She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib said to his Captains, “Whatsoever this wise man shall say to you, that do”; they replied, “Hearing and obeying!” So the Omani chose out ten captains and asked them, “How many braves have ye under your hands?”; and they answered, “Ten thousand fighting-men.” Then he carried them into the armoury and armed five thousand of them with harquebuses and other five thousand with cross bows and taught them to shoot with these new weapons.1 Now as soon as it was day, the Indians came out to the field, armed cap-à-pie, with the elephants, giraffes and champions in their van; whereupon Gharib and his men mounted and both hosts drew out and the big drums beat to battle. Then the man of Oman cried out to the archers and harquebusiers to shoot, and they plied the elephants and giraffes with shafts and leaden bullets, which entered the beasts’ flanks, whereat they roared out and turning upon their own ranks, trod them down with their hoofs. Presently the Moslems charged the Misbelievers and outflanked them right and left, whilst the elephants and giraffes trampled them and drove them into the hills and words, whither the Moslems followed hard upon them with the keen-edged sword and but few of the giraffes and elephants escaped. Then King Gharib and his folk returned, rejoicing in their victory; and on the morrow they divided the loot and rested five days; after which King Gharib sat down on the throne of his kingship and sending for his brother Ajib, said to him, “O dog, why hast thou assembled the Kings against us? But He who hath power over all things hath given us the victory over thee. So embrace the Saving Faith and thou shalt be saved, and I will forbear to avenge my father and mother on thee therefor, and I will make thee King again as thou west, placing myself under thy hand.” But Ajib said, “I will not leave my faith.” So Gharib bade lay him in irons and appointed an hundred stalwart slaves to guard him; after which he turned to Ra’ad Shah and said to him, “How sayst thou of the faith of Al–Islam?” Replied he, “O my lord, I will enter thy faith; for, were it not a true Faith and a goodly, thou hadst not conquered us. Put forth thy hand and I will testify that there is no god but the God and that Abraham the Friend is the Apostle of God.” At this Gharib rejoiced and said to him, “Is thy heart indeed stablished in the sweetness of this Belief?” And he answered, saying, “Yes, O my lord!” Then quoth Gharib, “O. Ra’ad Shah, wilt thou go to thy country and thy kingdom?” and quoth he, “O. my lord, my father will put me to death, for that I have left his faith.” Gharib rejoined, “I will go with thee and make thee king of the country and constrain the folk to obey thee, by the help of Allah the Bountiful, the Beneficent.” And Ra’ad Shah kissed his hands and feet. Then Gharib rewarded the counsellor who had caused the rout of the foe and gave him great wealth; after which he turned to Kaylajan and Kurajan, and said to them, “Harkye, Chiefs of the Jinn, ’tis my will that ye carry me, together with Ra’ad Shah and Jamrkan and Sa’adan to the land of Hind.” “We hear and we obey,” answered they. So Kurajan took up Jamrkan and Sa’adan, whilst Kaylajan took Gharib and Ra’ad Shah and made for the land of Hind. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 The fire-arms may have been inserted by the copier; the cross-bow (Arcubalista) is of unknown antiquity. I have remarked in my book of the Sword (p. 19) that the bow is the first crucial evidence of the distinction between the human weapon and the bestial arm, and like the hymen or membrane of virginity proves a difference of degree if not of kind between man and the so-called lower animals. I note from Yule’s Marco Polo (ii., 143) “ that the cross-bow was re-introduced into European warfare during the twelfth century”; but the arbalesta was well known to the bon roi Charlemagne (Regnier Sat. X).
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two Marids had taken up Gharib and Jamrkan, Sa’adan the Ghul and Ra’ad Shah, they flew on with them from sundown till the last of the Night, when they set them down on the terrace of King Tarkanan’s palace at Cashmere. Now news was brought to Tarkanan by the remnants of his host of what had befallen his son, whereat he slept not neither took delight in aught, and he was troubled with sore trouble. As he sat in his Harim, pondering his case, behold, Gharib and his company descended the stairways of the palace and came in to him; and when he saw his son and those who were with him, he was confused and fear took him of the Marids. Then Ra’ad Shah turned to him and said, “How long wilt thou persist in thy frowardness, O traitor and worshipper of the Fire? Woe to thee! Leave worshipping the Fire and serve the Magnanimous Sire, Creator of day and Night, whom attaineth no sight.” When Tarkanan heard his son’s speech, he cast at him an iron club he had by him; but it missed him and fell upon a buttress of the palace and smote out three stones. Then cried the King, “O dog, thou hast destroyed mine army and hast forsaken thy faith and comest now to make me do likewise!” With this Gharib went up to him and dealt him a cuff on the neck which knocked him down; whereupon the Marids bound him fast and all the Harim-women fled. Then Gharib sat down on the throne of kingship and said to Ra’ad Shah, “Do thou justice upon thy father.” So Ra’ad Shah turned to him and said, ‘O perverse old man, become one of the saved and thou shalt be saved from the fire and the wrath of the All-powerful” But Tarkanan cried, “I will not die save in my own faith” Whereupon Gharib drew Al–Mahik and smote him therewith and he fell to the earth in two pieces, and Allah hurried his soul to the fire and abiding-place dire.1 Then Gharib bade hang his body over the palace gate and they hung one half on the right hand and the other on the left and waited till day, when Gharib caused Ra’ad Shah don the royal habit and sit down on his father’s throne, with himself on his dexter hand and Jamrkan and Sa’adan and the Marids standing right and left; and he said to Kaylajan and Kurajan, “Whoso entereth of the Princes and Officers, seize him and bind him, and let not a single Captain escape you.” And they answered, “Hearkening and obedience!” Presently the Officers made for the palace, to do their service to e King, and the first to appear was the Chief Captain who, seeing King Tarkanan’s dead body cut in half and hanging on either side of the gate, was seized with terror and amazement. Then Kaylajan laid hold of him by the collar and threw him and intoned him; after which he dragged him into the palace and before sunrise they had bound three hundred and fifty Captains and set them before Gharib, who said to them, “O folk, have you seen your King hanging at the palace gate?” Asked they, “Who hath done this deed?”; and he answered, “I did it, by the help of Allah Almighty; and whoso opposeth me, I will do with him likewise.” Then quoth they, “What is thy will with us?”; and quoth he, “I am Gharib, King of Al–Irak, he who slew your warriors; and now Ra’ad Shah hath embraced the Faith of Salvation and is become a mighty King and ruler over you. So do ye become True Believers and all shall be well with you; but, if ye refuse, you shall repent it.” So they pronounced the profession of the Faith and were enrolled among the people of felicity. Then said Gharib, “Are your hearts indeed stablished in the sweetness of the Belief?”; and they replied, “Yes”; whereupon he bade release them and clad them in robes of honour, saying, “Go to your people and expound Al–Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him; but if he refuse slay him.”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 In Al–Islam this was unjustifiable homicide, excused only because the Kafir had tried to slay his own son. He should have been summoned to become a tributary and then, on express refusal, he might legally have been put to death.
