The European editions of the Thousand and One Nights, even excluding the hundreds of popular editions which have nothing specially noticeable about them, are very numerous; and the following Notes must, I am fully aware, be incomplete, though they will, perhaps, be found useful to persons interested in the subject. Although I believe that editions of most of the English, French, and German versions of any importance have passed through my hands, I have not had an opportunity of comparing many in other languages, some of which at least may be independent editions, not derived from Galland. The imitations and adaptations of The Nights are, perhaps, more numerous than the editions of The Nights themselves, if we exclude mere reprints of Galland; and many of them are even more difficult of access.
In the following Notes, I have sometimes referred to tales by their numbers in the Table.
Galland’s Ms. and Translation.
The first Ms. of The Nights known in Europe was brought to Paris by Galland at the close of the 17th century; and his translation was published in Paris, in twelve small volumes, under the title of “Les Mille et une Nuit: Contes Arabes, traduits en Francois par M. Galland.” These volumes appeared at intervals between 1704 and 1717. Galland himself died in 1715, and it is uncertain how far he was responsible for the latter part of the work. Only the first six of the twelve vols. are divided into Nights, vol. 6 completing the story of Camaralzaman, and ending with Night 234. The Voyages of Sindbad are not found in Galland’s Ms., though he has intercalated them as Nights 69–90 between Nos. 3 and 4. It should be mentioned, however, that in some texts (Bresl., for instance) No. 133 is placed much earlier in the series than in others.
The stories in Galland’s last six vols. may be divided into two classes, viz., those known to occur in genuine texts of The Nights, and those which do not. To the first category belong Nos. 7, 8, 59, 153 and 170; and some even of these are not found in Galland’s own Ms., but were derived by him from other sources. The remaining tales (Nos. 191–198) do not really belong to The Nights; and, strange to say, although they are certainly genuine Oriental tales, the actual originals have never been found. I am inclined to think that Galland may, perhaps, have written and adapted them from his recollection of stories which he himself heard related during his own residence in the East, especially as most of these tales appear to be derived rather from Persian or Turkish than from Arabian sources.
The following Preface appeared in vol. 9 which I translate from Talander’s German edition, as the original is not before me:
“The two stories with which the eighth volume concludes do not properly belong to the Thousand and One Nights. They were added and printed without the previous knowledge of the translator, who had not the slightest idea of the trick that had been played upon him until the eighth volume was actually on sale. The reader must not, therefore, be surprised that the story of the Sleeper Awakened, which commences vol. 9, is written as if Scheherazade had related it immediately after the story of Ganem, which forms the greater part of vol. 8. Care will be taken to omit these two stories in a new edition, as not belonging to the work.”
It is, perhaps, not to be wondered at that when the new edition was actually published, subsequently to Galland’s death, the condemned stories were retained, and the preface withdrawn; though No. 170 still reads as if it followed No. 8.
The information I have been able to collect respecting the disputed tales is very slight. I once saw a Ms. advertised in an auction catalogue (I think that of the library of the late Prof. H. H. Wilson) as containing two of Galland’s doubtful tales, but which they were was not stated. The fourth and last volume of the Ms. used by Galland is lost; but it is almost certain that it did not contain any of these tales (compare Payne, ix. 265 note).
The story of Zeyn Alasnam (No. 191) is derived from the same source as that of the Fourth Durwesh, in the well-known Hindustani reading-book, the Bagh o Bahar. If it is based upon this, Galland has greatly altered and improved it, and has given it the whole colouring of a European moral fairy tale.
The story of Ali Baba (No. 195) is, I have been told, a Chinese tale. It occurs under the title of the Two Brothers and the Forty-nine Dragons in Geldart’s Modern Greek Tales. It has also been stated that the late Prof. Palmer met with a very similar story among the Arabs of Sinai (Payne, ix. 266).
The story of Sidi Nouman (No 194b) may have been based partly upon the Third Shaykh’s Story (No. 1c), which Galland omits. The feast of the Ghools is, I believe, Greek or Turkish, rather than Arabic, in character, as vampires, personified plague, and similar horrors are much commoner in the folk-lore of the former peoples.
Many incidents of the doubtful, as well as of the genuine tales, are common in European folk-lore (versions of Nos. 2 and 198, for instance, occur in Grimm’s Kinder und Hausmärchen), and some of the doubtful tales have their analogues in Scott’s Ms., as will be noticed in due course.
I have not seen Galland’s original edition in 12 vols.; but the Stadt–Bibliothek of Frankfort-on-Main contains a copy, published at La Haye, in 12 vols. (with frontispieces), made up of two or more editions, as follows:—
Vol. i. (ed. 6) 1729; vols. ii. iii. iv. (ed. 5) 1729; vols. v. vi. viii. (ed. 5) 1728; vol. vii. (ed. 6) 1731; vols. ix. to xi, (ed. not noted) 1730; and vol. xii. (ed. not noted) 1731.
The discrepancies in the dates of the various volumes look (as Mr. Clouston has suggested) as if separate volumes were reprinted as required, independently of the others. This might account for vols. v. vi. and viii. of the fifth edition having been apparently reprinted before vols. ii. iii. and iv.
The oldest French version in the British Museum consists of the first eight vols., published at La Haye, and likewise made up of different editions, as follows:—
i. (ed. 5) 1714; ii. iii. iv. (ed. 4) 1714; v. vi. (ed. 5) 1728; vii. (ed. 5) 1719; viii. (“suivant la copie imprimée à Paris”) 1714.
Most French editions (old and new) contain Galland’s Dedication, “À Madame la Marquise d’O., Dame du Palais de Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne,” followed by an “Avertissement.” In addition to these, the La Haye copies have Fontenelle’s Approbation prefixed to several volumes, but in slightly different words, and bearing different dates. December 27th, 1703 (vol. i.); April 14th, 1704 (vol. vi.); and October 4th, 1705 (vol. vii.). This is according to the British Museum copy; I did not examine the Frankfort copy with reference to the Approbation. The Approbation is translated in full in the old English version as follows: “I have read, by Order of my Lord Chancellor, this Manuscript, wherein I find nothing that ought to hinder its being Printed. And I am of opinion that the Publick will be very well pleased with the Perusal of these Oriental Stories. Paris, 27th December, 1705 [apparently a misprint for 1703] (Signed) Fontenelle.”
In the Paris edition of 1726 (vide infrà), Galland says in his Dedication, “Il a fallu le faire venir de Syrie, et mettre en François, le premier volume que voici, de quatre seulement qui m’ont été envoyez.” So, also, in a Paris edition (in eight vols. 12mo) of 1832; but in the La Haye issue of 1714, we read not “quatre” but “six” volumes. The old German edition of Talander (vide infrà) does not contain Galland’s Dedication (Epitre) or Avertissement.
The earliest French editions were generally in 12 vols., or six; I possess a copy of a six-volume edition, published at Paris in 1726. It may be the second, as the title-page designates it as “nouvelle edition, corrigée.”
Galland’s work was speedily translated into various European languages, and even now forms the original of all the numerous popular editions. The earliest English editions were in six volumes, corresponding to the first six of Galland, and ending with the story of Camaralzaman; nor was it till nearly the end of the 18th century that the remaining half of the work was translated into English. The date of appearance of the first edition is unknown to bibliographers; Lowndes quotes an edition of 1724 as the oldest; but the British Museum contains a set of six vols., made up of portions of the second, third and fourth editions, as follows:—
Vols. i. ii. (ed. 4) 1713; vols. iii. iv. (ed. 2) 1712; and vols. v. vi. (ed. 3) 1715.
Here likewise the separate volumes seem to have been reprinted independently of each other; and it is not unlikely that the English translation may have closely followed the French publication, being issued volume by volume, as the French appeared, as far as vol. vi. The title-page of this old edition is very quaint:
“Arabian Nights Entertainments, consisting of One thousand and one Stories, told by the Sultaness of the Indies to divert the Sultan from the Execution of a Bloody Vow he had made, to marry a Lady every day, and have her head cut off next Morning, to avenge himself for the Disloyalty of the first Sultaness, also containing a better account of the Customs, Manners and Religion of the Eastern Nations, viz., Tartars, Persians and Indians, than is to be met with in any Author hitherto published. Translated into French from the Arabian Mss. by Mr. Galland of the Royal Academy, and now done into English. Printed for Andrew Bell at the Cross Keys and Bible, in Cornhill.”
The British Museum has an edition in 4to published in 1772, in farthing numbers, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It extends to 79 numbers, forming five volumes.
The various editions of the Old English version appear to be rare, and the set in the British Museum is very poor. The oldest edition which I have seen containing the latter half of Galland’s version is called the 14th edition, and was published in London in four volumes, in 1778. Curiously enough, the “13th edition,” also containing the conclusion, was published at Edinburgh in three volumes in 1780. Perhaps it is a reprint of a London edition published before that of 1778. The Scotch appear to have been fond of The Nights, as there are many Scotch editions both of The Nights and the imitations.
Revised or annotated editions by Piguenit (4 vols., London, 1792) and Gough (4 vols., Edinburgh, 1798) may deserve a passing notice.
A new translation of Galland, by Rev. E. Forster, in five vols. 4to, with engravings from pictures by Robert Smirke, R.A., appeared in 1802, and now commands a higher price than any other edition of Galland. A new edition in 8vo appeared in 1810. Most of the recent popular English versions are based either upon Forster’s or Scott’s.
Another translation from Galland, by G. S. Beaumont (four vols. 8vo), appeared in 1811. (Lowndes writes Wiliam Beaumont.)
Among the various popular editions of later date we may mention an edition in two vols., 8vo, published at Liverpool (1813), and containing Cazotte’s Continuation; an edition published by Griffin and Co., in 1866, to which Beckford’s “Vathek” is appended; an edition “arranged for the perusal of youthful readers,” by the Hon. Mrs. Sugden (Whittaker & Co., 1863); and “Five Favourite Tales from The Arabian Nights in words of one syllable, by A. & E. Warner” (Lewis, 1871).
Some of the English editions of Galland aim at originality by arranging the tales in a different order. The cheap edition published by Dicks in 1868 is one instance.
An English version of Galland was published at Lucknow, in four vols., 8vo, in 1880.
I should, perhaps, mention that I have not noticed De Sacy’s “Mille et une Nuit,” because it is simply a new edition of Galland; and I have not seen either Destain’s French edition (mentioned by Sir R. F. Burton), nor Cardonne’s Continuation (mentioned in Cabinet des Fées, xxxvii. p. 83). As Cardonne died in 1784, his Continuation, if genuine, would be the earliest of all.
The oldest German version, by Talander, seems to have appeared in volumes, as the French was issued; and these volumes were certainly reprinted when required, without indication of separate editions, but in slightly varied style, and with alteration of date. The old German version is said to be rarer than the French. It is in twelve parts — some, however, being double. The set before me is clearly made up of different reprints, and the first title-page is as follows: “Die Tausend und eine Nacht, worinnen seltzame Arabische Historien und wunderbare Begebenheiten, benebst artigen Liebes–Intriguen, auch Sitten und Gewohnheiten der Morgenländer, auf sehr anmuthige Weise, erzehlet werden; Erstlich vom Hru. Galland, der Königl. Academie Mitgliede aus der Arabischen Sprache in die Französische und aus selbiger anitzo ins Deutsche übersetzt: Erster und Anderer Theil. Mit der Vorrede Herru Talanders. Leipzig Verlegts Moritz Georg Weidmann Sr. Konigl. Maj. in Hohlen und Churfürstl. Durchl. zu Sachsen Buchhändler, Anno 1730.” Talander’s Preface relates chiefly to the importance of the work as illustrative of Arabian manners and customs, &c. It is dated from “Liegnitz, den 7 Sept., Anno 1710,” which fixes the approximate date of publication of the first part of this translation. Vols. i. and ii. of my set (double vol. with frontispiece) are dated 1730, and have Talander’s preface; vols. iii. and iv. (divided, but consecutively paged, and with only one title-page and frontispiece and reprint of Talander’s preface) are dated 1719; vols. v. and vi. (same remarks, except that Talander’s preface is here dated 1717) are dated 1737; vol. vii. (no frontispiece; preface dated 1710) is dated 1721; vol. viii (no frontispiece nor preface, nor does Talander’s name appear on the title-page) is dated 1729; vols. ix. and x. (divided, but consecutively paged, and with only one title-page and frontispiece; Talander’s name and preface do not appear, but Galland’s preface to vol. ix., already mentioned, is prefixed) are dated 1731; and vols. xi. and xii. (same remarks, but no preface) are dated 1732.
Galland’s notes are translated, but not his preface and dedication.
There is a later German translation (6 vols. 8vo, Bremen, 1781- 1785) by J. H. Voss, the author of the standard German translation of Homer.
The British Museum has just acquired a Portuguese translation of Galland, in 4 volumes: “As Mil e uma Noites, Contos Arabes,” published by Ernesto Chardron, Editor, Porto e Braga, 1881.
There are two editions of a modern Greek work in the British Museum (1792 and 1804), published at Venice in three small volumes. The first volume contains Galland (Nos. 1–6 of the table) and vols. ii. and iii. chiefly contain the Thousand and One Days. It is, apparently, translated from some Italian work.
Several editions in Italian (Mille ed una Notte) have appeared at Naples and Milan; they are said by Sir R. F. Burton to be mere reprints of Galland.
There are, also, several in Dutch, one of which, by C. Van der Post, in 3 vols. 8vo, published at Utrecht in 1848, purports, I believe, to be a translation from the Arabic, and has been reprinted several times. The Dutch editions are usually entitled, “Arabische Vertellinge.” A Danish edition appeared at Copenhagen in 1818, under the title of “Prindsesses Schehezerade. Fortällinger eller de saakatle Tusende og een Nat. Udgivna paa Dansk vid Heelegaan.” Another, by Rasmassen, was commenced in 1824; and a third Danish work, probably founded on the Thousand and One Nights, and published in 1816, bears the title, “Digt og Eventyr fra Osterland, af arabiska og persischen utrykta kilder.”
I have seen none of these Italian, Dutch or Danish editions; but there is little doubt that most, if not all, are derived from Galland’s work.
The following is the title of a Javanese version, derived from one of the Dutch editions, and published at Leyden in 1865, “Eenige Vertellingen uit de Arabisch duizend en één Nacht. Naar de Nederduitsche vertaling in het Javaansch vertaald, door Winter–Roorda.”
Mr. A. G. Ellis has shown me an edition of Galland’s Aladdin (No. 193) in Malay, by M. Van der Lawan (?) printed in Batavia, A.D. 1869.
We shall speak elsewhere of the Cabinet des Fées; but the last four volumes of this great collection (38 to 41), published at Geneva from 1788 to 1793, contain a work entitled, “Les Veillées du Sultan Schahriar avec la Sultane Scheherazade; histoires incroyables, amusantes et morales, traduites de l’arabe par M. Cazotte et D. Chavis. Faisant suite aux Mille et une Nuits.” Some copies bear the abridged title of “La suite des Mille et une Nuits. Contes Arabes, traduits par Dom Chavis et M. Cazotte.”
This collection of tales was pronounced to be spurious by many critics, and even has been styled “a bare-faced forgery” by a writer in the Edinburgh Review of July, 1886. It is, however, certain that the greater part, if not all, of these tales are founded on genuine Eastern sources, though very few have any real claim to be regarded as actually part of the Thousand and One Nights.
Translations of the originals of most of these tales have been published by Caussin de Perceval and Gauttier; and a comparison clearly shows the great extent to which Chavis and Cazotte have altered, amplified and (in a literary sense) improved their materials.
