There was a certain eater of Bhang — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that there was a certain eater of Bhang whose wont it was every day to buy three Faddahs’ worth of hemp and he would eat one third thereof in the morning and a second at noon and the rest about sundown. He was by calling a fisherman; and regularly as dawn appeared he would take hook and line and go down to the river a-fishing; then he would sell of his catch a portion, expending half a Faddah on bread and eat this with the remaining part of the fish broiled. He would also provide himself day by day with a waxen taper and light it in his cell and sit before it, taking his pleasure and talking to himself after his large dose of Bhang. In such condition he abode a while of time until one fine spring-night, about the middle of the month when the moon was shining sheeniest, he sat down to bespeak himself and said, “Ho, Such-an-one! hie thee forth and solace thy soul with looking at the world, for this be a time when none will espy thee and the winds are still.” Herewith he went forth intending for the river; but as soon as he issued from his cell-door and trod upon the square, he beheld the moonbeams bestrown upon the surface and, for the excess of his Bhang, his Fancy said to him, “By Allah, soothly the stream floweth strong and therein needs must be much store of fish. Return, Such-an-one, to thy cell, bring hook and line and cast them into these waters; haply Allah our Lord shall vouchsafe thee somewhat of fish, for men say that by night the fisherwight on mighty fine work shall alight.” He presently brought out his gear and, having baited the hook, made a cast into the moonlit square, taking station in the shadow of the walls where he believed the river bank to be. Then he bobbed225 with his hook and line and kept gazing at the waters, when behold! a big dog sniffed the bait and coming up to it swallowed the hook till it stuck in his gullet.226 The beast feeling it prick his throttle yelped with pain and made more noise every minute, rushing about to the right and the left: so the line was shaken in the man’s hand and he drew it in, but by so doing the hook pierced deeper and the brute howled all the louder; and it was pull Bhang-eater and pull cur. But the man dared not draw near the moonlight, holding it to be the river, so he tucked up his gown to his hip-bones, and as the dog pulled more lustily he said in his mind, “By Allah this must be a mighty big fish and I believe it to be a ravenous.”227 Then he gripped the line firmly and haled it in but the dog had the better of him and dragged him to the very marge of the moonlight; so the fisherman waxed afraid and began to cry, “Alack! Alack! Alack!228 To my rescue ye braves!229 Help me for a monster of the deep would drown me! Yallah, hurry ye, my fine fellows, hasten to my aid!” Now at that hour people were enjoying the sweets of sleep and when they heard these unseasonable outcries they flocked about him from every side and accosting him asked, “What is it? What maketh thee cry aloud at such an hour? What hath befallen thee?” He answered, “Save me, otherwise a river-monster will cause me fall into the stream and be drowned.” Then, finding him tucked up to the hips, the folk approached him and enquired, “Where is the stream of which thou speakest?” and he replied, “Yonder’s the river; be ye all blind?” Thereat they understood that he spoke of the moonbeams, whose sheen was dispread upon earth, deeming it a river-surface, and they told him this; but he would not credit them and cried, “So ye also desire to drown me; be off from me! our Lord will send me other than you to lend me good aid at this hour of need.” They replied, “O well-born one, this be moonshine;” but he rejoined, “Away from me, ye low fellows,230 ye dogs!” Then derided him and the angrier he grew the more they laughed, till at last they said one to other, “Let us leave him and wend our ways,” and they quitted him in such condition — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her Sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the folk who flocked to the assistance of the Bhang-eater left him in such condition, he crying aloud in affright, the dog being now before him in a phrenzy of pain for the hook sticking in his gullet and being unable to rid himself of it, while the man dreaded to draw near the moonshine, still deeming (albeit he stood upon terra firma) that he was about to step into the stream. So he hugged the wall shadow which to him represented the river-bank. In this case he continued until day brake and light shone and the to-ing and fro-ing of the folk increased; withal he remained as he was, crying out for affright lest he be drowned. Suddenly a Kazi rode by him and seeing him with gown kilted up and the hound hanging on to the hook, asked, “What may be the matter with thee, O man?” He answered saying, “O my lord, I dread lest I be drowned in this stream, whither a monster of the deep is a-dragging me.” The judge looked at him and knew him for a Bhang-eater, so he dismounted from his monture and cried to one of his attendants, “Catch hold of yon dog and unhook him!” Now this Kazi was also one who was wont to use Hashish; so quoth he to himself, “By Allah, take this fellow with thee and feed him in thy house and make a mocking-stock of him; and, as each night cometh on do thou and he eat together a portion of the drug and enjoy each other’s company.” Accordingly he took him and carrying him to his quarters seated him in a private stead until nightfall when the twain met and supped together; then they swallowed a large dose of Bhang and they lit candles and sat in their light to enjoy themselves.231 Presently from excess of the drug they became as men Jinn-mad, uttering words which befit not to intend or to indite,232 amongst which were a saying of the Bhang-eater to the Kazi, “By Allah, at this season I’m as great as the King;” and the Judge’s reply, “And I also at such time am as great as the Basha, the Governor.” Thereupon quoth to him the Bhang-eater, “I’m high above thee and if the King would cut off the Governor’s head what would happen to hinder him?” And quoth the Kazi, “Yea, verily; naught would hinder him; but ’tis the customs of Kings to appoint unto Governors a place wherein they may deal commandment.” Then they fell to debating the affairs of the Government and the Sultanate, when by decree of the Decreer the Sultan of the city went forth his palace that very night, accompanied by the Wazir (and the twain in disguise); and they ceased not traversing the town till they reached the house wherein sat the Bhang-eater and the Kazi. So they stood at the door and hear their talk from first to last, when the King turned to the Minister and asked, “What shall we do with these two fellows?” “Be patient, O King of the Age,” answered the Wazir, “until they make an end of their talk, after which whatso thou wilt do with them that will they deserve.” “True indeed,”233 quoth the ruler, “nevertheless, instead of standing here let us go in to them.” Now that night the boon-companions had left the door open forgetting to padlock it; so the visitors entered and salam’d to them and they returned the greeting and rose to them and bade them be seated. Accordingly they sat down and the Sultan said to the Bhang-eater, “O man, fearest thou not aught from the Sovran, thou and thy friend; and are ye sitting up until this hour?” He replied, “The Sultan himself often fareth forth at such untimely time, and as he is a King even so am I, and yonder man is my Basha: moreover, if the ruler think to make japery of us, we are his equals and more.” Thereupon the Sultan turned to his Wazir and said by signals, “I purpose to strike off the heads of these fellows;” and said the Minister in the same way, “O King, needs must they have a story, for no man with his wits in his head would have uttered such utterance. But patience were our bestest plan.” Then cried the Bhang-eater to the Sultan, “O man, whenever we say a syllable, thou signallest to thine associate. What is it thou wouldst notify to him and we not understanding it? By Allah, unless thou sit respectfully in our presence we will bid our Basha strike off thy pate!"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the Sultan heard the Bhang-eater’s words he waxed the more furious and would have arisen and struck off his head; but the Wazir winked at him and whispered, “O King of the Age, I and thou are in disguise and these men imagine that we are of the commons: so be thou pitiful even as Almighty Allah is pitiful and willeth not the punishment of the sinner. Furthermore, I conceive that the twain are eaters of Hashish, which drug when swallowed by man, garreth him prattle of whatso he pleaseth and chooseth, making him now a Sultan then a Wazir and then a merchant, the while it seemeth to him that the world is in the hollow of his hand.” Quoth the Sultan, “And what may be thy description of Hashísh?” and quoth the Wazir, “’Tis composed of hemp leaflets, whereto they add aromatic roots and somewhat of sugar: then they cook it and prepare a kind of confection which they eat;234 but whoso eateth it (especially an he eat more than enough), talketh of matters which reason may on no wise represent. If thou wouldst know its secret properties, on the coming night (Inshallah!) we will bring some with us and administer it to these two men; and when they eat it the dose will be in addition to their ordinary.” After this the Sultan left them and went forth, when the Bhang-eater said to the Kazi, “By Allah, this night we have enjoyed ourselves and next night (if Allah please!) we will enjoy ourselves yet more.” The other replied, “Yes, but I fear from the Sultan, lest he learn our practice and cut off our heads.” “Who shall bring the Sovran to us?” asked the other: “he is in his palace and we are in our own place; and, granting he come, I will divert him by recounting an adventure which befel me.” The Kazi answered, “Have no dread of the Sultan; for he may not fare forth a-nights single-handed; nay, what while he issueth forth he must be escorted by his high officials.” Now when the next night fell, the Kazi brought the Hashish which he divided into two halves, eating one himself and giving the other to his companion; and both swallowed their portions after supper and then lit the waxen tapers and sat down to take their pleasure.235 Suddenly the Sultan and his Wazir came in upon them during the height of their enjoyment, and the visitors were habited in dress other than before, and they brought with them a quantity of Bhang-confection and also some conserve of roses: so they handed a portion of the first to the revellers, which these accepted and ate, while they themselves swallowed the conserve, the others supposing it to be Hashish like what they had eaten. Now when they had taken an overdose, they got into a hurly-burly of words and fell to saying things which can neither be intended nor indited, and amongst these they exclaimed, “By Allah, the Sultan is desposed and we will rule in his stead and deal commandment to his reign.” The other enquired, “And if the Sultan summon us what wilt thou say to him?” “By Allah, I will tell him a tale which befel myself and crave of him ten Faddahs wherewithal to buy Bhang!” “And hast thou any skill in tale-telling?” “In good sooth I have!” “But how wilt thou despose the Sultan and reign in his stead?” “I will say to him ‘Be off!’ and he will go.” “He will strike thy neck.” “Nay, the Sultan is pitiful and will not punish me for my words.” So saying the Bhang-eater arose and loosed the inkle of his bag-trowsers, then approaching the Sultan he drew forth his prickle and proceeded to bepiss him:236 but the King took flight as the other faced him, and fled before him, he pursuing. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bhang-eater holding up his bag-trowsers ran after the Sultan purposing to bepiss him and caught up the fugitive at the doorway when he fell over the threshold and began a-piddling upon his own clothes. In like manner the Kazi attempted to bepiss the Wazir and ran after him to the entrance, where he also fell upon the Bhang-eater and took to making water over him. So the Bhang-eater and the Kazi lay each bewraying other, and the Sultan and the Wazir stood laughing at then and saying, “By Allah, too much Hashish injureth man’s wits;” and presently they left and went their ways returning to their palaces. But the two drunkards ceased not lying in their own water till day broke; and when the fumes of the drug had left heir brains, they arose and found themselves dripping and befouled with their own filth. Thereupon each said to other, “What be this cross hath betided us?” Presently they arose and washed themselves and their clothes; then sitting down together they said, “None did this deed by us save and except the two fellows who were with us; and who knoweth what they were, or citizens of this city or strangers; for ’twas they brought the intoxicant which we ate and it bred a madness in our brains. Verily ’twas they did the mischief; but, an they come to us a third time, needs must we be instant with them and learn from them and they be foreigners or folk of this city: we will force them to confess, but if they hide them from us we will turn them out.” On the next night they met again and the two sat down and ate a quantity of Hashish after they had supped: and they lit the waxen tapers and each of them drank a cup of coffee.237 Presently their heads whirled round under the drug and they sat down to talk and enjoy themselves when their drunkenness said to them, “Up with you and dance.” Accordingly they arose and danced, when behold, the Sultan and his Wazir suddenly came in upon them and salam’d to them: so they returned the salutation but continued the salutation. The new comers considered them in this condition and forthwith the King turned to the Minister and said, “What shall we do with them?” Said the other, “Patience until their case come to end in somewhat whereof we can lay hold.” Then they chose seats for themselves and solaced them with the spectacle, and the dancers kept on dancing until they were tired and were compelled to sit down and take their rest. Presently the Bhang-eater looked at the Sultan and exclaimed, “You, whence are you?” and he replied, “We be foreigner folk and never visited this city before that night when we met you; and as we heard you making merry we entered to partake of your merriment.” On this wise the device recoiled upon the Bhang-eater and presently the King asked them, saying, “Fear ye not lest the Sultan hear of you, and ye in this condition which would cause your disgrace at his hands?” The Bhang-eater answered, “The Sultan! What tidings of us can he have? He is in the royal Palaze and we in our place of Bhang-eating.” The Sovran rejoined, “Why not go to him! Belike he will gift you and largesse you;” but the Bhang-eater retorted, “We fear his people lest they drive us away.” Whereto quoth the King, “They will not do on such wise and if thou require it we will write thee a not to his address, for we know him of old inasmuch as both of us learned to read in the same school.” “Write thy writ,” quoth the other to the Sultan who after inditing it and sealing it placed it in their hands and presently the two visitors departed. Then the Bhang-eater and the Kazi sat together through the night until daylight did appear when the fumes of the Hashish had fled their brains and the weather waxed fine and clear. So they said, each to other, “Let us go to the Sultan,” and the twin set out together and walked till they reached the square facing the Palace. Here, finding a crowd of folk, they went up to the door and the Bhang-eater drew forth his letter and handed it to one of the Sultan’s suite, who on reading it fell to the ground and presently rising placed it upon his head. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the officer who took the letter caused the Bhang-eater and his comrade enter the presence, and the Sultan catching sight of them commanded them to be seated in a private stead where none other man was. His bidding was obeyed; and at noon-tide he sent them a tray of food for dinner and also coffee; and the same was done at sundown. But as soon as supper-tide came the Sultan prayed and recited sections of Holy Writ, as was his wont, until two hours had passed when he ordered the twain be summoned; and when they stood in the presence and salam’d to him and blessed him the King returned their salute and directed them to be seated. Accordingly they sat down and quoth the Sultan to the Bhang-eater, “Where be the man who gave you the writ?” Quoth the other, “O King of the Age, there were two men who came to use and said, ‘Why go ye not to the King? Belike he will gift you and largesse you.’ Our reply was, ‘We know him not and we fear lest his folk drive us away.’ So one of them said to us, ‘I will write thee a note to his address for we know him of old, inasmuch as both of us learned to read in the same school.’ Accordingly he indited it and sealed it and gave it to us; and coming hither we found his words true and now we are between his hands.” The Sultan enquired, “Was there any lack of civility to the strangers on your part?” and they replied, “None, save our questioning them and saying, ‘Whence come ye?’ whereto they rejoined, ‘We be strangers.’ Beyond this there was nothing unpleasant; nothing at all.” “Whither went they?” asked the King and the other answered, “I wot not.” The Sultan continued, “Needs must thou bring them to me for ’tis long since I saw them;” and the other remarked, “O King of the Age, if again they come to our place we will seize them and carry them before thee even perforce, but in case they come not, we have no means to hand.” Quoth the King, “An thou know them well, when thou catchest sight of them they cannot escape thee,” and quoth the other, “Yea, verily.” Then the Sultan pursued, “What did ye with the twain who came before them and ye wanted to bepiss them?” Now when the Bhang-eater heard these words his colour paled and his case changed, his limbs trembled and he suspected that the person which he had insulted was the Sultan; whereupon the King turned towards him and seeing in him signs of discomfiture asked, “What is in thy mind, O Bhang-eater? What hath befallen thee?” The other arose forthright and kissing ground cried, “Pardon, O King of the Age, before whom I have sinned.” The Sovran asked, “How didst thou know this?” and he answered, “Because none other was with us and news of us goeth not out of doors; so needs must thou have been one of the twain and he who wrote the writ was thyself; for well we know that the kings read not in schools. Thou and thy friend did come in disguise to make merry at our expense; therefore pardon us, O King of the Age, for mercy is a quality of the noble, and Almighty Allah said, ‘Whoso pardoneth and benefitteth his reward is with Allah,’ and eke He said, ‘And the stiflers of wrath and the pardoners of mankind and Allah loveth the doers of good’.”238 Herewith the Sultan smiled and said, “No harm shall befal thee, O Bhang-eater! Thine excuse is accepted and thy default pardoned, but, O thou clever fellow, hast thou no tale to tell us?” He replied, “O King of the Age, I have a story touching myself and my wife which, were it graven with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners were a warning to whoso would be warned. But I strave against her on my own behalf, withal she overcame me and tyrannised over me by her contrivance.” “What is it?” asked the King; so the man began to relate the
In the beginning of my career I owned only a single bull and poverty confused my wits. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good-will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bhang-eater said to the Sultan:— I had no property save a single bull and poverty confused my wits. So I resolved to sell Roger239 and going to the Bazar stood therein expecting someone to buy it, but none came to me until the last of the day. At that time I drove it forth and dragged it off till we reached half-way to my home, where I came upon a tree and sat down to rest in the cool shade. Now I had somewhat of Bhang with me, also a trifle of bread which I brought out and ate, and after I drank a draught of water from the spring. Presently the Bhang began to wobble in my brains and behold a bird in the tree-top which men call a Magpie240 fell a-cawing, so I said to her, “Thou, O Mother of Solomon, hast thou a mind to buy the bull?” and she cawed again. I continued, “Whatso price ever thou settest upon the bull, at that will I cede it to thee.” Again a croak and I, “Haply thou hast brought no money?” Another croak and cried I, “Say the word and I will leave the bull with thee till next Friday when thou wilt come and pay me its price.” But she still cawed and I, whenever she opened beak, O King of the Age, fancied that she bespake me and wanted the bull. But all this was of the excess of my Bhang which kept working in my brains and I mistook the croaking for her conversing. Accordingly I left with her the bull bound to the tree and turned towards my village; and, when I went in to my wife, she asked me anent the bull and I told her of my selling it to the Mother of Solomon. “Who may she be?” asked my rib, and I replied, “She dwelleth in yonder tree;” whereat my spouse rejoined “Allah compensate thee with welfare.” So I awaited patiently the appointed term; then, after swallowing somewhat of Bhang, I repaired to the tree and sat beneath it when, lo and behold! the pie cawed and I cried to her, “Hast thou brought the coin?” A second caw! Then said I, “Come hither and bring me the money.” A third caw! Hereat I waxed wroth and arose and taking up a bittock of brick I threw it at her as she sat perched upon the tree, whereupon she flew off and alit upon an ‘old man’241 of clay hard by. So it occurred to my mind, “By Allah, the Mother of Solomon biddeth me follow her and recover the value of the bull from yonder ‘old man.’” Presently I went up to it and digging therein suddenly came upon a crock242 full of gold wherefrom I took ten ashrafis, the value of the bull, and returned it to its place, saying, “Allah ensure thy weal, O Mother of Solomon.” Then I walked back to my village and went in to my wife and said, “By Allah, verily the Mother of Solomon is of the righteous! Lookye, she gave me these ten golden ducats to the price of our Roger.” Said my wife, “And who may be the Mother of Solomon?” and I told her all that had befallen me especially in the matter of the crock of gold buried in the ‘old man.’ But after she heard my words she tarried until sundown; then, going to the land-mark she dug into it and carrying off the crock brought it home privily. But I suspected her of so doing and said to her, “O woman, hast thou taken the good of the Mother of Solomon (and she of the righteous) after we have received from her the price of our Roger out of her own moneys? And hast thou gone and appropriated her property? By Allah, an thou restore it not to its stead even as it was, I will report to the Wali that my wife hath happened upon treasure-trove.” And so saying I went forth from her. Then she arose and got ready somewhat of dough for cooking with flesh-meat and, sending for a fisherman, bade him bring her a few fishes fresh-caught and all alive, and taking these inside the house she drew sweet water and sprinkled them therewith, and lastly she placed the dough and meat outside the house ready for nightfall. Presently I returned and we supped, I and she; but ’twas my firm resolve to report my wife’s find to the Chief of Police. We slept together till midnight when she awoke me saying, “O man, I have dreamed a dream, and this it is, that the sky hath rained down drink and meat and that the fishes have entered our house.” I replied to her of my folly and the overmuch Bhang which disported in my head, “Let us get up and look.” So we searched the inside of the house and we found the fishes, and the outside where we came upon the doughboy and flesh-meat; so we fell to picking it up, I and she, and broiling it and eating thereof till morning. Then said I, “Do thou go and return the moneys of Solomon’s Mother to their own place.” But she would not and flatly refused. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bhang-eater continued:— I said to my wife, “Do thou go and return the moneys of Solomon’s Mother to their own place;” but she would not and flatly refused. Then I repeated243 my words but without avail, so I flew into a fury and leaving her ceased not trudging till I found the Wali and said to him, “O my lord, my wife Such-an-one hath hit upon a hoard and ’tis now with her.”244 The Chief of Police asked, “O man, hast thou seen it?” and I answered, “Yes.” SO he sent a body of his followers to bring her before him and when she came said to her, “O wo-man, where is the treasure trove?” Said she, “O my lord, this report is a baseless;” whereupon the Chief of Police bade her be led to jail. They did his bidding and she abode in the prison a whole day, after which the Wali summoned her and repeated his words to her adding, “An thou bring not the hoard I will slay thee and cast thy corpse into the bogshop245 of the Hammam.” The woman (my wife) rejoined, “O my lord, I never found aught;” and when he persisted threatening her with death she cried, “O my lord, wherefore oppress me on this wise and charge such load of sin upon thine own neck? I never came upon treasure at all, at all!” The Chief of Police retorted, “My first word and my last are these:— Except thou bring the treasure trove I will slay thee and cast thee into the jakes.” Herewith quoth she, “O my lord, ask my husband where it was I hit upon the hoard and at what time, by day or by night,” and the Wali’s men cried, “By Allah, these her words are just and right, nor is therein aught of harm.” So he sent to summon me and asked me, “O man, when did thy wife hit upon the hoard?” I answered, “O my lord, she found it on the night when the skies rained drink and food and fishes.” Now when the Wali heard my words he said to me, “O man, the skies are not wont to shed aught save rainwater; and a man in his right wits speaketh not such speech as this.” Said I, “By the life of thy head, O my lord, they did rain all three of them;” but the officers cried, “O my lord, verily this man be Jinn-mad and his wife who telleth plain truth is wronged by him: the fellow deserveth confining in the Máristán.”246 Accordingly the Chief of Police bade the men set the woman free and let her wend her ways and seize me and throw me into the madhouse. They did his bidding and I remained there the first day and the second till the third when my wife said to herself, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! By the Lord, needs must I go and relieve my husband from Bedlam and charge him never again to speak of that treasure trove.” So she came to the Maristan and entering said to me, “Ho, Such-an-one, if any ask of thee saying, ‘What do the skies rain?’247 do thou make answer, ‘They rain water!’ Furthermore if they inquire of thee, ‘Do they ever rain drink and food and fishes?’ reply thou, ‘This is clean impossible, nor can such thing ever take place!’ Then haply they will say to thee, ‘How many days are in the week?’ and do thou say, ‘Seven days and this day be such a day!’ Lastly have a guard on thyself when speaking.” I rejoined, “’Tis well, and now hie thee forth and buy me half a faddah’s worth of Bhang, for during these days I have not eaten aught thereof.” So she went and bought me somewhat and of Hashish. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bhang-eater’s wife fared forth and brought back somewhat of food and of Hashish: then returning to the Maristan (he continued) she gave both to me and I ate of them, after which I said to her, “Let us up and be off!” whereto she, “And when we go to the Wali what wilt thou say?” Then the Bhang wrought in the brains and I cried, “O bawd,248 O my nice young lady, well thou wottest that the skies did rain flesh and drink and fishes! Why then didst thou not tell the truth before the Chief of Police?” Thereupon the Manager of the Madhouse cried to me, “O fellow, this is the babble of madmen!” and I, “By Allah, I ate of them boiled; and doubtless the same kind of rain fell in your house.” The other exclaimed, “There be nor doubt nor hesitation anent the insanity of one who sayeth such say!” Now all this was related by the Bhang-eater to the Sultan who marvelled and asked him, “What could have made thee go to the Manager and recount to him such absurdities?” But the Bhang-eater resumed, saying, “I dwelt in the Maristan twenty days until at last having no Bhang to eat I came to my senses and confessed that the skies shed only rain-water, that the week containeth seven days and that this day be such-and-such; in fact I discoursed like a man in his right mind. So they discharged me and I went my ways.” But when the Kazi heard this tale he cried out to the Sultan, “O King of the Age, my story is still more wondrous than this, which is only a prank played by a wife. My name was originally Abú Kásim al-Tambúri249 and I was appointed Kazi after a neat thing I did, and if thou, O our lord the Sultan, desire to be told of the adventures which befel me and of the clever trick wherefor they made me a judge, deign give thy commandment and I will commence it.” Quoth the Sultan, “Recount to us why and where they entitled thee Kazi,” and the judge began to relate
224 Scott’s “Story of the Bhang-eater and Cauzee,” vi. 126: Gauttier, Histoire du Preneur d’Opium et du Cadi, vi. 268.
225 Arab. “Lawwaha” = lit. pointing out, making clear.
226 Text “in his belly,” but afterwards in his “Halkah” = throat, throttle, which gives better sense.
227 In text “Háyishah” from “Haysh” = spoiling, etc.
228 Arab. “Yauh!” See vols. ii. 321; vi. 235.
229 Arab. “Yá Jad’án” (pron. “Gád’án”) more gen. “Yá Jad’a” = mon brave!
230 In text “Yá ‘Arzád”: prob. a clerical slip for “‘Urzát,” plur. of “‘Urzah” = a companion, a (low) fellow, a man evil spoken of.
231 Easterns love drinking in a bright light: see vol. ii. 59.
232 Arab. “‘Akl” (= comprehension, understanding) and “Nakl” (= copying, describing, transcribing), a favourite phrase in this MS.
233 Arab. “Ummáli”; gen. Ummál, an affirmation; Certes, I believe you!
234 For the many preparations of this drug, see Herklots, Appendix, pp. lxviii. ciii. It is impossible to say how “Indian hemp,” like opium, datura, ether and chloroform, will affect the nervous system of an untried man. I have read a dozen descriptions of the results, from the highly imaginative Monte Cristo to the prose of prosaic travellers; and do not recognise that they are speaking of the same thing.
235 This tranquil enjoyment is popularly called “Kayf.” See my Pilgraimage i. 13. In a coarser sense it is applied to all manners of intoxication; and the French traveller Sonnini says, “The Arabs (by which he means the Egyptians) give the name of Kayf to the voluptuous relaxation, the delicious stupor, produced by the smoking of hemp.” I have smoked it and eaten it for months without other effect than a greatly increased appetite and a little drowsiness.
236 These childish indecencies are often attributed to Bhang-eaters. See “Bákún’s Tale of the Hashísh-eater,” vol. ii. 91. Modest Scott (vi. 129) turns the joke into “tweaking the nose.” Respectable Moslems dislike the subject, but the vulgar relish it as much as the sober Italian enjoys the description of a drinking bout — in novels.
237 In the text “Finjál,” a vulgarism for “Finján”: so the converse “Isma’ín” for “Ism’aíl” = Ishmael. Mr. J. W. Redhouse (The Academy No. 764) proposes a new date for coffee in Al-Yaman. Colonel Playfair (History of Yemen, Bombay 1859) had carelessly noted that its “first use at Aden was by a judge of the place who had seen it drunk at Zayla’, on the African coast opposite Aden,” and he made the judge die in A.H. 875 = A.D. 1470. This is about the date of the Shaykh al-Sházalí’s tomb at Mocha, and he was the first who brought the plant form about African Harar to the Arabian seaboard. But Mr. Redhouse finds in a Turkish work written only two centuries ago, and printed at Constantinople, in A.D. 1732, that the “ripe fruit was discovered growing wild in the mountains of Yemen (?) by a company of dervishes banished thither.” Finding the berry relieve their hunger and support their vigils the prior, “Shaykh ‘Umar advised their stewing it (?) and the use became established. They dried a store of the fruit; and its use spread to other dervish communities, who perhaps (?) sowed the seed wherever it would thrive throughout Africa (N.B. where it is indigenous) and India (N.B. where both use and growth are quite modern). From Africa, two centuries later, its use was reimported to Arabia at Aden (?) by the judge above mentioned, who in a season of scarcity of the dried fruit (?) tried the seed” (N.B. which is the fruit). This is passing strange and utterly unknown to the learned De Sacy (Chrest. Arab. i. 412-481).