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Gharib said to the troops of Ra’ad Shah, “Go to your people and offer Al–Islam to them. Whoso accepteth the Faith spare him; but if he refuse, slay him.” So they went out and, assembling the men under their command, explained what had taken place and expounded Al–Islam to them and they all professed. except a few, whom they put to death; after which they returned and told Gharib, who blessed Allah and glorified Him, saying, “Praised be the Almighty who hath made this thing easy to us without strife!” Then he abode in Cashmere of India forty days, till he had ordered the affairs of the country and cast down the shrines and temples of the Fire and built in their stead mosques and cathedrals, whilst Ra’ad Shah made ready for him rarities and treasures beyond count and despatched them to Al–Irak in ships Then Gharib mounted on Kaylajan’s back and Jamrkan and Sa’adan on that of Kurajan, after they had taken leave of Ra’ad Shah; and journeyed through the night till break of day, when they reached Oman city where their troops met them and saluted them and rejoiced in them. Then they set out for Cufa where Gharib called for his brother Ajib and commanded to hang him. So Sahim brought hooks of iron and driving them into the tendons of Ajib’s heels, hung him over the gate; and Gharib bade them shoot him; so they riddled him with arrows, till he was like unto a porcupine. Then Gharib entered his palace and sitting down on the throne of his kingship, passed the day in ordering the affairs of the state. At nightfall he went in to his Harim, where Star o’ Morn came to meet him and embraced him and gave him joy, she and her women, of his safety. He spent that day and lay that night with her and on the morrow, after he had made the Ghusl-ablution and prayed the dawn-prayer, he sat down on his throne and commanded preparation to be made for his marriage with Mahdiyah. Accordingly they slaughtered three thousand head of sheep and two thousand oxen and a thousand he goats and five hundred camels and the like number of horses, beside four thousand fowls and great store of geese; never was such wedding in Al–Islam to that day. Then he went in to Mahdiyah and took her maidenhead and abode with her ten days; after which he committed the kingdom to his uncle Al–Damigh, charging him to rule the lieges justly, and journeyed with his women and warriors, till he came to the ships laden with the treasures and rarities which Ra’ad Shah had sent him, and divided the monies among his men who from poor became rich. Then they fared on till they reached the city of Babel, where he bestowed on Sahim Al–Layl a robe of honour and appointed him Sultan of the city. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib, after robing his brother Sahim and appointing him Sultan, abode with him ten days, after which he set out again and journeyed nor stinted travel till he reached the castle of Sa’adan the Ghul, where they rested five days. Then quoth Gharib to Kaylajan and Kurajan’ “Pass over to Isbánír al-Madáin, to the palace of the Chosroe, and find what is come of Fakhr Taj and bring me one of the King’s kinsmen, who shall acquaint me with what hath passed.” Quoth they, “We hear and we obey,” and set out forthright for Isbanir. As they flew between heaven and earth, behold, they caught sight of a mighty army, as it were the surging sea, and Kaylajan said to Kurajan, “Let us descend and determine what be this host.” So they alighted and walking among the troops, found them Persians and questioned the soldiers whose men they were and whither they were bound; whereto they made answer, “We are en route for Al–Irak, to slay Gharib and all who company him.” When the Marids heard these words, they repaired to the pavilion of the Persian general, whose name was Rustam, and waited till the soldiers slept, when they took up Rustam, bed and all, and made for the castle where Gharib lay. They arrived there by midnight and going to the door of the King’s pavilion, cried, “Permission!” which when he heard, he sat up and said, “Come in.” So they entered and set down the couch with Rustam asleep thereon. Gharib asked, “Who be this?” and they answered, “This be a Persian Prince, whom we met coming with a great host, thinking to slay thee and thine, and we have brought him to thee, that he may tell thee what thou hast a mind to know.” “Fetch me an hundred braves!” cried Gharib, and they fetched them; whereupon he bade them, “Draw your swords and stand at the head of this Persian carle!” Then they awoke him and he opened his eyes; and, finding an arch of steel over his head, shut them again, crying, “What be this foul dream?” But Kaylajan pricked him with his sword point and he sat up and said, “Where am I?” Quoth Sahim, “Thou art in the presence of King Gharib, son-in-law of the King of the Persians. What is thy name and whither goest thou?” When Rustam heard Gharib’s name’ he bethought himself and said in his mind, “Am I asleep or awake? Whereupon Sahim dealt him a buffet, saying, “Why dost thou not answer?” And he raised his head and asked, “Who brought me from my tent out of the midst of my men?” Gharib answered, “These two Marids brought thee.” So he looked at Kaylajan and Kurajan and skited in his bag-trousers. Then the Marids fell upon him, baring their tusks and brandishing their blades, and said to him, “Wilt thou not rise and kiss ground before King Gharib?” And he trembled at them and was assured that he was not asleep; so he stood up and kissed the ground between the hands of Gharib, saying, “The blessing of the Fire be on thee, and long life be thy life, O King!” Gharib cried, “O dog of the Persians, fire is not worshipful, for that it is harmful and profiteth not save in cooking food.” Asked Rustam, “Who then is worshipful?”; and Gharib answered, “Alone worshipworth is God, who formed thee and fashioned thee and created the heavens and the earth.” Quoth the Ajami, “What shall I say that I may become of the party of this Lord and enter thy Faith?”; and quoth Gharib, “Say, ‘There is no god but the God, and Abraham is the Friend of God’.” So Rustam pronounced the profession of the Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Then said he to Gharib, “Know, O my lord, that thy father-in-law, King Sabur, seeketh to slay thee; and indeed he hath sent me with an hundred thousand men, charging me to spare none of you.” Gharib rejoined, “Is this my reward for having delivered his daughter from death and dishonour? Allah will requite him his ill intent. But what is thy name?” The Persian answered, “My name is Rustam, general of Sabur;” and Gharib, “Thou shalt have the like rank in my army,” adding, “But tell me, O Rustam, how is it with the Princess Fakhr Taj?” “May thy head live, O King of the age!” “What was the cause of her death?” Rustam replied, “O my lord, no sooner hadst thou left us than one of the Princess’s women went in to King Sabur and said to him, ‘O my master, didst thou give Gharib leave to lie with the Princess my mistress?’ whereto he answered, ‘No, by the virtue of the fire!’ and drawing his sword, went in to his daughter and said to her, ‘O foul baggage, why didst thou suffer yonder Badawi to sleep with thee, without dower or even wedding?’ She replied, ‘O my papa, ’twas thou gayest him leave to sleep with me.’ Then he asked, ‘Did the fellow have thee?’ but she was silent and hung down her head. Hereupon he cried out to the midwives and slave-girls, saying, ‘Pinion me this harlot’s elbows behind her and look at her privy parts.’ So they did as he bade them and after inspecting her slit said to him, ‘O King, she hath lost her maidenhead Whereupon he ran at her and would have slain her, but her mother rose up and threw herself between them crying, ‘O King, slay her not, lest thou be for ever dishonoured; but shut her in a cell till she die.’ So he cast her into prison till nightfall, when he called two of his courtiers and said to them, ‘Carry her afar off and throw her into the river Jayhun and tell none.’ They did his commandment, and indeed her memory is forgotten and her time is past.”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib asked news of Fakhr Taj, Rustam informed him that she had been drowned in the river by her sire’s command. And when Gharib heard this, the world waxed wan before his eyes and he cried, “By the virtue of Abraham the Friend, I will assuredly go to yonder dog and overwhelm him and lay waste his realm!” Then he sent letters to Jamrkan and to the governors of Mosul and Mayyáfáríkín; and, turning to Rustam, said to him, “How many men hadst thou in thine army?” He replied, “An hundred thousand Persian horse;” and Gharib rejoined, “Take ten thousand horse and go to thy people and occupy them with war; I will follow on thy trail.” So Rustam mounted and taking ten thousand Arab horse made for his tribe, saying in himself, “I will do a deed shall whiten my face with King Gharib.” So he fared on seven days, till there remained but half a day’s journey between him and the Persian camp; when, dividing his host into four divisions he said to his men, “Surround the Persians on all sides and fall upon them with the sword.” They rode on from eventide till midnight, when they had compassed the camp of the Ajamis, who were asleep in security, and fell upon them, shouting, “God is Most Great!” Whereupon the Persians started up from sleep and their feet slipped and the sabre went round amongst them; for the All-knowing King was wroth with them, and Rustam wrought amongst them as fire in dry fuel; till, by the end of the night, the whole of the Persian host was slain or wounded or fled, and the Moslems made prize of their tents and baggage, horses, camels and treasure-chests. Then they alighted and rested in the tents of the Ajamis till King Gharib came up and, seeing what Rustam had done and how he had gained by stratagem a great and complete victory, he invested him with a robe of honour and said to him, “O Rustam, it was thou didst put the Persians to the rout; wherefore all the spoil is thine.” So he kissed Gharib’s hand and thanked him, and they rested till the end of the day, when they set out for King Sabur’s capital. Meanwhile, the fugitives of the defeated force reached Isbanir and went in to Sabur, crying out and saying, “Alas!” and “Well-away!” and “Woe worth the day!” Quoth he, “What hath befallen you and who with his mischief hath smitten you?” So they told him all that had passed and said, “Naught befel us except that thy general Rustam, fell upon us in the darkness of the night because he had turned Moslem; nor did Gharib come near us.” When the King heard this, he cast his crown to the ground and said, “There is no worth left us!” Then he turned to his son Ward Shah1 and said to him, “O my son, there is none for this affair save thou.” Answered Ward Shah, “By thy life, O my father, I will assuredly bring Gharib and his chiefs of the people in chains and slay all who are with him” Then he numbered his army and found it two hundred and twenty-thousand men. So they slept, intending to set forth on the morrow; but, next morning, as they were about to march, behold, a cloud of dust arose and spread till it walled the world and baffled the sight of the farthest seeing wight. Now Sabur had mounted to farewell his son, and when he saw this mighty great dust, he let call a runner and said to him, “Go find me out the cause of this dust-cloud.” The scout went and returned, saying, “O my lord, Gharib and his braves are upon you;” whereupon they unloaded their bât-beasts and drew out in line of battle. When Gharib came up and saw the Persians ranged in row, he cried out to his men, saying, “Charge with the blessing of Allah!” So they waved the flags, and the Arabs and the Ajamis crave one at other and folk were heaped upon folk. Blood ran like water and all souls saw death face to face; the brave advanced and pressed forward to assail and the coward hung back and turned tail and they ceased not from fight and fray till ended day, when the kettle-drums beat the retreat and the two hosts drew apart. Then Sabur commanded to pitch his camp hard over the city-gate, and Gharib set up his pavilions in front of theirs; and every one went to his tent. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 i.e. “Rose King,” like the Sikh name “Gulab Singh”=Rosewater Lion, sounding in translation almost too absurd to be true.
