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Title: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, Now Entituled the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 12 (of 17) Supplement 2
Author: Burton, Richard Francis, Sir
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, Now Entituled the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 12 (of 17) Supplement 2" ***



[Illustration: ‏‏لا لابرار كلّ شي تبر‎‎]

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

                                                        —_Arab Proverb._

          “Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole.”


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


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


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

                                      —CRICHTON’S “_History of Arabia_.”



                          _TO THE BOOK OF THE_
                      Thousand Nights and a Night
                               VOLUME I.


                           RICHARD F. BURTON



                            Shammar Edition

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, of which this is

                              Number ____

                          PRINTED IN U. S. A.

                         TO HENRY IRVING, ESQ.


To a consummate artist like yourself I need hardly suggest that The
Nights still offers many a virgin mine to the Playwright; and I inscribe
this volume to you, not only in admiration of your genius but in the
hope that you will find means of exploiting the hidden wealth which
awaits only your “Open, Sesame!”

                                      Ever yours sincerely,

                                                      RICHARD F. BURTON.

 LONDON, _August 1, 1886_.


                     CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.

                              Breslau Text.

   SIXTEEN CAPTAINS OF POLICE                                          3

     _a._ FIRST CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                    6

     _b._ SECOND CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                  16

     _c._ THIRD CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                   19

     _d._ FOURTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                  23

     _e._ FIFTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                   25

     _f._ SIXTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                   27

     _g._ SEVENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                 30

     _h._ EIGHTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                  34

         _ha._ THE THIEF’S TALE                                       42

     _i._ NINTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                   44

     _j._ TENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                   47

     _k._ ELEVENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                49

     _l._ TWELFTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                                 52

     _m._ THIRTEENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                              53

     _n._ FOURTEENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                              54

         _na._ A MERRY JEST OF A CLEVER THIEF                         56

         _nb._ TALE OF THE OLD SHARPER                                57

     _o._ FIFTEENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                               59

     _p._ SIXTEENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY                               63


       AL-RASHID                                                      70

 15. WOMEN’S WILES                                                   137


   KING AL-’ABBÁS                                                    191


 19. THE CONCUBINE AND THE CALIPH                                    275

 20. THE CONCUBINE OF AL-MAAMUN                                      281


                OF SOME OF THE TALES IN VOLS. I. AND II.

                           BY W. A. CLOUSTON.

 THE SLEEPER AND THE WAKER                                           291


 KING DADBIN AND HIS WAZIRS                                          296

 KING AYLAN SHAH AND ABU TAMMAM                                      297

 KING SULAYMAN SHAH AND HIS NIECE                                    298

 FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE                                                  301

 KING SHAH BAKHT AND HIS WAZIR AL-RAHWAN                             302

 ON THE ART OF ENLARGING PEARLS                                      303

 THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST                                         305


 THE PRINCE WHO FELL IN LOVE WITH THE PICTURE                        328

 THE FULLER, HIS WIFE, AND THE TROOPER                               329

 THE SIMPLETON HUSBAND                                               332

 THE THREE MEN AND OUR LORD ISA                                      332

 THE MELANCHOLIST AND THE SHARPER                                    333

 THE DEVOUT WOMAN ACCUSED OF LEWDNESS                                340


 THE KING WHO LOST KINGDOM, WIFE, AND WEALTH                         343


 THE THIEF’S TALE                                                    369

 THE NINTH CONSTABLE’S STORY                                         369

 THE FIFTEENTH CONSTABLE’S STORY                                     369

 THE DAMSEL TUHFAT AL-KULUB                                          371

 WOMEN’S WILES                                                       372

 NUR AL-DIN AND THE DAMSEL SITT AL-MILAH                             377

 KING INS BIN KAYS AND HIS DAUGHTER                                  377

                            ADDITIONAL NOTES:

     FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE                                              378

     THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST                                     378

     THE FULLER, HIS WIFE, AND THE TROOPER                           379

                         CAPTAINS OF POLICE.[1]

There was once in the climes[2] of Egypt and the city of Cairo, under
the Turks, a king of the valiant kings and the exceeding mighty Soldans,
hight Al-Malik al-Záhir Rukn al-Din Bibars al-Bundukdári,[3] who was
used to storm the Islamite sconces and the strongholds of “The Shore”[4]
and the Nazarene citadels. His Chief of Police in the capital of his
kingdom, was just to the folk, all of them; and Al-Malik al-Zahir
delighted in stories of the common sort and of that which men purposed
in thought; and he loved to see this with his own eyes and to hear their
sayings with his own ears. Now it fortuned that he heard one night from
a certain of his nocturnal reciters[5] that among women are those who
are doughtier than the doughtiest men and prower of prowess, and that
among them are some who will engage in fight singular with the sword and
others who beguile the quickest-witted of Walis and baffle them and
bring down on them all manner of miseries; wherefore said the Soldan, “I
would lief hear this of their legerdemain from one of those who have had
to do with it, so I may hearken unto him and cause him discourse.” And
one of the story-tellers said, “O king, send for the Chief of Police of
this thy city.” Now ’Alam al-Din[6] Sanjar was at that time Wali and he
was a man of experience, in affairs well versed; so the king sent for
him and when he came before him, he discovered to him that which was in
his mind. Quoth Sanjar, “I will do my endeavour for that which our lord
seeketh.” Then he arose and returning to his house, summoned the
Captains of the watch and the Lieutenants of the ward and said to them,
“Know that I purpose to marry my son and make him a bridal banquet, and
I desire that ye assemble, all of you, in one place. I also will be
present, I and my company, and do ye relate that which you have heard of
rare occurrences and that which hath betided you of experiences.” And
the Captains and Runners and Agents of Police answered him, “’Tis well:
Bismillah—in the name of Allah! We will make thee see all this with
thine own eyes and hear it with thine own ears.” Then the Chief of
Police arose and going up to Al-Malik al-Zahir, informed him that the
assembly would meet on such a day at his house; and the Soldan said,
“’Tis well,” and gave him somewhat of coin for his spending-money. When
the appointed day came the Chief of Police set apart for his officers
and constables a saloon, which had latticed casements ranged in order
and giving upon the flower-garden, and Al-Malik al-Zahir came to him,
and he seated himself and the Soldan, in the alcove. Then the tables
were spread for them with food and they ate: and when the bowl went
round amongst them and their souls were gladdened by meat and drink,
they mutually related that which was with them and, revealed their
secrets from concealment. The first to discourse was a man, a Captain of
the Watch, hight Mu’ín al-Din,[7] whose heart was wholly occupied with
the love of fair women; and he said, “Harkye, all ye people of high
degree, I will acquaint you with an extraordinary affair which fortuned
me aforetime.” Then he began to tell:

                   THE FIRST CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.[8]

Know ye that when I entered the service of this Emir,[9] I had a great
repute and every low fellow and lewd feared me most of all mankind, and
when I rode through the city, each and every of the folk would point at
me with their fingers and sign at me with their eyes. It happened one
day, as I sat in the palace of the Prefecture, back-propped against a
wall, considering in myself, suddenly there fell somewhat in my lap, and
behold, it was a purse sealed and tied. So I hent it in hand and lo! it
had in it an hundred dirhams[10], but I found not who threw it and I
said, “Lauded be the Lord, the King of the Kingdoms!”[11] Another day,
as I sat in the same way, somewhat fell on me and startled me, and
lookye, ’twas a purse like the first: I took it and hiding the matter,
made as though I slept, albeit sleep was not with me. One day as I thus
shammed sleep, I suddenly sensed in my lap a hand, and in it a purse of
the finest; so I seized the hand and behold, ’twas that of a fair woman.
Quoth I to her, “O my lady, who art thou?” and quoth she, “Rise and come
away from here, that I may make myself known to thee.” Presently I rose
up and following her, walked on, without tarrying, till we stopped at
the door of a high-builded house, whereupon I asked her, “O my lady, who
art thou? Indeed, thou hast done me kindness, and what is the reason of
this?” She answered, “By Allah, O Captain[12] Mu’in, I am a woman on
whom love and longing are sore for desire of the daughter of the Kazi
Amín al-Hukm.[13] Now there was between me and her what was and fondness
for her fell upon my heart and I agreed upon an assignation with her,
according to possibility and convenience; but her father Amin al-Hukm
took her and went away, and my heart cleaveth to her and yearning and
distraction waxed sore upon me for her sake.” I said to her, marvelling
the while at her words, “What wouldst thou have me do?” and said she, “O
Captain Mu’in, I would have thee lend me a helping hand.” Quoth I,
“Where am I and where is the daughter of the Kazi Amin al-Hukm?”[14] and
quoth she “Be assured that I would not have thee intrude upon the Kazi’s
daughter, but I would fain work for the winning of my wishes. This is my
will and my want which may not be wroughten save by thine aid.” Then she
added, “I mean this night to go with heart enheartened and hire me
bracelets and armlets and anklets of price; then will I hie me and sit
in the street wherein is the house of Amin al-Hukm; and when ’tis the
season of the round and folk are asleep, do thou pass, thou and those
who are with thee of the men, and thou wilt see me sitting and on me
fine raiment and ornaments and wilt smell on me the odour of Ottars;
whereupon do thou question me of my case and I will say:—I hail from the
Citadel and am of the daughters of the deputies[15] and I came down into
the town for a purpose; but night overtook me all unawares and the
Zuwaylah Gate[16] was shut against me and all the other portals and I
knew not whither I should wend this night. Presently I saw this street
and noting the goodly fashion of its ordinance and its cleanliness, I
sheltered me therein against break of day. When I speak these words to
thee with complete self-possession,[17] the Chief of the watch will have
no ill suspicion of me, but will say:—There’s no help but that we leave
her with one who will take care of her till morning. Thereto do thou
rejoin:—’Twere best that she night with Amin al-Hukm and lie with his
wives[18] and children until dawn of day. Then straightway knock at the
Kazi’s door, and thus shall I have secured admission into his house,
without inconvenience, and won my wish; and—the Peace!” I said to her,
“By Allah, this is an easy matter.” So, when the night was blackest, we
rose to make our round, followed by men with girded swords, and went
about the ways and compassed the city, till we came to the street[19]
where was the woman, and it was the middle of the night. Here we smelt
mighty rich scents and heard the clink of rings: so I said to my
comrades, “Methinks I espy a spectre;” and the Captain of the watch
cried, “See what it is.” Accordingly, I undertook the work and entering
the thoroughfare presently came out again and said, “I have found a fair
woman and she telleth me that she is from the Citadel and that dark
night surprised her and she saw this street and noting its cleanness and
goodly fashion of ordinance, knew that it belonged to a great man[20]
and that needs must there be in it a guardian to keep watch over it, so
she sheltered her therein.” Quoth the Captain of the watch to me, “Take
her and carry her to thy house;” but quoth I, “I seek refuge with
Allah![21] My house is no strong box[22] and on this woman are trinkets
and fine clothing. By Allah, we will not deposit the lady save with Amin
al-Hukm, in whose street she hath been since the first starkening of the
darkness; therefore do thou leave her with him till the break of day.”
He rejoined, “Do whatso thou willest.” So I rapped at the Kazi’s gate
and out came a black slave of his slaves, to whom said I, “O my lord,
take this woman and let her be with you till day shall dawn, for that
the lieutenant of the Emir Alam al-Din hath found her with trinkets and
fine apparel on her, sitting at the door of your house, and we feared
lest her responsibility be upon you;[23] wherefore I suggested ’twere
meetest she night with you.” So the chattel opened and took her in with
him. Now when the morning morrowed, the first who presented himself
before the Emir was the Kazi Amin al-Hukm, leaning on two of his negro
slaves; and he was crying out and calling for aid and saying, “O Emir,
crafty and perfidious, yesternight thou depositedst with me a woman and
broughtest her into my house and home, and she arose in the dark and
took from me the monies of the little orphans my wards,[24] six great
bags, each containing a thousand dinars,[25] and made off; but as for
me, I will say no syllable to thee except in the Soldan’s presence.”[26]
When the Wali heard these words, he was troubled and rose and sat down
in his agitation; then he took the Judge and placing him by his side,
soothed him and exhorted him to patience, till he had made an end of
talk, when he turned to the officers and questioned them of that. They
fixed the affair on me and said, “We know nothing of this matter but
from Captain Mu’in al-Din.” So the Kazi turned to me and said, “Thou
wast of accord to practice upon me with this woman, for she said she
came from the Citadel.” As for me, I stood, with my head bowed
ground-wards, forgetting both Sunnah and Farz,[27] and remained sunk in
thought, saying, “How came I to be the dupe of that randy wench?” Then
cried the Emir to me, “What aileth thee that thou answerest not?”
Thereupon I replied, “O my lord, ’tis a custom among the folk that he
who hath a payment to make at a certain date is allowed three days’
grace: do thou have patience with me so long, and if, at the end of that
time, the culprit be not found, I will be responsible for that which is
lost.” When the folk heard my speech they all approved it as reasonable
and the Wali turned to the Kazi and sware to him that he would do his
utmost to recover the stolen monies adding, “And they shall be restored
to thee.” Then he went away, whilst I mounted without stay or delay and
began to-ing and fro-ing about the world without purpose, and indeed I
was become the underling of a woman without honesty or honour; and I
went my rounds in this way all that my day and that my night, but
happened not upon tidings of her; and thus I did on the morrow. On the
third day I said to myself, “Thou art mad or silly;” for I was wandering
in quest of a woman who knew me[28] and I knew her not, she being veiled
when I met her. Then I went round about the third day till the hour of
mid-afternoon prayer, and sore waxed my cark and my care for I kenned
that there remained to me of my life but the morrow, when the Chief of
Police would send for me. However, as sundown-time came, I passed
through one of the main streets, and saw a woman at a window; her door
was ajar and she was clapping her hands and casting sidelong glances at
me, as who should say, “Come up by the door.” So I went up, without fear
or suspicion, and when I entered, she rose and clasped me to her breast.
I marvelled at the matter and quoth she to me, “I am she whom thou
depositedst with Amin al-Hukm.” Quoth I to her, “O my sister, I have
been going round and round in request of thee, for indeed thou hast done
a deed which will be chronicled and hast cast me into red death[29] on
thine account.” She asked me, “Dost thou speak thus to me and thou a
captain of men?” and I answered, “How should I not be troubled, seeing
that I be in concern for an affair I turn over and over in mind, more by
token that I continue my day long going about searching for thee and in
the night I watch its stars and planets?”[30] Cried she, “Naught shall
betide save weal, and thou shalt get the better of him.”[31] So saying,
she rose and going to a chest, drew out therefrom six bags full of gold
and said to me, “This is what I took from Amin al-Hukm’s house. So an
thou wilt, restore it; else the whole is lawfully[32] thine; and if thou
desire other than this, thou shalt obtain it; for I have monies in
plenty and I had no design herein save to marry thee.” Then she arose
and opening other chests, brought out therefrom wealth galore and I said
to her, “O my sister, I have no wish for all this, nor do I want aught
except to be quit of that wherein I am.” Quoth she, “I came not forth of
the Kazi’s house without preparing for thine acquittance.” Then said she
to me, “When the morrow shall morn and Amin al-Hukm shall come to thee
bear with him till he have made an end of his speech, and when he is
silent, return him no reply; and if the Wali ask:—What aileth thee that
thou answerest me not? do thou rejoin:—O lord and master[33] know that
the two words are not alike, but there is no helper for the conquered
one[34] save Allah Almighty. The Kazi will cry, What is the meaning of
thy saying, The two words are not alike? And do thou retort:—I deposited
with thee a damsel from the palace of the Sultan, and most likely some
enemy of hers in thy household hath transgressed against her or she hath
been secretly murdered. Verily, there were on her raiment and ornaments
worth a thousand ducats, and hadst thou put to the question those who
are with thee of slaves and slave-girls, needs must thou have litten on
some traces of the crime. When he heareth this from thee, his trouble
will redouble and he will be amated and will make oath that thou hast no
help for it but to go with him to his house: however, do thou say, That
will I not do, for I am the party aggrieved, more especially because I
am under suspicion with thee. If he redouble in calling on Allah’s aid
and conjure thee by the oath of divorce saying, Thou must assuredly
come, do thou reply, By Allah, I will not go, unless the Chief also go
with me. Then, as soon as thou comest to the house, begin by searching
the terrace-roofs; then rummage the closets and cabinets; and if thou
find naught, humble thyself before the Kazi and be abject and feign
thyself subjected, and after stand at the door and look as if thou
soughtest a place wherein to make water,[35] because there is a dark
corner there. Then come forward, with heart harder than syenite-stone,
and lay hold upon a jar of the jars and raise it from its place. Thou
wilt find there under it a mantilla-skirt; bring it out publicly and
call the Wali in a loud voice, before those who are present. Then open
it and thou wilt find it full of blood, exceeding for freshness, and
therein a woman’s walking boots and a pair of petticoat-trousers and
somewhat of linen.” When I heard from her these words, I rose to go out
and she said to me, “Take these hundred sequins, so they may succour
thee; and such is my guest-gift to thee.” Accordingly I took them and
leaving her door ajar returned to my lodging. Next morning, up came the
Judge, with his face like the ox-eye,[36] and asked, “In the name of
Allah, where is my debtor and where is my property?” Then he wept and
cried out and said to the Wali, “Where is that ill-omened fellow, who
aboundeth in robbery and villainy?” Thereupon the Chief turned to me and
said, “Why dost thou not answer the Kazi;” and I replied, “O Emir, the
two heads[37] are not equal, and I, I have no helper;[38] but, an the
right be on my side ’twill appear.” At this the Judge grew hotter of
temper and cried out, “Woe to thee, O ill-omened wight! How wilt thou
make manifest that the right is on thy side?” I replied “O our lord the
Kazi, I deposited with thee and in thy charge a woman whom we found at
thy door, and on her raiment and ornaments of price. Now she is gone,
even as yesterday is gone;[39] and after this thou turnest upon us and
suest me for six thousand gold pieces. By Allah, this is none other than
a mighty great wrong, and assuredly some foe[40] of hers in thy
household hath transgressed against her!” With this the Judge’s wrath
redoubled and he swore by the most solemn of oaths that I should go with
him and search his house. I replied, “By Allah I will not go, unless the
Wali go with us; for, an he be present, he and the officers, thou wilt
not dare to work thy wicked will upon me.” So the Kazi rose and swore an
oath, saying, “By the truth of Him who created mankind, we will not go
but with the Emir!” Accordingly we repaired to the Judge’s house,
accompanied by the Chief, and going up, searched it through, but found
naught; whereat fear fell upon me and the Wali turned to me and said,
“Fie upon thee, O ill-omened fellow! thou hast put us to shame before
the men.” All this, and I wept and went round about right and left, with
the tears running down my face, till we were about to go forth and drew
near the door of the house. I looked at the place which the woman had
mentioned and asked, “What is yonder dark place I see?” Then said I to
the men, “Pull up[41] this jar with me.” They did my bidding and I saw
somewhat appearing under the jar and said, “Rummage and look at what is
under it.” So they searched, and behold, they came upon a woman’s
mantilla and petticoat-trousers full of blood, which when I espied, I
fell down in a fainting-fit. Now when the Wali saw this, he said, “By
Allah, the Captain is excused!” Then my comrades came round about me and
sprinkled water on my face till I recovered, when I arose and accosting
the Kazi (who was covered with confusion), said to him, “Thou seest that
suspicion is fallen on thee, and indeed this affair is no light matter,
because this woman’s family will assuredly not sit down quietly under
her loss.” Therewith the Kazi’s heart quaked and fluttered for that he
knew the suspicion had reverted upon him, wherefore his colour yellowed
and his limbs smote together; and he paid of his own money, after the
measure of that he had lost, so we would quench that fire for him.[42]
Then we departed from him in peace, whilst I said within myself,
“Indeed, the woman falsed me not.” After that I tarried till three days
had passed, when I went to the Hammam and changing my clothes, betook
myself to her home, but found the door shut and covered with dust. So I
asked the neighbours of her and they answered, “This house hath been
empty of habitants these many days; but three days agone there came a
woman with an ass, and at supper-time last night she took her gear and
went away.” Hereat I turned back, bewildered in my wit, and for many a
day after I inquired of the dwellers in that street concerning her, but
could happen on no tidings of her. And indeed I wondered at the
eloquence of her tongue and the readiness of her talk; and this is the
most admirable of all I have seen and of whatso hath betided me. When
Al-Malik al-Zahir heard the tale of Mu’in al-Din, he marvelled thereat.
Then rose another constable and said, “O lord, hear what befel me in
bygone days.”


I was once an overseer in the household of the Emir Jamál al-Din
al-Atwash al-Mujhidi, who was made governor of the two provinces,
Sharkíyah and Gharbíyah,[43] and I was dear to his heart and he hid from
me naught of whatso he desired to do; and he was eke master of his
reason.[44] It came to pass one day of the days that it was reported to
him how the daughter of Such-an-one had a mint of monies and raiment and
ornaments and at that present she loved a Jewish man, whom every day she
invited to be private with her, and they passed the light hours eating
and drinking in company and he lay the night with her. The Wali feigned
not to believe a word of this story, but he summoned the watchmen of the
quarter one night and questioned them of this tittle-tattle. Quoth one
of them, “As for me, O my lord, I saw none save a Jew[45] enter the
street in question one night; but I have not made certain to whom he
went in;” and quoth the Chief, “Keep thine eye on him from this time
forward and note what place he entereth.” So the watchman went out and
kept his eye on the Judæan. One day as the Prefect sat in his house, the
watchman came in to him and said, “O my lord, in very sooth the Jew
goeth to the house of Such-an-one.” Whereupon Al-Atwash sprang to his
feet and went forth alone, taking with him none save myself.[46] As he
went along, he said to me, “Indeed, this girl is a fat piece of
meat.”[47] And we gave not over going till we came to the door of the
house and stood there until a hand-maid came out, as if to buy them
something wanted. We waited till she opened the door, whereupon, without
question or answer, we forced our way into the house and rushed in upon
the girl, whom we found seated with the Jew in a saloon with four
daïses, and cooking-pots and candles therein. When her eyes fell on the
Wali, she knew him and rising to her feet, said, “Well come and welcome
and fair cheer! By Allah, great honour hath betided me by my lord’s
visit and indeed thou dignifiest my dwelling.” Hereat she carried him up
to the daïs and seating him on the couch, brought him meat and wine and
gave him to drink; after which she put off all that was upon her of
raiment and ornaments and tying them up in a kerchief, said to him, “O
my lord, this is thy portion, all of it.” Then she turned to the Jew and
said to him, “Rise, thou also, and do even as I:” so he arose in haste
and went out very hardly crediting his deliverance.[48] When the girl
was assured of his escape, she put out her hand to her clothes and
jewels and taking them, said to the Chief, “O Emir, is the requital of
kindness other than kindness? Thou hast deigned to visit me and eat of
my bread and salt; so now arise and depart from us without ill-doing; or
I will give a single outcry and all who are in the street will come
forth.” So the Emir went out from her, without having gotten a single
dirham; and on this wise she delivered the Jew by the seemliness of her
stratagem. The company admired this tale, and as for the Wali and
Al-Malik al-Zahir, they said, “Ever devised any the like of this
device?” and they marvelled with the utterest of marvel. Then arose a
third constable and said, “Hear what betided me, for it is yet stranger
and rarer.”

                     THE THIRD CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.

I was one day abroad on business with certain of my comrades; and, as we
walked along behold, we fell in with a company of women, as they were
moons, and among them one, the tallest of them and the handsomest. When
I saw her and she saw me, she lagged behind her companions and waited
for me till I came up to her and bespake her. Quoth she, “O my lord
(Allah favour thee!) I saw thee prolong thy looking on me and I fancied
that thou knewest me. An it be thus, let me learn more of thee.” Quoth
I, “By Allah, I know thee not, save that the Most High Lord hath cast
the love of thee into my heart and the goodliness of thy qualities hath
confounded me; and that wherewith the Almighty hath gifted thee of those
eyes that shoot with shafts hath captivated me.” And she rejoined, “By
Allah, indeed I feel the like of that which thou feelest; ay, and even
more; so that meseemeth I have known thee from childhood.” Then said I,
“A man cannot well effect all whereof he hath need in the
market-places.” She asked me, “Hast thou a house?” and I answered, “No,
by Allah, nor is this city my dwelling-place.” Rejoined she, “By Allah,
nor have I a place; but I will contrive for thee.” Then she went on
before me and I followed her till she came to a lodging-house[49] and
said to the Housekeeper, “Hast thou an empty room?” The other replied,
“Yes:”[50] and my mistress said, “Give us the key.” So we took the key
and going up to see the room, entered to inspect it; after which she
went out to the Housekeeper and giving her a dirham, said to her “Take
the _douceur_ of the key[51] for the chamber pleaseth us, and here is
another dirham for thy trouble. Go, fetch us a gugglet of water, so we
may refresh ourselves and rest till siesta-time pass and the heat
decline, when the man will depart and bring our bag and baggage.”
Therewith the Housekeeper rejoiced and brought us a mat, two gugglets of
water on a tray, a fan and a leather rug. We abode thus till the
setting-in of mid-afternoon, when she said, “Needs must I make the
Ghusl-ablution ere I fare.”[52] Said I, “Get water wherewith we may both
wash,” and drew forth from my pocket a score or so of dirhams, thinking
to give them to her; but she cried, “Refuge with Allah!” and brought out
of her pocket a handful of silver, saying, “But for destiny and that the
Almighty hath caused the love of thee fall into my heart, there had not
happened that which hath happened.” Quoth I, “Accept this in requital of
that which thou hast spent;” and quoth she, “O my lord, by and by,
whenas mating is prolonged between us, thou wilt see if the like of me
looketh unto money and means or no.” Then the lady took a jar of water
and going into the lavatory, made the Ghusl-ablution[53] and presently
coming forth, prayed the mid-afternoon prayer and craved pardon of Allah
Almighty for the sin into which she had fallen. Now I had asked her name
and she answered, “Rayhánah,”[54] and described to me her
dwelling-place. When I saw her make the ablution, I said within myself,
“This woman doth on this wise, and shall I not do the like of her
doing?” Then quoth I to her, “Peradventure[55] thou wilt seek us another
jar of water?” Accordingly she went out to the Housekeeper and said to
her, “O my sister, take this Nusf and fetch us for it water wherewith we
may wash the flags.”[56] So the Housekeeper brought two jars of water
and I took one of them and giving her my clothes, entered the lavatory
and bathed. When I had made an end of bathing, I cried out, saying,
“Harkye, my lady Rayhanah!” However none answered me. So I went out and
found her not; but I did find that she had taken my clothes and all that
was in them of silver, to wit, four hundred dirhams. She had also
carried off my turband and my kerchief and I lacked the wherewithal to
veil my shame; so I suffered somewhat than which death is less grievous
and abode looking about the place, hoping that haply I might espy a rag
wherewith to hide my nakedness. Then I sat a little and presently going
up to the door, smote upon it; whereat up came the Housekeeper and I
said to her, “O my sister, what hath Allah done with the woman who was
here?” She replied, “The lady came down just now and said:—I’m going to
cover the boys with the clothes, adding, and I have left him sleeping;
an he awake, tell him not to stir till the clothes come to him.” Then
cried I, “O my sister, secrets are safe with the fair-dealing and the
freeborn. By Allah, this woman is not my wife, nor ever in my life have
I seen her before this day!” And I recounted to her the whole affair and
begged of her to cover me, informing her that my private parts were
clean unconcealed. She laughed and cried out to the women of the
lodging-house, saying, “Ho, Fátimah! Ho, Khadíjah! Ho, Harífah! Ho,
Sanínah!” Whereupon all those who were in the place of women and
neighbours flocked to me and fell a-mocking me and saying, “O pimp,[57]
what hadst thou to do with gallantry?” Then one of them came and looked
in my face and laughed, and another said, “By Allah, thou mightest have
known that she lied, from the time she said she liked thee and was in
love with thee? What is there in thee to love?” A third said, “This is
an old man without wisdom;” and all vied one with other in exercising
their wits upon me, I suffering mighty sore chagrin. However, one of the
women took compassion on me after a while, and brought me a rag of thin
stuff and cast it on me. With this I covered my shame, and no more, and
abode awhile thus: then said I in myself, “The husbands of these women
will presently gather together upon me and I shall be disgraced.” So I
went out by another door of the lodging-house, and young and old crowded
about me, running after me and crying, “A madman! A madman!”[58] till I
came to my house and knocked at the door; whereupon out came my wife and
seeing me naked, tall, bare of head, cried out and ran in again, saying,
“This is a maniac, a Satan!” But, when my family and spouse knew me,
they rejoiced and said to me, “What aileth thee?” I told them that
thieves had taken my clothes and stripped me and had been like to slay
me; and when I assured them that the rogues would have slaughtered me,
they praised Allah Almighty and gave me joy of my safety. So consider
the craft this woman practised upon me, and I pretending to cleverness
and wiliness. Those present marvelled at this story and at the doings of
women; then came forward a fourth constable and said, “Now that which
hath betided me of strange adventures is yet stranger than this, and
’twas after the following fashion.”


We were sleeping one night on the terrace-roof, when a woman made her
way through the darkness into the house and, gathering into a bundle all
that was therein, took it up that she might go away with it. Now she was
big with child and nigh upon her time of delivery; so, when she packed
up the bundle and prepared to shoulder it and make off with it, she
hastened the coming of the labour-pangs and bare a child in the dark.
Then she sought for the fire-sticks and when they burned, kindled the
lamp and went round about the house with the little one, and it was
weeping. The wail awoke us, as we lay on the roof, and we marvelled. So
we rose to see what was to do, and looking down through the opening of
the saloon,[59] saw a woman, who had lit the lamp, and heard the little
one crying. As we were peering, she heard our words and raising her head
to us, said, “Are ye not ashamed to deal thus with us and bare our
shame? Wist ye not that the day belongeth to you and the night to us?
Begone from us! By Allah, were it not that ye have been my neighbours
these many years, I would assuredly[60] bring down the house upon you!”
We doubted not but that she was of the Jinn and drew back our heads;
but, when we rose on the morrow, we found that she had taken all that
was with us and made off with it;[61] wherefore we knew that she was a
thief and had practised on us a device, such as was never before
practised; and we repented, whenas repentance availed us naught. The
company, hearing this tale, marvelled thereat with the utmost
marvelling. Then the fifth constable, who was the lieutenant of the
bench,[62] came forward and said, “This is no wonder and there befel me
a story which is rarer and stranger than this.”

                     THE FIFTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.

As I sat one day at the door of the Prefecture, behold, a woman suddenly
entered and said as though consulting me, “O my lord, I am the wife of
Such-an-one the Leach, and with him is a company of the notables[63] of
the city, drinking fermented drinks in such a place.” When I heard this,
I misliked to make a scandal; so I bluffed her off and sent her away
unsatisfied. Then I rose and walked alone to the place in question and
sat without till the door opened, when I rushed in and entering, found
the company even as the woman aforesaid had set out, and she herself
with them. I saluted them and they returned my salam and rising, treated
me with honour and seated me and served me with meat. Then I informed
them how one had denounced them to me, but I had driven him away and had
come to them by myself; so they thanked me and praising me for my
kindness, brought out to me from among them two thousand dirhams[64] and
I took them and went away. Now two months after this adventure, there
came to me one of the Kazi’s officers, with a paper, wherein was the
judge’s writ, summoning me to him. So I accompanied the officer and went
in to the Kazi, whereupon the plaintiff, he who had taken out the
summons, sued me for two thousand dirhams, declaring I had borrowed them
of him as the agent or guardian of the woman. I denied the debt, but he
produced against me a bond for that sum, attested by four of those who
were in company on the occasion; and they were present and bore witness
to the loan. I reminded them of my kindness and paid the amount,
swearing that I would never again follow a woman’s counsel. Is not this
marvellous? The company admired the goodliness of his tale and it
pleased Al-Malik al-Zahir; and the Wali said, “By Allah, this is a
strange story!” Then came forward the sixth constable and said to those
present, “Hear my adventure and that which befel me, to wit, that which
befel Such-an-one the Assessor, for ’tis rarer than this and finer.”

                     THE SIXTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.

A certain Assessor one day of the days was taken with a woman and much
people assembled before his house and the Lieutenant of police and his
posse came to him and rapped at the door. The Assessor peered from
house-top and seeing the folk, said, “What do ye want?” Replied they,
“Speak with the Lieutenant of police Such-an-one.” So he came down and
as he opened the door they cried to him, “Bring forth the woman who is
with thee.” “Are ye not ashamed? How shall I bring forth my wife?” “Is
she thy wife by book[65] or without marriage-lines?” “She is my wife
according to the Book of Allah and the Institutes of His Apostle.”
“Where is the contract?” “Her lines are in her mother’s house.” “Arise
thou and come down and show us the writ.” “Go from her way, so she may
come forth.” Now, as soon as he got wind of the matter, he had written
the bond and fashioned it after the fashion of his wife,[66] to suit
with the case, and he had written therein the names of certain of his
friends to serve as witnesses and forged the signatures of the drawer
and the wife’s next friend and made it a contract of marriage with his
wife and a legal deed.[67] Accordingly, when the woman was about to go
out from him, he gave her the contract he had forged, and the Emir sent
with her a servant of his, to carry her home to her father. So the
servant went with her and when she was inside she said to him, “I will
not return to the citation of the Emir; but let the Assessors present
themselves and take my contract.” Hereupon the servant carried this
message to the Lieutenant of police, who was standing at the Assessor’s
door, and he said, “This is permissible.” Then said the Assessor to the
servant, “Fare, O eunuch, and fetch us Such-an-one the Notary;” for that
he was his friend and ’twas he whose name he had forged as the drawer-up
of the contract.[68] So the Lieutenant sent after him and fetched him to
the Assessor, who, when he saw him, said to him, “Get thee to
Such-an-one, her with whom thou marriedst me, and cry out upon her, and
when she cometh to thee,[69] demand of her the contract and take it from
her and bring it to us.” And he signed to him, as much as to say, “Bear
me out in the lie and screen me, for that she is a strange woman and
I[70] am in fear of the Lieutenant who standeth at the door; and we
beseech Allah Almighty to screen us and you from the woes of this world.
Amen.” So the Notary went up to the Lieutenant, who was among the
witnesses, and said, “’Tis well. Is she not Such-an-one whose
marriage-contract we drew up in such a place?” Then he betook himself to
the woman’s house and cried out upon her; whereat she brought him the
forged contract and he took it and returned with it to the Lieutenant of
police.[71] When the officer had taken cognizance of the document and
professed himself satisfied, the Assessor said to the Notary, “Go to our
lord and master, the Kazi of the Kazis, and acquaint him with that which
befalleth his Assessors.” The Notary rose to go, but the Lieutenant
feared for himself and was urgent in beseeching the Assessor and in
kissing his hands till he forgave him; whereupon the Lieutenant went
away in the utmost concern and affright. On such wise the Assessor
ordered the case and carried out the forgery and feigned marriage with
the woman; and thus escaped calumny and calamity by the seemliness of
his stratagem.[72] The folk marvelled at this with the uttermost marvel
and the seventh constable said:—There befel me in Alexandria the
God-guarded a wondrous thing, and ’twas this.[73]


There came one day an old woman to the stuff-bazar, with a casket of
mighty fine workmanship, containing trinkets, and she was accompanied by
a young baggage big with child. The crone sat down at the shop of a
draper and giving him to know that the girl was pregnant by the
Prefect[74] of Police of the city, took of him, on credit, stuffs to the
value of a thousand dinars and deposited with him the casket as
security. She opened the casket and showed him that which was therein
and he found it full of trinkets of price; so he trusted her with the
goods and she farewelled him and carrying the stuffs to the girl who was
with her, went her way. Then the old woman was absent from him a great
while, and when her absence was prolonged, the draper despaired of her;
so he went up to the Prefect’s house and asked anent the woman of his
household who had taken his stuffs on credit; but could obtain no
tidings of her nor happen on any trace of her. Then he brought out the
casket of jewellery and showed it to experts, who told him that the
trinkets were gilt and that their worth was but an hundred dirhams. When
he heard this, he was sore concerned thereat and presenting himself
before the Deputy of the Sultan made his complaint to him; whereupon the
official knew that a sleight had been served upon him and that the sons
of Adam[75] had cozened him and conquered him and cribbed his stuffs.
Now the magistrate in question was a man of experience and judgment,
well versed in affairs; so he said to the draper, “Remove somewhat from
thy shop, including the casket, and to-morrow morning break the lock and
cry out and come to me and complain that they have plundered all thy
shop.[76] Also mind thou call upon Allah for aid and wail aloud and
acquaint the people, so that a world of folk may flock to thee and sight
the breach of the lock and that which is missing from thy shop: and on
this wise display it to every one who presenteth himself that the news
may be noised abroad, and tell them that thy chief concern is for a
casket of great value, deposited with thee by a great man of the town
and that thou standest in fear of him. But be thou not afraid and still
say ever and anon in thy saying:—My casket was the casket of
Such-an-one, and I fear him and dare not bespeak him; but you, O company
and all ye who are present, I call you to witness of this for me. And if
there be with thee more than this saying, say it; and the old woman will
assuredly come to thee.” The draper answered with “To hear is to obey”
and going forth from the Deputy’s presence, betook himself to his shop
and brought out thence the casket and a somewhat making a great display,
which he removed to his house. At break of day he arose and going to his
shop, broke the lock and shouted and shrieked and called on Allah for
aid, till each and every of the folk assembled about him and all who
were in the city were present, whereupon he cried out to them, saying
even as the Prefect had bidden him; and this was bruited abroad. Then he
made for the Prefecture and presenting himself before the Chief of
Police, cried out and complained and made a show of distraction. After
three days, the old woman came to him and bringing him the thousand
dinars, the price of the stuffs, demanded the casket.[77] When he saw
her, he seized her and carried her to the Prefect of the city; and when
she came before the Kazi, he said to her, “Woe to thee O Sataness; did
not thy first deed suffice thee, but thou must come a second time?” She
replied, “I am of those who seek their salvation[78] in the cities, and
we foregather every month; and yesterday we foregathered.” He asked her,
“Canst thou cause me to catch them?” and she answered, “Yes; but, an
thou wait till to-morrow, they will have dispersed; so I will deliver
them to thee to-night.” The Emir said to her, “Go;” and said she, “Send
with me one who shall go with me to them and obey me in whatso I shall
say to him, and all that I bid him he shall not gainsay and therein
conform to my way.” Accordingly, he gave her a company of men and she
took them and bringing them to a certain door, said to them, “Stand ye
here, at this door, and whoso cometh out to you, seize him; and I will
come out to you last of all.” “Hearing and obeying,” answered they and
stood at the door, whilst the crone went in. They waited a whole hour,
even as the Sultan’s deputy had bidden them, but none came out to them
and their standing waxed longsome, and when they were weary of waiting,
they went up to the door and smote upon it a heavy blow and a violent,
so that they came nigh to break the wooden bolt. Then one of them
entered and was absent a long while, but found naught; so he returned to
his comrades and said to them, “This is the door of a dark passage,
leading to such a thoroughfare; and indeed she laughed at you and left
you and went away.”[79] When they heard his words, they returned to the
Emir and acquainted him with the case, whereby he knew that the old
woman was a cunning craft-mistress and that she had mocked at them and
cozened them and put a cheat on them, to save herself. Witness, then,
the wiles of this woman and that which she contrived of guile, for all
her lack of foresight in presenting herself a second time to the draper
and not suspecting that his conduct was but a sleight; yet, when she
found herself hard upon calamity, she straightway devised a device for
her deliverance. When the company heard the seventh constable’s story,
they were moved to mirth galore, than which naught could be more; and
Al-Malik al-Zahir Bibars rejoiced in that which he heard and said,
“Verily, there betide things in this world wherefrom kings are shut out,
by reason of their exalted degree!” Then came forward another person
from amongst the company and said, “There hath reached me through one of
my friends a similar story bearing on the malice of women and their
wiles, and it is more wondrous and marvellous, more diverting and more
delectable than all that hath been told to you.” Quoth the company there
present, “Tell us thy tale and expound it unto us, so we may see that
which it hath of extraordinary.” And he began to relate


Ye must know that a company, amongst whom was a friend of mine, once
invited me to an entertainment; so I went with him, and when we came
into his house and sat down on his couch, he said to me, “This is a
blessed day and a day of gladness, and who is he that liveth to see the
like of this day? I desire that thou practise with us and disapprove not
our proceedings, for that thou hast been accustomed to fall in with
those who offer this.”[80] I consented thereto and their talk happened
upon the like of this subject.[81] Presently, my friend, who had invited
me, arose from among them and said to them, “Listen to me and I will
acquaint you with an adventure which happened to me. There was a certain
person who used to visit me in my shop, and I knew him not nor he knew
me, nor ever in his life had he seen me; but he was wont, whenever he
wanted a dirham or two, by way of loan, to come to me and ask me,
without acquaintance or introduction between me and him, and I would
give him what he required. I told none of him, and matters abode thus
between us a long while till he began a-borrowing at a time ten or
twenty dirhams, more or less. One day, as I stood in my shop, behold, a
woman suddenly came up to me and stopped before me; and she was a
presence as she were the full moon rising from among the constellations,
and the place was a-light by her light. When I saw her, I fixed my eyes
on her and stared in her face; and she fell to bespeaking me with soft
voice. When I heard her words and the sweetness of her speech, I lusted
after her; and as soon as she saw that I longed for her, she did her
errand and promising me an assignation, went away, leaving my thoughts
occupied with her and fire a-flame in my heart. Accordingly I abode,
perplexed and pondering my affair, the fire still burning in my heart,
till the third day, when she came again and I could hardly credit her
coming.” When I saw her, I talked with her and cajoled her and courted
her and craved her favour with speech and invited her to my house; but,
hearing all this, she only answered, “I will not go up into any one’s
house.” Quoth I, “I will go with thee” and quoth she, “Arise and come
with me.” So I rose and putting into my sleeve a kerchief, wherein was a
fair sum of silver and a considerable, followed the woman, who forwent
me and ceased not walking till she brought me to a lane and to a door,
which she bade me unlock. I refused and she opened it and led me into
the vestibule. As soon as I had entered, she bolted the entrance door
from within and said to me, “Sit here till I go in to the slave-girls
and cause them enter a place whence they shall not see me.” “’Tis well,”
answered I and sat down: whereupon she entered and was absent from me an
eye-twinkling, after which she returned to me, without a veil, and
straightway said, “Arise and enter in the name of Allah.” So I arose and
went in after her and we gave not over going till we reached a saloon.
When I examined the place, I found it neither handsome nor pleasant, but
desolate and dreadful without symmetry or cleanliness; indeed, it was
loathsome to look upon and there was in it a foul smell. After this
inspection I seated myself amiddlemost the saloon, misdoubting; and lo
and behold! as I sat, there came down on me from the daïs a body of
seven naked men, without other clothing than leather belts about their
waists. One of them walked up to me and took my turband, whilst another
seized my kerchief that was in my sleeve, with my money, and a third
stripped me of my clothes; after which a fourth came and bound my hands
behind my back with his belt. Then they all took me up, pinioned as I
was, and casting me down, fell a-haling me towards a sink-hole that was
there and were about to cut my throat, when suddenly there came a
violent knocking at the door. As they heard the raps, they were afraid
and their minds were diverted from me by affright; so the woman went out
and presently returning, said to them, “Fear not; no harm shall betide
you this day. ’Tis only your comrade who hath brought you your dinner.”
With this the new-comer entered, bringing with him a roasted lamb; and
when he came in to them, he asked, “What is to do with you, that ye have
tucked up sleeves and bag-trousers?” Replied they, “This is a head of
game we’ve caught.” As he heard these words, he came up to me and
peering in my face, cried out and said, “By Allah, this is my brother,
the son of my mother and father! Allah! Allah!” Then he loosed me from
my pinion-bonds and bussed my head, and behold it was my friend who used
to borrow silver of me. When I kissed his head, he kissed mine and said,
“O my brother, be not affrighted;” and he called for my clothes and coin
and restored all to me nor was aught missing. Also, he brought me a
porcelain bowl full of sherbet of sugar, with lemons therein, and gave
me to drink; and the company came and seated me at a table. So I ate
with them and he said to me, “O my lord and my brother, now have bread
and salt passed between us and thou hast discovered our secret and our
case; but secrets with the noble are safe.” I replied, “As I am a
lawfully-begotten child and a well-born, I will not name aught of this
nor denounce you!” They assured themselves of me by an oath; then they
brought me out and I went my way, very hardly crediting but that I was
of the dead. I lay ill in my house a whole month; after which I went to
the Hammam and coming out, opened my shop and sat selling and buying as
was my wont, but saw no more of that man or that woman till, one day,
there stopped before my shop a young Turkoman,[82] as he were the full
moon; and he was a sheep-merchant and had with him a leathern bag,
wherein was money, the price of sheep he had sold. He was followed by
the woman, and when he stopped over against my shop, she stood by his
side and cajoled him, and indeed he inclined to her with great
inclination. As for me, I was dying of solicitude for him and began
casting furtive glances at him and winked at him, till he chanced to
look round and saw me signing to him; whereupon the woman gazed at me
and made a signal with her hand and went away. The Turkoman followed her
and I deemed him dead without a doubt; wherefore I feared with exceeding
fear and shut my shop. Then I journeyed for a year’s space and
returning, opened my shop; whereupon, behold, the woman as she walked by
came up to me and said, “This is none other than a great absence.” I
replied, “I have been on a journey;” and she asked, “Why didst thou wink
at the Turkoman?” I answered, “Allah forfend! I did not wink at him.”
Quoth she, “Beware lest thou thwart me;” and went away. Awhile after
this a familiar of mine invited me to his house and when I came to him,
we ate and drank and chatted. Then he asked me, “O my friend, hath there
befallen thee aught of sore trouble in the length of thy life?” Answered
I, “Tell me first, hath there befallen thee aught?” He rejoined:—Know
that one day I espied a fair woman; so I followed her and sued her to
come home with me. Quoth she, I will not enter any one’s house but my
own; so come thou to my home, an thou wilt, and be it on such a day.
Accordingly, on the appointed day, her messenger[83] came to me,
proposing to carry me to her; and when he announced his purpose I arose
and went with him, till we arrived at a goodly house and a great door.
He opened the door and I entered, whereupon he bolted it behind me and
would have gone in; but I feared with exceeding fear and foregoing him
to the second door, whereby he would have had me enter, bolted it and
cried out at him, saying, “By Allah, an thou open not to me, I will slay
thee;[84] for I am none of those whom thou canst readily cozen?” “What
deemest thou of cozening?” “Verily, I am startled by the loneliness of
the house and the lack of any keeper at its door; for I see none
appear.” “O my lord, this is a private door.” “Private or public, open
to me.” So he opened to me and I went out and had gone but a little way
from the door when I met a woman, who said to me, “A long life was
fore-ordained to thee; else hadst thou never come forth of yonder
house.” I asked, “How so?” and she answered, “Enquire of thy friend
Such-an-one,” (naming thee), “and he will acquaint thee with strange
things. So, Allah upon thee, O my friend, tell me what befel thee of
wondrous and marvellous, for I have told thee what befel me.” “O my
brother, I am bound by a solemn oath.” “O my friend, false thine oath
and tell me.”[85] “Indeed, I dread the issue of this.” But he urged me
till I told him all, whereat he marvelled. Then I went away from him and
abode a long while, without further news. One day, I met another of my
friends who said to me, “A neighbour of mine hath invited me to hear
singers” but I said:—“I will not foregather with any one.” However, he
prevailed upon me; so we repaired to the place and found there a person,
who came to meet us and said, “Bismillah!”[86] Then he pulled out a key
and opened the door, whereupon we entered and he locked the door after
us. Quoth I, “We are the first of the folk; but where be the singers’
voices?” He replied, “They’re within the house: this is but a private
door; so be not amazed at the absence of the folk.” My friend said to
me, “Behold, we are two, and what can they dare to do with us?” Then he
brought us into the house, and when we entered the saloon, we found it
desolate exceedingly and dreadful of aspect. Quoth my friend, “We are
fallen into a trap; but there is no Majesty and there is no Might save
in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” And quoth I, “May God never requite
thee for me with good!”[87] Then we sat down on the edge of the daïs and
suddenly I espied a closet beside me; so I peered into it and my friend
asked me, “What seest thou?” I answered, “I see there wealth in store
and corpses of murdered men galore. Look.” So he looked and cried, “By
Allah, we are down among the dead!” and we fell a-weeping, I and he. As
we were thus, behold, four men came in upon us, by the door at which we
had entered, and they were naked, wearing only leather belts about their
waists, and made for my friend. He ran at them and dealing one of them a
blow with his sword-pommel, knocked him down, whereupon the other three
rushed upon him. I seized the opportunity to escape while they were
occupied with him, and espying a door by my side, slipped into it and
found myself in an underground room, without issue, even a window. So I
made sure of death, and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” Then I looked at the top of the
vault and saw in it a range of glazed and coloured lunettes;[88] so I
clambered up for dear life, till I reached the lunettes, and I out of my
wits for fear. I made shift to remove the glass and scrambling out
through the setting, found behind them a wall which I bestrode. Thence I
saw folk walking in the street; so I cast myself down to the ground and
Allah Almighty preserved me, and when I reached the face of earth,
unhurt, the folk flocked round me and I acquainted them with my
adventure. Now as Destiny decreed, the Chief of Police was passing
through the market-street; so the people told him what was to do and he
made for the door and bade raise it off its hinges. We entered with a
rush and found the thieves, as they had thrown my friend down and cut
his throat; for they occupied not themselves with me, but said, “Whither
shall yonder fellow wend? Verily, he is in our grasp.” So the Wali hent
them with the hand[89] and questioned them of their case, and they
confessed against the woman and against their associates in Cairo. Then
he took them and went forth, after he had locked up the house and sealed
it; and I accompanied him till he came without the first house. He found
the door bolted from within; so he bade raise it and we entered and
found another door. This also he caused pull up, enjoining his men to
silence till the doors should be lifted, and we entered and found the
band occupied with new game, whom the woman had just brought in and
whose throat they were about to cut. The Chief released the man and gave
him back whatso the thieves had taken from him; and he laid hands on the
woman and the rest and took forth of the house a mint of money, with
which they found the purse of the Turkoman sheep-merchant. They at once
nailed up the thieves against the house-wall, whilst, as for the woman,
they wrapped her in one of her mantillas and nailing her to a board, set
her upon a camel and went round about the town with her. Thus Allah
razed their dwelling-places and did away from me that which I feared
from them. All this befel, whilst I looked on, and I saw not my friend
who had saved me from them the first time, whereat I wondered to the
utterest of wonderment. However, some days afterward, he came up to me,
and indeed he had renounced the world and donned a Fakir’s dress; and he
saluted me and went away.[90] Then he again began to pay me frequent
visits and I entered into conversation with him and questioned him of
the band and how he came to escape, he alone of them all. He replied, “I
left them from the day on which Allah the Most High delivered thee from
them, for that they would not obey my say; so I sware I would no longer
consort with them.” Quoth I, “By Allah, I marvel at thee, for that
assuredly thou wast the cause of my preservation!” Quoth he, “The world
is full of this sort; and we beseech the Almighty to send us safety, for
that these wretches practice upon men with every kind of malpractice.”
Then said I to him, “Tell me the rarest adventure of all that befel thee
in this villainy thou wast wont to work.” And he answered, “O my
brother, I was not present when they did such deeds, for that my part
with them was to concern myself with selling and buying and feeding
them; but it hath reached me that the rarest thing which befel them was
on this wise.”

                           THE THIEF’S TALE.

The woman who acted decoy for them and trapped their game and used to
inveigle damsels from marriage-banquets, once caught them a woman from a
bride-feast, under pretence that she had a wedding in her own house, and
fixed for her a day when she should come to her. As soon as the
appointed time arrived, the woman presented herself and the other
carried her into the house by a door, declaring that it was a private
wicket. When she entered the saloon, she saw men and braves[91] and knew
that she had fallen into a snare; so she looked at them and said,
“Harkye, my fine fellows![92] I am a woman and in my slaughter there is
no glory, nor have ye against me any feud of blood-wite wherefor ye
should pursue me; and that which is upon me of raiment and ornaments ye
are free to take as lawful loot.” Quoth they, “We fear thy
denunciation;” but quoth she, “I will abide with you, neither coming in
nor going out.” So they said, “We grant thee thy life.” Then the Captain
looked on her and she pleased him; so he took her for himself, and she
abode with him a whole year doing her very best in their service, till
they became familiar with her and felt assured of her faith. One night
of the nights she plied them with drink and they drank till they became
drunken; whereupon she arose and took her clothes and five hundred
dinars from the Captain; after which she fetched a razor and shaved off
all their beards. Then she took soot from the cooking-pots and
blackening their faces[93] opened the doors and fared forth; and when
the thieves recovered from their drink, they abode confounded and knew
that the woman had practiced upon them. All present marvelled at this
his story and the ninth constable came forward and said, “I will tell
you a right pleasant tale I heard at a wedding.”

                     THE NINTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.

A certain singing-girl was fair of favour and bruited of repute, and it
happened one day that she fared forth to a garden a-pleasuring. As she
sat in the summer-house, behold, a man lopped of the hand stopped to beg
of her, and suddenly entered in at the door. Then he touched her with
his stump, saying, “An alms, for the love of Allah!”[94] but she
answered, “Allah open!” and insulted him. Many days after this, there
came to her a messenger and gave her the hire of her going forth.[95] So
she took with her a hand-maid and an accompanyist;[96] and when she came
to the place appointed, the messenger brought her into a long passage,
at the end whereof was a saloon. So (quoth she) we entered therein and
found nobody, but we saw the room made ready for an entertainment with
candles, dried fruits and wine, and in another place we saw food and in
a third beds. Thereupon we sat down and I looked at him who had opened
the door to us, and behold he was lopped of the hand. I misliked this,
and when I sat a little longer, there entered a man, who filled the
candelabra in the saloon and lit the waxen candles; and behold, he also
was handlopped. Then flocked the folk and there entered none except he
were lopped of the hand, and indeed the house was full of these
companions.[97] When the session was complete, the host came in and the
company rose to him and seated him in the place of honour. Now he was
none other than the man who had fetched me, and he was clad in sumptuous
clothes, but his hands were in his sleeves, so that I knew not how it
was with them. They brought him food and he ate, he and the company;
after which they washed hands and the host began casting at me furtive
glances. Then they drank till they were drunken, and when they had taken
leave of their wits, the host turned to me and said, “Thou dealtest not
in friendly fashion with him who sought an alms of thee, and thou saidst
to him:—How loathsome art thou!” I considered him and behold, he was the
lophand who had accosted me in my pleasance.[98] So I asked, “O my lord,
what is this thou sayest?” and he answered, “Wait; thou shalt remember
it.” So saying, he shook his head and stroked his beard, whilst I sat
down for fear. Then he put out his hand to my mantilla and walking-boots
and laying them by his side, cried to me, “Sing, O accursed!”
Accordingly, I sang till I was tired out, what while they occupied
themselves with their case and drank themselves drunk and the heat of
their drink redoubled. Presently, the doorkeeper came to me and said, “O
my lady, fear not; but when thou hast a mind to go, let me know.” Quoth
I, “Thinkest thou to delude me?” and quoth he, “Nay, by Allah! But I
have ruth on thee for that our Captain and chief purposeth thee no good
and methinketh he will kill thee this night.” Said I to him, “An thou be
minded to do me a favour, now is its time;” and said he, “When our Chief
riseth to his need and goeth to the Chapel of Ease, I will precede him
with the light and leave the door open; and do thou wend whithersoever
thou willest.” Then I sang and the Captain cried, “’Tis good.” Replied
I, “Nay, but thou ’rt loathsome.” He looked at me and rejoined, “By
Allah, thou shalt never more scent the odour of the world!” But his
comrades said to him, “Do it not,” and gentled him, till he added, “An
it must be so, and there be no help for it, she shall tarry here a whole
year and not fare forth.” My answer was, “I am content to submit to
whatso pleaseth thee: if I have failed in respect to thee, thou art of
the clement.” He shook his head and drank, then arose and went out to do
his need, whilst his comrades were occupied with what they were about of
merry-making and drunkenness and sport. So I winked to my friends and we
all slipped out into the corridor. We found the door open and fled
forth, unveiled[99] and unknowing whither we went; nor did we halt till
we had fared afar from the house and happened on a Cook cooking, of whom
I asked, “Hast thou a mind to quicken the dead?” He said, “Come up;” so
we went up into the shop, and he whispered, “Lie down.” Accordingly, we
lay down and he covered us with the Halfah grass,[100] wherewith he was
used to kindle the fire under the food. Hardly had we settled ourselves
in the place when we heard a noise of kicking at the door and people
running right and left and questioning the Cook and asking, “Hath any
one passed by thee?” Answered he, “None hath passed by me.” But they
ceased not to go round about the shop till the day broke, when they
turned back, disappointed. Then the Cook removed the reeds and said to
us, “Rise, for ye are delivered from death.” So we arose, and we were
uncovered, sans veil or mantilla; but the Cook carried us up into his
house and we sent to our homes and fetched us veils; and we repented to
Allah Almighty and renounced singing, for indeed this was a mighty
narrow escape after stress.[101] Those present marvelled at this, and
the tenth constable came forward and said, “As for me, there befel me
that which was yet rarer than all ye have yet heard.” Quoth Al-Malik
al-Zahir, “What was that?” And quoth he, “Deign give ear to me.”

                     THE TENTH CONSTABLE’S HISTORY.

A robbery of stuffs had been committed in the city and as it was a great
matter I was cited,[102] I and my fellows: they[103] pressed hard upon
us: but we obtained of them some days’ grace and dispersed in search of
the stolen goods. As for me, I sallied forth with five men and went
round about the city that day; and on the morrow we fared forth into the
suburbs. When we found ourselves a parasang or two parasangs away from
the city, we waxed athirst; and presently we came to a garden. There I
went in alone and going up to the water-wheel,[104] entered it and drank
and made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed. Presently, up came the keeper of
the garden and said to me, “Woe to thee! Who brought thee to this
water-wheel?” and he smote me and squeezed my ribs[105] till I was like
to die. Then he bound me with one of his bulls and made me work the
water-wheel, flogging me as I walked round with a cattle-whip[106] he
had with him, till my heart was a-fire; after which he loosed me and I
went out, knowing not the way. Now when I came forth, I fainted: so I
sat down till my trouble subsided; then I made for my comrades and said
to them, “I have found money and malefactor, and I affrighted him not
neither troubled him, lest he should flee; but now, come, let us go to
him, so we may contrive to lay hold upon him.” Then I took them and we
repaired to the keeper of the garden, who had tortured me with tunding,
with the intent to make him taste the like of that which he had done
with me and lie against him and cause him eat many a stick. So we rushed
to the water-wheel and seized the keeper. Now there was with him a youth
and, as we were pinioning the gardener, he said, “By Allah, I was not
with him and indeed ’tis six months since I entered this city, nor did I
set eyes on the stuffs until they were brought hither.” Quoth we, “Show
us the stuffs;” upon which he carried us to a place wherein was a pit,
beside the water-wheel, and digging there, brought out the stolen goods
with not a thread or a stitch of them missing. So we took them and
carried the keeper to the Prefecture of Police where we stripped him and
beat him with palm-rods till he confessed to thefts manifold. Now I did
this by way of mockery against my comrades, and it succeeded. The
company marvelled at this story with the utmost marvelling, and the
eleventh constable rose and said, “I know a story yet stranger than
this: but it happened not to myself.”


There was once in times of yore a Chief Officer of Police and there
passed by him one day of the days a Jew, hending in hand a basket
wherein were five thousand dinars; whereupon quoth that officer to one
of his slaves, “Art able to take that money from yonder Jew’s basket?”
“Yes,” quoth he, nor did he tarry beyond the next day ere he came to his
lord, bringing the basket. So (said the officer) I bade him, “Go, bury
it in such a place;” whereupon he went and buried it and returned and
told me. Hardly had he reported this when there arose a clamour like
that of Doomsday and up came the Jew, with one of the king’s officers,
declaring that the gold pieces belonged to the Sultan and that he looked
to none but us for it. We demanded of him three days’ delay, according
to custom and I said to him who had taken the money, “Go and set in the
Jew’s house somewhat that shall occupy him with himself.” Accordingly he
went and played a mighty fine trick, which was, he laid in a basket a
dead woman’s hand, painted with henna and having a gold seal-ring on one
of the fingers, and buried that basket under a slab in the Jew’s home.
Then we came and searched and found the basket, whereupon without a
moment of delay we clapped the Jew in irons for the murder of a woman.
As soon as it was the appointed time, there entered to us the man of the
Sultan’s guards, who had accompanied the Jew, when he came to complain
of the loss of the money,[107] and said, “The Sultan sayeth to you, Nail
up[108] the Jew and bring the money, for that there is no way by which
five thousand gold pieces can be lost.” Wherefore we knew that our
device did not suffice. So I went forth and finding a young man, a
Hauráni,[109] passing along the road, laid hands on him forthright and
stripped him, and whipped him with palm-rods. Then I threw him in jail,
ironed, and carrying him to the Prefecture, beat him again, saying to
them, “This be the robber who stole the coin.” And we strove to make him
confess; but he would not. Accordingly, we beat him a third and a fourth
time, till we were aweary and exhausted and he became unable to return a
reply; but, when we had made an end of beating and tormenting him, he
said, “I will fetch the money this very moment.” Presently we went with
him till he came to the place where my slave had buried the gold and he
dug there and brought it out; whereat I marvelled with the utmost marvel
and we carried it to the Prefect’s house. When the Wali saw the money
and made sure of it with his own eyes, he rejoiced with joy exceeding
and bestowed on me a robe of honour. Then he restored the coin
straightway to the Sultan and we left the youth in durance vile; whilst
I said to my slave who had taken the money, “Say me, did yonder young
man see thee, what time thou buriedst the money?” and he replied, “No,
by Allah the Great!” So I went in to the young man, the prisoner, and
plied him with wine[110] till he recovered, when I said to him, “Tell me
how thou stolest the money?” Answered he, “By Allah, I stole it not, nor
did I ever set eyes on it till I brought it forth of the earth!” Quoth
I, “How so?” and quoth he, “Know that the cause of my falling into your
hands was my parent’s imprecation against me; because I entreated her
evilly yesternight and beat her and she said to me, ‘By Allah, O my son,
the Lord shall assuredly gar the oppressor prevail over thee!’ Now she
is a pious woman. So I went out forthright and thou sawest me on my way
and didst that which thou didst; and when beating was prolonged on me,
my senses failed me and I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Fetch it.’ So I
said to you what I said and the Speaker[111] guided me till I came to
the place and there befel what befel of the bringing out of the money.”
I admired this with the utmost admiration and knew that he was of the
sons of the pious. So I bestirred myself for his release and cured him
and besought him of acquittance and absolution of responsibility. All
those who were present marvelled at this story with the utmost marvel,
and the twelfth constable came forward and said, “I will tell you a
pleasant trait that I heard from a certain person, concerning an
adventure which befel him with one of the thieves.”


(Quoth he) I was passing one day in the market, when I found that a
robber had broken into the shop of a shroff, a changer of monies, and
thence taken a casket, wherewith he had made off to the burial-ground.
Accordingly I followed him thither and came up to him, as he opened the
casket and fell a-looking into it; whereupon I accosted him, saying,
“Peace be on you!”[112] And he was startled at me; so I left him and
went away from him. Some months after this, I met him again under
arrest, in the midst of the guards and “men of violence,”[113] and he
said to them, “Seize this man.” So they laid hands on me and carried me
to the Chief of Police, who said, “What hast thou to do with this
wight?” The robber turned to me and looking a long while in my face,
asked, “Who took this man?” and the officer answered, “Thou badest us
take him; so we took him.” And he cried, “I ask refuge of Allah! I know
not this man, nor knoweth he me; and I said not that to you but of a
person other than this.” So they released me, and a while after the
thief met me in the street and saluted me with the salam, saying, “O my
lord, fright for fright! Hadst thou taken aught from me, thou hadst a
part in the calamity.”[114] I replied to him, “Allah be the judge
between me and thee!”[115] And this is what I have to recount. Then came
forward the thirteenth constable and said, “I will tell you a tale which
a man of my friends told me.”


(Quoth he) I went out one night of the nights to the house of a friend
and when it was the middle of the night, I sallied forth alone to hie me
home. When I came into the road, I espied a sort of thieves and they
espied me, whereupon my spittle dried up; but I feigned myself drunken
and staggered from side to side, crying out and saying, “I am drunken.”
And I went up to the walls right and left and made as if I saw not the
thieves, who followed me afoot till I reached my home and knocked at the
door, when they went away. Some few days after this, as I stood at the
door of my house, behold, there came up to me a young man, with a chain
about his neck and with him a trooper, and he said to me, “O my lord, an
alms for the love of Allah!” I replied, “Allah open!” and he looked at
me a long while and cried “That which thou shouldst give me would not
come to the worth of thy turband or thy waistcloth or what not else of
thy habit, to say nothing of the gold and the silver which were about
thy person.” I asked, “And how so?” and he answered, “On such a night,
when thou fellest into peril and the thieves would have stripped thee, I
was with them and said to them, Yonder man is my lord and my master who
reared me. So was I and only I the cause of thy deliverance and thus I
saved thee from them.” When I heard this, I said to him, “Stop;” and
entering my house, brought him that which Allah Almighty made easy to
me.[116] So he went his way; and this is all I have to say. Then came
forward the fourteenth constable and said, “Know that the tale I have to
tell is rarer and pleasanter than this; and ’tis as follows.”


I had a draper’s shop before I entered this corporation,[117] and there
used to come to me a person whom I knew not, save by his face, and I
would give him whatso he sought and have patience with him, till he
could pay me. One night, I foregathered with certain of my friends and
we sat down to liquor: so we drank and were merry and played at
Táb;[118] and we made one of us Wazir and another Sultan and a third
Torchbearer or Headsman.[119] Presently, there came in upon us a
spunger, without bidding, and we went on playing, whilst he played with
us. Then quoth the Sultan to the Wazir, “Bring the Parasite who cometh
in to the folk, without leave or license, that we may enquire into his
case; after which will I cut off his head;” so the headsman arose and
dragged the spunger before the Sultan who bade cut off his head. Now
there was with them a sword, that would not cut clotted curd;[120] so
the headsman smote him therewith and his head flew from his body. When
we saw this, the wine fled from our brains and we became in the foulest
of plights. Then my friends lifted up the corpse and went out with it,
that they might hide it, whilst I took the head and made for the river.
Now I was drunken and my clothes were drenched with the blood; and as I
passed along the road, I met a robber. When he saw me, he knew me and
cried to me, “Such-an-one!” “Well?” said I, and he rejoined, “What is
that thou hast with thee?” So I acquainted him with the case and he took
the head from me. Then we fared on till we came to the river, where he
washed the head and considering it straitly, exclaimed, “By Allah,
verily this be my brother, the son of my sire, and he used to spunge
upon the folk;” after which he threw that head into the river. As for
me, I was like a dead man for dread; but he said to me, “Fear not,
neither do thou grieve, for I acquit thee of my brother’s blood.”
Presently, he took my clothes and washed them and dried them and put
them on me; after which he said to me, “Get thee gone to thy house.” So
I returned to my house and he accompanied me, till I came thither, when
he said to me, “Allah never desolate thee! I am thy friend Such-an-one,
who used to take of thee goods on credit, and I owe thee a kindness; but
henceforward thou wilt never see me more.” Then he went his ways. The
company marvelled at the manliness of this man and his clemency[121] and
courtesy, and the Sultan said, “Tell us another of thy stories, O
Shahrazad.”[122] She replied “’Tis well! They set forth[123]

                    A MERRY JEST OF A CLEVER THIEF.”

A thief of the thieves of the Arabs went one night to a certain man’s
house, to steal from a heap of wheat there, and the people of the house
surprised him. Now on the heap was a great copper tasse, and the thief
buried himself in the corn and covered his head with the tasse, so that
the folk found him not and went their ways; but, as they were going,
behold, there came a mighty great fart[124] forth of the corn. So they
went up to the tasse and raising it, discovered the thief and laid hands
on him. Quoth he, “I have saved you the trouble of seeking me: for I
purposed, in breaking wind, to direct you to my hiding-place; wherefore
do you be easy with me and have ruth on me, so may Allah have ruth on
you!” Accordingly they let him go and harmed him not. “And for another
story of the same kind,” (she continued) “hearken to

                     THE TALE OF THE OLD SHARPER.”

There was once an old man renowned for clever roguery, and he went, he
and his mates, to one of the markets and stole thence a quantity of
stuffs: then they separated and returned each to his quarter. Awhile
after this, the old man assembled a company of his fellows and, as they
sat at drink, one of them pulled out a costly piece of cloth and said,
“Is there any one of you will dare sell this in its own market whence it
was stolen, that we may confess his superior subtlety?” Quoth the old
man, “I will;” and they said, “Go, and Allah Almighty open to thee the
door!” So early on the morrow, he took the stuff and carrying it to the
market whence it had been stolen, sat down at the very shop out of which
it had been purloined and gave it to the broker, who hent it in hand and
cried it for sale. Its owner knew it and bidding for it, bought it and
sent after the Chief of Police, who seized the Sharper and seeing him an
old man of grave presence and handsomely clad said to him, “Whence hadst
thou this piece of stuff?” Quoth he, “I had it from this market and from
yonder shop where I was sitting.” Quoth the Wali, “Did its owner sell it
to thee?” and quoth the robber, “Not so; I stole it, this and other than
it.” Then said the Chief, “How camest thou to bring it for sale to the
place whence thou stolest it?” “I will not tell my tale save to the
Sultan, for that I have a profitable counsel wherewith I would lief
bespeak him.” “Name it!” “Art thou the Sultan?” “No!” “I’ll not tell it
save to himself.” Accordingly the Wali carried him up to the Sultan and
he said, “I have a counsel for thee, O my lord.” Asked the Sultan, “What
is thy counsel?” And the thief said, “I repent and will deliver into thy
hand all who are evildoers; and whomsoever I bring not, I will stand in
his stead.” Cried the Sultan, “Give him a robe of honour and accept his
profession of penitence.” So he went down from the presence and
returning to his comrades, related to them that which had passed, when
they confessed his subtlety and gave him that which they had promised
him. Then he took the rest of the booty and went up therewith to the
Sultan, who, seeing him, recognised him and he was magnified in the
royal eyes and the king commanded that naught should be taken from him.
After this, when he went down, the Sultan’s attention was diverted from
him, little by little, till the case was forgotten, and so he saved the
booty for himself. Those present marvelled at this and the fifteenth
constable came forward and said, “Know that among those who make a trade
of trickery are those whom Allah Almighty taketh on their own testimony
against themselves.” It was asked him, “How so?” and he began to relate


It is told of a thieving person, one of the braves, that he used to rob
and cut the way by himself upon caravans, and whenever the Chief of
Police and the Governors sought him, he would flee from them and fortify
himself in the mountains. Now it came to pass that a certain man
journeyed along the road wherein was that robber, and this man was
single-handed and knew not the sore perils besetting his way. So the
highwayman came out upon him and said to him, “Bring out that which is
with thee, for I mean to kill thee and no mistake.” Quoth the traveller,
“Kill me not, but annex these saddle-bags and divide that which is in
them and take to thee the fourth part.” And the thief answered, “I will
not take aught but the whole.”[126] Rejoined the traveller, “Take half,
and let me go;” but the robber replied, “I will have naught but the
whole, and eke I will kill thee.” So the wayfarer said, “Take it.”
Accordingly the highwayman took the saddle-bags and offered to slay the
traveller, who said, “What is this? Thou hast against me no blood-feud
that should make my slaughter incumbent.” Quoth the other, “Needs must I
kill thee;” whereupon the traveller dismounted from his horse and
grovelled before him, beseeching the thief and bespeaking him fair. The
man hearkened not to his prayers, but cast him to the ground; whereupon
the traveller raised his eyes and seeing a francolin flying over him,
said, in his agony, “O Francolin,[127] bear testimony that this man
slayeth me unjustly and wickedly; for indeed I have given him all that
was with me and entreated him to let me go, for my children’s sake; yet
would he not consent. But be thou witness against him, for Allah is not
unmindful of deeds which the oppressors do.” The highwayman paid no heed
to what he heard, but smote him and cut off his head. After this, the
rulers compounded with the highwayman for his submission, and when he
came before them, they enriched him and he became in such favour with
the lieutenant of the Sultan that he used to eat and drink with him and
there befel between them familiar converse which lasted a long while
till in fine there chanced a curious chance. The lieutenant of the
Sultan one day of the days made a banquet, and therein was a roasted
francolin, which when the robber saw, he laughed a loud laugh. The
lieutenant was angered against him and said to him, “What is the meaning
of thy laughter? Seest thou any fault or dost thou mock at us, of thy
lack of good manners?” Answered the highwayman, “Not so, by Allah, O my
lord; but I saw yonder francolin, which brought to my mind an
extraordinary thing; and ’twas on this wise. In the days of my youth, I
used to cut the way, and one day I waylaid a man, who had with him a
pair of saddle-bags and money therein.” So I said to him, “Leave these
saddle-bags, for I mean to slay thee.” Quoth he, “Take the fourth part
of that which is in them and leave me the rest;” and quoth I, “Needs
must I take the whole and kill thee without mistake.” Then said he,
“Take the saddle-bags and let me wend my way;” but I answered, “There is
no help but that I slay thee.” As we were in this contention, behold, he
saw a francolin and turning to it, said, “Bear testimony against him, O
Francolin, that he slayeth me unjustly and letteth me not go to my
children, for all he hath taken my money.” However, I had no pity on him
neither hearkened to that which he said, but smote him and slew him and
concerned not myself with the evidence of the francolin. His story
troubled the lieutenant of the Sultan and he was enraged against him
with sore rage; so he drew his sword and smiting him, cut off his head
while he sat at table; whereupon a voice recited these couplets—

 An wouldst not be injurèd, injure not; ✿ But do good and from Allah win
    goodly lot;
 For what happeth by Allah is doomed to be ✿ Yet thine acts are the root
    I would have thee wot.[128]

Now this voice was the francolin which bore witness against him. The
company present marvelled at this tale and all cried, “Woe to the
oppressor!” Then came forward the sixteenth constable and said, “And I
for another will tell you a marvellous story which is on this wise.”


I went forth one day of the days, intending to travel, and suddenly fell
upon a man whose wont it was to cut the way. When he came up with me he
offered to slay me and I said to him, “I have naught with me whereby
thou mayst profit.” Quoth he, “My profit shall be the taking of thy
life.” I asked, “What is the cause of this? Hath there been enmity
between us aforetime?” and he answered, “Nay; but needs must I slay
thee.” Thereupon I ran away from him to the river side; but he caught me
up and casting me to the ground, sat down on my breast. So I sought help
of the Shaykh of the Pilgrims[129] and cried to him, “Protect me from
this oppressor!” And indeed he had drawn a knife to cut my throat when,
lo and behold! there came a mighty great crocodile forth of the river
and snatching him up from off my breast plunged into the water, with him
still hending knife in hand, even within the jaws of the beast; whilst I
abode extolling Almighty Allah, and rendering thanks for my preservation
to him who had delivered me from the hand of that wrong-doer.[130]


Know thou, O King of the Age, that there was in days of yore and in ages
and times long gone before, in the city of Baghdad, the Abode of Peace,
a Caliph Harun al-Rashid hight, and he had cup-companions and
tale-tellers to entertain him by night. Among his equerries was a man
named Abdullah bin Náfi’, who stood high in favour with him and dear to
him, so that he did not forget him a single hour. Now it came to pass,
by the decree of Destiny, that it became manifest to Abdullah how he was
grown of small account with the Caliph, who paid no heed unto him nor,
if he absented himself, did he ask after him, as had been his habit.
This was grievous to Abdullah and he said within himself, “Verily, the
soul of the Commander of the Faithful and his Wazir are changed towards
me and nevermore shall I see in him that cordiality and affection
wherewith he was wont to treat me.” And this was chagrin-full to him and
concern grew upon him, so that he recited these couplets:—

 Whoso’s contemned in his home and land ✿ Should, to better his case, in
    self-exile hie:
 So fly the house where contempt awaits, ✿ Nor on fires of grief for the
    parting fry;
 Crude Ambergris[132] is but offal where ✿ ’Tis born; but abroad on our
    necks shall stye;
 And Kohl at home is a kind of stone, ✿ Cast on face of earth and on
    roads to lie;
 But when borne abroad it wins highest worth ✿ And thrones between eyelid
    and ball of eye.

(Quoth the sayer,) Then he could brook this matter no longer; so he went
forth from the dominions of the Prince of True Believers, under pretence
of visiting certain of his kith and kin, and took with him nor servant
nor comrade, neither acquainted any with his intent, but betook himself
to the road and fared deep into the wold and the sand-wastes, unknowing
whither he went. After awhile, he unexpectedly fell in with travellers
who were making the land of Hind and journeyed with them. When he came
thither, he lighted down in a city of that country and housed him in one
of the lodging-houses; and there he abode a while of days, relishing not
food neither solacing himself with sleep; nor was this for lack of
dirhams or dinars, but for that his mind was occupied with musing upon
the shifts of Destiny and bemoaning himself for that the revolving
sphere had turned against him in enmity, and the days had decreed unto
him the disfavour of our lord the Imam.[133] After such fashion he abode
a space of days, and presently he homed him in the land and took to
himself friends and got him many familiars, with whom he addressed
himself to diversion and good cheer. He used also to go a-pleasuring
with his companions and their hearts were solaced by his company and he
entertained them every evening with stories and displays of his manifold
accomplishments[134] and diverted them with delectable verses and told
them abundance of stories and histories. Presently, the report of him
reached King Jamhúr, lord of Kashgar of Hind, who sent in quest of him,
and great was his desire to see him. So Abdullah repaired to his court
and going in to him, kissed ground before him; and Jamhur welcomed him
and treated him with kindness and bade lodge him in the guest-house,
where he abode three days, at the end of which the king sent to him a
chamberlain of his chamberlains and bade bring him to the presence. When
he came before him, he greeted him, and the truchman accosted him,
saying, “Verily, King Jamhur hath heard of thy report, that thou art a
pleasant cup-companion and an eloquent teller of night-tales, and he
would have thee company with him o’ nights and entertain him with that
which thou knowest of histories and pleasant stories and verses.” And he
made answer, “To hear is to obey!” (Quoth Abdullah bin Nafi’,) So I
became his boon-companion and entertained him by night with tales and
talk; and this pleased him with the utmost pleasure and he took me into
favour and bestowed on me robes of honour and set apart for me a
lodging; indeed he was bountiful exceedingly to me and could not brook
to be parted from me a single hour. So I sojourned with him a while of
time and every night I caroused and conversed with him till the most
part of the dark hours was past; and when drowsiness overcame him, he
would rise and betake himself to his sleeping-place, saying to me,
“Forsake not my service and forego not my presence.” And I made answer
with “Hearing and obeying.” Now the king had a son, a nice child, called
the Emir Mohammed, who was winsome of youth and sweet of speech: he had
read books and had perused histories and he loved above all things in
the world the telling and hearing of verses and tales and anecdotes. He
was dear to his father King Jamhur, for that he owned no other son than
he on life, and indeed he had reared him in the lap of love and he was
gifted with exceeding beauty and loveliness, brilliancy and perfect
grace: he had also learnt to play upon the lute and upon all manner
instruments and he was used to converse and company with friends and
brethren. Now it was his wont, when the king arose seeking his
sleeping-chamber, to sit in his place and require me to entertain him
with tales and verses and pleasant anecdotes; and on this wise I abode
with them both a great while in all joyance and delight, and the Prince
still loved me with mighty great love and treated me with the utmost
tenderness. It fortuned one day that the king’s son came to me, after
his sire had withdrawn, and cried, “O Ibn Nafi’!” “At thy service, O my
lord;” “I would have thee tell me a wondrous story and a marvellous
matter, which thou hast never related either to me or to my father
Jamhur.” “O my lord, what story is this that thou desirest of me and of
what kind shall it be of the kinds?” “It mattereth little, so it be a
goodly story, whether it befel of olden tide or in these times.” “O my
lord, I know by rote many stories of various kinds; so which of the
kinds preferrest thou, and wilt thou have a story of mankind or of
Jinn-kind?” “’Tis well! An thou have espied aught with thine eyes and
heard it with thine ears, tell it me.” Then he bethought himself and
said to me, “I conjure thee by my life, tell me a tale of the tales of
the Jinn and that which thou hast heard of them and seen of them!” I
replied, “O my son, indeed thou conjurest me by a mighty conjuration; so
lend an ear to the goodliest of stories, ay, and the strangest of them
and the pleasantest and rarest.” Quoth the Prince, “Say on, for I am
attentive to thy speech;” and quoth I, “Hear then, O my son,


The Viceregent of the Lord of the three Worlds, Harun al-Rashid, had a
boon-companion of the number of his boon-companions, by name Ishak bin
Ibrahim al-Nadim al-Mausili,[135] who was the most accomplished of the
folk of his time in smiting upon the lute; and of the Commander of the
Faithful’s love for him, he set apart for him a palace of the choicest
of his palaces, wherein he was wont to instruct hand-maidens in the arts
of singing and of lute-playing. If any slave-girl became, by his
instruction, clever in the craft, he carried her before the Caliph, who
bade her perform upon the lute; and if she pleased him, he would order
her to the Harim; else would he restore her to Ishak’s palace. One day,
the Commander of the Faithful’s breast was straitened; so he sent after
his Wazir Ja’afar the Barmecide and Ishak the cup-companion and Masrur
the eunuch, the Sworder of his vengeance; and when they came, he changed
his habit and disguised himself, whilst Ja’afar and Ishak and Masrur and
Al-Fazl[136] and Yúnus[137] (who were also present) did the like. Then
he went out, he and they, by the postern, to the Tigris and taking boat
fared on till they came to near Al-Táf,[138] when they landed and walked
till they came to the gate of the high street. Here there met them an
old man, handsome in his hoariness and of a venerable bearing and a
dignified, agreeable of aspect and apparel. He kissed the earth before
Ishak al-Mausili (for that he knew only him of the company, the Caliph
being disguised, and deemed the others certain of his friends), and said
to him, “O my lord, there is presently with me a hand-maid, a lutanist,
never saw eyes the like of her nor the like of her grace, and indeed I
was on my way to pay my respects to thee and give thee to know of her;
but Allah, of His favour, hath spared me the trouble. So now I desire to
show her to thee, and if she take thy fancy, well and good; otherwise I
will sell her.” Quoth Ishak, “Go before me to thy quarters,[139] till I
come to thee and see her.” The old man kissed his hand and went away;
whereupon quoth Al-Rashid to him, “O Ishak, who is yonder man and what
is his want?” The other replied, “O my lord, this is a man Sa’íd the
Slave-dealer hight, and ’tis he that buyeth us maidens and Mamelukes. He
declareth that with him is a fair slave, a lutanist, whom he hath
withheld from sale, for that he could not fairly sell her till he had
passed her before me in review.” Quoth the Caliph, “Let us go to him so
we may see her, by way of solace, and sight what is in the
slave-dealer’s quarters of slave-girls;” and quoth Ishak, “Command
belongeth to Allah and to the Commander of the Faithful.” Then he
forewent them and they followed in his track till they came to the
slave-dealer’s quarters and found a building tall of wall and large of
lodgment, with sleeping-cells and chambers therein, after the number of
the slave-girls, and folk sitting upon the wooden benches. So Ishak
entered, he and his company, and seating themselves in the place of
honour, amused themselves by looking at the hand-maids and Mamelukes and
watching how they were bought and sold, till the vending came to an end,
when some of the folk went away and some remained seated. Then cried the
slave-dealer, “Let none sit with us except whoso purchaseth by the
thousand dinars and upwards.” Accordingly those present withdrew and
there remained none but Al-Rashid and his suite; whereupon the
slave-dealer called the damsel, after he had caused set her a chair of
Fawwák,[140] lined with Grecian brocade, and she was like the sun
shining high in the shimmering sky. When she entered, she saluted and
sitting down, took the lute and smote upon it, after she had touched its
strings and tuned it, so that all present were amazed. Then she sang
thereto these couplets:

 Breeze o’ Morn, an thou breathe o’er the loved one’s land, ✿ Deliver my
    greeting to all the dear band!
 And declare to them still I am pledged to their love ✿ And my longing
    excels all that lover unmanned:
 O ye who have blighted my heart, ears and eyes, ✿ My passion and ecstasy
    grow out of hand;
 And torn is my sprite every night with desire, ✿ And nothing of sleep
    can my eyelids command.

Ishak exclaimed, “Brava, O damsel! By Allah, this is a fair hour!”
Whereupon she sprang up and kissed his hand, saying, “O my lord, in very
sooth the hands stand still before thy presence and the tongues at thy
sight, and the loquent when confronting thee wax dumb; but thou art the
looser of the veil.”[141] Then she clung to him and cried, “Stand;” so
he stood and said to her, “Who art thou and what is thy need?” She
raised a corner of the veil, and behold she was a damsel as she were the
full moon rising or the leven glancing, with two side-locks of hair
which fell down to her anklets. She kissed his hand and said to him, “O
my lord, know that I have been in these quarters some five months,
during which I have withheld myself from sale till thou shouldst be
present and see me; and yonder slave-dealer also made thy coming a
pretext for not vending me, and forbade me for all I sought of him night
and day that he should cause thee come hither and vouchsafe me thy
company and gar me and thee forgather.” Quoth Ishak, “Tell me what thou
wouldst have;” and quoth she, “I beseech thee, by Allah Almighty, that
thou buy me, so I may be with thee by way of service.” He asked, “Is
that thy desire?” and she answered “Yes.” So Ishak returned to the
slave-dealer and said to him, “Ho thou, Shaykh Sa’id!” Said the old man,
“At thy service, O my lord,” and Ishak continued, “In the corridor is a
chamber and therein wones a damsel pale and wan. What is her price in
dirhams and how much dost thou ask for her?” Quoth the slave-dealer,
“She whom thou mentionest, O my lord, is called Tohfat al-Humaká.”[142]
Ishak asked, “What is the meaning of Al-Humaka?” and the old man
answered, “Her price hath been weighed and paid an hundred times and she
still saith, Show me him who would buy me; and when I show her to him,
she saith, This one I mislike; he hath in him such and such a default.
And in every one who would fain buy her she noteth some defect or other,
so that none careth now to purchase her and none seeketh her, for fear
lest she find some fault in him.” Quoth Ishak, “She seeketh at this
present to sell herself; so go thou to her and inquire of her and see
her price and send her to the palace.” Quoth Sa’id, “O my lord, her
price is an hundred dinars, though, were she free of this paleness that
is upon her face, she would be worth a thousand gold pieces; but wanton
folly and wanness have diminished her value; and behold I will go to her
and consult her of this.” So he betook himself to her and enquired of
her, “Wilt thou be sold to Ishak bin Ibrahim al-Mausili?” She replied,
“Yes,” and he said, “Leave folly, for to whom doth it happen to be in
the house of Ishak the cup-companion?”[143] Thereupon Ishak went forth
the slave-dealer’s quarters and overtook Al-Rashid who had preceded him;
and they ceased not walking till they came to their landing-place, where
they embarked in the boat and fared on to Thaghr al-Khánakah.[144] As
for the slave dealer, he sent the damsel to the house of Ishak al-Nadim,
whose slave-girls took her and carried her to the Hammam. Then each
damsel gave her somewhat of her gear and they decked her with earrings
and bracelets, so that she redoubled in beauty and became as she were
the moon on the night of its full. When Ishak returned home from the
Caliph’s palace, Tohfah rose to him and kissed his hand; and he saw that
which the hand-maids had done with her and thanked them for so doing and
said to them, “Let her home in the house of instruction and bring her
instruments of music, and if she be apt at song teach her; and may Allah
Almighty vouchsafe her health and weal!” So there passed over her three
months, while she homed with him in the house of instruction, and they
brought her the instruments of music. Furthermore, as time went on she
was vouchsafed health and soundness and her beauty waxed many times
brighter than before and her pallor was changed to white and red, so
that she became a seduction to all who saw her. One day, Ishak bade
summon all who were with him of slave-girls from the house of
instruction and carried them up to Al-Rashid’s palace, leaving none in
his house save Tohfah and a cookmaid; for that he thought not of Tohfah,
nor did she come to his memory, and none of the damsels reminded him of
her. When she saw that the house was empty of the slave-girls, she took
the lute (now she was singular in her time for smiting upon the lute,
nor had she her like in the world, no, not Ishak himself, nor any other)
and sang thereto these couplets:—

 When soul desireth one that is its mate ✿ It never winneth dear desire
    of Fate:
 My life for him whose tortures tare my frame, ✿ And dealt me pine he can
    alone abate!
 He saith (that only _he_ to heal mine ill, ✿ Whose sight is medicine to
    my doleful state),
 “O scoffer-wight, how long wilt mock my woe ✿ As though did Allah
    nothing else create?”

Now Ishak had returned to his house on an occasion that called for him;
and when he entered the vestibule, he heard a sound of singing, the like
whereof he had never heard in the world, for that it was soft as the
breeze and more strengthening than oil[145] of almonds. So the pleasure
of it gat hold of him and delight so seized him, that he fell down
fainting in the vestibule. Tohfah heard the noise of footfalls and
laying the lute from her hand, went out to see what was the matter. She
found her lord Ishak lying aswoon in the entrance; so she took him up
and strained him to her bosom, saying, “I conjure thee in Allah’s name,
O my lord, tell me, hath aught of ill befallen thee?” When he heard her
voice, he recovered from his fainting and asked her, “Who art thou?” She
answered, “I am thy slave-girl Tohfah;” and he said to her, “Art thou
indeed Tohfah?” “Yes,” replied she; and he, “By Allah, I had indeed
forgotten thee and remembered thee not till this moment!” Then he looked
at her and said, “Verily, thy case is altered to other case and thy
wanness is changed to rosiness and thou hast redoubled in beauty and
loveliness. But was it thou who was singing just now?” She was troubled
and affrighted and answered, “Even I, O my lord;” whereupon Ishak seized
upon her hand and carrying her into the house, said to her, “Take the
lute and sing; for never saw I nor heard thy like in smiting upon the
lute; no, not even myself!” Quoth she, “O my lord, thou mockest me. Who
am I that thou shouldst say all this to me? Indeed, this is but of thy
kindness.” Quoth he, “Nay, by Allah, I said but the truth to thee and I
am not of those on whom pretence imposeth. For these three months nature
hath not moved thee to take the lute and sing thereto, and this is
naught save a rare thing and a strange. But all this cometh of strength
in the art and thy self-restraint.” Then he bade her sing; and she said,
“Hearkening and obedience.” So she took the lute and tightening its
strings to the sticking point, smote thereon a number of airs, so that
she confounded Ishak’s wit and for delight he was like to fly. Then she
returned to the first mode and sang thereto these couplets:—

 By your ruined stead aye I stand and stay, ✿ Nor shall change or
    dwelling depart us tway!

 No distance of homestead shall gar me forget ✿ Your love, O friends, but
    I yearn alwày:
 Ne’er flies your phantom the babes of these eyne ✿ You are moons in
    Nighttide’s murkest array:
 And with growing passion mine unrest grows ✿ And each morn I find union
    dissolved in woes.

When she had made an end of her song and laid down the lute, Ishak
looked fixedly on her, then took her hand and offered to kiss it; but
she snatched it from him and said to him, “Allah, O my lord, do not
that!”[146] Cried he, “Be silent. By Allah, I had said that there was
not in the world the like of me; but now I have found my dinár in the
art but a dánik,[147] for thou art more excellent of skill than I,
beyond comparison or approximation or calculation! This very day will I
carry[148] thee up to the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid,
and when his glance lighteth on thee, thou wilt become a Princess of
womankind. So Allah, Allah upon thee, O my lady, whenas thou becomest of
the household of the Prince of True Believers, do not thou forget me!”
She replied, “Allah, O my lord, thou art the root of my fortunes and in
thee is my heart fortified.” Thereat he took her hand and made a
covenant with her of this and she swore to him that she would not forget
him. Then said he to her, “By Allah, thou art the desire of the
Commander of the Faithful! Now take the lute and sing a song which thou
shalt sing to the Caliph, when thou goest in to him.” So she took the
lute and tuning it, improvised these couplets:—

 His lover had ruth on his woeful mood ✿ And o’erwept him as still by his
    couch he[149] stood:
 And garred him drink of his lip-dews and wine[150] ✿ Ere he died and
    this food was his latest good.

