The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night

The History of Abu Niyyah and Abu Niyyatayn394

It is recounted that in Mosel was a king and he was Lord of moneys and means and troops and guards. Now in the beginning of his career his adventures were strange for that he was not of royal rank or race, nor was he of the sons of Kings but prosperity met him because of the honesty of his manners and morals. His name was Abu Niyyah, the single-minded — and he was so poor that he had naught of worldly weal, so quoth he to himself, “Remove thee from this town and haply Allah will widen thy means of livelihood inasmuch as the byword said, ‘Travel, for indeed much of the joys of life are in travelling.’” So he fixed his mind upon removal from the town; and, having very few articles of his own, he sold them for a single dinar which he took and fared forth from his place of birth seeking another stead. Now when journeying he sighted following him a man who was also on the move and he made acquaintance with him and the two fell to communing together upon the road. Each of the twain wished to know the name of his comrade and Abu Niyyah asked his fellow, saying, “O my brother, what may be thy name?” whereto the other answered, “I am called Abu Niyyatayn — the two-minded.” “And I am Abu Niyyah!” cried the other, and his fellow-traveller questioned him, saying, “Hast thou with thee aught of money?” Whereto he replied, “I have with me a single Ashrafi and no more.” Quoth the other, “But I have ten gold pieces, so do thou have a care of them and the same will be eleven.” Abu Niyyan accepted the charge and they went upon the road together and as often as they entered a town they nighted therein for a single night or two and in the morning they departed therefrom. This continued for a while of time until they made a city which had two gates and Abu Niyyah forewent his fellow through one of the entrances and suddenly heard an asker which was a slave begging and saying, “O ye beneficent, O doers of good deeds, an alms shall bring ten-fold.” And, as the chattel drew near395 and Abu Niyyah noted his words, his heart was softened and he gave him his single Ashrafi; whereupon his comrade looked upon him and asked, “What hast thou doled to him?” Answered he, “An Ashrafi;” and quoth the other, “Thou hast but a single gold piece while I have ten;” so he took the joint stock from him and left him and went his way. — 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 should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Seventy-third Night

Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish 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 man Abu Niyyatayn took from Abu Niyyah the ten Ashrafis396 and said to him, “The gold piece belonging to thee thou hast given to the asker;” then, carrying away the other ten he left him and went about his business. Now Abu Niyyah had with him not a single copper neither aught of provaunt so he wandered about the town to find a Cathedral-mosque and seeing one he went into it and made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed that which was incumbent on him of obligatory prayers. Then he seated himself to rest until the hour of the sunset devotions and he said to himself “Ho, Such-an-one! this be a time when no one knoweth thee; so go forth and fare round about the doors and have a heed, haply Allah Almighty our Lord shall give thee somewhat of daily bread thou shalt eat blessing the creator.” Hereupon he went forth the Mosque and wandered through the nearest quarter, when behold, he came upon a lofty gate and a well adorned; so he stood before it and saw a slave lad coming out therefrom and bearing on his head a platter wherein was a pile of broken bread and some bones, and the boy stood there and shook the contents of the platter upon the ground. Abu Niyyah seeing this came forward and fell to picking up the orts of bread and ate them and gnawed the flesh from sundry of the bones until he was satisfied and the slave diverted himself by looking on. After that he cried, “Alhamdolillah — Glory be to God!”397 and the chattel went upstairs to his master and said, “O my lord, I have seen a marvel!” Quoth the other, “And what may that be?” and quoth the servile, “I found a man standing at our door and he was silent and poke not a word; but when he saw me throwing away the remnants398 of our eating-cloth he came up to them and fell to devouring bittocks of the bread and to breaking the bones and sucking them, after which he cried, ‘Alhamdolillah.’” Said the master, “O my good slave, do thou take these ten Ashrafis and give them to the man;” so the lad went down the stair and was half-way when he filched one of the gold-pieces and then having descended he gave the nine. Hereupon Abu Niyyah counted them and finding only nine, said, “There wanted one Ashrafi, for the asker declared, An almsdeed bringeth tenfold, and I gave him a single gold piece.” The house-master heard him saying, “There wanteth an Ashrafi,” and he bade the slave call aloud to him and Abu Niyyah went upstairs to the sitting room, where he found the owner, a merchant of repute, and salam’d to him. The other returned his greeting and said, “Ho fellow!” and the other said “Yes” when the first resumed, “The slave, what did he give thee?” “He gave me,” said Abu Niyyah, “nine Ashrafis;” and the house-master rejoined, “Wherefore didst thou declare, There faileth me one gold piece? Hast thou a legal claim of debt upon us for an Ashrafi, O thou scanty of shame?” He answered, “No, by Allah, O my lord; my intent was not that but there befel me with a man which was a beggar such-and-such matter.” Hereupon the merchant understood his meaning and said to him, “Do thou sit thee down here and pass the night with us.” So Abu Niyyah seated himself by his side and nighted with the merchant until the morning. Now this was the season for the payment of the poor-rates,399 and that merchant was wont to take the sum from his property by weight of scales, so he summoned the official weigher who by means of his balance computed the account and took out the poor-rate and gave the whole proceeds to Abu Niyyah. Quoth he, “O my lord, what shall I do with all this good, especially as thou hast favoured me with thy regard?” “No matter for that,” quoth the other; so Abu Niyyah went forth from the presence of his patron and hiring himself a shop fell to buying what suited him of all kinds of merchandise such as a portion of coffee-beans and of pepper and of tin;400 and stuff of Al-Hind, together with other matters, saying to himself, “Verily this shop is the property of thy hand.” So he sat there selling and buying and he was in the easiest of life and in all comfort rife for a while of time when behold, his quondam companion, Abu Niyyatayn was seen passing along the market-street. His eyes were deep401 sunken and he was propped upon a staff as he begged and cried, “O good folk, O ye beneficent, give me an alms for the love of Allah!” But when his sometime associate, Abu Niyyah looked upon him, he knew him and said to the slave whom he had bought for his service, “Go thou and bring me yonder man.” Hereat the chattel went and brought him and Abu Niyyah seated him upon the shop-board and sent his servile to buy somewhat of food and he set it before Abu Niyyatayn who ate until he was filled. After this the wanderer asked leave to depart but the other said to him, “Sit thou here, O Shaykh; for thou art my guest during the coming night.” Accordingly he seated himself in the shop till the hour of sundown, when Abu Niyyah took him and led him to his lodging where the slave served up the supper-tray and they ate till they had eaten their sufficiency. Then they washed their hands and abode talking together till at last quoth Abu Niyyah, “O my brother, hast thou not recognised me?” to which the other responded, “No, by Allah, O my brother.” Hereupon said the house-master, “I am thy whilome comrade Abu Niyyah, and we came together, I and thou, from such-and-such a place to this city. But I, O my brother, have never changed mine intent402 and all thou seest with me of good, the half thereof belongeth to thee.” When it was morning tide he presented him with the moiety of all he possessed of money and means and opened for him a shop in the Bazar by the side of his own, and Abu Niyyatayn fell to selling and buying, and he and his friend Abu Niyyah led the most joyous of lives. This endured for a while of time until one day of the days when quoth Abu Niyyatayn to Abu Niyyah, “O my brother, we have exhausted our sitting in this city, so do thou travel with us unto another.” Quoth Abu Niyyah, “Why, O my brother, should we cease abiding here in comfort when we have gained abundance of wealth and moveables and valuables and we seek naught save a restful life?” However Abu Niyyatayn ceased not to repeat his words to him and persist in his purpose and reiterate his demand, till Abu Niyyah