion
had never been and would his hour had never come!"[FN#63]  Quoth
the Caliph, "Tell me thy case:" and quoth Abu al-Hasan, "O my
lord, may thy head outlive Nuzhat al-Fuad!"  The Caliph
exclaimed, "There is no god but God;" and smote hand upon hand.
Then he comforted Abu al-Hasan and said to him, "Grieve not, for
we will bestow upon thee a bed-fellow other than she."   And he
ordered the treasurer to give him an hundred dinars and a piece
of silk.  Accordingly the treasurer did what the Caliph bade him,
and Al-Rashid said to him, "Go, lay her out and carry her forth
and make her a handsome funeral."  So Abu al-Hasan took that
which he had given him and returning to his house, rejoicing,
went in to Nuzhat al-Fuad and said to her, "Arise, for our wish
is won."  Hereat she arose and he laid before her the hundred
ducats and the piece of silk, whereat she rejoiced, and they
added the gold to the gold and the silk to the silk and sat
talking and laughing each to other.  Meanwhile, when Abu al-Hasan
fared forth the presence of the Caliph and went to lay out Nuzhat
al-Fuad, the Commander of the Faithful mourned for her and
dismissing the divan, arose and betook himself, leaning upon
Masrur, the Sworder of his vengeance, to the Lady Zubaydah, that
he might condole with her for her hand-maid.  He found her
sitting weeping and awaiting his coming, so she might condole
with him for his boon-companion Abu al-Hasan the Wag.  So he said
to her, "May thy head outlive thy slave-girl Nuzhat al-Fuad!" and
said she, "O my lord, Allah preserve my slave-girl!  Mayst thou
live and long survive thy boon-companion Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a;
for he is dead."  The Caliph smiled and said to his eunuch, "O
Masrur, verily women are little of wit.  Allah upon thee, say,
was not Abu al-Hasan with me but now?"[FN#64]  Quoth the Lady
Zubaydah, laughing from a heart full of wrath, "Wilt thou not
leave thy jesting?  Sufficeth thee not that Abu al-Hasan is dead,
but thou must put to death my slave-girl also and bereave us of
the twain, and style me little of wit?"  The Caliph answered,
"Indeed, 'tis Nuzhat al-Fuad who is dead."  And the Lady Zubaydah
said, "Indeed he hath not been with thee, nor hast thou seen him,
and none was with me but now save Nuzhat al-Fuad, and she
sorrowful, weeping, with her clothes torn to tatters.  I exhorted
her to patience and gave her an hundred dinars and a piece of
silk; and indeed I was awaiting thy coming, so I might console
thee for thy cup-companion Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a, and was about
to send for thee."[FN#65]  The Caliph laughed and said, "None is
dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad;" and she, "No, no, good my lord; none
is dead but Abu al-Hasan the Wag."  With this the Caliph waxed
wroth, the H\xE1shim\xED vein[FN#66] started out from between his eyes
and throbbed: and he cried out to Masrur and said to him, "Fare
thee forth to the house of Abu al-Hasan the Wag and see which of
them is dead."  So Masrur went out, running, and the Caliph said
to the Lady Zubaydah, "Wilt thou lay me a wager?"  And said she,
"Yes, I will wager, and I say that Abu al-Hasan is dead."
Rejoined the Caliph, "And I wager and say that none is dead save
Nuzhat al-Fuad; and the stake between me and thee shall be the
Garden of Pleasance[FN#67] against thy palace and the Pavilion of
Pictures."[FN#68]  So they agreed upon this and sat awaiting
Masrur's return with the news.  As for the Eunuch, he ceased not
running till he came to the by-street, wherein was the stead of
Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a.  Now the Wag was comfortably seated and
leaning back against the lattice,[FN#69] and chancing to look
round, saw Masrur running along the street and said to Nuzhat al-
Fuad, "Meseemeth the Caliph, when I went forth from him dismissed
the Divan and went in to the Lady Zubaydah, to condole with her;
whereupon she arose and condoled with him, saying, 'Allah
increase thy recompense for the loss of Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a!'
And he said to her, 'None is dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad, may thy
head outlive her!'  Quoth she, ''Tis not she who is dead, but Abu
al-Hasan al-Khali'a, thy boon-companion.'  And quoth he, 'None is
dead save Nuzhat al-Fuad.'  And they waxed so obstinate that the
Caliph became wroth and they laid a wager, and he hath sent
Masrur the Sworder to see who is dead.  Now, therefore, 'twere
best that thou lie down, so he may sight thee and go and acquaint
the Caliph and confirm my saying."[FN#70]  So Nuzhat al-Fuad
stretched herself out and Abu al-Hasan covered her with her
mantilla and sat weeping at her head.  Presently, Masrur the
eunuch suddenly came in to him and saluted him, and seeing Nuzhat
al-Fuad stretched out, uncovered her face and said, "There is no
god but God!  Our sister Nuzhat al-Fuad is dead indeed.  How
sudden was the stroke of Destiny!  Allah have ruth on thee and
acquit thee of all charge!"  Then he returned and related what
had passed before the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah, and he
laughing as he spoke.  "O accursed one," cried the Caliph, "this
is no time for laughter!  Tell us which is dead of them."  Masrur
replied, "By Allah, O my lord, Abu al-Hasan is well, and none is
dead but Nuzhat al-Fuad."  Quoth the Caliph to Zubaydah, "Thou
hast lost thy pavilion in thy play," and he jeered at her and
said, "O Masrur, tell her what thou sawest."  Quoth the Eunuch,
"Verily, O my lady, I ran without ceasing till I came in to Abu
al-Hasan in his house and found Nuzhat al-Fuad lying dead and Abu
al-Hasan sitting tearful at her head.  I saluted him and condoled
with him and sat down by his side and uncovered the face of
Nuzhat al-Fuad and saw her dead and her face swollen.[FN#71]  So
I said to him, 'Carry her out forthwith, so we may pray over
her.'  He replied, ''Tis well'; and I left him to lay her out and
came hither, that I might tell you the news."  The Prince of True
Believers laughed and said, "Tell it again and again to thy lady
Little-wits."  When the Lady Zubaydah heard Masrur's words and
those of the Caliph she was wroth and said, "None is little of
wit save he who believeth a black slave."  And she abused Masrur,
whilst the Commander of the Faithful laughed: and the Eunuch,
vexed at this, said to the Caliph, "He spake sooth who said,
"Women are little of wits and lack religion."[FN#72] Then said
the Lady Zubaydah to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful,
thou sportest and jestest with me, and this slave hoodwinketh me,
the better to please thee; but I will send and see which of them
be dead."  And he answered, saying, "Send one who shall see which
of them is dead."  So the Lady Zubaydah cried out to an old
duenna, and said to her, "Hie thee to the house of Nuzhat al-Fuad
in haste and see who is dead and loiter not."  And she used hard
words to her.[FN#73]  So the old woman went out running, whilst
the Prince of True Believers and Masrur laughed, and she ceased
not running till she came into the street.  Abu al-Hasan saw her,
and knowing her, said to his wife, "O Nuzhat al-Fuad, meseemeth
the Lady Zubaydah hath sent to us to see who is dead and hath not
given credit to Masrur's report of thy death: accordingly, she
hath despatched the old crone, her duenna, to discover the truth.
So it behoveth me to be dead in my turn for the sake of thy
credit with the Lady Zubaydah."  Hereat he lay down and stretched
himself out, and she covered him and bound his eyes and feet and
sat in tears at his head.  Presently the old woman came in to her
and saw her sitting at Abu al-Hasan's head, weeping and
recounting his fine qualities; and when she saw the old trot, she
cried out and said to her, "See what hath befallen me!  Indeed
Abu al-Hasan is dead and hath left me lone and lorn!"  Then she
shrieked out and rent her raiment and said to the crone, "O my
mother, how very good he was to me!"[FN#74]  Quoth the other,
"Indeed thou art excused, for thou wast used to him and he to
thee."  Then she considered what Masrur had reported to the
Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah and said to her, "Indeed, Masrur
goeth about to cast discord between the Caliph and the Lady
Zubaydah."  Asked Nuzhat al-Fuad, "And what is the cause of
discord, O my mother?" and the other replied, "O my daughter,
Masrur came to the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah and gave them
news of thee that thou wast dead and that Abu al-Hasan was well."
Nuzhat al-Fuad said to her, "O naunty mine,[FN#75] I was with my
lady just now and she gave me an hundred dinars and a piece of
silk; and now see my case and that which hath befallen me!
Indeed, I am bewildered, and how shall I do, and I lone, and
lorn?  Would heaven I had died and he had lived!"  Then she wept
and with her wept the old woman, who, going up to Abu al-Hasan
and uncovering his face, saw his eyes bound and swollen for the
swathing.  So she covered him up again and said, "Indeed, O
Nuzhat al-Fuad, thou art afflicted in Abu al-Hasan!"  Then she
condoled with her and going out from her, ran along the street
until she came in to the Lady Zubaydah and related to her the
story; and the Princess said to her, laughing, "Tell it over
again to the Caliph, who maketh me out little of wit, and lacking
of religion, and who made this ill-omened liar of a slave presume
to contradict me."  Quoth Masrur, "This old woman lieth; for I
saw Abu al-Hasan well and Nuzhat al-Fuad it was who lay dead."
Quoth the duenna, "'Tis thou that liest, and wouldst fain cast
discord between the Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah."  And Masrur
cried, "None lieth but thou, O old woman of ill-omen and thy
lady believeth thee and she must be in her dotage."  Whereupon
Lady Zubaydah cried out at him and in very sooth she was enraged
with him and with his speech and shed tears.  Then said the
Caliph to her, "I lie and my eunuch lieth, and thou liest and thy
waiting-woman lieth; so 'tis my rede we go, all four of us
together, that we may see which of us telleth the truth."  Masrur
said, "Come, let us go, that I may do to this ill-omened old
woman evil deeds[FN#76] and deal her a sound drubbing for her
lying."  And the duenna answered him, "O dotard, is thy wit like
unto my wit?  Indeed, thy wit is as the hen's wit."  Masrur was
incensed at her words and would have laid violent hands on her,
but the Lady Zubaydah pushed him away from her and said to him,
"Her truth-speaking will presently be distinguished from thy
truth-speaking and her leasing from thy leasing."  Then they all
four arose, laying wagers one with other, and went forth a-foot
from the palace-gate and hied on till they came in at the gate of
the street where Abu al-Hasan al-Khali'a dwelt.  He saw them and
said to his wife Nuzhat al-Fuad, "Verily, all that is sticky is
not a pancake[FN#77] they cook nor every time shall the crock
escape the shock.  It seemeth the old woman hath gone and told
her lady and acquainted her with our case and she has disputed
with Masrur the Eunuch and they have laid wagers each with other
about our death and are come to us, all four, the Caliph and the
Eunuch and the Lady Zubaydah and the old trot."  When Nuzhat al-
Fuad heard this, she started up from her outstretched posture
and asked, "How shall we do?" whereto he answered, "We will both
feign ourselves dead together and stretch ourselves out and hold
our breath."  So she hearkened unto him and they both lay down on
the place where they usually slept the siesta[FN#78] and bound
their feet and shut their eyes and covered themselves with the
veil and held their breath.  Presently, up came the Caliph,
Zubaydah, Masrur and the old woman and entering, found Abu al-
Hasan the Wag and wife both stretched out as dead; which when the
Lady saw, she wept and said, "They ceased not to bring ill-news
of my slave-girl till she died,[FN#79] methinketh Abu al-Hasan's
death was grievous to her and that she died after him."[FN#80]
Quoth the Caliph, "Thou shalt not prevent me with thy prattle and
prate.  She certainly died before Abu al-Hasan, for he came to me
with his raiment rent and his beard plucked out, beating his
breast with two bits of unbaked brick,[FN#81] and I gave him an
hundred dinars and a piece of silk and said to him, "Go, bear her
forth and I will give thee a bed-fellow other than she and
handsomer, and she shall be in stead of her.  But it would appear
that her death was no light matter to him and he died after
her;[FN#82] so it is who have beaten thee and gotten thy stake."
The Lady Zubaydah answered him in words galore and the dispute
between them waxed sore.  At last the Caliph sat down at the head
of the pair and said, "By the tomb of the Apostle of Allah (whom
may He save and assain!) and the sepulchres of my fathers and
forefathers, whoso will tell me which of them died before the
other, I will willingly give him a thousand dinars!"  when Abu
al-Hasan heard the Calipih's words, he sprang up in haste and
said, "I died first, O Commander of the Faithful!  Here with the
thousand dinars and acquit thee of thine oath and the swear thou
sworest."  Nuzhat al-Fuad rose also and stood up before the
Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah, who both rejoiced in this and in
their safety, and the Pricess chid her slave-girl.  Then the
Caliph and Zubaydah gave them joy of their well-being and knew
that this death was a trick to get the gold; and the Lady said to
Nuzhat al-Fuad, "Thou shouldst have sought of me that which thou
needest, without this fashion, and not have burned[FN#83] my
heart for thee."  And she, "Verily, I was ashamed, O my lady."
As for the Caliph, he swooned away for laughing and said, "O Abu
al-Hasan, thou wilt never cease to be a wag and do peregrine
things and prodigious!"  Quoth he, "O Commander of the Faithful,
this trick I played off for that money which thou gavest me was
exhausted, and I was ashamed to ask of thee again.  When I was
single, I could never keep money in hand; but since thou
marriedst me to this damsel, if I possessed even thy wealth, I
should lay it waste.  Wherefore when all that was in my hand was
spent, I wrought this sleight, so I might get of thee the hundred
dinars and the piece of silk; and all this is an alms from our
lord.  But now make haste to give me the thousand dinars and
acquit thee of thine oath."  The Caliph and the Lady Zubaydah
laughed and returned to the palace; and he gave Abu al-Hasan the
thousand dinars saying, "Take them as a douceur[FN#84] for thy
preservation from death," whilst her mistress did the like with
Nuzhat al-Fuad, honouring her with the same words.  Moreover, the
Caliph increased the Wag in his solde and supplies, and he and
his wife ceased not to live in joy and contentment, till there
came to them the Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies,
the Plunderer of palaces, and the Garnerer of Graves.


It is said that, when the Caliphate devolved on Omar bin Abd al-
Aziz[FN#86] (of whom Allah accept), the poets resorted to him, as
they had been used to resort to the Caliphs before him, and abode
at his door days and days, but he suffered them not to enter, till
there came to him 'Ad\xED bin Artah,[FN#87] who stood high in esteem
with him.  Jar\xEDr[FN#88] accosted him and begged him to crave
admission for them to the presence; so Adi answered, "'Tis well;"
and, going in to Omar, said to him, "The poets are at thy door
and have been there days and days; yet hast thou not given them
leave to enter, albeit their sayings abide[FN#89] and their
arrows from mark never fly wide."  Quoth Omar, "What have I to do
with the poets?" and quoth Adi, "O Commander of the Faithful, the
Prophet (Abhak!)[FN#90] was praised by a poet[FN#91] and gave him
largesse, and in him[FN#92] is an exemplar to every Moslem."
Quoth Omar, "And who praised him?" and quoth Adi, "'Abb\xE1s bin
Mird\xE1s[FN#93] praised him, and he clad him with a suit and said,
O Generosity,[FN#94] cut off from me his tongue!"  Asked the
Caliph, "Dost thou remember what he said?" and Adi answered,
"Yes."  Rejoined Omar, "Then repeat it;" so Adi repeated,[FN#95]

"I saw thee, O thou best of human race, * Bring out a Book which
     brought to graceless Grace.
Thou showedst righteous road to men astray * From Right, when
     darkest Wrong had ta'en its place;\x97
Thou with Isl\xE1m didst light the gloomiest way, *Quenching with
     proof live coals of frowardness;
I own for Prophet mine Mohammed's self; * And man's award upon his
     word we base;
Thou madest straight the path that crooked ran, * Where in old
     days foul growth o'ergrew its face.
Exalt be thou in Joy's empyrean * And Allah's glory ever grow

"And indeed" (continued Adi), "this Elegy on the Prophet (Abhak!)
is well known and to comment it would be tedious."  Quoth Omar
"Who is at the door?" and quoth Adi, "Among them is Omar ibn Abi
Rab\xED'ah, the Korash\xED;[FN#96] whereupon the Caliph cried, "May
Allah show him no favour neither quicken him!  Was it not he who
said these verses,

'Would Heaven what day Death shall visit me * I smell as thy
     droppings and drippings[FN#97] smell!
Could I in my clay-bed on Salm\xE1 lie * There to me were better
     than Heaven or Hell!'

"Had he not been" (continued the Caliph) "the enemy of Allah, he
had wished for her in this world, so he might after repent and
return to righteous dealing.  By Allah, he shall not come in to
me!  Who is at the door other than he?" Quoth Adi, "Jam\xEDl bin
Ma'mar al-Uzri[FN#98] is at the door;" and quoth Omar, "'Tis he
who saith in one of his elegies,

'Would Heaven conjoint we lived, and if I die * Death only grant
     me a grave within her grave:
For I'd no longer deign to live my life * If told upon her head
     is laid the pave.'"[FN#99]

Quoth Omar, "Away with him from me!  Who is at the door?" and
quoth Adi, "Kuthayyir 'Azzah"[FN#100]; whereupon Omar cried,
"'Tis he who saith in one of his odes,

'Some talk of faith and creed and nothing else * And wait for
     pains of Hell in prayer-seat;[FN#101]
But did they hear what I from Azzah heard, * They'd make
     prostration, fearfull at her feet.'

"Leave the mention of him.  Who is at the door?" Quoth Adi, "Al-
Ahwas al-'Ans\xE1r\xED."[FN#102]  Cried Omar, "Allah Almighty put him
away and estrange him from His mercy!  Is it not he who said,
berhyming on a Medinite's slave-girl, so she might outlive her

'Allah be judge betwixt me and her lord! * Who ever flies with
     her and I pursue.'

"He shall not come in to me.  who is at the door, other than he?"
Adi replied, "Hamm\xE1m bin Gh\xE1lib al-Farazdak;"[FN#103] and Omar
said, "'Tis he who saith, glorying in whoring,

'Two girls let me down eighty fathoms deep, * As low sweeps a
     falcon wi' pinions spread;
And cried; as my toes touched the ground, 'Dost live * To return,
     or the fall hath it done thee dead?

"He shall not come in to me.  who is at the door, other than he?"
Adi replied, "Al-Akhtal al-Taghlib\xED"[FN#104] and Omar said, "He
is the Miscreant who saith in his singing,

'Ramazan I ne'er fasted in life-time; nay * I ate flesh in public
     at undurn day;[FN#105]
Nor chide I the fair, save in way of love, * Nor seek Meccah's
     plain[FN#106] in salvation-way:
Nor stand I praying like rest who cry *  'Hie
     salvationwards'[FN#107] at the dawn's first ray.
But I drink her cooled[FN#108] by fresh Northern breeze * And my
     head at dawn to her prone I lay.'[FN#109]

"By Allah, he treadeth no carpet of mine!  who is at the door,
other than he?"  Said Adi, "Jar\xEDr ibn al-Khatafah"; and Omar
cried, "'Tis he who saith,

'But for ill-spying glances had our eyes espied * Eyne of the
     antelope and ringlets of the Reems.[FN#110]
A huntress of the eyes[FN#111] by night-tide came and I * Cried,
     'Turn in peace, no time for visit this, meseems!'

"An it must be and no help, admit Jarir."  So Adi went forth and
admitted Jarir, who entered, saying.

"Yea, he who sent Mohammed unto man, * A just successor for
     Im\xE1m[FN#112] assigned.
His ruth and justice all mankind embrace, * To daunt the bad and
     stablish well-designed.
Verily now I look to present good, * For man hath ever-transient
     weal in mind."

Quoth Omar, "O Jarir, keep the fear of Allah before thine eyes
and say naught save the sooth."  And Jarir recited these

"How many widows loose the hair in far Yam\xE1mah-land[FN#113] * How
     many an orphan there abides feeble of voice and eye,
Since faredst thou who wast to them instead of father lost * When
     they like nested fledglings were sans power to creep or fly!
And now we hope, since brake the clouds their word and troth with
     us, * Hope from the Caliph's grace to gain a rain[FN#114]
     that ne'er shall dry."

When the Caliph heard this, he said, "By Allah, O Jarir, Omar
possesseth but an hundred dirhams.[FN#115]  Ho, boy! do thou give
them to him."  Moreover he gifted him with the ornaments of his
sword; and Jarir went forth to the other poets, who asked him,
"What is behind thee?"[FN#116] and he answered, "A man who giveth
to the poor and denieth the poets, and with him I am well-


They tell that Al-Hajj\xE1j[FN#118] once bade the Chief of Police go
his rounds about Bassorah city by night, and whomsoever he found
abroad after supper-tide that he should smite his neck.  So he
went round one night of the nights and came upon three youths
swaying and staggering from side to side, and on them signs of
wine-bibbing.  So the watch laid hold of them and the captain
said to them, "Who be you that ye durst transgress the
commandment of the Commander of the Faithful[FN#119] and come
abroad at this hour?"  quoth one of the youths, "I am the son of
him to whom all necks[FN#120] abase themselves, alike the nose-
pierced of them and the breaker; they come to him in their own
despite, abject and submissive, and he taketh of their wealth and
of their blood."  The Master of Police held his hand from him,,
saying, "Belike he is of the kinsman of the Prince of True
Believers," and said to the second, "Who art thou?"  Quoth he, "I
am the son of him whose rank[FN#121] Time abaseth not, and if it
be lowered one day, 'twill assuredly return to its former height;
thou seest the folk crowd in troops to the light of his fire,
some standing around it and some sitting."  So the Chief of
Police refrained from slaying him and asked the third, "Who art
thou?"  He answered, "I am the son of him who plungeth through the
ranks[FN#122] with his might and levelleth them with the sword,
so that they stand straight: his feet are not loosed from the
stirrup, whenas the horsemen on the day of the battle are a-
weary."  So the Master of the Police held his hand from him also,
saying, "Belike, he is the son of a Brave of the Arabs."  Then he
kept them under guard, and when the morning morrowed, he referred
their case to Al-Hajjaj, who caused bring them before him and
enquiring into their affair, when behold, the first was the son
of a barber-surgeon, the second of a bean-seller, and the third
of a weaver.  So he marvelled at their eloquent readiness of
speech and said to the men of his assembly, "Teach your sons the
rhetorical use of Arabic:[FN#123] for, by Allah, but for their
ready wit, I had smitten off their heads!"


They tell[FN#125] that Harun Al-Rashid was sitting one day to
abate grievances, when there came up to him a woman and said, "O
Commander of the Faithful, may Allah perfect thy purpose and
gladden thee in whatso He hath given thee and increase thee in
elevation!  Indeed, thou hast done justice and wrought
equitably." [FN#126]  Quoth the Caliph to those who were present
with him, "Know ye what this one means by her saying?" and quoth
they, "Of a surety, she meaneth not otherwise than well, O Prince
of True Believers."  Al-Rashid rejoined: "Nay, in this she
purposeth only to curse me.  As for her saying, 'Allah perfect
thy purpose,' she hath taken it from the saying of the poet,

'When thy purpose is effected beginneth its decay; * when they
     say 'Thy wish is won' feel thou sure 'twill pass away.'

As for her saying 'Allah gladden thee in whatso He hath given
thee,' she took it from the saying of Almighty Allah,[FN#127]
'Till, whenas they were gladdened in that they were given, We
suddenly laid hold of them and lo, they were in despair!'  As for
her saying, 'Allah increase thee in elevation!' she took it from
the saying of the poet:\x97

'No flier flieth however tall * but as he flieth shall come to

And as for her saying, 'Indeed, thou hast done justice and
wrought equitably, 'tis from the saying of the Almighty, 'If ye
swerve[FN#128] or lag behind or turn aside, verily, Allah of that
which ye do is well aware;' and 'As for the swervers[FN#129] they
are fuel for Hell.'"  Then he turned to the woman and asked her,
"Is it not thus?" answered she, "Yes, O Commander of the
Faithful," and quoth he, "What prompted thee to this?"  Quoth
she, "Thou slewest my parents and my kinsfolk and despoiledst
their good."  Enquired the Caliph, "Whom meanest thou?" and she
replied, "I am of the House of Barmak."  Then said he to her, "As
for the dead, they are of those who are past away, and it booteth
not to speak of them; but, as for that which I took of wealth, it
shall forthright be restored to thee, yea, and more than it."
And he was bountiful to her to the uttermost of his bounties.

                 AZADBAKHT AND HIS SON.[FN#130]

There was once, of old days, a king of the kings, whose name was
Az\xE1dbakht; his capital was hight Kunaym Mad\xFAd[FN#131] and his
kingdom extended to the confines of S\xEDst\xE1n[FN#132] and from the
confines of Hindostan to the Indian Ocean. He had ten Wazirs, who
ordered his kingship and his dominion, and he was possessed of
judgment and exceeding wisdom. One day he went forth with certain
of his guards to the chase and fell in with an Eunuch riding a
mare and hending in hand the halter of a she-mule, which he led
along. On the mule's back was a domed litter of brocade purfled
with gold and girded with an embroidered band set with pearls and
gems, and about it was a company of Knights. When King Azadbakht
saw this, he separated himself from his suite and, making for the
horsemen and that mule, questioned them, saying, "To whom
belongeth this litter and what is therein?" The Eunuch answered
(for he knew not that the speaker was King Azadbakht), saying,
"This litter belongeth to Isfahand, Wazir to King Azadbakht, and
therein is his daughter, whom he is minded to marry to the King
hight Z\xE1d Sh\xE1h."

As the Eunuch was speaking with the king, behold, the maiden
raised a corner of the curtain that shut in the litter, so she
might look upon the speaker, and saw the king. When Azadbakht
beheld her and noted her fashion and her loveliness (and indeed
never did seer[FN#133] espy her like), his soul inclined to her
and she took hold upon his heart and he was ravished by her
sight. So he said to the Eunuch, "Turn the mule's head and
return, for I am King Azadbakht and in very sooth I will marry
her myself, inasmuch as Isfahand her sire is my Wazir and he will
accept of this affair and it will not be hard to him." Answered
the Eunuch, "O king, Allah prolong thy continuance, have patience
till I acquaint my lord her parent, and thou shalt wed her in the
way of consent, for it besitteth thee not, neither is it seemly
for thee, to seize her on this wise, seeing that it will be an
affront to her father an if thou take her without his knowledge."
Quoth Azadbakht, 'I have not patience to wait till thou repair to
her sire and return, and no shame will betide him, if I marry
her." And quoth the eunuch, "O my lord, naught that in haste is
done long endureth nor doth the heart rejoice therein; and indeed
it behoveth thee not to take her on this unseemly wise.
Whatsoever betideth thee, destroy not thyself with haste, for I
know that her sire's breast will be straitened by this affair and
this that thou dost will not win thy wish." But the king said,
"Verily, Isfahand is my Mameluke and a slave of my slaves, and I
reck not of her father, an he be fain or unfain." So saying, he
drew the reins of the mule and carrying the damsel, whose name
was Bahrjaur,[FN#134] to his house married her. Meanwhile, the
Eunuch betook himself, he and the knights, to her sire and said
to him, "O my lord, thou hast served the king a many years'
service and thou hast not failed him a single day; and now he
hath taken thy daughter without thy consent and permission." And
he related to him what had passed and how the king had seized her
by force. When Isfahand heard the eunuch's words, he was wroth
with exceeding wrath and assembling many troops, said to them,
"Whenas the king was occupied with his women[FN#135] we took no
reck of him; but now he putteth out his hand to our Harim;
wherefore 'tis my rede that we look us out a place wherein we may
have sanctuary." Then he wrote a letter to King Azadbakht, saying
to him, "I am a Mameluke of thy Mamelukes and a slave of thy
slaves and my daughter at thy service is a hand-maid, and
Almighty Allah prolong thy days and appoint thy times to be in
joy and gladness! Indeed, I went ever waist-girded in thy service
and in caring to conserve thy dominion and warding off from thee
all thy foes; but now I abound yet more than erewhile in zeal and
watchfulness, because I have taken this charge upon myself, since
my daughter is become thy wife." And he despatched a courier to
the king with the letter and a present. When the messenger came
to King Azadbakht and he read the letter and the present was laid
before him, he rejoiced with joy exceeding and occupied himself
with eating and drinking, hour after hour. But the chief Wazir of
his Wazirs came to him and said, "O king, know that Isfahand the
Wazir is thine enemy, for that his soul liketh not that which
thou hast done with him, and this message he hath sent thee is a
trick; so rejoice thou not therein, neither be thou misled by the
sweets of his say and the softness of his speech." The king
hearkened to his Wazir's speech, but presently made light of the
matter and busied himself with that which he was about of eating
and drinking, pleasuring and merrymaking. Meanwhile, lsfahand the
Wazir wrote a letter and sent it to all the Emirs, acquainting
them with that which had betided him from King Azadbakht and how
he had forced his daughter, adding, "And indeed he will do with
you more than he hath done with me." When the letter reached the
chiefs,[FN#136] they all assembled together to Isfahand and said
to him, "What was his affair?"[FN#137] Accordingly he discovered
to them the matter of his daughter and they all agreed, of one
accord, to strive for the slaughter of the king; and, taking
horse with their troops, they set out to seek him. Azadbakht knew
naught till the noise of the revolt beset his capital city, when
he said to his wife Bahrjaur, "How shall we do?" She answered,
"Thou knowest best and I am at thy commandment;" so he bade fetch
two swift horses and bestrode one himself, whilst his wife
mounted the other. Then they took what they could of gold and
went forth, flying through the night to the desert of
Karm\xE1n;[FN#138] while Isfahand entered the city and made himself
king. Now King Azadbakht's wife was big with child and the labour
pains took her in the mountain; so they alighted at the foot, by
a spring of water, and she bare a boy as he were the moon.
Bahrjaur his mother pulled off a coat of gold-woven brocade and
wrapped the child therein, and they passed the night in that
place, she giving him the breast till morning. Then said the king
to her, "We are hampered by this child and cannot abide here nor
can we carry him with us; so methinks we had better leave him in
this stead and wend our ways, for Allah is able to send him one
who shall take him and rear him." So they wept over him with
exceeding sore weeping and left him beside the fountain, wrapped
in that coat of brocade: then they laid at his head a thousand
gold pieces in a bag and mounting their horses, fared forth and
fled. Now, by the ordinance of the Most High Lord, a company of
highway robbers fell upon a caravan hard by that mountain and
despoiled them of what was with them of merchandise. Then they
betook themselves to the highlands, so they might share their
loot, and looking at the foot thereof, espied the coat of
brocade: so they descended to see what it was, and behold, it was
a boy wrapped therein and the gold laid at his head. They
marvelled and said, "Praised be Allah! By what misdeed cometh
this child here?" Thereupon they divided the money between them
and the captain[FN#139] of the highwaymen took the boy and made
him his son and fed him with sweet milk and dates,[FN#140] till
he came to his house, when he appointed a nurse for rearing him.
Meanwhile, King Azadbakht and his wife stayed not in their flight
till they came to the court of the King of Fars, whose name was
Kisra[FN#141]. When they presented themselves to him, he honoured
them with all honour and entertained them with handsomest
entertainment, and Azadbakht told him his tale from incept to
conclusion. So he gave him a mighty power and wealth galore and
he abode with him some days till he was rested, when he made
ready with his host and setting out for his own dominions, waged
war with Isfahand and falling in upon the capital, defeated the
whilome Minister and slew him. Then he entered the city and sat
down on the throne of his kingship; and whenas he was rested and
his kingdom waxed peaceful for him, he despatched messengers to
the mountain aforesaid in search of the child; but they returned
and informed the king that they had not found him. As time ran
on, the boy, the son of the king, grew up and fell to cutting the
way[FN#142] with the highwaymen, and they used to carry him with
them, whenever they went banditing. They sallied forth one day
upon a caravan in the land of Sistan, and there were in that
caravan strong men and valiant, and with them a mighty store of
merchandise. Now they had heard that in that land banditti
abounded: so they gathered themselves together and gat ready
their weapons and sent out spies, who returned and gave them news
of the plunderers. Accordingly, they prepared for battle, and
when the robbers drew near the caravan, they fell upon them and
the twain fought a sore fight. At last the caravan-folk
overmastered the highwaymen by dint of numbers, and slew some of
them, whilst the others fled. They also took the boy, the son of
King Azadbakht, and seeing him as he were the moon, a model of
beauty and loveliness, bright of face and engraced with grace,
asked him, "Who is thy father, and how camest thou with these
banditti?" And he answered, saying, "I am the son of the Captain
of the highwaymen." So they seized him and carried him to the
capital of his sire, King Azadbakht. When they reached the city,
the king heard of their coming and commanded that they should
attend him with what befitted of their goods. Accordingly they
presented themselves before him, and the boy with them, whom when
the king saw, he asked them, "To whom belongeth this boy?" and
they answered, "O King, we were going on such a road, when there
came out upon us a sort of robbers; so we fought them and beat
them off and took this boy prisoner. Then we questioned him,
saying, Who is thy sire? and he replied, I am the son of the
robber-captain." Quoth the king, "I would fain have this boy;"
and quoth the captain of the caravan, "Allah maketh thee gift of
him, O king of the age, and we all are thy slaves." Then the king
(who was not aware that the boy was his son) dismissed the
caravan and bade carry the lad into his palace, and he became as
one of the pages, while his sire the king still knew not that he
was his child. As the days rolled on, the king observed in him
good breeding and understanding and handiness galore and he
pleased him; so he committed his treasuries to his charge and
shortened the Wazir's hand therefrom, commanding that naught
should be taken forth save by leave of the youth. On this wise he
abode a number of years and the king saw in him only good conduct
and the habit of righteousness. Now the treasuries had been
aforetime in the hands of the Wazirs to do with them whatso they
would, and when they came under the youth's hand, that of the
Ministers was shortened from them, and he became dearer than a
son to the king, who could not support being separated from him.
When the Wazirs saw this, they were jealous of him and envied him
and sought a device against him whereby they might oust him from
the King's eye,[FN#143] but found no means. At last, when Fate
descended,[FN#144] it chanced that the youth one day of the days
drank wine and became drunken and wandered from his right wits;
so he fell to going round about within the king's palace and
Destiny led him to the lodging of the women, in which there was a
little sleeping chamber, where the king lay with his wife.
Thither came the youth and entering the dormitory, found there a
spread couch, to wit, a sleeping place: so he cast himself on the
bed, marvelling at the paintings that were in the chamber, which
was lighted by one waxen taper. Presently he fell asleep and
slumbered heavily till eventide, when there came a hand-maid,
bringing with her as of wont all the dessert, eatables and
drinkables, usually made ready for the king and his wife, and
seeing the youth lying on his back (and none knowing of his case
and he in his drunkenness unknowing where he was), thought that
he was the king asleep on his couch; so she set the
censing-vessel and laid the perfumes by the bedding, then shut
the door and went her ways. Soon after this, the king arose from
the wine-chamber and taking his wife by the hand, repaired with
her to the chamber in which he slept. He opened the door and
entered when, lo and behold! he saw the youth lying on the bed,
whereupon he turned to his wife and said to her, "What doth this
youth here? This fellow cometh not hither save on thine account."
Said she. "I have no knowledge of him." Hereupon the youth awoke
and seeing the king, sprang up and prostrated himself before him,
and Azadbakht said to him, "O vile of birth,[FN#145] O traitor of
unworth, what hath driven thee to my dwelling?" And he bade
imprison him in one place and the Queen in another.

                         The First Day

Of the Uselessness of Endeavour Against Persistent Ill

When the morning morrowed and the king sat on the throne of his
kingship, he summoned his Grand Wazir, the Premier of all his
Ministers, and said to him, "How seest thou the deed this
robber-youth hath done?[FN#146] He hath entered my Harim and lain
down on my couch and I fear lest there be an object between him
and the woman. What deemest thou of the affair?" Said the Wazir,
"Allah prolong the king's continuance! What sawest thou in this
youth?[FN#147] Is he not ignoble of birth, the son of thieves?
Needs must a thief revert to his vile origin, and whoso reareth
the serpent's brood shall get of them naught but biting. As for
the woman, she is not at fault; since from time ago until now,
nothing appeared from her except good breeding and modest
bearing; and at this present, an the king give me leave, I will
go to her and question her, so I may discover to thee the
affair." The king gave him leave for this and the Wazir went to
the Queen and said to her, "I am come to thee, on account of a
grave shame, and I would fain have thee soothfast with me in
speech and tell me how came the youth into the sleeping-chamber."
Quoth she, "I have no knowledge whatsoever of it, no, none at
all," and sware to him a binding oath to that intent, whereby he
knew that the woman had no inkling of the affair, nor was in
fault and said to her, "I will show thee a sleight, wherewith
thou mayst acquit thyself and thy face be whitened before the
king." Asked she, "What is it?" and he answered, "When the king
calleth for thee and questioneth thee of this, say thou to him,
'Yonder youth saw me in the boudoir-chamber and sent me a
message, saying, 'I will give thee an hundred grains of gem for
whose price money may not suffice, so thou wilt suffer me to
enjoy thee.' I laughed at him who bespake me with such proposal
and rebuffed him; but he sent again to me, saying, 'An thou
consent not thereto, I will come one of the nights, drunken, and
enter and lie down in the sleeping-chamber, and the king will see
me and slay me; so wilt thou be put to shame and thy face shall
be blackened with him and thine honour dishonoured.' Be this thy
saying to the king, and I will fare to him forthright and repeat
this to him." Quoth the Queen, "And I also will say thus."
Accordingly, the Minister returned to the king and said to him,
"Verily, this youth hath merited grievous pains and penalties
after the abundance of thy bounty, and no kernel which is bitter
can ever wax sweet;[FN#148] but, as for the woman, I am certified
that there is no default in her." Thereupon he repeated to the
king the story which he had taught the Queen, which when
Azadbakht heard, he rent his raiment and bade the youth be
brought. So they fetched him and set him before the king, who
bade summon the Sworder, and the folk all fixed their eyes upon
the youth, to the end that they might see what the Sovran should
do with him. Then said Azadbakht to him (and his words were words
of anger and the speech of the youth was reverent and well-bred),
"I bought thee with my money and looked for fidelity from thee,
wherefore I chose thee over all my Grandees and Pages and made
thee Keeper of my treasuries. Why, then, hast thou outraged mine
honour and entered my house and played traitor with me and
tookest thou no thought of all I have done thee of benefits?"
Replied the youth, "O king, I did this not of my choice and
freewill and I had no business in being there; but, of the lack
of my luck, I was driven thither, for that Fate was contrary and
fair Fortune failed me. Indeed, I had endeavoured with all
endeavour that naught of foulness should come forth me and I kept
watch and ward over myself, lest default foreshow in me; and none
may withstand an ill chance, nor doth striving profit against
adverse Destiny, as appeareth by the example of the merchant who
was stricken with ill luck and his endeavour availed him naught
and he fell by the badness of his fortune." The king asked, "What
is the story of the merchant and how was his luck changed upon
him by the sorriness of his doom?" Answered the youth, "May Allah
prolong the king's continuance!" and began

The Story of the Merchant Who Lost his Luck.[FN#149]

There was once a merchant man, who prospered in trade, and at one
time his every dirham won him fifty. Presently, his luck turned
against him and he knew it not; so he said to himself, "I have
wealth galore, yet do I toil and travel from country to country;
so better had I abide in my own land and rest myself in my own
house from this travail and trouble and sell and buy at home."
Then he made two parts of his money, and with one bought wheat in
summer, saying, "Whenas winter cometh, I shall sell it at a great
profit." But, when the cold set in wheat fell to half the price
for which he had purchased it, whereat he was concerned with sore
chagrin and left it till the next year. However, the price then
fell yet lower and one of his intimates said to him, "Thou hast
no luck in this wheat; so do thou sell it at whatsoever price."
Said the merchant, "Ah, long have I profited! so 'tis allowable
that I lose this time. Allah is all-knowing! An it abide with me
ten full years, I will not sell it save for a gaining
bargain."[FN#150] Then he walled up in his anger the granary-door
with clay, and by the ordinance of Allah Almighty, there came a
great rain and descended from the terrace-roofs of the house
wherein was the wheat so that the grain rotted; and the merchant
had to pay the porters from his purse five hundred dirhams for
them to carry it forth and cast it without the city, the smell of
it having become fulsome. So his friend said to him, "How often
did I tell thee thou hadst no luck in wheat? But thou wouldst not
give ear to my speech, and now it behoveth thee to go to the
astrologer[FN#151] and question him of thine ascendant."
Accordingly the trader betook himself to the astrologer and
questioned him of his star, and astrophil said to him, "Thine
ascendant is adverse. Put not forth thy hand to any business, for
thou wilt not prosper thereby." However, he paid no heed to the
astrologer's words and said in himself, "If I do my business, I
am not afraid of aught." Then he took the other half of his
money, after he had spent the first in three years, and builded
him a ship, which he loaded with a cargaison of whatso seemed
good to him and all that was with him and embarked on the sea, so
he might voyage questing gain. The ship remained in port some
days, till he should be certified whither he would wend, and he
said, "I will ask the traders what this merchandise profiteth and
in what land 'tis wanted and how much can it gain." They directed
him to a far country, where his dirham should produce an
hundredfold. So he set sail and made for the land in question;
but, as he went, there blew on him a furious gale, and the ship
foundered. The merchant saved himself on a plank and the wind
cast him up, naked as he was, on the sea-shore, where stood a
town hard by. He praised Allah and gave Him thanks for his
preservation; then, seeing a great village nigh hand, he betook
himself thither and saw, seated therein, a very old man, whom he
acquainted with his case and that which had betided him. The
Shaykh grieved for him with sore grieving, when he heard his tale
and set food before him. He ate of it and the old man said to
him, "Tarry here with me, so I may make thee my overseer[FN#152]
and factor over a farm I have here, and thou shalt have of me
five dirhams a day." Answered the merchant, "Allah make fair thy
reward, and requite thee with His boons and bounties." So he
abode in this employ, till he had sowed and reaped and threshed
and winnowed, and all was clean in his hand and the Shaykh
appointed neither agent nor inspector, but relied utterly upon
him. Then the merchant bethought himself and said, "I doubt me
the owner of this grain will never give me my due; so the better
rede were to take of it after the measure of my wage; and if he
give me my right, I will return to him that I have taken." So he
laid hands upon the grain, after the measure of that which fell
to him, and hid it in a hiding place. Then he carried the rest
and meted it out to the old man, who said to him "Come, take thy
wage, for which I conditioned with thee, and sell the grain and
buy with the price clothes and what not else; and though thou
abide with me ten years, yet shalt thou still have this hire and
I will acquit it to thee on this wise." Quoth the merchant in
himself, "Indeed, I have done a foul deed by taking it without
his permission." Then he went to fetch that which he had hidden
of the grain, but found it not and returned, perplexed,
sorrowful, to the Shaykh, who asked him, "What aileth thee to be
mournful?" and he answered, "Methought thou wouldst not pay me my
due; so I took of the grain, after the measure of my hire; and
now thou hast paid me all my right and I went to bring back to
thee that which I had hidden from thee, but found it gone, for
those who had come upon it have stolen it." The Shaykh was wroth,
when he heard these words, and said to the merchant, "There is no
device against ill luck! I had given thee this but, of the
sorriness of thy doom and thy fortune, thou hast done this deed,
O oppressor of thine own self! Thou deemedst I would not fulfil
to thee thy wage; but, by Allah, nevermore will I give thee
aught." Then he drove him away from him. So the merchant went
forth, woeful, grieving, weeping-eyed, and wandered along the
sea-shore, till he came to a sort of duckers[FN#153] diving in
the sea for pearls. They saw him weeping and wailing and said to
him, "What is thy case and what garreth thee shed tears?" So he
acquainted them with his history, from incept to conclusion,
whereby the duckers knew him and asked him "Art thou Such-an-one,
son of Such-an-one?" He answered "Yes;" whereupon they condoled
with him and wept sore for him and said to him, "Abide here till
we dive upon thy luck this next time and whatso betideth us shall
be between us and thee."[FN#154] Accordingly, they ducked and
brought up ten oyster-shells, in each two great unions: whereat
they marvelled and said to him,"By Allah, thy luck hath
re-appeared and thy good star is in the ascendant!" Then the
pearl-fishers gave him the ten pearls and said to him, "Sell two
of them and make them thy stock-in-trade: and hide the rest
against the time of thy straitness." So he took them, joyful and
contented, and applied himself to sewing eight of them in his
gown, keeping the two others in his mouth; but a thief saw him
and went and advertised his fellows of him; whereupon they
gathered together upon him, and took his gown and departed from
him. When they were gone away, he arose, saying, "The two unions
I have will suffice me," and made for the nearest city, where he
brought out the pearls for sale. Now as Destiny would have it, a
certain jeweller of the town had been robbed of ten unions, like
those which were with the merchant; so, when he saw the two
pearls in the broker's hand, he asked him, "To whom do these
belong?" and the broker answered, "To yonder man." The jeweller,
seeing the merchant in pauper case and clad in tattered clothes,
suspected him and said to him, "Where be the other eight pearls?"
The merchant thought he asked him of those which were in the
gown, whenas the man had purposed only to surprise him into
confession, and replied, "The thieves stole them from me." When
the jeweller heard his reply, he was certified that it was the
wight who had taken his good; so he laid hold of him and haling
him before the Chief of Police, said to him, "This is the man who
stole my unions: I have found two of them upon him and he
confesseth to the other eight." Now the Wali knew of the theft of
the pearls; so he bade throw the merchant into jail. Accordingly
they imprisoned him and whipped him, and he lay in trunk a whole
year, till, by the ordinance of Allah Almighty, the Chief of
Police arrested one of the divers aforesaid, and imprisoned him
in the prison where the merchant was jailed. The ducker saw him
and knowing him, questioned him of his case; whereupon he told
them his tale, and that which had befallen him; and the diver
marvelled at the lack of his luck. So, when he came forth of the
prison, he acquainted the Sultan with the merchant's case and
told him that it was he who had given him the pearls. The Sultan
bade bring him forth of the jail, and asked him of his story,
whereupon he told him all that had befallen him, and the Sovran
pitied him and assigned him a lodging in his own palace, together
with pay and allowances for his support. Now the lodging in
question adjoined the king's house, and whilst the merchant was
rejoicing in this and saying, "Verily, my luck hath returned, and
I shall live in the shadow of this king the rest of my life," he
espied an opening walled up with clay and stones. So he cleared
the opening the better to see what was behind it, and behold, it
was a window giving upon the lodging of the king's women. When he
saw this, he was startled and affrighted and rising in haste,
fetched clay and stopped it up again. But one of the
eunuchs[FN#155] saw him, and suspecting him, repaired to the
Sultan, and told him of this. So he came and seeing the stones
pulled out, was wroth with the merchant and said to him, "Be this
my reward from thee, that thou seekest to unveil my Harim?"
Thereupon he bade pluck out his eyes; and they did as he
commanded. The merchant took his eyes in his hand and said, "How
long, O star of ill-omen, wilt thou afflict me? First my wealth
and now my life!" And he bewailed himself, saying, "Striving
profiteth me naught against evil fortune. The Compassionate aided
me not, and effort was worse than useless."[FN#156] "On like
wise, O king," continued the youth, "whilst fortune was
favourable to me, all that I did came to good; but now that it
hath turned against me, everything turneth to mine ill." When the
youth had made an end of his tale, the king's anger subsided a
little, and he said, "Return him to the prison, for the day
draweth to an end, and to-morrow we will look into his affair,
and punish him for his ill-deeds."

                        The Second Day.

Of Looking to the Ends of Affairs.

Whenit was the next day, the second of the king's Wazirs, whose
name was Bahar\xFAn, came in to him and said, "Allah advance the
king! This deed which yonder youth hath done is a grave matter,
and a foul misdeed and a heinous against the household of the
king." So Azadbakht bade fetch the youth, because of the
Minister's speech; and when he came into the presence, said to
him, "Woe to thee, O youth! There is no help but that I do thee
die by the dreadest of deaths, for indeed thou hast committed a
grave crime, and I will make thee a warning to the folk." The
youth replied, "O king, hasten not, for the looking to the ends
of affairs is a column of the kingdom, and a cause of continuance
and assurance for the kingship. Whoso looketh not to the issues
of actions, there befalleth him that which befel the merchant,
and whoso looketh to the consequences of actions, there betideth
him of joyance that which betideth the merchant's son." The king
asked, "And what is the story of the merchant and his sons?" and
the youth answered, "Hear, O king,

The Tale of the Merchant and his Sons.[FN#157]

There was once a merchant, who had abundant wealth, and a wife to
boot. He set out one day on a business journey, leaving his wife
big with child, and said to her, "Albeit, I now leave thee, yet I
will return before the birth of the babe, Inshallah!" Then he
farewelled her and setting out, ceased not faring from country to
country till he came to the court of one of the kings and
foregathered with him. Now this king needed one who should order
his affairs and those of his kingdom and seeing the merchant
wellbred and intelligent, he required him to abide at court and
entreated him honourably. After some years, he sought his
Sovran's leave to go to his own house, but the king would not
consent to this; whereupon he said to him, "O king, suffer me go
and see my children and come again." So he granted him permission
for this and, taking surety of him for his return, gave him a
purse, wherein were a thousand gold dinars. Accordingly, the
merchant embarked in a ship and set sail, intending for his
mother-land. On such wise fared it with the trader; but as
regards his wife, news had reached her that her husband had
accepted service with King Such-an-one; so she arose and taking
her two sons (for she had borne twins in his absence), set out
seeking those parts. As Fate would have it, they happened upon an
island, and her husband came thither that very night in the ship.
So the woman said to her children, "The ship cometh from the
country where your father is: hie ye to the sea-shore, that ye
may enquire of him." Accordingly, they repaired to the sea-shore
and going up into the ship, fell to playing about it and busied
themselves with their play till evening evened. Now the merchant
their sire lay asleep in the ship, and the noisy disport of the
boys troubled him; whereupon he rose to call out to them
"Silence" and let the purse with the thousand dinars fall among
the bales of merchandise. He sought for it and finding it not,
buffeted his head and seized upon the boys, saying, "None took
the purse but you: ye were playing all about the bales, so ye
might steal somewhat, and there was none here but you twain."
Then he took his staff, and laying hold of the children, fell to
beating them and flogging them, whilst they wept, and the crew
came round about them saying, "The boys of this island are all
rogues and robbers." Then, of the greatness of the merchant's
anger, he swore an oath that, except they brought out the purse,
he would drown them in the sea; so when by reason of their denial
his oath demanded the deed, he took the two boys and binding them
each to a bundle of reeds, cast them into the water. Presently,
finding that they tarried from her, the mother of the two boys
went searching for them, till she came to the ship and fell to
saying,"Who hath seen two boys of mine? Their fashion is so and
so and their age thus and thus." When the crew heard her words,
they said, "This is the description of the two boys who were
drowned in the sea but now." Their mother hearing this began
calling on them and crying, "Alas, my anguish for your loss, O my
sons! Where was the eye of your father this day, that it might
have seen you?" Then one of the sailors asked her, "Whose wife
art thou?" and she answered, "I am the wife of Such-an-one the
trader. I was on my way to him, and there hath befallen me this
calamity." When the merchant heard her words, he knew her and
rising to his feet, rent his raiment and beat his head and said
to his wife, "By Allah, I have destroyed my children with mine
own hand! This is the end of whoso looketh not to the endings of
affairs. This is his reward who taketh not time to reflect." Then
he took to wailing and weeping over them, he and his wife, and he
said to his shipmates, "By Allah, I shall never enjoy my life,
till I light upon news of them!" And he began to go round about
the sea, in quest of his sons, but found them not. Meanwhile, the
wind carried the two children from the ship towards the land, and
cast them up on the sea-shore. As for one of them, a company of
the guards of the king of those parts found him and carried him
to their lord, who marvelled at him with exceeding marvel and
adopted him, giving out to the folk that he was his own son, whom
he had hidden,[FN#158] of his love for him. So the folk rejoiced
in him with joy exceeding, for their lord's sake, and the king
appointed him his heir-apparent and the inheritor of his kingdom.
On this wise a number of years passed, till the king died and
they enthroned the youth sovran in his stead, when he sat down on
the seat of his kingship and his estate flourished and his
affairs prospered with all regularity. Meanwhile, his father and
mother had gone round about, in quest of him and his brother, all
the islands of the sea, hoping that the tide might have cast them
up, but found no trace of them; so they despaired of them and
took up their abode in a certain of the islands. One day, the
merchant, being in the market, saw a broker, and in his hand a
boy he was crying for sale, and said in himself, "I will buy
yonder boy, so I may solace myself with him for my sons."[FN#159]
So he bought him and bore him to his house; and, when his wife
saw him, she cried out and said, "By Allah, this is my son!"
Accordingly his father and mother rejoiced in him with exceeding
joy and asked him of his brother; but he answered, "The waves
parted us and I knew not how it went with him." Therewith his
father and mother consoled themselves with him and on this wise a
number of years passed by. Now the merchant and his wife had
homed them in a city of the land where their other son was king,
and when the boy they had recovered grew up, his father assigned
unto him merchandise, to the end that he might travel therewith.
Upon this he fared forth and entered the city wherein his brother
ruled and anon news reached the king that a merchant had come
thither with merchandise befitting royalties; so he sent for him
and the young trader obeyed the summons and going in to him, sat
down before him. Neither of them knew the other; but blood moved
between them[FN#160] and the king said to the merchant youth, "I
desire of thee that thou tarry with me and I will exalt thy
station and give thee all that thou requirest and cravest."
Accordingly, he abode with him awhile, never quitting him; and
when he saw that he would not suffer him to depart from him, he
sent to his father and mother and bade them remove thither to
him. Hereat they resolved upon moving to that island, and their
son still increased in honour with the king, albeit he knew not
that he was his brother. Now it chanced one night that the king
sallied forth without the city and drank and the wine got the
mastery of him and he became drunken. So, of the youth's fear for
his safety, he said, "I will keep watch myself over the king this
night, seeing that he deserveth this from me, for that which he
hath done with me of kindly deeds;" and he arose forthright and
baring his brand, stationed himself at the door of the king's
pavilion. But one of the royal pages saw him standing there, with
the drawn sword in his hand, and he was of those who envied him
his favour with the king; therefore, he said to him. "Why dost
thou on this wise at this time and in the like of this place?"
Said the youth, "I am keeping watch and ward over the king
myself, in requital of his bounties to me." The page said no more
to him; however, when it was morning, he acquainted a number of
the king's servants with the matter, and they said, "This is an
opportunity for us. Come, let us assemble together and acquaint
the king therewith, so the young merchant may lose regard with
him[FN#161] and he rid us of him and we be at rest from him." So
they assembled together and going in to the king, said to him,
"We have a warning wherewith we would warn thee." Quoth he, "And
what is your warning?" and quoth they, "This youth, the trader,
whom thou hast taken into favour and whose rank thou hast exalted
above the chiefest of thy lords, we saw yesterday bare his brand
and design to fall upon thee, to the end that he might slay
thee." Now when the king heard this, his colour changed and he
said to them, "Have ye proof of this?" They rejoined, "What proof
wouldst thou have? An thou desirest this, feign thyself drunken
again this night and lie down as if asleep, and privily watch him
and thou wilt see with thine eyes all that we have mentioned to
thee." Then they went to the youth and said to him, "Know that
the king thanketh thee for thy dealing yesternight and exceedeth
in commendation of thy good deed;" and they prompted him again to
do the like. Accordingly, when the next night came, the king
abode on wake, watching the youth; and as for the latter, he went
to the door of the pavilion and unsheathing his scymitar, stood
in the doorway. When the king saw him do thus, he was sore
disquieted and bade seize him and said to him, "Is this my reward
from thee? I showed thee favour more than any else and thou
wouldst do with me this abominable deed." Then arose two of the
king's pages and said to him, "O our lord, an thou order it, we
will smite his neck." But the king said, "Haste in killing is a
vile thing, for 'tis a grave[FN#162] matter; the quick we can
kill, but the killed we cannot quicken, and needs must we look to
the end of affairs. The slaying of this youth will not escape
us."[FN#163] Therewith he bade imprison him, whilst he himself
went back to the city and, his duties done, fared forth to the
chase. Then he returned to town and forgot the youth; so the
pages went in to him and said to him, "O king, an thou keep
silence concerning yonder youth, who designed to slaughter thee,
all thy servants will presume upon the king's majesty, and indeed
the folk talk of this matter." Hereat the king waxed wroth and
cried, "Fetch him hither;" and bade the headsman strike off his
head. So they brought the youth and bound his eyes; and the
sworder stood at his head and said to the king, "By thy leave, O
my lord, I will smite his neck." But the king cried, "Stay, till
I look into his affair. Needs must I put him to death and the
dispatching of him will not escape me." Then he restored him to
the prison and there he abode till it should be the king's will
to do him die. Presently, his parents heard of the matter;
whereupon his father arose and going up to the palace, wrote a
letter and presented it to the king, who read it, and behold,
therein was written, saying, "Have ruth on me, so may Allah have
ruth on thee, and hasten not in the slaughter of my son; for
indeed I acted hastily in a certain affair and drowned his
brother in the sea, and to this day I bemourn him. An thou must
needs kill him, kill me in his stead." Therewith the old
merchant, weeping bitterly, prostrated himself before the king,
who said to him, "Tell me thy tale." Said the merchant, "O my
lord, this youth had a brother and I in my haste cast the twain
into the sea." And he related to him his story, first and last,
whereupon the king cried with a mighty loud cry and casting
himself down from the throne, embraced his father and brother and
said to the merchant, "By Allah, thou art my very father and this
is my brother and thy wife is our mother." And they abode
weeping, all three of them. Then the king acquainted his people
with the matter and said to them, "O folk, how deem ye of my
looking to the consequences of action?" and they all marvelled at
his wisdom and foresight. Then he turned to his sire and said to
him, "Hadst thou looked to the issue of thine affair and made due
delay in whatso thou didst, there had not betided thee this
repentance and chagrin all this time." Thereupon he sent for his
mother and they rejoiced one in other and lived all their days in
joy and gladness. "What then" (continued the young treasurer),
"is more grievous than the lack of looking to the ends of things?
Wherefore hasten thou not in the slaying of me, lest penitence
betide thee and sore chagrin." When the king heard this, he said,
"Return him to the prison till the morrow, so we may look into
his affair; for that deliberation in such is advisable and the
slaughter of this youth shall not escape us."

                         The Third Day.

Of the Advantages of Patience.[FN#164]

When it was the third day, the third Wazir came in to the king
and said to him, "O king, delay not the matter of this youth,
because his deed hath caused us fall into the mouths of folk, and
it behoveth that thou slay him forthright, that the talk may be
cut from us and it be not said, 'The king saw on his bed a man
with his wife and spared him.'" The king was chagrined by these
words and bade bring the youth. Accordingly, they fetched him in
fetters, and indeed the king's anger was upstirred against him by
the Minister's speech and he was troubled; so he said to him, "O
base of birth, thou hast dishonoured us and marred our mention,
and needs must I do away thy life from the world." Quoth the
youth, "O king, make use of patience in all thine affairs, so
wilt thou win to thy wish, for that Allah Almighty hath appointed
the issue of long-suffering to be in abounding good, and indeed
by patience Ab\xFA S\xE1bir ascended from the pit and sat down upon the
throne." Asked the king, "Who was Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, and what is his
tale?" and the youth answered, saying, "Hear thou, O king,

The Story of Abu Sabir.

There was once a man, a village headman,[FN#165] Ab\xFA Sab\xEDr hight,
and he had much black cattle and a buxom wife, who had borne him
two sons. They abode in a certain hamlet and there used to come
thither a lion and rend and devour Abu Sabir's herd, so that the
most part thereof was wasted and his wife said to him one day,
"This lion hath wasted the greater part of our property. Arise,
mount thy horse and take thy host and do thy best to kill him, so
we may be at rest from him." But Abu Sabir said, "Have patience,
O woman, for the issue of patience is praised. This lion it is
which transgresseth against us, and the transgressor, perforce
must Almighty Allah destroy him. Indeed, 'tis our long-suffering
that shall slay him,[FN#166] and he that doth evil needs must it
recoil upon him." A few days after, the king went forth one
morning to hunt and falling in with the lion, he and his host,
gave chase to him and ceased not pursuit till they slew him. This
news reached Ab\xFA S\xE1bir who improved the occasion to his wife,
"Said I not to thee, O woman, that whoso doth evil, it shall
recoil upon him? Haply an I sought to slay the lion myself, I had
not prevailed against him, and this is the issue of patience." It
befel, after this, that a man was slain in Ab\xFA S\xE1bir's village;
wherefore the Sultan bade plunder the village, and they spoiled
the patient one's goods with the rest. Thereupon his wife said to
him, "All the king's officers know thee; so do thou prefer thy
plaint to the sovran, that he may bid thy beasts to be restored
to thee." But he said to her, "O woman, said I not to thee that
he who worketh wrong shall be wronged? Indeed, the king hath done
evil, and right soon he shall suffer the issues of his deed, for
whoso taketh the goods of the folk, needs must his goods be
taken." A man of his neighbours heard his speech, and he was an
envier of his; so he went to the Sultan and acquainted him
therewith, whereupon the king sent and plundered all the rest of
his goods and drave him forth from the village, and his wife and
family with him. They went wandering in the waste grounds about
the hamlet and his wife said to him, "All that hath befallen us
cometh of thy slowness in affairs and thy helplessness." But he
said to her, "Have patience, for the issue of patience is good."
Then they walked on a little way, and thieves met them and
despoiling them of whatso remained with them, stripped them of
their raiment and took from them the two children; whereupon the
woman wept and said to her husband, "Hearkye, my good man, put
away from thee this folly and up with us to follow the thieves,
so, peradventure they may have compassion on us and restore the
children to us." He replied, "O woman, have patience, for he who
doth evil shall be requited with evil and his frowardness shall
revert upon him. Were I to follow them, belike one of them would
take his sword and smite my neck and slay me; but have patience,
for the issue of patience is praised." Then they fared on till
they made a village[FN#167] in the land of Kirman, and by it a
river of water; so the man said to his wife, "Tarry thou here,
whilst I enter the village and look us out a place wherein we may
home ourselves." And he left her by the water and entered the
village. Presently, up came a horseman in quest of water,
wherewith to water his horse: he saw the woman and she was
pleasing in his eyes; so quoth he to her, "Arise, mount with me
and I will take thee to wife and entreat thee kindly." Quoth she,
"Spare me, so may Allah spare thee! Indeed I have a husband." But
he drew his dudgeon and said to her, "An thou obey me not, I will
smite thee and slay thee." When she saw his frowardness, she
wrote on the ground in the sand with her finger, saying, "O Ab\xFA
S\xE1bir, thou hast not ceased to be patient, till thy good is gone
from thee and thy children and now thy wife, who was more
precious in thy sight than everything and than all thy monies,
and indeed thou abidest in thy sorrow the whole of thy life long,
so thou mayest see what thy patience will profit thee." Then the
horseman took her, and setting her behind him, went his way. As
for Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, when he returned, he saw not his wife but he read
what was writ upon the ground, wherefore he wept and sat awhile
sorrowing. Then said he to himself, "O Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, it behoveth
thee to be patient, for haply there shall betide thee an affair
yet sorer than this and more grievous;" and he went forth
a-following his face,[FN#168] like to one love-distraught and
passion-madded, till he came to a gang of labourers working upon
the palace of the king, by way of forced labour.[FN#169] When the
overseers saw him, they laid hold of him and said to him, "Work
thou with these folk at the palace of the king; else we will
imprison thee for life." So he fell to working with them as a
labourer and every day they gave him a bannock of bread. He
wrought with them a month's space, till it chanced that one of
the labourers mounted a ladder and falling, brake his leg;
whereupon he cried out and shed tears. Quoth Ab\xFA S\xE1bir to him,
"Have patience and weep not; for in thine endurance thou shalt
find ease." But the man said to him, "How long shall I have
patience?" And he answered, saying, "Long-suffering bringeth a
man forth of the bottom of the pit and seateth him on the throne
of the kingdom." It so fortuned that the king was seated at the
lattice, hearkening to their talk, and Ab\xFA S\xE1bir's words angered
him for the moment; wherefore he bade bring him before him and
they brought him forthright. Now there was in the king's palace
an underground dungeon and therein a vast silo[FN#170] and a
deep, into which the king caused cast Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, saying to him,
"O little of wit, soon shall we see how thou wilt come forth of
the pit to the throne of the kingdom." Then he used continuously
to come and stand at the mouth of the pit and say, "O little of
wit, O Ab\xFA S\xE1bir,[FN#171] I see thee not come forth of the pit
and sit down on the king's throne!" And he assigned him each day
two bannocks of bread, whilst Ab\xFA S\xE1bir kept silence and spake
not, but patiently bore whatso betided him. Now the king had a
brother, whom he had imprisoned in that pit of old time, and he
had died there; but the folk of the realm deemed him still alive,
and when his durance grew long, the courtiers of the king used to
talk of this and of the tyranny of their liege Lord, and the
bruit spread abroad that the sovran was a tyrant, so they fell
upon him one day and slew him. Then they sought the silo and
brought out therefrom Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, deeming him the king's brother,
for that he was the nearest of folk to him in favour and the
likest, and he had been long in the pit. So they doubted not but
that he was the Prince and said to him, "Reign thou in thy
brother's room, for we have slain him and thou art sovran in his
stead." But Ab\xFA S\xE1bir was silent and spoke not a word;[FN#172]
and he knew that this was the result of his patience. Then he
arose and sitting down on the king's throne, donned the royal
dress and dispensed justice and equity, and affairs prospered;
wherefore the lieges obeyed him and the subjects inclined to him
and many were his soldiers. Now the king, who erst had plundered
Ab\xFA S\xE1bir's goods and driven him forth of his village, had an
enemy; and the foe mounted horse against him and overcame him and
captured his capital; wherefore he betook him to flight and came
to Ab\xFA S\xE1bir's city, craving support of him and seeking that he
should succour him. He knew not that the king of the city was the
headman whom he had spoiled; so he presented himself before him
and made complaint to him; but Ab\xFA S\xE1bir knew him and said to
him, "This is somewhat of the issue of patience. Allah the Most
High hath given me power over thee." Then he commanded his guards
to plunder the unjust king and his suite; so they spoiled them
and stripping them of their clothes, put them forth of his
country. When Ab\xFA S\xE1bir's troops saw this, they marvelled and
said, "What be this deed the king doth? There cometh a king to
him, craving protection, and he spoileth him! This is not the
fashion of kings." But they dared not speak of this. Presently,
news came to the king of highwaymen in his land; so he set out in
quest of them and ceased not to follow after them, till he seized on them all. and behold, they were the very thieves who
had plundered him and his wife by the way and had carried off his
children. Accordingly he bade bring them before him, and when
they came into his presence, he questioned them, saying, "Where
are the two boys ye took on such a day?" Said they, "They are
with us and we will present them to our lord the king for
Mamelukes to serve him and give him wealth galore that we have
gotten together and doff all we own and repent from lawlessness
and fight in thy service." Ab\xFA S\xE1bir, however, paid no heed to
their words, and seized all their good and bade put them all to
death. Furthermore. he took his two boys and rejoiced in them
with exceeding joy, whereat the troops murmured among themselves,
saying, "Verily, this is a greater tyrant than his brother! There
cometh to him a gang of thieves, and they seek to repent and
proffer two boys by way of peace-offering, and he taketh the two
lads and all their good and slayeth them! Indeed this be violent
oppression." After this came the horseman, who had seized Ab\xFA
S\xE1bir's wife, and complained of her to the king that she would
not give him possession of her person, and solemnly declared that
she was his wife. The king bade bring her before him, that he
might hear her plea and pronounce judgment upon her. So the
horseman came with her before him, and when the king saw her, he
knew her and taking her from her ravisher, bade put him to death.
Then he became aware of the troops, that they murmured against
him and spake of him as a tyrant; so he turned to his courtiers
and ministers and said to them, "As for me, by Allah of
All-might,[FN#173] I am not the king's brother! Nay, I am but one
whom the king imprisoned upon a word he heard from me and he used
every day to come and taunt me therewith. Ye deem me the king's
brother; but I am Ab\xFA Sabir and the Lord hath given me the
kingship in virtue of my patience. As for the king who sought
protection of me and I plundered him, 'twas he who first wronged
me, for that he plundered me aforetime and drave me forth of my
native land and banished me, without due cause; wherefore I
requited him with that which he had done to me, in the way of
lawful retribution. As for the highwaymen who proffered
repentance, there was no repentance for them with me, because
they began upon me with foul dealing and waylaid me by the road
and despoiled me and seized my good and my sons, the two boys
that I took of them, and those ye deemed Mamelukes are my very
sons; so I avenged myself on the thieves of that which they did
with me whilome and requited them with strict justice. As for the
horseman whom I slew, this woman I took from him was my wife and
he seized her by force, but Allah the Most High hath restored her
to me; so this was my right, and my deed that I have done was
righteous, albeit ye, judging by the externals of the matter,
deemed that I had done this by way of tyranny." When the folk
heard these words, they marvelled and fell prostrate before him;
and they redoubled in esteem for him and exceeding affection and
sued pardon of him, admiring that which Allah had done with him
and how He had given him the kingship by reason of his
longsuffering and his patience and how he had raised himself by
his endurance from the bottom of the pit to the throne of the
kingdom, what while Allah cast down the late king from the throne
into the pit.[FN#174] Then Ab\xFA S\xE1bir foregathered with his wife
and said to her, "How deemest thou of the fruit of patience and
its sweetness and the fruit of haste and its bitterness? Verily,
all that a man doth of good and evil, he shall assuredly
encounter the same." "On like wise, O king" (continued the young
treasurer), "it besitteth thee to practice patience, whenever it
is possible to thee, for that longsuffering is the wont of the
noble, and it is the chiefest of their reliance, especially for
kings." When the king heard this from the youth, his wrath
subsided; so he bade return him to the prison, and the folk
dispersed that day.

