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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night — Volume 05
Author: Richard F. Burton, - To be updated
Language: English
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A Plain and Literal Translation

of the Arabian Nights Entertainments

Translated and Annotated by
 Richard F. Burton 


Privately Printed By The Burton Club

To Doctor George Bird.

My Dear Bird, This is not a strictly medical work, although in places treating
of subjects which may modestly be called hygienic. I inscribe it to you
because your knowledge of Egypt will enable you to appreciate its finer
touches; and for another and a yet more cogent reason, namely, that you are one
of my best and oldest friends.

Ever yours sincerely,

Richard F. Burton

Athenæum Club, October 20, 1885.

Contents of the Fifth Volume

 59. The Ebony Horse
 60. Uns Al-Wujud and the Wazir's Daughter Al-Ward Fi'l-Akmam or Rose-In-Hood
 61. Abu Nowas With the Three Boys and the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid
 62. Abdallah Bin Ma'amar With the Man of Bassorah and His Slave Girl
 63. The Lovers of the Banu Ozrah
 64. The Wazir of Al-Yaman and His Younger Brother
 65. The Loves of the Boy and Girl at School
 66. Al-Mutalammis and His Wife Umaymah
 67. The Caliph Marun Al-Rashid and Queen Zubaydah in the Bath
 68. Harun Al-Rashid and the Three Poets
 69. Mus'ab Bin Al-Zubayr and Ayishah His Wife
 70. Abu Al-Aswad and His Slave-Girl
 71. Harun Al-Rashid and the Two Slave-Girls
 72. The Caliph Harun Al-Rashid and the Three Slave-Girls
 73. The Miller and His Wife
 74. The Simpleton and the Sharper
 75. The Kazi Abu Yusuf With Harum Al-Rashid and Queen Zubaydah
 76. The Caliph Al-Hakim and the Merchand
 77. King Kisra Anushirwan and the Village Damsel
 78. The Water-Carrier and the Goldsmith's Wife
 79. Khusrau and Shirin and the Fisherman
 80. Yahya Bin Khalid the Barmecide and the Poor Man
 81. Mohammed Al-Amin and the Slave-Girl
 82. The Sons of Yahya Bin Khalid and Sa'id Bin Salim Al-Bahili
 83. The Woman's Trick Against Her Husband
 84. The Devout Woman and the Two Wicked Elders
 85. Ja'afar the Barmecide and the Old Badawi
 86. The Caliph Omar Bin Al-Khattab and the Young Badawi
 87. The Caliph Al-Maamum and the Pyramids of Egypt
 88. The Thief and the Merchant
 89. Masrur the Eunuch and Ibn Al-Karibi
 90. The Devotee Prince
 91. The Unwise Schoolmaster Who Fell in Love by Report
 92. The Foolish Dominie
 93. The Illiterate Who Set Up For a Schoolmaster
 94. The King and the Virtuous Wife
 95. Abd Al-Rahman the Maghribi's Story of the Rukh
 96. Adi Bin Zayd and the Princess Hind
 97. Di'ibil Al-Khuza'i With the Lady and Muslim Bin Al-Walid
 98. Isaac of Mosul and the Merchant
 99. The Three Unfortunate Lovers
 100. How Abu Hasan Brake Wind
 101. The Lovers of the Banu Tayy
 102. The Mad Lover
 103. The Prior Who Became A Moslem
 104. The Loves of Abu Isa and Jurrat Al-Ayn
 105. Al-Amin Son of Al-Rashid and His Uncle Ibrahim Bin Al-Mahdi
 106. Al-Fath Bin Khakan and Al-Mutawakkil
 107. The Man's Dispute With the Learned Woman Concerning the Relative Excellence of Male and Female
 108. Abu Suwayd and the Pretty Old Woman
 109. The Emir ali Bin Tahir and the Girl Muunis
 110. The Woman Who had a Boy and the Other Who had a Man to Lover
 111. Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad
 112. The Pilgrim Man and the Old Woman
 113. Abu Alhusn and His Slave-Girl Tawaddud
 114. The Angel of Death With the Proud King and the Devout Man
 115. The Angel of Death and the Rich King
 116. The Angel of Death and the King of the Children of Israel
 117. Iskandar Zu Al-Karnayn and a Certain Tribe of Poor Folk
 118. The Righteousness of King Anushirwan
 119. The Jewish Kazi and His Pious Wife
 120. The Shipwrecked Woman and Her Child
 121. The Pious Black Slave
 122. The Devout Tray-Maker and His Wife
 123. Al-Jajjaj and the Pious Man
 124. The Blacksmith Who Could Handle Fire Without Hurt
 125. The Devotee To Whom Allah Gave a Cloud for Service and the Devout King
 126. The Moslem Champion and the Christian Damsel
 127. The Christian King's Daughter and the Moslem
 128. The Prophet and the Justice of Providence
 129. The Ferryman of the Nile and the Hermit
 130. The Island King and the Pious Israelite
 131. Abu Al-Hasan and Abu Ja'afar the Leper
 132. The Queen of Serpents
 a. The Adventures of Bulukiya
 b. The Story of Jansha

The Book Of The



There was once in times of yore and ages long gone before, a great and
puissant King, of the Kings of the Persians, Sαbϊr by name, who was the
richest of all the Kings in store of wealth and dominion and surpassed
each and every in wit and wisdom. He was generous, open handed and
beneficent, and he gave to those who sought him and repelled not those
who resorted to him; and he comforted the broken-hearted and honourably
entreated those who fled to him for refuge. Moreover, he loved the poor
and was hospitable to strangers and did the oppressed justice upon the
oppressor. He had three daughters, like full moons of shining light or
flower-gardens blooming bright; and a son as he were the moon; and it
was his wont to keep two festivals in the twelve- month, those of the
Nau-Roz, or New Year, and Mihrgαn the Autumnal Equinox,[FN#2] on which
occasions he threw open his palaces and gave largesse and made
proclamation of safety and security and promoted his chamberlains and
viceroys; and the people of his realm came in to him and saluted him
and gave him joy of the holy day, bringing him gifts and servants and
eunuchs. Now he loved science and geometry, and one festival-day as he
sat on his kingly throne there came in to him three wise men, cunning
artificers and past masters in all manner of craft and inventions,
skilled in making things curious and rare, such as confound the wit;
and versed in the knowledge of occult truths and perfect in mysteries
and subtleties. And they were of three different tongues and countries,
the first a Hindi or Indian,[FN#3] the second a Roumi or Greek and the
third a Farsi or Persian. The Indian came forwards and, prostrating
himself before the King, wished him joy of the festival and laid before
him a present befitting his dignity; that is to say, a man of gold, set
with precious gems and jewels of price and hending in hand a golden
trumpet. When Sabur[FN#4] saw this, he asked, "O sage, what is the
virtue of this figure?"; and the Indian answered, "O my lord, if this
figure be set at the gate of thy city, it will be a guardian over it;
for, in an enemy enter the place, it will blow this clarion against him
and he will be seized with a palsy and drop down dead." Much the King
marvelled at this and cried, "By Allah, O sage, an this thy word be
true, I will grant thee thy wish and thy desire." Then came forward the
Greek and, prostrating himself before the King, presented him with a
basin of silver, in whose midst was a peacock of gold, surrounded by
four-and-twenty chicks of the same metal. Sabur looked at them and
turning to the Greek, said to him, "O sage, what is the virtue of this
peacock?" "O my lord," answered he, "as often as an hour of the day or
night passeth, it pecketh one of its young and crieth out and flappeth
its wings, till the four-and-twenty hours are accomplished; and when
the month cometh to an end, it will open its mouth and thou shalt see
the crescent therein." And the King said, "An thou speak sooth, I will
bring thee to thy wish and thy desire." Then came forward the Persian
sage and, prostrating himself before the King, presented him with a
horse[FN#5] of the blackest ebony-wood inlaid with gold and jewels, and
ready harnessed with saddle, bridle and stirrups such as befit Kings;
which when Sabur saw, he marvelled with exceeding marvel and was
confounded at the beauty of its form and the ingenuity of its fashion.
So he asked, "What is the use of this horse of wood, and what is its
virtue and what the secret of its movement?"; and the Persian answered,
"O my lord, the virtue of this horse is that, if one mount him, it will
carry him whither he will and fare with its rider through the air and
cover the space of a year in a single day." The King marvelled and was
amazed at these three wonders, following thus hard upon one another on
the same day, and turning to the sage, said to him, "By Allah the
Omnipotent, and our Lord the Beneficent, who created all creatures and
feedeth them with meat and drink, an thy speech be veritable and the
virtue of thy contrivance appear, I will assuredly give thee whatsoever
thou lustest for and will bring thee to thy desire and thy wish!"[FN#6]
Then he entertained the sages three days, that he might make trial of
their gifts; after which they brought the figures before him and each
took the creature he had wroughten and showed him the mystery of its
movement. The trumpeter blew the trump; the peacock pecked its chicks
and the Persian sage mounted the ebony house, whereupon it soared with
him high in air and descended again. When King Sabur saw all this, he
was amazed and perplexed and felt like to fly for joy and said to the
three sages, "Now I am certified of the truth of your words and it
behoveth me to quit me of my promise. Ask ye, therefore, what ye will,
and I will give you that same." Now the report of the King's daughters
had reached the sages, so they answered, "If the King be content with
us and accept of our gifts and allow us to prefer a request to him, we
crave of him that he give us his three daughters in marriage, that we
may be his sons-in-law; for that the stability of Kings may not be
gainsaid." Quoth the King, "I grant you that which you wish and you
desire," and bade summon the Kazi forthright, that he might marry each
of the sages to one of his daughters. Now it fortuned that the
Princesses were behind a curtain, looking on; and when they heard this,
the youngest considered her husband to be and behold, he was an old
man,[FN#7] an hundred years of age, with hair frosted, forehead
drooping, eyebrows mangy, ears slitten, beard and mustachios stained
and dyed; eyes red and goggle; cheeks bleached and hollow; flabby nose
like a brinjall, or egg- plant[FN#8]; face like a cobbler's apron,
teeth overlapping and lips like camel's kidneys, loose and pendulous;
in brief a terror, a horror, a monster, for he was of the folk of his
time the unsightliest and of his age the frightfullest; sundry of his
grinders had been knocked out and his eye-teeth were like the tusks of
the Jinni who frighteneth poultry in hen-houses. Now the girl was the
fairest and most graceful of her time, more elegant than the gazelle
however tender, than the gentlest zephyr blander and brighter than the
moon at her full; for amorous fray right suitable; confounding in
graceful sway the waving bough and outdoing in swimming gait the pacing
roe; in fine she was fairer and sweeter by far than all her sisters.
So, when she saw her suitor, she went to her chamber and strewed dust
on her head and tore her clothes and fell to buffeting her face and
weeping and wailing. Now the Prince, her brother, Kamar al-Akmαr, or
the Moon of Moons hight, was then newly returned from a journey and,
hearing her weeping and crying came in to her (for he loved her with
fond affection, more than his other sisters) and asked her, "What
aileth thee? What hath befallen thee? Tell me and conceal naught from
me." So she smote her breast and answered, "O my brother and my dear
one, I have nothing to hide. If the palace be straitened upon thy
father, I will go out; and if he be resolved upon a foul thing, I will
separate myself from him, though he consent not to make provision for
me; and my Lord will provide." Quoth he, "Tell me what meaneth this
talk and what hath straitened thy breast and troubled thy temper." "O
my brother and my dear one," answered the Princess, "Know that my
father hath promised me in marriage to a wicked magician who brought
him, as a gift, a horse of black wood, and hath bewitched him with his
craft and his egromancy; but, as for me, I will none of him, and would,
because of him, I had never come into this world!" Her brother soothed
her and solaced her, then fared to his sire and said, "What be this
wizard to whom thou hast given my youngest sister in marriage, and what
is this present which he hath brought thee, so that thou hast
killed[FN#9] my sister with chagrin? It is not right that this should
be." Now the Persian was standing by and, when he heard the Prince's
words, he was mortified and filled with fury and the King said, "O my
son, an thou sawest this horse, thy wit would be confounded and thou
wouldst be amated with amazement." Then he bade the slaves bring the
horse before him and they did so; and, when the Prince saw it, it
pleased him. So (being an accomplished cavalier) he mounted it
forthright and struck its sides with the shovel-shaped stirrup-irons;
but it stirred not and the King said to the Sage, "Go show him its
movement, that he also may help thee to win thy wish." Now the Persian
bore the Prince a grudge because he willed not he should have his
sister; so he showed him the pin of ascent on the right side of the
horse and saying to him, "Trill this," left him. Thereupon the Prince
trilled the pin and lo! the horse forthwith soared with him high in
ether, as it were a bird, and gave not overflying till it disappeared
from men's espying, whereat the King was troubled and perplexed about
his case and said to the Persian, "O sage, look how thou mayest make
him descend." But he replied, "O my lord, I can do nothing, and thou
wilt never see him again till Resurrection-day, for he, of his
ignorance and pride, asked me not of the pin of descent and I forgot to
acquaint him therewith." When the King heard this, he was enraged with
sore rage; and bade bastinado the sorcerer and clap him in jail, whilst
he himself cast the crown from his head and beat his face and smote his
breast. Moreover, he shut the doors of his palaces and gave himself up
to weeping and keening, he and his wife and daughters and all the folk
of the city; and thus their joy was turned to annoy and their gladness
changed into sore affliction and sadness. Thus far concerning them; but
as regards the Prince, the horse gave not over soaring with him till he
drew near the sun, whereat he gave himself up for lost and saw death in
the skies, and was confounded at his case, repenting him of having
mounted the horse and saying to himself, "Verily, this was a device of
the Sage to destroy me on account of my youngest sister; but there is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! I am lost without recourse; but I wonder, did not he who made
the ascent-pin make also a descent-pin?" Now he was a man of wit and
knowledge and intelligence; so he fell to feeling all the parts of the
horse, but saw nothing save a screw, like a cock's head, on its right
shoulder and the like on the left, when quoth he to himself, "I see no
sign save these things like buttons." Presently he turned the
right-hand pin, whereupon the horse flew heavenwards with increased
speed. So he left it and looking at the sinister shoulder and finding
another pin, he wound it up and immediately the steed's upwards motion
slowed and ceased and it began to descend, little by little, towards
the face of the earth, while the rider became yet more cautious and
careful of his life.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prince
wound up the sinister screw, the steed's upward motion slowed and
ceased, and it began to descend, little by little, towards the earth
while the rider became yet more cautious and careful of his life. And
when he saw this and knew the uses of the horse, his heart was filled
with joy and gladness and he thanked Almighty Allah for that He had
deigned deliver him from destruction. Then he began to turn the horse's
head whithersoever he would, making it rise and fall at pleasure, till
he had gotten complete mastery over its every movement. He ceased not
to descend the whole of that day, for that the steed's ascending flight
had borne him afar from the earth; and, as he descended, he diverted
himself with viewing the various cities and countries over which he
passed and which he knew not, never having seen them in his life.
Amongst the rest, he descried a city ordered after the fairest fashion
in the midst of a verdant and riant land, rich in trees and streams,
with gazelles pacing daintily over the plains; whereat he fell a-musing
and said to himself, "Would I knew the name of yon town and in what
land it is!" And he took to circling about it and observing it right
and left. By this time, the day began to decline and the sun drew near
to its downing; and he said in his mind, "Verily I find no goodlier
place to night in than this city; so I will lodge here and early on the
morrow I will return to my kith and kin and my kingdom; and tell my
father and family what hath passed and acquaint him with what mine eyes
have seen." Then he addressed himself to seeking a place wherein he
might safely bestow himself and his horse and where none should descry
him, and presently behold, he espied a-middlemost of the city a palace
rising high in upper air surrounded by a great wall with lofty
crenelles and battlements, guarded by forty black slaves, clad in
complete mail and armed with spears and swords, bows and arrows. Quoth
he, "This is a goodly place," and turned the descent-pin, whereupon the
horse sank down with him like a weary bird, and alighted gently on the
terrace-roof of the palace. So the Prince dismounted and ejaculating
"Alhamdolillah"—praise be to Allah[FN#10]—he began to go round about
the horse and examine it, saying, "By Allah, he who fashioned thee with
these perfections was a cunning craftsman, and if the Almighty extend
the term of my life and restore me to my country and kinsfolk in safety
and reunite me with my father, I will assuredly bestow upon him all
manner bounties and benefit him with the utmost beneficence." By this
time night had overtaken him and he sat on the roof till he was assured
that all in the palace slept; and indeed hunger and thirst were sore
upon him, for that he had not tasted food nor drunk water since he
parted from his sire. So he said within himself, "Surely the like of
this palace will not lack of victual;" and, leaving the horse above,
went down in search of somewhat to eat. Presently, he came to a
staircase and descending it to the bottom, found himself in a court
paved with white marble and alabaster, which shone in the light of the
moon. He marvelled at the place and the goodliness of its fashion, but
sensed no sound of speaker and saw no living soul and stood in
perplexed surprise, looking right and left and knowing not whither he
should wend. Then said he to himself, "I may not do better than return
to where I left my horse and pass the night by it; and as soon as day
shall dawn I will mount and ride away."— And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the king's
son to himself, "I may not do better than pass the night by my horse;
and as soon as day shall dawn I will mount and ride away." However, as
he tarried talking to himself, he espied a light within the palace, and
making towards it, found that it came from a candle that stood before a
door of the Harim, at the head of a sleeping eunuch, as he were one of
the Ifrits of Solomon or a tribesman of the Jinn, longer than lumber
and broader than a bench. He lay before the door, with the pommel of
his sword gleaming in the flame of the candle, and at his head was a
bag of leather[FN#11] hanging from a column of granite. When the Prince
saw this, he was affrighted and said, "I crave help from Allah the
Supreme! O mine Holy One, even as Thou hast already delivered me from
destruction, so vouchsafe me strength to quit myself of the adventure
of this palace!" So saying, he put out his hand to the budget and
taking it, carried it aside and opened it and found in it food of the
best. He ate his fill and refreshed himself and drank water, after
which he hung up the provision-bag in its place and drawing the
eunuch's sword from its sheath, took it, whilst the slave slept on,
knowing not whence destiny should come to him. Then the Prince fared
forwards into the palace and ceased not till he came to a second door,
with a curtain drawn before it; so he raised the curtain and behold, on
entering he saw a couch of the whitest ivory, inlaid with pearls and
jacinths and jewels, and four slave-girls sleeping about it. He went up
to the couch, to see what was thereon, and found a young lady lying
asleep, chemised with her hair[FN#12] as she were the full moon
rising[FN#13] over the Eastern horizon, with flower-white brow and
shining hair-paring and cheeks like blood-red anemones and dainty moles
thereon. He was amazed at her as she lay in her beauty and loveliness,
her symmetry and grace, and he recked no more of death. So he went up
to her, trembling in every nerve and, shuddering with pleasure, kissed
her on the right cheek; whereupon she awoke forthright and opened her
eyes, and seeing the Prince standing at her head, said to him, "Who art
thou and whence comest thou?" Quoth he, "I am thy slave and thy lover."
Asked she, "And who brought thee hither?" and he answered, "My Lord and
my fortune." Then said Shams al-Nahαr[FN#14] (for such was her name),
"Haply thou art he who demanded me yesterday of my father in marriage
and he rejected thee, pretending that thou wast foul of favour. By
Allah, my sire lied in his throat when he spoke this thing, for thou
art not other than beautiful." Now the son of the King of Hind had
sought her in marriage, but her father had rejected him, for that he
was ugly and uncouth, and she thought the Prince was he. So, when she
saw his beauty and grace (for indeed he was like the radiant moon) the
syntheism[FN#15] of love gat hold of her heart as it were a flaming
fire, and they fell to talk and converse. Suddenly, her waiting-women
awoke and, seeing the Prince with their mistress, said to her, "Oh my
lady, who is this with thee?" Quoth she, "I know not; I found him
sitting by me, when I woke up: haply 'tis he who seeketh me in marriage
of my sire." Quoth they, "O my lady, by Allah the All-Father, this is
not he who seeketh thee in marriage, for he is hideous and this man is
handsome and of high degree. Indeed, the other is not fit to be his
servant."[FN#16] Then the handmaidens went out to the eunuch, and
finding him slumbering awoke him, and he started up in alarm. Said
they, "How happeth it that thou art on guard at the palace and yet men
come in to us, whilst we are asleep?" When the black heard this, he
sprang in haste to his sword, but found it not; and fear took him and
trembling. Then he went in, confounded, to his mistress and seeing the
Prince sitting at talk with her, said to him, "O my lord, art thou man
or Jinni?" Replied the Prince, "Woe to thee, O unluckiest of slaves:
how darest thou even the sons of the royal Chosroes[FN#17] with one of
the unbelieving Satans?" And he was as a raging lion. Then he took the
sword in his hand and said to the slave, "I am the King's son-in-law,
and he hath married me to his daughter and bidden me go in to her." And
when the eunuch heard these words he replied, "O my lord, if thou be
indeed of kind a man as thou avouchest, she is fit for none but for
thee, and thou art worthier of her than any other." Thereupon the
eunuch ran to the King, shrieking loud and rending his raiment and
heaving dust upon his head; and when the King heard his outcry, he said
to him, "What hath befallen thee?: speak quickly and be brief; for thou
hast fluttered my heart." Answered the eunuch, "O King, come to thy
daughter's succour; for a devil of the Jinn, in the likeness of a
King's son, hath got possession of her; so up and at him!" When the
King heard this, he thought to kill him and said, "How camest thou to
be careless of my daughter and let this demon come at her?" Then he
betook himself to the Princess's palace, where he found her slave-women
standing to await him and asked them, "What is come to my daughter?" "O
King," answered they, "slumber overcame us and, when we awoke, we found
a young man sitting upon her couch in talk with her, as he were the
full moon; never saw we aught fairer of favour than he. So we
questioned him of his case and he declared that thou hadst given him
thy daughter in marriage. More than this we know not, nor do we know if
he be a man or a Jinni; but he is modest and well bred, and doth
nothing unseemly or which leadeth to disgrace." Now when the King heard
these words, his wrath cooled and he raised the curtain little by
little and looking in, saw sitting at talk with his daughter a Prince
of the goodliest with a face like the full moon for sheen. At this
sight he could not contain himself, of his jealousy for his daughter's
honour; and, putting aside the curtain, rushed in upon them drawn sword
in hand like a furious Ghul. Now when the Prince saw him he asked the
Princess, "Is this thy sire?"; and she answered, "Yes."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Price
saw the King rushing in upon them, drawn sword in hand, like a furious
Ghul he asked the Princess, "Is this thy sire?"; and she answered,
"Yes." Whereupon he sprang to his feet and, seizing his sword, cried
out at the King with so terrible a cry that he was confounded. Then the
youth would have fallen on him with the sword; but the King seeing that
the Prince was doughtier than he, sheathed his scymitar and stood till
the young man came up to him, when he accosted him courteously and said
to him, "O youth, art thou a man or a Jinni?" Quoth the Prince, "Did I
not respect thy right as mine host and thy daughter's honour, I would
spill thy blood! How darest thou fellow me with devils, me that am a
Prince of the sons of the royal Chosroes who, had they wished to take
thy kingdom, could shake thee like an earthquake from thy glory and thy
dominions and spoil thee of all thy possessions?" Now when the King
heard his words, he was confounded with awe and bodily fear of him and
rejoined, "If thou indeed be of the sons of the Kings, as thou
pretendest, how cometh it that thou enterest my palace without my
permission, and smirchest mine honour, making thy way to my daughter
and feigning that thou art her husband and claiming that I have given
her to thee to wife, I that have slain Kings and Kings' sons, who
sought her of me in marriage? And now who shall save thee from my might
and majesty when, if I cried out to my slaves and servants and bade
them put thee to the vilest of deaths they would slay thee forthright?
Who shall deliver thee out of my hand?" When the Prince heard this
speech of the King he answered, "Verily, I wonder at thee and at the
shortness and denseness of thy wit! Say me, canst covet for thy
daughter a mate comelier than myself, and hast ever seen a stouter
hearted man or one better fitted for a Sultan or a more glorious in
rank and dominion than I?" Rejoined the King, "Nay, by Allah! but I
would have had thee, O youth, act after the custom of Kings and demand
her from me to wife before witnesses, that I might have married her to
thee publicly; and now, even were I to marry her to thee privily, yet
hast thou dishonoured me in her person." Rejoined the Prince, "Thou
sayest sooth, O King, but if thou summon thy slaves and thy soldiers
and they fall upon me and slay me, as thou pretendest, thou wouldst but
publish thine own disgrace, and the folk would be divided between
belief in thee and disbelief in thee. Wherefore, O King, thou wilt do
well, meseemeth, to turn from this thought to that which I shall
counsel thee." Quoth the King, "Let me hear what thou hast to advise;"
and quoth the Prince, "What I have to propose to thee is this: either
do thou meet me in combat singular, I and thou; and he who slayeth his
adversary shall be held the worthier and having a better title to the
kingdom; or else, let me be this night and, whenas dawns the morn, draw
out against me thy horsemen and footmen and servants; but first tell me
their number." Said the King, "They are forty thousand horse, beside my
own slaves and their followers,[FN#18] who are the like of them in
number." Thereupon said the Prince, "When the day shall break, do thou
array them against me and say to them"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
Prince, "When day shall break, do thou array them against me and say to
them: 'This man is a suitor to me for my daughter's hand, on condition
that he shall do battle single-handed against you all; for he
pretendeth that he will overcome you and put you to the rout, and
indeed that ye cannot prevail against him.' After which, leave me to do
battle with them: if they slay me, then is thy secret surer guarded and
thine honour the better warded; and if I overcome them and see their
backs, then is it the like of me a King should covet to his
son-in-law." So the King approved of his opinion and accepted his
proposition, despite his awe at the boldness of his speech and amaze at
the pretensions of the Prince to meet in fight his whole host, such as
he had described to him, being at heart assured that he would perish in
the fray and so he should be quit of him and freed from the fear of
dishonour. Thereupon he called the eunuch and bade him go to his Wazir
without stay and delay and command him to assemble the whole of the
army and cause them don their arms and armour and mount their steeds.
So the eunuch carried the King's order to the Minister, who
straightaway summoned the Captains of the host and the Lords of the
realm and bade them don their harness of derring-do and mount horse and
sally forth in battle array. Such was their case; but as regards the
King, he sat a long while conversing with the young Prince, being
pleased with his wise speech and good sense and fine breeding. And when
it was day-break he returned to his palace and, seating himself on his
throne, commanded his merry men to mount and bade them saddle one of
the best of the royal steeds with handsome selle and housings and
trappings and bring it to the Prince. But the youth said, "O King, I
will not mount horse, till I come in view of the troops and review
them." "Be it as thou wilt," replied the King. Then the two repaired to
the parade-ground, where the troops were drawn up, and the young Prince
looked upon them and noted their great number; after which the King
cried out to them, saying, "Ho, all ye men, there is come to me a youth
who seeketh my daughter in marriage; and in very sooth never have I
seen a goodlier than he; no, nor a stouter of heart nor a doughtier of
arm, for he pretendeth that he can overcome you, single-handed, and
force you to flight and that, were ye an hundred thousand in number,
yet for him would ye be but few. Now when he chargeth down on you, do
ye receive him upon point of pike and sharp of sabre; for, indeed, he
hath undertaken a mighty matter." Then quoth the King to the Prince,
"Up, O my son, and do thy devoir on them." Answered he, "O King, thou
dealest not justly and fairly by me: how shall I go forth against them,
seeing that I am afoot and the men be mounted?" The King retorted, "I
bade thee mount, and thou refusedst; but choose thou which of my horses
thou wilt." Then he said, "Not one of thy horses pleaseth me, and I
will ride none but that on which I came." Asked the King, "And where is
thy horse?" "Atop of thy palace." "In what part of my palace?" "On the
roof." Now when the King heard these words, he cried, "Out on thee!
this is the first sign thou hast given of madness. How can the horse be
on the roof? But we shall at once see if thou speak the truth or lies."
Then he turned to one of his chief officers and said to him, "Go to my
palace and bring me what thou findest on the roof." So all the people
marvelled at the young Prince's words, saying one to other, "How can a
horse come down the steps from the roof? Verily this is a thing whose
like we never heard." In the meantime the King's messenger repaired to
the palace and mounting to the roof, found the horse standing there and
never had he looked on a handsomer; but when he drew near and examined
it, he saw that it was made of ebony and ivory. Now the officer was
accompanied by other high officers, who also looked on and they laughed
to one another, saying, "Was it of the like of this horse that the
youth spake? We cannot deem him other than mad; however, we shall soon
see the truth of his case."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the high
officials looked upon the horse, they laughed one to other and said,
"Was it of the like of his horse that the youth spake? We cannot deem
him other than mad; however, we shall soon see the truth of his case.
Peradventure herein is some mighty matter, and he is a man of high
degree." Then they lifted up the horse bodily and, carrying it to the
King, set it down before him, and all the lieges flocked round to look
at it, marvelling at the beauty of its proportions and the richness of
its saddle and bridle. The King also admired it and wondered at it with
extreme wonder; and he asked the Prince, "O youth, is this thy horse?"
He answered, "Yes, O King, this is my horse, and thou shalt soon see
the marvel it showeth." Rejoined the King, "Then take and mount it,"
and the Prince retorted, "I will not mount till the troops withdraw
afar from it." So the King bade them retire a bowshot from the horse;
whereupon quoth its owner, "O King, see thou; I am about to mount my
horse and charge upon thy host and scatter them right and left and
split their hearts asunder." Said the King, "Do as thou wilt; and spare
not their lives, for they will not spare thine." Then the Prince
mounted, whilst the troops ranged themselves in ranks before him, and
one said to another, "When the youth cometh between the ranks, we will
take him on the points of our pikes and the sharps of our sabres."
Quoth another, "By Allah, this a mere misfortune: how shall we slay a
youth so comely of face and shapely of form?" And a third continued,
"Ye will have hard work to get the better of him; for the youth had not
done this, but for what he knew of his own prowess and pre- eminence of
valour." Meanwhile, having settled himself in his saddle, the Prince
turned the pin of ascent; whilst all eyes were strained to see what he
would do, whereupon the horse began to heave and rock and sway to and
fro and make the strangest of movements steed ever made, till its belly
was filled with air and it took flight with its rider and soared high
into the sky. When the King saw this, he cried out to his men, saying,
"Woe to you! catch him, catch him, ere he 'scape you!" But his Wazirs
and Viceroys said to him, "O King, can a man overtake the flying bird?
This is surely none but some mighty magician or Marid of the Jinn or
devil, and Allah save thee from him. So praise thou the Almighty for
deliverance of thee and of all thy host from his hand." Then the King
returned to his palace after seeing the feat of the Prince and, going
in to his daughter, acquainted her with what had befallen them both on
the parade-ground. He found her grievously afflicted for the Prince and
bewailing her separation from him; wherefore she fell sick with violent
sickness and took to her pillow. Now when her father saw her on this
wise, he pressed her to his breast and kissing her between the eyes,
said to her, "O my daughter, praise Allah Almighty and thank Him for
that He hath delivered us from this crafty enchanter, this villain,
this low fellow, this thief who thought only of seducing thee!" And he
repeated to her the story of the Prince and how he had disappeared in
the firmament; and he abused him and cursed him knowing not how dearly
his daughter loved him. But she paid no heed to his words and did but
redouble in her tears and wails, saying to herself, "By Allah, I will
neither eat meat nor drain drink, till Allah reunite me with him!" Her
father was greatly concerned for her case and mourned much over her
plight; but, for all he could do to soother her, love-longing only
increased on her.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King mourned
much over his daughter's plight but, for all he could do to soothe her,
love-longing only increased on her. Thus far concerning the King and
Princess Shams al-Nahαr; but as regards Prince Kamar al-Akmar, when he
had risen high in air, he turned his horse's head towards his native
land, and being alone mused upon the beauty of the Princess and her
loveliness. Now he had enquired of the King's people the name of the
city and of its King and his daughter; and men had told him that it was
the city of Sana'α.[FN#19] So he journeyed with all speed, till he drew
near his father's capital and, making an airy circuit about the city,
alighted on the roof of the King's palace, where he left his horse,
whilst he descended into the palace and seeing its threshold strewn
with ashes, though that one of his family was dead. Then he entered, as
of wont, and found his father and mother and sisters clad in mourning
raiment of black, all pale of faces and lean of frames. When his sire
descried him and was assured that it was indeed his son, he cried out
with a great cry and fell down in a fit, but after a time coming to
himself, threw himself upon him and embraced him, clipping him to his
bosom and rejoicing in him with exceeding joy and extreme gladness. His
mother and sisters heard this; so they came in and seeing the Prince,
fell upon him, kissing him and weeping, and joying with exceeding
joyance. Then they questioned him of his case; so he told them all that
had passed from first to last, and his father said to him, "Praised be
Allah for thy safety, O coolth of my eyes and core of my heart!" Then
the King bade hold high festival, and the glad tidings flew through the
city. So they beat drums and cymbals and, doffing the weed of mourning,
they donned the gay garb of gladness and decorated the streets and
markets; whilst the folk vied with one another who should be the first
to give the King joy, and the King proclaimed a general pardon and
opening the prisons, released those who were therein prisoned.
Moreover, he made banquets for the people, with great abundance of
eating and drinking, for seven days and nights and all creatures were
gladsomest; and he took horse with his son and rode out with him, that
the folk might see him and rejoice. After awhile the Prince asked about
the maker of the horse, saying, "O my father, what hath fortune done
with him?"; and the King answered, "Allah never bless him nor the hour
wherein I set eyes on him! For he was the cause of thy separation from
us, O my son, and he hath lain in gaol since the day of thy
disappearance." Then the King bade release him from prison and, sending
for him, invested him in a dress of satisfaction and entreated him with
the utmost favour and munificence, save that he would not give him his
daughter to wife; whereat the Sage raged with sore rage and repented of
that which he had done, knowing that the Prince had secured the secret
of the steed and the manner of its motion. Moreover, the King said to
his son, "I reck thou wilt do will not to go near the horse henceforth
and more especially not to mount it after this day; for thou knowest
not its properties, and belike thou art in error about it." Not the
Prince had told his father of his adventure with the King of Sana'a and
his daughter and he said, "Had the King intended to kill thee, he had
done so; but thine hour was not yet come." When the rejoicings were at
an end, the people returned to their places and the King and his son to
the palace, where they sat down and fell to eating and drinking and
making merry. Now the King had a handsome handmaiden who was skilled in
playing the lute; so she took it and began to sweep the strings and
sing thereto before the King and his son of separation of lovers, and
she chanted the following verses:—

"Deem not that absence breeds in me aught of forgetfulness; *

     What should remember I did you fro' my remembrance wane?

Time dies but never dies the fondest love for you we bear; *

     And in your love I'll die and in your love I'll arise


When the Prince heard these verses, the fires of longing flamed up in
his heart and pine and passion redoubled upon him. Grief and regret
were sore upon him and his bowels yearned in him for love of the King's
daughter of Sana'a; so he rose forthright and, escaping his father's
notice, went forth the palace to the horse and mounting it, turned the
pin of ascent, whereupon bird-like it flew with him high in air and
soared towards the upper regions of the sky. In early morning his
father missed him and, going up to the pinnacle of the palace, in great
concern, saw his son rising into the firmament; whereat he was sore
afflicted and repented in all penitence that he had not taken the horse
and hidden it; and he said to himself, "By Allah, if but my son return
to me, I will destroy the horse, that my heart may be at rest
concerning my son." And he fell again to weeping and bewailing
himself.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King again
fell to weeping and bewailing himself for his son. Such was his case;
but as regards the Prince, he ceased not flying on through air till he
came to the city of Sana'a and alighted on the roof as before. Then he
crept down stealthily and, finding the eunuch asleep, as of wont,
raised the curtain and went on little by little, till he came to the
door of the Princess's alcove-[FN#21]chamber and stopped to listen;
when lo! he heard her shedding plenteous tears and reciting verses,
whilst her women slept round her. Presently, overhearing her weeping
and wailing quoth they, "O our mistress, why wilt thou mourn for one
who mourneth not for thee?" Quoth she, "O ye little of wit, is he for
whom I mourn of those who forget or who are forgotten?" And she fell
again to wailing and weeping, till sleep overcame her. Hereat the
Prince's heart melted for her and his gall-bladder was like to burst,
so he entered and, seeing her lying asleep without covering,[FN#22]
touched her with his hand; whereupon she opened her eyes and espied him
standing by her. Said he, "Why all this crying and mourning?" And when
she knew him, she threw herself upon him, and took him around the neck
and kissed him and answered, "For thy sake and because of my separation
from thee." Said he, "O my lady, I have been made desolate by thee all
this long time!" But she replied, "'Tis thou who hast desolated me; and
hadst thou tarried longer, I had surely died!" Rejoined he, "O my lady,
what thinkest thou of my case with thy father and how he dealt with me?
Were it not for my love of thee, O temptation and seduction of the
Three Worlds, I had certainly slain him and made him a warning to all
beholders; but, even as I love thee, so I love him for thy sake." Quoth
she, "How couldst thou leave me: can my life be sweet to me after
thee?" Quoth he, "Let what hath happened suffice: I am now hungry, and
thirsty." So she bade her maidens make ready meat and drink, and they
sat eating and drinking and conversing till night was well nigh ended;
and when day broke he rose to take leave of her and depart, ere the
eunuch should awake. Shams al-Nahar asked him, "Whither goest thou?";
and he answered, "To my father's house, and I plight thee my troth that
I will come to thee once in every week." But she wept and said, "I
conjure thee, by Allah the Almighty, take me with thee whereso thou
wendest and make me not taste anew the bittergourd[FN#23] of separation
from thee." Quoth he, "Wilt thou indeed go with me?" and quoth she,
"Yes." "Then," said he, "arise that we depart." So she rose forthright
and going to a chest, arrayed herself in what was richest and dearest
to her of her trinkets of gold and jewels of price, and she fared
forth, her handmaids recking naught. So he carried her up to the roof
of the palace and, mounting the ebony horse, took her up behind him and
made her fast to himself, binding her with strong bonds; after which he
turned the shoulder-pin of ascent, and the horse rose with him high in
air. When her slave-women saw this, they shrieked aloud and told her
father and mother, who in hot haste ran to the palace-roof and looking
up, saw the magical horse flying away with the Prince and Princess. At
this the King was troubled with ever-increasing trouble and cried out,
saying, "O King's son, I conjure thee, by Allah, have ruth on me and my
wife and bereave us not of our daughter!" The Prince made him no reply;
but, thinking in himself that the maiden repented of leaving father and
mother, asked her, "O ravishment of the age, say me, wilt thou that I
restore thee to thy mother and father?": whereupon she answered, "By
Allah, O my lord, that is not my desire: my only wish is to be with
thee, wherever thou art; for I am distracted by the love of thee from
all else, even from my father and mother." Hearing these words the
Prince joyed with great joy, and made the horse fly and fare softly
with them, so as not to disquiet her; nor did they stay their flight
till they came in sight of a green meadow, wherein was a spring of
running water. Here they alighted and ate and drank; after which the
Prince took horse again and set her behind him, binding her in his fear
for her safety; after which they fared on till they came in sight of
his father's capital. At this, the Prince was filled with joy and
bethought himself to show his beloved the seat of his dominion and his
father's power and dignity and give her to know that it was greater
than that of her sire. So he set her down in one of his father's
gardens without the city where his parent was wont to take his
pleasure; and, carrying her into a domed summer-house prepared there
for the King, left the ebony horse at the door and charged the damsel
keep watch over it, saying, "Sit here, till my messenger come to thee;
for I go now to my father, to make ready a palace for thee and show
thee my royal estate." She was delighted when she heard these words and
said to him, "Do as thou wilt;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the maiden was
delighted when she heard these words and said to him, "Do as thou
wilt;" for she thereby understood that she should not enter the city
but with due honour and worship, as became her rank. Then the Prince
left her and betook himself to the palace of the King his father, who
rejoiced in his return and met him and welcomed him; and the Prince
said to him, "Know that I have brought with me the King's daughter of
whom I told thee; and have left her without the city in such a garden
and come to tell thee, that thou mayst make ready the procession of
estate and go forth to meet her and show her thy royal dignity and
troops and guards." Answered the King, "With joy and gladness"; and
straightaway bade decorate the town with the goodliest adornment. Then
he took horse and rode out in all magnificence and majesty, he and his
host, high officers and household, with drums and kettle-drums, fifes
and clarions and all manner instruments; whilst the Prince drew forth
of his treasuries jewellery and apparel and what else of the things
which Kings hoards and made a rare display of wealth and splendour:
moreover he got ready for the Princess a canopied litter of brocades,
green, red and yellow, wherein he set Indian and Greek and Abyssinian
slave- girls. Then he left the litter and those who were therein and
preceded them to the pavilion where he had set her down; and searched
but found naught, neither Princess nor horse. When he saw this, he beat
his face, and rent his raiment and began to wander round about the
garden, as he had lost his wits; after which he came to his senses and
said to himself, "How could she have come at the secret of this horse,
seeing I told her nothing of it? Maybe the Persian sage who made the
horse hath chanced upon her and stolen her away, in revenge for my
father's treatment of him." Then he sought the guardians of the garden
and asked them if they had seen any pass the precincts; and said, "Hath
any one come in here? Tell me the truth and the whole truth or I will
at once strike off your heads." They were terrified by his threats; but
they answered with one voice, "We have seen no man enter save the
Persian sage, who came to gather healing herbs." So the Prince was
certified that it was indeed he that had taken away the maiden,—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prince
heard their answer, he was certified that the Sage had taken away the
maiden and abode confounded and perplexed concerning his case. And he
was abashed before the folk and, turning to his sire, told him what had
happened and said to him, "Take the troops and march them back to the
city. As for me, I will never return till I have cleared up this
affair." When the King heard this, he wept and beat his breast and said
to him, "O my son, calm thy choler and master thy chagrin and come home
with us and look what King's daughter thou wouldst fain have, that I
may marry thee to her." But the Prince paid no heed to his words and
farewelling him departed, whilst the King returned to the city and
their joy was changed into sore annoy. Now, as Destiny issued her
decree, when the Prince left the Princess in the garden-house and
betook himself to his father's palace, for the ordering of his affair,
the Persian entered the garden to pluck certain simples and, scenting
the sweet savour of musk and perfumes that exhaled from the Princess
and impregnated the whole place, followed it till he came to the
pavilion and saw standing at the door the horse which he had made with
his own hands. His heart was filled with joy and gladness, for he had
bemourned its loss much since it had gone out of his hand: so he went
up to it and, examining its every part, found it whole and sound;
whereupon he was about to mount and ride away, when he bethought
himself and said, "Needs must I first look what the Prince hath brought
and left here with the horse." So he entered the pavilion and, seeing
the Princess sitting there, as she were the sun shining sheen in the
sky serene, knew her at the first glance to be some high-born lady and
doubted not but the Prince had brought her thither on the horse and
left her in the pavilion, whilst he went to the city, to make ready for
her entry in state procession with all splendor. Then he went up to her
and kissed the earth between her hands, whereupon she raised her eyes
to him and, finding him exceedingly foul of face and favour, asked,
"Who art thou?"; and he answered, "O my lady, I am a messenger sent by
the Prince who hath bidden me bring thee to another pleasance nearer
the city; for that my lady the Queen cannot walk so far and is
unwilling, of her joy in thee, that another should forestall her with
thee." Quoth she, "Where is the Prince?"; and quoth the Persian, "He is
in the city, with his sire and forthwith he shall come for thee in
great state." Said she, "O thou! say me, could he find none handsomer
to send to me?"; whereat loud laughed the Sage and said, "Yea verily,
he hath not a Mameluke as ugly as I am; but, O my lady, let not the
ill-favour of my face and the foulness of my form deceive thee. Hadst
thou profited of me as hath the Prince, verily thou wouldst praise my
affair. Indeed, he chose me as his messenger to thee, because of my
uncomeliness and loathsomeness in his jealous love of thee; else hath
he Mamelukes and negro slaves, pages, eunuchs and attendants out of
number, each goodlier than other." Whenas she heard this, it commended
itself to her reason and she believed him; so she rose forthright;—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Persian
sage acquainted the Princess with the case of the King's son, she
believed him; so she rose forthright; and, putting her hand in his,
said, "O my father, what hast thou brought me to ride?" He replied, "O
my lady, thou shalt ride the horse thou camest on;" and she, "I cannot
ride it by myself." Whereupon he smiled and knew that he was her master
and said, "I will ride with thee myself." So he mounted and, taking her
up behind him bound her to himself with firm bonds, while she knew not
what he would with her. Then he turned the ascent-pin, whereupon the
belly of the horse became full of wind and it swayed to and fro like a
wave of the sea, and rose with them high in air nor slackened in its
flight, till it was out of sight of the city. Now when Shams al-Nahir
saw this, she asked him, "Ho thou! what is become of that thou toldest
me of my Prince, making me believe that he sent thee to me?" Answered
the Persian, "Allah damn the Prince! he is a mean and skin-flint
knave." She cried, "Woe to thee! How darest thou disobey thy lord's
commandment?" Whereto the Persian replied, "He is no lord of mine:
knowest thou who I am?" Rejoined the Princess, "I know nothing of thee
save what thou toldest me;" and retorted he, "What I told thee was a
trick of mine against thee and the King's son: I have long lamented the
loss of this horse which is under us; for I constructed it and made
myself master of it. But now I have gotten firm hold of it and of thee
too, and I will burn his heart even as he hath burnt mine; nor shall he
ever have the horse again; no, never! So be of good cheer and keep
thine eyes cool and clear; for I can be of more use to thee than he;
and I am generous as I am wealthy; my servants and slaves shall obey
thee as their mistress; I will robe thee in finest raiment and thine
every wish shall be at thy will." When she heard this, she buffeted her
face and cried out, saying, "Ah, well-away! I have not won my beloved
and I have lost my father and mother!" And she wept bitter tears over
what had befallen her, whilst the Sage fared on with her, without
ceasing, till he came to the land of the Greeks[FN#24] and alighted in
a verdant mead, abounding in streams and trees. Now this meadow lay
near a city wherein was a King of high puissance, and it chanced that
he went forth that day to hunt and divert himself. As he passed by the
meadow, he saw the Persian standing there, with the damsel and the
horse by his side; and, before the Sage was ware, the King's slaves
fell upon him and carried him and the lady and the horse to their
master who, noting the foulness of the man's favour and his
loathsomeness and the beauty of the girl and her loveliness, said, "O
my lady, what kin is this oldster to thee?" The Persian made haste to
reply, saying, "She is my wife and the daughter of my father's
brother." But the lady at once gave him the lie and said, "O King, by
Allah, I know him not, nor is he my husband; nay, he is a wicked
magician who hath stolen me away by force and fraud." Thereupon the
King bade bastinado the Persian and they beat him till he was well-nigh
dead; after which the King commanded to carry him to the city and cast
him into jail; and, taking from him the damsel and the ebony horse
(though he knew not its properties nor the secret of its motion), set
the girl in his serraglio and the horse amongst his hoards. Such was
the case with the Sage and the lady; but as regards Prince Kamar
al-Akmar, he garbed himself in travelling gear and taking what he
needed of money, set out tracking their trail in very sorry plight; and
journeyed from country to country and city to city seeking the Princess
and enquiring after the ebony horse, whilst all who heard him marvelled
at him and deemed his talk extravagant. Thus he continued doing a long
while; but, for all his enquiry and quest, he could hit on no new news
of her. At last he came to her father's city of Sana'a and there asked
for her, but could get no tidings of her and found her father mourning
her loss. So he turned back and made for the land of the Greeks,
continuing to enquire concerning the twain as he went,— And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King's son
made for the land of the Greeks, continuing to enquire concerning the
two as he went along, till, as chance would have it, he alighted at a
certain Khan and saw a company of merchants sitting at talk. So he sat
down near them and heard one say, "O my friends, I lately witnessed a
wonder of wonders." They asked, "What was that?" and he answered, "I
was visiting such a district in such a city (naming the city wherein
was the Princess), and I heard its people chatting of a strange thing
which had lately befallen. It was that their King went out one day
hunting and coursing with a company of his courtiers and the lords of
his realm; and, issuing from the city, they came to a green meadow
where they espied an old man standing, with a woman sitting hard by a
horse of ebony. The man was foulest-foul of face and loathly of form,
but the woman was a marvel of beauty and loveliness and elegance and
perfect grace; and as for the wooden horse, it was a miracle, never saw
eyes aught goodlier than it nor more gracious than its make." Asked the
others, "And what did the King with them?"; and the merchant answered,
"As for the man the King seized him and questioned him of the damsel
and he pretended that she was his wife and the daughter of his paternal
uncle; but she gave him the lie forthright and declared that he was a
sorcerer and a villain. So the King took her from the old man and bade
beat him and cast him into the trunk-house. As for the ebony horse, I
know not what became of it." When the Prince heard these words, he drew
near to the merchant and began questioning him discreetly and
courteously touching the name of the city and of its King; which when
he knew, he passed the night full of joy. And as soon as dawned the day
he set out and travelled sans surcease till he reached that city; but,
when he would have entered, the gate-keepers laid hands on him, that
they might bring him before the King to question him of his condition
and the craft in which he was skilled and the cause of his coming
thither-such being the usage and custom of their ruler. Now it was
supper-time when he entered the city, and it was then impossible to go
in to the King or take counsel with him respecting the stranger. So the
guards carried him to the jail, thinking to lay him by the heels there
for the night; but, when the warders saw his beauty and loveliness,
they could not find it in their hearts to imprison him: they made him
sit with them without the walls; and, when food came to them, he ate
with them what sufficed him. As soon as they had made an end of eating,
they turned to the Prince and said, "What countryman art thou?" "I come
from Fars," answered he, "the land of the Chosroλs." When they heard
this they laughed and one of them said, "O Chosroan,[FN#25] I have
heard the talk of men and their histories and I have looked into their
conditions; but never saw I or heard I a bigger liar than the Chosroan
which is with us in the jail." Quoth another, "And never did I see
aught fouler than his favour or more hideous than his visnomy." Asked
the Prince. "What have ye seen of his lying?"; and they answered, "He
pretendeth that he is one of the wise! Now the King came upon him, as
he went a- hunting, and found with him a most beautiful woman and a
horse of the blackest ebony, never saw I a handsomer. As for the
damsel, she is with the King, who is enamoured of her and would fain
marry her; but she is mad, and were this man a leach as he claimeth to
be, he would have healed her, for the King doth his utmost to discover
a cure for her case and a remedy for her disease, and this whole year
past hath he spent treasure upon physicians and astrologers, on her
account; but none can avail to cure her. As for the horse, it is in the
royal hoard-house, and the ugly man is here with us in prison; and as
soon as night falleth, he weepeth and bemoaneth himself and will not
let us sleep."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the warders
had recounted the case of the Persian egromancer they held in prison
and his weeping and wailing, the Prince at once devised a device
whereby he might compass his desire; and presently the guards of the
gate, being minded to sleep, led him into the jail and locked the door.
So he overheard the Persian weeping and bemoaning himself, in his own
tongue, and saying, "Alack, and alas for my sin, that I sinned against
myself and against the King's son, in that which I did with the damsel;
for I neither left her nor won my will of her! All this cometh of my
lack of sense, in that I sought for myself that which I deserved not
and which befitted not the like of me; for whoso seeketh what suiteth
him not at all, falleth with the like of my fall." Now when the King's
son heard this, he accosted him in Persian, saying, "How long will this
weeping and wailing last? Say me, thinkest thou that hath befallen thee
that which never befel other than thou?" Now when the Persian heard
this, he made friends with him and began to complain to him of his case
and misfortunes. And as soon as the morning morrowed, the warders took
the Prince and carried him before their King, informing him that he had
entered the city on the previous night, at a time when audience was
impossible. Quoth the King to the Prince, "Whence comest thou and what
is thy name and trade and why hast thou travelled hither?" He replied,
"As to my name I am called in Persian Harjah;[FN#26] as to my country I
come from the land of Fars; and I am of the men of art and especially
of the art of medicine and healing the sick and those whom the Jinns
drive mad. For this I go round about all countries and cities, to
profit by adding knowledge to my knowledge, and whenever I see a
patient I heal him and this is my craft."[FN#27] Now when the King
heard this, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and said, "O excellent Sage,
thou hast indeed come to us at a time when we need thee." Then he
acquainted him with the case of the Princess, adding, "If thou cure her
and recover her from her madness, thou shalt have of me everything thou
seekest." Replied the Prince, "Allah save and favour the King: describe
to me all thou hast seen of her insanity and tell me how long it is
since the access attacked her; also how thou camest by her and the
horse and the Sage." So the King told him the whole story, from first
to last, adding, "The Sage is in goal." Quoth the Prince, "O auspicious
King, and what hast thou done with the horse?" Quoth the King, "O
youth, it is with me yet, laid up in one of my treasure-chambers,"
whereupon said the Prince within himself, "The best thing I can do is
first to see the horse and assure myself of its condition. If it be
whole and sound, all will be well and end well; but, if its motor-works
be destroyed, I must find some other way of delivering my beloved."
Thereupon he turned to the King and said to him, "O King, I must see
the horse in question: haply I may find in it somewhat that will serve
me for the recovery of the damsel." "With all my heart," replied the
King, and taking him by the hand, showed him into the place where the
horse was. The Prince went round about it, examining its condition, and
found it whole and sound, whereat he rejoiced greatly and said to the
King, "Allah save and exalt the King! I would fain go in to the damsel,
that I may see how it is with her; for I hope in Allah to heal her by
my healing hand through means of the horse." Then he bade them take
care of the horse and the King carried him to the Princess's apartment
where her lover found her wringing her hands and writhing and beating
herself against the ground, and tearing her garments to tatters as was
her wont; but there was no madness of Jinn in her, and she did this but
that none might approach her. When the Prince saw her thus, he said to
her, "No harm shall betide thee, O ravishment of the three worlds;" and
went on to soothe her and speak her fair, till he managed to whisper,
"I am Kamar al-Akmar;" whereupon she cried out with a loud cry and fell
down fainting for excess of joy; but the King thought this was
epilepsy[FN#28] brought on by her fear of him, and by her suddenly
being startled. Then the Prince put his mouth to her ear and said to
her, "O Shams al-Nahar, O seduction of the universe, have a care for
thy life and mine and be patient and constant; for this our position
needeth sufferance and skilful contrivance to make shift for our
delivery from the tyrannical King. My first move will be now to go out
to him and tell him that thou art possessed of a Jinn and hence thy
madness; but that I will engage to heal thee and drive away the evil
spirit, if he will at once unbind thy bonds. So when he cometh in to
thee, do thou speak him smooth words, that he may think I have cured
thee, and all will be done for us as we desire." Quoth she, "Hearkening
and obedience;" and he went out to the King in joy and gladness, and
said to him, "O august King, I have, by thy good fortune, discovered
her disease and its remedy, and have cured her for thee. So now do thou
go in to her and speak her softly and treat her kindly, and promise her
what may please her; so shall all thou desirest of her be accomplished
to thee."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prince
feigned himself a leach and went in to the damsel and made himself
known to her and told her how he purposed to deliver her, she cried
"Hearkening and obedience!" He then fared forth from her and sought the
King and said, "Go thou in to her and speak her softly and promise her
what may please her; so shall all thou desirest of her be accomplished
to thee." Thereupon the King went in to her and when she saw him, she
rose and kissing the ground before him, bade him welcome and said, "I
admire how thou hast come to visit thy handmaid this day;" whereat he
was ready to fly for joy and bade the waiting-women and the eunuchs
attend her and carry her to the Hammam and make ready for her dresses
and adornment. So they went in to her and saluted her, and she returned
their salams with the goodliest language and after the pleasantest
fashion; whereupon they clad her in royal apparel and, clasping a
collar of jewels about her neck, carried her to the bath and served her
there. Then they brought her forth, as she were the full moon; and,
when she came into the King's presence, she saluted him and kissed
ground before him; whereupon he joyed in her with joy exceeding and
said to the Prince, "O Sage, O philosopher, all this is of thy
blessing. Allah increase to us the benefit of thy healing
breath!"[FN#29] The Prince replied, "O King, for the completion of her
cure it behoveth that thou go forth, thou and all thy troops and
guards, to the place where thou foundest her, not forgetting the beast
of black wood which was with her; for therein is a devil; and, unless I
exorcise him, he will return to her and afflict her at the head of
every month." "With love and gladness," cried the King, "O thou Prince
of all philosophers and most learned of all who see the light of day."
Then he brought out the ebony horse to the meadow in question and rode
thither with all his troops and the Princess, little weeting the
purpose of the Prince. Now when they came to the appointed place, the
Prince, still habited as a leach, bade them set the Princess and the
steed as far as eye could reach from the King and his troops, and said
to him, "With thy leave, and at thy word, I will now proceed to the
fumigations and conjurations, and here imprison the adversary of
mankind, that he may never more return to her. After this, I shall
mount this wooden horse which seemeth to be made of ebony, and take the
damsel up behind me; whereupon it will shake and sway to and fro and
fare forwards, till it come to thee, when the affair will be at an end;
and after this thou mayst do with her as thou wilt." When the King
heard his words, he rejoiced with extreme joy; so the Prince mounted
the horse and, taking the damsel up behind him, whilst the King and his
troops watched him, bound her fast to him. Then he turned the
ascending-pin and the horse took flight and soared with them high in
air, till they disappeared from every eye. After this the King abode
half the day, expecting their return; but they returned not. So when he
despaired of them, repenting him greatly of that which he had done and
grieving sore for the loss of the damsel, he went back to the city with
his troops. He then sent for the Persian who was in prison and said to
him, "O thou traitor, O thou villian, why didst thou hide from me the
mystery of the ebony horse? And now a sharper hath come to me and hath
carried it off, together with a slave-girl whose ornaments are worth a
mint of money, and I shall never see anyone or anything of them again!"
So the Persian related to him all his past, first and last, and the
King was seized with a fit of fury which well-nigh ended his life. He
shut himself up in his palace for a while, mourning and afflicted; but
at last his Wazirs came in to him and applied themselves to comfort
him, saying, "Verily, he who took the damsel is an enchanter, and
praised be Allah who hath delivered thee from his craft and sorcery!"
And they ceased not from him, till he was comforted for her loss. Thus
far concerning the King; but as for the Prince, he continued his career
towards his father's capital in joy and cheer, and stayed not till he
alighted on his own palace, where he set the lady in safety; after
which he went in to his father and mother and saluted them and
acquainted them with her coming, whereat they were filled with solace
and gladness. Then he spread great banquets for the towns-folk,—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King's son
spread great banquets for the towns-folk and they held high festival a
whole month, at the end of which time he went in to the Princess and
they took their joy of each other with exceeding joy. But his father
brake the ebony horse in pieces and destroyed its mechanism for flight;
moreover the Prince wrote a letter to the Princess's father, advising
him of all that had befallen her and informing him how she was now
married to him and in all health and happiness, and sent it by a
messenger, together with costly presents and curious rarities. And when
the messenger arrived at the city which was Sana'a and delivered the
letter and the presents to the King, he read the missive and rejoiced
greatly thereat and accepted the presents, honouring and rewarding the
bearer handsomely. Moreover, he forwarded rich gifts to his son-in-law
by the same messenger, who returned to his master and acquainted him
with what had passed; whereat he was much cheered. And after this the
Prince wrote a letter every year to his father-in-law and sent him
presents till, in course of time, his sire King Sabur deceased and he
reigned in his stead, ruling justly over his lieges and conducting
himself well and righteously towards them, so that the land submitted
to him and his subjects did him loyal service; and Kamar al-Akmar and
his wife Shams al-Nahar abode in the enjoyment of all satisfaction and
solace of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of deligights and
Sunderer of societies; the Plunderer of palaces, the Caterer for
cemeteries and the Garnerer of graves. And now glory be to the Living
One who dieth not and in whose hand is the dominion of the worlds
visible and invisible! Moreover I have heard tell the tale of


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
a King of great power and lord of glory and dominion galore; who had a
Wazir Ibrahim hight, and this Wazir's daughter was a damsel of
extraordinary beauty and loveliness, gifted with passing brilliancy and
the perfection of grace, possessed of abundant wit, and in all good
breeding complete. But she loved wassail and wine and the human face
divine and choice verses and rare stories; and the delicacy of her
inner gifts invited all hearts to love, even as saith the poet,
describing her,

     "Like moon she shines amid the starry sky, *

          Robing in tresses blackest ink outvie.

     The morning-breezes give her boughs fair drink, *

          And like a branch she sways with supple ply:

     She smiles in passing us. O thou that art *

          Fairest in yellow robed, or cramoisie,

     Thou playest with my wit in love, as though *

          Sparrow in hand of playful boy were I."[FN#31]

Her name was Rose-in-Hood and she was so named for her young and tender
beauty and the freshness of her brilliancy; and the King loved her in
his cups because of her accomplishments and fine manners. Now it was
the King's custom yearly to gather together all the nobles of his realm
and play with the ball.[FN#32] So when the day came round whereon the
folk assembled for ballplay, the Minister's daughter seated herself at
her lattice, to divert herself by looking on at the game; and, as they
were at play, her glance fell upon a youth among the guards than whom
never was seen a comelier face nor a goodlier form; for he was bright
of favour showing white teeth when he smiled, tall-statured and
broad-shouldered. She looked at him again and again and could not take
her fill of gazing; and presently said to her nurse, "What is the name
of yonder handsome young man among the troops?" Replied the nurse, "O
my daughter, the dear fellows are all handsome. Which of them dost thou
mean?" Said Rose-in-Hood, "Wait till he come past and I will point him
out to thee." So she took an apple and as he rode by dropped it on him,
whereupon he raised his head, to see who did this, and espied the
Wazir's daughter at the window, as she were the moon of fullest light
in the darkness of the night; nor did he withdraw his eyes, till his
heart was utterly lost to her, and he recited these lines,

     "Was't archer shot me, or was't thine eyes *

          Ruined lover's heart that thy charms espies?

     Was the notched shaft[FN#33] from a host outshot, *

          Or from latticed window in sudden guise?"

When the game was at an end, and all had left the ground, she asked her
nurse, "What is the name of that youth I showed thee?"; and the good
woman answered, "His name is Uns al-Wujud;" whereat Rose-in-Hood shook
her head and lay down on her couch, with thoughts a-fire for love.
Then, sighing deeply, she improvised these couplets,

     "He missed not who dubbed thee, 'World's delight,' *

          A world's love conjoining to bounty's light:[FN#34]

     O thou, whose favour the full moon favours, *

          Whose charms make life and the living bright!

     Thou hast none equal among mankind; *

          Sultan of Beauty, and proof I'll cite:

     Thine eye-brows are likest a well-formed Nϊn,[FN#35] *

          And thine eyes a Sαd,[FN#36] by His hand indite;

     Thy shape is the soft, green bough that gives *

          When asked to all with all-gracious sprite:

     Thou excellest knights of the world in stowre, *

          With delight and beauty and bounty dight."

When she had finished her verses, she wrote them on a sheet of paper,
which she folded in a piece of golf-embroidered silk and placed under
her pillow. Now one of her nurses had seen her; so she came up to her
and held her in talk till she slept, when she stole the scroll from
under her pillow; and, after reading it, knew that she had fallen in
love with Uns al-Wujud. Then she returned the scroll to its place and
when her mistress awoke, she said to her, "O my lady, indeed I am to
thee a true counsellor and am tenderly anxious on thy account. Know
that love is a tyrant and the hiding it melteth iron and entaileth
sickness and unease; nor for whoso confesseth it is there aught of
reproach." Rejoined Rose-in-Hood, "And what is the medicine of passion,
O nurse mine?" Answered the nurse, "The medicine of passion is
enjoyment" Quoth she, "And how may one come by enjoyment?" Quoth the
other, "By letters and messages, my lady; by whispered words of
compliment and by greetings before the world;[FN#37] all this bringeth
lovers together and makes hard matters easy. So if thou have aught at
heart, mistress mine, I am the fittest to keep thy secret and do thy
desires and carry thy letters." Now when the damsel heard this, her
reason flew and fled for joy; but she restrained herself from speech
till she should see the issue of the matter, saying within herself,
"None knoweth this thing of me, nor will I trust this one with my
secret, till I have tried her." Then said the woman, "O my lady, I saw
in my sleep as though a man came to me and said: 'Thy mistress and Uns
al-Wujud love each other; so do thou serve their case by carrying their
messages and doing their desires and keeping their secrets; and much
good shall befal thee.' So now I have told thee my vision and it is
thine to decide." Quoth Rose-in-Hood, after she heard of the dream,—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Rose-in- Hood
asked her nurse after hearing of the dream, "Tell me, canst thou keep a
secret, O my nurse?"; whereto she answered, "And how should I not keep
secrecy, I that am of the flower of the free?"[FN#38] Then the maiden
pulled out the scroll, whereon she had written the verses and said,
"Carry me this my letter to Uns al-Wujud and bring me his reply." The
nurse took the letter and, repairing to Uns al-Wujud, kissed his hands
and greeted him right courteously, then gave him the paper; and he read
it and, comprehending the contents, wrote on the back these couplets,

     "I soothe my heart and my love repel; *

          But my state interprets my love too well:

     When tears flow I tell them mine eyes are ill, *

          Lest the censor see and my case fortell,

     I was fancy-free and unknew I Love; *

          But I fell in love and in madness fell.

     I show you my case and complain of pain, *

          Pine and ecstasy that your ruth compel:

     I write you with tears of eyes, so belike *

          They explain the love come my heart to quell;

     Allah guard a face that is veiled with charms, *

          Whose thrall is Moon and the Stars as well:

     In her beauty I never beheld the like; *

          From her sway the branches learn sway and swell:

     I beg you, an 'tis not too much of pains, *

          To call;[FN#39] 'twere boon without parallel.

     I give you a soul you will haply take. *

          To which Union is Heaven, Disunion Hell."

Then he folded the letter and kissing it, gave it to the go- between
and said to her, "O nurse, incline the lady's heart to me." "To hear is
to obey," answered she and carried the script to her mistress, who
kissed it and laid it on her head, then she opened it and read it and
understood it and wrote at the foot of it these couplets,

     "O whose heart by our beauty is captive ta'en, *

          Have patience and all thou shalt haply gain!

     When we knew that thy love was a true affect, *

          And what pained our heart to thy heart gave pain,

     We had granted thee wished-for call and more; *

          But hindered so doing the chamberlain.

     When the night grows dark, through our love's excess *

          Fire burns our vitals with might and main:

     And sleep from our beds is driven afar, *

          And our bodies are tortured by passion-bane.

     'Hide Love!' in Love's code is the first command; *

          And from raising his veil thy hand restrain:

     I fell love-fulfilled by yon gazelle: *

          Would he never wander from where I dwell!"

Then she folded the letter and gave it to the nurse, who took it and
went out from her mistress to seek the young man; but, as she would
fare forth, the chamberlain met her and said to her, "Whither away?"
"To the bath," answered she; but in her fear and confusion, she dropped
the letter, without knowing it, and went off unrecking what she had
done; when one of the eunuchs, seeing it lying in the way, picked it
up. When the nurse came without the door, she sought for it, but found
it not, so turned back to her mistress and told her of this and what
had befallen her. Meanwhile, the Wazir came out of the Harim and seated
himself on his couch; whereupon behold, the eunuch, who had picked up
the letter, came in to him, hending it in hand and said, "O my lord, I
found this paper lying upon the floor and picked it up." So the
Minister took it from his hand, folded as it was, and opening it, read
the verses as above set down. Then, after mastering the meaning, he
examined the writing and knew it for his daughter's hand; whereupon he
went to her mother, weeping so abundant tears that his beard was
wetted. His wife asked him, "What maketh thee weep, O my lord?"; and he
answered, "Take this letter and see what is therein." So she took it
and found it to be a love-letter from her daughter Rose-in-Hood to Uns
al-Wujud: whereupon the ready drops sprang to her eyes; but she
composed her mind, and, gulping down her tears, said to her husband, "O
my lord, there is no profit in weeping: the right course is to cast
about for a means of keeping thine honour and concealing the affair of
thy daughter." And she went on to comfort him and lighten his trouble;
but he said, "I am fearful for my daughter by reason of this new
passion. Knowest thou not that the Sultan loveth Uns al- Wujud with
exceeding love? And my fear hath two causes. The first concerneth
myself; it is, that she is my daughter: the second is on account of the
King; for that Uns al-Wujud is a favourite with the Sultan and
peradventure great troubles shall come out of this affair. What deemest
thou should be done?"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir, after
recounting the affair of his daughter, asked his wife, "What deemest
thou should be done?" And she answered, "Have patience whilst I pray
the prayer for right direction." So she prayed a two-bow prayer
according to the prophetic[FN#40] ordinance for seeking divine
guidance; after which she said to her husband, "In the midst of the Sea
of Treasures[FN#41] standeth a mountain named the Mount of the Bereaved
Mother (the cause of which being so called shall presently follow in
its place, Inshallah!); and thither can none have access, save with
pains and difficulty and distress: do thou make that same her
abiding-place." Accordingly the Minister and his wife agreed to build
on that mountain a virgin castle and lodge their daughter therein with
the necessary provision to be renewed year by year and attendants to
cheer and to serve her. Accordingly he collected carpenters, builders
and architects and despatched them to the mountain, where they builded
her an impregnable castle, never saw eyes the like thereof. Then he
made ready vivers and carriage for the journey and, going in to his
daughter by night, bade her prepare to set out on a pleasure-excursion.
Thereupon her heart presaged the sorrows of separation and, when she
went forth and saw the preparations for the journey, she wept with sore
weeping and wrote that upon the door which might acquaint her lover
with what had passed and with the transports of passion and grief that
were upon her, transports such as would make the flesh to shiver and
hair to stare, and melt the hardest stone with care, and tear from
every eye a tear. And what she wrote were these couplets,

   "By Allah, O thou house, if my beloved a morn go by, *

      And greet with signs and signals lover e'er is wont to fly,

   I pray thee give him our salams in pure and fragrant guise, *

      For he indeed may never know where we this eve shall lie.

   I wot not whither they have fared, thus bearing us afar *

      At speed, and lightly-quipt, the lighter from one love to


   When starkens night, the birds in brake or branches snugly

      perched * Wail for our sorrow and announce our hapless


   The tongue of their condition saith, 'Alas, alas for woe, *

      And heavy brunt of parting-blow two lovers must aby':

   When viewed I separation-cups were filled to the brim *

      And us with merest sorrow-wine Fate came so fast to ply,

   I mixed them with becoming share of patience self to excuse, *

      But Patience for the loss of you her solace doth refuse."

Now when she ended her lines, she mounted and they set forward with
her, crossing and cutting over wold and wild and riant dale and rugged
hill, till they came to the shore of the Sea of Treasures; here they
pitched their tents and built her a great ship, wherein they went down
with her and her suite and carried them over to the mountain. The
Minister had ordered them, on reaching the journey's end, to set her in
the castle and to make their way back to the shore, where they were to
break up the vessel. So they did his bidding and returned home, weeping
over what had befallen. Such was their case; but as regards Uns al-
Wujud, he arose from sleep and prayed the dawn-prayer, after which he
took horse and rode forth to attend upon the Sultan. On his way, he
passed by the Wazir's house, thinking perchance to see some of his
followers as of wont; but he saw no one and, looking upon the door, he
read written thereon the verses aforesaid. At this sight, his senses
failed him; fire was kindled in his vitals and he returned to his
lodging, where he passed the day in trouble and transports of grief,
without finding ease or patience, till night darkened upon him, when
his yearning and love-longing redoubled. Thereupon, by way of
concealment, he disguised himself in the ragged garb of a Fakir,[FN#42]
and set out wandering at random through the glooms of night, distracted
and knowing not whither he went. So he wandered on all that night and
next day, till the heat of the sun waxed fierce and the mountains
flamed like fire and thirst was grievous upon him. Presently, he espied
a tree, by whose side was a thin thread of running water; so he made
towards it and sitting down in the shade, on the bank of the rivulet,
essayed to drink, but found that the water had no taste in his
mouth;[FN#43] and, indeed his colour had changed and his face had
yellowed, and his feet were swollen with travel and travail. So he shed
copious tears and repeated these couplets,

   "The lover is drunken with love of friend; *

      On a longing that groweth his joys depend:

   Love-distracted, ardent, bewildered, lost *

      From home, nor may food aught of pleasure lend:

   How can life be delightsome to one in love, *

      And from lover parted, 'twere strange, unkenned!

   I melt with the fire of my pine for them, *

      And the tears down my cheek in a stream descend.

   Shall I see them, say me, or one that comes *

      From the camp, who th' afflicted heart shall tend?"

And after thus reciting he wept till he wetted the hard dry ground; but
anon without loss of time he rose and fared on again over waste and
wold, till there came out upon him a lion, with a neck buried in
tangled mane, a head the bigness of a dome, a mouth wider than the door
thereof and teeth like elephants' tusks. Now when Uns al-Wujud saw him,
he gave himself up for lost, and turning[FN#44] towards the Temple of
Meccah, pronounced the professions of the faith and prepared for death.
He had read in books that whoso will flatter the lion, beguileth
him,[FN#45] for that he is readily duped by smooth speech and gentled
by being glorified; so he began and said, "O Lion of the forest! O Lord
of the waste! O terrible Leo! O father of fighters! O Sultan of wild
beasts! Behold, I am a lover in longing, whom passion and severance
have been wronging; since I parted from my dear, I have lost my
reasoning gear; wherefore, to my speech do thou give ear and have ruth
on my passion and hope and fear." When the lion heard this, he drew
back from him and sitting down on his hindquarters, raised his head to
him and began to frisk tail and paws; which when Uns al-Wujud saw, he
recited these couplets,

   "Lion of the wold wilt thou murther me, *

      Ere I meet her who doomed me to slavery?

    I am not game and I bear no fat; *

      For the loss of my love makes me sickness dree;

   And estrangement from her hath so worn me down *

      I am like a shape in a shroud we see.

   O thou sire of spoils,[FN#46] O thou lion of war, *

      Give not my pains to the blamer's gree.

   I burn with love, I am drowned in tears *

      For a parting from lover, sore misery!

   And my thoughts of her in the murk of night *

      For love hath make my being unbe."

As he had finished his lines the lion rose,—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as Uns al- Wujud
ended his lines, the lion arose and stalked slowly up to him, with eyes
tear-railing and licked him with his tongue, then walked on before him,
signing to him as though saying, "Follow me." So he followed him, and
the beast ceased not leading him on for a while till he brought him up
a mountain, and guided him to the farther side, where he came upon the
track of a caravan over the desert, and knew it to be that of
Rose-in-Hood and her company. Then he took the trail and, when the lion
saw that he knew the track for that of the party which escorted her, he
turned back and went his way; whilst Uns al-Wujud walked along the
foot-marks day and night, till they brought him to a dashing sea,
swollen with clashing surge. The trail led down to the sandy shore and
there broke off; whereby he knew that they had taken ship and had
continued their journey by water. So he lost hope of finding his lover
and with hot tears he repeated these couplets,

   "Far is the fane and patience faileth me; *

      How can I seek them[FN#47] o'er the abyssmal sea;

   Or how be patient, when my vitals burn *

      For love of them, and sleep waxed insomny?

   Since the sad day they left the home and fled, *

      My heart's consumed by love's ardency:

   Sayhun, Jayhun,[FN#48] Euphrates-like my tears, *

      Make flood no deluged rain its like can see:

   Mine eyelids chafed with running tears remain, *

      My heart from fiery sparks is never free;

   The hosts of love and longing pressed me *

      And made the hosts of patience break and flee.

   I've risked my life too freely for their love; *

      And risk of life the least of ills shall be.

   Allah ne'er punish eye that saw those charms *

      Enshrined, and passing full moon's brilliancy!

   I found me felled by fair wide-opened eyes, *

      Which pierced my heart with stringless archery:

   And soft, lithe, swaying shape enraptured me *

      As sway the branches of the willow-tree:

   Wi' them I covet union that I win, *

      O'er love-pains cark and care, a mastery.

   For love of them aye, morn and eve I pine, *

      And doubt all came to me from evil eyne."

And when his lines were ended he wept, till he swooned away, and abode
in his swoon a long while; but as soon as he came to himself, he looked
right and left and seeing no one in the desert, he became fearful of
the wild beasts; so he clomb to the top of a high mountain, where he
heard the voice of a son of Adam speaking within a cave. He listened
and lo! they were the accents of a devotee, who had forsworn the world
and given himself up to pious works and worship. He knocked thrice at
the cavern-door, but the hermit made him no answer, neither came forth
to him; wherefore he groaned aloud and recited these couplets.

   "What pathway find I my desire t'obtain, *

      How 'scape from care and cark and pain and bane?

   All terrors join to make me old and hoar *

      Of head and heart, ere youth from me is ta'en:

   Nor find I any aid my passion, nor *

      A friend to lighten load of bane and pain.

   How great and many troubles I've endured! *

      Fortune hath turned her back I see unfain.

   Ah mercy, mercy on the lover's heart, *

      Doomed cup of parting and desertion drain!

   A fire is in his heart, his vitals waste, *

      And severance made his reason vainest vain.

   How dread the day I came to her abode *

      And saw the writ they wrote on doorway lain!

   I wept, till gave I earth to drink my grief; *

      But still to near and far[FN#49] I did but feign:

   Then strayed I till in waste a lion sprang *

      On me, and but for flattering words had slain:

   I soothed him: so he spared me and lent me aid, *

      He too might haply of love's taste complain.

   O devotee, that idlest in thy cave, *

      Meseems eke thou hast learned Love's might and main;

   But if, at end of woes, with them I league, *

      Straight I'll forget all suffering and fatigue."

Hardly had he made an end of these verses when, behold! the door of the
cavern opened and he heard one say, "Alas, the pity of it!"[FN#50] So
he entered and saluted the devotee, who returned his salam and asked
him, "What is thy name?" Answered the young man, "Uns al-Wujud." "And
what caused thee to come hither?" quoth the hermit. So he told him his
story in its entirety, omitting naught of his misfortunes; whereat he
wept and said, "O Uns al- Wujud, these twenty years have I passed in
this place, but never beheld I any man here, until yesterday, when I
heard a noise of weeping and lamentation and, looking forth in the
direction of the sound, saw many people and tents pitched on the
sea-shore; and the party at once proceeded to build a ship, in which
certain of them embarked and sailed over the waters. Then some of the
crew returned with the ship and breaking it up, went their way; and I
suspect that those who embarked in the ship and returned not, are they
whom thou seekest. In that case, O Uns al-Wujud, thy grief must needs
be great and sore and thou art excusable, though never yet was lover
but suffered love-longing." Then he recited these couplets,

   "Uns al-Wujud, dost deem me fancy-free, *

      When pine and longing slay and quicken me?

   I have known love and yearning from the years *

      Since mother-milk I drank, nor e'er was free.

    Long struggled I with Love, till learnt his might; *

      Ask thou of him, he'll tell with willing gree.

   Love-sick and pining drank I passion-cup, *

      And well-nigh perished in mine agony.

   Strong was I, but my strength to weakness turned, *

      And eye-sword brake through Patience armoury:

   Hope not to win love-joys, without annoy; *

      Contrary ever links with contrary.

   But fear not change from lover true; be true *

      Unto thy wish, some day thine own 'twill be.

   Love hath forbidden to his votaries *

      Relinquishment as deadliest heresy."

The eremite, having ended his verse, rose and, coming up to Uns
al-Wujud, embraced him,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the eremite
having ended his verse, rose and coming up to Uns al-Wujud embraced
him, and they wept together, till the hills rang with their cries and
they fell down fainting. When they revived, they swore
brotherhood[FN#51] in Allah Almighty; after which said Uns al-Wujud,
"This very night will I pray to God and seek of Him direction[FN#52]
anent what thou shouldst do to attain thy desire." Thus it was with
them; but as regards Rose-in-Hood, when they brought her to the
mountain and set her in the castle and she beheld its ordering, she
wept and exclaimed, "By Allah, thou art a goodly place, save that thou
lackest in thee the presence of the beloved!"[FN#53] Then seeing birds
in the island, she bade her people set snares for them and put all they
caught in cages within the castle; and they did so. But she sat at a
lattice and bethought her of what had passed, and desire and passion
and distraction redoubled upon her, till she burst into tears and
repeated these couplets,

   "O to whom now, of my desire complaining sore, shall I *

      Bewail my parting from my fere compellθd thus to fly?

   Flames rage within what underlies my ribs, yet hide them I *

      In deepest secret dreading aye the jealous hostile spy:

   I am grown as lean, attenuate as any pick of tooth,[FN#54] *

      By sore estrangement, absence, ardour, ceaseless sob and


   Where is the eye of my beloved to see how I'm become *

      Like tree stripped bare of leafage left to linger and to


   They tyrannised over me whom they confined in place *

      Whereto the lover of my heart may never draw him nigh:

   I beg the Sun for me to give greetings a thousandfold, *

      At time of rising and again when setting from the sky,

   To the beloved one who shames a full moon's loveliness, *

      When shows that slender form that doth the willow-branch


   If Rose herself would even with his cheek, I say of her *

      'Thou art not like it if to me my portion thou


   His honey-dew of lips is like the grateful water draught *

      Would cool me when a fire in heart upflameth fierce and


   How shall I give him up who is my heart and soul of me, *

      My malady my wasting cause, my love, sole leach of me?"

Then, as the glooms of night closed around her, her yearning increased
and she called to mind the past and recited also these couplets,

   "'Tis dark: my transport and unease now gather might and main,

      * And love-desire provoketh me to wake my wonted pain:

   The pang of parting takes for ever place within my breast, *

      And pining makes me desolate in destitution lain.

   Ecstasy sore maltreats my soul and yearning burns my sprite, *

      And tears betray love's secresy which I would lief contain:

   I weet no way, I know no case that can make light my load, *

      Or heal my wasting body or cast out from me this bane.

   A hell of fire is in my heart upflames with lambent tongue *

      And Laza's furnace-fires within my liver place have ta'en.

   O thou, exaggerating blame for what befel, enough *

      I bear with patience whatsoe'er hath writ for me the Pen!

   I swear, by Allah, ne'er to find aught comfort for their loss;

      * "Tis oath of passion's children and their oaths are ne'er

      in vain.

   O Night! Salams of me to friends and let to them be known *

      Of thee true knowledge how I wake and waking ever wone."

Meanwhile, the hermit said to Uns al-Wujud, "Go down to the palm- grove
in the valley and fetch some fibre."[FN#56] So he went and returned
with the palm-fibre, which the hermit took and, twisting into ropes,
make therewith a net,[FN#57] such as is used for carrying straw; after
which he said, "O Uns al-Wujud, in the heart of the valley groweth a
gourd, which springeth up and drieth upon its roots. Go down there and
fill this sack therewith; then tie it together and, casting it into the
water, embark thereon and make for the midst of the sea, so haply thou
shalt win thy wish; for whoso never ventureth shall not have what he
seeketh." "I hear and obey," answered Uns al-Wujud. Then he bade the
hermit farewell after the holy man had prayed for him; and, betaking
himself to the sole of the valley, did as his adviser had counselled
him; made the sack, launched it upon the water, and pushed from shore.
Then there arose a wind, which drave him out to sea, till he was lost
to the eremite's view; and he ceased not to float over the abysses of
the ocean, one billow tossing him up and another bearing him down (and
he beholding the while the dangers and marvels of the deep), for the
space of three days. At the end of that time Fate cast him upon the
Mount of the Bereft Mother, where he landed, giddy and tottering like a
chick unfledged, and at the last of his strength for hunger and thirst;
but, finding there streams flowing and birds on the branches cooing and
fruit-laden trees in clusters and singly growing, he ate of the fruits
and drank of the rills. Then he walked on till he saw some white thing
afar off, and making for it, found that it was a strongly fortified
castle. So he went up to the gate and seeing it locked, sat down by it;
and there he sat for three days when behold, the gate opened and an
eunuch came out, who finding Uns al-Wujud there seated, said to him,
"Whence camest thou and who brought thee hither?" Quoth he, "From
Ispahan and I was voyaging with merchandise when my ship was wrecked
and the waves cast me upon the farther side of this island." Whereupon
the eunuch wept and embraced him, saying, "Allah preserve thee, O thou
friendly face! Ispahan is mine own country and I have there a cousin,
the daughter of my father's brother, whom I loved from my childhood and
cherished with fond affection; but a people stronger than we fell upon
us in foray and taking me among other booty, cut off my yard[FN#58] and
sold me for a castrato, whilst I was yet a lad; and this is how I came
to be in such case."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the eunuch who
came forth from the castle, where Rose-in-Hood was confined, told Uns
al-Wujud all his tale and said:—"The raiders who captured me cut off my
yard and sold me for a castrato; and this is how I came to be in such
case."[FN#59] And after saluting him and wishing him long life, the
eunuch carried him into the courtyard of the castle, where he saw a
great tank of water, surrounded by trees, on whose branches hung cages
of silver, with doors of gold, and therein birds were warbling and
singing the praises of the Requiting King. And when he came to the
first cage he looked in and lo! a turtle dove, on seeing him, raised
her voice and cried out, saying, "O Thou Bounty-fraught!" Whereat he
fell down fainting and after coming to himself, he sighed heavily and
recited these couplets,

   "O turtle dove, like me art thou distraught? *

      Then pray the Lord and sing 'O Bounty-fraught!'

   Would I knew an thy moan were sign of joy, *

      Or cry of love-desire in heart inwrought,—

   An moan thou pining for a lover gone *

      Who left thee woe begone to pine in thought,—

   Or if like me hast lost thy fondest friend, *

      And severance long desire to memory brought?

   O Allah, guard a faithful lover's lot *

      I will not leave her though my bones go rot!"

Then, after ending his verses, he fainted again; and, presently
reviving he went on to the second cage, wherein he found a ringdove.
When it saw him, it sang out, "O Eternal, I thank thee!" and he groaned
and recited these couplets,

   "I heard a ringdove chanting plaintively, *

      'I thank Thee, O Eternal for this misery!'

   Haply, perchance, may Allah, of His grace, *

      Send me by this long round my love to see.

   Full oft[FN#60] she comes with honeyed lips dark red, *

      And heaps up lowe upon love's ardency.

   Quoth I (while longing fires flame high and fierce *

      In heart, and wasting life's vitality,

   And tears like gouts of blood go railing down *

      In torrents over cheeks now pale of blee),

   'None e'er trod earth that was not born to woe, *

      But I will patient dree mine agony,

   So help me Allah! till that happy day *

      When with my mistress I unite shall be:

   Then will I spend my good on lover-wights, *

      Who're of my tribe and of the faith of me;

   And loose the very birds from jail set free, *

      And change my grief for gladdest gree and glee!'"

Then he went on to the third cage, wherein he found a
mockingbird[FN#61] which, when it saw him, set up a song, and he
recited the following couplets,

   "Pleaseth me yon Hazar of mocking strain *

      Like voice of lover pained by love in vain.

   Woe's me for lovers! Ah how many men *

      By nights and pine and passion low are lain!

   As though by stress of love they had been made *

      Morn-less and sleep-less by their pain and bane.

   When I went daft for him who conquered me *

      And pined for him who proved of proudest strain,

   My tears in streams down trickled and I cried *

      'These long-linkt tears bind like an adamant-chain:'

   Grew concupiscence, severance long, and I *

      Lost Patience' hoards and grief waxed sovereign:

   If Justice bide in world and me unite *

      With him I love and Allah veil us deign,

   I'll strip my clothes that he my form shall sight *

      With parting, distance, grief, how poor of plight!"

Then he went to the fourth cage, where he found a Bulbul[FN#62] which,
at sight of him, began to sway to and fro and sing its plaintive
descant; and when he heard its complaint, he burst into tears and
repeated these couplets.

   "The Bulbul's note, whenas dawn is nigh, *

      Tells the lover from strains of strings to fly:

   Complaineth for passion Uns al-Wujud, *

      For pine that would being to him deny.

   How many a strain do we hear, whose sound *

      Softens stones and the rock can mollify:

   And the breeze of morning that sweetly speaks *

      Of meadows in flowered greenery.

   And scents and sounds in the morning-tide *

      Of birds and zephyrs in fragrance vie;

   But I think of one, of an absent friend, *

      And tears rail like rain from a showery sky;

   And the flamy tongues in my breast uprise *

      As sparks from gleed that in dark air fly.

   Allah deign vouchsafe to a lover distraught *

      Someday the face of his dear to descry!

   For lovers, indeed, no excuse is clear, *

      Save excuse of sight and excuse of eye."

Then he walked on a little and came to a goodly cage, than which was no
goodlier there, and in it a culver of the forest, that is to say, a
wood-pigeon,[FN#63] the bird renowned among birds as the minstrel of
love-longing, with a collar of jewels about its neck marvellous fine
and fair. He considered it awhile and, seeing it absently brooding in
its cage, he shed tears and repeated these couplets,

   "O culver of copse,[FN#64] with salams I greet; *

      O brother of lovers who woe must weet!

   I love a gazelle who is slender-slim, *

      Whose glances for keenness the scymitar beat:

   For her love are my heart and my vitals a-fire, *

      And my frame consumes in love's fever-heat.

   The sweet taste of food is unlawful for me, *

      And forbidden is slumber, unlawfullest sweet.

   Endurance and solace have travelled from me, *

      And love homes in my heart and grief takes firm seat:

   How shall life deal joy when they flee my sight *

      Who are joy and gladness and life and sprite?"

As soon as Uns al-Wujud had ended his verse,—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as Uns
al-Wujud had ended his verse, the wood-culver awoke from its brooding
and cooed a reply to his lines and shrilled and trilled with its
thrilling notes till it all but spake with human speech;[FN#65] and the
tongue of the case talked for it and recited these couplets,

   "O lover, thou bringest to thought a tide *

      When the strength of my youth first faded and died;

   And a friend of whose form I was 'namoured, *

      Seductive and dight with beauty's pride;

   Whose voice, as he sat on the sandhill-tree, *

      From the Nay's[FN#66] sweet sound turned my heart aside;

   A fowler snared him in net, the while *

      'O that man would leave me at large!' he cried;

   I had hoped he might somewhat of mercy show *

      When a hapless lover he so espied;

   But Allah smite him who tore me away, *

      In his hardness of heart, from my lover's side;

   But aye my desire for him groweth more, *

      And my heart with the fires of disjunction is fried:

   Allah guard a true lover, who strives with love, *

      And hath borne the torments I still abide!

   And, seeing me bound in this cage, with mind *

      Of ruth, release me my love to find."

Then Uns al-Wujud turned to his companion, the Ispahahi, and said,
"What palace is this? Who built it and who abideth in it?" Quoth the
eunuch, "The Wazir of a certain King built it to guard his daughter,
fearing for her the accidents of Time and the incidents of Fortune, and
lodged her herein, her and her attendants; nor do we open it save once
in every year, when their provision cometh to them." And Uns al-Wujud
said to himself, "I have gained my end, though I may have long to
wait." Such was his case; but as regards Rose-in-Hood, of a truth she
took no pleasure in eating or drinking, sitting or sleeping; but her
desire and passion and distraction redoubled on her, and she went
wandering about the castle-corners, but could find no issue; wherefore
she shed tears and recited these couplets,

   "They have cruelly ta'en me from him, my beloved, *

      And made me taste anguish in prison ta'en:

   They have fired my heart with the flames of love, *

      Barred all sight of him whom to see I'm fain:

   In a lofty palace they prisoned me *

      On a mountain placed in the middle main.

   If they'd have me forget him, right vain's their wish, *

      For my love is grown of a stronger strain.

   How can I forget him whose face was cause *

      Of all I suffer, of all I 'plain?

   The whole of my days in sorrow's spent, *

      And in thought of him through the night I'm lain.

   Remembrance of him cheers my solitude, *

      While I lorn of his presence and lone remain.

   Would I knew if, after this all, my fate *

      To oblige the desire of my hear will deign."

When her verses were ended, she ascended to the terrace-roof of the
castle after donning her richest clothes and trinkets and throwing a
necklace of jewels around her neck. Then binding together some dresses
of Ba'albak[FN#67] stuff by way of rope, she tied them to the crenelles
and let herself down thereby to the ground. And she fared on over
wastes and waterless wilds, till she came to the shore, where she saw a
fisherman plying here and there over the sea, for the wind had driven
him on to the island. When he saw her, he was affrighted[FN#68] and
pushed off again, flying from her; but she cried out and made pressing
signs to him to return, versifying with these couplets,

   "O fisherman no care hast thou to fear, *

      I'm but an earth-born maid in mortal sphere;

   I pray thee linger and my prayer grant *

      And to my true unhappy tale give ear:

   Pity (so Allah spare thee!) warmest love; *

      Say, hast thou seen him-my beloved fere?

   I love a lovely youth whose face excels *

      Sunlight, and passes moon when clearest clear:

   The fawn, that sees his glance, is fain to cry *

      'I am his thrall' and own himself no peer:

   Beauty hath written, on his winsome cheek, *

      Rare lines of pregnant sense for every seer;

   Who sights the light of love his soul is saved; *

      Who strays is Infidel to Hell anear:

   An thou in mercy show his sight, O rare![FN#69] *

      Thou shalt have every wish, the dearest dear,

   Of rubies and what likest are to them *

      Fresh pearls and unions new, the seashell's tear:

   My friend, thou wilt forsure grant my desire *

      Whose heart is melted in love's hottest fire.

When the fisherman heard her words, he wept and made moan and lamented;
then, recalling what had betided himself in the days of his youth, when
love had the mastery over him and longing and desire and distraction
were sore upon him and the fires of passion consumed him, replied with
these couplets,

   "What fair excuse is this my pining plight, *

      With wasted limbs and tears' unceasing blight;

   And eyelids open in the nightly murk, *

      And heart like fire-stick[FN#70] ready fire to smite;

   Indeed love burdened us in early youth, *

      And true from false coin soon we learned aright:

   Then did we sell our soul on way of love, *

      And drunk of many a well[FN#71] to win her sight;

   Venturing very life to gain her grace, *

      And make high profit perilling a mite.

   'Tis Love's religion whoso buys with life *

      His lover's grace, with highest gain is dight."

And when he ended his verse, he moored his boat to the beach and said
to her, "Embark, so may I carry thee whither thou wilt." Thereupon she
embarked and he put off with her; but they had not gone far from land,
before there came out a stern-wind upon the boat and drove it swiftly
out of sight of shore. Now the fisherman knew not whither he went, and
the strong wind blew without ceasing three days, when it fell by leave
of Allah Almighty, and they sailed on and ceased not sailing till they
came in sight of a city sitting upon the sea-shore,—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
fisherman's craft, carrying Rose-in-Hood, made the city sitting upon
the sea-shore, the man set about making fast to the land. Now the King
of the city was a Prince of pith and puissance named Dirbas, the Lion;
and he chanced at that moment to be seated, with his son, at a window
in the royal palace giving upon the sea; and happening to look out
seawards, they saw the fishing- boat make the land. They observed it
narrowly and espied therein a young lady, as she were the full moon
overhanging the horizon- edge, with pendants in her ears of costly
balass-rubies and a collar of precious stones about her throat. Hereby
the King knew that this must indeed be the daughter of some King or
great noble and, going forth of the sea-gate of the palace, went down
to the boat, where he found the lady asleep and the fisherman busied in
making fast to shore. So he went up to her and aroused her, whereupon
she awoke, weeping; and he asked her, "Whence comest thou and whose
daughter art thou and what be the cause of thy coming hither?"; and she
answered, "I am the daughter of Ibrahim, Wazir to King Shamikh; and the
manner of my coming hither is wondrous and the cause thereof
marvellous." And she told him her whole story first and last, hiding
naught from him; then she groaned aloud and recited these couplets,

"Tear-drops have chafed mine eyelids and rail down in wondrous

     wise, * For parting pain that fills my sprite and turns to

     springs mine eyes,

For sake of friend who ever dwells within my vitals homed, * And

     I may never win my wish of him in any guise.

He hath a favour fair and bright, and brilliant is his face, *

     Which every Turk and Arab wight in loveliness outvies:

The Sun and fullest Moon lout low whenas his charms they sight, *

     And lover-like they bend to him whene'er he deigneth rise.

A wondrous spell of gramarye like Kohl bedecks his eyne, * And

     shows thee bow with shaft on string make ready ere it flies:

O thou, to whom I told my case expecting all excuse, * Pity a

     lover-wight for whom Love-shafts such fate devise!

Verily, Love hath cast me on your coast despite of me * Of will

     now weak, and fain I trust mine honour thou wilt prize:

For noble men, whenas perchance alight upon their bounds, *

     Grace-worthy guests, confess their worth and raise to

     dignities. Then,

O thou hope of me, to lovers' folly veil afford * And be to them

     reunion cause, thou only liefest lord!"

And when she had ended her verses, she again told the King her sad tale
and shed plenteous tears and recited these couplets bearing on her

"We lived till saw we all the marvels Love can bear; * Each month

     to thee we hope shall fare as Rajab[FN#72] fare:

Is it not wondrous, when I saw them march amorn * That I with

     water o' eyes in heart lit flames that flare?

That these mine eyelids rain fast dropping gouts of blood? * That

     now my cheek grows gold where rose and lily were?

As though the safflower hue, that overspread my cheeks, * Were

     Joseph's coat made stain of lying blood to wear."

Now when the King heard her words he was certified of her love and
longing and was moved to ruth for her; so he said to her, "Fear nothing
and be not troubled; thou hast come to the term of thy wishes; for
there is no help but that I win for thee thy will and bring thee to thy
desire." And he improvised these couplets,

     "Daughter of nobles, who thine aim shalt gain; *

          Hear gladdest news nor fear aught hurt of bane!

     This day I'll pack up wealth, and send it on *

          To Shαmikh, guarded by a champion-train;

     Fresh pods of musk I'll send him and brocades, *

          And silver white and gold of yellow vein:

     Yes, and a letter shall inform him eke *

          That I of kinship with that King am fain:

     And I this day will lend thee bestest aid, *

          That all thou covetest thy soul assain.

     I, too, have tasted love and know its taste *

          And can excuse whoso the same cup drain."[FN#73]

Then, ending his verse, he went forth to his troops and summoned his
Wazir; and, causing him to pack up countless treasure, commanded him
carry it to King Shamikh and say to him, "Needs must thou send me a
person named Uns al-Wujud;" and say moreover "The King is minded to
ally himself with thee by marrying his daughter to Uns al-Wujud, thine
officer. So there is no help but thou despatch him to me, that the
marriage may be solemnized in her father's kingdom." And he wrote a
letter to King Shamikh to this effect, and gave it to the Minister,
charging him strictly to bring back Uns al-Wujud and warning him, "An
thou fail thou shalt be deposed and degraded." Answered the Wazir, "I
hear and obey;" and, setting out forthright with the treasures, in due
course arrived at the court of King Shamikh whom he saluted in the name
of King Dirbas and delivered the letter and the presents. Now when King
Shamikh read the letter and saw the name of Uns al-Wujud, he burst into
tears and said to the Wazir "And where, or where, is Uns al-Wujud?; he
went from us and we know not his place of abiding; only bring him to
me, and I will give thee double the presents thou hast brought me." And
he wept and groaned and lamented, saying these couplets,

     "To me restore my dear; * I want not wealth untold:

     Nor crave I gifts of pearls * Or gems or store of gold:

     He was to us a moon * In beauty's heavenly fold.

     Passing in form and soul; * With roe compare withhold!

     His form a willow-wand, * His fruit, lures manifold;

     But willow lacketh power * Men's hearts to have and hold.

     I reared him from a babe * On cot of coaxing roll'd;

     And now I mourn for him * With woe in soul ensoul'd."