Ishak stared at her and seizing her hand, said to her, “Know that I am
bound by an oath that, when the singing of a damsel pleaseth me, she
shall not end her song but before the Prince of True Believers. But now
tell me, how came it that thou tarriedst with the slave-dealer five
months and wast not sold to any one, and thou of this skill, especially
when the price set on thee was no great matter?” Hereat she laughed and
answered, “O my lord, my story is a wondrous and my case a marvellous.
Know that I belonged aforetime to a Maghribi merchant, who bought me
when I was three years old, and there were in his house many slave-girls
and eunuchs; but I was the dearest to him of them all. So he kept me
with him and used not to address me otherwise than, ‘O daughterling,’
and indeed to this moment I am a clean maid. Now there was with him a
damsel, a lutanist, and she reared me and taught me the art, even as
thou seest. Then was my master removed to the mercy of Allah
Almighty[151] and his sons divided his monies. I fell to the lot of one
of them; but ’twas only a little while ere he had wasted all his wealth
and there was left him naught of coin. So I gave up the lute, fearing
lest I should fall into the hand of a man who knew not my worth, for
well I wot that needs must my master sell me; and indeed but a few days
passed ere he carried me forth to the quarters of the slave-merchant who
buyeth damsels and displayeth them to the Commander of the Faithful. Now
I desired to learn the art and mystery; so I refused to be sold to other
than thou, until Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) vouchsafed me my
desire of thy presence; whereupon I came out to thee, as soon as I heard
of thy coming, and besought thee to buy me. Thou heartenedst my heart
and boughtest me; and since I entered thy house, O my lord, I have not
taken up the lute till now; but to-day, when I was left private by the
slave-girls, I took it; and my purpose in this was that I might see if
my hand were changed[152] or not. As I was singing, I heard a footfall
in the vestibule; so springing up, I laid the lute from my hand and
going forth to see what was to do, found thee, O my lord, after this
fashion.” Quoth Ishak, “Indeed, this was of thy fair fortune. By Allah,
I know not that which thou knowest in this art!” Then he arose and
opening a chest, brought out therefrom striped clothes[153], netted with
jewels and great pearls and other costly gems and said to her, “In the
name of Allah, don these, O my lady Tohfah.” So she arose and donned
that dress and veiled herself and went up with Ishak to the palace of
the Caliphate, where he made her stand without, whilst he himself went
in to the Prince of True Believers (with whom was Ja’afar the Barmaki)
and kissing the ground before him, said to him, “O Commander of the
Faithful, I have brought thee a damsel, never saw eyes of seer her like
for excellence in singing and touching the lute; and her name is
Tohfah.” Al-Rashid asked “And where be this Tohfah[154] who hath not her
like in the world?” Answered Ishak, “Yonder she standeth, O Commander of
the Faithful;” and he acquainted the Caliph with her case from first to
last. Then said Al-Rashid, “’Tis a marvel to hear thee praise a
slave-girl after this fashion. Admit her that we may look upon her, for
verily the morning may not be hidden.” Accordingly, Ishak bade admit
her; so she entered, and when her eyes fell upon the Prince of True
Believers, she kissed ground before him and said, “The Peace be upon
thee, O Commander of the faithful Fold and Asylum of all who the true
Creed hold and Quickener of justice in the Worlds threefold! Allah make
thy feet tread on safest wise and give thee joy of what He gave thee in
generous guise and make thy harbourage Paradise and Hell-fire that of
thine enemies!” Quoth Al-Rashid, “And on thee be the Peace, O damsel!
Sit.” So she sat down and he bade her sing; whereupon she took the lute
and tightening its strings, played thereon in many modes, so that the
Prince of True Believers and Ja’afar were confounded in sprite and like
to fly for delight. Then she returned to the first mode and improvised
these couplets:—

 O mine eyes! I swear by him I adore, ✿ Whom pilgrims seek thronging
 An thou call my name on the grave of me, ✿ I’ll reply to thy call tho’
    my bones go rot:
 I crave none for friend of my heart save thee; ✿ So believe me, for true
    are the well-begot.

Al-Rashid considered her comeliness and the goodliness of her singing
and her eloquence and what other qualities she comprised and rejoiced
with joy exceeding; and for the stress of that which overcame him of
delight, he descended from the couch and sitting down with her upon the
floor, said to her, “Thou hast done well, O Tohfah. By Allah, thou art
indeed a choice gift!”[155] Then he turned to Ishak and said to him,
“Thou dealtest not justly, O Ishak, in the description of this damsel,
nor didst thou fairly set forth all that she compriseth of charms and
art; for that, by Allah, she is inconceivably more skilful than thou;
and I know of this craft that which none knoweth save I!” Exclaimed the
Wazir Ja’afar, “By Allah, thou sayst sooth, O my lord, O Commander of
the Faithful. Indeed, she hath done away my wit, hath this damsel.”
Quoth Ishak, “By Allah, O Prince of True Believers, I had said that
there was not on the face of the earth one who knew the art of the lute
like myself; but when I heard her, my skill became nothing worth in mine
eyes.” Then said the Caliph to her, “Repeat thy playing, O Tohfah.” So
she repeated it and he cried to her, “Well done!” Moreover, he said to
Ishak, “Thou hast indeed brought me a marvellous thing, one which is
worth in mine eyes the empire of the world.” Then he turned to Masrur
the eunuch and said to him, “Carry Tohfah to the chamber of honour.”
Accordingly, she went away with the Castrato and the Caliph looked at
her raiment and ornaments and seeing her clad in clothing of choice,
asked Ishak, “O Ishak, whence hath she these robes?” Answered he, “O my
lord, these are somewhat of thy bounties and thy largesse, and they are
a gift to her from me. By Allah, O Commander of the Faithful, the world,
all of it, were little in comparison with her!” Then the Caliph turned
to the Wazir Ja’afar and said to him “Give Ishak fifty thousand dirhams
and a robe of honour of the choicest apparel.” “Hearing and obeying,”
replied Ja’afar and gifted him with that which the Caliph ordered him.
As for Al-Rashid, he was private with Tohfah that night and found her a
pure virgin and rejoiced in her; and she took high rank in his heart, so
that he could not suffer her absence a single hour and committed to her
the keys of the affairs of the realm, for that which he saw in her of
good breeding and fine wit and leal will. He also gave her fifty
slave-girls and two hundred thousand dinars and a quantity of raiment
and ornaments, gems and jewels worth the kingdom of Egypt; and of the
excess of his love for her, he would not entrust her to any of the
hand-maids or eunuchs; but, whenever he went out from her, he locked the
door upon her and took the key with him, against he should return to
her, forbidding the damsels to go in to her, of his fear lest they
should slay her or poison her or practise on her with the knife; and in
this way he abode awhile. One day, as she sang before the Commander of
the Faithful, he was delighted with exceeding delight, so that he
offered to kiss her hand;[156] but she drew it away from him and smote
upon her lute and broke it and wept. Al-Rashid wiped away her tears and
said, “O desire of the heart, what is it maketh thee weep? May Allah not
cause an eye of thine to shed tears?” Said she, “O my lord, what am I
that thou shouldst kiss my hand? Wilt thou have Allah punish me for this
and my term come to an end and my felicity pass away? For this is what
none ever attained unto.” He rejoined, “Well said, O Tohfah. Know that
thy rank in my esteem is high and for that which delighted me of what I
saw in thee, I offered to do this, but I will not return unto the like
thereof; so be of good cheer, with eyes cool and clear, for I have no
desire to other than thyself and will not die but in the love of thee,
and thou to me art queen this day, to the exclusion of all humankind.”
Therewith she fell to kissing his feet; and this her fashion pleased
him, so that his love for her redoubled and he became unable to brook
severance from her a single hour. Now Al-Rashid one day went forth to
the chase and left Tohfah in her pavilion. As she sat perusing a book,
with a candle-branch of gold before her, wherein was a perfumed candle,
behold, a musk-apple fell down before her from the top of the
saloon.[157] So she looked up and beheld the Lady Zubaydah bint
al-Kasim,[158] who saluted her with a salam and acquainted her with
herself, whereupon Tohfah sprang to her feet and said, “O my lady, were
I not of the number of the new,[159] I had daily sought thy service; so
do not thou bereave me of those noble steps.”[160] The Lady Zubaydah
called down blessings upon her and replied, “I knew this of thee; and,
by the life of the Commander of the Faithful, but that it is not of my
wont to go forth of my place, I had come out to do my service to thee.”
Then quoth she to her, “Know, O Tohfah, that the Commander of the
Faithful hath deserted all his concubines and favourites on thine
account, even myself hath he abandoned on this wise, and I am not
content to be as one of the mistresses; yet hath he made me of them and
forsaken me, and I have sought thee, so thou mayst beseech him to come
to me, though it be but once a month, in order that I may not be the
like of the hand-maids and concubines nor take rank with the
slave-girls; and this is my need of thee.” Answered Tohfah, “Hearkening
and obedience! By Allah, O my lady, I would that he might be with thee a
whole month and with me but one night, so thy heart might be heartened,
for that I am one of thy hand-maids and thou in every case art my lady.”
The Princess Zubaydah thanked her for this and taking leave of her,
returned to her palace. When the Caliph came back from the chase and
course, he betook himself to Tohfah’s pavilion and bringing out the key,
opened the lock and went in to her. She rose to receive him and kissed
his hand, and he gathered her to his breast and seated her on his
knee.[161] Then food was brought to them and they ate and washed their
hands; after which she took the lute and sang, till Al-Rashid was moved
to sleep. When aware of this, she ceased singing and told him her
adventure with the Lady Zubaydah, saying, “O Prince of True Believers, I
would have thee favour me with a favour and hearten my heart and accept
my intercession and reject not my supplication, but fare thee forthright
to the Lady Zubaydah.” Now this talk befel after he had stripped himself
naked and she also had doffed her dress; and he said, “Thou shouldst
have named this ere we stripped ourselves naked, I and thou!” But she
answered, saying, “O Commander of the Faithful, I did this not except in
accordance with the saying of the poet in these couplets:—

 Of all intercessions can none succeed, ✿ Save whatso Tohfah bint Marján
 No intercessor who comes enveiled;[162] ✿ She sues the best who sues

When Al-Rashid heard this, her speech pleased him and he strained her to
his bosom. Then he went forth from her and locked the door upon her, as
before; whereupon she took the book and sat perusing it awhile.
Presently, she set it aside and taking the lute, tightened its strings;
and smote thereon, after a wondrous fashion, such as would have moved
inanimate things to dance, and fell to singing marvellous melodies and
chanting these couplets:—

       Cease for change to wail, ✿ The world blames who rail;
       Bear patient its shafts   ✿ That for aye prevail.
       How often a joy           ✿ Grief-garbed thou shalt hail:
       How oft gladding bliss    ✿ Shall appear amid bale!


Then she turned and saw within the chamber an old man, handsome in his
hoariness and stately of semblance, who was dancing in goodly and
winning wise, a dance whose like none might dance. So she sought refuge
with Allah Almighty from Satan the Stoned and said, “I will not give
over what I am about, for whatso the Lord willeth, He fulfilleth.”
Accordingly, she went on singing till the Shaykh came up to her and
kissed ground before her, saying, “Well done, O Highmost of the East and
the West! May the world be not bereaved of thee! By Allah, indeed thou
art perfect of manners and morals, O Tohfat al-Sudúr![163] Dost thou
know me?” Cried she, “Nay, by Allah, but methinks thou art of the Jann.”
Quoth he, “Thou sayst sooth; I am Abú al-Tawáif[164] Iblis, and I come
to thee every night, and with me thy sister Kamariyah, for that she
loveth thee and sweareth not but by thy life; and her pastime is not
pleasant to her, except she come to thee and see thee whilst thou seest
her not. As for me, I approach thee upon an affair, whereby thou shalt
gain and rise to high rank with the kings of the Jann and rule them,
even as thou rulest mankind; and to that end I would have thee come with
me and be present at the festival of my daughter’s wedding and the
circumcision of my son;[165] for that the Jann are agreed upon the
manifestation of thy command.” And she answered, “Bismillah; in the name
of the Lord.”[166] So she gave him the lute and he forewent her, till he
came to the Chapel of Ease,[167] and behold, therein was a door and a
stairway. When Tohfah saw this, her reason fled; but Iblis cheered her
with chat. Then he descended the steps and she followed him to the
bottom of the stair, where she found a passage and they fared on
therein, till they came to a horse standing, ready saddled and bridled
and accoutred. Quoth Iblis, “Bismillah, O my lady Tohfah;” and he held
the stirrup for her. So she mounted and the horse heaved like a wave
under her and putting forth wings soared upwards with her, while the
Shaykh flew by her side; whereat she was affrighted and clung to the
pommel of the saddle;[168] nor was it but an hour ere they came to a
fair green meadow, fresh-flowered as if the soil thereof were a fine
robe, purfled with all manner bright hues. Amiddlemost that mead was a
palace towering high in air, with crenelles of red gold, set with pearls
and gems, and a two-leaved door; and about the gateway were much people
of the chiefs of the Jann, clad in costliest clothing. When they saw the
Shaykh, they all cried out, saying, “The Lady Tohfah is come!” And as
soon as she reached the palace-gate, they pressed forward in a body, and
dismounting her from the horse’s back, carried her into the palace and
fell to kissing her hands. When she entered, she beheld a palace whereof
seers ne’er saw the like; for therein were four halls, one facing other,
and its walls were of gold and its ceilings of silver. It was
high-builded of base, wide of space, and those who descried it would be
posed to describe it. At the upper end of the hall stood a throne of red
gold set with pearls and jewels, up to which led five steps of silver,
and on its right and on its left were many chairs of gold and silver.
Quoth Tohfah, “The Shaykh led me to the estrade and seated me on a chair
of gold beside the throne, and over the daïs was a curtain let down,
gold and silver wrought and broidered with pearls and jewels.” And she
was amazed at that which she beheld in that place and magnified her Lord
(extolled and exalted be He!) and hallowed Him. Then the kings of the
Jann came up to that throne and seated themselves thereon; and they were
in the semblance of Adam’s sons, excepting two of them, who appeared in
the form and aspect of the Jann, each with one eye slit endlong and
jutting horns and projecting tusks.[169] After this there came up a
young lady, fair of favour and seemly of stature, the light of whose
face outshone that of the waxen flambeaux; and about her were other
three women, than whom none fairer abode on face of earth. They saluted
Tohfah with the salam and she rose to them and kissed ground before
them; whereupon they embraced her after returning her greeting[170] and
sat down on the chairs aforesaid. Now the four women who thus accosted
Tohfah were the Princess Kamariyah, daughter of King Al-Shísbán, and her
sisters; and Kamariyah loved Tohfah with exceeding love. So, when she
came up to her, she fell to kissing and embracing her, and Shaykh Iblis
cried, “Fair befal the accolade! Take me between you.” At this Tohfah
laughed and Kamariyah said, “O my sister, I love thee, and doubtless
hearts have their witnesses,[171] for, since I saw thee, I have loved
thee.” Replied Tohfah, “By Allah, hearts have sea-like deeps, and thou,
by Allah, art dear to me and I am thy hand-maid.” Kamariyah thanked her
for this and kissing her once more said, “These be the wives of the
kings of the Jann: greet them with the salam! This is Queen Jamrah,[172]
that is Queen Wakhímah and this other is Queen Sharárah, and they come
not but for thee.” So Tohfah rose to her feet and bussed their hands,
and the three queens kissed her and welcomed her and honoured her with
the utmost honour. Then they brought trays and tables and amongst the
rest a platter of red gold, inlaid with pearls and gems; its raised rims
were of or and emerald, and thereon were graven[173] these couplets:—

        To bear provaunt assigned, ✿ By hands noble designed,
        For the gen’rous I’m made  ✿ Not for niggardly hind!
        So eat safe all I hold     ✿ And praise God of mankind.

After reading the verses they ate and Tohfah looked at the two kings who
had not changed shape and said to Kamariyah, “O my lady, what be this
feral and that other like unto him? By Allah, mine eye may not suffer
the sight of them.” Kamariyah laughed and answered, “O my sister, that
is my sire Al-Shisban and the other is hight Maymún the Sworder; and of
the arrogance of their souls and their insolence, they consented not to
change their created shapes. Indeed, all whom thou seest here are
naturefashioned like them; but on thine account they have changed
favour, for fear lest thou be disquieted and for the comforting of thy
mind, so thou mightest become familiar with them and be at thine ease.”
Quoth Tohfah, “O my lady, verily I cannot look at them. How frightful is
this Maymun, with his monocular face! Mine eye cannot brook the sight of
him, and indeed I am in affright of him.” Kamariyah laughed at her
speech, and Tohfah continued, “By Allah, O my lady, I cannot fill my eye
with the twain!”[174] Then cried her father Al-Shisban to her, “What be
this laughing?” So she bespoke him in a tongue none understood but they
two and acquainted him with that which Tohfah had said; whereat he
laughed a prodigious loud laugh, as it were the roaring thunder.
Presently they ate and the tables were removed and they washed their
hands; after which Iblis the Accursed came up to Tohfah and said to her,
“O my lady, thou gladdenest the place and enlightenest and embellishest
it with thy presence; but now fain would these kings hear somewhat of
thy singing, for Night hath dispread her pinions for departure and there
abideth of it but a little.” Quoth she, “Hearing and obeying.” So she
took the lute and touching its strings with rare touch, played thereon
after wondrous wise, so that it seemed to those who were present as if
the palace surged like a wave with them for the music. Then she began
singing and chanting these couplets:—

 Folk of my faith and oath, Peace with you be! ✿ Quoth ye not I shall
    meet you, you meet me?
 I’ll chide you softerwise than breeze o’ morn, ✿ Sweeter than spring of
    coolest clarity.
 I’ faith mine eyelids are with tears chafed sore; ✿ My vitals plain to
    you some cure to see.
 My friends! Our union to disunion changed ✿ Was aye my fear for ’twas my
 I’ll plain to Allah of all ills I bore; ✿ For pine and yearning misery
    still I dree.

The kings of the Jann were moved to delight by that sweet singing and
seemly speech and thanked Tohfah therefore; and Queen Kamariyah rose to
her and threw her arms round her neck and kissed her between the eyes,
saying, “By Allah, ’tis good, O my sister and coolth of mine eyes and
core of my heart!” Then said she, “I conjure thee by Allah, give us more
of this lovely singing;” and Tohfah answered with “To hear is to obey.”
So she took the lute and playing thereon in a mode different from the
former fashion, sang these couplets:—

 I, oft as ever grows the pine of me, ✿ Console my soul with hope thy
    sight to see.
 Haply shall Allah join our parted lives, ✿ E’en as my fortunes far from
    thee cast He!
 Then oh! who thrallest me by force of love— ✿ Seizèd by fond affection’s
 All hardships easy wax when thou art nigh; ✿ And all the far draws near
    when near thou be.
 Ah! be the Ruthful light to lover fond, ✿ Love-lorn, frame-wasted, ready
    Death to dree!
 Were hope of seeing thee cut off, my loved; ✿ After thine absence sleep
    mine eyes would flee!
 I mourn no worldly joyance, my delight ✿ Is but to sight thee while thou
    seest my sight.

At this the accursed Iblis was hugely pleased and thrust his finger up
his fundament,[175] whilst Maymun danced and said, “O Tohfat al-Sudur,
soften the sound;[176] for, as pleasure entereth into my heart, it
arresteth my breath and blood.” So she took the lute and altering the
tune, played a third air; then she returned to the first and sang these

 The waves of your[177] love o’er my life have rolled; ✿ I sink while I
    see you all aid withhold:

 You have drowned my vitals in deeps of your love, ✿ Nor can heart and
    sprite for your loss be consoled:
 Deem not I forget my troth after you: ✿ How forget what Allah decreed of
 Love clings to the lover who nights in grief, ✿ And ’plains of unrest
    and of woes ensouled.

The kings and all those who were present rejoiced in this with joy
exceeding and the accursed Iblis came up to Tohfah and kissing her hand,
said to her “Verily there abideth but little of the night; so tarry with
us till the morrow, when we will apply ourselves to the wedding[179] and
the circumcision.”[180] Then all the Jann went away, whereupon Tohfah
rose to her feet and Iblis said, “Go ye up with Tohfah to the garden for
the rest of the night.” So Kamariyah took her and went with her into the
garden, which contained all manner birds, nightingale and mocking-bird
and ring-dove and curlew[181] and other than these of all the kinds.
Therein were all manner of fruits: its channels[182] were of gold and
silver and the water thereof, as it broke forth of its conduits, was
like the bellies of fleeing serpents, and indeed it was as it were the
Garden of Eden.[183] When Tohfah beheld this, she called to mind her
lord and wept sore and said, “I beseech Allah the Most High to vouchsafe
me speedy deliverance and return to my palace and to my high estate and
queendom and glory, and reunion with my lord and master Al-Rashid.” Then
she walked about that garden and saw in its midst a dome of white
marble, raised on columns of black teak whereto hung curtains purfled
with pearls and gems. Amiddlemost this pavilion was a fountain, inlaid
with all kinds of jacinths, and thereon a golden statue of a man and
beside it a little door. She opened the door and found herself in a long
corridor: so she followed it and entered a Hammam-bath walled with all
kinds of costly marbles and floored with a mosaic of pearls and jewels.
Therein were four cisterns of alabaster, one facing other, and the
ceiling of the bath was of glass coloured with all varieties of colours,
such as confounded the understanding of those who have insight and
amazed the wit of every wight. Tohfah entered the bath, after she had
doffed her dress, and behold the Hammam-basin was overlaid with gold set
with pearls and red balasses and green emeralds and other jewels: so she
extolled Allah Almighty and hallowed Him for the magnificence of that
which she saw of the appointments of that bath. Then she made her
Wuzu-ablution in that basin and pronouncing the Prohibition,[184] prayed
the dawn-prayer and what else had escaped her of orisons;[185] after
which she went out and walked in that garden among jessamine and
lavender and roses and chamomile and gillyflowers and thyme and violets
and basil royal, till she came to the door of the pavilion aforesaid.
There she sat down, pondering that which would betide Al-Rashid after
her, when he should come to her apartment and find her not; and she
plunged into the sea of her solicitude, till slumber overtook her and
soon she slept. Presently she felt a breath upon her face; whereupon she
awoke and found Queen Kamariyah kissing her, and with her her three
sisters, Queen Jamrah, Queen Wakhímah and Queen Sharárah. So she arose
and kissed their hands and rejoiced in them with the utmost joy and they
ceased not, she and they, to talk and converse, what while she related
to them her history, from the time of her purchase by the Maghrabi to
that of her coming to the quarters of the slave-dealer, where she
besought Ishak al-Nadim to buy her,[186] and how she won union with
Al-Rashid, till the moment when Iblis came to her and brought her to
them. They gave not over talking till the sun declined and yellowed and
the hour of its setting drew near and the day departed, whereupon Tohfah
was urgent in supplication[187] to Allah Almighty, on the occasion of
the sundown-prayer, that he would reunite her with her lord Al-Rashid.
After this, she abode with the four queens, till they arose and entered
the palace, where she found the waxen tapers lit and ranged in
candlesticks of gold and silver, and censing vessels of silver and gold
filled with lign-aloes and ambergris, and there were the kings of the
Jann sitting. So she saluted them with the salam, kissing the earth
before them and doing them service; and they rejoiced in her and in her
sight. Then she ascended the estrade and sat down upon her chair, whilst
King Al-Shisban and King Al-Muzfir[188] and Queen Lúlúah and other kings
of the Jann sat on chairs, and they brought choice tables, spread with
all manner meats befitting royalties. They ate their fill; after which
the tables were removed and they washed their hands and wiped them with
napkins. Then they brought the wine-service and set on tasses and cups
and flagons and beakers of gold and silver and bowls of crystal and
gold; and they poured out the wines and they filled the flagons. Then
Iblis took the bowl and signed to Tohfah to sing: and she said, “To hear
is to obey!” So she hent the lute in hand and tuning it, sang these

 Drink wine, O ye lovers, I rede you alwày, ✿ And praise his worth who
    loves night and day;
 ’Mid the myrtle, narcissus and lavender, ✿ And the scented herbs that
    bedeck the tray.

So Iblis the Damned drank and said, “Brava, O desire of hearts! But thou
owest me still another aria.” Then he filled the cup and signed to her
to sing. Quoth she, “Hearkening and obedience,” and chanted these

 Ye wot, I am whelmed in despair and despight, ✿ Ye dight me blight that
    delights your sight:
 Your wone is between my unrest and my eyes; ✿ Nor tears to melt you, nor
    sighs have might.

 How oft shall I sue you for justice, and you ✿ With a pining death my
    dear love requite?
 But your harshness is duty, your farness near; ✿ Your hate is Union,
    your wrath is delight:
 Take your fill of reproach as you will: you claim ✿ All my heart, and I
    reck not of safety or blame.

All present were delighted and the sitting-chamber was moved like a wave
with mirth, and Iblis said, “Brava, O Tohfat al-Sudur!” Then they left
not liquor-bibbing and rejoicing and making merry and tambourining and
piping till the night waned and the dawn waxed near; and indeed
exceeding delight entered into them. The most of them in mirth was the
Shaykh Iblis, and for the stress of that which befel him of joyance, he
doffed all that was on him of coloured clothes and cast them over
Tohfah, and among the rest a robe broidered with jewels and jacinths,
worth ten thousand dinars. Then he kissed the earth and danced and he
thrust his finger up his fundament and hending his beard in hand, said
to her, “Sing about this beard and endeavour after mirth and pleasance,
and no blame shall betide thee for this.” So she improvised and sang
these couplets:—

 Barbe of the olden, the one-eyed goat! ✿ What words shall thy foulness
    o’ deed denote?
 Be not of our praises so pompous-proud: ✿ Thy worth for a dock-tail
    dog’s I wot.
 By Allah, to-morrow shall see me drub ✿ Thy nape with a cow-hide[189]
    and dust thy coat!

All those present laughed at her mockery of Iblis and wondered at the
wittiness of her visnomy[190] and her readiness in versifying, whilst
the Shaykh himself rejoiced and said to her, “O Tohfat al-Sudur, verily,
the night be gone; so arise and rest thyself ere the day; and to-morrow
there shall be naught save weal.” Then all the kings of the Jinn
departed, together with those who were present of guards; and Tohfah
abode alone, pondering the case of Al-Rashid and bethinking her of how
it went with him after her going, and of what had betided him for her
loss, till the dawn lightened, when she arose and walked about the
palace. Suddenly she saw a handsome door; so she opened it and found
herself in a flower-garden finer than the first—ne’er saw eyes of seer a
fairer than it. When she beheld this garth, she was moved to delight and
she called to mind her lord Al-Rashid and wept with sore weeping and
cried, “I crave of the bounty of Allah Almighty that my return to him
and to my palace and to my home may be nearhand!” Then she walked about
the parterres till she came to a pavilion, high-builded of base and wide
of space, never espied mortal nor heard of a grander than it. So she
entered and found herself in a long corridor, which led to a Hammam
goodlier than that aforetime described, and its cisterns were full of
rose-water mingled with musk. Quoth Tohfah, “Extolled be Allah! Indeed,
this[191] is none other than a mighty great king.” Then she pulled off
her clothes and washed her body and made her Ghusl-ablution of the whole
person[192] and prayed that which was due from her of prayer from the
evening of the previous day.[193] When the sun rose upon the gate of the
garden and she saw the wonders thereof, with that which was therein of
all manner blooms and streams, and heard the voices of its birds, she
marvelled at what she beheld of the rareness of its ordinance and the
beauty of its disposition and sat musing over the case of Al-Rashid and
pondering what was come of him after her. Her tears coursed down her
cheeks and the zephyr blew on her; so she slept and knew no more till
she suddenly felt a breath on her side-face, whereat she awoke in
affright and found Queen Kamariyah kissing her, and she was accompanied
by her sisters, who said, “Rise, for the sun hath set.” So Tohfah arose
and making the Wuzu-ablution, prayed her due of prayers[194] and
accompanied the four queens to the palace, where she saw the wax candles
lighted and the kings sitting. She saluted them with the salam and
seated herself upon her couch; and behold, King Al-Shisban had shifted
his semblance, for all the pride of his soul. Then came up Iblis (whom
Allah damn!) and Tohfah rose to him and kissed his hands. He also kissed
her hand and blessed her and asked, “How deemest thou? Is not this place
pleasant, for all its desertedness and desolation?” Answered she, “None
may be desolate in this place;” and he cried, “Know that this is a site
whose soil no mortal dare tread;” but she rejoined, “I have dared and
trodden it, and this is one of thy many favours.” Then they brought
tables and dishes and viands and fruits and sweetmeats and other
matters, whose description passeth powers of mortal man, and they ate
their sufficiency; after which the tables were removed and the
dessert-trays and platters set on, and they ranged the bottles and
flagons and vessels and phials, together with all manner fruits and
sweet-scented flowers. The first to raise the bowl was Iblis the
Accursed, who said, “O Tohfat al-Sudur, sing over my cup.” So she took
the lute and touching it, carolled these couplets:—

 Wake ye, Ho sleepers all! and take your joy ✿ Of Time, and boons he
    deignèd to bestow;
 Then hail the Wine-bride, drain the wine-ptisane ✿ Which, poured from
    flagon, flows with flaming glow:

 O Cup-boy, serve the wine, bring round the red[195] ✿ Whose draught
    gives all we hope for here below:
 What’s worldly pleasure save my lady’s face, ✿ Draughts of pure wine and
    song of musico?

So Iblis drained his bowl and, when he had made an end of his draught,
waved his hand to Tohfah; then, throwing off that which was upon him of
clothes, delivered them to her. The suit would have brought ten thousand
dinars and with it was a tray full of jewels worth a mint of money.
Presently he filled again and gave the cup to his son Al-Shisban, who
took it from his hand and kissing it, stood up and sat down again. Now
there was before him a tray of roses; so he said to her, “O Tohfah, sing
thou somewhat upon these roses.” She replied, “Hearkening and
obedience,” and chanted these two couplets:—

 It proves my price o’er all the flowers that I ✿ Seek you each year, yet
    stay but little stound:
 And high my vaunt I’m dyèd by my lord ✿ Whom Allah made the best e’er
    trod on ground.[196]

So Al-Shisban drank off the cup in his turn and said, “Brava, O desire
of hearts!” and he bestowed on her that was upon him, to wit, a dress of
cloth-of-pearl, fringed with great unions and rubies and purfled with
precious gems, and a tray wherein were fifty thousand dinars. Then
Maymun the Sworder took the cup and began gazing intently upon Tohfah.
Now there was in his hand a pomegranate-flower and he said to her, “Sing
thou somewhat, O queen of mankind and Jinn-kind upon this
pomegranate-flower; for indeed thou hast dominion over all hearts.”
Quoth she, “To hear is to obey;” and she improvised and sang these

 Breathes sweet the zephyr on fair partèrre; ✿ Robing lute in the
    flamings that fell from air:

 And moaned from the boughs with its cooing rhyme ✿ Voice of ring-doves
    plaining their love and care:
 The branch dresses in suit of fine sendal green ✿ And in wine-hues
    borrowed from bloom Gulnare.[197]

Maymun the Sworder drained his bowl and said to her, “Brava, O
perfection of qualities!” Then he signed to her and was absent awhile,
after which he returned and with him a tray of jewels worth an hundred
thousand ducats, which he gave to Tohfah. Thereupon Kamariyah arose and
bade her slave-girl open the closet behind the Songstress, wherein she
laid all that wealth; and committed the key to her, saying, “Whatso of
riches cometh to thee, lay thou in this closet that is by thy side, and
after the festivities, it shall be borne to thy palace on the heads of
the Jinn.” Tohfah kissed her hand and another king, by name Munír,[198]
took the bowl and filling it, said to her, “O ferly Fair, sing to me
over my bowl somewhat upon the jasmine.” She replied with, “Hearkening
and obedience,” and improvised these couplets:—

 ’Twere as though the Jasmine (when self she enrobes ✿ On her boughs)
    doth display to my wondering eyne;
 In sky of green beryl, which Beauty enclothes, ✿ Star-groups like studs
    of the silvern mine.

Munir drank off his cup and ordered her eight hundred thousand dinars,
whereat Kamariyah rejoiced and rising to her feet, kissed Tohfah on her
face and said to her, “Be the world never bereaved of thee, O thou who
lordest it over the hearts of Jinn-kind and mankind!” Then she returned
to her place and the Shaykh Iblis arose and danced, till all present
were confounded; after which the Songstress said, “Verily, thou
embellishest my festivities, O thou who commandest men and Jinn and
rejoicest their hearts with thy loveliness and the beauty[199] of thy
faithfulness to thy lord. All that thy hands possess shall be borne to
thee in thy palace and placed at thy service; but now the dawn is
nearhand; so do thou rise and rest thee according to thy custom.” Tohfah
turned and found with her none of the Jinn; so she laid her head on the
floor and slept till she had gotten her repose; after which she arose
and betaking herself to the lakelet, made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed.
Then she sat beside the water awhile and meditated the matter of her
lord Al-Rashid and that which had betided him after her loss and wept
with sore weeping. Presently, she heard a blowing behind her;[200] so
she turned and behold, a Head without a body and with eyes slit endlong:
it was of the bigness of an elephant’s skull and bigger and had a mouth
as it were an oven and projecting canines as they were grapnels, and
hair which trailed upon the ground. So Tohfah cried, “I take refuge with
Allah from Satan the Stoned!” and recited the Two Preventives;[201] what
while the Head drew near her and said, “Peace be with thee, O Princess
of Jinn and men and union-pearl of her age and her time! Allah continue
thee on life, for all the lapsing of the days, and reunite thee with thy
lord the Imam!”[202] She replied, “And upon thee be Peace; O thou whose
like I have not seen among the Jann!” Quoth the Head, “We are a folk who
may not change their favours and we are hight Ghúls: mortals summon us
to their presence, but we cannot present ourselves before them without
leave. As for me, I have gotten leave of the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif to
appear before thee and I desire of thy favour that thou sing me a song,
so I may go to thy palace and question its Haunters[203] concerning the
plight of thy lord after thee and return to thee; and know, O Tohfat
al-Sudur, that between thee and thy lord be a distance of fifty years’
journey for the _bonâ-fide_ traveller.” She rejoined, “Indeed, thou
grievest me anent him between whom and me is fifty years’ journey;” but
the Head[204] cried to her, “Be of good cheer and of eyes cool and
clear, for the sovrans of the Jann will restore thee to him in less than
the twinkling of an eye.” Quoth she, “I will sing thee an hundred songs,
so thou wilt bring me news of my lord and that which betided him after
me.” And quoth the Head, “Do thou favour me and sing me a song, so I may
go to thy lord and fetch thee tidings of him, for that I desire, before
I go, to hear thy voice, so haply my thirst[205] may be quenched.” So
she took the lute and tuning it, sang these couplets:—

 They have marched, yet no empty stead left they: ✿ They are gone, nor
    heart grieves me that fled be they:
 My heart forebode the bereaval of friends; ✿ Allah ne’er bereave steads
    wherefrom sped be they!
 Though they hid the stations where led were they, ✿ I’ll follow till
    stars fall in disarray!
 Ye slumber, but wake shall ne’er fly these lids; ✿ ’Tis I bear what ye
    never bore—well-away!
 It had irked them not to farewell who fares ✿ With the parting-fires
    that my heart waylay.

 My friends,[206] your meeting to me is much ✿ But more is the parting
    befel us tway:
 You’re my heart’s delight, or you present be ✿ Or absent, with you is my
    soul for aye!

Thereupon the Head wept exceeding sore and cried, “O my lady, indeed
thou hast solaced my heart, and I have naught but my life; so take it.”
She replied, “Nay, an I but knew that thou wouldst bring me news of my
lord Al-Rashid, ’twere fainer to me than the reign of the world;” and
the Head answered her, “It shall be done as thou desirest.” Then it
disappeared and returning to her at the last of the night, said, “O my
lady, know that I have been to thy palace and have questioned one of its
Haunters of the case of the Commander of the Faithful and that which
befel him after thee; and he said:—When the Prince of True Believers
came to Tohfah’s apartment and found her not and saw no sign of her, he
buffeted his face and head and rent his raiment. Now there was in thy
chamber the Castrato, the chief of thy household, and the Caliph cried
out at him, saying:—Bring me Ja’afar the Barmaki and his father and
brother at this very moment!” The Eunuch went out, bewildered in his wit
for fear of the King, and when he stood in presence of Ja’afar, he said
to him, “Come to the Commander of the Faithful, thou and thy father and
thy brother.” So they arose in haste and betaking themselves to the
presence, said, “O Prince of True Believers what may be the matter?”
Quoth he, There is a matter which passeth description. Know that I
locked the door and taking the key with me, betook myself to my uncle’s
daughter, with whom I lay the night; but, when I arose in the morning
and came and opened the door, I found no sign of Tohfah. Quoth
Ja’afar:—“O Commander of the Faithful have patience, for that the damsel
hath been snatched away, and needs must she return, seeing that she took
the lute with her, and ’tis her own lute. The Jinns have assuredly
carried her off, and we trust in Allah Almighty that she will return.
Cried the Caliph:—This[207] is a thing which may nowise be! And he abode
in her apartment, nor eating nor drinking, while the Barmecides besought
him to fare forth to the folk; and he weepeth and tarrieth on such
fashion till she shall return. This, then, is that which hath betided
him after thee.” When Tohfah heard his words, they were grievous to her
and she wept with sore weeping; whereupon quoth the Head to her, “The
relief of Allah the Most High is nearhand; but now let me hear somewhat
of thy speech.” So she took the lute and sang three songs, weeping the
while. The Head exclaimed, “By Allah, thou hast been bountiful to me,
the Lord be with thee!” Then it disappeared and the season of sundown
came: so she rose and betook herself to her place in the hall; whereupon
behold, the candles sprang up from under the earth and kindled
themselves. Then the kings of the Jann appeared and saluted her and
kissed her hands and she greeted them with the salam. Presently appeared
Kamariyah and her three sisters and saluted Tohfah and sat down;
whereupon the tables were brought and they ate; and when the tables were
removed there came the wine-tray and the drinking-service. So Tohfah
took the lute and one of the three queens filled the cup and signed to
the Songstress. Now she had in her hand a violet, so Tohfah improvised
these couplets:—

 I’m clad in a leaf-cloak of green; ✿ In an honour-robe ultramarine:
 I’m a wee thing of loveliest mien ✿ But all flowers as my vassals are
 An Rose title her “Morn-pride,” I ween ✿ Nor before me nor after she’s

The queen drank off her cup and bestowed on Tohfah a dress of
cloth-of-pearl, fringed with red rubies, worth twenty thousand ducats,
and a tray whereon were ten thousand sequins. All this while Maymun’s
eye was upon her and presently he said to her, “Harkye, Tohfah! Sing to
me.” But Queen Zalzalah cried out at him, and said “Desist,[208] O
Maymun. Thou sufferest not Tohfah to pay heed to us.” Quoth he, “I will
have her sing to me:” and many words passed between them and Queen
Zalzalah cried aloud at him. Then she shook and became like unto the
Jinns and taking in her hand a mace of stone, said to him, “Fie upon
thee! What art thou that thou shouldst bespeak us thus? By Allah, but
for the respect due to kings and my fear of troubling the session and
the festival and the mind of the Shaykh Iblis, I would assuredly beat
the folly out of thy head!” When Maymun heard these her words, he rose,
with the fire shooting from his eyes, and said, “O daughter of Imlák,
what art thou that thou shouldst outrage me with the like of this talk?”
Replied she, “Woe to thee, O dog of the Jinn, knowest thou not thy
place?” So saying, she ran at him, and offered to strike him with the
mace, but the Shaykh Iblis arose and casting his turband on the ground,
cried, “Out on thee, O Maymun! Thou dost always with us on this wise.
Wheresoever thou art present, thou troublest our pleasure! Canst thou
not hold thy peace until thou go forth of the festival and this
bride-feast be accomplished? When the circumcision is at an end and ye
all return to your dwellings, then do as thou willest. Fie upon thee, O
Maymun! Wottest thou not that Imlak is of the chiefs of the Jinn? But
for my good name, thou shouldst have seen what would have betided thee
of humiliation and chastisement; yet on account of the festival none may
speak. Indeed thou exceedest: dost thou not ken that her sister Wakhimah
is doughtier[209] than any of the Jann? Learn to know thyself: hast thou
no regard for thy life?” So Maymun was silent and Iblis turned to Tohfah
and said to her “Sing to the kings of the Jinns this day and to-night
until the morrow, when the boy will be circumcised and each shall return
to his own place.” Accordingly she took the lute and Kamariyah said to
her (now she had a citron in hand), “O my sister, sing to me somewhat on
this citron.” Tohfah replied, “To hear is to obey,” and improvising,
sang these couplets:—

 I’m a dome of fine gold and right cunningly dight; ✿ And my sweetness of
    youth gladdeth every sight:
 My wine is ever the drink of kings ✿ And I’m fittest gift to the
    friendliest sprite.

At this Queen Kamariyah rejoiced with joy exceeding and drained her cup,
crying, “Brava! O thou choice Gift of hearts!” Furthermore, she took off
a sleeved robe of blue brocade, fringed with red rubies, and a necklace
of white jewels worth an hundred thousand ducats, and gave them to
Tohfah. Then she passed the cup to her sister Zalzalah, who hent in her
hand herb basil, and she said to Tohfah, “Sing to me somewhat on this
basil.” She replied, “Hearing and obeying,” and improvised and sang
these couplets:—

 I’m the Queen of herbs in the séance of wine ✿ And in Heaven Na’ím are
    my name and sign:
 And the best are promised, in garth of Khuld, ✿ Repose, sweet scents and
    the peace divine:[210]
 What prizes then with my price shall vie? ✿ What rank even mine, in all
    mortals’ eyne?

Thereat Queen Zalzalah rejoiced with joy exceeding and bidding her
treasuress bring a basket, wherein were fifty pairs of bracelets and the
same number of earrings, all of gold, crusted with jewels of price,
whose like nor mankind nor Jinn-kind possessed, and an hundred robes of
vari-coloured brocades and an hundred thousand ducats, gave the whole to
Tohfah. Then she passed the cup to her sister Shararah, who had in her
hand a stalk of narcissus; so she took it from her and turning to the
Songstress, said to her, “O Tohfah, sing to me somewhat on this.” She
replied, “Hearkening and obedience,” and improvised these couplets:—

 With the smaragd wand doth my form compare; ✿ ’Mid the finest flowers my
    worth’s rarest rare:
 My eyes are likened to Beauty’s eyne, ✿ And my gaze is still on the
    bright partèrre.

When she had made an end of her song, Shararah was moved to delight
exceeding, and drinking off her cup, said to her, “Brava, O thou choice
Gift of hearts!” Then she ordered her an hundred dresses of brocade and
an hundred thousand ducats and passed the cup to Queen Wakhimah. Now she
had in her hand somewhat of Nu’uman’s bloom, the anemone; so she took
the cup from her sister and turning to the Songstress, said to her, “O
Tohfah, sing to me on this.” Quoth she, “I hear and I obey,” and
improvised these couplets:—

 I’m a dye was dyed by the Ruthful’s might; ✿ And all confess me the
    goodliest sight:
 I began in the dust and the clay, but now ✿ On the cheeks of fair women
    I rank by right.

Therewith Wakhimah rejoiced with joy exceeding and drinking off the cup,
ordered her twenty dresses of Roumí brocade and a tray, wherein were
thirty thousand ducats. Then she gave the cup to Queen Shu’á’ah,[211]
Regent of the Fourth Sea, who took it and said, “O my lady Tohfah, sing
to me on the gillyflower.” She replied, “Hearing and obeying,” and
improvised these couplets:—

 The time of my presence ne’er draws to a close, ✿ Amid all whose joyance
    with mirth o’erflows;
 When topers gather to sit at wine ✿ Or in nightly shade or when morning
 I filch from the flagon to fill the bowls ✿ And the crystal cup where
    the winebeam glows.

Queen Shu’a’ah rejoiced with joy exceeding and emptying her cup, gave
Tohfah an hundred thousand ducats. Then up sprang Iblis (whom Allah
curse!) and cried, “Verily, the dawn lighteneth;” whereupon the folk
arose and disappeared, all of them, and there abode not one of them save
the Songstress, who went forth to the garden and entering the Hammam
made her Wuzu-ablutions and prayed whatso lacked her of prayers. Then
she sat down and when the sun rose, behold, there came up to her near an
hundred thousand green birds, which filled the branches of the trees
with their multitudes and they warbled in various voices, whilst Tohfah
marvelled at their fashion. Suddenly, appeared eunuchs, bearing a throne
of gold, studded with pearls and gems and jacinths, both white and red,
and having four steps of gold, together with many carpets of sendal and
brocade and Coptic cloth of silk sprigged with gold; and all these they
spread in the centre of the garden and setting up the throne thereon,
perfumed the place with virgin musk, Nadd[212] and ambergris. After
that, there came a queen; never saw eyes a fairer than she nor than her
qualities; she was robed in rich raiment, broidered with pearls and
gems, and on her head was a crown set with various kinds of unions and
jewels. About her were five hundred slave-girls, high-bosomed maids, as
they were moons, screening her, right and left, and she among them like
the moon on the night of its full, for that she was the most worthy of
them in majesty and dignity. She ceased not walking till she came to
Tohfah, whom she found gazing on her in amazement; and when the
Songstress saw her turn to her, she rose to her, standing on her feet,
and saluted her and kissed ground between her hands. The queen rejoiced
in her and putting out her hand to her, drew her to herself and seated
her by her side on the couch; whereupon the Songstress kissed her hands
and the queen said to her, “Know, O Tohfah, that all which thou treadest
of these carpets belongeth not to any of the Jinn, who may never tread
them without thy leave,[213] for that I am the queen of them all and the
Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif Iblis sought my permission to hold festival[214]
and prayed me urgently to be present at the circumcision of his son. So
I despatched to him, in my stead, a slave-girl of my slave-girls,
namely, Shu’á’ah Queen of the Fourth Sea, who is vice-reine of my reign.
When she was present at the wedding and saw thee and heard thy singing,
she sent to me, informing me of thee and setting forth to me thy grace
and amiability and the beauty of thy breeding and thy courtesy.[215] So
I am come to thee, for that which I have heard of thy charms, and hereby
I do thee a mighty great favour in the eyes of all the Jann.”[216]
Thereupon Tohfah arose and kissed the earth and the queen thanked her
for this and bade her sit. So she sat down and the queen called for
food; when they brought a table of gold, inlaid with pearls and jacinths
and jewels and bearing kinds manifold of birds and viands of various
hues, and the queen said, “O Tohfah, in the name of Allah! Let us eat
bread and salt together, I and thou.” Accordingly the Songstress came
forward and ate of those meats and found therein somewhat the like
whereof she had never eaten; no, nor aught more delicious than it, while
the slave-girls stood around the table, as the white compasseth the
black of the eye, and she sat conversing and laughing with the queen.
Then said the lady, “O my sister, a slave-girl told me of thee that thou
saidst:—How loathly is what yonder Jinni Maymun eateth!”[217] Tohfah
replied, “By Allah, O my lady, I have not any eye that can look at
him,[218] and indeed I am fearful of him.” When the queen heard this,
she laughed till she fell backwards and said, “O my sister, by the might
of the graving upon the seal-ring of Solomon, prophet of Allah, I am
queen over all the Jann, and none dare so much as cast on thee a glance
of the eye;” whereat Tohfah kissed her hand. Then the tables were
removed and the twain sat talking. Presently up came the kings of the
Jinn from every side and kissed ground before the queen and stood in her
service; and she thanked them for this, but moved not for one of
them.[219] Then appeared the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif Iblis (Allah curse
him!) and kissed the earth before her, saying, “O my lady, may I not be
bereft of these steps!”[220] She replied, “O Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif, it
behoveth thee to thank the bounty of the Lady Tohfah, who was the cause
of my coming.” Rejoined he, “Thou sayest sooth,” and kissed ground. Then
the queen fared on towards the palace and there arose and alighted upon
the trees an hundred thousand birds of manifold hues. The Songstress
asked, “How many are these birds;” and Queen Wakhimah answered her,
“Know, O my sister, that this queen is hight Queen al-Shahbá[221] and
that she is queen over all the Jann from East to West. These birds thou
seest are of her host, and unless they appeared in this shape, earth
would not be wide enough for them. Indeed, they came forth with her and
are present with her presence at this circumcision. She will give thee
after the measure of that which hath been given to thee from the first
of the festival to the last thereof;[222] and indeed she honoureth us
all with her presence.” Then the queen entered the palace and sat down
on the couch of the circumcision[223] at the upper end of the hall,
whereupon Tohfah took the lute and pressing it to her breast, touched
its strings suchwise that the wits of all present were bewildered and
Shaykh Iblis cried to her, “O my lady Tohfah, I conjure thee, by the
life of this noble queen, sing for me and praise thyself, and cross me
not.” Quoth she, “To hear is to obey; still, but for thine adjuration, I
had not done this. Say me, doth any praise himself? What manner thing is
this?” Then she improvised these couplets:

        In all fêtes I’m Choice Gift[224] to the minstrel-race;
        Folk attest my worth, rank and my pride of place,
        While Fame, merit and praises with honour engrace.

Her verses pleased the kings of the Jann and they cried, “By Allah, thou
sayst sooth!” Then she rose to her feet, hending lute in hand, and
played and sang, whilst the Jinns and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif danced.
Presently the Father of the Tribes came up to her bussing her bosom, and
gave her a Bráhmani[225] carbuncle he had taken from the hidden hoard of
Yáfis bin Núh[226] (on whom be the Peace), and which was worth the reign
of the world; its light was as the sheen of the sun and he said to her,
“Take this and be equitable therewith to the people of the world.”[227]
She kissed his hand and rejoiced in the jewel and said, “By Allah, this
befitteth none save the Commander of the Faithful.” Now Queen Al-Shahba
laughed with delight at the dancing of Iblís and she said to him, “By
Allah, this is a goodly pavane!” He thanked her for this and said to the
Songstress, “O Tohfah, there is not on earth’s face a skilfuller than
Ishak al-Nadim;[228] but thou art more skilful than he. Indeed, I have
been present with him many a time and have shown him positions[229] on
the lute, and there has betided me with him that which betided. Indeed,
the story of my dealings with him is a long one but this is no time to
repeat it; for now I would show thee a shift on the lute, whereby thou
shalt be exalted over all folk.” Quoth she, “Do what seemeth good to
thee.” So he took the lute and played thereon a wondrous playing, with
rare divisions and marvellous modulations, and showed her a passage she
knew not; and this was goodlier to her than all that she had gotten.
Then she took the lute from him and playing thereon, sang and presently
returned to the passage which he had shown her; and he said, “By Allah,
thou singest better than I!” As for Tohfah, it became manifest to her
that her former practice was all of it wrong and that what she had
learnt from the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif Iblis was the root and foundation
of all perfection in the art and its modes. So she rejoiced in that
which she had won of skill in touching the lute far more than in all
that had fallen to her lot of wealth and honour-robes and kissed the
Master’s hand. Then said Queen Al-Shahba, “By Allah, O Shaykh, my sister
Tohfah is indeed singular among the folk of her time, and I hear that
she singeth upon all sweet-smelling blooms.” Iblis replied, “Yes, O my
lady, and I am in extremest wonderment thereat. But there remaineth
somewhat of sweet-scented flowers, which she hath not besung, such as
myrtle and tuberose and jessamine and the moss-rose and the like.” Then
the Shaykh signed to her to sing somewhat upon the rest of the flowers,
that Queen Al-Shahba might hear, and she said, “Hearing and obeying.” So
she took the lute and played thereon in many modes, then returned to the
first and sang these couplets:—

 I’m one of the lover-retinue ✿ Whom long pine and patience have doomèd
 And sufferance of parting from kin and friends ✿ Hath clothed me, O
    folk, in this yellow hue:
 Then, after the joyance had passed away, ✿ Heart-break, abasement and
    cark I knew,
 Through the long, long day when the lift is light, ✿ Nor, when night is
    murk, my pangs cease pursue:
 So, ’twixt fairest hope and unfailing fear, ✿ My bitter tears ever flow

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with joy exceeding and cried, “Brava, O
queen of delight! No one is able to describe thee. Sing to us on the
Apple.” Quoth Tohfah, “Hearkening and obedience.” Then she recited these

 I surpass all forms in my coquetry ✿ For mine inner worth and mine outer
 Tend me noble hands in the sight of all ✿ And slake with pure waters the
    thirst of me;
 My robe is of sendal, and eke my veil ✿ Is of sunlight the Ruthful hath
    bidden be:
 When my fair companions are marched afar, ✿ In sorrow fro’ home they are
    forced to flee:
 But noble hands deign hearten my heart ✿ With beds where I sit in my
    high degree;[230]
 And where, like full moon at its rise, my light ✿ ’Mid the garden-fruits
    thou shalt ever see.

Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced in this with exceeding joy and cried, “Brava!
By Allah, there is none excelleth thee.” Tohfah kissed the ground, then
returned to her place and versified on the Tuberose, saying:—

 I’m a marvel-bloom to be worn on head! ✿ Though a stranger among you
    fro’ home I fled:
 Make use of wine in my company ✿ And flout at Time who in languish sped.
 E’en so doth camphor my hue attest, ✿ O my lords, as I stand in my
    present stead.
 So gar me your gladness when dawneth day, ✿ And to highmost seat in your
    homes be I led:
 And quaff your cups in all jollity, ✿ And cheer and ease shall ne’er
    cease to be.

At this Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy and cried, “Brava, O
queen of delight! By Allah, I know not how I shall do to give thee thy
due! May the Most High grant us the grace of thy long continuance!” Then
she strained her to her breast and bussed her on the cheek; whereupon
quoth Iblis (on whom be a curse!), “This is a mighty great honour!”
Quoth the queen, “Know that this lady Tohfah is my sister and that her
biddance is my biddance and her forbiddance my forbiddance. So all of
you hearken to her word and render her worshipful obedience.” Therewith
the kings rose in a body and kissed ground before Tohfah, who rejoiced
in this. Moreover, Queen Al-Shahba doffed dress and habited her in a
suit adorned with pearls, jewels and jacinths, worth an hundred thousand
ducats, and wrote for her on a slip of paper[231] a patent appointing
her to be her deputy. So the Songstress rose and kissed ground before
the Queen, who said to her, “Of thy favour, sing to us somewhat
concerning the rest of the sweet-scented flowers and herbs, so I may
hear thy chant and solace myself with witnessing thy skill.” She
replied, “To hear is to obey, O lady mine,” and, taking the lute,
improvised these couplets:—

 My hue excelleth all hues in light, ✿ And I would all eyes should enjoy
    my sight:
 My site is the site of fillets and pearls ✿ Where the fairest brows are
    with jasmine dight:
 My light’s uprist (and what light it shows!) ✿ Is a silvern zone on the
    waist of Night.

Then she changed the measure and improvised these couplets:—

 I’m the gem of herbs, and in seasons twain ✿ My tryst I keep with my
 I stint not union for length of time ✿ Nor visits, though some be of
    severance fain;
 The true one am I and my troth I keep, ✿ And, easy of plucking, no hand

Then, changing measure and the mode, she played so that she bewildered
the wits of those who were present, and Queen Al-Shahba, moved to mirth
and merriment, cried, “Brava, O queen of delight!” Presently she
returned to the first mode and improvised these couplets on Nenuphar:—

  I fear me lest freke espy me, ✿ In air when I fain deny me;
  So I root me beneath the wave, ✿ And my stalks to bow down apply me.

Hereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced with exceeding joy, and cried, “Brava, O
Tohfah! Let me hear more of thy chant.” Accordingly, she smote the lute
and changing the mode, recited on the Moss-rose these couplets:

 Look on Nasrín[232] those branchy shoots surround; ✿ With greenest
    leafery ’tis deckt and crowned:
 Its graceful bending stem draws every gaze ✿ While beauteous bearing
    makes their love abound.

Then she changed measure and mode and sang these couplets on the

 O thou who askest Súsan[233] of her scent, ✿ Hear thou my words and
    beauty of my lay.
 “Emir am I whom all mankind desire” ✿ (Quoth she) “or present or when
    ta’en away.”

When Tohfah had made an end of her song, Queen Al-Shahba rose and said,
“I never heard from any the like of this;” and she drew the Songstress
to her and fell to kissing her. Then she took leave of her and flew
away; and on like wise all the birds took flight with her, so that they
walled the horizon; whilst the rest of the kings tarried behind. Now as
soon as it was the fourth night, there came the boy who was to be
circumcised, adorned with jewels such as never saw eye nor heard ear of,
and amongst the rest a crown of gold crusted with pearls and gems, the
worth whereof was an hundred thousand sequins. He sat down upon the
couch and Tohfah sang to him, till the chirurgeon[234] came and they
snipped his foreskin in the presence of all the kings, who showered on
him a mighty great store of jewels and jacinths and gold. Queen
Kamariyah bade her Eunuchs gather up all this and lay it in Tohfah’s
closet, and it was as much in value as all that had fallen to her, from
the first of the festivities to the last thereof. Moreover, the Shaykh
Iblis (whom Allah curse!) bestowed upon the Songstress the crown worn by
the boy and gave the circumcisee another, whereat Tohfah’s reason took
flight. Then the Jinn departed, in order of rank, whilst Iblis
farewelled them, band after band. Seeing the Shaykh thus occupied with
taking leave of the kings, Maymun seized his opportunity, the place
being empty, and taking up Tohfah on his shoulders, soared aloft with
her to the confines of the lift, and flew away with her. Presently,
Iblis came to look for the Songstress and see what she purposed, but
found her not and sighted the slave-girls slapping their faces: so he
said to them, “Fie on you! What may be the matter?” They replied, “O our
lord, Maymun hath snatched up Tohfah and flown away with her.” When
Iblis heard this, he gave a cry whereto earth trembled and said, “What
is to be done?” Then he buffetted his face and head, exclaiming, “Woe to
you! This be none other than exceeding insolence. Shall he carry off
Tohfah from my very palace and attaint mine honour? Doubtless, this
Maymun hath lost his wits.” Then he cried out a second time, so that the
earth quaked, and rose on his wings high in air. The news came to the
rest of the kings; so they flew after him and overtaking him, found him
full of anxiety and affright, with fire issuing from his nostrils, and
said to him, “O Shaykh al-Tawaif,[235] what is to do?” He replied, “Know
ye that Maymun hath carried off Tohfah from my palace and attainted mine
honour.” When they heard this, they cried, “There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. By God he hath
ventured upon a grave matter and verily he destroyeth self and folk!”
Then Shaykh Iblis ceased not flying till he fell in with the tribes of
the Jann, and they gathered together a world of people, none may tell
the tale of them save the Lord of All-might. So they came to the
Fortress of Copper and the Citadel of Lead,[236] and the people of the
sconces saw the tribes of the Jann issuing from every deep
mountain-pass[237] and said, “What be the news?” Then Iblis went in to
King Al-Shisban and acquainted him with that which had befallen;
whereupon quoth he, “Verily, Allah hath destroyed Maymun and his many!
He pretendeth to possess Tohfah, and she is become queen of the Jann!
But have patience till we devise that which befitteth in the matter of
Tohfah.” Iblis asked, “And what befitteth it to do?” And Al-Shisban
answered, “We will fall upon him and kill him and his host with cut of
brand.” Then quoth Shaykh Iblis, “’Twere better to acquaint Queen
Kamariyah and Queen Zalzalah and Queen Shararah and Queen Wakhimah; and
when they are assembled, Allah shall ordain whatso He deemeth good in
the matter of her release.” Quoth Al-Shisban, “Right is thy rede” and
they despatched to Queen Kamariyah an Ifrit hight Salhab who came to her
palace and found her sleeping; so he roused her and she said, “What is
to do, O Salhab?” Cried he, “O my lady, come to the succour of thy
sister the Songstress, for Maymun hath carried her off and attainted
thine honour and that of Shaykh Iblis.” Quoth she, “What sayst thou?”
and she sat up straight and cried out with a great cry. And indeed she
feared for Tohfah and said, “By Allah, in very sooth she used to say
that he gazed at her and prolonged the gaze; but ill is that whereto his
soul hath prompted him.” Then she rose in haste and mounting a Sataness
of her Satans, said to her, “Fly.” So she flew off with her and alighted
in the palace of her sister Shararah, whereupon she sent for her sisters
Zalzalah and Wakhimah and acquainted them with the tidings, saying,
“Know that Maymun hath snatched up Tohfah and flown off with her
swiftlier than the blinding leven.” Then they all flew off in haste and
lighting down in the place where were their father Al-Shisban and their
grandfather the Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif, found the folk on the sorriest of
situations. When their grandfather Iblis saw them, he rose to them and
wept, and they all wept for the Songstress. Then said Iblis to them,
“Yonder hound hath attainted mine honour and taken Tohfah. and I think
not otherwise[238] but that she is like to die of distress for herself
and her lord Al-Rashid and saying:—The whole that they said and did was
false.[239]” Quoth Kamariyah, “O grandfather mine, nothing is left for
it but stratagem and device for her deliverance, for that she is dearer
to me than everything; and know that yonder accursed when he waxeth ware
of your coming upon him, will ken that he hath no power to cope with
you, he who is the least and meanest of the Jann; but we dread that he,
when assured of defeat, will slay Tohfah; wherefore nothing will serve
but that we contrive a sleight for saving her; else will she perish.” He
asked, “And what hast thou in mind of device?” and she answered, “Let us
take him with fair means, and if he obey, all will be well;[240] else
will we practise stratagem against him; and expect not her deliverance
from other than myself.” Quoth Iblis, “The affair is thine; contrive
what thou wilt, for that Tohfah is thy sister and thy solicitude for her
is more effectual than that of any other.” So Kamariyah cried out to an
Ifrit of the Ifrits and a calamity of the calamities,[241] by name
Al-Asad al-Tayyár, the Flying Lion, and said to him, “Hie with my
message to the Crescent Mountain,[242] the wone of Maymun the Sworder,
and enter and say to him, My lady saluteth thee with the salam and
asketh thee:—How canst thou be assured for thyself of safety, after what
thou hast done, O Maymun? Couldst thou find none to maltreat in thy
drunken humour save Tohfah, she too being a queen? But thou art excused,
because thou didst not this deed, but ’twas thy drink, and the Shaykh
Abu al-Tawáif pardoneth thee, because thou wast drunken. Indeed, thou
hast attainted his honour; but now restore her to her palace, for that
she hath done well and favoured us and rendered us service, and thou
wottest that she is this day our queen. Belike she may bespeak Queen
Al-Shahba, whereupon the matter will become grievous and that wherein
there is no good shall betide thee; and thou wilt get no tittle of gain.
Verily, I give thee good counsel, and so the Peace!” Al-Asad answered
“Hearing and obeying,” and flew till he came to the Crescent Mountain,
when he sought audience of Maymun, who bade admit him. So he entered and
kissing ground before him, gave him Queen Kamariyah’s message, which
when he heard, he cried to the Ifrit, “Return whence thou comest and say
to thy mistress:—Be silent and thou wilt show thy good sense. Else will
I come and seize upon her and make her serve Tohfah; and if the kings of
the Jinn assemble together against me and I be overcome by them, I will
not leave her to scent the wind of this world and she shall be neither
mine nor theirs, for that she is presently my sprite[243] from between
my ribs; and how shall any part with his sprite?” When the Ifrit heard
Maymun’s words, he said to him, “By Allah, O Maymun, art thou a
changeling in thy wits, that thou speakest these words of my lady, and
thou one of her page-boys?” Whereupon Maymun cried out and said to him,
“Woe to thee, O dog of the Jinns! Wilt thou bespeak the like of me with
these words?” Then he bade those who were about him bastinado Al-Asad,
but he took flight and soaring high in air, betook himself to his
mistress and told her the tidings: when she said, “Thou hast done well,
O good knight!” Then she turned to her sire and said to him, “Hear that
which I shall say to thee.” Quoth he, “Say on;” and quoth she, “I rede
thee take thy troops and go to him, for when he heareth this, he will in
turn levy his many and come forth to thee; whereupon do thou offer him
battle and prolong the fight with him and make a show to him of weakness
and giving way. Meantime, I will devise me a device for getting at
Tohfah and delivering her, what while he is busied with you in battle;
and when my messenger cometh to thee and informeth thee that I have
gotten possession of Tohfah and that she is with me, return thou upon
Maymun forthwith and overthrow him and his hosts, and take him prisoner.
But, an my device succeed not with him and we fail to deliver Tohfah, he
will assuredly practice to slay her, without recourse, and regret for
her will remain in our hearts.” Quoth Iblis, “This is the right rede”
and bade call a march among the troops, whereupon an hundred thousand
knights, doughty wights of war, joined themselves to him and set out for
the country of Maymun. As for Queen Kamariyah, she flew off to the
palace of her sister Wakhimah, and told her what deed Maymun had done
and how he declared that, whenas he saw defeat nearhand, he would slay
Tohfah; adding, “And indeed, he is resolved upon this; otherwise had he
not dared to work such sleight. So do thou contrive the affair as thou
see fit, for in rede thou hast no superior.” Then they sent for Queen
Zalzalah and Queen Shararah and sat down to take counsel, one with
other, concerning what they had best do in the matter. Presently said
Wakhimah, “’Twere advisable we fit out a ship in this our island-home
and embark therein, disguised as Adam’s sons, and fare on till we come
to anchor under a little island that lieth over against Maymun’s palace.
There will we sit drinking and smiting the lute and singing; for Tohfah
will assuredly be seated there overlooking the sea, and needs must she
see us and come down to us, whereupon we will take her by force and she
will be under our hands, so that none shall be able to molest her any
more. Or, an Maymun be gone forth to do battle with the Jinns, we will
storm his stronghold and take Tohfah and raze his palace and slay all
therein. When he hears of this, his heart will be broken and we will
send to let our father know, whereat he will return upon him with his
troops and he will be destroyed and we shall have rest of him.” They
answered her, saying, “This is a good counsel.” Then they bade fit out a
ship from behind the mountain,[244] and it was fitted out in less than
the twinkling of an eye; so they launched it on the sea and embarking
therein, together with four thousand Ifrits, set out, intending for
Maymun’s palace. They also bade other five thousand Ifrits betake
themselves to the island under the Crescent Mountain and there lie in
wait for them ambushed well. Thus fared it with the kings of the Jann;
but as regards Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif Iblis and his son Al-Shisban the
twain set out, as we have said, with their troops, who were of the
doughtiest of the Jinn and the prowest of them in wing-flying and
horsemanship, and fared on till they drew near the Crescent Mountain.
When the news of their approach reached Maymun, he cried out with a
mighty great cry to the troops, who were twenty thousand riders, and
bade them make ready for departure. Then he went in to Tohfah and
kissing her, said, “Know that thou art this day my life of the world,
and indeed the Jinns are gathered together to wage war on me for thy
sake. An I win the day from them and am preserved alive, I will set all
the kings of the Jann under thy feet and thou shalt become queen of the
world.” But she shook her head and shed tears; and he said, “Weep not,
for I swear by the virtue of the mighty inscription borne on the
seal-ring of Solomon, thou shalt never again see the land of men; no,
never! Say me, can any one part with his life? Give ear, then, to my
words; else will I slay thee.” So she was silent. And forthright he sent
for his daughter, whose name was Jamrah,[245] and when she came, he said
to her, “Harkye, Jamrah! Know that I am going to fight the clans of
Al-Shisban and Queen Kamariyah and the Kings of the Jann. An I be
vouchsafed the victory over them, to Allah be the laud and thou shalt
have of me largesse;[246] but, an thou see or hear that I am worsted and
any come to thee with ill news of me, hasten to kill Tohfah, so she may
fall neither to me nor to them.” Then he farewelled her and mounted,
saying, “When this cometh about, pass over to the Crescent Mountain and
take up thine abode there, and await what shall befal me and what I
shall say to thee.” And Jamrah answered “Hearkening and obedience.” Now
when the Songstress heard these words, she fell to weeping and wailing
and said, “By Allah, naught irketh me but severance from my lord
Al-Rashid; however, when I am dead, let the world be ruined after
me?”[247] And she was certified in herself that she was assuredly lost.
Then Maymun set forth with his army and departed in quest of the hosts
of the Jinn, leaving none in the palace save his daughter Jamrah and
Tohfah and an Ifrit which was dear to him. They fared on till they met
with the army of Al-Shisban; and when the two hosts came face to face,
they fell each upon other and fought a fight, a passing sore than which
naught could be more. After a while, Al-Shisban’s troops began to give
way, and when Maymun saw them do thus, he despised them and made sure of
victory over them. On this wise it befel them; but as regards Queen
Kamariyah and her company they sailed on without ceasing, till they came
under the palace wherein was Tohfah, to wit, that of Maymun the Sworder;
and by the decree of the Lord of destiny, the Songstress herself was at
that very time sitting on the belvedere of the palace, pondering the
affair of Harun al-Rashid and her own and that which had befallen her
and weeping for that she was doomed to death. She saw the vessel and
what was therein of those we have named, and they in mortal guise, and
said, “Alas, my sorrow for this ship and for the men that be therein!”
As for Kamariyah and her many, when they drew near the palace, they
strained their eyes and seeing the Songstress sitting, cried, “Yonder
sitteth Tohfah. May Allah not bereave us of her!” Then they moored their
craft and, making for the island which lay over against the palace,
spread carpets and sat eating and drinking; whereupon quoth Tohfah,
“Well come and welcome to yonder faces! These be my kinswomen and I
conjure thee by Allah, O Jamrah, that thou let me down to them, so I may
sit with them awhile and enjoy kindly converse with them and return.”
Quoth Jamrah, “I may on no wise do that;” and Tohfah wept. Then the folk
brought out wine and drank, while Kamariyah took the lute and sang these

 By Allah, had I never hoped to greet you ✿ Your guide had failed on
    camel to seat you!
 Far bore you parting from friend would greet you ✿ Till meseems mine
    eyes for your wone entreat you.

When Tohfah heard this, she cried out so great a cry, that the folk
heard her and Kamariyah said, “Relief is nearhand.” Then the Songstress
looked out to them and called to them, saying, “O daughters of mine
uncle, I am a lonely maid, an exile from kin and country: so for the
love of Allah Almighty, repeat that song!” Accordingly Kamariyah
repeated it and Tohfah swooned away. When she came to herself, she said
to Jamrah, “By the rights of the Apostle of Allah (whom may He save and
assain!) unless thou suffer me go down to them and look on them and sit
with them for a full hour, I will hurl myself headlong from this palace,
for that I am aweary of my life and know that I am slain to all
certainty; wherefore will I kill myself, ere you pass sentence upon me.”
And she was instant with her in asking. When Jamrah heard her words, she
knew that, an she let her not down, she would assuredly destroy herself.
So she said to her, “O Tohfah, between thee and them are a thousand
cubits; but I will bring the women up to thee.” The Songstress replied,
“Nay, there is no help but that I go down to them and solace me in the
island and look upon the sea anear; then will we return, I and thou; for
that, an thou bring them up to us, they will be affrighted and there
will betide them neither joy nor gladness. As for me, I wish but to be
with them, that they may cheer me with their company neither give over
their merry-making, so peradventure I may broaden my breast with them,
and indeed I swear that needs must I go down to them; else I will cast
myself upon them.” And she cajoled Jamrah and kissed her hands, till she
said, “Arise and I will set thee down beside them.” Then she took Tohfah
under her armpit and flying up swiftlier than the blinding leven, set
her down with Kamariyah and her company; whereupon she went up to them
and accosted them, saying, “Fear ye not: no harm shall befal you; for I
am a mortal, like unto you, and I would fain look on you and talk with
you and hear your singing.” So they welcomed her and kept their places,
whilst Jamrah sat down beside them and fell a snuffing their odours and
saying, “I smell the scent of the Jinn![248] Would I wot whence it
cometh!” Then said Wakhimah to her sister Kamariyah, “Yonder foul slut
smelleth us and presently she will take to flight; so what be this
inaction concerning her?”[249] Thereupon Kamariyah put out an arm long
as a camel’s neck, and dealt Jamrah a buffet on the head, that made it
fly from her body and cast it into the sea. Then cried she, “Allah is
All-great!”[250] And they uncovered their faces, whereupon Tohfah knew
them and said to them, “Protection!” Queen Kamariyah embraced her, as
also did Queen Zalzalah and Queen Wakhimah and Queen Shararah, and the
first-named said to her, “Receive the good tidings of assured safety,
for there abideth no harm for thee; but this is no time for talk.” Then
they cried out, whereupon up came the Ifrits ambushed in that island,
hending swords and maces in hand, and taking up Tohfah, flew with her to
the palace and made themselves masters of it, whilst the Ifrit
aforesaid, who was dear to Maymun and whose name was Dukhán,[251] fled
like an arrow and stinted not flying till he came to Maymun and found
him fighting a sore fight with the Jinn. When his lord saw him, he cried
out at him, saying, “Fie upon thee! Whom hast thou left in the palace?”
Dukhan answered, saying, “And who abideth in the palace? Thy beloved
Tohfah they have captured and Jamrah is slain and they have taken the
palace, all of it.” At these ill tidings Maymun buffeted his face and
head and said, “Oh! Out on it for a calamity!” Then he cried aloud. Now
Kamariyah had sent to her sire and reported to him the news, whereat the
raven of the wold[252] croaked for the foe. So, when Maymun saw that
which had betided him, (and indeed the Jinn smote upon him and the wings
of eternal severance overspread his host,) he planted the heel of his
lance in the earth and turning its head to his heart, urged his charger
thereat and pressed upon it with his breast, till the point came forth
gleaming from his back. Meanwhile the messenger had made the friendly
host with the news of Tohfah’s deliverance, whereat the Shaykh Abu
al-Tawáif rejoiced and bestowed on the bringer of lief tidings a
sumptuous robe of honour and made him commander over a company of the
Jann. Then they charged home upon Maymun’s host and wiped them out to
the last man; and when they came to Maymun, they found that he had slain
himself and was even as we have said. Presently Kamariyah and her sister
Wakhimah came up to their grandfather and told him what they had done;
whereupon he came to Tohfah and saluted her with the salam and
congratulated her on deliverance. Then he made over Maymun’s palace to
Salhab; and, taking all the rebel’s wealth gave it to the Songstress,
while the troops encamped upon the Crescent Mountain. Furthermore, the
Shaykh Abu al-Tawáif said to Tohfah, “Blame me not,” and she kissed his
hands, when behold, there appeared to them the tribes of the Jinn, as
they were clouds, and Queen Al-Shahba flying in their van, drawn sword
in grip. As she came in sight of the folk, they kissed ground between
her hands and she said to them, “Tell me what hath betided Queen Tohfah
from yonder dog Maymun and why did ye not send to me and report to me?”
Quoth they, “And who was this dog that we should send to thee on his
account? Indeed he was the least and lowest of the Jinn.” Then they told
her what Kamariyah and her sisters had done and how they had practised
upon Maymun and delivered the Songstress from his hand, fearing lest he
should slay her when he found himself defeated; and she said, “By Allah,
the accursed was wont to lengthen his looking upon her!” And Tohfah fell
to kissing Al-Shahba’s hand, whilst the queen strained her to her bosom
and kissed her, saying, “Trouble is past; so rejoice in assurance of
deliverance.” Then they rose and went up to the palace, whereupon the
trays of food were brought and they ate and drank; after which quoth
Queen Al-Shahba, “O Tohfah, sing to us, by way of sweetmeat[253] for
thine escape, and favour us with that which shall solace our minds, for
that indeed my thoughts have been occupied with thee.” And quoth Tohfah,
“Hearkening and obedience, O my lady.” So she improvised and sang these

 Breeze of East[254]an thou breathe o’er the dear ones’ land ✿ Speed, I
    pray thee, my special salute and salam:
 And say them I’m pledged to love them and ✿ In pine that passeth all
    pine I am.

Thereat Queen Al-Shahba rejoiced and with her all who were present; and
they admired her speech and fell to kissing her; and when she had made
an end of her song, Queen Kamariyah said to her, “O my sister, ere thou
go to thy palace, I would fain bring thee to look upon Al-’Anká,[255]
daughter of Bahram Júr, whom Al-’Anka, daughter of the wind, carried
off, and her beauty; for that there is not her fellow on earth’s face.”
And Queen Al-Shahba said, “O Kamariyah, I also think it were well an I
beheld her.” Quoth Kamariyah, “I saw her three years ago; but my sister
Wakhimah seeth her at all times, for she is near to her people, and she
saith that there is not in the world fairer than she. Indeed, this Queen
Al-Anka is become a byword for beauty and comeliness.” And Wakhimah
said, “By the mighty inscription on the seal-ring of Solomon, there is
not her like for loveliness here below.” Then said Queen Al-Shahba, “An
it needs must be and the affair is as ye say, I will take Tohfah and go
with her to Al-Anka, so she may look upon her”! So they all arose and
repaired to Al-Anka, who abode in the Mountain Kaf. When she saw them,
she drew near to them and saluted them, saying, “O my ladies, may I not
be bereaved of you!” Quoth Wakhimah to her, “Who is like unto thee, O
Anka? Behold, Queen Al-Shahba is come to thee.” So Al-Anka kissed the
queen’s feet and lodged them in her palace; whereupon Tohfah came up to
her and fell to kissing her and saying, “Never saw I a seemlier than
this semblance.” Then she set before them somewhat of food and they ate
and washed their hands; after which the Songstress took the lute and
smote it well; and Al-Anka also played, and they fell to improvising
verses in turns, whilst Tohfah embraced Al-Anka every moment. Al-Shahba
cried, “O my sister, each kiss is worth a thousand dinars;” and Tohfah
replied, “And a thousand dinars were little therefor;” whereat Al-Anka
laughed and after nighting in her pavilion on the morrow they took leave
of her and went away to Maymun’s palace. Here Queen Al-Shahba farewelled
them and taking her troops, returned to her capital, whilst the kings
also went away to their abodes and the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif applied
himself to diverting Tohfah till nightfall, when he mounted her on the
back of one of the Ifrits and bade other thirty gather together all that
she had gotten of treasure and raiment, jewels and robes of honour. Then
they flew off, whilst Iblis went with her, and in less than the
twinkling of an eye he set her down in her sleeping room, where he and
those who were with him bade adieu to her and went away. When Tohfah
found herself in her own chamber[256] and on her couch, her reason fled
for joy and it seemed to her as if she had never stirred thence: then
she took the lute and tuned it and touched it in wondrous fashion and
improvised verses and sang. The Eunuch heard the smiting of the lute
within the chamber and cried, “By Allah, that is the touch of my lady
Tohfah!” So he arose and went, as he were a madman, falling down and
rising up, till he came to the Castrato on guard at the gate of the
Commander of the Faithful and found him sitting. When his fellow neutral
saw him, and he like a madman, slipping down and stumbling up, he asked
him, “What aileth thee and what bringeth thee hither at this hour?” The
other answered, “Wilt thou not make haste and awaken the Prince of True
Believers?” And he fell to crying out at him; whereupon the Caliph awoke
and heard them bandying words together and Tohfah’s slave crying to the
other, “Woe to thee! Awaken the Commander of the Faithful in haste.” So
quoth he, “O Sawab, what hast thou to say?” and quoth the Chief Eunuch,
“O our lord, the Eunuch of Tohfah’s lodging hath lost his wits and
crieth:—Awaken the Commander of the Faithful in haste!” Then said
Al-Rashid to one of the slave-girls, “See what may be the matter.”
Accordingly she hastened to admit the Castrato, who entered at her
order; and when he saw the Commander of the Faithful, he salamed not
neither kissed ground, but cried in his hurry, “Quick: up with thee! My
lady Tohfah sitteth in her chamber, singing a goodly ditty. Come to her
in haste and see all that I say to thee! Hasten! She sitteth awaiting
thee.” The Caliph was amazed at his speech and asked him, “What sayst
thou?” He answered, “Didst thou not hear the first of the speech? Tohfah
sitteth in the sleeping-chamber, singing and lute-playing. Come thy
quickest! Hasten!” Accordingly Al-Rashid sprang up and donned his dress;
but he believed not the Eunuch’s words and said to him, “Fie upon thee!
What is this thou sayst? Hast thou not seen this in a dream?” Quoth the
Eunuch, “By Allah, I wot not what thou sayest, and I was not asleep;”
and quoth Al-Rashid, “An thy speech be soothfast, it shall be for thy
good luck, for I will free thee and give thee a thousand gold pieces;
but, an it be untrue and thou have seen this in dream-land, I will
crucify thee.” The Eunuch said within himself, “O Protector, let me not
have seen this in vision!” then he left the Caliph and running to the
chamber-door, heard the sound of singing and lute-playing; whereupon he
returned to Al-Rashid and said to him, “Go and hearken and see who is
asleep.” When the Prince of True Believers drew near the door of the
sleeping-chamber, he heard the sound of the lute and Tohfah’s voice
singing; whereat he could not restrain his reason and was like to faint
for excess of delight. Then he pulled out the key, but his hand refused
to draw the bolt: however, after a while, he took heart and applying
himself, opened the door and entered, saying, “Methinks this is none
other than a vision or an imbroglio of dreams.” When Tohfah saw him, she
rose and coming to meet him, pressed him to her breast; and he cried out
a cry wherein his sprite was like to depart and fell down in a fit. She
again strained him to her bosom and sprinkled on him rose-water mingled
with musk, and washed his face, till he came to himself, as he were a
drunken man, and shed tears for the stress of his joy in Tohfah’s return
to him, after he had despaired of her returning. Then she took the lute
and smote thereon, after the fashion she had learnt from Shaykh Iblis,
so that Al-Rashid’s wit was bewildered for excess of joy and his
understanding was confounded for exultation; after which she improvised
and sang these couplets:—

 That I left thee my heart to believe is unlief; ✿ For the life that’s in
    it ne’er leaveth; brief,
 An thou say “I went,” saith my heart “What a fib!” ✿ And I bide ’twixt
    believing and unbelief.

When she had made an end of her verses, Al-Rashid said to her, “O
Tohfah, thine absence was wondrous, yet is thy presence still more
marvellous.” She replied, “By Allah, O my lord, thou sayst sooth;” then,
taking his hand, she said to him, “O Commander of the Faithful, see what
I have brought with me.” So he looked and spied treasures such as
neither words could describe nor registers could document, pearls and
jewels and jacinths and precious stones and unions and gorgeous robes of
honour, adorned with margarites and jewels and purfled with red gold.
There he beheld what he never had beheld all his life long, not even in
idea; and she showed him that which Queen Al-Shahba had bestowed on her
of those carpets, which she had brought with her, and that throne, the
like whereof neither Kisrà possessed nor Cæsar, and those tables inlaid
with pearls and jewels and those vessels which amazed all who looked on
them, and that crown which was on the head of the circumcised boy, and
those robes of honour, which Queen Al-Shahba and Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif
had doffed and donned upon her, and the trays wherein were those
treasures; brief, she showed him wealth whose like he had never in his
life espied and which the tongue availeth not to describe and whereat
all who looked thereon were bewildered. Al-Rashid was like to lose his
wits for amazement at this spectacle and was confounded at that he
sighted and witnessed. Then said he to Tohfah, “Come, tell me thy tale
from beginning to end, and let me know all that hath betided thee, as if
I had been present.” She answered, “Hearkening and obedience,” and
acquainting him with all that had betided her first and last, from the
time when she first saw the Shaykh Abu al-Tawaif, how he took her and
descended with her through the side of the Chapel of Ease; and she told
him of the horse she had ridden, till she came to the meadow aforesaid
and described it to him, together with the palace and that was therein
of furniture, and related to him how the Jinn rejoiced in her, and
whatso she had seen of their kings, masculine and feminine, and of Queen
Kamariyah and her sisters and Queen Shu’a’ah, Regent of the Fourth Sea,
and Queen Al-Shahba, Queen of Queens, and King Al-Shisban, and that
which each one of them had bestowed upon her. Moreover, she recited to
him the story of Maymun the Sworder and described to him his fulsome
favour, which he had not deigned to change, and related to him that
which befel her from the kings of the Jinn, male and female, and the
coming of the Queen of Queens, Al-Shahba, and how she had loved her and
appointed her her vice-reine and how she was thus become ruler over all
the kings of the Jann; and she showed him the writ of investiture which
Queen Al-Shahba had written her and told him what had betided her with
the Ghulish Head, when it appeared to her in the garden, and how she had
despatched it to her palace, beseeching it to bring her news of the
Commander of the Faithful and of what had betided him after her. Then
she described to him the flower-gardens, wherein she had taken her
pleasure, and the Hammam-baths inlaid with pearls and jewels and told
him that which had befallen Maymun the Sworder, when he bore her off,
and how he had slain himself; in fine, she related to him everything she
had seen of wonders and marvels and that which she had beheld of all
kinds and colours among the Jinn. Then she told him the story of
Al-Anka, daughter of Bahram Jur, with Al-Anka, daughter of the wind, and
described to him her dwelling-place and her island, whereupon quoth
Al-Rashid, “O Tohfat al-Sadr,[257] tell me of Al-Anka, daughter of
Bahram Jur; is she of the Jinn-kind or of mankind or of the bird-kind?
For this long time have I desired to find one who should tell me of
her.” Tohfah replied, “’Tis well, O Commander of the Faithful. I asked
the queen of this and she acquainted me with her case and told me who
built her the palace.” Quoth Al-Rashid, “Allah upon thee, tell it me;”
and quoth Tohfah, “I will well,” and proceeded to tell him. And he was
amazed at that which he heard from her and what she reported to him and
at that which she had brought back of jewels and jacinths of various
hues and precious stones of many sorts, such as amazed the beholder and
confounded thought and mind. As for this, Tohfah was the means of the
enrichment of the Barmecides and the Abbasides, and they had endurance
in their delight. Then the Caliph went forth and bade decorate the city:
so they decorated it and the drums of glad tidings were beaten; and they
made banquets to the people for whom the tables were spread seven days.
And Tohfah and the Commander of the Faithful ceased not to enjoy the
most delightsome of life and the most prosperous till there came to them
the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies; and this is all
that hath come down to us of their story.

                          WOMEN’S WILES.[258]

On the following night Dunyazad said to her sister Shahrazad, “O sister
mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee tell us a tale which shall
beguile our watching through the dark hours.” She replied:—With love and
gladness.[259] It hath reached me, O magnificent King, that whilome
there was in the city of Baghdad, a comely youth and a well-bred, fair
of favour, tall of stature, and slender of shape. His name was Alá
al-Dín and he was of the chiefs of the sons of the merchants and had a
shop wherein he sold and bought. One day, as he sat in his shop, there
passed by him a merry girl[260] who raised her head and casting a glance
at the young merchant, saw written in a flowing hand on the
forehead[261] of his shop door these words, “THERE BE NO CRAFT SAVE
this, she was wroth and took counsel with herself, saying, “As my head
liveth, there is no help but I show him a marvel-trick of the wiles of
women and put to naught this his inscription!” Thereupon she hied her
home; and on the morrow she made her ready and donning the finest of
dress, adorned herself with the costliest of ornaments and the highest
of price and stained her hands with Henna. Then she let down her tresses
upon her shoulders and went forth, walking with coquettish gait and
amorous grace, followed by her slave-girl carrying a parcel, till she
came to the young merchant’s shop and sitting down under pretext of
seeking stuffs, saluted him with the salam and demanded of him somewhat
of cloths. So he brought out to her various kinds and she took them and
turned them over, talking with him the while. Then said she to him,
“Look at the shapeliness of my shape and my semblance! Seest thou in me
aught of default?” He replied, “No, O my lady;” and she continued, “Is
it lawful in any one that he should slander me and say that I am
humpbacked?” Then she discovered to him a part of her bosom, and when he
saw her breasts his reason took flight from his head and his heart clave
to her and he cried, “Cover it up,[262] so may Allah veil thee!” Quoth
she, “Is it fair of any one to decry my charms?” and quoth he, “How
shall any decry thy charms, and thou the sun of loveliness?” Then said
she, “Hath any the right to say of me that I am lophanded?” and tucking
up her sleeves, she showed him forearms as they were crystal; after
which she unveiled to him a face, as it were a full moon breaking forth
on its fourteenth night, and said to him, “Is it lawful and right for
any to decry me and declare that my face is pitted with small-pox or
that I am one-eyed or crop-eared?” and said he, “O my lady, what is it
moveth thee to discover unto me that lovely face and those fair limbs,
wont to be so jealously veiled and guarded? Tell me the truth of the
matter, may I be thy ransom!” And he began to improvise:—[263]

 White Fair now drawn from sheath of parted hair, ✿ Then in the blackest
    tresses hid from sight,
 Flasheth like day irradiating Earth ✿ While round her glooms the murk of
    nightliest night.

——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister, “O sister mine, how
delectable is this tale and how desirable!” She replied, saying, “And
where is this compared with that which I will recount to thee next
night, Inshallah?”

                 The Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night.

Now when came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, “O
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish thy tale
which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours.” She
replied:—With love and gladness! It hath reached me, O auspicious King,
that the girl said to the young merchant, “Know, O my lord, that I am a
maid oppressed of my sire, who speaketh at me and saith to me, Thou art
loathly of looks and semblance and it besitteth not that thou wear rich
raiment; for thou and the slave girls are like in rank, there is no
distinguishing thee from them. Now he is a richard, having a mighty
great store of money and saith not thus save because he is a pinchpenny,
and grudgeth the spending of a farthing; wherefore he is loath to marry
me, lest he be put to somewhat of expense in my marriage, albeit
Almighty Allah hath been bounteous to him and he is a man puissant in
his time and lacking naught of worldly weal.” The youth asked, “Who is
thy father and what is his condition?” and she answered, “He is the
Chief Kazi of the well-known Supreme Court, under whose hands are all
the Kazis who administer justice in this city.” The merchant believed
her and she farewelled him and fared away, leaving in his heart a
thousand regrets, for that the love of her had prevailed over him and he
knew not how he should win to her; wherefore he woned enamoured,
love-distracted, unknowing if he were alive or dead. As soon as she was
gone, he shut up shop and walked straightway to the Court, where he went
in to the Chief Kazi and saluted him. The magistrate returned his salam
and treated him with distinction and seated him by his side. Then said
Ala al-Din to him, “I come to thee seeking thine alliance and desiring
the hand of thy noble daughter.” Quoth the Kazi, “O my lord merchant,
welcome to thee and fair welcome; but indeed my daughter befitteth not
the like of thee, neither beseemeth she the goodliness of thy youth and
the pleasantness of thy composition and the sweetness of thy speech;”
but Ala al-Din replied, “This talk becometh thee not, neither is it
seemly in thee; if I be content with her, how should this vex thee?” So
the Kazi was satisfied and they came to an accord and concluded the
marriage contract at a dower precedent of five purses[264] ready money
and a dower contingent of fifteen purses, so it might be hard for him to
put her away, her father having given him fair warning, but he would not
be warned. Then they wrote out the contract-document and the merchant
said “I desire to go in to her this night.” Accordingly they carried her
to him in procession that very evening, and he prayed the night-prayer
and entered the private chamber prepared for him; but, when he lifted
the head-gear from the bride’s head and the veil from her face and
looked, he saw a foul face and a favour right fulsome; indeed he beheld
somewhat whereof may Allah never show thee the like! loathly, dispensing
from description, inasmuch as there were reckoned in her all legal
defects.[265] So he repented, when repentance availed him naught, and
knew that the girl had cheated him.——And Shaharazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased to say her permitted say. Whereupon cried Dunyazad,
her sister, “O sister mine, how delectable is thy story and how sweet!”
She replied, saying, “And where is this compared with that which I will
recount to thee next night an I be spared and suffered to live by the
King, whom Almighty Allah preserve?”

                  The Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night.