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the two hosts drew apart, every one went to his tent until the morning. As soon as it was day, the two hosts mounted their strong steeds and levelled their lances and wore their harness of war; then they raised their slogan cries and drew out in battle-array, whilst came forth all the lordly knights and the lions of fights. Now the first to open the gate of battle was Rustam, who urged his charger into mid-field and cried out, “God is most Great! I am Rustam, champion-in-chief of the Arabs and Ajamis. Who is for tilting, who is for fighting? Let no sluggard come out to me this day nor weakling!” Then there rushed forth to him a champion of the Persians; the two charged each other and there befel between them a sore fight, till Rustam sprang upon his adversary and smote him with a mace he had with him, seventy pounds in weight, and beat his head down upon his breast, and he fell to the earth, dead and in his blood drowned. This was no light matter to Sabur and he commanded his men to charge; so they crave at the Moslems, invoking the aid of the light-giving Sun, whilst the True Believers called for help upon the Magnanimous King. But the Ajamis, the Miscreants, outnumbered the Arabs, the Moslems, and made them drain the cup of death; which when Gharib saw he drew his sword Al–Mahik and crying out his war-cry, fell upon the Persians, with Kaylajan and Kurajan at either stirrup; nor did he leave playing upon them with blade till he hewed his way to the standard-bearer and smote him on the head with the flat of his sword, whereupon he fell down in a fainting-fit and the two Marids bore him off to their camp. When the Persians saw the standard fall, they turned and fled and for the city-gates made; but the Moslems followed them with the blade and they crowded together to enter the city, so that they could not shut the gates and there died of them much people. Then Rustam and Sa’adan, Jamrkan and Sahim, Al–Damigh, Kaylajan and Kurajan and all the braves Mohammedan and the champions of Faith Unitarian fell upon the misbelieving Persians in the gates, and the blood of the Kafirs ran in the streets like a torrent till they threw down their arms and harness and called out for quarter; whereupon the Moslems stayed their swords from the slaughter and drove them to their tents, as one driveth a flock of sheep. Meanwhile Gharib returned to his pavilion, where he doffed his gear and washed himself of the blood of the Infidels; after which he donned his royal robes and sat down on his chair of estate. Then he called for the King of the Persians and said to him, “O dog of the Ajams, what moved thee to deal thus with thy daughter? How seest thou me unworthy to be her baron?” And Sabur answered, saying, “O King, punish me not because of that deed which I did; for I repent me and confronted thee not in fight but in my fear of thee.’’1 When Gharib heard these words he bade throw him flat and beat him. So they bastinadoed him, till he could no longer groan, and cast him among the prisoners. Then Gharib expounded Al–Islam to the Persians and one hundred and twenty-thousand of them embraced The Faith, and the rest he put to the sword. Moreover all the citizens professed Al–Islam and Gharib mounted and entered in great state the city Isbanir Al–Madain. Then he went into the King’s palace and sitting down on Sabur’s throne, gave robes and largesse and distributed the booty and treasure among the Arabs and Persians, wherefore they loved him and wished him victory and honour and endurance of days. But Fakhr Taj’s mother remembered her daughter and raised the voice of mourning for her, and the palace was filled with wails and cries. Gharib heard this and entering the Harim, asked the women what ailed them, whereupon the Princess’s mother came forward and said, “O my lord, thy presence put me in mind of my daughter and how she would have joyed in thy coming, had she been alive and well.” Gharib wept for her and sitting down on his throne, called for Sabur, and they brought him stumbling in his shackles. Quoth Gharib to him, “O dog of the Persians, what didst thou do with thy daughter?” “I gave her to such an one and such an one,” quoth the King, “saying, ‘Drown her in the river Jayhún.’” So Gharib sent for the two men and asked them, “Is what he saith true?” Answered they, “Yes; but, O King, we did not drown her, nay we took pity on her and left her on the bank of the Jayhun, saying, ‘Save thyself and return not to the city, lest the King slay thee and slay us with thee.’ This is all we know of her.”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 “Repentance acquits the penitent” is a favourite and noble saying popular in Al–Islam. It is first found in Seneca; and is probably as old as the dawn of literature.
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two men ended the tale of Fakhr Taj with these words, “And we left her upon the bank of the river Jayhun!” Now, when Gharib heard this he bade bring the astrologers and said to them, “Strike me a board of geomancy and find out what is come of Fakhr Taj, and whether she is still in the bonds of life or dead.” They did so and said, “O King of the age, it is manifest to us that the Princess is alive and hath borne a male child; but she is with a tribe of the Jinn, and will be parted from thee twenty years; count, therefore, how many years thou hast been absent in travel.” So he reckoned up the years of his absence and found them eight years and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!’’1 Then he sent for all Sabur’s Governors of towns and strongholds and they came and did him homage. Now one day after this, as he sat in his palace, behold, a cloud of dust appeared in the distance and spread till it walled the whole land and darkened the horizon. So he summoned the two Marids and bade them reconnoitre, and they went forth under the dust-cloud and snatching up a horseman of the advancing host, returned and set him down before Gharib, saying, “Ask this fellow, for he is of the army.” Quoth Gharib, “Whose power is this?” and the man answered, “O King, ’tis the army of Khirad Shah,2 King of Shiras, who is come forth to fight thee.” Now the cause of Khirad Shah’s coming was this. When Gharib defeated Sabur’s army, as hath been related, and took him prisoner, the King’s son fled, with a handful of his father’s force and ceased not flying till he reached the city of Shiras, where he went into King Khirad Shah and kissed ground before him, whilst the tears ran down his cheeks. When the King saw him in this case, he said to him, “Lift thy head, O youth, and tell me what maketh thee weep.” He replied, “O King, a King of the Arabs, by name Gharib, hath fallen on us and captured the King my sire and slain the Persians making them drain the cup of death.” And he told him all that had passed from first to last Quoth Khirad Shah, “Is my wife3 well?” and quoth the Prince “Gharib hath taken her.” Cried the King “As my head liveth I will not leave a Badawi or a Moslem on the face of the earth’” So he wrote letters to his Viceroys, who levied their troops and joined him with an army which when reviewed numbered eighty-five thousand men. Then he opened his armouries and distributed arms and armour to the troops, after which he set out with them and journeyed till he came to Isbanir, and all encamped before the city-gate. Hereupon Kaylajan and Kurajan came in to Gharib and kissing his knee, said to him, “O our Lord, heal our hearts and give us this host to our share.” And he said, “Up and at them!” So the two Marids flew aloft high in the lift and lighting down in the pavilion of the King of Shiras, found him seated on his chair of estate, with the Prince of Persia Ward Shah son of Sabur, sitting on his right hand, and about him his Captains, with whom he was taking counsel for the slaughter of the Moslems. Kaylajan came forward and caught up the Prince and Kurajan snatched Up the King and the twain flew back with them to Gharib, who caused beat them till they fainted Then the Marids returned to the Shirazian camp and, drawing their swords, which no mortal man had strength to wield, fell upon the Misbelievers and Allah hurried their souls to the Fire and abiding-place dire, whilst they saw no one and nothing save two swords flashing and reaping men, as a husbandman reaps corn. So they left their tents and mounting their horses bare- backed, fled, and the Marids pursued them two days and slew of them much people; after which they returned and kissed Gharib’s hand. He thanked them for the deed they had done and said to them, “The spoil of the Infidels is yours alone: none shall share with you therein.” So they called down blessings on him and going forth, gathered the booty together and abode in their own homes. On this wise it fared with them; but as regards Gharib and his lieges — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after Gharib had put to flight the host of Khirad Shah, he bade Kaylajan and Kurajan take the spoil to their own possession nor hare it with any; so they gathered the booty and abode in their own homes. Meanwhile the remains of the beaten force ceased not flying till they reached the city of Shiras and there lifted up the voice of weeping and began the ceremonial lamentations for those of them that had been slain. Now King Khirad Shah had a brother Sírán the Sorcerer hight, than whom there was no greater wizard in his day, and he lived apart from his brother in a certain stronghold, called the Fortalice of Fruits,1 in a place abounding in trees and streams and birds and blooms, half a day’s journey from Shiras. So the fugitives betook them thither and went in to Siran the Sorcerer, weeping and wailing aloud. Quoth he, “O folk, what garreth you weep?” and they told him all that had happened, especially how the two Marids had carried off his brother Khirad Shah; whereupon the light of his eyes became night and he said, “By the virtue of my faith, I will certainly slay Gharib and all his men and leave not one alive to tell the tale!” Then he pronounced certain magical words and summoned the Red King, who appeared and Siran said to him, “Fare for Isbanir and fall on Gharib, as he sitteth upon his throne.” Replied he, “Hearkening and obedience!” and, gathering his troops, repaired to Isbanir and assailed Gharib, who seeing him, drew his sword Al–Mahik and he and Kaylajan and Kurajan fell upon the army of the Red King and slew of them five hundred and thirty and wounded the King himself with a grevious wound; whereupon he and his people fled and stayed not in their flight, till they reached the Fortalice of Fruits and went into Siran, crying out and exclaiming, “Woe!” and “Ruin!” And the Red King said to Siran, “O sage, Gharib hath with him the enchanted sword of Japhet son of Noah, and whomsoever he smiteth therewith he severeth him in sunder, and with him also are two Marids from Mount Caucasus, given to him by King Mura’ash. He it is who slew the Blue King and Barkan Lord of the Carnelian City, and did to death much people of the Jinn.” When the Enchanter heard this, he said to the Red King “Go,” and he went his ways; whereupon he resumed his conjurations, and calling up a Marid, by name Zu’ázi’a gave him a drachm of levigated Bhang and said to him, “Go thou to Isbanir and enter King Gharib’s palace and assume the form of a sparrow. Wait till he fall asleep and there be none with him; then put the Bhang up his nostrils and bring him to me.” “To hear is to obey,” replied the Marid and flew to Isbanir, where, changing himself into a sparrow, he perched on the window of the palace and waited till all Gharib’s attendants retired to their rooms and the King himself slept. Then he flew down and going up to Gharib, blew the powdered Bhang into his nostrils, till he lost his senses, whereupon he wrapped him in the bed-coverlet and flew off with him, like the storm wind, to the Fortalice of Fruits; where he arrived at midnight and laid his prize before Siran. The Sorcerer thanked him and would have put Gharib to death, as he lay senseless under Bhang; but a man of his people withheld him saying, “O Sage, an thou slay him, his friend King Mura’ash will fall on us with all his Ifrits and lay waste our realm.” “How then shall we do with him?” asked Siran, and the other answered, “Cast him into the Jayhun while he is still in Bhang and he shall be drowned and none will know who threw him in.” And Siran bade the Marid take Gharib and cast him into Jayhun river. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 The name does not appear till further on, after vague Eastern fashion which, here and elsewhere I have not had the heart to adopt. The same may be found in Ariosto, passim.