238 Koran iii. 128. D’Herbelot and Sale (Koran, chap. iii. note) relate on this text a noble story of Hasan Ali-son and his erring slave which The Forty Vezirs (Lady’s eighth story, p. 113) ignorantly attributes to Harun al-Rashid:— Forthwith the Caliph rose in wrath and was about to hew the girl to pieces, when she said, “O Caliph, Almighty Allah saith in His glorious Word (the Koran), ‘And the stiflers of Wrath’” (iii. 128). Straightway the Caliph’s wrath was calmed. Again said the girl, “‘And the pardoners of men.’” (ibid.) Quoth the Caliph, “I have forgiven the crimes of all the criminals who may be in prison.” Again said the slave-girl, “‘And Allah loveth the beneficent.’” (ibid.) Quoth the Caliph, “God be witness that I have with my own wealth freed thee and us many male and female slaves as I have, and that this day I have for the love of Allah given the half of all my good in alms to the poor.” This is no improvement upon the simple and unexaggerated story in Sale. “It is related of Hasan, the son of Ali, that a slave having once thrown a dish on him boiling hot, as he sat at table, and fearing his master’s resentment, fell on his knees and repeated these words, Paradise is for those who bridle their anger. Hasan answered, I am not angry. The slave proceeded, And for those who forgive men. I forgive you, said Hasan. The slave, however, finished the verse, For Allah loveth the beneficent. Since it is so, replied Hasan, I give you your liberty and four hundred pieces of silver.”
239 The old name of the parish bull in rural England.
240 Arab. “Kawík:” see The Nights, vol. vi. 182, where the bird is called “Ak’ak.” Our dicts. do not give the word, but there is a “Kauk” (Káka, yakúku) to cluck, and “Kauk” = an aquatic bird with a long neck. I assume “Kawík” to be an intensive form of the same root. The “Mother of Solomon” is a fanciful “Kunyah,” or bye name given to the bird by the Bhang-eater, suggesting his high opinion of her wisdom.
241 Arab. “Nátúr,” prop. a watchman: also a land-mark, a bench-mark of tamped clay.
242 In text “Bartamán” for “Martaban” = a pot, jar, or barrel-shaped vessel: others apply the term to fine porcelain which poison cannot affect. See Col. Yule’s Glossary, s. v. Martabán, where the quotation from Ibn Batutah shows that the term was current in the xivth century. Linschoten (i. 101) writes, “In this town (Martaban of Pegu) many of the great earthen pots are made, which in India are called Martananas, and many of them are carried throughout all India of all sorts both small and great: and some are so great that they will fill two pipes of water.” Pyrard (i. 259) applies the name to “certain handsome jars, of finer shape and larger than I have seen elsewhere” (Transl. by ALBERT Gray for the Hakluyt Soc. 1887). Mr. Hill adds that at Málé the larger barrel-shaped jars of earthenware are still called “Mátabán,” and Mr. P. Brown (Zillah Dictionary, 1852) finds the word preserved upon the Madras coast = a black jar in which rice is imported from Pegu.
243 The Arabic here changes person, “he repeated” after Eastern Fashion, and confuses the tale to European readers.
244 Such treasure trove belonging to the State, i.e. the King.
245 Arab. “Húrí” for “Hír” = a pool, marsh, or quagmire, in fact corresponding with our vulgar “bogshop.” Dr. Steingass would read “Haurí,” a “mansúb” of “Haur” = pond, quagmire, which, in connection with a Hammam, may = sink, sewer, etc.
246 The Bedlam: see vol. i. 288.
247 Arab. “Tamtar aysh?” (i.e. Ayyu shayyin, see vol. i. 79). I may note that the vulgar abbreviation is of ancient date. Also the Egyptian dialect has borrowed, from its ancestor the Coptic, the practice of putting the interrogatory pronoun or adverb after (not before the verb, e.g. “Rá‘ih fayn?” = Wending (art thou) whither? It is regretable that Egyptian scholars do not see the absolute necessity of studying Coptic, and this default is the sole imperfection of the late Dr. Spitta Bey’s admirable Grammar of Egyptian.
248 Arab. “‘Arsah,” akin to “Mu’arris” (masc.) = a pimp, a pander. See vol. i. 338; and Supp. vol. i. 138; and for its use Pilgrimage i. 276.
249 i.e. Abú Kásim the Drummer. The word “Tambúr” is probably derived from “Tabl” = a drum, which became by the common change of liquids “Tabur” in O. French and “Tabour” in English. Hence the mod. form “Tambour,” which has been adopted by Turkey, e.g. Tambúrji = a drummer. In Egypt, however, “Tambúr” is applied to a manner of mandoline or guitar, mostly used by Greeks and other foreigners. See Lane, M.E. chap. xviii.
There was once, O King of the Age, a merchant and a man of Bassorah who went about trading with eunuchs and slave-boys and who bore his goods in bales250 from Bassorah to Ajam-land there to sell them and to buy him other merchandise for vending in Syria. On this wise he tarried a long while until one year of the years he packed up his property, as was his wont, and fared forth with it to Persia. But at that time there fortuned to be a famine and when he arrived at one of the cities of the Ajam-land, where formerly the traders bought his goods, on this occasion none of them would come near him. In such case he continued a long while till at last a Khwájah appeared before him, a man who owned abundant riches in Persia, but his home was distant three days from the place. The visitor asked saying, “O Bassorite, wilt thou sell me thy stock-in-trade?” whereto the other answered, “And how? Of course I’ll sell it!” So the buyer opened the gate of bidding and offered such-and-such; but the Bassorah man cried, “Allah openeth.” Then the purchaser added somewhat and the seller rejoined, “Give me yet more?” At last the buyer exclaimed, “I will give nothing more than ‘Anaught’;”251 and the seller accepted the offer saying, “May Allah grant us gain!” Thereupon the Persian Khwajah took over all the goods from the vendor and next day the twain met to settle money-matters. Now I, O King of the Age, happened to be abiding in that city. The seller received from the buyer payment in full nor did anything remain; but after, the Bassorah man said to his customer, “Thou still owest me the ‘Anaught,’ which thou must hand over to me.” The other replied jeeringly, “And the ‘Anaught’ is a naught; to wit, no thing;” but the Bassorite rejoined, “Here with that ‘Anaught’!” Upon this a violent ruffle befel between them, the cause was carried before the King and payment was required in the Divan, for the Bassorite still demanded from the purchaser his “Anaught.” The Sultan asked, “And what be this ‘Anaught’?” and the Bassorah man answered, “I wot not, O King of the Age;” and the Bassorah man answered, “I wot not, O King of the Age;” whereat the Sultan marvelled. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, and the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan marvelled at the action of this Bassorite and his saying, “Give me my ‘Anaught!’” Presently the tidings of that cause reached me, O King; so I went to the Divan which was thronged with folk and all present kept saying, “How would it be if this ‘Anaught’ were a fraud or a resiliation of the contract?” Thereupon the Sultan exclaimed, “Whoso shall settle this case, to him verily will I be bountiful.” So I came forward, O King of the Age, thinking of a conceit and kissed ground and said to him, “I will conclude this cause,” and he rejoined, “An thou determine it and dispose of it I will give thee largesse; but if not, I will strike off thy head.” I rejoined, “To hear is to obey.” Then I bade them bring a large basin which could hold a skinful of water and ordered them fill it; after which I called out to the Bassorite, “Draw near,” and he drew near. Then I cried to the claimant, “Close thy fist!” and he did accordingly, and again I commanded him to close it and to keep it tight closed. He obeyed my bidding and I continued “Dip thy neave into the basin,” and he dipped it. Presently I asked, “Is thy hand in the water and thy fist closed?” and he replied, “It is.” Then said I, “Withdraw it,” and he withdrew it, and I cried, “Open thy neave,” and he opened it. Then I asked, “What thing hast thou found therein?” and he answered, “Anaught;” whereupon I cried to him, “Take thine ‘Anaught’ and wend thy ways.” Hereupon the Sultan said to the Bassorite, “Hast thou taken thine ‘Anaught,’ O man?” and said he “Yes.” Accordingly the King bade him gang his gait. Then the Sultan gifted me with costly gifts and named me Kazi; and hence, O King of the Age, is the cause of the title in the case of one who erst was Abu Kasim the Drummer. Hereat quoth the Sultan, “Relate to us what rare accident befel thee in thy proper person.” SO the judge began to recount
Once upon a time, O King of the Age, I had a slipper which hardly belonged to its kind nor ever was there seen a bigger. Now one day of the days I waxed aweary of it and sware to myself that I would never wear it any more; so in mine anger I flung it away and it fortuned to fall upon the flat roof of a Khwájah’s house where the stucco was weakest. Thence it dropped through, striking a shelf that held a number of phials full of the purest rose-water and the boarding yielded breaking all the bottles and spilling their contents. The house-folk heard the breakage ringing and rattling; so they crowded one after other to discover what had done the damage and at last they found my papoosh sprawling amiddlemost the room. Then they made sure that the shelf had not been broken except by the violence of that slipper, and they examined it when, behold, the house-master cried, saying, “This be the papoosh of Abu Kasim the Drummer.” Hereupon he took it and carried it to the Governor who summoned me and set me before him; then he made me responsible for the phials and whatso was therein and for the repairing of the terrace-roof and upraising it again. And lastly he handed to me the slipper which was exceedingly long and broad and heavy and, being cruel old it showed upwards of an hundred and thirty patches nor was it unknown to any of the villagers. So I took it and fared forth and, being anangered with the article, I resolved to throw it into some dark hole or out-of-the-way place; — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Abu Kasim the Drummer continued to the Sultan; I resolved to throw it into some dark hole or out-of-the-way place; and presently I came to the watercloset of the Hammam and cast it into the conduit saying, “Now shall none ever see it again; nor shall I be troubled with its foul aspect for the rest of my life.” Then I returned home and abode there the first day and the second, but about noon on the third a party of the Governor’s men came and seized me and bore me before him; and no sooner did he see me than he cried out, “Throw him!” Accordingly they laid me out at fullest length and gave me an hundred cuts with a scourge252 which I bore stoutly and presently said, “O my Sultan,253 what be the cause of this fustigation and wherefor do they oppress me?” Said he, “O man, the conduit254 of the jakes attached to the Mosque was choked by thy slipper and the flow, unable to pass off, brimmed over, whereby sundry houses belonging to the folk were wrecked.”255 I replied, “O my lord, can a slipper estop the flowing of a water that feedeth a Hammam?” Thereupon the Governor said to me, “Take it away and if any find it in his place and again bring me a complaint thereanent, I will cut off thy head.” So they haled me away after tossing my slipper to me, and I repaired to the Efendi256 of the town and said to him, “O our lord, I have a complaint against this Papoosh which is not my property nor am I its owner: prithee do thou write me a deed to such purport between me and the Slipper and all who pass down this road.” The Efendi replied, “O man, how shall I write thee a deed between thee and thy Papoosh, which is a senseless thing? Nay, take it thyself and cut it up and cast it into some place avoided of the folk.” Accordingly I seized it and hacked it with a hatchet into four pieces which I threw down in the four corners of the city, saying to myself the while, “By Allah, I shall nevermore in my life hear any further of its adventures;” and walked away barefoot. But I had thrown one bit under a bridge that crossed a certain of the small canals; and the season was the dries, wherefore it collected a heap of sand which rose thereupon, and raised the pile higher until the archway was blocked up by a mound. Now when the Níl257 flooded and reached that archway the water was dammed up and ceased running so the townsfolk said, “What may be the matter? The Nile-inundation hath reached the bridge but cannot pass under it. Come let us inspect the archway.” They did so and presently discovered the obstacle; to wit, the mound before the arch which obstructed the waterway; whereupon a party kilted their clothes and waded into the channel that they might clear it. But when they came to the mound-base they found my quarter-slipper, and they exclaimed with one cry, “This be the Papoosh of Abu Kasim the Drummer!” But as soon as the tidings reached me, I fared away, flying from that town, and while so doing was met by a comrade, yonder Bhang-eater; so we agreed that we would travel together and he companied me till we came to this city, e’en as thou seest us, O our lord the Sultan. Thereupon the King said to them, “Do ye twain abide with me amongst my servants; but I have a condition with you which is that ye be righteous in your service and that ye be ready to join my séance every night after supper-tide.” Then he cautioned them against disobedience and quoth he, “Be ye not deluded by becoming my companions nor say to yourselves, We be the assessors of the King; for that the byword declareth: Whenas the King sitteth beware of his severity, and be not refractory whenever he shall say to thee ‘Do.’” They agreed to this condition and each whispered his mate, “Do thou have a care to act righteously!” Then they left the King nor did they see him again till one day of the days when behold, a Khwajah appeared before the Sultan. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that one day of the days, behold a Khwajah appeared before the Sultan and said, “’Tis not lawful in Allah’s sight, O King of the Age, that a Bhang-eater should propose to dishonour me in the person of my daughter and load me with infamy amongst His worshippers saying the while, “I am of the King’s suite.’” Now the cause of the merchant’s complaint was as follows. One day of the days the Bhang-eater was passing by under the latticed window of the Khwajah’s home when by decree of the Decreer, the daughter of the house was looking out at the casement and was solacing herself by observing all who walked the street. Perchance the Bhang-eater’s glance fell upon the maiden and that sight of eyes entailed a thousand sighs, so he said to himself, “By Allah, if I meet not this maiden, although it be only once, I shall die of a broken heart nor shall any one know of my death.” He then took to passing under the window every day and to gazing upwards and to tarrying there from morning-tide to set of sun; but the more he looked the less he saw of her because Fortune which was fair to him the first time had now turned foul. So he continued in this condition for a while, coming every day to look at the lattice and seeing naught. Presently his case became strait and ill health entered his frame for love to the merchant’s daughter; and by reason of its excess he betook himself to his pillow turning and tossing right and left and crying, “O her eyes! O her loveliness! O her stature! O her symmetrical grace!” But as he was repeating these words behold, an old woman came in to him and, seeing his concern and chagrin, accosted him and said, “No harm to thee!” Quoth he, “Ah, my reverend mother, unless thou come to my aid I perish,” and quoth she, “What is upon thy mind? So he disclosed to her all he felt of fondness and affection for the Khwajah’s daughter and she rejoined. “Thou wilt never win to thy wish in this matter except through me.” Then she left him and repaired to her own place, pondering the wiles of women, till she entered her house and there she donned a woolen robe and hung three rosaries around her neck, after which she hent a palm-staff in hand and set out for the merchant’s quarters. She ceased not walking till she reached the place and entered in her garb of a religious mendicant258 crying out, “Allah, there is no god but the God! extolled be Allah! Allah be with you all!” When the girl, whose name was Sitt al-Husn — the Lady of Beauty — heard these words she met her, hoping for a blessing, and saying, “O my mother, pray for me!” and the old woman responded, “The name of Allah be upon thee! Allah be thy safeguard!”259 Then she sat down and the damsel came and took seat beside her; so likewise did the girl’s mother and both sought a blessing from her and conversed together till about noon when she arose and made the Wuzú-ablution and span out her prayers, whilst those present exclaimed, “By Allah this be a pious woman!” When her orisons were ended they served up dinner to her; but she said, “I’m fasting;” whereat they increased in love and belief herwards and insisted upon her abiding with them until sunset that she might break her fast within their walls. ON such wise she acted but it was all a fraud. Then they persisted in keeping her for the night; so she nighted with them, and when it was morn she arose and prayed and mumbled words, some intelligible and others not to be understanded of any, while the household gazed upon her and, whenever she would move from place to place, supported her with their hands under her armpits. At last, when it was mid-forenoon she fared forth from them albeit their intent was not to let her depart. But early on the next day she came in to them and all met her with greetings and friendly reception, kissing her hands and bussing her feet; so she did as she had done on the first day and in like guise on the third while they showed her increased honour and worship. On the fourth day she came to them, as was her wont, and they prayed her be seated; however she refused and said, “I have a daughter whom I am about to marry and the bridal festivities will be in my house; but I come to you at this hour to let you know my desire that Sitt al-Husn may accompany me and be present at my girl’s wedding-feast and thus she will gain a blessing.” Her mother replied, “We dread lest somewhat befal her,” but the ancient woman rejoined, “Fear not for her as the Hallows260 are with her!” Thereupon cried the girl, “There is no help but that I accompany her and be present at her daughter’s wedding ceremony and enjoy the spectacle and take my pleasure.” The mother said, “’Tis well;” and the old trot added, “I will go and return within this moment.” So saying, she went off as one aweary to the house of the Bhang-eater and told him what she had done; then she returned to the maiden whom she found drest and decorated and looking her best. So she took the girl and fared forth with her. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the ancient woman took the girl and fared forth with her and led her to the Bhang-eater’s house and brought her in to him who, seeing her in all her beauty and loveliness, arose forthright and his wits fled him and he drew near to her of his excessive love herwards. Therewith the “Lady of Beauty” understood that the old woman was an accursed procuress who had beguiled her in order to bring her and the man together. So of her cleverness and clear intelligence she said to her lover, “O my brave, whoso expecteth a visit of his beloved getteth ready somewhat of meat and somewhat of fruit and somewhat of wine, that their pleasure may be perfected; and, if thou purpose love-liesse we will pass the night in this place.” Quoth the Bhang-eater, “By Allah, O my lady, thou speakest sooth but what shall we do at such hour as this?” and quoth she, “Hie thee to the market-street and bring all whereof I spoke.” Said he, “Hearkening and obedience,” and said she, “I will sit down, I and this my mother in this place, the while thou goest and comest.” He rejoined, “A sensible saying!” and forthright he was right gladsome nor knew what was prepared for him in the hidden future. Now as soon as he went the damsel arose and without making aught of noise locked the door closely upon herself and the old trot: then she wandered about the rooms and presently came upon a butcher’s chopper261 which she seized. Hereupon tucking up her sleeves above her elbows, in the firmness of her heart she drew near the old crone until she was hard by her right and so clove her skull asunder that she fell weltering in her blood and her ghost fled her flesh. After this the damsel again went about the house and all worth the taking she took, leaving whatso was unworthy, till she had collected a number of fine robes which the man had brought together after he had become a cup-companion of the Sultan; and, lastly, she packed the whole in a sheet262 and went forth therewith. Now the season was morning but The Veiler veiled her and none met her on the way until she reached her home and saying, “By Allah, to-day my girl hath tarried long at the bridal festivities of the Ascetic’s daughter.” And behold Sitt al-Husn came in to her carrying a large sheet stuffed with raiment, and as her mother saw her agitated and in disorder she questioned her of her case and of what was packed in the bundle. But the girl, who returned no reply and could not speak one syllable for the emotion caused by the slaughter of the ancient woman, fell to the ground in a fit. Her swoon endured from noon until eventide, her mother sitting at her head the while and sorrowing for her condition. But about set of sun behold, in came her father who found his daughter aswoon; so he questioned his wife who began by recounting to him what they had noted in the old woman of prayer and display of devotion and how she had told them, “I have a daughter whom I am about to marry and the bridal festivities will be in my house.” “And,” pursued the mother, “she invited us to visit her; so at undurntide I sent with her the girl; who at noontide came back bringing somewhat wrapped up and bundled, which be this. But when she entered the house she fell to the floor in a fainting fit and she is even as thou seest; nor do I know what befel her.” Then the father rose up and besprinkled somewhat of water upon her face which revived her and she said, “Where am I?” whereto said he, “Thou art with us.” And when she had recovered and returned to her senses, and her condition was as before the swoon, she told them of the old woman and her ill designs and of her death and lastly how the clothes had been brought by herself from the house of the Bhang-eater. As soon as her sire had heard her words, he set out from his home and sought the Sultan. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that whilst the Sultan was sitting behold, the Khwajah came in and complained to him of the Bhang-eater, whereupon he ordered a company to go fetch the accursed and they went off and found him not. So they returned and reported accordingly. Such was the cause of the Khwajah coming to the King and such was the case with them; but as regards the Bhang-eater, when he went off rejoicing to the Bazar in order to buy whatso the merchant’s daughter had asked him, he brought many a thing wherewith he returned to his lodging. However as he returned he beheld the old woman slaughtered and weltering in her blood and he found nothing at all of the choice articles wherewith his house was fulfilled; so he fell to quoting this couplet:263—
“’Twas as a hive of bees that greatly thrived;
But, when the bee-swarm fled, ’twas clean unhived.”
