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Title: A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, Now Entituled the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 03 (of 17)

Translator: Sir Richard Francis Burton

Release date: July 12, 2016 [eBook #52564]
Most recently updated: July 27, 2017

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Richard Tonsing, Richard Hulse and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber's Note:

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

لا لابرار كلّ شي تبر
(Puris omnia pura)
Arab Proverb.
"Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole."
"Erubuit, posuitque meum Lucretia librum
Sed coram Bruto. Brute! recede, leget."
"Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre,
Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes."

"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-One Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small part of these truly enchanting fictions."

Crichton's "History of Arabia."


Thousand Nights and a Night

Shammar Edition

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, of which this is

Number 547
Printed in U. S. A.
Inscribed to the Memory
Richard Monckton Milnes
Baron Houghton.


    aa. Continuation of the Tale of Aziz and Azizah 1
    ab. Conclusion of the Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons Sharrkan and Zau al-Makan 48
  b. Tale of the Hashish-Eater 91
  c. Tale of Hammad the Badawi 104
(Lane, II. 52-59. The Fable of the Peacock and Peahen, the Duck, the Young Lion, the Ass, the Horse, the Camel, and the Carpenter, etc.)
(Lane, II. 59-69. The Fable of the Fox and the Wolf.)
  a. Tale of the Falcon and the Partridge 138
  a. The Flea and the Mouse 151
  b. The Saker and the Birds 154
  c. The Sparrow and the Eagle 155
  a. The Merchant and the Two Sharpers 158
    The Foolish Weaver ib.
(Lane, Vol. II., Chapt. ix. Story of Alee the Son of Bakkar, and Shams en-Nahár, p. 1.)
(Lane, Chapt. x. Story of the Prince Kamar ez-Zeman and the Princess Budur, p. 78 and ibid. p. 149.
Story of the Two Princes El-Amjad and El-As'ad, p. 149.)


Now when it was the Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

Shahrazad continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Aziz pursued to Taj al-Muluk:—Then I entered the flower-garden and made for the pavilion, where I found the daughter of Dalilah, the Wily One, sitting with head on knee and hand to cheek. Her colour was changed and her eyes were sunken; but, when she saw me, she exclaimed, "Praised be Allah for thy safety!" And she was minded to rise but fell down for joy. I was abashed before her and hung my head; presently, however, I went up to her and kissed her and asked, "How knewest thou that I should come to thee this very night?" She answered, "I knew it not! By Allah, this whole year past I have not tasted the taste of sleep, but have watched through every night, expecting thee; and such hath been my case since the day thou wentest out from me and I gave thee the new suit of clothes, and thou promisedst me to go to the Hammam and to come back! So I sat awaiting thee that night and a second night and a third night; but thou camest not till after so great delay, and I ever expecting thy coming; for this is lovers' way. And now I would have thee tell me what hath been the cause of thine absence from me the past year long?" So I told her. And when she knew that I was married, her colour waxed yellow, and I added, "I have come to thee this night but I must leave thee before day." Quoth she, "Doth it not suffice her that she tricked thee into marrying her and kept thee prisoner with her a whole year, but she must also make thee swear by the oath of divorce, that thou wilt return to her on the same night before morning, and not allow thee to divert thyself with thy mother or me, nor suffer thee to pass one night with either of us, away from her? How then must it be with one from whom thou hast been absent a full year, and I knew thee before she did? But Allah have mercy on thy cousin Azizah, for there befel her what never befel any and she bore what none other ever bore and she died by thy ill-usage; yet 'twas she who protected thee against me. Indeed, I thought thou didst love me, so I let thee take thine own way; else had I not suffered thee to go safe in a sound skin, when I had it in my power to clap thee in jail and even to slay thee." Then she wept with sore weeping and waxed wroth and shuddered in 2my face with skin bristling[1] and looked at me with furious eyes. When I saw her in this case I was terrified at her and my side-muscles trembled and quivered, for she was like a dreadful she-Ghul, an ogress in ire, and I like a bean over the fire. Then said she, "Thou art of no use to me, now thou art married and hast a child; nor art thou any longer fit for my company; I care only for bachelors and not for married men:[2] these profit us nothing. Thou hast sold me for yonder stinking armful; but, by Allah, I will make the whore's heart ache for thee, and thou shalt not live either for me or for her!" Then she cried a loud cry and, ere I could think, up came the slave-girls and threw me on the ground; and when I was helpless under their hands she rose and, taking a knife, said, "I will cut thy throat as they slaughter he-goats; and that will be less than thy desert, for thy doings to me and the daughter of thy uncle before me. When I looked to my life and found myself at the mercy of her slave-women, with my cheeks dust-soiled, and saw her sharpen the knife, I made sure of death"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan thus continued his tale to Zau al-Makan:—Then quoth the youth Aziz to Taj al-Muluk, Now when I found my life at the mercy of her slave-women with my cheeks dust-soiled, and I saw her sharpen the knife, I made sure of death and cried out to her for mercy. But she only redoubled in ferocity and ordered the slave-girls to pinion my hands behind me, which they did; and, throwing me on my back, she seated herself on my middle and held down my head. Then two of them came up and squatted on my shin-bones, whilst other two grasped my hands and arms; and she summoned a third pair and bade them beat me. So they beat me till I fainted and my voice failed. When I revived, I said to myself, "'Twere easier and better for me to have my gullet slit than to be beaten on this wise!" And I remembered the words of my cousin, and how she used to say to me, "Allah, keep thee 3from her mischief!"; and I shrieked and wept till my voice failed and I remained without power to breathe or to move. Then she again whetted the knife and said to the slave-girls, "Uncover him." Upon this the Lord inspired me to repeat to her the two phrases my cousin had taught me, and had bequeathed to me, and I said, "O my lady, dost thou not know that Faith is fair, Unfaith is foul?" When she heard this, she cried out and said, "Allah pity thee, Azizah, and give thee Paradise in exchange for thy wasted youth! By Allah, of a truth she served thee in her lifetime and after her death, and now she hath saved thee alive out of my hands with these two saws. Nevertheless, I cannot by any means leave thee thus, but needs must I set my mark on thee, to spite yonder brazen-faced piece, who hath kept thee from me." Thereupon she called out to the slave-women and bade them bind my feet with cords and then said to them, "Take seat on him!" They did her bidding, upon which she arose and fetched a pan of copper and hung it over the brazier and poured into it oil of sesame, in which she fried cheese.[3] Then she came up to me (and I still insensible) and, unfastening my bag-trousers, tied a cord round my testicles and, giving it to two of her women, bade them hawl at it. They did so, and I swooned away and was for excess of pain in a world other than this. Then she came with a razor of steel and cut off my member masculine,[4] so that I remained like a woman: after which she seared the wound with the boiling oil and rubbed it with a powder, and I the while unconscious. Now when I came to myself, the blood had stopped; so she bade the slave-girls unbind me and made me drink a cup of wine. Then said she to me, "Go now to her whom thou hast married and who grudged me a single night, and the mercy of Allah be on thy cousin Azizah, who saved thy life and never told her secret love! Indeed, haddest thou not repeated those words to me, I had surely slit thy weasand. Go forth this instant to whom thou wilt, for I 4needed naught of thee save what I have just cut off; and now I have no part in thee, nor have I any further want of thee or care for thee. So begone about thy business and rub thy head[5] and implore mercy for the daughter of thine uncle!" Thereupon she kicked me with her foot and I rose, hardly able to walk; and I went, little by little, till I came to the door of our house. I saw it was open, so I threw myself within it and fell down in a fainting-fit; whereupon my wife came out and lifting me up, carried me into the saloon and assured herself that I had become like a woman. Then I fell into a sleep and a deep sleep; and when I awoke, I found myself thrown down at the garden gate,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, The youth Aziz thus continued his story to Taj al-Muluk:—When I awoke and found myself thrown down at the garden-gate, I rose, groaning for pain and misery, and made my way to our home and entering, I came upon my mother weeping for me, and saying, "Would I knew, O my son, in what land art thou!" So I drew near and threw myself upon her, and when she looked at me and felt me, she knew that I was ill; for my face was coloured black and tan. Then I thought of my cousin and all the kind offices she had been wont to do me, and I learned when too late that she had truly loved me; so I wept for her and my mother wept also. Presently she said to me, "O my son, thy sire is dead." At this my fury against Fate redoubled, and I cried till I fell into a fit. When I came to myself, I looked at the place where my cousin Azizah had been used to sit and shed tears anew, till I all but fainted once more for excess of weeping; and I ceased not to cry and sob and wail till midnight, when my mother said to me, "Thy father hath been dead these ten days." "I shall never think of any one but my cousin Azizah," replied I; "and indeed I deserve all that hath befallen me, for that I neglected her who loved me with love so dear." Asked she, "What hath befallen thee?" So 5I told her all that had happened and she wept awhile, then she rose and set some matter of meat and drink before me. I ate a little and drank, after which I repeated my story to her, and told her the whole occurrence; whereupon she exclaimed, "Praised be Allah, that she did but this to thee and forbore to slaughter thee!" Then she nursed me and medicined me till I regained my health; and, when my recovery was complete, she said to me, "O my son, I will now bring out to thee that which thy cousin committed to me in trust for thee; for it is thine. She swore me not to give it thee, till I should see thee recalling her to mind and weeping over her and thy connection severed from other than herself; and now I know that these conditions are fulfilled in thee." So she arose, and opening a chest, took out this piece of linen, with the figures of gazelles worked thereon, which I had given to Azizah in time past; and taking it I found written therein these couplets:—

Lady of beauty, say, who taught thee hard and harsh design, ✿ To slay with longing Love's excess this hapless lover thine?
An thou fain disremember me beyond our parting day, ✿ Allah will know, that thee and thee my memory never shall tyne.
Thou blamest me with bitter speech yet sweetest 'tis to me; ✿ Wilt generous be and deign one day to show of love a sign?
I had not reckoned Love contained so much of pine and pain; ✿ And soul distress until I came for thee to pain and pine;
Never my heart knew weariness, until that eve I fell ✿ In love wi' thee, and prostrate fell before those glancing eyne!
My very foes have mercy on my case and moan therefor; ✿ But thou, O heart of Indian steel, all mercy dost decline.
No, never will I be consoled, by Allah, an I die, ✿ Nor yet forget the love of thee though life in ruins lie!

When I read these couplets, I wept with sore weeping and buffeted my face; then I unfolded the scroll, and there fell from it another paper. I opened it and behold, I found written therein, "Know, O son of my uncle, that I acquit thee of my blood and I beseech Allah to make accord between thee and her whom thou lovest; but if aught befal thee through the daughter of Dalilah the Wily, return thou not to her neither resort to any other woman and patiently bear thine affliction, for were not thy fated life-tide a long life, thou hadst perished long ago; but praised be Allah who hath appointed my death-day before thine! My peace be upon thee; preserve this cloth with the gazelles herein figured and let it not leave thee, for it was my companion when thou was absent 6from me;"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, And the youth Aziz continued to Taj al-Muluk:—So I read what my cousin had written and the charge to me which was, "Preserve this cloth with the gazelles and let it not leave thee, for it was my companion when thou wast absent from me and, Allah upon thee! if thou chance to fall in with her who worked these gazelles, hold aloof from her and do not let her approach thee nor marry her; and if thou happen not on her and find no way to her, look thou consort not with any of her sex. Know that she who wrought these gazelles worketh every year a gazelle-cloth and despatcheth it to far countries, that her report and the beauty of her broidery, which none in the world can match, may be bruited abroad. As for thy beloved, the daughter of Dalilah the Wily, this cloth came to her hand, and she used to ensnare folk with it, showing it to them and saying, I have a sister who wrought this. But she lied in so saying, Allah rend her veil! This is my parting counsel; and I have not charged thee with this charge, but because I know[6] that after my death the world will be straitened on thee and, haply, by reason of this, thou wilt leave thy native land and wander in foreign parts, and hearing of her who wrought these figures, thou mayest be minded to foregather with her. Then wilt thou remember me, when the memory shall not avail thee; nor wilt thou know my worth till after my death. And, lastly, learn that she who wrought the gazelles is the daughter of the King of the Camphor Islands and a lady of the noblest." Now when I had read that scroll and understood what was written therein, I fell again to weeping, and my mother wept because I wept, and I ceased not to gaze upon it and to shed tears till nightfall. I abode in this condition a whole year, at the end of which the merchants, with whom I am in this cafilah, prepared to set out from my native town; and my mother counselled me to equip myself and journey with them, so haply I might be consoled and my sorrow be dispelled, saying, "Take comfort and put away from thee this mourning and travel for a year or two 7or three, till the caravan return, when perhaps thy breast may be broadened and thy heart heartened." And she ceased not to persuade me with endearing words, till I provided myself with merchandise and set out with the caravan. But all the time of my wayfaring, my tears have never dried; no, never! and at every halting place where we halt, I open this piece of linen and look on these gazelles and call to mind my cousin Azizah and weep for her as thou hast seen; for indeed she loved me with dearest love and died, oppressed by my unlove. I did her nought but ill and she did me nought but good. When these merchants return from their journey, I shall return with them, by which time I shall have been absent a whole year: yet hath my sorrow waxed greater and my grief and affliction were but increased by my visit to the Islands of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal. Now these islands are seven in number and are ruled by a King, by name Shahriman,[7] who hath a daughter called Dunyá;[8] and I was told that it was she who wrought these gazelles and that this piece in my possession was of her embroidery. When I knew this, my yearning redoubled and I burnt with the slow fire of pining and was drowned in the sea of sad thought; and I wept over myself for that I was become even as a woman, without manly tool like other men, and there was no help for it. From the day of my quitting the Camphor Islands, I have been tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, and such hath been my case for a long while and I know not whether it will be given me to return to my native land and die beside my mother or not; for I am sick from eating too much of the world. Thereupon the young merchant wept and groaned and complained and gazed upon the gazelles; whilst the tears rolled down his cheeks in streams and he repeated these two couplets:—

"Joy needs shall come," a prattler 'gan to prattle: ✿ "Needs cease thy blame!" I was commoved to rattle:
"In time," quoth he: quoth I "'Tis marvellous! ✿ Who shall ensure my life, O cold of tattle!"[9]

8And he repeated also these:—

Well Allah weets that since our severance-day ✿ I've wept till forced to ask of tears a loan:
"Patience! (the blamer cries): thou'lt have her yet!" ✿ Quoth I, "O blamer where may patience wone?"