Then, turning to the Wazir who had brought the presents and the
missive, he said, "Go back to thy liege and acquaint him that Uns
al-Wujud hath been missing this year past, and his lord knoweth not
whither he is gone nor hath any tidings of him." Answered the Minister
of King Dirbas, "O my lord, my master said to me, 'An thou fail to
bring him back, thou shalt be degraded from the Wazirate and shall not
enter my city. How then can I return without him?'" So King Shamikh
said to his Wazir Ibrahim, "Take a company and go with him and make ye
search for Uns al-Wujud everywhere." He replied, "Hearkening and
obedience;" and, taking a body of his own retainers, set out
accompanied by the Wazir of King Dirbas seeking Uns al-Wujud.—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim, Wazir to
King Shamikh, took him a body of his retainers and, accompanied by the
Minister of King Dirbas, set out seeking Uns al-Wujud. And as often as
they fell in with wild Arabs or others they asked of the youth, saying,
"Tell us have ye seen a man whose name is so and so and his semblance
thus and thus?" But they all answered, "We know him not." Still they
continued their quest, enquiring in city and hamlet and seeking in
fertile plain and stony hall and in the wild and in the wold, till they
made the Mountain of the Bereaved Mother; and the Wazir of King Dirbas
said to Ibrahim, "Why is this mountain thus called?" He answered, "Once
of old time, here sojourned a Jinniyah, of the Jinn of China, who loved
a mortal with passionate love; and, being in fear of her life from her
own people, searched all the earth over for a place, where she might
hide him from them, till she happened on this mountain and, finding it
cut off from both men and Jinn, there being no access to it, carried
off her beloved and lodged him therein. There, when she could escape
notice of her kith and kin, she used privily to visit him, and
continued so doing till she had borne him a number of children; and the
merchants, sailing by the mountain, in their voyages over the main,
heard the weeping of the children, as it were the wailing of a woman
bereft of her babes, and said, 'Is there here a mother bereaved of her
children?' For which reason the place was named the Mountain of the
Bereaved Mother." And the Wazir of King Dirbas marvelled at his words.
Then they landed and, making for the castle, knocked at the gate which
was opened to them by an eunuch, who knew the Wazir Ibrahim and kissed
his hands. The Minister entered and found in the courtyard, among the
serving- men, a Fakir, which was Uns al-Wujud, but he knew him not and
said, "Whence cometh yonder wight?" Quoth they, "He is a merchant, who
hath lost his goods, but saved himself; and he is an ecstatic."[FN#74]
So the Wazir left him and went on into the castle, where he found no
trace of his daughter and questioned her women, who answered, "We wot
not how or whither she went; this place misliked her and she tarried in
it but a short time." Whereupon he wept sore and repeated these

     "Ho thou, the house, whose birds were singing gay, *

          Whose sills their wealth and pride were wont display!

     Till came the lover wailing for his love, *

          And found thy doors wide open to the way;

     Would Heaven I knew where is my soul that erst *

          Was homed in house, whose owners fared away!

     'Twas stored with all things bright and beautiful, *

          And showed its porters ranged in fair array:

     They clothed it with brocades a bride become;[FN#75] *

          Would I knew whither went its lords, ah, say!"

After ending his verses he again shed tears, and groaned and bemoaned
himself, exclaiming, "There is no deliverance from the destiny decreed
by Allah; nor is there any escape from that which He hath predestined!"
Then he went up to the roof and found the strips of Ba'albak stuff tied
to the crenelles and hanging down to the ground, and thus it was he
knew that she had descended thence and had fled forth, as one
distracted and demented with desire and passion. Presently, he turned
and seeing there two birds, a gor-crow and an owl he justly deemed this
an omen of ill; so he groaned and recited these couplets,

     "I came to my dear friends' door, of my hopes the goal, *

          Whose sight mote assuage my sorrow and woes of soul:

     No friends found I there, nor was there another thing *

          To find, save a corby-crow and an ill-omened owl.

     And the tongue o' the case to me seemed to say, *

          'Indeed This parting two lovers fond was cruel and


     So taste thou the sorrow thou madest them taste and live *

          In grief: wend thy ways and now in thy sorrow prowl!'"

Then he descended from the castle-roof, weeping, and bade the servants
fare forth and search the mount for their mistress; so they sought for
her, but found her not. Such was their case; but as regards Uns
al-Wujud, when he was certified that Rose-in-Hood was indeed gone, he
cried with a great cry and fell down in a fainting-fit, nor came to
himself for a long time, whilst the folk deemed that his spirit had
been withdrawn by the Compassionating One; and that he was absorbed in
contemplation of the splendour, majesty and beauty of the Requiting
One. Then, despairing of finding Uns al-Wujud, and seeing that the
Wazir Ibrahim was distracted for the loss of his daughter, the Minister
of King Dirbas addressed himself to return to his own country, albeit
he had not attained the object of his journey, and while bidding his
companion adieu, said to him, "I have a mind to take the Fakir with me;
it may be Allah Almighty will incline the King's heart to me by his
blessing, for that he is a holy man; and thereafter, I will send him to
Ispahan, which is near our country." "Do as thou wilt," answered
Ibrahim. So they took leave of each other and departed, each for his
own mother land, the Wazir of King Dirbas carrying with him Uns
al-Wujud,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir of King
Dirbas carried with him Uns al-Wujud who was still insensible. They
bore him with them on mule-back (he unknowing if he were carried or
not) for three days, when he came to himself and said, "Where am I?"
"Thou art in company with the Minister of King Dirbas," replied they
and went and gave news of his recovering to the Wazir, who sent him
rose-water and sherbet of sugar, of which they gave him to drink and
restored him. Then they ceased not faring on till they drew near King
Dirbas's capital and the King, being advised of his Wazir's coming,
wrote to him, saying, "If Uns al-Wujud be not with thee, come not to me
ever." Now when the Wazir read the royal mandate, it was grievous to
him, for he knew not that Rose-in-Hood was with the King, nor why he
had been sent in quest of Uns al-Wujud, nor the King's reason for
desiring the alliance; whilst Uns al-Wujud also knew not whither they
were bearing him or that the Wazir had been sent in quest of him; nor
did the Wazir know that the Fakir he had with him was Uns al-Wujud
himself. And when the Minister saw that the sick man was whole, he said
to him, "I was despatched by the King on an errand, which I have not
been able to accomplish. So, when he heard of my return, he wrote to
me, saying, 'Except thou have fulfilled my need enter not my city.'"
"And what is the King's need?" asked Uns al-Wujud. So the Wazir told
him the whole tale, and he said, "Fear nothing, but go boldly to the
King and take me with thee; and I will be surety to thee for the coming
of Uns al-Wujud." At this the Wazir rejoiced and cried, "Is this true
which thou sayest?" "Yes," replied he; whereupon the Wazir mounted and
carried him to King Dirbas who, after receiving their salutations said
to him, "Where is Uns al-Wujud?" Answered the young man, "O King, I
know where he is." So the King called him to him and said, "Where?"
Returned Uns al-Wujud, "He is near-hand and very near; but tell me what
thou wouldst with him, and I will fetch him into thy presence." The
King replied, "With joy and good gree, but the case calleth for
privacy." So he ordered the folk to withdraw and, carrying Uns al-Wujud
into his cabinet, told him the whole story; whereupon quoth the youth,
"Robe me in rich raiment, and I will forthright bring Uns al-Wujud to
thee." So they brought him a sumptuous dress, and he donned it and
said, "I am Uns al-Wujud, the World's Delight, and to the envious a
despite"; and presently he smote with his glances every sprite, and
began these couplets to recite,

"My loved one's name in cheerless solitude aye cheereth me * And

     driveth off my desperance and despondency:

I have no helper[FN#76] but my tears that ever flow in fount, *

     And as they flow, they lighten woe and force my grief to


My longing is so violent naught like it ere was seen; * My love-

     tale is a marvel and my love a sight to see:

I spend the night with lids of eye that never close in sleep, *

     And pass in passion twixt the Hells and Edens heavenly.

I had of patience fairish store, but now no more have I; * And

     love's sole gift to me hath been aye-growing misery:

My frame is wasted by the pain of parting from my own, * And

     longing changed my shape and form and made me other be.

Mine eyelids by my torrent tears are chafed, and ulcerate, * The

      tears, whose flow to stay is mere impossibility.

My manly strength is sore impaired for I have lost my heart; *

     How many griefs upon my griefs have I been doomed to dree!

My heart and head are like in age with similar hoariness * By

     loss of Beauty's lord,[FN#77] of lords the galaxy:

Despite our wills they parted us and doomed us parted wone, *

     While they (our lords) desire no more than love in unity.

Then ah, would Heaven that I wot if stress of parting done, *

     The world will grant me sight of them in union fain and


Roll up the scroll of severance which others would unroll— *

     Efface my trouble by the grace of meeting's jubilee!

And shall I see them homed with me in cup-company, * And change

     my melancholic mood for joy and jollity?"

And when he had ended his verses the King cried aloud, "By Allah, ye
are indeed a pair of lovers true and fain and in Beauty's heaven of
shining stars a twain: your story is wondrous and your case
marvellous." Then he told him all that had befalled Rose-in- Hood; and
Uns al-Wujud said, "Where is she, O King of the age?" "She is with me
now," answered Dirbas and, sending for the Kazi and the witnesses, drew
up the contract of marriage between her and him. Then he honoured Uns
al-Wujud with favours and bounties and sent to King Shamikh acquainting
him with what had befallen, whereat this King joyed with exceeding joy
and wrote back the following purport. "Since the ceremony of contract
hath been performed at thy court, it behoveth that the marriage and its
consummation be at mine." Then he made ready camels, horses and men and
sent them in quest of the pair; and when the embassy reached King
Dirbas, he gave the lovers much treasure and despatched them to King
Shamikh's court with a company of his own troops. The day of their
arrival was a notable day, never was seen a grander; for the King
gathered together all the singing- women and players on instruments of
music and made wedding banquets and held high festival seven days; and
on each day he gave largesse to the folk and bestowed on them sumptuous
robes of honour. Then Uns al-Wujud went in to Rose-in-Hood and they
embraced and sat weeping for excess of joy and gladness, whilst she
recited these couplets,

     "Joyance is come, dispelling cark and care; *

          We are united, enviers may despair.

     The breeze of union blows, enquickening *

          Forms, hearts and vitals, fresh with fragrant air:

     The splendour of delight with scents appears, *

          And round us[FN#78] flags and drums show gladness rare.

     Deem not we're weeping for our stress of grief;*

          It is for joy our tears as torrents fare:

     How many fears we've seen that now are past! *

          And bore we patient what was sore to bear:

     One hour of joyance made us both forget *

          What from excess of terror grey'd our hair."

And when the verses were ended, they again embraced and ceased not from
their embrace, till they fell down in a swoon,—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Uns al- Wujud and
Rose-in-Hood embraced when they foregathered and ceased not from their
embrace, till they fell down in a swoon for the delight of reunion; and
when they came to themselves, Uns al- Wujud recited these couplets,

     "How joyously sweet are the nights that unite, *

          When my dearling deigns keep me the troth she did


     When union conjoins us in all that we have, *

          And parting is severed and sundered from sight,

     To us comes the world with her favour so fair, *

          After frown and aversion and might despight!

     Hath planted her banner Good Fortune for us, *

          And we drink of her cup in the purest delight.

     We have met and complained of the pitiful Past, *

          And of nights a full many that doomed us to blight.

     But now, O my lady, the Past is forgot; *

          The Compassionate pardon the Past for unright!

     How sweet is existence, how glad is to be! *

          This union my passion doth only incite."

And when he ended his verses they once more embraced, drowned in the
sea of passion; and lay down together in the private apartment
carousing and conversing and quoting verses and telling pleasant tales
and anecdotes. On this wise seven days passed over them whilst they
knew not night from day and it was to them, for very stress of gaiety
and gladness, pleasure and possession, as if the seven days were but
one day with ne'er a morrow. Not did they know the seventh day,[FN#79]
but by the coming of the singers and players on instruments of music;
whereat Rose-in-Hood beyond measure wondered and improvised these

     "In spite of enviers' jealousy, at end *

          We have won all we hoped of the friend:

     We've crowned our meeting with a close embrace *

          On quilts where new brocades with sendal blend;

     On bed of perfumed leather, which the spoils *

          Of downy birds luxuriously distend.

     But I abstain me from unneeded wine, *

          When honey-dews of lips sweet musk can lend:

     Now from the sweets of union we unknow *

          Time near and far, if slow or fast it wend,

     The seventh night hath come and gone, O strange! *

          How went the nights we never reckt or kenned;

     Till, on the seventh wishing joy they said, *

          'Allah prolong the meet of friend with friend!'"

When she had finished her song, Uns al-Wujud kissed her, more than an
hundred times, and recited these couplets,

     "O day of joys to either lover fain! *

          The loved one came and freed from lonely pain:

     She blest me with all inner charms she hath; *

          And companied with inner grace deep lain:

     She made me drain the wine of love till I, *

          Was faint with joys her love had made me drain:

     We toyed and joyed and on each other lay; *

          Then fell to wine and soft melodious strain:

     And for excess of joyance never knew, *

          How went the day and how it came again.

     Fair fall each lover, may he union win *

          And gain of joy like me the amplest gain;

     Nor weet the taste of severance' bitter fruit *

          And joys assain them as they us assain!"

Then they went forth and distributed to the folk alms and presents of
money and raiment and rare gifts and other tokens of generosity; after
which Rose-in-Hood bade clear the bath for her[FN#80] and, turning to
Uns al-Wujud said to him, "O coolth of my eyes, I have a mind to see
thee in the Hammam, and therein we will be alone together." He joyfully
consented to this, and she let scent the Hammam with all sorts of
perfumed woods and essences, and light the wax-candles. Then of the
excess of her contentment she recited these couplets,

     "O who didst win my love in other date *

          (And Present e'er must speak of past estate);

     And, oh! who art my sole sufficiency, *

          Nor want I other friends with me to mate:

     Come to the Hammam, O my light of eyes, *

          And enter Eden through Gehenna-gate!

     We'll scent with ambergris and aloes-wood *

          Till float the heavy clouds with fragrant freight;

     And to the World we'll pardon all her sins *

          And sue for mercy the Compassionate;

     And I will cry, when I descry thee there, *

          'Good cheer, sweet love, all blessings on thee


Whereupon they arose and fared to the bath and took their pleasure
therein; after which they returned to their palace and there abode in
the fulness of enjoyment, till there came to them the Destroyer of
Delights and the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to Him who
changeth not neither ceaseth, and to whom everything returneth! And
they also tell a tale of


Abu Nowas one day shut himself up and, making ready a richly-furnished
feast, collected for it meats of all kinds and of every colour that
lips and tongue can desire. Then he went forth, to seek a minion worthy
of such entertainment, saying, "Allah, my Lord and my Master, I beseech
Thee to send me one who befitteth this banquet and who is fit to
carouse with me this day!" Hardly had he made an end of speaking when
he espied three youths handsome and beardless, as they were of the boys
of Paradise,[FN#83] differing in complexion but fellows in incomparable
beauty; and all hearts yearned with desire to the swaying of their
bending shapes, even to what saith the poet,

     "I passed a beardless pair without compare *

          And cried, 'I love you, both you ferly fir!'

     'Money'd?' quoth one: quoth I, 'And lavish too;' *

          Then said the fair pair, 'Pere, c'est notre affaire.'"

Now Abu Nowas was given to these joys and loved to sport and make merry
with fair boys and cull the rose from every brightly blooming check,
even as saith the bard,

     Full many a reverend Shaykh feels sting of flesh, *

          Loves pretty faces, shows at Pleasure's depot:

     Awakes in Mosul,[FN#84] land of purity; *

          And all the day dreams only of Aleppo.[FN#85]

So he accosted them with the salutation, and they returned his greeting
with civility and all honour and would have gone their several ways,
but he stayed them, repeating these couplets,

    "Steer ye your steps to none but me *

         Who hath a mine of luxury:-

    Old wine that shines with brightest blee *

         Made by the monk in monastery;

    And mutton-meat the toothsomest *

         And birds of all variety.

    Then eat of these and drink of those *

         Old wines that bring you jollity:

    And have each other, turn by turn, *

         Shampooing this my tool you see."[FN#86]

Thereupon the youths were beguiled by his verses and consented to his
wishes,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Three hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu Nowas
beguiled the youths with his wishes, saying, "We hear and obey;" and
accompanied him to his lodging, where they found all ready that he had
set forth in his couplets. They sat down and ate and drank and made
merry awhile, after which they appealed to Abu Nowas to decide which of
them was handsometh of face and shapliest of form. So he pointed to one
of them and, having kissed him twice over, recited the following

     "I'll ransom that beauty-spot with my soup; *

          Where's it and where is a money-dole?[FN#87]

     Praise Him who hairless hath made that cheek *

          And bid Beauty bide in that mole, that mole!"

Then he pointed to another and, kissing his lips, repeated these

     "And loveling weareth on his cheek a mole *

          Like musk, which virgin camphor ne'er lets off it:

     My peepers marvel such a contrast seeing; *

          And cried the Mole to me, 'Now bless the


Then he pointed to the third and, after kissing him half a score times
repeated these couplets,

     "Melted pure gold in silvern bowl to drain *

          The youth, whose fingers wore a winey stain:

     He with the drawers[FN#89] served one cup of wine, *

          And served his wandering eyes the other twain.

     A loveling, of the sons of Turks,[FN#90] a fawn *

          Whose waist conjoins the double Mounts Honayn.[FN#91]

     Could Eve's corrupting daughers[FN#92] tempt my heart *

          Content with two-fold lure 'twould bear the bane.

     Unto Diyar-I-Bakr ('maid-land '[FN#93] this one lures; *

          That lures to two-mosqued cities of the plain."[FN#94]

Now each of the youths had drunk two cups, and when it came to the turn
of Abu Nowas, he took the goblet and repeated these couplets,

"Drink not strong wine save at the slender dearling's hand; *

     Each like to other in all gifts the spirt grace:

For wine can never gladden toper's heart and soul, *

     Unless the cup-boy show a bright and sparkling face."

Then he drank off his cup and the bowl went round, and when it came to
Abu Nowas again, joyance got the mastery of him and he repeated these

     "For cup-friends cup succeeding cup assign, *

          Brimming with grape-juice, brought in endliess line,

     By hand of brown-lipped[FN#95] Beauty who is sweet *

          At wake as apple or musk finest fine.[FN#96]

     Drink not the wine except from hand of fawn *

          Whose cheek to kiss is sweeter than the wine."

Presently the drink got into his noddle, drunkenness mastered him and
he knew not hand from head, so that he lolled from side to side in joy
and inclined to the youths one and all, anon kissing them and anon
embracing them leg overlying leg. And he showed no sense of sin or
shame, but recited these couplets,

     "None wotteth best joyance but generous youth *

          When the pretty ones deign with him company keep:

     This sings to him, sings to him that, when he wants *

          A pick-me-up[FN#97] lying there all of a heap:

     And when of a loveling he needeth a kiss, *

          He takes from his lips or a draught or a nip;

     Heaven bless them! How sweetly my day with them sped; *

          A wonderful harvest of pleasure I reap:

     Let us drink our good liquor both watered and pure, *

          And agree to swive all who dare slumber and sleep."

While they were in this deboshed state behold, there came a knocking at
the door; so they bade him who knocked enter, and behold, it was the
Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid. When they saw him, they all
rose and kissed ground before him; and Abu Nowas threw off the fumes of
the wine for awe of the Caliph, who said to him, "Holla, Abu Nowas!" He
replied, "Adsum, at thy service, O Commander of the Faithful, whom
Allah preserve!" The Caliph asked, "What state is this?" and the poet
answered, "O Prince of True Believers, my state indubitably dispenseth
with questions." Quoth the Caliph, "O Abu Nowas, I have sought
direction of Allah Almighty and have appointed thee Kazi of pimps and
panders." Asked he, "Dost thou indeed invest me with that high office,
O Commander of the Faithful?"; and the Caliph answered "I do;"
whereupon Abu Nowas rejoined, "O Commander of the Faithful, hast thou
any suit to prefer to me?" Hereat the Caliph was wroth and presently
turned away and left them, full of rage, and passed the night sore
an-angered against Abu Nowas, who amid the party he had invited spent
the merriest of nights and the jolliest and joyousest. And when
day-break dawned and the star of morn appeared in sheen and shone, he
broke up the sitting and, dismissing the youths, donned his court-dress
and leaving his house set out for the palace of the Caliph. Now it was
the custom of the Commander of the Faithful, when the Divan broke up,
to withdraw to his sitting-saloon and summon thither his poets and
cup-companions and musicians, each having his own place, which he might
not overpass. So it happened that day, he retired to his saloom, and
the friends and familiars came and seated themselves, each in his rank
and degree. Presently, in walked Abu Nowas and was about to take his
usual seat, when the Caliph cried to Masrur, the sworder, and bade him
strip the poet of his clothes and bind an ass's packsaddle on his back
and a halter about his head and a crupper under his rump and lead him
round to all the lodgings of the slave-girls, —And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph
commanded Masrur, the sworder, to strip Abu Nowas of his court-suit and
bind an ass's packsaddle on his back and a halter about his head, and a
crupper under his rump and lead him round to all the lodgings of the
slave-girls, and the chambers of the Harim, that the women might make
mock of him; then cut off his head and bring it to him. "Hearkening and
obedience," replied Masrur and, doing with Abu Nowas as the Caliph had
bidden him, led him round all the chambers whose number equalled the
days of the year; but Abu Nowas was a funny fellow, so he made all the
girls laugh with his buffooneries and each gave him something whereby
he returned not save with a pocketful of money. And while this was
going on behold, Ja'afar the Barmecide, who had been absent on an
important business for the Commander of the Faithful, entered and
recognising the poet, albeit in this plight, said to him, "Holla, Abu
Nowas!" He said, "Here at thy service, O our lord." Ja'afar asked,
"What offence hast thou committed to bring this punishment on thee?"
Thereupon he answered, "None whatsoever, except that I made our lord
the Caliph a present of the best of my poetry and he presented me, in
return, with the best of his raiment." When the Prince of True
Believers head this, he laughed, from a heart full of wrath,[FN#98] and
pardoned Abu Nowas, and also gave him a myriad of money. And they also
recount the tale of


A certain man of Bassorah once bought a slave-girl and reared and
educated her right well. Moreover, he loved her very dearly and spent
all his substance in pleasuring and merry-making with her, til he had
naught left and extreme poverty was sore upon him. So she said to him,
"O my master, sell me; for thou needest my price and it maketh my heart
ache to see thy sorry and want-full plight. If thou vend me and make
use of my value, 'twill be better for thee than keeping me by thee, and
haply Almighty Allah will ample thee and amend thy fortune." He agreed
to this for the straitness of his case, and carried her to the bazar,
where the broker offered her for sale to the Governor of Bassorah, by
name Abdallah bin Ma'amar al-Taymi, and she pleased him. So he bought
her, for five hundred dinars and paid the sum to her master; but when
he book the money and was about to go away, the girl burst into tears
and repeated these two couplets,

     "May coins though gainest joy in heart instil; *

          For me remaineth naught save saddest ill:

     I say unto my soul which sorely grieves, *

          'Thy friend departeth an thou will nor nill.'"

And when her master heard this, he groaned and replied in these

     "Albeit this thy case lack all resource, *

          Nor findeth aught but death's doom, pardon still;

     Evening and morning, thoughts of thee will dole *

          Comfort to heart all woes and griefs full fill:

     Peace be upon thee! Meet we now no more *

          Nor pair except at Ibn Ma'amar's will."

Now when Abdullah bin Ma'amar heard these verses and saw their
affection, he exclaimed, "By Allah, I will not assist fate in
separating you; for it is evident to me that ye two indeed love each
other. So take the money and the damsel, O man, and Allah bless thee in
both; for verily parting be grievous to lovers." So they kissed his
hand and going away, ceased not to dwell together, till death did them
part; and glory be to Him whom death over-taketh not! And amonst
stories is that of


There was once, among the Banu Ozrah, a handsome and accomplished man,
who was never a single day out of love, and it chanced that he became
enamoured of a beauty of his own tribe and sent her many messages; but
she ceased not to entreat him with cruelty and disdain; till, for
stress of love and longing and desire and distraction, he fell sick of
a sore sickness and took to his pillow and murdered sleep. His malady
redoubled on him and his torments increased and he was well nigh dead
when his case became known among the folk and his passion
notorious;—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man took to
his pillow and murdered sleep. So his case became known and his passion
notorious; and his infirmity grew upon him and his pains redoubled
until he was well nigh dead. His family and hers were urgent with her
to visit him, but she refused, till he was at the point of death when,
being told of this, she relented towards him and vouchsafed him a
visit. As soon as he saw her, his eyes ran over with tears and he
repeated from a broken heart,

     "An, by thy life, pass thee my funeral train, *

          A bier upborne upon the necks of four,

     Wilt thou not follow it, and greet the grave *

          Where shall my corpse be graved for evermore?"

Hearing this, she wept with sore weeping and said to him, "By Allah, I
suspected not that passion had come to such a pass with thee, as to
cast thee into the arms of death! Had I wist of this, I had been
favourable to thy wish, and thou shouldst have had thy will." At this
his tears streamed down even as the clouds rail rain, and he repeated
this verse,

     "She drew near whenas death was departing us, *

          And deigned union grant when twas useless all."

Then he groaned one groan and died. So she fell on him, kissing him and
weeping and ceased not weeping until she swooned away; and when she
came to herself, she charged her people to bury her in his grave and
with streaming eyes recited these two couplets,

     "We lived on earth a life of fair content; *

          And tribe and house and home of us were proud;

     But Time in whirling flight departed us, *

          To join us now in womb of earth and shroud.[FN#100]"

Then she fell again to weeping, nor gave over shedding tears and
lamenting till she fainted away; and she lay three days, senseless.
Then she died and was buried in his grave. This is one of the strange
chances of love.[FN#101] And I have heard related a tale of the


It is said that Badr al-Din, Wazir of Al-Yaman, had a young brother of
singular beauty and kept strait watch over him; so he applied himself
to seek a tutor for him and, coming upon a Shaykh of dignified and
reverend aspect, chaste and religious, lodged him in a house next his
own. This lasted a long time, and he used to come daily from his
dwelling to that of Sαhib[FN#102] Badr al-Din and teach the young
brother. After a while, the old man's heart was taken with love for the
youth, and longing grew upon him and his vitals were troubled, till one
day, he bemoaned his case to the boy, who said, "What can I do, seeing
that I may not leave my brother night or day? and thou thyself seest
how careful he is over me." Quoth the Shaykh, "My lodging adjoineth
thine; so there will be no difficulty, when thy brother sleepeth, to
rise and, entering the privy, feign thyself asleep. Then come to the
parapet[FN#103] of the terrace-roof and I will receive thee on the
other side of the wall; so shalt thou sit with me an eye-twinkling and
return without thy brother's knowledge." "I hear and obey," answered
the lad; and the tutor began to prepare gifts suitable to his degree.
Now when a while of the night was past, he entered the water-closet and
waited until his brother lay down on his bed and took patience till he
was drowned in sleep, when he rose and going to the parapet of the
terrace-roof, found standing there to await him the old man, who gave
him his hand and carried him to the sitting-chamber, where he had made
ready various dainties for his entertainment, and they sat down to
carouse. Now it was the night of the full moon and, as they sat with
the wine-cup going round, her rays shone upon them, and the governor
fell to singing. But, whilst they were thus in joy and jollity and
mirth and merriment, such as confoundeth the wit and the sight and
defieth description, lo! the Wazir awoke and, missing his brother,
arose in affright and found the door open. So he went up to the roof
and hearing a noise of talk, climbed over the parapet to the adjoining
terrace and saw a light shining from the lodging. He looked in from
behind the wall, and espied his brother and his tutor sitting at
carouse; but the Shaykh became aware of him and sang cup in hand, to a
lively measure these couplets,

     "He made me drain his wine of honeyed lips, *

          Toasting with cheeks which rose and myrtle smother:

     Then nighted in embrace, cheek to my cheek, *

          A loveling midst mankind without another.

     When the full moon arose on us and shone *

          Pray she traduce us not to the big brother."

And it proved the perfect politeness of the Wazir Badr al-Din that,
when he heard this, he said, "By Allah, I will not betray you!" And he
went away and left them to their diversions. They also tell a tale


A free boy and a slave-girl once learnt together in school, and the boy
fell passionately in love with the girl.—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighty-Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the lad fell
passionately in love with the slave-lass: so one day, when the other
boys were heedless, he took her tablet[FN#104] and wrote on it these
two couplets,

     "What sayest thou of him by sickness waste, *

          Until he's clean distraught for love of thee?

     Who in the transport of his pain complains, *

          Nor can bear load of heart in secrecy?"

Now when the girl took her tablet, she read the verses written thereon
and understanding them, wept for ruth of him; then she wrote thereunder
these two couplets,

     "An if we behold a lover love-fordone *

          Desiring us, our favours he shall see:

     Yea, what he wills of us he shall obtain, *

          And so befal us what befalling be."

Now it chanced that the teacher came in on them and taking the tablet,
unnoticed, read what was written thereon. So he was moved to pity of
their case and wrote on the tablet beneath those already written these
two couplets addressed to the girl,

     "Console thy lover, fear no consequence; *

          He is daft with loving lowe's insanity;

     But for the teacher fear not aught from him; *

          Love-pain he learned long before learnt ye."

Presently it so happened that the girl's owner entered the school about
the same time and, finding the tablet, read the above verses indited by
the boy, the girl and the schoolmaster; and wrote under them these two

     "May Allah never make you parting dree *

          And be your censurer shamed wearily!

     But for the teacher ne'er, by Allah, eye *

          Of mine beheld a bigger pimp than he!"

Then he sent for the Kazi and witnesses and married them on the spot.
Moreover, he made them a wedding-feast and treated them with exceeding
munificence; and they ceased not abiding together in joy and happiness,
till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of
societies. And equally pleasant is the story of


It is related Al-Mutalammis[FN#105] once fled from Al-Nu'uman bin
Munzir[FN#106] and was absent so long that folk deemed him dead. Now he
had a beautiful wife, Umaymah by name, and her family urged her to
marry again; but she refused, for that she loved her husband
Al-Mutalammis very dearly. However, they were urgent with her, because
of the multitude of her suitors, and importuned with her till at last
she consented, albe reluctantly; and they espoused her to a man of her
own tribe. Now on the night of the wedding, Al-Mutalammis came back
and, hearing in the camp a noise of pipes and tabrets and seeing signs
of a wedding festival, asked some of the children what was the
merry-making, to which they replied, "They have married Umaymah wife of
Al-Mutalammis, to such an one, and he goes in to her this night." When
he heard this, he planned to enter the house amongst the mob of women
and saw the twain seated on the bridal couch.[FN#107] By and by, the
bridegroom came up to her, whereupon she sighed heavily and weeping,
recited this couplet,

"Would Heaven I knew (but many are the shifts of joy and woe) *

     In what far distant land thou art, my Mutalammis, oh!"

Now Al-Mutalammis was a renowned poet; so he answered her saying;

"Right near at hand, Umaymah mine! when'er the caravan *

     Halted, I never ceased for thee to pine, I would thou know."

When the bridegroom heard this, he guess how the case stood and went
forth from them in hast improvising,

"I was in bestest luck, but now my luck goes contrary: *

     A hospitable house and room contain your loves, you two!"

And he returned not but left the twain to their privacy. So Al-
Mutalammis and his wife abode together in all comfort and solace of
life and in all its joys and jollities till death parted them. And
glory be to Him at whose command the earth and the heavens shall arise!
And among other tales is that of


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid loved the Lady Zubaydah with exceeding love
and laid out for her a pleasaunce, wherein he made a great tank and set
thereabouts a screen of trees and led thither water from all sides;
hence the trees grew and interlaced over the basin so densely, that one
could go in and wash, without being seen of any, for the thickness of
the leafage. It chanced, one day, that Queen Zubaydah entered the
garden and, coming to the swimming-bath,—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night

She said, It hath reached me, "O auspicious King, that Queen Zubaydah
entered the garden one day and, coming to the swimming- bath, gazed
upon its goodliness; and the sheen of the water and the overshading of
the trees pleased her. Now it was a day of exceeding heat; so she
doffed her clothes and, entering the tank, which was not deep enough to
cover the whole person, fell to pouring the water over herself from an
ewer of silver. It also happened that the Caliph heard she was in the
pool; so he left his palace and came down to spy upon her through the
screen of the foliage. He stood behind the trees and espied her mother-
nude, showing everything that is kept hidden. Presently, she became
aware of him and turning, saw him behind the trees and was ashamed that
he should see her naked. So she laid her hands on her parts, but the
Mount of Venus escaped from between them, by reason of its greatness
and plumpness; and the Caliph at once turned and went away, wondering
and reciting this couplet,

     "I looked on her with loving eyne *

          And grew anew my old repine:"

But he knew not what to say next; so he sent for Abu Nowas and said to
him, "Make me a piece of verse commencing with this line." "I hear and
obey," replied the poet and in an eye- twinkling extemporised these

     "I looked on her with longing eyne *

          And grew anew my old repine

     For the gazelle, who captured me *

          Where the two lotus-trees incline:

     There was the water poured on it *

          From ewer of the silvern mine;

     And seen me she had hidden it *

          But twas too plump for fingers fine.

     Would Heaven that I were on it, *

          An hour, or better two hours, li'en."[FN#108]

Thereupon the Commander of the Faithful smiled and made him a handsome
present and he went away rejoicing. And I have heard another story of


The Prince of True Believers, Caliph Harun al-Rashid, was exceeding
restless one night; so he rose and walked about his palace, till he
happened upon a handmaid overcome with wine. Now he was prodigiously
enamoured of this damsel; so he played with her and pulled her to him,
whereupon her zone fell down and her petticoat-trousers were loosed and
he besought her of amorous favour. But she said to him, "O Commander of
the Faithful wait till to-morrow night, for I am unprepared for thee,
knowing not of thy coming." So he left her and went away. But, when the
morrow showed its light and the sun shone bright, he sent a page to her
saying, "The Commander of the Faithful is about to visit thine
apartment;" but she replied, "Day doth away with the promise of night."
So he said to his courtiers, "Make me somewhat of verse, introducing
these words, The Promise of Night is effaced by Day.'" Answered they,
"We hear and obey," and Al- Rakαshi[FN#109] came forward and recited
the following couplets,

     "By Allah, couldst thou but feel my pain, *

          Thy rest had turned and had fled away.

     Hath left me in sorrow and love distraught, *

          Unseen and unseeing, that fairest may:

     She promised me grace, then jilted and said, *

          The promise of night is effaced by day!'"

Then Abu Mus'ab came forward and recited these couplets,

     "When wilt thou be wise and love-heat allay *

          That from food and sleeping so leads astray?

     Suffices thee not ever weeping eye, *

          And vitals on fire when thy name they say?

     He must smile and laugh and in pride must cry *

          The promise of Night is effaced by Day.'"

Last came Abu Nowas and recited the following couplets,

     "As love waxt longer less met we tway *

          And fell out, but ended the useless fray;

     One night in the palace I found her fou'; *

          Yet of modesty still there was some display:

     The veil from her shoulders had slipt; and showed *

          Her loosened trousers Love's seat and stay:

     And rattled the breezes her huge hind cheeks *

          And the branch where two little pomegranates lay:

     Quoth I, Give me tryst;' whereto quoth she *

          To-morrow the fane shall wear best array:'

     Next day I asked her, Thy word?' Said she *

          The promise of Night is effaced by Day.'"

The Caliph bade give a myriad of money each to Al-Rakashi and Abu
Mus'ab, but bade strike off the head of Abu Nowas, saying, "Thou wast
with us yesternight in the palace." Said he, "By Allah, I slept not but
in my own house! I was directed to what I said by thine own words as to
the subject of the verse; and indeed quoth Almighty Allah (and He is
the truest of all speakers): As for poets (devils pursue them!) dost
thou not see that they rove as bereft of their senses through every
valley and that they say that which they do not?'"[FN#110] So the
Caliph forgave him and gave him two myriads of money. And another tale
is that of


It is told of Mus'ab bin al-Zubayr[FN#111] that he met in Al- Medinah
Izzah, who was one of the shrewdest of women, and said to her, "I have
a mind to marry Ayishah[FN#112] daughter of Talhah, and I should like
thee to go herwards and spy out for me how she is made." So she went
away and returning to Mus'ab, said, "I have seen her, and her face is
fairer than health; she hath large and well-opened eyes and under them
a nose straight and smooth as a cane; oval cheeks and a mouth like a
cleft pomegranate, a neck as a silver ewer and below it a bosom with
two breasts like twin- pomegranates and further down a slim waist and a
slender stomach with a navel therein as it were a casket of ivory, and
back parts like a hummock of sand; and plumply rounded thighs and
calves like columns of alabaster; but I saw her feet to be large, and
thou wilt fall short with her in time of need." Upon this report he
married her,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Eighty-seventh Day

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Izzah this
wise reported of Ayishah bint Talhah, Mus'ab married her and went in to
her. And presently Izzah invited Ayishah and the women of the tribe
Kuraysh to her house, when Ayishah sang these two couplets with Mus'ab
standing by,

     "And the lips of girls, that are perfume sweet; *

          So nice to kiss when with smiles they greet:

     Yet ne'er tasted I them, but in thought of him; *

          And by thought the Ruler rules worldly seat."

The night of Mus'ab's going in unto her, he departed not from her, till
after seven bouts; and on the morrow, a freewoman of his met him and
said to him, "May I be thy sacrifice! Thou art perfect, even in this."
And a certain woman said, "I was with Ayishah, when her husband came in
to her, and she lusted for him; so he fell upon her and she snarked and
snorted and made use of all wonder of movements and marvellous new
inventions, and I the while within hearing. So, when he came out from
her, I said to her, How canst thou do thus with thy rank and nobility
and condition, and I in thy house?' Quoth she, Verily a woman should
bring her husband all of which she is mistress, by way of excitement
and rare buckings and wrigglings and motitations.[FN#113] What
dislikest thou of this?' And I answered I would have this by nights.'
Rejoined she, Thus is it by day and by night I do more than this; for
when he seeth me, desire stirreth him up and he falleth in heat; so he
putteth it out to me and I obey him, and it is as thou seest.'" And
there also hath reached me an account of


Abu al-Aswad bought a native-born slave-girl, who was blind of an eye,
and she pleased him; but his people decried her to him; whereat he
wondered and, turning the palms of his hands upwards,[FN#114] recited
these two couplets,

     "They find me fault with her where I default ne'er find, *

          Save haply that a speck in either eye may show:

     But if her eyes have fault, of fault her form hath none, *

          Slim-built above the waist and heavily made below."

And this is also told of


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid lay one night between two slave-girls, one
from Al-Medinah and the other from Cufa and the Cufite rubbed his
hands, whilst the Medinite rubbed his feet and made his concern[FN#115]
stand up. Quoth the Cufite, "I see thou wouldst keep the whole of the
stock-in-trade to thyself; give me my share of it." And the other
answered, "I have been told by Mαlik, on the authority of Hishαm ibn
Orwah,[FN#116] who had it of his (grand) father, that the Prophet said,
Whoso quickeneth the dead, the dead belongeth to him and is his.' But
the Cufite took her unawares and, pushing her away, seized it all in
her own hand and said, "Al-A'amash telleth us, on the authority of
Khaysamah, who had it of Abdallah bin Mas'ud, that the Prophet
declared, Game belongeth to him who taketh it, not to him who raiseth
it.'" And this is also related of


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid once slept with three slave-girls, a Meccan,
a Medinite and an Irakite. The Medinah girl put her hand to his yard
and handled it, whereupon it rose and the Meccan sprang up and drew it
to herself. Quoth the other, "What is this unjust aggression? A
tradition was related to me by Mαlik[FN#117] after Al-Zuhri, after
Abdallah ibn Sαlim, after Sa'νd bin Zayd, that the Apostle of Allah
(whom Allah bless and keep!) said: Whoso enquickeneth a dead land, it
is his.' And the Meccan answered, "It is related to us by Sufyαn, from
Abu Zanαd, from Al-A'araj, from Abu Horayrah, that the Apostle of Allah
said: The quarry is his who catcheth it, not his who starteth it.'" But
the Irak girl pushed them both away and taking it to herself, said,
"This is mine, till your contention be decided." And they tell a tale


There was a miller, who had an ass to turn his mill; and he was married
to a wicked wife, whom he loved, while she hated him because she was
sweet upon a neighbour, who misliked her and held aloof from her. One
night, the miller saw, in his sleep, one who said to him, "Dig in such
a spot of the ass's round in the mill, and thou shalt find a hoard."
When he awoke, he told his wife the vision and bade her keep the
secret; but she told her neighbour,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three hundred and Eighty-eighth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the miller's wife
told the secret to the neighbour whom she loved, thinking to win his
favour; and he agreed with her to come to her by night. So he came and
they dug in the mill and found the treasure and took it forth. Then he
asked her, "How shall we do with this?" and she answered; "We will
divide it into two halves and will share it equally between us, and do
thou leave thy wife and I will cast about to rid me of my husband. Then
shalt thou marry me and, when we are conjoined, we will join the two
halves of the treasure one to other, and all will be in our hands."
Quoth he, "I fear lest Satan seduce thee and thou take some other man
other than myself; for gold in the house is like the sun in the world.
I reck, therefore, it were right that the money be all in my hands, so
thou give thy whole mind to getting free of thy husband and coming to
me." Quoth she, "I fear even as thou fearest, nor will I yield up my
part to thee; for it was I directed thee to it." When he heard this,
greed of gain prompted him to kill her; so he slew her and threw her
body into the empty hoard-hole; but day overtook him and hindered him
from covering it up; he therefore took the money and went his way. Now
after a while the miller awoke and, missing his wife, went into the
mill, where he fastened the ass to the beam and shouted to it. It went
on a little, then stopped; whereupon he beat it grievously; but the
more he bashed it, the more it drew back; for it was affrighted at the
dead woman and could not go forward. Thereupon the Miller, unknowing
what hindered the donkey, took out a knife and goaded it again and
again, but still it would not budge. Then he was wroth with it, knowing
not the cause of its obstinacy, and drove the knife into its flanks,
and it fell down dead. But when the sun rose, he saw his donkey lying
dead and likewise his wife in the place of the treasure, and great was
his rage and sore his wrath for the loss of his hoard and the death of
his wife and his ass. All this came of his letting his wife into his
secret and not keeping it to himself.[FN#118] And I have heard this
tale of


A certain simpleton was once walking along, haling his ass after him by
the halter, when a pair of sharpers saw him and one said to his fellow,
"I will take that ass from yonder wight." Asked the other, "How wilt
thou do that?" "Follow me and I will show thee how," answered the
first. So the cony-catcher went up to the ass and, loosing it from the
halter, gave the beast to his fellow; then he haltered his own head and
followed Tom Fool till he knew the other had got clean off with the
ass, when he stood still. The oaf haled at the halter, but the rascal
stirred not; so he turned and seeing the halter on a man's neck, said
to him, "What art thou?" Quoth the sharper, "I am thine ass and my
story is a wonderous one and tis this. Know that I have a pious old
mother and come in to her one day, drunk; and she said to me: O my son,
repent to the Almighty of these thy transgressions.' But I took my
staff and beat her, whereupon she cursed me and Allah changed me into
an ass and caused me fall into thy hands, where I have remained till
this moment. However, to-day, my mother called me to mind and her heart
yearned towards me; so she prayed for me and the Lord restored me to my
former shape amongst the sons of Adam." Cried the silly one, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! Allah upon thee, O my brother, acquit me of what I have done
with thee in the way of riding and so forth." Then he let the
cony-catcher go and returned home, drunken with chagrin and concern as
with wine. His wife asked him, "What aileth thee and where is the
donkey?"; and he answered, "Thou knowest not what was this ass; but I
will tell thee." So he told her the story, and she exclaimed, "Alack
and alas for the punishment we shall receive from Almighty Allah! How
could we have used a man as a beast of burden, all this while? And she
gave alms by way of atonement and prayed pardon of Heaven.[FN#119] Then
the man abode awhile at home, idle and feckless, till she said to him,
"How long wilt thou sit at home doing naught? Go to the market and buy
us an ass and ply thy work with it." Accordingly, he went to the market
and stopped by the ass-stand, where behold, he saw his own ass for
sale. So he went up to it and clapping his mouth to its ear, said to
it, "Woe to thee, thou ne'er-do-well! Doubtless thou hast been getting
drunk again and beating thy mother! But, by Allah, I will never buy
thee more."[FN#120] and he left it and went away. And they tell a tale


The Caliph Harun al-Rashid went up one noon-tide to his couch, to lie
down; and mounting, found upon the bed-clothes semen freshly emitted;
whereat he was startled and troubled with sore trouble. So he called
the Lady Zubaydah and said to her, "What is that spilt on the bed?" She
looked at it and replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, it is semen."
Quoth he, "Tell me truly what this meaneth or I will lay violent hands
on thee forthright." Quoth she, "By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful,
indeed I know not how it came there and I am guiltless of that whereof
you suspectest me." So he sent for the Kazi Abϊ Yϊsuf and acquainted
him of the case. The Judge raised his eyes to the ceiling and, seeing a
crack therein, said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, in
very sooth the bat hath seed like that of a man,[FN#121] and this is
bat's semen." Then he called for a spear and thrust it into the
crevice, whereupon down fell the bat. In this manner the Caliph's
suspicions were dispelled,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three hundred and Eighty-ninth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Kazi Abu
Yusuf took the spear and thrust it into the crevice, down fell the bat,
and thus the Caliph's suspicions were dispelled and the innocence of
Zubaydah was made manifest; whereat she gave loud and liberal vent to
her joy and promised Abu Yusuf a magnificent reward. Now there were
with her certain delicious fruits, out of their season, and she knew of
others in the garden; so she asked Abu Yusuf, "O Imam of the Faith,
which wouldst thou rather have of the two kinds of fruits, those that
are here or those that are not here?" And he answered, "Our code
forbiddeth us to pronounce judgement on the absent; whenas they are
present, we will give our decision." So she let bring the two kinds of
fruits before him; and he ate of both. Quoth she, "What is the
difference between them?" and quoth he, "As often as I think to praise
one kind, the adversary putteth in its claim." The Caliph laughed at
his answer[FN#122] and made him a rich present; and Zubaydah also gave
him what she had promised him, and he went away, rejoicing. See, then
the virtues of this Imαm and how his hands were manifest the truth and
the innocence of the Lady Zubaydah. And amongst other stories is that


The Caliph Al-Hαkim bi-Amri'llah was riding out in state procession one
day, when he passed along a garden, wherein he saw a man, surrounded by
negro-slaves and eunuchs. He asked him for a draught of water, and the
man gave him to drink, saying, "Belike, the Commander of the Faithful
will honour me by alighting in this my garden." So the Caliph
dismounted and with his suite entered the garden; whereupon the said
man brought out to them an hundred rugs and an hundred leather mats and
an hundred cushions; and set before them an hundred dishes of fruits,
an hundred bowls of sweetmeats and an hundred jars of sugared sherbets;
at which the Caliph marvelled with much amaze and said to his host, "O
man, verily this thy case is wondrous: didst thou know of our coming
and make this preparation for us?" He replied, "No by Allah, O
Commander of the Faithful, I knew not of thy coming and I am a merchant
of the rest of thy subjects; but I have an hundred concubines; so, when
the Commander of the Faithful honoured me by alighting with me, I sent
to each of them, bidding her send me her morning-meal in the garden. So
they sent me each of her furniture and the surplus of her meat and
drink: and every day each sendeth me a dish of meat and another of
cooling marinades, also a platter of fruits and a bowl of sweetmeats
and a jar of sherbet. This is my noon-day dinner, nor have I added
aught thereto for thee." Then the Commander of the Faithful, Al-Hakim
bi-Amri'llah prostrated himself in thanksgiving to the Almighty
(extolled and exalted be His name!) and said, "Praise be Allah, who
hath been so bountiful to one of our lieges, that he entertaineth the
Caliph and his host, without making ready for them; nay, he feedeth
them with the surplusage of his day's provision!" Then he sent for all
the dirhams in the treasury, that had been struck that year (and they
were in number three thousand and seven hundred thousand); nor did he
mount until the money came, when he gave it to the merchant, saying,
"Use this as thy state may require; and thy generosity deserveth more
than this." Then he took horse and rode away. And I have heard a story


The Just King, Kisrα Anϊshirwαn, one day rode forth to the chase and,
in pursuit of a deer, became separated from his suite. Presently, he
caught sight of a hamlet near hand and being sore athirst, he made for
it and presenting himself at the door of a house that lay by the
wayside, asked for a draught of water. So a damsel came out and looked
at him; then, going back into the house, pressed the juice from a
single sugar-cane into a bowl and mixed it with water; after which she
strewed on the top some scented stuff, as it were dust, and carried it
tot he King. Thereupon he seeing in it what resembled dust, drank it,
little by little, till he came to the end; when said he to her, "O
damsel, the drink is good, and how sweet it had been but for this dust
in it that troubleth it." Answered she, "O guest, I put in that powder
for a purpose;" and he asked, "And why didst thou thus?"; so she
replied, "I saw thee exceedingly thirsty and feared that thou wouldst
drain the whole at one draught and that this would thee mischief; and
but for this dust that troubled the drink so hadst thou done." The Just
King wondered at her words, knowing that they came of her wit and good
sense, and said to her, "From how many sugar canes didst thou express
this draught?" "One," answered she; whereat Anushirwan marvelled and,
calling for the register of the village taxes, saw that its assessment
was but little and bethought him to increase it, on his return to his
palace, saying in himself, "A village where they get this much juice
out of one sugar-cane, why is it so lightly taxed?" He then left the
village and pursued his chase; and, as he came back at the end of the
day, he passed alone by the same door and called again for drink;
whereupon the same damsel came out and, knowing him at a look, went in
to fetch him water. It was some time before she returned and Anushirwan
wondered thereat and said to her, "Why hast thou tarried?"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

When it was the Three hundred and Ninetieth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Anushirwan
hurried the damsel and asked her, "Why hast thou tarried?" she
answered, "Because a single sugar-cane gave not enough for thy need; so
I pressed three; but they yielded not to much as one did before."
Rejoined he, "What is the cause of that?"; and she replied, "The cause
of it is that when the Sultan's[FN#125] mind is changed against a folk,
their prosperity ceaseth and their good waxeth less." So Anushirwan
laughed and dismissed from his mind that which he had purposed against
the villagers. Moreover, he took the damsel to wife then and there,
being pleased with her much wit and acuteness and the excellence of her
speech. And they tell another tale of the


There was once, in the city of Bokhara, a water-carrier, who used to
carry water to the house of a goldsmith and had done this thirty years.
Now that goldsmith had a wife of exceeding beauty and loveliness,
brilliancy and perfect grace; and she was withal renowned for piety,
chastity and modesty. One day the water- carrier came, as of custom,
and poured the water into the cisterns. Now the woman was standing in
the midst of the court; so he went close up to her and taking her hand,
stroked it and pressed it, then went away and left her. When her
husband came home from the bazar, she said to him, "I would have thee
tell me what thing thou hast done in the market this day, to anger
Almighty Allah." Quoth he, "I have done nothing to offend the Lord."
"Nay," rejoined she, "but, by Allah, thou hast indeed done something to
anger Him; and unless thou tell me the whole truth, I will not abide in
thy house, and thou shalt not see me, nor will I see thee." So he
confessed, "I will tell thee the truth of what I did this day. It so
chanced that, as I was sitting in my shop, as of wont, a woman came up
to me and bade me make her a bracelet of gold. Then she went away and I
wrought her a bracelet and laid it aside. But when she returned and I
brought her out the bracelet, she put forth her hand and I clasped the
bracelet on her wrist; and I wondered at the whiteness of her hand and
the beauty of her wrist, which would captivate any beholder; and I
recalled what the poet saith,

     Her fore-arms, dight with their bangles, show *

          Like fire ablaze on the waves a-flow;

     As by purest gold were the water girt, *

          And belted around by a living lowe.'

So I took her hand and pressed it and squeezed it." Said the woman,
"Great God! Why didst thou this ill thing? Know that the water-carrier,
who hath come to our house these thirty years, nor sawst thou ever any
treason in him took my hand this day and pressed and squeezed it." Said
her husband, "O woman, let us crave pardon of Allah! Verily, I repent
of what I did, and do thou ask forgiveness of the Lord for me." She
cried, "Allah pardon me and thee, and receive us into his holy
keeping."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Three hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the goldsmith's
wife cried out, "Allah pardon me and thee, and receive us into his holy
keeping!" And on the next day, the water-carrier came in to the
jeweller's wife and, throwing himself at her feet, grovelled in the
dust and besought pardon of her, saying, "O my lady, acquit me of that
which Satan deluded me to do; for it was he that seduced me and led me
astray." She answered, "Go thy ways, the sin was not in thee, but in my
husband, for that he did what he did in his shop, and Allah hath
retaliated upon him in this world." And it related that the goldsmith,
when his wife told him how the water-carrier had used her, said, "Tit
for tat, and blow for blow!; had I done more the water-carrier had done
more";—which became a current byword among the folk. Therefore it
behoveth a wife to be both outward and inward with her husband;
contenting herself with little from him, if he cannot give her much,
and taking pattern by Ayishah the Truthful and Fatimah the virgin
mother (Allah Almighty accept of them the twain!), that she may be of
the company of the righteous ancestry.[FN#127] And I have heard the
following tale of


King Khusrau[FN#128] Shahinshah of Persia loved fish; and one day, as
he sat in his saloon, he and Shirin his wife, there came a fisherman,
with a great fish, and he laid it before the King, who was pleased and
ordered the man four thousand dirhams.[FN#129] Thereupon Shirin said to
the King, "Thou hast done ill." Asked he, "And why?", and she answered,
"Because if, after this, though give one of thy courtiers a like sum,
he will disdain it and say, He hath but given me the like of what he
gave the fisherman.' And if thou give him less, the same will say, He
despiseth me and giveth me less than he gave the fisherman.'" Rejoined
Khusrau, "Thou art right, but it would dishonour a king to go back on
his gift; and the thing is done." Quoth Shirin, "If thou wilt, I will
contrive thee a means to get it back from him." Quoth he, "How so?";
and she said, "Call back, if thou so please, the fisherman and ask him
if the fish be male or female. If he say, Male,' say thou, We want a
female,' and if he say, Female,' say, We want a male.'" So the King
sent for the fisherman, who was a man of wit and astuteness, and said
to him, "Is this fish male or female?" whereupon the fisherman kissed
the ground and answered, "This fish is an hermaphrodite,[FN#130]
neither male nor female." Khusrau laughed at his clever reply and
ordered him other four thousand dirhams. So the fisherman went to the
treasurer and, taking his eight thousand dirhams, put them in a sack he
had with him. Then, throwing it over his shoulder, he was going away,
when he dropped a dirham; so he laid the bag off his back and stooped
down to pick it up. Now the King and Shirin were looking on, and the
Queen said, "O King, didst thou note the meanness of the man, in that
he must needs stoop down to pick up the one dirham, and could not bring
himself to leave it for any of the King's servants?" When the King
heard these words, he was exceeding wroth with the fisherman and said,
"Thou art right, O Shirin!" So he called the man back and said to him,
"Thou low-minded carle! Thou art no man! How couldst thou put the bag
with all this money off thy back and bend thee groundwards to pick up
the one dirham and grudge to leave it where it fell?" Thereupon the
fisherman kissed the earth before him and answered, "May Allah prolong
the King's life! Indeed, I did not pick up the dirham off the ground
because of its value in my eyes; but I raised it off the earth because
on one of its faces is the likeness of the King and on the other his
name; and I feared lest any should unwittingly set foot upon it, thus
dishonouring the name and presentment of the King, and I be blamed for
this offence." The King wondered at his words and approved of his wit
and shrewdness, and ordered him yet another four thousand dirhams.
Moreover, he bade cry abroad in his kingdom, saying, "It behoveth none
to be guided by women's counsel; for whoso followeth their advice,
loseth, with his one dirham, other twain."[FN#131] And here is the tale
they tell of


Yahya bin Khαlid the Barmecide was returning home, one day, from the
Caliph's palace, when he saw, at the gate of his mansion, a man who
rose as he drew near and saluted him, saying, "O Yahya, I am in sore
need of that which is in they hand, and I make Allah my intermediary
with thee." So Yahya caused a place to be set aside for him in his
house and bade his treasurer carry him a thousand dirhams every day and
ordered that his diet be of the choicest of his own meat. The man abode
in this case a whole month, at the end of which time, having received
in all thirty thousand dirhams and fearing lest Yahya should take the
money from him, because of the greatness of the sum, he departed by
stealth.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man, taking
with him the money, departed by stealth. But when they told Yahya of
this, he said, "By Allah, though he had tarried with me to the end of
his days, yet had I not stinted him of my largesse nor cut off from him
the bounties of my hospitality!" For, indeed, the excellences of the
Barmecides were past count nor can their virtues be committed to
description, especially those of Yahya bin Khalid, for he was an
ocean[FN#132] of noble qualities, even as saith the poet of him,

     "I asked of Bounty, Art thou free?' Quoth she, *

          No, I am slave to Yahyα Khαlid-son!'

     Boughten?' asked I. Allah forfend,' quoth she, *

          By heirship, sire to sire's transmission!'"

And the following is related of


Ja'afar bin Musα al-Hαdi[FN#133] once had a slave-girl, a lutist,
called Al-Badr al-Kabνr, than whom there was not in her time a fairer
of face nor shapelier of shape nor a more elegant of manners nor a more
accomplished in the art of singing and striking the strings; she was
indeed perfect in beauty and extreme in every charm. Now Mohammed
al-Amνn,[FN#134] son of Zubaydah, heard of her and was urgent with
Ja'afar to sell her to him; but he replied, "Thou knowest it beseemeth
not one of my rank to sell slave-girls nor set prices on concubines;
but were she not a rearling I would send her to thee, as a gift, not
grudge her to thee." And Mohammed al-Amin, some days after this went to
Ja'afar's house, to make merry; and the host set before him that which
it behoveth to set before true friends and bade the damsel Al-Badr
al-Kabir sing to him and gladden him. So she tuned the lute and sang
with a ravishing melody; whilst Mohammed al-Amin fell to drinking and
jollity and bade the cupbearers ply Ja'afar with much wine, till they
made him drunken, when he took the damsel and carried her to his own
house, but laid not a finger on her. And when the morrow dawned he bade
invite Ja'afar; and when he came, he set wine before him and made the
girl sing to him, from behind the curtain. Ja'afar knew her voice and
was angered at this, but, of the nobleness of his nature and the
magnanimity of his mind he showed no change. Now when the carousal was
at an end, Al-Amin commanded one of his servants to fill the boat,
wherein Ja'afar had come, with dirhams and dinars and all manner of
jewels and jacinths and rich raiment and goods galore. So he laid
therein a thousand myriads of money and a thousand fine pearls, each
worth twenty thousand dirhams; nor did he give over loading the barge
with all manner of things precious and rare, till the boatmen cried out
for help, saying, "The boat can't hold any more;" whereupon he bade
them carry all this to Ja'afar's palace. Such are the exploits of the
magnanimous, Allah have mercy on them! And a tale is related of


Quoth Sa'νd bin Sαlim al'Bαhilν,[FN#135] I was once in very narrow
case, during the days of Harun al-Rashid, and debts accumulated upon
me, burdening my back, and these I had no means of discharging. I was
at my wits' end what to do, for my doors were blocking up with
creditors and I was without cease importuned for payment by claimants,
who dunned me in crowds till at last I was sore perplexed and troubled.
So I betook myself to Abdallah bin Mαlik al-Khuza'ν[FN#136] and
besought him to extend the hand of aid with his judgement and direct me
of his good counsel to the door of relief; and he said, None can save
thee from this thy strait and sorrowful state save the Barmecides.'
Quoth I, Who can brook their pride and put up patiently with their
arrogant pretensions?' and quoth he, Thou wilt put up with all this for
the bettering of thy case.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninety-third Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdallah ibn
Malik al-Khuza'i said to Sa'id bin Salim, "Thou wilt put up with all
this for the bettering of thy case." "So I left him suddenly (continued
Sa'id) and went straight to Al-Fazl and Ja'afar, sons of Yahyα bin
Khαlid, to whom I related my circumstances; whereto they replied, Allah
give thee His aid, and render thee by His bounties independent of His
creatures and vouchsafe thee abundant weal and bestow on thee what
shall suffice thee, without the need of any but Himself; for whatso He
willeth that He can, and He is gracious with His servants and knoweth
their wants.' So I went out from the twain and returned to Abdallah,
with straitened breast and mind perplexed and heavy of heart, and
repeated to him what they had said. Quoth he, Thou wouldst do well to
abide with us this day, that we may see what Allah Almighty will
decree.' So I sat with him awhile, when lo! up came my servant, who
said to me, O my lord, there are at our door many laden mules and with
them a man, who says he is the agent of Al-Fazl and Ja'afar bin Yahya.'
Quoth Abdallah, I trust that relief is come to thee: rise up and go see
what is the matter.' So I left him and, hastening to my house, found at
the door a man who gave me a note wherein was written the following:
After thou hadst been with us and we heard thy case, we betook
ourselves to the Caliph and informed him that ill condition had reduced
thee to the humiliation of begging; where upon he ordered us to supply
thee with a thousand thousand dirhams from the Treasury. We represented
to him: The debtor will spend this money in paying off creditors and
wiping off debt; whence then shall he provide for his subsistence? So
he ordered thee other three hundred thousand, and each of us hath also
sent thee, of his proper wealth, a thousand thousand dirhams: so that
thou hast now three thousand thousand and three hundred thousand
dirhams wherewithal to order and amend thine estate.'" See, then, the
munificence of these magnificos: Almighty Allah have mercy on them! And
a tale is told of


A man brought his wife a fish one Friday and, bidding her to cook it
against the end of the congregational prayers, went out to his craft
and business. Meanwhile in came her friend who bade her to a wedding at
his house; so she agreed and, laying the fish in a jar of water, went
off with him and was absent a whole week till the Friday
following;[FN#137] whilst her husband sought her from house to house
and enquired after her; but none could give him any tidings of her. Now
on the next Friday she came home and he fell foul of her; but she
brought out to him the fish alive from the jar and assembled the folk
against him and told them her tale.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the woman brought
out the fish alive from the water-jar and assembled the folk against
her husband, and told them her tale. He also told his; but they
credited him not and said, "It cannot be that the fish should have
remained alive all this while." So they proved him mad and imprisoned
him and mocked at him, where upon he shed tears in floods and recited
these two couplets,

     "Old hag, of high degree in filthy life, *

          Whose face her monstrous lewdness witnesses.

     When menstuous she bawds; when clean she whores; *

          And all her time bawd or adulteress is."

And a tale is related of the


There was in times of yore and in ages long gone before, a virtuous
woman among the children of Israel, who was pious and devout and used
every day to go out to the place of prayer, first entering a garden,
which adjoined thereto, and there making the minor ablution. Now there
were in this garden two old men, its keepers, and both Shaykhs fell in
love with her and sought her favours; but she refused, whereupon said
they, "Unless thou yield thy body to us, we will bear witness against
thee of fornication." Quoth she, "Allah will preserve me from your
frowardness!" Then they opened the garden-gate and cried out, and the
folk came to them from all places, saying "What aileth you?" Quoth
they, "We found this damsel in company with a youth who was doing
lewdness with her; but he escaped from our hands." Now it was the wont
of the people in those days to expose adulterer and adulteress to
public reproach for three days, and after stone them. So they cried her
name in the public streets for three days, while the two elders came up
to her daily and, laying their hands on her head, said, "Praised be
Allah who hath sent down on thee His righteous indignation!" Now on the
fourth day, when they bore her away to stone her, they were followed by
a lad named Daniel, who was then only twelve years old, and this was to
be the first of his miracles (upon our Prophet and upon him the
blessing and peace!). And he ceased not following them to the place of
execution, till he came up with them and said to them, "Hasten not to
stone her, till I judge between them." So they set him a chair and he
sat down and summoned the old men separately. (Now he was the first
ever separated witnesses.) Then said he to the first, "What sawest
thou?"[FN#139] So he repeated to him his story, and Daniel asked, "In
what part of the garden did this befal?" and he answered, "On the
eastern side, under a pear-tree." Then he called the other old man and
asked him the same question, and he replied, "On the western side of
the garden, under an apple-tree." Meanwhile the damsel stood by, with
her hands and eyes raised heavenwards, imploring the Lord for
deliverance. Then Allah Almighty sent down His blasting leven-fire upon
the elders and consumed them, and on this wise the Lord made manifest
the innocence of the damsel. Such was the first of the miracles of the
Prophet Daniel, on whom be blessing and peace! And they relate a tale


The Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, went out one day, with
Abu Ya'Kϊb the cup-companion[FN#140] and Ja'afar the Barmecide and Abu
Nowas, into the desert, where they fell in with an old man, propt
against his ass. The Caliph bade Ja'afar learn of him whence he came;
so he asked him, "Whence comest thou?" and he answered, "From
Bassorah."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ja'afar
asked the man, "Whence comest thou?"; he answered "From Bassorah."
Quoth Ja'afar, "And whither goest thou?" Quoth the other, "To Baghdad."
Then Ja'afar enquired "And what wilt thou do there?" and the old man
replied, "I go to seek medicine for my eye." Said the Caliph, "O
Ja'afar, make thou sport with him," and answered Ja'afar, "I shall hear
what I shall exceedingly mislike."[FN#141] But Al-Rashid rejoined, "I
charge thee on my authority, jest with him." Thereupon Ja'afar said to
the Badawi, "If I prescribe thee a medicine that shall profit thee,
what wilt thou give me in return?" Quoth the other, "Allah Almighty
will requite the kindness with what is better for thee than any
requital of mine." Continued Ja'afar, "Now lend me an ear and I will
give thee a prescription, which I have given to none but thee." "What
is that?" asked the Badawi; and Ja'afar answered, "Take three ounces of
wind-breaths and the like of sunbeams and the same of moonshine and as
much of lamp-light; mix them well together and let them lie in the wind
three months. Then place them three months in a mortar without a bottom
and pound them to a fine powder and after trituration set them in a
cleft platter, and let it stand in the wind other three months; after
which use of this medicine three drachms every night in thy sleep, and,
Inshallah! thou shalt be healed and whole." Now when the Badawi heard
this, he stretched himself out to full length on the donkey's back and
let fly a terrible loud fart[FN#142] and said to Ja'afar, "Take this
fart in payment of thy prescription. When I have followed it, if Allah
grant me recovery, I will give thee a slave-girl, who shall serve thee
in they lifetime a service, wherewith Allah shall cut short thy term;
and when thou diest and the Lord hurrieth thy soul to hell-fire, she
shall blacken thy face with her skite, of her mourning for thee, and
shall keen and beat her face, saying O frosty-beard, what a fool thou
wast?'"[FN#143] thereupon Harun al-Rashid laughed till he fell
backward, and ordered the Badawi three thousand silver pieces. And a
tale is told of


The Sharif Husayn bin Rayyαn relateth that the Caliph Omar bin
Al-Khattαb was sitting one day judging the folk and doing justice
between his subjects, attended by the best and wisest of his
counsellors, when there came up to him a youth comely and cleanly
attired, upon whom two very handsome youths had laid hold and were
haling by the collar till they set him in the presence. Whereupon the
Commander of the Faithful, Omar, looked at him and them and bade them
loose him; then, calling him near to himself, asked the twain, "What is
your case with him?" They answered, "O Prince of True Believers, we are
two brothers by one mother and as followers of verity known are we. We
had a father, a very old man of good counsel, honoured by the tribes,
sound of baseness renowned for goodliness, who reared us tenderly in
childhood, and loaded us with favours in manhood;"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two youths
said to the Commander of the Faithful, Omar son of Al- Khattab, "Our
father was a man honoured by the tribes, sound of baseness and renowned
for goodliness, who reared us delicately in childhood and loaded us
with favours in manhood; in fine, a sea of noble and illustrious
qualities, worthy of the poet's praise,

     Is Aub's-Sakr of Shaybαn[FN#144]?' they asked; *

          Quoth I, Nay, by my life, of him's Shaybαn:

     How many a sire rose high by a noble son, *

          As Allah's prophet glorified Adnan!'[FN#145]

Now he went forth this day to his garden, to refresh himself amongst
its trees and pluck the ripe fruits, when this young man slew him
wrongously and swerved from the road of righteousness; wherefore we
demand of thee the retribution of his crime and call upon thee to pass
judgement upon him, according to the commandment of Allah." Then Omar
cast a terrible look at the accused youth and said to him, "Verily thou
hearest the complaint these two young men prefer; what hast thou in
reply to aver?" But he was brave of heart and bold of speech, having
doffed the robe of pusillanimity and put off the garb of cowardry; so
he smiled and spake in the most eloquent and elegant words; and, after
paying the usual ceremonial compliments to the Caliph, said, ""By
Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, I have indeed given ear to their
complaint, and they have told the truth in that which they tell, so far
as they have set out what befel; and the commandment of Allah is a
decreed decree.[FN#146] but I will forthright state my case between
they hands, and it is for thee to give commands. Know then, O Prince of
the Faithful, that I am a very Arab of the Arabies,[FN#147] the noblest
of those that are beneath the skies. I grew up in the dwellings of the
wold and fell, till evil times my tribe befel, when I came to the
outskirts of this town, with my family and whatso goods I own: and, as
I went along one of the paths leading to its gardens, orchards and
garths, with my she-camels highly esteemed and by me most precious
deemed, and midst them a stallion of noble blood and shape right good,
a plenteous getter of brood, by whom the females abundantly bore and
who walked among them as though a kingly crown he wore, one of the
she-camels broke away; and, running to the garden of these young men's
father, where the trees showed above the wall, put forth her lips and
began to feed as in stall. I ran to her, to drive her away, when
behold, there appeared, at a breach of the wall, an old man and grey,
whose eyes sparkled with angry ray, holding in his right a stone to
throw and swaying to and fro, with a swing like a lion ready for a
spring. He cast the stone at my stallion, and it killed him for it
struck a vital part. When I saw the stallion drop dead beside me, I
felt live coals of anger kindled in my heart; so I took up the very
same stone and throwing it at the old man, it was the cause of his bane
and ban: thus his own wrongful act returned to him anew, and the man
was slain of that wherewith he slew. When the stone struck him, he
cried out with a great cry and shrieked out a terrible shriek,
whereupon I hastened from the spot; but these two young men hurried
after me and laid hands on me and before thee carried me." Quoth Omar
(Almighty Allah accept of him!), "Thou hast confessed what thou
committedest, and of acquittal there is no possible occasion; for
urgent is the law of retaliation and they cried for mercy but it was
not a time to escape."[FN#148] the youth answered, "I hear and obey the
judgement of the Imam, and I consent to all required by the law of
Al-Islam; but I have a young brother, whose old father, before his
decease, appointed to him wealth in great store and gold galore, and
committed his affair to me before Allah, saying: I give this into thy
hand for thy brother; keep it for him with all thy might.' So I took
the money and buried it; nor doth any know of it but I. Now, if thou
adjudge me to be justiced forthright, the money will lost and thou
shalt be the cause of its loss; wherefore the child will sue thee for
his due on the day when the Creator shall judge between His creatures.
But, if thou wilt grant me three days' delay, I will appoint some
guardian to administer the affairs of the boy and return to answer my
debt; and I have one who will be my surety for the fulfillment of this
my promise." So the Commander of the Faithful bowed his head awhile,
then raised it and looking round upon those present, said, "Who will
stand surety by me for his return to this place?" And the youth looked
at the faces of those who were in company and pointing to Abu
Zarr,[FN#149] in preference to all present, said, "This man shall
answer for me and be my bail."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the youth
pointed to Abu Zarr and said, "This man shall answer for me and be my
bail," Omar (Allah accept of him!) said, O Abu Zarr, dost thou hear
these words and wilt thou be surety to me for the return of this
youth?" He answered, "Yes, O Commander of the Faithful, I will be
surety for him for three days." So the Caliph accepted his guarantee
and let the young man go. Now when the appointed time passed and the
days of grace were nearly or quite at end yet the youth came not, the
Caliph took seat in his council, with the Companions surrounding him,
like the constellations about the moon, Abu Zarr and the plaintiffs
being also present; and the avengers said, "Where is the defendant, O
Abu Zarr, and how shall he return, having once fled? But we will not
stir from our places till thou bring him to us, that we may take of him
our blood revenge." Replied Abu Zarr, "By the truth of the All-Wise
King, if the three days of grace expire and the young man returneth
not, I will fulfill my warranty and surrender my person to the Imam;"
and added Omar (whom Allah accept!), "By the Lord, if the young man
appear not, I will assuredly execute on Abu Zarr that which is
prescribed by the law of Al-Islam!"[FN#150] thereupon the eyes of the
bystanders ran over with tears; those who looked on groaned aloud and
great was the clamour. Then the chiefs of the Companions urged the
plaintiffs to accept the blood-wit and deserve the thanks of the folk;
but they both refused and would accept nothing save the talion.
However, as the folk were swaying to and fro like waves and loudly
bemoaning Abu Zarr, behold, up came the young Badawi; and, standing
before the Imam, saluted him right courteously (with sweat-beaded face
and shining with the crescent's grace) and said to him, "I have given
the lad in charge to his mother's brothers and have made them
acquainted with all that pertaineth to his affairs and let them into
the secrets of his monies; after which I braved the heats of noon and
have kept my word as a free- born man." Thereupon the folk marvelled,
seeing his good faith and loyalty and his offering himself to death
with so stout a heart; and one said to him, "How noble a youth art thou
and how loyal to thy word of honour and thy devoir!" Rejoined he, "Are
ye not convinced that when death presenteth itself, none can escape
from it? And indeed, I have kept my word, that it be not said, Good
faith is gone from among mankind.' " Said Abu Zarr, "By Allah, O
Commander of the Faithful, I became warrant for this young man, without
knowing to what tribe he belonged, nor had I seen him before that day;
but, when he turned away from all who were present and singled me out,
saying, This man shall answer for me and be my bail,' I thought it not
right to refuse him, and generosity forbade to disappoint his desire,
there being no harm in compliance therewith, that it be not bruited
abroad, Benevolence is gone from among mankind." Then said the two
young men, "O Commander of the Faithful, we forgive this youth our
father's blood, seeing that he hath changed desolation into
cheerfulness; that it be not said, Humanity is gone from among
mankind." So the Caliph rejoiced in the acquittance of the youth and
his truth and good faith; moreover, he magnified the generosity of Abu
Zarr, extolling it over all his companions, and approved the resolve of
the two young men for its benevolence, giving them praise with thanks
and applying to their case the saying of the poet,

     "Who doth kindness to men shall be paid again; *

          Ne'er is kindness lost betwixt God and men."

Then he offered to pay them, from the Treasury, the blood-wit for their
father; but they refused, saying, "We forgave him only of our desire
unto Allah,[FN#151] the Bountiful, the Exalted; and he who is thus
intentioned followeth not his benefits with reproach or with
mischief."[FN#152] and amongst the tales they relate is that of


It is told that the Caliph Al-Maamun, son of Harun al-Rashid, when he
entered the God-guarded city of Cairo, was minded to pull down the
Pyramids, that he might take what was therein; but, when he went about
to do this, he could not succeed, albeit his best was done. He expended
a mint of money in the attempt,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Al-Maamun
attempting to pull down the Pyramids, expended his mint of money, but
succeeded only in opening up a small tunnel in one of them, where in it
is said he found treasure to the exact amount of the monies he had
spent in the works, neither more nor less; whereat he marvelled and
taking what he found there, desisted from his determination. Now the
Pyramids are three, and they are one of the Wonders of the World; nor
is there on the face of earth aught like them for height and fashion
and mysteries[FN#154]; for they are built of huge rocks, and the
builders proceeded by piercing one block of stone and setting therein
upright rods of iron[FN#155]; after which they pierced a second block
of stone and lowered it upon the first. Then they poured melted lead
upon the clamps and set the blocks in geometrical order, till the
building was complete. Now the height of each pyramid was an hundred
cubits, of the normal measure of the day, and it had four faces, each
three hundred cubits long from the base and thence battering upwards to
a point. The ancients say that, in the western Pyramid, are thirty
chambers of parti-coloured syenite, full of precious gems and treasures
galore and rare images and utensils and costly weapons which are
anointed with egromantic unguents, so that they may not rust until the
day of Resurrection.[FN#156] Therein, also, are vessels of glass which
bend and break not, containing various kinds of compound drugs and
sympathetic waters. In the second Pyramid are the records of the
priests, written on tablets of syenite, to each priest his tablet,
whereon are engraved the wonders of his craft and his feats; and on the
walls are the human figures like idols, working with their hands at all
manner of mechanism and seated on stepped thrones. Moreover, to each
Pyramid there is a guardian treasurer who keepeth watch over it and
wardeth it, to all eternity, against the ravages of time and the shifts
of events; and indeed the marvels of these Pyramids astound all who
have sight and insight. Many are the poems that describe them, thou
shalt thereby profit no small matter, and among the rest, quoth one of

     "If Kings would see their high emprize preserved, *

          Twill be by tongues of monuments they laid:

     Seest not the Pyramids? These two endure *

          Despite what change Time and Change have made."

And quoth another,

     "Look on the Pyramids, and hear the twain *

          Recount their annals of the long-gone Past:

     Could they but speak, high marvels had they told *

          Of what Time did to man from first to last."

And quoth a third,

     "My friend I prithee tell me, 'neath the sky *

          Is aught with Egypt's Pyramids can compare?

     Buildings which frighten Time, albe what dwells *

          On back of earth in fear of Time must fare:

     If on their marvels rest my sight no more, *

          Yet these I ever shall in memory bear."

And quoth a fourth,

     "Where is the man who built the Pyramids? *

          What was his tribe, what day and where his tomb?

     The monuments survive the men who built *

          Awhile, till overthrown by touch of Doom."

And men also tell a tale of


There was once a thief who repented to Almighty Allah with sincere
penitence; so he opened himself a shop for the sale of stuffs, where he
continued to trade awhile. It so chanced one day that he locked his
shop and went home, and in the night there came to the bazar an artful
thief disguised in the habit of the merchant, and pulling out keys from
his sleeve, said to the watchman of the market, "Light me this
wax-candle." The watchman took the taper and went to light it,—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the watchman took
the taper and went to light it, whilst the thief opened the shop and
lit another candle he had by him. When the watchman came back, he found
him seated in the shop, account- books inhand, and reckoning with his
fingers; nor did he cease to do thus till point of day, when he said to
the man, "Fetch me a camel-driver and his camel, to carry some goods
for me." So the man fetched him a camel, and the thief took four
bales[FN#157] of stuffs and gave them to the cameleer, who loaded them
on his beast. Then he gave the watchman two dirhams and went away after
the camel-driver, leaving the watchman believing him to be the owner of
the shop. Now when the morning dawned and day broke the merchant came
and the watchman began greeting him with blessings, because of the two
dirhams; but the shop-keeper wondered at his words as one not knowing
what he meant. When he opened his shop, he saw the droppings of the wax
and the account-book lying on the floor, and looking round, found four
bales of stuffs missing. So he asked the watchman what had happened and
he told him what has passed in the night and what had been said to the
cameleer, whereupon the merchant bade him fetch the man and asked him,
"Whither didst thou carry the stuffs this morning?" Answered the
driver, "To such a landing-place, and I stowed them on board such a
vessel." Said the merchant, "Come with me thither;" so the camel-driver
carried him to the landing-place and said to him, "This be the barque
and this be her owner." Quoth the merchant to the seaman, "Whither
didst thou carry the merchant and the stuff?" Answered the boat-master,
"To such a place, where he fetched a camel-driver and, setting the
bales on the camel, went his ways I know not whither." "Fetch me the
cameleer who carried the goods," said the merchant; so he fetched him
and the merchant said to him, "Whither didst thou carry the bales of
goods from the ship?" "To such a Khan," answered he; and the merchant
rejoined, "Come thither with me and show it to me." So the camel-man
went with him to a place far distant from the shore and showed him the
Khan where he had set down the stuffs, and at the same time the false
merchant's magazine, which he opened and found therein his four bales
bound up as they had been packed. The thief had laid his cloak over
them; so the merchant took the cloak as well as the bales and delivered
them to the camel- driver, who laid them on his camel; after which he
locked the magazine and went away with the cameleer. On the way, he was
confronted with the thief who followed him, till he had shipped the
bales, when he said to him, "O my brother (Allah have thee in His holy
keeping!), thou hast indeed recovered thy goods and naught of them is
lost; so give me back my cloak." The merchant laughed and, giving him
back his cloak, let him go unhindered; whereupon both went their ways.
And they tell a tale of


The Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, was exceedingly
restless one night; so he said to his Wazir Ja'afar, "I am sleepless
to-night and my breast is straitened and I know not what to do." Now
his castrato Masrϊr was standing before him, and he laughed: whereupon
the Caliph said "At whom laughest thou? Is it to make mock of me or
hath madness seized thee?" Answered Masrur, "Nay, by Allah, O Commander
of the Faithful,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Harun al- Rashid
said to Masrur the Sworder, "Dost thou laugh to make mock of me or hath
madness seized thee?" Answered Masrur, "Nay, by Allah, O Commander of
the Faithful, I swear by thy kinship to the Prince of Apostles, I did
it not of my free will; but I went out yesterday to walk within sight
of the palace and, coming to the bank of the Tigris, saw there the folk
collected; so I stopped and found a man, Ibn al-Kαribν hight, who was
making them laugh; but just now I recalled what he said, and laughter
got the better of me; and I crave pardon of thee, O Commander of the
Faithful!" Quoth the Caliph, "Bring him to me forthright;" so Masrur
repaired in all haste to Ibn al-Karibi and said to him, "Answer the
summons of the Commander of the Faithful," whereto he replied, "I hear
and obey." "But on condition," added Masrur, "that, if he give thee
aught, thou shalt have a quarter and the rest shall be mine." Replied
the droll, "Nay, thou shalt have half and I half." Rejoined Masrur,
"Not so, I will have three- quarters." Lastly said Ibn al-Karibi, "Thou
shalt have two- thirds and I the other third;" to which Masrur agreed,
after much higgling and haggling, and they returned to the palace
together. Now when Ibn al-Karibi came into the Caliph's presence he
saluted him as men greet the Caliphate, and stood before him; whereupon
said Al-Rashid to him, "If thou do not make me laugh, I will give thee
three blows with this bag." Quoth Ibn al-Karibi in his mind, "And a
small matter were blows with that bag, seeing that beating with whips
hurteth me not;" for he thought the bag was empty. Then he began to
deal out his drolleries, such as would make the dismallest jemmy
guffaw, and gave vent to all manner of buffooneries; but the Caliph
laughed not neither smiled, whereat Ibn al-Karibi marvelled and was
chagrined and affrighted. Then said the Commander of the Faithful, "Now
hast thou earned the beating," and gave him a blow with the bag,
wherein were four pebbles each two rotols in weight. The blow fell on
his neck and he gave a great cry, then calling to mind his compact with
Masrur, said, "Pardon, O Commander of the Faithful! Hear two words from
me." Quoth the Caliph, "Say on," and quoth Ibn al- Karibi, "Masrur made
it a condition with me and I a covenant with him, that whatsoever
largesse might come to me of the bounties of the Commander of the
Faithful, one-third thereof should be mine and the rest his; nor did he
agree to leave me so much as one- third, save after much higgling and
haggling. I have had my share and here standeth he, ready to receive
his portion; so pay him the two other blows." Now when the Caliph heard
this, he laughed until he fell on his back; then calling Masrur, he
gave him a blow, whereat he cried out and said, "O Commander of the
Faithful, the one-third sufficeth me: give him the two-thirds."— And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Four Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Masrur cried out,
"O Commander of the Faithful! The one-third sufficeth me; give him the
two-thirds." So the Caliph laughed at them and ordered them a thousand
dinars each, and they went away, rejoicing at the largesse. And of the
tales they tell is one of


The Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, had a son who, from the
time he attained the age of sixteen, renounced the world and walked in
the way[FN#158] of ascetics and devotees. He was wont to go out to the
graveyards and say, "Ye once ruled the world, but that saved you not
from death, and now are ye come to your sepulchres! Would Heaven I knew
what ye said and what is said to you!"[FN#159] and he wept as one
weepeth who is troubled with fear and apprehension, and repeated the
worlds of the poet,

     "Affright me funerals at every time; *

          And wailing women grieve me to the soul!"

Now it chanced one day, as he sat among the tombs, according to his
custom, his father passed by in all his state, surrounded by his Wazirs
and Lords of the realm and the Officers of his household, who seeing
the Caliph's son with a gown of woollen stuff on his body and a twist
of wool on his head by way of turband, said to one another, "Verily
this youth dishonoureth the Commander of the Faithful among Kings: but,
if he reproved him, he would leave his present way of life." The Caliph
heard these words; so quoth he to his son, "O my dear child, of a truth
thou disgracest me by thy present way of life." The young man looked at
him and made no reply: then he beckoned to a bird perched on the
battlements of the palace, and said to it, "O thou bird, I conjure thee
by Him who created thee, alight upon my hand." Whereupon straightway it
swooped down and perched on his finger. Then quoth he, "Return to thy
place;" and it did so. Presently he said, "Alight on the hand of the
Commander of the Faithful;" but it refused there to perch, and he cried
to his father, "It is thou that disgracest me amongst the Holy[FN#160]
Ones, by the love of the world; and now I am resolved to part from
thee, never to return to thee, save in the world to come." Then he went
down to Bassorah, where he took to working with those which wrought in
clay,[FN#161] receiving, as his day's hire, but a dirham and a
danik;[FN#162] and with the danik he fed himself and gave alms of the
dirham. (Quoth Abϊ Amir of Bassorah) "There fell down a wall in my
house; so I went forth to the station of the artisans to find a man who
should repair it for me, and my eyes fell on a handsome youth of a
radiant countenance. So I saluted him and asked him, O my friend, dost
thou seek work?' Yes,' answered he; and I said, Come with me and build
a wall.' He replied, On certain conditions I will make with thee.'
Quoth I What are they, O my friend?'; and quoth he, My wage must be a
dirham and a danik, and again when the Mu'ezzin calleth to prayer, thou
shalt let me go pray with the congregation.' It is well,' answered I
and carried him to my lace, where he fell to work, such work as I never
saw the like of. Presented I named to him the morning-meal; but he
said, No;' and I knew that he was fasting.[FN#163] When he heard the
call to prayer, he said to me, Thou knowest the condition?' Yes,'
answered i. So he loosed his girdle and, applying himself to the lesser
ablution, made it after a fashion than which I never saw a
fairer;[FN#164] then he went to the mosque and prayed with the
congregation and returned to his work. He did the same upon the call to
mid- afternoon prayer, and when I saw him fall to work again
thereafterward, I said to him, O my friend, verily the hours of labour
are over; a workman's day is but till the time of afternoon-prayer.'
But he replied, Praise to the Lord, my service is till the night.' And
he ceased not to work till nightfall, when I gave him two dirhams;
whereupon he asked What is this!'; and I answered, By Allah, this is
but part of thy wage, because of thy diligence in my service.' But he
threw them back to me saying, I will have no more than was agreed upon
between us twain.' I urged him to take them, but could not prevail upon
him; so I gave him the dirham and the danik, and he went away. And when
morning dawned, I went to the station but found him not; so I enquired
for him and was told, He cometh thither only on Sabbaths.' Accordingly,
when Saturday came, I betook me to the market and finding him there,
said to him, Bismillah, do me the favour to come and work for me.' Said
he, Upon the conditions thou wottest;' and I answered Yes!' Then
carrying him to my house I stood to watch him where he could not see
me; and he took a handful of puddled clay and laid it on the wall,
when, behold, the stones ranged themselves one upon other; and I said,
On this wise are Allah's holy ones.' he worked out his day and did even
more than before; and when it was night, I gave him his hire, and he
took it and walked away. Now when the third Saturday came round, I went
to the place of standing, but found him not; so I asked after him and
they told me, He is sick and lying in the shanty of such a woman.' Now
this was an old wife, renowned for piety, who had a hovel of reeds in
the burial- ground. So I fared thither and found him stretched on the
floor which was bare, with a brick for a pillow and his face beaming
like the new moon with light. I saluted him and he returned my salam;
and I sat down at his head weeping over his fair young years and
absence from home and submission to the will of his Lord. Then said I
to him, Hast thou any need?' Yes,' answered he; and I said, What is
it?' He replied, Come hither to-morrow in the forenoon and thou wilt
find me dead. Wash me and dig my grave and tell none thereof: but
shroud me in this my gown, after thou hast unsewn it and taken out what
thou shalt find in the bosom-pocket, which keep with thee. Then, when
thou hast prayed over me and laid me in the dust, go to Baghdad and
watch for the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, till he come forth, when do thou
give him what thou shalt find in the breast of my gown and bear him my
salutation.' Then he ejaculated the profession of the Faith and
glorified his God in the most eloquent of words, reciting these

     Carry the trust of him whom death awaits *

          To Al-Rashid and God reward thy care!

     And say An exile who desired thy sight *

          Long loving, from afar sends greeting fair.

     Nor hate nor irk (No!) him from thee withdrew, *

          Kissing thy right to Heaven brought him near.[FN#165]

     But what estranged his soul, O sire, from thee *

          Is that thy worldly joys it would not share!'

Then he betook himself to prayer, asking pardon of Allah'—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the youth then
betook himself to asking pardon of Allah and to invoking prayer and
praise upon the Apostle and the Lord of the Just and repeating verses
of the Koran; after which he recited these couplets,

     "O sire, be not deceived by worldly joys; *

          For life must pass, and joy must learn to mourn;

     When thou art told of folk in evil plight, *

          Think thou must answer for all hearts forlorn;

     And when thou bear thy dead towards the tombs, *

          Know thou wilt likewise on that way be bourne."

Continued Abu the Basri, "Now when the youth had ended his charge and
his verses I left him and went home. On the morrow, I returned, at the
appointed hour, and found him indeed dead, the mercy of Allah be upon
him! So I washed him and, unsewing his gown, found in the bosom a ruby
worth thousands of gold pieces and said to myself, By Allah, this youth
was indeed weaned from worldly things!' After I had buried him, I made
my way to Baghdad and, going to the Caliph's palace, waited till he
came forth, when I addressed him in one of the streets and gave him the
ruby, which when he saw, he knew and fell down in a fainting- fit. His
attendants laid hands on me, but he revived and said to them, Release
him and bring him courteously to the palace.' They did his bidding, and
when he returned, he sent for me and carrying me into his chamber said
to me, How doth the owner of this ruby?' Quoth I, Verily, he is dead;'
and told him what had passed; whereupon he fell a-weeping and said, The
son hath gained; but the sire hath lost.' Then he called out, saying,
Ho, such an one!'; and behold there came out to him a lady who, when
she saw me, would have withdrawn; but he cried to her, Come, and mind
him not.' So she entered and saluted, and he threw her the ruby, which
when she saw and she knew, she shrieked a great shriek and fell down in
a swoon. As soon as she came to herself, she said, O Commander of the
Faithful, what hath Allah done with my son?'; and he said to me, Do
thou tell her his case' (as he could not speak for weeping).
Accordingly, I repeated the story to her, and she began to shed tears
and say in a faint and wailing voice, How I have longed for thy sight,
O solace of mine eyes![FN#166] Would I might have given thee to drink,
when thou hadst none to slake thy thirst! Would I might have cheered
thee, whenas thou foundest never a cheerer!' And she poured forth tears
and recited these couplets,

     I weep for one whose lot a lonely death befel; *

          Without a friend to whom he might complain and moan:

     And after glory and glad union with his friends, *

          He woke to desolation, friendless, lorn and lone;

     What Fortune hides a while she soon to all men shall show; *

          Death never spared a man; no, not a single one:

     O absent one, my Lord decreed thee strangerhood, *

          Far from thy nearest friends and to long exile gone:

     Though Death forbid my hope of meeting here again, *

          On Doom-day's morrow we shall meet again, my


Quoth I, O Commander of the Faithful, was he indeed thy son?' Quoth he,
Yes, and indeed, before I succeeded to this office, he was wont to
visit the learned and company with the devout; but, when I became
Caliph, he grew estranged from me and withdrew himself apart.[FN#168]
Then said I to his mother, Verily this thy son hath cut the world and
devoted his life to Almighty Allah, and it may be that hard times shall
befal him and he be smitten with trial of evil chance; wherefore do
thou given him this ruby, which he may find useful in hour of need.' So
she gave it him, conjuring him to take it, and he obeyed her bidding.
Then he left to us the things of our world and removed himself from us;
nor did he cease to be absent from us, till he went to the presence of
Allah (to whom be Honour and Glory!), pious and pure.' Then said he,
Come, show me his grave.' So, I travelled with him to Bassorah and
showed him his son's grave; and when he saw it, he wept and lamented,
till he fell down in a swoon; after which he recovered and asked pardon
of the Lord, saying, We are Allah's and unto Him we are returning!';
and involved blessings on the dead. Then he asked me to become his
companion, but I said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, verily, in
thy son's case is for me the most momentous of admonitions!' And I
recited these couplets,

     "Tis I am the stranger, visited by none; *

          I am the stranger though in town my own:

     Tis I am the stranger! Lacking kith and son, *

          And friend to whom I mote for aidance run.

     I house in mosques which are my only home; *

          My heart there wones and shall for ever wone:

     Then laud ye Allah, Lord of Worlds, as long *

          As soul and body dwell in union!'"

And a famous tale is told of


Quoth one of the learned, "I passed once by a school, wherein a
schoolmaster was teaching children; so I entered, finding him a
good-looking man and a well-dressed; when he rose to me and made me sit
with him. Then I examined him in the Koran and in syntax and prosody
and lexicography; and behold, he was perfect in all required of him, so
I said to him, Allah strengthen thy purpose! Thou art indeed versed in
all that is requisite,' thereafter I frequented him a while,
discovering daily some new excellence in him, and quoth I to myself,
This is indeed a wonder in any dominie; for the wise are agreed upon a
lack of wit in children's teachers.' Then I separated myself from him
and sought him and visited him only every few days, till coming to see
him one day as of wont, I found the school shut and made enquiry of his
neighbors, who replied, Some one is dead in his house.' So I said in my
mind, It behoveth me to pay him a visit of condolence,' and going to
his house, knocked at the door, when a slave-girl came out to me and
asked, What dost thou want?' and I answered, I want thy master.' She
replied, He is sitting alone, mourning;' and I rejoined, Tell him that
his friend so and so seeketh to console him.' She went in and told him;
and he said, Admit him.' So she brought me in to him, and I found him
seated alone and his head bound with mourning fillets. So I said to
him, Allah requite thee amply! this is a path all must perforce tread,
and it behoveth thee to take patience;' adding, But who is dead unto
thee?' He answered, One who was dearest of the folk to me, and best
beloved.' Perhaps thy father?' No!' Thy brother?' "No!' "One of thy
kindred?' No!' Then asked I, What relation was the dead to thee?'; and
he answered, My lover.' Quoth I to myself, This is the first proof to
swear by his lack of wit.' So I said to him, Assuredly there be others
than she and fairer;' and he made answer, I never saw her, that I might
judge whether or no there be others fairer than she.' Quoth I to
myself, This is another proof positive.' Then I said to him, And how
couldst thou fall in love with one thou hast never seen?' He replied
Know that I was sitting one day at the window, when lo! there passed by
a man, singing the following distich,

     Umm Amr',[FN#169] thy boons Allah repay! *

          Give back my heart be't where it may!'"

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

When it was the Four Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the schoolmaster
continued, " When I heard the man humming these words as he passed
along the street, I said to myself Except this Umm Amru were without
equal in the world, the poets had not celebrated her in ode and
canzon.' So I fell in love with her; but, two days after, the same man
passed, singing the following couplet,

     Ass and Umm Amr' went their way; *

          Nor she, nor ass returned for aye.'

Thereupon I knew she was dead and mourned for her. This was three days
ago, and I have been mourning ever since. So I left him, (concluded the
learned one) and fared forth, having assured myself of the weakness of
the gerund-grinder's wit." And they tell another and a similar tale of


Once upon a time, a schoolmaster was visited by a man of letters who
entered a school and, sitting down by the host's side, entered into
discourse with him and found him an accomplished theologian, poet
grammarian, philologist and poet; intelligent, well bred and pleasant
spoken; whereat he wondered, saying in himself, "It cannot be that a
man who teacheth children in a school, should have a perfect wit." Now
when he was about to go away, the pedant said to him, "Thou are my
guest to-night;" and he consented to receive hospitality and
accompanied him to his house, where he made much of him and set food
before him. They ate and drank and sat talking, till a third part of
the night was past when the host spread his guest a bed and went up to
his Harim. The stranger lay down and addressed himself to sleep, when,
behold, there arose a great clamour in the women's rooms. He asked what
was the matter and they said, "A terrible thing hath befallen the
Shaykh and he is at the last gasp." Said he, "Take me up to him"; so
they took him up to the pedagogue whom he found lying insensible, with
his blood streaming down. He sprinkled water on his face and when he
revived, he asked him, "What hath betided thee? When thou leftest me,
thou wast in all good cheer and whole of body," and he answered, "O my
brother, after I left thee, I sat meditating on the creative works of
Almighty Allah, and said to myself: In every thing the Lord hath
created for man, there is an use; for He (to Whom be glory!) made the
hands to seize, the feet to walk, the eyes to see, the ears to hear and
the penis to increase and multiply; and so on with all the members of
the body, except these two ballocks; there is no use in them.' So I
took a razor I had by me and cut them off; and there befel me what thou
seest." So the guest left him and went away, saying, "He was in the
right who said, Verily no schoolmaster who teacheth children can have a
perfect wit, though he know all the sciences.'" And they tell a
pleasant tale of the


There was once, among the menials[FN#171] of a certain mosque, a man
who knew not how to write or even to read and who gained his bread by
gulling folk. One day, it occurred to him to open a school and teach
children; so he got together writing-tablets and written papers and
hung them up in a high place. Then he greatened his turband[FN#172] and
sat down at the door of the school; and when the people, who passed by,
saw his huge head- gear and tablets and scrolls, they thought he must
be a very learned pedagogue; so they brought him their children; and he
would say to this, "Write," and to that "Read"; and thus the little
ones taught each other. Now one day, as he sat as of wont, at the door
of the school, behold, up came a woman letter in hand, and he said in
his mind, "This woman doubtless seeketh me, that I may read her the
missive she hath in her hand: how shall I do with her, seeing I cannot
read writing?" And he would fain have gone down and fled from her; but,
before he could do this, she overtook him and said to him, "Whither
away?" Quoth he, "I purpose to pray the noon-prayer and return." Quoth
she, "Noon is yet distant, so read me this letter." He took the letter
and turning it upside down, fell to looking at it, now shaking his head
till his turband quivered, then dancing his eyebrows and anon showing
anger and concern. Now the letter came from the woman's husband, who
was absent; and when she saw the dominie do on this wise, she said to
herself, "Doubtless my husband is dead, and this learned doctor of law
and religion is ashamed to tell me so." So she said to him, "O my lord,
if he be dead, tell me;" but he shook his head and held his peace. Then
said she, "Shall I rend my raiment?" "Rend!" replied he. "Shall I beat
my face?" asked she; and he answered, "Beat!" So she took the letter
from his hand and returned home fell a-weeping, she and her children.
Presently, one of her neighbours heard her sobbing and asking what
aileth her, was answered, "Of a truth she hath gotten a letter, telling
her that her husband is dead." Quoth the man, "This is a falsehood; for
I had a letter from him but yesterday, advising me that he is whole and
in good health and will be with her after ten days." So he rose
forthright and going in to her, said, "Where is the letter which came
to thee?" She brought it to him, and he took it and read it; and lo! it
ran as follows, "After the usual salutations, I am well and in good
health and whole and will be with you all after ten days. Meanwhile, I
send you a quilt and an extinguisher."[FN#173] So she took the letter
and, returning to the schoolmaster, said to him, "What induced thee to
deal thus with me?" And she repeated to him what her neighbour had told
her of her husband's well- being and of his having sent her a quilt and
an extinguisher. Answered he, "Thou art in the right, O good woman; for
I was, at the time"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the pedagogue
replied, "Verily I was at that time fashed and absent- minded and,
seeing the extinguisher wrapped up in the quilt, I thought that he was
dead and they had shrouded him." The woman, not smoking the cheat,
said, "Thou art excused," and taking the letter, went her ways.[FN#174]
And they relate a story of


A certain King once went forth in disguise, to look into the affairs of
his lieges. Presently, he came to a great village which he entered
unattended and being athirst, stopped at the door of a house and asked
for water. There came out to him a fair woman with a gugglet, which she
gave him, and he drank. When he looked at her, he was ravished with her
and besought her favours. Now she knew him; so she led him into the
house and, making him sit down, brought out a book and said to him,
"Look therein whilst I order my affair and return to thee." So he
looked into the book, and behold, it treated of the Divine prohibition
against advoutry and of the punishments which Allah hath prepared for
those who commit adulterous sin. When he read this, his flesh quaked
and his hair bristled and he repented to Almighty Allah: then he called
the woman and, giving her the book, went away. Now her husband was
absent and when he returned, she told him what had passed, whereat he
was confounded and said in himself, "I fear lest the King's desire have
fallen upon her." And he dared not have to do with her and know her
carnally after this. When some time had past, the wife told her
kinsfolk of her husband's conduct, and they complained of him to the
King, saying, "Allah advance the King! This man hired of us a piece of
land for tillage, and tilled it awhile; then left it fallow and neither
tilled it nor forsook it, that we might let it to one who would till
it. Indeed, harm is come to the field, and we fear its corruption, for
such land as that if it be not sown, spoileth." Quoth the King to the
man, "What hindereth thee from sowing thy land?" Answered he, "Allah
advance the King! It reached me that the lion entered the field
wherefore I stood in awe of him and dared not draw near it, since
knowing that I cannot cope with the lion, I stand in fear of him." The
King understood the parable and rejoined, saying, "O man, the lion trod
and trampled not thy land, and it is good for seed so do thou till it
and Allah prosper thee in it, for the lion hath done it no hurt." Then
he bade give the man and his wife a handsome present and sent them
away.[FN#175] And amongst the stories is that of


There was once a man of the people of West Africa who had journeyed far
and wide and traversed many a desert and a tide. He was once cast upon
an island, where he abode a long while and, returning thence to his
native country, brought with him the quill of a wing feather of a young
Rukh, whilst yet in egg and unhatched; and this quill was big enough to
hold a goat skin of water, for it is said that the length of the Rukh
chick's wing, when he cometh forth of the egg, is a thousand fathoms.
The folk marvelled at this quill, when they saw it, and the man who was
called Abd al-Rahman the Moor (and he was known, to boot, as the
Chinaman, for his long sojourn in Cathay), related to them the
following adventure, one of many of his traveller's tales of marvel. He
was on a voyage in the China seas—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abd al- Rahman,
the Moorman, the Chinaman, was wont to tell wondrous tales amongst
which was the following. He was on a voyage in the China seas with a
company of merchants, when they sighted an island from afar; so they
steered for it and, making fast thereto, saw that it was large and
spacious. The ship's crew went ashore to get wood and water, taking
with them hatchets and ropes and water skies (the travellers
accompanying them), and presently espied a great dome, white and
gleaming, an hundred cubits long. So they made towards it and drawing
near, found that it was an egg of the Rukh and fell on it with axes and
stones and sticks till they uncovered the young bird and found the
chick as it were a firm set hill. So they plucked out one of the wing
feathers, but could not do so, save by helping one another, for all the
quills were not full grown, after which they took what they could carry
of the young bird's flesh and cutting the quill away from the vane,
returned to the ship. Then they set sail and putting out to sea,
voyaged with a fair wind all that night, till the sun rose; and while
everything went well, they saw the Rukh come flying after them, as he
were a vast cloud, with a rock in his talons, like a great heap bigger
than the ship. As soon as he poised himself in air over the vessel, he
let fall the rock upon it; but the craft, having great way on her,
outwent the rock, which fell into the sea with a loud crash and a
horrible. So Allah decreed their deliverance and saved them from doom;
and they cooked the young bird's flesh and ate it. Now there were
amongst them old white bearded men; and when they awoke on the morrow,
they found that their beards had turned black, nor did any who had
eaten of the young Rukh grow gray ever after. Some said the cause of
the return of youth to them and the ceasing of hoariness from them was
that they had heated the pot with arrow wood, whilst others would have
it that it came of eating the Rukh chick's flesh; and this is indeed a
wonder of wonders.[FN#177] And a story is related of


Al-Nu'uman Bin Al-Munzir, King of the Arabs of Irak, had a daughter
named Hind, who went out one Pasch, which is a feast day of the
Nazarenes, to the White Church, to take the sacrament; she was eleven
years old and was the loveliest woman of her age and time; and it so
chanced that on the same day came to Hirah[FN#178] a young man called
'Adν bin Zayd[FN#179] with presents from the Chosroλ to Al-Nu'uman, and
he also went to the White Church, to communicate. He was tall of
stature and fair of favour, with handsome eyes and smooth cheeks, and
had with him a company of his people. Now there was with Hind bint
al-Nu'uman a slave girl named Mαriyah, who was enamoured of Adi, but
had not been able to foregather with him. So, when she saw him in the
church, she said to Hind, "Look at yonder youth. By Allah, he is
handsomer than all thou seest!" Hind asked, "And who is he?" and
Mariyah answered, "Adi bin Zayd." Quoth Al-Nu'uman's daughter, "I fear
lest he know me, if I draw nearer to look on him." Quoth Mariyah, "How
should he know thee when he hath never seen thee?" So she drew near him
and found him jesting with the youths his companions; and indeed he
surpassed them all, not only in his personal charms but in the
excellence of his speech, the eloquence of his tongue and the richness
of his raiment. When the Princess saw him, she was ravished with him,
her reason was confounded and her colour changed; and Mariyah, seeing
her inclination to him, said to her, "Speak him." So she spoke to him
and went away. Now when he looked upon her and heard her speech, he was
captivated by her and his wit was dazed; his heart fluttered, and his
colour changed so that his companions suspected him, and he whispered
one of them to follow her and find out who she was. The young man went
after her and returning informed him that she was princess Hind,
daughter of Al-Nu'uman. So Adi left the church, knowing not whither he
went, for excess of love, and reciting these two couplets,

     "O friends of me, one favour more I pray: *

          Unto the convents[FN#180] find more your way:

      Turn me that so I face the land of Hind; *

          Then go, and fairest greetings for me say."