And when he beheld that condition of things he turned from his home in haste and without stay or delay left it about the hour of mid-afternoon and fared forth from the city. There he found a caravan bound to some bourne or other, so he proceeded therewith hardly believing in his own safety and he ceased not accompanying the Cafilah264 for the space of five days till it made the city the travellers sought, albeit he was fatigued and footsore from the stress of hardships and weariness he had endured. So he entered the place and wandered about until he found a Khan wherein he hired him a cell by way of nighting-stead and every day he would go forth to seek service for wages whereby he might make a livelihood. Now one day of the days a woman met him face to face on the highway and said to him, “Dost thou do service?” and said he, “Indeed I do, O my lady.” She continued, “There is a wall about my place which I desire to level and build another in lieu thereof for that ’tis old and very old.” He replied to her, “’Tis well,” and she took him and repaired with him to her house and showing him the wall in question handed to him a pickaxe and said, “Break it down as much as thou art able be it for two or three days, and heap up the stones in one place and the dried mud in another.” He replied, “Hearkening and obedience;” after which she brought to him somewhat of food and of water and he ate and drank and praised Almighty Allah. After this he rose and began breaking down the wall and he ceased not working and piling up the stones and the dried mud until it was sunset time when the woman paid him to his wage ten faddahs and added a something of food which he took and turned towards his own cell. As soon as it was the second day he repaired to the house of the woman who again gave him somewhat to break his fast and he fell to felling the wall even as he had done on the first day and he worked till noon; but when it was midday and all the household was asleep, lo and behold! he found in the middle of the foundation a crock265 full of gold. So he opened it and considered its contents whereat he was rejoiced and he went forth without leisure or loss of time seeking his own cell and when he reached it he locked himself within for fear lest any look upon him. Then he opened the crock and counted therein one hundred dinars which he pouched in his purse and stowed away in his breast-pocket. Presently he returned, as he was, to break down the rest of the wall and whilst he was trudging along the highway suddenly he sighted a box surrounded by a crowd of whom none knew what might be its contents and its owner was crying out, “For an hundred gold pieces!” Thereupon the Bhang-eater went forwards saying to himself, “Buy thee yonder box for the hundred dinars and thy luck be thy lot, for it there be inside of it aught of wonderful ’tis well, and if otherwise thou shalt stand by thy bad bargain.” So he drew near the broker266 and said to him, “This box for how much?”267 and the other answered, “For an hundred gold dinars!” But when he questioned him as to its contents the man replied, “I know not; whoso taketh it his luck be his lot.” Thereupon he brought out to him the hundred ducats and the broker made over to him the box which he charged upon his shoulders and carried off to his cell. There arrived he bolted himself in and opened the coffer wherein he found a white slave-girl which was a model of beauty and loveliness and stature and perfect grace: but she was like one drunken with wine. So he shook her but she was not aroused when he said to himself, “What may be the story of this handmaiden?” and he was never tired of looking upon her while she was in that condition and he kept saying to himself, “Would Heaven I wot and she be on life or in death; withal I see her breath coming and going.” Now when it was about midnight, the handmaiden revived and looking around and about her, cried, “Where am I?” and said the Bhang-eater, “Thou, O my lady, art in my home;” whereby she understood what had befallen her. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the handmaiden understood what had befallen her at the hands of her enemies. Now the cause thereof was that the Sultan of that city had bought him for concubine one Kút al-Kulúb,268 or Heart’s -food hight, and she became to him the liefest of all the women he before had, amongst whom his wife, the daughter of his uncle, had bee preferred; but all fell into the rank of the common and from the time he bought the new handmaid he was wholly occupied with her love and he never went near the other inmates of his Harem, not even his cousin. So they were filled with exceeding jealousy against Heart’s -food the new comer. Now one day of the days the Sultan went forth to hunt and bird and enjoy the occasion and solace himself in the gardens together with the Lords of his land, and they rode on till they found themselves amiddlemost of the waste pursuing their quarry. But when two days had passed, his wife together with the women which were concubines arose and invited all the neighbourhood whereamong was Kut al-Kulub, and she spread for them a sumptuous banquet and lavished upon the new comers all manner of attentions and the wife began to play with her rival and to disport with her until it was thought that she loved none in the assembly save Heart’s -food; and on such wise she continued to cheer her and solace her and gambol with her and make her laugh until the trays were laid and the meats were dispread and all the guests came forward and fell to eating and drinking. Thereupon the King’s cousin-wife brought a plate seasoned with Bhang and set it before the concubine who had no sooner eaten it and it had settled in her stomach than she trembled as with sudden palsy and fell to the ground without power of motion. Then the Queen bade place her in a box and having locked her therein sent for one who was Skaykh of the Brokers and committed to him the coffer saying, “Do thou sell it for an hundred gold pieces whilst it is locked and fast locked and suffer not any open it, otherwise we will work for the cutting off of thy hands.” He replied, “To hear is to obey;” and took up the box and went with it to the market-street where he said to the brokers, “Cry for sale this coffer at an hundred dinars and if any attempt to open it, open it not to any by any manner of means.” So they took their station and made auction of it for an hundred gold pieces, when by the decree of Destiny the Bhang-eater passed down the street exulting in his hundred dinars which he had found in the crock while levelling the wall belonging to the woman. Thereupon he came up and having paid the price required carried off his coffer saying in his mind, “My luck is my livelihood.” After this he went to his own cell and opened it and found there the handmaid in condition as though drunken with wine. Such is the history of that concubine Kut al-Kulub and she fell not into the hand of the Bhang-eater save by the wile and guile of the Sultan’s cousin-wife. But when she recovered from her fainting fit and gazed around and understood what had befallen her she concealed her secret and said to the man, “Verily this thy cell becometh us not;” and, as she had somewhat of gold pieces with her and a collar of jewels around her neck worth a thousand dinars, she brought out for him some money and sent him forth to hire for them a house in the middle of the quarter beffiting great folk and when this was done she had herself transported thither. Then she would give him every day spending-money to buy whatso she ever required and she would cook the delicatest dishes fit for the eating of the Kings wherewith she fed herself and her owner. This continued for twenty days when suddenly the Sultan returned from his hunting party and as soon as he entered his palace he asked for Kut al-Kulub. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as soon as the Sultan returned from the chase he asked after Kut al-Kuluh from his exceeding desire to her, and the daughter of his uncle told him the tidings saying, “By Allah, O King of the Age, three days after thou faredst forth there came upon her malaise and malady wherein she abode six days and then she deceased to the mercy of Almighty Allah.” He exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily we are the Almighty’s and unto Him shall we return.” Then befel him the extreme of grief and straitness of breast and he passed that night in exceeding cark and care for Kut al-Kulub. And when it was morning he sent after the Wazir and summoned him between his hands and bade him go forth to the Tigris-bank and there approve some place whereon he might build a palace which should command all roads. The Minister replied, “Hearkening and obeying;” and hied to do his lord’s bidding taking with him architects269 and others, and having found a piece of level ground he ordered them to measure an hundred ells of length for the building by a breadth of seventy cubits. Presently he sent for surveyors and master-masons whom he commanded to make ready every requisite for the work, of ashlar and lime and lead; also to dig trenches for the base of the walls. Then they fell to laying the foundations, and the builders and handicraftsmen began to pile the stones and prepare the loads while the Wazir stood by them bidding and forbidding. Now when it was the third day, the Sultan went forth the Palace to look at the masons and artizans who were working at the foundations of his new edifice. And as soon as he had inspected it, it pleased him, so he said to the Wazir, “Walláhi! none would befit this palace save and except Kut al-Kulub, when ’twould have been full of significance;” and so saying he wept with sore weeping at the remembrance of her. Quoth the Wazir to him, “O King of the Age, have patience when calamity afflicteth thee, even as said one of them with much meaning, anent long-suffering:—
‘Be patient under weight of wrath and blow of sore calamities:
The Nights compressed by Time’s embrace gravidœ miras gerunt res.’”270
Then quoth the Sultan, “’Tis well, O Wazir, I know that patience is praiseworthy and fretfulness is blameworthy, for indeed quoth the poet:—
When Time shall turn on thee, have patience for ’tis best of plight:
Ease shall pursue unease and naught but suffrance make it light;’
and by Allah, O Wazir, human nature is never free from sad thought and remembrance. Verily that damsel pleased me and I delighted in her; nor can I ever think to find one like her in beauty and loveliness.” Thereupon the Wazir fell to guiding the Sultan with fair words until his breast was broadened and the two began to solace themselves by inspecting the masons. After this the Sultan would go forth every morning for solace to Tigris-bank and tidings reached the ears of Kut al-Kulub that her lord was engaged on building a riverine palace, whereupon she said to the Bhang-eater, “Day by day we expend money upon our condition, and our outgoing is without incoming, so ’twere but right that each morning thou fare and work with the workmen who are edifying a mansion for the Sultan, inasmuch as the folk declare that he is of temper mild and merciful and haply thou shalt gain from him profit and provision.” “O my lady,” he replied, “by Allah, I have no patience to part with thee or to be far from thee;” and he said so because he loved her and she loved him, for that since the time he had found her locked in the box and had looked upon her he had never required of her her person and this was indeed from his remembrance, for he bore in mind but too well what had befallen him from the Khwajah’s daughter. And she on her side used to say, “’Tis a wondrous thing that yon Bhang-eater never asketh me aught nor draweth nigh me seeing that I be a captive of his right hand.” So she said to him, “Assuredly thou dost love me?” and said he, “How can it be otherwise when thou art the blood of my life and the light of mine eyes?” “O light of mine eyes,” she replied, “take this necklace and set it in thy breast-pocket and go work at the Sultan’s palace, and as often as thou shalt think of me, do thou take it out and consider it and smell it and it shall be as if thou wert to see me.” Hearing this he obeyed her and went forth till he reached the palace where he found the builders at work and the Sultan and the Wazir sitting in a Kiosk hard by overseeing the masons and the workmen; — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the Bhang-eater joined the masons he saw the Sultan and Wazir overseeing them; and, as soon as the King sighted him, he opened his breast to him and said, “O man, wilt thou also do work?” and said the other, “Yes.” So he bade him labour with the builders and he continued toiling till hard upon noon-tide, at which time he remembered his slave-girl and forthright he bowed his head upon his bosom-pocket and he sniffed thereat. The Wazir saw him so doing and asked him, “What is the meaning of thy sniffing at what is in thy poke?” and he answered him, “No matter.” However the Minister espied him a second time occupied in like guise and quoth he to the Sultan, “Look, O King of the Age, at yon labourer who is hiding something in his pocket and smelling thereat.” “Haply,” responded the Sovran, “there is in his pouch something he would look at.” However when the Sultan’s glance happened to fall that way he beheld the Bhang-eater sniffing and smelling at his poke, so he said to the Wazir, “Walláhi! Verily this workman’s case is a strange.” Hereupon both fixed their eyes upon him and they saw him again hiding somewhat in his pouch and smelling at it. The Wazir cried, “Verily this fellow is a-fizzling and he boweth his head toward his breast in order that he may savour his own farts.”271 The Sultan laughed and said, “By Allah, if he do on this wise ’tis a somewhat curious matter, or perhaps, O Wazir, he have some cause to account for it; at any rate do thou call out to him and ask him.” So the Wazir arose and drawing near to him asked him saying, “Ho, this one!272 every time thou fizzlest thou smellest and sniffest at thy fizzlings;” whereto answered the workman, “Wag not thy tongue with these words seeing thou art in the presence of a King glorious of degree.” Quoth the Minister, “What is the matter with thee in this case that thou art sniffing at thy pocket?” and quoth the labourer, “Verily my beloved is in my pouch.” The Wazir wondered hereat and reported the same to the Sultan who cried, “Return to him and say, ‘Is it possible that thou display to us thy beloved who is in thy breast-pocket?’” So he returned to him and said, “Show us what there is in thy pouch.” Now the origin of this necklace was that the King had bought it for Kut al-Kulub at the price of a thousand dinars and the damsel had given it to the Bhang-eater with the sole object that the Sultan might look upon it and thereby be directed unto her and might learn the reason of her disappearance and her severance from him. Hereupon the man brought out to them the necklace from his breastpocket and the Sultan on seeing it at once recognised it and wondered how it had fallen into the hands of that workman; accordingly he asked who was its owner and the other answered, “It belongeth to the handmaid whom I bought with an hundred dinars.” Quoth the Sultan to him, “Is it possible273 thou invite us to thy quarters that we may look upon this damsel;” and quoth the other, “Would you look upon my slave-girl and not be ashamed of yourselves? However I will consult her, and if she be satisfied therewith we will invite you.” They said to him, “This be a rede that is right and an affair which no blame can excite.” When the day had reached its term the masons and workmen were dismissed after they had taken their wage; but as for the Bhang-eater the Sultan gave him two gold pieces and set him free about sunset tide; so he fared to his handmaid and informed her of what had befallen him from the King, adding, “He hath indeed looked upon the necklace and hath asked me to invite him hither as well as the Wazir.” Quoth she, “No harm in that; but to-morrow (Inshallah!) do thou bring all we require for a state occasion of meats and drinks, and let me have them here by noon-tide, so they may eat the early meal. But when he shall ask to buy me of thee compose thy mind and say thou, ‘No,’ when he will reply to thee, ‘Give me this damsel in free gift.’ Hereat do thou say, ‘She is a present from me to thee’; because indeed I am his slave and bought with his money for one thousand and five hundred dinars; and thou hadst never become my lord save through my foes who devised a device against me and who sold me when thou boughtest me. However the hour of thy prosperity hath now come.” And when morning morrowed she gave him five gold pieces and said to him, “Bring for me things that be such and such,” and said he, “Hearing and obedience.” So he went to the market-street where he purchased all the supplies wherewith she had charged him and returned to her forthright. Hereupon she arose and tucking up her sleeves prepared meats that befitted the King and likewise she got ready comfits and the daintiest of dainties and sherbets and she tempered the pastilles and she besprinkled the room with rosewater and looked to the furniture of the place. About midday she sent to the Sultan and the Wazir with notice that she was ready; so the Bhang-eater repaired to the Palace and having gone in to the presence said, “Have the kindness!”274 The twain arose without more ado and hied with him privily till they reached his house and entered therein. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan and the Wazir entered the place wherein were the Bhang-eater and the damsel, and took their seats. Now the meats were ready and they served up to them the trays and the dishes, when they fell to and were cheered by the sumptuous viands until they had eaten after the measure of their sufficiency. And when their hands were washed, the confections and sherbet and coffee were set before them, so they ate and were satisfied and gladdened and made merry. After this quoth the Sultan to the Bhang-eater, “Where is the damsel?” and quoth the man, “She is here,” whereat he was commanded to bring her. Accordingly he went off and led her in and as soon as the King sighted her he recognised her and ordered her owner to make her over to him and said when he did so, “O man, wilt thou sell to me this damsel?” But the other kissed ground before him and replied, “O King of the Age, she is from me a free gift to thee;” and quoth the Sultan, “She is accepted from thee, O Shaykh, and do thou come and bring her thyself to the Palace about sundown-time.” He replied, “To hear is to obey.” And at the hour named he took the damsel and ceased not faring with her till he brought her to the Serai,275 where the Eunuchry met her and took her and carried her in to the Sultan. But as soon as she entered she nestled in his bosom and he threw his arms round her neck and kissed her of his excessive desire to her. Then he asked her saying, “This man who purchased thee, hath he any time approached thee?” whereto she answered, “By Allah, O King, from the time he bought me in the box which he opened and found me alive therein until this present never hath he looked upon my face, and as often as I addressed him he would bow his brow earthwards.” Quoth the Sultan, “By Allah, this wight deserveth an aidance for that he paid down for thee an hundred dinars and he hath presented thee in free gift to me.” Now when morrowed the morning the King sent after the Bhang-eater and summoned him between his hands and bestowed upon him one thousand five hundred dinars with a suit of royal raiment, after which he presented to him, by way of honourable robe,276 a white slave-girl. He also set apart for him an apartment and made him one of his boon companions. So look thou, O hearer,277 how it happened to this Bhang-eater from the Khwajah’s daughter and his love herwards; how he failed to win her and how he gained of blows whatso he gained; and after what prosperity befel him from the part of Kut al-Kulub. And ever afterwards when the Sultan would ride out for disport or for the hunt and chase he would take the man with him. Presently of the perfection of his prosperity this Bhang-eater fully mastered the affairs of the kingdom, both its income and its outgo, and his knowledge embraced all the regions and cities which were under the rule of his lord. Furthermore, whenever he would counsel the King, his advice was found to be in place and he was consulted upon all State affairs, and whenever he heard of any business he understood its inner as well as its outer meaning until the Sultan and the Wazir both sought rede of him, and he would point out to them the right and unright, and that which entaileth trouble and no trouble, when they could fend it off and overthrow it or by word or by deed of hand. Now one day of the many days the King was in a certain of his gardens a-solacing himself with the sights when his heart and stomach became full of pain and he fell ill and his illness grew upon him, nor did he last four days ere he departed to the mercy of Allah Almighty. As he had no issue, either son or daughter, the country remained without a King for three days, when the Lords of the land for-gathered and agreed upon a decision, all and some, that they would have no King or Sultan save the Wazir and that the man the Bhang-eater should be made Chief Councillor. So they agreed upon this matter and their words went forth to the Minister who at once took office. After this he gave general satisfaction and lavished alms on the mean and miserable, also on satisfaction and lavished alms on the mean and miserable, also on the widows and orphans, when his fame was bruited abroad and it dispread far and wide till men entitled him the “Just Wazir” and in such case he governed for a while of time. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Wazir governed for a while of time with all justice of rule so that the caravans spread abroad the name and fame of him throughout every city and all the countries. Presently there befel him an affair between two women which were sister-wives to one man.278 Now these had conceived by him in the same month and when the time of their pregnancy had passed, the twain were delivered in the same place at the same hour and the midwife was one and the same. One brought forth a babe but it was a daughter which incontinently died and the other a man-child who lived. The women quarrelled and fought about the boy-babe and both of them said, “This is my child;” and there befel between them exceeding contention and excessive hostility. So they carried their cause before the divines and the Olema and the head men of the place, yet did none of them know how to decide between the twain and not a few of the folk said, “Let each woman take the child to her for a month,” whilst others declared that they might keep it between them at all times, whilst of the women one said, “’Tis well: this be my boy!” and the other declared, “’Tis well, this be my son!” nor could any point out to which of the women the boy belonged. So the town’s people were gathered together and said, “None can determine this dispute except the Just Wazir;” and they agreed upon this, so that the husband of the two women and sundry of his associates arose and took the twain of them and travelled with them to hear the Minister’s judgment. Also the Olema and the great men of the place declared “By Allah, we also needs must travel with the party and produce the two women and be present at the Just Wazir’s judgment.” So they all assembled and followed after the two adversaries, nor did they cease travelling until they entered the city where the Minister abode. There they delayed for rest during one day and on the second they all joined one another and went in to the Wazir and recounted to him the case of the two women. Hearing this he bowed his brow groundwards and presently raising it he cried, “Bring me two eggs and void them of their contents and see that the shells be clean empty.” Then he commanded that each of the women drain somewhat of milk from her nipple into the egg-shell till she had filled it. They did accordingly and set before him the egg-shells brimful when he said, “Bring me a pair of scales.”279 After this he placed both eggs in the balance-pan and raising it aloft from its rounded stead perceived that one was weighty and the other was light. Quoth he, “The milk of the woman in this egg is the heavier and she is the mother of the boy-babe whereas the other bare the girl-child and we know not an it be alive or dead.” Hereat the true mother of the boy held her peace but the other wailed aloud and said, “’Tis well: still this be my babe!” Thereupon quoth the Wazir, “I am about to take the boy and hew him in halves whereof I will give one to each of you twain.” But the true mother arose and cried out, “No! O my lord, do not on this wise: I will forfeit my claim for Allah’s sake;” while the other one exclaimed, “All this is right good!” Now all the folk of the city who were then standing by heard these words and looked on; but when this order was pronounced and the woman was satisfied and declared, “I will take half the boy,” the Wazir gave orders forthright that they seize her and hang her; so they hanged her and he gave the babe to the right mother. Then said they to him, “O our lord, how was it proved to thee that the boy was the child of this one?” and he said, “It became evident to me from two sides; in the first place because her milk was the heavier, so that I knew that the boy was her boy, and secondly when I commanded, ‘Let us cut the boy in half,’ the real mother consented not to this and the matter was hard upon her because the child was a slice of her liver, and she said to herself, ‘His life is better than his death, even though my sister-wife take him, at any rate I shall be able to look upon him.’ But the second woman designed only to gratify her spite whether the boy died or not and to harm her sister-wife; so when I saw that she was contented to have the babe killed, I knew that it was right to do her die.” Then all who were present of the Lords of the land and the Olema and divines and notables wondered at the judgment and exclaimed, “By Allah, well done,280 O Wazir of the realm.” Now this history of the Minister’s perspicacity and penetration was spread abroad and all folk went from his presence and everyone who had wives that had borne girls took somewhat of milk from the women and went to each and every of those who had borne boys and took from them milk in the same quantity as the Wazir had taken, and weighted it in the scales, when they found that the mothers of males produced milk that was not equal to, nay it weighed two-fold that of those who bare girls. Hereupon they said, “It is not right that we call this Minister only the Just Wazir;” and all were agreed that he should be titled “The Wazir-wise-in-Allah-Almighty;”281 and the reason whereof was the judgment which he passed in the cause between the two women. Now after this it befel him to deliver a decision more wondrous than the former. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that to the Wazir-wise-in-Almighty-Allah there befel between his hands a strange matter which was as follows. As he was sitting one day of the days there came in to him unexpectedly two men, of whom one led a cow and a little colt whilst the second had with him a mare and a little calf. Now the first who came forward was the owner of the mare and quoth he, “O my lord, I have a claim upon this man.” Quoth the Minister, “What be thy claim?” And the plaintiff continued, “I was going a-morn to the meadow for pasture and with me was my mare followed by her young one, her little colt, when yonder man met me upon the road and the colt began to play and to throw up gravel with its hoofs as is the wont of horse-flesh and draw near to the cow. Hereupon this man came up and seized it and said, ‘This colt is the offspring of my cow,’ and so saying he took it away and he gave me his calf, crying, ‘Take this which be the issue of thy mare.’” So the Wazir turning to the master of the cow asked, “O man, what sayest thou concerning what thy comrade hath spoken?” and the other answered, “O my lord, in very deed this colt is the produce of my cow and I brought it up by hand.” Quoth the Wazir, “Is it right that black cattle should bring forth horses and that horses should bear cows? indeed the intelligence of an intelligent man may not compass this;” and quoth the other, “O my lord, Allah createth whatso He willeth and maketh kine to produce horses and horses to produce kine.” Hereupon the Minister said to him, “O Shaykh, when thou seest a thing before thee and lookest thereon canst thou speak of it in the way of truth?” And the other assented. Then the Wazir continued addressing the two men, “Wend your ways at this time and on the morrow be present here at early morn and let it be at a vacant hour.” Accordingly they forthright went forth, and the next day early the two men came to the divan of the Wazir who set before them a she-mouse he had provided and called for a sack which he filled with earth. And as the men stood between his hands he said, “Wait ye patiently without speaking a word;” so they held their peace and presently he bade them set the sack and the mouse before him and he ordered the men to load the sack upon the mouse. Both cried, “O our lord, ’tis impossible that a mouse can carry a sack full of earth,” when he answered, “How then can a cow bear a colt? and when a mouse shall be able to bear a sack then shall a cow bear a colt.” All this and the Sultan was looking out at the latticed window listening and gazing. Hereupon the Wazir gave an order that the master of the mare take her colt and the master of the cow carry off her calf; after which he bade them go about their business. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan, whose Minister was the Wazir-wise-in-Allah-Almighty, on a certain day summoned his Chief Councillor and when he came said to him, “Verily my breast is straitened and I am beset by unease, so I desire to hear something which may broaden my bosom;” and said the other, “O King of the age, by Allah, I have a friend who is named Mahmud the ‘Ajami and that man is a choice spirit and he hath all kind of rare tales and strange anecdotes and wondrous histories and marvellous adventures.” Said the Sultan, “There is no help but that thou summon him to us hither and let us hear from him somewhat.” So the Wazir sent after the Persian and when the man stood in the presence said to him, “Verily the Sultan hath summoned thee.” He replied, “Hearing and obeying,” when he was taken and set before the Sovran and as he entered he saluted him with the salams of the Caliphs and blessed him and prayed for him.282 The King returned his greeting and after seating him said to him, “O Mahamud, at this moment my breast is indeed straitened and I have heard of thee that thou hast a store of rare stories which I would that thou cause me hear283 and let it be somewhat sweet of speech which shall banish my cark and my care and the straitness of my breast.” Hereto the other replied, “Hearing and obeying;” and began to relate the
252 Arab. “Kurbáj” = cravache: vol. viii. 17. The best are made of hippopotamus-hide (imported from East Africa), boiled and hammered into a round form and tapering to the point. Plied by a strong arm they cut like a knout.
253 The text “Yá Sultán-am,” a Persian or Turkish form for the Arab. “Yá Sultán-i.”
254 In text “Kalb” for “Kulbat” = a cave, a cavern.
255 The houses were of unbaked brick or cob, which readily melts away in rain and requires annual repairing at the base of the walls where affected by rain and dew. In Sind the damp of the earth with its nitrous humour eats away the foundations and soon crumbles them to dust.
256 Here meaning the under-Governor or head Clerk.
257 “Níl” (= the Nile), in vulgar Egyptian parlance the word is = “high Nile,” or the Nile in flood.
258 Arab. “Darwayshsah” = a she-Fakír, which in Europe would be represented by that prime pest a begging nun.
259 Arab. “Allah háfiz-ik” = the popular Persian expression, “Khudá Háfiz!”
260 Arab. “Sálihin” = the Saints, the Holy Ones.
261 Arab. “Sharkh” = in dicts. the unpolished blade of a hiltless sword.
262 In the text “Miláyah,” a cotton stuff some 6 feet long, woven in small chequers of white and indigo-blue with an ending of red at either extremity. Men wrap it round the body or throw it over the shoulder like our plaid, whose colours I believe are a survival of the old body-paintings, Pictish and others. The woman’s “Miláyah” worn only out of doors may be of silk or cotton: it is made of two pieces which are sewed together lengthwise and these cover head and body like a hooded cloak. Lane figures it in M.E. chapt. i. When a woman is too poor to own a “Miláyah” or a “Habarah” (a similar article) she will use a bed-sheet for out-of-doors work.
263 The pun here is “Khalíyát” = bee-hive and empty: See vols. vi. 246 ix. 291. It will occur again in Supplementary vol. v. Night DCXLVI.
264 i.e. Caravan, the common Eastern term. In India it was used for a fleet of merchantmen under convoy: see Col. Yule, Glossary, s. v.
265 Again “Bartamán” for “Martabán.”
266 The “Sáhib” = owner, and the “Dallál” = broker, are evidently the same person.
267 “Alà kám” for “kam” (how much?)— peasants’ speech.
268 She has appeared already twice in The Nights, esp. in The Tale of Ghánim bin ‘Ayyúb (vol. ii. 45) and in Khalifah the Fisherman of Baghdad (vol. viii. 145). I must again warn my readers nto to confound “Kút” = food with “Kuwwat” = force, as in Scott’s “Koout al Koolloob” (vi. 146). See Terminal Essay p. 101.
269 In text “Mu’ammarjiyah” (master-masons), a vulgar Egyptianism for “Mu’ammarin.” See “Jáwashiyah,” vols. ii. 49; viii. 330. In the third line below we find “Muhandizín” = gemoetricians, architects, for “Muhandísm.” [Perhaps a reminiscence of the Persian origin of the word “Handasah” = geometry, which is derived from “Andázah” = measurement, etc.-St.]
270 The text ends this line in Arabic.
271 Alluding to the curious phenomenon pithily expressed in the Latin proverb, “Suus cuique crepitus benè olet,” I know of no exception to the rule, except amongst travellers in Tibet, where the wild onion, the only procurable green-stuff, produces an odour so rank and fetid that men run away from their own crepitations. The subject is not savoury, yet it has been copiously illustrated: I once dined at a London house whose nameless owner, a noted bibliophile, especially of “facetiæ,” had placed upon the drawing-room table a dozen books treating of the “Crepitus ventris.” When the guests came up and drew near the table, and opened the volumes, their faces were a study. For the Arab. “Faswah” = a silent break wind, see vol. ix. 11 and 291. It is opposed to “Zirt” = a loud fart and the vulgar term, see vol. ii. 88.
272 Arab. “Yá Házá,” see vol. i. 290.
273 In text “Yumkinshayy,” written in a single word, a favourite expression, Fellah-like withal, throughout this MS.
274 In text “Tafazzalú;” see vol. ii. 103.
275 The word (Saráy) is Pers. But naturalised throughout Egypt and Syria; in places like Damascus where there is no king it is applied to the official head-quarters of the Walí (provincial governor), and contains the prison like the Maroccan “Kasbah.” It must not be confounded with “Serraglio” = the Harem, Gynecium or women’s rooms, which appears to be a bastard neo-Latin word “Serrare,” through the French Serrer. I therefore always write it with the double “canine letter.”
276 I have noted (vol. i. 95) that the “Khil’ah” = robe of honour, consists of many articles, such as a horse, a gold-hilted sword, a fine turban, etc., etc.
277 This again shows the “Nakkál” or coffee-house tale-teller. See vol. x. 144.
278 This is the Moslem version of “Solomon’s Judgment” (1 Kings iii. 16-20). The Hebrew legend is more detailed but I prefer its rival for sundry reasons. Here the women are not “harlots” but the co-wives of one man and therefore hostile; moreover poetical justice is done to the constructive murderess.
279 I am not aware that the specific gravity of the milks has ever been determined by modern science; and perhaps the experiment is worthy a trial.
280 Arab. “Dúna-k.” See vol. iv. p. 20.
281 “Al-Wazíru’l-Arif bi-lláhi Ta’álà,” a title intended to mimic those of the Abbaside Caliphs; such as “Mu’tasim bi’llah” (servant of Allah), the first of the long line whose names begin with an epithet (the Truster, the Implorer, etc.), and ed with “bi’llah.”
282 [Tarajjama, which is too frequently used in this MS. to be merely considered as a clerical error, I suppose to mean: he pronounced for him the formula: “A’uzzu bi lláhi mina ‘l-Shaytáni ‘l-Rajimi“ = I take refuge with Allah against Satan the Stoned. See Koran xvi. 100. It would be thus equivalent with the usual taßwwaza.-St.]
283 The MS. here ends Night cdxii. and begins the next. Up to this point I have followed the numeration but from this forwards as the Nights become unconscionably short compared with the intervening dialogues, I have thrown two and sometimes three into one. The Arabic numbers are, however, preserved for easier reference.
The Sultan was delighted with the ‘Ajami’s relation and largessed him two thousand pieces of gold; after which he returned to his palace and took seat upon his Divan when suddenly a poor man appeared before him carrying a load of fruit and greens and greeted him and prayed for him and expressed a blessing which the Sultan returned and bade him fair welcome. After which he asked, “What hast thou with thee, O Shaykh?” and the other answered, “O King of the Age, I have an offering to thee of fresh greens and first-fruits;” and the King rejoined, “It is accepted.” Thereupon the man placed them between his royal hands and stood up, and the King having removed the cover285 found under it a portion of ordinary cucumbers and sundry curling cucumbers and bundles of rose-mallows286 which had been placed before him. So he took thereof some little matter and ate it and was much pleased and bade the Eunuchry bear the rest into the Harem. They carried out his commands and the women also were delighted and having eaten somewhat they distributed the remainder to the slave-girls. Then said they, “By Allah, this man, the fruitowner, deserveth Bakhshísh;”287 so they sent to him by the Eunuch one hundred gold pieces whereto the Sultan added twain, so the whole of his gain was three hundred dinars. But the Sultan was much pleased with the man and a part of the care which he felt was lightened to him, whereupon asked he, “O Shaykh, knowest thou aught of boon-companionship with the Kings?” to which the other answered, “Yes;” for he was trim of tongue and ready of reply and sweet of speech. Presently the Sultan continued, “O Shaykh, for this present go back to thy village and give to thy wife and family that which Allah hath made thy lot.” Accordingly the man went forth and did as the King bade him; after which he returned in a short time and went into the presence about set of sun when he found his liege lord at supper. The King bade him sit to the trays which he did and he ate after the measure of his sufficiency, and again when the Sultan looked upon him he was pleased with him. And when the hour of nightprayers came all prayed together;288 then the King invited him to sit down as a cup-companion and commanded him to relate one of his tales. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the man took seat as a boon-companion of the King, and began to relate
284 This is a poor and scamped version of “Ali the Persian and the Kurd Sharper,” in vol. v. 149. It is therefore omitted.
285 The dish-cover, usually made of neatly plaited straw variously coloured, is always used, not only for cleanliness but to prevent the Evil Eye falling upon and infecting the food.
286 The “Bámiyah,” which = the Gumbo, Occra (Okrá) or Bhendi of Brit. India which names the celebrated bazar of Bombay, is the esculent hibiscus, the polygonal pod (some three inches long and thick as a man’s finger) full of seeds and mucilage making it an excellent material for soups and stews. It is a favourite dish in Egypt and usually eaten with a squeeze of lime-juice. See Lane, Mod. Egypt. chapt. v., and Herklots (App. p. xlii.) who notices the curry of “Bandakí” or Hibiscus esculentus.
287 Written “Bakshísh,” after Fellah-fashion.
288 [In the MS.: Wa’l-Sultánu karaa Wirduh (Wirda-hu) wa jalasa li Munádamah = And the Sovran recited his appointed portion of the Koran, and then sat down to convivial converse. This reminds of the various passages of the present Shah of Persia’s Diary, in which he mentions the performance of his evening devotions, before setting out for some social gathering, say a supper in the Guildhall, which he neatly explains as a dinner after midnight (Shám ba’d az nisf-i-shab). — St.]