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, “O
sister mine, an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish thy story
which shall beguile our watching through the dark hours, for indeed ’tis
a fine tale and a wondrous.” She replied:—With love and gladness! It
hath reached me, O generous King, that the unhappy merchant carnally
knew the loathly bride, sore against the grain, and abode that night
troubled in mind, as he were in the prison of Al-Daylam.[266] Hardly had
the day dawned when he arose from her side and betaking himself to one
of the Hammams, dozed there awhile, after which he made the
Ghusl-ablution of ceremonial impurity[267] and donned his every day
dress. Then he went out to the coffee house and drank a cup of coffee;
after which he returned to his shop and opening the door, sat down, with
concern and chagrin manifest on his countenance. After an hour or so,
his friends and intimates among the merchants and people of the market
began to come up to him, by ones and twos; to give him joy, and said to
him, laughing, “A blessing! a blessing! Where be the sweetmeats? Where
be the coffee?[268] ’Twould seem thou hast forgotten us; and nothing
made thee oblivious save that the charms of the bride have disordered
thy wit and taken thy reason, Allah help thee! We give thee joy, we give
thee joy.” And they mocked at him whilst he kept silence before them,
being like to rend his raiment and shed tears for rage. Then they went
away from him, and when it was the hour of noon, up came his mistress,
the crafty girl, trailing her skirts and swaying to and fro in her gait,
as she were a branch of Ban in a garden of bloom. She was yet more
richly dressed and adorned and more striking and cutting[269] in her
symmetry and grace than on the previous day, so that she made the
passers stop and stand in espalier to gaze upon her. When she came to
Ala al-Din’s shop, she sat down thereon and said to him, “Blessed be the
day to thee, O my lord Ala al-Din! Allah prosper thee and be good to
thee and perfect thy gladness and make it a wedding of weal and
welfare!” He knitted his brows and frowned in answer to her; then asked
her, “Wherein have I failed of thy due, or what have I done to harm
thee, that thou shouldst requite me after this fashion?” She answered,
“Thou hast been no wise in default; but ’tis yonder inscription written
on the door of thy shop that irketh me and vexeth my heart. An thou have
the courage to change it and write up the contrary thereof, I will
deliver thee from thine evil plight.” And he answered, “Thy requirement
is right easy: on my head and eyes!” So saying he brought out a
sequin[270] and summoning one of his Mamelukes, said to him, “Get thee
to Such-an-one the Scribe and bid him write us an epigraph, adorned with
gold and lapis lazuli, in these words, THERE BE NO CRAFT SAVE WOMEN’S
HUMBLETH THE FALSES OF MEN.” And she said to the white slave, “Fare thee
forthright.” So he repaired to the Scribe, who wrote him the scroll, and
he brought it to his master, who set it on the door and asked the
damsel, “Is thy heart satisfied?” She answered, “Yes! Arise forthwith
and get thee to the place before the citadel, where do thou foregather
with all the mountebanks and ape-dancers and bear-leaders and drummers
and pipers and bid them come to thee to-morrow early, with their
kettle-drums and flageolets, whilst thou art drinking coffee with thy
father-in-law the Kazi, and congratulate thee and wish thee joy,
saying:—A blessing, O son of our uncle! Indeed, thou art the vein[272]
of our eye! We rejoice for thee, and if thou be ashamed of us, verily we
pride ourselves upon thee; so, although thou banish us from thee, know
that we will not forsake thee, albeit thou forsake us. And do thou fall
to throwing dinars and dirhams amongst them; whereupon the Kazi will
question thee, and do thou answer him, saying:—My father was an
ape-dancer and this is our original condition; but our Lord opened on us
the gate of fortune and we have gotten us a name amongst the merchants
and with their provost. Upon this he will say to thee, Then thou art an
ape-leader of the tribe of the mountebanks? and do thou rejoin, I may in
nowise deny my origin, for the sake of thy daughter and in her honour.
The Kazi will say, It may not be that thou shalt be given the daughter
of a Shaykh who sitteth upon the carpet of the Law and whose descent is
traceable by genealogy to the loins of the Apostle of Allah,[273] nor is
it meet that his daughter be in the power of a man who is an ape-dancer,
a minstrel. Then do thou reply, Nay, O Efendi, she is my lawful wife,
and every hair of her is worth a thousand lives, and I will not put her
away though I be given the kingship of the world. At last be thou
persuaded to speak the word of divorce and so shall the marriage be
voided and ye be saved each from other.” Quoth Ala al-Din, “Right is thy
rede,” and locking up his shop, betook himself to the place——And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
Whereupon cried Dunyazad, her sister, “O sister mine, how goodly is thy
story and how sweet!” She replied, saying, “And where is this compared
with that which I will recount to thee next night, Inshallah!”

                  The Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night.

And whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, “O sister mine,
an thou incline not unto sleep, pray finish thy tale which shall beguile
our watching through the dark hours.” She replied:—With love and
gladness! It hath reached me, O generous King, that the young merchant
betook himself to the place before the citadel, where he foregathered
with the dancers, the drummers and pipers and instructed them how they
should do, promising them a mighty fine reward. They received his word
with “Hearing and obeying;” and he betook himself on the morrow, after
the morning prayer, to the presence of the Judge, who received him with
humble courtesy and seated him by his side. Then he addressed him and
began questioning him of matters of selling and buying and of the price
current of the various commodities which were carried to Baghdad from
all quarters, whilst his son-in-law replied to all whereof he was
questioned. As they were thus conversing, behold, up came the dancers
and drummers with their drums and pipers with their pipes, whilst one of
their number preceded them, with a long pennon-like banner in his hand,
and played all manner antics with voice and limbs. When they came to the
Court-house, the Kazi cried, “I seek refuge with Allah from yonder
Satans!” and the young merchant laughed but said naught. Then they
entered and saluting his worship the Kazi, kissed Ala al-Din’s hands and
said, “A blessing on thee, O son of our uncle! Indeed, thou coolest our
eyes in whatso thou doest, and we beseech Allah for the enduring
greatness of our lord the Kazi, who hath honoured us by admitting thee
to his connection and hath allotted to us a portion in his high rank and
degree.” When the Judge heard this talk, it bewildered his wit and he
was dazed and his face flushed with rage, and quoth he to his
son-in-law, “What words are these?” Quoth the merchant, “Knowest thou
not, O my lord, that I am of this tribe? Indeed this man is the son of
my maternal uncle and that other the son of my paternal uncle, and if I
be reckoned of the merchants, ’tis but by courtesy!” When the Kazi heard
these words his colour changed——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day,
whereupon cried Dunyazad her sister “O sister mine, how delectable is
thy story and how desirable!” She replied, saying, “And where is its
first compared with its last? But I will forthwith relate it to you an I
be spared and suffered to live by the King, whom may Allah the Most High
keep!” Quoth the King within himself, “By the Almighty, I will not slay
her until I hear the end of her tale!”

      The Two Hundredth Night of the Thousand Nights and a Night.

Now whenas came the night, quoth Dunyazad to her sister, “O sister mine,
an thou incline not unto sleep, prithee finish thy tale which shall
beguile our watching through the dark hours.” She replied:—With love and
gladness! It hath reached me, O auspicious king, that the Kazi’s colour
changed and he was troubled and waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and was
like to burst for stress of rage. Then said he to the young merchant,
“Allah forfend that this should last! How shall it be permitted that the
daughter of the Kazi of the Moslems cohabit with a man of the dancers
and vile of origin? By Allah, unless thou repudiate her forthright, I
will bid beat thee and cast thee into prison and there confine thee till
thou die. Had I foreknown that thou wast of them, I had not suffered
thee near me, but had spat in thy face, for that thou art more
ill-omened than a dog or a hog.”[274] Then he kicked him down from his
place and commanded him to divorce; but he said, “Be ruthful to me, O
Efendi, for that Allah is ruthful, and hasten not: I will not divorce my
wife, though thou give me the kingdom of Al-Irak.” The Judge was
perplexed and knew that compulsion was not permitted of Holy Law;[275]
so he bespake the young merchant fair and said to him, “Veil me,[276] so
may Allah veil thee. An thou divorce her not, this dishonour shall
cleave to me till the end of time.” Then his fury gat the better of his
wit and he cried, “An thou divorce her not of thine own will, I will
forthright bid strike off thy head and slay myself; Hell-flame but not
shame.”[277] The merchant bethought himself awhile, then divorced her
with a manifest divorce and a public[278] and on this wise he won free
from that unwelcome worry. Then he returned to his shop and presently
sought in marriage of her father her who had done with him what she
did[279] and who was the daughter of the Shaykh of the guild of the
blacksmiths. So he took her to wife and they abode each with other and
lived the pleasantest of lives and the most delightsome, till the day of
death: and praise be to Allah the Lord of the Three Worlds.

[Illustration: _A. Lalauze, Pinx. et Sc._]


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
a merchant of the merchants of Damascus, by name Abu al-Hasan, who had
money and means, slave-blacks and slave-girls, lands and gardens, houses
and Hammams in that city; but he was not blessed with boon of child and
indeed his age waxed great. So he addressed himself to supplicate[281]
Allah Almighty in private and in public and in his bows and his
prostrations and at the season of prayer-call, beseeching Him to
vouchsafe him, before his decease, a son who should inherit his wealth
and possessions. The Lord answered his prayer; his wife conceived and
the days of her pregnancy were accomplished and her months and her
nights; and the travail-pangs came upon her and she gave birth to a boy,
as he were a slice of Luna. He had not his match for beauty and he put
to shame the sun and the resplendent moon; for he had a beaming face and
black eyes of Bábilí witchery[282] and aquiline nose and carnelian lips;
in fine, he was perfect of attributes, the loveliest of folk of his
time, sans dubitation or gainsaying. His father joyed in him with
exceeding joy and his heart was solaced and he was at last happy: he
made banquets to the folk and he clad the poor and the widows. Presently
he named the boy Sídí Nur al-Din Ali and reared him in fondness and
delight among the hand-maids and thralls. When he had passed his seventh
year, his father put him to school, where he learned the sublime Koran
and the arts of writing and reckoning; and when he reached his tenth
year, he was taught horsemanship and archery and to occupy himself with
arts and sciences of all kinds, part and parts.[283] He grew up pleasant
and polite, winsome and lovesome; a ravishment to all who saw him, and
he inclined to companying with brethren and comrades and mixing with
merchants and travelled men. From these he heard tell of that which they
had witnessed of the wonders of the cities in their wayfare and heard
them say, “Whoso journeyeth not enjoyeth naught;[284] especially of the
city of Baghdad.” So he was concerned with exceeding concern for his
lack of travel and disclosed this to his sire, who said to him, “O my
son, why do I see thee chagrined?” Quoth he, “I would fain travel;” and
quoth Abu al-Hasan, “O my son, none travelleth save those whose need is
urgent and those who are compelled thereto by want. As for thee, O my
son, thou enjoyest ample means; so do thou content thyself with that
which Allah hath given thee and be bounteous to others, even as He hath
been bountiful to thee; and afflict not thyself with the toil and
tribulation of travel, for indeed it is said that travel is a piece of
Hell-torment.”[285] But the youth said, “Needs must I journey to
Baghdad, the House of Peace.” When his father saw the strength of his
resolve to travel, he fell in with his wishes and fitted him out with
five thousand dinars in cash and the like in merchandise and sent with
him two serving-men. So the youth fared forth, on the blessing of Allah
Almighty;[286] and his parent went out with him, to take leave of him,
and returned to Damascus. As for Nur al-Din Ali, he ceased not
travelling days and nights till he entered Baghdad city, and laying up
his loads in the Wakálah[287], made for the Hammam-bath, where he did
away that which was upon him of the soil of the road and doffing his
travelling clothes, donned a costly suit of Yamaní stuff, worth an
hundred dinars. Then he loaded his sleeve with a thousand miskals of
gold and sallied forth a-walking and swaying gracefully as he paced
along. His gait confounded all those who gazed upon him, as he shamed
the branches with his shape and belittled the rose with the redness of
his cheeks and his black eyes of Babilí witchcraft: thou wouldst deem
that whoso looked on him would surely be preserved from bane and
bale;[288] for he was even as saith of him one of his describers in
these couplets:—

 Thy haters and enviers say for jeer ✿ A true say that profits what ears
    will hear;
 “No boast is his whom the gear adorns; ✿ The boast be his who adorns the

So Sidi Nur al-Din went walking in the highways of the city and viewing
its edifices and its bazars and thoroughfares and gazing on its folk.
Presently, Abú Nowás met him. (Now he was of those of whom it is said,
“They love fair lads,” and indeed there is said what is said concerning
him).[289] When he saw Nur al-Din Ali, he stared at him in amazement and
exclaimed, “Say, I take refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak!” Then he
accosted the youth and saluting him, asked him, “Why do I see my lord
lone and lorn? Meseemeth thou art a stranger and knowest not this
country; so, with leave of my lord, I will put myself at his service and
acquaint him with the streets, for that I know this city.” Nur al-Din
answered, “This will be of thy favour, O nuncle.” Abu Nowas rejoiced at
this and fared on with him, showing him the streets and bazars, till
they came to the house of a slave-dealer, where he stopped and said to
the youth, “From what city art thou?” “From Damascus,” replied Nur
al-Din; and Abu Nowas said, “By Allah, thou art from a blessed city,
even as saith of it the poet in these couplets:—

 Now is Damascus a garth adorned ✿ For her seekers, the Houris and

Sidi Nur al-Din thanked him and the twain entered the mansion of the
slave-merchant. When the people of the house saw Abu Nowas, they rose to
do him reverence, for that which they knew of his rank with the
Commander of the Faithful; and the slave-dealer himself came up to them
with two chairs whereon they seated themselves. Then the slave-merchant
went inside and returning with a slave-girl, as she were a branch of Ban
or a rattan-cane, clad in a vest of damask silk and tired with a black
and white headdress whose ends fell down over her face, seated her on a
chair of ebony; after which he cried to those who were present, “I will
discover to you a favour as it were a full moon breaking forth from
under a cloud-bank.” They replied, “Do so;” whereupon he unveiled the
damsel’s face and behold, she was like the shining sun, with shapely
shape and dawn-bright cheeks and thready waist and heavy hips; brief,
she was endowed with an elegance, whose description is unfound, and was
even as saith of her the poet:[290]—

 A fair one, to idolaters if she herself should show, They’d leave their
    idols and her face for only Lord would know;
 And if into the briny sea one day she chanced to spit, Assuredly the
    salt sea’s floods straight fresh and sweet would grow.

The dealer stood at the hand-maid’s head and one of the merchants said,
“I bid a thousand dinars for her.” Quoth another, “I bid one thousand
one hundred dinars;” and a third, “I bid twelve hundred.” Then said a
fourth merchant, “Be she mine for fourteen hundred ducats.” And the
biddings standing still at that sum, her owner said, “I will not sell
her save with her consent: an if she desire to be sold, I will sell her
to whom she willeth.” The slave-dealer asked him, “What is her name?”
Answered the other, “Her name is Sitt al-Miláh;”[291] whereupon the
dealer said to her, “With thy leave, I will sell thee to yonder merchant
for this price of fourteen hundred dinars.” Quoth she, “Come hither to
me.” So the man-vendor came up to her and when he drew near, she gave
him a kick with her foot and cast him to the ground, saying, “I will not
have that oldster.” The slave-dealer arose, shaking the dust from his
dress and head, and cried, “Who biddeth more of us? Who is
desirous?”[292] Said one of the merchants, “I,” and the dealer said to
her, “O Sitt al-Milah, shall I sell thee to this merchant?” She replied,
“Come hither to me;” but he rejoined, “Nay; speak and I will hear thee
from my place, for I will not trust myself to thee nor hold myself safe
when near thee.” So she cried, “Indeed I will not have him.” Then the
slave-dealer looked at her and seeing her fix eyes on the young
Damascene, for that in very deed he had fascinated her with his beauty
and loveliness, went up to him and said to him, “O my lord, art thou a
looker-on or a buyer? Tell me.” Quoth Nur al-Din, “I am both looker-on
and buyer. Wilt thou sell me yonder slave-girl for sixteen hundred
ducats?” And he pulled out the purse of gold. Hereupon the dealer
returned, dancing and clapping his hands and saying, “So be it, so be
it, or not at all!” Then he came to the damsel and said to her, “O Sitt
al-Milah, shall I sell thee to yonder young Damascene for sixteen
hundred dinars?” But she answered, “No,” of bashfulness before her
master and the bystanders; whereupon the people of the bazar and the
slave-merchant departed, and Abu Nowas and Ali Nur al-Din arose and went
each his own way, whilst the damsel returned to her owner’s house, full
of love for the young Damascene. When the night darkened on her, she
called him to mind and her heart hung to him and sleep visited her not;
and on this wise she abode days and nights, till she sickened and
abstained from food. So her lord went in to her and asked her, “O Sitt
al-Milah, how findest thou thyself?” Answered she, “O my lord, dead
without chance of deliverance and I beseech thee to bring me my shroud,
so I may look upon it ere I die.” Therewith he went out from her, sore
concerned for her, and betaking himself to the bazar, found a friend of
his, a draper, who had been present on the day when the damsel was cried
for sale. Quoth his friend to him, “Why do I see thee troubled?” and
quoth he, “Sitt al-Milah is at the point of death and for three days she
hath neither eaten nor drunken. I questioned her to-day of her case and
she said:—O my lord, buy me a shroud so I may look upon it ere I die.”
The draper replied, “Methinks naught aileth her but that she is in love
with the young Damascene, and I counsel thee to mention his name to her
and declare to her that he hath foregathered with thee on her account
and is desirous of coming to thy quarters, so he may hear somewhat of
her singing. An she say:—I reck not of him, for there is that to do with
me which distracteth me from the Damascene and from other than he, know
that she saith sooth concerning her sickness; but, an she say thee other
than this, acquaint me therewith.” So the man returned to his lodging
and going in to his slave-girl said to her, “O Sitt al-Milah, I went out
for thy need and there met me the young man of Damascus, and he saluted
me with the salam and saluteth thee; he seeketh to win thy favour and
prayed me to admit him as a guest in our dwelling, so thou mayst let him
hear somewhat of thy singing.” When she heard speak of the young
Damascene, she gave a sob, that her soul was like to leave her body, and
answered, “He knoweth my plight and how these three days past I have not
eaten nor drunken, and I beseech thee, O my lord, by Allah of All-Might,
to do thy duty by the stranger and bring him to my lodging and make
excuse to him for me.” When her master heard this, his reason fled for
joy, and he went to his familiar the draper and said to him, “Thou wast
right in the matter of the damsel, for that she is in love with the
young Damascene; so how shall I manage?” Said the other, “Go to the
bazar and when thou seest him, salute him, and say to him:—Thy departure
the other day, without winning thy wish, was grievous to me; so, an thou
be still minded to buy the maid, I will abate thee of that which thou
badest for her an hundred sequins by way of gaining thy favour; seeing
thou be a stranger in our land. If he say to thee:—I have no desire for
her and hold off from thee, be assured that he will not buy; in which
case, let me know, so I may devise thee another device; and if he say to
thee other than this, conceal not from me aught.” So the girl’s owner
betook himself to the bazar, where he found the youth seated at the
upper end of the place where the merchants mostly do meet, selling and
buying and taking and giving, as he were the moon on the night of its
full, and saluted him. The young man returned his salam and he said to
him, “O my lord, be not offended at the damsel’s speech the other day,
for her price shall be lowered to the intent that I may secure thy
favour. An thou desire her for naught, I will send her to thee or an
thou wouldst have me abate to thee her price, I will well, for I desire
nothing save what shall content thee; seeing thou art a stranger in our
land and it behoveth us to treat thee hospitably and have consideration
for thee.” The youth replied, “By Allah, I will not take her from thee
but at an advance on that which I bade thee for her afore; so wilt thou
now sell her to me for one thousand and seven hundred dinars?” And the
other rejoined, “O my lord, I sell her to thee, may Allah bless thee in
her!” Thereupon the young man went to his quarters and fetching a purse,
sent for the girl’s owner and weighed out to him the price aforesaid,
whilst the draper was between the twain. Then said he, “Bring her
forth;” but the other replied, “She cannot come forth at this present;
but be thou my guest the rest of this day and night, and on the morrow
thou shalt take thy slave-girl and go in the ward of Allah.” The youth
agreed with him on this and he carried him to his house, where, after a
little, he bade meat and wine be brought, and they ate and drank. Then
said Nur al-Din to the girl’s owner, “I would have thee bring me the
damsel, because I bought her not but for the like of this time.” So he
arose and going in to the girl, said to her, “O Sitt al-Milah, the young
man hath paid down thy price and we have bidden him hither; so he hath
come to our quarters and we have entertained him, and he would fain have
thee be present with him.” Therewith the damsel rose deftly and doffing
her dress, bathed and donned sumptuous apparel and perfumed herself and
went out to him, as she were a branch of Ban or a cane of rattan,
followed by a black slave-girl, bearing the lute. When she came to the
young man, she saluted him and sat down by his side. Then she took the
lute from the slave-girl and screwing up its pegs,[293] smote thereon in
four-and-twenty modes, after which she returned to the first and sang
these couplets:—

 My joy in this world is to see and sit near thee, ✿ Thy love’s my
    religion; thy Union my pleasure.
 Attest it these tears when in memory I speer thee, ✿ And unchecked down
    my cheeks pours the flood without measure.
 By Allah, no rival in love hast to fear thee; ✿ I’m thy slave as I
    sware, and this troth is my treasure.
 Be not this our last meeting: by Allah I swear thee ✿ Thy severance to
    me were most bitter displeasure!

The young man was moved to delight and cried, “By Allah, thou sayest
well, O Sitt al-Milah! Let me hear more.” Then he largessed her with
fifty gold pieces and they drank and the cups made circuit among them;
and her seller said to her, “O Sitt al-Milah, this is the season of
farewelling; so let us hear somewhat thereon.” Accordingly she struck
the lute and touching upon that which was in her heart, improvised these

 I thole longing, remembrance and sad repine, ✿ Nor my heart can brook
    woes in so lengthened line.
 O my lords think not I forget your love; ✿ My case is sure case and cure
    shows no sign.
 If creature could swim in the flood of his tears, ✿ I were first to swim
    in these floods of brine:
 O Cup-boy withhold cup and bowl from a wretch ✿ Who ne’er ceaseth to
    drink of her tears for wine!
 Had I known that parting would do me die, ✿ I had shirked to part,
    but—’twas Fate’s design.

Now whilst they were thus enjoying whatso is most delicious of ease and
delight, and indeed the wine was to them sweet and the talk a treat,
behold, there came a knocking at the door. So the house-master went out,
that he might see what might be the matter, and found ten head of the
Caliph’s eunuchs at the entrance. When he saw this, he was startled and
said, “What is to do?” “The Commander of the Faithful saluteth thee and
requireth of thee the slave-girl whom thou hast exposed for sale and
whose name is Sitt al-Milah.” “By Allah, I have sold her.” “Swear by the
head of the Commander of the Faithful that she is not in thy quarters.”
The slaver made oath that he had sold her and that she was no longer at
his disposal: yet they paid no heed to his word and forcing their way
into the house, found the damsel and the young Damascene in the
sitting-chamber. So they laid hands upon her, and the youth said, “This
is my slave-girl, whom I have bought with my money;” but they hearkened
not to his speech and taking her, carried her off to the Prince of True
Believers. Therewith Nur al-Din’s pleasure was troubled: he arose and
donned his dress, and his host said, “Whither away this night, O my
lord?” Said he, “I purpose going to my quarters, and to-morrow I will
betake myself to the palace of the Commander of the Faithful and demand
my slave-girl.” The other replied, “Sleep till the morning, and fare not
forth at the like of this hour.” But he rejoined, “Needs must I go;” and
the host said to him, “Go in Allah his safeguard.” So the youth went
forth and, drunkenness having got the mastery of his wits, he threw
himself down on a bench before one of the shops. Now the watchmen were
at that hour making their rounds and they smelt the sweet scent of
essences and wine that reeked from him; so they made for it and suddenly
beheld the youth lying on the bench, without sign of recovering. They
poured water upon him, and he awoke, whereupon they carried him to the
office of the Chief of Police and he questioned him of his case. He
replied, “O my lord, I am an alien in this town and have been with one
of my friends: I came forth from his house and drunkenness overcame me.”
The Wali bade carry him to his lodging; but one of those in attendance
upon him, Al-Murádi hight, said to him, “What wilt thou do? This man is
robed in rich raiment and on his finger is a golden ring, whose bezel is
a ruby of great price; so we will carry him away and slay him and take
that which is upon him of clothes and bring to thee all we get; for that
thou wilt not often see profit the like thereof, especially as this
fellow is a foreigner and there is none to ask after him.”[294] Quoth
the Chief, “This wight is a thief and that which he saith is leasing.”
Nur al-Din said, “Allah forfend that I should be a thief!” but the Wali
answered, “Thou liest.” So they stripped him of his clothes and taking
the seal-ring from his finger, beat him with a grievous beating, what
while he cried out for succour, but none succoured him, and besought
protection, but none protected him. Then said he to them, “O folk, ye
are quit[295] of that which ye have taken from me; but now restore me to
my lodging.” They replied, “Leave this knavery, O rascal! thine intent
is to sue us for thy clothes on the morrow.” The youth cried, “By the
truth of the One, the Eternal One, I will not sue any for them!” but
they said, “We find no way to this.” And the Prefect bade them bear him
to the Tigris and there slay him and cast him into the stream. So they
dragged him away, while he wept and said the words which shall nowise
shame the sayer: “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great!” When they came to the Tigris, one of
them drew the sword upon him and Al-Muradi said to the sworder, “Smite
off his head;” but one of them, hight Ahmad, cried, “O folk, deal softly
with this poor wretch and slay him not unjustly and wickedly, for I
stand in fear of Allah Almighty, lest He burn me with his fire.” Quoth
Al-Muradi, “A truce to this talk!” and quoth the Ahmad aforesaid, “An ye
do with him aught, I will acquaint the Commander of the Faithful.” They
asked, “How, then, shall we do with him?” and he answered, “Let us
deposit him in prison and I will be answerable to you for his provision;
so shall we be quit of his blood, for indeed he is a wronged man.”
Accordingly they agreed to this and taking him up cast him into the
Prison of Blood,[296] and then went their ways. So far as regards them;
but returning to the damsel, they carried her to the Commander of the
Faithful and she pleased him; so he assigned her a chamber of the
chambers of choice. She tarried in the palace, neither eating nor
drinking and weeping sans surcease night and day, till, one night, the
Caliph sent for her to his sitting-hall and said to her, “O Sitt
al-Milah, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear, for I will
make thy rank higher than any of the concubines and thou shalt see that
which shall rejoice thee.” She kissed ground and wept; whereupon the
Prince of True Believers called for her lute and bade her sing: so in
accordance with that which was in her heart, she sang these improvised

 By the sheen of thy soul and the sheen of thy smile[297], ✿ Say, moan’st
    thou for doubt or is’t ring-dove’s moan?
 How many have died who by love were slain! ✿ Fails my patience but
    blaming my blamers wone.

Now when she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from her
hand and wept till she fainted away, whereupon the Caliph bade carry her
to her chamber. But he was fascinated by her and loved her with
exceeding love; so, after a while, he again commanded to bring her in to
the presence, and when she came, he ordered her sing. Accordingly, she
took the lute and chanted to it that which was in her heart and
improvised these couplets:—

 Have I patience and strength to support this despair? ✿ Ah, how couldst
    thou purpose afar to fare?
 Thou art swayed by the spy to my cark and care: ✿ No marvel an branchlet
    sway here and there![298]
 With unbearable load thou wouldst load me, still ✿ Thou loadest with
    love which I theewards bear.


Then she cast the lute from her hand and fainted away; so she was
carried to her sleeping-chamber and indeed passion grew upon her. After
a long while, the Prince of True Believers sent for her a third time and
commanded her to sing. So she took the lute and chanted these couplets:—

 O of piebald wild ye dunes sandy and drear, ✿ Shall the teenful lover
    ’scape teen and tear?
 Shall ye see me joined with a lover, who ✿ Still flies or shall meet we
    in joyful cheer?
 O hail to the fawn with the Houri eye, ✿ Like sun or moon on horizon
 He saith to lovers, “What look ye on?” ✿ And to stony hearts, “Say, what
    love ye dear”?[299]
 I pray to Him who departed us ✿ With severance-doom, “Be our union

When she had made an end of her verse, the Commander of the Faithful
said to her, “O damsel, thou art in love.” She replied, “Yes;” and he
asked, “With whom?” Answered she, “With my lord and sovran of my
tenderness, for whom my love is as the love of the earth for rain, or as
the desire of the female for the male; and indeed the love of him is
mingled with my flesh and my blood and hath entered into the channels of
my bones. O Prince of True Believers, whenever I call him to mind my
vitals are consumed, for that I have not yet won my wish of him, and but
that I fear to die, without seeing him, I had assuredly slain myself.”
Thereupon quoth he, “Art thou in my presence and durst bespeak me with
the like of these words? Forsure I will gar thee forget thy lord.” Then
he bade take her away; so she was carried to her pavilion and he sent
her a concubine, with a casket wherein were three thousand ducats and a
collar of gold set with seed-pearls and great unions, and jewels, worth
other three thousand, saying to her, “The slave-girl and that which is
with her are a gift from me to thee.” When she heard this, she cried,
“Allah forfend that I be consoled for the love of my lord and my master,
though with an earth-full of gold!” And she improvised and recited these

 By his life I swear, by his life I pray; ✿ For him fire I’d enter unful
 “Console thee (cry they) with another fere ✿ Thou lovest!” and I, “By’s
    life, nay, NAY!”
 He’s moon whom beauty and grace array; ✿ From whose cheeks and brow
    shineth light of day.

Then the Commander of the Faithful summoned her to his presence a fourth
time and said, “O Sitt al-Milah, sing.” So she recited and sang these

 The lover’s heart by his beloved is oft disheartenèd ✿ And by the hand
    of sickness eke his sprite dispiritèd,
 One asked, “What is the taste of love?”[300] and I to him replied, ✿
    “Love is a sweet at first but oft in fine unsweetenèd.”
 I am the thrall of Love who keeps the troth of love to them[301] ✿ But
    oft they proved themselves ’Urkúb[302] in pact with me they made.
 What in their camp remains? They bound their loads and fared away; ✿ To
    other feres the veilèd Fairs in curtained litters sped;
 At every station the beloved showed all of Joseph’s charms: ✿ The lover
    woned with Jacob’s woe in every shift of stead.

When she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from her hand
and wept herself a-swoon. So they sprinkled on her musk-mingled
rose-water and willow-flower water; and when she came to her senses,
Al-Rashid said to her, “O Sitt al-Milah, this is not just dealing in
thee. We love thee and thou lovest another.” She replied, “O Commander
of the Faithful, there is no help for it.” Thereupon he was wroth with
her and cried, “By the virtue of Hamzah[303] and ’Akíl[304] and
Mohammed, Prince of the Apostles, an thou name in my presence one other
than I, I will assuredly order strike off thy head!” Then he bade return
her to her chamber, whilst she wept and recited these couplets:—

 “Oh brave!” I’d cry an I my death could view; ✿ My death were better
    than these griefs to rue,
 Did sabre hew me limb by limb; this were ✿ Naught to affright a lover

Then the Caliph went in to the Lady Zubaydah, complexion-altered with
anger, and she noted this in him and said to him, “How cometh it that I
see the Commander of the Faithful changed of colour?” He replied, “O
daughter of my uncle, I have a beautiful slave-girl, who reciteth verses
by rote and telleth various tales, and she hath taken my whole heart;
but she loveth other than myself and declareth that she affecteth her
former lord; so I have sworn a great oath that, if she come again to my
sitting-hall and sing for other than for me, I will assuredly shorten
her highest part by a span.”[305] Quoth Zubaydah, “Let the Commander of
the Faithful favour me by presenting her, so I may look on her and hear
her singing.” Accordingly he bade fetch her and she came, upon which the
Lady Zubaydah withdrew behind the curtain,[306] where the damsel saw her
not, and Al-Rashid said to her, “Sing to us.” So she took the lute and
tuning it, recited these couplets:—

 O my lord! since the day when I lost your sight, ✿ My life was
    ungladdened, my heart full of teen;
 The memory of you kills me every night; ✿ And by all the worlds is my
    trace unseen;
 All for love of a Fawn who hath snared my sprite ✿ By his love and his
    brow as the morning sheen.
 Like a left hand parted from brother right ✿ I became by parting thro’
    Fortune’s spleen.
 On the brow of him Beauty deigned indite ✿ “Blest be Allah, whom best of
    Creators I ween!”
 And Him I pray, who could disunite ✿ To reunite us. Then cry

When Al-Rashid heard the end of this, he waxed exceeding wroth and said,
“May Allah not reunite you twain in gladness!” Then he summoned the
headsman, and when he presented himself, he said to him, “Strike off the
head of this accursed slave-girl.” So Masrur took her by the hand and
led her away; but, when she came to the door, she turned and said to the
Caliph, “O Commander of the Faithful, I conjure thee, by thy fathers and
forefathers, behead me not until thou give ear to that I shall say!”
Then she improvised and recited these couplets:—

 Emir of Justice, be to lieges kind ✿ For Justice ever guides thy
    generous mind;
 And, oh, who blamest love to him inclining! ✿ Are lovers blamed for
    lâches undesigned?
 By Him who gave thee rule, deign spare my life ✿ For rule on earth He
    hath to thee assigned.

Then Masrur carried her to the other end of the sitting-hall and bound
her eyes and making her sit, stood awaiting a second order: whereupon
quoth the Lady Zubaydah, “O Prince of True Believers, with thy
permission, wilt thou not vouchsafe this damsel a portion of thy
clemency? An thou slay her, ’twere injustice.” Quoth he, “What is to be
done with her?” and quoth she, “Forbear to slay her and send for her
lord. If he be as she describeth him in beauty and loveliness, she is
excused, and if he be not on this wise then kill her, and this shall be
thy plea against her.”[308] Al-Rashid replied, “No harm in this rede;”
and caused return the damsel to her chamber, saying to her, “The Lady
Zubaydah saith thus and thus.” She rejoined, “God requite her for me
with good! Indeed, thou dealest equitably, O Commander of the Faithful,
in this judgment.” And he retorted, “Go now to thy place, and to-morrow
we will bid them bring thy lord.” So she kissed ground and recited these

 I indeed will well for whom love I will: ✿ Let chider chide and let
    blamer blame:
 All lives must die at fixt tide and term ✿ But I must die ere my
    life-term came:
 Then Oh whose love hath afflicted me ✿ Well I will but thy presence in
    haste I claim.

Then she arose and returned to her chamber. Now on the morrow, the
Commander of the Faithful sat in his hall of audience and his Wazir
Ja’afar bin Yahya the Barmecide came in to him; whereupon he called to
him, saying, “I would have thee bring me a youth who is lately come to
Baghdad, hight Sidi Nur al-Din Ali the Damascene.” Quoth Ja’afar,
“Hearing and obeying,” and going forth in quest of the youth, sent to
the bazars and Wakalahs and Khans for three successive days, but
discovered no trace of him, neither happened upon the place of him. So
on the fourth day he presented himself before the Caliph and said to
him, “O our lord, I have sought him these three days, but have not found
him.” Said Al-Rashid, “Make ready letters to Damascus. Peradventure he
hath returned to his own land.” Accordingly Ja’afar wrote a letter and
despatched it by a dromedary-courier to the Damascus-city; and they
sought him there and found him not. Meanwhile, news was brought that
Khorasan had been conquered;[309] whereupon Al-Rashid rejoiced and bade
decorate Baghdad and release all in the gaol, giving each of them a
ducat and a dress. So Ja’afar applied himself to the adornment of the
city and bade his brother Al-Fazl ride to the prison and robe and set
free the prisoners. Al-Fazl did as his brother commanded and released
all save the young Damascene, who abode still in the Prison of Blood,
saying, “There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great! Verily, we are God’s and to Him are we returning.”
Then quoth Al-Fazl to the gaoler, “Is there any left in the prison?”
Quoth he, “No,” and Al-Fazl was about to depart, when Nur al-Din called
out to him from within the prison, saying, “O our lord, tarry awhile,
for there remaineth none in the prison other than I and indeed I am
wronged. This is a day of pardon and there is no disputing concerning
it.” Al-Fazl bade release him; so they set him free and he gave him a
dress and a ducat. Thereupon the young man went out, bewildered and
unknowing whither he should wend, for that he had sojourned in the gaol
a year or so and indeed his condition was changed and his favour fouled,
and he abode walking and turning round, lest Al-Muradi come upon him and
cast him into another calamity. When Al-Muradi learnt his release, he
betook himself to the Wali and said, “O our lord, we are not assured of
our lives from that youth, because he hath been freed from prison and we
fear lest he complain of us.” Quoth the Chief, “How shall we do?” and
quoth Al-Muradi, “I will cast him into a calamity for thee.” Then he
ceased not to follow the Damascene from place to place till he came up
with him in a narrow stead and _cul-de-sac_; whereupon he accosted him
and casting a cord about his neck, cried out, “A thief!” The folk
flocked to him from all sides and fell to beating and abusing Nur
al-Din,[310] whilst he cried out for aidance but none aided him, and
Al-Muradi kept saying to him, “But yesterday the Commander of the
Faithful released thee and to-day thou robbest!” So the hearts of the
mob were hardened against him and again Al-Muradi carried him to the
Chief of Police, who bade hew off his hand. Accordingly, the hangman
took him and bringing out the knife, proceeded to cut off his hand,
while Al-Muradi said to him, “Cut and sever the bone and fry[311] not in
oil the stump for him, so he may lose all his blood and we be at rest
from him.” But Ahmad, he who had before been the cause of his
deliverance, sprang up to him and cried, “O folk, fear Allah in your
action with this youth, for that I know his affair, first and last, and
he is clear of offence and guiltless: he is of the lords of houses,[312]
and unless ye desist from him, I will go up to the Commander of the
Faithful and acquaint him with the case from beginning to end and that
the youth is innocent of sin or crime.” Quoth Al-Muradi, “Indeed, we are
not assured from his mischief;” and quoth Ahmad, “Set him free and
commit him to me and I will warrant you against his doings, for ye shall
never see him again after this.” So they delivered Nur al-Din to him and
he took him from their hands and said to him, “O youth, have ruth on
thyself, for indeed thou hast fallen into the hands of these folk twice
and if they prevail over thee a third time, they will make an end of
thee; and I in doing thus with thee, aim at reward for thee and
recompense in Heaven and answer of prayer.”[313] So Nur al-Din fell to
kissing his hand and blessing him said, “Know that I am a stranger in
this your city and the completion of kindness is better than its
commencement; wherefore I pray thee of thy favour that thou make perfect
to me thy good offices and generosity and bring me to the city-gate. So
will thy beneficence be accomplished unto me and may God Almighty
requite thee for me with good!” Ahmad replied, “No harm shall betide
thee: go; I will bear thee company till thou come to thy place of
safety.” And he left him not till he brought him to the city-gate and
said to him, “O youth, go in Allah’s guard and return not to the city;
for, an they fall in with thee again, they will make an end of thee.”
Nur al-Din kissed his hand and going forth the city, gave not over
walking till he came to a mosque that stood in one of the suburbs of
Baghdad and entered therein with the night. Now he had with him naught
wherewith he might cover himself; so he wrapped himself up in one of the
mats of the mosque and thus abode till dawn, when the Muezzins came and
finding him seated in such case, said to him, “O youth, what is this
plight?” Said he, “I cast myself on your protection, imploring your
defence from a company of folk who seek to slay me unjustly and
wrongously, without cause.” And one of the Muezzins said, “I will
protect thee; so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool of tear.”
Then he brought him old clothes and covered him therewith; he also set
before him somewhat of victual and seeing upon him signs of fine
breeding, said to him, “O my son, I grow old and desiring help from
thee, I will do away thy necessity.” Nur al-Din replied, “To hear is to
obey;” and abode with the old man, who rested and took his ease, while
the youth did his service in the mosque, celebrating the praises of
Allah and calling the Faithful to prayer and lighting the lamps and
filling the spout-pots[314] and sweeping and cleaning out the place of
worship on thiswise it befel the young Damascene; but as regards Sitt
al-Milah, the Lady Zubaydah, the wife of the Commander of the Faithful,
made a banquet in her palace and assembled her slave-girls. And the
damsel came, weeping-eyed and heavy-hearted, and those present blamed
her for this, whereupon she recited these couplets:—

 Ye blame the mourner who weeps his woe; ✿ Needs must the mourner sing,
    weeping sore;
 An I see not some happy day I’ll weep ✿ Brine-tears till followed by
    gouts of gore.

When she had made an end of her verses, the Lady Zubaydah bade each
damsel sing a song, till the turn came round to Sitt al-Milah, whereupon
she took the lute and tuning it, carolled thereto four-and-twenty carols
in four-and-twenty modes; then she returned to the first and sang these

 The World hath shot me with all her shafts ✿ Departing friends
    parting-grief t’ aby:
 So in heart the burn of all hearts I bear ✿ And in eyes the tear-drops
    of every eye.

When she had made an end of her song, she wept till she garred the
bystanders weep and the Lady Zubaydah condoled with her and said to her,
“Allah upon thee, O Sitt al-Milah, sing us somewhat, so we may hearken
to thee.” The damsel replied, “Hearing and obeying,” and sang these

 People of passion, assemble ye! ✿ This day be the day of our agony:
 The Raven o’ severance croaks at our doors; ✿ Our raven which nigh to us
    aye see we.
 The friends we love have appointed us ✿ The grievousest parting-dule to
 Rise, by your lives, and let all at once ✿ Fare to seek our friends
    where their sight we see.

Then she threw the lute from her hand and shed tears till she drew tears
from the Lady Zubaydah who said to her, “O Sitt al-Milah, he whom thou
lovest methinks is not in this world, for the Commander of the Faithful
hath sought him in every place, but hath not found him.” Whereupon the
damsel arose and kissing the Princess’s hands, said to her, “O my lady,
an thou wouldst have him found, I have this night a request to make
whereby thou mayst win my need with the Caliph.” Quoth the Lady, “And
what is it;” and quoth Sitt al-Milah, “’Tis that thou get me leave to
fare forth by myself and go round about in quest of him three days, for
the adage saith, Whoso keeneth for herself is not like whoso is hired to
keen![315] An if I find him, I will bring him before the Commander of
the Faithful, so he may do with us what he will, and if I find him not,
I shall be cut off from hope of him and the heat of that which is with
me will be cooled.” Quoth the Lady Zubaydah, “I will not get thee leave
from him but for a whole month; so be of good cheer and eyes cool and
clear.” Whereat Sitt al-Milah rejoiced and rising, kissed ground before
her once more and went away to her own place, and right glad was she. As
for Zubaydah, she went in to the Caliph and talked with him awhile; then
she fell to kissing him between the eyes and on his hand and asked him
for that which she had promised to Sitt al-Milah, saying, “O Commander
of the Faithful, I doubt me her lord is not found in this world; but, an
she go about seeking him and find him not, her hopes will be cut off and
her mind will be set at rest and she will sport and laugh; and indeed
while she nourisheth hope, she will never take the right direction.” And
she ceased not cajoling him till he gave Sitt al-Milah leave to fare
forth and make search for her lord a month’s space and ordered her a
riding-mule and an eunuch to attend her and bade the privy purse give
her all she needed, were it a thousand dirhams a day or even more. So
the Lady Zubaydah arose and returning to her palace bade summon Sitt
al-Milah and, as soon as she came, acquainted her with that which had
passed; whereupon she kissed her hand and thanked her and called down
blessings on her. Then she took leave of the Princess and veiling her
face with a mask[316], disguised herself;[317] after which she mounted
the she-mule and sallying forth, went round about seeking her lord in
the highways of Baghdad three days’ space, but happed on no tidings of
him; and on the fourth day, she rode forth without the city. Now it was
the noon-hour and fierce was the heat, and she was aweary and thirst
came upon her. Presently, she reached the mosque of the Shaykh who had
lodged the young Damascene, and dismounting at the door, said to the old
Muezzin, “O Shaykh, hast thou a draught of cold water? Verily, I am
overcome with heat and thirst.” Said he, “’Tis with me in my house.” So
he carried her up into his lodging and spreading her a carpet, seated
her; after which he brought her cold water and she drank and said to the
eunuch, “Go thy ways with the mule and to-morrow come back to me here.”
Accordingly he went away and she slept and rested herself. When she
awoke, she asked the old man, “O Shaykh, hast thou aught of food?” and
he answered, “O my lady, I have bread and olives.” Quoth she, “That be
food which befitteth only the like of thee. As for me, I will have
naught save roast lamb and soups and reddened fowls right fat and ducks
farcis with all manner stuffing of pistachio-nuts and sugar.” Quoth the
Muezzin, “O my lady, I have never heard of this chapter[318] in the
Koran, nor was it revealed to our lord Mohammed, whom Allah save and
assain!”[319] She laughed and said, “O Shaykh, the matter is even as
thou sayest; but bring me pen-case and paper.” So he brought her what
she sought and she wrote a note and gave it to him, together with a
seal-ring from her finger, saying, “Go into the city and enquire for
Such-an-one the Shroff and give him this my note.” Accordingly the
oldster betook himself to the city, as she bade him, and asked for the
money-changer, to whom they directed him. So he gave him ring and writ,
seeing which, he kissed the letter and breaking it open, read it and
apprehended its contents. Then he repaired to the bazar and buying all
that she bade him, laid it in a porter’s crate and made him go with the
Shaykh. The old man took the Hammál and went with him to the mosque,
where he relieved him of his burden and carried the rich viands in to
Sitt al-Milah. She seated him by her side and they ate, he and she, of
those dainty cates, till they were satisfied, when the Shaykh rose and
removed the food from before her. She passed that night in his lodging
and when she got up in the morning, she said to him, “O elder, may I not
lack thy kind offices for the breakfast! Go to the Shroff and fetch me
from him the like of yesterday’s food.” So he arose and betaking himself
to the money-changer, acquainted him with that which she had bidden him.
The Shroff brought him all she required and set it on the heads of
Hammals; and the Shaykh took them and returned with them to the damsel,
when she sat down with him and they ate their sufficiency, after which
he removed the rest of the meats. Then she took the fruits and the
flowers and setting them over against herself, wrought them into rings
and knots and writs, whilst the Shaykh looked on at a thing whose like
he had never in his life seen and rejoiced in the sight. Presently said
she to him, “O elder, I would fain drink.” So he arose and brought her a
gugglet of water; but she cried to him, “Who said to thee Fetch that?”
Quoth he, “Saidst thou not to me, I would fain drink?” and quoth she, “I
want not this; nay, I want wine, the solace of the soul, so haply, O
Shaykh, I may refresh myself therewith.” Exclaimed the old man, “Allah
forfend that strong drink be drunk in my house, and I a stranger in the
land and a Muezzin and an Imam, who leadeth the True Believers in
prayer, and a servant of the House of the Lord of the three Worlds!”
“Why wilt thou forbid me to drink thereof in thy house?” “Because ’tis
unlawful.” “O elder, Allah hath forbidden only the eating of blood and
carrion[320] and hog’s flesh: tell me, are grapes and honey lawful or
unlawful?” “They are lawful.” “This is the juice of grapes and the water
of honey.” “Leave this thy talk, for thou shalt never drink wine in my
house.” “O Shaykh, people eat and drink and enjoy themselves and we are
of the number of the folk and Allah is indulgent and merciful.”[321]
“This is a thing that may not be.” “Hast thou not heard what the poet
saith?” And she recited these couplets:—

 Cease thou to hear, O Sim’án-son,[322] aught save the say of me; ✿ How
    bitter ’twas to quit the monks and fly the monast’ry!
 When, on the Fête of Palms there stood, amid the hallowed fane[323], ✿ A
    pretty Fawn whose lovely pride garred me sore wrong to dree.
 May Allah bless the night we spent when he to us was third, ✿ While
    Moslem, Jew, and Nazarene all sported fain and free.
 Quoth he, from out whose locks appeared the gleaming of the morn, ✿
    “Sweet is the wine and sweet the flowers that joy us comrades three.
 The garden of the garths of Khuld where roll and rail amain, ✿ Rivulets
    ’neath the myrtle shade and Bán’s fair branchery;
 And birds make carol on the boughs and sing in blithest lay, ✿ Yea, this
    indeed is life, but, ah! how soon it fades away.”

She then asked him, “O Shaykh, an Moslems and Jews and Nazarenes drink
wine, who are we that we should reject it?” Answered he, “By Allah, O my
lady, spare thy pains, for this be a thing whereto I will not hearken.”
When she knew that he would not consent to her desire, she said to him,
“O Shaykh, I am of the slave-girls of the Commander of the Faithful and
the food waxeth heavy on me and if I drink not, I shall die of
indigestion, nor wilt thou be assured against the issue of my case.[324]
As for me, I acquit myself of blame towards thee, for that I have bidden
thee beware of the wrath of the Commander of the Faithful, after making
myself known to thee.” When the Shaykh heard her words and that
wherewith she threatened him, he sprang up and went out, perplexed and
unknowing what he should do, and there met him a Jewish man, which was
his neighbour, and said to him, “How cometh it that I see thee, O
Shaykh, strait of breast? Eke, I hear in thy house a noise of talk, such
as I am unwont to hear with thee.” Quoth the Muezzin, “’Tis of a damsel
who declareth that she is of the slave-girls of the Commander of the
Faithful, Harun al-Rashid; and she hath eaten meat and now would drink
wine in my house, but I forbade her. However she asserteth that unless
she drink thereof, she will die, and indeed I am bewildered concerning
my case.” Answered the Jew, “Know, O my neighbour, that the slave-girls
of the Commander of the Faithful are used to drink wine, and when they
eat and drink not, they die; and I fear lest happen some mishap to her,
when thou wouldst not be safe from the Caliph’s fury.” The Shaykh asked,
“What is to be done?” and the Jew answered, “I have old wine that will
suit her.” Quoth the Shaykh, “By the right of neighbourship, deliver me
from this descent[325] of calamity and let me have that which is with
thee!” Quoth the Jew, “Bismillah, in the name of Allah,” and passing to
his quarters, brought out a glass flask of wine, wherewith the Shaykh
returned to Sitt al-Milah. This pleased her and she cried to him,
“Whence hadst thou this?” He replied, “I got it from the Jew, my
neighbour: I set forth to him my case with thee and he gave me this.”
Thereupon Sitt al-Milah filled a cup and emptied it; after which she
drank a second and a third. Then she crowned the cup a fourth time and
handed it to the Shaykh, but he would not accept it from her. However,
she conjured him, by her own head and that of the Prince of True
Believers, that he take the cup from her, till he received it from her
hand and kissed it and would have set it down; but she sware him by her
life to smell it. Accordingly he smelt it and she said to him, “How
deemest thou?” Said he, “I find its smell is sweet;” and she conjured
him by the Caliph’s life to taste thereof. So he put it to his mouth and
she rose to him and made him drink; whereupon quoth he, “O Princess of
the Fair,[326] this is none other than good.” Quoth she, “So deem I:
hath not our Lord promised us wine in Paradise?” He answered, “Yes! The
Most High saith:—And rivers of wine, delicious to the drinkers.[327] And
we will drink it in this world and in the next world.” She laughed and
emptying the cup, gave him to drink, and he said, “O Princess of the
Fair, indeed thou art excusable in thy love for this.” Then he hent in
hand from her another and another, till he became drunken and his talk
waxed great and his prattle. The folk of the quarter heard him and
assembled under the window; and when the Shaykh was ware of them, he
opened the window and said to them, “Are ye not ashamed, O pimps? Every
one in his own house doth whatso he willeth and none hindereth him; but
we drink one single day and ye assemble and come, panders that ye are!
To-day, wine, and to-morrow business;[328] and from hour to hour cometh
relief.” So they laughed together and dispersed. Then the girl drank
till she was drunken, when she called to mind her lord and wept, and the
Shaykh said to her, “What maketh thee weep, O my lady?” Said she, “O
elder, I am a lover and a separated.” He cried, “O my lady, what is this
love?” Cried she, “And thou, hast thou never been in love?” He replied,
“By Allah, O my lady, never in all my life heard I of this thing, nor
have I ever known it! Is it of the sons of Adam or of the Jinn?” She
laughed and said, “Verily, thou art even as those of whom the poet
speaketh, in these couplets:—

 How oft shall they admonish and ye shun this nourishment; ✿ When e’en
    the shepherd’s bidding is obeyèd by his flocks?
 I see you like in shape and form to creatures whom we term ✿ Mankind,
    but in your acts and deeds you are a sort of ox.”[329]

The Shaykh laughed at her speech and her verses pleased him. Then cried
she to him, “I desire of thee a lute.” So he arose and brought her a bit
of fuel.[330] Quoth she, “What is that?” and quoth he “Didst thou not
say: Bring me fuel?” Said she, “I do not want this,” and said he, “What
then is it that is hight fuel, other than this?” She laughed and
replied, “The lute is an instrument of music, whereunto I sing.” Asked
he, “Where is this thing found and of whom shall I get it for thee?” and
answered she, “Of him who gave thee the wine.” So he arose and betaking
himself to his neighbour the Jew, said to him “Thou favouredst us before
with the wine; so now complete thy favours and look me out a thing hight
lute, which be an instrument for singing; for she seeketh this of me and
I know it not.” Replied the Jew, “Hearkening and obedience,” and going
into his house, brought him a lute. The old man carried it to Sitt
al-Milah, whilst the Jew took his drink and sat by a window adjoining
the Shaykh’s house, so he might hear the singing. The damsel rejoiced,
when the old man returned to her with the lute, and taking it from him,
tuned its strings and sang these couplets:—

 Remains not, after you are gone, or trace of you or sign, ✿ But hope to
    see this parting end and break its lengthy line:
 You went and by your wending made the whole world desolate; ✿ And none
    may stand this day in stead to fill the yearning eyne.
 Indeed, you’ve burdened weakling me, by strength and force of you ✿ With
    load no hill hath power t’upheave nor yet the plain low li’en:
 And I, whenever fain I scent the breeze your land o’erbreathes, ✿ Lose
    all my wits as though they were bemused with heady wine.
 O folk no light affair is Love for lover woe to dree ✿ Nor easy ’tis to
    satisfy its sorrow and repine.
 I’ve wandered East and West to hap upon your trace, and when ✿
    Springcamps I find the dwellers cry, “They’ve marched, those friends
    o’ thine!”
 Never accustomed me to part these intimates I love; ✿ Nay, when I left
    them all were wont new meetings to design.

Now when she had ended her song, she wept with sore weeping, till
presently sleep overcame her and she slept. On the morrow, she said to
the Shaykh, “Get thee to the Shroff and fetch me the ordinary;” so he
repaired to the money-changer and delivered him the message, whereupon
he made ready meat and drink, according to his custom, with which the
old man returned to the damsel and they ate their sufficiency. When she
had eaten, she sought of him wine and he went to the Jew and fetched it.
Then the twain sat down and drank; and when she waxed drunken, she took
the lute and smiting it, fell a-singing and chanted these couplets:—

 How long ask I the heart, the heart drowned, and eke ✿ Refrain my
    complaint while my tear-floods speak?
 They forbid e’en the phantom to visit me, ✿ (O marvel!) her phantom my
    couch to seek.[331]

And when she had made an end of her song, she wept with sore weeping.
All this time, the young Damascene was listening, and now he likened her
voice to the voice of his slave-girl and then he put away from him this
thought, and the damsel had no knowledge whatever of his presence. Then
she broke out again into song and chanted these couplets:—

 Quoth they, “Forget him! What is he?” To them I cried, ✿ “Allah forget
    me when forget I mine adored!”
 Now in this world shall I forget the love o’ you? ✿ Heaven grant the
    thrall may ne’er forget to love his lord!
 I pray that Allah pardon all except thy love ✿ Which, when I meet Him
    may my bestest plea afford.

After ending this song she drank three cups and filling the old man
other three, improvised these couplets:—

 His love he hid which tell-tale tears betrayed; ✿ For burn of coal that
    ’neath his ribs was laid:
 Giv’n that he seek his joy in spring and flowers ✿ Some day, his
    spring’s the face of dear-loved maid.
 O ye who blame me for who baulks my love! ✿ What sweeter thing than boon
    to man denayed?
 A sun, yet scorcheth he my very heart! ✿ A moon, but riseth he from
    breasts a-shade!

When she had made an end of her song, she threw the lute from her hand
and wept, whilst the Shaykh wept for her weeping. Then she fell down in
a fainting fit and presently recovering, crowned the cup and drinking it
off, gave the elder to drink, after which she took the lute and breaking
out into song, chanted these couplets:—

 Thy parting is bestest of woes to my heart, ✿ And changed my case till
    all sleep it eschewed:
 The world to my being is desolate; ✿ Then Oh grief! and Oh lingering
 Maybe The Ruthful incline thee to me ✿ And join us despite what our foes
    have sued!

Then she wept till her voice rose high and her wailing was discovered to
those without; after which she again began to drink and plying the
Shaykh with wine, sang these couplets:—

 An they hid thy person from eyen-sight, ✿ They hid not thy name fro’ my
    mindful sprite:
 Or meet me; thy ransom for meeting I’ll be![332] ✿ Or fly me; and ransom
    I’ll be for thy flight!
 Mine outer speaks for mine inner case, ✿ And mine inner speaks for mine
    outer plight.

When she had made an end of her verses, she threw the lute from her hand
and wept and wailed. Then she slept awhile and presently awaking, said,
“O Shaykh, say me, hast thou what we may eat?” He replied, “O my lady, I
have the rest of the food;” but she cried, “I will not eat of the orts I
have left. Go down to the bazar and fetch us what we may eat.” He
rejoined, “Excuse me, O my lady, I cannot rise to my feet, because I am
bemused with wine; but with me is the servant of the mosque, who is a
sharp youth and an intelligent. I will call him, so he may buy thee
whatso thou wantest.” Asked she, “Whence hast thou this servant?” and he
answered, “He is of the people of Damascus.” When she heard him say “of
the people of Damascus,” she sobbed such a sob that she swooned away;
and when she came to herself, she said, “Woe is me for the people of
Damascus and for those who are therein! Call him, O Shaykh, that he may
do our need.” Accordingly, the old man put his head forth of the window
and called the youth, who came to him from the mosque and sought leave
to enter. The Muezzin bade him come in, and when he appeared before the
damsel, he knew her and she knew him; whereupon he turned back in
bewilderment and would have fled at hap-hazard; but she sprang up to him
and held him fast, and they embraced and wept together, till they fell
to the floor in a fainting fit. When the Shaykh saw them in this
condition, he feared for himself and fared forth in fright, seeing not
the way for drunkenness. His neighbour the Jew met him and asked him,
“How is it that I behold thee astounded?” Answered the old man, “How
should I not be astounded, seeing that the damsel who is with me is
fallen in love with the mosque servant and they have embraced and
slipped down in a swoon? Indeed, I fear lest the Caliph come to know of
this and be wroth with me; so tell me thou what is thy device for that
wherewith I am afflicted in the matter of this damsel.” Quoth the Jew,
“For the present, take this casting-bottle of rose-water and go
forthright and sprinkle them therewith: an they be aswoon for this their
union and embrace, they will recover, and if otherwise, then take to
flight.” The Shakyh snatched the casting-bottle from the Jew and going
up to the twain, sprinkled their faces, whereupon they came to
themselves and fell to relating each to other that which they had
suffered, since both had been parted, for the pangs of severance. Nur
al-Din also acquainted Sitt al-Milah with that which he had endured from
the folk who would have killed[333] him and utterly annihilated him; and
she said to him, “O my lord, let us for the nonce leave this talk and
praise Allah for reunion of loves, and all this shall cease from us.”
Then she gave him the cup and he said, “By Allah, I will on no wise
drink it, whilst I am in this case!” So she drank it off before him and
taking the lute, swept the strings and sang these couplets:—

 O absent fro’ me and yet present in place, ✿ Thou art far from mine eyes
    and yet ever nigh!
 Thy farness bequeathed me all sorrow and care ✿ And my troublous life
    can no joy espy:
 Lone, forlorn, weeping-eyelidded, miserablest, ✿ I abide for thy sake as
    though banisht I:
 Then (ah grief o’ me!) far thou hast fared from sight ✿ Yet canst no
    more depart me than apple of eye!

When she had made an end of her verse, she wept and the young man of
Damascus, Nur al-Din, wept also. Then she took the lute and improvised
these couplets:—

 Well Allah wots I never namèd you ✿ But tears o’erbrimming eyes in
    floods outburst;
 And passion raged and pine would do me die, ✿ Yet my heart rested wi’
    the thought it nurst;
 O eye-light mine, O wish and O my hope! ✿ Your face can never quench
    mine eyes’ hot thirst.

When Nur al-Din heard these his slave-girl’s verses, he fell a-weeping,
while she strained him to her bosom and wiped away his tears with her
sleeve and questioned him and comforted his mind. Then she took the lute
and sweeping its strings, played thereon with such performing as would
move the staidest to delight and sang these couplets:—

 Indeed, what day brings not your sight to me. ✿ That day I rem’mber not
    as dight to me!
 And, when I vainly long on you to look, ✿ My life is lost, Oh life and
    light o’ me!

After this fashion they fared till the morning, tasting not the
nourishment of sleep[334]; and when the day lightened, behold the eunuch
came with the she-mule and said to Sitt al-Milah, “The Commander of the
Faithful calleth for thee.” So she arose and taking by the hand her
lord, committed him to the Shaykh, saying, “This is the deposit of
Allah, then thy deposit,[335] till this eunuch cometh to thee; and
indeed, O elder, my due to thee is the white hand of favour such as
filleth the interval betwixt heaven and earth.” Then she mounted the
mule and repairing to the palace of the Commander of the Faithful, went
in to him and kissed ground before him. Quoth he to her, as who should
make mock of her, “I doubt not but thou hast found thy lord;” and quoth
she, “By thy felicity and the length of thy continuance on life, I have
indeed found him!” Now Al-Rashid was leaning back; but, when he heard
this, he sat upright and said to her, “By my life, true?” She replied,
“Ay, by thy life!” He said, “Bring him into my presence, so I may see
him;” but she said, “O my lord, there have happened to him many
hardships and his charms are changed and his favour faded; and indeed
the Prince of True Believers vouchsafed me a month; wherefore I will
tend him the rest of the month and then bring him to do his service to
the Commander of the Faithful.” Quoth Al-Rashid, “Sooth thou sayest: the
condition certainly was for a month; but tell me what hath betided him.”
Quoth she, “O my lord (Allah prolong thy continuance and make Paradise
thy place of returning and thine asylum and the fire the abiding-place
of thy foes!), when he presenteth himself to serve thee, he will
assuredly expound to thee his case and will name to thee his
wrong-doers; and indeed this is an arrear that is due to the Prince of
True Believers, by whom may Allah fortify the Faith and vouchsafe him
the victory over rebel and froward wretch!” Thereupon he ordered her a
fine house and bade furnish it with carpets and vessels of choice and
commanded them to give all she needed. This was done during the rest of
the day, and when the night came, she sent the eunuch with a suit of
clothes and the mule, to fetch Nur al-Din from the Muezzin’s lodging. So
the young man donned the dress and mounting, rode to the house, where he
abode in comfort and luxury a full-told month, while she solaced him
with four things, the eating of fowls and the drinking of wine and the
sleeping upon brocade and the entering the bath after horizontal
refreshment.[336] Furthermore, she brought him six suits of linen stuffs
and took to changing his clothes day by day; nor was the appointed time
of delay accomplished ere his beauty and loveliness returned to him;
nay, his favour waxed tenfold fairer and he became a seduction to all
who looked upon him. One day of the days Al-Rashid bade bring him to the
presence; so his slave-girl changed his clothes and robing him in
sumptuous raiment, mounted him on the she-mule. Then he rode to the
palace and presenting himself before the Caliph, saluted him with the
goodliest of salutations and bespake him with Truchman’s[337] speech
eloquent and deep-thoughted. When Al-Rashid saw him, he marvelled at the
seemliness of his semblance and his loquence and eloquence and asking of
him, was told that he was Sitt al-Milah’s lord; whereupon quoth he,
“Indeed, she is excusable in her love for him, and if we had put her to
death wrongfully, as we were minded to do, her blood would have been
upon our heads.” Then he accosted the young man and entering into
discourse with him, found him well-bred, intelligent, clever,
quick-witted, generous, pleasant, elegant, excellent. So he loved him
with exceeding love and questioned him of his native city and of his
sire and of the cause of his journey to Baghdad. Nur al-Din acquainted
him with that which he would know in the goodliest words and concisest
phrases; and the Caliph asked him, “And where hast thou been absent all
this while? Verily, we sent after thee to Damascus and Mosul and all
other cities, but happened on no tidings of thee.” Answered the young
man, “O my lord, there betided thy slave in thy capital that which never
yet betided any.” Then he acquainted him with his case, first and last,
and told him that which had befallen him of evil from Al-Muradi and the
Chief of Police. Now when Al-Rashid heard this, he was chagrined with
sore chagrin and waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and cried, “Shall this
thing happen in a city wherein I am?” And the Háshimí vein[338] started
out between his eyes. Then he bade fetch Ja’afar, and when he came
between his hands, he acquainted him with the adventure and said to him,
“Shall this thing come to pass in my city and I have no news of it?”
Thereupon he bade Ja’afar fetch all whom the young Damascene had named,
and when they came, he bade smite their necks: he also summoned him whom
they called Ahmad and who had been the means of the young man’s
deliverance a first time and a second, and thanked him and showed him
favour and bestowed on him a costly robe of honour and made him Chief of
Police in his city.[339] Then he sent for the Shaykh, the Muezzin, and
when the messenger came to him and told him that the Commander of the
Faithful summoned him, he feared the denunciation of the damsel and
walked with him to the palace, farting for fear as he went, whilst all
who passed him by laughed at him. When he came into the presence of the
Commander of the Faithful, he fell a-trembling and his tongue was
tied,[340] so that he could not speak. The Caliph smiled at him and
said, “O Shaykh, thou hast done no offence; so why fearest thou?”
Answered the old man (and indeed he was in the sorest of that which may
be of fear), “O my lord, by the virtue of thy pure forefathers, indeed I
have done naught, and do thou enquire of my manners and morals.” The
Caliph laughed at him and ordering him a thousand dinars, bestowed on
him a costly robe of honour and made him headman of the Muezzins in his
mosque. Then he called Sitt al-Milah and said to her, “The house wherein
thou lodgest with all it containeth is a largesse to thy lord: so do
thou take him and depart with him in the safeguard of Allah Almighty;
but absent not yourselves from our presence.” Accordingly she went forth
with the young Damascene and when she came to the house, she found that
the Prince of True Believers had sent them gifts galore and good things
in store. As for Nur al-Din, he sent for his father and mother and
appointed for himself agents in the city of Damascus, to receive the
rent of the houses and gardens and Wakalahs and Hammams; and they
occupied themselves with collecting that which accrued to him and
sending it to him every year. Meanwhile, his father and mother came to
him, with that which they had of monies and merchandise of price and,
foregathering with their son, found that he was become of the chief
officers and familiars of the Commander of the Faithful and of the
number of his sitting-companions and nightly entertainers, wherefore
they rejoiced in reunion with him and he also rejoiced in them. The
Caliph assigned them solde and allowances; and as for Nur al-Din, his
father brought him those riches and his wealth waxed and his estate was
stablished, till he became the richest of the folk of his time in
Baghdad and left not the presence of the Commander of the Faithful or by
night or by day. He was vouchsafed issue by Sitt al-Milah, and he ceased
not to live the goodliest of lives, he and she and his father and his
mother, a while of time, till Abu al-Hasan sickened of a sore sickness
and departed to the mercy of Allah Almighty. Presently, his mother also
died and he carried them forth and shrouded them and buried and made
them expiations and funeral ceremonies.[341] In due course his children
grew up and became like moons, and he reared them in splendour and
affection, while his wealth waxed and his case never waned. He ceased
not to pay frequent visits to the Commander of the Faithful, he and his
children and his slave-girl Sitt al-Milah, and they abode in all solace
of life and prosperity till there came to them the Destroyer of delights
and the Sunderer of societies; and laud to the Abiding, the Eternal!
This is all that hath come down to us of their story.


There was once, in days of yore and in ages and times long gone before,
in the city of Baghdad, the House of Peace, a king mighty of estate,
lord of understanding and beneficence and generosity and munificence,
and he was strong of sultanate and endowed with might and majesty and
magnificence. His name was Ins bin Kays bin Rabí’ al-Shaybání,[343] and
when he took horse, there rode about him riders from the farthest parts
of the two Iraks.[344] Almighty Allah decreed that he should take to
wife a woman hight ’Afífah, daughter of Asad al-Sundúsi, who was endowed
with beauty and loveliness and brightness and perfect grace and symmetry
of shape and stature; her face was like the crescent moon and she had
eyes as they were gazelle’s eyes and an aquiline nose like Luna’s cymb.
She had learned cavalarice and the use of arms and had mastered the
sciences of the Arabs; eke she had gotten by heart all the
dragomanish[345] tongues and indeed she was a ravishment to mankind. She
abode with Ins bin Kays twelve years, during which time he was not
blessed with children by her; so his breast was straitened by reason of
the failure of lineage, and he besought his Lord to vouchsafe him a son.
Accordingly the queen conceived, by permission of Allah Almighty; and
when the days of her pregnancy were accomplished, she gave birth to a
maid-child, than whom never saw eyes fairer, for that her face was as it
were a pearl pure-bright or a lamp raying light or a candle gilt with
gold or a full moon breaking cloudy fold, extolled be He who her from
vile water dight and made her to the beholders a delight! When her
father saw her in this fashion of loveliness, his reason fled for joy,
and when she grew up, he taught her writing and _belles-lettres_ and
philosophy and all manner of tongues. So she excelled the folk of her
time and surpassed her peers; and the sons of the kings heard of her and
all of them longed to look upon her. The first who sought her to wife
was King Nabhán[346] of Mosul, who came to her with a great company,
bringing an hundred she-camels, laden with musk and lign-aloes and
ambergris and five score loaded with camphor and jewels and other
hundred laden with silver monies and yet other hundred loaded with
raiment of silken stuffs, sendal and brocade, besides an hundred
slave-girls and a century of choice steeds of swift and generous breeds,
completely housed and accoutred, as they were brides; and all this he
had laid before her father, demanding her of him in wedlock. Now King
Ins bin Kays had bound himself by an oath that he would not marry his
daughter save to him whom she should choose; so, when King Nabhan sought
her in marriage, her father went in to her and consulted her concerning
his affair. She consented not and he repeated to Nabhan that which she
said, whereupon he departed from him. After this came King Bahrám, lord
of the White Island, with treasures richer than the first; but she
accepted not of him and he returned disappointed; nor did the kings
cease coming to her sire, on her account, one after other, from the
farthest of the lands and the climes, each glorying in bringing more
than those who forewent him; but she heeded not any one of them.
Presently, Al-’Abbás, son of King Al-’Azíz, lord of the land of Al-Yaman
and Zabídún[347] and Meccah (which Allah increase in honour and
brightness and beauty!) heard of her; and he was of the great ones of
Meccah and Al-Hijáz[348] and was a youth without hair on his side-face.
So he presented himself one day in his sire’s assembly, whereupon the
folk made way for him and the king seated him on a chair of red gold,
crusted with pearls and gems. The Prince sat, with his head bowed
ground-wards and spake not to any: whereby his father knew that his
breast was straitened and bade the cup-companions and men of wit relate
marvellous histories, such as beseem the sessions of kings; nor was
there one of them but spoke forth the goodliest of that which was with
him; but Al-’Abbás still abode with his head bowed down. Then the king
bade his sitting-companions withdraw, and when the chamber was private,
he looked at his son and said to him, “By Allah, thou cheerest me with
thy coming in to me and chagrinest me for that thou payest no heed to
any of the familiars nor of the cup-companions. What is the cause of
this?” Answered the Prince, “O my papa, I have heard tell that in the
land of Al-Irák is a woman of the daughters of the kings, and her father
is called King Ins bin Kays, lord of Baghdad; she is famed for beauty
and loveliness and brightness and perfect grace, and indeed many of the
kings have sought her in marriage; but her soul consented not unto any
one of them. Wherefore my thought prompteth me to travel herwards, for
that my heart cleaveth to her, and I beseech thee suffer me to go to
her.” His sire replied, “O my son, thou knowest that I have none other
than thyself of children and thou art the coolth of mine eyes and the
fruit of my vitals; nay, I cannot brook to be parted from thee a single
hour and I purpose to seat thee on the throne of the kingship and
espouse thee to one of the daughters of the kings, who shall be fairer
than she.” Al-Abbas gave ear to his father’s word and dared not gainsay
him; wherefore he abode with him awhile, whilst the love-fire raged in
his vitals. Then the king took rede with himself to build his son a
Hammam and adorn it with various paintings, so he might display it to
him and divert him with the sight thereof, to the intent that his body
might be solaced thereby and that the accident of travel might cease
from him and he be turned from his purpose of removal from his parents.
Presently he addressed himself to the building of the bath and
assembling architects and artisans from all his cities and citadels and
islands, assigned them a foundation-site and marked out its boundaries.
Then the workmen occupied themselves with the building of the Hammam and
the ordinance and adornment of its cabinets and roofs. They used paints
and precious minerals of all kinds, according to the contrast of their
colours, red and green and blue and yellow and what not else of all
manner tincts; and each artisan wrought at his craft and each painter at
his art, whilst the rest of the folk busied themselves with transporting
thither vari-coloured stones. One day, as the Master-painter wrought at
his work, there came in to him a poor man, who looked long upon him and
observed his mystery; whereupon quoth the artist to him, “Knowest thou
aught of painting?” Quoth the stranger, “Yes;” so he gave him tools and
paints and said to him, “Limn for us a rare semblance.” Accordingly the
pauper stranger entered one of the bath-chambers and drew on its walls a
double border, which he adorned on both sides, after a fashion than
which eyes never saw a fairer. Moreover, amiddlemost the chamber he
limned a picture to which there lacked but the breath,[349] and it was
the portraiture of Máriyah, daughter to the king of Baghdad. Then, when
he had finished the portrait, he went his way and told none of what he
had done, nor knew any wight the chambers and doors of the bath and the
adornment and ordinance thereof. Presently the chief artisan came to the
palace and sought audience of the king who bade admit him. So he entered
and kissing the earth, saluted him with a salam beseeming Sultans and
said, “O king of the time and lord of the age and the tide, may
prosperity endure to thee and acceptance and eke thy degree over all the
kings both morning and evening[350] exalted be! The work of the bath is
accomplished, by the king’s fair fortune and the purity of his purpose,
and indeed, we have done all that behoved us and there remaineth but
that which behoveth the king.” Al-Aziz ordered him a costly robe of
honour and expended monies galore, giving unto each who had wroughten
after the measure of his work. Then he assembled in the Hammam all the
Lords of his realm, Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Nabobs, and
the chief officers of his kingdom and household, and sending for his son
Al-Abbas, said to him, “O my son, I have builded thee a bath, wherein
thou mayst take thy pleasance; so enter that thou mayst see it and
divert thyself by gazing upon it and viewing the beauty of its ordinance
and decoration.” “With love and gladness,” replied the Prince and
entered the bath, he and the king and the folk about them, so they might
divert themselves with viewing that which the workmen’s hands had
worked. Al-Abbas went in and passed from place to place and chamber to
chamber, till he came to the room aforesaid and espied the portrait of
Mariyah, whereupon he fell down in a fainting-fit and the workmen went
to his father and said to him, “Thy son Al-Abbas hath swooned away.” So
the king came and finding his son cast down, seated himself at his head
and bathed his face with rose-water. After awhile he revived and the
king said to him, “I seek refuge with Allah for thee, O my son! What
accident hath befallen thee?” The Prince replied, “O my father, I did
but look on yonder picture and it bequeathed me a thousand qualms and
there befel me that which thou beholdest.” Therewith the king bade fetch
the Master-painter, and when he stood before him, he said to him, “Tell
me of yonder portrait and what girl is this of the daughters of the
kings; else I will take thy head.” Said the painter, “By Allah, O king,
I limned it not, neither know I who she is; but there came to me a poor
man and looked hard at me. So I asked him, Knowest thou the art of
painting? and he answered, Yes. Whereupon I gave him the gear and said
to him, Limn for us a rare semblance. Accordingly he painted yonder
portrait and went away and I wot him not neither have I ever set eyes on
him save that day.” Hearing this, the king ordered all his officers to
go round about in the thoroughfares and colleges and to bring before him
all strangers they found there. So they went forth and brought him much
people, amongst whom was the pauper who had painted the portrait. When
they came into the presence, the Sultan bade the crier make public
proclamation that whoso wrought the portrait should discover himself and
have whatso he wished. Thereupon the poor man came forward and kissing
the ground before the king, said to him, “O king of the age, I am he who
limned yonder likeness.” Quoth Al-Aziz, “And knowest thou who she is?”
and quoth the other, “Yes, this is the portrait of Mariyah, daughter of
the king of Baghdad.” The king ordered him a robe of honour and a
slave-girl and he went his way. Then said Al-Abbas, “O my papa, give me
leave to seek her, so I may look upon her: else shall I farewell the
world, withouten fail.” The king his father wept and answered, “O my
son, I builded thee a Hammam, that it might turn thee from leaving me,
and behold, it hath been the cause of thy going forth; but the behest of
Allah is a determinate decree.”[351] Then he wept again and Al-Abbas
said to him, “Fear not for me, for thou knowest my prowess and puissance
in returning answers in the assemblies of the land and my good breeding
and accomplishments together with my skill in rhetoric; and indeed for
him whose father thou art and whom thou hast reared and bred and in whom
thou hast united praiseworthy qualities, the repute whereof hath
traversed the East and the West, thou needest not fear aught, more
especially as I purpose but to seek pleasuring and return to thee, an it
be the will of Allah Almighty.” Quoth the king, “Whom wilt thou take
with thee of attendants and what of monies?” Replied Al-Abbas, “O my
papa, I have no need of horses or camels or weapons, for I purpose not
warfare, and I will have none go forth with me save my page ’Amir and no
more.” Now as he and his father were thus engaged in talk, in came his
mother and caught hold of him; and he said to her, “Allah upon thee, let
me gang my gait and strive not to divert me from what purpose I have
purposed, for needs must I go.” She replied, “O my son, if it must be so
and there be no help for it, swear to me that thou wilt not be absent
from me more than a year.” And he sware to her. Then he entered his
father’s treasuries and took therefrom what he would of jewels and
jacinths and everything weighty of worth and light of load: he also bade
his servant Amir saddle him two steeds and the like for himself, and
whenas the night beset his back,[352] he rose from his couch and
mounting his horse, set out for Baghdad, he and Amir, whilst the page
knew not whither he intended.[353] He gave not over going and the
journey was joyous to him, till they came to a goodly land, abounding in
birds and wild beasts, whereupon Al-Abbas started a gazelle and shot it
with a shaft. Then he dismounted and cutting its throat, said to his
servant, “Alight thou and skin it and carry it to the water.” Amir
answered him with “Hearkening and obedience” and going down to the
water, built a fire and broiled the gazelle’s flesh. Then they ate their
fill and drank of the water, after which they mounted again and fared on
with diligent faring, and Amir still unknowing whither Al-Abbas was
minded to wend. So he said to him, “O my lord, I conjure thee by Allah
of All-might, wilt thou not tell me whither thou intendest?” Al-Abbas
looked at him and in reply improvised these couplets:—

 In my vitals are fires of desire and repine; ✿ And naught I reply when
    they flare on high:
 Baghdad-wards I hie me on life-and-death work, ✿ Loving one who distorts
    my right judgment awry:
 A swift camel under me shortcuts the wold ✿ And deem it a cloud all who
    nearhand espy:
 O ’Ámir make haste after model of her ✿ Who would heal mine ill and
    Love’s cup drain dry:
 For the leven of love burns the vitals of me; ✿ So with me seek my tribe
    and stint all reply.

When Amir heard his lord’s verses, he knew that he was a slave of love
and that she whom he loved abode in Baghdad. Then they fared on night
and day, traversing plain and stony way, till they sighted Baghdad and
lighted down in its environs[354] and there lay their night. When they
arose in the morning, they removed to the bank of the Tigris where they
encamped and sojourned a second day and a third. As they abode thus on
the fourth day, behold, a company of folk giving their beasts the rein
and crying aloud and saying, “Quick! Quick! Haste to our rescue, Ho thou
the King!” Therewith the King’s chamberlains and officers accosted them
and said, “What is behind you and what hath betided you?” Quoth they,
“Bring us before the King.” So they carried them to Ins bin Kays; and
when they saw him, they said to him, “O king, unless thou succour us, we
are dead men; for that we are a folk of the Banú Shaybán,[355] who have
taken up our abode in the parts of Bassorah, and Hodhayfah the wild Arab
hath come down on us with his steeds and his men and hath slain our
horsemen and carried off our women and children; nor was one saved of
the tribe but he who fled; wherefore we crave help first by Allah
Almighty, then by thy life.” When the king heard their speech, he bade
the crier proclaim in the highways of the city that the troops should
busk them to march and that the horsemen should mount and the footmen
fare forth; nor was it but the twinkling of the eye ere the kettle-drums
beat and the trumpets blared; and scarce was the forenoon of the day
passed when the city was blocked with horse and foot. Presently, the
king reviewed them and behold, they were four-and-twenty thousand in
number, cavalry and infantry. He bade them go forth to the enemy and
gave the command of them to Sa’ad ibn al-Wákidí, a doughty cavalier and
a dauntless champion; so the horsemen set out and fared on along the
Tigris-bank. Al-Abbas, son of King Al-Aziz, looked at them and saw the
flags flaunting and the standards stirring and heard the kettle-drums
beating; so he bade his page saddle him a blood-steed and look to the
surcingles and bring him his harness of war, for indeed
horsemanship[356] was rooted in his heart. Quoth Amir, “And indeed I saw
Al-Abbas his eyes waxed red and the hair of his hands on end.” So he
mounted his charger, whilst Amir also bestrode a destrier, and they went
forth with the commando and fared on two days. On the third day, after
the hour of the mid-afternoon prayer, they came in sight of the foe and
the two armies met and the two ranks joined in fight. The strife raged
amain and sore was the strain, whilst the dust rose in clouds and hung
in vaulted shrouds, so that all eyes were blinded; and they ceased not
from the battle till the night overtook them,[357] when the two hosts
drew off from the mellay and passed the night, perplexed concerning
themselves. When Allah caused the morning to morrow, the two hosts were
aligned in line and their thousands fixed their eyne and the troops
stood looking one at other. Then sallied forth Al-Háris ibn Sa’ad
between the two lines and played with his lance and cried out and
improvised these couplets:—

 You in every way are this day our prey; ✿ And ever we prayèd your sight
    to see:
 The Ruthful drave you Hodhayfah-wards ✿ To the Brave, the Lion who sways
    the free:
 Say, amid you’s a man who would heal his ills, ✿ With whose lust of
    battle shrewd blows agree?
 Then by Allah meet me who come to you ✿ And whoso is wronged shall the
    wronger be.[358]

Thereupon there sallied forth to him Zuhayr bin Habíb, and they wheeled
about and wiled a while, then they exchanged strokes. Al-Haris forewent
his foe in smiting and stretched him weltering in his gore; whereupon
Hodhayfah cried out to him, “Gifted of Allah[359] art thou, O Haris!
Call out another of them.” So he cried aloud, “I say, who be a
champion?” But they of Baghdah held back from him; and when it appeared
to Al-Haris that consternation was amongst them, he charged down upon
them and overrolled the first of them upon the last of them and slew of
them twelve men. Then the evening caught him and the Baghdadis began
addressing themselves to flight. No sooner had the morning morrowed than
they found themselves reduced to a fourth part of their number and there
was not one of them had dismounted from his horse. Wherefore they made
sure of destruction and Hodhayfah rushed out between the two lines (now
he was reckoned good for a thousand knights) and cried out, “Harkye, my
masters of Baghdad! Let none come forth to me but your Emir, so I may
talk with him and he with me; and he shall meet me in combat singular
and I will meet him, and may he who is clear of offence come off safe.”
Then he repeated his words and said, “How is it I see your Emir refuse
me a reply?” But Sa’ad, the Emir of the army of Baghdad, answered him
not, and indeed his teeth chattered in his mouth, when he heard him
summon him to the duello. Now when Al-Abbas heard Hodhayfah’s challenge
and saw Sa’ad in this case, he came up to the Emir and asked him, “Wilt
thou suffer me to answer him and I will be thy substitute in replying
him and in monomachy with him and will make my life thy sacrifice?”
Sa’ad looked at him and seeing knighthood shining from between his eyes,
said to him, “O youth, by the virtue of Mustafà the Chosen Prophet (whom
Allah save and assain), tell me who thou art and whence thou comest to
bring us victory.”[360] Quoth the Prince, “This is no place for
questioning;” and quoth Sa’ad to him, “O Knight, up and at Hodhayfah!
Yet, if his Satan prove too strong for thee, afflict not thyself in thy
youth.”[361] Al-Abbas cried, “Allah is He of whom help is to be
sought;”[362] and, taking his arms, fortified his purpose and went down
into the field, as he were a fort of the forts or a mountain’s
contrefort. Thereupon Hodhayfah cried out to him, saying, “Haste thee
not, O youth! Who art thou of the folk?” He replied, “I am Sa’ad ibn
al-Wakidi, commander of the host of King Ins, and but for thy pride in
challenging me, I had not come forth to thee; for thou art no peer for
me to front nor as mine equal dost thou count nor canst thou bear my
brunt. Wherefore get thee ready for the last march[363] seeing that
there abideth but a little of thy life.” When Hodhayfah heard this
speech, he threw himself backwards,[364] as if in mockery of him,
whereat Al-Abbas was wroth and called out to him, saying, “O Hodhayfah,
guard thyself against me.” Then he rushed upon him, as he were a swooper
of the Jinn,[365] and Hodhayfah met him and they wheeled about a long
while. Presently, Al-Abbas cried out at Hodhayfah a cry which astounded
him and struck him a stroke, saying, “Take this from the hand of a brave
who feareth not the like of thee.” Hodhayfah met the sabre-sway with his
shield, thinking to ward it off from him; but the blade shore the target
in sunder and descending upon his shoulder, came forth gleaming from the
tendons of his throat and severed his arm at the armpit; whereupon he
fell down, wallowing in his blood, and Al-Abbas turned upon his host;
nor had the sun departed the dome of the welkin ere Hodhayfah’s army was
in full flight before Al-Abbas and the saddles were empty of men. Quoth
Sa’ad, “By the virtue of Mustafa the Chosen Prophet, whom Allah save and
assain, I saw Al-Abbas with the blood upon his saddle-pads, in clots
like camels’ livers, smiting with the sword right and left, till he
scattered them abroad in every gorge and wold; and when he hied him back
to the camp, the men of Baghdad were fearful of him.” But as soon as
they saw this victory which had betided them over their foes, they
turned back and gathering together the weapons and treasures and horses
of those they had slain, returned to Baghdad, victorious, and all by the
knightly valour of Al-Abbas. As for Sa’ad, he foregathered with his
lord, and they fared on in company till they came to the place where
Al-Abbas had taken horse, whereupon the Prince dismounted from his
charger and Sa’ad said to him, “O youth, wherefore alightest thou in
other than thy place? Indeed, thy rights be incumbent upon us and upon
our Sultan; so go thou with us to the dwellings, that we may ransom thee
with our souls.” Replied Al-Abbas, “O Emir Sa’ad, from this place I took
horse with thee and herein is my lodging. So, Allah upon thee, mention
not me to the king, but make as if thou hadst never seen me because I am
a stranger in the land.” So saying, he turned away from him and Sa’ad
fared on to his palace, where he found all the courtiers in attendance
on the king and recounting to him that which had betided them with
Al-Abbas. Quoth the king, “Where is he?” and quoth they, “He is with the
Emir Sa’ad.” So, when the Emir entered, the king looked, but found none
with him; and Sa’ad, seeing at a glance that he longed to look upon the
youth, cried out to him, saying, “Allah prolong the king’s days! Indeed,
he refuseth to present himself before thee, without order or leave.”
Asked the king, “O Sa’ad, whence cometh this man?” and the Emir
answered, “O my lord, I know not; but he is a youth fair of favour,
amiable of aspect, accomplished in address, ready of repartee, and
valour shineth from between his eyes.” Quoth the king, “O Sa’ad, fetch
him to me, for indeed thou describest to me at full length a mighty
matter.”[366] And he answered, saying, “By Allah, O my lord, hadst thou
but seen our case with Hodhayfah, when he challenged me to the field of
fight and the stead of cut-and-thrust and I held back from doing battle
with him! Then, as I thought to go forth to him, behold, a knight gave
loose to his bridle-rein and called out to me, saying:—O Sa’ad, wilt
thou suffer me to be thy substitute in waging war with him and I will
ransom thee with myself? And quoth I, By Allah, O youth, whence comest
thou? and quoth he, This be no time for thy questions, while Hodhayfah
standeth awaiting thee.” Thereupon he repeated to the king all that had
passed between himself and Al-Abbas from first to last; whereat cried
Ins bin Kays, “Bring him to me in haste, so we may learn his tidings and
question him of his case.” “’Tis well,” replied Sa’ad, and going forth
of the king’s presence, repaired to his own house, where he doffed his
war-harness and took rest for himself. On this wise fared it with the
Emir Sa’ad; but as regards Al-Abbas, when he dismounted from his
destrier, he doffed his war-gear and reposed himself awhile; after which
he brought out a body-dress of Venetian[367] silk and a gown of green
damask and donning them, bound about his head a turband of Damietta
stuff and zoned his waist with a kerchief. Then he went out a-walking in
the highways of Baghdad and fared on till he came to the bazar of the
traders. There he found a merchant, with chess before him; so the Prince
stood watching him, and presently the other looked up at him and asked
him, “O youth, what wilt thou bet upon the game?” He answered, “Be it
thine to decide.” Said the merchant, “Then be it an hundred dinars,” and
Al-Abbas consented to him; whereupon quoth he, “Produce the money, O
youth, so the game may be fairly stablished.” Accordingly Al-Abbas
brought out a satin purse, wherein were a thousand dinars, and laid down
an hundred dinars therefrom on the edge of the carpet, whilst the
merchant produced the like, and indeed his reason fled for joy when he
saw the gold in possession of Al-Abbas. The folk flocked about them, to
divert themselves with watching the play, and they called the bystanders
to witness the wager and after the stakes were duly staked, the twain
fell a-playing. Al-Abbas forebore the merchant, so he might lead him on,
and dallied with him a full hour; and the merchant won and took of him
the hundred dinars. Then said the Prince, “Wilt thou play another
partie?” and the other said, “O youth, I will not play again, save for a
thousand dinars.” Quoth the youth, “Whatsoever thou stakest, I will
match thy stake with its like.” So the merchant brought out a thousand
dinars and the Prince covered them with other thousand. Then the game
began, but Al-Abbas was not long with him ere he beat him in the house
of the elephant,[368] nor did he cease to do thus till he had beaten him
four times and won of him four thousand dinars. This was all the
merchant had of money; so he said, “O youth, I will play thee another
game for the shop.” Now the value of the shop was four thousand dinars;
so they played and Al-Abbas beat him and won his shop, with whatso was
therein; upon which the other arose, shaking his clothes,[369] and said
to him, “Up, O youth, and take thy shop.” Accordingly Al-Abbas arose and
repairing to the shop, took possession thereof, after which he returned
to the place where he had left his servant ’Amir, and found there the
Emir Sa’ad, who was come to bid him to the presence of the king. The
Prince consented to this and accompanied him till they came before King
Ins bin Kays, whereupon he kissed the ground and saluted him and
exaggerated[370] the salutation. So the king asked him, “Whence comest
thou, O youth, and whither goest thou?” and he answered, “I come from
Al-Yaman.” Then said the king, “Hast thou a need we may fulfil to thee;
for indeed thou hast strong claims to our favour after that which thou
didst in the matter of Hodhayfah and his folk?” And he commanded to cast
over him a mantle of Egyptian satin, worth an hundred dinars. He also
bade his treasurer give him a thousand dinars and said to him, “O youth,
take this in part of that which thou deservest of us; and if thou
prolong thy sojourn with us, we will give thee slaves and servants.”
Al-Abbas kissed ground and said, “O king, Allah grant thee abiding weal,
I deserve not all this.” Then he put his hand to his pouch and pulling
out two caskets of gold, in each of which were rubies whose value none
could estimate, gave them to the king, saying, “O king, Allah cause thy
welfare to endure, I conjure thee by that which the Almighty hath
vouchsafed thee, heal my heart by accepting these two caskets, even as I
have accepted thy present.” So the king accepted the two caskets and
Al-Abbas took his leave and went away to the bazar. Now when the
merchants saw him, they accosted him and said, “O youth, wilt thou not
open thy shop?” As they were addressing him, up came a woman, having
with her a boy bare of head, and stood looking at Al-Abbas, till he
turned to her, when she said to him, “O youth, I conjure thee by Allah,
look at this boy and have ruth on him, for that his father hath
forgotten his skull-cap in the shop he lost to thee; so, an thou see fit
to give it him, thy reward be with Allah! For indeed the child maketh
our hearts ache with his excessive weeping, and the Lord be witness for
us that, had they left us aught wherewith to buy him a cap in its stead,
we had not sought it of thee.” Replied Al-Abbas, “O adornment of
womankind,[371] indeed, thou bespeakest me with thy fair speech and
supplicatest me with thy goodly words! But bring me thy husband.” So she
went and fetched the merchant, whilst a crowd collected to see what
Al-Abbas would do. When the man came, he returned him the gold he had
won of him, art and part, and delivered him the keys of the shop,
saying, “Requite us with thy pious prayers.” Therewith the woman came up
to him and kissed his feet, and in like fashion did the merchant her
husband: and all who were present blessed him, and there was no talk but
of Al-Abbas. Thus fared it with him; but as for the merchant, he bought
him a head of sheep[372] and slaughtering it, roasted it and dressed
birds and other meats of various kinds and colours and purchased dessert
and sweetmeats and fresh fruits; then he repaired to Al-Abbas and
conjured him to accept of his hospitality and visit his home and eat of
his provaunt. The Prince consented to his wishes and went with him till
they came to his house, when the merchant bade him enter: so Al-Abbas
went in and saw a goodly house, wherein was a handsome saloon, with a
vaulted ceiling. When he entered the saloon, he found that the merchant
had made ready food and dessert and perfumes, such as may not be
described; and indeed he had adorned the table with sweet-scented
flowers and sprinkled musk and rose-water upon the food; and he had
smeared the saloon walls with ambergris and had burned aloes-wood
therein and Nadd. Presently, Al-Abbas looked out of the window of the
saloon and saw by its side a house of goodly ordinance, tall of base and
wide of space, with rooms manifold and two upper stories crowning the
whole; but therein was no sign of inhabitants. So he said to the
merchant, “Verily, thou exaggeratest in doing us honour; but, by Allah,
I will not eat of thy meat until thou tell me what hath caused the
voidance of yonder house.” Said he, “O my lord, that was Al-Ghitrif’s
house and he passed away to the mercy of the Almighty and left no heir
save myself; whereupon the mansion became mine, and by Allah, an thou
have a mind to sojourn in Baghdad, take up thine abode in this house,
whereby thou mayst be in my neighbourhood; for that verily my heart
inclineth unto thee with affection and I would have thee never absent
from mine eyes, so I may still have my fill of thee and hearken to thy
speech.” Al-Abbas thanked him and said to him, “By Allah, thou art
indeed friendly in thy converse and thou exaggeratest in thy discourse,
and needs must I sojourn in Baghdad. As for the house, if it please thee
to lodge me, I will abide therein; so accept of me its price.” Therewith
he put hand to his pouch and bringing out from it three hundred dinars,
gave them to the merchant, who said in himself, “Unless I take his
dirhams, he will not darken my doors.” So he pocketed the monies and
sold him the mansion, taking witnesses against himself of the sale. Then
he arose and set food before Al-Abbas and they sat down to his good
things; after which he brought him dessert and sweetmeats whereof they
ate their sufficiency, and when the tables were removed they washed
their hands with musked rose-water and willow-water. Then the merchant
brought Al-Abbas a napkin scented with the smoke of aloes-wood, on which
he wiped his right hand, and said to him, “O my lord, the house is
become thy house; so bid thy page transport thither the horses and arms
and stuffs.” The Prince did this and the merchant rejoiced in his
neighbourhood and left him not night nor day,[373] so that Al-Abbas said
to him, “By the Lord, we distract thee from thy livelihood.” He replied,
“Allah upon thee, O my lord, name not to me aught of this, or thou wilt
break my heart, for the best of traffic art thou and the best of
livelihood.” So there befel strait friendship between them and all
ceremony was laid aside. Meanwhile[374] the king said to his Wazir, “How
shall we do in the matter of yonder youth, the Yamáni, on whom we
thought to confer gifts, but he hath gifted us with tenfold our largesse
and more, and we know not an he be a sojourned with us or not?” Then he
went into the Harim and gave the rubies to his wife Afifah, who asked
him, “What is the worth of these with thee and with other of the kings?”
Quoth he, “They are not to be found save with the greatest of sovrans
nor can any price them with monies.” Quoth she, “Whence gottest thou
them?” So he recounted to her the story of Al-Abbas from beginning to
end, and she said, “By Allah, the claims of honour are imperative on us
and the King hath fallen short of his devoir; for that we have not seen
him bid the youth to his assembly, nor hath he seated him on his left
hand.” When the king heard his wife’s words, it was as if he had been
asleep and awoke; so he went forth the Harim and bade kill poultry and
dress meats of every kind and colour. Moreover, he assembled all his
courtiers and let bring sweetmeats and dessert and all that beseemeth
the tables of kings. Then he adorned his palace and despatched after
Al-Abbas a man of the chief officers of his household, who found him
coming forth of the Hammam, clad in a jerkin[375] of fine goats’ hair
and over it a Baghdádi scarf; his waist was girt with a Rustaki[376]
kerchief and on his head he wore a light turband of Damietta[377] stuff.
The messenger wished him joy of the bath and exaggerated in doing him
honour: then he said to him, “The king biddeth thee in weal.”[378] “To
hear is to obey,” quoth Al-Abbas and accompanied the officer to the
king’s palace. Now Afifah and her daughter Mariyah were behind the
curtain, both looking at him; and when he came before the sovran he
saluted him and greeted him with the greeting of kings, whilst all
present gazed at him and at his beauty and loveliness and perfect grace.
The king seated him at the head of the table; and when Afifah saw him
and considered him straitly, she said, “By the virtue of Mohammed,
prince of the Apostles, this youth is of the sons of the kings and
cometh not to these parts save for some noble purpose!” Then she looked
at Mariyah and saw that her favour was changed, and indeed her eyeballs
were as dead in her face and she turned not her gaze from Al-Abbas a
twinkling of the eyes, for that the love of him had sunk deep into her
heart. When the queen saw what had befallen her daughter, she feared for
her from reproach concerning Al-Abbas; so she shut the casement-wicket
that the Princess might not look upon him any more. Now there was a
pavilion set apart for Mariyah, and therein were boudoirs and bowers,
balconies and lattices, and she had with her a nurse, who served her as
is the fashion with the daughters of the Kings. When the banquet was
ended and the folk had dispersed, the King said to Al-Abbas, “I would
fain have thee abide with me and I will buy thee a mansion, so haply we
may requite thee for thy high services; and indeed imperative upon us is
thy due and magnified in our eyes is thy work; and soothly we have
fallen short of thy deserts in the matter of distance.”[379] When the
youth heard the king’s speech, he rose and sat down[380] and kissing
ground, returned thanks for his bounty and said, “I am the King’s
thrall, wheresoever I may be, and under his eye.” Then he told him the
tale of the merchant and the manner of the buying of the house, and the
king said, “In very truth I would fain have had thee in my neighbourhood
and by side of me.” Presently Al-Abbas took leave of the king and went
away to his own house. Now it chanced that he passed under the palace of
Mariyah, the king’s daughter, and she was sitting at a casement. He
happened to look round and his eyes met those of the Princess, whereupon
his wit departed and he was ready to swoon away, whilst his colour
changed, and he said, “Verily, we are Allah’s and unto Him are we
returning!” But he feared for himself lest severance betide him; so he
concealed his secret and discovered not his case to any of the creatures
of Allah Almighty. When he reached his quarters, his page Amir said to
him, “I seek refuge for thee with Allah, O my lord, from change of
colour! Hath there betided thee a pain from the Lord of All-might or
aught of vexation? In good sooth, sickness hath an end and patience
doeth away trouble.” But the Prince returned him no answer. Then he
brought out ink-case[381] and paper and wrote these couplets:—

 I cry (and mine’s a frame that pines alwày), ✿ A mind which fires of
    passion e’er waylay;
 And eyeballs never tasting sweets of sleep; ✿ Yet Fortune spare its
    cause I ever pray!
 While from world-perfidy and parting I ✿ Like Bishr am with Hind,[382]
    that well-loved may;—

 Yea, grown a bye-word ’mid the folk but aye ✿ Spend life unwinning wish
    or night or day.
 “Ah say, wots she my love when her I spied ✿ At the high lattice
    shedding sunlike ray?”
 Her glances, keener than the brand when bared ✿ Cleave soul of man nor
    ever ’scapes her prey:
 I looked on her in lattice pierced aloft ✿ When bare her cheat of veil
    that slipped away;
 And shot me thence a shaft my liver pierced ✿ When thrall to care and
    dire despair I lay.
 Knowst thou, O Fawn o’ the palace, how for thee ✿ I fared from farness
    o’er the lands astray?
 Then read my writ, dear friends, and show some ruth ✿ To wight who wones
    black-faced, distraught, sans stay!