Then said he, "This, O King! is my tale: hast thou ever heard one stranger?" So Taj al-Muluk marvelled with great marvel at the young merchant's story, and fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the Lady Dunya and her loveliness. ——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan:—Now when Taj al-Muluk heard the story of the young merchant, he marvelled with great marvel and fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the Lady Dunya who, as he knew, had embroidered the gazelles; and his love and longing hourly grew, so he said to the youth, "By Allah, that hath befallen thee whose like never befel any save thyself, but thou hast a life-term appointed, which thou must fulfil; and now I would fain ask of thee a question." Quoth Aziz, "And what is it?" Quoth he, "Wilt thou tell me how thou sawest the young lady who wrought these gazelles?" Then he, "O my lord, I got me access to her by a sleight and it was this. When I entered her city with the caravan, I went forth and wandered about the garths till I came to a flower-garden abounding in trees, whose keeper was a venerable old man, a Shaykh stricken in years. I addressed him, saying, O ancient sir, whose may be this garden? and he replied, It belongs to the King's daughter, the Lady Dunya. We are now beneath her palace and, when she is minded to amuse herself, she openeth the private wicket and walketh in the garden and smelleth the fragrance of the flowers. So I said to him, Favour me by allowing me to sit in this garden till she come; haply I may enjoy a sight of her as she passeth. The Shaykh answered, There can be no harm in that. Thereupon I gave him a dirham or so and said to him, Buy us something to eat. He took the money gladly and opened the door and, entering himself, admitted me into the garden, where 9we strolled and ceased not strolling till we reached a pleasant spot in which he bade me sit down and await his going and his returning. Then he brought me somewhat of fruit and, leaving me, disappeared for an hour; but after a while he returned to me bringing a roasted lamb, of which we ate till we had eaten enough, my heart yearning the while for a sight of the lady. Presently, as we sat, the postern opened and the keeper said to me, Rise and hide thee. I did so; and behold, a black eunuch put his head out through the garden-wicket and asked, O Shaykh, is there any one with thee? No, answered he; and the eunuch said, Shut the garden gate. So the keeper shut the gate, and lo! the Lady Dunya came in by the private door. When I saw her, methought the moon had risen above the horizon and was shining; so I looked at her a full hour and longed for her as one athirst longeth for water. After a while she withdrew and shut the door; whereupon I left the garden and sought my lodging, knowing that I could not get at her and that I was no man for her, more especially as I was become like a woman, having no manly tool: moreover she was a King's daughter and I but a merchant man; so how could I have access to the like of her or—to any other woman? Accordingly, when these my companions made ready for the road, I also made preparation and set out with them, and we journeyed towards this city till we arrived at the place where we met with thee. Thou askest me and I have answered; and these are my adventures and peace be with thee!" Now when Taj al-Muluk heard that account, fires raged in his bosom and his heart and thought were occupied with love for the Lady Dunya; and passion and longing were sore upon him. Then he arose and mounted horse and, taking Aziz with him, returned to his father's capital, where he settled him in a separate house and supplied him with all he needed in the way of meat and drink and dress. Then he left him and returned to his palace, with the tears trickling down his cheeks, for hearing oftentimes standeth in stead of seeing and knowing.[10] And he ceased not to be in this state till his father came in to him and finding him wan-faced, lean of limb and tearful-eyed, knew that something had occurred to chagrin him and said, "O my son, acquaint me with thy case and tell me what hath befallen thee, that thy colour is changed and thy body 10is wasted." So he told him all that had passed and what tale he had heard of Aziz and the account of the Princess Dunya; and how he had fallen in love of her on hearsay, without having set eyes on her. Quoth his sire, "O my son, she is the daughter of a King whose land is far from ours: so put away this thought and go in to thy mother's palace"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan:—And the father of Taj al-Muluk spake to him on this wise, "O my son, her father is a King whose land is far from ours: so put away this thought and go into thy mother's palace where are five hundred maidens like moons, and whichsoever of them pleaseth thee, take her; or else we will seek for thee in marriage some one of the King's daughters, fairer than the Lady Dunya." Answered Taj al-Muluk, "O my father, I desire none other, for she it is who wrought the gazelles which I saw, and there is no help but that I have her; else I will flee into the wold and the waste and I will slay myself for her sake." Then said his father, "Have patience with me, till I send to her sire and demand her in marriage, and win thee thy wish as I did for myself with thy mother. Haply Allah will bring thee to thy desire; and, if her parent will not consent, I will make his kingdom quake under him with an army, whose rear shall be with me whilst its van shall be upon him." Then he sent for the youth Aziz and asked him, "O my son, tell me dost thou know the way to the Camphor Islands?" He answered "Yes"; and the King said, "I desire of thee that thou fare with my Wazir thither." Replied Aziz, "I hear and I obey, O King of the Age!"; whereupon the King summoned his Minister and said to him, "Devise me some device, whereby my son's affair may be rightly managed, and fare thou forth to the Camphor Islands and demand of their King his daughter in marriage for my son, Taj al-Muluk." The Wazir replied, "Hearkening and obedience." Then Taj al-Muluk returned to his dwelling-place and his love and longing redoubled and the delay seemed endless to him; and when the night darkened around him, he wept and sighed and complained and repeated this poetry:—

11Dark falls the night: my tears unaided rail ✿ And fiercest flames of love my heart assail:
Ask thou the nights of me, and they shall tell ✿ An I find aught to do but weep and wail:
Night-long awake, I watch the stars what while ✿ Pour down my cheeks the tears like dropping hail:
And lone and lorn I'm grown with none to aid; ✿ For kith and kin the love-lost lover fail.

And when he had ended his reciting he swooned away and did not recover his senses till the morning, at which time there came to him one of his father's eunuchs and, standing at his head, summoned him to the King's presence. So he went with him and his father, seeing that his pallor had increased, exhorted him to patience and promised him union with her he loved. Then he equipped Aziz and the Wazir and supplied them with presents; and they set out and fared on day and night till they drew near the Isles of Camphor, where they halted on the banks of a stream, and the Minister despatched a messenger to acquaint the King of his arrival. The messenger hurried forwards and had not been gone more than an hour, before they saw the King's Chamberlains and Emirs advancing towards them, to meet them at a parasang's distance from the city and escort them into the royal presence. They laid their gifts before the King and became his guests for three days. And on the fourth day the Wazir rose and going in to the King, stood between his hands and acquainted him with the object which induced his visit; whereat he was perplexed for an answer inasmuch as his daughter misliked men and disliked marriage. So he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then raised it and calling one of his eunuchs, said to him, "Go to thy mistress, the Lady Dunya, and repeat to her what thou hast heard and the purport of this Wazir's coming." So the eunuch went forth and returning after a time, said to the King, "O King of the Age, when I went in to the Lady Dunya and told her what I had heard, she was wroth with exceeding wrath and rose at me with a staff designing to break my head; so I fled from her, and she said to me:—If my Father force me to wed him, whomsoever I wed I will slay." Then said her sire to the Wazir and Aziz, "Ye have heard, and now ye know all! So let your King wot of it and give him my salutations and say that my daughter misliketh men and disliketh marriage."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Shahriman thus addressed the Wazir and Aziz, "Salute your King from me and inform him of what ye have heard, namely that my daughter misliketh marriage." So they turned away unsuccessful and ceased not faring on till they rejoined the King and told him what had passed; whereupon he commanded the chief officers to summon the troops and get them ready for marching and campaigning. But the Wazir said to him, "O my liege Lord, do not thus: the King is not at fault because, when his daughter learnt our business, she sent a message saying, If my father force me to wed, whomsoever I wed I will slay and myself after him. So the refusal cometh from her." When the King heard his Minister's words he feared for Taj al-Muluk and said, "Verily if I make war on the King of the Camphor Islands and carry off his daughter, she will kill herself and it will avail me naught." Then he told his son how the case stood, who hearing it said, "O my father, I cannot live without her; so I will go to her and contrive to get at her, even though I die in the attempt, and this only will I do and nothing else." Asked his father, "How wilt thou go to her?" and he answered, "I will go in the guise of a merchant."[11] Then said the King, "If thou need must go and there is no help for it, take with thee the Wazir and Aziz." Then he brought out money from his treasuries and made ready for his son merchandise to the value of an hundred thousand dinars. The two had settled upon this action; and when the dark hours came Taj al-Muluk and Aziz went to Aziz's lodgings and there passed that night, and the Prince was heart-smitten, taking no pleasure in food or in sleep; for melancholy was heavy upon him and he was agitated with longing for his beloved. So he besought the Creator that he would vouchsafe to unite him with her and he wept and groaned and wailed and began versifying:—

Union, this severance ended, shall I see some day? ✿ Then shall my tears this love-lorn lot of me portray.
While night all care forgets I only minded thee, ✿ And thou didst gar me wake while all forgetful lay.

13And when his improvising came to an end, he wept with sore weeping and Aziz wept with him, for that he remembered his cousin; and they both ceased not to shed tears till morning dawned, whereupon Taj al-Muluk rose and went to farewell his mother, in travelling dress. She asked him of his case and he repeated the story to her; so she gave him fifty thousand gold pieces and bade him adieu; and, as he fared forth, she put up prayers for his safety and for his union with his lover and his friends. Then he betook himself to his father and asked his leave to depart. The King granted him permission and, presenting him with other fifty thousand dinars, bade set up a tent for him without the city and they pitched a pavilion wherein the travellers abode two days. Then all set out on their journey. Now Taj al-Muluk delighted in the company of Aziz and said to him, "O my brother, henceforth I can never part from thee." Replied Aziz, "And I am of like mind and fain would I die under thy feet: but, O my brother, my heart is concerned for my mother." "When we shall have won our wish," said the Prince, "there will be naught save what is well!" Now the Wazir continued charging Taj al-Muluk to be patient, whilst Aziz entertained him every evening with talk and recited poetry to him and diverted him with histories and anecdotes. And so they fared on diligently night and day for two whole months, till the way became tedious to Taj al-Muluk and the fire of desire redoubled on him; and he broke out:—

The road is longsome; grow my grief and need, ✿ While on my breast love-fires for ever feed:
Goal of my hopes, sole object of my wish! ✿ By him who moulded man from drop o' seed,
I bear such loads of longing for thy love, ✿ Dearest, as weight of al-Shumm Mounts exceed:
O 'Lady of my World,'[12] Love does me die; ✿ No breath of life is left for life to plead;
But for the union-hope that lends me strength, ✿ My weary limbs were weak this way to speed.

When he had finished his verses, he wept (and Aziz wept with him) from a wounded heart, till the Minister was moved to pity by their tears and said, "O my lord, be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear of tears; there will be naught save what is well!" Quoth Taj al-Muluk, "O Wazir, indeed I am weary of the length 14of the way. Tell me how far we are yet distant from the city." Quoth Aziz, "But a little way remaineth to us." Then they continued their journey, cutting across river-vales and plains, wolds and stony wastes, till one night, as Taj al-Muluk was sleeping, he dreamt that his beloved was with him and that he embraced her and pressed her to his bosom; and he awoke quivering, shivering with pain, delirious with emotion, and improvised these verses:—

Dear friend, my tears aye flow these cheeks adown, ✿ With longsome pain and pine, my sorrow's crown:
I plain like keening woman child bereft, ✿ And as night falls like widow-dove I groan:
An blow the breeze from land where thou dost wone, ✿ I find o'er sunburnt earth sweet coolness blown.
Peace be wi' thee, my love, while zephyr breathes, ✿ And cushat flies and turtle makes her moan.