was pleased with the idea of travelling — 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 how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night and the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four 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 Abu Niyyah was pleased with the idea of travelling companied with Abu Niyyatayn: so they got themselves ready and loaded a caravan of camels and mules and went off from that city and travelled for a space of twenty days. At last they came to a camping ground about sunset-hour and they alighted therein seeking rest and a nighting stead, and next morning when they arose they sought where they could fodder and water their cattle. Now the only place they could find was a well and one said to other, “Who will descend therein and draw for us drink?” Cried Abu Niyyah, “I will go down” (but he knew not what was fated to him in the Eternal Purpose), and so saying he let himself down by the rope into the well and filled for them the water-buckets till the caravan had its sufficiency. Now Abu Niyyatayn for the excess of his envy and hatred was scheming in his heart and his secret soul to slay Abu Niyyah, and when all had drunk he cut the cord and loaded his beasts and fared away leaving his companion in the well, for the first day and the second until the coming of night. Suddenly two ’Ifrits forgathered in that well and sat down to converse with each other, when quoth the first, “What is to do with thee and how is thy case and what mayest thou be?” Quoth his fellow, “By Allah, O my brother, I am satisfied with extreme satisfaction and I never leave the Sultan’s daughter at all at all.” The second Ifrit asked, “And what would forbid thee from her?” and he answered, “I should be driven away by somewhat of wormwood-powder scattered beneath the soles of her feet during the congregational prayers of Friday.” Then quoth the other, “I also, by Allah, am joyful and exulting in the possession of a Hoard of jewels buried without the town near the Azure Column which serveth as benchmark.”403 “And what,” asked the other to his friend, “would expel thee therefrom and expose the jewels to the gaze of man?” whereto he answered, “A white cock in his tenth month404 slaughtered upon the Azure Column would drive me away from the Hoard and would break the Talisman when the gems would be visible to all.” Now as soon as Abu Niyyah had heard the words of the two Ifrits, they arose and departed from the well; and it was the morning hour when, behold, a caravan was passing by that place, so the travellers halted seeking a drink of water. Presently they let down a bucket which was seized by Abu Niyyah and as he was being drawn up they cried out and asked, “What art thou, of Jinn-kind or of man-kind?” and he answered, “I am of the Sons of Adam.” Hereupon they drew him up from the pit and questioned him of his case and he said, “I have fallen into it and I am sore ahungered.” Accordingly they gave him somewhat to eat and he ate and travelled with them till they entered a certain city and it was on First day.405 So they passed through the market streets which were crowded and found the people in turmoil and trouble;406 and as one enquired the cause thereof he was answered, “Verily the Sultan hath a beautiful daughter who is possessed and overridden by an ’Ifrit, and whoso of the physicians would lay407 the Spirit and is unable or ignorant so to do, the King taketh him and cutteth off his head and hangeth it up before his palace. Indeed of late days a student came hither, a youth who knew nothing of expelling the Evil One, and he accepted the task and the Sultan designeth to smith his neck at this very hour; so the people are flocking with design to divert themselves at the decapitation.” Now when Abu Niyyah heard these words he rose without stay or delay and walked in haste till he came into the presence of the Sultan whom he found seated upon his throne and the Linkman standing with his scymitar brandished over the head of the young student and expecting only the royal order to strike his neck. So Abu Niyyah salam’d to him and said, “O King of the Age, release yonder youth from under the sword and send him to thy prison, for if I avail to laying the Spirit and driving him from thy daughter thou shalt have mercy upon yonder wight, and if I fail thou wilt shorten by the head me as well as him.” Hereupon the King let unbind the youth and sent him to jail; then he said to Abu Niyyah, “Wouldst thou go at once to my daughter and unspell her from the Jinni?” But the other replied, “No, O King, not until Meeting-day408 at what time the folk are engaged in congregational prayers.” Now when Abu Niyyah had appointed the Friday, the King set apart for his guest an apartment and rationed him with liberal rations. — 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 should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundredth 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 Abu Niyyah having appointed the Sultan for Meeting-day, when he would ensorcel the Princess, waited till the morning dawned. Then he went forth to the Bazar and brought him a somewhat of wormwood409 for a silvern Nusf and brought it back, and, as soon as the time of congregational prayers came, the Sultan went forth to his devotions and gave orders that Abu Niyyah be admitted to his daughter whilst the folk were busy at their devotions. Abu Niyyah repaired to his patient, and scattered the Absinthium beneath the soles of her feet, when, lo, and behold! she was made whole, and she groaned and cried aloud, “Where am I?” Hereat the mother rejoiced and whoso were in the Palace; and, as the Sultan returned from the Mosque, he found his daughter sitting sane and sound, after they had dressed her and perfumed her and adorned her, and she met him with glee and gladness. So the two embraced and their joy increased, and the father fell to giving alms and scattering moneys amongst the Fakirs and the miserable and the widows and orphans, in gratitude for his daughter’s recovery. Moreover he also released the student youth and largessed him, and bade him gang his gait. After this the King summoned Abu Niyyah into the presence and said to him, “O young man, ask a boon first of Allah and then of me and let it be everything thou wishest and wantest.” Quoth the other, “I require of thee to wife the damsel from whom I drove away