And when he ended inditing, he folded up the letter. Now the merchant’s
wife aforesaid, who was the nurse of the king’s daughter, was watching
him from a window, unknown of him, and when she saw him writing and
reciting, she knew that some rare tale attached to him; so she went in
to him and said, “Peace be with thee, O afflicted wight, who acquaintest
not leach with thy plight! Verily, thou exposest thy life to grievous
blight. I conjure thee by the virtue of Him who hath afflicted thee and
with the constraint of love-liking hath stricken thee, that thou
acquaint me with thine affair and disclose to me the truth of thy
secret; for that indeed I have heard from thee verses which trouble the
mind and melt the body.” Accordingly he acquainted her with his case and
enjoined her to secrecy, whereof she consented, saying, “What shall be
the recompense of whoso goeth with thy letter and bringeth thee its
reply?” He bowed his head for shame before her and was silent; and she
said to him, “Raise thy head and give me thy writ”: so he gave her the
letter and she hent it and carrying it to the Princess, said to her,
“Take this epistle and give me its answer.” Now the dearest of all
things to Mariyah was the recitation of poesy and verses and linked
rhymes and the twanging of lute-strings, and she was versed in all
tongues; wherefore she took the writ and opening it, read that which was
therein and understood its purport. Then she threw it to the ground and
cried, “O nurse, I have no answer to make to this letter.” Quoth the
nurse, “Indeed, this is weakness in thee and a reproach to thee, for
that the people of the world have heard of thee and commend thee for
keenness of wit and understanding; so do thou return him an answer, such
as shall trick his heart and tire his soul.” Quoth she, “O nurse, who
may be the man who presumeth upon me with this correspondence? Haply
’tis the stranger youth who gave my father the rubies.” The woman said,
“It is himself,” and Mariyah said, “I will answer his letter in such
fashion that thou shalt not bring me other than it.” Cried the nurse,
“So be it.”[383] Thereupon the Princess called for ink-case and paper
and wrote these couplets:—

 Thou art bold in the copy thou sentest! May be ✿ ’Twill increase the
    dule foreign wight must dree!
 Thou hast spied me with glance that bequeaths thee woe ✿ Ah! far is thy
    hope, a mere foreigner’s plea!
 Who art thou, poor freke, that wouldst win my love ✿ Wi’ thy verse? What
    seeks thine insanity?
 An thou hope for my favours and greed therefor; ✿ Where find thee a
    leach for such foolish gree?
 Then rhyme-linking leave and fool-like be not ✿ Hanged to Cross at the
    doorway of ignomy!
 Deem not that to thee I incline, O youth! ✿ ’Mid the Sons of the
    Path[384] is no place for me.
 Thou art homeless waif in the wide wide world; ✿ So return thee home
    where they keen for thee:[385]
 Leave verse-spouting, O thou who a-wold dost wone, ✿ Or minstrel shall
    name thee in lay and glee:
 How many a friend who would meet his love ✿ Is baulked when the goal is
    right clear to see!
 So begone and ne’er grieve for what canst not win ✿ Albe time be near,
    yet thy grasp ’twill flee.
 Now such is my say and the tale I’d tell; ✿ So master my meaning
    and—fare thee well!

When Mariyah had made an end of her verses, she folded the letter and
delivered it to the nurse, who hent it and went with it to Al-Abbas.
When she gave it to him, he took it and breaking it open, read it and
comprehended its contents; and when he reached the end of it, he swooned
away. After awhile, he came to himself and cried, “Praise be to Allah
who hath caused her return a reply to my writ! Canst thou carry her
another missive, and with Allah Almighty be thy requital?” Said she,
“And what shall letters profit thee, seeing that such is her reply;” but
he said, “Peradventure, she may yet be softened.” Then he took ink-case
and paper and wrote these couplets:—

 Reached me the writ and what therein didst write, ✿ Whence grew my pain
    and bane and blight:
 I read the marvel-lines made wax my love ✿ And wore my body out till
    slightest slight.[386]
 Would Heaven ye wot the whole I bear for love ✿ Of you, with vitals
    clean for you undight!
 And all I do t’ outdrive you from my thought ✿ ’Vails naught and ’gainst
    th’ obsession loses might:
 Couldst for thy lover feel ’twould ease his soul; ✿ E’en thy dear
    Phantom would his sprite delight!
 Then on my weakness lay not coyness-load ✿ Nor in such breach of troth
    be traitor-wight:
 And, weet ye well, for this your land I fared ✿ Hoping to ’joy the
    union-boon forthright:
 How many a stony wold for this I spanned; ✿ How oft I waked when men
    kept watch o’ night!
 To fare fro’ another land for sight of you ✿ Love bade, while length of
    way forbade my sprite:
 So by His name[387] who molt my frame, have ruth, ✿ And quench the
    flames thy love in me did light:
 Thou fillest, arrayed with glory’s robes and rays, ✿ Heaven’s stars with
    joy and Luna with despight.
 Then who dare chide or blame me for my love ✿ Of one that can all
    Beauty’s boons unite?

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the letter and
delivering it to the nurse, charged her keep the secret. So she took it
and carrying it to Mariyah, gave it to her. The Princess broke it open
and read it and apprehended its purport; then cried she, “By Allah, O
nurse, my heart is chagrined with exceeding chagrin, never knew I a
sorer, because of this correspondence and of these verses.” And the
nurse made answer to her, “O my lady, thou art in thy dwelling and thy
palace and thy heart is void of care; so return him a reply and reck
not.” Accordingly, the Princess called for ink-case and paper and wrote
these couplets:—

 Ho thou who wouldst vaunt thee of cark and care; ✿ How many love-molten,
    tryst-craving be there?
 An hast wandered the wold in the murks of night ✿ Bound afar and anear
    on the tracks to fare,
 And to eyne hast forbidden the sweets of sleep, ✿ Borne by Devils and
    Marids to dangerous lair;
 And beggest my boons, O in tribe-land[388] homed ✿ And to urge thy wish
    and desire wouldst dare;
 Now, woo Patience fair, an thou bear in mind ✿ What The Ruthful promised
    to patient prayer![389]
 How many a king for my sake hath vied, ✿ Craving love and in marriage
    with me to pair.
 Al-Nabhán sent, when a-wooing me, ✿ Camels baled with musk and Nadd
    scenting air.
 They brought camphor in boxes and like thereof ✿ Of pearls and rubies
    that countless were;
 Brought pregnant lasses and negro-lads, ✿ Blood steeds and arms and gear
    rich and rare;—
 Brought us raiment of silk and of sendal sheen, ✿ And came courting us
    but no bride he bare:
 Nor could win his wish, for I ’bode content ✿ To part with far parting
    and love forswear;
 So for me greed not, O thou stranger wight ✿ Lest thou come to ruin and
    dire despair!

When she had made an end of her verses, she folded the letter and
delivered it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to Al-Abbas. He
broke it open and read it and comprehended its contents; then took
ink-case and paper and wrote these improvised couplets:—

 Thou hast told me the tale of the Kings, and of them ✿ Each was rending
    lion, a furious foe:
 And thou stolest the wits of me, all of them ✿ And shotst me with shaft
    of thy magic bow:
 Thou hast boasted of slaves and of steeds and wealth; ✿ And of beauteous
    lasses ne’er man did know;
 How presents in mighty store didst spurn, ✿ And disdainedst lovers both
    high and low:
 Then I followed their tracks in desire for thee, ✿ With naught save my
    scymitar keen of blow;
 Nor slaves nor camels that run have I; ✿ Nor slave-girls the litters
    enveil, ah, no!
 But grant me union and soon shalt sight ✿ My trenchant blade with the
    foeman’s woe;
 Shalt see the horsemen engird Baghdad ✿ Like clouds that wall the whole
    world below,
 Obeying behests which to them I deal ✿ And hearing the words to the foes
    I throw!
 An of negro chattels ten thousand head ✿ Wouldst have, or Kings who be
    proud and prow,
 Or chargers led for thee day by day ✿ And virgin girls high of bosom,
 Al-Yaman land my command doth bear ✿ And my biting blade to my foes I
 I have left this all for the sake o’ thee, ✿ Left Aziz and my kinsmen
    for evermo’e;
 And made Al-Irák making way to thee ✿ Under nightly murks over rocks
 When the couriers brought me account of thee ✿ Thy beauty, perfection,
    and sunny glow,
 Then I sent thee verses whose very sound ✿ Burns the heart of shame with
    a fiery throe;
 Yet the world with falsehood hath falsèd me, ✿ Though Fortune was never
    so false as thou,
 Who dubbest me stranger and homeless one ✿ A witless fool and a
    slave-girl’s son!

Then he folded the letter and committed it to the nurse and gave her
five hundred dinars, saying, “Accept this from me, for by Allah thou
hast indeed wearied thyself between us.” She replied, “By Allah, O my
lord, my aim is to bring about forgathering between you, though I lose
that which my right hand possesseth.” And he said, “May the Lord of
All-might requite thee with good!” Then she carried the letter to
Mariyah and said to her, “Take this letter; haply it may be the end of
the correspondence.” So she took it and breaking it open, read it, and
when she had made an end of it, she turned to the nurse and said to her,
“This one foisteth lies upon me and asserteth unto me that he hath
cities and horsemen and footmen at his command and submitting to his
allegiance; and he wisheth of me that which he shall not win; for thou
knowest, O nurse, that kings’ sons have sought me in marriage, with
presents and rarities; but I have paid no heed unto aught of this; how,
then, shall I accept of this fellow, who is the ignoramus of his time
and possesseth naught save two caskets of rubies, which he gave to my
sire, and indeed he hath taken up his abode in the house of Al-Ghitrif
and abideth without silver or gold? Wherefore, Allah upon thee, O nurse,
return to him and cut off his hope of me.” Accordingly the nurse
rejoined Al-Abbas, without letter or answer; and when she came in to
him, he looked at her and saw that she was troubled, and he noted the
marks of anger on her face; so he said to her, “What is this plight?”
Quoth she, “I cannot set forth to thee that which Mariyah said; for
indeed she charged me return to thee without writ or reply.” Quoth he,
“O nurse of kings, I would have thee carry her this letter and return
not to her without it.” Then he took ink-case and paper and wrote these

 My secret now to men is known though hidden well and true ✿ By me:
    enough is that I have of love and love of you:
 I left familiars, friends, and kin to weep the loss of me ✿ With floods
    of tears which like the tide aye flowed and flowed anew:
 Then, left my home myself I bore to Baghdad-town one day, ✿ When parting
    drave me there his pride and cruelty to rue:

 I have indeed drained all the bowl whose draught repression[390] was ✿
    Handed by friend who bitter gourd[391] therein for drinking threw.
 And, oft as strove I to enjoin the ways of troth and faith, ✿ So often
    on refusal’s path he left my soul to sue.
 Indeed my body molten is with care I’m doomèd dree; ✿ And yet I hoped
    relenting and to win some grace, my due.
 But wrong and rigour waxed on me and changed to worse my case; ✿ And
    love hath left me weeping-eyed for woes that aye pursue.
 How long must I keep watch for you throughout the nightly gloom? ✿ How
    many a path of pining pace and garb of grief endue?
 And you, what while you joy your sleep, your restful pleasant sleep, ✿
    Reck naught of sorrow and of shame that to your friend accrue:
 For wakefulness I watched the stars before the peep o’ day, ✿ Praying
    that union with my dear in bliss my soul imbrue;
 Indeed the throes of long desire laid waste my frame and I ✿ Rise every
    morn in weaker plight with hopes e’er fewer few:
 “Be not (I say) so hard of heart!” for did you only deign ✿ In phantom
    guise to visit me ’twere joy enough to view.
 But when ye saw my writ ye grudged to me the smallest boon ✿ And cast
    adown the flag of faith though well my troth ye knew;
 Nor aught of answer you vouchsafe, albe you wot full well ✿ The words
    therein address the heart and pierce the spirit through.
 You deemed yourself all too secure for changes of the days ✿ And of the
    far and near alike you ever careless grew.
 Hadst thou (dear maid) been doomed like me to woes, forsure hadst felt ✿
    The lowe of love and Lazá-hell which parting doth enmew;
 Yet soon shalt suffer torments such as those from thee I bear ✿ And
    storm of palpitation-pangs in vitals thine shall brew:
 Yea, thou shalt taste the bitter smack of charges false and foul, ✿ And
    public make the privacy best hid from meddling crew;
 And he thou lovest shall approve him hard of heart and soul ✿ And
    heedless of the shifts of Time thy very life undo.
 Then hear the fond Salam I send and wish thee every day ✿ While swayeth
    spray and sparkleth star all good thy life ensue!

When Al-Abbas had made an end of his verses, he folded the scroll and
gave it to the nurse, who took it and carried it to Mariyah. When she
came into the Princess’s presence, she saluted her; but Mariyah returned
not her salutation and she said, “O my lady, how hard is thy heart that
thou grudgest to return the salam! Accept this letter, because ’tis the
last that shall come to thee from him.” Quoth Mariyah, “Take my warning
and never again enter my palace, or ’twill be the cause of thy
destruction; for I am certified that thou purposest my disgrace. So get
thee gone from me.” And she bade beat the nurse who went forth fleeing
from her presence, changed of colour and ’wildered of wits, and gave not
over going till she came to the house of Al-Abbas. When the Prince saw
her in this plight, he became like a sleeper awakened and cried to her,
“What hath befallen thee? Acquaint me with thy case.” She replied,
“Allah upon thee, nevermore send me to Mariyah, and do thou protect me,
so the Lord protect thee from the fires of Gehenna!” Then she related to
him that which had betided her with Mariyah which when Al-Abbas heard,
there took him the pride and high spirit of the generous and this was
grievous to him. The love of Mariyah fled forth of his heart and he said
to the nurse, “How much hadst thou of Mariyah every month?” Quoth she,
“Ten dinars” and quoth he, “Be not concerned.” Then he put hand to pouch
and bringing out two hundred ducats, gave them to her and said, “Take
this wage for a whole year and turn not again to serve anyone of the
folk. When the twelvemonth shall have passed away, I will give thee a
two years’ wage, for that thou hast wearied thyself with us and on
account of the cutting off the tie which bound thee to Mariyah.” Also he
gifted her with a complete suit of clothes and raising his head to her,
said, “When thou toldest me that which Mariyah had done with thee, Allah
uprooted the love of her from out my heart, and never again will she
occur to my thought; so extolled be He who turneth hearts and eyes!
’Twas she who was the cause of my coming out from Al-Yaman, and now the
time is past for which I engaged with my folk and I fear lest my father
levy his forces and ride forth in quest of me, for that he hath no child
other than myself nor can he brook to be parted from me; and in like way
’tis with my mother.” When the nurse heard his words, she asked him, “O
my lord, and which of the kings is thy sire?” He answered, saying, “My
father is Al-Aziz, lord of Al-Yaman, and Nubia and the Islands[392] of
the Banu Kahtán, and the Two Sanctuaries[393] (Allah of All-might have
them in His keeping!), and whenever he taketh horse, there ride with him
an hundred and twenty and four thousand horsemen, each and every smiters
with the sword, besides attendants and servants and followers, all of
whom give ear to my word and obey my bidding.” Asked the nurse, “Why,
then, O my lord, didst thou conceal the secret of thy rank and lineage
and passedst thyself off for a foreigner and a wayfarer? Alas for our
disgrace before thee by reason of our shortcoming in rendering thee thy
due! What shall be our excuse with thee, and thou of the sons of the
kings?” But he rejoined, “By Allah, thou hast not fallen short! Indeed,
’tis incumbent on me to requite thee, what while I live, though from
thee I be far distant.” Then he called his man Amir and said to him,
“Saddle the steeds.” When the nurse heard his words and indeed she saw
that Amir brought him the horses and they were resolved upon departure,
the tears ran down upon her cheeks and she said to him, “By Allah, thy
separation is saddening to me, O coolth of the eye!” Then quoth she,
“Where is the goal of thine intent, so we may know thy news and solace
ourselves with thy report?” Quoth he, “I go hence to visit ’Akíl, the
son of my paternal uncle, for that he hath his sojourn in the camp of
Kundah bin Hishám, and these twenty years have I not seen him nor hath
he seen me; so I purpose to repair to him and discover his news and
return. Then will I go hence to Al-Yaman, Inshallah!” So saying, he took
leave of the nurse and her husband and set out, intending for Akil, the
son of his father’s brother. Now there was between Baghdad and Akil’s
abiding-place forty days’ journey; so Al-Abbas settled himself on the
back of his steed and his servant Amir mounted also and they fared forth
on their way. Presently, Al-Abbas turned right and left and recited
these couplets:—

 I’m the singular knight and my peers I slay! ✿ I lay low the foe and his
    whole array:
 I fare me to visit my friend Al-Akíl, ✿ And in safety and
    Allah-lauds[394] shorten the way;
 And roll up the width of the wold while still ✿ Hears ’Amir my word or
    in earnest or play.[395]
 I spring with the spring of a lynx or a pard ✿ Upon whoso dareth our
    course to stay;
 O’erthrow him in ruin and abject shame, ✿ Make him drain the death-cup
    in fatal fray.
 My lance is long with its steely blade; ✿ A brand keen-grided,
    thin-edged I sway:
 With a stroke an it fell on a towering hill ✿ Of the hardest stone, this
    would cleave in tway:
 I lead no troops, nor seek aid save God’s, ✿ The creating Lord (to whom
    laud alwày!)
 On Whom I rely in adventures all ✿ And Who pardoneth lâches of freeman
    and thrall.

Then they fell a-faring night and day, and as they went, behold, they
sighted a camp of the camps of the Arabs. So Al-Abbas enquired thereof
and was told that it was the camp of the Banu Zohrah. Now there were
around them herds and flocks, such as filled the earth, and they were
enemies to Al-Akil, the cousin of Al-Abbas, upon whom they made daily
raids and took his cattle, wherefore he used to pay them tribute every
year because he lacked power to cope with them. When Al-Abbas came to
the skirts of the camp, he dismounted from his destrier and his servant
Amir also dismounted; and they set down the provaunt and ate their
sufficiency and rested an hour of the day. Then said the Prince to his
page, “Fetch water from the well and give the horses to drink and draw
up a supply for us in thy bag,[396] by way of provision for the road.”
So Amir took the water-skin and made for the well; but, when he came
there, behold, two young men slaves were leading gazelles, and when they
saw him, they said to him, “Whither wendest thou, O youth, and of which
of the Arabs art thou?” Quoth he, “Harkye, lads, fill me my water-skin,
for that I am a stranger astray and a farer of the way, and I have a
comrade who awaiteth me.” Quoth the thralls, “Thou art no wayfarer, but
a spy from Al-Akil’s camp.” Then they took him and carried him to their
king Zuhayr bin Shabíb; and when he came before him, he said to him, “Of
which of the Arabs art thou?” Quoth Amir, “I am a wayfarer.” So Zuhayr
said, “Whence comest thou and whither wendest thou?” and Amir replied,
“I am on my way to Al-Akil.” When he named Al-Akil, those who were
present were excited; but Zuhayr signed to them with his eyes and asked
him, “What is thine errand with Al-Akil?” and he answered, “We would
fain see him, my friend and I.” As soon as Zuhayr heard his words, he
bade smite his neck;[397] but his Wazir said to him, “Slay him not, till
his friend be present.” So he commanded the two slaves to fetch his
friend; whereupon they repaired to Al-Abbas and called to him, saying,
“O youth, answer the summons of King Zuhayr.” He enquired, “What would
the king with me?” and they replied, “We know not.” Quoth he, “Who gave
the king news of me?” and quoth they, “We went to draw water, and found
a man by the well. So we questioned him of his case, but he would not
acquaint us therewith, wherefore we carried him willy-nilly to King
Zuhayr, who asked him of his adventure and he told him that he was going
to Al-Akil. Now Al-Akil is the king’s enemy and he intendeth to betake
himself to his camp and make prize of his offspring, and cut off his
traces.” Said Al-Abbas, “And what hath Al-Akil done with King Zuhayr?”
They replied, “He engaged for himself that he would bring the King every
year a thousand dinars and a thousand she-camels, besides a thousand
head of thoroughbred steeds and two hundred black slaves and fifty
hand-maids; but it hath reached the king that Al-Akil purposeth to give
naught of this; wherefore he is minded to go to him. So hasten thou with
us, ere the King be wroth with thee and with us.” Then said Al-Abbas to
them, “O youths, sit by my weapons and my stallion till I return.” But
they said, “By Allah, thou prolongest discourse with that which
beseemeth not of words! Make haste, or we will go with thy head, for
indeed the King purposeth to slay thee and to slay thy comrade and take
that which is with you.” When the Prince heard this, his skin bristled
with rage and he cried out at them with a cry which made them tremble.
Then he sprang upon his horse and settling himself in the saddle,
galloped till he came to the King’s assembly, when he shouted at the top
of his voice, saying, “To horse, O horsemen!” and couched his spear at
the pavilion wherein was Zuhayr. Now there were about the King a
thousand smiters with the sword; but Al-Abbas charged home upon them and
dispersed them from around him; and there abode none in the tent save
Zuhayr and his Wazir. Then Al-Abbas came up to the door of the tent
wherein were four-and-twenty golden doves; so he took them, after he had
tumbled them down with the end of his lance. Then he called out saying,
“Ho, Zuhayr! Doth it not suffice thee that thou hast abated Al-Akil’s
repute, but thou art minded to abate that of those who sojourn round
about him? Knowest thou not that he is of the lieutenants of Kundah bin
Hisham of the Banu Shayban, a man renowned for prowess? Indeed, greed of
his gain hath entered into thee and envy of him hath gotten the mastery
of thee. Doth it not suffice thee that thou hast orphaned his
children[398] and slain his men? By the virtue of Mustafa, the Chosen
Prophet, I will make thee drain the cup of death!” So saying, he bared
his brand and smiting Zuhayr on his shoulder-blade caused the steel
issue gleaming from his throat tendons; then he smote the Wazir and
clove his crown asunder. As he was thus, behold, Amir called out to him
and said, “O my lord, come help me, or I be a dead man!” So Al-Abbas
went up to him guided by his voice, and found him cast down on his back
and chained with four chains to four pickets of iron.[399] He loosed his
bonds and said to him, “Go in front of me, O Amir.” So he fared on
before him a little, and presently they looked, and, behold, horsemen
were making to Zuhayr’s succour, and they numbered twelve thousand
riders led by Sahl bin Ka’ab bestriding a coal-black steed. He charged
upon Amir, who fled from him, then upon Al-Abbas, who said, “O Amir,
hold fast to my horse and guard my back.” The page did as he bade him,
whereupon Al-Abbas cried out at the folk and falling upon them,
overthrew their braves and slew of them some two thousand riders, whilst
not one of them knew what was to do nor with whom he fought. Then said
one of them to other, “Verily, the King is slain; so with whom do we
wage war? Indeed ye flee from him; but ’twere better ye enter under his
banners, or not one of you will be saved.” Thereupon all dismounted and
doffing that which was upon them of war-gear, came before Al-Abbas and
proffered him allegiance and sued for his protection. So he withheld his
brand from them and bade them gather together the spoils. Then he took
the riches and the slaves and the camels, and they all became his lieges
and his retainers, to the number (according to that which is reported)
of fifty thousand horse. Furthermore, the folk heard of him and flocked
to him from all sides; whereupon he divided the loot amongst them and
gave largesse and dwelt thus three days, and there came gifts to him.
After this he bade march for Al-Akil’s abiding place; so they fared on
six days and on the seventh they sighted the camp. Al-Abbas bade his man
Amir precede him and give Al-Akil the good news of his cousin’s coming;
so he rode on to the camp and, going in to Al-Akil, acquainted him with
the glad tidings of Zuhayr’s slaughter and the conquest of his
clan.[400] Al-Akil rejoiced in the coming of Al-Abbas and the slaughter
of his enemy and all in his camp rejoiced also and cast robes of honour
upon Amir; while Al-Akil bade go forth to meet Al-Abbas, and commanded
that none, great or small, freeman or slave, should tarry behind. So
they did his bidding and going forth all, met Al-Abbas at three
parasangs’ distance from the camp; and when they met him, they
dismounted from their horses and Al-Akil and he embraced and clapped
palm to palm.[401] Then rejoicing in the coming of Al-Abbas and the
killing of their foeman, they returned to the camp, where tents were
pitched for the new-comers and skin-rugs spread and game slain and
beasts slaughtered and royal guest-meals spread; and after this fashion
they abode twenty days in the enjoyment of all delight of life. On this
wise fared it with Al-Abbas and his cousin Al-Akil; but as regards King
Al-Aziz, when his son left him, he was desolated for him with exceeding
desolation, both he and his mother; and when tidings of him tarried long
and the tryst-time passed without his returning, the king caused public
proclamation to be made, commanding all his troops to get ready to mount
and ride forth in quest of his son Al-Abbas, at the end of three days,
after which no cause of hindrance or excuse would be admitted to any. So
on the fourth day, the king bade muster the troops who numbered
four-and-twenty thousand horse, besides servants and followers.
Accordingly, they reared the standards and the kettle-drums beat; the
general and the king set out with his power intending for Baghdad; nor
did he cease to press forward with all diligence, till he came within
half a day’s journey of the city, when he bade his army encamp on the
Green Meadow. There they pitched the tents, till the lowland was
straitened with them, and set up for the king a pavilion of green
brocade, purfled with pearls and precious stones. When Al-Aziz had sat
awhile, he summoned the Mamelukes of his son Al-Abbas, and they were
five-and-twenty in number besides ten slave-girls, as they were moons,
five of whom the king had brought with him and other five he had left
with the prince’s mother. When the Mamelukes came before him, he cast
over each and every of them a mantle of green brocade and bade them
mount similar horses of one and the same fashion and enter Baghdad and
ask after their lord Al-Abbas. So they rode into the city and passed
through the market-streets and there remained in Baghdad nor old man nor
boy but came forth to gaze on them and divert himself with the sight of
their beauty and loveliness and the seemliness of their semblance and
the goodliness of their garments and horses, for all were even as moons.
They gave not over going till they came to the palace,[402] where they
halted, and the king looked at them and seeing their beauty and the
brilliancy of their apparel and the brightness of their faces, said,
“Would Heaven I knew of which of the tribes these are!” And he bade the
Eunuch bring him news of them. The castrato went out to them and
questioned them of their case, whereto they replied, “Return to thy lord
and enquire of him concerning Prince Al-Abbas, an he have come unto him,
for that he left his sire King Al-Aziz a full-told year ago, and indeed
longing for him troubleth the King and he hath levied a division of his
army and his guards and is come forth in quest of his son, so haply he
may light upon tidings of him.” Quoth the Eunuch, “Is there amongst you
a brother of his or a son?” and quoth they, “Nay, by Allah, but we are
all his Mamelukes and the purchased of his money, and his sire Al-Aziz
hath sent us to make enquiry of him. Do thou go to thy lord and question
him of the Prince and return to us with that which he shall answer
thee.” Asked the Eunuch, “And where is King Al-Aziz?” and they answered,
“He is encamped in the Green Meadow?”[403] The Eunuch returned and told
the king, who said, “Indeed we have been unduly negligent with regard to
Al-Abbas. What shall be our excuse with the King? By Allah, my soul
suggested to me that the youth was of the sons of the kings!” His wife,
the Lady Afifah saw him lamenting for his neglect of Al-Abbas, and said
to him, “O King, what is it thou regrettest with this mighty regret?”
Quoth he, “Thou knowest the stranger youth, who gifted us with the
rubies?” Quoth she, “Assuredly;” and he, “Yonder youths, who have halted
in the palace court, are his Mamelukes, and his father, King Al-Aziz,
lord of Al-Yaman, hath pitched his camp on the Green Meadow; for he is
come with his army to seek him, and the number of his troops is
four-and-twenty thousand horsemen.” Then he went out from her, and when
she heard his words, she wept sore for him and had compassion on his
case and sent after him, counselling him to summon the Mamelukes and
lodge them in the palace and entertain them. The king hearkened to her
rede and despatching the Eunuch for the Mamelukes, assigned unto them a
lodging and said to them, “Have patience, till the King give you tidings
of your lord Al-Abbas.” When they heard his words, their eyes ran over
with a rush of tears, of their mighty longing for the sight of their
lord. Then the King bade the Queen enter the private chamber opening
upon the throne-room and let down the curtain before the door, so she
might see and not be seen. She did this and he summoned them to his
presence; and, when they stood before him, they kissed ground to do him
honour, and showed forth their courtly breeding and magnified his
dignity. He ordered them to sit, but they refused, till he conjured them
by their lord Al-Abbas: accordingly they sat down and he bade set before
them food of various kinds and fruits and sweetmeats. Now within the
Lady Afifah’s palace was a souterrain communicating with the pavilion of
the Princess Mariyah: so the Queen sent after her and she came to her,
whereupon she made her stand behind the curtain and gave her to know
that Al-Abbas was son to the King of Al-Yaman and that these were his
Mamelukes: she also told her that the Prince’s father had levied his
troops and was come with his army in quest of him and that he had
pitched his camp on the Green Meadow and had despatched these Mamelukes
to make enquiry of their lord. Then Mariyah abode looking upon them and
upon their beauty and loveliness and the goodliness of their raiment,
till they had eaten their fill of food and the tables were removed;
whereupon the King recounted to them the story of Al-Abbas and they took
leave of him and went their ways. So fortuned it with the Mamelukes; but
as for the Princess Mariyah, when she returned to her palace, she
bethought herself concerning the affair of Al-Abbas, repenting her of
what she had done; and the love of him took root in her heart. And, when
the night darkened upon her, she dismissed all her women and bringing
out the letters, to wit, those which Al-Abbas had written her, fell to
reading them and weeping. She left not weeping her night long, and when
she arose in the morning, she called a damsel of her slave-girls,
Shafíkah by name, and said to her, “O damsel, I purpose to discover to
thee mine affair and I charge thee keep my secret, which is that thou
betake thyself to the house of the nurse, who used to serve me, and
fetch her to me, for that I have grave need of her.” Accordingly,
Shafikah went out and repairing to the nurse’s house, entered and found
her clad in clothing other and richer than what she had whilome been
wont to wear. So she saluted her and asked her, “Whence hadst thou this
dress, than which there is no goodlier?” Answered the nurse, “O
Shafikah, thou deemest that I have seen no good save of thy mistress;
but, by Allah, had I endeavoured for her destruction, I had acted
righteously, seeing that she did with me what she did and bade the
Eunuch beat me, without offence by me offered: so tell her that he, on
whose behalf I bestirred myself with her, hath made me independent of
her and her humours, for he hath habited me in this habit and given me
two hundred and fifty dinars and promised me the like every year and
charged me to serve none of the folk.” Quoth Shafikah, “My mistress hath
a need for thee; so come thou with me and I will engage to restore thee
to thy dwelling in safety and satisfaction.” But quoth the nurse,
“Indeed her palace is become unlawful and forbidden to me[404] and never
again will I enter therein, for that Allah (extolled and exalted be He!)
of His favour and bounty hath rendered me independent of her.” Presently
Shafikah returned to her mistress and acquainted her with the nurse’s
words and that wherein she was of prosperity; whereupon Mariyah
confessed her unmannerly dealing with her and repented when repentance
profited her not; and she abode in that her case days and nights, whilst
the fire of longing flamed in her heart. On this wise happened it to
her; but as regards Al-Abbas, he tarried with his cousin Al-Akil twenty
days, after which he made ready for the journey to Baghdad and bidding
bring the booty he had taken from King Zuhayr, divided it between
himself and his cousin. Then he sent out a-marching Baghdad-wards and
when he came within two days’ journey of the city, he summoned his
servant Amir and said to him, “Mount thy charger and forego me with the
caravan and the cattle.” So Amir took horse and fared on till he came to
Baghdad, and the season of his entering was the first of the day; nor
was there in the city little child or old greybeard but came forth to
divert himself with gazing on those flocks and herds and upon the beauty
of those slave-girls; and their wits were wildered at what they saw.
Soon afterwards the news reached the king that the young man Al-Abbas,
who had gone forth from him, was come back with booty and rarities and
black slaves and a conquering host and had taken up his sojourn without
the city, whilst his servant Amir was presently come to Baghdad, so he
might get ready for his lord dwelling-places wherein he should take up
his abode. When the King heard these tidings of Amir, he sent for him
and caused bring him before him; and when he entered his presence, he
kissed the ground and saluted with the salam and showed his fine
breeding and greeted him with the goodliest of greetings. The King bade
him raise his head and, this done, questioned him of his lord Al-Abbas;
whereupon he acquainted him with his adventures and told him that which
had betided him with King Zuhayr and of the army that was become at his
command and of the spoil he had secured. He also gave him to know that
Al-Abbas was to arrive on the morrow, and with him more than fifty
thousand cavaliers, obedient to his orders. When the king heard his
words, he bade decorate Baghdad and commanded the citizens to equip
themselves with the richest of their apparel, in honour of the coming of
Al-Abbas. Furthermore, he sent to give King Al-Aziz the glad tidings of
his son’s return and informed him of all which he had heard from the
Prince’s servant. When the news reached King Al-Aziz, he joyed with
exceeding joy in the approach of his son and straightway took horse, he
and all his host, while the trumpets blared and the musicians played, so
that the earth quaked and Baghdad also trembled, and it was a notable
day. When Mariyah beheld all this, she repented in all possible
penitence of that which she had done against Al-Abbas and the fires of
desire raged in her vitals. Meanwhile, the troops[405] sallied forth of
Baghdad and went out to meet those of Al-Abbas, who had halted in a
garth called the Green Island. When he espied the approaching host, he
strained his sight and, seeing horsemen coming and troops and footmen he
knew not, said to those about him, “Among yonder troops are flags and
banners of various kinds; but, as for the great green standard that ye
see, ’tis the standard of my sire, the which is reserved to him and
never displayed save over his head, and thus I know that he himself is
come out in quest of me.” And he was certified of this, he and his
troops. So he fared on towards them and when he drew near them, he knew
them and they knew him; whereupon they lighted down from their horses
and saluting him, gave him joy of his safety and the folk flocked to
him. When he came to his father, they embraced and each greeted other a
long time, whilst neither of them could utter a word, for the greatness
of that which betided them of joy in reunion. Then Al-Abbas bade the
folk take horse; so they mounted and his Mamelukes surrounded him and
they entered Baghdad on the most splendid wise and in the highest honour
and glory. Now the wife of the shopkeeper, that is, the nurse, came out,
with the rest of those who flocked forth, to divert herself with gazing
upon the show, and when she saw Al-Abbas and beheld his beauty and the
beauty of his host and that which he had brought back with him of herds
and slave-girls, Mamelukes and negroes, she improvised and recited these

 Al-Abbás from the side of Akíl is come; ✿ Caravans and steeds he hath
 Yea; horses he brought of pure blood, whose necks ✿ Ring with collars
    like anklets wher’er they are led.
 With domèd hoofs they pour torrent-like, ✿ As they prance through dust
    on the level stead:
 And bestriding their saddles come men of war, ✿ Whose fingers play on
    the kettle-drum’s head:
 And couched are their lances that bear the points ✿ Keen grided, which
    fill every soul with dread:
 Who wi’ them would fence draweth down his death ✿ For one deadly lunge
    soon shall do him dead:
 Charge, comrades, charge ye and give me joy, ✿ Saying, “Welcome to thee,
    O our dear comràde!”
 And who joys at his meeting shall ’joy delight ✿ Of large gifts when he
    from his steed shall ’light.

When the troops entered Baghdad, each of them alighted in his tent,
whilst Al-Abbas encamped apart on a place near the Tigris and issued
orders to slaughter for the soldiers, each day, that which should
suffice them of oxen and sheep and to bake them bread and spread the
tables: so the folk ceased not to come to him and eat of his banquet.
Furthermore, all the country-people flocked to him with presents and
rarities and he requited them many times the like of their gifts, so
that the lands were filled with his renown and the fame of him was
bruited abroad among the habitants of wold and town. Then, as soon as he
rode to the house he had bought, the shopkeeper and his wife came to him
and gave him joy of his safety; whereupon he ordered them three head of
swift steeds and thoroughbred and ten dromedaries and an hundred head of
sheep and clad them both in costly robes of honour. Presently he chose
out ten slave-girls and ten negro slaves and fifty mares and the like
number of she-camels and three hundred of sheep, together with twenty
ounces of musk and as many of camphor, and sent all this to the King of
Baghdad. When the present came to Ins bin Kays, his wit fled for joy and
he was perplexed wherewith to requite him. Al-Abbas also gave gifts and
largesse and bestowed robes of honour upon noble and simple, each after
the measure of his degree, save only Mariyah; for to her indeed he sent
nothing. This was grievous to the Princess and it irked her sore that he
should not remember her; so she called her slave-girl Shafikah and said
to her, “Hie thee to Al-Abbas and salute him and say to him:—What
hindereth thee from sending my lady Mariyah her part of thy booty?” So
Shafikah betook herself to him and when she came to his door, the
chamberlains refused her admission, until they should have got for her
leave and permission. When she entered, Al-Abbas knew her and knew that
she had somewhat of speech with him; so he dismissed his Mamelukes and
asked her, “What is thine errand, O hand-maid of good?” Answered she, “O
my lord, I am a slave-girl of the Princess Mariyah, who kisseth thy
hands and offereth her salutation to thee. Indeed, she rejoiceth in thy
safety and blameth thee for that thou breakest her heart, alone of all
the folk, because thy largesse embraceth great and small, yet hast thou
not remembered her with anything of thy plunder, as if thou hadst
hardened thy heart against her.” Quoth he, “Extolled be He who turneth
hearts! By Allah, my vitals were consumed with the love of her; and, of
my longing after her I came forth to her from my mother-land and left my
people and my home and my wealth, and it was with her that began the
hardheartedness and the cruelty. Natheless, for all this, I bear her no
malice and there is no help but that I send her somewhat whereby she may
remember me; for that I sojourn in her country but a few days, after
which I set out for the land of Al-Yaman.” Then he called for a chest
and thence bringing out a necklace of Greek workmanship, worth a
thousand dinars, wrapped it in a mantle of Greek silk, set with pearls
and gems and purfled with red gold, and joined thereto a couple of
caskets containing musk and ambergris. He also put off upon the girl a
mantle of Greek silk, striped with gold, wherein were divers figures and
portraitures depictured, never saw eyes its like. Therewithal the girl’s
wit fled for joy and she went forth from his presence and returned to
her mistress. When she came in to her, she acquainted her with that
which she had seen of Al-Abbas and that which was with him of servants
and attendants and set out to her the loftiness of his station and gave
her that which was with her. Mariyah opened the mantle, and when she saw
that necklace (and indeed the place was illumined with the lustre
thereof), she looked at her slave-girl and said to her, “By Allah, O
Shafikah, one look at him were dearer to me than all that my hand
possesseth! Oh, would Heaven I knew what I shall do, when Baghdad is
empty of him and I hear of him no news!” Then she wept and calling for
ink-case and paper and pen of brass, wrote these couplets:

 Longsome my sorrows are; my liver’s fired with ecstasy; ✿ And
    severance-shaft hath shot me through whence sorest pangs I dree:
 And howso could my soul forget the love I bear to you? ✿ You-wards my
    will perforce returns nor passion sets me free:
 I ’prison all desires I feel for fear of spies thereon ✿ Yet tears that
    streak my cheek betray for every eye to see.
 No place of rest or joy I find to bring me life-delight; ✿ No wine
    tastes well; nor viands please however savoury:
 Ah me! to whom shall I complain of case and seek its cure ✿ Save unto
    thee whose Phantom deigns to show me sight of thee?
 Then name me not or chide for aught I did in passion-stress, ✿ With
    vitals gone and frame consumed by yearning-malady!
 Secret I keep the fire of love which aye for severance burns; ✿ Sworn
    slave[406] to Love who robs my rest and wakes me cruelly:
 And ceaseth not my thought to gaze upon your ghost by night, ✿ Which
    falsing comes and he I love still, still unloveth me.

 Would Heaven ye wist the blight that I for you are doomed to bear ✿ For
    love of you, which tortures me with parting agony!
 Then read between the lines I wrote, and mark and learn their sense ✿
    For such my tale, and Destiny made me an outcast be:
 Learn eke the circumstance of Love and lover’s woe nor deign ✿ Divulge
    its mysteries to men nor grudge its secrecy.

Then she folded the scroll and giving it to her slave-girl, bade her
bear it to Al-Abbas and bring back his reply. So Shafikah took the
letter and carried it to the Prince, after the doorkeeper had sought
leave of him to admit her. When she came in to him, she found with him
five damsels, as they were moons, clad in rich raiment and ornaments;
and when he saw her, he said to her, “What is thy need, O hand-maid of
good?” Presently she put out her hand to him with the writ, after she
had kissed it, and he bade one of his slave-girls receive it from
her.[407] Then he took it from the girl and breaking the seal, read it
and comprehended its contents; whereupon he cried, “Verily, we be
Allah’s and unto Him we shall return!” and calling for ink-case and
paper, wrote these improvised couplets:—

 I wonder seeing how thy love to me ✿ Inclined, while I in heart from
    love declined:
 Eke wast thou wont to say in verseful writ, ✿ “Son of the Road[408] no
    road to me shall find!
 How oft kings flocked to me with mighty men ✿ And bales on back of
    Bukhti[409] beast they bind:
 And noble steeds of purest blood and all ✿ They bore of choicest boons
    to me consigned;
 Yet won no favour!” Then came I to woo ✿ And the long tale o’ love I had
 I fain set forth in writ of mine, with words ✿ Like strings of pearls in
    goodly line aligned:——
 Set forth my sev’rance, griefs, tyrannic wrongs, ✿ And ill device
    ill-suiting lover-kind.

 How oft love-claimant, craving secrecy, ✿ How oft have lovers ’plained
    as sore they pined,
 “How many a brimming bitter cup I’ve quaffed, ✿ And wept my woes when
    speech was vain as wind!”
 And thou:—“Be patient, ’tis thy bestest course ✿ And choicest medicine
    for mortal mind!”
 Then unto patience worthy praise cleave _thou_; ✿ Easy of issue and be
    lief resigned:
 Nor hope thou aught of me lest ill alloy ✿ Or aught of dross affect my
    blood refined:
 Such is my speech. Read, mark, and learn my say! ✿ To what thou deemest
    ne’er I’ll tread the way.

Then he folded the scroll and sealing it, entrusted it to the damsel,
who took it and bore it to her mistress. When the Princess read the
letter and mastered its meaning, she said, “Meseemeth he recalleth
bygones to me.” Then she called for pens, ink, and paper, and wrote
these couplets:

 Love thou didst show me till I learnt its woe ✿ Then to the growth of
    grief didst severance show:
 I banisht joys of slumber after you ✿ And e’en my pillow garred my wake
    to grow.
 How long in parting shall I pine with pain ✿ While severance-spies[410]
    through night watch every throe?
 I’ve left my kingly couch and self withdrew ✿ Therefrom, and taught mine
    eyelids sleep t’ unknow:
 ’Twas thou didst teach me what I ne’er can bear: ✿ Then didst thou waste
    my frame with parting-blow.
 By oath I swear thee, blame and chide me not: ✿ Be kind to mourner Love
    hath stricken low!
 For parting-rigours drive him nearer still ✿ To narrow home, ere clad in
    shroud for clo’:
 Have ruth on me, since Love laid waste my frame, ✿ ’Mid thralls enrolled
    me and lit fires that flame.

Mariyah rolled up the letter and gave it to Shafikah, bidding her bear
it to Al-Abbas. Accordingly she took it and going with it to his door,
proceeded to enter; but the chamberlains and serving-men forbade her,
till they had obtained her leave from the Prince. When she went into
him, she found him sitting in the midst of the five damsels before
mentioned, whom his father had brought for him; so she gave him the
letter and he tare it open and read it. Then he bade one of the damsels,
whose name was Khafífah and who came from the land of China, tune her
lute and sing anent separation. Thereupon she came forward and tuning
her lute, played thereon in four-and-twenty modes: after which she
returned to the first and sang these couplets:—

 Our friends, when leaving us on parting-day, ✿ Drave us in wolds of
    severance-grief to stray:
 When bound the camels’ litters bearing them, ✿ And cries of drivers
    urged them on the way,
 Outrusht my tears, despair gat hold of me ✿ And sleep betrayed mine eyes
    to wake a prey.
 The day they went I wept, but showed no ruth ✿ The severance-spy and
    flared the flames alwày:
 Alas for lowe o’ Love that fires me still! ✿ Alack for pine that melts
    my heart away!
 To whom shall I complain of care, when thou ✿ Art gone, nor fain
    a-pillow head I lay?
 And day by day Love’s ardours grow on me, ✿ And far’s the tent that
    holds my fondest may:
 O Breeze o’ Heaven, bear for me a charge ✿ (Nor traitor-like my troth in
    love betray!),
 Whene’er thou breathest o’er the loved one’s land ✿ Greet him with
    choice salam fro’ me, I pray:
 Dust him with musk and powdered ambergris ✿ While time endures! Such is
    my wish for aye.

When the damsel had made an end of her song, Al-Abbas swooned away and
they sprinkled on him musked rose-water, till he recovered from his
fainting-fit, when he called another damsel (now there was on her of
linen and raiment and ornaments that which undoeth description, and she
was a model of beauty and brightness and loveliness and symmetry and
perfect grace, such as shamed the crescent moon, and she was a Turkish
girl from the land of the Roum and her name was Háfizah) and said to
her, “O Hafizah, close thine eyes and tune thy lute and sing to us upon
the days of severance.” She answered him, “To hear is to obey” and
taking the lute, tightened its strings and cried out from her head,[411]
in a plaintive voice, and sang these couplets:—

 My friends! tears flow in painful mockery, ✿ And sick my heart from
    parting agony:
 My frame is wasted and my vitals wrung ✿ And love-fires grow and eyes
    set tear-floods free:
 And when the fire burns high beneath my ribs ✿ With tears I quench it as
    sad day I see.
 Love left me wasted, baffled, pain-begone, ✿ Sore frighted, butt to
    spying enemy:
 When I recall sweet union wi’ their loves ✿ I chase dear sleep from the
    sick frame o’ me.
 Long as our parting lasts the rival joys ✿ And spies with fearful
    prudence gain their gree.
 I fear me for my sickly, langourous frame ✿ Lest dread of parting slay
    me incont’nently.

When Hafizah had ended her song, Al-Abbas cried to her, “Brava! Verily,
thou quickenest hearts from griefs.” Then he called another maiden of
the daughters of Daylam, by name Marjánah, and said to her, “O Marjanah,
sing to me upon the days of parting.” She said, “Hearing and obeying,”
and recited these couplets:—

 “Cleave to fair Patience! Patience ’gendereth weal”: ✿ Such is the rede
    to us all sages deal:
 How oft I plained the lowe of grief and love ✿ Mid passions cast my soul
    in sore unheal.
 How oft I waked and drained the bitter cup ✿ And watched the stars, nor
    sleep mine eyes would seal!
 Enough it were an deal you grace to me ✿ In writ a-morn and garred no
    hope to feel.

 But Thoughts which probed its depths would sear my heart ✿ And start
    from eye-brows streams that ever steal:
 Nor cease I suffering baleful doom and nights ✿ Wakeful, and heart by
    sorrows rent piece-meal:
 But Allah purged my soul from love of you ✿ When all knew secrets cared
    I not reveal.
 I march to-morrow from your country and ✿ Haply you’ll speed me nor fear
    aught unweal;
 And, when in person you be far from us, ✿ Would heaven we knew who shall
    your news reveal.
 Who kens if home will e’er us two contain ✿ In dearest life with union
    naught can stain!

When Marjanah had made an end of her song, the Prince said to her,
“Brava, O damsel! Indeed, thou sayest a thing which had occurred to my
mind and my tongue was near to speaking it.” Then he signed to the
fourth damsel, who was a Cairene, by name Sitt al-Husn, and bade her
tune her lute and sing to him upon the same theme. So the Lady of Beauty
tuned her lute and sang these couplets:—

 Patience is blest for weal comes after woe ✿ And all things stated time
    and ordinance show;
 Haps the Sultan, hight Fortune, prove unjust ✿ Shifting the times, and
    man excuse shall know:
 Bitter ensueth sweet in law of change ✿ And after crookedness things
    straightest grow.
 Then guard thine honour, nor to any save ✿ The noble knowledge of the
    hid bestow:
 These be vicissitudes the Lord commands ✿ Poor men endure, the sinner
    and the low.

When Al-Abbas heard her make an end of her verses, they pleased him and
he said to her, “Brava, O Sitt al-Husn! Indeed, thou hast done away
anxiety from my heart and hast banished the things which had occurred to
my thought.” Then he sighed and signing to the fifth damsel, who was
from the land of the Persians and whose name was Marzíyah (now she was
the fairest of them all and the sweetest of speech and she was like unto
a lustrous star, a model of beauty and loveliness and perfection and
brightness and justness of shape and symmetric grace and had a face like
the new moon and eyes as they were gazelle’s eyes) and said to her, “O
Marziyah, come forward and tune thy lute and sing to us on the same
theme, for indeed we are resolved upon faring to the land of Al-Yaman.”
Now this maiden had met many of the monarchs and had foregathered with
the great; so she tuned her lute and sang these couplets:—

 Friend of my heart why leave thou lone and desolate these eyne? ✿ Fair
    union of our lots ne’er failed this sitting-stead of mine!
 And ah! who dwellest singly in the heart and sprite of me, ✿ (Be I thy
    ransom!) desolate for loss of friend I pine!
 By Allah! O thou richest form in charms and loveliness, ✿ Give alms to
    lover who can show of patience ne’er a sign!
 Alms of what past between us tway (which ne’er will I divulge) ✿ Of
    privacy between us tway that man shall ne’er divine:
 Grant me approval of my lord whereby t’ o’erwhelm the foe ✿ And let my
    straitness pass away and doubtful thoughts malign:
 Approof of thee (an gained the meed) for me high rank shall gain ✿ And
    show me robed in richest weed to eyes of envy fain.

When she had ended her song, all who were in the assembly wept for the
daintiness of her delivery and the sweetness of her speech and Al-Abbas
said to her, “Brava, O Marziyah! Indeed, thou bewilderest the wits with
the beauty of thy verse and the polish of thy speech.”[412] All this
while Shafikah abode gazing upon her, and when she beheld the
slave-girls of Al-Abbas and considered the charms of their clothing and
the subtlety of their senses and the delicacy of their delivery her
reason flew from her head. Then she sought leave of Al-Abbas and
returning to her mistress Mariyah, sans letter or reply, acquainted her
with what she had espied of the damsels and described to her the
condition wherein he was of honour and delight, majesty, venerance and
loftiness of rank. Lastly, she enlarged upon what she had seen of the
slave-girls and their case and that which they had said and how they had
incited Al-Abbas anent returning to his own country by the recitation of
songs to the sound of the strings. When the Princess heard this her
slave-girl’s report, she wept and wailed and was like to leave the
world. Then she took to her pillow and said, “O Shafikah, I will inform
thee of a something which is not hidden from Allah the Most High, and
’tis that thou watch over me till the Almighty decree the accomplishment
of His destiny, and when my days are ended, take thou the necklace and
the mantle with which Al-Abbas gifted me and return them to him. I deem
not he will survive me, and if the Lord of All-might determine against
him and his days come to an end, do thou give one charge to shroud us
and entomb us both in one tomb.” Then her case changed and her colour
waxed wan; and when Shafikah saw her mistress in this plight, she
repaired to her mother and told her that the lady Mariyah refused meat
and drink. Asked the Queen, “Since when hath this befallen her?” and
Shafikah answered, “Since yesterday’s date;” whereat the mother was
confounded and betaking herself to her daughter, that she might inquire
into her case, lo and behold! found her as one dying. So she sat down at
her head and Mariyah opened her eyes and seeing her mother sitting by
her, sat up for shame before her. The Queen questioned her of her case
and she said, “I entered the Hammam and it stupefied me and prostrated
me and left in my head an exceeding pain; but I trust in Allah Almighty
that it will cease.” When her mother went out from her, Mariyah took to
chiding the damsel for that which she had done and said to her, “Verily,
death were dearer to me than this; so discover thou not my affair to any
and I charge thee return not to the like of this fashion.” Then she
fainted and lay swooning for a whole hour, and when she came to herself,
she saw Shafikah weeping over her; whereupon she pluckt the necklace
from her neck and the mantle from her body and said to the damsel, “Lay
them in a damask napkin and bear them to Al-Abbas and acquaint him with
that wherein I am for the stress of severance and the strain of
forbiddance.” So Shafikah took them and carried them to Al-Abbas, whom
she found in readiness to depart, being about to take horse for
Al-Yaman. She went in to him and gave him the napkin and that which was
therein, and when he opened it and saw what it contained, namely, the
mantle and the necklace, his chagrin was excessive and his eyes turned
in his head[413] and his rage shot out of them. When Shafikah saw that
which betided him, she came forward and said to him, “O bountiful lord,
verily my mistress returneth not the mantle and the necklace for
despite; but she is about to quit the world and thou hast the best right
to them.” Asked he, “And what is the cause of this?” and Shafikah
answered, “Thou knowest. By Allah, never among the Arabs nor the Ajams
nor among the sons of the kings saw I a harder of heart than thou! Can
it be a slight matter to thee that thou troublest Mariyah’s life and
causest her to mourn for herself and quit the world for the sake of thy
youth?[414] Thou wast the cause of her acquaintance with thee and now
she departeth this life on thine account, she whose like Allah Almighty
hath not created among the daughters of the kings.” When Al-Abbas heard
from the damsel these words, his heart burned for Mariyah and her case
was not light to him; so he said to Shafikah, “Canst thou bring me in
company with her, so haply I may discover her concern and allay whatso
aileth her?” Said she, “Yes, I can do that, and thine will be the bounty
and the favour.” So he arose and followed her, and she preceded him,
till they came to the palace. Then she opened and locked behind them
four-and-twenty doors and made them fast with padlocks; and when he came
to Mariyah, he found her as she were the downing sun, strown upon a Táif
rug of perfumed leather,[415] surrounded by cushions stuffed with
ostrich down, and not a limb of her quivered. When her maid saw her in
this state, she offered to cry out; but Al-Abbas said to her, “Do it
not, but have patience till we discover her affair; and if Allah (be He
extolled and exalted!) have decreed her death, wait till thou have
opened the doors to me and I have gone forth. Then do what seemeth good
to thee.” So saying, he went up to the Princess and laying his hand upon
her bosom, found her heart fluttering like a doveling and the life yet
hanging to her breast.[416] So he placed his hand on her cheek, whereat
she opened her eyes and beckoning to her maid, said to her by signs,
“Who is this that treadeth my carpet and transgresseth against me?”[417]
“O my lady,” cried Shafikah, “this is Prince Al-Abbas, for whose sake
thou forsakest the world.” When Mariyah heard speak of Al-Abbas, she
raised her hand from under the coverlet and laying it upon his neck,
inhaled awhile his scent. Then she sat up and her complexion returned to
her and they abode talking till a third part of the night was past.
Presently, the Princess turned to her hand-maid and bade her fetch them
somewhat of food, sweetmeats, and fruits, fresh and dry. So Shafikah
brought what she desired and they ate and drank and abode on this wise
without lewdness, till night went and light came. Then said Al-Abbas,
“Indeed, the morn breaketh. Shall I hie to my sire and bid him go to thy
father and seek thee of him in wedlock for me, in accordance with the
book of Allah Almighty and the practice of His Apostle (whom may He save
and assain!) so we may not enter into transgression?” And Mariyah
answered, saying, “By Allah, ’tis well counselled of thee!” So he went
away to his lodging and naught befel between them; and when the day
lightened, she recited these couplets:—

 O friends, morn-breeze with Morn draws on amain: ✿ A Voice[418] bespeaks
 Up to the convent where our friend we’ll sight ✿ And wine more subtile
    than the dust[419] we’ll drain;
 Whereon our friend spent all the coin he owned ✿ And made the nursling
    in his cloak contain;[420]
 And, when we oped the jar, light opalline ✿ Struck down the singers in
    its search waylain.
 From all sides flocking came the convent-monks ✿ Crying at top o’
    voices, “Welcome fain!”
 And we carousing sat, and cups went round, ✿ Till rose the Venus-star
    o’er Eastern plain.
 No shame in drinking wine, which means good cheer ✿ And love and promise
    of prophetic strain![421]
 Ho thou, the Morn, our union sundering, ✿ These joyous hours to fine
    thou dost constrain.
 Show grace to us until our pleasures end, ✿ And latest drop of joy fro’
    friends we gain:
 You have affection candid and sincere ✿ And Love and Joy are best of
    Faiths for men.

Such was the case with Mariyah; but as regards Al-Abbas, he betook
himself to his father’s camp, which was pitched on the Green Meadow, by
the Tigris-side, and none might thread his way between the tents, for
the dense network of the tent-ropes. When the Prince reached the first
of the pavilions, the guards and servants came out to meet him from all
sides and walked in his service till he drew near the sitting-place of
his sire, who knew of his approach. So he issued forth his marquee and
coming to meet his son, kissed him and made much of him. Then they
returned together to the royal pavilion and when they had seated
themselves therein and the guards had taken up their station in
attendance on them, the King said to Al-Abbas, “O my son, get ready
thine affair, so we may go to our own land, for that the lieges in our
absence are become as they were sheep lacking shepherd.” Al-Abbas looked
at his father and wept till he fainted, and when he recovered from his
fit, he improvised and recited these couplets:—

 I embraced him,[422] and straight I waxt drunk wi’ the smell ✿ Of a
    fresh young branch wont in wealth to dwell.
 Yea, drunken, but not by the wine; nay, ’twas ✿ By draughts from his
    lips that like wine-cups well:
 For Beauty wrote on his cheek’s fair page ✿ “Oh, his charms! take refuge
    fro’ danger fell!”[423]
 Mine eyes, be easy, since him ye saw; ✿ Nor mote nor blearness with you
    shall mell:
 In him Beauty showeth fro’ first to fine ✿ And bindeth on hearts bonds
 An thou kohl thyself with his cheek of light ✿ Thou’ll find but jasper
    and or in stelle:[424]
 The chiders came to reproach me when ✿ For him longing and pining my
    heart befel:
 But I fear not, I end not, I turn me not ✿ From his life, let tell-tale
    his tale e’en tell:
 By Allah, forgetting ne’er crossed my thought ✿ While by life-tie bound,
    or when ends my spell:
 An I live I will live in his love, an I die ✿ Of love and longing, I’ll
    cry, “’Tis well!”

Now when Al-Abbas had ended his verses, his father said to him, “I seek
refuge for thee with Allah, O my son! Hast thou any want thou art
powerless to win, so I may endeavour for thee therein and lavish my
treasures in its quest.” Cried Al-Abbas, “O my papa, I have, indeed, an
urgent need, on whose account I came forth of my mother-land and left my
people and my home and affronted perils and horrors and became an exile,
and I trust in Allah that it may be accomplished by thy magnanimous
endeavour.” Quoth the King, “And what is thy want?” and quoth Al-Abbas,
“I would have thee go and ask for me to wife Mariyah, daughter of the
King of Baghdad, for that my heart is distracted with love of her.” Then
he recounted to his father his adventure from first to last. When the
King heard this from his son, he rose to his feet and calling for his
charger of parade, took horse with four-and-twenty Emirs of the chief
officers of his empire. Then he betook himself to the palace of the King
of Baghdad who, when he saw him coming, bade his chamberlains open the
doors to them and going down himself to meet him, received him with all
honour and hospitality and carried him and his into the palace; then
causing make ready for them carpets and cushions, sat down upon his
golden throne and seated the guest by his side upon a chair of gold,
framed in juniper-wood set with pearls and jewels. Presently he bade
bring sweetmeats and confections and scents and commanded to slaughter
four-and-twenty head of sheep and the like of oxen and make ready geese
and chickens and pigeons stuffed and boiled, and spread the tables; nor
was it long before the meats were served up in vessels of gold and
silver. So they eat their sufficiency and when they had eaten their
fill, the tables were removed and the wine-service set on and the cups
and flagons ranged in ranks, whilst the Mamelukes and the fair
slave-girls sat down, with zones of gold about their waists, studded
with all manner pearls, diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other jewels.
Moreover, the king bade fetch the musicians; so there presented
themselves before him twenty damsels with lutes and psalteries[425] and
viols, and smote upon instruments of music playing and performing on
such wise that they moved the assembly to delight. Then said Al-Aziz to
the King of Baghdad, “I would fain speak a word to thee; but do thou not
exclude from us those who are present. An thou consent unto my wish
thine is ours and on thee shall be whatso is on us;[426] and we will be
to thee a mighty forearm against all unfriends and foes.” Quoth Ins bin
Kays, “Say what thou wilt, O King, for indeed thou excellest in speech
and in whatso thou sayest dost hit the mark.” So Al-Aziz said to him, “I
desire that thou marry thy daughter Mariyah to my son Al-Abbas, for thou
knowest what he hath of beauty and loveliness, brightness and perfect
grace and his frequentation of the valiant and his constancy in the
stead of cut-and-thrust.” Said Ins bin Kays, “By Allah, O King, of my
love for Mariyah, I have appointed her mistress of her own hand;
accordingly, whomsoever she chooseth of the folk, to him will I wed
her.” Then he arose to his feet and going in to his daughter, found her
mother with her; so he set out to them the case and Mariyah said, “O my
papa, my wish followeth thy word and my will ensueth thy will; so
whatsoever thou choosest, I am obedient to thee and under thy dominion.”
Therewith the King knew that Mariyah inclined to Al-Abbas; he therefore
returned forthright to King Al-Aziz and said to him, “May Allah amend
the King! Verily, the wish is won and there is no opposition to that
thou commandest.” Quoth Al-Aziz, “By Allah’s leave are wishes won. How
deemest thou, O King, of fetching Al-Abbas and documenting the
marriage-contract between Mariyah and him?” and quoth Ins bin Kays,
“Thine be the rede.” So Al-Aziz sent after his son and acquainted him
with that which had passed; whereupon Al-Abbas called for
four-and-twenty mules and ten horses and as many camels and loaded the
mules with fathom-long pieces of silk and rugs of leather and boxes of
camphor and musk and the camels and horses with chests of gold and
silver. Eke, he took the richest of the stuffs and wrapping them in
wrappers of gold-purfled silk, laid them on the heads of porters,[427]
and they fared on with the treasures till they reached the King of
Baghdad’s palace, whereupon all who were present dismounted in honour of
Al-Abbas and escorting him in a body to the presence of Ins bin Kays,
displayed to the King all that they had with them of things of price.
The King bade carry all this into the store rooms of the Harim and sent
for the Kazis and the witnesses, who wrote out the contract and married
Mariyah to Al-Abbas, whereupon the Prince commanded slaughter one
thousand head of sheep and five hundred buffaloes. So they spread the
bride-feast and bade thereto all the tribes of the Arabs, men of tents
and men of towns, and the banquet continued for the space of ten days.
Then Al-Abbas went in to Mariyah in a commendable and auspicious hour
and lay with her and found her a pearl unthridden and a goodly filly no
rider had ridden;[428] wherefore he rejoiced and was glad and made
merry, and care and sorrow ceased from him and his life was pleasant and
trouble departed and he ceased not abiding with her in most joyful case
and in the most easeful of life, till seven days were past, when King
Al-Aziz resolved to set out and return to his realm and bade his son
seek leave of his father-in-law to depart with his wife to his own
country. So Al-Abbas spoke of this to King Ins, who granted him the
permission he sought; whereupon he chose out a red camel,[429] taller
and more valuable than the rest of the camels, and loading it with
apparel and ornaments, mounted Mariyah in a litter thereon. Then they
spread the ensigns and the standards, whilst kettle-drums beat and the
trumpets blared, and set out upon the homewards way. The King of Baghdad
rode forth with them and companied them three days’ journey on their
route, after which he farewelled them and returned with his troops to
Baghdad. As for King Al-Aziz and his son, they fared on night and day
and gave not over going till there remained but three days’ journey
between them and Al-Yaman, when they despatched three men of the
couriers to the Prince’s mother to report that they were bringing with
them Mariyah, the King’s daughter of Baghdad, and returning safe and
laden with spoil. When the Queen-mother heard this, her wit took wings
for joy and she adorned the slave-girls of Al-Abbas after the finest
fashion. Now he had ten hand-maids, as they were moons, whereof his
father had carried five with him to Baghdad, as hath erst been set
forth, and the remaining five abode with his mother. When the
dromedary-posts[430] came, they were certified of the approach of
Al-Abbas, and when the sun easted and their flags were seen flaunting,
the Prince’s mother came out to meet her son; nor on that day was there
great or small, boy or greybeard, but went forth to greet the king. Then
the kettle-drums of glad tidings beat and they entered in the utmost of
pomp and the extreme of magnificence; so that the tribes and the
townspeople heard of them and brought them the richest of gifts and the
rarest of presents and the Prince’s mother rejoiced with joy exceeding.
They butchered beasts and spread mighty bride-feasts for the people and
kindled fires,[431] that it might be visible afar to townsman and
tribesman that this was the house of hospitality and the stead of the
wedding-festival, to the intent that, if any passed them by, it should
be of his own sin against himself. So the folk came to them from all
districts and quarters and in this way they abode days and months.
Presently the Prince’s mother bade fetch the five slave-girls to that
assembly; whereupon they came and the ten damsels met. The queen seated
five of them on her son’s right hand and other five on his left and the
folk gathered about them. Then she bade the five who had remained with
her speak forth somewhat of poesy, so they might entertain therewith the
séance and that Al-Abbas might rejoice thereat. Now she had clad them in
the costliest of clothes and adorned them with trinkets and ornaments
and moulded work of gold and silver and collars of gold, wrought with
pearls and gems. So they paced forward, with harps and lutes and zithers
and recorders and other instruments of music before them, and one of
them, a damsel who came from the land of China and whose name was
Bá’úthah, advanced and screwed up the strings of her lute. Then she
cried out from the top of her head and recited these couplets:—

 Indeed your land returned, when you returned, ✿ To whilom light which
    overgrew its gloom:
 Green grew the land that was afore dust-brown, ✿ And fruits that failed
    again showed riping bloom:
 And clouds rained treasures after rain had lacked, ✿ And plenty poured
    from earth’s re-opening womb.

 Then ceased the woes, my lords, that garred us weep, ✿ With tears like
    dragons’ blood, our severance-doom,
 Whose length, by Allah, made me yearn and pine, ✿ Would Heaven, O lady
    mine, I were thy groom!

When she had ended her song, all who were present were delighted and
Al-Abbas rejoiced in this. Then he bade the second damsel sing somewhat
on the same theme. So she came forward and tightening the strings of her
harp, which was of balass ruby,[432] raised her voice in a plaintive air
and improvised these couplets:—

 Brought the Courier glad news of our absentees,[433] ✿ To please us
    through those who had wrought us unease:
 Cried I, “My life ransom thee, messenger man, ✿ Thou hast kept thy faith
    and thy boons are these.”
 An the nightlets of union in you we joyed ✿ When fared you naught would
    our grief appease;
 You sware that folk would to folk be true, ✿ And you kept your oaths as
    good faith decrees.
 To you made I oath true lover am I ✿ Heaven guard me when sworn from all
 I fared to meet you and loud I cried, ✿ “Aha, fair welcome when come you
 And I joyed to meet you and when you came, ✿ Deckt all the dwelling with
 And death in your absence to us was dight, ✿ But your presence bringeth
    us life and light.

When she had made an end of her verse, Al-Abbas bade the third damsel
(who came from Samarkand of Ajam-land and whose name was Rummánah) sing,
and she answered, “To hear is to obey.” Then she took the zither and
crying out from the midst of her head, recited and sang these

 My watering mouth declares thy myrtle-cheek my food to be ✿ And cull my
    lips thy side-face rose, who lily art to me!

 And twixt the dune and down there shows the fairest flower that blooms ✿
    Whose fruitage is granado’s fruit with all granado’s blee.[435]
 Forget my lids of eyne their sleep for magic eyes of him; ✿ Naught since
    he fared but drowsy charms and languorous air I see.[436]
 He shot me down with shaft of glance from bow of eyebrow sped: ✿ What
    Chamberlain[437] betwixt his eyes garred all my pleasure flee?
 Haply shall heart of me seduce his heart by weakness’ force ✿ E’en as
    his own seductive grace garred me love-ailment dree.
 For an by him forgotten be our pact and covenant ✿ I have a King who
    never will forget my memory.
 His sides bemock the bending charms of waving Tamarisk,[438] ✿ And in
    his beauty-pride he walks as drunk with coquetry:
 His feet and legs be feather-light whene’er he deigns to run ✿ And say,
    did any ride the wind except ’twere Solomon?[439]

Therewith Al-Abbas smiled and her verses pleased him. Then he bade the
fourth damsel come forward and sing, (now she was from the
Sundown-land[440] and her name was Balakhshá); so she came forward and
taking the lute and the zither, tuned the strings and smote them in many
modes; then she returned to the first and improvising, sang these

 When to the séance all for pleasure hied ✿ Thy lamping eyes illumined
    its every side;
 While playing round us o’er the wine-full bowl ✿ Those necklace-pearls
    old wine with pleasure plied,[441]
 Till wits the wisest drunken by her grace ✿ Betrayed for joyance secrets
    sages hide;
 And, seen the cup, we bade it circle round ✿ While sun and moon spread
    radiance side and wide.
 We raised for lover veil of love perforce ✿ And came glad tidings which
    new joys applied:
 Loud sang the camel-guide; won was our wish ✿ Nor was the secret by the
    spy espied:
 And, when my days where blest by union-bliss ✿ And to all-parting Time
    was aid denied,
 Each ’bode with other, clear of meddling spy ✿ Nor feared we hate of foe
    or neighbour-pride.
 The sky was bright, friends came and severance fared ✿ And Love-in-union
    rained boons multiplied:
 Saying, “Fulfil fair union, all are gone ✿ Rivals and fears lest shaming
    foe deride:”
 Friends now conjoinèd are: wrong passed away ✿ And meeting-cup goes
    round and joys abide:
 On you be Allah’s Peace with every boon ✿ Till end the dooming years and
    time and tide.

When Balakhshá had ended her verse, all present were moved to delight
and Al-Abbas said to her, “Brava, O damsel!” Then he bade the fifth
damsel come forward and sing (now she was from the land of Syria and her
name was Rayhánah; she was passing of voice and when she appeared in an
assembly, all eyes were fixed upon her), so she came forward and taking
the viol (for she was used to play upon all instruments) recited and
sang these couplets:—

 Your me-wards coming I hail to sight; ✿ Your look is a joy driving woe
    from sprite:
 With you love is blest, pure and white of soul; ✿ Life’s sweet and my
    planet grows green and bright:

 By Allah, you-wards my pine ne’er ceased ✿ And your like is rare and
    right worthy hight.
 Ask my eyes an e’er since the day ye went ✿ They tasted sleep, looked on
 My heart by the parting-day was broke ✿ And my wasted body betrays my
 Could my blamers see in what grief am I, ✿ They had wept in wonder my
    loss, my blight!
 They had joined me in shedding torrential tears ✿ And like me a-morn had
    shown thin and slight:
 How long for your love shall your lover bear ✿ This weight o’er much for
    the hill’s strong height?
 By Allah what then for your sake was doomed ✿ To my heart, a heart by
    its woes turned white!
 An showed I the fires that aye flare in me, ✿ They had ’flamed Eastern
    world and earth’s Western site.
 But after this is my love fulfilled ✿ With joy and gladness and mere
 And the Lord who scattered hath brought us back ✿ For who doeth good
    shall of good ne’er lack.

When King Al-Aziz heard the damsel’s song, both words and verses pleased
him and he said to Al-Abbas, “O my son, verily long versifying hath
tired these damsels, and indeed they make us yearn after the houses and
the homesteads with the beauty of their songs. These five have adorned
our meeting with the charm of their melodies and have done well in that
which they have said before those who are present; so we counsel thee to
free them for the love of Allah Almighty.” Quoth Al-Abbas, “There is no
command but thy command;” and he enfranchised the ten damsels in the
assembly; whereupon they kissed the hands of the King and his son and
prostrated themselves in thanksgiving to the Lord of All-might. Then
they put off that which was upon them of ornaments and laying aside the
lutes and other instruments of music, kept to their houses like modest
women and veiled, and fared not forth.[442] As for King Al-Aziz, he
lived after this seven years and was removed to the mercy of Almighty
Allah; when his son Al-Abbas bore him forth to burial as beseemeth kings
and let make for him perfections and professional recitations of the
Koran. He kept up the mourning for his father during four successive
weeks, and when a full-told month had elapsed he sat down on the throne
of the kingship and judged and did justice and distributed silver and
gold. He also loosed all who were in the jails and abolished grievances
and customs dues and righted the oppressed of the oppressor; so the
lieges prayed for him and loved him and invoked on him endurance of
glory and continuance of kingship and length of life and eternity of
prosperity and happiness. The troops submitted to him, and the hosts
from all parts of the kingdom, and there came to him presents from each
and every land: the kings obeyed him and many were his warriors and his
grandees, and his subjects lived with him the most easeful of lives and
the most delightsome. Meanwhile, he ceased not, he and his beloved,
Queen Mariyah, in the most enjoyable of life and the pleasantest, and he
was vouchsafed by her children; and indeed there befel friendship and
affection between them and the longer their companionship was prolonged,
the more their love waxed, so that they became unable to endure each
from other a single hour, save the time of his going forth to the Divan,
when he would return to her in the liveliest that might be of longing.
And after this fashion they abode in all solace of life and satisfaction
till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of
societies. So extolled be the Eternal whose sway endureth for ever and
aye, who never unheedeth neither dieth nor sleepeth! This is all that
hath come down to us of their tale, and so the Peace!