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took Gharib and carried him to the Jayhun purposing to cast him therein, but it was grievous to him to drown him, wherefore he made a raft of wood and binding it with cords, pushed it out (and Gharib thereon) into the current, which carried it away. Thus fared it with Gharib; but as regards his people, when they awoke in the morning and went in to do their service to their King, they found him not and seeing his rosary on the throne, awaited him awhile, but he came not. So they sought out the head Chamberlain and said to him, “Go into the Harim and look for the King: for it is not his habit to tarry till this time.” Accordingly, the Chamberlain entered the Serraglio and enquired for the King, but the women said, “Since yesterday we have not seen him.” Thereupon he returned and told the Officers, who were confounded and said, “Let us see if he have gone to take his pleasure in the gardens.” Then they went out and questioned the gardeners if they had seen the King, and they answered, “No;” whereat they were sore concerned and searched all the garths till the end of the day, when they returned in tears. Moreover, the two Marids sought for him all round the city, but came back after three days, without having happened on any tidings of him. So the people donned black and made their complaint to the Lord of all worshipping men who cloth as he is fain. Meanwhile, the current bore the raft along for five days till it brought it to the salt sea, where the waves disported with Gharib and his stomach, being troubled, threw up the Bhang. Then he opened his eyes and finding himself in the midst of the main, a plaything of the billows, said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Would to Heaven I wot who hath done this deed by me!” Presently as he lay, perplexed concerning his case, lo! he caught sight of a ship sailing by and signalled with his sleeve to the sailors, who came to him and took him up, saying, “Who art thou and whence comest thou?” He replied, “Do ye feed me and give me to drink, till I recover myself, and after I will tell you who I am.” So they brought him water and victual, and he ate and drank and Allah restored to him his reason. Then he asked them, “O folk, what countrymen are ye and what is your Faith?;” and they answered, “We are from Karaj1 and we worship an idol called Minkásh.” Cried Gharib, “Perdition to you and your idol! O dogs, none is worthy of wor strip save Allah who creased all things, who saith to a thing Be! and it becometh.” When they heard this, they rose up and fell upon him in great wrath and would have seized him. Now he was without weapons, but whomsoever he struck, he smote down and deprived of life, till he had felled forty men, after which they overcame him by force of numbers and bound him fast, saying, “We will not slay him save in our own land, that we may first show him to our King.” Then they sailed on till they came to the city of Karaj. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 A town in Persian Irak, unhappily far from the “Salt sea.”
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship’s crew seized Gharib and bound him fast they said, “We will not slay him save in our own land.” Then they sailed on till they came to the city of Karaj, the builder whereof was an Amalekite, fierce and furious; and he had set up at each gate of the city a magical figure of copper which, whenever a stranger entered, blew a blast on a trumpet, that all in the city heard it and fell upon the stranger and slew him, except they embraced their creed When Gharib entered the city, the figure stationed at the gate blew such a horrible blast that the King was affrighted and going into his idol, found fire and smoke issuing from its mouth, nose and eyes. Now a Satan had entered the belly of the idol and speaking as with its tongue, said, “O King, there is come to thy city one hight Gharib, King of Al–Irak, who biddeth the folk quit their belief and worship his Lord; wherefore, when they bring him before thee, look thou spare him not.” So the King went out and sat down on his throne; and presently, the sailors brought in Gharib and set him before the presence, saying, “O King, we found this youth shipwrecked in the midst of the sea, and he is a Kafir and believeth not in our gods.” Then they told him all that had passed and the King said, “Carry him to the house of the Great Idol and cut his throat before him, so haply our god may look lovingly upon us.” But the Wazir said, “O King, it befitteth not to slaughter him thus, for he would die in a moment: better we imprison him and build a pyre of fuel and burn him with fire.” Thereupon the King commanded to cast Gharib into gaol and caused wood to be brought, and they made a mighty pyre and set fire to it, and it burnt till the morning. Then the King and the people of the city came forth and the Ruler sent to fetch Gharib; but his lieges found him not; so they returned and told their King who said, “And how made he his escape?” Quoth they, ‘We found the chains and shackles cast down and the doors fast locked.” Whereat the King marvelled and asked, Hath this fellow to Heaven up flown or into the earth gone down?;’ and they answered, “We know not.” Then said the King, “I will go and question my God, and he will inform me whither he is gone.” So he rose and went in, to prostrate himself to his idol, but found it not and began to rub his eyes and say, “Am I in sleep or on wake?” Then he turned to his Wazir and said to him, “Where is my God and where is my prisoner? By my faith, O dog of Wazirs, haddest thou not counselled me to burn him, I had slaughtered him; for it is he who hath stolen my god and fled; and there is no help but I take brood-wreak of him!” Then he drew his sword and struck off the Wazir’s head. Now there was for Gharib’s escape with the idol a strange cause and it was on this wise. When they had shut him up in a cell adjoining the doomed shrine under which stood the idol, he rose to pray, calling upon the name of Almighty Allah and seeking deliverance of Him, to whom be honour and glory! The Marid who had charge of the idol and spoke in its name, heard him and fear got hold upon his heart and he said, “O shame upon me! Who is this seeth me while I see him not?” So he went in to Gharib and throwing himself at his feet, said to him, “O my Lord, what must I say that I may become of thy company and enter thy religion?” Replied Gharib, “Say, ‘There is no god but the God and Abraham is the Friend of God.’” So the Marid pronounced the profession of Faith and was enrolled among the people of felicity. Now his name was Zalzál, son of Al–Muzalzil,1 one of the Chiefs of the Kings of the Jinn. Then he unbound Gharib and taking him and the idol, made for the higher air. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 “Earthquake son of Ennosigaius” (the Earthquake-maker).