It is told anent a man, one of the Kings of Orient-land, that he had three sons, of whom the eldest one day of the days heard the folk saying, “In such a place there is a bird hight the shrilling Philomelet,290 which transmews everyone who comes to it into a form of stone. Now when the heir apparent heard this report he went to his father and said, “’Tis my desire to fare forth and to get that marvellous bird;” and said the father, “O my son, thou wouldst work only to waste thy life-blood and to deprive us of thee; for that same bird hath ruined Kings and Sultans, not to speak of Bashas and Sanjáks,291 men in whose claws292 thou wouldst be as nothing.” But the son replied, “Needs must I go and if thou forbid my going I will kill myself.” So quoth his father, “There is no Majesty and no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great;” and saith the son, “Affects are affected and steps are sped towards a world that is vile and distributed daily bread.”293 Then he said to him, “O my child, set out upon thy journey and mayest thou win to thy wish.” Hereupon they prepared for him somewhat of victual and he went forth on his wayfare. But before departing he took off his seal-ring from his finger and gave it to his second brother saying, “O my brother, an this signet press hard upon thy little finger do thou know and make certain that mishap hath happened to me.” So the second Prince took it and put it upon his minim finger, after which the eldest youth farewelled his father and his mother and his brothers and the Lords of the land and departed seeking the city wherein the Bird woned. He ceased not travelling by nights and days, the whole of them, until he reached the place wherein was the bird Philomelet whose habit it was to take station upon his cage between mid-afternoon and sunset, when he would enter it to pass the night. And if any approached him with intent of capturing him, he would sit afar from the same and at set of sun he would take station upon the cage and would cry aloud speaking in a plaintive voice, “Ho thou who sayest to the mean and mesquin, ‘Lodge!’294 Ho thou who sayest to the sad and severed, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the woeful and doleful, ‘Lodge!’” Then if these words were grievous to the man standing before him and he make reply “Lodge!” ere the words could leave his lips the Bird would take a pinch of dust from beside the cage and hovering over the wight’s head would scatter it upon him and turn him into stone. At length arrived the youth who had resolved to seize the Bird and sat afar from him till set of sun: then Philomelet came and stood upon his cage and cried, “Ho thou who sayest to the mean and mesquin, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the sad and severed, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the woeful and the doleful, ‘Lodge!’” Now the cry was hard upon the young Prince and his heart was softened and he said, “Lodge!” This was at the time when the sun was disappearing, and as soon as he spake the word the Bird took a somewhat of dust and scattered it upon the head of the youth, who forthright became a stone. At that time his brother was sitting at home in thought concerning the wanderer, when behold, the signet squeezed his finger and he cried, “Verily my brother hath been despoiled of life and done to death!"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the second Prince, when the signet squeezed his little finger, cried out saying, “My brother, by Allah, is ruined and lost; but needs must I also set forth and look for him and find what hath befallen him.” Accordingly he said to his sire, “O my father, ’tis my desire to seek my brother;” and the old King answered, “Why, O my son, shouldst thou become like thy brother, both bereaving us of your company?” But the other rejoined, “There is no help for that nor will I sit at rest till I go after my lost one and espy what hath betided him.” Thereupon his sire gave orders for his journey and got ready what would suffice him of victual, and he departed, but before he went he said to his youngest brother, “Take thou this ring and set it upon thy little finger, and if it press hard thereupon do thou understand and be certified that my life’s blood is shed and that I have perished.” After this he farewelled them and travelled to the place of the Enchanting Bird, and he ceased not wayfaring for whole days and nights and nights and days until he arrived at that stead. Then he found the bird Philomelet and sat afar from him till about sundown when he took station upon his cage and began to cry, “Ho thou who sayest to the mean and mesguin, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the sad and severed, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the woeful and doleful, ‘Lodge!’” Now this cry of the Bird was hard upon the young Prince and he had no sooner pronounced the word “Lodge!” than the Philomelet took up somewhat of dust beside his cage and scattered it upon him, when forthright he became a stone lying beside his brother. Now the youngest of the three Princes was sitting at meat with his sire when suddenly the signet shrank till it was like to cut off his finger; so he rose forthright to his feet and said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great.” Quoth his father, “What is to do with thee, O my son?” and quoth he, “By Allah, my brother is ruined and wasted, so needs must I also fare forth and look after the twain of them.” Exclaimed his sire, “Why, O my son, should you three be cut off?” but the other answered, “Needs must I do this, nor can I remain after them without going to see what hath betided them, and either we three shall return in safety and security or I also shall become one of them.” So the father bade them prepare for his journey and after they had got ready for him a sufficiency of provision he farewelled him and the youth set out. But when he departed from his sire the old man and his wife filleted their brows with the fillets of sorrow295 and they fell to weeping by night and by day. Meanwhile the youth left not wayfaring till he reached the stead of the Bird and the hour was mid-afternoon, when he found his brothers ensorcelled to stones, and about sunset he sat down at the distance from Philomelet who took station upon his cage and began to cry, “Ho thou who sayest to the mean and mesquin, ‘Lodge!’ Ho thou who sayest to the sad and severed, ‘Lodge!’” together with many words and instances of the same kind. But the Prince hardened his heart nor would speak the word, and albeit the Bird continued his cry none was found to answer him. Now when the sun evanished and he had kept up his appeal in vain he went into the cage, whereupon the youngest of the Princes arose and running up shut the door upon him. Quoth the Bird, “Thou hast done the deed, O son of the Sultan,” and the youth replied, “Relate to me whatso thou hast wrought in magic to these creations of God.” Replied Philomelet, “Beside thee lie two heaps of clay whereof one is white and the other blue: this is used in sorcery and that to loose the spells."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bird said to the youngest son of the Sultan, “By the side of my cage are two heaps of clay, this blue and that white; and the first is the material for sorcery whilst the second looseth the spell.” Hereupon the youth approached them and finding the mounds took somewhat of the white and scattered it upon the stones and cried, “Be ye returned unto your olden shapes;” and, as he did so, each and every of the stones became men as they had been. Now amongst them were sundry sons of the Sultans, also the children of Kings and Wazirs and Bashas and Lords of the land, and of the number two were the elder brothers of the young Prince: so they salamed to him and all congratulated one another to their safety. After this one came forward to the youth and said to him, “Verily this place is a city, all and some of whose folk are ensorcelled.” So he took a somewhat of clay from the white and entered the streets, where, finding the case as described to him, he fell to sifting the clay upon them and they were transmewed from statutes of stone into the shapes of Adam’s sons. Then, at last, the sons of that city rose one and all and began offering to the Prince gifts and rarities until he had of them a mighty matter. But when his brothers saw that he had become master of the bird Philomelet and his cage, and all these presents and choice treasures, they were filled with envy of him296 and said each to other, “How shall our brother win him all this and we abide with him in servile condition, especially when we hie us homewards and return to our own land? And will not folk say that the salvation of the two elder brothers was by the hand of the youngest? But we cannot endure such disgrace as this!” So envy entered them and in their jealousy they planned and plotted the death of their cadet, who knew not that was in their minds or whatso was hidden from him in the Limbo of Secrets. And when they had wrought their work the youngest Prince arose and bade his pages and eunuchs lade the loads upon the camels and mules and, when they had done his bidding, they all set forth on the homewards march. They travelled for whole days and nights till they drew near their destination and the youngest Prince bade his attendants seeks an open place where in they might take repose, and they said, “Hearkening and obedience.” But when they came upon it they found a well builded of stone, and the brothers said to the cadet, “This be a place befitting the rest by reason of this well benign here; for the water thereof is sweet and good for our drink and therefifth we can supply our folk and our beasts.” Replied the youth, “This is what we desire.” So they set up their tents hard by that well, and when the camp was pitched they let prepare the evening meal, and as soon as it was sunset-tide they spread the trays and supped their sufficiency until presently night came down upon them. Now the youngest Prince had a bezel’d signet-ring which he had taken from the bird Philomelet, and he was so careful thereof that he never slept without it. But his brothers awaited until he was drowned in sleep, when coming softly upon him they pinioned him and carried him off and cast him into the well without anyone knowing aught thereof. Then as soon as morning morrowed the two eldest Princes arose and commanded the attendants to load, but these said to them, “Where be our lord?” and said the others, “He is sleeping in the Takhtrawán.” So the camel men arose and loaded the loads and the litter and the two Princes sent forwards to the King their sire a messenger of glad tidings who when he found him informed him of the fair news. Accordingly he and all his Lords took horse and rode forth to meet his sons upon the road that he might salam to them and give them joy of their safe return. Now he chanced in their train to catch sight of the caged bird which is called “the shrilling Philomelet,” and he rejoiced thereat and asked them, “How did ye become masters of him?” Then he enquired anent their brother. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night.” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan enquired of the two elder sons concerning their younger brother and they said, “We made ourselves masters of the Bird and we have brought him hither and we know nothing about our cadet.” However, the King who loved his youngest with exceeding love put the question, “Have ye not looked after him and have ye not been in his company?” whereto they answered saying, “A certain wayfarer declared to have seen him on some path or other.” When the father heard this from them he cried, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great;” and he fell to striking palm upon palm.297 On this wise it befel these, but as regards the case of their brother, when they cast him into the well he awoke from his sleep and he felt himself falling into the depths, so he cried, “I take refuge with the All-sufficient Words of Allah298 from the mischief He hath created.” And by the blessing of these Holy Names he reached the sole of the well without aught of harm or hurt. Here finding himself pinioned, he strained upon his bonds and loosed them; but the well was deep of bottom and he came upon an arched recess, so he sat in it and exclaimed, “Verily we are Allah’s and to Him we are returning and I who wrought for them such work299 am rewarded with the contrary thereof; withal the power is unto Allah.” And suddenly he heard the sound of speaking at some little distance beside him, and the voice was saying, “O Black of Head, who hath come amongst us?” and his comrade responded, “By Allah, this youth is the son of the Sultan and his best beloved, and the same hath released his brothers from sorcery and was carrying them to their homes when they played him false and cast him into this well. However, he hath a signet-ring with a bezel which if he rub ’twill bespeak him with whatso he desireth, and will do what he may wish.” So the Prince said in his mind, “I bid the Servant of this Ring to take me out;” after which he rubbed it and the Jinni appeared and cried, “Yea verily, O son of the Sultan, what is it thou requirest of me?"— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Ring-bezel said to him, “What dost thou require of me?” and said the Prince, “I demand that thou hoist me out of the well: and this done that thou summon for me an host with Pages and Eunuchs and tents and pavilions and ensigns and banners.” Whereto the other replied, “Present.”300 Then he brought him forth the well and the youth found hard by it all he needed, so he bade them load their belongings upon the beasts and when this was done he set out seeking the city of his sire. And as he drew so near it that it was within shot of eye, he alighted there upon a broad plain and ordered them to pitch the camp. Accordingly they set up the tents and the sitting pavilions while the Farrashes fell to sprinkling water upon the ground afront the abodes and to setting up the ensigns and colours whilst the band of kettledrums went dub-a-dub and the trumpets blared tantaras. The cooks also began at once to prepare the evening meal. Now when the cityfolk saw this pomp and circumstance, they held in their minds that the new comer was some Sultan approaching to take their town; so they gathered together and went in to their own King and informed him thereof. But he, having heard their words, felt his heart melt and his vitals throb and a certain joy penetrate into his heart, so he said, “Praise to the Lord, there hath entered into my heart a certain manner of pleasure, albeit I know not what may be the case and Allah hath said in his Holy Book, ‘We have heard good news.’”301 Hereupon he and the Lords of his land took horse and rode till they reached the front of the pavilions where the King dismounted from his steed. Now the Prince his younger son was dressed in a habit that might have belonged to a hidden Hoard, and when he saw his father he recognised him, so he rose and met him and kissed his hands, but his sire knew him not by reason of the case the youth was in, so he supposed him to be a strange Sultan. Presently, the Prince asked him, “Where be thy youngest son?” and the King hearing this fell down a-fainting, but, soon recovering from his swoon, he said, “Verily my son hath wasted the blood of his life and hath become food for wild beasts.” Hereupon the youth laughed aloud and cried, “By Allah, thy son hath not suffered aught from the shifts and changes of the World, and he is still in the bonds of life, safe and sound; nor hath there befallen him anything of harm whatever.” “Where is he?” quoth the father: “He standeth between thy hands,” quoth the son. So the Sultan looked at him and straightly considering him found that it was his very son who was bespeaking him, and of his delight he threw his arms around his neck and fell with him aswoon to the ground. This lasted for a full-told hour; but when he recovered from his fainting he asked his son what had betided him, so he told all that had befallen, to wit how he had become master of the Enchanting Bird Philomelet, and also of the magical clay wherewith he had besprinkled his brethren and others of the city-folk who had been turned to stone, all and some, and how they had returned to the shapes whilome they wore. Moreover he recounted to him the presents and offerings which had been made to him and also how, when they arrived at a certain place, his brothers had pinioned him and cast him into the well. And ere he finished speaking, lo and behold! the two other Princes came in and when they looked upon his condition and noted the state of prosperity he was in, surrounded as he was by all manner of weal, they felt only increase of envy and malice. But as soon as their sire espied them he cried, “Ye have betrayed me in my son and have lied to me and, by Allah, there is no retribution for you on my part save death;” and hereupon the Sultan bade do them die. Then the youngest Prince made intercession for his brethren and said, “O my sire, whoso doeth a deed shall meet its deserts,” and thus he obtained their pardon. So they passed that night one and all in camp and when morning morrowed they loaded and returned to the city and all were in the most pleasurable condition. Now when the King heard this tale from the owner of the fruit it pleased him and he rejoiced therein and said, “By Allah, O Shaykh, indeed that hath gone from us which we had of cark and care; and in good sooth this history deserveth that it be written with water of gold upon the pages of men’s hearts.” Replied the other, “By Allah, O King of the Age, this adventure is marvellous, but I have another more wondrous and pleasurable and delectable than any thou hast yet heard.” Quoth the Sultan, “Needs must thou repeat it to us,” and quoth the fruit-seller, “Inshallah-God willing-I will recite it to thee on the coming night.” Hereupon the Sultan called for a hand-maiden who was a model of beauty and loveliness and stature and perfect grace and from the time of his buying her he never had connection with her nor had he once slept with her, and he gave her in honourable gift to the reciter. Then he set apart for them both an apartment with its furniture and appurtenances and the slave-girl rejoined greatly thereat. Now when she went in to her new lord she donned her best of dresses so he lay down beside her and sought carnal copulation, but his prickle would not stand erect, as was its wont, although he knew not the cause thereof. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the prickle of the Fruiterer would not stand to the handmaid as was the wont thereof, so he cried, “Verily this is a wondrous business.” Then the girl fell to rubbing it up and to toying therewith, her object being to stablish an erection. But the article in question grew not and remained limp, whereupon she said, “O my lord, Allah increase the progress of thy pego!” Thereupon she arose and opened a bag wherefrom she drew out kerchiefs and dried aromatic herbs302 such as are scattered upon corpses; and she also brought a gugglet of water. Presently she fell to washing the prickle as it were a dead body, and after bathing it she shrouded it with a kerchief: then she cried upon her women and they all bewept the untimely fate of his yard which was still clothed in the kerchief.303 And when morning morrowed the Sultan sent after the man and summoned him and said to him, “How passed thy night?” So he told him all that had betided him, and concealed from him naught; and when the Sultan heard this account from him he laughed at him on such wise that from excess of merriment he well nigh fell upon his back and cried, “By Allah, if there be such cleverness in that girl, she becometh not any save myself.” Accordingly he sent to fetch her as she stood and left the furniture of the place wholly and entirely to the owner of the fruit. And when this was done the Sultan made of him a boon-companion for that day from morning to evening and whenever he thought of the handmaid’s doings he ordered the man to repeat the tale and he laughed at him and admired the action of the slave-girl with the Limpo. When darkness came on they prayed the night-prayer and they supped and sat down to converse and to tell anecdotes.304 Thereupon the King said to him Fruiterer, “Relate us somewhat of that thou hast heard anent the Kings of old;” and said the other, “Hearing and obeying,” and forthwith began the
289 This is Scott’s “Story of the Three Princes and Enchanting Bird,” vol. vi. 160. On the margin of the W. M. MS. he has written, “Story of the King and his Three Sons and the Enchanting Bird” (vol. i. Night cdxvii.). Gauttier, vi. 292, names it Histoire des Trois Princes et de l’Oiseau Magicien. Galland may have used parts of it in the “Two Sisters who envied their Cadette”: see Supp. vol. iii. pp. 313-361.
290 In text “Al-Bulaybul” (the little Nightingale, Philomelet) “Al Sayyáh” (the Shrieker). The latter epithet suggests to me the German novel which begins, “We are in Italy where roses bestink the day and Nightingales howl through the live-long night,” &c.
291 “Sanjak,” Turk. = flag, banner, and here used (as in vulg. Arab.) for Sanják-dár, the banner-bearer, ensign. In mod. parlance, Sanják = minor province, of which sundry are included in an “Iyálah” = government-general, under the rule of a Wáli (Wiláyah).
292 In the MS. “Zifr” = nail, claw, talon.
293 “Al-Rizk maksúm,” an old and sage byword pregnant with significance: compare “Al-Khauf (fear) maksúm” = cowardice is equally divided. Vol. iii. 173. [I read: “Yas’à ‘l-Kadamu li-‘Umrin dana au li-Rizkin qusima,” taking “Rizk” as an equivalent for “al-Rizku ‘l-hasanu” = any good thing which a man obtains without exerting himself in seeking for it, and the passive “qusima” in the sense of Kismah, vulgo “Kismet.” Hence I would translate: The foot speeds to a life that is mean, or to a boon that is pre-ordained.-St.]
294 In the text “Bát” (for Bit), in Fellah-speech “Pass the night here!” The Bird thus makes appeal to the honour and hospitality of his would-be captor, and punishes him if he consent. I have translated after Scott (v. 161). [I cannot persuade myself to take “bát” for an imperative, which would rather be “bít” for “bit,” as we shall find “kúm” for “kum,” “rúh” for “ruh.” It seems to me that the preterite “bát” means here “the night has passed,” and rendering “man” by the interrogative, I would translate: “O! who shall say to the sad, the separated, night is over?” Complaints of the length of night are frequent with the parted in Arab poetry. This accords also better with the following ‘Atús al-Shams, the sneezing of the sun, which to my knowledge, applies only to daybreak, as in Hariri’s 15th Assembly (al-Farziyah), where “the nose of the morning” sneezes. — St.]
295 i.e., they bound kerchiefs stained blue or almost black round their brows. In modern days Fellah women stain their veils (face and head), kerchiefs and shirts with indigo; and some colour their forearms to the elbow.
296 Here again and in the following adventure we have “Khudadad and his Brothers.” Suppl. vol. iii. 145-174.
297 In sign of despair. See vol. i. 298.
298 In text “Kalamátu ‘llah” = the Koran: and the quotation is from chapt. cxiii. 5. For the “Two Refuge-takings” (Al-Mu’awizzatáni), see vol. iii. 222.
299 i.e., caused his brothers to recover life. [I read: Allazí ‘amaltu fí-him natíjah yujázúní bi-Ziddi-há = Those to whom I did a good turn, requite me with the contrary thereof. Allazí, originally the masc. Sing. is in this MS. vulgarly, like its still more vulgar later contraction, “illí,” used for both genders and the three numbers. — St.]
300 Arab. “Házir!” I have noted that this word, in Egypt and Syria, corresponds with the English waiter’s “Yes sir!”
301 Koran, Chapter of Joseph, xii. 19.
302 Arab. “Hanút:” this custom has become almost obsolete: the corpse is now sprinkled with a mixture of water, camphor diluted and the dried and pounded leaves of various trees, especially the “Nabk” (lote-tree or Zizyphus lotus). — Lane M.E. chapt. xxviii.
303 These comical measures were taken by “Miss Lucy” in order to charm away the Evil Eye which had fascinated the article in question. Such temporary impotence in a vigorous man, which results from an exceptional action of the brain and the nervous system, was called in old French Nouement des aiguilettes (i.e. point-tying, the points which fastened the haut-de-chausses or hose to the jerkin, and its modern equivalent would be to “button up the flap”). For its cure, the ”Deliement des aiguilettes“ see Davenport “Aphrodisiacs” p. 36, and the French translation of the Shaykh al-Nafzáwi (Jardin Parfumé, chapt. xvii. pp. 251-53). The Moslem heals such impotence by the usual simples, but the girl in the text adopts a moral course which buries the dead parts in order to resurrect them. A friend of mine, a young and vigorous officer, was healed by a similar process. He had carried off a sergeant’s wife, and the husband lurked about the bungalow to shot him, a copper cap being found under the window hence a state of nervousness which induced perfect impotence. He applied to the regimental surgeon, happily a practised hand, and was gravely supplied with pills and a draught; his diet was carefully regulated and he was ordered to sleep by the woman but by no means to touch her for ten days. On the fifth he came to his adviser with a sheepish face and told him that he had not wholly followed the course prescribed, as last night he had suddenly — by the blessing of the draught and the pills — recovered and had given palpable evidence of his pristine vigour. The surgeon deprecated such proceeding until the patient should have full benefit of his drugs — bread pills and cinnamon-water.