the Spirit,” and the King turning to his Minster said, “Counsel me, O Wazir.” Quoth the other, “Put him off until the morrow;” and quoth the Sultan, “O youth, come back to me hither on the morning of the next day.” Hereupon Abu Niyyah was dismissed the presence, and betimes on the day appointed he came to the Sultan and found the Wazir beside him hending in hand a gem whose like was not to be found amongst the Kings. Then he set it before the Sultan and said to him, “Show it to the Youth and say to him, ‘The dowry of the Princess, my daughter, is a jewel like unto this.’” But whilst Abu Niyyah was standing between his hands the King showed him the gem and repeated to him the words of the Wazir, thinking to himself that it was a pretext for refusing the youth, and saying in his mind, “He will never be able to produce aught like that which the Wazir has brought.” Hereupon Abu Niyyah asked, “An so be I bring thee ten equal to this, wilt thou give me the damsel?” and the King answered, “I will.” The youth went from him when this was agreed upon and fared to the Market Street, where he bought him a white cock in its tenth month, such as had been described by the ’Ifrit, whose plume had not a trace of black or red feathers but was of the purest white. Then he fared without the town and in the direction of the setting sun until he came to the Azure Column, which he found exactly as he had heard it from the Jinni, and going to it, he cut the throat of the cock thereupon, when all of a sudden the earth gaped and therein appeared a chamber full of jewels sized as ostrich eggs. That being the Hoard, he went forth and brought with him ten camels, each bearing two large sacks, and returning to the treasure-room, he filled all of these bags with gems and loaded them upon the beasts. Presently he entered to the Sultan with his string of ten camels and, causing them to kneel in the court-yard of the Divan, cried to him, “Come down, O King of the Age, and take the dowry of thy daughter.” So the Sultan turned towards him and, looking at the ten camels, exclaimed, “By Allah, this youth is Jinn-mad; yet will I go down to see him.” Accordingly he descended the staircase to the place where the camels had been made to kneel, and when the sacks had been unloaded and as the King came amongst them, the bags were opened and were found full of jewels greater and more glorious than the one was with him. Hereupon the Sultan was perplext and his wits were bewildered, and he cried to the Wazir, “Walla-hi! I think that all the Kings of the Earth in its length and its breadth have not one single gem the like of these: but say me how shall I act, O Wazir?” The Minister replied, “Give him the girl.”— 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 how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night, an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four 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 Wazir said to the King, “Give him the girl.” Hereupon the marriage-tie was tied and the bridegroom was led in to the bride, and either rejoiced mightily in his mate,410 and was increased their joy and destroyed was all annoy. Now Abu Niyyah was a favourite of Fortune, so the Sultan appointed him the government during three days of every week, and he continued ruling after that fashion for a while of time. But one day of the days, as he was sitting in his pleasaunce, suddenly the man Abu Niyyatayn passed before him leaning on a palm-stick, and crying, “O ye beneficent, O ye folk of good!” When Abu Niyyah beheld him he said to his Chamberlain, “Hither with yonder man;” and as soon as he was brought he bade them lead him to the Hammam and dress him in a new habit. They did his bidding and set the beggar before his whilome comrade who said to him, “Dost thou know me?” “No, O my lord,” said the other; and he, “I am thy companion of old whom thou wouldst have left to die in the well; but I, by Allah, never changed my intent, and all that I own in this world I will give unto thee half thereof.” And they sat in converse for a while of time, until at last the Double-minded one, “Whence camest thou by all this?” and quoth he, “From the well wherein thou threwest me.” Hereupon from the excess of his envy and malice Abu Niyyatayn said to Abu Niyyah, “I also will go down that well and what to thee was given the same shall be given to me.” Then he left him and went forth from him, and he ceased not faring until he made the place. Presently he descended, and having reached the bottom, there sat until the hour of nightfall, when behold! the two ’Ifrits came and, taking seat by the well-mouth, salam’d each to other. But they had no force nor contrivance and both were as weaklings; so said one of them, “What is thy case, O my brother, and how is thy health?” and said the other, “Ah me, O my brother, since the hour that that I was with thee in this place on such a night, I have been cast out of the Sultan’s daughter, and until this tide I have been unable to approach her or indeed at any other time.” Said his comrade, “I also am like thee, for the Hoard hath forth from me, and I have waxed feeble.”411 then cried the twain, “By Allah, the origin of our losses is from this well, so let us block it up with stones.” Hereupon the twain arose and brought with them crumbling earth and pebbles,412 and threw it down the well when it fell upon Abu Niyyatayn, and his bones were crushed upon his flesh.413 now his comrade, Abu Niyyah, sat expecting him to return, but he came not, so he cried, “Wallahi! needs must I go and look for him in yonder well and see what he is doing.” So he took horse and fared thither and found the pit filled up; so he knew and was certified that his comrade’s intent had been evil, and had cast him into the hands of death. — 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 should 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 Four 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 Abu Niyyah knew and was certified of his comrade Abu Niyyatayn being dead, so he cried aloud, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah the Glorious, the Great. O Allah mine, do thou deliver me from envy, for that it destroyeth the envier and haply jealousy may lead to frowardness against the Lord (glorified be His Glory!);” and so saying he returned to the seat of his kingdom. Now the Sultan’s daughter his spouse had two