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Marid took up Gharib and the idol and made for the higher air. Such was his case; but as regards the King, when his soldiers saw what had befallen and the slaughter of the Wazir they renounced the worship of the idol and drawing their swords, slew the King; after which they fell on one another, and the sword went round amongst them three days, till there abode alive but two men, one of whom prevailed over the other and killed him. Then the boys attacked the survivor and slew him and fell to fighting amongst themselves, till they were all killed; and the women and girls fled to the hamlets and forted villages; wherefore the city became desert and none dwelt therein but the owl. Meanwhile, the Marid Zalzal flew with Gharib towards his own country, the Island of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal and the Land of the Enchanted Calf, so called because its King Al Muzalzil, had a pied calf, which he had clad in housings brocaded with red gold, and worshipped as a god. One day the King and his people went in to the calf and found him trembling; so the King said, “O my God, what hath troubled thee?” whereupon the Satan in the calf’s belly cried out and said, “O Muzalzil, verily thy son hath deserted to the Faith of Abraham the Friend at the hands of Gharib Lord of Al–Irak;” and went on to tell him all that had passed from first to last. When the King heard the words of his calf he was confounded and going forth, sat down upon his throne. Then he summoned his Grandees who came in a body, and he told them what he had heard from the idol, whereat they marvelled and said, “What shall we do, O King?” Quoth he, “When my son cometh and ye see him embrace him, do ye lay hold of him.” And they said, “Hearkening and obedience!” After two days came Zalzal and Gharib, with the King’s idol of Karaj, but no sooner had they entered the palace-gate than the Jinn seized on them and carried them before Al–Muzalzil, who looked at his son with eyes of ire and said to him, “O dog of the Jann, hast thou left thy Faith and that of thy fathers and grandfathers?” Quoth Zalzal, “I have embraced the True Faith, and on like wise do thou (Woe be to thee!) seek salvation and thou shalt be saved from the wrath of the King Almighty in sway, Creator of Night and Day.” Therewith his father waxed wroth and said, “O son of adultery, dost confront me with these words?” Then he bade clap him in prison and turning to Gharib, said to him, “O wretch of a mortal, how hast thou abused my son’s wit and seduced him from his Faith?” Quoth Gharib, “Indeed, I have brought him out of wrongousness into the way of righteousness, out of Hell into Heaven and out of unfaith to the True Faith.” Whereupon the King cried out to a Marid called Sayyár, saying “Take this dog and cast him into the Wady of Fire, that he may perish.” Now this valley was in the “Waste Quarter1” and was thus named from the excess of its heat and the flaming of its fire, which was so fierce that none who went down therein could live an hour, but was destroyed; and it was compassed about by mountains high and slippery wherein was no opening. So Sayyar took up Gharib and flew with him towards the Valley of Fire, till he came within an hour’s journey thereof, when being weary, he alighted in a valley full of trees and streams and fruits, and setting down from his back Gharib chained as he was, fell asleep for fatigue. When Gharib heard him snore, he strove with his bonds till he burst them; then, taking up a heavy stone, he cast it down on the Marid’s head and crushed his bones, so that he died on the spot. Then he fared on into the valley. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 Arab. “Ruba’al-Kharáb” or Ruba’al-Khálí (empty quarter), the great central wilderness of Arabia covering some 50,000 square miles and still left white on our maps. (Pilgrimage, i 14.)
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Gharib after killing the Marid fared on into the valley and found himself in a great island in mid-ocean, full of all fruits that lips and tongue could desire. So he abode alone on the island, drinking of its waters and eating of its fruits and of fish that he caught, and days and years passed over him, till he had sojourned there in his solitude seven years. One day, as he sat, be hold, there came down on him from the air two Marids, each carrying a man; and seeing him they said, “Who art thou, O fellow, and of which of the tribes art thou?” Now they took him for a Jinni, because his hair was grown long; and he replied, saying, “I am not of the Jann,” whereupon they questioned him, and he told them all that had befallen him. They grieved for him and one of the Ifrits said, “Abide thou here till we bear these two lambs to our King, that he may break his fast on the one and sup on the other, and after we will come back and carry thee to thine own country.” He thanked them and said, “ Where be the lambs?” Quoth they, “These two mortals are the lambs.” And Gharib said, “I take refuge with Allah the God of Abraham the Friend, the Lord of all creatures, who hath power over everything! Then the Marids flew away and Gharib abode awaiting them two days, when one of them returned, bringing with him a suit of clothes wherewith he clad him. Then he took him up and flew with him sky-high out of sight of earth, till Gharib heard the angels glorifying God in Heaven, and a flaming shaft issued from amongst them and made for the Marid, who fled from it towards the earth. The meteor pursued him, till he came within a spear’s cast of the ground, when Gharib leaped from his shoulders and the fiery shaft overtook the Marid, who became a heap of ashes. As for Gharib, he fell into the sea and sank two fathoms deep, after which he rose to the surface and swam for two days and two nights, till his strength failed him and he made certain of death. But, on the third day as he was despairing he caught sight of an island steep and mountainous; so he swam for it and landing, walked on inland, where he rested a day and a Night, feeding on the growth of the ground. Then he climbed to the mountain top, and, descending the opposite slope, fared on two days till he came in sight of a walled and bulwarked city, abounding in trees and rills. He walked up to it; but, when he reached the gate, the warders seized on him, and carried him to their Queen, whose name was Ján Sháh.1 Now she was five hundred years old, and every man who entered the city, they brought to her and she made him sleep with her, and when he had done his work, she slew him and so had she slain many men. When she saw Gharib, he pleased her mightily; so she asked him, “What be thy name and Faith and whence comest thou?” and he answered, “My name is Gharib King of Irak, and I am a Moslem.” Said she, “Leave this Creed and enter mine and I will marry thee and make thee King.” But he looked at her with eyes of ire and cried, “Perish thou and thy faith!” Cried she, “Dost thou blaspheme my idol, which is of red carnelian, set with pearls and gems?” And she called out to her men, saying, “Imprison him in the house of the idol; haply it will soften his heart.” So they shut him up in the domed shrine and locking the doors upon him, went their way. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 Pers. “Life King”, women also assume the title of Shah.
She resumed, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when they took Gharib, they jailed him in the idol’s domed shrine; and locking the doors upon him, went their way. As soon as they were gone, Gharib gazed at the idol, which was of red carnelian, with collars of pearls and precious stones about its neck, and presently he went close to it and lifting it up, dashed it on the ground and brake it in bits; after which he lay down and slept till daybreak. When morning morrowed, the Queen took seat on her throne and said, “O men, bring me the prisoner.” So they opened the temple doors and entering, found the idol broken in pieces, whereupon they buffeted their faces till the blood ran from the corners of their eyes. Then they made at Gharib to seize him; but he smote one of them with his fist and slew him, and so did he with another and yet another, till he had slain five-and-twenty of them and the rest fled and went in to Queen Jan Shah, shrieking loudly. Quoth she, “What is the matter?” and quoth they, “The prisoner hath broken thine idol and slain thy men,” and told her all that had passed. When she heard this, she cast her crown to the ground and said, “There is no worth left in idols!” Then she mounted amid a thousand fighting-men and rode to the temple, where she found Gharib had gotten him a sword and come forth and was slaying men and overthrowing warriors. When she saw his prowess, her heart was drowned in the love of him and she said to herself, “I have no need of the idol and care for naught save this Gharib, that he may lie in my bosom the rest of my life.” Then she cried to her men, “Hold aloof from him and leave him to himself!”; then, going up to him she muttered certain magical words, whereupon his arm became benumbed, his forearm relaxed and the sword dropped from his hand. So they seized him and pinioned him, as he stood confounded, stupefied. Then the Queen returned to her palace, and seating herself on her seat of estate, bade her people withdraw and leave Gharib with her. When they were alone, she said to him, “ O dog of the Arabs, wilt thou shiver my idol and slay my people?” He replied, “O accursed woman, had he been a god he had defended himself!” Quoth she, “Stroke me and I will forgive thee all thou hast done.” But he replied, saying, “I will do nought of this.” And she said, “By the virtue of my faith, I will torture thee with grievous torture!” So she took water and conjuring over it, sprinkled it upon him and he became an ape. And she used to feed and water and keep him in a (loses, appointing one to care for him; and in this plight he abode two years. Then she called him to her one day and said to him, “Wilt thou hearken to me?” And he signed to her with his head, “Yes.” So she rejoiced and freed him from the enchantment. Then she brought him food and he ate and toyed with her and kissed her, so that she trusted in him. When it was night she lay down and said to him, “Come, do thy business.” He replied, “ ’Tis well;” and, mounting on her breast, seized her by the neck and brake it, nor did he arise from her till life had left her. Then, seeing an open cabinet, he went in and found there a sword of damascened1 steel and a targe of Chinese iron; so he armed himself cap-à-pie and waited till the day. As soon as it was morning, he went forth and stood at the gate of the palace. When the Emirs came and would have gone in to do their service to the Queen, they found Gharib standing at the gate, clad in complete war-gear; and he said to them, “O folk, leave the service of idols and worship the All-wise King, Creator of Night and Day, the Lord of men, the Quickener of dry bones, for He made all things and hath dominion over all.” When the Kafirs heard this, they ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending lion and charged through them again and again, slaying of them much people; — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 Arab. “Mujauhar”: the watery or wavy mark upon Eastern blades is called the “jauhar,” lit.=jewel. The peculiarity is also called water and grain, which gives rise to a host of double-entendres, puns, paronomasias and conceits more or less frigid.