304 Here ends vol. iii. of the W. M. MS. and begins Night cdxxvi.
It is related that there was a Sultan in the land of Al-Yaman who had three male children, two of them by one mother and a third by another. Now that King used to dislike this second wife and her son, so he sent her from him and made her, together with her child, consort with the handmaids of the kitchen, never asking after them for a while of time. One day the two brothers-german went in to their sire and said to him, “’Tis the desire of us to go forth a-hunting and a-chasing,” whereto their father replied, “And have ye force enough for such sport?” They said, “Yea, verily, we have!” when he gave to each of them a horse with its furniture of saddle and bridle, and the twain rode off together. But as soon as the third son (who together with his mother had been banished to the kitchen) heard that the other two had gone forth to hunt, he went to his mother and cried, “I also would fain mount and away to the chase like my brethren.” His mother responded, saying, “O my son, indeed I am unable to buy thee a horse or aught of the kind;” so he wept before her and she brought him a silvern article, which he took and fared forth with it to the bazar, and there, having sold it for a gold piece, he repaired to a neighbouring mill and bought him a lame garron. After this he took a bittock of bread; and, backing the beast without saddle or bridle, he followed upon the footsteps of his brothers through the first day and the second, but on the third he took the opposite route. Presently he reached a Wady, when behold, he came across a string305 of pearls and emeralds which glittered in the sunlight, so he picked it up and set it upon his head and he fared onwards singing for very joy. But when he drew near the town he was met by his two brothers who seized him and beat him and, having taken away his necklace, drove him afar from them. Now he was much stronger and more beautiful than they were, but as he and his mother had been cast off by the King, he durst not offer aught of resistance.306 Now the two brothers having taken the necklace from him went away joyful, and repairing to their father, showed him the ornament and he rejoiced in them and hending it in his hand marvelled thereat. But the youngest son went to his mother with his heart well nigh broken. Then the Sultan said to his two sons, “Ye have shown no cleverness herein until ye bring me the wearer of this necklace.” They answered, “Hearkening and obedience, and we will set out to find her."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the sons of the Sultan made them ready for the march whereby they might bring back the bird to whom the necklace belonged. So they took them a sufficiency of provision and, farewelling their father, set out for the city wherein they judged the bird might be. Such was their case; but as regards their unhappy brother, when he heard the news of their going he took with him a bittock of bread and having bidden adieu to his mother mounted his lame garron and followed upon the traces of his brethren for three days. Presently he found himself in the midst of the wild and the wold, and he ceased not faring therethrough till he came to a city whose folk were all weeping and wailing and crying and keening. So he accosted an aged man and said to him, “The Peace be upon thee!” and when the other returned his salam and welcomed him he asked saying, “O my uncle, tell me what causeth these groans and this grief?” The other replied, “O my son, verily our city is domineered over by a monstrous Lion who every year cometh about this time and he hath already done on such wise for forty and three years. Now he expecteth every twelvemonth as he appeareth to be provided with a damsel arrayed and adorned in all her finery, and if he chance to come as is his wont and find her not he would assault the city and destroy it. So before the season of his visit they cast lots upon the maidens of the place and whomso these befal, her they decorate and lead forth to a place without the walls that the monster may take her. And this year the sort hath fallen upon the King’s daughter.”307 When the youth heard these words he held his peace and, having taken seat by the old man for an hour or so, he arose and went forth to the place where the Lion was wont to appear and he took his station there, when behold, the daughter of the King came to him and right heavy was she of heart. But as she found the youth sitting there, she salam’d to him and made friendship with him and asked, “What brought thee to this stead?” Answered he, “That which brought thee brought me also.” Whereto quoth she, “Verily at this hour the Lion shall come to seize me, but as soon as he shall see me he will devour thee before me, and thus both of us shall lose our lives; so rise up and depart and save thyself, otherwise thou wilt become mere wasted matter in the belly of the beast.” “By Allah, O my lady,” quoth he, “I am thy sacrifice at such a moment as this!” And as they were speaking, suddenly the world was turned topsy-turvy,308 and dust-clouds and sand-devils309 flew around and whirlwinds began to play about them, and lo and behold! the monster made his appearance; and as he approached he was lashing his flanks with his tail like the sound of a kettle-drum. Now when the Princess espied him, the tears poured down her cheeks, whereat the youth sprang to his feet in haste, and unsheathing his sword, went forth to meet the foe, who at the sight of him gnashed his tusks at him. But the King’s son met him bravely, springing nimbly from right to left, whereat the Lion raged furiously, and with the design to tear him limb from limb, made a rush at the youth, who smote him with all the force of his forearm and planted between his eyes a sway of scymitar so sore that the blade came out flashing between his thighs, and he fell to the ground slain and bleeding amain. When the Princess saw this derring-do of her defender, she rejoiced greatly and fell to wiping with her kerchief the sweat from his brow; and the youth said to her, “Arise and do thou fare to thy family.” “O my lord, and O light of mine eyes!” said she, “we twain together will wend together as though we were one flesh;” but he rejoined, “This is on no wise possible.” Then he arose from beside her and ceased not faring until he had entered the city, where he rested himself beside a shop. She also sprang up, and faring homewards, went in to her father and mother, showing signs of sore sorrow. When they saw her, their hearts fluttered with fear lest the monster should attack the town and destroy it, whereupon she said to them, “By Allah, the Lion hath been slain and lieth there dead.” They asked her saying, “What was it killed him?” and she answered, “A handsome youth fair of favour,” but they hardly believed her words and both went to visit the place, where they found the monster stone-dead. The folk of the city, one and all, presently heard this fair news, and their joy grew great, when the Sultan said to his daughter, “Thou! knowest thou the man who slew him?” to which she answered, “I know him.” But as all tidings of the youth were cut off, the King let proclaim about the city. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night.” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King let proclaim through the city how none should oppose him or delay to obey his bidding; nay, that each and every, great and small, should come forth and pass before the windows of his daughter’s palace. Accordingly the Crier went abroad and cried about the city to that purport, bidding all the lieges muster and defile in front of the Princess’s windows; and they continued so doing for three full-told days, while she sat continually expecting to sight the youth who had slain the lion, but to no purpose. At last never a soul remained who had not passed in the review, so the Sultan asked, “Is there anyone who hath absented himself?” and they answered, “There is none save a stranger youth who dwelleth in such and such a place.” “Bring him hither!” cried the King, “and command him to pass muster,” when the others hastened to fetch him; and as soon as he drew near the window, behold, a kerchief was thrown upon him.310 Then the Sultan summoned him, and he, when standing in the presence, saluted and made obeisance and blessed the Sovran with the blessings fit for the Caliphs. The Sultan was pleased thereat and said, “Art thou he who slew the Lion?” and said the other, “I did.” Hereupon quoth the King, “Ask a favour of me, that I grant it to thee;” and quoth the Youth, “I pray of Allah and then of our lord the Sultan that he marry me to his daughter.” But the King continued, “Ask of me somewhat of wealth,” and all the Lords of the land exclaimed, “By Allah, he deserveth the Princess who saved her from the Lion and slew the beast.” Accordingly the King bade the marriage-knot be tied, and let the bridegroom be led in procession to the bride, who rejoiced in him with extreme joy, and he abated her maidenhead and the two lay that night together. But the Prince arose about the latter hours without awaking his bride, and withdrawing her seal-ring from her finger, passed his own thereupon and wrote in the palm of her hand, “I am Aláeddín,311 son of King Such-and-such, who ruleth in the capital of Al-Hind, and, given thou love me truly, do thou come to me, otherwise stay in thy father’s house.” Then he went forth without awaking her and fared through wilds and wolds for a term of ten days, travelling by light and by night, till he drew near a certain city which was domineered over by an Elephant. Now this beast would come every year and take from the town a damsel; and on this occasion it was the turn of the Princess, daughter to the King who governed that country. But as the youth entered the streets he was met by groans and moans an crying and keening; so he asked thereanent and was answered that the Elephant was presently approaching to seize the maiden and devour her.312 He asked, “To what stead cometh he?” and they pointed out to him a place without the city whereto he repaired and took his seat. Suddenly the Princess presented herself before him a-weeping and with tears down her cheeks a-creeping, when he said to her, “O my lady, there is no harm for thee.” Said she, “O youth, by Allah! thou wastest thy life to no purpose and seekest thy death without cause, so rise up and save thyself, for the Elephant will be here this very hour.” And behold, the beast came up to the heart of the waste and he was raising a dust-cloud and trumpeting with rage313 and lashing flanks with tail. But when he arrived at the wonted place he was confronted by the youth who, with heart stronger than granite, hastened to fall upon him314 and fatigued him and dealt blows without cease; and, when the Elephant charged down upon him, he met the monster with a stroke between the eyes dealt with all the force of his forearm, and the blade came flashing out from between his thighs, when the beast fell to the ground slain and weltering in his blood amain. Thereupon, in the stress of her joy, the Princess arose hurriedly and walked towards the youth — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Princess walked hurriedly towards the youth and in the stress of her joy she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him between the eyes and cried, “O my lord, may thy hands never palsied grow nor exult over thee any foe!” Said he to her, “Return to thy people!” and said she, “There is no help but that I and thou fare together.” But he replied, “This matter is not the right rede,” and he went from her at a double quick pace, saying, “O Allah, may none see me!” until he entered the city and presently seating him beside a tailor’s shop fell to conversing with its owner. Presently the man said, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great: by this time the daughter of the King will have been seized by the Elephant and torn to pieces and devoured, and she the mainstay of her mother and her father.” And behold loud lullilooing315 flew about the city and one began exclaiming, “Verily the Elephant which is wont to come hither year by year hath been slaughtered by a man quite young in years, and the Sultan hath sent a Crier to cry amongst the crowds, ‘Let the slayer of the beast come into the presence and crave a boon and marry the maiden.’” So quoth the Youth to the tailor, “What is to do?” and the other informed him of the truth of the report, whereupon he asked, “If I go to the King will he give her to me?” Answered the tailor, “Who art thou that thou shouldest intermarry with the daughter of the King?” and the Prince rejoined, “We will go and bespeak him and lie to him saying, I am he who slew the monster.” But the other retorted, “O Youth, thou art willingly and wilfully going to thy death, for an thou lie to him he will assuredly cut off thy head.” Presently the Prince, who was listening to the Crier, said to his companion, “Up with thee and come with us that thou mayest look upon my execution;” and cried the other, “Why so, O thou true-born son?”316 whereto the Youth replied, “Needs must I do this!” Hereupon he and the man arose and went till they came to the palace of the Sultan, where they craved leave to enter, but were forbidden by the Chamberlain, when lo and behold! the Princess looked out from the lattice and saw the Prince together with the tailor. So she threw the kerchief upon his head and cried aloud, “By Allah, here he be, and ’tis none but he who slew the Elephant and who saved me from him.” Hereat the tailor fell to wondering at the youth, but when the King saw that his daughter had thrown the kerchief upon him, he presently sent to summon him between his hands and asked him how it happened, and heard from him the truth of the tale. Then said he, “By Allah, verily my daughter was lost, so that this youth well deserveth her.” Thereupon he tied the marriage tie between the twain and the youth after wedding her went to her in procession and did away her pucelage, and lay the night with her. And presently when day was nigh, the young Prince arose and seeing her slumbering wrote in the palm of her hand, “I am Such-and-such, the son of such a King in Such-and-such a capital; and if thou love me truly, come to find me, or otherwise stay in thy father’s house.” Then without awaking her he fared forth to the city of the Enchanting Bird and ceased not cutting athwart the wilds and the wolds throughout the nights and the days till he arrived at the place wherein dwelt the Bird Philomelet whereto the necklace belonged. And she was the property of the Princess the daughter of the Sovran whose seat was in that capital, and it was the greatest of cities and its King was the grandest of the Kings. When he entered the highways he leant against the shop of an Oilman to whom he said, “The Peace be upon you,” and the other returned his salutation and seated him beside himself, and the two fell to conversing. Presently the Prince asked him, “O my lord, what canst thou tell me concerning a certain Bird and her owner?” and the other made answer, “I know nothing but of oil and of honey and of clarified butter, whereof whatever thou requirest I will give to thee.” Quoth the youth, “This is no reply to my question,” and quoth the oilman, “I know not nor regard aught save what is by me in my shop.” So the Prince rising from beside him left him and went forth to continue his search; but whenever he asked concerning the Bird and its owner, the folk changed the subject and returned him no reply save, “We know not.” This lasted until he accosted a man well stricken in years, whose age was nigh to an hundred; and he was sitting alone at one side of the city; so the Youth walked up to him and salam’d; and, and after the other returned his greeting and kindly welcomed him and seated him near him, the two fell a-talking together, and the Prince asked him, “O my uncle, what canst thou tell me concerning the Bird whose necklet is of precious stones, and what concerning the owner thereof?” The aged man held his peace for awhile and presently exclaimed, “O my son, why ask me of this? O my child,317 verily the Kings and sons of the Kings have sought her in marriage but could not avail; indeed and the lives of folks manifold have been wasted upon her. How, then, canst thou hope to win her? Nevertheless, O my son, go and buy thee seven lambs and slaughter them and skin them, after which do thou roast them and cut them in halves; for she hath seven doors at each whereof standeth as warder a rending Lion; and at the eighth which guardeth the maiden and the Bird are posted forty slaves who at all times are there lying. And now I leave thee to thy luck, O my son.” But when the Prince heard these words he asked his abidance of the Shaykh and went forth from him — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince craved for the prayers of the Shaykh, who blessed him. Then he went forth from him and bought of the lambs what he had been charged to buy, and these he slaughtered and skinned and roasted and he cut each and every into two halves. He waited until night descended with its darkness and ceased the to-ing and fro-ing of folk, when he arose and walked to the place pointed out and there he found the Lion whose shape and size equaled the stature of a full-grown bull. He threw to him half a lamb and the beast allowed him to pass through that door, and it was the same with the other entrances, all seven of them, until he reached the eighth. Here he found the forty slaves who were bestrewn on the ground bedrowned in sleep; so he went in with soft tread and presently he came upon the Bird Philomelet in a cage encrusted with pearls and precious stones and he saw the Princess who owned him lying asleep upon a couch. Hereat he wrote upon the palm of her hand, “I am Such-and-such, son to the King Such-and-such, of such a city; and I have come in upon thee and beheld thee bared whilst thou wast sleeping, and I have also taken away the Bird. However, an thou love me and long for me, do thou come to me in mine own city.” Then he seized the Bird to his prize and fared forth and what he did with the Lions coming that he did when going out. The Veiler318 veiled him, and he went forth the city and met not a single soul, and he ceased not faring the livelong night till next morning did appear, when he hid in a place seeking repose and ate somewhat of victual. But as soon as the daylight shone bright, he arose and continued his journey, praying Allah for protection on his wayfare, till it was mid-afternoon: then he found, like an oasis in the middle of the waste, certain pastures of the wild Arabs and as he drew near the owner met him and salam’d to him and greeted him and blessed him. So he lay that night with them till dawn when the Shaykh of the encampment who had heard of the stranger came to him and welcomed him and found him a youth fair of form and favour and saw by his side the Enchanting Bird in its cage. He recognised it and wondered at the young man’s derring-do and cried, “Subhana ‘lah — praise be to God-who hath committed his secret unto the weakliest of His creation!319 Verily this Bird hath caused on its account to be slain many of the Wazirs and the Kings and the Sultans, yet hath yonder lad mastered it and carried it away. This however is by virtue of his good fortune.” Then the old man had compassion on him and gave him a horse that he had by him together with somewhat of provaunt. The Prince took them from him and returning to his march traversed the wilds and the wolds for days and nights, all of them; and he continued in that case when he drew near his father’s capital which rose within eye-shot. And as he walked on without heed, behold, his brethren met him and confronted him and fell upon him and, having taken away the Enchanting Bird, reviled him and beat him and shook him off and drove him away. Then they entered the city and sought their sire who received them with fair reception and greeted them and rejoiced in them; after which they presented him with the Bird Philomelet, and said, “Here we bring him to thee and there befell us through his account much toil and trouble.” But their brother who had really won the prize went to his mother in sadness of heart — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the young Prince who had brought the Bird and whom his brothers had beaten and robbed of his prize, went to his mother in sadness of heart and shedding tears. Quoth she, “What is thy case and what hath befallen thee?” So he told her what had betided him and she said, “Sorrow not, O my son; the course of the right shall be made manifest.” Then she quieted him and soothed his heart. This is what happened to these persons; but as regards the Princess, the owner of the Bird, when she awoke at dawn of day and opened her eyes, she found her favourite gone and as her glance fell upon the things about her, suddenly she saw something written in the palm of her hand. But as soon as she had read it and comprehended its purport, she cried aloud with a mighty grievous cry which caused the palace-women to flock around,320 and her father to ask what was to do but none could explain it because no one knew. So the Sultan arose forthright and, going in to his daughter, found her buffeting her face for the sake of her Bird and asked her, “What is to do with thee?” So she informed him of what had befallen her, adding, “Verily he who came into my bower and discovered me bare and looked upon me and wrote upon the palm of my hand, him I am determined to have and none other save that one.” Quoth her father, “O my daughter, many sons of the Wazirs and the Kings have sought the bird and have failed; and now do thou suppose that he hath died;” but quoth the Princess, “I desire none save the man who found me in sleep and looked upon me, and he is the son of King So-and-so, reigning in such a capital.” Said her father, “Then how standeth the case?” and said she, “Needs must I thank him and seek his city and marry him, for assuredly amongst the sons of the Kings, all of them, none can be fairer or more delightsome than he who hath craftily devised this entrance to me in so guarded a stead as this. How then can anyone be his peer?”321 Hereupon her father bade muster the forces without the city and he brought out for his daughter rarities and presents and mule-litters, and they pitched the tents and after three days they loaded the loads for travel. Then they fared for whole days and nights until they drew near the city wherein the youth had slain the Elephant and had saved the daughter of the King. So the Sultan set up his encampment with its tents and pavilions hard by the walls, to the end that all might take their rest, but when the King of the City saw this he rode forth to visit the stranger, and after greeting asked him the cause of his coming with such a host. The Sultan apprised him of what had happened to his daughter, how she had lost the Enchanting Bird, also how the youth had come into her bower and had written a writ upon the palm of her hand. But when the King heard from him this account he knew and was certified that it was the same Prince who had also slain the Elephant and who had on such wise saved his daughter’s life; so he said to the Sultan, “Verily he who took the Bird belonging to thy Princess hath also married my daughter, for he hath done such-and-such deeds.” After which he related to him the slaughter of the Elephant and all that had happened from beginning to end. Now as soon an heard these words he cried, “By Allah, my daughter is excusable and she hath shown her insight and her contrivance;” and presently he arose and going in to her related what he had heard from the King of the City, and she wondered at the tale of the youth’s adventures and the killing of the Elephant. They nighted in that stead and the tidings soon reached the ears of the youth’s wife, the Princess who had been saved from the Elephant, and she said to her sire, “I also needs must go to him and forgather with him.” Hereupon the King her father bade muster his troops together with the Lords of the land without the city beside the host of the chief Sultan, and on the second day both Sovrans bade the loads be loaded for the march. When their bidding was obeyed the twain set out together and travelled for days and nights until they drew near to the capital of the King where the youth had slain the Lion, and they pitched their tents in its neighbourhood. Presently the Sovran of that capital came out and greeted them and asked them the cause of their coming; so they informed him of their adventures from commencement to conclusion; and he, when certified of the truth of this tale, returned to inform his daughter thereof. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the third King informed his daughter of the certainty of the tidings, and she also exclaimed, “Needs must I as well as they set out to seek him and forgather with him.” So her father returned to the Sultan and the King and told them of the adventures of the youth, and how he was the cause of his daughter’s salvation from the Lion which he had slain; and when the twain heard his words they marveled and cried, “By Allah, verily this youth is fortunate in all his doings: would Heaven we knew how be his condition with his father and whether he is loved or he is loathed.” Then the three fell to talking of the Prince’s qualities, and presently the third King arose and gave orders for gathering together the Lords of his land and his army, and he brought out for his daughter mule-litters, and gat ready all she might require of rarities and offerings. Then the three Kings gave orders to load the beasts and fared together, taking with them their three daughters who, whenever they conversed together used to praise the high gifts of the Prince and she who was the mistress of the Bird would say, “Ye twain have forgathered with him;” and the others would answer, “We passed with him no more than a single night;” after which they would relate to her the slaughter of the Lion and the Elephant. So she wondered and cried, “By Allah! verily he is auspicious of fortune. And they ceased not to be in such case for whole days and nights, and nights and days, throughout the length of the journey till they drew near the far-famed322 city which was the bourne of their wayfare and the object of their wishes. Now this happened about sunset-tide, so the three Kings who had alighted together bade their tents and pavilions be set up, and when their behest was obeyed, each and every of the three commanded that the firemen and the linkmen light up their torches and cressets, and they did so, one and all, until that Wady was illumined as by the sheen of day. But when the city folk saw what was done by the three Kings, their hearts quaked and their flesh quivered, and they cried, “Verily for the mighty hosts of these Kings there needs must be a cause of coming.” However the strangers knighted in sight until morn grew light, when the three Sovrans forgathered, and sent a messenger with an invite to the Lord of the city, who on receiving him, exclaimed, “Hearkening and obedience!” Then mounting without stay or delay he rode forth till he reached the strangers’ camp, where he alighted and went in and greeted them; and they, on similar guise, arose to him and wished him long life, and seated him and fell to conversing with him for a full-told hour. But he was whelmed in the ocean of thought, and he kept saying to himself, “Would Heaven I knew what be the cause of the Kings coming to this my country.” However, the four Sovrans continued to converse until the noon-tide hour, when the trays were dispread for them, and the tables were laid with sumptuous meats in platters and chargers of precious metal, the very basins and ewers being of virgin gold. But when the King of that city beheld this he marveled, and said in his mind, “By Allah, there is not with me aught of rarities like these.” As soon as they had ended eating what sufficed them, water was brought to them and they washed their hands, after which they were served with confections and coffee and sherbets. Anon the three Kings said to their guest, “Thou, hast thou any children?” and said he, “Yes, I have two sons.” Quoth they, “Summon them before us that we may look upon them;” so he sent and bade them make act of presence. The Princes donned their finest dresses and perfumed themselves; then they took horse and rode until they had reached their father’s palace. But the three Princesses stood to look at them, and she who was the owner of the Bird Philomelet asked of the two others, saying, “Is he amongst these twain?” and they answered, “Nay, he is not.” She exclaimed, “By Allah, both of them be fine men,” and the others cried, “Indeed, our husband is far fairer and finer than they.” But when the Kings saw the two brothers they said to their sire, “Verily our need is not with them."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the two Kings said to the lord of the city, “Verily our need is not in this pair of youths,” and the third King added, “By Allah, indeed these two young men be fair of favour,” for that he had not seen the Prince who had taken his daughter’s Bird Philomelet. Presently the two asked the father saying, “Thou, is there by thee no issue other than these two?” and said he, “Yes, I have a son, but I have cast him out and I have placed his mother amongst the handmaids of the kitchen.” “Send to fetch him,” quoth they; so he dispatched a messenger to bring him into the presence. And he came, withal he was without any finery of dress; but as soon as the two damsels saw him they communed concerning him and he inclined to them and went into their pavilion, when they rose to him and threw their arms round his neck and kissed him between his eyes. Hereupon the mistress of the Bird said to the two others, “Be this he?” and said they, “Yes;” so she also arose and kissed his hand. But when he had finished greeting them he at once went forth to the assembled Kings, who stood up in honour to him and welcomed him and greeted him; and when his father saw that case he wondered with great wonderment. Then the youth took seat afar from his brothers and addressed them, saying, “Which of the twain was first to take the necklace?” And they held their peace. He resumed speech and said to them, “Which of you killed the Lion and which of you slew the Elephant and which of you embraved his heart and going into the bower of the august damsel, daughter to this Sultan, carried off her Bird Philomelet?” But they answered him never a syllable and were far from offering a reply. So he resumed, “Wherefore did you fall upon me and beat me and take away the Enchanting Bird, when I was able to slay you both? Yet to everything is its own time and this my father had banished me and banished my mother nor did he give her aught of what became her.” Saying these words the youth fell upon his two brethren with his sword and striking a single stroke he slew the twain, after which he would have assaulted his sire, and put him to death. However the three Kings forbade him and presently he whose daughter owned the Bird put an end to this by insisting upon the marriage-tie with him being tied. So he went in unto her that very night and the three damsels became his acknowledged spouses. After this his father gave command that his mother be admitted into the Palace and he honoured her and banished the parents of his two elder sons for he was assured that their cadet had done such derring-do by slaying the Lion and the Elephant and by bringing into the presence Philomelet the Enchanting Bird and he was certified that the deed had been done by none other. So he set apart a palace for the young Prince and his three Princesses and he gave him a commandment and their joys ever increased. And lastly the three Kings ceased not abiding in that place for forty days after which they devised their departure. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was,
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the three Kings desired, one and all of them, to depart and return to their countries and their capitals; and their son-in-law presented them with gifts and rarities, whereupon they blessed him and went their ways. After this the young Prince, who had become Sovran and Sultan, took seat upon the throne of his realm and by the reign he was obeyed and the servants of Allah for him prayed. Presently on a day of the days he inclined to the hunt and the chase, so he went off with his suite till they found themselves in the middle of the wildest of wolds where the ruler came upon an underground cavern. He proposed to enter therein, when his followers prevented him and behold, a man came to him from the desert showing the signs of wayfare and carrying a somewhat of water and victual and his garments were all threadbare. The King enquired of him saying, “Whence hast thou come and wither art thou going?” and the other replied, “We be three in this antre who have fled our country; and whenever we require aught of meat and drink, one of us fareth forth to fetch what will suffice us of provision for ten days.” “And what is the cause of your flying your native land?” asked the King, and the other answered, “Verily our tale is wondrous and our adventures are joyous and marvellous.” Hereupon quoth the King, “Wallahi, we will not quit this spot till such time as we shall have heard your histories; and let each one of you three recount to us what befell him, so that we hear it from his own mouth.” Hereupon the King commanded sundry of his suite to set forth home and the rest to abide beside him; and he sent a Chamberlain of the Chamberlains that he might go bring from the city somewhat of victual and water and wax candles and all the case required, saying the while to himself, “Verily the hearing of histories is better than hunting and birding, for haply they may solace and gladden the hearts of men.”323 So the Chamberlain went forth and, after an absence of an hour or so he returned bringing all the King had commanded; upon which he and the suite brought in the Larrikin324 together with his two companions until they led them to the presence and seated the three together. All this while none of the vagabonds knew that the personage before them was King of the city. So they fell to conversing until the next night came on when the Sovran bade them tell their tales of themselves and what had befallen each and every of them. They replied, “Hearkening and obedience;” and the foremost of them began to recite the
305 In the next “Rísah,” copyist’s error for “Ríshah” = a thread, a line: it afterwards proves to be an ornament for a falcon’s neck. [I cannot bring myself to adopt her the explanation of “Ríshah” as a string instead of its usual meaning of “feather,” “plume.” My reasons are the following: 1. The youth sets it upon his head; that is, I suppose, his cap, or whatever his head-gear may be, which seems a more appropriate place for a feather than for a necklace. 2. Further on, Night cdxxx., it is said that the Prince left the residence of his second spouse in search (talíb) of the city of the bird. If the word “Ríshah,” which, in the signification of thread, is Persian, had been sufficiently familiar to an Arab to suggest, as a matter of course, a bird’s necklace, and hence the bird itself, we would probably find a trace of this particular meaning, if not in other Arabic books, at least in Persian writers or dictionaries; but here the word “Ríshah,” by some pronounced “Reshah” with the Yá majhúl, never occurs in connection with jewels; it means fringe, filament, fibre. On the other hand, the suggestion of the bird presents itself quite naturally at the sight of the feather. 3. Ib. p. 210 the youth requests the old man to tell him concerning the “Tayrah allazí Rísh-há (not Rishat-há) min Ma’ádin,” which, I believe, can only be rendered by: the bird whose plumage is of precious stones. The “Ríshah” itself was said to be ”min Zumurrud wa Lúlú,” of emeralds and pearls; and the cage will be “min Ma’ádin wa Lúlú,” of precious stones and pearls, in all which cases the use of the preposition “min” points more particularly to the material of which the objects are wrought than the mere Izáfah. The wonderfulness of the bird seems therefore rather to consist in his jewelled plumage than the gift of speech or other enchanting qualities, and I would take it for one of those costly toys, in imitation of trees and animals, in which Eastern princes rejoice, and of which we read so many descriptions, not only in books of fiction, but even in historical works. If it were a live-bird of the other kind, he would probably have put in his word to expose the false brothers of the Prince. — St.]
306 This is conjectural: the text has a correction which is hardly legible. [I read: “Wa lákin hú ajmalu min-hum bi-jamálin mufritin, lakinnahu matrúdun hú wa ummu-hu” = “and yet he was more beautiful than they with surpassing beauty, but he was an outcast, he and his mother,” as an explanation, by way of parenthesis, for their daring to treat him so shamefully. — St.]
307 The venerable myth of Andromeda and Perseus (who is Horus in disguise) brought down to Saint George (his latest descendant), the Dragon (Typhon) and the fair Saba in the “Seven Champions of Christendom.” See my friend M. Clermont Ganneau’s Horus et Saint-Georges; Mr. J. R. Anderson’s “Saint Mark’s Rest; the Place of Dragons;” and my “Book of the Sword,” chapt. ix.
308 i.e. there was a great movement and confusion.
309 [In the text ‘Afár, a word frequently joined with “Ghubár,” dust, for the sake of emphasis; hence we will find in Night ccccxxix. the verb “yu’affiru,” he was raising a dust-cloud. — St.]
310 Upon the subject of “throwing the kerchief” see vol. vi. 285. Here it is done simply as a previously concerted signal of recognition.
311 In text “‘Alá Yadín;” for which vulgarism see vol. iii. 51.
312 Elephants are usually, as Cuvier said of the (Christian) “Devil” after a look at his horns and hoofs, vegetarians.
313 [The MS. has “yughaffiru wa yuzaghdimu.” The former stands probably for “yu’-affíru,” for which see supra p. 205, note 2. The writing is, however, so indistinct that possibly “yufaghghiru” is intended, which means he opened his mouth wide. “Yuzaghdimu” is one of those quadriliterals which are formed by blending two triliterals in one verb, in order to intensify the idea. “Zaghada” and “Zaghama” mean both “he roared,” more especially applied to a camel, and by joining the “d” of the one with the “m” of the other, we obtain “Zaghdama,” he roared fiercely. — St.]
314 [Sára’a-hu wa láwa’a-hu = he rushed upon him and worried him. The root law’ means to enfeeble, render sick, especially applied to love-sickness (Lau’ah). The present 3rd form is rarely used, but here and in a later passage, Night cdxlv., the context bears out the sense of harassing. — St.]
315 In text “Zaghárit” plur. of Zaghrútah: see vol. ii. p. 80.
316 [Yá walad al-Halál. I would translate: “O! son of a lawful wedlock,” simply meaning that he takes him to be a decent fellow, not a scamp or Walad al-Harám. — St.]
317 The repetitium is a sign of kindness and friendliness; see vol. vi. 370.
318 This Arabian “Sattár” corresponds passing well with “Jupiter Servator.”
319 “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” Matt. Xxi. 16. The idea is not less Moslem than Christian.
320 [I read “Sarkhah adwat la-há al-Saráyah” = a cry to which the palace-women raised an echo, a cry re-echoed by the palace-women. “Adwá” is the fourth form of “Dawiya,” to hum or buzz, to produce an indistinct noise, and it is vulgarly used in the above sense, like the substantive “Dawi,” an echo. Al-Saráyah is perhaps only an Arabised form of the Persian Saráy, and the sentence might be, to which the palace resounded. — St.]