And when he had ended his versifying, the Wazir came to him and said, "Rejoice; this is a good sign: so be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for thou shalt surely compass thy desire." And Aziz also came to him and exhorted him to patience and applied himself to divert him, talking with him and telling him tales. So they pressed on, marching day and night, other two months, till there appeared to them one day at sunrise some white thing in the distance and Taj al-Muluk said to Aziz, "What is yonder whiteness?" He replied, "O my lord! yonder is the Castle of Crystal and that is the city thou seekest." At this the Prince rejoiced, and they ceased not faring forwards till they drew near the city and, as they approached it, Taj al-Muluk joyed with exceeding joy, and his care ceased from him. They entered in trader guise, the King's son being habited as a merchant of importance; and repaired to a great Khan, known as the Merchants' Lodging. Quoth Taj al-Muluk to Aziz, "Is this the resort of the merchants?"; and quoth he, "Yes; 'tis the Khan wherein I lodged before." So they alighted there and making their baggage-camels kneel, unloaded them and stored their goods in the warehouses.[13] They abode four days for rest; when the Wazir advised that they should hire a large house. To this they assented and they found them a spacious house, fitted up for festivities, where they took up 15their abode, and the Wazir and Aziz studied to devise some device for Taj al-Muluk, who remained in a state of perplexity, knowing not what to do. Now the Minister could think of nothing but that he should set up as a merchant on 'Change and in the market of fine stuffs; so he turned to the Prince and his companion and said to them, "Know ye that if we tarry here on this wise, assuredly we shall not win our wish nor attain our aim; but a something occurred to me whereby (if Allah please!) we shall find our advantage." Replied Taj al-Muluk and Aziz, "Do what seemeth good to thee, indeed there is a blessing on the grey-beard; more specially on those who, like thyself, are conversant with the conduct of affairs: so tell us what occurreth to thy mind." Rejoined the Wazir, "It is my counsel that we hire thee a shop in the stuff-bazar, where thou mayst sit to sell and buy. Every one, great and small, hath need of silken stuffs and other cloths; so if thou patiently abide in thy shop, thine affairs will prosper, Inshallah! more by token as thou art comely of aspect. Make, however, Aziz thy factor and set him within the shop, to hand thee the pieces of cloth and stuffs." When Taj al-Muluk heard these words, he said, "This rede is right and a right pleasant recking." So he took out a handsome suit of merchant's weed, and, putting it on, set out for the bazar, followed by his servants, to one of whom he had given a thousand dinars, wherewith to fit up the shop. They ceased not walking till they came to the stuff-market, and when the merchants saw Taj al-Muluk's beauty and grace, they were confounded and went about saying, "Of a truth Rizwán[14] hath opened the gates of Paradise and left them unguarded, so that this youth of passing comeliness hath come forth." And others, "Peradventure this is one of the angels." Now when they went in among the traders they asked for the shop of the Overseer of the market and the merchants directed them thereto. So they delayed not to repair thither and to salute him, and he and those who were with him rose to them and seated them and made much of them, because of the Wazir, whom they saw to be a man in years and of reverend aspect; and viewing the youths Aziz and Taj al-Muluk in his company, they said to one another, "Doubtless our Shaykh is the father of these two youths." Then quoth the Wazir, "Who among you is the Overseer 16of the market?" "This is he," replied they; and behold, he came forward and the Wazir observed him narrowly and saw him to be an old man of grave and dignified carriage, with eunuchs and servants and black slaves. The Syndic greeted them with the greeting of friends and was lavish in his attentions to them: then he seated them by his side and asked them, "Have ye any business which we[15] may have the happiness of transacting?" The Minister answered, "Yes; I am an old man, stricken in years, and have with me these two youths, with whom I have travelled through every town and country, entering no great city without tarrying there a full year, that they might take their pleasure in viewing it and come to know its citizens. Now I have visited your town intending to sojourn here for a while; so I want of thee a handsome shop in the best situation, wherein I may establish them, that they may traffic and learn to buy and sell and give and take, whilst they divert themselves with the sight of the place, and become familiar with the usages of its people." Quoth the Overseer, "There is no harm in that;" and, looking at the two youths, he was delighted with them and affected them with a warm affection. Now he was a great connoisseur of bewitching glances, preferring the love of boys to that of girls and inclining to the sour rather than the sweet of love. So he said to himself, "This, indeed, is fine game. Glory be to Him who created and fashioned them out of vile water!"[16] and rising, stood before them like a servant to do them honour. Then he went out and made ready for them a shop which was in the very midst of the Exchange; nor was there any larger or better in the bazar, for it was spacious and handsomely decorated and fitted with shelves of ivory and ebony wood. After this he delivered the keys to the Wazir, who was dressed as an old merchant, saying, "Take them, O my lord, and Allah make it a blessed abiding-place to thy two sons!" The Minister took the keys and the three returning to the Khan where they had alighted, bade the servants transport to the shop all their goods and stuffs.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir took the shop keys, he went accompanied by Taj al-Muluk and Aziz to the Khan, and they bade the servants transport to the shop all their goods and stuffs and valuables of which they had great store worth treasures of money. And when all this was duly done, they went to the shop and ordered their stock in trade and slept there that night. As soon as morning morrowed the Wazir took the two young men to the Hammam-bath where they washed them clean; and they donned rich dresses and scented themselves with essences and enjoyed themselves to the utmost. Now each of the youths was passing fair to look upon, and in the bath they were even as saith the poet:—

Luck to the Rubber, whose deft hand o'erflies ✿ A frame begotten twixt the lymph and light:[17]
He shows the thaumaturgy of his craft, ✿ And gathers musk in form of camphor dight.[18]

After bathing they left; and, when the Overseer heard that they had gone to the Hammam, he sat down to await the twain, and presently they came up to him like two gazelles; their cheeks were reddened by the bath and their eyes were darker than ever; their faces shone and they were as two lustrous moons or two branches fruit-laden. Now when he saw them he rose forthright and said to them, "O my sons, may your bath profit you alway!"[19] Whereupon Taj al-Muluk replied, with the sweetest of speech, "Allah be bountiful to thee, O my father; why didst thou not come with us and bathe in our company?" Then they both bent over his right hand and kissed it and walked before him to the shop, to entreat him honourably and show their respect for him, for that he was Chief of the Merchants and the market, and he had done them kindness in giving them the shop. When he saw their hips 18quivering as they moved, desire and longing redoubled on him; and he puffed and snorted and he devoured them with his eyes, for he could not contain himself, repeating the while these two couplets:—

Here the heart reads a chapter of devotion pure; ✿ Nor reads dispute if Heaven in worship partner take:
No wonder 'tis he trembles walking 'neath such weight! ✿ How much of movement that revolving sphere must make.[20]

Furthermore he said:—

I saw two charmers treading humble earth. ✿ Two I must love an tread they on mine eyes.

When they heard this, they conjured him to enter the bath with them a second time. He could hardly believe his ears and hastening thither, went in with them. The Wazir had not yet left the bath; so when he heard of the Overseer's coming, he came out and meeting him in the middle of the bath-hall invited him to enter. He refused, whereupon Taj al-Muluk taking him by the hand walked on one side and Aziz by the other, and carried him into a cabinet; and that impure old man submitted to them, whilst his emotion increased on him. He would have refused, albeit this was what he desired; but the Minister said to him, "They are thy sons; let them wash thee and cleanse thee." "Allah preserve them to thee!" exclaimed the Overseer, "by Allah your coming and the coming of those with you bring down blessing and good luck upon our city!" And he repeated these two couplets:—

Thou camest and green grew the hills anew; ✿ And sweetest bloom to the bridegroom threw,
While aloud cried Earth and her earth-borns too ✿ 'Hail and welcome who comest with grace to endue.'

They thanked him for this, and Taj al-Muluk ceased not to wash him and Aziz to pour water over him and he thought his soul in Paradise. When they had made an end of his service, he blessed them and sat by the side of the Wazir, talking but gazing the while on the youths. Presently, the servants brought them towels, and they dried themselves and donned their dress. Then they went out, and the Minister turned to the Syndic and said to him, 19"O my lord! verily the bath is the Paradise[21] of this world." Replied the Overseer, "Allah vouchsafe to thee such Paradise, and health to thy sons and guard them from the evil eye! Do ye remember aught that the eloquent have said in praise of the bath?" Quoth Taj al-Muluk, "I will repeat for thee a pair of couplets;" and he recited:—

The life of the bath is the joy of man's life,[22] ✿ Save that time is short for us there to bide:
A Heaven, where irksome it were to stay; ✿ A Hell, delightful at entering-tide.

When he ended his recital, quoth Aziz, "And I also remember two couplets in praise of the bath." The Overseer said, "Let me hear them;" so he repeated the following:—

A house where flowers from stones of granite grow, ✿ Seen at its best when hot with living lowe:
Thou deem'st it Hell but here, forsooth, is Heaven, ✿ And some like suns and moons within it show.

And when he had ended his recital, his verses pleased the Overseer and he wondered at his words and savoured their grace and facundity and said to them, "By Allah, ye possess both beauty and eloquence. But now listen to me, you twain!" And he began chanting, and recited in song the following verses:—

O joy of Hell and Heaven! whose tormentry ✿ Enquickens frame and soul with lively gree:
I marvel so delightsome house to view, ✿ And most when 'neath it kindled fires I see:
Sojourn of bliss to visitors, withal ✿ Pools on them pour down tears unceasingly.

20Then his eye sight roamed and browsed on the gardens of their beauty and he repeated these two couplets:—

I went to the house of the keeper-man; ✿ He was out, but others to smile began:
I entered his Heaven[23] and then his Hell;[24] ✿ And I said "Bless Málik[25] and bless Rizwán."[26]

When they heard these verses they were charmed, and the Overseer invited them to his house; but they declined and returned to their own place, to rest from the great heat of the bath. So they took their ease there and ate and drank and passed that night in perfect solace and satisfaction, till morning dawned, when they arose from sleep and making their lesser ablution, prayed the dawn-prayer and drank the morning draught.[27] As soon as the sun had risen and the shops and markets opened, they arose and going forth from their place to the bazar opened their shop, which their servants had already furnished, after the handsomest fashion, and had spread with prayer-rugs and silken carpets and had placed on the divans a pair of mattresses, each worth an hundred dinars. On every mattress they had disposed a rug of skin fit for a King and edged with a fringe of gold; and a-middlemost the shop stood a third seat still richer, even as the place required. Then Taj al-Muluk sat down on one divan, and Aziz on another, whilst the Wazir seated himself on that in the centre, and the servants stood before them. The city people soon heard of them and crowded about them, so that they sold some of their goods and not a few of their stuffs; for Taj al-Muluk's beauty and loveliness had become the talk of the town. Thus they passed a trifle of time, and every day the people flocked to them and pressed upon them more and 21more, till the Wazir, after exhorting Taj al-Muluk to keep his secret, commended him to the care of Aziz and went home, that he might commune with himself alone and cast about for some contrivance which might profit them. Meanwhile, the two young men sat talking and Taj al Muluk said to Aziz, "Haply some one will come from the Lady Dunya." So he ceased not expecting this chance days and nights, but his heart was troubled and he knew neither sleep nor rest; for desire had got the mastery of him, and love and longing were sore upon him, so that he renounced the solace of sleep and abstained from meat and drink; yet ceased he not to be like the moon on the night of fullness. Now one day as he sat in the shop, behold, there came up an ancient woman——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan:—Now one day as Taj al-Muluk sat in his shop, behold, there appeared an ancient woman, who came up to him followed by two slave girls. She ceased not advancing till she stood before the shop of Taj al-Muluk and, observing his symmetry and beauty and loveliness, marvelled at his charms and sweated in her petticoat trousers, exclaiming, "Glory to Him who created thee out of vile water, and made thee a temptation to all beholders!" And she fixed her eyes on him and said, "This is not a mortal, he is none other than an angel deserving the highest respect."[28] Then she drew near and saluted him, whereupon he returned her salute and rose to his feet to receive her and smiled in her face (all this by a hint from Aziz); after which he made her sit down by his side and fanned her with a fan, till she was rested and refreshed. Then she turned to Taj al-Muluk and said, "O my son! O thou who art perfect in bodily gifts and spiritual graces; say me, art thou of this country?" He replied, in voice the sweetest and in tone the pleasantest, "By Allah, O my mistress, I was never in this land during my life till this time, nor do I abide here save by way of diversion." Rejoined 22she, "May the Granter grant thee all honour and prosperity! And what stuffs hast thou brought with thee? Show me something passing fine; for the beauteous should bring nothing but what is beautiful." When he heard her words, his heart fluttered and he knew not their inner meaning; but Aziz made a sign to him and he replied, "I have everything thou canst desire and especially I have goods that besit none but Kings and King's daughters; so tell me what stuff thou wantest and for whom, that I may show thee what will be fitting for him." This he said, that he might learn the meaning of her words; and she rejoined, "I want a stuff fit for the Princess Dunya, daughter of King Shahriman." Now when the Prince heard the name of his beloved, he joyed with great joy and said to Aziz, "Give me such a parcel." So Aziz brought it and opened it before Taj al-Muluk who said to the old woman, "Select what will suit her; for these goods are to be found only with me." She chose stuffs worth a thousand dinars and asked, "How much is this?"; and she ceased not the while to talk with him and rub what was inside her thighs with the palm of her hand. Answered Taj al-Muluk, "Shall I haggle with the like of thee about this paltry price? Praised be Allah who hath acquainted me with thee!" The old woman rejoined, "Allah's name be upon thee! I commend thy beautiful face to the protection of the Lord of the Daybreak.[29] Beautiful face and eloquent speech! Happy she who lieth in thy bosom and claspeth thy waist in her arms and enjoyeth thy youth, especially if she be beautiful and lovely like thyself!" At this, Taj al-Muluk laughed till he fell on his back and said to himself, "O Thou who fulfillest desires human by means of pimping old women! They are the true fulfillers of desires!" Then she asked, "O my son, what is thy name?" and he answered, "My name is Taj al-Muluk, the Crown of Kings." Quoth she, "This is indeed a name of Kings and King's sons and thou art clad in merchant's clothes." Quoth Aziz, "For the love his parents and family bore him and for the value they set on him, they named him thus." Replied the old woman, "Thou sayest sooth, Allah guard you both from the evil eye and the envious, though hearts be broken by your charms!" Then she took the stuffs and went her way; but she was amazed 23at his beauty and stature and symmetry, and she ceased not going till she found the Lady Dunya and said to her, "O my mistress! I have brought thee some handsome stuffs." Quoth the Princess, "Show me that same"; and the old woman, "O apple of my eye, here it is, turn it over and examine it." Now when the Princess looked at it she was amazed and said, "O my nurse, this is indeed handsome stuff: I have never seen its like in our city." "O my lady," replied the old nurse, "he who sold it me is handsomer still. It would seem as if Rizwan had left the gates of Paradise open in his carelessness, and as if the youth who sold me this stuff had come bodily out of Heaven. I would he might sleep this night with thee and might lie between thy breasts.[30] He hath come to thy city with these precious stuffs for amusement's sake, and he is a temptation to all who set eyes on him." The Princess laughed at her words and said, "Allah afflict thee, O pernicious old hag! Thou dotest and there is no sense left in thee." Presently, she resumed, "Give me the stuff that I may look at it anew." So she gave it her and she took it again and saw that its size was small and its value great. It pleased her, for she had never in her life seen its like, and she exclaimed, "By Allah, this is a handsome stuff!" Answered the old woman, "O my lady, by Allah! if thou sawest its owner thou wouldst know him for the handsomest man on the face of the earth." Quoth the Lady Dunya, "Didst thou ask him if he had any need, that he might tell us and we might satisfy it?" But the nurse shook her head and said, "The Lord keep thy sagacity! By Allah, he hath a want, may thy skill not fail thee. What! is any man free from wants?" Rejoined the Princess, "Go back to him and salute him and say to him:—Our land and town are honoured by thy visit and, if thou have any need, we will fulfil it to thee, on our head and eyes." So the old woman at once returned to Taj al-Muluk, and when he saw her his heart jumped for joy and gladness and he rose to his feet before her and, taking her hand, seated her by his side. As soon as she was rested, she told him what Princess Dunya had said; and he on hearing it joyed with exceeding joy; his breast dilated to the full; gladness entered his heart and he said to himself, "Verily, I have my need." Then he asked the old woman, "Haply thou wilt take her a message from me and bring me her answer?"; and she 24answered, "I hear and I obey." So he said to Aziz, "Bring me ink-case and paper and a brazen pen." And when Aziz brought him what he sought, he hent the pen in hand and wrote these lines of poetry:—