They found Gharib standing at the gate, clad in complete war-gear. . . . They ran at him, but he fell on them like a rending lion . . . slaying of them much people. . . . When the night came they . . . would have taken him by strenuous effort, when, behold! there descended upon the Infidels a thousand Marids
She pursued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Kafirs fell upon Gharib, he slew of them much people; but, when the night came, they overcame him by dint of numbers and would have taken him by strenuous effort, when behold, there descended upon the Infidels a thousand Marids, under the command of Zalzal, who plied them with the keen sabre and made them drink the cup of destruction, whilst Allah hurried their souls to Hell-fire, till but few were left of the people of Jan Shah to tell the tale and the rest cried out, “Quarter! Quarter!” and believed in the Requiting King, whom no one thing diverteth from other thing, the Destroyer of the Jabábirah1 and Exterminator of the Akásirah, Lord of this world and of the next. Then Zalzal saluted Gharib and gave him joy of his safety; and Gharib said to him, “How knowest thou of my case?” and he replied, “O my lord, my father kept me in prison two years, after sending thee to the Valley of Fire; then he released me, and I abode with him another year, till I was restored to favour with him, when I slew him and his troops submitted to me. I ruled them for a year’s space till, one Night, I lay down to sleep, having thee in thought, and saw thee in a dream, fighting against the people of Jan Shah; wherefore I took these thousand Marids and came to thee.” And Gharib marvelled at this happy conjuncture. Then he seized upon Jan Shah’s treasures and those of the slain and appointed a ruler over the city; after which the Marids took up Gharib and the monies and he lay the same night in the Castle of Crystal. He abode Zalzal’s guest six months, when he desired to depart; so Zalzal gave him rich presents and despatched three thousand Marids, who brought the spoils of Karaj-city and added them to those of Jan Shah. Then Zalzal loaded forty-thousand Marids with the treasure and himself taking up Gharib, flew with his host towards the city of Isbanir al-Madain where they arrived at midnight. But as Gharib glanced around he saw the walls invested on all sides by a conquering army,2 as it were the surging sea, so he said to Zalzal, “O my brother, what is the cause of this siege and whence came this army?” Then he alighted on the terrace roof of his palace and cried out, saying, “Ho, Star o’ Morn! Ho, Mahdiyah!” Whereupon the twain started up from sleep in amazement and said, “Who calleth us at this hour?” Quoth he, “’Tis I, your lord, Gharib, the Marvellous One of the deeds wondrous.” When the Princesses heard their lord’s voice, they rejoiced and so did the women and the eunuchs. Then Gharib went down to them and they threw themselves upon him and lullilooed with cries of joy, so that all the palace rang again and the Captains of the army awoke and said, “What is to do?” So they made for the palace and asked the eunuchs, “Hath one of the King’s women given birth to a child?”; and they answered, “No; but rejoice ye, for King Gharib hath returned to you.” So they rejoiced, and Gharib, after salams to the women came forth amongst his comrades, who threw themselves upon him and kissed his hands and feet, returning thanks to Almighty Allah and praising Him. Then he sat down on his throne, with his officers sitting about him, and questioned them of the beleaguering army. They replied, “O King, these troops sat down before the city three days ago and there are amongst them Jinns as well as men; but we know not what they want, for we have had with them neither battle nor speech.” And presently they added, “The name of the commander of the besieging army is Murad Shah and he hath with him an hundred thousand horse and three thousand foot, besides two hundred tribesmen of the Jinn.” Now the manner of his coming was wondrous. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
1 Etymologically meaning tyrants or giants; and applied to great heathen conquerors like Nimrod and the mighty rulers of Syria, the Anakim, Giants and other peoples of Hebrew fable. The Akásirah are the Chosroës before noticed.
2 Arab. “Asker jarrár” lit. “drawing”: so in Egyptian slang “Nás jarrár”=folk who wish to draw your money out of your pocket, greedy cheats.
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the cause of this army coming upon Isbanir city was wondrous. When the two men, whom Sabur had charged to drown his daughter Fakhr Taj, let her go, bidding her flee for her life, she went forth distracted, unknowing whither to turn and saying, “Where is thine eye, O Gharib, that thou mayst see my case and the misery I am in?”; and wandered on from country to country, and valley to valley, till she came to a Wady abounding in trees and streams, in whose midst stood a strong-based castle and a lofty-builded as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. So she betook herself thither and entering the fortalice, found it hung and carpeted with stuffs of silk and great plenty of gold and silver vessels; and therein were an hundred beautiful damsels. When the maidens saw Fakhr Taj, they came up to her and saluted her, deeming her of the virgins of the Jinn, and asked her of her case. Quoth she, “I am daughter to the Persians’ King;” and told them all that had befallen her; which when they heard, they wept over her and condoled with her and comforted her, saying, “Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for here shalt thou have meat and drink and raiment, and we all are thy handmaids.” She called down blessings on them and they brought her food, of which she ate till she was satisfied. Then quoth she to them, “Who is the owner of this palace and lord over you girls?” and quoth they, “King Salsál, son of Dal, is our master; he passeth a night here once in every month and fareth in the morning to rule over the tribes of the Jann.” So Fakhr Taj took up her abode with them and after five days she gave birth to a male child, as he were the moon. They cut his navel cord and kohl’d his eyes then they named him Murad Shah, and he grew up in his mother’s lap. After a while came King Salsal, riding on a paper white elephant, as he were a tower plastered with lime and attended by the troops of the Jinn. He entered the palace, where the hundred damsels met him and kissed ground before him, and amongst them Fakhr Taj. When the King saw her, he looked at her and said to the others, “Who is yonder damsel?”; and they replied, “She is the daughter of Sabur, King of the Persians and Turks and Daylamites.” Quoth he, “Who brought her hither?” So they repeated to him her story; whereat he was moved to pity for her and said to her, “Grieve not, but take patience till thy son be grown a man, when I will go to the land of the Ajamis and strike off thy father’s head from between his shoulders and seat thy son on the throne in his stead.” So she rose and kissed his hands and blessed him. Then she abode in the castle and her son grew up and was reared with the children of the King. They used to ride forth together a-hunting and birding and he became skilled in the chase of wild beasts and ravening lions and ate of their flesh, till his heart became harder than the rock. When he reached the age of fifteen, his spirit waxed big in him and he said to Fakhr Taj, “O my mamma, who is my papa?” She replied, “O my son, Gharib, King of Irak, is thy father and I am the King’s daughter, of the Persians,” and she told him her story. Quoth he, “Did my grandfather indeed give orders to slay thee and my father Gharib?”; and quoth she, “Yes.” Whereupon he, “By the claim thou hast on me for rearing me, I will assuredly go to thy father’s city and cut off his head and bring it into thy pre sence!”— And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Murad Shah son of Fakhr Taj thus bespake his mother, she rejoiced in his speech. Now he used to go a-riding with two hundred Marids till he grew to man’s estate, when he and they fell to making raids and cutting off the roads and they pushed their razzias farther till one day he attacked the city of Shiraz and took it. Then he proceeded to the palace and cut off the King’s head, as he sat on his throne, and slew many of his troops, whereupon the rest cried “Quarter! Quarter!” and kissed his stirrups. Finding that they numbered ten thousand horse, he led them to Balkh, where he slew the King of the city and put his men to the rout and made himself master of the riches of the place. Thence he passed to Núrayn,1 at the head of an army of thirty-thousand horse, and the Lord of Nurayn came out to him, with treasure and tribute, and did him homage. Then he went on to Samarcand of the Persians and took the city, and after that to Akhlát2 and took that town also; nor was there any city he came to but he captured it. Thus Murad Shah became the head of a mighty host, and all the booty he made and spoils in the sundry cities he divided among his soldiery, who loved him for his velour and munificence. At last he came to Isbanir al-Madain and sat down before it, saying, “Let us wait till the rest of my army come up, when I will seize on my grandfather and solace my mother’s heart by smiting his neck in her presence.” So he sent for her, and by reason of this, there was no battle for three days, when Gharib and Zalzal arrived with the forty-thousand Marids, laden with treasure and presents. They asked concerning the besiegers, but none could enlighten them beyond saying that the host had been there encamped for three days without a fight taking place. Presently came Fakhr Taj, and her son Murad Shah embraced her saying, “Sit in thy tent till I bring thy father to thee.” And she sought succour for him of the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the earths. Next