321 The Princess is not logical: on the other hand she may plead that she is right.
322 Arab. “Ma’lúmah,” which may also mean the “made known,” or “aforemention.”
323 A sensible remark which shows that the King did not belong to the order called by Mr. Matthew Arnold “Barbarians.”
324 In text: “Rajul Ja’ídí,” for which see supra p. 9.
Verily, O King, my tale is a rare and it is e’en as follows:— I had a mother of whose flocks the World had left her but a single kid, and we owned ne’er another. Presently we determined to sell it; and, having so done, we bought it with its price a young calf, which we brought up for a whole year till it grew fat and full-sized. Then my mother said to me, “Take yon calf and go sell it;” so I went forth with it to the Bazar, and I saw that not one was like it, when behold, a body of vagabonds,325 who numbered some forty, looked at the beast, and it pleased them; so they said one to other, “Let us carry this away and cut its throat and flay it.” Then one of them, as all were standing afar off, came near me and said, “O youth, wilt thou sell this kid?” and quoth I, “O my uncle, verily this is a calf and not a kid;” and the other rejoined, “Art thou blind? This is a kid.” Cried I, “A calf!” So he asked, “Wilt thou take from me a dollar?”326 and I answered, “Nay, O my uncle!” Thereupon he went away from me, and another came after him and said, “O youth, wilt thou sell this kid?” and said I, “This is a calf,” and quoth he “This is a kid,” and reviled me the while I held my peace. Again quoth he, “Wilt thou take for this a dollar?” but I was not satisfied therewith, and they ceased not to wrangle with me, one after other, each coming up and saying, “O youth, wilt thou sell this kid?” At last their Shaykh327 accosted me and cried, “Wilt thou sell it?” and I rejoined, “There is no Majesty save in Allah! I will sell it on one condition, to wit, that I take from thee its tail.” Replied to me328 the Shaykh of the Vagabonds, “Thou shalt take the tail when we have slaughtered it;” then, paying me a dollar, he led off the beast, and returned to his own folk. Presently they killed it and flayed it, when I took the tail and hastened back to my mother. She said to me, “Hast thou sold the calf?” and said I, “Yes, I have sold it, and have taken a dollar and the calf’s tail.” “And what wilt thou do for the tail?” asked she; and I answered, “I will do him brown329 who took it from me saying, This is a kid, and I will serve him a sleight which shall get out of him to its price ten times one hundred.”330 With these words I arose and, taking the tail, I flayed it and studded it with nails and bits of glass, and I asked of my mother a maiden’s dress, which she brought me; and presently I covered my face with a Burka’-veil331 and I adorned me and perfumed myself and I girded my loins underneath my clothes with the tail of that calf. Then went I forth like a virgin girl till I reached the barrack of those blackguards, when I found that they had cooked the whole calf and naught of it remained undressed, and they had prepared to spread the table and were about sitting downt o supper. Then I went332 in to them and said, “The Peace be upon you,” and they rose to me in a body of their joy, and returned my greetings and said, “By Allah, our night is a white one.” So I entered to them and supped with them, and they all inclined to me, and their mustachios wagged in token that they would disport with me. But when darkness came on they said, “This night is for our Shaykh, but after this each one of us shall take her for his own night."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day, and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the vagabonds said, “Each one of us shall take her to him for a night after the Shaykh, “and so saying they left me and went their ways. Then the Chief fell to chatting with me and he was in high spirits, when suddenly my glance fell upon a rope hanging from the ceiling of that barrack and I cried, “O Shaykh!” whereto he replied, “Yes, O my lady and light of mine eyes.” Said I to him, “What may be this cord thus suspended?” and said he, “This is called ‘hanging-gear’; and, when any of ours requireth chastisement from my associates, we hoist him up by this rope and we bash him.” Quoth I, “Hang me up and let me see how ’tis done,” but quoth he, “Heaven forfend, O my lady! I will hang myself in thy stead and thou shalt look upon me.” Hereat he arose and tied himself tight and cried, “Haul up this rope and make it fast in such a place!” I did his bidding and bound it right firmly and left him hanging in the air. Presently he cried, “Let go the cord,” and replied I, “O Shaykh, first let me enoy the spectacle.” Then I stripped him of all his clothing and drawing forth the calf’s tail which was studded with nails and glass splinters, I said to him, “O Shaykh, is this the tail of a kid or of a calf?” “What woman art thou?” asked he, and I answered, “I am the owner of the calf;” and then, tucking up my two sleeves to the elbows, I beat him till I stripped him of his skin and he lost his senses and he had no breath wherewith to speak. Thereupon I arose and fell to searching the hall, where I found sundry valuables amongst which was a box, so I opened it and came upon three hundred gold pieces and a store of reals333 and silverlings and jadids.334 I laid hands on the whole of it and bore off somewhat of the most sumptuous dresses; and, having wrapped them all up in a sheet, I carried them away; and about dawn I went in to my mother and cried, “Take thee to the price of the calf, which I have received from the purchaser.” But when the day was high and the sun waxed hot the whole troop of the Shaykh collected and said, “Verily our Elder hath slept till the undurn hour;” and one of them declared, “’Tis from enjoying so much pleasure and luxury, he and the girl; and doubtless their night hath been a white335 night.” So they ceased not talking together and each of them had his word until the noon was high, when certain of them said, “Come with us and let us rouse him from sleep:” and, saying thus, all went to the door of the hall and opened it. Hereupon they found their Shaykh hanging up and his body bleeding profusely;336 so they asked him, “What hath befallen thee?” and he answered in a weak voice, “Verily that girl is no girl at all, but she is the youth who owned the calf.” They replied, “By Allah, there is no help but that we seize him and slay him;” whereto the Edler said, “Loose me and lead me to the Hammam that I may wash clean my skin of all this blood.” Then they let him down and after mounting him upon a donkey they bore him to the baths. Hereat I went to the slaughterhouse and and covered my body with bullocks’ blood and stuck to it pledgets of cotton so that I became like one sorely diseased and I repaired to the same Hammam propped upon a staff and required admittance. They refused me saying, “The Shaykh of the Vagabonds is now in the baths nor may anyone go in to him.” Quoth I to them, “I am a man with a malady,” whereto quoth one of them, “This is a poor wight, so let him come within.” Accordingly I entered and found the Chief alone, whereupon I drew forth the tail and asked him, “O Shaykh, is this the tail of a calf or a kid?” “Who art thou?” said he, and I said, “I am the owner of the calf;” after which I fell to beating him with the tail until his breath was clean gone. Then I left him and went forth from the Hamam by another door so as to avoid his followers. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the youth, the owner of the calf, after beating the Shaykh of the Vagabonds with a sore bashing within the Bath went forth by the back door. Whereupon (continued the Larrikin) the followers of the Chief went in and they found him at his last breath and moaning from the excess of blows. Quoth they, “What is the matter with thee?” and quoth he, “That man with a malady who came into the Hammam is none other but the owner of the calf and he hath killed me.” So they took him up and carried him from the place and he said to them, “Do ye bear me outside the city and set up for me a tent and lay me therein, after which do ye gather round about me and never leave me at all.” Hereat they mounted him upon an ass and bore him to the place he described and, pitching a tent, set him therein and all sat around him. Presently the tidings reached me, whereupon I changed my clothes for a disguise and drew near the tent whereabouts I found a Badawi-man feeding his sheep. So I said to him, “O Badawi, take this ducat and draw near yonder tent and call aloud, saying, ‘I am the owner of the calf;’ after which make off with thy life for an they catch thee they will slay thee.” “By Allah,” quoth the Arab, “even if they rode their best mares none of them could come up with me!” So I took charge of the sheep while the Badawi approaching the tent cried in his loudest voice, “By Allah, I am the owner of the calf.” Hearing this the vagabonds sprang to their feet as one body and drew their weapons and rushed after the Badawi; but, when he had run some distance from the tent with all the men behind him, I went in and drawing from below my clothes the tail of the calf said, “O Shaykh, is this the tail of a calf or a kid?” The Elder asked, “Art thou not he who cried out, I am the owner of the calf?” and I answered, “No, I am not,” and came down upon him with the tail and beat him until he could no longer breathe. Then I took the properties belonging to his party and wrapping them in a sheet carried them off and quitting the place I went in to my mother and said to her, “Take them to the worth of the calf.” Now those who had run after the Badawi ceased not pursuing him, yet could none of them come up with him and when they were tired they returned from the chase and stinted not walking until they entered the tent. There they found the Shaykh breathless nor could he move save to make signs; so they sprinkled a little water upon his face; and the life returned to him and he said to them, “Verily the owner of the calf came to me and beat me till he killed me and the wight who cried, ‘I am the owner of the calf’ is an accomplice of his.” Thereupon all waxed furious and the Elder said to them, “Bear me home and give out that your Shakyh is deceased; after which do you bathe my body and carry me to the cemetery and bury me by night and next morning disinter me so that the owner of this calf may hear that I am dead and leave me in peace. Indeed as long as I continue in this condition he will devise for me device after device and some day will come in to me and kill me downright.” They did what their Shaykh bade them and began crying and keening and saying, “Verily our Chief is deceased,” so that the report was bruited abroad that the Shaykh of the Vagabonds had died. But I, the owner of the calf, said to myself, “By Allah, an he be dead, they will assuredly make for him some mourning ceremony.” Now when they had washed him and shrouded him and carried him out upon the bier, and were proceeding to the graveyard that they might bury him, and had reached half way to it, lo and behold! I joined the funeral train and suddenly walking under the coffin with a sharp packing-needle337 in hand — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable.” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that I walked under the bier packing-needle in hand, and thrust it into the Shaykh of the Vagabonds, whereat he cried out and sprang up and sat upright upon his shell.338 Now when the King heard this tale he laughed and was cheered and the Larrikin resumed:— By Allah, when I thrust the needle into him and he sat upright in his coffin all the folk fell to wondering and cried, “Verily the dead hath come to life.” Hereupon, O my lord, my fear waxed great and I said to myself, “All adventures are not like one another: haply the crown339 will recognise me and slay me.” So I went forth the city and came hither. Cried the King, “Of a truth, this tale is marvellous;” when the second Larrikin exclaimed, “By Allah, O my lord, my tale is rarer and stranger than this, for indeed therein I did deeds worthy of the Jinn-mad and amongst the many tricks that came from my hand I died and was buried and I devised a device whereby they drew me from my tomb.” Quoth the King, “Walláhi, if thy tale be more wondrous than that which forewent it I needs must reward thee with somewhat. But now tell us of what betided thee.” So the man began to relate the
325 Arab. “Fidawiyah,” sing. “Fidáwi” = lit. one who gives his life to a noble cause, a forlorn hope, esp. applied to the Ismai’liyah race, disciples of the “Assassin” Hasan-i-Sabáh. See De Sacy, “Mémoire sur les Assassins Mém. de l’Institut,” etc. iv. 7 et seqq. Hence perhaps a castaway, a “perdido,” one careless of his life. I suspect, however, that is is an Egyptianised form of the Pers. “Fidá‘i” = a robber, a murderer. The Lat. Catalogue prefers “Sicarius” which here cannot be the meaning.
326 Arab. “Kirsh,” pop. “Girsh.”
327 I have noticed that there is a Shaykh or head of the Guild, even for thieves, in most Moslem capitals. See vol. vi. 204.
328 Here is the normal enallage of persons, “luh” = to him for “lí” = to me.
329 In text “Na’mil ma’allazí, etc. . . . makídah.” I have attempted to preserve the idiom.
330 [In the MS. “al-‘Ashrah Miah,” which, I think, can scarcely be translated by “ten times one hundred.” If Miah were dependent on al-‘Ashrah, the latter could not have the article. I propose therefore to render “one hundred for the (i.e. every) ten” = tenfold. — St.]
331 For this “nosebag,” see vols. Ii. 52, and vi. 151, 192.
332 [Until here the change fromt eh first person into the third, as pointed out in note 2, has been kept up in the MS. —“He reached the barracks,” “he found,” etc. Now suddenly the gender changes as well, and the tale continues: “And lo, the girl went to them and said,” etc. etc. This looseness of style may, in the mouth of an Eastern Ráwí, have an additional dramatic charm for his more eager than critical audience; but it would be intolerable to European readers. Sir Richard has, therefore, very properly substituted the first person all through. — St.]
333 “Riyál” is from the Span. “Real” = royal (coin): in Egypt it was so named by order of Ali Bey, the Mameluke, in A.H. 1183 (A.D. 1771-72) and it was worth ninety Faddahs = 5 2/5d. The word, however, is still applied to the dollar proper (Maria Theresa), to the Riyál Fransá or five-france piece and to the Span. pillar dollar: the latter is also nicknamed ‘Abu Madfa’” Father of a Cannon (the columns being mistaken for cannons); also the Abú Tákah (Father of a Window), whence we obtaint he Europeanised “Patacco” (see Lane, Appendix ii.) and “Pataca,” which Littré confounds with the “Patard” and of which he ignores the origin.
334 See The Nights, vol. x. 12.
335 i.e. “pleasant,” “enjoyable”; see “White as milk” opposed to “black as mud,” etc., vol. iv. 140. Here it is after a fashion synonymous with the French nuit blanche.
336 [The MS. seems here to read “wa jasad-hu yuhazdimu,” (thus at least the word, would have to be vocalised if it were a quadrilateral verbal form), and of this I cannot make out any sense. I suspect the final syllable is meant for “Dam,” blood, of which a few lines lower down the plural “Dimá” occurs. Reamins to account for the characters immediately preceding it. I think that either the upper dot of the Arabic belongs to the first radical instead of the second, reading “yukhirru,” as the fourth or causative form of “kharra yakhurru,” to flow, to ripple, to purl; or that the two dots beneath are to be divided between the first two characters, reading “bajaza.” The latter, it is true, is no dictionary word, but we have found supra p. 176, “muhandiz” for “muhandis,” so here “bajaza” may stand for “bajasa” = gushed forth, used intransitively and transitively. In either case the translation would be “his body was emitting blood freely."-St.]
337 The MS. here is hardly intelligible but the sense shows the word to be “Misallah” (plur. “Misáll”) = a large needle for sewing canvas, &c. In Egypt the usual pronunciation is “Musallah,” hence the vulgar name of Cleopatra’s needle “Musallat Far’aun” (of Pharaoh) the two terms contending for which shall be the more absurd. I may note that Commander Gorridge, the distinguished officer of the U.S. Navy who safely and easily carried the “Needle” to New York after the English had made a prodigious mess with their obelisk, showed me upon the freshly uncovered base of the pillar the most distinct intaglio representations of masonic implements, the plumb-line, the square, the compass, and so forth. These, however, I attributed to masonry as the craft, to the guild; he to Freemasonry, which in my belief was unknown to the Greeks and Romans, and is never mentioned in history before the eight Crusades (A.D. 1096-1270). The practices and procedure were evidently borrowed from the various Vehms and secret societies which then influenced the Moslem world, and our modern lodges have strictly preserved in the “Architect of the Universe,” Arian and Moslem Unitarianism as opposed to Athanasian and Christian Tritheism; they admit the Jew and the Mussulman as apprentices, but they refuse the Hindu and the Pagan. It seems now the fashion to run down the mystic charities of the brethren are still active, and the society still takes an active part in politics throughout the East. As the late Pope Pius IX. (fitly nicknamed “Pio no-no”), a free mason himself, forbade Freemasonry to his church because a secret society is incompatible with oral confession (and priestcraft tolerates only its own mysteries), and made excommunication the penalty, the French lodges have dwindled away and the English have thriven upon their decay, thus enlisting a host of neophytes who, when the struggle shall come on, may lend excellent aid.
338 The “Janázah” or bier, is often made of planks loosely nailed or pegged together into a stretcher or platform, and it would be easy to thrust a skewer between the joints. I may remind the reader that “Janázah” = a bier with a corpse thereon (vol. ii. 46), whereas the “Sarír” is the same when unburdened, and the “Na’ash” is a box like our coffin, but open at the tip.
339 [In the Arab. Text “They will recognise me,” which I would rather refer to the Vagabonds than to the crowd, as the latter merely cries wonder at the resuscitation, without apparently troubling much about the wonder-worker. — St.]
I was living, O my lord, under the same roof with my father’s wife and I had with me some bundles of sesame cobs, but no great quantity, which I stored in a little basket hanging up in the great ceiling-vault of our house. Now one day of the days a party of merchants, numbering five or so, together with their head man, came to our village and began asking for sesame; and they happened to meet me on the road hard by our place, so they put me the same question. I asked them, “Do you want much of it?” and they answered, “We require340 about an hundred ardabbs.”341 Quoth I, “By me is a large quantity thereof;” and quoth they, “Have the kindness to show us the muster;”342 whereto I rejoined, “Upon the head and the eye!” Hereat I led them into the room wherein the basket was suspended with a few cobs of sesame (there being none other) and I went up by an outside staircase to the top of the vault, which I pierced, and putting forth my hand, took up a palm-full and therewith returned to them and showed the specimen. They saw that the sesame was clean grain, and said one to other, “This house is naught but full to the vault,343 for had there been a small quantity there he would have opened the door and shown us the heaps.” Hereupon I conversed with them and settled the price and they paid me as earnest money for an hundred ardabbs of sesame six hundred reals. I took the coin and gave it to the wife of my father, saying to her, “Cook for us a supper that shall be toothsome.” Then I slaughtered for her five chickens and charged her that, after she should have cooked the supper, she must prepare for us a pot of Baysárah344 which must be slab and thick. She did as I bade her and I returned to the merchants and invited them to sup with us and night in our house. Now when sunset time came I brought them in for the evening meal and they supped and were cheered, and as soon as the hour for night-prayer had passed I spread for them sleeping-gear and said to them, “O our guests, be careful of yourselves lest the wind come forth from your bellies, for with me dwelleth the wife of my father, who disgusteth fizzles and who dieth if she hear a fart.” After this they slept soundly from the stress of their fatigue and were overwhelmed with slumber; but when it was midnight, I took the pot of Baysarah and approached them as they still slumbered and I besmeared345 their backsides with the Baysarah and returned and slept until dawn of day in my own stead hard beside them. At this time all five were awake, and as each one arose before his companions he sensed a somewhat soft below him and putting forth his hand felt his bum bewrayed346 with the stuff, and said to his neighbour, “Ho, such an one, I have skited!” and the other said, “We have skited.” But when I heard this, O my lord, I arose forthwith and cried out saying, “Haste ye to my help, O ye folk, for these guests have killed my father’s wife."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that quoth the second Larrikin to the King:— O my lord, I cried out saying, “The guests have slain the wife of my father.” But when they heard me the merchants arose and ran away, each following other, so I rushed after them, shouting aloud, “Ye have killed my father’s wife,” till such time as they had disappeared from sight. Then said I to myself, “Inshallah! they will never more come back.” But after they had disappeared for a whole year they returned and demanded their coin, to wit, six hundred reals; and I, when the tidings reached me, feigned myself dead and ordered my father’s wife to bury me in the cemetery and I took to my grave a portion of charcoal and a branding-iron. Now when the five merchants came and asked after me the folk said, “He hath deceased and they have graved him in his grave;” whereupon the creditors cried, “By Allah, there is no help but that we go and piss upon his fosse.” Now I had made a crevice in the tomb347 and I had lighted the charcoal and I had placed the branding-iron ready till it became red hot and, when they came to piddle upon my grave, I took the iron and branded their hinder cheeks with sore branding, and this I did to one and all till the five had suffered in the flesh. Presently they departed to their own country, when my father’s wife came and opened the tomb and drew me forth and we returned together to our home. After a time, however, the news reached these merchants in their towns that I was living and hearty, so they came once more to our village and demanded of the Governor that I be given up to them. So the rulers sent for and summoned me, but when the creditors made a claim upon me for six hundred reals, I said to the Governor, “O my lord, verily these five fellows were slaves to my sire in bygone-times.” Quoth the ruler, “Were ye then in sooth chattels to his sire?” and said they to me, “Thou liest!” Upon this I rejoined, “Bare their bodies; and, if thou find a mark thereupon, they be my father’s serviles, and if thou find no sign then are my words false.” So they examined them and they found upon the rumps of the five, marks of the branding-iron, and the Governor said, “By Allah, in good sooth he hath told the truth and you five are the chattels of his father.” Hereupon began dispute and debate between us, nor could they contrive aught to escape from me until they paid me three hundred reals in addition to what I had before of them. When the Sultan heard these words from the Larrikin he fell to wondering and laughing at what the wight had done and he said, “By Allah, verily thy deed is the deed of a vagabond who is a past-master in fraud.” Then the third Larrikin spoke and said, “By Allah, in good sooth my story is more marvellous and wondrous than the tales of this twain, for that none (methinketh) save I could have done aught of the kind.” The King asked him, “And what may be thy story?” so he began to relate
340 [Ar. “na’tázu,” viii. form of ‘áza = it escaped, was missing, lacked, hence the meaning of this form, “we are in want of,” “we need."— St.]
341 For the “Ardabb” (prop. “Irdabb”) = five bushels: see vol. i. 263.
342 [In the MS. “‘Ayyinah,” probably a mis-reading for “‘Ayniyyah” = a sample, pattern. — St.]
343 In text “Kubbah” = vault, cupola, the dome of unbaked brick upon peasants’ houses in parts of Egypt and Syria, where wood for the “Sat’h” or flat roof is scarce. The household granary is in the garret, from which the base of the dome springs, and the “expense-magazines” consist of huge standing coffers of wattle and dab propped against the outside walls of the house.
344 Gen. “Baysár” or “Faysár,” = beans cooked in honey and milk. See retro, Night ccclxxxviii., for its laxative properties.
345 [In the MS. “barbastu,” with the dental instead of the palatal sibilant (Sín instead of Sád). Spelled in the former way the verb “barbasa” means, he sought, looked for, and is therefore out of place here. Spelled in the second manner, it signifies literally, he watered the ground abundantly. Presently we shall find the passive participle “mubarbasah” in the feminine, because referring to the noun “Tíz” = anus, which, like its synonym, “1st,” professes the female gender. — St.]
346 [In Ar. “Mubarbasah,” for which see the preceding note. — St.]
347 The Moslem’s tomb is an arched vault of plastered brick, large enough for a man to sit up at ease and answer the Questioning Angels; and the earth must not touch the corpse as it is supposed to cause torture. In the graves of the poorer classes a niche (lahad) offsets from the fosse and is rudely roofed with palm-fronds and thatch. The trick played in the text is therefore easy; see Lane’s illustration M.E. chapt. xviii. The reader will not forget that all Moslems make water squatting upon their hunkers ina position hardly possible to an untrained European: see vol. i. 259.
O my lord, I was once an owner of herds whereof naught remained to me but a single bull well advanced in years and unhealthy of flesh and of hide; and when I sought to sell him to the butchers none was willing to buy him of me, nor even to accept him as a gift. So I was disgusted with the beast and with the idea of eating him; and, as he could not be used either to grind348 or to plough, I led him into a great courtyard, where I slaughtered him and stripped off his hide. Then I cut the flesh into bittocks — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the whilome owner of the bull said to the King:— O my lord, I cut his flesh into bittocks and went forth and cried a loud upon the dogs of the quarter, when they all gathered together nor did one remain behind. Then I caused them to enter the court and having bolted the door gave to each dog a bit of the meat weighing half a pound.349 So all ate and were filled, after which I shut them up in the house which was large, for a space of three days when, behold, the folk came seeking their tykes and crying, “Whither can the curs have gone?” So I related how I had locked them up within the house and hereupon each man who had a hound came and took it away. Then quoth I, “Thy dog hath eaten a full pound of flesh,” and I took from each owner six faddahs and let him have his beast until I had recovered for the meat of that bull a sum of two thousand faddahs.350 At last of these dogs there remained to me but one unclaimed and he had only a single eye and no owner. So I took up a staff and beat him and he ran away and I ran after him to catch him until he came upon a house with the door open and rushed within. Now by the decree of the Decreer it so happened that the mistress of the house had a man living with her who was one-eyed and I ran in and said to her, “Bring out the one-eyed that is with thee,” meaning the dog. But when the house mistress heard me say, “Bring out the one-eyed,” she fancied that I spoke of her mate, so knowing naught about the matter of the tyke she came up to me and cried, “Allah upon thee, O my lord, do thou veil what Allah hath veiled and rend not our reputation and deal not disgrace to us;”351 presently adding, “Take this bangle from me and betray us not.” So I took it and left her and went my ways, after which she returned to the house and her heart was heaving and she found that her man had been in like case ever since he heard me say, “Bring out the one-eyed.” So I went away carrying off the bracelet and fared homeward. But when she looked about the room, lo and behold! she espied the one-eyed dog lying in a corner and, as soon as she caught sight of him, she was certified that I had alluded to the beast. So she buffeted her face and regretted the loss of her bangle and following me she came up and said to me, “O my lord, I have found the one-eyed dog, so do thou return with me and take him; “whereat I had pity upon the woman and restored to her the ornament. However, when this had befallen me, fear possessed my heart lest she denounce me, and I went away from my village and came to this place where the three of us forgathered and have lived ever since. When the King had given ear to this story he was cheered and said, “By Allah, verily the adventures of you three are wondrous, but my desire of you is to know if any of you have heard aught of the histories of bygone Sultans; and, if so, let him relate them to me. First, however, I must take you into the city that you may enjoy your rest.” “O my lord,” quoth they, “who art thou of the citizens?” and quoth he, “I am the King of this country, and the cause of my coming hither was my design to hunt and chase and the finding you here hath diverted me therefrom.” But when they heard his words, they forthwith rose to their feet and did him obeisance saying, “Hearing and obeying,” after which the three repaired with him to the city. Here the King commanded that they set apart for them an apartment and appointed to them rations of meat and drink and invested them with robes of honour; and they remained in company one with other till a certain night of the nights when the Sultan summoned them and they made act of presence between his hands and the season was after the King had prayed the Isha352 prayers. So he said to them, “I require that each and every of you who knoweth an history of the Kings of yore shall relate it to me,” whereat said one of the four, “I have by me such a tale.” Quoth the King, “Then tell it to us;” when the first Larrikin began to relate the
348 The bull being used in the East to turn the mill and the water-wheel; vol. i. 16.
349 In text “Ratl.” See vol. iv. 124.
350 About 1s. 2d.
351 The man was therefore in hiding for some crime. [The MS. has “lá tafzah-ní” = Do not rend my reputation, etc. I would, therefore, translate “Sáhib-há” by “her lover,” and suggest that the crime in question is simply what the French call “conversation criminelle."— St.]
352 The “‘Ishá"-prayer (called in Egypt “‘Eshè") consists of ten “Ruka’át” = bows or inclinations of the body (not “of the head” as Lane has it, M.E. chapt. iii.): of these four are “Sunnah” = traditional or customary (of the Prophet), four are Farz (divinely appointed i.e. by the Koran) and two again Sunnah. The hour is nightfall when the evening has closed in with some minor distinctions, e.g. the Hanafí waits till the whiteness and the red gleam in the west (“Al-Shafak al-ahmar”) have wholly disappeared, and the other three orthodox only till the ruddy light has waned. The object of avoiding sundowntide (and sunrise equally) was to distinguish these hours of orisons from those of the Guebres and other faiths which venerate, or are supposed to venerate, the sun.