I write to thee, O fondest hope! a writ ✿ Of grief that severance on my soul doth lay:
Saith its first line, "Within my heart is lowe!" ✿ Its second, "Love and longing on me prey!"
Its third, "My patience waste is, fades my life!" ✿ Its fourth, "Naught shall my pain and pine allay!"
Its fifth, "When shall mine eyes enjoy thy sight?" ✿ Its sixth, "Say, when shall dawn our meeting-day?"

And, lastly, by way of subscription he wrote these words. "This letter is from the captive of captivation ✿ prisoned in the hold of longing expectation ✿ wherefrom is no emancipation ✿ but in anticipation and intercourse and in unification ✿ after absence and separation. ✿ For from the severance of friends he loveth so fain ✿ he suffereth love-pangs and pining pain. ✿" Then his tears rushed out, and he indited these two couplets:—

I write thee, love, the while my tears pour down; ✿ Nor cease they ever pouring thick and fleet:
Yet I despair not of my God, whose grace ✿ Haply some day will grant us twain to meet.

Then he folded the letter[31] and sealed it with his signet-ring and gave it to the old woman, saying, "Carry it to the Lady Dunya." Quoth she, "To hear is to obey;" whereupon he gave her a thousand dinars and said to her, "O my mother! accept this gift from me as a token of my affection." She took both from him and blessed him and went her way and never stinted walking till she went in to the Lady Dunya. Now when the Princess saw her she said to her, "O my nurse, what is it he asketh of need that we may fulfil his wish to him?" Replied the old woman, "O my 25lady, he sendeth thee this letter by me, and I know not what is in it;" and handed it to her. Then the Princess took the letter and read it; and when she understood it, she exclaimed, "Whence cometh and whither goeth this merchant man that he durst address such a letter to me?" And she slapt her face saying, "Whence are we that we should come to shopkeeping? Awah! Awah! By the lord, but that I fear Almighty Allah I had slain him;" and she added, "Yea, I had crucified[32] him over his shop-door!" Asked the old woman, "What is in this letter to vex thy heart and move thy wrath on this wise? Doth it contain a complaint of oppression or demand for the price of the stuff?" Answered the Princess, "Woe to thee! There is none of this in it, naught but words of love and endearment. This is all through thee: otherwise whence should this Satan[33] know me?" Rejoined the old woman, "O my lady, thou sittest in thy high palace and none may have access to thee; no, not even the birds of the air. Allah keep thee, and keep thy youth from blame and reproach! Thou needest not care for the barking of dogs, for thou art a Princess, the daughter of a King. Be not wroth with me that I brought thee this letter, knowing not what was in it; but I opine that thou send him an answer and threaten him with death and forbid him this foolish talk; surely he will abstain and not do the like again." Quoth the Lady Dunya, "I fear that, if I write to him, he will desire me the more." The old woman returned, "When he heareth thy threats and promise of punishment, he will desist from his persistence." She cried, "Here with the ink-case and paper and brazen pen;" and when they brought them she wrote these couplets:—

26O thou who for thy wakeful nights wouldst claim my love to boon, ✿ For what of pining thou must feel and tribulation!
Dost thou, fond fool and proud of sprite, seek meeting with the Moon? ✿ Say, did man ever win his wish to take in arms the Moon?
I counsel thee, from soul cast out the wish that dwells therein, ✿ And cut that short which threatens thee with sore risk oversoon:
An to such talk thou dare return, I bid thee to expect ✿ Fro' me such awful penalty as suiteth froward loon:
I swear by Him who moulded man from gout of clotted blood,[34] ✿ Who lit the Sun to shine by day and lit for night the moon,
An thou return to mention that thou spakest in thy pride, ✿ Upon a cross of tree for boon I'll have thee crucified!

Then she folded the letter and handing it to the old woman said, "Give him this and say him:—Cease from this talk!" "Hearkening and obedience" replied she, and taking the letter with joy, returned to her own house, where she passed the night; and when morning dawned she betook herself to the shop of Taj al-Muluk whom she found expecting her. When he saw her, he was ready to fly[35] for delight, and when she came up to him, he stood to her on his feet and seated her by his side. Then she brought out the letter and gave it to him, saying, "Read what is in this;" adding "When Princess Dunya read thy letter she was angry; but I coaxed her and jested with her till I made her laugh, and she had pity on thee and she hath returned thee an answer." He thanked her for her kindness and bade Aziz give her a thousand gold pieces: then he perused the letter and understanding it fell to weeping a weeping so sore that the old woman's heart was moved to ruth for him, and his tears and complaints were grievous to her. Presently she asked him, "O my son, what is there in this letter to make thee weep?" Answered he, "She hath threatened me with death and crucifixion and she forbiddeth me to write to her, but if I write not my death were better than my life. So take thou my answer to her letter and let her work her will." 27Rejoined the old woman, "By the life of thy youth, needs must I risk my existence for thee, that I may bring thee to thy desire and help thee to win what thou hast at heart!" And Taj al-Muluk said, "Whatever thou dost, I will requite thee for it and do thou weigh it in the scales of thy judgement, for thou art experienced in managing matters, and skilled in reading the chapters of the book of intrigue: all hard matters to thee are easy doings; and Allah can bring about everything." Then he took a sheet of paper and wrote thereon these improvised couplets:—

Yestre'en my love with slaughter menaced me, ✿ But sweet were slaughter and Death's foreordainèd:
Yes, Death is sweet for lover doomed to bear ✿ Long life, rejected, injured and constrainèd:
By Allah! deign to visit friendless friend! ✿ Thy thrall am I and like a thrall I'm chainèd:
Mercy, O lady mine, for loving thee! ✿ Who loveth noble soul should be assainèd.

Then he sighed heavy sighs and wept till the old woman wept also; and presently taking the letter she said to him, "Be of good cheer and cool eyes and clear; for needs must I bring thee to thy wish."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Taj al-Muluk wept the old woman said to him, "Be of good cheer and cool eyes and clear; for needs must I bring thee to thy wish." Then she rose and left him on coals of fire; and returned to Princess Dunya, whom she found still showing on her changed face rage at Taj al-Muluk's letter. So she gave her his second letter, whereat her wrath redoubled and she said, "Did I not say he would desire us the more?" Replied the old woman, "What thing is this dog that he should aspire to thee?" Quoth the Princess, "Go back to him and tell him that, if he write me after this, I will cut off his head." Quoth the nurse, "Write these words in a letter and I will take it to him that his fear may be the greater." So she took a sheet of paper and wrote thereon these couplets:—

28Ho thou, who past and bygone risks regardest with uncare! ✿ Thou who to win thy meeting-prize dost overslowly fare!
In pride of spirit thinkest thou to win the star Soha[36]? ✿ Albe thou may not reach the Moon which shines through upper air?
How darest thou expect to win my favours, hope to clip ✿ Upon a lover's burning breast my lance like shape and rare?
Leave this thy purpose lest my wrath come down on thee some day, ✿ A day of wrath shall hoary turn the partings of thy hair!

Then she folded the letter and gave it to the old woman, who took it and repaired to Taj al-Muluk. And when he saw her, he rose to his feet and exclaimed, "May Allah never bereave me of the blessing of thy coming!" Quoth she, "Take the answer to thy letter." He took it and reading it, wept with sore weeping and said, "I long for some one to slay me at this moment and send me to my rest, for indeed death were easier to me than this my state!" Then he took ink-case and pen and paper and wrote a letter containing these two couplets:—

O hope of me! pursue me not with rigour and disdain: ✿ Deign thou to visit lover-wight in love of thee is drowned;
Deem not a life so deeply wronged I longer will endure; ✿ My soul for severance from my friend divorced this frame unsound.

Lastly he folded the letter and handed it to the old woman, saying, "Be not angry with me, though I have wearied thee to no purpose." And he bade Aziz give her other thousand ducats, saying, "O my mother, needs must this letter result in perfect union or utter severance." Replied she, "O my son, by Allah, I desire nought but thy weal; and it is my object that she be thine, for indeed thou art the shining moon, and she the rising sun.[37] If I 29do not bring you together, there is no profit in my existence; and I have lived my life till I have reached the age of ninety years in the practice of wile and intrigue; so how should I fail to unite two lovers, though in defiance of right and law?" Then she took leave of him having comforted his heart, and ceased not walking till she went in to the Lady Dunya. Now she had hidden the letter in her hair: so when she sat down by the Princess she rubbed her head and said, "O my lady, maybe thou wilt untwist my hair-knot, for it is a time since I went to the Hammam." The King's daughter bared her arms to the elbows and, letting down the old woman's locks, began to loose the knot of back hair; when out dropped the letter and the Lady Dunya seeing it, asked, "What is this paper?" Quoth the nurse, "As I sat in the merchant's shop, this paper must have stuck to me: give it to me that I may return it to him; possibly it containeth some account whereof he hath need." But the Princess opened it and read it and, when she understood it, she cried out, "This is one of thy manifold tricks, and hadst thou not reared me, I would lay violent hands on thee this moment! Verily Allah hath afflicted me with this merchant: but all that hath befallen me with him is on thy head. I know not from what country this one can have come: no man but he would venture to affront me thus, and I fear lest this my case get abroad, more by token as it concerneth one who is neither of my kin nor of my peers." Rejoined the old woman, "None would dare speak of this for fear of thy wrath and for awe of thy sire; so there can be no harm in sending him an answer." Quoth the Princess, "O my nurse, verily this one is a perfect Satan! How durst he use such language to me and not dread the Sultan's rage. Indeed, I am perplexed about his case: if I order him to be put to death, it were unjust; and if I leave him alive his boldness will increase." Quoth the old woman, "Come, write him a letter; it may be he will desist in dread." So she called for paper and ink-case and pen and wrote these couplets:—

Thy folly drives thee on though long I chid, ✿ Writing in verse: how long shall I forbid?
For all forbiddal thou persistest more, ✿ And my sole grace it is to keep it hid;
Then hide thy love nor ever dare reveal; ✿ For an thou speak, of thee I'll soon be rid;
If to thy silly speech thou turn anew, ✿ Ravens shall croak for thee the wold amid:
30And Death shall come and beat thee down ere long, ✿ Put out of sight and bury 'neath an earthen lid:
Thy folk, fond fool! thou'lt leave for thee to mourn, ✿ And through their lives to sorrow all forlorn.

