The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

The Story of the Three Sharpers.17

Saying, “Verily their adventure is wondrous and their actions delightsome and marvellous,” presently adding — There were in time of yore three Sharpers who were wont every day in early morning to prowl forth and to prey, rummaging18 among the mounds which outlay the city. Therein each would find a silver bit of five parahs or its equivalent, after which the trio would for- gather and buy whatso sufficed them for supper: they would also expend two Nusfs19 upon Bast,20 which is Bhang, and purchase a waxen taper with the other silver bit. They had hired a cell in the flank of a Wakálah, a caravanserai without the walls, where they could sit at ease to solace themselves and eat their Hashísh after lighting the candle and enjoy their intoxication and consequent merriment till the noon o’ night. Then they would sleep, again awaking at day-dawn when they would arise and seek for spoil, according to their custom, and ransack the heaps where at times they would hit upon a silverling of five dirhams and at other times a piece of four; and at eventide they would meet to spend together the dark hours, and they would expend everything they came by every day. For a length of time they pursued this path until, one day of the days, they made for the mounds as was their wont and went round searching the heaps from morning to evening without finding even a half-parah; wherefore they were troubled and they went away and nighted in their cell without meat or drink. When the next day broke they arose and repaired for booty, changing the places wherein they were wont to forage; but none of them found aught; and their breasts were straitened for lack of a find of dirhams wherewith to buy them supper. This lasted for three full-told and following days until hunger waxed hard upon them and vexation; so they said one to other, “Go we to the Sultan and let us serve him with a sleight, and each of us three shall claim to be a past master of some craft: haply Allah Almighty may incline his heart uswards and he may largesse us with something to expend upon our necessities.” Accordingly all three agreed to do on this wise and they sought the Sultan whom they found in the palace-garden. They asked leave to go in to him, but the Chamberlains refused admission: so they stood afar off unable to approach the presence. Then quoth they one to other, “’Twere better we fall to and each smite his comrade and cry aloud and make a clamour,21 and as soon as he shall hear us he will send to summon us.” Accordingly they jostled one another and each took to frapping his fellow, making the while loud outcries. The Sultan hearing this turmoil said, “Bring me yonder wights;” and the Chamberlains and Eunuchs ran out to them and seized them and set them between the hands of the Sovran. As soon as they stood in the presence he asked them, “What be the cause of your wrath one against other?” They answered, “O King of the Age, we are past masters of crafts, each of us weeting an especial art.” Quoth the Sultan, “What be your crafts?” and quoth one of the trio, “O our lord, as for my art I am a jeweller by trade.” The King exclaimed, “Passing strange! a sharper and a jeweller:22 this is a wondrous matter.” And he questioned the second — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night which was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan asked the second Sharper saying, “And thou, the other, what may be thy craft?” He answered, “I am a genealogist23 of the horse-kind.” So the King glanced at him in surprise and said to himself, “A sharper yet he claimeth an astounding knowledge!” Then he left him and put the same question to the third who said to him, “O King of the Age, verily my art is more wondrous and marvellous than aught thou hast heard from these twain: their craft is easy but mine is such that none save I can discover the right direction thereto or know the first of it from the last of it.” The Sultan enquired of him, “And what be thy craft?” Whereto he replied, “My craft is the genealogy of the sons of Adam.” Hearing these words the Sovran wondered with extreme wonderment and said in himself, “Verily He informeth with His secrets the humblest of His creatures! Assuredly these men, an they speak truth in all they say and it prove soothfast, are fit for naught except kingship. But I will keep them by me until the occurrence of some nice contingency wherein I may test them; then, if they approve themselves good men and trustworthy of word, I will leave them on life; but if their speech be lying I will do them die.” Upon this he set apart for them apartments and rationed them with three cakes of bread and a dish of roast meat24 and set over them his sentinels dreading lest they fly. This case continued for a while till behold, there came to the Sultan from the land of ‘Ajam a present of rarities, amongst which were two gems whereof one was clear of water and the other was clouded of colour.25 The Sultan hent them in hand for a time and fell to considering them straitly for the space of an hour; after which he called to mind the first of the three Sharpers, the selfstyled jeweller, and cried, “Bring me the jeweller-man.” Accordingly they went and brought him and set him before the Sovran who asked him, “O man, art thou a lapidary?” And when the Sharper answered “Yes” he gave him the clear-watered stone, saying, “What may be the price of this gem?"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sharper took the jewel in hand and turned it rightwards and leftwards and considered the outside and pried into the inside; after which he said to the Sultan, “O my lord, verily this gem containeth a worm26 bred within the heart thereof.” Now when the King heard these words he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and commanded the man’s head to be stricken off, saying, “This jewel is clear of colour and free of flaw or other default; yet thou chargest it falsely with containing a worm!” Then he summoned the Linkman27 who laid hands on the Sharper and pinioned his elbows and trussed up his legs28 like a camel’s and was about to smite his neck when behold, the Wazir entered the presence and, seeing the Sovran in high dudgeon and the Sharper under the scymitar, asked what was to do. The Sultan related to him what had happened when he drew near to him and said, “O my lord, act not after this fashion! An thou determine upon the killing of yonder man, first break the gem and, if thou find therein a worm, thou wilt know the wight’s word to have been veridical; but an thou find it sound then strike off his head.” “Right is thy rede,” quoth the King: then he took in hand the gem and smote it with his mace29 and when he brake behold, he found therein the worm amiddlemost thereof. So he marvelled at the sight and asked the man, “What proved to thee that it harboured a worm?” “The sharpness of my sight,” answered the Sharper. Then the Sultan pardoned him and, admiring his power of vision, addressed his attendants saying, “Bear him back to his comrades and ration him with a dish of roast meat and two cakes of bread.” And they did as he bade them. After some time, on a day of the days, there came to the King the tribute of ‘Ajamland accompanied with presents amongst which was a colt whose robe black as night30 showed one shade in the sun and another in the shadow. When the animal was displayed to the Sultan he fell in love with it and set apart for it a stall and solaced himself at all times by gazing at it and was wholly occupied with it and sang its praises till they filled the whole country side. Presently he remembered the Sharper who claimed to be a genealogist of the horse-kind and bade him be summoned. So they fared forth and brought him and set him between the hands of the Sovran who said to him, “Art thou he who knoweth the breed and descent of horses?” “Yea verily,” said the man. Then cried the King, “By the truth of Him who set me upon the necks of His servants and who sayeth to a thing ‘Be’ and it becometh, an I find aught of error or confusion in thy words, I will strike off thy head.” “Hearkening and obedience,” quoth the Sharper. Then they led him to the colt that he might consider its genealogy. He called aloud to the groom31— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sharper called aloud to the stirrup-holder and when they brought him he bade the man back the colt for his inspection. So he mounted the animal and made it pace to the right and to the left causing it now to prance and curvet and then to step leisurely, while the connoisseur looked on and after a time quoth he to the groom, “’Tis enough!” Then he went in to the presence and stood between the hands of the King who enquired, “What hast thou seen in the colt, O Kashmar?”32 Replied the Sharper, “By Allah, O King of the Age, this colt is of pure and noble blood on the side of the sire: its action is excellent and all its qualities are praiseworthy save one; and but for this one it had been perfect in blood and breed nor had there been on earth’s face its fellow in horseflesh. But its blemish remaineth a secret.” The Sultan asked, “And what is the quality which thou blamest?” and the Sharper answered, “Its sire was noble, but its dam was of other strain: she it was that brought the blemish and if thou, O my lord, allow me I will notify it to thee.” “’Tis well, and needs must thou declare it,” quoth the Sultan. Then said the Sharper, “Its dam is a buffalo-cow.”33 When the King heard these words he was wroth with wrath exceeding and he bade the Linkman take the Sharper and behead him, crying, “O dog! O accursed! How can a buffalo-cow bear a horse?” The Sharper replied, “O my lord, the Linkman is in the presence; but send and fetch him who brought thee the colt and of him make enquiry. If my words prove true and rightly placed, my skill shall be stablished; but an they be lies let my head pay forfeit for my tongue. Here standeth the Linkman and I am between thy hands: thou hast but to bid him strike off my head!” Thereupon the King sent for the owner and breeder of the colt and they brought him to the presence. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth the sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan sent for the owner and breeder of the colt and asked him saying, “Tell me the truth anent the blood of this colt. Didst thou buy it or breed it so that it was a rearling of thy homestead?” Said he, “By Allah, O King of the Age, I will speak naught which is not sooth, for indeed there hangeth by this colt the strangest story: were it graven with graver-needles upon the eye-corners it had been a warning to whoso would be warned. And this it is. I had a stallion of purest strain whose sire was of the steeds of the sea;34 and he was stabled in a stall apart for fear of the evil eye, his service being entrusted to trusty servants. But one day in springtide the Syce took the horse into the open and there picquetted him when behold, a buffalo-cow walked into the enclosed pasture where the stallion was tethered, and seeing her he brake his heel-ropes and rushed at her and covered her. She conceived by him and when her days were completed and her throwing-time came she suffered sore pains and bare yonder colt. And all who have seen it or have heard of it were astounded,” said he, presently adding, “by Allah, O King of the Age, had its dam been of the mare-kind the colt would have had no equal on earth’s surface or aught approaching it.” Hereat the Sultan took thought and marvelled; then, summoning the Sharper he said to him when present, “O man, thy speech is true and thou art indeed a genealogist in horseflesh and thou wottest it well. But I would know what proved to thee that the dam of this colt was a buffalo-cow?” Said he, “O King, my proof thereof was palpable nor can it be concealed from any wight of right wits and intelligence and special knowledge; for the horse’s hoof is round whilst the hooves of buffaloes are elongated and duck-shaped,35 and hereby I kenned that this colt was a jumart, the issue of a cow-buffalo.” The Sultan was pleased with his words and said “Ration him with a plate of roast meat and two cakes of bread;” and they did as they were bidden. Now for a length of time the third Sharper was forgotten till one day the Sultan bethought him of the man who could explain the genealogy of Adam’s sons. So he bade fetch him and when they brought him into the presence he said, “Thou art he that knowest the caste and descent of men and women?” and the other said, “Yes.” Then he commanded the Eunuchs take him to his wife36 and place him before her and cause him declare her genealogy. So they led him in and set him standing in her presence and the Sharper considered her for a while looking from right to left; then he fared forth to the Sultan who asked him, “What hast thou seen in the Queen?” Answered he, “O my lord, I saw a somewhat adorned with loveliness and beauty and perfect grace, with fair stature of symmetrical trace and with modesty and fine manners and skilful case; and she is one in whom all good qualities appear on every side, nor is aught of accomplishments or knowledge concealed from her and haply in her centre all desirable attributes. Natheless, O King of the Age, there is a curious point that dishonoureth her from the which were she free none would outshine her of all the women of her generation.” Now when the Sultan heard the words of the Sharper, he sprang hastily to his feet and clapping hand upon hilt bared his brand and fell upon the man purposing to slay him; — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan fell upon the Sharper with his sword purposing to slay him; but the Chamberlains and the Eunuchs prevented him saying, “O our lord, kill him not until his falsehood or his fact shall have been made manifest to thee.“The Sultan said to him, “What then appeared to thee in my Queen?” “He37 is ferly fair,” said the man, “but his mother is a dancing-girl, a gypsey.”38 The fury of the King increased hereat and he sent to summon the inmates of his Harem and cried to his father-in-law, “Unless thou speak me sooth concerning thy daughter and her descent and her mother I”—39 He replied, “By Allah, O King of the Age, naught saveth a man save soothfastness! Her mother indeed was a Gháziyah: in past time a party of the tribe was passing by my abode when a young maid strayed from her fellows and was lost. They asked no questions concerning her; so I lodged her and bred her in my homestead till she grew up to be a great girl and the fairest of her time. My heart would not brook her wiving with any other; so I wedded her and she bare me this daughter whom thou, O King, hast espoused.” When the Sultan heard these words the flame in his heart was quenched40 and he wondered at the subtlety of the Sharper man; so he summoned him and asked him saying, “O wily one, tell me what certified to thee that my Queen had a dancing girl, a gypsey, to mother?” He answered, “O King of the Age, verily the Ghaziyah race hath eye-balls intensely black and bushy brows whereas other women than the Ghaziyah have the reverse of this.” On such wise the King was convinced of the man’s skill and he cried, “Ration him with a dish of roast meat and two scones.” They did as he bade and the three Sharpers tarried with the Sultan a long time till one day when the King said to himself, “Verily these three men have by their skill solved every question of genealogy which I proposed to them: first the jeweller proved his perfect knowledge of gems; secondly the genealogist of the horse-kind showed himself as skilful, and the same was the case with the genealogist of mankind, for he discovered the origin of my Queen and the truth of his words appeared from all quarters. Now ’tis my desire that he do the same with me that I also may know my provenance.” Accordingly they set the man between his hands and he said to him, “O fellow, hast thou the power to tell me mine origin?” Said the Sharper, “Yes, O my lord, I can trace thy descent, but I will so do only upon a condition; to wit, that thou promise me safety41 after what I shall have told thee; for the saw saith, ‘Whilst Sultan sitteth on throne ‘ware his despite, inasmuch as none may be contumacious when he saith ‘Smite.’” Thereupon the Sultan told him, “thou hast a promise of immunity, a promise which shall never be falsed."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent, and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was

The Three Hundred and Fortieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan pledged his word for the safety of the Sharper with the customary kerchief42 and the man said, “O King of the Age, whenas I acquaint thee with thy root and branch, let it be between us twain lest these present hear us.” “Wherefore O man?” asked the Sultan, and the Sharper answered, “O my lord, Allah of Allmight hath among His names ‘The Veiler’;”43 wherefore the King bade his Chamberlains and Eunuchs retire so that none remained in the place save those two. Then the Sharper came forward and said, “O my lord, thou art a son of shame and an issue of adultery.” As soon as the King heard these words his case changed and his colour waxed wan and his limbs fell loose:44 he foamed at the mouth;45 he lost hearing and sight; he became as one drunken without wine and he fell fainting to the ground. After a while he recovered and said to the Sharper, “Now by the truth of Him who hath set me upon the necks of His servants, an thy words be veridical and I ascertain their sooth by proof positive, I will assuredly abdicate my Kingdom and resign my realm to thee, because none deserveth it save thou and it becometh us least of all and every. But an I find thy speech lying I will slay thee.” He replied, “Hearing and obeying;” and the Sovran, rising up without stay or delay, went inside to his mother with grip on glaive, and said to her, “By the truth of Him who uplifted the lift above the earth, an thou answer me not with the whole truth in whatso I ask thee, I will cut thee to little bits with this blade.” She enquired, “What dost thou want with me?” and he replied, “Whose son am I, and what may be my descent?” She rejoined, “Although falsehood be an excuse, fact and truth are superior and more saving. Thou art indeed the very son of a cook. The Sultan that was before thee took me to wife and I cohabited with him a while of time without my becoming pregnant by him or having issue; and he would mourn and groan from the core of his heart for that he had no seed, nor girl nor boy; neither could he enjoy aught of sweet food or sleep. Now we had about the Palace many caged birds; and at last, one day of the days, the King longed to eat somewhat of poultry, so he went into the court and sent for the Kitchener to slaughter46 one of the fowls; and the man applied himself to catching it. At that time I had taken my first bath after the monthly ailment and quoth I to myself, ‘If this case continue with the King he will perish and the Kingdom pass from us.’ And the Shaytan tempted me to that which displeased Allah”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Queen continued, “And Satan tempted me and made the sin fair in my sight. So I went up to the Kitchener, attired and adorned as I was in my finest apparel and I fell a-jesting with him and provoking him and disporting with him till his passions were excited by me: so he tumbled me at that very hour, after which he arose and slaughtered one of the birds and went his ways. Then I bade the handmaids sprinkle water on the fowl and clean it and cook it; and they did my bidding. After a while symptoms of pregnancy declared themselves in me and became evident; and when the King heard that his Queen was with child, he waxed gladsome and joyful and gave alms and scattered gifts and bestowed robes upon his Officers of State and others till the day of my delivery and I bare a babe — which is thyself. Now at that time the Sultan was hunting and birding and enjoying himself about the gardens all of his pleasure at the prospect of becoming a father; and when the bearer of good news went to him and announced the birth of a man-child he hurried back to me and forthright bade them decorate the capital and he found the report true; so the city adorned itself for forty days in honour of its King. Such is my case and my tale.”47 Thereupon the King went forth from her to the Sharper and bade him doff his dress and when this had been done he doffed his own raiment and habited the man in royal gear and hooded him with the Taylasán48 and asked him saying, “What proof hast thou of my being a son of adultery?” The Sharper answered, “O my lord, my proof was thy bidding our being rationed, after showing the perfection of our skill, with a dish of roast meat and two scones of bread; whereby I knew thee to be of cook’s breed, for the Kings be wont in such case to make presents of money and valuables, not of meat and bread as thou didst, and this evidenced thee to be a bastard King.” He replied, “Sooth thou sayest,” and then robed him with the rest of his robes including the Kalansuwah or royal head-dress under the hood49 and seated him upon the throne of his estate. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive.” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan enthroned the Sharper upon the throne of estate and went forth from him after abandoning all his women to him and assumed the garb of a Darwaysh who wandereth about the world and formally abdicated his dominion to his successor. But when the Sharper-king saw himself in this condition, he reflected and said to himself, “Summon thy whilome comrades and see whether they recognize thee or not.” So he caused them be set before him and conversed with them; then, perceiving that none knew him he gifted them and sent them to gang their gait. And he ruled his realm and bade and forbade and gave and took away and was gracious and generous to each and every of his lieges; so that the people of that region who were his subjects blessed him and prayed for him. Such was the case with the Sharper; but as for

The Sultan who Fared Forth in the Habit of a Darwaysh,50

He ceased not wayfaring, as become a wanderer, till he came to Cairo51 city whose circuit was a march of two and a half days and which then was ruled by her own King Mohammed hight. He found the folk in safety and prosperity and good ordinance; and he solaced himself by strolling about the streets to the right and left and he diverted his mind by considering the crowds and the world of men contained in the capital, until he drew near the palace when suddenly he sighted the Sultan returning from the chase and from taking his pleasure. Seeing this the Darwaysh retired to the wayside, and the King happening to glance in that direction, saw him standing and discerned in him the signs of former prosperity. So he said to one of his suite, “Take yon man with thee and entertain him till I send for him.” His bidding being obeyed he entered the Palace and, when he had rested from the fatigues of the way, he summoned the Fakír to the presence and questioned him of his condition, saying, “Thou, from what land art thou?” He responded, “O my lord, I am a beggar man;” and the other rejoined, “There is no help but that thou tell me what brought thee hither.” The Darwaysh retorted, “O my lord, this may not be save in privacy,” and the other exclaimed, “Be it so for thee.” The twain then arose and repaired to a retired room in the Palace and the Fakir recounted to the Sultan all that had befallen him since the loss of his kingship and also how he, a Sultan, had given up the throne of his realm and had made himself a Darwaysh. The Sovran marvelled at his self-denial in yielding up the royal estate and cried, “Laud be to Him who degradeth and upraiseth, who honoureth and humbleth by the wise ordinance of His All-might,” presently adding, “O Darwaysh, I have passed through an adventure which is marvellous; indeed ’tis one of the Wonders of the World52 which I needs must relate to thee nor from thee withhold aught thereof.” And he fell to telling — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King fell to telling the beggar man

17 MS. vol. iii. pp. 96-121. Scott, “Story of the Three Sharpers and the Sultan,” pp. 7-17; Gauttier, Histoire des trois filous et d’un Sulthan, vi. 165-176.

18 Arab. Yasrahú=roaming, especially at early dawn; hence the wolf is called “Sirhán,” and Yaklishu (if I read it aright) is from Kulsh, and equivalent to “kicking” (their heels).

19 Nusf=half a dirham, drachma or franc, see ii. 37; vi. 214, etc.

20 Bast, a preparation of Bhang (Cannabis Sativa), known in Egypt but not elsewhere: see Lane, M. E., chapt. xv. Here it is made synonymous with “Hashísh”=Bhang in general.

21 Ghaushah, a Persianism for which “Ghaughá” is a more common form. “Ghaush” is a tree of hard wood whereof musical instruments were made; hence the mod. words “Ghásha” and “Ghawwasha”=he produced a sound, and “Ghaushah”=tumult, quarrel. According to Dr. Steingass, the synon. in the native dicts. are “Khisám,” “Lag-hat,” “Jalabah,” etc.

22 Said ironicè, the jeweller being held to be one of the dishonest classes, like the washerman, the water-carrier, the gardener, etc. In England we may find his representative in the “silversmith,” who will ask a pound sterling for a bit of metal which cost him perhaps five shillings or even less, and who hates to be bought by weight. The Arab. has “Jauhar-ji,” a Turkish form for Jauhari; and here “jauhar” apparently means a pearl, the stone once peculiar to royalty in Persia, but the kind of gem is left undetermined.

23 Arab. “Sáza, yasízu,” not a dictionary word. Perhaps it is a clerical error for “Sasa,” he groomed or broke in a horse, hence understood all about horses.

24 In the orig. “Shorbah,” Pers.=a mess of pottage: I have altered it for reasons which will presently appear.

25 Arab. “Ghabasah,” from Ghabas=obscure, dust-coloured.

26 Arab. “Súsah”=a weevil, a moth, a worm. It does not mean simply a flaw, but a live animal (like our toads in the rock); and in the popular version of the tale the lapidary discovers its presence by the stone warming in his hand.

27 Arab. “Mashá’íli” the cresset-bearer who acted hangman: see vol. i. 259, etc.

28 Arab. “Ta’kíl,” tying up a camel’s foreleg above the knee; the primary meaning of Akl, which has so many secondary significations.

29 Arab. “Suwán,” lit.=rock, syenite, hard stone, flint; here a marteau de guerre.

30 Arab. “Hálik”=intensely black, so as to look blue under a certain angle of light.

31 Arab. “Rikáb” (=stirrup) + “dár” Pers. (=holder).

32 I have ransacked dictionaries and vocabularies but the word is a mere blank.

33 Arab. “Jámúsah.” These mules are believed in by the Arabs. Shaw and other travellers mention the Mauritanian “Jumart,” the breed between a bull and a mare (or jennyass) or an ass and a cow. Buffon disbelieved in the mongrel, holding it to be a mere bardeau, got by a stallion horse out of an ass. Voltaire writes “Jumarre” after German fashion and Littré derives it from jument + art (finale péjorative), or the Languedoc “Gimere” which according to Diez suggests “Chimæra.” Even in London not many years ago a mule was exhibited as the issue of a horse and a stag. No Indian ever allows his colt to drink buffalo’s milk, the idea being that a horse so fed will lie down in instead of fording or swimming a stream.

34 See Sindbad the Seaman, vol. vi. 9.

35 Arab. “Mubattat” from batt=a duck: in Persia the Batt-i-May is a wine-glass shaped like the duck. Scott (vi. 12) translates “thick and longish.”

36 Arab. “his Harím”; see vol. i. 165; iv. 126. VOL. XIV.

37 Again “he” for she. See vol. ii. 179.

38 Arab. “Gháziyah”: for the plur. “Ghawázi” see vol. i. 214; also Lane (M.E.) index under “Ghazeeyehs.”

39 The figure prothesis without apodosis. Understand “will slay thee”: see vol. vi. 203.

40 Because the girl had not been a professional dancer, i.e a public prostitute.

41 Arab. “Amán”=quarter, mercy: see vol. i. 342.

42 For the “Mandíl” of mercy see vol. i. 343; for that of dismissal x. 47 and Ibn Khall. iv. 211. In Spitta Bey’s “Contes Arabes” (p. 223), I find throwing the kerchief (tarammá al mahramah) used in the old form of choosing a mate. In the Tale of the Sultan of AlYaman and his three Sons (Supplem. Nights, vol. iv.) the Princesses drop their kerchiefs upon the head of the Prince who had saved them, by way of pointing him out.

43 Arab. “Sattár:” see vols. i. 258 and iii. 41.

44 In the text “Arghá” for “Arkhá"=he “brayed” (like an ostrich, etc.) for “his limbs relaxed.” It reminds one of the German missionary’s fond address to his flock, “My prethren, let us bray!”

45 Arab. “Azbad,” from Zbd (Zabd)=foaming, frothing, etc., whence “Zubaydah,” etc.

46 Arab. “Zabh” (Zbh)=the ceremonial killing of animals for food: see vols. v. 391; viii. 44. I may note, as a proof of how modern is the civilisation of Europe that the domestic fowl was unknown to Europe till about the time of Pericles (ob. B.C. 429).

47 See in “The Forty Vizirs” (Lady’s ivth Tale) how Khizr tells the King the origin of his Ministers from the several punishments which they propose for the poor man. I have noticed this before in Night cccxxxiii. Boethius, translated by Chaucer, explains the underlying idea, “All thynges seken ayen to hir propre course and all thynges rejoysen in hir returninge agayne to hir nature.”

48 For the Taylasán hood see vol. iv. 286.

49 The “Kalansuwah”-cap is noted by Lane (A. N. chapt. iii. 22) as “Kalensuweh.” In M. E. (Supplement i. “The Copts”) he alters the word to Kalás’weh and describes it as a strip of woollen stuff, of a deep blue or black colour, about four inches wide, attached beneath the turban and hanging down the back to the length of about a foot. It is the distinguishing mark of the Coptic regular clergy.

50 W. M. MS. vol. iii. pp. 121-141. Scott, “The Adventures of the abdicated Sultan,” pp. 18-19; including the “History of Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo,” pp. 20-30.

51 “Káhirah.” I repeat my belief (Pilgrimage i. 171) that “Káhirah,” whence our “Cairo” through the Italian corruption, means not la victorieuse (Mediant al-Káhirah) as D’Herbelot has it; but City of Kahir or Mars the planet. It was so called because as Richardson informed the world (sub voce) it was founded in A.H. 358 (=A.D. 968) when the warlike planet was in the ascendant by the famous General Jauhar a Dalmatian renegade (not a “Greek slave”) for the first of the Fatimite dynasty Al-Mu’izz li ‘l-dini ‘lláh.

52 According to Caussin de Perceval (père) in his translation of the “Contes Arabes,” there are four wonders in the Moslem world: (1) the Pharos of Alexandria; (2) the Bridge of Sanjia in Northern Syria; (3) The Church of Rohab (Edessa); and (4) the Amawi Mosque of Damascus.

The History of Mohammed, Sultan of Cairo.