Then he went to his lodging and lay that night, restless and without
appetite for the food of sleep.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Adi ended
his verses he went to his lodging and lay that night restless and
without appetite for the food of sleep. Now on the morrow Mariyah
accosted him and he received her kindly, though before he would not
incline to her, and said to her, "What is thy will?" Quoth she, "I have
a want of thee;" and quoth he, "Name it, for by Allah, thou shalt not
ask me aught, but I will give it thee!" So she told him that she loved
him, and her want of him was that he would grant her a lover's privacy;
and he agreed to do her will, on condition that she would serve him
with Hind and devise some device to bring them together. Then he took
her into a vintner's tavern in one of the by streets of Hirah, and lay
with her; after which she returned to Hind and asked her, "Dost thou
not long to see Adi?" She answered, "How can this be? Indeed my longing
for him makes me restless, and no repose is left me since yesterday."
Quoth Mariyah, "I will appoint him to be in such a place, where thou
canst look on him from the palace." Quoth Hind, "Do what thou wilt,"
and agreed with her upon the place. So Adi came, and the Princess
looked out upon him; and, when she saw him, she was like to topple down
from the palace top and said, "O Mariyah, except thou bring him in to
me this night, I shall die." So saying, she fell to the ground in a
fainting fit, and her serving women lifted her up and bore her into the
palace; whilst Mariyah hastened to Al-Nu'uman and discovered the whole
matter to him with perfect truth, telling him that indeed she was mad
for the love of Adi; and except he marry her to him she must be put to
shame and die of love for him, which would disgrace her father among
the Arabs, adding at the end, "There is no cure for this but wedlock."
The King bowed his head awhile in thought and exclaimed again and
again, "Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning!" Then
said he "Woe to thee! How shall the marriage be brought about, seeing I
mislike to open the matter?" And she said, "He is yet more ardently in
love and yet more desireful of her than she is of him; and I will so
order the affair that he shall be unaware of his case being known to
thee; but do not betray thyself, O King." Then she went to Adi and,
after acquainting him with everything said, "Make a feast and bid the
King thereto; and, when the wine hath gotten the better of him, ask of
him his daughter, for he will not refuse thee." Quoth Adi, "I fear lest
this enrage him against me and be the cause of enmity between us." But
quoth she, "I came not to thee, till I had settled the whole affair
with him." Then she returned to Al- Nu'uman and said to him, "Seek of
Adi that he entertain thee in his house." Replied the King, "There is
no harm in that;" and after three days, besought Adi to give him and
his lords the morning meal in his house. He consented and the King went
to him; and when the wine had taken effect on Al-Nu'uman, Adi rose and
sought of him his daughter in wedlock. He consented and married them
and brought her to him after three days; and they abode at Al-Nu'uman's
court, in all solace of life and its delight—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Adi abode with
Hind bint Al-Nu'uman bin Munzir three years in all solace of life and
its delight, after which time the King was wroth with Adi and slew him.
Hind mourned for him with grievous mourning and built her an hermitage
outside the city, whither she retired and became a religious, weeping
and bewailing her husband till she died. And her hermitage is seen to
this day in the suburbs of Hirah. They also tell a tale of


Quoth Di'ibil al Khuzα'i[FN#181], "I was sitting one day at the gate of
Al Karkh,[FN#182] when a damsel came past. Never saw I a fairer faced
or better formed than she, walking with a voluptuous swaying gait and
ravishing all beholders with her lithe and undulating pace. Now as my
eyes fell on her, I was captivated by her and my vitals trembled and
meseemed my heart flew forth of my breast; so I stood before her and I
accosted her with this verse,

     'The tears of these eyes find easy release; *

          But sleep flies these eyelids without surcease.'

Whereon she turned her face and looking at me, straightway made answer
with this distich,

     'A trifle this an his eyes be sore, *

          When her eyes say 'yes' to his love's caprice!'

I was astounded at the readiness of her reply and the fluency of her
speech and rejoined with this verse,

     'Say, cloth heart of my fair incline to him *

          Whose tears like a swelling stream increase?'

And she answered me without hesitation, thus,

     'If thou crave our love, know that love's a loan; *

          And a debt to be paid by us twain a piece.'

Never entered my ears aught sweeter than her speech nor ever saw I
brighter than her face: so I changed rhyme and rhythm to try her, in my
wonder at her words, and repeated this couplet,

     'Will Fate with joy of union ever bless our sight, *

          And one desireful one with other one unite.'

She smiled at this (never saw I fairer than her mouth nor sweeter than
her lips), and answered me, without stay or delay, in the following

     "Pray, tell me what hath Fate to do betwixt us twain? *

          Thou'rt Elate: so bless our eyne with union and


At this, I sprang up and fell to kissing her hands and cried, 'I had
not thought that Fortune would vouchsafe me such occasion. Do thou
follow me, not of bidding or against thy will, but of the grace of thee
and thy favour to me.' Then I went on and she after me. Now at that
time I had no lodging I deemed fit for the like of her; but Muslim bin
al-Walνd[FN#183] was my fast friend, and he had a handsome house. So I
made for his abode and knocked at the door, whereupon he came out, and
I saluted him, saying, 'Tis for time like this that friends are
treasured up'; and he replied, 'With love and gladness! Come in you
twain.' So we entered but found money scarce with him: however, he gave
me a kerchief, saying, 'Carry it to the bazar and sell it and buy food
and what else thou needest.' I took the handkerchief, and hastening to
the market, sold it and bought what we required of victuals and other
matters; but when I returned, I found that Muslim had retired, with her
to an underground chamber.[FN#184] When he heard my step he hurried out
and said to me, 'Allah requite thee the kindness thou hast done me, O
Abu Ali and reward thee in time to come and reckon it of thy good deeds
on the Day of Doom!' So saying, he took from me the food and wine and
shut the door in my face. His words enraged me and I knew not what to
do, but he stood behind the door, shaking for mirth; and, when he saw
me thus, he said to me, 'I conjure thee on my life, O Abu Ali, tell who
it was composed this couplet?,

     'I lay in her arms all night, leaving him *

          To sleep foul-hearted but clean of staff.'

At this my rage redoubled, and I replied, 'He who wrote this other

     'One, I wish him in belt a thousand horns, *

          Exceeding in mighty height Manaf.'[FN#185]

Then I began to abuse him and reproach him with the foulness of his
action and his lack of honour; and he was silent, never uttering a
word. But, when I had finished, he smiled and said, 'Out on thee, O
fool! Thou hast entered my house and sold my kerchief and spent my
silver: so, with whom art thou wroth, O pimp?'[FN#186] Then he left me
and went away to her, whilst I said, 'By Allah, thou art right to twit
me as nincompoop and pander!' Then I left his door and went away in
sore concern, and I feel its trace in my heart to this very day; for I
never had my will of her nor, indeed, ever heard of her more." And
amongst other tales is that about


Quoth Ishak bin Ibrahim al Mausili, "It so chanced that, one day
feeling weary of being on duty at the Palace and in attendance upon the
Caliph, I mounted horse and went forth, at break of dawn, having a mind
to ride out in the open country and take my pleasure. So I said to my
servants, 'If there come a messenger from the Caliph or another, say
that I set out at day break, upon a pressing business, and that ye know
not whither I am gone.' Then I fared forth alone and went round about
the city, till the sun waxed hot, when I halted in a great thoroughfare
known as Al Haram,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ishak bin Ibrahim
the Mausili continued: "When the sun waxed hot I halted in a great
thoroughfare known as Al-Haram, to take shelter in the shade and found
it in a spacious wing of a house which projected over the street. And I
stood there but a little while before there came up a black slave,
leading an ass bestridden by a damsel; and under her were housings set
with gems and pearls and upon her were the richest of clothes, richness
can go no farther; and I saw that she was elegant of make with
languorous look and graceful mien. I asked one of the passers by who
she was, and he said, 'She is a singer,' so I fell in love with her at
first sight: hardly could I keep my seat on horseback. She entered the
house at whose gate I stood; and, as I was planning a device to gain
access to her, there came up two men young and comely who asked
admission and the housemaster gave them leave to enter. So they
alighted and I also and they entered and I with them, they supposing
that the master of the house had invited me; and we sat awhile, till
food was brought and we ate. Then they set wine before us, and the
damsel came out, with a lute in her hand. She sang and we drank, till I
rose to obey a call of nature. Thereupon the host questioned the two
others of me, and they replied that they knew me not; whereupon quoth
he, 'This is a parasite[FN#187]; but he is a pleasant fellow, so treat
him courteously.' Then I came back and sat down in my place, whilst the
damsel sang to a pleasing air these two couplets,

     'Say to the she gazelle, who's no gazelle, *

          And Kohl'd ariel who's no ariel.[FN#188]

     Who lies with male, and yet no female is, *

          Whose gait is female most unlike the male.'

She sang it right well, and the company drank and her song pleased
them. Then she carolled various pieces to rare measures, and amongst
the rest one of mine, which consisted of this distich,

     'Bare hills and campground desolate *

          And friends who all have ganged their gait.

     How severance after union leaves *

          Me and their homes in saddest state!'

Her singing this time was even better than the first; then she chanted
other rare pieces, old and new, and amongst them, another of mine with
the following two couplets,

     'Say to angry lover who turns away, *

          And shows thee his side whatso thou

     'Thou wroughtest all that by thee was wrought, *

          Albe 'twas haply thy sport and play.'

I prayed her to repeat the song, that I might correct it for her;
whereupon one of the two men accosted me and said, 'Never saw we a more
impudent lick platter than thou. Art thou not content with sponging,
but thou must eke meddle and muddle? Of very sooth, in thee is the
saying made true, Parasite and pushing wight.' So I hung down my head
for shame and made him no answer, whilst his companion would have
withheld him from me, but he would not be restrained. Presently, they
rose to pray, but I lagged behind a little and, taking the lute,
screwed up the sides and brought it into perfect tune. Then I stood up
in my place to pray with the rest; and when we had ended praying, the
same man fell again to blaming me and reviling me and persisted in his
rudeness, whilst I held my peace. Thereupon the damsel took the lute
and touching it, knew that it had been altered, and said, 'Who hath
touched my lute?' Quoth they, 'None of us hath touched it.' Quoth she,
'Nay, by Allah, some one hath touched it, and he is an artist, a past
master in the craft; for he hath arranged the strings and tuned them
like one who is a perfect performer.' Said I, 'It was I tuned it;' and
said she, 'Then, Allah upon thee, take it and play on it!' So I took
it; and, playing a piece so difficult and so rare, that it went nigh to
deaden the quick and quicken the dead, I sang thereto these couplets,

     'I had a heart, and with it lived my life: *

          'Twas seared with fire and burnt with loving-lowe:

     I never won the blessing of her love; *

          God would not on His slave such boon bestow:

     If what I've tasted be the food of Love, *

          Must taste it all men who love food would know.'"

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

When it was the Four Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ishak of Mosul
thus continued: "Now when I had finished my verse, there was not one of
the company but sprang from his place and sat down like schoolboys
before me, saying, 'Allah upon thee, O our lord, sing us another song.'
'With pleasure,' said I, and playing another measure in masterly
fashion, sang thereto these couplets,

'Ho thou whose heart is melted down by force of Amor's fire, *

     And griefs from every side against thy happiness conspire:

Unlawful is that he who pierced my vitals with his shaft, * My

     blood between my midriff and my breast bone[FN#189] he


'Twas plain, upon our severance day, that he had set his mind *

     On an eternal parting, moved by tongue of envious liar:

He sheds my blood he ne'er had shed except by wound of love, *

     Will none demand my blood of him, my wreck of him require?'

When I had made an end of this song, there was not one of them but rose
to his feet and threw himself upon the ground for excess of delight.
Then I cast the lute from my hand, but they said, 'Allah upon thee, do
not on this wise, but let us hear another song, so Allah Almighty
increase thee of His bounty!' Replied I, 'O folk, I will sing you
another song and another and another and will tell you who I am. I am
Ishak bin Ibrahim al Mausili, and by Allah, I bear myself proudly to
the Caliph when he seeketh me. Ye have today made me hear abuse from an
unmannerly carle such as I loathe; and by Allah, I will not speak a
word nor sit with you, till ye put yonder quarrelsome churl out from
among you!' Quoth the fellow's companion to him, 'This is what I warned
thee against, fearing for thy good name.' So they hent him by the hand
and thrust him out; and I took the lute and sang over again the songs
of my own composing which the damsel had sung. Then I whispered the
host that she had taken my heart and that I had no patience to abstain
from her. Quoth he 'She is thine on one condition.' I asked, 'What is
that?' and he answered, 'It is that thou abide with me a month, when
the damsel and all belonging to her of raiment and jewellery shall be
thine.' I rejoined, 'It is well, I will do this.' So I tarried with him
a whole month, whilst none knew where I was and the Caliph sought me
everywhere, but could come by no news of me; and at the end of this
time, the merchant delivered to me the damsel, together with all that
pertained to her of things of price and an eunuch to attend upon her.
So I brought all that to my lodging, feeling as I were lord of the
whole world, for exceeding delight in her; then I rode forthright to
Al-Maamun. And when I stood in the presence, he said, 'Woe to thee, O
Ishak, where hast thou been?' So I acquainted him with the story and he
said, 'Bring me that man at once.' Thereupon I told him where he lived
and he sent and fetched him and questioned him of the case; when he
repeated the story and the Caliph said to him, 'Thou art a man of right
generous mind, and it is only fitting that thou be aided in thy
generosity.' Then he ordered him an hundred thousand dirhams and said
to me, 'O Ishak, bring the damsel before me.' So I brought her to him,
and she sang and delighted him; and being greatly gladdened by her he
said to me, 'I appoint her turn of service every Thursday, when she
must come and sing to me from behind the curtain.' And he ordered her
fifty thousand dirhams, so by Allah, I profited both myself and others
by my ride." And amongst the tales they tell is one of


Quoth Al-'Utbν[FN#190], "I was sitting one day with a company of
educated men, telling stories of the folk, when the talk turned upon
legends of lovers and each of us said his say thereanent. Now there was
in our company an old man, who remained silent, till all had spoken and
had no more to say, when quoth he, 'Shall I tell you a thing, the like
of which you never heard; no, never?' 'Yes,' quoth we; and he said,
'Know, then, that I had a daughter, who loved a youth, but we knew it
not; while the youth loved a singing girl, who in her turn loved my
daughter. One day, I was present at an assembly, wherein were also the
youth'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh
continued: 'One day, I was present at an assembly wherein were also the
youth and the singing girl and she chanted to us these couplets,

     'Prove how Love bringeth low * Lover those tears that run

     Lowering him still the more * When pity finds he none.'

Cried the youth, 'By Allah, thou hast said well, O my mistress.' Dost
thou incite me to die?' Answered the girl from behind the curtain,
'Yes, if thou be a true lover.' So he laid his head on a cushion and
closed his eyes; and when the cup came round to him, we shook him and
behold, he was dead.[FN#191] Therewith we all flocked to him, and our
pleasure was troubled and we grieved and broke up at once. When I came
home, my people took in bad part my returning before the appointed
time, and I told them what had befallen the youth, thinking that
thereby I should greatly surprise them. My daughter heard my words and
rising, went from the sitting chamber into another, whither I followed
her and found her lying with her head on a cushion, even as I had told
of the young man. So I shook her and lo! she was dead. Then we laid her
out and set forth next morning to bury her, whilst the friends of the
young man set forth in like guise to bury him. As we were on the way to
the burial place, we met a third funeral and asking whose it was, were
told that it was that of the singing girl who, hearing of my daughter's
death, had done even as she did and was dead. So we buried them all
three on one day, and this is the rarest tale that ever was heard of
lovers." And they also tell a tale of


They recount that in the City Kaukabαn of Al-Yaman there was a man of
the Fazlν tribe who had left Badawi life, and become a townsman for
many years and was a merchant of the most opulent merchants. His wife
had deceased when both were young; and his friends were instant with
him to marry again, ever quoting to him the words of the poet,

     "Go, gossip! re-wed thee, for Prime draweth near:

      A wife is an almanac—good for the year."

So being weary of contention, Abu Hasan entered into negotiations with
the old women who procure matches, and married a maid like Canopus when
he hangeth over the seas of Al-Hind. He made high festival therefor,
bidding to the wedding banquet kith and kin, Olema and Fakirs; friends
and foes and all his acquaintances of that countryside. The whole house
was thrown open to feasting: there were rices of five several colours,
and sherbets of as many more; and kids stuffed with walnuts and almonds
and pistachios and a camel colt[FN#192] roasted whole. So they ate and
drank and made mirth and merriment; and the bride was displayed in her
seven dresses and one more, to the women, who could not take their eyes
off her. At last, the bridegroom was summoned to the chamber where she
sat enthroned; and he rose slowly and with dignity from his divan; but
in so doing, for that he was over full of meat and drink, lo and
behold! he let fly a fart, great and terrible. Thereupon each guest
turned to his neighbour and talked aloud and made as though he had
heard nothing, fearing for his life. But a consuming fire was lit in
Abu Hasan's heart; so he pretended a call of nature; and, in lieu of
seeking the bride chamber, he went down to the house court and saddled
his mare and rode off, weeping bitterly, through the shadow of the
night. In time he reached Lαhej where he found a ship ready to sail for
India; so he shipped on board and made Calicut of Malabar. Here he met
with many Arabs, especially Hazramνs[FN#193], who recommended him to
the King; and this King (who was a Kafir) trusted him and advanced him
to the captainship of his body guard. He remained ten years in all
solace and delight of life; at the end of which time he was seized with
home sickness; and the longing to behold his native land was that of a
lover pining for his beloved; and he came near to die of yearning
desire. But his appointed day had not dawned; so, after taking the
first bath of health, he left the King without leave, and in due course
landed at Makallα of Hazramaut. Here he donned the rags of a religious;
and, keeping his name and case secret, fared for Kaukaban afoot;
enduring a thousand hardships of hunger, thirst and fatigue; and
braving a thousand dangers from the lion, the snake and the Ghul. But
when he drew near his old home, he looked down upon it from the hills
with brimming eyes, and said in himself, "Haply they might know thee;
so I will wander about the outskirts, and hearken to the folk. Allah
grant that my case be not remembered by them!" He listened carefully
for seven nights and seven days, till it so chanced that, as he was
sitting at the door of a hut, he heard the voice of a young girl
saying, "O my mother, tell me the day when I was born; for such an one
of my companions is about to take an omen[FN#194] for me." And the
mother answered, "Thou was born, O my daughter, on the very night when
Abu Hasan farted." Now the listener no sooner heard these words than he
rose up from the bench, and fled away saying to himself, "Verily thy
fart hath become a date, which shall last for ever and ever; even as
the poet said,

     'As long as palms shall shift the flower; *

          As long as palms shall sift the flour.'[FN#195]

And he ceased not travelling and voyaging and returned to India; and
there abode in self exile till he died; and the mercy of Allah be upon
him![FN#196] And they tell another story of


Kαsim, son of Adi, was wont to relate that a man of the Banϊ Tamνm
spake as follows: "I went out one day in search of an estray and,
coming to the waters of the Banu Tayy, saw two companies of people near
one another, and behold, those of one company were disputing among
themselves even as the other. So I watched them and observed, in one of
the companies, a youth wasted with sickness, as he were a worn-out
dried-up waterskin. And as I looked on him, lo! he repeated these

     'What ails the Beauty she returneth not? *

          Is't Beauty's irk or grudging to my lot?

     I sickened and my friends all came to call; *

          What stayed thee calling with the friendly knot?

     Hadst thou been sick, I had come running fast *

          To thee, nor threats had kept me from the spot:

     Mid them I miss thee, and I lie alone; *

          Sweetheart, to lose thy love sad loss I wot!'

His words were heard by a damsel in the other company who hastened
towards him, and when her people followed her, she fought them off.
Then the youth caught sight of her and sprang up and ran towards her,
whilst the people of his party ran after him and laid hold of him.
However he haled and freed himself from them, and she in like manner
loosed herself; and, when they were free, each ran to other and meeting
between the two parties, embraced and fell dead upon the ground."—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Four Hundred ante Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the young man
and the maid met between the two parties and embraced and both fell
dead upon the ground; whereat came there out an old man from one of the
tents and stood over them exclaiming, 'Verily, we are Allah's and unto
Him we are returning!' Then weeping sore he said, 'Allah have ruth on
you both! by the Almighty, though you were not united in your lives, I
will at least unite you after your deaths.' And he bade lay them out:
so they washed them and shrouded them in one shroud and dug for them
one grave and prayed one prayer over them both and buried them in one
tomb; nor was there man or woman in the two parties but I saw weeping
over them and buffeting their faces. Then I questioned the Shaykh of
them, and he said, 'She was my daughter and he my brother's son; and
love brought them to the pass thou seest.' I exclaimed, 'Allah amend
thee! but why didst thou not marry them to each other?' Quoth he, 'I
feared shame[FN#197] and dishonour; and now I am fallen into both.' "
And they tell a tale of


Quoth Abu 'l-Abbαs al-Mubarrad,[FN#198] "I set out one day with a
company to Al-Bαrid on an occasion and, coming to the monastery of
Hirakl,[FN#199] we alighted in its shade. Presently a man came out to
us and said, 'There are madmen in the monastery,[FN#200] and amongst
them one who speaketh wisdom; if ye saw him, ye would marvel at his
speech.' So we arose all and went into the monastery' where we saw a
man seated on a skin mat in one of the cells, with bare head and eyes
intently fixed upon the wall. We saluted him, and he returned our
salaam, without looking at us, and one said to us, 'Repeat some verses
to him; for, when he heareth verse, he speaketh.' So I repeated these
two couplets,

     'O best of race to whom gave Hawwa[FN#201] boon of birth, *

          Except for thee the world were neither sweet nor fair!

     Thou'rt he, whose face, by Allah shown to man, *

          Doth ward off death, decay and hoary hair.'

When he heard from me this praise of the Apostle he turned towards us
and repeated these lines,

     'Well Allah wotteth I am sorely plagued: *

          Nor can I show my pain to human sight.

     Two souls have I, one soul is here contained, *

          While other woneth in another site.

     Meseems the absent soul's like present soul, *

          And that she suffers what to me is dight.'

Then he asked us. 'Have I said well or said ill? And we answered, 'Thou
hast said the clean contrary of ill, well and right well.' Then he put
out his hand to a stone, that was by him and took it up; whereupon
thinking he would throw it at us we fled from him; but he fell to
beating upon his breast therewith violent blows and said to us, 'Fear
not, but draw near and hear somewhat from me and receive it from me.'
So we came back, and he repeated these couplets,

'When they made their camels yellow white kneel down at dawning

     grey * They mounted her on crupper and the camel went his


Mine eye balls through the prison wall beheld them, and I cried *

     With streaming eyelids and a heart that burnt in dire dismay

O camel driver turn thy beast that I farewell my love! * In

     parting and farewelling her I see my doomed day

I'm faithful to my vows of love which I have never broke, * Would

     Heaven I kenned what they have done with vows that vowed


Then he looked at me and said, 'Say me, dost thou know what they
did?'[FN#202] Answered I, 'Yes, they are dead; Almighty Allah have
mercy on them!' At this his face changed and he sprang to his feet and
cried out, 'How knowest thou they be dead?;' and I replied, 'Were they
alive they had not left thee thus.' Quoth he, 'By Allah, thou art
right, and I care not to live after them.' Then his side muscles
quivered and he fell on his face; and we ran up to him and shook him
and found him dead, the mercy of the Almighty be on him! At this we
marvelled and mourned for him and, sore mourning, laid him out and
buried him".—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that al-Mubarrad thus
continued: "When the man fell we mourned over him with sore mourning
and laid him out and buried him. And when I returned to Baghdad and
went in to the Caliph al-Mutawakkil, he saw the trace of tears on my
face and said to me, 'What is this?' So I told him what had passed and
it was grievous to him and he cried, 'What moved thee to deal thus with
him?[FN#203] By Allah, if I thought thou didst not repent it and regret
him I would punish thee therefor!' And he mourned for him the rest of
the day." And amongst the tales they tell is one of


Quoth Abu Bakr Mohammed ibn Al-Anbαri[FN#204]: "I once left Anbαr on a
journey to 'Amϊrνyah,[FN#205] where there came out to me the prior of
the monastery and superior of the monkery, Abd al-Masνh hight, and
brought me into the building. There I found forty religious, who
entertained me that night with fair guest rite, and I left them after
seeing among them such diligence in adoration and devotion as I never
beheld the like of in any others. Next day I farewelled them and fared
forth and, after doing my business at 'Amuriyah, I returned to my home
at Anbar. And next year I made pilgrimage to Meccah and as I was
circumambulating the Holy House I saw Abd al-Masih the monk also
compassing the Ka'abah, and with him five of his fellows, the
shavelings. Now when I was sure that it was indeed he, I accosted him,
saying, 'Art thou not Abd al-Masih, the Religious?' and he replied,
'Nay, I am Abdallah, the Desirous.'[FN#206] Therewith I fell to kissing
his grey hairs and shedding tears; then, taking him by the hand, I led
him aside into a corner of the Temple and said to him, 'Tell me the
cause of thy conversion to al-Islam;' and he made reply, 'Verily, 'twas
a wonder of wonders, and befell thus. A company of Moslem devotees came
to the village wherein is our convent, and sent a youth to buy them
food. He saw, in the market, a Christian damsel selling bread, who was
of the fairest of women; and he was struck at first sight with such
love of her, that his senses failed him and he fell on his face in a
fainting fit. When he revived, he returned to his companions and told
them what had befallen him, saying, 'Go ye about your business; I may
not go with you.' They chided him and exhorted him, but he paid no heed
to them; so they left him whilst he entered the village and seated
himself at the door of the woman's booth.[FN#207] She asked him what he
wanted, and he told her that he was in love with her whereupon she
turned from him; but he abode in his place three days without tasting
food, keeping his eyes fixed on her face. Now whenas she saw that he
departed not from her, she went to her people and acquainted them with
his case, and they set on him the village boys, who stoned him and
bruised his ribs and broke his head; but, for all this, he would not
budge. Then the villagers took counsel together to slay him; but a man
of them came to me and told me of his case, and I went out to him and
found him lying prostrate on the ground. So I wiped the blood from his
face and carried him to the convent, and dressed his wounds; and there
he abode with me fourteen days. But as soon as he could walk, he left
the monastery"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdallah the
Religious continued: "So I carried him to the convent and dressed his
wounds, and he abode with me fourteen days. But as soon as he could
walk, he left the monastery and returned to the door of the woman 's
booth, where he sat gazing on her as before. When she saw him she came
out to him and said, 'By Allah thou movest me to pity! wilt thou enter
my faith that I may marry thee?' He cried, 'Allah forbid that I should
put off the faith of Unity and enter that of Plurality!'[FN#208] Quoth
she, 'Come in with me to my house and take thy will of me and wend thy
ways in peace.' Quoth he, 'Not so, I will not waste the worship of
twelve years for the lust of an eye-twinkle.' Said she, 'Then depart
from me forthwith;' and he said, 'My heart will not suffer me to do
that;' whereupon she turned her countenance from him. Presently the
boys found him out and began to pelt him with stones; and he fell on
his face, saying, 'Verily, Allah is my protector, who sent down the
Book of the Koran; and He protecteth the Righteous![FN#209] At this I
sallied forth and driving away the boys, lifted his head from the
ground and heard him say, 'Allah mine, unite me with her in Paradise!'
Then I carried him to the monastery, but he died, before I could reach
it, and I bore him without the village and I dug for him a grave and
buried him. And next night when half of it was spent, the damsel cried
with a great cry (and she in her bed); so the villagers flocked to her
and questioned her of her case. Quoth she, 'As I slept, behold the
Moslem man came in to me and taking me by the hand, carried me to the
gate of Paradise; but the Guardian denied me entrance, saying, 'Tis
forbidden to unbelievers.' So I embraced Al Islam at his hands and,
entering with him, beheld therein pavilions and trees, such as I cannot
describe to you. Moreover, he brought me to a pavilion of jewels and
said to me, 'Of a truth this is my pavilion and thine, nor will I enter
it save with thee; but, after five nights thou shalt be with me
therein, if it be the will of Allah Almighty.' Then he put forth his
hand to a tree which grew at the door of the pavilion and plucked there
from two apples and gave them to me, saying, 'Eat this and keep the
other, that the monks may see it.' So I ate one of them and never
tasted I aught sweeter.' "—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the woman
continued: "'So he plucked two apples and gave them to me, saying, 'Eat
this and keep the other that the monks may see it.' So I ate one of
them and never tasted I aught sweeter. Then he took my hand and fared
forth and carried me back to my house; and, when I awoke, I found the
taste of the apple in my mouth and the other in my hand.' So saying she
brought out the apple, and in the darkness of the night it shone as it
were a sparkling star. So they carried her (and the apple with her) to
the monastery, where she repeated her vision and showed it to us; never
saw we its like among all the fruits of the world. Then I took a knife
and cut the apple into pieces according as we were folk in company; and
never knew we aught more delicious than its savour nor more delightsome
than its scent; but we said, 'Haply this was a devil that appeared unto
her to seduce her from her faith.' Thereupon her people took her and
went away; but she abstained from eating and drinking and on the fifth
night she rose from her bed, and going forth the village to the grave
of her Moslem lover threw herself upon it and died, her family not
knowing what was come of her. But, on the morrow, there came to the
village two Moslem elders, clad in hair cloth, and with them two women
in like garb, and said, 'O people of the village, with you is a woman
Saint, a Waliyah of the friends of Allah, who died a Moslemah; and we
will take charge of her in lieu of you.' So the villagers sought her
and found her dead on the Moslem's grave; and they said, 'This was one
of us and she died in our faith; so we will take charge of her.'
Rejoined the two old men, 'Nay, she died a Moslemah and we claim her.'
And the dispute waxed to a quarrel between them, till one of the
Shaykhs said, 'Be this the test of her faith: the forty monks of the
monastery shall come and try to lift her from the grave. If they
succeed, then she died a Nazarene; if not, one of us shall come and
lift her up and if she be lifted by him, she died a Moslemah.' The
villagers agreed to this and fetched the forty monks, who heartened one
another, and came to her to lift her, but could not. Then we tied a
great rope round her middle and haled at it; but the rope broke in
sunder, and she stirred not; and the villagers came and did the like,
but could not move her from her place.[FN#210] At last, when all means
failed, we said to one of the two Shaykhs, 'Come thou and lift her.' So
he went up to the grave and, covering her with his mantle, said, 'In
the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate, and of the
Faith of the Apostle of Allah, on whom be prayers and peace!' Then he
lifted her and, taking her in his bosom, betook himself with her to a
cave hard by, where they laid her, and the two women came and washed
her and shrouded her. Then the two elders bore her to her Moslem
lover's grave and prayed over her and buried her by his side and went
their ways. Now we were eye witnesses of all this; and, when we were
alone with one another, we said, 'In sooth, the truth is most worthy to
be followed;'[FN#211] and indeed the verity hath been made manifest to
us, nor is there a proof more patent of the truth of al-Islam than that
we have seen this day with our eyes.' So I and all the monks became
Moslems and on like wise did the villagers; and we sent to the people
of Mesopotamia for a doctor of the law, to instruct us in the
ordinances of al-Islam and the canons of the Faith. They sent us a
learned man and a pious, who taught us the rites of prayer and the
tenets of the faith; and we are now in ease abounding; so to Allah be
the praise and the thanks!" And they also tell a tale of


Quoth Amrϊ bin Masa'dah:[FN#212] "Abϊ Isα, son of al-Rashνd and brother
to al-Maamun, was enamoured of one Kurrat al-Ayn, a slave girl
belonging to Ali bin Hishαm,[FN#213] and she also loved him; but he
concealed his passion, complaining of it to none neither discovering
his secret to anyone, of his pride and magnanimity; for he had used his
utmost endeavour to purchase her of her master, but he had failed. At
last when his patience was at an end and his passion was sore on him
and he was helpless in the matter, he went in to al-Maamun, one day of
state after the folk had retired, and said to him, 'O Commander of the
Faithful, if thou wilt this day make trial of thine Alcaydes by taking
them unawares, thou wilt know the generous from the mean and note each
one's place, after the quality of his mind.' But, in saying this he
purposed only to sit with Kurrat al-Ayn in her lord's house. Quoth
al-Maamun, 'Right is thy recking,' and bade make ready a barge, called
'the Flyer,' wherein he embarked with Abu Isa and a party of his chief
officers. The first mansion he visited unexpectedly was that of Hamνd
al-Tawil of Tϊs, whom he found seated"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that al-Maamun
embarked with his chief officers and fared on till they reached the
mansion of Hamνd al-Tawil of Tϊs; and, unexpectedly entering they found
him seated on a mat and before him singers and players with lutes and
flageolets and other instruments of music in their hands. So Al Maamun
sat with him awhile and presently he set before him dishes of nothing
but flesh meat, with no birds among them. The Caliph would not taste
thereof and Abu Isa said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, we have
taken the owner of this place unawares, and he knew not of thy coming;
but now let us go to another place which is prepared for thee and
fitted for thee." Thereupon the Caliph arose and betook himself with
his brother Abu Isa and his suite, to the abode of Ali son of Hisham
who, on hearing of their approach, came out and received them with the
goodliest of reception, and kissed the earth before the King. Then he
brought them into his mansion and opened to them a saloon than which
seer never saw a goodlier. Its floors, pillars and walls were of many
coloured marbles, adorned with Greek paintings: and it was spread with
matting of Sind[FN#214] whereon were carpets and tapestry of Bassorah
make, fitted to the length and breadth of the room. So the Caliph sat
awhile, examining the house and its ceilings and walls, then said,
"Give us somewhat to eat." So they brought him forthwith nearly an
hundred dishes of poultry besides other birds and brewises, fritters
and cooling marinades. When he had eaten, he said, "Give us some thing
to drink, O Ali;" and the host set before him, in vessels of gold and
silver and crystal, raisin wine boiled down to one third with fruits
and spices; and the cupbearers were pages like moons, clad in garments
of Alexandrian stuff interwoven with gold and bearing on their breasts
beakers of crystal, full of rose water mingled with musk. So al-Maamun
marvelled with exceeding marvel at all he saw and said, "Ho thou, Abu
al-Hasan!" Whereupon Ali sprang to the Caliph's carpet and kissing it,
said, "At thy service, O Commander of the Faithful!" and stood before
him. Quoth al-Maamun, "Let us hear some pleasant and merry song."
Replied Ali, "I hear and obey, O Commander of the Faithful," and said
to one of his eunuchs, "Fetch the singing women." So the slave went out
and presently returned, followed by ten castratos, bearing ten stools
of gold, which they set down in due order; and after these came ten
damsels, concubines of the master, as they were shining full moons or
gardens full of bloom, clad in black brocade, with crowns of gold on
their heads; and they passed along the room till they sat down on the
stools, when sang they sundry songs. Al-Maamun looked at one of them;
and, being captivated by her elegance and fair favour, asked her, "What
is thy name, O damsel?"; and she answered, "My name is Sajαhν,[FN#215]
O Commander of the Faithful," and he said, "Sing to us, O Sajahi!" So
she played a lively measure and sang these couplets,

     "I walk, for fear of interview, the weakling's walk *

          Who sees two lion whelps the fount draw nigh:

     My cloak acts sword, my heart's perplex'd with fright, *

          Lest jealous hostile eyes th' approach descry:

     Till sudden hapt I on a delicate maid *

          Like desert-doe that fails her fawns to espy."

Quoth the Caliph, "Thou hast done well, O damsel! whose are these
lines?" She answered, "Written by Amru bin Ma'di Karib al
-Zubaydi,[FN#216] and the air is Ma'abid's."[FN#217] Then the Caliph
and Abu Isa and Ali drank and the damsels went away and were succeeded
by other ten, all clad in flowered silk of Al-Yaman, brocaded with
gold, who sat down on the chairs and sang various songs. The Caliph
looked at one of the concubines, who was like a wild heifer of the
waste, and said to her, "What is thy name, O damsel?" She replied, "My
name is Zabiyah,[FN#218] 0 Commander of the Faithful;" and he, "Sing to
us Zabiyah;" so she warbled like a bird with many a trill and sang
these two couplets,

     "Houris, and highborn Dames who feel no fear of men, *

          Like Meccan game forbidden man to slam:[FN#219]

     Their soft sweet voices make you deem them whores, *

          But bars them from all whoring Al-Islam."

When she had finished, al-Maamun cried, "favoured of Allah art
thou!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the slave
girl finished her song, al-Maamun cried, "Favoured of Allah art thou!
Whose is this verse?" and she answered, "Jarνr's[FN#220] and the air is
By Ibn Surayj." Then the Caliph and his company drank, whilst the girls
went away and there came forth yet other ten, as they were rubies,
robed in red brocade inwoven with gold and purfled with pearls and
jewels whilst all their heads were bare. They sat down on the stools
and sang various airs; so the Caliph looked at one of them, who was
like the sun of the day, and asked her, "What is thy name, O damsel?";
and she answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, my name is Fαtin."
"Sing to us, O Fatin," quoth he; whereat she played a lively measure
and sang these couplets,

     "Deign grant thy favours; since 'tis time I were engraced; *

          Tnough of severance hath it been my lot to taste.

     Thou'rt he whose face cloth every gift and charm unite, *

          Yet is my patience spent for that 'twas sore misplaced:

     I've wasted life in loving thee; and would high Heaven *

          Grant me one meeting hour for all this wilful waste."

"Well sung, O Fatin!'' exclaimed the Caliph; "whose verse is this?" And
she answered, "Adi bin Zayd's, and the air is antique." Then all three
drank, whilst the damsels retired and were succeeded by other ten
maidens, as they were sparkling stars, clad in flowered silk
embroidered with red gold and girt with jewelled zones. They sat down
and sang various motives; and the Caliph asked one of them, who was
like a wand of willow, "What is thy name, O damsel?"; and she answered,
"My name is Rashaa,[FN#221] 0 Commander of the Faithful." "Sing to us,
O Rashaa," quoth he; so she played a lively measure and sang these

     "And wand-like Houri, who can passion heal *

          Like young gazelle that paceth o'er the plain:

     I drain this wine cup on the toast, her cheek, *

          Each cup disputing till she bends in twain

     Then sleeps the night with me, the while I cry *

          'This is the only gain my Soul would gain!' "

Said the Caliph, "Well done, O damsel! Sing us something more." So she
rose and kissing the ground before him, sang the following distich,

     "She came out to gaze on the bridal at ease *

          In a shift that reeked of ambergris."

The Caliph was highly pleased with this couplet and, when the slave
girl saw how much it delighted him, she repeated it several times. Then
said al-Maamun, "Bring up 'the Flyer,'" being minded to embark and
depart: but Ali bin Hisham said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, I
have a slave girl, whom I bought for ten thousand diners; she hath
taken my heart in whole and part, and I would fain display her to the
Commander of the Faithful. If she please him and he will accept of her,
she is his: and if not, let him hear something from her." Said the
Caliph, "Bring her to me;" and forth came a damsel, as she were a
branchlet of willow, with seducing eyes and eyebrows set like twin
bows; and on her head she wore a crown of red gold crusted with pearls
and jewelled, under which was a fillet bearing this couplet wrought in
letters of chrysolite,

     "A Jinniyah this, with her Jinn, to show *

          How to pierce man's heart with a stringless bow!"

The handmaiden walked, with the gait of a gazelle in flight and fit to
damn a devotee, till she came to a chair, whereon she seated
herself.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the hand maiden
walked with the gait of a gazelle in flight, fit to damn a devotee,
till she came to a chair whereon she seated herself. And Al-Maamun
marvelled at her beauty and loveliness; but, when Abu Isa saw her, his
heart throbbed with pain, his colour changed to pale and wan and he was
in evil case. Asked the Caliph, "O Abu Isa, what aileth thee to change
thus?"; and he answered, "O Commander of the Faithful, it is because of
a twitch that seizeth me betimes." Quoth the Caliph, "Hast thou known
yonder damsel before to day?" Quoth he, "Yes, O Commander of the
Faithful, can the moon be concealed?" Then said al-Maamun to her, "What
is thy name, O damsel?"; and she replied, "My name is Kurrat al-Ayn. O
Commander of the Faithful," and he rejoined, "Sing to us, O Kurrat
al-Ayn." So she sang these two couplets,

     "The loved ones left thee in middle night, *

          And fared with the pilgrims when dawn shone bright:

     The tents of pride round the domes they pitched, *

          And with broidered curtains were veiled fro' sight."

Quoth the Caliph, "Favoured of Heaven art thou, O Kurrat al-Ayn! Whose
song is that?"; whereto she answered "The words are by Di'ibil
al-Khuza'i, and the air by Zurzϊr al-Saghνr." Abu Isa looked at her and
his tears choked him; so that the company marvelled at him. Then she
turned to al-Maamun and said to him, "O Commander of the Faithful, wilt
thou give me leave to change the words?" Said he, "Sing what thou
wilt;" so she played a merry measure and carolled these couplets,

     "If thou should please a friend who pleaseth thee *

          Frankly, in public practise secrecy.

     And spurn the slanderer's tale, who seldom[FN#222] *

          seeks Except the severance of true love to see.

     They say, when lover's near, he tires of love, *

          And absence is for love best remedy:

     Both cures we tried and yet we are not cured, *

          Withal we judge that nearness easier be:

     Yet nearness is of no avail when he *

          Thou lovest lends thee love unwillingly."

But when she had finished, Abu Isa said, "O Commander of the Faithful,"
—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kurrat
al-Ayn had finished her verse, Abu Isa said, "O Commander of the
Faithful, though we endure disgrace, we shall be at ease.[FN#223] Dost
thou give me leave to reply to her?" Quoth the Caliph, "Yes, say what
thou wilt to her." So he swallowed his tears and sang these two

     "Silent I woned and never owned my love; *

          But from my heart I hid love's blissful boon;

     Yet, if my eyes should manifest my love, *

          'Tis for my nearness to the shining moon."

Then Kurrat al-Ayn took the lute and played a lively tune and rejoined
with these couplets,

     "An what thou claimest were the real truth, *

          With only Hope content thou hadst not been

     Nor couldest patient live without the girl *

          So rare of inner grace and outward mien.

     But there is nothing in the claim of thee *

          At all, save tongue and talk that little mean."

When Abu Isa heard this he fell to weeping and wailing and evidencing
his trouble and anguish. Then he raised his eyes to her and sighing,
repeated these couplets,

     "Under my raiment a waste body lies, *

          And in my spirit all comprising prize.

     I have a heart, whose pain shall aye endure, *

          And tears like torrents pour these woeful eyes.

     Whene'er a wise man spies me, straight he chides *

          Love, that misleads me thus in ways unwise:

     O Lord, I lack the power this dole to bear: *

          Come sudden Death or joy in bestest guise!"

When he had ended, Ali bin Hisham sprang up and kissing his feet, said,
"O my lord, Allah hearing thy secret hath answered thy prayer and
consenteth to thy taking her with all she hath of things rare and fair,
so the Commander of the Faithful have no mind to her." Quoth Al Maamun,
"Had we a mind to her, we would prefer Abu Isa before ourselves and
help him to his desire." So saying, he rose and embarking, went away,
whilst Abu Isa tarried for Kurrat al-Ayn, whom he took and carried to
his own house, his breast swelling with joy. See then the generosity of
Ali son of Hisham! And they tell a tale of


Al-Amin,[FN#224] brother of al-Maamun, once entered the house of his
uncle Ibrahim bin al-Mahdi, where he saw a slave girl playing upon the
lute; and, she being one of the fairest of women, his heart inclined to
her. Ibrahim, seeing how it was with him, sent the girl to him, with
rich raiment and precious ornaments. When he saw her, he thought that
his uncle had lain with her; so he was loath to have to do with her,
because of that, and accepting what came with her sent her back to
Ibrahim. His uncle learnt the cause of this from one of al-Amin's
eunuchs; so he took a shift of watered silk and worked upon its skirt,
in letters of gold, these two couplets,

     "No! I declare by Him to whom all bow, *

          Of nothing 'neath her petticoat I trow:

     Nor meddle with her mouth; nor aught did I *

          But see and hear her, and it was enow!"

Then he clad her in the shift and, giving her a lute, sent her back
again to his nephew. When she came into al-Amin's presence, she kissed
ground before him and tuning the lute, sang thereto these two couplets,

     "Thy breast thou baredst sending back the gift; *

          Showing unlove for me withouten shift:

     An thou bear spite of Past, the Past forgive, *

          And for the Caliphate cast the Past adrift."

When she had made an end of her verse, Al-Amin looked at her and,
seeing what was upon her skirt, could no longer control him self, And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Four Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Al-Amin
looked at the damsel and saw what was upon her skirt, he could no
longer control himself, but drew near unto her and kissed her and
appointed her a separate lodging in his palace. Moreover, he thanked
his uncle for this and bestowed on him the government of Rayy. And a
tale is told of


Al-Mutawakkil[FN#225] was once taking medicine, and folk sent him by
way of solace all sorts of presents and rarities and things costly and
precious. Amongst others, al-Fath bin Khαkαn[FN#226] sent him a virgin
slave, high breasted, of the fairest among women of her time, and with
her a vase of crystal, containing ruddy wine, and a goblet of red gold,
whereon were graven in black these couplets,

     "Since our Imam came forth from medicine, *

          Which made him health and heartiness rewin,

     There is no healing draught more sovereign *

          Than well boiled wine this golden goblet in:

     Then let him break the seal for him secured; *

          'Tis best prescription after medicine[FN#227]

Now when the damsel entered, the physician Yohannα[FN#228] was with the
Caliph, and as he read the couplets, he smiled and said, "By Allah, O
Commander of the Faithful, Fath is better versed than I in the art of
healing: so let not the Prince of True Believers gainsay his
prescription." Accordingly, the Caliph followed the recipe contained in
the poetry and was made whole by the blessing of Allah and won his
every wish. And among tales they tell is one of


Quoth a certain man of learning, "I never saw amongst woman kind one
wittier, and wiser, better read and by nature more generously bred; and
in manners and morals more perfected than a preacher of the people of
Baghdad, by name Sitt al-Mashα'ikh.[FN#229] It chanced that she came to
Hamah city in the year of the Flight five hundred and sixty and
one[FN#230]; and there delivered salutary exhortations to the folk from
the professorial chair. Now there used to visit her house a number of
students of divinity and persons of learning and polite letters, who
would discuss with her questions of theology and dispute with her on
controversial points. I went to her one day, with a friend of mine, a
man of years and education; and when we had taken our seats, she set
before us a dish of fruit and seated herself behind a curtain. Now she
had a brother, a handsome youth, who stood behind us, to serve us. And
when we had eaten we fell to disputing upon points of divinity, and I
propounded to her a theological question bearing upon a difference
between the Imams, the Founders of the Four Schools. She proceeded to
speak in answer, whilst I listened; but all the while my friend fell to
looking upon her brother's face and admiring his beauties without
paying any heed to what she discoursed. Now as she was watching him
from behind the curtain; when she had made an end of her speech, she
turned to him and said, 'Methinks thou be of those who give men the
preference over women!' He replied, 'Assuredly,' and she asked, 'And
why so?'; whereto he answered, 'For that Allah hath made the masculine
worthier than the feminine,'" —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh
replied, " 'For that Allah hath made the masculine worthier than the
feminine; and I like the excelling and mislike the excelled.' She
laughed and presently said, 'Wilt thou deal fairly with me in debate,
if I battle the matter with thee?' and he rejoined, 'Yes.' Then quoth
she, 'What is the evidence of the superiority of the male to the
female?' Quoth he, 'It is of two kinds, traditional and reasonable. The
authoritative part deriveth from the Koran and the Traditions of the
Apostle. As for the first we have the very words of Almighty Allah,
'Men shall have the pre-eminence above women because of those
advantages wherein Allah hath caused the one of them to excel the
other;[FN#231] and again, 'If there be not two men, let there be one
man and two women;'[FN#232] and again, when treating of inheritance,
'If there be brothers and sisters let a male have as much as the
portion of two females.'[FN#233] Thus Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) hath in these places preferred the male over the female and
teacheth that a woman is as the half of a man, for that he is worthier
than she. As for the Sunnah traditions, is it not reported of the
Prophet (whom Allah save and assain!) that he appointed the blood money
for a woman to be half that of a man. And as for the evidence of
reason, the male is the agent and active and the female the patient and
passive.'[FN#234] Rejoined she, 'Thou hast said well, O my lord, but,
by Allah, thou hast proved my contention with thine own lips and hast
advanced evidence which telleth against thee, and not for thee. And
thus it is: Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) preferred the male
above the female solely because of the inherent condition and essential
quality of masculinity; and in this there is no dispute between us. Now
this quality of male-hood is common to the child, the boy, the youth,
the adult and the old man; nor is there any distinction between them in
this. If, then, the superior excellence of male masculant belong to him
solely by virtue of manhood, it behoveth that thy heart incline and thy
sole delight in the graybeard, equally with the boy; seeing that there
is no distinction between them, in point of male-hood. But the
difference between thee and me turneth upon the accident of qualities
that are sought as constituting the pleasure of intercourse and its
enjoyment; and thou hast adduced no proof of the superiority of the
youth over the young girl in this matter of non-essentials.' He made
answer, 'O reverend lady, knowest thou not that which is peculiar to
the youth of limber shape and rosy cheeks and pleasant smile and
sweetness of speech? Youths are, in these respects superior to women;
and the proof of this is what they traditionally report of the Prophet
(whom Allah bless and preserve!) that he said, 'Stay not thy gaze upon
the beardless, for in them is a momentary eye glance at the black eyed
girls of Paradise.' Nor indeed is the superiority of the lad over the
lass hidden to any of mankind, and how well saith Abu Nowas,[FN#235]

     'The least of him is the being free *

          From monthly courses and pregnancy.'

And the saying of another poet,

     'Quoth our Imam, Abu Nowas, who was *

          For mad debauch and waggishness renowned:

     'O tribe that loves the cheeks of boys, take fill *

          Of joys in Paradise shall ne'er be found!'

So if any one enlarge in praise of a slave girl and wish to enhance her
value by the mention of her beauties, he likeneth her to a youth,'"
—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh
continued, "'So if any one enlarge in praise of a slave girl and wish
to enhance her value by the mention of her beauties, he likeneth her to
a youth, because of the illustrious qualities that belong to the male,
even as saith the poet,

     'Boy like of backside, in the deed of kind, *

          She sways, as sways the wand like boughs a-wind.'

An youths, then, were not better and fairer than girls, why should
these be likened to them? And know also (Almighty Allah preserve thee!)
that a youth is easy to be led, adapting himself to every rede,
pleasant of converse and manners, inclining to assent rather than
dissent, especially when his side face is newly down'd and his upper
lip is first embrowned, and the purple lights of youth on his cheeks
abound, so that he is like the full moon sound; and how goodly is the
saying of Abu Tammαm[FN#236],

     'The slanderers said 'There's hair upon his cheeks'; *

          Quoth I, 'Exceed not, that's no blemish there.'

     When he could bear that haling of his hips *

          And pearl-beads shaded by mustachio hair;[FN#237]

     And Rose swore solemn, holiest oath that is, *

          From that fair cheek she nevermore would fare

     I spoke with eyelids without need of speech, *

          And they who answered me his eyebrows were.

     He's even fairer than thou knewest him, *

          And cheek down guards from all would overdare.

     Brighter and sweeter now are grown his charms, *

          Since down robes lip and cheek before were bare.

     And those who blame me for my love of him, *

          When him they mention say of him, 'Thy Fair'!'

And quoth al-Hariri[FN#238] and quoth excellently well,

     'My censors say, 'What means this pine for him? *

          Seest not the flowing hair on cheeks a flowing?'

     I say, 'By Allah, an ye deem I dote, *

          Look at the truth in those fine eyes a-showing!

     But for the down that veils his cheek and chin, *

          His brow had dazed all eyes no sight allowing:

     And whoso sojourns in a growthless land, *

          How shall he move from land fair growths a-growing?'

And quoth another,

     'My blamers say of me, 'He is consoled,' And lie! *

          No consolation comes to those who pine and sigh.

     I had no solace when Rose bloomed alone on cheek, *

          Now Basil blooms thereon and now consoled am I.'

And again,

     'Slim waisted one, whose looks with down of cheek *

          In slaughtering mankind each other hurtle

     With the Narcissus blade he sheddeth blood, *

          The baldrick of whose sheath is freshest


And again,

     'Not with his must I'm drunk, but verily *

          Those curls turn manly heads like newest wine[FN#240]

     Each of his beauties envies each, and all *

          Would be the silky down on side face li'en.'

Such are the excellencies of the youth which women do not own, and they
more than suffice to give those the preference over these.' She
replied, 'Allah give thee health! verily, thou hast imposed the debate
upon thyself; and thou hast spoken and hast not stinted and hast
brought proofs to support every assertion. But, 'Now is the truth
become manifest;'[FN#241] so swerve thou not from the path thereof;
and, if thou be not content with a summary of evidence, I will set it
before thee in fullest detail. Allah upon thee, where is the youth
beside the girl and who shall compare kid and wild cow? The girl is
soft of speech, fair of form, like a branchlet of basil, with teeth
like chamomile-petals and hair like halters wherefrom to hang hearts.
Her cheeks are like blood-red anemones and her face like a pippin: she
hath lips like wine and breasts like pomegranates twain and a shape
supple as a rattan-cane. Her body is well formed and with sloping
shoulders dight; she hath a nose like the edge of a sword shining
bright and a forehead brilliant white and eyebrows which unite and eyes
stained by Nature's hand black as night. If she speak, fresh young
pearls are scattered from her mouth forthright and all hearts are
ravished by the daintiness of her sprite; when she smileth thou wouldst
ween the moon shone out her lips between and when she eyes thee, sword
blades flash from the babes of her eyes. In her all beauties to
conclusion come, and she is the centre of attraction to traveller and
stay-at-home. She hath two lips of cramoisy, than cream smoother and of
taste than honey sweeter,'" —And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the preacher
woman thus pursued her theme in the praise of fair maids, "'She hath
two lips of cramoisy, than cream smoother and than honey sweeter;'
adding, 'And she hath a bosom, as it were a way two hills between which
are a pair of breasts like globes of ivory sheen; likewise, a stomach
right smooth, flanks soft as the palm-spathe and creased with folds and
dimples which overlap one another, and liberal thighs, which like
columns of pearl arise, and back parts which billow and beat together
like seas of glass or mountains of glance, and two feet and hands of
gracious mould like unto ingots of virgin gold. So, O miserable! where
are mortal men beside the Jinn? Knowest thou not that puissant princes
and potent Kings before women ever humbly bend and on them for delight
depend? Verily, they may say, 'We rule over necks and rob hearts.'
These women! how many a rich man have they not paupered, how many a
powerful man have they not prostrated and how many a superior man have
they not enslaved! Indeed, they seduce the sage and send the saint to
shame and bring the wealthy to want and plunge the fortune favoured
into penury. Yet for all this, the wise but redouble in affection of
them and honour; nor do they count this oppression or dishonour. How
many a man for them hath offended his Maker and called down on him self
the wrath of his father and mother! And all this because of the
conquest of their love over hearts. Knowest thou not, O wretched one,
that for them are built pavilions, and slave girls are for
sale;[FN#242] that for them tear floods rail and for them are collected
jewels of price and ambergris and musk odoriferous; and armies are
arrayed and pleasaunces made and wealth heaped up and smitten off is
many a head? And indeed he spoke sooth in the words, 'Whoso saith the
world meaneth woman.' Now as for thy citation from the Holy Traditions,
it is an argument against thee and not for thee in that the Prophet
(whom Allah bless and preserve!) compareth the beardless with the black
eyed girls of Paradise. Now, doubtless, the subject of comparison is
worthier than the object there with compared; so, unless women be the
worthier and the goodlier, wherefore should other than they be likened
to them? As for thy saying that girls are likened to boys, the case is
not so, but the contrary: boys are likened to girls; for folk say,
Yonder boy is like a girl. As for what proof thou quotest from the
poets, the verses were the product of a complexion unnatural in this
respect; and as for the habitual sodomites and catamites, offenders
against religion, Almighty Allah hath condemned them in His Holy
Book,[FN#243] herein He denounceth their filthy practices, saying, 'Do
ye approach unto the males among mankind[FN#244] and leave your wives
which your Lord hath created for you? Surely ye are a people who
transgress!' These it is that liken girls to boys, of their exceeding
profligacy and ungraciousness and inclination to follow the fiend and
own lusts, so that they say, 'She is apt for two tricks,'[FN#245] and
these are all wanderers from the way of right and the righteous. Quoth
their chief Abu Nowas,

     'Slim waist and boyish wits delight *

          Wencher, as well as Sodomite,'[FN#246]

As for what thou sayest of a youth's first hair on cheek and lips and
how they add to his beauty and loveliness, by Allah, thou strayest from
the straight path of sooth and sayest that which is other than the
truth; for whiskers change the charms of the comely into ugliness
(quoting these couplets),

     'That sprouting hair upon his face took wreak *

          For lovers' vengeance, all did vainly seek.

     I see not on his face a sign fuli- *

          genous, except his curls are hue of reek.

     If so his paper[FN#247] mostly be begrimed *

          Where deemest thou the reed shall draw a streak?

     If any raise him other fairs above, *

          This only proves the judge of wits is weak.'

And when she ended her verse she resumed, 'Laud be to Allah Almighty,'"
—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the preacher
woman ended her verse she resumed, addressing the man, " 'Laud to Allah
Almighty! how can it be hid from thee that the perfect pleasure is in
women and that abiding blessings are not to be found but with them,
seeing that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath promised His
prophets and saints black eyed damsels in Paradise and hath appointed
these for a recompense of their godly works. And had the Almighty known
that the joy supreme was in the possession of other than women, He had
rewarded them therewith and promised it to them. And quoth he (whom
Allah bless and preserve!), 'The things I hold dearest of the things of
your world are three: women and perfume and the solace of my eyes in
prayer.' Verily Allah hath appointed boys to serve his prophets and
saints in Paradise, because Paradise is the abode of joy and delight,
which could not be complete without the service of youths; but, as to
the use of them for aught but service, it is Hell's putridity[FN#248]
and corruption and turpitude. How well saith the poet,

    'Men's turning unto bums of boys is bumptious; *

          Whoso love noble women show their own noblesse.

    How many goodly wights have slept the night, enjoying *

          Buttocks of boys, and woke at morn in foulest mess

    Their garments stained by safflower, which is yellow merde; *

          Their shame proclaiming, showing colour of distress.

    Who can deny the charge, when so bewrayed are they *

          That e'en by day light shows the dung upon their dress?

    What contrast wi' the man, who slept a gladsome night *

          By Houri maid for glance a mere enchanteress,

    He rises off her borrowing wholesome bonny scent; *

          That fills the house with whiffs of perfumed


    No boy deserved place by side of her to hold; *

          Canst even aloes wood with what fills pool of


Then said she, 'O folk ye have made me to break the bounds of modesty
and the circle of free born women and indulge in idle talk of
chambering and wantonness, which beseemeth not people of learning. But
the breasts of free-borns are the sepulchres of secrets' and such
conversations are in confidence. Moreover, actions are according to
intentions,[FN#250] and I crave pardon of Allah for myself and you and
all Moslems, seeing that He is the Pardoner and the Compassionate.'
Then she held her peace and thereafter would answer us of naught; so we
went our way, rejoicing in that we had profited by her contention and
yet sorrowing to part from her." And among the tales they tell is one


Quoth Abu Suwayd, "I and a company of my friends, entered a garden one
day to buy somewhat of fruit; and we saw in a corner an old woman, who
was bright of face, but her head-hair was white, and she was combing it
with an ivory comb. We stopped before her, yet she paid no heed to us
neither veiled her face: so I said to her, 'O old woman,[FN#251] wert
thou to dye thy hair black, thou wouldst be handsomer than a girl: what
hindereth thee from this?' She raised her head towards me"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu Suwayd
continued: "When I spake these words to the ancient dame she raised her
head towards me and, opening wide her eyes, recited these two couplets,

     'I dyed what years have dyed, but this my staining *

          Lasts not, while that of days is aye remaining:

     Days when beclad in gear of youth I fared, *

          Raked fore and aft by men with joy unfeigning.'

I cried, 'By Allah, favoured art thou for an old woman! How sincere art
thou in thine after-pine for forbidden pleasures and how false is thy
pretence of repentance from frowardness!'" And another tale is that of


Once on a time was displayed for sale to Ali bin Mohammed bin Abdallah
bin Tαhir[FN#252] a slave-girl called Muunis who was superior to her
fellows in beauty and breeding, and to boot an accomplished poetess;
and he asked her of her name. Replied she, "Allah advance the Emir, my
name is Muunis."[FN#253] Now he knew this before; so he bowed his head
awhile, then raising his eyes to her, recited this verse,

     "What sayest of one by a sickness caught *

          For the love of thy love till he waxed distraught?"

Answered she, "Allah exalt the Emir!" and recited this verse in reply,

     "If we saw a lover who pains as he ought, *

          Wi' love we would grant him all favours he sought."

She pleased him: so he bought her for seventy thousand dirhams and
begat on her Obayd' Allah bin Mohammed, afterwards minister of
Police.[FN#254] And we are told by Abu al-Aynα[FN#255] a tale of


Quoth Abu al-Aynα, "There were in our street two women, one of whom had
for lover a man and the other a beardless youth, and they foregathered
one night on the terrace-roof of a house adjoining mine, knowing not
that I was near. Quoth the boy's lover to the other, 'O my sister, how
canst thou bear with patience the harshness of thy lover's beard as it
falleth on thy breast, when he busseth thee and his mustachios rub thy
cheek and lips?' Replied the other, 'Silly that thou art, what decketh
the tree save its leaves and the cucumber but its warts?[FN#256] Didst
ever see in the world aught uglier than a scald-head bald of his beard?
Knowest thou not that the beard is to men as the sidelocks to women;
and what is the difference between chin and cheek?[FN#257] Knowest thou
not that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) hath created an angel in
Heaven, who saith: 'Glory be to Him who ornamenteth men with beards and
women with long hair?' So, were not the beard even as the tresses in
comeliness, it had not been coupled with them, O silly! How shall I
spread-eagle myself under a boy, who will emit long before I can go off
and forestall me in limpness of penis and clitoris; and leave a man
who, when he taketh breath clippeth close and when he entereth goeth
leisurely, and when he hath done, repeateth, and when he pusheth poketh
hard, and as often as he withdraweth, returneth?' The boy's leman was
edified by her speech and said, 'I forswear my lover by the lord of the
Ka'abah!'" And amongst tales is one of


There lived once, in the city of Cairo, a merchant who had great store
of monies and bullion, gems and jewels, and lands and houses beyond
count, and his name was Hasan the Jeweller, the Baghdad man.
Furthermore Allah had blessed him with a son of perfect beauty and
brilliancy; rosy-cheeked, fair of face and well-figured, whom he named
Ali of Cairo, and had taught the Koran and science and elocution and
the other branches of polite education, till he became proficient in
all manner of knowledge. He was under his father's hand in trade but,
after a while, Hasan fell sick and his sickness grew upon him, till he
made sure of death; so he called his son to him,—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Jeweller, the Baghdadi, fell sick and made sure of death, he called to
him his son, named Ali of Cairo, and said, "O my son, verily this world
passeth away; but the next world endureth for aye. Every soul shall
taste of death;[FN#258] and now, O my son, my decease is at hand and I
desire to charge thee with a charge, which if thou observe, thou shalt
abide in safety and prosperity, till thou meet Almighty Allah; but if
thou follow it not, there shall befal thee much weariness and thou wilt
repent of having transgressed mine injunctions." Replied Ali, "O my
father, how shall I do other than hearken to thy words and act
according to thy charge, seeing that I am bounden by the law of the
Faith to obey thee and give ear to thy command?" Rejoined his father,
"O my son, I leave thee lands and houses and goods and wealth past
count; so that wert thou each day to spend thereof five hundred dinars,
thou wouldst miss naught of it. But, O my son, look that thou live in
the fear of Allah and follow His Chosen One, Mustafa, (whom may He
bless and preserve!) in whatso he is reported to have bidden and
forbidden in his traditional law.[FN#259] Be thou constant in
alms-deeds and the practice of beneficence and in consorting with men
of worth and piety and learning; and look that thou have a care for the
poor and needy and shun avarice and meanness and the conversation of
the wicked or those of suspicious character. Look thou kindly upon thy
servants and family, and also upon thy wife, for she is of the
daughters of the great and is big with child by thee; haply Allah will
vouchsafe thee virtuous issue by her." And he ceased not to exhort him
thus, weeping and saying, "O my son, I beseech Allah the Bountiful, the
Lord of the glorious Empyrean[FN#260] to deliver thee from all straits
that may encompass thee and grant thee His ready relief!" Thereupon his
son wept with sore weeping and said, "O my father, I am melted by thy
words, for these are as the words of one that saith farewell." Replied
the merchant, "Yes, O my son, I am aware of my condition: forget thou
not my charge." Then he fell to repeating the two professions of the
Faith and to reciting verses of the Koran, until the appointed hour
arrived, when he said, "Draw near unto me, O my son." So Ali drew near
and he kissed him; then he sighed and his soul departed his body and he
went to the mercy of Almighty Allah.[FN#261] Therewith great grief fell
upon Ali; the clamour of keening arose in his house and his father's
friends flocked to him. Then he betook himself to preparing the body
for burial and made him a splendid funeral. They bore his bier to the
place of prayer and prayed over him, then to the cemetery, where they
buried him and recited over him what suited of the sublime Koran; after
which they returned to the house and condoled with the dead man's son
and wended each his own way. Moreover, Ali prayed the Friday prayer for
his father and had perlections of the Koran every day for the normal
forty, during which time he abode in the house and went not forth, save
to the place of prayer; and every Friday he visited his father's tomb.
So he ceased not from his praying and reciting for some time, until his
fellows of the sons of the merchants came in to him one day and
saluting him, said, "How long this thy mourning and neglecting thy
business and the company of thy friends? Verily, this is a fashion
which will bring thee weariness, and thy body will suffer for it
exceedingly." Now when they came in to him, Iblis the Accursed was with
them, prompting them; and they went on to recommend him to accompany
them to the bazar, whilst Iblis tempted him to consent to them, till he
yielded,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the sons of
the merchants went in to Ali the Cairene, son of Hasan the Jeweller,
they recommended him to accompany them to the bazar, till he yielded,
that the will of Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) might be
fulfilled; and he left the house of mourning with them. Presently they
said, "Mount thy she-mule and ride with us to such a garden, that we
may solace us there and that thy grief and despondency may depart from
thee." So he mounted and taking his slave, went with them to the garden
in question; and when they entered one of them went and making ready
the morning-meal, brought it to them there. So they ate and were merry
and sat in talk, till the end of the day, when they mounted and
returned each to his own lodging, where they passed the night. As soon
as the morrow dawned, they again visited Ali and said, "Come with us."
Asked he, "Whither?"; and they answered, "To such a garden; for it is
finer than the first and more pleasurable." So he went with them to the
garden, and one of them, going away, made ready the morning-meal and
brought it to them, together with strong heady wine; and after eating,
they brought out the wine, when quoth Ali, "What is this? and quoth
they, "This is what dispelleth sadness and brighteneth gladness. And
they ceased not to commend it to him, till they prevailed upon him and
he drank with them. Then they sat, drinking and talking, till the end
of the day, when each returned home. But as for Ali, the Cairene, he
was giddy with wine and in this plight went in to his wife, who said to
him, "What aileth thee that thou art so changed?" He said, "We were
making merry to-day, when one of my companions brought us liquor; so my
friends drank and I with them, and this giddiness came upon me." And
she replied, "O my lord, say me, hast thou forgotten thy father's
injunction and done that from which he forbade thee, in consorting with
doubtful folk?" Answered he, "These be of the sons of the merchants;
they are no suspicious folk, only lovers of mirth and good cheer." And
he continued to lead this life with his friends, day after day, going
from place to place and feasting with them and drinking, till they said
to him, "Our turns are ended, and now it is thy turn." "Well come, and
welcome and fair cheer!" cried he; so on the morrow, he made ready all
that the case called for of meat and drink, two-fold what they had
provided, and taking cooks and tent-pitchers and coffee-makers,[FN#262]
repaired with the others to Al-Rauzah[FN#263] and the Nilometer, where
they abode a whole month, eating and drinking and hearing music and
making merry. At the end of the month, Ali found that he had spent a
great sum of money; but Iblis the Accursed deluded him and said to him,
"Though thou shouldst spend every day a like sum yet wouldst thou not
miss aught of it." So he took no account of money expenses and
continued this way of life for three years, whilst his wife
remonstrated with him and reminded him of his father's charge; but he
hearkened not to her words, till he had spent all the ready monies he
had, when he fell to selling his jewels and spending their price, until
they also were all gone. Then he sold his houses, fields, farms and
gardens, one after other, till they likewise were all gone and he had
nothing left but the tenement wherein he lived. So he tore out the
marble and wood-work and sold it and spent of its price, till he had
made an end of all this also, when he took thought with himself and,
finding that he had nothing left to expend, sold the house itself and
spent the purchase-money. After that, the man who had bought the house
came to him and said "Seek out for thyself a lodging, as I have need of
my house." So he bethought himself and, finding that he had no want of
a house, except for his wife, who had borne him a son and daughter (he
had not a servant left), he hired a large room in one of the mean
courts[FN#264] and there took up his abode, after having lived in
honour and luxury, with many eunuchs and much wealth; and he soon came
to want one day's bread. Quoth his wife, "Of this I warned thee and
exhorted thee to obey thy father's charge, and thou wouldst not hearken
to me; but there is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great! Whence shall the little ones eat? Arise then,
go round to thy friends, the sons of the merchants: belike they will
give thee somewhat on which we may live this day." So he arose and went
to his friends one by one; but they all hid their faces from him and
gave him injurious words revolting to hear, but naught else; and he
returned to his wife and said to her, "They have given me nothing."
Thereupon she went forth to beg of her neighbours the wherewithal to
keep themselves alive,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the wife of Ali
the Cairene, seeing her husband return empty-handed, went forth to beg
of her neighbours the wherewithal to keep themselves alive and repaired
to a woman, whom she had known in former days. When she came in to her
and she saw her case, she rose and receiving her kindly, wept and said,
"What hath befallen you?" So she told her all that her husband had
done, and the other replied, "Well come and welcome and fair cheer!;
whatever thou needest, Seek it of me, without price." Quoth she, "Allah
requite thee abundantly!"[FN#265] Then her friend gave her as much
provision as would suffice herself and her family a whole month, and
she took it and returned to her lodging. When her husband saw her, he
wept and asked, "Whence hadst thou that?"; and she answered, "I got it
of such a woman; for, when I told her what had befallen us, she failed
me not in aught, but said, 'Seek of me all thou needest.'" Whereupon
her husband rejoined, "Since thou hast this much I will betake myself
to a place I have in my mind; peradventure Allah Almighty will bring us
relief."[FN#266] With these words he took leave of her and kissed his
children and went out, not knowing whither he should go, and he
continued walking on till he came to Bulαk, where he saw a ship about
to sail for Damietta.[FN#267] Here he met a man, between whom and his
father there had been friendship, and he saluted him and said to him,
"Whither now?" Replied Ali, "To Damietta: I have friends there, whom I
would enquire after and visit them and then return." The man took him
home and treated him honourably; then, furnishing him with vivers for
the voyage and giving him some gold pieces, embarked him on board the
vessel bound for Damietta. When they reached it, Ali landed, not
knowing whither to go; but as he was walking along, a merchant saw him
and had pity on him, and carried him to his house. Here he abode
awhile, after which he said in himself, "How long this sojourning in
other folk's homes?" Then he left the merchant's place and walked to
the wharf where, after enquiry, he found a ship ready to sail for
Syria. His hospitable host provided him with provision and embarked him
in the ship; and it set sail and Ali reached in due season the Syrian
shores where he disembarked and journeyed till he entered Damascus. As
he walked about the great thoroughfare behold, a kindly man saw him and
took him to his house, where he tarried for a time till, one day, going
abroad, he saw a caravan about to start for Baghdad and bethought
himself to journey thither with it. Thereupon he returned to his host
and taking leave of him, set out with the Cafilah. Now Allah (extolled
and exalted be He!) inclined to him the heart of one of the merchants,
so that he took him with him, and Ali ate and drank with him, till they
came within one day's journey of Baghdad. Here, however, a company of
highwaymen fell upon the caravan and took all they had and but few of
the merchants escaped. These made each for a separate place of refuge;
but as for Ali the Cairene he fared for Baghdad, where he arrived at
sundown, as the gatekeepers were about to shut the gates, and said to
them, "Let me in with you." They admitted him and asked him, "Whence
come, and whither wending?" and he answered, "I am a man from
Cairo-city and have with me mules laden with merchandise and slaves and
servants. I forewent them, to look me out a place wherein to deposit my
goods: but, as I rode along on my she-mule, there fell upon me a
company of banditti, who took my mule and gear; nor did I escape from
them but at my last gasp." The gate-guard entreated him honourably and
bade him be of good cheer, saying, "Abide with us this night, and in
the morning we will look thee out a place befitting thee." Then he
sought in his breast-pocket and, finding a dinar of those given to him
by the merchant at Bulak, handed it to one of the gatekeepers, saying,
"Take this and change it and bring us something to eat." The man took
it and went to the market, where he changed it, and brought Ali bread
and cooked meat: so he ate, he and the gate-guards, and he lay the
night with them. Now on the morrow, one of the warders carried him to a
certain of the merchants of Baghdad, to whom he told the same story,
and he believed him, deeming that he was a merchant and had with him
loads of merchandise. Then he took him up into his shop and entreated
him with honour; moreover, he sent to his house for a splendid suit of
his own apparel for him and carried him to the Hammam. "So," quoth Ali
of Cairo: "I went with him to the bath, and when we came out, he took
me and brought me to his house, where he set the morning-meal before
us, and we ate and made merry. Then said he to one of his black slaves,
'Ho Mas'dd, take this thy lord: show him the two houses standing in
such a place, and whichever pleaseth him, give him the key of it and
come back.' So I went with the slave, till we came to a street-road
where stood three houses side by side, newly built and yet shut up. He
opened the first and I looked at it; and we did the same to the second;
after which he said to me 'Of which shall I give thee the key?' 'To
whom doth the big house belong?' 'To us!' 'Open it, that I may view
it.' 'Thou hast no business there.' 'Wherefore?' 'Because it is
haunted, and none nighteth there but in the morning he is a dead man;
nor do we use to open the door, when removing the corpse, but mount the
terrace-roof of one of the other two houses and take it up thence. For
this reason my master hath abandoned the house and saith: 'I will never
again give it to any one.' 'Open it,' I cried, 'that I may view it;'
and I said in my mind, 'This is what I seek; I will pass the night
there and in the morning be a dead man and be at peace from this my
case.' So he opened it and I entered and found it a splendid house,
without its like; and I said to the slave, 'I will have none other than
this house; give me its key.' But he rejoined, 'I will not give thee
this key till I consult my master,'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the negro
(continued Ali of Cairo) "rejoined, 'I will not give thee its key till
I consult my master,'" and going to him, reported, "'The Egyptian
trader saith, 'I will lodge in none but the big house.'" Now when the
merchant heard this, he rose and coming to Ali, spake thus to him, "O
my lord, thou hast no need of this house." But he answered, "I will
lodge in none other than this; for I care naught for this silly
saying." Quoth the other, "Write me an acknowledgment that, if aught
happen to thee, I am not responsible." Quoth Ali, "So be it;" whereupon
the merchant fetched an assessor from the Kazi's court and, taking the
prescribed acknowledgment, delivered to him the key wherewith he
entered the house. The merchant sent him bedding by a blackamoor who
spread it for him on the built bench behind the door[FN#268] and walked
away. Presently Ali went about and, seeing in the inner court a well
with a bucket, let this down and drew water, wherewith he made the
lesser ablution and prayed the obligatory prayers. Then he sat awhile,
till the slave brought him the evening meal from his master's house,
together with a lamp, a candle and candlestick, a basin and ewer and a
gugglet[FN#269]; after which he left him and returned home. Ali lighted
the candle, supped at his ease and prayed the night-prayer; and
presently he said to himself, "Come, take the bedding and go upstairs
and sleep there; 'twill be better than here." So he took the bed and
carried it upstairs, where he found a splendid saloon, with gilded
ceiling and floor and walls cased with coloured marbles. He spread his
bed there and sitting down, began to recite somewhat of the Sublime
Koran, when (ere he was ware) he heard one calling to him and asking,
"O Ali, O son of Hasan, say me, shall I send thee down the gold?" And
he answered, "Where be the gold thou hast to send?" But hardly had he
spoken, when gold pieces began to rain down on him, like stones from a
catapult, nor ceased till the saloon was full. Then, after the golden
shower, said the Voice, "Set me free, that I may go my way; for I have
made an end of my service and have delivered unto thee that which was
entrusted to me for thee." Quoth Ali, "I adjure thee, by Allah the
Almighty, to tell me the cause of this gold-rain." Replied the Voice,
"This is a treasure that was talisman'd to thee of old time, and to
every one who entered the house, we used to come and say: 'O Ali, O son
of Hasan, shall we send thee down the gold?' Whereat he would be
affrighted and cry out, and we would come down to him and break his
neck and go away. But, when thou camest and we accosted thee by thy
name and that of thy father, saying, 'Shall we send thee down the
gold?' and thou madest answer to us, 'And where be the gold?' we knew
thee for the owner of it and sent it down. Moreover, there is yet
another hoard for thee in the land of Al-Yaman and thou wouldst do well
to journey thither and fetch it. And now I would fain have thee set me
free, that I may go my way." Said Ali, "By Allah, I will not set thee
free, till thou bring me hither the treasure from the land of
Al-Yaman!" Said the Voice, "An I bring it to thee, wilt thou release me
and eke the servant of the other hoard?" "Yes," replied Ali, and the
Voice cried, "Swear to me." So he swore to him, and he was about to go
away, when Ali said to him, "I have one other need to ask of thee;" and
he, "What is that?" Quoth Ali, "I have a wife and children at Cairo in
such a place; thou needs must fetch them to me, at their ease and
without their unease." Quoth he, "I will bring them to thee in a
mule-litter[FN#270] and much state, with a train of eunuchs and
servants, together with the treasure from Al-Yaman, Inshallah!"[FN#271]
Then he took of him leave of absence for three days, when all this
should be with him, and vanished. As soon as it was morning Ali went
round about the saloon, seeking a place wherein to store the gold, and
saw on the edge of the dais a marble slab with a turning-pin; so he
turned the pin and the slab sank and showed a door which he opened and
entering, found a great closet, full of bags of coarse stuff carefully
sewn. So he began taking out the bags and fell to filling them with
gold and storing them in the closet, till he had transported thither
all the hoarded gold, whereupon he shut the door and turning the pin,
the slab returned to its place. Then he went down and seated himself on
the bench behind the door; and presently there came a knock; so he
opened and found the merchant's slave who, seeing him comfortably
sitting, returned in haste to his master,—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
house-owner's black slave returned and knocked at the door, Ali the
Cairene, son of the merchant Hasan, opened it to him and the negro,
seeing him comfortably sitting, returned in haste to his master with
the good tidings, saying, "O my Lord, the merchant, who is lodged in
the house inhabited by the Jinn,[FN#272] is alive and well and sitteth
on the bench behind the door." Then the merchant rose joyfully and went
to the house, taking breakfast with him; and, when he saw Ali, he
embraced him and kissed him between the eyes, asking, "How hath Allah
dealt with thee?"; and Ali answered, "Right well, I slept upstairs in
the marble saloon." Quoth the merchant, "Did aught come to thee or
didst thou see any thing?" and quoth Ali "No, I recited some little of
the Sublime Koran and slept till morning, when I arose and, after
making the minor ablution and praying, seated myself on the bench
behind the door." "Praised be Allah for safety!" exclaimed the
merchant, then left him and presently sent him black slaves and white
Mamelukes and handmaidens with household gear. They swept the house
from top to bottom and furnished it with magnificent furniture; after
which three white slaves and three blacks and four slave-girls remained
with him, to serve him, while the rest returned to their master's
house. Now when the merchants heard of him, they sent him presents of
all manner things of price, even to food and drink and clothes, and
took him with them to the market, asking, "When will thy baggage
arrive?" And he answered, "After three days it will surely come." When
the term had elapsed, the servant of the first hoard, the golden rain,
came to him and said, "Go forth and meet the treasure I have brought
thee from Al-Yaman together with thy Harim; for I bring part of the
wealth in the semblance of costly merchandise; but the eunuchs and
Mamelukes and the mules and horses and camels are all of the Jann." Now
the Jinni, when he betook himself to Cairo, found Ali's wife and
children in sore misery, naked and hungry; so he carried them out of
the city in a travelling-litter and clad them in sumptuous raiment of
the stuffs which were in the treasure of Al-Yaman. So when Ali heard
this, he arose and repairing to the merchants, said to them, "Rise and
go forth with us from the city, to meet the caravan bringing my
merchandise, and honour us with the presence of your Harims, to meet my
Harim." "Hearkening and obedience," answered they and, sending for
their Harims, went forth all together and took seat in one of the
city-gardens; and as they sat talking, behold, a dust-cloud arose out
of the heart of the desert, and they flocked forth to see what it was.
Presently it lifted and discovered mules and muleteers, tent-pitchers
and linkmen, who came on, singing and dancing, till they reached the
garden, when the chief of the muleteers walked up to Ali and kissing
his hand, said to him, "O my master, we have been long on the way, for
we purposed entering yesterday; but we were in fear of the bandits, so
abode in our station four days, till Almighty Allah rid us of them."
Thereupon the merchants mounted their mules and rode forward with the
caravan, the Harims waiting behind, till Ali's wife and children
mounted with them; and they all entered in splendid train. The
merchants marvelled at the number of mules laden with chests, whilst
the women of the merchants wondered at the richness of the apparel of
his wife and the fine raiment of her children; and kept saying each to
other, "Verily, the King of Baghdad hath no such gear; no, nor any
other of the kings or lords or merchants!" So they ceased not to fare
forwards in high great state, the men with Ali of Cairo and the Harims
with his Harim, till they came to the mansion,—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that they ceased not
to fare forwards in high state, the men with Ali's men and the women
with his wife, till they came to the mansion, where they alighted and
brought the mules and their burdens into the midst of the courtyard.
Then they unloaded them and warehoused the goods whilst the merchants'
wives went up with Ali's family to the saloon, which they found as it
were a luxuriant garden, spread with magnificent furniture. They sat in
mirth and good cheer till noon, when they brought them up the midday
meal, all manner meats and sweetmeats of the very best; and they ate
and drank costly sherbets and perfumed themselves thereafter with
rose-water and scented woods. Then they took leave and went home, men
and women; and, when the merchants returned to their places, they sent
presents to the husband according to their conditions; and their wives
likewise sent presents to the wife, so that there came to them great
store of handmaids and negroes and Mamelukes; and all kinds of goods,
such as grain, sugar and so forth, in abundance beyond account. As for
the Baghdad merchant, the landlord of the house, he abode with Ali and
quitted him not, but said to him, "Let the black slaves and servants
take the mules and the common cattle into one of my other houses, to
rest." Quoth Ali, "They set out again to-night for such a place." Then
he gave them leave to go forth and camp outside the city, that they
might start on their journey at night-come; whereupon, hardly believing
that they were dismissed, they took leave of him and departing to the
outliers of the city, flew off through the air to their several abodes.
So Ali and his house-owner sat together till a third of the night was
past, when their colloquy ended and the merchant returned to his own
house and Ali went up to his wife and children and after saluting them,
said, "What hath befallen you in my absence all this time?" So she told
him what they had suffered of hunger and nakedness and travail, and he
said, "Praised be Allah for safety! How did ye come?" Answered she, "O
my lord, I was asleep with my children yesternight, when suddenly and
unexpectedly one raised us from the ground and flew with us through the
firmament without doing us any hurt, nor did he leave flying with us,
till he set us down in a place as it were an Arab camping-ground, where
we saw laden mules and a travelling litter borne upon two great mules,
and around it servants, all boys and men. So I asked them, 'Who are ye
and what are these loads and where are we?;' and they answered, 'We are
the servants of the merchant Ali of Cairo, son of the merchant-
jeweller, who hath sent us to fetch you to him at Baghdad.' Quoth I,
'Tell me, is it far or near, hence to Baghdad?' They replied, 'Near:
there lieth between us and the city but the darkness of the night.'
Then they mounted us in the litter and, when the morrow dawned, we
found ourselves with thee, without having suffered any hurt whatever."
Quoth he, "Who gave you these dresses?;" and quoth she, "The chief of
the caravan opened one of the boxes on the mules and taking out thereof
these clothes, clad me and thy children each in a suit; after which he
locked the case and gave me the key, saying, 'Take care of it, till
thou give it to thy husband.' And here it is safe by me." So saying,
she gave him the key, and he said, "Dost thou know the chest?" Said
she, "Yes, I know it." So he took her down to the magazine and showed
her the boxes, when she cried, "This is the one whence the dresses were
taken;" upon which he put the key in the lock and opened the chest,
wherein he found much raiment and the keys of all the other cases. So
he took them and fell to opening them, one after another, and feasting
his eyes upon the gems and precious ores they contained, whose like was
not found with any of the kings; after which he locked them again, took
the keys, and returned to the saloon, saying to his wife, "This is of
the bounty of Almighty Allah!" Then bringing her to the secret slab he
turned the pin and opened the door of the closet, into which he entered
with her and showed her the gold he had laid up therein. Quoth she,
"Whence came all this to thee?" "It came to me by the grace of my
Lord," answered he:—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Ali's wife
had looked upon the gold she said to him, "Whence came all this to
thee?" "It came to me by the grace of my Lord," answered he: "When I
left thee in my trouble, I shipped at Bulak for Damietta and met a
friend there who forwarded me to Damascus": in brief he told her all
that had befallen him, from first to last. Said she, "O my lord, all
this cometh by boon of thy father's blessing and orisons when he prayed
for thee, before his death, saying, 'I beseech Allah to cast thee into
no straits except He grant thee ready relief!' So praised be Allah
Almighty for that He hath brought thee deliverance and hath requited
thee with more than went from thee! But Allah upon thee, O my lord,
return not to thy practice of associating with doubtful folk; but look
thou fear Allah (whose name be exalted!) both in private and in
public." And as she went on to admonish him, he said, "I accept thine
admonition and beg the Almighty to remove the froward from amongst us
and stablish us in His obedience and in the observance of the law and
practice of His Prophet, on whom be blessings and peace!" After that
Ali and his wife and children were in all solace of life and gladness;
and he opened him a shop in the merchants' bazar and, stocking it with
a somewhat of jewels and bullion, sat therein with his children and
white servants. Presently he became the most considerable of the
merchants of Baghdad, and his report reached the King of that
city,[FN#273] who sent a messenger to command his attendance, saying,
"Answer the summons of the King who requireth thee." He replied, "I
hear and obey," and straightway prepared his present and he took four
trays of red gold and, filling them with jewels and precious metals,
such as no King possessed, went up to the palace and presenting himself
before the presence, kissed the ground between his hands and wished him
endurance of goods and glory in the finest language he could command.
Said the King, "O merchant, thou cheerest our city with thy presence!"
and Ali rejoined, "O King of the age, thy slave hath brought thee a
gift and hopeth for acceptance thereof from thy favour." Then he laid
the four trays before the King, who uncovered them and seeing that they
contained gems, whose fellows he possessed not and whose worth equalled
treasuries of money, said, "Thy present is accepted, O merchant, and
Inshallah! we will requite thee with its like." And Ali kissed his
hands and went away; whereupon the King called his grandees and said to
them, "How many of the Kings have sought my daughter in marriage?"
"Many," answered they; and he asked, "Hath any of them given me the
like of this gift?"; whereto they replied, "Not one, for that none of
them hath its like;" and he said, "I have consulted Allah Almighty by
lot as to marrying my daughter to this merchant. What say ye?" "Be it
as thou reckest," answered they. Then he bade the eunuch carry the four
trays into his serraglio and going in to his wife, laid them before
her. She uncovered them and seeing therein that whose like she
possessed not; no, nor a fraction thereof, said to him, "From which of
the Kings hadst thou these?: perchance of one of the royalties that
seek thy daughter in marriage?" Said he, "Not so, I had them of an
Egyptian merchant, who is lately come to this our city. Now when I
heard of his coming I sent to command him to us, thinking to make his
acquaintance, so haply we might find with him somewhat of jewels and
buy them of him for our daughter's trousseau. He obeyed our summons and
brought us these four trays, as a present, and I saw him to be a
handsome youth of dignified aspect and intelligent as elegant, almost
such as should be the sons of Kings. Wherefore my heart inclined to him
at sight, and my heart rejoiced in him and I thought good to marry my
daughter to him. So I showed the gift to my grandees, who agreed with
me that none of the Kings hath the like of these and I told them my
project. But what sayst thou?"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King of
Baghdad, after showing the presents to his wife and highly praising
Ali, the merchant-jeweller, and informing her of the proposed marriage,
asked, "But what sayst thou?" She replied, "O King of the age, the
ordering this affair is in Allah's hand, and thine, and whatso Allah
willeth shall come to pass." Rejoined the King, "If it be His will, I
will marry her to none other than this young man." He slept on this
resolve and on the morrow, he went out to his Divan and summoned Ali
and the rest of the merchants of Baghdad, and when all came bade them
be seated. Then said he, "Bring me the Kazi of the Divan" and they
brought him; whereupon the King said to him, "O Kazi, write the
contract of marriage between my daughter and the merchant Ali the
Cairene." But Ali said, "Thy pardon, O our lord the Sultan! It
befitteth not that a trader such as I, be the King's son-in-law." Quoth
the King, "It is my will to bestow this favour upon thee, as well as
the Wazirate;" and he invested him forthwith in the Wazir's office and
ministerial robes. Then Ali sat down in the chair of the Wazirate and
said, "O King of the age, thou hast bestowed on me this; and indeed I
am honoured by thy bounties; but hear one word I have to say to thee!"
He replied, "Say on, and fear not." Quoth Ali, "Since it is thine
august resolution to marry thy daughter, thou wouldst do better to
marry her to my son. Quoth the King, "Hast thou then a son?"; and Ali
replied, "Yes." "Send for him forthwith," said the King. Thereupon
answered Ali "Hearkening and obedience!", and despatched a servant to
fetch his son, who came and kissing the ground before the King, stood
in an attitude of respect. The King looked at him and seeing him to be
yet comelier than his daughter and goodlier than she in stature and
proportion and brightness and perfection, said to him, "What is thy
name, O my son?" "My name is Hasan, O our lord the Sultan," replied the
young man, who was then fourteen years old. Then the Sultan said to the
Kazi, "Write the contract of marriage between my daughter Husn al-Wujdd
and Hasan, son of the merchant Ali the Cairene." So he wrote the
marriage-contract between them, and the affair was ended in the
goodliest fashion; after which all in the Divan went their ways and the
merchants followed the Wazir Ali, escorting him to his house, where
they gave him joy of his advancement and departed. Then he went in to
his wife, who seeing him clad in the Wazir's habit, exclaimed, "What is
this?"; when he told her all that had passed from first to last and she
joyed therein with exceeding joy. So sped the night and on the morrow,
he went up to the Divan, where the King received him with especial
favour and seating him close by his side, said, "O Wazir, we purpose to
begin the wedding festivities and bring thy son in to our daughter."
Replied Ali, "O our lord the Sultan, whatso thou deemest good is good."
So the Sultan gave orders to celebrate the festivities, and they
decorated the city and held high festival for thirty days, in all joy
and gladness; at the end of which time, Hasan, son of the Wazir Ali,
went in to the Princess and enjoyed her beauty and loveliness. When the
Queen saw her daughter's husband, she conceived a warm affection for
him, and in like manner she rejoiced greatly in his mother. Then the
King bade build for his son-in-law Hasan Ali-son a palace beside his
own; so they built him with all speed a splendid palace in which he
took up his abode; and his mother used to tarry with him some days and
then go down to her own house. After awhile the Queen said to her
husband, "O King of the age, Hasan's lady-mother cannot take up her
abode with her son and leave the Wazir; neither can she tarry with the
Wazir and leave her son." "Thou sayest sooth," replied the King, and
bade edify a third palace beside that of Hasan, which being done in a
few days he caused remove thither the goods of the Wazir, and the
Minister and his wife took up their abode there. Now the three palaces
communicated with one another, so that when the King had a mind to
speak with the Wazir by night, he would go to him or send to fetch him;
and so with Hasan and his father and mother. On this wise they dwelt in
all solace and in the greatest happiness—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King and the
Wazir and his son ceased not to dwell in all solace and in the greatest
happiness awhile, till the King fell ill and his sickness grew on him.
So he summoned the lords of his realm and said to them, "There is come
upon me a sore malady, peradventure a mortal; and I have therefore
summoned you to consult you respecting a certain matter, on which I
would have you counsel me as you deem well." They asked, "What is the
matter of which thou wouldst take counsel with us, O King?"; and he
answered, "I am old and sickly and I fear for the realm after me from
its enemies; so I would have you all agree upon some one, that I may
proclaim him King in my lifetime and so ye may be at ease." Whereupon
quoth they with one voice, "We all approve of thy daughter's husband
Hasan, son of the Wazir Ali; for we have seen his wit and perfect
understanding, and he knoweth the place of all, great and small." Asked
the King, "Are ye indeed agreed upon this?" and they answered, "Yes."
Rejoined he "Peradventure ye all say this to my face, of respect for
me; but behind my back ye will say otherwise." However, they all
replied, "By Allah, our word is one and the same in public and in
private, and we accept him frankly and with heartiness of heart and
breadth of breast." Quoth he, "Since the case is thus, bring the Kazi
of the Holy Law and all the Chamberlains and Viceroys and Officers of
state before me to-morrow, and we will order the affair after the
goodliest fashion." "We hear and we obey," answered they and
withdrawing, notified all the Olema,[FN#274] the doctors of the law and
the chief personages among the Emirs. So when the morrow dawned, they
came up to the Divan and, having craved and obtained permission to
enter, they saluted the King, saying, "Here are we all in thy
presence." Whereto he made reply, "O Emirs of Baghdad, whom will ye
have to be King over you after me, that I may inaugurate him during my
lifetime, before the presence of you all?" Quoth they with one voice,
"We are agreed upon thy daughter's husband Hasan, son of the Wazir
Ali." Quoth he, "If it be so, go all of you and bring him before me."
So they all arose and, repairing to Hasan's palace, said to him, "Rise,
come with us to the King." "Wherefore?" asked he, and they answered,
"For a thing that will benefit both us and thee." So he went in with
them to the King and kissed the ground before his father-in-law who
said to him, "Be seated, O my son!" He sat down and the King continued,
"O Hasan, all the Emirs have approved of thee and agreed to make thee
King over them after me; and it is my purpose to proclaim thee, whilst
I yet live, and so make an end of the business." But Hasan stood up
and, kissing the ground once more before the King, said to him, "O our
lord the King, among the Emirs there be many who are older than I and
greater of worth; acquit me therefore of this thing." But all the Emirs
cried out saying, "We consent not but that thou be King over us." Then
said Hasan, "My father is older than I, and I and he are one thing; and
it befits not to advance me over him." But Ali said, "I will consent to
nothing save whatso contenteth my brethren; and they have all chosen
and agreed upon thee; wherefore gainsay thou not the King's commandment
and that of thy brethren." And Hasan hung his head abashed before the
King and his father. Then said the King to the Emirs, "Do ye all accept
of him?" "We do," answered they and recited thereupon seven
Fαtihahs.[FN#275] So the King said, "O Kazi, draw up a legal instrument
testifying of these Emirs that they are agreed to make King over them
my daughter's husband Hasan." The Kazi wrote the act and made it
binding on all men,[FN#276] after they had sworn in a body the oath of
fealty to Hasan. Then the King did likewise and bade him take his seat
on the throne of kingship; whereupon they all arose and kissed King
Hasan's hands and did homage to him, and swore lealty to him. And the
new King dispensed justice among the people that day in fashion right
royal, and invested the grandees of the realm in splendid robes of
honour. When the Divan broke up, he went in to and kissed the hands of
his father-in-law who spake thus to him, "O my son, look thou rule the
lieges in the fear of Allah;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Hasan
was quit of the Divan, he went in to and kissed the hands of his wife's
father, who spake thus to him, "O my son, look thou rule the lieges in
the fear of Allah;" whereto he replied, "O my father, through thy
prayers for me, the grace and guidance of Allah will come to me." Then
he entered his own palace and was met by his wife and her mother and
their attendants, who kissed his hands and gave him joy of his
advancement, saying, "Be this day blessed!" Next he went in to his
father and mother, who joyed with exceeding joy in that which Allah had
vouchsafed him of his advancement to the kingship, and his father
charged him to fear Allah and to deal mercifully with his subjects. He
passed the night in glee and gladness, and on the morrow, having prayed
the obligatory prayers ending with the usual short chapters[FN#277] of
the Koran, he went up to the Divan, whither came all his officers and
dignitaries. He passed the day in dispensing justice among the folk,
bidding to graciousness and forbidding ungraciousness and appointing to
place and displacing, till day- end, when the Divan broke up, after the
goodliest fashion, and all the troops withdrew and each went his own
way. Then he arose and repaired to the palace, where he found his
father-in-law's sickness grown heavy upon him and said to him, "May no
ill befal thee!" At this the old King opened his eyes and said, "O
Hasan!" and he replied, "At thy service, O my lord." Quoth the old King
"Mine appointed hour is at hand: be thou careful of thy wife and her
mother, and look thou fear Allah and honour thy parents; and bide in
awe of the majesty of the Requiting King and bear in mind that He
commandeth justice and good works." And King Hasan replied, "I hear and
obey." Now after this the old King lingered three days and then
departed into the mercy of Almighty Allah. So they laid him out and
shrouded and buried him and held over him readings and perlections of
the Koran, to the end of the customary forty days. And King Hasan, son
of the Wazir, reigned in his stead, and his subjects joyed in him and
all his days were gladness; moreover, his father ceased not to be his
chief Wazir on his right hand, and he took to himself another Wazir, to
be at his left hand. His reign was a prosperous and well ordered, and
he lived a long life as King of Baghdad; and Allah blessed him, by the
old King's daughter, with three sons who inherited the kingdom after
him; and they abode in the solace of life and its pleasures till there
came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies.
And the glory be to Him who is eternal and in whose hand are annulling
and confirming. And of the tales they tell is one of


A man of the pilgrims once slept a long sleep and awaking, found no
trace of the caravan. So he rose up and walked on, but lost his way and
presently came to a tent, where he saw an old woman standing at the
entrance and by her side a dog asleep. He went up to the tent and,
saluting the old woman, sought of her food, when she replied, "Go to
yonder Wady and catch thy sufficiency of serpents, that I may broil of
them for thee and give thee to eat." Rejoined the pilgrim, "I dare not
catch serpents nor did I ever eat them." Quoth the old woman, "I will
go with thee and catch some; fear not." So she went with him, followed
by the dog, to the valley and, catching a sufficient number of
serpents, proceeded to broil them. He saw nothing for it (saith the
story teller) but to eat, in fear of hunger and exhaustion; so he ate
of the serpents.[FN#278] Then he was athirst and asked for water to
drink; and she answered, "Go to the spring and drink." Accordingly, he
went to the spring and found the water thereof bitter; yet needs must
he drink of it despite its bitterness, because of the violence of his
thirst. Presently he returned to the old woman and said to her, "I
marvel, O ancient dame, at thy choosing to sojourn in this place"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
palmer-man drank the bitter draught for stress of thirst, he returned
and said "I marvel, O ancient dame, at thy choosing to sojourn in this
place and thy putting up with such meat and drink!" She asked, "And how
is it then in thy country?"; whereto he answered, "In my country are
houses wide and spacious and fruits ripe and delicious and waters sweet
and viands savorous and of goodly use and meats fat and full of juice
and flocks innumerous and all things pleasant and all the goods of
life, the like whereof are not, save in the Paradise which Allah the
Omnipotent hath promised to His servants pious." Replied she, "All this
have I heard: but tell me, have ye a Sultan who ruleth over you and is
tyrannical in his rule and under whose hand you are; one who, if any of
you commit an offence, taketh his goods and ruineth him and who, whenas
he will, turneth you out of house and home and uprooteth you, stock and
branch?" Replied the man, "Indeed that may be;" and she rejoined, "If
so, by Allah, these your delicious food and life of daintyhood and
gifts however good, with tyranny and oppression, are but a searching
poison, while our coarse meat which in freedom and safety we eat is a
healthful medicine. Hast thou not heard that the best of boons, after
Al-Islam, the true Faith, are sanity and security?"[FN#279] "Now such
boons (quoth he who telleth the tale) may be by the just rule of the
Sultan, Vice-regent of Allah on His earth, and the goodness of his
polity. The Sultan of time past needed but little awfulness, for when
the lieges saw him, they feared him; but the Sultan of these days hath
need of the most accomplished polity and the utmost majesty, because
men are not as men of by-gone time and this our age is one of folk
opprobrious, and is greatly calamitous, noted for folly and hardness of
heart and inclined to hate and enmity. If, therefore, the Sultan (which
Almighty Allah forfend!) be weak or wanting in polity and majesty, this
will be the assured cause of his country's ruin. Quoth the proverb, 'An
hundred years of the Sultan's tyranny, but not one year of the people's
tyranny one over other.' When the lieges oppress one another, Allah
setteth over them a tyrannical Sultan and a terrible King. Thus it is
told in history that one day there was sent to Al-Hajjαj bin Yϊsuf a
slip of paper, whereon was written, 'Fear Allah and oppress not His
servants with all manner of oppression.' When he read this, he mounted
the pulpit (for he was eloquent and ever ready of speech), and said, 'O
folk, Allah Almighty hath made me ruler over you, by reason of your
frowardness;'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hajjaj
Yousuf-son read the paper he mounted the pulpit and said, "O folk,
Allah Almighty hath made me ruler over you by reason of your
frowardness; and indeed, though I die yet will ye not be delivered from
oppression, with these your ill deeds; for the Almighty hath created
like unto me many an one. If it be not I, 'twill be one more
mischievous than I and a mightier in oppression and a more merciless in
his majesty; even as saith the poet:[FN#280]—

          'For not a deed the hand can try

          Save 'neath the hand of God on high,

          Nor tyrant harsh work tyranny

          Uncrushed by tyrant harsh as he.'