Then she folded the letter and committed it to the old woman, who took it and returning to Taj al-Muluk, gave it to him. When he read it, he knew that the Princess was hard-hearted and that he should not win access to her; so he complained of his case to the Wazir and besought his counsel. Quoth the Minister, "Know thou that naught will profit thee save that thou write to her and invoke the retribution of Heaven upon her." And quoth the Prince, "O my brother, O Aziz, do thou write to her as if my tongue spake, according to thy knowledge." So Aziz took a paper and wrote these couplets:—

By the Five Shayks,[38] O Lord, I pray deliver me; ✿ Let her for whom I suffer bear like misery:
Thou knowest how I fry in flaming lowe of love, ✿ While she I love hath naught of ruth or clemency:
How long shall I, despite my pain, her feelings spare? ✿ How long shall she wreak tyranny o'er weakling me?
In pains of never-ceasing death I ever grieve: ✿ O Lord, deign aid; none other helping hand I see.
How fain would I forget her and forget her love! ✿ But how forget when Love garred Patience death to dree?
O thou who hinderest Love to 'joy fair meeting-tide ✿ Say! art thou safe from Time and Fortune's jealousy?
Art thou not glad and blest with happy life, while I ✿ From folk and country for thy love am doomèd flee?

Then Aziz folded the letter and gave it to Taj al-Muluk, who read it and was pleased with it. So he handed it to the old woman, who took it and went in with it to Princess Dunya. But when she read it and mastered the meaning thereof, she was enraged with great rage and said, "All that hath befallen me cometh by means of this ill-omened old woman!" Then she cried out to the damsels and eunuchs, saying, "Seize this old hag, this accursed trickstress and beat her with your slippers!" So they came down upon her till she swooned away; and, when she came to herself, the Princess said to her, "By the Lord! O wicked old woman, did I not fear Almighty Allah, I would slay thee." Then quoth she to them, 31"Beat her again" and they did so till she fainted a second time, whereupon she bade them drag her forth and throw her outside the palace-door. So they dragged her along on her face and threw her down before the gate; but as soon as she revived she got up from the ground and, walking and sitting by turns, made her way home. There she passed the night till morning, when she arose and went to Taj al-Muluk and told them all that had occurred. He was distressed at this grievous news and said, "O my mother, hard indeed to us is that which hath befallen thee, but all things are according to fate and man's lot." Replied she, "Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for I will not give over striving till I have brought thee and her together, and made thee enjoy this wanton who hath burnt my skin with beating." Asked the Prince, "Tell me what caused her to hate men;" and the old woman answered, "It arose from what she saw in a dream." "And what was this dream?" "'Twas this: one night, as she lay asleep, she saw a fowler spread his net upon the ground and scatter wheat grain round it. Then he sat down hard by, and not a bird in the neighbourhood but flocked to his toils. Amongst the rest she beheld a pair of pigeons, male and female; and, whilst she was watching the net, behold, the male bird's foot caught in the meshes and he began to struggle; whereupon all the other birds took fright and flew away. But presently his mate came back and hovered over him, then alighted on the toils unobserved by the fowler, and fell to pecking with her beak and pulling at the mesh in which the male bird's foot was tangled, till she released the toes and they flew away together. Then the fowler came up, mended his net and seated himself afar off. After an hour or so the birds flew back and the female pigeon was caught in the net; whereupon all the other birds took fright and scurried away; and the male pigeon fled with the rest and did not return to his mate, but the fowler came up and took the female pigeon and cut her throat. The Princess awoke, troubled by her dream, and said:—All males are like this pigeon, worthless creatures: and men in general lack grace and goodness to women." When the old woman had ended her story, the Prince said to her, "O my mother, I desire to have one look at her, though it be my death; so do thou contrive me some contrivance for seeing her." She replied, "Know then that she hath under her palace windows a garden wherein she taketh her pleasure; and thither she resorteth once in every month by the private door. After ten days, the time of her thus going forth to 32divert herself will arrive; so when she is about to visit the garden, I will come and tell thee, that thou mayst go thither and meet her. And look thou leave not the garden, for haply, an she see thy beauty and loveliness, her heart will be taken with love of thee, and love is the most potent means of union." He said, "I hear and obey;" whereupon he and Aziz arose and left the shop and, taking the old woman with them, showed her the place where they lodged. Then said Taj al-Muluk to Aziz, "O my brother, I have no need of the shop now, having fulfilled my purpose of it; so I give it to thee with all that is in it; for that thou hast come abroad with me and hast left thy native land for my sake." Aziz accepted his gift and then they sat conversing, while the Prince questioned him of the strange adventures which had befallen him, and his companion acquainted him with the particulars thereof. Presently, they went to the Wazir and, reporting to him Taj al-Muluk's purpose, asked him, "What is to be done?" "Let us go to the garden," answered he. So each and every donned richest clothes and went forth, followed by three white slaves to the garden, which they found thick with thickets and railing its rills. When they saw the keeper sitting at the gate, they saluted him with the Salam and he returned their salute. Then the Wazir gave him an hundred gold pieces, saying, "Prithee, take this small sum and fetch us somewhat to eat; for we are strangers and I have with me these two lads whom I wish to divert."[39] The Gardener took the sequins and said to them, "Enter and amuse yourselves in the garden, for it is all yours; and sit down till I bring you what food you require." So he went to the market while the Wazir and Taj al-Muluk and Aziz entered the garden. And shortly after leaving for the bazar the Gardener returned with a roasted lamb and cotton-white bread, which he placed before them, and they ate and drank; thereupon he served up sweetmeats, and they ate of them, and washed their hands and sat talking. Presently the Wazir said to the garth-keeper, "Tell me about this garden: is it thine or dost thou rent it?" The Shaykh replied, "It doth not belong to me, but to our King's daughter, the Princess Dunya." "What be thy monthly wages?" asked the Wazir and he answered, "One dinar and no more." Then the Minister looked round about the garden and, seeing in its midst 33a pavilion tall and grand but old and disused, said to the keeper, "O elder, I am minded to do here a good work, by which thou shalt remember me." Replied the other, "O my lord, what is the good work thou wouldest do?" "Take these three hundred dinars," rejoined the Wazir. When the Keeper heard speak of the gold, he said, "O my lord, whatso thou wilt, do!" So the Wazir gave him the monies, saying, "Inshallah, we will make a good work in this place!" Then they left him and returned to their lodging, where they passed the night; and when it was the next day, the Minister sent for a plasterer and a painter and a skilful goldsmith and, furnishing them with all the tools they wanted, carried them to the garden, where he bade them whitewash the walls of the pavilion and decorate it with various kinds of paintings. Moreover he sent for gold and lapis lazuli[40] and said to the painter, "Figure me on the wall, at the upper end of this hall, a man-fowler with his nets spread and birds falling into them and a female pigeon entangled in the meshes by her bill." And when the painter had finished his picture on one side, the Wazir said, "Figure me on the other side a similar figure and represent the she-pigeon alone in the snare and the fowler seizing her and setting the knife to her neck; and draw on the third side-wall, a great raptor clutching the male pigeon, her mate, and digging talons into him." The artist did his bidding, and when he and the others had finished the designs, they received their hire and went away. Then the Wazir and his companions took leave of the Gardener and returned to their place, where they sat down to converse. And Taj al-Muluk said to Aziz, "O my brother, recite me some verses: perchance it may broaden my breast and dispel my dolours and quench the fire flaming in my heart." So Aziz chanted with sweet modulation these couplets:—

Whate'er they say of grief to lovers came, ✿ I, weakling I, can single-handed claim:
An seek thou watering-spot,[41] my streaming eyes ✿ Pour floods that thirst would quench howe'er it flame:
Or wouldest view what ruin Love has wrought ✿ With ruthless hands, then see this wasted frame.

34And his eyes ran over with tears and he repeated these couplets also:-

Who loves not swan-neck and gazelle-like eyes, ✿ Yet claims to know Life's joys, I say he lies:
In Love is mystery, none avail to learn ✿ Save he who loveth in pure loving wise.
Allah my heart ne'er lighten of this love, ✿ Nor rob the wakefulness these eyelids prize.

Then he changed the mode of song and sang these couplets:—

Ibn Síná[42] in his Canon doth opine ✿ Lovers' best cure is found in merry song:
In meeting lover of a like degree, ✿ Dessert in garden, wine-draughts long and strong:
I chose another who of thee might cure ✿ While Force and Fortune aided well and long;
But ah! I learnt Love's mortal ill, wherein ✿ Ibn Sina's recipe is fond and wrong.

After hearing them to the end, Taj al-Muluk was pleased with his verses and wondered at his eloquence and the excellence of his recitation, saying, "Indeed, thou hast done away with somewhat of my sorrow." Then quoth the Wazir, "Of a truth, there occurred to those of old what astoundeth those who hear it told." Quoth the Prince, "If thou canst recall aught of this kind, prithee let us hear thy subtle lines and keep up the talk." So the Minister chanted in modulated song these couplets:—

Indeed I deemed thy favours might be bought ✿ By gifts of gold and things that joy the sprite;
And ignorantly thought thee light-o'-love, ✿ When can thy love lay low the highmost might;
Until I saw thee choosing one, that one ✿ Loved with all favour, crowned with all delight:
Then wot I thou by sleight canst ne'er be won ✿ And under wing my head I hid from sight;
And in this nest of passion made my wone, ✿ Wherein I nestle morning, noon and night.