I began my career in the world as a Darwaysh, an asker, owning naught of the comforts and conveniences of life, till at length, one day of the days, I became possessor of just ten silverlings53 (and no more) which I resolved to expend upon myself. Accordingly I walked into the Bazar purposing to purchase somewhat of provaunt. While I was looking around, I espied a man passing by and leading in an iron chain a dog-faced baboon and crying “Haraj!54 this ape is for sale at the price of ten faddahs.” The folk jibed at the man and jeered at his ape; but quoth I to myself, “Buy this beast and expend upon it the ten silverlings.” Accordingly I drew near the seller and said to him, “Take these ten faddahs;” whereupon he took them and gave me the ape which I led to the cell wherein I dwelt. Then I opened the door and went in with my bargain but began debating in my mind what to do and said, “How shall I manage a meal for the baboon and myself?” While I was considering behold, the beast was suddenly transformed, and became a young man fair of favour who had no equal in loveliness and stature and symmetric grace, perfect as the moon at full on the fourteenth night; and he addressed me saying, “O Shaykh Mohammed, thou hast bought me with ten faddahs, being all thou hadst and art debating how we shall feed, I and thou.” Quoth I, “What art thou?” and quoth he, “Query me no questions, concerning whatso thou shalt see, for good luck hath come to thee.” Then he gave me an Ashrafi55 and said, “Take this piece of gold and fare thee forth to the Bazar and get us somewhat to eat and drink.” I took it from him and repairing to the market purchased whatso food our case required; then returning to the cell set the victual before him and seated myself by his side. So we ate our sufficiency and passed that night, I and he, in the cell, and, when Allah caused the morn to dawn, he said to me, “O man, this room is not suitable to us: hie thee and hire a larger lodging.” I replied, “To hear is to obey;” and, rising without stay or delay, went and took a room more roomy in the upper part of the Wakálah.56 Thither we removed, I and the youth, and presently he gave me ten dinars more and said, “Go to the Bazar and buy thee furniture as much as is wanted.” Accordingly, I went forth and bought what he ordered and on my return I found before him a bundle containing a suit of clothes suitable for the Kings. These he gave to me desiring that I hie me to the Hammam and don them after bathing, so I did his bidding and washed and dressed myself and found in each pocket of the many pockets an hundred gold pieces; and presently when I had donned the dress I said to myself, “Am I dreaming or wide awake?”57 Then I returned to the youth in the room and when he saw me he rose to his feet and commended my figure and seated me beside him. Presently he brought up a bigger bundle and bade me take it and repair to the Sultan of the City and at the same time ask his daughter in marriage for myself. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan of Cairo continued:58— So I took it and repaired with it to the King of that city, and a slave whom the youth had bought bore the bundle. Now when I approached the Palace I found thereabout the Chamberlains and Eunuchs and Lords of the Land: so I drew near them and when they saw me in that suit they approved my appearance and questioned me saying, “What be thy business and what dost thou require?” I replied, “My wish is to have audience of the King,” and they rejoined, “Wait a little while till we obtain for thee his permission.” Then one of the ushers went in and reported the matter to the Sultan who gave orders to admit me; so the man came out and led me within and on entering the presence I salamed to the Sovran and wished him welfare and presently set before him the bundle, saying, “O King of the Age, this be in the way of a gift which besitteth my station not thine estate.” The Sultan bade the package be spread out, and he looked into it and saw a suit of royal apparel whose like he never had owned. So he was astonished at the sight and said in his mind, “By Allah, I possess naught like this, nor was I ever master of so magnificent a garment;” presently adding, “It shall be accepted, O Shaykh, but needs must thou have some want or requisition from me.” I replied, “O King of the Age, my wish is to become thy connection through that lady concealed and pearl unrevealed, thy daughter.” When the Sultan heard these words, he turned to his Wazir and said, “Counsel me as to what I should do in the matter of this man?” Said he, “O King of the Age, show him thy most precious stone and say him, ‘An thou have a jewel evening this one it shall be my daughter’s marriage-dowry.’” The King did as he was advised, whereat I was wild with wonderment and asked him, “An I bring thee such a gem wilt thou give me the Princess?” He answered, “Yea, verily!” and I took my leave bearing with me the jewel to the young man who was awaiting me in the room.59 He enquired of me, “Hast thou proposed for Princess?” and I replied, “Yes: I have spoken with the Sultan concerning her, when he brought out this stone, saying to me, ‘An thou have a jewel evening this one, it shall be my daughter’s marriage dowry;’ nor hath the Sultan power to false his word.” The youth rejoined, “This day I can do naught, but to-morrow (Inshallah!) I will bring thee ten jewels like it and these thou shalt carry and present to the Sovran.” Accordingly when the morning dawned he arose and fared forth and after an hour or so he returned with ten gems which he gave me. I took them and repaired with them to the Sultan and, entering the presence, I presented to him all the ten. When he looked upon the precious stones he wondered at their brilliant water and turning to the Wazir again asked him how he should act in this matter. Replied the Minister, “O King of the Age, thou requiredst of him but one jewel and he hath brought thee ten; ’tis therefore only right and fair to give him thy daughter."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Minister said to the Monarch, “Give him thy daughter.” Accordingly the Sultan summoned the Kazis and the Efendis60 who wrote out the marriage-contract between me and the Princess. Then I returned to the youth who had remained in the room and told him all that had occurred when he said, “’Twere best to conclude the wedding-ceremony and pay the first visit to thy bride at once; but thou shalt on no wise consummate the nuptials until I bid thee go in unto her, after somewhat shall have been done by me.” “Hearing and obeying,” replied I; and, when the night of going in61 came, I visited the Sultan’s daughter but sat apart from her by the side of the room during the first night and the second and the third; nor did I approach her although every day her mother came and asked her the usual question62 and she answered, “He hath never approached me.” So she grieved with sore grief for that ’tis the wont of womankind, when a maid is married and her groom goeth not in unto her, to deem that haply folk will attribute it to some matter which is not wholly right. After the third night the mother reported the case to her father who cried, “This night except he abate her pucelage I will slay him!” The tidings reached my bride who told all to me, so I repaired to the young man and acquainted him therewith. He cried, “When thou shalt visit her say, ‘By Allah, I will not enjoy thee unless thou give me the amulet-bracelet hanging to thy right shoulder.’” I replied, “To hear is to obey;” and, when I went in to her at nightfall, I asked her, “Dost thou really desire me to futter thee?” She answered, “I do indeed;” so I rejoined, “Then give me the amulet-bracelet hanging over thy right shoulder.” She arose forthright and unbound it and gave it to me, whereupon I bled her of the hymeneal blood63 and going to the young man gave him the jewel. Then I returned to my bride and slept by her side till the morning when I awoke and found myself lying outstreched in my own caravanserai-cell. I was wonderstruck and asked myself, “Am I on wake or in a dream?” and I saw my whilome garments, the patched gabardine64 and tattered shirt alone with my little drum;65 but the fine suit given to me by the youth was not on my body nor did I espy any sign of it anywhere. So with fire burning in my heart after what had befallen me, I wandered about crowded sites and lone spots and in my distraction I knew not what to do, whither to go or whence to come; when lo and behold! I found sitting in an unfrequented part of the street a Maghrabi,66 a Barbary man, who had before him some written leaves and was casting omens for sundry bystanders. Seeing this state of things, I came forward and drew near him and made him a salam which he returned; then, after considering my features straitly, he exclaimed, “O Shaykh, hath that Accursed done it and torn thee from thy bride?” “Yes,” I replied. Hereupon he said to me, “Wait a little while,” and seated me beside him; then, as soon as the crowd dispersed he said, “O Shaykh, the baboon which thou boughtest for ten silver bits and which was presently transformed into a young man of Adam’s sons, is not a human of the sons of Adam but a Jinni who is enamoured of the Princess thou didst wed. However, he could not approach her by reason of the charmed bracelet hanging from her right shoulder, wherefore he served thee this sleight and won it and now he still weareth it. But I will soon work his destruction to the end that Jinnkind and mankind may be at rest from his mischief; for he is one of the rebellious and misbegotten imps who break the law of our lord Solomon (upon whom be the Peace!).” Presently the Maghrabi took a leaf and wrote upon it as it were a book. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Maghrabi wrote a writ and signed his name within and sealed it; after which he handed it to me saying, “O Shaykh, take this missive and hie thee herewith to a certain spot where thou must wait and observe those who pass by. Hearten thy heart and when thou shalt see approaching thee a man attended by a numerous train, present to him this scroll for ’tis he who will win for thee thy wish.” I took the note from the Barbary man and fared forth to the place which he had described and ceased not faring till I reached it after travelling all that night and half the next day; then I sat down until darkness set in to await whatso might befal me. When a fourth part of the night had passed, a dazzling glare of lights suddenly appeared from afar advancing towards me; and as it shone nearer, I made out men bearing flambeaux67 and lanthorns, also a train of attendants befitting the Kings. They looked on and considered me whilst my heart fluttered with fear, and I was in sore affright. But the procession defiled and drew off from before me, marching two after two, and presently appeared the chief cortège wherein was a Sultan68 of the Jánn. As he neared me I heartened my heart and advanced and presented to him the letter which he, having halted, opened and read aloud; and it was:—“Be it known to thee, O Sultan of the Jann, that the bearer of this our epistle hath a need which thou must grant him by destroying his foe; and if opposition be offered by any we will do the opponent die. An thou fail to relieve him thou wilt know to seek from me relief for thyself.” When the King of the Jann had read the writ and had mastered its meaning and its mysteries, he forthwith called out to one of his serjeants69 who at once came forward and bade him bring into his presence without delay such-and-such a Jinni who by his spells had wrought round the daughter of the Cairene Sultan. The messenger replied, “Hearing and obeying,” and departed from him and disappearing was absent an hour or thereabouts; after which he and others returned with the Jinni and set him standing before the King who exclaimed, “Wherefore, O Accurst, hast thou wrought ill to this man and done on this wise and on that wise?” He replied, “O my lord, all came of my fondness for the Princess who wore a charm in her armlet which hindered my approaching her and therefore I made use of this man to effect my purpose. I became master of the talisman and won my wish but I love the maiden and never will I harm her.” Now when the Sultan heard these words he said, “Thy case can be after one of two fashions only. Either return the armlet that the man may be reunited with his wife and she with her husband as whilome they were; or contrary me and I will command the headsman strike thy neck.” Now when the Jinni heard this speech (and ’twas he who had assumed the semblance of a dog-faced baboon), he refused and was rebellious to the King and cried, “I will not return the armlet nor will I release the damsel, for none can possess her save myself.” And having spoken in this way he attempted to flee. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Márid would fain have fled from before the King of the Jann, but the Sovran bade other Marids and more forceful arrest him; so they seized him and pinioned him and bound him in chains and collar and dragged him behind the King of the Jann till the latter had reached his place and had summoned him and had taken from him the armlet. Then the Sultan gave order for him to be slain and they slew him. When this was done, I prayed for the charm-armlet and I recovered it after the Marid’s death; they also restored to me my fine suit. So I proceeded to the city which I entered, and as soon as the guards and courtiers saw me, they cried out for joy and said, “This is the son-in-law of the Sultan who was lost!” Hereat all the lieges hurried up to me and received me with high respect and greeted me. But after entering the Palace I proceeded forthright till I reached the apartment set apart by them for myself and my spouse whom I found in a deep sleep and stupefied, as it were; a condition in which she had lain ever since I took from her the talismanic armlet. So I replaced the jewel upon her right shoulder and she awoke and arose and ordered herself; whereat her father and family and the Lords of the Land and all the folk joyed with exceeding joy. After this we lived together in all happiness till the death of her sire who, having no son, named me his successor so that I became what I am. Now when the Darwaysh-Sultan heard all this he was astounded at what happeneth in this world of marvels and miracles; upon which I said to him, “O my brother wonder not; for whatso is predetermined shall perforce be carried out. But thou needs must become my Wazir; because thou art experienced in rule and governance and, since what time my sire-in-law the Sultan died, I have been perplexed in my plight being unable to find me a Minister who can administer the monarchy. So do thou become my Chief Counsellor in the realm.” Thereupon the Darwaysh replied, “Hearkening and obedience.” The Sultan then robed him in a sumptuous robe of honour and committed to him his seal-ring and all other matters pertinent to his office, at the same time setting apart for him a palace, spacious of corners, which he furnished with splendid furniture and wadded carpets and vaiselle and other such matters. So the Wazir took his seat of office and held a Divan or Council of State forthright and commanded and countermanded, and bade and forbade according as he saw just and equitable; and his fame for equity and justice was disproved abroad; insomuch that who ever had a cause or request or other business he would come to the Wazir for ordering whatso he deemed advisable. In this condition he continued for many years till, on a day of the days, the Sultan’s mind was depressed. Upon this he sent after the Minister who attended at his bidding, when he said, “O Wazir, my heart is heavy!” “Enter then,” replied the Minister, “O King, into thy treasury of jewels and rubies and turn them over in thy hands and thy breast will be broadened.” The Sultan did accordingly but it took no effect upon his ennui; so he said, “O Wazir, I cannot win free of this melancholic humour and nothing pleasureth me in my palace; so let us fare forth, I and thou, in disguise.” “Hearing is obeying,” quoth the Minister. The twain then retired into a private chamber to shift their garb and habited themselves as Darwayshes, the Darwayshes of Ajam-land, and went forth and passed through the city right and left till they reached a Máristán, a hospital for lunatics.70 Here they found two young men, one reading the Koran71 and the other hearkening to him, both being in chains like men Jinn-mad; and the Sultan said in his mind, “By Allah, this is a marvel-case,” and bespake the men asking, “Are ye really insane?” They answered saying, “No, by Allah; we are not daft but so admirable are our adventures that were they graven with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners they had been warners to whoso would be warned.” “What are they?” quoth the King, and quoth they, “Each of us, by Allah, hath his own story;” and presently he who had been reading exclaimed, “O King of the Age, hear my tale."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth began relating to the Sultan

53 Arab. “Faddah,” lit.=silver, because made of copper alloyed with nobler metal; the smallest Egyptian coin=Nuss (i.e. Nusf, or half a dirham) and the Turk. paráh. It is the fortieth of the piastre and may be assumed at the value of a quarter-farthing.

54 This word, in Egypt. “Harág,” is the cry with which the Dallál (broker) announces each sum bidden at an auction.

55 The Portuguese Xerafim: Supplemental Nights, vol. iii. 166.

56 A Khan or caravanserai: see vol. i. 266 and Pilgrimage i. 60.

57 Arab. “Hilm” (vision) “au ‘Ilm” (knowledge) a phrase peculiar to this MS.

58 The careless scribe forgets that the Sultan is speaking and here drops into the third person. This “Enallage of persons” is, however, Koranic and therefore classical: Arab critics aver that in such cases the “Hikáyah” (=literal reproduction of a discourse, etc.) passes into an “Ikhbár”=mere account of the same discourse). See Al Mas’údi iii. 216. I dare not reproduce this figure in English.

50 Arab. “Auzah,” the Pers. Oták and the Turk. Otah (vulg. “Oda” whence “Odalisque”), a popular word in Egypt and Syria.

60 Arab. “Al Afandiyah” showing the late date or reduction of the tale. The Turkish word derives from the Romaic Afentis ({Greek letters}) the corrupted O.G.{Greek letters}=an absolute commander, and “authentie.” The word should not be written as usual “Effendi,” but “Efendi,” as Prof. Galland has been careful to do.

61 Arab. “Al-dakhlah”; repeatedly referred to in The Nights. The adventure is a replica of that in “Abu Mohammed highs Lazybones,” vol. iv., pp. 171-174.

62 Usual in the East, not in England, where some mothers are idiots enough not to tell their daughters what to expect on the wedding night. Hence too often unpleasant surprises, disgust and dislike. The most modern form is that of the chloroform’d bride upon whose pillow the bridegroom found a paper pinned and containing the words, “Mamma says you’re to do what you like.”

63 Arab. “Akhaztu dam wajhhi há.”

64 Arab. “Dilk” more commonly “Khirkah,” the tattered and pieced robe of a religious mendicant.

65 Arab. “Darbálah.” Scott (p. 24) must have read “Gharbálah” when he translated “A turban full of holes as a sieve.” In classical Arabic the word is written “Darbalah,” and seems to correspond with the Egyptian “Darábukkah,” a tabor of wood or earthenware figured by Lane (M.E. chapt. xviii.). It is, like the bowl, part of the regular Darwaysh’s begging gear.

66 Vulg. Maghribi. For this word see the story of Alaeddin, Supplem., vol. iii. 31. According to Heron, “History of Maugraby,” the people of Provence, Languedoc and Gascony use Maugraby as a term of cursing: Maugrebleu being used in other parts of France.

67 In text “Fanárát”; the Arab. plur. of the Pers. “Fanár”=a light-house, and here equiv. to the Mod. Gr. {Greek letters}, a lantern, the Egypt. “Fánús.”

68 This Sultan of the Jann preceded by sweepers, flag-bearers and tent-pitchers always appears in the form of second-sight called by Egyptians “Darb al Mandal”=striking the magic circle in which the enchanter sits when he conjures up spirits. Lane (M. E. chapt. xii.) first made the “Cairo Magician” famous in Europe, but Herklots and others had described a cognate practice in India many years before him.

69 Arab, “Jáwúsh” for Cháwush (vulg. Chiaush) Turk.=an army serjeant, a herald or serjeant at arms; an apparitor or officer of the Court of Chancery (not a “Mace-bearer or Messenger,” Scott). See vol. vii. 327.