It is rather surprising that no recent edition of this work seems to have been issued, perhaps owing to the persistent doubts cast upon its authenticity, only a few of the tales, and those not the best, having appeared in different collections. My friend, Mr. A. G. Ellis, himself an Oriental scholar, has remarked to me that he considers these tales as good as the old “Arabian Nights”; and I quite agree with him that Chavis and Cazotte’s Continuation is well worthy of re-publication in its entirety.
The following are the principal tales comprised in this collection, those included in our Table from later authors being indicated.
The Robber Caliph, or the Adventures of Haroun Alraschid with the Princess of Persia, and the beautiful Zutulbe. (No. 246.)
The Power of Destiny, being the History of the Journey of Giafar to Damas, containing the Adventures of Chelih and his Family. (No. 280.)
History of Halechalbe and the Unknown Lady. (No. 204c.)
Story of Xailoun the Idiot.
The Adventures of Simoustapha and the Princess Ilsetilsone. (No. 247.)
History of Alibengiad, Sultan of Herak, and of the False Birds of Paradise.
History of Sinkarib and his Two Viziers. (No. 249.)
History of the Family of the Schebandad of Surat.
Story of Bohetzad and his Ten Viziers. (No. 174.)
Story of Habib and Dorathil–Goase. (No. 251.)
History of the Maugraby, or the Magician.
Of these, Nos. 4, 6, 8 and 11 only are not positively known in the original. No. 11 is interesting, as it is the seed from which Southey’s “Thalaba the Destroyer” was derived.
On the word Maugraby, which means simply Moor, Cazotte has the following curious note: “Ce mot signifie barbare, barbaresque plus proprement. On jure encore par lui en Provence, en Languedoc, et en Gascogne Maugraby; ou ailleurs en France Meugrebleu.”
The Domdaniel, where Zatanai held his court with Maugraby and his pupilmagicians, is described as being under the sea near Tunis. In Weil’s story of Joodar and Mahmood (No. 201) the Magician Mahmood is always called the Moor of Tunis.
No. 3 (=our No. 204c) contains the additional incident of the door opened only once a year which occurs in our No. 9a, aa.
Moore probably took the name Namouna from Cazotte’s No. 5, in which it occurs. In the same story we find a curious name of a Jinniyah, Setelpedour. Can it be a corruption of Sitt El Budoor?
For further remarks on Cazotte’s Continuation, compare Russell’s History of Aleppo, i. p. 385; and Russell and Scott, Ouseley’s Oriental Collections, i. pp. 246, 247; ii. p. 25; and the “Gentleman’s Magazine” for February, 1779.
An English version under the title “Arabian Tales, or a Continuation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments,” translated by Robert Heron, was published in Edinburgh in 1792 in 4 vols., and in London in 1794 in 3 vols. It was reprinted in Weber’s “Tales of the East” (Edinburgh, 1812); and, as already mentioned, is included in an edition of the Arabian Nights published in Liverpool in 1813.
A German translation forms vols. 5 to 8 of the “Blaue Bibliothek,” published in Gotha in 1790 and 1791; and the British Museum possesses vols. 3 and 4 of a Russian edition, published at Moscow in 1794 and 1795, which is erroneously entered in the catalogue as the Arabian Nights in Russian.
Respecting the work of Chavis and Cazotte, Sir R. F. Burton remarks, “Dom Dennis Chavis was a Syrian priest of the order of Saint Bazil, who was invited to Paris by the learned minister, Baron Arteuil, and he was assisted by M. Cazotte, a French author, then well known, but wholly ignorant of Arabic. These tales are evidently derived from native sources; the story of Bohetzad (King Bakhtiyar) and his Ten Wazirs is taken bodily from the Bres. Edit. [not so; but the original Arabic had long been known in the French libraries]. As regards the style and treatment, it is sufficient to say that the authors out-Gallanded Galland, while Heron exaggerates every fault of his original.”
The first enlarged edition of Galland in French was published by Caussin de Perceval, at Paris, in 9 vols., 8vo (1806). In addition to Galland’s version, he added four tales (Nos. 21a, 22, 32 and 37), with which he had been furnished by Von Hammer. He also added a series of tales, derived from Mss. in the Parisian libraries, most of which correspond to those of Cazotte.
The most important of the later French editions was published by E. Gauttier in 7 vols. in 1822; it contains much new matter. At the end, the editor gives a list of all the tales which he includes, with arguments. He has rather oddly distributed his material so as to make only 568 nights. The full contents are given in our Table; the following points require more special notice. Vol. i. Gauttier omits the Third Shaykh’s story (No. 1c) on account of its indecency, although it is really no worse than any other story in The Nights. In the story of the Fisherman, he has fallen into a very curious series of errors. He has misunderstood King Yunan’s reference to King Sindbad (Burton i. p. 50) to refer to the Book of Sindibad (No. 135); and has confounded it with the story of the Forty Vazirs, which he says exists in Arabic as well as in Turkish. Of this latter, therefore, he gives an imperfect version, embedded in the story of King Yunan (No. 2a). Here it may be observed that another imperfect French version of the Forty Vazirs had previously been published by Petis de la Croix under the title of Turkish Tales. A complete German version by Dr. Walter F. A. Behrnauer was published at Leipzig in 1851, and an English version by Mr. E. J. W. Gibb has appeared while these sheets are passing through the press.
Vol. ii. After No. 6 Gauttier places versions of Nos. 32 and 184 by Langlès. The Mock Caliph is here called Aly–Chah. The other three tales given by Caussin de Perceval from Von Hammer’s Mss. are omitted by Gauttier. Vol. v. (after No. 198) concludes with two additional tales (Nos. 207h and 218) from Scott’s version. But the titles are changed, No. 207h being called the Story of the Young Prince and the Green Bird, and No. 218 the Story of Mahmood, although there is another story of Mahmood in vol. 1. (==No. 135m) included as part of the Forty Vazirs.
Vol. vi. includes the Ten Vazirs (No. 174), derived, however, not from the Arabic, but from the Persian Bakhtyar Nameh. Three of the subordinate tales in the Arabic version are wanting in Gauttier’s, and another is transferred to his vol. vii., but he includes one, the King and Queen of Abyssinia (No. 252), which appears to be wanting in the Arabic. The remainder of the volume contains tales from Scott’s version, the title of Mazin of Khorassaun (No. 215) being altered to the Story of Azem and the Queen of the Genii.
Vol. vii. contains a series of tales of which different versions of six only (Nos. 30, 174, 246, 248, 249 and 250) were previously published. Though these have no claim to be considered part of The Nights, they are of sufficient interest to receive a passing mention, especially as Gauttier’s edition seems not to have been consulted by any later writer on The Nights, except Habicht, who based his own edition mainly upon it. Those peculiar to Gauttier’s edition are therefore briefly noticed.
Princess Ameny (No. 253)— A princess who leaves home disguised as a man, and delivers another princess from a black slave. The episode (253b) is a story of enchantment similar to Nos. 1a-c.
Aly Djohary (No. 254)— Story of a young man’s expedition in search of a magical remedy.
The Princes of Cochin China (No. 255)— The princes travel in search of their sister who is married to a Jinni, who is under the curse of Solomon. The second succeeds in breaking the spell, and thus rescues both his brother, his sister, and the Jinni by killing a bird to which the destiny of the last is attached. (This incident is common in fiction; we find it in the genuine Nights in Nos. 154a and 201.)
The Wife with Two Husbands (No. 256)— A well-known Eastern story; it may be found in Wells’ “Mehemet the Kurd,” pp. 121–127, taken from the Forty Vazirs. Compare Gibbs, the 24th Vazir’s Story, pp. 257–266.
The Favourite (No. 257)— One of the ordinary tales of a man smuggled into a royal harem in a chest (compare Nos. 6b and 166).
Zoussouf and the Indian Merchant (No. 258)— Story of a ruined man travelling to regain his fortune.
Prince Benazir (No. 258)— Story of a Prince promised at his birth, and afterwards given up by his parents to an evil Jinni, whom he ultimately destroys. (Such promises, especially, as here, in cases of difficult labour, are extremely common in folk-tales; the idea probably originated in the dedication of a child to the Gods.) Gauttier thinks that this story may have suggested that of Maugraby to Cazotte; but it appears to me rather doubtful whether it is quite elaborate enough for Cazotte to have used it in this manner.
Selim, Sultan of Egypt (No. 261)— This and its subordinate tales chiefly relate to unfaithful wives; that of Adileh (No. 261b) is curious; she is restored to life by Jesus (whom Gauttier, from motives of religious delicacy, turns into a Jinni!) to console her disconsolate husband, and immediately betrays the latter. These tales are apparently from the Forty Vazirs; cf. Gibbs, the 10th Vazir’s Story, pp. 122–129 (= our No. 261) and the Sixth Vazir’s Story, pp. 32–84 (= No. 261b.)
The bulk of the tales in Gauttier’s vol. vii. are derived from posthumous Mss. of M. Langlès, and several have never been published in English. Gauttier’s version of Heycar (No. 248) was contributed by M. Agoub.
The best-known modern German version (Tausend und Eine Nacht, Arabische Erzahlungen, Deutsch von Max. Habicht, Fr. H. von der Hagen und Carl Schall. Breslau, 15 vols. 12mo) is mainly based upon Gauttier’s edition, but with extensive additions, chiefly derived from the Breslau text. An important feature of this version is that it includes translations of the prefaces of the various editions used by the editors, and therefore supplies a good deal of information not always easily accessible elsewhere. There are often brief notes at the end of the volumes.
The fifth edition of Habicht’s version is before me, dated 1840; but the preface to vol. i. is dated 1824, which may be taken to represent the approximate date of its first publication. The following points in the various vols. may be specially noticed:—
Vol. i. commences with the preface of the German editor, setting forth the object and scope of his edition; and the prefaces of Gauttier and Galland follow. No. 1c, omitted by Gauttier, is inserted in its place. Vols. ii. and iii. (No. 133), notes, chiefly from Langlès, are appended to the Voyages of Sindbad; and the destinations of the first six are given as follows:—
Vol. v. contains an unimportant notice from Galland, with additional remarks by the German editors, respecting the division of the work into Nights.
Vol. vi. contains another unimportant preface respecting Nos. 191 and 192.
Vol. x. Here the preface is of more importance, relating to the contents of the volume, and especially to the Ten Vazirs (No. 174).
Vol. xi. contains tales from Scott. The preface contains a full account of his Mss., and the tales published in his vol. vi. This preface is taken partly from Ouseley’s Oriental Collections, and partly from Scott’s own preface.
Vol. xii. contains tales from Gauttier, vol. vii. The preface gives the full contents of Clarke’s and Von Hammer’s Mss.
Vol. xiii. includes Caussin de Perceval’s Preface, the remaining tales from Gauttier’s vol. vii. (ending with Night 568), and four tales from Caussin which Gauttier omits (Nos. 21a, 22, 37 and 202).
Vols. xiv. and xv. (extending from Night 884 to Night 1001) consist of tales from the Breslau edition, to which a short preface, signed by Dr. Max. Habicht, is prefixed. The first of these tales is a fragment of the important Romance of Seyf Zul Yesn (so often referred to by Lane), which seems to have been mixed with Habicht’s Ms. of The Nights by mistake. (Compare Payne, Tales, iii. 243.)
In this fragment we have several incidents resembling The Nights; there is a statue which sounds an alarm when an enemy enters a city (cf. Nos. 59 and 137); Seyf himself is converted to the faith of Abraham, and enters a city where a book written by Japhet is preserved. The text of this story has lately been published; and Sir R. F. Burton informs me that he thinks he has seen a complete version in some European language; but I have not succeeded in obtaining any particulars concerning it.
On account of the interest and importance of the work, I append to this section an English version of the fragment translated into German by Habicht. (From the extreme simplicity of the style, which I have preserved, I suspect that the translation is considerably abridged.)
There is an Icelandic version of The Nights (púsund og ein Nott. Arabiskar Sögur. Kaupmannahöfn, 1857, 4 vols. roy. 8vo), which contains Galland’s tales, and a selection of others, distributed into 1001 Nights, and apparently taken chiefly from Gauttier, but with the addition of two or three which seem to be borrowed from Lane (Nos. 9a, 163, 165, &c.). It is possibly derived immediately from some Danish edition.
There is one popular English version which may fairly be called a composite edition; but it is not based upon Gauttier. This is the “Select Library Edition. Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, selected and revised for general use. To which are added other specimens of Eastern Romance. London: James Burns, 1847. 2 vols.”
It contains the following tales from The Nights: Nos. 134, 3, 133, 162, 1, 2, 155, 191, 193, 192, 194, 194a, 194c, 21, 198, 170, 6.
No. 134 is called the City of Silence, instead of the City of Brass, and is certainly based partly upon Lane. In No. 155, Manar Al Sana is called Nur Al Nissa. One story, “The Wicked Dervise,” is taken from Dow’s “Persian Tales of Inatulla;” another “The Enchanters, or the Story of Misnar,” is taken from the “Tales of the Genii.” Four other tales, “Jalaladdeen of Bagdad,” “The two Talismans,” “The Story of Haschem,” and “Jussof, the Merchant of Balsora,” clearly German imitations, are said to be translated from the German of Grimm, and there are two others, “Abdullah and Balsora,” and “The King and his Servant,” the origin of which I do not recognise, although I think I have read the last before.