                        The Fourth Day.

Of the Ill Effects of Impatience.

When it was the fourth day, the fourth Wazir, whose name was
Z\xFAsh\xE1d,[FN#175] made his appearance, and prostrating himself to
his liege lord, said to him, "O king, let not the talk of yonder
youth delude thee, for that he is not a truth-teller. As long as
he shall remain alive, the folk will not leave talking nor will
thy heart cease to be occupied with him." Cried the king, "By
Allah, thou sayst sooth and I will cause fetch him this day and
slay him between my hands." Then bade he bring the youth; so they
fetched him in fetters and he said to him, "Woe to thee! Thinkest
thou to appease my heart with thy prate, whereby the days are
spent in talk? I mean to do thee die this day and be quit of
thee." Said the youth, "O king, 'tis in thy power to put me out
of the world whenso thou wilt, but haste is the wont of the
ignoble and patience the sign of the noble. An thou do me to
death, thou wilt repent, and when thou desire to bring me back to
life, thou wilt not be able. Indeed, whoso acteth hastily in an
affair, there befalleth him what befel Bihz\xE1d, son of the king."
Quoth the king, "And what is his tale?" Replied the treasurer, "O
king, hear

The Story of Prince Bihzad.[FN#176]

There was once, of olden time, a king and he had a son Bihzad
hight, there was not in his tide a fairer than he and he loved to
fellow with the folk and to mix with the merchants and sit and
talk with them. One day, as he was seated in an assembly, amongst
a number of people, he heard them talking of his own beauty and
loveliness, and saying, "There be not in his time a fairer than
he." But one of the company said, "Indeed, the daughter of King
Such-an-one is seemlier than he." When Bihzad heard this saying,
his reason fled and his heart fluttered and he called the last
speaker and said to him, "Repeat to me that which thou saidst and
tell me the truth concerning her whom thou avouchest to be
goodlier than I and whose daughter she is." Quoth the man, "She
is the daughter of King Such-an-one;" whereupon Bihzad's heart
clave to her and his colour changed. Presently the news reached
his sire, who said to him, "O my son, this maiden to whom thy
heart cleaveth is at thy command and we have power over her; so
wait till I demand her in wedlock for thee." But the Prince said,
"I will not wait." So the king hastened in the matter and sent to
demand her of her sire, who required of him an hundred thousand
dinars paid down to his daughter's dowry. Quoth Bihzad's father,
"So be it," and weighed out what was in his treasuries, and there
remained to his charge but a little of the dower.[FN#177] So he
said, "Have patience, O my son, till we gather together the rest
of the money and send to fetch her for thee, since now she is
become thine." Therewith the Prince waxed wroth with exceeding
wrath and cried, "I will not have patience;" so he took his sword
and his lance[FN#178] and mounting his horse, went forth and fell
to cutting the way.[FN#179] It chanced one day that he fell upon
a company of folk who overcame him by dint of numbers and taking
him prisoner, pinioned him and carried him to the lord of that
land wherein he was a-highwaying. This king saw his semblance and
loveliness and misdoubting of him, said, "This be no robber's
favour. Tell me truly, O youth, who thou art." Bihzad was ashamed
to acquaint him with his condition and preferred death for
himself; so he answered, "I am naught but a thief and a bandit."
Quoth the king, "It behoveth us not to act hastily in the matter
of this youth, but that we look into his affair, for that
impatience gendereth penitence." So he imprisoned him in his
palace and assigned him one to serve him. Meanwhile the news
spread abroad that Bihzad, son of the sovran, was lost, whereupon
his father sent letters in quest of him to all the kings
including him with whom he was imprisoned. When the letter
reached the latter, he praised Almighty Allah for that he had not
anyways hastened in Bihzad's affair and bidding them bring him
before himself, said to him, "Art thou minded to destroy thy
life?" Quoth Bihzad, "I did this for fear of shame;" and the king
said, "An thou fear shame, thou shouldst not practise haste in
thy doings; knowest thou not that the fruit of impatience is
repentance? Had we hasted, we also, like thee, had repented."
Then he conferred on him a robe of honour and engaged to him for
the completion of the dowry and sent to his father, giving him
the glad tidings and comforting his heart with news of his son's
safety; after which he said to Bihzad, "Arise, O my son, and go
to thy sire." Rejoined the Prince, "O king, complete thy kindness
to me by hastening my going-in to my wife; for, an I go back to
my sire, the time will be long till he send a messenger and he
return, promising me dispatch." The king laughed and marvelled at
him and said to him, "I fear for thee from this precipitancy,
lest thou come to shame and win not thy wish." Then he gave him
muchel of wealth and wrote him letters, commending him to the
father of the Princess, and despatched him to them. When he drew
near their country, the king came forth to meet him with the
people of his realm and assigned him a fine lodging and bade
hasten the going-in of his daughter to him, in compliance with
the other king's letter. He also advised the Prince's father of
his son's coming and they busied themselves with the affair of
the young lady. When it was the day of the bride's
going-in[FN#180] Bihzad, of his impetuosity and lack of patience,
betook himself to the wall, which was between himself and her
lodging and wherein was a hole pierced, and of his haste looked
through it, so he might see his bride. But her mother espied
him[FN#181] and this was grievous to her; so she took from one of
the pages two red-hot iron spits and thrust them into the hole
through which the Prince was looking. The spits ran into his eyes
and put them out and he fell down fainting and the
wedding-festival was changed to mourning and sore concern. "See,
then, O king" (continued the youth), "the issue of the Prince's
haste and lack of deliberation, for indeed his impatience
bequeathed him long penitence and his joy turned to annoy; and on
like wise was it with the woman who hastened to put out his eyes
and delayed not to deliberate. All this was the doing of haste;
wherefore it behoveth the king not to be hasty in putting me to
death, for that I am under the hold of his hand, and whatso time
thou desirest my slaughter, it shall not escape thee." When the
king heard this his anger subsided and he said, "Return him back
to the prison till to-morrow, so we may look into his case."

                         The Fifth Day.

Of the Issues of Good and Evil Actions.

When it was the fifth day, the fifth Wazir, whose name was
Jahrbaur,[FN#182] came in to the king and prostrating himself
before him. said, "O king, it behoveth thee, an thou see or hear
one look on thy house,[FN#183] that thou pluck out his eyes. How
then should it be with him whom thou sawest a-middlemost thy
palace and on thy royal bed, and he suspected with thy Harim, and
not of thy lineage or of thy kindred? So do thou away this shame
by putting him to death. Indeed, we urge thee not to this, except
for the assurance of thine empire and of our zeal for thy loyal
counselling and of our affection to thee. How can it be lawful
that this youth should live for a single hour?" Therewith the
king was filled with fury and cried, "Bring him forthright." So
they fetched the youth whom they set before him in fetters, and
the king said to him, "Woe to thee! Thou hast sinned a great sin
and the time of thy survival hath been long;[FN#184] but needs
must we put thee to death, because there is no ease for us in thy
life till we take it." Quoth the youth, "Know O king, that I, by
Allah, am guiltless, and by reason of this I hope for life, for
that he who is innocent of all offence goeth not in fear of pains
and penalties, neither greateneth his mourning and his concern;
but whoso hath sinned, needs must his sin be expiated upon him,
though his life be prolonged, and it shall overtake him, even as
it overtook D\xE1db\xEDn the king and his Wazir." Asked Azadbakht, "How
was that?" and the youth said, "Hear, O king (whose days may Allah

The Story of King Dadbin[FN#185] and his Wazirs.

There was once a king in the land of Tabaristan,[FN#186] by name
D\xE1db\xEDn, and he had two Wazirs, one called Zorkhan and the other
K\xE1rd\xE1n.[FN#187] The Minister Zorkhan had a daughter, there was
not in her day a fairer than she nor yet a chaster or a more
pious, for she was a faster, a prayer and an adorer of Allah the
Almighty, and her name was Arw\xE0.[FN#188] Now Dadbin, the king,
heard tell of her praises; so his heart clave to her and he
called the Wazir her sire and said to him, "I desire of thee that
thou marry me to thy daughter." Quoth Zorkhan, "O my liegest
lord, suffer me to consult her, and if she consent, I will marry
thee with her." And the king, said, "Haste thee with this." So
the Minister went in to his daughter and said to her, "O my
daughter, the king seeketh thee of me and desireth to marry
thee." She said. "O my father, I desire not a husband, and if
thou wilt marry me, marry me not but with a mate who shall be mine inferior
in rank and I nobler than he, so he may not turn to other than
myself nor lift his eyes upon me,[FN#189] and marry me not to one
who is nobler than I, lest I be with him as a slave-girl and a
serving-woman." Accordingly the Wazir returned to the king and
acquainted him with that which his daughter had said, whenas he
redoubled in desire and love-longing for her, and said to her
sire, "An thou marry me not to her of good grace, I will take her
in thy despite and by force." The Minister again betook himself
to his daughter and repeated to her the king's words, but she
replied, "I want no husband." So he returned to the king and told
him what she said, and he was wroth and threatened him, whereupon
the father took his daughter and fled with her. When this came to
the king's knowledge, he despatched troops in pursuit of Zorkhan,
to stop the road upon him, whilst he himself went out and
overtaking the Wazir, smote him on the head with his mace[FN#190]
and slew him. Then he took his daughter by force and returning to
his dwelling-place, went in to her and married her. Arwa resigned
herself with patience to that which betided her and committed her
case to Allah Almighty; and indeed she was used to serve Him
night and day with a goodly service in the house of King Dadbin
her husband. It befel one day that the king had occasion to make
a journey; so he called his second Wazir Kardan and said to him,
"I have a charge to commit to thy care, and it is yonder lady, my
wife, the daughter of the Wazir Zorkhan, and I desire that thou
keep her and guard her thy very self, because I have not in the
world aught dearer than she." Quoth Kardan in his mind, "Of a
truth, the king honoureth me with an exceeding honour in
entrusting me with this lady." And he answered, "With love and
all gladness." When the king had departed on his journey, Kardan
said in himself, "Needs must I look upon this lady whom the king
loveth with all this love." So he hid himself in a place, that he
might espy her, and saw her surpassing description; wherefor he
was confounded at her and his wit was wildered and love gat the
lordship of him, so that he sent to her, saying, "Have pity on
me, for indeed I perish for the love of thee." She sent back to
him and replied, "O Wazir, thou art in the place of faith and
confidence, so do not thou betray thy trust, but make thine
inward life like unto thine outward[FN#191] and occupy thyself
with thy wife and that which is lawful to thee. As for this, 'tis
mere lust and women are all of one and the same taste.[FN#192]
And if thou wilt not be forbidden from this talk, I will make
thee a byword and a reproach among folk." When the Minister heard
her answer, he knew that she was chaste of soul and body;
wherefore he repented with the utmost of repentance and feared
for himself from the king and said, "Needs must I devise a device
whereby I may destroy her; else shall I be disgraced with the
king." Now when the king returned from his journey, he questioned
Kardan of the affairs of his kingdom, and the Wazir answered,
"All is right well, O king, save a vile matter, which I have
espied here and with which I am ashamed to confront the sovran;
but, if I hold my peace thereof, I fear lest other than I
discover it and I shall have played traitor to the king in the
matter of my warning and my trust." Quoth Dadbin, "Speak, for to
me thou art none other than a truth-teller, a trustworthy and a
loyal counsellor in whatso thou sayest, undistrusted in aught."
And the Minister said, "O king, this woman to whose love thy
heart cleaveth and of whose piety thou talkest and her fasting
and her praying, I will plainly prove to thee that this is craft
and guile." Hereat the king was troubled and said, "What may be
the matter?" and the Wazir replied, "I would have thee wot that
some days after thy departure, one came to me and said to me,
Come, O Wazir, and look. So I went to the door of the queen's
sleeping-chamber and behold, she was sitting with Abu al-Khayr,
her father's page, whom she favoureth, and she did with him what
she did, and such is the manner of that which I saw and heard."
When Dadbin heard this, he burnt with rage and said to one of his
eunuchs,[FN#193] "Go and slay her in her chamber." But the eunuch
said to him, "O king, Allah prolong thy life! Indeed, the killing
of her may not be in this way neither at this time; but do thou
bid one of thine Castratos take her up on a camel and carry her
to one of the trackless wolds and cast her down there; so, if she
be guilty, Allah shall cause her to perish, and if she be
innocent, He will deliver her, and the king shall be free from
default against her; for that this lady is dear to thee and thou
slewest her father by reason of thy love for her." Quoth the
king, "By Allah, thou sayst sooth!" Then he bade one of his
eunuchs carry her on a camel to one of the far-off wilds and
cut-off wolds and there leave her and wend his ways, and he
forbad her torment to be prolonged. So he took her up and
betaking himself with her to the desert, left her there without
provaunt or water and returned, whereupon she made for one of the
hills, and ranging stones before her in form of prayer-niche,
stood praying. Now it chanced that a camel-driver, belonging to
Kisr\xE0[FN#194] the king, lost certain camels, and his lord
threatened him, if he found them not, that he would slay him.
Accordingly he set out and plunged into the wastes till he came
to the place where the lady was, and seeing her standing at
prayer utterly alone, waited till she had made an end of her
orisons, when he went up to her and saluted her with the salam,
saying, "Who art thou?" Quoth she, "I am a hand-maid of the
Almighty." He asked, "What doest thou in this desolate place?"
and she answered, "I serve Allah the Most High." When he saw her
beauty and loveliness, he fell in love with her, and said to her,
"Harkye! Do thou take me to mate and I will be tender to thee and
use thee with exceeding ruth, and I will further thee in
obedience to Allah Almighty." But she answered, saying, "I have
no need of wedlock and I desire to abide here alone with my Lord
and His worship; but an thou wouldst have ruth upon me and
further me in the obedience of Allah the Most High, carry me to a
place where there is water and thou wilt have done me a
kindness." Thereupon he took her to a place wherein was running
water and setting her down on the ground, left her and went his
ways, marvelling at her. After he left her, he found his camels,
by her blessing, and when he returned, King Kisra asked him,
"Hast thou found the camels?" He answered "Yes," and acquainted
him with the affair of the damsel, and detailed to him her beauty
and loveliness: whereupon the king's heart clave to her and he
mounted with a few men and betook himself to that place, where he
found the lady and was amazed at her, because he saw her
surpassing the description wherewith the camel-driver had
described her to him. So he accosted her and said to her, "I am
King Kisra, greatest of the kings. Wilt thou not have me to
husband?" Quoth she, "What wilt thou do with me, O king, and I a
woman abandoned in the waste?" And quoth he, "Needs must this be,
and if thou wilt not consent to me, I will take up my abode here
and devote myself to Allah's service and thy service, and with
thee worship the Almighty." Then he bade set up for her a tent
and another for himself, facing hers, so he might adore Allah
with her, and fell to sending her food; and she said in herself,
"This is a king, and 'tis not lawful for me that I suffer him for
my sake to forsake his lieges and his land." Presently she said
to the servingwoman, who used to bring her the food, "Speak the
king that he return to his women, for he hath no need of me, and
I desire to abide in this place, so I may worship therein Allah
the Most High." The slave-girl returned to the king and told him
this, whereupon he sent back to her, saying, "I have no need of
the kingship and I also desire to tarry here and worship Allah
with thee in this waste." When she found this earnestness in him,
she fell in with his wishes, and said, "O king, I will consent to
that which thou desirest and will be to thee a wife, but on
condition that thou bring me Dadbin the king and his Wazir Kardan
and his Chamberlain the chief Eunuch, and that they be present in
thine assembly, so I may speak a word with them in thy presence,
to the intent that thou mayst redouble in affection for me."
Quoth Kisra, "And what is thy want unto this?" So she related to
him her story from first to last, how she was the wife of Dadbin
the king and how the Wazir Kardan had misspoken of her honour.
When King Kisra heard this, he redoubled in love-longing for her
and affection and said to her, "Do whatso thou willest:" then he
let bring a litter[FN#195] and carrying her therein to his
dwelling-place, entreated her with the utmost honour and espoused
her. Presently he sent a great army to King Dadbin and fetching
him and his Wazir Kardan and the Eunuch-chamberlain, caused bring
them before him, they unknowing the while what he might purpose
to do with them. Moreover, he caused set up for Arwa a
pavilion[FN#196] in the courtyard of his palace, and she entered
it and let down the curtain before herself. When the servants had
set their seats and they had seated themselves, Arwa raised a
corner of the curtain and said, "O Kardan, rise to thy feet, for
it besitteth not that thou sit in the like of this assembly,
before this mighty King Kisra." When the Wazir heard these words,
his heart fluttered and his joints were loosened and he rose to
his feet of his fear. Then said she to him, "By the virtue of Him
who hath made thee stand up to judgment in this standing-stead,
and thou abject and humiliated, I conjure thee speak the truth
and say what egged thee on to lie against me and drive me from my
home and from the land of my husband and made thee practise thus
against a man and a Moslem so as to slay him.[FN#197] This is no
place wherein lying availeth nor may artifice be herein." When
the Wazir was 'ware that she was Arwa and heard her speech, he
knew that it behoved him not to lie and that naught would avail
him save truth; so he bowed his head groundwards and wept and
said, "Whoso doth evil, needs must he incur it, albe his day be
prolonged. By Allah, I am he who hath sinned and transgressed,
and naught prompted me unto this but fear and overmastering
desire and the misery writ upon my brow.[FN#198] And indeed this
woman is pure and chaste and free from all fault." When King
Dadbin heard this, he beat his face and said to Kardan, his
Wazir, "Allah slay thee![FN#199] 'Tis thou that hast parted me
and my wife and wronged me!" But Kisra the king said to him,
"Allah shall assuredly slay thee, because thou hastenedst and
lookedst not into thine affair, and knewest not the guilty from
the guiltless. Hadst thou wrought deliberately, the unright had
been made manifest to thee from the right; so when this villain
Wazir purposed thy ruin, where was thy judgment and whither went
thy sight?" Then he asked Arwa, "What wilt thou that I do with
them?" and she answered, "Accomplish on them the ordinance of
Almighty Allah:[FN#200] let the slayer be slain and the
transgressor transgressed against, even as he transgressed
against us; yea, and to the well-doer weal shall be done even as
he did unto us." So she gave her officers order concerning Dadbin
and they smote him on the head with a mace and slew him, and she
said, "This is for the slaughter of my sire." Then she bade set
the Wazir on a beast and bear him to the desert whither he had
caused her to be borne, and leave him there without provaunt or
water; and she said to him, "An thou be guilty, thou shalt suffer
the punishment of thy guilt and die in the desert of hunger and
thirst; but an there be no guilt in thee, thou shalt be
delivered, even as I was delivered." As for the
Eunuch-chamberlain, who had counselled King Dadbin not to slay
her, but to cause carry her to the desert, she bestowed on him a
costly robe of honour and said to him, "The like of thee it
befitteth kings to hold in favour and promote to high place, for
that thou spakest loyally and well, and a man is requited
according to his deed." And Kisra the King made him Wali in a
certain province of his empire. "Know, therefore, O king"
(continued the youth), "that whoso doeth good is requited with
good, and he who is guiltless of sin and offence feareth not the
issue of his affair. And I, O my liege lord, am free from guilt,
wherefore I hope in Allah that He will show forth the truth to
mine auspicious king, and vouchsafe me the victory over enemies
and enviers." When the king heard this, his wrath subsided and he
said, "Return him to the prison till the morrow, so we may look
into his case."

                         The Sixth Day.

Of Trust in Allah.

When it was the sixth day, the wrath of the Wazirs redoubled,
because they had not won their will of the youth and they feared
for their lives from the liege lord; so three of them went in to
him and prostrating themselves between his hands, said to him, "O
king, indeed we are loyal counsellors to thy dignity and fondly
solicitous for thy weal. Verily, thou persistest long in leaving
this youth alive and we know not what is thine advantage therein.
Every day findeth him yet on life and the talk of folk redoubleth
suspicion on thee; so do thou do him dead, that the talk may be
made an end of." When the king heard this speech, he said, "By
Allah, verily ye say sooth and speak rightly!" Then he bade them
bring the young treasurer and when he came into the presence said
to him, "How Iong shall I look into thy case, and find no helper
for thee and see them athirst for thy blood?" The youth answered,
"O king, I hope for succour only from Allah, not from created
beings: an He aid me, none shall have power to harm me, and if He
be with me and on my side, because of the truth, from whom shall
I fear, because of untruth? Indeed, I have made my intent with
Allah a pure intent and a sincere, and I have severed my
expectation from the help of the creature; and whoso seeketh aid
of Allah findeth of his desire that which Bakhtzam\xE1n found."
Quoth the king, "Who was Bakhtzaman and what is his story?" and
quoth the youth, "Hear, O king,

The Story of King Bakhtzaman.[FN#201]

There was once a king of the kings, whose name was Bakhtzaman, and
he was a great eater and drinker and carouser. Now enemies of his
made their appearance in certain parts of his realm, which they
coveted; and one of his friends said to him, "O king, the foe
intendeth for thee: be on thy guard against him." Quoth
Bakhtzaman, "I reck not of him, for that I have weapons and wealth
and warmen and am not afraid of aught." Then said his friends to
him, "Ask aid of Allah, O king, for He will help thee more than
thy wealth and thy weapons and thy warriors." But he turned a
deaf ear to the speech of his loyal counsellors, and presently
the enemy came upon him and waged war upon him and got the
victory over him and profited him naught his trust in other than
Allah the Most High. So he fled from him and seeking one of the
sovrans, said to him, "I come to thee and lay hold upon thy
skirts and take refuge with thee, so thou mayst help me against
my foe." The king gave him money and men and a mighty many and
Bakhtzaman said in himself, "Now am I fortified with this force
and needs must I conquer my foe with such combatants and overcome
him;" but he said not, "With the aid of Allah Almighty." So his
enemy met him and overcame him again and he was defeated and put
to the rout and fled at random: his troops were dispersed from
him and his money lost and the enemy pursued him. Thereupon he
sought the sea and passing over to the other side, saw a great
city and therein a mighty citadel. He asked its name and that of
its owner, and they said to him, "It belongeth to
Khad\xEDd\xE1n[FN#202] the king." So he fared on till he came to the
royal palace and concealing his condition, passed himself off for
a horseman[FN#203] and sought service with King Khadidan, who
attached him to his attendance and entreated him with honour; but
his heart still clung to his mother-land and his home. Presently,
it chanced that an enemy came out against King Khadidan; so he
sent his troops to meet him and made Bakhtzaman head of the host.
Then they went forth to the field and Khadidan also came forth
and ranged his troops and levelled lance and sallied out in
person and fought a sore fight and overcame his foe, who with his
troops ignominiously fled. When the king and his army returned in
triumph, Bakhtzaman said to him, "Harkye, O king! This be a
strange thing I see in thee that thou art compassed about with
this mighty great army, yet dost thou apply thyself in person to
battle and adventurest thy life." Quoth the king, "Dost thou call
thyself a knight and a learned wight and deemest that victory is
in the many of men?" Quoth Bakhtzaman, "Such is indeed my
belief." And Khadidan the king cried, "By Allah, then, thou
errest in this thy belief!" presently adding, "woe and again woe
to him whose trust is in other than Allah! Indeed, this army is
appointed only for phantasy and majesty, and victory is from
Allah alone. I too, O Bakhtzaman, whilome believed that victory
was in the number of men,[FN#204] and an enemy came out against
me with eight hundred head, whilst I had eight hundred thousand.
I trusted in the tale of my troops, whilst my foe trusted in
Allah, so he defeated me and routed me and I was put to a
shameful flight and hid myself in one of the mountains, where I
met with a Religious who had withdrawn himself from the world. So
I joined myself to him and complained to him of my case and
acquainted him with all that had befallen me. Quoth the Recluse,
'Wottest thou why this befel thee and thou wast defeated?' Quoth
I, 'I know not;' and he said, 'Because thou didst put thy trust
in the multitude of thy warmen and reliedst not upon Allah the
Most High. Hadst thou put thy trust in the Almighty and believed
of Him that it is He alone who advantageth and endamageth thee,
never had thy foe availed to cope with thee. Return unto Allah.'
So I returned to my right senses, and repented at the hands of
that Religious, who said to me, 'Turn back with what remaineth to
thee of troops and confront thy foes, for, if their intents be
changed and turned away from Allah, thou wilt overcome them, e'en
wert thou alone.' When I heard the Solitary's words, I put my
trust in Allah of All-Might; and, gathering together those who
remained with me, fell upon mine enemies at unawares in the
night. They deemed us many and fled with the shamefullest flight,
whereupon I entered my city and repossessed myself of my place by
the might of Almighty Allah, and now I fight not but trusting in
His aid." When Bakhtzaman heard these words he awoke from his
heedlessness and cried, "Extolled be the perfection of God the
Great! O king, this is my case and my story, nothing added and
naught subtracted, for I am King Bakhtzaman and all this happened
to me: wherefore I will seek the gate of Allah's mercy and repent
unto Him." So he went forth to one of the mountains and
worshipped Allah there awhile, till one night, as he slept, a
personage appeared to him in a dream and said to him, "O
Bakhtzaman, Allah accepteth thy repentance and openeth on thee
the door of succour and will aid thee against thy foe." When he
was assured of this in the dream, he arose and turned back,
intending for his own city; and when he drew near thereunto, he
saw a company of the king's retainers, who said to him, "Whence
art thou? We see that thou art a foreigner and fear for thee from
this king, for that every stranger who entereth this city, he
destroyeth him, of his dread of King Bakhtzaman." Said
Bakhtzaman, "None shall prejudice him nor profit him save Allah
the Most High." And they replied. "Indeed, he hath a vast army
and his heart is fortified in the multitude of his many." When
King Bakhtzaman heard this, his mind was comforted and he said to
himself, "I place my trust in Allah. An He will, I shall overcome
mine enemy by the might of the Lord of Omnipotence." So he said
to the folk, "Wot ye not who I am?" and they said, "No, by
Allah." Cried he, "I am King Bakhtzaman." When they heard this
and knew that it was indeed he, they dismounted from their horses
and kissed his stirrup, to do him honour, and said to him, "O
king, why thus risk thy life?" Quoth he, "Indeed, my life is a
light matter to me and I set my trust in Almighty Allah, looking
to Him for protection." And quoth they, "May that suffice thee!"
presently adding, "We will do with thee that which is in our
power and whereof thou art worthy: hearten thy heart, for we will
succour thee with our substance and our existence, and we are his
chief officers and the most in favour with him of all folk. So we
will take thee with us and cause the lieges follow after thee,
because the inclination of the people, all of them, is
theewards." Said he, "Do whatso Allah Almighty enableth you to
do." So they carried him into the city and hid him with them.
Then they agreed with a company of the king's chief officers, who
had aforetime been those of Bakhtzaman, and acquainted them with
this; whereat they rejoiced with joy exceeding. Then they
assembled together to Bakhtzaman, and made a covenant and
handfast of fealty with him and fell upon the foe and slew him
and seated King Bakhtzaman again on the throne of his kingship.
And his affairs prospered and Allah amended his estate and
restored to him His bounty, and he ruled his subjects justly and
abode in the obedience of the Almighty. "On this wise, O king"
(continued the young treasurer), "he with whom Allah is and whose
intent is pure, meeteth naught save good. As for me, I have no
helper other than the Almighty, and I am content to submit myself
to His ordinance, for that He knoweth the purity of my intent."
With this the king's wrath subsided and he said, "Return him to
the prison till the morrow, so we may look into his case."

                        The Seventh Day.

Of Clemency.

When it was the seventh day, the seventh Wazir, whose name was
Bihkam\xE1l,[FN#205] came in to the king and prostrating himself to
him, said, "O king, what doth thy long-suffering with this youth
profit thee? Indeed the folk talk of thee and of him. Why, then,
dost thou postpone the putting him to death?" The Minister's
words aroused the anger of the king, and he bade bring the youth.
So they fetched him before him in fetters and Azadbakht said to
him, "Ho, woe to thee! By Allah, after this day there abideth no
deliverance for thee from my hand, by reason that thou hast
outraged mine honour, and there can be no forgiveness for thee."
The youth replied, "O king, there is no great forgiveness save in
case of a great default, for according as the offence is great in
so much magnified is mercy; and it is no grace to the like of
thee if he spare the like of me. Verily, Allah knoweth that there
is no crime in me, and indeed He commandeth to clemency, and no
clemency is greater than that which spareth from slaughter, for
that thy pardon of him whom thou purposest to put to death is as
the quickening of a dead man; and whoso doth evil shall find it
before him, even as it was with King Bihkard." Asked the king,
"And what is the story of King Bihkard?" And the youth answered,
"Hear, O king,

The Story of King Bihkard.[FN#206]

There was once a king named Bihkard, and he had mickle of wealth
and many troops; but his deeds were evil and he would punish for
a slight offence, and he never forgave any offender. He went
forth one day to hunt and a certain of his pages shot a shaft,
which lit on the king's ear and cut it off. Bihkard cried, "Who
shot that arrow?" So the guards brought him in haste the
misdemeanant, whose name was Yatr\xFA,[FN#207] and he of his fear
fell down on the ground in a fainting fit. Then quoth the king,
"Slay him;" but Yatru said, "O king, this which hath befallen was
not of my choice nor of my knowledge; so do thou pardon me, in
the hour of thy power over me, for that mercy is of the goodliest
of deeds and belike it shall be in this world a provision and a
good work for which thou shalt be repaid one of these days, and a
treasure laid up to thine account with Allah in the world to
come. Pardon me, therefore, and fend off evil from me, so shall
Allah fend off from thee the like evil." When the king beard
this, it pleased him and he pardoned the page, albeit he had
never before pardoned any. Now this page was of the sons of the
kings and had fled from his sire on account of a sin he had
committed: then he went and took service with Bihkard the king,
and there happened to him what happened. After a while, it
chanced that a man recognised him and went and told his father,
who sent him a letter, comforting his heart and mind and calling
upon him to return to him. Accordingly he returned to his father,
who came forth to meet him and rejoiced in him, and the Prince's
affairs were set right with his sire. Now it befel, one day of
the days, that king Bihkard shipped him in a ship and put out to
sea, so he might fish: but the wind blew on them and the craft
sank. The king made the land upon a plank, unknown of any, and
came forth, mother-naked, on one of the coasts; and it chanced
that he landed in the country whereof the father of the page
aforesaid was king. So he came in the night to the gate of the
sovran's capital, and finding it shut, lodged him in a
burying-place there. When the morning morrowed and the folk came
forth of the city, behold, they found a man lately murthered and
cast down in a corner of the burial ground, and seeing Bihkard
there, doubted not but it was he who had slain him during the
night; so they laid hands on him and carried him up to the king
and said to him, "This fellow hath slain a man." The king bade
imprison him; whereupon they threw him in jail, and he fell to
saying in himself, what while he was in the prison, "All that
hath befallen me is of the abundance of my sins and my tyranny,
for, indeed, I have slain much people unrighteously and this is
the requital of my deeds and that which I have wrought whilome of
oppression." As he was thus pondering in himself, there came a
bird and lighted down on the pinnacle of the prison, whereupon,
of his passing eagerness in the chase, he took a stone and threw
it at the bird. Now the king's son was playing in the
exercise-ground with the ball and the bat,[FN#208] and the stone
lit on his ear and cut it off, whereupon the Prince fell down in
a fit. So they enquired who had thrown the stone and finding that
it was Bihkard, took him and carried him before the king's son,
who bade do him die. Accordingly, they cast the turband from his
head and were about to fillet his eyes, when the Prince looked at
him and seeing him cropped of an ear, said to him, "But for thy
villainies thine ear had not been cut off." Said Bihkard, "Not
so, by Allah! Nay, but the story of the loss of my ear is so and
so, and I pardoned him who smote me with an arrow and cut off my
ear." When the prince heard this, he looked in his face and
knowing him, cried out and said, "Art thou not Bihkard the king?"
"Yes," replied he, and the Prince said to him, "What ill chance
threw thee here?" Thereupon he told him all that had betided him
and the folk wondered and extolled the perfection of the
Almighty, crying "Subh\xE1na 'llah!\x97laud to the Lord!" Then the
Prince rose to him and embraced him and kissed him and,
entreating him with respect, seated him in a chair and bestowed
on him a robe of honour; and he turned to his sire and said to
him, "This be the king who pardoned me and this be his ear which
I cut off with a shaft; and indeed he deserveth my pardon by
having pardoned me." Then said he to Bihkard, "Verily, the issue
of mercy hath been a provision for thee in such hour as this."
And they entreated him with the utmost kindness and sent him back
to his own country in all honour. "Know, then, O king" (continued
the youth), "that there is no goodlier quality than mercy and
that all thou dost of clemency, thou shalt find before thee a
treasure for thee treasured up." When the king heard this, his
wrath subsided and he said, "Return him to the prison till the
morrow, so we may look into his case.

                        The Eighth Day.

Of Envy and Malice.

When it was the eighth day, the Wazirs all assembled and had
speech together and said, "How shall we do with this youth, who
overcometh us with his much talk? Indeed, we fear lest he be
saved and we fall into destruction. So, let us all go in to the
king and unite our efforts to gain our cause, ere he appear
without guilt and come forth and get the better of us."
Accordingly they all went in to the king and prostrating
themselves before him, said to him, "O king, beware lest this
youth ensorcell thee with his sorcery and beguile thee with his
wiles. An thou heardest what we hear, thou wouldst not suffer him
live; no, not a single day. Wherefore heed not his speech, for we
are thy Ministers, who endeavour for thy permanence, and if thou
hearken not to our word, to whose word wilt thou hearken? See, we
are ten Wazirs who testify against this youth that he is guilty
and entered not the king's sleeping chamber save with ill intent,
so he might put the king to shame and outrage his honour; and if
the king slay him not, let him banish him his realm, that the
tongue of the folk may desist from him." When the king heard his
Ministers' words, he was wroth with exceeding wrath and bade
bring the youth, and when he came in to the king, the Wazirs all
cried out with one voice, saying, "O Lack-wits, thinkest thou to
save thyself from slaughter by guile and sleight, that thou
wilest the king with thy talk and hopest pardon for the like of
this mighty great crime thou hast committed?" Then the king bade
fetch the sworder, so he might smite his neck; whereupon each of
the Wazirs fell to saying, "I will slay him;" and they sprang
upon him. Quoth the youth, "O king, consider and ponder the
eagerness of these thy Ministers. Is this of envy or is it not?
They would fain make severance between me and thee, so there may
fall to them what they shall plunder, as aforetime." And the king
said to him, "Consider their witness against thee." The young man
said, "O king, how shall they testify of that which they saw
not?[FN#209] This is but envy and despight; and thou, an thou
slay me, wilt indeed regret me, and I fear lest there betide thee
of repentance that which betided Ayl\xE1n Sh\xE1h, by reason of the
malice of his Wazirs." Asked Azadbakht, "And what is his story?"
and the youth answered, "Hear, O king,

The Story of Aylan Shah and Abu Tammam.[FN#210]

Whilome there was a merchant named Abu Tamm\xE1m, and he was a
clever man and a well-bred, quick-witted and truthful in all his
affairs, and he was monied to boot. Now there was in his land a
king as unjust as he was jealous, and Abu Tammam feared for his
wealth from this king and said, "I will remove hence to another
place where I shall not be in dread." So he made for the city of
Ayl\xE1n Sh\xE1h and built himself a palace therein and transporting
his wealth thither, took up his abode there. Presently, the news
of him reached King Aylan Shah; so he sent to invite him to his
presence and said to him, "We know of thy coming to us and thine
entering under our allegiance, and indeed we have heard of thine
excellence and wit and generosity; so welcome to thee and fair
welcome! The land is thy land and at thy command, and whatsoever
need thou needest of us, 'tis already accomplished to thee; and
it behoveth that thou be near our person and of our assembly."
Abu Tammam prostrated himself before the king, and said to him,
"O king, I will serve thee with my monies and with my life, but
do thou excuse me from nearness to thee, for that an I took
office about thee, I should not be safe from enemies and
enviers." Then he applied himself to the royal service with
presents and largesses, and the king saw him to be intelligent,
well-bred and of good counsel; so his heart inclined to him and
he committed to him the ordinance of his affairs and the power to
bind and to loose was in his hand. Now Aylan Shah had three
Wazirs, in whose hands public affairs were wont to be and they
had been accustomed not to quit the king night or day; but they
became shut out from him by reason of Abu Tammam and the king was
occupied with him to their exclusion. Herewith the Ministers took
counsel together upon the matter and said, "What is your rede we
should do, seeing that the king is occupied from us with yonder
man, and indeed he honoureth him with more honour than us? But
now come, let us devise some device whereby we may alienate him
from the king." So each of them spoke forth that which was in his
mind, and one of them said, "The king of the Turks hath a
daughter, whose like there is not in the world, and whatso
messenger goeth to demand her in marriage, him her father
slaughtereth. Now our king hath no knowledge of this; so, come,
let us foregather with him and bring up the mention of her: when
his heart is taken with her, we will advise him to dispatch Abu
Tammam to seek her hand in marriage; whereupon her father will
slay him and we shall be quit of him and settle his affair once
for all." Accordingly, they went in to the king one day (Abu
Tammam being present among them), and mentioned the affair of the
damsel, the daughter of the Turks' king, and enlarged upon her
charms, till the king's heart was taken with her and he said to
them, "We will send one to demand her to wife for us; but who
shall be our messenger?" Quoth the Wazirs, "There is none fit for
this business but Abu Tammam, by reason of his wit and good
breeding;" and the king said, "Indeed, even as ye say, none is
fitting for this affair save he." Then he turned to Abu Tammam
and said to him, "Wilt thou not go with my message and seek me in
marriage the daughter of the Turks' king?" and he answered, "To
hear is to obey, O my Sovran!" So they made ready his affair and
the king conferred on him a robe of honour, and he took with him
a present and a letter under the king's hand and setting out,
fared on till he came to the capital city of Turkistan. When the
king of the Turks knew of his coming, he despatched his officers
to receive him and entreated him with honour and lodged him as
befitted his rank. Then he guested him three days, after which
time he summoned him to his presence and Abu Tammam went in to
him; and, prostrating himself as beseemeth before kings, laid
that present before him and gave him the letter. The king read
the writ and said to Abu Tammam, "We will do what behoveth in the
matter; but, O Abu Tammam, needs must thou view my daughter and
she view thee, and needs must thou hear her speech and she hear
thine." So saying, he sent him to the lodging of the Princess,
who had had notice of this; so that they had adorned her
sitting-room with the costliest that might be of vessels of gold
and silver and the like, and she seated herself on a chair of
gold, clad in the richest of royal robes and ornaments. When Abu
Tammam entered, he took thought and said, "The wise declare that
whoso governeth his sight shall suffer naught unright and he who
guardeth his tongue shall hear naught of foul taunt, and he who
keepeth watch over his hand, it shall be lengthened and not
shortened."[FN#211] So he entered and seating himself on the
floor, cast down his eyes and covered his hands and feet with his
dress.[FN#212] Quoth the king's daughter to him, "Raise thy head,
O Abu Tammam, and look on me and speak with me." But he spake not
neither raised his head, and she continued, "They sent thee only
to view me and talk with me, and yet behold thou sayest not a
word;" presently adding, "Take of these union-pearls that be
round thee and of these jewels and gold and silver." But he put
not forth his hand to aught, and when she saw that he paid no
heed to anything, she was angry and cried, "They have messaged me
with a messenger, blind, dumb, deaf." Then she sent to acquaint
her father with this; whereupon the king called Abu Tammam to him
and said to him, "Thou camest not save to view my daughter: why,
then, hast thou not looked upon her?" Quoth Abu Tammam, "I saw
everything;" and quoth the king, "Why didst thou not take
somewhat of that which thou sawest of jewels and the like? Indeed
they were set out for thee." But he answered, "It behoveth me not
to put out my hand to aught that is not mine." When the king
heard his speech, he gave him a sumptuous robe of honour and
loved him muchly[FN#213] and said to him, "Come, look at this
well." So Abu Tammam went up to the pit-mouth and looked, and
behold, it was full of heads of the sons of Adam, and the king
said to him, "These are the heads of envoys whom I slew, because
I saw them without loyalty to their lords, and I was used, whenas
I beheld an envoy without good manners, to say, 'He who sent him
is worsemannered than he, because the messenger is the tongue of
him who sendeth him and his breeding is of his master's breeding;
and whoso is after this fashion, it befitteth not that he be akin
to me.'[FN#214] For this reason I used to put the envoys to
death; but, as for thee, thou hast overcome us and won my
daughter, of the excellence of thy manners; so hearten thy heart,
for she is thy lord's." Then he sent him back to King Aylan Shah
with presents and rarities and a letter, saying, "This that I
have done is in honour of thee and of thine envoy." When Abu
Tammam returned after accomplishing his mission and brought the
presents and the letter, King Aylan Shah rejoiced in this and
redoubled all his favours and showed him honour the highest. Some
days after, the King of Turkistan sent his daughter and she went
in to King Aylan Shah, who rejoiced in her with exceeding joy and
Abu Tammam's worth was exalted in the royal sight. When the
Wazirs saw this, they redoubled in envy and despite and said,
"'An we contrive us not a contrivance to rid us of this man, we
shall die of rage." So they bethought them and agreed upon a
device they should practise. Then they betook themselves to two
boys, pages affected to the service of the king, who slept not
but on their knee,[FN#215] and they lay at his head, for that
they were his bed-chamber pages. So the Ministers gave them each
a thousand dinars of gold, saying, "We desire of you that ye do
somewhat we require and take this gold as a provision against
your time of need." Quoth the lads, "What is it ye would have us
do?" and quoth the Wazirs, "This Abu Tammam hath marred matters
for us, and if his case abide in this way, he will remove us all
from the king's favour; and what we want of you twain is that,
when ye are alone with the king and he leaneth back, as he were
asleep, one of you say to his fellow, 'Verily, the king hath
taken Abu Tammam into high favour and hath advanced him to
exalted rank, yet he is a transgressor against the king's honour
and an accursed wight.' Then let the other of you ask, 'And what
is his transgression?' and let the first answer, 'He outrageth
the king's honour and saith, the King of Turkistan was used, when
a messenger went to him to seek his daughter in marriage, to slay
him; but me he spared, because she liked me, and by reason of
this her sire sent her hither, for that she loved me.' Then let
the other say, 'Knowest thou this for truth?' and let the first
reply, 'By Allah, this is familiar to all the folk, but, of their
fear of the king, they dare not divulge it to him; and as often
as the king is absent a-hunting or a-wayfaring, Abu Tammam cometh
to her and is private with her.'" Whereupon the boys answered,
"We will say this." Accordingly, one night, when they were alone
with the king and he leant back, as he were asleep, they said
these words and the king heard all and was like to die of fury
and despite and said to himself, "These are young boys, not come
to years of discretion, and have no business with any; and unless
they had heard these words from some one, they had not spoken
thereof each with other." When it was morning wrath overmastered
him, so that he stayed not neither deliberated, but summoned Abu
Tammam and taking him apart, said to him, "Whoso guardeth not the
honour of his liege lord,[FN#216] what deserveth he?" Said Abu
Tammam, "He deserveth that his lord guard not his honour." Aylan
Shah continued, "And whoso entereth the king's house and playeth
traitor with him, what behoveth unto him?" and Abu Tammam
replied, "He shall not be left alive." Whereupon the king spat in
his face and said to him, "Both these deeds hast thou done." Then
he drew his poinard on him in haste and smiting him in the belly,
slit it and Abu Tammam died forthright; whereupon the king
dragged him along and cast him into a well that was in his
palace. After he had slain him, he fell into repentance and
mourning increased and chagrin waxed sore upon him, and he would
acquaint none who questioned him with the cause, nor, of his love
for his wife, did he tell her of this, and whenever she asked him
wherefore he grieved, he answered her not. When the Wazirs knew
of Abu Tammam's death, they rejoiced with exceeding joy and knew
that the king's sorrow arose from regret for him. As for Aylan
Shah, after this he used to betake himself by night to the
sleeping-chamber of the two boys and spy upon them, that he might
hear what they said concerning his wife. As he stood one night
privily at the door of their chamber, he saw them spread out the
gold between their hands and play with it and heard one of them
say, "Woe to us! What doth this gold profit us? Indeed we cannot
buy therewith any thing nor spend it upon ourselves. Nay, but we
have sinned against Abu Tammam and done him dead unjustly." And
said the other, "Had we known that the king would slay him on the
spot, we had not done what we did." When the king heard that, he
could not contain himself, but rushed in upon them and said to
them, "Woe to you! What did ye? Tell me." And they cried,
"Am\xE1n,[FN#217] O king!" He cried, "An ye would have pardon from
Allah and me, you are bound to tell me the truth, for nothing
shall save you from me but soothfastness." Hereat they prostrated
themselves before him and said, "By Allah, O king, the Wazirs
gave us this gold and taught us to lie against Abu Tammam, so
thou mightest kill him, and what we said was their speech." When
the king heard this, he plucked at his beard, till he was like to
tear it up by the roots and bit upon his fingers, till he well
nigh cut them in twain, for repentance and sorrow that he had
wrought hastily and had not delayed with Abu Tammam, so he might
consider his case. Then he sent for the Ministers and said to
them, "O villainous Wazirs, ye deemed that Allah was heedless of
your deed, but right soon shall your wickedness revert upon you.
Know ye not that whoso diggeth for his brother a pit shall
himself fall into it?[FN#218] Take from me the punishment of this
world and to-morrow ye shall receive the punishment of the next
world and requital from Allah." Then he bade put them to death;
so the headsman smote off their heads before the king, and he
went in to his wife and acquainted her with whatso he had misdone
to Abu Tammam; whereupon she grieved for him with mighty great
grief and the king and his household ceased not weeping and
repenting all their lives. Moreover, they brought Abu Tammam
forth of the well and the king built him a dome[FN#219] in his
palace and buried him therein. "See, then, O auspicious king"
(continued the youth), "what jealousy doth and injustice and how
Allah caused the Wazirs' malice to revert upon their own necks;
and I trust in the Almighty that He will empower me over all who
envy me my favour with the king and show forth the truth unto
him. Indeed, I dread naught for my life from death; only I fear
lest the king repent of my slaughter, for that I am guiltless of
offence, and if I knew that I were guilty on any wise, my tongue
would be dumb-struck." When the king heard this, he bowed his
head groundwards in perplexity and confusion and said, "Restore
him to the prison till the morrow, so we may look into his case."

                         The Ninth Day.

Of Destiny or That Which is Written on the Forehead.

Now when it was the ninth day, the Wazirs met and said one to
other, "Verily, this youth baffleth us, for as often as the king
is minded to kill him, he beguileth him and bewitcheth him with a
story; so what be your rede we should do, that we may slay him
and be at rest from him?" Then they advised together and agreed
that they should go to the king's wife.[FN#220] So they betook
themselves to her and said to her, "Thou art careless of this
affair wherein thou art and this uncare shall not profit thee;
whilst the king, occupied with eating and drinking and diversion,
forgetteth that the folk beat upon tambourines and sing of thee
and say, The wife of the king loveth the youth; and as long as he
abideth alive the talk will increase and not diminish." Quoth
she, "By Allah, 'twas ye egged me on against him, and what shall
I do now?" and quoth they, "Go thou in to the king and weep and
say to him, 'Verily, the women come to me and inform me that I am
dishonoured throughout the city, and what is thine advantage in
the sparing of this youth? An thou wilt not slay him, slay me to
the end that this talk may be cut off from us.'" So the woman
arose and rending her raiment, went in to the king, in the
presence of the Wazirs, and cast herself upon him, saying, "O
king, is my shame not upon thee or fearest thou not shame?
Indeed, this is not the fashion of kings that their jealousy over
their women should be such as this.[FN#221] Thou art heedless and
all the folk of the realm prate of thee, men and women. Either
slay him, that the talk may be cut off, or slay me, if thy soul
will not consent to his slaughter." Thereupon the king's wrath
waxed hot and he said to her, "I have no pleasure in his
continuance and needs must I slay him this very day. So return to
thy palace and solace thy heart." Then he bade fetch the youth;
whereupon they brought him before him and the Wazirs said, "O base
of base, fie upon thee! Thy life-term is at hand and earth
hungereth for thy flesh, so it may make a meal of it." But he
said to them, "Death is not in your word or in your envy; nay, it
is a destiny written upon the forehead: wherefore, if aught be
writ upon my front, there is no help but it come to pass, and
neither striving nor thought-taking nor precaution-seeking shall
deliver me therefrom; even as happened to King Ibrahim and his
son." Quoth the king, "Who was King Ibrahim and who was his son?"
and quoth the youth "Hear, O king,

The Story of King Ibrahim and his Son.[FN#222]

There was once a king of the kings, Sultan Ibrahim hight, to whom
the sovrans abased themselves and did obedience; but he had no
son and was straitened of breast because of that, fearing lest
the kingship go forth of his hand. He ceased not to long for a
son and to buy slave-girls and lie with them, till one of them
conceived, whereat he rejoiced with passing joy and gave great
gifts and the largest largesse. When the girl's months were
complete and the time of her lying-in drew near, the king
summoned the astrologers and they watched for the hour of
child-bearing and raised their astrolabes and carefully noted the
time. The hand-maid gave birth to a man-child, whereat the king
rejoiced exceedingly, and the people congratulated one another
with this glad news. Then the astrophils made their calculations
and looked into his nativity and his ascendant, whereupon their
colour changed and they were confounded. Quoth the king to them,
"Acquaint me with his horoscope and ye shall have assurance of
pardon and have naught to fear."[FN#223] They replied, "O king,
this princely child's nativity denoteth that, in the seventh year
of his age, there is fearful danger for him from a lion, which
shall attempt to rend him: and if he be saved from the lion,
there will betide a matter yet sorer and more grievous even than
that." Asked the king, "What is it?" and they answered, "We will
not speak, except the king command us and give us assurance from
fear." Quoth the king, "Allah assure you!" and quoth they, "An he
be saved from the lion, the king's destruction shall be at his
hand." When the king heard this, his complexion changed and his
breast was straitened; but he said to himself, "I will be
watchful and do my endeavour and suffer not the lion to eat him.
It cannot be that he will kill me, and indeed 'The astrologers
lied.'"[FN#224] Then he caused rear him among the wet-nurses and
the noble matrons;[FN#225] but withal he ceased not to ponder the
prediction of the astrophils and verily his life was troubled. So
he betook himself to the top of a high mountain and hollowed
there a deep excavation[FN#226] and made in it many
dwelling-places and rooms and filled it with all that was needful
of rations and raiment and what not else and laid in it
pipe-conduits of water from the mountain and lodged the boy
therein, with a nurse who should rear him. Moreover, at the first
of each month he used to go to the mountain and stand at the
mouth of the hollow and let down a rope he had with him and draw
up the boy to him and strain him to his bosom and kiss him and
play with him awhile, after which he would let him down again to
his place and return; and he was wont to count the days till the
seven years should pass by. Now when arrived the time of the Fate
foreordered and the Fortune graven on the forehead and there
remained for the boy but ten days till the seven years should be
complete, there came to that mountain hunters chasing wild beasts
and, seeing a lion, they attacked him. He fled from them and
seeking refuge in the mountain, fell into the hollow in its
midst. The nurse saw him forthwith and escaped from him into one
of the chambers; upon which the lion made for the lad and seizing
upon him, tare his shoulder, after which he sought the room
wherein was the nurse and falling upon her, devoured her, whilst
the boy lay in a swoon. Meanwhile, when the huntsmen saw that the
lion had fallen into the pit, they came to the mouth and heard
the shrieking of the boy and the woman; and after awhile the
cries died away, whereby they knew that the lion had slain them.
Presently, as they stood by the mouth of the excavation behold,
the lion came scrambling up the sides and would have issued
forth: but, as often as he showed his head, they pelted him with
stones, till they beat him down and he fell; whereupon one of the
hunters descended into the pit and despatched him and saw the boy
wounded; after which he went to the chamber, where he found the
woman dead, and indeed the lion had eaten his fill of her. Then
he noted that which was therein of clothes and what not else, and
notifying his mates, fell to passing the stuff up to them:
lastly, he took up the boy and bringing him forth of the pit,
carried him to their dwelling-place where they dressed his
wounds. He grew up with them, but acquainted them not with his
affair; and indeed, when they questioned him, he knew not what he
should say, because they let him down into the pit when he was a
little one. The hunters marvelled at his speech and loved him
with exceeding love and one of them took him to son and abode
rearing him by his side and training him in hunting and
horse-riding, till he reached the age of twelve and became a
brave, going forth with the folk to the chase and to the cutting
of the way. Now it chanced one day that they sallied forth to
stop the road and fell in with a caravan during the night: but
its stout fellows were on their guard; so they joined battle with
the robbers and overcame them and slew them and the boy fell
wounded and tarried cast down in that place till the morrow, when
he opened his eyes and finding his comrades slain, lifted himself
up and arose to walk the road. Presently, there met him a man, a
treasure-seeker, and asked him, "Whither away, O lad?" So he told
him what had betided him and the other said, "Be of good heart,
for that the tide of thy good fortune is come and Allah bringeth
thee joy and gladness. I am one who am in quest of a hidden
treasure, wherein is a mighty mickle of wealth. So come with me
that thou mayst help me, and I will give thee monies with which
thou shalt provide thyself all thy life long." Then he carried
the youth to his dwelling and dressed his wounds, and he tarried
with him some days till he was rested; when the treasure-seeker
took him and two beasts and all that he needed, and they fared on
till they came to a towering highland. Here the man brought out a
book and reading therein, dug in the crest of the mountain five
cubits deep, whereupon there appeared to him a stone. He pulled
it up and behold it was a trap-door covering the mouth of a pit.
So he waited till the foul air[FN#227] was come forth from the
midst of the pit, when he bound a rope about the lad's middle and
let him down bucket-wise to the bottom, and with him a lighted
waxen taper. The boy looked and beheld, at the upper end of the
pit, wealth abundant; so the treasure-seeker let down a rope and
a basket and the boy fell to filling and the man to drawing up,
till the fellow had got his sufficiency, when he loaded his
beasts and ceased working, whilst the boy looked for him to let
down the rope and draw him up; but he rolled a great stone to the
mouth of the pit and went his ways. When the boy saw what the
treasure-seeker had done with him, he relied upon Allah (extolled
and exalted be He!) and abode perplexed concerning his case and
said, "How bitter be this death!" for indeed the world was
darkened on him and the pit was blinded to him. So he fell
a-weeping and saying, "I escaped the lion and the robbers and now
is my death to be in this pit, where I shall die by slow
degrees." And he abode perplexed and looked for nothing but
death. But as he stood pondering, behold, he heard a sound of
water rushing with a thunderous noise; so he arose and walked in
the pit, following the sound, till he came to a corner and heard
the mighty coursing of water. Then he laid his ear to the sound
of the current and hearing it rushing in great strength, said to
himself, "This is the flowing of a mighty watercourse and needs
must I depart life in this place, be it to-day or to-morrow; so I
will throw myself into the stream and not die a slow death in
this pit." Thereupon he called up his courage and gathering up
his skirts, cast himself into the water, and it bore him along
with force exceeding and carrying him under the earth, stayed not
till it brought him out into a deep Wady, adown which ran a great
river, that welled up from under the ground. When he found
himself on the face of earth, he abode dazed and a-swoon all that
day; after which he came to himself and rising, fared on along
that valley; and he ceased not his wayfare, praising Almighty
Allah the while, till he came to an inhabited land and a great
village in the reign of the king his sire. So he entered and
foregathered with the villagers, who questioned him of his case;
whereupon he told them his tale, and they admired how Allah had
delivered him from all those dangers. Then he took up his abode
with them and they loved him much. On this wise happened it to
him; but as regards the king, his father, when he went to the
pit, as was his wont, and called the nurse, she returned him no
answer, whereat his breast was straitened and he let down a man
who found the woman dead and the boy gone and acquainted
therewith the king, who when he heard this, buffeted his head and
wept with sore weeping and descended into the midst of the pit
that he might see how the case stood. There he espied the nurse
slain and the lion dead, but beheld not the boy; so he returned
and acquainted the astrologers with the soothfastness of their
saying, and they replied, "O king, the lion hath eaten him;
destiny hath been wroughten upon him and thou art delivered from
his hand; for, had he been saved from the lion, we indeed, by
Allah, had feared for thee from him, because the king's
destruction would have been at his hand." So the king ceased to
sorrow for this and the days passed by and the affair was
forgotten. Meanwhile the boy grew up and abode with the people of
the village, and when Allah willed the accomplishing of His
commandment, which no endeavour availeth to avert, he went forth
with a party of the villagers to cut the way. The folk complained
to King Ibrahim his father, who sallied out with a company of his
men and surrounded the highwaymen. Now that boy was with them,
and he drew forth an arrow and launched it at them, and it smote
the king and wounded him in a mortal place. So they carried him
to his palace, after they had laid hands upon the youth and his
comrades and brought them before the sovran, saying, "What
biddest us to do with them?" Quoth he, "I am presently in trouble
for myself, so bring me the astrologers." Accordingly, they
brought them before him and he said to them, "Ye said to me Thy
death shall be by slaying at the hand of thy son: how, then,
befalleth it that I have got my death-hurt by yonder thieves?"
The astrologers marvelled and said to him, "O king, 'tis not
beyond the lore of the stars, together with the doom of Allah,
that he who hath smitten thee should be thy son." When King
Ibrahim heard this, he bade fetch the thieves and said to them,
"Tell me truly, which of you shot the shaft that wounded me."
Said they, "'Twas this youth that is with us." Whereupon the king
fell to considering him and said, "O youth, acquaint me with thy
case and tell me who was thy father and thou shalt have assurance
of safety from Allah." The youth replied, "O my lord, I know no
father; as for me, my father lodged me in a pit, with a nurse to
rear me, and one day, there fell in upon us a lion, which tare my
shoulder, then left me and occupied himself with the nurse and
rent her in pieces; and Allah vouchsafed me one who brought me
forth the pit." Then he related to him all that had befallen him,
first and last; which when King Ibrahim heard, he cried out and
said, "By Allah, this is my son!" presently adding, "Bare thy
shoulder." So he uncovered it, and behold, it was scarred. Then
the king assembled his lords and lieges and the astrologers and
said to them, "Know that what Allah hath writ upon the forehead,
be it fair fortune or misfortune, none may efface, and all that
is decreed to a man must perforce befal him. Indeed, this my
care-taking and my endeavour profited me naught, for what weird
Allah decreed for my son, he hath dreed and whatso He decreed to
me I have endured. Nevertheless, I praise Allah and thank Him
because this was at my son's hand, and not at the hand of
another, and Alhamdolillah\x97laud to the Lord\x97for that the
kingship is come to my son!" And he strained the youth to his
bosom and embraced him and kissed him, saying "O my son, this
matter was after such fashion, and of my watchfulness over thee
from Fate, I lodged thee in that pit; but caretaking availed
not." Then he took the crown of the kingship and set it on his
son's head and caused the lieges and the people do homage to him
and commended the subjects to his care and enjoined to him
justice and equity. And he farewelled him that night and died and
his son reigned in his stead.[FN#228] "On like wise, O king"
(continued the young treasurer), "'tis with thee. If Allah have
written aught on my forehead, needs must it befal me and my
speech to the king shall not avail me; no, nor my illustrating it
to him with instances, against the doom of Allah. And so it is
with these Wazirs, for all their eagerness and endeavour for my
destruction, this shall not profit them; because, if Allah
determine to save me, He will give me the victory over them."
When the king heard these words he became perplexed and said,
"Return him to the prison till the morrow, so we may look into
his affair, for the day draweth to an end and I mean to do him
dead in foulest sort, and to-morrow we will visit him with that
which he meriteth."

                         The Tenth Day.

Of the Appointed Term,[FN#229] Which, if it be Advanced, may
not be Deferred, and if it be Deferred, may not be Advanced.