70 Arab. from Persian “Bímáristán,” a “sick-house,” hospital, a mad-house: see vol. i. 288.

71 The text says only that “he was reading:” sub. the Holy Volume.

The Story of the First Lunatic.72

I was a merchant and kept a shop wherein were Hindi goods of all kinds and colours, highmost priced articles; and I sold and bought with much profit. I continued in this condition a while of time till one day of the days as I, according to my custom, was sitting in my shop an old woman came up and gave me the good morning and greeted me with the salam. I returned her salute when she seated her upon the shopboard and asked me saying, “O master, hast thou any pieces of choice Indian stuffs?” I replied, “O my mistress, I have with me whatso thou wantest;” and she rejoined, “Bring me forth one of them.” Accordingly I arose and fetched her a Hindi piece of the costliest price and placed it in her hands. She took it and examining it was greatly pleased by its beauty and presently said to me, “O my lord, for how much is this?” Said I, “Five hundred dinars;” whereupon she pulled forth her purse and counted out to me the five hundred gold pieces. Then she took the stuff and went her ways; and I, O our lord the Sultan, had sold to her for five hundred sequins a piece of cloth worth at cost price three hundred and fifty gold pieces. She came to me again, O my lord, on the next day and asked me for another piece; so I rose up and brought her the bundle and she paid me once more five hundred dinars: then she took up her bargain and ganged her gait. She did the same, O my lord, on the third and the fourth day and so on to the fifteenth, taking a piece of stuff from me and paying me regularly five hun- dred golden pieces for each bargain. On the sixteenth behold, she entered my shop as was her wont, but she found not her purse; so she said to me, “O Khwájah,73 I have left my purse at home.” Said I, “O my lady, an thou return ’tis well and if not thou art welcome to it.” She sware she would not take it and I, on the other hand, sware her to carry it off as a token of love and friendship.74 Thereupon debate fell between us, and I, O our lord the Sultan, had made muchel of money by her and, had she taken two pieces gratis, I would not have asked questions anent them. At last she cried, “O Khwajah, I have sworn an oath and thou hast sworn an oath, and we shall never agree except thou favour me by accompanying me to my house so thou mayest receive the value of the stuff, when neither of us will have been forsworn: therefore lock up thy shop lest anything be lost in thine absence.” Accordingly I bolted my door and went with her, O our lord the Sultan, and we ceased not walking, conversing the while we walked, I and she, until we neared her abode when she pulled out a kerchief from her girdle and said, “’Tis my desire to bind this over thine eyes.” Quoth I, “For what cause?” and quoth she, “For that on our way be sundry houses whose doors are open and the women are sitting in the vestibules of their homes, so that haply thy glance may alight upon some one of them, married or maid, and thy heart become engaged in a love-affair and thou abide distraight, because in this quarter of the town be many fair faces, wives and virgins, who would fascinate even a religious, and wherefore we are alarmed for thy peace of mind.” Upon this I said in myself, “By Allah, this old woman is able of advice;” and I consented to her requirement, when she bound the kerchief over my eyes and blindfolded me. Then we walked on till we came to the house she sought; and when she rapped with the door-ring a slave-girl came out and opening the door let us in. The old body then approached me and unbound the kerchief from over my eyes; whereupon I looked around me, holding myself to be a captive, and I found me in a mansion having sundry separate apartments in the wings and ’twas richly decorated resembling the palaces of the Kings. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this com- pared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth pursued:— By Allah, O our lord the Sultan, of that house I never saw the fellow. She then bade me hide within a room and I did her bidding in a corner place where beside me I beheld heaped together and cast down in that private site all the pieces of stuff which the ancient dame had purchased of me. Seeing this I marvelled in my mind and lo! appeared two damsels as they were moons and came down from an upper story till they stood on the ground-floor; after which they cut a piece of cloth into twain and each maiden took one and tucked up her sleeves. They then sprinkled the court of that palace with water of the rose and of the orange-flower,75 wiping the surface with the cloth and rubing it till it became as silver; after which the two girls retired into an inner room and brought out some fifty chairs76 which they set down, and placed over each seat a rug77 with cushions of brocade. They then carried in a larger chair of gold and placed upon it a carpet with cushions of orfrayed work and after a time they withdrew. Presently, there descended from the staircase, two following two, a host of maidens in number till they evened the chairs and each one of them sat down upon her own, and at last suddenly appeared a young lady in whose service were ten damsels, and she walked up to and they seated her upon the great chair. When I beheld her, O my lord the Sultan, my right senses left me and my wits fled me and I was astounded at her loveliness and her stature and her symmetric grace as she swayed to and fro in her pride of beauty and gladsome spirits amongst those damsels and laughed and sported with them. At last she cried aloud, “O mother mine!” when the ancient dame answered her call and she asked her, “Hast thou brought the young man?” The old woman replied, “Yes, he is present between thy hands;” and the fair lady said, “Bring him hither to me!” But when I heard these words I said to myself, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Doubtless when this damsel shall have discovered my being in such hiding place she will bid them do me die.” The old woman then came forwards to me and led me before the young lady seated on the great chair; and, when I stood in her presence, she smiled in my face and saluted me with the salam and welcomed me; after which she signed for a seat to be brought and when her bidding was obeyed set it close beside her own. She then commanded me to sit and I seated me by her side. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth pursued:— She seated me beside her, O our lord the Sultan, and fell to talking and joking with me for an hour or so when she said, “O youth, what sayest thou of me and of my beauty and my loveliness? Would Heaven that I could occupy thy thought and please thee so that I might become to thee wife and thou be to me man.” When I heard these her words I replied, “O my lady, how dare I presume to attain such honour? Indeed I do not deem myself worthy to become a slave between thy hands.” Hereupon said she, “Nay, O young man, my words have in them nor evasion nor alteration; so be not disheartened or fearful of returning me a reply, for that my heart is fulfilled of thy love.” I now understood, O our lord the Sultan, that the damsel was desirous of marrying me; but I could not conceive what was the cause thereof or who could have given her intelligence concerning me. She continued to enjoy herself in the gladsomest way till at length I was emboldened to say to her, “O my lady, an thy words to me be after the fashion of thy will, remember the proverb, ‘When a kindness is to be done, this is its time.’” “By Allah, O youth, there cannot be a more fortunate day than this present.” “O my lady, what shall I apportion to thee for dowry?” “The dowry hath been paid to me in the value of the stuffs which thou entrustedst to this ancient dame who is my mother!” “That cannot suffice.” “By Allah, naught shall be added; but, O youth, ’tis my intention forthright to send after the Kazi and his Asses- sors and I will choose me a trustee78 that they may tie together us twain without delay; and thou shalt come in to me this coming evening. But all such things be upon one condition.” “And what may be thy condition?” “This, that thou swear never to address or to draw near any woman save myself.” And I, O our lord the Sultan, being unmarried and eager to possess so beautiful a bride, said to her, “This be thine; and I will never contrary thee by word or by deed.” She then sent to summon the Kazi and his witnesses and appointed an agent; upon which they knotted the knot. After the marriage ceremony was ended she ordered coffee79 and sherbets and gave somewhat of dirhams to the Kazi and a robe of honour to her trustee; and this done, all went their several ways. I was lost in astonishment and said in my mind, “Do I dream or am I on wake?” She then commanded her damsels to clear the Hammam-bath and cleanse it and fill it afresh and get ready towels and waist-cloths and silken napkins80 and scented woods and essences, as virgin ambergris and ottars and perfumes of vari-coloured hues and kinds. And when they had executed her orders, she ordered the Eunuchry standing in her service to take me and bear me to the Bath, largessing each one with a sumptuous dress. They led me into a Hammam which had been made private and I saw a place tongue is powerless to portray. And as we arrived there they spread vari-coloured carpets upon which I sat me down and doffed what clothing was upon me: then I entered the hot rooms and smelt delicious scents diffused from the sides of the hall, sandal-wood, Comorin lign-aloes and other such fragrant substances. Here they came up to me and seated me, lathering me with perfumed soaps and shampoo’d me till my body became silver-bright; when they fetched the metal tasses and I washed with water luke-warm after which they brought me cold water mingled with rose water and I sprinkled it over me. After this they supplied me with silken napkins and drying-towels of palm-fibre81 wherewith I rubbed me and then repaired to the cool room outside the calidarium82 where I found a royal dress. The Eunuchry arrayed me therein and after fumigating me with the smoke of lign-aloes served up somewhat of confections83 and coffee and sherbets of sundry sorts; so I drank after eating the Ma’jun. About eventide I left the Baths with all the Eunuchry in attendance on me and we walked till we entered the Palace and they led me into a closet spread with kingly carpets and cushions. And behold, she came up to me attired in a new habit more sumptuous than that I had seen her wearing erewhile. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:— And I, O our lord the Sultan, went into the closet and behold, she met me wearing a habit of the most sumptuous: so when I sighted her she seemed to me from the richness of her ornaments like an enchanted hoard wherefrom the talisman had been newly removed. She sat down beside me and bent lovingly over me and I rose up for I could no longer contain my passion and wrought that work which was to be worked.84 Presently she again disappeared but soon returned in vestments even richer than the last and she did with me as before and I embraced her once more. In short, O our lord the Sultan, we ceased not dwelling together, I and she, in joyaunce and enjoyment, laughter and disport and delicious converse for a space of twenty days. At the end of this time I called to mind my lady-mother, and said to the dame I had espoused, “O my lady, ’tis long since I have been absent from home and ’tis long since my parent hath seen me or wotteth aught concerning me: needs must she be pining and grieving for my sake. So do thou give me leave to visit her and look after my mother and also after my shop.” Quoth she, “No harm in that: thou mayst visit thy mother daily and busy thyself about thy shop-business; but this ancient dame (my mother) is she who must lead thee out and bring thee back.” Whereto I replied, “’Tis well.” Upon this the old woman came in and tied a kerchief over my eyes according to custom and fared forth with me till we reached the spot where she had been wont to remove the bandage. Here she unbound it saying, “We’ll expect thee to-morrow about noontide and when thou comest to this place, thou shalt see me awaiting thee.” I left her and repaired to my mother whom I found grieving and weeping at my absence; and upon seeing me she rose up and threw her arms round my neck with tears of joy. I said, “Weep not, O my mother, for the cause of my absence hath been a certain matter which be thus and thus.” I then related to her my adventure and she on hearing it was rejoiced thereby and exclaimed, “O my son, may Allah give thee gladness; but I pray thee solace me85 at least every two days with a visit that my longing for thee may be satisfied.” I replied,“This shall be done;” and thenceforth, O our lord the Sultan, I went to my shop and busied myself as was my wont till noontide, when I returned to the place appointed and found the old woman awaiting me. Nor did I ever fare forth from the mansion without her binding my eyes with the kerchief which she loosed only when we reached my own house; and whenever I asked her of this she would answer, “On our way be sundry houses whose doors are open and the women sitting in the vestibules of their homes, so that haply thy glance may alight upon some one of them, matron or maid: all sniff up love like water,86 and we fear for thee lest thy heart be netted in the net of amours.“For thirty days, a whole month, I continued to go and come after this fashion but, O our lord the Sultan, at all times and tides I was drowned in thought and wondered in my mind, saying, “What chance caused me forgather with this damsel? What made me marry her? Whence this wealth which is under her hand? How came I to win union with her?” For I knew not the cause of all this. Now, on a day of the days, I found an opportunity of being private with one of her black slave girls87 and questioned her of all these matters that concerned her mistress. She replied, “O my lord, the history of my lady is marvellous; but I dare not relate it to thee in fear lest she hear thereof and do me die.” So I said to her, “By Allah, O handmaid of good, an thou wilt say me sooth I will veil it darkly for in the keeping of secrets there is none like myself: nor will I reveal it at any time.” Then I took oath of secrecy when she said, “O my lord,"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:— Then the handmaiden said to me, “O my lord, my lady went forth one day of the days to the Hammam with the object of pleasuring and of diverting herself, for which purpose she made goodly preparation including gifts and presents,88 matters worth a mint of money.89 After leaving the baths she set out upon an excursion to eat the noon-day meal in a flower garden where she enjoyed herself with exceeding joy and enjoyment, eating and drinking till the evening; and when she designed to depart she collected the fragments of the feast and distributed them amongst the mean and the mesquin. On her return she passed through the Bazar-street wherein standeth thy shop, and it was a Friday when thou wast sitting, adorned with thy finest dress, in converse with the nearest neighbour. And suddenly as she fared by, she beheld thee in such state and her heart was stricken with sore stroke of love albeit none of us observed her condition and what affection she had conceived for thee. However, no sooner had she reached her palace than her melancholy began to grow upon her with groans and her cark and care, and her colour left her: she ate and drank little and less and her sleep forsook her and her frame was sorely enfeebled till at last she took to her bed. Upon this her mother went to summon a learned man90 or a mediciner that he might consider the condition of her daughter and what sickness had gotten about her: she was absent for an hour and returned with an ancient dame who took seat beside her and putting forth her hand felt the patient’s pulse. But she could perceive in her no bodily ailment or pain, upon which the old woman understood her case, but she durst not bespeak her of it nor mention to her mother that the girl’s heart was distraught by love. So she said, ‘There is no harm to thee! and (Inshallah!) to-morrow I will return hither to thee and bring with me a certain medicine.’ She then went forth from us and leading the mother to a place apart, said to her, ‘O my lady, Allah upon thee, pardon me for whatso I shall mention and be thou convinced that my words are true and keep them secret nor divulge them to any.’ The other replied, ‘Say on and fear not for aught which hath become manifest to thee of my daughter’s unweal: haply Allah will vouchsafe welfare.’ She rejoined, ‘Verily, thy daughter hath no bodily disorder or malady of the disease kind but she is in love and there can be no cure for her save union with her beloved.’ Quoth the mother, ‘And how about the coming of her sweetheart? This is a matter which may not be managed except thou show us some contrivance whereby to bring this youth hither and marry him to her. But contriv- ance is with Allah.’ Then the old lady went her ways forthright and the girl’s mother sought her daughter and said to her after kindly fashion, ‘O my child, as for thee thy disorder is a secret and not a bodily disease. Tell me of him thou requirest and fear naught from me; belike Allah will open to us the gate of con- trivance whereby thou shalt win to thy wish.’ Now when the maiden heard these words she was abashed before her parent and kept silence, being ashamed to speak; nor would she return any reply for the space of twenty days. But during this term her distraction increased and her mother ceased not to repeat the same words, time after time, till it became manifest to the parent that the daughter was madly in love with a young man; so at last quoth she, ‘Describe him to me.’ Quoth the other, ‘O mother mine, indeed he is young of years and fair of favour; also he woneth in such a Bazar, methinks on its southern side.’ Therewith the dame arose without stay or delay and fared forth to find the young man and ’tis thyself, O youth! And when the mother saw thee she took from thee a piece of cloth and brought it to her daughter and promised thou shouldst visit her. Thence- forwards she ceased not repeating her calls to thee for the period thou wottest well until by her cunning she brought thee hither; and that happened which happened and thou didst take the daughter to wife. Such is her tale and beware lest thou reveal my disclosure.” “No, by Allah,” replied I. Then the lunatic resumed speaking to the Sultan:— O my lord, I continued to cohabit with her for the space of one month, going daily to see my mother and to sell in my shop and I returned to my wife every evening blindfolded and guided as usual by my mother-in-law. Now one day of the days as I was sitting at my business, a damsel came into the Bazar-street. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:— A damsel came into the Bazar-street bearing the image of a cock made of precious ore and crusted with pearls and rubies and other gems; and she offered it to the goodmen91 of the market for sale. So they opened the biddings at five hundred dinars and they ceased not contending92 thereanent till the price went up to nine hundred and fifty gold pieces. All this time and I looked on nor did I interfere by speaking a syllable or by adding to the biddings a single bit of gold. At last, when none would offer aught more, the girl came up to me and said, “O my lord, all the gentlemen have increased their biddings for the cock; but thou hast neither bidden nor heartened my heart by one kind word.” Quoth I, “I have no need thereof;” and quoth she, “By Allah, needs must thou bid somewhat more than the others.” I replied, “Since there is no help for it, I will add fifty dinars which will fill up the thousand.” She rejoined, “Allah gar thee gain!”93 So I fared into my shop to fetch the money, saying in my mind, “I will present this curiosity to my Harim: haply ’twill pleasure her.” But when I was about, O my lord the Sultan, to count out the thousand ducats, the damsel would not accept aught of me but said, “I have a request to make of thee, O youth! to wit, that I may take one kiss from thy cheek.” I asked her, “For what purpose?” and she answered, “I want one kiss of thy cheek which shall be the price of my cock, for I need of thee naught else.” I thought to myself, “By Allah, a single kiss of my cheek for the value of a thousand sequins were an easy price;” and I gave my consent thereto, O my lord. Then she came up to me and leaned over me and bussed my cheek, but after the kiss she bit me with a bite which left its mark:94 then she gave me the cock and went her ways in haste. Now when it was noon I made for my wife’s house and came upon the old woman awaiting me at the customed stead and she bound the kerchief over my eyes and after blindfolding them fared with me till we reached our home when she unbound it. I found my wife sitting in the saloon dressed from head to foot in cramoisy95 and with an ireful face, whereupon I said to myself, “O Saviour,96 save me!” I then went up to her and took out the cock which was covered with pearls and rubies, thinking that her evil humour would vanish at the sight of it and said, “O my lady, accept this cock for ’tis curious and admirable to look upon; and I bought it to pleasure thee.” She put forth her hand and taking it from me examined it by turning it rightwards and leftwards; then exclaimed, “Didst thou in very sooth buy this on my account?” Replied I, “By Allah, O my lady, I bought it for thee at a thousand gold pieces.” Hereupon she shook her head at me, O my lord the Sultan, and cried out after a long look at my face, “What meaneth that bite on thy cheek?” Then with a loud and angry voice she called to her women who came down the stairs forthright bearing the body of a young girl with the head cut off and set upon the middle of the corpse;97 and I looked and behold, it was the head of the damsel who had sold me the cock for a kiss and who had bitten my cheek. Now my wife had sent her with the toy by way of trick, saying to her, “Let us try this youth whom I have wedded and see if he hold himself bound by his plighted word and pact or if he be false and foul.” But of all this I knew naught. Then she cried a second cry and behold, up came three handmaids bearing with them three cocks like that which I had brought for her and she said, “Thou bringest me this one cock when I have these three cocks; but inasmuch as, O youth, thou hast broken the covenant that was between me and thee, I want thee no more: go forth! wend thy ways forthright!” And she raged at me and cried to her mother, “Take him away!”98— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Youth continued to the King:— Hereupon the old woman, O my lord, hent me by the hand and bound the kerchief over my eyes as was her wont and led me to the customed place when she loosed the bandage saying, “Begone!” and disappeared. But I, O my lord, became like a madman and ran through the streets as one frantic crying, “Ah her loveliness! Ah her stature! Ah her perfect grace! Ah her ornaments!” Hereupon the folk seeing me and hearing me say these words shouted out, “Yonder is a lunatic;” so they seized me perforce and jailed me in the madhouse as thou hast seen me, O our lord the Sultan. They say, “This man is Jinn-mad;” but, by Allah, I am no maniac, O my lord, and such is my tale. Hereat the King marvelled and bowed his brow groundwards for a while in deep thought over this affair: then he raised his head and turning to his Minister said, “O Wazir, by the truth of Him who made me ruler of this realm, except thou discover the damsel who married this youth, thy head shall pay forfeit.” The Wazir was consterned to hear the case of the young man; but he could not disobey the royal commandment so he said, “Allow me three days of delay, O our lord the Sultan;” and to this much of grace the King consented. Then the Wazir craved dismissal and would have taken the Youth with him; when the Sultan cried, “As soon as thou shalt have hit upon the house, the young man will go into it and come forth it like other folk.” He replied, “Hearkening and obedience.” So he took the Youth and went out with aching head and giddy as a drunken man, perplexed and unknowing whither he should wend; and he threaded the city streets from right to left and from east to west, tarrying at times that he might privily question the folk. But naught discovered himself to him and he made certain of death. In this condition he continued for two days and the third till noontide, when he devised him a device and said to the Youth, “Knowest thou the spot where the old woman was wont to blindfold thine eyes?” He replied, “Yes.” So the Minister walked on with him till the young man exclaimed, “Here, ’tis this!”99 The Wazir then said, “O Youth, knowest thou the door-ring wherewith she was wont to rap and canst thou distinguish its sound?” He said, “I can.” Accordingly, the Wazir took him and went the round of all the houses in that quarter and rapped with every door-ring asking him, “Is’t this?” and he would answer, “No.” And the twain ceased not to do after such fashion until they came to the door where the appointment had taken place without risk threatened;100 and the Wazir knocked hard at it and the Youth, hearing the knock, exclaimed, “O my lord, verily this be the ring without question or doubt or uncertainty.” So the Minister knocked again with the same knocker and the slave-girls threw open the door and the Wazir, entering with the Youth, found that the palace belonged to the daughter of the Sultan who had been succeeded by his liege lord.101 But when the Princess saw the Minister together with her spouse, she adorned herself and came down from the Harem and salam’d to him. Thereupon he asked her, “What hath been thy business with this young man?” So she told him her tale from first to last and he said, “O my lady, the King commandeth that he enter and quit the premises as before and that he come hither without his eyes being bandaged with the kerchief.” She obeyed and said, “The commandments of our lord the Sultan shall be carried out.” Such was the history of that youth whom the Sultan heard reading the Koran in the Máristán, the public madhouse: but as regards the second Lunatic who sat listening, the Sultan asked him, “And thou, the other, what be thy tale?” So he began to relate the

72 MS. vol. iii., pp. 142-168. Scott, “Story of the First Lunatic,” pp. 31 44. Gauttier, Histoire du Premier Fou, vol. vi. 187. It is identical with No. ii. of Chavis and Cazotte, translated by C. de Perceval, Le Bimaristan (i.e. the Hospital), ou Histoire du jeune Marchand de Bagdad et de la Dame inconnue (vol. viii. pp. 179-180). Heron terms it the “Story of Halechalbe (Ali Chelebi?) and the Unknown Lady,” and the narrative is provided with a host of insipid and incorrect details, such as “A gentleman enjoying his pipe.” The motif of this tale is common in Arab. folk lore, and it first appears in the “Tale of Azíz and Azízah,” ii. 328. A third variant will occur further on.

73 Spelt in vol. iii. 143 and elsewhere, “Khwájá” for “Khwájah.”

74 Arab. “Hubban li-raasik,"=out of love for thy head, i.e. from affection for thee. Dr. Steingass finds it analogous with the Koranic “Hubban li ‘llahi” (ii. 160), where it is joined with “Ashaddu”=stronger, as regards love to or for Allah, more Allah loving. But it can stand adverbially by itself=out of love for Allah, for Allah’s sake.

75 Arab. “Zahr,” lit. and generically a blossom; but often used in a specific sense throughout The Nights.

76 Arab. “Kursi” here=a square wooden seat without back and used for sitting cross-legged. See Suppl. vol. i. 9.

77 Arab. “Sujjádah”=lit. a praying carpet, which Lane calls “Seggádeh.”

78 Arab. “Wakíl,” lit.=agent: here the woman’s representative, corresponding roughly with the man who gives away the bride amongst ourselves.

79 The mention of coffee and sherbet, here and in the next page, makes the tale synchronous with that of Ma’arúf or the xviith. century.

80 The MS. writes “Zardakát” for “Zardakhán”: see below.

81 Scott (p. 36) has “mahazzim (for maházim), al Zerdukkaut (for al-Zardakhán)” and “munnaskif (for manáshif) al fillfillee.” Of the former he notes (p. 414) “What this composition is I cannot define: it may be translated compound of saffron, yoke of egg or of yellowish drugs.” He evidently confounds it with the Pers. Zard-i-Kháyah=yoke of egg. Of the second he says “compound of peppers, red, white and black.” Lane (The Nights, vol. i. p. 8) is somewhat scandalised at such misrepresentation, translating the first “apron-napkins of thick silk,” and the second “drying towels of Líf or palm-fibre,” further suggesting that the text may have dropped a conjunction=drying towels and fibre.

82 Arab. “Líwàn al-barrání,” lit.=the outer bench in the “Maslahk” or apodyterium.

83 Arab. “Ma’jún,” pop. applied to an electuary of Bhang (Cannabis sativa): it is the “Maagoon” sold by the “Maagungee” of Lane (M.E. chapt. xv.). Here, however, the term may be used in the sense of “confections” generally, the sweetmeats eaten by way of restoratives in the Bath.

84 He speaks of taking her maidenhead as if it were porter’s work and so defloration was regarded by many ancient peoples. The old Nilotes incised the hymen before congress; the Phœnicians, according to Saint Athanasius, made a slave of the husband’s abate it. The American Chibchas and Caribs looked upon virginity as a reproach, proving that the maiden had never inspired love. For these and other examples see p. 72, chap. iii. “L’Amour dans l’Humanité,” by P. Mantegazza, a civilised and unprejudiced traveller.

85 Arab. “Zill,” lit. “shadow me.”

86 Arab. “Istinshák,” one of the items of the “Wuzú” or lesser ablution: see vol. v. 198.

87 In Chavis her name is “Zaliza” and she had “conceived an unhappy passion” for her master, to whom she “declared her sentiments without reserve.”

88 Arab. “Armaghánát,” the Arab. plur. of “Armaghán,” Pers.=a present.

89 In the text, “jumlatun min al-mál,” which Scott apparently reads “Hamlat al-jamal” and translates (p. 38) “a camel’s load of treasure.”

90 The learned man was to exorcise some possible “evil spirit” or “the eye,” a superstition which seems to have begun, like all others, with the ancient Egyptians.

91 The MS., I have said, always writes “Khwájá” instead of “Khwájah” (plur. “Khwájat”): for this word, the modern Egyptian “Howájah,” see vol. vi. 46. Here it corresponds with our “goodman.”

92 Arab. “Yatazáwadú"=increasing.

93 By which she accepted the offer.

94 This incident has already occurred in the tale of the Portress (Second Lady of Baghdad, vol. i. 179), but here the consequences are not so tragical. In Chavis the vulgar cock becomes “a golden Censer ornamented with diamonds, to be sold for two thousand sequins” (each=9 shill.).

95 A royal sign of wrath generally denoting torture and death. See vols. iv. 72; vi. 250.

96 Arab. “Yá Sallám,” addressed to Allah.

97 Here more is meant than meets the eye. When a Moslem’s head was struck off, in the days of the Caliphate, it was placed under his armpit, whereas that of a Jew or a Christian was set between his legs, close to the seat of dishonour.

98 In Chavis and Cazotte the lady calls to “Morigen, her first eunuch, and says, Cut off his head!” Then she takes a theorbo and “composed the following couplets”— of which the first may suffice:

Since my swain unfaithful proves,

Let him go to her he loves, etc., etc.

99 The device has already occurred in “Ali Baba.”

100 Arab. “Al-ma’húd min ghayr wa’d.”

101 In Chavis and Cazotte the king is Harun al-Rashid and the masterfl young person proves to be Zeraida, the favourite daughter of Ja’afar Bermaki; whilst the go-between is not the young lady’s mother but Nemana, an old governess. The over-jealous husband in the Second Lady of Baghdad (vol. i. 179) is Al-Amín, son and heir of the Caliph Marun al-Rashid.

Story of the Second Lunatic.102

“O my lord,” quoth the young man, “my case is marvellous, and haply thou wilt desire me to relate it in order continuous;” and quoth the Sultan, “Let me hear it."— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the second youth said:— O my lord the Sultan, I am by calling a merchant man and none of the guild was younger, I having just entered my sixteenth year. Like my fellows I sold and bought in the Bazar every day till, one day of the days, a damsel came up to me and drew near and handed to me a paper which I opened; and behold, it was full of verses and odes in praise of myself, and the end of the letter contained the woman’s name professing to be enamoured of me. When I read it I came down from my shopboard, in my folly and ignorance, and putting forth my hand seized the girl and beat her till she swooned away.103 After this I let her loose and she went her ways and then I fell into a brown study saying to myself, “Would Heaven I wot whether the girl be without relations or if she have kith and kin to whom she may complain and they will come and bastinado me.” And, O our lord the Sultan, I repented of what I had done whenas repentance availed me naught and this lasted me for twenty days. At the end of that time as I was sitting in my shop according to my custom, behold, a young lady entered and she was sumptuously clad and sweetly scented and she was even as the moon in its fullness on the fourteenth night. When I gazed upon her my wits fled and my sane senses and right judgment forsook me and I was incapable of attending to aught save herself. She then came up and said, “O youth, hast thou by thee a variety of metal ornaments?” and said I, “O my lady, of all kinds thou canst possibly require.” Hereupon she wished to see some anklets which I brought out for her, when she put forth her feet to me and showing me the calves of her legs said, “O my lord, try them on me.” This I did. Then she asked for a necklace104 and I produced one when she unveiled her bosom and said, “Take its measure on me:” so I set it upon her and she said, “I want a fine pair of bracelets,” and I brought to her a pair when, extending her hands and displaying her wrists to me she said, “Put them on me.” I did so and presently she asked me, “What may be the price of all these?” when I exclaimed, “O my lady, accept them from me in free gift;” and this was of the excess of my love to her, O King of the Age, and my being wholly absorbed in her. Then quoth I to her, “O my lady, whose daughter art thou?” and quoth she, “I am the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islám.”105 I replied, “My wish is to ask thee in marriage of thy father,” and she rejoined, “’Tis well: but, O youth, I would have thee know that when thou askest me from my sire he will say, ‘I have but one daughter and she is a cripple and deformed even as Satíh was.106 Do thou, however, make answer that thou art contented to accept her and if he offer any remonstrance cry, ‘I’m content, content!’” I then enquired, “When shall that be?” and she replied, “Tomorrow about undurn hour107 come to our house and thou wilt find my sire, the Shaykh al-Islam, sitting with his companions and intimates. Then ask me to wife.” So we agreed upon this counsel and on the next day, O our lord the Sultan, I went with several of my comrades and we repaired, I and they, to the house of the Shaykh al-Islam, whom I found sitting with sundry Grandees about him. We made our salams which they returned and they welcomed us and all entered into friendly and familiar conversation. When it was time for the noon-meal the tablecloth108 was spread and they invited us to join them, so we dined with them and after dinner drank coffee. I then stood up saying, “O my lord, I am come hither to sue and solicit thee for the lady concealed and the pearl unrevealed, thy daughter.” But when the Shaykh al-Islam heard from me these words he bowed his head for awhile groundwards — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth resumed:— Now when the Shaykh al-Islam heard from me those words he bowed his brow groundwards for a while in deep thought concerning the case of his daughter who was a cripple and wondrously deformed. For the damsel who had told me of her had played me a trick and served me a sleight, I all the time knowing nothing about her guile. Presently he raised his head and said to me, “By Allah, O my son, I have a daughter but she is helpless.” Quoth I, “I am content;” and quoth he, “An thou take her to wife after this description, ’tis on express condition that she be not removed from my house and thou also shalt pay her the first visit and cohabit with her in my home.” I replied, “To hear is to obey;” being confident, O King of the Age, that she was the damsel who had visited my shop and whom I had seen with my own eyes. Thereupon the Shaykh al-Islam married his daughter to me and I said in my mind, “By Allah, is it possible that I am become master of this damsel and shall enjoy to my full her beauty and loveliness?” But when night fell they led me in procession to the chamber of my bride; and when I beheld her I found her as hideous as her father had described her, a deformed cripple. At that moment all manner of cares mounted my back and I was full of fury and groaned with grief from the core of my heart; but I could not say a word, for that I had accepted her to wife of my own free will and had declared myself contented in presence of her sire. So I took seat silently in a corner of the room and my bride in another, because I could not bring myself to approach her, she being unfit for the carnal company of man and my soul could not accept cohabitation with her. And at dawntide, O my lord the Sultan, I left the house and went to my shop which I opened according to custom and sat down with my head dizzy like one drunken without wine; when lo! there appeared before me the young lady who had caused happen to me that mishap. She came up and salam’d to me but I arose with sullenness and abused her and cried, “Wherefore, O my lady, hast thou put upon me such a piece of work?” She replied, “O miserable,109 recollect such a day when I brought thee a letter and thou after reading it didst come down from thy shop and didst seize me and didst trounce me and didst drive me away.” I replied, “O my lady, prithee pardon me for I am a true penitent;” and I ceased not to soften her with soothing110 words and promised her all weal if she would but forgive me. At last she deigned excuse me and said, “There is no harm for thee; and, as I have netted thee, so will I unmesh thee.” I replied, “Allah! Allah!111 O my lady, I am under thy safeguard;” and she rejoined, “Hie thee to the Aghá of the Janákilah,112 the gypsies, give him fifty piastres and say him, ‘We desire thee to furnish us with a father and a mother and cousins and kith and kin, and do thou charge them to say of me, This is our cousin and our blood relation.’ Then let him send them all to the house of the Shaykh al-Islam and repair thither himself together with his followers, a party of drummers and a parcel of pipers. When they enter his house and the Shaykh shall perceive them and exclaim, ‘What’s this we’ve here?’ let the Agha reply, ‘O my lord, we be kinsmen with thy son-in-law and we are come to gladden his marriage with thy daughter and to make merry with him.’ He will exclaim, ‘Is this thy son a gypsey musician?’ and do thou explain, saying, ‘Aye, verily I am a Jankali;’ and he will cry out to thee, ‘O dog, thou art a gypsey and yet durst thou marry the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islam?’ Then do thou make answer, ‘O my lord, ’twas my ambition to be ennobled by thine alliance and I have espoused thy daughter only that the mean name of Jankali may pass away from me and that I may be under the skirt of thy protection.’” Hereat, O my lord the Sultan, I arose without stay and delay and did as the damsel bade me and agreed with the Chiefs of the Gypsies for fifty piastres.113 On the second day about noon lo and behold! all the Janákilah met before the house of the Shaykh al-Islam and they, a tom-toming and a-piping and a-dancing, crowded into the courtyard of the mansion. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth continued:— So the Janákilah entered the house of the Shaykh al-Islam all a-drumming and a-dancing. Presently the family came out and asked, “What is to do? And what be this hubbub?” The fellows answered, “We are gypsey-folk and our son is in your house having wedded the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islam.” Hearing these words the family went up and reported to its head, and he, rising from his seat, descended to the courtyard which he found full of Jankalis. He enquired of them their need and they told him that the youth, their kinsman, having married the daughter of the house, they were come to make merry at the bride-feast. Quoth the Shaykh, “This indeed be a sore calamity that a gypsey should espouse the daughter of the Shaykh al-Islam. By Allah, I will divorce her from him.” So he sent after me, O our lord the Sultan, and asked me saying, “What is thy breed and what wilt thou take to be off with thyself?” Said I, “A Jankali; and I married thy daughter with one design namely to sink the mean name of a gypsey drummer in the honour of connection and relationship with thee.” He replied, “’Tis impossible that my daughter can cohabit with thee: so up and divorce her.” I rejoined, “Not so: I will never repudiate her.” Then we fell to quarrelling but the folk interposed between us and arranged that I should receive forty purses114 for putting her away. And when he paid me the moneys I gave her the divorce and took the coin and went to my shop, rejoicing at having escaped by this contrivance. On the next day, behold, came the damsel who had taught me the sleight and saluted me and wished me good morning. I returned her salam and indeed, O our lord the Sultan, she was a model of beauty and loveliness, stature and symmetrical grace and my heart was enmeshed in her love for the excess of her charms and the limpid flow of her speech and the sweetness of her tongue. So I said to her, “And when this promise?” and said she, “I am the daughter of Such-andsuch, a cook in such a quarter; and do thou go ask me in marriage of him.” So I rose up with all haste and went to her father and prayed that he would give her to me. And presently I wedded her and went in unto her and found her as the full moon of the fourteenth night and was subjugated by her seemlihead. Such, then, is the adventure which befel me; but, O my lord the Sultan, the Story of the Sage Such-an-one and his Scholar is more wonderful and delectable; for indeed ’tis of the marvels of the age and among the miracles which have been seen by man. Thereupon the Sovran bade him speak, and the Second Lunatic proceeded to recount the

102 Vol. iii. pp. 168-179: and Scott’s “Story of the Second Lunatic,” pp. 45-51. The name is absurdly given as the youth was anything but a lunatic; but this is Arab symmetromania. The tale is virtually the same as “Women’s Wiles,” in Supplemental Nights, vol. ii. 99-107.

103 This forward movement on the part of the fair one is held to be very insulting by the modest Moslem. This incident is wanting in “Women’s Wiles.”

104 Arab. “Labbah,” usually the part of the throat where ornaments are hung or camels are stabbed.

105 The chief of the Moslem Church. For the origin of the office and its date (A.D. 1453) see vols. ix. 289, and x. 81.

106 Arab. “Satíhah”=a she-Satih: this seer was a headless and neckless body, with face in breast, lacking members and lying prostrate on the ground. His fellow, “Shikk,” was a half-man, and both foretold the divine mission of Mohammed. (Ibn Khall. i. 487.)