Grimm’s story of Haschem concludes with the hero’s promotion to the post of Grand Vizier to Haroun Al–Rashid, in consequence of the desire of the aged “Giafar” to end his days in peaceful retirement! The principal incident in Jalaladdeen, is that of the Old Woman in the Chest, borrowed from the wellknown story of the Merchant Abudah in the “Tales of the Genii,” and it is thus an imitation of an imitation,
In very ancient times, long before the age of Mohammed, there lived a King of Yemen, named Zul Yezn. He was a Himyarite of the race of Fubbaa (Tabbá’) and had large armies and a great capital. His Minister was named Yottreb (Yathrab == Medinat), and was well skilled in the knowledge of the ancients. He once had a vision in which the name of the Prophet was revealed to him, with the announcement of his mission in later times; and he was also informed that he would be the last of the Prophets. In consequence of this vision he believed in the Prophet before his advent; but he concealed his faith. One day the King held a review of his troops, and was delighted with their number and handsome appearance. He said to the Wazir, “Is there any person on earth whose power can compare with mine?” “O yes,” answered the Wazir, “there is King Baal–Beg, whose troops fill the deserts and the cultivated lands, the plains and the valleys.” “I must make war upon him, then,” exclaimed the King, “and destroy his power.” He immediately ordered the army to prepare to march, and after a few days the drums and trumpets were heard. The King and his Wazir set forth in magnificent array, and after a rapid march, they arrived before the holy city Medina, which may God keep in high renown! The Wazir then said to the King, “Here is the holy house of God, and the place of great ceremonies. No one should enter here who is not perfectly pure, and with head and feet bare. Pass around it with your companions, according to the custom of the Arabs.” The King was so pleased with the place that he determined to destroy it, to carry the stones to his own country, and to rebuild it there, that the Arabs might come to him on pilgrimage, a nd that he might thus exalt himself above all Kings. He pondered over this plan all night, but next morning he found his body fearfully swollen. He immediately sent for his Wazir, and lamented over his misfortune. “This is a judgment sent upon you,” replied the Wazir, “by the Lord of this house. If you alter your intention of destroying the temple, you will be healed at once.” The King gave up his project, and soon found himself cured. Soon afterwards he said to himself, “This misfortune happened to me at night, and left me next day of its own accord; but I will certainly destroy the house.” But next morning his face was so covered with open ulcers that he could no longer be recognised. The Wazir then approached him and said, “O King, renounce your intention, for it would be rebellion against the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who can destroy every one who opposes him.” When the King heard this, he reflected awhile and said, “What would you wish me to do?” The Wazir replied, “Cover the house with carpets from Yemen.” The King resolved to do this, and when night came he retired to rest. He then saw an apparition which ordered him not to march further into the country of King Baal–Beg, but to turn towards Abyssinia and Nigritia, adding, “Remain there, and choose it as thy residence, and assuredly one of thy race will arise through whom the threat of Noah shall be fulfilled.” When the King awoke next morning he related this to the Wazir, who advised him to use his own judgment about it. The King immediately gave orders to march. The army set forth, and after ten days they arrived at a country the soil of which seemed to consist of chalk, for it appeared quite white. The Wazir Yottreb then went to the King and requested his permission to found a city here for his people. “Why so?” asked the King. “Because,” replied the Wazir, “this will one day be the place of Refuge of the Prophet Mohammed, who will be sent at the end of time.” The King then gave his consent, and Yottreb immediately summoned architects and surveyors, who dug out the ground, and reared the walls, and erected beautiful palaces. They did not desist from the work until the Wazir ordered a number of his people to remove to this city with their families. This was done, and their posterity inhabit the city to this day. He then gave them a scroll, and said, “He who comes to you as a fugitive to this house will be the ruler of this city.” He then called the city Yottreb after his own name, and the scroll descended from father to son till the Apostle of God arrived as a fugitive from Mecca, when the inhabitants went out to meet him, and presented him with it. They afterwards became his auxiliaries and were known as the Ansar. But we must now return to King Zul Yezn. He marched several days toward Abyssinia, and at last arrived in a beautiful and fertile country where he informed his Wazir that he would like to build a city for his subjects. He gave the necessary orders, which were diligently executed; canals were dug and the surrounding country cultivated; and the city was named Medinat El–Hamra, the Red. At last the news reached the King of Abyssinia, whose name was Saif Ar–Raad (Thunder-sword), and whose capital was called Medinat ad-Durr (the Rich in Houses). Part of this city was built on solid land and the other was built in the sea. This prince could bring an army of 600,000 men into the field, and his authority extended to the extremity of the then known world. When he was informed of the invasion of Zul Yezn, he summoned his two Wazirs, who were named Sikra Divas and Ar–Ryf. The latter was well versed in ancient books, in which he had discovered that God would one day send a Prophet who would be the last of the series. He believed this himself, but concealed it from the Abyssinians, who were still worshippers of Saturn. When the Wazirs came before the King, he said to them,“See how the Arabs are advancing against us; I must fight them.” Sikra Divas opposed this design, fearing lest the threat of Noah should be fulfilled. “I would rather advise you,” said he, “to make the King a present and to send with it the most beautiful maiden in your palace. But give her poison secretly, and instruct her to poison the King when she is alone with him. If he is once dead, his army will retire without a battle.” The King adopted this advice, and prepared rich presents, and summoned a beautiful girl, whose artfulness and malice were well known. Her name was Kamrya (Moonlight). The King said to her, “I have resolved to send you as a present, for a secret object. I will give you poison, and when you are alone with the Prince to whom I will send you, drop it into his cup, and let him take it. As soon as he is dead, his army will leave us in peace.” “Very well, my master,” replied the girl, “I will accomplish your wish.” He then sent her with the other presents and a letter to the city of Zul Yezn. But the Wazir Ar–Ryf had scarcely left the King’s presence when he wrote a letter, and commanded a slave to carry it to Zul Yezn. “If you can give it to him before the arrival of the slave-girl,” added he, “I will give you your freedom.” The slave made all possible haste to the Arab King, but yet the presents arrived before him. A chamberlain went to the King and informed him that a messenger had arrived at the gate with presents from the King of Abyssinia, and requested permission to enter. Zul Yezn immediately ordered that he should be admitted, and the presents and the maiden were at once delivered to him. When he saw her, he was astonished at her beauty, and was greatly delighted. He immediately ordered her to be conveyed to his palace, and was very soon overcome with love for her. He was just about to dissolve the assembly to visit Kamrya, when the Wazir Yottreb detained him, saying, “Delay a while, O King, for I fear there is some treachery hidden behind this present. The Abyssinians hate the Arabs exceedingly, but are unwilling to make war with them, lest the threat of Noah should be fulfilled. It happened one day that Noah was sleeping when intoxicated with wine, and the wind uncovered him. His son Ham laughed, and did not cover him; but his other son Seth (sic) came forward, and covered him up. When Noah awoke, he exclaimed to Ham, ‘May God blacken thy face!’ But to Seth he said, ‘May God make the posterity of thy brother the servants of thine until the day of Resurrection!’ This is the threat which they dread as the posterity of Ham.” While the King was still conversing with his Wazir, the Chamberlain announced the arrival of a messenger with a letter. He was immediately admitted, and delivered the letter, which was read by the Wazir Yottreb. Ar–Ryf had written, “Be on your guard against Kamrya, O King, for she hath poison with her, and is ordered to kill you when she is alone with you.” The King now began loudly to praise the acuteness of his Wazir, and went immediately to Kamrya with his drawn sword. When he entered, she rose and kissed the ground, but he exclaimed, “You have come here to poison me!” She was confounded, and took out the poison, and handed it to the King, full of artifice, and thinking, “If I tell him the truth, he will have a better opinion of me, and if he confides in me, I can kill him in some other manner than with this poison.” It fell out as she expected, for the King loved her, gave her authority over his palace and his female slaves, and found himself very happy in her possession. But she herself found her life so pleasant that, although King Ar–Raad frequently sent to ask her why she had not fulfilled her commission, she always answered, “Wait a little; I am seeking an opportunity, for the King is very suspicious.” Some time passed over, and at length she became pregnant. Six months afterwards Zul Yezn fell ill; and as his sickness increased, he assembled the chief men of his Court, informed them of the condition of Kamrya, and after commending her to their protection, he ordered that if she bore a son, he should succeed him. They promised to fulfil his commands, and a few days afterwards Zul Yezn died. Kamrya now governed the country, till she brought forth a son. He was a child of uncommon beauty, and had a small mole on his cheek. When she saw the child she envied him, and said to herself, “What, shall he take away the kingdom from me? No, it shall never be;” and from this time forward she determined to put him to death. After forty days, the people requested to see their King. She showed him to them, and seated him on the throne of the kingdom, whereupon they did homage to him, and then dispersed. His mother took him back into the Palace, but her envy increased so much that she had already grasped a sword to kill him, when her nurse entered and asked what she was going to do. “I am about to kill him,” answered she. “Have you not reflected,” said the nurse, “that if you kill him the people will revolt, and may kill you also?” “Let me kill him,” persisted she, “for even should they kill me, too, I should at least be released from my envy.” “Do not act thus,” warned the nurse, “or you may repent it, when repentance cannot help you.” “It must be done,” said Kamrya. “Nay, then,” said the nurse, “if it cannot be avoided, let him at least be cast into the desert, and if he lives, so much the better for him; but if he dies, you are rid of him for ever.” She followed this advice and set out on the way at night time with the child, and halted at a distance of four days’ journey, when she sat down under a tree in the desert. She took him on her lap, and suckled him once more, and then laid him on a bed, putting a purse under his head, containing a thousand gold pieces and many jewels. “Whoever finds him,” said she, “may use the money to bring him up;” and thus she left him.
It happened by the gracious decree of God, that hunters who were chasing gazelles surprised a female with a fawn; the former took to flight, and the hunters carried off the little one. When the mother returned from the pasture, and found her fawn gone, she traversed the desert in all directions in search of it, and at length the crying of the deserted child attracted her. She lay down by the child, and the child sucked her. The gazelle left him again to go to graze, but always returned to the little one when she was satisfied. This went on till it pleased God that she should fall into the net of a hunter. But she became enraged, tore the net, and fled. The hunter pursued her, and overtook her when she reached the child, and was about to give him suck. But the arrival of the hunter compelled the gazelle to take to flight, and the child began to cry, because he was not yet satisfied. The hunter was astonished at the sight, and when he lifted the child up, he saw the purse under his head, and a string of jewels round his neck. He immediately took the child with him, and went to a town belonging to an Abyssinian king named Afrakh, who was a dependent of King Saif Ar–Raad. He handed over the child to him, saying that he had found it in the lair of a gazelle. When the King took the child into his care, it smiled at him, and God awakened a feeling of love towards him in the King’s heart; and he then noticed the mole on his cheek. But when his Wazir Sikar Diun, the brother of Sikar Divas, who was Wazir to King Saif Ar–Raad, entered and saw the child, God filled his heart with hate towards him. “Do not believe what this man told you,” he said, when the King told him the wonderful story of the discovery, “it can only be the child of a mother who has come by it wrongly, and has abandoned it in the desert, and it would be better to kill it.” “I cannot easily consent to this,” said the King. But he had hardly spoken, when the palace was filled with sounds of rejoicing, and he was informed that his wife had just been safely delivered of a child. On this news he took the boy on his arm, and went to his wife, and found that the new-born child was a girl, and that she had a red mole on her cheek. He wondered when he saw this, and said to Sikar Diun, “See how beautiful they are!” But when the Wazir saw it, he slapped his face, and cast his cap on the ground, exclaiming, “Should these two moles unite, I prophesy the downfall of Abyssinia, for they presage a great calamity. It would be better to kill either the boy or your daughter.” “I will kill neither of them,” replied the King, “for they have been guilty of no crime.” He immediately provided nurses for the two children, naming his daughter Shama (Mole) and the boy Wakhs1 El Fellat (Lonely one, or Desert); and he reared them in separate apartments, that they might not see each other. When they were ten years old, Wakhs El Fellat grew very strong, and soon became a practised horseman, and surpassed all his companions in this accomplishment, and in feats of arms. But when he was fifteen, he was so superior to all others, that Sikar Diun threatened the King that he would warn King Saif Ar–Raad that he was nurturing his enemy in his house, if he did not immediately banish him from the country; and this threat caused King Afrakh great alarm. It happened that he had a general, who was called Gharag El Shaker (Tree-splitter), because he was accustomed to hurl his javelin at trees, and thus to cleave them asunder. He had a fortress three days’ journey from the town; and the King said to him, “Take Wakhs El Fellat to your castle, and never let him return to this neighbourhood.” He added privately, “Look well after him and preserve him from all injury, and have him instructed in all accomplishments.” The general withdrew, and took the boy with him to his castle, and instructed him thoroughly in all accomplishments and sciences. One day he said to him, “One warlike exercise is still unknown to you.” “What is that?” said Wakhs El Fellat. “Come and see for yourself,” replied he. The general then took him to a place where several trees were growing, which were so thick that a man could not embrace the trunk. He then took his javelin, hurled it at one of them, and split the trunk. Wakhs El Fellat then asked for the javelin, and performed the same feat, to the astonishment of his instructor. “Woe to thee!” exclaimed he, “for I perceive that you are the man through whom the threat of Noah will be fulfilled against us. Fly, and never let yourself be seen again in our country, or I will kill you.” Wakhs El Fellat then left the town, not knowing where to go. He subsisted for three days on the plants of the earth, and at last he arrived at a town encircled by high walls, the gates of which were closed. The inhabitants were clothed in black, and uttered cries of lamentation. In the foreground he saw a bridal tent, and a tent of mourning. This was the city of King Afrakh who had reared him, and the cause of the mourning of the inhabitants was as follows. Sikar Diun was very angry that the King had refused to follow his advice, and put the boy to death, and had left the town to visit one of his friends, who was a magician, to whom he related the whole story. “What do you propose to do now?” asked the magician. “I will attempt to bring about a separation between him and his daughter,” said the Wazir. “I will assist you,” was the answer of the magician. He immediately made the necessary preparations, and summoned an evil Jinni named Mukhtatif (Ravisher) who inquired, “What do you require of me?” “Go quickly to the city of King Afrakh, and contrive that the inhabitants shall leave it.” In that age men had intercourse with the more powerful Jinn, and each attained their ends by means of the other. The Jinn did not withdraw themselves till after the advent of the Prophet. The magician continued, “When the inhabitants have left the city, they will ask you what you want. Then say, ‘Bring me out Shama, the daughter of your King, adorned with all her jewels, and I will come to-morrow and carry her away. But if you refuse, I will destroy your city, and destroy you all together.’” When Mukhtatif heard the words of this priest of magic, he did as he was commanded, and rushed to the city. When Sikar Diun saw this, he returned to King Afrakh to see what would happen; but he had scarcely arrived when the voice of Mukhtatif resounded above the city. The inhabitants went to the King, and said, “You have heard what is commanded, and if you do not yield willingly, you will be obliged to do so by force.” The King then went weeping to the mother of the Princess, and informed her of the calamity. She could scarcely contain herself for despair, and all in the palace wept at parting from the Princess. Meantime Shama was richly attired, torn from her parents, and hurried to the bridal tent before the town, to he carried away by the evil Jinni. The inhabitants were all assembled on the walls of the city, weeping. It was just at this moment that Wakhs El Fellat arrived from the desert, and entered the tent to see what was going on. When King Afrakh, who was also on the wall, saw him, he cried out to him, but he did not listen, and dismounted, fastened his horse to a tent-stake, and entered. Here he beheld a maiden of extraordinary beauty and perfection, but she was weeping. While he was completely bewildered by her beauty, she was no less struck by his appearance. “Who art thou?” said the maiden to him. “Tell me rather who art thou?” returned he. “I am Shama, the daughter of King Afrakh.” “Thou art Shama?” he exclaimed, “and I am Wakhs El Fellat, who was reared by thy father.” When they were thus acquainted, they sat down together to talk over their affairs, and she took this opportunity of telling him what had passed with the Jinni, and how he was coming to carry her away. “O, you shall see how I will deal with him,” answered he, but at this moment the evil Jinni approached, and his wings darkened the sun. The inhabitants uttered a terrible cry, and the Jinni darted upon the tent, and was about to raise it when he saw a man there, talking to the daughter of the King. “Woe to thee, O son of earth,” he exclaimed, “what authority have you to sit by my betrothed?” When Wakhs El Fellat saw the terrible form of the Jinni, a shudder came over him, and he cried to God for aid. He immediately drew his sword, and struck at the Jinni, who had just extended his right hand to seize him, and the blow was so violent that it struck off the hand. “What, you would kill me?” exclaimed Mukhtatif, and he took up his hand, put it under his arm, and flew away. Upon this there was a loud cry of joy from the walls of the city. The gates were thrown open, and King Afrakh approached, companied by a crowd of people with musical instruments, playing joyful music; and Wakhs El Fellat was invested with robes of honour; but when Sikar Diun saw it it was gall to him. The King prepared an apartment expressly for Wakhs El Fellat, and while Shama returned to her palace, he gave a great feast in honour of her deliverance from the fiend. After seven days had passed, Shama went to Wakhs El Fellat, and said to him, “Ask me of my father tomorrow, for you have rescued me, and he will not be able to refuse you.” He consented very willingly, and went to the King early next morning. The King gave him a very favourable reception, and seated him with him on the throne; but Wakhs El Fellat had not courage to prefer his suit, and left him after a short interview. He had not long returned to his own room, when Shama entered, saluted him, and asked, “Why did you not demand me?” “I was too bashful,” he replied. “Lay this feeling aside,” returned she, “and demand me.” “Well, I will certainly do so to-morrow,” answered he. Thereupon she left him, and returned to her own apartment. Early next morning Wakhs El Fellat went again to the King, who gave him a friendly reception, and made him sit with him. But he was still unable to prefer his suit, and returned to his own room. Soon after Shama came to him and said, “How long is this bashfulness to last? Take courage, and if not, request some one else to speak for you.” She then left him, and next morning he repeated his visit to the King. “What is your request?” asked the latter. “I am come as a suitor,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “and ask the hand of your noble daughter Shama.” When Sikar Diun heard this, he slapped his face. “What is the matter with you?” asked the King. “This is what I have foreseen,” answered he, “for if these two moles unite, the destruction of Abyssinia is accomplished.” “How can I refuse him?” replied the King, “when he has just delivered her from the fiend.” “Tell him,” answered Sikar Diun, “that you must consult with your Wazir.” The King then turned to Wakhs El Fellat, and said, “My son, your request is granted as far as I am concerned, but I leave my Wazir to arrange it with you, so you must consult him about it.” Wakhs El Fellat immediately turned to the Wazir, and repeated his request to him. Sikar Diun answered him in a friendly manner. “The affair is as good as arranged, no one else is suited for the King’s daughter, but you know that the daughters of the Kings require a dowry.” “Ask what you please,” returned Wakhs El Fellat. “We do not ask you for money or money’s worth,” said the Wazir, “but for the head of a man named Sudun, the Ethiopian.” “Where can I find him?” said the prince. The Wazir replied, “He is said to dwell in the fortress of Reg, three days’ journey from here.” “But what if I fail to bring the head of Sudun?” asked he. “But you will have it,” returned the Wazir; and after this understanding the audience ceased, and each returned to his dwelling.