Tyranny is feared: but justice is the best of all things. We beg

Allah to better our case!" And among tales is that of


There was once in Baghdad a man of consequence and rich in monies and
immoveables, who was one of the chiefs of the merchants; and Allah had
largely endowed him with worldly goods, but had not vouchsafed him what
he longed for of offspring; and there passed over him a long space of
time, without his being blessed with issue, male or female. His years
waxed great; his bones became wasted and his back bent; weakness and
weariness grew upon him, and he feared the loss of his wealth and
possessions, seeing he had no child whom he might make his heir and by
whom his name should be remembered. So he betook himself with
supplication to Almighty Allah, fasting by day and praying through the
night. Moreover, he vowed many vows to the Living, the Eternal; and
visited the pious and was constant in supplication to the Most Highest,
till He gave ear to him and accepted his prayer and took pity on his
straining and complaining; so that, before many days were past, he knew
carnally one of his women and she conceived by him the same night. In
due time she finished her months and, casting her burden, bore a male
child as he were a slice of the moon; whereupon the merchant fulfilled
his vows in his gratitude to Allah, (to whom be honour and glory!) and
gave alms and clothed the widow and the orphan. On the seventh night
after the boy's birth, he named him Abu al-Husn,[FN#282] and the
wet-nurses suckled him and the dry-nurses dandled him and the servants
and the slaves carried him and handled him, till he shot up and grew
tall and throve greatly and learnt the Sublime Koran and the ordinances
of Al-Islam and the Canons of the True Faith; and calligraphy and
poetry and mathematics and archery. On this wise he became the
union-pearl of his age and the goodliest of the folk of his time and
his day; fair of face and of tongue fluent, carrying himself with a
light and graceful gait and glorying in his stature proportionate and
amorous graces which were to many a bait: and his cheeks were red and
flower-white was his forehead and his side face waxed brown with tender
down, even as saith one, describing him,

"The spring of the down on cheeks right clearly shows: * And how

     when the Spring is gone shall last the rose?

Dost thou not see that the growth upon his cheek * Is violet-

     bloom that from its leaves outgrows."

He abode awhile in ease and happiness with his father, who rejoiced and
delighted in him, till he came to man's estate, when the merchant one
day made him sit down before him and said, "O my son, the appointed
term draweth near; my hour of death is at hand and it remaineth but to
meet Allah (to whom belong Majesty and Might!). I leave thee what shall
suffice thee, even to thy son's son, of monies and mansions, farms and
gardens; wherefore, fear thou Almighty Allah, O my son, in dealing with
that which I bequeath to thee and follow none but those who will help
thee to the Divine favour." Not long after, he sickened and died; so
his son ordered his funeral,[FN#283] after the goodliest wise, and
burying him, returned to his house and sat mourning for him many days
and nights. But behold, certain of his friends came in to him and said
to him, "Whoso leaveth a son like thee is not dead; indeed, what is
past is past and fled and mourning beseemeth none but the young maid
and the wife cloistered." And they ceased not from him till they
wrought on him to enter the Hammam and break off his mourning.—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu al-Husn
was visited by his friends and taken to the Hamman and persuaded to
break off his mourning, he presently forgot his father's charge, and
his head was turned by his riches; he thought fortune would always wone
with him as it was, and that wealth would ever wax and never wane. So
he ate and drank and made merry and took his pleasure and gave gifts of
gear and coin and was profuse with gold and addrest himself up to
eating fowls and breaking the seals of wine-flasks and listening to the
giggle of the daughter of the vine, as she gurgled from the flagon and
enjoying the jingle of the singing-girls; nor did he give over this way
of life, till his wealth was wasted and the case worsened and all his
goods went from him and he bit his hands[FN#284] in bitter penitence.
For of a truth he had nothing left, after that which he had squandered,
but a concubine, a slave-girl whom his father had bequeathed to him
with the rest of his estate: and she had no equal in beauty and
loveliness and brightness and liveliness and symmetric stature and
perfect grace. She was past mistress in every manner of arts and
accomplishments and endowed with many excellences, surpassing all the
folk of her age and time. She was grown more notorious than a
way-mark,[FN#285] for her seductive genius, and outdid the fair both in
theory and practice, and she was noted for her swimming gait, flexile
and delicate, albeit she was full five feet in height and by all the
boons of fortune deckt and dight, with strait arched brows twain, as
they were the crescent moon of Sha'abαn,[FN#286] and eyes like
gazelles' eyne; and nose like the edge of scymitar fine and cheeks like
anemones of blood-red shine; and mouth like Solomon's seal and sign and
teeth like necklaces of pearls in line; and navel holding an ounce of
oil of benzoin and waist more slender than his body whom love hath
wasted and whom concealment hath made sick with pine and hind parts
heavier than two hills of sand; briefly she was a volume of charms
after his saying who saith,

"Her fair shape ravisheth, if face to face she did appear, * And

     if she turn, for severance from her she slayeth sheer.

Sun-like, full-moon-like, sapling-like, unto her character *

     Estrangement no wise appertains nor cruelty austere.

Under the bosom of her shift the garths of Eden are * And the

     full-moon revolveth still upon her neck-rings'


She seemed a full moon rising and a gazelle browsing, a girl of nine
plus five[FN#288] shaming the moon and sun, even as saith of her the
sayer eloquent and ingenious,

"Semblance of full-moon Heaven bore, * When five and five are

     conjoined by four;

'Tis not my sin if she made of me * Its like when it riseth

     horizon o'er."[FN#289]

Clean of skin, odoriferous of breath, it seemed as if she were of fire
fashioned and of crystal moulded; rose-red was the cheek of her and
perfect the shape and form of her; even as one saith of her, describing

"Scented with sandal[FN#290] and musk, right proudly doth she go,

     * With gold and silver and rose and saffron-colour aglow.

A flower in a garden she is, a pearl in an ouch of gold * Or an

     image in chapel[FN#291] set for worship of high and low.

Slender and shapely she is; vivacity bids her arise, * But the

     weight of her hips says, 'Sit, or softly and slowly go.'

Whenas her favours I seek and sue for my heart's desire, * 'Be

     gracious,' her beauty says; but her coquetry answers, 'No.'

Glory to Him who made beauty her portion, and that * Of her lover

     to be the prate of the censurers, heigho!"[FN#292]

She captivated all who saw her, with the excellence of her beauty and
the sweetness of her smile,[FN#293] and shot them down with the shafts
she launched from her eyes; and withal she was eloquent of speech and
excellently skilled in verse. Now when Abu al-Husn had squandered all
his gold, and his ill-plight all could behold, and there remained to
him naught save this slave-girl, he abode three days without tasting
meat or taking rest in sleep, and the handmaid said to him, "O my lord,
carry me to the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid,"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
slave-girl to her master, "O my lord, carry me to Harun al-Rashid,
fifth of the sons of Abbas, and seek of him to my price ten thousand
dinars. If he deem me dear, say to him: 'O Prince of True Believers, my
handmaid is worth more than this: do but prove her, and her value will
be magnified in thine eyes; for this slave-girl hath not her equal, and
she were unfit to any but thou.'" And she added, "Beware, O my lord, of
selling me at less than the sum I have named; indeed 'tis but little
for the like of me." Now her owner knew not her worth nor that she had
no equal in her day; but he carried her to the Caliph and set her in
the presence and repeated what she had bidden him say. The Caliph asked
her, "What is thy name?"; to which she answered, "My name is
Tawaddud."[FN#294] He then enquired, "O Tawaddud, in what branches of
knowledge dost thou excel?"; and she replied, "O my lord, I am versed
in syntax and poetry and jurisprudence and exegesis and philosophy; and
I am skilled in music and the knowledge of the Divine ordinances and in
arithmetic and geodesy and geometry and the fables of the ancients. I
know the Sublime Koran by heart and have read it according to the
seven, the ten and the fourteen modes. I know the number of its
chapters and versets and sections and words; and its halves and fourths
and eighths and tenths; the number of prostrations which occur in it
and the sum total of its letters; and I know what there is in it of
abrogating and abrogated[FN#295]; also what parts of it were revealed
at Al-Medinah and what at Meccah and the cause of the different
revelations. I know the Holy Traditions of the Apostle's sayings,
historical and legendary, the established and those whose ascription is
doubtful; and I have studied the exact sciences, geometry and
philosophy and medicine and logic and rhetoric and composition; and I
have learnt many things by rote and am passionately fond of poetry. I
can play the lute and know its gamut and notes and notation and the
crescendo and diminuendo. If I sing and dance, I seduce, and if I dress
and scent myself, I slay. In fine, I have reached a pitch of perfection
such as can be estimated only by those of them who are firmly rooted in
knowledge."[FN#296] Now when the Caliph heard these words spoken by one
so young, he wondered at her eloquence, and turning to Abu al-Husn,
said, "I will summon those who shall discuss with her all she claimeth
to know; if she answer correctly, I will give thee the price thou
askest for her and more; and if not, thou art fitter to have her than
I." "With gladness and goodly gree, O Commander of the Faithful,"
replied Abu al-Husn. So the Caliph wrote to the Viceroy of Bassorah, to
send him Ibrahim bin Siyyαr the prosodist, who was the first man of his
day in argument and eloquence and poetry and logic, and bade him bring
with him readers of the Koran and learned doctors of the law and
physicians and astrologers and scientists and mathematicians and
philosophers; and Ibrahim was more learned than all. In a little while
they arrived at the palace of the Caliphate, knowing not what was to
do, and the Caliph sent for them to his sitting-chamber and ordered
them to be seated. So they sat down and he bade bring the damsel
Tawaddud who came and unveiling, showed herself, as she were a
sparkling star.[FN#297] The Caliph set her a stool of gold; and she
saluted, and speaking with an eloquent tongue, said, "O Commander of
the Faithful, bid the Olema and the doctors of law and leaches and
astrologers and scientists and mathematicians and all here present
contend with me in argument." So he said to them, "I desire of you that
ye dispute with this damsel on the things of her faith, and stultify
her argument in all she advanceth;" and they answered, saying, "We hear
and we obey Allah and thee, O Commander of the Faithful." Upon this
Tawaddud bowed her head and said, "Which of you is the doctor of the
law, the scholar, versed in the readings of the Koran and in the
Traditions?" Quoth one of them, "I am the man thou seekest." Quoth she,
"Then ask me of what thou wilt." Said the doctor, "Hast thou read the
precious book of Allah and dost thou know its cancelling and cancelled
parts and hast thou meditated its versets and its letters?" "Yes,"
answered she. "Then," said he, "I will proceed to question thee of the
obligations and the immutable ordinances: so tell me of these, O
damsel, and who is thy Lord, who thy prophet, who thy Guide, what is
thy point of fronting in prayer, and who be thy brethren? Also what thy
spiritual path and what thy highway?" Whereto she replied, "Allah is my
Lord, and Mohammed (whom Allah save and assain!) my prophet, and the
Koran is my guide and the Ka'abah my fronting; and the True-believers
are my brethren. The practice of good is my path and the Sunnah my
highway." The Caliph again marvelled at her words so eloquently spoken
by one so young; and the doctor pursued, "O damsel, with what do we
know Almighty Allah?" Said she, "With the understanding." Said he, "And
what is the understanding?" Quoth she, "It is of two kinds, natural and
acquired."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the damsel
continued, "The understanding is of two kinds, natural and acquired.
The natural is that which Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) created
for the right direction of His servants after His will; and the
acquired is that which men accomplish by dint of study and fair
knowledge." He rejoined, "Thou hast answered well." Q "Where is the
seat of the understanding?"—"Allah casteth it in the heart whence its
lustrous beams ascend to the brain and there become fixed." Q "How
knowest thou the Prophet of Allah?" "By the reading of Allah's Holy
Book and by signs and proofs and portents and miracles!" Q "What are
the obligations and the immutable ordinances?" "The obligations are
five. (1) Testification that there is no ilαh[FN#298] but Allah, no god
but the God alone and One, which for partner hath none, and that
Mohammed is His servant and His apostle. (2) The standing in
prayers.[FN#299] (3) The payment of the poor-rate. (4) Fasting Ramazan.
(5) The Pilgrimage to Allah's Holy House for all to whom the journey is
possible. The immutable ordinances are four; to wit, night and day and
sun and moon, the which build up life and hope; nor any son of Adam
wotteth if they will be destroyed on the Day of Judgment." Q "What are
the obligatory observances of the Faith?" "They are five, prayer,
almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage, fighting for the Faith and abstinence
from the forbidden." Q "Why dost thou stand up to pray?" "To express
the devout intent of the slave acknowledging the Deity." Q "What are
the obligatory conditions which precede standing in prayer?"
"Purification, covering the shame, avoidance of soiled clothes,
standing on a clean place, fronting the Ka'abah, an upright posture,
the intent[FN#300] and the pronouncing 'Allaho Akbar' of
prohibition."[FN#301] Q "With what shouldest thou go forth from thy
house to pray?" "With the intent of worship mentally pronounced." Q
"With what intent shouldest thou enter the mosque?" "With an intent of
service." Q "Why do we front the Kiblah[FN#302]?" "In obedience to
three Divine orders and one Traditional ordinance." Q "What are the
beginning, the consecration and the end of prayer?" "Purification
beginneth prayer, saying the Allaho Akbar of prohibition consecrateth,
and the salutation endeth prayer." Q "What deserveth he who neglecteth
prayer?" "It is reported, among the authentic Traditions of the
Prophet, that he said, 'Whoso neglecteth prayer wilfully and purposely
hath no part in Al-Islam.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the damsel
had repeated the words of that Holy Tradition the doctor cried, "Thou
hast replied aright: now say me, what is prayer?" "Prayer is communion
between the slave and his lord, and in it are ten virtues: (1) it
illumineth the heart; (2) it maketh the face shine; (3) it pleaseth the
Compassionate One; (4) it angereth Satan; (5) it conjureth calamity;
(6) it wardeth off the mischief of enemies; (7) it multiplieth mercy;
(8) it forfendeth vengeance and punishment; (9) it bringeth the slave
nigh unto his lord; and (10) it restraineth from lewdness and
frowardness. Hence it is one of the absolute requisites and obligatory
ordinances and the pillar of the Faith." Q "What is the key of prayer?"
"Wuzd or the lesser ablution."[FN#303] Q "What is the key to the lesser
ablution?" "Intention and naming the Almighty." Q "What is the key of
naming the Almighty?" "Assured faith." Q "What is the key of faith?"
"Trust in the Lord." Q "What is the key of trust in the Lord?" "Hope."
Q "What is the key of hope?" "Obedience." Q "What is the key of
obedience?" "The confession of the Unity and the acknowledgment of the
divinity of Allah." Q "What are the Divine ordinances of Wuzu, the
minor ablution?" "They are six, according to the canon of the Imam
al-Shαfi'ν Mohammed bin Idris (of whom Allah accept!): (1) intent while
washing the face; (2) washing the face; (3) washing the hands and
forearms; (4) wiping part of the head; (5) washing the feet and heels;
and (6) observing due order.[FN#304] And the traditional statutes are
ten: (1) nomination; (2) and washing the hands before putting them into
the water-pot; (3) and mouth-rinsing; (4) and snuffing;[FN#305] (5) and
wiping the whole head; (6) and wetting the ears within and without with
fresh water; (7) and separating a thick beard; (8) and separating the
fingers and toes;[FN#306] (9) and washing the right foot before the
left and (10) doing each of these thrice and all in unbroken order.
When the minor ablution is ended, the worshipper should say, I testify
that there is no god but the God, the One, which for partner hath none,
and I testify that Mohammed is His servant and His apostle. O my Allah,
make me of those who repent and in purity are permanent! Glory to Thee,
O my God, and in Thy praise I bear witness, that there is no god save
Thou! I crave pardon of Thee and I repent to Thee! For it is reported,
in the Holy Traditions, that the Prophet (whom Allah bless and
preserve!) said of this prayer, 'Whoso endeth every ablution with this
prayer, the eight gates of Paradise are open to him; he shall enter at
which he pleaseth.'" Q "When a man purposeth ablution, what betideth
him from the angels and the devils?" "When a man prepareth for
ablution, the angels come and stand on his right and the devils on his
left hand.[FN#307] If he name Almighty Allah at the beginning of the
ablution, the devils flee from him and the angels hover over him with a
pavilion of light, having four ropes, to each an angel glorifying Allah
and craving pardon for him, so long as he remaineth silent or calleth
upon the name of Allah. But if he omit to begin washing with naming
Allah (to whom belong might and majesty!), neither remain silent, the
devils take command of him; and the angels depart from him and Satan
whispereth evil thoughts unto him, till he fall into doubt and come
short in his ablution. For (quoth he on whom be blessing and peace!),
'A perfect ablution driveth away Satan and assureth against the tyranny
of the Sultan'; and again quoth he, 'If calamity befal one who is not
pure by ablution; verily and assuredly let him blame none but
himself.'" Q "What should a man do when he awaketh from sleep?" "He
should wash his hands thrice, before putting them into the water
vessel." Q "What are the Koranic and traditional orders anent Ghusl,
the complete ablution[FN#308]?" "The divine ordinances are intent and
'crowning'[FN#309] the whole body with water, that is, the liquid shall
come at every part of the hair and skin. Now the traditional ordinances
are the minor ablution as preliminary; rubbing the body; separating the
hair and deferring in words[FN#310] the washing of the feet till the
end of the ablution."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had recounted to the doctor what were the divine and traditional orders
anent Ghusl or total ablution, quoth he, "Thou hast replied aright: now
tell me what are the occasions for Tayammum, or making the ablution
with sand and dust; and what are the ordinances thereof, divine and
human?" "The reasons are seven, viz.: want of water; fear lest water
lack; need thereto; going astray on a march; sickness; having broken
bones in splints and having open wounds.[FN#311] As for its ordinances,
the divine number four, viz., intent, dust, clapping it to the face and
clapping it upon the hands; and the human number two, nomination and
preferring the right before the left hand." Q "What are the conditions,
the pillars or essentials, and the traditional statutes of prayer?"
"The conditions are five: (1) purification of the members; (2) covering
of the privy parts; (3) observing the proper hours, either of certainty
or to the best of one's belief; (4) fronting the Kiblah; and (5)
standing on a clean place. The pillars or essentials number twelve: (1)
intent; (2) the Takbνr or magnification of prohibition; (3) standing
when able to stand[FN#312]; (4) repeating the Fatihah or opening
chapter of the Koran and saying, 'In the name of Allah, the
Compassionating, the Compassionate!' with a verse thereof according to
the canon of the Imam Al-Shafi'i; (5) bowing the body and keeping it
bowed; (6) returning to the upright posture and so remaining for the
time requisite; (7) prostration and permanence therein; (8) sitting
between two prostrations and permanence therein; (9) repeating the
latter profession of the Faith and sitting up therefor; (10) invoking
benediction on the Prophet (whom Allah bless and preserve!) (11) the
first Salutation,[FN#313] and (12) the intent of making an end of
prayer expressed in words. But the traditional statutes are the call to
prayer; the standing posture; raising the hands (to either side of the
face) whilst pronouncing the prohibition; uttering the magnification
before reciting the Fatihah; seeking refuge with Allah[FN#314]; saying,
'Amen'; repeating the chapter of the Koran after the Fatihah, repeating
the magnifications during change of posture; saying, 'May Allah hear
him who praiseth Him! and O our Lord, to Thee be the praise!'; praying
aloud in the proper place[FN#315] and praying under the breath prayers
so prescribed; the first profession of unity and sitting up thereto;
blessing the Prophet therein; blessing his family in the latter
profession and the second Salutation." Q "On what is the Zakαt or
obligatory poor-rate taxable?" "On gold and silver and camels and oxen
and sheep and wheat and barley and holcus and millet and beans and
vetches and rice and raisins and dates." Q "What is the Zakαt or
poor-rate on gold?" "Below twenty miskals or dinars, nothing; but on
that amount half a dinar for every score and so on
proportionally.[FN#316]" Q "On silver?" "Under two hundred dirhams
nothing, then five dirhams on every two hundred and so forth." Q "On
camels?" "For every five, an ewe, or for every twenty-five a pregnant
camel." Q "On sheep?" "An ewe for every forty head," Q "What are the
ordinances of the Ramazan Fast?" "The Koranic are intent; abstinence
from eating, drinking and carnal copulation, and the stoppage of
vomiting. It is incumbent on all who submit to the Law, save women in
their courses and forty days after childbirth; and it becomes
obligatory on sight of the new moon or on news of its appearance,
brought by a trustworthy person and commending itself as truth to the
hearer's heart; and among its requisites is that the intent be
pronounced at nightfall. The traditional ordinances of fasting are,
hastening to break the fast at sundown; deferring the fore-dawn
meal,[FN#317] and abstaining from speech, save for good works and for
calling on the name of Allah and reciting the Koran." Q "What things
vitiate not the fast?" "The use of unguents and eye-powders and the
dust of the road and the undesigned swallowing of saliva and the
emission of seed in nocturnal pollution or at the sight of a strange
woman and blooding and cupping; none of these things vitiates the
fast." Q "What are the prayers of the two great annual Festivals?" "Two
one-bow prayers, which be a traditional ordinance, without call to
prayer or standing up to pronounce the call;[FN#318] but let the Moslem
say, 'Prayer is a collector of all folk!'[FN#319] and pronounce 'Allaho
Akbar' seven times in the first prayer, besides the Takbir of
prohibition; and, in the second, five times, besides the magnification
of rising up (according to the doctrine of the Imam Al-Shafi'i, on whom
Allah have mercy!) and make the profession of the Faith."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had answered the doctor anent the Festival-prayers, quoth he, "Thou
hast replied aright: now tell me what are the prayers prescribed on the
occasion of an eclipse of the sun or moon?" "Two one-bow prayers
without call to prayer or standing thereto by the worshipper, who shall
make in each two-bow prayer double standing up and double inclinations
and two-fold prostrations, then sit and testify and salute." Q "What is
the ritual of prayer for rain?" "Two one-bow prayers without call to
prayer or standing thereto; then shall the Moslem make the profession
and salute. Moreover the Imam shall deliver an exhortation and ask
pardon of Allah, in place of the magnification, as in the two sermons
of the Festivals and turn his mantle upper edge downwards and pray and
supplicate." Q "What are the Witr, the additional or occasional
prayers?" "The least is a one-bow prayer and the most eleven." Q "What
is the forenoon prayer?" "At least, two one-bow prayers and at most,
twelve." Q "What hast thou to say of the I'itikαf or retreat[FN#320]?"
"It is a matter of traditional ordinance." Q "What are its conditions?"
"(1) intent; (2) not leaving the mosque save of necessity; (3) not
having to do with a woman; (4) fasting; and (5) abstaining from
speech." Q "Under what conditions is the Hajj or Pilgrimage[FN#321]
obligatory?" "Manhood, and understanding and being a Moslem and
practicability; in which case it is obligatory on all, once before
death." Q "What are the Koranic statutes of the Pilgrimage?" "(1) The
Ihrαm or pilgrim's habit; (2) the standing at Arafat; (3)
circumambulating the Ka'abah; (4) running between Safα and
Marwah[FN#322]; and (5) shaving or clipping the hair." Q "What are the
Koranic statutes of the 'Umrah[FN#323] or lesser pilgrimage?" "Assuming
the pilgrim's habit and compassing and running." Q "What are the
Koranic ordinances of the assumption of the pilgrim's habit?"[FN#324]
"Doffing sewn garments, forswearing perfume and ceasing to shave the
head or pare the nails, and avoiding the killing of game, and eschewing
carnal copulation." Q "What are the traditional statutes of the
pilgrimage?" "(1) The crying out 'Labbay'ka, Adsum, Here am I, O our
Lord, here am I!'[FN#325]4 (2) the Ka'abah-circuitings[FN#326] of
arrival and departure; (3) the passing the night at the Mosque of
Muzdalifah and in the valley of Mina, and (4) the lapidation.[FN#327]"
Q "What is the Jihαd or Holy War and its essentials?" "Its essentials
are: (1) the descent of the Infidels upon us; (2) the presence of the
Imam; (3) a state of preparation; and (4) firmness in meeting the foe.
Its traditional ordinance is incital to battle, in that the Most High
hath said, 'O thou my Prophet, incite the faithful to fight!'[FN#328]"
Q "What are the ordinances of buying and selling?" "The Koranic are:
(1) offer and acceptance and (2) if the thing sold be a white slave, by
whom one profiteth, all possible endeavour to convert him to Al-Islam;
and (3) to abstain from usury; the traditional are: making void[FN#329]
and option before not after separating, according to his saying (whom
Allah bless and preserve!), 'The parties to a sale shall have the
option of cancelling or altering terms whilst they are yet
unseparated.'", Q "What is it forbidden to sell for what?" "On this
point I mind me of an authentic tradition, reported by Nαf'i[FN#330] of
the Apostle of Allah, that he forbade the barter of dried dates for
fresh and fresh figs for dry and jerked for fresh meat and cream for
clarified butter; in fine, all eatables of one and the same kind, it is
unlawful to buy or barter some for other some.[FN#331]" Now when the
doctor of law heard her words and knew that she was wit-keen,
penetrative, ingenious and learned in jurisprudence and the Traditions
and the interpretation of the Koran and what not else, he said in his
mind, "Needs must I manoeuvre with her, that I may overcome her in the
assembly of the Commander of the Faithful." So he said to her, "O
damsel, what is the lexicographical meaning of Wuzu?" And she answered,
"Philologically it signifieth cleanliness and freedom from impurities."
Q "And of Salαt or prayer?" "An invocation of good" Q "And of Ghusl?"
"Purification." Q "And of Saum or fasting?" "Abstention." Q "And of
Zakαt?" "Increase. Q "And of Hajj or pilgrimage?" "Visitation." Q "And
of Jihαd?" "Repelling." With this the doctor's arguments were cut
off,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the doctor's
arguments were cut off, he rose to his feet and said, "Bear witness
against me, O Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more
learned in the Law than I am." Quoth she, "I will ask thee somewhat,
which do thou answer me speedily, an thou be indeed a learned man."
Quoth he, "Say on;" and she said, "What are the arrows of the Faith?"
Answered he, "They number ten: (1) Testification, that is, religion;
(2) Prayer, that is, the covenant; (3) Alms, that is, purification; (4)
Fasting, that is, defensive armour; (5) Pilgrimage, that is, the Law;
(6) Fighting for the Faith, that is, a general duty; (7) Bidding to
beneficence and (8) Forbidding from frowardness, both of which are a
man's honour; (9) Commune,[FN#332] that is, sociableness of the
Faithful; and (10) Seeking knowledge, that is, the praiseworthy path."
She rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright and now remaineth but one
question, 'What be the roots or fundamentals of Al-Islam?'" He said
"They are four: sincerity of belief, truth of intent, observance of the
lawful limit and keeping the covenant." Then said she, "I have one more
question to ask thee, which if thou answer, it is well; else, I will
take thy clothes." Quoth he, "Speak, O damsel;" and she said, "What are
the branches or superstructure of Al-Islam?" But he was silent awhile
and made no reply: so she cried "Doff thy clothes and I will expound
them to thee." Quoth the Caliph "Expound them, and I will make him put
off his clothes for thee." She said, "There are two-and-twenty
branches: (1) holding fast to the Book of Allah the Most Highest; (2)
taking example by His Apostle (whom Allah bless and preserve!); (3)
abstaining from evil doing; (4) eating what is lawful and (5) avoiding
what is unlawful; (6) restitution of things wrongfully taken; (7)
repentance; (8) knowledge of the Law; (9) love of the Friend,[FN#333]
(10) and of the followers of the true Revelation; (11) belief in the
apostles of Al-Islam; (12) fear of apostacy; (13) preparation for
departing this life; (14) force of conviction; (15) mercy on all
possible occasions; (16) strength in time of weakness; (17) patience
under trials; (18) knowledge of Allah Almighty and (19) of what His
Prophet hath made known to us; (20) thwarting Iblis the accursed; (21)
striving earnestly against the lusts of the soul and warring them down,
and (22) devotion to the one God." Now when the Commander of the
Faithful heard her words, he bade the professor put off his clothes and
hooded turband; and so did that doctor and went forth, beaten and
confounded, from the Caliph's presence. Thereupon another man stood up
and said to her, "O damsel, hear a few questions from me." Quoth she,
"Say on;' and he asked, "What are the conditions of purchase by
advance?" whereto she answered, "That the price be fixed, the kind be
fixed and the period of delivery be fixed and known." Q "What are the
Koranic and the traditional canons of eating?" "The confession that
Allah Almighty provideth the eater and giveth him meat and drink, with
thanksgiving to Him therefor." Q "What is thanksgiving?" "The use by
the creature of that which the Creator vouchsafeth to him, according as
it was created for the creature." Q "What are the traditional canons of
eating?" "The Bismillah[FN#334] and washing both hands; sitting on the
left of the hind part; eating with three fingers, and eating of that
which hath been duly masticated.[FN#335]" Q "What are good manners in
eating?" "Taking small mouthfuls and looking little at one's
table-companion."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had answered concerning good manners in eating, the doctor who was
trying her, rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright. Now tell me what are
the stays of the heart and their supports?"[FN#336] "The stays and
supports both number three: (1) holding fast to the Faith, the support
whereof is the shunning of infidelity; (2) holding fast to the
Traditional Law, and its support the shunning of innovation; and (3)
holding fast to obedience, and its support the shunning of
disobedience." Q "What are the conditions of Wuzu?" "(1) being a
Moslem; (2) discernment of good and evil; (3) purity of the water, and
(4) absence of material or religious impediments." Q "What is belief?"
"It is divided into nine parts: (1) belief in the One worshipped; (2)
belief in the condition of slavery of the worshipper; (3) belief in the
personality of the Deity; (4) belief in the Two Handfuls;[FN#337] (5)
belief in Providence which allotteth to man his lot; (6) belief in the
Abrogating and (7) in the Abrogated; (8) belief in Allah, His angels
and apostles; and (9) in fore-ordained Fate, general and individual,
its good and ill, its sweet and bitter." Q "What three things do away
other three?" "It is told of Sufyαn al-Saurν[FN#338] that he said,
'Three things do away with other three. Making light of the pious doth
away the future life; making light of Kings doth away this life; and,
making light of expenditure doth away wealth.'" Q "What are the keys of
the heavens, and how many gates have they.?" "Quoth Almighty Allah,
'And the heaven shall be opened and be full of portals;'[FN#339] and
quoth he whom Allah bless and preserve!, 'None knoweth the number of
the gates of heavens, save He who created the heavens, and there is no
son of Adam but hath two gates allotted to him in the heavens, one
whereby his daily bread descendeth and another wherethrough his works
ascend. The first gate is not closed, save when his term of life cometh
to an end, nor the gate of works, good and evil, till his soul ascend
for judgment.'" Q "Tell me of a thing and a half thing and a no-thing."
"The thing is the Moslem; the half thing the hypocrite,[FN#340] and the
no-thing the miscreant." Q "Tell me of various kinds of hearts." "There
is the whole heart, the sick heart, the contrite heart, the vowed heart
and the enlightened heart. Now the whole heart is that of Abraham, the
Friend of Allah; the sick heart is that of the Unbeliever in Al-Islam;
the contrite heart is that of the pious who fear the Lord; the vowed
heart is that of our Lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!) and the
illuminated heart is that of his followers. Furthermore, the hearts of
learned Olema are of three kinds, the heart which is in love with this
world; the heart which loveth the next world, and the heart which
loveth its Lord; and it is said that hearts are three, the suspended,
that of the infidel; the non-existent, that of the hypocrite; and the
constant, that of the True-believer. Moreover, it is said that the firm
heart is of three kinds, viz., the heart dilated with light and faith,
the heart wounded with fear of estrangement, and the heart which
feareth to be forsaken of its Supreme Friend."—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the second
doctor declared. "Thou hast said well," quoth she to the Caliph, "O
Commander of the Faithful, he hath questioned me, till he is weary, and
now I will ask of him two questions. If he answer them both, it is
well; and if not, I will take his clothes and he shall wend in peace."
Quoth the doctor, "Ask me what thou wilt," and she said, "What sayest
thou religion is?" Answered he, "Religion is confession of Faith with
the tongue and conviction with the heart and correspondent action with
the members. He (upon whom be blessings and peace!) hath said, 'The
believer is not perfect in belief, except he perfect himself in five
qualities, namely: trust in Allah,[FN#341] committal of his affair to
Allah, submission to the commands of Allah, acquiescence in the decrees
of Allah; and that all he doth be done for sake of Allah; so is he of
those who are acceptable to the Deity, and who give to Him and withhold
for Him; and such man is perfect in belief.'" Then said she, "What is
the Divine ordinance of ordinances and the ordinance which is the
initiator of all ordinances and that of which all others stand in need
and that which comprehendeth all others; and what is the traditional
ordinance that entereth into the Koranic, and the prophetic practice
whereby the Divine is completed?" But he was silent and made no reply;
whereupon the Caliph bade her expound and ordered him to doff his
clothes and give them to her. Said she, "O doctor, the Koranic
ordinance of ordinances is the knowledge of Allah Almighty; that, which
is the initiative of all others, is the testifying there is no god but
the God and Mohammed is the Apostle of God; that, of which all others
have need, is the Wuzu-ablution; that, which compriseth all others, is
the Ghusl-ablution from defilement[FN#342]; the Traditional ordinance
that entereth into the Koranic, is the separation of the fingers and
the thick beard;[FN#343] and that, wherewith all Koranic ordinances are
completed, is circumcision."[FN#344] Therewith was made manifest the
defeat of the doctor, who rose to his feet and said, "I call Allah to
witness, O Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned
than I in theology and what pertaineth to the Law." So saying, he put
off his clothes and went away ignominiously worsted. Then she turned to
the rest of the learned men present and said, "O masters, which of you
is the Koranist, the reader and reciter of the Koran, versed in the
seven readings and in syntax and in lexicography?" Thereupon a
professor arose and, seating himself before her, said "Hast thou read
the Book of Almighty Allah and made thyself thoroughly acquainted with
its signs, that is its verses, and its abrogating parts and abrogated
portions, its unequivocal commands and its ambiguous; and the
difference of its revelations, Meccan and Medinan? Dost thou understand
its interpretation and hast thou studied it, according to the various
traditions and origins?" "Yes," answered she; and he said, "What then
is the number of its chapters, how many are the decades and versets,
how many words and how many letters and how many acts of prostration
and how many prophets and how many chapters are Medinan and how many
are Meccan and how many birds are mentioned in it?" Replied she, "O my
lord, its chapters are an hundred and fourteen, whereof seventy were
revealed at Meccah and forty-four at Al-Medinah; and it containeth six
hundred and twenty-one decades; six thousand three hundred and
thirty-six versets;[FN#345] seventy-nine thousand four hundred and
thirty-nine words and three hundred and twenty-three thousand and six
hundred and seventy letters; and to the reader thereof, for every
letter, are given ten benefits. The acts of prostration it compriseth
are fourteen."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
professor of Koranic exegesis questioned the damsel, she continued, "As
regards the Prophets named in the Book there be five-and-twenty, to
wit, Adam, Noah,[FN#346] Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Lot,
Elisha, Jonah, Salih,[FN#347] or Heber, Hϊd,[FN#348] Shua'yb or
Jethro,[FN#349] David, Solomon, Zϊ'l-kafl or Joshua, Idrνs, Elias,
Yahyα or John the Baptist, Zacharias, Job, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and
Mohammed,[FN#350] the peace of Allah and His blessing be on them all!
Moreover, nine flying things are mentioned in the Koran, namely, the
gnat, the bee, the fly, the ant, the hoopoe, the crow, the locust, the
swallow and the bird of Jesus[FN#351] (on whom be peace!), to wit, the
bat." Q "Which is the most excellent chapter of the Koran?" "That of
The Cow.[FN#352]" Q "Which is the most magnificent verse?" "That of the
Throne; it hath fifty words, bearing in each fifty blessings." Q "What
sign or verse hath in it nine signs or wonders?" "That in which quoth
Allah Almighty, 'Verily, in the creation of the Heaven and the Earth:
and in the vicissitude of night, and day; and in the ship which saileth
through the sea laden with what is profitable for mankind; and in the
rain-water which God sendeth down from Heaven, quickening thereby the
dead ground and replenishing the same with all sorts of cattle; and in
the change of winds and in the clouds that are compelled to do service
between the Heaven and the Earth;[FN#353]—are signs to people of
understanding.'" Q "Which verse is the most just?" "That in which Allah
saith, 'Verily, Allah enjoineth justice and the doing of good, and the
giving unto kindred what shall be necessary; and He forbiddeth
wickedness and iniquity and oppression'"[FN#354] Q "Which is the most
greedy?" "That in which quoth Allah, 'Is it that every man of them
greedeth to enter the Garden of Delight?'"[FN#355] Q "Which is the most
hopeful?" "That in which quoth Almighty Allah, 'Say: O my servants who
have transgressed against your own souls, despair not of the mercy of
Allah; seeing, that Allah forgiveth all sins; aye Gracious, Merciful is
He.'"[FN#356] Q "By what school of intonation dost thou read?" "By that
of the people of Paradise, to wit, the version of Nαf'i." Q "In which
verse doth Allah make prophets lie?"[FN#357] "In that wherein He saith,
'They (the brothers of Joseph) brought his inner garment stained with
false blood.'"[FN#358] Q "In which doth He make unbelievers speak the
truth?" "In that wherein He saith, 'The Jews say, 'The Christians are
grounded on nothing,' and the Christians say, 'The Jews are grounded on
nothing'; and yet they both read the Scriptures;'[FN#359] and, so
saying, all say sooth." Q "In which doth God speak in his own person?"
"In that in which he saith, 'I have not created Genii and men for any
other end than that they should serve me.'"[FN#360] Q "In which verse
do the angels speak?" "In that which saith, 'But we celebrate Thy
praise and extol Thy holiness.'"[FN#361] Q "What sayest thou of the
formula:—I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned?" "It is
obligatory by commandment of Allah on all before reading the Koran, as
appeareth by His saying, 'When thou readest the Koran, seek refuge with
Allah from Satan the Stoned.'"[FN#362] Q "What signify the words
'seeking refuge'[FN#363] and what are the variants of the formula?"
"Some say, 'I take refuge with Allah the All-hearing and All-knowing,'
and others, 'With Allah the Strong;' but the best is that whereof the
Sublime Koran speaketh and the Traditions perpetuate. And he (whom
Allah bless and keep!) was used to ejaculate, 'I seek refuge with Allah
from Satan the Stoned.' And quoth a Tradition, reported by Naf'i on the
authority of his adopted father, 'The apostle of Allah, was wont when
he rose in the night to pray, to say aloud, 'Allaho Akbar'; God is Most
Great, with all Majesty! Praise be to Allah abundantly! Glory to Allah
morn and even be!' Then would he say, 'I seek refuge with Allah from
Satan the Stoned and from the delusions of the Devils and their evil
suggestions.' And it is told of Ibn Abbas[FN#364] (of whom Allah
accept!) that he said, 'The first time Gabriel came down to the Prophet
with revelation he taught him the 'seeking refuge,' saying, 'O
Mohammed, say, I seek refuge with Allah the All-hearing and
All-knowing;' then say, 'In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the
Compassionate!' Read, in the name of thy Lord who created;—created man
of blood-clots."[FN#365] Now when the Koranist heard her words he
marvelled at her expressions, her eloquence, her learning, her
excellence, and said, "O damsel, what sayst thou of the verse 'In the
name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate'? Is it one of
the verses of the Koran?" "Yes; it is a verset of 'The Ant'[FN#366]
occurring also at the head of the first and between every two following
chapters; and there is much difference of opinion, respecting this,
among the learned."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had told the professor concerning the difference of opinion among the
learned touching the "Basmalah," he said, "Thou hast replied aright:
now tell me why is not the formula written at the head of the chapter
of Immunity[FN#367]?"; and she answered, "When this chapter was
revealed from on high for the dissolution of the alliance between the
Prophet and the idolaters, He (whom Allah bless and preserve!) sent
Ali[FN#368] ibn Abν Tαlib (whose face Allah honour!) therewith, and he
read the chapter to them, but did not read the Basmalah."[FN#369] Q
"What of the excellence of the formula and its blessing?" "It is told
of the Prophet that he said, 'Never is the Basmalah pronounced over
aught, but there is a blessing in it;' and it is reported, on authority
of Him (whom Allah bless and preserve!) that the Lord of Glory swore by
His glory that never should the Basmalah be pronounced over a sick
person, but he should be healed of his sickness. Moreover, it is said
that, when Allah created the empyrean, it was agitated with an
exceeding agitation; but He wrote on it, 'Bismillah' and its agitation
subsided. When the formula first descended from heaven to the Prophet,
he said, 'I am safe from three things, earthquake and metamorphosis and
drowning; and indeed its boons are great and its blessings too many to
enumerate. It is told of Allah's Apostle that he said, 'There will be
brought on the Judgment-day a man with whom He shall reckon and finding
no good deed to his account, shall order him to the Fire; but the man
will cry, 'O my God, Thou hast not dealt justly by me!' Then shall
Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) say, 'How so?' and the man shall
answer, O Lord, for that Thou callest Thyself the Compassionating, the
Compassionate, yet wilt Thou punish me with the Fire!' And Allah
(magnified be His Majesty!) shall reply, 'I did indeed name myself the
Compassionating, the Compassionate. Carry My servant to Paradise, of My
mercy, for I am the most Merciful of the mercifuls!'" Q "What was the
origin of the use of the Basmalah?" "When Allah sent down from Heaven
the Koran, they wrote, 'In Thy name, O my God!'; when Allah revealed
the words, 'Say: Call upon Allah, or call upon the Compassionating,
what days ye pray, for hath He the most excellent names,'[FN#370] they
wrote, 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate;
and, when He revealed the words, 'Your God is one God, there is no God
but He, the Compassionating, the Compassionate,'[FN#371] they wrote,
'In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!'" Now
when the Koranist heard her reply, he hung down his head and said to
himself, "This be a marvel of marvels! How hath this slave-girl
expounded the origin of the Basmalah? But, by Allah, needs must I go a
bout with her and haply defeat her." So he asked, "Did Allah reveal the
Koran all at once or at times manifold?" She answered, "Gabriel the
Faithful (on whom be peace!) descended with it from the Lord of the
Worlds upon His Prophet Mohammed, Prince of the Apostles and Seal of
the Prophets, by detached versets: bidding and forbidding, covenanting
and comminating, and containing advices and instances in the course of
twenty years as occasion called for it." Q "Which chapter was first
revealed?" "According to Ibn Abbas, that entituled 'Congealed
Blood':[FN#372] and, according to Jαbir bin Abdillah,[FN#373] that
called 'The Covered' which preceded all others.[FN#374]" Q "Which
verset was the last revealed?" "That of 'Usury',[FN#375] and it is also
said, the verse, 'When there cometh Allah's succour and
victory.'"[FN#376]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
told the Koranist which was the last verse he said, "Thou hast replied
aright; now tell me the names of the Companions who collected the
Koran, in the lifetime of the Apostle of Allah." And she answered "They
were four, Ubay ibn Ka'ab, Zayd ibn Sαbit, Abϊ Obaydah 'Aamir bin
Jarrαh, and Othmαn bin Affαn[FN#377] (Allah accept of them one and
all!)" Q "Who are the readers, from whom the accepted reading of the
Koran is taken?" "They number four, Abdallah bin Mas'ϊd, Ubay bin
Ka'ab, Ma'az bin Jabal and Sαlim bin Abdillah." Q "What sayest thou of
the words of the Most High, 'That which is sacrificed to
stones'"?[FN#378] "The stones are idols, which are set up and
worshipped, instead of Allah the Most High, and from this we seek
refuge with Allah." Q "What sayest thou of the words of the Most High
'Thou knowest what is in my soul, and I know not what is in Thy
soul'"?[FN#379] "They mean, 'Thou knowest the truth of me and what is
in me, and I know not what is in Thee;' and the proof of this are His
words,[FN#380] 'Thou art He who wottest the hidden things'; and it is
said, also, 'Thou knowest my essence, but I know not Thine essence.'" Q
"What sayst thou of the words of the Most High, 'O true believers,
forbid not yourselves the good things which Allah hath allowed
you?'"[FN#381] "My Shaykh (on whom Allah have mercy!) told me that the
Companion Al-Zahhαk related: 'There was a people of the True-believers
who said, 'We will dock our members masculine and don sackcloth;'
whereupon this verse was revealed. But Al-Kutαdah declareth that it was
revealed on account of sundry Companions of the Apostle of Allah,
namely, Ali ibn Abν Tαlib and Othmαn bin Musa'ab and others, who said,
'We will geld ourselves and don hair cloth and make us monks.'" Q "What
sayest thou of the words of the Most Highest, 'And Allah took Abraham
for His friend'"?[FN#382] "The friend of Allah is the needy, the poor,
and (according to another saying) he is the lover, he who is detached
from the world in the love of Allah Almighty and in whose attachment
there is no falling away." Now when the Koranist[FN#383] saw her pass
on in speech with the passage of the clouds and that she stayed not in
reply, he rose to his feet and said, "I take Allah to witness, O
Commander of the Faithful, that this damsel is more learned than I in
Koranic exegesis and what pertaineth thereto." Then said she, "I will
ask thee one question, which if thou answer it is well; but if thou
answer not, I will strip off thy clothes." Quoth the Commander of the
Faithful, "Ask on," and she enquired, "Which verset of the Koran hath
in it three-and-twenty Kαfs, which sixteen Mνms, which an hundred and
forty 'Ayns[FN#384] and which section[FN#385] lacketh the formula, 'To
Whom belong glory and glorification and majesty[FN#386]?'" The Koranist
could not reply, and she said to him, "Put off thy clothes." So he
doffed them, and she continued, "O Commander of the Faithful, the
verset of the sixteen Mims is in the chapter Hϊd and is the saying of
the Most High, 'It was said, O Noah, go down in peace from us, and
blessing upon thee!'[FN#387] that of the three-and-twenty Kafs is the
verse called of the Faith, in the chapter of The Cow; that of the
hundred and forty Ayns is in the chapter of Al-A'arαf,[FN#388] where
the Lord saith, 'And Moses chose seventy men of his tribe to attend our
appointed time;[FN#389] to each man a pair of eyes.'[FN#390] And the
lesson, which lacketh the formula, 'To Whom be glory and
glorification,' is that which comprises the chapters, The Hour draweth
nigh and the Moon shall be cloven in twain[FN#391]; The Compassionate
and The Event."[FN#392] Thereupon the professor departed in
confusion.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
defeated the Koranist and took off his clothes and sent him away
confused, then came forward the skilled physician and said to her, "We
are free of theology and come now to physiology. Tell me, therefore,
how is man made; how many veins, bones and vertebrae are there in his
body; which is the first and chief vein and why Adam was named Adam?"
She replied, "Adam was called Adam, because of his udmah, that is, the
wheaten colour of his complexion and also (it is said) because he was
created of the adim of the earth, that is to say, of the surface-soil.
His breast was made of the earth of the Ka'abah, his head of earth from
the East and his legs of earth from the West. There were created for
him seven doors in his head, viz., the eyes, the ears, the nostrils and
the mouth, and two passages, before and behind. The eyes were made the
seat of the sight-sense, the ears the seat of the hearing-sense, the
nostrils the seat of the smell-sense, the mouth the seat of the
taste-sense and the tongue to utter what is in the heart of
man.[FN#393] Now Adam was made of a compound of the four elements,
which be water, earth, fire and air. The yellow bile is the humour of
fire, being hot-dry; the black bile that of earth, being cold-dry; the
phlegm that of water, being cold-moist, and the blood that of air,
being hot-moist.[FN#394] There were made in man three hundred and sixty
veins, two hundred and forty-nine bones, and three souls[FN#395] or
spirits, the animal, the rational and the natural, to each of which is
allotted its proper function. Moreover, Allah made him a heart and
spleen and lungs and six intestines and a liver and two kidneys and
buttocks and brain and bones and skin and five senses; hearing, seeing,
smell, taste, touch. The heart He set on the left side of the breast
and made the stomach the guide and governor thereof. He appointed the
lungs for a fan to the heart and stablished the liver on the right
side, opposite thereto. Moreover, He made, besides this, the diaphragm
and the viscera and set up the bones of the breast and latticed them
with the ribs." Q "How many ventricles are there in a man's head?"
"Three, which contain five faculties, styled the intrinsic senses, to
wit, common sense, imagination, the thinking faculty, perception and
memory." Q "Describe to me the configuration of the bones."—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

When it was the Four Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
physicist said to her, "Describe to me the configuration of the bones,"
she replied, "Man's frame consists of two hundred and forty bones,
which are divided into three parts, the head, the trunk and the
extremities. The head is divided into calvarium and face. The skull is
constructed of eight bones, and to it are attached the four osselets of
the ear. The face is furnished with an upper jaw of eleven bones and a
lower jaw of one; and to these are added the teeth two-and-thirty in
number, and the os hyoides.[FN#396] The trunk is divided into spinal
column, breast and basin. The spinal column is made up of
four-and-twenty bones, called Fikαr or vertebrζ; the breast, of the
breastbone and the ribs, which are four-and-twenty in number, twelve on
each side; and the basin of the hips, the sacrum[FN#397] and os
coccygis. The extremities divided into upper and lower, arms and legs.
The arms are again divided: firstly into shoulder, comprising shoulder
blades and collar bone; secondly into the upper arm which is one bone;
thirdly into fore-arm, composed of two bones, the radius and the ulna;
and fourthly into the hand, consisting of the wrist, the metacarpus of
five and the fingers, which number five, of three bones each, called
the phalanges, except the thumb, which hath but two. The lower
extremities are divided: firstly into thigh, which is one bone;
secondly into leg, composed of three bones, the tibia, the fibula and
the patella; and thirdly into the foot, divided, like the hand, into
tarsus, metatarsus and toes; and is composed of seven bones, ranged in
two rows, two in one and five in the other; and the metatarsus is
composed of five bones and the toes number five, each of three
phalanges except the big toe which hath only two." Q "Which is the root
of the veins?" "The aorta, from which they ramify, and they are many,
none knoweth the tale of them save He who created them; but I repeat,
it is said that they number three hundred and sixty.[FN#398] Moreover,
Allah hath appointed the tongue as interpreter for the thought, the
eyes to serve as lanterns, the nostrils to smell with, and the hands
for prehensors. The liver is the seat of pity, the spleen of
laughter[FN#399] and the kidneys of craft; the lungs are ventilators,
the stomach the store-house, and the heart the prop and pillar of the
body. When the heart is sound, the whole body is sound, and when the
heart is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt." Q "What are the outward
signs and symptoms evidencing disease in the members of the body, both
external and internal?" "A physician, who is a man of understanding,
looketh into the state of the body and is guided by the feel of the
hands,[FN#400] according as they are firm or flabby, hot or cool, moist
or dry. Internal disorders are also indicated by external symptoms,
such as yellowness of the white of the eyes, which denoteth jaundice,
and bending of the back, which denoteth disease of the lungs." And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had described to the doctor the outer signs and symptoms quoth he,
"Thou hast replied aright! now what are the internal symptoms of
disease?" "The science of the diagnosis of disease by internal symptoms
is founded upon six canons: (1) the patient's actions; (2) what is
evacuated from his body; (3) the nature of the pain; and (4) the site
thereof; (5) swelling; and (6) the effluvia given off his person." Q
"How cometh hurt to the head?" "By the ingestion of food upon food,
before the first be digested, and by fullness upon fullness; this it is
that wasteth peoples. He who would live long, let him be early with the
morning-meal and not late with the evening-meal; let him be sparing of
commerce with women and chary of such depletory measures as cupping and
blood-letting; and let him make of his belly three parts, one for food,
one for drink and the third for air; for that a man's intestines are
eighteen spans in length and it befitteth that he appoint six for meat,
six for drink, and six for breath. If he walk, let him go gently; it
will be wholesomer for him and better for his body and more in
accordance with the saying of the Almighty, 'Walk not proudly on the
earth.'"[FN#401] Q "What are the symptoms of yellow bile and what is to
be feared therefrom?" "The symptoms are sallow complexion and bitter
taste in the mouth with dryness; failure of the appetite, venereal and
other, and rapid pulse; and the patient hath to fear high fever and
delirium and eruptions and jaundice and tumour and ulcers of the bowels
and excessive thirst." Q "What are the symptoms of black bile and what
hath the patient to fear from it, an it get the mastery of the body?"
"The symptoms are false appetite and great mental disquiet and cark and
care; and it behoveth that it be evacuated, else it will generate
melancholia[FN#402] and leprosy and cancer and disease of the spleen
and ulceration of the bowels." Q "Into how many branches is the art of
medicine divided?" "Into two: the art of diagnosing diseases, and that
of restoring the diseased body to health." Q "When is the drinking of
medicine more efficacious than otherwhen?" "When the sap runs in the
wood and the grape thickens in the cluster and the two auspicious
planets, Jupiter and Venus, are in the ascendant; then setteth in the
proper season for drinking of drugs and doing away of disease." Q "What
time is it, when, if a man drink water from a new vessel, the drink is
sweeter and lighter or more digestible to him than at another time, and
there ascendeth to him a pleasant fragrance and a penetrating?" "When
he waiteth awhile after eating, as quoth the poet,

'Drink not upon thy food in haste but wait awhile; * Else thou

     with halter shalt thy frame to sickness lead:

And patient bear a little thirst from food, then drink; * And

     thus, O brother, haply thou shalt win thy need.[FN#403]'"

Q "What food is it that giveth not rise to ailments?" "That which is
not eaten but after hunger, and when it is eaten, the ribs are not
filled with it, even as saith Jαlνnϊs or Galen the physician, 'Whoso
will take in food, let him go slowly and he shall not go wrongly.' And
to conclude with His saying (on whom be blessing and peace!), 'The
stomach is the house of disease, and diet is the head of healing; for
the origin of all sickness is indigestion, that is to say, corruption
of the meat'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
damsel said to the doctor, "'The stomach is the house of disease and
diet is the head of healing; for the origin of all sickness is
indigestion, that is to say, corruption of the meat in the stomach;'"
he rejoined, "Thou hast replied aright! what sayest thou of the
Hammam?" "Let not the full man enter it. Quoth the Prophet, 'The bath
is the blessing of the house, for that it cleanseth the body and
calleth to mind the Fire.'" Q "What Hammams are best for bathing in?"
"Those whose waters are sweet and whose space is ample and which are
kept well aired; their atmosphere representing the four seasons—autumn
and summer and winter and spring." Q "What kind of food is the most
profitable?" "That which women make and which hath not cost overmuch
trouble and which is readily digested. The most excellent of food is
brewis[FN#404] or bread sopped in broth; according to the saying of the
Prophet, 'Brewis excelleth other food, even as Ayishah excelleth other
women.'" Q "What kind of kitchen, or seasoning, is most profitable?"
"'Flesh meat' (quoth the Prophet) 'is the most excellent of kitchen;
for that it is the delight of this world and the next world.'" Q "What
kind of meat is the most profitable?" "Mutton; but jerked meat is to be
avoided, for there is no profit in it." Q "What of fruits?" "Eat them
in their prime and quit them when their season is past." Q "What sayest
thou of drinking water?" "Drink it not in large quantities nor swallow
it by gulps, or it will give thee head-ache and cause divers kinds of
harm; neither drink it immediately after leaving the Hammam nor after
carnal copulation or eating (except it be after the lapse of fifteen
minutes for a young man and forty for an old man), nor after waking
from sleep." Q "What of drinking fermented liquors?" "Doth not the
prohibition suffice thee in the Book of Almighty Allah, where He saith,
'Verily, wine and lots and images, and the divining arrows are an
abomination, of Satan's work; therefore avoid them, that ye may
prosper'?[FN#405] And again, 'They will ask thee concerning wine and
lots': Answer, 'In both there is great sin and also some things of use
unto men: but their sinfulness is greater than their use.'[FN#406]
Hence quoth the poet,

'O bibber of liquor, art not ashamed * To drink what Allah

     forbade thee drain?

Put it far from thee and approach it not; * It holds what Allah

     forbade as bane.'

And quoth another to the same purport,

'I drank the sin till my reason fled: * Ill drink that reason to loss

As for the advantages that be therein, it disperseth stone and gravel
from the kidneys and strengtheneth the viscera and banisheth care, and
moveth to generosity and preserveth health and digestion; it conserveth
the body, expelleth disease from the joints, purifieth the frame of
corrupt humours, engendereth cheerfulness, gladdeneth the heart of man
and keepeth up the natural heat: it contracteth the bladder, enforceth
the liver and removeth obstructions, reddeneth the cheeks, cleareth
away maggots from the brain and deferreth grey hairs. In short, had not
Allah (to whom be honour and glory!) forbidden it,[FN#407] there were
not on the face of the earth aught fit to stand in its stead. As for
gambling by lots, it is a game of hazard such as diceing, not of
skill." Q "What wine is best?" "That which is pressed from white grapes
and kept eighty days or more after fermentation: it resembleth not
water and indeed there is nothing on the surface of the earth like unto
it." Q "What sayest thou of cupping?" "It is for him who is over full
of blood and who hath no defect therein; and whoso would be cupped, let
it be during the wane of the moon, on a day without cloud, wind or rain
and on the seventeenth of the month. If it fall on a Tuesday, it will
be the more efficacious, and nothing is more salutary for the brain and
eyes and for clearing the intellect than cupping."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
enumerated the benefits of cupping, quoth the doctor, "What is the best
time for cupping?" "One should be cupped 'on the spittle,' that is, in
the morning before eating, for this fortifieth the wit and the memory.
It is reported of the Prophet that, when anyone complained to him of a
pain in the head or legs, he would bid him be cupped and after cupping
not eat salt food, fasting, for it engendereth scurvy; neither eat sour
things as curded milk[FN#408] immediately after cupping." Q "When is
cupping to be avoided?" "On Sabbaths or Saturdays and Wednesdays; and
let him who is cupped on these days blame none but himself. Moreover,
one should not be cupped in very hot weather nor in very cold weather;
and the best season for cupping is springtide." Quoth the doctor, "Now
tell me of carnal copulation." Hereupon Tawaddud hung her head, for
shame and confusion before the Caliph's majesty; then said, "By Allah,
O Commander of the Faithful, it is not that I am at fault, but that I
am ashamed; though, indeed, the answer is on the edge of my tongue."
Said the Caliph; "Speak, O damsel," whereupon said she, "Copulation
hath in it many and exceeding virtues and praiseworthy qualities,
amongst which are, that it lighteneth a body full of black bile and
calmeth the heat of love and induceth affection and dilateth the heart
and dispelleth the sadness of solitude; and the excess of it is more
harmful in summer and autumn than in spring and winter." Q "What are
its good effects?" "It banisheth trouble and disquiet, calmeth love and
wrath and is good for ulcers, especially in a cold and dry humour; on
the other hand excess of it weakeneth the sight and engendereth pains
in the legs and head and back: and beware, beware of carnal connection
with old women, for they are deadly. Quoth the Iman Ali[FN#409] (whose
face Allah honour!), 'Four things kill and ruin the body: entering the
Hammam on a full stomach; eating salt food; copulation on a plethora of
blood and lying with an ailing woman; for she will weaken thy strength
and infect thy frame with sickness; and an old woman is deadly poison.'
And quoth one of them, 'Beware of taking an old woman to wife, though
she be richer in hoards than Kαrϊn'"[FN#410] Q "What is the best
copulation?" "If the woman be tender of years, comely of shape, fair of
face, swelling of breast and of noble race, she will add to thee
strength and health of body; and let her be even as saith a certain
poet describing her,

'Seeing thy looks wots she what thou desir'st, * By inspiration;

     wants nor word nor sign;

And, when thou dost behold her rarest grace, * The charms of

     every garden canst decline.'

Q "At what time is copulation good?" "If by night, after food digested
and if by day, after the morning meal." Q "What are the most excellent
fruits?" "Pomegranate and citron." Q "Which is the most excellent of
vegetables?" "Endive.[FN#411]" Q "Which of sweet-scented flowers?"
"Rose and Violet." Q "How is the seed of man secreted?" "There is in
man a vein which feedeth all the other veins. Now water is collected
from the three hundred and sixty veins and, in the form of red blood,
entereth the left testicle, where it is decocted, by the heat of
temperament inherent in the son of Adam, into a thick, white liquid,
whose odour is as that of the palm-spathe." Q "What flying thing is it
that emitteth seed and menstruateth?" "The flitter-mouse,[FN#412] that
is the bat." Q "What is that which, when confined and shut out from the
air liveth, and when let out to smell the air dieth?" "The fish." Q
"What serpent layeth eggs?" "The Su'ban or dragon.[FN#413]" With this
the physician waxed weary with much questioning, and held his peace,
when Tawaddud said to the Caliph, "O Commander of the Faithful, he hath
questioned me till he is tired out and now I will ask him one question,
which if he answer not, I will take his clothes as lawful prize."—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
damsel said to the Commander of the Faithful, "Verily he hath
questioned me till he is tired out, and now I will ask him one
question, which if he answer not I will take his clothes as lawful
prize," the Caliph cried, "Ask on." So quoth she to the physician,
"What is that thing which resembleth the earth in roundness, whose
resting-place and whose spine are hidden from men's eyes; little of
price and estimation; narrow of chest and shackled as to throat though
it be nor runaway slave nor pestilent thief; thrust through and
through, though not in fray, and wounded, though not in fight: time
eateth its vigour and water wasteth it away; now it is beaten without
blemish, and then made to serve without stint; united after separation;
submissive, but not to him who caresseth it; pregnant without child in
belly; drooping, yet not leaning on its side; becoming dirty yet
purifying itself; cleaving to its fere, yet changing; copulating
without a yard, wrestling without arms: resting and taking its ease;
bitten, yet not crying out: now more complaisant than a cup-companion
and then more troublesome than summer-heat; leaving its mate by night
and embracing her by day and having its abode in the corners of the
mansions of the noble?" The physician was silent awhile in perplexity
and his colour changed and he bowed his head and made no reply;
whereupon she said to him, "Ho, sir doctor, speak or doff thy dress."
At this, he rose and said, "O Commander of the Faithful, bear witness
against me that this damsel is more learned than I in medicine and what
else, and that I cannot cope with her." And he put off his clothes and
fled forth. Quoth the Caliph to Tawaddud, "Ree us thy riddle," and she
replied, "O Commander of the Faithful, it is the button and the
button-loop.[FN#414]"—Then she undertook the astronomers and said, "Let
him of you who is an astronomer rise and come forward." So the
astronomer advanced and sat down before her; and, when she saw him, she
laughed and said, "Art thou the astronomer, the mathematician, the
scribe?" "Yes," answered he. Quoth she, "Ask of what thou wilt; success
resteth with Allah." So he said, "Tell me of the sun and its rising and
setting." And she replied: "Know that the sun riseth from the shadows
in the Eastern hemisphere and setteth in the shadows of the Western,
and each hemisphere compriseth one hundred and eighty degrees. Quoth
Allah Almighty, 'I swear by the Lord of the East and of the
West.'[FN#415] And again, 'He it is who hath ordained the sun to shine
by day, and the moon for a light by night; and hath appointed her
station that ye might know the number of years and the computation of
time.'[FN#416] The moon is Sultan of the night and the sun Sultan of
the day, and they vie with each other in their courses and follow
without overtaking each other. Quoth Almighty Allah, 'It is not
expedient that the sun overtake the moon in her course; neither doth
the night outstrip the day, but each of these luminaries moveth in a
peculiar orbit.'"[FN#417] Q "When the day cometh, what becometh of the
night; and what of the day, when the night cometh?" "He causeth the
night to enter in upon the day, and He causeth the day to enter in upon
the night."[FN#418] Q "Enumerate to me the mansions of the
moon?"[FN#419] "They number eight-and-twenty, to wit, Sharatαn, Butayn,
Surayα, Dabarαn, Hak'ah, Han'ah, Zirα'a, Nasrah, Tarf, Jabhah, Zubrah,
Sarfah, 'Awwα, Simαk, Ghafar, Zubαnν, Iklνl, Kalb, Shaulah, Na'am,
Baldah, Sa'ad al-Zαbih, Sa'ad al-Bul'a, Sa'ad al-Su'ϊd, Sa'ad
al-Akhbiyah, Fargh the Former and Fargh the Latter; and Rishαa. They
are disposed in the order of the letters of the Abjad-hawwaz or older
alphabet,[FN#420] according to their numerical power, and in them are
secret virtues which none knoweth save Allah (extolled and exalted be
He!) and the stablished in science. They are divided among the twelve
Signs of the Zodiac, two Mansions and a third of a Mansion to each
Sign. Thus Sharatan, Butayn and one-third of Surαyα, belong to Aries,
the other two-thirds of Surαyα, Dabaran and two-thirds of Hak'ah to
Taurus, the other third of Hak'ah, Han'ah and Zira'a to Gemini; Nasrah,
Tarf and a third of Jabhah to Cancer, the other two-thirds of Jabhah,
Zubrah and two-thirds of Sarfah to Leo; the other third of Sarfah,
'Awwα and Simαk to Virgo; Ghafar, Zubαni and one-third of Iklνl to
Libra; the other two-thirds of Iklil, Kalb and two-thirds of Shaulah to
Scorpio; the other third of Shaulah, Na'αim and Baldah to Sagittarius;
Sa'ad al-Zαbih, Sa'ad al-Bul'a and one-third of Sa'ad al-Su'ud to
Capricorn, the other two-thirds of Sa'ad al-Su'dd, Sa'ad al-Akhbiyah
and two-thirds of Fargh the Former to Aquarius, the other third of
Fargh the Former, Fargh the Latter and Rishαa to Pisces."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
enumerated the Mansions and distributed them into their Signs, the
astronomer said, "Thou hast replied aright; now tell me of the planets
and their natures, also of their sojourn in the Zodiacal Signs, their
aspects, auspicious and sinister, their houses, ascendants and
descendants. She answered, "The sitting is narrow for so large a
matter, but I will say as much as I can. Now the planets number seven;
which are, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.
The Sun, hot-dry, sinister in conjunction, favourable in opposition,
abideth thirty days in each Sign. The Moon, cold-moist and favourable
of aspect, tarrieth in each Sign two days and a third of another day.
Mercury is of a mixed nature, favourable in conjunction with the
favourable, and sinister in conjunction with the sinister aspects, and
abideth in each sign seventeen days and a half day. Venus, temperate
and favourable, abideth in each sign five-and-twenty days. Mars is
sinister and woneth in each sign ten months. Jupiter is auspicious and
abideth in each sign a year. Saturn, cold-dry and sinister, tarrieth in
each sign thirty months. The house of the Sun is Leo, her ascendant is
Aries, and her descendant Aquarius. The Moon's house is Cancer, his
ascendant Taurus, his descendant Scorpio and his sinister aspect
Capricorn. Saturn's house is Capricorn-Aquarius, his ascendant Libra,
his descendant Aries and his sinister aspects Cancer and Leo. Jupiter's
house is Pisces-Sagittarius, his ascendant Cancer, his descendant
Capricorn and his sinister aspects Gemini and Leo. Venus's house is
Taurus, her ascendant Pisces, her descendant Libra, and her sinister
aspects Aries and Scorpio. Mercury's house is Gemini-Virgo, his
ascendant Virgo, his descendant Pisces, and his sinister aspect Taurus.
Mars' house is Aries-Scorpio, his ascendant Capricorn, his descendant
Cancer and his sinister aspect Libra." Now when the astronomer saw her
acuteness and comprehensive learning and heard her fair answers, he
bethought him for a sleight to confound her before the Commander of the
Faithful, and said to her, "O damsel, tell me, will rain fall this
month?" At this she bowed her head and pondered so long, that the
Caliph thought her at a loss for an answer and the astronomer said to
her, "Why dost thou not speak?" Quoth she, "I will not speak except the
Commander of the Faithful give me leave." So the Caliph laughed and
said, "How so?" Cried she "I would have thee give me a sword, that I
may strike off his head, for he is an Infidel, an Agnostic, an
Atheist.[FN#421]" At this, loud laughed the Caliph and those about him
laughed, and she continued "O astronomer, there are five things that
none knoweth save Allah Almighty;" and she repeated the verset; "'Aye!
Allah!—with Him is the knowledge of the hour and He causeth the rain to
descend at His own appointed time —and He knoweth what is in the wombs
of females—but no soul knoweth what it shall have gotten on the morrow;
neither wotteth any soul in what land it shall die: Verily Allah is
knowing, informed of all.'"[FN#422] Quoth the astronomer, "Thou hast
said well, and I, by Allah, thought only to try thee." Rejoined she,
"Know that the almanack-makers have certain signs and tokens, referring
to the planets and constellations relative to the coming in of the
year; and folk have learned something by experience." Q "What be that?"
"Each day hath a planet that ruleth it: so if the first day in the year
fall on First Day (Sunday) that day is the Sun's and this portendeth
(though Allah alone is All-knowing!) oppression of kings and sultans
and governors and much miasma and lack of rain; and that people will be
in great tumult and the grain-crop will be good, except lentils, which
will perish, and the vines will rot and flax will be dear and wheat
cheap from the beginning of Tϊbah to the end of Barmahαt.[FN#423] And,
in this year there will be much fighting among kings, and there shall
be great plenty of good in this year, but Allah is All-knowing!" Q
"What if the first day fall on Second Day (Monday)?" "That day
belongeth to the Moon and portendeth righteousness in administrators
and officials and that it will be a year of much rain and grain-crops
will be good, but linseed will decay and wheat will be cheap in the
month Kiyαhk;[FN#424] also the plague will rage and the sheep and goats
will die, grapes will be plentiful and honey scarce and cotton cheap;
and Allah is omniscient!"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
ended her notice of Second Day the astronomer said to her "Now tell me
what will occur if New Year's day fall on Third Day (Tuesday)." She
replied, "That is Mars' day and portendeth death of great men and much
destruction and deluge of blood and dearness of grain; lack of rain and
scarcity of fish, which will anon be in excess and anon fail. Lentils
and honey in this year will be cheap and linseed dear and only barley
will thrive, to the exception of all other cereals: great will be the
fighting among kings and death will be in the blood and there will be
much mortality among asses." Q "What if it fall on Fourth Day?" "That
is Mercury's day and portendeth great tumult among the folk and much
enmity and, though rains be moderate, rotting of some of the green
crops; also that there will be sore mortality among cattle and young
children and much fighting by sea; that wheat will be dear from
Barmϊdah to Misra[FN#425] and other grains cheap; thunder and lightning
will abound and honey will be dear, palm- trees will thrive and bear
abundantly and flax and cotton will be plentiful, while radishes and
onions will be dear; but Allah is All-knowing!" Q "What if it fall on
Fifth Day?" "That is Jupiter's day and portendeth equity in Wazirs and
righteousness in Kazis and Fakirs and the Ministers of religion; and
that good will be plentiful: rains and fruit and trees and grain will
abound, and flax, cotton, honey, grapes and fish be cheap; and Allah is
Omniscient!" Q "What if it fall on Meeting Day or Friday?" "That day
appertaineth to Venus and portendeth oppression in the chiefs of the
Jinn and talk of forgery and back-biting; there will be much dew; the
autumn crops will be good in the land and there will be cheapness in
one town and not in another: ungraciousness will be rife by land and
sea; linseed will be dear, also wheat, in Hαtϊr, but cheap in Amshνr;
honey will be dear and grapes and water-melons will rot; and Allah is
Omniscient!" Q "What if it fall on the Sabbath (Saturday)?" "That is
Saturn's day and portendeth the preferment of slaves and Greeks and
those in whom there is no good, neither in their neighbourhood; there
will be great drought and dearth; clouds will abound and death will be
rife among the sons of Adam and woe to the people of Egypt and Syria
from the oppression of the Sultan and failure of blessing upon the
green crops and rotting of grain; and Allah is All-knowing!"[FN#426]
Now with this, the astronomer hung his head very low, and she said to
him, "O astronomer, I will ask thee one question, which if thou answer
not, I will take thy clothes." "Ask," replied he. Quoth she, "Where is
Saturn's dwelling-place?"; and he answered, "In the seventh heaven." Q
"And that of Jupiter?" "In the sixth heaven." Q "And that of Mars?" "In
the fifth heaven." Q "And that of the Sun?" "In the fourth heaven." Q
"And that of Venus?" "In the third heaven." Q "And that of Mercury?"
"In the second heaven." Q "And that of the Moon?" "In the first
heaven." Quoth she, "Well answered; but I have one more question to ask
thee;" and quoth he, "Ask!" Accordingly she said, "Now tell me
concerning the stars, into how many parts are they divided." But he was
silent and answered nothing; and she cried to him, "Put off thy
clothes." So he doffed them and she took them; after which the Caliph
said to her, "Tell us the answer to thy question." She replied: "O
Commander of the Faithful, the stars are divided into three parts,
whereof one-third is hung in the sky of the earth,[FN#427] as it were
lamps, to give light to the earth, and a part is used to shoot the
demons withal, when they draw near by stealth to listen to the talk in
heaven. Quoth Allah Almighty, 'Verily, we have dight the sky of the
earth with the adornment of the stars; and have appointed them for
projectiles against every rebellious Satan.'[FN#428] And the third part
is hung in air to illuminate the seas and give light to what is
therein." Quoth the astronomer, "I have one more question to ask, which
if she answer, I will avow myself beaten." "Say on," answered she.—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the
astronomer said, "Now tell me what four contraries are based upon other
four contraries?" Replied she, "The four qualities of Caloric and
Frigoric, Humidity and Siccity; for of heat Allah created fire, whose
nature is hot-dry; of dryness, earth, which is cold-dry; of cold, water
which is cold-wet; of moisture, air, which is hot-wet. Moreover, He
created twelve Signs of the Zodiac, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo,
Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces; and
appointed them of the four humours; three fiery, Aries, Leo, and
Sagittarius; three earthly, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; three airy,
Gemini, Libra and Aquarius; and three watery, Cancer, Scorpio and
Pisces." Hereupon the astronomer rose, and saying, "Bear witness
against me that she is more learned than I," away he went beaten. Then
quoth the Caliph, "Where is the philosopher[FN#429]?"; at which one
rose hastily and came forward and said to Tawaddud, "What is Time and
what be its limits, and its days, and what things bringeth it?" Replied
she, "Time is a term applied to the hours of the night and day, which
are but the measures of the courses of the sun and moon in their
several heavens, even as Allah Almighty telleth us when he saith, 'A
sign to them also is the Night, from which we strip off the day, and
lo! they are plunged in darkness, and the Sun runneth to her place of
rest; this is the ordinance of the Sublime, the All-knowing.'"[FN#430]
Q "How cometh unbelief to the son of Adam?" "It is reported of the
Apostle (whom Allah bless and preserve!) that he said, 'Unbelief in a
man runneth as the blood runneth in his veins, when he revileth the
world and Time and night and the Hour.' And again, 'Let none of you
revile Time, for Time is God; neither revile the world, for she saith,
'May Allah not aid him who revileth me!;' neither revile the hour, for,
'The Hour is surely coming, there is no doubt thereof';[FN#431] neither
revile the earth, for it is a portent, according to the saying of the
Most High, 'Out of the ground have we created you, and into the same
will we cause you to return, and we will bring you forth yet thence
another time.'"[FN#432] Q "What are the five that ate and drank, yet
came not out of loins nor womb?" "Adam and Simeon[FN#433] and Salih's
she-camel[FN#434] and Ishmael's ram and the bird that Abu Bakr the
Truth-teller saw in the cave.[FN#435]" Q "Tell me of five that are in
Paradise and are neither humans, Jinns nor angels?" "Jacob's wolf and
the Seven Sleepers' dog and Esdras's ass and Salih's camel and Duldul
the mule of the Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace!)." Q "What
man prayed a prayer neither on earth nor in heaven?" "Solomon, when he
prayed on his carpet, borne by the wind." Q "Ree me this riddle:—A man
once looked at a handmaid during dawn-prayer, and she was unlawful to
him; but, at noonday she became lawful to him: by mid-afternoon,, she
was again unlawful, but at sundown, she was lawful to him: at supper
time she was a third time unlawful, but by daybreak, she became once
more lawful to him." "This was a man who looked at another's slave-girl
in the morning, and she was then unlawful to him; but at midday he
bought her, and she became lawful to him: at mid-afternoon he freed
her, and she became unlawful to him; but at sundown he married her and
she was again lawful to him. At nightfall he divorced her and she was
then a third time unlawful to him; but, next morning at daybreak, he
took her back, and she became once more lawful to him." Q "Tell me what
tomb went about with him that lay buried therein?" "Jonah's whale, when
it had swallowed him." Q "What spot of lowland is it, upon which the
sun shone once, but will never again shine till Judgment-Day?" "The
bottom of the Red Sea, when Moses smote it with his staff, and the sea
clave asunder in twelve places, according to the number of the
tribes;[FN#436] then the sun shone on the bottom and will do so
nevermore until Judgment-Day." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the philosopher
then addressed the damsel saying, "What was the first skirt that
trailed over the face of the earth?" She replied, "That of Hagar, out
of shame before Sarah; and it became a custom among the Arabs." Q "What
is that which breatheth without life?" "Quoth Almighty Allah, 'By the
morning when it breatheth!'"[FN#437] Q "Ree me this riddle:—A number of
pigeons came to a high tree and lighted, some on the tree and others
under it. Said those on the tree to those on the ground, 'If one of you
come up to us, ye will be a third part of us all in number; and if one
of us descend to you, we shall be like unto you in number,' How many
pigeons were there in all?" "Twelve: seven alighted on the tree and
five beneath; and, if one go up, those above would be eight to four;
and, if one go down, both would be six and Allah is
all-knowing."[FN#438] With this the philosopher put off his clothes and
fled: whereupon the next contest took place, for she turned to the
Olema present and said, "Which of you is the rhetorician that can
discourse of all arts and sciences?" There came forward a sage hight
Ibrahim bin Siyyαr and said to her, "Think me not like the rest." Quoth
she, "It is the more assured to me that thou wilt be beaten, for that
thou art a boaster; and Allah will help me to victory over thee, that I
may strip thee of thy clothes. So, if thou sentest one to fetch thee
wherewithal to cover thyself, 'twould be well for thee." Cried he, "By
Allah, I will assuredly conquer thee and make thee a byword among the
peoples, generation after generation!" Rejoined she, "Do penance in
advance for thy broken oath." Then he asked, "What five things did
Allah create before he made man?"; and she answered, "Water and earth
and light and darkness and the fruits of the earth." Q "What did Allah
create with the hand of omnipotence?" "The 'Arsh, throne of God or the
empyreal heaven and the tree Tϊbα[FN#439] and Adam and the garden of
Eden; these Allah created with the hand of His omnipotence; but to all
other created things He said, 'Be,'—and they were." Q "Who is thy
father in Al-Islam?" "Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!" Q "Who
was the father in Al-Islam of Mohammed?" "Abraham, the Friend of God."
Q "What is the Faith of Al-Islam?" "The professing that there is no god
but the God and that Mohammed is the apostle of God." Q "What is thy
first and thy last?" "My first is man's seed in the shape of foul water
and my last filthy carrion: the first of me is dust and the last of me
is dust. Quoth the poet,

'Of dust was I created, and man did I become, * In question ever

     ready and aye fluent in reply,

Then, I unto the dust return'd, became of it again, * For that,

     in very deed, of dust at first create was I.'"

He continued, "What thing was it, whose first state was wood and its
last life?" "Moses' staff,[FN#440] when he cast it on the valley-ground
and it became, by permission of Allah, a writhing serpent." Q "What is
the meaning of the word of the Lord, 'And I have other occasion for
it?'"[FN#441] "He, Moses, was wont to plant his staff in the ground,
and it would flower and fruit and shade him from the heat and from the
cold. Moreover, it would carry him when he was weary, and whilst he
slept, guard his sheep from lions and wild beasts." Q "What woman was
born of a man alone and what man of a woman alone?" "Eve of Adam and
Jesus of Mary.[FN#442]" Q "Tell me of the four fires, what fire eateth
and drinketh; what fire eateth but drinketh not; what fire drinketh but
eateth not and what other neither eateth nor drinketh?" "The fire of
the world eateth but drinketh not; the fire which eateth and drinketh
is Hell-fire; the fire of the sun drinketh but eateth not, and the fire
of the moon neither eateth nor drinketh." Q "Which is the open door and
which the shut?" "The Traditional Ordinances are the open door, the
Koranic the shut door." Q "Of what doth the poet speak, when he saith,

'And dweller in the tomb whose food is at his head, * When he

     eateth of that meat, of words he waxeth fain:

He riseth and he walketh and he talketh without tongue; * And

     returneth to the tomb where his kith and kin are lain.

No living wight is he, yet, in honour he abides; * Nor dead yet

     he deserveth that Allah him assain.'"

She replied, "The reed-pen."[FN#443] Quoth he "What doth the poet refer
to in these verses,

'Two vests in one; blood flowing easiest wise; * Rosy red ears

     and mouth wide open lies;

It hath a cock-like form, its belly pecks * And, if you price it,

     half a dirham buys.'"

She replied, "The ink-case." Quoth he, "And in these,

'Ho say to men of wisdom, wit and lore * To sapient, reverend,

     clever counsellor:

Tell me what was't you saw that bird bring forth * When wandering

     Arab-land and Ajam o'er?

No flesh it beareth and it hath no blood, * Nor down nor any

     feathers e'er it wore.

'Tis eaten cooked and eke 'tis eaten cold; * 'Tis eaten buried

     'neath the flames that roar:

It showeth twofold colours, silver white * And yellow brighter

     than pure golden ore:

'Tis not seen living or we count it dead: * So ree my riddle rich

     in marvel-store!'"

She replied, "Thou makest longsome the questioning anent an egg worth a
mite." Q "And this?,

'I waved to and fro and he waved to and fro, * With a motion so

     pleasant, now fast and now slow;

And at last he sunk down on my bosom of snow; * 'Your lover


"No friend, my fan;"[FN#444] said she. Q "How many words did Allah
speak to Moses?" "It is related of the Apostle that he said, 'God spoke
to Moses fifteen hundred and fifteen words.'" Q "Tell me of fourteen
things that speak to the Lord of the Worlds?" "The seven heavens and
the seven earths, when they say, 'We come obedient to Thy
command.'"[FN#445]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
made the answer, the philosopher continued, "Tell me of Adam and how he
was first created?" and she said, "Allah created Adam of clay: the clay
He made of foam and the foam of the sea, the sea of darkness, darkness
of light, light of a fish, the fish of a rock, the rock of a ruby, the
ruby of water, and the water He created by His Omnipotence according to
His saying (exalted be His name!), 'His commandment when He willeth
aught, is but to say, BE,—and IT IS.'"[FN#446] Q "What is meant by the
poet in these verses,

'And eater lacking mouth and even maw; * Yet trees and beasts to

     it are daily bread:

Well fed it thrives and shows a lively life, * But give it water

     and you do it dead?'"

"This," quoth she, "is Fire." "And in these;" he asked,

"Two lovers barred from every joy and bliss, * Who through the

     livelong night embracing lie:

They guard the folk from all calamities, * But with the rising

     sun apart they fly?"

She answered, "The leaves of a door." Quoth he, "Tell me of the gates
of Gehenna?" Quoth she, "They are seven in number and their names are
comprised in these two couplets,

'Jahannam, next Lazα, and third Hatνm; * Then count Sa'νr and

     Sakar eke, five-fold,

Sixth comes Jahνm and Hαwiyah the seventh; * Here are seven Hells

     in four lines briefly told.'"

Quoth he "To what doth the poet refer when he saith,

'She wears a pair of ringlets long let down * Behind her, as she

     comes and goes at speed,

And eye that never tastes of sleep nor sheds * A tear, for ne'er

     a drop it hath at need;

That never all its life wore stitch of clothes; * Yet robes

     mankind in every-mode of weed?'"

Quoth she, "A needle." Q "What is the length and what the breadth of
the bridge Al-Sirαt?" "Its length is three thousand years' journey, a
thousand in descent and a thousand in ascent and a thousand level: it
is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair."—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
had described to him Al-Sirat, the philosopher said, "Inform me how
many intercessions with Allah hath the Prophet for each soul?"[FN#447]
"Three." Q "Was Abu Bakr the first who embraced Al-Islam?" "Yes." Q
"Yet Ali became a Moslem before him?" "Ali came to the Prophet, when he
was a boy of seven years old, for Allah vouchsafed him knowledge of the
way of salvation in his tender youth, so that he never prostrated
himself to idols." Quoth he, "Tell me which is the more excellent, Ali
or Abbαs?" Now she knew that, in propounding this question, Ibrahim was
laying a trap for her; for if she said, "Ali is more excellent than
Abbas," she would lack excuse with the Caliph for undervaluing his
ancestor; so she bowed her head awhile, now reddening, then paling, and
lastly said, "Thou askest me of two excellent men, each having his own
excellence. Let us return to what we were about." When the Caliph Harun
al-Rashid heard her, he stood up and said, "Thou hast spoken well, by
the Lord of the Ka'abah, O Tawaddud!" Then quoth Ibrahim the
rhetorician, "What meaneth the poet when he saith,

'Slim-wasted one, whose taste is sweetest-sweet, * Likest a lance

     whereon no head we scan:

And all the lieges find it work them weal, * Eaten of afternoon

     in Ramazan.'"

She answered, "The sugar-cane;" and he said, "Tell me of many things."
Asked she, "What are they?" and he said, "What is sweeter than honey;
what is sharper than the sword; what is swifter than poison; what is
the delight of a moment and what the contentment of three days; what is
the pleasantest of days; what is the joy of a week; what is that debt
the worst debtor denieth not; what is the prison of the tomb; what is
the joy of the heart; what is the snare of the soul; what is
death-in-life; what is the disease that may not be healed; what is the
shame that may not be wiped off; what is the beast that woneth not in
cultivated fields, but lodgeth in waste places and hateth the sons of
Adam and hath in him somewhat of the make of seven strong and violent
beasts?" Quoth she, "Hear what I shall say in reply; then put off thy
clothes, that I may explain to thee;" and the Caliph said, "Expound,
and he shall doff his clothes." So she said, "Now that, which is
sweeter than honey, is the love of pious children to their two parents;
that, which is sharper than the sword, is the tongue; that, which is
swifter than poison, is the Envier's eye; the delight of a moment is
carnal copulation and the contentment of three days is the depilatory
for women; the pleasantest of days is that of profit on merchandise;
the joy of a week is the bride; the debt, which the worst debtor
denieth not, is death; the prison of the tomb is a bad son; the joy of
the heart is a woman obedient to her husband (and it is said also that,
when fleshmeat descendeth upon the heart, it rejoiceth therein); the
snare of the soul is a disobedient slave; death-in-life is poverty; the
disease that may not be healed is an ill-nature, and the shame that may
not be wiped away is an ill daughter; lastly, the beast that woneth not
in cultivated fields, but lodgeth in waste places and hateth the sons
of Adam and hath in him somewhat of the make of seven strong and
violent beasts, is the locust, whose head is as the head of a horse,
its neck as the neck of the bull, its wings as the wings of the
vulture, its feet as the feet of the camel, its tail as the tail of the
serpent, its belly as the belly of the scorpion and its horns as the
horns of the gazelle." The Caliph was astounded at her quickness and
understanding, and said to the rhetorician, "Doff thy clothes." So he
rose up and cried, "I call all who are present in this assembly to
witness that she is more learned than I and every other learned man."
And he put off his clothes and gave them to her, saying, "Take them and
may Allah not bless them to thee!" So the Caliph ordered him fresh
clothes and said, "O Tawaddud, there is one thing left of that for
which thou didst engage, namely, chess." And he sent for experts of
chess and cards[FN#448] and trictrac. The chess-player sat down before
her, and they set the pieces, and he moved and she moved; but, every
move he made she speedily countered,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the damsel
was playing chess with the expert in presence of the Commander of the
Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, whatever move he made was speedily countered
by her, till she beat him and he found himself checkmated. Quoth he, "I
did but lead thee on, that thou mightest think thyself skilful: but set
up again, and thou shalt see." So they placed the pieces a second time,
when he said in himself, "Open thine eyes or she will beat thee." And
he fell to moving no piece, save after calculation, and ceased not to
play, till she said, "Thy King is dead!—Checkmate." When he saw this he
was confounded at her quickness and understanding; but she laughed and
said, "O professor, I will make a wager with thee on this third game. I
will give thee the queen and the right-hand castle and the left-hand
knight; if thou beat me, take my clothes, and if I beat thee, I will
take thy clothes." Replied he, "I agree to this;" and they replaced the
pieces, she removing queen, castle and knight.[FN#449] Then said she,
"Move, O master." So he moved, saying to himself, "I cannot but beat
her, with such odds," and planned a combination; but, behold, she moved
on, little by little, till she made one of her pawns[FN#450] a queen
and pushing up to him pawns and other pieces, to take off his
attention, set one in his way and tempted him to take it. Accordingly,
he took it and she said to him, "The measure is meted and the loads
equally balanced.[FN#451] Eat till thou are over-full; naught shall be
thy ruin, O son of Adam, save thy greed. Knowest thou not that I did
but tempt thee, that I might finesse thee? See: this is check-mate!"
adding, "So doff off thy clothes." Quoth he, "Leave me my bag-trousers,
so Allah repay thee;" and he swore by Allah that he would contend with
none, so long as Tawaddud abode in the realm of Baghdad. Then he
stripped off his clothes and gave them to her and went away. Thereupon
came the backgammon-player, and she said to him, "If I beat thee, this
day, what wilt thou give me?" Quoth he, "I will give thee ten suits of
brocade of Constantinople, figured with gold, and ten suits of velvet
and a thousand gold pieces; and if I beat thee, I ask nothing but that
thou write me an acknowledgment of my victory." Quoth she, "To it,
then, and do thy best." So they played, and he lost and went away,
chattering in Frankish jargon and saying, "By the bounty of the
Commander of the Faithful, there is not her like in all the regions of
the world!" Then the Caliph summoned players on instruments of music
and asked her, "Dost thou know aught of music?"; when she answered,
"Even so!" He bade bring a worn lute, polished by use, whose owner
forlorn and lone was by parting trodden down; and of which quoth one,
describing it

"Allah watered a land, and upsprang a tree * Struck root deep

     down, and raised head a-sky:

The birds o'ersang it when green its wood; * And the Fair

     o'ersing now the wood is dry."

So they brought the lute in a bag of red satin, with tassels of
saffron-coloured silk: and she opened the bag, and took it out and
behold on it was graven,

"Oft hath a tender bough made lute for maid, * whose swift sweet

     lays at feast men's hearts invade:

She sings; it follows on her song, as though * The

     Bulbuls[FN#452] taught her all the modes she played."

She laid her lute in her lap and with bosom inclining over it, bent to
it with the bending of a mother who suckleth her child; then she
preluded in twelve different modes, till the whole assembly was
agitated with delight, like a waving sea, and she sang the following,

"Cut short this strangeness, leave unruth of you; * My heart

     shall love you aye, by youth of you!

Have ruth on one who sighs and weeps and moans, * Pining and

     yearning for the troth of you."