107 Arab. “Wakt al-Zuhà;” the division of time between sunrise and midday.

108 In the text “Sufrah”=the cloth: see vol. i. 178, etc.

109 Arab. “Ya Tinjír,” lit.=O Kettle.

110 Arab. “Tari,” lit.=wet, with its concomitant suggestion, soft and pleasant like desert-rain.

111 Here meaning “Haste, haste!” See vol. i. 46.

112 The chief man (Aghá) of the Gypsies, the Jink of Egypt whom Turkish soldiers call Ghiovendé, a race of singers and dancers; in fact professional Nautch-girls. See p. 222, “Account of the Gypsies of India,” by David MacRitchie (London, K. Paul, 1886), a most useful manual.

113 Arab. “Kurúsh,” plur of. “Kirsh” (pron. “Girsh”), the Egyptian piastre=one-fifth of a shilling. The word may derive from Karsh=collecting money; but it is more probably a corruption of Groschen, primarily a great or thick piece of money and secondarily a small silver coin=3 kreuzers=1 penny.

114 The purse (“Kís”) is=500 piastres (kurúsh)=£5; and a thousand purses compose the Treasury (“Khaznah”)=£5,000.

Story of the Sage and the Scholar.115

There was in times of yore and in ages long gone before a learned man who had retired from the world secluding himself in an upper cell of a Cathedral-mosque, and this place he left not for many days save upon the most pressing needs. At last a beautiful boy whose charms were unrivalled in his time went in to him and salam’d to him. The Shaykh returned the salute and welcomed him with the fairest welcome and courteously entreated him seating him beside himself. Then he asked him of his case and whence he came and the boy answered, “O my lord, question me not of aught nor of my worldly matters, for verily I am as one who hath fallen from the heavens upon the earth116 and my sole object is the honour of tending thee.” The Sage again welcomed him and the boy served him assiduously for a length of time till he was twelve years old. Now on one day of the days117 the lad heard certain of his fellows saying that the Sultan had a daughter endowed with beauty whose charms were unequalled by all the Princesses of the age. So he fell in love with her by hearsay. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the lad who served the Sage fell in love with the Sultan’s daughter by hearsay. Presently he went in to his master and told him thereof adding, “O my lord, verily the King hath a daughter beautiful and lovesome and my soul longeth to look upon her an it be only a single look.” The Shaykh asked him saying, “Wherefore, O my son? What have the like of us to do with the daughters of Sovrans or others? We be an order of eremites and selfcontained and we fear the Kings for our own safety.” And the Sage continued to warn the lad against the shifts of Time and to divert him from his intent; but the more words he uttered to warn him and to deter him, the more resolved he became to win his wish, so that he abode continually groaning and weeping. Now this was a grievous matter to the good Shaykh who loved him with an exceeding love passing all bounds; and when he saw him in this condition he exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great.” And his heart was softened and he had ruth upon the case of his scholar and pitied his condition, and at last said to him, “O my son, dost thou truly long to look but a single look at the Sultan’s daughter?” Quoth he, “Yes, O my lord,” and quoth the other, “Come hither to me.” Accordingly he came up to him and the Shaykh produced a Kohl-pot and applied the powder to one of his scholar’s eyes, who behold, forthright became such that all who saw him cried out, “This is a half-man.”118 Then the Sage bade him go about the city and the youth obeyed his commands and fared forth; but whenas the folk espied him they cried out, “A miracle! a miracle! this be a half-man!” And the more the youth walked about the streets the more the folk followed him and gazed upon him for diversion and marvelled at the spectacle; and as often as the great men of the city heard of him they sent to summon him and solaced themselves with the sight and said, “Laud to the Lord! Allah createth whatso He wisheth and commandeth whatso He willeth as we see in the fashioning of this half-man.” The youth also looked freely upon the Harims of the Grandees, he being fairer than any of them; and this case continued till the report reached the Sultan who bade him be brought into the presence, and on seeing him marvelled at the works of the Almighty. Presently the whole court gathered together to gaze at him in wonderment and the tidings soon reached the Queen who sent an Eunuch to fetch him and introduce him into the Serraglio. The women all admired the prodigy and the Princess looked at him and he looked at her; so his fascination increased upon him and he said in his secret soul, “An I wed her not I will slay myself!” After this the youth was dismissed by the Sultan’s Harim and he, whose heart burned with love for the King’s daughter, returned home. The Shaykh asked him, “Hast thou, O my son, seen the Princess?” and he answered, “I have, O my master; but this one look sufficeth me not, nor can I rest until I sit by her side and fill myself with gazing upon her.” Quoth he, “O my child, we be an ascetic folk that shun the world nor have we aught to do with enmeshing ourselves in the affairs of the Sultan, and we fear for thee, O my son.” But the youth replied, “O my lord, except I sit by her side and stroke her neck and shoulders with these my hands, I will slay myself.” Hereupon the Sage said in his mind, “I will do whatso I can for this good youth and perchance Allah may enable him to win his wish.” He then arose and brought out the Kohl-pot and applied the powder to his scholar’s either eye; and, when it had settled therein, it made him invisible to the ken of man. Then he said, “Go forth, O my son, and indulge thy desire; but return again soon and be not absent too long.” Accordingly the youth hastened to the Palace and entering it looked right and left, none seeing him the while, and proceeded to the Harem where he seated himself beside the daughter of the Sultan. Still none perceived him until, after a time, he put forth his hand and softly stroked her neck. But as soon as the Princess felt the youth’s touch, she shrieked a loud shriek heard by all ears in the Palace and cried “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the stoned!” At this proceeding on the girl’s part all asked her saying, “What is to do with thee?” Whereto she answered, “Verily some Satan hath this instant touched me on the neck.” Upon this her mother was alarmed for her and sent for her nurse119 and when informed of what had befallen the girl the old woman said, “If there be aught of Satans here naught is so sovereign a specific to drive them away and keep them off as the smoke of camel’s dung.”120 Then she arose and brought thereof a quantity which was thrown into the fire and presently it scented and pervaded the whole apartment. All this and the Youth still sat there without being seen. But when the dung-smoke thickened, his eyes brimmed and he could not but shed tears, and the more smoke there was the more his eyes watered and big drops flowed till at last all the Kohl was washed off and trickled down with the tears. So he became visible a-middlemost the royal Harem; and, when the dames descried him, all shrieked one shriek, each at other, upon which the Eunuchry rushed in; then, finding the young man still seated there, they laid hands upon him and haled him before the Sultan to whom they reported his crime and how he had been caught lurking in the King’s Serraglio a-sitting beside the Princess. Hearing this, the Sovran bade summon the Headsman and committed to him the criminal bidding him take the youth and robe him in a black habit bepatched with flamecolour;121 then, to set him upon a camel and, after parading him through Cairo city and all the streets, to put him to death. Accordingly the executioner took the Youth. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Linkman took the youth and fared forth with him from the palace: then he looked at him and found him fair of form and favour, a sans peer in loveliness, and he observed that he showed no fear nor shrinking from death. So he had pity upon him and his heart yearned to him and he said in his mind, “By Allah, attached to this young man is a rare history.” Then he brought a leathern gown which he put upon him, and the flamey black habit which he passed over his arms: and setting him upon a camel as the Sultan had commanded, at last carried him in procession crying out the while, “This is the award and the least award of him who violateth the Harem of the King;” and he threaded the streets till they came to the square before the great Mosque wherein was the Shaykh. Now as all the folk were enjoying the spectacle, the Sage looked out from the window of his cell and beheld the condition of his scholar. He was moved to ruth and reciting a spell he summoned the Jann and bade them snatch the young man off the camel’s back with all care and kindness and bring him to his cell; and he also commanded an ‘Aun of the ‘Auns122 to seize some oldster and set him upon the beast in lieu of the Youth. They did as he bid them for that he had taken fealty of the Jann and because of his profound studies in the Notaricon123 and every branch of the art magical. And when all the crowd saw the youth suddenly transformed into a grey-beard they were awe-stricken and cried, “Alhamdolillah — laud to the Lord — the young man hath become an old man!” They then looked again and behold, they saw a person well-known amongst the lieges, one who had long been wont to sell greens and colocasia at the hostelry gate near the Cathedral-mosque. Now the headsman noting this case was confounded with sore affright; so he returned to the palace with the oldster seated on the camel and went in to the Sultan followed by all the city-folk who were gazing at the spectacle. Then he stood before the King and the eunuchry and did homage and prayed for the Sovran and said, “O our lord the Sultan, verily the Youth hath vanished, and in lieu of him is this Shaykh well known to the whole city.” Hearing these words the King was startled; sore fear entered his heart and he said to himself, “Whoso hath been able to do this deed can do e’en more: he can depose me from my kingship or he can devise my death.” So his affright increased and he was at a loss how to contrive for such case. Presently he summoned his Minister and when he came into the presence said to him, “O Wazir, advise me how to act in the affair of this Youth and what measures should be taken.” The Minister bowed his brow groundwards in thought for a while, then raising it he addressed the Sultan and said, “O King of the Age, this be a thing beyond experience, and the doer must be master of a might we comprehend not and haply he may work thee in the future some injury and we fear from him for thy daughter. Wherefore the right way is that thou issue a royal autograph and bid the Crier go round about the city and cry saying, ‘Let him who hath wrought this work appear before the King under promise of safety and again safety — safety on the word of a Sultan which shall never be falsed.’ Should the Youth then surrender himself, O King of the Age, marry him to thy daughter when perhaps his mind may be reconciled to thee by love of her. He hath already cast eyes upon her and he hath seen the inmates of thy Harem unrobed, so that naught can save their honour but his being united with the Princess.” Hereupon the Sultan indited an autographic rescript and placed it in the Crier’s hands even as the Wazir had counselled: and the man went about the streets proclaiming, “By Command of the just King! whoso hath done this deed let him discover himself and come to the Palace under promise of safety and again safety, the safety of sovereigns — safety on the word of a Sultan which shall never be falsed.” And the Crier ceased not crying till in fine he reached the square fronting the great Mosque. The Youth who was standing there heard the proclamation and returning to his Shaykh said, “O my lord, the Crier hath a rescript from the Sultan and he crieth saying, ‘Whoso hath done this deed let him discover himself and come to the Palace under promise of safety and again safety — safety on the word of a Sultan which shall never be falsed.’ And, I must go to him perforce.” Said the Sage, “O my son, why shouldst thou do on such wise? Hast thou not already suffered thy sufficiency?” But the young man exclaimed, “Nothing shall prevent my going;” and at this the Shaykh replied, “Go then, O my son, and be thy safeguarding with the Living, the Eternal.” Accordingly, the Youth repaired to the Hammam and having bathed attired himself in the richest attire he owned, after which he went forth and discovered himself to the Crier who led him to the Palace and set him before the Sovran. He salamed to the Sultan and did him obeisance and prayed for his long life and prosperity in style the most eloquent, and proffered his petition in verse the most fluent. The Sultan looked at him (and he habited in his best and with all of beauty blest), and the royal mind was pleased and he enquired saying, “Who art thou, O Youth?” The other replied, “I am the Half-man whom thou sawest and I did the deed whereof thou wottest.” As soon as the King heard this speech he entreated him with respect and bade him sit in the most honourable stead, and when he was seated the twain conversed together. The Sultan was astounded at his speech and they continued their discourse till they touched upon sundry disputed questions of learning, when the Youth proved himself as superior to the Sovran as a dinar is to a dirham: and to whatever niceties of knowledge the monarch asked, the young man returned an allsufficient answer, speaking like a book. So the Sultan abode confounded at the eloquence of his tongue and the purity of his phrase and the readiness of his replies; and he said in his mind, “This Youth is as worthy to become my daughter’s mate as she is meet to become his helpmate.” Then he addressed him in these words, “O Youth, my wish is to unite thee with my daughter and after thou hast looked upon her and her mother none will marry her save thyself.” The other replied, “O King of the Age, I am ready to obey thee, but first I must take counsel of my friends.” The King rejoined, “No harm in that: hie thee home and ask their advice.” The Youth then craved leave to retire and repairing to his Shaykh — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Youth then craved leave to retire and, repairing to his Shaykh, informed him of what had passed between himself and the Sultan and said to him, “’Tis also my wish, O my lord, to marry his daughter.” The Sage replied, “There be no fault herein if it be lawful wedlock: fare thee forth and ask her in marriage.” Quoth the Youth, “But I, O my lord, desire to invite the King to visit us;” and quoth the Sage, “Go invite him, O my son, and hearten thy heart.” The Youth replied, “O my lord, since I first came to thee and thou didst honour me by taking me into thy service, I have known none other home save this narrow cell wherein thou sittest, never stirring from it by night or by day. How can we invite the King hither?” The Sage rejoined, “O my son, do thou go invite him relying upon Allah, the Veiler who veileth all things, and say to him, ‘My Shaykh greeteth thee with the salam and inviteth thee to visit him next Friday.’” Accordingly, the Youth repaired to the King and saluted him and offered his service and blessed him with most eloquent tongue and said, “O King of the Age, my Shaykh greeteth thee and sayeth to thee, ‘Come eat thy pottage124 with us next Friday,’” whereto the Sultan replied, “Hearing is consenting.” Then the Youth returned to the Sage and waited upon him according to custom, longing the while for the coming of Friday. On that day the Sage said to the Youth, “O my son, arise with me and I will show thee what house be ours, so thou mayst go fetch the King.” Then he took him and the two walked on till they came upon a ruin in the centre of the city and the whole was in heaps, mud, clay, and stones. The Sage looked at it and said, “O my son, this is our mansion; do thou hie thee to the King and bring him hither.” But the Youth exclaimed, “O my lord, verily this be a ruinous heap! How then can I invite the Sultan and bring him to such an ill place? This were a shame and a disgrace to us.” Quoth the Sage, “Go and dread thou naught.” Upon this the Youth departed saying in himself, “By Allah, my Shaykh must be Jinn-mad and doubtless he confoundeth in his insanity truth and untruth.” But he stinted not faring till he reached the Palace and went in to the Sultan whom he found expecting him; so he delivered the message, “Deign honour us, O my lord, with thy presence.”125 Hereupon the King arose without stay or delay and took horse, and all the lords of the land also mounted, following the Youth to the place where he told them his Shaykh abode. But when they drew near it they found a royal mansion and eunuchry standing at the gates in costliest gear as if robed from a talismanic hoard. When the young man saw this change of scene, he was awe-struck and confounded in such way that hardly could he keep his senses, and he said to himself, “But an instant ago I beheld with mine own eyes this very place a ruinous heap: how then hath it suddenly become on this same site a Palace such as belongeth not to our Sultan? But I had better keep the secret to myself.” Presently the King alighted as also did his suite, and entered the mansion, and whenas he inspected it he marvelled at the splendour of the first apartment, but the more narrowly he looked the more magnificent he found the place, and the second more sumptuous than the first. So his wits were bewildered thereat till he was ushered into a spacious speak-room where they found the Shaykh sitting on one side of the chamber126 to receive them. The Sultan salam’d to him whereupon the Sage raised his head and returned his greeting but did not rise to his feet. The King then sat him down on the opposite side when the Shaykh honoured him by addressing him and was pleased to converse with him on various themes; all this while the royal senses being confounded at the grandeur around him and the rarities in that Palace. Presently the Shaykh said to his Scholar, “Knock thou at this door and bid our breakfast be brought in.” So the young man arose and rapped and called out, “Bring in the breakfast;” when lo! the door was opened and there came out of it an hundred Mamelukes127 of the Book, each bearing upon his head a golden tray, whereon were set dishes of precious metals; and these, which were filled with breakfast-meats of all kinds and colours, they ranged in order before the Sultan. He was surprised at the sight for that he had naught so splendid in his own possession; but he came forwards and ate, as likewise did the Shaykh and all the courtiers until they were satisfied. And after this they drank coffee and sherbets, and the Sultan and the Shaykh fell to conversing on questions of lore: the King was edified by the words of the Sage who on his part sat respectfully between the Sovran’s hands. Now when it was well nigh noon, the Shaykh again said to his Scholar, “Knock thou at that door and bid our noonday-meal be brought in.” He arose and rapped and called out, “Bring in the dinner;” when lo! the door opened of itself and there came out of it an hundred white slaves all other than the first train and each bearing a tray upon his head. They spread the Sufrah-cloth before the Sultan and ranged the dishes, and he looked at the plates and observed that they were of precious metals and stones; whereat he was more astonished than before and he said to himself, “In very deed this be a miracle!” So all ate their sufficiency when basins and ewers, some of gold and others of various noble ores, were borne round and they washed their hands, after which the Shaykh said, “O King, at how much hast thou valued for us the dower of thy daughter?” The Sovran replied, “My daughter’s dower is already in my hands.” This he said of his courtesy and respect, but the Shaykh replied, “Marriage is invalid save with a dower.” He then presented to him a mint of money and the tie of wedlock was duly tied; after which he rose and brought for his guest a pelisse of furs such as the Sultan never had in his treasury and invested him therewith and he gave rich robes to each and every of his courtiers according to their degree. The Sultan then took leave of the Shaykh and accompanied by the Scholar returned to the Palace. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan took with him the Scholar and they fared till they reached the citadel and entered the Palace, during which time the King was pondering the matter and wondering at the affair. And when night came he bade them get ready his daughter that the first visit might be paid to her by the bridegroom. They did his bidding and carried the Youth in procession to her and he found the apartment bespread with carpets and perfumed with essences; the bride, however, was absent. So he said in his mind, “She will come presently albeit now she delayeth;” and he ceased not expecting her till near midnight, whilst the father and the mother said, “Verily the young man hath married our daughter and now sleepeth with her.” On this wise the Youth kept one reckoning and the Sultan and his Harem kept another till it was hard upon dawn — all this and the bridegroom watched in expectation of the bride. Now when the day brake, the mother came to visit her child expecting to see her by the side of her mate; but she could not find a trace of her, nor could she gather any clear tidings of her. Accordingly she asked the Youth, her son-in-law, who answered that since entering the apartment he had expected his bride but she came not to him nor had he seen a sign of her. Hereupon the Queen shrieked and rose up calling aloud upon her daughter, for she had none other child save that one. The clamour alarmed the Sultan who asked what was to do and was informed that the Princess was missing from the Palace and had not been seen after she had entered it at eventide. Thereupon he went to the Youth and asked him anent her, but he also told him that he had not found her when the procession led him into the bridal chamber. Such was the case with these; but as regards the Princess, when they conducted her to the bridal room before the coming of the bridegroom, a Jinni128 of the Márids, who often visited the royal Harem, happened to be there on the marriage-night and was so captivated by the charms of the bride that he took seat in a corner, and upon her entering and before she was ware snatched her up and soared with her high in air. And he flew with her till he reached a pleasant place of trees and rills some three months’ journey from the city, and in that shady place he set her down But he wrought her no bodily damage and every day he would bring her whatso she wanted of meat and drink and solaced her by showing her the rills and trees. Now this Jinni had changed his shape to that of a fair youth fearing lest his proper semblance affright her, and the girl abode in that place for a space of forty days. But the father, after failing to find his daughter, took the Youth and repaired to the Shaykh in his cell, and he was as one driven mad as he entered and complained of the loss of his only child. The Shaykh hearing these words dove into the depths of meditation for an hour: then he raised his head and bade them bring before him a chafing-dish of lighted charcoal. They fetched all he required and he cast into the fire some incenses over which he pronounced formulae of incantation, and behold! the world was turned topsy-turvy and the winds shrieked and the earth was canopied by dust-clouds whence descended at speed winged troops bearing standards and colours.129 And amiddlemost of them appeared three Sultans of the Jánn all crying out at once “Labbayka! Labbayk! Adsumus, hither we speed to undertake thy need.” The Shaykh then addressed them, saying, “My commandment is that forthright ye bring me the Jinni who hath snatched away the bride of my son,” and they said, “To hear is to obey,” and at once commanded fifty of their dependent Jinns to reconduct the Princess to her chamber and to hale the culprit before them. These orders were obeyed: they disappeared for an hour or so and suddenly returned, bringing the delinquent Jinni in person; but as for the Sultan’s daughter, ten of them conveyed her to her Palace, she wotting naught of them and not feeling aught of fear. And when they set the Jinni before the Shaykh, he bade the three Sultans of the Jann burn him to death and so they did without stay or delay. All this was done whilst the Sovran sat before the Shaykh, looking on and listening and marvelling at the obedience of that host and its Sultans and their subjection and civil demeanour in presence of the Elder. Now as soon as the business ended after perfectest fashion, the Sage recited over them a spell and all went their several ways; after which he bade the King take the Youth and conduct him to his daughter. This bidding was obeyed and presently the bridegroom abated the maidenhead of the bride, what while her parents renewed their rejoicings over the recovery of their lost child. And the Youth was so enamoured of the Princess that he quitted not the Harem for seven consecutive days. On the eighth the Sultan was minded to make a marriage-banquet and invited all the city-folk to feast for a whole month and he wrote a royal rescript and bade proclaim with full publicity that, according to the commands of the King’s majesty, the wedding-feast should continue for a month, and that no citizen, be he rich or be he poor, should light fire or trim lamp in his own domicile during the wedding of the Princess; but that all must eat of the royal entertainment until the expiry of the fete. So they slaughtered beeves and stabbed camels in the throat and the kitcheners and carpet-spreaders were commanded to prepare the stables, and the officers of the household were ordered to receive the guests by night and by day. Now one night King Mohammed of Cairo said to his Minister, “O Wazir, do thou come with me in changed costume and let us thread the streets and inspect and espy the folk: haply some of the citizens have neglected to appear at the marriage-feast.” He replied, “To hear is to obey.” So the twain after exchanging habits for the gear of Persian Darwayshes went down to the city and there took place

115 MS. vol. iii. pp. 179-303. It is Scott’s “Story of the Retired Sage and his Pupil, related to the Sultan by the Second Lunatic,” vi. pp. 52-67; and Gauttier’s Histoire du Sage, vi. 199-2l4. The scene is laid in Cairo.

116 Meaning that he was an orphan and had, like the well-known widow, “seen better days.”

117 The phrase, I have noted, is not merely pleonastic: it emphasises the assertion that it was a chance day.

118 An old Plinian fable long current throughout the East. It is the Pers. Ním-chihreh, and the Arab Shikk and possibly Nasnás=nisf al-Nás (?) See vol. v. 333. Shikk had received from Allah only half the form of a man, and his rival diviner Satíh was a shapeless man of flesh without limbs. They lived in the days of a woman named Tarífah, daughter of Al-Khayr al-Himyarí and wife of Amrú bin ‘Amir who was famous for having intercourse with the Jann. When about to die she sent for the two, on account of their deformity and the influence exercised upon them by the demons; and, having spat into their mouths, bequeathed to them her Jinni, after which she departed life and was buried at Al-Johfah. Presently they became noted soothsayers; Shikk had issue but Satih none; they lived 300 (some say 600) years, and both died shortly before the birth of the Prophet concerning whom they prophesied. When the Tobba of Al-Yaman dreamed that a dove flew from a holy place and settled in the Tihámah (lowland-seaboard) of Meccah, Satih interpreted it to signify that a Prophet would arise to destroy idols and to teach the best of faiths. The two also predicted (according to Tabari) to Al-Rabí‘ah, son of Nasr, a Jewish king of Al-yaman, that the Habash (Abyssinians) should conquer the country, govern it, and be expelled, and after this a Prophet should arise amongst the Arabs and bring a new religion which all should embrace and which should endure until Doomsday. Compare this with the divining damsel in Acts xvi. 16-18.

119 Arab. “Kahramánah;” the word has before been explained as a nurse, a duenna, an Amazon guarding the Harem. According to C. de Perceval (pè MultinationalA Roman”>Pre) it was also the title given by the Abbasides to the Governess of the Serraglio.

120 So in the Apocrypha (“Tobias” vi. 8). Tobit is taught by the Archangel Raphael to drive away evil spirits (or devils) by the smoke of a bit of fish’s heart. The practice may date from the earliest days when “Evil Spirits” were created by man. In India, when Europeans deride the existence of Jinns and Rakshasas, and declare that they never saw one, the people receive this information with a smile which means only, “I should think not! you and yours are worse than any of our devils.”

121 An Inquisitorial costume called in the text “Shámiyát bi al-Nár.”

122 A tribe of the Jinn sometimes made synonymous with “Márid” and at other times contrasted with these rebels, as in the Story of Ma’aruf and J. Scott’s “History of the Sultan of Hind” (vol. vi. 195). For another note see The Nights, iv. 88.

123 Arab. “‘Ilm al-Hurúf,” not to be confounded with the “‘Ilm al-Jumal,” or “Hisáb Al-Jumal,” a notation by numerical values of the alphabet. See Lumsden’s Grammar of the Persian Language, i. 37.

124 Like our “Cut your mutton,” or manger la soupe or die suppe einzunehmen. For this formula meaning like the Brazilian “cup of water,” a grand feast, see vol. vii. 168.

125 Arab. “Tafazzal,” a most useful word employed upon almost all occasions of invitation and mostly equivalent to “Have the kindness,” etc. See vol. ii. 103.

126 The Shaykh for humility sits at the side, not at the “Sadr,” or top of the room; but he does not rise before the temporal power. The Sultan is equally courteous and the Shaykh honours him by not keeping silence.