                      SHAHRAZAD AND SHAHRYAR.[443]

King Shahryar marvelled at this history[444] and said, “By Allah,
verily, injustice slayeth its folk!”[445] And he was edified by that
wherewith Shahrazad bespoke him and sought help of Allah the Most High.
Then said he to her, “Tell me another of thy tales, O Shahrazad; supply
me with a pleasant story and this shall be the completion of the
story-telling.” Shahrazad replied, “With love and gladness! It hath
reached me, O auspicious King, that a man once declared to his mates, I
will set forth to you a means of security against annoy. A friend of
mine once related to me and said:—We attained to security against annoy,
and the origin of it was other than this; that is, it was the


I overtravelled whilome lands and climes and towns and visited the
cities of high renown and traversed the ways of dangers and hardships.
Towards the last of my life, I entered a city of the cities of
China,[448] wherein was a king of the Chosroës and the Tobbas[449] and
the Cæsars.[450] Now that city had been peopled with its inhabitants by
means of justice and equity; but its then king was a tyrant dire who
despoiled lives and souls at his desire; in fine, there was no warming
oneself at his fire,[451] for that indeed he oppressed the believing
band and wasted the land. Now he had a younger brother, who was king in
Samarkand of the Persians, and the two kings sojourned a while of time,
each in his own city and stead, till they yearned unto each other and
the elder king despatched his Wazir to fetch his younger brother. When
the Minister came to the King of Samarkand and acquainted him with his
errand, he submitted himself to the bidding of his brother and answered,
“To hear is to obey.” Then he equipped himself and made ready for
wayfare and brought forth his tents and pavilions. A while after
midnight, he went in to his wife, that he might farewell her, and found
with her a strange man, lying by her in one bed. So he slew them both
and dragging them out by the feet, cast them away and set forth on his
march. When he came to his brother’s court, the elder king rejoiced in
him with joy exceeding and lodged him in the pavilion of hospitality
beside his own palace. Now this pavilion overlooked a flower-garden
belonging to the elder brother and there the younger abode with him some
days. Then he called to mind that which his wife had done with him and
remembered her slaughter and bethought him how he was a king, yet was
not exempt from the shifts of Time; and this affected him with exceeding
affect, so that it drave him to abstain from meat and drink, or, if he
ate anything, it profited him naught. When his brother saw him on such
wise, he deemed that this had betided him by reason of severance from
his folk and family, and said to him, “Come, let us fare forth
a-coursing and a-hunting.” But he refused to go with him; so the elder
brother went to the chase, whilst the younger abode in the pavilion
aforesaid. Now, as he was diverting himself by looking out upon the
flower-garden from the latticed window of the palace, behold, he saw his
brother’s wife and with her ten black slaves and ten slave-girls. Each
slave laid hold of a damsel and another slave came forth and did the
like with the queen; and when they had their wills one of other they all
returned whence they came. Hereat there betided the King of Samarkand
exceeding surprise and solace and he was made whole of his malady,
little by little. After a few days, his brother returned, and finding
him cured of his complaint, said to him, “Tell me, O my brother, what
was the cause of thy sickness and thy pallor, and what is the reason of
the return of health to thee and of rosiness to thy face after this?” So
he acquainted him with the whole case and this was grievous to him; but
they hid their affair and agreed to leave the kingship and fare forth
a-pilgrimaging and adventuring at hap-hazard, for they deemed that there
had befallen none the like of what had befallen them. Accordingly, they
went forth and as they journeyed, they saw by the way a woman imprisoned
in seven chests, whereon were five padlocks, and sunken deep in the
midst of the salt sea, under the guardianship of an Ifrit; yet for all
this that woman issued out of the ocean and opened those padlocks and
coming forth of those chests, did what she would with the two brothers,
after she had practised upon the Ifrit. When the two kings saw that
woman’s fashion and how she circumvented the Ifrit, who had lodged her
in the abyss of the main, they turned back to their kingdoms and the
younger betook himself to Samarkand, whilst the elder returned to China
and contrived for himself a custom in the slaughter of damsels, which
was, his Wazir used to bring him every night a girl, with whom he lay
that night, and when he arose in the morning, he gave her to the
Minister and bade him do her die. After this fashion he abode a long
time, whilst the folk murmured and God’s creatures were destroyed and
the commons cried out by reason of that grievous affair into which they
were fallen and feared the wrath of Allah Almighty, dreading lest He
destroy them by means of this. Still the king persisted in that practice
and in his blameworthy intent of the killing of damsels and the
despoilment of maidens concealed by veils,[452] wherefore the girls
sought succour of the Lord of All-might, and complained to Him of the
tyranny of the king and of his oppression. Now the king’s Wazir had two
daughters, sisters german, the elder of whom had read the books and made
herself mistress of the sciences and studied the writings of the sages
and the stories of the cup-companions,[453] and she was a maiden of
abundant lore and knowledge galore and wit than which naught can be
more. She heard that which the folk suffered from that king in his
misusage of their children; whereupon ruth for them gat hold of her and
jealousy and she besought Allah Almighty that He would bring the king to
renounce that his new and accursed custom,[454] and the Lord answered
her prayer. Then she consulted her younger sister and said to her, “I
mean to devise a device for freeing the children of folk; to wit, I will
go up to the king and offer myself to marry him, and when I come to his
presence, I will send to fetch thee. When thou comest in to me and the
king hath had his carnal will of me, do thou say to me:—O my sister, let
me hear a story of thy goodly stories, wherewith we may beguile the
waking hours of our night, till the dawn, when we take leave each of
other; and let the king hear it likewise!” The other replied “’Tis well;
forsure this contrivance will deter the king from this innovation he
practiseth and thou shalt be requited with favour exceeding and
recompense abounding in the world to come, for that indeed thou perilest
thy life and wilt either perish or win to thy wish.” So she did this and
Fortune favoured her and the Divine direction was vouchsafed to her and
she discovered her design to her sire, the Wazir, who thereupon forbade
her, fearing her slaughter. However, she repeated her words to him a
second time and a third, but he consented not. Then he cited to her a
parable, which should deter her, and she cited to him a parable of
import contrary to his, and the debate was prolonged between them and
the adducing of instances, till her father saw that he was powerless to
turn her from her purpose and she said to him, “There is no help but
that I marry the King, so haply I may be a sacrifice for the children of
the Moslems: either I shall turn him from this his heresy or I shall
die.” When the Minister despaired of dissuading her, he went up to the
king and acquainted him with the case, saying, “I have a maiden daughter
and she desireth to give herself in free gift to the King.” Quoth the
King, “How can thy soul consent to this, seeing that thou knowest I
abide but a single night with a girl and when I arise on the morrow, I
do her dead, and ’tis thou who slayest her, and again and again thou
hast done this?” Quoth the Wazir, “Know, O king, that I have set forth
all this to her, yet consented she not to aught, but needs must she have
thy company and she chooseth to come to thee and present herself before
thee, albeit I have cited to her the sayings of the sages; but she hath
answered me with more than that which I said to her and contrariwise.”
Then quoth the king, “Suffer her visit me this night and to-morrow
morning come thou and take her and kill her; and by Allah, an thou slay
her not, I will slay thee and her also!” The Minister obeyed the king’s
bidding and going out from the presence returned home. When it was
night, he took his elder daughter and carried her up to the king; and
when she came before him she wept;[455] whereupon he asked her, “What
causeth thee weep? indeed, ’twas thou who willedst this.” She answered,
“I weep not but of longing after my little sister; for that, since we
grew up, I and she, I have never been parted from her till this day; so,
an it please the King to send for her, that I may look on her, and
listen to her speech and take my fill of her till the morning, this were
a boon and an act of kindness of the King.” So he bade fetch the damsel
and she came. Then there befel that which befel of his union with the
elder sister,[456] and when he went up to his couch, that he might
sleep, the younger sister said to her elder, “Allah, upon thee, O my
sister, an thou be not asleep, tell us a tale of thy goodly tales,
wherewith we may beguile the watches of our night, ere day dawn and
parting.” Said she, “With love and gladness;” and fell to relating to
her, whilst the king listened. Her story was goodly and delectable, and
whilst she was in the midst of telling it, the dawn brake. Now the
king’s heart clave to the hearing of the rest of the story; so he
respited her till the morrow; and, when it was the next night, she told
him a tale concerning the marvels of the lands and the wonders of
Allah’s creatures which was yet stranger and rarer than the first. In
the midst of the recital, appeared the day and she was silent from the
permitted say. So he let her live till the following night, that he
might hear the end of the history and after that slay her. On this wise
it fortuned with her; but as regards the people of the city, they
rejoiced and were glad and blessed the Wazir’s daughters, marvelling for
that three days had passed and that the king had not put his bride to
death and exulting in that he had returned to the ways of righteousness
and would never again burthen himself with blood-guilt against any of
the maidens of the city. Then, on the fourth night, she related to him a
still more extraordinary adventure, and on the fifth night she told him
anecdotes of Kings and Wazirs and Notables. Brief, she ceased not to
entertain him many days and nights, while the king still said to
himself, “Whenas I shall have heard the end of the tale, I will do her
die,” and the people redoubled their marvel and admiration. Also, the
folk of the circuits and cities heard of this thing, to wit, that the
king had turned from his custom and from that which he had imposed upon
himself and had renounced his heresy, wherefor they rejoiced and the
lieges returned to the capital and took up their abode therein, after
they had departed thence; and they were constant in prayer to Allah
Almighty that He would stablish the king in his present stead. “And
this,” said Shahrazad, “is the end of that which my friend related to
me.” Quoth Shahryar,[457] “O Shahrazad, finish for us the tale thy
friend told thee, inasmuch as it resembleth the story of a King whom I
knew; but fain would I hear that which betided the people of this city
and what they said of the affair of the King, so I may return from the
case wherein I was.” She replied, “With love and gladness!” Know, O
auspicious king and lord of right rede and praiseworthy meed and prowest
of deed, that, when the folk heard how the king had put away from him
his malpractice and returned from his unrighteous wont, they rejoiced in
this with joy exceeding and offered up prayers for him. Then they talked
one with other of the cause of the slaughter of the maidens, and the
wise said, “Women are not all alike, nor are the fingers of the hand
alike.” Now when King Shahryar heard this story he came to himself and
awaking from his drunkenness,[458] said, “By Allah, this story is my
story and this case is my case, for that indeed I was in reprobation and
danger of judgment till thou turnedst me back from this into the right
way, extolled be the Causer of causes and the Liberator of necks!”
presently adding, “Indeed, O Shahrazad, thou hast awakened me to many
things and hast aroused me from mine ignorance of the right.” Then said
she to him, “O chief of the kings, the wise say:—The kingship is a
building, whereof the troops are the base, and when the foundation is
strong, the building endureth; wherefore it behoveth the king to
strengthen the foundation, for that they say, Whenas the base is weak,
the building falleth. In like fashion it besitteth the king to care for
his troops and do justice among his lieges, even as the owner of the
garden careth for his trees and cutteth away the weeds that have no
profit in them; and so it befitteth the king to look into the affairs of
his Ryots and fend off oppression from them. As for thee, O king, it
behoveth thee that thy Wazir be virtuous and experienced in the
requirements of the people and the peasantry; and indeed Allah the Most
High hath named his name[459] in the history of Musà (on whom be the
Peace!) when he saith:—And make me a Wazir of my people, Aaron. Now
could a Wazir have been dispensed withal, Moses son of Imrán had been
worthier than any to do without a Minister. As for the Wazir, the Sultan
discovereth unto him his affairs, private and public; and know, O king,
that the likeness of thee with the people is that of the leach with the
sick man; and the essential condition of the Minister is that he be
soothfast in his sayings, reliable in all his relations, rich in ruth
for the folk and in tenderness of transacting with them. Verily, it is
said, O king, that good troops be like the druggist; if his perfumes
reach thee not, thou still smellest the fragrance of them; and bad
entourage be like the blacksmith; if his sparks burn thee not, thou
smellest his evil smell. So it befitteth thee take to thyself a virtuous
Wazir, a veracious counsellor, even as thou takest unto thee a wife
displayed before thy face, because thou needest the man’s righteousness
for thine own right directing, seeing that, if thou do righteously, the
commons will do right, and if thou do wrongously, they also will do
wrong.” When the King heard this, drowsiness overcame him and he slept
and presently awaking, called for the candles; so they were lighted and
he sat down on his couch and seating Shahrazad by him, smiled in her
face. She kissed the ground before him and said, “O king of the age and
lord of the time and the years, extolled be the Forgiving, the
Bountiful, who hath sent me to thee, of His grace and good favour, so I
have incited thee to longing after Paradise; for verily this which thou
wast wont do was never done of any of the kings before thee. Then laud
be to the Lord who hath directed thee into the right way, and who from
the paths of frowardness hath diverted thee! As for women, Allah
Almighty maketh mention of them also when He saith in His Holy
Book:—“Truly, the men who resign themselves to Allah[460] and the women
who resign themselves, and the true-believing men and the true-believing
women and the devout men and the devout women and truthful men and
truthful women, and long-suffering men and long-suffering women, and the
humble men and the humble women, and charitable men and charitable
women, and the men who fast and the women who fast, and men who guard
their privities and women who guard their privities, and men who are
constantly mindful of Allah and women who are constantly mindful, for
them Allah hath prepared forgiveness and a rich reward.”[461] As for
that which hath befallen thee, verily, it hath befallen many kings
before thee and their women have falsed them, for all they were more
majestical of puissance than thou, and mightier of kingship and had
troops more manifold. If I would, I could relate unto thee, O king,
concerning the wiles of women, that whereof I should not make an end all
my life long; and indeed, in all these my nights that I have passed
before thee, I have told thee many tales of the wheedling of women and
of their craft; but soothly the things abound on me;[462] so, an thou
please, O king, I will relate to thee somewhat of that which befel olden
kings of perfidy from their women and of the calamities which overtook
them by reason of these deceivers.” Asked the king, “How so? Tell on;”
and she answered, “Hearkening and obedience. It hath been told me, O
king, that a man once related to a company the following tale of

                  THE CONCUBINE AND THE CALIPH.”[463]

One day of the days, as I stood at the door of my house, and the heat
was excessive, behold, I saw a fair woman approaching, and with her a
slave-girl carrying a parcel. They gave not over going till they came
up to me, when the woman stopped and asked me, “Hast thou a draught of
water?” Answered I, “Yes, enter the vestibule, O my lady, so thou
mayst drink.” Accordingly she came in and I went up into the house and
fetched two gugglets of earthenware, smoked with musk[464] and full of
cold water. She took one of them and discovered her face, the better
to drink; whereupon I saw that she was as the rising moon or the
resplendent sun and said to her, “O my lady, wilt thou not come up
into the house, so thou mayst rest thyself till the air cool and
afterwards fare thee to thine own place?” Quoth she, “Is there none
with thee?” and quoth I, “Indeed I am a bachelor and have none
belonging to me, nor is there a wight in the site;”[465] whereupon she
said, “An thou be a stranger, thou art he in quest of whom I was going
about.” So she went up into the house and doffed her walking dress and
I found her as she were the full moon. I brought her what I had by me
of food and drink and said to her, “O my lady, excuse me: this is all
that is ready;” and said she, “This is right good[466] and indeed ’tis
what I sought.” Then she ate and gave the slave-girl that which was
left; after which I brought her a casting-bottle of musked rose-water,
and she washed her hands and abode with me till the season of
mid-afternoon prayer, when she brought out of the parcel she had with
her a shirt and trousers and an upper garment[467] and a gold-worked
kerchief and gave them to me; saying, “Know that I am one of the
concubines of the Caliph, and we be forty concubines, each of whom
hath a cicisbeo who cometh to her as often as she would have him; and
none is without a lover save myself, wherefore I came forth this day
to get me a gallant and now I have found thee. Thou must know that the
Caliph lieth each night with one of us, whilst the other
nine-and-thirty concubines take their ease with the nine-and-thirty
masculines, and I would have thee company with me on such a day, when
do thou come up to the palace of the Caliph and sit awaiting me in
such a place, till a little eunuch come out to thee and say to thee a
certain watch-word which is, Art thou Sandal? Answer Yes, and wend
thee with him.” Then she took leave of me and I of her, after I had
strained her to my bosom and thrown my arms round her neck and we had
exchanged kisses awhile. So she fared forth and I abode patiently
expecting the appointed day, till it came, when I arose and went out,
intending for the trysting-place; but a friend of mine met me by the
way and made me go home with him. I accompanied him and when I came up
into his sitting-chamber he locked the door on me and walked out to
fetch what we might eat and drink. He was absent until midday, then
till the hour of mid-afternoon prayer, whereat I was chagrined with
sore concern. Then he was missing till sundown, and I was like to die
of vexation and impatience; and indeed he returned not and I passed my
night on wake, nigh upon death, for the door was locked on me, and my
soul was like to depart my body on account of the assignation. At
daybreak, my friend returned and opening the door, came in, bringing
with him meat-pudding[468] and fritters and bees’ honey, and said to
me, “By Allah, thou must needs excuse me, for that I was with a
company and they locked the door on me and have let me go but this
very moment.” I returned him no reply; however, he set before me that
which was with him and I ate a single mouthful and went out running at
speed so haply I might overtake the rendezvous which had escaped me.
When I came to the palace, I saw over against it eight-and-thirty
gibbets set up, whereon were eight-and-thirty men crucified, and under
them eight-and-thirty[469] concubines as they were moons. So I asked
the cause of the crucifixion of the men and concerning the women in
question, and it was said unto me, “The men thou seest crucified the
Caliph found with yonder damsels, who be his bed-fellows.” When I
heard this, I prostrated myself in thanksgiving to Allah and said,
“The Almighty requite thee with all good, O my friend!” For had he not
invited me and locked me up in his house that night, I had been
crucified with these men, wherefore Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord!
“On this wise,” (continued Shahrazad), “none is safe from the
calamities of the world and the vicissitudes of Time, and in proof of
this, I will relate unto thee yet another story still rarer and
stranger than this. Know, O king, that one said to me: A friend of
mine, a merchant, told me the following tale of

                   THE CONCUBINE OF AL-MAAMUN.”[470]

As I sat one day in my shop, there came up to me a fair woman, as she
were the moon at its rising, and with her a hand-maid. Now I was a
handsome man in my time; so that lady sat down on my shop[471] and
buying stuffs of me, paid the price and went her ways. I asked the girl
anent her and she answered, “I know not her name.” Quoth I, “Where is
her abode?” Quoth she, “In heaven;” and I, “She is presently on the
earth; so when doth she ascend to heaven and where is the ladder by
which she goeth up?”[472] The girl retorted, “She hath her lodging in a
palace between two rivers,[473] that is, in the palace of Al-Maamún
al-Hákim bi-Amri ’llah.”[474] Then said I, “I am a dead man, without a
doubt;” but she replied, “Have patience, for needs must she return to
thee and buy other stuffs of thee.” I asked, “And how cometh it that the
Commander of the Faithful trusteth her to go out?” and she answered, “He
loveth her with exceeding love and is wrapped up in her and crosseth her
not.” Then the slave-girl went away, running after her mistress;
whereupon I left the shop and followed them, so I might see her
abiding-place. I kept them in view all the way, till she disappeared
from mine eyes, when I returned to my place, with heart a-fire. Some
days after, she came to me again and bought stuffs of me: I refused to
take the price and she cried, “We have no need of thy goods.” Quoth I,
“O my lady, accept them from me as a gift;” but quoth she, “Wait till I
try thee and make proof of thee.” Then she brought out of her pocket a
purse and gave me therefrom a thousand dinars, saying, “Trade with this
till I return to thee.” So I took the purse and she went away and
returned not till six months had passed. Meanwhile, I traded with the
money and sold and bought and made other thousand dinars profit on it.
At last she came to me again and I said to her, “Here is thy money and I
have gained with it other thousand ducats;” and she, “Let it lie by thee
and take these other thousand dinars. As soon as I have departed from
thee, go thou to Al-Rauzah, the Garden-holm, and build there a goodly
pavilion, and when the edifice is accomplished, give me to know
thereof.” So saying, she left me and went away. As soon as she was gone,
I betook myself to Al-Rauzah and fell to building the pavilion, and when
it was finished, I furnished it with the finest of furniture and sent to
tell her that I had made an end of the edifice; whereupon she sent back
to me, saying, “Let him meet me to-morrow about daybreak at the Zuwaylah
gate and bring with him a strong ass.” I did as she bade and, betaking
myself to the Zuwaylah gate, at the appointed time, found there a young
man on horseback, awaiting her, even as I awaited her. As we stood,
behold, up she came, and with her a slave-girl. When she saw that young
man, she asked him, “Art thou here?” and he answered, “Yes, O my lady.”
Quoth she, “To-day I am invited by this man: wilt thou wend with us?”
and quoth he, “Yes.” Then said she, “Thou hast brought me hither against
my will and parforce. Wilt thou go with us in any case?”[475] He cried,
“Yes, yes,” and we fared on, all three, till we came to Al-Rauzah and
entered the pavilion. The dame diverted herself awhile with viewing its
ordinance and furniture, after which she doffed her walking-dress and
sat down with the young man in the goodliest and chiefest place. Then I
fared forth and brought them what they should eat at the first of the
day; presently I again went out and fetched them what they should eat at
the last of the day and brought for the twain wine and dessert and
fruits and flowers. After this fashion I abode in their service,
standing on my feet, and she said not unto me, “Sit,” nor “Take, eat,”
nor “Take, drink,” while she and the young man sat toying and laughing,
and he fell to kissing her and pinching her and hopping over the
ground[476] and laughing. They remained thus awhile and presently she
said, “Hitherto we have not become drunken; let me pour out.” So she
took the cup, and crowning it, gave him to drink and plied him with
wine, till he lost his wits, when she took him up and carried him into a
closet. Then she came out, with the head of that youth in her hand,
while I stood silent, fixing not mine eyes on her eyes neither
questioning her of the case; and she asked me, “What be this?” “I wot
not,” answered I; and she said, “Take it and throw it into the river.” I
accepted her commandment and she arose and stripping herself of her
clothes, took a knife and cut the dead man’s body in pieces, which she
laid in three baskets, and said to me, “Throw them into the river.” I
did her bidding and when I returned, she said to me, “Sit, so I may
relate to thee yonder fellow’s case, lest thou be affrighted at what
accident hath befallen him. Thou must know that I am the Caliph’s
favourite concubine, nor is there any higher in honour with him than I;
and I am allowed six nights in each month, wherein I go down into the
city and tarry with my whilome mistress who reared me; and when I go
down thus, I dispose of myself as I will. Now this young man was the son
of certain neighbours of my mistress, when I was a virgin girl. One day,
my mistress was sitting with the chief officers of the palace and I was
alone in the house, and as the night came on, I went up to the
terrace-roof in order to sleep there, but ere I was ware, this youth
came up from the street and falling upon me knelt on my breast. He was
armed with a dagger and I could not get free of him till he had taken my
maidenhead by force; and this sufficed him not, but he must needs
disgrace me with all the folk for, as often as I came down from the
palace, he would stand in wait for me by the way and futtered me against
my will and follow me whithersoever I went. This, then, is my story, and
as for thee, thou pleasest me and thy patience pleaseth me and thy good
faith and loyal service, and there abideth with me none dearer than
thou.” Then I lay with her that night and there befel what befel between
us till the morning, when she gave me abundant wealth and took to
meeting me at the pavilion six days in every month. After this wise we
passed a whole year, at the end of which she cut herself off from me a
month’s space, wherefore fire raged in my heart on her account. When it
was the next month, behold, a little eunuch presented himself to me and
said, “I am a messenger to thee from Such-an-one, who giveth thee to
know that the Commander of the Faithful hath ordered her to be drowned,
her and those who are with her, six-and-twenty slave-girls, on such a
day at Dayr al-Tin,[477] for that they have confessed of lewdness, one
against other and she sayeth to thee, Look how thou mayst do with me and
how thou mayst contrive to deliver me, even an thou gather together all
my money and spend it upon me, for that this be the time of
manhood.”[478] Quoth I, “I know not this woman; belike it is other than
I to whom this message is sent; so beware, O Eunuch, lest thou cast me
into a cleft.” Quoth he, “Behold, I have told thee that I had to say,”
and went away, leaving me in sore concern on her account. Now when the
appointed day came, I arose and changing my clothes and favour, donned
sailor’s apparel; then I took with me a purse full of gold and buying a
right good breakfast, accosted a boatman at Dayr al-Tin and sat down and
ate with him; after which I asked him, “Wilt thou hire me thy boat?”
Answered he, “The Commander of the Faithful hath commanded me to be
here;” and he told me the tale of the concubines and how the Caliph
purposed to drown them that day. When I heard this from him, I brought
out to him ten gold pieces and discovered to him my case, whereupon he
said to me, “O my brother, get thee empty gourds, and when thy mistress
cometh, give me to know of her and I will contrive the trick.” So I
kissed his hand and thanked him and, as I was walking about, waiting, up
came the guards and eunuchs escorting the women, who were weeping and
shrieking and farewelling one another. The Castratos cried out to us,
whereupon we came with the boat, and they said to the sailor, “Who be
this?” Said he, “This be my mate whom I have brought to help me, so one
of us may keep the boat, whilst another doth your service.” Then they
brought out to us the women, one by one, saying, “Throw them in by the
Island;” and we replied, “’Tis well.” Now each of them was shackled and
they had made fast about her neck a jar of sand. We did as the neutrals
bade us and ceased not to take the women, one after other, and cast them
in, till they gave us my mistress and I winked to my mate. So we took
her and carried her out into mid-stream, where I threw to her the empty
gourds[479] and said to her, “Wait for me at the mouth of the
Canal.”[480] Then we cast her in alongside the boat, after we had loosed
the jar of sand from her legs[481] and done off her shackles, and
returned. Now there remained one woman after her: so we took her and
drowned her and the eunuchs went away, whilst we dropped down the river
with the craft till we came to the mouth of Khalij, where I saw my
mistress awaiting me. We haled her up into the canoe and returned to our
pavilion on Al-Rauzah. Then I rewarded the sailor and he took his boat
and went away; whereupon quoth she to me, “Thou art indeed the friend
ever faithful found for the shifts of Fortune.”[482] And I sojourned
with her some days; but the shock wrought upon her so that she sickened
and fell to wasting away and redoubled in languor and weakness till she
died. I mourned for her with exceeding mourning and buried her; after
which I removed all that was in the pavilion to my own house and
abandoned the building. Now she had brought to that pavilion a little
coffer of copper and laid it in a place whereof I knew not; so, when the
Inspector of Inheritances[483] came, he rummaged the house and found the
coffer, with the key in the lock. Presently he opened it and seeing it
full of jewels and jacinths and earrings and seal-rings and precious
stones (and ’twas a matter such as is not found save with kings and
sultans), took it, and me with it, and he and his men ceased not to put
me to the question with beating and torment till I confessed to them the
whole affair, from beginning to end. Thereupon they carried me to the
Caliph and I told him all that had passed between me and her; and he
said to me, “O man, depart this city, for I release thee on account of
thy courage and because of thy constancy in keeping thy secret and thy
daring in exposing thyself to death.” So I arose forthwith and fared
from his city; and this is what befel me.



_Here end my labours with the Supplemental Tales of the Breslau text;
and now I take the opportunity of introducing_ MR. CLOUSTON _to my

                                                           R. F. BURTON.


                            VOLS. I. AND II.

                           BY W. A. CLOUSTON.

                         TRANSFORMATIONS,” ETC.

               _THE SLEEPER AND THE WAKER.—Vol. I. p. 1._

Few of the stories in the “Arabian Nights” which charmed our marvelling
boyhood were greater favourites than this one, under the title of “Abou
Hassan; or, the Sleeper Awakened.” What recked we in those days whence
it was derived?—the _story_—the story was the thing! As Sir R. F. Burton
observes in his first note, this is “the only one of the eleven added by
Galland, whose original has been discovered in Arabic;”[484] and it is
probable that Galland heard it recited in a coffee-house during his
residence in Constantinople. The plot of the Introduction to
Shakspeare’s comedy of “The Taming of the Shrew” is similar to the
adventure of Abú al-Hasan the Wag, and is generally believed to have
been adapted from a story entitled “The Waking Man’s Fortune” in
Edward’s collection of comic tales, 1570, which were retold somewhat
differently in Goulart’s “Admirable and Memorable Histories,” 1607; both
versions are reprinted in Mr. Hazlitt’s “Shakspeare Library,” vol. iv.,
part 1, pp. 403–414. In Percy’s “Reliques of Ancient English Poetry” we
find the adventure told in a ballad entitled “The Frolicksome Duke; or,
the Tinker’s Good Fortune,” from the Pepys collection: “whether it may
be thought to have suggested the hint to Shakspeare or is not rather of
later date,” says Percy, “the reader must determine”:

   Now as fame does report, a young duke keeps a court,
   One that pleases his fancy with frolicksome sport:
   But amongst all the rest, here is one, I protest,
   Which will make you to smile when you hear the true jest:
   A poor tinker he found lying drunk on the ground,
   As secure in a sleep as if laid in a swownd.

   The duke said to his men, William, Richard, and Ben,
   Take him home to my palace, we’ll sport with him then.
   O’er a horse he was laid, and with care soon convey’d
   To the palace, altho’ he was poorly arrai’d;
   Then they stript off his cloaths, both his shirt, shoes, and hose,
   And they put him in bed for to take his repose.

   Having pull’d off his shirt, which was all over durt,
   They did give him clean holland, this was no great hurt:
   On a bed of soft down, like a lord of renown,
   They did lay him to sleep the drink out of his crown.
   In the morning when day, then admiring[485] he lay,
   For to see the rich chamber both gaudy and gay.

   Now he lay something late, in his rich bed of state,
   Till at last knights and squires they on him did wait;
   And the chamberling bare, then did likewise declare,
   He desired to know what apparel he’d ware:
   The poor tinker amaz’d, on the gentleman gaz’d,
   And admired how he to this honour was rais’d.

   Tho’ he seem’d something mute, yet he chose a rich suit,
   Which he straitways put on without longer dispute;
   With a star on his side, which the tinker offt ey’d,
   And it seem’d for to swell him no little with pride;
   For he said to himself, Where is Joan my sweet wife?
   Sure she never did see me so fine in her life.

   From a convenient place, the right duke his good grace
   Did observe his behaviour in every case.
   To a garden of state, on the tinker they wait,
   Trumpets sounding before him: thought he this is great:
   Where an hour or two, pleasant walks he did view,
   With commanders and squires in scarlet and blew.

   A fine dinner was drest, both for him and his guests,
   He was placed at the table above all the rest,
   In a rich chair, or bed, lin’d with fine crimson red,
   With a rich golden canopy over his head:
   As he sat at his meat, the musick play’d sweet,
   With the choicest of singing his joys to compleat.

   While the tinker did dine, he had plenty of wine.
   Rich canary with sherry and tent superfine,
   Like a right honest soul, faith, he took off his bowl,
   Till at last he began for to tumble and roul
   From his chair to the floor, where he sleeping did snore,
   Being seven times drunker than ever before.

   Then the duke did ordain, they should strip him amain,
   And restore him his old leather garments again:
   ’Twas a point next the worst, yet perform it they must,
   And they carry’d him strait, where they found him at first;
   Then he slept all the night, as indeed well he might,
   But when he did waken, his joys took their flight.

   For his glory to him so pleasant did seem,
   That he thought it to be but a meer golden dream;
   Till at length he was brought to the duke, where he sought
   For a pardon as fearing he had set him at nought;
   But his highness he said, Thou’rt a jolly bold blade,
   Such a frolick before I think never was plaid.

   Then his highness bespoke him a new suit and cloak,
   Which he gave for the sake of this frolicksome joak;
   Nay, and five hundred pound, with ten acres of ground,
   Thou shalt never, said he, range the counteries round,
   Crying old brass to mend, for I’ll be thy good friend,
   Nay, and Joan thy sweet wife shall my duchess attend.

   Then the tinker reply’d, What! must Joan my sweet bride
   Be a lady in chariots of pleasure to ride?
   Must we have gold and land ev’ry day at command?
   Then I shall be a squire I well understand:
   Well I thank your good grace, and your love I embrace,
   I was never before in so happy a case.

The same story is also cited in the “Anatomy of Melancholy,” part 2,
sec. 2, memb. 4, from Ludovicus Vives in Epist.[486] and Pont. Heuter in
Rerum Burgund., as follows:

“It is reported of Philippus Bonus, that good Duke of Burgundy, that the
said duke, at the marriage of Eleonora, sister to the King of Portugal,
at Bruges in Flanders, which was solemnized in the deep of winter, when
as by reason of the unseasonable (!) weather he could neither hawk nor
hunt, and was now tyred with cards, dice, &c., and such other domestical
sports, or to see ladies dance, with some of his courtiers, he would in
the evening walk disguised all about the town. It so fortuned as he was
walking late one night, he found a country fellow dead drunk, snorting
on a bulk; he caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and there
stripping him of his old clothes, and attiring him after the court
fashion, when he waked, he and they were all ready to attend upon his
excellency, persuading him that he was some great duke. The poor fellow,
admiring how he came there, was served in state all the day long; after
supper he saw them dance, heard musick, and the rest of those court-like
pleasures; but late at night, when he was well tipled, and again fast
asleep they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where
they first found him. Now the fellow had not made them so good sport the
day before, as he did when he returned to himself; all the jest was to
see how he looked upon it. In conclusion, after some little admiration,
the poor man told his friends he had seen a vision, constantly beleeved
it, would not otherwise be perswaded; and so the jest ended.”

I do not think that this is a story imported from the East: the
adventure is just as likely to have happened in Bruges as in Baghdád;
but the exquisite humour of the Arabian tale is wanting—even
Shakspeare’s Christopher Sly is not to be compared with honest Abú
al-Hasan the Wag.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This story of The Sleeper and the Waker recalls the similar device
practised by the Chief of the Assassins—that formidable, murderous
association, the terror of the Crusaders—on promising novices. Von
Hammer, in his “History of the Assassins,” end of Book iv., gives a
graphic description of the charming gardens into which the novices were
carried while insensible from hashish:

In the centre of the Persian as well as of the Assyrian territory of the
Assassins, that is to say, both at Alamut and Massiat, were situated, in
a space surrounded by walls, splendid gardens—true Eastern paradises.
There were flower-beds and thickets of fruit-trees, intersected by
canals, shady walks, and verdant glades, where the sparkling stream
bubbled at every step; bowers of roses and vineyards; luxurious halls
and porcelain kiosks, adorned with Persian carpets and Grecian stuffs,
where drinking-vessels of gold, silver, and crystal glittered on trays
of the same costly materials; charming maidens and handsome boys of
Muhammed’s Paradise, soft as the cushions on which they reposed, and
intoxicating as the wine which they presented. The music of the harp was
mingled with the songs of birds, and the melodious tones of the
songstress harmonized with the murmur of the brooks. Everything breathed
pleasure, rapture, and sensuality. A youth, who was deemed worthy by his
strength and resolution to be initiated into the Assassin service, was
invited to the table and conversation of the grand master, or grand
prior, he was then intoxicated with hashish and carried into the garden,
which on awaking he believed to be Paradise; everything around him, the
houris in particular, contributing to confirm the delusion. After he had
experienced as much of the pleasures of Paradise, which the Prophet has
promised to the faithful, as his strength would admit; after quaffing
enervating delight from the eyes of the houris and intoxicating wine
from the glittering goblets; he sank into the lethargy produced by
debility and the opiate, on awakening from which, after a few hours, he
again found himself by the side of his superior. The latter endeavoured
to convince him that corporeally he had not left his side, but that
spiritually he had been wrapped into Paradise and had there enjoyed a
foretaste of the bliss which awaits the faithful who devote their lives
to the service of the faith and the obedience of their chiefs.

                                p. 55._

The precise date of the Persian original of this romance (“Bakhtyár
Náma”) has not been ascertained, but it was probably composed before the
beginning of the fifteenth century, since there exists in the Bodleian
Library a unique Turkí version, in the Uygur language and characters,
which was written in 1434. Only three of the tales have hitherto been
found in other Asiatic story-books. The Turkí version, according to M.
Jaubert, who gives an account of the MS. and a translation of one of the
tales in the _Journal Asiatique_, tome x. 1827, is characterised by
“great sobriety of ornament and extreme simplicity of style, and the
evident intention on the part of the translator to suppress all that may
not have appeared to him sufficiently probable, and all that might
justly be taxed with exaggeration;” and he adds that “apart from the
interest which the writing and phraseology of the work may possess for
those who study the history of languages, it is rather curious to see
how a Tátár translator sets to work to bring within the range of his
readers stories embellished in the original with descriptions and images
familiar, doubtless, to a learned and refined nation like the Persians,
but foreign to shepherds.”

At least three different versions are known to the Malays—different in
the frame, or leading story, if not in the subordinate tales. One of
those is described in the second volume of Newbold’s work on Malacca,
the frame of which is similar to the Persian original and its Arabian
derivative, excepting that the name of the king is Zádbokhtin and that
of the minister’s daughter (who is nameless in the Persian) is Mahrwat.
Two others are described in Van den Berg’s account of Malay, Arabic,
Javanese and other MSS. published at Batavia, 1877; p. 21, No. 132 is
entitled “The History of Ghulám, son of Zádbukhtán, King of Adán, in
Persia,” and the frame also corresponds with our version, with the
important difference that the robber-chief who had brought up Ghulám,
“learning that he had become a person of consequence, came to his
residence to visit him, but finding him imprisoned, he was much
concerned, and asked the king’s pardon on his behalf, telling him at the
same time how he had formerly found Ghulám in the jungle; from which the
king knew that Ghulám was his son.” The second version noticed by Van
den Berg (p. 32, No. 179), though similar in title to the Persian
original, “History of Prince Bakhtyár,” differs very materially in the
leading story, the outline of which is as follows: “This prince, when
his father was put to flight by a younger brother, who wished to
dethrone him, was born in a jungle, and abandoned by his parents. A
merchant named Idrís took charge of him and brought him up. Later on he
became one of the officers of state with his own father, who had in the
meanwhile found another kingdom, and decided with fairness, the cases
brought before him. He was, however, put in prison, on account of a
supposed attempt on the king’s life, and would have been put to death
had he not stayed the execution by telling various beautiful stories.
Even the king came repeatedly to listen to him. At one of these visits
Bakhtyár’s foster-father Idrís was present, and related to his adopted
son how he had found him in the jungle. The king, on hearing this,
perceived that it was his son who had been brought up by Idrís,
recognised Bakhtyár as such, and made over to him the kingdom.”—I have
little doubt that this romance is of Indian extraction.

         _STORY OF KING DADBIN AND HIS WAZIRS. Vol. I. p. 94._

THIS agrees pretty closely with the Turkí version of the same story
(rendered into French by M. Jaubert), though in the latter the names of
the characters are the same as in the Persian, King Dádín and the Wazírs
Kámgár and Kárdár. In the Persian story, the damsel is tied hands and
feet and placed upon a camel, which is then turned into a dreary
wilderness. “Here she suffered from the intense heat and from thirst;
but she resigned herself to the will of Providence, conscious of her own
innocence. Just then the camel lay down, and on the spot a fountain of
delicious water suddenly sprang forth; the cords which bound her hands
and feet dropped off; she refreshed herself by a draught of the water,
and fervently returned thanks to Heaven for this blessing and her
wonderful preservation.” This two-fold miracle does not appear in the
Turkí and Arabian versions. It is not the cameleer of the King of
Persia, but of King Dádín, who meets with the pious damsel in the
wilderness. He takes her to his own house and one day relates his
adventure to King Dádín, who expresses a wish to see such a prodigy of
sanctity. The conclusion of the Persian story is quite dramatic: The
cameleer, having consented, returned at once to his house, accompanied
by the king, who waited at the door of the apartment where the daughter
of Kámgár was engaged in prayer. When she had concluded he approached,
and with astonishment recognised her. Having tenderly embraced her, he
wept, and entreated her forgiveness. This she readily granted, but
begged that he would conceal himself in the apartment while she should
converse with Kárdár, whom she sent for. When he arrived, and beheld her
with a thousand expressions of fondness, he inquired how she had
escaped, and told her that on the day the king banished her into the
wilderness, he had sent people to seek her and bring her to him. “How
much better would it have been,” he added, “had you followed my advice,
and agreed to my proposal of poisoning the king, who, I said, would one
day destroy you as he had done your father! But you rejected my advice,
and declared yourself ready to submit to whatever Providence should
decree. Hereafter you will pay more attention to my words. But now let
us not think of what is past. I am your slave, and you are dearer to me
than my own eyes.” So saying, he attempted to clasp the daughter of
Kámgár in his arms, when the king, who was concealed behind the
hangings, rushed furiously on him and put him to death. After this he
conducted the damsel to his palace, and constantly lamented his
precipitancy in having killed her father.—This tale seems to have been
taken from the Persian “Tútí Náma,” or Parrot-book, composed by
Nakhshabí about the year 1306;[487] it occurs in the 51st Night of the
India Office MS. 2573, under the title of “Story of the Daughter of the
Vazír Khássa, and how she found safety through the blessing of her
piety:” the name of the king is Bahram, and the Wazírs are called Khássa
and Khalássa.

          _STORY OF AYLAN SHAH AND ABU TAMMÁM.—Vol I. p. 112._

The catastrophe of this story forms the subject of the Lady’s 37th tale
in the text of the Turkish “Forty Vezírs,” translated by Mr. E. J. W.
Gibb. This is how it goes:

In the palace of the world there was a king, and that king had three
vezírs, but there was rivalry between them. Two of them day and night
incited the king against the third, saying, “He is a traitor.” But the
king believed them not. At length they promised two pages much gold, and
instructed them thus: “When the king has lain down, ere he yet fall
asleep, do ye feign to think him asleep, and while talking with each
other, say at a fitting time, ‘I have heard from such a one that yon
vezír says this and that concerning the king, and that he hates him;
many people say that vezír is an enemy to our king.’” So they did this,
and when the king heard them, he said in his heart, “What those vezírs
said is then true; when the very pages have heard somewhat it must
indeed have some foundation. Till now, I believed not those vezírs, but
it is then true.” And the king executed that vezír. The other vezírs
were glad and gave the pages the gold they had promised. So they took it
and went to a private place, and while they were dividing it one of them
said, “I spake first; I want more.” The other said, “If I had not said
he was an enemy to our king, the king would not have killed him; I shall
take more.” And while they were quarrelling with one another the king
passed by there, and he listened attentively to their words, and when he
learned of the matter, he said, “Dost thou see, they have by a trick
made us kill that hapless vezír.” And he was repentant.

                            Vol. I. p. 131._

The Persian original has been very considerably amplified by the Arabian
translator. In the “Bakhtyár Náma” there is not a word about the two
brothers and their fair cousin, the attempted murder of the infant, and
the adventures of the fugitive young prince. This story has also been
taken from the “Tútí Náma” of Nakhshabí, Night the 50th of the India
Office MS. 2573, where, under the title of “Story of the Daughter of the
Kaysar of Roum, and her trouble by reason of her son,” it is told
somewhat as follows:

In former times there was a great king, whose army was numerous and
whose treasury was full to overflowing; but, having no enemy to contend
with, he neglected to pay his soldiers, in consequence of which they
were in a state of destitution and discontent. At length one day the
soldiers went to the prime minister and made their condition known to
him. The vazír promised that he would speedily devise a plan by which
they should have employment and money. Next morning he presented himself
before the king, and said that it was widely reported the Kaysar of Roum
had a daughter unsurpassed for beauty—one who was fit only for such a
great monarch as his Majesty; and suggested that it would be
advantageous if an alliance were formed between two such great
potentates. The notion pleased the king well, and he forthwith
despatched to Roum an ambassador with rich gifts, and requested the
Kaysar to grant him his daughter in marriage. But the Kaysar waxed wroth
at this, and refused to give his daughter to the king. When the
ambassador returned thus unsuccessful, the king, enraged at being made
of no account, resolved to make war upon the Kaysar; so, opening the
doors of his treasury, he distributed much money among his troops, and
then, “with a woe-bringing host, and a blood-drinking army, he trampled
Roum and the folk of Roum in the dust.” And when the Kaysar was become
powerless, he sent his daughter to the king, who married her according
to the law of Islam.

Now that princess had a son by a former husband, and the Kaysar had said
to her before she departed, “Beware that thou mention not thy son, for
my love for his society is great, and I cannot part with him.”[488] But
the princess was sick at heart for the absence of her son, and she was
ever pondering how she should speak to the king about him, and in what
manner she might contrive to bring him to her. It happened one day the
king gave her a string of pearls and a casket of jewels. She said, “With
my father is a slave who is well skilled in the science of jewels.” The
king replied, “If I should ask that slave of thy father, would he give
him to me?” “Nay,” said she, “for he holds him in the place of a son.
But if the king desire him, I will send a merchant to Roum, and I myself
will give him a token, and with pleasant wiles and fair speeches will
bring him hither.” Then the king sent for a clever merchant who knew
Arabic eloquently and the language of Roum, and gave him goods for
trading, and sent him to Roum with the object of procuring that slave.
But the daughter of the Kaysar said privily to the merchant, “That slave
is my son; I have, for a good reason, said to the king that he is a
slave; so thou must bring him as a slave, and let it be thy duty to take
care of him.” In due course the merchant brought the youth to the king’s
service; and when the king saw his fair face, and discovered in him many
pleasing and varied accomplishments, he treated him with distinction and
favour, and conferred on the merchant a robe of honour and gifts. His
mother saw him from afar, and was pleased with receiving a secret
salutation from him.

One day the king had gone to the chase, and the palace remained void of
rivals; so the mother called in her son, kissed his fair face, and told
him the tale of her great sorrow. A chamberlain became aware of the
secret, and another suspicion fell upon him, and he said to himself,
“The harem of the king is the sanctuary of security and the palace of
protection. If I speak not of this, I shall be guilty of treachery and
shall have wrought unfaithfulness.” When the king returned from the
chase, the chamberlain related to him what he had seen, and the king was
angry and said, “This woman hath deceived me with words and deeds, and
has brought hither her desire by craft and cunning. This conjecture must
be true, else why did she play such a trick? And why did she hatch such
a plot? And why did she send the merchant?” Then the king, enraged, went
into the harem, and the queen saw from his countenance that the
occurrence of the night before had become known to him, and she said,
“Be it not that I see the king angry?” He said, “How should I not be
angry? Thou, by craft, and trickery, and intrigue, and plotting, hast
brought thy desire from Roum—what wantonness is this that thou hast
done?” And then he thought to slay her, but he forebore, because of his
great love for her. But he ordered the chamberlain to carry the youth to
some obscure place, and straightway sever his head from his body. When
the poor mother saw this, she well-nigh fell on her face, and her soul
was near leaving her body. But she knew that sorrow would not avail, and
so she restrained herself.

And when the chamberlain took the youth into his own house, he said to
him, “O youth, knowest thou not that the harem of the king is the
sanctuary of security? What great treachery is this that thou hast
perpetrated?” The youth replied, “That queen is my mother, and I am her
true son. Because of her natural delicacy, she said not to the king that
she had a son by another husband. And when yearning came over her, she
contrived to bring me here from Roum; and while the king was engaged in
the chase, maternal love stirred in her, and she called me to her and
embraced me.” On hearing this, the chamberlain said to himself, “What is
passing in his mother’s breast? What I have not done I can yet do, and
it were better that I preserve this youth some days, for such a rose may
not be wounded through idle words, and such a bough may not be broken by
a breath. For some day the truth of the matter will be disclosed, and it
will become known to the king when repentance may be of no avail.” So he
went before the king and said, “That which was commanded have I
fulfilled.” On hearing this the king’s wrath was to some extent removed,
but his trust in the Kaysar’s daughter was departed; while she, poor
creature, was grieved and dazed at the loss of her son.

Now in the palace-harem there was an old woman, who said to the queen,
“How is it that I find thee sorrowful?” And the queen told the whole
story, concealing nothing. This old woman was a heroine in the field of
craft, and she answered, “Keep thy mind at ease; I will devise a
stratagem by which the heart of the king will be pleased with thee, and
every grief he has will vanish from his heart.” The queen said that, if
she did so, she should be amply rewarded. One day the old woman, seeing
the king alone, said to him, “Why is thy former aspect altered? And why
are traces of care and anxiety visible on thy countenance?” The king
then told her all. Then said the old woman, “I have an amulet of the
charms of Sulayman, in the Syriac language, and in the writing of the
jinn (genii). When the queen is asleep, do thou place it on her breast,
and whatever it may be, she will tell the truth of it. But take care,
fall not thou asleep, but listen well to what she says.” The king
wondered at this and said, “Give me that amulet, that the truth of this
matter may be learned.” So the old woman gave him the amulet, and then
went to the queen and explained what she had done, and said, “Do thou
feign to be asleep, and relate the whole of thy story faithfully.”

When a watch of the night was past, the king laid the amulet upon his
wife’s breast, and she thus began: “By a former husband I had a son, and
when my father gave me to this king, I was ashamed to say I had a tall
son. When my yearning passed all bounds, I brought him here by an
artifice. One day that the king was gone to the chase I called him into
the house, when, after the way of mothers, I took him in my arms and
kissed him. This reached the king’s ears; he unwittingly gave it another
construction, and cut off the head of that innocent boy, and withdrew
from me his own heart. Alike is my son lost to me and the king angry.”
When the king heard these words he kissed her and exclaimed, “O my life,
what an error is this thou hast committed! Thou hast brought calumny
upon thyself, and hast given such a son to the winds, and hast made me
ashamed!” Straightway he called the chamberlain, and said, “That boy
whom thou hast killed is the son of my beloved and the darling of my
beauty! Where is his grave, that we may make there a guest-house?” The
chamberlain said, “That youth is yet alive. When the king commanded his
death, I was about to kill him, but he said, ‘That queen is my mother.
Through modesty before the king, she revealed not the secret that she
has a tall son. Kill me not; it may be that some day the truth will
become known, and repentance profiteth not, and regret is useless.’” The
king commanded them to bring the youth; so they brought him forthwith.
And when the mother saw the face of her son, she thanked God and praised
the Most High, and became one of the Muslims, and from the sect of
unbelievers came into the faith of Islam. And the king favoured the
chamberlain in the highest degree, and they passed the rest of their
lives in comfort and ease.

                 _FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE.—Vol. I. p. 185._

This tale, as Sir R. F. Burton remarks, is a rechauffé of that of the
King and the Wazír’s Wife in the “Malice of Women,” or the Seven Wazírs
(vol. vi. 129); and at p. 308 we have yet another variant.[489] It
occurs in all the Eastern texts of the Book of Sindibád, and it is
commonly termed by students of that cycle of stories “The Lion’s Track,”
from the parabolical manner in which the husband justifies his conduct
before the king. I have cited some versions in the Appendix to my
edition of the Book of Sindibád (p. 256 ff.), and to these may be added
the following Venetian variant, from Crane’s “Italian Popular Tales,” as
an example of how a story becomes garbled in passing orally from one
generation unto another generation:

A king, averse from marriage, commanded his steward to remain single.
The latter, however, one day saw a beautiful girl named Vigna and
married her secretly. Although he kept her closely confined in her
chamber, the king became suspicious, and sent the steward on an embassy.
After his departure the king entered the apartment occupied by him, and
saw his wife asleep. He did not disturb her, but in leaving the room
accidentally dropped one of his gloves on the bed. When the husband
returned he found the glove, but kept a discreet silence, ceasing,
however, all demonstration of affection, believing his wife had been
unfaithful. The king, desirous to see again the beautiful woman, made a
feast and ordered the steward to bring his wife. He denied that he had
one, but brought her at last, and while every one else was talking gaily
at the feast she was silent. The king observed it, and asked the cause
of her silence, and she answered with a pun on her own name, “Vineyard I
was, and Vineyard I am. I was loved and no longer am. I know not for
what reason the Vineyard has lost its season.” Her husband, who heard
this, replied, “Vineyard thou wast, and Vineyard thou art: the Vineyard
lost its season, for the lion’s claw.” The king, who understood what he
meant, answered, “I entered the Vineyard; I touched the leaves; but I
swear by my crown that I have not tasted the fruit.” Then the steward
understood that his wife was innocent, and the two made peace, and
always after lived happy and contented.

                  *       *       *       *       *

So far as I am aware, this tale of “The Lion’s Track” is not popularly
known in any European country besides Italy; and it is not found in any
of the Western versions of the Book of Sindibád, generally known under
the title of the “History of the Seven Wise Masters;” how, then, did it
reach Venice, and become among the people “familiar in their mouths as
household words?” I answer, that the intimate commercial relations which
long existed between the Venetian Republic and Egypt and Syria are amply
sufficient to account for the currency of this and scores of other
Eastern tales in Italy. This is not one of those fictions introduced
into the south of Europe through the Ottomans, since Boccaccio has made
use of the first part of it in his “Decameron,” Day I. nov. 5; and it is
curious to observe that the garbled Venetian popular version has
preserved the chief characteristic of the Eastern story—the allegorical
reference to the king as a lion and his assuring the husband that the
lion had done no injury to his “Vineyard.”


While the frame-story of this interesting group is similar to that of
the Ten Wazírs (vol. i. p. 55), insomuch as in both a king’s favourite
is sentenced to death in consequence of the false accusations of his
enemies, and obtains a respite from day to day by relating stories to
the king, there is yet a very important difference: Like those of the
renowned Shahrazád, the stories which Al-Rahwan tells have no
particular, at least no uniform, “purpose,” his sole object being to
prolong his life by telling the king an entertaining story, promising,
when he has ended his recital, to relate one still “stranger” the next
night, if the king will spare his life another day. On the other hand,
Bakhtyár, while actuated by the same motive, appeals to the king’s
reason, by relating stories distinctly designed to exhibit the evils of
hasty judgments and precipitate conduct—in fact, to illustrate the

              Each order given by a reigning king,
                Should after long reflection be expressed;
              For it may be that endless woe will spring
                From a command he paused not to digest.

And in this respect they are consistent with the circumstances of the
case, like the tales of the Book of Sindibád, from which the frame of
the Ten Wazírs was imitated, and in which the Wazírs relate stories
showing the depravity and profligacy of women and that no reliance
should be placed on their unsupported assertions, and to these the lady
opposes equally cogent stories setting forth the wickedness and perfidy
of men. Closely resembling the frame-story of the Ten Wazírs, however,
is that of a Tamil romance entitled “Alakeswara Kathá,” a copy of which,
written on palm leaves, was in the celebrated Mackenzie collection, of
which Dr. H. H. Wilson published a descriptive catalogue; it is “a story
of the Rájá of Alakepura and his four ministers, who, being falsely
accused of violating the sanctity of the inner apartments, vindicate
their innocence and disarm the king’s wrath by relating a number of
stories.” Judging by the specimen given by Wilson, the well-known tale
of the Lost Camel, it seems probable that the ministers’ stories, like
those of Bakhtyár, are suited to their own case and illustrate the truth
of the adage that “appearances are often deceptive.” Whether in the
Siamese collection “Nonthuk Pakkaranam” (referred to in vol. i. p. 191)
the stories related by the Princess Kankras to the King of Pataliput
(Palibothra), to save her father’s life, are similarly designed, does
not appear from Benfey’s notice of the work in his paper in “Orient und
Occident,” iii. 171 ff. He says that the title of the book, “Nonthuk
Pakkaranam,” is taken from the name of a wise ox, Nonthuk, that plays
the principal part in the longest of the tales, which are all apparently
translated from the Sanskrit, in which language the title would be
Nandaka Prakaranam, the History of Nandaka.

Most of the tales related by the wazír Al-Rahwan are not only in
themselves entertaining, but are of very considerable importance from
the story-comparer’s point of view, since in this group occur Eastern
forms of tales which were known in Italy in the 14th century, and some
had spread over Europe even earlier. The reader will have seen from Sir
R. F. Burton’s notes that not a few of the stories have their parallels
or analogues in countries far apart, and it is interesting to find four
of them which properly belong to the Eastern texts of the Book of
Sindibad, with the frame-story of which that of this group has so close
an affinity.

             _THE ART OF ENLARGING PEARLS.—Vol. I. p. 197._

 “Quoth she, I have a bangle; sell it and buy seed pearls with the price;
           then round them and fashion them into great pearls.”

For want of a more suitable place, I shall here reproduce an account of
the “Method of making false pearls” (nothing else being meant in the
above passage), cited, from Postl. Com. Dict., in vol. xxvi. of “Rees’
Cyclopædia,” London, 1819:

“Take of thrice distilled vinegar two pounds, Venice turpentine one
pound, mix them together into a mass and put them into a cucurbit, fit a
head and receiver to it, and after you have luted the joints set it when
dry on a sand furnace, to distil the vinegar from it; do not give it too
much heat, lest the stuff swell up. After this put the vinegar into
another glass cucurbit in which there is a quantity of seed pearls
wrapped in a piece of thin silk, but so as not to touch the vinegar; put
a cover or head upon the cucurbit, lute it well and put it in bal.
Mariæ, where you may let it remain a fortnight. The heat of the balneum
will raise the fumes of the vinegar, and they will soften the pearls in
the silk and bring them to the consistence of a paste, which being done,
take them out and mould them to what bigness, form, and shape you
please. Your mould must be of fine silver, the inside gilt; you must
also refrain from touching the paste with your fingers, but use
silver-gilt utensils, with which fill your moulds. When they are
moulded, bore them through with a hog’s bristle or gold wire, and then
thread them again on gold wire, and put them into a glass, close it up,
and set them in the sun to dry. After they are thoroughly dry, put them
in a glass matrass into a stream of running water and leave them there
twenty days; by that time they will contract the natural hardness and
solidity of pearls. Then take them out of the matrass and hang them in
mercurial water, where they will moisten, swell, and assume their
Oriental beauty; after which shift them into a matrass hermetically
closed to prevent any water coming to them, and let it down into a well,
to continue there about eight days. Then draw the matrass up, and in
opening it you will find pearls exactly resembling Oriental ones.” (Here
follows a _recipe_ for making the mercurial water used in the process,
with which I need not occupy more space.)

A similar formula, “To make of small pearls a necklace of large ones,”
is given in the “Lady’s Magazine” for 1831, vol. iv., p. 119, which is
said to be extracted from a scarce old book. Thus, whatever mystery may
surround the art in Asiatic countries there is evidently none about it
in Europe. The process appears to be somewhat tedious and complicated,
but is doubtless profitable.

In Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius there is a curious passage about
pearl-making which has been generally considered as a mere “traveller’s
tale”: Apollonius relates that the inhabitants of the shores of the Red
Sea, after having calmed the water by means of oil, dived after the
shell-fish, enticed them with some bait to open their shells, and having
pricked the animals with a sharp-pointed instrument, received the liquor
that flowed from them in small holes made in an iron vessel, in which it
hardened into real pearls.—It is stated by several reputable writers
that the Chinese do likewise at the present day. And Sir R. F. Burton
informs me that when he was on the coast of Midian he found the Arabs
were in the habit of “growing” pearls by inserting a grain of sand into
the shells.

             _THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST—Vol. I. p. 203._

The diverting adventures related in the first part of this tale should
be of peculiar interest to the student of Shakspeare as well as to those
engaged in tracing the genealogy of popular fictions. Jonathan Scott has
given—for reasons of his own—a meagre abstract of a similar tale which
occurs in the “Bahár-i-Dánish” (vol. iii. App., p. 291), as follows:

                            PERSIAN VERSION.

A young man, being upon business in a certain city, goes on a hunting
excursion, and, fatigued with the chase, stops at a country house to ask
refreshment. The lady of the mansion receives him kindly, and admits him
as her lover. In the midst of their dalliance the husband comes home,
and the young man had no resource to escape discovery but to jump into a
basin which was in the court of the house, and stand with head in a
hollow gourd that luckily happened to be in the water. The husband,
surprised to see the gourd stationary in the water, which was itself
agitated by the wind, throws a stone at it, when the lover slips from
beneath it and holds his breath till almost suffocated. Fortunately the
husband presently retires with his wife into an inner room of the house,
and thus the young man was enabled to make good his escape.

The next day he relates his adventure before a large company at a
coffee-house. The husband happens to be one of the audience, and,
meditating revenge, pretends to admire the gallantry of the young man
and invites him to his house. The lover accompanies him, and on seeing
his residence is overwhelmed with confusion; but, recovering himself,
resolves to abide all hazards, in hopes of escaping by some lucky
stratagem. His host introduces him to his wife, and begs him to relate
his merry adventure before her, having resolved, when he should finish,
to put them both to death. The young man complies, but with an artful
presence of mind exclaims at the conclusion, “Glad was I when I awoke
from so alarming a dream.” The husband upon this, after some questions,
is satisfied that he had only told his dream, and, having entertained
him nobly, dismisses him kindly.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The story is told in an elaborate form by Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, in
“Il Pecorone” (The Big Sheep, or, as Dunlop has it, The Dunce), which
was begun in 1378 but not published till 1554 (at Milan). It is the
second novel of the First Day and has been thus translated by Roscoe:

                        SER GIOVANNI’S VERSION.

There were once two very intimate friends, both of the family of Saveli,
in Rome; the name of one of whom was Bucciolo, that of the other, Pietro
Paolo; both of good birth and easy circumstances. Expressing a mutual
wish to study for a while together at Bologna, they took leave of their
relatives and set out. One of them attached himself to the study of the
civil law, the other to that of the canon law, and thus they continued
to apply themselves for some length of time. But the subject of
Decretals takes a much narrower range than is embraced by the common
law, so Bucciolo, who pursued the former, made greater progress than did
Pietro Paolo, and, having taken a licentiate’s degree, he began to think
of returning to Rome. “You see, my dear fellow student,” he observed to
his friend Paolo, “I am now a licentiate, and it is time for me to think
of moving homewards.” “Nay, not so,” replied his companion; “I have to
entreat you will not think of leaving me here this winter. Stay for me
till spring, and we can return together. In the meantime you may pursue
some other study, so that you need not lose any time;” and to this
Bucciolo at length consented, promising to await his relative’s own good

Having thus resolved, he had immediate recourse to his former tutor,
informing him of his determination to bear his friend company a little
longer, and entreating to be employed in some pleasant study to beguile
the period during which he had to remain. The professor begged him to
suggest something he should like, as he should be very happy to assist
him in its attainment. “My worthy tutor,” replied Bucciolo, “I think I
should like to learn the way in which one falls in love, and the best
manner to begin.” “O very good!” cried the tutor, laughing. “You could
not have hit upon anything better, for you must know that if such be
your object I am a complete adept in the art. To lose no time, in the
first place go next Sunday to the church of the Frati Minori [Friars
Minor of St. Francis], where all the ladies will be clustered together,
and pay proper attention during service in order to discover if any one
of them in particular happens to please you. When you have done this,
keep your eye upon her after service, to see the way she takes to her
residence, and then come back to me. And let this be the first
lesson—the first part—of that in which it is my intention to instruct
you.” Bucciolo went accordingly, and taking his station the next Sunday
in the church, as he had been directed, his eyes, wandering in every
direction, were fixed upon all the pretty women in the place, and upon
one in particular, who pleased him above all the rest. She was by far
the most beautiful and attractive lady he could discover, and on leaving
church he took care to obey his master and follow her until he had made
himself acquainted with her residence. Nor was it long before the young
lady began to perceive that the student was smitten with her; upon which
Bucciolo returned to his master and informed him of what he had done. “I
have,” said he, “learned as much as you ordered me, and have found
somebody I like very well.” “So far, good,” cried the professor, not a
little amused at the sort of science to which his pupil had thus
seriously devoted himself—“so far, good! And now observe what I have
next to say to you: Take care to walk two or three times a day very
respectfully before her house, casting your eyes about you in such a way
that no one may catch you staring in her face; look in a modest and
becoming manner, so that she cannot fail to notice and be struck with
it. And then return to me; and this, sir, will be the second lesson in
this gay science.”

So the scholar went and promenaded with great discretion before the
lady’s door, who observed that he appeared to be passing to and fro out
of respect to one of the inhabitants. This attracted her attention, for
which Bucciolo very discreetly expressed his gratitude by looks and
bows, which being as often returned, the scholar began to be aware that
the lady liked him. He immediately went and told the professor all that
had passed, who replied, “Come, you have done very well. I am hitherto
quite satisfied. It is now time for you to find some way of speaking to
her, which you may easily do by means of those gipsies who haunt the
streets of Bologna, crying ladies’ veils, purses, and other articles for
sale. Send word by her that you are the lady’s most faithful, devoted
servant, and that there is no one in the world you so much wish to
please. In short, let her urge your suit, and take care to bring the
answer to me as soon as you have received it. I will then tell you how
you are to proceed.”

Departing in all haste, he soon found a little old pedlar woman, quite
perfect in the trade, to whom he said he should take it as a particular
favour if she would do one thing, for which he would reward her
handsomely. Upon this she declared her readiness to serve him in
anything he pleased. “For you know,” she added, “it is my business to
get money in every way I can.” Bucciolo gave her two florins, saying, “I
wish you to go for me to-day as far as the Via Maccarella, where resides
a young lady of the name of Giovanna, for whom I have the very highest
regard. Pray tell her so, and recommend me to her most affectionately,
so as to obtain for me her good graces by every means in your power. I
entreat you to have my interest at heart, and to say such pretty things
as she cannot refuse to hear.” “O leave that to me, sir,” said the
little old woman; “I will not fail to say a good word for you at the
proper time.” “Delay not,” said Bucciolo, “but go now, and I will wait
for you here;” and she set off at once, taking her basket of trinkets
under her arm. On approaching the place, she saw the lady before the
door, enjoying the air, and curtseying to her very low, “Do I happen to
have anything here you would fancy?” she said, displaying her wares.
“Pray take something, madam—whatever pleases you best.” Veils, stays,
purses, and mirrors were now spread in the most tempting way before the
lady’s eyes. Out of all these things her attention seemed to be most
attracted by a beautiful purse, which, she observed, if she could
afford, she should like to purchase. “Nay, madam,” exclaimed the crone,
“do not think anything about the price—take anything you please, since
they are all paid for already, I assure you.” Surprised at hearing this,
and perceiving the very respectful manner of the speaker, the lady
rejoined, “Do you know what you are saying? What do you mean by that?”
The old woman, pretending now to be much affected, said, “Well, madam,
if it must be so, I shall tell you. It is very true that a young
gentleman of the name of Bucciolo sent me hither; one who loves you
better than all the world besides. There is nothing he would not do to
please you, and indeed he appears so very wretched because he cannot
speak to you, and he is so very good, that it is quite a pity. I think
it will be the death of him, and then he is such a fine—such an
elegant—young man, the more is the pity!” On hearing this, the lady,
blushing deeply, turned sharply round upon the little old woman,
exclaiming, “O you wicked creature! were it not for the sake of my own
reputation, I would give you such a lesson that you should remember it
to the latest day of your life! A pretty story to come before decent
people with! Are you not ashamed of yourself to let such words come out
of your mouth?” Then seizing an iron bar that lay across the doorway,
“Ill betide you, little wretch!” she cried, as she brandished it. “If
you ever come this way again, depend upon it, you will never go back
alive!” The trembling old trot, quickly bundling up her wares, scampered
off, in dread of feeling that cruel weapon on her shoulders, nor did she
once think of stopping till she had reached the place where Bucciolo
stood waiting her return. Eagerly inquiring the news and how she had
succeeded, “O very badly—very badly,” answered the crone. “I never was
in such a fright in all my life. Why, she will neither see nor listen to
you, and if I had not run away, I should have felt the weight of a great
iron bar upon my shoulders. For my own part, I shall go there no more;
and I advise you, signor, to look to yourself how you proceed in such
affairs in future.”

Poor Bucciolo became quite disconsolate, and returned in all haste to
acquaint the professor with this unlucky result. But the professor, not
a whit cast down, consoled him, saying, “Do not despair; a tree is not
levelled at a single stroke, you know. I think you must have a
repetition of your lesson to-night. So go and walk before her door as
usual; notice how she eyes you, and whether she appears angry or not,
and then come back again to me.” Bucciolo accordingly proceeded without
delay to the lady’s house. The moment she perceived him she called her
maid and said to her, “Quick, quick—hasten after the young man—that is
he, and tell him from me that he must come and speak with me this
evening without fail—without fail.” The girl soon came up with Bucciolo,
and thus addressed him: “My lady, signor, my lady, Giovanna, would be
glad of your company this evening, she would be very glad to speak with
you.” Greatly surprised at this, Bucciolo replied, “Tell your lady I
shall be most happy to wait upon her,” so saying, he set off once more
to the professor, and reported the progress of the affair. But this time
the master looked a little more serious; for, from some trivial
circumstances put together, he began to entertain suspicions that the
lady was (as it really turned out) no other than his own wife. So he
rather anxiously inquired of Bucciolo whether he intended to accept the
invitation. “To be sure I do,” replied his pupil. “Then,” said the
professor, “promise that you will come here before you set off.”
“Certainly I will,” answered Bucciolo readily, and took his leave.

Now Bucciolo was far from suspecting that the lady bore so near a
relationship to his respected tutor, although the latter began to be
rather uneasy as to the result, feeling some twinges of jealousy which
were by no means pleasant. For he passed most of his winter evenings at
the college where he gave lectures, and not unfrequently remained there
for the night. “I should be sorry,” said he to himself, “if this young
gentleman were learning these things at my expense, and I must therefore
know the real state of the case.” In the evening his pupil called
according to promise, saying, “Worthy master, I am now ready to go.”
“Well, go,” replied the professor; “but be wise, Signor Bucciolo—be
wise, and think more than once what you are about.” “Trust me for that,”
said the scholar, a little piqued: “I shall go well provided, and not
walk into the mouth of danger unarmed.” And away he went, furnished with
a good cuirass, a rapier, and a stiletto in his belt. He was no sooner
on his way than the professor slipped out quietly after him, dogging his
steps closely, until, trembling with rage, he saw him stop at his own
house-door, which, on a smart tap being given, was quickly opened by the
lady herself and the pupil admitted. When the professor saw that it was
indeed his own wife, he was quite overwhelmed and thought, “Alas, I fear
this young fellow has learned more than he confesses at my expense;” and
vowing to be revenged, he ran back to the college, where arming himself
with sword and dagger, he then hastened to his house in a terrible
passion. Arriving at his own door, he knocked loudly, and the lady,
sitting before the fire with Bucciolo, instantly knew it was her
husband, so taking hold of Bucciolo, she concealed him hurriedly under a
heap of damp clothes lying on a table near the window ready for ironing,
which done, she ran to the door and inquired who was there. “Open
quickly,” exclaimed the professor. “You vile woman, you shall soon know
who is here!” On opening the door, she beheld him with a drawn sword,
and cried in well-affected alarm, “O my dearest life, what means this?”
“You know very well what it means,” said he. “The villain is now in the
house.” “Good Heaven! what is that you say?” exclaimed the lady. “Are
you gone out of your wits? Come and search the house, and if you find
anybody, I will give you leave to kill me on the spot. What! do you
think I should now begin to misconduct myself as I never before did—as
none of my family ever did before? Beware lest the Evil One should be
tempting you, and, suddenly depriving you of your senses, draw you to
perdition!” But the professor, calling for candles, began to search the
house from the cellars upwards—among the tubs and casks—in every place
but the right place—running his sword through the beds and under the
beds, and into every inch of the bedding—leaving no corner or crevice of
the whole house untouched. The lady accompanied him with a candle in her
hand, frequently interrupting him with, “Say your beads—say your beads,
good signor; it is certain that the Evil One is dealing with you, for
were I half so bad as you esteem me, I would kill myself with my own
hands. But I entreat you not to give way to this evil suggestion: oppose
the adversary while you can.” Hearing these virtuous observations of his
wife, and not being able to discover any one after the strictest search,
the professor began to think that he must, after all, be possessed, and
presently extinguished the lights and returned to the college. The lady,
on shutting the door after him, called out to Bucciolo to come from his
hiding place, and then, stirring the fire, began to prepare a fine capon
for supper, with some delicious wines and fruits. And thus they regaled
themselves, highly entertained with each other, nor was it their least
satisfaction that the professor had just left them, apparently convinced
that they had learned nothing at his expense.

Proceeding to the college next morning, Bucciolo, without the least
suspicion of the truth, informed his master that he had something for
his ear which he was sure would make him laugh. “How so?” demanded the
professor. “Why,” said his pupil, “you must know that last night, just
as I had entered the lady’s house, who should come in but her husband,
and in such a rage! He searched the whole house from top to bottom,
without being able to find me. I lay under a heap of newly-washed
clothes, which were not half dry. In short, the lady played her part so
well that the poor gentleman forthwith took his leave, and we afterwards
ate a fine capon for supper and drank such wines—and with such zest! It
was really one of the pleasantest evenings I ever spent in my life. But
I think I’ll go and take a nap, for I promised to return this evening
about the same hour.” “Then be sure before you go,” said the professor,
trembling with suppressed rage, “be sure to come and tell me when you
set out.” “O certainly,” responded Bucciolo, and away he went. Such was
now the unhappy tutor’s condition as to render him incapable of
delivering a single lecture during the whole day, and such was his
extreme vexation and eagerness for evening, that he spent his time in
arming himself with sword and dagger and cuirass, meditating only upon
deeds of blood. At the appointed time came Bucciolo, with the utmost
innocence, saying, “My dear master, I am going now.” “Yes, go,” replied
the professor, “and come back to-morrow morning, if you can, and tell me
how you have fared.” “I intend doing so,” said Bucciolo, and departed at
a brisk pace for the house of the lady.

Armed _cap-à-pie_, the professor ran out after him, keeping pretty close
to his heels, with the intention of catching him just as he entered. But
the lady, being on the watch, opened the door suddenly for the pupil and
shut it in her husband’s face. The professor began to knock and to call
out with a furious noise. Extinguishing the light in a moment, the lady
placed Bucciolo behind the door, and throwing her arms round her
husband’s neck as he entered, motioned to her lover while she thus held
his enemy to make his escape, and he, upon the husband’s rushing
forward, slipped out from behind the door unperceived. She then began to
scream as loud as she could, “Help, help! the professor has gone mad!
Will nobody help me?” for he was in an ungovernable rage, and she clung
faster to him than before. The neighbours running to her assistance and
seeing the peaceable professor armed with deadly weapons, and his wife
crying out, “Help, for the love of Heaven!—too much study hath driven
him mad!” they readily believed such to be the fact. “Come, good
signor,” they said, “what is all this about? Try to compose
yourself—nay, do not struggle so hard, but let us help you to your
couch.” “How can I rest, think you,” he replied, “while this wicked
woman harbours paramours in my house? I saw him come in with my own
eyes.” “Wretch that I am!” cried his wife. “Inquire of all my friends
and neighbours whether any one of them ever saw anything the least
unbecoming in my conduct.” The whole party with one voice entreated the
professor to lay such thoughts aside, for there was not a better lady
breathing, or one who set a higher value upon her reputation. “But how
can that be,” said he, “when I saw him enter the house, and he is in it
now?” In the meanwhile the lady’s two brothers arrived, when she began
to weep bitterly, exclaiming, “O my dear brothers, my poor husband has
gone mad—quite mad, and he even says there is a man in the house. I
believe he would kill me if he could; but you know me too well to listen
for a moment to such a story,” and she continued to weep.

The brothers then accosted the professor in no gentle terms: “We are
surprised, signor—we are shocked to find that you dare bestow such
epithets on our sister. What can have led you, after living so amicably
together, to bring these charges against her now?” “I can only tell
you,” answered the professor, “that there is a man in the house. I saw
him enter.” “Then come, and let us find him. Show him to us,” retorted
the incensed brothers, “for we will sift this matter to the bottom. Show
us the man, and we will then punish her in such a way as will satisfy
you.” One of the brothers, taking his sister aside, said, “First tell
me, have you really got any one hidden in the house? Tell the truth.”
“Heavens!” cried his sister, “I tell you, I would rather suffer death.
Should I be the first to bring a scandal on our house? I wonder you are
not ashamed to mention such a thing.” Rejoiced to hear this, the
brothers, directed by the professor, at once commenced a search. Half
frantic, he led them at once to the great bundle of linen, which he
pierced through and through with his sword, firmly believing he was
killing Bucciolo, all the while taunting him at every blow. “There! I
told you,” cried his wife, “that he was mad. To think of destroying our
own property thus! It is plain he did not help to get them up,” she
continued, whimpering—“all my best clothes!”

Having now sought everywhere in vain, one of the brothers observed, “He
is indeed mad,” to which the other agreed, while he again attacked the
professor in the bitterest terms: “You have carried matters too far,
signor; your conduct to our sister is shameful, and nothing but insanity
can excuse it.” Vexed enough before, the professor upon this flew into a
violent passion, and brandished his naked sword in such a way that the
others were obliged to use their sticks, which they did so very
effectively that, after breaking them over his head, they chained him
down like a maniac upon the floor, declaring he had lost his wits by
excessive study, and taking possession of his house, they remained with
their sister all night. Next morning they sent for a physician, who
ordered a couch to be placed as near as possible to the fire, that no
one should be allowed to speak or reply to the patient, and that he
should be strictly dieted until he recovered his wits; and this regimen
was diligently enforced.[490]

A report immediately spread through Bologna that the good professor had
become insane, which caused very general regret, his friends observing
to each other, “It is indeed a bad business; but I suspected yesterday
how it was—he could scarcely get a word out as he was delivering his
lecture, did you not perceive?” “Yes,” said another, “I saw him change
colour, poor fellow.” And by everybody, everywhere, it was decided that
the professor was mad. In this situation numbers of his scholars went to
see him, and among the rest Bucciolo, knowing nothing of what had
happened, agreed to accompany them to the college, desirous of
acquainting his master with last night’s adventure. What was his
surprise to learn that he had actually taken leave of his senses, and
being directed on leaving the college to the professor’s house, he was
almost panic-struck on approaching the place, beginning to comprehend
the whole affair. Yet, in order that no one might be led to suspect the
real truth, he walked into the house along with the rest, and on
reaching a certain apartment which he knew, he beheld his poor tutor
almost beaten to a mummy, and chained down upon his bed, close to the
fire. His pupils were standing round condoling with him and lamenting
his piteous case. At length it came to Bucciolo’s turn to say something
to him, which he did as follows: “My dear master, I am as truly
concerned for you as if you were my own father, and if there is anything
in which I can be of service to you, command me as your own son.” To
this the poor professor only replied, “No, Bucciolo, depart in peace, my
pupil; depart, for you have learned much, very much, at my expense.”
Here his wife interrupted him: “You see how he wanders—heed not what he
says—pay no attention to him, signor.” Bucciolo, however, prepared to
depart, and taking a hasty leave of the professor, he proceeded to the
lodging of his friend Pietro Paolo, and said to him, “Fare you well. God
bless you, my friend. I must away; and I have lately learned so much at
other people’s expense that I am going home.” So saying, he hurried
away, and in due course arrived in safety at Rome.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The affliction of the professor of Giovanni’s sprightly tale will
probably be considered by most readers as well-merited punishment; the
young gallant proved an apt scholar in the art of love, and here was the
inciter to evil repaid with the same coin!

                  *       *       *       *       *

Straparola also tells the story, but in a different form, in his
“Pleasant Nights” (Piacevoli Notti), First Day, second novella; and his
version is taken into a small collection entitled “Tarlton’s Newes out
of Purgatorie,” first published in or before 1590—a catchpenny tract in
which, of course, Dick Tarlton had never a hand, any more than he had in
the collection of jests which goes under his name.

                       STRAPAROLA’S VERSION.[491]

In Pisa, a famous cittie of Italye, there lived a gentleman of good
linage and landes, feared as well for his wealth, as honoured for his
vertue, but indeed well thought on for both; yet the better for his
riches. This gentleman had one onelye daughter, called Margaret, who for
her beauty was liked of all, and desired of many. But neither might
their sutes nor her owne prevaile about her father’s resolution, who was
determyned not to marrye her, but to such a man as should be able in
abundance to maintain the excellency of her beauty. Divers yong
gentlemen proffered large feoffments, but in vaine, a maide shee must
bee still: till at last an olde doctor in the towne, that professed
phisicke, became a sutor to her, who was a welcome man to her father, in
that he was one of the welthiest men in all Pisa; a tall stripling he
was and a proper youth, his age about foure score, his heade as white as
milke, wherein for offence sake there was left never a tooth. But it is
no matter, what he wanted in person he had in the purse, which the poore
gentlewoman little regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one that
might fit her content, though they lived meanely, then to him with all
the wealth in Italye. But shee was yong, and forcst to follow her
father’s direction, who, upon large covenants, was content his daughter
should marry with the doctor, and whether she likte him or no, the match
was made up, and in short time she was married. The poore wench was
bound to the stake, and had not onely an olde impotent man, but one that
was so jealous, as none might enter into his house without suspition,
nor shee doo any thing without blame; the least glance, the smallest
countenance, any smile was a manifest instance to him that shee thought
of others better then himselfe. Thus he himselfe lived in a hell, and
tormented his wife in as ill perplexitie.

At last it chaunced that a young gentleman of the citie, comming by her
house, and seeing her looke out at her window, noting her rare and
excellent proportion, fell in love with her, and that so extreamelye, as
his passions had no meanes till her favour might mittigate his heart
sicke discontent. The yong man that was ignorant in amorous matters, and
had never beene used to courte anye gentlewoman, thought to reveale his
passions to some one freend that might give him counsaile for the
winning of her love, and thinking experience was the surest maister, on
a daye seeing the olde doctor walkinge in the churche that was
Margaret’s husband, little knowing who he was, he thought this the
fittest man to whom he might discover his passions, for that hee was
olde and knew much, and was a phisition that with his drugges might
helpe him forward in his purposes; so that seeing the olde man walke
solitary, he joinde unto him, and after a curteous salute, tolde him
that he was to impart a matter of great import to him, wherein, if hee
would not onely be secrete, but indevour to pleasure him, his pains
should bee every way to the full considered. You must imagine,
gentleman, quoth Mutio, for so was the doctor’s name, that men of our
profession are no blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts bottome,
and therefore reveale what you please, it shall not onely be concealed,
but cured, if either my art or counsaile may doo it. Upon this, Lyonell,
so was the young gentleman called, told and discourst unto him from
point to point, how he was falne in love with a gentlewoman that was
married to one of his profession, discovered her dwelling and the house,
and for that he was unacquainted with the woman, and a man little
experienced in love matters, he required his favour to further him with
his advice. Mutio at this motion was stung to the hart, knowing it was
his wife hee was fallen in love withall, yet to conceale the matter, and
to experience his wive’s chastity, and that if she plaide false, he
might be revenged on them both, he dissembled the matter, and answered
that he knewe the woman very well, and commended her highly: but said
she had a churle to her husband, and therefore he thought shee would bee
the more tractable: Trye her, man, quoth hee, fainte harte never wonne
faire lady, and if shee will not be brought to the bent of your bowe, I
will provide such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content:
and to give you further instructions for oportunitie, knowe that her
husband is foorth every afternoone from three till sixe. Thus farre I
have advised you, because I pitty your passions, as my selfe being once
a lover, but now I charge thee reveale it to none whomsoever, least it
doo disparage my credit to meddle in amorous matters.

The yong gentleman not onely promised all carefull secrecy, but gave him
harty thanks for his good counsell, promising to meete him there the
next day, and tell him what newes. Then hee left the old man, who was
almost mad for feare his wife any way should play false: he saw by
experience brave men came to beseige the castle, and seeing it was in a
woman’s custodie, and had so weeke a governor as himselfe, he doubted it
would in time be delivered up: which feare made him almost franticke,
yet he drivde of the time great torment, till he might heare from his
rival. Lionello he hastes him home and sutes him in his braverye, and
goes downe toward the house of Mutio, where he sees her at the windowe,
whome he courted with a passionate looke, with such humble salute as
shee might perceive how the gentleman was affectionate. Margaretta,
looking earnestlye upon him, and noting the perfection of his
proportion, accounted him in her eye the flower of all Pisa, thinkte
herselfe fortunate if shee might have him for her freend, to supply
those defaultes that she found in Mutio. Sundry times that afternoone he
past by her window, and he cast not up more loving lookes, then he
received gratious favours, which did so incourage him that the next daye
betweene three and sixe hee went to her house, and knocking at the
doore, desired to speake with the mistris of the house, who hearing by
her maid’s description what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she
intertained him with all courtesie.

The youth that never before had given the attempt to court a ladye,
began his _exordium_ with a blushe; and yet went forward so well, that
hee discourst unto her howe hee loved her, and that if it might please
her to accept of his service, as of a freende ever vowde in all dutye to
bee at her commaunde, the care of her honour should bee deerer to him
than his life, and hee would be ready to prise her discontent with his
bloud at all times. The gentlewoman was a little coye, but, before they
part, they concluded that the next day at foure of the clock hee should
come thither and eate a pound of cherries, which was resolved on with a
_succado des labras_, and so with a loath to depart they tooke their
leaves. Lionello as joyfull a man as might be, hyed him to the church to
meete his olde doctor, where he found him in his olde walke: What newes,
syr, quoth Mutio, how have you sped? Even as I can wishe, quoth
Lionello, for I have been with my mistrisse, and have found her so
tractable, that I hope to make the olde peasant, her husband, looke
broadheaded by a paire of browantlers. How deepe this strooke into
Mutio’s hart, let them imagine that can conjecture what jelousie is;
insomuch that the olde doctor askte when should be the time. Marry,
quoth Lionello, to-morrow, at foure of the clocke in the afternoone, and
then Maister Doctor, quoth hee, will I dub the old squire knight of the
forked order.

Thus they past on in that, till it grew late, and then Lyonello went
home to his lodging and Mutio to his house, covering all his sorrowes
with a merrye countenance, with full resolution to revenge them both the
next day with extremitie. He past the night as patiently as he could,
and the next daye, after dinner, awaye hee went, watching when it should
bee foure of the clocke. At the hour justly came Lyonello and was
intertained with all courtesie; but scarce had they kist, ere the maide
cryed out to her mistresse that her maister was at the doore; for he
hasted, knowing that a horne was but a litle while in grafting.
Margaret, at this alarum, was amazed, and yet for a shift chopt Lionello
into a great driefatte[492] full of feathers,[493] and sat her downe
close to her woorke. By that came Mutio in blowing, and as though hee
came to looke somewhat in haste, called for the keyes of his chambers,
and looked in everye place, searching so narrowlye in everye corner of
the house, that he left not the very privie unsearcht. Seeing he could
not finde him, hee saide nothing, but fayning himselfe not well at ease,
staide at home; so that poor Lionello was faine to staye in the drifatte
till the olde churle was in bed with his wife; and then the maide let
him out at a backe doore, who went home with a flea in his eare to his

Well, the next day he went againe to meete his doctor, whome he found in
his wonted walke. What newes? quoth Mutio, how have you sped? A poxe of
the olde slave, quoth Lyonello; I was no sooner in, and had given my
mistresse one kisse, but the jelous asse was at the doore; the maide
spied him, and cryed her maister; so that the poore gentlewoman, for
very shifte, was faine to put me in a driefatte of feathers that stoode
in an olde chamber, and there I was faine to tarrie while[494] he was in
bed and a-sleepe, and then the maide let me out, and I departed. But it
is no matter; ’twas but a chaunce, and I hope to crye quittance with him
ere it be long. As how? quoth Mutio. Marry, thus, quoth Lionello: shee
sent me woord by her maide this daye that upon Thursday next the olde
churle suppeth with a patient of his a mile out of Pisa, and then I
feare not but to quitte[495] him for all. It is well, quoth Mutio;
fortune bee your frende. I thanke you, quoth Lionello: and so, after a
little more prattle, they departed.

To bee shorte, Thursdaye came, and about sixe of the clocke, foorth goes
Mutio no further then a freendes house of his, from whence he might
descrye who went into his house; straight hee sawe Lionello enter in,
and after goes hee, insomuche that hee was scarcelye sitten downe,
before the mayde cryed out againe, my maister comes. The goodwife, that
before had provided for after-claps,[496] had found out a privie place
between two seelings of a plauncher,[497] and there she thrust Lionello,
and her husband came sweting. What news, quoth shee, drives you home
againe so soone, husband? Marry, sweete wife, quoth he, a fearfull
dreame that I had this night, which came to my remembrance, and that was
this: me thought there was a villaine that came secretlye into my house,
with a naked poinard in his hand, and hid himselfe, but I could not
finde the place; with that mine nose bled, and I came backe; and, by the
grace of God, I will seeke every corner in the house for the quiet of my
minde. Marry, I pray you doo, husband, quoth she. With that he lockt in
all the doors, and began to search every chamber, every hole, every
chest, every tub, the very well; he stabd every feather bed through, and
made havocke like a mad man, which made him thinke all was in vaine; and
hee began to blame his eies that thought they saw that which they did
not. Upon this he rest halfe lunaticke, and all night he was very
wakefull, that towards the morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then
was Lionello conveighed away.

In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by no meanes hee
should be able to take Lionello tardy: yet he laid in his head a most
dangerous plot; and that was this: Wife, quoth he, I must the next
Monday ride to Vycensa, to visit an olde patient of mine; till my
returne, which will be some ten dayes, I will have thee staye at our
little graunge house in the countrey. Marry, very well content, husband,
quoth she. With that he kist her, and was verye pleasant, as though he
had suspected nothing, and away hee flings to the church, where he
meetes Lionello. What, sir, quoth he, what news? is your mistresse yours
in possession? No, a plague of the olde slave, quoth hee. I think he is
either a witch, or els woorkes by magick; for I can no sooner enter into
the doores, but he is at my backe, and so he was againe yesternight; for
I was not warm in my seate before the maide cryed, my maister comes; and
then was the poore soule faine to conveigh me betweene two seelings of a
chamber, in a fit place for the purpose, wher I laught hartely to myself
too see how he sought every corner, ransackt every tub, and stabd every
feather bed, but in vaine; I was safe enough till the morning, and then,
when he was fast asleepe, I lept out. Fortune frownes on you, quoth
Mutio. I,[498] but I hope, quoth Lionello, this is the last time, and
now shee wil begin to smile; for on Monday next he rides to Vicensa, and
his wife lyes at the grange house a little [out] of the towne, and there
in his absence I will revenge all forepast misfortunes. God send it be
so, quoth Mutio; and so took his leave.

These two lovers longd for Monday, and at last it came. Early in the
morning Mutio horst himselfe and his wife, his maide and a man, and no
more, and away he rides to his grange house, wher, after he had brok his
fast, he took his leave, and away towards Vicensa. He rode not far ere,
by a false way, he returned into a thicket, and there, with a company of
cuntry peasants, lay in an ambuscade to take the young gentleman. In the
afternoon comes Lionello galloping, and as soon as he came within sight
of the house, he sent back his horse by his boy, and went easily afoot,
and there, at the very entry, was entertained by Margaret, who led him
up the staires, and convaid him into her bedchamber, saying he was
welcome into so mean a cottage. But, quoth she, now I hope fortun shall
not envy the purity of our loves. Alas! alas! mistris, cried the maid,
heer is my maister, and 100 men with him, with bils and staves. We are
betraid, quoth Lionel, and I am but a dead man. Feare not, quoth she,
but follow me: and straight she carried him downe into a low parlor,
where stoode an olde rotten chest full of writinges; she put him into
that, and covered him with olde papers and evidences, and went to the
gate to meet her husband.

Why, Signor Mutio, what meanes this hurly burly? quoth she. Vile and
shameless strumpet as thou art, thou shalt know by and by, quoth he.
Where is thy love? All we have watcht him and seen him enter in. Now,
quoth he, shall neither thy tub of feathers or thy seeling serve, for
perish he shall with fire, or els fall into my handes. Doo thy worst,
jealous foole, quoth she, I ask thee no favour. With that, in a rage, he
beset the house round, and then set fire on it. Oh, in what perplexitie
was poore Lionello in that he was shut in a chest, and the fire about
his eares! and how was Margaret passionat, that knew her lover was in
such danger! Yet she made light of the matter, and, as one in a rage,
called her maid to her and said: Come on, wench, seeing thy maister, mad
with jelousie, hath set the house and al my living on fire, I will be
revengd on him: help me heer to lift this old chest where all his
writings and deeds are; let that burne first, and as soon as I see that
on fire I will walke towards my freends, for the old foole will be
beggard, and I will refuse him. Mutio, that knew al his obligations and
statutes lay there, puld her back and bad two of his men carry the chest
into the field, and see it were safe, himselfe standing by and seeing
his house burnd downe sticke and stone. Then, quieted in his minde, he
went home with his wife and began to flatter her, thinking assuredly
that he had burnt her paramour, causing his chest to be carried in a
cart to his house in Pisa. Margaret, impatient, went to her mother’s and
complained to her and her brethren of the jealousie of her husband, who
maintaned her it to be true, and desired but a daies respite to proove

Wel, hee was bidden to supper the next night at her mother’s, she
thinking to make her daughter and him freends againe. In the meane time
he to his woonted walk in the church, and there, _præter expectationem_,
he found Lionello walking. Wondring at this, he straight enquires what
newes. What newes, Maister Doctor, quoth he, and he fell in a great
laughing; in faith yesterday, I scapt a scouring, for syrrha, I went to
the grange-house, where I was appointed to come, and I was no sooner
gotten up the chamber, but the magicall villeine, her husband, beset the
house with bils and staves, and that he might be sure no seeling nor
corner should shrowde me, he set the house on fire, and so burnt it
downe to the ground. Why, quoth Mutio, and how did you escape? Alas,
quoth he, wel fare a woman’s wit; she conveighed me into an old chest
full of writings, which she knew her husband durst not burne, and so I
was saved and brought to Pisa, and yesternight, by her maide, let home
to my lodging. This, quoth he, is the pleasantest jest that ever I
heard; and upon this I have a sute to you: I am this night bidden foorth
to supper, you shall be my guest, onely I will crave so much favour, as
after supper for a pleasant sporte, to make relation what successe you
have had in your loves. For that I will not sticke, quoth he, and so he
conveyed Lionello to his mother-in-lawe’s house with him, and discovered
to his wive’s brethren who he was, and how at supper he would disclose
the whole matter; For, quoth he, he knowes not that I am Margaret’s
husband. At this all the brethren bad him welcome, and so did the mother
to, and Margaret, she was kept out of sight. Supper time being come they
fell to their victals, and Lionello was carrowst unto by Mutio, who was
very pleasant, to drawe him into a merry humor, that he might to the ful
discourse the effect and fortunes of his love. Supper being ended, Mutio
requested him to tel to the gentlemen what had hapned between him and
his mistresse. Lionello, with a smiling countenance, began to describe
his mistresse, the house and street where she dwelt, how he fell in love
with her, and how he used the councell of this doctor, who in all his
affaires was his secretarye. Margaret heard all this with a great feare,
and when he came to the last point, she caused a cup of wine to be given
him by one of her sisters, wherein was a ring that he had given
Margaret. As he had told how he had escapt burning, and was ready to
confirme all for a troth, the gentlewoman drunke to him, who taking the
cup and seeing the ring, having a quick wit and a reaching head, spide
the fetch, and perceived that all this while this was his lover’s
husband to whome hee had revealed these escapes; at this drinking the
wine and swallowing the ring into his mouth he went forward. Gentlemen,
quoth he, how like you of my loves and my fortunes? Wel, quoth the
gentlemen; I pray you is it true? As true, quoth he, as if I would be so
simple as to reveal what I did to Margaret’s husband; for, know you,
gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be her husband whom I notified to
be my lover; and for that he was generally known through Pisa to be a
jealous fool, therefore, with these tales I brought him into paradice,
which are follies of mine owne braine; for, trust me, by the faith of a
gentleman, I never spake to the woman, was never in her companye,
neyther doo I know her if I see her. At this they all fell in a laughing
at Mutio, who was ashamde that Lionello had so scoft him. But all was
well; they were made friends; but the jest went so to his hart that he
shortly after died, and Lionello enjoyed the ladye.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Ser Giovanni’s story, Roscoe observes, is “curious as having through the
medium of translation suggested the idea of those amusing scenes in
which the renowned Falstaff acquaints Master Ford, disguised under the
name of Brooke, with his progress in the good graces of Mrs. Ford. The
contrivances likewise by which he eludes the vengeance of the jealous
husband are similar to those recounted in the novel, with the addition
of throwing the unwieldly knight into the river. Dunlop says that the
same story has been translated in a collection entitled ‘The Fortunate,
Deceived, and Unfortunate Lovers,’ and that Shakspeare may probably also
have seen it in ‘Tarlton’s Newes out of Purgatorie,’ where the incidents
related in the Lovers of Pisa are given according to Straparola’s story.
Molière made a happy use of it in his ‘Ecole des Femmes,’ where the
humour of the piece turns upon a young gentleman confiding his progress
in the affections of a lady to the ear of her guardian, who believed he
was on the point of espousing her himself.” Two other French plays were
based upon the story, one of which was written by La Fontaine under the
title of “La Maître en Droit.” Readers of “Gil Blas” will also recollect
how Don Raphael confides to Balthazar the progress of his amour with his
wife, and expresses his vexation at the husband’s unexpected return.

                  *       *       *       *       *

It is much to be regretted that nothing is known as to the date and
place of the composition of the Breslau edition of The Nights, which
alone contains this and several other tales found in the collections of
the early Italian novelists.


Although we may find, as already stated, the direct source of this tale
in the forty-sixth chapter of Al-Mas’údi’s “Meadows of Gold and Mines of
Gems,” which was written about A.D. 943, yet there exists a much older
version—if not the original form—in a Sanskrit collection entitled,
“Vetálapanchavinsatí,” or Twenty-five Tales of a Vampyre. This ancient
work is incorporated with the “Kathá Sarit Ságara,” or Ocean of the
Streams of Story, composed in Sanskrit verse by Somadeva in the 11th
century, after a similar work, now apparently lost, entitled, “Vrihat
Kathá,” or Great Story, written by Gunadhya, in the 6th century.[499] In
the opinion of Benfey all the Vampyre Tales are of Buddhist extraction
(some are unquestionably so), and they probably date from before our
era. As a separate work they exist, more or less modified, in many of
the Indian vernaculars; in Hindí, under the title of “Baital Pachísí”;
in Tamil, “Vedala Kadai”; and there are also versions in Telegu,
Mahratta, and Canarese. The following is from Professor C. H. Tawney’s
complete translation of the “Kathá Sarit Ságara” (it is the 8th recital
of the Vetála):

                            INDIAN VERSION.

There is a great tract of land assigned to Bráhmans in the country of
Anga, called Vrikshaghata. In it there lived a rich sacrificing Bráhman
named Vishnusvámin. And he had a wife equal to himself in birth. And by
her he had three sons born to him, who were distinguished for
preternatural acuteness. In course of time they grew up to be young men.
One day, when he had begun a sacrifice, he sent those three brothers to
the sea to fetch a turtle. So off they went, and when they had found a
turtle, the eldest said to his two brothers, “Let one of you take the
turtle for our father’s sacrifice; I cannot take it, as it is all
slippery with slime.” When the eldest brother said this, the two younger
ones answered him, “If you hesitate about taking it, why should not we?”
When the eldest heard that, he said, “You two must take the turtle; if
you do not, you will have obstructed your father’s sacrifice, and then
you will certainly sink down to hell.” When he told the younger brothers
this, they laughed and said to him, “If you see our duty so clearly, why
do you not see that your own is the same?” Then the eldest said, “What,
do you not know how fastidious I am? I am very fastidious about eating,
and I cannot be expected to touch what is repulsive.” The middle
brother, when he heard this speech of his, said to his brother, “Then I
am a more fastidious person than you, for I am a most fastidious
connoisseur of the fair sex.” When the middle one said this, the eldest
went on to say, “Then let the younger of you two take the turtle.” Then
the youngest brother frowned, and in his turn said to the two elder,
“You fools, I am very fastidious about beds; so I am the most fastidious
of the lot.”

So the three brothers fell to quarrelling with one another, and being
completely under the dominion of conceit, they left that turtle, and
went off immediately to the court of the king of that country, whose
name was Prasenajit, and who lived in a city named Vitankapura, in order
to have the dispute decided. There they had themselves announced by the
warder, and went in, and gave the king a circumstantial account of their
case. The king said, “Wait here, and I will put you all in turn to the
proof;” so they agreed and remained there. And at the time that the king
took his meal, he had them conducted to a seat of honour, and given
delicious food fit for a king, possessing all the six flavours. And
while all were feasting around him, the Bráhman who was fastidious about
eating alone of all the company did not eat, but sat there with his face
puckered up with disgust. The king himself asked the Bráhman why he did
not eat his food, though it was sweet and fragrant, and he slowly
answered him, “I perceive in this food an evil smell of the reek from
corpses, so I cannot bring myself to eat it, however delicious it may
be.” When he said this before the assembled multitude, they all smelled
it by the king’s orders, and said, “This food is prepared from white
rice and is good and fragrant.” But the Bráhman who was so fastidious
about eating would not touch it, but stopped his nose. Then the king
reflected, and proceeded to inquire into the matter, and found out from
his officers that the food had been made from rice which had been grown
in a field near the burning _ghát_ of a certain village. Then the king
was much astonished, and, being pleased, he said to him, “In truth you
are very particular as to what you eat; so eat of some other dish.”