The Caliph was ravished and exclaimed, "Allah bless thee and be
merciful to him who taught thee!": whereupon she rose and kissed the
ground before him. Then he sent for money and paid her master Abu
al-Husn an hundred thousand gold pieces to her price; after which he
said to her, "O Tawaddud, ask a boon of me!" Replied she, "I ask of
thee that thou restore me to my lord who sold me." "'Tis well,"
answered the Caliph and restored her to her master and gave her five
thousand dinars for herself. Moreover, he appointed Abu al-Husn one of
his cup-companions for a permanence,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Caliph gave
the damsel five thousand dinars for herself and restored her to her
master whom he appointed one of his cup-companions for a permanence and
assigned him a monthly stipend of a thousand dinars so long as he
should live; and he abode with the damsel Tawaddud in all solace and
delight of life. Marvel then, O King, at the eloquence of this damsel
and the hugeness of her learning and understanding and her perfect
excellence in all branches of art and science; and consider the
generosity of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, in that
he gave her master this money and said to her, "Ask a boon of me;" and
she besought him to restore her to her lord. So he restored her to him
and gave her five thousand dinars for herself and made him one of his
boon-companions. Where is such generosity to be found after the
Abbaside Caliphs?—May Allah Almighty have mercy upon them, one and all!
And they tell a tale of


It is related, O auspicious King, that one of the olden monarchs was
once minded to ride out in state with the Officers of his realm and the
Grandees of his retinue and display to the folk the marvels of his
magnificence. So he ordered his Lords and Emirs equip them therefor and
commanded his keeper of the wardrobe to bring him of the richest of
raiment, such as befitted the King in his state; and he bade them bring
his steeds[FN#453] of the finest breeds and pedigrees every man heeds;
which being done, he chose out of the raiment what rejoiced him most
and of the horses that which he deemed best; and, donning the clothes,
together with a collar set with margarites and rubies and all manner
jewels, mounted and set forth in state, making his destrier prance and
curvet among his troops and glorying in his pride and despotic power.
And Iblis came to him and, laying his hand upon his nose, blew into his
nostrils the breath of hauteur and conceit, so that he magnified and
glorified himself and said in his heart, "Who among men is like unto
me?" And he became so puffed up with arrogance and self-sufficiency,
and so taken up with the thought of his own splendour and magnificence,
that he would not vouchsafe a glance to any man. Presently, there stood
before him one clad in tattered clothes and saluted him, but he
returned not his salam; whereupon the stranger laid hold of his horse's
bridle. "Lift thy hand," cried the King, "thou knowest not whose
bridle-rein it is whereof thou takest hold." Quoth the other, I have a
need of thee." Quoth the King, "Wait till I alight and then name thy
need." Rejoined the stranger, "It is a secret and I will not tell it
but in thine ear." So the King bowed his head to him and he said, "I am
the Angel of Death and I purpose to take thy soul." Replied the King,
"Have patience with me a little, whilst I return to my house and take
leave of my people and children and neighbours and wife." "By no means
so," answered the Angel; "thou shalt never return nor look on them
again, for the fated term of thy life is past." So saying, he took the
soul of the King (who fell off his horse's back dead) and departed
thence. Presently the Death Angel met a devout man, of whom Almighty
Allah had accepted, and saluted him. He returned the salute, and the
Angel said to him, "O pious man, I have a need of thee which must be
kept secret." "Tell it in my ear," quoth the devotee; and quoth the
other, "I am the Angel of Death." Replied the man, "Welcome to thee!
and praised be Allah for thy coming! I am aweary of awaiting thine
arrival; for indeed long hath been thine absence from the lover which
longeth for thee." Said the Angel, "If thou have any business, make an
end of it;" but the other answered, saying, "There is nothing so urgent
to me as the meeting with my Lord, to whom be honour and glory!" And
the Angel said "How wouldst thou fain have me take thy soul? I am
bidden to take it as thou willest and choosest." He replied, "Tarry
till I make the Wuzu-ablution and pray; and, when I prostrate myself,
then take my soul while my body is on the ground."[FN#454] Quoth the
Angel, "Verily, my Lord (be He extolled and exalted!) commanded me not
to take thy soul but with thy consent and as thou shouldst wish; so I
will do thy will." Then the devout man made the minor ablution[FN#455]
and prayed: and the Angel of Death took his soul in the act of
prostration and Almighty Allah transported it to the place of mercy and
acceptance and forgiveness. And they tell another tale of


A certain King had heaped up coin beyond count and gathered store of
all precious things, which Allah the Most Highest hath created. So, in
order that he might take his pleasure whenas he should find leisure to
enjoy all this abounding wealth he had collected, he built him a palace
wide and lofty such as befitteth and beseemeth Kings; and set thereto
strong doors and appointed, for its service and its guard, servants and
soldiers and doorkeepers to watch and ward. One day, he bade the cooks
dress him somewhat of the goodliest of food and assembled his household
and retainers and boon-companions and servants to eat with him, and
partake of his bounty. Then he sat down upon the sofa of his kingship
and dominion; and, propping his elbow upon the cushion, addressed
himself, saying, "O soul, thou hast gathered together all the wealth of
the world; so now take thy leisure therein and eat of this good at
thine ease, in long life and prosperity ever rife!"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that hardly had the
King made an end of saying to himself, "Eat of this weal at thine ease,
in long life and prosperity ever rife!" when a man clad in tattered
raiment, with an asker's wallet hanging at his neck, as he were one who
came to beg food, knocked with the door-ring a knock so loud and
terrible that the whole palace shook as with quake of earth and the
King's throne trembled. The servants were affrighted and rushed to the
door, and when they saw the man who had knocked they cried out at him,
saying, "Woe to thee! what manner of unmannerly fashion be this? Wait
till the King eateth and we will then give thee of what is left." Quoth
he, "Tell your lord to come out and speak with me, for I have of him a
pressing need and a matter to heed." They cried, "Away, fool! who art
thou that we should bid our lord come forth to thee?" But he said,
"Tell him of this." So they went in and told the King, who said, "Did
ye not rebuke him and draw upon him and threaten him!" Now as he spoke,
behold, there came another knock at the gate, louder than the first
knock, whereupon the servants sprang at the stranger with staves and
weapons, to fall upon him and slay him; but he shouted at them, saying,
"Bide in your steads, for I am the Angel of Death." Hereat their hearts
quaked and their wits forsook them; their understandings were in
confusion, their side-muscles quivered in perturbation and their limbs
lost the power of motion. Then said the King to them, "Tell him to take
a substitute[FN#456] in my place and one to relieve me in this case."
But the Angel answered, saying, "I will take no substitute, and I come
not but on thine account, to cause separation between thee and the
goods thou hast gathered together and the riches thou hast heaped up
and entreasured." When the King heard this, he wept and groaned,
saying, "Allah curse the treasure which hath deluded and undone me and
diverted me from the service of my Lord! I deemed it would profit me,
but to-day it is a regret for me and a calamity to me, and behold, I go
forth, empty-handed of it, and leave it to my foes." Thereupon Allah
caused the Treasure to speak out and it said, "Wherefore cursest thou
me?[FN#457] Curse thyself, for Allah created both me and eke thyself of
the dust and appointed me to be in thine hand, that thou mightest
provide thee with me a viaticum for the next world and give alms with
me to the poor and the needy and the sick; and build mosques and
hospices and bridges and aqueducts, so might I be an aidance unto thee
in the world to come. But thou didst garner me and hoard me up and on
thine own vanities bestowedst me, neither gavest thou thanks for me, as
was due, but wast ungrateful to me; and now thou must leave me to thy
foes and thou hast naught save thy regretting and thy repenting. But
what is my sin, that thou shouldest revile me?" Then the Angel of Death
took the King's soul as he sat on his throne before he ate of the food,
and he fell down dead. Quoth Allah Almighty, "While they were rejoicing
for that which had been given them, we suddenly laid hold on them; and,
behold, they were seized with despair."[FN#458] And they tell another
tale of


There was a puissant despot among the Kings of the Banϊ Isrανl, who sat
one day upon the throne of his kingship, when he saw come in to him, by
the gate of the hall, a man of forbidding aspect and horrible presence.
The King was affrighted at his sudden intrusion and his look terrified
him; so he sprang up before him and said, "Who art thou, O man? Who
gave thee leave to come in to me and who invited thee to enter my
house?" Quoth the stranger, "Verily the Lord of the House sent me to
thee, nor can any doorkeeper exclude me, nor need I leave to come in to
Kings; for I reck not of a Sultan's majesty neither of the multitude of
his guards. I am he from whom no tyrant is at rest, nor can any man
escape from my grasp: I am the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer
of societies." Now when the King heard this a palsy crept over
him[FN#459] and he fell on his face in a swoon; but presently coming to
himself, he asked, "Art thou then the Angel of Death?"; and the
stranger answered, "Yes." "I conjure thee, by Allah," quoth the King,
"grant me one single day's respite, that I may pray pardon of my sins
and ask absolution of my Lord and restore to their rightful owners the
monies which are in my treasures, so I may not be burdened with the woe
of a reckoning nor with the misery of punishment therefor." Replied the
Angel, "Well-away! well-away! this may be in no way."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
Death-messenger to the King, "Well-away, well-away! this may be in no
way. How can I grant thee a reprieve when the days of thy life are
counted and thy breaths numbered and thy moments fixed and written?"
"Grant me an hour," asked the King; but the Angel answered saying, "The
hour was in the account and hath sped, and thou unheeding aught; and
hath fled, and thou taking no thought: and now thy breathings are
accomplished, and there remaineth to thee but one breath." Quoth the
King, "Who will be with me when I am transported to my tomb?" Quoth the
Angel, "Naught will be with thee but thy works good or evil." "I have
no works," said the King; and the Angel, "Doubtless thy long home will
be in hell-fire and thy doom the wrath of the Almighty." Then he seized
the soul of the King, and he fell off his throne and dropped on the
earth dead. And there arose a mighty weeping and wailing and clamour of
keening for him among the people of his court, and had they known that
to which he went of the wrath of his Lord, their weeping for him had
been sorer and their wailing louder and more abounding. And a story is
told of


It is related that Iskandar Zu al-Karnayn[FN#461] once came, in his
journeyings, upon a tribe of small folk, who owned naught of the weals
of the world and who dug their graves over against the doors of their
houses and were wont at all times to visit them and sweep the earth
from them and keep them clean and pray at them and worship Almighty
Allah at them; and they had no meat save grasses and the growth of the
ground. So Iskandar sent a man to summon their King, but he refused to
come, saying, "I have no need of him." Thereupon Iskandar went to him
and said, "How is it with you and what manner of men are ye?; for I see
with you forsooth naught of gold or silver, nor find I with you aught
of the weals of the world." Answered the King, "None hath his fill of
the weals of the world." Iskandar then asked "Why do you dig your
graves before your house-doors?"; and the King answered, "That they may
be the prospective of our eye-glances; so we may look on them and ever
renew talk and thought of death, neither forget the world to come; and
on this wise the love of the world be banished from our hearts and we
be not thereby distracted from the service of our Lord, the Almighty."
Quoth Iskandar, "Why do ye eat grasses?"; and the other replied,
"Because we abhor to make our bellies the tombs of animals and because
the pleasure of eating outstrippeth not the gullet." Then putting forth
his hand he brought out a skull of a son of Adam and, laying it before
Iskandar, said, "O Zu al-Karnayn, Lord of the Two Horns, knowest thou
who owned this skull?" Quoth he, "Nay;" and quoth the other, "He who
owned this skull was a King of the Kings of the world, who dealt
tyrannously with his subjects, specially wronging the weak and wasting
his time in heaping up the rubbish of this world, till Allah took his
sprite and made the fire his abiding-site; and this is his head." He
then put forth his hand and produced another skull and, laying it
before Iskandar, said to him, "Knowest thou this?" "No," answered the
conqueror; and the other rejoined, "This is the skull of another King,
who dealt justly by his lieges and was kindly solicitous for the folk
of his realm and his dominions, till Allah took his soul and lodged him
in His Garden and made high his degree in Heaven." Then laying his
hands on Iskandar's head he said, "Would I knew which of these two art
thou." Whereupon Iskandar wept with sore weeping and straining the King
to his bosom cried, "If thou be minded to company with me, I will
commit to thee as Wazir the government of my affairs and share with
thee my kingdom." Cried the other, "Well-away, well-away! I have no
mind to this." "And why so?" asked Iskandar, and the King answered,
"Because all men are thy foes by reason of the wealth and the worlds
thou hast won: while all men are my true friends, because of my
contentment and pauperdom, for that I possess nothing, neither covet
aught of the goods of life; I have no desire to them nor wish for them,
neither reck I aught save contentment." So Iskandar pressed him to his
breast and kissed him between the eyes and went his way.[FN#462] And
among the tales they tell is one concerning


It is told of Anushirwan, the Just King, that once upon a time he
feigned himself sick, and bade his stewards and intendants go round
about the provinces of his empire and the quarters of his dominion and
seek him out a mud-brick thrown away from some ruined village, that he
might use it as medicine, informing his intimates that the leaches had
prescribed this to him. So they went the round of the provinces of his
reign and of all the lands under his sway and said to him on return,
"In all the realm we have found nor ruined site nor castaway
mud-brick." At this Anushirwan rejoiced and rendered thanks to the
Lord, saying, "I was but minded to try my kingdom and prove mine
empire, that I might know if any place therein remained ruined and
deserted, so I might rebuild and repeople it; but, since there be no
place in it but is inhabited, the affairs of the reign are
best-conditioned and its ordinance is excellent; and its
populousness[FN#464] hath reached the pitch of perfection."—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the high
officials returned and reported, "We have found in the empire nor
ruined site nor rotten brick," the Just King thanked his God and said,
"Verily the affairs of the realm are best-conditioned and its ordinance
is excellent and its populousness hath reached the pink of perfection."
And ken thou, O King, continued Shahrazad, that these olden Kings
strave not and toiled not for the peopling of their possessions, but
because they knew that the more populous a country is, the more
abundant is that which is desired therein; and because they wist the
saying of the wise and the learned to be true without other view,
namely, "Religion dependeth on the King, the King on the troops, the
troops on the treasury, the treasury on the populousness of the country
and its prosperity on the justice done to the lieges." Wherefore they
upheld no one in tyranny or oppression; neither suffered their
dependants and suite to work injustice, knowing that kingdoms are not
established upon tyranny, but that cities and places fall into ruin
when oppressors are set as rulers over them, and their inhabitants
disperse and flee to other governments; whereby ruin falleth upon the
realm, the imports fail, the treasuries become empty and the pleasant
lives of the subjects are perturbed; for that they love not a tyrant
and cease not to offer up successive prayers against him; so that the
King hath no ease of his kingdom, and the vicissitudes of fortune
speedily bring him to destruction. And they tell a tale concerning


Among the Children of Israel one of the Kazis had a wife of surpassing
beauty, constant in fasting and abounding in patience and
long-suffering; and he, being minded to make the pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, appointed his own brother Kazi in his stead, during his
absence, and commended his wife to his charge. Now this brother had
heard of her beauty and loveliness and had taken a fancy to her. So no
sooner was his brother gone than he went to her and sought her
love-favours; but she denied him and held fast to her chastity. The
more she repelled him, the more he pressed his suit upon her; till,
despairing of her and fearing lest she should acquaint his brother with
his misconduct whenas he should return, he suborned false witnesses to
testify against her of adultery; and cited her and carried her before
the King of the time who adjudged her to be stoned. So they dug a pit,
and seating her therein stoned her, till she was covered with stones,
and the man said, "Be this hole her grave!" But when it was dark a
passer-by, making for a neighbouring hamlet, heard her groaning in sore
pain; and, pulling her out of the pit, carried her home to his wife,
whom he bade dress her wounds. The peasant woman tended her till she
recovered and presently gave her her child to be nursed; and she used
to lodge with the child in another house by night. Now a certain thief
saw her and lusted after her. So he sent to her seeking her
love-favours, but she denied herself to him; wherefore he resolved to
slay her and, making his way into her lodging by night (and she
sleeping), thought to strike at her with a knife; but it smote the
little one and killed it. Now when he knew his misdeed, fear overtook
him and he went forth the house and Allah preserved from him her
chastity. But as she awoke in the morning, she found the child by her
side with throat cut; and presently the mother came and seeing her boy
dead, said to the nurse, "Twas thou didst murther him." Therewith she
beat her a grievous beating and purposed to put her to death; but her
husband interposed and delivered the woman, saying, "By Allah, thou
shalt not do on this wise." So the woman, who had somewhat of money
with her, fled forth for her life, knowing not whither she should wend.
Presently, she came to a village, where she saw a crowd of people about
a man crucified to a tree-stump, but still in the chains of life. "What
hath he done?" she asked, and they answered, "He hath committed a
crime, which nothing can expiate but death or the payment of such a
fine by way of alms." So she said to them, "Take the money and let him
go;" and, when they did so, he repented at her hands and vowed to serve
her, for the love of Almighty Allah till death should release him. Then
he built her a cell and lodged her therein; after which he betook
himself to woodcutting and brought her daily her bread. As for her, she
was constant in worship, so that there came no sick man or demoniac to
her, but she prayed for him and he was straightway healed.—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the woman's
cell was visited by folk (and she constant in worship), it befel by
decree of the Almighty that He sent down upon her husband's brother
(the same who had caused her to be stoned), a cancer in the face, and
smote the villager's wife (the same who had beaten her) with leprosy,
and afflicted the thief (the same who had murthered the child) with
palsy. Now when the Kazi returned from his pilgrimage, he asked his
brother of his wife, and he told him that she was dead, whereat he
mourned sore and accounted her with her Maker. After awhile, very many
folk heard of the pious recluse and flocked to her cell from all parts
of the length and breadth of the earth; whereupon said the Kazi to his
brother, "O my brother, wilt thou not seek out yonder pious woman?
Haply Allah shall decree thee healing at her hands!" and he replied, "O
my brother, carry me to her" Moreover, the husband of the leprous woman
heard of the pious devotee and carried his wife to her, as did also the
people of the paralytic thief; and they all met at the door of the
hermitage. Now she had a place wherefrom she could look out upon those
who came to her, without their seeing her; and they waited till her
servant came, when they begged admittance and obtained permission.
Presently she saw them all and recognized them; so she veiled and
cloaked face and body and went out and stood in the door, looking at
her husband and his brother and the thief and the peasant-woman; but
they could not recognize her. Then said she to them, "Ho folk, ye shall
not be relieved of what is with you till ye confess your sins; for,
when the creature confesseth his sins the Creator relenteth towards him
and granteth him that wherefore he resorteth to him." Quoth the Kazi to
his brother, "O my brother, repent to Allah and persist not in thy
frowardness, for it will be more helpful to thy relief." And the tongue
of the case spake this speech,

"This day oppressor and oppressed meet, * And Allah sheweth

     secrets we secrete:

This is a place where sinners low are brought; * And Allah

     raiseth saint to highest seat.

Our Lord and Master shows the truth right clear, * Though sinner

     froward be or own defeat:

Alas[FN#465] for those who rouse the Lord to wrath, * As though

     of Allah's wrath they nothing weet!

O whoso seekest honours, know they are * From Allah, and His fear

     with love entreat."

(Saith the relator), Then quoth the brother, "Now I will tell the
truth: I did thus and thus with thy wife;" and he confessed the whole
matter, adding, "And this is my offence." Quoth the leprous woman, "As
for me, I had a woman with me and imputed to her that of which I knew
her to be guiltless, and beat her grievously; and this is my offence."
And quoth the paralytic, "And I went in to a woman to kill her, after I
had tempted her to commit adultery and she had refused; and I slew a
child that lay by her side; and this is my offence." Then said the
pious woman, "O my God, even as Thou hast made them feel the misery of
revolt, so show them now the excellence of submission, for Thou over
all things art Omnipotent!" And Allah (to whom belong Majesty and
Might!) made them whole. Then the Kazi fell to looking on her and
considering her straitly, till she asked him why he looked so hard and
he said, "I had a wife and were she not dead, I had said thou art she."
Hereupon, she made herself known to him and both began praising Allah
(to whom belong Majesty and Might!) for that which He had vouchsafed
them of the reunion of their loves; but the brother and the thief and
the villager's wife joined in imploring her forgiveness. So she forgave
them one and all, and they worshipped Allah in that place and rendered
her due service, till Death parted them. And one of the Sayyids[FN#466]
hath related this tale of


"I was circuiting the Ka'abah one dark night, when I heard a plaintive
voice, speaking from a contrite heart and saying, 'O Bountiful One, Thy
past boon! Indeed, by my heart shall Thy covenant never be undone.'
Hearing this voice, my heart fluttered so that I was like to die; but I
followed the sound and behold, it came from a woman, to whom I said,
'Peace be with thee, O handmaid of Allah;' whereto she replied, 'And
with thee be peace, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings!' Quoth I,
'I conjure thee, by Allah the Most Great, tell me what is the covenant
to which thy heart is constant.' Quoth she, 'But that thou adjurest me
by the Omnipotent, I would not tell thee my secrets. See what is before
me.' So I looked and lo! there was a child lying asleep before her and
breathing heavily in his slumber. Said she, "Know, that I set forth,
being big with this boy, to make the pilgrimage to this House and took
passage in a ship; but the waves rose against us and the winds blew
contrary and the vessel broke up. I saved myself on a plank; and, on
that bit of wood, I gave birth to this child; and while he lay on my
bosom and the waves beating upon me,'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the woman
continued, "'Now while the boy lay on my bosom and the waves beat upon
me, there swam up to me one of the sailors, who climbed on the plank
and said, 'By Allah, I desired thee whilst thou wast yet in the ship,
and now I have come at thee: so yield thy body to me, or I will throw
thee into the sea.' Said I, 'Out on thee! hast thou no memory of that
which thou hast seen and is it no warning to thee?' Quoth he, 'I have
seen the like of this many a time and come off safe and care not.'
Quoth I, 'O fellow, we are now in a calamity, whence we hope to be
delivered by obedience to Allah and not by disobedience.' But he
persisted with me, and I feared him and thought to put him off; so I
said to him, 'Wait till this babe shall sleep'; but he took the child
off my lap and threw him into the sea. Now when I saw this desperate
deed, my heart sank and sorrow was sore upon me; so I raised my eyes
heavenwards and said, 'O Thou that interposest between a man and his
heart, intervene between me and this leonine brute; for Thou over all
things art Omnipotent!' And by Allah, hardly had I spoken when a beast
rose out of the sea and snatched him off the plank. When I saw myself
alone my sorrows redoubled and my grief and longing for my child, and I

'My coolth of eyes, the darling child of me * Is lost, and racked

     my heart with agony;

My body wrecked, and red-hot coals of love * Burning my liver

     with sore pangs, I see.

In this my sorrow shows no gleam of joy; * Save Thy high grace

     and my expectancy:

Hast seen, O Lord, what unto me befel; * My son aye lost and

     parting pangs I dree:

Take ruth on us and make us meet again; * For now my stay and

     only hope's in Thee!'

I abode in this condition a day and a night; and, when morning dawned,
I caught sight of the sails of a vessel shining afar off, nor did the
waves cease to drive me and the winds to waft me on, till I reached the
ship, whose sails I had sighted. The sailors took me up and I looked
and behold, my babe was amongst them: so I threw myself upon him and
said, 'O folk, this is my child: how and whence came ye by him?' Quoth
they, 'Whilst we were sailing along the seas the ship suddenly stood
still and lo! that which stayed us was a beast, as it were a great
city, and this babe on its back, sucking his thumbs. So we took him
up.' Now when I heard this, I told them my tale and all that had
betided me and returned thanks to my Lord for His goodness, and vowed
to Him that never, whilst I lived, would I stir from His House nor
swerve from His service; and since then I have never asked of Him aught
but He hath given it me.' Now when she had made an end of her story
(quoth the Sayyid), I put my hand to my alms-pouch and would have given
to her, but she exclaimed, "Away from me, thou idle man! Have I not
told thee of His mercies and the graciousness of His dealings and shall
I take an alms from other than His hand?" And I could not prevail with
her to accept aught of me: so I left her and went away, reciting these

'How many boons conceals the Deity, * Eluding human sight in


How many graces come on heels of stresses, * And fill the burning

     heart with jubilee:

How many a sorrow in the morn appears, * And turns at night-tide

     into gladdest gree:

If things go hard with thee some day, yet trust * Th' Eterne, th'

     Almighty God of Unity:

And pray the Prophet that he intercede; * Through intercession

     every wish shalt see.'

And she left not the service of her Lord, cleaving unto His House, till
death came to her." And a tale is also told by Mαlik bin Dνnαr[FN#467]
(Allah have mercy on him!) of


"We were once afflicted with drought at Bassorah and went forth sundry
times to pray for rain, but saw no sign of our prayers being accepted.
So I went, I and 'Itaa al-Salamν and Sαbit al-Banαni and Naja al-Bakαa
and Mohammed bin Wαsi'a and Ayyϊb al-Sukhtiyαni and Habνb al-Farsi and
Hassαn bin Abi Sinαn and 'Otbah al-Ghulαm and Sαlih al-Muzani,[FN#468]
till we reached the oratory,[FN#469] when the boys came out of the
schools and we prayed for rain, but saw no sign of acceptance. So about
mid-day the people went away and I and Sabit al-Banani tarried in the
place of prayer till nightfall, when we saw a black of comely face,
slender of shank[FN#470] and big of belly, approach us, clad in a pair
of woollen drawers; if all he wore had been priced, it would not have
fetched a couple of dirhams. He brought water and made the minor
ablution, then, going up to the prayer-niche, prayed two inclinations
deftly, his standing and bowing and prostration being exactly similar
in both. Then he raised his glance heavenwards, and said, 'O my God and
my Lord and Master, how long wilt Thou reject Thy servants in that
which offereth no hurt to Thy sovereignty? Is that which is with Thee
wasted or are the treasuries of Thy Kingdom annihilated? I conjure
Thee, by Thy love to me forthwith to pour out upon us Thy rain-clouds
of grace!' He spake and hardly had he made an end of speaking, when the
heavens clouded over and there came a rain, as if the mouths of
waterskins had been opened; and when we left the oratory, we were
knee-deep in water,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "hardly had he
spoken when the heavens clouded over and there came a rain, as if the
mouths of waterskins had been opened. And when we left the oratory we
were knee-deep in water, and we were lost in wonder at the black. So I
accosted him and said to him, 'Woe to thee, O black, art thou not
ashamed of what thou saidst?' He turned to me and asked, 'What said
I?'; and I, 'Thy saying to Allah, 'By Thy love of me;' and what giveth
thee to know that He loveth thee?' Replied he, 'Away from me, O thou
distracted by the world from the care of thine own soul. Where was I,
when He gave me strength to profess the unity of the Godhead and
vouchsafed unto me the knowledge of Him? How deemest thou that He aided
me thus except of His love to me?' adding, 'Verily, His love to me is
after the measure of my love to Him.' Quoth I, 'Tarry awhile with me,
so may Allah have mercy on thee!' But he said, 'I am a chattel and the
Book enjoineth me to obey my lesser master.' So we followed him afar
off, till we saw him enter the house of a slave-broker. Now the first
half of the night was past and the last half was longsome upon us, so
we went away; but next morning, we repaired to the slave-dealer and
said to him, 'Hast thou a lad to sell us for service?' He answered,
'Yes, I have an hundred lads or so and they are all for sale.' Then he
showed us slave after slave; till he had shown us some seventy; but my
friend was not amongst them, and the dealer said, 'These are all I
have.' But, as we were going out from him we saw a ruinous hut behind
his house and going in behold, we found the black standing there. I
cried, ''Tis he, by the Lord of the Ka'abah!' and turning to the
dealer, said to him, 'Sell me yonder slave.' Replied he, 'O Abu Yahya,
this is a pestilent unprofitable fellow, who hath no concern by night
but weeping and by day but repentance.' I rejoined, 'It is for that I
want him.' So the dealer called him, and he came out, showing
drowsiness. Quoth his master, 'Take him at thine own price, so thou
hold me free of all his faults.' I bought him for twenty dinars and
asked 'What is his name?' and the dealer answered 'Maymun, the monkey;'
and I took him by the hand and went out with him, intending to go home;
but he turned to me and said, 'O my lesser lord, why and wherefore
didst thou buy me? By Allah, I am not fit for the service of God's
creatures!' Replied I, 'I bought thee that I might serve thee myself;
and on my head be it.' Asked he, 'Why so?' and I answered, 'Wast thou
not in company with us yesterday in the place of prayer?' Quoth he,
'And didst thou hear me?'; and quoth I, 'It was I accosted thee
yesterday and spoke with thee.' Thereupon he advanced till we came to a
mosque, where he entered and prayed a two-bow prayer; after which he
said, 'O my God and my Lord and Master, the secret that was between me
and Thee Thou hast discovered unto Thy creatures and hast brought me to
shame before the worldling. How then shall life be sweet to me, now
that other than Thou hath happened upon that which is between Thee and
me? I conjure Thee to take my soul to Thee forthright.[FN#471] So
saying, he prostrated himself, and I awaited awhile without seeing him
raise his head; so I shook him and behold, he was indeed dead, the
mercy of Almighty Allah be upon him! I laid him out stretching his arms
and legs and looked at him, and lo! he was smiling. Moreover, whiteness
had got the better of blackness on his brow, and his face was radiant
with light like a young moon. As we wondered at his case, the door
opened and a young man came in to us and said, 'Peace be with you! May
Allah make great our reward and yours for our brother Maymun! Here is
his shroud: wrap him in it.' So saying, he gave us two robes, never had
we seen the like of them, and we shrouded him therein. And now his tomb
is a place whither men resort to pray for rain and ask their
requirements of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!); and how
excellently well saith the poet on this theme,

     'The heart of Gnostic[FN#472] homed in heavenly Garth *

          Heaven decks, and Allah's porters aid afford.

     Lo! here they drink old wine commingled with *

          Tasnνm,[FN#473] the wine of union with the Lord.

     Safe is the secret 'twixt the Friend and them; *

          Safe from all hearts but from that Heart adored.'"

And they recount another anecdote of


There was once, among the Children of Israel, a man of the worthiest,
who was strenuous in the service of his Lord and abstained from things
worldly and drave them away from his heart. He had a wife who was a
helpmate meet for him and who was at all times obedient to him. They
earned their living by making trays[FN#474] and fans, whereat they
wrought all through the light hours; and, at nightfall, the man went
out into the streets and highways seeking a buyer for what they had
made. They were wont to fast continually by day[FN#475] and one morning
they arose, fasting, and worked at their craft till the light failed
them, when the man went forth, according to custom, to find purchasers
for his wares, and fared on till he came to the door of the house of a
certain man of wealth, one of the sons of this world, high in rank and
dignity. Now the tray-maker was fair of face and comely of form, and
the wife of the master of the house saw him and fell in love with him
and her heart inclined to him with exceeding inclination; so, her
husband being absent, she called her handmaid and said to her,
"Contrive to bring yonder man to us." Accordingly the maid went out to
him and and called him and stopped him as though she would buy what he
held in hand.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the maid-servant
went out to the man and asked him, "Come in; my lady hath a mind to buy
some of thy wares, after she hath tried them and looked at them." The
man thought she spoke truly and, seeing no harm in this, entered and
sat down as she bade him; and she shut the door upon him. Whereupon her
mistress came out of her room and, taking him by the gaberdine,[FN#476]
drew him within and said, "How long shall I seek union of thee? Verily
my patience is at an end on thine account. See now, the place is
perfumed and provision prepared and the householder is absent this
night, and I give to thee my person without reserve, I whose favours
kings and captains and men of fortune have sought this long while, but
I have regarded none of them." And she went on talking thus to him,
whilst he raised not his eyes from the ground, for shame before Allah
Almighty and fear of the pains and penalties of His punishment; even as
saith the poet,

"'Twixt me and riding many a noble dame, * Was naught but shame

     which kept me chaste and pure:

My shame was cure to her; but haply were * Shame to depart, she

     ne'er had known a cure."

The man strove to free himself from her, but could not; so he said to
her, "I want one thing of thee." She asked, "What is that?": and he
answered, "I wish for pure water that I may carry it to the highest
place of thy house and do somewhat therewith and cleanse myself of an
impurity, which I may not disclose to thee." Quoth she, "The house is
large and hath closets and corners and privies at command." But he
replied, "I want nothing but to be at a height." So she said to her
slave-girl, "Carry him up to the belvedere on the house-terrace."
Accordingly the maid took him up to the very top and, giving him a
vessel of water, went down and left him. Then he made the ablution and
prayed a two-bow prayer; after which he looked at the ground, thinking
to throw himself down, but seeing it afar off, feared to be dashed to
pieces by the fall.[FN#477] Then he bethought him of his disobedience
to Allah, and the consequences of his sin; so it became a light matter
to him to offer up his life and shed his blood; and he said, "O my God
and my Lord, Thou seest that which is fallen on me; neither is my case
hidden from Thee. Thou indeed over all things art Omnipotent and the
tongue of my case reciteth and saith,

'I show my heart and thoughts to Thee, and Thou * Alone my

     secret's secrecy canst know.

If I address Thee fain I cry aloud; * Or, if I'm mute, my signs

     for speech I show.

O Thou to whom no second be conjoined! * A wretched lover seeks

     Thee in his woe.

I have a hope my thoughts as true confirm; * And heart that

     fainteth as right well canst trow.

To lavish life is hardest thing that be, * Yet easy an Thou bid

     me life forego;

But, an it be Thy will to save from stowre, * Thou, O my Hope, to

     work this work hast power!'"

Then the man cast himself down from the belvedere; but Allah sent an
angel who bore him up on his wings and brought him down to the ground,
whole and without hurt or harm. Now when he found himself safe on the
ground, he thanked and praised Allah (to whom belong Majesty and
Might!) for His merciful protection of his person and his chastity; and
he went straight to his wife who had long expected him, and he
empty-handed. Then seeing him, she asked him why he had tarried and
what was come of that he had taken with him and why he returned
empty-handed; whereupon he told her of the temptation which had
befallen him, and she said, "Alhamdolillah—praised be God-for
delivering thee from seduction and intervening between thee and such
calamity!" Then she added, "O man, the neighbours use to see us light
our oven every night; and, if they see us fireless this night, they
will know that we are destitute. Now it behoveth in gratitude to Allah,
that we hide our destitution and conjoin the fast of this night to that
of the past and continue it for the sake of Allah Almighty." So she
rose and, filling the oven with wood, lighted it, to baffle the
curiosity of her woman-neighbours, reciting these couplets,

"Now I indeed will hide desire and all repine; * And light up

     this my fire that neighbours see no sign:

Accept I what befals by order of my Lord; * Haply He too accept

     this humble act of mine."

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

When it was the Four Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the
goodwife had lit the fire to baffle the curiosity of her
women-neighbours, she and her husband made the Wuzu-ablution and stood
up to pray, when behold, one of the neighbours' wives came and asked
leave to take a fire-brand from the oven. "Do what thou wilt with the
oven," answered they; but, when she came to the fire, she cried out,
saying, "Ho, such an one (to the tray-maker's wife) take up thy bread
ere it burn!" Quoth the wife to her husband, "Hearest thou what she
saith?" Quoth he, "Go and look." So she went up to the oven, and
behold, it was full of fine bread and white. She took up the scones and
carried them to her husband, thanking Allah (to whom belong Majesty and
Might!) for His abounding good and great bounty; and they ate of the
bread and drank water and praised the Almighty. Then said the woman to
her husband, "Come let us pray to Allah the Most Highest, so haply He
may vouchsafe us what shall enable us to dispense with the weariness of
working for daily bread and devote ourselves wholly to worshipping and
obeying Him." The man rose in assent and prayed, whilst his wife said,
"Amen," to his prayer, when the roof clove in sunder and down fell a
ruby, which lit the house with its light. Hereat, they redoubled in
praise and thanksgiving to Allah praying what the Almighty
willed,[FN#478] and rejoiced at the ruby with great joy. And the night
being far spent, they lay down to sleep and the woman dreamt that she
entered Paradise and saw therein many chairs ranged and stools set in
rows. She asked what the seats were and it was answered her, "These are
the chairs of the prophets and those are the stools of the righteous
and the pious." Quoth she, "Which is the stool of my husband such an
one?"; and it was said to her, "It is this." So she looked and seeing a
hole in its side asked, "What may be this hole?"; and the reply came,
"It is the place of the ruby that dropped upon you from your
house-roof." Thereupon she awoke, weeping and bemoaning the defect in
her husband's stool among the seats of the Righteous; so she told him
the dream and said to him, "Pray Allah, O man, that this ruby return to
its place; for endurance of hunger and poverty during our few days here
were easier than a hole in thy chair among the just in
Paradise."[FN#479] Accordingly, he prayed to his Lord, and lo! the ruby
flew up to the roof and away whilst they looked at it. And they ceased
not from their poverty and their piety, till they went to the presence
of Allah, to whom be Honour and Glory! And they also tell a tale of


Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Sakafi had been long in pursuit of a certain man
of the notables, and when at last he was brought before him, he said,
"O enemy of Allah, He hath delivered thee over to me;" and cried, "Hale
him to prison and lay him by the heels in heavy fetters and build a
closet over him, that he may not come forth of it nor any go into him."
So they bore him to jail and summoned the blacksmith with the irons;
and every time the smith gave a stroke with his hammer, the prisoner
raised his eyes to heaven and said, "Is not the whole Creation and the
Empire thereof His?"[FN#480] Then the gaolers built the cage[FN#481]
over him and left him therein, lorn and lone, whereupon longing and
consternation entered into him and the tongue of his case recited in
extempore verse,

"O, Wish of wistful men, for Thee I yearn; * My heart seeks grace

     of one no heart shall spurn.

Unhidden from thy sight is this my case; * And for one glance of

     thee I pine and burn.

They jailed and tortured me with sorest pains: * Alas for lone

     one can no aid discern!

But, albe lone, I find Thy name befriends * And cheers, though

     sleep to eyes shall ne'er return:

An thou accept of me, I care for naught; * And only Thou what's

     in my heart canst learn!"

Now when night fell dark, the gaoler left his watchmen to guard him and
went to his house; and on the morrow, when he came to the prison, he
found the fetters lying on the ground and the prisoner gone; whereat he
was affrighted and made sure of death. So he returned to his place and
bade his family farewell, after which he took in his sleeve his shroud
and the sweet herbs for his corpse, and went in to Al-Hajjaj. And as he
stood before the presence, the Governor smelt the perfumes and asked,
"What is that?" when the gaoler answered, "O my lord, it is I who have
brought it." "And what moved thee to that?" enquired the Governor;
whereupon he told him his case,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the gaoler
told his case to Al-Hajjaj, the Governor cried, "Woe to thee! Didst
thou hear him say aught?" Answered the gaoler, "Yes! whilst the
blacksmith was hammering his irons, he ceased not to look up
heavenwards and say, 'Is not the whole Creation and the Empire thereof
His?'" Rejoined Al-Hajjaj, "Dost thou not know that He, on whom he
called in thy presence, delivered him in thine absence?" And the tongue
of the case recited on this theme,

"O Lord, how many a grief from me hast driven * Nor can I sit or

     stand without Thy hold:

How many many things I cannot count, * Thou sav'st from many many

     and manifold!"

And they also tell a tale of


It reached the ears of a certain pious man that there abode in such a
town a blacksmith, who could put his hand into the fire and pull out
the iron red-hot, without the flames doing him aught of hurt.[FN#482]
So he set out for the town in question and asked for the blacksmith;
and, when the man was shown to him, he watched him at work and saw him
do as had been reported to him. He waited till he had made and end of
his day's work; then, going up to him, saluted him with the salam and
said, "I would be thy guest this night." Replied the smith, "With
gladness and goodly gree!" and carried him to his place, where they
supped together and lay down to sleep. The guest watched, but saw no
sign in his host of praying through the night or of special devoutness
and said in his mind, "Haply he hideth himself from me." So he lodged
with him a second and a third night, but found that he did not exceed
the devotions prescribed by the law and custom of the Prophet and rose
but little in the dark hours to pray. At last he said to him, "O my
brother, I have heard of the gift with which Allah hath favoured thee
and have seen the truth of it with mine eyes. Moreover, I have taken
note of thine assiduity in religious exercises, but find in thee no
such piety as distinguisheth those who work saintly miracles: whence,
then, cometh this to thee?" "I will tell thee," answered the smith,
"Know that I was once passionately enamoured of a slave-girl and
ofttimes sued her for love-liesse, but could not prevail upon her,
because she still held fast by her chastity. Presently there came a
year of drought and hunger and hardship; food failed and there befel a
sore famine. As I was sitting one day at home, somebody knocked at the
door; so I went out and behold, she was standing there; and she said to
me, 'O my brother, I am sorely an-hungered and I lift mine eyes to
thee, beseeching thee to feed me for Allah's sake!' Quoth I, 'Wottest
thou not how I love thee and what I have suffered for thy sake? Now I
will not give thee one bittock of bread except thou yield thy person to
me.' Quoth she, 'Death, but not disobedience to the Lord!' Then she
went away and returned after two days with the same prayer for food as
before. I made her a like answer, and she entered and sat down in my
house being nigh upon death. I set food before her, whereupon her eyes
brimmed with tears and she cried, 'Give me meat for the love of Allah,
to whom belong Honour and Glory!' But I answered, 'Not so, by Allah,
except thou yield thyself to me.' Quoth she, 'Better is death to me
than the wrath and wreak of Allah the Most Highest;' and she rose and
left the food untouched"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the man set
food before her, the woman said, "Give me meat for the love of Allah to
whom be Honour and Glory!' But I answered, 'Not so, by Allah, except
thou yield to me thy person.' Quoth she, 'Better is death than the
wrath and wreak of Allah;' and she rose and left the food untouched and
went away repeating these couplets,

'O Thou, the One, whose grace doth all the world embrace; * Thine

     ears have heard, Thine eyes have seen my case!

Privation and distress have dealt me heavy blows; * The woes that

     weary me no utterance can trace.

I am like one athirst who eyes the landscape's eye, * Yet may not

     drink a draught of streams that rail and race.

My flesh would tempt me by the sight of savoury food * Whose joys

     shall pass away and pangs maintain their place.'

She then disappeared for two days, when she again came and knocked at
the door; so I went out to her, and lo! hunger had taken away her
voice; but, after a rest she said, 'O my brother, I am worn out with
want and know not what to do, for I cannot show my face to any man but
to thee. Say, wilt thou feed me for the love of Allah Almighty?' But I
answered, 'Not so, except thou yield to me thy person.' And she entered
my house and sat down. Now I had no food ready; but, when the meat was
dressed and I laid it in a saucer, behold, the grace of Almighty Allah
entered into me and I said to myself, 'Out on thee! This woman, weak of
wit and faith, hath refrained from food till she can no longer, for
stress of hunger; and, while she refuseth time after time, thou canst
not forbear from disobedience to the Lord!' And I said, 'O my God, I
repent to Thee of that which my flesh purposed!' Then I took the food
and carrying it to her, said, 'Eat, for no harm shall betide thee: this
is for the love of Allah, to whom belong Honour and Glory!' Then she
raised her eyes to heaven and said, 'O my God, if this man say sooth, I
pray Thee forbid fire to harm him in this world and the next, for Thou
over all things art Omnipotent and Prevalent in answering the prayer of
the penitent!' Then I left her and went to put out the fire in the
brasier.[FN#483] Now the season was winter and the weather cold, and a
live coal fell on my body: but by the decree of Allah (to whom be
Honour and Glory!) I felt no pain and it became my conviction that her
prayer had been answered. So I took the coal in my hand, and it burnt
me not; and going in to her, I said, 'Be of good cheer, for Allah hath
granted thy prayer!'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the blacksmith
continued: "So I went in to her and said, 'Be of good cheer, for Allah
hath granted thy prayer!' Then she dropped the morsel from her hand and
said, 'O my God, now that Thou hast shown me my desire of him and hast
granted me my prayer for him, take Thou my soul, for Thou over all
things art Almighty!' And straightway He took her soul to Him, the
mercy of Allah be upon her!" And the tongue of the case extemporised
and spake on this theme,

"She prayed: the Lord of grace her prayer obeyed; * And spared

     the sinner, who for sin had prayed:

He showed her all she prayed Him to grant; * And Death (as prayed

     she) her portion made:

Unto his door she came and prayed for food, * And sued his ruth

     for what her misery made:

He leant to error following his lusts, * And hoped to enjoy her

     as her wants persuade;

But he knew little of what Allah willed; * Nor was Repentance,

     though unsought, denayed.

Fate comes to him who flies from Fate, O Lord, * And lot and

     daily bread by Thee are weighed."

And they also tell of


There was once, among the children of Israel, a man of the devout, for
piety acclaimed and for continence and asceticism enfamed, whose
prayers were ever granted and who by supplication obtained whatso he
wanted; and he was a wanderer in the mountains and was used to pass the
night in worship. Now Almighty Allah had subjected to him a cloud which
travelled with him wherever he went, and poured on him its
water-treasures in abundance that he might make his ablutions and
drink. After a long time when things were thus, his fervour somewhat
abated, whereupon Allah took the cloud away from him and ceased to
answer his prayers. On this account, great was his grief and long was
his woe, and he ceased not to regret the time of grace and the miracle
vouchsafed to him and to lament and bewail and bemoan himself, till he
saw in a dream one who said to him, "An thou wouldest have Allah
restore to thee thy cloud, seek out a certain King, in such a town, and
beg him to pray for thee: so will Allah (be He extolled and exalted!)
give thee back thy cloud and bespread it over thee by virtue of his
pious prayers." And he began repeating these couplets,

"Wend to that pious prayerful Emir, * Who can with gladness thy

     condition cheer;

An he pray Allah, thou shalt win thy wish; * And heavy rain shall

     drop from welkin clear.

He stands all Kings above in potent worth; * Nor to compare with

     him doth aught appear:

Near him thou soon shalt hap upon thy want, * And see all joy and

     gladness draw thee near:

Then cut the wolds and wilds unfounted till * The goal thou goest

     for anigh shalt speer!"

So the hermit set out for the town named to him in the dream; and,
coming thither after long travel, enquired for the King's palace which
was duly shown to him. And behold, at the gate he found a slave-officer
sitting on a great chair and clad in gorgeous gear; so he stood to him
and saluted him; and he returned his salam and asked him, "What is thy
business?" Answered the devotee, "I am a wronged man, and come to
submit my case to the King." Quoth the officer, "Thou hast no access to
him this day; for he hath appointed unto petitioners and enquirers one
day in every seven" (naming the day), "on which they may go in to him;
so wend thy ways in welfare till then." The hermit was vexed with the
King for thus veiling himself from the folk and said in thought, "How
shall this man be a saint of the saints of Allah (to whom belong
Majesty and Might!) and he on this wise?" Then he went away and awaited
the appointed day. "Now" (quoth he)"when it came, I repaired to the
palace, where I found a great number of folk at the gate, expecting
admission; and I stood with them, till there came out a Wazir robed in
gorgeous raiment and attended by guards and slaves, who said, 'Let
those, who have petitions to present, enter.' So I entered with the
rest and found the King seated facing his officers and grandees who
were ranged according to their several ranks and degrees. The Wazir
took up his post and brought forward the petitioners, one by one, till
it came to my turn, when the King looked on me and said, 'Welcome to
the 'Lord of the Cloud'! Sit thee down till I make leisure for thee.' I
was confounded at his words and confessed his dignity and superiority;
and, when the King had answered the petitioners and had made an end
with them, he rose and dismissed his Wazirs and Grandees; then, taking
my hand he led me to the door of the private palace, where we found a
black slave, splendidly arrayed, with helm on head, and on his right
hand and his left, bows and coats of mail. He rose to the King; and,
hastening to obey his orders and forestall his wishes, opened the door.
We went in, hand in hand, till we came to a low wicket, which the King
himself opened and led me into a ruinous place of frightful desolation
and thence passed into a chamber, wherein was naught but a
prayer-carpet, an ewer for ablution and some mats of palm-leaves. Here
the King doffed his royal robes and donned a coarse gown of white wool
and a conical bonnet of felt. Then he sat down and making me sit,
called out to his wife, 'Ho, such an one!' and she answered from within
saying, 'Here am I.' Quoth he, 'Knowest thou who is our guest to-day?'
Replied she, 'Yes, it is the Lord of the Cloud.' The King said, 'Come
forth: it mattereth not for him.' And behold, there entered a woman, as
she were a vision, with a face that beamed like the new moon; and she
wore a gown and veil of wool."-And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 'when the King
called to his wife, she came forth from the inner room; and her face
beamed like the new moon; and she wore a gown and a veil of wool. Then
said the King, 'O my brother, dost thou desire to hear our story or
that we should pray for thee and dismiss thee?' Answered the hermit;
'Nay, I wish to hear the tale of you twain, for that to me were
preferable.' Said the King, 'My forefathers handed down the throne, one
to the other, and it descended from great one to great one, in unbroken
succession, till the last died and it came to me. Now Allah had made
this hateful to me, for I would fain have gone awandering over earth
and left the folk to their own affairs; but I feared lest they should
fall into confusion and anarchy and misgovernment so as to swerve from
divine law, and the union of the Faith be broken up. Wherefore,
abandoning my own plans, I took the kingship and appointed to every
head of them a regular stipend; and donned the royal robes; and posted
slave-officers at the doors, as a terror to the dishonest and for the
defence of honest folk and the maintenance of law and limitations. Now
when free of this, I entered this place and, doffing my royal habit,
donned these clothes thou seest; and this my cousin, the daughter of my
father's brother, hath agreed with me to renounce the world and helpeth
me to serve the Lord. So we are wont to weave these palm-leaves and
earn, during the day, a wherewithal to break our fast at nightfall; and
we have lived on this wise nigh upon forty years. Abide thou with us
(so Allah have mercy on thee!) till we sell our mats; and thou shalt
sup and sleep with us this night and on the morrow wend thy ways with
that thou wishest, Inshallah!' So he tarried with them till the end of
the day, when there came a boy five years old who took the mats they
had made and carrying them to the market, sold them for a
carat;[FN#484] and with this bought bread and beans and returned with
them to the King. The hermit broke his fast and lay down to sleep with
them; but in the middle of the night they both arose and fell to
praying and weeping. When daybreak was near, the King said, "O my God,
this Thy servant beseecheth Thee to return him his cloud; and to do
this Thou art able; so, O my God, let him see his prayer granted and
restore him his cloud." The Queen amen'd to his orisons and behold, the
cloud grew up in the sky; whereupon the King gave the hermit joy and
the man took leave of them and went away, the cloud companying him as
of old. And whatsoever he required of Allah after this, in the names of
the pious King and Queen, He granted it without fail and the man made
thereon these couplets,

"My Lord hath servants fain of piety; * Hearts in the Wisdom-

    garden ranging free:

Their bodies' lusts at peace, and motionless * For breasts that

     bide in purest secresy.

Thou seest all silent, awesome of their Lord, * For hidden things

     unseen and seen they see."

And they tell a tale of


The Commander of the Faithful, Omar bin al-Khattαb (whom Allah
accept!), once levied for holy war an army of Moslems, to encounter the
foe before Damascus, and they laid close siege to one of the
Christians' strongholds. Now there were amongst the Moslems two men,
brothers, whom Allah had gifted with fire and bold daring against the
enemy; so that the commander of the besieged fortress said to his
chiefs and braves, "Were but yonder two Moslems ta'en or slain, I would
warrant you against the rest of their strain." Wherefore they left not
to set for them all manner of toils and snares and ceased not to
manoeuvre and lie in wait and ambush for them, till they took one of
them prisoner and slew the other, who died a martyr. They carried the
captive to the Captain of the fort, who looked at him and said,
"Verily, to kill this man were indeed a pity; but his return to the
Moslem would be a calamity."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the enemy
carried their Moslem captive before the Captain of the fort, the
Christian looked at him and said, "Verily to kill this man were a pity
indeed; but his return to the Moslem would be a calamity. Oh that he
might be brought to embrace the Nazarene Faith and be to us an aid and
an arm!" Quoth one of his Patrician Knights, "O Emir, I will tempt him
to abjure his faith, and on this wise: we know that the Arabs are much
addicted to women, and I have a daughter, a perfect beauty, whom when
he sees, he will be seduced by her." Quoth the Captain, "I give him
into thy charge." So he carried him to his place and clad his daughter
in raiment, such as added to her beauty and loveliness. Then he brought
the Moslem into the room and set before him food and made the fair girl
stand in his presence, as she were a handmaid obedient to her lord and
awaiting his orders that she might do his bidding. When the Moslem saw
the evil sent down upon him, he commended himself to Allah Almighty and
closing his eyes, applied himself to worship and to reciting the Koran.
Now he had a pleasant voice and a piercing wit; and the Nazarene damsel
presently loved him with passionate love and pined for him with extreme
repine. This lasted seven days, at the end of which she said to
herself, "Would to Heaven he would admit me into the Faith of
Al-Islam!" And the tongue of her case recited these couplets,

"Wilt turn thy face from heart that's all thine own, * This heart

     thy ransom and this soul thy wone?

I'm ready home and kin to quit for aye, * And every Faith for

     that of sword[FN#485] disown:

I testify that Allah hath no mate: * This proof is stablished and

     this truth is known.

Haply shall deign He union grant with one * Averse, and hearten

     heart love-overthrown;

For ofttimes door erst shut, is opened wide, * And after evil

     case all good is shown."

At last her patience failed her and her breast was straitened and she
threw herself on the ground before him, saying, "I conjure thee by thy
Faith, that thou give ear to my words!" Asked he, "What are they?" and
she answered, "Expound unto me Al-Islam." So he expounded to her the
tenets of the Faith, and she became a Moslemah, after which she was
circumcised[FN#486] and he taught her to pray. Then said she to him, "O
my brother, I did but embrace Al-Islam for thy sake and to win thy
favours." Quoth he, "The law of Al-Islam forbiddeth sexual commerce
save after a marriage before two legal witnesses, and a dowry and a
guardian are also requisite. Now I know not where to find witnesses or
friend or parapherne; but, an thou can contrive to bring us out of this
place, I may hope to make the land of Al-Islam, and pledge myself to
thee that none other than thou in all Al-Islam shall be wife to me."
Answered she, "I will manage that"; and, calling her father and mother,
said to them, "Indeed this Moslem's heart is softened and he longeth to
enter the faith, so I will grant him that which he desireth of my
person; but he saith: 'It befitteth me not to do this in a town where
my brother was slain. Could I but get outside it my heart would be
solaced and I would do that which is wanted of me.' Now there is no
harm in letting me go forth with him to another town, and I will be a
surety to you both and to the Emir for that which ye wish of him."
Therefore her father went to their Captain and told him this, whereat
he joyed with exceeding joy and bade him carry them forth to a village
that she named. So they went out and made the village where they abode
the rest of their day, and when night fell, they got ready for the
march and went their way, even as saith the poet,

"'The time of parting,' cry they, 'draweth nigh': * 'How oft this

     parting-threat?' I but reply:

I've naught to do but cross the wild and wold * And, mile by

     mile, o'er fountless wastes to fly,

If the beloved seek another land * Sons of the road, whereso they

     wend, wend I.

I make desire direct me to their side, * The guide to show me

     where the way doth lie."

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

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the prisoner and
the lady abode in the village the rest of their day and, when night
fell, made ready for the march and went upon their way; and travelled
all night without stay or delay. The young Moslem, mounting a swift
blood-horse and taking up the maiden behind him, ceased not devouring
the ground till it was bright morning, when he turned aside with her
from the highway and, alighting, they made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed
the dawn-prayer. Now as they were thus engaged behold, they heard the
clank of swords and clink of bridles and men's voices and tramp of
horse; whereupon he said to her, "Ho, such an one, the Nazarenes are
after us! What shall we do?: the horse is so jaded and broken down that
he cannot stir another step." Exclaimed she, "Woe to thee! art thou
then afraid and affrighted?" "Yes," answered he; and she said, "What
didst thou tell me of the power of thy Lord and His readiness to
succour those who succour seek? Come, let us humble ourselves before
Him and beseech Him: haply He shall grant us His succour and endue us
with His grace, extolled and exalted be He!" Quoth he, "By Allah, thou
sayest well!" So they began humbling themselves and supplicating
Almighty Allah and he recited these couplets,

"Indeed I hourly need thy choicest aid, * And should, though

     crown were placed upon my head:

Thou art my chiefest want, and if my hand * Won what it wisheth,

     all my wants were sped.

Thou hast not anything withholdest Thou; * Like pouring rain Thy

     grace is showered:

I'm shut therefrom by sins of me, yet Thou, * O Clement, deignest

     pardon-light to shed.

O Care-Dispeller, deign dispel my grief! * None can, save Thou,

     dispel a grief so dread."

Whilst he was praying and she was saying, "Amen," and the thunder of
horse-tramp nearing them, lo! the brave heard the voice of his dead
brother, the martyr, speaking and saying, "O my brother, fear not, nor
grieve! for the host whose approach thou hearest is the host of Allah
and His Angels, whom He hath sent to serve as witnesses to your
marriage. Of a truth Allah hath made His Angels glorify you and He
bestoweth on you the meed of the meritorious and the martyrs; and He
hath rolled up the earth for you as it were a rug so that, by morning,
you will be in the mountains of Al-Medinah. And thou, when thou
foregatherest with Omar bin al-Khattab (of whom Allah accept!) give him
my salutation and say to him: 'Allah abundantly requite thee for
Al-Islam, because thou hast counselled faithfully and hast striven
diligently.'" Thereupon the Angels lifted up their voices in salutation
to him and his bride, saying, "Verily, Almighty Allah appointed her in
marriage to thee two thousand years before the creation of your father
Adam (with whom be peace evermore!)." Then joy and gladness and peace
and happiness came upon the twain; confidence was confirmed and
established was the guidance of the pious pair. So when dawn appeared,
they prayed the accustomed prayer and fared forward. Now it was the
wont of Omar, son of Al-Khattab (Allah accept him!), to rise for
morning-prayer in the darkness before dawn and at times he would stand
in the prayer-niche with two men behind him, and begin reciting the
Chapter entitled "Cattle"[FN#487] or that entitled "Women,"[FN#488]
whereupon the sleeper awoke and he who was making his Wuzu-ablution
accomplished it and he who was afar came to prayer; nor had he made an
end of the first bow, ere the mosque was full of folk; then he would
pray his second bow quickly, repeating a short chapter. But, on that
morning he hurried over both first and second inclinations, repeating
in each a short chapter; then, after the concluding salutation, turning
to his companions, he said to them, "Come, let us fare forth to meet
the bride and bridegroom"; at which they wondered, not understanding
his words. But he went out and they followed him, till they came to the
gate of the city, where they met the young Moslem who, when the day
broke and the standards of Al-Medinah appeared to him, had pushed
forward for the gate closely followed by his bride. There he was met by
Omar who bade make a marriage feast; and the Moslems came and ate. Then
the young Moslem went in unto his bride and Almighty Allah vouchsafed
him children,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Omar (on whom be
peace!) bade make a marriage-feast; and the Moslems came and ate. Then
the young Moslem went in unto his bride and Almighty Allah vouchsafed
him children, who fought in the Lord's way and preserved genealogies,
for they gloried therein. And how excellent is what is said on such

"I saw thee weep before the gates and 'plain, * Whilst only

     curious wight reply would deign:

Hath eye bewitcht thee, or hath evil lot * 'Twixt thee and door

     of friend set bar of bane?

Wake up this day, O wretch, persist in prayer, * Repent as wont

     repent departed men.

Haply shall wash thy sins Forgiveness-showers; * And on thine

     erring head some ruth shall rain:

And prisoner shall escape despite his bonds; * And slave from

     thraldom freedom shall attain."

And they ceased not to be in all solace and delight of life, till there
came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Sunderer of societies.
And a tale is told by Sνdi Ibrahim bin Al-Khawwαs[FN#489](on whom be
the mercy of Allah!) concerning himself and


"My spirit urged me, once upon a time, to go forth into the country of
the Infidels; and I strove with it and struggled to put away from me
this inclination; but it would not be rejected. So I fared forth and
journeyed about the land of the Unbelievers and traversed it in all its
parts; for divine grace enveloped me and heavenly protection
encompassed me, so that I met not a single Nazarene but he turned away
his eyes and drew off from me, till I came to a certain great city at
whose gate I found a gathering of black slaves, clad in armour and
bearing iron maces in their hands. When they saw me, they rose to their
feet and asked me, 'Art thou a leach?'; and I answered, 'Yes.' Quoth
they, 'Come speak to our King,' and carried me before their ruler, who
was a handsome personage of majestic presence. When I stood before him,
he looked at me and said, 'Art a physician, thou?' 'Yes,' quoth I; and
quoth he to his officers, 'Carry him to her, and acquaint him with the
condition before he enter.' So they took me out and said to me, 'Know
that the King hath a daughter, and she is stricken with a sore disease,
which no doctor hath been able to cure: and no leach goeth in to her
and treateth, without healing her, but the King putteth him to death.
So bethink thee what thou seest fitting to do.' I replied, 'The King
drove me to her; so carry me to her.' Thereupon they brought me to her
door and knocked; and behold, I heard her cry out from within, saying,
'Admit to me the physician, lord of the wondrous secret!' And she began

'Open the door! the leach now draweth near; * And in my soul a

     wondrous secret speer:

How many of the near far distant are![FN#490] * How many distant

     far are nearest near!

I was in strangerhood amidst you all: * But willed the

     Truth[FN#491] my solace should appear.

Joined us the potent bonds of Faith and Creed; * We met as

     dearest fere greets dearest fere:

He sued for interview whenas pursued * The spy, and blamed us

     envy's jibe and jeer:

Then leave your chiding and from blame desist, * For fie upon

     you! not a word I'll hear.

I care for naught that disappears and fleets; * My care's for

     Things nor fleet nor disappear.'

And lo! a Shaykh, a very old man, opened the door in haste and said to
me, 'Enter.' So I entered and found myself in a chamber strewn with
sweet-scented herbs and with a curtain drawn across one corner, from
behind which came a sound of groaning and grame, weak as from an
emaciated frame. I sat down before the curtain and was about to offer
my salam when I bethought me of his words (whom Allah save and
assain!), 'Accost not a Jew nor a Christian with the salam
salutation;[FN#492] and, when ye meet them in the way, constrain them
to the straitest part thereof.' So I withheld my salutation, but she
cried out from behind the curtain, saying, 'Where is the salutation of
Unity and Indivisibility, O Khawwas?' I was astonished at her speech
and asked, 'How knowest thou me?'; whereto she answered, 'When the
heart and thoughts are whole, the tongue speaketh eloquently from the
secret recesses of the soul. I begged Him yesterday to send me one of
His saints, at whose hands I might have deliverance, and behold, it was
cried to me from the dark places of my house, 'Grieve not; for we soon
will send thee Ibrahim the Basket-maker.' Then I asked her, 'What of
thee?' and she answered, 'It is now four years since there appeared to
me the Manifest Truth, and He is the Relator and the Ally, and the
Uniter and the Sitter-by; whereupon my folk looked askance upon me with
an evil eye and taxed me with insanity and suspected me of depravity,
and there came not in to me doctor but terrified me, nor visitor but
confounded me.' Quoth I, 'And who led thee to the knowledge of what
thou wottest?' Quoth she, 'The manifest signs and visible portents of
Allah; and, when the path is patent to thee, thou espiest with thine
own eyes both proof and prover.' Now whilst we were talking, behold, in
came the old man appointed to guard her and said, 'What doth thy
doctor?'; and she replied, 'He knoweth the hurt and hath hit upon the
healing.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when the Shaykh,
her guardian, went in to her he said, 'What doth thy doctor?'; and she
replied, 'He knoweth the hurt and hath hit upon the healing.' Hereupon
he manifested joy and gladness and accosted me with a cheerful
countenance, then went and told the King, who enjoined to treat me with
all honour and regard. So I visited her daily for seven days, at the
end of which time she said to me, 'O Abu Ishak, when shall be our
flight to the land of Al-Islam?' 'How canst thou go forth,' replied I,
'and who would dare to aid thee?' Rejoined she, 'He who sent thee to
me, driving thee as it were;' and I observed, 'Thou sayest sooth.' So
when the morrow dawned, we fared forth by the city-gate and all eyes
were veiled from us, by commandment of Him who when He desireth aught,
saith to it, 'Be,' and it becometh;[FN#493] so that I journeyed with
her in safety to Meccah, where she made a home hard by the Holy House
of Allah and lived seven years; till the appointed day of her death.
The earth of Meccah was her tomb, and never saw I any more steadfast in
prayer and fasting than she; Allah send down upon her His mercies and
have compassion on him who saith,

'When they to me had brought the leach (and surely showed *

     The signs of flowing tears and pining malady),

The face-veil he withdrew from me, and 'neath it naught *

     Save breath of one unsouled, unbodied, could he see.

Quoth he, 'This be a sickness Love alone shall cure; *

     Love hath a secret from all guess of man wide free.'

Quoth they, 'An folk ignore what here there be with him *

     Nature of ill and eke its symptomology,

How then shall medicine work a cure?' At this quoth I *

     'Leave me alone; I have no guessing specialty.'"

And they tell a tale of


A certain Prophet[FN#494] made his home for worship on a lofty
mountain, at whose foot was a spring of running water, and he was wont
to sit by day on the summit, that no man might see him, calling upon
the name of Allah the Most Highest and watching those who frequented
the spring. One day, as he sat looking upon the fountain, behold, he
espied a horseman who came up and dismounted thereby and taking a bag
from his neck, set it down beside him, after which he drank of the
water and rested awhile, then he rode away, leaving behind him the bag
which contained gold pieces. Presently up came another man to drink of
the spring, who saw the bag and finding it full of money took it up;
then, after satisfying his thirst, he made off with it in safety. A
little after came a woodcutter wight with a heavy load of fuel on his
back, and sat down by the spring to drink, when lo! back came the first
horseman in great trouble and asked him, "Where is the bag which was
here?" and when he answered, "I know nothing of it," the rider drew his
sword and smote him and slew him. Then he searched his clothes, but
found naught; so he left him and wended his ways. Now when the Prophet
saw this, he said, "O Lord, one man hath taken a thousand dinars and
another man hath been slain unjustly." But Allah answered him, saying,
"Busy thyself with thy devotions, for the ordinance of the universe is
none of thine affair. The father of this horseman had violently
despoiled of a thousand dinars the father of the second horseman; so I
gave the son possession of his sire's money. As for the woodcutter, he
had slain the horseman's father, wherefore I enabled the son to obtain
retribution for himself." Then cried the Prophet, "There is none other
god than Thou! Glory be to Thee only! Verily, Thou art the Knower of
Secrets."[FN#495]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prophet
was bidden by inspiration of Allah to busy himself with his devotions
and learned the truth of the case, he cried, "There is none other god
but Thou! Glory be to Thee only! Verily, Thou and Thou alone wottest
hidden things." Furthermore, one of the poets hath made these verses on
the matter,

"The Prophet saw whatever eyes could see, * And fain of other

     things enquired he;

And, when his eyes saw things misunderstood, * Quoth he, 'O Lord,

     this slain from sin was free.

This one hath won him wealth withouten work; * Albe appeared he

     garbed in penury.

And that in joy of life was slain, although * O man's Creator

     free of sin he be.'

God answered ''Twas his father's good thou saw'st * Him take; by

     heirship not by roguery;

Yon woodman too that horseman's sire had slain; * Whose son

     avenged him with just victory:

Put off, O slave of Me, this thought for I * In men have set

     mysterious secrecy!

Bow to Our Law and humble thee, and learn * For good and evil

     issues Our decree.'"[FN#496]

And a certain pious man hath told us the tale of


"I was once a ferryman on the Nile and used to ply between the eastern
and the western banks. Now one day, as I sat in my boat, there came up
to me an old man of a bright and beaming countenance, who saluted me
and I returned his greeting; and he said to me, 'Wilt thou ferry me
over for the love of Allah Almighty?' I answered, 'Yes,' and he
continued, 'Wilt thou moreover give me food for Allah's sake?'; to
which again I answered, 'With all my heart.' So he entered the boat and
I rowed him over to the eastern side, remarking that he was clad in a
patched gown and carried a gourd-bottle and a staff. When he was about
to land, he said to me, 'I desire to lay on thee a heavy trust.' Quoth
I, 'What is it?' Quoth he, 'It hath been revealed to me that my end is
nearhand and that to-morrow about noon thou wilt come and find me dead
under yonder tree. Wash me and wrap me in the shroud thou wilt see
under my head and after thou hast prayed over me, bury me in this sandy
ground and take my gown and gourd and staff, which do thou deliver to
one who shall come and demand them of thee.' I marvelled at his words,
and I slept there. On the morrow I awaited till noon the event he had
announced, and then I forgot what he had said till near the hour of
afternoon-prayer, when I remembered it and hastening to the appointed
place, found him under the tree, dead, with a new shroud under his
head, exhaling a fragrance of musk. So I washed him and shrouded him
and prayed over him, then dug a hole in the sand and buried him, after
I had taken his ragged gown and bottle and staff, with which I crossed
the Nile to the western side and there nighted. As soon as morning
dawned and the city gate opened, I sighted a young man known to me as a
loose fellow, clad in fine clothes and his hands stained with Henna,
who said to me, 'Art thou not such an one?' 'Yes,' answered I; and he
said, 'Give me the trust.' Quoth I, 'What is that?' Quoth he, 'The
gown, the gourd and the staff.' I asked him, 'Who told thee of them?'
and he answered, 'I know nothing save that I spent yesternight at the
wedding of one of my friends singing and carousing till daylight, when
I lay me down to sleep and take my rest; and behold, there stood by me
a personage who said, 'Verily Allah Almighty hath taken such a saint to
Himself and hath appointed thee to fill his place; so go thou to a
certain person (naming the ferryman), and take of him the dead man's
gown and bottle and staff, for he left them with him for thee.' So I
brought them out and gave them to him; whereupon he doffed his clothes
and, donning the gown, went his way and left me.[FN#497] And when the
glooms closed around me, I fell a-weeping; but, that night, while
sleeping I saw the Lord of Holiness (glorified and exalted be He!) in a
dream saying, 'O my servant, is it grievous to thee that I have granted
to one of My servants to return to Me? Indeed, this is of My bounty,
that I vouchsafe to whom I will, for I over all things am Almighty.' So
I repeated these couplets,

'Lover with loved[FN#498] loseth will and aim! * All choice (an

     couldst thou know) were sinful shame.

Or grant He favour and with union grace, * Or from thee turn

     away, He hath no blame.

An from such turning thou no joy enjoy * Depart! the place for

     thee no place became.

Or canst His near discern not from His far? * Then Love's in vain

     and thou'rt a-rear and lame.

If pine for Thee afflict my sprite, or men * Hale me to death,

     the rein Thy hand shall claim!

So turn Thee to or fro, to me 'tis one; * What Thou ordainest

     none shall dare defame:

My love hath naught of aim but Thine approof * And if Thou say we

     part I say the same.'"

And of the tales they tell is one concerning


There was once a notable of the Children of Israel, a man of wealth who
had a pious and blessed son. When his last hour drew nigh, his son sat
down at his head and said to him, "O my lord, give me an injunction."
Quoth the father, "O dear son, I charge thee, swear not by Allah or
truly or falsely." Then he died and certain lewd fellows of the
Children of Israel heard of the charge he had laid on his son and began
coming to the latter and saying, "Thy father had such and such monies
of mine, and thou knowest it; so give me what was entrusted to him or
else make oath that there was no trust." The good son would not disobey
his sire's injunction, so gave them all they claimed; and they ceased
not to deal thus with him, till his wealth was spent and he fell into
straitest predicament. Now the young man had a pious and blessed wife,
who had borne him two little sons; so he said to her, "The folk have
multiplied their demands on me and, while I had the wherewithal to free
myself of debt, I rendered it freely; but naught is now left us, and if
others make demands upon me, we shall be in absolute distress, I and
thou; our best way were to save ourselves by fleeing to some place,
where none knoweth us, and earn our bread among the lower of the folk."
Accordingly, he took ship with her and his two children, knowing not
whither he should wend; but, "When Allah judgeth, there is none to
reverse His judgment;"[FN#499] and quoth the tongue of the case,

"O flier from thy home when foes affright! * Whom led to weal and

     happiness such flight,

Grudge not this exile when he flees abroad * Where he on wealth

     and welfare may alight.

An pearls for ever did abide in shell, * The kingly crown they

     ne'er had deckt and dight."

The ship was wrecked, yet the man saved himself on a plank and his wife
and children also saved themselves, but on other planks. The waves
separated them and the wife was cast up in one country and one of the
boys in another. The second son was picked up by a ship, and the surges
threw the father on a desert island, where he landed and made the
Wuzu-ablution. Then he called the prayer-call,—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Four Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the man
landed upon the island, he made the Wuzu-ablution to free himself from
the impurities of the sea and called the call to prayer and stood up to
his devotions, when, behold, there came forth of the sea, creatures of
various kinds and prayed with him. When he had finished, he went up to
a tree and stayed his hunger with its fruits; after which he found a
spring of water and drank thereof and praised Allah, to whom be honour
and glory! He abode thus three days and whenever he stood up to pray,
the sea-creatures came out and prayed in the same manner as he prayed.
Now after the third day, he heard a voice crying aloud and saying, "O
thou just man, and pious, who didst so honour thy father and revere the
decrees of thy Lord, grieve not, for Allah (be He extolled and
exalted!) shall restore to thee all which left thy hand. In this isle
are hoards and monies and things of price which the Almighty willeth
thou shalt inherit, and they are in such a part of this place. So bring
thou them to light; and verily, we will send ships unto thee; and do
thou bestow charity on the folk and bid them to thee." So he sought out
that place, and the Lord discovered to him the treasures in question.
Then ships began resorting to him, and he gave abundant largesse to the
crews, saying to them, "Be sure ye direct the folk unto me and I will
give them such and such a thing and appoint to them this and that."
Accordingly, there came folk from all parts and places, nor had ten
years passed over him ere the island was peopled and the man became its
King.[FN#500] No one came to him but he entreated him with munificence,
and his name was noised abroad, through the length and breadth of the
earth. Now his elder son had fallen into the hands of a man who reared
him and taught him polite accomplishments; and, in like manner, the
younger was adopted by one who gave him a good education and brought
him up in the ways of merchants. The wife also happened upon a trader
who entrusted to her his property and made a covenant with her that he
would not deal dishonestly by her, but would aid her to obey Allah (to
whom belong Majesty and Might!); and he used to make her the companion
of his voyages and his travels. Now the elder son heard the report of
the King and resolved to visit him, without knowing who he was; so he
went to him and was well received by the King, who made him his
secretary. Presently the other son heard of the King's piety and
justice and was also taken into his service as a steward. Then the
brothers abode awhile, neither knowing the other, till it chanced that
the merchant, in whose home was their mother, also hearing of the
King's righteous and generous dealing with the lieges, freighted a ship
with rich stuffs and other excellent produce of the land, and taking
the woman with him, set sail for the island. He made it in due course
and landing, presented himself with his gift before the King; who
rejoiced therein with exceeding joy and ordered him a splendid
return-present. Now, there were, among the gifts, certain aromatic
roots of which he would have the merchant acquaint him with the names
and uses; so he said to him, "Abide with us this night."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the King
said, "Abide with us this night," the merchant replied, "We have in the
ship one to whom I have promised to entrust the care of her to none
save myself; and the same is a holy woman whose prayers have brought me
weal and I have felt the blessing of her counsels." Rejoined the King,
"I will send her some trusty men, who shall pass the night in the ship
and guard her and all that is with her." The merchant agreed to this
and abode with the King, who called his secretary and steward and said
to them, "Go and pass the night in this man's ship and keep it safe,
Inshallah!" So they went up into the ship and seating themselves, this
on the poop and that on the bow, passed a part of the night in
repeating the names of Allah (to whom belong Majesty and Might!). Then
quoth one to the other, "Ho, such an one! The King bade us keep watch
and I fear lest sleep overtake us; so, come, let us discourse of
stories of fortune and of the good we have seen and the trials of
life." Quoth the other, "O my brother, as for my trials Fate parted me
from my mother and a brother of mine, whose name was even as thine; and
the cause of our parting was this. My father took ship with us from
such a place, and the winds rose against us and were contrary, so that
the ship was wrecked and Allah broke our fair companionship." Hearing
this the first asked, "What was the name of thy mother, O my brother?";
and the second answered, "So and so." Thereat brother threw himself
upon brother saying, "By Allah, thou art my very brother!" And each
fell to telling the other what had befallen him in his youth, whilst
the mother heard all they said, but held her peace and in patience
possessed her soul. Now when it was morning, one said to the other,
"Come, brother, let us go to my lodging and talk there;" and the other
said, "'Tis well." So they went away and presently, the merchant came
back and finding the woman in great trouble, said to her, "What hath
befallen thee and why this concern?" Quoth she, "Thou sentest to me
yesternight men who tempted me to evil, and I have been in sore annoy
with them." At this, he was wroth and, repairing to the King, reported
the conduct of his two trusty wights. The King summoned the twain
forthwith, as he loved them for their fidelity and piety; and, sending
for the woman, that he might hear from her own lips what she had to say
against them, thus bespake her, "O woman, what hath betided thee from
these two men in whom I trust?" She replied, "O King, I conjure thee by
the Almighty, the Bountiful One, the Lord of the Empyrean, bid them
repeat the words they spoke yesternight." So he said to them, "Say what
ye said and conceal naught thereof." Accordingly, they repeated their
talk, and lo! the King rising from his throne, gave a great cry and
threw himself upon them, embracing them and saying, "By Allah, ye are
my very sons!" Therewith the woman unveiled her face and said, "And by
Allah, I am their very mother." So they were united and abode in all
solace of life and its delight till death parted them; and so glory be
to Him who delivereth His servant when he restoreth to Him, and
disappointeth not his hope in Him and his trust! And how well saith the
poet on the subject,

"Each thing of things hath his appointed tide * When 'tis, O

     brother, granted or denied.

Repine not an affliction hit thee hard; * For woe and welfare aye

     conjoint abide:

How oft shall woman see all griefs surround * Yet feel a joyance

     thrill what lies inside!

How many a wretch, on whom the eyes of folk * Look down, shall

     grace exalt to pomp and pride!

This man is one long suffering grief and woe; * Whom change and

     chance of Time hath sorely tried:

The World divided from what held he dearest, * After long union

     scattered far and wide;

But deigned his Lord unite them all again, * And in the Lord is

     every good descried.

Glory to Him whose Providence rules all * Living, as surest

     proofs for us decide.

Near is the Near One; but no wisdom clearer * Shows him, nor

     distant wayfare brings Him nearer."

And this tale is told of


"I had been many times to Meccah (Allah increase its honour!) and the
folk used to follow me for my knowledge of the road and remembrance of
the water-stations. It happened one year that I was minded to make the
pilgrimage to the Holy House and visitation of the Tomb of His Prophet
(on whom be blessing and peace!) and I said in myself, 'I well know the
way and will fare alone.' So I set out and journeyed till I came to
Al-Kadisνyah[FN#502] and, entering the mosque there, saw a man
suffering from black leprosy seated in the prayer-niche. Quoth he on
seeing me, 'O Abu al-Hasan, I crave thy company to Meccah.' Quoth I to
myself, 'I fled from all my companions, and how shall I company with
lepers?' So I said to him, 'I will bear no man company'; and he was
silent at my words. Next day I walked on alone, till I came to
Al-Akabah,[FN#503] where I entered the mosque and found the leper
seated in the prayer-niche. So I said to myself, 'Glory be to Allah!
how hath this fellow preceded me hither?' But he raised his head to me
and said with a smile, 'O Abu al-Hasan, He doth for the weak that which
surpriseth the strong!' I passed that night confounded at what I had
seen; and, as soon as morning dawned, set out again by myself; but when
I came to Arafat[FN#504] and entered the mosque, behold, there was the
leper seated in the niche! So I threw myself upon him and kissing his
feet said, 'O my lord, I crave thy company.' But he answered, 'This may
in no way be.' Then I began weeping and wailing at the loss of his
converse, when he said, 'Spare thy tears which will avail thee
naught!'"-And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al-Hasan
continued: "Now when I saw the leper-man seated in the prayer-niche, I
threw myself upon him and said, 'O my lord, I crave thy company;' and
fell to kissing his feet. But he answered, 'This may in no way be!'
Then I began weeping and wailing at the loss of his company when he
said, 'Spare thy tears which will avail thee naught!'; and he recited
these couplets,

'Why dost thou weep when I depart and thou didst parting claim; *

     And cravest union when we ne'er shall reunite the same?

Thou lookedest on nothing save my weakness and disease; * And

     saidst 'Nor goes nor comes, or night or day, this sickly


Seest not how Allah (glorified His glory ever be!) * Deigneth to

     grant His slave's petition wherewithal he came.

If I, to eyes of men be that and only that they see, * And this

     my body show itself so full of grief and grame,

And have I naught of food that shall supply me to the place *

     Where crowds unto my Lord resort impelled by single aim,

I have a high Creating Lord whose mercies aye are hid; * A Lord

     who hath none equal and no fear is known to Him.

So fare thee safe and leave me lone in strangerhood to wone * For

     He, the only One, consoles my loneliness so lone.'

Accordingly, I left him; but every station I came to, I found he had
foregone me, till I reached Al-Medinah, where I lost sight of him and
could hear no tidings of him. Here I met Abu Yazνd al-Bustαmi and Abu
Bakr al-Shibli and a number of other Shaykhs and learned men, to whom
with many complaints, I told my case and they said, 'Heaven forbid that
thou shouldst gain his company after this! He was Abu Ja'afar the
leper, in whose name folk at all times pray for rain and by whose
blessing-prayers their end attain.' When I heard their words, my desire
for his company redoubled and I implored the Almighty to reunite me
with him. Whilst I was standing on Arafat,[FN#505] one pulled me from
behind, so I turned and behold, it was my man. At this sight I cried
out with a loud cry and fell down in a fainting fit; but, when I came
to myself he had disappeared from my sight. This increased my yearning
for him and the ceremonies were tedious to me and I prayed Almighty
Allah to give me sight of him; nor was it but a few days after, when
lo! one pulled me from behind, and I turned and it was he again.
Thereupon he said, 'Come, I conjure thee and ask thy want of me.' So I
begged him to pray for me three prayers; first, that Allah would make
me love poverty; secondly, that I might never lie down at night upon
provision assured to me; and thirdly, that He would vouchsafe me to
look upon His bountiful Face. So he prayed for me as I wished, and
departed from me. And indeed Allah hath granted me what the devotee
asked in prayer: to begin with He hath made me so love poverty that, by
the Almighty! there is naught in the world dearer to me than it, and
secondly since such a year, I have never lain down to sleep upon
assured provision; withal hath He never let me lack aught. As for the
third prayer, I trust that He will vouchsafe me that also, even as He
hath granted the two precedent, for right Bountiful and Beneficent is
His Godhead, and Allah have mercy on him who said:[FN#506]-

Garb of Fakir, renouncement, lowliness;

His robe of tatters and of rags his dress;

And pallor ornamenting brow as though

'Twere wanness such as waning crescents show.

Wasted him prayer a-through the long-lived night,

And flooding tears ne'er cease to dim his sight.

Memory of Him shall cheer his lonely room:

Th' Almighty nearest is in nightly gloom.

The Refuge helpeth such Fakir in need;

Help e'en the cattle and the winged breed:

Allah for sake of him of wrath is fain,

And for the grace of him shall fall the rain;

And if he pray one day for plague to stay,

'Twill stay, and 'bate man's wrong and tyrants slay.

While folk are sad, afflicted one and each,

He in his mercy's rich, the generous leach:

Bright shines his brow; an thou regard his face

Thy heart illumined shines by light of grace.

O thou who shunnest souls of worth innate

Departs thee (woe to thee!) of sins the weight.

Thou thinkest to overtake them, while thou bearest

Follies, which slay thee whatso way thou farest.

Didst wot their worth thou hadst all honour showed,

And tears in streamlets from thine eyes had flowed.

To catarrh-troubled men flowers lack their smell;

And brokers ken for how much clothes can sell;

So haste and with thy Lord reunion sue,

And haply Fate shall lend thee aidance due,

Rest from rejection and estrangement-stress,

And Joy thy wish and will shall choicely bless.

His court wide open for the suer is dight:—

One, very God, the Lord, th' Almighty might.'"

And they also tell a tale of


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
a Grecian sage called Daniel, who had disciples and scholars and the
wise men of Greece were obedient to his bidding and relied upon his
learning. Withal had Allah denied him a man child. One night, as he lay
musing and weeping over the lack of a son who might inherit his lore,
he bethought him that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) heareth the
prayer of those who resort to Him and that there is no doorkeeper at
the door of His bounties and that He favoureth whom He will without
compt and sendeth no supplicant empty away; nay He filleth their hands
with favours and benefits. So he besought the Almighty, the Bountiful,
to vouchsafe him a son to succeed him, and to endow him abundantly with
His beneficence. Then he returned home and carnally knew his wife who
conceived by him the same night.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Grecian sage
returned home and knew his wife who conceived by him the same night. A
few days after this he took ship for a certain place, but the ship was
wrecked and he saved himself on one of her planks, while only five
leaves remained to him of all the books he had. When he returned home,
he laid the five leaves in a box and locking it, gave the key to his
wife (who then showed big with child), and said to her, "Know that my
decease is at hand and that the time draweth nigh for my translation
from this abode temporal to the home which is eternal. Now thou art
with child and after my death wilt haply bear a son: if this be so,
name him Hαsib Karνm al-Dνn[FN#508] and rear him with the best of
rearing. When the boy shall grow up and shall say to thee, 'What
inheritance did my father leave me?'' give him these five leaves, which
when he shall have read and understood, he will be the most learned man
of his time." Then he farewelled her and heaving one sigh, departed the
world and all that is therein—the mercy of Allah the Most Highest be
upon Him! His family and friends wept over him and washed him and bore
him forth in great state and buried him; after which they wended their
ways home. But few days passed ere his widow bare a handsome boy and
named him Hasib Karim al-Din, as her husband charged her; and
immediately after his birth she summoned the astrologers, who
calculated his ascendants and drawing his horoscope, said to her,
"Know, O woman! that this birth will live many a year; but that will be
after a great peril in the early part of his life, wherefrom can he
escape, he will be given the knowledge of all the exact sciences." So
saying they went their ways. She suckled him two years,[FN#509] then
weaned him, and when he was five years old, she placed him in a school
to learn his book, but he would read nothing. So she took him from
school and set him to learn a trade; but he would not master any craft
and there came no work from his hands. The mother wept over this and
the folk said to her, "Marry him: haply he will take heart for his wife
and learn him a trade." So she sought out a girl and married him to
her; but, despite marriage and the lapse of time, he remained idle as
before, and would do nothing. One day, some neighbours of hers, who
were woodcutters, came to her and said, "Buy thy son an ass and cords
and an axe and let him go with us to the mountain and we will all of us
cut wood for fuel. The price of the wood shall be his and ours, and he
shall provide thee and his wife with his share." When she heard this,
she joyed with exceeding joy and bought her son an ass and cords and
hatchet; then, carrying him to the woodcutters, delivered him into
their hands and solemnly committed him to their care. Said they, "Have
no concern for the boy, our Lord will provide for him: he is the son of
our Shaykh." So they carried him to the mountain, where they cut
firewood and loaded their asses therewith; then returned to the city
and, selling what they had cut, spent the monies on their families.
This they did on the next day and the third and ceased not for some
time, till it chanced one day, a violent storm of rain broke over them,
and they took refuge in a great cave till the downfall should pass
away. Now Hasib Karim al-Din went apart from the rest into a corner of
the cavern and sitting down, fell to smiting the floor with his axe.
Presently he noted that the ground sounded hollow under the hatchet; so
he dug there awhile and came to a round flagstone with a ring in it.
When he saw this, he was glad and called his comrades the
woodcutters,—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasib Karim
al-Din saw the flagstone with the ring, he was glad and called his
comrades the woodcutters, who came to him and, finding it was fact,
soon pulled up the stone and discovered under it a trap-door, which,
being opened, showed a cistern full of bees' honey.[FN#510] Then said
they to one another, "This is a large store and we have nothing for it
but to return to the city and fetch vessels wherein to carry away the
honey, and sell it and divide the price, whilst one of us stands by the
cistern, to guard it from outsiders." Quoth Hasib, "I will stay and
keep watch over it till you bring your pots and pans." So they left him
on guard there and, repairing to the city, fetched vessels, which they
filled with honey and loading their asses therewith, carried them to
the streets and sold the contents. They returned on the morrow and thus
they did several days in succession, sleeping in the town by night and
drawing off the stuff by day, whilst Hasib abode on guard by it till
but little remained, when they said one to other, "It was Hasib Karim
al-Din found the honey, and tomorrow he will come down to the city and
complain against us and claim the price of it, saying, Twas I found
it;' nor is there escape for us but that we let him down into the
cistern, to bale out the rest of the honey, and leave him there; so
will he die of hunger, and none shall know of him." They all fell in
with this plot as they were making for the place; and, when they
reached it, one said to him, "O Hasib, go down into the pit and bale
out for us the rest of the honey." So he went down and passed up to
them what remained of the honey, after which he said to them, "Draw me
up, for there is nothing left." They made him no answer; but, loading
their asses, went off to the city and left him alone in the cistern.
Thereupon he fell to weeping and crying, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Such was his case;
but as regards his comrades, when they reached the city and sold the
honey, they repaired to Hasib's mother, weeping, and said to her, "May
thy head outlive thy son Hasib!" She asked, "What brought about his
death?" and they answered, "We were cutting wood on the mountain- top,
when there fell on us a heavy downfall of rain and we took shelter from
it in a cavern; and suddenly thy son's ass broke loose and fled into
the valley, and he ran after it, to turn it back, when there came out
upon them a great wolf, who tore thy son in pieces and ravined the
ass." When the mother heard this, she beat her face and strewed dust on
her head and fell to mourning for her son; and she kept life and soul
together only by the meat and drink which they brought her every day.
As for the woodcutters they opened them shops and became merchants and
spent their lives in eating and drinking and laughing and frolicking.
Meanwhile Hasib Karim al-Din, who ceased not to weep and call for help,
sat down upon the cistern edge when behold, a great scorpion fell down
on him; so he rose and killed it. Then he took thought and said, "The
cistern was full of honey; how came this scorpion here?" Accordingly he
got up and examined the well right and left, till he found a crevice
from which the scorpion had fallen and saw the light of day shining
through it. So he took out his woodman's knife and enlarged the hole,
till it was big as a window, then he crept through it and, after
walking for some time, came to a vast gallery, which led him to a huge
door of black iron bearing a padlock of silver wherein was a key of
gold. He stole up to the door and, looking through the chink, saw a
great light shining within; so he took the key and, opening the door,
went on for some time, till he came to a large artificial lake, wherein
he caught sight of something that shimmered like silver. He walked up
to it and at last he saw, hard by a hillock of green jasper and on the
hill top, a golden throne studded with all manner gems,—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Hasib
reached the hillock he found it of green jasper surmounted by a golden
throne studded with all manner gems, round which were set many stools,
some of gold, some of silver and others of leek green emerald. He clomb
the hillock and, counting the stools, found them twelve thousand in
number; then he mounted the throne which was set on the centre and,
seating himself thereon, fell to wondering at the lake and the stools,
and he marvelled till drowsiness overcame him and he drops asleep.
Presently, he was aroused by a loud snorting and hissing and rustling,
so he opened his eyes; and, sitting up, saw each stool occupied by a
huge serpent, an hundred cubits in length. At this sight, great fear
get hold of him; his spittle dried up for the excess of his dread and
he despaired of life, as all their eyes were blazing like live coals.
Then he turned towards the lake and saw that what he had taken for
shimmering water was a multitude of small snakes, none knoweth their
compt save Allah the Most High. After awhile, there came up to him a
serpent as big as a mule, bearing on its back a tray of gold, wherein
lay another serpent which shone like crystal and whose face was as that
of a woman[FN#511] and who spake with human speech. And as soon as she
was brought up to Hasib, she saluted him and he returned the
salutation. There upon, one of the serpents seated on the stools came
up and, lifting her off the tray, set her on one of the seats and she
cried out to the other serpents in their language, whereupon they all
fell down from their stools and did her homage. But she signed to them
to sit and they did so. Then she addressed Hasib, saying, "Have no fear
of us, O youth; for I am the Queen of the Serpents and their Sultαnah."
When he heard her speak on this wise, he took heart and she bade the
serpents bring him somewhat of food.[FN#512] So they brought apples and
grapes and pomegranates and pistachio-nuts and filberts and walnuts and
almonds and bananas and set them before him, and the Queen-serpent
said, "Welcome, O youth! What is thy name?" Answered he, "Hasib Karim
al-Din;" and she rejoined, "O Hasib, eat of these fruits, for we have
no other meat and fear thou have nothing from us at all." Hearing this,
he ate his fill and praised Allah Almighty; and presently they took
away the trays from before him, and the Queen said, "Tell me, O Hasib,
whence thou art and how camest thou hither and what hath befallen
thee." So he told her his story from first to last, the death of his
father; his birth; his being sent to school where he learnt nothing;
his becoming a wood cutter; his finding the honey- cistern; his being
abandoned therein; his killing the scorpion; his widening the crevice;
his finding the iron door and his coming upon the Queen, and he ended
his long tale with saying, "These be my adventures from beginning to
end and only Allah wotteth what will betide me after all this!" Quoth
the Queen, after listening to his words, "Nothing save good shall
betide thee:"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Serpent-queen had heard his story she said, "Nothing save good shall
betide thee: but I would have thee, O Hasib, abide with me some time,
that I may tell thee my history and acquaint thee with the wondrous
adventures which have happened to me." "I hear and obey thy hest,"
answered he; and she began to tell in these words,

The Adventures of Bulukiya.