Now this Sudun had built his fortress on the summit of a high hill. It was very secure, and he defended it with the edge of the sword. It was his usual resort, from whence he sallied forth on plundering expeditions, and rendered the roads unsafe. At length the news of him reached King Saif Ar–Raad, who sent against him three thousand men, but he routed and destroyed them all. Upon this, the King sent a larger number against him, who experienced the same fate. He then despatched a third army, upon which Sudun fortified himself afresh, and reared the walls of his fortress so high that an eagle could scarcely pass them. We will now return to Shama, who went to Wakhs El Fellat, and reproached him with the conditions he had agreed to, and added, “It would be better for you to leave this place, and take me with you, and we will put ourselves under the protection of some powerful king.” “God forbid,” replied he, “that I should take you with me in so dishonourable a manner.” As he still positively refused to consent, she grew angry, and left him. Wakhs El Fellat lay down to rest, but he could not sleep. So he rose up, mounted his horse, and rode away at midnight; and in the morning he met a horseman who stationed himself in his path, but who was so completely armed that his face was concealed. When Wakhs El Fellat saw him, he cried to him, “Who are you, and where are you going?” But instead of replying, he pressed upon him, and aimed a blow which Wakhs El Fellat successfully parried. A fight then commenced between them, which lasted till nearly evening. At last the difference in their strength became perceptible, and Wakhs El Fellat struck his adversary so violent a blow with his javelin that his horse fell to the ground. He then dismounted, and was about to slay him, when the horseman cried to him, “Do not kill me, O brave warrior, or you will repent when repentance will no more avail you.” “Tell me who you are?” returned Wakhs El Fellat. “I am Shama, the daughter of King Afrakh,” replied the horseman. “Why have you acted thus?” asked he. “I wished to try whether you would be able to hold your own against Sudun’s people,” she replied. “I have tried you now, and found you so valiant that I fear no longer on your account. Take me with you, O hero.” “God forbid that I should do so,” he returned; “what would Sikar Diun and the others say? They would say that if Shama had not been with him, he would never have been able to prevail against Sudun.” She then raised her eyes to heaven, and said, “O God, permit him to fall into some danger from which I alone may deliver him!” Upon this Wakhs El Fellat pursued his journey, without giving any attention to her words. On the third day he arrived at the valley where the fortress of Sudun was situated, when he began to work his way along behind the trees; and towards evening he arrived at the fortress itself, which he found to be surrounded with a moat; and the gates were closed. He was still undecided what course to take, when he heard the sound of an approaching caravan; and he hid himself in the fosse of the fortress to watch it. He then saw that it was driven forward by a large body of men, and that the merchants were bound on their mules. When they arrived at the castle, they knocked at the gate; and when the troop entered, Wakhs El Fellat entered with them; and they unloaded the goods and bound the prisoners without noticing him. When the armed men had finished their work, they ascended to the castle, but he remained below. After a time, he wished to follow them, but when he trod on the first step, it gave way under him, and a dagger flew out, which struck him in the groin. Upon this his eyes filled with tears, and he already looked upon his destruction as certain, when a form came towards him from the entrance of the castle, to deliver him; and as it drew nearer, he perceived that it was Shama. He was filled with astonishment, and cried out, “God has heard your prayer! How did you come here?” “I followed your traces,” she replied, “till you entered the castle, when I imitated your example, and mingled with the troops. I have now saved your life, although you have refused to take me with you; but if you wish to advance further, do not neglect to try whether each step is fixed, with the point of your sword.” He now again began to ascend, feeling the way before him, and Shama followed, till they arrived at the last stair, when they saw that the staircase ended in a revolving wheel. “Spring higher,” advised Shama, “for I see a javelin which magic art has placed here.” They sprang over it, and pursued their way till they reached a large anteroom, lighted by a high cupola. They stopped here awhile, and examined everything carefully. At last they approached the door of a room, and on looking through the crevices, they saw about a hundred armed negroes, among whom was a black slave who looked as savage as a lion. The room was lighted by wax candles, placed on gold and silver candlesticks. At this moment, the black said, “Slaves, what have you done with the prisoners belonging to the caravan?” “We have chained them in the prison below, and left them in the safest place,” was the reply. But he continued, “If one of them was carelessly bound, he might be able to release himself and the others, and to gain possession of the stairs. Let one of you therefore go down, examine them carefully, and tighten their bonds.” One of them therefore came out, and the two strangers hid themselves in the anteroom. When he had passed them, Wakhs El Fellat stepped forward and pierced him through with his sword; Shama dragged his body aside, and they both remained quiet for a time. But as the slave remained away from his companions too long, Sudun exclaimed, “Go and see why he does not return, for I have been in great alarm ever since we entered the castle to-day.” A second then rose and took his sword, and as he came into the anteroom, Wakhs El Fellat clove him in twain at one blow and Shama dragged his body also on one side. They again waited quietly for a time, when Sudun said, “It seems as if hunters are watching our slaves, and are killing them one after another.” A third then hastened out, and Wakhs El Fellat struck him such a blow that he fell dead to the ground, and Shama dragged him also away. But as he likewise remained absent so long, Sudun himself stood up and all the others with him, and he said, “Did I not warn and caution you? There is a singing in my ears, and my heart trembles, for there must be people here who are watching our men.” He himself now came out, and the others followed him with lights and holding their hands on their swords, when one of the foremost suddenly stopped. “Why do you not advance!” cried the others. “How shall I go forward,” said he, “when he who has slain our friends stands before us.” This answer was repeated to Sudun when he called on them in a voice of thunder to advance. When he heard this, he forced his way through them till he perceived Wakhs El Fellat. “Who are you, Satan?” cried he, “and who brought you here?” “I came here,” replied he, “to cut off your head, and destroy your memory.” “Have you any blood-feud against me?” asked Sudun, “or any offence to revenge upon me?” “I have no enmity against you in my heart,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “and you have never injured me; but I have asked Shama in marriage of her father, and he has demanded of me your head as a condition. Be on your guard, that you may not say I acted foully towards you.” “Madman,” cried Sudun, “I challenge you to a duel. Will you fight inside or outside the fortress?” “I leave that to you,” returned Wakhs El Fellat. “Well, then, await me here,” was the reply. Sudun then went in, clothed himself in gilded armour, girt on a saw-like sword, and came out holding a shining club in his hand. He was so enraged that he knew not what to say, and at once attacked Wakhs El Fellat, who threw himself on his adversary like a raging lion, and they fought together like hungry wolves; but both despaired of victory. The swords spake a hard language on the shields, and each of the combatants wished that he had never been born. When this desperate fight had lasted a long time, Shama was greatly troubled lest Sudun should prove victorious. So she seized a dagger and struck at Sudun, wounding the nerves of his hand, so that he dropped his sword, while she exclaimed to Wakhs El Fellat, “Make an end of him.” “No,” replied Wakhs El Fellat, “I will make him my prisoner, for he is a brave and valiant man.” “With whom are you speaking?” asked Sudun. “With Shama,” answered he. “What,” said Sudun, “did she come with you?” “Yes,” replied he. “Then let her come before me.” She came forward, and Sudun said, “Is the world too narrow for your father that he could demand nothing as your dowry but my head?” “This was his desire,” answered she. Wakhs El Fellat then said, “Take your sword and defend yourself, for I will not fight with you, now that it has fallen out of your hand.” But Sudun replied, “I will not fight with you, for I am wounded, so take my head, and go in peace with your bride.” He then sat down and bowed his head. “If you speak truly,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “separate yourself from your people.” “Why so?” “Because I fear lest they may surround me, and compel me to fight with them, and there is no need for me to shed their blood.” Sudun then left the castle, bowed his head, and said, “Finish your work.” But Wakhs El Fellat said, “If you speak truth, come with me across the fosse of the castle into the open ground.” He did so, carefully barring the castle behind him, and said, “Now take my head.”
When the slaves saw this, they mounted the walls, and wept and lamented. But Shama cried out, “Take his head, and let us hasten our return before morning dawns.” “What,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “should I kill so brave a man in so treacherous a manner, when he is so noble and magnanimous?” He then went up to Sudun, kissed his head, and said, “Rise up, O warrior of the age, for you and your companions are safe from me.” They now all embraced each other, and made an offensive and defensive compact. “Take me with you alive, O brave man,” said Sudun, “and hand me over to the King as his daughter’s dowry. If he consents, well; but if not, take my head, and woo your wife.” “God forbid,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “that I should act thus after your magnanimity. Rather return to the castle, and assure your companions of your safety.” All this passed under the eyes of the other armed men. They rejoiced at the knightly conduct of both, and now came down, fell at the feet of Sudun and embraced him. They then did the same to Wakhs El Fellat, whose hands they kissed and loaded him with praises. After this, they all returned to the castle, and agreed to set out presently. They took with them whatever treasures there were, and Wakhs El Fellat commanded them to release the prisoners and restore them their goods. They now all mounted their horses and journeyed to the country of King Afrakh, greatly rejoiced at the mutual love of the warriors. When they approached the town, Shama parted from them, that nothing should be known of her absence in the company. During this time, King Afrakh and Sikar Diun had amused themselves with hunting, jesting, and sporting, and sent out scouts daily to look for Wakhs El Fellat. “What can have become of him?” said the King once to Sikar Diun. “Sudun has certainly killed him,” replied the latter, “and you will never see him again.” While they were thus talking, they observed a great cloud of dust, and as it drew nearer, they could see the armed men more distinctly. The company was led by a black knight, by whose side rode a younger white horseman. When the King saw this, he exclaimed, “Wakhs El Fellat has returned, in company with Sudun and his host.” “Wait a little,” replied Sikar Dian, “till we are certain of it.” But when they drew nearer, and they could doubt no longer, Sikar Diun mounted his horse and fled, accompanied by the King and his followers, till they reached the town, and barred the gates. They then watched from the walls, to see what would happen. When they saw that the strangers dismounted and pitched tents, the King thought it was a good sign. He therefore ordered the town to be decorated, and the gates to be opened, and rode out, attended by a considerable escort, and approached the tents. The other party now mounted their horses to go to meet them. When they approached each other, King Afrakh was about to dismount, but Wakhs El Fellat would not allow it, and the King embraced him, and congratulated him on his safety. He then saluted Sudun also, but the latter did not return his salutation. He invited him to enter the town, but he declined, as did Wakhs El Fellat likewise, who did not wish to part from his companions. The King returned accompanied only by his own people, and prepared the best reception for the new-comers. On the following morning the King held a general council, at which Sikar Diun appeared greatly depressed. “Did I not warn you beforehand,” said he to the King, “what you now see for yourself of this evil-doer? Did we not send him to bring the head of Sudun, and he returns with him safe and sound, and on the best of terms, while our hearts are oppressed with anxiety?” “You may be right,” replied the King, “but what are we to do now?”