127 Arab. “Miat Mamlúk kitábí,” the latter word meaning “one of the Book, a Jew” (especially), or a Christian.

128 This MS. prefers the rare form “Al-Jánn” for the singular.

129 These flags, I have noticed, are an unfailing accompaniment of a Jinn army.

The Night-Adventure of Sultan Mohammed of Cairo.130

The Sultan and the Wazir threaded the broadways of the city and they noted the houses and stood for an hour or so in each and every greater thoroughfare, till they came to a lane, a cul-de-sac wherethrough none could pass, and behold, they hit upon a house containing a company of folk. Now these were conversing and saying, “By Allah, our Sultan hath not acted wisely nor hath he any cause to be proud, since he hath made his daughter’s bride-feast a vanity and a vexation and the poor are excluded therefrom. He had done better to distribute somewhat of his bounty amongst the paupers and the mesquin, who may not enter his palace nor can they obtain aught to eat.” Hearing this the Sultan said to the Wazir, “By Allah, needs must we enter this place;” and the Minister replied, “Do whatso thou willest.” Accordingly the King went up to the door and knocked, when one came out and asked, “Who is at the door?” The Sultan answered, “Guests;” and the voice rejoined, “Welcome to the guests;” and the door was thrown open. Then they went in till they reached the sitting-room where they found three men of whom one was lame, the second was broken-backed and the third was split-mouthed.131 And all three were sitting together in that place. So he asked them, “Wherefore sit ye here, ye three, instead of going to the Palace?” and they answered him, “O Darwaysh, ’tis of the weakness of our wits!” The King then turned to his Minister and said, “There is no help but thou must bring these three men into my presence, as soon as the wedding-fêtes be finished, that I may enquire into what stablished their imbecility."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan said to the Wazir, “Needs must thou bring these three men into my presence, as soon as the wedding-fêtes be finished, and we will enquire into what proved their imbecility.” Then quoth the King to them, “Wherefore fare ye not, ye three, and eat of the royal banquet day by day?” and quoth they, “O Darwaysh, we are crippled folk who cannot go and come, for this be grievous to us; but, an the Sultan would assign to us somewhat of victual, and send it hither, we would willingly eat thereof.” He rejoined, “What knoweth the Sultan that ye sit in this place?” and they retorted, “Ye be Darwayshes who enter everywhere: so when ye go in to him, tell him our tale; haply shall Almighty Allah incline his heart uswards.” The King asked them, “Be you three ever sitting together in this stead?” and they answered, “Yea, verily: we never leave one another by night or by day.” Then the King and the Minister rose up and having presented them with a few silvers took leave and departed. Now it was midnight when they reached a tenement wherein sat three girls with their mother spinning and eating; and each one appeared fairer than her fellows, and at times they sang and then they laughed and then they talked. The Sultan said to the Wazir, “There is no help but we enter to these damsels;” whereto the Minister replied “What have we to do with going near them? Let them be as they are!” The Sultan, however, rejoined, “Needs must we enter,” and the Wazir retorted, “Hearkening and obedience;” and he rapped at the door when one of the sisterhood cried out, “Who knocketh in this gloom of the night?” The Minister answered, “We are two Darwayshes, guests and strangers;” and the girl rejoined, “We are maidens with our mother and we have no men in our house who can admit you; so fare ye to the marriage-feast of the Sultan and become ye his guests.” The Minister continued, “We are foreigners and we know not the way to the Palace and we dread lest the Chief of Police happen upon us and apprehend us at this time o’ night. We desire that you afford us lodging till daylight when we will go about our business and you need not expect from us aught save respect and honourable treatment.” Now when the mother heard this, she pitied them and bade one daughter open the door. So the damsel threw it open and the Sultan and Wazir entered and salam’d and sat down to converse together; but the King gazed upon the sisters and marvelled at their beauty and their loveliness, and said in his mind, “How cometh it that these maidens dwell by themselves unmated and they in such case?” So quoth he to them, “How is it ye lack husbands, you being so beautiful, and that ye have not a man in the house?” Quoth the youngest, “O Darwaysh, hold thy tongue132 nor ask us of aught, for our story is wondrous and our adventures marvellous. But ‘ware thy words and shorten thy speech; verily hadst thou been the Sultan and thy companion the Wazir an you heard our history haply ye had taken compassion upon our case.” Thereupon the King turned to the Minister and said, “Up with us and wend we our ways; but first do thou make sure of the place and affix thy mark upon the door.” Then the twain rose up and fared forth but the Wazir stood awhile and set a sign upon the entrance and there left his imprint; after which the twain returned to the Palace. Presently the youngest sister said to her mother, “By Allah, I fear lest the Darwayshes have made their mark upon our door to the end that they may recognise it by day; for haply the twain may be the King and his Minister.” “What proof hast thou of this?” asked the mother, and the daughter answered, “Their language and their questioning which were naught save importunity!” And saying this she went to the door where she found the sign and mark. Now besides the two houses to the right and to the left were fifteen doors, so the girl marked them all with the same mark set by the Wazir.133 But when Allah had caused the day to dawn, the King said to the Minister, “Go thou and look at the sign and make sure of it.” The Wazir went as he was commanded by the Sultan, but he found all the doors marked in the same way, whereat he marvelled and knew not nor could he distinguish the door he sought. Presently he returned and reported the matter of the door-marks to the King who cried, “By Allah, these girls must have a curious history! But when the bride-feast is finished we will enquire into the case of the three men who are weak-witlings and then we will consider that of the damsels who are not.” As soon as the thirtieth feast-day passed by, he invested with robes of honour all the Lords of his land and the high Officers of his estate and matters returned to their customed course. Then he sent to summon the three men who had professed themselves weak of wits and they were brought into the presence, each saying of himself, “What can the King require of us?” When they came before him he bade them be seated and they sat; then he said to them, “My requirement is that ye relate to me proofs of the weakness of your minds and the reason of your maims.” Now the first who was questioned was he of the broken back, and when the enquiry was put to him he said, “Deign to favour me with an answer O our Lord the Sultan, on a matter which passed through my mind.” He replied, “Speak out and fear not!” So the other enquired, “How didst thou know us and who told thee of us and of our weakly wits?” Quoth the King, “’Twas the Darwaysh who went in to you on such a night;” and quoth the broken-backed man, “Allah slay all the Darwayshes who be tattlers and tale-carriers!” Thereupon the Sultan turned to the Wazir and laughing said, “We will not reproach them for aught: rather let us make fun of them,” adding to the man, “Recite, O Shaykh.” So he fell to telling

130 MS. vol. iii. pp. 203-210; Scott, “Night Adventure of the Sultan,” pp. 68-71. Gauttier, Aventure nocturne du Sulthan, vi. 214.

131 Arab. “Mashrút shadak.” Ashdak is usually applied to a wide-chapped face, like that of Margaret Maultasch or Mickle-mouthed Meg. Here, however, it alludes to an accidental deformity which will presently be described.

132 Arab. “Amsik lisána-k”: the former word is a standing “chaff” with the Turks, as in their tongue it means cunnus-penis and nothing else. I ever found it advisable when speaking Arabic before Osmanlis, to use some such equivalent as Khuz=take thou.

133 This is the familiar incident in “Ali Baba”: Supplem. vol iii. 231, etc.

The Story of the Broke-Back Schoolmaster.134

I began life, O King of the Age, as a Schoolmaster and my case was wondrous. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Shaykh continued. — I began life, O my lord, as a Schoolmaster, and my tale with the boys was wondrous. They numbered from sixty to seventy, and I taught them to read and I inculcated due discipline and ready respect esteeming these a part of liberal education; nor did I regard, O King of the Age, the vicissitudes of Time and Change; nay, I held them with so tight a rein that whenever the boys heard me sneeze135 they were expected to lay down their writing-tablets and stand up with their arms crossed and exclaim, “Allah have ruth upon thee, O our lord!” whereto I would make reply, “Allah deign pardon us and you!” And if any of the lads failed or delayed to join in this prayer I was wont to bash him with a severe bashing. One day of the days they asked leave to visit the outskirts of the town for liberty and pleasuring136 and when I granted it they clubbed their pittances for a certain sum of money to buy them a noonday meal. So we went forth to the suburbs and there found verdure and water, and we enjoyed ourselves that day with perfect enjoyment until mid-afternoon when we purposed to return homewards. Accordingly, the boys collected their belongings and laded them upon an ass and we walked about half-way when behold, the whole party, big and little, stood still and said to me, “O our lord, we are athirst and burning with drowthiness, nor can we stir from this spot and if we leave it without drinking we shall all die.” Now there was in that place a draw-well, but it was deep and we had nor pitcher nor bucket nor aught wherein to draw water and the scholars still suffered from exceeding thirst. We had with us, however, cooking-gear such as chauldrons and platters; so I said to them, “O boys, whoso carrieth a cord or hath bound his belongings with one let him bring it hither!” They did my bidding and I tied these articles together and spliced them as strongly as I could: then said I to the lads, “Bind me under the arm-pits.” Accordingly they made me fast by passing the rope around me and I took with me a chauldron, whereupon they let me down bucket-wise into the well till I reached the water. Then I loosed the bandage from under my armpits and tied it to the chauldron which I filled brim-full and shook the rope for a signal to the boys above. They haled at the vessel till they pulled it up and began drinking and giving drink; and on this wise they drew a first chauldron and a second and a third and a fourth till they were satisfied and could no more and cried out to me, “We have had enough, quite enough.” Hereupon I bound the bandage under my armpits, as it was when I went down, and I shook it as a signal and they haled me up till I had well-nigh reached the kerbstone of the well when a fit of sneezing seized me and I sneezed violently. At this all let go their hold and carrying their arms over their breasts, cried aloud, “Allah have ruth upon thee, O our lord!” but I, as soon as they loosed hold, fell into the depths of the well and brake my back. I shrieked for excess of agony and all the boys ran on all sides screaming for aid till they were heard by some wayfaring folk; and these haled at me and drew me out. They placed me upon the ass and bore me home: then they brought a leach to medicine me and at last I became even as thou seest me, O Sultan of the Age. Such, then, is my story showing the weakness of my wits; for had I not enjoined and enforced over-respect the boys would not have let go their hold when I happened to sneeze nor would my back have been broken. “Thou speakest sooth, O Shaykh,” said the Sultan, “and indeed thou hast made evident the weakness of thy wit.” Then quoth he to the man who was cloven of mouth. “And thou, the other, what was it split thy gape?” “The weakness of my wit, O my lord the Sultan,” quoth he, and fell to telling the

134 MS. iii. 210-214. Scott’s “Story of the broken-backed Schoolmaster,” vi. pp. 72-75, and Gauttier’s ”Histoire du Maitre d’école éreinté,” vi. 217. The Arabic is “Muaddib al-Atfál”=one who teacheth children. I have before noted that amongst Moslems the Schoolmaster is always a fool. So in Europe of the 16th century probably no less than one-third of the current jests turned upon the Romish clergy and its phenomenal ignorance compared with that of the pagan augur. The Story of the First Schoolmaster is one of the most humorous in this MS.

135 For the usual ceremony when a Moslem sneezes, see vol. ix. 220.

136 The “day in the country,” lately become such a favourite with English schools, is an old Eastern custom.

Story of the Split-Mouthed Schoolmaster.137

I also began life, O King of the Age, as a Schoolmaster and had under my charge some eighty boys. Now I was strict with such strictness that from morning to evening I sat amongst them and would never dismiss them to their homes before sundown. But ’tis known to thee, O our lord the King, that boys’ wits be short after the measure of their age, and that they love naught save play and forgathering in the streets and quarter. Withal, I took no heed of this and ever grew harder upon them till one day all met and with the intervention of the eldest Monitor they agreed and combined to play me a trick. He arranged with them that next morning none should enter the school until he had taught them, each and every, to say as they went in, “Thy safety, O our lord, how yellow is thy face!” Now the first who showed himself was the Monitor and he spoke as had been agreed; but I was rough with him and sent him away; then a second came in and repeated what the first had said; then a third and then a fourth, until ten boys had used the same words. So quoth I to myself, “Ho, Such-an-one! thou must be unwell without weeting it:” then I arose and went into the Harem and lay down therein when the Monitor, having collected from his school-fellows some hundred-and-eighty Nusfs,138 came in to me and cried, “Take this, O our lord, and expend the money upon thy health.” Thereupon I said to myself, “Ho, Such-an-one! every Thursday139 thou dost not collect sixty Faddahs from the boys,” and I cried to him, “Go, let them forth for a holiday.” So he went and dismissed them from school to the playground. On the next day he collected as much as on the first and came in to me and said, “Expend these moneys, O our lord, upon thy health.” He did the same on the third day and the fourth, making the boys contribute much coin and presenting it to me; and on such wise he continued till the tenth day, when he brought the money as was his wont. At that time I happened to hold in my hand a boiled egg which I purposed eating, but on sighting him I said in myself, “An he see thee feeding he will cut off the supplies.” So I crammed the egg into my chops — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah, upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Schoolmaster said to himself, “If the Monitor see thee eating the egg now in thy hand he will cut off the supplies and assert thee to be sound.” So (continued he) I crammed the egg into my chops and clapped my jaws together. Hereupon the lad turned to me and cried, “O my lord, thy cheek is much swollen;” and I, “’Tis only an imposthume.” But he drew a whittle140 forth his sleeve and coming up to me seized my cheek and slit it, when the egg fell out and he said, “O my lord, this it was did the harm and now ’tis passed away from thee.” Such was the cause of the splitting of my mouth, O our lord the Sultan. Now had I cast away greed of gain and eaten the egg in the Monitor’s presence, what could have been the ill result? But all this was of the weakness of my wit; for also had I dismissed the boys every day about mid-afternoon, I should have gained naught nor lost aught thereby. However the Dealer of Destiny is self-existent, and this is my case. Then the Sultan turned to the Wazir and laughed and said, “The fact is that whoso schooleth boys is weak of wit;” and said the other, “O King of the Age, all pedagogues lack perceptives and reflectives; nor can they become legal witnesses before the Kazi because verily they credit the words of little children without evidence of the speech being or factual or false. So their reward in the world to come must be abounding!”141 Then the Sultan asked the limping man, saying, “And thou, the other, what lamed thee?” So he began to tell

137 MS. iii. 214-219. Scott’s “Story of the wry-mouthed Schoolmaster,” vi. pp. 74-75: Gauttier’s Histoire du Second Estropié, vi. p. 220.

138 In these days the whole would be about 10d.

139 Pay-day for the boys in Egypt. The Moslem school has often been described but it always attracts the curiosity of strangers. The Moorish or Maroccan variety is a simple affair; “no forms, no desks, few books. A number of boards about the size of foolscap, whitewashed on either side, whereon the lessons — from the alphabet to sentences of the Koran — are plainly written in large black letters; a pen and ink, a book and a switch or two, complete the paraphernalia. The dominie, squatting on the ground, tailor-fashion, like his pupils, who may number from ten to thirty, repeats the lesson in a sonorous singsong voice, and is imitated by the urchins, who accompany their voices by a rocking to and fro which sometimes enables them to keep time. A sharp application of the cane is wonderfully effectual in recalling wandering attention; and lazy boys are speedily expelled. On the admission of a pupil, the parents pay some small sum, varying according to their means, and every Wednesday, which is a half-holiday, a payment is made from 1/4d. to 2d. New moons and feasts are made occasions for larger payments, and are also holidays, which last ten days during the two greater festivals. Thursdays are whole holidays, and no work is done on Friday mornings, that day being the Mohammedan ‘Sabbath,’ or at least ‘meeting day,’ as it is called. When the pupils have mastered the first short chapter of the Koran, it is customary for them to be paraded round the town on horseback, with ear-splitting music, and sometimes charitably disposed persons make small presents to the youngster by way of encouragement. After the first, the last is learned, then the last but one, and so on, backwards, as, with the exception of the first, the longest chapters are at the beginning. Though reading and a little writing are taught, at the same time, all the scholars do not arrive at the pitch of perfection necessary to indite a polite letter, so that consequently there is plenty of employment for the numerous scribes or Tálibs who make a profession of writing. These may frequently be seen in small rooms opening on to the street, usually very respectably dressed in a white flowing haik and large turban, and in most cases of venerable appearance, their noses being adorned with huge goggles. Before them are their appliances — pens made of reeds, ink, paper, and sand in lieu of blotting paper. They usually possess also a knife and scissors, with a case to hold them all. In writing, they place the paper on the knee, or upon a pad of paper in the left hand.” The main merit of the village school in Eastern lands is its noises which teach the boy to concentrate his attention. As Dr. Wilson of Bombay said, the young idea is taught to shout as well as to shoot, and this vivâ voce process is a far better mnemonic than silent reading. Moreover it is fine practice in the art of concentrating attention.

140 Arab. “Mikshat,” whose root would be “Kasht”=skinning (a camel).

141 Evidently said ironicè as of innocents. In “The Forty Vezirs” we read, “At length they perceived that all this tumult arose from their trusting on this wise the words of children.” (Lady’s XXth Tale.)

The Story of the Limping Schoolmaster.142

My tale, O my lord the Sultan, is marvellous and ’twas as follows. My father was by profession a schoolmaster and, when he fared to the ruth of Almighty Allah, I took his place in the school and taught the boys to read after the fashion of my sire. Now over the schoolroom was an upper lattice whereto planks had been nailed and I was ever casting looks at it till one chance day I said to myself, “By Allah, this lattice thus boarded up needs must contain hoards or moneys or manuscripts which my father stored there before his decease; and on such wise I am deprived of them.” So I arose and brought a ladder and lashed it to another till the two together reached the lattice and I clomb them holding a carpenter’s adze143 wherewith I prized up the planks until all were removed. And behold, I then saw a large fowl, to wit, a kite,144 setting upon her nestlings. But when she saw me she flew sharply in my face and I was frightened by her and thrown back; so I tumbled from the ladder-top to the ground and brake both knee-caps. Then they bore me home and brought a leach to heal me; but he did me no good and I fell into my present state. Now this, O our lord the Sultan, proveth the weakness of my wit and the greatness of my greed; for there is a saw amongst men that saith “Covetise aye wasteth and never gathereth: so ‘ware thee of covetise.” Such, O lord of the Age and the Time, is my tale. Hereupon the King bade gifts and largesse be distributed to the three old schoolmasters, and when his bidding was obeyed they went their ways. Then the Sultan turned to the Minister and said, “O Wazir, now respecting the matter of the three maidens and their mother, I would have thee make enquiry and find out their home and bring them hither; or let us go to them in disguise and hear their history, for indeed it must he wonderful. Otherwise how could they have understood that we served them that sleight by marking their door and they on their part set marks of like kind upon all the doors of the quarter that we might lose the track and touch of them. By Allah, this be rare intelligence on the part of these damsels; but we, O Wazir, will strive to come upon their traces.” Then the Minister fared forth, after changing his dress and demeanour, and walked to the quarter in question, but found all the doors similarly marked. So he was sore perplext concerning his case and fell to questioning all the folk wont to pass by these doors but none could give him any information; and he walked about sore distraught until even-tide, when he returned to the Sultan without aught of profit. As he went in to the presence, his liege lord asked him saying, “What bringest thou of tidings?” and he answered, “O King, I have not found the property,145 but there passed through my mind a stratagem which, an we carry it out, peradventure shall cause us to happen upon the maidens.” Quoth the Sultan, “What be that?” and quoth he, “Do thou write me an autograph-writ and give it to the Crier that he may cry about the city, ‘Whoso lighteth wick after supper-tide shall have his head set under his heels.’” The Sultan rejoined, “This thy rede is right.” Accordingly, on the next day the King wrote his letter and gave it to the Crier bidding him fare through the city and forbid the lighting of lamps after night-prayers; and the man took the royal rescript and set it in a green bag. Then he went forth and cried about the street saying, “According to the commandment of our King, the Lord of prosperity and Master of the necks of God’s servants, if any light wick after night-prayers his head shall be set under his heels, his good shall be spoiled and his women shall be cast into jail.” And the Crier stinted not crying through the town during the first day and the second and the third, until he had gone round the whole place; nor was there a citizen but who knew the ordinance. Now the King waited patiently till after the proclamation of the third day; but on the fourth night he and his Minister went down from the palace in disguise after supper-tide to pry about the wards and espy into the lattices of the several quarters. They found no light till they came to the ward where the three damsels lived, and the Sultan, happening to glance in such a direction, saw the gleam of a lamp in one of the tenements. So he said to the Wazir, “Ho! there is a wick alight.” Presently they drew near it and found that it was within one of the marked houses; wherefore they came to a stand and knocked at the door — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the Sultan and the Wazir stood over against the door behind which was the light and knocked at it, the youngest of the sisters cried out, “Who is at the door?” and they replied, “Guests and Darwayshes.” She rejoined, “What can you want at this hour and what can have belated you?” And they, “We be men living in a Khan; but we have lost our way thither and we fear to happen upon the Chief of Police. So of your bountiful kindness open ye to us and house us for the remnant of the night; and such charity shall gain you reward in Heaven.” Hereto the mother added, “Go open to them the door!” and the youngest of the maidens came forward and opened to them and admitted them. Then the parent and her children rose up and welcomed them respectfully and seated them and did them honour and set before them somewhat of food which they ate and were gladdened. Presently the King said, “O damsels, ye cannot but know that the Sultan proclaimed forbiddal of wick-burning; but ye have lighted your lamps and have not obeyed him when all the citizens have accepted his commandment.” Upon this the youngest sister accosted him saying, “O Darwaysh, verily the Sultan’s order should not be obeyed save in commandments which be reasonable; but this his proclamation forbidding lights is sinful to accept; and indeed the right direction146 wherein man should walk is according to Holy Law which saith, ‘No obedience to the creature in a matter of sin against the Creator.’ The Sultan (Allah make him prevail!) herein acteth against the Law and imitateth the doings of Satan. For we be three sisters with our mother, making four in the household, and every night we sit together by lamp-light and weave a half-pound weight of linen web147 which our mother taketh in the morning for sale to the Bazar and buyeth us therewith half a pound of raw flax and with the remainder what sufficeth us of victual.” The Sultan now turned to his Minister and said, “O Wazir, this damsel astonisheth me by her questions and answers. What case of casuistry can we propose to her and what disputation can we set up? Do thou contrive us somewhat shall pose and perplex her.” “O my lord,” replied the Wazir, “we are here in the guise of Darwayshes and are become to these folk as guests: how then can we disturb them with troublesome queries in their own home?” Quoth the Sultan, “Needs must thou address them;” so the Wazir said to the girl, “O noble one, obedience to the royal orders is incumbent upon you as upon all lieges.” Said she, “True, he is our Sovran; but how can he know whether we be starving or full-fed?” “Let us see,” rejoined the Wazir, “when he shall send for you and set you before the presence and question you concerning your disobeying his orders, what thou wilt say?” She retorted, “I would say to the Sultan, ‘Thou hast contraried Holy Law.’” At this the Minister resumed, “An he ask thee sundry questions wilt thou answer them?” and she replied “Indeed I will.” Hereat the Minister turned to the King and said, “Let us leave off question and answer with this maiden on points of conscience and Holy Law and ask if she understand the fine arts.” Presently the Sultan put the question when she replied, “How should I not understand them when I am their father and their mother?” Quoth he, “Allah upon thee, O my lady, an thou wouldst favour us, let us hear one of thine airs and its words.” So she rose and retired but presently returning with a lute sat down and set it upon her lap and ordered the strings and smote it with a masterly touch: then she fell to singing amongst other verses these ordered couplets:—

“Do thou good to men and so rule their necks:

Long reigns who by benefit rules mankind:

And lend aid to him who for aidance hopes:

For aye grateful is man with a noble mind:

Who brings money the many to him will incline

And money for tempting of man was designed:

Who hindereth favour and bounties, ne’er

Or brother or friend in creation shall find:

With harsh looks frown not in the Sage’s face;

Disgusteth the freeman denial unkind:

Who frequenteth mankind all of good unknow’th:

Man is lief of rebellion, of largesse loath.”

When the Sultan heard these couplets, his mind was distraught and he was perplext in thought; then turning to his Wazir, he said, “By Allah, these lines were surely an examination of and an allusion to our two selves; and doubtless she weeteth of us that I am the Sultan and thou art the Wazir, for the whole tenor of her talk proveth her knowledge of us.” Then he turned to the maiden and said, “Right good are thy verse and thy voice, and thy words have delighted us with exceeding delight.” Upon this she sang the following two couplets:—

“Men seek for them sorrow, and toil

Thro’ long years as they brightly flow;

But Fate, in the well like the tank148

Firm-fixt, ruleth all below.”

Now as soon as the Sultan heard these last two couplets he made certain that the damsel was aware of his quality. She did not leave off her lute-playing till near daylight, when she rose and retired and presently brought in a breakfast befitting her degree (for indeed she was pleased with them); and when she had served it up they ate a small matter which sufficed them. After this she said, “Inshallah, you will return to us this night before supper-tide and become our guests;” and the twain went their ways marvelling at the beauty of the sisters and their loveliness and their fearlessness in the matter of the proclamation; and the Sultan said to the Wazir, “By Allah, my soul inclineth unto that maiden.” And they stinted not walking until they had entered the palace. But when that day had gone by and evening drew nigh, the Monarch made ready to go, he and the Minister, to the dwelling of the damsels — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive.” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King and the Councillor made ready to go to the dwelling of the damsels taking with them somewhat of gold pieces, the time being half an hour after set of sun; and presently they repaired to the house of the sisters whither they had been invited on the past night. So they rapped at the door when the youngest maiden came to it and opened and let them in: then she salam’d to them and greeted them and entreated them with increased respect saying, “Welcome to our lords the Darwayshes.” But she eyed them with the eye of the physiognomist149 and said in herself, “Verily these two men are on no wise what they seem and, unless my caution and intelligence and power of knowledge have passed away from me, this must be the Sultan and that his Wazir, for grandeur and majesty are evident on them.” Then she seated them and accosted them even more pleasantly and set before them supper, and when they had eaten enough, she brought basins and ewers for handwashing and served up coffee causing them to enjoy themselves and to give and take in talk till their pleasure was perfect. At the time of night-orisons they arose and, after performing the Wuzú-ablution, prayed, and when their devotions were ended the Sultan hent in hand his purse and gave it to the youngest sister saying, “Expend ye this upon your livelihood.” She took the bag which held two thousand dinars and kissed his right hand, feeling yet the more convinced that he must be the Sultan: so she proved her respect by the fewness of her words as she stood between his hands to do him service. Also she privily winked at her sisters and mother and said to them by signs, “Verily this be the Monarch and that his Minister.” The others then arose and followed suit as the sister had done, when the Sultan turned to the Wazir and said, “The case is changed: assuredly they have comprehended it and ascertained it;” presently adding to the girl, “O damsel, we be only Darwaysh folk and yet you all stand up in our service as if we were sovrans. I beseech you do not on this wise.” But the youngest sister again came forwards and kissed the ground before him and blessed him and recited this couplet:

“Fair fate befal thee to thy foe’s despite:

White be thy days and his be black as night.150

By Allah, O King of the Age, thou art the Sultan and that is the Minister.” The Sovran asked, “What cause hast thou for supposing this?” and she answered, “From your grand demeanour and your majestic mien; for such be the qualities of Kings which cannot be concealed.” Quoth the Monarch, “Thou hast spoken sooth; but, tell me, how happeneth it that you wone here without men protectors?” and quoth she, “O my lord the King, our history is wondrous and were it graven with graver-needles upon the eye-corners it were a warning to whoso would be warned.” He rejoined, “What is it?” and she began the

142 MS. iii. 219-220. For some unaccountable reason it is omitted by Scott (vi. 76), who has written English words in the margin of the W. M. Codex.

143 In text “Kádúm,” for “Kudúm,” a Syrian form.

144 Arab. “Hidyah,” which in Egypt means a falcon; see vol. iii. 138.

145 Arab. “Sifah,"=lit. a quality.

146 Arab. “Istiláh”=specific dialect, idiom. See De Sacy, Chrestomathie, i. 443, where the learned Frenchman shows abundant learning, but does very little for the learner.

147 In the text “Kattán”=linen, flax.

148 Arab. “Fí Jífán ka’l-Jawábí!” which, I suppose, means small things (or men) and great.

149 This form of cleverness is a favourite topic in Arabian folk-lore. The model man was Iyás al-Muzani, al-Kazi (of Bassorah), in the 2nd century A.H., mentioned by Al-Harírí in his 7th Ass. and noted in Arab. Prov. (i. 593) as “more intelligent than Iyás.” Ibn Khallikan (i. 233) tells sundry curious tales of him. Hearing a Jew ridicule the Moslem Paradise where the blessed ate and drank ad libitum but passed nothing away, he asked if all his food were voided: the Jew replied that God converted a part of it into nourishment and he rejoined, “Then why not the whole?” Being once in a courtyard he said that there was an animal under the bricks and a serpent was found: he had noted that only two of the tiles showed signs of dampness and this proved that there was something underneath that breathed. Al-Maydáni relates of him that hearing a dog bark, he declared that the beast was tied to the brink of a well; and he judged so because the bark was followed by an echo. Two men came before him, the complainant claimed money received by the defendant who denied the debt. Iyás asked the plaintiff where he had given it, and was answered, “Under a certain tree.” The judge told him to go there by way of refreshing his memory and in his absence asked the defendant if his adversary could have reached it. “Not yet,” said the rogue, forgetting himself; “’tis a long way off”— which answer convicted him. Seeing three women act upon a sudden alarm, he said, “One of them is pregnant, another is nursing, and the third is a virgin.” He explained his diagnosis as follows: “In time of danger persons lay their hands on what they most prize. Now I saw the pregnant woman in her flight place her hand on her belly, which showed me she was with child; the nurse placed her hand on her bosom, whereby I knew that she was suckling, and the third covered her parts with her hand proving to me that she was a maid.” (Chenery’s Al Hariri, p. 334.)