So far concerning them; but as regards the old woman she remained 35shut up from the world in her house, till it befel that the King's daughter was taken with a desire to divert herself in the garden. Now she had never been wont so to do save in company with her nurse; accordingly she sent for her and made friends with her and soothed her sorrow, saying, "I wish to go forth to the garden, that I may divert myself with the sight of its trees and fruits, and broaden my breast with the scent of its flowers." Replied the old woman, "I hear and obey; but first I would go to my house, and soon I will be with thee." The Princess rejoined, "Go home, but be not long absent from me." So the old woman left her and, repairing to Taj al-Muluk, said to him, "Get thee ready and don thy richest dress and go to the garden and find out the Gardener and salute him and then hide thyself therein." "To hear is to obey" answered he; and she agreed with him upon a signal, after which she returned to the Lady Dunya. As soon as she was gone, the Wazir and Aziz rose and robed Taj al-Muluk in a splendid suit of royal raiment worth five thousand dinars, and girt his middle with a girdle of gold set with gems and precious metals. Then they repaired to the garden and found seated at the gate the Keeper who, as soon as he saw the Prince, sprang to his feet and received him with all respect and reverence, and opening the gate, said, "Enter and take thy pleasure in looking at the garden." Now the Gardener knew not that the King's daughter was to visit the place that day; but when Taj al-Muluk had been a little while there, he heard a hubbub and ere he could think, out issued the eunuchs and damsels by the private wicket. The Gardener seeing this came up to the Prince, informed him of her approach and said to him, "O my lord, what is to be done? The Princess Dunya, the King's daughter, is here." Replied the Prince, "Fear not, no harm shall befal thee; for I will hide me somewhere about the garden." So the Keeper exhorted him to the utmost prudence and went away. Presently the Princess entered the garden with her damsels and with the old woman, who said to herself, "If these eunuchs stay with us, we shall not attain our end." So quoth she to the King's daughter, "O my lady, I have somewhat to tell thee which shall ease thy heart." Quoth the Princess, "Say what thou hast to say." "O my lady," rejoined the old woman, "thou hast no need of these eunuchs at a time like the present; nor wilt thou be able to divert thyself at thine ease, whilst they are with us; so send them away;" and the Lady Dunya replied, "Thou speakest sooth." Accordingly she dismissed them and presently began to 36walk about, whilst Taj al-Muluk looked upon her and fed his eyes on her beauty and loveliness (but she knew it not); and every time he gazed at her he fainted by reason of her passing charms.[43] The old woman drew her on by converse till they reached the pavilion which the Wazir had bidden be decorated, when the Princess entered and cast a glance round and perceived the picture of the birds, the fowler and the pigeon; whereupon she cried, "Exalted be Allah! This is the very counterfeit presentment of what I saw in my dream." She continued to gaze at the figures of the birds and the fowler with his net, admiring the work, and presently she said, "O my nurse, I have been wont to blame and hate men, but look now at the fowler how he hath slaughtered the she-bird and set free her mate; who was minded to return to her and aid her to escape when the bird of prey met him and tore him to pieces." Now the old woman feigned ignorance to her and ceased not to occupy her in converse, till they drew near the place where Taj al-Muluk lay hidden. Thereupon she signed to him to come out and walk under the windows of the pavilion; and, as the Lady Dunya stood looking from the casement, behold, her glance fell that way and she saw him and noting his beauty of face and form, said to the old woman, "O my nurse, whence cometh yonder handsome youth?" Replied the old woman, "I know nothing of him save that I think he must be some great King's son, for he attaineth comeliness in excess and extreme loveliness." And the Lady Dunya fell in love with him to distraction; the spells which bound her were loosed and her reason was overcome by his beauty and grace; and his fine stature and proportions strongly excited her desires sexual. So she said, "O my nurse! this is indeed a handsome youth;" and the old woman replied, "Thou sayest sooth, O my lady," and signed to Taj al-Muluk to go home. And though desire and longing flamed in him and he was distraught for love, yet he went away and took leave of the Gardener and returned to his place, obeying the old woman and not daring to cross her. When he told the Wazir and Aziz that she had signed him to depart, they exhorted him to patience, saying, "Did not the ancient dame know that there was an object to be gained by thy departure, she 37had not signalled thee to return home." Such was the case with Taj al-Muluk, the Wazir and Aziz; but as regards the King's daughter, the Lady Dunya, desire and passion redoubled upon her; she was overcome with love and longing and she said to her nurse, "I know not how I shall manage a meeting with this youth, but through thee." Exclaimed the old woman, "I take refuge with Allah from Satan the stoned! Thou who art averse from men! How cometh it then that thou art thus afflicted with hope and fear of this young man? Yet, by Allah, none is worthy of thy youth but he." Quoth the Lady Dunya, "O my nurse, further my cause and help me to foregather with him, and thou shalt have of me a thousand dinars and a dress of honour worth as much more: but if thou aid me not to come at him, I am a dead woman in very sooth." Replied the ancient dame, "Go to thy palace and leave me to devise means for bringing you twain together. I will throw away my life to content you both!" So the Lady Dunya returned to her palace, and the old woman betook herself to Taj al-Muluk who, when he saw her, rose to receive her and entreated her with respect and reverence making her sit by his side. Then she said, "The trick hath succeeded," and told him all that had passed between herself and the Princess. He asked her, "When is our meeting to be?"; and she answered, "To-morrow." So he gave her a thousand dinars and a dress of like value, and she took them and stinted not walking till she returned to her mistress, who said to her, "O my nurse! what news of the beloved?" Replied she, "I have learnt where he liveth and will bring him to thee to-morrow." At this the Princess was glad and gave her a thousand dinars and a dress worth as much more, and she took them and returned to her own place, where she passed the night till morning. Then she went to Taj al-Muluk and dressing him in woman's clothes, said to him, "Follow me and sway from side to side[44] as thou steppest, and hasten not thy pace nor take heed of any who speaketh to thee." And after thus charging him she went out, and the Prince followed her in woman's attire and she continued to charge and encourage him by the way, that he might not be afraid; nor ceased they walking till they came to the Palace-gate. She entered and the Prince after her, and she 38led him on, passing through doors and vestibules, till they had passed seven doors.[45] As they approached the seventh, she said to him, "Hearten thy heart and when I call out to thee and say:—O damsel pass on! do not slacken thy pace, but advance as if about to run. When thou art in the vestibule, look to thy left and thou wilt see a saloon with doors: count five doors and enter the sixth, for therein is thy desire." Asked Taj al-Muluk, "And whither wilt thou go?"; and she answered, "Nowhere shall I go except that perhaps I may drop behind thee, and the Chief Eunuch may detain me to chat with him." She walked on (and he behind her) till she reached the door where the Chief Eunuch was stationed and he, seeing Taj al-Muluk with her dressed as a slave-girl, said to the old woman, "What business hath this girl with thee?" Replied she, "This is a slave-girl of whom the Lady Dunya hath heard that she is skilled in different kinds of work and she hath a mind to buy her." Rejoined the Eunuch, "I know neither slave-girls nor anyone else; and none shall enter here without my searching according to the King's commands."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Chamberlain Eunuch cried to the old woman, "I know neither slave-girl nor anyone else; and none shall enter here without my searching him according to the King's commands." Then quoth she, feigning to be angry, "I thought thee a man of sense and good breeding; but, if thou be changed, I will let the Princess know of it and tell her how thou hinderest her slave-girl;" and she cried out to Taj al-Muluk, saying, "Pass on, O damsel!" So he passed on into the vestibule as she bade him, whilst the Eunuch was silent and said no more. The Prince counted five doors and entered the sixth where he found the Princess Dunya standing and awaiting him. As soon as she saw him, she knew him and clasped him to her breast, and he clasped her to his bosom. Presently the old woman came in to them, having made a pretext to dismiss the Princess's slave-girls for fear of disgrace; and the Lady Dunya said to her, "Be thou our door-keeper!" So she and Taj al-Muluk abode alone together and ceased not kissing and embracing and twining leg with leg till 39dawn.[46] When day drew near, she left him and, shutting the door upon him, passed into another chamber, where she sat down as was her wont, whilst her slave-women came in to her, and she attended to their affairs and conversed with them. Then she said to them, "Go forth from me now, for I wish to amuse myself in privacy." So they withdrew and she betook herself to Taj al-Muluk, and the old woman brought them food, of which they ate and returned to amorous dalliance till dawn. Then the door was locked upon him as on the day before; and they ceased not to do thus for a whole month. This is how it fared with Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya; but as regards the Wazir and Aziz when they found that the Prince had gone to the Palace of the King's daughter and there delayed all the while, they concluded that he would never return from it and that he was lost for ever; and Aziz said to the Wazir, "O my father, what shall we do?" He replied, "O my son, this is a difficult matter, and except we return to his sire and tell him, he will blame us therefor." So they made ready at once and forthright set out for the Green Land and the Country of the Two Columns, and sought Sulayman Shah's capital. And they traversed the valleys night and day till they went in to the King, and acquainted him with what had befallen his son and how from the time he entered the Princess's Palace they had heard no news of him. At this the King was as though the Day of Doom had dawned for him and regret was sore upon him, and he proclaimed a Holy War[47] throughout his realm. After which he sent forth his host without the town and pitched tents for them and took up his abode in his pavilion, whilst the levies came from all parts of the kingdom; for his subjects loved him by reason of his great justice and beneficence. Then he marched with an army walling the horizon, and departed in quest of his son. Thus far concerning them; but as regards Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya the two remained as they were half a year's time, whilst every day they redoubled in mutual affection; and love and longing and passion and desire so pressed upon Taj al-Muluk, that at last he opened his mind and said to her, "Know, O beloved of my heart and vitals, that the longer 40I abide with thee, the more love and longing and passion and desire increase on me, for that I have not yet fulfilled the whole of my wish." Asked she, "What then wouldst thou have, O light of my eyes and fruit of my vitals? If thou desire aught beside kissing and embracing and entwining of legs with legs, do what pleaseth thee; for, by Allah, no partner hath any part in us."[48] But he answered: "It is not that I wish: I would fain acquaint thee with my true story. Know, then, that I am no merchant, nay, I am a King, the son of a King, and my father's name is the supreme King Sulayman Shah, who sent his Wazir ambassador to thy father, to demand thee in marriage for me, but when the news came to thee thou wouldst not consent." Then he told her his past from first to last, nor is there any avail in a twice-told tale, and he added, "And now I wish to return to my father, that he may send an ambassador to thy sire, to demand thee in wedlock for me, so we may be at ease." When she heard these words, she joyed with great joy because it suited with her own wishes, and they passed the night on this understanding. But it so befel by the decree of Destiny that sleep overcame them that night above all nights and they remained till the sun had risen. Now at this hour, King Shahriman was sitting on his cushion of estate, with his Emirs and Grandees before him, when the Syndic of the goldsmiths presented himself between his hands, carrying a large box. And he advanced and opening it in presence of the King, brought out therefrom a casket of fine work worth an hundred thousand dinars, for that which was therein of precious stones, rubies and emeralds beyond the competence of any sovereign on earth to procure. When the King saw this, he marvelled at its beauty; and, turning to the Chief Eunuch (him with whom the old woman had had to do), said to him, "O Kafur,[49] take this casket and wend with it to the Princess Dunya." The Castrato took the casket and repairing to the apartment of the King's daughter found the door shut and the old woman lying asleep on the threshold; whereupon said he, "What! sleeping at this hour?" When the old woman heard the Eunuch's voice she started from sleep and was terrified and said to him, "Wait till I fetch the key." 41Then she went forth and fled for her life. Such was her case; but as regards the Epicene he, seeing her alarm, lifted the door off its hinge-pins,[50] and entering found the Lady Dunya with her arms round the neck of Taj al-Muluk and both fast asleep. At this sight he was confounded and was preparing to return to the King, when the Princess awoke, and seeing him, was terrified and changed colour and waxed pale, and said to him, "O Kafur, veil thou what Allah hath veiled!"[51] But he replied, "I cannot conceal aught from the King"; and, locking the door on them, returned to Shahriman, who asked him, "Hast thou given the casket to the Princess?" Answered the Eunuch, "Take the casket, here it is for I cannot conceal aught from thee. Know that I found a handsome young man by the side of the Princess and they two asleep in one bed and in mutual embrace." The King commanded them to be brought into the presence and said to them, "What manner of thing is this?" and, being violently enraged, seized a dagger and was about to strike Taj al-Muluk with it, when the Lady Dunya threw herself upon him and said to her father, "Slay me before thou slayest him." The King reviled her and commanded her to be taken back to her chamber: then he turned to Taj al-Muluk and said to him, "Woe to thee! Whence art thou? Who is thy father and what hath emboldened thee to debauch my daughter?" Replied the Prince, "Know, O King, that if thou put me to death, thou art a lost man, and thou and all in thy dominions will repent the deed." Quoth the King, "How so?"; and quoth Taj al-Muluk, "Know that I am the son of King Sulayman Shah, and ere thou knowest it, he will be upon thee with his horse and foot." When King Shahriman heard these words he would have deferred killing Taj al-Muluk and would rather have put him in prison, till he should look into the truth of his words; but his Wazir said to him, "O King of the Age, it is my opinion that thou make haste to slay this gallows-bird who 42dares debauch the daughters of Kings." So the King cried to the headsman, "Strike off his head; for he is a traitor." Accordingly, the headsman took him and bound him fast and raised his hand to the Emirs, signing to consult them, a first and a second signal, thinking thereby to gain time in this matter;[52] but the King cried in anger to him, "How long wilt thou consult others? If thou consult them again I will strike off thine own head." So the headsman raised his hand till the hair of his armpit showed, and was about to smite his neck——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the headsman raised his hand to smite off his head when behold, loud cries arose and the folk closed their shops; whereupon the King said to the headsman, "Wait awhile," and despatched one to learn the news. The messenger fared forth and presently returned and reported, "I saw an army like the dashing sea with its clashing surge: and their horses curvetting till earth trembleth with the tramp; and I know no more of them." When the King heard this, he was confounded and feared for his realm lest it should be torn from him; so he turned to his Minister and said, "Have not any of our army gone forth to meet this army?" But ere he had done speaking, his Chamberlains entered with messengers from the King who was approaching, and amongst them the Wazir who had accompanied Taj al-Muluk. They began by saluting the King, who rose to receive them and bade them draw near, and asked the cause of their coming; whereupon the Minister came forward from amongst them and stood before him and said, "Know that he who hath come down upon thy realm is no King like unto the Kings of yore and the Sultans that went before." "And who is he?" asked Shahriman, and the Wazir answered, "He is the Lord of justice and loyalty, the bruit of whose magnanimity the caravans have blazed abroad, the Sultan Sulayman Shah, Lord of the Green Land and the Two Columns and the Mountains of Ispahan; he who loveth justice and equity, and hateth oppression and iniquity. And he saith to thee that his son 43is with thee and in thy city; his son, his heart's very core and the fruit of his loins, and if he find him in safety, his aim is won and thou shalt have thanks and praise; but if he have been lost from thy realm or if aught of evil have befallen him, look thou for ruin and the wasting of thy reign! for this thy city shall become a wold wherein the raven shall croak. Thus have I done my errand to thee and peace be with thee!" Now when King Shahriman heard from the messenger these words, his heart was troubled and he feared for his kingdom: so he cried out for his Grandees and Ministers, Chamberlains and Lieutenants; and, when they appeared, he said to them, "Woe to you! Go down and search for the youth." Now the Prince was still under the headsman's hands, but he was changed by the fright he had undergone. Presently, the Wazir, chancing to glance around, saw the Prince on the rug of blood and recognised him; so he arose and threw himself upon him, and so did the other envoys. Then they proceeded to loose his bonds and they kissed his hands and feet, whereupon Taj al-Muluk opened his eyes and, recognising his father's Wazir and his friend Aziz, fell down a-fainting for excess of delight in them. When King Shahriman made sure that the coming of this army was indeed because of this youth, he was confounded and feared with great fear; so he went up to Taj al-Muluk and, kissing his head, said to him, "O my son, be not wroth with me, neither blame the sinner for his sin: but have compassion on my grey hairs, and waste not my realm." Whereupon Taj al-Muluk drew near unto him and kissing his hand, replied, "No harm shall come to thee, for indeed thou art to me as my father; but look that nought befal my beloved, the Lady Dunya!" Rejoined the King, "O my lord! fear not for her; naught but joy shall betide her;" and he went on to excuse himself and made his peace with Sulayman Shah's Wazir, to whom he promised much money, if he would conceal from the King what he had seen. Then he bade his chief Officers take the Prince with them and repair to the Hammam and clothe him in one of the best of his own suits and bring him back speedily. So they obeyed his bidding and bore him to the bath and clad him in the clothes which King Shahriman had set apart for him, and brought him back to the presence-chamber. When he entered the King rose to receive him and made all his Grandees stand in attendance on him. Then Taj al-Muluk sat down to converse with his father's Wazir and with Aziz, and he acquainted them with what had befallen him; after which 44they said to him, "During that delay we returned to thy father and gave him to know that thou didst enter the Palace of the Princess and didst not return therefrom; and thy case seemed doubtful to us. But when thy sire heard of this he mustered his forces; then we came to this land and indeed our coming hath brought to thee relief in extreme case and to us great joy." Quoth he, "Good fortune hath attended your every action, first and last." While this was doing King Shahriman went in to his daughter, Princess Dunya, and found her wailing and weeping for Taj al-Muluk. Moreover, she had taken a sword and fixed the hilt in the ground and had set the point to the middle of her heart between her breasts; and she bent over the blade saying, "Needs must I slay myself and not survive my beloved." When her father entered and saw her in this case, he cried out to her, saying, "O Princess of kings' daughters, hold thy hand and have ruth on thy sire and the folk of thy realm!" Then he came up to her and continued, "Let it not be that an ill thing befal thy father for thy sake!" And he told her the whole tale that her lover was the son of King Sulayman Shah and sought her to wife and he added, "The marriage waiteth only for thy consent," Thereat she smiled and said, "Did I not tell thee that he was the son of a Sultan? By Allah, there is no help for it but that I let him crucify thee on a bit of wood worth two pieces of silver!" Replied the King, "O my daughter, have mercy on me, so Allah have mercy on thee!" Rejoined she, "Up with you and make haste and go bring him to me without delay." Quoth the King, "On my head and eyes be it!"; and he left her and, going in hastily to Taj al-Muluk, repeated her words in his ear.[53] So he arose and accompanied the King to the Princess, and when she caught sight of her lover, she took hold of him and embraced him in her father's presence and hung upon him and kissed him, saying, "Thou hast desolated me by thine absence!" Then she turned to her father and said, "Sawest thou ever any that could do hurt to the like of this beautiful being, who is moreover a King, the son of a King, and of the free-born,[54] guarded against ignoble deeds?" Thereupon 45King Shahriman went out shutting the door on them with his own hand; and he returned to the Wazir and to the other envoys of Sulayman Shah and bade them inform their King that his son was in health and gladness and enjoying all delight of life with his beloved. So they returned to King Sulayman and acquainted him with this; whereupon King Shahriman ordered largesse of money and vivers to the troops of King Sulayman Shah; and, when they had conveyed all he had commanded, he bade be brought out an hundred coursers and an hundred dromedaries and an hundred white slaves and an hundred concubines and an hundred black slaves and an hundred female slaves; all of which he forwarded to the King as a present. Then he took horse, with his Grandees and Chief Officers, and rode out of the city in the direction of the King's camp. As soon as Sultan Sulayman Shah knew of his approach, he rose and advanced many paces to meet him. Now the Wazir and Aziz had told him all the tidings, whereat he rejoiced and cried, "Praise be to Allah who hath granted the dearest wish of my son!" Then King Sulayman took King Shahriman in his arms and seated him beside himself on the royal couch, where they conversed awhile and had pleasure in each other's conversation. Presently food was set before them, and they ate till they were satisfied; and sweetmeats and dried fruits were brought, and they enjoyed their dessert. And after a while came to them Taj al-Muluk, richly dressed and adorned, and when his father saw him, he stood up and embraced him and kissed him. Then all who were sitting rose to do him honour; and the two Kings seated him between them and they sat conversing a while, after which quoth King Sulayman Shah to King Shahriman, "I desire to have the marriage-contract between my son and thy daughter drawn up in the presence of witnesses, that the wedding may be made public, even as is the custom of Kings." "I hear and I obey," quoth King Shahriman and thereon summoned the Kazi and the witnesses, who came and wrote out the marriage-contract between Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya. Then they gave bakhshish[55] of money and sweetmeats; and lavished incense and essences; and indeed it was a day of joy and gladness and all the grandees and soldiers rejoiced therein. Then King Shahriman proceeded to dower and equip his daughter; and Taj al-Muluk said to his sire, 46"Of a truth, this young man Aziz is of the generous and hath done me a notable service, having borne weariness with me; and he hath travelled with me and hath brought me to my desire. He ceased never to show sufferance with me and exhort me to patience till I accomplished my intent; and now he hath abided with us two whole years, and he cut off from his native land. So now I purpose to equip him with merchandise, that he may depart hence with a light heart; for his country is nearhand." Replied his father, "Right is thy rede;" so they made ready an hundred loads of the richest stuffs and the most costly, and Taj al-Muluk presented them with great store of money to Aziz, and farewelled him, saying, "O my brother and my true friend! take these loads and accept them from me by way of gift and token of affection, and go in peace to thine own country." Aziz accepted the presents and kissing the ground between the hands of the Prince and his father bade them adieu. Moreover, Taj al-Muluk mounted and accompanied him three miles on his homeward way as a proof of amity, after which Aziz conjured him to turn back, saying, "By Allah, O my master, were it not for my mother, I never would part from thee! But, good my lord! leave me not without news of thee." Replied Taj al-Muluk, "So be it!" Then the Prince returned to the city and Aziz journeyed on till he came to his native town; and he entered it and ceased not faring till he went in to his mother and found that she had built him a monument in the midst of the house and used to visit it continually. When he entered, he saw her with hair dishevelled and dispread over the tomb, weeping and repeating these lines:—