And after they had finished their dinner, the king dismissed the
Bráhmans to their apartments, and sent for the loveliest lady of his
court. And in the evening he sent that fair one, all whose limbs were of
faultless beauty, splendidly adorned, to the second Bráhman, who was so
squeamish about the fair sex. And that matchless kindler of Cupid’s
flame, with a face like the full moon of midnight, went, escorted by the
king’s servants, to the chamber of the Bráhman. But when she entered,
lighting up the chamber with her brightness, that gentleman who was so
fastidious about the fair sex felt quite faint, and stopping his nose
with his left hand, said to the king’s servants, “Take her away; if you
do not, I am a dead man: a smell comes from her like that of a goat.”
When the king’s servants heard this, they took the bewildered fair one
to their sovereign, and told him what had taken place. And the king
immediately had the squeamish gentleman sent for, and said to him, “How
can this lovely woman, who has perfumed herself with sandal-wood,
camphor, black aloes, and other splendid scents, so that she diffuses
exquisite fragrance through the world, smell like a goat?” But though
the king used this argument to the squeamish gentleman he stuck to his
point; and then the king began to have his doubts on the subject, and at
last, by artfully framed questions, he elicited from the lady herself
that, having been separated in her childhood from her mother and nurse,
she had been brought up on goat’s milk.

Then the king was much astonished, and praised highly the discernment of
the man who was fastidious about the fair sex, and immediately had given
to the third Bráhman, who was fastidious about beds, in accordance with
his taste, a bed composed of seven mattresses placed upon a bedstead.
White smooth sheets and coverlets were laid upon the bed, and the
fastidious man slept upon it in a splendid room. But, before half a
watch of the night had passed, he rose up from that bed, with his hand
pressed to his side, screaming in an agony of pain. And the king’s
officers, who were there, saw a red crooked mark on his side, as if a
hair had been pressed deep into it. And they went and told the king, and
the king said to them, “Look and see if there is not something under the
mattress.” So they went and examined the bottom of the mattresses one by
one, and they found a hair in the middle of the bedstead underneath them
all. And they took it and showed it to the king, and they also brought
the man who was fastidious about beds, and when the king saw the state
of his body, he was astonished. And he spent the whole night in
wondering how a hair could make so deep an impression on his skin
through seven mattresses.[500]

And the next morning the king gave three hundred thousand gold pieces to
those three fastidious men, because they were persons of wonderful
discernment and refinement. And they remained in great comfort in the
king’s court, forgetting all about the turtle, and little did they reck
of the fact that they had incurred sin by obstructing their father’s

                  *       *       *       *       *

The story of the brothers who were so very “knowing” is common to most
countries, with occasional local modifications. It is not often we find
the knowledge of the “quintessence of things” concentrated in a single
individual, as in the case of the ex-king of our tale, but we have his
exact counterpart—and the circumstance is significant—in No. 2 of the
“Cento Novelle Antiche,” the first Italian collection of short stories,
made in the 13th century, where a prisoner informs the king of Greece
that a certain horse has been suckled by a she-ass, that a jewel
contains a flaw, and that the king himself is a baker. Mr. Tawney, in a
note on the Vetála story, as above, refers also to the decisions of
Hamlet in Saxo Grammaticus, 1839, p. 138, in Simrock’s “Quellen des
Shakespeare,” 1, 81–85; 5, 170; he lays down that some bread tastes of
blood (the corn was grown on a battlefield); that some liquor tastes of
iron (the malt was mixed with water taken from a well, in which some
rusty swords had lain); that some bacon tastes of corpses (the pig had
eaten a corpse); lastly, that the king is a servant and his wife a
serving-maid. But in most versions of the story three brothers are the
gifted heroes.

In “Mélusine”[502] for 5 Nov. 1885, M. René Basset cites an interesting
variant (in which, as is often the case, the “Lost Camel” plays a part,
but we are not concerned about it at present) from Radloft’s “Proben der
Volksliteratur der türkischen Stamme des Süd-Siberiens,” as follows:

                           SIBERIAN VERSION.

Meat and bread were set before the three brothers, and the prince went
out. The eldest said, “The prince is a slave;” the second, “This is
dog’s flesh;” the youngest, “This bread has grown over the legs of a
dead body.” The prince heard them. He took a knife and ran to find his
mother. “Tell me the truth,” cried he—“were you unfaithful to my father
during his absence? A man who is here has called me a slave.” “My son,”
replied she, “if I don’t tell the truth, I shall die; if I tell it, I
shall die. When thy father was absent, I gave myself up to a slave.” The
prince left his mother and ran to the house of the shepherd: “The meat
which you have cooked to-day—what is it? Tell the truth, otherwise I’ll
cut your head off.” “Master, if I tell it, I shall die; if I don’t, I
shall die. I will be truthful. It was a lamb whose mother had no milk;
on the day of its birth, it was suckled by a bitch: that is to-day’s
ewe.” The prince left the shepherd and ran to the house of the
husbandman: “Tell the truth, or else I’ll cut off your head. Three young
men have come to my house. I have placed bread before them, and they say
that the grain has grown over the limbs of a dead man.” “I will be frank
with you. I ploughed with my plough in a place where were [buried] the
limbs of a man; without knowing it, I sowed some wheat, which grew up.”
The prince quitted his slave and returned to his house, where were
seated the strangers. He said to the first, “Young man, how do you know
that I am a slave?” “Because you went out as soon as the repast was
brought in.” He asked the second, “How do you know that the meat which
was served to-day was that of a dog?” “Because it has a disagreeable
taste like the flesh of a dog.” Then to the third: “How come you to know
that this bread was grown over the limbs of a dead person?” “What shall
I say? It smells of the limbs of a dead body; that is why I recognised
it. If you do not believe me, ask your slave; he will tell you that what
I say is true.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the same paper (col. 516) M. René Basset cites a somewhat elaborate
variant, from Stier’s “Ungarische Sagen und Märchen,” in which, once
more, the knowledge of the “quintessence of things” is concentrated in a
single individual:

                           HUNGARIAN VERSION.

A clever Magyar is introduced with his companions in disguise into the
camp of the King of the Tátárs, who is menacing his country. The prince,
suspicious, causes him to be carefully watched by his mother, a skilful
sorceress. They brought in the evening’s repast. “What good wine the
prince has!” said she. “Yes,” replied one, “but it contains human
blood.” The sorceress took note of the bed from whence these words
proceeded, and when all were asleep, she deftly cut a lock of hair from
him who had spoken, crept stealthily out of the room, and brought this
mark to her son. The strangers started up, and when our hero discovered
what had been done to him, he cut a lock from all, to render his
detection impossible. When they came to dinner, the king knew not from
whom the lock had been taken. The following night the mother of the
prince again slipped into the room, and said, “What good bread has the
prince of the Tátárs!” “Very good,” replied one, “it is made with the
milk of a woman.” When all were asleep, she cut a little off the
moustache of him who was lying in the bed from which the voice
proceeded. This time the Magyars were still more on the alert, and when
they were apprised of the matter, they all cut a little from their
moustaches, so that next morning the prince found himself again foiled.
The third night the old lady hid herself, and said in a loud voice,
“What a handsome man is the prince of the Tátárs!” “Yes,” replied one,
“but he is a bastard.” When all were asleep, the old lady made a mark on
the visor of the helmet of the one from whence had come the words, and
then acquainted her son of what she had done. In the morning the prince
perceived that all the helmets were similarly marked.[503] At length he
refrained, and said, “I see that there is among you a master greater
than myself; that is why I desire very earnestly to know him. He may
make himself known; I should like to see and know this extraordinary
man, who is more clever and more powerful than myself.” The young man
started up from his seat and said, “I have not wished to be stronger or
wiser than yourself. I have only wished to find out what you had
preconcerted for us. I am the person who has been marked three nights.”
“It is well, young man. But prove now your words: How is there human
blood in the wine?” “Call your butler and he will tell you.” The butler
came in trembling all over, and confessed that when he corked the wine
he had cut his finger with the knife, and a drop of blood had fallen
into the cask. “But how is there woman’s milk in the bread?” asked the
king. “Call the bakeress,” he replied, “and she will tell it you.” When
they questioned her, she confessed that she was kneading the bread and
at the same time suckling her baby, and that on pressing it to her
breast some milk flowed and was mixed with the bread. The sorceress, the
mother of the king, when they came to the third revelation of the young
man, confessed in her turn that the king was illegitimate.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Tawney refers to the Chevalier de Mailly’s version of the Three
Princes of Serendip (Ceylon): The three are sitting at table, and eating
a leg of lamb, sent with some splendid wine from the table of the
emperor Bahrám. The eldest maintains that the wine was made of grapes
that grew in a cemetery; the second, that the lamb was brought up on
dog’s milk; while the third asserts that the emperor had put to death
the son of the wazír, and that the latter is bent on vengeance. All
these statements turn out to be well-grounded. Mr. Tawney also refers to
parallel stories in the Breslau edition of The Nights; namely, in Night
458, it is similarly conjectured that the bread was baked by a sick
woman; that the kid was suckled by a bitch, and that the sultan is
illegitimate; and in Night 459, a gem-cutter guesses that a jewel has an
internal flaw, a man skilled in the pedigrees of horses divines that a
horse is the offspring of a female buffalo, and a man skilled in human
pedigrees that the mother of the favourite queen was a rope-dancer.
Similar incidents occur in “The Sultan of Yemen and his Three Sons,” one
of the Additional Tales translated by Scott, from the Wortley-Montague
MS., now in the Bodleian Library, and comprised in vol. vi. of his
edition of “The Arabian Nights Entertainments,” published at London in

                  *       *       *       *       *

An analogous tale occurs in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb’s recently-published
translation of the “History of the Forty Vezírs” (the Lady’s Fourth
Story, p. 69 ff.), the _motif_ of which is that “all things return to
their origin.”

                           TURKISH ANALOGUE.

There was in the palace of the world a king who was very desirous of
seeing Khizr[504] (peace on him!), and he would even say, “If there be
any one who will show me Khizr, I will give him whatsoever he may wish.”
Now there was at that time a man poor of estate, and from the stress of
his poverty he said to himself, “Let me go and speak to the king, that
if he provide for me during three years, either I shall be dead, or the
king will be dead, or he will forgive me my fault, or I shall on
somewise win to escape, and in this way shall I make merry for a time.”
So he went to the king and spake these words to him.[505] The king said,
“An thou show him not, then I will kill thee,” and that poor man
consented. Then the king let give him much wealth and money, and the
poor man took that wealth and money and went to his house. Three years
he spent in merriment and delight, and he rested at ease till the term
was accomplished. At the end of that time he fled and hid himself in a
trackless place and he began to quake for fear. Of a sudden he saw a
personage with white raiment and shining face, who saluted him. The poor
man returned the salutation, and the radiant being asked, “Why art thou
thus sad?” But he gave no answer. Again the radiant being asked him and
sware to him, saying, “Do indeed tell to me thy plight, that I may find
thee some remedy.” So that hapless one narrated his story from its
beginning to its end, and the radiant being said, “Come, I will go with
thee to the king, and I will answer for thee.” So they arose.

Now the king wanted that hapless one, and while they were going some of
the king’s officers who were seeking met them, and they straightway
seized the poor man and brought him to the king. Quoth the king, “Lo,
the three years are accomplished; come now, and show me Khizr.” The poor
man said, “My king, grace and bounty are the work of kings—forgive my
sin.” Quoth the king, “I made a pact; till I have killed thee, I shall
not have fulfilled it.” And he looked to his chief vezír and said, “How
should this be done?” Quoth the vezír, “This man should be hewn in many
pieces and then hung up on butchers’ hooks, that others may see and lie
not before the king.” Said that radiant being, “True spake the
vezír;—all things return to their origin.” Then the king looked to the
second vezír and said, “What sayest thou?” He replied, “This man should
be boiled in a cauldron.” Said that radiant being, “True spake the
vezír;—all things return to their origin.” The king looked to the third
vezír and said, “What sayest thou?” The vezír replied, “This man should
be hewn in small pieces and baked in an oven.” Again said that elder,
“True spake the vezír;—all things return to their origin.” Then quoth
the king to the fourth vezír, “Let us see what sayest thou?” The vezír
replied, “O king, the wealth thou gavest this poor creature was for the
love of Khizr (peace on him!) He, thinking to find him, accepted it; now
that he has not found him he seeks pardon. This were befitting, that
thou set free this poor creature for the love of Khizr.” Said that
elder, “True spake the vezír;—all things return to their origin.” Then
the king said to the elder, “O elder, my vezírs have said different
things contrary the one to the other, and thou hast said concerning each
of them, ‘True spake the vezír;—all things return to their origin.’ What
is the reason thereof?” That elder replied, “O king, thy first vezír is
a butcher’s son; therefore did he draw to his origin. Thy second vezír
is a cook’s son, and he likewise proposed a punishment as became his
origin. Thy third vezír is a baker’s son; he likewise proposed a
punishment as became his origin. But thy fourth vezír is of gentle
birth; compassion therefore becomes his origin, so he had compassion on
that hapless one, and sought to do good and counselled liberation. O
king, all things return to their origin.”[506] And he gave the king much
counsel, and at last said, “Lo, I am Khizr,” and vanished.[507]

                  *       *       *       *       *

The discovery of the king’s illegitimate birth, which occurs in so many
versions, has its parallels in the story of the Nephew of Hippocrates in
the “Seven Wise Masters,” and the Lady’s 2nd Story in Mr. Gibb’s
translation of the “Forty Vezírs.” The extraordinary sensitiveness of
the third young Bráhman, in the Vetála story, whose side was scratched
by a hair that was under the seventh of the mattresses on which he lay,
Rohde (says Tawney), in his “Greichische Novellistik,” p. 62, compares
with a story told by Aelian of the Sybarite Smindyrides, who slept on a
bed of rose-leaves and got up in the morning covered with blisters. He
also quotes from the Chronicle of Tabari a story of a princess who was
made to bleed by a rose-leaf lying in her bed.[508]

                  *       *       *       *       *

The eleventh recital of the Vetála is about a king’s three sensitive
wives: As one of the queens was playfully pulling the hair of the king,
a blue lotus leaped from her ear and fell on her lap; immediately a
wound was produced on the front of her thigh by the blow, and the
delicate princess exclaimed “Oh! oh!” and fainted. At night, the second
retired with the king to an apartment on the roof of the palace exposed
to the rays of the moon, which fell on the body of the queen, who was
sleeping by the king’s side, where it was exposed by her garment blowing
aside; immediately she woke up, exclaiming, “Alas! I am burnt,” and rose
up from the bed rubbing her limbs. The king woke up in a state of alarm,
crying out, “What is the meaning of this?” Then he got up and saw that
blisters had been produced on the queen’s body. In the meanwhile the
king’s third wife heard of it and left her palace to come to him. And
when she got into the open air, she heard distinctly, as the night was
still, the sound of a pestle pounding in a distant house. The moment the
gazelle-eyed one heard it, she said “Alas! I am killed,” and she sat
down on the path, shaking her hands in an agony of pain. Then the girl
turned back, and was conducted by her attendants to her own chamber,
where she fell on her bed and groaned. And when her weeping attendants
examined her, they saw that her hands were covered with bruises, and
looked like lotuses upon which black beetles had settled.

To this piteous tale of the three very sensitive queens Tawney appends
the following note: Rohde, in his “Greichische Novellistik,” p. 62,
compares with this a story told by Timæus, of a Sybarite who saw a
husbandman hoeing a field, and contracted rupture from it. Another
Sybarite, to whom he told the tale of his sad mishap, got ear-ache from
hearing it. Oesterley, in his German translation of the Baitál Pachísí,
points out that Grimm, in his “Kindermärchen,” iii. p. 238, quotes a
similar incident from the travels of the Three Sons of Giaffar: out of
four princesses, one faints because a rose-twig is thrown into her face
among some roses; a second shuts her eyes in order not to see the statue
of a man; a third says, “Go away; the hairs in your fur cloak run into
me;” and the fourth covers her face, fearing that some of the fish in a
tank may belong to the male sex. He also quotes a striking parallel from
the “Elites des contes du Sieur d’Onville:” Four ladies dispute as to
which of them is the most delicate. One has been lame for three months
owing to a rose-leaf having fallen on her foot; another has had three
ribs broken by a sheet in her bed having been crumpled; a third has held
her head on one side for six weeks owing to one half of her head having
three or more hairs on it than the other; a fourth has broken a
blood-vessel by a slight movement, and the rupture cannot be healed
without breaking the whole limb. [Poor things!]


In the Persian tales of “The Thousand and One Days,” a young prince
entered his father’s treasury one day, and saw there a little cedar
chest “set with pearls, diamonds, emeralds, and topazes;” on opening it
(for the key was in the lock) he beheld the picture of an exceedingly
beautiful woman, with whom he immediately fell in love. Ascertaining the
name of the lady from an inscription on the back of the portrait, he
sets off with a companion to discover her, and having been told by an
old man at Baghdád that her father at one time reigned in Ceylon, he
continued his journey thither, encountering many unheard-of adventures
by the way. Ultimately he is informed that the lady with whose portrait
he had become enamoured was one of the favourites of King Solomon. One
should suppose that this would have effectually cured the love-sick
prince; but no: he “could never banish her sweet image from his

Two instances of falling in love with the picture of a pretty woman
occur in the “Kathá Sarít Ságara.” In Book ix., chap. 51, a painter
shows King Prithvirúpa the “counterfeit presentment” of the beauteous
Princess Rapalatá, and “as the king gazed on it his eye was drowned in
that sea of beauty her person, so that he could not draw it out again.
For the king, whose longing was excessive, could not be satisfied with
devouring her form, which poured forth a stream of the nectar of beauty,
as the partridge cannot be satisfied with devouring the moonlight.” In
Book xii., chap. 100, a female ascetic shows a wandering prince the
portrait of the Princess Mandáravatí, “and Sundarasena when he beheld
that maiden, who, though she was present there only in a picture, seemed
to be of romantic beauty and like a flowing forth of joy, immediately
felt as if he had been pierced with the arrows of the god of the flowery
bow [_i.e._ Káma].” In chapter 35 of Scott’s translation of the
“Bahár-i-Dánish,” Prince Ferokh-Faul opens a volume, “which he had
scarcely done when the fatal portrait of the fair princess who, the
astrologers had foretold, was to occasion him so many perils, presented
itself to his view. He instantly fainted, when the slave, alarmed,
conveyed intelligence of his condition to the sultan, and related the
unhappy cause of the disorder.” In Gomberville’s romance of Polexandre,
the African prince, Abd-el-Malik, falls in love with the portrait of
Alcidiana, and similar incidents occur in the romance of Agesilaus of
Colchos and in the Story of the Seven Wazírs (vol. vi.); but why
multiply instances? Nothing is more common in Asiatic fictions.

        _THE FULLER, HIS WIFE, AND THE TROOPER. Vol. I. p. 231._

In addition to the versions of this amusing story referred to on p.
231—all of which will be found in the second volume of my work on
“Popular Tales and Fictions,” pp. 212–228—there is yet another in a
Persian story-book, of unknown date, entitled “Shamsa ú Kuhkuha,”
written by Mirza Berkhorder Turkman, of which an account, together with
specimens, is given in a recently-published little book (Quaritch),
“Persian Portraits: a sketch of Persian History, Literature, and
Politics,” by Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot, author of “Early Ideas: a Group of
Hindoo Stories.”

This version occurs in a tale of three artful wives—or, to employ the
story-teller’s own graphic terms, “three whales of the sea of fraud and
deceit: three dragons of the nature of thunder and the quickness of
lightning; three defamers of honour and reputation; namely, three
men-deceiving, lascivious women, each of whom had from the chicanery of
her cunning issued the diploma of turmoil to a hundred cities and
countries, and in the arts of fraud they accounted Satan as an admiring
spectator in the theatre of their stratagems.[510] One of them was
sitting in the court of justice of the kazi’s embrace; the second was
the precious gem of the bazaar-master’s diadem of compliance; and the
third was the beazle and ornament of the signet-ring of the life and
soul of the superintendent of police. They were constantly entrapping
the fawns of the prairie of deceit within the grasp of cunning, and
plundered the wares of the caravan of tranquillity of hearts of
strangers and acquaintances, by means of the edge of the scimitar of
fraud. One day this trefoil of roguery met at the public bath, and,
according to their homogeneous nature they intermingled as intimately as
the comb with the hair; they tucked up their garment of amity to the
waist of union, entered the tank of agreement, seated themselves in the
hot-house of love, and poured from the dish of folly, by means of the
key of hypocrisy, the water of profusion upon the head of intercourse;
they rubbed with the brush of familiarity and the soap of affection the
stains of jealousies from each other’s limbs. After a while, when they
had brought the pot of concord to boil by the fire of mutual laudation,
they warmed the bath of association with the breeze of kindness, and
came out. In the dressing-room all three of them happened simultaneously
to find a ring, the gem of which surpassed the imagination of the
jeweller of destiny, and the like of which he had never beheld in the
storehouse of possibility. In short, these worthy ladies contended with
each other for possession of the ring, until at length the mother of the
bathman came forward and proposed that they should entrust the ring to
her in the meanwhile, and it should be the prize of the one who most
cleverly deceived and befooled her husband, to which they all agreed,
and then departed for their respective domiciles.”[511]

Mr. Arbuthnot’s limits permitted only of abstracts of the tricks played
upon their husbands by the three ladies—which the story-teller gives at
great length—and that of the kazi’s wife is as follows:

The kazi’s wife knows that a certain carpenter, who lived close to her,
was very much in love with her. She sends her maid to him with a message
to say that the flame of his love had taken effect upon her heart, and
that he must make an underground passage between his house and her
dwelling, so that they might communicate with each other freely by means
of the mine. The carpenter digs the passage, and the lady pays him a
visit, and says to him, “To-morrow I shall come here, and you must bring
the kazi to marry me to you.” The next day the kazi goes to his office;
the lady goes to the carpenter’s house, and sends him to bring her
husband, the kazi, to marry them. The carpenter fetches him, and, as the
kazi hopes for a good present, he comes willingly enough, but is much
surprised at the extreme likeness between the bride and his own wife.
The more he looks at her, the more he is in doubt; and at last, offering
an excuse to fetch something, he rushes off to his own house, but is
forestalled by his spouse, who had gone thither by the passage, and on
his arrival is lying on her bed. The kazi makes some excuses for his
sudden entry into her room, and, after some words, goes back to the
carpenter’s house; but his wife had preceded him, and is sitting in her
place. Again he begins the ceremony, but is attracted by a black mole on
the corner of the bride’s lip, which he could have sworn was the same as
that possessed by his wife. Making more excuses, and in spite of the
remonstrances of the carpenter, he hurries back to his house once more;
but his wife had again got there before him, and he finds her reading a
book, and much astonished at his second visit. She suggests that he is
mad, and he admits that his conduct is curious, and returns to the
carpenter’s house to complete the ceremony. This is again frequently
interrupted, but finally he marries his own wife to the carpenter, and,
having behaved in such an extraordinary manner throughout, is sent off
to a lunatic asylum.

For the tricks of the two other ladies, and for many other equally
diverting tales, I refer the reader to Mr. Arbuthnot’s pleasing and
instructive little book, which is indeed an admirable epitome of the
history and literature of Persia, and one which was greatly wanted in
these days, when most men, “like the dogs in Egypt for fear of the
crocodiles, must drink of the waters of information as they run, in
dread of the old enemy Time.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

I have discussed the question of the genealogy of this tale elsewhere,
but, after a somewhat more minute comparative analysis of the several
versions, am disposed to modify the opinion which I then entertained. I
think we must consider as the direct or indirect source of the versions
and variants the “Miles Gloriosus” of Plautus, the plot of which, it is
stated in the prologue to the second act, was taken from a Greek play.
It is, however, not very clear whether Berni adapted his story from
Plautus or the “Seven Wise Masters”; probably from the former, since in
both the lady is represented, to the captain and the cuckold, as a twin
sister, while in the S. W. M. the crafty knight pretends that she is his
leman, come from Hungary with tidings that he may now with safety return
home. On the other hand, in the S. W. M., as in Plautus, the lovers make
their escape by sea, an incident which Berni has altered to a journey by
land—no doubt, in order to introduce further adventures for the
development of his main plot. But then we find a point of resemblance
between Berni and the S. W. M., in the incident of the cuckold
accompanying the lovers part of their way—in the latter to the
sea-shore; while in Plautus the deceived captain remains at home to
prosecute an amour and get a thrashing for his reward (in Plautus,
instead of a wife, it is the captain’s slave-girl). It is curious that
amidst all the masquerade of the Arabian story the cuckold’s wife also
personates her supposititious twin-sister, as in Plautus and Berni. In
Plautus the houses of the lover and the captain adjoin, as is also the
case in the modern Italian and Sicilian versions; while in Berni, the S.
W. M., the Arabian, and the Persian story cited in this note they are at
some distance. With these resemblances and variations it is not easy to
say which version was derived from another. Evidently the Arabian story
has been deliberately modified by the compiler, and he has, I think,
considerably improved upon the original: the ludicrous perplexity of the
poor fuller when he awakes, to find himself apparently transformed into
a Turkish trooper, recalls the nursery rhyme of the little woman “who
went to market her eggs for to sell,” and falling asleep on the king’s
highway, a pedlar cut off her petticoats up to the knees, and when she
awoke and saw her condition she exclaimed, “Lawk-a-mercy me, this is
none of I!” and so on. And not less diverting is the pelting the
blockhead receives from his brother fullers—altogether, a capital story.

            _TALE OF THE SIMPLETON HUSBAND.—Vol. I. p. 239._

The “curious” reader will find European and Asiatic versions of this
amusing story in “Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales,” published for the Chaucer Society, pp. 177–188 and
(in a paper contributed by me: “The Enchanted Tree”) p. 341–364.

       _TALE OF THE THREE MEN AND OUR LORD ISA. Vol. I. p. 250._

Under the title of “The Robbers and the Treasure-Trove” I have brought
together many European and Asiatic versions of this wide-spread tale in
“Chaucer Analogues,” pp. 415–436.

          _THE MELANCHOLIST AND THE SHARPER. Vol. I. p. 264._

A similar but much shorter story is found in Gladwin’s “Persian
Moonshee,” and story-books in several of the Indian vernaculars which
have been rendered into English:

A miser said to a friend, “I have now a thousand rupees, which I will
bury out of the city, and I will not tell the secret to any one besides
yourself.” They went out of the city together, and buried the money
under a tree. Some days after the miser went alone to the tree and found
no signs of his money. He said to himself, “Excepting that friend, no
other has taken it away; but if I question him he will never confess.”
He therefore went to his (the friend’s) house and said, “A great deal of
money is come into my hands, which I want to put in the same place; if
you will come to-morrow, we will go together.” The friend, by coveting
this large sum, replaced the former money, and the miser next day went
there alone and found it. He was delighted with his own contrivance, and
never again placed any confidence in friends.

                  *       *       *       *       *

One should suppose a miser the last person to confide the secret of his
wealth to any one; but the Italian versions bear a closer resemblance to
the Arabian story. From No. 74 of the “Cento Novelle Antiche” Sacchetti,
who was born in 1335 and is ranked by Crescimbini as next to Boccaccio,
adapted his 198th novella, which is a most pleasing version of the
Asiatic story:

                            ITALIAN VERSION.

A blind man of Orvieto, of the name of Cola, hit upon a device to
recover a hundred florins he had been cheated of, which showed he was
possessed of all the eyes of Argus, though he had unluckily lost his
own. And this he did without wasting a farthing either upon law or
arbitration, by sheer dexterity; for he had formerly been a barber, and
accustomed to shave very close, having then all his eyes about him,
which had been now closed for about thirty years. Alms seemed then the
only resource to which he could betake himself, and such was the
surprising progress he in a short time made in his new trade that he
counted a hundred florins in his purse, which he secretly carried about
him until he could find a safer place. His gains far surpassed anything
he had realised with his razor and scissors; indeed, they increased so
fast that he no longer knew where to bestow them; until one morning
happening to remain the last, as he believed, in the church, he thought
of depositing his purse of a hundred florins under a loose tile in the
floor behind the door, knowing the situation of the place perfectly
well. After listening some time without hearing a foot stirring, he very
cautiously laid it in the spot; but unluckily there remained a certain
Juccio Pezzichernolo, offering his adoration before an image of San
Giovanni Boccadoro, who happened to see Cola busily engaged behind the
door. He continued his adorations until he saw the blind man depart,
when, not in the least suspecting the truth, he approached and searched
the place. He soon found the identical tile, and on removing it with the
help of his knife, he found the purse, which he very quietly put into
his pocket, replacing the tiles just as they were, and, resolving to say
nothing about it, he went home.

At the end of three days the blind mendicant, desirous of inspecting his
treasure, took a quiet time for visiting the place, and removing the
tile searched a long while in great perturbation, but all in vain, to
find his beloved purse. At last, replacing things just as they were, he
was compelled to return in no very enviable state of mind to his
dwelling; and there meditating on his loss, the harvest of the toil of
so many days, by dint of intense thinking a bright thought struck him
(as frequently happens by cogitating in the dark), how he had yet a kind
of chance of redeeming his lost spoils. Accordingly in the morning he
called his young guide, a lad about nine years old, saying, “My son,
lead me to church,” and before setting out he tutored him how he was to
behave, seating himself at his side before the entrance, and
particularly remarking every person who should enter into the church.
“Now, if you happen to see any one who takes particular notice of me,
and who either laughs or makes any sign, be sure you observe it and tell
me.” The boy promised he would; and they proceeded accordingly and took
their station before the church.

When the dinner-hour arrived, the father and son prepared to leave the
place, the former inquiring by the way whether his son had observed any
one looking hard at him as he passed along. “That I did,” answered the
lad, “but only one, and he laughed as he went past us. I do not know his
name, but he is strongly marked with the small-pox and lives somewhere
near the Frati Minori.” “Do you think, my dear lad,” said his father,
“that you could take me to his shop, and tell me when you see him
there?” “To be sure I could,” said the lad. “Then come, let us lose no
time,” replied the father; “and when we are there tell me, and while I
speak to him you can step on one side and wait for me.” So the sharp
little fellow led him along the way until he reached a cheesemonger’s
stall, when he acquainted his father, and brought him close to it. No
sooner did the blind man hear him speaking with his customers than he
recognised him for the same Juccio with whom he had formerly been
acquainted during his days of light. When the coast was a little clear,
our blind hero entreated some moments’ conversation, and Juccio, half
suspecting the occasion, took him on one side into a little room,
saying, “Cola, friend, what good news?” “Why,” said Cola, “I am come to
consult you, in great hopes you will be of use to me. You know it is a
long time since I lost my sight, and being in a destitute condition, I
was compelled to earn my subsistence by begging alms. Now, by the grace
of God, and with the help of you and of other good people of Orvieto, I
have saved a sum of two hundred florins, one hundred of which I have
deposited in a safe place, and the other is in the hands of my
relations, which I expect to receive with interest in the course of a
week. Now if you would consent to receive, and to employ for me to the
best advantage, the whole sum of two hundred florins, it would be doing
me a great kindness, for there is no one besides in all Orvieto in whom
I dare to confide; nor do I like to be at the expense of paying a notary
for doing business which we can as well transact ourselves. Only I wish
you would say nothing about it, but receive the two hundred florins from
me to employ as you think best. Say not a word about it, for there would
be an end of my calling were it known I had received so large a sum in
alms.” Here the blind mendicant stopped; and the sly Juccio, imagining
he might thus become master of the entire sum, said he should be very
happy to serve him in every way he could, and would return an answer the
next morning as to the best way of laying out the money. Cola then took
his leave, while Juccio, going directly for the purse, deposited it in
its old place being in full expectation of soon receiving it again with
the addition of the other hundred, as it was clear that Cola had not yet
missed the money. The cunning old mendicant on his part expected that he
would do no less, and trusting that his plot might have succeeded, he
set out the very same day to the church, and had the delight, on
removing the tile, to find his purse really there. Seizing upon it with
the utmost eagerness, he concealed it under his clothes, and placing the
tiles exactly in the same position, he hastened home whistling,
troubling himself very little about his appointment of the next day.

The sly thief Juccio set out accordingly the next morning to see his
friend Cola, and actually met him on the road. “Whither are you going?”
inquired Juccio. “I was going,” said Cola, “to your house.” The former,
then taking the blind man aside, said, “I am resolved to do what you
ask; and since you are pleased to confide in me, I will tell you of a
plan that I have in hand for laying out your money to advantage. If you
will put the two hundred florins into my possession, I will make a
purchase in cheese and salt meat, a speculation which cannot fail to
turn to good account.” “Thank you,” quoth Cola, “I am going to-day for
the other hundred, which I mean to bring, and when you have got them
both, you can do with them what you think proper.” Juccio said, “Then
let me have them soon, for I think I can secure this bargain; and as the
soldiers are come into the town, who are fond of these articles, I think
it cannot fail to answer; so go, and Heaven speed you.” And Cola went;
but with very different intentions from those imagined by his
friend—Cola being now clear-sighted, and Juccio truly blind. The next
day Cola called on his friend with very downcast and melancholy looks,
and when Juccio bade him good day, he said, “I wish from my soul it were
a good, or even a middling, day for me.” “Why, what is the matter?” “The
matter?” echoed Cola; “why, it is all over with me; some rascal has
stolen a hundred florins from the place where they were hidden, and I
cannot recover a penny from my relations, so that I may eat my fingers
off for anything I have to expect.” Juccio replied, “This is like all
the rest of my speculations. I have invariably lost where I expected to
make a good hit. What I shall do I know not; for if the person should
choose to keep me to the agreement I made for you, I shall be in a
pretty dilemma indeed.” “Yet,” said Cola, “I think my condition is still
worse than yours. I shall be sadly distressed, and shall have to amass a
fresh capital, which will take me ever so long. And when I have got it,
I will take care not to conceal it in a hole in the floor, or trust it,
Juccio, into any friend’s hands.” “But,” said Juccio, “if we could
contrive to recover what is owing by your relations, we might still make
some pretty profit of it, I doubt not.” For he thought, if he could only
get hold of the hundred he had returned it would still be something in
his way. “Why,” said Cola, “to tell the truth, if I were to proceed
against my relations, I believe I might get it; but such a thing would
ruin my business, my dear Juccio, for ever: the world would know I was
worth money, and I should get no more money from the world; so I fear I
shall hardly be able to profit by your kindness, though I shall always
consider myself as much obliged as if I had actually cleared a large
sum. Moreover, I am going to teach another blind man my profession, and
if we have luck you shall see me again, and we can venture a speculation
together.” So far the wily mendicant, to whom Juccio said, “Well, go and
try to get money soon, and bring it; you know where to find me, but look
sharp about you and the Lord speed you; farewell.” “Farewell,” said
Cola; “and I am well rid of thee,” he whispered to himself; and going
upon his way, in a short time he doubled his capital; but he no longer
went near his friend Juccio to know how he should invest it. He had
great diversion in telling the story to his companions during their
feasts, always concluding, “By St. Lucia! Juccio is the blinder man of
the two: he thought it was a bold stroke to risk his hundred to double
the amount.”

For my own part, I think the blind must possess a more acute intellect
than other people, inasmuch as the light, exhibiting such a variety of
objects to view, is apt to distract the attention, of which many
examples might be adduced. For instance, two gentlemen may be conversing
together on some matter of business, and in the middle of a sentence a
fine woman happens to pass by, and they will suddenly stop, gazing after
her; or a fine equipage, or any other object is enough to turn the
current of their thoughts. And then we are obliged to recollect
ourselves, saying, “Where was I?” “What was it that I was observing?”—a
thing which never occurs to a blind man. The philosopher Democritus very
properly on this account knocked his eyes out in order to catch objects
in a juster light with his mind’s eye.

It is impossible to describe Juccio’s vexation on going to church and
finding the florins were gone. His regret was far greater than if he had
actually lost a hundred of his own; as is known to be the case with all
inveterate rogues, half of whose pleasure consists in depriving others
of their lawful property.

                  *       *       *       *       *

There are many analogous stories, one of which is the well-known tale of
the merchant, who, before going on a journey, deposited with a dervish
1,000 sequins, which he thought it prudent to reserve in case of
accidents. When he returned and requested his deposit, the dervish
flatly denied that he ever had any of his money. Upon this the merchant
went and laid his case before the kazi, who advised him to return to the
dervish and speak pleasantly to him, which he does, but receives nothing
but abuse. He informed the kazi of this, and was told not to go near the
dervish for the present, but to be at ease for he should have his money
next day. The kazi then sent for the dervish, and after entertaining him
sumptuously, told him that, for certain reasons, he was desirous of
removing a considerable sum of money from his house; that he knew of no
person in whom he could confide so much as himself; and that if he would
come the following evening at a late hour, he should have the precious
deposit. On hearing this, the dervish expressed his gratification that
so much confidence should be placed in his integrity, and agreed to take
charge of the treasure. Next day the merchant returned to the kazi, who
bade him go back to the dervish and demand his money once more, and
should he refuse, threaten to complain to the kazi. The result may be
readily guessed: no sooner did the merchant mention the kazi than the
rascally dervish said, “My good friend, what need is there to complain
to the kazi? Here is your money; it was only a little joke on my part.”
But in the evening, when he went to receive the kazi’s pretended
deposit, he experienced the truth of the saw, that “covetousness sews up
the eyes of cunning.”

A variant of this is found in the continental “Gesta Romanorum” (ch.
cxviii. of Swan’s translation), in which a knight deposits ten talents
with a respectable old man, who when called upon to refund the money
denies all knowledge of it. By the advice of an old woman, the knight
has ten chests made, and employs a person to take them to the old man
and represent them as containing treasure; and while one of them is
being carried into his house the knight enters and in the stranger’s
presence demands his money, which is at once delivered to him.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In Mr. Edward Rehatsek’s translated selections from the Persian
story-book “Shamsa ú Kuhkuha” (see _ante_, p. 329), printed at Bombay in
1871, under the title of “Amusing Stories,” there is a tale (No. xviii.)
which also bears some resemblance to that of the Melancholist and the
Sharper; and as Mr. Rehatsek’s little work is exceedingly scarce, I give
it in extenso as follows:

There was in Damascus a man of the name of Zayn el-Arab, with the honey
of whose life the poison of hardships was always mixed. Day and night he
hastened like the breeze from north to south in the world of exertion,
and he was burning brightly like straw, from his endeavours in the oven
of acquisition in order to gain a loaf of bread and feed his family. In
course of time, however, he succeeded in accumulating a considerable sum
of money, but as he had tasted the bitter poison of destitution, and had
for a very long time carried the heavy load of poverty upon his back,
and fearing to lose his property by the chameleon-like changes of
fortune, he took up his money on a certain night, carried it out of the
city, and buried it under a tree. After some time had passed he began
sorely to miss the presence of his treasure, and betook himself to the
tree to refresh his eyes with the sight of it. But when he dug up the
ground at the foot of the tree he discovered that his soul-exhilarating
deposit was refreshing the palate of some one else. The morning of his
prosperity was suddenly changed into the evening of bitterness and
disappointment. He was perplexed to what friend to confide his secret,
and to what remedy to fly for the recovery of his treasure. The lancet
of grief had pierced the liver of his peace, and the huntsman of
distress had tied up the wings and feet of the bird of his serenity. One
day he went on some business to a learned and wise man of the city with
whom he was on a footing of intimacy. This man said to him, “It is some
time since I perceived the glade of your circumstances to have been
destroyed by the burning coals of restlessness, and a sad change to have
taken place in your health. I do not know the reason, nor what thorn of
misfortune has pierced the foot of your heart, nor what hardship has
dawned from the east of your mind.” Zayn el-Arab wept tears of sadness
and said, “O thou standard coin from the mint of love! the treachery of
misfortune has brought a strange accident upon me, and the bow of
destiny has let fly an unpropitious arrow upon my feeble target. I have
a heavy heart and great sorrow, and were I to reveal it to you perhaps
it would be of no use and would plunge you also into grief.” The learned
man said, “Since the hearts of intimate friends are like looking-glasses
and are receiving the figures of mutual secrets, it is at all times
necessary that they should communicate to each other any difficulties
which they have fallen into, that they may remove them by taking in
common those steps which prudence and foresight should recommend.” Zayn
el-Arab replied, “Dear friend, I had some gold, and fearing lest it
should be stolen, I carried it to such and such a place and buried it
under a tree, and when I again visited the place, I perceived the
garment of my beloved Joseph to be sprinkled with the blood of the wolf
of deception.” The learned man said, “This is a grave accident, and it
will be difficult to get on the track of your gold. Perhaps some one saw
you bury it: he who has taken it will have to give an account of it in
the next world, for God is omniscient. Give me ten days’ delay, that I
may study the book of expedients and stratagems, when mayhap somewhat
will occur to me.”

That knowing man sat down for ten days in the school of meditation, and
how much so ever he turned over the leaves of the volume of his mind
from the preface to the epilogue, he could hit upon no plan. On the
tenth day they again met in the street, and he said to Zayn el-Arab,
“Although the diver of my mind has plunged deeply and searched
diligently in this deep sea, he has been unable to seize the precious
pearl of a wise plan of operation: may God recompense you from the
stores of His hidden treasury!” They were conversing in this way when a
lunatic met them and said, “Well, my boys, what secret-mongering have
you got between you?” The learned man said to Zayn el-Arab, “Come, let
us relate our case to this crazy fellow, to see the flower of the plant
that may bloom from his mind.” Zayn el-Arab replied, “Dear friend, you,
with all your knowledge, cannot devise anything during ten days: what
information are we likely to gain from a poor lunatic who does not know
whether it is now day or night?” The learned man said, “There is no
telling what he may say to us. But you know that the most foolish as
well as the most wise have ideas, and a sentence uttered at random has
sometimes furnished a clue by which the desired object may be attained.”
Meanwhile a little boy also came up, and perceiving the lunatic stopped
to see his tricks. The two friends explained their case to the lunatic,
who then seemed immersed in thought for some time, after which he said,
“He who took the root of that tree for a medicine also took the gold,”
and having thus spoken, he turned his back upon them and went his way.
They consulted with each other what indication this remark might
furnish, when the little boy, who had overheard the conversation, asked
what kind of a tree it was. Zayn el-Arab replied that it was a jujube
tree. The boy said, “This is an easy matter: you ought to inquire of all
the doctors of this town for whom a medicine has been prescribed of the
roots of this tree.” They greatly admired the boy’s acuteness and also
of the lunatic’s lucky thought.[512] The learned man was well acquainted
with all the physicians of the city and made his enquiries, till he met
with one who informed him that about twenty days ago he had prescribed
for a merchant of the name of Khoja Semender, who suffered from asthma,
and that one of the remedies was the root of that jujube tree. The
learned man soon discovered the merchant’s house, found him enjoying
excellent health, and said to him, “Ah, Khoja, all the goods of this
world ought to be surrendered to procure health. By the blessing of God,
you have recovered your health, and you ought to give up what you found
at the root of that tree, because the owner of it is a worthy man and
possesses nothing else.” The honest merchant answered, “It is true, I
have found it, and it is with me. If you will describe it I will deliver
it into your hands.” The exact sum being stated, the merchant at once
delivered up the gold.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the “Kathá Sarit Ságara,” Book vi. ch. 33, we have probably the
original of this last story: A wealthy merchant provided a Bráhman with
a lodging near his own house, and every day gave him a large quantity of
unhusked rice and other presents, and in course of time he received like
gifts from other great merchants. In this way the miserly fellow
gradually accumulated a thousand dínárs, and going into the forest he
dug a hole and buried it in the ground, and he went daily to carefully
examine the spot. One day, however, he discovered that his hoard had
been stolen, and he went to his friend the merchant near whose house he
lived, and, weeping bitterly, told him of his loss, and that he had
resolved to go to a holy bathing-place and there starve himself to
death. The merchant tried to console him and dissuade him from his
resolution, saying, “Bráhman, why do you long to die for the loss of
your wealth? Wealth, like an unseasonable cloud, suddenly comes and
goes.” But the Bráhman would not abandon his fixed determination to
commit suicide, for wealth is dearer to the miser than life itself. When
he was about to depart for the holy place, the king, having heard of it,
came and asked him, “Bráhman, do you know of any mark by which you can
distinguish the place where you buried your dínárs?” He replied, “There
is a small tree in the wood, at the foot of which I buried that money.”
Then said the king, “I will find the money and give it back to you, or I
will give it you from my own treasury;—do not commit suicide, Bráhman.”

When the king returned to his palace, he pretended to have a headache,
and summoned all the physicians in the city by proclamation with beat of
drum. And he took aside every one of them singly and questioned them
privately, saying, “What patients have you, and what medicines have you
prescribed for each?” And they thereupon, one by one, answered the
king’s questions. At length a physician said, “The merchant Mátridatta
has been out of sorts, O king, and this is the second day I have
prescribed for him _nágabalá_ [the plant _Uraria Lagopodioides_].” Then
the king sent for the merchant, and said to him, “Tell me, who fetched
you the _nágabalá_?” The merchant replied, “My servant, your highness.”
On hearing this, the king at once summoned the servant and said to him,
“Give up that treasure belonging to a Bráhman, consisting of a store of
dínárs, which you found when you were digging at the foot of the tree
for _nágabalá_.” When the king said this to him the servant was
frightened, and confessed immediately; and bringing the money left it
there. Then the king summoned the Bráhman and gave him, who had been
fasting meanwhile, the dínárs, lost and found again, like a second soul
external to his body. Thus did the king by his wisdom recover to the
Bráhman his wealth which had been taken away from the root of the tree,
knowing that that simple grew in such spots.


This is one of three Arabian variants of Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale
(the Story of Constance), of which there are numerous versions—see my
paper entitled “The Innocent Persecuted Wife,” pp. 365–414 of “Originals
and Analogues of some of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.”


Somewhat resembling this, but much more elaborate, is the amusing story
of Ahmed the Cobbler, in Sir John Malcolm’s “Sketches of Persia,” ch.
xx., the original of which is probably found in the tale of Harisarman,
book vi. ch. 30, of the “Kathá Sarit Ságara,” and it has many European
variants, such as the German story of Doctor Allwissend, in Grimm’s
collection, and that of the Charcoal Burner in Sir George Dasent’s
“Tales from the Fjeld.”—According to the Persian story, Ahmed the
Cobbler had a young and pretty wife, of whom he was very fond. She was
ever forming grand schemes of riches and splendour, and was firmly
persuaded that she was destined to great fortune. It happened one
evening, while in this frame of mind, that she went to the public baths,
where she saw a lady retiring dressed in a magnificent robe, covered
with jewels, and surrounded by slaves. This was the very condition she
had always longed for, and she eagerly inquired the name of the happy
person who had so many attendants and such fine jewels. She learned it
was the wife of the chief astrologer to the king. With this information
she returned home. Ahmed met her at the door, but was received with a
frown, nor could all his caresses obtain a smile or a word; for several
hours she continued silent, and in apparent misery; at length she said,
“Cease your caresses, unless you are ready to give me a proof that you
do really and sincerely love me.” “What proof of love,” exclaimed poor
Ahmed, “can you desire that I will not give?” “Give over cobbling; it is
a vile, low trade, and never yields more than ten or twelve dínárs a
day. Turn astrologer; your fortune will be made, and I shall have all I
wish and be happy.” “Astrologer!” cried Ahmed—“astrologer! Have you
forgotten who I am—a cobbler, without any learning—that you want me to
engage in a profession which requires so much skill and knowledge?” “I
neither think nor care about your qualifications,” said the enraged
wife; “all I know is that if you do not turn astrologer immediately, I
will be divorced from you to-morrow.” The cobbler remonstrated, but in
vain. The figure of the astrologer’s wife, with her jewels and her
slaves, took complete possession of her imagination. All night it
haunted her: she dreamt of nothing else, and on awakening declared she
would leave the house if her husband did not comply with her wishes.
What could poor Ahmed do? He was no astrologer; but he was dotingly fond
of his wife, and he could not bear the idea of losing her. He promised
to obey; and having sold his little stock, bought an astrolabe, an
astronomical almanac, and a table of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Furnished with these, he went to the market-place, crying, “I am an
astrologer! I know the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the twelve
signs of the zodiac; I can calculate nativities; I can foretell
everything that is to happen.” No man was better known than Ahmed the
Cobbler. A crowd soon gathered round him. “What, friend Ahmed,” said
one, “have you worked till your head is turned?” “Are you tired of
looking down at your last,” cried another, “that you are now looking up
at the stars?” These and a thousand other jokes assailed the ears of the
poor cobbler, who notwithstanding continued to exclaim that he was an
astrologer, having resolved on doing what he could to please his
beautiful wife.

It so happened that the king’s jeweller was passing by. He was in great
distress, having lost the richest ruby belonging to the king. Every
search had been made to recover this inestimable jewel, but to no
purpose; and as the jeweller knew he could no longer conceal its loss
from the king, he looked forward to death as inevitable. In this
hopeless state, while wandering about the town, he reached the crowd
around Ahmed, and asked what was the matter. “Don’t you know Ahmed the
Cobbler?” said one of the bystanders, laughing. “He has been inspired
and is become an astrologer.” A drowning man will catch at a broken
reed: the jeweller no sooner heard the sound of the word astrologer than
he went up to Ahmed, told him what had happened, and said, “If you
understand your art, you must be able to discover the king’s ruby. Do
so, and I will give you two hundred pieces of gold. But if you do not
succeed within six hours, I will use my influence at court to have you
put to death as an impostor.” Poor Ahmed was thunderstruck. He stood
long without being able to speak, reflecting on his misfortunes, and
grieving, above all, that his wife, whom he so loved, had, by her envy
and selfishness, brought him to such a fearful alternative. Full of
these sad thoughts, he exclaimed aloud, “O woman! woman! thou art more
baneful to the happiness of man than the poisonous dragon of the
desert!” Now the lost ruby had been secreted by the jeweller’s wife,
who, disquieted by those alarms which ever attend guilt, sent one of her
female slaves to watch her husband. This slave, on seeing her master
speak to the astrologer, drew near; and when she heard Ahmed, after some
moments of abstraction, compare a woman to a poisonous dragon, she was
satisfied that he must know everything. She ran to her mistress, and,
breathless with fear, cried, “You are discovered by a vile astrologer!
Before six hours are past the whole story will be known, and you will
become infamous, if you are even so fortunate as to escape with life,
unless you can find some way of prevailing on him to be merciful.” She
then related what she had seen and heard; and Ahmed’s exclamation
carried as complete conviction to the mind of the terrified lady as it
had done to that of her slave. The jeweller’s wife, hastily throwing on
her veil, went in search of the dreaded astrologer. When she found him,
she cried, “Spare my honour and my life, and I will confess everything.”
“What can you have to confess to me?” said Ahmed, in amazement. “O
nothing—nothing with which you are not already acquainted. You know too
well that I stole the king’s ruby. I did so to punish my husband, who
uses me most cruelly; and I thought by this means to obtain riches for
myself and have him put to death. But you, most wonderful man, from whom
nothing is hidden, have discovered and defeated my wicked plan. I beg
only for mercy, and will do whatever you command me.” An angel from
heaven could not have brought more consolation to Ahmed than did the
jeweller’s wife. He assumed all the dignified solemnity that became his
new character, and said, “Woman! I know all thou hast done, and it is
fortunate for thee that thou hast come to confess thy sin and beg for
mercy before it was too late. Return to thy house; put the ruby under
the pillow of the couch on which thy husband sleeps; let it be laid on
the side farthest from the door; and be satisfied thy guilt shall never
be even suspected.” The jeweller’s wife went home and did as she was
instructed. In an hour Ahmed followed her, and told the jeweller he had
made his calculations, and found by the aspect of the sun and moon, and
by the configuration of the stars, that the ruby was at that moment
lying under the pillow of his couch on the side farthest from the door.
The jeweller thought Ahmed must be crazy; but as a ray of hope is like a
ray from heaven to the wretched, he ran to his couch, and there, to his
joy and wonder, found the ruby in the very place described. He came back
to Ahmed, embraced him, called him his dearest friend and the preserver
of his life, gave him two hundred pieces of gold, declaring that he was
the first astrologer of the age.

Ahmed returned home with his lucky gains, and would gladly have resumed
his cobbling, but his wife insisting on his continuing to practise his
new profession, there was no help but to go out again next day and
proclaim his astrological accomplishments. By mere chance he is the
means of a lady recovering a valuable necklace which she had lost at the
bath, and forty chests of gold stolen from the king’s treasury, and is
finally rewarded with the hand of the king’s daughter in marriage.


In the “Indian Antiquary” for June 1886 the Rev. J. Hinton Knowles gives
a translation of what he terms a Kashmírí Tale, under the title of
“Pride Abased,” which, he says, was told him by “a Brahman named Mukund
Báyú, who resides at Suthú, Srínagar,” and which is an interesting
variant of the Wazír Er-Rahwan’s second story of the King who lost his
Realm and Wealth:

                         KASHMIRI VERSION.[513]

There was once a king who was noted throughout his dominions for daily
boasting of his power and riches. His ministers at length became weary
of this self-glorification, and one day when he demanded of them, as
usual, whether there existed in the whole world another king as powerful
as he, they plainly told him that there was such another potentate; upon
which he assembled his troops and rode forth at their head, challenging
the neighbouring kings to fight with him. Ere long he met with more than
his match, for another king came with a great army and utterly defeated
him, and took possession of his kingdom. Disguising himself, the humbled
king escaped with his wife and two boys, and arriving at the sea shore,
found a ship about to sail. The master agreed to take him and his family
and land them at the port for which he was bound. But when he beheld the
beauty of the queen, he became enamoured of her, and determined to make
her his own. The queen was the first to go on board the ship, and the
king and his two sons were about to follow, when they were seized by a
party of ruffians, hired by the shipmaster, and held back until the
vessel had got fairly under way. The queen was distracted on seeing her
husband and children left behind, and refused to listen to the master’s
suit, who, after having tried to win her love for several days without
success, resolved to sell her as a slave. Among the passengers was a
merchant, who, seeing that the lady would not accept the shipmaster for
her husband, thought that if he bought her, he might in time gain her
affection. Accordingly he purchased her of the master for a large sum of
money, and then told her that he had done so with a view of making her
his wife. The lady replied that, although the shipman had no right thus
to dispose of her, yet she would consent to marry him at the end of two
years, if she did not during that period meet with her husband and their
two sons; and to this condition the merchant agreed. In the meanwhile
the king, having sorrowfully watched the vessel till it was out of
sight, turned back with his two boys, who wept and lamented as they ran
beside him. After walking a great distance, he came to a shallow but
rapid river, which he wished to cross, and, as there was no boat or
bridge, he was obliged to wade through the water. Taking up one of his
sons he contrived to reach the other side in safety, and was returning
for the other when the force of the current overcame him and he was

When the two boys noticed that their father had perished, they wept
bitterly. Their separation, too, was a further cause for grief. There
they stood, one on either side of the river, with no means of reaching
each other. They shouted, and ran about hither and thither in their
grief, till they had almost wearied themselves into sleep, when a
fisherman came past, who, seeing the great distress of the boys, took
them into his boat, and asked them who they were, and who were their
parents; and they told him all that had happened. When he had heard
their story, he said, “You have not a father or mother, and I have not a
child. Evidently God has sent you to me. Will you be my own children and
learn to fish, and live in my house?” Of course, the poor boys were only
too glad to find a friend and shelter. “Come,” said the fisherman
kindly, leading them out of the boat to a house close by, “I will look
after you.” The boys followed most happily, and went into the
fisherman’s house; and when they saw his wife they were still better
pleased, for she was very kind to them, and treated them as if they had
been her own children. The two boys went to school, and when they had
learned all that the master could teach them, they began to help their
adoptive father, and in a little while became most expert and diligent
young fishermen.

Thus time was passing with them, when it happened that a great fish
threw itself on to the bank of the river and could not get back again
into the water. Everybody in the village went to see the monstrous fish,
and cut a slice of its flesh and took it home. A few people also went
from the neighbouring villages, and amongst them was a maker of
earthenware. His wife had heard of the great fish and urged him to go
and get some of the flesh. So he went, although the hour was late. On
his arrival he found that all the people had returned to their homes.
The potter had taken an axe with him, thinking that the bones would be
so great and strong as to require its use in breaking them. When he
struck the first blow a voice came out of the fish, like that of some
one in pain, at which the potter was greatly surprised. “Perhaps,”
thought he, “the fish is possessed by a bhút.[514] I’ll try again;”
whereupon he struck another blow with his axe. Again the voice came
forth from the fish, saying, “Woe is me! woe is me!” On hearing this,
the potter thought, “Well, this is evidently not a bhút, but the voice
of an ordinary man. I’ll cut the flesh carefully. May be that I shall
find some poor distressed person.” So he began to cut away the flesh
carefully, and presently he perceived a man’s foot, then the legs
appeared, and then the entire body. “Praise be to God,” he cried, “the
soul is yet in him.” He carried the man to his house as fast as he
could, and on arriving there did everything in his power to recover him.
A large fire was soon got ready, and tea and soup given the man, and
great was the joy of the potter and his wife when they saw him
reviving.[515] For some months the stranger lived with those good
people, and learnt how to make pots and pans and other articles, and
thereby helped them considerably. Now it happened that the king of that
country died, and it was the custom of the people to take for their
sovereign whomsoever the late king’s elephant and hawk should select.
And so on the death of the king the royal elephant was driven all over
the country, and the hawk was made to fly about, in search of a
successor, and it came to pass that the person before whom the elephant
saluted and on whom the hawk alighted was considered as the
divinely-chosen one. Accordingly the elephant and the hawk went about
the country, and in the course of their wanderings came by the house of
the potter who had so kindly succoured the poor man whom he found in the
belly of the monstrous fish; and it chanced that as they passed the
place the stranger was standing by the door, and behold, no sooner did
the elephant and hawk see him than the one bowed down before him and the
other perched on his hand. “Let him be king! let him be king!” shouted
the people who were in attendance on the elephant, and they prostrated
themselves before the stranger and begged him to accompany them to the

The ministers were glad when they heard the news, and most respectfully
welcomed their new king. As soon as the rites and ceremonies necessary
for the installation of a king had been observed, his majesty entered on
his duties. The first thing he did was to send for the potter and his
wife and grant them some land and money. In this and other ways, such as
just judgments, proper laws, and kindly notices of all who were clever
and good, he won for himself the good opinion and affection of his
subjects and prospered in consequence thereof. After a few months,
however, his health was impaired, and his physicians advised him to take
out-door exercise. Accordingly, he alternately rode, hunted, and fished.
He was especially fond of fishing, and whenever he indulged in this
amusement, he was attended by two sons of a fisherman, who were clever
and handsome youths.

About this time the merchant who bought the wife of the poor king that
was carried away by the rapid river visited that country for purposes of
trade. He obtained an interview with the king, and displayed before him
all his precious stones and stuffs. The king was much pleased to see
such treasures, and asked many questions about them and the countries
whence they had been brought. The merchant satisfied the king’s
curiosity, and then begged permission to trade in that country, under
his majesty’s protection, which the king readily granted, and ordered
that some soldiers should be placed on guard in the merchant’s
courtyard, and sent the fisherman’s two sons to sleep in the premises.

One night those two youths not being able to sleep, the younger asked
his brother to tell him a story to pass the time, so he replied, “I will
tell you one out of our own experience: Once upon a time there lived a
great and wealthy king, who was very proud, and his pride led him to
utter ruin and caused him the sorest afflictions. One day when going
about with his army, challenging other kings to fight with him, a great
and powerful king appeared and conquered him. He escaped with his wife
and two sons to the sea, hoping to find a vessel, by which he and his
family might reach a foreign land. After walking several miles they
reached the sea-shore and found a ship ready to sail. The master of the
vessel took the queen, but the king and his two sons were held back by
some men, who had been hired by the master for this purpose, until the
ship was under way. The poor king after this walked long and far till he
came to a rapid river. As there was no bridge or boat near, he was
obliged to wade across. He took one of his boys and got over safely, and
was returning for the other when he stumbled over a stone, lost his
footing, and was carried down the stream; and he has not been heard of
since. A fisherman came along, and, seeing the two boys crying, took
them into his boat, and afterwards to his house, and became very fond of
them, as did also his wife, and they were like father and mother to
them. All this happened a few years ago, and the two boys are generally
believed to be the fisherman’s own sons. O brother, we are these two
boys! And there you have my story.”

The tale was so interesting and its conclusion so wonderful that the
younger brother was more awake than before. It had also attracted the
attention of another. The merchant’s promised wife, who happened to be
lying awake at the time, and whose room was separated from the warehouse
by a very thin partition, overheard all that had been said, and she
thought within herself, “Surely these two boys must be my own sons.”
Presently she was sitting beside them and asking them many questions.
Two years or more had made a great difference in the persons of both the
boys, but there were certain signs which a hundred years could not
efface from a mother’s memory. These, together with the answers which
she elicited from them, assured her that she had found her own sons
again. Tears streamed down her face as she embraced them, and revealed
to them that she was the queen, their mother, about whom they had just
been speaking. She then told them all that had happened to her since she
had been parted from them and their poor father, the king; after which
she explained that although the merchant was a good man and very wealthy
yet she did not like him well enough to become his wife, and proposed a
plan for her getting rid of him. “My device,” said she, “is to pretend
to the merchant that you attempted my honour. I shall affect to be very
angry and not give him any peace until he goes to the king and complains
against you. Then will the king send for you in great wrath and inquire
into this matter. In reply you must say it is all a mistake, for you
regard me as your own mother, and in proof of this you will beg the king
to summon me into his presence, that I may corroborate what you say.
Then I will declare that you are really my own sons, and beseech the
king to free me from the merchant and allow me to live with you in any
place I may choose for the rest of my days.”

The sons agreed to this proposal, and next night, when the merchant was
also sleeping in the house, the woman raised a great cry, so that
everybody was awakened by the noise. The merchant came and asked the
cause of the outcry, and she answered, “The two youths who look after
your warehouse have attempted to violate me, so I screamed in order to
make them desist.” On hearing this the merchant was enraged. He
immediately bound the two youths, and, as soon as there was any chance
of seeing the king, took them before him and preferred his complaint.
“What have you to say in your defence?” said the king, addressing the
youths; “because, if what this merchant charges against you be true, I
will have you at once put to death. Is this the gratitude you manifest
for all my kindness and condescension towards you? Say quickly what you
have to say.” “O king, our benefactor,” replied the elder brother, “we
are not affrighted by your words and looks, for we are true servants. We
have not betrayed your trust in us, but have always tried to fulfil your
wishes to the utmost of our power. The charges brought against us by
this merchant are unfounded. We have not attempted to dishonour his
wife; we have rather always regarded her as our own mother. May it
please your majesty to send for the woman and inquire further into this

The king consented, and the woman was brought before him. “Is it true,”
he asked her, “what the merchant, your affianced husband, witnesses
against these two youths?” “O king,” she replied, “the youths whom you
gave to help the merchant have most carefully tried to carry out your
wishes. But the night before last I heard their conversation. The elder
was telling the younger a tale, from his own experience, he said. It was
a story of a conceited king who had been defeated by another more
powerful than he, and obliged to fly with his wife and two children to
the sea. There, through the vile trickery of the master of a vessel, the
wife was stolen and taken away to far distant lands, where she became
engaged to a wealthy trader; while the exiled king and his two sons
wandered in another direction, till they came to a river, in which the
king was drowned. The two boys were found by a fisherman and brought up
as his own sons. These two boys, O king, are before you, and I am their
mother, who was taken away and sold to the trader, and who after two
days must be married to him. For I promised that if within a certain
period I should not meet with my husband and two sons I would be his
wife. But I entreat your majesty to free me from this man. I do not wish
to marry again, now that I have found my two sons. In order to obtain an
audience of your majesty, this trick was arranged with the two youths.”

By the time the woman had finished her story the king’s face was
suffused with tears, and he was trembling visibly. When he had somewhat
recovered he rose from the throne, and going up to the woman and the two
youths embraced them long and fervently. “You are my own dear wife and
children,” he cried. “God has sent you back to me. I, the king, your
husband, your father, was not drowned as you supposed; but was swallowed
by a great fish and nourished by it for some time, and then the monster
threw itself upon the river’s bank and I was extricated. A potter and
his wife had pity on me and taught me their trade, and I was just
beginning to earn my living by making earthen vessels when the late king
of this country died, and I was chosen king by the royal elephant and
hawk—I who am now standing here.” Then his majesty ordered the queen and
her two sons to be taken into the inner apartments of the palace, and
explained his conduct to the people assembled. The merchant was politely
dismissed from the country. And as soon as the two princes were old
enough to govern the kingdom, the king committed to them the charge of
all affairs, while he retired with his wife to a sequestered spot and
passed the rest of his days in peace.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The tale of Sarwar and Nír, “as told by a celebrated Bard from Baraut,
in the Merath district,” in vol. iii. of Captain R. C. Temple’s “Legends
of the Panjáb” (pp. 97–125), though differing in form somewhat from the
Kashmírí version, yet possesses the leading incidents in common with it,
as will be seen from the following abstract:

                            PANJÁBÍ VERSION.

Amba the rájá of Púná had a beautiful wife named Amlí and two young
sons, Sarwar and Nír. There came to his court one day a fakír. The rájá
promised to give him whatsoever he should desire. The fakír required
Ambá to give up to him all he possessed, or lose his virtue, and the
rájá gave him all, save his wife and two children, receiving in return
the blessings of the fakír. Then the rájá and the rání went away; he
carrying Sarwar in his bosom, and she with Nír in her lap. For a time
they lived on the fruits and roots of the forest. At length the raní
gave her husband her (jewelled) bodice to sell in the bázár, in order to
procure food. He offered it to Kundan the merchant, who made him sit
down, and asked him where he had left the raní, and why he did not bring
her with him. Ambá told him that he had left her with their two boys
under the banyan-tree. Then Kundan, leaving Ambá in the shop, went and
got a litter, and proceeding to the banyan-tree showed the rání the
bodice, and said, “Thy husband wishes thee to come to him.” Nothing
doubting, the rání entered the litter, and the merchant sent it off to
his own house. Leaving the boys in the forest, he returned to Ambá, and
said to him that he had not enough money to pay the price of the bodice,
so the rájá must take it back. Ambá took the bodice, and coming to the
boys, learned from Sarwar how their mother had been carried away in a
litter, and he was sorely grieved in his heart, but consoled the
children, saying that their mother had gone to her brother’s house, and
that he would take them to her at once. Placing the two boys on his
shoulders he walked along till he came to a river. He set down Nír, and
carried Sarwar safely across, but as he was going back for the other,
behold, an alligator seized him. It was the will of God: what remedy is
there against the writing of Fate? The two boys, separated by the river,
sat down and wept in their sorrow. In the early morning a washerman was
up and spreading his clothes. He heard the two boys weeping and came to
see. He had pity on them and brought them together. Then he took them to
his house, and washed their faces and gave them food. He put them into a
separate house and a Bráhman cooked for them and gave them water.[517]
He caused the brothers to be taught all kinds of learning, and at the
end of twelve years they both set out together to seek their living.
They went to the city of Ujjain, and told the rájá their history—how
they had left their home and kingdom. The rájá gave them arms and
suitable clothing, and appointed them guards over the female
apartments.[518] One day a fisherman caught an alligator in his net.
When he cut open its body, he found in it Rájá Ambá, alive.[519] So he
took him to the rájá of Ujjain, and told how he had found him in the
stomach of an alligator. Ambá related his whole history to the rájá; how
he gave up all his wealth and his kingdom to a fakír; how his wife had
been stolen from him; and how after safely carrying one of his young
sons over the river in returning for the other he had been swallowed by
an alligator. On hearing of all these misfortunes the rájá of Ujjain
pitied him and loved him in his heart: he adopted Ambá as his son; and
they lived together for twenty years, when the rájá died and Ambá
obtained the throne.

Meanwhile the beautiful Rání Amlí, the wife of Ambá had continued to
refuse the merchant Kundan’s reiterated profers of love. At length he
said to her, “Many days have passed over thee, live now in my house as
my wife.” And she replied, “Let me bathe in the Ganges, and then I will
dwell in thy house.” So he took elephants and horses and lákhs of coin,
and set the ráni in a litter and started on the journey. When he reached
the city of Ujjain, he made a halt and pitched his tents. Then he went
before Rájá Ambá and said, “Give me a guard, for the nights are dark.
Hitherto I have had much trouble and no ease at nights. I am going to
bathe in the Ganges, to give alms and much food to Bráhmans. I am come,
rájá, to salute thee, bringing many things from my house.”

The rájá sent Sarwar and Nír as guards. They watched the tents, and
while the rain was falling the two brothers began talking over their
sorrows, saying “What can our mother be doing? Whither hath our father
gone?” Their mother overheard them talking, and by the will of God she
recognised the princes; then she tore open the tent, and cried aloud,
“All my property is gone! Who brought this thief to my tent?” The rání
had both Sarwar and Nír seized, and brought before Rájá Ambá on the
charge of having stolen her property. The rájá held a court, and began
to ask questions, saying, “Tell me what hath passed during the night.
How much of thy property hath gone, my friend? I will do thee justice,
according to thy desire: my heart is grieved that thy goods are gone.”
Then said the rání, “Be careful of the young elephant! The lightning
flashes and the heavy rain is falling. Said Nír, ‘Hear, brother Sarwar,
who knows whither our mother hath gone?’ And I recognised my sons; so I
made all this disturbance, rájá [in order to get access to thee].”[520]
Hearing this, Rájá Ambá rose up and took her to his breast—Amlí and Ambá
met again through the mercy of God. The rájá gave orders to have Kundan
hanged, saying, “Do it at once; he is a scoundrel; undo him that he may
not live.” They quickly fetched the executioners and put on the noose;
and then was Kundan strangled. The rání dwelt in the palace and all her
troubles passed far away. She fulfilled all her obligations, and
obtained great happiness through her virtue.


                            TIBETAN VERSION.

Under the title of “Krisa Gautami” in the collection of “Tibetan Tales
from Indian Sources,” translated by Mr. Ralston from the German of Von
Schiefner, we have what appears to be a very much garbled form of an old
Buddhist version of our story. The heroine is married to a young
merchant, whose father gives him some arable land in a hill district,
where he resides with Krisa Gautami his wife.

When the time came for her to expect her confinement, she obtained leave
of her husband to go to her parents’ house in order that she might have
the attendance of her mother. After her confinement and the naming of
the boy, she returned home. When the time of her second confinement drew
near, she again expressed to her husband a desire to go to her parents.
Her husband set out with her and the boy in a waggon; but by the time
they had gone half way she gave birth to a boy. When the husband saw
that this was to take place, he got out of the waggon, sat under a tree,
and fell asleep. While he was completely overcome by slumber a snake bit
him and he died. When his wife in her turn alighted from the waggon, and
went up to the tree in order to bring him the joyful tidings that a son
was born unto him, he, as he had given up the ghost, made no reply. She
seized him by the hand and found that he was dead. Then she began to
weep. Meantime a thief carried off the oxen. After weeping for a long
time, and becoming very mournful, she looked around on every side,
pressed the new-born babe to her bosom, took the elder child by the
hand, and set out on her way. As a heavy rain had unexpectedly fallen,
all the lakes, ponds, and springs were full of water, and the road was
flooded by the river. She reflected that if she were to cross the water
with both the children at once, she and they might meet with a disaster,
and therefore the children had better be taken over separately. So she
seated the elder boy on the bank of the river, and took the younger one
in her arms, walked across to the other side, and laid him down upon the
bank. Then she went back for the elder boy. But while she was in the
middle of the river, the younger boy was carried off by a jackal. The
elder boy thought that his mother was calling him, and sprang into the
water. The bank was very steep, so he fell down and was killed. The
mother hastened after the jackal, who let the child drop and ran off.
When she looked at it, she found that it was dead. So after she had wept
over it, she threw it into the water. When she saw that the elder was
being carried along by the stream, she became still more distressed. She
hastened after him, and found that he was dead. Bereft of both husband
and children, she gave way to despair, and sat down alone on the bank,
with only the lower part of her body covered. There she listened to the
howling of the wind, the roaring of the forest and of the waves, as well
as the singing of various kinds of birds. Then wandering to and fro,
with sobs and tears of woe, she lamented the loss of her husband and her
two children.

She meets with one of her father’s domestics, who informs her that her
parents and their servants had all been destroyed by a hurricane, and
that “he only had escaped” to tell her the sad tidings. After this she
is married to a weaver, who ill-uses her, and she escapes from him one
night. She attaches herself to some travellers returning from a trading
expedition in the north, and the leader of the caravan takes her for his
wife. The party are attacked by robbers and the leader is killed. She
then becomes the wife of the chief of the robbers, who in his turn finds
death at the hands of the king of that country, and she is placed in his

The king died, and she was buried alive in his tomb, after having had
great honour shown to her by the women, the princes, the ministers, and
a vast concourse of people. Some men from the north who were wont to rob
graves broke into this one also. The dust they raised entered into Krisa
Gautami’s nostrils, and made her sneeze. The grave-robbers were
terrified, thinking that she was a demon (_vetála_), and they fled; but
Krisa Gautami escaped from the grave through the opening which they had
made. Conscious of all her troubles, and affected by the want of food,
just as a violent storm arose, she went out of her mind. Covered with
merely her underclothing, her hands and feet foul and rough, with long
locks and pallid complexion, she wandered about until she reached
Sravastí. There, at the sight of Bhagavant, she recovered her intellect.
Bhagavant ordered Ananda to give her an over-robe, and he taught her the
doctrine, and admitted her into the ecclesiastical body, and he
appointed her the chief of the Bhikshunís who had embraced

This remarkable story is one of those which reached Europe long anterior
to the Crusades. It is found in the Greek martyr acts, which were
probably composed in the eighth century, where it is told of Saint
Eustache, who was before his baptism a captain of Trajan, named
Placidus, and the same legend reappears, with modifications of the
details, in many mediæval collections and forms the subject of several
romances. In most versions the _motif_ is similar to that of the story
of Job. The following is the outline of the original legend, according
to the Greek martyr acts:

                        LEGEND OF ST. EUSTACHE.

As Placidus one day hunted in the forest, the Saviour appeared to him
between the antlers of a hart, and converted him. Placidus changed his
name into Eustache, when he was baptized with his wife and sons. God
announced to him by an angel his future martyrdom. Eustache was
afflicted by dreadful calamities, lost all his estate, and was compelled
to go abroad as a beggar with his wife and his children. As he went on
board a ship bound for Egypt, his wife was seized by the shipmaster and
carried off. Soon after, when Eustache was travelling along the shore,
his two children were borne off by a lion and a leopard. Eustache then
worked for a long time as journeyman, till he was discovered by the
emperor Trajan, who had sent out messengers for him, and called him to
court. Reappointed captain, Eustache undertook an expedition against the
Dacians. During this war he found his wife in a cottage as a
gardener—the shipmaster had fallen dead to the ground as he ventured to
touch her—and in the same cottage he found again his two sons as
soldiers: herdsmen had rescued them from the wild beasts and brought
them up. Glad was their meeting again! But as they returned to Rome they
were all burnt in a glowing bull of brass by the emperor’s order,
because they refused to sacrifice to the heathen gods.[522]

                  *       *       *       *       *

The story of Placidus, which forms chapter 110 of the continental “Gesta
Romanorum,” presents few and unimportant variations from the foregoing:
Eustatius came to a river the water of which ran so high that it seemed
hazardous to attempt to cross it with both the children at the same
time; one therefore he placed upon the bank, and then passed over with
the other in his arms, and having laid it on the ground, he returned for
the other child. But in the midst of the river, looking back, he beheld
a wolf snatch up the child he had just carried over and run with it into
the adjoining wood. He turned to rescue it, but at that instant a huge
lion approached the other child and disappeared with it. After the loss
of his two boys Eustatius journeyed on till he came to a village, where
he remained for fifteen years, tending sheep as a hired servant, when he
was discovered by Trajan’s messengers, and so on.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The story is so differently told in one of the Early English
translations of the “Gesta Romanorum” in the Harleian MSS. 7333
(re-edited by Herrtage for the E.E.T. Soc., pp. 87–91) that it is worth
while, for purposes of comparison, reproducing it here in full:

                      OLD ENGLISH “GESTA” VERSION.

Averios was a wise emperour regnyng in the cite of Rome; and he let crye
a grete feste, and who so ever wold come to that feste, and gete victory
in the tournement, he shuld have his doughter to wyf, after his decesse.
So there was a doughti knyght, and hardy in armys, and specially in
tournement, the which hadde a wyf, and two yong children, of age of thre
yere; and when this knyght had herd this crye, in a clere
morowenyng[523] he entred in to a forest, and there he herd a
nyghtingale syng upon a tre so swetly, that he herd never so swete a
melody afore that tyme. The knyght sette him doun undre the tre, and
seid to him self, “Now, Lord, if I myght knowe what this brid[524] shold
bemene!”[525] There come an old man, and seid to him, “That thou shalt
go within thes thre daies to the emperours feste, and thou shalt suffre
grete persecution or thou come there; and if thou be constant, and
pacient in all thi tribulacion, thy sorowe shal turne the[526] to grete
joy; and, ser, this is the interpretacion of his song.” When this was
seid, the old man vanysshed, and the brid fly away. Tho[527] the knyght
had grete merveill; he yede[528] to his wif, and told her the cas.[529]
“Ser,” quod she, “the will of God be fulfilled, but I counsell that we
go to the feste of the emperour, and that ye thynk on the victory in the
tournement, by the which we may be avaunced[530] and holpen.”[531] When
the knyght had made all thing redy, there come a grete fire in the
nyght; and brent[532] up all his hous, and all his goodis, for which he
had grete sorowe in hert; nevertheles, notwithstondyng all this, he yede
forthe toward the see, with his wife, and with his two childryn; and
there he hired a ship, to passe over. When thei come to londe, the
maister of the shippe asked of the knyght his hire for his passage, for
him, and for his wif, and for his two childryn. “Dere frend,” said the
knyght to him, “dere frend, suffre me, and thou shalt have all thyn, for
I go now to the feste of the emperour, where I trust to have the victory
in turnement, and then thou shalt be wele ypaied.” “Nay, by the feith
that I owe to the emperour,” quod that other, “hit shal not be so, for
but if[533] you pay now, I shal holde thi wif to wed,[534] tyll tyme
that I be paied fully my salary.” And he seid that, for he desired the
love of the lady. Tho the knyght profren his two childryn to wed, so
that he myght have his wif; and the shipman seid, “Nay, such wordis
beth[535] vayn, for,” quod he, “or[536] I wol have my mede, or els I
wolle holde thi wif.” So the knyght lefte his wif with him, and kyst her
with bitter teris; and toke the two childryn, scil. oon on his arme and
that othir in his nek, and so he yede forth to the turnement. Aftir, the
maister of the shippe wolde have layn by the lady, but she denyed hit,
and seid, that she had lever dey[537] than consente therto. So within
short tyme, the maister drew to a fer[538] lond, and there he deied; and
the lady beggid her brede fro dore to dore, and knew not in what lond
her husbond was duellinge. The knyght was gon toward the paleis, and at
the last he come by a depe water, that was impossible to be passid,
but[539] hit were in certein tyme, when hit was at the lowist. The
knygnt sette doun oo[540] child, and bare the othir over the water; and
aftir that he come ayen[541] to fecche over the othir, but or[542] he
myght come to him, there come a lion, and bare him awey to the forest.
The knyght pursued aftir, but he myght not come to the lion; and then he
wept bitterly, and yede ayen over the water to the othir child; and or
he were ycome, a bere had take the child, and ran therwith to the
forest. When the knyght saw that, sore he wepte, and seid, “Allas! that
ever I was bore, for now have I lost wif and childryn. O thou brid! thi
song that was so swete is yturned in to grete sorowe, and hath ytake
away myrth fro my hert.” Aftir this he turned toward the feste, and made
him redy toward the turnement; and there he bare him so manly, and so
doutely in the turnement, and that twies or thries, that he wan the
victory, and worship, and wynnyng of that day. For the emperour hily
avauncid him, and made him maister of his oste,[543] and commaundid that
all shuld obey to him; and he encresid, and aros from day to day in
honure and richesse. And he went aftirward in a certain day in the cite,
[and] he found a precious stone, colourid with thre maner of colours, as
in oo partie[544] white, in an othir partie red, and in the thrid partie
blak. Anon he went to a lapidary, that was expert in the vertue of
stonys; and he seid, that the vertue of thilke[545] stone was this, who
so ever berith the stone upon him, his hevynesse[546] shall turne in to
joy; and if he be povere,[547] he shal be made riche; and if he hath
lost anything, he shall fynde hit ayen with grete joy. And when the
knyght herd this, he was glad and blith, and thought in him self, “I am
in grete hevynesse and poverte, for I have lost all that I had, and by
this stone I shal recovere all ayen, whether hit be so or no, God wote!”
Aftir, when he must go to bataile of the emperour he gadrid
to-gidre[548] all the oste, and among them he found two yong knyghtis,
semely in harneis,[549] and wele i-shape, the which he hired for to go
with him yn bataill of the emperour. And when thei were in the bataill,
there was not oon in all the bataill that did so doutely,[550] as did
tho[551] two knyghtis that he hired; and therof this knyght, maister of
the ost, was hily gladid. When the bataill was y-do,[552] thes two yong
knyghtes yede to her oste[553] in the cite; and as they sat to-gidir,
the elder seid to the yonger, “Dere frend, hit is long sithen[554] that
we were felawys,[555] and we have grete grace of God, for in every
batail we have the victory; and therfore I pray you, telle me of what
contre ye were ybore, and in what nacion? For I askid never this of the
or now; and if thou wilt telle me soth,[556] I shall telle my kynrede
and where I was borne.” And when oo felawe spak thus to the othir, a
faire lady was loggid[557] in the same ostry;[558] and when she herd the
elder knyght speke, she herkened to him; but she knew neither of
hem,[559] and yit she was modir of both, and wyf of the maister of the
oste,[560] the which also the maister of the shippe withheld for
ship-hire, but ever God kept her fro synne. Then spake the yonger
knyght, “Forsooth, good man, I note[561] who was my fader, or who was my
modir, ne[562] in what stede[563] I was borne; but I have this wele in
mynde, that my fader was a knyght, and that he bare me over the water,
and left my eldir brothir in the lond; and as he passid over ayen to
fecche him, there come a lion, and toke me up, but a man of the cite
come with houndis, and when he saw him, he made him to leve me with his
houndis.”[564] “Now sothly,” quod that othir, “and in the same maner hit
happid with me. For I was the sone of a knyght, and had only a brothir;
and my fader brought me, and my brothir, and my modir, over the see
toward the emperour; and for my fader had not to pay to the maister of
the ship for the fraught, he left my modir to wed; and then my fader
toke me with my yong brothir, and brought us on his bak, and in his
armys, tyll that we come unto a water, and there left me in a side of
the water, and bare over my yong brothir; and or my fader myght come to
me ayene, to bare me over, ther come a bere, and bore me to wode;[565]
and the people that saw him, made grete cry, and for fere the bere let
me falle, and so with thelke[566] poeple I duellid x. yere, and ther I
was y-norisshed.” When the modir herd thes wordis, she seid, “Withoute
doute thes ben my sonys;” and ran to hem anon, and fil upon her[567]
nekkes, and wepte sore for joy, and seid, “A! dere sonys, I am your
modir, that your fader left with the maister of the shippe; and I know
wele by your wordis and signes that ye beth true brethern. But how it is
with your fader, that I know not, but God, that all seth,[568] yeve[569]
me grace to fynd my husbond.” And alle that nyght thes thre were in
gladnes. On the morow the modir rose up, and the childryn, scil. the
knyghtis, folowid; and as thei yede, the maister of the oste mette with
hem in the strete, and though he were her fader, he knew hem not,
but[570] as thei had manli fought the day afore; and therfor he salued
hem honurably, and askid of hem what feir lady that was, that come with
hem? Anon as his lady herd his voys, and perceyved a certeyn signe in
his frount,[571] she knew fully therby that it was her husbond; and
therfore she ran to him, and clypt him, and kyst him, and for joy fille
doun to the erth, as she had be ded. So aftir this passion, she was
reised up; and then the maister seid to her, “Telle me, feir woman, whi
thou clippest me, and kyssist me so?” She seid, “I am thi wif, that thou
leftist with the maister of the ship; and thes two knyghtis bene your
sonys. Loke wele on my front, and see.” Then the knyght byheld her wele,
with a good avisement,[572] and knew wele by diverse tokyns that she was
his wif; and anon kyst her, and the sonys eke; and blessid hiely God,
that so had visited hem. Tho went he ayen to his lond, with his wif, and
with his children, and endid faire his lif.

                  *       *       *       *       *

From the legend of St. Eustache the romances of Sir Isumbras, Octavian,
Sir Eglamour of Artois, and Sir Torrent of Portugal are derived. In the
last, while the hero is absent, aiding the king of Norway with his
sword, his wife Desonelle is delivered of twins, and her father, King
Calamond, out of his hatred of her, causes her and the babes to be put
to sea in a boat; but a favourable wind saves them from destruction, and
drives the boat upon the coast of Palestine. As she is wandering
aimlessly along the shore, a huge griffin appears, and seizes one of her
children, and immediately after a leopard drags away the other. With
submission she suffers her miserable fate, relying on the help of the
Holy Virgin. The king of Jerusalem, just returning from a voyage,
happened to find the leopard with the child, which he ordered to be
saved and delivered to him. Seeing from the foundling’s golden ring that
the child was of noble descent, and pitying its helpless state, he took
it into his palace, and brought him up as if he were his own son, at his
court. The dragon with the other child was seen by a pious hermit, St.
Antony, who, though son of the king of Greece, had in his youth forsaken
the world. Through his prayer St. Mary made the dragon put down the
infant. Antony carried him to his father, who adopted him and ordered
him to be baptized. Desonelle wandered up and down, after the loss of
her children, till she happened to meet the king of Nazareth hunting.
He, recognising her as the king of Portugal’s daughter, gave her a kind
welcome and assistance, and at his court she lived several years in
happy retirement. Ultimately she is re-united to her husband and her two
sons, when they have become famous knights.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The following is an epitome of “Sir Isumbras,” from Ellis’s “Specimens
of Early English Metrical Romances” (Bohn’s ed. p. 479 ff.):

                        ROMANCE OF SIR ISUMBRAS.

There was once a knight, who, from his earliest infancy, appeared to be
the peculiar favourite of Fortune. His birth was noble; his person
equally remarkable for strength and beauty; his possessions so extensive
as to furnish the amusements of hawking and hunting in the highest
perfection. Though he had found no opportunity of signalising his
courage in war, he had borne away the prize at numberless tournaments;
his courtesy was the theme of general praise; his hall was the seat of
unceasing plenty; it was crowded with minstrels, whom he entertained
with princely liberality, and the possession of a beautiful wife and
three lovely children completed the sum of earthly happiness.

Sir Isumbras had many virtues, but he had one vice. In the pride of his
heart he forgot the Giver of all good things, and considered the
blessings so abundantly showered upon him as the proper and just reward
of his distinguished merit. Instances of this overweening presumption
might perhaps be found in all ages among the possessors of wealth and
power; but few sinners have the good fortune to be recalled, like Sir
Isumbras, by a severe but salutary punishment, to the pious sentiments
of Christian humility.

It was usual with knights to amuse themselves with hawking or hunting
whenever they were not occupied by some more serious business; and, as
business seldom intervened, they thus amused themselves every day in the
year. One morning, being mounted on his favourite steed, surrounded by
his dogs, and with a hawk on his wrist, Sir Isumbras cast his eyes on
the sky, and discovered an angel, who, hovering over him, reproached him
with his pride, and announced the punishment of instant and complete
degradation. The terrified knight immediately fell on his knees;
acknowledged the justice of his sentence; returned thanks to Heaven for
deigning to visit him with adversity while the possession of youth and
health enabled him to endure it; and, filled with contrition, prepared
to return from the forest. But scarcely had the angel disappeared when
his good steed suddenly fell dead under him; the hawk dropped from his
wrist; his hounds wasted and expired; and, being thus left alone, he
hastened on foot towards his palace, filled with melancholy forebodings,
but impatient to learn the whole extent of his misfortune.

He was presently met by a part of his household, who, with many tears,
informed him that his horses and oxen had been suddenly struck dead with
lightning, and that his capons were all stung to death with adders. He
received the tidings with humble resignation, commanded his servants to
abstain from murmurs against Providence, and passed on. He was next met
by a page, who related that his castle was burned to the ground, that
many of his servants had lost their lives, and that his wife and
children had with great difficulty escaped from the flames. Sir
Isumbras, rejoiced that Heaven had yet spared those who were most dear
to him, bestowed upon the astonished page his purse of gold as a reward
for the intelligence.

                A doleful sight then gan he see;
                His wife and children three
                  Out of the fire were fled:
                There they sat, under a thorn,
                Bare and naked as they were born,
                  Brought out of their bed.
                A woful man then was he,
                When he saw them all naked be,
                  The lady said, all so blive,
                “For nothing, sir, be ye adrad.”
                He did off his surcoat of pallade,[573]
                  And with it clad his wife.
                His scarlet mantle then shore[574] he;
                Therein he closed his children three
                  That naked before him stood.

He then proposed to his wife that, as an expiation of their sins, they
should at once undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; so, cutting with his
knife a sign of the cross on his bare shoulder, he set off with the four
companions of his misery, resolving to beg his bread till they should
arrive at the Holy Sepulchre. After passing through “seven lands,”
supported by the scanty alms of the charitable, they arrived at length
at a forest, where they wandered during three days without meeting a
single habitation. Their food was reduced to the few berries which they
were able to collect; and the children, unaccustomed to such hard fare,
began to sink under the accumulated difficulties of their journey. In
this situation they were stopped by a wide and rapid though shallow
river. Sir Isumbras, taking his eldest son in his arms, carried him over
to the opposite bank, and placing him under a bush of broom, directed
him to dry his tears, and amuse himself by playing with the blossoms
till his return with his brothers. But scarcely had he left the place
when a lion, starting from a neighbouring thicket, seized the child and
bore him away into the recesses of the forest. The second son became, in
like manner, the prey of an enormous leopard; and the disconsolate
mother, when carried over with her infant to the fatal spot, was with
difficulty persuaded to survive the loss of her two elder children. Sir
Isumbras, though he could not repress the tears extorted by this cruel
calamity, exerted himself to console his wife, and, humbly confessing
his sins, contented himself with praying that his present misery might
be accepted by Heaven as a partial expiation.

                 Through forest they went days three,
                 Till they came to the Greekish sea;
                   They grette,[575] and were full wo!
                 As they stood upon the land,
                 They saw a fleet sailand,[576]
                   Three hundred ships and mo.[577]
                 With top-castels set on-loft,
                 Richly then were they wrought,
                   With joy and mickle[578] pride:
                 A heathen king was therein,
                 That Christendom came to win;
                   His power was full wide.

It was now seven days since the pilgrims had tasted bread or meat; the
soudan’s[579] galley, therefore, was no sooner moored to the beach than
they hastened on board to beg for food. The soudan, under the
apprehension that they were spies, ordered them to be driven back on
shore; but his attendants observed to him that these could not be common
beggars; that the robust limbs and tall stature of the husband proved
him to be a knight in disguise; and that the delicate complexion of the
wife, who was “bright as blossom on tree,” formed a striking contrast to
the ragged apparel with which she was very imperfectly covered. They
were now brought into the royal presence; and the soudan, addressing Sir
Isumbras, immediately offered him as much treasure as he should require,
on condition that he should renounce Christianity and consent to fight
under the Saracen banners. The answer was a respectful but peremptory
refusal, concluded by an earnest petition for a little food; but the
soudan, having by this time turned his eyes from Sir Isumbras to the
beautiful companion of his pilgrimage, paid no attention to his request.

                 The soudan beheld that lady there,
                 Him thought an angel that she were,
                   Comen a-down from heaven;
                 “Man! I will give thee gold and fee,
                 An thou that woman will sellen me,
                   More than thou can neven.[580]
                 I will give thee an hundred pound
                 Of pennies that been whole and round,
                   And rich robes seven:
                 She shall be queen of my land,
                 And all men bow unto her hand,
                   And none withstand her steven.”[581]
                 Sir Isumbras said, “Nay!
                 My wife I will nought sell away,
                   Though ye me for her sloo![582]
                 I weddid her in Goddislay,
                 To hold her to mine ending day,
                   Both for weal and wo.”