sisters, both married,414 and she after the delay of a year or so proved with child, but when her tale of days was told and her delivery was nearhand her father fell sick and his malady grew upon him. So he summoned the Lords of his court and his kingdom one and all, and he said, “In very deed this my son-in-law shall after my decease become my successor;” and he wrote a writ to that purport and devised to him the realm and the reign before his demise; nor was there long delay ere the old King departed to the ruth of Allah and they buried him. Hereupon trouble arose between his two other sons-in-law who had married the Princesses and said they, “We were connected with him ere this man was and we are before him in our claim to the kingdom.” Thereupon said the Wazir, “This rede is other than right, for that the old King before his decease devised his country to this one and also write it in his will and testament: here therefor ye are opposing him, and the result will be trouble and repentance.” And when the Minister spoke on such wise they kept to their houses. Presently the wife of Abu Niyyah bare him a babe, her two sisters being present at her accouchement; and they gave to the midwife an hundred gold pieces and agreed upon what was to be done. So when the babe was born they put in his place a pup and taking the infant away sent it by a slave-girl who exposed it at the gate of the royal garden. Then they said and spread abroad, “Verily, the Sultan’s wife hath been delivered of a doglet,” and when the tidings came to Abu Niyyah’s ears he exclaimed, “Verily this also is a creation of Allah Almighty’s:” so they clothed the pup and tended it with all care. Anon the wife became pregnant a second time and when her days were fulfilled she bare a second babe which was the fairest of its time and the sisters did with it as they had done with the first and taking the infant they exposed him at the door of the garden. Then they brought to the mother another dog-pup in lieu of her babe, saying, “Verily the Queen hath been delivered a second time of a doglet.” Now in this wise it fared with them: but as regards the two infants which were cast away at the garden gate the first was taken up by the Gardener whose wife, by decree of the Decreer, had become a mother on that very same night; so the man carried away the infant he found exposed and brought the foundling home and the woman fell to suckling it. After the third year the Gardener went forth one day of the days and happening upon the second infant in similar case he bore it also back to his wife who began to suckle it and wash it and tend it and nurse it, till the twain grew up and entered into their third and fourth years. The Sultan had in the meantime been keeping the two pups which he deemed to have been brought forth by his wife until the Queen became in the family-way for the third time. Hereupon the Sultan said, “By Allah, ’tis not possible but that I be present at and witness her accouchement;” and the while she was bringing forth he sat beside her. So she was delivered of a girl-child, in whom the father rejoiced with great joy and bade bring for her wet-nurses who suckled her for two years until the milk time was past.415 This girl grew up till she reached the age of four years and she could distinguish between her mother and her father who, whenever he went to the royal garden would take her with him. But when she beheld the Gardener’s two boys she became familiar with them and would play with them; and, as each day ended, her father would carry her away from the children and lead her home, and this parting was grievous to her and she wept right sore. Hereat the Sultan would take also the boys with her until sleep prevailed over her, after which he would send the twain back to their sire the Gardener. But Abu Niyyah the Sultan would ever wonder at the boys and would exclaim, “Praise be to Allah, how beautiful are these dark-skinned children!” This endured until one day of the days when the King entered into the garden and there found that the two beautiful boys416 had taken some clay and were working it into the figures of horses and saddles and weapons of war and were opening the ground and making a water-leat;417 so the Sultan wondered thereat time after time for that he ever found them in similar case. And he marvelled the more because whenever he looked upon them his heart was opened to both and he yearned to the twain and he would give them some gold pieces although he knew not the cause of his affection. Now one day he entered the garden, and he came upon the two boys of whom one was saying, “I am the Sultan!” and the other declaring, “I am the Wazir!” He wondered at their words and forthwith summoned the Gardener and asked him concerning the lads, and lastly quoth he to him, “Say me sooth and fear naught from me.” Quoth the other, “By Allah, O King of the Age, albe falsehood be saving, yet is soothfastness more saving and most saving; and indeed as regards these children the elder was found by me exposed at the gateway of the royal garden on such a night of such a year, and I came upon the second in the very same place; so I carried them to my wife who suckled them and tended them and they say to her, ‘O mother,’ and they say to me, ‘O father.’” Hereupon Abu Niyyah the King returned home and summoning the midwife asked her, saying, “By the virtue of my predecessors in this kingdom, do thou tell me the truth concerning my spouse, whether or no she was delivered of two dog-pups,” and she answered, “No, by Allah, O King of the Age, verily the Queen bare thee two babes like full moons and the cause of their exposure before the garden gate was thy wife’s two sisters who envied her and did with her these deeds whereof she was not aware.”418 hereupon cried Abu Niyyah, “Alhamdolillah — Glory be to God who hat brought about this good to me and hath united me with my children, and soothfast is the say, ‘Whoso doeth an action shall be requited of his Lord and the envious wight hath no delight and of his envy he shall win naught save despight.’”419 Then the King of Mosul, being a man of good intent, did not put to death his wife’s sisters and their husbands, but banished them his realm, and he lived happily with his Queen and children until such time as the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies came to him and he deceased to the mercy of Almighty Allah.