Indeed I'm strong to bear whate'er befal; ✿ But weak to bear such parting's dire mischance:
What heart estrangement of the friend can bear? ✿ What strength withstand assault of severance?

Then sobs burst from her breast, and she recited also these couplets:—

What's this? I pass by tombs, and fondly greet ✿ My friends' last homes, but send they no reply:
For saith each friend, "Reply how can I make ✿ When pledged to clay and pawned to stones I lie?
Earth has consumed my charms and I forget ✿ Thy love, from kith and kin poor banisht I."

While she was thus, behold, Aziz came in to her and when she 47saw him, she fell down, fainting for very joy. He sprinkled water on her face till she revived and rising, took him in her arms and strained him to her breast, whilst he in like manner embraced her. Then he greeted her and she greeted him, and she asked the reason of his long absence, whereupon he told her all that had befallen him from first to last and informed her how Taj al-Muluk had given him an hundred loads of monies and stuffs. At this she rejoiced, and Aziz abode with his mother in his native town, weeping for what mishaps had happened to him with the daughter of Dalilah the Wily One, even her who had castrated[56] him. Such was the case with Aziz; but as regards Taj al-Muluk he went in unto his beloved, the Princess Dunya, and abated her maidenhead. Then King Shahriman proceeded to equip his daughter for her journey with her husband and father in-law, and bade bring them provaunt and presents and rarities. So they loaded their beasts and set forth, whilst King Shahriman escorted them, by way of farewell, three days' journey on their way, till King Shah Sulayman conjured him to return. So he took leave of them and turned back, and Taj al-Muluk and his wife and father fared forwards night and day, with their troops, till they drew near their capital. As soon as the news of their coming spread abroad, the folk decorated for them the city,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Shah Sulayman drew near his capital, the folk decorated the city for him and for his son. So they entered in state and the King, sitting on his throne with his son by his side, gave alms and largesse and loosed all who were in his jails. Then he held a second bridal for his son, and the sound of the singing-women and players upon instruments was never silent for a whole month, and the tirewomen stinted not to adorn the Lady Dunya and display her in various dresses; and she tired not of the displaying nor did the women weary of gazing on her. Then Taj al-Muluk, after having foregathered awhile with his father and mother, took up his sojourn with his wife, and they abode in all joyance of life and in fairest fortune, 48till there came to them the Destroyer of all delights.[57] Now when the Wazir Dandan had ended the tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya, Zau al-Makan said to him, "Of a truth, it is the like of thee who lighten the mourner's heart and who deserve to be the boon-companions of Kings and to guide their policy in the right way." All this befel and they were still besieging Constantinople, where they lay four whole years, till they yearned after their native land; and the troops murmured, being weary of vigil and besieging and the endurance of fray and foray by night and by day. Then King Zau al-Makan summoned Rustam and Bahram and Tarkash, and when they were in presence bespoke them thus, "Know that we have lain here all these years and we have not won to our wish; nay, we have but gained increase of care and concern; for indeed we came, thinking to take our man-bote for King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and in so doing my brother Sharrkan was slain; so is our sorrow grown to sorrows twain and our affliction to afflictions twain. All this came of the old woman Zat al-Dawahi, for it was she who slew the Sultan in his kingdom and carried off his wife, the Queen Sophia; nor did this suffice her, but she must put another cheat on us and cut the throat of my brother Sharrkan: and indeed I have bound myself and sworn by the solemnest oaths that there is no help but I take blood-wit from her. What say ye? Ponder my address and answer me." Then they bowed their heads and answered, "It is for the Wazir Dandan to opine." So the Minister came forward and said, "Know O King of the Age! it booteth us nought to tarry here; and 'tis my counsel that we strike camp and return to our own country, there to abide for a certain time and after that we should return for a razzia upon the worshippers of idols." Replied the King, "This rede is right, for indeed the folk weary for a sight of their families, and I am another who is also troubled with yearning after my son Kanmakan and my brother's daughter Kuzia Fakan, for she is in Damascus and I know not how is her case." When the troops heard this report, they rejoiced and blessed the Wazir Dandan. Then the King bade the crier call the retreat after three days. They fell to preparing for the march, and, on the fourth day, they beat the big drums and unfurled the banners and the army set forth, the Wazir Dandan in the van and the King riding in the mid-battle, with the Grand 49Chamberlain by his side; and all journeyed without ceasing, night and day, till they reached Baghdad city. The folk rejoiced in their return, and care and fear ceased from them whilst the stay-at-homes met the absentees and each Emir betook him to his own house. As for Zau al-Makan he marched up to the Palace and went in to his son Kanmakan, who had now reached the age of seven; and who used to go down to the weapon-plain and ride. As soon as the King was rested of his journey, he entered the Hammam with his son, and returning, seated himself on his sofa of state, whilst the Wazir Dandan took up his station before him and the Emirs and Lords of the realm presented themselves and stood in attendance upon him. Then Zau al-Makan called for his comrade, the Fireman, who had befriended him in his wanderings; and, when he came into presence, the King rose to do him honour and seated him by his side. Now he had acquainted the Wazir with all the kindness and good turns which the Stoker had done him; and he found that the wight had waxed fat and burly with rest and good fare, so that his neck was like an elephant's throat and his face like a dolphin's belly. Moreover, he was grown dull of wit, for that he had never stirred from his place; so at first he knew not the King by his aspect. But Zau al-Makan came up to him smiling in his face, and greeted him after the friendliest fashion, saying, "How soon hast thou forgotten me?" With this the Fireman roused himself and, looking steadfastly at Zau al-Makan, made sure that he knew him; whereupon he sprang hastily to his feet and exclaimed, "O my friend, who hath made thee Sultan?" Then Zau al-Makan laughed at him and the Wazir, coming up to him expounded the whole story to him and said, "In good sooth he was thy brother and thy friend; and now he is King of the land and needs must thou get great good of him. So I charge thee, if he say:—Ask a boon of me, ask not but for some great thing; for thou art very dear to him." Quoth the Fireman, "I fear lest, if I ask of him aught, he may not choose to give it or may not be able to grant it." Quoth the Wazir, "Have no care; whatsoever thou askest he will give thee." Rejoined the Stoker, "By Allah, I must at once ask of him a thing that is in my thought: every night I dream of it and implore Almighty Allah to vouchsafe it to me." Said the Wazir, "Take heart; by Allah, if thou ask of him the government of Damascus, in place of his brother, he would surely give it thee and make thee Governor." With this the Stoker rose to his feet and Zau al-Makan signed to 50him to sit; but he refused, saying, "Allah forfend! The days are gone by of my sitting in thy presence." Answered the Sultan, "Not so, they endure even now. Thou wast in very deed the cause that I am at present alive and, by Allah, whatever thing most desired thou requirest of me, I will give that same to thee. But ask thou first of Allah, and then of me!" He said, "O my lord, I fear—" "Fear not," quoth the Sultan. He continued, "I fear to ask aught and that thou shouldst refuse it to me and it is only—" At this the King laughed and replied, "If thou require of me the half of my kingdom I would share it with thee: so ask what thou wilt and leave talking." Repeated the Fireman "I fear—" "Don't fear," quoth the King. He went on, "I fear lest I ask a thing and thou be not able to grant it." Upon this the Sultan waxed wroth and cried, "Ask what thou wilt." Then said he, "I ask, first of Allah and then of thee, that thou write me a patent of Syndicate over all the Firemen of the baths in the Holy City, Jerusalem." The Sultan and all present laughed and Zau al-Makan said, "Ask something more than this." He replied, "O my lord, said I not I feared that thou wouldst not choose to give me what I should ask or that thou be not able to grant it?" Therewith the Wazir signed him with his foot once and twice and thrice, and every time he began, "I ask of thee—" Quoth the Sultan, "Ask and be speedy." So he said, "I ask thee to make me Chief of the Scavengers in the Holy City of Jerusalem, or in Damascus town." Then all those who were present fell on their backs with laughter and the Wazir beat him; whereupon he turned to the Minister and said to him, "What art thou that thou shouldest beat me? 'Tis no fault of mine: didst thou not thyself bid me ask some important thing?" And he added, "Let me go to my own land." With this, the Sultan knew that he was jesting and took patience with him awhile; then turned to him and said, "O my brother, ask of me some important thing, befitting our dignity." So the Stoker said, "O King of the Age, I ask first of Allah and then of thee, that thou make me Viceroy of Damascus in the place of thy brother;" and the King replied, "Allah granteth thee this." Thereupon the Fireman kissed ground before him and he bade set him a chair in his rank and vested him with a viceroy's habit. Then he wrote him a patent and sealed it with his own seal, and said to the Wazir Dandan, "None shall go with him but thou; and when thou makest the return journey, do thou bring with thee my brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan." "Hearkening 51and obedience," answered the Minister; and, taking the Fireman, went down with him and made ready for the march. Then the King appointed for the Stoker servants and suite, and gave him a new litter and a princely equipage and said to the Emirs, "Whoso loveth me, let him honour this man and offer him a handsome present." So each and every of the Emirs brought him his gift according to his competence; and the King named him Zibl Khán,[58] and conferred on him the honourable surname of al-Mujáhid.[59] As soon as the gear was ready, he went up with the Wazir Dandan to the King, that he might take leave of him and ask his permission to depart. The King rose to him and embraced him, and charged him to do justice between his subjects and bade him make ready for fight against the Infidels after two years. Then they took leave of each other and the King,[60] the Fighter for the Faith hight Zibl Khan, having been again exhorted by Zau al-Makan to deal fairly with his subjects, set out on his journey, after the Emirs had brought him Mamelukes and eunuchs, even to five thousand in number, who rode after him. The Grand Chamberlain also took horse, as did Bahram, captain of the Daylamites, and Rustam, captain of the Persians, and Tarkash, captain of the Arabs, who attended to do him service; and they ceased not riding with him three days' journey by way of honour. Then, taking their leave of him, they returned to Baghdad and the Sultan Zibl Khan and the Wazir Dandan fared on, with their suite and troops, till they drew near Damascus. Now news was come, upon the wings of birds, to the notables of Damascus, that King Zau al-Makan had made Sultan over Damascus a King named Zibl Khan and surnamed Al-Mujahid; so when he reached the city he found it dressed in his honour and everyone in the place came out to gaze on him. The new Sultan entered Damascus in a splendid progress and went up to the citadel, where he sat down upon his chair of state, whilst the Wazir Dandan stood in attendance on him, to acquaint him with the ranks of the Emirs 52and their stations. Then the Grandees came in to him and kissed hands and called down blessings on him. The new King, Zibl Khan, received them graciously and bestowed on them dresses of honour and various presents and bounties; after which he opened the treasuries and gave largesse to the troops, great and small. Then he governed and did justice and proceeded to equip the Lady Kuzia Fakan, daughter of King Sharrkan, appointing her a litter of silken stuff. Moreover he furnished the Wazir Dandan equally well for the return journey and offered him a gift of coin; but he refused, saying, "Thou art near the time appointed by the King, and haply thou wilt have need of money, or after this we may send to seek of thee funds for the Holy War or what not." Now when the Wazir was ready to march, Sultan al-Mujahid mounted to bid the Minister farewell and brought Kuzia Fakan to him, and made her enter the litter and sent with her ten damsels to do her service. Thereupon they set forward, whilst King "Fighter for the Faith" returned to his government that he might order affairs and get ready his munitions of war, awaiting such time as King Zau al-Makan should send a requisition to him. Such was the case with Sultan Zibl Khan, but as regards the Wazir Dandan, he ceased not faring forward and finishing off the stages, in company with Kuzia Fakan till they came to Ruhbah[61] after a month's travel and thence pushed on, till he drew near Baghdad. Then he sent to announce his arrival to King Zau al-Makan who, when he heard this, took horse and rode out to meet him. The Wazir Dandan would have dismounted, but the King conjured him not to do so and urged his steed till he came up to his side. Then he questioned him of Zibl Khan hight Al-Mujahid, whereto the Wazir replied that he was well and that he had brought with him Kuzia Fakan the daughter of his brother. At this the King rejoiced and said to Dandan, "Down with thee and rest thee from the fatigue of the journey for three days, after which come to me again." Replied the Wazir, "With joy and gratitude," and betook himself to his own house, whilst the King rode up to his Palace and went in to his brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan, a girl of eight years old. When he saw her, he rejoiced in her and sorrowed for her sire; then he bade make for her clothes and gave her splendid jewelry and ornaments, and ordered she be lodged with his son Kanmakan in one place. So they both grew up the brightest of 53the people of their time and the bravest; but Kuzia Fakan became a maiden of good sense and understanding and knowledge of the issues of events, whilst Kanmakan approved him a generous youth and freehanded, taking no care in the issue of aught. And so they continued till each of them attained the age of twelve. Now Kuzia Fakan used to ride a-horseback and fare forth with her cousin into the open plain and push forward and range at large with him in the wold; and they both learnt to smite with swords and spike with spears. But when they had reached the age of twelve, King Zau al-Makan, having completed his preparations and provisions and munitions for Holy War, summoned the Wazir Dandan and said to him, "Know that I have set mind on a thing, which I will discover to thee, and I want thine opinion thereon; so do thou with speed return me a reply." Asked the Wazir, "What is that, O King of the Age?"; and the other answered, "I am resolved to make my son Kanmakan Sultan and rejoice in him in my lifetime and do battle before him till death overtake me. What reckest thou of this?" The Wazir kissed the ground before the King and replied, "Know, O King and Sultan mine, Lord of the Age and the time! that which is in thy mind is indeed good, save that it is now no tide to carry it out, for two reasons; the first, that thy son Kanmakan is yet of tender years; and the second, that it often befalleth him who maketh his son King in his lifetime, to live but a little while there afterward.[62] And this is my reply." Rejoined the King, "Know, O Wazir, that we will make the Grand Chamberlain guardian over him, for he is now one of the family and he married my sister, so that he is to me as a brother." Quoth the Wazir, "Do what seemeth good to thee: we have only to obey thine orders." Then the King sent for the Grand Chamberlain whom they brought into the presence together with the Lords of the realm and he said to them, "Ye know that this my son Kanmakan is the first cavalier of the age, and that he hath no peer in striking with the sword and lunging with the lance; and now I appoint him to be Sultan over you and I make the Grand Chamberlain, his uncle, guardian over him." Replied the Chamberlain, "I am but a tree which thy bounty hath planted"; and Zau al-Makan said, "O Chamberlain, verily this my son Kanmakan and my niece Kuzia Fakan are brothers' children; so I hereby marry her 54to him and I call those present to witness thereof." Then he made over to his son such treasures as no tongue can describe; and, going in to his sister, Nuzhat al-Zaman, told her what he had done, whereat she was a glad woman and said, "Verily the twain are my children: Allah preserve thee to them and keep thy life for them many a year!" Replied he, "O my sister, I have accomplished in this world all my heart desired and I have no fear for my son! yet it were well thou have an eye on him, and an eye on his mother." And he charged the Chamberlain and Nuzhat al-Zaman with the care of his son and niece and wife, and this he continued to do nights and days till he fell sick and deemed surely that he was about to drink the cup of death; so he took to his bed, whilst the Chamberlain busied himself with ordering the folk and realm. At the end of the year, the King summoned his son Kanmakan and the Wazir Dandan and said, "O my son, after my death this Wazir is thy sire; for know that I am about to leave this house of life transitory for the house of eternity. And indeed I have fulfilled my will of this world; yet there remaineth in my heart one regret which may Allah dispel through and by thy hands." Asked his son, "What regret is that, O my father?" Answered Zau al-Makan, "O my son, the sole regret of me is that I die without having avenged thy grandfather, Omar bin al-Nu'uman, and thine uncle, Sharrkan, on an old woman whom they call Zat al-Dawahi; but, if Allah grant thee aid, sleep not till thou take thy wreak on her, and so wipe out the shame we have suffered at the Infidel's hands; and beware of the old hag's wile and do what the Wazir Dandan shall advise thee; because he from old time hath been the pillar of our realm." And his son assented to what he said. Then the King's eyes ran over with tears and his sickness redoubled on him; whereupon his brother-in-law, the Chamberlain, took charge over the country and, being a capable man, he judged and bade and forbade for the whole of that year; while Zau al-Makan was occupied with his malady. And his sickness was sore upon him for four years, during which the Chief Chamberlain sat in his stead and gave full satisfaction to the commons and the nobles; and all the country blessed his rule. Such was the case with Zau al-Makan and the Chamberlain; but as regards the King's son, he busied himself only with riding and lunging with lance and shooting with shaft, and thus also did the daughter of his uncle, Kuzia Fakan; for he and she were wont to fare forth at the first of the day and return at nightfall, when she would go 55in to her mother, and he would go in to his mother whom he ever found sitting in tears by the head of his father's couch. Then he would tend his father all night long till daybreak, when he would go forth again with his cousin according to their wont. Now Zau al-Makan's pains and sufferings were longsome upon him and he wept and began versifying with these couplets:—