When it was the tenth day (now this day was called
Al-Mihrj\xE1n[FN#230] and it was the day of the coming in of the
folk, gentle and simple, to the king, so they might give him joy
and salute him and go forth), the council of the Wazirs agreed
that they should speak with a company of the city notables. So
they said to them, "When ye go in today to the king and salute
him, do ye say to him, 'O king, (to the Lord be the laud!) thou
art praiseworthy of policy and procedure and just to all thy
subjects; but respecting this youth whom thou hast favoured and
who nevertheless hath reverted to his base origin and done this
foul deed, what is thy purpose in his continuance? Indeed, thou
hast prisoned him in thy palace, and every day thou hearest his
palaver and thou knowest not what the folk say.'" And they
answered, "Hearing is obeying." Accordingly, when they entered
with the folk and had prostrated themselves before the king and
congratulated his majesty, he raised their several degrees. Now
it was the custom of the folk to salute and go forth; but they
took seat, and the king knew that they had a word they would fain
address to him: so he turned to them (the Wazirs being also
present) and said, "Ask your need." Therefore they repeated to
him all that the Ministers had taught them and the Wazirs also
spoke with them; and Azadbakht said to them, "O folk, I would
have it known to you that there is no doubt with me concerning
this your speech proceeding from love and loyal counsel to me,
and ye ken that, were I inclined to kill half these folk, I could
do them die and this would not be hard to me; so how shall I not
slay this youth and he in my power and in the hending of my hand?
Indeed, his crime is manifest and he hath incurred death penalty;
and I have deferred it only by reason of the greatness of the
offence; for, an I do this with him and my proof against him be
strengthened, my heart is healed and the heart of my whole folk;
and if I slay him not to-day, his slaying shall not escape me
to-morrow." Then he bade fetch the youth who, when present
between his hands, prostrated to him and blessed him; whereupon
quoth the king, "Woe to thee! How long shall the folk upbraid me
on thine account and blame me for delaying thy death? Even the
people of my city reproach me because of thee, so that I am grown
a prating-stock amongst them, and indeed they come in to me and
reproach me for not putting thee to death. How long shall I delay
this? Verily, this very day I mean to shed thy blood and rid the
folk of thy prattling." The youth replied, "O king, an there have
betided thee talk because of me, by Allah, and again by Allah the
Great, those who have brought on thee this talk from the folk are
none but these wicked Wazirs, who chatter with the crowd and tell
them foul tales and ill things in the king's house, but I hope in
the Most High that He will cause their malice to recoil upon
their own heads. As for the king's menace of slaying me, I am in
the grip of his hand; so let not the king occupy his mind with my
slaughter, because I am like the sparrow in the grasp of the
fowler; if he will, he cutteth his throat, and if he will, he
letteth him go. As for the delaying of my death, 'tis not from
the king, but from Him in whose hand is my life; for, by Allah, O
king, an the Almighty willed my slaughter, thou couldst not
postpone it; no, not for a single hour. And, indeed, man availeth
not to fend off evil from himself, even as it was with the son of
King Sulayman Shah, whose anxiety and carefulness for the winning
of his wish in the matter of the new-born child availed him
naught, for his last hour was deferred how many a time! and Allah
saved him until he had accomplished his period and had fulfilled
his life-term." Cried the king, "Fie upon thee, how great is thy
craft and thy talk! Tell me, what was their tale." And the youth
said, "Hear, O king,

The Story of King Sulayman Shah and his Niece.[FN#231]

There was once a king named Sulayman Sh\xE1h, who was goodly of
policy and rede, and he had a brother who died and left a
daughter; so Sulayman Shah reared her with the best of rearing
and the girl became a model of reason and perfection, nor was
there in her time a more beautiful than she. Now the king had two
sons, one of whom he had appointed in his mind to wed her, while
the other purposed to take her. The elder son's name was
Bahluw\xE1n[FN#232] and that of the younger Malik Sh\xE1h[FN#233], and
the girl was called Sh\xE1h Kh\xE1t\xFAn. Now one day, King Sulayman Shah
went in to his brother's daughter and kissing her head, said to
her, "Thou art my daughter and dearer to me than a child, for the
love of thy late father who hath found mercy; wherefore I purpose
espousing thee to one of my sons and appointing him my heir
apparent, so he may be king after me. Look, then, which thou wilt
have of my sons,[FN#234] for that thou hast been reared with them
and knowest them." The maiden arose and kissing his hand, said to
him, "O my lord, I am thine hand-maid and thou art the ruler over
me; so whatever liketh thee do that same, inasmuch as thy wish is
higher and honourabler and holier than mine and if thou wouldst
have me serve thee as a hand-maid for the rest of my life, 'twere
fairer to me than any mate." The king commended her speech and
conferred on her a robe of honour and gave her magnificent gifts;
after which, his choice having fallen upon his younger son, Malik
Shah, he wedded her with him and made him his heir apparent and
bade the folk swear fealty to him. When this reached his brother
Bahluwan and he was ware that his younger brother had by favour
been preferred over him, his breast was straitened and the affair
was sore to him and envy entered into him and hate; but he hid
this in his heart, whilst fire raged therein because of the
damsel and the dominion. Meanwhile Shah Khatun went in bridal
splendour to the king's son and conceived by him and bare a son,
as he were the illuming moon. When Bahluwan saw this betide his
brother, envy and jealousy overcame him; so he went in one night
to his father's palace and coming to his brother's chamber, saw
the nurse sleeping at the door, with the cradle before her and
therein his brother's child asleep. Bahluwan stood by him and
fell to looking upon his face, whose radiance was as that of the
moon, and Satan insinuated himself into his heart, so that he
bethought himself and said, "Why be not this babe mine? Verily, I
am worthier of him than my brother; yea, and of the damsel and
the dominion." Then the idea got the mastery of him and anger
drave him, so that he took out a knife, and setting it to the
child's gullet, cut his throat and would have severed his
windpipe. So he left him for dead and entering his brother's
chamber, saw him asleep, with the Princess by his side, and
thought to slay her, but said to himself, "I will leave the
girl-wife for myself." Then he went up to his brother and cutting
his throat, parted head from body, after which he left him and
went away. But now the world was straitened upon him and his life
was a light matter to him and he sought the lodging of his sire
Sulayman Shah, that he might slay him also, but could not get
admission to him. So he went forth from the palace and hid
himself in the city till the morrow, when he repaired to one of
his father's fortalices and therein fortified himself. On this
wise it was with him; but as regards the nurse, she presently
awoke that she might give the child suck, and seeing the cradle
running with blood, cried out; whereupon the sleepers started up
and the king was aroused and making for the place, found the
child with his throat cut and the bed running over with blood and
his father dead with a slit weasand in his sleeping chamber. They
examined the child and found life in him and his windpipe whole
and they sewed up the place of the wound: then the king sought
his son Bahluwan, but found him not and saw that he had fled; so
he knew that it was he who had done this deed, and this was
grievous to the king and to the people of his realm and to the
lady Shah Khatun. Thereupon the king laid out his son Malik Shah
and buried him and made him a mighty funeral and they mourned
with passing sore mourning; after which he applied himself to
rearing the infant. As for Bahluwan, when he fled and fortified
himself, his power waxed amain and there remained for him but to
make war upon his father, who had cast his fondness upon the
child and used to rear him on his knees and supplicate Almighty
Allah that he might live, so he might commit the command to him.
When he came to five years of age, the king mounted him on
horseback and the people of the city rejoiced in him and prayed
for him length of life, that he might take vengeance for his
father[FN#235] and heal his grandsire's heart. Meanwhile,
Bahluwan the rebel[FN#236] addressed himself to pay court to
C\xE6sar, king of the Roum[FN#237] and crave aid of him in
debelling his father, and he inclined unto him and gave him a
numerous army. His sire the king hearing of this sent to C\xE6sar,
saying, "O glorious king of might illustrious, succour not an
evil doer. This is my son and he hath done so and so and cut his
brother's throat and that of his brother's son in the cradle."
But he told not the king of the Roum that the child had recovered
and was alive. When C\xE6sar heard the truth of the matter, it was
grievous to him as grievous could be, and he sent back to
Sulayman Shah, saying, "An it be thy wish, O king, I will cut off
his head and send it to thee." But he made answer, saying, "I
care naught for him: soon and surely the reward of his deed and
his crimes shall overtake him, if not to-day, then tomorrow." And
from that date he continued to exchange letters and presents with
C\xE6sar. Now the king of the Roum heard tell of the widowed
Princess[FN#238] and of the beauty and loveliness wherewith she
was endowed, wherefore his heart clave to her and he sent to seek
her in wedlock of Sulayman Shah, who could not refuse him. So he
arose and going in to Shah Khatun, said to her, "O my daughter,
the king of the Roum hath sent to me to seek thee in marriage.
What sayst thou?" She wept and replied, "O king, how canst thou
find it in thy heart to address me thus? As for me, abideth there
husband for me, after the son of my uncle?" Rejoined the king, "O
my daughter, 'tis indeed as thou sayest; but here let us look to
the issues of affairs. I must now take compt of death, for that I
am a man shot in years and fear not save for thee and for thy
little son; and indeed I have written to the king of the Roum and
others of the kings and said, His uncle slew him, and said not
that he had recovered and is living, but concealed his affair.
Now the king of the Roum hath sent to demand thee in marriage,
and this is no thing to be refused and fain would we have our
back strengthened with him."[FN#239] And she was silent and spake
not. So King Sulayman Shah made answer to C\xE6sar with "Hearing
and obeying." Then he arose and despatched her to him, and C\xE6sar
went in to her and found her passing the description wherewith
they had described her; wherefore he loved her every day more and
more and preferred her over all his women and his affection for
Sulayman Shah was increased; but Shah Khatun's heart still clave
to her child and she could say naught. As for Sulayman Shah's
son, the rebel Bahluwan, when he saw that Shah Khatun had married
the king of the Roum, this was grievous to him and he despaired
of her. Meanwhile, his father Sulayman Shah watched over the
child and cherished him and named him Malik Shah, after the name
of his sire. When he reached the age of ten, he made the folk do
homage to him and appointed him his heir apparent, and after some
days, the old king's time for paying the debt of nature drew near
and he died. Now a party of the troops had banded themselves
together for Bahluwan; so they sent to him, and bringing him
privily, went in to the little Malik Shah and seized him and
seated his uncle Bahluwan on the throne of kingship. Then they
proclaimed him king and did homage to him all, saying, "Verily,
we desire thee and deliver to thee the throne of kingship; but we
wish of thee that thou slay not thy brother's son, because we are
still bounden by the oaths we sware to his sire and his grandsire
and the covenants we made with them." So Bahluwan granted this to
them and imprisoned the boy in an underground dungeon and
straitened him. Presently, the grievous news reached his mother
and this was to her a fresh grief; but she could not speak and
committed her affair to Allah Almighty, for that she durst not
name this to King C\xE6sar her spouse, lest she should make her
uncle King Sulayman Shah a liar. But as regards Bahluwan the
Rebel, he abode king in his father's place and his affairs
prospered, while young Malik Shah lay in the souterrain four
full-told years, till his favour faded and his charms changed.
When He (extolled and exalted be He!) willed to relieve him and
to bring him forth of the prison, Bahluwan sat one day with his
chief Officers and the Lords of his land and discoursed with them
of the story of his sire, King Sulayman Shah and what was in his
heart. Now there were present certain Wazirs, men of worth, and
they said to him, "O king, verily Allah hath been bountiful to
thee and hath brought thee to thy wish, so that thou art become
king in thy father's place and hast won whatso thou wishedst.
But, as for this youth, there is no guilt in him, because he,
from the day of his coming into the world, hath seen neither ease
nor pleasure, and indeed his favour is faded and his charms
changed. What is his crime that he should merit such pains and
penalties? Indeed, others than he were to blame, and hereto Allah
hath given thee the victory over them, and there is no fault in
this poor lad." Quoth Bahluwan, "Verily, 'tis as ye say; but I
fear his machinations and am not safe from his mischief; haply
the most part of the folk will incline unto him." They replied,
"O king, what is this boy and what power hath he? An thou fear
him, send him to one of the frontiers." And Bahluwan said, "Ye
speak sooth; so we will send him as captain of war to reduce one
of the outlying stations." Now over against the place in question
was a host of enemies, hard of heart, and in this he designed the
slaughter of the youth; so he bade bring him forth of the
underground dungeon and caused him draw near to him and saw his
case. Then he robed him, whereat the folk rejoiced, and bound for
him the banners[FN#240] and, giving him a mighty many, despatched
him to the quarter aforesaid, whither all who went or were slain
or were taken. Accordingly Malik Shah fared thither with his
force and when it was one of the days, behold, the enemy attacked
them in the night; whereupon some of his men fled and the rest
the enemy captured; and they seized Malik Shah also and cast him
into a pit with a company of his men. His fellows mourned over
his beauty and loveliness and there he abode a whole twelvemonth
in evillest plight. Now at the beginning of every year it was the
enemy's wont to bring forth their prisoners and cast them down
from the top of the citadel to the bottom; so at the customed
time they brought them forth and cast them down, and Malik Shah
with them. However, he fell upon the other men and the ground
touched him not, for his term was God-guarded. But those who were
cast down there were slain upon the spot and their bodies ceased
not to lie there till the wild beasts ate them and the winds
scattered their bones. Malik Shah abode strown in his place and
aswoon, all that day and that night, and when he revived and
found himself safe and sound, he thanked Allah the Most High for
his safety and rising, left the place. He gave not over walking,
unknowing whither he went and dieting upon the leaves of the
trees; and by day he hid himself where he might and fared on at
hazard all his night; and thus he did for some days, till he came
to a populous part and seeing folk there, accosted them. He
acquainted them with his case, giving them to know that he had
been prisoned in the fortress and that they had thrown him down,
but Almighty Allah had saved him and brought him off alive. The
people had ruth on him and gave him to eat and drink and he abode
with them several days; then he questioned them of the way that
led to the kingdom of his uncle Bahluwan, but told them not that
he was his father's brother. So they showed him the road and he
ceased not to go barefoot, till he drew near his uncle's capital,
naked, anhungered, and indeed his limbs were lean and his colour
changed. He sat down at the city gate, when behold, up came a
company of King Bahluwan's chief officers, who were out a-hunting
and wished to water their horses. They lighted down to rest and
the youth accosted them, saying, "I would ask you of somewhat
that ye may acquaint me therewith." Quoth they, "Ask what thou
wilt;" and quoth he, "Is King Bahluwan well?" They derided him
and replied, "What a fool art thou, O youth! Thou art a stranger
and a beggar, and whence art thou that thou should'st question
concerning the king?"[FN#241] Cried he, "In very sooth, he is my
uncle;" whereat they marvelled and said, "'Twas one
catch-question[FN#242] and now 'tis become two." Then said they
to him, "O youth, it is as if thou wert Jinn-mad. Whence comest
thou to claim kinship with the king? Indeed, we know not that he
hath any kith and kin save a nephew, a brother's son, who was
prisoned with him, and he despatched him to wage war upon the
infidels, so that they slew him." Said Malik Shah, "I am he and
they slew me not, but there befel me this and that." They knew
him forthwith and rising to him, kissed his hands and rejoiced in
him and said to him, "O our lord, thou art indeed a king and the
son of a king, and we desire thee naught but good and we pray for
thy continuance. Look how Allah hath rescued thee from this
wicked uncle, who sent thee to a place whence none ever came off
safe and sound, purposing not in this but thy destruction; and
indeed thou fellest upon death from which Allah delivered thee.
How, then, wilt thou return and cast thyself again into thine
foeman's hand? By Allah, save thyself and return not to him this
second time. Haply thou shalt abide upon the face of the earth
till it please Almighty Allah to receive thee; but, an thou fall
again into his hand, he will not suffer thee to live a single
hour." The Prince thanked them and said to them, "Allah reward
you with all weal, for indeed ye give me loyal counsel; but
whither would ye have me wend?" Quoth they, "To the land of the
Roum, the abiding place of thy mother." "But," quoth he, "My
grandfather Sulayman Shah, when the king of the Roum wrote to him
demanding my mother in marriage, hid my affair and secreted my
secret; and she hath done the same, and I cannot make her a
liar." Rejoined they, "Thou sayst sooth, but we desire thine
advantage, and even wert thou to take service with the folk,
'twere a means of thy continuance." Then each and every of them
brought out to him money and gave him a modicum and clad him and
fed him and fared on with him the length of a parasang, till they
brought him far from the city, and letting him know that he was
safe, departed from him, whilst he journeyed till he came forth
of his uncle's reign and entered the dominion of the Roum. Then
he made a village and taking up his abode therein, applied
himself to serving one there in earing and seeding and the like.
As for his mother, Shah Khatun, great was her longing for her
child and she thought of him ever and news of him was cut off
from her, so her life was troubled and she foresware sleep and
could not make mention of him before King C\xE6sar her spouse. Now
she had a Castrato who had come with her from the court of her
uncle King Sulayman Shah, and he was intelligent, quick-witted,
right-reded. So she took him apart one day and said to him,
shedding tears the while, "Thou hast been my Eunuch from my
childhood to this day; canst thou not therefore get me tidings of
my son, seeing that I cannot speak of his matter?" He replied, "O
my lady, this is an affair which thou hast concealed from the
commencement, and were thy son here, 'twould not be possible for
thee to entertain him, lest[FN#243] thine honour be smirched with
the king; for they would never credit thee, since the news hath
been bruited abroad that thy son was slain by his uncle." Quoth
she, "The case is even as thou sayst and thou speaketh sooth;
but, provided I know that my son is alive, let him be in these
parts pasturing sheep and let me not sight him nor he sight me."
He asked, "How shall we manage in this matter?" and she answered,
"Here be my treasures and my wealth: take all thou wilt and bring
me my son or else tidings of him." Then they devised a device
between them, which was that they should feign some business in
their own country, to wit that she had wealth there buried from
the time of her husband, Malik Shah, and that none knew of it but
this Eunuch who was with her, so it behoved him to go fetch it.
Accordingly she acquainted the king her husband with that and
sought his permit for the Eunuch to fare: and the king granted
him leave of absence for the journey and charged him devise a
device, lest he come to grief. The Castrato, therefore, disguised
himself in merchant's habit and repairing to Bahluwan's city,
began to make espial concerning the youth's case; whereupon they
told him that he had been prisoned in a souterrain and that his
uncle had released him and despatched him to such a place, where
they had slain him. When the Eunuch heard this, the mishap was
grievous to him and his breast was straitened and he knew not
what to do. It chanced one day of the days that a certain of the
horsemen, who had fallen in with the young Malik Shah by the
water and clad him and given him spending-money, saw the Eunuch in
the city, habited as a merchant, and recognising him, questioned
him of his case and of the cause of his coming. Quoth he, "I came
to sell merchandise;" and quoth the horseman, "I will tell thee
somewhat, an thou canst keep it secret." Answered the Neutral,
"That I can! What is it?" and the other said, "We met the king's
son Malik Shah, I and sundry of the Arabs who were with me, and
saw him by such a water and gave him spending-money and sent him
towards the land of the Roum, near his mother, for that we feared
for him lest his uncle Bahluwan slay him." Then he told him all
that had passed between them, whereat the Eunuch's countenance
changed and he said to the cavalier "Thou art safe!" The knight
replied, "Thou also art safe though thou come in quest of him."
And the Eunuch rejoined, saying, "Truly, that is my errand: there
is no rest for his mother, lying down or rising up, and she hath
sent me to seek news of him." Quoth the cavalier, "Go in safety,
for he is in a quarter of the land of the Roum, even as I said to
thee." The Castrato thanked him and blessed him and mounting,
returned upon his road, following the trail, whilst the knight
rode with him to a certain highway, when he said to him, "This is
where we left him." Then he took leave of him and returned to his
own city, whilst the Eunuch fared on along the road, enquiring in
every village he entered of the youth, by the description which
the rider had given him, and he ceased not thus to do till he
came to the village wherein was young Malik Shah. So he entered,
and dismounting, made enquiry after the Prince, but none gave him
news of him; whereat he abode perplexed concerning his affair and
made ready to depart. Accordingly he mounted his horse; but, as
he passed through the village, he saw a cow bound with a rope and
a youth asleep by her side, hending the halter in hand; so he
looked at him and passed on and heeded him not in his heart; but
presently he halted and said to himself, "An the youth whom I am
questing have become the like of this sleeping youth whom I
passed but now, how shall I know him? Alas, the length of my
travail and travel! How shall I go about in search of a somebody
I know not, one whom, if I saw him face to face I should not
know?" So saying he turned back, musing anent that sleeping
youth, and coming to him, he still sleeping, dismounted from his
mare and sat down by his side. He fixed his eyes upon his face
and considered him awhile and said in himself, "For aught I wot,
this youth may be Malik Shah;" then he began hemming and saying,
"Harkye, O youth!" Whereupon the sleeper awoke and sat up; and
the Eunuch asked him, "Who be thy father in this village and
where be thy dwelling?" The youth sighed and replied, "I am a
stranger;" and quoth the Castrato, "From what land art thou and
who is thy sire?" Quoth the other, "I am from such a land," and
the Eunuch ceased not to question him and he to answer his
queries, till he was certified of him and knew him. So he rose
and embraced him and kissed him and wept over his case: he also
told him that he was wandering about in search of him and
informed him that he was come privily from the king, his mother's
husband, and that his mother would be satisfied to weet that he
was alive and well, though she saw him not. Then he re-entered
the village and buying the Prince a horse, mounted him and they
ceased not going till they came to the frontier of their own
country, where there fell robbers upon them by the way and took
all that was with them and pinioned them; after which they threw
them in a pit hard by the road and went their ways and left them
to die there; and indeed they had cast many folk into that pit
and they had perished. The Eunuch fell a-weeping in the pit and
the youth said to him, "What is this weeping and what shall it
profit here?" Quoth the Castrato, "I weep not for fear of death,
but of ruth for thee and the cursedness of thy case and because
of thy mother's heart and for that which thou hast suffered of
horrors and that thy death should be this ignoble death, after
the endurance of all manner dire distresses." But the youth said,
"That which hath betided me was writ to me and that which is
written none hath power to efface; and if my life-term be
advanced, none may defer it."[FN#244] Then the twain passed that
night and the following day and the next night and the next day
in the hollow, till they were weak with hunger and came nigh upon
death and could but groan feebly. Now it fortuned by the decree
of Almighty Allah and His destiny, that C\xE6sar, king of the
Greeks, the spouse of Malik Shah's mother Shah Khatun, went forth
a-hunting that morning. He flushed a head of game, he and his
company, and chased it, till they came up with it by that pit,
whereupon one of them lighted down from his horse, to slaughter
it, hard by the mouth of the hollow. He heard a sound of low
moaning from the sole of the pit; whereat he arose and mounting
his horse, waited till the troops were assembled. Then he
acquainted the king with this and he bade one of his servants
descend into the hollow: so the man climbed down and brought out
the youth and the Eunuch in fainting condition. They cut their
pinion-bonds and poured wine down their throats, till they came
to themselves, when the king looked at the Eunuch and recognising
him, said, "Harkye, Suchan-one!" The Castrato replied, "Yes, O my
lord the king," and prostrated himself to him; whereat the king
wondered with exceeding wonder and asked him, "How camest thou to
this place and what hath befallen thee?" The Eunuch answered, "I
went and took out the treasure and brought it thus far; but the
evil eye was behind me and I unknowing. So the thieves took us
alone here and seized the money and cast us into this pit that we
might die the slow death of hunger, even as they had done with
others; but Allah the Most High sent thee, in pity to us." The
king marvelled, he and his, and praised the Lord for that he had
come thither; after which he turned to the Castrato and said to
him, "What is this youth thou hast with thee?" He replied, "O
king, this is the son of a nurse who belonged to us and we left
him when he was a little one. I saw him to-day and his mother
said to me, 'Take him with thee;' so this morning I brought him
that he might be a servant to the king, for that he is an adroit
youth and a clever." Then the king fared on, he and his company,
and with them the Eunuch and the youth, who questioned his
companion of Bahluwan and his dealing with his subjects, and he
replied, saying, "As thy head liveth, O my lord the king, the
folk are in sore annoy with him and not one of them wisheth a
sight of him, be they high or low." When the king returned to his
palace, he went in to his wife Shah Khatun and said to her, "I
give thee the glad tidings of thine Eunuch's return;" and he told
her what had betided and of the youth whom he had brought with
him. When she heard this, her wits fled and she would have
screamed, but her reason restrained her, and the king said to
her, "What is this? Art thou overcome with grief for the loss of
the monies or for that which hath befallen the Eunuch?" Said she,
"Nay, as thy head liveth, O king, but women are weaklings." Then
came the Castrato and going in to her, told her all that had
happened to him and also acquainted her with her son's case and
with that which he had suffered of distresses and how his uncle
had exposed him to slaughter, and he had been taken prisoner and
they had cast him into the pit and hurled him from the highmost
of the citadel and how Allah had delivered him from these perils,
all of them; and whilst he recounted to her all this, she wept.
Then she asked him, "When the king saw him and questioned thee of
him, what was it thou saidst him?" and he answered, "I said to
him, 'This is the son of a nurse who belonged to us. We left him
a little one and he grew up; so I brought him, that he might be
servant to the king.'" Cried she, "Thou didst well;" and she
charged him to serve the Prince with faithful service. As for the
king, he redoubled in kindness to the Castrato and appointed the
youth a liberal allowance and he abode going in to and coming out
of the king's house and standing in his service, and every day he
waxed better with him. As for Shah Khatun, she used to station
herself at watch for him at the windows and in the balconies and
gaze upon him, and she frying on coals of fire on his account;
yet could she not speak. In such condition she abode a long while
and indeed yearning for him was killing her; so she stood and
watched for him one day at the door of her chamber and straining
him to her bosom, bussed him on the breast and kissed him on
either cheek. At this moment, behold, out came the major-domo of
the king's household and seeing her embracing the youth, started
in amazement. Then he asked to whom that chamber belonged and was
answered, "To Shah Khatun, wife of the king," whereupon he turned
back, quaking as one smitten by a leven-bolt. The king saw him in
a tremor and said to him, "Out on thee! what is the matter?" Said
he, "O king, what matter can be more grievous than that which I
see?" Asked the king, "What seest thou?" and the officer
answered, "I see that the youth, who came with the Eunuch, was
not brought with him save on account of Shah Khatun; for I passed
but now by her chamber door, and she was standing, watching; and
when the youth came up, she rose to him and clipped him and
kissed him on his cheek." When the king heard this, he bowed his
head amazed, perplexed, and sinking into a seat, clutched at his
beard and shook it until he came nigh upon plucking it out. Then
he arose forthright and laid hands on the youth and clapped him
in jail. He also took the Eunuch and cast them both into a
souterrain under his palace. After this he went in to Shah Khatun
and said to her, "Brava, by Allah, O daughter of nobles. O thou
whom kings sought to wed, for the purity of thy repute and the
fairness of the fame of thee! How seemly is thy semblance! Now
may Allah curse her whose inward contrarieth her outward, after
the likeness of thy base favour, whose exterior is handsome and
its interior fulsome, face fair and deeds foul! Verily, I mean to
make of thee and of yonder ne'er-do-well an example among the
lieges, for that thou sentest not thine Eunuch but of intent on
his account, so that he took him and brought him into my palace
and thou hast trampled[FN#245] my head with him; and this is none
other than exceeding boldness; but thou shalt see what I will do
with you all." So saying, he spat in her face and went out from
her; whilst Shah Khatun said nothing, well knowing that, an she
spoke at that time, he would not credit her speech. Then she
humbled herself in supplication to Allah Almighty and said, "O
God the Great, Thou knowest the things by secrecy ensealed and
their outwards revealed and their inwards concealed! If an
advanced life-term be appointed to me, let it not be deferred,
and if a deferred one, let it not be advanced!" On this wise she
passed some days, whilst the king fell into bewilderment and
forsware meat and drink and sleep, and abode knowing not what he
should do and saying to himself, "An I slay the Eunuch and the
youth, my soul will not be solaced, for they are not to blame,
seeing that she sent to fetch him, and my heart careth not to
kill them all three. But I will not be hasty in doing them die,
for that I fear repentance." Then he left them, so he might look
into the affair. Now he had a nurse, a foster-mother, on whose
knees he had been reared, and she was a woman of understanding
and suspected him, yet dared not question him. So she went in to
Shah Khatun and finding her in yet sadder plight than he, asked
her what was to do; but she refused to answer. However, the nurse
gave not over coaxing and questioning her, till she swore her to
concealment. Accordingly, the old woman made oath that she would
keep secret all that she should say to her, whereupon the Queen
to her related her history, first and last, and told her that the
youth was her son. With this the old woman prostrated herself
before her and said to her, "This is a right easy matter." But
the Queen replied, "By Allah, O my mother, I prefer my
destruction and that of my son to defending myself by a plea
which they will not believe; for they will say, 'She pleadeth
this only that she may fend off shame from herself.' And naught
will profit me save long-suffering." The old woman was moved by
her speech and her wisdom and said to her, "Indeed, O my
daughter, 'tis as thou sayest, and I hope in Allah that He will
show forth the truth. Have patience and I will presently go in to
the king and hear his words and machinate somewhat in this
matter, Inshallah!" Thereupon the ancient dame arose and going into the king, found him with his head between his knees in sore
pain of sorrow. She sat down by him awhile and bespake him with
soft words and said to him,[FN#246] "Indeed, O my son, thou
consumest my vitals, for that these many days thou hast not
mounted horse, and thou grievest and I know not what aileth
thee." He replied, "O my mother, all is due to yonder accursed,
of whom I deemed so well and who hath done this and that." Then
he related to her the whole story from beginning to end, and she
cried to him, "This thy chagrin is on account of a
no-better-than-she-should-be!" Quoth he, "I was but considering
by what death I should slay them, so the folk may take warning
and repent." And quoth she, "O my son, 'ware precipitance, for it
gendereth repentance and the slaying of them shall not escape
thee. When thou art assured of this affair, do whatso thou
willest." He rejoined, "O my mother, there needeth no assurance
anent him for whom she despatched her Eunuch and he fetched him."
But she retorted, "There is a thing wherewith we will make her
confess,[FN#247] and all that is in her heart shall be discovered
to thee." Asked the king, "What is that?" and she answered, "I
will bring thee the heart of a hoopoe,[FN#248] which, when she
sleepeth, do thou lay upon her bosom and question her of
everything thou wouldst know, and she will discover the same unto
thee and show forth the truth to thee." The king rejoiced in this
and said to his nurse, "Hasten thou and let none know of thee."
So she arose and going in to the Queen, said to her, "I have done
thy business and 'tis as follows. This night the king will come
in to thee and do thou seem asleep; and if he ask thee of aught,
do thou answer him, as if in thy sleep." The Queen thanked her
and the old dame went away and fetching the bird's heart, gave it
to the king. Hardly was the night come, when he went in to his
wife and found her lying back, a-slumbering; so he sat down by
her side and laying the hoopoe's heart on her breast, waited
awhile, so he might be assured that she slept. Then said he to
her, "Shah Khatun,[FN#249] Shah Khatun, is this my reward from
thee?" Quoth she, "What offence have I committed?" and quoth he,
"What offence can be greater than this? Thou sentest after yonder
youth and broughtest him hither, on account of the lust of thy
heart, so thou mightest do with him that for which thou
lustedst." Said she, "I know not carnal desire. Verily, among thy
pages are those who are comelier and seemlier than he; yet have I
never desired one of them." He asked "Why, then, didst thou lay
hold of him and kiss him?" And she answered, "This youth is my
son and a piece of my liver; and of my longing and affection for
him, I could not contain myself, but sprang upon him and kissed
him." When the king heard this, he was dazed and amazed and said
to her, "Hast thou a proof that this youth is thy son? Indeed, I
have a letter from thine uncle King Sulayman Shah, informing me
that his uncle Bahluwan cut his throat." Said she "Yes, he did
indeed cut his throat, but severed not the wind-pipe; so my uncle
sewed up the wound and reared him, for that his life-term was not
come." When the king heard this, he said, "This proof sufficeth
me," and rising forthright in the night, bade bring the youth and
the Eunuch. Then he examined his stepson's throat with a candle
and saw the scar where it had been cut from ear to ear, and
indeed the place had healed up and it was like a thread stretched
out. Thereupon the king fell down prostrate before Allah, who had
delivered the Prince from all these perils and from the
distresses he had suffered, and rejoiced with joy exceeding
because he had delayed and had not made haste to slay him, in
which case mighty sore repentance had betided him.[FN#250] "As
for the youth," continued the young treasurer, "he was not saved
but because his life-term was deferred, and in like manner, O
king, 'tis with me: I too have a deferred term, which I shall
attain, and a period which I shall accomplish, and I trust in
Almighty Allah that He will give me the victory over these
villain Wazirs." When the youth had made an end of his speech,
the king said, "Restore him to the prison;" and when they had
done this, he turned to the Ministers and said to them, "Yonder
youth lengtheneth his tongue upon you, but I know your tenderness
for the weal of mine empire and your loyal counsel to me; so be
of good heart, for all that ye advise me I will do." They
rejoiced when they heard these words, and each of them said his
say. Then quoth the king, "I have not deferred his slaughter but
to the intent that the talk might be prolonged and that words
might abound, yet shall he now be slain without let or stay, and
I desire that forthright ye set up for him a gibbet without the
town and that the crier cry among the folk bidding them assemble
and take him and carry him in procession to the gibbet, with the
crier crying before him and saying, 'This is the reward of him
whom the king delighted to favour and who hath betrayed him!'"
The Wazirs rejoiced when they heard this, and for their joy slept
not that night; and they made proclamation in the city and set up
the gallows.

                       The Eleventh Day.

Of the Speedy Relief of Allah.

When it was the eleventh day, the Wazirs repaired in early
morning to the king's gate and said to him, "O king, the folk are
assembled from the portals of the palace to the gibbet, to the
end they may see the king's order carried out on the youth." So
Azadbakht bade fetch the prisoner and they brought him; whereupon
the Ministers turned to him and said to him, "O vile of birth,
can any lust for life remain with thee and canst thou hope for
deliverance after this day?" Said he, "O wicked Wazirs, shall a
man of understanding renounce all esperance in Almighty Allah?
Howsoever a man be oppressed, there cometh to him deliverance
from the midst of distress and life from the midst of death, as
in the case of the prisoner and how Allah delivered him." Asked
the king, "What is his story?" and the youth answered, saying, "O
king, they tell

The Story of the Prisoner and How Allah Gave Him Relief.[FN#251]

There was once a king of the kings, who had a high palace,
overlooking his prison, and he used to hear in the night one
saying, "O Ever-present Deliverer, O Thou whose deliverance is
aye present, relieve Thou me!" One day the king waxed wroth and
said, "Yonder fool looketh for relief from the pains and
penalties of his crime." Then said he to his officers, "Who is in
yonder jail?" and said they, "Folk upon whom blood hath been
found."[FN#252] Hearing this the king bade bring that man before
him and said to him, "O fool, O little of wit, how shalt thou be
delivered from this prison, seeing that thy crime is mortal?"
Then he committed him to a company of his guards and said to
them, "Take this wight and crucify him within sight of the city."
Now it was the night season. So the soldiers carried him without
the city, thinking to crucify him, when behold, there came out
upon them robbers and fell upon them with swords and other
weapons. Thereat the guards left him whom they purposed to slay
and fled whilst the man who was going to slaughter also took to
flight and plunging deep into the desert, knew not whither he
went before he found himself in a copse and there came out upon
him a lion of terrible aspect, who snatched him up and cast him
under him. Then he went up to a tree and uprooting it, covered
the man therewithal and made off into the thicket, in quest of
the lioness.[FN#253] As for the man, he committed his affair to
Allah the Most High, relying upon Him for deliverance, and said
to himself, "What is this affair?" Then he removed the leaves
from himself and rising, saw great plenty of men's bones there,
of those whom the lion had devoured. He looked again and behold,
he saw a heap of gold lying alongside a purse-belt;[FN#254]
whereat he marvelled and gathering up the gold in the breast of
his gaberdine, went forth of the copse and fled at hap-hazard,
turning neither to the right nor to the left, in his fear of the
lion; nor did he cease flying till he came to a village and cast
himself down, as he were dead. He lay there till the day appeared
and he was rested from his travail, when he arose and burying the
gold, entered the village. Thus Allah gave him relief and he got
the gold. Then said the king, "How long wilt thou beguile us, O
youth, with thy prate? But now the hour of thy slaughter is
come." So he bade crucify him upon the gibbet. But as they were
about to hoist him up, lo and behold! the Captain of the thieves,
who had found him and reared him, came up at that moment and
asked, "What be this assembly and the cause of the crowds here
gathered together?" They informed him that a page of the king had
committed a mighty great crime and that he was about to do him
die; so the Captain of the thieves pressed forward and looking
upon the prisoner, knew him, whereupon he went up to him and
strained him to his bosom and threw his arms round his neck, and
fell to kissing him upon his mouth.[FN#255] Then said he, "This
is a boy I found under such a mountain, wrapped in a gown of
brocade, and I reared him and he fell to cutting the way with us.
One day, we set upon a caravan, but they put us to flight and
wounded some of us and took the lad and ganged their gait. From
that day to this I have gone round about the lands seeking him,
but have not found news of him till now; and this is he." When
the king heard this, he was assured that the youth was his very
son; so he cried out at the top of his voice and casting himself
upon him, embraced him and kissed him and shedding tears, said,
"Had I put thee to death, as was mine intent, I should have died
of regret for thee." Then he cut his pinion-bonds and taking his
crown from his head, set it on the head of his son, whereupon the
people raised cries of joy, whilst the trumpets blared and the
kettledrums beat and there befel a mighty great rejoicing. They
decorated the city and it was a glorious day; even the birds
stayed their flight in the welkin, for the greatness of the
greeting and the clamour of the crying. The army and the folk
carried the prince to the palace in splendid procession, and the
news came to his mother Bahrjaur, who fared forth and threw
herself upon him. Moreover, the king bade open the prison and
bring forth all who were therein, and they held high festival
seven days and seven nights and rejoiced with a mighty rejoicing.
Thus it betided the youth; but as regards the Ministers, terror
and silence, shame and affright fell upon them and they gave
themselves up for lost. After this the king sat, with his son by
his side and the Wazirs on their knees before him, and summoned
his chief officers and the subjects of the city. Then the prince
turned to the Ministers and said to them, "See, O villain Wazirs,
the work of Allah and his speedy relief." But they answered ne'er
a syllable and the king said, "It sufficeth me that there is
nothing alive but rejoiceth with me this day, even to the birds
in the sky, but ye, your breasts are straitened. Indeed, this is
the greatest of hostility in you me-wards, and had I hearkened to
you, my regret had been prolonged and I had died miserably of
sorrow." Quoth the prince, "O my father, but for the fairness of
thy thought and thy perspicacity and thy longanimity and
deliberation in affairs, there had not betided thee this great
joy. Hadst thou slain me in haste, repentance would have been
sore on thee and longsome annoy, and on this wise whoso
preferreth haste shall rue." Presently the king sent for the
Captain of the robbers and bade indue him with a robe of honour,
commanding that all who loved the king should doff their dresses
and cast them upon him.[FN#256] So there fell robes of honour on
him, till he was a-wearied with their weight, and Azadbakht
invested him with the mastership of the police of his city. Then
he bade set up other nine gibbets by the side of the first and
said to his son, "Thou art innocent, and yet these villain Wazirs
strave for thy slaughter." Replied the prince, "O my sire, I had
no fault in their eyes but that I was a loyal counsellor to thee
and still kept watch over thy wealth and withdrew their hands
from thy hoards and treasuries; wherefore they were jealous and
envied me and plotted against me and planned to slay me." Quoth
the king, "The time of retribution is at hand, O my son; but what
be thy rede we should do with them in requital of that they did
with thee? And indeed they have striven for thy slaughter and
exposed thee to disgrace and smirched mine honour among the
kings." Then he turned to the Wazirs and said to them, "Woe to
you! What liars ye are! And is aught of excuse left to you?" Said
they, "O king, there remaineth no excuse for us and we are
houghed[FN#257] by the deed we would have done to him. Indeed we
planned evil to this youth and it hath reverted upon us, and we
plotted mischief against him and it hath overtaken us; yea, we
digged for him a pit and we ourselves have fallen into it." So
the king bade hoist up the Wazirs upon the gibbets and crucify
them there, because Allah is just and decreeth that which is due.
Then Azadbakht and his wife and son abode in joyance and
gladness, till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
they died all; and extolled be the Living One, who dieth not, to
whom be glory and whose mercy be upon us for ever and ever! Amen.

                  SALITH THE ABBASIDE[FN#258]

It is told of Ja'afar bin Yahy\xE0 the Barmecide that he sat down
one day to wine and, being minded to be private, sent for his
boon-companions, with whom he was most familiar, and charged the
chamberlain that he suffer none of the creatures of Almighty
Allah to enter, save a man of his cup-mates, by name Abd al-Malik
bin S\xE1lih, who was behindhand with them.  Then they donned
brightly-dyed dresses.[FN#259] for it was their wont, as often as
they sat in the wine-s\xE9ance, to endue raiment of red and yellow
and green silk, and they sat down to drink, and the cups went
round the lutes thrilled and shrilled.  Now there was a man of
the kinsfolk of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, by name Abd al-Malik
bin Salih[FN#260] bin Ali bin Abdallah bin al-Abbas,[FN#261] who
was great of gravity and sedateness, piety and propriety, and Al-
Rashid used instantly to require that he should company him in
converse and carouse and drink with him and had offered him to
such end abounding wealth, but he never would.  It fortuned that
this Abd al-Malik bin Salih came to the door of Ja'afar bin
Yahya, so he might bespeak him of certain requisitions of his,
and the chamberlain, doubting not but he was the Abd al-Malik bin
Salih aforesaid (whom Ja'afar had permitted him admit and that he
should suffer none but him to enter), allowed him to go in to his
master.  Accordingly Abd al-Malik went in, garbed in black, with
his Rus\xE1fiyah[FN#262] on his head.  When Ja'afar saw him, his
reason was like to depart for shame and he understood the case,
to wit, that the chamberlain had been deceived by the likeness of
the name; and Abd al-Malik also perceived how the matter stood
and perplexity was manifest to him in Ja'afar's face.  So he put
on a cheery countenance and said, "No harm be upon you![FN#263]
Bring us of these dyed clothes."  Thereupon they brought him a
dyed robe[FN#264] and he donned it and sat discoursing gaily with
Ja'afar and jesting with him.  Then said he, "Allow us to be a
partaker in your pleasures, and give us to drink of your
Nab\xEDz."[FN#265]  So they brought him a silken robe and poured him
out a pint, when he said, "We crave your indulgence, for we have
no wont of this."  Accordingly Ja'afar ordered a flagon of Nab\xEDz
be set before him, that he might drink whatso he pleased. Then,
having anointed himself with perfumes, he chatted and jested with
them till Ja'afar's bosom broadened and his constraint ceased
from him and his shame, and he rejoiced in this with joy
exceeding and asked Abd al-Malik, "What is thine errand?  Inform
me thereof, for I cannot sufficiently acknowledge thy courtesy."
Answered the other, "I come (amend thee Allah!) on three
requirements, of which I would have thee bespeak the Caliph; to
wit, firstly, I have on me a debt to the amount of a thousand
thousand dirhams,[FN#266] which I would have paid: secondly, I
desire for my son the office of Wali or governor of a
province,[FN#267] whereby his rank may be raised: and thirdly, I
would fain have thee marry him to Al-'\xC1liyah, the daughter of the
Commander of the Faithful, for that she is his cousin and he is a
match for her."  Ja'afar said, "Allah accomplisheth unto thee
these three occasions.  As for the money, it shall be carried to
thy house this very hour: as for the government, I make thy son
Viceroy of Egypt; and as for the marriage, I give him to mate
Such-an-one, the daughter of our lord the Prince of True
Believers, at a dowry of such and such a sum.   So depart in the
assurance of Allah Almighty."  Accordingly Abd al-Malik went away
much astonished at Ja'afar's boldness in undertaking such
engagements.  He fared straight for his house, whither he found
that the money had preceded him, and in the morrow Ja'afar
presented himself before Al-Rashid and acquainted him with what
had passed, and that he had appointed Abd al-Malik's son Wali of
Egypt[FN#268] and had promised him his daughter, Al-'Aliyah to
wife.  The Caliph was pleased to approve of this and he confirmed
the appointment and the marriage.  Then he sent for the young man
and he went not forth of the palace of the Caliphate till Al-
Rashid wrote him the patent of investiture with the government of
Egypt; and he let bring the Kazis and the witnesses and drew up
the contract of marriage.


It is said that the most wondrous of matters which happened to
Al-Rashid was this.  His brother Al-H\xE1d\xED,[FN#270] when he
succeeded to the Caliphate, enquired of a seal-ring of great
price, which had belonged to his father Al-Mahdi,[FN#271] and it
reached him that Al-Rashid had taken it.  So he required it of
him, but he refused to give it up, and Al-Hadi insisted upon him,
yet he still denied the seal-ring of the Caliphate.  Now this was
on Tigris-bridge, and he threw the ring into the river.[FN#272]
When Al-Hadi died and Al-Rashid succeeded to the Caliphate, he
went in person to that very place with a seal-ring of lead, which
he cast into the stream at the same stead, and bade the divers
seek it.  So the duckers did his bidding and brought up the first
ring, and this was counted an omen of Al-Rashid's good fortune
and of the continuance of his reign.[FN#273]  When Al-Rashid came
to the throne, he invested Ja'afar bin Yahy\xE0 bin Kh\xE1lid al-
Barmaki[FN#274] with the Wazirate.  Now Ja'afar was eminently
noted for generosity and munificence, and the histories of him to
this purport are renowned and have been documented.  None of the
Wazirs rose to the rank and favour whereto he attained with Al-
Rashid, who was wont to call him brother[FN#275] and used to
carry him with him into his house.  The period of his Wazirate
was nineteen[FN#276] years, and Yahya one day said to his son
Ja'afar, "O my son, as long as thy reed trembleth,[FN#277] water
it with kindness."  Men differ concerning the reason of Ja'afar's
slaughter, but the better opinion of it is follows.  Al-Rashid
could not bear to be parted from Ja'afar nor from his own sister
'Abb\xE1sah, daughter of Al-Mahdi, a single hour, and she was the
loveliest woman of her day; so he said to Ja'afar, "I will marry
thee to her, that it may be lawful to thee to look upon her, but
thou shalt not touch her."  After this time the twain used to be
present in Al-Rashid's sitting chamber.  Now the Caliph would get
up bytimes and leave the chamber, and they being filled with wine
as well as being young, Ja'afar would rise to her and know her
carnally.[FN#278]  She conceived by him and bare a handsome boy;
and, fearing Al-Rashid, she dispatched the new-born child by one
of her confidants to Meccah the Magnified (May Allah Almighty
greaten it in honor and increase it in venerance and nobility and
magnification!).  The affair abode concealed till there befel a
brabble between Abbasah and one of her hand-maidens whereupon the
slave-girl discovered the affair of the child to Al-Rashid and
acquainted him with its abiding-place.  So, when the Caliph
pilgrimaged, he sent one who brought him the boy and found the
matter true, where he caused befal the Barmecides whatso

              IBN AL-SAMMAK AND AL-RASHID[FN#280]

It is related that Ibn al-Samm\xE1k[FN#281] went in one day to Al-
Rashid, and the Caliph, being athirst, called for drink.  So his
cup was brought him, and when he took it, Ibn al-Sammak said to
him, "Softly, O Prince of True Believers!  An thou wert denied
this draught, with how much wouldst thou buy it?"  He replied,
"With the half of my reign;" and Ibn al-Sammak said, "Drink and
Allah make it grateful to thee!"  Then, when he had drunken; he
asked him, "An thou wert denied the issuing forth of the draught
from thy body, with what wouldst thou buy its issue?"  Answered
Al-Rashid, "With the whole of my reign;" and Ibn al-Sammak said,
"O Commander of the Faithful, verily, a realm that weigheth not
in the balance against a draught of water or a voiding of urine
is not worth the striving for."  And Harun wept.

                 AL-MAAMUN AND ZUBAYDAH[FN#282]

It is said that Al-Maam\xFAn[FN#283] came one day upon Zubaydah,
mother of Al-Am\xEDn,[FN#284] and saw her moving her lips and
muttering somewhat he understood not; so he said to her, "O
mother mine, art thou cursing me because I slew thy son and
spoiled him of his realm?"  Said she, "Not so, by Allah, O
Commander of the Faithful!" and quoth he, "What then was it thou
saidest?"  Quoth she, "Let the Prince of True Believers excuse
me."  But he was urgent with her, saying, "There is no help but
that thou tell it."  And she replied, "I said, Allah confound
importunity!"  He asked, "How so?" and she answered, "I played
one day at chess with the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-
Rashid, and he imposed on me the condition of forfeits.[FN#285]
He won and made me doff my dress and walk round about the palace,
stark naked; so I did this, and I felt incensed against him.
Then we fell again to playing and I won; whereat I made him go to the
kitchen and lie with the foulest and fulsomest wench of the
wenches thereof; but I found not a slave-girl fouler and filthier
than thy mother;[FN#286] so I so bade him tumble her.  He did my
bidding and she conceived by him of thee, and thus was I the
cause of the slaying of my son and the spoiling of him of his
realm."  When Al-Maam\xFAn heard this, he turned away, saying,
"Allah curse the importunate!" that is, himself, who had
importuned her till she acquainted him with that affair.


It is said that Al-Nu'um\xE1n[FN#288] had two boon-companions, one
of whom was hight Ibn Sa'ad and the other Amr\xFA bin al-Malik, and
he became one night drunken and bade bury them alive; so they
buried him.  When he arose on the morrow, he asked for them and
was acquainted with their affair, whereupon he built over them a
building and appointed to himself a day of ill-luck and a day of
good fortune.  If any met him on his unlucky day, he slew him and
with his blood he washed that monument, which is a place well
known in Kufah; and if any met him on his day of good fortune he
enriched him.  Now there accosted him once, on his day of ill-
omen, an Arab of the Ban\xFA Tay[FN#289] and Al-Nu'uman would have
done him dead; but the Arab said, "Allah quicken the king! I have
two little girls and have made none guardian over them;
wherefore, and the king see fit to grant me leave to go to them,
I will give him the covenant of Allah[FN#290] that I will return
to him, as soon as I shall have appointed unto them a guardian."
Al-Nu'uman had ruth on him and said to him, "An a man will be
surety for thee of those who are with us, I will let thee go, and
if thou return not I will slay him."  Now there was with Al-
Nu'uman his Wazir Sharik bin Amru: so the T\xE1\xED[FN#291] looked at
him and said,

"Ho thou, Sharik, O Amru-son is there fro' Death repair? * O
     brother to men brotherless, brother of all in care!
O brother of Al-Nu'uman an old man this day spare, * An old man
     slain and Allah deign fair meed for thee prepare!"

Quoth Sharik, "On me be his warranty, Allah assain the king!"  So
the T\xE1\xED departed, after a term had been assigned him for his
returning.  Now when the appointed day arrived, Al-Nu'uman sent
for Sharik and said to him, "Verily the high noon of this day is
past;" and Sharik answered, "the king hath no procedure against
me till it be eventide." Whenas evened the evening there appeared
one afar off and Al-Nu'uman fell to looking upon him and on
Sharik who said to him, "Thou hast no right over me till yonder
person come, for haply he is my man."  As he spake, up came the
T\xE1\xED in haste and Al-Nu'uman said, "By Allah, never saw I any more
generous than you two!  I know not which of you be the nobler,
whether this one who became warrant for thee in death-risk or
thou who returnest to thy slaughter."  Then quoth he to Sharik,
"What drave thee to become warrant for him, knowing the while it
was death?" and quoth he, "I did this lest it be said, Generosity
hath departed from Wazirs."  Then Al-Nu'uman asked the T\xE1\xED, "And
thou, what prompted thee to return, knowing that therein was
death and thine one destruction?" and the Arab answered, "I did
this lest it be said, Fidelity hath departed from the folk; for
such thing would be a shame to mine issue and to my tribe."  And
Al-Nu'uman cried, "By Allah, I will be the third of you, lest it
be said, Mercy hath departed from the kings."  So he pardoned him
and bade abolish the day of ill-luck; whereupon the Arab began to

"A many urged me that I false my faith, * But I refused whatso
     the wights could plead;
For I'm a man in whom Faith dwells for aye, * And every true
     man's word is pledge of deed."

Quoth Al-Nu'uman, "What prompted thee to keep faith, the case
being as thou sayest?"  Quoth he, "O king, it was my religion."
Al-Nu'uman asked, "What is thy religion?" and he answered "The
Nazarene!"  The king said, "Expound it to me."  So the T\xE1\xED
expounded it to him and Al-Nu'uman became a Christian.[FN#292]

                   FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE[FN#293]

They relate that a certain king sat one day on the terrace-roof
of his palace, solacing himself with the view, and presently, his
wandering glances espied, on a house-top over against his palace,
a woman seer never saw her like. So he turned to those present
and asked them, "To whom belongeth yonder house?" when they
answered, "To thy servant F\xEDr\xFAz, and that is his spouse." So he
went down (and indeed passion had made him drunken as with wine,
and he was deeply in love of her), and calling Firuz, said to
him, "Take this letter and go with it to such a city and bring me
the reply." Firuz took the letter and going to his house, laid it
under his head and passed that night; and when the morning
morrowed, he farewelled his wife and fared for that city,
unknowing what his sovran purposed against him. As for the king,
he arose in haste after the husband had set out and repairing to
the house of Firuz in disguise, knocked at the entrance. Quoth
Firuz's wife, "Who's at the door?" and quoth he, saying, "I am
the king, thy husband's master." So she opened and he entered and
sat down, saying, "We are come to visit thee." She cried, "I seek
refuge[FN#294] from this visitation, for indeed I deem not well
of it;" but the king said, "O desire of hearts, I am thy
husband's master and methinks thou knowest me not." She replied,
"Nay, I know thee, O my lord and master, and I wot thy purpose
and whatso thou wantest and that thou art my husband's lord. I
understand what thou wishest, and indeed the poet hath
forestalled thee in his saying of the verses referring to thy

'Now will I leave your water-way untrod; * For many treading that
     same way I see:
When fall the clustering flies upon the food, * I raise my hand
     whate'er my hunger be:
And lions eke avoid the water-way * When dogs to lap at fountain-
     side are free.' "

Then said she, "O king, comest thou to a watering-place whereat
thy dog hath drunk and wilt thou drink thereof?" The king was
abashed at her and at her words and fared forth from her but
forgot his sandal in the house. Such was his case; but as regards
Firuz, when he went forth from his house, he sought the letter,
but found it not in pouch; so he returned home. Now his return
fell in with the king's going forth and he came upon the sandal
in his house, whereat his wit was wildered and he knew that the
king had not sent him away save for a device of his own. However,
he kept silence and spake not a word, but, taking the letter,
went on his mission and accomplished it and returned to the king,
who gave him an hundred dinars. So Firuz betook himself to the
bazar and bought what beseemeth women of goodly gifts and
returning to his wife, saluted her and gave her all he had
purchased, and said to her, "Arise and hie thee to thy father's
home." Asked she, "Wherefore?" and he answered, "Verily, the king
hath been bountiful to me and I would have thee make this public,
so thy father may joy in that which he seeth upon thee." She
rejoined "With love and gladness," and arising forthwith, betook
herself to the house of her father, who rejoiced in her coming
and in that which he saw upon her; and she abode with him a
month's space, and her husband made no mention of her. Then came
her brother to him and said, "O Firuz, an thou wilt not acquaint
me with the reason of thine anger against thy wife, come and
plead with us before the king." Quoth he, "If ye will have me
plead with you, I will e'en plead." So they went to the king and
found the Kazi sitting with him; whereupon the damsel's brother
began, "Allah assist our lord the Kazi! I let this man on hire a
flower-garden, high-walled, with a well well-conditioned and
trees fruit-laden; but he beat down its walls and ruined its well
and ate its fruits, and now he desireth to return it to me." The
Kazi turned to Firuz and asked him, "What sayest thou, O youth?"
when he answered, "Indeed, I delivered him the garden in better
case than it was before." So the Kazi said to the brother, "Hath
he delivered to thee the garden, as he avoucheth?" And the
pleader replied, "No; but I desire to question him of the reason
of his returning it." Quoth the Kazi, "What sayest thou, O
youth?" And quoth Firuz, "I returned it willy nilly, because I
entered it one day and saw the trail of the lion; so I feared
lest an I entered it again, the lion should devour me. Wherefore
that which I did, I did of reverence to him and for fear of him."
Now the king was leaning back upon the cushion, and when he heard
the young man's words, he comprehended the purport thereof; so he
sat up and said, "Return to thy flower-garden in all ease of
heart; for, by Allah, never saw I the like of thy garth nor
stronger of guard than its walls over its trees!" So Firuz
returned to his wife, and the Kazi knew not the truth of the
affair, no, nor any of those who were in that assembly, save the
king and the husband and the wife's brother.


They relate that there was once, in days of yore and in bygone
ages and times long gone before, a king of the kings of the time,
Shah Bakht hight, who had troops and servants and guards in hosts
and a Wazir called Al-Rahw\xE1n, who was learned, understanding, a
loyal counsellor and a cheerful acceptor of the commandments of
Almighty Allah, to whom belong Honour and Glory. The king
committed to this Minister the affairs of his kingdom and his
lieges and spake according to his word, and in this way he abode
a long space of time. Now this Wazir had many foes, who envied
his position and sought to do him harm, but thereunto found no
way and the Lord, in His immemorial fore-knowledge and His
fore-ordinance decreed that the king dreamt that the Minister
Al-Rahwan gave him a fruit from off a tree and he ate it and
died. So he awoke, startled and troubled, and when the Wazir had
presented himself before him and had retired and the king was
alone with those in whom he trusted, he related to them his
vision and they advised him to send for the astrologers and
interpreters and commended to him a Sage, whose skill and wisdom
they attested. Accordingly the king bade him be brought and
entreated him with honour and made him draw near to himself. Now
there had been in private intercourse with that Sage a company of
the Wazir's enemies, who besought him to slander the Minister to
the king and counsel him to do him dead, in view of what they
promised him of much wealth; and he made agreement with them on
this and acquainted the king that the Minister would slay him
within the coming month and bade him hasten to put him to death,
else would he surely be killed. Presently, the Wazir entered and
the king signed to him to clear the place. So he signed to those
who were present to withdraw, and they withdrew; whereupon quoth
the king to him, "How deemest thou, O Minister of loyal counsel
in all manner of contrivance, concerning a vision I have seen in
my sleep?" "What is it, O king?" asked the Wazir, and Shah Bakht
related to him his dream, adding, "And indeed the Sage
interpreted it to me and said to me, 'An thou do not the Wazir
dead within a month, assuredly he will slay thee.' Now to put the
like of thee to death, I am loath exceedingly, yet to leave thee
on life do I sorely fear. How then dost thou advise me act in
this affair?" The Wazir bowed his head earthwards awhile, then
raised it and said, "Allah prosper the king! Verily, it availeth
not to continue him on life of whom the king is afraid, and my
counsel is that thou hasten to put me out of the world." When the
king heard his speech and dove into the depths of his meaning, he
turned to him and said, "'Tis grievous to me, O Wazir of good
rede;" and he told him that the other sages had attested the wit
and wisdom of the astrophil. Now hearing these words Al-Rahwan
sighed and knew that the king went in fear of him; but he showed
him fortitude and said to him, "Allah assain the sovran! My rede
is that the king carry out his commandment and his decree be
dight, for that needs must death be and 'tis fainer to me that I
die oppressed, than that I die an oppressor. But, an the king
judge proper to postpone the putting of me to death till the
morrow and will pass this night with me and farewell me whenas
the morning cometh, the king shall do whatso he willeth." Then he
wept tell he wetted his gray hairs and the king was moved to ruth
for him and granted him that which he craved and vouchsafed him a
respite for that night.[FN#296]

                 The First Night of the Month.

When it was eventide, the king caused clear his sitting chamber
and summoned the Wazir, who presented himself and making his
obeisance to the king, kissed ground before him and related to

The Tale of the Man of Khorasan, his Son and his Tutor.

There was once a man of Khorasan and he had a son, whose moral
weal he ardently wished; but the young man sought to be alone and
far from the eye of his father, so he might give himself up to
pleasuring and pleasance. Accordingly he sought of his sire leave
to make the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah and to visit
the tomb of the Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!). Now
between them and Meccah was a journey of five hundred parasangs;
but his father could not contrary him, for that the Holy Law had
made pilgrimage[FN#297] incumbent on him and because of that
which he hoped for him of improvement. So he joined unto him a
tutor, in whom he trusted, and gave him much money and took leave
of him. The son set out with his governor on the holy
pilgrimage,[FN#298] and abode on the like wise, spending freely
and using not thrift. Also there was in his neighbourhood a poor
man, who had a slave-girl of passing beauty and grace, and the
youth conceived a desire for her and suffered sore cark and care
for the love of her and her loveliness, so that he was like to
perish for passion; and she also loved him with a love yet
greater than his love for her. Accordingly, the damsel summoned
an old woman who used to visit her and acquainted her with her
case, saying, "An I foregather not with him, I shall die." The
crone promised her that she would do her best to bring her to her
desire; so she veiled herself and repairing to the young man,
saluted him with the salam and acquainted him with the girl's
case, saying, "Her master is a greedy wight; so do thou invite
him and lure him with lucre, and he will sell thee the
hand-maiden." Accordingly, he made a banquet, and standing in the
man's way, invited him[FN#299] and brought him to his house,
where they sat down and ate and drank and abode in talk.
Presently, the young man said to the other, "I hear thou hast
with thee a slave-girl, whom thou desirest to sell;" but he said,
"By Allah, O my lord, I have no mind to sell her!" Quoth the
youth, "I have heard that she cost thee a thousand dinars, and I
will give thee six hundred over and above that sum;" and quoth
the other, "I sell her to thee at that price." So they fetched
notaries who wrote out the contract of sale, and the young man
weighed to the girl's master half the purchase money, saying,
"Let her be with thee till I complete to thee the rest of the
price and take my hand-maid." The owner consented to this and
took of him a written bond for the rest of the money, and the
girl abode with her master, on deposit.[FN#300] As for the youth,
he gave his governor a thousand dirhams and sent him to his sire,
to fetch money from him, so he might pay the rest of the
hand-maid's price, saying to him, "Be not long away." But the
tutor said in his mind, "How shall I fare to his father and say
to him, 'Thy son hath wasted thy money and made love with
it?'[FN#301] With what eye shall I look on him and, indeed, I am
he in whom he confided and to whom he hath entrusted his son?
Verily, this were ill rede. Nay, I will fare on with this
pilgrimage-caravan[FN#302] in despite of my fool of a youth; and
when he is weary of waiting, he will demand back his money and
return to his father, and I shall be quit of travail and
trouble." So he went on with the pilgrimage caravan[FN#303] and
took up his abode there.[FN#304] Meanwhile, the youth tarried
expecting his tutor's return, but he returned not; wherefore
concern and chagrin grew upon him because of his mistress, and
his yearning for her redoubled and he was like to kill himself.
She became aware of this and sent him a messenger, bidding him
visit her. Accordingly he went to her, and she questioned him of
the case; when he told her what was to do of the matter of his
tutor, and she said to him, "With me is longing the like of that
which is with thee, and I doubt me thy messenger hath perished or
thy father hath slain him; but I will give thee all my jewellery
and my dresses, and do thou sell them and weigh out the rest of
my price, and we will go, I and thou, to thy sire." So she handed
to him all she had and he sold it and paid the rest of her price;
after which there remained to him for spending-money an hundred
dirhams. These he spent and lay that night with the damsel in all
delight of life, and his sprite was like to fly for joy: but when
he arose in the morning, he sat weeping and the damsel said to
him, "What causeth thee to weep?" Said he, "I know not an my
father be dead, and he hath none other heir save myself; but how
shall I get to him, seeing I own not a dirham?" Quoth she, "I
have a bangle; sell it and buy seed-pearls with the price: then
round them and fashion them into great unions[FN#305] and thereby
thou shalt gain much money, with the which we may find our way to
thy country." So he took the bangle and repairing to a goldsmith,
said to him, "Break up this bracelet and sell it;" but he said,
"The king seeketh a perfect bracelet: I will go to him and bring
thee its price." Presently he bore the bangle to the Sultan and
it pleased him greatly by reason of its goodly workmanship. Then
he called an old woman, who was in his palace, and said to her,
"Needs must I have the mistress of this bracelet though but for a
single night, or I shall die;" and the old woman replied, "I will
bring her to thee." Thereupon she donned a devotee's dress and
betaking herself to the goldsmith, said to him, "To whom
belongeth the bangle which is now with the king?" and said he,
"It belongeth to a stranger, who hath bought him a slave-girl
from this city and lodgeth with her in such a place." Upon this
the old woman repaired to the young man's house and knocked at
the door. The damsel opened to her and seeing her clad in
devotee's garb,[FN#306] saluted her with the salam and asked her
saying, "Haply thou hast some need of us?" Answered the old
woman, "Yes, I desire a private place, where I can perform the
Wuzu-ablution;" and quoth the girl, "Enter." So she entered and
did her requirement and made the ablution and prayed:[FN#307]
then she brought out a rosary and began to tell her beads
thereon, and the damsel said to her, "Whence comest thou, O
pilgrimess?"[FN#308] Said she, "From visiting the Idol of the
Absent in such a church.[FN#309] There standeth up no woman
before him,[FN#310] who hath a distant friend and discloseth to
him her desire, but he acquainteth her with her case and giveth
her news of her absent one." Said the damsel, "O pilgrimess, we
have an absent one, and my lord's heart cleaveth to him and I
desire to go question the Idol of him." Quoth the crone, "Do thou
wait till to-morrow and ask leave of thy spouse, and I will come
to thee and fare with thee in weal and welfare." Then she went
away, and when the girl's master came, she sought his permission
to go with the old trot, and he gave her leave. So the beldame
came and took her and carried her to the king's door, she,
unknowing whither she went. The damsel entered with her and
beheld a goodly house and decorated apartments which were no
idol's chamber. Then came the king and seeing her beauty and
loveliness, went up to her to buss her; whereupon she fell down
in a fainting fit and struck out with her hands and feet.[FN#311]
When he saw this, he held aloof from her in ruth and left her;
but the matter was grievous to her and she refused meat and
drink, and as often as the king drew near to her, she fled from
him in fear, so he swore by Allah that he would not approach her
save with her consent and fell to presenting her with ornaments
and raiment; but her aversion to him only increased. Meanwhile,
the youth her master abode expecting her; but she returned not
and his heart already tasted the bitter draught of separation; so
he went forth at hap-hazard, distracted and knowing not what he
should do, and began strewing dust upon his head and crying out,
"The old woman hath taken her and gone away!" The little boys
followed him with stones and pelted him, crying, "A madman! A
madman!" Presently, the king's Chamberlain, who was a personage
of years and worth, met him, and when he saw this youth, he
forbade the boys and drave them away from him, after which he
accosted him and asked him of his affair. So he told him his tale
and the Chamberlain said to him, "Fear not! I will deliver thy
slavegirl for thee; so calm thy concern." And he went on to speak
him fair and comfort him, till he had firm reliance on his word.
Then he carried him to his home and stripping him of his clothes,
clad him in rags; after which he called an old woman, who was his
housekeeper,[FN#312] and said to her, "Take this youth and bind
on his neck yon iron chain and go round about with him in all the
great thoroughfares of the city, and when thou hast done this, go
up with him to the palace of the king." And he said to the youth,
"In whatsoever stead thou seest the damsel, speak not a syllable,
but acquaint me with her place and thou shalt owe her deliverance
to none save to me." The youth thanked him and went with the old
woman in such fashion as the Chamberlain bade him. She fared on
with him till they entered the city, and walked all about it;
after which she went up to the palace of the king and fell to
saying, "O fortune's favourites, look on a youth whom the devils
take twice in the day and pray to be preserved from such
affliction!" And she ceased not to go round with him till she
came to the eastern wing[FN#313] of the palace, whereupon the
slave-girls hurried out to look upon him and when they saw him
they were amazed at his beauty and loveliness and wept for him.
Then they informed the damsel, who came forth and considered him
and knew him not; but he knew her; so he drooped his head and
shed tears. She was moved to pity for him and gave him somewhat
and went back to her place, whilst the youth returned with the
housekeeper to the Chamberlain and told him that she was in the
king's mansion, whereat he was chagrined and said, "By Allah, I
will assuredly devise a device for her and deliver her!"
Whereupon the youth kissed his hands and feet. Then he turned to
the old woman and bade her change her habit and her semblance.
Now this ancient dame was sweet of speech and winsome of wit; so
he gave her costly and delicious ottars and said to her, "Get
thee to the king's slave-girls and sell them these essences and
win thy way to the damsel and ask her if she desire her master or
not." So the old woman went out and making her way to the palace,
went in to the hand-maid and drew near her and recited these

"Allah preserve our Union-days and their delights. * Ah me! How
     sweet was life! how joys were ever new!
May he not be who cursed us twain with parting day; * How many a
     bone he brake, how many a life he slew!
He shed my faultless tear-floods and my sinless blood; * And
     beggaring me of love himself no richer grew."