End of Volume xiv.

394 In 1821, Scott (p. 214) following Gilchrist’s method of transliterating eastern tongues wrote “Abou Neeut” and “Neeuteen” (the latter a bad blunder making a masc. plural of a fem. dual). In 1822 Edouard Gauttier (vi. 320) gallicised the names to “Abou-Nyout” and “Abou-Nyoutyn” with the same mistake and one superadded; there is no such Arabic word as “Niyút.” Mr. Kirby in 1822, “The New Arabian Nights” (p. 366) reduced the words to “Abu Neut” and “Abu Neuteen,” which is still less intelligible than Scott’s; and, lastly, the well-known Turkish scholar Dr. Redhouse converted the tortured names to “Abú Niyyet” and “Abú Niyyeteyn,” thus rightly giving a “tashdíd” (reduplication sign) to the Yá (see Appendix p. 430 to Suppl. Vol. No iii. and Turk. Dict. sub voce “Niyyat”). The Arab. is “Niyyah” = will, purpose, intent; “Abú Niyyah” (Grammat. “Abú Niyyatin”) Father of one Intent = single-minded and “Abú Niyyatayn” = Father of two Intents or double-minded; and Richardson is deficient when he writes only “Niyat” for “Niyyat.” I had some hesitation about translating this tale which begins with the “Envier and the Envied” (vol. i. 123) and ends with the “Sisters who envied their Cadette” (Supple. vol. iii. 313). But the extant versions of it are so imperfect in English and French that I made up my mind to include it in this collection. —[Richardson’s “Niyat” is rather another, although rarer form of the same word. — St.]