This conversation was interrupted by a tumult caused by the arrival of Wakhs El Fellat and Sudun, who came to pay their respects to the King. The King invited them to sit down, but Sudun remained standing, and when he asked him again, he replied, “You craven, was the world too narrow for you that you desired my head as your daughter’s dowry?” “Sit down,” said the King, “for I know that you are angry.” “How can I sit down,” returned Sudun, “when you have ordered my death?” “God forbid that I should act so unjustly,” said the King; “it was Sikar Diun.” “What,” said he, “do you accuse me of such an action in my presence?” “Did you not make this condition with Wakhs El Fellat,” said the King, “and send him on his errand?” Sikar Diun then turned to Sudun, and said, “Sit down, brave warrior, for we only did so from love to you, that we might be able to make a treaty with you, and that you might join our company.” After this answer, Sudun concealed his anger, and sat down. Refreshments were now brought in, and after partaking of them, Wakhs El Fellat and Sudun returned to their tents. Several days passed in this manner, and at length Sudun said to Wakhs El Fellat, “O my master, it is time for you to demand Shama in marriage, now you have won her with the edge of the sword. You have fulfilled their conditions long since by bringing them my head, but you have made no further progress at present. Ask for her once more, and if they will not give her up, I will fall upon them with the sword, and we will carry Shama off, and then lay waste the city.” “I will demand her as my wife again to-morrow,” replied the other. When he went to the palace next day, he found the King and all the court assembled. When they saw him, they all rose from their seats, and when they sat down again, he alone remained standing. “Why do you not sit down,” said the King, “for all your wishes are now fulfilled?” “I have still to ask for Shama,” he replied. “You know,” returned the King, “that ever since her birth I have allowed Sikar Diun to make all arrangements for her.” He now turned to Sikar Diun, who replied in a friendly tone, “She is yours, for you have fulfilled the conditions, and you have only now to give her ornaments.” “What kind of ornaments?” asked he. “Instead of ornaments,” replied the traitor, “we desire to receive a book containing the history of the Nile. If you bring it us, she is wholly yours, but if not, there is no marriage to be thought of.” “Where is it to be found?” “I cannot tell you myself.” “Well, then,” returned Wakhs El Fellat, “if I do not bring you the book, Shama is lost to me; all present are witnesses to this.” He went out with these words, pushing his way through the crowded assembly, and Sudun behind him, till they reached their tents. “Why did you promise that,” said Sudun, “let us rather overcome them with the sword, and take Shama from them.” “Not so,” replied Wakhs El Fellat, “I will only possess her honourably.” “And yet you do not even know how to find the book,” said Sudun; “rather listen to my advice, retire to my fortress, and leave me in their power.” “I would never act thus,” said Wakhs El Fellat, “though I should suffer death.” After these and similar speeches, supper was brought in, and each retired to his sleeping apartment. But Wakhs El Fellat had scarcely entered his room when Shama came in. “What have you done,” said she, “and what engagement have you undertaken? How can you fulfil this condition? Do you not see that their only object is to destroy you, or at least to get rid of you? I have come to warn you again, and I say to you once more, take me with you to Sudun’s castle, where we can live at peace, and do not act as they tell you.” “I will carry out my engagement,” he replied; “I will not possess you like a coward, even though I should be cut to pieces with swords.” Upon this, Shama was angry and left him, while he lay down to rest, but could not sleep. He therefore rose up, saddled and mounted his horse and rode away, without knowing where, abandoning himself wholly to the will of God. He wandered about thus for several days, until he reached a lonely tower. He knocked at the door, and a voice answered, “Welcome, O thou who hast separated thyself from thy companions; enter without fear, O brave Saif, son of Zul Yezn.” When he pushed the door it opened, and his eyes beheld a noble and venerable old man, from whose appearance it was at once obvious that he busied himself with the strictest life and fear of God. “Welcome,” cried he again; “if you had travelled from east to West you would have found no one who could show you how to obtain the book you seek as well as I can, for I have dwelt here awaiting your arrival for sixty years.” “But that was before I was born,” said Wakhs El Fellat to himself. He then asked aloud, “By what name did you address me just now?” “O Saif,” answered the old man, “that is your true name, for you are a sword (Saíf) to the Abyssinians; but whom do you worship?” “O my master,” was the reply, “the Abyssinians worship Saturn (Sukhal) but I am in perplexity, and know not whom to worship.” “My son,” replied the old man, “worship Him who has reared the heavens over us without pillars, and who has rested the earth on water; the only and eternal God, the Lord who is only and alone to be reverenced. I worship Him and none other beside him, for I follow the religion of Abraham.” “What is your name?” asked Wakhs El Fellat. “I am called Shaikh Gyat.” “What declaration must I make,” he asked the old man, “to embrace your religion?” “Say ‘There is no God but God, and Abraham is the Friend of God.’ If you make this profession, you will be numbered among the believers.” He at once repeated the formula, and Shaikh Gyat was much pleased, and devoted the night to teaching him the history of Abraham and his religion, and the forms of worship. Towards morning he said, “O my son, whenever you advance to battle, say, ‘God is great, grant me victory, O God, and destroy the infidels,’ and help will be near you. Now pursue your journey, but leave your horse here until your return. Enter the valley before you, under the protection of God, and after three days you will meet some one who will aid you.” Wakhs El Fellat set out on that road, and after three days he met a horseman who saluted him, and exclaimed, “Welcome, Saif Zul Yezn, for you bring happiness to this neighbourhood.” Saif returned his salutation, and asked, “How do you know me, and how do you know my name?” “I am not a brave or renowned warrior,” was the answer, “but one of the maidens of this country and my mother taught me your name.” “What is your name and that of your mother?” “My mother’s name is Alka,” answered she, “and I am called Taka.” When he heard this he was greatly rejoiced, for he remembered that Shaikh Gyat had said to him, “O thou, whose destiny will be decided by Alka and Taka.” “O noble virgin,” said he, “where is your mother, Alka?” “Look round,” she replied; and he saw a very large and lofty city at some distance. “Know,” said she, “that 360 experienced philosophers dwell in that city. My mother Alka is their superior, and directs all their affairs and actions. She knew that you would come to this neighbourhood in search of a book concerning the Nile, which was written by Japhet, the son of Noah, and she wishes you to attain your end by her means. She also informed me of your coming, and promised me to you, saying, ‘You shall have no other husband but him.’ We expected you to-day, and she sent me to meet you, adding, ‘Warn him not to enter the town by daylight, or it will be his destruction.’ Wait here, therefore, till nightfall, and only approach the city after dark. Turn to the right along the wall, and stand still when you reach the third tower, where we will await you. As soon as we see you we will throw you a rope; bind it round your waist, and we will draw you up. The rest will be easy.” “But why need you give yourselves all this trouble?” said Saif Zul Yezn. “Know,” replied she, “that the inhabitants of this city have been informed of your approaching arrival by their books, and are aware that you are about to carry away their book, which they hold in superstitious reverence. On the first day of each month they repair to the building where it is preserved; and they adore it and seek counsel from it respecting their affairs. They have also a king whose name is Kamrun. When they knew that you were coming for the book they constructed a talisman against you. They have made a copper statue, and fixed a brazen horn in its hand, and have stationed it at the gate of the city. If you enter, the statue will sound the horn, and it will only do so upon your arrival. They would then seize you and put you to death. On this account we desire to baffle their wisdom by drawing you up to the walls of the city at another place.” “May God reward you a thousandfold,” replied he; “but go now, and announce my arrival to your mother.” She went away, and he approached the city in the darkness of night, and turned towards the third tower on the right, where he found Alka and Taka. When they recognised him, they immediately threw him the rope, which he fastened about him. When he was drawn up, they descended from the wall, and were about to proceed to Alka’s house, when the talisman suddenly acted, and the statue blew the horn loudly. “Hasten to our house,” cried Alka; and they succeeded in reaching it safely and barred the doors, when the noise increased. The whole population of the city rose up, and the streets were filled. “What is this disturbance about?” asked Saif. “This is all due,” replied Alka, “to the alarm sounded by the statue, because you have entered the town. There will be a great meeting held to-morrow, where all the wise men will assemble, to attempt to discover the whereabouts of the intruder; but by God’s help, I will guide them wrong, and confuse their counsels. Go to our neighbour the fisherman,” added she to her daughter, “and see what he has caught.” She went, and brought news that he had taken a large fish, of the size of a man. “Take this piece of gold,” said her mother, “and bring us the fish;” and when she did so, she told her to clean it, which was done. Food was then brought in, and they ate and talked. The night passed quietly, but on the following morning Alka ordered Saif Zul Yezn to undress, and to hide in the skin of the fish. She put her mouth to the mouth of the fish, and took a long rope, which she fastened under Saif’s armpits. She then let him down into a deep well, and fastened him there, saying, “Remain here, till I come back.” She then left him, and went to the great hall of the King, where the divan was already assembled, and the King had taken his seat on the throne. All rose up when she entered, and when she had seated herself, the King said to her, “O mother, did you not hear the blast of the horn yesterday, and why did you not come out with us?” “I did hear it,” she replied, “but I did not heed it.” “But you know,” said he, “that the sound can only be heard upon the arrival of the stranger who desires to take the book.” “I know it, O King; but permit me to choose forty men from among those assembled here.” She did so, and selected ten from among the forty again. She then said to them, “Take a Trakhtramml (sandboard on which the Arabs practise geomancy and notation) and look and search.” They did so, but had scarcely finished when they looked at each other in amazement. They destroyed their calculation, and began a second, and confused this, too, and began a third, upon which they became quite confounded. “What are you doing there?” asked the King at last. “You go on working and obliterating your work; what have you discovered?” “O King,” replied they, “we find that the stranger has entered the town, but not by any gate. He appears to have passed in between Heaven and earth, like a bird. After this, a fish swallowed him, and carried him down into some dark water.” “Are you fools?” asked the King angrily; and turning to Alka, continued, “Have you ever seen a man flying between Heaven and earth, and afterwards swallowed by a fish, which descends with him into dark water?” “O King,” replied she, “I always forbid the wise men to eat heavy food, for it disturbs their understanding and weakens their penetration; but they will not heed me.” At this the King was angry, and immediately drove them from the hall. But Alka said, “It will be plain to-morrow what has happened.” She left the hall, and when she reached home, she drew Saif Zul Yezn out of the well, and he dressed himself again. They sat down, and Alka said, “I have succeeded in confounding their deliberations to-day! and there will be a great assembly to-morrow, when I must hide you in a still more out-of-the-way place.” After this they supped, and went to rest. Next morning Alka called her daughter, and said, “Bring me the gazelle.” When it was brought her, she said, “Bring me the wings of an eagle.” Taka gave them to her, and she bound them on the back of the gazelle. She then took a pair of compasses, which she fixed in the ceiling of the room. She next took two other pairs of compasses, which she fixed in the ceiling of the room. She next took two other pairs of compasses, and tied one between the fore feet, and the other between the hind feet of the gazelle. She then tied a rope to the compasses in the roof, and the two ends to the other pairs. But she made Saif Zul Yezn lie down in such a position that his head was between the feet of the gazelle. She then said to him, “Remain here till I come back”; and went to the King, with whom she found a very numerous assemblage of the wise men. As soon as she entered, the King made her sit beside him on the throne. “O my mother Alka,” he said, “I could not close an eye last night from anxiety concerning yesterday’s events.” “Have you no wise men,” returned she, “who eat the bread of the divan?” She then turned to them, saying, “Select the wisest among you!” and they chose the wisest among them. She ordered them to take the sandboard again, but they became so confused that they were obliged to begin again three times from the beginning. “What do you discover?” said the King angrily. “O our master,” replied they, “he whom we seek has been carried away by a beast of the desert, which is flying with him between Heaven and earth.” “How is this?” said the King to Alka; “have you ever seen anything like it?” He seized his sword in a rage, and three fled, and he killed four of the others. When Alka went home, she released Saif, and told him what had happened. Next morning Alka took the gazelle, and slaughtered it in a copper kettle. She then took a golden mortar, and reversed it over it, and said to Saif Zul Yezn, “Sit on this mortar till I come back.” She then went to the divan, and chose out six wise men, who again took the sandboard, and began again three times over in confusion. “Alas,” said the King, in anger, “What misfortune do you perceive?” “O our master,” they exclaimed in consternation, “our understanding is confused, for we see him sitting on a golden mountain, which is in the midst of a sea of blood, surrounded by a copper wall.” The King was enraged, and broke up the assembly, saying, “O Alka, I will now depend on you alone.” “To-morrow I will attempt to show you the stranger,” she replied. When she came home, she related to Saif what had happened, and said, “I shall know by to-morrow what to tell the King to engage his attention, and prevent him from pursuing you.” Next morning she found Taka speaking to Saif Zul Yezn alone; and she asked her, “What does he wish?” “Mother,” replied Taka, “he wishes to go to the King’s palace, to see him and the divan.” “What you wish shall be done,” said she to Saif, “but you must not speak.” He assented to the condition, and she dressed him as her attendant, gave him a sandboard, and went with him to the King, who said to her, “I could not sleep at all last night, for thinking of the stranger for whom we are seeking.” “Now that the affair is in my hands,” returned she, “you will find me a sufficient protection against him.” She immediately ordered Saif to give her the sandboard. She took it, and when she had made her calculations, she said joyfully to the King, “O my lord, I can give you the welcome news of the flight of the stranger, owing to his dread of you and your revenge.” When the King heard this, he rent his clothes, slapped his face, and said, “He would not have departed, without having taken the book.” “I cannot see if he has taken anything,” replied she. “This is the first of the month,” said the King, “come and let us see if it is missing.” He then went with a large company to the building where the book was kept. Alka turned away from the King for a moment to say to Saif, “Do not enter with us, for if you enter, the case will open of itself, and the book will fall into your hands. This would at once betray you, and you would be seized and put to death, and all my labour would have been in vain.” She then left him, and rejoined the King. When they reached the building, the doors were opened, and when the King entered, they found the book. They immediately paid it the customary honours, and protracted this species of worship, while Saif stood at the door, debating with himself whether to enter or not. At last his impatience overcame him, and he entered, and at the same instant the casket was broken to pieces, and the book fell out. The King then ordered all to stand up, and the book rolled to Saif Zul Yezn. Upon this all drew their swords, and rushed upon him. Saif drew his sword also, and cried “God is great!” as Shaikh Gyat had taught him. He continued to fight and defend himself, and struggled to reach the door. The entire town arose in tumult to pursue him, when he stumbled over a dead body, and was seized. “Let me not see his face,” cried the King, “but throw him into the mine.” This mine was eighty yards deep, and had not been opened for sixty years. It was closed by a heavy leaden cover, which they replaced, after they had loaded him with chains, and thrown him in. Saif sat there in the darkness, greatly troubled, and lamenting his condition to Him who never sleeps. Suddenly, a side wall of the mine opened, and a figure came forth which approached and called him by his name. “Who are you?” asked Saif. “I am a woman named Akissa, and inhabit the mountain where the Nile rises. We are a nation who hold the faith of Abraham. A very pious man lives below us in a beautiful palace. But an evil Jinni named Mukhtatif lived near us also, who loved me, and demanded me in marriage of my father. He consented from fear, but I was unwilling to marry an evil being who was a worshipper of fire. ‘How can you promise me in marriage to an infidel?’ said I to my father. ‘I shall thereby escape his malice myself,’ replied he. I went out and wept, and complained to the pious man about the affair. ‘Do you know who will kill him?’ said he to me, and I answered, ‘No.’ ‘I will direct you to him who has cut off his hand,’ said he. ‘His name is Saif Zul Yezn, and he is now in the city of King Kamrun, in the mine.’ Thereupon he brought me to you, and I come as you see me, to guide you to my country, that you may kill Mukhtatif, and free the earth from his wickedness.” She then moved him, and shook him, and all his chains fell off. She lifted him on her shoulders, and carried him to the palace of the Shaikh, who was named Abbas Salam. Here he heard a voice crying, “Enter, Saif Zul Yezn.” He did so, and found a grave and venerable old man, who gave him a very friendly reception, saying, “Wait till to-morrow, when Akissa will come to guide you to the castle of Mukhtatif.” He remained with him for the night, and when Akissa arrived next morning, the old man told her to hasten, that the world might be soon rid of the monster. They then left this venerable man, and when they had walked awhile, Akissa said to Saif, “Look before you.” He did so, and perceived a black mass at some distance. “This is the castle of the evil-doer,” said she, “but I cannot advance a step further than this.” Saif therefore pursued his way alone, and when he came near the castle, he walked round it to look for the entrance. As he was noticing the extraordinary height of the castle, which was founded on the earth, but appeared to overtop the clouds, he saw a window open, and several people looked out, who pointed at him with their fingers, exclaiming, “That is he, that is he!” They threw him a rope, which they directed him to bind round him. They drew him up by it, when he found himself in the presence of three hundred and sixty damsels, who saluted him by his name.
(Here Habicht’s fragment ends.)
In 1800, Jonathan Scott, LL.D., published a volume of “Tales, Anecdotes, and Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian,” based upon a fragmentary Ms., procured by J. Anderson in Bengal, which included the commencement of the work (Nos. 1–3) in 29 Nights; two tales not divided into Nights (Nos. 264 and 135) and No. 21.
Scott’s work includes these two new tales (since republished by Kirby and Clouston), with the addition of various anecedotes, &c., derived from other sources. The “Story of the Labourer and the Chair” has points of resemblance to that of “Malek and the Princess Chirine” (Shirin?) in the Thousand and One Days; and also to that of “Tuhfet El Culoub” (No. 183a) in the Breslau Edition. The additional tales in this Ms. and vol. of translations are marked “A” under Scott in our Tables. Scott published the following specimens (text and translation) in Ouseley’s Oriental Collections (1797 and following years) No. 135m (i. pp. 245–257) and Introduction (ii. pp. 160–172; 228–257). The contents are fully given in Ouseley, vol. ii. pp. 34, 35.
Scott afterwards acquired an approximately complete Ms. in 7 vols., written in 1764 which was brought from Turkey by E. Wortley Montague. Scott published a table of contents (Ouseley, ii. pp. 25–34), in which, however, the titles of some few of the shorter tales, which he afterwards translated from it, are omitted, while the titles of others are differently translated. Thus “Greece” of the Table becomes “Yemen” in the translation; and “labourer” becomes “sharper.” As a specimen, he subsequently printed the text and translation of No. 145 (Ouseley, ii. pp. 349–367).