When the damsel heard the old woman's verses, she wept till her
clothes were drenched and drew near the speaker, who asked her,
"Knowest thou such-an-one?" And she wept and answered, "He is my
lord. Whence knowest thou him?" Rejoined the old woman, "O my
lady, sawest thou not the madman who came hither yesterday with
the old woman? He was thy lord," presently adding, "But this is
no time for talk. When 'tis night, get thee to the top of the
palace and wait on the terrace till thy lord come to thee and
compass thy deliverance." Then she gave her what she would of
perfumes and returning to the Chamberlain, acquainted him with
whatso had passed, and he told the youth. Now as soon as it was
evening, the Chamberlain bade bring two hackneys and great store
of water and provaunt and a riding-camel and a fellow to show
them the way. These he ambushed without the town whilst he and
the young man, taking with them a long rope, made fast to a
staple, went and stood below the palace. Whenas they came
thither, they looked and behold, the damsel was standing on the
terrace-roof, so they threw her the rope and the staple, which
she made fast, and tucking up her sleeves above her wrists, slid
down and landed with them. They carried her without the town,
where they mounted, she and her lord, and fared on, with the
guide in front,[FN#314] directing them on the way, and they
ceased not faring night and day till they entered his father's
house. The young man greeted his sire, who was gladdened in him,
and to whom he related all that had befallen him, whereupon he
rejoiced in his safety. As for the tutor, he wasted whatso was
with him and returned to the city, where he saw the youth and
excused himself. Then he questioned him of what had betided him
and he told him, whereat he admired and returned to companionship
with him; but the youth ceased to have regard for him and gave
him nor solde nor ration as was his wont, neither discovered to
him aught of his secrets. When the tutor saw that there was no
profit from him he returned to the king, the ravisher of the
slave-girl, and recounted to him what the Chamberlain had done
and counselled him to slay that official and egged him on to
recover the damsel, promising to give his friend a poison-draught
and return. Accordingly the king sent for the Chamberlain and
chid him for the deed he had done; whereat the king's servants
incontinently fell upon the Chamberlain and put him to death.
Meanwhile the tutor returned to the youth, who asked him of his
absence, and he told him that he had been in the city of the king
who had taken the slave-girl. When the youth heard this, he
misdoubted of his governor and never again trusted him in
anything but was always on his guard against him. Then the tutor
without stay or delay caused prepare great store of sweetmeats
and put in them deadly poison and presented them to the youth,
who, when he saw those sweetmeats, said to himself, "This is an
extraordinary thing of the tutor! Needs must there be in this
sweetmeat some mischief, and I will make proof of his
confectionery upon himself." Accordingly he got ready food and
set amongst it a portion of the sweetmeat, and inviting the
governor to his house placed the provaunt before him. He ate, and
amongst the rest which they brought him, the poisoned sweetmeat;
so while in the act of eating he died; whereby the youth knew
that this was a plot against himself and said, Whoso seeketh his
fortune by his own force[FN#315] attaineth a failure." "Nor,"
continued the Wazir, "is this, O king of the age, stranger than
the story of the Druggist and his Wife and the Singer." When King
Shah Bakht heard the tale of Al-Rahwan he gave him leave to
withdraw to his own house and he tarried there the rest of the
night and the next day till eventide evened.

                 The Second Night of the Mouth.

When the even evened, the king sat private in his sitting-chamber
and his mind was occupied with the story of the Singer and the
Druggist. So he called the Wazir and bade him tell the tale.
Answered he, "I will well. They recount, O my lord, the following

Tale of the Singer and the Druggist.

There was once in the city of Hamad\xE1n[FN#316] a young man of
seemly semblance and skilled in singing to the lute; wherefore he
was well seen of the citizens. He went forth one day of his home
with intent to travel, and gave not over journeying till his
travel brought him to a town and a goodly. Now he had with him a
lute and its appurtenance,[FN#317] so he entered and went round
about the streets till he happened upon a druggist who, when he
espied him, called to him. So he went up to him and bade him sit
down; accordingly, the youth sat down by his side, and the
druggist questioned him of his case. The singer told him what was
in his mind, and the pharmacist took him up into his shop and
bought him food and fed him. Then said he to him, "Rise and take
up thy lute and beg about the streets, and whenas thou smellest
the reek of wine, break in upon the drinkers and say to them, I
am a singer. They will laugh and cry, Come in to us. And when
thou singest, the folk will know thee and speak one to other of
thee; so shalt thou become known about town, and thou shalt
better thy business." He went round about, as the druggist bade
him, till the sun waxed hot, but found none drinking. Then he
entered a lane, that he might take rest, and seeing there a
handsome house and a lofty, stood in its shade and fell to
observing the excellence of its edification. Now while he was
thus engaged, behold, a casement opened and there appeared
thereat a face, as it were the moon. Quoth the owner of the face,
"What aileth thee to stand there? Dost thou want aught?" And
quoth he, "I am a stranger," and acquainted her with his
adventure; whereupon asked she, "What sayst thou to meat and
drink and the enjoyment of a fair face and getting thee
spending-money?" And he answered, "O mistress mine, this is my
desire whereof I am going about in quest!" So she opened the door
to him and brought him in: then she seated him at the upper end
of the room and served him with food. He ate and drank and lay
with her and futtered her. This ended, she sat down in his lap
and they toyed and laughed and exchanged kisses till the day was
half done, when her husband came home and she had no recourse but
to hide the singer in a mat,[FN#318] in which she rolled him up.
The husband entered and seeing the battle-place[FN#319]
disordered and smelling the reek of liquor questioned her of
this. Quoth she, "I had with me a bosom friend of mine and I
conjured her to crack a cup with me; and so we drank a jar full,
I and she, and but now, before thy coming in, she fared forth."
Her husband deemed her words true and went away to his shop, he
being none other than the singer's friend the druggist, who had
invited him and fed him; whereupon the lover came forth and he
and the lady returned to their pleasant pastime and abode on this
wise till evening, when she gave him money and said to him,
"To-morrow in the forenoon come hither to me." He replied, "Yes,"
and departed; and at nightfall he went to the Hammam-bath. On the
morrow, he betook himself to the shop of his friend the druggist,
who welcomed him as soon as he saw him, and questioned him of his
case and how he had fared that day. Quoth the singer, "Allah
requite thee with welfare, O my brother, for indeed thou hast
directed me to a restful life!" Then he acquainted him with his
adventure and told him the tale of the woman, till he came to the
mention of her husband, when he said, "And at midday came the
horned cuckold,[FN#320] her husband, and knocked at the door. So
she wrapped me in the mat, and when he had wended his ways I came
forth and we returned to our pleasant play." This was grievous to
the druggist, and he repented of having taught him how he should
do and suspected his wife. Accordingly he asked the singer, "And
what said she to thee at thy going away?" and the other answered,
"She said, Come back to me on the morrow. So, behold, I am off to
her and I came not hither but that I might acquaint thee with
this, lest thy thoughts be pre-occupied with me." Then he
farewelled him, and walked out. As soon as the druggist was
assured that he had reached the house, he cast the net[FN#321]
over his shop and made for his home, in some suspicion of his
wife, and knocked at the door. Now the singer had entered and the
druggist's wife said to him, "Up with thee and enter this chest."
Accordingly he entered it and she shut it down on him and opened
to her husband, who came in all distraught, and searched the
house but found none and overlooked the chest. Hereat he said in
his mind "The house[FN#322] is one which favoureth my house and
the woman is one who favoureth my wife," and returned to his
shop; whereupon the singer came forth of the chest and falling
upon the druggist's wife, had his wicked will of her and spent
upon her what was her due, and weighed down the scale for her
with full measure. Then they ate and drank and kissed and clipped
necks, and in this way they abode till the evening, when she gave
him money, because she found his weaving nice and good,[FN#323]
and made him promise to come to her on the morrow. So he left her
and slept his night and on the morrow he returned to the shop of
his friend the druggist and saluted him. The other welcomed him
and questioned him of his case; whereat he told his tale till he
ended with the mention of the woman's husband, when he said,
"Then came the horned cuckold, her mate and she stowed me away in
the chest and shut down the lid upon me, whilst her addlepated
pander[FN#324] of a husband went about the house, top and bottom;
and when he had gone his way, we returned to our pleasant
pastime." With this, the druggist was assured that the house was
his house and the wife his wife, and quoth he, "Now what wilt
thou do to-day?" Quoth the singer, "I shall return to her and
weave for her and full her yarn[FN#325], and I came not[FN#326]
save to thank thee for thy dealing with me." Then he went away,
whilst the fire was loosed in the heart of the druggist and he
shut his shop and returning to his house, rapped at the door.
Said the singer, "Let me jump into the chest, for he saw me not
yesterday;" but said she, "No! wrap thyself up in the mat." So he
wrapped himself up and stood in a corner of the room, whilst the
druggist entered and went no whither else save to the chest, but
found naught inside. Then he walked round about the house and
searched it, top and bottom, but came upon nothing and no one and
abode between belief and disbelief, and said to himself, "Haply,
I suspect my wife of what is not in her." So he was certified of
her innocence and going forth content, returned to his shop,
whereupon out came the singer and they resumed their former
little game, as was their wont, till eventide when she gave him
one of her husband's shirts and he took it and going away,
nighted in his own lodging. Next morning he repaired to the
druggist, who saluted him with the salam and came to meet him and
rejoiced in him and smiled in his face, deeming his wife
innocent. Then he questioned him of his case on yesterday and he
told him how he had fared, saying, "O my brother, when the
cornute knocked at the door, I would have jumped into the chest;
but his wife forbade me and rolled me up in the mat. The man
entered and thought of nothing save the chest; so he brake it
open and woned like one jinn-mad, going up and coming down. Then
he went about his business and I came out and we abode on our
accustomed case till eventide, when she gave me this shirt of her
husband's; and behold, I am now off to her." When the druggist
heard the singer's words, he was assured of the adventure and
knew that the calamity, all of it, was in his own house and that
the wife was his wife; and he considered the shirt, whereupon he
redoubled in assuredness and said to the singer, "Art thou now
going to her?" Said he, "Yes, O my brother," and taking leave of
him, went away; whereupon the druggist started up, as he were
stark mad, and dismantled his shop.[FN#327] Whilst he was thus
doing, the singer won to the house, and presently up came the
druggist and knocked at the door. The lover would have wrapped
himself up in the mat, but she forbade him and said, "Get thee
down to the ground floor of the house and enter the
oven-jar[FN#328] and close the cover upon thyself." So he did her
bidding and she went down to her husband and opened the door to
him, whereupon he came in and went round the house, but found no
one and overlooked the oven-jar. Then he stood musing and sware
that he would not again go forth of the house till the morrow. As
for the singer, when his stay in the oven-jar grew longsome upon
him, he came forth therefrom, thinking that her husband had gone
away; and he went up to the terrace-roof and looking down, beheld
his friend the druggist: whereat he was sore concerned and said
in himself, "Alas, the disgrace, ah! This is my friend the
druggist, who of me was fain and dealt me fair and I have paid
him with foul." He feared to return to the druggist; so he
stepped down and opened the first door and would have gone out at
a venture, unseen of the husband; but, when he came to the outer
door, he found it locked and saw not the key. Hereat he returned
to the terrace and began dropping from roof to roof till the
people of the house heard him and hastened to fall upon him,
deeming him a thief. Now that house belonged to a Persian man; so
they laid hands on him and the house-master fell to beating him,
saying to him, "Thou art a thief." He replied, "No I am not a
thief, but a singing-man, a stranger who, hearing your voices,
came to sing to you." When the folk heard his words, they talked
of letting him go; but the Persian said, "O folk, let not his
speech cozen you. This one is none other than a thief who knoweth
how to sing, and when he cometh upon the like of us, he is a
singer." Said they, "O our lord, this man is a stranger, and
needs we must release him." Quoth he, "By Allah, my heart heaveth
at this fellow! Let me kill him with beating;" but quoth they,
"Thou mayst no ways do that." So they delivered the singer from
the Persian, the master of the house, and seated him amongst
them, whereupon he began singing to them and they rejoiced in
him. Now the Persian had a Mameluke,[FN#329] as he were the full
moon, and he arose and went out, and the singer followed him and
wept before him, professing lustful love to him and kissing his
hands and feet. The Mameluke took compassion on him and said to
him, "When the night cometh and my master entereth the Harim and
the folk fare away, I will grant thee thy desire; and I sleep in
such a place." Then the singer returned and sat with the
cup-companions, and the Persian rose and went out with the
Mameluke by his side. Now[FN#330] the singer knew the place which
the Mameluke occupied at the first of the night; but it chanced
that the youth rose from his stead and the waxen taper went out.
The Persian, who was drunk, fell over on his face, and the singer
supposing him to be the Mameluke, said, "By Allah, 'tis good!"
and threw himself upon him and began to work at his bag-trousers
till the string was loosed; then he brought out[FN#331] his
prickle upon which he spat and slipped it into him. Thereupon the
Persian started up, crying out and, laying hands on the singer,
pinioned him and beat him a grievous beating, after which he
bound him to a tree that stood in the house-court. Now there was
in the house a beautiful singing-girl and when she saw the singer
tight pinioned and tied to the tree, she waited till the Persian
lay down on his couch, when she arose and going up to the singer,
fell to condoling with him over what had betided him and making
eyes at him and handling his yard and rubbing it, till it rose
upright. Then said she to him, "Do with me the deed of kind and I
will loose thy pinion-bonds, lest he return and beat thee again;
for he purposeth thee an ill purpose." Quoth he, "Loose me and I
will do it;" but quoth she, "I fear that, an I loose thee, thou
wilt not do it. But I will do it and thou have me standing; and
when I have done, I will loose thee." So saying, she opened her
clothes and introducing the singer's prickle, fell to toing and
froing.[FN#332] Now there was in the house a fighting-ram, which
the Persian had trained to butting,[FN#333] and when he saw what
the woman was doing, he thought she wished to do battle with him;
so he broke his halter and running at her, butted her and split
her skull. She fell on her back and shrieked; whereupon the
Persian started up hastily from sleep and seeing the singing-girl
on her back and the singer with yard on end, cried to him, "O
accursed, doth not what thou hast erewhile done suffice thee?"
Then he beat him a shrewd beating and opening the door, thrust
him out in the middle of the night. He lay the rest of the dark
hours in one of the ruins, and when he arose in the morning, he
said, "None is in fault! I, for one, sought my own good, and he
is no fool who seeketh good for himself; and the druggist's wife
also sought good for herself; but Predestination overcometh
Precaution and for me there remaineth no tarrying in this town."
So he went forth from the place. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is
this story, strange though it be, stranger than that of the King
and his Son and that which betided them of wonders and rare
marvels." When the king heard this story, he deemed it pretty and
pleasant and said, "This tale is near unto that which I know and
'tis my rede I should do well to have patience and hasten not to
slay my Minister, so I may get of him the profitable story of the
King and his Son." Then he gave the Wazir leave to go away to his
own house; so he thanked him and tarried in his home all that

                 The Third Night of the Month.

When it was supper-time the king sought the sitting-chamber; and,
summoning the Wazir, sought of him the story he had promised him;
and the Minister said, "They tell, O king,

The Tale of the King who Kenned the Quintessence[FN#334] of

There came to a king of the kings, in his old age, a son, who
grew up comely, quickwitted, clever: and, when he reached years
of discretion and became a young man, his father said to him,
"Take this realm and rule it in lieu of me, for I desire to flee
from the sin of sovranty[FN#335] to Allah the Most High and don
the woollen dress and devote all my time to devotion." Quoth the
Prince, "And I am another who desireth to take refuge with the
Almighty." So the king said, "Arise, let us flee forth and make
for the mountains and there worship in shame before God the Most
Great." Accordingly, the twain gat them gear of wool and clothing
themselves therewith, fared forth and wandered in the wolds and
wastes; but, when some days had passed over them, both became
weak for hunger and repented them of that they had done whenas
penitence profited them not, and the Prince complained to his
father of weariness and hunger. Cried the king, "Dear my son, I
did with thee that which behoved me,[FN#336] but thou wouldst not
hearken to me, and now there is no means of returning to thy
former estate, for that another hath taken the kingdom and
defendeth it from all foes: but indeed I will counsel thee of
somewhat, wherein do thou pleasure me by compliance." The Prince
asked, "What is it?" and his father answered, "Take me and go
with me to the market-street and sell me and receive my price and
do with it whatso thou willest, and I shall become the property
of one who shall provide for my wants." The Prince enquired, "Who
will buy thee of me, seeing thou art a very old man? Nay, do thou
rather sell me, inasmuch as the demand for me will be more." But
the king replied, "An thou wert king, thou wouldest require
service of me." Accordingly the youth obeyed his father's bidding
and taking him, carried him to the slave-dealer and said, "Sell
me this old man." Said the dealer, "Who will buy this wight, and
he a son of eighty years?"[FN#337] Then quoth he to the king, "In
what crafts art thou cunning?" and quoth he, "I ken the
quintessence of jewels and I ken the quintessence of horses and I
ken the quintessence of men; brief, I ken the quintessence of all
things." So the slave-dealer took him and went about, offering
him for sale to the folk; but none would buy. Presently, up came
the Chef of the Sultan's kitchen and asked, "What is this man?"
and the dealer answered, "This be a Mameluke for sale." The
kitchener marvelled at this and bought the king, after
questioning him of what he could do, for ten thousand dirhams.
Then he weighed out the money and carried him to his house, but
dared not employ him in aught of service; so he appointed him an
allowance, a modicum sufficient for his maintenance, and repented
him of having bought him, saying, "What shall I do with the like
of this wight?" Presently, the king of the city was minded to go
forth to his garden,[FN#338] a-pleasuring, and bade the cook
precede him and appoint in his stead one who should dress the
royal meat, so that, when he returned, he might find the meal
ready. The Chef fell to thinking of whom he should appoint and
was perplexed concerning his affair. As he was thus, the Shaykh
came to him, and seeing him distraught as to how he should do,
said to him, "Tell me what is in thy mind; haply I may bring thee
relief." So he acquainted him with the king's wishes and he said,
"Have no care for this, but leave me one of the serving-men and
do thou go companying thy lord in peace and surety, for I will
suffice thee of this." Hereat the cook departed with the king,
after he had brought the old man what he needed and left him a
man of the guards; and when he was gone, the Shaykh bade the
trooper wash the kitchen-battery and made ready food exceedingly
fine. When the king returned he set the meat before him, and he
tasted dishes whose like he had never savoured; whereat he was
startled and asked who had dressed it. Accordingly they
acquainted him with the Shaykh's case and he summoned him to his
presence and asking him anent the mystery, increased his
allowance of rations;[FN#339] moreover, he bade that they should
cook together, he and the kitchener, and the old man obeyed his
bidding. Some time after this, there came two merchants to the
king with two pearls of price and each of them declared that his
pearl was worth a thousand dinars, but the folk was incompetent
to value them. Then said the cook, "Allah prosper the king!
Verily, the Shaykh whom I bought affirmed that he knew the
quintessence of jewels and that he was skilled in cookery. We
have tried him in his cuisine, and have found him the most
knowing of men; and now, if we send after him and prove him on
jewels, his second claim will be made manifest to us, whether
true or false." So the king bade fetch the Shaykh and he came and
stood before the Sultan, who showed him the two pearls. Quoth he,
"Now for this one, 'tis worth a thousand dinars;" and quoth the
king, "So saith its owner." "But for this other," continued the
old man, "'tis worth only five hundred." The people laughed and
admired his saying, and the merchant who owned the second pearl
asked him, "How can this, which is bigger of bulk and worthier
for water and righter of rondure, be less of value than that?"
and the old man answered, "I have said what is with me."[FN#340]
Then quoth the king to him, "Indeed, the outer semblance thereof
is like that of the other pearl; why then is it worth but the
half of its price?" and quoth the old man, "Yes, but its inward
is corrupt." Asked the merchant, "Hath a pearl then an inward and
an outward?" and the Shaykh answered, "Yea! In its interior is a
teredo, a boring worm; but the other pearl is sound and secure
against breakage." The merchant continued, "Give us approof of
this thy knowledge and confirm to us the truth of thy saying;"
and the old man rejoined, "We will break it: an I prove a liar,
here is my head, and if I speak sooth, thou wilt have lost thy
pearl;" and the merchant said, "I agree to that." So they brake
the pearl and it was even as the old man had declared, to wit, in
the heart of it was a boring worm. The king marvelled at what he
saw and questioned him of how he came by the knowledge of this.
The Shaykh replied, "O king, this kind of jewel is engendered in
the belly of a creature called the oyster[FN#341] and its origin
is a drop of rain and it resisteth the touch and groweth not warm
whilst hent in hand:[FN#342] so, when its outer coat became tepid
to my touch, I knew that it harboured some living thing, for that
things of life thrive not save in heat." Therefore the king said
to the cook, "Increase his allowance;" and the Chef appointed to
him fresh rations. Now some time after this, two merchants
presented themselves to the king with two horses, and one said,
"I ask a thousand ducats for my horse," and the other, "I seek
five thousand ducats for mine." Quoth the cook, "We are now
familiar with the old man's just judgment; what deemeth the king
of fetching him?" So the king bade fetch him, and when he saw the
two horses[FN#343] he said, "This is worth a thousand and that
two thousand ducats." Quoth the folk, "This horse thou misjudgest
is evidently a thoroughbred and he is younger and faster and
compacter of limb and finer of head and clearer of colour and
skin than the other;" presently adding, "What assurance hast thou
of the sooth of thy saying?" And the old man said, "This ye state
is true, all true; but his sire is old and this other is the son
of a young horse. Now, when the son of an old horse standeth
still a-breathing, his breath returneth not to him and his rider
falleth into the hand of him who followeth after him; but the son
of a young horse, an thou put him to speed and after making him
run, alight from him, thou wilt find him, by reason of his
robustness, untired." Quoth the merchant, "'Tis even as the
Shaykh avoucheth and he is an excellent judge." And the king
said, "Increase his allowance." But the Shaykh stood still and
did not go away; so the king asked him, "Why dost thou not go
about thy business?" and he answered, "My business is with the
king." Said the king, "Name what thou wouldest have," and the
other replied, "I would have thee question me of the quintessence
of men, even as thou hast questioned me of the quintessence of
horses." Quoth the king, "We have no occasion to question thee
thereof;" but quoth the old man, "I have occasion to acquaint
thee." "Say what thou wilt," rejoined the king, and the Shaykh
said, "Verily, the king is the son of a baker." Cried the king,
"How and whereby kennest thou that?" and the Shaykh replied,
"Know, O king, that I have examined into degrees and
dignities[FN#344] and have learned this." Thereupon the king went
in to his mother and asked her anent his sire, and she told him
that the king her husband was impotent;[FN#345] "So," quoth she,
"I feared for the kingdom, lest it pass away, after his death;
wherefore I yielded my person to a young man, a baker, and
conceived by him and bare a man-child;[FN#346] and the kingship
came into the hand of my son, that is, thyself." So the king
returned to the Shaykh and said to him, "I am indeed the son of a
baker; so do thou expound to me the means whereby thou knewest me
for this." Quoth the other, "I knew that, hadst thou been the son
of a king, thou wouldst have gifted me with things of price, such
as rubies and the like; and wert thou the son of a Kazi, thou
hadst given largesse of a dirham or two dirhams, and wert thou
the son of any of the merchants, thou hadst given me muchel of
money. But I saw that thou bestowedst upon me naught save two
bannocks of bread and other rations, wherefore I knew thee to be
the son of a baker;" and quoth the king, "Thou hast hit the
mark." Then he gave him wealth galore and advanced him to high
estate. The tale aforesaid pleased King Shah Bakht and he
marvelled thereat; but the Wazir said to him, "This story is not
stranger than that of the Richard who married his beautiful
daughter to the poor Shaykh." The king's mind was occupied with
the promised tale and he bade the Wazir withdraw to his lodging;
so he went and abode there the rest of the night and the whole of
the following day.

                 The Fourth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the king sat private in his
sitting-chamber and bade fetch the Wazir. When he presented
himself before him, he said to him, "Tell me the tale of the
Richard." The Minister replied, "I will. Hear, O puissant king,

The Tale of the Richard who Married his Beautiful Daughter
to the Poor Old Man.

A certain rich merchant had a beautiful daughter, who was as the
full moon, and when she attained the age of fifteen, her father
betook himself to an old man and spreading him a carpet in his
sitting-chamber, gave him to eat and conversed and caroused with
him. Then said he to him, "I desire to marry thee to my
daughter." The other drew back, because of his poverty, and said
to him, "I am no husband for her nor am I a match for thee." The
merchant was urgent with him, but he repeated his answer to him,
saying, "I will not consent to this till thou acquaint me with
the cause of thy desire for me. An I find it reasonable, I will
fall in with thy wish; and if not, I will not do this ever."
Quoth the merchant, "Thou must know that I am a man from the land
of China and was in my youth well-favoured and well-to-do. Now I
made no account of womankind, one and all, but followed after
youths,[FN#347] and one night I saw, in a dream, as it were a
balance set up, and hard by it a voice said, 'This is the portion
of Such-an-one.' I listened and presently I heard my own name; so
I looked and behold, there stood a woman loathly to the
uttermost; whereupon I awoke in fear and cried, 'I will never
marry, lest haply this fulsome female fall to my lot.' Then I set
out for this city with merchandise and the journey was pleasant
to me and the sojourn here, so that I took up my abode in the
place for a length of time and gat me friends and factors. At
last I sold all my stock-in-trade and collected its price and
there was left me nothing to occupy me till the folk[FN#348]
should depart and I depart with them. One day, I changed my
clothes and putting gold into my sleeve, sallied forth to inspect
the holes and corners of this city, and as I was wandering about,
I saw a handsome house: its seemliness pleased me; so I stood
looking on it and beheld a lovely woman at the window. When she
saw me, she made haste and descended, whilst I abode confounded.
Then I betook myself to a tailor there and questioned him of the
house and anent whose it was. Quoth he, 'It belongeth to
Such-an-one the Notary,[FN#349] God damn him!' I asked, 'Is he
her sire?' and he answered, 'Yes.' So I repaired in great hurry
to a man, with whom I had been wont to deposit my goods for sale,
and told him I desired to gain access to Such-an-one the Notary.
Accordingly he assembled his friends and we betook ourselves to
the Notary's house. When we came in to him, we saluted him and
sat with him, and I said to him, 'I come to thee as a suitor,
desiring in marriage the hand of thy daughter.' He replied, 'I
have no daughter befitting this man;' and I rejoined, 'Allah aid
thee! My desire is for thee and not for her.'[FN#350] But he
still refused and his friends said to him, 'This is an honourable
match and a man thine equal, nor is it lawful to thee that thou
hinder the young lady of her good luck.' Quoth he to them, 'She
will not suit him!' nevertheless they were instant with him till
at last he said, 'Verily, my daughter whom ye seek is passing
ill-favoured and in her are all blamed qualities of person.' And I
said, 'I accept her, though she be as thou sayest.' Then said the
folk, 'Extolled be Allah! Cease we to talk of a thing settled; so
say the word, how much wilt thou have to her marriagesettlement?'
Quoth he, 'I must have four thousand sequins;' and I said, 'To
hear is to obey!' Accordingly the affair was concluded and we
drew up the contract of marriage and I made the bride-feast; but
on the wedding-night I beheld a thing[FN#351] than which never
made Allah Almighty aught more fulsome. Methought her folk had
devised this freak by way of fun; so I laughed and looked for my
mistress, whom I had seen at the window, to make her appearance;
but saw her not. When the affair was prolonged and I found none
but her, I was like to lose my wits for vexation and fell to
beseeching my Lord and humbling myself in supplication before Him
that He would deliver me from her. When I arose in the morning,
there came the chamberwoman and said to me, 'Hast thou need of
the bath?'[FN#352] I replied, 'No;' and she asked, 'Art thou for
breakfast?' But I still answered 'No;' and on this wise I abode
three days, tasting neither meat nor drink. When the young woman
my wife saw me in this plight, she said to me, 'O man, tell me
thy tale, for, by Allah, if I may effect thy deliverance, I will
assuredly further thee thereto.' I gave ear to her speech and put
faith in her sooth and acquainted her with the adventure of the
damsel whom I had seen at the window and how 1 had fallen in love
with her; whereupon quoth she, 'An that girl belong to me, whatso
I possess is thine, and if she belong to my sire, I will demand
her of him and detain her from him and deliver her to thee.' Then
she fell to summoning hand-maid after hand-maid and showing them
to me, till I saw the damsel whom I loved and said, 'This is
she.' Quoth my wife, 'Let not thy heart be troubled, for this is
my slave-girl. My father gave her to me and I give her to
thee:[FN#353] so comfort thyself and be of good cheer and of eyes
cool and clear.' Then, when it was night, she brought the girl to
me, after she had adorned her and perfumed her, and said to her,
'Cross not this thy lord in aught and every that he shall seek of
thee.' When she came to bed with me, I said in myself, 'Verily,
this my spouse is more generous than I!' Then I sent away the
slave-girl and drew not near her, but arose forthwith and
betaking myself to my wife, lay with her and abated her
maidenhead. She conceived by me at the first bout; and,
accomplishing the time of her pregnancy, gave birth to this dear
little daughter; in whom I rejoiced, for that she was beautiful
exceedingly, and she hath inherited her mother's sound sense and
the comeliness of her sire. Indeed, many of the notables of the
people have sought her of me in wedlock, but I would not wed her
to any, because I saw in a dream, one night, that same balance
set up and men and women being therein weighed, one against
other, and meseemed I saw thee and her and the voice said to me,
'This is such a man, the portion of such a woman.'[FN#354]
Wherefore I knew that Almighty Allah had allotted her unto none
other than thyself, and I choose rather to marry thee to her in
my lifetime than that thou shouldst marry her after my death."
When the poor man heard the merchant's story, he became desirous
of wedding his daughter: so he took her to wife and was blessed
of her with exceeding love. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is this
story on any wise stranger or this tale rarer than that of the
Sage and his three Sons." When the king heard his Minister's
story, he was assured that he would not slay him and said, "I
will have patience with him, so I may get of him the story of the
Sage and his three Sons." And he bade him depart to his own

                 The Fifth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the king sat private in his chamber and
summoning the Wazir, required of him the promised story. So
Al-Rahwan said, "Hear, O king,

The Tale of the Sage and his Three Sons.[FN#355]

There was once a Sage of the sages, who had three sons and sons'
sons, and when they waxed many and their, seed multiplied, there
befel dissension between them. So he assembled them and said to
them, "Be ye single-handed against all others and despise not one
another lest the folk despise you, and know that your case is the
case of the man and the rope which he cut easily, when it was
single; then he doubled it and could not cut it: on this wise is
division and union.[FN#356] And beware lest ye seek help of
others against your own selves or ye will fall into perdition,
for by what means soever ye win your wish at his hand, his word
will rank higher than your word. Now I have money which I will
presently bury in a certain place, that it may be a store for you
against the time of your need." Then they left him and dispersed
and one of the sons fell to spying upon his sire, so that he saw
him hide the hoard outside the city. When he had made an end of
burying it, the Sage returned to his house; and as soon as the
morning morrowed, his son repaired to the place where he had seen
his father bury the treasure and dug and took all the wealth he
found and fared forth. When the old man felt that his
death[FN#357] drew nigh, he called his sons to him and acquainted
them with the place where he had hidden his hoard. As soon as he
was dead, they went and dug up the treasure and came upon much
wealth, for that the money, which the first son had taken singly
and by stealth, was on the surface and he knew not that under it
were other monies. So they carried it off and divided it and the
first son claimed his share with the rest and added it to that
which he had before taken, behind the backs of his father and his
brethren. Then he married his cousin, the daughter of his
father's brother, and was blessed through her with a male-child,
who was the goodliest of the folk of his time. When the boy grew
up, his father feared for him poverty and decline of case, so he
said to him, "Dear my son, know that during my green days I
wronged my brothers in the matter of our father's good, and I see
thee in weal; but, an thou come to want, ask not one of them nor
any other than they, for I have laid up for thee in yonder
chamber a treasure; but do not thou open it until thou come to
lack thy daily bread." Then the man died, and his money, which
was a great matter, fell to his son. The young man had not
patience to wait till he had made an end of that which was with
him, but rose and opened the chamber, and behold, it was empty
and its walls were whitened, and in its midst was a rope hanging
down as for a bucket and ten bricks, one upon other, and a
scroll, wherein was written, "There is no help against death; so
hang thyself and beg not of any, but kick away the bricks with
thy toes, that there may be no escape for thy life, and thou
shalt be at rest from the exultation of enemies and enviers and
the bitterness of beggary." Now when the youth saw this, he
marvelled at that which his father had done and said, "This is an
ill treasure." Then he went forth and fell to eating and drinking
with the folk, till naught was left him and he passed two days
without tasting food, at the end of which time he took a
handkerchief and selling it for two dirhams, bought bread and
milk with the price and left it on the shelf and went out. Whilst
he was gone, a dog came and seized the bread and polluted the
milk, and when the young man returned and saw this, he beat his
face, and fared forth distraught. Presently, he met a friend, to
whom he discovered his case, and the other said to him, "Art thou
not ashamed to talk thus? How hast thou wasted all this wealth
and now comest telling lies and saying, The dog hath mounted on
the shelf, and talking such nonsense?" And he reviled him. So the
youth returned to his house, and verily the world had waxed black
in his eyes and he cried, "My sire said sooth." Then he opened
the chamber door and piling up the bricks under his feet, put the
rope about his neck and kicked away the bricks and swung himself
off; whereupon the rope gave way with him and he fell to the
ground and the ceiling clave asunder and there poured down on him
a world of wealth. So he knew that his sire meant to chasten him
by means of this and he invoked Allah's mercy on him. Then he got
him again that which he had sold of lands and houses and what not
else and became once more in good case; his friends also returned
to him and he entertained them for some time. Then said he to
them one day "There was with us bread and the locusts ate it; so
we set in its place a stone, one cubit long and the like broad,
and the locusts came and nibbled away the stone, because of the
smell of the bread." Quoth one of his friends (and it was he who
had given him the lie concerning the dog and the bread and milk),
"Marvel not at this, for rats and mice do more than that."
Thereupon he said, "Get ye home! In the days of my poverty I was
a liar when I told you of the dogs jumping upon the shelf and
eating the bread and defiling the milk; and to-day, because I am
rich again, I say sooth when I tell you that locusts devoured a
stone one cubit long and one cubit broad." They were abashed by
his speech and departed from him; and the youth's good prospered
and his case was amended. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is this
stranger or more seld-seen than the story of the Prince who fell
in love with the picture." Quoth the king, Shah Bakht, "Haply, an
I hear this story, I shall gain wisdom from it: so I will not
hasten in the slaying of this Minister, nor will I do him die
before the thirty days have expired." Then he gave him leave to
withdraw, and he hied away to his own house.

                 The Sixth Night of the Month.

When the day absconded and the evening arrived, the king sat
private in his chamber and, summoning the Wazir, who presented
himself to him, questioned him of the story. So the Minister
said, "Hear, O auspicious king,

The Tale of the Prince who Fell in Love with the Picture.

There was once, in a province of Persia, a king of the kings, who
was great of degree, a magnifico, endowed with majesty and girt
by soldiery; but he was childless. Towards the end of his life,
his Lord vouchsafed him a male-child, and that boy grew up and
was comely and learned all manner of lere. He made him a private
place, which was a towering palace, edified with coloured marbles
and jewels and paintings. When the Prince entered the palace, he
saw in its ceiling the picture of a maiden, than whom he had
never beheld a fairer of aspect, and she was surrounded by
slave-girls; whereupon he fell down in a fainting fit and became
distracted for love of her. Then he sat under the picture till
his father came in to him one day, and finding him lean of limb
and changed of complexion (which was by reason of his continual
looking on that picture), imagined that he was ill and summoned
the sages and the leaches, that they might medicine him. He also
said to one of his cup-companions, "An thou canst learn what
aileth my son, thou shalt have of me the white hand."[FN#358]
Thereupon he went in to him and spake him fair and cajoled him,
till he confessed to him that his malady was caused by the
picture. Then the courtier returned to the king and told him what
ailed his son, whereupon he transported the Prince to another
palace and made his former lodging the guest-house; and whoso of
the Arabs was entertained therein, him he questioned of the
picture, but none could give him tidings thereof, till one day,
when there came a wayfarer who seeing the picture, cried, "There
is no god but the God! My brother painted this portrait." So the
king sent for him and questioned him of the affair of the picture
and where was he who had painted it. He replied, "O my lord, we
are two brothers and one of us went to the land of Hind and fell
in love with the Indian king's daughter, and 'tis she who is the
original of the portrait. He is wont in every city he entereth to
limn her likeness, and I follow him, and longsome is my way."
When the king's son heard this, he said, "Needs must I travel to
this damsel." So he took all manner rare store and riches galore
and journeyed days and nights till he entered the land of Hind,
nor did he reach it save after sore travail. Then he asked of the
King of Hind who also heard of him, and invited him to the
palace. When the Prince came before him, he sought of him his
daughter in marriage, and the king said, "Indeed, thou art her
match, but there is one objection, to wit, none dare name a male
before her because of her hate for men." So he pitched his tents
under her palace windows, till one day of the days he gat hold of
a girl, one of her favourite slave-girls, and gave her a mint of
money. Quoth she to him, "Hast thou a need?" and quoth he, "Yes,"
and presently acquainted her with his case; when she said, "In
very sooth, thou puttest thyself in peril." Then he tarried,
flattering himself with false hopes, till all that he had with
him was gone and the servants fled from him; whereupon he said to
one in whom he trusted, "I am minded to repair to my country and
fetch what may suffice me and return hither." The other answered,
"'Tis for thee to judge." So they set out to return, but the way
was long to them and all that the Prince had with him was spent
and his company died and there abode but one with him whom he
loaded with the little that remained of the victual and they left
the rest and fared on. Then there came out a lion and devoured
the servant, and the king's son found himself alone. He went on,
till his hackney stood still, whereupon he left it and walked
till his feet swelled. Presently he came to the land of the
Turks,[FN#359] and he naked, hungry, nor having with him aught
but somewhat of jewels, bound about his fore-arm.[FN#360] So he
went to the bazar of the goldsmiths and calling one of the
brokers gave him the gems. The broker looked and seeing two great
rubies, said to him, "Follow me." Accordingly, he followed him,
till he brought him to a goldsmith, to whom he gave the jewels,
saying, "Buy these." He asked, "Whence hadst thou these?" and the
broker answered, "This youth is the owner of them." Then said the
goldsmith to the Prince, "Whence hadst thou these rubies?" and he
told him all that had befallen him and that he was a king's son.
The goldsmith sat astounded at his adventures and bought of him
the rubies for a thousand gold pieces. Then said the Prince to
him, "Equip thyself to go with me to my country." So he made
ready and went with him till the king's son drew near the
frontiers of his sire's kingdom, where the people received him
with most honourable reception and sent to acquaint his father
with his son's arrival. The king came out to meet him and they
entreated the goldsmith with respect and regard. The Prince abode
a while with his sire, then set out, he and the goldsmith, to
return to the country of the fair one, the daughter of the king
of Hind; but there met him highwaymen by the way and he fought
the sorest of fights and was slain. The goldsmith buried him and
set a mark[FN#361] on his grave and returned to his own country
sorrowing and distraught, without telling any of the Prince's
violent death. Such was the case of the king's son and the
goldsmith; but as regards the Indian king's daughter of whom the
Prince went in quest and on whose account he was slain, she had
been wont to look out from the topmost terrace of her palace and
to gaze on the youth and on his beauty and loveliness; so she
said to her slave-girl one day, "Out on thee! What is become of
the troops which were camped beside my palace?" The maid replied,
"They were the troops of the youth, son to the Persian king, who
came to demand thee in wedlock, and wearied himself on thine
account, but thou hadst no ruth on him." Cried the Princess, "Woe
to thee! Why didst thou not tell me?" and the damsel replied, "I
feared thy fury." Then she sought an audience of the king her
sire and said to him, "By Allah, I will go in quest of him, even
as he came in quest of me; else should I not do him justice as
due." So she equipped herself and setting out, traversed the
wastes and spent treasures till she came to Sistan, where she
called a goldsmith to make her somewhat of ornaments. Now as soon
as the goldsmith saw her, he knew her (for that the Prince had
talked with him of her and had depictured her to him), so he
questioned her of her case, and she acquainted him with her
errand, whereupon he buffeted his face and rent his raiment and
hove dust on his head and fell a-weeping. Quoth she, "Why dost
thou all this?" And he acquainted her with the Prince's case and
how he was his comrade and told her that he was dead; whereat she
grieved for him and faring on to his father and mother,
acquainted them with the case. Thereupon the Prince's father and
his uncle and his mother and the lords of the land repaired to
his grave and the Princess made mourning over him, crying aloud.
She abode by the tomb a whole month; then she caused fetch
painters and bade them limn her likeness and the portraiture of
the king's son. She also set down in writing their story and that
which had befallen them of perils and afflictions and placed it,
together with the pictures, at the head of the grave; and after a
little, they departed from the spot. "Nor" (continued the Wazir),
"is this stranger, O king of the age, than the story of the
Fuller and his Wife and the Trooper and what passed between
them." With this the king bade the Minister hie away to his
lodging, and when he arose in the morning, he abode his day in
his house.

                The Seventh Night of the Month.

At eventide the king sat in his wonted seat and sending for the
Wazir, said to him, "Tell me the story of the Fuller and his
Wife." The Minister replied, "With joy and goodly gree!" So he
came forward and said, "Hear, O king of the age,

The Tale of the Fuller and his Wife and the Trooper.[FN#362]

There was once in a city of the cities a woman fair of favour,
who took to lover a trooper wight. Her husband was a fuller, and
when he went out to his work, the trooper used to come to her and
tarry with her till the time of the fuller's return, when he
would go away. After this fashion they abode awhile, till one day
the trooper said to his mistress, "I mean to take me a tenement
close to thine and dig a Sard\xE1bsouterrain from my house to thy
house, and do thou say to thy spouse, 'My sister hath been absent
with her husband and now they have returned from their travels;
and I have made her home herself in my neighbourhood, in order
that I may foregather with her at all times. So go thou to her
mate the trooper and offer him thy wares for sale, and thou wilt
see my sister with him and wilt see that she is I and I am she,
without a doubt. Now, Allah, Allah,[FN#363] go to my sister's
husband and give ear to that which he shall say to thee.'" So the
trooper bought him a house near hand and made therein a tunnel
abutting upon his mistress's house. When he had accomplished his
affair, the wife bespoke her husband as her lover had lessoned
her and he went out to go to the trooper's house, but turned back
by the way, whereupon said she to him, "By Allah, go at once, for
my sister asketh of thee." The fool of a fuller went out and made
for the trooper's house, whilst his wife forewent him thither by
the underground passage, and going up, sat down beside the
soldier her leman. Presently, the fuller entered and saluted the
trooper and salamed to his own wife and was confounded at the
coincidence of the case.[FN#364] Then, doubt befalling him, he
returned in haste to his dwelling; but she preceded him by the
Sardab to her chamber and donning her wonted clothes, sat
awaiting him and said to him, "Did I not bid thee go to my sister
and greet her husband and make friends with them?" Quoth he, "I
did this, but I misdoubted of my affair, when I saw his wife;"
and quoth she, "Did I not tell thee that she favoureth me and I
her, and there is naught to distinguish between us but our
clothes? Go back to her and make sure." Accordingly, of the
heaviness of his wit, he believed her, and returning on his way,
went in to the trooper; but she had foregone him, and when he saw
her by the side of her lover, he began looking on her and
pondering. Then he saluted her and she returned him the salam;
and when she spoke he was clean bewildered. So the trooper asked
him, "What aileth thee to be thus?" and he answered, "This woman
is my wife, and the speech is her speech." Then he rose in haste
and, returning to his own house, saw his wife, who had preceded
him by the secret passage. So he went back to the trooper's house
and found her sitting as before; whereupon he was abashed in her
presence and seating himself in the trooper's sitting-chamber,
ate and drank with him and became drunken and abode senseless all
that day till nightfall, when the trooper arose and, the fuller's
hair being long and flowing, he shaved off a portion of it after
the fashion of the Turks,[FN#365] clipped the rest short and
clapped a Tarb\xFAsh on his head. Then he thrust his feet into
walking-boots and girt him with a sword and a girdle and bound
about his middle a quiver and a bow and arrows. He also put some
silvers in his poke and thrust into his sleeve letters-patent
addressed to the governor of Ispahan, bidding him assign to
Rustam Kham\xE1rtakani a monthly allowance of an hundred dirhams and
ten pounds of bread and five pounds of meat and enrol him among
the Turks under his commandment. After which he took him up and
carrying him forth, left him in one of the mosques. The fuller
ceased not sleeping till sunrise, when he awoke and finding
himself in this plight, misdoubted of his affair and fancied that
he was a Turk and fell a-putting one foot forward and drawing the
other back. Then said he in himself, "I will go to my dwelling,
and if my wife know me, then am I Ahmad the fuller; but an she
know me not, I am a Turk." So he betook himself to his house; but
when his wife, the cunning witch, saw him, she cried out in his
face, saying, "Whither now, O trooper? Wilt thou break into the
house of Ahmad the fuller, and he a man of repute, having a
brother-in-law a Turk, a man of rank with the Sultan? An thou
depart not, I will acquaint my husband and he will requite thee
thy deed." When he heard her words, the dregs of his drink
wobbled in his brain and he fancied that he was indeed a Turk. So
he went out from her and putting his hand to his sleeve, found
therein a writ and gave it to one who read it to him. When he
heard that which was in the scroll, his mind was confirmed in his
phantasy; but he said to himself, "My wife may be seeking to put
a cheat on me; so I will go to my fellows the fullers; and if
they recognise me not, then am I for sure Khamartakani the Turk."
So he betook himself to the fullers and when they espied him afar
off, they thought that he was really Khamartakani or one of the
Turks, who used to send their washing to them without payment and
give them never a stiver. Now they had complained of them
aforetime to the Sultan, and he said, "If any one of the Turks
come to you, pelt him with stones." Accordingly, when they saw
the fuller, they fell upon him with sticks and stones and pelted
him; whereupon quoth he, "Verily, I am a Turk and knew it not."
Then he took of the dirhams in his pouch and bought him victual
for the way and hired a hackney and set out for Ispahan, leaving
his wife to the trooper. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this
stranger than the story of the Merchant and the Crone and the
King." The Minister's tale pleased King Shah Bakht and his heart
clave to the story of the merchant and the old woman; so he bade
Al-Rahwan withdraw to his lodging, and he went away to his house
and abode there the next day till he should be summoned to the

                 The Eighth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the king sat private in his chamber and
bade fetch the Wazir, who presented himself before him, and the
king required of him the story. So the Wazir answered "With love
and gladness. Hear, O king,

The Tale of the Merchant, the Crone and the King.

There was once a family of affluence and distinction, in a city
of Khorasan, and the townsfolk used to envy them for that which
Allah had vouchsafed them. As time went on, their fortune ceased
from them and they passed away, till there remained of them but
one old woman. When she grew feeble and decrepit, the townsfolk
succoured her not with aught, but thrust her forth of the city,
saying, "This old woman shall not neighbour with us, for that we
do good to her and she requiteth us with evil."[FN#366] So she
took shelter in a ruined place and strangers used to bestow alms
upon her, and in this way she tarried a length of time. Now the
king of that city had aforetime contended for the kingship with
his uncle's son, and the people disliked the king; but Allah
Almighty decreed that he should overcome his cousin. However,
jealousy of him abode in his heart and he acquainted the Wazir,
who hid it not and sent him money. Furthermore, he fell to
summoning all strangers who came to the town, man after man, and
questioning them of their creed and their goods, and whoso
answered him not satisfactory, he took his wealth.[FN#367] Now a
certain wealthy man of the Moslems was way-faring, without
knowing aught of this, and it befel that he arrived at that city
by night, and coming to the ruin, gave the old woman money and
said to her, "No harm upon thee." Whereupon she lifted up her
voice and blessed him: so he set down his merchandise by her and
abode with her the rest of the night and the next day. Now
highwaymen had followed him that they might rob him of his
monies, but succeeded not in aught: wherefore he went up to the
old woman and kissed her head and exceeded in bounty to her. Then
she warned him of that which awaited strangers entering the town
and said to him, "I like not this for thee and I fear mischief
for thee from these questions that the Wazir hath appointed for
addressing the ignorant." And she expounded to him the case
according to its conditions: then said she to him, "But have thou
no concern: only carry me with thee to thy lodging, and if he
question thee of aught enigmatical, whilst I am with thee, I will
expound the answers to thee." So he carried the crone with him to
the city and lodged her in his lodging and entreated her
honourably. Presently, the Wazir heard of the merchant's coming;
so he sent to him and bade bring him to his house and talked with
him awhile of his travels and of whatso had befallen him therein,
and the merchant answered his queries. Then said the Minister, "I
will put certain critical questions to thee, which an thou answer
me, 'twill be well for thee," and the merchant rose and made him
no answer. Quoth the Wazir, "What is the weight of the elephant?"
The merchant was perplexed and returned him no reply, giving
himself up for lost; however, at last he said, "Grant me three
days of delay." The minister granted him the time he sought and
he returned to his lodging and related what had passed to the old
woman, who said, "When the morrow cometh, go to the Wazir and say
to him, 'Make a ship and launch it on the sea and put in it an
elephant, and when it sinketh in the water, mark the place
whereunto the water riseth. Then take out the elephant and cast
in stones in its place, till the ship sink to that same mark;
whereupon do thou take out the stones and weigh them and thou
wilt presently know the weight of the elephant.'"[FN#368]
Accordingly, when he arose in the morning, he went to the Wazir
and repeated to him that which the old woman had taught him;
whereat the Minister marvelled and said to him, "What sayest thou
of a man, who seeth in his house four holes, and in each hole a
viper offering to sally out upon him and slay him, and in his
house are four sticks and each hole may not be stopped but with
the ends of two sticks? How, then, shall he stop all the holes
and deliver himself from the vipers?" When the merchant heard
this, there befel him such concern that it garred him forget the
first and he said to the Wazir, "Grant me delay, so I may reflect
on the reply"; and the Minister cried, "Go out, and bring me the
answer, or I will seize thy monies." The merchant fared forth and
returned to the old woman who, seeing him changed of complexion,
said to him, "What did his hoariness ask thee?" So he acquainted
her with the case and she cried, "Fear not; I will bring thee
forth of this strait." Quoth he, "Allah requite thee with weal!"
Then quoth she, "To-morrow go to him with a stout heart and say,
'The answer to that whereof thou asketh me is this. Put the heads
of two sticks into one of the holes; then take the other two
sticks and lay them across the middle of the first two and stop
with their two heads the second hole and with their ferrules the
fourth hole. Then take the ferrules of the first two sticks and
stop with them the third hole.'"[FN#369] So he repaired to the
Wazir and repeated to him the answer; and he marvelled at its
justness and said to him, "Go; by Allah; I will ask thee no more
questions, for thou with thy skill marrest my
foundation."[FN#370] Then he treated him as a friend and the
merchant acquainted him with the affair of the old woman;
whereupon quoth the Wazir, "Needs must the intelligent company
with the intelligent." Thus did this weak woman restore to that
man his life and his monies on the easiest wise; "Nor," continued
the Wazir, "is this stranger than the story of the Simpleton
Husband." When the king heard this, he said, "How like it must be
to this our own case!" Then he bade the Minister retire to his
lodging; so he withdrew and on the morrow he abode at home till
the king should summon him to his presence.

                 The Ninth Night of the Month.

When the night came, the king sat private in his chamber and
sending after the Wazir, sought of him the story; and he said
"Hear, O august king,

The Tale of the Simpleton Husband.[FN#371]

There was once in olden time a foolish man and an ignorant, who
had abounding wealth, and his wife was a beautiful woman, who
loved a handsome youth. The Cicisbeo used to watch for her
husband's absence and come to her, and on this wise he abode a
long while. One day of the days, as the woman was closeted with
her lover, he said to her, "O my lady and my beloved, an thou
desire me and love me, give me possession of thy person and,
satisfy my need in the presence of thy husband; otherwise I will
never again come to thee nor draw near thee while I live my
life." Now she loved him with exceeding love and could not suffer
his separation an hour nor could endure to anger him; so, when
she heard his words, she said to him, "Bismillah, so be it, in
Allah's name, O my darling and coolth of mine eyes: may he not
live who would vex thee!" Quoth he, "To-day?" and quoth she,
"Yes, by thy life," and made an appointment with him for this.
When her husband came home, she said to him, "I want to go
a-pleasuring," and he said, "With all my heart." So he went, till
he came to a goodly place, abounding in vines and water, whither
he carried her and pitched her a tent by the side of a tall tree;
and she betook herself to a place alongside the tent and made her
there a Sard\xE1b, in which she hid her lover. Then said she to her
husband, "I want to climb this tree;"[FN#372] and he said, "Do
so." So she clomb it and when she came to the tree-top, she cried
out and slapped her face, saying, "O thou lecher, are these thy
lewd ways? Thou swarest faith to me, and thou liedest." And she
repeated her speech twice and thrice. Then she came down from the
tree and rent her raiment and said, "O lecher, an these be thy
dealings with me before my eyes, how dost thou when thou art
absent from me?" Quoth he, "What aileth thee?" and quoth she, "I
saw thee futter the woman before my very eyes." Cried he, "Not
so, by Allah! But hold thy peace till I go up and see." So he
clomb the tree and no sooner did he begin to do so than out came
the lover from his hiding-place and taking the woman by the legs,
fell to shagging her. When the husband came to the top of the
tree, he looked and beheld a man futtering his wife; so he called
out, "O whore, what doings are these?" and he made haste to come
down from the tree to the ground. But meanwhile the lover had
returned to his hiding-place and his wife asked him, "What sawest
thou?" and he answered, "I saw a man shag thee;" but she said,
"Thou liest; thou sawest naught and sayst this only by way of
phantasy." The same they did three several times, and every time
he clomb the tree the lover came up out of the underground place
and mounted her, whilst her husband looked on and she still said,
"Seest thou aught, O liar?" "Yes," would he answer, and came down
in haste, but saw no one and she said to him, "By my life, look
and speak naught but sooth!" Then he cried to her, "Arise, let us
depart this place, for 'tis full of Jinn and Marids."[FN#373]
Accordingly, they returned to their house and nighted there, and
the man arose in the morning, assured that this was all but
phantasy and fascination. And so the lover won his wicked will.
"Nor, O king of the age," continued the Wazir, "is this stranger
than the story of the King and the Tither." When the king heard
this from the Minister, he bade him go away, and he went.

                 The Tenth Night of the Month.

When it was eventide, the king summoned the Wazir and sought of
him the story of the King and the Tither, and he said, "Hear, O

The Tale of the Unjust King and the Tither.

There was once a king of the kings of the earth, who dwelt in a
flourishing city, abounding in good; but he wronged its people
and entreated them foully, so that he ruined the city; and he was
named naught else but tyrant and oppressor. Now he was wont,
whenas he heard of a violent man in another land, to send after
him and lure him with lucre to take service with him; and there
was a certain Tither, who exceeded all other Tithers in
oppression of the people and foul dealing. So the king sent after
him and when he stood before him, he found him a man of mighty
fine presence and said to him, "Thou hast been described to me,
but I see thou surpassest the description. Set out to me some of
thy doings and sayings, so I may be dispensed therewith from
enquiring into the whole of thy case." Answered the other, "With
all my heart! Know, O King, that I oppress the folk and people
the land, whilst other than I ruineth it and peopleth it not."
Now the king was leaning back: but presently he sat upright and
said, "Tell me of this." The Tither replied, "'Tis well: I go to
the man whom I purpose to tithe and cozen him and feign to be
busied with certain business, so that I seclude myself therewith
from the people; and meanwhile the man is squeezed with the
foulest of extortion, till naught of money is left him. Then I
appear and they come in to me and questions arise concerning him
and I say, 'Indeed, I was ordered worse than this, for some one
(may Allah curse him!) hath slandered him to the king.' Presently
I take half of his good and return him the rest publicly before
the folk and dismiss him to his house, in all honour and worship,
and he garreth the money returned be carried before him, whilst
he blesseth me and all who are with him also bless me. So is it
bruited abroad in the city that I have restored to him his monies
and he himself notifieth the like, to the intent that he may have
a claim on me for the favour due to those who praise me. On this
wise I keep half his property. Then I seem to forget him till the
year[FN#374] hath passed over him, when I send for him and recall
to him somewhat of that which hath befallen aforetime and require
of him somewhat of money in secret; accordingly he doth this and
hasteneth to his house and forwardeth whatso I bid him, with a
contented heart. Then I send to another man, between whom and the
first is enmity, and lay hands upon him and feign to the other
man that it is he who hath slandered him to the king and hath
taken the half of his good; and the people praise me."[FN#375]
The King wondered at this and at his wily dealing and clever
contrivance and made him controller of all his affairs and of his
kingdom and the land was placed under his governance, and he said
to him, "Take and people." [FN#376] One day, the Tither went out
and saw an old man, a woodcutter, and with him wood; so he said
to him, "Pay a dirham tithe for thy load." Quoth the Shaykh,
"Behold, thou killest me and killest my family;" and quoth the
Tither, "What? Who killeth the folk?" And the oldster answered,
"An thou let me enter the city, I shall there sell the load for
three dirhams, whereof I will give thee one and buy with the
other two silvers what will support my family; but, an thou press
me for the tithe outside the city, the load will sell but for one
dirham and thou wilt take it and I shall abide without food, I
and my family. Indeed, thou and I in this circumstance are like
unto David and Solomon (on the twain be the Peace!)" "How so?"
asked the Tither, and the woodcutter answered, "Do thou hear

The Story of David and Solomon.

Certain husbandmen once made complaint to David (on whom be the
Peace!) against some sheep-owners, whose flocks had come down
upon their crops by night and had devoured them, and he bade
value the crops and that the shepherds should make good the
damage. But Solomon (on whom be the Peace!) rose and said, "Nay,
but let the sheep be delivered to the husbandmen, so they may
take their milk and wool, till they have recouped the value of
their crops; then let the sheep return to their owners."
Accordingly David reversed his own decision and caused execute
that of Solomon; yet was David no oppressor; but Solomon's
judgment was the juster and he showed himself therein better
versed in jurisprudence and Holy Law.[FN#377] When the Tither
heard the old man's speech, he felt ruthful and said to him, "O
Shaykh, I make thee a gift of that which is due from thee, and do
thou cleave to me and leave me not, so haply I may get of thee
gain which shall do away from me my wrongousness and guide me on
the path of righteousness." So the old man followed him, and
there met him another with a load of wood. Quoth the Tither to
him, "Pay me that which thou owest me;" and quoth he, "Have
patience with me till to-morrow, for I owe the hire of a house,
and I will sell another load of fuel and pay thee two days'
tithe." But he refused him this and the Shaykh said to him, "An
thou constrain him unto this, thou wilt compel him quit thy
country, because he is a stranger here and hath no domicile; and
if he remove on account of one dirham, thou wilt forfeit of him
three hundred and sixty dirhams a year.[FN#378] Thus wilt thou
lose the mickle in keeping the little." Quoth the Tither,
"Verily[FN#379] will I give him a dirham every month to the rent
of his lodging." Then he went on and presently there met him a
third woodcutter and he said to him, "Pay thy due;" but he said,
"I will pay thee a dirham, when I enter the city; or take of me
four d\xE1niks[FN#380] now." Quoth the Tither, "I will not do it,"
but the Shaykh said to him, "Take of him the four daniks
presently, for 'tis easy to take and hard to give back."
Exclaimed the Tither, "By Allah 'tis good!" and he arose and hied
on, crying out at the top of his voice and saying, "I have no
power this day to do evil."[FN#381] Then he doffed his dress and
went forth wandering at a venture, repenting unto his Lord. "Nor"
(continued the Wazir), "is this story stranger than that of the
Robber who believed the Woman and sought refuge with Allah
against falling in with her like, by reason of her cunning
contrivance for herself." When the king heard this, he said to
himself, "Since the Tither repented, in consequence of the
woodcutter's warnings, it behoveth I leave this Wazir on life so
I may hear the story of the Robber and the Woman." And he bade
Al-Rahwan return to his lodging.

                The Eleventh Night of the Month.

When the evening came and the king had taken his seat, he
summoned the Wazir and required of him the story of the Robber
and the Woman. Quoth the Minister, "Hear, O king,

The Tale of the Robber and the Woman.

A certain Robber was a cunning workman and used not to steal
aught, till he had wasted all that was with him; moreover, he
stole not from his neighbours, neither companied with any of the
thieves, for fear lest some one should betray him, and his case
become public. After this fashion he abode a great while, in
flourishing condition, and his secret was concealed, till
Almighty Allah decreed that he broke in upon a beggar, a poor man
whom he deemed rich. When he gained access to the house, he found
naught, whereat he was wroth, and necessity prompted him to wake
that man, who lay asleep alongside of his wife. So he aroused him
and said to him, "Show me thy treasure." Now he had no treasure
to show; but the Robber believed him not and was instant upon him
with threats and blows. When he saw that he got no profit of him,
he said to him, "Swear by the oath of divorce[FN#382] from thy
wife that thou hast nothing." So he sware and his wife said to
him, "Fie on thee! Wilt thou divorce me? Is not the hoard buried
in yonder chamber?" Then she turned to the Robber and conjured
him to be weightier of blows upon her husband, till he should
deliver to him the treasure, anent which he had forsworn himself.
So he drubbed him with a grievous drubbing, till he carried him
to a certain chamber, wherein she signed to him that the hoard
was and that he should take it up. So the Robber entered, he and
the husband; and when they were both in the chamber, she locked
on them the door, which was a stout and strong, and said to the
Robber, "Woe to thee, O fool! Thou hast fallen into the trap and
now I have but to cry out and the officers of police will come
and take thee and thou wilt lose thy life, O Satan!" Quoth he,
"Let me go forth;" and quoth she, "Thou art a man and I am a
woman; and in thy hand is a knife, and I am afraid of thee." He
cried, "Take the knife from me." So she took it and said to her
husband, "Art thou a woman and he a man? Pain his neck-nape with
tunding, even as he tunded thee; and if he put out his hand to
thee, I will cry out a single cry and the policemen will come and
take him and hew him in two." So the husband said to him, "O
thousand-horned,[FN#383] O dog, O dodger, I owe thee a
deposit[FN#384] wherefor thou hast dunned me." And he fell to
bashing him grievously with a stick of holm-oak,[FN#385] whilst
he called out to the woman for help and prayed her to deliver
him: but she said, "Keep thy place till the morning, and thou
shalt see queer things." And her husband beat him within the
chamber, till he killed[FN#386] him and he swooned away. Then he
left beating him and when the Robber came to himself, the woman
said to her husband, "O man, this house is on hire and we owe its
owners much money, and we have naught; so how wilt thou do?" And
she went on to bespeak him thus. The Robber asked "And what is
the amount of the rent?" 'The husband answered, "'Twill be eighty
dirhams;" and the thief said, "I will pay this for thee and do
thou let me go my way." Then the wife enquired, "O man, how much
do we owe the baker and the greengrocer?" Quoth the Robber, "What
is the sum of this?" And the husband said, "Sixty dirhams."
Rejoined the other, "That makes two hundred dirhams; let me go my
way and I will pay them." But the wife said, O my dear, and the
girl groweth up and needs must we marry her and equip her and do
what else is needful." So the Robber said to the husband, "How
much dost thou want?" and he rejoined, "An hundred dirhams in a
modest way."[FN#387] Quoth the Robber, "That maketh three hundred
dirhams." Then the woman said, "O my dear, when the girl is
married, thou wilt need money for winter expenses, charcoal and
firewood and other necessaries." The Robber asked "What wouldst
thou have?" And she answered, "An hundred dirhams." He rejoined,
"Be it four hundred dirhams." And she continued, "O my dear and O
coolth of mine eyes, needs must my husband have capital in
hand,[FN#388] wherewith he may buy goods and open him a shop."
Said he, "How much will that be?" And she, "An hundred dirhams."
Quoth the Robber, "That maketh five hundred dirhams; I will pay
it; but may I be triply divorced from my wife if all my
possessions amount to more than this, and they be the savings of
twenty years! Let me go my way, so I may deliver them to thee."
Cried she, "O fool, how shall I let thee go thy way? Utterly
impossible! Be pleased to give me a right token."[FN#389] So he
gave her a token for his wife and she cried out to her young
daughter and said to her, "Keep this door." Then she charge her
husband to watch over the Robber, till she should return, and
repairing to his wife, acquainted her with his case and told her
that her husband the thief had been taken and had compounded for
his release, at the price of seven hundred dirhams, and named to
her the token. Accordingly, she gave her the money and she took
it and returned to her house. By this time, the dawn had dawned;
so she let the thief go his way, and when he went out, she said
to him, "O my dear, when shall I see thee come and take the
treasure?" And he, "O indebted one,[FN#390] when thou needest
other seven hundred dirhams, wherewith to amend thy case and that
of thy children and to pay thy debts." And he went out, hardly
believing in his deliverance from her. "Nor," continued the
Wazir, "is this stranger than the story of the Three Men and our
Lord \xCDs\xE0." So the king bade him hie to his own home.