morning, as soon as it was day, Murad Shah mounted and rode forth, with the two hundred Marids on his right hand and the Kings of men on his left, whilst the kettle-drums beat to battle. When Gharib heard this, he also took to horse and, calling his people to the combat, rode out, with the jinn on his dexter hand and the men on his sinistral. Then came forth Murad Shah, armed cap-à-pie and crave his charger right and left, crying, “O folk, let none come forth to me but your King. If he conquer me, he shall be lord of both armies, and if I conquer him, I will slay him, as I have slain others.” When Gharib heard his speech, he said, “Avaunt, O dog of the Arabs!” And they charged at each other and lunged with lances, till they broke, then hewed at each other with swords, till the blades were notched; nor did they cease to advance and retire and wheel and career, till the day was half spent and their horses fell down under them, when they dismounted and gripped each other. Then Murad Shah seizing Gharib lifted him up and strove to dash him to the ground; but Gharib caught him by the ears and pulled him with his might, till it seemed to the youth as if the heavens were. falling on the earth3 and he cried out, with his heart in his mouth, saying, “I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!” So Gharib bound him — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Gharib caught Murad Shah by the ears and well nigh tore them off he cried, “I yield myself to thy mercy, O Knight of the Age!” So Gharib bound him, and the Marids his comrades would have charged and rescued him, but Gharib fell on them with a thousand Marids and was about to smite them down, when they cried out “Quarter! Quarter!” and threw away their arms. Then Gharib returned to his Shahmiyánah which was of green silk, embroidered with red gold and set with pearls and gems; and, seating himself on his throne, called for Murad Shah. So they brought him, shuffling in his manacles and shackles. When the prisoner saw him, he hung down his head for shame; and Gharib said to him, “O dog of the Arabs, who art thou that thou shouldst ride forth and measure thyself against kings?” Replied Murad Shah, “O my lord, reproach me not, for indeed I have excuse.” Quoth Gharib, “What manner of excuse hast thou?”; And quoth he, “Know, O my lord, that I came out to avenge my mother and my father on Sabur, King of the Persians; for he would have slain them; but my mother escaped and I know not whether he killed my father or not.” When Gharib heard these words, he replied, “By Allah, thou art indeed excusable! But who were thy father and mother and what are their names?” Murad Shah said, “My sire was Gharib, King of Al–Irak, and my mother Fakhr Taj, daughter of King Sabur of Persia.” When Gharib heard this, he gave a great cry and fell down fainting. They sprinkled rose-water on him, till he came to himself, when he said to Murad Shah, “Art thou indeed Gharib’s son by Fakhr Taj?”; and he replied, “Yes.” Cried Gharib, “Thou art a champion, the son of a champion. Loose my child!” And Sahim and Kaylajan went up to Murad Shah and set him free. Then Gharib embraced his son and, seating him beside himself, said to him, “Where is thy mother?” “She is with me in my tent,” answered Murad Shah; and Gharib said, “Bring her to me.” So Murad Shah mounted and repaired to his camp, where his comrades met him, rejoicing in his safety, and asked him of his case; but he answered, “This is no time for questions.” Then he went in to his mother and told her what had passed whereat she was gladdened with exceeding gladness: so he carried her to Gharib, and they two embraced and rejoiced in each other. Then Fakhr Taj and Murad Shah islamised and expounded The Faith to their troops, who all made profession with heart and tongue. After this, Gharib sent for Sabur and his son Ward Shah, and upbraided them for their evil dealing and expounded Al–Islam to them; but they refused to profess wherefore he crucified them on the gate of the city and the people decorated the town and held high festival. Then Gharib crowned Murad Shah with the crown of the Chosroës and made him King of the Persians and Turks and Medes; moreover, he made his uncle Al–Damigh, King over Al–Irak, and all the peoples and lands submitted themselves to Gharib. Then he abode in his kingship, doing justice among his lieges, wherefore all the people loved him, and he and his wives and comrades ceased not from all solace of life, till there came to them the Destroyer of Delights and Sunderer of Societies, and extolled be the perfection of Him whose glory endureth for ever and aye and whose boons embrace all His creatures! This is every thing that hath come down to us of the history of Gharib and Ajib. And Abdullah bin Ma’amar al Kaysi hath thus related the tale of
I went one year on the pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah, and when I had accomplished my pilgrimage, I turned back for visitation of the tomb of the Prophet, whom Allah bless and keep! One night, as I sat in the garden,2 between the tomb and the pulpit, I heard a low moaning in a soft voice; so I listened to it and it said,
“Have the doves that moan in the lotus-tree
Woke grief in thy heart and bred misery?
Or doth memory of maiden in beauty deckt
Cause this doubt in thee, this despondency?
O night, thou art longsome for love-sick sprite
Complaining of Love and its ecstacy:
Thou makest him wakeful, who burns with fire
Of a love, like the live coal’s ardency.
The moon is witness my heart is held
By a moonlight brow of the brightest blee:
I reckt not to see me by Love ensnared
Till ensnared before I could reck or see.”
Then the voice ceased and not knowing whence it came to me I abode perplexed; but lo! it again took up its lament and recited,
“Came Rayya’s phantom to grieve thy sight
In the thickest gloom of the black-haired Night!
And hath love of slumber deprived those eyes
And the phantom-vision vexed thy sprite?
I cried to the Night, whose glooms were like
Seas that surge and billow with might, with might:
‘O Night, thou art longsome to lover who
Hath no aid nor help save the morning light!’
She replied, ‘Complain not that I am long:
’Tis love is the cause of thy longsome plight!’”
Now, at the first of the couplets, I sprang up and made for the quarter whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended repeating them, ere I was with the speaker and saw a youth of the utmost beauty, the hair of whose side face had not sprouted and in whose cheeks tears had worn twin trenches. — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.
1 I cannot understand why Trébutien, iii., 457, writes this word Afba. He remarks that it is the “Oina and Riya” of Jámí, elegantly translated by M. de Chezy in the Journal Asiatique, vol. 1, 144.
2 I have described this part of the Medinah Mosque in Pilgrimage ii., 62–69. The name derives from a saying of Mohammed (of which there are many variants), “Between my tomb and my pulpit is a garden of the Gardens of Paradise” (Burckhardt, Arabia, p. 337). The whole Southern portico (not only a part) now enjoys that honoured name and the tawdry decorations are intended to suggest a parterre.
She continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abdullah bin Ma’amar al-Kaysi thus continued:— So I sprang up and made for the quarter whence the sound came, nor had the voice ended repeating the verses, ere I was with the speaker and saw a youth on whose side face the hair had not sprouted and in whose cheeks tears had worn twin trenches. Quoth I to him, “Fair befal thee for a youth!”; and quoth he, “And thee also! Who art thou?” I replied, “Abdullah bin Ma’amar al-Kaysi;” and he said, “Dost thou want aught?” I rejoined, “I was sitting in the garden and naught hath troubled me this night but thy voice. With my life would I ransom thee! What aileth thee?” He said, “Sit thee down.” So I sat down and he continued, “I am Otbah bin al-Hubáb bin al-Mundhir bin al-Jamúh the Ansári.1 I went out in the morning to the Mosque Al–Ahzáb2 and occupied myself there awhile with prayer-bows and prostrations, after which I withdrew apart, to worship privily. But lo! up came women, as they were moons, walking with a swaying gait, and surrounding a damsel of passing loveliness, perfect in beauty and grace, who stopped before me and said, ‘O Otbah, what sayst thou of union with one who seeketh union with thee?’ Then she left me and went away; and since that time I have had no tidings of her nor come upon any trace of her; and behold, I am distracted and do naught but remove from place to place.” Then he cried out and fell to the ground fainting. When he came to himself, it was as if the damask of his cheeks were dyed with safflower,3 and he recited these couplets,
“I see you with my heart from far countrie
Would Heaven you also me from far could see
My heart and eyes for you are sorrowing;
My soul with you abides and you with me.
I take no joy in life when you’re unseen
Or Heaven or Garden of
Said I, “O Otbah, O son of my uncle, repent to thy Lord and crave pardon for thy sin; for before thee is the terror of standing up to Judgment.” He replied, “Far be it from me so to do. I shall never leave to love till the two mimosa-gatherers return.”4 I abode with him till daybreak, when I said to him, “Come let us go to the Mosque Al–Ahzab.” So we went thither and sat there, till we had prayed the midday prayers, when lo! up came the women; but the damsel was not among them. Quoth they to him, “O Otbah, what thinkest thou of her who seeketh union with thee?” He said, “And what of her?”; and they replied, “Her father hath taken her and departed to Al–Samawah.”5 I asked them the name of the damsel and they said, “She is called Rayyá, daughter of Al–Ghitríf al-Sulami.”6 Whereupon Otbah raised his head and recited these verses,
“My friends, Rayya hath mounted soon as morning shone,
And to Samawah’s wilds her caravan is gone.