150 Such an address would be suited only to a King or a ruler.

Story of the Three Sisters and Their Mother.151

I and my sisters and my mother are not natives of this city but of a capital in the land Al-Irák where my father was Sovran having troops and guards, Wazirs and Eunuch-chamberlains; and my mother was the fairest woman of her time insomuch that her beauty was a proverb throughout each and every region. Now it chanced that when I and my sisters were but infants, our father would set out to hunt and course and slay beasts of raven and take his pleasure in the gardens without the city. So he sent for his Wazir and appointed and constituted him Viceregent in his stead with full authority to command and be gracious to his lieges: then he got him ready and marched forth and the Viceroy entered upon his office. But it happened that it was the hot season and my mother betook herself to the terrace-roof of the palace in order to smell the air and sniff up the breeze. At that very hour, by the decree of the Decreer, the Wazir was sitting in the Kiosk or roofed balcony hanging to his upper mansion and holding in hand a mirror; and, as he looked therein, he saw the reflection of my mother, a glance of eyes which bequeathed him a thousand sighs. He was forthright distracted by her beauty and loveliness and fell sick and took to his pillow. Presently a confidential nurse came in and feeling his pulse, which showed no malady, said to him, “No harm for thee! thou shalt soon be well nor ever suffer from aught of sorrow.” Quoth he, “O my nurse, canst thou keep a secret?” and quoth she, “I can.” Then he told her all the love he had conceived for my mother and she replied, “This be a light affair nor hath it aught of hindrance: I will manage for thee such matter and I will soon unite thee with her.” Thereupon he packed up for her some of the most sumptuous dresses in his treasury and said, “Hie thee to her and say, ‘The Wazir hath sent these to thee by way of love-token and his desire is either that thou come to him and converse, he and thou, for a couple of hours,152 or that he be allowed to visit thee.’” The nurse replied with “Hearkening and obedience,” and fared forth and found my mother (and we little ones were before her) all unknowing aught of that business. So the old woman saluted her and brought forwards the dresses, and my mother arose and opening the bundle beheld sumptuous raiment and, amongst other valuables, a necklace of precious stones. So she said to the nurse, “This is indeed ornamental gear, especially the collar;” and said the nurse, “O my lady, these are from thy slave the Wazir by way of love-token, for he doteth on thee with extreme desire and his only wish is to forgather with thee and converse, he and thou, for a couple of hours, either in his own place or in thine whither he will come.” Now when my mother heard these words from the nurse she arose and drew a scymitar which lay hard by and of her angry hastiness made the old woman’s head fall from her body and bade her slave-girls pick up the pieces and cast them into the common privy of the palace. So they did her bidding and wiped away the blood. Now the Wazir abode expecting his nurse to return to him but she returned not; so next day he despatched another handmaid who went to my mother and said to her, “O my lady, our lord the Wazir sent thee a present of dress by his nurse; but she hath not come back to him.” Hereupon my mother bade her Eunuchs take the slave and strangle her, then cast the corpse into the same house of easement where they had thrown the nurse. They did her bidding; but she said in her mind, “Haply the Wazir will return from the road of unright:” and she kept his conduct a secret. He however fell every day to sending slave-girls with the same message and my mother to slaying each and every, nor deigned show him any signs of yielding. But she, O our lord the Sultan, still kept her secret and did not acquaint our father therewith, always saying to herself, “Haply the Wazir will return to the road of right.” And behold my father presently came back from hunting and sporting and pleasuring, when the Lords of the land met him and salam’d to him, and amongst them appeared the Minister whose case was changed. Now some years after this, O King of the Age, our sire resolved upon a Pilgrimage to the Holy House of Meccah — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable.” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night.” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youngest sister continued to the Sultan:— So our sire, O King of the Age, resolved upon a Pilgrimage to the Holy House of Meccah and stablished the same Wazir Viceregent in his stead to deal commandment and break off and carry out. So he said in his heart, “Now have I won my will of the Sultan’s Harem.” So the King gat him ready and fared forth to Allah’s Holy House after committing us to the charge of his Minister. But when he had been gone ten days, and the Wazir knew that he must be far from the city where he had left behind him me and my sisters and my mother, behold, an Eunuch of the Minister’s came in to us and kissed ground before the Queen and said to her “Allah upon thee, O my lady, pity my lord the Wazir, for his heart is melted by thy love and his wits wander and his right mind; and he is now become as one annihilated. So do thou have ruth upon him and revive his heart and restore his health.” Now when my mother heard these words, she bade her Eunuchs seize that Castrato and carry him from the room to the middle of the Divan-court and there slay him; but she did so without divulging her reasons. They obeyed her bidding; and when the Lords of the land and others saw the body of a man slain by the eunuchry of the palace, they informed the Wazir, saying, “What hateful business is this which hath befallen after the Sultan’s departure?” He asked, “What is to do?” and they told him that his Castrato had been slain by a party of the palace eunuchry. Thereupon he said to them, “In your hand abideth testimony of this whenas the Sultan shall return and ye shall bear witness to it.” But, O King, the Wazir’s passion for our mother waxed cool after the deaths of the nurse and the slave-girls and the eunuch; and she also held her peace and spake not a word there anent. On this wise time passed and he sat in the stead of my sire till the Sultan’s return drew near when the Minister dreaded lest our father, learning his ill deeds, should do him die. So he devised a device and wrote a letter to the King saying, “After salutation be it known to thee that thy Harem hath sent to me, not only once but five several times during thine absence, soliciting of me a foul action, to which I refused consent and replied, By Allah, however much she may wish to betray my Sovran, I by the Almighty will not turn traitor; for that I was left by thee guardian of the realm after thy departure.” He added words upon words; then he sealed the scroll and gave it to a running courier with orders to hurry along the road. The messenger took it and fared with it to the Sultan’s camp when distant eight days’ journey from the capital; and, finding him seated in his pavilion,153 delivered the writ. He took it and opened it and read it and when he understood its secret significance, his face changed, his eyes turned backwards and he bade his tents be struck for departure. So they fared by forced marches till between him and his capital remained only two stations. He then summoned two Chamberlains with orders to forego him to the city and take my mother and us three girls a day’s distance from it and there put us to death. Accordingly, they led us four to the open country purposing to kill us, and my mother knew not what intent was in their minds until they reached the appointed spot. Now the Queen had in times past heaped alms-deeds and largesse upon the two Chamberlains, so they held the case to be a grievous and said each to other, “By Allah we cannot slaughter them; no, never!” Then they told my mother of the letter which the Wazir had written to our father saying such-and-such, upon which she exclaimed, “He hath lied, by Allah, the arch-traitor; and naught happened save so-and-so.” Then she related to them all she had done with the exactest truth. The men said, “Sooth thou hast spoken;” then arising without stay or delay they snared a gazelle and slaughtered it and filled with its blood four flasks; after which they broiled some of the flesh over the embers and gave it to my mother that we might satisfy our hunger. Presently they farewelled us saying, “We give you in charge of Him who never disappointed those committed to His care;” and, lastly, they went their ways leaving us alone in the wild and the word. So we fell to eating the desertgrasses and drinking of the remnants of the rain, and we walked awhile and rested awhile without finding any city or inhabited region; and we waxed tired, O King of the Age, when suddenly we came upon a spot on a hill-flank abounding in vari-coloured herbs and fair fountains. Here we abode ten days and behold, a caravan drew near us and encamped hard by us, but they did not sight us for that we hid ourselves from their view until night fell. Then I went to them and asked of sundry eunuchs and ascertained that there was a city at the distance of two days’ march from us; so I returned and informed my mother who rejoiced at the good tidings. As soon as it was morn the caravan marched off, so we four arose and walked all that day through at a leisurely pace, and a second day and so forth; until, on the afternoon of the fifth, a city rose before our sight fulfilling all our desires154 and we exclaimed, “Alhamdolillah, laud be to the Lord who hath empowered us to reach it.” We ceased not faring till sunset when we entered it and we found it a potent capital. Such was our case and that of our mother;155 but as regards our sire the Sultan, as he drew near his home after the return-journey from the Hajj, the Lords of the land and the Chiefs of the city flocked out to meet him, and the town-folk followed one another like men riding on pillions156 to salute him, and the poor and the mesquin congratulated him on his safety and at last the Wazir made his appearance. The Sultan desired to be private with the Minister — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King desired to be private with the Minister and when they were left alone he said, “O Wazir, how was it between thee and that Harim of mine?” Said the other, “O King of the Age, she sent to me not only once but five several times and I refrained from her and whatsoever eunuch she despatched I slew, saying, Haply she may cease so doing and abandon her evil intent. But she did not repent, so I feared for thine honour and sent to acquaint thee with the matter.” The Sultan bowed his head groundwards for a while, then raising it he bade summon the two Chamberlains whom he had sent to slay his wife and three children. On their appearing he asked them, “What have you done in fulfilling my commandment?” They answered, “We did that which thou badest be done,” and showed him the four flasks they had filled with the blood and said, “This be their blood, a flask-full from each.” The Sultan hent them in hand and mused over what had taken place between him and his wife of love and affection and union; so he wept with bitter weeping and fell down in a fainting fit. After an hour or so he recovered and turning to the Wazir said, “Tell me, hast thou spoken sooth?” and the other replied, “Yes, I have.” Then the Sultan addressed the two Chamberlains and asked them, “Have ye put to death my daughters with their mother?” But they remained silent nor made aught of answer or address. So he exclaimed, “What is on your minds that ye speak not?” They rejoined, “By Allah, O King of the Age, the honest man cannot tell an untruth for that lying and leasing are the characteristics of hypocrites and traitors.” When the Wazir heard the Chamberlains’ speech his colour yellowed, his frame was disordered and a trembling seized his limbs, and the King turned to him and noted that these symptoms had been caused by the words of the two officials. So he continued to them, “What mean ye, O Chamberlains, by your saying that lies and leasing are the characteristics of hypocrites and traitors? Can it be that ye have not put them to death? And as ye claim to be true men either ye have killed them and ye speak thus or you are liars. Now by Him who hath set me upon the necks of His lieges, if ye declare not to me the truth I will do you both die by the foulest of deaths.” They rejoined, “By Allah, O King of the Age, whenas thou badest us take them and slay them, we obeyed thy bidding and they knew not nor could they divine what was to be until we arrived with them at the middlemost and broadest of the desert; and when we informed them of what had been done by the Wazir, thy Harem exclaimed, ‘There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him are we returning. But an ye kill us you will kill us wrongfully and ye wot not wherefor. By the Lord, this Wazir hath foully lied and hath accused us falsely before the Almighty.’ So we said to her, O King of the Age, ‘Inform us of what really took place,’ and said the mother of the Princesses, ‘Thus and thus it happened.’ Then she fell to telling us the whole tale from first to last of the nurse who was sent to her and the handmaids and the Eunuch.”157 Hereupon the Sultan cried, “And ye, have ye slain them or not?” and the Chamberlains replied, “By Allah, O King of the Age, whenas the loyalty of thy Harem was made manifest to us we snared a gazelle and cut its throat and filled these four flasks with its blood; after which we broiled some of the flesh upon the embers and offered it to thy Harem and her children saying to them, ‘We give thee in charge to Him who never disappointeth those committed to His care,’ and we added, ‘Your truth shall save you.’ Lastly we left them in the midmost of the waste and we returned hither.” When the Sultan heard these words he turned to the Wazir and exclaimed, “Thou hast estranged from me my wife and my children;” but the Minister uttered not a word nor made any address and trembled in every limb like one afflicted with an ague. And when the King saw the truth of the Chamberlains and the treachery of the Minister he bade fuel be collected and set on fire and they did his bidding. Then he commanded them to truss up the Wazir, hand tied to foot, and bind him perforce upon a catapult158 and cast him into the middle of the fiery pyre which made his bones melt before his flesh. Lastly he ordered his palace to be pillaged, his good to be spoiled and the women of his Harem to be sold for slaves. After this he said to the Chamberlains, “You must know the spot wherein you left the Queen and Princesses;” and said they, “O King of the Age, we know it well; but when we abandoned them and returned home they were in the midst of the wolds and the wilds nor can we say what befel them or whether they be now alive or dead.” On this wise fared it with them; but as regards us three maidens and our mother, when we entered the city — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable?” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youngest sister continued her tale:— So when we three maidens and our mother entered the city about sunset I the youngest said to them, “We be three Princesses and a Queen-mother: so we cannot show ourselves in this our condition and needs must we lodge us in a Khan: also ’tis my rede that we should do best by donning boys’ dress.” All agreeing hereto we did accordingly and, entering a Caravanserai, hired us a retired chamber in one of the wings. Now every day we three fared forth to service and at eventide we forgathered and took what sufficed us of sustenance; but our semblance had changed with the travails of travel and all who looked at us would say, These be lads. In this plight we passed the space of a year full-told till, one day of the days, we three fared forth to our chares, as was our wont, and behold, a young man met us upon the way and turning to me asked, “O lad, wilt thou serve in my house?” Quoth I, “O my uncle,159 I must ask advice,” and quoth he, “O my lad, crave counsel of thy mother and come and serve in our home.” He then looked at my sisters and enquired, “Be these thy comrades, O lad?” and I replied “No, they are my brothers.” So we three went to our mother in the Khan and said to her, “This young man wisheth to hire the youngest of us for service,” and said she, “No harm in that.” Thereupon the youth arose and taking me by the hand guided me to his home and led me in to his mother and his wife, and when the ancient dame saw me, her heart was opened to me. Presently quoth the young man to his parent, “I have brought the lad to serve in our house and he hath two brothers and his mother dwelling with them.” Quoth she, “May it be fortunate to thee, O my son.”160 So I tarried there serving them till sunset and when the evening-meal was eaten, they gave me a dish of meat and three large bannocks of clean bread. These I took and carried to my mother whom I found sitting with my sisters and I set before them the meat and bread; but when my parent saw this she wept with sore weeping and cried, “Time hath overlooked us; erst we gave food to the folk and now the folk send us food.” And cried I, “Marvel not at the works of the Creator; for verily Allah hath ordered for us this and for others that and the world endureth not for any one;” and I ceased not soothing my mother’s heart till it waxed clear of trouble and we ate and praised Almighty Allah. Now every day I went forth to serve at the young man’s house and at eventide bore to my mother and sisters their sufficiency of food for supper,161 breakfast and dinner; and when the youth brought eatables of any kind for me I would distribute it to the family. And he looked well after our wants and at times he would supply clothing for me and for the youths, my sisters, and for my parent; so that all hearts in our lodgings were full of affection for him. At last his mother said, “What need is there for the lad to go forth from us every eventide and pass the night with his people? Let him lie in our home and every day about afternoon-time carry the evening meal to his mother and brothers and then return to us and keep me company.” I replied, “O my lady, let me consult my mother, to whom I will fare forthright and acquaint her herewith.” But my parent objected saying, “O my daughter, we fear lest thou be discovered, and they find thee out to be a girl.” I replied, “Our Lord will veil our secret;” and she rejoined, “Then do thou obey them.” So I lay with the young man’s mother nor did any divine that I was a maid, albeit from the time when I entered into that youth’s service my strength and comeliness had increased. At last, one night of the nights, I went after supper to sleep at my employer’s and the young man’s mother chanced to glance in my direction when she saw my loosed hair which gleamed and glistened many-coloured as a peacock’s robe. Next morning I arose and gathering up my locks donned the Tákiyah162 and proceeded, as usual, to do service about the house never suspecting that the mother had taken notice of my hair. Presently she said to her son, “’Tis my wish that thou buy me a few rose-blossoms which be fresh.” He asked, “To make conserve?” and she answered, “No.” Then he enquired; “Wherefore wantest thou roses?” and she replied, “By Allah, O my son, I wish therewith to try this our servant whom I suspect to be a girl and no boy; and under him in bed I would strew rose-leaves, for an they be found wilted in the morning he is a lad, and if they remain as they were he is a lass.”163 So he fared forth and presently returned to his mother with the rose-blossoms; and, when the sleeping-hour came, she went and placed them in my bed. I slept well and in the morning when I arose she came to me and found that the petals had not changed for the worse; nay, they had gained lustre. So she made sure that I was a girl. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the damsel continued:— So the young man’s mother made certain that her servant lad was a virgin lass. But she concealed her secret from her son and was kind to me and showed me respect and, of the goodness of her heart, sent me back early to my mother and sisters. Now one day of the days the youth came home about noon as was his wont; and he found me with sleeves tucked up to the elbows engaged in washing a bundle of shirts and turbands; and I was careless of myself so he drew near me and noted my cheeks that flushed rosy red and eyes which were as those of the thirsty gazelle and my scorpion locks hanging adown my side face. This took place in summertide; and when he saw me thus his wits were distraught and his sound senses were as naught and his judgment was in default: so he went in to his parent and said to her, “O my mother, indeed this servant is no boy, but a maiden girl and my wish is that thou discover for me her case and make manifest to me her condition and marry me to her, for that my heart is fulfilled of her love.” Now by the decree of the Decreer I was privily listening to all they said of me; so presently I arose, after washing the clothes and what else they had given me; but my state was changed by their talk and I knew and felt certified that the youth and his mother had recognised me for a girl. I continued on this wise till eventide when I took the food and returned to my family and they all ate till they had eaten enough, when I told them my adventure and my conviction. So my mother said to me, “What remaineth for us now to do?” and said I, “O my mother, let us arise, we three, before night shall set in and go forth ere they lock the Khan upon us;164 and if the door-keeper ask us aught let us answer, ‘We are faring to spend the night in the house of the youth where our son is serving.’” My mother replied, “Right indeed is thy rede.” Accordingly, all four of us went forth at the same time and when the porter asked, “This is night-tide and whither may ye be wending?” we answered, “We have been invited by the young man whom our son serveth for he maketh a Septena-festival165 and a bridal-feast: so we purpose to night with him and return a-morn.” Quoth he, “There is no harm in that.” So we issued out and turned aside and sought the waste lands, the Veiler veiling us, and we ceased not walking till the day brake and we were sore a-wearied. Then we sat for rest till the rise of sun and when it shone we four sprang up and strave with our wayfare throughout the first day and the second and the third until the seventh. (Now all this was related to Mohammed the Sultan of Cairo and his Wazir by the youngest Princess and they abode wondering at her words.) On the seventh day we reached this city and here we housed ourselves; but to this hour we have no news of our sire after the Minister was burnt nor do we know an he be whole or dead. Yet we yearn for him: so do thou, of thine abundant favour, O King of the Age, and thy perfect beneficence, send a messenger to seek tidings of him and to acquaint him with our case, when he will send to fetch us. Here she ceased speaking and the Monarch and Minister both wondered at her words and exclaimed, “Exalted be He who decreeth to His servants severance and reunion.” Then the Sultan of Cairo arose without stay or delay and wrote letters to the King of Al-Irák, the father of the damsels, telling him that he had taken them under his safeguard, them and their mother, and gave the writ to the Shaykh of the Cossids166 and appointed for it a running courier and sent him forth with it to the desert. After this the King took the three maidens and their mother and carried them to his Palace where he set apart for them an apartment and he appointed for them what sufficed of appointments. Now, as for the Cossid who fared forth with the letter, he stinted not spanning the waste for the space of two months until he made the city of the bereaved King of Al-Irák, and when he asked for the royal whereabouts they pointed out to him a pleasure-garden. So he repaired thither and went in to him, kissed ground before him, offered his services, prayed for him and lastly handed to him the letter. The King took it and brake the seal and opened the scroll; but when he read it and comprehended its contents, he rose up and shrieked a loud shriek and fell to the floor in a fainting fit. So the high officials flocked around him and raised him from the ground, and when he recovered after an hour or so they questioned him concerning the cause of this. He then related to them the adventures of his wife and children; how they were still in the bonds of life whole and hearty; and forthright he ordered a ship to be got ready for them and stored therein gifts and presents for him who had been the guardian of his Queen and her daughters. But he knew not what lurked for them in the future. So the ship sailed away, all on board seeking the desired city, and she reached it without delay, the winds blowing light and fair. Then she fired the cannon of safe arrival167 and the Sultan sent forth to enquire concerning her — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan made enquiries concerning that ship, when behold! the Rais168 came forth from her to the land and accosting the King handed to him the letter and acquainted him with the arrival of the gifts and presents. Whereupon he bade all on board her come ashore and be received in the guest-house for a space of three days until the traces of travel should disappear from them. After that time the Sultan gat ready whatso became his high degree of offerings evening those despatched to him by the father of the damsels and stowed them in the vessel, where he also embarked as much of victual and provaunt as might suffice for all the voyagers. On the fourth day after sunset the damsels and their mother were borne on board and likewise went the master after they had taken leave of the King and had salam’d to him and prayed for his preservation. Now in early morning the breeze blew free and fair so they loosed sail and made for the back169 of the sea and voyaged safely for the first day and the second. But on the third about mid-afternoon a furious gale came out against them; whereby the sails were torn to tatters and the masts fell overboard; so the crew made certain of death, and the ship ceased not to be tossed upwards and to settle down without mast or sail till midnight, all the folk lamenting one to other, as did the maidens and their mother, till the wreck was driven upon an island and there went to pieces. Then he whose life-term was short died forthright and he whose life-term was long survived; and some bestrode planks and others butts and others again bulks of timber whereby all were separated each from other. Now the mother and two of the daughters clomb upon planks they chanced find and sought their safety; but the youngest of the maidens, who had mounted a keg,170 and who knew nothing of her mother and sisters, was carried up and cast down by the waves for the space of five days till she landed upon an extensive sea-board where she found a sufficiency to eat and drink. She sat down upon the shore for an hour of time until she had taken rest and her heart was calmed and her fear had flown and she had recovered her spirits: then she rose and paced the sands, all unknowing whither she should wend, and whenever she came upon aught of herbs she would eat of them. This lasted through the first day and the second till the forenoon of the third, when lo and behold! a Knight advanced towards her, falcon on fist and followed by a greyhound. For three days he had been wandering about the waste questing game either of birds or of beasts, but he happened not upon either when he chanced to meet the maiden, and seeing her said in his mind, “By Allah, yon damsel is my quarry this very day.” So he drew near her and salam’d to her and she returned his salute; whereupon he asked her of her condition and she informed him of what had betided her; and his heart was softened towards her and taking her up on his horse’s crupper he turned him homewards. Now of this youngest sister (quoth Shahrazad) there is much to say, and we will say it when the tale shall require the telling. But as regards the second Princess, she ceased not floating on the plank for the space of eight days, until she was borne by the set of the sea close under the walls of a city; but she was like one drunken with wine when she crawled up the shore and her raiment was in rags and her colour had wanned for excess of affright. However, she walked onwards at a slow pace till she reached the city and came upon a house of low stone walls. So she went in and there finding an ancient dame sitting and spinning yarn, she gave her good evening and the other returned it adding, “Who art thou, O my daughter, and whence comest thou?” She answered, “O my aunt, I’m fallen from the skies and have been met by the earth: thou needest not question me of aught, for my heart is clean molten by the fire of grief. An thou take me in for love and kindness ’tis well and if not I will again fare forth on my wanderings.” When the old woman heard these words she compassioned the maiden and her heart felt tender towards her, and she cried, “Welcome to thee, O my daughter, sit thee down!” Accordingly she sat her down beside her hostess and the two fell to spinning yarn whereby to gain their daily bread: and the old dame rejoiced in her and said, “She shall take the place of my daughter.” Now of this second Princess (quoth Shahrazad) there is much to say and we will say it when the tale shall require the telling. But as regards the eldest sister, she ceased not clinging to the plank and floating over the sea till the sixth day passed, and on the seventh she was cast upon a stead where lay gardens distant from the town six miles. So she walked into them and seeing fruit close-clustering she took of it and ate and donned the cast-off dress of a man she found nearhand. Then she kept on faring till she entered the town and here she fell to wandering about the Bazars till she came to the shop of a Kunáfah171-maker who was cooking his vermicelli; and he, seeing a fair youth in man’s habit, said to her, “O younker, wilt thou be my servant!” “O my uncle,” she said, “I will well;” so he settled her wage each day a quarter farthing,172 not including her diet. Now in that town were some fifteen shops wherein Kunafah was made. She abode with the confectioner the first day and the second and the third to the full number of ten, when the traces of travel left her and fear departed from her heart, and her favour and complexion were changed for the better and she became even as the moon, nor could any guess that the lad was a lass. Now it was the practice of that man to buy every day half a quartern173 of flour and use it for making his vermicelli; but when the so-seeming youth came to him he would lay in each morning three quarterns; and the townsfolk heard of this change and fell to saying, “We will never dine without the Kunafah of the confectioner who hath in his house the youth.” This is what befel the eldest Princess of whom (quoth Shahrazad) there is much to say and we will say it when the tale shall require the telling. But as regards the Queen-mother — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as regards the mother of the maidens, when the ship broke up under them and she bestrode the bulk of timber, she came upon the Rais in his boat manned by three of the men; so he took her on board and they ceased not paddling for a space of three days when they sighted a lofty island which fulfilled their desire, and its summit towered high in air. So they made for it till they drew near it and landed on a low side-shore where they abandoned their boat; and they ceased not walking through the rest of that day and those that followed till one day of the days behold, a dust-cloud suddenly appeared to them spireing up to the skies. They fared for it and after a while it lifted, showing beneath it a host with swords glancing and lance-heads’ gleams lancing and war steeds dancing and prancing, and these were ridden by men like unto eagles and the host was under the hands of a Sultan around whom ensigns and banners were flying. And when this King saw the Rais and the sailors and the woman following, he wheeled his charger themwards to learn what tidings they brought and rode up to the strangers and questioned them; and the castaways informed them that their ship had broken up under them. Now the cause of this host’s taking the field was that the King of Al-Irak, the father of the three maidens, after he appointed the ship and saw her set out, felt uneasy at heart, presaging evil, and feared with sore fear the shifts of Time. So he went forth, he and his high Officials and his host, and marched adown the longshore till, by decree of the Decreer, he suddenly and all unexpectedly came upon his Queen who was under charge of the ship’s captain. Presently, seeing the cavalcade and its ensigns the Rais went forward and recognising the King hastened up to him and kissed his stirrup and his feet. The Sultan turned towards him and knew him; so he asked him of his state and the Rais answered by relating all that had befallen him. Thereupon the King commanded his power to alight in that place and they did so and set up their tents and pavilions. Then the Sultan took seat in his Shámiyánah174 and bade them bring his Queen and they brought her, and when eye met eye the pair greeted each other fondly and the father asked concerning her three children. She declared that she had no tidings of them after the shipwreck and she knew not whether they were dead or alive. Hereat the King wept with sore weeping and exclaimed, “Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him we are returning!” after which he gave orders to march from that place upon his capital. Accordingly they stinted not faring for a space of four days till they reached the city and he entered his citadel-palace. But every time and every hour he was engrossed in pondering the affair of the three Princesses and kept saying, “Would heaven I wot are they drowned or did they escape the sea; and, if they were saved, Oh, that I knew whether they were scattered or abode in company one with other and whatever else may have betided them!” And he ceased not brooding over the issue of things and kept addressing himself in speech; and neither meat was pleasant to him nor drink. Such were his case and adventure; but as regards the youngest sister whenas she was met by the Knight and seated upon the crupper of his steed, he ceased not riding with her till he reached his city and went into his citadel-palace. Now the Knight was the son of a Sultan who had lately deceased, but a usurper had seized the reins of rule in his stead and Time had proved a tyrant to the youth, who had therefore addicted himself to hunting and sporting. Now by the decree of the Decreer he had ridden forth to the chase where he met the Princess and took her up behind him, and at the end of the ride, when he returned to his mother, he was becharmed by her charms; so he gave her in charge to his parent and honoured her with the highmost possible honour and felt for her a growing fondness even as felt she for him. And when the girl had tarried with them a month full-told she increased in beauty and loveliness and symmetrical stature and perfect grace; then, the heart of the youth was fulfilled with love of her and on like wise was the soul of the damsel who, in her new affection, forgot her mother and her sisters. But from the moment that maiden entered his Palace the fortunes of the young Knight amended and the world waxed propitious to him nor less did the hearts of the lieges incline to him; so they held a meeting and said, “There shall be over us no Sovran and no Sultan save the son of our late King; and he who at this present ruleth us hath neither great wealth nor just claim to the sovereignty.” Now all this benefit which accrued to the young King was by the auspicious coming of the Princess. Presently the case was agreed upon by all the citizens of the capital that on the morning of the next day they would make him ruler and depose the usurper. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the citizens in early morning held a meeting whereat were present the Lords of the land and the high Officials, and they went in to the usurping Sultan determined to remove and depose him. But he refused and forswore consent, saying, “By Allah, such thing may not be except after battle and slaughter.” Accordingly they fared forth and acquainted the young King who held the matter grievous and was overridden by cark and care: however he said to them, “If there must perforce be fighting and killing, I have treasures sufficient to levy a host.” So saying he went away and disappeared; but presently he brought them the moneys which they distributed to the troops. Then they repaired to the Maydan, the field of fight outside the city, and on like guise the usurping Sultan rode out with all his power. And when the two opposing hosts were ranged in their forces, each right ready for the fray, the usurper and his men charged home upon the young King and either side engaged in fierce combat and sore slaughter befel. But the usurper had the better of the battle and purposed to seize the young King amidst his many when, lo and behold! appeared a Knight backing a coal-black mare; and he was armed cap-à-pie in a coat of mail, and he carried a spear and a mace. With these he bore down upon the usurper and shore off his right forearm so that he fell from his destrier, and the Knight seeing this struck him a second stroke with the sword and parted head from body. When his army saw the usurper fall, all sought safety in flight and sauve qui peut; but the army of the young King came up with them and caused the scymitar to fall upon them so that were saved of them only those to whom length of life was foreordained. Hereupon the victors lost no time in gathering the spoils and the horses together; but the young King stood gazing at the Knight and considering his prowess; yet he failed to recognise him and after an hour or so the stranger disappeared leaving the conqueror sorely chafed and vexed for that he knew him not and had failed to forgather with him. After this the young King returned from the battle-field with his band playing behind him and he entered the seat of his power, and was raised by the lieges to the station of his sire. Those who had escaped the slaughter dispersed in all directions and sought safety in flight and the partizans who had enthroned the young King thronged around him and gave him joy as also did the general of the city, whose rejoicings were increased thereby. Now the coming of the aforesaid Knight was a wondrous matter. When the rightful King made ready for battle the Princess feared for his life and, being skilled in the practice of every weapon, she escaped the notice of the Queen-dowager and after donning her war-garb and battle-gear she went forth to the stable and saddled her a mare and mounted her and pushed in between the two armies. And as soon as she saw the usurper charge down upon the young King as one determined to shed his life’s blood, she forestalled him and attacked him and tore out the life from between his ribs. Then she returned to her apartment nor did any know of the deed she had done. Presently, when it was eventide the young King entered the Palace after securing his succession to royalty; but he was still chafed and vexed for that he knew not the Knight. His mother met him and gave him joy of his safety and his accession to the Sultanate, whereto he made reply, “Ah! O my mother, my length of days was from the hand of a horseman who suddenly appearing joined us in our hardest stress and aided me in my straitest need and saved me from Death.” Quoth she, “O my son, hast thou recognised him?” and quoth he, “’Twas my best desire to discover him and to stablish him as my Wazir, but this I failed to do.” Now when the Princess heard these words she laughed and rejoiced and still laughing said, “To whoso will make thee acquainted with him what wilt thou give?” and said he, “Dost thou know him?” So she replied, “I wot him not” and he rejoined, “Then what is the meaning of these thy words?” when she answered him in these prosaic rhymes:175