                The Twelfth Night of the Month.

When it was eventide, the king summoned the Minister and bade him
tell the promised tale. He replied, "Hearing and obeying. Give
ear, O glorious king, to

The Tale of the Three Men and our Lord Isa.

Three men once went out questing treasure and came upon a nugget
of gold, weighing fifty maunds.[FN#391] When they saw it, they
took it up on their shoulders and carried it till they drew near
a certain city, when one of them said, "Let us sit in the
cathedral-mosque,[FN#392] whilst one of us shall go and buy us
what we may eat." So they sat down in the mosque and one of them
arose and entered the city. When he came therein, his soul
prompted him to false his two fellows and get the gold to himself
alone. Accordingly, he bought food and poisoned it: but, when he
returned to his comrades, they sprang upon him and slew him, in
order that they might enjoy the gold without him. Then they ate
of the poisoned food and died, and the gold lay cast down over
against them. Presently, \xCDs\xE0 bin Maryam (on whom be the Peace!)
passed by and seeing this, besought Allah Almighty for tidings of
their case; so He told him what had betided them, whereat great
was his surprise and he related to his disciples[FN#393] what he
had seen. Quoth one of them, "O Spirit of Allah,[FN#394] naught
resembleth this but my own adventure." Quoth Isa, "How so?" and
the other began to tell

The Disciple's Story.

Once I was in such a city, where I hid a thousand dirhams in a
monastery. After a while, I went thither and taking the money,
bound it about my waist. Then I set out to return and when I came
to the Sahar\xE1[FN#395]-waste, the carrying of the money was heavy
upon me. Presently, I espied a horseman pushing on after me; so I
waited till he came up and said to him, "O rider, carry this
money for me and earn reward and recompense in Heaven." Said he,
"No, I will not do it, for I should tire myself and tire out my
horse." Then he went on but, before he had gone far, he said in
his mind, "An I take up the money and put my steed to speed and
devance him, how shall he overtake me?" And I also said in my
mind, "Verily, I erred; for, had he taken the money and made off,
what could I have done?" Then he turned back to me and cried to
me, "Hand over the money, that I may carry it for thee." But I
replied to him, "That which hath occurred to thy mind hath
occurred to mine also; so go thou and go safe." Quoth Isa (on
whom be the Peace!), "Had these done prudently, they had taken
thought for themselves; but they unheeded the issues of events;
for that whoso acteth cautiously is safe and winneth his wish,
and whoso neglecteth precaution is lost and repenteth."[FN#396]
"Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this stranger or rarer than the
story of the King, whose kingdom was restored to him and his
wealth, after he had become poor, possessing not a single
dirham." When the king heard this, he said in himself, "How like
is this to my own story in the matter of the Minister and his
slaughter! Had I not used deliberation, I had done him dead." And
he bade AlRahwan hie to his own home.

               The Thirteenth Night of the Month.

When the even evened, the king sent for the Wazir to his
sitting-chamber and bade him tell the promised tale. So he said,
"Hearkening and obedience. They relate, O king,

The Tale of the Dethroned Ruler Whose Reign and Wealth
Were Restored to Him.

There was once, in a city of the cities of Al-Hind, a just king
and a beneficent, and he had a Wazir, a man of understanding,
upright in his rede, and praiseworthy in his policy, a Minister
in whose hand was the handling of all the affairs of the realm;
for he was firmly based on the Sultan's favour and high in esteem
with the folk of his time, and the king set great store by him
and entrusted himself to him in all his transactions, by reason
of his excellent management of the lieges, and he had
guards[FN#397] who were content with him and grateful to him. Now
that king had a brother, who envied him and would lief have taken
his place; and when he was a-weary of looking for his death and
the term of his life seemed distant, he took counsel with certain
of his partisans and they said, "The Minister is the monarch's
counsellor and but for this Wazir the king were kingdomless." So
the pretender cast about for the ruin of the defender, but could
find no means of furthering his design; and when the affair grew
longsome upon him, he said to his wife, "What deemest thou will
gar us gain herein?" "What is it?" "I mean in the matter of
yonder Minister, who inciteth my brother to worship with all his
might and biddeth him unto devoutness, and indeed the king doteth
upon his counsel and stablisheth him governor of all monies and
matters." "True; but how shall we devise with him?" "I have a
device, so thou wilt help me in that which I shall say to thee."
"Thou shalt have my help in whatsoever thou desirest." "I mean to
dig him a pit in the vestibule and conceal it artfully."
Accordingly, he did this, and when it was night, he covered the
pit with a light covering, so that, when the Wazir trod upon it,
it would give way under his tread. Then he sent to him and
summoned him to the Court in the king's name, and the messenger
bade him enter by the private wicket-way. So he came in alone,
and when he stepped upon the covering of the pit, it caved in
with him and he fell to the bottom; whereupon the king's brother
fell to pelting him with stones. When the Minister beheld what
had betided him he gave himself up for lost; so he stirred not
for a while and lay still. The Prince, seeing him make no sign,
deemed him dead; so he took him forth and wrapping him up in his
robes, cast him into the surges of the sea in the middle night.
When the Wazir felt the water, he awoke from the swoon and swam
for an hour or so, till a ship passed by him, whereupon he
shouted to the sailors and they took him up. Now when the morning
morrowed, the people went seeking for him, but found him not; and
the king learning this, was perplexed concerning his affair and
abode unknowing whatso he should do. Then he sought for a
Minister to stand in his stead, and the king's brother said, "I
have for Wazir an efficient man." Said the king, "Bring him to
me." So he brought him a man, whom he set at the head of affairs;
but he seized upon the kingdom and threw the king in fetters and
made his brother king in lieu of him. The new ruler gave himself
up to all manner of frowardness, whereat the folk murmured and
his Minister said to him, "I fear lest the Hindians take the old
king and restore him to the kingship and we both come to ruin:
so, if we seize him and cast him into the sea, we shall be at
rest from him; and we will publish among the folk that he is
dead." And they, agreeing upon this, took him up and carrying him
out to sea, cast him in. When he felt the water, he struck out,
and ceased not swimming till he landed upon an island, where he
tarried five days finding nothing which he might eat or drink;
but, on the sixth day, when he despaired of his life, behold,
there passed a ship; so he made signals to the crew and they came
and took him up and fared on with him to an inhabited country,
where they set him ashore, mother-naked as he was. There, seeing
a man seeding, he sought guidance of him and the husbandman
asked, "Art thou a foreigner?" "Yes," answered the king and sat
with him and they talked. The peasant found him clever and
quick-witted and said to him, "An thou beheld a comrade of mine,
thou wouldst see him the like of what I see thee, for his case is
even as thy case, and he is at this present my friend." Quoth the
king, "Verily, thou makest me long to look at him. Canst thou not
bring us together, me and him?" Quoth the husbandman, "With joy
and goodly gree;" and the king sat with him till he had made an
end of his seeding, when he carried him to his homestead and
brought him in company with the other stranger, and behold it was
his Wazir. When each saw other, the twain wept and embraced, and
the sower wept for their weeping; but the king hid their affair
and said to him, "This man is from my mother-land and he is as my
brother." So they homed with the husbandman and helped him for a
hire, wherewith they supported themselves a long spell.
Meanwhile, they sought news of their patrial stead and learned
that which its people suffered of straitness and severity. One
day there came a ship and in it a merchant from their own
country, who knew them and rejoiced in them with joy exceeding
and clad them in goodly clothing. He also acquainted them with
the manner of the treachery that had been practised upon them,
and counselled them to return to their own land, they and he with
whom they had made friends,[FN#398] assuring them that Almighty
Allah would restore them to their former rank. So the king
returned and the folk joined themselves to him and he fell upon
his brother and his Wazir and took them and threw them into jail.
Then he sat down again upon the throne of his kingship, whilst
the Minister stood between his hands and they returned to their
former estate, but they had naught of worldly wealth. Presently
the king said to his Wazir, "How shall we continue tarrying in
this city, and we thus poorly conditioned?" and he answered, "Be
at thine ease and have no concern." Then he singled out one of
the soldiers[FN#399] and said to him, "Send us thy
service[FN#400] for the year." Now there were in the city fifty
thousand subjects[FN#401] and in the hamlets and villages[FN#402]
a like number; and the Minister sent to each of these, saying,
"Let each and every of you get an egg and set it under a hen."
They did this and it was neither burden nor grievance to them;
and when twenty days had passed by, each egg was hatched, and the
Wazir bade them pair the chickens, male with female, and rear
them well. They did accordingly and it was found a charge unto no
one. Then they waited for them awhile and after this the Minister
asked of the chickens and was answered that they were become
fowls. Furthermore, they brought him all their eggs and he bade
set them; and after twenty days there were hatched from each pair
of them thirty or five-and-twenty or fifteen chickens at the
least. The Wazir bade note against each man the number of
chickens which pertained to him, and after two months, he took
the old partlets and the cockerels, and there came to him from
each man some half a score, and he left the young partlets with
them. Even so he sent to the country folk and let the cocks
remain with them. Thus he got him whole broods of young poultry
and appropriated to himself the sale of the fowls, and on this
wise he gained for him, in the course of a year, that which the
kingly estate required of the King, and his affairs were set
right for him by the cunning contrivance of the Minister. And he
caused the country to thrive and dealt justly by his subjects and
returned to them all that he took from them and lived a grateful
and prosperous life. Thus right counsel and prudence are better
than wealth, for that understanding profiteth at all times and
seasons. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this stranger than the
story of the Man whose caution slew him." When the king heard the
words of his Wazir, he wondered with the uttermost wonder and
bade him retire to his lodging.

               The Fourteenth Night of the Month.

When the Minister returned to the presence, the King sought of him
the story of the Man whose caution slew him and he said, "Hear, O
auspicious King,

The Tale of the Man whose Caution Slew Him.

There was once a man who was cautious exceedingly concerning
himself, and he set out one day on a journey to a land abounding
in wild beasts. The caravan wherewith he fared came by night to
the gate of a city; but the warders would not open to them, for
there were lions there; so they nighted without the walls. Now
that man, of the excess of his caution, could not determine a
place wherein he should pass the night, for fear of the wild
beasts and reptiles; so he went about seeking an empty stead
wherein he might lie. At last, as there was a ruined building
hard by, he climbed up on to a high wall and ceased not
clambering hither and thither, of the excess of his carefulness,
till his feet betrayed him and he slipped and fell to the bottom
and died, whilst his companions arose in the morning safe and
sound. Now, had he overmastered his wrongous rede and had he
submitted himself to Fate and Fortune, it had been safer and
better for him; but he made light of the folk and belittled their
wit and was not content to take example by them; for his soul
whispered him that he was a man of wits and he fancied that, an
he abode with them, he would perish; so his folly cast him into
perdition. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this stranger than the
story of the Man who was lavish of his house and his provision to
one he knew not." When the King heard this, he said, "I will not
separate myself from the folk and slay my Minister." And he bade
him hie to his own house.

               The Fifteenth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King bade fetch the Wazir and
required of him the story. So he said, "Hear, O King,

The Tale of the Man who was Lavish of his House and his
Provision to One Whom He Knew Not.

There was once an Arab of high rank and noble presence, a model
of magnanimity and exalted generosity, and he had brethren, with
whom he consorted and caroused, and they were wont to assemble by
rotation at one another's homes. When it came to his turn, he gat
ready in his house all manner goodly meats and pleasant and
dainty drinks and the fairest flowers and the finest fruits, and
he provided all kinds of instruments of music and store of
wondrous dictes and marvellous stories and pleasant instances and
histories and witty anecdotes and verses and what not else, for
there was none among those with whom he was wont to company but
enjoyed this in every goodly fashion, and the entertainment he
had provided contained all whereof each had need. Then he sallied
forth in quest of his friends, and went round about the city, so
he might assemble them; but found none of them at home. Now in
that town was a man of pleasant conversation and large
generosity, a merchant of condition, young of years and bright of
blee, who had come to that place from his own country with
merchandise in great store and wealth galore. He took up his
abode therein and the town was pleasant to him and he was large
in lavishing, so that he came to the end of all this wealth and
there remained in his hand naught save what was upon him of
raiment. So he left the lodging which had homed him in the days
of his prosperity; after he had wasted that which was therein of
furniture, and fell to finding refuge in the houses of the
townsfolk from night to night. One day, as he went wandering
about the streets, he beheld a woman of the uttermost beauty and
loveliness, and what he saw of her charms amazed him and there
happened to him what made him forget his sorry plight. She
accosted him and jested with him and he besought her of union and
intimacy; so she consented to this and said to him, "Let us go to
thy lodging." Herewith he repented and was perplexed concerning
his procedure and grieved for that which must escape him of her
company by reason of the straitness of his hand, for that he had
not a whit of spending-money. But he was ashamed to say "No,"
after he had sued and wooed her; wherefore he went on before her,
bethinking him how he should rid himself of her and seeking some
excuse which he might put off on her, and gave not over going
from street to street, till he entered one that had no issue and
saw, at the farther end, a door, whereon was a padlock.[FN#403]
Then said he to her, "Do thou excuse me, for my lad hath locked
the door and how shall we open it?" Said she, "O my lord, the
padlock is worth only some ten dirhams;" and presently she tucked
up her sleeves from forearms as they were crystal and taking a
stone, smote the padlock and broke it; and, opening the door,
said to him, "Enter, O my lord." Accordingly he went in,
committing his affair to Allah (to whom belong Honour and Glory),
and she entered after him and locked the door from within. They
found themselves in a pleasant house, collecting all good and
gladness; and the young man fared forwards, till he came to the
sitting-chamber, and, behold, it was furnished with the finest of
furniture as hath before been set out.[FN#404] He seated himself
and leant upon a cushion, whilst she put out her hand to her veil
and doffed it. Then she threw off her heavy outer clothes till
she was clad in the thinnest which showed her charms, whereupon
the young man embraced her and kissed her and enjoyed her; after
which they washed with the Ghusl-ablution and returned to their
place and he said to her, "Know that I have little knowledge of
what goeth on in my own house, for that I trust to my servant: so
arise thou and see what the lad hath made ready in the kitchen."
Accordingly, she arose and going down into the kitchen, saw
cooking pots over the fire, wherein were all manner of dainty
viands, and firstsbread[FN#405] and fresh almond cakes.[FN#406]
So she set bread on a dish and ladled out what she would from the
pots and brought it to him. They ate and drank and played and
made merry a while of the day; and as they were thus engaged,
suddenly up came the master of the house, with his friends, whom
he had brought with him, that they might converse together, as of
wont. He saw the door opened and knocked a light knock, saying to
his company, "Have patience with me, for some of my family are
come to visit me: wherefore excuse belongeth first to Allah
Almighty, and then to you."[FN#407] So they farewelled him and
fared their ways, whilst he rapped another light rap at the door.
When the young man heard this, he changed colour and the woman
said to him, "Methinks thy lad hath returned." He answered,
"Yes;" and she arose and opening the door to the master of the
house, said to him, "Where hast thou been? Indeed, thy master is
angry with thee!" and he said, "O my lady, I have not been save
about his business." Then he girt his waist with a kerchief and
entering, saluted the young merchant, who said to him, "Where
hast thou been?" Quoth he, "I have done thine errands;" and quoth
the youth, "Go and eat and come hither and drink." So he went
away, as he bade him, and ate; then he washed hands and returning
to the sitting-room, sat down on the carpet and fell to talking
with them; whereupon the young merchant's heart was heartened and
his breast broadened and he applied himself to pleasure. They
were in all joyance of life and the most abounding pleasance till
a third part of the night was past, when the house-master arose,
and spreading them a bed, invited them to take their rest. So
they lay down and the youth wide awake, pondering their affair
till daybreak, when the woman roused herself from sleep and said
to her companion, "I wish to go." He farewelled her and she
departed; whereupon the master of the house followed her with a
purse of silver and gave it to her, saying, "Blame not my lord,"
and made his excuse to her for his master. Then he returned to
the youth and said to him, "Arise and come to the
Hammam;"[FN#408] and he fell to shampooing his hands and feet,
whilst the youth called down blessings on him and said "O my
lord, who art thou? Methinks there is not in the world the like
of thee; no, nor a pleasanter in thy disposition." Then each of
the twain acquainted the other with his case and condition and
they went to the bath; after which the master of the house
conjured the young merchant to return with him and summoned his
friends. So they ate and drank and he told them the tale,
wherefore they thanked the house-master and praised him; and
their friendship was complete while the young merchant abode in
the town, till Allah made easy to him a means of travel,
whereupon they farewelled him and he departed; and this is the
end of his tale. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "O king of the age,
is this stranger than the story of the Richard who lost his
wealth and his wit." When the king heard the Minister's story, it
pleased him and he bade him hie to his home.

               The Sixteenth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King sat in his sitting-chamber and
sending for his Wazir, bade him relate the story of the Wealthy
Man who lost his wealth and his wit. So he said, "Hear, O King,

The Tale of the Melancholist and the Sharper.[FN#409]

There was once a Richard hight 'Ajl\xE1n, the Hasty, who wasted his
wealth, and concern and chagrin gat the mastery of him, so that
he became a Melancholist[FN#410] and lost his wit. There remained
with him of his monies about twenty dinars and he used to beg
alms of the folk, and whatso they gave him in charity he would
gather together and add to the gold pieces that were left him.
Now there was in that town a Sharper, who made his living by
roguery, and he knew that the Melancholist had somewhat of money;
so he fell to spying upon him and ceased not watching him till he
saw him put into an earthen pot that which he had with him of
silvers and enter a deserted ruin, where he sat down, as if to
make water, and dug a hole, wherein he laid the pot and covering
it up, smoothed the ground as it had been. Then he went away and
the Sharper came and taking what was in the pot, restored it to
its former place. Presently 'Ajlan returned, with somewhat to add
to his hoard, but found it not; so he bethought him of who had
followed him and remembered that he had found that Sharper
assiduous in sitting with him and questioning him. So he went in
search of him, assured that he had taken the pot, and gave not
over looking for him till he saw him sitting; whereupon he ran to
him and the Sharper saw him. Then the Melancholist stood within
earshot and muttered[FN#411] to himself and said, "In the pot are
sixty ducats and I have with me other twenty in such a place and
to-day I will unite the whole in the pot." When the Sharper heard
him say this to himself, muttering and mumbling, repeating and
blundering in his speech, he repented him of having taken the
sequins and said, "He will presently return to the pot[FN#412]
and find it empty; wherefore that for which I am on the look-out
will escape me; and meseemeth 'twere best I replace the dinars,
so he may see them and leave all which is with him in the pot,
and I can take the whole." Now he feared to return to the pot at
once, lest the Melancholist should follow him to the place and
find nothing and on this wise his arrangements be marred; so he
said to him, "O 'Ajlan,[FN#413] I would have thee come to my
lodging and eat bread with me." Thereupon the Melancholist went
with him to his quarters and he seated him there and going to the
market, sold somewhat of his clothes and pawned somewhat from his
house and bought the best of food. Then he betook himself to the
ruin and replacing the money in the pot, buried it again; after
which he returned to his lodging and gave the Melancholist to eat
and drink, and they went out together. The Sharper walked away
and hid himself, lest his guest should see him, whilst 'Ajlan
repaired to his hiding-place and took the pot. Presently, the
Sharper returned to the ruin, rejoicing in that which he deemed
he should get, and dug in the place, but found naught and knew
that the Melancholist had outwitted him. So he began buffetting
his face for regret, and fell to following the other whitherso he
went, to the intent that he might win what was with him, but he
failed in this, because the Melancholist knew what was in his
mind and was assured that he spied upon him; so he kept watch
over himself. Now, had the Sharper considered the consequences of
haste and that which is begotten of loss therefrom, he had not
done on such wise. "Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this tale, O
king of the age, rarer or stranger or daintier than the story of
Khalbas[FN#414] and his Wife and the learned man and that which
befel between the three." When the king heard this story, he left
his purpose of putting the Minister to death and his soul bade
him to continue him on life. So he ordered him off to his house.

              The Seventeenth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister, and as
soon as he presented himself, he required of him the story. So he
said, "Hearkening and obedience. Hear, O august King,

The Tale of Khalbas and his Wife and the Learned Man.

There was once a man called Khalbas, who was a fulsome fellow, a
calamity, notorious for this note, and he had a charming wife,
renowned for beauty and loveliness. A man of his townsfolk fell
in love with her and she also loved him. Now Khalbas was a wily
wight and full of guile, and there was in his neighbourhood a
learned man, to whom the folk used to resort every day and he
told them histories and admonished them with moral instances; and
Khalbas was wont to be present in his assembly, for the sake of
making a show before the folk. This learned man also had a wife
famed for comeliness and seemlihead and quickness of wit and
understanding and the lover sought some device whereby he might
manage to meet Khalbas's wife; so he came to him and told him as
a secret what he had seen of the learned man's wife and confided
to him that he was in love with her and besought his assistance
in this. Khalbas told him that she was known as a model of
chastity and continence and that she exposed herself not to ill
doubts; but the other said, "I cannot renounce her, in the first
place because the woman inclineth to me and coveteth my wealth,
and secondly, because of the greatness of my fondness for her;
and naught is wanting but thy help." Quoth Khalbas, "I will do
thy will;" and quoth the other, "Thou shalt have of me every day
two silvern dirhams, on condition that thou sit with the learned
man and that, when he riseth from the assembly, thou speak a word
which shall notify to me the breaking up of the meeting." So they
agreed upon that and Khalbas entered and sat in the session,
whilst the lover was assured in his heart that the secret was
safe and secure with him, wherefore he rejoiced and was content
to pay the two dirhams. Then Khalbas used to attend the learned
man's assembly, whilst the other would go in to his wife and be
very much with her, on such wise as he thought good, till the
learned man arose from his meeting; and when Khalbas saw that he
proposed rising, he would speak a word for the lover to hear,
whereupon he went forth from the wife of Khalbas who knew not
that doom was in his own home. But when the learned man saw
Khalbas do the same thing every day, he began to suspect him,
especially on account of that which he knew of his bad name, and
suspicion grew upon him; so, one day, he resolved to advance the
time of his rising ere the wonted hour and hastening up to
Khalbas, seized him and said to him, "By Allah, an thou say a
single syllable, I will do thee a damage!" Then he went in to his
wife, with Khalbas in his grip, and behold, she was sitting, as
of her wont, nor was there about her aught of suspicious or
unseemly. The learned man bethought him awhile of this, then made
for Khalbas's house, which adjoined his own, still holding his
man; and when they entered, they found the young lover lying on
the bed with Khalbas's wife; whereupon quoth the learned man to
him, "O accursed, the doom is with thee and in thine own home!"
So Khalbas divorced his wife and went forth, fleeing, and
returned not to his own land. "This, then" (continued the Wazir),
"is the consequence of lewdness, for whoso purposeth in himself
wile and perfidious guile, they get possession of him, and had
Khalbas conceived of himself that dishonour and calamity which he
conceived of the folk, there had betided him nothing of this. Nor
is this tale, rare and curious though it be, stranger or rarer
than the story of the Devotee whose husband's brother accused her
of lewdness." When the king heard this, wonderment gat hold of
him and his admiration for the Wazir redoubled; so he bade him
hie to his home and return to him on the morrow, according to his
custom. So the Minister withdrew to his lodging, where he passed
the night and the ensuing day.

               The Eighteenth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned the Wazir and required
of him the story; so he said, "'Tis well. Hear O King,

The Tale of the Devotee Accused of Lewdness.[FN#415]

There was once a man of N\xEDsh\xE1b\xFAr[FN#416] who, having a wife of
the uttermost beauty and piety, yet was minded to set out on the
pilgrimage. So before leaving home he commended her to the care
of his brother and besought him to aid her in her affairs and
further her wishes till he should return, for the brothers were
on the most intimate terms.[FN#417] Then he took ship and
departed and his absence was prolonged. Meanwhile, the brother
went to visit his brother's wife, at all times and seasons, and
questioned her of her circumstances and went about her wants; and
when his calls were prolonged and he heard her speech and saw her
face, the love of her gat hold upon his heart and he became
passionately fond of her and his soul prompted him to evil. So he
besought her to lie with him, but she refused and showed him how
foul was his deed, and he found him no way to win what he
wished;[FN#418] wherefore he wooed her with soft speech and
gentle ways. Now she was righteous in all her doings and never
swerved from one saying;[FN#419] so, when he saw that she
consented not to him, he had no doubts but that she would tell
his brother, when he returned from his journey, and quoth he to
her, "An thou consent not to whatso I require of thee, I will
cause a scandal to befal thee and thou wilt perish." Quoth she,
"Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) judge betwixt me and thee,
and know that, shouldst thou hew me limb from limb, I would not
consent to that thou biddest me to do." His ignorance[FN#420] of
womankind persuaded him that she would tell her spouse; so he
betook himself of his exceeding despite, to a company of people
in the mosque and informed them that he had witnessed a man
commit adultery with his brother's wife. They believed his word
and documented his charge and assembled to stone her.[FN#421]
Then they dug her a pit outside the city and seating her therein,
stoned her, till they deemed her dead, when they left her.
Presently a Shaykh of a village passed by the pit and finding her
alive, carried her to his house and cured her of her wounds. Now
he had a youthful son, who, as soon as he saw her, loved her and
besought her of her person; but she refused and consented not to
him, whereupon he redoubled in love and longing and his case
prompted him to suborn a youth of the people of his village and
agree with him that he should come by night and take somewhat
from his father's house and that, when he was seized and
discovered, he should say that she was his accomplice in this and
avouch that she was his mistress and had been stoned on his
account in the city. Accordingly he did this, and, coming by
night to the villager's house, stole therefrom goods and clothes;
whereupon the owner awoke and seizing the thief, pinioned him
straitly and beat him to make him confess; and he confessed
against the woman that she was a partner in the crime and that he
was her lover from the city. The news was bruited abroad and the
citizens assembled to put her to death; but the Shaykh with whom
she was forbade them and said, "I brought this woman hither,
coveting the recompense of Allah, and I know not the truth of
that which is said of her and will not empower any to hurt or
harm her." Then he gave her a thousand dirhams, by way of alms,
and thrust her forth of the village. As for the thief, he was
imprisoned for some days; after which the folk interceded for him
with the old man, saying, "This is a youth and indeed he erred;"
and he released him from his bonds. Meanwhile the woman went out
at hap-hazard and donning a devotee's dress, fared on without
ceasing, till she came to a city and found the king's deputies
dunning the townsfolk for the tribute, out of season. Presently,
she saw a man, whom they were pressing for the tribute; so she
asked of his case and being acquainted with it, paid down the
thousand dirhams for him and delivered him from the bastinado;
whereupon he thanked her and those who were present. When he was
set free, he walked with her and besought her to go with him to
his dwelling: accordingly, she accompanied him thither and supped
with him and passed the night. When the dark hours gloomed on
him, his soul prompted him to evil, for that which he saw of her
beauty and loveliness, and he lusted after her, and required her
of her person; but she rejected him and threatened him with Allah
the Most High and reminded him of that which she had done with
him of kindness and how she had delivered him from the stick and
its disgrace. However, he would not be denied, and when he saw
her persistent refusal of herself to him, he feared lest she
should tell the folk of him. So, when he arose in the morning, he
wrote on a paper what he would of forgery and falsehood and going
up to the Sultan's palace, said, "I have an advisement for the
King." So he bade admit him and he delivered him the writ he had
forged, saying, "I found this letter with the woman, the devotee,
the ascetic, and indeed she is a spy, a secret informer against
the sovran to his foe; and I deem the King's due more incumbent
on me than any other claim and warning him to be the first duty,
for that he uniteth in himself all the subjects, and but for the
King's existence, the lieges would perish; wherefore I have
brought thee good counsel." The King gave credit to his words and
sent with him those who should lay hands upon the Devotee and do
her to death; but they found her not. As for the woman, when the
man went out from her, she resolved to depart; so she fared
forth, saying to herself, "There is no wayfaring for me in
woman's habit." Then she donned men's dress, such as is worn of
the pious, and set out and wandered over the earth; nor did she
cease wandering till she entered a certain city. Now the king of
that city had an only daughter, in whom he gloried and whom he
loved, and she saw the Devotee and deeming her a pilgrim youth,
said to her father, "I would fain have this youth take up his
lodging with me, so I may learn of him lere and piety and
religion." Her father rejoiced in this and commanded the pilgrim
to take up his abode with his daughter in his palace. So they
were in one place and the Princess was strenuous to the uttermost
in continence and chastity and nobility of mind and magnanimity
and devotion; but the ignorant tattled anent her and the folk of
the realm said, "The king's daughter loveth the pilgrim youth and
he loveth her." Now the king was a very old man and destiny
decreed the ending of his life-term; so he died and when he was
buried, the lieges assembled and many were the sayings of the
people and of the king's kinsfolk and officers, and they
counselled together to slay the Princess and the young pilgrim,
saying, "This fellow dishonoureth us with yonder whore and none
accepteth shame save the base." So they fell upon them and slew
the king's daughter in her mosque, without asking her of aught;
whereupon the pious woman (whom they deemed a youth) said to
them, "Woe to you, O miscreants! Ye have slain the pious lady."
Quoth they, "O thou fulsome fellow, dost thou bespeak us thus?
Thou lovedst her and she loved thee, and we will assuredly slay
thee." And quoth she, "Allah forfend. Indeed, the affair is the
clear reverse of this." They asked, "What proof hast thou of
that?" and she answered, "Bring me women." They did so, and when
the matrons looked on her, they found her a woman. As soon as the
townsfolk saw this, they repented of that they had done and the
affair was grievous to them; so they sought pardon of Allah and
said to her, "By the virtue of Him whom thou servest, do thou
crave pardon for us." Said she, "As for me, I may no longer tarry
with you and I am about to depart from you." Then they humbled
themselves before her and shed tears and said to her, "We conjure
thee, by the might of Allah the Most High, that thou take upon
thyself the rule of the realm and of the lieges." But she refused
and drew her back; whereupon they came up to her and wept and
ceased not supplicating her, till she consented and undertook the
kingship. Her first commandment to them was that they bury the
Princess and build over her a dome and she abode in that palace,
worshipping the Almighty and dealing judgment between the people
with justice, and Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) vouchsafed
her, for the excellence of her piety and her patience and
renunciation, the acceptance of her prayers, so that she sought
not aught of Him (to whom belong Might and Majesty), but He
granted her petition; and her fame was bruited abroad in all
lands. Accordingly, the folk resorted to her from all parts and
she used to pray Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty) for the
oppressed and the Lord granted him relief, and against his
oppressor, and He brake him asunder; and she prayed for the sick
and they were made sound; and in this goodly way she tarried a
great space of time. So fared it with the wife; but as for her
husband, when he returned from the pilgrimage, his brother and
the neighbours acquainted him with the affair of his spouse,
whereat he was sore concerned and suspected their story, for that
which he knew of her chastity and prayerfulness; and he shed
tears for the loss of her. Meanwhile, she prayed to Almighty
Allah that He would stablish her innocence in the eyes of her
spouse and the folk, and He sent down upon her husband's brother
a sickness so sore that none knew a cure for him. Wherefore he
said to his brother, "In such a city is a Devotee, a worshipful
woman and a recluse whose prayers are accepted; so do thou carry
me to her, that she may pray for my healing and Allah (to whom
belong Might and Majesty) may give me ease of this disease."
Accordingly, he took him up and journeyed with him, till they
came to the village where dwelt the Shaykh, the grey-beard who
had rescued the devout woman from the pit and carried her to his
dwelling and healed her in his home. Here they halted and lodged
with the old man, who questioned the husband of his case and that
of his brother and the cause of their journey, and he said, "I
purpose to go with my brother, this sick wight, to the holy
woman, her whose petitions are answered, so she may pray for him,
and Allah may heal him by the blessing of her orisons." Quoth the
villager, "By Allah, my son is in parlous plight for sickness and
we have heard that this Devotee prayeth for the sick and they are
made sound. Indeed, the folk counsel me to carry him to her, and
behold,[FN#422] I will go in company with you." And they said,
"'Tis well." So they all nighted in that intent and on the morrow
they set out for the dwelling of the Devotee, this one carrying
his son and that one bearing his brother. Now the man who had
stolen the clothes and had forged against the pious woman a lie,
to wit, that he was her lover, sickened of a sore sickness, and
his people took him up and set out with him to visit the Devotee
and crave her prayers, and Destiny brought them altogether by the
way. So they fared forward in a body till they came to the city
wherein the man dwelt for whom she had paid the thousand dirhams
to deliver him from torture, and found him about to travel to her
by reason of a malady which had betided him. Accordingly, they
all journeyed on together, unknowing that the holy woman was she
whom they had so foully wronged, and ceased not going till they
came to her city and foregathered at the gates of her palace,
that wherein was the tomb of the Princess. Now the folk used to
go in to her and salute her with the salam, and crave her
orisons; and it was her custom to pray for none till he had
confessed to her his sins, when she would ask pardon for him and
pray for him that he might be healed, and he was straightway made
whole of sickness, by permission of Almighty Allah. When the four
sick men were brought in to her, she knew them forthright, though
they knew her not, and said to them "Let each of you confess and
specify his sins, so I may sue pardon for him and pray for him."
And the brother said, "As for me, I required my brother's wife of
her person and she refused; whereupon despite and ignorance
prompted me and I lied against her and accused her to the
townsfolk of adultery; so they stoned her and slew her wrongously
and unrighteously; and this my complaint is the issue of unright
and falsehood and of the slaying of the innocent soul, whose
slaughter Allah hath made unlawful to man." Then said the youth,
the old villager's son, "And I, O holy woman, my father brought
to us a woman who had been stoned, and my people nursed her till
she recovered. Now she was rare of beauty and loveliness; so I
required of her her person; but she refused and clave in chastity
to Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty), wherefore ignorance
prompted me, so that I agreed with one of the youths that he
should steal clothes and coin from my father's house. Then I laid
hands on him and carried him to my sire and made him confess. He
declared that the woman was his mistress from the city and had
been stoned on his account and that she was his accomplice in the
theft and had opened the doors to him; but this was a lie against
her, for that she had not yielded to me in that which I sought of
her. So there befel me what ye see of requital." And the young
man, the thief, said, "I am he with whom thou agreedst concerning
the theft, and to whom thou openedst the door, and I am he who
accused her falsely and calumniously and Allah (extolled be He!)
well knoweth that I never did evil with her; no, nor knew her in
any way before that time." Then said he whom she had delivered
from torture by paying down a thousand dirhams and who had
required of her her person in his house, for that her beauty
pleased him, and when she refused had forged a letter against her
and treacherously denounced her to the Sultan and requited her
graciousness with ingratitude, "I am he who wronged her and lied
against her, and this is the issue of the oppressor's affair."
When she heard their words, in the presence of the folk, she
cried, "Alhamdolillah, praise be to Allah, the King who over all
things is omnipotent, and blessing upon His prophets and
apostles!" Then quoth she to the assembly, "Bear testimony, O ye
here present, to these men's speech, and know ye I am that woman
whom they confess to having wronged." And she turned to her
husband's brother and said to him, "I am thy brother's wife and
Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) delivered me from that
whereinto thou castedst me of calumny and suspicion, and from the
folly and frowardness whereof thou hast spoken, and now hath He
shown forth my innocence, of His bounty and generosity. Go, for
thou art quit of the wrong thou didst me." Then she prayed for
him and he was made sound of his sickness. Thereupon she said to
the son of the village Shaykh, "Know that I am the woman whom thy
father delivered from strain and stress and whom there betided
from thee of calumny and ignorance that which thou hast named."
And she sued pardon for him and he was made sound of his
sickness. Then said she to the thief, "I am the woman against
whom thou liedst, avouching that I was thy leman who had been
stoned on thine account, and that I was thine accomplice in
robbing the house of the village Shaykh and had opened the doors
to thee." And she prayed for him and he was made whole of his
malady.[FN#423] Then said she to the townsman, him of the
tribute, "I am the woman who gave thee the thousand dirhams and
thou didst with me what thou didst." And she asked pardon for him
and prayed for him and he was made whole; whereupon the folk
marvelled at her enemies who had all been afflicted alike, so
Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) might show forth her
innocence upon the heads of witnesses.[FN#424] Then she turned to
the old man who had delivered her from the pit and prayed for him
and gave him presents manifold and among them a myriad, a
Badrah;[FN#425] and the sick made whole departed from her. When
she was alone with her husband, she made him draw near unto her
and rejoiced in his arrival, and gave him the choice of abiding
with her. Presently, she assembled the citizens and notified to
them his virtue and worth and counselled them to invest him with
management of their rule and besought them to make him king over
them. They consented to her on this and he became king and made
his home amongst them, whilst she gave herself up to her orisons
and cohabited with her husband as she was with him aforetime.
"Nor," continued the Wazir, "is this tale, O king of the time,
stranger or pleasanter than that of the Hireling and the Girl
whose maw he slit and fled." When King Shah Bakht heard this, he
said, "Most like all they say of the Minister is leasing, and his
innocence will be made manifest even as that of the Devotee was
manifested." Then he comforted the Wazir's heart and bade him hie
to his house.

               The Nineteenth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King bade fetch the Wazir and sought
of him the story of the Hireling and the Girl. So he said,
"Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O auspicious King, to

The Tale of the Hireling and the Girl.

There was once, of old time, in one of the tribes of the Arabs, a
woman pregnant by her husband, and they had a hired servant, a
man of insight and understanding. When the woman came to her
delivery-time, she gave birth to a girl-child in the night and
they sought fire of the neighbours.[FN#426] So the Hireling went
in quest of fire. Now there was in the camp a Divineress,[FN#427]
and she questioned him of the new-born child, an it was male or
female. Quoth he, "'Tis a girl;" and quoth she, "That girl will
whore with an hundred men and a hireling shall wed her and a
spider shall slay her." When the hired man heard this, he
returned upon his steps and going in to the woman, took the child
from her by wily management and slit its maw: then he fled forth
into the wold at hap-hazard and abode in strangerhood while Allah
so willed.[FN#428] He gained much money; and, returning to his
own land, after twenty years' absence, alighted in the
neighbourhood of an old woman, whom he wheedled and treated with
liberality, requiring of her a young person whom he might enjoy
without marriage. Said she, "I know none but a certain fair
woman, who is renowned for this industry." Then she described her
charms to him and made him lust after her, and he said, "Hasten
to her this minute and lavish upon her whatso she asketh." So the
crone betook herself to the girl and discovered his wishes to her
and invited her to him; but she answered, "'Tis true that I was
in the habit of whoredom, but now I have repented to Almighty
Allah and have no more longing to this: nay, I desire lawful
wedlock; so, if he be content with that which is legal, I am
between his hands."[FN#429] The old woman returned to the man and
told him what the damsel said; and he lusted after her, because
of her beauty and her penitence; so he took her to wife, and when
he went in to her, he loved her and after like fashion she loved
him. Thus they abode a great while, till one day he questioned
her of the cause of a scar[FN#430] he espied on her body, and she
said, "I wot naught thereof save that my mother told me a
marvellous thing concerning it." Asked he, "What was that?" and
she answered, "My mother declared that she gave birth to me one
night of the wintry nights and despatched a hired man, who was
with us, in quest of fire for her. He was absent a little while
and presently returning, took me and slit my maw and fled. When
my mother saw this, chagrin seized her and compassion possessed
her; so she sewed up my stomach and nursed me till the wound
healed by the ordinance of Allah (to whom belong Might and
Majesty)." When her husband heard this, he said to her, "What is
thy name and what may be the name of thy mother and who may be
thy father?" She told him their names and her own, whereby he
knew that it was she whose maw he had slit and said to her, "And
where are thy father and mother?" "They are both dead." "I am
that Hireling who slit thy stomach." "Why didst thou that?"
"Because of a saying I heard from the wise woman." "What was it?"
"She declared thou wouldst play the whore with an hundred men and
that I after that should wed thee." "Ay, I have whored with an
hundred men, no more and no less, and behold, thou hast married
me." "The Divineress also foresaid that thou shouldst die, at the
last of thy life, of the bite of a spider. Indeed, her saying
hath been verified of the fornication and the marriage, and I
fear lest her word come true no less in the death." Then they
betook themselves to a place without the city, where he builded
him a mansion of solid stone and white stucco and stopped its
inner walls and plastered them; leaving not therein or cranny or
crevice, and he set in it two slavegirls whose services were
sweeping and wiping, for fear of spiders. Here he abode with his
wife a great while, till one day the man espied a spider on the
ceiling and beat it down. When his wife saw it, she said, "This
is that which the wise woman foresaid would slay me; so, by thy
life, suffer me to kill it with mine own hand." Her husband
forbade her from this, but she conjured him to let her destroy
the spider; then, of her fearfulness and her eagerness, she took
a piece of wood and smote it. The wood brake of the force of the
blow, and a splinter from it entered her hand and wrought upon
it, so that it swelled. Then her fore-arm also swelled and the
swelling spread to her side and thence grew till it reached her
heart and she died. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is this
stranger or more wondrous than the story of the Weaver who became
a Leach by commandment of his wife." When the King heard this,
his admiration redoubled and he said, "In very truth, Destiny is
written to all creatures, and I will not accept aught that is
said against my Minister the loyal counsellor." And he bade him
hie to his home.

               The Twentieth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King bade summon his Minister and he
presented himself before him, whereupon he required of him the
hearing of the story. So the Wazir said, "Hearkening and
obedience. Give ear, O King, to

The Tale of the Weaver who Became a Leach by Order of his

There was once, in the land of Fars,[FN#431] a man who wedded a
woman higher than himself in rank and nobler of lineage, but she
had no guardian to preserve her from want. She loathed to marry
one who was beneath her; yet she wived with him because of need,
and took of him a bond in writing to the effect that he would
ever be under her order to bid and forbid and would never thwart
her in word or in deed. Now the man was a Weaver and he bound
himself in writing to pay his wife ten thousand dirhams in case
of default. Atfer such fashion they abode a long while till one
day the wife went out to fetch water, of which she had need, and
saw a leach who had spread a carpet hard by the road, whereon he
had set out great store of simples[FN#432] and implements of
medicine and he was speaking and muttering charms, whilst the
folk flocked to him from all quarters and girt him about on every
side. The Weaver's wife marvelled at the largeness of the
physician's fortune[FN#433] and said in herself, "Were my husband
thus, he would lead an easy life and that wherein we are of
straitness and poverty would be widened to him." Then she
returned home, cark-full and care-full, and when her husband saw
her in this condition, he questioned her of her case and she said
to him, "Verily, my breast is harrowed by reason of thee and of
the very goodness of thine intent," presently adding, "Narrow
means suit me not and thou in thy present craft gainest naught;
so either do thou seek out a business other than this or pay me
my rightful due[FN#434] and let me wend my ways." Her husband
chid her for this and advised her to take patience; but she would
not be turned from her design and said to him, "Go forth and
watch yonder physician how he doth and learn from him what he
saith." Said he, "Let not thy heart be troubled," and added, "I
will go every day to the session of the leach." So he began
resorting daily to the physician and committing to memory his
answers and that which he spoke of jargon,[FN#435] till he had
gotten a great matter by rote, and all this he learned and
thoroughly digested it. Then he returned to his wife and said to
her, "I have stored up the physician's sayings in memory and have
mastered his manner of muttering and diagnoses and prescribing
remedies and I wot by heart the names of the medicines[FN#436]
and of all the diseases, and there abideth of thy bidding naught
undone: so what dost thou command me now to do?" Quoth she,
"Leave the loom and open thyself a leach's shop;" but quoth he,
"My fellow-townsmen know me and this affair will not profit me,
save in a land of strangerhood; so come, let us go out from this
city and get us to a foreign land and there live." And she said,
"Do whatso thou willest." Accordingly, he arose and taking his
weaving gear, sold it and bought with the price drugs and simples
and wrought himself a carpet, with which they set out and
journeyed to a certain village, where they took up their abode.
Then the man fell to going round about the hamlets and villages
and outskirts of towns, after donning leach's dress; and he began
to earn his livelihood and make much gain. Their affairs
prospered and their circumstances were bettered; wherefore they
praised Allah for their present ease and the village became to
them a home. In this way he lived for a long time, but at length
he wandered anew,[FN#437] and the days and the nights ceased not
to transport him from country to country, till he came to the
land of the Roum and lighted down in a city of the cities
thereof, wherein was J\xE1lin\xFAs[FN#438] the Sage; but the Weaver
knew him not, nor was aware who he was. So he fared forth, as was
his wont, in quest of a place where the folk might be gathered
together, and hired the courtyard[FN#439] of Jalinus. There he
spread his carpet and setting out on it his simples and
instruments of medicine, praised himself and his skill and
claimed a cleverness such as none but he might claim.[FN#440]
Jalinus heard that which he affirmed of his understanding and it
was certified unto him and established in his mind that the man
was a skilled leach of the leaches of the Persians and he said in
himself, "Unless he had confidence in his knowledge and were
minded to confront me and contend with me, he had not sought the
door of my house neither had he spoken that which he hath
spoken." And care and doubt gat hold upon Jalinus: so he drew
near the Weaver and addressed himself to see how his doings
should end, whilst the folk began to flock to him and describe to
him their ailments,[FN#441] and he would answer them thereof,
hitting the mark one while and missing it another while, so that
naught appeared to Jalinus of his fashion whereby his mind might
be assured that he had justly estimated his skill. Presently, up
came a woman with a urinal,[FN#442] and when the Weaver saw the
phial afar off, he said to her, "This is the water of a man, a
stranger." Said she, "Yes;" and he continued, "Is he not a Jew
and is not his ailment flatulence?" "Yes," replied the woman, and
the folk marvelled at this; wherefore the man was magnified in
the eyes of Jalinus, for that he heard speech such as was not of
the usage of doctors, seeing that they know not urine but by
shaking it and looking straitly thereon, neither wot they a man's
water from a woman's water, nor a stranger's from a countryman's,
nor a Jew's from a Sharif's.[FN#443] Then the woman asked, "What
is the remedy?" and the Weaver answered, "Bring the
honorarium."[FN#444] So she paid him a dirham and he gave her
medicines contrary to that ailment and such as would only
aggravate the complaint. When Jalinus saw what appeared to him of
the man's incapacity, he turned to his disciples and pupils and
bade them fetch the mock doctor, with all his gear and drugs.
Accordingly they brought him into his presence without stay or
delay, and when Jalinus saw him before him, he asked him,
"Knowest thou me?" and the other answered, "No, nor did I ever
set eyes on thee before this day." Quoth the Sage, "Dost thou
know Jalinus?" and quoth the Weaver, "No." Then said Jalinus,
"What drave thee to do that which thou dost?" So he acquainted
him with his adventure, especially with the dowry and the
obligation by which he was bound with regard to his wife whereat
the Sage marvelled and certified himself anent the matter of the
marriage-settlement. Then he bade lodge him near himself and
entreated him with kindness and took him apart and said to him,
"Expound to me the story of the urine-phial and whence thou
knewest that the water therein was that of a man, and he a
stranger and a Jew, and that his ailment was flatulence?" The
Weaver replied, "'Tis well. Thou must know that we people of
Persia are skilled in physiognomy,[FN#445] and I saw the woman to
be rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed and tall-statured. Now these qualities
belong to women who are enamoured of a man and are distracted for
love of him;[FN#446] moreover, I saw her burning with anxiety; so
I knew that the patient was her husband.[FN#447] As for his
strangerhood, I noted that the dress of the woman differed from
that of the townsfolk, wherefore I knew that she was a foreigner;
and in the mouth of the phial I saw a yellow rag,[FN#448] which
garred me wot that the sick man was a Jew and she a Jewess.
Moreover, she came to me on first day;[FN#449] and 'tis the Jews'
custom to take meat puddings[FN#450] and food that hath passed
the night[FN#451] and eat them on the Saturday their Sabbath, hot
and cold, and they exceed in eating; wherefore flatulence and
indigestion betide them. Thus I was directed and guessed that
which thou hast heard." Now when Jalinus heard this, he ordered
the Weaver the amount of his wife's dowry and bade him pay it to
her and said to him, "Divorce her." Furthermore, he forbade him
from returning to the practice of physic and warned him never
again to take to wife a woman of rank higher than his own; and he
gave him his spending money and charged him return to his proper
craft. "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "is this tale stranger or
rarer than the story of the Two Sharpers who each cozened his
Compeer." When King Shah Bakht heard this, he said to himself,
"How like is this story to my present case with this Minister,
who hath not his like!" Then he bade him hie to his own house and
come again at eventide.

              The Twenty-first Night of the Month.

Whenas nighted the night, the Wazir presented himself before the
King, who bade him relate the promised story. So he said,
"Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O king, to

The Tale of the Two Sharpers who each Cozened his

There was once, in the city of Baghdad, a man hight
Al-Marwaz\xED,[FN#452] who was a sharper and ruined the folk with
his rogueries and he was renowned in all quarters for knavery. He
went out one day, carrying a load of sheep's droppings, and sware
to himself that he would not return to his lodging till he had
sold it at the price of raisins. Now there was in another city a
second sharper, hight Al-R\xE1z\xED,[FN#453] one of its worst, who went
out the same day, bearing a load of goat's droppings,[FN#454]
anent which he had sworn to himself that he would not sell it but
at the price of sundried figs. So the twain fared on with that
which was by them and ceased not going till they met in one of
the khans[FN#455] and one complained to other of what he had
suffered on travel in quest of gain and of the little demand for
his wares. Now each of them had it in mind to cheat his fellow;
so the man of Marw said to the man of Rayy, "Wilt thou sell me
that?" He said, "Yes," and the other continued, "And wilt thou
buy that which is with me?" The man of Rayy consented; so they
agreed upon this and each of them sold to his mate that which was
with him in exchange for the other's; after which they bade
farewell and both fared forth. As soon as the twain were out of
sight, they examined their loads, to see what was therein, and
one of them found that he had a load of sheep's droppings and the
other that he had a load of goat's droppings; whereupon each of
them turned back in quest of his fellow. They met again in the
khan and laughing at each other cancelled their bargain; then
they agreed to enter into partnership and that all they had of
money and other good should be in common, share and share alike.
Then quoth Al-Razi to Al-Marwazi, "Come with me to my city, for
that 'tis nearer than thine." So he went with him, and when he
arrived at his quarters, he said to his wife and household and
neighbours, "This is my brother, who hath been absent in the land
of Khorasan and is come back." And he abode with him in all
honour for a space of three days. On the fourth day, Al-Razi said
to him, "Know, O my brother, that I purpose to do something." The
other asked, "What is it?" and the first answered, "I mean to
feign myself dead and do thou go to the bazar and hire two
porters and a bier. Then take me up and go about the streets and
markets with my body and collect alms on my account."[FN#456]
Accordingly the Marw man repaired to the market and, fetching
that which he sought, returned to the Rayy man's house, where he
found his fellow cast down in the entrance-passage, with his beard
tied and his eyes shut, and his complexion was paled and his
belly was blown and his limbs were loose. So he deemed him really
dead and shook him but he spoke not; then he took a knife and
pricked his feet, but he budged not. Presently said Al-Razi,
"What is this, O fool?" and said Al-Marwazi, "I deemed thou wast
dead in very deed." Al-Razi cried, "Get thee to business, and
leave funning." So he took him up and went with him to the market
and collected alms for him that day till eventide, when he bore
him back to his abode and waited till the morrow. Next morning,
he again took up the bier and walked round with it as before, in
quest of charity. Presently, the Chief of Police, who was of
those who had given him alms on the previous day, met him; so he
was angered and fell on the porters and beat them and took the
dead body, saying, "I will bury him and win reward in
Heaven."[FN#457] So his followers took him up and carrying him to
the Police-officer, fetched grave-diggers, who dug him a grave.
Then they brought him a shroud and perfumes[FN#458] and fetched
an old man of the quarter, to wash him: so the Shaykh recited
over him the appointed prayers[FN#459] and laying him on the
bench, washed him and shrouded him. After he had been shrouded he
skited;[FN#460] so the grey-beard renewed the washing and went
away to make the Wuzu-ablution, whilst all the folk departed to
do likewise, before the orisons of the funeral. When the dead man
found himself alone, he sprang up, as he were a Satan; and,
donning the corpse-washer's dress,[FN#461] took the cups and
water-can[FN#462] and wrapped them up in the napkins; then he
clapped his shroud under his armpit and went out. The doorkeepers
thought that he was the washer and asked him, "Hast thou made an
end of the washing, so we may acquaint the Emir?" The sharper
answered "Yes," and made off to his abode, where he found the
Marw man a-wooing his wife and saying to her, "By thy life, thou
wilt never again look upon his face for the best reason that by
this time he is buried: I myself escaped not from them but after
toil and trouble, and if he speak, they will do him to death."
Quoth she, "And what wouldst thou have of me?" and quoth he,
"Satisfy my desire and heal my disorder, for I am better than thy
husband." And he began toying with her as a prelude to
possession. Now when the Rayy man heard this, he said, "Yonder
wittol-pimp lusteth after my wife; but I will at once do him a
damage." Then he rushed in upon them, and when Al-Marwazi saw
him, he wondered at him and said to him, "How didst thou make
thine escape?" Accordingly he told him the trick he had played
and they abode talking of that which they had collected from the
folk, and indeed they had gotten great store of money. Then said
the man of Marw, "In very sooth, mine absence hath been prolonged
and lief would I return to my own land." Al-Razi said, "As thou
willest;" and the other rejoined, "Let us divide the monies we
have made and do thou go with me to my home, so I may show thee
my tricks and my works." Replied the man of Rayy, "Come
to-morrow, and we will divide the coin." So the Marw man went
away and the other turned to his wife and said to her, "We have
collected us great plenty of money, and the dog would fain take
the half of it; but such thing shall never be, for my mind hath
been changed against him, since I heard him making love to thee;
now, therefore, I propose to play him a trick and enjoy all the
money; and do thou not oppose me." She replied, "'Tis well;" and
he said to her, "To-morrow, at peep o' day I will feign myself
dead, and do thou cry aloud and tear thy hair, whereupon the folk
will flock to me. Then lay me out and bury me; and, when the folk
are gone away from the grave, dig down to me and take me; and
fear not for me, as I can abide without harm two days in the
tomb-niche."[FN#463] Whereto she made answer, "Do e'en whatso
thou wilt." Accordingly, when it was the dawn-hour, she bound his
beard and spreading a veil over him, shrieked aloud, whereupon
the people of the quarter flocked to her, men and women.
Presently, up came Al-Marwazi, for the division of the money, and
hearing the keening asked, "What may be the news?" Quoth they,
"Thy brother is dead;" and quoth he in himself, "The accursed
fellow cozeneth me, so he may get all the coin for himself, but I
will presently do with him what shall soon re-quicken him." Then
he tare the bosom of his robe and bared his head, weeping and
saying, "Alas, my brother, ah! Alas, my chief, ah! Alas, my lord,
ah!" Then he went in to the men, who rose and condoled with him.
Then he accosted the Rayy man's wife and said to her, "How came
his death to occur?" Said she, "I know nothing except that, when
I arose in the morning, I found him dead." Moreover, he
questioned her of the money which was with her, but she cried, "I
have no knowledge of this and no tidings." So he sat down at his
fellow-sharper's head, and said to him, "Know, O Razi, that I
will not leave thee till after ten days with their nights,
wherein I will wake and sleep by thy grave. So rise and don't be
a fool." But he answered him not, and the man of Marw drew his
knife and fell to sticking it into the other's hands and feet,
purposing to make him move; but he stirred not and he presently
grew weary of this and determined that the sharper was really
dead. However, he still had his suspicions and said to himself,
"This fellow is falsing me, so he may enjoy all the money."
Therewith he began to prepare the body for burial and bought for
it perfumes and whatso was needed. Then they brought him to the
washing-place and Al-Marwazi came to him; and, heating water till
it boiled and bubbled and a third of it was evaporated, fell to
pouring it on his skin, so that it turned bright red and lively
blue and was blistered; but he abode still on one case.[FN#464]
Presently they wrapped him in the shroud and set him on the bier,
which they took up and bearing him to the burial-place, placed
him in the grave-niche and filled in the earth; after which the
folk dispersed. But the Marw man and the widow abode by the tomb,
weeping, and ceased not sitting till sundown, when the woman said
to him, "Come, let us hie us home, for this weeping will not
profit us, nor will it restore the dead." He replied to her, "By
Allah, I will not budge hence till I have slept and waked by this
tomb ten days with their nights!" When she heard this his speech,
she feared lest he should keep his word and his oath, and so her
husband perish; but she said in her mind, "This one dissembleth:
an I leave him and return to my house, he will tarry by him a
little while and go away." And Al-Marwazi said to her, "Arise,
thou, and hie thee home." So she arose and repaired to her house,
whilst the man of Marw abode in his place till the night was half
spent, when he said to himself, "How long? Yet how can I let this
knavish dog die and lose the money? Better I open the tomb on him
and bring him forth and take my due of him by dint of grievous
beating and torment." Accordingly, he dug him up and pulled him
forth of the grave; after which he betook himself to a garden
hard by the burial-ground and cut thence staves and
palmfronds.[FN#465] Then he tied the dead man's legs and laid on
to him with the staff and beat him a grievous beating; but the
body never budged. When the time grew longsome on him, his
shoulders became a-weary and he feared lest some one of the watch
passing on his round should surprise and seize him. So he took up
Al-Razi and carrying him forth of the cemetery, stayed not till
he came to the Magians' mortuary-place and casting him down in a
Tower of Silence,[FN#466] rained heavy blows upon him till his
shoulders failed him, but the other stirred not. Then he seated
him by his side and rested; after which he rose and renewed the
beating upon him; and thus he did till the end of the night, but
without making him move. Now, as Destiny decreed, a band of
robbers whose wont it was, when they had stolen anything, to
resort to that place and there divide their loot, came thither in
early-dawn, according to their custom; they numbered ten and they
had with them much wealth which they were carrying. When they
approached the Tower of Silence, they heard a noise of blows
within it and their captain cried, "This is a Magian whom the
Angels[FN#467] are tormenting." So they entered the cemetery and
as soon as they arrived over against him, the man of Marw feared
lest they should be the watchmen come upon him, therefore he fled
and stood among the tombs.[FN#468] The robbers advanced to the
place and finding a man of Rayy bound by the feet and by him some
seventy sticks, wondered at this with exceeding wonder and said,
"Allah confound thee! This was a miscreant, a man of many crimes;
for earth hath rejected him from her womb, and by my life, he is
yet fresh! This is his first night in the tomb and the Angels
were tormenting him but now; so whoso of you hath a sin upon his
soul, let him beat him, by way of offering to Almighty Allah."
The robbers said, "We be sinners one and all;" so each of them
went up to the corpse and dealt it about an hundred blows, one
saying the while, "This is for my father!"[FN#469] and another
laid on to him crying, "This is for my grandfather!" whilst a
third muttered, "This is for my brother!" and a fourth exclaimed,
"This is for my mother!" And they gave not over taking turns at
him and beating him till they were weary, whilst Al-Marwazi stood
laughing and saying in self, "'Tis not I alone who have entered
into default against him. There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"[FN#470] Then the
robbers applied themselves to sharing their loot wherein was a
sword which caused them to fall out anent the man who should take
it. Quoth the Captain, "'Tis my rede that we make proof of it;
so, an it be a fine blade, we shall know its worth, and if it be
worthless we shall know that;" whereto they said, "Try it on this
corpse, for it is fresh." So the Captain took the sword, and
drawing it, brandished and made a false cut with it; but, when
the man of Rayy saw this, he felt sure of death and said in his
mind, "I have borne the washing-slab and the boiling water and
the pricking with the knife-point and the grave-niche and its
straitness and all this, trusting in Allah that I might be
delivered from death, and indeed I have been delivered; but the
sword I may not suffer seeing that one stroke of it will make me
a dead man." So saying, he sprang to his feet and seizing a
thigh-bone of one departed, shouted at the top of his voice, "O
ye dead ones, take them to yourselves!" And he smote one of them,
whilst his mate of Marw smote another and they cried out at them
and buffeted them on their neck-napes: whereupon the robbers left
that which was with them of loot and ran away; and indeed their
wits took flight for terror and they ceased not running till they
came forth of the Magians' mortuary-ground and left it a
parasang's length behind them, when they halted, trembling and
affrighted for the muchness of that which had befallen them of
fear and awe of the dead.[FN#471] As for Al-Razi and Al-Marwazi,
they made peace each with other and sat down to share the spoil.
Quoth the man of Marw, "I will not give thee a dirham of this
money, till thou pay me my due of the monies that be in thy
house." And quoth the man of Rayy, "I will do naught of the
kind,[FN#472] nor will I withdraw this from aught of my due." So
they fell out thereupon and disputed each with other and either
of the twain went saying to his fellow, "I will not give thee a
dirham!" Wherefore words ran high between them and the brawl was
prolonged. Meanwhile, when the robbers halted, one of them said
to the others, "Let us go back and see;" and the Captain said,
"This thing is impossible of the dead: never heard we that they
came to life in such way. Return we and take our monies, for that
the dead have no need of money." And they were divided in opinion
as to returning: but presently one said, "Indeed, our weapons are
gone and we may not prevail against them and will not draw near
the place: only let one of us go look at it, and if he hear no
sound of them, let him suggest to us what we shall do." At this
they agreed that they should send a man of them and assigned him
for such mission two parts of the plunder. Accordingly he
returned to the burial-ground and gave not over going till he
stood at the door of the Tower of Silence, when he heard the
words of Al-Marwazi to his fellow, "I will not give thee a single
dirham of the money!" The other said the same and they were
occupied with brawling and abuse and talk. So the robber returned
in haste to his mates, who said, "What is behind thee?"[FN#473]
Quoth he, "Get you gone and run for your lives, O fools, and save
yourselves: much people of the dead are come to life and between
them are words and brawls." Hereat the robbers fled, whilst the
two sharpers returned to the man of Rayy's house and made peace
and added the robbers' spoil to the monies they had gained and
lived a length of time. "Nor, O king of the age" (continued the
Wazir), "is this stranger or rarer than the story of the Four
Sharpers with the Shroff and the Ass." When the king heard this
story, he smiled and it pleased him and he bade the Minister to
his own house.

             The Twenty-second Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, King Shah Bakht summoned the Wazir and
required of him the hearing of the story. So Al-Rahwan said,
"Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O King, to

The Tale of the Sharpers with the Shroff[FN#474] and the Ass.

Four sharpers once plotted against a Shroff, a man of much
wealth, and agreed upon a sleight for securing some of his coins.
So one of them took an ass and laying on it a bag, wherein were
dirhams, lighted down at the shop of the Shroff and sought of him
small change. The man of monies brought out to him the silver
bits and bartered them with him, whilst the sharper was easy with
him in the matter of exchange, so he might gar him long for more
gain. As they were thus, up came the other three sharpers and
surrounded the donkey; and one of them said, "'Tis he," and
another said, "Wait till I look at him." Then he took to
considering the ass and stroking him from crest[FN#475] to tail;
whilst the third went up to him and handled him and felt him from
head to rump, saying, "Yes, 'tis in him." Said another, "No, 'tis
not in him;" and they left not doing the like of this for some
time. Then they accosted the donkey's owner and chaffered with
him and he said, "I will not sell him but for ten thousand
dirhams." They offered him a thousand dirhams; but he refused and
swore that he would not vend the ass but for that which he had
said. They ceased not adding to their offer till the price
reached five thousand dirhams, whilst their mate still said,
"I'll not vend him save for ten thousand silver pieces." The
Shroff advised him to sell, but he would not do this and said to
him, "Ho, shaykh! Thou wottest not the case of this donkey. Stick
to silver and gold and what pertaineth thereto of exchange and
small change; because indeed the virtue of this ass is a mystery
to thee. For every craft its crafty men and for every means of
livelihood its peculiar people." When the affair was prolonged
upon the three sharpers, they went away and sat down aside; then
they came up privily to the money-changer and said to him, "An
thou can buy him for us, do so, and we will give thee twenty
dirhams." Quoth he, "Go away and sit down at a distance from
him." So they did as he bade and the Shroff went up to the owner
of the ass and ceased not luring him with lucre and saying,
"Leave these wights and sell me the donkey, and I will reckon him
a present from thee," till he sold him the animal for five
thousand and five hundred dirhams. Accordingly the ,money-changer
weighed out to him that sum of his own monies, and the owner of
the ass took the price and delivered the beast to him, saying,
"Whatso shall betide, though he abide a deposit upon thy
neck,[FN#476] sell him not to yonder cheats for less than ten
thousand dirhams, for that they would fain buy him because of a
hidden hoard they know, whereto naught can guide them save this
donkey. So close thy hand on him and cross me not, or thou shalt
repent." With these words he left him and went away, whereupon up
came the three other sharpers, the comrades of him of the ass,
and said to the Shroff, "God requite thee for us with good, in
that thou hast bought him! How can we reward thee?" Quoth he, "I
will not sell him but for ten thousand dirhams." When they heard
that they returned to the ass and fell again to examining him
like buyers and handling him. Then said they to the
money-changer, "Indeed we were deceived in him. This is not the
ass we sought and he is not worth to us more than ten
nusfs."[FN#477] Then they left him and offered to go away,
whereat the Shroff was sore chagrined and cried out at their
speech, saying, "O folk, ye asked me to buy him for you and now I
have bought him, ye say, we were deceived in him, and he is not
worth to us more than ten nusfs." They replied, "We thought that
in him was whatso we wanted; but, behold, in him is the contrary
of that which we wish; and indeed he hath a blemish, for that he
is short of back." Then they made long noses[FN#478] at him and
went away from him and dispersed. The money-changer deemed they
did but play him off, that they might get the donkey at their own
price; but, when they walked away from him and he had long
awaited their return, he cried out saying, "Well-away!" and
"Ruin!" and "Sorry case I am in!" and shrieked aloud and rent his
raiment. So the market-people assembled to him and questioned him
of his case; whereupon he acquainted them with his condition and
told them what the knaves had said and how they had cozened him
and how they had cajoled him into buying an ass worth fifty
dirhams[FN#479] for five thousand and five hundred.[FN#480] His
friends blamed him and a gathering of the folk laughed at him and
admired his folly and over-faith in believing the talk of the
sharpers without suspicion, and meddling with that which he
understood not and thrusting himself into that whereof he had no
sure knowledge. "On this wise, O King Shah Bakht" (continued the
Wazir), "is the issue of greed for the goods of the world and
indeed coveting that which our knowledge containeth not shall
lead to ruin and repentance. Nor, O King of the age" (added he),
"is this story stranger than that of the Cheat and the
Merchants." When the King heard these words, he said in himself,
"Indeed, had I given ear to the sayings of my courtiers and
inclined to their idle prate in the matter of my Minister, I had
repented to the utterest of penitence, but Alhamdolillah\x97laud be
to the Lord\x97who hath disposed me to endurance and long-suffering
and hath vouchsafed to me patience!" Then he turned to the Wazir
and dismissed him to his dwelling and gave cong\xE9 to those who
were present, according to his custom.