This Ms., which differs very much from all others known, is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
In 1811, Scott published an edition of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, in 6 vols., vol. 1 containing a long introduction, and vol. 6, including a series of new tales from the Oxford Ms. (There is a small paper edition; and also a large paper edition, the latter with frontispieces, and an Appendix including a table of the tales contained in the Ms.) It had originally been Scott’s intention to retranslate the Ms.; but he appears to have found it beyond his powers. He therefore contented himself with re-editing Galland, altering little except the spelling of the names, and saying that Galland’s version is in the main so correct that it would be useless repetition to go over the work afresh. Although he says that he found many of the tales both immoral and puerile, he translated most of those near the beginning, and omitted much more (including several harmless and interesting tales, such as No. 152) towards the end of his Ms. than near the beginning. The greater part of Scott’s additional tales, published in vol. 6, are included in the composite French and German editions of Gauttier and Habicht; but, except Nos. 208, 209, and 215, republished in my “New Arabian Nights,” they have not been reprinted in England, being omitted in all the many popular versions which are professedly based upon Scott, even in the edition in 4 vols., published in 1882, which reprints Scott’s Preface.
The edition of 1882 was published about the same time as one of the latest reissues of Lane’s Thousand and One Nights; and the Saturday Review of Nov. 4, 1882 (p. 609), published an article on the Arabian Nights, containing the following amusing passage: “Then Jonathan Scott, LL.D. Oxon, assures the world that he intended to retranslate the tales given by Galland; but he found Galland so adequate on the whole that he gave up the idea, and now reprints Galland, with etchings by M. Lalauze, giving a French view of Arab life. Why Jonathan Scott, LL.D., should have thought to better Galland, while Mr. Lane’s version is in existence, and has just been reprinted, it is impossible to say.”
The most interesting of Scott’s additional tales, with reference to ordinary editions of The Nights, are as follows:—
No. 204b is a variant of No. 37.
No. 204c is a variant of 3e, in which the wife, instead of the husband, acts the part of a jealous tyrant. (Compare Cazotte’s story of Halechalbe.)
No. 204e. Here we have a reference to the Nesnás, which only appears once in the ordinary versions of The Nights (No. 132b; Burton, v., p. 333).
No. 206b. is a variant of No. 156.
No. 207c. This relates to a bird similar to that in the Jealous Sisters (No. 198), and includes a variant of 3ba.
No. 207h. Another story of enchanted birds. The prince who seeks them encounters an “Oone” under similar circumstances to those under which Princess Parizade (No. 198) encounters the old durwesh. The description is hardly that of a Marid, with which I imagine the Ons are wrongly identified.
No. 208 contains the nucleus of the famous story of Aladdin (No. 193).
No. 209 is similar to No. 162; but we have again the well incident of No. 3ba, and the exposure of the children as in No. 198.
No. 215. Very similar to Hasan of Bassorah (No. 155). As Sir R. F. Burton (vol. viii., p. 60, note) has called in question my identification of the Islands of WákWák with the Aru Islands near New Guinea, I will quote here the passages from Mr. A. R. Wallace’s Malay Archipelago (chap. 31) on which I based it:—“The trees frequented by the birds are very lofty. . . . . One day I got under a tree where a number of the Great Paradise birds were assembled, but they were high up in the thickest of the foliage, and flying and jumping about so continually that I could get no good view of them. . . . . Their voice is most extraordinary. At early morn, before the sun has risen, we hear a loud cry of ‘Wawk — wawk — wawk, w k — w k — w k,’ which resounds through the forest, changing its direction continually. This is the Great Bird of Paradise going to seek his breakfast. . . . . The birds had now commenced what the people here call ‘sacaleli,’ or dancing-parties, in certain trees in the forest, which are not fruit-trees as I at first imagined, but which have an immense head of spreading branches and large but scattered leaves, giving a clear space for the birds to play and exhibit their plumes. On one of these trees a dozen or twenty full-plumaged male birds assemble together, raise up their wings, stretch out their necks, and elevate their exquisite plumes, keeping them in a continual vibration. Between whiles they fly across from branch to branch in great excitement, so that the whole tree is filled with waving plumes in every variety of attitude and motion.”
No. 216bc appears to be nearly the same as No. 42.
No. 225 is a variant of No. 135q.
The only approximately complete original German translation is “Tausend und eine Nacht. Arabische Erzählungen. Zum Erstenmale aus dem Urtexte vollständig und treu übersetzt von Dr. Gustav Weil,” four vols., Stuttgart. The first edition was in roy. 8vo, and was published at Stuttgart and Pforzheim in 1839–1842; the last volume I have not seen; it is wanting in the copy in the British Museum. This edition is divided into Nights, and includes No. 25b. In the later editions, which are in small square 8vo, but profusely illustrated, like the larger one, this story is omitted (except No. 135m, which the French editors include with it), though Galland’s doubtful stories are retained; and there is no division into Nights. The work has been reprinted several times, and the edition quoted in our Table is described as “Zweiter Abdruck der dritten vollstandig umgearbeiteten, mit Anmerkungen und mit einer Einleitung versehenen Auflage” (1872).
Weil has not stated from what sources he drew his work, except that No. 201 is taken from a Ms. in the Ducal Library at Gotha. This is unfortunate, as his version of the great transformation scene in No. 3b (Burton, vol. i., pp. 134, 135), agrees more closely with Galland than with any other original version. In other passages, as when speaking of the punishment of Aziz (No. 9a, aa), Weil seems to have borrowed an expression from Lane, who writes “a cruel wound;” Weil saying “a severe (schwere) wound.”
Whereas Weil gives the only German version known to me of No. 9 (though considerably abridged) he omits many tales contained in Zinserling and Habicht, but whether because his own work was already too bulky, or because his original Mss. did not contain them, I do not know; probably the first supposition is correct, for in any case it was open to him to have translated them from the printed texts, to which he refers in his Preface.
Two important stories (Nos. 200 and 201) are not found in any other version; but as they are translated in my “New Arabian Nights,” I need not discuss them here. I will, however, quote a passage from the story of Judar and Mahmood, which I omitted because it is not required by the context, and because I thought it a little out of place in a book published in a juvenile series. It is interesting from its analogy to the story of Semele.
When King Kashuk (a Jinni) is about to marry the daughter of King Shamkoor, we read (New Arabian Nights, p. 182), “Shamkoor immediately summoned my father, and said, ‘Take my daughter, for you have won her heart.’ He immediately provided an outfit for his daughter, and when it was completed, my father and his bride rode away on horseback, while the trousseau of the Princess followed on three hundred camels.” The passage proceeds (the narrator being Daruma, the offspring of the marriage), “When my father had returned home, and was desirous of celebrating his marriage Kandarin (his Wazir) said to him, ‘Your wife will be destroyed if you touch her, for you are created of fire, and she is created of earth, which the fire devours. You will then bewail her death when it is too late. To-morrow,’ continued he, ‘I will bring you an ointment with which you must rub both her and yourself; and you may then live long and happily together.’ On the following day he brought him a white ointment, and my father anointed himself and his bride with it, and consummated his marriage without danger.”
I may add that this is the only omission of the smallest consequence in my rendering of either story.
I have heard from more than one source that a complete German translation of The Nights was published, and suppressed; but I have not been able to discover the name of the author, the date, or any other particulars relating to the subject.
Several complete copies of The Nights were obtained by Europeans about the close of the last or the beginning of the present century; and one of these (in 4 vols.) fell into the bands of the great German Orientalist, Joseph von Hammer. This Ms. agrees closely with the printed Bul. and Mac. texts, as well as with Dr. Clarke’s Ms., though the names of the tales sometimes vary a little. One story, “The two Wazirs,” given in Von Hammer’s list as inedited, no doubt by an oversight, is evidently No. 7, which bears a similar title in Torrens. One title, “Al Kavi,” a story which Von Hammer says was published in “Mag. Encycl.,” and in English (probably by Scott in Ouseley’s Oriental Collections, vide anteà p. 491) puzzled me for some time; but from its position, and the title I think I have identified it as No. 145, and have entered it as such. No. 9a in this as well as in several other Mss., bears the title of the Two Lovers, or of the Lover and the Beloved.
Von Hammer made a French translation of the unpublished tales, which he lent to Caussin de Perceval, who extracted from it four tales only (Nos. 21a, 22, 32 and 37), and only acknowledged his obligations in a general way to a distinguished Orientalist, whose name he pointedly suppressed. Von Hammer, naturally indignant, reclaimed his Ms., and had it translated into German by Zinserling. He then sent the French Ms. to De Sacy, in whose hands it remained for some time, although he does not appear to have made any use of it, when it was despatched to England for publication; but the courier lost it on the journey, and it was never recovered.
Zinserling’s translation was published under the title, “Der Tausend und einen Nacht noch nicht übersetzte Mährchen, Erzählungen und Anekdoten, zum erstenmale aus dem Arabischen in’s Französische übersetzt von Joseph von Hammer, und aus dem Französischen in’s Deutsche von Aug. E. Zinserling, Professor.” (3 vols., Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1823.) The introductory matter is of considerable importance, and includes notices of 12 different Mss., and a list of contents of Von Hammer’s Ms. The tales begin with No. 23, Nos. 9–19 being omitted, because Von Hammer was informed that they were about to be published in France. (This possibly refers to Asselan Riche’s “Scharkan,” published in 1829.) The tales and anecdotes in this edition follow the order of The Nights. No. 163 is incomplete, Zinserling giving only the commencement; and two other tales (Nos. 132b and 168) are related in such a confused manner as to be unintelligible, the former from transposition (perhaps in the sheets of the original Ms.) and the latter from errors and omissions. On the other hand, some of the tales (No. 137 for instance) are comparatively full and accurate.
A selection from the longer tales was published in English in 3 vols. in 1826, under the title of “New Arabian Nights Entertainments, selected from the original Oriental Ms. by Jos. von Hammer, and now first translated into English by the Rev. George Lamb.” I have only to remark that No. 132b is here detached from its connection with No. 132, and is given an independent existence.
A complete French re-translation of Zinserling’s work, also in 3 vols., by G. S. Trébutien (Contes inédits des Mille et une Nuits), was published in Paris in 1828; but in this edition the long tales are placed first, and all the anecdotes are placed together last.
The various Mss. mentioned by Von Hammer are as follows:—
Galland’s Ms. in Paris.
Another Paris Ms., containing 870 Nights. (No. 9 is specially noticed as occurring in it.) This seems to be the same as a Ms. subsequently mentioned by Von Hammer as consulted by Habicht.
Scott’s Ms. (Wortley Montague).
Scott’s Ms. (Anderson).
Dr. Russell’s Ms. from Aleppo (224 Nights).
Sir W. Jones’ Ms., from which Richardson extracted No. 6ee for his grammar.
A. Ms. at Vienna (200 Nights).
Ms. in Italinski’s collection.
An Egyptian Ms. at Marseilles.
Von Hammer’s Ms.
Habicht’s Ms. (==Bres. text).
De Sacy’s Ms.
One or more Mss. in the Vatican.
These are noticed by Sir R. F. Burton in his “Foreword” (vol. i., pp. x-xii.) and consequently can be passed over with a brief mention here.
Torrens’ edition (vol. 1) extends to the end of Night 50 (Burton, ii., p. 118).
Lane’s translation originally appeared in monthly half-crown parts, from 1839 to 1841. It is obvious that he felt himself terribly restricted in space; for the third volume, although much thicker than the others, is not only almost destitute of notes towards the end, but the author is compelled to grasp at every excuse to omit tales, even excluding No. 168, which he himself considered “one of the most entertaining tales in the work” (chap. xxix., note 12), on account of its resemblance to Nos. 1b and 3d. Part of the matter in Lane’s own earlier notes is apparently derived from No. 132a, which he probably did not at first intend to omit. Sir R. F. Burton has taken 5 vols. to cover the same ground which Lane has squeezed into his vol. 3. But it is only fair to Lane to remark that in such cases the publisher is usually far more to blame than the author.
In 1847 appeared a popular edition of Lane, entitled, “The Thousand and One Nights, or the Arabian Nights Entertainments, translated and arranged for family reading, with explanatory notes. Second edition.” Here Galland’s old spelling is restored, and the “explanatory notes,” ostentatiously mentioned on the title page, are entirely omitted. This edition was in 3 vols. I have seen a copy dated 1850; and think I have heard of an issue in 1 vol.; and there is an American reprint in 2 vols. The English issue was ultimately withdrawn from circulation in consequence of Lane’s protests. (Mr. S. L. Poole’s Life of E. W. Lane, p. 95.) It contains the woodcut of the Flying Couch, which is wanting in the later editions of the genuine work; but not Galland’s doubtful tales, as Poole asserts.
Several editions of the original work, edited by Messrs. E. S. and S. L. Poole, have appeared at intervals from 1859 to 1882. They differ little from the original edition except in their slightly smaller size.
The short tales included in Lane’s notes were published separately as one of Knight’s Weekly Volumes, in 1845, under the title of “Arabian Tales and Anecdotes, being a selection from the notes to the new translation of the Thousand and One Nights, by E. W. Lane, Esq.”
Finally, in 1883, Mr. Stanley Lane Poole published a classified and arranged edition of Lane’s notes under the title of “Arabian Society in the Middle Ages.”
Mr. John Payne’s version of the Mac. edition was issued in 9 vols. by the Villon Society to subscribers only. It appeared from 1882 to 1884, and only 500 copies were printed. Judging from the original prospectus, it seems to have been the author’s intention to have completed the work in 8 vols., and to have devoted vol. 9 to Galland’s doubtful tales; but as they are omitted, he must have found that the work ran to a greater length than he had anticipated, and that space failed him. He published some preliminary papers on the Nights in the New Quarterly Magazine for January and April, 1879.
Mr. Payne subsequently issued “Tales from the Arabic of the Breslau and Calcutta (1814–18) editions of the Thousand Nights and One Night, not occurring in the other printed texts of the work.” (Three vols., London, 1884.) Of this work, issued, like the other, by the Villon Society, to subscribers only, 750 copies were printed, besides 50 on large paper. The third volume includes indices of all the tales in the four principal printed texts.
Finally we have Sir R. F. Burton’s translation now in its entirety before his subscribers. It is restricted to 1,000 copies. (Why not 1,001?) The five supplementary vols. are to include tales wanting in the Mac. edition, but found in other texts (printed and Ms.), while Lady Burton’s popular edition will allow of the free circulation of Sir R. F. Burton’s work among all classes of the reading public.
There are many volumes of selections derived from Galland, but these hardly require mention; the following may be noticed as derived from other sources:
1. Caliphs and Sultans, being tales omitted in the usual editions of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. Re-written and re-arranged by Sylvanus Hanley, F. L. S., etc., London, 1868; 2nd edition 1870.
Consists of portions of tales chiefly selected from Scott, Lamb, Chavis and Cazotte, Trébutien and Lane; much abridged, and frequently strung together, as follows:—
Nos. 246, 41, 32 (including Nos. 111, 21a, and 89); 9a (including 9aa [which Hanley seems, by the way, to have borrowed from some version which I do not recognise], 22 and 248); 155, 156, 136, 162; Xailoun the Silly (from Cazotte); 132 and 132a; and 169 (including 134 and 135x).
2. Ilâm-en-Nâs. Historical tales and anecdotes of the time of the early Kalîfahs. Translated from the Arabic and annotated by Mrs. Godfrey Clerk, author of “The Antipodes, and Round the World.” London, 1873.
Many of these anecdotes, as is candidly admitted by the authoress in her Preface, are found with variations in the Nights, though not translated by her from this source.