“O my lord, may I prove thy sacrifice

Nor exult at thy sorrows thine enemies!

Could unease and disease by others be borne

The slave should bear load on his lord that lies:

I’ll carry whatever makes thee complain

And be my body the first that dies.”

When he heard these words he again asked, “Dost thou know him?” and she answered, “He? Verily we wot him not;”176 and repeated the saying to him a second time: withal he by no means understood her. So quoth she, “How canst thou administer the Sultanate and yet fail to comprehend my simple words? For indeed I have made the case clear to thee.” Hereupon he fathomed the secret of the saying and flew to her in his joy and clasped her to his bosom and kissed her upon the cheeks. But his mother turned to him and said, “O my son, do not on this wise, for everything hath its time and season;"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan’s mother said, “O my son, everything hath its time and season; and whoso hurrieth a matter before opportunity befit shall be punished with the loss of it.” But he replied, “By Allah, O my mother, thy suspicion be misplaced: I acted thus only on my gratitude to her, for assuredly she is the Knight who came to my aidance and who saved me from death.” And his mother excused him. They passed that night in converse and next day at noontide the King sought the Divan in order to issue his commandments; but when the assembly filled the room and became as a garden of bloom the Lords of the land said to him, “O King of the Age, ’twere not suitable that thou become Sultan except thou take to thee a wife; and Alhamdolillah — laud to the Lord who hath set thee on the necks of His servants and who hath restored the realm to thee as successor of thy sire. There is no help but that thou marry.” Quoth he, “To hear is to consent;” then he arose without stay or delay and went in to his mother and related to her what had happened. Quoth she, “O my son, do what becometh thee and Allah prosper thy affairs!” He said to her, “O my mother, retire thou with the maiden and persuade her to marriage for I want none other and I love not aught save herself,” and said she, “With joy and gladness.” So he went from her and she arose and was private with the damsel when she addressed her, “O my lady, the King desireth to wed thee and he wanteth none other and he seeketh not aught save thee.” But the Princess hearing this exclaimed, “How shall I marry, I who have lost my kith and kin and my dear ones and am driven from my country and my birth-place? This were a proceeding opposed to propriety! But if it need must be and I have the fortune to forgather with my mother and sisters and father, then and then only it shall take place.” The mother replied, “Why this delay, O my daughter? The Lords of the land have stood up against the King in the matter of marriage, and in the absence of espousals we fear for his deposition. Now maidens be many and their relations long to see each damsel wedded to my son and become a Queen in virtue of her husband’s degree: but he wanteth none other and loveth naught save thyself. Accordingly, an thou wouldst take compassion on him and protect him by thy consent from the insistence of the Grandees, deign accept him to mate.” Nor did the Sultan’s mother cease to speak soothing words to the maiden and to gentle her with soft language until her mind was made up and she gave consent.177 Upon this they began to prepare for the ceremony forthright, and summoned the Kazi and witnesses who duly knotted the knot of wedlock and by eventide the glad tidings of the espousals were bruited abroad. The King bade spread bride-feasts and banqueting tables and invited his high Officials and the Grandees of the kingdom and he went in to the maiden that very night and the rejoicings grew in gladness and all sorrows ceased to deal sadness. Then he proclaimed through the capital and all the burghs that the lieges should decorate the streets with rare tapestries and multiform in honour of the Sultanate. Accordingly, they adorned the thoroughfares in the city and its suburbs for forty days and the rejoicings increased when the King fed the widows and the Fakirs and the mesquin and scattered gold and robed and gifted and largessed till all the days of decoration were gone by. On this wise the sky of his estate grew clear by the loyalty of the lieges and he gave orders to deal justice after the fashion of the older Sultans, to wit, the Chosroës and the Cæsars; and this condition endured for three years, during which Almighty Allah blessed him by the Princess with two men-children as they were moons. Such was the case with the youngest Princess; but as regards the cadette, the second sister — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as regards the case of the cadette, the second damsel, when she was adopted to daughter by the ancient dame she fell to spinning with her and living by the work of their hands. Now there chanced to govern that city a Báshá178 who had sickened with a sore sickness till he was near unto death; and the wise men and leaches had compounded for him of medicines a mighty matter which, however, availed him naught. At last the tidings came to the ears of the Princess who lived with the old woman and she said to her, “O my mother, I desire to prepare a tasse of broth and do thou bear it to the Basha and let him drink of it; haply will Almighty Allah vouchsafe him a cure whereby we shall gain some good.” Said the other, “O my daughter, and how shall I obtain admittance and who shall set the broth before him?” The maiden replied, “O my mother, at the Gate of Allah Almighty!”179 and the dame rejoined, “Do thou whatso thou willest.” So the damsel arose and cooked a tasse of broth and mingled with it sundry hot spices such as pimento180 and she had certain leaflets taken from the so-called Wind tree,181 whereof she inserted a small portion deftly mingling the ingredients. Then the old woman took it and set forth and walked till she reached the Basha’s mansion where the servants and eunuchs met her and asked her of what was with her. She answered, “This is a tasse of broth which I have brought for the Basha that he drink of it as much as he may fancy; haply Almighty Allah shall vouchsafe healing to him.” They went in and reported that to the Basha who exclaimed, “Bring her to me hither.” Accordingly, they led her within and she offered to him the tasse of broth, whereupon he rose and sat upright and removed the cover from the cup which sent forth a pleasant savour: so he took it and sipped of it a spoonful and a second and a third, when his heart opened to her and he drank of it till he could no more. Now this was in the forenoon and after finishing the soup he gave the old woman a somewhat of dinars which she took and returned therewith to the damsel rejoicing, and handed to her the gold pieces. But the Basha immediately after drinking the broth felt drowsy and he slept a restful sleep till mid-afternoon and when he awoke health had returned to his frame beginning from the time he drank. So he asked after the ancient dame and sent her word to prepare for him another tasse of broth like the first; but they told him that none knew her dwelling-place. Now when the old woman returned home the maiden asked her whether the broth had pleased the Basha or not; and she said that it was very much to his liking; so the girl got ready a second portion but without all the stronger ingredients182 of the first. Then she gave it to the dame who took it and went forth with it and whilst the Basha was asking for her behold, up she came and the servants took her and led her in to the Governor. On seeing her he rose and sat upright and called for other food and when it was brought he ate his sufficiency, albeit for a length of time he could neither rise nor walk. But from the hour he drank all the broth he sniffed the scent of health and he could move about as he moved when hale and hearty. So he asked the old dame saying, “Didst thou cook this broth?” and she answered, “O my lord, my daughter made it and sent me with it to thee.” He exclaimed, “By Allah this maiden cannot be thy daughter, O old woman; and she can be naught save the daughter of Kings. But bid her every day at morning-tide cook me a tasse of the same broth.” The other replied, “To hear is to obey,” and returned home with this message to the damsel who did as the Basha bade the first day and the second to the seventh day. And the Basha waxed stronger every day and when the week was ended he took horse and rode to his pleasure-garden. He increased continually in force and vigour till, one day of the days, he sent for the dame and questioned her concerning the damsel who lived with her; so she acquainted him with her case and what there was in her of beauty and loveliness and perfect grace. Thereupon the Basha fell in love with the girl by hearsay and without eye-seeing183:— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Basha fell in love with the girl by hearsay and without eye-seeing: so he changed his habit and donning a dress of Darwaysh-cut left his mansion and threaded the streets passing from house to house until he reached that of the old woman. He then knocked at the entrance and she came behind it and asked “Who’s at the door?” “A Darwaysh and a stranger,” answered he, “who knoweth no man in this town and who is sore anhungered.” Now the ancient dame was by nature niggardly and she had lief put him off, but the damsel said to her, “Turn him not away,” and quoting “Honour to the foreigner is a duty,” said, “So do thou let him in.” She admitted him and seated him when the maiden brought him a somewhat of food and stood before him in his service. He ate one time and ten times he gazed at the girl until he had eaten his sufficiency when he washed his hands and rising left the house and went his ways. But his heart flamed with love of the Princess and he was deeply enamoured of her and he ceased not walking until he reached his mansion whence he sent for the old woman. And when they brought her, he produced a mint of money and a sumptuous dress in which he requested and prayed her to attire the damsel: then the old woman took it and returned to her protegée, saying to herself, “By Allah, if the girl accept the Basha and marry him she will prove sensible as fortunate; but an she be not content so to do I will turn her out of my door.” When she went in she gave her the dress and bade her don it, but the damsel refused till the old woman coaxed her and persuaded her to try it on. Now when the dame left the Basha, he privily assumed a woman’s habit and followed in her footsteps; and at last he entered the house close behind her and beheld the Princess in the sumptuous dress. Then the fire of his desire flamed higher in his heart and he lacked patience to part from her, so he returned to his mansion with mind preoccupied and vitals yearning. Thither he summoned the old woman and asked her to demand the girl in marriage and was instant with her and cried, “No help but this must be.” Accordingly she returned home and acquainted the girl with what had taken place adding, “O my daughter, verily the Basha loveth thee and his wish is to wed thee: he hath been a benefactor to us, and thou wilt never meet his like; for that he is deeply enamoured of thee and the byword saith, ‘Reward of lover is return of love.’” And the ancient dame ceased not gentling her and plying her with friendly words till she was soothed and gave consent. Then she returned to the Basha and informed him of her success, so he joyed with exceeding joy, and without stay or delay bade slaughter beeves and prepare bridal feasts and spread banquets whereto he invited the notables of his government: after which he summoned the Kazi who tied the knot and he went in to her that night. And of the abundance of his love he fared not forth from her till seven days had sped; and he ceased not to cohabit with her for a span of five years during which Allah vouchsafed to him a man-child by her and two daughters. Such was the case with the cadette Princess; but as regards the eldest sister, when she entered the city in youth’s attire she was accosted by the Kunáfah-baker and was hired for a daily wage of a Mídí of silver besides her meat and drink in his house. Now ’twas the practice of that man every day to buy half a quartern of flour and thereof make his vermicelli; but when the so-seeming youth came to him he would buy and work up three quarterns; and all the folk who bought Kunafah of him would flock to his shop with the view of gazing upon the beauty and loveliness of the Youth and said, “Exalted be He who created and perfected what He wrought in the creation of this young man!” Now by the decree of the Decreer the baker’s shop faced the lattice-windows of the Sultan’s Palace and one day of the days the King’s daughter chanced to look out at the window and she saw the Youth standing with sleeves tucked up from arms which shone like ingots184 of silver. Hereat the Princess fell in love with the Youth — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the Sultan’s daughter looked out at the window she fell in love with the youth, and she knew not how to act that she might forgather with him: so desire afflicted her and extreme fondness and presently she took to her pillow all for her affection to that young man. Thereupon her nurse went in to her and found her lying upon the carpet-bed a-moaning and a-groaning “Ah!” So she exclaimed, “Thy safety from all whereof thou hast to complain!” Then she took her hand and felt her pulse but could find in it no symptoms of sickness bodily, whereupon she said, “O my lady, thou hast no unease save what eyesight hath brought thee.” She replied, “O my mother, do thou keep sacred my secret, and if thy hand can reach so far as to bring me my desire, prithee do so;” and the nurse rejoined, “O my lady, like me who can keep a secret? therefore confide to me thy longing and Allah vouchsafe thee thy dearest hope.” Said the Princess, “O my mother, my heart is lost to the young man who worketh in the vermicelli-baker’s shop and if I fail to be united with him I shall die of grief.” The nurse replied, “By Allah, O my lady, he is the fairest of his age and indeed I lately passed by him as his sleeves were tucked up above his forearms and he ravished my wits: I longed to accost him but shame overcame me in presence of those who were round him, some buying Kunafah and others gazing on his beauty and loveliness, his symmetric stature and his perfect grace. But I, O my lady, will do thee a service and cause thee forgather with him ere long.” Herewith the heart of the Princess was solaced and she promised the nurse all good. Then the old woman left her and fell to devising how she should act in order to bring about a meeting between her and the youth or carry him into the Palace. So she went to the baker’s shop and bringing out an Ashrafi185 said to him, “Take, O Master, this gold piece and make me a platter186 of vermicelli meet for the best and send it for me by this Youth who shall bring it to my home that be near hand: I cannot carry it myself.” Quoth the baker in his mind, “By Allah, good pay is this gold piece and a Kunafah is worth ten silverlings; so all the rest is pure profit.” And he replied, “On my head and eyes be it, O my lady;” and taking the Ashrafi made her a plate of vermicelli and bade his servant bear it to her house. So he took it up and accompanied the nurse till she reached the Princess’s palace when she went in and seated the Youth in an out-of-the-way closet. Then she repaired to her nursling and said, “Rise up, O my lady, for I have brought thee thy desire.” The Princess sprang to her feet in hurry and flurry and fared till she came to the closet; then, going in she found the Youth who had set down the Kunafah and who was standing in expectation of the nurse’s return that he and she might wend homewards. And suddenly the Sultan’s daughter came in and bade the Youth be seated beside her, and when he took seat she clasped him to her bosom of her longing for him and fell to kissing him on the cheeks and mouth ever believing him to be a male masculant, till her hot desire for him was quenched.187 Then she gave to him two golden dinars and said to him, “O my lord and coolth of my eyes, do thou come hither every day that we may take our pleasure, I and thou.” He said, “To hear is to obey,” and went forth from her hardly believing in his safety, for he had learnt that she was the Sultan’s daughter, and he walked till he reached the shop of his employer to whom he gave the twenty dinars. Now when the baker saw the gold, affright and terror entered his heart and he asked his servant whence the money came; and, when told of the adventure, his horror and dismay increased and he said to himself, “An this case of ours continue, either the Sultan will hear that this youth practiseth upon his daughter, or she will prove in the family way and ’twill end in our deaths and the ruin of our country. The lad must quit this evil path.” Thereupon quoth he to the Youth, “From this time forwards do thou cease faring forth thereto,” whereat quoth the other, “I may not prevent myself from going and I dread death an I go not.” So the man cried, “Do whatso may seem good to thee.” Accordingly, the Princess in male attire fell to going every morning and meeting the Sultan’s daughter, till one day of the days she went in and the twain sat down and laughed and enjoyed themselves, when lo and behold! the King entered. And as soon as he espied the youth and saw him seated beside his daughter, he commanded him be arrested and they arrested him; — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the Sultan entered and saw the youth sitting beside his daughter he commanded him to be arrested and they arrested him; they also seized the Princess and bound her forearms to her sides with straitest bonds. Then the King summoned the Linkman and bade him smite off both their heads: so he took them and went down with them to the place of execution. But when the tidings reached the Kunáfáni he shut up shop without stay and delay and fled. Presently the Sultan said in his mind, “Fain would I question the Youth touching his object in entering hither, and ask him who conducted him to my daughter and how he won access to her.” Accordingly he sent to bring back the twain and imprisoned them till night-fall: then he went in to his Harem and caused his daughter’s person to be examined, and when they inspected her she proved to be a pure maid. This made the King marvel, for he supposed that the Youth must have undone her maidenhead;188 so he sent for him to the presence, and when he came he considered him and found him fairer even than his daughter; nay, far exceeding her in beauty and loveliness. So he cried, “By Allah this be a wondrous business! Verily my daughter hath excuse for loving this Youth nor to my judgment doth she even him in charms: not the less this affair is a shame to us, and the foulest of stains and needs must the twain be done to death to-morrow morning!” Herewith he commanded the jailer to take the Youth and to keep him beside him and he shut up the girl with her nurse. The jailer forthwith led his charge to the jail; but it so happened that its portal was low; and, when the Youth was ordered to pass through it, he bent his brow down-wards for easier entrance, when his turband struck against the lintel and fell from his head. The jailer turned to look at him, and behold, his hair was braided and the plaits being loosed gleamed like an ingot of gold. He felt assured that the youth was a maiden so he returned to the King in all haste and hurry and cried, “Pardon, O our lord the Sultan!” “Allah pardon us and thee;” replied the King, and the man rejoined, “O King of the Age, yonder Youth is no boy; nay, he be a virgin girl.” Quoth the Sultan, “What sayest thou?” and quoth the other, “By the truth of Him who made thee ruler of the necks of His worshippers, O King of the Age, verily this is a maiden.” So he bade the prison-keeper bring her and set her in his presence and he returned with her right soon, but now she paced daintily as the gazelle and veiled her face, because she saw that the jailer had discovered her sex. The King then commanded them carry her to the Harem whither he followed her and presently, having summoned his daughter, he questioned her concerning the cause of her union with the so-seeming Youth. Herewith she related all that had happened with perfect truth: he also put questions to the Princess in man’s habit, but she stood abashed before him and was dumb, unable to utter a single word. As soon as it was morning, the Sultan asked of the place where the Youth had dwelt and they told him that he lodged with a Kunáfah-baker, and the King bade fetch the man, when they reported that he had fled. However, the Sultan was instant in finding him, so they went forth and sought him for two days when they secured him and set him between the royal hands. He enquired into the Youth’s case and the other replied, “By Allah, O King of the Age, between me and him were no questionings and I wot not whence may be his origin.” The Monarch rejoined, “O man, thou hast my plighted word for safety, so continue thy business as before and now gang thy gait.” Then he turned to the maiden and repeated his enquiries, when she made answer saying, “O my lord, my tale is wondrous and my adventures marvellous.” “And what may they be?” he asked her. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Princess said to the Sultan, “In very sooth my tale is passing strange,” and he besought her to recount it. So she began to disclose the whole of her history and the adventures which had befallen her and her sisters and their mother; especially of the shipwreck in middle-most ocean and of her coming to land; after which she told the affair of the Wazir burnt by her sire, that traitor who had separated children from father and, brief, all that had betided them from first to last. Hearing her soft speech and her strange story the Sultan marvelled and his heart inclined herwards; then he gave her in charge to the Palace women and conferred upon her favours and benefits. But when he looked upon her beauty and loveliness, her brilliancy and perfect grace he fell deeply in love with her, and his daughter hearing the accidents which had happened to the Princess’s father cried, “By Allah, the story of this damsel should be chronicled in a book, that it become the talk of posterity and be quoted as an instance of the omnipotence of Allah Almighty; for He it is who parteth and scattereth and re-uniteth.” So saying she took her and carried her to her own apartment where she entreated her honourably; and the maiden, after she had spent a month in the Palace, showed charms grown two-fold and even more. At last one day of the days, as she sat beside the King’s daughter in her chamber about eventide, when the sun was hot after a sultry summer day and her cheeks had flushed rosy red, behold, the Sultan entered passing through the room on his way to the Harem and his glance undesignedly189 fell upon the Princess who was in home gear, and he looked a look of eyes that cost him a thousand sighs. So he was astounded and stood motionless knowing not whether to go or to come; and when his daughter sighted him in such plight she went up to him and said, “What hath betided thee and brought thee to this condition?” Quoth he, “By Allah, this girl hath stolen my senses from my soul: I am fondly enamoured of her and if thou aid me not by asking her in marriage and I fail to wed her ’twill make my wits go clean bewildered.” Thereupon the King’s daughter returned to the damsel and drawing near her said, “O my lady and light of my eyes, indeed my father hath seen thee in thy deshabille and he hath hung190 all his hopes upon thee, so do not thou contrary my words nor the counsel I am about to offer thee.” “And what may that be, O my lady?” asked she, and the other answered, “My wish is to marry thee to my sire and thou be to him wife and he be to thee man.” But when the maiden heard these words she wept with bitter weeping till she sobbed aloud and cried, “Time hath mastered us and decreed separation: I know nothing of my mother and sisters and father, an they be dead or on life, and whether they were drowned or came to ground; then how should I enjoy a bridal fête when they may be in mortal sadness and sorrow?” But the other ceased not to soothe her and array fair words against her and show her fondly friendship till her soul consented to wedlock. Presently the other brought out to her what habit befitted the occasion still comforting her heart with pleasant converse,191 after which she carried the tidings to her sire. So he sent forthright to summon his Lords of the reign and Grandees of the realm and the knot was tied between them twain; and, going in unto her that night, he found her a hoard wherefrom the spell had freshly been dispelled; and of his longing for her and his desire to her he abode with her two se’nnights never going forth from her or by night or by day. Hereat the dignitaries of his empire were sore vexed for that their Sultan ceased to appear at the Divan and deal commandment between man and man, and his daughter went in and acquainted him therewith. He asked her how long he had absented himself and she answered saying, “Knowest thou how long thou hast tarried in the Palace?” whereto he replied, “Nay.” “Fourteen whole days,” cried she, whereupon he exclaimed, “By Allah, O my daughter, I thought to myself that I had spent with her two days and no more.” And his daughter wondered to hear his words. Such was the case of the cadette Princess; but as regards the King, the father of the damsel, when he forgathered with the mother of his three daughters and she told him of the shipwreck and the loss of her children he determined to travel in search of the three damsels, he and the Wazir habited as Darwayshes. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eightieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan resolved to travel in search of his children (the three damsels) he and his Wazir habited as Darwayshes. So leaving the government in charge of his wife he went forth and the twain in their search first visited the cities on the seaboard beginning with the nearest; but they knew not what was concealed from them in the world of the future. They stinted not travelling for the space of a month till they came to a city whose Sultan had a place hight Al-Dijlah192 whereupon he had built a Palace. The Darwayshes made for it and found the King sitting in his Kiosque193 accompanied by two little lads, the elder eight years old and the second six. They drew near to him and saluting him offered their services and blessed him, wishing him length of life as is the fashion when addressing royalties; and he returned their greetings and made them draw near and showed them kindness; also, when it was eventide he bade his men serve them with somewhat of food. On the next day the King fared forth to Tigris-bank and sat in his Kiosque together with the two boys. Now the Darwayshes had hired them a cell in the Khan whence it was their daily wont to issue forth and wander about the city asking for what they sought; and this day they again came to the place wherein sat the Sultan and they marvelled at the fair ordinance of the Palace. They continued to visit it every day till one day of the days the two went out, according to their custom, and when entering the Palace one of the King’s children, which was the younger, came up to them and fell to considering them as if he had forgotten his own existence. This continued till the Darwayshes retired to their cell in the caravanserai whither the boy followed them to carry out the Secret Purpose existing in the All-knowledge of Allah. And when the two sat down the Sultan’s son went in to them and fell to gazing upon them and solacing himself with the sight, when the elder Darwaysh clasped him to his bosom and fell to kissing his cheeks, marvelling at his semblance and at his beauty; and the boy in his turn forgot his father and his mother and took to the old man. Now whenas night fell the Sultan retired homewards fancying that his boy had foregone him to his mother while the Sultánah fancied that her child was with his father, and this endured till such time as the King had entered the Harem. But only the elder child was found there so the Sultan asked, “Where is the second boy?” and the Queen answered, “Day by day thou takest them with thee to Tigris-bank and thou bringest them back; but to-day only the elder hath returned.” Thereupon they sought him but found him not and the mother buffeted her face in grief for her child and the father lost his right senses. Then the high Officials fared forth to search for their King’s son and sought him from early night to the dawn of day, but not finding him they deemed that he had been drowned in Tigris-water. So they summoned all the fishermen and divers and caused them to drag the river for a space of four days. All this time and the boy abode with the Darwayshes, who kept saying to him, “Go to thy father and thy mother;” but he would not obey them and he would sit with the Fakirs upon whom all his thoughts were fixed while theirs were fixed upon him. This lasted till the fifth day when the door-keeper unsummoned entered the cell and found the Sultan’s son sitting with the old men; so he went out hurriedly and repairing to the King cried, “O my Sovran, thy boy is with those Darwayshes who were wont daily to visit thee.” Now when the Sultan heard the porter’s words, he called aloud to his Eunuchs and Chamberlains and gave them his orders; when they ran a race, as it were, till they entered upon the holy men and carried them from their cell together with the boy and set all four194 before the Sultan. The King exclaimed, “Verily these Darwayshes must be spies and their object was to carry off my boy;” so he took up his child and clasped him to his bosom and kissed him again and again of his yearning fondness to him, and presently he sent him to his mother who was well-nigh frantic. Then he committed the two Fakirs (with commands to decapitate them) to the Linkman who took them and bound their hands and bared their heads and fell to crying, “This be his reward and the least of awards who turneth traitor and kidnappeth the sons of the Kings;” and as he cried all the citizens great and small flocked to the spectacle. But when the boy heard the proclamation, he went forth in haste till he stood before the elder Darwaysh who was still kneeling upon the rug of blood and threw himself upon him at full length till the Grandees of his father forcibly removed him. Then the executioner stepped forward purposing to strike the necks of the two old men and he raised his sword hand till the dark hue of his arm-pit showed195 and he would have dealt the blow when the boy again made for the elder Fakir and threw himself upon him not only once but twice and thrice, preventing the Sworder’s stroke and abode clinging to the old man. The Sultan cried, “This Darwaysh is a Sorcerer:” but when the tidings reached the Sultanah, the boy’s mother, she exclaimed, “O King, needs must this Darwaysh have a strange tale to tell, for the boy is wholly absorbed in him. So it is not possible to slay him on this wise till thou summon him to the presence and question him: I also will listen to him behind the curtain and thus none shall hear him save our two selves.” The King did her bidding and commanded the old man to be brought: so they took him from under the sword and set him before the King — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that at the King’s bidding they took up the Fakir who was still kneeling under the glaive and set him before the King who bade him be seated. And when he sat him down the Sultan commanded all who were in the presence of Eunuchs and Chamberlains to withdraw, and they withdrew leaving the Sovran with the old religious. But the second Darwaysh still knelt in his bonds under the sword of the Sworder who, standing over against his head, kept looking for the royal signal to strike. Then cried the King, “O Mendicant, what drove thee to take my son, the core of my heart?” He replied, “By Allah, O King, I took him not for mine own pleasure; but he would not go from me and I threatened him, withal he showed no fear till this destiny descended upon us.” Now when the Sultan heard these words his heart softened to the old man and he pitied him while the Sultanah who sat behind the curtain fell to weeping aloud. Presently the King said, “O Darwaysh, relate to us thy history, for needs must it be a singular;” but the old man began to shed tears and said, “O King of the Age, I have a marvellous adventure which were it graven with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners were a warning to whoso would be warned.” The Sultan was surprised and replied, “What then may be thy history, O Mendicant?” and the other rejoined, “O King of the Age, I will recount it to thee.”196 Accordingly he told him of his kingship and the Wazir tempting his wife and of her slaying the nurse, the slave-girls, and the Eunuch; but when he came to this point the Sultanah ran out in haste and hurry from behind the curtain and rushing up to the Darwaysh threw herself upon his bosom. The King seeing this marvelled and in a fury of jealousy clapped hand to hilt crying to the Fakir, “This be most unseemly behaviour!” But the Queen replied, “Hold thy hand, by Allah, he is my father and I am his loving daughter;” and she wept and laughed alternately197 all of the excess of her joy. Hereat the King wondered and bade release the second religious and exclaimed, “Sooth he spake who said:—