              The Twenty-third Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister and when
he presented himself before him, he required of him the hearing
of the story. So he said, "Hearing and obeying. Give ear, O
illustrious lord, to

The Tale of the Cheat and the Merchants.

There was once in olden time a certain Cheat, who could turn the
ear inside out by his talk, and he was a model of cleverness and
quick wit and skill and mischief. It was his wont to enter a town
and make a show of being a trader and engage in intimacy with
people of worth and sit in session with the merchants, for his
name was noted as a man of virtue and piety. Then he would put a
sleight on them and take of them what he might spend and fare
forth to another stead; and he ceased not to do thus for a while
of time. It chanced one day that he entered a certain city and
sold somewhat that was with him of merchandise and made friends
of the merchants of the place and took to sitting with them and
entertaining them and inviting them to his quarters and his
assembly, whilst they also invited him to their houses. He abode
after such fashion a long time until he was minded to quit the
city; and this was bruited among his intimates, who grieved for
parting from him. Then he betook himself to one of them who was
the richest in substance and the most conspicuous for generosity,
and sat with him and borrowed his goods; and when rising to
depart, he bade him return the deposit that he had left with him.
Quoth the merchant, "And what is the deposit?" and quoth the
Cheat, "'Tis such a purse, with the thousand dinars therein." The
merchant asked, "And when didst thou give me that same?" and the
Cheat answered, "Extolled be Allah of All Might! Was it not on
such a day, by such a token which is thus and thus?" The man
rejoined, "I know naught of this," and words were bandied about
between them, whilst the folk who heard them disputed together
concerning their sayings and doings, till their voices rose high
and the neighbours had knowledge of that which passed between
them.[FN#481] Then said the Cheat, "O people, this is my friend
and I deposited with him a deposit which he denieth having
received: so in whom shall men put trust after this?" And they
said, "This person is a man of worth and we have known in him
naught but trustiness and good faith and the best of breeding,
and he is endowed with sense and manliness.[FN#482] Indeed, he
affirmeth no false claim, for that we have consorted and
associated with him and he with us and we know the sincerity of
his religion." Then quoth one of them to the merchant, "Ho,
Such-an-one! Bethink thee of the past and refresh thy memory. It
cannot be that thou hast forgotten." But quoth he, "O people, I
wot nothing of what he saith, for indeed he deposited naught with
me:" and the matter was prolonged between them. Then said the
Cheat to the merchant, "I am about to travel and I have, praised
be Allah Almighty, much wealth, and this money shall not escape
me; but do thou make oath to me." And the folk said, "Indeed,
this man doth justice upon himself."[FN#483] Whereupon the
merchant fell into that which he disliked[FN#484] and came nigh
upon loss and ill fame. Now he had a friend, who pretended to
sharpness and intelligence; so he came up to him secretly and
said to him, "Let me do so I may cheat this Cheat, for I know him
to be a liar and thou art near upon having to weigh out the gold;
but I will parry off suspicion from thee and say to him, The
deposit is with me and thou erredst in suspecting that it was
with other than myself; and so I will divert him from thee." The
other replied, "Do so, and rid the people of such pretended
debts." Accordingly the friend turned to the Cheat and said to
him, "O my lord, I am Such-an-one, and thou goest under a
delusion. The purse is with me, for it was with me that thou
depositedst it, and this Shaykh is innocent of it." But the Cheat
answered him with impatience and impetuosity, saying, "Extolled
be Allah! As for the purse that is with thee, O noble and
faithful man, I know 'tis under Allah's charge and my heart is
easy anent it, because 'tis with thee as it were with me; but I
began by demanding the purse which I deposited with this man, of
my knowledge that he coveteth the goods of folk." At this the
friend was confounded and put to silence and returned not a
reply; and the only result of his meddling was that each of them-
-merchant and friend\x97had to pay a thousand gold pieces. So the
Cheat took the two thousand dinars and made off; and when he was
gone, the merchant said to his friend, the man of pretended
sharpness and intelligence, "Ho, Such-an-one! Thou and I are like
the Falcon and the Locust." The friend asked, "What was their
case?" and the merchant answered with

The Story of the Falcon and the Locust.[FN#485]

There was once, of old time, a Falcon who made himself a nest
hard by the home of a Locust, and his neighbour gloried in such
neighbourhood and betaking herself to him, saluted him with the
salam and said, "O my lord and lord of all the birds, indeed the
nearness to thee delighteth me and thou honourest me with thy
vicinity and my soul is fortified with thee." The Falcon thanked
her for this and friendship between them followed. One day, the
Locust said to the bird, "O prince of the flying race, how is it
that I see thee alone, solitary, having with thee no friend of
thy kind, the volatiles, on whom thou mayst repose in time of
gladness and of whom thou mayst seek aid in tide of sadness?
Indeed, 'tis said, 'Man goeth about seeking ease of body and ward
of strength,' and there is naught in this more necessary to him
than a true friend who shall be the crown of his comfort and the
column of his career and on whom shall be his dependence in his
distress and in his delight. Now I, although ardently desiring
thy weal in that which befitteth thy rank and degree, yet am weak
in that which the soul craveth; but, an thou deign give me leave,
I will seek out for thee one of the birds who shall fellow thee
in body and strength." And the Falcon said, "I commit this to
thee and rely upon thee herein." Thereupon, O my brother (quoth the merchant), the Locust began
going round the company of the birds, but saw naught resembling
the Falcon in bulk and body save the Kite and thought well of
her. So she brought the twain together and counselled the Falcon
to foregather with the Kite. Presently it fortuned that the
Falcon fell sick and the Kite tarried with and tended him a long
while till he recovered and became sound and strong, wherefore he
thanked her and she fared from him. But after some days the
Falcon's sickness returned to him and he needed succour of the
Kite; so the Locust went out from him and was absent from him a
day; after which she returned to him with another locust,[FN#486]
saying, "I have brought thee this one." When the Falcon saw her,
he said, "God requite thee with good! Indeed, thou hast done well
in the quest and thou hast shown subtlety and discrimination in
the choice." All this befel because the Locust had no knowledge
of the essence which lurketh in the outer semblance of bodies.
"As for thee, O my brother (Allah requite thee with weal!), thou
wast subtle in device and usedst precaution; but forethought
availeth not against Fate, and Fortune foreordained baffleth
force of fence. How excellent is the saying of the poet when he
spake these couplets:\x97[FN#487]

'It chances whiles that the blind man escapes a pit, * Whilst he
     who is clear of sight falls into it.
The ignorant man may speak with impunity * A word that is death
     to the wise and the ripe of wit.
The true believer is pinched for his daily bread, * Whilst
     infidel rogues enjoy all benefit.
Where is a man's resource and what can he do? * It is the
     Almighty's will: we must submit.'"

"Nor" (continued the Wazir) "is this, O king of the age, rarer or
stranger than the story of the King and his Chamberlain's wife;
nay, this is more wondrous than that and more delectable." When
the king heard this story, he was strengthened in his resolve to
spare the Minister and to eschew haste in an affair whereof he
was not certified; so he comforted him and bade him hie to his

             The Twenty-fourth Night of the Month.

When it was night, the King summoned the Wazir and sought of him
the hearing of the story. Al-Rahwan replied, "Hearkening and
obedience! Listen, O august sovran, to

The Tale of the King and his Chamberlain's Wife.[FN#488]

There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone
before, a King of the kings of the Persians, who was much
addicted to the love of fair women. His courtiers spoke him of
the wife of a certain of his Chamberlains, a model of beauty and
loveliness and perfect grace, and this egged him on to go in to
her. When she saw him, she knew him and said to him, "What urgeth
the King to this that he doeth?" and he replied, saying, "Verily,
I long for thee with excess of longing and there is no help but
that I enjoy thy favours." And he gave her of wealth that after
whose like women lust; but she said, "I cannot do the deed
whereof the king speaketh, for fear of my husband; "[FN#489] and
she refused herself to him with the most rigorous of refusals and
would not suffer him to win his wish. So the king went out in
wrath, and forgot his girdle in the place. Now it chanced that
her husband entered immediately after his lord had departed, and
saw the girdle and knew it. He was aware of the king's love for
women; so quoth he to his wife, "What be this I see with thee?"
Quoth she, "I'll tell thee the truth," and recounted to him the
occurrence; but he believed her not and suspicion entered his
heart. As for the King, he passed that night in care and concern,
and when the morning morrowed, he summoned that Chamberlain and
made him governor of one of his provinces; then he bade him
betake himself thither, purposing, after he should have departed
and fared afar, to foregather with his wife. The Chamberlain
perceived his project and kenned his intent; so he answered,
saying, "To hear is to obey!" presently adding, "I will go and
order my affairs and give such injunctions as may be needed for
the well-doing of my affairs; then will I go about the sovran's
commission." And the King said, "Do this and make haste." So the
Chamberlain went about that which he needed and assembling his
wife's kinsfolk, said to them, "I am determined to dismiss my
wife." They took this ill of him and complained of him and
summoning him before the sovereign, sat prosecuting him. Now the
King had no knowledge of that which had passed; so he said to the
Chamberlain, "Why wilt thou put her away and how can thy soul
consent to this and why takest thou unto thyself a fine and
fertile piece of land and presently forsakest it?" Answered the
husband, "Allah amend the king! By the Almighty, O my King, I saw
therein the trail of the lion and fear to enter that land, lest
the lion devour me; and the like of my affair with her is that
which befel between the Crone and the Draper's Wife. The king
asked, "What is their adventure?" and the Chamberlain answered,
"Hear, O king,

The Story of the Crone and the Draper's Wife.[FN#490]

There was once a man of the Drapers, who had a beautiful wife,
and she was curtained[FN#491] and chaste. A certain young man saw
her coming forth of the Hammam and loved her and his heart was
engrossed with her. So he devised for access to her all manner of
devices, but availed not to foregather with her; and when he was
a-weary and his patience failed for travail and trouble and his
fortitude betrayed and forsook him and he was at an end of his
resources against her, he complained of this to an ill-omened
crone,[FN#492] who promised him to bring about union between him
and his beloved. He thanked her for this and promised her all
manner of douceurs; and she said to him, "Hie thee to her husband
and buy of him a turband-cloth of fine linen, and let it be of
the very best of stuff." So he repaired to the Draper and buying
of him a turband-cloth of lawn, returned and gave it to the old
woman, who took it and burned it in two places. Then she donned
the dress of a devotee and taking the turband-cloth with her,
went to the Draper's house and knocked at the door. When the
Draper's wife saw her thus habited as a holy woman, she opened to
her and admitted her with kindly reception, and made much of her
and welcomed her: so the crone went in to her and conversed with
her awhile. Then said she to her, "I want to make the
Wuzu-ablution preparatory to prayer."[FN#493] At these words the
wife brought the water and she made the ablution and standing up
to pray, prayed and satisfied herself; and when she had ended her
orisons, she left the turband-cloth in the place of prayer and
fared forth. Presently, in came the Draper, at the hour of
night-devotions, and sitting down in the prayer-place where the
old woman had prayed, looked about him and espied the turband. He
knew it and suspected foul play; so wrath showed in his face and
he was furious with his wife and reviled her and abode his day
and his night without speaking to her, during all which while she
knew not the cause of his rage. Then she looked and seeing the
turband-cloth before him and noting the traces of burning
thereon, understood that his anger was on account of this and
concluded that he was in ill-temper because it was burnt. When
the morning morrowed, the Draper went out, still wroth with his
wife, and the crone returned to her and found her changed of
colour, pale of complexion, dejected and heart-broken. So she
questioned her of the cause, and the wife told her how her
husband was angered against her on account of the burns in the
turband-cloth.[FN#494] Rejoined the old woman, "O my daughter, be
not chagrined; for I have a son, a fine-drawer, and he, by thy
life, shall fine-draw the holes and restore the turband-cloth as
it was." The wife rejoiced in her saying and asked her, "And when
shall this be?" The crone answered, "To-morrow, Inshallah\x97an it
please Allah the Most High\x97I will bring him to thee, at the time
of thy husband's going forth from thee, and he shall fine-draw it
and depart forthwith." Then she comforted her heart and going
away from her, returned to the young man and acquainted him with
what had passed. Now when the Draper saw the turband-cloth, he
determined to divorce his wife and waited only till he could
collect that which was obligatory on him of the contingent dowry
and what not else,[FN#495] for fear of her people. When the crone
arose in the morning, she took the young man and carried him into
the Draper's house. The wife opened the door to her and the
ill-omened old woman entered with him and said to the lady, "Go,
fetch that which thou wouldest have fine-drawn and give it to my
son." So saying, she bolted the door on her, whereupon the young
man raped[FN#496] her against her will and did his want of her
and went forth. Then cried the crone, "Know that this is my son
and that he loved thee with exceeding love and was like to lose
his life for longing after thee; so I devised for thee with this
device and came to thee with this turband-cloth, which is not thy
husband's, but my son's. Now have I won to my wish; so do thou
trust in me and I will put a sleight on thy husband for setting
thee right with him, and thou wilt be subject to me and to him
and to my son."[FN#497] And the wife replied, "'Tis well. Do so."
Presently the old woman returned to the lover and said, "Know
thou that I have engineered the affair for thee with her; and now
we must mend that we have marred. Hie thee and sit with the
Draper and mention to him the turband-cloth, saying, 'The turband
I bought of thee I chanced to burn in two places; so I gave it to
a certain old woman, to have fine-drawn, and she took it and went
away, and I know not her dwelling-place.'[FN#498] When thou seest
me pass by, rise and lay hold of me, and demand of me the cloth,
to the intent that I may arrange her affair with her spouse and
that matters go right with thee in her regard." Accordingly he
repaired to the Draper's shop and sat down by him and asked him,
"Thou knowest the turband-cloth I bought of thee?" "Yes."
"Knowest thou what is come of it?" "No." "After I bought it of
thee, I fumigated myself[FN#499] and it fortuned that the
turband-cloth was burnt in two places; so I gave it to a woman,
whose son, they said, was a fine-drawer, and she took it and
fared forth with it; and I know not her home." When the Draper
heard this, he was startled by the thought that he had suspected
his wife wrongfully, and marvelled at the story of the
turband-cloth, and his mind was made easy anent her. After a
short while up came the old woman, whereupon the young man sprang
to his feet and seizing her, demanded of her the turband-cloth.
Said she, "Know that I entered one of the houses and wuzu'd and
prayed in the prayer-place;[FN#500] and I forgot the turband-cloth
there and went out. Now I weet not the house in which I prayed,
nor have I been divinely directed[FN#501] thereto, and I go round
about every day till the night, so haply I may light on the
dwelling, for I know not its owner." When the Draper heard these
words, he said to the old woman, "Verily, Allah restoreth to thee
what thing thou hast lost. Be gladdened by good news, for the
turband-cloth is with me and in my house." And he arose
forthright and handed to her the turband-cloth, as it was, and
she handed it to the young man. Then the Draper made peace with
his wife and gave her raiment and jewellery, till she was content
and her heart was appeased.[FN#502] When the king heard his
Chamberlain's story, he was dazed and amazed and said to him,
"Abide on thy service and ear thy field for that the lion entered
it, but marred it not, and he will never more return thither."
[FN#503] Then he bestowed on him an honourable robe and made him
a costly present; and the man returned to his wife and people,
rejoicing, his heart having been set at rest concerning his wife.
"Nor" (continued the Wazir), "O King of the age, is this rarer or
stranger than the story of the beautiful wife, a woman gifted of
amorous grace, with the ugly Man, her husband." When King Shah
Bakht heard the Minister's speech, he deemed it delectable and it
pleased him; so he bade him hie to his house, and there he
tarried his day long.

              The Twenty-fifth Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned his Wazir and bade him
tell the tale. So he said, "'Tis well. Hear, O King,

The Tale of the Ugly Man and his Beautiful Wife.

There was once a man of the Arabs who had a number of children,
and amongst them a boy, never was seen a fairer than he of favour
nor a more complete in comeliness; no, nor a more perfect of
prudence. When he came to man's estate, his father married him to
his first cousin, the daughter of one of his paternal uncles, and
she excelled not in beauty, neither was she laudable for
qualities; wherefore she pleased not the youth, but he bore with
her for the sake of kinship. One day, he fared forth in quest of
certain camels[FN#504] of his which had strayed and hied him on
all his day and night till eventide, when he was fain to seek
hospitality in an Arab camp. So he alighted at one of the tents
of the tribesmen and there came forth to him a man short of
stature and foul of favour, who saluted him with the salam; and,
lodging him in a corner of the tent, sat entertaining him with
chat, the cheeriest that might be. When his food was dressed, the
Arab's wife brought it to the guest, and he looked at the
mistress of the tent and saw a semblance than which no seemlier
might be. Indeed, her beauty and loveliness, her symmetry and
perfect grace amazed him and he was struck with astonishment,
gazing now at her and then at her mate. When his looking grew
long, the man said to him, "Ho, thou son of the worthy! Busy
thyself with thine own business, for by me and this woman hangeth
a wondrous tale, which is even better than that thou seest of her
beauty; and I will tell it to thee when we have made a finish of
our food." So, when they had ended eating and drinking, the young
man asked his host for the story, and he said, "Know that in my
youth I was the same as thou seest me in the matter of
loathliness and foul favour; and I had brethren of the fairest of
the folk; wherefore my father preferred them over me and used to
show them kindness, to my exclusion, and made me serve in their
stead, like as a master employeth slaves. One day, a dromedary of
his strayed from the herd of camels, and he said to me, 'Go thou
forth in quest of her and return not but with her.' I replied,
'Send other than I of thy sons.' But he would not consent to this
and scolded me and insisted upon me, till the matter came to such
a pass with him that he took a thong-whip and fell to beating me.
So I arose and saddling a riding-camel, mounted her and sallied
forth at random, purposing to go out into the wolds and the wilds
and return to him never more. I fared on all my night and the
next day and coming at eventide[FN#505] to the encampment of this
my wife's people, alighted down with and became the guest of her
father, who was a Shaykh well stricken in years. Now when it was
the noon of night, I arose and went forth the tent at a call of
nature, and none knew of my case save this woman. The dogs
followed me as a suspected stranger and ceased not worrying
me[FN#506] till I fell on my back into a pit, wherein was water,
a deep hollow and a steep; and a dog of those dogs fell in with
me. The woman, who was then a girl in the bloom of youth, full of
strength and spirit, was moved to ruth on me, for the calamity
whereinto I was fallen, and coming to me with a rope, said to me,
'Catch hold of the rope,' So I hent it and clung to it and she
haled me up; but, when I was half-way up, I pulled her down and
she fell with me into the pit; and there we abode three days, she
and I and the hound. When her people arose in the morning and did
not see her, they sought her in the camp, but, finding her not
and missing me also, never doubted but she had fled with
me.[FN#507] Now she had four brothers, as they were Saker-hawks,
and they took horse and dispersed in search of us. When the day
yellowed on the fourth dawn, the dog began to bark and the other
hounds answered him and coming to the mouth of the pit, stood
howling to him. The Shaykh, my wife's father, hearing the howling
of the hounds, came up and standing at the brink of the hollow,
looked in and beheld a marvel. Now he was a brave man and a
sensible, an elder experienced in affairs, so he fetched a cord
and bringing forth the three, questioned us twain of our case. I
told him all that had betided and he fell a-pondering the affair.
Presently, her brothers returned, whereupon the old man
acquainted them with the whole case and said to them, 'O my sons,
know that your sister intended not aught but good, and if ye kill
this man, ye will earn abiding shame and ye will wrong him, and
wrong your own souls and eke your sister: for indeed there
appeareth no cause such as calleth for killing, and it may not be
denied that this accident is a thing whose like may well occur
and that he may easily have been the victim of suchlike chance.'
Then he addressed me and questioned me of my lineage; so I set
forth to him my genealogy and he, exclaiming, 'A man of her
match, honourable, understanding,' offered me his daughter in
wedlock. I consented to this and marrying her, took up my abode
with him and Allah hath opened on me the gates of weal and
wealth, so that I am become the richest in monies of the
tribesmen; and the Almighty hath stablished me in that which He
hath given me of His bounties." The young man marvelled at his
tale and lay the night with him; and when he arose in the
morning, he found his estrays. So he took them and returning to
his folk, acquainted them with what he had seen and all that had
befallen him. "Nor" (continued the Wazir) "is this stranger or
rarer than the story of the King who lost kingdom and wealth and
wife and children and Allah restored them to him and requited him
with a realm more magnificent than that which he had forfeited
and better and finer and greater of wealth and degree." The
Minister's story pleased the King and he bade him depart to his

              The Twenty-sixth Night of the Month.

When came the night, the king summoned his Wazir and bade him
tell the story of the King who lost kingdom and wife and wealth.
He replied, "Hearing and obeying! Give ear, O sovran, to

The Tale of the King who lost Kingdom and Wife and Wealth
and Allah restored them to Him.[FN#508]

There was once a king of the kings of Hind, who was a model of
morals, praiseworthy in policy, lief of justice to his lieges,
lavish to men of learning and piety and abstinence and devoutness
and worship and shunning mischief-makers and froward folk, fools
and traitors. After such goodly fashion he abode in his kingship
what Allah the Most High willed of watches and days and
twelvemonths,[FN#509] and he married the daughter of his father's
brother, a beautiful woman and a winsome, endowed with brightness
and perfection, who had been reared in the king's house in
delicacy and delight. She bare him two sons, the most beauteous
that might be of boys, when came Destiny from whose decree is no
deliverance and Allah the Most High raised up against the King
another king, who came forth upon his realm, and was joined by
all the folk of the city that had a mind to lewdness and
frowardness. So he strengthened himself by means of them against
the King and compassed his kingdom, routing his troops and
killing his guards. The King took his wife, the mother of his
sons, and what he might of monies and saved his life and fled in
the darkness of the night, unknowing whither he should wend.
Whenas wayfare grew sore upon them, there met them highwaymen on
the way, who took all that was with them, so that naught remained
to each of them save a shirt and trousers; the robbers left them
without even provaunt or camels or other riding-cattle, and they
ceased not to fare on afoot, till they came to a copse, which was
an orchard of trees on the ocean shore.[FN#510] Now the road
which they would have followed was crossed by a sea-arm, but it
was shallow and scant of water; wherefore, when they reached that
place, the king took up one of his children and fording the water
with him, set him down on the further bank and returned for his
other son, whom also he seated by his brother. Lastly, returning
for their mother, he took her up and passing the water with her,
came to the place where he had left his children, but found them
not. Thereupon he looked at the midst of the island and saw an
old man and an old woman, engaged in making themselves a
reed-hut: so he set down his wife over against them and started
off in quest of his children, but none gave him news of them and
he went round about right and left, yet found not the whereabouts
they were. On this wise fared it with him; but as to the
children, they had entered the copse to make water, and they
found there a forest of trees, wherein, if a sturdy
horseman[FN#511] strayed, he might wander by the week, and never
know its first from its last. So the boys pushed into it and
wotted not how they should return and went astray in that wood,
for a purpose willed of Allah Almighty, whilst their father
sought them, but found them not. So he returned to their mother
and they abode weeping for their children; as for whom, when they
entered the forest, it swallowed them up and they fared at
hap-hazard, wandering in it many days, knowing not whence they
came or whither they went, till they issued forth, at another
side, upon the open country. Meanwhile, their parents, the king
and queen, tarried in the island, over against the old man and
his old woman, and ate of the fruits and drank of the rills that
were in it till, one day of the days, as they sat, behold, up
came a ship and made fast to the island-side, for provisioning
with water, whereupon they[FN#512] looked one at other and spoke.
The master of the craft was a Magian man and all that was
therein, both crew and goods, belonged to him, for he was a
trader and went round about the world. Now greed of gain deluded
the old man, the owner of the island, and he fared to the ship
and gave the Guebre news of the King's wife, setting out to him
her charms, till he made him long for her and his soul
moved[FN#513] him to practise treachery and cozenage upon her and
take her from her husband. Accordingly, he sent to her, saying,
"Aboard with us is a woman with child, and we dread lest she be
delivered this night: hast thou aught of skill in midwifery?" She
replied, "Yes." Now it was the last of the day; so he sent to her
to come up into the ship and deliver the woman, for that the
labour-pangs were come upon her; and he promised her clothes and
spending-money. Hereat, she embarked confidently, with heart at
ease for herself, and transported her gear to the ship; but no
sooner had she come thither than the sails were hoisted and the
canvas was loosed[FN#514] and the ship set sail. When the King
saw this, he cried out and his wife wept in the ship and would
have cast herself into the waves; but the Magian bade his men lay
hands on her. So they seized her and it was but a little while
ere the night darkened and the ship vanished from the King's
eyes; whereupon he fainted away for excess of weeping and
lamentation and passed his night bewailing his wife and his
children. And when the morning morrowed he began improvising
these couplets:\x97[FN#515]

     "O World, how long, this spite, this enmity?
     Say me, dost ever spare what spared can be?
And look! my friends have far\xE8d fain and free!
     They went and went wi' them my dear delight
     E'en from the day when friends to part were dight
And turbid made their lost life's clarity.
     By Allah, ne'er I wist their worth aright
     Nor ever wot I worth of friends unite
Till fared they, leaving flame in heart of me!

     I'll ne'er forget them since what day each wight
     Hied and withdrew fro' me his well-loved sight
And yet I weep this parting-blow to dree.
     I vow an Heaven deign my friends return
     And cry the crier in mine ears that yearn
"The far is near, right soon their sight shalt see!"
     Upon their site my cheeks I'll place, to sprite
     I'll say, "Rejoice, thy friends return to thee!"
     Nor blame my heart when friends were lief to flee:
I rent my heart ere rent my raimentry."

He sat weeping for the severance of his wife and children till
the morning, when he went forth wandering at a venture, unweeting
what he should do, and ceased not walking along the sea-shore
days and nights, unknowing whither he went and taking no food
save the herbs of the earth and seeing neither man nor wildling
nor other living thing, till his wayfare brought him to a
mountain-top. He sojourned in the highland and abode awhile there
alone, eating of its fruits and drinking of its founts; then he
came down thence and trudged along the high road three days, when
he hit upon tilled fields and villages and gave not over going
till he made a great city on the shore of the salt sea and came
to its gate at the last of the day. The gatekeepers allowed him
no admission; so he spent his night anhungered, and when he arose
in the morning, he sat down hard by the portal. Now the king of
the city was dead and had left no son, and the citizens fell out
anent who should be ruler over them: and their words and redes
differed, so that civil war was like to befal them thereupon. But
it came to pass that, after long jangle, they agreed to leave the
choice to the late king's elephant and that he unto whom he
consented should be king and that they would not contest with him
the sway. So to this they sware and on the morrow, they brought
out their elephant and fared forth to a site within sight of the
city; nor was there man or woman but was present at that moment.
Then they adorned the elephant and raising the throne on his
back, gave him the crown in his trunk; and he went round about
examining the countenances of the folk, but stopped not over
against any of them till he came at last to the forlorn King, the
exile who had lost his children and his wife, when the beast
prostrated himself to him and placing the crown on his head, took
him up and set him upon his back. Thereupon the people all
prostrated themselves and gave mutual joy of this and the
drums[FN#516] of good tidings beat before him, and he entered the
city and went on till he reached the House of Justice and the
Audience-hall of the Palace and sat down upon the throne of the
kingdom, crown on head; whereat the lieges entered to
congratulate him and to bless him. Then he addressed himself, as
was his wont in the kingship, to forwarding the affairs of the
folk and ranging the troops according to their ranks and looking
into their affairs and those of all the Ryots. He also released
those who were in the dungeons and abolished the custom-dues and
gave honourable robes and lavished great gifts and bestowed
largesse and conferred favours on the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords
of the realm, and the Chamberlains'[FN#517] and Nabobs presented
themselves before him and did him homage. So the city people
rejoiced in him and said, "Indeed, this be none other than a King
of the greatest of the kings." And presently he assembled the
sages and the theologians and the sons of the Sovrans and
conversed with them and asked them subtile questions and
casuistical problems and talked over with them things manifold of
all fashions that might direct him to rectitude in the kingship;
and he questioned them also of mysteries and religious
obligations and of the laws of the land and the regulations of
rule and of that which it beseemeth the liege lord to do of
looking into the affairs of the lieges and repelling the foe and
fending off his malice with force and fight; so the subjects'
contentment redoubled and their exultation in that which Allah
Almighty had vouchsafed them of his kingship over them. On such
wise he upheld the ordinance of the realm, and the affairs abode
stablished upon the accepted custom and local usage. Now the late
king had left a wife and two daughters, and the people would fain
have married the Princess royal to the new king that the rule
might not pass clean away from the old rulers. Accordingly, they
proposed to him that he should wed her or the other of the
deceased king's daughters, and he promised them this, but he put
them off from him, of his respect for the covenant he had made
with his former wife, his cousin, that he would marry none other
than herself. Then he betook himself to fasting by day and
praying through the night, multiplying his alms-deeds and
beseeching Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) to reunite him
with his children and his wife, the daughter of his father's
brother. When a year had elapsed, there came to the city a ship,
wherein were many merchants and much merchandise. Now it was
their custom from time immemorial that the king, whenever a ship
made the port, sent to it such of his pages as he trusted in, who
took agency of the goods, to the end that they might be first
shown to the Sovran, who bought as much of them as befitted him
and gave the merchants leave to sell whatso he wanted not. So he
commissioned, according to his custom, a man who should fare to
the ship and seal up the bales and set over them one who could
watch and ward them. Meanwhile the Queen his wife, when the
Magian fled with her and proffered himself to her and lavished
upon her abounding wealth, rejected him and was like to kill
herself[FN#518] for chagrin at that which had befallen and for
concern anent her separation from her husband. She also refused
meat and drink and resolved to cast herself into the sea; but the
Magian chained her and straitened her and clothed her in a coat
of wool and said to her, "I will continue thee in wretchedness
and humiliation till thou obey me and accept me." So she took
patience and looked for the Almighty to deliver her from the hand
of that accursed; and she ceased not travelling with him from
country to country till he came with her in fine to the city
wherein her husband was king and his goods were put under seal.
Now the woman was in a chest and two youths of the late king's
pages, who were now in the new King's service, were those who had
been charged with the watch and ward of the craft and her
cargaison. When the evening evened on them, the twain began
talking and recounted that which had befallen them in their days
of childhood and the manner of the faring forth of their father
and mother from their country and kingdom when the wicked
overcame their realm, and how they had gone astray in the forest
and how Fate had severed them from their parents; for short, they
told their tale from first to last. When the woman heard their
talk, she knew that they were her sons and cried out to them from
the chest, "I am your mother, Such-an-one, and the token between
you twain and me is thus and thus." The young men knew the token
and falling upon the chest, brake the lock and brought out their
mother, who seeing them, strained them to her bosom, and they
fell upon her and fainted away, all three. When they came to
themselves, they wept awhile and the people assembled about them,
marvelling at that they saw, and questioned them of their case.
So the young Princes vied each with other who should be the first
to discover the story to the folk; and when the Magian saw this,
he came up, crying out, "Alack!" and "Ruin!" and said to them,
"Why and wherefore have ye broken open my chest? Verily, I had in
it jewels and ye have stolen them, and this damsel is my
slave-girl and she hath agreed with you both upon a device to
take my wealth." Then he rent his raiment and cried for aid,
saying, "I appeal to Allah and to the just King, so he may quit
me of these wrongous youths!" They both replied, "This is our
mother and thou stolest her:" whereupon words waxed manifold
between them and the folk plunged into talk with many a "he said"
and "'twas said" concerning their affair and that of the
pretended slave-girl, and the strife increased between them, so
that at last they carried them all four to the King's court. When
the two young men presented themselves between his hands and
stated their case to him and to the folk and the sovran heard
their speech, he knew them and his heart was like to fly for joy:
the tears poured from his eyes at their sight and the sight of
his wife, and he thanked Allah Almighty and praised Him for that
He had deigned reunite them. Then he bade the folk who were
present about him be dismissed and commanded the Magian and the
woman and the two youths be to morrow committed to his
armoury[FN#519] for the night, ordering that they should keep
guard over them all until the Lord should make the morning to
morrow, so he might assemble the Kazis and the Justiciaries and
Assessors and determine between them, according to Holy Law, in
the presence of the four judges. So they did this and the King
passed the night praying and praising Allah of All-might for that
which he had vouchsafed him of kingship and power and victory
over the wight who had wronged him and thanking Him who had
reunited him with his own. When the morning morrowed, he
assembled the Kazis and Deputies and Assessors[FN#520] and
summoning the Magian and the two youths and their mother,
questioned them of their case; whereupon the two young men began
and said, "We are the sons of King Such-an-one and foemen and
lewd fellows gat the mastery of our realm; so our sire fled forth
with us and wandered at haphazard, for fear of the foe." And they
recounted to him all that had betided them, from beginning to
end.[FN#521] Quoth he, "Ye tell a marvel-tale; but what hath Fate
done with your father?" Quoth they, "We know not how Fortune
dealt with him after our loss." And he was silent. Then he
bespake the woman, "And thou, what sayst thou?" So she set forth
to him her case and all that had betided her and her husband,
from the beginning of their hardships to the end, and recounted
to him their adventures up to the time when they took up their
abode with the old man and woman who dwelt on the sea-shore. Then
she reported that which the Magian had practised on her of fraud
and how he had carried her off in the craft and everything that
had betided her of humiliation and torment; all this while the
Kazis and judges and Deputies hearkening to her speech as they
had lent ear to the others' adventures. When the King heard the
last of his wife's tale, he said, "Verily, there hath betided
thee a mighty grievous matter; but hast thou knowledge of what
thy husband did and what came of his affair?" She replied, "Nay,
by Allah; I have no knowledge of him, save that I leave him no
hour unremembered in righteous prayer, and never, whilst I live,
will he cease to be to me the father of my children and my cousin
and my flesh and my blood." Then she wept and the King bowed his
head, whilst his eyes welled tears at her tale. Presently he
raised his head to the Magian and cried to him, "Say thy say,
thou also." So the Magian replied, "This is my slave-girl, whom I
bought with my money from such a land and for so many dinars, and
I made her my betrothed[FN#522] and loved her exceedingly and
gave my monies into her charge; but she falsed me in my substance
and plotted with one of my lads to slay me, tempting him by a
promise that she would kill me and become his wife. When I knew
this of her and was assured that she purposed treason against me,
I awoke from my dream of happiness and did with her that which I
did, fearing for my life from her craft and perfidy; for indeed
she is a trickstress with her tongue and she hath taught these
two youths this pretence, by way of sleight and of her guile and
her malice: so be you not deluded by her and by her talk." "Thou
liest, O accursed," cried the King and bade lay hands on him and
iron him. Then he turned to the two youths, his sons, and
strained them to his breast, weeping sore and saying, "O all ye
people who are present of Kazis and Assessors and Lords of the
land, know that these twain are my sons and that this is my wife
and the daughter of my father's brother; for that whilome I was
king in such a realm." And he recounted to them his history from
commencement to conclusion, nor is there aught of fruition in
repetition; whereupon the folk cried out with weeping and wailing
for the stress of what they heard of marvellous chances and that
wondrous story. As for the king's wife, he bade carry her into
his palace and lavished upon her and upon her sons all that
befitted and beseemed them of bounties, whilst the lieges flocked
to offer up prayers for him and give him joy of his reunion with
his wife and children. When they had made an end of blessings and
congratulations, they besought the king to hasten the punishment
of the Magian and heal their hearts with tormenting and abasing
him. So he appointed them for a day on which they should assemble
to witness his requitement and that which should betide him of
torment, and shut himself up with his wife and two sons and abode
thus private with them three days, during which they were veiled
from the folk. On the fourth day the King entered the Hammam, and
faring forth, sat down on the throne of his kingship, crown on
head, whereupon the folk came in to him, according to their
custom and after the measure of their several dignities and
degrees, and the Emirs and Wazirs entered, and eke the
Chamberlains and Nabobs and Captains of war and the Falconers and
Armbearers and Commanders of the body-guard. Then he seated his
two sons, one on his right and the other on his left hand, whilst
the subjects all stood before him and lifted up their voices in
thanksgiving to Allah the Most High and glorification of Him and
were instant in orisons for the king and in setting forth his
virtues and excellent qualities. He answered them with the most
gracious of answers and bade carry the Magian outside the city
and set him on a high scaffold which had been builded for him
there; and he said to the folk, "Behold, I will torture him with
torments of all kinds and fashions." Then he began telling them
that which he had wrought of villainy with his cousin-wife and
what he had caused her of severance between her and her husband
and how he had required her person of her, but she had sought
refuge for her chastity against him with Allah (to whom belong
honour and glory) and chose abasement rather than obedience to
him, despite stress of torture: neither recked she aught of that
which he lavished to her of monies and raiment, jewels and
ornaments. When the King had made an end of his story, he bade
the bystanders spit in the Magian's face and curse him; and they
did this. Then he bade cut out his tongue and on the next day he
bade lop off his ears and nose and pluck out both his eyes. On
the third day he bade hew off his hands and on the fourth his
feet; and they ceased not to dismember him, limb after limb, and
each member they cast into the fire, after its amputation, before
his face, till his soul departed, after he had endured torments
of all kinds and fashions. Then the King bade crucify his trunk
on the city wall for three days; after which he gave orders to
burn it and reduce its ashes to powder and scatter them abroad in
air. And when this was done, the King summoned the Kazi and the
Witnesses and commanded them marry the old king's daughter and
her sister to his own sons; so the youths wedded them, after the
King had made a bride-feast three days and displayed their brides
to them from nightfall to day-dawn. Then the two Princes went in
unto their brides and abated their maidenheads and loved them and
were vouchsafed issue by them. As for the King their sire, he
abode with his cousin-wife, their mother, what while Allah (to
whom be honour and glory) willed, and they rejoiced in reunion
each with other. The kingship endured unto them and high degree
and victory, and the sovran continued to rule with justice and
equity, so that the lieges loved him and prayed for him and for
his sons length of life and durance of days; and they lived the
most delightsome of existences till there came to them the
Destroyer of delights and Severer of societies, the Depopulator
of palaces and Garnerer of graves; and this is all that hath come
down to us of the story of the King and his Wife and Sons. "Nor,"
continued the Wazir, "if this story be a solace and a diversion,
is it pleasanter or more diverting than the tale of the Youth of
Khorasan and his mother and sister." When King Shah Bakht heard
this story, it pleased him and he bade the Minister hie away to
his own house.

             The Twenty-seventh Night of the Month.

When evening came, the king Shah Bakht bade fetch the Wazir; so
he presented himself before him and the King ordered him to tell
the tale. So he said, "Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O
sovran, to

The Tale of Salim, the Youth of Khorasan, and Salma, his

Know, O king (but Allah alone knoweth His secret purpose and is
versed in the past and the foredone among folk bygone) that there
was once, in the parts of Khorasan, a man of its affluent, who
was a merchant of the chiefest of the merchants[FN#523] and was
blessed with two children, a son and a daughter.[FN#524] He was
diligent exceedingly in rearing them and they were educated with
the fairest of education; for he used to teach the boy, who
taught his sister all that he learnt, so that, by means of her
brother, the damsel became perfect in the knowledge of the
Traditions of the Prophet and in polite letters. Now the boy's
name was Sal\xEDm and that of the girl Salm\xE1. When they grew up and
were fully grown, their father built them a mansion beside his
own and lodged them apart therein and appointed them slave-girls
and servants to tend them and assigned to each of them pay and
allowances and all that they needed of high and low; meat and
bread; wine, dresses, and vessels and what not else. So Salim and
Salma abode in that palace, as they were one soul in two bodies,
and they used to sleep on one couch and rise amorn with single
purpose, while firmly fixed in each one's heart were fond
affection and familiar friendship for the other. One night, when
the half was spent, as Salim and Salma sat recounting and
conversing, they heard a noise on the ground floor; so they
looked out from a latticed casement which gave upon the gate of
their father's mansion and saw a man of fine presence, whose
clothes were hidden under a wide cloak. He came straight up to
the gate and laying hold of the door-ring, rapped a light rap;
whereupon the door opened and behold, out came their sister, with
a lighted taper, and after her their mother, who saluted the
stranger and embraced him, saying, "O dearling of my heart and
light of mine eyes and fruit of my vitals, enter." So he went in
and shut the door, whilst Salim and Salma abode amazed. The youth
turned to the girl and said to her, "O sister mine, how deemest
thou of this trouble and what advice hast thou to offer?" She
replied, "O my brother, indeed I know not what I shall say anent
the like of this; but he is not disappointed who divine direction
seeketh, nor doth he repent who counsel taketh. One getteth not
the better of the traces of burning by haste, and know that this
is an affliction that hath descended[FN#525] on us and a calamity
foreordained to us; so we have need of wise rede to do it away
and contrivance which shall wash our shame from our faces." And
they ceased not watching the gate till daybreak, when the young
man opened the door and their mother farewelled him; after which
he went his way and she entered, she and her handmaid. Hereat
said Salim to his sister, "Know thou I am resolved to slay this
man, an he return the next night, and I will say to the folk, He
was a robber, and none shall weet that which hath befallen. Then
I will address myself to the slaughter of whosoever knoweth what
is between the fellow and my mother." But Salma said, "I fear
lest an thou slay him in our dwelling-place and he be not
convicted of robberhood, suspicion and ill-fame will revert upon
ourselves, and we cannot be assured that he belongeth not to a
tribe whose mischief is to be feared and whose enmity is to be
dreaded, and thus wilt thou have fled from hidden shame to open
shame and to disgrace public and abiding." Asked Salim: "What
then is it thy rede to do?" And she answered, "Is there no help
but thou kill him? Let us not hasten unto slaughter, for that the
slaughter of a soul without just cause is a mighty grave matter."
When Shahb\xE1n[FN#526] heard this, he said within himself, "By
Allah, I have indeed been hasty and reckless in the slaying of
women and girls, and Alhamdolillah\x97lauded be the Lord\x97who hath
occupied me with this damsel from the slaughter of souls, for
that the slaughter of souls is a grave matter and a grievous! By
the Almighty if Shah Bakht spare the Wazir, I will assuredly
spare Sh\xE1hr\xE1z\xE1d!"[FN#527] Then he gave ear to the story and heard
her say to her sister:\x97Quoth Salma to Salim, "Hasten not to slay
him, but overthink the matter and consider the issue whereto it
may tend; for whoso considereth not of actions the end hath not
Fortune to friend." Then they arose on the morrow and busied
themselves with contriving how they should turn away their parent
from that man, and the mother forefelt mischief from them, for
what she saw in their eyes of change, she being wily and keen of
wit. So she took precaution for herself against her children and
Salma said to Salim, "Thou seest what we have fallen upon through
this woman, and very sooth she hath sensed our purpose and
wotteth that we have discovered her secret. So, doubtless, she
will plot against us the like of that which we plot for her; for
indeed up to now she had concealed her affair, and from this time
forth she will become harsh to us; wherefore, methinks, there is
a thing forewritten to us, whereof Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) knew in His foreknowledge and wherein He carrieth out His
commandments." He asked, "What is that?" and she answered, "It is
that we arise, I and thou, and go forth this night from this land
and seek us a town wherein we may wone and witness naught of the
doings of yonder traitress; for whoso is absent from the eye is
absent from the heart, and quoth one of the poets in the
following couplet:[FN#528]\x97

'Tis happiest, best for thee, the place to leave, * For then no
     eye can see, nor heart can grieve."

Quoth Salim to her,[FN#529] "'Tis for thee to decide and right is
thy rede; so let us do this, in the name of Allah the Almighty,
trusting in Him for guiding and grace." Accordingly they arose
and took the richest of their raiment and the lightest of that
which was in their treasuries of gems and things of price and
gathered together much matter. Then they equipped them ten mules
and hired them servants of other than the people of the country;
and Salim bade his sister Salma don man's dress. Now she was the
likest of all creatures to him, so that, when she was clad in
man's clothing, the folk knew no difference between them:\x97
extolled be the perfection of Him who hath no like, there is no
god but He! Then he told her to mount a mare, whilst he himself
took another, and they set out under cover of the night; nor did
any of their family or household know of them. So they fared on
into Allah's wide world and gave not over going night and day for
a space of two months, at the end of which they came to a city on
the sea-shore of the land of Makran,[FN#530] by name Al-Sharr,
and it is the first city in Sind.[FN#531] They lighted down
within sight of the place and when they arose in the morning,
they saw a populous city and a goodly, seemly of semblance and
great, abounding in trees and rills and fruits and wide of
suburbs which stretched to the neighbouring villages. So the
young man said to his sister Salma, "Tarry thou here in thy
place, till I enter the city and make proof of it and its people
and seek us out a stead which we may buy and whereto we may
remove. An it befit us, we will make us a home therein, otherwise
will we take counsel of departing elsewhere." Quoth she, "Do
this, trusting in the bounty of Allah (to whom belong honour and
glory) and in His blessing." Accordingly he took a belt, wherein
were a thousand gold pieces, and girding it about his waist,
entered the city and ceased not going round about its streets and
bazars and gazing upon its houses and sitting with those of its
citizens whose aspect showed signs of worth and wealth, till the
day was half spent, when he resolved to return to his sister and
said to himself, "Needs must I buy what we may eat of
ready-cooked food; I and my sister." Hereupon he addressed a man
who sold roast meat and who was clean of person, albe foul in his
way of getting a living, and said to him, "Take the price of this
dishful and add thereto of fowls and chickens and what not else
is in your market of meats and sweetmeats and bread and arrange
it in the plates." So the Kitchener took the money and set apart
for him what he desired, then calling a porter, he laid it in the
man's crate, and Salim, after paying the price of provisions and
porterage in fullest fashion, was about to go away, when the Cook
said to him, "O youth, doubtless thou art a stranger?" He
replied, "Yes;" and the other rejoined, "'Tis reported in one of
the Traditions that the Apostle said, Loyal admonition is a part
of religion; and the wise and ware have declared counsel is of
the characteristics of True Believers. And verily that which I
have seen of thy ways pleaseth me and I would fain give thee a
warning." Rejoined Salim, "Speak out thy warning, and may Allah
strengthen thy purpose!" Then said the Cook, "Know, O my son,
that in this our city, when a stranger entereth and eateth of
flesh-meat and drinketh not old wine upon it, 'tis harmful to him
and disturbeth his body with disorders which be dangerous.
Wherefore, an thou have provided thee somewhat of wine it is
well, but, if not, haste to procure it, ere thou take the meat
and carry it away." Quoth Salim, "Allah requite thee with weal\x97
Canst thou shew me where liquor is sold?" and quoth the Cook,
"With me is all thou seekest. The youth asked, "Is there a way
for me to see it?" and the Cook sprang up and answered, "Pass
on." So he entered and the man showed him somewhat of wine; but
he said, "I desire better than this;" whereupon he opened a door
and entering, said to Salim, "Come in, and follow me." Accordingly
Salim followed him till he brought him to an underground chamber
and showed him somewhat of wine that suited him. So he occupied
him with looking at it and taking him unawares, sprang upon him
from behind and threw him to the ground and sat upon his breast.
Then he drew a knife and set it to his jugular; whereupon there
betided Salim that wherewith Allah made him forget all that He
had decreed to him,[FN#532] and he cried to the Cook, "Why dost
thou this thing, O good fellow? Be mindful of the Almighty and
fear Him. Seest thou not I am a stranger man? And knowest thou
not I have behind me a forlorn defenceless[FN#533] woman?
Wherefore wilt thou kill me?" Quoth the Kitchener, "Needs must I
kill thee, so I may take thy money;" and quoth Salim, "Take my
money, but kill me not, neither enter into sin against me; and do
with me kindness, for indeed the taking of my coin is more venial
than the taking of my life." The Cook replied, "This is nonsense.
Thou canst not deliver thyself herewith, O youth, because in thy
deliverance is my destruction." Cried Salim, "I swear to thee and
give thee the bond of Allah (to whom belong honour and glory) and
His covenant, which He took of His prophets that I will not
discover thy secret; no, never." But the Kitchener replied,
"Away! Away! Alas! Alas! To this there is no path." However,
Salim ceased not to conjure him and humble himself to him and
weep, while the Cook persisted in his intent to cut his throat:
then he shed tears and recited these couplets;[FN#534]

"Haste not to that thou dost desire, for haste is still unblest;
     * Be merciful to men, as thou on mercy reckonest:
For no hand is there but the hand of God is over it * And no
     oppressor but shall be with worse than he opprest."

Quoth the Kitchener, "There is no help save that I slay thee, O
fellow; for an I spare thee, I shall myself be slain." But Salim
said, "O my brother, I will advise thee somewhat[FN#535] other
than this." Asked the Cook, "What is it? Say and be brief, ere I
cut thy throat;" and Salim answered, "Suffer me to live and keep
me as thy Mameluke, thy white slave, and I will work at a craft
of the skilled workmen, wherefrom there shall result to thee
every day two dinars." Quoth the Kitchener, "What is the craft?"
and quoth Salim, "The cutting of gems and jewels." When the man
heard this, he said to himself, "'Twill do me no hurt if I
imprison him and fetter him and bring him that whereat he may
work. An he tell truth, I will let him live, and if he prove a
liar, I will kill him." So he took a pair of stout shackles and
fitting them on Salim's legs, jailed him within his house and
charged a man to guard him. Then he asked him what tools he
needed for work; and Salim described to him whatso he required,
and the Cook went out from him awhile and brought him all he
wanted. Then Salim sat and wrought at his craft; and he used
every day to earn two dinars; and this was his wont and custom
with the Kitchener, who fed him not but half his fill. Thus befel
it with Salim; but returning to his sister Salma, she awaited him
till the last of the day, yet he appeared not; and she expected
him a second day and a third and a fourth, yet there came no news
of him. So she wept and beat hand on breast and bethought her of
her affair and her strangerhood and the disappearance of her
brother; and she improvised these couplets,\x97

"Salam t'you! Would I could see you again, * To the joy of my
     heart and the coolth of my eyes:
You are naught but my hope and the whole of my hope * And under
     my ribs[FN#536] love for you buried lies."

She tarried on this wise awaiting him till the end of the month,
but no tidings of him came nor happened she upon aught of his
trace; wherefore she was troubled with exceeding trouble and
sending her servants hither and thither in search of him, abode
in the sorest that might be of chagrin and concern. When it was
the beginning of the new month, she arose in the morning and
bidding one of her men cry her brother throughout the city, sat
to receive visits of condolence, nor was there any in town but
made act of presence to condole with her; and they were all sorry
for her, doubting not her being a man. When three nights had
passed over her with their days of the second month, she
despaired of him and her tears never dried: then she resolved to
take up her abode in that city, and making choice of a dwelling,
removed thither. The folk resorted to her from all parts, to sit
with her and hear her speech and witness her fine breeding; nor
was it but a little while ere the king died and the folk differed
anent whom they should invest with the kingship after him, so
that civil war was like to befal them. However, the men of
judgment and the folk of understanding and the people of
experience directed them to crown the youth who had lost his
brother, for that they still held Salma to be a man. They
consented to this one and all; and, betaking themselves to her,
offered the kingship.[FN#537] She refused, but they were urgent
with her, till she consented, saying within herself, "My sole
desire in the kingship is to find my brother." Then they seated
her upon the throne of the realm and set the crown upon her head,
after which she undertook the business of governance and
ordinance of affairs; and they rejoiced in her with the utmost
joy. On such wise fared it with her; but as for Salim he abode
with the Cook a whole year's space, bringing him two dinars a
day; and when his affair waxed longsome, the man felt for him and
pitied him. Presently he promised him release on condition that,
if he let him go, he should not discover his ill-deeds to the
Sultan; for that it was his wont now and then to entrap a man and
carry him to his house and slay him and take his money and cook
his flesh and give it to the folk to eat.[FN#538] So he asked
him, "O youth, wilt thou that I release thee from this thy
misery, on condition that thou be reasonable and never discover
aught of thine affair?" Salim answered, "I will swear to thee by
whatsoever oath thou wilt administer that I will keep thy secret
and will not speak one syllable anent thee, what while l am in
the land of the living." Quoth the Kitchener, "I purpose to send
thee forth with my brother and cause thee voyage with him over
the sea, on condition that thou be to him a Mameluke, a boughten
slave; and when he cometh to the land of Hind, he shall sell thee
and thus wilt thou be delivered from prison and slaughter." And
quoth Salim, "'Tis well: be it as thou sayst, may Allah the Most
High requite thee with weal!" Accordingly the Cook equipped his
brother and freighting him a craft, stowed therein a cargaison of
merchandise. Then he committed Salim to him and they set out with
the ship. The Lord decreed them safety, so that they arrived at
the first city of Hind, which is known as Al-Mans\xFArah,[FN#539] and
cast anchor there. Now the king of that city had died, leaving a
daughter and a widow who, being the quickest-witted of women and
cleverest of the folk of her day, gave out that the girl was a
boy, so that the kingship might be established unto them. The
troops and the Emirs gave credit that the case was as she
avouched and that the Princess was a Prince; wherefore they
obeyed her bidding and the Queen-mother took order for the matter
and used to dress the girl in man's habit and seat her on the
throne of the kingship, so that the Lords of the land and the
chief officers of the realm used to go in to her and salute her
and do her service and depart, nothing doubting but she was a
boy. After this fashion they fared for months and years and the
Queen-mother ceased not to do thus till the Cook's brother came
to the town in his ship, and with him Salim. He landed with the
youth and displayed him for sale to the Queen who, when she saw
him, prognosticated well of him; presently she bought him and was
kind to him and entreated him with honour. Then began she to
prove him in his moral parts and make assay of him in his
affairs, and she found in him all that is in kings' sons of
understanding and fine breeding and good manners and qualities.
Thereupon she sent for him in private and said to him, "I am
minded to do thee a service, so thou canst keep a
secret."[FN#540] He promised her all that she desired and she
discovered to him her mystery in the matter of her daughter,
saying, "I will marry thee to her and commit to thee the
governance and constitute thee king and ruler over this city." He
thanked her and promised to carry out all she should order him,
and she said to him, "Go forth to such-an-one of the neighbouring
provinces privily." So he went forth and on the morrow she made
ready loads and gear and gifts and bestowed on him abundant
substance, all of which they loaded on the backs of
baggage-camels. Then she gave out among the folk that the nephew
of the king, the son of his brother, was come and bade the
Grandees and troops go forth to meet him in a body: she also
decorated the city in his honour and the kettle-drums of good
tidings beat for him whilst all the king's household went out and
dismounting before him, escorted him into, and lodged him with
the Queen-mother in the palace. Then she bade the Headmen of the
state attend his assembly; so they obeyed and witnessed of his
breeding and good parts that which amazed them and made them
forget the breeding of the kings who had preceded him. When they
were grown to like him, the Queenmother began sending privily for
the Emirs and Councillors, one by one, and swearing them to
conceal her project; and when she was assured of their
discretion, she discovered to them that the king had left naught
save a daughter and that she had done this only that she might
continue the kingship in his family and that the rule should not
go forth from them; after which she informed them that she was
minded to marry her daughter with her nephew, the new-comer; and
that he should be the holder of the kingship. They approved her
proposal and when she had discovered the secret to the last of
them and assured herself of their aid, she published the news
abroad and threw off all concealment. Then she sent for the Kazis
and Assessors, who drew up the contract of marriage between Salim
and the Princess, and they lavished gifts upon the soldiery and
overwhelmed them with largesse. The bride was incontinently
carried in procession to the young man and the kingship was
established to him. They tarried after this fashion a whole year
when Salim said to the Queen-mother, "Know that my life is not
pleasing to me nor can I abide with you in content till I get me
tidings of my sister and learn how her affair hath ended and how
she hath fared after me. So I will go forth and be absent from
you a year's space; then will I return to you, Inshallah\x97an it
please God the Most High\x97and I win of this that which I hope."
Quoth she, "I will not trust to thy word, but will go with thee
and help thee to whatso thou wishest and further thee myself
therein." Then she took a ship and loaded it with all manner
things of price, goods and monies and the like. Furthermore, she
appointed one of the Wazirs, a man in whom she trusted for his
conduct and contrivance, to rule the realm, saying to him, "Abide
in governance a full year and ordain all thou needest." Presently
the Queenmother and her daughter and son-in-law Salim went down
to the ship and sailed on till they made the land of Makran.
Their arrival there befel at the last of the day; so they nighted
in their ship, and when the morn was near to dawn, the young king
landed, that he might go to the Hammam, and walked marketwards.
As he drew near the bath, the Cook met him on the way and knew
him; so he seized him and pinioning him straitly, carried him to
his house, where he clapped the old fetters on his feet and cast
him back into his former place of durance vile.[FN#541] Salim,
finding himself in that sorry condition and considering that
wherewith he was afflicted of tribulation and the reverses of his
fair fortune, in that he had been a king and was now returned to
fetters and prison and hunger, wept and groaned and lamented and
improvised these couplets,

"My God, no patience now can aid afford; * Strait is my breast, O
     Thou of Lords the Lord:
My God, who in resource like thine hath force? * And Thou, the
     Subtle, dost my case record."

On this wise fared it with Salim; but as regards his wife and her
mother, when she awoke in the morning and her husband returned
not to her with break of dawn, she forebode all manner of
calamity and, straightway arising, she despatched her servants
and all who were with her in quest of her spouse; but they
happened not on any trace of him nor could they hear aught of his
news. So she bethought herself concerning the case and plained
and wept and groaned and sighed and blamed Fortune the fickle,
bewailing the changes of Time and reciting these

"God keep the days of love-delight! How passing sweet they were!
     * How joyous and how solaceful was life in them whilere!
Would he were not, who sundered us upon the parting-day! * How
     many a body hath he slain, how many a bone laid bare!
Sans fault of mine, my blood and tears he shed and beggared me *
     Of him I love yet for himself gained nought thereby

When she had made an end of her verses, she considered her affair
and said within herself, "By Allah, all these things have betided
by the predestination of Almighty Allah and His decree and this
upon the forehead was written in lines." Then she landed and
walked on till she came to a spacious place, and an open, where
she asked of the folk and hired a house. Thither she transported
forthright all that was in the ship of goods and sending after
brokers, sold all that was with her. Presently she took part of
the price and began enquiring of the folk, so haply she might
scent out tidings of the lost one; and she addressed herself to
lavishing alms and preparing medicines for the sick, clothing the
naked and watering the dry ground[FN#543] of the forlorn. She
ceased not so doing a whole year, and little by little she sold
off her goods and gave charitable gifts to the sick and sorry;
whereby her report was bruited abroad in the city and the folk
abounded in her praise. All this while Salim lay in fetters and
strait prison, and melancholy gat hold of him by reason of that
whereinto he had fallen of this affliction. At last, when care
waxed on him and calamity grew longsome, he fell sick of a sore
sickness. Then the Kitchener, seeing his plight (and verily he
was like to sink for much suffering), loosed him from the fetters
and bringing him forth of the prison, committed him to an old
woman, who had a nose the bigness of a gugglet,[FN#544] and bade
her nurse him and medicine him and serve him and entreat him
kindly, so haply he might be made whole of that his sickness.
Accordingly the old woman took him and carrying him to her
lodging, began nursing him and giving him to eat and drink; and
when he was delivered of that torment, he recovered from the
malady which had afflicted him. Now the old woman had heard from
the folk of the lady who gave alms to the sick, and indeed the
news of her bounties reached both poor and rich; so she arose and
bringing out Salim to the door of her house, laid him upon a mat
and wrapped him in an Ab\xE1-gown and sat over against him.
Presently, it befel that the lady passed by them, and the old
woman seeing her rose to her and blessed her, saying, "O my
daughter, O thou to whom belong goodness and beneficence and
charity and almsdoing,[FN#545] know that this young man is a
foreigner, and indeed lack and lice and hunger and nakedness and
cold slay him." When the lady heard this, she gave her alms and
presented her with a part of that which was with her; and indeed
her charitable heart inclined to Salim, but she knew him not for
her spouse. The old woman received the alms from her and carrying
it to Salim, took part for herself and with the rest bought him
an old shirt,[FN#546] in which she clad him, after she had
stripped him of that he had on. Then she threw away the frock she
had taken from off him and arising forthwith, washed his body of
that which was thereon of grime and scented him with somewhat of
scent. She also bought chickens and made him broth; so he ate and
his life returned to him and he abode with her in all comfort of
condition till the morrow. Next morning the old woman said to
Salim, "When the lady cometh to thee, arise and buss her hand and
say to her, 'I am a homeless man and indeed cold and hunger kill
me;' so haply she may give thee somewhat that thou mayest expend
upon thy case." And he answered, "To hear is to obey." Then she
took him by the hand and carrying him without her house, seated
him at the door; and as he sat, behold, the lady came up to him,
whereupon the old woman rose to her and Salim kissed her hand
and, looking at her the while, blessed her. But when he saw her,
he knew her for his wife; so he shrieked and shed tears and
groaned and plained, at which she came up to him and threw
herself upon him; for indeed she knew him with all knowledge,
even as he knew her. So she hung to him and embraced him and
called to her serving-men and attendants and those who were about
her; and they took him up and carried him forth of that stead.
When the old woman saw this, she cried out to the Cook within the
house, and he said to her, "Fare thou before me." So she forewent
him and he ran after her and ceased not running till he overtook
the party and seizing Salim, exclaimed "What aileth you to take
my slave-lad?" Whereupon the Queen cried out at him, saying,
"Know that this is my husband, whom I had lost;" and Salim also
cried out, saying, "Mercy! Mercy! I appeal to Allah and to the
Sultan against this Satan!" Therewith a world of folk straightway
gathered together and loud rose the cries and the clamours
between them; but the most part of them said, "Carry their case
up to the Sultan." So they referred the matter to the king, who
was none other than Salim's sister Salma. Then they repaired to
the palace and the dragoman went in to Salma and said to her, "O
king of the age, here is a Hindi woman, who cometh from the land
of Hind, and she hath laid hands on a servant, a young man,
claiming him as her husband, who hath been lost to her these two
years, and she journeyed not hither save for his sake, and in
very sooth these many days she hath done almsdeeds in thy city.
And here is a fellow, a Kitchener, who declareth that the young
man is his slave."[FN#547] When the Queen heard these words, her
vitals quivered and she groaned from a grieving heart and called
to mind her brother and that which had betided him. Then she bade
those around her bring them between her hands, and when she saw
them, she knew her brother and was about to cry aloud; but her
reason restrained her; yet she could not prevent herself rising
up and sitting down.[FN#548] At last, however, she enforced her
soul to patience and said to them, "Let each and every of you
acquaint me with his case." So Salim came forward and kissing
ground before the king, lauded him and related to him his story
from first to last, until the time of their coming to that city,
he and his sister, telling him how he had entered the place and
had fallen into the hands of the Cook and that which had betided
him and whatso he had suffered from him of beating and collars,
of fetters and pinioning, till the man had made him his brother's
Mameluke, a boughten slave, and how the brother had sold him in
Hind and he had become king by marrying the Princess: and how
life was not lovesome to him till he should foregather with his
sister and now the same Cook had fallen in with him a second time
and had pinioned and fettered him. Brief, he acquainted her with
that which had betided him of sickness and sorrow for the space
of a whole year. When he had made an end of his speech, his wife
straightways came forward and told her story, from incept to
termination, how her mother bought him[FN#549] from the Cook's
partner and the people of the kingdom came under his rule; nor
did she cease telling till she came, in her history, to that city
and acquainted the king with the manner of her meeting her
husband. When she had made an end of her adventure, the Kitchener
exclaimed, "Alack, what befals us from lying rascals. By Allah, O
king, this woman lieth against me, for this youth is my
rearling[FN#550] and he was born of one of my slave-girls. He
fled from me and I found him again." When the Queen heard the
last of the talk, she said to the Cook, "The decree between you
shall not be save in accordance with justice." Then she dismissed
all those who were present and turning to her brother, said to
him, "Indeed thy truth is stablished with me and the sooth of thy
speech, and praised be Allah who hath brought about reunion
between thee and thy wife! So now begone with her to thy country
and cease to seek thy sister Salma and depart in peace." But,
hearing this, Salim replied, "By Allah, by the might of the
All-knowing King, I will not turn back from seeking my sister
till I die or I find her, Inshallah!" Then he called his sister
to mind and improvised from a heart disappointed, troubled,
afflicted these couplets,

"O thou who blam'st me for my heart, in anger twitting me, *
     Hadst tasted what my heart did taste, thou wouldst be
     pitying me!
By Allah, O my chider for my sister leave, ah! leave * My heart
     to moan its grief and feel the woes befitting me.
Indeed I grew to hold her dear privily, publicly; * And in my
     bosom bides a pang at no time quitting me;
And in my vitals burns a flame that ne'er was equalled by * The
     fire of hell and blazeth high to Death committing me."