3. The New Arabian Nights. Select tales not included by Galland or Lane. By W. F. Kirby, London, 1882.
Includes the following tales, slightly abridged, from Weil and Scott: Nos. 200, 201, 264, 215, 209, and 208.
Two editions have appeared in England, besides reprints in America and Australia.
6e (ee). — The Barber’s Fifth Brother.
Mr. W. A. Clouston (in litt.) calls attention to the version of this story by Addison in the “Spectator,” No. 535, Nov. 13, 1712, after Galland. There is good reason to suppose that this is subsequent to the first English edition, which, however, Addison does not mention. There is also an English version in Faris’ little Arabic Grammar (London, 1856), and likewise in Richardson’s Arabic Grammar. The latter author extracted it from a Ms. belonging to Sir W. Jones.
5. — Nur Al-din and Badr Al-din Hasan.
There are two Paris editions of the “Histoire de Chems–Eddine et de NourEddine,” edited by Prof. Cherbonneau. The first (1852) contains text and notes, and the second (1869) includes text, vocabulary and translations.
7. — Nur Al-din and Anis Al-jalis.
An edition by Kasimiraki of “Enis’ el-Djelis, ou histoire de la belle Persane,” appeared in Paris in 1867. It includes text, translation and notes.
9. — King Omar Bin Al-nu’aman.
There is a French abridgment of this story entitled, “Scharkan, Conte Arabe, suivi de quelques anecdotes orientales; traduit par M. Asselan Riche, Membre de la Société Asiatique de Paris” (Paris and Marseilles, 12mo, 1829, pp. 240). The seven anecdotes appended are as follows: (1) the well-known story of Omar’s prisoner and the glass of water; (2) Elhedjadj and a young Arab; (3)=our No. 140; (4) Anecdote of Elhedjadj and a story-teller; (5)=our No. 86; (6) King Bahman and the Moubed’s parable of the Owls; (7)=our No. 145.
133. — Sindbad the Seaman.
This is the proper place to call attention to a work specially relating to this story, “Remarks on the Arabian Nights Entertainments; in which the origin of Sindbad’s Voyages and other Oriental Fictions is particularly described. By Richard Hole, LL.D.” (London, 1797, pp. iv. 259.)
It is an old book, but may still be consulted with advantage.
There are two important critical editions of No. 133, one in French and one in German.
Les Voyages de Sind-bâd le marin et la ruse des Femmes. Contes arabes. Traduction littérale, accompagnée du Texte et des Notes. Par L. Langlès (Paris, 1814).
The second story is our No. 184.
Die beiden Sindbad oder Reiseabenteuer Sindbads des Seefabrers. Nach einer zum ersten Male in Europa bedruckten Aegyptischen Handschrift unmittelbar und wortlich treu aus den Arabischen übersetzt und mit erklärenden Anmerkungen, nebst zwei sprachlichen Beilagen zum Gebrauch für abgehende Orientalisten herausgegeben von J. G. H. Reinsch (Breslau, 1826).
135. — The Craft and Malice of Women.
The literature of this cluster of tales would require a volume in itself, and I cannot do better than refer to Mr. W. A. Clouston’s “Book of Sindibad” (8vo, Glasgow, 1884) for further information. This book, though privately printed and limited to 300 copies, is not uncommon.
136. — Judar and His Brethren.
An edition of this story, entitled “Histoire de Djouder le Pêcheur,” edited by Prof. Houdas, was published in the Bibliothèque Algérienne, at Algiers, in 1865. It includes text and vocabulary.
174. — The Ten Wazirs.
This collection of tales has also been frequently reprinted separately. It is the Arabic version of the Persian Bakhtyar Nameh, of which Mr. Clouston issued a privately-printed edition in 1883.
The following versions have come under my notice:—
1. Nouveaux Contes Arabes, ou Supplement aux Mille et une Nuits suivies de Mélanges de Littérature orientale et de lettres, par l’Abbe (Paris, 1788, pp. 425).
This work consists chiefly of a series of tales selected and adapted from the Ten Vazirs. “Written in Europe by a European, and its interest is found in the Terminal Essay, on the Mythologia Aesopica” (Burton in litt.).
2. Historien om de ti Vezirer og hoorledes det gik dem med Kong Azád Bachts Sön, oversat af Arabisk ved R. Rask (8vo, Kobenhavn, 1829).
3. Habicht, x. p. vi., refers to the following:— Historia decem Vezirorum et filii regis Azad–Bacht insertis XIII. aliis narrationibus, in usum tironum Cahirensem, edid. G. Knös, Göttingen, 1807, 8vo.
He also states that Knös published the commencement in 1805, in his “Disquisitio de fide Herodoti, quo perhibet Phoenices Africam navibus circumvectos esse cum recentiorum super hac re sententiis excussis. — Adnexurn est specimen sermonis Arabici vulgaris s. initium historiae filii regis Azad–Bacht e Codice inedito.”
4. Contes Arabes. Histoire des dix Vizirs (Bakhtyar Nameh) Traduite et annotée par René Basset, Professeur A l’école superieure des lettres d’Algérie. Paris, 1883.
Chavis and Cazotte (anteà pp. 471, 472) included a version of the Ten Vazirs in their work; and others are referred to in our Table of Tales.
248. — The Wise Heycar.
Subsequently to the publication of Gauttier’s edition of The Nights, Agoub republished his translation under the title of “Le sage Heycar, conte Arabe” (Paris, 1824).
A few tales published by Scott in Ouseley’s Oriental Collections have already been noticed (anteà, pp. 434, 435).
1. Les Mille et Un Jours. Contes Persanes.
“In imitation of the Arabian Nights, was composed a Persian collection entitled ‘Hazár Yek Rúz or the Thousand and One Days,’ of which Petis de la Croix published a French rendering [in 1710], which was done into English [by Dr. King, and published in 2 vols. (with the Turkish Tales=Forty Vezirs) as early as 1714; and subsequently] by Ambrose Phillips” (in 1738) (Clouston, in litt). Here, and occasionally elsewhere, I have quoted from some Mss. notes on The Nights by Mr. W. A. Clouston, which Sir R. F. Burton kindly permitted me to inspect. Mr. Clouston then quotes Cazotte’s Preface (not in my edition of the Thousand and One Days), according to which the book was written by the celebrated Dervis Moclès (Mukhlis), chief of the Sofis (Sufis?) of lspahan, founded upon certain Indian comedies. Petis de la Croix was on friendly terms with Mukhlis, who allowed him to take a copy of his work in 1675, during his residence in Ispahan. (I find these statements confirmed in the Cabinet des Fées, xxxvii. pp. 266, 274, 278, and in Weber’s “Tales of the East,” i. pp. xxxvi., xxxxii.)
The framework of the story is the same as Nos. 9a and 152: a Princess, who conceives an aversion to men from dreaming of the self-devotion of a doe, and the indifference and selfishness of a stag. Mr. Clouston refers to Nakhshabí‘s Tútí Náma (No. 33 of Káderí‘s abridgment, and 39 of India Office Ms. 2,573 whence he thinks it probable that Mukhlis may have taken the tale.) But the tale itself is repeated over and over again in many Arabic, Persian, and Turkish collections; in fact, there are few of commoner occurrence.
The tales are told by the nurse in order to overcome the aversion of the Princess to men. They are as follows:
This work has many times been reprinted in France, where it holds a place only second to The Nights.
Sir R. F. Burton remarks, concerning the Persian and Turkish Tales of Petis de la Crois (the latter of which form part of the Forty Vazirs, No. 251), “Both are weak and servile imitations of Galland by an Orientalist who knew nothing of the East. In one passage in the story of Fadlallah, we read of ‘Le Sacrifice du Mont Arafáte,’ which seems to have become a fixture in the European brain. I found the work easy writing and exceedingly hard reading.”
The following tales require a passing notice:—
1. Story of Aboulcassem Bafry. — A story of concealed treasure; it has also some resemblance to No. 31.
2. Ruzvanchad and Cheheristani. — Cheheristani is a jinniyah, who is pursued by the King, under the form of a white doe; marries him, and becomes the mother of Balkis, the Queen of Sheba. She exacts a promise from him never to rebuke her for any of her actions: he breaks it, and she leaves him for a time.
2a. The Young King of Thibet. — Two imposters obtain magic rings by which they can assume the shapes of other persons.
2a, b. The Vazir Cavercha. — This is one of Scott’s stories (No. 223 of our Table). It goes back at least as far as the Ring of Polycrates. It is the 8th Vezir’s Story in Mr. Gibbs’ Forty Vezirs (pp. 200–205).
4. Prince Calaf. — This story is well known, and is sometimes played as a comedy. The Princess Turandot puts riddles to her suitors, and beheads them if they fail to answer.
5b. Story of Prince Seyj-el-Molouk. — This story is perhaps an older version than that which appears in The Nights (No. 154a). It is placed long after the time of Solomon; Saad is devoured by ants (Weber (ii. p. 426) has substituted wild beasts!); and when Seyf enters the palace of Malika (=Daulet Khatoon), the jinni surprises them, and is overpowered by Seyf’s ring. He then informs him of the death of Saad; and that Bedy al-Jernal was one of the mistresses of Solomon; and has also long been dead.
5b. Malek and Chirine. — Resembles No. 264; Malek passes himself off as the Prophet Mohammed; burns his box (not chair) with fireworks on his weddingday, and is thus prevented from ever returning to the Princess.
5f. Adventures of Aboulfawaris. — Romantic travels, resembling Nos. 132a and 133.
2. Antar. — This is the most famous of the Badawi romances. It resembles No. 137 in several particulars, but is destitute of supernaturalism. An English abridgment in 4 vols. was published in 1820; and the substance of vol. 1 had appeared, as a fragment, in the previous year, under the title of “Antar, a Bedoueen Romance translated from the Arabic by Terrick Hamilton, Esq., Oriental Secretary to the British Embassy at Constantinople.” I have also seen vol. 1 of a French translation, published about 1862, and extending to the death of Shas.
Lane (Modern Egyptians, ch. 21–23) describes several other Arab romances, which have not yet been translated; viz. Aboo–Zeyd; Ez-Zahir, and Delhemeh.
3. Glaive-des-Couronnes (Seif el-Tidjân) Roman traduit de l’Arabe. Par M. le Dr. Perron (Paris, 1862).
A romantic story of Arab chivalry, less overloaded with supernaturalism than No. 137; but more supernatural than Antar. The hero marries (among other wives) two jinniyahs of the posterity of Iblis. In ch. 21 we have an account of a magical city much resembling the City of Brass (No. 134) and defended by similar talismans.
4. Mehemet the Kurd, and other tales, from Eastern sources, by Charles Wells, Turkish Prizeman of King’s College, London, and Member of the Royal Asiatic Society (London, 1865).
The first story, taken from an Arabic Ms., is a narrative of a handsome simpleminded man, with whom Princesses fall in love, and who is raised to a mighty throne by their enchantments. Some of the early incidents are not unlike those in the well-known German story of Lucky Hans (Hans im Glück). In one place there is an enchanted garden, where Princesses disport themselves in feather-dresses (as in No. 155, &c.), and where magic apples grow. (Note that apples are always held in extraordinary estimation in The Nights, cf. Nos. 4 and 264.) Among the shorter stories we find No. 251h; a version of Nos. 9a and 152 (probably that referred to by Mr. Clouston as in the Tuti Nama); a story “The Prince Tailor,” resembling No. 251; No. 256, and one or two other tales not connected with The Nights. (Most of Wells’ shorter tales are evidently taken from the Forty Vezirs.)
5. Recueil Des Contes Populaires de la Kabylie du Djardjara, recueillis et traduits par J. Rivière (Paris, 1882). I have not seen this book; but it can hardly fail to illustrate The Nights.
6. The Story of Jewad, Romance by ‘Ali ‘Aziz Efendi the Cretan. Translated from the Turkish by E. J. W. Gibb, M.R.A.S., &c. (Glasgow, 1884).
A modern Turkish work, written in A. H. 1211 (1796–97). It contains the following tales:—
The Story of Jew d.
1. The Story of Eb —‘Ali–Sin;.
2. The Story of Monia Em n.
3. The Story of Ferah-N z, the daughter of the King of China.
a. The Story of Khoja ‘Abdu-llah.
4. The Story told by Jew d to Iklilu’l Mulk.
a. The Story of Sh b r and Hum.
c. The Story of Ghazanfer and R hila.
5. The Story of Qara Khan.
The following deserve notice from our present point of view:—
The Story of Jewad. — Here we have magical illusions, as in Nos. 247 and 251a. Such narratives are common in the East; Lane (Nights, ch. i., note 15) is inclined to attribute such illusions to the influence of drugs; but the narratives seem rather to point to so-called electro-biology, or the Scotch Glamour (such influences, as is notorious, acting far more strongly upon Orientals than upon Europeans).
2. The Story of Monia Em n corresponds to the Story of Naerdan and Guzulbec, in Caylus’ Oriental Tales. A story of magical illusions.
3. The Story of Ferah N z. — Here again we have a variant of Nos. 9a and 152.
3a. Khoja ‘Abdu-ltab. — This is a version of the Story of Aboulcassem in the Thousand and One Days.
4a. Sh b r and Hum. — The commencement of this story might have suggested to Southey the adventures of Thalaba and Oneida in the Gardens of Aloadin; the remainder appears to be taken from the Story of the young King of Thibet, in the Thousand and One Days.
5. Qara Khan. — The principal part of this story is borrowed from the First Voyage of Aboulfawaris in the Thousand and One Days; it has some resemblance to the story of the Mountain of Loadstone in No. 3c.
7. Früchte des Asiatischen Geist, von A. T. Hartmann. 2 vols., 12mo (Münster) 1803. A collection of anecdotes, &c., from various Eastern sources, Arabic, Indian, &c. I think it not impossible that this may be the work referred to by Von Hammer in the preface to Zinserling’s “1001 Nacht” (p. xxvii. note) as “Asiatische Perleuschnur von Hartmann.” At least I have not yet met with any work to which the scanty indication would apply better.
8. Tuti-Nama. I could hardly pass over the famous Persian and Turkish “Parrot–Book” quite without notice; but its tales have rarely any direct connection with those in The Nights, and I have not attempted to go into its very extensive bibliography.
Dr. Edward Daniel Clarke has given an account of an important Ms. nearly agreeing with Bul. and Mac., which he purchased in Egypt, in his “Travels in various countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.” Part ii. Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Section i. (1812) App. iii., pp. 701–704. Unfortunately, this Ms. was afterwards so damaged by water during a shipwreck that it was rendered totally illegible. The list of tales (as will be seen by the numbers in brackets, which correspond to our Table, as far as the identifications are safe) will show the approximate contents of the Ms., but the list (which is translated into German by Habicht in the preface to his vol. 12) was evidently compiled carelessly by a person nearly ignorant of Arabic, perhaps with the aid of an interpreter, Maltese, or other, and seems to abound with the most absurd mistakes. The full text of Clarke’s App. iii. is as follows: “List of One Hundred and Seventy-two Tales, contained in a manuscript copy of the ‘Àlif Lila va Lilin,’ or ‘Arabian Nights,’ as it was procured by the Author in Egypt.”
N.B. — The Arabic words mentioned in this list are given as they appeared to be pronounced in English characters, and of course, therefore, adapted to English pronunciation.