It evidently would require no small share of casuistry to construe this
declaration into an acceptance of the bargain; but the Saracens, having
heard the offer of their sovereign, deliberately counted out the
stipulated sum on the mantle of Sir Isumbras; took possession of the
lady; carried the knight with his infant son on shore; beat him till he
was scarcely able to move; and then returned for further orders. During
this operation, the soudan, with his own hand, placed the regal crown on
the head of his intended bride; but recollecting that the original
project of the voyage to Europe was to conquer it, which might possibly
occasion a loss of some time, he delayed his intended nuptial, and
ordered a fast-sailing vessel to convey her to his dominions, providing
her at the same time with a charter addressed to his subjects, in which
he enjoined them to obey her, from the moment of her landing, as their
legitimate sovereign.

The lady, emboldened by these tokens of deference on the part of her new
lord, now fell on her knees and entreated his permission to pass a few
moments in private with her former husband, and the request was
instantly granted by the complaisant Saracen. Sir Isumbras, still
smarting from his bruises, was conducted with great respect and ceremony
to his wife, who, embracing him with tears, earnestly conjured him to
seek her out as soon as possible in her new dominions, to slay his
infidel rival, and to take possession of a throne which was probably
reserved to him by Heaven as an indemnification for his past losses. She
then supplied him with provisions for a fortnight; kissed him and her
infant son; swooned three times; and then set sail for Africa.

Sir Isumbras, who had been set on shore quite confounded by this quick
succession of strange adventures, followed the vessel with his eyes till
it vanished from his sight, and then taking his son by the hand led him
up to some rocky woodlands in the neighbourhood. Here they sat down
under a tree, and after a short repast, which was moistened with their
tears, resumed their journey. But they were again bewildered in the
forest, and, after gaining the summit of the mountain without being able
to descry a single habitation, lay down on the bare ground and resigned
themselves to sleep. The next morning Sir Isumbras found that his
misfortunes were not yet terminated. He had carried his stock of
provisions, together with his gold, the fatal present of the soudan,
enveloped in a scarlet mantle; and scarcely had the sun darted its first
rays on the earth when an eagle, attracted by the red cloth, swooped
down upon the treasure and bore it off in his talons. Sir Isumbras,
waking at the moment, perceived the theft, and for some time hastily
pursued the flight of the bird, who, he expected, would speedily drop
the heavy and useless burthen; but he was disappointed; for the eagle,
constantly towering as he approached the sea, at length directed his
flight towards the opposite shore of Africa. Sir Isumbras slowly
returned to his child, whom he had no longer the means of feeding; but
the wretched father only arrived in time to behold the boy snatched from
him by a unicorn. The knight was now quite disheartened. But his last
calamity was so evidently miraculous that even the grief of the father
was nearly absorbed by the contrition of the sinner. He fell on his
knees and uttered a most fervent prayer to Jesus and the Virgin, and
then proceeded on his journey.

His attention was soon attracted by the sound of a smith’s bellows: he
quickly repaired to the forge and requested the charitable donation of a
little food; but was told by the labourers that he seemed as well able
to work as they did, and they had nothing to throw away in charity.

                  Then answered the knight again,
                  “For meat would I swink[583] fain.”
                    Fast he bare and drow;[584]
                  They given him meat and drink anon.
                  And taughten him to bear stone:
                    Then had he shame enow.

This servitude lasted a twelvemonth, and seven years expired before he
had fully attained all the mysteries of his new profession. He employed
his few leisure hours in fabricating a complete suit of armour: every
year had brought him an account of the progress of the Saracens; and he
could not help entertaining a hope that his arm, though so ignobly
employed, was destined at some future day to revenge the wrongs of the
Christians, as well as the injury which he had personally received from
the unbelievers.

At length he heard that the Christian army had again taken the field;
that the day was fixed for a great and final effort; and that a plain at
an inconsiderable distance from his shop was appointed for the scene of
action. Sir Isumbras rose before day, buckled on his armour, and
mounting a horse which had hitherto been employed in carrying coals,
proceeded to the field and took a careful view of the disposition of
both armies. When the trumpets gave the signal to charge, he dismounted,
fell on his knees, and after a short but fervent prayer to Heaven, again
sprang into his saddle and rode into the thickest ranks of the enemy.
His uncouth war-horse and awkward armour had scarcely less effect than
his wonderful address and courage in attracting the attention of both
parties; and when after three desperate charges, his sorry steed was
slain under him, one of the Christian chiefs made a powerful effort for
his rescue, bore him to a neighbouring eminence, and presented to him a
more suitable coat of armour, and a horse more worthy of the heroic

                When he was armed on that stead,
                It is seen where his horse yede,[585]
                  And shall be evermore.
                As sparkle glides off the glede,[586]
                In that stour he made many bleed,
                  And wrought hem wonder sore.
                He rode up into the mountain,
                The soudan soon hath he slain,
                  And many that with him were.
                All that day lasted the fight;
                Sir Isumbras, that noble knight,
                  Wan the battle there.
                Knights and squires have him sought,
                And before the king him brought;
                  Full sore wounded was he.
                They asked what was his name;
                He said, “Sire, a smith’s man;
                  What will ye do with me?”
                The Christian king said, than,
                “I trow never smith’s man
                  In war was half so wight.”
                “I bid[587] you, give me meat and drink
                And what that I will after think,
                  Till I have kevered[588] my might.”
                The king a great oath sware,
                As soon as he whole were,
                  That he would dub him knight.
                In a nunnery they him leaved,
                To heal the wound in his heved,[589]
                  That he took in that fight.
                The nuns of him were full fain,
                For he had the soudan slain,
                  And many heathen hounds;
                For his sorrow they gan sore rue;
                Every day they salved him new,
                  And stoppèd well his wounds.

We may fairly presume, without derogating from the merit of the holy
sisters or from the virtue of their salves and bandages, that the
knight’s recovery was no less accelerated by the pleasure of having
chastised the insolent possessor of his wife and the author of his
contumelious beating. In a few days his health was restored; and having
provided himself with a “scrip and pike” and the other accoutrements of
a palmer, he took his leave of the nuns, directed his steps once more to
the “Greekish Sea,” and, embarking on board of a vessel which he found
ready to sail, speedily arrived at the port of Acre.

During seven years, which were employed in visiting every part of the
Holy Land, the penitent Sir Isumbras led a life of continued labour and
mortification: fed during the day by the precarious contributions of the
charitable, and sleeping at night in the open air, without any addition
to the scanty covering which his pilgrim’s weeds, after seven years’
service, were able to afford. At length his patience and contrition were
rewarded. After a day spent in fruitless applications for a little food,

                 Beside the burgh of Jerusalem
                 He set him down by a well-stream,
                   Sore wepand[590] for his sin.
                 And as he sat, about midnight,
                 There came an angel fair and bright,
                   And brought him bread and wine;
                 He said, “Palmer, well thou be!
                 The King of Heaven greeteth well thee;
                   Forgiven is sin thine.”

Sir Isumbras accepted with pious gratitude the donation of food, by
which his strength was instantly restored, and again set out on his
travels; but he was still a widower, still deprived of his children, and
as poor as ever; nor had his heavenly monitor afforded him any hint for
his future guidance. He wandered therefore through the country, without
any settled purpose, till he arrived at a “rich burgh,” built round a
“fair castle,” the possessor of which, he was told, was a charitable
queen, who daily distributed a florin of gold to every poor man who
approached her gates, and even condescended to provide food and lodging
within her palace for such as were distinguished by superior misery. Sir
Isumbras presented himself with the rest; and his emaciated form and
squalid garments procured him instant admittance.

                 The rich queen in hall was set;
                 Knights her served, at hand and feet,
                   In rich robes of pall:
                 In the floor a cloth was laid;
                 “The poor palmer,” the steward said,
                   “Shall sit above you all.”
                 Meat and drink forth they brought;
                 He sat still, and ate right nought,
                   But looked about the hall.
                 So mickle he saw of game and glee
                 (Swiche mirthis he was wont to see),
                   The tears he let down fall.

Conduct so unusual attracted the attention of the whole company, and
even of the queen, who, ordering “a chair with a cushion” to be placed
near the palmer, took her seat in it, entered into conversation with him
on the subject of his long and painful pilgrimage, and was much edified
by the moral lessons which he interspersed in his narrative. But no
importunity could induce him to taste food: he was sick at heart, and
required the aid of solitary meditation to overcome the painful
recollections which continually assailed him. The queen was more and
more astonished, but at length left him to his reflections, after
declaring that, “for her lord’s soul, or for his love, if he were still
alive,” she was determined to retain the holy palmer in her palace, and
to assign him a convenient apartment, together with a servant to attend

An interval of fifteen years, passed in the laborious occupations of
blacksmith and pilgrim, may be supposed to have produced a very
considerable alteration in the appearance of Sir Isumbras; and even his
voice, subdued by disease and penance, may have failed to discover the
gallant knight under the disguise which he had so long assumed. But that
his wife (for such she was) should have been equally altered by the sole
operation of time; that the air and gestures and action of a person once
so dear and so familiar to him should have awakened no trace of
recollection in the mind of a husband, though in the midst of scenes
which painfully recalled the memory of his former splendour, is more
extraordinary. Be this as it may, the knight and the queen, though
lodged under the same roof and passing much of their time together,
continued to bewail the miseries of their protracted widowhood.

Sir Isumbras, however, speedily recovered, in the plentiful court of the
rich queen, his health and strength, and with these the desire of
returning to his former exercises. A tournament was proclaimed; and the
lists, which were formed immediately under the windows of the castle,
were quickly occupied by a number of Saracen knights, all of whom Sir
Isumbras successively overthrew. So dreadful was the stroke of his
spear, that many were killed at the first encounter; some escaped with a
few broken bones; others were thrown headlong into the castle ditch; but
the greater number consulted their safety by a timely flight; while the
queen contemplated with pleasure and astonishment the unparalleled
exploits of her favourite palmer.

                   Then fell it, upon a day,
                   The Knight went him for to play,
                     As it was ere his kind;
                   A fowl’s nest he found on high;
                   A red cloth therein he seygh[591]
                     Wavand[592] in the wind.
                   To the nest he gan win;[593]
                   His own mantle he found therein;
                     The gold there gan he find.

The painful recollection awakened by this discovery weighed heavily on
the soul of Sir Isumbras. He bore the fatal treasure to his chamber,
concealed it under his bed, and spent the remainder of the day in tears
and lamentations. The images of his lost wife and children now began to
haunt him continually; and his altered demeanour attracted the attention
and excited the curiosity of the whole court, and even of the queen, who
could only learn from the palmer’s attendant that his melancholy seemed
to originate in the discovery of something in a bird’s nest. With this
strange report she was compelled to be satisfied, till Sir Isumbras,
with the hope of dissipating his grief, began to resume his usual
exercises in the field; but no sooner had he quitted his chamber than
the “squires” by her command broke open the door, discovered the
treasure, and hastened with it to the royal apartment. The sight of the
gold and the scarlet mantle immediately explained to the queen the whole
mystery of the palmer’s behaviour. She burst into tears; kissed with
fervent devotion the memorial of her lost husband; fell into a swoon;
and on her recovery told the story to her attendants, and enjoined them
to go in quest of the palmer, and to bring him at once before her. A
short explanation removed her few remaining doubts; she threw herself
into the arms of her husband, and the reunion of this long separated
couple was immediately followed by the coronation of Sir Isumbras and by
a protracted series of festivities.

The Saracen subjects of the Christian sovereign continued, with unshaken
loyalty, to partake of the plentiful entertainments provided for all
ranks of people on this solemn occasion; but no sooner had the pious Sir
Isumbras signified to them the necessity of their immediate conversion,
than his whole “parliament” adopted the resolution of deposing and
committing to the flames their newly-acquired sovereign, as soon as they
should have obtained the concurrence of the neighbouring princes. Two of
these readily joined their forces for the accomplishment of this
salutary purpose, and invading the territories of Sir Isumbras with an
army of thirty thousand men, sent him, according to usual custom, a
solemn defiance. Sir Isumbras boldly answered the defiance, issued the
necessary orders, called for his arms, sprang upon his horse, and
prepared to march out against the enemy; when he discovered that his
subjects had, to a man, abandoned him, and that he must encounter singly
the whole host of the invaders.

            Sir Isumbras was bold and keen,
            And took his leave at the queen,
              And sighed wonder sore:
            He said, “Madam, have good day!
            Sickerly, as you I say,
              For now and evermore!”
            “Help me, sir, that I were dight
            In arms, as it were a knight;
              I will with you fare:
            Gif God would us grace send,
            That we may together end,
              Then done were all my care.”
            Soon was the lady dight
            In arms, as it were a knight;
              He gave her spear and shield:
            Again[594] thirty thousand Saracens and mo.[595]
            There came no more but they two,
              When they met in field.

Never, probably, did a contest take place between such disproportioned
forces. Sir Isumbras was rather encumbered than assisted by the presence
of his beautiful but feeble helpmate; and the faithful couple were upon
the point of being crushed by the charge of the enemy, when three
unknown knights suddenly made their appearance, and as suddenly turned
the fortune of the day. The first of these was mounted on a lion, the
second on a leopard, and the third on a unicorn. The Saracen cavalry, at
the first sight of these unexpected antagonists, dispersed in all
directions. But flight and resistance were equally hopeless: three and
twenty thousand unbelievers were soon laid lifeless on the plain by the
talons of the lion and leopard and by the resistless horn of the
unicorn, or by the swords of their young and intrepid riders; and the
small remnant of the Saracen army who escaped from the general carnage
quickly spread, through every corner of the Mohammedan world, the news
of this signal and truly miraculous victory.

Sir Isumbras, who does not seem to have possessed the talent for
unravelling mysteries, had never suspected that his three wonderful
auxiliaries were his own children, whom Providence had sent to his
assistance at the moment of his greatest distress; but he was not the
less thankful when informed of the happy termination of all his
calamities. The royal family were received in the city with every
demonstration of joy by his penitent subjects, whose loyalty had been
completely revived by the recent miracle. Magnificent entertainments
were provided; after which Sir Isumbras, having easily overrun the
territories of his two pagan neighbours, who had been slain in the last
battle, proceeded to conquer a third kingdom for his youngest son; and
the four monarchs, uniting their efforts for the propagation of the true
faith, enjoyed the happiness of witnessing the baptism of all the
inhabitants of their respective dominions.

                  They lived and died in good intent;
                  Unto heaven their souls went,
                      When that they dead were.
                  Jesu Christ, heaven’s king,
                  Give us, aye, his blessing,
                      And shield us from care!

                  *       *       *       *       *

On comparing these several versions it will be seen that, while they
differ one from another in some of the details, yet the fundamental
outline is identical, with the single exception of the Tibetan story,
which, in common with Tibetan tales generally, has departed very
considerably from the original. A king, or knight, is suddenly deprived
of all his possessions, and with his wife and two children becomes a
wanderer on the face of the earth; his wife is forcibly taken from him;
he afterwards loses his two sons; he is once more raised to affluence;
his sons, having been adopted and educated by a charitable person, enter
his service; their mother recognises them through overhearing their
conversation; finally husband and wife and children are happily
re-united. Such is the general outline of the story, though
modifications have been made in the details of the different
versions—probably through its being transmitted orally in some
instances. Thus in the Arabian story, the king is ruined apparently in
consequence of no fault of his own; in the Panjábí version, he
relinquishes his wealth to a fakír as a pious action; in the Kashmírí
and in the romance of Sir Isumbras, the hero loses his wealth as a
punishment for his overweening pride; in the legend of St. Eustache, as
in the story of Job, the calamities which overtake the Christian convert
are designed by Heaven as a trial of his patience and fortitude; while
even in the corrupted Tibetan story the ruin of the monarch is reflected
in the destruction of the parents of the heroine by a hurricane. In both
the Kashmírí and the Panjábí versions, the father is swallowed by a fish
(or an alligator) in re-crossing the river to fetch his second child; in
the Tibetan story the wife loses her husband, who is killed by a snake,
and having taken one of her children over the river, she is returning
for the other when, looking back, she discovers her babe in the jaws of
a wolf: both her children perish: in the European versions they are
carried off by wild beasts and rescued by strangers—the romance of Sir
Isumbras is singular in representing the number of children to be three.
Only in the Arabian story do we find the father carrying his wife and
children in safety across the stream, and the latter afterwards lost in
the forest. The Kashmírí and “Gesta” versions correspond exactly in
representing the shipman as seizing the lady because her husband could
not pay the passage-money: in the Arabian she is entrapped in the ship,
owned by a Magian, on the pretext that there is on board a woman in
labour; in Sir Isumbras she is forcibly “bought” by the Soudan. She is
locked up in a chest by the Magian; sent to rule his country by the
Soudan; respectfully treated by the merchant in the Kashmírí story, and,
apparently, also by Kandan in the Panjábí legend; in the story of St.
Eustache her persecutor dies and she is living in humble circumstances
when discovered by her husband.—I think there is internal evidence,
apart from the existence of the Tibetan version, to lead to the
conclusion that the story is of Buddhist extraction, and if such be the
fact, it furnishes a further example of the indebtedness of Christian
hagiology to Buddhist tales and legends.


We must, I think, regard this group of tales as being genuine narratives
of the exploits of Egyptian sharpers. From the days of Herodotus to the
present time, Egypt has bred the most expert thieves in the world. The
policemen don’t generally exhibit much ability for coping with the
sharpers whose tricks they so well recount; but indeed our home-grown
“bobbies” are not particularly quick-witted.

                  _THE THIEF’S TALE.—Vol. II. p. 42._

A parallel to the woman’s trick of shaving off the beards and blackening
the faces of the robbers is found in the well-known legend, as told by
Herodotus (Euterpe, 121), of the robbery of the treasure-house of
Rhampsinitus king of Egypt, where the clever thief, having made the
soldiers dead drunk, shaves off the right side of their beards and then
decamps with his brother’s headless body.

             _THE NINTH CONSTABLE’S STORY.—Vol. II. p. 46._

The narrow escape of the singing-girl hidden under a pile of _halfah_
grass may be compared with an adventure of a fugitive Mexican prince
whose history, as related by Prescott, is as full of romantic daring and
hair’s-breadth ’scapes as that of Scanderbeg or the “Young Chevalier.”
This prince had just time to turn the crest of a hill as his enemies
were climbing it on the other side, when he fell in with a girl who was
reaping _chian_, a Mexican plant, the seed of which is much used in the
drinks of the country. He persuaded her to cover him with the stalks she
had been cutting. When his pursuers came up and inquired if she had seen
the fugitive, the girl coolly answered that she had, and pointed out a
path as the one he had taken.

           _THE FIFTEENTH CONSTABLE’S STORY.—Vol. II. p. 59._

The concluding part of this story differs very materially from that of
the Greek legend of Ibycus (fl. B.C. 540), which is thus related in a
small MS. collection of Arabian and Persian anecdotes in my possession,
done into English from the French:

It is written in the history of the first kings that in the reign of a
Grecian king there lived a philosopher named Ibycus, who surpassed in
sagacity all other sages of Greece. Ibycus was once sent by the king to
a neighbouring court. On the way he was attacked by robbers, who,
suspecting him to have much money, formed the design of killing him.
“Your object in taking my life,” said Ibycus, “is to obtain my money; I
give it up to you, but allow me to live.” The robbers paid no attention
to his words, and persisted in their purpose. The wretched Ibycus, in
his despair, looked about him to see if any one was coming to his
assistance, but no person was in sight. At that very moment a flock of
cranes flew overhead. “O cranes!” cried Ibycus, “know that I have been
seized in this desert by these wicked men, and I die from their blows.
Avenge me, and demand from them my blood.” At these words the robbers
burst into laughter: “To take away life from those who have lost their
reason,” they observed, “is to add nothing to their hurt.” So saying,
they killed Ibycus and divided his money. On receipt of the news that
Ibycus had been murdered, the inhabitants of the town were exasperated
and felt great sorrow. They caused strict inquiries to be made for the
murderers, but they could not be found. After some time the Greeks were
celebrating a feast. The inhabitants of the adjoining districts came in
crowds to the temples. The murderers of Ibycus also came, and everywhere
showed themselves. Meanwhile a flock of cranes appeared in the air and
hovered above the people, uttering cries so loud and prolonged that the
prayers and ceremonies were interrupted. One of the robbers looked with
a smile at his comrades, saying, by way of joke, “These cranes come
without doubt to avenge the blood of Ibycus.” Some one of the town, who
was near them, heard these words, repeated them to his neighbour, and
they together reported them to the king. The robbers were taken,
strictly cross-examined, confessed their crime, and suffered for it a
just punishment. In this way the cranes inflicted vengeance on the
murderers of Ibycus. But we ought to see in this incident a matter which
is concealed in it: This philosopher, although apparently addressing his
words to the cranes, was really imploring help from their Creator; he
hoped, in asking their aid, that He would not suffer his blood to flow
unavenged. So God accomplished his hopes; and willed that cranes should
be the cause that his death was avenged in order that the sages of the
world should learn from it the power and wisdom of the Creator.

                  *       *       *       *       *

This ancient legend was probably introduced into Arabian literature in
the 9th century, when translations of so many of the best Greek works
where made; and, no doubt, it was adapted in the following Indian
(Muslim) story:[596]

There was a certain _pir_, or saint, of great wisdom, learning, and
sanctity, who sat by the wayside expounding the Kurán to all who would
listen to him. He dwelt in the out-buildings of a ruined mosque close
by, his only companion being a maina, or hill-starling, which he had
taught to proclaim the excellence of the formula of his religion,
saying, “The Prophet is just!” It chanced that two travellers passing
that way beheld the holy man at his devotions, and though far from being
religious persons yet tarried a while to hear the words of truth.
Evening now drawing on, the saint invited his apparently pious auditors
to his dwelling, and set before them such coarse food as he had to
offer. Having eaten and refreshed themselves, they were astonished at
the wisdom displayed by the bird, who continued to repeat holy texts
from the Kurán. The meal ended, they all lay down to sleep, and while
the good man reposed, his treacherous guests, who envied him the
possession of a bird that in their hands might be the means of enriching
them, determined to steal the treasure and murder its master. So they
stabbed the sleeping devotee to the heart and then seized hold of the
bird’s cage. But, unperceived by them, the door of it had been left open
and the bird was not to be found. After searching for the bird in vain,
they considered it necessary to dispose of the body, since, if
discovered, suspicion would assuredly fall upon them; and carrying it
away to what they deemed a safe distance they buried it. Vexed to be
obliged to leave the place without obtaining the reward of their evil
deeds, they again looked carefully for the bird, but without success; it
was nowhere to be seen, and so they were compelled to go forward without
the object of their search. The maina had witnessed the atrocious deed,
and unseen had followed the murderers to the place where they had buried
the body; it then perched upon the tree beneath which the saint had been
wont to enlighten the minds of his followers, and when they assembled
flew into their midst, exclaiming, “The Prophet is just!” making short
flights and then returning. These unusual motions, together with the
absence of their preceptor, induced the people to follow it, and
directing its flight to the grave of its master, it uttered a mournful
cry over the newly-covered grave. The villagers, astonished, began to
remove the earth, and soon discovered the bloody corse. Surprised and
horror-stricken, they looked about for some traces of the murderers, and
perceiving that the bird had resumed the movements which had first
induced them to follow it, they suffered it to lead them forward. Before
evening fell, the avengers came up with two men, who no sooner heard the
maina exclaim, “The Prophet is just!” and saw the crowd that accompanied
it, than they fell upon their knees, confessing that the Prophet had
indeed brought their evil deeds to light; so, their crime being thus
made manifest, summary justice was inflicted upon them.

         _TALE OF THE DAMSEL TUHFAT AL-KULUB.—Vol. II. p. 70._

An entertaining story, but very inconsistent in the character of Iblis,
who is constantly termed, in good Muslim fashion, “the accursed,” yet
seems to be somewhat of a follower of the Prophet, and on the whole a
good-natured sort of fellow. His mode of expressing his approval of the
damsel’s musical “talent” is, to say the least, original.

                   _WOMEN’S WILES.—Vol. II. p. 137._

A variant—perhaps an older form—of this story occurs in the tale of
Prince Fadlallah, which is interwoven with the History of Prince Calaf
and the Princess of China, in the Persian tales of “The Thousand and One

The prince, on his way to Baghdád, is attacked by robbers, his followers
are all slain, and himself made prisoner, but he is set at liberty by
the compassionate wife of the robber-chief during his absence on a
plundering expedition. When he reaches Baghdád he has no resource but to
beg his bread, and having stationed himself in front of a large mansion,
an old female slave presently comes out and gives him a loaf. At this
moment a gust of wind blew aside the curtain of a window and discovered
to his admiring eyes a most beautiful damsel, of whom he became
immediately enamoured. He inquired of a passer-by the name of the owner
of the mansion, and was informed that it belonged to a man called
Mouaffac, who had been lately governor of the city, but having
quarrelled with the kází, who was of a revengeful disposition, the
latter had found means to disgrace him with the khalíf and to have him
deprived of his office. After lingering near the house in vain till
nightfall, in hopes of once more obtaining a glimpse of this beauty, he
retired for the night to a burying-ground, where he was soon joined by
two thieves, who pressed upon him a share of the good cheer with which
they had provided themselves; but while the thieves were feasting and
talking over a robbery which they had just accomplished, the police
suddenly pounced upon them, and took all three and cast them into

In the morning they were examined by the kází, and the thieves, seeing
it was useless to deny it, confessed their crime. The prince then told
the kází how he chanced to fall into company of the thieves, who
confirmed all he said, and he was set at liberty. Then the kází began to
question him as to how he had employed his time since he came to
Baghdád, to which he answered very frankly but concealed his rank. On
his mentioning the brief glance he had of the beautiful lady at the
window of the ex-governor’s house, the kází’s eyes sparkled with
apparent satisfaction, and he assured the prince that he should have the
lady for his bride; for, believing the prince to be a mere beggarly
adventurer, he resolved to foist him on Mouaffac as the son of a great
monarch. So, having sent the prince to the bath and provided him with
rich garments, the kází despatched a messenger to request Mouaffac to
come to him on important business. When the ex-governor arrived, the
kází told him blandly that there was now an excellent opportunity for
doing away the ill will that had so long existed between them. “It is
this,” continued he: “the prince of Basra, having fallen in love with
your daughter from report of her great beauty, has just come to Baghdád,
unknown to his father, and intends to demand her of you in marriage. He
is lodged in my house, and is most anxious that this affair should be
arranged by my interposition, which is the more agreeable to me, since
it will, I trust, be the means of reconciling our differences.” Mouaffac
expressed his surprise that the prince of Basra should think of marrying
his daughter, and especially that the proposal should come through the
kází, of all men. But the kází begged him to forget their former
animosity and consent to the immediate celebration of the nuptials.
While they were thus talking, the prince entered, in a magnificent
dress, and was not a little astonished to be presented to Mouaffac by
the treacherous kází as the prince of Basra, who had come as a suitor
for his daughter in marriage. The ex-governor saluted him with every
token of profound respect, and expressed his sense of the honour of such
an alliance: his daughter was unworthy to wait upon the meanest of the
prince’s slaves. In brief, the marriage is at once celebrated, and the
prince duly retires to the bridal chamber with the beauteous daughter of
Mouaffac. But in the morning, at an early hour, a servant of the kází
knocks at his door, and, on the prince opening it, says that he brings
him his rags of clothes and is required to take back the dress which the
kází had lent him yesterday to personate the prince of Basra. The
prince, having donned his tattered garments, said to his wife, “The kází
thinks he has married you to a wretched beggar, but I am no whit
inferior in rank to the prince of Basra—I am also a prince, being the
only son of the king of Mosel,” and then proceeded to recount all his
adventures. When he had concluded his recital, the lady despatched a
servant to procure a suitable dress for the prince, which when he had
put on, she said, “I see it all: the kází, no doubt, believes that by
this time we are all overwhelmed with shame and grief. But what must be
his feelings when he learns that he has been a benefactor to his
enemies! Before you disclose to him your real rank, however, we must
contrive to punish him for his malicious intentions. There is a dyer in
this town who has a frightfully ugly daughter—but leave this affair in
my hands.”

The lady then dressed herself in plain but becoming apparel, and went
out of the house alone. She proceeded to the court of the kází, who no
sooner cast his eyes upon her than he was struck with her elegant form.
He sent an officer to inquire of her who she was and what she had come
about. She made answer that she was the daughter of an artisan in the
city, and that she desired to have some private conversation with the
kází. When the officer reported the lady’s reply, the kází directed her
to be conducted into a private chamber, where he presently joined her,
and gallantly placed his services at her disposal. The lady now removed
her veil, and asked him whether he saw anything ugly or repulsive in her
features. The kází on seeing her beautiful face was suddenly plunged in
the sea of love, and declared that her forehead was of polished silver,
her eyes were sparkling diamonds, her mouth a ruby casket containing a
bracelet of pearls. Then she displayed her arms, so white and plump, the
sight of which threw the kází into ecstasies and almost caused him to
faint. Quoth the lady, “I must tell you, my lord, that with all the
beauty I possess, my father, a dyer in the city, keeps me secluded, and
declares to all who come to ask me in marriage that I am an ugly,
deformed monster, a mere skeleton, lame, and full of diseases.” On this
the kází burst into a tirade against the brutal father who could thus
traduce so much beauty, and vowed that he would make her his wife that
same day. The lady, after expressing her fears that he would not find it
easy to gain her father’s consent, took her leave and returned home.

The kází lost no time in sending for the dyer, and, after complimenting
him upon his reputation for piety, said to him, “I am informed that
behind the curtain of chastity you have a daughter ripe for marriage. Is
not this true?” Replied the dyer, “My lord, you have been rightly
informed. I have a daughter who is indeed fully ripe for marriage, for
she is more than thirty years of age; but the poor creature is not fit
to be a wife to any man. She is very ugly, lame, leprous, and foolish.
In short, she is such a monster that I am obliged to keep her out of all
people’s sight.” “Ha!” exclaimed the kází, “you can’t impose on me with
such a tale. I was prepared for it. But let me tell you that I myself am
ready and willing to marry that same ugly and leprous daughter of yours,
with all her defects.” When the dyer heard this, he looked the kází full
in the face and said, “My lord, you are welcome to divert yourself by
making a jest of my daughter.” “No,” replied the kází, “I am quite in
earnest. I demand your daughter in marriage.” The dyer broke into
laughter, saying, “By Allah, some one has meant to play you a trick, my
lord. I forewarn you that she is ugly, lame, and leprous.” “True,”
responded the kází, with a knowing smile; “I know her by these tokens. I
shall take her notwithstanding.” The dyer, seeing him determined to
marry his daughter, and being now convinced that he had been imposed
upon by some ill-wisher, thought to himself, “I must demand of him a
round sum of money which may cause him to cease troubling me any further
about my poor daughter.” So he said to the kází, “My lord, I am ready to
obey your command; but I will not part with my daughter unless you pay
me beforehand a dowry of a thousand sequins.” Replied the kází,
“Although, methinks, your demand is somewhat exorbitant, yet I will pay
you the money at once,” which having done, he ordered the contract to be
drawn up. But when it came to be signed the dyer declared that he would
not sign save in the presence of a hundred men of the law. “Thou art
very distrustful,” said the kází, “but I will comply in everything, for
I am resolved to make sure of thy daughter.” So he sent for all the men
of law in the city, and when they were assembled at the house of the
kází, the dyer said that he was now willing to sign the contract; “But I
declare,” he added, “in the presence of these honourable witnesses, that
I do so on the condition that if my daughter should not prove to your
liking when you have seen her, and you should determine to divorce her,
you shall oblige yourself to give her a thousand sequins of gold in
addition to the same amount which I have already received from you.”
“Agreed,” said the kází, “I oblige myself to it, and call this whole
assembly to be witnesses. Art thou now satisfied?” “I am,” replied the
dyer, who then went his way, saying that he would at once send him his

As soon as the dyer was gone, the assembly broke up, and the kází was
left alone in his house. He had been two years married to the daughter
of a merchant of Baghdad, with whom he had hitherto lived on very
amicable terms. When she heard that he was arranging for a second
marriage, she came to him in a great rage. “How now,” said she, “two
hands in one glove! two swords in one scabbard! two wives in one house!
Go, fickle man! Since the caresses of a young and faithful wife cannot
secure your constancy, I am ready to yield my place to my rival and
retire to my own family. Repudiate me—return my dowry—and you shall
never see me more.” “I am glad you have thus anticipated me,” answered
the kází, “for I was somewhat perplexed how to acquaint you of my new
marriage.” So saying, he opened a coffer and took out a purse of five
hundred sequins of gold, and putting it into her hands, “There, woman,”
said he, “thy dowry is in that purse: begone, and take with you what
belongs to you. I divorce thee once; I divorce thee twice; three times I
divorce thee. And that thy parents may be satisfied thou art divorced
from me, I shall give thee a certificate signed by myself and my nayb.”
This he did accordingly, and his wife went to her father’s house, with
her bill of divorce and her dowry.

The kází then gave orders to furnish an apartment sumptuously for the
reception of his bride. The floor was spread with velvet carpets, the
walls were hung with rich tapestry, and couches of gold and silver
brocade were placed around the room. The bridal chamber was decked with
caskets filled with the most exquisite perfumes. When everything was in
readiness, the kází impatiently expected the arrival of his bride, and
at last was about to despatch a messenger to the dyer’s when a porter
entered, carrying a wooden chest covered with a piece of green taffeta.
“What hast thou brought me there, friend?” asked the kází. “My lord,”
replied the porter, setting the chest on the floor, “I bring your
bride.” The kází opened the chest, and discovered a woman of three feet
and a half, defective in every limb and feature. He was horrified at the
sight of this object, and throwing the covering hastily over it,
demanded of the porter, “What wouldst thou have me do with this
frightful creature?” “My lord,” said the porter, “this is the daughter
of Omar the dyer, who told me that you had espoused her out of pure
inclination.” “O Allah!” exclaimed the kází, “is it possible to marry
such a monster as this?” Just then, the dyer, well knowing that the kazi
must be surprised, came in. “Thou wretch,” cried the kází, “how dost
thou dare to trifle with me? In place of this hideous object, send
hither your other daughter, whose beauty is beyond comparison; otherwise
thou shalt soon know what it is to insult me.” Quoth the dyer, “My lord,
I swear, by Him who out of darkness produced light, that I have no other
daughter but this. I told you repeatedly that she was not for your
purpose, but you would not believe my words. Who, then, is to blame?”
Upon this the kází began to cool, and said to the dyer, “I must tell
you, friend Omar, that this morning there came to me a most beautiful
damsel, who pretended that you were her father, and that you represented
her to everybody as a monster, on purpose to deter all suitors that came
to ask her in marriage.” “My lord,” answered the dyer, “this beautiful
damsel must be an impostor; some one, undoubtedly, owes you a grudge.”
Then the kází, having reflected for a few minutes, said to the dyer,
“Bid the porter carry thy daughter home again. Keep the thousand sequins
of gold which I gave thee, but ask no more of me, if thou desirest that
we should continue friends.” The dyer, knowing the implacable
disposition of the kází, thought it advisable to content himself with
what he had already gained, and the kází, having formally divorced his
hideous bride, sent her away with her father. The affair soon got wind
in the city and everybody was highly diverted with the trick practised
on the kází.

                  *       *       *       *       *

It will be observed that in the Arabian story there are two clever
devices: that of the lady who tricks the boastful merchant, whose motto
was that men’s craft is superior to women’s craft, into marrying the
ugly daughter of the kází; and that of the merchant to get rid of his
bad bargain by disgusting the kází with the alliance. The scene at the
house of the worthy judge—the crowd of low rascals piping, drumming, and
capering, and felicitating themselves on their pretended kinsman the
merchant’s marriage—is highly humorous. This does not occur in the
Persian story, because it is the kází who has been duped into marrying
the dyer’s deformed daughter, and she is therefore simply packed off
again to her father’s house.

                  *       *       *       *       *

That the tales of the “Thousand and One Days” are not (as is supposed by
the writer of an article on the several English versions of The Nights
in the “Edinburgh Review” for July 1886, p. 167) mere imitations of
Galland[597] is most certain, apart from the statement in the preface to
Petis’ French translation, which there is no reason to doubt—see vol. x.
of The Nights, p. 166, note 1. Sir William Ouseley, in his _Travels_,
vol. ii., p. 21, note, states that he brought from Persia a manuscript
which comprised, _inter alia_, a portion of the “Hazár ú Yek Rúz,” or
the Thousand and One Days, which agreed with Petis’ translation of the
same stories. In the Persian collection entitled “Shamsa ú Kuhkuha”
occur several of the tales and incidents, for example, the Story of
Nasiraddoli King of Mousel, the Merchant of Baghdád, and the Fair
Zeinib, while the Story of the King of Thibet and the Princess of the
Naimans has its parallel in the Turkish “Kirk Vazír,” or Forty Vazírs.
Again, the Story of Couloufe and the Beautiful Dilara reminds us of that
of Haji the Cross-grained in Malcolm’s “Sketches of Persia.” But of the
French translation not a single good word can be said—the Oriental
“costume” and phraseology have almost entirely disappeared, and between
Petis de la Croix and the author of “Gil Blas”—who is said to have had a
hand in the work—the tales have become ludicrously Frenchified. The
English translation made from the French is, if possible, still worse.
We there meet with “persons of quality,” “persons of fashion,” with
“seigneurs,” and a thousand and one other inconsistencies and
absurdities. A new translation is much to be desired. The copy of the
Persian text made by Petis is probably in the Paris Library and
Ouseley’s fragment is doubtless among his other Oriental MSS. in the
Bodleian. But one should suppose that copies of the “Hazár ú Yek Rúz”
may be readily procured at Ispahán or Tehrán, and at a very moderate
cost, since the Persians now-a-days are so poor in general that they are
eager to exchange any books they possess for the “circulating medium.”


This is an excellent tale; the incidents occur naturally and the
reader’s interest in the fortunes of the hero and heroine never flags.
The damsel’s sojourn with the old Muezzin—her dispatching him daily to
the shroff—bears some analogy to part of the tale of Ghanim the Slave of
Love (vol. ii. of The Nights), which, by the way, finds close parallels
in the Turkish “Forty Vazírs” (the Lady’s 18th story in Mr. Gibb’s
translation), the Persian “Thousand and One Days” (story of Aboulcasem
of Basra,) and the “Bagh o Bahár” (story of the First Dervish). This
tale is, in fact, a compound of incidents occurring in a number of
different Arabian fictions.


Here we have another instance of a youth falling in love with the
portrait of a pretty girl (see _ante_, p. 328). The doughty deeds
performed by the young prince against thousands of his foes throw into
the shade the exploits of the Bedouin hero Antar, and those of our own
famous champions Sir Guy of Warwick and Sir Bevis of Hampton.

                          _ADDITIONAL NOTES._

                     FIRUZ AND HIS WIFE, _p. 301_.

I find yet another variant of this story in my small MS. collection of
Arabian and Persian anecdotes, translated from the French (I have not
ascertained its source):

They relate that a lord of Basra, while walking one day in his garden,
saw the wife of his gardener, who was very beautiful and virtuous. He
gave a commission to his gardener which required him to leave his home.
He then said to his wife, “Go and shut all the doors.” She went out and
soon returned, saying, “I have shut all the doors except one, which I am
unable to shut.” The lord asked, “And where is that door?” She replied,
“That which is between you and the respect due to your Maker: there is
no way of closing it.” When the lord heard these words, he asked the
woman’s pardon, and became a better and a wiser man.

We have here a unique form of the wide-spread tale of “The Lion’s
Track,” which, while it omits the husband’s part, yet reflects the
virtuous wife’s rebuke of the enamoured sultan.

                 THE SINGER AND THE DRUGGIST, _p. 305_.

If Straparola’s version is to be considered as an adaptation of Ser
Giovanni’s novella—which I do not think very probable—it must be allowed
to be an improvement on his model. In the Arabian story the singer is
first concealed in a mat, next in the oven, and again in the mat, after
which he escapes by clambering over the parapet of the druggist’s roof
to that of an adjoining house, and his subsequent adventures seem to be
added from a different story. In Ser Giovanni’s version the lover is
first hid beneath a heap of half-dried clothes, and next behind the
street door, from which he escapes the instant the husband enters, and
the latter is treated as a madman by the wife’s relatives and the
neighbours—an incident which has parallels in other tales of women’s
craft and its prototype, perhaps, in the story of the man who compiled a
book of the Wiles of Woman, as told in “Syntipas,” the Greek version of
the Book of Sindibad. In Straparola the lover—as in the Arabian story—is
concealed three times, first in a basket, then between two boardings,
and lastly in a chest containing law papers; and the husband induces him
to recount his adventures in presence of the lady’s friends, which
having concluded, the lover declares the story to be wholly fictitious:
this is a much more agreeable ending than that of Giovanni’s story, and,
moreover, it bears a close analogy to the latter part of the Persian
tale, where the lover exclaims he is right glad to find it all a dream.
Straparola’s version has another point of resemblance in the Persian
story—so far as can be judged from Scott’s abstract—and also in the
Arabian story: the lover discovers the lady by chance, and is not
advised to seek out some object of love, as in Giovanni;—in the Arabian
the singer is counselled by the druggist to go about and entertain wine
parties. Story-comparers have too much cause to be dissatisfied with
Jonathan Scott’s translation of the “Bahár-i-Dánish”—a work avowedly
derived from Indian sources—although it is far superior to Dow’s garbled
version. The abstracts of a number of the tales which Scott gives in an
appendix, while of some use, are generally tantalising: some stories he
has altogether omitted “because they are similar to tales already well
known” (unfortunately the comparative study of popular fictions was
hardly begun in his time); while of others bare outlines are furnished,
because he considered them “unfit for general perusal.” But his work,
even as it is, has probably never been “generally” read, and he seems to
have had somewhat vague notions of “propriety,” to judge by his
translations from the Arabic and Persian. A complete English rendering
of the “Bahár-i-Dánish” would be welcomed by all interested in the
history of fiction.

            THE FULLER, HIS WIFE, AND THE TROOPER, _p. 329_.

The trick played on the silly fuller of dressing him up as a Turkish
soldier resembles that of one of the Three Deceitful Women who found a
gold ring in the public bath, as related in the Persian story-book,
“Shamsa ú Kuhkuha:”

When the wife of the superintendent of police was apprised that her turn
had come, she revolved and meditated for some time what trick she was to
play off on her lord, and after having come to a conclusion she said one
evening to him, “To-morrow I wish that we should both enjoy ourselves at
home without interruptions, and I mean to prepare some cakes.” He
replied, “Very well, my dear; I have also longed for such an occasion.”
The lady had a servant who was very obedient and always covered with the
mantle of attachment to her. The next morning she called this youth and
said to him, “I have long contemplated the hyacinth grove of thy
symmetrical stature; and I know that thou travellest constantly and
faithfully on the road of compliance with all my wishes, and that thou
seekest to serve me. I have a little business which I wish thee to do
for me.” The servant answered, “I shall be happy to comply.” Then the
lady gave him a thousand dinars and said, “Go to the convent which is in
our vicinity; give this money to one of the kalandars there and say to
him, ‘A prisoner whom the Amír had surrendered to the police has escaped
last night. He closely resembles thee, and as the superintendent of the
police is unable to account to the Amír, he has sent a man to take thee
instead of the escaped criminal. I have compassion for thee and mean to
rescue thee. Take this sum of money; give me thy dress; and flee from
the town; for if thou remainest in it till the morning thou wilt be
subjected to torture and wilt lose thy life.’” The servant acted as he
was bid, and brought the garments to his mistress. When it was morning
she said to her husband, “I know you have long wished to eat sweetmeats,
and I shall make some to-day.” He answered, “Very well.” His wife made
all her preparations and commenced to bake the sweetmeats. He said to
her, “Last night a theft was committed in a certain place, and I sat up
late to extort confessions; and as I have spent a sleepless night, I
feel tired and wish to repose a little.” The lady replied, “Very well.”

Accordingly the superintendent of the police reclined on the pillow of
rest; and when the sweetmeat was ready his wife took a little and
putting an opiate into it she handed it to him, saying, “How long will
you sleep? To-day is a day of feasting and pleasure, not of sleep and
laziness. Lift up your head and see whether I have made the sweets
according to your taste.” He raised his head, swallowed a piece of the
hot cake and lay down again. The morsel was still in his throat when
consciousness left and a deep sleep overwhelmed him. His wife
immediately undressed him and put on him the garments of the kalandar.
The servant shaved his head and made some tattoo marks on his body. When
the night set in the lady called her servant and said, “Hyacinth, be
kind enough to take the superintendent on thy back, and carry him to the
convent instead of that kalandar, and if he wishes to return to the
house in the morning, do not let him.” The servant obeyed. Towards dawn
the superintendent recovered his senses a little; but as the opiate had
made his palate very bitter, he became extremely thirsty. He fancied
that he was in his own house, and so he exclaimed, “Narcissus, bring
water.” The kalandars awoke from sleep, and after hearing several shouts
of this kind, they concluded that he was under the influence of bang,
and said, “Poor fellow! the narcissus is in the garden; this is the
convent of sufferers, and there are green garments enough here. Arise
and sober thyself, for the morning and harbinger of benefits as well as
of the acquisition of the victuals for subsistence is approaching.” When
the superintendent heard these words he thought they were a dream, for
he had not yet fully recovered his senses. He sat quietly, but was
amazed on beholding the walls and ceiling of the convent: he got up,
looked at the clothes in which he was dressed and at the marks tattooed
on his body, and began to doubt whether he was awake or asleep. He
washed his face, and perceived that the caravan of his mustachios had
likewise departed from the plain of his countenance.

In this state of perplexity he went out of the convent and proceeded to
his house. There his wife, with her male and female servants, was
expecting his arrival. He approached the house and placed his hand on
the knocker of the door, but was received by Hyacinth, who said,
“Kalandar, whom seekest thou?” The superintendent rejoined, “I want to
enter the house.” Hyacinth continued, “Thou hast to-day evidently taken
thy morning draught of bang earlier and more copiously than usual, since
thou hast foolishly mistaken the road to thy convent. Depart! This is
not a place in which vagabond kalandars are harboured. This is the
palace of the superintendent of the police; and if the symurgh looks
with incivility from the fastness of the west of Mount Káf at this
place, the wings of its impertinence will at once become singed.” The
superintendent said, “What nonsense art thou speaking? Go out of my way,
for I do not relish thy imbecile prattle.” But when he wanted to enter,
Hyacinth struck him with a bludgeon on the shoulder, which the
superintendent returned with a box on the ear, and both began to wrestle
together. At that moment the lady and her maid-servants rushed forth
from the rear and assailed him with sticks and stones, shouting, “This
kalandar wishes in plain daylight to force his way into the house of the
superintendent. What a pity that the superintendent is sick, or else
this crime would have to be expiated on the gallows!” In the meantime
all the neighbours assembled, and on seeing the shameless kalandar’s
proceedings they cried, “Look at that impudent kalandar who wants
forcibly to enter the house of the superintendent.” Ultimately the crowd
amounted to more than five hundred persons, and the gentleman was put to
flight and pursued by all the little boys, who pelted him with stones
till they expelled him from the town.

At the distance of three farsangs from the town there was a village
where the superintendent concealed himself in the corner of a mosque.
During the evenings he went from house to house and begged for food to
sustain life, until his mustachios again grew and the tattooed scars
gradually began to disappear. Whenever anyone inquired for the
superintendent at his house, he was informed by the servants that the
gentleman was sick. After one month had expired, the grief of separation
and the misery of his condition had again driven him back to the city.
He went to the convent because fear hindered him from going to the
house. His wife happened one day to catch a glimpse of him from her
window, and perceived him sitting in the same dress with a company of
kalandars. She felt compassion for him, called the servant and said,
“The superintendent has had enough of this!” She made a loaf of bread
and put some opiate into it, and said, “When the kalandars are asleep,
you must go and place this loaf under the pillow of the superintendent.”
The servant obeyed, and when the gentleman awoke in the middle of the
night he was surprised to find the loaf. He fancied that when his
companions had during the night returned from begging, they had placed
it there, and so he ate some of it. During the same night the servant
went there by the command of the lady, took his master on his back and
carried him home. When it was morning, the lady took off the kalandar’s
clothes from her husband and dressed him in his own garments, and began
to make sweetmeats as on the former occasion. After some time he began
to move, and his wife exclaimed, “O superintendent, do not sleep so
much. I have told you that we shall spend this day in joy and pleasure,
and it was not fair of you to pass the time in this lazy way. Lift up
your head and see what beautiful sweetmeats I have baked for you.” When
he opened his eyes, and saw himself dressed in his own clothes and at
home, the rosebush of his amazement again brought forth the flowers of
astonishment, and he said, “God be praised! What has happened to me?” He
sat up, and exclaimed, “Wife, things have happened to me which I can
scarcely describe.” She replied, “From the uneasy motions which you have
made in your sleep, it appears you must have had extraordinary dreams.”
“Dreams, forsooth,” said he; “since the moment I lay down I have
experienced the most strange adventures.” “Certainly,” rejoined the
lady, “last night you have been eating food disagreeing with your
constitution, and to-day the vapours of it have ascended into your
brains, and have caused you all this distress.” The superintendent said,
“Yes, last night we went to a party in the house of Serjeant Bahman, and
there was roasted pillau, of which I ate somewhat more than usual, and
the vapour of it has occasioned me all this trouble.”[598]

                  *       *       *       *       *

Strikingly similar to this story is the trick of the first lady on her
husband in the “Fabliau des Trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel.” Having
made him drunk, she causes his head to be shaved, dresses him in the
habit of a monk, and carries him, assisted by her lover, to the entrance
of a convent. When he awakes and sees himself thus transformed he
imagines that God by a miraculous exercise of His grace had called him
to the monastic life. He presents himself before the abbot and requests
to be received among the brethren. The lady hastens to the convent in
well-feigned despair, and is exhorted to be resigned and to congratulate
her husband on the saintly vow he has taken. “Many a good man,” says the
poet, “has been betrayed by woman and by her harlotry. This one became a
monk in the abbey, where he abode a very long time. Wherefore, I counsel
all people who hear this story told, that they ought not to trust in
their wives, nor in their households, if they have not first proved that
they are full of virtues. Many a man has been deceived by women and by
their treachery. This one became monk against right, who would never
have been such in his life, if his wife had not deceived him.”[599]

                  *       *       *       *       *

The second lady’s trick in the _fabliau_ is a very close parallel to the
story in The Nights, vol. v. p. 96.[600] She had for dinner on a Friday
some salted and smoked eels, which her husband bade her cook, but there
was no fire in the house. Under the pretext of going to have them cooked
at a neighbour’s fire she goes out and finds her lover, at whose house
she remains a whole week. On the following Friday, at the hour of
dinner, she enters a neighbour’s house and asks leave to cook the eels,
saying that her husband is angry with her for having no fire, and that
she did not dare to go back, lest he should take off her head. As soon
as the eels are cooked she carries them piping hot to her own house. The
husband asks her where she has been for eight days, and commences to
beat her. She cries for help and the neighbours come in, and amongst
them the one at whose fire the eels had been cooked, who swears that the
wife had only just left her house, and ridicules the husband for his
assertion that she had been away a whole week. The husband gets into a
great rage and is locked up for a madman.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The device of the third lady seems a reflection of the “Elopement,” but
without the underground tunnel between the houses of the wife and the
lover. The lady proposes to her lover to marry him, and he believes that
she is only jesting, seeing that she is already married, but she assures
him that she is quite in earnest, and even undertakes that her husband
will consent. The lover is to come for her husband and take him to the
house of Dan Eustace, where he has a fair niece, whom the lover is to
pretend he wishes to espouse, if he will give her to him. The wife will
go thither, and she will have done her business with Eustace before they
arrive. Her husband cannot but believe that he has left her at home, and
she will be so apparelled that he cannot recognise her. This plan is
accordingly carried out. The lover asks the husband for the hand of his
niece in marriage, to which he joyously consents, and without knowing it
makes a present of his own wife. “All his life long the lover possessed
her, because the husband gave and did not lend her; nor could he ever
get her back.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Le Grand mentions that this _fabliau_ is told at great length in the
tales of the Sieur d’Ouville, tome iv. p. 255. In the “Facetiæ
Bebelianæ,” p. 86, three women wager which of them will play the best
trick on her husband. One causes him to believe he is a monk, and he
goes and sings mass; the second husband believes himself to be dead, and
allows himself to be carried to that mass on a bier; and the third sings
in it quite naked. (There is a very similar story in Campbell’s “Popular
Tales of the West Highlands.”) It is also found, says Le Grand, in the
“Convivales Sermones,” tome i. p. 200; in the “Delices de Verboquet,” p.
166; and in the Facetiæ of Lod. Doménichi, p. 172. In the “Contes pour
Rire,” p. 197, three women find a diamond, and the arbiter whom they
select promises it, as in the _fabliau_, to her who concocts the best
device for deceiving her husband, but their _ruses_ are different.


 Abárík (Al-), _pl._ of Ibrík, an ewer containing water for the
    Wuzu-ablution, 170.

 Abtál (_pl._ of Batal) = champions, athletes (_tr._ “braves”), 42.

 Abú al-Tawáif (_pron._ “Abut-tawáif”), the Father of the (Jinn-)
    tribes, 84.

 Abú Nowás (appearing in The Nights, a signal for an outburst of
    facetiæ), 153.

 Adab = accomplishments, 68.

 ’Adi = an enemy (_tr._ “foe”), 14.

 Afras = _lit._ a better horseman (_tr._ “doughtier”), 105.

 Ahbábu-ná _pl. for sing._ = my beloved (_tr._ “my friends”), 103.

 ’Akíl, first cousin of Mahommed, 164.

 Akwà min dahni’l-lauz = more strengthening than oil, 75.

 ’Alà kulli hál = “whatever may betide” or “willy nilly,” 283.

 ’Alam al-Din = “Flag of the Faith,” 4.

 Alaykum = “Peace be on you” (addressed to a single person), 52.

 ’Alkam = the bitter gourd, colocynth, 218.

 Allah, (“An alms, for the love of”), 44.

 —— be the judge between me and thee, 52.

 —— decreed of old, 90.

 —— “Enter in the name of” = Bismillah, 38.

 —— Gifted of, 200.

 —— I look to, for aid, 202.

 —— is All-great, 125.

 —— “I seek refuge with” _i.e._, Allah forfend, 9.

 —— made easy to me, 53.

 —— Men, who resign themselves to = _i.e._, Moslems who practice the
    Religion of Resignation, 271.

 Allah open to thee the door of subsistence, 44.

 —— removed to the mercy of = he died, 78.

 —— Take refuge with, from the Evil eye of her charms, 245.

 —— This is the deposit of, then thy deposit = “I commit him to thy
    charge under God,” 184.

 —— whom Allah save and assain, 173.

 Allah ya’tík = Allah will give it thee, not I, 44.

 “A mighty matter” may also mean “A masterful man” (reading Imraam = man
    for Amran = matter), 204.

 Amín al-Hukm = “Faithful of Command,” 7.

 ’Anbar (_tr._ “Ambergris”), 67.

 ’Anká (Al-) = _lit._ “The long-necked” (bird), 128.

 “Après moi le déluge,” 123.

 Arab lovers jealous of their mistresses’ nightly phantom, 179.

 Arab, of noble tribe, always first to mount his own mare, 248.

 Arja’ = _lit._ return (_tr._ “desist”), 105.

 Arzi-há = in its earth, its outlying suburbs (_tr._ “environs”), 198.

 Ashírah = clan, 225.

 At her last breath, when cured by the magic of love, 243.

 Atwash (Al-) = one notable for levity of mind, 16.

 A’zán-hú = _lit._ “its ears” (_tr._ “its pegs”), 159.

 Aznání = emaciated one, 214.

 Bahár = ox-eye herb, 13.

 Bakar (Ox) and Taur (Bull), Moslem emblems of stupidity, 178.

 Balass ruby = of rare wood set with rubies, 251.

 Balát = the flags (slabs of limestone and sandstone), 21.

 Baliyah = bane and bale (to jingle with “Bábiliyah”), 153.

 Banát al-hawá = _lit._ daughters of love (_tr._ “a merry girl”), 137.

 Banú Shaybán = the King’s own tribe, 199.

 Barári = deserts, 16.

 Barber, the usual operator in circumcision, 116.

 Bashkhánah (Al-) = the curtain, 165.

 Bathing after copulation kept up by both sexes in ancient Rome, 142.

 Bí-adabí = being without Adab (= rudeness, etc.), 68.

 Bibars (_pron._ “Baybars”), 3.

 Bid’ah = _lit._ an innovation, a new thing (_tr._ “accursed custom”),

 Bi jildi ’l-bakar = a cow hide, 96.

 “Bilád al-Maghrib (al-Aksa” in full) = the Farthest Land of the Setting
    Sun (_tr._ “Sundown-Land”), 252.

 Bishr and Hind (two well-known lovers), 211.

 “Bismillah” = Enter in the name of Allah, 38.

 “Bismillah; in the name of the Lord” = “Let us go,” etc., 85.

 Blackening faces a promise of Hell-fire, 42.

 Blood-feuds troublesome to travellers, 222.

 Bráhmani = Hindu, Indian, 111.

 Branchlet = a youth’s slender form, 162.

 Breslau Ed. quoted, 3, 54, 55, 63, 67, 151, 183, 191, 259, 263, 275.

 Bridegroom offers coffee and Halwá to friends after a “happy night,”

 Brutality of a Moslem mob, 168.

 Bukhti = The Bactrian or double-humped dromedary, 235.

 Bunduki (adj. of Bunbuk) = Venetian, 204.

 Burka’ = the face veil of Egypt, etc., 172.

 Calcutta Edition quoted, 137, 141.

 Carrion, animals that died without beingceremonially killed, 175.

 Chamber, a dangerous word in English, 129.

 Chapter of the Cow (Koran), 175.

 Chess rarely played for money in Europe, 205.

 “Children” used for fighting men, 224.

 Circumcision, 90.

 Citadel of Lead = Capital of King Al-Shisban, 117.

 Couch of Circumcision, 111.

 Cranes of Ibycus, 59.

 “Cried out from her head” = Sang in tenor tones which are always in
    falsetto, 238.

 Crucifixion by nailing to an upright board, 49.

 Cup-companions = the professional Ráwis or tale reciters, 266.

 Dáhiyat al-Dawáhí = a calamity of the Calamities, 119.

 Dara’ or Dira’ = armour (_tr._ “jerkin”), 209.

 Darb = lit. a road (_tr._ “street”), 8.

 Daur al-Ká’ah = the opening made in the ceiling for light (_tr._ “the
    opening of the saloon”), 23.

 Dawát = ink-case (containing the reed-pens, etc.), 211.

 Daylam (Al-) prison, 142.

 Dayr al-Tin = “The Convent of Clay,” a Coptic monastery near Cairo,

 Delights of Paradise promised by the Prophet, 244.

 Destiny, 61.

 Die thou and be thou an expiation for the shoe-latchet of Kulayb, 263.

 Dignity, permissible in royalty, affected by dames in Anglo-Egypt, 110.

 Dimity (_der._ from “Damietta”), 210.

 Divorce and marriage to Mahommed of the wife of Zayd (his adopted son),

 “Dog or hog” = a Jew or a Christian, 147.

 Dromedaries the only animals used for sending messages over long
    distances, 249.

 Du’á = supplication, prayer as opposed to “Salát” = divine worship, 94.

 Dukhán = _lit._ smoke, 126.

 Dukhúlak = _lit._ thy entering (_tr._ “thy courtesy”), 109.

 Durráj (_tr._ Francolin), 60.

 Easterns startled by sudden summons to the presence of a king, 210.

 “Empty gourds,” Eastern succedaneum for swimming corks, 286.

 “Every one cannot go to Corinth,” 74.

 Exchange of salams a sign of safety, 86.

 Executioner, difficulty in Marocco about finding one who becomes
    obnoxious to the Thár or blood-feud, 54.

 Fajj = mountain pass (Spanish, Vega = also a mountain plain), 117.

 Falling backwards in laughter rare amongst the Badawin, 202.

 Farásah = _lit._ Knowing a horse (_tr._ “Visnomy”), 96.

 Farkalah (φραγέλλιον) = cattle whip, 47.

 Farkh Warak = a slip of paper, 114.

 Farsh = bed or straw-spread store room where apples are preserved, 113.

 Fawwák (chair of), 72.

 Fazl (Al-) the elder brother of Ja’afar, 71.

 Fityán (_pl._ of Fatà) = my fine fellows, 42.

 Flower = the breast, 252.

 Fumigating gugglets (with musk), 275.

 Gave her the hire of her going forth (_i.e._ Engaged her for a revel
    and paid her in advance), 44.

 Ghalílí = my yearning (_tr._ “my thirst”), 102.

 Gharbíyah (province in Egypt), 16.

 Ghattí = “Cover it up,” 158.

 Ghaur (or lowland) = the fall of the waist, 252.

 Ghuráb al-bayn = Raven of the wold or of parting, 126.

 Ghusl-ablution, 20.

 Giant Face (a parallel to the “Bodiless Head”), 102.

 Guest-fires, 249.

 Hæmorrhage stopped by plunging the stump into burning oil, 168.

 Hájib = eyebrow or chamberlain, 252.

 Haláwah = Sweetmeat, 127.

 Haláwat al-Miftáh = Sweetmeat of the Key-money (_tr._ “_douceur_ of the
    Key”), 20.

 Halfah grass, 46.

 Hamd (Al-) = Allah-lauds, 221.

 Hamzah, uncle of Mahommed, 164.

 Hárát (or quarters) closed at night with strong wooden doors, 9.

 Harísah = meat pudding, 277.

 Hatif = an ally, 234.

 Hauráni = (native of Hauran), Job’s country, 50.

 Haykal (Ar. and Heb.) = a large space, a temple (_tr._ “hallowed
    fane”), 175.

 He is of the lords of houses = folk of good family, 169.

 “Hell-flame but not shame,” _proverb_, 148.

 Hibá = dust.

 Hijáz (Al-) = The Moslem’s Holy Land, (Cap. Meccah), 193.

 Himà = the tribal domain (_tr._ “tribe-land”), 215.

 Hirfah = a trade, a guild, a corporation (_here_ the officers of
    police), 54.

 “His eyes turned in his head” (to show the whites, as happens to the
    mesmerised), 242.

 Horse-thief chained to four pickets of iron, 224.

 House of the Elephant (at chess) = the Castle’s square, 205.

 Hujjat = a legal deed (may also mean “an excuse”), 27.

 Husn tadbir = _lit._ “beauty of his contrivance” (_tr._ “Seemliness of
    his stratagem”), 29.

 I cannot fill my eye with the twain = cannot look at them long, 88.

 “I commit him to thy charge under God,” 184.

 “If his friend the Devil be overstrong for thee, flee him rather than
    be slain,” 202.

 If my hand were changed = if my hand had lost its cunning, 78.

 “I have not any eye that can look at him” = “I cannot bear to see him,”

 Ihramat li al-Salát = she pronounced the formula of Intention (Hiyat)
    (_tr._ “the Prohibition”), 94.

 Iklím = clime, 3.

 ’Iláj (Al-) = insertion (_tr._ “horizontal refreshment”), 185.

 Imam = Antistes or fugleman at prayer who leads off the orisons, 101.

 Inscriptions on metal trays sold to Europeans (also on table-cloths),

 Iraks (two) = Irák Arabí (Chaldæa) and ’Ajami (Western Persia), 191.

 ’Irk = vein (of our eye) _equiv. to_ “the apple of the eye,” 144.

 Irregular use of inn, perpetuated in some monster hotels throughout
    Europe, 20.

 Irtiyád = a place where the urine spray may not defile the dress (_tr._
    “a place to make water”), 13.

 Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab Musicians, 70.

 I smell the scent of the Jinn, 125.

 “I think not otherwise” = “I am quite sure,” 119.

 I will lay down my life to save thee from sorrow—a common-place
    hyperbole of love, 181.

 ’Iyál-hu = _lit._ his family (_tr._ wives), 8.

 Jabal (Al-) al-Mukawwar = the Crescent Mountain (from Kaur = a park),

 Jabhat = the lintel, opposed to the threshold (_tr. here_ “‘forehead’
    of his shop”), 137.

 Jamal fálij = the palsy-camel, 235.

 Jamrah = a bit of burning charcoal, 122.

 —— = a live coal, 87.

 Jazírah = insula, Island, used in the sense of “peninsula,” 220.

 Jinns of Northern Europe, 86.

 Job (traditions of), 50.

 Julnár = Gulnare, 100.

 Kamariyah (_der. from_ Kamar = Moon) = coloured glass windows, 39.

 Kásid = messenger, 37.

 Katl = killed (Irish “Kilt”), 182.

 “Kayásirah” (Cæsars) _opp. to_ Akásirah, 263.

 Kayrawán = Curlew, 93.

 Kazi, ex-officio guardian of the orphans and their property, liable to
    punishment in case of fraud, 10.

 Khalíj (Al-), The Canal (Grand Canal of Cairo), 286.

 Khayr kathír = This is right good (also “abundant kindness”), 275.

 Khorasan (including our Afghanistan), in a chronic state of rebellion
    in Al-Rashid’s reign, 167.

 King consummates his marriage in presence of his virgin sister-in-law,

 —— Kulayb (“little dog”) al-Wá’il, 263.

 —— Nabhán, 192.

 —— of the Kingdoms (_i.e._ of the worlds visible and invisible), 6.

 Kissing the hand, the action of a servant or slave, 81.

 Kitáb = book, written bond, 27.

 Koran quoted—
   ii. 148, 215.
   ii. 168, 175.
   xx. 30, 270.
   xxxiii. 35, 271.
   xxxiii. 38, 197.
   xlvii. 16, 177.
   lvi. 87, 88, 106.
   cxiii., cxiv., 101.

 La’alla = peradventure (used to express expectation of possible
    occurrence), 20.

 Laban = milk soured (_tr._ “curd”), 54.

 Lajlaj = tied (his tongue was), 186.

 La-nakhsifanna = I would assuredly, etc., 23.

 Lane quoted, 246.

 Last march (to the next world), 202.

 Laysa fi ’l-diyári dayyár = “nor is there a wight in the site” (a
    favourite jingle), 275.

 Leather from Al-Táif, 242.

 Legal defects, (which justify returning a slave to the slave-dealer),

 Lieutenant of the bench, 24.

 Lilláhi durrak = Gifted of Allah, 200.

 Lithám = the coquettish fold of transparent muslin used by women in
    Stambul, 172.

 Love (for “sleep”), 164.

 Lúlúah = The Pearl or Wild Heifer, 95.

 Maamún (Al-) al-Hákim b’Amri’llah = The Secure, the Ruler by
    Commandment of Allah, 281.

 Mabásim (_pl._ of Mabsim) = a smiling mouth, 162.

 Madmen in hot climates enjoy throwing off their clothes, 22.

 Majnún = “A madman,” 22.

 Making a picture (or statue), which artist cannot quicken, a process
    demanded on Doomsday, 194.

 Makrúh = blameable, not actually damnable, 46.

 Malláh (Al-) = the salting ground, 54.

 Malik (King), a title loosely applied in Arabic, 191.

 Mamrak, or small dome built over pavilions (also _Pers._ “Bádhanj”),

 Mamrak = dome-shaped skylight, 39.

 Máriyah (Maria, Mary) a non-Moslem name, 194.

 Marj Salí = cleft meadow (here and below) _tr._ “Green Meadow,” 227.

 Maròcco, earliest occurrence of name, 252.

 Maut ahmar = violent or bloody death (_tr._ “red death,”) 11.

 Ma’úzatáni = The Two Preventives (two chapters from the Koran), 101.

 Mawálid (_pl._ of Maulid) = _lit._ “nativity festivals,” (_here_
    “funeral ceremonies”), 187.

 Mawázi (_pl._ of Mauza’) = _lit._ places, shifts (_tr._ “positions”),

 May God never requite thee for me with good (_i.e._ Damn your soul for
    leading me into this danger), 39.

 May I not be bereft of these steps = may thy visits never fail me, 110.

 Meccah and Al-Medinah = The two Sanctuaries, 220.

 Merchants wear dagger and sword, 38.

 Mizwad (or Mizwád) = _lit._ provision bag, 222.

 Mohammed Ali Pasha (the “Great”), 9.

 More cutting = more bewitching, 143.

 Morning and evening = day and night for ever, 195.

 Moslems think the more you see of them the more you like them, 208.

 Mu’ajjalah = money paid down before consummation, 141.

 Mu’ajjalah = coin paid contingent on divorce, 141.

 Mubáh = an action not sinful (_harám_) or quasi-sinful (_makrúh_)
    (_tr._ “lawfully”), 12.

 Muhattakát = usually “with torn veils,” metaphor meaning in disgrace
    (_tr._ “unveiled”), 46.

 Mu’ín al-Din = “Aider of the Faith,” 5.

 Mukaddam = Captain, 7.

 Mukhaddarát = maidens concealed behind curtains and veiled in the
    Harem, 265.

 Munír = “The brilliant,” the enlightened, 100.

 Musáfahah = clapping palm (of the hand), 225.

 Mustauda = strong box, 9.

 Mustaráh (Al-) = Chapel of Ease (a favourite haunting-place of the
    Jinn), 85.

 Mutahaddisín = novi homines, upstarts (_tr._ “of the number of the
    new,”) 82.

 Mutawallí = Prefect (of Police), 30.

 Muzfir (Al-) = the Twister, 95.

 Nadd, a compound perfume, 108.

 Nahnu = we (for I), 28.

 Náihah = the præfica or myriologist, 171.

 “Naked intercessor” (one who cannot be withstood), 83.

 Nasrín = moss-rose, 115.

 Nawwáb (_pl._ of Náib) = a Nabob (_tr. lit._ “deputies”), 8.

 Názilah = descent (of calamity), 176.

 Názir al-Mawáris = “Inspector of Inheritances,” 286.

 Necklace-pearls = the cup-bearer’s teeth, 253.

 Ni’am = Yes (an exception to the Abbé Sicard’s rule), 19.

 Night beset his back = darkened behind him, 197.

 Niká (_lit._ sand hill) = the swell of the throat, 252.

 Nún al-taakid = the N of injunction, 23.

 Nuzhat-í = pleasance, 45.

 Ocular testimony demanded by Moslem law, 17.

 Oil, anointing with, for incipient consumption, 75.

 “On my shop” = bit of boarding wherethe master sits, or on a stool in
    thestreet, 281.

 Orisons = the prayers of the last day andnight, 94.

 Palace between two rivers = In Rauzah-island, 281.

 Palace not the place for a religious andscrupulous woman, 229.

 Part and parts = more or less thoroughly, 152.

 Parturition and death easy compared withboth processes in the
    temperates of Europe, 23.

 Payne quoted, 28, 54, 67, 73, 85, 110, 112, 154, 191, _ib._, 200, 227,
    231, 248, 251, 267, 275, 281.

 Perjury easily expiated amongst Moslems, 38.

 Pilgrimage quoted—
   i. 62, 20
   i. 87, 71
   i. 100, 281
   i. 119, 54
   i. 127, 152
   i. 173, 9
   i. 321, 63
   i. 338, 220
   ii. 57, _ib._
   ii. 297, 222
   iii. 68, 59
   iii. 385, 22
   iii. 385, 51

 “Plied him with wine,” a favourite habit with mediæval Arabs, 50.

 Poetry (Persian,) often alludes to the rose, etc., 99.

 Police (Eastern), 6.

 Professional singers, becoming freed women and turning “respectable,”

 Pummel of the saddle, 85.

 Quarters, containing rooms in which girls are sold, 71.

 Queen Shu’á’ah = Queen Sunbeam, 107.

 “Quench that fire for him” (_i.e._ hush up the matter), 15.

 Raas Ghanam = a head of sheep (form of expressing singularity common to
    Arabic), 207.

 Raba’ = _lit._ spring quarters (_tr._ “a lodging house”), 19.

 Rasílah = a (she) partner (_tr._ “accompanyist”), 44.

 Rayhánah, _i.e._ the “Basil,” mostly a servile name, 20.

 Red Camel (Ahmar), 248.

 Rikkí al-Saut = soften the sound (or “lower thy voice”), 89.

 Rúhí = _lit._ my breath (_tr._ “my sprite”), 120.

 Rustaki, from Rustak, a quarter of Baghdah, 209.

 Saff Kamaríyát min al-Zujáj = glazed and coloured lunettes, 39.

 Sahbá = red wine, 99.

 Sáhils, or shore-lands, 3.

 Sákiyah = water-wheel, 47.

 Sammár = reciters, 3.

 Santír = psalteries, 246.

 Sat down (in sign of agitation), 211.

 Sawákí = channels, 93.

 Severance-spies = stars and planets, 236.

 Shahrazad and Shahryar, 259.

 Shaking his clothes (in sign of quitting possession), 205.

 Sharárah = a spark, 87.

 Sharí’at, forbidding divorce by compulsion, 147.

 Sharifí = a sequin, 143.

 Sharkíyah (province in Egypt), 16.

 Sharr fi al-Haramayn = wickedness in the two Holy Places, 220.

 Shawáhid (meaning that heart testifies to heart) _tr._ “hearts have
    their witnesses,” 87.

 Shaybání (Al-) = “Of the Shaybán tribe,” 191, 199.

 Shaykh al-Hujjáj = Shaykh of the Pilgrims, 63.

 “Shaykh al-Tawaif” may mean “Shaykh of the Tribes” (of Jinns), 117.

 Shayyan li ’lláh = _lit._ (Give me some) Thing for (the love of) Allah
    (_tr._ “An alms, for the love of Allah”), 44.

 Sházz = Voice (doubtful if girl’s, nightingale’s, or dove’s), 244.

 “She heard a blowing behind her” (a phenomena well known to
    spiritualists), 101.

 “She will double thy store of presents,” 111.

 Shuhbá (Al-) = Ash-coloured, verging upon white, 110.

 Sídí = “my lord” (here becomes part of a name), 151.

 Sijn al-Dam = the Prison of Blood, 161.

 Sim’án-son = son of Simeon, _i.e._ a Christian, 175.

 Singing and music blameable (Makrúh), though not actually damnable, 46.

 Sir fi hálik (_pron._ Sirfhák) = Go about thy business, 44.

 Sirr (a secret), afterwards Kitmán (concealment) = keeping a lover
    down-hearted, 218.

 Sitt al-Miláh = Lady or princess of the Fair (ones), 155.

 Slaves fond of talking over their sale, 94.

 Sons of Adam = his Moslem neighbours, 30.

 Sons of the Path = Travellers, Nomads, Wild Arabs, 213.

 “Son of the Road” = a mere passer-by, a stranger, 235.

 “Spoiling for a fight,” 199.

 “Squeezed my ribs,” a bear-like attack, common amongst lower orders of
    Egypt and Syria, 47.

 Sunnah and Farz = The practice (of the Prophet) and the Holy Law
    (Koranic), 10.

 Surah = Koranic chapter; here possibly clerical error for Súrah—sort
    (of food), 173.

 Súsan = the lily (in Heb.), 116.

 Swooper of the Jinn, 202.

 Táb = “tip-cat,” 54.

 Táf (Al-) a suburb of Baghdah, 71.

 Tahzíb = reforming morals, amending conduct, etc., 240.

 Talákan báyinan = a triple divorce before witnesses, 148.

 Tamkín = gravity, assurance (_tr._ “Self-possession”), 8.

 Tarfah = Tamarisk, 252.

 Tarjumán = a dragoman (_tr._ “Truchman”), 185.

 Thaghr al-Khánakah = The narrows of the (Dervishes’) convent, 74.

 Thieves with hands lopped off, 44.

 “Thine is ours and on thee shall be whatso is on us” = we will assume
    thy debts and responsibilities, 247.

 This girl is a fat piece of meat (_i.e._ “There are good pickings to be
    had out of this job”), 17.

 Thiyáb ’Amúdiyah = striped clothes, 79.

 Those noble steps = thine auspicious visits, 82.

 Thou comest to bring us victory = “comest thou to our succour,” 201.

 Thrust his finger up his fundament (a diabolical way of clapping hands
    in applause), 89.

 ’Tis more acceptable to me than a red camel, 248.

 Tobbas = “Successors” or the Himyaritic Kings, 263.

 “To-day wine, and to-morrow business,” 177.

 Tohfah = a Choice Gift, 79.

 Tohfat al-Humaká = Choice Gift of the Fools, 73.

 Tohfat al-Kulúb = Choice Gift of the Hearts, 73.

 Tohfat al-Sudúr = Choice Gift of the Breasts (_i.e._ of the hearts),

 True believer imitates sayings and doings of the Apostle, 173.

 Turkumániyah = Turcomanish (_tr._ “dragomanish”), 191.

 ’Úd = primarily “wood”; then a “lute” (_tr._ here “fuel”), 178.

 ’Udúl (_pl._ of Ádil) = men of good repute (_tr._ “notables”), 25.

 ’Ummár = the Jinn (_tr._ “Haunters”), 102.

 ’Urkúb, a Jew of Yathrib, 164.

 ’Urs (Al-) w’al-Tuhúr = “the wedding (which does not drop out of the
    tale) and the circumcision,” 90.

 Veil me = protect my honour, 147.

 Veil (raiser of) means a fitting purchaser, 73.

 Violateth my private apartment, 243.

 Voice (mysterious), 51.

 Wakálah (Egyptian term for a Khan), 153.

 Wakhímah = an unhealthy land, 87.

 Where am I, and where is the daughter, etc.? = “What have I to do with,
    etc.,” 7.

 “Whoso journeyeth not enjoyeth not,” 152.

 “Whoso keeneth for himself is not like whoso is hired to keen.”
    _Proverb_ = “If you want a thing done, etc.,” 171.

 Wine and Wassail, loose talk, etc., a favourite subject with lewd
    Moslems, 34.

 Wine, carrion and pork lawful to Moslem if used to save life, 176.

 “With love and gladness,” 137.

 Women, drowsy charms of, 252.

 Yad (Al-) al-bayzá = _lit._ The white hand (_tr._ “largesse”), 123.

 Yáfis bin Nuh = Japhet, son of Noah, 111.

 Yaftah’ Allah = Allah open (to thee the door of subsistence), 44.

 Yá Khawand = “O lord and master,” 12.

 Yá Mu’arras = O fool and disreputable (_tr._ “O pimp”), 21.

 Ya’tamidúna hudà-hum = purpose the right direction (_tr._ “those who
    seek their salvation”), 32.

 Yá Zínat al-Nisá = O adornment of womankind, 207.

 “Ye are quit of,” etc. = You are welcome to it and so it becomes lawful
    (_halál_) to you, 161.

 Yúnus = Ibn Habíb, a friend of Isaac of Musul, 71.

 Za’amú = they opine, they declare (_tr._ “They set forth”), 55.

 Zabídún (here probably a clerical error for Zabíd, Capital of Tahámah),

 Zafáir al-Jinn = Adiantum capillus Veneris, 95.

 Zalamah (Al-) = the policeman (_tr._ “men of violence”), 52.

 Zirtah = fart, 56.

 Zur ghibban, tazid hibban = visits rare keep friendship fair, 209.

 Zuwaylah Gate, 8.


Footnote 1:

  Bresl. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 321–99, Nights dccccxxx-xl.

Footnote 2:

  Arab. “Iklím” from the Gr. κλίμα, often used as amongst us (_e.g._
  “other climes”) for land.

Footnote 3:

  Bibars whose name is still famous and mostly pronounced “Baybars,” the
  fourth of the Baharite Mamelukes whom I would call the “Soldans.”
  Originally a slave of Al-Sálih, seventh of the Ayyubites, he rose to
  power by the normal process, murdering his predecessor, in A.D. 1260;
  and he pushed his conquests from Syria to Armenia. In his day “Saint”
  Louis died before Tunis (A.D. 1270.)

Footnote 4:

  There are sundry Sáhils or shore-lands. “Sahil Misr” is the River-side
  of Cairo often extended to the whole of Lower Egypt (vol. i. 290):
  here it means the lowlands of Palestine once the abode of the noble
  Philistines; and lastly the term extends to the sea-board of Zanzibar,
  where, however, it is mostly used in the plur. “Sawáhil” = the Shores.

Footnote 5:

  Arab. “Sammár” (from Samar, = conversatio nocturna), = the
  story-teller who in camp or house whiles away the evening hours.

Footnote 6:

  “Flag of the Faith:” Sanjar in old Persian = a Prince, a King.

Footnote 7:

  “Aider of the Faith.”

Footnote 8:

  These policemen’s tales present a curious contrast with the detective
  stories of M. Gaboriau and his host of imitators. In the East the
  police, like the old Bow Street runners, were and are still recruited
  principally amongst the criminal classes on the principle of “Set a
  thief,” &c. We have seen that the Barmecide Wazirs of Baghdad
  “anticipated Fourier’s doctrine of the _passionel_ treatment of
  lawless inclinations,” and employed as subordinate officers, under the
  Wali or Prefect of Police, accomplished villains like Ahmad al-Danaf
  (vol. iv. 75), Hasan Shuuman and Mercury Ali (ibid.) and even women
  (Dalilah the Crafty) to coerce and checkmate their former comrades.
  Moreover a gird at the police is always acceptable, not only to a
  coffee-house audience, but even to a more educated crowd; witness the
  treatment of the “Charley” and the “Bobby” in our truly English

Footnote 9:

  _i.e._ the Chief of Police, as the sequel shows.

Footnote 10:

  About £4.

Footnote 11:

  _i.e._ of the worlds visible and invisible.

Footnote 12:

  Arab. “Mukaddam:” see vol. iv, 42.

Footnote 13:

  “Faithful of Command;” it may be a title as well as a P.N. For
  “Al-Amín,” see vol. iv. 261.

Footnote 14:

  _i.e._ “What have I to do with, etc.?” or “How great is the difference
  between me and her.” The phrase is still popular in Egypt and Syria;
  and the interrogative form only intensifies it. The student of
  Egyptian should always try to answer a question by a question. His
  labours have been greatly facilitated by the conscientious work of my
  late friend Spitta Bey. I tried hard to persuade the late Rogers Bey,
  whose knowledge of Egyptian and Syrian (as opposed to Arabic) was
  considerable, that a simple grammar of Egyptian was much wanted; he
  promised to undertake it, but death cut short the design.

Footnote 15:

  Arab. “Nawwáb,” plur. of Náib (lit. deputies, lieutenants) = a Nabob.
  Till the unhappy English occupation of Egypt, the grand old Kil’ah
  (Citadel) contained the palace of the Pasha and the lodgings and
  offices of the various officials. Foreign rulers, if they are wise,
  should convert it into a fort with batteries commanding the town, like
  that of Hyderabad, in Sind.

Footnote 16:

  For this famous and time-honoured building, see vol. i. 269.

Footnote 17:

  Arab. “Tamkín,” gravity, assurance.

Footnote 18:

  Arab. “’Iyál-hu,” lit. his family, a decorous circumlocution for his
  wives and concubines.

Footnote 19:

  Arab. “Darb,” lit. a road; here a large thoroughfare.

Footnote 20:

  When Mohammed Ali Pasha (the “Great”) began to rule, he found Cairo
  “stifled” with filth, and gave orders that each householder, under
  pain of confiscation, should keep the street before his house
  perfectly clean. This was done after some examples had been made and
  the result was that since that time Cairo never knew the plague. I am
  writing at Tangier where a Mahommed Ali is much wanted.

Footnote 21:

  _i.e._ Allah forfend!

Footnote 22:

  Arab. “Mustauda’” = a strong place where goods are deposited and left
  in charge.

Footnote 23:

  Because, if she came to grief, the people of the street, and
  especially those of the adjoining houses would get into trouble. Hence
  in Moslem cities, like Damascus and Fez, the Hárát or quarters are
  closed at night with strong wooden doors, and the guards will not open
  them except by means of a silver key. Mohammed Ali abolished this
  inconvenience, but fined and imprisoned all night-walkers who carried
  no lanterns. See Pilgrimage, vol. i. 173.

Footnote 24:

  As Kazi of the quarter he was ex-officio guardian of the orphans and
  their property, and liable to severe punishment (unless he could pay
  for the luxury) in case of fraud or neglect.

Footnote 25:

  Altogether six thousand dinars = £3000. This sentence is borrowed from
  the sequel and necessary to make the sense clear.

Footnote 26:

  _i.e._ “I am going at once to complain of thee before the king unless
  thou give me due satisfaction by restoring the money and finding the

Footnote 27:

  The Practice (of the Prophet) and the Holy Law (Koranic): see vols. v.
  36, 167, and i. 169.

Footnote 28:

  In the corrupt text “Who knew me not;” thus spoiling the point.

Footnote 29:

  Arab. “Maut Ahmar” = violent or bloody death. For the various coloured
  deaths, see vol. vi. 250.

Footnote 30:

  _i.e._ for lack of sleep.

Footnote 31:

  _i.e._ of the Kazi.

Footnote 32:

  Arab. “Mubáh,” in the theologic sense, an action which is not sinful
  (_harám_) or quasi-sinful (_makrúh_); vulgarly “permitted, allowed”;
  so Shahrazad “ceased to say her say permitted” (by Shahryar).

Footnote 33:

  Arab. “Yá Khawand”; see vol. vii. 315.

Footnote 34:

  _i.e._ we both make different statements equally credible, but without
  proof, and the case will go against me, because thou art the greater

Footnote 35:

  Arab. “Irtiyád” = seeking a place where to stale, soft and sloping, so
  that the urine spray may not defile the dress. All this in one word!

Footnote 36:

  Arab. “Bahár,” the red _buphthalmus sylvester_ often used for such
  comparisons. In Algeria it is called ’Aráwah: see the Jardin Parfumé,
  p. 245, note 144.

Footnote 37:

  _i.e._ parties.

Footnote 38:

  _i.e._ amongst men.

Footnote 39:

  Almost as neat as “où sont les neiges d’autan?”

Footnote 40:

  Arab. “Ádi,” one transgressing, an enemy, a scoundrel.

Footnote 41:

  It was probably stuck in the ground like an amphora.

Footnote 42:

  _i.e._ hush up the matter.

Footnote 43:

  In Egypt; the former being the Eastern of the Seven Provinces
  extending to the Pelusium branch, and the latter to the Canobic. The
  “Barári” or deserts, _i.e._ grounds not watered by the Nile, lie
  scattered between the two and both are bounded South by the Kalúbíyah
  Province and Middle Egypt.

Footnote 44:

  _i.e._ a man ready of wit and immediate of action, as opposed to his
  name Al-Atwash = one notable for levity of mind.

Footnote 45:

  The negative is emphatic, “I certainly saw a Jew,” etc.

Footnote 46:

  The “Irish bull” is in the text; justified by—

             They hand-in-hand, with wand’ring steps and slow
             Through Eden took their solitary way.

Footnote 47:

  As we should say, “There are good pickings to be had out of this job.”
  Even in the last generation a Jew or a Christian intriguing with an
  Egyptian or Syrian Moslemah would be offered the choice of death or
  Al-Islam. The Wali dared not break open the door because he was not
  sure of his game.

Footnote 48:

  The Jew rose seemingly to fetch his valuables and ran away, thus
  leaving the Wali no proof that he had been there in Moslem law which
  demands ocular testimony, rejects circumstantial evidence and ignores
  such partial witnesses as the policeman who accompanied his Chief.
  This I have before explained.

Footnote 49:

  Arab. “Raba’,” lit. = spring-quarters. See Marba’, iii. 79.

Footnote 50:

  Arab. “Ni’am,” an exception to the Abbé Sicard’s rule. “La consonne N
  est l’expression naturelle du doute chez toutes les nations, par ce
  que le son que rend la touche nasale, quand l’homme incertain examine
  s’il fera ce qu’on lui demande; ainsi NE ON, NE OT, NE EC, NE IL, d’où
  l’on a fait _non_, _not_, _nec_, _nil_.”

Footnote 51:

  For this “Haláwat al-Miftáh,” or sweetmeat of the key-money, the
  French _denier à Dieu_, Old English “God’s penny,” see vol. vii. 212,
  and Pilgrimage i. 62.

Footnote 52:

  Showing that car. cop. had taken place. Here we find the irregular use
  of the inn, perpetuated in not a few of the monster hotels throughout

Footnote 53:

  For its rules and right performance see vol. vi. 199.

Footnote 54:

  _i.e._ the “Basil (issa),” mostly a servile name, see vol. i. 19.

Footnote 55:

  Arab. “La’alla,” used to express the hope or expectation of some event
  of possible occurrence; thus distinguished from “Layta”—Would heaven!
  utinam! O si! etc.—expressing desire or volition.

Footnote 56:

  Arab. “Balát,” in Cairo the flat slabs of limestone and sandstone
  brought from the Turah quarries, which supplied stone for the Jízah

Footnote 57:

  Arab. “Yá Mu’arras!” here = O fool and disreputable; see vol. i. 338.

Footnote 58:

  These unfortunates in hot climates enjoy nothing so much as throwing
  off the clothes which burn their feverish skins: see Pilgrimage iii.
  385. Hence the boys of Eastern cities, who are perfect imps and
  flibbertigibbets, always raise the cry “Majnún” when they see a man
  naked whose sanctity does not account for his nudity.

Footnote 59:

  Arab. “Daur al-Ká’ah” = the round opening made in the ceiling for
  light and ventilation.

Footnote 60:

  Arab. “La-nakhsifanna” with the emphatic termination called by
  grammarians “Nún al-taakid”—the N of injunction. Here it is the
  reduplicated form, the Nun al-Sakílah or heavy N. The addition of Lá
  (not) _e.g._ “Lá yazrabanna” = let him certainly not strike, answers
  to the intensive or corroborative negative of the Greek effected by
  two negations or even more. In Arabic as in Latin and English two
  negatives make an affirmative.

Footnote 61:

  Parturition and death in warm climates, especially the damp-hot like
  Egypt are easy compared with both processes in the temperates of
  Europe. This is noticed by every traveller. Hence probably Easterns
  have never studied the artificial Euthanasia which is now appearing in
  literature. See p. 143 “My Path to Atheism,” by Annie Besant, London:
  Freethought Publishing Company, 28, Stonecutter Street, E.C., 1877;
  based upon the Utopia of the highly religious Thomas More. Also “Essay
  on Euthanasia,” by P. D. Williams, Jun., and Mr. Tollemache in the
  “Nineteenth Century.”

Footnote 62:

  _i.e._ he whose turn it is to sit on the bench outside the
  police-office in readiness for emergencies.

Footnote 63:

  Arab. “’Udúl” (plur. of ’Ádil), gen. men of good repute, qualified as
  witnesses in the law-court, see vol. iv. 271. It is also used (as
  below) for the Kazi’s Assessors.

Footnote 64:

  About £80.

Footnote 65:

  Arab. “Kitáb” = book, written bond. This officiousness of the
  neighbours is thoroughly justified by Moslem custom; and the same
  scene would take place in this our day. Like the Hindú’s, but in a
  minor degree, the Moslem’s neighbours form a volunteer police which
  oversees his every action. In the case of the Hindú this is required
  by the exigencies of caste, an admirable institution much bedevilled
  by ignorant Mlenchhas, and if “dynamiting” become the fashion in
  England, as it threatens to become, we shall be obliged to establish
  “Vigilance Committees” which will be as inquisitorial as caste.

Footnote 66:

  _e.g._ writing The contract of A. with B., daughter of Such-an-one,

Footnote 67:

  Arab. “Hujjat,” which may also mean an excuse.

Footnote 68:

  The last clause is supplied by Mr. Payne to stop a gap in the broken

Footnote 69:

  The text idiotically says “To the King.”

Footnote 70:

  In the text “Nahnu” = we, for I; a common vulgarism in Egypt and

Footnote 71:

  This clause has required extensive trimming; the text making the
  Notary write out the contract (which was already written) in the
  woman’s house.

Footnote 72:

  Arab. “Husn tadbír” = lit. “beauty of his contrivance.” Husn, like
  καλὸς, pulcher, beau and bello, is applied to moral and intellectual
  qualities as well as to physical and material. Hence the καλὸ γέρων,
  or old gentleman which in Romaic becomes Calogero, a monk.

Footnote 73:

  _i.e._ that some one told me the following tale.