Now when his sister Salma heard what he said, she could no longer
restrain her soul, but threw herself upon him and discovered to
him her case. When he knew her, he threw himself upon her
swooning awhile; after which he came to himself and cried,
"Lauded be the Lord, the Bountiful, the Beneficent!" Then they
plained each to other of that they had suffered from the pangs of
parting, whilst Salim's wife wondered at this and Salma's
patience and endurance pleased her. So she saluted her with the
Salam, and thanked her for her fair boons, saying, "By Allah, O
my lady, all that we are in of gladness never befel us save by
thy blessing; so praised be Allah who deigned vouchsafe us thy
sight!" Then they tarried all three, Salma, Salim and his wife,
in joy and happiness and delight three days, veiled from the
folk; and it was bruited abroad in the city that the king had
found his brother, who was lost for many a year, and had saved
him from the Cook's house. On the fourth day, all the troops and
the lieges assembled together to see the King and standing at his
gate, craved leave to enter. Salma bade admit them; so they
entered and paid her royal suit and service and gave her joy of
her brother's safe return. She bade them do homage to Salim, and
they consented and sware fealty to him; after which they kept
silence awhile, so they might hear what the king should command.
Then quoth Salma, "Ho, ye gathering of soldiers and subjects, ye
wot that ye forced me willy-nilly to accept the kingship and
besought me thereof and I consented to your desires anent my
being raised to rule over you; and I did this against my will;
for I would have you know that I am a woman and that I disguised
myself and donned man's dress, so peradventure my case might be
concealed when I lost my brother. But now Allah hath deigned
reunite me with my brother, and it is no longer lawful to me that
I be king and Sultan over the people, and I a woman; because
there is no Sultanate for women, whenas men are present.[FN#551]
For this reason, an it suit you, set my brother on the throne of
the kingdom, for this is he; and I will busy myself with the
worship of Allah the Most High and thanksgiving to Him for my
reunion with my brother. Or, an ye prefer it, take your kingship
and make whom ye will ruler and liege lord thereof." Upon this
the folk all cried out, saying, "We accept him to king over us;"
and they did him suit and service and gave him joy of the
kingship. So the preachers preached the sermon[FN#552] in his
name and the court-poets praised him; and he lavished largesse
upon the soldiery and the suite and overwhelmed them with favours
and bounties and was prodigal to the Ryots of justice and equity,
with goodly policy and polity. When he had effected this much of
his affect, he caused bring forth the Cook and his household to
the divan, but spared the old woman who had nursed him, because
she had been the cause of his deliverance. Then all assembled
without the town and he tormented the Cook and those who were
with him with all manner torments, after which he did him to die
by the foulest of deaths[FN#553] and burning him with fire,
scattered his ashes far and wide in the air. After this Salim
abode in the governance, invested with the Sultanate, and ruled
the people a whole year, when he returned to Al-Mans\xFArah and
sojourned there another year. And he and his wife ceased not to
go from city to city and tarry in this a year and that a year,
till he was vouchsafed children and they grew up, whereupon he
appointed him of his sons, who was found fitting, to be his
deputy in one kingdom and he ruled in the other; and he lived, he
and his wife and children, what while Almighty Allah
willed.[FN#554] "Nor" (continued the Wazir), "O King of the age,
is this story rarer or stranger than the King of Hind and his
wronged and envied Minister." When the King heard this, his mind
was occupied,[FN#555] and he bade the Wazir hie to his own house.

         The Twenty-eighth and Last Night of the Month.

When the evening evened, the King summoned the Minister and bade
him tell the story of the King of Hind and his Wazir. So he said,
"Hearkening and obedience. Give ear, O auspicious King, to

The Tale of the King of Hind and his Wazir.

There was once in the Hind-land a king illustrious of worth,
endowed with understanding and policy, and his name was Shah
Bakht. He had a Minister, a godly man and a sagacious, right
prudent in rede, conformable to him in governance and just in
judgment; for which cause his enviers were many and many were the
hypocrites who sought faults in him and set snares for him, so
that they insinuated into King Shah Bakht's eyes hatred against
him and sowed in his heart despite towards him; and plot followed
plot, and their rancour waxed until the king was brought to
arrest him and lay him in jail and to confiscate his wealth and
degrade him from his degree. When they knew that there was left
him no possession for which the king might lust, they feared lest
the sovran release him, by the influence of the Wazir's good
counsel upon the king's heart, and he return to his former case,
so should their machinations be marred and their degrees
degraded, for that they knew that the king would need whatso he
had known from that man nor would forget aught wherewith he was
familiar in him. Now it came to pass that a certain person of
perverted belief[FN#556] found a way to the adorning of falsehood
with a semblance of fair-seeming and there proceeded from him
that whereby the hearts of the folk were occupied, and their
minds were corrupted by his lying tales; for that he made use of
Indian quiddities[FN#557] and forged them into proof for the
denial of the Maker, the Creator, extolled be His might and
exalted be He and glorified and magnified above the speech of the
deniers. He avouched that it is the planets which order all
worldly affairs and he set down twelve mansions[FN#558] to twelve
Zodiacal signs and made each sign thirty degrees,[FN#559] after
the number of the days of the month, so that in twelve mansions
there are three hundred and sixty, after the number of the days
of the year; and he wrought a work, wherein he lied and was an
infidel and denied the Deity, be He for ever blessed! Then he
laid hold of the king's heart and the enviers and haters aided
him against the Minister and won the royal favour and corrupted
his intent against the Wazir, so that he got of him that which he
got and at last his lord banished him and thrust him away. By
such means the wicked man obtained that which he sought of the
Minister and the case was prolonged till the affairs of the
kingdom became disordered, by dint of ill government, and the
most part of the king's reign fell off from him and he came nigh
unto ruin. On this wise he was assured of the loyalty of his
whilome sagacious Wazir and the excellence of his ordinance and
the rectitude of his rede. So he sent after him and brought him
and the wicked man before him and summoning to his presence the
Lords of his land and the Chiefs of his chieftainship, gave them
leave to talk and dispute and forbade the wicked man from his
perverted belief. [FN#560] Then arose that wise Minister and
skilful and praised Allah Almighty and lauded Him and glorified
Him and hallowed Him and attested His unity and disputed with the
miscreant and overcame him and silenced him; nor did he cease
from him till he compelled him to make confession of repentance
from that which he had misbelieved. Therewith King Shah Bakht
rejoiced with exceeding great joy and cried, "Praise be to the
Lord who hath saved me from this man and hath preserved me from
the loss of my kingship and my prosperity!" So the affair of the
Wazir returned to order and stablishment and the king restored
him to his place and raised him to higher rank. Lastly, he
assembled the folk who had striven against him and destroyed them
all, to the last man. "And how like" (continued the Wazir), "is
this story to that of myself and King Shah Bakht, with regard to
that which befel me of the changing of the King and his crediting
others against me; but now is the fairness of my fashion
fulfilled in thine eyes, for that Allah Almighty hath inspired
thee with wisdom and endowed thee with longanimity and patience
to hear from me whatso He allotted to those who forewent us, till
He hath shown forth my innocence and made manifest unto thee the
truth. For lo and behold! the days are now past, wherein it was
declared to the king that I should labour for the loss of my
soul,[FN#561] that is within the month; and lookye, the
probation-time is gone by, and past is the season of evil and it
hath ceased by the protection of the King and his good fortune."
Then he bowed his head and was silent. When King Shah Bakht heard
his Wazir's speech, he was abashed before him and confounded, and
he marvelled at the gravity of his intellect and his
long-suffering. So he sprang up to him and embraced him and the
Minister kissed his feet. Then the King called for a costly robe
of honour and cast it over Al-Rahwan and honoured him with the
highmost honour and showed him especial favour and restored him
to his degree and Wazirate. Furthermore he imprisoned those who
had devised his destruction with lies and leasing and gave him
full leave and license to pass judgment upon the Interpreter who
had expounded to him the dream. So the Wazir abode in the
ordering of the realm until Death came to them; "And this" (added
Shahrazad) "is all, O king of the age, that hath come down to us
of King Shah Bakht and his Wazir."

                    SHAHRAZAD AND SHAHRYAR.

As for King Shahryar, he wondered at Shahrazad with the utmost
wonder and drew her near to his heart of his abounding affection
for her; and she was magnified in his eyes and he said within
himself, "By Allah, the like of this is not deserving of
slaughter, for indeed the time favoureth us not with her equal.
By the Almighty, I have been reckless of mine affair, and had not
the Lord overcome me with His ruth and put this one at my service
so she might recount to me instances manifest and cases truthful
and admonitions goodly and traits edifying, such as should
restore me to the right road, I had come to ruin!  Wherefore to
Allah be the praise herefor and I beseech the Most High to make
my end with her like that of the Wazir and Shah Bakht."  Then
sleep overcame the king and glory be unto Him who sleepeth
not![FN#562]  When it was the Nine hundred and thirtieth Night,
Shahrazad said, "O king, there is present in my thought a tale
which treateth of women's trickery and wherein is a warning to
whoso will be warned and an admonishment to whoso will be
admonished and whoso hath sight and insight; but I fear lest the
hearing of this belittle me with the liege-lord and lower my
degree in his esteem; yet I hope that this will not be, because
'tis a rare tale.  Women are indeed mischief-makers; their craft
and their cunning may not be told nor may their wiles be known;
while men enjoy their company and are not instant to uphold them
in the right way, neither are they vigilant over them with all
vigilance, but relish their society and take whatso is winsome
and regard not that which is other than this.  Indeed, they are
like unto the crooked rib, which an thou go about to straighten,
thou distortest it, and which an thou persist in straightening,
thou breakest it,[FN#563] so it behoveth the wise man to be
silent concerning them."  Thereupon quoth Dinarzad, "O sister
mine, bring forth that which is with thee and that which is
present to thy mind of the story concerning the guile of women
and their wiles, and have no fear lest this lessen thee with the
king; for that women are, like jewels, of all kinds and colours.
When a gem falleth into the hand of an expert, he keepeth it for
himself and leaveth all beside it.  Eke he preferreth some of
them over others, and in this he is like the potter,[FN#564] who
filleth his kiln with all the vessels he hath moulded and under
them kindleth his fire.  When the baking is done and he taketh
out that which is in the kiln, he findeth no help for it but that
he must break some of them, whilst others are what the folk need
and whereof they make use, while yet others there are which
return to be as they were.  So fear thou not nor deem it a grave
matter to adduce that which thou knowest of the craft of women,
for that in this is profit for all folk."  Then said Shahrazad,
"Then relate, O king (but Allah alone knoweth the secret things)
the Tale of\x97

End of Volume 11

                   Arabian Nights, Volume 11

[FN#1]  Arab.  "Al-N\xE1im wa al-Yakz\xE1n."  This excellent story is not
in the Mac. or Bresl. Edits.; but is given in the Breslau Text,
iv. 134-189 (Nights cclxxii.-ccxci.).  It is familiar to readers
of the old "Arabian Nights Entertainments" as "Abou-Hassan or the
Sleeper Awakened;" and as yet it is the only one of the eleven
added by Galland whose original has been discovered in Arabic:
the learned Frenchman, however, supplied it with embellishments
more suo, and seems to have taken it from an original fuller than
our text as is shown by sundry poetical and other passages which
he apparently did not invent.  Lane (vol. ii. chap. 12), noting
that its chief and best portion is an historical anecdote related
as a fact, is inclined to think that it is not a genuine tale of
The Nights.  He finds it in Al-Ish\xE1k\xED who finished his history
about the close of Sultan Mustaf\xE1 the Osmanli's reign, circa A.H.
1032 (= 1623), and he avails himself of this version as it is
"narrated in a simple and agreeable manner."  Mr. Payne remarks,
"The above title (Asleep and Awake) is of course intended to mark
the contrast between the everyday (or waking) hours of Aboulhusn
and his fantastic life in the Khalif's palace, supposed by him to
have passed in a dream;" I may add that amongst frolicsome
Eastern despots the adventure might often have happened and that
it might have given a hint to Cervantes.

[FN#2]  i.e., The Wag.  See vol. i. 311: the old version calls
him "the Debauchee."

[FN#3]  Arab. "Al-F\xE1rs"; a people famed for cleverness and
debauchery.  I cannot see why Lane omitted the Persian, unless he
had Persian friends at Cairo.

[FN#4]  i.e., the half he intended for spending-money.

[FN#5]  i.e., "men," a characteristic Arab idiom: here it applies
to the sons of all time.

[FN#6]  i.e., make much of thee.

[FN#7]  In Lane the Caliph is accompanied by "certain of his

[FN#8]  Arab.  "Khubz Mutabbak," = bread baked in a platter,
instead of an oven, an earthen jar previously heated, to the
sides of which the scones or bannocks of dough are applied: "it
is lighter than oven-bread, especially if it be made thin and
leavened."  See Al-Shak\xFAr\xED, a medical writer quoted by Dozy.

[FN#9]  In other parts of The Nights Harun al-Rashid declines

[FN#10]  The 'All\xE1mah (doctissimus) Sayce (p. 212, Comparative
Philology, London, Tr\xFCbner, 1885) goes far back for Khal\xEDfah = a
deputy, a successor.  He begins with the Semitic (Hebrew?) root
"Khaliph" = to change, exchange: hence "Khaleph" = agio.  From
this the Greeks got their {k\xF3llybos} and Cicero his "Collybus," a

[FN#11]  Arab.  "Harf\xFAsh" (in Bresl. Edit. iv. 138, "Kharf\xFAsh"),
in popular parlance a "blackguard."  I have to thank Mr.
Alexander J. Cotheal, of New York, for sending me a MS. Copy of
this tale.

[FN#12]  Arab.  "Ta'\xE1m," in Egypt and Somaliland = millet seed
(Holcus Sorghum) cooked in various ways.  In Barbary it is
applied to the local staff of life, Kuskus\xFA, wheaten or other
flour damped and granulated by hand to the size of peppercorns,
and lastly steamed (as we steam potatoes), the cullender-pot
being placed over a long-necked jar full of boiling water.  It is
served with clarified butter, shredded onions and meat; and it
represents the Risotto of Northern Italy.  Europeans generally
find it too greasy for digestion.  This Barbary staff of life is
of old date and is thus mentioned by Leo Africanus in early sixth
century.  "It is made of a lump of Dow, first set upon the fire,
in a vessel full of holes and afterwards tempered with Butter and
Pottage."  So says good Master John Pory, "A Geographical
Historie of Africa, by John Leo, a Moor," London, 1600, impensis
George Bishop.

[FN#13]  Arab.  "Bi al-Sal\xE1m" (pron. "Bissal\xE1m") = in the Peace
(of Allah).

[FN#14]  And would bring him bad luck if allowed to go without

[FN#15]  i.e., of the first half, as has been shown.

[FN#16]  Arab.  "Kum\xE1jah" from the Persian Kum\xE1sh = bread
unleavened and baked in ashes.  Egyptians use the word for
bannocks of fine flour.

[FN#17]  Arab.  "Kal\xED," our "alcali" ; for this and other
abstergents see vol. i. 279.

[FN#18]  These lines have occurred twice in vol. i. 117 (Night
xii.); I quote Mr. Payne.

[FN#19]  Arab.  "Y\xE1 'llah, y\xE1 'll\xE1h;" vulg. used for "Look
sharp!" e.g., "Y\xE1 'llah j\xE1ri, y\xE1 walad" = Be off at once, boy."

[FN#20]  Arab.  "Banj akr\xEDtash\xED," a term which has occurred

[FN#21]  A natural clock, called by West Africans Cokkerapeek =
Cock-speak.  All the world over it is the subject of
superstition: see Giles's "Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio"
(i. 177), where Miss Li, who is a devil, hears the cock crow and

[FN#22]  In Lane Al-Rashid "found at the door his young men
waiting for him and ordered them to convey Abu-l-Hasan upon a
mule and returned to the palace; Abu-l-Hasan being intoxicated
and insensible.  And when the Khaleefah had rested himself in the
palace, he called for," etc.

[FN#23]  Arab.  "Kursi," Assyrian "Kuss\xFA" = throne; and "Kors\xE1i"
in Aramaic (or Nabathean as Al-Mas'udi calls it), the second
growth-period of the "Semitic" family, which supplanted Assyrian
and Babylonian, and became, as Arabic now is, the common speech
of the "Semitic" world.

[FN#24]  Arab.  "Mak\xE1n mahj\xFAb," which Lane renders by "a private
closet," and Payne by a "privy place," suggesting that the Caliph
slept in a num\xE9ro cent.  So, when starting for the "Trakki
Campaign," Sir Charles Napier (of Sind), in his zeal for
lightening officers' baggage, inadvertently chose a water-closet
tent for his head-quarters\x97magno cum risu not of the staff, who
had a strange fear of him, but of the multitude who had not.

[FN#25]  Arab.  "Dar al-Salam," one of the seven "Gardens" into
which the Mohammedan Paradise is divided.  Man's fabled happiness
began in a Garden (Eden) and the suggestion came naturally that
it would continue there.  For the seven Heavens, see vol. viii.,

[FN#26]  Branch of Pearl, see vol. ii. 57.

[FN#27]  Arab.  "Kahbah," the lowest word (vol. i. 70),
effectively used in contrast with the speaker's surroundings.

[FN#28]  Arab.  "Y\xE1 kab\xEDr\xED," =  mon brave, my good man.

[FN#29]  This exaggeration has now become familiar to English

[FN#30]  Like an Eastern he goes to the water-closet the first
thing in the morning, or rather dawn, and then washes
ceremonially before saying the first prayer.  In Europe he would
probably wait until after breakfast.  See vol. iii. 242.

[FN#31]  I have explained why an Eastern does not wash in the
basin as Europeans do in vol. i. p. 241.

[FN#32]  i.e., He was confused that he forgot.  All Moslems know
how to pray, whether they pray or not.

[FN#33]  The dawn-prayer consists of only four inclinations
(raka'at); two "Farz" (divinely appointed), and two Sunnah (the
custom of the Apostle).  For the Raka'\xE1h see Lane, M.E. chapt.
iii.; it cannot be explained without illustrations.

[FN#34]  After both sets of prayers, Farz and Sunnah, the Moslem
looks over his right shoulder and says, "The Peace (of Allah) be
upon you and the ruth of Allah," and repeats the words over the
left shoulder. The salutation is addressed to the Guardian Angels
or to the bystanders (Moslems), who, however, do not return it.

[FN#35]  i.e., Ibrahim of Mosul the musician.  See vol. iv. 108.

[FN#36]  Arab.  "L\xEDy\xFAth" plur. of "layth," a lion: here warriors
are meant.

[FN#37]  The Abbasides traced their descent from Al-Abbas,
Mohammed's uncle, and justly held themselves as belonging to the
family of the Prophet.  See vol. ii. 61.

[FN#38]  Arab. "N\xEDmshah" = "half-sword."  See vol. ii. p. 193.

[FN#39]  i.e., May thy dwelling-place never fall into ruin.  The
prayer has, strange to say, been granted. "The present city on
the eastern bank of the Tigris was built by Haroun al-Rashid, and
his house still stands there and is an object of reverent
curiosity."  So says my friend Mr. Grattan Geary (vol. i. p. 212,
"Through Asiatic Turkey," London: Low, 1878).  He also gives a
sketch of Zubaydah's tomb on the western bank of the Tigris near
the suburb which represents old Baghdad; it is a pineapple dome
springing from an octagon, both of brick once revetted with white

[FN#40]  In the Bresl. Edit. four hundred.  I prefer the
exaggerated total.

[FN#41]  i.e., the raised recess at the upper end of an Oriental
saloon, and the place of honour, which Lane calls by its Egyptian
name "L\xEDw\xE1n."  See his vol. i. 312 and his M.E. chapt. i.: also
my vol. iv. p. 71.

[FN#42]  "Bit o'Musk."

[FN#43]  "A gin," a snare.

[FN#44]  "A gift," a present.  It is instructive to compare Abu
al-Hasan with Sancho Panza, sprightly Arab wit with grave Spanish

[FN#45]  i.e., he fell down senseless.  The old version has "his
head knocked against his knees."

[FN#46]  Arab.  "Waddi" vulg. Egyptian and Syrian for the
classical "Add\xED" (ii. of Ad\xFA = preparing to do).  No wonder that
Lane complains (iii. 376) of the vulgar style, abounding in

[FN#47]  O Apple, O Repose o' Hearts, O Musk, O Choice Gift.

[FN#48]  Arab.  "Doghr\xED," a pure Turkish word, in Egypt meaning
"truly, with truth," straightforwardly; in Syria = straight
(going), directly.

[FN#49]  Arab.  "M\xE1rist\xE1n," see vol. i. 288.

[FN#50]  The scene is a rechauff\xE9 of Badr al-Din Hasan and his
wife, i. 247.

[FN#51]  Arab.  "Janz\xEDr," another atrocious vulgarism for
"Zanj\xEDr," which however, has occurred before.

[FN#52]  Arab.  "Arafshah."

[FN#53]  In the "Mishk\xE1t al-Mas\xE1bih" (ii. 341), quoted by Lane,
occurs the Hadis, "Shut your doors anights and when so doing
repeat the Basmalah; for the Devil may not open a door shut in
Allah's name."  A pious Moslem in Egypt always ejaculates, "In
the name of Allah, the Compassionating," etc., when he locks a
door, covers up bread, doffs his clothes, etc., to keep off
devils and d\xE6mons.

[FN#54]  An Arab idiom meaning, "I have not found thy good
fortune (Ka'b = heel, glory, prosperity) do me any good."

[FN#55]  Arab.  "Y\xE1 Nakbah" = a calamity to those who have to do
with thee!

[FN#56]  Koran cxii., the "Chapter of Unity."  See vol. iii. 307

[FN#57]  See vol. iii. 222.

[FN#58]  Here the author indubitably speaks for himself,
forgetting that he ended Night cclxxxi. (Bresl. iv. 168), and
began that following with Shahrazad's usual formula.

[FN#59]  i.e., "Delight of the vitals" (or heart).

[FN#60]  The trick is a rechauff\xE9 of the trick played on Al-
Rashid and Zubaydah.

[FN#61]  "Kalb" here is not heart, but stomach.  The big toes of
the Moslem corpse are still tied in most countries, and in some a
sword is placed upon the body; but I am not aware that a knife
and salt (both believed to repel evil spirits) are so used in

[FN#62]  The Moslem, who may not wear unmixed silk during his
lifetime, may be shrouded in it.  I have noted that the
"Shukkah," or piece, averages six feet in length.

[FN#63]  A vulgar ejaculation; the "hour" referring either to
birth or to his being made one of the Caliph's equerries.

[FN#64]  Here the story-teller omits to say that Masr\xFAr bore
witness to the Caliph's statement.

[FN#65]  Arab.  "Wa kuntu r\xE1ihah ursil war\xE1k," the regular Fellah

[FN#66]  Arab.  "'Irk al-H\xE1shim\xED."  See vol. ii. 19.  Lane
remarks, "Whether it was so in Hashim himself (or only in his
descendants), I do not find; but it is mentioned amongst the
characteristics of his great-grandson, the Prophet."

[FN#67]  Arab.  "Bost\xE1n al-Nuzhah," whose name made the stake
appropriate.  See vol. ii. 81.

[FN#68]  Arab.  "Tam\xE1s\xEDl" = generally carved images, which,
amongst Moslem, always suggest idols and idolatry.

[FN#69]  The "Shubb\xE1k" here would be the "Mashrabiyah," or
latticed balcony, projecting from the saloon-wall, and containing
room for three or more sitters.  It is Lane's "Meshrebeeyeh,"
sketched in M.E. (Introduction) and now has become familiar to

[FN#70]  This is to show the cleverness of Abu al-Hasan, who had
calculated upon the difference between Al-Rashid and Zubaydah.
Such marvels of perspicacity are frequent enough in the folk-lore
of the Arabs.

[FN#71]  An artful touch, showing how a tale grows by repetition.
In Abu al-Hasan's case (infra) the eyes are swollen by the

[FN#72]  A Hadis attributed to the Prophet, and very useful to
Moslem husbands when wives differ overmuch with them in opinion.

[FN#73]  Arab. "Masarat f\xED-h\xE1," which Lane renders, "And she
threw money to her."

[FN#74]  A saying common throughout the world, especially when
the afflicted widow intends to marry again at the first

[FN#75]  Arab. "Y\xE1 Kh\xE1lati" = O my mother's sister; addressed by
a woman to an elderly dame.

[FN#76]  i.e., That I may put her to shame.

[FN#77]  Arab.  "Zal\xE1biyah."

[FN#78]  Arab.  "'Al\xE1 al-Kaylah," which Mr. Payne renders by
"Siesta-carpet."  Land reads "Kiblah" ("in the direction of the
Kiblah") and notes that some Moslems turn the corpse's head
towards Meccah and others the right side, including the face.  So
the old version reads "feet towards Mecca."  But the preposition
"Al\xE1" requires the former sig.

[FN#79]  Many places in this text are so faulty that translation
is mere guess-work; e.g. "Bash\xE1rah" can hardly be applied to ill-

[FN#80]  i.e. of grief for his loss.

[FN#81]  Arab.  "Tob\xE1ni" which Lane renders "two clods."  I have
noted that the Tob (Span. Adobe = Al-Tob) is a sunbaked brick.
Beating the bosom with such material is still common amongst
Moslem mourners of the lower class, and the hardness of the blow
gives the measure of the grief.

[FN#82]  i.e. of grief for her loss.

[FN#83]  Arab.  "Ihtir\xE1k" often used in the metaphorical sense of
consuming, torturing.

[FN#84]  Arab.  "Hal\xE1wat," lit.=a sweetmeat, a gratuity, a thank-

[FN#85]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 182-188, Nights ccccxxxii.-

[FN#86]  "The good Caliph" and the fifth of the Orthodox, the
other four being Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali; and omitting the
eight intervening, Hasan the grandson of the Prophet included.
He was the 13th Caliph and 8th Ommiade A.H. 99-101 (=717-720) and
after a reign of three years he was poisoned by his kinsmen of
the Banu Umayyah who hated him for his piety, asceticism, and
severity in making them disgorge their ill-gotten gains.  Moslem
historians are unanimous in his praise.  Europeans find him an
anachor\xE8te couronn\xE9, \xE0 froide et respectable figure, who lacked
the diplomacy of Mu'awiyah and the energy of Al-Hajj\xE1j.  His
principal imitator was Al-Muhtadi bi'll\xE1h, who longed for a
return to the rare old days of Al-Islam.

[FN#87]  Omar 'Adi bin Artah; governor of Kufah and Basrah under
"the good Caliph."

[FN#88]  Jar\xEDr al-Khatafah, one of the most famous of the
"Isl\xE1m\xED" poets, i.e. those who wrote in the first century (A.H.)
before the corruption of language began.  (See Terminal Essay, p.
230).  Ibn Khallikan notices him at full length i. 294.

[FN#89]  Arab. "B\xE1kiyah," which may also mean eternal as opposed
to "F\xE1niyah" = temporal.  Omar's answer shows all the narrow-
minded fanaticism which distinguished the early Moslems: they
were puritanical as any Praise-God-Barebones, and they hated
"boetry and bainting" as hotly as any Hanoverian.

[FN#90]  The Saturday Review (Jan. 2, '86), which has honoured me
by the normal reviling in the shape of a critique upon my two
first vols., complains of the "Curious word Abhak" as "a
perfectly arbitrary and unusual group of Latin letters."  May I
ask Aristarchus how he would render "Sal'am" (vol ii. 24), which
apparently he would confine to "Arabic MSS."(!).  Or would he
prefer A(llah) b(less) h(im) a(nd) k(eep) "W.G.B." (whom God
bless) as proposed by the editor of Ockley?  But where would be
the poor old "Saturnine" if obliged to do better than the authors
it abuses?

[FN#91]  He might have said "by more than one, including the
great Lab\xEDd."

[FN#92]  F\xED-hi either "in him" (Mohammed) or "in it" (his

[FN#93]  Chief of the Banu Sulaym.  According to Tabari, Abbas
bin Mirdas (a well-known poet), being dissatisfied with the booty
allotted to him by the Prophet, refused it and lampooned
Mohammed, who said to Ali, "Cut off this tongue which attacketh
me," i.e. "Silence him by giving what will satisfy him."
Thereupon Ali doubled the Satirist's share.

[FN#94]  Arab.  "Y\xE1 Bil\xE1l": Bilal ibn Rabah was the Prophet's
freedman and crier: see vol. iii. 106.  But bilal also signifies
"moisture" or "beneficence," "benefits": it may be intended for a
double entendre but I prefer the metonymy.

[FN#95]  The verses of this Kasidah are too full of meaning to be
easily translated: it is fine old poetry.

[FN#96]  i.e. of the Koraysh tribe.  For his disorderly life see
Ibn Khallikan ii. 372: he died, however, a holy death, battling
against the Infidels in A.H. 93 (= 711-12), some five years
before Omar's reign.

[FN#97]  Arab.  "Bayn farsi-k wa 'l-dam\xED" = lit. between f\xE6ces
and menses, i.e., the foulest part of his mistress's person.  It
is not often that The Nights are "nasty"; but here is a case.
See vol. v. 162.

[FN#98]  "Jamil the Poet," and lover of Buthaynah: see vol. ii.
102, Ibn Khallikan (i.331), and Al-Mas'udi vi. 381, who quotes
him copiously.  He died A.H. 82 (= 701), or sixteen years before
Omar's reign.

[FN#99]  Arab.  "Saf\xEDh" = the slab over the grave.

[FN#100]  A contemporary and friend of Jam\xEDl and the famous lover
of Azzah.  See vol. ii. 102, and Al-Mas'udi, vi. 426.  The word
"Kuthayyir" means "the dwarf."  Term. Essay, 231.

[FN#101]  i.e. in the attitude of prayer.

[FN#102]  In Bresl. Edit.  "Al-Akhwass," clerical error, noticed
in Ibn Khallikan i. 526.  His satires banished him to Dahlak
Island in the Red Sea, and he died A.H. 179 (= 795-96).

[FN#103]  Another famous poet Ab\xFA Fir\xE1s Hamm\xE1m or Humaym (dimin.
form), as debauched as Jarir, who died forty days before him in
A.H. 110 (= 728-29), as Basrah.  Cf. Term. Essay, 269.

[FN#104]  A famous Christian poet.  See C. de Perceval, Journ.
Asiat. April, 1834, Ibn Khallikan iii. 136, and Term. Essay, 231.

[FN#105]  The poet means that unlike other fasters he eats meat
openly.  See Pilgrimage (i. 110), for the popular hypocrisy.

[FN#106]  Arab.  "Bath\xE1" the lowlands and plains outside the
Meccan Valley.  See al-Mas'udi, vi. 157.  Mr. (now Sir) W. Muir
in his Life of Mahomet, vol. i., p. ccv., remarks upon my
Pilgrimage (iii.252) that in placing Arafat 12 miles from Meccah,
I had given 3 miles to Muna, + 3 to Muzdalifah + 3 to Arafat = 9.
But the total does not include the suburbs of Meccah and the
breadth of the Arafat-Valley.

[FN#107]  The words of the Az\xE1n, vol. i. 306.

[FN#108]  Wine in Arabic is feminine, "Sham\xFAl" = liquor hung in
the wind to cool, a favourite Arab practice often noticed by the

[FN#109]  i.e. I will fall down dead drunk.

[FN#110]  Arab.  "\xC1r\xE1m," plur. of Irm, a beautiful girl, a white
deer.  The word is connected with the Heb. Reem (Deut. xxxiii.
17), which has been explained unicorn, rhinoceros, and aurochs.
It is the Ass. Rimu, the wild bull of the mountains, provided
with a human face, and placed at the palace-entrance to frighten
away foes, demon or human.

[FN#111]  i.e. she who ensnares [all]  eyes.

[FN#112]  Imam, the spiritual title of the Caliph, as head of the
Faith and leader (lit. "foreman," Antistes) of the people at
prayer.  See vol. iv. 111.

[FN#113]  For Yam\xE1mah see vol. ii. 104.  Omar bin Abd-al-Aziz was
governor of the province before he came to the Caliphate.  To the
note on Zark\xE1, the blue-eyed Yamamite, I may add that Marwan was
called Ibn Zark\xE1, son of "la femme au drapeau bleu," such being
the sign of a public prostitute.  Al-Mas'udi, v. 509.

[FN#114]  Rain and bounty, I have said, are synonymous.

[FN#115]  About \xA32 10s.

[FN#116]  i.e. what is thy news.

[FN#117]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 188-9, Night ccccxxxiv.

[FN#118]  Of this masterful personage and his \xE9nergie indomptable
I have spoken in vol. iv. 3, and other places.  I may add that he
built W\xE1sit city A.H. 83 and rendered eminent services to
literature and civilization amongst the Arabs.  When the Ommiade
Caliph Abd al-Malik was dying he said to his son Walid, "Look to
Al-Hajjaj and honour him for, verily, he it is who hath covered
for you the pulpits; and he is thy sword and thy right hand
against all opponents; thou needest him more than he needeth
thee, and when I die summon the folk to the covenant of
allegiance; and he who saith with his head\x97thus, say thou with
thy sword\x97thus" (Al-Siyuti, p 225) yet the historian simply
observes, "the Lord curse him."

[FN#119]  i.e. given through his lieutenant.

[FN#120]  "Necks" per synecdochen for heads.  The passage is a
description of a barber-surgeon in a series of double-entendres
the "nose-pierced" (Makhz\xFAm) is the subject who is led by the
nose like a camel with halter and ring and the "breaker" (h\xE1shim)
may be a breaker of bread as the word originally meant, or
breaker of bones.  Lastly the "wealth" (m\xE1l) is a recondite
allusion to the hair.

[FN#121]  Arab.  "Kadr" which a change of vowel makes "Kidr" = a
cooking-pot.  The description is that of an itinerant seller of
boiled beans (F\xFAl mudammas) still common in Cairo.  The "light of
his fire" suggests \xE0 double-entendre some powerful Chief like
masterful King Kulayb.  See vol. ii. 77.

[FN#122]  Arab.  "Al-Suf\xFAf," either ranks of fighting-men or the
rows of thread on a loom.  Here the allusion is to a weaver who
levels and corrects his threads with the wooden spate and shuttle
governing warp and weft and who makes them stand straight (behave
aright).  The "stirrup" (rik\xE1b) is the loop of cord in which the
weaver's foot rests.

[FN#123]  "Adab."  See vols. i. 132, and ix. 41.

[FN#124]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vi. pp. 189-191, Night ccccxxxiv.

[FN#125]  Arab.  "Za'm\xFA," a word little used in the Cal., Mac. or
Bul. Edit.; or in the Wortley Montague MS.; but very common in
the Bresl. text.

[FN#126]  More double-entendres.  "Thou hast done justice"
('adalta) also means "Thou hast swerved from right;" and "Thou
hast wrought equitably" (Akasta iv. of Kast) = "Thou hast

[FN#127]  Koran vi. 44.  Allah is threatening unbelievers, "And
when they had forgotten their warnings We set open to them the
gates of all things, until, when they were gladdened," etc.

[FN#128]  Arab.  "Ta'dil\xFA," also meaning, "Ye do injustice":
quoted from Koran iv. 134.

[FN#129]  Arab.  "Al-K\xE1sit\xFAna," before explained.  Koran lxxii.

[FN#130]  Bresl. Edit. vol. vi. pp. 191-343, Nights ccccxxxv-
cccclxxxvii. This is the old Persian Bakhty\xE1r N\xE1meh, i.e., the
Book of Bakhtyar, so called from the prince and hero "Fortune's
Friend." In the tale of Jili'ad and Shimas the number of Wazirs
is seven, as usual in the Sindibad cycle. Here we have the full
tale as advised by the Im\xE1m al-Jara'\xED: "it is meet for a man
before entering upon important undertakings to consult ten
intelligent friends; if he have only five to apply twice to each;
if only one, ten times at different visits, and if none, let him
repair to his wife and consult her; and whatever she advises him
to do let him do the clear contrary" (quoting Omar), or as says
Tommy Moore,

          Whene'er you're in doubt, said a sage I once knew,
          'Twixt two lines of conduct which course to pursue,
          Ask a woman's advice, and whate'er she advise
          Do the very reverse, and you're sure to be wise.

The Romance of the Ten Wazirs occurs in dislocated shape in the
"Nouveaux Contes Arabes, ou Suppl\xE9ment aux Mille et une Nuits,"
etc., par M. l'Abb\xE9 * * * Paris, 1788. It is the "Story of
Bohetzad (Bakht-z\xE1d=Luck-born, v.p.), and his Ten Viziers," in
vol. iii., pp. 2-30 of the "Arabian Tales," etc., published by
Dom Chavis and M. Cazotte, in 1785; a copy of the English
translation by Robert Heron, Edinburgh, 1792, I owe to the
kindness of Mr. Leonard Smithers of Sheffield. It appears also in
vol. viii. of M. C. de Perceval's Edition of The Nights; in
Gauttier's Edition (vol. vi.), and as the "Historia Decem
Vizirorum et filii Regis Azad-bacht," text and translation by
Gustav Kn\xF6s, of Goettingen (1807). For the Turkish, Malay and
other versions see (p. xxxviii. etc.) "The Bakhtiy?r N?ma," etc.
Edited (from the Sir William. Ouseley version of 1801) by Mr. W.
A. Clouston and privately printed, London, 1883. The notes are
valuable but their worth is sadly injured by the want of an
index. I am pleased to see that Mr. E. J. W. Gibb is publishing
the "History of the Forty Vezirs; or, the Story of the Forty
Morns and Eves," written in Turkish by "Sheykh-Zadah," evidently
a nom de plume (for Ahmad al-Misri?), and translated from an
Arabic MS. which probably dated about the xvth century.

[FN#131]  In Chavis and Cazotte, the "kingdom of Dineroux
(comprehending all Syria and the isles of the Indian Ocean) whose
capital was Issessara." An article in the Edinburgh Review (July,
1886), calls the "Supplement" a "bare-faced forgery"; but
evidently the writer should have "read up" his subject before

[FN#132]  The Persian form; in Arab. Sijist\xE1n, the classical
Drangiana or province East of Fars=Persia proper. It is famed in
legend as the feof of hero Rustam.

[FN#133]  Arab. R\xE1wi=a professional tale-teller, which Mr. Payne
justly holds to be a clerical error for "R\xE1i, a beholder, one who

[FN#134]  In Persian the name would be Bahr-i-Jaur="luck" (or
fortune, "bahr") of Jaur- (or J\xFAr-) city.

[FN#135]  Supply "and cared naught for his kingdom."

[FN#136]  Arab. "Atr\xE1f," plur. of "Tarf," a great and liberal

[FN#137]  Lit. "How was," etc. Kayf is a favourite word not only
in the Bresl. Edit., but throughout Egypt and Syria. Classically
we should write "M\xE1;" vulgarly "Aysh."

[FN#138]  Karmania vulg. and fancifully derived from Kirm\xE1n
Pers.=worms because the silkworm is supposed to have been bred
there; but the name is of far older date as we find the Asiatic
Aethiopians of Herodotus (iii. 93) lying between the Germanii
(Karman) and the Indus. Also Karman\xEDa appears in Strabo and Sinus
Carmanicus in other classics.

[FN#139]  Arab. "Ka'\xEDd"; lit.=one who sits with, a colleague,
hence the Span. Alcayde; in Marocco it is=colonel, and is
prefixed e.g. Ka'\xEDd Maclean.

[FN#140]  A favourite food; Al-Hariri calls the dates and cream,
which were sold together in bazars, the "Proud Rider on the
desired Steed."

[FN#141]  In Bresl. Edit. vi. 198 by misprint "Kutr\xFA": Chavis and
Cazotte have "Kassera." In the story of Bihkard we find a P.N.

[FN#142]  i.e. waylaying travellers, a term which has often

[FN#143]  i.e. the royal favour.

[FN#144]  i.e. When the fated hour came down (from Heaven).

[FN#145]  As the Nights have proved in many places, the Asl
(origin) of a man is popularly held to influence his conduct
throughout life. So the Jeweller's wife (vol. ix.) was of servile
birth, which accounted for her vile conduct; and reference is
hardly necessary to a host of other instances. We can trace the
same idea in the sayings and folk-lore of the West, e.g. Bon sang
ne peut mentir, etc., etc.

[FN#146]  i.e. "What deemest thou he hath done?"

[FN#147]  The apodosis wanting "to make thee trust in him?"

[FN#148]  In the Braj B\xE1kh\xE1 dialect of Hindi, we find quoted in
the Akhl\xE1k-i-Hindi, "Tale of the old Tiger and the Traveller":\x97

     Jo j\xE1ko paryo subh\xE1o j\xE1e n\xE1 j\xEDo-sun;
     N\xEDm na mitho hoe sichh gur ghio sun.

     Ne'er shall his nature fail a man whate'er that nature be,
     The N\xEDm-tree bitter shall remain though drenched with Gur
               and Gh\xED.

The N\xEDm (Melia Azadirachta) is the "Persian lilac," whose leaves,
intensely bitter, are used as a preventive to poison: Gur is the
Anglo-Indian Jaggeri = raw sugar and Ghi = clarified butter. Roebuck
gives the same proverb in Hindostani.

[FN#149]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Kaskas; or the
Obstinate Man." For ill-luck, see Miss Frere's "Old Deccan Days"
(p. 171), and Giles's "Strange Stories," &c. (p. 430), where the
young lady says to Ma, "You often asked me for money; but on
account of your weak luck I hitherto refrained from giving it."

[FN#150]  True to life in the present day, as many a standing
hay-rick has shown.

[FN#151]  The "Munajjim" is a recognised authority in Egyptian
townlets, and in the village-republics of Southern India the
"Jyoshi" is one of the paid officials.

[FN#152]  Arab. "Am\xEDn" sub. and adj. In India it means a
Government employ\xE9 who collects revenue; in Marocco a
commissioner sent by His Sharifian Majesty.

[FN#153]  Our older word for divers=Arab "Ghaww\xE1s\xFAn": a single
pearl (in the text Jauhar=the Port. AIjofar) is called
"habbah"=grain or seed.

[FN#154]  The kindly and generous deed of one Moslem to another,
and by no means rare in real life.

[FN#155]  "Eunuch," etymologically meaning chamberlain ({eyn\xE8     +
\xE9chein}), a bed-chamber-servant or slave, was presently confined to
castrated men found useful for special purposes, like gelded
horses, hounds, and cockerels turned to capons. Some writers hold
that the creation of the semivir or apocopus began as a
punishment in Egypt and elsewhere; and so under the Romans
amputation of the "peccant part" was frequent: others trace the
Greek "invalid," i.e., impotent man, to marital jealousy, and not
a few to the wife who wished to use the sexless for hard work in
the house without danger to the slave-girls.  The origin of the
mutilation is referred by Ammianus Marcellinus (lib. iv. chap.
17), and the Classics generally, to Semiramis, an "ancient queen"
of decidedly doubtful epoch, who thus prevented the propagation
of weaklings. But in Genesis (xxxvii. 36; xxxix. 1, margin) we
find Potiphar termed a "Sar\xEDm" (castrato), an "attenuating
circumstance" for Mrs. P. Herodotus (iii. chap. 48) tells us that
Periander, tyrant of Corinth, sent three hundred Corcyrean boys
to Alyattes for castration {ep\xEC \xEAt ektom\xEA}, and that Panionios of
Chios sold caponised lads for high prices (viii. 105): he notices
(viii. 104 and other places) that eunuchs "of the Sun, of Heaven,
of the hand of God," were looked upon as honourable men amongst
the Persians whom Stephanus and Brissonius charge with having
invented the name (Dabistan i. 171). Ctesias also declares that
the Persian kings were under the influence of eunuchs. In the
debauched ages of Rome the women found a new use for these
effeminates, who had lost only the testes or testiculi=the
witnesses (of generative force): it is noticed by Juvenal (i. 22;
ii. 365-379; vi. 366)

        \x97sunt quos imbelles et mollia semper
Oscula delectant.

So Martial,

          \x97vult futui Gallia, non parere,

And Mirabeau knew (see Kad\xEDsah) "qu'ils mordent les femmes et les
liment avec une pr\xE9cieuse continuit\xE9." (Compare my vol. ii. 90;
v. 46.) The men also used them as catamites (Horace i. Od.

          "Contaminato cum grege turpium,
            Morbo virorum."

In religion the intestabilis or intestatus was held ill-omened,
and not permitted to become a priest (Seneca Controv. ii. 4), a
practice perpetuated in the various Christian churches. The
manufacture was forbidden, to the satisfaction of Martial, by
Domitian, whose edict Nero confirmed; and was restored by the
Byzantine empire, which advanced eunuchs, like Eutropius and
Narses, to the highest dignities of the realm. The cruel custom
to the eternal disgrace of medi\xE6val Christianity was revived in
Rome for providing the choirs in the Sistine Chapel and elsewhere
with boys' voices. Isaiah mentions the custom (lvi. 3-6).
Mohammed, who notices in the Koran (xxiv. 31), "such men as
attend women and have no need of women," i.e. "have no natural
force," expressly forbade (iv. 118), "changing Allah's
creatures," referring, say the commentators, to superstitious
ear-cropping of cattle, tattooing, teeth-sharpening, sodomy,
tribadism, and slave-gelding. See also the "Hid\xE1yah," vol. iv.
121; and the famous divine Al-Siy\xFAti, the last of his school,
wrote a tractate Fi 'l-Tahr\xEDmi Khidmati 'l-Khisy\xE1n=on the
illegality of using eunuchs. Yet the Harem perpetuated the
practice throughout AI-Islam and African jealousy made a gross
abuse of it. To quote no other instance, the Sultan of D\xE1r-For
had a thousand eunuchs under a Malik or king, and all the chief
offices of the empire, such as Ab (father) and B\xE1b (door), were
monopolised by these neutrals. The centre of supply was the Upper
Nile, where the operation was found dangerous after the age of
fifteen, and when badly performed only one in four survived. For
this reason, during the last century the Coptic monks of Girgah
and Zawy al-Dayr, near Assiout, engaged in this scandalous
traffic, and declared that it was philanthropic to operate
scientifically (Prof. Panuri and many others). Eunuchs are now
made in the Sud\xE1n, Nubia, Abyssinia, Kordof\xE1n, and D\xE1r-For,
especially the Messalmiyah district: one of those towns was
called "Taw\xE1shah" (eunuchry) from the traffic there conducted by
Fukah\xE1 or religious teachers. Many are supplied by the district
between Majarah (Majarash?) and the port Masawwah; there are also
dep\xF4ts at Mbadr, near Tajurrah-harbour, where Yusuf Bey, Governor
in 1880, caponised some forty boys, including the brother of a
hostile African chief: here also the well-known Abu Bakr was
scandalously active. It is calculated that not less than eight
thousand of these unfortunates are annually exported to Arabia,
Egypt, and Turkey. Article IV. of the AngIo-Egyptian Convention
punishes the offense with death, and no one would object to
hanging the murderer under whose mutilating razor a boy dies. Yet
this, like most of our modern "improvements" in Egypt, is a mere
brutum fulmen. The crime is committed under our very eyes, but we
will not see it.

The Romans numbered three kinds of eunuchs:\x971. Castrati,
clean-shaved, from Gr. {k\xE9stros}; 2. Spadones, from {sp\xE1oo}, when the
testicles are torn out, not from "Spada," town of Persia; and, 3.
Thlibii, from {thliboo}, to press, squeeze, when the testicles are
bruised, &c. In the East also, as I have stated (v. 46), eunuchs
are of three kinds:\x971. Sandali, or the clean-shaved, the
classical apocopus. The parts are swept off by a single cut of a
razor, a tube (tin or wooden) is set in the urethra, the wound is
cauterised with boiling oil, and the patient is planted in a
fresh dunghill. His diet is milk; and if under puberty, he often
survives. This is the eunuque aqueduc, who must pass his water
through a tube. 2. The eunuch whose penis is removed: he retains
all the power of copulation and procreation without the
wherewithal; and this, since the discovery of caoutchouc, has
often been supplied. 3. The eunuch, or classical Thlibias and
Semivir, who has been rendered sexless by removing the testicles
(as the priests of Cybele were castrated with a stone knife), or
by bruising (the Greek Thl\xE1sias), twisting, searing, or bandaging
them. A more humane process has lately been introduced: a
horsehair is tied round the neck of the scrotum and tightened by
slow degrees till the circulation of the part stops and the bag
drops off without pain. This has been adopted in sundry Indian
regiments of Irregular Cavalry, and it succeeded admirably: the
animals rarely required a day's rest. The practice was known to
the ancients. See notes on Kad\xEDsah in Mirabeau. The Eunuchata
virgo was invented by the Lydians, according to their historian
Xanthus. Zachias (Quaest. medico-legal.) declares that the
process was one of infibulation or simple sewing up the vulva;
but modern experience has suggested an operation like the
"spaying" of bitches, or mutilation of the womb, in modern
euphuism "baby-house." Dr. Robert ("Journey from Delhi to Bombay,
M\xFCller's Archiv. 1843") speaks of a eunuch'd woman who after
ovariotomy had no breasts, no pubes, no rotundities, and no
desires. The Australians practice exsection of the ovaries
systematically to make women barren. Miklucho Maclay learned from
the traveller Retsch that about Lake Parapitshurie men's urethras
were split, and the girls were spayed: the latter showing two
scars in the groin. They have flat bosoms, but feminine forms,
and are slightly bearded; they mix with the men, whom they
satisfy mechanically, but without enjoyment (?). MacGillivray, of
the "Rattlesnake," saw near Cape York a woman with these scars:
she was a surdo-mute, and had probably been spayed to prevent
increase. The old Scandinavians, from Norway to Iceland,
systematically gelded "sturdy vagrants" in order that they might
not beget bastards. The Hottentots before marriage used to cut
off the left testicle, meaning by such semi-castration to prevent
the begetting of twins. This curious custom, mentioned by the
Jesuit Tochard, Boeving, and Kolbe, is now apparently obsolete\x97
at least, the traveller Fritsch did not find it.

[FN#156]  Arab. "Har\xE1m"="forbidden," sinful.

[FN#157]  In Chavis and Cazotte, who out-galland'd Galland in
transmogrifying the Arabic, this is the "Story of Illage
(AI-H\xE1jj) Mahomet and his sons; or, the Imprudent Man." The tale
occurs in many forms and with great modifications. See, for
instance, the Gesta Romanorum "Of the miraculous recall of
sinners and of the consolation which piety offers to the
distressed," the adventures of the knight Placidus, vol. ii. 99.
Charles Swan, London. Rivington, 1824.

[FN#158]  i.e. For fear of the "eye"; see vol. i. 123 and passim.
In these days the practice is rare; but, whenever you see at
Cairo an Egyptian dame daintily dressed and leading by the hand a
grimy little boy whose eyes are black with flies and whose dress
is torn and unclean, you see what has taken its place. And if you
would praise the brat you must not say "Oh, what a pretty boy!"
but "Inshallah!"\x97the Lord doth as he pleaseth.

[FN#159]  The adoption of slave lads and lasses was and is still
common among Moslems.

[FN#160]  I have elsewhere noted this "pathetic fallacy" which is
a lieu commun of Eastern folk-lore and not less frequently used
in the medi\xE6val literature of Europe before statistics were

[FN#161]  Arab. "Yaskut min 'Aynayh," lit.=fall from his two
eyes, lose favour.

[FN#162]  i.e. killing a man.

[FN#163]  i.e. we can slay him whenever we will.

[FN#164]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Abosaber the Patient."
"Ab\xFA-S\xE1bir" would mean "Father of the Patient (one)."

[FN#165]  Arab. "Dihk\xE1n," in Persian a villager; but here
something more, a village-elder or chief. Al-Mas'udi (chap.
xxiv.), and other historians apply the term to a class of noble
Persians descended from the ten sons of Wahkert, the
first "Dihk\xE1n," the fourth generation from King Kayomars.

[FN#166]  Reminding one not a little of certain anecdotes anent
Quakers, current in England and English-speaking lands.

[FN#167]  Arab. "Karyah," a word with a long history. The root
seems to be Karaha, he met; in Chald. Karih and K\xE1ria (emphatic
K\xE1rita)=a town or city; and in Heb. Kirjath, Kiry\xE1thayim, etc. We
find it in Carthage= Kart\xE1 h\xE1disah, or New Town as opposed to
Utica (At\xEDkah)=Old Town; in Carchemish and in a host of similar
compounds. In Syria and Egypt Kariyah, like Kafr, now means a
hamlet, a village.

[FN#168]  i.e. wandering at a venture.

[FN#169]  Arab. "Sakhrah," the old French Corv\xE9e, and the "Beg\xE1r"
of India.

[FN#170]  Arab. "Matm\xFArah:" see vol. ii. 39, where it was used as
an "underground cell." The word is extensively used in the
Maghrib or Western Africa.

[FN#171]  Arab. "Y\xE1 Ab\xE1 S\xE1bir." There are five vocative particles
in Arabic; "Y\xE1," common to the near and far; "Ay\xE1" (ho!) and
"Hay\xE1" (holla!) addressed to the far, and "Ay" and "A"
(A-'Abda-ll\xE1hi, O Abdullah), to those near. All govern the
accusative of a noun in construction in the literary language
only; and the vulgar use none but the first named. The
English-speaking races neglect the vocative particle, and I never
heard it except in the Southern States of the AngloAmerican
Union=Oh, Mr. Smith.

[FN#172]  He was not honest enough to undeceive them; a neat
Quaker-like touch.

[FN#173]  Here the oath is justified; but the reader will have
remarked that the name of Allah is often taken in vain. Moslems,
however, so far from holding this a profanation deem it an
acknowledgment of the Omnipotence and Omnipresence. The Jews from
whom the Christians have borrowed had an interest in concealing
the name of their tribal divinity; and therefore made it

[FN#174]  i.e. the grave, the fosse commune of slain men.

[FN#175]  A fancy name; "Zawash" in Pers. is =      the planet
Jupiter, either borrowed from Greece, or both descended from some
long forgotten ancestor.

[FN#176]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Bhazad (!) the
Impatient." The name is Persian, Bih (well, good) Z\xE1d (born). In
the adj. bih we recognize a positive lost in English and German
which retain the comparative (bih-tar = better) and superlative

[FN#177]  i.e. the moiety kept by the bridegroom, a contingent
settlement paid at divorce or on the death of the husband.

[FN#178]  Arab. "Rumh"=the horseman's lance not the footman's

[FN#179]  i.e. became a highwayman (a time-honoured and
honourable career) in order to collect money for completing the

[FN#180]  i.e. to the bride, the wedding-day; not to be
confounded with "going in unto" etc.

[FN#181]  Probably meaning that she saw the eyes espying through
the crevice without knowing whose they were.

[FN#182]  A fancy name intended to be Persian

[FN#183]  i.e. thy Harem, thy women.

[FN#184]  i.e. thy life hath been unduly prolonged.

[FN#185]  See Chavis and Cazotte, "Story of Ravia (Arw\xE0!) the
Resigned." D\xE1db\xEDn (Persian) = one who looks to justice, a name
hardly deserved in this case.

[FN#186]  For this important province and city of Persia, see
Al-Mas'\xFAdi, ii. 2; iv. 86, etc. It gave one of many names to
the Caspian Sea. The adjective is Tabari, whereas Tabar\xE1ni = native
of Tiberias (Tabariyah).

[FN#187]  Zor-kh\xE1n = Lord Violence, and K\xE1r-d\xE1n = Business-knower;
both Persian.

[FN#188]  "Arw\xE0" written with a terminal of y\xE1 is a woman's P.N.
in Arabic.

[FN#189]  i.e. Not look down upon me with eyes of contempt. This
"marrying below one" is still an Eastern idea, very little known
to women in the West.

[FN#190]  Chavis and Cazotte call the Dabb\xFAs a "dabour" and
explain it as a "sort of scepter used by Eastern Princes, which
serves also as a weapon." For the Dabb\xFAs, or mace, see vol. vi.

[FN#191]  i.e. Let thy purposes be righteous as thine outward

[FN#192]  See vol. vi. 130. This is another lieu commun amongst
Moslems; and its unfact requires only statement.

[FN#193]  Afterwards called his "chamberlain," i.e. guardian of
the Harem-door.

[FN#194]  i.e. Chosro\xEBs, whom Chavis and Cazotte make "Cyrus."

[FN#195]  Arab. "T\xE1kiyah," used for the Persian Takhtraw\xE1n,
common in The Nights.

[FN#196]  Arab. "Kubbah," a dome-shaped tent, as elsewhere.

[FN#197]  This can refer only to Abu al-Khayr's having been put
to death on Kardan's charge, although the tale-teller, with
characteristic inconsequence, neglected to mention the event.

[FN#198]  Not referring to skull sutures, but to the forehead,
which is poetically compared with a page of paper upon which
Destiny writes her irrevocable decrees.

[FN#199]  Said in the grimmest earnest, not jestingly, as in vol.
iv. 264.

[FN#200]  i.e. the lex talionis, which is the essence of Moslem,
and indeed, of all criminal jurisprudence. We cannot wonder at
the judgment of Queen Arwa: even Confucius, the mildest and most
humane of lawgivers, would not pardon the man who allowed his
father's murderer to live. The Moslem lex talionis (Koran ii.
173) is identical with that of the Jews (Exod. xxi. 24), and the
latter probably derives from immemorial usage. But many modern
Rabbins explain away the Mosaical command as rather a demand for
a pecuniary mulct than literal retaliation. The well-known Isaac
Aburbanel cites many arguments in proof of this position: he
asks, for instance, supposing the accused have but one eye,
should he lose it for having struck out one of another man's two?
Moreover, he dwells upon the impossibility of inflicting a
punishment the exact equivalent of the injury; like Shylock's
pound of flesh without drawing blood. Moslems, however, know
nothing of these frivolities, and if retaliation be demanded the
judge must grant it. There is a legend in Marocco of an English
merchant who was compelled to forfeit tooth for tooth at the
instance of an old woman, but a profitable concession gilded the

[FN#201]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Bhazmant (!); or the
Confident Man." "Bakht (-i-) Zam\xE1n" in Pers. would=Luck of the

[FN#202]  Chavis and Cazotte change the name to "Abadid," which,
like "Khad\xEDd\xE1n," is nonsignificant.

[FN#203]  Arab. "F\xE1ris," here a Reiter, or Dugald Dolgetti, as
mostly were the hordes led by the medi\xE6val Italian Condottieri.

[FN#204]  So Napoleon the Great also believed that Providence is
mostly favorable to "gros bataillons."

[FN#205]  Pers. and Arab.="Good perfection."

[FN#206]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Baharkan." Bihkard (in
Shiraz pronounced "Kyard")="Well he did."

[FN#207]  See "Katr\xFA" in the Introduction to the Bakhtiy\xE1r-n\xE1mah.

[FN#208]  The text has "Jaukal\xE1n" for Saulaj\xE1n, the Persian
"Chaug\xE1n"=the crooked bat used in Polo. See vol. 1. 46.

[FN#209]  Amongst Moslems, I have noted, circumstantial evidence
is not lawful: the witness must swear to what he has seen. A
curious consideration, how many innocent men have been hanged by
"circumstantial evidence." See vol. v. 97.

[FN#210]  In Chavis and Cazotte "Story of Abattamant (!), or the
Prudent Man;" also Ayl\xE1n Shah becomes Olensa after Italian

[FN#211]  In Arab. idiom a long hand or arm means power, a phrase
not wholly unused in European languages. Chavis and Cazotte
paraphrase "He who keeps his hands crossed upon his breast, shall
not see them cut off."

[FN#212]  Arab. "Jama'a atr\xE1fah," lit.=he drew in his
extremities, it being contrary to "etiquette" in the presence of
a superior not to cover hands and feet. In the wild Argentine
Republic the savage Gaucho removes his gigantic spurs when coming
into the presence of his master.

[FN#213]  About the equivalent to the Arab. or rather Egypto-
Syrian form "Jiddan," used in the modern slang sense.

[FN#214]  i.e. that he become my son-in-law.

[FN#215]  For the practice of shampooing often alluded to in The
Nights, see vol. iii. 17. The king "sleeping on the boys' knees"
means that he dropped off whilst his feet were on the laps of the

[FN#216]  Meaning the honour of his Harem.

[FN#217]  Pardon, lit.=security; the cry for quarter already
introduced into English

          "Or raise the craven cry Aman."

It was Mohammed's express command that this prayer for mercy
should be respected even in the fury of fight. See vol. i. 342.

[FN#218]  A saying found in every Eastern language beginning with
Hebrew; Proverbs xxvi. 27, "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall

[FN#219]  i.e. a domed tomb where prayers and perlections of the
Koran could be made. "Kubbah" in Marocco is still the term for a
small square building with a low medianaranja cupola under which
a Santon lies interred. It is the "little Waly" of our "blind
travellers" in the unholy "Holy Land."

[FN#220]  i.e. to secure her assistance in arousing the king's

[FN#221]  i.e. so slow to avenge itself.

[FN#222]  Story of Sultan Hebriam (!), and his Son" (Chavis and
Cazotte). Unless they greatly enlarged upon the text, they had a
much fuller copy than that found in the Bresl. Edit.

[FN#223]  A right kingly king, in the Eastern sense of the word,
would strike off their heads for daring to see omens threatening
his son and heir: this would be constructive treason of the
highest because it might be expected to cause its own fulfilment.

[FN#224]  Mohammed's Had\xEDs "Kazzib\xFA 'l-Munajjim\xFAna bi Rabbi
'I-Ka'abah"=the Astrologers lied, by the Ka'abah's Lord!

[FN#225]  Arab. "Khaw\xE1t\xEDn," plur. of Kh\xE1t\xFAn, a matron, a lady,
vol. iv. 66.

[FN#226]  See Al-Mas'udi, chapt. xvii. (Fr. Transl. ii. 48-49) of
the circular cavity two miles deep and sixty in circuit inhabited
by men and animals on the Caucasus near Derbend.

[FN#227]  Arab. "Nafas" lit.=breath. Arabs living in a land of
caverns know by experience the danger of asphyxiation in such

[FN#228]  This simple tale is told with much pathos not of words
but of sense.

[FN#229]  Arab. "Ajal" = the appointed day of death; also used for
sudden death. See vol. i. 74.

[FN#230]  i.e. the Autumnal Equinox, one of the two great
festival days (the other being the New Year) of the Persians, and
surviving in our Michaelmas. According to Al-Mas'ud\xED (chap.
xxi.), it was established to commemorate the capture of Zahh\xE1k
(Azhi-Dah\xE1ka), the biting snake (the Hindu Ahi) of night and
darkness, the Greek Astyages, by Furaydun or Feridun. Prof. Sayce
(Principles of Comparative Philology, p. 11) connects the latter
with the Vedic deity Trita, who harnessed the Sun-horse (Rig. v.
i. 163, 2, 3), the {tritog\xE9neia} of Homer, a title of Athene, the
Dawn-goddess, and Burnouf proved the same Trita to be Thra\xE9taona,
son of Athwya, of the Avesta, who finally became Furayd\xFAn, the
Greek Kyrus. See vol. v. 1.

[FN#231]  In Chavis and Cazotte, "Story of Selimansha and his

[FN#232]  Arab. for Pers. Pahluw\xE1n (from Pahlau) a brave, a
warrior, an athlete, applied in India to a champion in any
gymnastic exercise, especially in wrestling. The Frenchman calls
him "Balavan"; and the Bresl. text in more than one place (p.
312) calls him "Bahw\xE1n."

[FN#233]  i.e. King (Arab.) King (Persian): we find also Sultan
Malik Shah=King King King.

[FN#234]  Arab. "Aul\xE1d-\xED," a vulgarism, plural for dual.

[FN#235]  Mr. Payne translates, "so he might take his father's
leavings" i.e. heritage, reading "\xC1s\xE1r" which I hold to be a
clerical error for S\xE1r=Vendetta, blood revenge (Bresl. Edit. vi.

[FN#236]  Arab. "Al-'\xC1s\xED" the pop. term for one who refuses to
obey a constituted authority and syn. with Pers. "Y\xE1gh\xED." "Ant
'\xC1s\xED?" Wilt thou not yield thyself? says a policeman to a
refractory Fellah.

[FN#237]  i.e. of the Greeks: so in Kor. xxx. 1. "Alif Lam Mim,
the Greeks (Al-Roum) have been defeated." Mr. Rodwell curiously
remarks that "the vowel-points for 'defeated' not being
originally written, would make the prophecy true in either event,
according as the verb received an active or passive sense in
pronunciation." But in discovering this mare's nest, a rank piece
of humbug like Aio te Aeacida, etc., he forgets that all the
Prophet's "Companions," numbering some 5000, would pronounce it
only in one way and that no man could mistake "ghalabat" (active)
for "ghulibat" (passive).

[FN#238]  The text persistently uses "J\xE1riyah"=damsel,
slave-girl, for the politer "Sabiyah"=young lady, being written
in a rude and uncourtly style.

[FN#239]  So our familiar phrase "Some one to back us."