395 [I read: “wa tukarribu ’I-’abda ilayya,” referring the verb to “al-Sadakh” (the alms) and translating: “and it bringeth the servant near to me,” the speaker, in Coranic fashion supposed to be Allah. — St.]

396 The text prefers the Egyptian form “Sherífi” pl. “Sherífíyah,” which was adopted by the Portuguese.

397 The grace after meat, “Bismillah” being that which precedes it. Abu Niyyah was more grateful than a youth of my acquaintance who absolutely declined asking the Lord to “make him truly thankful” after a dinner of cold mutton.

398 [The root “Kart” is given in the dictionaries merely to introduce the word “karít” = complete, speaking of a year, &c., and “Takrít,” the name of a town in Mesopotamia, celebrated for its velvets and as the birth-place of Saladin. According to the first mentioned word I would take the signification of “Kart” to “complement” which here may fitly be rendered by “remainder,” for that which with regard to the full contents of the dinner tray is their complement would of course be their remainder with regard to the viands that have been eaten. — St.]

399 For the “Zakát” = legal alms, which must not be less than two-and-a-half per cent, see vol. i. 339.

400 In text “Kazdír,” for which see vols. iv. 274 and vi. 39. Here is may allude to the canisters which make great show in the general store of a petty shopkeeper.

401 [The MS. reads “murafraf” (passive) from, “Rafraf” = a shelf, arch, anything overhanging something else, there here applying either to the eyebrows as overhanging the eyes, or to the sockets, as forming a vault or cave for them. Perhaps it should be “murafrif” (active part), used of a bird, who spreads his wings and circles round his prey, ready to pounce upon it; hence with prying, hungry, greedy eyes. — St.]

402 Arab. “Niyyah” with the normal pun upon the name.

403 Arab. “’Amil Rasad,” lit. acting as an observatory: but the style is broken as usual, and to judge from the third line below the sentence may signify “And I am acting as Talisman (to the Hoard)”.

404 In the text “Ishári,” which may have many meanings: I take a “shot” at the most likely. In “The Tale of the Envier and the Envied” the counter-spell in a fumigation by means of some white hair plucked from a white spot, the size of a dirham, at the tail-end of a black tom-cat (vol. i. 124). According to the Welsh legend, “the Devil hates cocks”— I suppose since that fowl warned Peter of his fall.

405 In text “Yaum al-Ahad,” which begins the Moslem week: see vols. iii. 249, and vi. 190.

406 [In Ar. “Harj wa Laght.” The former is generally joined with “Marj” (Harj wa Marj) to express utter confusion, chaos, anarchy. “Laght” (also pronounced Laghat and written with the palatal “t”) has been mentioned supra p. 11 as a synonym of “Jalabah” = clamour, tumult, etc. — St.]

407 [In Ar. “yahjubu,” aor. Of “hajaba” = he veiled, put out of sight, excluded, warded off. Amongst other significations the word is technically used of a nearer degree of relationship excluding entirely or partially a more distant one from inheritance. — St.]

408 Arab. “Yaum al-Jum’ah” = Assembly-day, Friday: see vol. vi. 120.

409 A regular Badawi remedy. This Artemisia (Arab. Shayh), which the Dicts. translate “wormwood of Pontus,” is the sweetest herb of the Desert, and much relished by the wild men: see my “Pilgrimage,” vol. i. 228. The Finnish Arabist Wallin, who died Professor of Arabic at Helsingfors, speaks of a “Faráshat al-Shayh” = a carpet of wormwood.

410 “Sáhibi-h,” the masculine; because, as the old grammar tells us, that gender is more worthy than the feminine.

411 i.e., his strength was in the old: see vol. i. 340.

412 Arab. “Haysumah” = smooth stones (water-rounded?).

413 For “his flesh was crushed upon his bones,” a fair specimen of Arab. “Metonomy-cum-hyperbole.” In the days when Mr. John Bull boasted of his realism versus Gallic idealism, he “got wet to the skin” when M. Jean Crapaud was mouillé jusqu’aux os.

For the Angels supposed to haunt a pure and holy well, and the trick played by Ibn Túmart, see Ibn Khaldun’s Hist. of the Berbers, vol. ii. 575.

414 Here begins the second tale which is a weak replica of Galland’s “Two Sisters,” &c.

415 This is the usual term amongst savages and barbarians, and during that period the father has no connection with the mother. Civilisation has abolished this natural practice which is observed by all the lower animals and has not improved human matters. For an excellent dissertation on the subject see the letter on Polygamy by Mrs. Belinda M. Pratt, in “The City of the Saints,” p. 525.

416 In text “Kuwayyis,” dim. of “Kayyis,” and much used in Egypt as an adj. = “pretty,” “nice,” and as an adv. “well,” “nicely.” See s.v. Spitta Bey’s Glossary to Contes Arabes Modernes. The word is familiar to the travellers in the Nile-valley.

417 In Arab. a “Kanát;” see vol. iii. 141. The first occupation came from nature; the second from seeing the work of the adopted father.

418 Abu Niyyah, like most house masters in the East, not to speak of Kings, was the last to be told a truth familiar to everyone but himself and his wife.

419 The MS. breaks off abruptly at this sentence and evidently lacks finish. Scott (vi., 228) adds, “The young princes were acknowledged and the good Abou Neeut had the satisfaction of seeing them grow up to follow his example.”

In the MS. this tale is followed by a “Story of his own Adventures related by a connection to an Emir of Egypt.” I have omitted it because it is a somewhat faded replica of “The Lovers of the Banú Ozrah” (Vol. vii. 177; Lane iii. 247).

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