"Know thou, O Hasib, there was once in the city of Cairo a King of the
Banu Isra'νl, a wise and a pious, who was bent double by poring over
books of learning, and he had a son named Bulϊkiyα. When he grew old
and weak and was nigh upon death, his Grandees and Officers of state
came up to salute him, and he said to them, 'O folk, know that at hand
is the hour of my march from this world to the next, and I have no
charge to lay on you, save to commend to your care my son Bulukiya.'
Then said he, 'I testify that there is no god save the God;' and,
heaving one sigh, departed the world the mercy of Allah be upon him!
They laid him out and washed him and buried him with a procession of
great state. Then they made his son Bulukiya Sultan in his stead; and
he ruled the kingdom justly and the people had peace in his time. Now
it befell one day that he entered his father's treasuries, to look
about him, and coming upon an inner compartment and finding the
semblance of a door, opened it and passed in. And lo! he found himself
in a little closet, wherein stood a column of white marble, on the top
of which was a casket of ebony; he opened this also and saw therein
another casket of gold, containing a book. He read the book and found
in it an account of our lord Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!)
and how he should be sent in the latter days[FN#513] and be the lord of
the first Prophets and the last. On seeing the personal description
Bulukiya's heart was taken with love of him, so he at once assembled
all the notables of the Children of Israel, the Cohens or diviners, the
scribes and the priests, and acquainted them with the book, reading
portions of it to them and, adding, 'O folk, needs must I bring my
father out of his grave and burn him.' The lieges asked, 'Why wilt thou
burn him?'; and he answered, 'Because he hid this book from me and
imparted it not to me.' Now the old King had excerpted it from the
Torah or Pentateuch and the Books of Abraham; and had set it in one of
his treasuries and concealed it from all living. Rejoined they, 'O
King, thy father is dead; his body is in the dust and his affair is in
the hands of his Lord; thou shalt not take him forth of his tomb.' So
he knew that they would not suffer him to do this thing by his sire and
leaving them he repaired to his mother, to whom said he, 'O my mother,
I have found, in one of my father's treasuries, a book containing a
description of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!), a prophet who
shall be sent in the latter days; and my heart is captivated with love
of him. Wherefore am I resolved to wander over the earth, till I
foregather with him; else I shall die of longing for his love.' Then he
doffed his clothes and donned an Aba gown of goat's hair and coarse
sandals, saying, 'O my mother, forget me not in thy prayers.' She wept
over him and said, 'What will become of us after thee?'; but Bulukiya
answered, 'I can endure no longer, and I commit my affair and thine to
Allah who is Almighty.' Then he set out on foot Syria wards without the
knowledge of any of his folk, and coming to the sea board found a
vessel whereon he shipped as one of the crew. They sailed till he made
an island, where Bulukiya landed with the crew, but straying away from
the rest he sat down under a tree and sleep got the better of him. When
he awoke, he sought the ship but found that she had set sail without
him, and in that island he saw serpents as big as camels and palm
trees, which repeated the names of Allah (be He extolled and exalted!)
and blessed Mohammed (whom the Lord assain and save!), proclaiming the
Unity and glorifying the Glorious; whereat he wondered."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya
saw the serpents glorifying God and proclaiming the Unity, he wondered
with extreme wonder. When they saw him, they flocked to him and one of
them said to him, 'Who and whence art thou and whither goest thou. and
what is thy name?' Quoth he, 'My name is Bulukiya; I am of the Children
of Israel and, being distracted for love of Mohammed (whom Allah bless
and keep!), I come in quest of him. But who are ye, O noble creatures?'
Answered they, 'We are of the dwellers in the Jahannam-hell; and
Almighty Allah created us for the punishment of Kafirs.' 'And how came
ye hither?' asked he, and the Serpents answered, 'Know, O Bulukiya,
that Hell[FN#514] of the greatness of her boiling, breatheth twice a
year, expiring in the summer and inspiring in the winter, and hence the
summer heat and winter cold. When she exhaleth, she casteth us forth of
her maw, and we are drawn in again with her inhaled breath.' Quoth
Bulukiya, 'Say me, are there greater serpents than you in Hell?'; and
they said, 'Of a truth we are cast out with the expired breath but by
reason of our smallness; for in Hell every serpent is so great, that
were the biggest of us to pass over its nose it would not feel
us.[FN#515]' Asked Bulukiya, 'Ye sing the praises of Allah and invoke
blessings on Mohammed, whom the Almighty assain and save! Whence wot ye
of Mohammed?'; and they answered, 'O Bulukiya, verily his name is
written on the gates of Paradise; and, but for him, Allah had not
created the worlds[FN#516] nor Paradise, nor heaven nor hell nor earth,
for He made all things that be, solely on his account, and hath
conjoined his name with His own in every place; wherefore we love
Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!' Now hearing the serpents'
converse did but inflame Bulukiya's love for Mohammed and yearning for
his sight; so he took leave of them; and, making his way to the
sea-shore, found there a ship made fast to the beach; he embarked
therein as a seaman and sailed nor ceased sailing till he came to
another island. Here he landed and walking about awhile found serpents
great and small, none knoweth their number save Almighty Allah, and
amongst them a white Serpent, clearer than crystal, seated in a golden
tray borne on the back of another serpent as big as an elephant. Now
this, O Hasib, was the Serpent-queen, none other than myself." Quoth
Hasib, "And what answer didst thou make him?" Quoth she, "Know, O
Hasib, that when I saw Bulukiya, I saluted him with the salam, and he
returned my salutation, and I said to him, 'Who and what art thou and
what is thine errand and whence comest thou and whither goest thou?'
Answered he, 'I am of the Children of Israel; my name is Bulukiya, and
I am a wanderer for the love of Mohammed, whose description I have read
in the revealed scriptures, and of whom I go in search. But what art
thou and what are these serpents about thee?' Quoth I, 'O Bulukiya, I
am the Queen of the Serpents; and when thou shalt foregather with
Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!) bear him my salutation.' Then
Bulukiya took leave of me and journeyed till he came to the Holy City
which is Jerusalem. Now there was in that stead a man who was deeply
versed in all sciences, more especially in geometry and astronomy and
mathematics, as well as in white magic[FN#517] and Spiritualism; and he
had studied the Pentateuch and the Evangel and the Psalms and the Books
of Abraham. His name was Affan; and he had found in certain of his
books, that whoso should wear the seal ring of our lord Solomon, men
and Jinn and birds and beasts and all created things would be bound to
obey him. Moreover, he had discovered that our lord Solomon had been
buried in a coffin which was miraculously transported beyond the Seven
Seas to the place of burial;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Affan had found
in certain books that none, mortal or spirit, could pluck the seal ring
from the lord Solomon's finger; and that no navigator could sail his
ship upon the Seven Seas over which the coffin had been carried.
Moreover, he had found out by reading that there was a herb of herbs
and that if one express its juice and anoint therewith his feet, he
should walk upon the surface of any sea that Allah Almighty had created
without wetting his soles, but none could obtain this herb, without he
had with him the Serpent-queen. When Bulukiya arrived at the Holy City,
he at once sat down to do his devotions and worship the Lord; and,
whilst he was so doing, Affan came up and saluted him as a True
Believer. Then seeing him reading the Pentateuch and adoring the
Almighty, he accosted him saying, 'What is thy name, O man; and whence
comest thou and whither goest thou?' He answered, 'My name is Bulukiya;
I am from the city of Cairo and am come forth wandering in quest of
Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!' Quoth Affan, 'Come with me to
my lodging that I may entertain thee.' 'To hear is to obey,' replied
Bulukiya So the devotee took him by the hand and carried him to his
house where he entreated him with the utmost honour and presentry said
to him, 'Tell me thy history, O my brother, and how thou camest by the
knowledge of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!) that thy heart hath
been taken with love of him and compelled thee to fare forth and seek
him; and lastly tell me who it was directed thee in this road.' So he
related to him his tale in its entirety; whereupon Affan, who well nigh
lost his wits for wonder, said to him, 'Make tryst for me with the
Queen of the Serpents and I will bring thee in company with Mohammed,
albeit the date of his mission is yet far distant. We have only to
prevail upon the Queen and carry her in a cage to a certain mountain
where the herbs grow; and, as long as she is with us, the plants as we
pass them will parley with human speech and discover their virtues by
the ordinance of Allah the Most High. For I have found in my books that
there is a certain herb and all who express its juice and anoint
therewith their feet shall walk upon whatsoever sea Almighty Allah hath
made, without wetting sole. When we have found the magical herb, we
will let her go her way; and then will we anoint our feet with the
juice and cross the Seven Seas, till we come to the burial place of our
lord Solomon. Then we will take the ring off his finger and rule even
as he ruled and win all our wishes; we will enter the Main of
Murks[FN#518] and drink of the Water of Life, and so the Almighty will
let us tarry till the End of Time and we shall foregather with
Mohammed, whom Allah bless and preserve!' Hearing these words Bulukiya
replied, 'O Affan, I will make tryst for thee with the Serpent-queen
and at once show thee her abiding place.' So Affan made him a cage of
iron; and, providing himself with two bowls, one full of wine and the
other of milk, took ship with Bulukiya and sailed till they came to the
island, where they landed and walked upon it. Then Affan set up the
cage, in which he laid a noose and withdrew after placing in it the two
bowls; when he and Bulukiya concealed themselves afar off. Presently,
up came the Queen of the Serpents (that is, myself) and examined the
cage. When she (that is I) smelt the savour of the milk, she came down
from the back of the snake which bore her tray and, entering the cage,
drank up the milk. Then she went to the bowl of wine and drank of it,
whereupon her head became giddy and she slept. When Affan saw this, he
ran up and locking the cage upon her, set it on his head and made for
the ship, he and Bulukiya. After awhile she awoke and finding herself
in a cage of iron on a man's head and seeing Bulukiya walking beside
the bearer, said to him, 'This is the reward of those who do no hurt to
the sons of Adam.' Answered he, 'O Queen, have no fear of us, for we
will do thee no hurt at all. We wish thee only to show us the herb
which, when pounded and squeezed yieldeth a juice, and this rubbed upon
the feet conferreth the power of walking dryshod upon what sea soever
Almighty Allah hath created; and when we have found that, we will
return thee to thy place and let thee wend thy way.' Then Affan and
Bulukiya fared on for the hills where grew the herbs; and, as they went
about with the Queen, each plant they passed began to speak and avouch
its virtues by permission of Allah the Most High. As they were thus
doing and the herbs speaking right and left, behold, a plant spoke out
and said, 'I am the herb ye seek, and all who gather and crush me and
anoint their feet with my juice, shall fare over what sea soever Allah
Almighty hath created and yet ne'er wet sole.' When Affan heard this,
he set down the cage from his head and, gathering what might suffice
them of the herb, crushed it and filling two vials with the juice kept
them for future use; and with what was left they anointed their feet.
Then they took up the Serpent-queen's cage and journeyed days and
nights, till they reached the island, where they opened the cage and
let out her that is me. When I found myself at liberty, I asked them
what use they would make of the juice; and they answered, 'We design to
anoint our feet and to cross the Seven Seas to the burial place of our
lord Solomon[FN#519] and take the seal ring from his finger.' Quoth I,
'Far, far is it from your power to possess yourselves of the ring!'
They enquired, 'Wherefore?' and I replied, 'Because Almighty Allah
vouchsafed unto our lord Solomon the gift of this ring and
distinguished him thereby, for that he said to him, 'O Lord, give me a
kingdom which may not be obtained after me; for Thou verily art the
Giver of kingdoms.[FN#520]' 'So that ring is not for you.' And I added,
'Had ye twain taken the herb, whereof all who eat shall not die until
the First Blast,[FN#521] it had better availed you than this ye have
gotten; for ye shall nowise come at your desire thereby.' Now when they
heard this, they repented them with exceeding penitence and went their
ways."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya
and Affan heard these words, they repented them with exceeding
penitence and went their ways. Such was their case; but as regards
myself" (continued the Serpent-queen) "I went in quest of my host and
found it fallen in piteous case, the stronger of them having grown weak
in my absence and the weaker having died. When they saw me, they
rejoiced and flocking about me, asked, 'What hath befallen thee, and
where hast thou been?' So I told them what had passed, after which I
gathered my forces to "ether and repaired with them to the mountain
Kaf, where I was wont to winter, summer-freshing in the place where
thou now seest me, O Hasib Karim al-Din. This, then, is my story and
what befell me." Thereupon Hasib marvelled at her words and said to
her, "I beseech thee, of thy favour, bid one of thy guards bear me
forth to the surface of the earth, that I may go to my people." She
replied, "O Hasib, thou shalt not have leave to depart from us till
winter come, and needs must thou go with us to the Mountain Kaf and
solace thyself with the sight of the hills and sands and trees and
birds magnifying the One God, the Victorious; and look upon Marids and
Ifrits and Jinn, whose number none knoweth save Almighty Allah." When
Hasib heard this, he was sore chafed and chagrined: then he said to
her, "Tell me of Affan and Bulukiya; when they departed from thee and
went their way, did they cross the Seven Seas and reach the
burial-place of our lord Solomon or not; and if they did had they power
to take the ring or not?" Answered she, "Know, that when they left me,
they anointed their feet with the juice; and, walking over the water,
fared on from sea to sea, diverting themselves with the wonders of the
deep, nor ceased they faring till they had traversed the Seven Seas and
came in sight of a mountain, soaring high in air, whose stones were
emeralds and whose dust was musk; and in it was a stream of running
water. When they made it they rejoiced, saying each to the other,
'Verily we have won our wish'; and they entered the passes of the
mountain and walked on, till they saw from afar a cavern surmounted by
a great dome, shining with light. So they made for the cavern, and
entering it beheld therein a throne of gold studded with all manner
jewels, and about it stools whose number none knoweth save Allah
Almighty. And they saw lying at full length upon the throne our lord
Solomon, clad in robes of green silk inwoven with gold and broidered
with jewels and precious minerals: his right hand was passed over his
breast and on the middle finger was the seal ring whose lustre outshone
that of all other gems in the place. Then Affan taught Bulukiya
adjurations and conjurations galore and said to him, 'Repeat these
conjurations and cease not repeating until I take the ring.' Then he
went up to the throne; but, as he drew near unto it lo' c mighty
serpent came forth from beneath it and cried out at him with so
terrible a cry that the whole place trembled and sparks flew from its
mouth, saying, 'Begone, or thou art a dead man' But Affan busied
himself with his incantations and suffered himself not to be startled
thereby. Then the serpent blew such a fiery blast at him, that the
place was like to be set on fire, and said to him, Woe to thee! Except
thou turn back, I will consume thee' Hearing these words Bulukiya left
the cave, but Affan, who suffered himself not to be troubled, went up
to the Prophet: then he put out his hand to the ring and touched it and
strove to draw it off the lord Solomon's finger; and behold, the
serpent blew on him once more and he became a heap of ashes. Such was
his case; but as regards Bulukiya he fell down in a swoon."— And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

When it was the Four Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "When Bulukiya saw Affan burnt up by the fire and become a
heap of ashes, he fell down in a swoon. Thereupon the Lord (magnified
be His Majesty!) bade Gabriel descend earthwards and save him ere the
serpent should blow on him. So Gabriel descended without delay and,
finding Affan reduced to ashes and Bulukiya in a fit, aroused him from
his trance and saluting him asked, 'How camest thou hither?' Bulukiya
related to him his history from first to last, adding, 'Know that I
came not hither but for the love of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and
save!), of whom Affan informed me that his mission would take place at
the End of Time; moreover that none should foregather with him but
those who endured to the latter days by drinking of the Water of Life
through means of Solomon's seal. So I companied him hither and there
befell him what befell; but I escaped the fire and now it is my desire
that thou inform me where Mohammed is to be found.' Quoth Gabriel, 'O
Bulukiya, go thy ways, for the time of Mohammed's coming is yet far
distant.' Then he ascended up to heaven forthright, and Bulukiya wept
with sore weeping and repented of that which he had done, calling to
mind my words, whenas I said to them, 'Far is it from man's power to
possess himself of the ring.' Then he descended from the mountain and
returned in exceeding confusion to the sea shore and passed the night
there, marvelling at the mountains and seas and islands around him.
When morning dawned, he anointed his feet with the herb-juice and
descending to the water, set out and fared on over the surface of the
seas days and nights, astonied at the terrors of the main and the
marvels and wonders of the deep, till he came to an island as it were
the Garden of Eden. So he landed and, finding himself in a great and
pleasant island, paced about it and saw with admiration that its dust
was saffron and its gravel carnelian and precious minerals; its hedges
were of jessamine, its vegetation was of the goodliest of trees and of
the brightest of odoriferous shrubs; its brushwood was of Comorin and
Sumatran aloes-wood and its reeds were sugar-canes. Round about it were
roses and narcissus and amaranths and gilly-flowers and chamomiles and
white lilies and violets, and other flowers of all kinds and colours.
Of a truth the island was the goodliest place, abounding in space, rich
in grace, a compendium of beauty material and spiritual. The birds
warbled on the boughs with tones far sweeter than chaunt of Koran and
their notes would console a lover whom longings unman. And therein the
gazelle frisked free and fain and wild cattle roamed about the plain.
Its trees were of tallest height; its streams flowed bright; its
springs welled with waters sweet and light; and all therein was a
delight to sight and sprite. Bulukiya marvelled at the charms of the
island but knew that he had strayed from the way he had first taken in
company with Affan. He wandered about the place and solaced him with
various spectacles until nightfall, when he climbed into a tree to
sleep; but as he sat there, musing over the beauty of the site, behold,
the sea became troubled and there rose up to the surface a great beast,
which cried out with a cry so terrible that every living thing upon the
isle trembled. As Bulukiya gazed upon him from the tree and marvelled
at the bigness of his bulk, he was presently followed unexpectedly by a
multitude of other sea beasts in kind manifolds, each holding in his
fore-paw a jewel which shone like a lamp, so that the whole island
became as light as day for the lustre of the gems. After awhile, there
appeared, from the heart of the island, wild beasts of the land, none
knoweth their number save Allah the Most High; amongst which Bulukiya
noted lions and panthers and lynxes and other ferals; and these land
beasts flocked down to the shore; and, foregathering with the sea
beasts, conversed with them till daybreak, when they separated and each
went his own way. Thereupon Bulukiya, terrified by what he had seen,
came down from the tree and, making the sea shore, anointed his feet
with the magical juice, and set out once more upon the surface of the
water. He fared on days and nights over the Second Sea, till he came to
a great mountain skirting which ran a Wady without end, the stones
whereof were magnetic iron and its beasts, lions and hares and
panthers. He landed on the mountain foot and wandered from place to
place till nightfall, when he sat down sheltered by one of the base
hills on the sea side, to eat of the dried fish thrown up by the sea.
Presently, he turned from his meal and behold, a huge panther was
creeping up to rend and ravin him; so he anointed his feet in haste
with the juice and, descending to the surface of the water, fled
walking over the Third Sea, in the darkness, for the night was black
and the wind blew stark. Nor did he stay his course till he reached
another island, whereon he landed and found there trees bearing fruits
both fresh and dry.[FN#522] So he took of these fruits and ate and
praised Allah Almighty; after which he walked for solace; about the
island till eventide."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Bulukiya
(continued the Queen) walked for solace about the island till eventide,
when he lay down to sleep. As soon as day brake, he began to explore
the place and ceased not for ten days, after which he again made the
shore and anointed his feet and, setting out over the Fourth Sea,
walked upon it many nights and days, till he came to a third island of
fine white sand without sign of trees or grass. He walked about it
awhile but, finding its only inhabitants sakers which nested in the
sand, he again anointed his feet and trudged over the Fifth Sea,
walking night and day till he came to a little island, whose soil and
hills were like crystal. Therein were the veins wherefrom gold is
worked; and therein also were marvellous trees whose like he had never
seen in his wanderings, for their blossoms were in hue as gold. He
landed and walked about for diversion till it was nightfall, when the
flowers began to shine through the gloom like stars. Seeing this sight,
he marvelled and said, 'Assuredly, the flowers of this island are of
those which wither under the sun and fall to the earth, where the winds
smite them and they gather under the rocks and become the
Elixir[FN#523] which the folk collect and thereof make gold.' He slept
there all that night and at sunrise he again anointed his feet and,
descending to the shore, fared on over the Sixth Sea nights and days,
till he came to a fifth island. Here he landed and found, after walking
an hour or so, two mountains covered with a multitude of trees, whose
fruits were as men's heads hanging by the hair, and others whose fruits
were green birds hanging by the feet; also a third kind, whose fruits
were like aloes, if a drop of the juice fell on a man it burnt like
fire; and others, whose fruits wept and laughed, besides many other
marvels which he saw there. Then he returned to the sea shore and,
finding there a tall tree, sat down beneath it till supper time when he
climbed up into the branches to sleep. As he sat considering the
wonderful works of Allah behold, the waters became troubled, and there
rose therefrom the daughters of the sea, each mermaid holding in her
hand a jewel which shone like the morning. They came ashore and,
foregathering under the trees, sat down and danced and sported and made
merry whilst Bulukiya amused himself with watching and wondering at
their gambols, which were prolonged till the morning, when they
returned to the sea and disappeared. Then he came down and, anointing
his feet, set out on the surface of the Seventh Sea, over which he
journeyed two whole months, without getting sight of highland or island
or broadland or lowland or shoreland, till he came to the end thereof.
And so doing he suffered exceeding hunger, so that he was forced to
snatch up fishes from the surface of the sea and devour them raw, for
stress of famine. In such case he pushed on till in early forenoon he
came to the sixth island, with trees a-growing and rills a flowing,
where he landed and walked about, looking right and left, till he came
to an apple tree and put forth his hand to pluck of the fruit, when lo!
one cried out to him from the tree, saying, 'An thou draw near to this
tree and cut of it aught, I will cut thee in twain.' So he looked and
saw a giant forty cubits high, being the cubit of the people of that
day; whereat he feared with sore fear and refrained from that tree.
Then said he to the giant, 'Why cost thou forbid me to eat of this
tree?' Replied the other, 'Because thou art a son of Adam and thy
father Adam forgot the covenant of Allah and sinned against Him and ate
of the tree.' Quoth Bulukiya, 'What thing art thou and to whom
belongeth this island, with its trees, and how art thou named?' Quoth
the tall one, 'My name is Sharαhiyα and trees and island belong to King
Sakhr;[FN#524] I am one of his guards and in charge of his dominion,'
presently adding, 'But who art thou and whence comest thou hither?'
Bulukiya told him his story from beginning to end and Sharahiya said,
'Be of good cheer,' and brought him to eat. So he ate his fill and,
taking leave of the giant, set out again and ceased not faring on over
the mountains and sandy deserts for ten days; at the end of which time
he saw, in the distance, a dust cloud hanging like a canopy in air;
and, making towards it, he heard a mighty clamour, cries and blows and
sounds of mellay. Presently he reached a great Wady, two months'
journey long; and, looking whence the shouts came, he saw a multitude
of horse men engaged in fierce fight and the blood running from them
till it railed like a river. Their voices were thunderous and they were
armed with lance and sword and iron mace and bow and arrow, and all
fought with the utmost fury. At this sight he felt sore affright"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "When Bulukiya saw the host in fight, he felt sore affright
and was perplexed about his case; but whilst he hesitated, behold, they
caught sight of him and held their hands one from other and left
fighting. Then a troop of them came up to him, wondering at his make,
and one of the horsemen said to him, 'What art thou and whence camest
thou hither and whither art wending; and who showed thee the way that
thou hast come to our country?' Quoth he, 'I am of the sons of Adam and
am come out, distracted for the love of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and
preserve!); but I have wandered from my way.' Quoth the horseman,
'Never saw we a son of Adam till now, nor did any ever come to this
land.' And all marvelled at him and at his speech. 'But what are ye, O
creatures?' asked Bulukiya; and the rider replied, 'We are of the
Jαnn.' So he said, 'O Knight, what is the cause of the fighting amongst
you and where is your abiding place and what is the name of this valley
and this land?' He replied, 'Our abiding- place is the White Country;
and, every year, Allah Almighty commandeth us to come hither and wage
war upon the unbelieving Jann.' Asked Bulukiya, 'And where is the White
Country?' and the horseman answered, 'It is behind the mountain Kaf,
and distant seventy-five years journey from this place which is termed
the Land of Shaddαd son of 'Αd: we are here for Holy War; and we have
no other business, when we are not doing battle, than to glorify God
and hallow him. More over, we have a ruler, King Sakhr highs, and needs
must thou go with us to him, that he may look upon thee for his
especial delight.' Then they fared on (and he with them) till they came
to their abiding place; where he saw a multitude of magnificent tents
of green silk, none knoweth their number save Allah the Most High, and
in their midst a pavilion of red satin, some thousand cubits in
compass, with cords of blue silk and pegs of gold and silver. Bulukiya
marvelled at the sight and accompanied them as they fared on and
behold, this was the royal pavilion. So they carried him into the
presence of King Sakhr, whom he found seated upon a splendid throne of
red gold, set with pearls and studded with gems; the Kings and Princes
of the Jann being on his right hand, and on his left his Councillors
and Emirs and Officers of state, and a multitude of others. The King
seeing him bade introduce him, which they did; and Bulukiya went up to
him and saluted him after kissing the ground before him. The King
returned his salute and said, 'Draw near me, O mortal!' and Bulukiya
went close up to him. Hereupon the King, commanding a chair to be set
for him by his royal side, bade him sit down and asked him 'Who art
thou?'; and Bulukiya answered, 'I am a man, and one of the Children of
Israel.' 'Tell me thy story,' cried King Sakhr, 'and acquaint me with
all that hath befallen thee and how thou camest to this my land.' So
Bulukiya related to him all that had occurred in his wanderings from
beginning to end."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "When Bulukiya related to Sakhr what befell him in his
wanderings, he marvelled thereat. Then he bade the servants bring food
and they spread the tables and set on one thousand and five hundred
platters of red gold and silver and copper, some containing twenty and
some fifty boiled camels, and others some fifty head of sheep; at which
Bulukiya marvelled with exceeding marvel. Then they ate and he ate with
them, till he was satisfied and returned thanks to Allah Almighty;
after which they cleared the tables and set on fruits, and they ate
thereof, glorifying the name of God and invoking blessings on His
prophet Mohammed (whom Allah bless and preserve!) When Bulukiya heard
them make mention of Mohammed, he wondered and said to King Sakhr, 'I
am minded to ask thee some questions.' Rejoined the King, 'Ask what
thou wilt,' and Bulukiya said, 'O King, what are ye and what is your
origin and how came ye to know of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and
save!) that ye draw near to him and love him?' King Sakhr answered, 'O
Bulukiya, of very sooth Allah created the fire in seven stages, one
above the other, and each distant a thousand years journey from its
neighbour. The first stage he named Jahannam[FN#525] and appointed the
same for the punishment of the transgressors of the True-believers, who
die unrepentant; the second he named Lazα and appointed for
Unbelievers: the name of the third is Jahνm and is appointed for Gog
and Magog.[FN#526] The fourth is called Sa'νr and is appointed for the
host of Iblis. The fifth is called Sakar and is prepared for those who
neglect prayer. The sixth is called Hatamah and is appointed for Jews
and Christians. The seventh is named Hαwiyah and is prepared for
hypocrites. Such be the seven stages.' Quoth Bulukiya, 'Haply Jahannam
hath least of torture for that it is the uppermost.' 'Yes,' quoth King
Sakhr, 'the most endurable of them all is Jahannam; natheless in it are
a thousand mountains of fire, in each mountain seventy thousand cities
of fire, in each city seventy thousand castles of fire, in each castle
seventy thousand houses of fire, in each house seventy thousand couches
of fire and in each couch seventy thousand manners of torment. As for
the other hells, O Bulukiya, none knoweth the number of kinds of
torment that be therein save Allah Most Highest.' When Bulukiya heard
this, he fell down in a fainting-fit, and when he came to himself, he
wept and said, 'O King what will be my case?' Quoth Sakhr, 'Fear not,
and know thou that whoso loveth Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!)
the fire shall not burn him, for he is made free therefrom for his
sake; and whoso belongeth to his Faith the fire shall fly him. As for
us, the Almighty Maker created us of the fire for the first that he
made in Jahannam were two of His host whom he called Khalνt and Malνt.
Now Khalνt was fashioned in the likeness of a lion, with a tail like a
tortoise twenty years' journey in length and ending in a member
masculine; while Malνt was like a pied wolf whose tail was furnished
with a member feminine. Then Almighty Allah commanded the tails to
couple and copulate and do the deed of kind, and of them were born
serpents and scorpions, whose dwelling is in the fire, that Allah may
there with torment those whom He casteth therein; and these increased
and multiplied. Then Allah commanded the tails of Khalit and Malit to
couple and copulate a second time, and the tail of Malit conceived by
the tail of Khalit and bore fourteen children, seven male and seven
female, who grew up and intermarried one with the other. All were
obedient to their sire, save one who disobeyed him and was changed into
a worm which is Iblis (the curse of Allah be upon him!). Now Iblis was
one of the Cherubim, for he had served Allah till he was raised to the
heavens and cherished[FN#527] by the especial favour of the Merciful
One, who made him chief of the Cherubim.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "'Iblis served God and became chief of Cherubim. When,
however, the Lord created Adam (with whom be peace!), He commanded
Iblis to prostrate himself to him, but he drew back; so Allah Almighty
expelled him from heaven and cursed him.[FN#528] This Iblis had issue
and of his lineage are the devils; and as for the other six males, who
were his elders, they are the ancestors of the true believing Jann, and
we are their descendants. Such, O Bulukiya is our provenance.[FN#529]'
Bulukiya marvelled at the King's words and said, 'O King, I pray thee
bid one of thy guards bear me back to my native land.' 'Naught of this
may we do,' answered Sakhr, 'save by commandment of Allah Almighty;
however, an thou desire to leave us and return home, I will mount thee
on one of my mares and cause her carry thee to the farthest frontiers
of my dominions, where thou wilt meet with the troops of another King,
Barαkhiyα highs, who will recognize the mare at sight and take thee off
her and send her back to us; and this is all we can do for thee, and no
more.' When Bulukiya heard these words he wept and said, 'Do whatso
thou wilt.' So King Sakhr caused bring the mare and, setting Bulukiya
on her back, said to him, 'Beware lest thou alight from her or strike
her or cry out in her face; for if thou do so she will slay thee; but
abide quietly riding on her back till she stop with thee; then dismount
and wend thy ways.' Quoth Bulukiya, 'I hear and I obey;' he then
mounted and setting out, rode on a long while between the rows of
tents; and stinted not riding till he came to the royal kitchens where
he saw the great cauldrons, each holding fifty camels, hung up over the
fires which blazed fiercely under them. So he stopped there and gazed
with a marvel ever increasing till King Sakhr thinking him to be
anhungered, bade bring him two roasted camels; and they carried them to
him and bound them behind him on the mare's crupper. Then he took leave
of them and fared on, till he came to the end of King Sakhr's
dominions, where the mare stood still and Bulukiya dismounted and began
to shake the dust of the journey from his raiment. And behold, there
accosted him a party of men who, recognising the mare, carried her and
Bulukiya before their King Barakhiya. So he saluted him, and the King
returned his greeting and seated him beside himself in a splendid
pavilion, in the midst of his troops and champions and vassal Princes
of the Jann ranged to right and left; after which he called for food
and they ate their fill and pronounced the Alhamdolillah. Then they set
on fruits, and when they had eaten thereof, King Barakhiya, whose
estate was like that of King Sakhr, asked his guest, 'When didst thou
leave King Sakhr?' And Bulukiya answered, 'Two days ago.' Quoth
Barakhiya, 'Dost thou know, how many days' journey thou hast come in
these two days?' Quoth he, 'No,' and the King rejoined, 'Thou hast come
a journey of threescore and ten months.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "Barakhiya said to Bulukiya, 'In two days thou hast come a
journey of threescore and ten months; moreover when thou mountedst the
mare, she was affrighted at thee, knowing thee for a son of Adam, and
would have thrown thee; so they bound on her back these two camels by
way of weight to steady her.' When Bulukiya heard this, he marvelled
and thanked Allah Almighty for safety. Then said the King, 'Tell me thy
adventures and what brought thee to this our land.' So he told him his
story from first to last, and the King marvelled at his words, and kept
Bulukiya with him two months." Upon this Hasib Karim al-Din after he
had marvelled at her story, again besought the Serpent-queen saying, "I
pray thee of thy goodness and graciousness command one of thy subjects
conduct me to the surface of the earth, that I may return to my
family;" but she answered, "O Hasib, I know that the first thing thou
wilt do, after seeing the face of the earth will be to greet thy family
and then repair to the Hammam bath and bathe; and the moment thou
endest thine ablutions will see the last of me, for it will be the
cause of my death." Quoth Hasib, "I swear that I will never again enter
the Hammam bath so long as I live, but when washing is incumbent on me,
I will wash at home." Rejoined the Queen, "I would not trust thee
though thou shouldst swear to me an hundred oaths; for such abstaining
is not possible, and I know thee to be a son of Adam for whom no oath
is sacred. Thy father Adam made a covenant with Allah the most High,
who kneaded the clay whereof He fashioned him forty mornings and made
His angels prostrate themselves to him; yet after all his promise did
he forget and his oath violate, disobeying the commandment of his
Lord." When Hasib heard this, he held his peace and burst into tears;
nor did he leave weeping for the space of ten days, at the end of which
time he said to the Queen, "Prithee acquaint me with the rest of
Bulukiya's adventures." Accordingly, she began again as follows: "Know,
O Hasib, that Bulukiya, after abiding two months with King Barakhiya,
farewelled him and fared on over wastes and deserts nights and days'
till he came to a high mountain which he ascended. On the summit he
beheld seated a great Angel glorifying the names of God and invoking
blessings on Mohammed. Before him lay a tablet covered with characters,
these white and those black,[FN#530] whereon his eyes were fixed, and
his two wings were outspread to the full, one to the western and the
other to the eastern horizon. Bulukiya approached and saluted the
Angel, who returned his salam adding, 'Who art thou and whence comest
thou and whither wendest thou and what is thy story?' Accordingly, he
repeated to him his history, from first to last, and the Angel
marvelled mightily thereat, whereupon Bulukiya said to him, 'I pray
thee in return acquaint me with the meaning of this tablet and what is
writ thereon; and what may be thine occupation and thy name.' Replied
the Angel, 'My name is Michael, and I am charged with the shifts of
night and day; and this is my occupation till the Day of Doom.'
Bulukiya wondered at his words and at his aspect and the vastness of
his stature and, taking leave of him, fared onwards, night and day,
till he came to a vast meadow over which he walked observing that it
was traversed by seven streams and abounded in trees. He was struck by
its beauty and in one corner thereof he saw a great tree and under it
four Angels. So he drew near to them and found the first in the
likeness of a man, the second in the likeness of a wild beast, the
third in the likeness of a bird and the fourth in the likeness of a
bull, engaged in glorifying Almighty Allah, and saying, 'O my God and
my Master and my Lord, I conjure Thee, by Thy truth and by the decree
of Thy Prophet Mohammed (on whom be blessings and peace!) to vouchsafe
Thy mercy and grant Thy forgiveness to all things created in my
likeness; for Thou over all things art Almighty!' Bulukiya marvelled at
what he heard but continued his journey till he came to another
mountain and ascending it, found there a great Angel seated on the
summit, glorifying God and hallowing Him and invoking blessings on
Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!), and he saw that Angel
continually opening and shutting his hands and bending and extending
his fingers. He accosted him and saluted him; whereupon the Angel
returned his salam and enquired who he was and how he came thither. So
Bulukiya acquainted him with his adventures including his having lost
the way; and besought him to tell him, in turn, who he was and what was
his function and what mountain was that. Quoth the Angel, 'Know, O
Bulukiya, that this is the mountain Kaf, which encompasseth the world;
and all the countries the Creator hath made are in my grasp. When the
Almighty is minded to visit any land with earthquake or famine or
plenty or slaughter or prosperity, He biddeth me carry out His commands
and I carry them out without stirring from my place; for know thou that
my hands lay hold upon the roots of the earth,' "—And Shahrazed
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "When the angel said, 'And know thou that my hands lay hold
upon the roots of the earth,' he asked, 'And hath Allah created other
worlds than this within the mountain Kaf?' The Angel answered, 'Yes, He
hath made a world white as silver, whose vastness none knoweth save
Himself, and hath peopled it with Angels, whose meat and drink are His
praise and hallowing and continual blessings upon His Prophet Mohammed
(whom Allah bless and keep!). Every Thursday night[FN#531] they repair
to this mountain and worship in congregation Allah until the morning,
and they assign the future recompense of their lauds and litanies to
the sinners of the Faith of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!) and
to all who make the Ghusl ablution of Friday; and this is their
function until the Day of Resurrection.' Asked Bulukiya, 'And hath
Allah created other mountains behind the mountain Kaf?'; whereto he
answered, 'Yes, behind this mountain is a range of mountains five
hundred years' journey long, of snow and ice, and this it is that
wardeth off the heat of Jahannam from the world, which verily would
else be consumed thereby. Moreover, behind the mountain Kaf are forty
worlds, each one the bigness of this world forty times told, some of
gold and some of silver and others of carnelian. Each of these worlds
hath its own colour, and Allah hath peopled them with angels, that know
not Eve nor Adam nor night nor day, and have no other business than to
celebrate His praises and hallow Him and make profession of His Unity
and proclaim His Omnipotence and supplicate Him on behalf of the
followers of Mohammed (whom Allah bless and keep!). And know, also, O
Bulukiya, that the earths were made in seven stages, one upon another,
and that Allah hath created one of His Angels, whose stature and
attributes none knoweth but Himself and who beareth the seven stages
upon his shoulders. Under this Angel Almighty Allah hath created a
great rock, and under the rock a bull, and under the bull a huge fish,
and under the fish a mighty ocean.[FN#532] God once told Isa (with whom
be peace! ) of this fish, and he said, 'O Lord show me the fish, that I
may look upon it.' So the Almighty commanded an angel to take Isa and
show him the fish. Accordingly, he took him up and carried him (with
whom be peace!) to the sea, wherein the fish dwelt, and said, 'Look, O
Isa, upon the fish.' He looked but at first saw nothing, when,
suddenly, the fish darted past like lightning. At this sight Isa fell
down aswoon, and when he came to himself, Allah spake to him by
inspiration, saying, 'O Isa, hast thou seen the fish and comprehended
its length and its breadth?' He replied, 'By Thy honour and glory, O
Lord, I saw no fish; but there passed me by a great bull, whose length
was three days' journey, and I know not what manner of thing this bull
is.' Quoth Allah, 'O Isa, this that thou sawest and which was three
days in passing by thee, was but the head of the fish;[FN#533] and know
that every day I create forty fishes like unto this.' And Isa hearing
this marvelled at the power of Allah the Almighty. Asked Bulukiya,
'What hath Allah made beneath this sea which containeth the fish?'; and
the Angel answered, 'Under the sea the Lord created a vast abyss of
air, under the air fire, and under the fire a mighty serpent, by name
Falak; and were it not for fear of the Most Highest, this serpent would
assuredly swallow up all that is above it, air and fire and the Angel
and his burden, without sensing it.'"—And Shahrazed perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the angel said to
Bulukiya when describing the serpent, "'And were it not for fear of the
Most Highest, this serpent would assuredly swallow up all that is above
it, air and fire, and the Angel and his burden, without sensing it.
When Allah created this serpent He said to it by inspiration, 'I will
give thee somewhat to keep for me, so open thy mouth.' The serpent
replied, 'Do whatso Thou wilt;' and opened his mouth and God placed
Hell into his maw, saying, 'Keep it until the Day of Resurrection. When
that time comes, the Almighty will send His angels with chains to bring
Hell and bind it until the Day when all men shall meet; and the Lord
will order Hell to go open its gates and there will issue therefrom
sparks bigger than the mountains.' When Bulukiya heard these things he
wept with sore weeping and, taking leave of the Angel, fared on
westwards, till he came in sight of two creatures sitting before a
great shut gate. As he drew near, he saw that one of the gatekeepers
had the semblance of a lion and the other that of a bull; so he saluted
them and they returned his salam and enquired who and whence he was and
whither he was bound. Quoth he, 'I am of the sons of Adam, a wanderer
for the love of Mohammed (whom Allah assain and save!) and I have
strayed from my way.' Then he asked them what they were and what was
the gate before which they sat, and they answered, 'We are the
guardians of this gate thou seest and we have no other business than
the praise and hallowing of Allah and the invocation of blessings on
Mohammed (whom may He bless and keep!).' Bulukiya wondered and asked
them, 'What is within the gate?'; and they answered, 'We wot not.' Then
quoth he, 'I conjure you, by the truth of your glorious Lord, open to
me the gate, that I may see that which is therein.' Quoth they, 'We
cannot, and none may open this gate, of all created beings save
Gabriel, the Faithful One, with whom be peace!' Then Bulukiya lifted up
his voice in supplication to Allah, saying, 'O Lord, send me thy
messenger Gabriel, the Faithful One, to open for me this gate that I
may see what be therein;' and the Almighty gave ear unto his prayer and
commanded the Archangel to descend to earth and open to him the gate of
the Meeting-place of the Two Seas. So Gabriel descended and, saluting
Bulukiya, opened the gate to him, saying, 'Enter this door, for Allah
commandeth me to open to thee.' So he entered and Gabriel locked the
gate behind him and flew back to heaven. When Bulukiya found himself
within the gate, he looked and beheld a vast ocean, half salt and half
fresh, bounded on every side by mountain ranges of red ruby whereon he
saw angels singing the praises of the Lord and hallowing Him. So he
went up to them and saluted them and having received a return of his
salam, questioned them of the sea and the mountains. Replied they,
'This place is situate under the Arsh or empyreal heaven; and this
Ocean causeth the flux and flow of all the seas of the world; and we
are appointed to distribute them and drive them to the various parts of
the earth, the salt to the salt and the fresh to the fresh,[FN#534] and
this is our employ until the Day of Doom. As for the mountain ranges
they serve to limit and to contain the waters. But thou, whence comest
thou and whither art thou bound?' So he told them his story and asked
them of the road. They bade him traverse the surface of the ocean which
lay before him: so he anointed his feet with the juice of the herb he
had with him, and taking leave of the angels, set out upon the face of
the sea and sped on over the water nights and days; and as he was
faring, behold, he met a handsome youth journeying along like himself,
whereupon he greeted him and he returned his greeting. After they
parted he espied four great Angels wayfaring over the face of the sea,
and their going was like the blinding lightning; so he stationed
himself in their road, and when they came up to him, he saluted them
and said to them, 'I ask you by the Almighty, the Glorious, to tell me
your names and whither are ye bound?' Replied the first Angel, 'My name
is Gabriel and these my companions are called Isrαfνl and Mνkα'νl and
Azrα'νl. There hath appeared in the East a mighty dragon, which hath
laid waste a thousand cities and devoured their inhabitants; wherefore
Allah Almighty hath commanded us to go to him and seize him and cast
him into Jahannam.' Bulukiya marvelled at the vastness of their stature
and fared on, as before, days and nights, till he came to an island
where he landed and walked about for a while,"—And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Bulukiya landed
on the island and walked about for a while, till he saw a comely young
man with light shining from his visage, sitting weeping and lamenting
between two built tombs. So he saluted him and he returned his
salutation, and Bulukiya said to him, 'Who art thou and what are these
two built tombs between which thou sittest, and wherefore this
wailing?' He looked at him and wept with sore weeping, till he drenched
his clothes with his tears; then said, 'Know thou, O my brother, mine
is a marvellous story and a wondrous; but I would have thee sit by me
and first tell me thy name and thine adventures and who thou art and
what brought thee hither; after which I will, in turn, relate to thee
my history.' So Bulukiya sat down by him and related to him all that
had befallen him from his father's death,[FN#535] adding, 'Such is my
history, the whole of it, and Allah alone knoweth what will happen to
me after this.' When the youth heard his story, he sighed and said, 'O
thou unhappy! How few things thou hast seen in thy life compared with
mine. Know, O Bulukiya, that unlike thyself I have looked upon our lord
Solomon, in his life, and have seen things past count or reckoning.
Indeed, my story is strange and my case out of range, and I would have
thee abide with me, till I tell thee my history and acquaint thee how I
come to be sitting here.'" Hearing this much Hasib again interrupted
the Queen of the Serpents and said to her, "Allah upon thee, O Queen,
release me and command one of thy servants carry me forth to the
surface of the earth, and I will swear an oath to thee that I will
never enter the Hammam-bath as long as I live." But she said, "This is
a thing which may not be nor will I believe thee upon thine oath." When
he heard this, he wept and all the serpents wept on his account and
took to interceding for him with their Queen, saying, "We beseech thee,
bid one of us carry him forth to the surface of the earth, and he will
swear thee an oath never to enter the bath his life long." Now when
Yamlaykhα (for such was the Queen's name) heard their appeal, she
turned to Hasib and made him swear to her an oath; after which she bade
a serpent carry him forth to the surface of the earth. The serpent made
ready, but as she was about to go away with him, he turned to Queen
Yamlaykha and said, "I would fain have thee tell me the history of the
youth whom Bulukiya saw sitting between two tombs." So she said: "Know,
O Hasib, that when Bulukiya sat down by the youth and told him his
tale, from first to last, in order that the other might also recount
his adventures and explain the cause of his sitting between the two
tombs."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Queen
continued: "When Bulukiya ended his recount, the youth said, 'How few
things of marvel hast thou seen in thy life, O unhappy! Now I have
looked upon our lord Solomon while he was yet living and I have
witnessed wonders beyond compt and conception.' And he began to relate

The Story of Janshah.[FN#536]

'Know, O my brother, that my sire was a King called Teghmϊs, who
reigned over the land of Kabul and the Banu Shahlαn, ten thousand
warlike chiefs, each ruling over an hundred walled cities and a hundred
citadels; and he was suzerain also over seven vassal princes, and
tribute was brought to him from the broad lands between East and West.
He was just and equitable in his rule and Allah Almighty had given him
all this and had bestowed on him such mighty empire, yet had He not
vouchsafed him a son (though this was his dearest wish) to inherit the
kingdom after his decease. So one day it befell that he summoned the
Olema and astrologers, the mathematicians and almanac-makers, and said,
'Draw me my horoscope and look if Allah will grant me a son to succeed
me.' Accordingly, they consulted their books and calculated his
dominant star and the aspects thereof; after which they said to him,
'Know, O King, that thou shalt be blessed with a son, but by none other
than the daughter of the King of Khorαsαn.' Hearing this Teghmus joyed
with exceeding joy and, bestowing on the astrologers and wizards
treasure beyond numbering or reckoning, dismissed them. His chief Wazir
was a renowned warrior, by name Ayn Zαr, who was equal to a thousand
cavaliers in battle; so him he summoned and, repeating to him what the
astrologers had predicted, he said, 'O Wazir, it is my will that thou
equip thee for a march to Khorasan and demand for me the hand of its
King Bahrwan's daughter.' Receiving these orders the Wazir at once
proceeded to get ready for the journey and encamped without the town
with his troops and braves and retinue, whilst King Teghmus made ready
as presents for the King of Khorasan fifteen hundred loads of silks and
precious stones, pearls and rubies and other gems, besides gold and
silver; and he also prepared a prodigious quantity of all that goeth to
the equipment of a bride; then, loading them upon camels and mules,
delivered them to Ayn Zar, with a letter to the following purport.
'After invoking the blessing of Heaven, King Teghmus to King Bahrwan,
greeting. Know that we have taken counsel with the astrologers and
sages and mathematicians, and they tell us that we shall have boon of a
boy child, and that by none other than thy daughter. Wherefore I have
despatched unto thee my Wazir Ayn Zar, with great store of bridal gear,
and I have appointed him to stand in my stead and to enter into the
marriage-contract in my name. Furthermore I desire that of thy favour
thou wilt grant him his request without stay or delay; for it is my
own, and all graciousness thou showest him, I take for myself; but
beware of crossing me in this, for know, O King Bahrwan, that Allah
hath bestowed upon me the Kingdom of Kabul, and hath given me dominion
over the Banu Shahlan and vouchsafed me a mighty empire; and if I marry
thy daughter, we will be, I and thou, as one thing in kingship; and I
will send thee every year as much treasure as will suffice thee. And
this is my desire of thee.' Then King Teghmus sealed the letter with
his own ring and gave it to the Wazir, who departed with a great
company and journeyed till he drew near the capital of Khorasan. When
King Bahrwan heard of his approach, he despatched his principal Emirs
to meet him,[FN#537] with a convoy of food and drink and other
requisites, including forage for the steeds. So they fared forth with
the train till they met the Wazir; then, alighting without the city,
they exchanged salutations and abode there, eating and drinking, ten
days; at the end of which time they mounted and rode on into the town,
where they were met by King Bahrwan, who came out to greet the Wazir of
King Teghmus and alighting, embraced him and carried him to his
citadel. Then Ayn Zar brought out the presents and laid them before
King Bahrwan, together with the letter of King Teghmus, which when the
King read and understood, he joyed with joy exceeding and welcomed the
Wazir, saying, 'Rejoice in winning thy wish; and know that if King
Teghmus sought of me my life, verily I would give it to him.' Then he
went in forthright to his daughter and her mother and his kinsfolk, and
acquainting them with the King of Kabul's demand sought counsel of
them, and they said, 'Do what seemeth good to thee.'—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Bahrwan
consulted his daughter and her mother and his kinsfolk and they said,
'Do what seemeth good to thee.' So he returned straightway to the
Minister Ayn Zar and notified to him that his desire had been
fulfilled; and the Wazir, abode with him two months, at the end of
which time he said to him, 'We beseech thee to bestow upon us that
wherefore we came, so we may depart to our own land.' 'I hear and
obey,' answered the King. Then he prepared all the gear wanted for the
wedding; and when this was done he assembled his Wazirs and all his
Emirs and the Grandees of his realm and the monks and priests who tied
the knot of marriage between his daughter and King Teghmus by proxy.
And King Bahrwan bade decorate the city after the goodliest fashion and
spread the streets with carpets. Then he equipped his daughter for the
journey and gave her all manner of presents and rarities and precious
metals, such as none may describe; and Ayn Zar departed with the
Princess to his own country. When the news of their approach reached
King Teghmus, he bade celebrate the wedding festivities and adorn the
city; after which he went in unto the Princess and abated her
maidenhead; nor was it long before she conceived by him and,
accomplishing her months, bare a man-child like the moon on the night
of its full. When King Teghmus knew that his wife had given birth to a
goodly son, he rejoiced with exceeding joy and, summoning the sages and
astrologers and mathematicians, said to them, 'I would that ye draw the
horoscope of the newborn child with his ascendant and its aspects and
acquaint me what shall befall him in his lifetime.' So they made their
calculations and found them favourable; but, that he would, in his
fifteenth year, be exposed to perils and hardships, and that if he
survived, he would be happy and fortunate and become a greater king
than his father and a more powerful. The King rejoiced greatly in this
prediction and named the boy Janshah. Then he delivered him to the
nurses, wet and dry, who reared him excellently well till he reached
his fifth year, when his father taught him to read the Evangel and
instructed him in the art of arms and lunge of lance and sway of sword,
so that in less than seven years he was wont to ride a-hunting, and
a-chasing; he became a doughty champion, perfect in all the science of
the cavalarice and his father was delighted to hear of his knightly
prowess. It chanced one day that King Teghmus and his son accompanied
by the troops rode out for sport into the woods and wilds and hunted
till mid afternoon of the third day, when the Prince started a gazelle
of a rare colour, which fled before him. So he gave chase to it,
followed by seven of King Teghmus's white slaves all mounted on swift
steeds, and rode at speed after the gazelle, which fled before them
till she brought them to the sea shore. They all ran at her to take her
as their quarry, but she escaped from them and, throwing herself into
the waves,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Janshah and
the Mamelukes ran at the gazelle, to take her as their quarry, she
escaped from them and, throwing herself into the waves, swam out to a
fishing bark, that was moored near the shore, and sprang on board.
Janshah and his followers dismounted and, boarding the boat, made prize
of the gazelle and were minded to return to shore with her, when the
Prince espied a great island in the offing and said to his merry men,
'I have a longing to visit yonder island.' They answered, 'We hear and
obey,' and sailed on till they came to the island, where they landed
and amused themselves with exploring the place. Then they again
embarked and taking with them the gazelle, set out to return homeward,
but the murk of evening overtook them and they missed their way on the
main. Moreover a strong wind arose and crave the boat into mid-ocean,
so that when they awoke in the morning, they found themselves lost at
sea. Such was their case; but as regards King Teghmus, when he missed
his son, he commanded his troops to make search for him in separate
bodies; so they dispersed on all sides and a company of them, coming to
the sea shore, found there the Prince's white slave whom he had left in
charge of the horses. They asked him what was become of his master and
the other six, and he told them what had passed whereupon they took him
with them and returned to the King and acquainted him with what they
had learnt. When Teghmus heard their report, he wept with sore weeping
and cast the crown from his head, biting his hands for vexation. Then
he rose forthright and wrote letters and despatched them to all the
islands of the sea. Moreover he got together an hundred ships and
filling them with troops, sent them to sail about in quest of Janshah,
while he himself withdrew with his troops to his capital, where he
abode in sore concern. As for Janshah's mother, when she heard of his
loss she buffeted her face and began the mourning ceremonies for her
son making sure that he was dead. Meanwhile, Janshah and his men ceased
not driving before the wind and those in search of them cruised about
for ten days till, finding no trace they returned and reported failure
to the King. But a stiff gale caught the Prince's craft which went
spooning till they made a second island, where they landed and walked
about. Presently they came upon a spring of running water in the midst
of the island and saw from afar a man sitting hard by it. So they went
up to him and saluted him, and he returned their salam, speaking in a
voice like the whistle[FN#538] of birds. Whilst Janshah stood
marvelling at the man's speech he looked right and left and suddenly
split himself in twain, and each half went a different way.[FN#539]
Then there came down from the hills a multitude of men of all kinds,
beyond count and reckoning; and they no sooner reached the spring, than
each one divided into two halves and rushed on Janshah and his
Mamelukes to eat them. When the voyagers saw this, they turned and fled
seawards; but the cannibals pursued them and caught and ate three of
the slaves, leaving only three slaves who with Janshah reached the boat
in safety; then launching her made for the water and sailed nights and
days without knowing whither their ship went. They killed the gazelle,
and lived on her flesh, till the winds drove them to a third island
which was full of trees and waters and flower-gardens and orchards
laden with all fashion of fruits: and streams strayed under the tree
shade: brief, the place was a Garden of Eden. The island pleased the
Prince and he said to his companions, 'Which of you will land and
explore?' Then said one of the slaves, 'That will I do'; but he
replied, 'This thing may not be; you must all land and explore the
place while I abide in the boat.' So he set them ashore,"— And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

When it was the Five Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the Prince set
them ashore, and they searched the island, East and West, but found no
one; then they fared on inland to the heart thereof, till they came to
a Castle compassed about with ramparts of white marble, within which
was a palace of the clearest crystal and, set in its centre a garden
containing all manner fruits beyond description, both fresh and dry,
and flowers of grateful odour and trees and birds singing upon the
boughs. Amiddlemost the garden was a vast basin of water, and beside it
a great open hall with a raised dais whereon stood a number of stools
surrounding a throne of red gold, studded with all kinds of jewels and
especially rubies and seeing the beauty of the Castle and of the Garden
they entered and explored in all directions, but found no one there, so
after rummaging the Castle they returned to Janshah and told him what
they had seen. When he heard their report, he cried, 'Needs must I
solace myself with a sight of it;' so he landed and accompanied them to
the palace, which he entered marvelling at the goodliness of the place.
They then visited every part of the gardens and ate of the fruits and
continued walking till it waxed dark, when they returned to the estrade
and sat down, Janshah on the throne in the centre and the three others
on the stools ranged to the right and left. Then the Prince, there
seated, called to mind his separation from his father's
throne-city[FN#540] and country and friends and kinsfolk; and fell
a-weeping and lamenting over their loss whilst his men wept around him.
And as they were thus sorrowing behold, they heard a mighty clamour,
that came from seaward and looking in the direction of the clamour saw
a multitude of apes, as they were swarming locusts. Now the castle and
the island belonged to these apes, who, finding the strangers' boat
moored to the strand, had scuttled it and after repaired to the palace,
where they came upon Janshah and his men seated." Here the Serpent-
queen again broke off her recital saying, "All this, O Hasib, was told
to Bulukiya by the young man sitting between the two tombs." Quoth
Hasib, "And what did Janshah do with the apes?"; so the Queen resumed
her tale: "He and his men were sore affrighted at the appearance of the
apes, but a company of them came up to the throne whereon he sat and,
kissing the earth before him, stood awhile in his presence with their
paws upon their breasts in posture of respect. Then another troop
brought to the castle gazelles which they slaughtered and skinned; and
roasting pieces of the flesh till fit for food they laid them on
platters of gold and silver and spreading the table, made signs to
Janshah and his men to eat. The Prince and his followers came down from
their seats and ate, and the apes ate with them, till they were
satisfied, when the apes took away the meat and set on fruits of which
they partook and praised Allah the most Highest. Then Janshah asked the
apes by signs what they were and to whom the palace belonged, and they
answered him by signals, 'Know ye that this island belonged of yore to
our lord Solomon, son of David (on both of whom be peace!), and he used
to come hither once every year for his solace,'"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Janshah
asked the apes by signs to whom the palace belonged, they answered him
by signals, "'Of a truth this place belonged of yore to our lord
Solomon, son of David (on both of whom be peace!), who used to come
hither once every year for his solace, and then wend his ways.'
Presently the apes continued, 'And know, O King, that thou art become
our Sultan and we are thy servants; so eat and drink, and whatso thou
ever bid us, that will we do.' So saying, they severally kissed the
earth between the hands of Janshah and all took their departure. The
Prince slept that night on the throne and his men on the stools about
him, and on the morrow, at daybreak, the four Wazirs or Captains of the
apes presented themselves before him, attended by their troops, who
ranged themselves about him, rank after rank, until the place was
crowded. Then the Wazirs approached and exhorted him by signs to do
justice amongst them and rule them righteously; after which the apes
cried out to one another and went away, all save a small party which
remained in presence to serve him. After awhile, there came up a
company of apes with huge dogs in the semblance of horses, each wearing
about his head a massive chain; and signed to Janshah and his three
followers to mount and go with them. So they mounted, marvelling at the
greatness of the dogs, and rode forth, attended by the four Wazirs and
a host of apes like swarming locusts, some riding on dogs and others
afoot till they came to the sea-shore. Janshah looked for the boat
which brought him and finding it scuttled turned to the Wazirs and
asked how this had happened to it; whereto they answered, 'Know, O
King, that, when thou camest to our island, we kenned that thou wouldst
be Sultan over us and we feared lest ye all flee from us, in our
absence; and embark in the boat, so we sank it.' When Janshah heard
this, he turned to his Mamelukes and said to them, 'We have no means of
escaping from these apes, and we must patiently await the ordinance of
the Almighty.' Then they fared on inland and ceased not faring till
they came to the banks of a river, on whose other side rose a high
mountain, whereon Janshah saw a multitude of Ghuls. So he turned to the
apes and asked them, 'What are these Ghuls?' and they answered, 'Know,
O King, that these Ghuls are our mortal foes and we come hither to do
battle with them.' Janshah marvelled to see them riding horses, and was
startled at the vastness of their bulk and the strangeness of their
semblance; for some of them had heads like bulls and others like
camels. As soon as the Ghuls espied the army of the apes, they charged
down to the river bank and standing there, fell to pelting them with
stones as big as maces; and between them there befell a sore fight.
Presently, Janshah, seeing that the Ghuls were getting the better of
the apes, cried out to his men, saying, 'Unease your bows and arrows
and shoot at them your best shafts and keep them off from us.' They did
so and slew of the Ghuls much people, when there fell upon them sore
dismay and they turned to flee; but the apes, seeing Janshah's prowess,
forded the river and headed by their Sultan chased the Ghuls, killing
many of them in the pursuit, till they reached the high mountain where
they disappeared. And while exploring the said mountain Janshah found a
tablet of alabaster, whereon was written, 'O thou who enterest this
land, know that thou wilt become Sultan over these apes and that from
them there is no escape for thee, except by the passes that run east
and west through the mountains. If thou take the eastern pass, thou
wilt fare through a country swarming with Ghuls and wild beasts, Marids
and Ifrits, and thou wilt come, after three months' journeying, to the
ocean which encompasseth the earth; but, if thou travel by the western
pass, it will bring thee, after four months' journeying, to the head of
the Wady of Emmets.[FN#541] When thou hast followed the road, that
leads through this mountain, ten days,' "—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Janshah read this
much upon the tablet and found, at the end of the inscription, "'Then
thou wilt come to a great river, whose current is so swift that it
blindeth the eyes. Now this river drieth up every Sabbath,[FN#542] and
on the opposite bank lies a city wholly inhabited by Jews, who the
faith of Mohammed refuse; there is not a Moslem among the band nor is
there other than this city in the land. Better therefore lord it over
the apes, for so long as thou shalt tarry amongst them they will be
victorious over the Ghuls. And know also that he who wrote this tablet
was the lord Solomon, son of David (on both be peace!).' When Janshah
read these words, he wept sore and repeated them to his men. Then they
mounted again and, surrounded by the army of the apes who were
rejoicing in their victory, returned to the castle. Here Janshah abode,
Sultaning over them, for a year and a half. And at the end of this
time, he one day commanded the ape-army to mount and go forth a hunting
with him, and they rode out into the woods and wilds, and fared on from
place to place, till they approached the Wady of Emmets, which Janshah
knew by the description of it upon the alabaster tablet. Here he bade
them dismount and they all abode there, eating and drinking a space of
ten days, after which Janshah took his men apart one night and said, 'I
purpose we flee through the Valley of Emmets and make for the town of
the Jews; it may be Allah will deliver us from these apes and we will
go God's ways.' They replied, 'We hear and we obey:' so he waited till
some little of the night was spent then, donning his armour and girding
his sword and dagger and such like weapons, and his men doing likewise,
they set out and fared on westwards till morning. When the apes awoke
and missed Janshah and his men, they knew that they had fled. So they
mounted and pursued them, some taking the eastern pass and others that
which led to the Wady of Emmets, nor was it long before the apes came
in sight of the fugitives, as they were about to enter the valley, and
hastened after them. When Janshah and his men saw them, they fled into
the Emmet-valley; but the apes soon overtook them and would have slain
them, when behold, there rose out of the earth a multitude of ants like
swarming locusts, as big as dogs, and charged home upon the apes. They
devoured many of their foes, and these also slew many of the ants; but
help came to the emmets: now an ant would go up to an ape and smite him
and cut him in twain, whilst ten apes could hardly master one ant and
bear him away and tear him in sunder. The sore battle lasted till the
evening but the emmets were victorious. In the gloaming Janshah and his
men took to flight and fled along the sole of the Wady."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "in the gloaming
Janshah and his men took to flight and fled along the sole of the Wady
till the morning. With the break of day, the apes were up and at them,
which when the Prince saw, he shouted to his men, 'Smite with your
swords.' So they bared their blades and laid on load right and left,
till there ran at them an ape, with tusks like an elephant, and smote
one of the Mamelukes and cut him in sunder. Then the apes redoubled
upon Janshah and he fled with his followers into the lower levels of
the valley, where he saw a vast river and by its side a mighty army of
ants. When the emmets espied Janshah they pushed on and surrounded him,
and one of the slaves fell to smiting them with his sword and cutting
them in twain; whereupon the whole host set upon him and slew him. At
this pass, behold, up came the apes from over the mountain and fell in
numbers upon Janshah; but he tore off his clothes and, plunging into
the river, with his remaining servant, struck out for the middle of the
stream. Presently, he caught sight of a tree on the other bank; so he
swam up to it and laying hold of one of its branches, hung to it and
swung himself ashore, but as for the last Mameluke the current carried
him away and dashed him to pieces against the mountain. Thereupon
Janshah fell to wringing his clothes and spreading them in the sun to
dry, what while there befell a fierce fight between the apes and the
ants, until the apes gave up the pursuit and returned to their own
land. Meanwhile, Janshah, who abode alone on the river-bank, could do
naught but shed tears till nightfall, when he took refuge in a cavern
and there passed the dark hours, in great fear and feeling desolate for
the loss of his slaves. At daybreak awaking from his sleep he set out
again and fared on nights and days, eating of the herbs of the earth,
till he came to the mountain which burnt like fire, and thence he made
the river which dried up every Sabbath. Now it was a mighty stream and
on the opposite bank stood a great city, which was the capital of the
Jews mentioned in the tablet. Here he abode till the next Sabbath, when
the river dried up and he walked over to the other side and entered the
Jew city, but saw none in the streets. So he wandered about till he
came to the door of a homestead, which he opened and entering, espied
within the people of the house sitting in silence and speaking not a
syllable. Quoth he, 'I am a stranger and anhungered;' and they signed
to him, as to say, 'Eat and drink, but speak not.'[FN#543] So he ate
and drank and slept that night and, when morning dawned, the master of
the house greeted him and bade him welcome and asked him, 'Whence
comest thou and whither art thou bound?' At these words Janshah wept
sore and told him all that had befallen him and how his father was King
of Kabul; whereat the Jew marvelled and said, 'Never heard we of that
city, but we have heard from the merchants of the caravans that in that
direction lieth a land called Al-Yaman.' 'How far is that land from
this place?' asked Janshah, and the Jew answered, 'The Cafilah
merchants pretend that it is a two years and three months' march from
their land hither.' Quoth Janshah, 'And when doth the caravan come?'
Quoth the Jew, 'Next year 'twill come.' "—And Shahrazed perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Jew was
questioned anent the coming of the caravan, he replied, "'Next year
'twill come.' At these words the Prince wept sore and fell a-sorrowing
for himself and his Mamelukes; and lamenting his separation from his
mother and father and all which had befallen him in his wanderings.
Then said the Jew, 'O young man, do not weep, but sojourn with us till
the caravan shall come, when we will send thee with it to thine own
country.' So he tarried with the Jew two whole months and every day he
went out walking in the streets for his solace and diversion. Now it
chanced one day, whilst he paced about the main thoroughfares, as of
wont, and was bending his steps right and left, he heard a crier crying
aloud and saying, 'Who will earn a thousand gold pieces and a slave-
girl of surpassing beauty and loveliness by working for me between
morning and noontide?' But no one answered him and Janshah said in his
mind, 'Were not this work dangerous and difficult, he would not offer a
thousand diners and a fair girl for half a day's labour.' Then he
accosted the crier and said, 'I will do the work;' so the man carried
him to a lofty mansion where they found one who was a Jew and a
merchant, seated on an ebony chair, to whom quoth the crier, standing
respectfully before him, 'O merchant, I have cried every day these
three months, and none hath answered, save this young man.' Hearing his
speech the Jew welcomed Janshah, led him into a magnificent
sitting-room and signalled to bring food. So the servants spread the
table and set thereon all manner meats, of which the merchant and
Janshah ate, and washed their hands. Then wine was served up and they
drank; after which the Jew rose and bringing Janshah a purse of a
thousand diners and a slave-girl of rare beauty, said to him, 'Take
maid and money to thy hire.' Janshah took them and seated the girl by
his side when the trader resumed, 'To-morrow to the work!'; and so
saying he withdrew and Janshah slept with the damsel that night. As
soon as it was morning, the merchant bade his slaves clothe him in a
costly suit of silk whenas he came out of the Hammam-Bath. So they did
as he bade them and brought him back to the house, whereupon the
merchant called for harp and lute and wine and they drank and played
and made merry till the half of the night was past, when the Jew
retired to his Harim and Janshah lay with his slave-girl till the dawn.
Then he went to the bath and on his return, the merchant came to him
and said, 'Now I wish thee to do the work for me.' 'I hear and obey,'
replied Janshah. So the merchant bade his slaves bring two she- mules
and set Janshah on one, mounting the other himself. Then they rode
forth from the city and fared on from morn till noon, when they made a
lofty mountain, to whose height was no limit. Here the Jew dismounted,
ordering Janshah to do the same; and when he obeyed the merchant gave
him a knife and a cord, saying, 'I desire that thou slaughter this
mule.' So Janshah tucked up his sleeves and skirts and going up to the
mule, bound her legs with the cord, then threw her and cut her throat;
after which he skinned her and lopped off her head and legs and she
became a mere heap of flesh. Then said the Jew, 'Slit open the mule's
belly and enter it and I will sew it up on thee. There must thou abide
awhile and whatsoever thou seest in her belly, acquaint me therewith.'
So Janshah slit the mule's belly and crept into it, whereupon the
merchant sewed it up on him and withdrew to a distance,"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the merchant
sewed up the mule's belly on Janshah and, withdrawing to a distance,
hid himself in the skirts of the mountain. After a while a huge bird
swooped down on the dead mule and snatching it up, flew up with it to
the top of the mountain, where it set down the quarry and would have
eaten it; but Janshah, feeling the bird begin to feed, slit the mule's
belly and came forth. When the bird saw him, it took fright at him and
flew right away; whereupon he stood up and looking right and left, saw
nothing but the carcasses of dead men, mummied by the sun, and
exclaimed, 'There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great!' Then he looked down the precipice and espied
the merchant standing at the mountain-foot, looking for him. As soon as
the Jew caught sight of him, he called out to him, 'Throw me down of
the stones which are about thee, that I may direct thee to a way
whereby thou mayst descend.' So Janshah threw him down some two hundred
of the stones, which were all rubies,[FN#544] chrysolites and other
gems of price; after which he called out to him, saying, 'Show me the
way down and I will throw thee as many more.' But the Jew gathered up
the stones and, binding them on the back of the mule, went his way
without answering a word and left Janshah alone on the mountain-top.
When the Prince found himself deserted, he began to weep and implore
help of Heaven, and thus he abode three days; after which he rose and
fared on over the mountainous ground two month's space, feeding upon
hill-herbs; and he ceased not faring till he came to its skirts and
espied afar off a Wady full of fruitful trees and birds harmonious,
singing the praises of Allah, the One, the Victorious. At this sight he
joyed with great joy and stayed not his steps till, after an hour or
so, he came to a ravine in the rocks, through which the rain torrents
fell into the valley. He made his way down the cleft till he reached
the Wady which he had seen from the mountain-top and walked on therein,
gazing right and left, nor ceased so doing until he came in sight of a
great castle, towering high in air. As he drew near the gates he saw an
old man of comely aspect and face shining with light standing thereat
with a staff of carnelian in his hand, and going up to him, saluted
him. The Shaykh returned his salam and bade him welcome, saying, 'Sit
down, O my son.' So he sat down at the door of the castle and the old
man said to him, 'How camest thou to this land, untrodden by son of
Adam before thee, and whither art thou bound?' When Janshah heard his
words he wept bitterly at the thought of all the hardships he had
suffered and his tears choked his speech. Quoth the Shaykh, 'O my son,
leave weeping; for indeed thou makest my heart ache.' So saying, he
rose and set somewhat of food before him and said to him, 'Eat.' He ate
and praised Allah Almighty; after which the old man besought him
saying, 'O my son, I would have thee tell me thy tale and acquaint me
with thine adventures.' So Janshah related to him all that had befallen
him, from first to last, whereat the Shaykh marvelled with exceeding
marvel. Then said the Prince, 'Prithee inform me who is the lord of
this valley and to whom doth this great castle belong?' Answered the
old man, 'Know, O my son, this valley and all that is therein and this
castle with all it containeth belong to the lord Solomon, son of David
(on both be peace!). As for me, my name is Shaykh Nasr,[FN#545] King of
the Birds; for thou must know that the lord Solomon committed this
castle to my charge,'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Shaykh Nasr
pursued, 'Thou must know that the lord Solomon com misted this castle
to my charge and taught me the language of birds and made me ruler over
all the fowls which be in the world; wherefore each and every come
hither once in the twelvemonth, and I pass them in review: then they
depart; and this is why I dwell here.' When Janshah heard this, he wept
sore and said to the Shaykh, 'O my father, how shall I do to get back
to my native land?' Replied the old man, 'Know, O my son, that thou art
near to the mountain Kaf, and there is no departing for thee from this
place till the birds come, when I will give thee in charge to one of
them, and he will bear thee to thy native country. Meanwhile tarry with
me here and eat and drink and divert thyself with viewing the
apartments of this castle.' So Janshah abode with Shaykh Nasr, taking
his pleasure in the Wady and eating of its fruits and laughing and
making merry with the old man, and leading a right joyous life till the
day appointed for the birds to pay their annual visit to the Governor.
Thereupon the Shaykh said to him, 'O Janshah, take the keys of the
castle and solace thyself with exploring all its apartments and viewing
whatever be therein, but as regards such a room, beware and again
beware of opening its door; and if thou gainsay me and open it and
enter there, through nevermore shalt thou know fair fortune.' He
repeated this charge again and again with much instance; then he went
forth to meet the birds, which came up, kind by kind, and kissed his
hands. Such was his case; but as regards Janshah, he went round about
the castle, opening the various doors and viewing the apartments into
which they led, till he came to the room which Shaykh Nasr had warned
him not to open or enter. He looked at the door and its fashion pleased
him, for it had on it a padlock of gold, and he said to himself, 'This
room must be goodlier than all the others; would Heaven I wist what is
within it, that Shaykh Nasr should forbid me to open its door! There is
no help but that I enter and see what is in this apartment; for whatso
is decreed unto the creature perforce he must fulfil.' So he put out
his hand and unlocked the door and entering, found himself before a
great basin; and hard by it stood a little pavilion, builded all of
gold and silver and crystal, with lattice-windows of jacinth. The floor
was paved with green beryl and balas rubies and emeralds and other
jewels, set in the ground-work mosaic-fashion, and in the midmost of
the pavilion was a jetting fountain in a golden basin, full of water
and girt about with figures of beasts and birds, cunningly wrought of
gold and silver and casting water from their mouths. When the zephyr
blew on them, it entered their ears and therewith the figures sang out
with birdlike song, each in its own tongue. Beside the fountain was a
great open saloon with a high dais whereon stood a vast throne of
carnelian, inlaid with pearls and jewels, over which was spread a tent
of green silk fifty cubits in width and embroidered with gems fit for
seal rings and purfled with precious metals. Within this tent was a
closet containing the carpet of the lord Solomon (on whom be peace!);
and the pavilion was compassed about with a vast garden full of fruit
trees and streams; while near the palace were beds of roses and basil
and eglantine and all manner sweet-smelling herbs and flowers. And the
trees bore on the same boughs fruits fresh and dry and the branches
swayed gracefully to the wooing of the wind. All this was in that one
apartment and Janshah wondered thereat till he was weary of wonderment;
and he set out to solace himself in the palace and the garden and to
divert himself with the quaint and curious things they contained. And
first looking at the basin he saw that the gravels of its bed were gems
and jewels and noble metals; and many other strange things were in that
apartment."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Janshah saw many
strange things and admirable in that apartment. Then he entered the
pavilion and mounting the throne, fell asleep under the tent set up
thereover. He slept for a time and, presently awaking, walked forth and
sat down on a stool before the door. As he sat, marvelling at the
goodliness of that place, there flew up from mid sky three birds, in
dove-form but big as eagles, and lighted on the brink of the basin,
where they sported awhile. Then they put off their feathers and became
three maidens,[FN#546] as they were moons, that had not their like in
the whole world. They plunged into the basin and swam about and
disported themselves and laughed, while Janshah marvelled at their
beauty and loveliness and the grace and symmetry of their shapes.
Presently, they came up out of the water and began walking about and
taking their solace in the garden; and Janshah seeing them land was
like to lose his wits. He rose and followed them, and when he overtook
them, he saluted them and they returned his salam; after which quoth
he, 'Who are ye, O illustrious Princesses, and whence come ye?' Replied
the youngest damsel, 'We are from the invisible world of Almighty Allah
and we come hither to divert ourselves.' He marvelled at their beauty
and said to the youngest, 'Have ruth on me and deign kindness to me and
take pity on my case and on all that hath befallen me in my life.'
Rejoined she, 'Leave this talk and wend thy ways'; whereat the tears
streamed from his eyes, and he sighed heavily and repeated these

'She shone out in the garden in garments all of green, * With

     open vest and collars and flowing hair beseen:

'What is thy name?' I asked her, and she replied, 'I'm she * Who

     roasts the hearts of lovers on coals of love and teen.'

Of passion and its anguish to her made my moan; * 'Upon a rock,'

     she answered, 'thy plaints are wasted clean.'

'Even if thy heart,' I told her, 'be rock in very deed, * Yet

     hath God made fair water well from the rock, I


When the maidens heard his verses, they laughed and played and sang and
made merry. Then he brought them somewhat of fruit, and they ate and
drank and slept with him till the morning, when they donned their
feather-suits, and resuming dove shape flew off and went their way. But
as he saw them disappearing from sight, his reason well nigh fled with
them, and he gave a great cry and fell down in a fainting fit and lay
a-swooning all that day. While he was in this case Shaykh Nasr returned
from the Parliament of the Fowls and sought for Janshah, that he might
send him with them to his native land, but found him not and knew that
he had entered the forbidden room. Now he had already said to the
birds, 'With me is a young man, a mere youth, whom destiny brought
hither from a distant land; and I desire of you that ye take him up and
carry him to his own country.' And all answered, 'We hear and we obey.'
So he ceased not searching for Janshah till he came to the forbidden
door and seeing it open he entered and found the Prince lying a-swoon
under a tree. He fetched scented waters and sprinkled them on his face,
whereupon he revived and turned."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Shaykh Nasr
saw Janshah lying a-swoon under the tree he fetched him somewhat of
scented waters and sprinkled them on his face. Thereupon he revived and
turned right and left, but seeing none by him save the Shaykh, sighed
heavily and repeated these couplets,

'Like fullest moon she shines on happiest night, * Soft sided

     fair, with slender shape bedight.

Her eye-babes charm the world with gramarye; * Her lips remind of

     rose and ruby light.

Her jetty locks make night upon her hips; * Ware, lovers, ware ye

     of that curl's despight!

Yea, soft her sides are, but in love her heart * Outhardens

     flint, surpasses syenite:

And bows of eyebrows shower glancey shafts * Despite the distance

     never fail to smite.

Then, ah, her beauty! all the fair it passes; * Nor any rival her

     who see the light.'

When Shaykh Nasr heard these verses, he said, 'O my son, did I not warn
thee not to open that door and enter that room? But now, O my son, tell
me what thou sawest therein and acquaint me with all that betided
thee.' So Janshah related to him all that had passed between him and
the three maidens, and Shaykh Nasr, who sat listening in silence said,
'Know, O my son, that these three maidens are of the daughters of the
Jann and come hither every year for a day, to divert themselves and
make merry until mid afternoon, when they return to their own country.'
Janshah asked, 'And where is their country?'; and the old man answered,
'By Allah, O my son, I wot not:' presently adding, 'but now take heart
and put away this love from thee and come with me, that I may send thee
to thine own land with the birds.' When Janshah heard this, he gave a
great cry and fell down in a trance; and presently he came to himself,
and said, 'O my father indeed I care not to return to my native land:
all I want is to foregather with these maidens and know, O my father,
that I will never again name my people, though I die before thee.' Then
he wept and cried, 'Enough for me that I look upon the face of her I
love, although it be only once in the year!' And he sighed deeply and
repeated these couplets,

'Would Heaven the Phantom[FN#548] spared the friend at night *

     And would this love for man were ever dight!

Were not my heart afire for love of you, * Tears ne'er had

     stained my cheeks nor dimmed my sight.

By night and day, I bid my heart to bear * Its griefs, while

     fires of love my body blight.'

Then he fell at Shaykh Nasr's feet and kissed them and wept sore,
crying, 'Have pity on me, so Allah take pity on thee and aid me in my
strait so Allah aid thee!' Replied the old man, 'By Allah O my son, I
know nothing of these maidens nor where may be their country; but, O my
son, if thy heart be indeed set on one of them, tarry with me till this
time next year for they will assuredly reappear; and, when the day of
their coming draweth near, hide thyself under a tree in the garden. As
soon as they have alighted and doffed their feather-robes and plunged
into the lake and are swimming about at a distance from their clothes,
seize the vest of her whom thy soul desireth. When they see thee, they
will come a bank and she, whose coat thou hast taken, will accost thee
and say to thee with the sweetest of speech and the most witching of
smiles, 'Give me my dress, O my brother, that I may don it and veil my
nakedness withal.' But if thou yield to her prayer and give her back
the vest thou wilt never win thy wish: nay, she will don it and fly
away to her folk and thou wilt nevermore see her again Now when thou
hast gained the vest, clap it under thine armpit and hold it fast, till
I return from the Parliament of the Fowls, when I will make accord
between thee and her and send thee back to thy native land, and the
maiden with thee. And this, O my son, is all I can do for thee, nothing
more.' "—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "quoth Shaykh
Nasr to Janshah, 'Hold fast the feather-robe of her thy soul desireth
and give it not back to her till I return from the Parliament of the
Fowls. And this, O my son, is all I can do for thee, nothing more.'
When Janshah heard this, his heart was solaced and he abode with Shaykh
Nasr yet another year, counting the days as they passed until the day
of the coming of the birds. And when at last the appointed time arrived
the old man said to him, 'Do as I enjoined thee and charged thee with
the maidens in the matter of the feather-dress, for I go to meet the
birds;' and Janshah replied, 'I hear and I obey, O my father.' Then the
Shaykh departed whilst the Prince walked into the garden and hid
himself under a tree, where none could see him. Here he abode a first
day and a second and a third, but the maidens came not; whereat he was
sore troubled and wept and sighed from a heart hard tried; and he
ceased not weeping and wailing till he fainted away. When he came to
himself, he fell to looking now at the basin and now at the welkin, and
anon at the earth and anon at the open country, whilst his heart
grieved for stress of love-longing. As he was in this case, behold, the
three doves appeared in the firmament, eagle-sized as before, and flew
till they reached the garden and lighted down beside the basin. They
turned right and left; but saw no one, man or Jann; so they doffed
their feather-suits and became three maidens. Then they plunged into
the basin and swam about, laughing and frolicking; and all were
mother-naked and fair as bars of virgin silver. Quoth the eldest, 'O my
sister, I fear lest there be some one lying ambushed for us in the
pavilion. Answered the second, 'O sister, since the days of King
Solomon none hath entered the pavilion, be he man or Jann;' and the
youngest added, laughing, 'By Allah, O my sisters, if there be any
hidden there, he will assuredly take none but me.' Then they continued
sporting and laughing and Janshah's heart kept fluttering for stress of
passion: but he hid behind the tree so that he saw without being seen.
Presently they swam out to the middle of the basin leaving their
clothes on the bank. Hereupon he sprang to his feet, and running like
the darting levee to the basin's brink, snatched up the feather-vest of
the youngest damsel, her on whom his heart was set and whose name was
Shamsah the Sun-maiden. At this the girls turned and seeing him, were
affrighted and veiled their shame from him in the water. Then they swam
near the shore and looking on his favour saw that he was bright faced
as the moon on the night of fullness and asked him, 'Who art thou and
how camest thou hither and why hast thou taken the clothes of the lady
Shamsah?'; and he answered, 'Come hither to me and I will tell you my
tale.' Quoth Shamsah, 'What deed is this, and why hast thou taken my
clothes, rather than those of my sisters?' Quoth he, 'O light of mine
eyes, come forth of the water, and I will recount thee my case and
acquaint thee why I chose thee out.' Quoth she, 'O my lord and coolth
of my eyes and fruit of my heart, give me my clothes, that I may put
them on and cover my nakedness withal; then will I come forth to thee.'
But he replied, 'O Princess of beautiful ones, how can I give thee back
thy clothes and slay myself for love longing? Verily, I will not give
them to thee, till Shaykh Nasr, the king of the birds, shall return.'
Quoth she, 'If thou wilt not give me my clothes withdraw a little apart
from us, that my sisters may land and dress themselves and lend me
somewhat wherewithal to cover my shame.' 'I hear and obey,' answered
he, and walked away from them into the pavilion, whereupon the three
Princesses came out and the two elder, donning their dress, gave
Shamsah somewhat thereof, not enough to fly withal, and she put it on
and came forth of the water, and stood before him, as she were the
rising full moon or a browsing gazelle. Then Shamsah entered the
pavilion, where Janshah was still sitting on the throne; so she saluted
him and taking seat near him, said, 'O fair of face, thou hast undone
thyself and me; but tell us thy adventures that we may ken how it is
with thee.' At these words he wept till he drenched his dress with his
tears; and when she saw that he was distracted for love of her, she
rose and taking him by the hand, made him sit by her side and wiped
away the drops with her sleeve; and said she, 'O fair of face, leave
this weeping and tell us thy tale.' So he related to her all that had
befallen him and described to her all he had seen,"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the lady
Shamsah said to Janshah, 'Tell us thy tale;' so he related to her all
that had befallen him; and, after she had lent attentive ear she sighed
and said, 'O my lord, since thou art so fondly in love with me, give me
my dress, that I may fly to my folk, I and my sisters, and tell them
what affection thou hast conceived for me, and after I will come back
to thee and carry thee to thine own country.' When he heard this, he
wept sore and replied, 'Is it lawful to thee before Allah to slay me
wrongfully?' She asked, 'O my lord, why should I do such wrongous
deed?'; and he answered, 'If I give thee thy gear thou wilt fly away
from me, and I shall die forthright.' Princess Shamsah laughed at this
and so did her sisters; then said she to him, 'Be of good cheer and
keep thine eyes cool and clear, for I must needs marry thee.' So
saying, she bent down to him and embraced him and pressing him to her
breast kissed him between the eyes and on his cheeks. They clipped and
clasped each other awhile, after which they drew apart and sat down on
the throne. Then the eldest Princess went out into the garden and,
plucking somewhat of fruits and flowers, brought them into the
pavilion; and they ate and drank and laughed and sported and made
merry. Now Janshah was singular in beauty and loveliness and slender
shape and symmetry and grace, and the Princess Shamsah said to him, 'O
my beloved, by Allah, I love thee with exceeding love and will never
leave thee!' When he heard her words, his breast broadened and he
laughed for joy till he showed his teeth; and they abode thus awhile in
mirth and gladness and frolic. And when they were at the height of
their pleasure and joyance, behold, Shaykh Nasr returned from the
Parliament of the Fowls and came in to them; whereupon they all rose to
him and saluted him and kissed his hands. He gave them welcome and bade
them be seated. So they sat down and he said to Princess Shamsah,
'Verily this youth loveth thee with exceeding love; Allah upon thee,
deal kindly with him, for he is of the great ones of mankind and of the
sons of the kings, and his father ruleth over the land of Kabul and his
reign compasseth a mighty empire.' Quoth she, 'I hear and I obey thy
behest'; and, kissing the Shaykh's hands stood before him in respect.
Quoth he, 'If thou say sooth, swear to me by Allah that thou wilt never
betray him, what while thou abidest in the bonds of life.' So she swore
a great oath that she would never betray Janshah, but would assuredly
marry him, and added, 'Know, O Shaykh Nasr, that I never will forsake
him.' The Shaykh believed in her oath and said to Janshah, 'Thanks be
to Allah, who hath made you arrive at this understanding!' Hereupon the
Prince rejoiced with exceeding joy, and he and Shamsah abode three
months with Shaykh Nasr, feasting and toying and making merry."— And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that, "Janshah and the
lady Shamsah abode three months with Shaykh Nasr, feasting and toying
and making merry. And at the end of that time she said to Janshah, 'I
wish to go with thee to thy mother land, where thou shalt marry me and
we will abide there.' 'To hear is to obey,' answered he and took
counsel with Shaykh Nasr who said to him, 'Go thou home, I commend her
to thy care.' Then said she, 'O Shaykh Nasr, bid him render me my
feather-suit.' So the Shaykh bade Janshah give it to her, and he went
straightways into the pavilion and brought it out for her. There upon
she donned it and said to him, 'Mount my back and shut thine eyes and
stop thine ears, so thou mayst not hear the roar of the revolving
sphere; and keep fast hold of my feathers, lest thou fall off.' He did
as she bade him and, as she stretched her wings to fly, Shaykh Nasr
said, 'Wait a while till I describe to thee the land Kabul, lest you
twain miss your way.' So she delayed till he had said his say and had
bidden them farewell, commending the Prince to her care. She took leave
of her sisters and bade them return to her folk and tell them what had
befallen her with Janshah; then, rising into the air without stay or
delay she flew off, like the wafts of the wind or the ramping leven.
Her sisters also took flight and returning home delivered her message
to their people. And she stayed not her course from the forenoon till
the hour of mid- afternoon prayer (Janshah being still on her back),
when she espied afar off a Wady abounding in trees and streams and she
said to Janshah, 'I am thinking to alight in this valley, that we may
solace ourselves amongst its trees and herbage and here rest for the
night.' Quoth he, "Do what seemeth meet to thee!' So she swooped down
from the lift and alighted in the Wady, when Janshah dismounted and
kissing her between the eyes,[FN#549] sat with her awhile on the bank
of a river there; then they rose and wandered about the valley, taking
their pleasure therein and eating of the fruits of the trees, until
nightfall, when they lay down under a tree and slept till the morning
dawned. As soon as it was day, the Princess arose and, bidding Janshah
mount, flew on with him till noon, when she perceived by the appearance
of the buildings which Shaykh Nasr had described to her, that they were
nearing the city Kabul. So she swooped down from the welkin and
alighted in a wide plain, a blooming champaign, wherein were gazelles
straying and springs playing and rivers flowing and ripe fruits
growing. So Janshah dismounted and kissed her between the eyes; and she
asked him, 'O my beloved and coolth of mine eyes, knowest thou how many
days' journey we have come since yesterday?'; and he answered, 'No,'
when she said, 'We have come thirty months' journey.' Quoth he,
'Praised be Allah for safety!' Then they sat down side by side and ate
and drank and toyed and laughed. And whilst they were thus pleasantly
engaged, behold, there came up to them two of the King's Mamelukes of
those who had been of the Prince's company, one of them was he whom he
had left with the horses, when he embarked in the fishing-boat and the
other had been of his escort in the chase. As soon as they saw Janshah,
both knew him and saluted him; then said they, 'With thy leave, we will
go to thy sire and bear him the glad tidings of thy coming.' Replied
the Prince, 'Go ye to my father and acquaint him with my case, and
fetch us tents, for we will tarry here seven days to rest ourselves
till he make ready his retinue to meet us, that we may enter in
stateliest state.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Janshah
said to the two Mamelukes, 'Go ye to my sire and acquaint him with my
case and fetch us tents, for we will abide here seven days to rest
ourselves, till he make ready his retinue to meet us that we may enter
in the stateliest state.' So the officers hastened back to King Teghmus
and said to him, 'Good news, O King of the age!' Asked he, 'What good
tidings bring ye: is my son Janshah come back?'; and they answered,
'Yes, thy son Janshah hath returned from his strangerhood and is now
near at hand in the Kirαnν mead.' Now when the King heard this, he
joyed with great joy and fell down in a swoon for excess of gladness;
then, coming to himself, he bade his Wazir give each of the Mamelukes a
splendid suit of honour and a sum of money. The minister replied, 'I
hear and obey,' and forthright did his bidding and said to them, 'Take
this in turn for the good tidings ye bring, whether ye lie or say
sooth.' They replied, 'Indeed we lie not, for but now we sat with him
and saluted him and kissed his hands and he bade us fetch him tents,
for that he would sojourn in the meadow seven days, till such time as
the Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees should come out to meet him.' Quoth
the King, 'How is it with my son?' and quoth they, 'He hath with him a
Houri, as he had brought her out of Paradise.' At this, King Teghmus
bade beat the kettledrums and sound the trumpets for gladness, and
despatched messengers to announce the good news to Janshah's mother and
to the wives of the Emirs and Wazirs and Lords of the realm: so the
criers spread themselves about the city and acquainted the people with
the coming of Prince Janshah. Then the King made ready, and, setting
out for the Kirani meadow with his horsemen and footmen, came upon
Janshah who was sitting at rest with the lady Shamsah beside him and,
behold, all suddenly drew in sight. The Prince rose to his feet and
walked forward to meet them; and the troops knew him and dismounted, to
salute him and kiss his hands: after which he set out preceded by the
men in single file till he came to his sire, who, at sight of his son
threw himself from his horse's back and clasped him to his bosom and
wept flooding tears of joy. Then they took horse again with the retinue
riding to the right and left and fared forward till they came to the
river banks; when the troops alighted and pitched their tents and
pavilions and standards to the blare of trump and the piping of fife
and the dub-a-dub of drum and tom-tom. Moreover the King bade the tent
pitchers set up a pavilion of red silk for the Princess Shamsah, who
put off her scanty raiment of feathers for fine robes and, entering the
pavilion, there took seat. And as she sat in her beauty, behold, the
King and his son Janshah came in to her, and when she saw Teghmus, she
rose and kissed the ground before him. The King sat down and seating
Janshah on his right hand and Princess Shamsah on his left, bade her
welcome and said to his son, 'Tell me all that hath befallen thee in
this thy long strangerhood.' So Janshah related to him the whole of his
adventures from first to last, whereat he marvelled with exceeding
marvel and turning to the Princess, said, 'Laud to Allah for that He
hath caused thee to reunite me with my son! Verily this is of His
exceeding bounty!'"[FN#550]—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Teghmus
said to the lady Shamsah, 'Laud to Allah for that He hath caused thee
to reunite me with my son! Verily this is of His exceeding bounty.' And
now I would have thee ask of me what thou wilt, that I may do it in
thine honour.' Quoth she, 'I ask of thee that thou build me a palace in
the midst of a flower garden, with water running under it.' And the
King answered, 'I hear and obey.' And behold, up came Janshah's mother,
attended by all the wives of the Wazirs and Emirs and nobles and city
notables. When her son had sight of her, he rose and leaving the tent,
went forth to meet her and they embraced a long while, whilst the Queen
wept for excess of joy and with tears trickling from her eyes repeated
the following verses,

'Joy so o'ercometh me, for stress of joy * In that which

     gladdeneth me I fain shed tears:

Tears are become your nature, O my eyes, * Who weep for joyance

     as for griefs and fears.'

And they complained to each other of all their hearts had suffered from
the long separation. Then the King departed to his pavilion and Janshah
carried his mother to his own tent, where they sat talking till there
came up some of the lady Shamsah's attendants who said, The Princess is
now walking hither in order to salute thee. When the Queen heard this,
she rose and going to meet Shamsah, saluted her and seated her awhile
by her side. Presently the Queen and her retinue of noble women, the
spouses of the Emirs and Grandees, returned with Princess Shamsah to
the tent occupied by her daughter-in-law and sat there. Meanwhile, King
Teghmus gave great largesse to his levies and liege and rejoiced in his
son with exceeding joy, and they tarried there ten days, feasting and
merry making and living a most joyous life. At the end of this time,
the King commanded a march and they all returned to the capital, so he
took horse surrounded by all the troops with the Wazirs and
Chamberlains to his right and left nor ceased they faring till they
entered the city, which was decorated after the goodliest fashion; for
the folk had adorned the houses with precious stuffs and jewellery and
spread costly bro cedes under the hoofs of the horses. The drums beat
for glad tidings and the Grandees of the kingdom rejoiced and brought
rich gifts and the lookers-on were filled with amazement. Furthermore,
they fed the mendicants and Fakirs and held high festival for the space
of ten days, and the lady Shamsah joyed with exceeding joy whenas she
saw this. Then King Teghmus summoned architects and builders and men of
art and bade them build a palace in that garden. So they straightway
proceeded to do his bidding; and, when Janshah knew of his sire's
command he caused the artificers to fetch a block of white marble and
carve it and hollow it in the semblance of a chest; which being done he
took the feather- vest of Princess Shamsah wherewith she had flown with
him through the air: then, sealing the cover with melted lead, he
ordered them to bury the box in the foundations and build over it the
arches whereon the palace was to rest. They did as he bade them, nor
was it long before the palace was finished: then they furnished it and
it was a magnificent edifice, standing in the midst of the garden, with
streams flowing under its walls.[FN#551] Upon this the King caused
Janshah's wedding to be celebrated with the greatest splendour and they
brought the bride to the castle in state procession and went their
ways. When the lady Shamsah entered, she smelt the scent of her
feather-gear."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to
say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when the lady
Shamsah entered the new palace, she smelt the scent of her flying
feather-gear and knew where it was and determined to take it. So she
waited till midnight, when Janshah was drowned in sleep; then she rose
and going straight to the place where the marble coffer was buried
under the arches she hollowed the ground alongside till she came upon
it; when she removed the lead where with it was soldered and, taking
out the feather-suit, put it on. Then she flew high in air and perching
on the pinnacle of the palace, cried out to those who were therein,
saying, 'I pray you fetch me Janshah, that I may bid him farewell.' So
they told him and he came out and, seeing her on the terrace roof of
the palace, clad in her feather-raiment, asked her, 'Why hast thou done
this deed?'; and she answered 'O my beloved and coolth of mine eyes and
fruit of my heart, by Allah, I love thee passing dear and I rejoice
with exceeding joy in that I have restored thee to thy friends and
country and thou hast seen thy mother and father. And now, if thou love
me as I love thee, come to me at Takni, the Castle of Jewels.' So
saying, she flew away forthright to find her family and friends, and
Janshah fell down fainting, being well-nigh dead for despair. They
carried the news to King Teghmus, who mounted at once and riding to the
palace, found his son lying senseless on the ground; whereat he wept
knowing that the swoon was caused by the loss of his love, and
sprinkled rose- water on his face.[FN#552] When the Prince came to
himself and saw his sire sitting at his head, he wept at the thought of
losing his wife and the King asked what had befallen him. So he
replied, 'Know, O my father, that the lady Shamsah is of the daughters
of the Jann and she hath done such and such' (telling him all that had
happened); and the King said, 'O my son, be not troubled and thus
concerned, for I will assemble all the merchants and wayfarers in the
land and enquire of them anent that castle. If we can find out where it
is, we will journey thither and demand the Princess Shamsah of her
people, and we hope in Allah the Almighty that He will give her back to
thee and thou shalt consummate thy marriage.' Then he went out and,
calling his four Wazirs without stay or delay, bade them assemble all
the merchants and voyagers in the city and question them of Takni, the
Castle of Jewels, adding, 'Whoso knoweth it and can guide us thither, I
will surely give him fifty thousand gold pieces.' The Wazirs
accordingly went forth at once and did as the King bade them, but
neither trader nor traveller could give them news of Takni, the Castle
of Jewels; so they returned and told the King. Thereupon he bade bring
beautiful slave-girls and concubines and singers and players upon
instruments of music, whose like are not found but with the Kings: and
sent them to Janshah, so haply they might divert him from the love of
the lady Shamsah. Moreover, he despatched couriers and spies to all the
lands and islands and climes, to enquire for Takni, the Castle of
Jewels, and they made quest for it two months long, but none could give
them news thereof. So they returned and told the King, whereupon he
wept bitter tears and going in to his son found Janshah sitting amidst
the concubines and singers and players on harp and zither and so forth,
not one of whom could console him for the lady Shamsah. Quoth Teghmus,
O my son, I can find none who knoweth this Castle of Jewels; but I will
bring thee a fairer one than she.' When Janshah heard this his eyes ran
over with tears and he recited these two couplets,

'Patience hath fled, but passion fareth not; * And all my frame

     with pine is fever-hot:

When will the days my lot with Shamsah join? * Lo, all my bones

     with passion-lowe go rot!'