There was in days of yore a King in the land of Al-Hind, who reigned over wide dominions (and praise be to Him who ruleth the worlds material and spiritual!), but this Sultan had nor daughter nor son. So once upon a time he took thought and said, “Glory to Thee! no god is there save Thyself, O Lord; withal Thou hast not vouchsafed to me a child either boy or girl.” On the next day he arose a-morn wholly clad in clothes of crimson hue,354— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King of Al-Hind arose a-morn wholly clad in clothes of crimson hue, and the Wazir, coming into the Divan, found him in such case. So he salam’d to him and blessed him with the blessing due to Caliphs, and said to him, “O King of the Age, doth aught irk thee that thou art robed in red?” whereto he replied, “O Wazir, I have risen with my heart grips hard.” Said the other, “Go into thy treasury of moneys and jewels and turn over thy precious ores, that thy sorrow be dispersed.” But said the Sultan, “O Wazir, verily all this world is a transitory, and naught remaineth to any save to seek the face of Allah the Beneficent: withal the like of me may never more escape from cark and care, seeing that I have lived for this length of time and that I have not been blessed with or son or daughter, for verily children are the ornament of the world.” Hereupon a wight dark of hue, which was a Takruri355 by birth, suddenly appeared before the Sultan and standing between his hands said to him, “O King of the Age, I have by me certain medicinal roots the bequeathal of my forbears and I have heard that thou hast no issue; so an thou eat somewhat thereof haply shall they gladden thy heart.” “Where be these simples?” cried the King, whereat the Takruri man drew forth a bag and brought out from it somewhat that resembled a confection and gave it to him with due injunctions. So when it was night-time the Sultan ate somewhat of it and then slept with his wife who, by the Omnipotence of Allah Almighty, conceived of him that very time. Finding her pregnant the King was rejoiced thereat and fell to distributing alms to the Fakirs and the mesquin and the widows and the orphans, and this continued till the days of his Queen’s pregnancy were completed. Then she bare a man-child fair of face and form, which event caused the King perfect joy and complete; and on that day when the boy was named Mohammed, Son of the Sultan,356 he scattered full half his treasury amongst the lieges. Then he bade bring for the babe wet-nurses who suckled him until milktime ended, when they weaned him, after which he grew every day in strength and stature till his age reached his sixth year. Hereupon his father appointed for him a Divine to teach him reading and writing and the Koran and all the sciences, which he mastered when his years numbered twelve. And after this he took to mounting horses and learning to shoot with shafts and to hit the mark, up to the time when he became a knight who surpassed all other knights. Now one day of the days Prince Mohammed rode off a-hunting, as was his wont, when lo and behold! he beheld a fowl with green plumage wheeling around him in circles and rocketing in the air and seeing this he was desirous to bring it down with an arrow. But he found this impossible so he ceased not following the quarry with intent to catch it but again he failed and it flew away from his ken; whereat he was sore vexed and he said to himself, “Needs must I seize this bird,” and he kept swerving to the right and the left in order to catch sight of it but he saw it not. This endured until the end of day when he returned to the city and sought his father and his mother, and when they looked upon him they found his case changed and they asked him concerning his condition, so he related to them all about the bird and they said to him, “O our son, O Mohammed, verily the creations of Allah be curious and how many fowls are like unto this, nay even more wondrous.” Cried he, “Unless I catch her357 I will wholly give up eating.” Now when morning dawned he mounted according to his custom and again went forth to the chase; and presently he pushed into the middle of the desert when suddenly he saw the bird flying in air and he pushed his horse to speed beneath her and shot at her a shaft with the intent to make her his prey, but again was unable to kill the bird. He persisted in the chase from sunrise until sundown when he was tired and his horse was aweary, so he turned him round purposing a return city-wards, when behold, he was met in the middle of the road by an elderly man who said to him, “O son of the Sultan, in very sooth thou art fatigued and on like wise is thy steed.” The Prince replied, “Yes,” and the Elder asked him, “What is the cause thereof?” Accordingly he told him all anent the bird and the Shaykh replied to him, “O my son, an thou absent thyself and ride for a whole year in pursuit of yonder fowl thou wilt never be able to take her; and, O my child, where is this bird!358 I will now inform thee that in a City of the Islands hight of Camphor there is a garden wide of sides wherein are many of such fowls and far fairer than this, and of them some can sing and others can speak with human speech; but, O my son, thou art unable to reach that city. However, if thou leave this bird and seek another of the same kind, haply I can show thee one and thou wilt not weary thyself any more.” When Mohammed, Son of the Sultan, heard these words from the Elder he cried, “By Allah, ’tis not possible but that I travel to that city.” Hereupon he left the Shaykh and returned to his own home, but his heart was engrossed with the Capital of the Camphor Islands, and when he went in to his sire, his case was troubled. The father asked him thereof and he related to him what the oldster had said. “O my son,” quoth the sire, “cast out this accident from thy heart and weary not thy soul, inasmuch as whoso would seek an object he cannot obtain, shall destroy his own life for the sake thereof and furthermore he shall fail of his gain. Better therefore thou set thy heart at rest359 and weary thyself no more.” Quoth the Son, “Walláahi, O my sire, verily my heart is hung to yonder fowl and specially to the words of the Elder; nor is it possible to me to sit at home until I shall have reached the city of the Camphor Islands and I shall have gazed upon the gardens wherein such fowls do wone.” Quoth his father, “But why, O my child, wouldst thou deprive us of looking upon thee?” And quoth the son, “There is no help but that I travel."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Mohammed the Son of the Sultan cried, “Needs must I travel, otherwise I will slay myself.” “There is no Majesty and there is no Might,” quoth the father, “save in Allah the Glorious, the Great; and saith the old saw, ‘The chick is unsatisfied till the crow see it and carry it off.’”360 Thereupon the King gave orders to get ready provisions and other matters required for the Prince’s wayfare, and he sent with him an escort of friends and servants, after which the youth took leave of his father and mother and he with his many set forth seeking the Capital of the Camphor Islands. He ceased not travelling for the space of an entire month till he arrived at a place wherein three highways forked, and he saw at the junction a huge rock whereon were written three lines. Now the first read, “This is the road of safe chance,” and the second, “This is the way of repentance;” and the third, “This is the path whereon whoso paceth shall return nevermore.” When the Prince perused these inscriptions he said to himself, “I will tread the path whereon whoso paceth shall nevermore return.” Then he put his trust in Allah, and he travelled over that way for a space of days a score, when suddenly he came upon a city deserted and desolate, nor was there a single created thing therein and it was utterly in ruins. So he alighted beside it and, as a flock of sheep accompanied his suite, he bade slaughter five lambs and commanded the cooks to prepare of them delicate dishes and to roast one of them whole and entire. They did his bidding, and when the meats were cooked he ordered the trays be spread in that site and, as soon as all was done to his satisfaction, he purposed sitting down to food, he and his host, when suddenly an ‘Aun361 appeared coming from the ruined city. But when Prince Mohammed beheld him he rose to him in honour saying, “Welcome and fair welcome to him who of ‘Auns is the head, and to the brethren friend true-bred,362 and the Haunter of this stead;” and he satisfied him with the eloquence of his tongue and the elegance of his speech. Now this ‘Aun had hair that overhung either eye and fell upon his shoulders, so the Prince brought out his scissors363 and trimmed his locks clearing them away from his face, and he pared his nails which were like talons, and finally let bathe his body with warm water. Then he served up to him the barbecue of lamb which he caused to be roasted whole for the use of the Jinni and bade place it upon the tray, so the Haunter ate with the travellers and was cheered by the Prince’s kindness and said to him, “By Allah, O my lord Mohammed, O thou Son of the Sultan, I was predestined to meet thee in this place but now let me know what may be thy need.” Accordingly the youth informed him of the city of the Camphor Islands and of the garden containing the fowls which he fared to seek, and of his design in wayfaring thither to bring some of them away with him. But when the ‘Aun heard from him these words, he said to him, “O thou Son of the Sultan, that site is a far cry for thee, nor canst thou ever arrive thereat unless assisted, seeing that its distance from this place be a march of two hundred years for a diligent traveller. How then canst thou reach it and return from it? However, the old saw saith, O my son, ‘Good for good and the beginner is worthier, and ill for ill and the beginner is unworthier.’364 Now thou hast done to me a kindly deed and I (Inshallah!) will requite thee with its match and will reward thee with its mate; but let whatso is with thee of companions and slaves and beasts and provisions abide in this site and we will go together, I and thou, and I will win for thee thy wish even as thou hast wrought by me a kindly work.” Hereupon the Prince left all that was with him in that place and the ‘Aun said to him, “O son of the Sultan, come mount upon my shoulders.” The youth did accordingly, after he had filled his ears with cotton, and the ‘Aun rose from earth and towered in air and after the space of an hour he descended again and the rider found himself in the grounds about the capital of the Camphor Islands. So he dismounted from the Jinni’s shoulders and looked about that wady where he espied pleasant spots and he descried trees and blooms and rills and birds that trilled and shrilled with various notes. Then quoth the ‘Aun to him, “Go forth to yonder garden and thence bring thy need;” so he walked thither and, finding the gates wide open, he passed in and fell to solacing himself with looking to the right and the left. Presently he saw bird-cages suspended and in them were fowls of every kind, to each two, so he walked up to them and whenever he noted a bird that pleased him he took it and caged it till he had there six fowls and of all sorts twain. Then he designed to leave the garden when suddenly a keeper met him face to face at the door crying aloud, “A thief! a thief!” Hereat all the other gardeners rushed up and seized him, together with the cage, and carried him before the King, the owner of that garden and lord of that city. They set him in the presence saying, “Verily we found this young man stealing a cage wherein be fowls and in good sooth he must be a thief.” Quoth the Sultan, “Who misled thee, O Youth, to enter my grounds and trespass thereon and take of my birds?” Whereto the Prince returned no reply. So the Sultan resumed, “By Allah, thou hast wilfully wasted thy life, but, O Youngster, an it be thy desire to take my birds and carry them away, do thou go and bring me from the capital of the Isles of the Súdán365 bunches of grapes which are clusters of diamonds and emeralds, when I will give thee over and above these six fowls six other beside.” So the Prince left him and going to the ‘Aun informed him of what had befallen him, and the other cried, “’Tis easy, O Mohammed;” and mounting him upon his shoulders flew with him for the space of two hours and presently alighted. The youth saw himself in the lands surrounding the capital of the Sudan Islands which he found more beautiful than the fair region he had left; and he designed forthright to approach the garden containing great clusters of diamonds and emeralds, when he was confronted by a Lion in the middle way. Now it was the wont of this beast yearly to visit that city and to pounce upon everything he met of women as well as of men; so seeing the Prince he charged down upon him, designing to rend him limb from limb — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night, and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Lion charged down upon Mohammed, Son of the Sultan, designing to rend him in pieces, but he confronted him and unsheathing his scymitar made it glitter in the sunshine366 and pressed him close and bashed him with brand between his eyes so that the blade came forth gleaming from between his thighs. Now by doom of Destiny the daughter of the Sultan was sitting at the latticed window of her belvedere and was looking at her glass and solacing herself, when her glance fell upon the King’s son as he was smiting the Lion. So she said to herself, “May thy hand never palsied grow nor exult over thee any foe!” But the Prince after slaying the Lion left the body and walked into the garden whose door had been left open and therein he found that all the trees were of precious metal bearing clusters like grapes of diamonds and emeralds. So he went forwards and plucked from those trees six bunches which he placed within a cage, when suddenly he was met by the keeper who cried out, “A thief! a thief!” and when joined by the other gardeners seized him and bore him before the Sultan saying, “O my lord, I have come upon this youth who was red-handed in robbing yonder clusters.” The King would have slain him forth-right, but suddenly there came to him a gathering of the folk who cried, “O King of the Age, a gift of good news!”367 Quoth he, “Wherefore?” and quoth they, “Verily the Lion which was wont hither to come every year and to pounce upon all that met him of men and of women and of maidens and of children, we have found him in such a place clean slain and split into twain.” Now the Sultan’s daughter was standing by the lattice of the belvedere which was hard by the Divan of her sire and was looking at the youth who stood before the King and was awaiting to see how it would fare with him. But when the folk came in and reported the death of the Lion, the Sultan threw aside the affair of the youth of his joy and delight and fell to asking, “Who was it slew the beast?” and to saying, “Walláhi! By the rights of my forbears in this kingdom,368 let him who killed the monster come before me and ask of me a boon which it shall be given to him; nay, even if he demand of me a division of all my good he shall receive that same.” But when he had heard of all present that the tidings were true then the city-folk followed one another in a line and went in to the Sultan and one of them said, “I have slain the Lion.” Said the King, “And how hast thou slain him; and in what manner hast thou been able to prevail over and master him?” Then he spake with him softly369 and proved him and at last so frightened him that the man fell to the ground in his consternation; when they carried him off and the King declared, “This wight lieth!” All this and Mohammed, the Son of the Sultan, was still standing and looking on and when he heard the man’s claim he smiled. Suddenly the King happening to glance at him saw the smile and was astounded and said in his mind, “By Allah, this Youth is a wondrous for he smileth he being in such case as this.” But behold, the King’s daughter sent an eunuch to her father and he delivered the message, when the King arose and went into his Harem and asked her, “What is in thy mind and what is it thou seekest?” She answered, “Is it thy desire to know who slew the Lion that thou mayest largesse him?” and he rejoined, saying, “By virtue of Him who created His servants and computeth their numbers,370 when I know him and am certified of his truth my first gift to him shall be to wed thee with him and he shall become to me son-in-law were he in the farthest of lands.” Retorted she, “By Allah, O my father, none slew the Lion save the young man who entered the garden and carried off the clusters of gems, the youth whom thou art minded to slay.” When he heard these words from his daughter, the King returned to the Divan and bade summon Mohammed the Son of the Sultan, and when they set him between his hands he said to him, “O Youth, thou hast indemnity from me and say me, art thou he who slew the Lion?” The other answered, “O King, I am indeed young in years; how then shall I prevail over a Lion and slaughter him, when, by Allah, in all my born days I never met even with a hyena much less than a lion? However, O King of the Age, an thou largesse me with these clusters of gems and give them to me in free gift, I will wend my ways, and if not my luck will be with Allah!” Rejoined the King, “O Youth, speak thou sooth and fear not!” Here he fell to soothing him with words and solacing him and gentling him, after which he threatened him with his hand, but Mohammed the Son of the Sultan raised his neave swiftlier than the lightning and smote the King and caused him swoon. Now there was none present in the Divan save Mohammed and the Monarch, who after an hour came to himself and said, “By Allah, thou art he who slew the Lion!” Hereupon he robed him with a robe of honour and, summoning the Kazi, bade tie the marriage-tie with his daughter; but quoth the young man, “O King of the Age, I have a counsel to consult, after which I will return to thee.” Quoth the King, “Right rede is this same and a matter not to blame.” Accordingly the Prince repaired to the ‘Aun in the place where he had left him and related to him all that had betided himself, and of his intended marriage with the King’s daughter, whereupon said the Jinni, “Condition with him that if thou take her to wife thou shalt carry her along with thee to thine own country.” The youth did his bidding and returned to the King who said, “There is no harm in that,” and the marriage-knot was duly knotted. Then the bridegroom was led in procession to his bride with whom he remained a full month of thirty days, after which he craved leave to fare for his own motherland. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Mohammed Son of the Sultan craved leave to return to his own motherland, when his father-in-law gave him an hundred clusters of the diamantine and smaragdine grapes, after which he farewelled the King and taking his bride fared without the city. Here he found expecting him the ‘Aun, who, after causing them to fill their ears with cotton, shouldered him, together with his wife, and then flew with them through the firmament for two hours or so and alighted with them near the capital of the Camphor Islands. Presently Mohammed the Son of the Sultan took four clusters of the emeralds and diamonds, and going in to the King laid them before him and drew him back. The Sultan gazed upon them and marvelled and cried, “Walláhi! doubtless this youth be a Magician for that he hath covered a space of three hundred years in three371 of coming and going, and this is amongst the greatest of marvels.” Presently he resumed, saying, “O Youth, hast thou reached the city of the Sudan?” and the other replied, “I have.” The King continued, “What is its description and its foundation and how are its gardens and its rills?” So he informed him of all things required of him and the Sultan cried, “By Allah, O Youth, thou deservest all thou askest of me.” “I ask for nothing,” said the Prince, “save the birds,” and the King, “O Youth, there is with us in our town a Vulture which cometh every year from behind Mount Káf and pounceth upon the sons of this city and beareth them away and eateth them on the heads of the hills. Now an thou canst master this monster-fowl and slay that same I have a daughter whom I will marry to thee.” Quoth the Prince, “I have need of taking counsel;” and returned to the ‘Aun to inform him thereof when behold, the Vulture made its appearance. But as soon as the Jinni espied it, he flew and made for it, and caught it up; then, smiting it with a single stroke of his hand, he cut it in two and presently he returned and settled down upon the ground. Then, after a while, he went back to Mohammed, the Son of the Sultan, and said to him, “Hie thee to the King and report to him the slaughter of the Vulture.” So he went and entering the presence reported what had taken place, where-upon the Sultan with his lords of the land mounted372 their horses, and, going to the place, found the monster killed, and cut into two halves. Anon the King returned, and leading Prince Mohammed with him bade knit the marriage-knot with his daughter and caused him to pay her the first visit. He tarried beside her for a full-told month after which he asked leave to travel and to seek the city of his first spouse, carrying with him the second. Hereupon the King his father-in-law presented to him ten cages, each containing four birds of vari-coloured coats and farewelled him. After which he fared forth and left the city, and outside it he found the ‘Aun awaiting him and the Jinni salam’d to the Prince and congratulated him in what he had won of gifts and prizes. Then he arose high in air, bearing Mohammed and his two brides and all that was with them, and he winged his way for an hour or so until he alighted once more at the ruined city. Here he found the Prince’s suite of learned men, together with the bat-beasts and their loads373 and everything other even as he had left it. So they sat down to take their rest when the ‘Aun said, “O Mohammed, O Son of the Sultan, I have been predestined to thee in this site whither thou wast fated to come; but I have another and a further covenant to keep wherewith I would charge thee.” “What is that?” quoth he, and quoth the ‘Aun, “Verily thou shalt not depart this place until thou shalt have laved me and shrouded me and graved374 me in the ground;” and so saying he shrieked a loud shriek and his soul fled his flesh. This was grievous to the son of the King and he and his men arose and washed him and shrouded him and having prayed over him buried him in the earth. After this the Prince turned him to travel, so they laded the loads and he and his set forth intending for their families and native land. They journeyed during the space of thirty days till they reached the fork of the highway whereat stood the great rock, and here they found tents and pavilions and a host nor did they know what this mighty many might mean. Now the father, when his son left him, suffered from straitness of breast and was sore perplexed as to his affair and he wot not what to do; so he bade make ready his army and commanded the lords of the land to prepare for the march and all set out seeking his son and determined to find tidings of him. Nor did they cease faring till they reached the place where the road forked into three and on the first rock they saw written the three lines —“This is the road of safe chance;” and “This is the way of repentance;” and “This is the path whereon whoso paceth shall return nevermore.” But when the father read it he was posed and perplext as to the matter and he cried, “Would Heaven I knew by which road of these three my son Mohammed may have travelled;” and as he was brooding over this difficulty — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as the Sultan was brooding over this difficulty lo and behold! his son Mohammed appeared before him by the path which showed written, “This is the path whereon whoso passeth shall nevermore return.” But when the King saw him, and face confronted face, he arose and met him and salam’d to him giving him joy of his safety; and the Prince told him all that had befallen him from beginning to end — how he had not reached those places save by the All-might of Allah, and how he had succeeded in winning his wish by meeting with the ‘Aun. So they nighted in that site and when it was morning they resumed their march, all in gladness and happiness for that the Sultan had recovered his son Mohammed. They ceased not faring a while until they drew near their native city when the bearers of good tidings ran forward announcing the arrival of the Sultan and his son and, hereupon the houses were decorated in honour of the Prince’s safe return and crowds came out to meet them till such time as all had entered the city-walls, after which their joys increased and their annoy fell from them. And this is the whole of the tale told by the first Larrikin. Now when the Sultan heard it he marvelled at what had befallen the chief adventurer therein, when the second Larrikin spoke saying “I have by me a tale, a marvel of marvels, and which is a delight to the hearer and a diversion to the reader and to the reciter.” Quoth the Sovran, “What may that be, O Shaykh?” and the man fell to relating the
353 Scott. “History of the Sultan of Hind,” vol. vi. 194-209.
354 Red robes being a sign of displeasure: see vol. iv. 72; Scott (p. 294) wrongly makes them “robes of mourning.”
355 A Moslem negroid from Central and Western North Africa. See vol. ii. 15. They share in popular opinion the reputation of the Maghrabi or Maroccan for magical powers.
356 This is introduced by the translator; as usual with such unedited tales, the name does not occur till much after the proper place for specifying it.
357 In text “Iz lam naakhaz-há, wa-illá,” &c. A fair specimen of Arab. ellipsis. — If I catch her not (’twill go hard with me), and unless (I catch her) I will, &c.
358 i.e. “How far is the fowl from thee!”
359 [In the MS. “turayyih,” a modern form for “turawwih."— ST.]
360 [The above translation pre-supposes the reading “Farkhah lá atammat,” and would require, I believe, the conjunction “hattà” or “ilà an” to express “till.” I read with the MS. “lá tammat,” and would translate: “a chick not yet full grown, when the crow seized it and flew away with it,” as a complaint of the father for the anticipated untimely end of his son. — ST.]
361 For “‘Aun,” a high degree amongst the “Genies,” see vol. iv. p. 83. Readers will be pleased with this description of a Jinni; and not a few will regret that they have not one at command. Yet the history of man’s locomotion compels us to believe that we are progressing towards the time when humanity will become volatile. Pre-historic Adam was condemned to “Shanks his mare,” or to “go on footback,” as the Boers have it, and his earliest step was the chariot; for, curious to say, driving amongst most peoples preceded riding, as the row-boat forewent the sailer. But as men increased and the world became smaller and time shorter the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, after many abortive attempts, converted the chariot into a railway-car and the sailer into a steamer. Aerostatics are still in their infancy and will grow but little until human society shall find some form of flying an absolute necessity when, as is the history of all inventions, the winged woman (and her man) of Peter Wilkins will pass from fiction into fact. But long generations must come and go before “homo sapiens” can expect to perfect a practice which in the present state of mundane society would be fatal to all welfare.
362 Scott (p. 200) “Welcome to the sovereign of the Aoon, friendly to his brethren,” (siddík al Akhwán) etc. Elsewhere he speaks of “the Oone.”
363 So he carried a portable “toilette,” like a certain Crown Prince and Prince Bahman in Suppl. vol. iii. 329.
364 There is another form of the saw in verse:—
Good is good and he’s best whoso worketh it first;
And ill is for me of provisions the worst.
The provision is=viaticum, provaunt for the way.
[The MS. has “akram” and “azlam”=“the more generous,” “the more iniquitous,” meaning that while good should be requited by good, and evil provokes further evil in retaliation, the beginner in either case deserves the greater praise or blame. — ST.]
365 I have noted (vols. iii. 75, and viii. 266) that there are two “Soudans” as we write the word, one Eastern upon the Upper Nile Valley and the other Western and drained by the Niger water-shed. The former is here meant. It is or should be a word of shame to English ears after the ungodly murder and massacre of the gallant “Soudanese” negroids who had ever been most friendly to us and whom with scant reason to boast we attacked and destroyed because they aspired to become free from Turkish task-masters and Egyptian tax-gatherers. That such horrors were perpetrated by order of one of the most humane amongst our statesmen proves and decidedly proves one thing, an intense ignorance of geography and ethnology.
366 [In the MS. “lawá ‘a-hu” for which Sir Richard conjectures the reading “lawwahahu” taking the pronoun to refer to the sword. I believe, however, the word to be a clerical error for our old acquaintance “láwa’a-hu” (see supra p. 203) and, referring the pronoun in the three verbs to the Lion, would translate: “and he worried him,” etc. — ST.]
367 Arab. “Al-bashárah,” see vol. i. 30: Scott has (vi. 204) “Good tidings to our sovereign.”
368 [The MS. is here rather indistinct; still, as far as I can make out, it runs: “wa Hakki man aulàní házá ‘l-Mulk”=and by the right of (i.e. my duty towards) Him who made me ruler over this kingdom. — ST.]
369 [The word in the MS. is difficult to decipher. In a later passage we find corresponding with it the expression “yumázasa-hu fií ‘l-Kalám,” which is evidently a clerical error for “yumárasa-hu”=he tested or tried him in his speech. Accordingly I would read here: “yakhburu ma’ahu fí ‘l-Kalám,” lit.=he experimented with him, i.e. put him to his test. The idea seems to be, that he first cross-examined him and then tried to intimidate him. With this explanation “yusáhí-hu” and later on “yulhí-hu” would tally, which both have about the same meaning: to divert the attention, to make forget one thing over another, hence to confuse and lead one to contradict himself. — ST.]
370 Here we find the old superstitious idea that no census or “numbering of the people” should take place save by direct command of the Creator. Compare the pestilence which arose in the latter days of David when Joab by command of the King undertook the work (2 Sam. xxiv. 1-9, etc.).
371 The text has “Salásín”=thirty, evidently a clerical error.
372 [In Ar. “yanjaaru,” vii. form of “jaara” (med. Hamzah), in which the idea of “raising,” “lifting up,” seems to prevail, for it is used for raising the voice in prayer to God, and for the growing high of plants. — ST.]
373 The text, which is wholly unedited, reads, “He found the beasts and their loads (? the camels) and the learned men,” &c. A new form of “Bos atque sacerdos” and of place pour les ânes et les savants, as the French soldiers cried in Egypt when the scientists were admitted into the squares of infantry formed against the doughty Mameluke cavalry.
374 [In the MS. “wáraytaní ilà l-turáb”=thou hast given me over to the ground for concealment, iii. form of “wara,” which takes the meaning of “hiding,” “keeping secret."— ST.]