The number of tales amounts to 172, but one tale is supposed to occupy many nights in the recital, so that the whole number is divided into “One Thousand and One Nights.” It rarely happens that any two copies of the Alif Lila va Lilin resemble each other. This title is bestowed upon any collection of Eastern tales divided into the same number of parts. The compilation depends upon the taste, the caprice, and the opportunities of the scribe, or the commands of his employer. Certain popular stories are common to almost all copies of the Arabian Nights, but almost every collection contains some tales which are not found in every other. Much depends upon the locality of the scribe. The popular stories of Egypt will be found to differ materially from those of Constantinople. A nephew of the late Wortley Montague, living in Rosetta, had a copy of the Arabian Nights, and upon comparing the two manuscripts it appeared that out of the 172 tales here enumerated only 37 were found in his manuscript. In order to mark, therefore, the stories which were common to the two manuscripts, an asterisk has been prefixed to the thirty-seven tales which appeared in both copies.
The success of Galland’s work led to the appearance of numerous works more or less resembling it, chiefly in England and France. Similar imitations, though now less numerous, have continued to appear down to the present day.
The most important of the older works of this class were published in French in the “Cabinet des Fées” (Amsterdam and Geneva, 1785–1793; 41 vols.); in English in “Tales of the East: comprising the most popular Romances of Oriental origin, and the best imitations by European authors, with new translations and additional tales never before published, to which is prefixed an introductory dissertation, containing an account of each work and of its author or translator. By Henry Weber, Esq.” (Edinburgh, 1812, 3 vols.); and in German in “Tausand und ein Tag. Morgenländische Erzählungen aus dem Persisch, Turkisch und Arabisch, nach Petis de la Croix, Galland, Cardonne, Chavis und Cazotte, dem Grafen Caylus, und Anderer. Übersetzt von F. H. von der Hagen” (Prenzlau, 1827–1837, 11 vols.). In the “Cabinet des Fées” I find a reference to an older collection of tales (partly Oriental) called the “Bibliothèque des Fées et des Génies,” by the Abbé de la Porte, which I have not seen, but which is, in part, incorporated in the “Cabinet.” It formed only 2 vols. 12mo, and was published in 1765.
The examination of these tales is difficult, for they comprise several classes, not always clearly defined:—
Most of the tales belonging to Class 7 and some of those belonging to Class 6 have been treated of in previous sections. The remaining tales and imitations will generally need only a very brief notice; sometimes only the title and the indication of the class to which they belong. We will begin with an enumeration of the Oriental contents of the Cabinet des Fées, adding W. i., ii. and iii. to show which are included in Weber’s “Tales of the East”:—
(Weber also includes, in his vol. ii. Nos. 21a, 22, 32 and 37, after Caussin de Perceval.)
12, 13. The Adventures of Abdallah, the Son of Hanif (Class 5 or 6).
Originally published in 1713; attributed to M. de Bignon, a young Abbé. A series of romantic travels, in which Eastern and Western fiction is mixed; for instance, we have the story of the Nose-tree, which so far as I know has nothing Oriental about it.
16. The Voyages of Zulma in Fairy Land (Class 4).
European fairy tales, with nothing Oriental about them but the names of persons and places. The work is unfinished.
17, 18. The Tales of Bidpai (translated by Galland) are Indian, and therefore need no further notice here.
19–23. Chinese, Tartarian and Mogul Tales (Class 6).
Published in 1723, and later by Thomas Simon Gueulette.
Concerning these tales, Mr. Clouston remarks (in litt.): “Much of the groundwork of these clever imitations of the Arabian Nights has been, directly or indirectly, derived from Eastern sources; for instance, in the so-called Tartar tales, the adventures of the Young Calender find parallels, (1) in the well-known Bidpai tale of the Bráhman, the Sharpers and the Goat (Kalila and Dimna, Pánchatantra, Hitopadesa, &c.) and (2) in the worldwide story of the Farmer who outwitted the Six Men (Indian Antiquary, vol. 3) of which there are many versions current in Europe, such as the Norse tale of Big Peter and Little Peter, the Danish tale of Great Claus and Little Claus; the German tale (Grimm) of the Little Farmer; the Irish tale of Little Fairly (Samuel Lover’s collection of Irish Fairy Legends and Stories); four Gaelic versions in Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands; a Kaba’il version in Riviere’s French collection (Contes populaires Kabylies); Uncle Capriano in Crane’s recently published Italian Popular Tales; and a Latin mediaeval version (written probably in the 11th century) in which the hero is called ‘Unibos,’ because he had only one cow.”
25. Oriental Tales (Class 6).
Mr. Clouston observes, “Appeared in 1749,2 and on the title page are said to have been translated from Mss. in the Royal French Library. The stories are, however, largely the composition of De Caylus himself, and those elements of them which are traceable to Asiatic sources have been considerably Frenchified.”
Nevertheless they are not without interest, and are nearly all of obviously Oriental origin. One of the stories is a fantastic account of the Birth of Mahomet, including romantic travels largely borrowed from No. 132a. Another story is a version of that of the Seven Sleepers. Other noteworthy tales are the story of the Dervish Abounader, which resembles Nos. 193 and 216d; and the story of Naerdan and Guzulbec, which is a tale of magical illusions similar to that of Monia Emin, in the Turkish story of Jewad.
The Count de Caylus was the author of various European as well as Oriental fairy tales. Of his Oriental collection, Sir R. F. Burton remarks:—“The stories are not Eastern but Western fairy tales proper, with kings and queens, giants and dwarfs, and fairies, good and bad. ‘Barbets’ act as body guard and army. Written in good old style, and free language, such as, for instance, son pétenlaire, with here and there a touch of salt humour, as in Rosanie ‘Charmante reine (car on n’a jamais parlé autrement à une reine, quel que laide qu’elle ait été).’”
29, 30. Tales of the Genii (Class 3).
Written in the middle of the last century by Rev. James Ridley, but purporting to be translated from the Persian of Horam, the son of Asmar, by Sir Charles Morell.
These tales have been reprinted many times; but it is very doubtful if they are based on any genuine Oriental sources. The amount of Oriental colouring may be guessed from the story of Urad, who having consented to become the bride of a Sultan on condition that he should dismiss all his concubines, and make her his sole queen (like Harald Harfagr on his marriage with Ragnhilda), is presented to his loving subjects as their Sultana!
32. Adventures of Zeloide and Amanzarifdine. Indian Tales, by M. de Moncrif (Class 4). Ordinary European Fairy Tales, with the scene laid in the East.
33. Nourjahad, by Mrs. Sheridan (Class 3).
An unworthy favourite is reformed by a course of practical moral lessons conveyed by the Sultan through supposed supernatural agencies. Mr. Clouston regards it as “one of the very best of the imitations of Eastern fiction. The plot is ingeniously conceived and well wrought out, and the interest never flags throughout.”
34. Pajon’s Oriental Tales (Class 5). These demand no special notice.
In addition to the above, the following Oriental works are mentioned in the Cabinet des Fées, but not reprinted:
This is the same as the Count de Caylus’ Oriental Tales. Sir R. F. Burton has received the following memorandum, respecting a copy of an earlier edition of the same work: “Contes Orientaux, tirés des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Roy de France, ornés de figures en taille douce. A la Haye, 1743, 2 vols. 12mo, polished calf gilt, gilt edges, arms in gilt on the sides.
“The Preface says, ‘M. Petit et M. Galland n’ont en aucune connaissance des manuscrits dont cet ouvrage est tiré.’
“The Tales are from the Mss. and translations sent by those despatched by the French Ministers to Constantinople to learn Arabic, &c., and so become fit to act as Dragomans and Interpreters to the French Embassy.”
There is a copy of this work in the British Museum; it proves, as I expected, to be the series of tales subsequently attributed to the Count de Caylus.
In addition to the above, the following, of which I can only give the names, are mentioned in the Cabinet des Fées, but not reprinted:—
The remaining imitations, &c., known to me I shall place roughly in chronological order, premising that I fear the list must be very incomplete, and that I have met with very few except in English and French.
Zadig, ou la Destinée, par Voltaire3 probably partakes of classes 2 and 6; said to be partly based on Gueulette’s “Soirées Bretonnes,” published in 1712. The latter is included in Cabinet des Fées, Vol. 32.
Vathek, an Arabian Tale, by William Beckford. I include this book here because it was written and first published in French. Its popularity was once very great, and it contains some effective passages, though it belongs to Class 2, and is rather a parody than an imitation of Oriental fiction. The Caliph Vathek, after committing many crimes at the instance of his mother, the witch Carathis, in order to propitiate Eblis, finally starts on an expedition to Istakar. On the way, he seduces Nouronihar, the beautiful daughter of the Emir Fakreddin, and carries her with him to the Palace of Eblis, where they am condemned to wander eternally, with their hearts surrounded with flames.
This idea (which is certainly not Oriental, so far as I know) took the fancy of Byron, who was a great admirer of Vathek, and he has mixed it with genuine Oriental features in a powerful passage in the Giaour, beginning:
“But thou, false infidel! shalt writhe
Beneath avenging Monkir’s scythe;
And from its torment ’scape alone
To wander round lost Eblis’ throne;
And fire unquenched, unquenchable,
Around, within thy heart shall dwell;
Nor ear can hear, nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!” &c.
How errors relative to Eastern matters are perpetuated is illustrated by the fact that I have seen these lines quoted in some modern philosophical work as descriptive of the hell in which the Mohammedans believe!
Southey, in Thalaba, b. 1., speaks of the Sarsar, “the Icy Wind of Death,” an expression which he probably borrowed from Vathek.
The Count of Hamilton’s Fairy Tales. Written shortly after the first publication of Galland’s work. There is an English Translation among Bohn’s Extra Volumes.
Les Mille et un Fadaises, par Cazotte. Class 1. I have not seen them.
La Mille et deuxième Nuit, par Theophilus Gautier (Paris, 1880). Probably Class 1 or 2; I have not seen it.
The Vision of Mirza (Addison in the “Spectator”). Class 3.
The Story of Amurath. Class 3. I do not know the author. I read it in a juvenile book published about the end of last century, entitled the Pleasing Instructor.
The Persian Tales of Inatulla of Delhi. Published in 1768, by Colonel Alexander Dow at Edinburgh. A French translation appeared at Amsterdam in two vols. and in Paris in one vol. (1769). Class 6. Chiefly founded on a wellknown Persian work, of which a more correct, though still incomplete, version was published in 3 vols. by Jonathan Scott in 1799, under the title of Bahar Danush, or Garden of Knowledge.
Rasselas, by Samuel Johnson. Class 3. Too well known to need comment.
Almoran and Hamet, by Dr. Hawksworth. Class 3. Very popular at the beginning of the present century, but now forgotten.
Oriental Fairy Tales (London, 1853). Class 4. A series of very pretty fairy tales, by an anonymous author, in which the scene is laid in the East (especially Egypt).
The Shaving of Shagpat, by George Meredith (London, 1855). Class 5. I prefer this to most other imitations of an Oriental tale.
The Thousand and One Humbugs. Classes 1 and 2. Published in “Household Words,” vol. xi. (1855) pp. 265–267, 289–292, 313–316. Parodies on Nos. 1, 195, 6d, and 6e,f.
Eastern Tales, by many story-tellers. Compiled and edited from ancient and modern authors by Mrs. Valentine, author of “Sea Fights and Land Battles,” &c. (Chandos Classics.)
In her preface, the authoress states that the tales “are gathered from both ancient and modern French, Italian and English sources.”
Contains 14 tales, some genuine, others imitations, One, “Alischar and Smaragdine,” is a genuine story of The Nights (No. 41 of our Table), and is probably taken from Trébutien. Three tales, “Jalaladeen,” “Haschem,” and “Jussuf,” are Grimm’s imitations, taken probably from the composite English edition of 1847, and with the same illustrations. “The Seven Sleepers” and the “Four Talismans” are from the Count de Caylus’ tales; “Halechalbe” and “Bohetzad” (our No. 174) are from Chavis and Cazotte; “The Enchanters” and “Urad” are from the “Tales of the Genii”; and “The Pantofles” is the well-known story of the miser Casem and his slippers, but I know not where it first appeared. The remaining three tales are unknown to me, and as I have seen no volume of Italian Oriental tales, some, no doubt, are derived from the Italian sources of which the authoress spoke. They are the following: “The Prince and the Lions,” “The City of the Demons” (a Jewish story purporting to have been written in England) and “Sadik Beg.”
New Arabian Nights, by R. L. Stevenson (London, 1882).
More New Arabian Nights. The Dynamiter. By R. L. Stevenson and Vander Grift (London, 1882). Class 4.
Of these tales, Sir R. F. Burton observes, “The only visible connection with the old Nights is in the habit of seeking adventures under a disguise. The method is to make the main idea possible and the details extravagant. In another ‘New Arabian Nights,’ the joint production of MM. Brookfield, Besant and Pollock, the reverse treatment is affected, the leading idea being grotesque and impossible, and the details accurate and lifelike.”
It is quite possible that there are many imitations in German, but I have not met with them. I can only mention one or two tales by Hauff (the Caliph turned Stork, and the Adventures of Said); a story called “Ali and Gulhindi,” by what author I do not now remember; and some imitations said to be by Grimm, already mentioned in reference to the English composite edition of 1847. They are all European fairy tales, in an Eastern dress.
Among books specially interesting to the student of The Nights, I may mention Weil’s “Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner, aus arabischen Quellen zusammengetragen, und mit jüdischen Sagen verglichen” (Frankfort-on-Main, 1845). An anonymous English translation appeared in 1846 under the title of “The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud,” and it also formed one of the sources from which the Rev. S. Baring–Gould compiled his “Legends of Old Testament Characters” (2 vols., 1871). The late Prof. Palmer’s “Life of Haroun Al–Raschid” (London, 1881), is not much more than a brief popular sketch. The references to The Nights in English and other European literatures are innumerable; but I cannot refrain from quoting Mark Twain’s identification of Henry the Eighth with Shahryar (Huckleberry Finn, chap. xxiii).
“My, you ought to have seen old Henry the Eighth when he was in bloom. He was a blossom. He used to marry a new wife every day, and chop off her head next morning. And he would do it just as indifferent as if he was ordering up eggs. “Fetch up Nell Gwynn,” he says. They fetch her up. Next morning, “Chop off her head.” And they chop it off. “Fetch up Jane Shore,” he says; and up she comes. Next morning, “Chop off her head.” And they chop it off. “Ring up Fair Rosamun.” Fair Rosamun answers the bell. Next morning, “Chop off her head.” And he made every one of them tell him a tale every night, and he kept that up till he had hogged a thousand and one tales that way, and then he put them all in a book, and called it Domesday Book — which was a good name, and stated the case. You don’t know kings, Jim, but I know them, and this old rip of ourn is one of the cleanest I’ve struck in history. Well, Henry, he takes a notion he wants to get up some trouble with this country. How does he do it — give notice? — give the country a show? No. All of a sudden he heaves all the tea in Boston Harbour overboard, and whacks out a declaration of independence, and dares them to come on. That was his style — he never give anybody a chance. He had suspicions of his father, the Duke of Wellington. Well, what did he do? — ask him to show up? No — drownded him in a butt of mamsey, like a cat. Spose people left money laying around where he was — what did he do? He collared it. Spose he contracted to do a thing, and you paid him, and didnt set down there and see that he done it — what did he do? He always done the other thing. Spose he opened his mouth — what then? If he didnt shut it up powerful quick, he’d lose a lie, every time. That’s the kind of a bug Henry was.”
And here I end this long volume with repeating in other words and other tongue what was said in “L’Envoi”:—
Hide thou whatever here is found of fault;
And laud The Faultless and His might exalt!
After which I have only to make my bow and to say
Last updated Monday, May 25, 2015 at 11:13