Footnote 74:

  Arab. “Mutawallí”: see vol. i. 259.

Footnote 75:

  _i.e._ his Moslem neighbours.

Footnote 76:

  In the text is a fearful confusion of genders.

Footnote 77:

  Her object was to sue him for the loss of the pledge and to demand
  fabulous damages.

Footnote 78:

  Arab. “Ya’tamidúna hudà-hum” = purpose the right direction, a skit at
  the devotees of her age and sex; and an impudent comment upon the
  Prefect’s address “O she-devil!”

Footnote 79:

  The trick has often been played in modern times at fairs, shows, etc.
  Witness the old Joe Miller of the “Moving Multitude.”

Footnote 80:

  Apparently meaning the forbidden pleasures of wine and wassail, loose
  talk and tales of women’s wiles, a favourite subject with the lewder
  sort of Moslem.

Footnote 81:

  _i.e._ women’s tricks.

Footnote 82:

  The “Turkoman” in the text first comes in afterwards.

Footnote 83:

  Arab. “Kásid,” the old Anglo-Indian “Cossid”: see vol. vii. 340.

Footnote 84:

  Being a merchant he wore dagger and sword, a safe practice as it
  deters attack and far better than carrying hidden weapons, derringers
  and revolvers which, originating in the United States, have now been
  adopted by the most civilised nations in Europe.

Footnote 85:

  I have noted (vol. ii. 186, iv. 175) the easy expiation of perjury
  amongst Moslems, an ugly blot in their moral code.

Footnote 86:

  _i.e._ Enter in the name of Allah.

Footnote 87:

  _i.e._ Damn your soul for leading me into this danger!

Footnote 88:

  Arab. “Saff Kamaríyát min al-Zujáj.” The Kamaríyah is derived by Lane
  (Introd. M.E.) from Kamar = moon; by Baron Von Hammer from
  Khumárawayh, second of the Banu-Tulún dynasty, at the end of the ixth
  century A.D., when stained glass was introduced into Egypt. N.B.—It
  must date from many centuries before. The Kamariyah are coloured glass
  windows about 2 feet high by 18 inches wide, placed in a row along the
  upper part of the Mashrabíyah or projecting lattice-window, and are
  formed of small panes of brightly-stained glass set in rims of
  gypsum-plaster, the whole framed in wood. Here the allusion is to the
  “Mamrak” or dome-shaped skylight crowning the room. See vol. viii.

Footnote 89:

  _i.e._ easily arrested them.

Footnote 90:

  The reader will not forget the half-penitent Captain of Bandits in Gil

Footnote 91:

  Arab. “Abtál” = champions, athletes, etc., plur. of Batal, a brave: so
  Batalat = a virago. As the root Batala = it was vain, the form
  “Battál” may mean either a hero or a bad lot: see vol. viii. 335; x.
  74, 75.

Footnote 92:

  Arab. “Fityán;” plur. of Fatà: see vol. i. 67.

Footnote 93:

  This was in popular parlance “adding insult to injury:” the blackening
  their faces was a promise of Hell-fire.

Footnote 94:

  Arab. “Shayyan li ’lláh!” lit. = (Give me some) Thing for (the love
  of) Allah. The answer in Egypt is “Allah ya’tík:” = Allah will give it
  thee (not I), or, “Yaftah ’Allah,” = Allah open (to thee the door of
  subsistence): in Marocco “Sir fí hálik” (pron. Sirfhák) = Go about thy
  business. In all cities there is formula which suffices the asker; but
  the Ghashím (Johnny Raw) who ignores it, is pestered only the more by
  his protestations that “he left his purse at home,” etc.

Footnote 95:

  _i.e._ engaged her for a revel and paid her in advance.

Footnote 96:

  Arab. “Rasílah” = a (she) partner, to accompany her on the lute.

Footnote 97:

  Suggesting that they are all thieves who had undergone legal

Footnote 98:

  Arab. “Nuzhat-í:” see vol. ii. 81.

Footnote 99:

  Arab. “Muhattakát;” usually “with torn veils” (fem. plur.) here
  “without veils,” metaphor. meaning in disgrace, in dishonour.

Footnote 100:

  For this reedy Poa, see vol. ii. 18.

Footnote 101:

  I have repeatedly noticed that singing and all music are, in religious
  parlance, “Makrúh,” blameable though not actually damnable; and that
  the first step after “getting religion” is to forswear them.

Footnote 102:

  _i.e._ to find the thief or make good the loss.

Footnote 103:

  _i.e._ the claimants.

Footnote 104:

  Arab. “Sákiyah:” see vol. i. 123.

Footnote 105:

  The lower orders of Egypt and Syria are addicted to this bear-like
  attack; so the negroes imitate fighting-rams by butting with their
  stony heads. Let me remark that when Herodotus (iii. 12), after
  Psammenitus’ battle of Pelusium in B.C. 524, made the remark that the
  Egyptian crania were hardened by shaving and insolation and the
  Persians were softened by wearing head-cloths, he tripped in his
  anthropology. The Iranian skull is naturally thin compared with that
  of the negroid Egyptian and the negro.

Footnote 106:

  Arab. “Farkalah,” φραγέλλιον from flagellum; cattle-whip with leathern
  thongs. Lane, M.E.; Fleischer Glos. 83–84; Dozy _s.v._

Footnote 107:

  This clause is supplied to make sense.

Footnote 108:

  _i.e._ to crucify him by nailing him to an upright board.

Footnote 109:

  _i.e._ a native of the Hauran, Job’s country east of Damascus, now a
  luxuriant waste, haunted only by the plundering Badawin and the Druzes
  of the hills, who are no better; but its stretches of ruins and
  league-long swathes of stone over which the vine was trained, show
  what it has been and what it will be again when the incubus of Turkish
  mis-rule shall be removed from it. Herr Schuhmacher has lately noted
  in the Hauran sundry Arab traditions of Job; the village Nawá, where
  he lived: the Hammam ’Ayyúb, where he washed his leprous skin; the
  Dayr Ayyúb, a monastery said to date from the third century; and the
  Makan Ayyub at Al-Markáz, where the semi-mythical patriarch and his
  wife are buried. The “Rock of Job,” covered by a mosque, is a basaltic
  monolith 7 feet high by 4, and is probably connected with the solar
  worship of the old Phœnicians.

Footnote 110:

  This habit “torquere mero,” was a favourite with the mediæval Arabs.
  Its effect varies greatly with men’s characters, making some
  open-hearted and communicative, and others more cunning and secretive
  than in the normal state. So far it is an excellent detection of
  disposition, and many a man who passes off well when sober has shown
  himself in liquor a rank snob. Among the lower orders it provokes what
  the Persians call Bad-mastí (le vin méchant): see Pilgrimage iii. 385.

Footnote 111:

  This mystery is not unfamiliar to the modern “spiritualist;” and all
  Eastern tongues have a special term for the mysterious Voice. See vol.
  i. 142.

Footnote 112:

  Arab. “Alaykum”: addressed to a single person. This is generally
  explained by the “Salam” reaching the ears of Invisible Controuls, and
  even the Apostle. We find the words cruelly distorted in the
  Pentamerone of Giambattista Basile (partly translated by John E.
  Taylor, London: Bogue, 1848), “The Prince, coming up to the old woman
  heard an hundred Licasalemme,” p. 383.

Footnote 113:

  Arab. “Al-Zalamah”; the policeman: see vol. vi. 214.

Footnote 114:

  _i.e._ in my punishment.

Footnote 115:

  _i.e._ on Doomsday thou shalt get thy deserts.

Footnote 116:

  _i.e._ what I could well afford.

Footnote 117:

  Arab. Hirfah = a trade, a guild, a corporation: here the officers of

Footnote 118:

  Gen. “tip-cat” (vol. ii. 314.) Here it would mean a rude form of
  tables or backgammon, in which the players who throw certain numbers
  are dubbed Sultan and Wazir, and demean themselves accordingly. A
  favourite bit of fun with Cairene boys of a past generation was to
  “make a Pasha;” and for this proceeding, see Pilgrimage, vol. i. 119.

Footnote 119:

  In Marocco there is great difficulty about finding an executioner who
  becomes obnoxious to the Thár, _vendetta_ or blood-revenge. For
  salting the criminal’s head, however, the soldiers seize upon the
  nearest Jew and compel him to clean out the brain and to prepare it
  for what is often a long journey. Hence, according to some, the local
  name of the Ghetto, Al-Malláh, = the salting-ground.

Footnote 120:

  Mr. Payne suspects that “laban,” milk, esp. artificially soured, (see
  vol. vi. 201) is a clerical error for “jubn” = cheese. This may be;
  but I follow the text as the exaggeration is greater.

Footnote 121:

  _i.e._ in relinquishing his blood-wite for his brother.

Footnote 122:

  The Story-teller, probably to relieve the monotony of the Constables’
  histories, here returns to the original cadre. We must not forget that
  in the Bresl. Edit. the Nights are running on, and that the charming
  queen is relating the adventure of Al-Malik al-Zahir.

Footnote 123:

  Arab. “Za’amú” = they opine, they declare; a favourite term with the
  Bresl. Edit.

Footnote 124:

  Arab. “Zirtah” the coarsest of terms for what the French nuns prettily
  termed _un sonnet_: I find _ung sonnet_ also in Nov. ii. of the Cent
  nouvelles Nouvelles. Captain Lockett (p. 32) quotes Strepsiades in The
  Clouds βροντᾷ κομιδῆ παππάξ “because he cannot express the bathos of
  the original (in the Tale of Ja’afar and the old Badawi) without
  descending to the oracular language of Giacoma Rodogina, the
  engastrymythian prophetess.” But Sterne was by no means so squeamish.
  The literature of this subject is extensive, beginning with
  “Peteriana, ou l’art de peter,” which distinguishes 62 different
  tones. After dining with a late friend en garçon we went into his
  sitting-room and found on the table 13 books and booklets upon the
  Crepitus Ventris, and there was some astonishment as not a few of the
  party had never seen one.

Footnote 125:

  This tale is a replica of the Cranes of Ibycus. This was a Rhegium man
  who when returning to Corinth, his home, was set upon by robbers and
  slain. He cast his dying eyes heavenwards and seeing a flight of
  cranes called upon them to avenge him and this they did by flying over
  the theatre of Corinth on a day when the murderers were present and
  one cried out, “Behold the avengers of Ibycus!” Whereupon they were
  taken and put to death. So says Paulus Hieronymus, and the affecting
  old tale has newly been sung in charming verse by Mr. Justin H.
  McCarthy (“Serapion.” London: Chatto and Windus.)

Footnote 126:

  This scene is perfectly true to Badawi life; see my Pilgrimage iii.

Footnote 127:

  Arab. “Durráj”: so it is rendered in the French translation of
  Al-Masúdi, vii. 347.

Footnote 128:

  A fair friend found the idea of Destiny in The Nights become almost a
  night-mare. Yet here we suddenly alight upon the true Johnsonian idea
  that conduct makes fate. Both extremes are as usual false. When one
  man fights a dozen battles unwounded and another falls at the first
  shot we cannot but acknowledge the presence of that mysterious “luck”
  whose laws, now utterly unknown to us, may become familiar with the
  ages. I may note that the idea of an appointed hour beyond which life
  may not be prolonged, is as old as Homer (Il. vi. 487).

  The reader has been told (vol. vii. 135) that “Kazá” is Fate in a
  general sense, the universal and eternal Decree of Allah, while
  “Kadar” is its special and particular application to man’s lot, that
  is Allah’s will in bringing forth events at a certain time and place.
  But the former is popularly held to be of two categories, one Kazá
  al-Muham which admits of modification and Kazá al-Muhkam, absolute and
  unchangeable, the doctrine of irresistible predestination preached
  with so much energy by St. Paul (Romans ix. 15–24); and all the world
  over men act upon the former while theoretically holding to the
  latter. Hence “Chinese Gordon” whose loss to England is greater than
  even his friends suppose, wrote “It is a delightful thing to be a
  fatalist,” meaning that the Divine direction and pre-ordination of all
  things saved him so much trouble of forethought and afterthought. In
  this tenet he was not only a Calvinist but also a Moslem whose
  contradictory ideas of Fate and Freewill (with responsibility) are not
  only beyond Reason but are contrary to Reason; and although we may
  admit the _argumentum ad verecundiam_, suggesting that there are
  things above (or below) human intelligence, we are not bound so to do
  in the case of things which are opposed to the common sense of
  mankind. Practically, however, the Moslem attitude is to be loud in
  confessing belief of “Fate and Fortune” before an event happens and
  after it wisely to console himself with the conviction that in no way
  could he have escaped the occurrence. And the belief that this destiny
  was in the hands of Allah gives him a certain dignity especially in
  the presence of disease and death which is wanting in his rival
  religionist the Christian. At the same time the fanciful picture of
  the Turk sitting stolidly under a shower of bullets because Fate will
  not find him out unless it be so written is a freak of fancy rarely
  found in real life.

  There are four great points of dispute amongst the schoolmen in
  Al-Islam; (1) the Unity and Attributes of Allah; (2) His promises and
  threats; (3) historical as the office of Imám; and (4) Predestination
  and the justice thereof. On the latter subject opinions range over the
  whole cycle of possibilities. For instance, the Mu’tazilites, whom the
  learned Weil makes the Protestants and Rationalists of Al-Islam,
  contend that the word of Allah was created _in subjecto, ergò_, an
  accident and liable to perish, and one of their school, the Kádiriyah
  (= having power) denies the existence of Fate and contends that Allah
  did not create evil but left man an absolutely free agent. On the
  other hand, the Jabariyah (or Mujabbar = the compelled) is an absolute
  Fatalist who believes in the omnipotence of Destiny and deems that all
  wisdom consists in conforming with its decrees. Al-Mas’udi (chapt.
  cxxvii) illustrates this by the saying of a Moslem philosopher that
  chess was the invention of a Mu’tazil, while Nard (backgammon with
  dice) was that of a Mujabbar proving that play can do nothing against
  destiny. Between the two are the Ashariyah; trimmers whose stand-point
  is hard to define; they would say, “Allah creates the power by which
  man acts, but man wills the action,” and care not to answer the query,
  “Who created the will?” (See Pocock, Sale and the Dabistan ii. 352).
  Thus Sa’adi says in the Gulistan (iii. 2), “The wise have pronounced
  that though daily bread be allotted, yet it is so conditionally upon
  using means to acquire it, and although calamity be predestined, yet
  it is right to secure oneself against the portals by which it may have
  access.” Lastly, not a few doctors of Law and Religion hold that Kaza
  al-Muhkam, however absolute, regards only man’s after or final state;
  and upon this subject they are of course as wise as other people,
  and—no wiser. Lane has treated the Moslem faith in Destiny very ably
  and fully (Arabian Nights, vol. i. pp. 58–61), and he being a man of
  moderate and orthodox views gives valuable testimony.

Footnote 129:

  Arab. “Shaykh al-Hujjáj.” Some Santon like Hasan al-Marábit, then
  invoked by the Meccan pilgrims: see Pilgrimage, i. 321. It can hardly
  refer to the famous Hajjáj bin Yúsuf al-Sakafí (vol. iv. 3).

Footnote 130:

  Here the Stories of the Sixteen Constables abruptly end, after the
  fashion of the Bresl. Edit. They are summarily dismissed even without
  the normal “Bakhshísh.”

Footnote 131:

  Bresl. Edit. vol. xi. pp. 400–473 and vol. xii. pp. 4–50, Nights
  dccccxli-dcccclvii. For Kashghar, see vol. i. 255.

Footnote 132:

  Mr. Payne proposes to translate “’Anbar” by amber, the semi-fossilised
  resin much used in modern days, especially in Turkey and Somaliland,
  for bead necklaces. But, as he says, the second line distinctly
  alludes to the perfume which is sewn in leather and hung about the
  neck, after the fashion of our ancient pomanders (_pomme d’ambre_).

Footnote 133:

  _i.e._ The Caliph: see vol. i. p. 50.

Footnote 134:

  Arab. “Adab:” see vol. i. 132, etc. In Moslem dialects which borrow
  more or less from Arabic, “Bí-adabí” = being without Adab, means
  rudeness, disrespect, “impertinence” (in its modern sense).

Footnote 135:

  _i.e._ Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab musicians: see vol. iv.

Footnote 136:

  The elder brother of Ja’afar, by no means so genial or fitted for a
  royal frolic. See Terminal Essay.

Footnote 137:

  Ibn Habíb, a friend of Isaac, and a learned grammarian who lectured at

Footnote 138:

  A suburb of Baghdad, mentioned by Al-Mas’údi.

Footnote 139:

  Containing the rooms in which the girl or girls were sold. See
  Pilgrimage i. 87.

Footnote 140:

  Dozy quotes this passage but cannot explain the word Fawwák.

Footnote 141:

  “A passage has apparently dropped out here. The Khalif seems to have
  gone away without buying, leaving Ishac behind, whereupon the latter
  was accosted by another slave-girl, who came out of a cell in the
  corridor.” So says Mr. Payne vol. ii. 207. The “raiser of the veil”
  means a fitting purchaser.

Footnote 142:

  _i.e._ “Choice gift of the Fools,” a skit upon the girl’s name “Tohfat
  al-Kulúb” = Choice gift of the Hearts. Her folly consisted in refusing
  to be sold at a high price, and this is often seen in real life. It is
  a _Pundonor_ amongst good Moslems not to buy a girl and not to sleep
  with her, even when bought, against her will.

Footnote 143:

  “Every one cannot go to Corinth.” The question makes the assertion

Footnote 144:

  _i.e._ The Narrows of the (Dervishes’) convent.

Footnote 145:

  Arab. “Akwà min dahni ’l-lauz.” These unguents have been used in the
  East from time immemorial whilst the last generation in England knew
  nothing of anointing with oil for incipient consumption. A late friend
  of mine, Dr. Stocks of the Bombay Establishment, and I proposed it as
  long back as 1845; but in those days it was a far cry from Sind to

Footnote 146:

  The sequel will explain why she acted in this way.

Footnote 147:

  _i.e._ Thou hast made my gold piece (10 shill.) worth only a doit by
  thy superiority in the art and mystery of music.

Footnote 148:

  Arab. “Uaddíki,” Taadiyah (iid. of Adá, he assisted) means sending,
  forwarding. In Egypt and Syria we often find the form “Waddi” for
  Addi, imperative.

Footnote 149:

  Again “he” for “she.”

Footnote 150:

  _i.e._ Honey and wine.

Footnote 151:

  _i.e._ he died.

Footnote 152:

  _i.e._ if my hand had lost its cunning.

Footnote 153:

  Arab. “Thiyáb ’Amúdiyah”: ’Amúd = tent-prop or column, and Khatt ’Amúd
  = a perpendicular line.

Footnote 154:

  _i.e._ a choice gift. The Caliph speaks half ironically, “Where’s this
  wonderful present, etc?” So further on when he compares her with the

Footnote 155:

  Again the usual pun upon the name.

Footnote 156:

  Throughout the East this is the action of a servant or a slave,
  practised by freemen only when in danger of life or extreme need and
  therefore humiliating.

Footnote 157:

  It had been thrown down from the Mamrak or small dome built over such
  pavilions for the purpose of light by day and ventilation by night.
  See vol. i. 257, where it is called by the Persian term “Bádhanj.”

Footnote 158:

  The Nights have more than once applied this patronymic to Zubaydah.
  See vol. viii. 56, 158.

Footnote 159:

  Arab. “Mutahaddisín” = novi homines, upstarts.

Footnote 160:

  _i.e._ thine auspicious visits.

Footnote 161:

  He being seated on the carpet at the time.

Footnote 162:

  A quotation from Al-Farazdat who had quarrelled with his wife Al-Howár
  (see the tale in Ibn Khallikan, i. 521), hence “the naked intercessor”
  became proverbial for one who cannot be withstood.

Footnote 163:

  _i.e._ Choice Gift of the Breasts, that is of hearts, the continens
  for the contentum.

Footnote 164:

  Pron. “Abuttawáif,” the Father of the (Jinn-) tribes. It is one of the
  Moslem Satan’s manifold names, alluding to the number of his servants
  and worshippers, so far agreeing with that amiable Christian doctrine,
  “Few shall be saved.”

Footnote 165:

  Mr. Payne supplies this last clause from the sequence.

Footnote 166:

  _i.e._ “Let us go,” with a euphemistic formula to defend her from evil
  influences. Iblis uses the same word to prevent her being frightened.

Footnote 167:

  Arab. “Al-Mustaráh,” a favourite haunting-place of the Jinn, like the
  Hammám and other offices for human impurity. For its six names
  Al-Khalá, Al-Hushsh, Al-Mutawazzá, Al-Kaníf, Al-Mustaráh, and Mirház,
  see Al-Mas’udi, chap. cxxvii., and Shiríshi’s commentary to Hariri’s
  47, Assembly.

Footnote 168:

  Which, in the East, is high and prominent whilst the cantle forms a
  back to the seat and the rider sits as in a baby’s chair. The object
  is a firm seat when fighting: “across country” it is exceedingly

Footnote 169:

  In Swedenborg’s “Arcana Cœlestia” we read, “When man’s inner sight is
  opened, which is that of his spirit; then there appear the things of
  another life which cannot be made visible to the bodily sight.” Also
  “Evil spirits, when seen by eyes other than those of their infernal
  associates, present themselves by _correspondence_ in the beast
  (_fera_) which represents their particular lust and life, in aspect
  direful and atrocious.” These are the Jinns of Northern Europe.

Footnote 170:

  This exchange of salams was a sign of her being in safety.

Footnote 171:

  Arab. “Shawáhid,” meaning that heart testifies to heart.

Footnote 172:

  _i.e._ A live coal, afterwards called Zalzalah, an earthquake; see
  post p. 105. “Wakhímah” = an unhealthy land, and “Sharárah” = a spark.

Footnote 173:

  I need hardly note the inscriptions upon the metal trays sold to
  Europeans. They are usually imitation words so that infidel eyes may
  not look upon the formulæ of prayer; and the same is the case with
  table-cloths, etc., showing a fancy Tohgra or Sultanic sign-manual.

Footnote 174:

  _i.e._ I cannot look at them long.

Footnote 175:

  Evidently a diabolical way of clapping his hands in applause. This
  description of the Foul Fiend has an element of grotesqueness which is
  rather Christian than Moslem.

Footnote 176:

  Arab. “Rikkí al-Saut,” which may also mean either “lower thy voice,”
  or “change the air to one less touching.”

Footnote 177:

  “Your” for “thy.”

Footnote 178:

  _i.e._ written on the “Guarded Tablet” from all eternity.

Footnote 179:

  Arab. “Al-’Urs w’al-Tuhúr” which can only mean, “the wedding (which
  does not drop out of the tale) and the circumcision.”

Footnote 180:

  I here propose to consider at some length this curious custom which
  has prevailed amongst so many widely separated races. Its object has
  been noted (vol. v. 209), viz. to diminish the sensibility of the
  glans, no longer lubricated with prostatic lymph; thus the part is
  hardened against injury and disease and its work in coition is
  prolonged. On the other hand “præputium in coitu voluptatem (of the
  woman) auget, unde femina præputiatis concubitum malunt quam cum
  Turcis ac Judæis” says Dimerbroeck (Anatomie). I vehemently doubt the
  fact. Circumcision was doubtless practised from ages immemorial by the
  peoples of Central Africa, and Welcker found traces of it in a mummy
  of the xvith century B.C. The Jews borrowed it from the Egyptian
  priesthood and made it a manner of sacrament, “uncircumcised” being =
  “unbaptised,” that is, barbarian, heretic; it was a seal of
  reconciliation, a sign of alliance between the Creator and the Chosen
  People, a token of nationality imposed upon the body politic. Thus it
  became a cruel and odious protestation against the brotherhood of man,
  and the cosmopolitan Romans derided the verpæ ac verpi. The Jews also
  used the term figuratively as the “circumcision of fruits” (Lev. xix.
  23), and of the heart (Deut. x. 16); and the old law gives copious
  historical details of its origin and continuance. Abraham first
  amputated his horny “calotte” at æt. 99, and did the same for his son
  and household (Gen. xvii. 24–27). The rite caused a separation between
  Moses and his wife (Exod. iv. 25). It was suspended during the Desert
  Wanderings and was resumed by Joshua (v. 3–7), who cut off two tons
  weight of prepuces. The latter became, like the scalps of the
  Scythians and North-American “Indians,” trophies of victory; Saul
  promised his daughter Michol to David for a dowry of one hundred, and
  the son-in-law brought double tale.

  Amongst the early Christians opinions concerning the rite differed.
  Although the Founder of Christianity was circumcised, St. Paul, who
  aimed at a cosmopolitan faith, discouraged it in the physical phase.
  St. Augustine still sustained that the rite removed original sin
  despite the Fathers who preceded and followed him, Justus, Tertullian,
  Ambrose and others. But it gradually lapsed into desuetude and was
  preserved only in the outlying regions. Paulus Jovius and Munster
  found it practised in Abyssinia, but as a mark of nobility confined to
  the descendants of “Nicaules, queen of Sheba.” The Abyssinians still
  follow the Jews in performing the rite within eight days after the
  birth and baptise boys after forty and girls after eighty days. When a
  circumcised man became a Jew he was bled before three witnesses at the
  place where the prepuce had been cut off, and this was called the
  “Blood of alliance.” Apostate Jews effaced the sign of circumcision:
  so in 1 Matt. i. 16, fecerunt sibi præputia et recesserunt a
  Testamento Sancto. Thus making prepuces was called by the Hebrews
  Meshookim = recutitis, and there is an allusion to it in 1 Cor. vii.
  18, 19, μὴ ἐπισπάσθαι (Farrar, Paul ii. 70). St. Jerome and others
  deny the possibility; but Mirabeau (Akropodie) relates how Father
  Conning by liniments of oil, suspending weights, and wearing the virga
  in a box gained in 43 days 7¼ lines. The process is still practised by
  Armenians and other Christians who, compelled to Islamise, wish to
  return to Christianity. I cannot however find a similar artifice
  applied to a circumcised clitoris. The simplest form of circumcision
  is mere amputation of the prepuce and I have noted (vol. v. 209) the
  difference between the Moslem and the Jewish rite, the latter
  according to some being supposed to heal in kindlier way. But the
  varieties of circumcision are immense. Probably none is more terrible
  than that practised in the Province Al-Asír, the old Ophir, lying
  south of Al-Hijáz, where it is called Salkh, lit. = scarification. The
  patient, usually from ten to twelve years old, is placed upon raised
  ground holding in right hand a spear, whose heel rests upon his foot
  and whose point shows every tremour of the nerves. The tribe stands
  about him to pass judgment on his fortitude, and the barber performs
  the operation with the Jumbiyah-dagger, sharp as a razor. First he
  makes a shallow cut, severing only the skin across the belly
  immediately below the navel, and similar incisions down each groin;
  then he tears off the epidermis from the cuts downwards and flays the
  testicles and the penis, ending with amputation of the foreskin.
  Meanwhile the spear must not tremble and in some clans the lad holds a
  dagger over the back of the stooping barber, crying, “Cut and fear
  not!” When the ordeal is over, he exclaims “Allaho Akbar!” and
  attempts to walk towards the tents soon falling for pain and nervous
  exhaustion, but the more steps he takes the more applause he gains. He
  is dieted with camel’s milk, the wound is treated with salt and
  turmeric, and the chances in his favour are about ten to one. No
  body-pile or pecten ever grows upon the excoriated part which
  preserves through life a livid ashen hue. Whilst Mohammed Ali Pasha
  occupied the province he forbade “scarification” under pain of
  impalement, but it was resumed the moment he left Al-Asir. In Africa
  not only is circumcision indigenous, the operation varies more or less
  in the different tribes. In Dahome it is termed Addagwibi, and is
  performed between the twelfth and twentieth year. The rough operation
  is made peculiar by a double cut above and below; the prepuce being
  treated in the Moslem, not the Jewish fashion (loc. cit.). Heated sand
  is applied as a styptic and the patient is dieted with ginger-soup and
  warm drinks of ginger-water, pork being especially forbidden. The
  Fantis of the Gold Coast circumcise in sacred places, _e.g._, at Accra
  on a Fetish rock rising from the sea. The peoples of Sennaar, Taka,
  Masawwah and the adjacent regions follow the Abyssinian custom. The
  barbarous Bissagos and Fellups of North Western Guinea make cuts on
  the prepuce without amputating it; while the Baquens and Papels
  circumcise like Moslems. The blacks of Loango are all “verpæ,”
  otherwise they would be rejected by the women. The Bantu or Caffre
  tribes are circumcised between the ages of fifteen and eighteen; the
  “Fetish boys,” as we call them, are chalked white and wear only grass
  belts; they live outside the villages in special houses under an old
  “medicine-man,” who teaches them not only virile arts but also to rob
  and fight. The “man-making” may last five months and ends in fêtes and
  dances: the patients are washed in the river, they burn down their
  quarters, take new names, and become adults, donning a kind of straw
  thimble over the prepuce. In Madagascar three several cuts are made
  causing much suffering to the children; and the nearest male relative
  swallows the prepuce. The Polynesians circumcise when childhood ends
  and thus consecrate the fecundating organ to the Deity. In Tahiti the
  operation is performed by the priest, and in Tonga only the priest is
  exempt. The Maories on the other hand fasten the prepuce over the
  glans, and the women of the Marquesas Islands have shown great cruelty
  to shipwrecked sailors who expose the glans. Almost all the known
  Australian tribes circumcise after some fashion: Bennett supposes the
  rite to have been borrowed from the Malays, while Gason enumerates the
  “Kurrawellie wonkauna” among the five mutilations of puberty.
  Leichhardt found circumcision about the Gulf of Carpentaria and in the
  river-valleys of the Robinson and Macarthur: others observed it on the
  Southern Coast and among the savages of Perth, where it is noticed by
  Salvado. James Dawson tells us “Circumciduntur pueri,” etc., in
  Western Victoria. Brough Smyth, who supposes the object is to limit
  population (?), describes on the Western Coast and in Central
  Australia the “Corrobery”-dance and the operation performed with a
  quartz-flake. Teichelmann details the rite in Southern Australia where
  the assistants—all men, women, and children being driven away—form a
  “manner of human altar” upon which the youth is laid for circumcision.
  He then receives the normal two names, public and secret, and is
  initiated into the mysteries proper for men. The Australians also for
  Malthusian reasons produce an artificial hypospadias, while the Karens
  of New Guinea only split the prepuce longitudinally (Cosmos p. 369,
  Oct. 1876); the indigens of Port Lincoln on the West Coast split the
  virga:—Fenditur usque ad urethram a parte infera penis between the
  ages of twelve and fourteen, says E. J. Eyre in 1845. Missionary
  Schürmann declares that they open the urethra. Gason describes in the
  Dieyerie tribe the operation “Kulpi” which is performed when the beard
  is long enough for tying. The member is placed upon a slab of
  tree-bark, the urethra is incised with a quartz-flake mounted in a gum
  handle and a splinter of bark is inserted to keep the cut open. These
  men may appear naked before women who expect others to clothe
  themselves. Miklucho Maclay calls it “Mika” in Central Australia: he
  was told by a squatter that of three hundred men only three or four
  had the member intact in order to get children, and that in one tribe
  the female births greatly outnumbered the male. Those mutilated also
  marry: when making water they sit like women slightly raising the
  penis, this in coition becomes flat and broad and the semen does not
  enter the matrix. The explorer believes that the deed of kind is more
  quickly done (?). Circumcision was also known to the New World.
  Herrera relates that certain Mexicans cut off the ears and prepuce of
  the newly-born child, causing many to die. The Jews did not adopt the
  female circumcision of Egypt described by Huet on Origen:—“Circumcisio
  feminarum fit resectione τῆς νυμφῆς (sive clitoridis) quæ pars in
  Australium mulieribus ita crescit ut ferro est coërcenda.” Here we
  have the normal confusion between excision of the nymphæ (usually for
  fibulation) and circumcision of the clitoris. Bruce notices this
  clitoridectomy among the Abyssinians. Werne describes the excision on
  the Upper White Nile and I have noted the complicated operation among
  the Somali tribes. Girls in Dahome are circumcised by ancient _sages
  femmes_, and a woman in the natural state would be derided by every
  one (See my Mission to Dahome, ii. 159). The Australians cut out the
  clitoris, and as I have noted elsewhere extirpate the ovary for
  Malthusian purposes (Journ. Anthrop. Inst., vol. viii. of 1884).

Footnote 181:

  Arab. “Kayrawán” which is still the common name for curlew; the peewit
  and plover being called (onomatopoetically) “Bíbat” and in Marocco
  Yahúdi, certain impious Jews having been turned into the Vanellus
  Cristatus which still wears the black skull-cap of the Hebrews.

Footnote 182:

  Arab. “Sawákí,” the leats which irrigate the ground and are opened and
  closed with the foot.

Footnote 183:

  The eighth (in altitude) of the many-storied Heavens.

Footnote 184:

  Arab. “Ihramat li al-Salát,” _i.e._ She pronounced the formula of
  Intention (Niyat) without which prayer is not valid, ending with
  Allaho Akbar = Allah is All-great. Thus she had clothed herself, as it
  were, in prayer and had retired from the world pro temp.

Footnote 185:

  _i.e._ the prayers of the last day and night which she had neglected
  while in company with the Jinns. The Hammam is not a pure place to
  pray in; but the Farz or Koranic orisons should be recited there if
  the legal term be hard upon its end.

Footnote 186:

  Slaves, male as well as female, are as fond of talking over their sale
  as European dames enjoy looking back upon the details of courtship and

Footnote 187:

  Arab. “Du’á,” = supplication, prayer, as opposed to “Salát” = divine
  worship, “prayers.” For the technical meaning of the latter see vol.
  iv. 65. I have objected to Mr. Redhouse’s distinction without a
  difference between Moslems’ worship and prayer: voluntary prayers are
  not prohibited to them and their praises of the Lord are mingled, as
  amongst all worshippers, with petitions.

Footnote 188:

  Al-Muzfir = the Twister; Zafáir al-Jinn = Adiantum capillus veneris.
  Lúlúah = The Pearl, or Wild Heifer: see vol. ix. 218.

Footnote 189:

  Arab. “Bi jildi ’l-bakar.” I hope that captious critics will not find
  fault with my rendering, as they did in the case of Fals ahmar = a red
  cent, vol. i. 321.

Footnote 190:

  Arab. “Farásah” = lit. knowing a horse. Arabia abounds in tales
  illustrating abnormal powers of observation. I have noted this in vol.
  viii. 326.

Footnote 191:

  _i.e._ the owner of this palace.

Footnote 192:

  She made the Ghusl not because she had slept with a man, but because
  the impurity of Satan’s presence called for the major ablution before

Footnote 193:

  _i.e._ she conjoined the prayers of nightfall with those of dawn.

Footnote 194:

  _i.e._ those of midday, mid-afternoon and sunset.

Footnote 195:

  Arab. “Sahbá,” red wine preferred for the morning draught.

Footnote 196:

  The Apostle who delighted in women and perfumes. Persian poetry often
  alludes to the rose which, before white, was dyed red by his sweat.

Footnote 197:

  For the etymology of Julnár—Byron’s “Gulnare”—see vol. vii. 268. Here
  the rhymer seems to refer to its origin; Gul (Arab. Jul) in Persian a
  rose; and Anár, a pomegranate, which in Arabic becomes Nár = fire.

Footnote 198:

  _i.e._ “The brilliant”, the enlightened.

Footnote 199:

  _i.e._ the moral beauty.

Footnote 200:

  A phenomenon well known to spiritualists and to “The House and the
  Haunter.” An old Dutch factory near Hungarian Fiume is famed for this
  mode of “obsession”: the inmates hear the sound of footfalls, etc.,
  behind them, especially upon the stairs, and see nothing.

Footnote 201:

  The two short Koranic chapters, The Daybreak (cxiii.) and The Men
  (cxiv. and last) evidently so called from the words which occur in
  both (versets i., “I take refuge with”). These “Ma’úzatáni”, as they
  called, are recited as talismans or preventives against evil, and are
  worn as amulets inscribed on parchment; they are also often used in
  the five canonical prayers. I have translated them in vol. iii. 222.

Footnote 202:

  The antistes or fugleman at prayer who leads off the orisons of the
  congregation; and applied to the Caliph as the head of the faith. See
  vol. ii. 203 and iv. 111.

Footnote 203:

  Arab. “’Ummár” _i.e._ the Jinn, the “spiritual creatures” which walk
  this earth, and other non-humans who occupy it.

Footnote 204:

  A parallel to this bodiless Head is the Giant Face, which appears to
  travellers (who expect it) in the Lower Valley of the Indus. See Sind
  Re-visited, ii. 155.

Footnote 205:

  Arab. “Ghalílí” = my yearning.

Footnote 206:

  Arab. “Ahbábu-ná” plur. for singular = my beloved.

Footnote 207:

  _i.e._ her return.

Footnote 208:

  Arab. “Arja’” lit. return! but here meaning to stop. It is much used
  by donkeyboys from Cairo to Fez in the sense of “Get out of the way.”
  Hence the Spanish arre! which gave rise to arriero = a carrier, a

Footnote 209:

  Arab. “Afras” lit. = a better horseman.

Footnote 210:

  A somewhat crippled quotation from Koran lvi. 87–88, “As for him who
  is of those brought near unto Allah, there shall be for him easance
  and basil and a Garden of Delights (Na’ím).”

Footnote 211:

  _i.e._ Queen Sunbeam.

Footnote 212:

  See vol. i. 310 for this compound perfume which contains musk,
  ambergris and other essences.

Footnote 213:

  I can hardly see the sequence of this or what the carpets have to do

Footnote 214:

  Here, as before, some insertion has been found necessary.

Footnote 215:

  Arab. “Dukhúlak” lit. = thy entering, entrance, becoming familiar.

Footnote 216:

  Or “And in this there shall be to thee great honour over all the

Footnote 217:

  Mr. Payne thus amends the text, “How loathly is yonder Genie Meimoun!
  There is no eating (in his presence);” referring back to p. 88.

Footnote 218:

  _i.e._ “I cannot bear to see him!”

Footnote 219:

  This assertion of dignity, which is permissible in royalty, has been
  absurdly affected by certain “dames” in Anglo-Egypt who are quite the
  reverse of queenly; and who degrade “dignity” to the vulgarest

Footnote 220:

  _i.e._ “May thy visits never fail me!”

Footnote 221:

  _i.e._ Ash-coloured, verging upon white.

Footnote 222:

  _i.e._ “She will double thy store of presents.”

Footnote 223:

  The Arab boy who, unlike the Jew, is circumcised long after infancy
  and often in his teens, thus making the ceremony conform after a
  fashion with our “Confirmation,” is displayed before being operated
  upon, to family and friends; and the seat is a couch covered with the
  richest tapestry. So far it resembles the bride-throne.

Footnote 224:


Footnote 225:

  _i.e._ Hindu, Indian.

Footnote 226:

  Japhet, son of Noah.

Footnote 227:

  Mr. Payne translates “Take this and glorify thyself withal over the
  people of the world.” His reading certainly makes better sense, but I
  do not see how the text can carry the meaning. He also omits the
  bussing of the bosom, probably from artistic reasons.

Footnote 228:

  A skit at Ishák, making the Devil praise him. See vol. vii. 113.

Footnote 229:

  Arab. “Mawázi’” (plur of Mauza’) = lit. places, shifts, passages.

Footnote 230:

  The bed (farsh) is, I presume, the straw-spread (?) store-room where
  the apples are preserved.

Footnote 231:

  Arab. “Farkh warak,” which sounds like an atrocious vulgarism.

Footnote 232:

  The Moss-rose; also the eglantine, or dog-rose, and the sweet-briar,
  whose leaf, unlike other roses, is so odorous.

Footnote 233:

  The lily in Heb., derived by some from its six (shash) leaves, and by
  others from its vivid cheerful brightness. “His lips are lilies”
  (Cant. v. 13), not in colour, but in odoriferous sweetness.

Footnote 234:

  The barber is now the usual operator; but all operations began in
  Europe with the “barber-surgeon.”

Footnote 235:

  _Sic_ in text xii. 20. It may be a misprint for Abú al-Tawaif, but it
  can also mean “O Shaykh of the Tribes (of Jinns)!”

Footnote 236:

  The capital of King Al-Shisban.

Footnote 237:

  Arab. “Fajj,” the Spanish “Vega” which, however, means a
  mountain-plain, a plain.

Footnote 238:

  _i.e._ I am quite sure: emphatically.

Footnote 239:

  _i.e._ all the Jinn’s professions of affection and promises of
  protection were mere lies.

Footnote 240:

  In the original this apodosis is wanting: see vol. vi. 203, 239.

Footnote 241:

  Arab. “Dáhiyat al-Dawáhí;” see vol. ii. 87.

Footnote 242:

  Arab. “Al-jabal al-Mukawwar” = Chaîne de montagnes de forme demi
  circulaire, from Kaur, a park, an enceinte.

Footnote 243:

  Arab. “Rúhi” lit. my breath, the outward sign of life.

Footnote 244:

  _i.e._ Káf.

Footnote 245:

  _i.e._ A bit of burning charcoal.

Footnote 246:

  Arab. “Al-yad al-bayzá,” = lit. The white hand: see vol. iv. 185.

Footnote 247:

  Showing the antiquity of “Après moi le déluge,” the fame of all old
  politicians and aged statesmen who can expect but a few years of life.
  These “burning questions” (_e.g._ the Bulgarian) may be smothered for
  a time, but the result is that they blaze forth with increased
  violence. We have to thank Lord Palmerston (an Irish landlord) for
  ignoring the growth of Fenianism and another aged statesman for a
  sturdy attempt to disunite the United Kingdom. An old notion wants
  young blood at its head.

Footnote 248:

  Suggesting the nursery rhyme:

                   Fee, fo, fum,
                   I smell the blood of an Englishman.

Footnote 249:

  _i.e._ why not at once make an end of her.

Footnote 250:

  The well-known war-cry.

Footnote 251:

  Lit. “Smoke” pop. applied, like our word, to tobacco. The latter,
  however, is not here meant.

Footnote 252:

  Arab. “Ghuráb al-bayn,” of the wold or of parting. See vol. vii. 226.

Footnote 253:

  Arab. “Haláwah”: see vol. iv. 60.

Footnote 254:

  Here the vocative particle “Yá” is omitted.

Footnote 255:

  Lit. “The long-necked (bird)” before noticed with the Rukh (Roc) in
  vol. v. 122. Here it becomes a Princess, daughter of Bahrám-i-Gúr
  (Bahram of the Onager, his favourite game), the famous Persian king in
  the fifth century, a contemporary of Theodosius the younger and
  Honorius. The “Anká” is evidently the Iranian Símurgh.

Footnote 256:

  “Chamber” is becoming a dangerous word in English. Roars of laughter
  from the gods greeted the great actor’s declamation “The bed has not
  been slept in! Her little chamber is empty!”

Footnote 257:

  Choice Gift of the breast (or heart).

Footnote 258:

  From the Calc. Edit. (1814–18), Nights cxcvi.-cc., vol. ii., pp.
  367–378. The translation has been compared and collated with that of
  Langlès (Paris, 1814), appended to his Edition of the Voyages of
  Sindbad. The story is exceedingly clever and well deserves

Footnote 259:

  It is regretable that this formula has not been preserved throughout
  The Nights: it affords, I have noticed, a pleasing break to the long
  course of narrative.

Footnote 260:

  Arab. “Banát-al-hawá,” lit. daughters of love, usually meaning an
  Anonyma, a fille de joie; but here the girl is of good repute, and the
  offensive term must be modified to a gay, frolicsome lass.

Footnote 261:

  Arab. “Jabhat,” the lintel opposed to the threshold.

Footnote 262:

  Arab. “Ghattí,” still the popular term said to a child showing its
  nakedness, or a lady of pleasure who insults a man by displaying any
  part of her person.

Footnote 263:

  She is compared with a flashing blade (her face) now drawn from its
  sheath (her hair) then hidden by it.

Footnote 264:

  The “Muajjalah” or money paid down before consummation was about £25;
  and the “Mu’ajjalah” or coin to be paid contingent on divorce was
  about £75. In the Calc. Edit. ii. 371, both dowers are £35.

Footnote 265:

  _i.e._ All the blemishes which justify returning a slave to the

Footnote 266:

  Media: see vol. ii. 94. The “Daylamite prison” was one of many in

Footnote 267:

  See vol. v. 199. I may remark that the practise of bathing after
  copulation was kept up by both sexes in ancient Rome. The custom may
  have originated in days when human senses were more acute. I have seen
  an Arab horse object to be mounted by the master when the latter had
  not washed after sleeping with a woman.

Footnote 268:

  On the morning after a happy night the bridegroom still offers coffee
  and Halwá to friends.

Footnote 269:

  _i.e._ More bewitching.

Footnote 270:

  Arab. “Sharífí” more usually Ashrafi, the Port. Xerafim, a gold coin =

Footnote 271:

  The oft-repeated Koranic quotation.

Footnote 272:

  Arab. “’Irk”: our phrase is “the apple of the eye.”

Footnote 273:

  Meaning that he was a Sayyid or a Sharíf.

Footnote 274:

  _i.e._ than a Jew or a Christian. So the Sultan, when appealed to by
  these religionists, who were as usual squabbling and fighting,
  answered, “What matter if the dog tear the hog or the hog tear the

Footnote 275:

  The “Sharí’at” forbidding divorce by force.

Footnote 276:

  _i.e._ protect my honour.

Footnote 277:

  For this proverb see vol. v. 138. I have remarked that “Shame” is not
  a passion in Europe as in the East; the Western equivalent to the
  Arab. “Hayá” would be the Latin “Pudor.”

Footnote 278:

  Arab. “Talákan báinan,” here meaning a triple divorce before
  witnesses, making it irrevocable.

Footnote 279:

  _i.e._ who had played him that trick.

Footnote 280:

  The Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 50–116, Nights dcccclviii-dcccclxv.)
  entitles it “Tale of Abu al-Hasan the Damascene and his son Sídí Nur
  al-Dín ’Alí.” Sídí means simply “my lord”, but here becomes part of
  the name, a practice perpetuated in Zanzibar. See vol. v. 283.

Footnote 281:

  _i.e._ at the hours of canonical prayers and other suitable times he
  made an especial orison (du’á) for issue.

Footnote 282:

  See vol. i. 85, for the traditional witchcraft of Babylonia.

Footnote 283:

  _i.e._ More or less thoroughly.

Footnote 284:

  _i.e._ “He who quitteth not his native country diverteth not himself
  with a sight of the wonders of the world.”

Footnote 285:

  For similar sayings, see vol. ix. 257, and my Pilgrimage i. 127.

Footnote 286:

  _i.e._ relying upon, etc.

Footnote 287:

  The Egyptian term for a khan, called in Persia caravanserai
  (karwán-seráí); and in Marocco funduk, from the Greek; whence the
  Spanish “fonda.” See vol. i. 92.

Footnote 288:

  Arab. “Baliyah,” to jingle with “Bábiliyah.”

Footnote 289:

  As a rule whenever this old villain appears in The Nights, it is a
  signal for an outburst of obscenity. Here, however, we are _quittes
  pour la peur_. See vol. v. 65 for some of his abominations.

Footnote 290:

  The lines are in vols. viii. 279 and ix. 197. I quote Mr. Payne.

Footnote 291:

  Lady or princess of the Fair (ones).

Footnote 292:

  _i.e._ of buying.

Footnote 293:

  Arab. “Ázán-hú,” lit. = its ears.

Footnote 294:

  Here again the policeman is made a villain of the deepest dye; bad
  enough to gratify the intelligence of his deadliest enemy, a
  lodging-keeper in London.

Footnote 295:

  _i.e._ You are welcome to it and so it becomes lawful (_halál_) to

Footnote 296:

  Arab. “Sijn al-Dam,” the Carcere duro inasprito (to speak Triestine),
  where men convicted or even accused of bloodshed were confined.

Footnote 297:

  Arab. “Mabásim”; plur. of Mabsim, a smiling mouth which shows the

Footnote 298:

  The branchlet, as usual, is the youth’s slender form.

Footnote 299:

  _Subaudi_, “An ye disdain my love.”

Footnote 300:

  In the text “sleep.”

Footnote 301:

  “Them” and “him” for “her.”

Footnote 302:

  ’Urkúb, a Jew of Yathrib or Khaybar, immortalised in the A.P. (i. 454)
  as “more promise-breaking than ’Urkúb.”

Footnote 303:

  Uncle of Mohammed. See vol. viii. 172.

Footnote 304:

  First cousin of Mohammed. See ib.

Footnote 305:

  This threat of “’Orf with her ’ead” shows the Caliph’s lordliness.

Footnote 306:

  Arab. “Al-Bashkhánah.”

Footnote 307:

  _i.e._ Amen. See vol. ix. 131.

Footnote 308:

  When asked, on Doomsday, his justification for having slain her.

Footnote 309:

  Khorasan which included our Afghanistan, turbulent then as now, was in
  a chronic state of rebellion during the latter part of Al-Rashid’s

Footnote 310:

  The brutality of a Moslem mob on such occasions is phenomenal: no
  fellow-feeling makes them decently kind. And so at executions even
  women will take an active part in insulting and tormenting the
  criminal, tearing his hair, spitting in his face and so forth. It is
  the instinctive brutality with which wild beasts and birds tear to
  pieces a wounded companion.

Footnote 311:

  The popular way of stopping hæmorrhage by plunging the stump into
  burning oil which continued even in Europe till Ambrose Paré taught
  men to take up the arteries.

Footnote 312:

  _i.e._ folk of good family.

Footnote 313:

  _i.e._ the result of thy fervent prayers to Allah for me.

Footnote 314:

  Arab. “Al-Abárík” plur. of Ibrík, an ewer containing water for the
  Wuzu-ablution. I have already explained that a Moslem wishing to be
  ceremonially pure, cannot wash as Europeans do, in a basin whose
  contents are fouled by the first touch.

Footnote 315:

  Arab. “Náihah”, the præfica or myriologist. See vol. i. 311. The
  proverb means, “If you want a thing done, do it yourself.”

Footnote 316:

  Arab. “Burka’,” the face veil of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia with two
  holes for the eyes, and the end hanging to the waist, a great contrast
  with the “Lithám” or coquettish fold of transparent muslin affected by
  modest women in Stambul.

Footnote 317:

  _i.e._ donned petticoat-trousers and walking boots other than those
  she was wont to wear.

Footnote 318:

  “Surah” (Koranic chapter) maybe a clerical error for “Súrah” (with a
  Sád) = sort, fashion (of food).

Footnote 319:

  This is solemn religious chaff; the Shaykh had doubtless often dipped
  his hand abroad in such dishes; but like a good Moslem, he contented
  himself at home with wheaten scones and olives, a kind of sacramental
  food like bread and wine in southern Europe. But his retort would be
  acceptable to the True Believer who, the strictest of conservatives,
  prides himself on imitating in all points, the sayings and doings of
  the Apostle.

Footnote 320:

  _i.e._ animals that died without being ceremonially killed.

Footnote 321:

  Koran ii. 168. This is from the Chapter of the Cow where “that which
  dieth of itself (carrion), blood, pork, and that over which other name
  but that of Allah (_i.e._ idols) hath been invoked” are forbidden. But
  the verset humanely concludes: “Whoso, however, shall eat them by
  constraint, without desire, or as a transgressor, then no sin shall be
  upon him.”

Footnote 322:

  _i.e._, son of Simeon = a Christian.

Footnote 323:

  Arab. and Heb. “Haykal,” suggesting the idea of large space, a temple,
  a sanctuary, a palace which bear a suspicious likeness to the Accadian
  Ê-kal or Great House = the old Egyptian Perao (Pharaoh?), and the
  Japanese “Mikado.”

Footnote 324:

  Wine, carrion and pork being lawful to the Moslem if used to save
  life. The former is also the sovereignest thing for inward troubles,
  flatulence, indigestion, etc. See vol. v. 2, 24.

Footnote 325:

  Arab. “Názilah,” _i.e._ a curse coming down from Heaven.

Footnote 326:

  Here and below, a translation of her name.

Footnote 327:

  “A picture of Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing! Therein
  are rivers of water which taint not; and rivers of milk whose taste
  changeth not; and rivers of wine, etc.”—Koran xlvii. 16.

Footnote 328:

             Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
             Sermons and soda-water the day after.

             _Don Juan_ ii. 178.

Footnote 329:

  The ox (Bakar) and the bull (Taur, vol. i. 16) are the Moslem emblems
  of stupidity, as with us are the highly intelligent ass and the most
  sagacious goose.

Footnote 330:

  In Arab. “’Ud” means primarily wood; then a lute. See vol. ii. 100.
  The Muezzin, like the schoolmaster, is popularly supposed to be a

Footnote 331:

  I have noticed that among Arab lovers it was the fashion to be jealous
  of the mistress’s nightly phantom which, as amongst mesmerists, is the
  lover’s embodied will.

Footnote 332:

  _i.e._ I will lay down my life to save thee from sorrow—a common-place
  hyperbole of love.

Footnote 333:

  Arab. “Katl.” I have noticed the Hibernian “kilt” which is not a bull
  but, like most provincialisms and Americanisms, a survival, an
  archaism. In the old Frisian dialect, which agrees with English in
  more words than “bread, butter and cheese,” we find the primary
  meaning of terms which with us have survived only in their secondary
  senses, _e.g._ killen = to beat and slagen = to strike. Here is its
  great value to the English philologist. When the Irishman complains
  that he is “kilt” we know through the Frisian what he really means.

Footnote 334:

  The decency of this description is highly commendable and I may note
  that the Bresl. Edit. is comparatively free from erotic pictures.

Footnote 335:

  _i.e._ “I commit him to thy charge under God.”

Footnote 336:

  This is an Americanism, but it translates passing well “Al-’iláj” =

Footnote 337:

  Arab. (and Heb.) “Tarjumán” = a dragoman, for which see vol. i. 100.
  In the next tale it will occur with the sense of polyglottic.

Footnote 338:

  See vol. 1 p. 35.

Footnote 339:

  After putting to death the unjust Prefect.

Footnote 340:

  Arab. “Lajlaj.” See vol. ix. 322.

Footnote 341:

  Arab. “Mawálid” lit. = nativity festivals (plur. of Maulid). See vol.
  ix. 289.

Footnote 342:

  Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. pp. 116–237, Nights dcccclxvi-dcccclxxix. Mr.
  Payne entitles it “El Abbas and the King’s Daughter of Baghdad.”

Footnote 343:

  “Of the Shaybán tribe.” I have noticed (vol. ii. 1) how loosely the
  title Malik (King) is applied in Arabic and in mediæval Europe. But it
  is ultra-Shakespearian to place a Badawi King in Baghdad, the capital
  founded by the Abbasides and ruled by those Caliphs till their

Footnote 344:

  _i.e._ Irák Arabí (Chaldæa) and ’Ajami (Western Persia.) For the
  meaning of Al-Irak, which always, except in verse, takes the article,
  see vol. ii. 132.

Footnote 345:

  See supra, p. 185. Mr. Payne suspects a clerical error for
  “Turkumániyah” = Turcomanish; but this is hardly acceptable.

Footnote 346:

  As fabulous a personage as “King Kays.”

Footnote 347:

  Possibly a clerical error for Zabíd, the famous capital of the Tahámah
  or lowlands of Al-Yaman.

Footnote 348:

  The Moslem’s Holy Land whose capital is Meccah.

Footnote 349:

  A hinted protest against making a picture or a statue which the artist
  cannot quicken; as this process will be demanded of him on Doomsday.
  Hence also the Princess is called Máriyah (Maria, Mary) a non-Moslem

Footnote 350:

  _i.e._ day and night, for ever.

Footnote 351:

  Koran xxxiii. 38; this concludes a “revelation” concerning the divorce
  and marriage to Mohammed of the wife of his adopted son Zayd. Such
  union, superstitiously held incestuous by all Arabs, was a terrible
  scandal to the rising Faith, and could be abated only by the
  “Commandment of Allah.” It is hard to believe that a man could act
  honestly after such fashion; but we have seen in our day a statesman
  famed for sincerity and uprightness honestly doing things the most
  dishonest possible. Zayd and Abu Lahab (chap. cxi. i.) are the only
  contemporaries of Mohammed named in the Koran.

Footnote 352:

  _i.e._ darkened behind him.

Footnote 353:

  Here we have again, as so common in Arab romances, the expedition of a
  modified Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Footnote 354:

  Arab. “Arzi-há” = in its earth, its outlying suburbs.

Footnote 355:

  The king’s own tribe.

Footnote 356:

  _i.e._ he was always “spoiling for a fight.”

Footnote 357:

  In the text the two last sentences are spoken by Amir and the
  story-teller suddenly resumes the third person.

Footnote 358:

  Mr. Payne translates this “And God defend the right” (of plunder
  according to the Arabs).

Footnote 359:

  Arab. “Lilláhi darruk”; see vol. iv. 20. Captain Lockett (p. 28)
  justly remarks that “it is a sort of encomiastic exclamation of
  frequent occurrence in Arabic and much easier to comprehend than
  translate.” Darra signifies flowing freely (as milk from the udder)
  and was metaphorically transferred to bounty and to indoles or natural
  capacity. Thus the phrase means “your flow of milk is by or through
  Allah,” _i.e._, of unusual abundance.

Footnote 360:

  The words are euphemistic: we should say “comest thou to our succour.”

Footnote 361:

  _i.e._ If his friend the Devil be overstrong for thee, flee him rather
  than be slain; as

                     He who fights and runs away
                     Shall live to fight another day.

Footnote 362:

  _i.e._ I look to Allah for aid (and keep my powder dry).

Footnote 363:

  _i.e._ to the next world.

Footnote 364:

  This falling backwards in laughter commonly occurs during the earlier
  tales; it is, however, very rare amongst the Badawin.

Footnote 365:

  _i.e._ as he were a flying Jinni, swooping down and pouncing
  falcon-like upon a mortal from the upper air.

Footnote 366:

  This may be (reading Imraan = man, for Amran = matter) “a masterful
  man”; but I can hardly accept it.

Footnote 367:

  Arab. “Bundukí,” the adj. of Bunduk, which the Moslems evidently
  learned from Slav sources; Venedik being the Dalmatian corruption of
  Venezia. See Dubrovenedik in vol. ii. 219.

Footnote 368:

  _i.e._ the castle’s square.

Footnote 369:

  In sign of quitting possession. Chess in Europe is rarely played for
  money, with the exception of public matches: this, however, is not the
  case amongst Easterns, who are also for the most part as tricky as an
  old lady at cribbage rightly named.

Footnote 370:

  _i.e._ he was as eloquent and courtly as he could be.

Footnote 371:

  Arab. “Yá Zínat al-Nisá,” which may either be a P.N. or a polite
  address as _Bella fé_ (Handsome woman) is to any feminine in Southern

Footnote 372:

  Arab. “Raas Ghanam”: this form of expressing singularity is common to
  Arabic and the Eastern languages, which it has influenced.

Footnote 373:

  This most wearisome form of politeness is common in the Moslem world,
  where men fondly think that the more you see of them the more you like
  of them. Yet their Proverbial Philosophy (“the wisdom of many and the
  wit of one”) strongly protests against the practice: I have already
  quoted Mohammed’s saying, “Zur ghibban, tazid Hibban”—visits rare keep
  friendship fair.

Footnote 374:

  This clause in the text is evidently misplaced (vol. xii. 144.)

Footnote 375:

  Arab. Dara’ or Dira’ = armour, whether of leather or metal; here the
  coat worn under the mail.

Footnote 376:

  Called from Rustak, a quarter of Baghdad. For Rusták town see vol. vi.

Footnote 377:

  From Damietta comes our “dimity.” The classical name was Tamiáthis
  apparently Coptic græcised: the old town on the shore famed in
  Crusading times was destroyed in A.H. 648 = 1251.

Footnote 378:

  Easterns are always startled by a sudden summons to the presence
  either of King or Kazi: here the messenger gives the youth to
  understand that it is in kindness, not in anger.

Footnote 379:

  _i.e._ in not sending for thee to court instead of allowing thee to
  live in the city without guest-rite.

Footnote 380:

  In sign of agitation: the phrase has often been used in this sense and
  we find it also in Al-Mas’udi.

Footnote 381:

  I would remind the reader that the “Dawát” (ink-case) contains the

Footnote 382:

  Two well-known lovers.

Footnote 383:

  On such occasions the old woman (and Easterns are hard de dolo
  vetularum) always assents to the sayings of her prey, well knowing
  what the doings will inevitably be.

Footnote 384:

  Travellers, Nomads, Wild Arabs.

Footnote 385:

  Whither they bear thee back dead with the women crying and keening.

Footnote 386:

  Arab. Aznání = emaciated me.

Footnote 387:

  Either the Deity or the Love-god.

Footnote 388:

  Arab. “Himà” = the tribal domain, a word which has often occurred.

Footnote 389:

  “O ye who believe! seek help through patience and prayer: verily,
  Allah is with the patient.” Koran ii. 148. The passage refers to one
  of the battles, Bedr or Ohod.

Footnote 390:

  Arab. “Sirr” (a secret) and afterwards “Kitmán” (concealment) _i.e._
  Keeping a lover down-hearted.

Footnote 391:

  Arab. “’Alkam” = the bitter gourd, colocynth; more usually “Hanzal.”

Footnote 392:

  “For Jazírah” = insula, island, used in the sense of “peninsula,” see
  vol. i. 2.

Footnote 393:

  Meccah and Al-Medinah. Pilgrimage i. 338 and ii. 57, used in the
  proverb “Sharr fi al-Haramayn” = wickedness in the two Holy Places.

Footnote 394:

  Arab. Al-hamd (o li’llah).

Footnote 395:

  _i.e._ play, such as the chase, or an earnest matter, such as war,

Footnote 396:

  Arab. “Mizwad,” or Mizwád = lit. provision-bag, from Zád = viaticum;
  afterwards called Kirbah (pron. Girbah, the popular term), and Sakl.
  The latter is given in the Dictionaries as Askálah = scala, échelle,
  stage, plank.

Footnote 397:

  Those blood-feuds are most troublesome to the traveller, who may be
  delayed by them for months: and, until a peace be patched up, he will
  never be allowed to pass from one tribe to their enemies. A quarrel of
  the kind prevented my crossing Arabia from Al-Medinah to Maskat
  (Pilgrimage, ii. 297), and another in Africa from visiting the head of
  the Tanganyika Lake. In all such journeys the traveller who has to
  fight against Time is almost sure to lose.

Footnote 398:

  _i.e._ his fighting-men.

Footnote 399:

  The popular treatment of a detected horse-thief, for which see
  Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia (1829), and Notes on the Bedouins and
  Wahabys (1830).

Footnote 400:

  Arab. “Ashírah”: see vol. vii. 121.

Footnote 401:

  Arab. “Musáfahah”: see vol. vi. 287.

Footnote 402:

  In the text, “To the palace of the king’s daughter.”

Footnote 403:

  Arab. “Marj Salí’” = cleft meadow (here and below). Mr. Payne suggests
  that this may be a mistranscription for Marj Salí’ (with a Sád) = a
  treeless champaign. It appears to me a careless blunder for the Marj
  akhzar (green meadow) before mentioned.

Footnote 404:

  The palace, even without especial and personal reasons, not being the
  place for a religious and scrupulous woman.

Footnote 405:

  “_i.e._ those of El Aziz, who had apparently entered the city or
  passed through it on their way to the camp of El Abbas.” This is Mr.
  Payne’s suggestion.

Footnote 406:

  Arab. “Hatif”; gen. = an ally.

Footnote 407:

  Not wishing to touch the hand of a strange woman.

Footnote 408:

  _i.e._ a mere passer-by, a stranger; alluding to her taunt.

Footnote 409:

  The Bactrian or double-humped dromedary. See vol. iii. 67. Al-Mas’udi
  (vii. 169) calls it “Jamal fálij,” lit. = the palsy-camel.

Footnote 410:

  _i.e._ Stars and planets.

Footnote 411:

  _i.e._ Sang in tenor tones which are always in falsetto.

Footnote 412:

  Arab. Tahzíb = reforming morals, amending conduct, chastening style.

Footnote 413:

  _i.e._ so as to show only the whites, as happens to the “mesmerised.”

Footnote 414:

  _i.e._ for love of and longing for thy youth.

Footnote 415:

  _i.e._ leather from Al-Táif: see vol. viii. 303. The text has by
  mistake Tálifí.

Footnote 416:

  _i.e._ she was at her last breath, when cured by the magic of love.

Footnote 417:

  _i.e._ violateth my private apartment.

Footnote 418:

  The voice (Sházz) is left doubtful: it may be girl’s, nightingale’s,
  or dove’s.

Footnote 419:

  Arab. “Hibá,” partly induced by the rhyme. In desert countries the
  comparison will be appreciated: in Sind the fine dust penetrates into
  a closed book.

Footnote 420:

  _i.e._ he smuggled it in under his ’Abá-cloak: perhaps it was a better
  brand than that made in the monastery.

Footnote 421:

  _i.e._ the delights of Paradise promised by the Prophet.

Footnote 422:

  Again, “he” for “she,” making the lover’s address more courtly and

Footnote 423:

  _i.e._ take refuge with Allah from the evil eye of her charms.

Footnote 424:

  _i.e._ an thou prank or adorn thyself: I have translated literally,
  but the couplet strongly suggests “nonsense verses.”

Footnote 425:

  Arab. “Santír:” Lane (M. E., chapt. xviii) describes it as resembling
  the Kanún (dulcimer or zither) but with two oblique peg-pieces instead
  of one and double chords of wire (not treble strings of lamb’s gut)
  and played upon with two sticks instead of the little plectra. Dozy
  also gives Santír from ψαλτήριον, the Fsaltrún of Daniel.

Footnote 426:

  _i.e._ That which is ours shall be thine, and that which is incumbent
  on thee shall be incumbent on us = we will assume thy debts and

Footnote 427:

  This passage is sadly disjointed in the text: I have followed Mr.
  Payne’s ordering.

Footnote 428:

  The Arab of noble tribe is always the first to mount his own mare: he
  also greatly fears her being put out to full speed by a stranger,
  holding that this should be reserved for occasions of life and death;
  and that it can be done to perfection only once during the animal’s

Footnote 429:

  The red (Ahmar) dromedary like the white-red (Sahab) were most valued
  because they are supposed best to bear the heats of noon; and thus
  “red camels” is proverbially used for wealth. When the head of Abu
  Jahl was brought in after the Battle of Bedr, Mahommed exclaimed,
  “’Tis more acceptable to me than a red camel!”

Footnote 430:

  _i.e._ Couriers on dromedaries, the only animals used for sending
  messages over long distances.

Footnote 431:

  These guest-fires are famous in Arab poetry. So Al-Harírí (Ass. of
  Banu Haram) sings:—

                    A beacon fire I ever kindled high;

  _i.e._ on the hill-tops near the camp, to guide benighted travellers.
  Also the Lamíyat al-Ajam says:—

        The fire of hospitality is ever lit on the high stations.

  This natural telegraph was used in a host of ways by the Arabs of The
  Ignorance; for instance, when a hated guest left the camp they lighted
  the “Fire of Rejection,” and cried, “Allah, bear him far from us!”
  Nothing was more ignoble than to quench such fire: hence in obloquy of
  the Fazár tribe it was said:—

           Ne’er trust Fazár with an ass, for they
             Once roasted ass-pizzle, the rabble rout:
           And, when sight they guest, to their dams they say,
             “Piss quick on the guest-fire and put it out!”

  (Al-Mas’údi vi. 140.)

Footnote 432:

  _i.e._ of rare wood, set with rubies.

Footnote 433:

  _i.e._ whose absence pained us.

Footnote 434:

  Mr. Payne and I have long puzzled over these enigmatical and possibly
  corrupt lines: he wrote to me in 1884, “This is the first piece that
  has beaten me.” In the couplet above (vol. xii. 230) “Rayháni” may
  mean “my basil-plant” or “my food” (the latter Koranic), “my
  compassion,” etc.; and Súsáni is equally ancipitous “My lilies” or “my
  sleep”: see Bard al-Susan = les douceurs du sommeil in Al-Mas’údi vii.

Footnote 435:

  The “Niká” or sand hill is the swell of the throat: the Ghaur or
  lowland is the fall of the waist: the flower is the breast anent which
  Mr. Payne appropriately quotes the well-known lines of Fletcher:

                   “Hide, O hide those hills of snow,
                     That thy frozen bosom bears,
                   _On whose tops the pinks that grow_
                     Are of those that April wears.”

Footnote 436:

  Easterns are right in regarding a sleepy languorous look as one of the
  charms of women, and an incitement to love because suggestive only of
  bed. Some men also find the same pleasure in a lacrymose expression of
  countenance, seeming always to call for consolation: one of the most
  successful women I know owes her exceptional good fortune to this

Footnote 437:

  Arab. “Hájib,” eyebrow or chamberlain; see vol. iii. 233. The pun is
  classical used by a host of poets including Al-Harírí.

Footnote 438:

  Arab. “Tarfah.” There is a Tarfia Island in the Guadalquivir and in
  Gibraltar a “Tarfah Alto” opposed to “Tarfah bajo.” But it must not be
  confounded with Tarf = a side, found in the Maroccan term for “The
  Rock” Jabal al-Tarf = Mountain of the Point (of Europe).

Footnote 439:

  For Solomon and his flying carpet see vol. iii. 267.

Footnote 440:

  Arab. “Bilád al-Maghrib (al-Aksa,” in full) = the Farthest Land of the
  setting Sun, shortly called Al-Maghrib and the people “Maghribi.” The
  earliest occurrence of our name Morocco or Marocco I find in the
  “Marákiyah” of Al-Mas’udi (iii. 241), who apparently applies it to a
  district whither the Berbers migrated.

Footnote 441:

  The necklace-pearls are the cup-bearer’s teeth.

Footnote 442:

  In these unregenerate days they would often be summoned to the houses
  of the royal family; but now they had “got religion” and, becoming
  freed women, were resolved to be “respectable.” In not a few Moslem
  countries men of wealth and rank marry professional singers who,
  however loose may have been their artistic lives, mostly distinguish
  themselves by decency of behaviour often pushed to the extreme of
  rigour. Also jeune coquette, vieille dévote, is a rule of the world,
  Eastern and Western.

Footnote 443:

  Bresl. Edit., vol. xii. p. 383 (Night mi). The king is called as usual
  “Shahrbán,” which is nearly synonymous with Shahryár.

Footnote 444:

  _i.e._ the old Sindibad-Námeh (see vol. vi. 122), or “The Malice of
  Women” which the Bresl. Edit. entitles, “Tale of the King and his Son
  and his Wife and the Seven Wazirs.” Here it immediately follows the
  Tale of Al-Abbas and Mariyah and occupies pp. 237–383 of vol. xii.
  (Nights dcccclxxix-m).

Footnote 445:

  _i.e._ Those who commit it.

Footnote 446:

  The connection between this pompous introduction and the story which
  follows is not apparent. The “Tale of the Two Kings and the Wazir’s
  Daughters” is that of Shahrazad told in the third person, in fact a
  rechauffé of the Introduction. But as some three years have passed
  since the marriage, and the dénoûement of the plot is at hand, the
  Princess is made, with some art I think, to lay the whole affair
  before her husband in her own words, the better to bring him to a
  “sense of his duty.”

Footnote 447:

  Bresl. Edit. vol. xii. pp. 384–412.

Footnote 448:

  This clause is taken from the sequence, where the elder brother’s
  kingdom is placed in China.

Footnote 449:

  For the Tobbas = “Successors” or the Himyaritic kings, see vol. i.

Footnote 450:

  Kayásirah, opp. to Akásirah, here and in many other places.

Footnote 451:

  See vol. ii. 77. King Kulayb (“little dog”) al-Wá’il, a powerful chief
  of the Banu Ma’ad in the Kasín district of Najd, who was connected
  with the war of Al-Basús. He is so called because he lamed a pup
  (kulayb) and tied it up in the midst of his Himà (domain, place of
  pasture and water), forbidding men to camp within sound of its bark or
  sight of his fire. Hence “more masterful than Kulayb,” A.P. ii. 145,
  and Al-Hariri Ass. xxvi. (Chenery, p. 448). This angry person came by
  his death for wounding in the udder a trespassing camel (Sorab) whose
  owner was a woman named Basús. Her friend (Jasús) slew him; and thus
  arose the famous long war between the tribes Wá’il Bakr and Taghlib.
  It gave origin to the saying, “Die thou and be an expiation for the
  shoe-latchet of Kulayb.”

Footnote 452:

  Arab. “Mukhaddarát,” maidens concealed behind curtains and veiled in
  the Harem.

Footnote 453:

  _i.e._ The professional Ráwis or tale-reciters who learned stories by
  heart from books like “The Arabian Nights.” See my Terminal Essay, vol
  x. 163.

Footnote 454:

  Arab. “Bid’ah,” lit. = an innovation, a new thing, an invention, any
  change from the custom of the Prophet and the universal practice of
  the Faith, whether it be in the cut of the beard or a question of
  state policy. Popularly the word = heterodoxy, heresy; but
  theologically it is not necessarily used in a bad sense. See vol. v.

Footnote 455:

  About three parts of this sentence have been supplied by Mr. Payne,
  the careless scribe having evidently omitted it.

Footnote 456:

  Here, as in the Introduction (vol. i. 24), the king consummates his
  marriage in presence of his virgin sister-in-law, a process which
  decency forbids amongst Moslems.

Footnote 457:

  Al-Mas’udi (vol. iv. 213) uses this term to signify viceroy in
  “Shahryár Sajastán.”

Footnote 458:

  _i.e._ his indifference to the principles of right and wrong, which is
  a manner of moral intoxication.

Footnote 459:

  _i.e._ hath mentioned the office of Wazir (in Koran xx. 30).

Footnote 460:

  _i.e._ Moslems, who practise the Religion of Resignation.

Footnote 461:

  Koran xxxiii. 35. This is a proemium to the “revelation” concerning
  Zayd and Zaynab.

Footnote 462:

  _i.e._ I have an embarras de richesse in my repertory.

Footnote 463:

  The title is from the Bresl. Edit. (vol. xii. pp. 398–402). Mr. Payne
  calls it “The Favourite and her Lover.”

Footnote 464:

  The practice of fumigating gugglets is universal in Egypt (Lane, M.
  E., chapt. v.); but I never heard of musk being so used.

Footnote 465:

  Arab. “Laysa fi ’l-diyári dayyár”—a favourite jingle.

Footnote 466:

  Arab. “Khayr Kathir” (pron. Katír) which also means “abundant

Footnote 467:

  Dozy says of “Hunayní” (Haíní), Il semble être le nom d’un vêtement.
  On which we may remark, Connu!

Footnote 468:

  Arab. Harísah: see vol. i. 131. Westerns make a sad mess of this dish
  when they describe it as une sorte _d’olla podrida_ (the hotch-pot),
  une pâtée de viandes, de froment et de légumes secs (Al-Mas’udi viii.
  438). Whenever I have eaten it, it was always a meat-pudding, for
  which see vol. i. 131.

Footnote 469:

  Evidently one escaped because she was sleeping with the Caliph and a
  second because she had kept her assignation.

Footnote 470:

  Mr. Payne entitles it, “The Merchant of Cairo and the Favourite of the
  Khalif el Mamoun el Hakim bi Amrillah.”

Footnote 471:

  See my Pilgrimage (i. 100): the seat would be on the same bit of
  boarding where the master sits or on a stool or bench in the street.

Footnote 472:

  This is true Cairene chaff, give and take; and the stranger must
  accustom himself to it before he can be at home with the people.

Footnote 473:

  _i.e._ In Rauzah-island: see vol. v. 169.

Footnote 474:

  There is no historical person who answers to these names, “The Secure,
  the Ruler by Commandment of Allah.” The cognomen applies to two
  soldans of Egypt, of whom the later Abu al-Abbas Ahmad the Abbaside
  (A.D. 1261–1301) has already been mentioned in The Nights (vol. v.
  86). The tale suggests the earlier Al-Hakim (Abu Ali al-Mansúr, the
  Fatimite, A.D. 995–1021), the God of the Druze “persuasion;” and the
  tale-teller may have purposely blundered in changing Mansúr to Maamún
  for fear of offending a sect which has been most dangerous in the
  matter of assassination and which is capable of becoming so again.

Footnote 475:

  Arab. “’Alà kulli hál” = “whatever may betide,” or “willy-nilly.” The
  phrase is still popular.

Footnote 476:

  The dulce desipere of young lovers, he making a buffoon of himself to
  amuse her.

Footnote 477:

  “The convent of Clay,” a Coptic monastery near Cairo.

Footnote 478:

  _i.e._ this is the time to show thyself a man.

Footnote 479:

  The Eastern succedaneum for swimming corks and other
  “life-preservers.” The practice is very ancient: we find these gourds
  upon the monuments of Egypt and Babylonia.

Footnote 480:

  Arab. “Al-Khalíj,” the name, still popular, of the Grand Canal of
  Cairo, whose banks, by-the-by, are quaint and picturesque as anything
  of the kind in Holland.

Footnote 481:

  A few lines higher up it was “her neck”; but the jar may have slipped

Footnote 482:

  We say more laconically “A friend in need.”

Footnote 483:

  Arab. “Názir al-Mawárís”, the employé charged with the disposal of
  legacies and seizing escheats to the Crown when Moslems die intestate.
  He is usually a prodigious rascal as in the text. The office was long
  kept up in Southern Europe, and Camoens was sent to Macao as “Provedor
  dos defuntos e ausentes.”

Footnote 484:

  Sir R. F. Burton has since found two more of “Galland’s” tales in an
  Arabic text of The Nights, namely, Aladdin and Zeyn al-Asnam.

Footnote 485:

  _i.e._ wondering; thus Lady Macbeth says:

          “You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting,
          With most _admired_ disorder.”—_Macbeth_, iii. 4.

Footnote 486:

  Ludovicus Vives, one of the most learned of Spanish authors, was born
  at Valentia in 1492 and died in 1540.

Footnote 487:

  There was an older “Tútí Náma,” which Nakhshabí modernised, made from
  a Sanskrit story-book, now lost, but its modern representative is the
  “Suka Saptatí,” or Seventy (Tales) of a Parrot, in which most of
  Nakhshabí’s tales are found.

Footnote 488:

  According to Lescallier’s French translation of the “Bakhtyár Náma,”
  made from two MSS. = “She had previously had a lover, with whom,
  _unknown to her father_, she had intimate relations, and had given
  birth to a beautiful boy, whose education she secretly confided to
  some trusty servants.”

Footnote 489:

  There is a slight mistake in the passage in p. 313 supplied from the
  story in vol. vi. It is not King Shah Bakht, but the other king, who
  assures his chamberlain that “the lion” had done him no injury.

Footnote 490:

  Such was formerly the barbarous manner of treating the insane.

Footnote 491:

  From “Tarlton’s Newes out of Purgatorie.”

Footnote 492:

  A basket.

Footnote 493:

  In the _fabliau_ “De la Dame qui atrappa un Prêtre, un Prévôt, et un
  Forestier” (or Constant du Hamel), the lady, on the pretext that her
  husband is at the door, stuffs her lovers, as they arrive
  successively, unknown to each other, into a large tub full of feathers
  and afterwards exposes them to public ridicule.

Footnote 494:


Footnote 495:


Footnote 496:


Footnote 497:

  A boarding.

Footnote 498:

  The letter I is very commonly substituted for “ay” in 16th century
  English books.

Footnote 499:

  Oesterley mentions a Sanskrit redaction of the Vampyre Tales
  attributed to Sivadása, and another comprised in the “Kathárnava.”

Footnote 500:

  And well might his sapient majesty “wonder”! The humour of this
  passage is exquisite.

Footnote 501:

  In the Tamil version (Babington’s translation of the “Vedála Kadai”)
  there are but two brothers, one of whom is fastidious in his food, the
  other in beds; the latter lies on a bed stuffed with flowers, deprived
  of their stalks. In the morning he complains of pains all over his
  body, and on examining the bed one hair is found amongst the flowers.
  In the Hindi version the king asks him in the morning whether he had
  slept comfortably. “O great King,” he replied; “I did not sleep all
  night.” “How so?” quoth he. “O great King, in the seventh fold of the
  bedding there is a hair, which pricked me in the back, therefore I
  could not sleep.” The youth who was fastidious about the fair sex had
  a lovely damsel laid beside him, and he was on the point of kissing
  her, but on smelling her breath he turned away his face, and went to
  sleep. Early in the morning the king (who had observed through a
  lattice what passed) asked him, “Did you pass the night pleasantly?”
  He replied that he did not, because the smell of a goat proceeded from
  the girl’s mouth, which made him very uneasy. The king then sent for
  the procuress and ascertained that the girl had been brought up on
  goat’s milk.

Footnote 502:

  Mélusine: Revue de Mythologie, Littérature Populaire, Traditions, et
  Usages. Dirigée par H. Gaidoz et E. Rolland.—Paris.

Footnote 503:

  The trick of the clever Magyar in marking all the other sleepers as
  the king’s mother had marked himself occurs in the folk-tales of most
  countries, especially in the numerous versions of the Robbery of the
  King’s Treasury, which are brought together in my work on the
  Migrations of Popular Tales and Fictions (Blackwood), vol. ii., pp.

Footnote 504:

  A mythical saint, or prophet, who, according to the Muslim legend, was
  despatched by one of the ancient kings of Persia to procure him some
  of the Water of Life. After a tedious journey, Khizr reached the
  Fountain of Immortality, but having drank of its waters, it suddenly
  vanished. Muslims believe that Khizr still lives, and sometimes
  appears to favoured individuals, always clothed in green, and acts as
  their guide in difficult enterprises.

Footnote 505:

  “Spake these words to the king”—certainly not those immediately
  preceding! but that, if the king would provide for him during three
  years, at the end of that period he would show Khizr to the king.

Footnote 506:

  Mr. Gibb compares with this the following passage from Boethius, “De
  Consolatione Philosophiæ,” as translated by Chaucer: “All thynges
  seken ayen to hir propre course, and all thynges rejoysen on hir
  retourninge agayne to hir nature.”

Footnote 507:

  In this tale, we see, Khizr appears to the distressed man in _white_

Footnote 508:

  In an old English metrical version of the “Seven Sages,” the tutors of
  the prince, in order to test his progress in general science, secretly
  place an ivy leaf under each of the four posts of his bed, and when he
  awakes in the morning—

                   “Par fay!” he said, “a ferli cas!
                   Other ich am of wine y-drunk,
                   Other the firmament is sunk,
                   Other wexen is the ground,
                   The thickness of four leavès round!
                   So much to-night higher I lay,
                   Certes, than yesterday.”

Footnote 509:

  See also the same story in The Nights, vols. vii. and viii., which Mr.
  Kirby considers as probably a later version. (App. vol. x. of The
  Nights, p. 500.)

Footnote 510:

  So, too, in the “Bahár-i-Dánish” a woman is described as being so able
  a professor in the school of deceit, that she could have instructed
  the devil in the science of stratagem; of another it is said that by
  her wiles she could have drawn the devil’s claws; and of a third the
  author declares, that the devil himself would own there was no
  escaping from her cunning!

Footnote 511:

  There is a similar tale by the Spanish novelist Isidro de Robles
  (circa 1660), in which three ladies find a diamond ring in a fountain;
  each claims it; at length they agree to refer the dispute to a count
  of their acquaintance who happened to be close by. He takes charge of
  the ring and says to the ladies, “Whoever in the space of six weeks
  shall succeed in playing off on her husband the most clever and
  ingenious trick (always having due regard to his honour) shall possess
  the ring; in the meantime it shall remain in my hands.” (See Roscoe’s
  “Specimens of the Spanish Novelists,” Chandos edition, p. 438 ff.)
  This story was probably brought by the Moors to Spain, whence it may
  have passed into France, since it is the subject of a _fabliau_, by
  Haisiau the trouvère, entitled “Des Trois Dames qui trouverent un
  Anel,” which is found in Méon’s edition of Barbazan, 1808, tome iii.
  pp. 220–229, and in Le Grand, ed. 1781, tome iv. pp. 163–165.

Footnote 512:

  Idiots and little boys often figure thus in popular tales: readers of
  Rabelais will remember his story of the Fool and the Cook; and there
  is a familiar example of a boy’s precocity in the story of the Stolen
  Purse—“Craft and Malice of Women,” or the Seven Wazírs, vol. vi. of
  The Nights.

Footnote 513:

  I have considerably abridged Mr. Knowles’ story in several places.

Footnote 514:

  A species of demon.

Footnote 515:

  This is one of the innumerable parallels to the story of Jonah in the
  “whale’s” belly which occur in Asiatic fictions. See, for some
  instances, Tawney’s translation of the “Kathá Sarit Ságara,” ch. xxxv.
  and lxxiv.; “Indian Antiquary,” Sept. 1885, Legend of Ahlá; Miss
  Stokes’ “Indian Fairy Tales,” pp. 75, 76; and Steel and Temple’s
  “Wide-Awake Stories from the Panjáb and Kashmír,” p. 411. In Lucian’s
  “Vera Historia,” a monster fish swallows a ship and her crew, who live
  a long time in the extensive regions comprised in its internal
  economy. See also Herrtage’s “Gesta Romanorum” (Early English Text
  Society), p. 297.

Footnote 516:

  In the Arabian version the people resolve to leave the choice of a new
  king to the royal elephant because they could not agree among
  themselves (vol. i., p. 323); but in Indian fictions such an incident
  frequently occurs as a regular custom. In the “Sivandhi Sthala
  Purana,” a legendary account of the famous temple at Trichinopoli, as
  supposed to be told by Gautama to Matanga and other sages, it is
  related that a certain king having mortally offended a holy devotee,
  his capital and all its inhabitants were, in consequence of a curse
  pronounced by the enraged saint, buried beneath a shower of dust.
  “Only the queen escaped, and in her flight she was delivered of a
  male-child. After some time, the chiefs of the Chola kingdom,
  proceeding to elect a king, determined, by the advice of the saint, to
  crown whomsoever the late monarch’s elephant should pitch upon. Being
  turned loose for this purpose, the elephant discovered and brought to
  Trisira-málí the child of his former master, who accordingly became
  the Chola king.” (Wilson’s Desc. Catal. of Mackenzie MSS., i. 17.) In
  a Manipurí story of two brothers, Turi and Basanta—“Indian Antiquary,”
  vol. iii.—the elder is chosen king in like manner by an elephant who
  meets him in the forest, and takes him on his back to the palace,
  where he is immediately placed on the throne. See also “Wide-Awake
  Stories from the Panjáb and Kashmír,” by Mrs. Steel and Captain
  Temple, p. 141; and Rev. Lal Behari Day’s “Folk-Tales of Bengal,” p.
  100, for similar instances. The hawk taking part, in this story, with
  the elephant in the selection of a king does not occur in any other
  tale known to me.

Footnote 517:

  So that their caste might not be injured. A dhobí, or washerman, is of
  much lower caste than a Bráhman or a Khshatriya.

Footnote 518:

  A responsible position in a rájá’s palace.

Footnote 519:

  “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”
  Rájá Ambá must have been fully twelve years in the stomach of the

Footnote 520:

  This device of the mother to obtain speech of the king is much more
  natural than that adopted in the Kashmírí version.

Footnote 521:

  The story of Abú Sábir (see vol. i. p. 81 ff.) may also be regarded as
  an analogue. He is unjustly deprived of all his possessions, and, with
  his wife and two young boys, driven forth of his village. The children
  are borne off by thieves, and their mother forcibly carried away by a
  horseman. Abú Sabir, after many sufferings, is raised from a dungeon
  to a throne. He regains his two children and his wife, who had
  steadfastly refused to cohabit with her captor.

Footnote 522:

  Introduction to the romance of “Torrent of Portingale,” re-edited (for
  the Early English Text Society, 1886) by E. Adam, Ph.D., pp. xxi-xxii.

Footnote 523:


Footnote 524:


Footnote 525:

  Mean; betoken.

Footnote 526:


Footnote 527:

  _Tho_: then.

Footnote 528:

  _Yede_: went.

Footnote 529:


Footnote 530:

  _Avaunced_: advanced; promoted.

Footnote 531:

  _Holpen_: helped.

Footnote 532:

  _Brent_: burnt.

Footnote 533:

  _But if_: unless.

Footnote 534:

  _To wed_: in pledge, in security.

Footnote 535:

  _Beth_: are.

Footnote 536:

  _Or_: either.

Footnote 537:

  _Lever dey_: rather die.

Footnote 538:

  Far; distant.

Footnote 539:


Footnote 540:

  _Oo_: one.

Footnote 541:

  _Ayen_: again.

Footnote 542:

  _Or_: ere; before.

Footnote 543:

  Army; host.

Footnote 544:


Footnote 545:


Footnote 546:

  Grief; sorrow.

Footnote 547:


Footnote 548:

  Gathered, or collected, together.

Footnote 549:

  Arms; accoutrements; dress.

Footnote 550:


Footnote 551:


Footnote 552:

  Done; ended.

Footnote 553:

  Their lodgings; inn.

Footnote 554:


Footnote 555:


Footnote 556:


Footnote 557:


Footnote 558:


Footnote 559:

  _Hem_: them.

Footnote 560:

  Chief of the army.

Footnote 561:

  _I note_: I know not.

Footnote 562:


Footnote 563:


Footnote 564:

  That is, by means of his hounds.

Footnote 565:

  A wood.

Footnote 566:


Footnote 567:

  _Her_: their.

Footnote 568:

  Looks towards; attends to.

Footnote 569:


Footnote 570:

  Excepting; unless.

Footnote 571:

  Face; countenance.

Footnote 572:

  Care; close examination.

Footnote 573:

  _Palata_, Lat. (_Paletot_, O. Fr.), sometimes signifying a particular
  stuff, and sometimes a particular dress. See Du Cange.

Footnote 574:

  Cut; divided.

Footnote 575:


Footnote 576:


Footnote 577:


Footnote 578:


Footnote 579:


Footnote 580:


Footnote 581:

  Voice, _i.e._ command.

Footnote 582:


Footnote 583:


Footnote 584:


Footnote 585:


Footnote 586:

  Burning coal.

Footnote 587:

  Pray; beg.

Footnote 588:


Footnote 589:


Footnote 590:


Footnote 591:


Footnote 592:


Footnote 593:

  Began to climb.

Footnote 594:


Footnote 595:


Footnote 596:

  From an early volume of the “Asiatic Journal,” the number of which I
  did not “make a note of”—thus, for once at least, disregarding the
  advice of the immortal Captain Cuttle.

Footnote 597:

  “It was no wonder,” says this writer, “that his [_i.e._ Galland’s]
  version of the ‘Arabian Nights’ achieved a universal popularity, and
  was translated into many languages, and that it provoked a crowd of
  imitations, from ‘Les Mille et Un Jours’ to the ‘Tales of the Genii.’”

Footnote 598:

  This is a version of The Sleeper and the Waker—with a vengeance! Abú
  Hasan the Wag, the Tinker, and the Rustic, and others thus practised
  upon by frolic-loving princes and dukes, had each, at least, a most
  delightful “dream.” But when a man is similarly handled by the “wife
  of his bosom”—in stories, only, of course—the case is very different,
  as the poor chief of the police experienced. Such a “dream” as his
  wife induced upon him we may be sure he would remember “until that day
  that he did creep into his sepulchre!”

Footnote 599:

  I call this ‘strikingly similar’ to the preceding Persian story,
  although it has fewer incidents and the lady’s husband remains a monk;
  she could not have got him back even had she wished; for, having taken
  the vows, he was debarred from returning to “the world,” which a
  kalandar or dervish may do as often as he pleases.

Footnote 600:

  “The Woman’s trick against her Husband.”


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. P. 20 footnote 1, changed “denier a Dieu” to “denier à Dieu”.
 2. P. 97, changed “espie” to “espied”.
 3. P. 167, changed “We I will” to “Well I will”.
 4. P. 171, changed “The Raven o  severance” to “The Raven o’
 5. Added missing footnote anchors on p. 191 and 213.
 6. P. 238, changed “When I recal sweet union” to “When I recall sweet
 7. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 8. Retained anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as
 9. Footnotes have been re-indexed using numbers and collected together
      at the end of the last chapter.
10. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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