Allah joineth the parted when think the twain

With firmest thought ne’er to meet again.”

Then the Sultanah began recounting to him the history of her sire and specially what befel him from his Wazir; and he, when he heard her words, felt assured of their truth. Presently he bade them change the habits of her father and of his Wazir and dress them with the dress of Kings; and he set apart for them an apartment and allotted to them rations of meat and drink; so extolled be He who disuniteth and reuniteth! Now the Sultanah in question was the youngest daughter of the old King who had been met by the Knight when out hunting, the same that owed all his fair fortunes to her auspicious coming. Accordingly the father was assured of having found the lost one and was delighted to note her high degree; but after tarrying with her for a time he asked permission of his son-in-law to set out in quest of her two sisters and he supplicated Almighty Allah to reunite him with the other twain as with this first one. Thereupon quoth the Sultan, “It may not be save that I accompany thee, for otherwise haply some mishap of the world may happen to thee.” Then the three sat down in council debating what they should do and in fine they agreed to travel, taking with them some of the Lords of the land and Chamberlains and Nabobs. They made ready and after three days they marched out of the city — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the old King marched forth the city accompanied by his son-in-law and his Wazir after the Sultan had supplied his own place by a Vice-regent who would carry out his commandments. Then they turned to travelling in quest of the two lost daughters and stinted not their wayfare for a space of twenty days, when they drew near a city lofty of base, and, finding a spacious camping plain, thereon pitched their tents. The time was set of sun, so the cooks applied themselves to getting ready the evening meal and when supper was served up all ate what sufficed them, and it was but little because of the travails of travel, and they nighted in that site until morn was high. Now the ruler of that city was a Sultan mighty of might, potent of power and exceeding in energy; and he was surprised to hear a Chamberlain report to him saying, “O King of the Age, after an eventless night early this morning we found outside thy capital tents and pavilions with standards and banners planted overagainst them and all this after the fashion of the Kings.” The Sovran replied, “There is no help but that to these creations of Allah some requirement is here: however, we will learn their tidings.” So he took horse with his Grandees and made for the ensigns and colours, and drawing near he noted gravity and majesty in the array and eunuchs and followers and serving-men standing ready to do duty. Then he dismounted and walked till he approached the bystanders whom he greeted with the salam. They salam’d in return and received him with most honourable reception and highmost respect till they had introduced him into the royal Shahmiyánah; when the two Kings rose to him and welcomed him and he wished them long life in such language as is spoken by Royalties; and all sat down to converse one with other. Now the Lord of the city had warned his people before he fared forth that dinner must be prepared; so when it was mid-forenoon the Farrásh-folk198 spread the tables with trays of food and the guests came forward, one and all, and enjoyed their meal and were gladdened. Then the dishes were carried away for the servants and talk went round till sun-set, at which time the King again ordered food to be brought and all supped till they had their sufficiency. But the Sultan kept wondering in his mind and saying, “Would Heaven I wot the cause of these two Kings coming to us!” and when night fell the strangers prayed him to return home and to revisit them next morning. So he farewelled them and fared forth. This lasted three days, during which time he honoured them with all honour, and on the fourth he got ready for them a banquet and invited them to his Palace. They mounted and repaired thither when he set before them food; and as soon as they had fed, the trays were removed and coffee and confections and sherbets were served up and they sat talking and enjoying themselves till supper-tide when they sought permission to hie campwards. But the Sultan of the city sware them to pass the night with him; so they returned to their session till the father of the damsels said, “Let each of us tell a tale that our waking hours may be the more pleasant.” “Yes,” they replied and all agreed in wishing that the Sultan of the city would begin. Now by the decree of the Decreer the lattice-window of the Queen opened upon the place of session and she could see them and hear every word they said. He began, “By Allah I have to relate an adventure which befel me and ’tis one of the wonders of our time.” Quoth they, “And what may it be?"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan of the city said:— In such a year I had a malady which none availed to medicine until at last an old woman came to me bearing a tasse of broth which when I drank caused health return to me. So I bade her bring me a cupful every day and I drank it till, after a time, I chanced to ask her who made that broth and she answered that it was her daughter. And one day I assumed a disguise and went to the ancient dame’s house and there saw the girl who was a model of beauty and loveliness, brilliancy, symmetric stature and perfect grace, and seeing her I lost my heart to her, and asked her to wife. She answered, “How can I wed; I separated from my sisters and parents and all unknowing what hath become of them?” Now when the father of the damsels heard these words, tears rolled down his cheeks in rills and he remembered his two lost girls and wept and moaned and complained, the Sultan looking on in astonishment the while; and when he went to his Queen he found her lying in a fainting fit. Hereupon he cried out her name and seated her and she on coming to exclaimed, “By Allah, he who wept before you is my very father: by Him who created me I have no doubt thereof!” So the Sultan went down to his father-in-law and led him up to the Harem and the daughter rose and met him and they threw their arms round each other’s necks, and fondly greeted each other. After this the old King passed the night relating to her what had befallen him while she recounted to him whatso hath betided her, from first to last, whereupon their rejoicings increased and the father thanked Almighty Allah for having found two of his three children. The old King and his sons-in-law and his Wazir ceased not to enjoy themselves in the city, eating and drinking199 and making merry for a space of two days when the father asked aidance of his daughters’ husbands to seek his third child that the general joy might be perfected. This request they granted and resolved to journey with him; so they made their preparations for travel and issued forth the city together with sundry Lords of the land and high Dignitaries, all taking with them what was required of rations. Then travelling together in a body they faced the march. This was their case; but as regards the third daughter (she who in man’s attire had served the Kunáfah-baker), after being married to the Sultan his love for her and desire to her only increased and she cohabited with him for a length of time. But one day of the days she called to mind her parents and her kith and kin and her native country, so she wept with sorest weeping till she swooned away and when she recovered she rose without stay or delay and taking two suits of Mameluke’s habits patiently awaited the fall of night. Presently she donned one of the dresses and went down to the stables where, finding all the grooms asleep, she saddled her a stallion of the noblest strain and clinging to the near side mounted him. Then, having supplicated the veiling of the Veiler, she fared under cover of the glooms for her own land, all unweeting the way, and when night gave place to day she saw herself amidst mountains and sands; nor did she know what she should do. However she found on a hill-flank some remnants of the late rain which she drank; then, loosing the girths of her horse she gave him also to drink and she was about to take her rest in that place when, lo and behold! a lion big of bulk and mighty of might drew near her and he was lashing his tail200 and roaring thunderously. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the lion advanced to spring upon the Princess who was habited as a Mameluke, and rushed to rend her in pieces, she, seeing her imminent peril, sprang up in haste and bared her blade and met him brand in hand saying, “Or he will slay me or I slay him.” But as she was hearty of heart she advanced till the two met and fell to fight and struck each at other, but the lion waxed furious and gnashed his tusks, now retreating and now circuiting around her and then returning to front his foe purposing to claw her, when she heartened her heart and without giving ground she swayed her sabre with all the force of her forearm and struck the beast between the eyes and the blade came out gleaming between his thighs and he sank on earth life-forlore and weltering in his gore. Presently she wiped her scymitar and returned it to its sheath; then, drawing a whittle she came up to the carcass intending to skin it for her own use, when behold, there towered from afar two dust-clouds, one from the right and the other from the left, whereat she withdrew from flaying the lion’s fell and applied herself to looking out. Now by the decree of the Decreer the first dust-cloud approaching her was that raised by the host of her father and his sons-in-law who, when they drew near all stood to gaze upon her and consider her, saying in wonderment one to other, “How can this white slave (and he a mere lad) have slain this lion single-handed? Walláhi, had that beast charged down upon us he had scattered us far and wide, and haply he had torn one of us to pieces. By Allah, this matter is marvellous!” But the Mameluke looked mainly at the old King whom he knew to be his sire for his heart went forth to him. Meanwhile the second dust-cloud approached until those beneath it met the others who had foregone them, and behold, under it was the husband of the disguised Princess and his many. Now the cause of this King marching forth and coming thither was this. When he entered the Palace intending for the Harem, he found not his Queen, and he fared forth to seek her and presently by the decree of the Decreer the two hosts met at the place where the lion had been killed. The Sultan gazed upon the Mameluke and marveiled at his slaying the monster and said to himself, “Now were this white slave mine I would share with him my good and stablish him in my kingdom.” Herewith the Mameluke came forward and flayed the lion of his fell and gutted him; then, lighting a fire he roasted somewhat of his flesh until it was sufficiently cooked all gazing upon him the while and marvelling at the heartiness of his heart. And when the meat was ready, he carved it and setting it upon a Sufrah201 of leather said to all present, “Bismillah, eat, in the name of Allah, what Fate hath given to you!” Thereupon all came forward and fell to eating of the lion’s flesh except the Princess’s husband who was not pleased to join them and said, “By Allah, I will not eat of this food until I learn the case of this youth.”202 Now the Princess had recognised her spouse from the moment of his coming, but she was concealed from him by her Mameluke’s clothing; and he disappeared time after time then returned to gaze upon the white slave, eyeing now his eyes now his sides and now the turn of his neck and saying privily in his mind, “Laud to the Lord who created and fashioned him! By Allah this Mameluke is the counterpart of my wife in eyes and nose, and all his form and features are made likest-like unto hers. So extolled be He who hath none similar and no equal!” He was drowned in this thought but all the rest ate till they had eaten enough; then they sat down to pass the rest of their day and their night in that stead. When it was dawn each and every craved leave to depart upon his own business; but the Princess’s husband asked permission to wander in quest of her while the old King, the father of the damsels, determined to go forth with his two sons-in-law and find the third and last of his lost daughters. Then the Mameluke said to them, “O my lords, sit we down, I and you, for the rest of the day in this place and to-morrow I will travel with you.” Now the Princess for the length of her wanderings (which began too when she was a little one) had forgotten the semblance of her sire; but when she looked upon the old King her heart yearned unto him and she fell to talking with him, while he on his part whenever he gazed at her felt a like longing and sought speech of her. So the first who consented to the Mameluke’s proposal was the sire whose desire was naught save to sit beside her; then the rest also agreed to pass the day reposing in that place, for that it was a pleasant mead and a spacious, garnished with green grass and bright with bourgeon and blossom. So they took seat there till sundown when each brought out what victual he had and all ate their full and then fell to conversing; and presently said the Princess, “O my lords, let each of you tell us a tale which he deemeth strange.” Her father broke in saying, “Verily this rede be right and the first to recount will be I, for indeed mine is a rare adventure.” Then he began his history telling them that he was born a King and that such-and-such things had befallen him and so forth until the end of his tale; and the Princess hearing his words was certified that he was her sire. So presently she said, “And I too have a strange history."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Princess in Mameluke’s habit said, “And I too have a strange history.” Then she fell to relating all that had betided her from the very beginning to that which hath before been described; and when her father heard it he felt assured that she was his daughter. So he arose and threw himself upon her and embraced her and after he veiled her face with a kerchief was with him, and her husband exclaimed, “Would to Heaven that I also could forgather with my wife.” Quoth she, “Inshallah, and that soon,” and she inclined to him after kindly fashion and said to herself, “Indeed this be my true husband.” Herewith all resolved to march from that stead and they departed, the Princess’s spouse still unknowing that she was his wife; and they stinted not faring till they entered the Sultan’s city and all made for the Palace. Then the Princess slipped privily into the Harem without the knowledge of her mate and changed her semblance, when her father said to her husband, “Hie thee to the women’s apartment: haply Allah may show to thee thy wife.” So he went in and found her sitting in her own apartment and he marvelled as he espied her and drew near her and threw his arms round her neck of his fond love to her and asked her concerning her absence. Thereupon she told him the truth saying, “I went forth seeking my sire and habited in a Mameluke’s habit and ’twas I slew the lion and roasted his flesh over the fire, but thou wouldest not eat thereof.” At these words the Sultan rejoiced and his rejoicings increased and all were in the highmost of joy and jolliment; he and her father with the two other sons-in-law, and this endured for a long while. But at last all deemed it suitable to revisit their countries and capitals and each farewelled his friends and the whole party returned safe and sound to their own homes.203 Now when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

Shahrazad began to relate

151 MS. iii. 231-240; Scott’s “Story of the Sisters and the Sultana their mother,” vi. 82; Gauttier’s Histoire de la Sulthane et de ses trois Filles, vi. 228.

152 Arab, “Darajatáni”=lit. two astronomical degrees: the word is often used in this MS.

153 Arab. “Síwan;” plur. “Síwáwín.”

154 Arab. “‘Alá hudúd (or Alá hadd) al-Shauk,” repeated in MS. iii. 239.

155 Here the writer, forgetting that the youngest sister is speaking, breaks out into the third person —“their case”—“their mother,” etc.

156 The idea is that of the French anonyma’s “Mais, Monsieur, vous me suivez comme un lavement.”

157 The text (p. 243) speaks of two eunuchs, but only one has been noticed.

158 Arab. “Manjaník;” there are two forms of this word from the Gr. ÌÜããáíïí, or Ìç÷áíÞ, and it survives in our mangonel, a battering engine. The idea in the text is borrowed from the life of Abraham whom Nimrod cast by means of a catapult (which is a bow worked by machinery) into a fire too hot for man to approach.

159 Showing that he was older; otherwise she would have addressed him, “O my cousin.” A man is “young,” in Arab speech, till forty and some say fifty.

160 The little precatory formula would keep off the Evil Eye.

161 Supper comes first because the day begins at sundown.

162 Calotte or skull-cap; vol. i. 224; viii. 120.

163 This is a new “fact” in physics and certainly to be counted amongst “things not generally known.” But Easterns have a host of “dodges” to detect physiological differences such as between man and maid, virgin and matron, imperfect castratos and perfect eunuchs and so forth. Very Eastern, mutatis mutandis, is the tale of the thief-catcher, who discovered a fellow in feminine attire by throwing an object for him to catch in his lap and by his closing his legs instead of opening them wide as the petticoated ones would do.

164 She did not wish to part with her maidenhead at so cheap a price.

165 Arab. “Subú’” (for “Yaum al-Subú’") a festival prepared on the seventh day after a birth or a marriage or return from pilgrimage. See Lane (M. E. passim) under “Subooa.”

166 For this Anglo-Indian term,=a running courier, see vol. vii. 340. It is the gist of the venerable Joe Miller in which the father asks a friend to name his seven-months child. “Call him ‘Cossid’ for verily he hath accomplished a march of nine months in seven months.”

167 Arab. “Madáfi al-Salámah,” a custom showing the date of the tale to be more modern than any in the ten vols. of The Nights proper.

168 Master, captain, skipper (not owner): see vols. i. 127; vi. 112.

169 Zahr al-Bahr=the surface which affords a passage to man.

170 Arab. “Batiyah,” gen.=a black jack, a leathern flagon.

171 “Kunafáh”=a vermicelli cake often eaten at breakfast: see vol. x. 1: “Kunafáni” is the baker or confectioner. Scott (p. 101) converts the latter into a “maker of cotton wallets for travelling.”

172 In the text (iii. 260) “Mídi,” a clerical error for “Mayyidí,” an abbreviation of “Muayyadí,” the Faddah, Nuss or half-dirham coined under Sultan al-Muayyad, A.H. ixth cent.=A.D. xvth.

173 Arab. “Rub’” (plur. “Arbá’")=the fourth of a “Waybah,” the latter being the sixth of an Ardabb (Irdabb)=5 bushels. See vol. i. 263.

174 A royal pavilion; according to Shakespear (Hind. Dict. sub voce) it is a corruption of the Pers. “Sayabán."=canopy.

175 Arab. “Musajja’"=rhymed prose: for the Saj’a, see vol. i. 116, and Terminal Essay, vol. x. p. 220. So Chaucer:—

In rhyme or ellès in cadence.

176 Arab. “Huwa inná na’rifu-h” lit.=He, verily we wot him not: the juxtaposition of the two first pronouns is intended to suggest “I am he.”

177 In Moslem tales decency compels the maiden, however much she may be in love, to show extreme unwillingness in parting with her maidenhead especially by marriage; and this farce is enacted in real life (see vol. viii. 40). The French tell the indecent truth,

Désir de fille est un feu qui dévore:

Désir de femme est plus fort encore.

178 The Arab. form (our old “bashaw”) of the Turk. “Pasha,” which the French and many English write Pacha, thus confusing the vulgar who called Ibrahim Pacha “Abraham Parker.” The origin of the word is much debated and the most fanciful derivations have been proposed. Some have taken it from the Sansk. “Paksha”=a wing: Fuerst from Pers. Páigáh=rank, dignity; Von Hammer (History) from Pái-Sháh=foot of the king; many from “Pádisháh”=the Sovran, and Mr. E. T. W. Gibb suspects a connection with the Turk. “Básh”=a head. He writes to me that the oldest forms are “Bashah” and “Báshah”; and takes the following quotation from Colonel Jevád Bey, author of an excellent work on the Janissaries published a few years ago. “As it was the custom of the (ancient) Turks to call the eldest son ‘Páshá,’ the same style was given to his son Alá al-Din (Aladdín) by Osmán Gházi, the founder of the Empire; and he kept this heir at home and beside him, whilst he employed the cadet Orkhan Bey as his commander-in-chief. When Orkhán Gházi ascended the throne he conferred the title of Páshá upon his son Sulayman. Presently reigned Murád (Amurath), who spying signs of disaffection in his first-born Sáwújí Bey about the middle of his reign created Kárá Khalíl (his Kází-Askar or High Chancellor) Wazir with the title Kazyr al-Dín Pasha; thus making him, as it were, an adopted son. After this the word passed into the category of official titles and came to be conferred upon those who received high office.” Colonel Jevád Bey then quotes in support of his opinion the “History of Munajjim Pasha” and the “Fatáyah al-Wakú‘at”=Victories of Events. I may note that the old title has been sadly prostituted in Egypt as well as in Turkey: in 1851 Páshás could be numbered on a man’s fingers; now they are innumerable and of no account.

179 Arab. “‘Alà bábi ‘lláh”=for the love of the Lord, gratis, etc., a most popular phrase.

180 Arab. “Bahár,” often used for hot spices generally.

181 In the text Shajarat Ríh.

182 Arab. “Ma’ádin”=minerals, here mentioned for the first time.

183 For the ear conceiving love before the eye (the basis of half these love-stories), see vol. iii. 9.

184 According to Dr. Steingass “Mirwad”=the iron axle of a pulley or a wheel for drawing water or lifting loads, hence possibly a bar of metal, an ingot. But he is more inclined to take it in its usual sense of “Kohl-pencil.” Here “Mirwád” is the broader form like “Miftáh” for “Miftah,” much used in Syria.

185 For the Ashrafi, a gold coin of variable value, see vol. iii. 294. It is still coined; the Calcutta Ashrafi worth £1 11s. 8d. is 1/16th (about 5s. to the oz.) better than the English standard, and the Regulations of May, 1793, made it weigh 190.894 grs. Troy.

186 In text “Anjar”=a flat platter; Pers.

187 By what physical process the author modestly leaves to the reader’s imagination. Easterns do not often notice this feminine venereal paroxysm which takes the place of seminal emission in the male. I have seen it happen to a girl when hanging by the arms a trifle too long from a gymnastic cross-bar; and I need hardly say that at such moments (if men only knew them) every woman, even the most modest, is an easy conquest. She will repent it when too late, but the flesh has been too strong for her.

188 A neat and suggestive touch of Eastern manners and morals.

189 In text “Ghayr Wa’d,” or “Min ghayr Wa’d.” Lit. without previous agreement: much used in this text for suddenly, unexpectedly, without design.

190 The reader will have remarked the use of the Arabic “‘Alaka”=he hung, which with its branches greatly resembles the Lat. pendere.

191 Arab. “Min al-Malábis,” plur. of “Malbas”=anything pleasant or enjoyable; as the plural of “Milbas”=dress, garment, it cannot here apply.

192 i.e. “The Tigris” (Hid-dekel), with which the Egyptian writer seems to be imperfectly acquainted. See vols. i. 180; viii. 150.

193 The word, as usual misapplied in the West, is to be traced through the Turk. Kúshk (pron. Kyúshk) to the Pers. “Kushk”=an upper chamber.

194 Four including the doorkeeper. The Darwayshes were suspected of kidnapping, a practice common in the East, especially with holy men. I have noticed in my Pilgrimage (vols. ii. 273; iii. 327), that both at Meccah and at Al-Medinah the cheeks of babes are decorated with the locally called “Masháli”=three parallel gashes drawn by the barber with the razor down the fleshy portion of each cheek, from the exterior angles of the eyes almost to the corners of the mouth. According to the citizens this “Tashrít” is a modern practice distinctly opposed to the doctrine of Al-Islam; but, like the tattooing of girls, it is intended to save the children from being carried off, for good luck, by kidnapping pilgrims, especially Persians.

195 The hair being shaven or plucked and showing the darker skin. In the case of the axilla-pile, vellication is the popular process: see vol. ix. 139. Europeans who do not adopt this essential part of cleanliness in hot countries are looked upon as impure by Moslems.

196 Here a little abbreviation has been found necessary: “of no avail is a twice-told tale.”

197 The nearest approach in Eastern tales to Western hysterics.

198 A tent-pitcher, body servant, etc. See vol. vii. 4. The word is still popular in Persia.

199 The amount of eating and drinking in this tale is phenomenal; but, I repeat, Arabs enjoy reading of “meat and drink” almost as much as Englishmen.

200 Arab writers always insist upon the symptom of rage which distinguishes the felines from the canines; but they do not believe that the end of the tail has a sting.

201 The circular leather which acts alternately provision bag and table-cloth. See vols. i. 178; v. 8; viii. 269, and ix. 141.

202 He refused because he suspected some trick and would not be on terms of bread and salt with the stranger.

203 The story contains excellent material, but the writer or the copier has “scamped” it in two crucial points, the meeting of the bereaved Sultan and his wife (Night ccclxxvii.) and the finale where we miss the pathetic conclusions of the Mac. and Bresl. Edits. Also a comparison of this hurried dénouement with the artistic tableau of “King Omar bin al-Nu’uman,” where all the actors are mustered upon the stage before the curtain falls, measures the difference between this MS. and the printed texts, showing the superior polish and finish of the latter.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/burton/richard/b97b/v14.2.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31