My friends, I’ve wept till I can weep no more, Oh, say,
Hath any one a tear that I can take on loan.”
Then said I to him, “O Otbah, I have brought with me great wealth, wherewith I desire to succour generous men; and by Allah, I will lavish it before thee,7 so thou mayst attain thy desire and more than thy desire! Come with me to the assembly of the Ansaris.” So we rose and went, till we entered their assembly, when I salam’d to them and they returned my greeting civilly. Then quoth I, “O assembly, what say ye of Otbah and his father?”: and they replied, “They are of the princes of the Arabs.” I continued, “Know that he is smitten with the calamity of love and I desire your furtherance to Al–Samawah.” And they said, “To hear is to obey.” So they mounted with us, the whole party, and we rode till we drew near the place of the Banu Sulaym. Now when Ghitrif heard of our being near, he hastened forth to meet us, saying, “Long life to you, O nobles!”; whereto we replied, “And to thee also! Behold we are thy guests.” Quoth he, “Ye have lighted down at a most hospitable abode and ample;” and alighting he cried out, “Ho, all ye slaves, come down!” So they came down and spread skin-rugs and cushions and slaughtered sheep and cattle; but we said, “We will not taste of thy food, till thou have accomplished our need.” He asked, “And what is your need?”; and we answered, “We demand thy noble daughter in marriage for Otbah bin Hubab bin Mundhir the illustrious and well born.” “O my brethren,” said he, “she whom you demand is owner of herself, and I will go in to her and tell her.” So he rose in wrath8 and went in to Rayya, who said to him, “O my papa, why do I see thee show anger?” And he replied, saying, “Certain of the Ansaris have come upon me to demand thy hand of me in marriage.” Quoth she, “They are noble chiefs; the Prophet, on whom be the choicest blessings and peace, intercedeth for them with Allah. For whom among them do they ask me?” Quoth he, “For a youth known as Otbah bin al-Hubab;” and she said, “I have heard of Otbah that he performeth what he promised and findeth what he seeketh.” Ghitrif cried, “I swear that I will never marry thee to him; no, never, for there hath been reported to me somewhat of thy converse with him.” Said she, “What was that? But in any case, I swear that the Ansaris shall not be uncivilly rejected; wherefore do thou offer them a fair excuse.” “How so?” “Make the dowry heavy to them and they will desist.” “Thou sayst well,” said he, and going out in haste, told the Ansaris, “The damsel of the tribe9 consenteth; but she requireth a dowry worthy herself. Who engageth for this?” “I,” answered I. Then said he, “I require for her a thousand bracelets of red gold and five thousand dirhams of the coinage of Hajar10 and a hundred pieces of woollen cloth and striped stuffs11 of Al–Yaman and five bladders of ambergris.” Said I, “Thou shalt have that much; dost thou consent?”; and he said, “I do consent.” So I despatched to Al–Medinah the Illumined12 a party of the Ansaris, who brought all for which I had become surety; whereupon they slaughtered sheep and cattle and the folk assembled to eat of the food. We abode thus forty days when Ghitrif said to us, “Take your bride.” So we sat her in a dromedary-litter and her father equipped her with thirty camel-loads of things of price; after which we farewelled him and journeyed till we came within a day’s journey of Al–Medinah the Illumined, when there fell upon us horsemen, with intent to plunder, and methinks they were of the Banu Sulaym, Otbah drove at them and slew of them much people, but fell back, wounded by a lance-thrust, and presently dropped to the earth. Then there came to us succour of the country people, who drove away the highwaymen; but Otbah’s days were ended. So we said, “Alas for Otbah, oh!;” and the damsel hearing it cast herself down from the camel and throwing herself upon him, cried out grievously and repeated these couplets,
“Patient I seemed, yet Patience shown by me
Was but self-guiling till thy sight I see:
Had my soul done as due my life had gone,
Had fled before mankind forestalling thee:
Then, after me and thee none shall to friend
Be just, nor any soul with soul agree.”
Then she sobbed a single sob and gave up the ghost. We dug one grave for them and laid them in the earth, and I returned to the dwellings of my people, where I abode seven years. Then I betook me again to Al–Hijaz and entering Al–Medinah the Illumined for pious visitation said in my mind, “By Allah, I will go again to Otbah’s tomb!” So I repaired thither, and, behold, over the grave was a tall tree, on which hung fillets of red and green and yellow stuffs.13 So I asked the people of the place, “How be this tree called?”; and they answered, “The tree of the Bride and the Bridegroom.” I abode by the tomb a day and a night, then went my way; and this is all I know of Otbah. Almighty Allah have mercy upon him! And they also tell this tale of
1 Mohammed’s companions (Asháb), numbering some five hundred, were divided into two orders, the Muhájirin (fugitives) or Meccans who accompanied the Apostle to Al–Medinah (Pilgrimage ii. 138) and the Ansár (Auxiliaries) or Medinites who invited him to their city and lent him zealous aid (Ibid. ii. 130). The terms constantly occur in Arab history.
2 The “Mosque of the Troops,” also called Al–Fath (victory), the largest of the “Four Mosques:” it is still a place of pious visitation where prayer is granted. Koran, chap. xxxiii., and Pilgrimage ii. 325.
3 Arab. “Al–Wars,” with two meanings. The Alfáz Adwiyah gives it=Kurkum, curcuma, turmeric, safran d’Inde; but popular usage assigns it to Usfur, Kurtum or safflower (carthamus tinctorius). I saw the shrub growing all about Harar which exports it, and it is plentiful in Al–Yaman (Niebuhr, p. 133), where women affect it to stain the skin a light yellow and remove freckles: it is also an internal remedy in leprosy. But the main use is that of a dye, and the Tob stained with Wars is almost universal in some parts of Arabia. Sonnini (p. 510) describes it at length and says that Europeans in Egypt call it “Parrot-seeds” because the bird loves it, and the Levant trader “Saffrenum.”
4 Two men of the great ‘Anazah race went forth to gather Karaz, the fruit of the Sant (Mimosa Nilotica) both used for tanning, and never returned. Hence the proverb which is obsolete in conversation. See Burckhardt, Prov. 659: where it takes the place of “ad Graecas Kalendas.”
5 Name of a desert (Mafázah) and a settlement on the Euphrates’ bank between Basrah and the site of old Kufah near Kerbela; the well known visitation place in Babylonian Irak.
6 Of the Banu Sulaym tribe; the adjective is Sulami not Sulaymi.
7 Arab. “Amám-ak”=before thee (in space); from the same root as Imam=antistes, leader of prayer; and conducing to perpetual puns, e.g. “You are Imám-i (my leader) and therefore should be Amám-i” (in advance of me).
8 He was angry, as presently appears, because he had heard of certain love passages between the two and this in Arabia is a dishonour to the family.
9 Euphemy for “my daughter.”
10 The Badawin call a sound dollar “Kirsh hajar” or “Riyal hajar” (a stone dollar; but the word is spelt with the greater h).
11 Arab. Burdah and Habárah. The former often translated mantle is a thick woollen stuff, brown or gray, woven oblong and used like a plaid by day and by night. Mohammed’s Burdah woven in his Harem and given to the poet, Ka’ab, was 7 1/2 ft. long by 4 1/2: it is still in the upper Serraglio of Stambul. In early days the stuff was mostly striped; now it is either plain or with lines so narrow that it looks like one colour. The Habarah is a Burd made in Al–Yaman and not to be confounded with the Egyptian mantilla of like name (Lane, M. E. chapt. iii.).
12 Every Eastern city has its special title. Al–Medinah is entitled “Al–Munawwarah” (the Illumined) from the blinding light which surrounds the Prophet’s tomb and which does not show to eyes profane (Pilgrimage ii. 3). I presume that the idea arose from the huge lamps of “The Garden.” I have noted that Mohammed’s coffin suspended by magnets is an idea unknown to Moslems, but we find the fancy in Al–Harawi related of St. Peter, “Simon Cephas (the rock) is in the City of Great Rome, in its largest church within a silver ark hanging by chains from the ceiling.” (Lee, Ibn Batutah, p. 161).
13 Here the fillets are hung instead of the normal rag-strips to denote an honoured tomb. Lane (iii. 242) and many others are puzzled about the use of these articles. In many cases they are suspended to trees in order to transfer sickness from the body to the tree and whoever shall touch it. The Sawáhílí people term such articles a Keti (seat or vehicle) for the mysterious haunter of the tree who prefers occupying it to the patient’s person. Briefly the custom still popular throughout Arabia, is African and Fetish.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52