They tell that whilome there was a Fisherman, a poor man with a wife and family, who every day was wont to take his net and go down to the river a-fishing for his daily bread which is distributed. Then he would sell a portion of his catch and buy victual and the rest he would carry to his wife and children that they might eat. One day of the many days he said to his son who was growing up to a biggish lad, “O my child, come forth with me this morning, haply All-Mighty Allah may send us somewhat of livelihood by thy footsteps;” and the other answered, “’Tis well, O my father.” Hereupon the Fisherman took his son and his net and they twain went off together till they arrived at the river-bank, when quoth the father, “O my boy I will throw the net upon the luck of thee.” Then he went forward to the water and standing thereby took his net and unfokled it so that it spread when entering the stream, and after waiting an hour or so he drew it in and found it heavy of weight; so he cried, “O my son, bear a hand” and the youth came up and lent him aidance in drawing it in. And when they had haled it to shore they opened it and found a fish of large size and glittering with all manner of colours. Quoth the father, “O my son, by Allah, this fish befitteth not any but the Caliph; do thou therefore abide with it till I go and fetch a charger wherein to carry it as an offering for the Prince of True Believers.” The youth took his seat by the fish and when his father was afar off he went up to her and said, “Doubtless thou hast children and the byword saith, Do good and cast it upon the waters.” Then he took up the fish and setting her near the river besprinkled375 her and said, “Go thou to thy children, this is even better than being eaten by the Caliph.” But having thrown the fish into the stream, his fear of his father grew strong upon him, so he arose and without stay or delay fled his village; and he ceased not flying till he reached the Land of Al-Irák whose capital was under a King of wide dominions (and praise be to the King of all kingdoms!). So he entered the streets and presently he met a baker-man who said to him, “O my son, wilt thou serve?” whereto he replied, “I will serve, O uncle.” The man settled with him for a wage of two silver nusfs a day together with his meat and his drink, and he remained working with him for a while of time. Now one day of the days behold, he saw a lad of the sons of that city carrying about a cock with the intention of vending it, when he was met by a Jew who said to him, “O my child, wilt thou sell this fowl?” and the other said, “I will.” Quoth the Jew, “For ten faddahs?” and quoth the youth, “Allah openeth!” Said the other, “For twenty faddahs?” and the lad, “Allah veileth!”376 Then the Jew fell to increasing his offer for the cock until he reached a full dinar. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Jew raised his bid for the cock till he reached a gold piece when the lad said, “Here with it.” So the man gave him the dinar and took from him the fowl and slaughtered it forthright. Then he turned to a boy, one of his servants, and said to him, “Take this cock and carry it home and say to thy mistress, ‘Pluck it, but open it not until such time as I shall return.’” And the servant did his bidding. But when the Fisherman’s son who was standing hard by heard these words and saw the bargain, he waited for a while and as soon as the servant had carried off the fowl, he arose and buying two cocks at four faddahs he slaughtered them and repaired with them to the house of the Jew. Then he rapped at the door and when the mistress came out to him he bespoke her saying, “The house master saith to thee, ‘Take these two silvers and send me the bird which was brought to thee by the servant boy.’”377 Quoth she, “’Tis well,” so he gave her the two fowls and took from her the cock which her husband had slaughtered. Then he returned to the bakery, and when he was private he opened the belly of the cock and found therein a signet-ring with a bezel-gem which in the sun showed one colour and in the shade another. So he took it up and hid it in his bosom, after which he gutted the bird and cooked it in the furnace and ate it. Presently the Jew having finished his business, returned home and said to his wife, “Bring me the cock.” She brought him the two fowls and he seeing them asked her, “But where be the first cock?” And she answered him, “Thou thyself sentest the boy with these two birds and then orderedst him to bring thee the first cock.” The Jew held his peace but was sore distressed at heart, so sore indeed that he came nigh to die and said to himself, “Indeed it hath slipped from my grasp!” Now the Fisherman’s son after he had mastered the ring waited until the evening evened when he said, “By Allah, needs must this bezel have some mystery;” so he withdrew into the privacy of the furnace and brought it out from his bosom and fell a-rubbing it. Thereupon the Slave of the Ring appeared and cried, “Here I stand378-between thy hands.” Then the Fisherman’s son said to himself, “This indeed is the perfection of good fortune,” and returned the gem to his breast-pocket as it was. Now when morning morrowed the owner of the bakery came in and the youth said to him, “O my master, I am longing for my people and my native land and ’tis my desire to fare and look upon them and presently I will return to thee.” So the man paid him his wage, after which he left him and walked from the bakery till he came to the Palace of the Sultan where he found near the gate well nigh an hundred heads which had been cut off and there suspended; so he leaned for rest against the booth of a sherbet-seller and asked its owner, “O master, what is the cause of all these heads being hung up?” and the other answered, “O my son, inquire not, anent what hath been done.” However when he repeated the question the man replied, “O my son, verily the Sultan hath a daughter, a model of beauty and loveliness, of symmetric stature and perfect grace, in fact likest a branch of the Rattan-palm;379 and whoso cometh ever to seek her in marriage her father conditioneth with him a condition.” Cried the Fisherman’s son, “What may be that condition?” and the other replied, “There is a great mound of ashes under the latticed windows of the Sultan’s palace, and whoso wisheth to take his daughter to wife he maketh a covenant with him that he shall carry off that heap. So the other accepted the agreement with only the proviso that he should have forty days’ grace and he consented that, an he fail within that time, his head be cut off.” “And the heap is high?” quoth the Fisherman’s son. “Like a hill,” quoth the other. Now when the youth had thoroughly comprehended what the sherbet-seller had told him, he farewelled him and left him; then, going to a Khan, he hired him a cell and taking seat therein for a time he pondered how he should proceed, for he was indeed fearful yet was his heart hanging to the love of the Sultan’s daughter. Presently he brought out his ring, and rubbed it, when the voice of the Slave cried to him, “Here I stand between thy hands and what mayst thou require of me?” Said the other, “I want a suit of kingly clothes;” whereat without delay a bundle was set before him and when he opened it he found therein princely gear. So he took it and rising without loss of time he went into the Hammam and caused himself to be soaped and gloved and thoroughly washed, after which he donned the dress and his case was changed into other case. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will.” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the son of the Fisherman came forth the Bath-house and donned his fine dress, his was changed into other case and he appeared before the folk in semblance of the sons of Kings. Presently he went to the Sultan’s palace and entering therein made his salam and, blushing for modesty, did his obeisance and blessed the Sultan with the blessing due to Caliphs. His greetings were returned and the King welcomed him and after that looked at him, and finding him after princely fashion, asked him, “What is thy need, O Youth, and what requirest thou?” Answered the other, “I seek connection with thy house, and I come desirous of betrothal with the lady concealed and the pearl unrevealed, which is thy daughter.” “Art thou able to perform the condition, O Youth?” asked the King; “For I want neither means nor moneys nor precious stones nor other possession; brief, none other thing save that thou remove yon mound of ashes from beneath the windows of my palace.” Upon this he bade the youth draw near him and when he obeyed threw open the lattice; and, showing him the hillock that stood underneath it, said, “O Youth, I will betroth to thee my daughter an thou be pleased to remove this heap; but if thou prove thee unable so to do I will strike off thy head.” Quoth the Fisherman’s son, “I am satisfied therewith,” presently adding, “A delay!380 grant me the term of forty days.” “I have allowed thy request to thee,” said the King and wrote a document bearing the testimony of those present, when cried the youth, “O King, bid nail up thy windows and let them not be unfastened until the fortieth day shall have gone by.” “These words be fair,” quoth the Sultan, and accordingly he gave the order. Hereat the youth went forth from him whereupon all present in the palace cried, “O the pity of it, that this youngster should be done to die; indeed there were many stronger than he, yet none of them availed to remove the heap.” In this way each and every said his say, but when the Fisherman’s son returned to his cell (and he was thoughtful concerning his life and perplext as to his affair) he cried, “Would Heaven I knew whether the Ring hath power to carry it off.” Then shutting himself up in his cell he brought out the signet from his breast-pocket and rubbed it, and a Voice was heard to cry, “Here I stand (and fair befall thy command) between thy hands. What requirest thou of me, O my lord?” The other replied, “I want thee to remove the ash-heap which standeth under the windows of the royal palace, and I demand that thou lay out in lieu thereof a garden wide of sides in whose middlemost must be a mansion tall and choice-builded of base, for the special domicile of the Sultan’s daughter; furthermore, let all this be done within the space of forty days.” “Aye ready,” quoth the Jinni, “to do all thou desirest.” Hereupon the youth felt his affright assuaged and his heart rightly directed; and after this he would go every day to inspect the heap and would find one quarter of it had disappeared, nor did aught of it remain after the fourth morning for that the ring was graved with the cabalistic signs of the Cohens381 and they had set upon the work an hundred Marids of the Jann that they might carry out the wishes of any who required aught of them. And when the mound was removed they dispread in its site a garden wide of sides in whose midst they edified a palace choice-builded of base, and all this was done within the space of fifteen days, whilst the Fisherman’s son ever repaired thither and inspected the work. But when he had perfected his intent he entered to the Sultan and kissing ground between his hands and having prayed for his glory and permanence, said, “O King of the Age, deign open the lattices of thy Palace!” So he went to them and threw them open when lo and behold, he found in lieu of the mound a mighty fine garden wherein were trees and rills and blooms and birds hymning the praises of their Creator; moreover he saw in that garden a palace, an edifice choice-builded of base which is not to be found with any King or Kaysar. Seeing this he wondered at the circumstance and his wits were wildered and he was perplext as to his affair; after which he sent for the Minister and summoned him and said, “Counsel me, O Wazir, as to what I shall do in the case of this youth and in what way shall I fend him from me.” Replied the Councillor, “How shall I advise thee, seeing that thou madest condition with him that should he fail in his undertaking thou wouldst strike off his head? Now there is no contrivance in this matter and there is naught to do save marrying him with the girl.” By these words the King was persuaded and caused the knot to be knotted and bade them lead the bridegroom in procession to the bride, after which the youth set her in the garden-palace and cohabited with her in all joy and enjoyment and pleasure and disport. On this wise fared it with them; but as regards the case of the Jew, when he lost the cock he went forth in sore disappointment like unto one Jinn-mad; and neither was his sleep sound and good nor were meat and drink pleasant food, and he ceased not wandering about till the Fates threw him into that garden. Now he had noted in past time that a huge heap of ashes stood under the palace-windows and when he looked he cried, “Verily, the youth hath been here and all this work is the work of the signet-ring, for that none other than the Márids of the Jánn could remove such a hillock.” So saying, the Jew returned to his place, where he brought out a parcel of fine pearls and some few emeralds and specimens of coral and other precious minerals, and set them for sale in a tray. Then he approached the palace which was builded in the garden and cried out saying, “The pearls! and the emeralds! and the corals! and various kinds of fine jewels!” and he kept up this cry. — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Jew fell to hawking about his minerals and crying them for sale beside the garden-palace and the Sultan’s daughter hearing him exclaimed, “O Handmaid, bring me that which is for sale with this Jew.” So the girl went down and said to the man, “What hast thou by thee?” and said the other, “Precious stones.” Quoth she, “Wilt thou sell them for gold?” and quoth he, “No, O my lady, I will sell them for nothing save for rings which must be old.”382 Accordingly she returned and herewith acquainted her lady who said, “By Allah, my Lord hath in his pencase383 an old worn-out ring, so do thou go and bring it to me while he sleepeth.” But she knew not what was hidden for her in the Secret Purpose, nor that which was fated to be her Fate. So presently she brought out of the pencase the bezel-ring afore-mentioned and gave it to the handmaid who took it and faring outside the house handed it to the Jew, and he received it with extreme joy and in turn presented to her the tray with all thereon. Then he went forth the city and set out on a voyage to the Seven Islands which are not far from the earth-surrounding Ocean;384 and when he arrived thither he landed upon a sea-holm and travelled to the middle-most thereof. Anon he took seat, and presently brought out the signet-ring and rubbed it, when the slave appeared and cried, “Here I stand and between thy hands, what is it thou needest of me?” “I require of thee,” quoth the Jew, “to transport hither the bower of the Sultan’s daughter and to restore the ash-heap to the stead it was in whilome under the lattice of the King’s Palace.” Now ere night had passed away both Princess and Palace were transported to the middlemost of the island; and when the Jew beheld her his heart flamed high for the excess of her beauty and loveliness. So he entered her bower and fell to conversing with her, but she would return to him no reply and, when he would have approached her, she started away in disgust. Hereupon, seeing no signs of conquest, the Jew said in his mind, “Let her wax accustomed to me and she will be satisfied,” and on this wise he continued to solace her heart. Now as regards the son of the Fisherman his sleep had extended deep into the forenoon and when the sun burnt upon his back he arose and found himself lying on the ash-heap below the Palace, so he said to himself, “Up and away, otherwise the Sultan will look out of the window and will behold this mound returned to its place as it was before, and he will order thy neck to be smitten.” So he hurried him forth hardly believing in his escape, and he ceased not hastening his pace until he came to a coffee-house, which he entered; and there he took him a lodging and used to lie the night, and to rise amorn. Now one day of the days behold, he met a man who was leading about a dog and a cat and a mouse385 and crying them for sale at the price of ten faddahs; so the youth said in his mind, “Let me buy these at their cheap price;” and he called aloud to the man and having given him the ten silverlings took away his purchase. After this he would fare every day to the slaughter-house and would buy for them a bit of tripe or liver and feed them therewith, but ever and anon he would sit down and ponder the loss of the Ring and bespeak himself and say, “Would Heaven I wot that which Allah Almighty hath done with my Ring and my Palace and my bride the Sultan’s daughter!” Now the dog and the cat and the mouse heard him, and one day of the days as, according to his custom, he took them with him and led them to the slaughter-house and bought a meal of entrails and gave somewhat to each that it might eat thereof, he sat down in sad thought and groaned aloud and sorrow prevailed upon him till he was overcome by sleep. The season was the mid-forenoon386 and the while he slumbered and was drowned in drowsiness, the Dog said to the Cat and the Mouse, “O brethren mine, in very deed this youth, who hath bought us for ten faddahs, leadeth us every day to this stead and giveth us our rations of food. But he hath lost his Ring and the Palace wherein was his bride, the daughter of the Sultan; so let us up and fare forth and seek therefore and do ye twain mount upon my back so that we can overwander the seas and the island-skirts.” They did as he bade them and he walked down with them to the waters and swam with them until they found themselves amiddlemost the main; nor did he cease swimming with them for about a day and a night until the morning morrowed and they saw from afar a somewhat that glittered. So they made for it till they drew near, when they saw that it was the Palace in question, whereat the Dog continued swimming till such time as he came ashore and dismounted the Cat and the Mouse. Then he said to them, “Let us abide here."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Dog said to the Cat and the Mouse, “I will abide and await you here, and do ye twain fare into the Palace, where the Cat shall take her station upon the crenelles over the lattice window and the Mouse shall enter the mansion and roam about and search through the rooms until she come upon the Ring required.” So they did the Dog’s bidding and sought the places he had appointed to them and the Mouse crept about but found naught until she approached the bedstead and beheld the Jew asleep and the Princess lying afar off. He had been longsome in requiring of her her person and had even threatened her with slaughter, yet he had no power to approach her nor indeed had he even looked upon the form of her face. Withal the Mouse ceased not faring about until she approached the Jew, whom she discovered sleeping upon his back and drowned in slumber for the excess of his drink that weighed him down. So she drew near and considered him and saw the Ring in his mouth below his tongue whereat she was perplext how to recover it; but presently she went forth to a vessel of oil and dipping her tail therein approached the sleeper and drew it over his nostrils, whereat he sneezed with a sneeze so violent that the Ring sprang from between his jaws and fell upon the side of the bedstead. Then she seized it in huge joy and returning to the Cat said to her, “Verily the prosperity of our lord hath returned to him.” After this the twain went back to the Dog whom they found expecting them, so they marched down to the sea and mounted upon his back and he swam with them both, all three being in the highest spirits. But when they reached the middle of the main, quoth the Cat to the Mouse, “Pass the Ring to me that I may carry it awhile;” and the other did so, when she placed it in her chops for an hour of time. Then quoth the Dog to them, “Ye twain have taken to yourselves charge of the Ring, each of you for a little time, and I also would do likewise.” They both said to him, “O our brother, haply ’twill fall from thy mouth;” but said he to them, “By Allah, an ye give it not to me for a while I will drown you both in this very place.” Accordingly the two did in their fear as the Dog desired and when he had set it in his chops it dropped therefrom into the abyss of the ocean; seeing which all repented thereat and they said, “Wasted is our work we have wrought.” But when they came to land they found their lord sleeping from the excess of his cark and his care, and so the trio stood on the shore and were sorrowing with sore sorrow, when behold, there appeared to them a Fish strange of semblance who said to them, “Take ye this Signet-ring and commit it to your lord, the son of the Fisherman, and when giving it to him say, ‘Since thou diddest a good deed and threwest the Fish into the sea thy kindness shall not be for naught; and, if it fail with the Creature, it shall not fail with Allah the Creator.’ Then do ye inform him that the Fish which his father the Fisher would have presented to the King and whereupon he had mercy and returned her to the waters, that Fish am I, and the old saw saith, ‘This for that, and tit for tat is its reward!’” Hereupon the Dog took the Signet-ring and the other two went up with him to their lord and awaking him from sleep returned to him his Ring. But when he saw it he became like one Jinn-mad from the excess of his joy and the three related to him the affair of the Signet; how they had brought it away from the Jew and how it had dropped from the Dog’s mouth into the abyss of the sea and lastly how the Fish who had found it brought it back to them declaring that it was she whom his sire had netted and whom the son had returned to the depths. Cried he, “Alham-dolillah”— Glory be to the Lord — who caused us work this weal and requited us for our kindness;” after which he took the Signet and waited until night had nighted. Then he repaired to the mount which was under the Sultan’s Palace and brought out the Ring and rubbed it, when the Slave appeared and cried to him, “Here I stand (and fair befal thy command!) between thy hands: what is it needest thou and requirest thou of me?” The other replied, “I demand that thou carry off for me this mound."— And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sun of the Fisherman bade the Slave of the Ring remove the mound and return the garden as whilome it was and restore the Palace containing the Jew and the Sultan’s daughter. Nor did that hour pass before everything was replaced in its proper stead. Then the Youth went up to the saloon where he found the Jew recovered from his drunkenness and he was threatening the Princess and saying, “Thou! for thee there is no escape from me.” But cried she, “O dog, O accurst, joy from my lord is well nigh to me.” Hearing these words the Youth fell upon the Jew and dragging him along by his neck, went down with him and bade them light a furious fire, and so they did till it flamed and flared; after which he pinioned his enemy and caused him to be cast therein when his bones were melted upon his flesh. Then returning to the Palace he fell to blaming the Sultan’s daughter for the matter of the Ring, and asking her, “Why didst thou on this wise?” She answered, “From Fate there is no flight, and Alhamdolillah — praise to the Lord — who after all that befell us from the Jew hath brought us together once more.” Now all that happened from the Jew and the return of the Sultan’s daughter and the restoring of the Palace and the death of his deceiver remained unknown to the Sultan, and here is an end to my history. And when the second Larrikin held his peace quoth the King, “Allah quicken thee for this story; by the Almighty ’tis wondrous, and it delighteth the hearer and rejoiceth the teller.” Then cried the third Larrikin, “I also have by me an history more marvelous than these two; and, were it written in water of gold upon the pages of men’s hearts, it were worthy thereof.” Quoth the King, “O Larrikin, if it prove stranger and rarer than these I will surely largesse thee.” Whereupon quoth he, “O King of the Age, listen to what I shall relate,” and he fell to telling the
375 [The MS. has “wa dazz-há,” which is an evident corruption. The translator, placing the diacritical point over the first radical instead of the second, reads “wa zarr-há,” and renders accordingly. But if in the MS. the dot is misplaced, the Tashdid over it would probably also belong to the Dál, resp. Zal, and as it is very feasible that a careless writer should have dropped one Waw before another, I am inclined to read “wa wazzar-ha” = “and he left her,” “let her go,” “set her free.” In classical Arabic only the imperative “Zar,” and the aorist “yazaru” of the verb “wazara” occur in this sense, while the preterite is replaced by “taraka,” or some other synonym. But the language of the common people would not hesitate to use a form scorned by the grammarians, and even to improve upon it by deriving from it one of their favourite intensives. — St.]
376 Both are civil forms of refusal: for the first see vols. i. 32; vi. 216; and for the second ix. 309.
377 Everything being fair in love and war and dealing with a “Káfir,” i.e. a non-Moslem.
378 In text “Labbayka” = here am I: see vol. i. 226.
379 In text “’Úd Khayzarán” - wood of the rattan, which is orig. “Rota,” from the Malay “Rotan.” Vol. ii. 66, &c.
380 [In the MS. “al-Zamán.” The translation here adopted is plausible enough. Still I think it probable that the careless scribe has omitted the words “yá al-Malik” before it, and meant to write “O king of the age!” as in so many preceding places. — St.]
381 Arab. “Al-Kuhná,” plur. Of “Káhin ‘t” = diviner, priest (non-Levitical): see “Cohen,” ii. 221. [The form is rather curious. The Dictionaries quote “Kuhná” as a Syriac singular, but here it seems to be taken as a plural of the measure “fu’alá” (Kuhaná), like Umará of Amír or Shu’ará of Shá‘ir. The usual plurals of Káhin are Kahanah and Kuhhán. — St.]
382 This is a celebrated incident in “Alaeddin,” “New lamps for old:” See Suppl. vol. iii. 119.
383 In text “Jazdán” = a pencase (Pers.) more pop. called “Kalamdán” = reed-box, vol. iv. 167: Scott (p. 212) has a “writing-stand.” It appears a queer place wherein to keep a ring, but Easterns often store in these highly ornamented boxes signets and other small matters.
384 Arab. “Bahr al-Muhít” = Circumambient Ocean; see vol. i. 133.
385 Arab. “Fár” (plur. “Firán”) = mouse rather than rat.
386 Sleep at this time is considered very unwholesome by Easterns. See under “Kaylúlah” = siesta, vols. i. 51; ii. 178, and viii. 191.
In my early years I had a cousin, the daughter of my paternal uncle, who loved me and I loved her whilst her father loathed me. So one day she sent to me saying, “Do thou fare forth and demand me in marriage from my sire;” and, as I was poor and her father was a wealthy merchant, she sent me to her dowry fifty gold pieces which I took; and, accompanied by four of my comrades, I went to the house of my father’s brother and there arrived I went within. But when he looked upon me his face showed wrath and my friends said to him, “Verily, thy nephew seeketh in marriage the daughter of his uncle;” and as soon as he heard these words he cried aloud at them and reviled me and crave me from his doors. So I went from him well nigh broken-hearted and I wept till I returned to my mother who cried, “What is to do with thee, O my son!” I related to her all that had befallen me from my uncle and she said to me, “O my child, to a man who loveth thee not thou goest, forsooth, to ask his daughter in marriage!” Whereto I replied, “O mother mine, she sent a message bidding me so do and verily she loveth me.” Quoth my mother, Take patience, O my son!” I heartened my heart, and my parent promised me all welfare and favour from my cousin; more over she was thinking of me at all times and presently she again sent to me and promised me that she never would love any other. Then behold, a party of folk repaired to her father and asked her to wife of him and prepared to take her away. But when the tidings reached her that her parent purposed marrying her to one of those people, she sent to me saying, “Get thee ready for this mid-night and I will come to thee.” When night was at its noon she appeared, carrying a pair of saddle-bags wherein was a somewhat of money and raiment, and she was leading a she mule belonging to her father whereupon her saddle-bags were packed. “Up with us,” she cried, so I arose with her in that outer darkness and we went forth the town forthright and the Veiler veiled us, nor did we stint faring till morning when we hid ourselves in fear lest we be overtaken. And when the next night fell we made ready and set out again, but we knew not whither we were wending, for the Predestinator existeth and what is decided for us is like Destiny. At last we came to a wide and open place where the heat smote us, and we sat down under a tree to smell the air. Presently sleep came upon me and I was drowned in slumber from the excess of my toil and travail, when suddenly a dog-faced baboon came up to the daughter of my uncle — And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, “How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!” Quoth she, “And where is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?” Now when it was the next night and that was
Dunyazad said to her, “Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short the watching of this our latter night!” She replied, “With love and good will!” It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Larrikin continued his tale saying to the King:— And as I was drowned in slumber a dog-faced baboon came up to the daughter of my uncle and assaulted her and knew her carnally; then, having taken her pucelage he ran away,387 but I knew nothing thereof from being fast asleep. Now when I awoke I found my cousin was changed of case and her colour had waxed pale and she was in saddest condition; so I asked her and she told me all that had betided her and said to me, “O son of my uncle, from Fate there is no flight, even as saith one of those who knoweth:—
‘And when death shall claw with his firm-fixt nail
I saw that spells388 were of scant avail.’
And one of them also said:—
‘When God would execute His will in anything
On one endowed with sight, hearing and reasoning,
He stops his ears and blinds his eyes and draws his will
From him, as one draws out the hairs to paste that cling;
Till, His decrees fulfilled, He gives him back his wit,
That therewithal he may receive admonishing."’389
Then she spake concerning the predestination of the Creator till she could say no more thereof. Presently we departed that stead and we travelled till we came to a town of the towns frequented by merchants, where we hired us a lodging and furnished it with mats and necessaries. Here I asked for a Kazi and they pointed out to me one of them amongst the judges of the place whom I summoned with two of his witnesses; then I made one of them deputy390 for my cousin and was married to her and went in unto her and I said to myself, “All things depend upon Fate and Lot.” After that I tarried with her for a full told year in that same town, a disease befel her and she drew nigh unto death. Hereat quoth she to me, “Allah upon thee, O son of my uncle, when I shall be dead and gone and the Destiny of Allah shall come upon thee and drive thee to marry again, take not to wife any but a virgin-girl or haply do thou wed one who hath known man but once;391 for by Allah, O my cousin, I will say thee nothing but sooth when I tell thee that the delight of that dog-faced baboon who deflowered me hath remained with me ever since.”392 So saying she expired393 and her soul fled forth her flesh. I brought to her a woman who washeth the dead and shrouded her and buried her; and after her decease I went forth from the town until Time bore me along and I became a wanderer and my condition was changed and I fell into this case. And no one knew me or aught of my affairs till I came and made friends with yonder two men. Now the King hearing these words marvelled at his adventure and what had betided him from the Shifts of Time and his heart was softened to him and he largessed him and his comrades and sent them about their business. Then quoth one of the bystanders to the King, “O Sultan, I know a tale still rarer than this;” and quoth the King, “Out with it;” whereat the man began to relate
387 Modern science which, out of the depths of its self-consciousness, has settled so many disputed questions, speaking by the organs of Messieurs Woodman and Tidy (“Medical Jurisprudence”) has decided that none of the lower animals can bear issue to man. But the voice of the world is against them and as Voltaire says one cannot be cleverer than everybody. To begin with there is the will: the she-quadruman shows a distinct lust for man by fondling him and displaying her parts as if to entice him. That carnal connection has actually taken place cannot be doubted: my late friend Mirza Ali Akbar, of Bombay, the famous Munshi to Sir Charles Napier during the conquest of Sind, a man perfectly veracious and trustworthy, assured me that in the Gujarát province he had witnessed a case with his own eyes. He had gone out “to the jungle,” as the phrase is, with another Moslem who, after keeping him waiting for an unconscionable time, was found carnally united to a she-monkey. My friend, indignant as a good Moslem should be, reproved him for his bestiality and then asked him how it had come to pass: the man answered that the she-monkey came regularly to look at him on certain occasions, that he was in the habit of throwing her something to eat and that her gratitude displayed such sexuality that he was tempted and “fell.” That the male monkey shows an equal desire for the woman is known to every frequenter of the “Zoo.” I once led a party of English girls to see a collection of mandrill and other anthropoid apes in the Ménagerie of a well-known Russian millionaire, near Florence, when the Priapism displayed was such that the girls turned back and fled in fright. In the mother-lands of these anthropoids (the Gaboon, Malacca etc.) the belief is universal and women have the liveliest fear of them. In 1853 when the Crimean war was brewing a dog-faced baboon in Cairo broke away from his “Kuraydati” (ape-leader), threw a girl in the street and was about to ravish her when a sentinel drew his bayonet and killer the beast. The event was looked upon as an evil omen by the older men, who shook their heads and declared that these were bad times when apes attempted to ravish the daughters of Moslems. But some will say that the grand test, the existence of the mule between man and monkey, though generally believed in, is characteristically absent, absent as the “missing link” which goes so far as to invalidate Darwinism in one and perhaps the most important part of its contention. Of course the offspring of such union would be destroyed, yet t he fact of our never having found a trace of it except in legend and idle story seems to militate against its existence. When, however, man shall become “Homo Sapiens” he will cast off the prejudices of the cradle and the nursery and will ascertain by actual experiment if human being and monkey can breed together. The lowest order of bimana, and the highest order of quadrumana may, under most favourable circumstances, bear issue and the “Mule,” who would own half a soul, might prove most serviceable as a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, in fact as an agricultural labourer. All we can say is that such “miscegenation” stands in the category of things not proven and we must object to science declaring them non-existing. A correspondent favours me with the following note upon the subject:— Castanheda (Annals of Portugal) relates that a woman was transported to an island inhabited by monkeys and took up her abode in a cavern where she was visited by a huge baboon. He brought her apples and fruit and at last had connection with her, the result being two children in two to three years; but when she was being carrier off by a ship the parent monkey kissed his progeny. The woman was taken to Lisbon and imprisoned for life by the King. Langius, Virgilius Polydorus and others quote many instances of monstruous births in Rome resulting from the connection of women with dogs and bears, and cows with horses, &c. The following relative conditions are deduced on the authority of MM. Jean Polfya and Mauriceau:— 1. If the sexual organism of man or woman be more powerful than that of the monkey, dog, etc. the result will be a monster in the semblance of man. 2. If vice-versa the appearance will be that of a beast. 3. If both are equal the result will be a distinct sub-species as of the horse with the ass.
388 Arab. “Taním” (plur. of Tamímit) = spells, charms, amulets, as those hung to a horse’s neck, the African Greegree and the Heb. Thummim. As was the case with most of these earliest superstitions, the Serpent, the Ark, the Cherubim, the Golden Calf (Apis) and the Levitical Institution, the Children of Israel derived the now mysterious term “Urím” (lights) and “Thummim” (amulets) from Egypt and the Semitic word (Tamímah) still remains to explain the Hebrew. “Thummim,” I may add, is by “general consensus” derived from “Tôm” = completeness and is englished “Perfection,” but we can find a better origin near at hand in spoken Arabic.
389 These verses have already occurred, see my vol. i. p. 275. I have therefore quoted Payne, i. p. 246.
390 Arab. “Wakíl” who, in the case of a grown-up girl, declares her consent to the marriage in the presence of two witnesses and after part payment of the dowry.
391 Such is the meaning of the Arab. “Thayyib.”
392 This appears to be the popular belief in Egypt. See vol. iv. 297, which assures us that “no thing poketh and stroketh more strenuously than the Gird” (or hideous Ahyssinian cynocephalus). But it must be based upon popular ignorance: the private parts of the monkey although they erect stiffly, like the priapus of Osiris when swearing upon his Phallus, are not of the girth sufficient to produce that friction which is essential to a woman’s pleasure. I may here allude to the general disappointment in England and America caused by the exhibition of my friend Paul de Chaillu’s Gorillas: he had modestly removed penis and testicles, the latter being somewhat like a bull’s, and his squeamishness caused not a little grumbling and sense of grievance — especially amongst the curious sex.
393 [In the MS. “fahakat,” lit. she flowed over like a brimful vessel. — ST.]
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