[FN#240]  Arab. "'Akkada lahu r\xE1y," plur. of r\xE1yat, a banner. See
vol. iii. 307.

[FN#241]  i.e. "What concern hast thou with the king's health?"
The question is offensively put.

[FN#242]  Arab. "Masalah," a question; here an enigma.

[FN#243]  Arab. "Liall\xE1" (i.e. li, an, l\xE1) lest; but printed here
and elsewhere with the y\xE1 as if it were "laylan,"=for a single

[FN#244]  i.e. if my death be fated to befal to-day, none may
postpone it to a later date.

[FN#245]  Arab. "Dust\xED": so the ceremony vulgarly called "Doseh"
and by the ItaloEgyptians "Dosso," the riding over disciples'
backs by the Shaykh of the Sa'diyah Darwayshes (Lane M.E. chapt.
xxv.) which took place for the last time at Cairo in 1881.

[FN#246]  In Chavis and Cazotte she conjures him "by the great
Maichonarblatha Sarsourat" (M\xEDat wa arba'at ashar S\xFArat)=the 114
chapters of the Alcoran.

[FN#247]  I have noted that Moslem law is not fully satisfied
without such confession which, however, may be obtained by the
bastinado. It is curious to compare English procedure with what
Moslem would be in such a case as that of the famous Tichborne
Claimant. What we did need hardly be noticed. An Arab judge would
in a case so suspicious at once have applied the stick and in a
quarter of an hour would have settled the whole business; but
then what about the "Devil's own," the lawyers and lawyers' fees?
And he would have remarked that the truth is not less true
because obtained by such compulsory means.

[FN#248]  The Hudhud, so called from its cry "Hood! Hood!" It is
the Lat. upupa, Gr. {\xE9pops} from its supposed note epip or upup; the
old Egyptian Kukufa; Heb. Dukiphath and Syriac Kikuph\xE1 (Bochart
Hierozoicon, part ii. 347). The Spaniards call it Gallo de Marzo
(March-Cock) from its returning in that month, and our old
writers "lapwing" (Deut. xiv. 18). This foul-feeding bird derives
her honours from chapt. xxvii. of the Koran (q.v.), the Hudhud
was sharp-sighted and sagacious enough to discover water
underground which the devils used to draw after she had marked
the place by her bill.

[FN#249]  Here the vocative Y\xE1 is designedly omitted in poetical
fashion (e.g., Khal\xEDliyya\x97my friend!) to show the speaker's
emotion. See p. 113 of Captain A. Lockett's learned and curious
work the "Miet Amil" (=Hundred Regimens), Calcutta, 1814.

[FN#250]  The story-teller introduces this last instance with
considerable art as a preface to the d\xE9nouement.

[FN#251]  See Chavis and Cazotte "Story of the King of Haram and
the slave."

[FN#252]  i.e. men caught red-handed.

[FN#253]  Arab. "Libwah," one of the multitudinous names for the
king of beasts, still used in Syria where the animal has been
killed out, soon to be followed by the bear (U. Syriacus). The
author knows that lions are most often found in couples.

[FN#254]  Arab. "Himy\xE1n or Hamy\xE1n," = a girdle.

[FN#255]  As he would kiss a son. I have never yet seen an
Englishman endure these masculine kisses, formerly so common in
France and Italy, without showing clearest signs of his disgust.

[FN#256]  A cheap way of rewarding merit, not confined to Eastern
monarchs, but practised by all contemporary Europe.

[FN#257]  Arab. "Kasf," = houghing a camel so as to render it
helpless. The passage may read, "we are broken to bits (Kis\xED) by
our own sin."

[FN#258]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 251-4, Night dlxv.

[FN#259]  See vol. vi. 175. A Moslem should dress for public
occasions, like the medi\xE6val student, in vestibus (quasi) nigris
aut subfuscis; though not, except amongst the Abbasides,
absolutely black, as sable would denote Jewry.

[FN#260]  A well-known soldier and statesman, noted for piety and
austerity. A somewhat fuller version of this story, from which I
have borrowed certain details, is given in the Biographical
Dictionary of Ibn Khallik\xE1n (i. 303-4). The latter, however,
calls the first Abd al-Malik "Ibn Bahr\xE1n" (in the index Ibn
Bahr\xE1m), which somewhat spoils the story. "Ibn Khallikan,"
by-the-by, is derived popularly from "Khalli" (let go), and
"K\xE1na" (it was, enough), a favourite expression of the author,
which at last superseded his real name, Abu al-Abb\xE1s Ahmad. He is
better off than the companion nicknamed by Mohammed Ab\xFA
Horayrah = Father of the She-kitten (not the cat), and who in
consequence has lost his true name and pedigree.

[FN#261]  In Ibn Khallik\xE1n (i. 303) he is called the "Hashimite,"
from his ancestor, Hashim ibn Abd Man\xE1f. The Hashimites and
Abbasides were fine specimens of the Moslem "Pharisee," as he is
known to Christians, not the noble Purushi of authentic history.

[FN#262]  Meaning a cap, but of what shape we ignore. Ibn
Khallikan afterwards calls it a "Kalans\xFAa," a word still applied
to a mitre worn by Christian priests.

[FN#263]  Arab. "L\xE1 baas," equivalent in conversation to our "No
matter," and "All right."

[FN#264]  As a member of the reigning family, he wore black
clothes, that being the especial colour of the Abbasides, adopted
by them in opposition to the rival dynasty of the Ommiades, whose
family colour was white, that of the Fatimites being green.  The
Moslems borrowed their sacred green, "the hue of the Pure," from
the old Nabatheans and the other primitive colours from the tents
of the captains who were thus distinguished.  Hence also amongst
the Turks and Tartars, the White Horde and the Black Horde.

[FN#265]  The word has often occurred, meaning date-wine or
grape-wine.  Ibn Khald\xFAn contends that in Ibn Khallikan it here
means the former.

[FN#266]  £25,000.  Ibn Khallikan (i. 304) makes the debt four
millions of dirhams or £90,000-£100,000.

[FN#267]  In the Biographer occurs the equivalent phrase, "That a
standard be borne over his head."

[FN#268]  Here again we have a suggestion that Ja'afar presumed
upon his favour with the Caliph; such presumption would soon be
reported (perhaps by the aust\xE8re intrigant himself) to the royal
ears, and lay the foundation of ill-will likely to end in utter

[FN#269]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 258-60, Night dlxvii.

[FN#270]  Fourth Abbaside, A.D. 785-786, vol. v. 93.  He was a
fantastic tyrant who was bent upon promoting to the Caliphate his
own son, Ja'afar; he cast Harun into prison and would probably
have slain him but for the intervention of the mother of
the two brothers, Khayzar\xE1n widow of Al-Mahdi, and Yahya the

[FN#271]  Third Abbaside, A.D. 775-785, vol. vii. 136; ix. 334.

[FN#272]  This reminds us of the Bir Al-Kh\xE1tim (Well of the
Signet) at Al-Medinah; in which Caliph Osman during his sixth
year dropped from his finger the silver ring belonging to the
founder of Al-Islam, engraved in three lines with "Mohammed /
Apostle (of) / Allah /."  It had served to sign the letters sent
to neighboring kings and had descended to the first three
successors (Pilgrimage ii. 219).  Mohammed owned three seal-
rings, the golden one he destroyed himself; and the third, which
was of carnelian, was buried with other objects by his heirs.
The late Subhi Pasha used to declare that the latter had been
brought to him with early Moslem coins by an Arab, and when he
died he left it to the Sultan.

[FN#273]  Mr. Payne quotes Al-Tabari's version of this anecdote.
"El-Mehdi had presented his son Haroun with a ruby ring, worth a
hundred thousand dinars, and the latter being one day with his
brother (the then reigning Khalif), El Hadi saw the ring on his
finger and desired it.  So, when Haroun went out from him, he
sent after him, to seek the ring of him.  The Khalif's messenger
overtook Er Reshid on the bridge over the Tigris and acquainted
him with his errand; whereupon the prince, enraged at the demand,
pulled off the ring and threw it into the river.  When El Hadi
died and Er Rashid succeeded to the throne, he went with his
suite to the bridge in question and bade his Vizier Yehya ben
Khalid send for divers and cause them make search for the
ring.  It had then been five months in the water and no one
believed it would be found.  However, the divers plunged into the
river and found the ring in the very place where he had thrown it
in, whereat Haroun rejoiced with an exceeding joy, regarding it
as a presage of fair fortune."

[FN#274]  Not historically correct.  Al-Rashid made Y\xE1hy\xE0, father
of Ja'afar, his Wazir; and the minister's two sons, Fazl and
Ja'afar, acted as his lieutenants for seventeen years from A.D.
786 till the destruction of the Barmecides in A.D. 803.  The
tale-teller quotes Ja'afar because he was the most famous of the

[FN#275]  Perhaps after marrying Ja'afar to his sister.  But the
endearing name was usually addressed to Ja'afar's elder brother
Fazl, who was the Caliph's foster-brother.

[FN#276]  Read seventeen:  all these minor inaccuracies tend to
invalidate the main statement.

[FN#277]  Arab.  "Yar'ad" which may mean "thundereth."  The dark
saying apparently means, Do good whilst thou art in power and
thereby strengthen thyself.

[FN#278]  The lady seems to have made the first advances and Bin
Ab\xFA H\xE1jilah quotes a sixaine in which she amorously addresses her
spouse.  See D'Herbelot, s.v. Abbassa.

[FN#279]  The tale-teller passes with a very light hand over the
horrors of a massacre which terrified and scandalised the then
civilised world, and which still haunt Moslem history.  The
Caliph, like the eking, can do no wrong; and, as Viceregent of
Allah upon Earth, what would be deadly crime and mortal sin in
others becomes in his case an ordinance from above.  These
actions are superhuman events and fatal which man must not judge
nor feel any sentiment concerning them save one of mysterious
respect.  For the slaughter of the Barmecides, see my Terminal
Essay, vol. x.

[FN#280]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 260-1, Night dlxviii.

[FN#281]  Ibn al-Samm\xE1k (Son of the fisherman or fishmonger),
whose name was Ab\xFA al-Abb\xE1s Mohammed bin Sab\xEDh, surnamed Al-
Mazk\xFAr (Ibn al-Athir says Al-Muzakkar), was a native of Kufah
(where he died in A.H. 183 = 799-80), a preacher and professional
tale-teller famed as a stylist and a man of piety.  Al-Siyuti (p.
292) relates of him that when honoured by the Caliph with
courteous reception he said to him, "Thy humility in thy
greatness is nobler than thy greatness."  He is known to have
been the only theologician who, ex cathedrâ, promised Al-Rashid a
place in Paradise.

[FN#282]  Bresl. Edit., vol. vii. pp. 261-2, Night dlxviii.

[FN#283]  Seventh Abbaside, A.H. 198-227 = 813-842.  See vol. iv.
109.  He was a favourite with his father, who personally taught
him tradition; but he offended the Faithful by asserting the
creation of the Koran, by his leaning to Shi'ah doctrine, and by
changing the black garments of the Banu Abbas into green.  He
died of a chill at Budandun, a day's march from Tarsus, where he
was buried: for this Podendon =             = stretch out thy
feet, see Al-Siyuti, pp. 326-27.

[FN#284]  Sixth Abbaside, A.D. 809-13.  See vol. v. 93: 152.  He
was of pure Abbaside blood on the father's side and his mother
Zubaydah's.  But he was unhappy in his Wazir Al-Fazl bin Rab\xED,
the intriguer against the Barmecides, who estranged him from his
brothers Al-K\xE1sim and Al-Maam\xFAn.  At last he was slain by a party
of Persians, "who struck him with their swords and cut him
through the nape of his neck and went with his head to Tahir bin
al-Husayn, general to Al-Maam\xFAn, who set it upon a garden-wall
and made proclamation, This is the head of the deposed Mohammed
(Al-Am\xEDn)."  Al-Siyuti, pp. 306-311.  It was remarked by Moslem
annalists that every sixth Abbaside met with a violent death: the
first was this Mohammed al-Amin surnamed Al-Makhl\xFA' = The
Deposed; the second sixth was Al-Musta'\xEDn; and the last was Al-
Muktad\xED bi'll\xE1h.

[FN#285]  Lit.  "Order and acceptance."  See the Tale of the
Sandal-wood Merchant and the Sharpers: vol. vi. 202.

[FN#286]  This is not noticed by Al-Siyuti (p. 318) who says that
his mother was a slave-concubine named Mar\xE1jil who died in giving
him birth.  The tale in the text appears to be a bit of Court
scandal, probably suggested by the darkness of the Caliph's

[FN#287]  Bresl. Edit., vol. viii. pp. 226-9, Nights dclx-i.

[FN#288]  King of the Arab kingdom of Hirah, for whom see vol. v.
74.  This ancient villain rarely appears in such favourable form
when tales are told of him.

[FN#289]  The tribe of the chieftain and poet, H\xE1tim T\xE1\xED, for
whom see vol. iv. 94.

[FN#290]  i.e. I will make a covenant with him before the Lord.
Here the word "Allah" is introduced among the Arabs of The

[FN#291]  i.e. the man of the Tribe of Tay.

[FN#292]  A similar story of generous dealing is told of the
Caliph Omar in The Nights.  See vol. v. 99 et seq.

[FN#293]  Bresl. Edit., vol. viii. pp. 273-8, Nights dclxxv-vi.
In Syria and Egypt Fir\xFAz (the Persian "P\xEDroz") = victorious,
triumphant, is usually pronounced Fayr\xFAz. The tale is a rechauff\xE9
of the King and the Wazir's Wife in The Nights. See vol. vi. 129.

[FN#294]  i.e. I seek refuge with Allah = God forfend.

[FN#295]  Bresl. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 84\x97318, Nights
dccclxxv\x97dccccxxx. Here again the names are Persian, showing the
provenance of the tale; Shah Bakht is=King Luck and Rahw\xE1n is a
corruption of Rahb\xE1n=one who keeps the (right) way; or it may be
Ruhb\xE1n=the Pious. Mr. W. A. Clouston draws my attention to the
fact that this tale is of the Sindibad (Seven Wise Masters) cycle
and that he finds remotely allied to it a Siamese collection,
entitled Nonthuk Pakaranam in which Princess Kankras, to save the
life of her father, relates eighty or ninety tales to the king of
Pataliput (Palibothra). He purposes to discuss this and similar
subjects in extenso in his coming volumes, "Popular Tales and
Fictions: their Migrations and Transformations," to which I look
forward with pleasant anticipations.

[FN#296]  So far this work resembles the Bakhtiy\xE1r-n\xE1meh, in
which the ten Wazirs are eager for the death of the hero who
relates tales and instances to the king, warning him against the
evils of precipitation.

[FN#297]  One pilgrimage (Hajjat al-Islam) is commanded to all
Moslems. For its conditions see The Nights, vol. v. 202, et seq.

[FN#298]  Arab. "Hajj al-Sh\xE1rif." For the expenses of the process
see my Pilgrimage iii. 12. As in all "Holy Places," from Rome to
Benares, the sinner in search of salvation is hopelessly taken in
and fleeced by the "sons of the sacred cities."

[FN#299]  Here a stranger invites a guest who at once accepts the
invitation; such is the freedom between Moslems at Meccah and
Al-Medinah, especially during pilgrimagetime.

[FN#300]  i.e. the master could no longer use her carnally.

[FN#301]  i.e. wantoned it away.

[FN#302]  Here "Al-Hajj"=the company of pilgrims, a common use of
the term.

[FN#303]  The text says, "He went on with the caravan to the
Pilgrimage," probably a clerical error. "Hajj" is never applied
to the Visitation (Ziy\xE1rah) at Al-Medinah.

[FN#304]  Arab. "J\xE1war," that is, he became a muj\xE1wir, one who
lives in or near a collegiate mosque. The Egyptian proverb says,
"He pilgrimaged: quoth one, Yes, and for his villainy lives
(yujawir) at Meccah," meaning that he found no other place bad
enough for him.

[FN#305]  I have often heard of this mysterious art in the East,
also of similarly making rubies and branch-coral of the largest
size; but, despite all my endeavours, I never was allowed to
witness the operation. It was the same with alchemy, which,
however, I found very useful to the "smasher." See my History of
Sindh, chapt. vii.

[FN#306]  Elsewhere in The Nights specified as white woollen

[FN#307]  Whilst she was praying the girl could not address her;
but the use of the rosary is a kind of "parergon."

[FN#308]  Arab. "Y\xE1 H\xE1jjah" (in Egypt pronounced "H\xE1ggeh"), a
polite address to an elderly woman, who is thus supposed to have
"finished her faith."

[FN#309]  Arab. "Kan\xEDsah" (from Kans=sweeping) a pagan temple, a
Jewish synagogue, and especially a Christian church.

[FN#310]  i.e. standeth in prayer or supplication.

[FN#311]  i.e. fell into hysterics, a very common complaint
amongst the highly nervous and excitable races of the East.

[FN#312]  Arab. "Kahram\xE1nah," a word which has often occurred in
divers senses, nurse, duenna, chamberwoman, stewardess, armed
woman defending the Harem, etc.

[FN#313]  Which is supposed to contain the Harem.

[FN#314]  Especially mentioned because the guide very often
follows his charges, especially when he intends to play them an
ugly trick. I had an unpleasant adventure of the kind in
Somaliland; but having the fear of the "Aborigines Protection
Society" before my eyes, refrained from doing more than hinting
at it.

[FN#315]  i.e. otherwise than according to ordinance of Allah.

[FN#316]  A well-known city of lr\xE1k 'Ajam\xED (or Persian).

[FN#317]  i.e. spare pegs and strings, plectra, thumb-guards,

[FN#318]  Arab. "Has\xEDr," the fine matting used for sleeping on
during the hot season in Egypt and Syria.

[FN#319]  i.e. The bed where the "rough and tumble" had taken

[FN#320]  This word, which undoubtedly derives from cuculus,
cogul, cocu, a cuckoo, has taken a queer twist, nor can I explain
how its present meaning arose from a shebird which lays her egg
in a strange nest. Wittol, on the other hand, from Witan, to
know, is rightly applied to one whom La Fontaine calls "cocu et
content," the Arab Dayy\xFAs.

[FN#321]  Arab. "Shabakah," here a net like a fisherman's, which
is hung over the hole in the wall called a shop, during the
temporary absence of the shopkeeper. See my Pilgrimage, i. 100.

[FN#322]  i.e. of which the singer speaks.

[FN#323]  i.e., she found him good at the to-and-fro movement;
our corresponding phrase is "basket-making."

[FN#324]  Arab. "Mu'arris": in vol. i. 338, I derived the word
from 'Ars marriage, like the Germ. Kupplerin. This was a mere
mistake; the root is 'Ars (with a S\xE1d not a S\xEDn) and means a pimp
who shows off or displays his wares.

[FN#325]  Arab. "Akhmitu Ghazla-h\xE1" lit.=thicken her yarn or

[FN#326]  I must again warn the reader that the negative, which
to us appears unnecessary, is emphatic in Arabic.

[FN#327]  i.e. By removing the goods from the "but" to the "ben."
Pilgrimage i. 99.

[FN#328]  Arab. "Tann\xFAr," here the large earthern jar with a
cover of the same material, round which the fire is built.

[FN#329]  Being a musician the hero of the tale was also a

[FN#330]  Here Mr. Payne supplies "Then they returned and sat
down" (apparently changing places). He is quite correct in
characterising the Bresl. Edit. as corrupt and "fearfully
incoherent." All we can make certain of in this passage is that
the singer mistook the Persian for his white slave (Mameluke).

[FN#331]  Arab. "Bazaka," normally used in the sense of spitting;
here the saliva might be applied for facilitating insertion.

[FN#332]  In Persian "\xC1ward o burd,"=brought and bore away, gen.
applied to the movement of the man as in the couplet,

     Chen\xEDn burd o \xE1ward o \xE1ward o burd,
     Kih d\xE1yeh pas-i-pardeh zi ghussah murd.

     He so came and went, went and came again,
     That Nurse who lay curtained to faint was fain.

[FN#333]  Alluding to the fighting rams which are described by
every Anglo-Indian traveller. They strike with great force, amply
sufficient to crush the clumsy hand which happens to be caught
between the two foreheads. The animals are sometimes used for F\xE1l
or consulting futurity: the name of a friend is given to one and
that of a foe to the other; and the result of the fight suggests
victory or defeat for the men.

[FN#334]  Arab. "Jauhar"=the jewel, the essential nature of a
substance. Compare M. Alcofribas' "Abstraction of the

[FN#335]  In parts of the Moslem world Al-Jabr=the tyranny, is
the equivalent of what we call "civil law," as opposed to
Al-Shar\xED'ah, or Holy Law, the religious code; Diwan al-Jabr
(Civil Court) being the contrary of the Mahkamah or Kazi's
tribunal. See "First Footsteps in East Africa," p. 126.

[FN#336]  i.e. in offering thee the kingship.

[FN#337]  i.e. "a man of fourscore."

[FN#338]  i.e. outside the city.

[FN#339]  See the conclusion of the story.

[FN#340]  i.e. I have said my say.

[FN#341]  Arab. "Al-Mutabattil," usually=one who forsakes the
world. The Katar\xE1t alNays\xE1n or rain-drops in the month Nays\xE1n
(April) produce pearls when falling into the oyster-shells and
poison in the serpent's mouth. The allusions to them are
innumerable in Persian poetry, and the idea gives rise to a host
of moralities more or less insipid.

[FN#342]  This is the general idea concerning the diamond in all
countries where the gem is dug, but I never heard it of the

[FN#343]  Arab. "Faras," properly a mare; but the writer begins
by using the feminine, and then employs the masculine. It is an
abominable text.

[FN#344]  Arab. "Rutab wa man\xE1zil," may also mean "stations and
mansions (of the moon and planets)." The double entendre was
probably intended.

[FN#345]  Arab. "Za'\xEDf," still a popular word, meaning feeble,
sick, ailing, but especially, weak in venery.

[FN#346]  See the original of this tale in King Al-Af'\xE1:
Al-Mas'udi, chap. xlvi.

[FN#347]  He says this without any sense of shame, coolly as
Horace or Catullus wrote.

[FN#348]  i.e. of the caravan with which he came.

[FN#349]  Arab. "Al-'Adl." In the form of Z\xFA 'adl it = a legal
witness, a man of good repute; in Marocco and other parts of the
Moslem world 'Adul (plur. 'Ud\xFAl) signifies an assessor of the
Kazi, a notary. Padre Lerchundy (loc. cit. p. 345) renders it

[FN#350]  i.e. I would marry thy daughter, not only for her own
sake, but for alliance with thy family.

[FN#351]  i.e. the bride's face.

[FN#352]  The Ghusl or complete ablution after car. cop.

[FN#353]  Thus the girl was made lawful to him as a concubine by
the "loathly ladye," whose good heart redeemed her ill-looks.

[FN#354]  Meaning the poor man and his own daughter.

[FN#355]  Mr. Payne changes the Arab title to the far more
appropriate heading, "Story of the Rich Man and his Wasteful
Son." The tale begins with \xC6sop's fable of the faggot; and
concludes with the "Heir of Linne," in the famous Scotch ballad.
Mr. Clouston refers also to the Persian Tale of Murchlis (The
Sorrowful Wazir); to the Forty Vezirs (23rd Story) to Cinthio and
to sundry old English chap-books.

[FN#356]  Arab. "Tafr\xEDk wa'l-jam'a."

[FN#357]  Arab. "Waf\xE1t" pop. used as death, decease, departure;
but containing the idea of departing to the mercy of Allah and
"paying the debt of nature." It is not so ill-omened a word as
Maut = death.

[FN#358]  i.e. gifts and presents. See vol. iv. 185.

[FN#359]  i.e. Turcomans; presently called S\xEDst\xE1n, for which see
vol. ii. 218.

[FN#360]  In my Pilgrimage (i. 38), I took from Mr. Galton's Art
of Travel, the idea of opening with a lancet the shoulder or
other fleshy part of the body and inserting into it a precious
stone. This was immensely derided by not a few including one who,
then a young man from the country, presently became a Cabinet
Minister. Despite their omniscience, however, the "dodge" is
frequently practised. See how this device was practised by Jeshua
Nazarenus, vol. v. 238.

[FN#361]  Arab. "'Alam," a pile of stones, a flag or some such
landmark. The reader will find them described in "The Sword of
Midian," i. 98, and passim.

[FN#362]  Mr. Clouston refers to the "Miles Gloriosus" (Plautus);
to "Orlando Innamorato" of Berni (the Daughter of the King of the
Distant Isles); to the "Seven Wise Masters" ("The Two Dreams," or
"The Crafty Knight of Hungary"); to his Book of Sindibad, p. 343
ff.; to Miss Busk's Folk-Lore of Rome, p. 399 ("The Grace of the
Hunchback"); to Prof. Crane's "Italian Popular Tales," p. 167,
and "The Elopement," from Pitr\xE8's Sicilian collection.

[FN#363]  In sign of impatience; "Look sharp!"

[FN#364]  i.e. the resemblance of the supposed sister to his
wife. This is a rechauff\xE9 of Kamar al-Zam\xE1n iid.

[FN#365]  This leaving a long lock upon the shaven poll is a very
ancient practice: we find it amongst the old Egyptians. For the
Sh\xFAshah or top-knot of hair, see vol. i. 308. It is differently
worn in the several regions of the Moslem world: the Maroccans of
the R\xEDf country grow it not on the poll but on one side of the
head. As a rule, however, it is confined to boys, and is shaved
off at puberty.

[FN#366]  Suspecting her to be a witch because she was old and
poor. The same was the case in Europe when these unfortunates
were burned during the early part of the last century and even
now the country-folk are often ready to beat or drown them. The
abominable witchcraft acts, which arose from bibliolatry and
belief in obsolete superstitions, can claim as many victims in
"Protestant" countries, England and the Anglo-American States as
the Jesuitical Inquisition.

[FN#367]  It is not easy to make sense of this passage especially
when the Wazir is spoken of.

[FN#368]  This is a rechauff\xE9 of the Sandal-Wood Merchant and the
Sharpers. Vol. vi. 202.

[FN#369]  I have followed Mr. Payne's adaptation of the text as
he makes sense, whilst the Arabic does not. I suppose that the
holes are disposed crosswise.

[FN#370]  i.e. Thy skill is so great that thou wilt undermine my
authority with the king.

[FN#371]  This famous tale is first found in a small collection
of Latin fables (Adolphi Fabul\xE6 apud Leyser Hist. Poet. Medii
\xC6vi, p. 200\x978), beginning

     C\xE6cus erat quidam, cui pulcra virago, etc.

The date is 1315, and Caxton printed it in English in 1483; hence
it was adopted by Boccaccio, Day vii., Novella 9; whence
Chaucer's "Marchaundes Tale": this, by-the-by, was translated by
Pope in his sixteenth or seventeenth year, and christened
"January and May." The same story is inserted in La Fontaine
(Contes, lib. ii., No. 8), "La Gageure des trois Comm\xE8res," with
the normal poirier; and lastly it appears in Wieland's "Oberon,"
canto vi.; where the Fairy King restores the old husband's sight,
and Titania makes the lover on the pear-tree invisible. Mr.
Clouston refers me also to the Bah\xE1r-i-D\xE1nish, or Prime of
Knowledge (Scott's translation, vol. ii., pp. 64\x9768); "How the
Brahman learned the Tirrea Bede"; to the Turkish "Kirk Wazir"
(Forty Wazirs) of the Shaykh-Zadeh (xxivth Wazir's story); to the
"Com\x9Cdia Lydi\xE6," and to Barbazan's "Fabliaux et Contes" t. iii.
p. 451, "La Saineresse," the cupping-woman.

[FN#372]  In the European versions it is always a pear-tree.

[FN#373]  This supernatural agency, ever at hand and ever
credible to Easterns, makes this the most satisfactory version of
the world-wide tale.

[FN#374]  i.e. till next harvest time.

[FN#375]  The "'Ashsh\xE1r," or Tither, is most unpopular in the
Nile-valley as in Wales; and he generally merits his ill-repute.
Tales concerning the villainy of these extortioners abound in
Egypt and Syria. The first step in improvement will be so to
regulate the tithes that the peasants may not be at the mercy of
these "publicans and sinners" who, however, can plead that they
have paid highly for appointment to office and must recoup

[FN#376]  Arab. "'Ammir"=cause to flourish.

[FN#377]  Arab. "Afkah," a better Fak\xEDh or theologian; all Moslem
law being based upon the Koran, the Sayings (Hadis) and Doings
(Sunnat) of the Prophet; and, lastly, the Rasm or immemorial
custom of the country provided that it be not opposed to the
other three.

[FN#378]  If the number represent the days in the Moslem year it
should be 354=6 months of 29 days and the rest of 30).

[FN#379]  The affirmative particle "kad" preceding a verb in the
past gives it a present and at times a future signification.

[FN#380]  A danik, the Persian "D\xE1ng," is one-sixth of a dirham,
i.e. about one penny. See vol. ii. 204.

[FN#381]  It would mightily tickle an Eastern audience to hear of
a Tither being unable to do any possible amount of villainy.

[FN#382]  i.e. The oath of triple divorce which is, I have said,
irrevocable, and the divorc\xE9e may not be taken again by her
husband till her marriage with another man (the Mustahill of The
Nights) has been consummated. See vol. iv., 48.

[FN#383]  i.e. thousandfold cuckold.

[FN#384]  Arab. "Wad\xED'ah" = the blows which the Robber had given

[FN#385]  Arab. "Sindiy\xE1n" (from the Persian) gen. used for the
holm-oak, the Quercus pseudococcifera, vulgarly termed ilex, or
native oak, and forming an extensive scrub in Syria. For this and
other varieties of Quercus, as the Mall\xFAl and the Ball\xFAt, see
Unexplored Syria, i. 68.

[FN#386]  Hibernic\xE8.

[FN#387]  Lit. "In the way of moderation" = at least, at the most
moderate reckoning.

[FN#388]  Arab. "Rasm\xE1l," the vulg. Syrian and Egyptian form of
Raas al-m\xE1l = stock-in-trade.

[FN#389]  Usually a ring or something from his person to show
that all was fair play; here however, it was a watchword.

[FN#390]  Arab. "Ya Mady\xFAbah," prob. a clerical error for
"Mady\xFAnah," alluding to her many debts which he had paid. Here,
however, I suspect the truly Egyptian term "Y\xE1 Many\xFAkah!"=O thou
berogered; a delicate term of depreciation which may be heard a
dozen times a day in the streets of Cairo. It has also a
masculine form, "Y\xE1 Many\xFAk!"

[FN#391]  About=100 lb. Mr. Sayce (Comparative Philol. p. 210)
owns that Mn is old Egyptian but makes it a loan from the
"Semites," like S\xFAs (horse), Sar (prince), Sepet (lip) and
Murcabutha (chariot), and goes to its origin in the Acratan
column, because "it is not found before the times when the
Egyptians borrowed freely from Palestine." But surely it is
premature to draw such conclusion when we have so much still to
learn concerning the dates of words in Egyptian.

[FN#392]  Arab. J\xE1mi'. This anachronism, like many of the same
kind, is only apparent. The faith preached by Sayyidn\xE1 Is\xE0 was
the Islam of his day and dispensation, and it abrogated all other
faiths till itself abrogated by the mission of Mahommed. It is
therefore logical to apply to it terms which we should hold to be
purely Moslem. On the other hand it is not logical to paint the
drop-curtain of the Ober-Ammergau "Miracle-play" with the Mosque
of Omar and the minarets of Al-Islam. I humbly represented this
fact to the mechanicals of the village whose performance brings
them in so large a sum every decade; but Snug, Snout and Bottom
turned up the nose of contempt and looked upon me as a mere
"shallow sceptic."

[FN#393]  Arab. "Tal\xE1mizah," plur. of Tilm\xEDz, a disciple, a young
attendant. The word is Syriac  and there is a
Heb. root  but no Arabic. In the Durrat
al-Ghaww\xE1s, however, Tilm\xEDz, Bilk\xEDs, and similar words are Arabic
in the form of Fa'l\xEDl and Fi'l\xEDl

[FN#394]  R\xFAh Allah, lit.=breath of Allah, attending to the
miraculous conception according to the Moslems. See vol. v. 238.

[FN#395]  Readers will kindly pronounce this word "Sahr\xE1" not

[FN#396]  Mr. Clouston refers for analogies to this tale to his
"Oriental Sources of some of Chaucer's Tales" (Notes and Queries,
1885\x9786), and he finds the original of The Pardoner's Tale in one
of the J\xE1takas or Buddhist Birth-stories entitled Vedabbha
Jataka. The story is spread over all Europe; in the Cento Novelle
Antiche; Morlini; Hans Sachs, etc. And there are many Eastern
versions, e.g. a Persian by Far\xEDd al-D\xEDn "'Attar" who died at a
great age in A.D. 1278; an Arabic version in The Orientalist
(Kandy, 1884); a Tibetan in Rollston's Tibetan Tales; a
Cashmirian in Knowles' Dict. of Kashm\xEDr\xED Proverbs, etc., etc.,

[FN#397]  Arab. "'Aw\xE1n" lit.=aids, helpers; the "Aun of the Jinn"
has often occurred.

[FN#398]  i.e. the peasant.

[FN#399]  i.e. those serving on the usual feudal tenure; and
bound to suit and service for their fiefs.

[FN#400]  i.e. the yearly value of his fief.

[FN#401]  i.e. men who paid taxes.

[FN#402]  Arab. "Ras\xE1t\xEDk" plur. of Rust\xE1k. See vol. vi. 289.

[FN#403]  This adventure is a rechauff\xE9 of Amjad's adventure
(vol. iii. 333) without, however, its tragic catastrophe.

[FN#404]  The text is so concise as to be enigmatical. The house
was finely furnished for a feast, as it belonged to the Man who
was lavish, etc.

[FN#405]  Arab. "Khubz Sam\xEDz;" the latter is the Arabisation of
the Pers. Sam\xEDd, fine white bread, simnel, Germ. semmel.

[FN#406]  The text has "Bak\xFAl\xE1t"=pot-herbs; but it is probably a
clerical error for "Bakl\xE1w\xE1t." See vol. ii. 311.

[FN#407]  Egyptian-like he at once calls upon Allah to witness a
lie and his excuse would be that the lie was well-intentioned.

[FN#408]  i.e. The private bagnio which in old days every grand
house possessed.

[FN#409]  This is a fancy title, but it suits the tale better
than that in the text (xi. 183) "The Richard who lost his wealth
and his wits." Mr. Clouston refers to similar stories in
Sacchetti and other early Italian novelists.

[FN#410]  Arab. "Al-Muwaswis": for "Wisw\xE1s" see vol. i. 106. This
class of men in stories takes the place of our "cunning idiot,"
and is often confounded with the Saud\xE1wi, the melancholist

[FN#411]  Arab. "Hamhama," an onomap\x9Cic, like our hum, hem, and

[FN#412]  Arab. "Barniyah," a vessel either of glass or pottery
like that in which the manna was collected (Exod. xvi. 33).

[FN#413]  A hasty man, as Ghazb\xE1n=an angry man.

[FN#414]  The Bresl. Edit. misprint. "Khablas" in more places
than one, now with a S\xEDn, then with a S\xE1d. Khalbas suggests
"Khalb\xFAs," a buffoon, for which see vol. ii. 143. In Egypt,
however, the latter generally ends in a Sad (see Lane's
"Khalboos," M. E. chap. xxvii).

[FN#415]  This story is a rechauff\xE9 of the Jewish Kazi and his
pious wife; see vol. v. 256.

[FN#416]  The Arab form of "Naysh\xE1p\xFAr"=reeds of (King) Shap\xFAr:
see vol. ix. 230.

[FN#417]  Arab. "Al\xE0 Tar\xEDk al-Satr wa al-Sal\xE1mah," meaning that
each other's wives did not veil before their brothers-in-law as
is usually done. It may also mean that they were under Allah's
protection and in best of condition.

[FN#418]  i.e. he dared not rape her.

[FN#419]  i.e. her "yes" meant "yes" and her "no" meant "no."

[FN#420]  "Ignorance" (Jahl) may, here and elsewhere, mean
wickedness, forwardness, folly, vicious folly or uncalled-for
wrath. Here Arabic teaches a good lesson, for ignorance,
intemperance and egoism are, I repeat, the roots of all evil.

[FN#421]  So Mohammed said of a child born in adultery "The babe
to the blanket (i.e. let it be nursed and reared) and the
adultress to the stone."

[FN#422]  Arab. "Wa h\xE1," etc., an interjection corresponding with
the Syriac "ho" lo! (i.e., look) behold! etc.

[FN#423]  This paragraph is supplied by Mr. Payne: something of
the kind has evidently fallen out of the Arab text.

[FN#424]  i.e. in the presence of witnesses, legally.

[FN#425]  Lit. a myriad, ten thousand dirhams. See vol. iv. 281.

[FN#426]  The fire was intended to defend the mother and babe
from Jinns, bad spirits, the evil eye, etc. Romans lit candles in
the room of the puerpara; hence the goddess Candelifera, and the
term Candelaria applied to the B.V. In Brand's Popular
Antiquities (ii. 144) we find, "Gregory mentions an ordinary
superstition of the old wives who dare not trust a child in a
cradle by itself alone without a candle;" this was for fear of
the "night-hag" (Milton, P. L., ii. 662). The same idea prevailed
in Scotland and in Germany: see the learned Liebrecht (who
translated the Pentamerone) "Zur Volkskunde," p. 31. In Sweden if
the candle go out, the child may be carried off by the Trolls
(Weckenstedt, Wendische Sagen, p. 446). The custom has been
traced to the Malay peninsula, whither it was probably imported
by the Hindus or the Moslems, and amongst the Tajiks in Bokhara.
For the Hindu practice, see Katha S. S. 305, and Prof. Tawney's
learned note analysed above.

[FN#427]  Arab. "K\xE1hinah," fem. of K\xE1hin (Cohen): see Kah\xE1nah,
vol. i. 28.

[FN#428]  i.e. for a long time, as has been before explained.

[FN#429]  i.e. at his service. Arabia was well provided with
Hetair\xE6 and public women long before the days of Al-Islam.

[FN#430]  Arab. "Athar"=sign, mark, trail.

[FN#431]  i.e. Persia. See vol. v. 26.

[FN#432]  Arab. "'Ak\xE1k\xEDr" plur. of 'Akk\xE1r prop.=aromatic roots;
but applied to vulgar drugs or simples, as in the Tale of the
Sage Duban, i. 46.

[FN#433]  Arab. "Si'at rizki-h" i.e., the ease with which he
earned his copious livelihood.

[FN#434]  i.e. the ten thousand dirhams of the bond, beside the
unpaid and contingent portion of her "Mahr" or

[FN#435]  Arab. "Al-H\xE1z\xFAr" from Hazr=loquacity, frivolous
garrulity. Every craft in the East has a jargon of its own and
the goldsmith (Zargar) is famed for speaking a language made
unintelligible by the constant insertion of a letter or letters
not belonging to the word. It is as if we rapidly pronounced How
d'ye do=Howth doth yeth doth?

[FN#436]  Arab. "Asm\xE1 al-Adwiyah," such as are contained in
volumes like the "Alf\xE1z al-Adwi-yah" (Nomenclature of Drugs).

[FN#437]  I am compelled to insert a line in order to make sense.

[FN#438]  "Galen," who is considered by Moslems as a kind of
pre-Islamitic Saint; and whom Rabelais (iii. c. 7) calls Le
gentil Falot Galen, is explained by Eustathius as the Serene
{Galen\xF2s} from {gel\xE1oo}=rideo.

[FN#439]  Arab. "S\xE1hah" the clear space before the house as
opposed to the "Bathah" (Span. Patio) the inner court.

[FN#440]  A na\xEFve description of the na\xEFve style of r\xE9clame
adopted by the Eastern Bob Sawyer.

[FN#441]  Which they habitually do, by the by, with an immense
amount of unpleasant detail. See Pilgrimage i. 18.

[FN#442]  The old French name for the phial or bottle in which
the patient's water is sent.

[FN#443]  A descendant from Mohammed, strictly through his
grandson Husayn. See vol. iv. 170.

[FN#444]  Arab. "Al-Fut\xFAh" lit. the victories; a euphemistic term
for what is submitted to the "musculus guineaorum."

[FN#445]  Arab. "Fir\xE1sah" lit. judging the points of a mare
(faras). Of physiognomy, or rather judging by externals, curious
tales are told by the Arabs. In Al-Mas'udi's (chapt. lvi.) is the
original of the camel blind of one eye, etc., which the genius of
Voltaire has made famous throughout Europe.

[FN#446]  I here quote Mr. Payne's note. "Sic in the text; but
the passage is apparently corrupt. It is not plain why a rosy
complexion, blue eyes and tallness should be peculiar to women in
love. Arab women being commonly short, swarthy and blackeyed, the
attributes mentioned appear rather to denote the foreign origin
of the woman; and it is probable, therefore, that this passage
has by a copyist's error, been mixed up with that which relates
to the signs by which the mock physician recognised her
strangerhood, the clause specifying the symptoms of her love-lorn
condition having been crowded out in the process, an accident of
no infrequent occurrence in the transcription of Oriental works."

[FN#447]  Most men would have suspected that it was her lover.

[FN#448]  The sumptuary laws, compelling for instance the Jews to
wear yellow turbans, and the Christians to carry girdles date
from the Capture of Jerusalem in A.D. 636 by Caliph Omar. See
vol. i. 77; and Terminal Essay § 11.

[FN#449]  i.e. Our Sunday: the Jewish week ending with the
Sabbath (Saturday). I have already noted this term for Saturn's
day, established as a God's rest by Commandment No. iv. How it
lost its honours amongst Christians none can say: the text in
Col. ii. 16, 17, is insufficient to abolish an order given with
such pomp and circumstance to, and obeyed, so strictly and
universally by, the Hebrews, including the Founder of
Christianity. The general idea is that the Jewish Sabbath was
done away with by the Christian dispensation (although Jesus kept
it with the usual scrupulous care), and that sundry of the
Councils at Coloss\xE6 and Laodicea anathematised those who observed
the Saturday after Israelitish fashion. With the day its object
changed; instead of "keeping it holy," as all pious Jews still
do, the early Fathers converted it into the "Feast of the
Resurrection," which could not be kept too joyously. The
"Sabbatismus" of the Sabbatarian Protestant who keeps holy the
wrong day is a marvellous perversion and the Sunday feast of
France, Italy, and Catholic countries generally is far more
logical than the mortification day of England and the so-called
Reformed countries.

[FN#450]  Har\xE1is, plur. of Har\xEDsah: see vol. i. 131.

[FN#451]  It would have been cooked on our Thursday night, or the
Jewish Friday night and would be stale and indigestible on the
next day.

[FN#452]  Marw (Margiana), which the Turkomans pronounce "Mawr,"
is derived by Bournouf from the Sansk. Maru or Marw; and by Sir
H. Rawlinson from Marz or Marj, the Lat. Margo; Germ. Mark;
English March; Old French Marche and Neo-Lat. Marca. So Marzb\xE1n,
a Warden of the Marches: vol. iii. 256. The adj. is not Mar\xE1z\xED,
as stated in vol. iii. 222; but Marwazi, for which see Ibn
Khallikan, vol. i. p. 7, etc.: yet there are good writers who use
"Mar\xE1z\xED" as R\xE1z\xED for a native of Rayy.

[FN#453]  i.e. native of Rayy city. See vol. iv. 104.

[FN#454]  Normally used for fuel and at times by funny men to be
put into sweetmeats by way of practical joke: these are called
"Nukl-i-Pishkil"=goat-dung bonbons. The tale will remind old
Anglo-Indians of the two Bengal officers who were great at such
"sells" and who "swopped" a spavined horse for a broken-down

[FN#455]  In the text "khan\xE1dik," ditches, trenches; probably (as
Mr. Payne suggests) a clerical or typographical error for
"Fan\xE1dik," inns or caravanserais; the plural of "Funduk" (Span.
Fonda), for which see vol. viii. 184.

[FN#456]  This sentence is supplied by Mr. Payne to remedy the
incoherence of the text. Moslems are bound to see True Believers
decently buried and the poor often beg alms for the funeral. Here
the tale resembles the opening of Hajji Baba by Mr. Morier, that
admirable picture of Persian manners and morals.

[FN#457]  Arab. "Al-ajr" which has often occurred.

[FN#458]  Arab. "Han\xFAt," i.e., leaves of the lotus-tree to be
infused as a wash for the corpse; camphor used with cotton to
close the mouth and other orifices; and, in the case of a wealthy
man, rose-water, musk, ambergris, sandal-wood, and lign-aloes for

[FN#459]  Which always begin with four "Takb\xEDrs" and differ in
many points from the usual orisons. See Lane (M. E. chapt.
xxviii.) who is, however, very superficial upon an intricate and
interesting subject. He even neglects to mention the number of
Ruk'\xE1t (bows) usual at Cairo and the absence of prostration
(suj\xFAd) for which see vol. ii. 10.

[FN#460]  Thus requiring all the ablutional offices to be
repeated. The Shaykh, by handling the corpse, became ceremonially
impure and required "Wuzu" before he could pray either at home or
in the Mosque.

[FN#461]  The Shaykh had left it when he went out to perform

[FN#462]  Arab. "Satl"=the Lat. and Etruscan "Situla" and
"Situlus," a water-pot.

[FN#463]  Arab. "Lahd, Luhd," the niche or cell hollowed out in
the side of the oblong trench: here the corpse is deposited and
covered with palm-fronds etc. to prevent the earth touching it.
See my Pilgrimage ii. 304.

[FN#464]  For the incredible amount of torture which Eastern
obstinacy will sometimes endure, see Al-Mas'udi's tale of the
miserable little old man who stole the ten purses, vol. viii. 153
et seq.

[FN#465]  Arab. "Jar\xEDdah" (whence the Jar\xEDd-game) a palm-frond
stripped of its leaves and used for a host of purposes besides
flogging, chairs, sofas, bedsteads, cages, etc. etc. Tales of
heroism in "eating stick" are always highly relished by the lower
orders of Egyptians who pride themselves upon preferring the
severest bastinado to paying the smallest amount of "rint."

[FN#466]  Arab. "N\xE1w\xFAs," the hollow tower of masonry with a
grating over the central well upon which the Magian corpse is
placed to be torn by birds of prey: it is kept up by the Parsi
population of Bombay and is known to Europeans as the "Tower of
Silence." N\xE1\xEDs and N\xE1w\xFAs also mean a Pyrethrum, a fire-temple and
have a whimsical resemblance to the Greek     .

[FN#467]  For Munkar and Nakir, the Interrogating Angels, see
vol. v. 111. According to Al-Mas'udi (chapt. xxxi.) these names
were given by the Egyptians to the thirteenth and fourteenth
cubits marked on the Nilometer which, in his day, was expected to
show seventeen.

[FN#468]  The text (xi. 227) has "Tann\xFAr"=an oven, evidently a
misprint for "Kub\xFAr"=tombs.

[FN#469]  Arab. "'An Ab\xED"=(a propitiatory offering) for my
father. So in Marocco the "Powder-players" dedicate a shot to a
special purpose or person, crying "To my sweetheart!" "To my
dead!" "To my horse!" etc.

[FN#470]  For this formula see vol. i. 65. It is technically
called "Haukalah" and "Haulakah," words in the third conjugation
of increased triliterals, corresponding with the quadriliteral
radicals and possessing the peculiar power of Kasr=abbreviation.
Of this same class is Basmalah (vol. v. 206; ix. 1).

[FN#471]  This scene with the watch would be relished in the
coffee-house, where the tricks of robbers, like a gird at the
police, are always acceptable.

[FN#472]  Arab. "L\xE1 af'al"; more commonly M\xE1 af'al. M\xE1 and L\xE1 are
synonymous negative particles, differing, however, in
application. M\xE1 (Gr. {m\xE8}) precedes definites, or indefinites: L\xE1
and Lam (Gr. {oy}) only indefinites as "L\xE1 il\xE1ha" etc.

[FN#473]  Alluding to the proverb, "What hast thou left behind
thee, O As\xE1m?" i.e., what didst thou see?

[FN#474]  Arab. "Sayrafi," s.s. as "Sarr\xE1f': see vol. i. 210.

[FN#475]  Arab. "Al-Ma'rafah"=the place where the mane grows.

[FN#476]  i.e. though the ass remain on thy hands.

[FN#477]  "Halves," i.e. of dirhams: see vol. ii. 37.

[FN#478]  Arab. "Taannaf\xFA,"=the Germ. lange Nase.

[FN#479]  About forty shillings.

[FN#480]  About \xA3220.

[FN#481]  Characteristically Eastern and Moslem is this action of
the neighbours and bystanders. A walk through any Oriental city
will show a crowd of people screaming and gesticulating, with
thundering yells and lightning glances, as if about to close in
mortal fight, concerning some matter which in no way concerns
them. Our European cockneys and badauds mostly content themselves
with staring and mobbing.

[FN#482]  Arab. "Muruwwah," lit. manliness, especially in the
sense of generosity. So the saying touching the "Miy\xE1n," or
Moslem of India:\x97

     F\xED 'l-ruz Kuwwah:
     F\xED 'l Hind\xED muruwwah.

     When rice have strength, you'll haply find,
     In Hindi man, a manly mind.

[FN#483]  i.e. His claim is just and reasonable.

[FN#484]  I have noted (vol. i. 17) that good Moslems shun a
formal oath, although "by Allah!" is ever on their tongues. This
they seem to have borrowed from Christianity, which expressly
forbade it, whilst Christians cannot insist upon it too much. The
scandalous scenes lately enacted in a certain legislative
assembly because an M.P. did not believe in a practice denounced
by his creed, will be the wonder and ridicule of our descendants.

[FN#485]  Most Arabs believe that the black cloud which sometimes
produces, besides famine, contagious fevers and pestilence, like
that which in 1799 depopulated the cities and country of Barbary,
is led by a king locust, the Sultan Jar\xE1d.

[FN#486]  The text is hopelessly corrupt, and we have no other
with which to collate. Apparently a portion of the tale has
fallen out, making a non-sens of its ending, which suggests that
the kite gobbled up the two locusts at her ease, and left the
falcon to himself.

[FN#487]  The lines have occurred in vol. i. 265. I quote Mr.

[FN#488]  The fabliau is a favourite in the East; this is the
third time it has occurred with minor modifications. Of course
the original was founded on fact, and the fact was and is by no
means uncommon.

[FN#489]  This would hardly be our Western way of treating a
proposal of the kind; nor would the European novelist neglect so
grand an opportunity for tall-talk.

[FN#490]  This is a rechauff\xE9 of "The House with the Belvedere;"
see vol. vi. 188.

[FN#491]  Arab. "Mast\xFArah,"=veiled, well-guarded, confined in the

[FN#492]  Arab. "'Aj\xFAz nahs"=an old woman so crafty that she was
a calamity to friends and foes.

[FN#493]  Here, as in many places the text is painfully concise:
the crone says only, "The Wuzu for the prayer!"

[FN#494]  I have followed Mr. Payne who supplies this sentence to
make the Tale run smoothly.

[FN#495]  i.e. the half of the marriage-settlement due to the
wife on divorcement and whatever monies he may have borrowed of

[FN#496]  Here we find the vulgar idea of a rape, which is that a
man can, by mere force, possess a woman against her will. I
contend that this is impossible unless he use drugs like
chloroform or violence, so as to make the patient faint or she be
exceptionally weak. "Good Queen Bess" hit the heart of the
question when she bade Lord High Chancellor sheath his sword, she
holding the scabbard-mouth before him and keeping it in constant
motion. But it often happens that the woman, unless she have a
loathing for her violator, becomes infected with the amorous
storge, relaxes her defense, feels pleasure in the outer contact
of the parts and almost insensibly allows penetration and
emission. Even conception is possible in such cases as is proved
in that curious work, "The Curiosities of Medical Experience."

[FN#497]  i.e. thou wilt have satisfied us all three.

[FN#498]  Here I follow Mr. Payne who has skilfully fine-drawn
the holes in the original text.

[FN#499]  See vol. vii. 363; ix. 238.

[FN#500]  Arab. "Musall\xE0," which may be either a praying carpet,
a pure place in a house, or a small chapel like that near Shiraz
which Hafiz immortalised,

"Bring, boy, the sup that's in the cup; in highest Heaven man
ne'er shall find
Such watery marge as Rukn\xE1b\xE1d, MusalI\xE0's mazes rose entwined."

[FN#501]  Arab. "Ihtid\xE1,"=divine direction to Hud\xE0 or salvation.
The old bawd was still dressed as a devotee, and keeps up the
cant of her caste. No sensible man in the East ever allows a
religious old woman to pass his threshold.

[FN#502]  In this tale "poetical justice" is neglected, but the
teller skilfully caused the wife to be ravished and not to be a
particeps criminis. The lover escapes scot-free because Moslems,
as well as Hindus, hold that the amourist under certain
conditions is justified in obtaining his object by fair means or
foul. See p. 147 of "Early Ideas, a Group of Hindoo Stories,"
collected and collated by Anaryan: London, Allens, 1881.

[FN#503]  This is supplied from the "Tale of the King and his
Wazir's Wife," vol. vi. 129.

[FN#504]  Arab. "Ibl," a specific name: it is presently opposed
to "N\xE1kah," a she-dromedary, and "R\xE1hilah," a riding-camel.

[FN#505]  Here "Amsaytu" is used in its literal sense "I evened"
(came at evening), and this is the case with seven such verbs,
Asbaha, Ams\xE1, Azh\xE1, Azhara, A'tama, Zalla, and B\xE1ta, which either
conjoin the sense of the sentence with their respective times,
morning, evening, forenoon, noon and the first sundown watch, all
day and all night or are used "elegantly," as grammarians say,
for the simple "becoming" or "being."

[FN#506]  The Badawi dogs are as dangerous as those of Montenegro
but not so treacherous: the latter will sneak up to the stranger
and suddenly bite him most viciously. I once had a narrow escape
from an ignoble death near the slaughter-house of
Alexandria-Ramlah, where the beasts were unusually ferocious. A
pack assailed me at early dawn and but for an iron stick and a
convenient wall I should have been torn to pieces.

[FN#507]  These elopements are of most frequent occurrence: see
Pilgrimage iii. 52.

[FN#508]  The principal incidents, the loss and recovery of wife
and children, occur in the Story of the Knight Placidus (Gesta
Romanorum, cx.). But the ecclesiastical tale-teller does not do
poetical justice upon any offenders, and he vilely slanders the
great C\xE6sar, Trajan.

[FN#509]  i.e. a long time: the idiom has already been noticed.
In the original we have "of days and years and twelvemonths" in
order that "A'w\xE1m" (years) may jingle with "Ayy\xE1m" (days).

[FN#510]  Nothing can be more beautiful than the natural parks
which travellers describe on the coasts of tropical seas.

[FN#511]  Arab. "Khayy\xE1l" not only a rider but a good and a hard
rider. Hence the proverb "Al-Khayy\xE1l" kabr maft\xFAh=uomo a cavallo
sepoltura aperta.

[FN#512]  i.e. the crew and the islanders.

[FN#513]  Arab. "Hadas," a word not easy to render. In grammar
Lumsden renders it by "event" and the learned Captain Lockett
(Miut Amil) in an awful long note (pp. 195 to 224) by "mode,"
grammatical or logical. The value of his disquisition is its
proving that, as the Arabs borrowed their romance from the
Persians, so they took their physics and metaphysics of grammar
and syntax; logic and science in general, from the Greeks.

[FN#514]  We should say the anchors were weighed and the canvas

[FN#515]  The rhymes are disposed in the quaintest way, showing
extensive corruption. Mr. Payne has ordered them into couplets
with a "bob" or refrain. I have followed suit, preserving the
original vagaries of rhymes.

[FN#516]  Arab. "Nuwab," broken plur. (that is, noun of
multitude) of Naubah, the Anglo-Indian Nowbut. This is applied to
the band playing at certain intervals before the gate of a Rajah
or high official.

[FN#517]  Arab. "H\xE1jib"; Captain Trotter ("Our Mission to the
Court of Morocco in 1880": Edinburgh, Douglas, 1881) speaks,
passim, of the "cheery little H\xE1jeb or Eyebrow." Really this is
too bad: why cannot travellers consult an Orientalist when
treating of Oriental subjects?

[FN#518]  Suicide is rare in Moslem lands, compared with India,
China, and similar "pagan" countries; for the Mussulman has the
same objection as the Christian "to rush into the presence of his
Creator," as if he could do so without the Creator's permission.
The Hindu also has some curious prejudices on the subject; he
will hang himself, but not by the neck, for fear lest his soul be
defiled by exiting through an impure channel. In England hanging
is the commonest form for men; then follow in due order drowning,
cutting or stabbing, poison, and gun-shot: women prefer drowning
(except in the cold months) and poison. India has not yet found a
Dr. Ogle to tabulate suicide; but the cases most familiar to old
Anglo-Indians are leaping down cliffs (as at Giruar), drowning,
and starving to death. And so little is life valued that a mother
will make a vow obliging her son to suicide himself at a certain

[FN#519]  Arab. "Zarad-Kh\xE1nah," before noticed: vol. vii. 363.
Here it would mean a temporary prison for criminals of high
degree. De Sacy, Chrestom, ii. 179.

[FN#520]  Arab. "'Ad\xFAl," I have said, means in Marocco, that land
of lies and subterfuges, a public notary.

[FN#521]  This sentence is inserted by Mr. Payne to complete the

[FN#522]  i.e. he intended to marry her when time served.

[FN#523]  Arab. from Pers. Khw\xE1jah and Khaw\xE1j\xE1t: see vol. vi. 46.

[FN#524]  Probably meaning by one mother whom he loved best of
all his wives: in the next page we read of their sister.

[FN#525]  Come down, i.e. from heaven.

[FN#526]  This is the Bresl. Edit.'s form of Shahry\xE1r=city-keeper
(like Marzb\xE1n, guardian of the Marches), for city-friend. The
learned Weil has preferred it to Shahry\xE1r.

[FN#527]  Sic: in the Mac. Edit. "Shahr\xE1z\xE1d" and here making
nonsense of the word. It is regretable that the king's
reflections do not run at times as in this text: his compunctions
lead well up to the d\xE9nouement.

[FN#528]  The careless text says "couplets." It has occurred in
vol. i. 149: so I quote Torrens (p. 149).

[FN#529]  In the text Salma is made to speak, utterly confusing
the dialogue.

[FN#530]  The well-known Baloch province beginning west of Sind:
the term is supposed to be a corruption of
M\xE1h\xED-Khor\xE1n=Ichthyophagi. The reader who wishes to know more
about it will do well to consult "Unexplored Baluchistan," etc.
(Griffith and Farran, 1882), the excellent work of my friend Mr.
Ernest A. Floyer, long Chief of the Telegraphic Department,

[FN#531]  Meaning the last city in Makran before entering Sind.
Al-Sharr would be a fancy name, "The Wickedness."

[FN#532]  i.e. think of nothing but his present peril.

[FN#533]  Arab. "Munkati'ah"=lit. "cut off" (from the weal of the
world). See Pilgrimage i. 22.

[FN#534]  The lines are in vol. i. 207 and iv. 189. 1 here quote
Mr. Payne.

[FN#535] i.e. I have another proposal to make.

[FN#536]  i.e. In my heart's core: the figure has often occurred.

[FN#537]  These sudden elevations, so common in the East and not
unknown to the West in the Napoleonic days, explain how the
legend of "Joanna Papissa" (Pope John XIII), who succeeded Leo
IV. in A.D. 855 and was succeeded by Benedict III., found ready
belief amongst the enemies of papacy. She was an English woman
born in Germany who came to Rome and professed theology with
\xE9clat, wherefore the people enthroned her. "Pope Joan" governed
with exemplary wisdom, but during a procession on Rogation Sunday
she was delivered of a fine boy in the street: some make her die
on the spot; others declare that she perished in prison.

[FN#538]  That such things should happen in times of famine is
only natural; but not at other seasons. This abomination on the
part of the butcher is, however, more than once alluded toin The
Nights: see vol. i. 332.

[FN#539]  Opinions differ as to the site of this city, so
celebrated in the medi\xE6val history of Al-Islam: most probably it
stood where Hyderabad of Sind now is. The question has been ably
treated by Sir Henry M. Elliot in his "History of India," edited
from his posthumous papers by Professor Dowson.

[FN#540]  Which, by-the-by, the average Eastern does with even
more difficulty than the average European. For the most part the
charge to secrecy fixes the matter in his mind even when he has
forgotten that it is to be kept secret. Hence the most unpleasant

[FN#541]  Such an act appears impossible, and yet history tells
us of a celebrated Sufi, Khayr al-Nass\xE1j (the Weaver), who being
of dark complexion was stopped on return from his pilgrimage at
Kufah by a stranger that said, "Thou art my negro slave and thy
name is Khayr." He was kept at the loom for years, till at last
the man set him free, and simply said, "Thou wast not my slave"
(Ibn Khall. i. 513).

[FN#542]  These lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne for

[FN#543]  Arab. "Tasill sallata 'l-Munkati'\xEDn" = lit. "raining on
the drouth-hardened earth of the cut-off." The metaphor is
admissible in the eyes of an Arab who holds water to be the
chiefest of blessings, and makes it synonymous with bounty and

[FN#544]  Possibly this is said in mere fun; but, as Easterns are
practical physiognomists, it may hint the fact that a large nose
in womankind is the sign of a masculine nature.

[FN#545]  Arab. "Zak\xE1t wa Sadakat," = lit. paying of poor rate and
purifying thy property by almsdeeds. See vol. i. 339.

[FN#546]  I have noted (i. 293) that Kam\xEDs ({chit\xF3on}, Chemise,
Cameslia, Camisa) is used in the Hindostani and Bengali dialects.
Like its synonyms pr\xE6texta and shift, it has an equivocal meaning
and here probably signifies the dress peculiar to Arab devotees
and devout beggars.

[FN#547]  I omit here and elsewhere the parenthetical formula
"K\xE1la al-R\xE1wi," etc. = The Story-teller sayeth, reminding the
reader of its significance in a work collected from the mouths of
professional Tale-tellers and intended mainly for their use.

[FN#548]  The usual sign of emotion, already often mentioned.

[FN#549]  It being no shame to Moslems if a slave become King.

[FN#550]  Arab. "Tarbiyat\xED," i.e., he was brought up in my house.

[FN#551]  There is no Salic law amongst Moslems; but the Rasm or
custom of AlIslam, established by the succession of the four
first Caliphs, to the prejudice of Ayishah and other masterful
women would be a strong precedent against queenly rule. It is the
reverse with the Hindus who accept a Rani as willingly as a Rajah
and who believe with Europeans that when kings reign women rule,
and vice versa. To the vulgar Moslem feminine government appears
impossible, and I was once asked by an Afghan, "What would happen
if the queen were in childbed?"

[FN#552]  Arab. "Khutbah," the sermon preached from the pulpit
(Mimbar) after the congregational prayers on Friday noon. It is
of two kinds, for which see Lane, M.E., chap. iii. This public
mention of his name and inscribing it upon the newly-minted money
are the special prerogatives of the Moslem king: hence it often
happens that usurpers cause a confusion of Khutbah and coinage.

[FN#553]  For a specimen of which, blowing a man up with bellows,
see Al-Mas'udi, chap. cxxiii.

[FN#554]  i.e. a long time: the idiom has been noted before more
than once.

[FN#555]  i.e. with what he had heard and what he was promised.

[FN#556]  Arab. "Shakhs mafs\xFAd," i.e. an infidel.

[FN#557]  Arab. "Bun\xFAd," plur. of Persian "band" = hypocrisy,

[FN#558]  Arab. "Bur\xFAj" pl. of Burj. lit. = towers, an astrological
term equivalent to our "houses" or constellations which form the
Zodiacal signs surrounding the heavens as towers gird a city; and
applied also to the 28 lunar Mansions. So in Al-Hariri (Ass. of
Damascus) "I swear by the sky with its towers," the incept of
Koran chapt. lxxxv.; see also chapts. xv. 26 and xxv. 62. "Burj"
is a word with a long history: {p\xFDrgos} burg, burgh, etc.

[FN#559]  Arab. "Bundukah"=a little bunduk, nut, filbert, pellet,
rule, musket bullet.

[FN#560]  See John Raister's "Booke of the Seven Planets; or,
Seven Wandering Motives," London, 1598.

[FN#561]  i.e. for the king whom I love as my own soul.

[FN#562]  The Bresl. Edit. (xi. 318-21) seems to assume that the
tales were told in the early night before the royal pair slept.
This is no improvement; we prefer to think that the time was
before peep of day when Easterns usally awake and have nothing to
do till the dawn-prayer.

[FN#563]  See vol. ii. 161.

[FN#564]  Arab. Al-F\xE1khir.  No wonder that the First Hand who
moulded the Man-mud is a lieu commun in Eastern thought.  The Pot
and the Potter began with the old Egyptians.  "Sitting as a
potter at the wheel, god Cneph (in Phil\xE6) moulds clay, and gives
the spirit of life (the Genesitic "breath") to the nostrils of
Osiris."  Then we meet him in the Vedas, the Being, "by whom the
fictile vase is formed; the clay out of which it is fabricated."
We find him next in Jeremiah (xviii. 2) "Arise and go down unto
the Potter's house," etc., and in Romans (ix. 20), "Hath not the
Potter power over the clay?"  He appears in full force in Omar-i-
Khayy\xE1m (No. xxxvii.):\x97

     For I remember stopping by the way
     To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay:
          An with its all obliterated Tongue
     It murmur'd\x97"Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

Lastly the Potter shows in the Kasidah of Haj\xED Abd\xFA al-Yezid

     "The first of pots the Potter made by Chrysorrhoas' blue-
green wave;
     Methinks I see him smile to see what guerdon to the world he

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 11 [Supplement]" ***

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.