Now there was a deadly feud between King Teghmus and a certain King of
Hind, by name Kafνd, who had great plenty of troops and warriors and
champions; and under his hand were a thousand puissant chieftains, each
ruling over a thousand tribes whereof every one could muster four
thousand cavaliers. He reigned over a thousand cities each guarded by a
thousand forts and he had four Wazirs and under him ruled Emirs,
Princes and Sovereigns; and indeed he was a King of great might and
prowess whose armies filled the whole earth. Now King Teghmus had made
war upon him and ravaged his reign and slain his men and of his
treasures had made gain. But when it came to King Kafid's knowledge
that King Teghmus was occupied with the love of his son, so that he
neglected the affairs of the state and his troops were grown few and
weak by reason of his care and concern for his son's state, he summoned
his Wazirs and Emirs and said to them, 'Ye all know that whilom King
Teghmus invaded our dominions and plundered our possessions and slew my
father and brethren, nor indeed is there one of you, but he hath
harried his lands and carried off his goods and made prize of his wives
and slain some kinsmen of his. Now I have heard this day that he is
absorbed in the love of his son Janshah, and that his troops are grown
few and weak; and this is the time to take our blood revenge on him. So
make ready for the march and don ye your harness of battle; and let
nothing stay or delay you, and we will go to him and fall upon him and
slay him and his son, and possess ourselves of his reign.'"—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted

When it was the Five Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Kafid, King
of Hind, commanded his troops and armies to mount and make for the
dominions of King Teghmus, saying, 'Get ye ready for the march and don
ye your harness of war; and let nothing stay or delay you; so we will
go to him and fall upon him and slay him and his son and possess
ourselves of his reign.' They all answered with one voice, saying, 'We
hear and obey,' and fell at once to equipping themselves and levying
troops; and they ceased not their preparations for three months and,
when all was in readiness, they beat the drums and sounded the trumps
and flew the flags and banners: then King Kafid set out at the head of
his host and they fared on till they reached the frontiers of the land
of Kabul, the dominions of King Teghmus, where they began to harry the
land and do havoc among the folk, slaughtering the old and taking the
young prisoners. When the news reached King Teghmus, he was wroth with
exceeding wrath and assembling his Grandees and officers of state, said
to them 'Know that Kafid hath come to our land and hath entered the
realm we command and is resolved to fight us hand to hand, and he
leadeth troops and champions and warriors, whose number none knoweth
save Allah Almighty; what deme deem ye?' Replied they, 'O King of the
age, let us go out to him and give him battle and drive him forth of
our country; and thus deem we.' So he bade them prepare for battle and
brought forth to them hauberks and cuirasses and helmets and swords and
all manner of warlike gear, such as lay low warriors and do to death
the champions of mankind. So the troops and braves and champions
flocked together and they set up the standards and beat the drums and
sounded the trumpets and clashed the cymbals and piped on the pipes;
and King Teghmus marched out at the head of his army, to meet the hosts
of Hind. And when he drew near the foe, he called a halt, and encamping
with his host in the Zahrαn Valley,[FN#553] hard by the frontier of
Kabul despatched to King Kafid by messenger the following letter: 'Know
that what thou hast done is of the doings of the villain rabble and
wert thou indeed a King, the son of a King, thou hadst not done thus,
nor hadst thou invaded my kingdom and slain my subjects and plundered
their property and wrought upright upon them. Knowest thou not that all
this is the fashion of a tyrant! Verily, had I known that thou durst
harry my dominions, I had come to thee before thy coming and had
prevented thee this long while since. Yet, even now, if thou wilt
retire and leave mischief between us and thee, well and good; but if
thou return not, meet me in the listed field and measure thyself with
me in cut and thrust.' Lastly he sealed his letter and committed to an
officer of his army and sent with him spies to spy him out news. The
messenger fared forth with the missive and, drawing near the enemy's
camp, he descried a multitude of tents of silk and satin, with pennons
of blue sendal, and amongst them a great pavilion of red satin,
surrounded by a host of guards. He ceased not to advance till he made
this tent and found on asking that it was that of King Kafid, whom he
saw seated on a chair set with jewels, in the midst of his Wazirs and
Emirs and Grandees. So he brought out the letter and straightway there
came up to him a company of guards, who took it from him and carried it
to the King; and Kafid read it and wrote a reply to this purport:
'After the usual invocations, We let King Teghmus know that we mean to
take our blood-revenge on thee and wash out our stain and waste thy
reign and rend the curtain in twain and slay the old men and enslave
the young men. But to-morrow, come thou forth to combat in the open
plain, and to show thee thrust and fight will I deign.' Then he sealed
the letter and delivered it to the messenger, who carried it to King
Teghmus."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Kafid
delivered the answering letter to the messenger who carried it to King
Teghmus and delivered it, after kissing the ground between his hands.
Then he reported all that he had seen, saying, 'O King of the age, I
espied warriors and horsemen and footmen beyond count nor can I assist
thee to the amount.' When Teghmus read the reply and comprehended its
contents, he was with furious rage enraged and bade his Wazir Ayn Zar
take horse and fall upon the army of Kafid with a thousand cavaliers,
in the middle watch of the night when they would easily ride home and
slay all before them. Ayn Zar replied, 'I hear and I obey,' and at once
went forth to do his bidding. Now King Kafid had a Wazir,
Ghatrafαn[FN#554] by name, whom he bade take five thousand horse and
attack the host of King Teghmus in like manner. So Ghatrafan did his
bidding and set out on his enterprise marching till midnight. Thus the
two parties met halfway and the Wazir Ghatrafan fell upon the Wazir,
Ayn Zar. Then man cried out against man and there befell sore battle
between them till break of day, when Kafid's men were routed and fled
back to their King in confusion. As Kafid saw this, he was wroth beyond
measure and said to the fugitives, 'Woe to you! What hath befallen you,
that ye have lost your captains?' and they replied, 'O King of the age,
as the Wazir Ghatrafan rode forth to fall upon King Teghmus, there
appeared to us halfway and when night was half over, the Wazir, Ayn
Zar, with cavaliers and champions, and we met on the slopes of Wady
Zahran; but ere we were where we found ourselves in the enemy's midst,
eye meeting eye; and we fought a fierce fight with them from midnight
till morning, many on either side being slain. Then the Wazir and his
men fell to shouting and smiting the elephants on the face till they
took fright at their furious blows, and turning tail to flee, trampled
down the horsemen, whilst none could see other for the clouds of dust.
The blood ran like a rain torrent and had we not fled, we had all been
cut off to the last man.' When King Kafid heard this, he exclaimed,
'May the sun not bless you and may he be wroth with you and sore be his
wrath!' Meanwhile Ayn Zar, the Wazir, returned to King Teghmus and told
him what had happened. The King gave him joy of his safety and rejoiced
greatly and bade beat the drums and sound the trumpets, in honour of
the victory; after which he called the roll of his troops and behold,
two hundred of his stoutest champions had fallen. Then King Kafid
marched his army into the field and drew them out ordered for battle in
fifteen lines of ten thousand horses each, under the command of three
hundred captains, mounted on elephants and chosen from amongst the
doughtiest of his warriors and his champions. So he set up his
standards and banners and beat the drums and blew the trumpets whilst
the braves sallied forth, offering battle. As for King Teghmus, he drew
out his troops line after line and lo! there were ten of ten thousand
horses each, and with him were an hundred champions, riding on his
right hand and on his left. Then fared forward to the fight each
renowned knight, and the hosts clashed together in their might, whilst
the earth for all its wideness was straitened because of the multitude
of the cavaliers and ears were deafened by drums and cymbals beating
and pipes and hautboys sounding and trumpets blaring and by the thunder
of horse-tramp and the shouting of men. The dust arched in canopy over
their heads and they fought a sore fight from the first of the day till
the fall of darkness, when they separated and each army drew off to its
own camp."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying
her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "each army drew
off to its own camp. Then King Kafid called the roll of his troops and,
finding that he had lost five thousand men, raged with great rage; and
King Teghmus mustered his men and seeing that of them were slain three
thousand riders, the bravest of his braves, was wroth with exceeding
wrath. On the morrow King Kafid again pushed into the plain and did
duty as before, while each man strove his best to snatch victory for
himself; and Kafid cried out to his men, saying, 'Is there any of you
will sally forth into the field and open us the chapter of fray and
fight?' And behold came out from the ranks a warrior named Barkayk, a
mighty man of war who, when he reached the King, alighted from his
elephant and kissing the earth before him, sought of him leave to
challenge the foe to combat singular. Then he mounted his elephant and
driving into mid-field, cried out, 'Who is for duello, who is for
derring do, who is for knightly devoir?' When King Teghmus heard this,
he said to his troops, 'Which of you will do single battle with this
sworder?' And behold, a cavalier came out from the ranks, mounted on a
charger, mighty of make, and driving up to the King kissed the earth
before him and craved his permission to engage Barkayk. Then he mounted
again and charged at Barkayk, who said to him, 'Who art thou and what
art thou called, that thou makest mock of me by coming out against me
and challenging me, alone?' 'My name is Ghazanfar[FN#555] son of
Kamkhνl,' replied the Kabul champion; and the other, 'I have heard tell
of thee in my own country; so up and do battle between the ranks of the
braves!' Hearing these words Ghazanfar drew a mace of iron from under
his thigh and Barkayk took his good sword in hand, and they laid on
load till Barkayk smote Ghazanfar on the head with his blade, but the
morion turned the blow and no hurt befell him therefrom; whereupon
Ghazanfar, in his turn, dealt Barkayk so terrible a stroke on the head
with his mace, that he levelled him down to his elephant's back and
slew him. With this out sallied another and crying to Ghazanfar, 'Who
be thou that thou shouldst slay my brother?'; hurled a javelin at him
with such force that it pierced his thigh and nailed his coat of mail
to his flesh. Then Ghazanfar, feeling his hurt, hent his sword in hand
and smote at Barkayk's brother and cut him in sunder, and he fell to
the earth, wallowing in his life blood, whilst the challenger of Kabul
galloped back to King Teghmus. Now when Kafid saw the death of his
champions, he cried out to his troops, saying, 'Down with you to the
plain and strike with might and main!' as also did King Teghmus, and
the two armies fought the fiercest of fights. Horse neighed against
horse and man cried out upon man and brands were bared, whilst the
drums beat and the trumpets blared; and horseman charged upon horseman
and every brave of renown pushed forward, whilst the faint of heart
fled from the lunge of lance and men heard nought but slogan-cry and
the clash and clang of armoury. Slain were the warriors that were
slain[FN#556] and they stayed not from the mellay till the decline of
the sun in the heavenly dome, when the Kings drew off their armies and
returned each to its own camp.[FN#557] Then King Teghmus took tally of
his men and found that he had lost five thousand, and four standards
had been broken to bits, whereat he was sore an-angered; whilst King
Kafid in like manner counted his troops and found that he had lost six
hundred, the bravest of his braves, and nine standards were wanting to
the full tale. The two armies ceased joining battle and rested on their
arms three days' space, after which Kafid wrote a letter and sent it by
messenger to a King called Fakun al-Kalb (with whom he claimed kinship
by the spindle side): and this kinsman forthwith mustered his men and
marched to meet the King of Hind."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Fakun
mustered his men and marched to meet the King of Hind: and whileas King
Teghmus was sitting at his pleasance, there came one in to him and
said, 'I see from afar a cloud of dust spireing high in air and
overspreading the lift.' So he commanded a company to fare forth and
learn the meaning of this; and, crying, 'To hear is to obey,' they
sallied out and presently returned and said to him, 'O King, when we
drew near the cloud of dust, the wind rent it and it lifted and showed
seven standards and under each standard three thousand horse, making
for King Kafid's camp.' Then King Fakun joined himself to the King of
Hind and saluting him, asked, 'How is it with thee, and what be this
war in which thou arrest?'; and Kafid answered, 'Knowest thou not that
King Teghmus is my enemy and the murtherer of my father and brothers?
Wherefore I am come forth to do battle with him and take my brood wreak
on him.' Quoth Fakun, 'The blessing of the sun be upon thee!'; and the
King of Hind carried King Fakun al-Kalb to his tent and rejoiced in him
with exceeding joy. Such was the case of the two hostile Kings; but as
regards King Janshah, he abode two months shut up in his palace,
without seeing his father or allowing one of the damsels in his service
to come in to him; at the end of which time he grew troubled and
restless and said to his attendants, 'What aileth my father that he
cometh not to visit me?' They told him that he had gone forth to do
battle with King Kafid, whereupon quoth Janshah, 'Bring me my steed,
that I may go to my sire.' They replied, 'We hear and obey,' and
brought his horse; but he said in himself, 'I am taken up with the
thought of myself and my love and I deem well to mount and ride for the
city of the Jews, where haply Allah shall grant me the boon to meet the
merchant who hired me for the ruby business and may be he will deal
with me as he dealt before, for none knoweth whence good cometh.' So he
took with him a thousand horse and set out, the folk saying, 'At last
Janshah hath fared forth to join his father in the field, and to fight
by his side;' and they stinted not pushing on till dusk, when they
halted for the night in a vast meadow. As soon as he knew that all his
men were asleep, the Prince rose privily and girding his waist, mounted
his horse and rode away intending to make Baghdad, because he had heard
from the Jews that a caravan came thence to their city once in every
two years and he made up his mind to journey thither with the next
cafilah. When his men awoke and missed the Prince and his horse, they
mounted and sought him right and left but, finding no trace of him,
rejoined his father and told him what his son had done; whereat he was
wroth beyond measure and cast the crown from his head, whilst the
sparks were like to fly from his mouth, and he said 'There is no
Majesty and there is no Might but in Allah! Verily I have lost my son,
and the enemy is still before me.' But his Wazirs and vassals said to
him, 'Patience, O King of the age! Patience bringeth weal in wake.'
Meanwhile Janshah, parted from his lover and pained for his father, was
in sore sorrow and dismay, with heart seared and eyes tear-bleared and
unable to sleep night or day. But when his father heard the loss his
host had endured, he declined battle, and fled before King Kafid, and
retiring to his city, closed the gates and strengthened the walls.
Thereupon King Kafid followed him and sat down before the town;
offering battle seven nights and eight days, after which he withdrew to
his tents, to tend his wounded while the citizens defended themselves
as they best could, fortifying the place and setting up mangonels and
other engines on the walls. Such was the condition of the two Kings,
and war raged between them for a space of seven years."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Kings Teghmus
and Kafid continued in this condition for seven years; but, as regards
Janshah, he rode through wild and wold and when ever he came to a town
he asked anent Takni, the Castle of Jewels, but none knew of it and all
answered, 'Of a truth we never heard of such place, not even by name.'
At last he happened to enquire concerning the city of the Jews from a
merchant who told him that it was situated in the extreme Orient,
adding, 'A caravan will start this very month for the city of Mizrakαn
in Hind; whither do thou accompany us and we will fare on to Khorasan
and thence to the city of Shima'ϊn and Khwαrazm, from which latter
place the City of the Jews is distant a year and three months'
journey.' So Janshah waited till the departure of the caravan, when he
joined himself thereto and journeyed, till he reached the city of
Mizrakan whence, after vainly asking for Takni, the Castle of Jewels,
he set out and enduring on the way great hardships and perils galore
and the extreme of hunger and thirst, he arrived at the town of
Shima'un. Here he made enquiry for the City of the Jews, and they
directed him to the road thither. So he fared forth and journeyed days
and nights till he came to the place where he had given the apes the
slip, and continued his journey thence to the river, on the opposite
bank of which stood the City of the Jews. He sat down on the shore and
waited till the Sabbath came round and the river dried up by decree of
Allah Almighty, when he crossed over to the opposite bank and, entering
the city, betook himself to the house wherein he had lodged on his
former journey. The Jew and his family saluted him and rejoiced in his
return and, setting meat and drink before him, asked, 'Where hast thou
been during thine absence?'; and he answered, 'In the kingdom of
Almighty Allah!'[FN#558] He lay with them that night and on the morrow
he went out to solace himself with a walk about the city and presently
heard a crier crying aloud and saying, 'O folk, who will earn a
thousand gold pieces and a fair slave-girl and do half a day's work for
us?' So Janshah went up to him and said, 'I will do this work.'[FN#559]
Quoth the crier, 'Follow me,' and carrying him to the house of the Jew
merchant, where he had been afore time, said, 'This young man will do
thy need.' The merchant not recognising him gave him welcome and
carried him into the Harim, where he set meat and drink before him, and
he ate and drank. Then he brought him the money and formally made over
to him the handsome slave-girl with whom he lay that night. As soon as
morning dawned, he took the diners and the damsel and, committing them
to his Jew host with whom he had lodged afore time, returned to the
merchant, who mounted and rode out with him, till they came to the foot
of the tall and towering mountain, where the merchant, bringing out a
knife and cords, said to Janshah, 'Throw the mare.' So he threw her and
bound her four legs with the cords and slaughtered her and cut off her
head and four limbs and slit her belly, as ordered by the Jew;
whereupon quoth he, 'Enter her belly, till I sew it up on thee; and
whatsoever thou seest therein, tell me of it, for this is the work
whose wage thou hast taken.' So Janshah entered the mare's belly and
the merchant sewed it up on him; then, withdrawing to a fair distance,
hid himself. And after an hour a great bird swooped down from the lift
and, snatching up the carcass in his pounces soared high toward the
sky. Then he perched upon the mountain peak and would have eaten the
prey, but Janshah sensing his intent took out his knife and slit the
mare's belly and came forth. The bird was scared at his sight and flew
away, and Janshah went up to a place whence he could see below, and
looking down, espied the merchant standing at the foot of the mountain,
as he were a sparrow. So he cried out to him, 'What is thy will, O
merchant?' Replied the Jew, 'Throw me down of the stones that lie about
thee, that I may direct thee in the way down.' Quoth Janshah, 'Thou art
he who didst with me thus and thus five years ago, and through thee I
suffered hunger and thirst and sore toil and much trouble; and now thou
hast brought me hither once more and thinkest to destroy me. By Allah,
I will not throw thee aught!' So saying, he turned from him and set out
for where lived Shaykh Nasr, the King of the Birds."—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Janshah took the
way for where lived Shaykh Nasr, the King of the Birds. And he ceased
not faring on many days and nights, tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted;
eating, when he was anhungered, of the growth of the ground and
drinking, when he thirsted, of its streams, till he came in sight of
the Castle of the lord Solomon and saw Shaykh Nasr sitting at the gate.
So he hastened up to him and kissed his hands; and the Shaykh saluted
him and bade him welcome and said to him, 'O my son, what aileth thee
that thou returnest to this place, after I sent thee home with the
Princess Shamsah, cool of eyes and broad of breast?' Janshah wept and
told him all that had befallen him and how she had flown away from him,
saying, 'An thou love me, come to me in Takni, the Castle of Jewels;'
at which the old man marvelled and said, 'By Allah, O my son, I know it
not, nor, by the virtue of our lord Solomon, have I ever in my life
heard its name!' Quoth Janshah, 'What shall I do? I am dying of love
and longing.' Quoth Shaykh Nasr, 'Take patience until the coming of the
birds, when we will enquire at them of Takni, the Castle of Jewels;
haply one of them shall wot thereof.' So Janshah's heart was comforted
and, entering the Palace, he went straight to the chamber which gave
upon the Lake in which he had seen the three maidens. After this he
abode with Shaykh Nasr for a while and, one day as he was sitting with
him, the Shaykh said, 'O my son, rejoice for the time of the birds'
coming draweth nigh.' Janshah gladdened to hear the news; and after a
few days the birds began to come and Shaykh Nasr said to him, 'O my
son, learn these names[FN#560] and address thyself with me to meet the
birds.' Presently, the fowls came flying up and saluted Shaykh Nasr,
kind after kind, and he asked them of Takni, the Castle of Jewels, but
they all made answer, 'Never heard we of such a place.' At these words
Janshah wept and lamented till he swooned away; whereupon Shaykh Nasr
called a huge volatile and said to him, 'Carry this youth to the land
of Kabul,' and described to him the country and the way thither. Then
he set Janshah on the bird's back, saying, 'Be careful to sit straight
and beware of leaning to either side, else thou wilt be torn to pieces
in the air; and stop thine ears from the wind, lest thou be dazed by
the noise of the revolving sphere and the roaring of the seas.' Janshah
resolved to do his bidding and the bird took flight high in sky and
flew with him a day and a night, till he set him down by the King of
the Beasts, whose name was Shαh Badrν, and said to his rider, 'We have
gone astray from the way directed by Shaykh Nasr.' And he would have
taken him up again and flown on with him; but Janshah said, 'Go thy
ways and leave me here; till I die on this spot or I find Takni, the
Castle of Jewels, I will not return to my country.' So the fowl left
him with Shah Badri, King of the Beasts and flew away. The King
thereupon said to him, 'O my son, who art thou and whence comest thou
with yonder great bird?' So Janshah told him his story from beginning
to end, whereat Shah Badri marvelled and said, 'By the virtue of the
lord Solomon, I know not of this castle; but if any one of the beasts
my subjects know it, we will reward him bountifully and send thee by
him thither.' Hereat Janshah wept bitterly but presently he took
patience and abode with Shah Badri, and after a short time the King of
the Beasts said to him, 'O my son, take these tablets and commit to
memory that which is therein; and when the beasts come, we will
question them of the Castle of Jewels.' "—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the King of
the Beasts said to Janshah, 'Commit to memory what is in these tablets;
and whenas the beasts come, we will ask them anent that castle.' He did
as the King bade him, and before long, up came the beasts, kind after
kind, and saluted Shah Badri who questioned them of Takni, the Castle
of Jewels, but they all replied, 'We know not this castle, nor ever
heard we of it.' At this Janshah wept and lamented for that he had not
gone with the bird that brought him from Shaykh Nasr's castle; but Shah
Badri said to him, 'Grieve not, O my son, for I have a brother, King
Shimαkh highs, who is older than I; he was once a prisoner to King
Solomon, for that he rebelled against him; nor is there among the Jinn
one elder than he and Shaykh Nasr. Belike he knoweth of this castle; at
any rate he ruleth over all the Jinn in this country side.' So saying
he set Janshah on the back of a beast and gave him a letter to his
brother, commending him to his care. The beast set off with the Prince
forthwith and fared on days and nights, till it came to King Shimakh's
abiding place. And when it caught sight of the King it stood still afar
off, whereupon Janshah alighted and walked on, till he found himself in
the presence. Then he kissed hands and presented his brother's letter.
The King read the missive and, having mastered the meaning, welcomed
the Prince, saying, 'By Allah, O my son, in all my born days I never
saw nor heard of this castle!' adding (as Janshah burst into tears),
'but tell me thy story and who and whence thou art and whither thou art
bound.' So Janshah related to him his history from beginning to end, at
which Shimakh marvelled and said, 'O my son, I do not believe that even
the lord Solomon ever saw this castle or heard thereof; but O my
son,[FN#561] I know a monk in the mountains, who is exceeding old and
whom all birds and beasts and Jann obey; for he ceased not his
conjurations against the Kings of the Jann, till they submitted
themselves to him in their own despite, by reason of the might of his
oaths and his magic; and now all the birds and the beasts are his
servants. I myself once rebelled against King Solomon and he sent
against me this monk, the only being who could overcome me with his
craft and his conjurations and his gramarye; then he imprisoned me, and
since that time I have been his vassal. He hath travelled in all
countries and quarters and knoweth all ways and regions and places and
castles and cities; nor do I think there is any place hidden from his
ken. So needs must I send thee to him; haply he may direct thee to the
Castle of Jewels; and, if he cannot do this, none can; for all things
obey him, birds and beasts and the very mountains and come at his beck
and call, by reason of his skill in magic. Moreover, by the might of
his egromancy he hath made a staff, in three pieces, and this he
planteth in the earth and conjureth over it; whereupon flesh and blood
issue from the first piece, sweet milk from the second and wheat and
barley from the third; then he withdraweth the staff and returneth to
his place which is highs the Hermitage of Diamonds. And this magical
monk is a cunning inventor and artificer of all manner strange works;
and he is a crafty warlock full of guiles and wiles, an arch deceiver
of wondrous wickedness, who hath mastered every kind of magic and
witchcraft. His name is Yaghmϊs and to him I must needs send thee on
the back of a big bird with four wings,'"—And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

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

She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "Shimakh said
to Janshah, 'I must needs send thee to the monk Yaghmus on the back of
a big bird with four wings, each measuring thirty Hαshimi[FN#562]
cubits in length; and it hath feet like those of an elephant, but it
flieth only twice a year.' And there was with King Shimakh an officer,
by name Timshun, who used every day to carry off two Bactrian[FN#563]
camels from the land of Irak and cut them up for the bird that it might
eat them. So King Shimakh bade the fowl take up Janshah and bear him to
the cell of the hermit Yaghmus; and it rose into the air and flew on
days and nights, till it came to the Mountain of the Citadels and the
Hermitage of Diamonds where Janshah alighted and going up to the
hermitage, found Yaghmus the Monk at his devotions. So he entered the
chapel and, kissing the ground stood respectfully before the hermit.
When Yaghmus saw him, he said, 'Welcome, O my son, O parted from thy
home and garred ferforth to roam! Tell me the cause of thy coming
hither.' So Janshah wept and acquainted him with all that had befallen
him from beginning to end and that he was in quest of the Castle of
Jewels. The Monk marvelled greatly at his story and said, 'By Allah, O
my son, never in my life heard I of this castle, nor ever saw I one who
had heard of it or had seen it, for all I was alive in the days of
Noah, Allah's Prophet (on whom be peace!),[FN#564] and I have ruled the
birds and beasts and Jinn ever since his time; nor do I believe that
Solomon David son himself knew of it. But wait till the birds and
beasts and chiefs of the Jann come to do their homage to me and I will
question them of it; peradventure, some one of them may be able to give
us news of it and Allah Almighty shall make all things easy to thee.'
So Janshah homed with the hermit, until the day of the assembly, when
all the birds and beasts and Jann came to swear fealty; and Yaghmus and
his guest questioned them anent Takni, the Castle of Jewels; but they
all replied, 'We never saw or heard of such a place.' At this, Janshah
fell a weeping and lamenting and humbled himself before the Most High;
but, as he was thus engaged, behold, there flew down from the heights
of air another bird, big of bulk and black of blee, which had tarried
behind the rest, and kissed the hermit's hands. Yaghmus asked it of
Takni, the Castle of Jewels, and it answered, saying 'O Monk, when I
and my brothers were small chicks we abode behind the Mountain Kaf on a
hill of crystal, in the midst of a great desert; and our father and
mother used to set out for it every morning and in the evening come
back with our food. They went out early one day, and were absent from
us a sennight and hunger was sore upon us; but on the eighth day they
returned, both weeping, and we asked them the reason of their absence.
Quoth they: 'A Marid swooped down on us and carried us off in his claws
to Takni, the Castle of Jewels, and brought us before King Shahlan, who
would have slain us; but we told him that we had left behind us a brood
of fledgelings; so he spared our lives and let us go. And were my
parents yet in the bonds of life they would give thee news of the
castle.' When Janshah heard this, he wept bitter tears and said to the
hermit, 'Prithee bid the bird carry me to his father and mother's nest
on the crystal hill, behind the Mountain Kaf.' So the hermit said, 'O
bird, I desire thee to obey this youth in whatsoever he may command
thee.' 'I hear and obey thy bidding,' replied the fowl; and, taking
Janshah on its back, flew with him days and nights without ceasing till
it set him down on the Hill of Crystal and there alighted. And having
delayed there a resting while, it again set him on its back and flew
off and ceased not flying for two whole days till it reached the spot
where the nest was."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the fowl ceased
not flying with Janshah two full days; till it reached the spot where
the nest was, and set him down there and said, 'O Janshah, this is
where our nest was.' He wept sore and replied, 'I pray thee bear me
farther on to where thy parents used to forage for food.' The bird
consented; so it took him up again and flew on with him seven nights
and eight days, till it set him down on the top of a high hill Karmus
highs and left him there saying, 'I know of no land behind this hill.'
Then it flew away and Janshah sat down on the hill-top and fell asleep.
When he awoke, he saw a something gleaming afar off as it were
lightning and filling the firmament with its flashings; and he wondered
what this sheen could be without wotting that it was the Castle he
sought. So he descended the mountain and made towards the light, which
came from Takni, the Castle of Jewels, distant two months' journey from
Karmϊs, the hill whereon he had alit, and its foundations were
fashioned of red rubies and its buildings of yellow gold. Moreover, it
had a thousand turrets builded of precious metals, and stones of price
studded and set in the minerals brought from the Main of Murks, and on
this account it was named the Castle of Jewels, Takni. It was a vast
great castle and the name of its king was King Shahlan, the father of
the lady Shamsah and her sisters. Such was the case with Janshah; but
as regards Princess Shamsah, when she fled from Janshah, she made
straight for the Castle of Jewels and told her father and mother all
that had passed between the Prince and herself; how he had wandered the
world and seen its marvels and wonders and how fondly he loved her and
how dearly she loved him. Quoth they, 'Thou hast not dealt righteously
with him, as Allah would have thee deal.' Moreover King Shahlan
repeated the story to his guards and officers of the Marids of the Jinn
and bade them bring him every mortal they should see. For the lady
Shamsah had said to her parents, 'Janshah loveth me with passionate
love and forsure he will follow me; for when flying from his father's
roof I cried to him, 'An thou love me, seek me at Takni, the Castle of
Jewels!' Now when Janshah beheld that sheen and shine, he made straight
for it wishing to find out what it might be. And as chance would have
it, Shamsah had that very day despatched a Marid on an occasion in the
direction of the hill Karmus, and on his way thither he caught sight of
a man, a mortal; so he hastened up to him and saluted him. Janshah was
terrified at his sight, but returned his salam, and the Marid asked,
'What is thy name?' and he answered, 'My name is Janshah, and I have
fallen madly in love with a Jinniyah known as Princess Shamsah, who
captivated me by her beauty and loveliness; but despite my dear love
she fled from the palace wherein I placed her and behold, I am here in
quest of her.' Herewith he wept with bitter weeping. The Marid looked
at him and his heart burned with pity on hearing the sad tale, and he
said, 'Weep not, for surely thou art come to thy desire. Know that she
loveth thee fondly and hath told her parents of thy love for her, and
all in yonder castle love thee for her sake; so be of good cheer and
keep thine eyes cool of tear.' Then he took him on his shoulders and
made off with him to the Castle of Jewels, Takni. Thereupon the bearers
of fair tidings hastened to report his coming and when the news reached
Shamsah and her father and mother, they all rejoiced with exceeding
joy, and King Shahlan took horse and rode out, commanding all his
guards and Ifrits and Marids honourably to meet the Prince."—And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Shahlan
commanded all his guards and Ifrits and Marids to meet the Prince; and,
as soon as he came up with him, he dismounted and embraced him, and
Janshah kissed his hand. Then Shahlan bade put on him a robe of honour
of many coloured silk, laced with gold and set with jewels, and a
coronet such as man never saw, and, mounting him on a splendid mare of
the steeds of the Kings of the Jinn, took horse himself and, with an
immense retinue riding on the right hand and the left, brought him in
great state to the Castle. Janshah marvelled at the splendour of this
edifice, with its walls builded of rubies and other jewels and its
pavement of crystal and jasper and emerald, and fell a weeping at the
memory of his past miseries; but the King and Queen, Shamsah's mother,
wiped away his tears and said, 'Now no more weeping and be of good
cheer, for thou hast won to thy will.' Then Shahlan carried him into
the inner court of the Castle, where he was received by a multitude of
beautiful damsels and pages and black Jinn-slaves, who seated him in
the place of honour and stood to do him service, whilst he was lost in
amazement at the goodliness of the place, and its walls all edified of
precious metals and jewels of price. Presently King Shahlan repaired to
his hall of audience, where he sat down on his throne and, bidding the
slave-girls and the pages introduce the Prince, rose to receive him and
seated him by his side on the throne. Then he ordered the tables to be
spread and they ate and drank and washed their hands; after which in
came the Queen Shamsah's mother, and saluting Janshah, bade him welcome
in these words, 'Thou hast come to thy desire after weariness and thine
eyes shall now sleep after watching; so praised be Allah for thy
safety!' Thus saying, she went away and forthwith returned with the
Princess Shamsah, who saluted Janshah and kissed his hands, hanging her
head in shame and confusion before him and her parents, after which as
many of her sisters as were in the palace came up to him and greeted
him in like manner. Then quoth the Queen to him, 'Welcome, O my son,
our daughter Shamsah hath indeed sinned against thee, but do thou
pardon her misdeed for our sakes.' When Janshah heard this, he cried
out and fell down fainting, whereat the King marvelled and they
sprinkled on his face rose water mingled with musk and civet, till he
came to himself and, looking at Princess Shamsah, said, 'Praised be
Allah who hath brought me to my desire and hath quenched the fire of my
heart!' Replied she, 'May He preserve thee from the Fire!, but now tell
me, O Janshah, what hath befallen thee since our parting and how thou
madest thy way to this place; seeing that few even of the Jann ever
heard of Takni, the Castle of Jewels; and we are independent of all the
Kings nor any wotteth the road hither.' Thereupon he related to her
every adventure and peril and hardship he had suffered and how he had
left his father at war with King Kafid, ending with these words, 'And
all for thy sake, my lady Shamsah!' Quoth the Queen, 'Now hast thou thy
heart's desire, for the Princess is thy handmaid, and we give her in
free gift to thee.' Janshah joyed exceedingly at these words and the
Queen added, 'Next month, if it be the will of Almighty Allah, we will
have a brave wedding and celebrate the marriage festival and after the
knot is tied we will send you both back to thy native land, with an
escort of a thousand Marids of our body-guard, the least of whom, an
thou bid him slay King Kafid and his folk, would surely destroy them to
the last man in the twinkling of an eye. Furthermore if it please thee
we will send thee, year after year, a company of which each and every
can so do with all thy foes.'"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the lady
Shamsah's mother ended with saying, 'And if it so please thee we will
send thee, year after year, a company of which each and every can
destroy thy foes to the last man.' Then King Shahlan sat down on his
throne and, summoning his Grandees and Officers of state, bade them
make ready for the marriage- festivities and decorate the city seven
days and nights. 'We hear and we obey,' answered they and busied
themselves two months in the preparations, after which they celebrated
the marriage of the Prince and Princess and held a mighty festival,
never was there its like. Then they brought Janshah in to his bride and
he abode with her in all solace of life and delight for two years, at
the end of which time he said to her, 'Thy father promised to send us
to my native land, that we might pass one year there and the next
here.' Answered she, I hear and obey,' and going in to King Shahlan at
nightfall told him what the Prince had said. Quoth he, 'I consent; but
have patience with me till the first of the month, that I may make
ready for your departure.' She repeated these words to her husband and
they waited till the appointed time, when the King bade his Marids
bring out to them a great litter of red gold, set with pearls and
jewels and covered with a canopy of green silk, purfled in a profusion
of colours and embroidered with precious stones, dazzling with its
goodliness the eyes of every beholder. He chose out four of his Marids
to carry the litter in whichever of the four quarters the riders might
choose. Moreover, he gave his daughter three hundred beautiful damsels
to wait upon her and bestowed on Janshah the like number of white
slaves of the sons of the Jinn. Then the lady Shamsah took formal leave
of her mother and sisters and all her kith and kin; and her father
fared forth with them. So the four Marids took up the litter, each by
one corner, and rising under it like birds in air, flew onward with it
between earth and heaven till mid-day, when the King bade them set it
down and all alighted. Then they took leave of one another and King
Shahlan commended Shamsah to the Prince's care, and giving them in
charge to the Marids, returned to the Castle of Jewels, whilst the
Prince and Princess remounted the litter, and the Marids taking it up,
flew on for ten whole days, in each of which they accomplished thirty
months' journey, till they sighted the capital of King Teghmus. Now one
of them knew the land of Kabul; so when he saw the city, he bade the
others let down the litter at that populous place which was the
capital."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "the Marid guards
let down the litter at the capital of King Teghmus who had been routed
and had fled from his foes into the city, where he was in sore straits,
King Kafid having laid close siege to him. He sought to save himself by
making peace with the King of Hind, but his enemy would give him no
quarter; so seeing himself without resource or means of relief, he
determined to strangle himself and to die and be at rest from this
trouble and misery. Accordingly he bade his Wazirs and Emirs farewell
and entered his house to take leave of his Harim; and the whole realm
was full of weeping and wailing and lamentation and woe. And whilst
this rout and hurly-burly was enacting, behold, the Marids descended
with the litter upon the palace that was in the citadel, and Janshah
bade them set it down in the midst of the Divan. They did his bidding
and he alighted with his company of handmaids and Mamelukes; and,
seeing all the folk of the city in straits and desolation and sore
distress, said to the Princess, 'O love of my heart and coolth of mine
eyes, look in what a piteous plight is my sire!' There upon she bade
the Marid guard fall upon the beleaguering host and slay them, saying,
'Kill ye all, even to the last man;' and Janshah commanded one of them,
by name Karαtash,[FN#565] who was exceeding strong and valiant, to
bring King Kafid to him in chains. So they set down the litter and
covered it with the canopy; then, having waited till midnight, they
attacked the enemy's camp one of them being a match for ten; or at
least for eight. And while these smote the foes with iron maces, those
mounted their magical elephants and soared high in the lift, and then
swooping down and snatching up their opponents, tare them to pieces in
mid air. But Karatash made straight for Kafid's tent where he found him
lying in a couch; so he took him up, shrieking for fear, and flew with
him to Janshah, who bade the four Marids bind him on the litter and
hang him high in the air over his camp, that he might witness the
slaughter of his men. They did as the Prince commanded them and left
Kafid, who had swooned for fear, hanging between earth and air and
buffeting his face for grief. As for King Teghmus, when he saw his son,
he well-nigh died for excess of joy and, crying with a loud cry, fell
down in a swoon. They sprinkled rose-water on his face, till he came to
himself, when he and his son embraced and wept with sore weeping; for
he knew not that the Jinn guard were battling with King Kafid's men.
Then Princess Shamsah accosted the King and kissing his hand, said to
him, 'Sire, be pleased to go up with me to the palace-roof and witness
the slaughter of thy foes by my father's Marids.' So he went up to the
terrace-roof and sitting down there with his daughter-in-law, enjoyed
watching the Marids do havoc among the besiegers and break a way
through the length and breadth of them. For one of them smote with his
iron mace upon the elephants and their riders and pounded them till man
was not to be distinguished from beast; whilst another shouted in the
faces of those who fled, so that they fell down dead; and the third
caught up a score of horsemen, beasts and all; and, towering with them
high in air, cast them down on earth, so that they were torn in pieces.
And this was high enjoyment for Janshah and his father and the lady
Shamsah."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Teghmus and
his son and daughter-in-law went up to the terrace roof and enjoyed a
prospect of the Jinn-guards battling with the beleaguering host. And
King Kafid (still hanging between heaven and earth) also saw the
slaughter of his troops and wept sore and buffeted his face; nor did
the carnage cease among the army of Hind for two whole days, till they
were cut off even to the last man. Then Janshah commanded a Marid, by
name Shimwαl, chain up King Kafid with manacles and fetters, and
imprison him in a tower called the Black Bulwark. And when his bidding
was done, King Teghmus bade beat the drums and despatched messengers to
announce the glad news to Janshah's mother, informing her of his
approach; whereupon she mounted in great joy and she no sooner espied
her son than she clasped him in her arms and swooned away for stress of
gladness. They sprinkled rose-water on her face, till she came to
herself, when she embraced him again and again wept for excess of joy.
And when the lady Shamsah knew of her coming, she came to her and
saluted her; and they embraced each other and after remaining embraced
for an hour sat down to converse. Then King Teghmus threw open the city
gates and despatched couriers to all parts of the kingdom, to spread
the tidings of his happy deliverance; whereupon all his princely
Vassals and Emirs and the Grandees of the realm flocked to salute him
and give him joy of his victory and of the safe return of his son; and
they brought him great store of rich offerings and curious presents.
The visits and oblations continued for some time, after which the King
made a second and a more splendid bride-feast for the Princess Shamsah
and bade decorate the city and held high festival. Lastly they unveiled
and paraded the bride before Janshah, with apparel and ornaments of the
utmost magnificence, and when her bridegroom went in to her he
presented her with an hundred beautiful slave-girls to wait upon her.
Some days after this, the Princess repaired to the King and interceded
with him for Kafid, saying, 'Suffer him return to his own land, and if
henceforward he be minded to do thee a hurt, I will bid one of the
Jinn-guard snatch him up and bring him to thee.' Replied Teghmus, 'I
hear and I obey,' and bade Shimwal bring him the prisoner, who came
manacled and fettered and kissed earth between his hands. Then he
commanded to strike off his chains and, mounting him on a lame mare,
said to him, 'Verily Princess Shamsah hath interceded for thee: so
begone to thy kingdom, but if thou fall again to thine old tricks, she
will send one of the Marids to seize thee and bring thee hither.'
Thereupon King Kafid set off home wards, in the sorriest of
plights,"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "King Kafid set
off homewards in the sorriest of plights, whilst Janshah and his wife
abode in all solace and delight of life, making the most of its joyance
and happiness. All this recounted the youth sitting between the tombs
unto Bulukiya, ending with, 'And behold, I am Janshah who witnessed all
these things, O my brother, O Bulukiya!' Then Bulukiya who was
wandering the world in his love for Mohammed (whom Allah bless and
keep!) asked Janshah, 'O my brother, what be these two sepulchres and
why sittest thou between them and what causeth thy weeping?' He
answered, 'Know, O Bulukiya, that we abode in all solace and delight of
life, passing one year at home and the next at Takni, the Castle of
Jewels, whither we betook not ourselves but in the litter borne by the
Marids and flying between heaven and earth.' Quoth Bulukiya, 'O my
brother, O Janshah, what was the distance between the Castle and thy
home?' Quoth he, 'Every day we accomplished a journey of thirty months
and the time we took was ten days. We abode on this wise a many of
years till, one year we set out for the Castle of Jewels, as was our
wont, and on the way thither alighted from the litter in this island to
rest and take our pleasure therein. We sat down on the riverbank and
ate and drank; after which the Lady Shamsah, having a mind to bathe,
put off her clothes and plunged into the water. Her women did likewise
and they swam about awhile, whilst I walked on along the bank of the
stream leaving them to swim about and play with one another. And
behold, a huge shark of the monsters of the deep seized the Princess by
the leg, without touching any of the girls; and she cried out and died
forthright, whilst the damsels fled out of the river to the pavilion,
to escape from the shark. But after awhile they returned and taking up
her corpse carried her to the litter. Now when I saw her dead, I fell
down fainting and they sprinkled water on my face, till I recovered and
wept over her. Then I despatched the Jinn-guards to her parents and
family, announcing what had befallen her; and in the shortest time they
came to the spot and washed her and shrouded her, after which they
buried her by the river-side and made mourning for her. They would have
carried me with them to their own country; but I said to King Shahlan,
'I beseech thee to dig me a grave beside her tomb, that, when I die, I
may be buried by her side in that grave.' Accordingly, the King
commanded one of his Marids to do as I wished, after which they
departed and left me here to weep and mourn for her till I die. And
this is my story and the cause of my sojourn between these two tombs.'
And he repeated these two couplets,[FN#566]

'The house, sweet heart, is now no home to me * Since thou art

     gone, nor neighbour neighbourly,

The friend whilom I took to heart, no more * Is friend, and

     brightest lights lose brilliancy.'

But when Bulukiya heard out Janshah's tale he marvelled,"—And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya
heard out Janshah's tale he wondered and exclaimed, 'By Allah,
methought I had indeed wandered over the world and compassed it about;
but now I forget all I have seen after listening to these adventures of
thine!' He was silent a while and then resumed, 'I beg thee, of thy
favour and courtesy, to direct me in the way of safety.' So Janshah
directed him into the right road, and Bulukiya farewelled him and went
his ways." All this the Serpent-queen related to Hasib Karim al-Din,
and he asked her, "But how knowest thou of these things?"; and she
answered, "O Hasib, thou must ken that I had occasion, some five-
and-twenty years ago, to send one of my largest serpents to Egypt and
gave her a letter for Bulukiya, saluting him. So she went there
willingly for she had a daughter in the land called Bint
Shumukh[FN#567]; and after asking anent Bulukiya she found him and gave
him my missive. He read it and replied to the messenger snake, 'Thou
comest from the Queen of the Serpents whom I am minded to visit for I
have an occasion to her.' She replied, 'I hear and obey.' Then she bore
him to her daughter of whom she took leave and said to her companion,
'Close thine eyes.' So he closed them and opening them again, behold,
he found himself on the mountain where I now am. Then his guide carried
him to a great serpent, whom he saluted; whereupon quoth she, 'Didst
thou deliver the missive to Bulukiya?'; and she replied, 'Even so; and
he hath accompanied me and here he standeth.' Presently Bulukiya asked
after me, the Serpent-queen, and the great serpent answered, 'She hath
gone to the mountain Kaf with all her host, as is her wont in winter;
but next summer she will come hither again. As often as she goeth
thither, she appointeth me to reign in her room, during her absence;
and if thou have any occasion to her, I will accomplish it for thee.'
Said he, 'I beg thee to bring me the herb, which whoso crusheth and
drinketh the juice thereof, sickeneth not neither groweth grey nor
dieth.' 'I will not bring it,' said the serpent, 'till thou tell me
what befell thee since thou leftest the Queen of the Serpents, to go
with Affan in quest of King Solomon's tomb.' So he related to her all
his travels and adventures, together with the history of Janshah, and
said at last, 'Grant me my request, that I may return to mine own
country.' Replied the serpent, 'By the virtue of the lord Solomon, I
know not where is to be found the herb whereof thou speakest.' Then she
bade the serpent which had brought him thither, carry him back to
Egypt: so the messenger obeyed her and said to him, 'Shut thine eyes!'
He did so and, opening them again, found himself on the mountain
Mukattam.[FN#568] When I returned from the mountain Kaf (added the
Queen) the serpent, my deputy, informed me of Bulukiya's visit and gave
me his salutations and repeated to me his story and his meeting with
Janshah. And this, O Hasib, is how I came to know the adventures of
Bulukiya and the history of Janshah." Thereupon Hasib said to her, "O
Queen, deign recount to me what befell Bulukiya as regards his return
to Egypt." She replied, "Know, O Hasib, that when he parted from
Janshah he fared on nights and days till he came to a great sea; so he
anointed his feet with the juice of the magical herb and, walking over
the face of the waters, sped onwards till he came to an island
abounding in trees and springs and fruits, as it were the Garden of
Eden. He landed and walked about, till he saw an immense tree, with
leaves as big as the sails of a ship. So he went up to the tree and
found under it a table spread with all manner meats, whilst on a branch
of the branches sat a great bird, whose body was of pearls and leek-
green emeralds, its feet of silver, its beak of red carnelian and its
plumery of precious metals; and it was engaged in singing the praises
of Allah the Most High and blessing Mohammed (on whom be benediction
and peace!)"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya
landed and walked about the island he found therein many marvels,
especially a bird whose body was of pearls and leek green emeralds and
its plumery of precious metals; and it was engaged in singing the
praises of Allah the Most High and blessing Mohammed (upon whom be
benediction and peace!). Seeing this he said, 'Who and what art thou?'
Quoth the bird, 'I am one of the birds of Eden and followed Adam when
Allah Almighty cast him out thence. And know, O my brother, that Allah
also cast out with him four leaves of the trees of the garden to cover
his nakedness withal, and they fell to the ground after awhile. One of
them was eaten by a worm, and of it came silk: the gazelles ate the
second and thence proceeded musk, the third was eaten by bees and gave
rise to honey, whilst the fourth fell in the land of Hind and from it
sprang all manner of spices. As for me, I wandered over the face of
earth till Allah deigned give me this island for a dwelling-place, and
I took up my abode here. And every Friday from night till morning the
Saints and Princes[FN#569] of the Faith flock to this place and make
pious visitation and eat from this table spread by Allah Almighty; and
after they have eaten, the table is taken up again to Heaven: nor doth
the food ever waste or corrupt.' So Bulukiya ate his fill of the meats
and praised the Great Creator. And presently, behold, there came up
Al-Khizr[FN#570] (with whom be peace!), at sight of whom Bulukiya rose
and saluting him, was about to withdraw, when the bird said to him,
'Sit, O Bulukiya, in the presence of Al-Khizr, on whom be peace!' So he
sat down again, and Al-Khizr said to him, 'Let me know who thou art and
tell me thy tale.' Thereupon Bulukiya related to him all his adventures
from beginning to end and asked, 'O my lord, how far is it hence to
Cairo?' 'Five and ninety years' journey,' replied the Prophet;
whereupon Bulukiya burst into tears; then, falling at Al-Khizr's feet,
kissed them and said to him, 'I beseech thee deliver me from this
strangerhood and thy reward be with Allah, for that I am nigh upon
death and know not what to do.' Quoth Al-Khizr, 'Pray to Allah Almighty
that He permit me to carry thee to Cairo, ere thou perish.' So Bulukiya
wept and humbled himself before Allah who granted his prayer, and by
inspiration bade Al-Khizr bear him to his people. Then said the
Prophet, 'Lift thy head, for Allah hath heard thy prayer and hath
inspired me to do what thou desires; so take fast hold of me with both
thy hands and shut thine eyes.' The Prince did as he was bidden and
Al-Khizr stepped a single step forwards, then said to him, 'Open thine
eyes!' So Bulukiya opened his eyes and found himself at the door of his
palace at Cairo. He turned, to take leave of Al-Khizr, but found no
trace of him."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that "when Bulukiya,
standing at the gate of his palace, turned to take leave of Al-Khizr,
he found no trace of him and entered the palace. When his mother saw
him, she cried with a loud cry and swooned away for excess of joy, and
they sprinkled water upon her face. After awhile she came to herself
and embraced her son and wept with sore weeping, whilst Bulukiya wept
and laughed by turns. Then all his friends and kindred came and gave
him joy of his safe return, and the news was noised abroad in the land
and there came to him presents from all parts. Moreover, they beat the
drums and blew the flutes and rejoiced mightily. Then Bulukiya related
to them his adventures ending with recounting how Al-Khizr had set him
down at his palace door, whereat they marvelled exceedingly and wept,
till all were a-weary of weeping." Hasib wondered at the Queen's tale
and shed many tears over it; then he again besought her to let him
return to his family; but she said, "I fear me, O Hasib, that when thou
gettest back to thy country thou wilt fail of thy promise and prove
traitor to thine oath and enter the Hammam." But he swore to her
another solemn oath that he would never again enter the baths as long
as he lived; whereupon she called a serpent and bade her carry him up
to the surface of the earth. So the serpent took him and led him from
place to place, till she brought him out on the platform-edge of an
abandoned cistern and there left him. Upon this he walked to the city
and, coming to his house by the last of the day, at the yellowing of
the sun, knocked at the door. His mother opened it and seeing her son
screamed out and threw herself upon him and wept for excess of joy. His
wife heard her mother-in-law weeping; so she came out to her and seeing
her husband, saluted him and kissed his hands; and each rejoiced in
other with exceeding joy of all three. Then they entered the house and
sat down to converse and presently Hasib asked his mother of the
woodcutters, who had left him to perish in the cistern. Quoth she,
"They came and told me that a wolf had eaten thee in the Wady. As for
them, they are become merchants and own houses and shops, and the world
is grown wide for them. But every day they bring me meat and drink, and
thus have they done until the present time." Quoth Hasib, "To-morrow do
thou go to them and say, "My son Hasib Karim al-Din hath returned from
his travels; so come ye to meet him and salute him." Accordingly, when
morning dawned, she repaired to the woodcutters' houses and delivered
to them her son's message, which when they heard, they changed colour,
and saying, "We hear and obey," gave her each a suit of silk,
embroidered with gold, adding, "Present this to thy good son[FN#571]
and tell him that we will be with him to-morrow." She assented and
returning to Hasib gave him their presents and message. Meanwhile, the
woodcutters called together a number of merchants and, acquainting them
with all that had passed between themselves and Hasib, took counsel
with them what they should do. Quoth the merchants, "It behoveth each
one of you to give him half his monies and Mamelukes." And they all
agreed to do this; so on the next day, each of them took half his
wealth and, going in to Hasib, saluted him and kissed his hands. Then
they laid before him what they had brought, saying, "This is of thy
bounties, and we are in thy hands." He accepted their peace- offering
and said, "What is past is past: that which befell us was decreed of
Allah, and destiny doeth away with dexterity." Quoth they, "Come, let
us walk about and take our solace in the city and visit the Hammam."
Quoth he, "Not so: I have taken an oath never again to enter the baths,
so long as I live." Rejoined they, at least come to our homes that we
may entertain thee." He agreed to this, and went to their houses and
each of them entertained him for a night and a day; nor did they cease
to do thus for a whole sennight, being seven in number. And now Hasib
was master of monies and houses and shops, and the merchants of the
city foregathered with him and he told them all that had befallen him.
He became one of the chiefs of the guild and abode on this wise awhile,
till it happened one day, as he was walking about the streets, that he
passed the door of a Hammam, whose keeper was one of his companions.
When the bathman, who was standing without, caught his eye he ran up to
him and saluted him and embraced him, saying, "Favour me by entering
the bath and there wash and be rubbed that I may show thee
hospitality." Hasib refused, alleging that he had taken a solemn oath
never again to enter the Hammam; but the bathman was instant with him,
saying, "Be my three wives triply divorced, can thou enter not and be
washed!" When Hasib heard him thus conjure him, he was confounded and
replied, "O my brother, hast thou a mind to ruin my house and make my
children orphans and lay a load of sin upon my neck?" But his friend
threw himself at his feet and kissed them, saying, "My happiness
dependeth upon thy entering, and be the sin on the neck of me!" Then
all the servants of the bath set upon Hasib and dragging him in pulled
off his clothes. But hardly had he sat down against the wall and begun
to pour water on his head when a score of men accosted him, saying,
"Rise, O man, and come with us to the Sultan, for thou art his debtor."
Then they despatched one of them as messenger to the Sultan's Minister,
who straightway took horse and rode, attended by threescore Mamelukes,
to the baths, where he alighted and going in to Hasib, saluted him and
said, "Welcome to thee!" Then he gave the bathman an hundred diners
and, mounting Hasib on a horse he had brought with him, returned with
him and all his men to the Sultan's palace. Here he bade them aid Hasib
to dismount and, after seating him comfortably, set food before him;
and when they had eaten and drunken and washed their hands, the Wazir
clad him in two dresses of honour each worth five thousand diners and
said to him, "Know that Allah hath been merciful to us in sending thee;
for the Sultan is nigh upon death by leprosy, and the books tell us
that his life is in thy hands. Then, accompanied by a host of Grandees,
he took him wondering withal and carried him through the seven doorways
of the palace, till they came to the King's chamber. Now the name of
this King was Karazdαn, King of Persia and of the Seven Countries, and
under his sway were an hundred sovereign princes sitting on chairs of
red gold, and ten thousand valiant captains, under each one's hand an
hundred deputies and as many headsmen armed with sword and axe. They
found the King lying on his bed with his face swathed in a napkin, and
groaning for excess of pain. When Hasib saw this ordinance, his wit was
dazed for awe of the King; so he kissed the ground before him, and
prayed a blessing on him. Then the Grand Wazir, whose name was Shamhϊr,
rose and welcoming Hasib, seated him on a high chair at the King's
right hand."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Shamhur
rose to Hasib and seated him on a chair at the right hand of King
Karazdan; after which he called for food and the tables were laid. And
when they had eaten and drunken and washed their hands, Shamhur stood
up (while all present also stood to do him honour) and, approaching
Hasib said to him, "We are all thy servants and will give thee
whatsoever thou askest, even were it one half the kingdom, so thou wilt
but cure the King." Saying this, he led him by the hand to the royal
couch, and Hasib, uncovering the King's face, saw that he was at last
fatal stage of the disease; so he wondered at their hoping for a cure.
But the Wazir kissed his hand and repeated his offers and ended with
saying, "All we want of thee is to heal our King:" so he said to the
Wazir, "True that I am the son of Allah's prophet, Daniel, but I know
nothing of his art: for they put me thirty days in the school of
medicine and I learnt nothing of the craft. I would well I knew
somewhat thereof and might heal the King." Hearing this, the Grand
Wazir said, "Do not multiply words upon us; for though we should gather
together to us physicians from the East and from the West, none could
cure the King save thou." Answered Hasib, "How can I make him whole,
seeing I know neither his case nor its cure?" Quoth the Minister, "His
healing is in thy hands," and quoth Hasib, "If I knew the remedy of his
sickness, I would heal him." Thereupon the Wazir rejoined, "Thou
keenest a cure right well; the remedy of his sickness is the Queen of
the Serpents, and thou knowest her abiding-place and hast been with
her." When Hasib heard this, he knew that all this came of his entering
the Baths, and repented whenas repentance availed him naught; then said
he, "What is the Queen of the Serpents? I know her not nor ever in all
my life heard I of this name." Retorted the Wazir, "Deny not the
knowledge of her, for I have proof that thou knowest her and hast
passed two years with her." Repeated Hasib, "Verily, I never saw her
nor even heard of her till this moment;" upon which Shamhur opened a
book and, after making sundry calculations, raised his head and spake
as follows. "The Queen of the Serpents shall foregather with a man who
shall abide with her two years; then shall he return from her and come
forth to the surface of the earth, and when he entereth the Hammam bath
his belly will become black." Then said he, "Look at thy belly." So
Hasib looked at his own belly and behold, it was black: but he
persisted in his denial and said, "My belly was black from the day my
mother bare me." Said the Wazir, "I had stationed three Mamelukes at
the door of every Hammam, bidding them note all who entered and let me
know when they found one whose belly was black: so, when thou
enteredst, they looked at thy belly and, finding it black, sent and
told me, after we had well-nigh lost hope of coming upon thee. All we
want of thee is to show us the place whence thou camest out and after
go thy ways; for we have those with us who will take the Queen of the
Serpents and fetch her to us." Then all the other Wazirs and Emirs and
Grandees flocked about Hasib who sorely repented of his misdeed; and
they conjured him, till they were weary, to show them the abode of the
Queen; but he ceased not saying, "I never saw nor heard of the matter."
Then the Grand Wazir called the hangman and bade him strip Hasib and
beat him a sore beating; and so they did till he saw death face to
face, for excess of pain, and the Wazir said, "We have proof that thou
knowest the abiding-place of the Queen of the Serpents: why wilt thou
persist in denial? Show us the place whence thou camest out and go from
us; we have with us one who will take her, and no harm shall befall
thee." Then he raised him and bade give him a dress of honour of cloth
of red gold, embroidered with jewels, and spoke him fair till Hasib
yielded and said, "I will show you the place." At this the Wazir
rejoiced with great joy and took horse with all his many and rode,
guided by Hasib, and never drew rein till they came to the mountain
containing the cavern wherein he had found the cistern full of honey.
There all dismounted and followed him as he entered, sighing and
weeping, and showed them the well whence he had issued; whereupon the
Wazir sat down thereby and, sprinkling perfumes upon a chafing-dish,
began to mutter charms and conjurations; for he was a crafty magician
and diviner and skilled in spiritual arts. He repeated three several
formulas of conjuration and between each threw fresh incense upon the
fire, crying out and saying, "Come forth, O Queen of the Serpents!;"
when behold, the water of the well sank down and a great door opened in
the side, from which came a mighty noise of crying like unto thunder,
so terrible that they thought the well had caved in and all present
fell down fainting; nay, some even died for fright. Presently, there
issued from the well a serpent as big as an elephant, casting out
sparks, like red hot coals, from its eyes and mouth and bearing on its
back a charger of red gold, set with pearls and jewels, in the midst
whereof lay a serpent from whose body issued such splendour that the
place was illumined thereby; and her face was fair and young and she
spoke with most eloquent tongue. The Serpent-queen turned right and
left, till her eyes fell upon Hasib, to whom said she "Where is the
covenant thou madest with me, and the oath thou swearest to me, that
thou wouldst never again enter the Hammam-bath? But there is no
fighting against Fate nor hath any ever fled from that which is written
on his forehead. Allah hath appointed the end of my life for thy hand
to hend, and it is His will that slain I be and King Karazdan be healed
of his malady." So saying, she wept with sore weeping and Hasib wept to
see her weep. As for the abominable Wazir Shamhur; he put out his hand
to lay hold of her; but she said to him, "Hold thy hand, O accursed, or
I will blow upon thee and reduce thee to a heap of black ashes." Then
she cried out to Hasib, saying, "Draw near me and take me in thine hand
and lay me in the dish that is with you: then set it on thy head, for
my death was fore-ordained, from Eternity without beginning,[FN#572] to
be at thy hand, and thou hast no power to avert it." So he took her and
laid her in the dish, and put it on his head, when the well returned to
its former state. Then they set out on their return to the city, Hasib
carrying the dish on his head, and when they were half-way behold, the
Queen of the Serpents said to him privily, "Hearken, O Hasib, to my
friendly counsel, for all thou hast broken faith with me and been false
to thine oath, and hast done this misdeed, but it was fore-ordained
from all eternity." He replied "To hear is to obey," and she continued,
"It is this: when thou comest to the Wazir's house, he will bid thee
behead me and cut me in three; but do thou refuse saying, 'I know not
how to slaughter[FN#473]' and leave him to do it with his own hand and
to work his wicked will. When he hath cut my throat and divided my body
into three pieces there will come a messenger, to bid him to the King,
so he will lay my flesh in a cauldron of brass and set it upon a
brasier before going to the presence and he will say to thee, 'Keep up
the fire under the cauldron till the scum rise; then skim it off and
pour it into a phial to cool. Wait till it cool and then drink it, so
shall naught of malady or pain be left in all thy body. When the second
scum riseth, skim it off and pour it into a phial against my return
from the King, that I may drink it for an ailment I have in my loins.'
Then will he give thee the phials and go to the King, and when he is
gone, do thou light the fire and wait till the first scum rise and set
it in a phial; keep it by thee but beware of drinking it, or no good
will befall thee. When the second scum riseth, skim it off and put it
in a second phial and drink it down as soon as it cools. When the Wazir
returneth and asketh thee for the second phial, give him the first and
note what shall befall him;"—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day
and ceased saying her permitted say.

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

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Serpent-queen
charged Hasib not to drink of the first scum and carefully to keep the
second, saying, "When the Wazir returneth from the King and asketh for
the second phial, give him the first and note what shall befall him;
then drink the contents of the second phial and thy heart will become
the home of wisdom. After this take up the flesh and, laying it in a
brazen platter, carry it to the King and give him to eat thereof. When
he hath eaten it and it hath settled in his stomach, veil his face with
a kerchief and wait by him till noontide, when he will have digested
the meat. Then give him somewhat of wine to drink and, by the decree of
Allah Almighty, he will be healed of his unhealth and be made whole as
he was. And give thou ear to the charge wherewith I charge thee; and
keep it in thy memory with carefullest keeping." They ceased not faring
till they came to the Wazir's house, and he said to Hasib, "Come in
with me!" So he went in and the troops dispersed and fared each his own
way; whereupon Hasib set down the platter and the Wazir bade him slay
the Queen of the Serpents; but he said, "I know not how to slaughter
and never in my born days killed I aught. An thou wilt have her throat
cut, do it with thine own hand." So the Minister Shamhur took the Queen
from the platter and slew her, seeing which Hasib wept bitter tears and
the Wazir laughed at him, saying, "O weak of wits, how canst thou weep
for the killing of a worm?" Then he cut her in three and, laying the
pieces in a brass cauldron, set it on the fire and sat down to await
the cooking of the flesh. And whilst he was sitting, lo! there came a
slave from the King, who said to him, "The King calls for thee without
stay or delay," and he answered saying, "I hear and I obey." So he gave
Hasib two phials and bade him drink the first scum and keep the second
against his return,[FN#574] even as the Queen of the Serpents had
foretold; after which he went away with repeated charges and
injunctions; and Hasib tended the fire under the cauldron till the
first scum rose, when he skimmed it off and, setting it in one of the
phials, kept it by him. He then fed the fire till the second scum rose;
then he skimmed it off and, putting it in the other phial kept it for
himself. And when the meat was done, he took the cauldron off the fire
and sat awaiting the Wazir who asked him on return, "What hast thou
done?" and answered Hasib, "I did thy bidding to the last word." Quoth
the Wazir, "What hast thou done with the first phial?" "I drank its
contents but now," replied Hasib, and Shamhur asked, "Thy body feeleth
it no change?"; whereto Hasib answered, "Verily, I feel as I were on
fire from front to foot." The villain Wazir made no reply hiding the
truth but said, "Hand me the second phial, that I may drink what is
therein, so haply I may be made whole of this ailing in my loins." So
Hasib brought him the first phial and he drank it off, thinking it
contained the second scum; but hardly had he done drinking when the
phial fell from his hand and he swelled up and dropped down dead; and
thus was exemplified in him the saying; "Whoso for his brother diggeth
a pit, he shall be the first to fall into it." Now when Hasib saw this,
he wondered and feared to drink of the second phial; but he remembered
the Serpent-queen's injunction and bethought him that the Wazir would
not have reserved the second scum for himself, had there been aught of
hurt therein. So he said, "I put my trust in Allah,'[FN#575] and drank
off the contents of the phial. No sooner had he done so, than the Most
Highest made the waters of wisdom to well up in his heart and opened to
him the fountains of knowledge, and joy and gladness overcame him. Then
he took the serpent's flesh from the cauldron and, laying it on a
platter of brass, went forth from the Wazir's house. On his way to the
palace he raised his eyes and saw the seven Heavens and all that
therein is, even to the Lote-tree, beyond which there is no
passing,[FN#576] and the manner of the revolution of the spheres.
Moreover, Allah discovered to him the ordinance of the planets and the
scheme of their movements and the fixed stars; and he saw the contour
of the land and sea, whereby he became informed with geometry,
astrology and astronomy and mathematics and all that hangeth thereby;
and he understood the causes and consequences of eclipses of the sun
and moon. Then he looked at the earth and saw all minerals and
vegetables that are therein and thereon; and he learned their
properties, and their virtues, so that he became in an instant versed
in medicine and chemistry and natural magic and the art of making gold
and silver. And he ceased not carrying the flesh till he came to the
palace, when he went in to King Karazdan, and kissing the ground before
him, said, "May thy head survive thy Wazir Shamhur!" The King was
mightily angered at the news of the Grand Wazir's death and wept for
him, whilst his Emirs and his Grandees and officers also wept. Then
said Karazdan, "He was with me but now, in all health, and went away to
fetch me the flesh of the Queen of the Serpents, if it should be
cooked; what befell him that he is now dead, and what accident hath
betided him?" So Hasib told him the whole truth how the Minister had
drunk the contents of the phial and had forthwith swelled out and died.
The King mourned for his loss with mourning sore and said to Hasib,
"What shall I do without Shamhur?" and Hasib answered "Grieve not, O
King of the age; for I will cure thee within three days and leave no
whit of disease in thy body." At this the King's breast waxed broad and
he said, "I wish to be made whole of this affliction, though after a
long term of years." So Hasib set the platter before the King and made
him eat a slice of the flesh of the Serpent-queen. Then he covered him
up and, spreading a kerchief over his face, bade him sleep and sat down
by his side. He slept from noonday till sundown, while his stomach
digested the piece of flesh, and presently he awoke. Hasib gave him
somewhat of wine to drink and bade him sleep again; so he slept till
the morning and when dawn appeared, Hasib repeated the treatment making
him eat another piece of the flesh; and thus he did with him three days
following, till he had eaten the whole, when his skin began to shrink
and scale off and he perspired, so that the sweat ran down from his
head to his heels. Therewith he became whole and there abode in him no
trace of the disease, which when Hasib saw, he said, "There is no help
for it but thou go to the Hammam." So he carried him to the bath and
washed his body; and when he came forth, it was like a wand of silver
and he was restored to health, nay, sounder than he was before he fell
ill. Thereupon he donned his richest robes and, seating himself on his
throne, deigned make Hasib sit beside him. Then he bade the tables be
spread and they ate and washed their hands; after which he called for
the service of wine and both drank their fill. Upon this all his Wazirs
and Emirs and Captains and the Grandees of his realm and the notables
of the lieges came in to him and gave him joy of his recovery; and they
beat the drums and adorned the city in token of rejoicing. Then said
the King to the assembly, "O Wazirs and Emirs and Grandees, this is
Hasim Karim al-Din, who hath healed me of my sickness, and know all
here present that I make him my Chief Wazir in the stead of the Wazir
Shamhur."—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When it was the Five Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth King
Karazdan to his Ministers and high lords, "He who healed me of my
sickness is none other than Hasib Karim al-Din here present. Therefore
I make him my Chief Wazir in the stead of the Wazir Shamhur; and whoso
loveth him loveth me, and whoso honoureth him honoureth me, and he who
obeyeth him obeyeth me." "Hearkening and obedience," answered they and
all rising flocked to kiss Hasib's hand and salute him and give him joy
of the Wazirate. Then the King bestowed on him a splendid dress of gold
brocade, set with pearls and gems, the least of which was worth five
thousand gold pieces. Moreover, he presented to him three hundred male
white slaves and the like number of concubines, in loveliness like
moons, and three hundred Abyssinian[FN#577] slave-girls, beside five
hundred mules laden with treasure and sheep and oxen and buffaloes and
bulls and other cattle beyond count; and he commanded all his Wazirs
and Emirs and Grandees and Notables and Mamelukes and his subjects in
general to bring him gifts. Presently Hasib took horse and rode,
followed by the Wazirs and Emirs and lords and all the troops, to the
house which the King had set apart for him, where he sat down on a
chair; and the Wazirs and Emirs came up to him and kissed hands and
gave him joy of his Ministership, vying with one another in suit and
service. When his mother and his household knew what had happened, they
rejoiced with exceeding joy and congratulated him on his good fortune;
and his quondam comrades the woodcutters also came and gave him joy.
Then he mounted again and, riding to the house of the late Wazir
Shamhur, laid hands on all that was therein and transported it to his
own abode. On this wise did Hasib, from a dunsical know-nothing,
unskilled to read writing, become, by the decree of Allah Almighty, an
adept in every science and versed in all manner of knowledge, so that
the fame of his learning was blazed abroad over the land and he became
renowned as an ocean of lore and skill in medicine and astronomy and
geometry and astrology and alchemy and natural magic and the Cabbala
and Spiritualism and all other arts and sciences. One day, he said to
his mother, "My father Daniel was exceeding wise and learned; tell me
what he left by way of books or what not!" So his mother brought him
the chest and, taking out the five leaves which had been saved when the
library was lost, gave them to him saying, "These five scrolls are all
thy father left thee." So he read them and said to her, "O my mother,
these leaves are part of a book: where is the rest?" Quoth she, "Thy
father made a voyage taking with him all his library and, when he was
shipwrecked, every book was lost save only these five leaves. And when
he was returned to me by Almighty Allah he found me with child and said
to me: 'Haply thou wilt bear a boy; so take these scrolls and keep them
by thee and whenas thy son shall grow up and ask what his father left
him, give these leaves to him and say, 'Thy father left these as thine
only heritance. And lo! here they are.' " And Hasib, now the most
learned of his age, abode in all pleasure and solace, and delight of
life, till there came to him the Destroyer of delights and the Severer
of societies.[FN#578] And yet, O King, is not this tale of Bulukiya and
Janshah more wondrous than the adventures of

End of Volume V.

                   Arabian Nights, Volume 5


[FN#1] This tale (one of those translated by Galland) is best and
fullest in the Bresl. Edit. iii. 329.

[FN#2] Europe has degraded this autumnal festival, the Sun-fκte Mihrgαn
(which balanced the vernal Nau-roz) into Michaelmas and its
goose-massacre. It was so called because it began on the 16th of Mihr,
the seventh month; and lasted six days, with feasts, festivities and
great rejoicings in honour of the Sun, who now begins his
southing-course to gladden the other half of the world.

[FN#3] "Hindν" is an Indian Moslem as opposed to "Hindϊ," a pagan, or

[FN#4] The orig. Persian word is "Shαh-pϊr"=King's son: the Greeks (who
had no sh) (preferred ); the Romans turned it into Sapor and the Arabs
(who lack the p) into Sαbϊr. See p. x. Hamzζ ispahanensis Annalium
Libri x.: Gottwaldt, Lipsiζ mdcccxlviii.

[FN#5] The magic horse may have originated with the Hindu tale of a
wooden Garuda (the bird of Vishnu) built by a youth for the purpose of
a vehicle. It came with the "Moors" to Spain and appears in "Le Cheval
de Fust," a French poem of the thirteenth Century. Thence it passed
over to England as shown by Chaucer's "Half-told tale of Cambuscan
(Janghνz Khan?) bold," as

     "The wondrous steed of brass

     On which the Tartar King did ride;"

And Leland (Itinerary) derives "Rutlandshire" from "a man named Rutter
who rode round it on a wooden horse constructed by art magic." Lane
(ii. 548) quotes the parallel story of Cleomades and Claremond which
Mr. Keightley (Tales and Popular Fictions, chapt. ii) dates from our
thirteenth century. See Vol. i., p. 160.

[FN#6] All Moslems, except those of the Mαliki school, hold that the
maker of an image representing anything of life will be commanded on
the Judgment Day to animate it, and failing will be duly sent to the
Fire. This severity arose apparently from the necessity of putting down
idol-worship and, perhaps, for the same reason the Greek Church admits
pictures but not statues. Of course the command has been honoured with
extensive breaching: for instance all the Sultans of Stambul have had
their portraits drawn and painted.

[FN#7] This description of ugly old age is written with true

Arab verve.

[FN#8] Arab. "Badinjαn": Hind. Bengan: Pers. Bαdingαn or Badiljαn; the
Mala insana (Solanum pomiferum or S. Melongena) of the Romans, well
known in Southern Europe. It is of two kinds, the red (Solanum
lycopersicum) and the black (S. Melongena). The Spaniards know it as
"berengeria" and when Sancho Panza (Part ii. chapt. 2) says, "The Moors
are fond of egg-plants" he means more than appears. The vegetable is
held to be exceedingly heating and thereby to breed melancholia and
madness; hence one says to a man that has done something eccentric,
"Thou hast been eating brinjalls."

[FN#9] Again to be understood Hibernice "kilt."

[FN#10] i.e. for fear of the evil eye injuring the palace and, haply,

[FN#11] The "Sufrah" before explained acting provision-bag and

[FN#12] Eastern women in hot weather, lie mother-nude under a sheet
here represented by the hair. The Greeks and Romans also slept stripped
and in mediζval England the most modest women saw nothing indelicate in
sleeping naked by their naked husbands. The "night-cap" and the
"night-gown" are comparatively modern inventions.

[FN#13] Hindu fable turns this simile into better poetry, "She was like
a second and a more wondrous moon made by the Creator."

[FN#14] "Sun of the Day."

[FN#15] Arab. "Shirk"=worshipping more than one God. A theological term
here most appropriately used.

[FN#16] The Bul. Edit. as usual abridges (vol. i. 534). The Prince
lands on the palace-roof where he leaves his horse, and finding no one
in the building goes back to the terrace. Suddenly he sees a beautiful
girl approaching him with a party of her women, suggesting to him these

     "She came without tryst in the darkest hour, *

          Like full moon lighting horizon's night:

     Slim-formed, there is not in the world her like *

          For grace of form or for gifts of sprite:

     'Praise him who made her from semen-drop,' *

          I cried, when her beauty first struck my sight:

     I guard her from eyes, seeking refuge with *

          The Lord of mankind and of morning-light."

The two then made acquaintance and "follows what follows."

[FN#17] Arab. "Akαsirah," explained (vol. i., 75) as the plur. of

[FN#18] The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty but to have a
slave of his own. This was systematised by the servile rulers known in
history as the Mameluke Beys and to the Egyptians as the Ghuzz. Each
had his household of servile pages and squires, who looked forward to
filling the master's place as knight or baron.

[FN#19] The well-known capital of Al-Yaman, a true Arabia Felix, a
Paradise inhabited by demons in the shape of Turkish soldiery and Arab
caterans. According to Moslem writers Sana'a was founded by Shem son of
Noah who, wandering southward with his posterity after his father's
death, and finding the site delightful, dug a well and founded the
citadel, Ghamdαn, which afterwards contained a Mason Carrιe rivalling
(or attempting to rival) the Meccan Ka'abah. The builder was Surahbνl
who, says M.C. de Perceval coloured its four faces red, white, golden
and green; the central quadrangle had seven stories (the planets) each
forty cubits high, and the lowest was a marble hall ceiling'd with a
single slab. At the four corners stood hollow lions through whose
mouths the winds roared. This palatial citadel-temple was destroyed by
order of Caliph Omar. The city's ancient name was Azal or Uzal whom
some identify with one of the thirteen sons of Joktan (Genesis xi. 27):
it took its present name from the Ethiopian conquerors (they say) who,
seeing it for the first time, cried "Hazα Sana'ah!" meaning in their
tongue, this is commodious, etc. I may note that the word is Kisawahili
(Zanzibarian) e.g. "Yαmbo sαnα—is the state good?" Sana'a was the
capital of the Tabαbi'ah or Tobba Kings who judaized; and the
Abyssinians with their Negush made it Christian while the Persians
under Anushirwαn converted it to Guebrism. It is now easily visited but
to little purpose; excursions in the neighborhood being deadly
dangerous. Moreover the Turkish garrison would probably murder a
stranger who sympathised with the Arabs, and the Arabs kill one who
took part with their hated and hateful conquerors. The late Mr. Shapira
of Jerusalem declared that he had visited it and Jews have great
advantages in such travel. But his friends doubted him.

[FN#20] The Bresl. Edit. (iii. 347) prints three vile errors in four

[FN#21] Alcove is a corruption of the Arab. Al-Kubbah (the dome)
through Span. and Port.

[FN#22] Easterns as a rule sleep with head and body covered by a sheet
or in cold weather a blanket. The practice is doubtless hygienic,
defending the body from draughts when the pores are open; but Europeans
find it hard to adopt; it seems to stop their breathing. Another
excellent practice in the East, and indeed amongst barbarians and
savages generally, is training children to sleep with mouths shut: in
after life they never snore and in malarious lands they do not require
Outram's "fever-guard," a swathe of muslin over the mouth. Mr. Catlin
thought so highly of the "shut mouth" that he made it the subject of a

[FN#23] Arab. "Hanzal"=coloquintida, an article often mentioned by
Arabs in verse and prose; the bright coloured little gourd attracts
every eye by its golden glance when travelling through the brown-yellow
waste of sand and clay. A favourite purgative (enough for a horse) is
made by filling the inside with sour milk which is drunks after a
night's soaking: it is as active as the croton-nut of the Gold Coast.

[FN#24] The Bresl. Edit. iii. 354 sends him to the "land of Sνn"


[FN#25] Arab. "Yα Kisrawi!"=O subject of the Kisrα or Chosroλ; the
latter explained in vol.i.,75.[Volume 1, Footnote # 128] "Fars" is the
origin of "Persia"; and there is a hit at the prodigious lying of the
modern race, whose forefathers were so famous as truth-tellers. "I am a
Persian, but I am not lying now," is a phrase familiar to every

[FN#26] There is no such name: perhaps it is a clerical error

for "Har jαh"=(a man of) any place. I know an Englishman who in

Persian called himself "Mirza Abdullah-i-Hνchmakαni"=Master

Abdullah of Nowhere.

[FN#27] The Bresl. Edit. (loc. cit.) gives a comical description of the
Prince assuming the dress of an astrologer-doctor, clapping an old book
under his arm, fumbling a rosary of beads, enlarging his turband,
lengthening his sleeves and blackening his eyelids with antimony. Here,
however, it would be out of place. Very comical also is the way in
which he pretends to cure the maniac by "muttering unknown words,
blowing in her face, biting her ear," etc.

[FN#28] Arab. "Sar'a"=falling sickness. Here again we have in all its
simplicity the old nursery idea of "possession" by evil spirits.

[FN#29] Arab. "Nafahαt"=breathings, benefits, the Heb. Neshamah opp. to
Nephesh (soul) and Ruach (spirit). Healing by the breath is a popular
idea throughout the East and not unknown to Western Magnetists and
Mesmerists. The miraculous cures of the Messiah were, according to
Moslems, mostly performed by aspiration. They hold that in the days of
Isa, physic had reached its highest development, and thus his miracles
were mostly miracles of medicine; whereas, in Mohammed's time,
eloquence had attained its climax and accordingly his miracles were
those of eloquence, as shown in the Koran and Ahαdνs.

[FN#30] Lit. "The rose in the sleeves or calyces." I take my English
equivalent from Jeremy Taylor, "So I have seen a rose newly springing
from the clefts of its hood," etc.

[FN#31] These lines are from the Bresl. Edit. (v. 35). The four
couplets in the Mac. Edit. are too irrelevant.

[FN#32] Polo, which Lane calls "Goff."

[FN#33] Arab. "Muffawak"=well-notched, as its value depends upon the
notch. At the end of the third hemistitch Lane's Shaykh very properly
reads "baghtatan" (suddenly) for "burhatan"=during a long time.

[FN#34] "Uns" (which the vulgar pronounce Anas) "al- Wujud"=Delight of
existing things, of being, of the world. Uns wa jud is the normal
pun=love-intimacy and liberality; and the caranomasia (which cannot
well be rendered in English) re-appears again and again. The story is
throughout one of love; hence the quantity of verse.

[FN#35] The allusion to a "written N" suggests the elongated not the
rounded form of the letter as in Night cccxxiv.

[FN#36] The fourteenth Arabic letter in its medial form resembling an

[FN#37] This is done by the man passing his fingers over the brow as if
to wipe off perspiration; the woman acknowledges it by adjusting her
head-veil with both hands. As a rule in the Moslem East women make the
first advances; and it is truly absurd to see a great bearded fellow
blushing at being ogled. During the Crimean war the fair sex of
Constantinople began by these allurements but found them so readily
accepted by the Giaours that they were obliged to desist.

[FN#38] The greatest of all explorers and discoverers of the world will
be he who finds a woman confessing inability to keep a secret.

[FN#39] The original is intensely prosaicand so am I.

[FN#40] Arab. "Sunnat," the practice of the Prophet. For this prayer
and other silly and superstitious means of discovering the "right
direction" (which is often very wrongly directed) see Lane, M.E. chapt.

[FN#41] Arab. "Bahr (sea or river) al-Kunuz": Lane (ii. 576)
ingeniously identifies the site with the Upper Nile whose tribes,
between Assouan (Syene) and Wady al-Subu'a are called the "Kunuz"lit.
meaning "treasures" or "hoards." Philae is still known as the "Islet of
Anas (for Uns) al-Wujud;" and the learned and accurate Burckhardt
(Travels in Nubia p. 5) records the local legend that a mighty King
called Al-Wujud built the Osirian temples. I can give no information
concerning Jabal al-Sakla (Thakla), the Mount of the woman bereft of
children, beyond the legend contained in Night ccclxxix.

[FN#42] A religious mendicant (lit. a pauper), of whom there are two
great divisions. The Shara'i acts according to the faith: the others
(La Shara'i, or irreligious) are bound by no such prejudices and are
pretty specimens of scoundrels. (Pilgrimage i.22.)

[FN#43] Meaning his lips and palate were so swollen by drought.

[FN#44] It is a pious act in time of mortal danger to face the

Kiblah or Meccan temple, as if standing in prayer.

[FN#45] Still the belief of the Badawi who tries to work upon the
beast's compassion: "O great King I am a poor man, with wife and
family, so spare me that Allah spare thee!" and so forth. If not
famished the lion will often stalk off looking behind him as he goes;
but the man will never return by the same path; "for," says he, "haply
the Father of Roaring may repent him of a wasted opportunity." These
lion-tales are very common, witness that of Androcles at Rome and a
host of others. Una and her lion is another phase. It remained for M.
Jules Gerard, first the chasseur and then the tueur, du lion, to assail
the reputation of the lion and the honour of the lioness.

[FN#46] Abu Haris=Father of spoils: one of the lion's hundred titles.

[FN#47] "They" again for "she."

[FN#48] Jaxartes and Oxus. The latter (Jayhun or Amu, Oxus or

Bactros) is famous for dividing Iran from Turan, Persia from

Tartaria. The lands to its north are known as Ma wara al-Nahr

(Mawerannahar) or "What is behind the stream,"=Transoxiana and

their capitals were successively Samarcand and Bokhara.

[FN#49] Arab. "Dani was gharib"=friend and foe. The lines are partly
from the Mac. Edit. and partly from the Bresl. Edit., v. 55.

[FN#50] Arab. "Wa Rahmata-hu!" a form now used only in books.

[FN#51] Before noted. The relationship, like that of foster- brother,
has its rights, duties and privileges.

[FN#52] Arab. "Istikharah," before explained as praying for direction
by omens of the rosary, opening the Koran and reading the first verse
sighted, etc., etc. At Al-Medinah it is called Khirah and I have
suggested (Pilgrimage, ii. 287) that it is a relic of the Azlam or
Kidah (divining arrows) of paganism. But the superstition is not local:
we have the Sortes Virgilianae (Virgil being a magician) as well as

[FN#53] Arab. "Wujud al-Habib," a pun, also meaning, "Wujud my

[FN#54] Arab. "Khilal," as an emblem of attenuation occurring in
Al-Hariri (Ass. of Alexandria, etc.); also thin as a spindle (Maghzal),
as a reed, and dry as a pair of shears. In the Ass. of Barka'id the
toothpick is described as a beautiful girl. The use of this cleanly
article was enjoined by Mohammed:—"Cleanse your mouths with toothpicks;
for your mouths are the abode of the guardian angels; whose pens are
the tongues, and whose ink is the spittle of men; and to whom naught is
more unbearable than remains of food in the mouth." A mighty apparatus
for a small matter; but in very hot lands cleanliness must rank before

[FN#55] The sense is ambiguous. Lane renders the verse:—"Thou
resemblest it (rose) not of my portion" and gives two explanations
"because HE is of my portion," or, "because HIS cheek cannot be rosy if
MINE is not." Mr. Payne boldly translates

"If the rose ape his cheek, 'Now God forfend,' I say, 'That of my
portion aught to pilfer thou shouldst try'."

[FN#56] Arab. "lif" (not "fibres which grow at the top of the trunk,"
Lane ii. 577); but the fibre of the fronds worked like the cocoa-nut
fibre which forms the now well-known Indian "coir." This "lif" is also
called "filfil" or "fulfil" which Dr. Jonathan Scott renders "pepper"
(Lane i. 8) and it forms a clean succedaneum for one of the uncleanest
articles of civilisation, the sponge. It is used in every Hammam and is
(or should be) thrown away after use.

[FN#57] Arab. "Shinf;" a course sack, a "gunny-bag;" a net compared
with such article.

[FN#58] The eunuch tells him that he is not a "Sandali"=one whose penis
and testes are removed; and consequently the highest valued. There are
many ways of making the castrato; in some (as here) only the penis is
removed, in other the testes are bruised or cut off; but in all cases
the animal passion remains, for in man, unlike other animals, the fons
veneris is the brain. The story of Abelard proves this. Juvenal derided
the idea of married eunuchs and yet almost all of these neutrals have
wives with whom they practise the manifold plaisirs de la petite oie
(masturbation, tribadism, irrumation, tete-beche, feuille-de- rose,
etc.), till they induce the venereal orgasm. Such was the account once
given to me by a eunuch's wife; and I need hardly say that she, like
her confrerie, was to be pitied. At the critical moment she held up a
little pillow for her husband to bite who otherwise would have torn her
cheeks or breasts.

[FN#59] In real life the eunuch, as a rule, avoids all allusion to his
misfortune, although the slave will often describe his being sold
merrily enough.

[FN#60] The visits are in dreamland. The ringdove thanks the

Lord for her (his?) suffering in the holy martyrdom of love.

[FN#61] Arab. "Hazar;" I have explained it as meaning "(the bird of) a
thousand (songs)."

[FN#62] The "Bulbul" had his day with us but he departed with Tommy
Moore. We usually English the word by "nightingale;" but it is a kind
of shrike or butcher-bird (Lanius Boulboul. Lath.).

[FN#63] The "Hamam" is a lieu commun in Arabic poetry. I have noticed
the world-wide reverence for the pigeon and the incarnation of the
Third Person of the Hindu Triad (Shiva), as Kapoteshwara
(Kapota-ishwara)"=pigeon or dove-god (Pilgrimage iii. 218).

[FN#64] Arab. "Hamam al-Ayk." Mr. Payne's rendering is so happy that we
must either take it from him or do worse.

[FN#65] All primitive peoples translate the songs of birds with human
language; but, as I have noticed, the versions differ widely. The
pigeon cries, "Allah! Allah!" the dove "Karim, Tawwa" (Bountiful,
Pardoner!) the Kata or sand-grouse "Man sakat salam" (who is silent is
safe) yet always betrays itself by its lay of "Kat-ta" and lastly the
cock "Uzkuru 'llah ya ghafilun" (Remember, or take the name of Allah,
ye careless!).

[FN#66] "Nay," the Dervish's reed pipe, symbol of the sighing absent
lover (i.e. the soul parted from the Creator) so famed by the
Mullah-i-Rum and Sir William Jones.

[FN#67] Ba'albak=Ba'al (the God)-city (bek in Coptic and ancient
Egyptian.) Such, at least, is the popular derivation which awaits a
better. No cloth has been made there since the Kurd tribe of gallant
robbers known as the "Harfush" (or blackguards) lorded it over old

[FN#68] Thinking her to be a Jinn or Ghul in the shape of a fair woman.
This Arab is a strange contrast to the English fisherman, and yet he is
drawn with truth.

[FN#69] Arab. "Habbaza!" (good this!) or "Habba" (how good!): so

"Habba bihi," how dear he is to me.

[FN#70] Arab. "Zind," and "Zindah" the names of the two sticks, upper
and lower, hard and soft, by which fire was kindled before flint and
steel were known. We find it in Al-Hariri (Ass. of Banu Haram) "no one
sought ire from my fire-stick (i.e. from me as a fire-stick) and
failed." See Night dccciii.

[FN#71] Arab. "Nazih" i.e. travelled far and wide.

[FN#72] "Rajab," lit.="worshipping:" it is the seventh lunar month and
still called "Shahr-i-Khuda" (God's month) by the Persians because in
pre-Islamitic times it formed with Muharram (or in its stead Safar), Zu
'l-ka'adah and Zu-'l-Hijjah (Nos. 1 or 2; 7,11 and 12) the yearly
peace, during which a man might not kill his father's murderer. The
idea must have taken deep root, as Arab history records only six
"impious (or sacrilegious) wars," waged despite the law. Europeans
compare it with the Treuga Dei (truce of God) a seven-years peace
established about A.D. 1032, by a Bishop of Aquitaine; and followed in
A.D. 1245 by the Pax Regis (Royal Peace) under Louis VIII. of France.
This compelled the relations of a murdered man to keep the peace for
forty days after the offence was committed.

[FN#73] His Majesty wrote sad doggrel. He is better at finessing, and
his message was a trick because Rose-in-Hood had told him that at home
there were special obstacles to the marriage.

[FN#74] Arab. "Majzub"=drawn, attracted (literally); the popular term
for one absorbed in the contemplation of the Deity. During this process
the soul is supposed to quit the body leaving the latter irresponsible
for its actions. I remember a scandal being caused in a village near
Tunis by one of these men who suddenly started up from his seat in a
dusty corner and, in presence of a small crowd of people, had
connection with a she-donkey. The supporters of the holy man declared
that the deed was proof positive of his exceptional holiness; but there
were lewd fellows, Moslems Voltaireans, who had their doubts and held
that the reverend man had so acted "for the gallery." A similar story
is told with due reserve by the late Abbe Hamilton in his book on the
Cyrenaic. There are three grand divisions of the Sufis; (1) Mukiman,
the stationaries; (2) Salikan, the travellers, or progressives, and (3)
Wasilan, those who reach the desired end. And No. 2 has two classes:
the Salik-i-majzub, one progressing in Divine Love; and the other, who
has made greater progress, is the Majzub-i-Salik (Dabistan iii. 251).

[FN#75] Arab. "Sundus," a kind of brocade (low Lat. brocare to figure
cloth), silk worked in high relief with gold and silver. The idea is
figurative meaning it was hung outside and inside with fine stuff, like
the Ka'abah, the "Bride of Meccah." The "lords" means simply the lost

[FN#76] Arab. "Ayn" lit. eye, also a fount, "the eye of the landscape"
(a noble simile); and here a helper, guard, assistant.

[FN#77] "Lord" for lady, i.e. she.

[FN#78] Arab. "Fi'l-khawafik"=in the four quarters or among the
flappers (standards) or amid palpitations of heart. The bride alludes
to a festal reception in a town, with burning incense, drums, flags,
etc., etc.

[FN#79] In Egypt the shorter "honey-moon" lasts a week; and on the
seventh day (pop. called Al-Subu'a) bride and bridegroom receive visits
with all ceremony, of course in separate apartments. The seventh day
(like the fortieth, the end of six months and the anniversary) is kept
for births and deaths with Khatmahs (perlections) of the Koran "Saylah"
family gatherings and so forth. The fortieth day ends the real
honey-moon. See Night dccxcii.

[FN#80] I have noted the popular practice, amongst men as well as
women, of hiring the Hammam for private parties and picnicking in it
during the greater part of the day. In this tale the bath would belong
to the public and it was a mere freak of the bride to bathe with her
bridegroom. "Respectable" people do not.

[FN#81] She speaks in the last line as the barber or the bathman.

[FN#82] Here the "Ana" begin; and they mostly date themselves. Of the
following forty-nine, Lane (vol. Ii. P. 578 et seq.) gives only
twenty-two and transforms them to notes in chapt. xviii. He could
hardly translate several of them in a work intended to be popular. Abu
Nowαs is a person carefully to be avoided; and all but anthropological
students are advised to "skip" over anecdotes in which his name and
abominations occur.

[FN#83] Arab. "Ghilmαn," the counter part, I have said, of the
so-called "Houris."

[FN#84] Mosul boasts of never having been polluted with idolatrous
worship, an exemption which it owes to being a comparatively modern

[FN#85] The Aleppines were once noted for debauchery; and the saying is
still "Halabi Shelebi" (for Chelebi)=the Aleppine is a fellow fine.

[FN#86] Mr. Payne omits the last line. It refers to what Persian boys
call, in half-Turkish phrase, "Alish Takish," each acting woman after
he has acted man. The best wine is still made in monasteries and the
co-called Sinai convent is world-famous for its "Rαki" distilled from

[FN#87] i.e. what a difference there is between them!

[FN#88] Arab. "Salli ala 'l-Nabi," a common phrase; meaning not only
praise hm to avert the evil eye; but also used when one would impose
silence upon a babbler. The latter will shuffle off by ejaculating "Al"
and continue his chatter. (Pilgrimage ii.279.)

[FN#89] Arab. "Sukαt" (plur. of Sαki, cupbearer, our old "skinker"):
the pure gold (tibr) is the amber-coloured wine, like the Vino d'oro of
the Libanus.

[FN#90] That is, fair, white and read: Turkish slaves then abounded at

[FN#91] A Wady near Meccah where one of Mohammed's battles was fought.
The line means his waist is a thread connected broad breast and large
hind quarters.

[FN#92] Arab. "Zaurα" which may mean crooked, alluding to the
well-known rib.

[FN#93] A pun. Bakr was the name of the eponymus chief and it also
means virgin, as in Abu Bakr.

[FN#94] Arab. "Jαmi'ayn"=two cathedrals, any large (and consequently
vicious) city.

[FN#95] Arab. "Almα," before noticed: I cannot translate
"damask-lipped" to suit European taste.

[FN#96] Sherbet flavoured with musk or apple to cool the mouth of "hot

[FN#97] Arab. "In'αsh" lit. raising from his bier. The whole tone is
rollicking and slangy.

[FN#98] i.e. In spite of himself: the phrase often occurs.

[FN#99] Europeans usually write "Beni" for "Banu;" the oblique for the
nominative. I prefer "Odhrah" or "Ozrah" to Udhrah; because the Ayn
before the Zαl takes in pronunciation the more open sound.

[FN#100] Possibly meaning that they were shrouded together; this would
be opposed to Moslem sense of decorum in modern days, but the ancient
were not so squeamish. See Night cccxi.

[FN#101] This phase of passion in the "varium et mutabile" is often
treated of by Oriental storytellers, and not unoften seen in real
Eastern life.

[FN#102] As has been said, "Sαhib" (preceding the name not following it
as in India) is a Wazirial title in mediζval Islam.

[FN#103] This parapet was rendered obligatory by Moses (Deut. xxii. 8)
on account of the danger of leaving a flat roof without garde-fou.
Eastern Christians neglect the precaution and often lose their children
by the neglect.

[FN#104] Arab. "Lauh." A bit of thin board washed white used for
lessons as slates are amongst us, and as easily cleaned because the
inks contain no minerals. It is a long parallelogram with triangular
ears at the short sides; and the shape must date from ages immemorial
as it is found, throughout Syria and its adjoinings, in the oldest rock
inscriptions to which the form serves as a frame. Hence the "abacus" or
counting table derived from the Gr. , a slab (or in Phenician "sand"),
dust or sand in old days having been strewed on a table or tablet for
school- boys' writings and mathematical diagrams.

[FN#105] A pre-Islamic bard and friend to Tarafah the poet of the
Suspended or "Prize Poem." The tale is familiar to all the Moslem East.
Tarafah's Laura was one Khaulα.

[FN#106] King of Hirah in Chaldζa, a drunken and bloodthirsty tyrant.
When offended by the lampoons of the two poets he sent them with
litterζ Bellerophontiζ to the Governor of Al-Bahrayn. Al-Mutalammis
"smelt a rat" and destroyed his charged, but Tarafah was mutilated and
buried alive, the victim of a trick which is old as (and older than)
good King David and Uriah. Of course neither poet could read.

[FN#107] On this occasion, and in presence of the women only, the groom
first sees or is supposed to see the face of his wife. It is, I have
said, the fashion for both to be greatly overcome and to appear as if
about to faint: the groom looks especially ridiculous when so

[FN#108] This leisurely operation of the "deed of kind" was sure to be
noticed; but we do not find in The Nights any allusion to that
systematic prolongatio veneris which is so much cultivated by Moslems
under the name Imsαk = retention, withholding i.e. the semen. Yet
Eastern books on domestic medicine consist mostly of two parts; the
first of general prescriptions and the second of aphrodisiacs
especially those qui prolongent le plaisir as did the Gaul by thinking
of sa pauvre mθre. The Ananga-Ranga, by the Reverend Koka Pandit before
quoted, gives a host of recipes which are used, either externally or
internally, to hasten the paroxysm of the woman and delay the orgasm of
the man (p. 27). Some of these are curious in the extreme. I heard of a
Hindi who made a candle of frogs' fat and fibre warranted to retain the
seed till it burned out; it failed notably because, relying upon it, he
worked too vigorously. The essence of the "retaining art" is to avoid
over-tension of the muscles and to pre-occupy the brain: hence in
coition Hindus will drink sherbet, chew betel-nut and even smoke.
Europeans ignoring the science and practice, are contemptuously
compared with village-cocks by Hindu women who cannot be satisfied,
such is their natural coldness, increased doubtless by vegetable diet
and unuse of stimulants, with less than twenty minutes. Hence too while
thousands of Europeans have cohabited for years with and have had
families by "native women," they are never loved by them:—at least I
never heard of a case.

[FN#109] Abu 'l Abbas al-Rakαshi, a poet of the time. The saying became
proverbial (Burckhardt's A. Proverbs No. 561) and there are variants,
e.g. The night's promise is spread with butter that melteth when day

[FN#110] Koran xxvi. 5,6 or "And those who err (Arab. Al- ghαwϊn)
follow the footsteps of the poets," etc.

[FN#111] Half-brother of Abdullah bin al-Zubayr, the celebrated

[FN#112] Grand-daughter of the Caliph Abu Bakr and the most beautiful
woman of her day.

[FN#113] The Calc. Edit. by mistake reads "Izzah." Torrens (notes
i.-xi.) remarks "The word Ghoonj is applied to this sort of
blandishment (i.e. an affected gait), and says Burckhardt (Prov. No.
685), "The women of Cairo flatter themselves that their Ghoonj is
superior to that of all other females in the Levant." But Torrens did
not understand and Burckhardt would not explain "Ghunj" except by
"assumed airs" (see No. 714). It here means the art of moving in
coition, which is especially affected, even by modest women, throughout
the East and they have many books teaching the genial art. In China
there are professors, mostly old women, who instruct young girls in
this branch of the gymnastic.

[FN#114] When reciting the Fαtihah (opening Koranic chapter), the hands
are held in this position as if to receive a blessing falling from
Heaven; after which both palms are passed down the face to distribute
it over the eyes and other organs of sense.

[FN#115] The word used is "bizα'at" = capital or a share in a
mercantile business.

[FN#116] This and the following names are those of noted traditionists
of the eighth century, who derive back to Abdallah bin Mas'ϊd, a
"Companion of the Apostle." The text shows the recognised formula of
ascription for quoting a "Hadνs" = saying of Mohammed; and sometimes it
has to pass through half a dozen mouths.

[FN#117] Traditionists of the seventh and eighth centuries who refer
back to the "Father of the Kitten" (Abu Horayrah), an uncle of the

[FN#118] Eastern story-books abound in these instances. Pilpay says in
"Kalilah was Dimnah," "I am the slave of what I have spoken and the
lord of what I keep hidden." Sa'adi follows suit, "When thou speakest
not a word, thou hast thy hand upon it; when it is once spoken it hath
laid its hand on thee." Caxton, in the "Dyctes, or Sayings of
Philosophers" (printed in 1477) uses almost the same words.

[FN#119] i.e. for her husband's and her sin in using a man like a

[FN#120] See the Second Lady's story (tantτt Kadi, tantτt bandit), pp.
20-26 by my friend Yacoub Artin Pasha in the Bulletin before quoted,
series ii. No. 4 of 1883. The sharpers' trick is common in Eastern
folk-lore, and the idea that underlies is always metempsychosis or
metamorphosis. So, in the Kalilah wa Dimnah (new Syriac), the three
rogues persuade the ascetic that he is leading a dog not a sheep.

[FN#121] This is the popular prejudice and it has doubtless saved many
a reputation. The bat is known to Moslems as the Bird of Jesus, a
legend derived by the Koran from the Gospel of Infancy (1 chapt. xv.
Hone's Apocryphal New Testament), in which the boy Jesus amuses herself
with making birds of clay and commanding them to fly when (according to
the Moslems) they became bats. These Apocryphal Gospels must be
carefully read, if the student would understand a number of Moslem
allusions to the Injνl which no Evangel contains.

[FN#122] Because it quibbled away out of every question, a truly
diplomatic art.

[FN#123] This Caliph, the orthodox Abbaside of Egypt (A.D. 1261) must
not be confounded with the Druze-god, the heretical Fatimite (A.D.
996-1021). D'Herbelot (Hakem") gives details. Mr. S.L. Poole (The
Academy, April 26, '79) is very severe on the slip of Mr. Payne.

[FN#124] The beautiful name is Persian "Anϊshνn-rawαn" = Sweet of Soul;
and the glorious title of this contemporary of Mohammed is "Al-Malik
al-Adil" = the Just King. Kisra, the Chosroλ per excellentiam, is also
applied to the godly Guebre of whom every Eastern dictionary gives

[FN#125] "Sultan" is here an anachronism: I have noted that the title
was first assumed independently by Mohammed of Ghazni after it had been
conferred by the Caliph upon his father the Amir Al- Umarα (Mayor of
the Palace), Sabuktagin A.D. 974.

[FN#126] The "Sakkα" or water-carrier race is peculiar in Egypt and
famed for trickery and intrigue. Opportunity here as elsewhere makes
the thief.

[FN#127] A famous saying of Mohammed is recorded when an indiscretion
of his young wife Ayishah was reported to him, "There be no adultress
without an adulterer (of a husband)." Fatimah the Apostle's daughter is
supposed to have remained a virgin after bearing many children: this
coarse symbolism of purity was known to the classics (Pausanias), who
made Juno recover her virginity by bathing in a certain river every
year. In the last phrase, "Al-Salaf" (ancestry) refers to Mohammed and
his family.

[FN#128] Khusrau Parwiz, grandson of Anushirwan, the Guebre King who
tore his kingdom by tearing Mohammed's letter married the beautiful
Maria or Irene (in Persian "Shνrνn = the sweet) daughter of the Greek
Emperor Maurice: their loves were sung by a host of poets; and likewise
the passion of the sculptor Farhαd for the same Shirin. Mr. Lyall
writes "Parwκz" and holds "Parwνz" a modern form.

[FN#129] he could afford it according to historians. His throne was
supported by 40,000 silver pillars; and 1,000 globes, hung in the dome,
formed an orrery, showing the motion of the heavenly bodies; 30,000
pieces of embroidered tapestry overhung the walls below were vaults
full of silver, gold and gems.

[FN#130] Arab. "Khunsα," meaning also a catamite as I have explained.
Lane (ii. 586) has it; "This fish is of a mixed kind." (!).

[FN#131] So the model lovers became the ordinary married couple.

[FN#132] Arab. "Jamm." Heb. "Yamm." Al-Harνri (Ass. Of Sinjar and
Sαwah) uses the rare form Yam for sea or ocean.

[FN#133] Al-Hadi, immediate predecessor of Harun al-Rashid, called
"Al-Atbik": his upper lip was contracted and his father placed a slave
over him when in childhood, with orders to say, "Musa! atbik!" (draw
thy lips together) when he opened his mouth.

[FN#134] Immediate successor of Harun al-Rashid. Al-Amin is an imposing
physical figure, fair, tall, handsome and of immense strength;
according to Al-Mas'ϊdi, he killed a lion with his own hands; but his
mind and judgement were weak. He was fond of fishing; and his reply to
the courtier bringing important news, "Confound thee! leave me! for
Kausar (an eunuch whom he loved) hath caught two fish and I none,"
reminds one of royal frivolity in France.

[FN#135] Afterwards governor in Khorasan under Al-Maamun.

[FN#136] Intendant of the palace under Harun al-Rashid.

[FN#137] Moslem women have this advantage over their Western
sisterhood: they can always leave the house of father or husband and,
without asking permission, pay a week or ten days' visit to their
friends. But they are not expected to meet their lovers.

[FN#138] The tale of "Susannah and the Elders" in Moslem form.

Dαniyαl is the Arab Daniel, supposed to have been buried at

Alexandria. (Pilgrimage, i. 16.)

[FN#139] According to Moslem law, laid down by Mohammed on a delicate
occasion and evidently for a purpose, four credible witnesses are
required to prove fornication, adultery, sodomy and so forth; and they
must swear that actually saw rem in re, the "Kohl-needle in the
Kohl-ιtui," as the Arabs have it. This practically prevents conviction
and the sabre cuts the Gordian knot.

[FN#140] Who, in such case, would represent our equerry.

[FN#141] The Badawi not only always tells the truth, a perfect contrast
with the townsfolk; he is blunt in speech addressing his Sultan "O
Sa'νd!" and he has a hard rough humour which we may fairly describe as
"wut." When you chaff him look out for falls.

[FN#142] The answer is as old as the hills, teste the tale of what
happened when Amasis (who on horseback) raised his leg, "broke wind and
bad the messenger carry it back to Apries." Herod. Ii. 162. But for the
full significance of the Badawi's most insulting reply see the Tale of
Abu Hasan in Night ccccxi.

[FN#143] Arab. "Yα sαki" al-Dakan" meaning long bearded (foolish) as
well as frosty bearded.

[FN#144] P. N. of the tribe, often mentioned in The Nights.

[FN#145] Adnan, which whom Arab genealogy begins, is generally supposed
to be the eighth (Al-Tabari says the fortieth) descendant from Ishmael
and nine generations are placed between him and Fahr (Fihr) Kuraysh.
The Prophet cut all disputes short by saying, "Beyond Adnan none save
Allah wotteth and the genealogists lie." (Pilgrimage ii. 344) M.C. de
Perceval dates Adnan about B.C. 130.

[FN#146] Koran xxxiii., 38.

[FN#147] Arab. "Arab al-Arabα," as before noticed (vol. i. 12) the pure
and genuine blood as opposed to the "Musta'aribah," the "Muta'arribah,"
the "Mosarabians" and other Araboids; the first springing from Khatan
(Yaktan?) and the others from Adnan. And note that "Arabi" = a man of
pure Arab race, either of the Desert or of the city, while A'arαbi
applies only to the Desert man, the Badawi.

[FN#148] Koran xxxviii. 2, speaking of the Unbelievers (i.e.
non-Moslems) who are full of pride and contention.

[FN#149] One of the Ashαb, or Companions of the Apostle, that is them
who knew him personally. (Pilgrimage ii. 80, etc.) The Ashαb al-Suffah
(Companions of the bench or sofa) were certain houseless Believers
lodged by the Prophet. (Pilgrimage ii. 143).

[FN#150] Hence Omar is entitled "Al-Adil = the Just." Readers will
remember that by Moslem law and usage murder and homicide are offences
to be punished by the family, not by society or its delegates. This
system reappears in civilisation under the denomination of "Lynch Law,"
a process infinitely distasteful to lawyers (whom it abolishes) and
most valuable when administered with due discretion.

[FN#151] Lane translates (ii. 592) "from a desire of seeing the face of
God;" but the general belief of Al-Islam is that the essence of Allah's
corporeal form is different from man's. The orthodox expect to "see
their Lord on Doom-day as they see the full moon" (a tradition). But
the Mu'atazilites deny with the existence of matter the corporiety of
Alah and hold that he will be seen only with the spiritual eyes, i.e.
of reason.

[FN#152] See Gesta Romanorum, Tale cviii., "of Constancy in adhering to
Promises," founded on Damon and Pythias or, perhaps, upon the Arabic.

[FN#153] Arab. "Al-Ahrαm," a word of unknown provenance. It has been
suggested that the singular form (Haram), preceded by the Coptic
article "pi" (= the) suggested to the Greeks "Pyramis." But this word
is still sub judice and every Egyptologist seems to propose his own
derivation. Brugsch (Egypt i. 72) makes it Greek, the Egyptian being
"Abumir," while "pir- am-us" = the edge of the pyramid, the corners
running from base to apex. The Egyptologist proves also what the
Ancients either ignored or forgot to mention, that each pyramid had its
own name.

[FN#154] Arab. "Ahkαm," in this matter supporting the


[FN#155] All imaginative.

[FN#156] It has always been my opinion founded upon considerations too
long to detail, that the larger Pyramids contain many unopened
chambers. Dr. Grant Bey of Cairo proposed boring through the blocks as
Artesian wells are driven. I cannot divine why Lane (ii, 592) chose to
omit this tale, which is founded on historic facts and interests us by
suggesting a comparison between Mediζval Moslem superstitions and those
of our xixth Century, which to our descendants will appear as wild, if
not as picturesque, as those of The Nights. The "inspired British inch"
and the building by Melchisedek (the Shaykh of some petty Syrian
village) will compare not unaptly with the enchanted swords, flexible
glass and guardian spirits. But the Pyramidennarren is a race which
will not speedily die out: it is based on Nature, the Pyramids

[FN#157] Arab. "Rizm"; hence, through the Italian Risma our ream (= 20
quires of paper, etc.), which our dictionaries derive from (!). See
"frail" in Night dcccxxxviii.

[FN#158] Arab. "Tarνkah" = the path trodden by ascetics and mystics in
order to attain true knowledge (Ma'rifat in Pers. Dαnish). These are
extensive subjects: for the present I must refer readers to the
Dabistan, iii. 35 and iii. 29, 36-7.

[FN#159] Alluding to the Fishαr or "Squeeze of the tomb." This is the
Jewish Hibbut hakkeber which all must endure, save those who lived in
the Holy Land or died on the Sabbath-eve (Friday night). Then comes the
questioning by the Angels Munkar and Nakir (vulgarly called Nαkir and
Nakνr) for which see Lane (M.E. chapt. xviii.). In Egypt a "Mulakkin"
(intelligencer) is hired to prompt and instruct the dead. Moslems are
beginning to question these facts of their faith: a Persian
acquaintance of mine filled his dead father's mouth with flour and
finding it in loco on opening the grave, publicly derided the belief.
But the Mullahs had him on the hip, after the fashion of reverends,
declaring that the answers were made through the whole body, not only
by the mouth. At last the Voltairean had to quit Shiraz.

[FN#160] Arab. "Walν" = a saint, Santon (Ital. Form) also a slave. See
in Richardson (Dissert. iii.), an illustration of the difference
between Wali and Wαli as exemplified by the Caliph al- Kαdir and Mahmϊd
of Ghazni.

[FN#161] Arab. "Tνn" = the tenacious clay puddled with chaff which
serves as mortar for walls built of Adobe or sun dried brick. I made a
mistake in my Pilgrimage (i.10) translating Ras al-Tνn the old Pharos
of Alexandria, by "Headland of Figs." It is Headland of Clay, so called
from the argile there found and which supported an old pottery.

[FN#162] The danik (Pers. Dang) is the sixth of a dirham. Mr. S. L.
Poole (The Acad. April 26, '79) prefers his uncle's translation "a
sixth" (what of?) to Mr. Payne's "farthing." The latter at any rate is

[FN#163] The devotee was "Sαim al-dahr" i.e. he never ate nor drank
from daylight to dark throughout the year.

[FN#164] The ablution of a common man differs from that of an

educated Moslem as much as the eating of a clown and a gentleman.

Moreover there are important technical differences between the

Wuzu of the Sunni and the Shi'ah.

[FN#165] i.e., by honouring his father.

[FN#166] This young saint was as selfish and unnatural a sinner as
Saint Alexius of the Gesta Romanorum (Tale xv.), to whom my friend, the
late Thomas Wright, administered just and due punishment.

[FN#167] The verses are affecting enough, though by no means high

[FN#168] The good young man cut his father for two reasons: secular
power (an abomination to good Moslems) and defective title to the
Caliphate. The latter is a trouble to Turkey in the present day and
with time will prove worse.

[FN#169] Umm Amrν (written Amrϊ and pronounced Amr') a matronymic,
"mother of Amru." This story and its terminal verse is a regular Joe

[FN#170] Abuse and derision of schoolmaster are staple subjects in the
East as in the West, (Quem Dii oderunt pζdagogum fecerunt).
Anglo-Indians will remember:

     "Miyαn-ji ti-ti!

     Bachche-kν gαnd men anguli kν thi!"

     ("Schoolmaster hum!

     Who fumbled and fingered the little boy's bum?")

[FN#171] Arab. "Mujawirin" = the lower servants, sweepers, etc. See
Pilgrimage ii. 161, where it is also applied to certain "settlers" at
Al-Medinah. Burckhardt (No. 480) notices another meaning "foreigners
who attend mosque-lectures" and quotes the saying, "A. pilgrimaged:"
quoth B. "yes! and for his villanies resideth (Mujαwir) at Meccah."

[FN#172] The custom (growing obsolete in Egypt) is preserved in
Afghanistan where the learned wear turbans equal to the canoe- hats of
the Spanish cardinals.

[FN#173] Arab. "Makmarah," a metal cover for the usual brasier or pan
of charcoal which acts as a fire-place. Lane (ii. 600) does not
translate the word and seems to think it means a belt or girdle, thus
blunting the point of the dominie's excuse.

[FN#174] This story, a very old Joe Miller, was told to Lane as
something new and he introduced it into his Modern Egyptians, end of
chapt. ii.

[FN#175] This tale is a mere abbreviation of "The King and his

Wazir's Wife," in the Book of Sindibad or the Malice of Women,

Night dcxxviii., {which see for annotations}.

[FN#176] The older "Roe" which may be written "Rukh" or "Rukhkh."
Colonel Yule, the learned translator of Marco Polo, has shown that
"Roc's" feathers were not uncommon curiosities in mediζval ages; and
holds that they were mostly fronds of the palm Raphia vinifera, which
has the largest leaf in the vegetable kingdom and which the Moslems of
Zanzibar call "Satan's date-tree." I need hardly quote "Frate Cipolla
and the Angel Gabriel's Feather." (Decameron vi. 10.)

[FN#177] The tale is told in a bald, disjointed style and will be
repeated in Sindbad the Seaman where I shall again notice the "Roc."
See Night dxxxvii., etc.

[FN#178] Hνrah in Mesopotamia was a Christian city and

principality subject to the Persian Monarchs; and a rival to the

Roman kingdom of Ghassαn. It has a long history, for which see


[FN#179] A pre-Islamite poet.

[FN#180] Arab. "Bikα'a," alluding to the pilgrimages made to
monasteries and here equivalent to, "Address ye to the road," etc.

[FN#181] Whose by name was Abu Ali, a poet under the Abbasides (eighth
and ninth centuries).

[FN#182] A well-known quarter of Baghdad, often mentioned in The


[FN#183] Another well-known poet of the time.

[FN#184] Arab. "Sardαb": noticed before.

[FN#185] A gigantic idol in the Ka'abah, destroyed by Mohammed: it gave
name to a tribe.

[FN#186] Arab. "Ya Kawwαd:" hence the Port. and Span.


[FN#187] Arab "Tufayli," a term before noticed; the class was as
well-known in Baghdad and Cairo as in ancient Rome.

[FN#188] Arab. "Jauzar"=a bubalus (Antilope defessa), also called "Aye"
from the large black eyes. This bovine antelope is again termed Bakar
al-Wahsh (wild cattle) or "Bos Sylvestris" (incerti generic, Forsk.).
But Janzar also signifies hart, so I render it by "Ariel" (the
well-known antelope).

[FN#189] Arab. "Tarαib" plur. of tarνbah. The allusion is to the heart,
and "the little him's a her."

[FN#190] A well-known poet of the ninth century (A.D.).

[FN#191] These easy deaths for love are a lieu common: See sundry of
them in the Decameron (iv. 7, etc.); and, in the Heptameron (Nouv.
Ixx.), the widow who lay down and died of love and sorrow that her
passion had become known. For the fainting of lovers see Nouvelle xix.

[FN#192] This is a favourite Badawi dish, but too expensive unless some
accident happen to the animal. Old camel is much like bull-beef, but
the young meat is excellent, although not relished by Europeans
because, like strange fish, it has no recognised flavour. I have
noticed it in my "First Footsteps" (p. 68, etc.). There is an old idea
in Europe that the maniacal vengeance of the Arab is increased by
eating this flesh, the beast is certainly vindictive enough; but a
furious and frantic vengefulness characterises the North American
Indian who never saw a camel. Mercy and pardon belong to the elect, not
to the miserables who make up " humanity."

[FN#193] i.e. of the Province Hazramaut, the Biblical Hazarmaveth (Gen.
x. 26). The people are the Swill of Arabia and noted for thrift and
hard bargains; hence the saying, If you meet a serpent and a Hazrami,
slay the Hazrami. To prove how ubiquitous they are it is related that a
man, flying from their society, reached the uttermost parts of China
where he thought himself safe. But, as he was about to pass the night
in some ruin, he heard a voice bard by him exclaim, "O Imαd al-Din!"
(the name of the patron-saint of Hazramaut). Thereupon he arose and
fled and he is, they say, flying still.

[FN#194] Arab. "Fαl" alluding to the Sortes Coranicζ and other silly
practices known to the English servant-girs when curious about her
future and her futur.

[FN#195] i.e., in Arab-land (where they eat dates) and Ajam, or lands
non-Arab (where bread is the staff of life); that is, all the world

[FN#196] This story is curious and ethnologically valuable. The Badawi
who eructates as a civility, has a mortal hatred to a crepitus ventris;
and were a by-stander to laugh at its accidental occurrence, he would
at once be cut down as a "pundonor." The same is the custom amongst the
Highlanders of Afghanistan, and its artificial nature suggests direct
derivation, for the two regions are separated by a host of tribes,
Persians and Baloch, Sindis and Panjαbis who utterly ignore the point
of honour and behave like Europeans. The raids of the pre-Islamitic
Arabs over the lands lying to the north-east of them are almost
forgotten; still there are traces, and this may be one of them.

[FN#197] Arab. "Al-Αr." The Badawi saying is "Al-nαr wa lα l- αr"
(Hell-)fire, but not shame. The sentiment is noble. Hasan the Prophet's
grandson, a poor creature demoralised by over- marrying, chose the
converse, "Shame is better than Hell-fire." An old Arabic poem has,

     "The Fire and not shame be the Lord of thee

      And e'en to The Fire from shame go flee."

Al-Hariri (Ass. of the Badawin) also has,

     "For rather would I die my death than shame,—

      On bier be borne than bear a caitiff's name."

[FN#198] A grammarian and rhetorician of ninth century.

[FN#199] Once existing in Syrian Hamαh (the Biblical Hamath); and so
called because here died the Emperor Heraclius called by the Arabs

[FN#200] Till lately it was the custom to confine madmen in Syrian
monasteries, hoping a cure from the patron Saint, and a terrible time
they had of it. Every guide book relates the healing process as
formerly pursued at the Maronite Convent Koshaya not far from Bayrut.
The idiot or maniac was thrust headlong by the monks into a dismal
cavern with a heavy chain round his neck, and was tied up within a span
of the wall to await the arrival of Saint Anthony who especially
affects this holy place. In very few weeks the patient was effectually
cured or killed by cold, solitude and starvation.

[FN#201] The Moslem Eve, much nearer the Hebrew "Hawah" = the
"manifester," because (Gen. iii. 20) she was (to be) the mother of all
that live ("Kull hayy").

[FN#202] The mad lover says "they" for "she," which would be too
familiar in speaking to strangers.

[FN#203] i.e. falsely to report the death.

[FN#204] A famous grammarian, etc., of the tenth century.

[FN#205] The classical Amorium in Phrygia now Anatolia: Anbαr is

a town (before mentioned) on the Euphrates; by the rules of

Arabic grammar the word is pronounced (though never written)


[FN#206] "Art thou not the slave of the Messiah, the Rαhib (monk)?"
"No! I am the slave of Allah, the Rαghib (desirous of mercy from the
Almighty). " A fair specimen of the Saj'a or rhymed prose. Abdallah
(properly "Abdu'llah:") is a kind of neutral name, neither Jewish,
Moslem nor Christian; hence I adopted it, (Pilgrimage i. 20.)

[FN#207] Arab. "Hanut," prop. a tavern where liquors are sold, a term
applied contemptuously to shops, inns, etc., kept by Christians.

[FN#208] Arab. "Shirk" = syntheism of the "Mushrik" (one who makes
other gods partners with God), a word pronounced "Mushrit" by the
Wahhabis and the Badawin.

[FN#209] Koran vii. 195. The passage declaims against the idols of the
Arabs, sun, moon. stars, etc.

[FN#210] This minor miracle is commonly reported, and is not, I
believe, unknown to modern "Spiritualism." The dead Wali or Waliyah
(Saintess) often impels the bier-bearers to the spot where he would be
buried: hence in Cairo the tombs scattered about the city. Lane notices
it, Mod. E. chaps. xxviii.

[FN#211] Koran x. 36, speaking of being turned aside from the true

[FN#212] One of the Wazirs of al-Maamun, Kurrat al-Ayn = "coolness
(i.e. delight) of the eyes" Ali bin Hishαm surnamed Abu'l-Hasan, was
prefect of Baghdad under the same reign.

[FN#213] The Mac. Edit. (ii. 448) reads for Kawαid (plur. of Kαid =
Governors, Span. Alcayde) "Fawαid": hence Lane (ii. 606) translates "
try thy heart."

 [FN#214] The mats of Sind were famous even in my day, but under

English rule native industries are killed out by Manchester and


[FN#215] Sajαh was the name of a famous female impostor, a contemporary
of "Musaylimah the Liar."

[FN#216] A poet of Mohammed's day.

[FN#217] A singer and composer of the first century (A. H.).

[FN#218] Arab = a roe, a doe; also the Yoni (of women, mares and
bitches). It is the Heb. Tabitha and the Greek Dorcas.

[FN#219] Within the Hudϊd al-Harem (bounds of the Holy Places), at
Al-Medinah as well as Meccah, all "Muharramαt" (forbidden sins) are
doubly unlawful, such as drinking spirits, immoral life, etc. The Imam
Malik forbids slaying animals without, however, specifying any penalty.
The felling of trees is a disputed point; and no man can be put to
death except invaders, infidels and desecraters. (Pilgrimage ii. 167.)

[FN#220] A poet of the first century (A.H.).

[FN#221] In Arab. =a fawn beginning to walk, also the 28th lunar
mansion or station, usually known as Batn al-Hut or Whale's belly.
These mansions or houses, the constellations through which the moon
passes in her course along her orbit, are much used in Moslem astrology
and meteorology.

[FN#222] Arab. Kalla-mα = it is seldom (rare) that etc. used in books.

[FN#223] Dishonoured by his love being made public. So Hafiz,

Petrarch and Camoens.

[FN#224] Sixth Abbaside, A.D. 809-813.

[FN#225] Ala'llah, tenth Abbaside, A. H. 232-47 (847-61), grandson of
Al-Rashid who succeeded Al-Wαsik. He was a fanatic Sunni, much opposed
to the Shi'ahs and he ordered the Christians to wear round their necks
the Ghull (collar of wood, iron, or leather), to dress in yellow
head-gear and girdles, use wooden stirrups and place figures of devils
in front of their dwelling-houses. He also gave distinct dresses to
their women and slaves. The Ghull, or collar, was also used for a
punishment and vermin gathered under it when riveted round the neck:
hence Golius calls it "pediculosum columbar."

[FN#226] Wazir of the above. killed by al-Muntasir Billah A. H. 247 (=

[FN#227] Easterns during purgation are most careful and deride the want
of precaution in Europeans. They do not leave the house till all is
passed off, and avoid baths, wine and women which they afterwards
resume with double zest. Here "breaking the seal" is taking the girl's

[FN#228] Johannes, a Greek favoured by Al-Mutawakkil and other

Abbaside Caliphs.

[FN#229] Lady of Shaykhs, elders in the faith and men of learning

[FN#230] = A.D. 1166.

[FN#231] Koran iv. 38. I have before noted what the advantages are.

[FN#232] Koran ii. 282, "of those whom ye shall choose for witnesses."

[FN#233] Koran iv. 175, "Whereas if there be two sisters, they inherit
only two-thirds between them."

[FN#234] The secondary meaning is "Fα'il" = the active sodomite and
"Mafa'ϊl" = the passive, a catamite: the former is not an insulting
word, the latter is a most injurious expression. "Novimus et qui te!"

[FN#235] It is an unpleasant fact that almost all the poetry of Hαfiz
is addressed to youths, as we see by the occasional introduction of
Arabic (e.g., Afαka'llαh). Persian has no genders properly so called,
hence the effect is less striking. Sa'di, the "Persian Moralist" begins
one of the tales, "A certain learned man fell in love with a beautiful
son of a blacksmith," which Gladwin, translating for the general,
necessarily changed to "daughter."

[FN#236] The famous author of the Anthology called Al-Hamαsah.

[FN#237] i.e., teeth under the young mustachio.

[FN#238] The "Silk man" and the celebrated author of the Makαmαt,
assemblies or seances translated (or attempted) into all the languages
of Europe. We have two in English, the first by Theodore Preston, M.A.
(London, Madden, 1850); but it contains only twenty of the fifty
pieces. The second by the late Mr. Chenery (before alluded to) ends
with the twenty-sixth assembly: one volume in fact, the other never
having been finished. English readers, therefore, are driven to the
grand edition of the Makαmαt in folio by Baron Silvestre de Sacy.

[FN#239] The sword of the eye has a Hamαil (baldrick worn over right
shoulder, Pilgrimage i. 352) to support the "Ghimd" (vulg. Ghamad) or
scabbard (of wood or leather): and this baldrick is the young whisker.

[FN#240] The conceit of "Sulαfat" (ptisane, grape juice allowed to
drain on the slabs) and "Sawαlif" (tresses, locks) has been explained.
The newest wine is the most inebriating, a fact not much known in
England, but familiar to the drinker of "Vino novo."

[FN#241] Koran xii. 51, this said by the nobleman's (Potiphar's) wife
who adds, "I selected him to lie with me; and he (Joseph) is one of
those who speak truth."

[FN#242] Here we have a specimen of the strained Saj'a or balanced
prose: slave-girls (jawαrν) are massed with flowing tears (dam'u jαri)
on account of the Kαfiyah or rhyme.

[FN#243] The detected sodomite is punished with death according to
Moslem law, but again comes the difficulty of proof. At Shiraz I have
heard of a pious Moslem publicly executing his son.

[FN#244] Koran xxvi. 165 et seq. The Lord speaks to the "people of Lot"
(Sodomites). Mr. Payne renders "Min al-αlamνma," "from the four corners
of the world."

[FN#245] Meaning before and behind, a Moslemah "Bet Balmanno."

[FN#246] Arab. " Lϊti," (plur. Lawαtν), much used in Persian as a
buffoon, a debauchee, a rascal. The orig. sig. is "One of (the people
of) Lot." The old English was Ingle or Yngle (a bardachio, a catamite,
a boy kept for sodomy), which Minsheu says is, "Vox hispanica et
significat Latinθ Inguen" (the groin). Our vulgar modern word like the
Italian bugiardo is pop. derived from Fr. Bougre, alias Bulgarus, a
Bulgarian, a heretic: hence Boulgrin (Rabelais i. chaps. ii.) is
popularly applied to the Albigeois (Albigenses, whose persecution began
shortly after A.D. 1200) and the Lutherans. I cannot but think that
"bougre" took its especial modern signification after the French became
acquainted with the Brazil, where the Huguenots (in A.D. 1555) were
founding a Nouvelle France, alias Equinoctiale, alias Antarctique, and
whence the savages were carried as curiosities to Paris. Their generic
name was "Bugre" (properly a tribe in Southern Brazil, but applied to
all the redskins) and they were all born Sodomites. More of this in the
terminal Essay.

[FN#247] His paper is the whiteness of his skin. I have quoted the
Persian saying of a young beard: "his cheeks don mourning for his
beauty's death."

[FN#248] Arab. "Khabαl," lit. the pus which flows from the bodies of
the damned.

[FN#249] Most characteristic of Egypt is all this scene. Her reverence,
it is true, sits behind a curtain; but her virtue uses language which
would shame the lowest European prostitute; and which is filthy almost
as Dean Swift's.

[FN#250] Arab. "Niyat:" the Moslem's idea of intentions quite runs with
the Christian's. There must be a "Niyat" or purpose of prayer or the
devotion is valueless. Lane tells a pleasant tale of a thief in the
Mosque, saying "I purpose (before Prayer) to carry off this nice pair
of new shoes!"

[FN#251] Arab. "Ya 'l-Ajϊz" (in Cairo "Agooz" pronounced "Ago-o- oz"):
the address is now insulting and would elicit "The old woman in thine
eye" (with fingers extended). In Egypt the polite address is "O lady
(Sitt), O pilgrimess, O bride, and O daughter" (although she be the
wrong side of fifty). In Arabia you may say "O woman (Imraah)" but in
Egypt the reply would be "The woman shall see Allah cut out thy heart!"
So in Southern Italy you address "bella fι" (fair one) and cause a
quarrel by "vecchiarella."

[FN#252] Governor of Egypt, Khorasan, etc. under Al-Maamun.

[FN#253] i.e., a companion, a solacer: it is also a man's name (vol. i.

[FN#254] At Baghdad; evidently written by a Baghdad or Mosul man.

[FN#255] A blind traditionist of Bassorah (ninth century).

[FN#256] Arab. "Zaghab"=the chick's down; the warts on the cucumber
which sometimes develop into projections.

[FN#257] The Persian saying is, A kiss without moustachio is bread
without salt.

[FN#258] "And We will prove you with evil, and with good, for a trial
of you; and unto Us shall ye return." (Koran xxi. 36.) The saying is
always in the Moslem's mouth.

[FN#259] Arab. "Sunnat," lit.=a law, especially applied to the habit
and practice of the Apostle in religious and semi-religious matters,
completing the "Hadis," or his spoken words. Anything unknown is
entitled "Bida'ah"=innovation. Hence the strict Moslem is a model
Conservative whose exemplar of life dates from the seventh century.
This fact may be casuistically explained away; but is not less an
obstacle to all progress and it will be one of the principal dangers
threatening Al-Islam. Only fair to say that an "innovation" introduced
by a perfect follower of the Prophet is held equal theoretically to a
Sunnat; but vulgarly it is said, "The rabble will not take gold which
is not coined."

[FN#260] Arab. "Arsh"=the ninth Heaven, the Throne of the Deity, above
the Seven Heavens of the planets and the Primum Mobile which, in the
Ptolemaic system, sets them all in motion.

[FN#261] This description of a good Moslem's death is at once concise,
pathetic and picturesque.

[FN#262] This is the first mention of coffee; apparently

introduced by the scribe: the word rendered "coffee-makers" is

"Kahwajiyah"; an Arab. plur. of a Turkish termination (-ji) to an

Arab. word "Kahwah" (before noticed).

[FN#263] Picnics are still made to Rauzah (Rodah) island: I have
enjoyed many a one, but the ground is all private property.

[FN#264] Arab. "Hosh," plur. Hνshαn, the low courts surrounded by mean
lodgings which in "native" Cairo still contrast so strongly with the
"gingerbread" of the new buildings.

[FN#265] This is the Moslem equivalent of "thank you." He looks upon
the donor as the channel through which Allah sends him what he wants
and prays for more to come. Thus "May your shadow never be less" means,
May you increase in prosperity so that I may gain thereby! And if a
beggar is disposed to be insolent (a very common case), he will tell
you his mind pretty freely on the subject, and make it evident to you
that all you have is also his and that La propriιtι (when not shared)
est le vol.

[FN#266] I have noticed in my Pilgrimage (i. 51-53) the kindly care
with which the stranger is treated by Moslems, a marvellous contrast to
the ways of "civilization."

[FN#267] Arab. "Dimyat," vulg. pronounced "Dumνyat."

[FN#268] Where the door-keepers sit and receive their friends.

[FN#269] This is a traveller's 'Kit' in the East.

[FN#270] Arab. "Takht-rawαn," from Persian meaning "moveable throne."

[FN#271] The use of the expression proved the speaker to be a

Moslem Jinnν.

[FN#272] The "haunted" house proper, known to the vulgar and to
spiritualists becomes, I have said, amongst Moslems a place tenanted by

[FN#273] Needless to say there never was a Sultan or a King of Baghdad
nor a Duke of Athens. This story would seem not to have been written by
the author of "the Emir bin Tahir," etc. Night ccccxxiv.

[FN#274] Plur. of Αlim=one learned in the law, a D.D. Mohammed did his
best to abolish the priest and his craft by making each Moslem
paterfamilias a pontifex in his own household and he severely condemned
monkery and celibacy. But human nature was too much for him: even
before his death ascetic associations began to crop up. Presently the
Olema in Al-Islam formed themselves into a kind of clergy; with the
single but highly important difference that they must (or ought to)
live by some honest secular calling and not by the "cure of souls";
hence Mahomet IV. of Turkey was solemnly deposed. So far and no farther
Mohammed was successful and his success has secured for him the lively
and lasting hatred of the ecclesiastical caste which he so honestly and
wisely attempted to abate. Even to the present day missionaries have a
good word for the Guebre and the Buddhist, the Brahmanist and the
Confucian, but none for the Moslem: Dr. Livingstone, for one instance
of many, evidently preferred the Fetichist, whom he could convert, to
the Unitarian Faithful whom he could not.

[FN#275] i.e. they recited seven times (an unusual number), for greater
solemnity, the opening Chapter of the Koran which does general duty on
such occasions as making covenants and swearing fealty. This
proclaiming a King by acclamation suggests the origin of the old and
venerable Portuguese institution.

[FN#276] By affixing his own seal and that of the King. This in later
times was supplanted by the "Tughrα," the imperial cypher or
counter-mark (much like a writing master's flourish), with which Europe
has now been made familiar through the agency of Turkish tobacco.

[FN#277] Arab. "Wird"=the twenty-five last chapters of the Koran which
are repeated, one or more at a time, after the end of the "Farz," or
obligatory prayers and ad libitum with the Sunnat or customary, and the
Nαfilah or supererogatory.

[FN#278] The sensible creed of Al-Islam freely allows anthropophagy
when it saves life; a contrast to the sentimentalism of the West which
brings a "charge of cannibalism" against unfortunate expeditionists. I
particularly allude to the scandalous pulings of the English Press over
the gallant and unfortunate Greely voyage. (The Academy, Sept. 25,

[FN#279] The story is mere Ζsopic: the "Two dogs" contains it all. One
of Mohammed's sensible sayings is recorded and deserves
repetition:—"Empire endureth with infidelity (idolatry, etc.), but not
with tyranny."

[FN#280] This couplet occurs in Night xxi. (vol. i. 207); so I give
Torrens (p.207) by way of variety.

[FN#281] Lane (ii. 636) omits this tale, "as it would not only require
a volume of commentary but be extremely tiresome to most readers."
Quite true; but it is valuable to Oriental Students who are beginning
their studies, as an excellent compendium of doctrine and practice
according to the Shafi'ν School.

[FN#282] Pronounced Aboo 'l-Husn = Father of Beauty, a fancy name.

[FN#283] As in most hot climates so in Egypt the dead are buried at
once despite the risk of vivisepulture. This seems an instinct with the
Semitic (Arabian) race teste Abraham, as with the Gypsy. Hence the
Moslems have invoked religious aid. The Mishkαt al-Masαbih (i. 387)
makes Mohammed say, "When any one of you dieth you may not keep him in
the house but bear him quickly to his grave"; and again, "Be quick in
raising up the bier: for if the dead have been a good man, it is good
to bear him gravewards without delay; and if bad, it is frowardness ye
put from your necks."

[FN#284] This biting of the hand in Al-Harνri expresses bitterness of
repentance and he uses more than once the Koranic phrase (chapter vii.,
148) "Sukita fν aydνhim," lit. where it (the biting) was fallen upon
their hands; i.e. when it repented them; "sukita" being here not a
passive verb as it appears, but an impersonal form uncommon in Arabic.
The action is instinctive, a survival of the days when man was a
snarling and snapping animal (physically) armed only with claws and

[FN#285] Arab. "'Alam," applied to many things, an "old man" of stones
(Kαkϊr), a signpost with a rag on the top, etc.

[FN#286] The moon of Ramazan was noticed in Night ix. That of Sha'aban
(eighth month) begins the fighting month after the conclusion of the
Treuga Dei in Rajab. See Night ccclxxviii.

[FN#287] These lines have occurred in Night cccxix. I give Mr.

Payne's version for variety.

[FN#288] i.e. in her prime, at fourteen to fifteen.

[FN#289] i.e. pale and yellow.

[FN#290] The word means the wood; but it alludes to a preparation made
by levigating it on a stone called in India "Sandlαsα." The gruel-like
stuff is applied with the right hand to the right side of the neck,
drawing the open fingers from behind forwards so as to leave four
distinct streaks, then down to the left side, and so on to the other
parts of the body.

[FN#291] Arab. "Haykal" which included the Porch, the Holy and

the Holy of Holies. The word is used as in a wider sense by

Josephus A. J. v. v. 3. In Moslem writings it is applied to a

Christian Church generally, on account of its images.

[FN#292] These lines having occurred before, I here quote Mr.


[FN#293] Arab writers often mention the smile of beauty, but rarely,
after European fashion, the laugh, which they look upon as undignified.
A Moslem will say "Don't guffaw (Kahkahah) in that way; leave giggling
and grinning to monkeys and Christians." The Spaniards, a grave people,
remark that Christ never laughed. I would draw the reader's attention
to a theory of mine that the open-hearted laugh has the sound of the
vowels a and o; while e, i, and u belong to what may be roughly classed
as the rogue order.

[FN#294] i.e. gaining the love of another, love.

[FN#295] i.e. the abrogated passages and those by which they are
abrogated. This division is necessary for "inspired volumes," which
always abound in contradictions. But the charge of "opportunism"
brought against the Koran is truly absurd; as if "revelation" could
possibly be aught save opportune.

[FN#296] Koran iv. 160, the chapter "Women."

[FN#297] She unveiled, being a slave-girl and for sale. If a free woman
show her face to a Moslem, he breaks out into violent abuse, because
the act is intended to let him know that he is looked upon as a small
boy or an eunuch or a Chriastian—in fact not a man.

[FN#298] Ilah=Heb. El, a most difficult root, meaning strength,
interposition, God (Numen) "the" (article) "don't" (do not), etc. etc.

[FN#299] As far as I know Christians are the only worshippers who kneel
as if their lower legs were cut off and who "join hands" like the
captive offering his wrists to be bound (dare manus). The posture,
however, is not so ignoble as that of the Moslem "Sijdah" (prostration)
which made certain North African tribes reject Al-Islam saying, "These
men show their hind parts to heaven."

[FN#300] i.e. saying "I intend (purpose) to pray (for instance) the
two-bow prayer (ruka'tayn) of the day-break," etc.

[FN#301] So called because it prohibits speaking with others till the
prayer is ended.

[FN#302] Lit. "any thing opposite;" here used for the Ka'abah towards
which men turn in prayer; as Guebres face the sun or fire and idolators
their images. "Al-Kiblatayn" (= the two Kiblahs) means Meccah and
Jerusalem, which was faced by Moslems as well as Jews and Christians
till Mohammed changed the direction. For the occasion of the change see
my Pilgrimage, ii. 320.

[FN#303] Which includes Tayammum or washing with sand. This is a very
cleanly practice in a hot, dry land and was adopted long before
Mohammed. Cedrenus tells of baptism with sand being administered to a
dying traveller in the African desert.

[FN#304] The Koranic order for Wuzϊ is concise and as usual obscure,
giving rise to a host of disputes and casuistical questions. Its text
runs (chapt. v.), "O true believers, when you prepare to pray, wash
(Ghusl) your faces, and your hands unto the elbows; and rub (Mas-h)
your hands and your feet unto the ankles; and if ye be unclean by
having lain with a woman, wash (Ghusl) yourselves all over." The
purifications and ceremonious ablutions of the Jews originated this
command; and the early Christians did very unwisely in not making the
bath obligatory. St. Paul (Heb. xi. 22) says, "Let us draw near with a
true heart…having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with clean (or pure) water." But this did not suffice.
Hence the Eastern Christian, in hot climates where cleanliness should
rank before godliness, is distinguished by his dirt which as a holy or
reverend man he makes still dirtier, and he offers an ugly comparison
with the Moslem and especially the Hindu. The neglect of commands to
wash and prohibitions to drink strong waters are the two grand physical
objections of the Christian code of morality.

[FN#305] Arab. "Istinshαk"=snuffing up water from the palm of the right
hand so as to clean thoroughly the nostrils. This "function" is
unreasonably neglected in Europe, to the detriment of the mucous
membrane and the olfactory nerves.

[FN#306] So as to wash between them. The thick beard is combed out with
the fingers.

[FN#307] Poor human nature! How sad to compare ita pretensions with its

[FN#308] Complete ablution is rendered necessary chiefly by the
emission of semen either in copulation or in nocturnal pollution. The
water must be pure and not less than a certain quantity, and it must
touch every part of the skin beginning with the right half of the
person and ending with the left. Hence a plunge-bath is generally

[FN#309] Arab. "Ta'mνm," lit. crowning with turband, or tiara,
here=covering, i.e. wetting.

[FN#310] This practice (saying "I purpose to defer the washing of the
feet," etc.) is now somewhat obsolete.

[FN#311] Arabs have a prejudice against the hydropathic treatment of
wounds, holding that water poisons them: and, as the native produce
usually contains salt, soda and magnesia, they are justified by many
cases. I once tried water-bandages in Arabia and failed dismally.

[FN#312] The sick man says his prayers lying in bed, etc., and as he
best can.

[FN#313] i.e. saying, "And peace be on us and on the worshippers of
Allah which be pious."

[FN#314] i.e. saying, " I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the


[FN#315] Certain parts should be recited aloud (jahr) and others sotto
voce (with mussitation=Khafi). No mistake must be made in this matter
where a Moslem cannot err.

[FN#316] Hence an interest of two-and-a-half percent is not held to be
"Ribα" or unlawful gain of money by money, usury.

[FN#317] The meal must be finished before the faster can plainly
distinguish the white thread from the black thread (Koran ii. 183);
some understand this literally, others apply it to the dark and silvery
streak of zodiacal light which appears over the Eastern horizon an hour
or so before sunrise. The fast then begins and ends with the
disappearance of the sun. I have noticed its pains and penalties in my
Pilgrimage, i. 110, etc.

[FN#318] For the "Azαn" or call to prayer see Lane, M. E., chapt.
xviii. The chant, however, differs in every country, and a practical
ear will know the land by its call.

[FN#319] Arab. "Hadνs" or saying of the Apostle.

[FN#320] "Al-I'itikaf" resembles the Christian "retreat;" but the
worshipper generally retires to a mosque, especially in Meccah. The
Apostle practised it on Jabal Hira and other places.

[FN#321] The word is the Heb. "Hagg" whose primary meaning is
circularity of form or movement. Hence it applied to religious
festivals in which dancing round the idol played a prime part; and
Lucian of "saltation" says, dancing was from the beginning and coeval
with the ancient god, Love. But man danced with joy before he
worshipped, and, when he invented a systematic saltation, he made it
represent two things, and only two things, love and war, in most
primitive form, courtship and fighting.

[FN#322] Two adjoining ground-waves in Meccah. For these and for the
places subsequently mentioned the curious will consult my Pilgrimage,
iii. 226, etc.

[FN#323] The 'Umrah or lesser Pilgrimage, I have noted, is the ceremony
performed in Meccah at any time out of the pilgrim-season proper, i.e.
between the eighth and tenth days of the twelfth lunar month Zu
'l-Hijjah. It does not entitle the Moslem to be called Hαjj (pilgrim)
or Hαjν as Persians and Indians corrupt the word.

[FN#324] I need hardly note that Mohammed borrowed his
pilgrimage-practices from the pagan Arabs who, centuries before his
day, danced around the Meccan Ka'abah. Nor can he be blamed for having
perpetuated a Gentile rite, if indeed it be true that the Ka'abah
contained relics of Abraham and Ishmael.

[FN#325] On first sighting Meccah. See Night xci.

[FN#326] Arab. "Tawαf:" the place is called Matαf and the guide
Mutawwif. (Pilgrimage, iii. 193, 205.) The seven courses are termed

[FN#327] Stoning the Devil at Mina. (Pilgrimage, iii. 282.) Hence

Satan's title "the Stoned" (lapidated not castrated).

[FN#328] Koran viii. 66; in the chapter entided "Spoil," and relating
mainly to the "day of Al-Bedr.

[FN#329] Arab. "AI-Ikαlah"= cancelling: Mr. Payne uses the technical
term "resiliation."

[FN#330] Freedman of Abdallah, son of the Caliph Omar and noted as a

[FN#331] i.e. at a profit: the exchange must be equal—an ordinance
intended to protect the poor. Arabs have strange prejudices in these
matters; for instance it disgraces a Badawi to take money for milk.

[FN#332] Arab. "Jamα'ah," which in theology means the Greek , our
"Church," the congregation of the Faithful under a lawful head. Hence
the Sunnis call themselves "People of the Sunnat and Jamα'at." In the
text it is explained as "Ulfat" or intimacy.

[FN#333] Arab. "Al-Khalνl," i.e. of Allah=Abraham. Mohammed, following
Jewish tradition, made Abraham rank second amongst the Prophets,
inferior only to himself and superior to Hazrat Isa=Jesus. I have noted
that Ishmael the elder son succeeded his father. He married Da'alah
bint Muzαz bin Omar, a Jurhamite, and his progeny abandoning Hebrew
began to speak Arabic (ta'arraba); hence called Muta'arribah or
Arabised Arabs. (Pilgrimage iii. 190.) He died at Meccah and was buried
with his mother in the space North of the Ka'abah called Al-Hijr which
our writers continue to confuse with the city Al-Hijr. (Ibid. 165-66.)

[FN#334] This ejaculation, "In the name of Allah" is, I have noted,
equivalent to "saying grace." If neglected it is a sin and entails a

[FN#335] The ceremonious posture is sitting upon the shin-bones, not
tailor-fashion; and "bolting food" is a sign of boorishness.

[FN#336] Arab. "Zidd," the word is a fair specimen of Arabic ambiguity
meaning primarily opposite or contrary (as virtue to vice), secondarily
an enemy or a friend (as being opposite to an enemy).

[FN#337] "The whole earth (shall be) but His handful on the
Resurrection day and in His right hand shall the Heaven be rolled up
(or folded together)."-Koran xxxix. 67.

[FN#338] See Night lxxxi.

[FN#339] Koran lxxviii. 19.

[FN#340] Arab. "Al-Munαfik," technically meaning one who outwardly
professes Al-Islam while inwardly hating it. Thus the word is by no
means synonymous with our "hypocrite," hypocrisy being the homage vice
pays to virtue; a homage, I may observe, nowhere rendered more
fulsomely than among the so-called Anglo-Saxon race.

[FN#341] Arab. "Tawakkul alα 'llah": in the imperative the phrase is
vulgarly used="Be off!"

[FN#342] i.e. ceremonial impurity which is sui generis, a very
different thing from general dirtiness.

[FN#343] A thick beard is one which does not show the skin; otherwise
the wearer is a "Kausaj;" in Pers. "Kϊseh." See vol. iii., 246.

[FN#344] Arab. "Al-Khutnah." Nowhere commanded in the Koran and being
only a practice of the Prophet, the rite is not indispensable for
converts, especially the aged and the sick. Our ideas upon the subject
are very hazy, for modern "niceness" allows a "Feast of the
Circumcision," but no discussion thereon. Moses (alias Osarsiph)
borrowed the rite from the Egyptian hierophants who were all thus
"purified"; the object being to counteract the over-sensibility of the
"sixth sense" and to harden the glans against abrasions and infection
by exposure to air and friction against the dress. Almost all African
tribes practise it but the modes vary and some are exceedingly curious:
I shall notice a peculiarly barbarous fashion called Al-Salkh (the
flaying) still practised in the Arabian province Al-Asνr. (Pilgrimage
iii. 80.) There is a difference too between the Hebrew and the Moslem
rite. The Jewish operator, after snipping off the foreskin, rips up the
prepuce with his sharp thumb-nails so that the external cutis does not
retract far from the internal; and the wound, when healed, shows a
narrow ring of cicatrice. This ripping is not done by Moslems. They use
a stick as a probe passed round between glans and prepuce to ascertain
the extent of the frenum and that there is no abnormal adhesion. The
foreskin is then drawn forward and fixed by the forceps, a fork of two
bamboo splints, five or six inches long by a quarter thick, or in some
cases an iron like our compasses. This is tied tightly over the
foreskin so as to exclude about an inch and a half of the prepuce above
and three quarters below. A single stroke of the razor drawn directly
downwards removes the skin. The slight bleeding is stopped by burnt
rags or ashes and healed with cerates, pledgets and fumigations. Thus
Moslem circumcision does not prevent the skin retracting.

[FN#345] Of these 6336 versets only some 200 treat on law, civil and
ceremonial, fiscal and political, devotional and ceremonial, canonical
and ecclesiastical.

[FN#346] The learned young woman omitted Ukhnϊkh=Enoch, because not in
Koran; and if she denoted him by "Idrνs," the latter is much out of

[FN#347] Some say grandson of Shem. (Koran vii. 71.)

[FN#348] Koran vii. 63, etc.

[FN#349] Father-in-law of Moses. (Koran vii. 83.)

[FN#350] Who is the last and greatest of the twenty-five.

[FN#351] See Night ccccxxxviii.

[FN#352] Koran ii., whose 256th Ayah is the far-famed and sublime
Throne-verse which begins "Allah! there is no god but He, the Living,
the Eternal One, whom nor slumber nor sleep seizeth on!" The trivial
name is taken from the last line, "His throne overstretcheth Heaven and
Earth and to Him their preservation is no burden for He is the most
Highest, the Supreme." The lines are often repeated in prayers and
engraved on agates, etc., as portable talismans.

[FN#353] Koran ii. 159.

[FN#354] Koran xvi. 92. The verset ends with, "He warneth you, so haply
ye may be mindful."

[FN#355] Koran lxx. 38.

[FN#356] Koran xxxix. 54.

[FN#357] The Sunnis hold that the "Anbiyα" (=prophets, or rather
announcers of Allah's judgments) were not sinless. But this dogma is
branded as most irreverent and sinful by the Shi'ahs or Persian
"followers of Ali," who make capital out of this blasphemy and declare
that if any prophet sinned he sinned only against himself.

[FN#358] Koran xii. 18.

[FN#359] Koran ii. 107.

[FN#360] Koran ii. 57. He (Allah) does not use the plurale majestatis.

[FN#361] Koran ii. 28.

[FN#362] Koran xvi. 100. Satan is stoned in the Minα or Munα basin
(Night ccccxlii.) because he tempted Abraham to disobey the command of
Allah by refusing to sacrifice Ishmael. (Pilgrimage iii. 248.)

[FN#363] It may also mean "have recourse to God."

[FN#364] Abdallah ibn Abbas, before noticed, first cousin of

Mohammed and the most learned of the Companions. See D'Herbelot.

[FN#365] Koran xcvi., "Blood-clots," 1 and 2. "Read" may mean "peruse
the revelation" (it was the first Koranic chapter communicated to
Mohammed), or "recite, preach."

[FN#366] Koran xxvii. 30. Mr. Rodwell (p.1) holds to the old idea that
the "Basmalah" is of Jewish origin, taught to the Kuraysh by Omayyah,
of Taif, the poet and Hanνf (convert).

[FN#367] Koran ix.: this was the last chapter revealed and the only one
revealed entire except verse 110.

[FN#368] Ali was despatched from Al-Medinah to Meccah by the Prophet on
his own slit-eared camel to promulgate this chapter; and meeting the
assembly at Al-'Akabah he also acquainted them with four things; (1) No
Infidel may approach the Meccah temple; (2) naked men must no longer
circut the Ka'abah; (3) only Moslems enter Paradise, and (4) public
faith must be kept.

[FN#369] Dictionaries give the word "Basmalah" (=saying

Bismillah); but the common pronunciation is "Bismalah."

[FN#370] Koran xvii. 110, a passage revealed because the Infidels,
hearing Mohammed calling upon The Compassionate, imagined that
Al-Rahmαn was other deity but Allah. The "names" have two grand
divisions, Asmα Jalαlν, the fiery or terrible attributes, and the Asmα
Jamαlν (airy, watery, earthy or) amiable. Together they form the Asmα
al-Husna or glorious attributes, and do not include the Ism al-A'azam,
the ineffable name which is known only to a few.

[FN#371] Koran ii. 158.

[FN#372] Koran xcvi. before noticed.

[FN#373] A man of Al-Medinah, one of the first of Mohammed's disciples.

[FN#374] Koran lxxiv. 1, etc., supposed to have been addressed by
Gabriel to Mohammed when in the cave of Hira or Jabal Nϊr. He returned
to his wife Khadijah in sore terror at the vision of one sitting on a
throne between heaven and earth, and bade her cover him up. Whereupon
the Archangel descended with this text, supposed to be the first
revealed. Mr. Rodwell (p. 3) renders it, "O thou enwrapped in thy
mantle!" and makes it No. ii. after a Fatrah or silent interval of six
months to three years.

[FN#375] There are several versets on this subject (chapts. ii. and

[FN#376] Koran cx. 1.

[FN#377] The third Caliph; the "Writer of the Koran."

[FN#378] Koran, v. 4. Sale translates "idols." Mr. Rodwell, "On the
blocks (or shafts) of Stone," rude altars set by the pagan Arabs before
their dwellings.

[FN#379] Koran, v. 116. The words are put into the mouth of


[FN#380] The end of the same verse.

[FN#381] Koran, v. 89. Supposed to have been revealed when certain
Moslems purposed to practise Christian asceticism, fasting, watching,
abstaining from women and sleeping on hard beds. I have said Mohammed
would have "no monkery in Al-Islam," but human nature willed otherwise.
Mr. Rodwell prefers "Interdict the healthful viands."

[FN#382] Koran, iv. 124.

[FN#383] Arab. "Mukri." "Kαri" is one who reads the Koran to pupils;
the Mukri corrects them. "With the passage of the clouds" = without a
moment's hesitation.

[FN#384] The twenty-first, twenty-fourth and eighteenth Arabic letters.

[FN#385] Arab. "Hizb." The Koran is divided into sixty portions,
answering to "Lessons" for convenience of public worship.

[FN#386] Arab. "Jalαlah,"=saying Jalla Jalαlu-hu=magnified be His

Majesty!, or glorified be His Glory.

[FN#387] Koran, xi. 50.

[FN#388] The partition-wall between Heaven and Hell which others call
Al-'Urf (in the sing. from the verb meaning he separated or parted).
The Jews borrowed from the Guebres the idea of a partition between
Heaven and Hell and made it so thin that the blessed and damned can
speak together. There is much dispute about the population of
Al-A'arαf, the general idea being that they are men who do not deserve
reward in Heaven or punishment in Hell. But it is not a "Purgatory" or
place of expiating sins.

[FN#389] Koran, vii. 154.

[FN#390] A play on the word ayn, which means "eye" or the eighteenth
letter which in olden times had the form of a circle.

[FN#391] From misreading these words comes the absurd popular belief of
the moon passing up and down Mohammed's sleeves. George B. Airy (The
Athenζum, Nov.29, 1884) justly objects to Sale's translation "The hour
of judgment approacheth" and translates "The moon hath been
dichotomised" a well-known astronomical term when the light portion of
the moon is defined in a strait line: in other words when it is really
a half-moon at the first and third quarters of each lunation. Others
understand, The moon shall be split on the Last Day, the preterite for
the future in prophetic style. "Koran Moslems" of course understand it

[FN#392] Chapters liv., lv. and lvi.

[FN#393] We should say, not to utter, etc.

[FN#394] These well-known "humours of Hippocrates," which reappear in
the form of temperaments of European phrenology, are still the base of
Eastern therapeutics.

[FN#395] The doctrine of the three souls will be intelligible to


[FN#396] Arab. "Al-lαmi"=the l-shaped, curved, forked.

[FN#397] Arab. "Usus," our os sacrum because, being incorruptible, the
body will be built up thereon for Resurrection-time. Hence Hudibras
sings (iii. 2),

     "The learned Rabbis of the Jews

     Write there's a bone which they call leuz,

     I' the rump of man, etc."

It is the Heb. "Uz," whence older scholars derived os. Sale (sect. iv.)
called it "El Ajb, os coccygis or rump-bone."

[FN#398] Arab physiologists had difficulties in procuring "subjects";
and usually practised dissection on the simiads. Their illustrated
books are droll; the figures have been copied and recopied till they
have lost all resemblance to the originals.

[FN#399] The liver and spleen are held to be congealed blood.

Hence the couplet,

    "We are allowed two carrions (i.e. with throats uncut) and

         two bloods,

     The fish and the locust, the liver and the spleen."

(Pilgrimage iii. 92.)

[FN#400] This is perfectly true and yet little known to the general.

[FN#401] Koran xvii. 39.

[FN#402] Arab. "Al-malikhulνya," proving that the Greeks then
pronounced the penultimate vowel according to the acute accentνa; not
as we slur it over. In old Hebrew we have the transliteration of four
Greek words; in the languages of Hindostan many scores including names
of places; and in Latin and Arabic as many hundreds. By a scholar-like
comparison of these remains we should find little difficulty in
establishing the true Greek pronunciation since the days of Alexander
the Great; and we shall prove that it was pronounced according to
accent and emphatically not quantity. In the next century I presume
English boys will be taught to pronounce Greek as the Greeks do.

[FN#403] Educated Arabs can quote many a verse bearing upon domestic
medicine and reminding us of the lines bequeathed to Europe by the
School of Salerno. Such e.g. are;

     "After the noon-meal, sleep, although for moments twain;

     After the night-meal, walk, though but two steps be ta'en;

     And after swiving stale, though but two drops thou drain."

[FN#404] Arab. "Sarνdah" (Tharνdah), also called "ghaut"=crumbled bread
and hashed meat in broth; or bread, milk and meat. The Sarνdah of
Ghassαn, cooked with eggs and marrow, was held a dainty dish: hence the
Prophet's dictum.

[FN#405] Koran v. 92. "Lots"=games of chance and "images"=statues.

[FN#406] Koran ii. 216. The word "Maysar" which I have rendered
"gambling" or gaming (for such is the modern application of the word),
originally meant what St. Jerome calls and explains thereby the verse
(Ezek. xxi. 22), "The King held in his hand the lot of Jerusalem" i.e.
the arrow whereon the city-name was written. The Arabs use it for
casting lots with ten azlam or headless arrows (for dice) three being
blanks and the rest notched from one to seven. They were thrown by a
"Zαrib" or punter and the stake was generally a camel. Amongst so
excitable a people as the Arabs, this game caused quarrels and
bloodshed, hence its prohibition: and the theologians, who everywhere
and at all times delight in burdening human nature, have extended the
command, which is rather admonitory than prohibitive, to all games of
chance. Tarafah is supposed to allude to this practice in his

[FN#407] Liberal Moslems observe that the Koranic prohibition is not
absolute, with threat of Hell for infraction. Yet Mohammed doubtless
forbade all inebriatives and the occasion of his so doing is well
known. (Pilgrimage ii. 322.)

[FN#408] I have noticed this soured milk in Pilgrimage i. 362.

[FN#409] He does not say the "Caliph" or successor of his uncle


[FN#410] The Jewish Korah (Numbers xvi.) fabled by the Koran (xxviii.
76), following a Talmudic tradition, to have been a man of immense
wealth. The notion that lying with an old woman, after the menses have
ceased, is unwholesome, dates from great antiquity; and the benefits of
the reverse process were well known to good King David. The faces of
children who sleep with their grandparents (a bad practice now waxing
obsolete in England), of a young wife married to an old man and of a
young man married to an old woman, show a peculiar wizened appearance,
a look of age overlaying youth which cannot be mistaken.

[FN#411] Arab. "Hindibα"(=endubium): the modern term is

Shakurνyah=chicorιe. I believe it to be very hurtful to the eyes.

[FN#412] Arab. "Khuffαsh" and "Watwαt": in Egypt a woman is called
"Watwαtνyah" when the hair of her privities has been removed by
applying bats' blood. I have often heard of this; but cannot understand
how such an application can act depilatory.

[FN#413] Dictionaries render the word by "dragon, cockatrice." The
Badawin apply it to a variety of serpents mostly large and all
considered venomous.

[FN#414] Arab. "Zarr wa 'urwah," 1it.=handle. The button-hole, I have
said, is a modern invention; Urwah is also applied to the loopshaped
handle of the water-skin, for attachment of the Allαkah or suspensory

[FN#415] Koran lxx. 40; see also the chapter following, v. 16.

[FN#416] Koran x. 5; the "her" refers to the sun.

[FN#417] Koran xxxvi. 40.

[FN#418] Koran xxii. 60.

[FN#419] Arab. "Manαzil:" these are the Hindu "Nakshatra"; extensively
used in meteorology even by Europeans unconsciously: thus they will
speak of the Elephantina-storm without knowing anything of the lunar
mansion so called. The names in the text are successively Sharatαn=two
horns of the Ram; (2) the Ram's belly; (3) the Pleiades; (4) Aldebaran;
(5) three stars in Orion's head; (6) ditto in Orion's shoulder; (7) two
stars above the Twins; (8) Lion's nose and first summer station; (9)
Lion's eye; (1O) Lion's forehead; (11) Lion's mane; (12) Lion's heart;
(13) the Dog, two stars in Virgo; (14) Spica Virginis; (15) foot of
Virgo; (16) horns of Scorpio; (17) the Crown; (18) heart of Scorpio;
(19) tail of Scorpio; (2O) stars in Pegasus; (21) where no
constellation appears; (22) the Slaughterer's luck; (23) Glutton's
luck; (24) Luck of Lucks, stars in Aquarius; (25) Luck of Tents, stars
in Aquarius; (26) the fore-lip or spout of Urn; (27) hind lip of Urn;
and (28) in navel of Fish's belly (Batn al-Hϊt); of these 28, to each
of the four seasons 7 are allotted.

[FN#420] The Hebrew absey, still used by Moslems in chronograms. For
mnemonic purposes the 28 letters are distributed into eight words of
which the first and second are Abjad and Hawwaz. The last six letters
in two words (Thakhiz and Zuzigh) are Arabian, unknown to the Jews and
not found in Syriac.

[FN#421] Arab. "Zindνk;" properly, one who believes in two gods (the
old Persian dualism); in books an atheist, i.e. one who does not
believe in a god or gods; and, popularly, a free-thinker who denies the
existence of a Supreme Being, rejects revelation for the laws of Nature
imprinted on the heart of man and for humanity in its widest sense.
Hence he is accused of permitting incestuous marriages and other
abominations. We should now call him (for want of something better) an

[FN#422] Koran xxxi. 34. The words may still be applied to
meteorologists especially of the scientific school. Even the
experienced (as the followers of the late Mathieu de la Drτme) reckon
far more failures than successes. The Koranic passage enumerates five
things known only to Allah; Judgment-day; rain; sex of child in womb;
what shall happen to-morrow and where a man shall die.

[FN#423] The fifth and seventh months (January and March) of the Coptic
year which, being solar, is still used by Arab and Egyptian
meteorologists. Much information thereon will be found in the "Egyptian
Calendar" by Mr. Mitchell, Alexandria, 1876. It bears the appropriate
motto "Anni certus modus apud solos semper Egyptios fuit." (Macrobius.)
See also Lane M.E., chapt. ix.

[FN#424] Vulg. Kiyαk; the fourth month, beginning 9th—1Oth

December. The first month is Tϊt, commencing 1Oth—11th


[FN#425] The 8th and 12th months partly corresponding with April and
August: Hαtϊr is the 3rd (November) and AmshRr the 6th (February).

[FN#426] Moslems have been compelled to adopt infidel names for the
months because Mohammed's Koranic rejection of Nasy or intercalation
makes their lunar months describe the whole circle of the seasons in a
cycle of about thirty-three and a half years. Yet they have retained
the terms which contain the original motive of the denomination. The
first month is Muharram, the "Holy," because war was forbidden; it was
also known as Safar No. 1. The second Safar="Emptiness," because during
the heats citizens left the towns and retired to Tαif and other cool
sites. Rabν'a (first and second) alluded to the spring-pasturages;
Jumαdα (first and second) to the "hardening" of the dry ground and,
according to some, to the solidification, freezing, of the water in the
highlands. Rajab (No.7)="worshipping," especially by sacrifice, is also
known as Al-Asamm the deaf; because being sacred, the rattle of arms
was unheard. Sha'abαn="collecting," dispersing, ruining, because the
tribal wars recommenced: Ramazan (intensely hot) has been explained and
Shawwαl (No. 10) derives from Shaul (elevating) when the he-camels
raise their tails in rut. Zϊ'l-Ka'adah, the sedentary, is the rest time
of the year, when fighting is forbidden and Zu'l-Hijjah explains itself
as the pilgrimage-month.

[FN#427] The lowest of the seven.

[FN#428] Koran xxxvii. 5.

[FN#429] Arab. "Faylasϊf," an evident corruption from the Greek.
Amongst the vulgar it denotes a sceptic, an atheist; much the same a
"Frammαsϊn" or Freemason. The curious reader will consult the Dabistan,
vol. iii. chapt. xi. p. 138 et seq. "On the Religion of the Wise"
(philosophi), and, Beaconsfield's theft from Shaftesbury.

[FN#430] Koran xxxvi. 37-38.

[FN#431] Koran xxii. 7. The Hour i.e. of Judgment.

[FN#432] Koran xx. 58. The Midrasch Tanchumah on Exod. vii. gives a
similar dialogue between Pharaoh and Moses. (Rodwell, in loco.)

[FN#433] Arab. "Sham'ϊn" or "Shim'ϊn," usually applied to Simon

Peter (as in Acts xv. 14). But the text alludes to Saint Simeon

(Luke ii. 25-35). See Gospel of Infancy (ii. 8) and especially

the Gospel of Nicodemus (xii. 3) which makes him a High-Priest.

[FN#434] Sαlih the Patriarch's she-camel, miraculously produced from
the rock in order to convert the Thamϊd-tribe. (Koran vii.)

[FN#435] When Abu Bakr was hiding with Mohammed in a cave on the Hill
Al-Saur (Thaur or Thϊr, Pilgrimage ii. 131) South of Meccah, which must
not be confounded with the cave on Jabal Hirα now called Jabal Nϊr on
the way to Arafat (Pilgrimage iii. 246), the fugitives were protected
by a bird which built her nest at the entrance (according to another
legend it was curtained by a spider's web), whilst another bird (the
crow of whom I shall presently speak) tried to betray them. The first
bird is popularly supposed to have been a pigeon, and is referred to by

     "Th' apostles of this fierce religion

     Like Mahomet, were ass and widgeon."

The ass I presume alludes to the marvellous beast Al-Burαk which the
Greeks called from (Euthymius in Pocock, Spec. A.H. p.144) and which
Indian Moslems picture with human face, ass's ears, equine body and
peacock's wings and tail. The "widgeon" I presume to be a mistake or a
misprint for pigeon.

[FN#436] The Arabs are not satisfied with the comparative moderation of
the Hebrew miracle, and have added all manner of absurdities.
(Pilgrimage ii. 288.)

[FN#437] Koran lxxxi. 18. Sale translates "by the morning when it
appeareth;" and the word (tanaffus) will bear this meaning. Mr. Rodwell
prefers, "By the dawn when it clears away the darkness by its breath."

[FN#438] As a rule Moslems are absurdly ignorant of arithmetic and
apparently cannot master it. Hence in Egypt they used Copts for
calculating-machines and further East Hindds. The mildest numerical
puzzle, like the above, is sure of success.

[FN#439] The paradiseal tree which supplied every want. Mohammed
borrowed it from the Christians (Rev. xxi. 10-21 and xxii. 1-2) who
placed in their paradise the Tree of Life which bears twelve sorts of
fruits and leaves of healing virtue. (See also the 3rd book of Hermas,
his Similitudes.) The Hebrews borrowed it from the Persians. Amongst
the Hindus it appears as "Kalpavriksha;" amongst the Scandinavians as
Yggdrasil. The curious reader will consult Mr. James Fergusson's
learned work, "Tree and Serpent Worship," etc. London, 1873.

[FN#440] Aaron's Rod becomes amongst Moslems (Koran vii. 110) Moses'
Staff; the size being that of a top-mast. (Pilgrimage i. 300, 301.) In
Koran xx. 18, 19, we find a notice of its uses; and during the Middle
Ages it reappeared in the Staff of Wamba the Goth (A.D.672-680) the
witch's broomstick was its latest development.

[FN#441] Christ, say the Eutychians, had only one nature, the divine;
so he was crucified in effigy.

[FN#442] Jesus is compared with Adam in the Koran (chapt. iii.): his
titles are Kalαmu 'llah (word of God) because engendered without a
father, and Rϊhu 'llah (breath of God) because conceived by Gabriel in
the shape of a beautifui youth breathing into the Virgin's vulva. Hence
Moslems believe in a "miraculous conception" and consequently determine
that one so conceived was, like Elias and Khizr, not subject to death;
they also hold him born free from "original sin" (a most sinful
superstition), a veil being placed before the Virgin and Child against
the Evil One who could not touch them. He spoke when a babe in cradle;
he performed miracles of physic; he was taken up to Heaven; he will
appear as the forerunner of Mohammed on the White Tower of Damascus,
and finally he will be buried at Al-Medinah. The Jews on the other hand
speak of him as "that man:" they hold that he was begotten by Joseph
during the menstrual period and therefore a born magician. Moreover he
learned the Sham ha-maphrash or Nomen tetragrammaton, wrote it on
parchment and placed it in an incision in his thigh, which closed up on
the Name being mentioned (Buxtorf, Lex Talmud, 25-41). Other details
are given in the Toldoth Jesu (Historia Joshuζ Nazareni). This note
should be read by the eminent English littιrateur who discovered a
fact, well known to Locke and Carlyle, that "Mohammedans are
Christians." So they are and something more.

[FN#443] In the Kalamdαn, or pen-case, is a little inkstand of metal
occupying the top of the long, narrow box.

[FN#444] A fair specimen of the riddle known as the "surprise."

[FN#445] Koran xli. 10.

[FN#446] Koran xxxvi. 82.

[FN#447] Here we enter upon a series of disputed points. The Wahhαbis
deny the intercession of the Apostle (Pilgrimage ii. 76-77). The
Shi'ahs place Ali next in dignity to Mohammed and there is a sect
(Ali-Ilαhi) which believes him to be an Avatar or incarnation of the
Deity. For the latter the curious reader will consult the "Dabistan,"
ii. 451. The Koran by its many contradictions seems to show that
Mohammed never could make up his own mind on the subject, thinking
himself at times an intercessor and then sharply denying all

[FN#448] Arab. "Kanjifah"=a pack of cards; corrupted from the Persian
"Ganjνfah." We know little concerning the date or origin of this game
in the East, where the packs are quite unlike ours.

[FN#449] It is interesting to compare this account with the pseudo Ovid
and with Tale clxvi. in Gesta "Of the game of Schaci." Its Schacarium
is the chess-board. Rochus (roccus, etc.) is not from the Germ. Rock (a
coat) but from Rukh (Pers. a hero, a knight-errant) Alphinus (Ital.
Alfino) is Al-Firzαn (Pers. science, wise).

[FN#450] Arab, "Baydak" or "Bayzak"; a corruption of the Persian
"Piyαdah"=a footman, peon, pawn; and proving whence the Arabs derived
the game. The Persians are the readiest backgammon-players known to me,
better even than the Greeks; they throw the dice from the hand and
continue foully abusing the fathers and mothers of the "bones" whilst
the game lasts. It is often played in the intervals of dinner by the
higher classes in Persia.

[FN#451] Metaphor from loading camels and mules. To "eat" a piece is to
take it.

[FN#452] Arab. "Bilαbil"; a plural of "Bulbul" with a double entendre
balαbil (plur. of ballalah)=heart's troubles, and "balα, bul"=a
calamity, nay, etc.

[FN#453] The popular English idea of the Arab horse is founded upon
utter unfact. Book after book tells us, "There are three distinct
breeds of Arabians -the Attechi, a very superior breed; the Kadishi,
mixed with these and of little value; and the Kochlani, highly prized
and very difficult to procure." "Attechi" may be At-Tαzi (the Arab
horse, or hound) or some confusion with "At" (Turk.) a horse. "Kadish"
(Gadish or Kidish) is a nag; a gelding, a hackney, a "pacer" (generally
called "Rahwαn"). "Kochlani" is evidently "Kohlαni," the Kohl-eyed,
because the skin round the orbits is dark as if powdered. This is the
true blue blood; and the bluest of all is "Kohlαni al-Ajϊz" (of the old
woman) a name thus accounted for. An Arab mare dropped a filly when in
flight; her rider perforce galloped on and presently saw the foal
appear in camp, when it was given to an old woman for nursing and grew
up to be famous. The home of the Arab horse is the vast plateau of
Al-Najd: the Tahαmah or lower maritime regions of Arabia, like Malabar,
will not breed good beasts. The pure blood all descends from five
collateral lines called Al-Khamsah (the Cinque). Literary and pedantic
Arabs derive them from the mares of Mohammed, a native of the dry and
rocky region, Al-Hijaz, whither horses are all imported. Others go back
(with the Koran, chapt. xxviii.) to Solomon, possibly Salmαn, a
patriarch fourth in descent from Ishmael and some 600 years older than
the Hebrew King. The Badawi derive the five from Rabν'at al-Faras (R.
of the mare) fourth in descent from Adnαn, the fount of Arab genealogy.
But they differ about the names: those generally given are Kahilan
(Kohaylat), Saklαwi (which the Badawin pronounce Saglαwi), Abayαn, and
Hamdαni; others substitute Manαkhi (the long-maned), Tanνs and Jalfϊn.
These require no certificate amongst Arabs; for strangers a simple
statement is considered enough. The Badawin despise all half-breeds
(Arab sires and country mares), Syrian, Turkish, Kurdish and Egyptian.
They call these (first mentioned in the reign of Ahmes, B.C. 1600) the
"sons of horses"; as opposed to "sons of mares," or thorough-breds. Nor
do they believe in city-bred animals. I have great doubts concerning
our old English sires, such as the Darley Arabian which looks like a
Kurdish half-bred, the descendant of those Cappadocians so much prized
by the Romans: in Syria I rode a "Harfϊshν" (Kurd) the very image of
it. There is no difficulty in buying Arab stallions except the price.
Of course the tribe does not like to part with what may benefit the
members generally; but offers of £500 to £1,000 would overcome men's
scruples. It is different with mares, which are almost always the joint
property of several owners. The people too dislike to see a hat on a
thorough-bred mare: "What hast thou done that thou art ridden by that
ill-omened Kafir?" the Badawin used to mutter when they saw a highly
respectable missionary at Damascus mounting a fine Ruwalα mare. The
feeling easily explains the many wars about horses occurring in Arab
annals, e.g. about Dαhis and Ghabrα. (C. de Perceval, Essas, vol.ii.)

[FN#454] The stricter kind of Eastern Jew prefers to die on the floor,
not in bed, as was the case with the late Mr. Emmanuel Deutsch, who in
his well-known article on the Talmud had the courage to speak of "Our
Saviour." But as a rule the Israelite, though he mostly appears as a
Deist, a Unitarian, has a fund of fanatical feelings which crop up in
old age and near death. The "converts" in Syria and elsewhere, whose
Judaism is intensified by "conversion," when offers are made to them by
the missionaries repair to the Khαkhαm (scribe) and, after abundant
wrangling determine upon a modus vivendi. They are to pay a proportion
of their wages, to keep careful watch in the cause of Israel and to die
orthodox. In Istria there is a legend of a Jew Prior in a convent who
was not discovered till he announced himself most unpleasantly on his
death-bed. For a contrary reason to Jewish humility, the Roman Emperors
preferred to die standing.

[FN#455] He wished to die in a state of ceremonial purity; as has
before been mentioned.

[FN#456] Arab. "Badal": in Sind (not to speak of other places) it was
customary to hire a pauper "badal" to be hanged in stead of a rich man.
Sir Charles Napier signed many a death-warrant before he ever heard of
the practice.

[FN#457] Arab. "La'an" = curse. The word is in every mouth though
strongly forbidden by religion. Even of the enemies of Al-Islam the
learned say, "Ila'an Yezνd wa lα tazνd" = curse Yezid but do not exceed
(i.e. refrain from cursing the others). This, however, is in the
Shafi'ν school and the Hanafνs do not allow it (Pilgrimage i. 198).
Hence the Moslem when scrupulous uses na'al (shoe) for la'an (curse) as
Ina'al abϊk (for Ila'an abu'-k) or, drat (instead of damn) your father.
Men must hold Supreme Intelligence to be of feeble kind if put off by
such miserable pretences.

[FN#458] Koran vi. 44, speaking of the Infidels. It is a most unamiable
chapter, with such assertions as "Allah leadeth into error whom He
pleaseth," etc.

[FN#459] Alluding to the "formication" which accompanies a stroke of

[FN#460] Pronounce Zool Karnayn.

[FN#461] i.e. the Koranic and our mediζval Alexander, Lord of the two
Horns (East and West) much "Matagrobolized" and very different from him
of Macedon. The title is variously explained, from two protuberances on
his head or helm, from two long locks and, possibly, from the ram-horns
of Jupiter Ammon. The anecdote in the text seems suggested by the
famous interview (probably a canard) with Diogenes: see in the Gesta,
Tale cxlvi., "The answer of Diomedes the Pirate to Alexander." Iskandar
was originally called Marzbαn (Lord of the Marches), son of Marzabah;
and, though descended from Yunαn, son of Japhet, the eponymus of the
Greeks, was born obscure, the son of an old woman. According to the
Persians he was the son of the Elder Dαrαb (Darius Codomannus of the
Kayanian or Second dynasty), by a daughter of Philip of Macedon; and
was brought up by his grandfather. When Abraham and Isaac had rebuilt
the Ka'abah they foregathered with him and Allah sent him forth against
the four quarters of the earth to convert men to the faith of the
Friend or to cut their throats; thus he became one of the four
world-conquerors with Nimrod, Solomon, Bukht al-Nasr (Nabochodonosor);
and he lived down two generations of men. His Wazir was Aristϊ (the
Greek Aristotle) and he carried a couple of flags, white and black,
which made day and night for him and facilitated his conquests. At the
end of Persia, where he was invited by the people, on account of the
cruelty of his half brother Darab II., he came upon two huge mountains
on the same line, behind which dwelt a host of abominable pygmies, two
spans high, with curious eyes, ears which served as mattresses and
coverlets, huge fanged mouths, lions' claws and hairy hind quarters.
They ate men, destroyed everything, copulated in public and had swarms
of children. These were Yαjϊj and Mαjϊj (Gog and Magog) descendants of
Japhet. Sikandar built against them the famous wall with stones
cemented and riveted by iron and copper. The "Great Wall" of China, the
famous bulwark against the Tartars, dates from B.C. 320 (Alexander of
Macedon died B.C. 324); and as the Arabs knew Canton well before
Mohammed's day, they may have built their romance upon it. The Guebres
consigned Sikandar to hell for burning the Nusks or sections of the

[FN#462] These terrific preachments to Eastern despots (who utterly
ignore them) are a staple produce of Oriental tale-literature and form
the chiaro-oscuro, as it were, of a picture whose lights are brilliant
touches of profanity and indelicate humour. It certainly has the charm
of contrast. Much of the above is taken from the Sikandar-nameh
(Alexander Book) of the great Persian poet, Nizαmi, who flourished A.H.
515-597, between the days of Firdausi (ob. A.D.1021) and Sa'adi (ob.
A.D. 1291). In that romance Sikandar builds, "where the sun goes down,"
a castle of glittering stone which kills men by causing excessive
laughter and surrounds it with yellow earth like gold. Hence the City
of Brass. He also converts, instead of being converted by, the savages
of the text. He finds a stone of special excellence which he calls
Almαs (diamond); and he obtains it from the Valley of Serpents by
throwing down flesh to the eagles. Lastly he is accompanied by
"Bilνnas" or "Bilνnus," who is apparently Apollonius of Tyana.

[FN#463] I have explained the beautiful name in Night cclxxxix:

He is stil famous for having introduced into Persia the fables of

Pilpay (Bidyapati, the lord of lore) and a game which the genius

of Persia developed into chess.

[FN#464] Here we find an eternal truth, of which Malthusians ever want
reminding; that the power of a nation simply consists in its numbers of
fighting men and in their brute bodily force. The conquering race is
that which raises most foot-pounds: hence the North conquers the South
in the Northern hemisphere and visa versa.

[FN#465] Arab. "Wayha," not so strong as "Woe to," etc. Al-Hariri often
uses it as a formula of affectionate remonstrance.

[FN#466] As a rule (much disputed) the Sayyid is a descendant from
Mohammed through his grandchild Hasan, and is a man of the pen; whereas
the Sharif derives from Husayn and is a man of the sword. The Najνb
al-taraf is the son of a common Moslemah by a Sayyid, as opposed to the
"Najib al-tarafayn," when both parents are of Apostolic blood. The
distinction is not noticed in Lane's "Modern Egyptians". The Sharif is
a fanatic and often dangerous, as I have instanced in Pilgrimage iii.

[FN#467] A theologian of Bassorah (eighth century): surnamed Abϊ Yahyα.
The prayer for mercy denotes that he was dead when the tale was

[FN#468] A theologian of Bassorah (eighth century).

[FN#469] Arab. "Musallα"; lit. a place of prayer; an oratory, a chapel,
opp. to "Jαmi'" = a (cathedral) mosque.

[FN#470] According to all races familiar with the negro, a calf like a
shut fist planted close under the ham is, like the "cucumber shin" and
"lark heel", a good sign in a slave. Shapely calves and well-made legs
denote the idle and the ne'er-do-well. I have often found this true
although the rule is utterly empirical. Possibly it was suggested by
the contrast of the nervous and lymphatic temperaments.

[FN#471] These devotees address Allah as a lover would his beloved. The
curious reader will consult for instances the Dabistan on Tasawwuf (ii.
221; i.,iii. end, and passim).

[FN#472] Arab. "Ma'rifat," Pers. Dαnish; the knowledge of the Truth.
The seven steps are (1) Sharν'at, external law like night; (2) Tarνkat,
religious rule like the stars; (3) Hakνkat, reality, truth like the
moon; (4) Ma'arifat like the sun; (5) Kurbat, proximity to Allah; (6)
Wasνlat, union with Allah, and (7) Suknat, dwelling in Allah. (Dabistan

[FN#473] Name of a fountain of Paradise: See Night xlix., vol. ii.,

[FN#474] Arab. "Atbαk"; these trays are made of rushes, and the fans of
palm-leaves or tail-feathers.

[FN#475] Except on the two great Festivals when fasting is forbidden.
The only religion which has shown common sense in this matter is that
of the Guebres or Parsis: they consider fasting neither meritorious nor
lawful; and they honour Hormuzd by good living "because it keeps the
soul stronger." Yet even they have their food superstitions, e.g. in
Gate No. xxiv.: "Beware of sin specially on the day thou eatest flesh,
for flesh is the diet of Ahriman." And in India the Guebres have copied
the Hindus in not slaughtering horned cattle for the table.

[FN#476] Arab. "Jallαbiyah," a large-sleeved robe of coarse stuff worn
by the poor.

[FN#477] His fear was that his body might be mutilated by the fall.

[FN#478] The phrase means "offering up many and many a prayer."

[FN#479] A saying of Mohammed is recorded "Al-fakru fakhrν" (poverty is
my pride!), intelligible in a man who never wanted for anything. Here
he is diametrically opposed to Ali who honestly abused poverty; and the
Prophet seems to have borrowed from Christendom, whose "Lazarus and
Dives" shows a man sent to Hell because he enjoyed a very modified
Heaven in this life and which suggested that one of the man's greatest
miseries is an ecclesiastical virtue—"Holy Poverty"—represented in the
Church as a bride young and lovely. If a "rich man can hardly enter the
kingdom" what must it be with a poor man whose conditions are far more
unfavourable? Going to the other extreme we may say that Poverty is the
root of all evil and the more so as it curtails man's power of
benefiting others. Practically I observe that those who preach and
praise it the most, practise it the least willingly: the ecclesiastic
has always some special reasons, a church or a school is wanted; but
not the less he wishes for more money. In Syria this Holy Poverty leads
to strange abuses. At Bayrut I recognised in most impudent beggers
well-to-do peasants from the Kasrawαn district, and presently found out
that whilst their fields were under snow they came down to the coast,
enjoyed a genial climate and lived on alms. When I asked them if they
were not ashamed to beg, they asked me if I was ashamed of following in
the footsteps of the Saviour and Apostles. How much wiser was Zoroaster
who found in the Supreme Paradise (Minuwαn-minu) "many persons, rich in
gold and silver who had worshipped the Lord and had been grateful to
Him." (Dabistan i. 265.)

[FN#480] Koran vii. 52.

[FN#481] Arab. "Al-bayt" = the house. The Arabs had probably learned
this pleasant mode of confinement from the Chinese whose Kea or Cangue
is well known. The Arabian form of it is "Ghull," or portable pillory,
which reprobates will wear on Judgment Day.

[FN#482] This commonest conjuring trick in the West becomes a miracle
in the credulous East.

[FN#483] Arab. "Kαnϊn"; the usual term is Mankal (pron. Mangal) a pan
of copper or brass. Some of these "chafing-dishes" stand four feet high
and are works of art. Lane (M.E. chapt. iv) gives an illustration of
the simpler kind, together with the "Azikν," a smaller pan for heating
coffee. See Night dxxxviii.

[FN#484] See vol. iii., p.239. The system is that of the Roman As and
Unciae. Here it would be the twenty-fourth part of a dinar or miskal;
something under 5d. I have already noted that all Moslem rulers are
religiously bound to some handicraft, if it be only making toothpicks.
Mohammed abolished kingship proper as well as priestcraft.

[FN#485] Al-Islam, where salvation is found under the shade of the

[FN#486] Moslems like the Classics (Aristotle and others) hold the
clitoris (Zambϊr) to be the sedes et scaturigo veneris which, says
Sonnini, is mere profanity. In the babe it protrudes beyond the labiζ
and snipping off the head forms female circumcision. This rite is
supposed by Moslems to have been invented by Sarah who so mutilated
Hagar for jealousy and was afterwards ordered by Allah to have herself
circumcised at the same time as Abraham. It is now (or should be)
universal in Al-Islam and no Arab would marry a girl "unpurified" by
it. Son of an "uncircumcised" mother (Ibn al-bazrα) is a sore insult.
As regards the popular idea that Jewish women were circumcised till the
days of Rabbi Gershom (A.D.1000) who denounced it as a scandal to the
Gentiles, the learned Prof. H. Graetz informs me, with some
indignation, that the rite was never practised and that the great Rabbi
contended only against polygamy. Female circumcision, however, is I
believe the rule amongst some outlying tribes of Jews. The rite is the
proper complement of male circumcision, evening the sensitiveness of
the genitories by reducing it equally in both sexes: an uncircumcised
woman has the venereal orgasm much sooner and oftener than a
circumcised man, and frequent coitus would injure her health; hence I
believe, despite the learned historian, that it is practised by some
Eastern Jews. "Excision" is universal amongst the negroids of the Upper
Nile (Werne), the Somαl and other adjacent tribes. The operator, an old
woman, takes up the instrument, a knife or razor-blade fixed into a
wooden handle, and with three sweeps cuts off the labia and the head of
the clitoris. The parts are then sewn up with a packneedle and a thread
of sheepskin; and in Dar-For a tin tube is inserted for the passage of
urine. Before marriage the bridegroom trains himself for a month on
beef, honey and milk; and, if he can open his bride with the natural
weapon, he is a sworder to whom no woman in the tribe can deny herself.
If he fails, he tries penetration with his fingers and by way of last
resort whips out his whittle and cuts the parts open. The sufferings of
the first few nights must be severe. The few Somαli prostitutes who
practised at Aden always had the labiζ and clitoris excised and the
skin showing the scars of coarse sewing. The moral effect of female
circumcision is peculiar. While it diminishes the heat of passion it
increases licentiousness, and breeds a debauchery of mind far worse
than bodily unchastity, because accompanied by a peculiar cold cruelty
and a taste for artificial stimulants to "luxury." It is the
sexlessness of a spayed canine imitated by the suggestive brain of

[FN#487] Koran vi. So called because certain superstitions about

Cattle are therein mentioned.

[FN#488] Koran iv. So called because it treats of marriages, divorces,

[FN#489] Sνdi (contracted from Sayyidν = my lord) is a title still
applied to holy men in Marocco and the Maghrib; on the East African
coast it is assumed by negro and negroid Moslems, e.g. Sidi Mubαrak
Bombay; and "Seedy boy" is the Anglo-Indian term for a Zanzibar-man.
"Khawwαs" is one who weaves palm-leaves (Khos) into baskets, mats,
etc.: here, however, it may be an inherited name.

[FN#490] i.e. in spirit; the "strangers yet" of poor dear Richard

Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton.

[FN#491] Al-Hakk = the Truth, one of the ninety-nine names of


[FN#492] The Moslem is still unwilling to address Salαm (Peace be with
you) to the Christian, as it is obligatory (Farz) to a Moslem (Koran,
chapt. iv. and lxviii.). He usually evades the difficulty by saluting
the nearest Moslem or by a change of words Allah Yahdν-k (Allah direct
thee to the right way) or "Peace be upon us and the righteous
worshipers of Allah" (not you) or Al-Samm (for Salam) alayka = poison
to thee. The idea is old: Alexander of Alexandria in his circular
letter describes the Arian heretics as "men whom it is not lawful to
salute or to bid God-speed."

[FN#493] Koran xxxvi. 82. I have before noted that this famous phrase
was borrowed from the Hebrews, who borrowed it from the Egyptians.

[FN#494] The story of Moses and Khizr has been noticed before. See
Koran chapt. xviii. 64 et seq. It is also related, says Lane (ii. 642),
by Al-Kazwνni in the Ajαib al-Makhlϊkαt. This must be "The Angel and
the Hermit" in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale lxxx. which possibly gave rise
to Parnell's Hermit; and Tale cxxvii. "Of Justice and Equity." The
Editor says it "contains a beautiful lesson:" I can find only excellent
excuses for "doing evil that good may come of it."

[FN#495] Koran chapt. v.108.

[FN#496] The doggrel is phenomenal.

[FN#497] He went in wonder and softened heart to see the miracle of
saintly affection.

[FN#498] In Sufistical parlance, the creature is the lover and the
Creator the Beloved: worldly existence is Disunion, parting, severance;
and the life to come is Reunion. The basis of the idea is the human
soul being a divinζ particula aurζ, a disjoined molecule from the Great
Spirit, imprisoned in a jail of flesh; and it is so far valuable that
it has produced a grand and pathetic poetry; but Common Sense asks,
Where is the proof? And Reason wants to know, What does it all mean?

[FN#499] Koran xiii. 41.

[FN#500] Robinson Crusoe, with a touch of Arab prayerfulness.

Also the story of the Knight Placidus in the Gesta (cx.),

Boccaccio, etc.

[FN#501] Arabs note two kinds of leprosy, "Bahak" or "Baras" the common
or white, and "Juzam" the black leprosy; the leprosy of the joints, mal
rouge. Both are attributed to undue diet as eating fish and drinking
milk; and both are treated with tonics, especially arsenic. Leprosy is
regarded by Moslems as a Scriptural malady on account of its prevalence
amongst the Israelites who, as Manetho tells us, were expelled from
Egypt because they infected and polluted the population. In mediζval
Christendom an idea prevailed that the Saviour was a leper; hence the
term "morbus sacer"; the honours paid to the sufferers by certain
Saints and the Papal address (Clement III. A.D.1189) dilectis filiis
leprosis. (Farrar's Life of Christ, i.149.) For the "disgusting and
impetuous lust" caused by leprosy, see Sonnini (p.560) who visited the
lepers at Canea in Candia. He is one of many who describes this
symptom; but in the Brazil, where the foul malady still prevails, I
never heard of it.

[FN#502] A city in Irak; famous for the three days' battle which caused
the death of Yezdegird, last Sassanian king.

[FN#503] A mountain pass near Meccah famous for the "First Fealty of
the Steep" (Pilgrimage ii. 126). The mosque was built to commemorate
the event.

[FN#504] To my surprise I read in Mr. Redhouse's "Mesnevi" (Trubner,
1881), "Arafat, the mount where the victims are slaughtered by the
pilgrims." (p.60). This ignorance is phenomenal. Did Mr. Redhouse never
read Burckhardt or Burton?

[FN#505] i.e. listening to the sermon.

[FN#506] It is sad doggrel.

[FN#507] This long story, containing sundry episodes and occupying
fifty-three Nights, is wholly omitted by Lane (ii. 643) because "it is
a compound of the most extravagant absurdities." He should have enabled
his readers to form their own judgment.

[FN#508] Called Jamasp (brother and minister of the ancient Persian
King Gushtasp) in the translations of Trebutien and others from Von

[FN#509] The usual term of lactation in the East, prolonged to two
years and a-half, which is considered the rule laid down by the Shara'
or precepts of the Prophet. But it is not unusual to see children of
three and even four years hanging to their mothers' breasts. During
this period the mother does not cohabit with her husband; the
separation beginning with her pregnancy. Such is the habit, not only of
the "lower animals," but of all ancient peoples, the Egyptians (from
whom the Hebrews borrowed it), the Assyrians and the Chinese. I have
discussed its bearing upon pregnancy in my "City of the Saints": the
Mormons insist upon this law of purity being observed; and the beauty,
strength and good health of the younger generation are proofs of their

[FN#510] Thus distinguishing it from "Asal-kasab," cane honey or sugar.
See vol. i., 271.

[FN#511] The student of Hinduism will remember the Nαga-Kings and

Queens (Melusines and Echidnζ) who guard the earth-treasures in

Naga-land. The first appearance of the snake in literature is in

Egyptian hieroglyphs, where he forms the letters f and t, and

acts as a determinative in the shape of a Cobra di Capello

(Coluber Naja) with expanded hood.

[FN#512] In token that he was safe.

[FN#513] "Akhir al-Zamαn." As old men praise past times, so prophets
prefer to represent themselves as the last. The early Christians caused
much scandal amongst the orderly law-loving Romans by their wild and
mistaken predictions of the end of the world being at hand. The
catastrophe is a fact for each man under the form of death; but the
world has endured for untold ages and there is no apparent cause why it
should not endure as many more. The "latter days," as the religious
dicta of most "revelations" assure us, will be richer in sinners than
in sanctity: hence "End of Time" is a facetious Arab title for a
villain of superior quality. My Somali escort applied it to one thus
distinguished: in 1875, I heard at Aden that he ended life by the spear
as we had all predicted.

[FN#514] Jahannam and the other six Hells are personified as feminine;
and (woman-like) they are somewhat addicted to prolix speechification.

[FN#515] These puerile exaggerations are fondly intended to act as
nurses frighten naughty children.

[FN#516] Alluding to an oft-quoted saying "Lau lα-ka, etc. Without thee
(O Mohammed) We (Allah) had not created the spheres," which may have
been suggested by "Before Abraham was, I am" (John viii. 58); and by
Gate xci. of Zoroastrianism "O Zardusht for thy sake I have created the
world" (Dabistan i. 344). The sentiment is by no means "Shi'ah," as my
learned friend Prof. Aloys Springer supposes. In his Mohammed (p. 220)
we find an extract from a sectarian poet, "For thee we dispread the
earth; for thee we caused the waters to flow; for thee we vaulted the
heavens." As Baron Alfred von Kremer, another learned and experienced
Orientalist, reminds me, the "Shi'ahs" have always shown a decided
tendency to this kind of apotheosis and have deified or quasi-deified
Ali and the Imams. But the formula is first found in the highly
orthodox Burdah poem of Al-Busiri:—

"But for him (Lau lα-hu) the world had never come out of nothingness."

Hence it has been widely diffused. See Les Aventures de Kamrup (pp.
146-7) and Les uvres de Wali (pp. 51-52), by M. Garcin de Tassy and the
Dabistan (vol. i. pp. 2-3).

[FN#517] Arab. "Sνmiyα" from the Pers., a word apparently built on the
model of "Kαmiyα" = alchemy, and applied, I have said, to fascination,
minor miracles and white magic generally like the Hindu "Indrajal." The
common term for Alchemy is Ilm al-Kαf (the K-science) because it is not
safe to speak of it openly as Alchemy.

[FN#518] Mare Tenebrarum = Sea of Darknesses; usually applied to the
"mournful and misty Atlantic."

[FN#519] Some Moslems hold that Solomon and David were buried in
Jerusalem, others on the shore of Lake Tiberias. Mohammed, according to
the history of Al-Tabari (p. 56 vol. i. Duleux's "Chronique de Tabari")
declares that the Jinni bore Solomon's corpse to a palace hewn in the
rock upon an island surrounded by a branch of the "Great Sea" and set
him on a throne, with his ring still on his finger, under a guard of
twelve Jinns. "None hath looked upon the tomb save only two, Affan who
took Bulukiya as his companion: with extreme pains they arrived at the
spot, and Affan was about to carry off the ring when a thunderbolt
consumed him. So Bulukiya returned."

[FN#520] Koran xxxviii. 34, or, "art the liberal giver."

[FN#521] i.e. of the last trumpet blown by the Archangel Israfil: an
idea borrowed from the Christians. Hence the title of certain
churches—ad Tubam.

[FN#522] This may mean that the fruits were fresh and dried like dates
or tamarinds (a notable wonder), or soft and hard of skin like grapes
and pomegranates.

[FN#523] Arab. "Ai-lksνr" meaning lit. an essence; also the
philosopher's stone.

[FN#524] Name of the Jinni whom Solomon imprisoned in Lake

Tiberias (See vol. i., 41).

[FN#525] Vulgarly pronounced "Jahannum." The second hell is usually
assigned to Christians. As there are seven Heavens (the planetary
orbits) so, to satisfy Moslem love of symmetry, there must be as many
earths and hells under the earth. The Egyptians invented these grim
abodes, and the marvellous Persian fancy worked them into poem.

[FN#526] Arab. "Yαjϊj and Majuj," first named in Gen. x. 2, which gives
the ethnology of Asia Minor, circ. B.C. 800. "Gomer" is the Gimri or
Cymmerians; "Magog" the original Magi, a division of the Medes, "Javan"
the Ionian Greeks, "Meshesh" the Moschi; and "Tires" the Turusha, or
primitive Cymmerians. In subsequent times, "Magog" was applied to the
Scythians, and modern Moslems determine from the Koran (chaps. xviii.
and xxi.) that Yajuj and Majuj are the Russians, whom they call Moska
or Moskoff from the Moskwa River,

[FN#527] I attempt to preserve the original pun; "Mukarrabin" (those
near Allah) being the Cherubim, and the Creator causing Iblis to draw
near Him (karraba).

[FN#528] A vulgar version of the Koran (chaps. vii.), which seems to
have borrowed from the Gospel of Barnabas. Hence Adam becomes a manner
of God-man.

[FN#529] These wild fables are caricatures of Rabbinical legends which
began with "Lilith," the Spirit-wife of Adam: Nature and her
counterpart, Physis and Antiphysis, supply a solid basis for folk-lore.
Amongst the Hindus we have Brahma (the Creator) and Viswakarmα, the
anti-Creator: the former makes a horse and a bull and the latter
caricatures them with an ass and a buffalo, and so forth.

[FN#530] This is the "Lauh al-Mahfϊz," the Preserved Tablet, upon which
are written all Allah's decrees and the actions of mankind good (white)
and evil (black). This is the "perspicuous Book" of the Koran, chaps.
vi. 59. The idea again is Guebre.

[FN#531] i.e. the night before Friday which in Moslem parlance would be
Friday night.

[FN#532] Again Persian "Gαw-i-Zamνn" = the Bull of the Earth.

"The cosmogony of the world," etc., as we read in the Vicar of


[FN#533] The Calc. Edit. ii. 614. here reads by a clerical error

[FN#534] i.e. Lakes and rivers.

[FN#535] Here some abridgement is necessary, for we have another
recital of what has been told more than once.

[FN#536] This name, "King of Life," is Persian: "Tegh" or "Tigh" means
a scimitar and "Bahrwαn," is, I conceive, a mistake for "Bihrϊn," the
Persian name of Alexander the Great.

[FN#537] Arab. "Mulαkαt" or meeting the guest which, I have said, is an
essential part of Eastern ceremony, the distance from the divan, room,
house or town being proportioned to his rank or consideration.

[FN#538] Arab. "Sifr": whistling is held by the Badawi to be the speech
of devils; and the excellent explorer Burckhardt got a bad name by the
ugly habit.

[FN#539] The Arabs call "Shikk" (split man) and the Persians
"Nνmchahrah" (half-face) a kind of demon like a man divided
longitudinally: this gruesome creature runs with amazing speed and is
very cruel and dangerous. For the celebrated soothsayers "Shikk" and
"Sαtih" see Chenery's Al-Hariri, p. 371.

[FN#540] Arab. "Takht" (Persian) = a throne or a capital.

[FN#541] Arab. "Wady al-Naml"; a reminiscence of the Koranic Wady
(chaps. xxvii.), which some place in Syria and others in Tαif.

[FN#542] This is the old, old fable of the River Sabbation which

Pliny ((xxx). 18) reports as "drying up every Sabbath-day"

(Saturday): and which Josephus reports as breaking the Sabbath by

flowing only on the Day of Rest.

[FN#543] They were keeping the Sabbath. When lodging with my Israelite
friends at Tiberias and Safet, I made a point of never speaking to them
(after the morning salutation) till the Saturday was over.

[FN#544] Arab. "La'al" and "Yαkϊt," the latter also applied to the
garnet and to a variety of inferior stones. The ruby is supposed by
Moslems to be a common mineral thoroughly "cooked" by the sun, and
produced only on the summits of mountains inaccessible even to
Alpinists. The idea may have originated from exaggerated legends of the
Badakhshαn country (supposed to be the home of the ruby) and its
terrors of break-neck foot-paths, jagged peaks and horrid ravines:
hence our "balas-ruby" through the Spanish corruption "Balaxe."
Epiphanius, archbishop of Salamis in Cyprus, who died A.D. 403, gives,
m a little treatise (De duodecim gemmis rationalis summi sacerdotis
Hebrζorum Liber, opera Fogginii, Romae, 1743, p. 30), a precisely
similar description of the mode of finding jacinths in Scythia. "In a
wilderness in the interior of Great Scythia," he writes, "there is a
valley begirt with stony mountains as with walls. It is inaccessible to
man, and so excessively deep that the bottom of the valley is invisible
from the top of the surrounding mountains. So great is the darkness
that it has the effect of a kind of chaos. To this place certain
criminals are condemned, whose task it is to throw down into the valley
slaughtered lambs, from which the skin has been first taken off. The
little stones adhere to these pieces of flesh. Thereupon the eagles,
which live on the summits of the mountains, fly down following the
scent of the flesh, and carry away the lambs with the stones adhering
to them. They, then, who are condemned to this place watch until the
eagles have finished their meal, and run and take away the stones."
Epiphanius, who wrote this, is spoken of in terms of great respect by
many ecclesiastical writers, and St. Jerome styles the treatise here
quoted, "Egregium volumen, quod si legere volueris, plenissimam
scientiam consequeris ," and, indeed, it is by no means improbable that
it was from the account of Epiphanius that this story was first
translated into Arabic. A similar account is given by Marco Polo and by
Nicolς de Conti, as of a usage which they had heard was practiced in
India, and the position ascribed to the mountain by Conti, namely,
fifteen days' journey north of Vijanagar, renders it highly probable
that Golconda was alluded to. He calls the mountain Albenigaras, and
says that it was infested with serpents. Marco Polo also speaks of
these serpents, and while his account agrees with that of Sindbad,
inasmuch as the serpents, which are the prey of Sindbad's Rukh, are
devoured by the Venetian's eagles, that of Conti makes the vultures and
eagles fly away with the meat to places where they may be safe from the
serpents. (Introd. p. xiii., India in the Fifteenth Century, etc., R.
H. Major, London, Hakluyt Soc. MDCCCLVII.)

[FN#545] Elder Victory: "Nasr" is a favourite name with Moslems.

[FN#546] These are the "Swan-maidens" of whom Europe in late years has
heard more than enough. It appears to me that we go much too far for an
explanation of the legend; a high-bred girl is so like a swan in many
points that the idea readily suggests itself. And it is also aided by
the old Egyptian (and Platonic) belief in pre-existence and by the
Rabbinic and Buddhistic doctrine of ante-natal sin, to say nothing of
metempsychosis. (Joseph Ant. xvii.. 153.)

[FN#547] The lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne for variety.

[FN#548] Arab. "Al-Khayαl": it is a synonym of "al-Tayf' and the
nearest approach to our "ghost," as has been explained. In poetry it is
the figure of the beloved seen when dreaming.

[FN#549] He does not kiss her mouth because he intends to marry her.

[FN#550] It should be "manifest" excellence. (Koran xxvii. 16.)

[FN#551] The phrase is Koranic used to describe Paradise, and Damascus
is a familiar specimen of a city under which a river, the Baradah,
passes, distributed into a multitude of canals.

[FN#552] It may be noted that rose-water is sprinkled on the faces of
the "nobility and gentry, " common water being good enough for the
commonalty. I have had to drink tea made in compliment with rose-water
and did not enjoy it.

[FN#553] The "Valley Flowery:" Zahrαn is the name of a place near


[FN#554] The Proud or Petulant.

[FN#555] i.e. Lion, Son of ( ?).

[FN#556] i.e. Many were slain.

[FN#557] I venture to draw attention to this battle-picture which is at
once simple and highly effective.

[FN#558] Anglicθ a quibble, evidently evasive.

[FN#559] In text "Anα A'amil," etc., a true Egypto-Syrian vulgarism.

[FN#560] i.e. magical formulζ. The context is purposely left vague.

[FN#561] The repetition is a condescension, a token of kindness.

[FN#562] This is the common cubic of 18 inches: the modern vary from 22
to 26.

[FN#563] I have noticed the two-humped Bactrian camel which the Syrians
and Egyptians compare with an elephant. See p. 221 (the neo-Syrian)
Book of Kalilah and Dimnah.

[FN#564] The Noachian dispensation revived the Islam or true religion
first revealed to Adam and was itself revived and reformed by Moses.

[FN#565] Probably a corruption of the Turkish "Kara Tαsh" = black
stone, in Arab. "Hαjar Jahannam" (hell-stone), lava, basalt.

[FN#566] A variant of lines in Night xx., vol. i., 211.

[FN#567] i.e. Daughter of Pride: the proud.

[FN#568] In the Calc. Edit. by misprint "Maktab." Jabal Mukattam is the
old sea-cliff where the Mediterranean once beat and upon whose
North-Western slopes Cairo is built.

[FN#569] Arab. "Kutb"; lie. an axle, a pole; next a prince; a high
order or doyen in Sainthood especially amongst the Sufi-gnostics.

[FN#570] Lit. "The Green" (Prophet), a mysterious personage confounded
with Elijah, St. George and others. He was a Moslem, i.e. a ewe
believer in the Islam of his day and Wazir to Kaykobad, founder of the
Kayanian dynasty, sixth century B.C. We have before seen him as a
contemporary of Moses. My learned friend Ch. Clermone-Ganneau traces
him back, with a multitude of his similars (Proteus, Perseus, etc.), to
the son of Osiris (p. 45, Horus et Saint Georges).

[FN#571] Arab. "Waled," more ceremonious than "ibn." It is, by the by,
the origin of our "valet" in its sense of boy or servant who is
popularly addressed Yα waled. Hence I have seen in a French book of
travels "un petit Iavelet."

[FN#572] Arab. "Azal" = Eternity (without beginning); "Abad" =

Infinity (eternity without end).

[FN#573] The Moslem ritual for slaughtering (by cutting the throat) is
not so strict as that of the Jews; but it requires some practice; and
any failure in the conditions renders the meat impure, mere carrion

[FN#574] The Wazir repeats all the words spoken by the Queen—but "in
iteration there is no recreation."

[FN#575] A phrase always in the Moslem's mouth: the slang meaning of
"we put our trust in Allah" is "let's cut our stick."

[FN#576] Koran liii. 14. This "Sidrat al-Muntahα" (Zizyphus lotus)
stands m the seventh heaven on the right hand of Allah's throne: and
even the angels may not pass beyond it.

[FN#577] Arab. "Habash" the word means more than "Abyssinia" as it
includes the Dankali Country and the sea-board, a fact unknown to the
late Lord Stratford de Redcliffe when he disputed with the Porte. I
ventured to set him right and suffered accordingly.

[FN#578] Here ends vol. ii. of the Mac. Edit.

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