Gone is my strength, told is my tale of days ✿ And, lookye! I am left as thou dost see:
In honour's day most honoured wont to be, ✿ And win the race from all my company,
Would Heaven before my death I might behold ✿ My son in seat of empire sit for me;
And rush upon his foes, to take his wreak ✿ With sway of sword and lance lunged gallantly:
In this world and the next I am undone, ✿ Except the Lord vouchsafe me clemency.

When he had ended repeating these verses, he laid his head on his pillow and closed his eyes and slept. Then saw he in his sleep one who said to him, "Rejoice, for thy son shall fill the lands with justest sway; and he shall rule them and him shall the lieges obey." Then he awoke from his dream gladdened by the good tidings he had seen, and after a few days, Death smote him, and because of his dying great grief fell on the people of Baghdad, and simple and gentle mourned for him. But Time passed over him, as though he had never been[63] and Kanmakan's estate was changed; for the people of Baghdad set him aside and put him and his family in a place apart. Now when his mother saw this, she fell into the sorriest of plights and said, "There is no help but that I go to the Grand Chamberlain, and I must hope for the aidance of the Subtle, the All-Wise!" Then she rose from her place and betook herself to the house of the Chamberlain who was now become Sultan, and she found him sitting upon his carpet. So she went in to his wife, Nuzhat al-Zaman, and wept with sore weeping and said unto her, "Verily the dead hath no friend! May Allah never bring you to want as long as your age and the years endure, and may you cease not to rule justly over rich and poor. Thine ears have heard and thine eyes have seen all that was ours of kingship and honour and dignity and wealth and fair fortune of life and condition; and now Time hath turned upon us, and fate and 56the world have betrayed us and wrought in hostile way with us; wherefore I come to thee craving thy favours, I from whom favours were craved: for when a man dieth, women and maidens are brought to despisal." And she repeated these couplets:—

Suffice thee Death such marvels can enhance, ✿ And severed lives make lasting severance:
Man's days are marvels, and their stations are ✿ But water-pits[64] of misery and mischance.
Naught wrings my heart save loss of noble friends, ✿ Girt round by rings of hard, harsh circumstance.

When Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words, she remembered her brother, Zau al-Makan, and his son Kanmakan, and, making her draw near to her and showing her honour, she said, "Verily at this moment, by Allah, I am grown rich and thou art poor; now by the Lord! we did not cease to seek thee out, but we feared to wound thy heart lest thou shouldest fancy our gifts to thee an alms-gift. Withal, whatso weal we now enjoy is from thee and thy husband; so our house is thy house and our place thy place, and thine is all our wealth and what goods we have belong to thee." Then she robed her in sumptuous robes and set apart for her a place in the Palace adjoining her own; and they abode therein, she and her son, in all delight of life. And Nuzhat al-Zaman clothed him also in Kings' raiment and gave to them both especial handmaids for their service. After a little, she related to her husband the sad case of the widow of her brother, Zau al-Makan, whereat his eyes filled with tears and he said, "Wouldest thou see the world after thee, look thou upon the world after other than thyself. Then entreat her honourably and enrich her poverty."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nuzhat al-Zaman related to her husband the sad case of the widow of her brother, Zau al-Makan, the Chamberlain said, "Entreat her honourably 57and enrich her poverty." Thus far concerning Nuzhat al-Zaman and her consort and the relict of Zau al-Makan; but as regards Kanmakan and his cousin Kuzia Fakan, they grew up and flourished till they waxed like unto two fruit-laden boughs or two shining moons; and they reached the age of fifteen. And she was indeed the fairest of maids who are modestly veiled, lovely-faced with smooth cheeks graced, and slender waist on heavy hips based; and her shape was the shaft's thin line and her lips were sweeter than old wine and the nectar of her mouth as it were the fountain Salsabíl[65]; even as saith the poet in these two couplets describing one like her:—

As though ptisane of wine on her lips honey-dew ✿ Dropt from the ripened grapes her mouth in clusters grew:
And, when her frame thou doublest, and low bends her vine, ✿ Praise her Creator's might no creature ever knew.

Of a truth Allah had united in her every charm: her shape would shame the branch of waving tree and the rose before her cheeks craved lenity; and the honey-dew of her lips of wine made jeer, however old and clear, and she gladdened heart and beholder with joyous cheer, even as saith of her the poet:—

Goodly of gifts is she, and charm those perfect eyes, ✿ With lashes shaming Kohl and all the fair ones Kohl'd[66]
And from those eyne the glances pierce the lover's heart, ✿ Like sword in Mír al-Muminína Ali's hold.

And (the relator continueth) as for Kanmakan, he became unique in loveliness and excelling in perfection no less; none could even him in qualities as in seemliness and the sheen of valour between his eyes was espied, testifying for him while against him it never testified. The hardest hearts inclined to his side; his eyelids bore lashes black as by Kohl; and he was of surpassing worth in body and soul. And when the down of lips and cheeks began to sprout bards and poets sang for him far and near:—

Appeared not my excuse till hair had clothed his cheek, ✿ And gloom o'ercrept that side-face (sight to stagger!)
A fawn, when eyes would batten on his charms, ✿ Each glance deals thrust like point of Khanjar-dagger.

58And saith another:—

His lovers' souls have drawn upon his cheek ✿ An ant that perfected its rosy light:
I marvel at such martyrs Lazá-pent ✿ Who yet with greeny robes of Heaven are dight.[67]

Now it chanced one holiday, that Kuzia Fakan fared forth to make festival with certain kindred of the court, and she went surrounded by her handmaids. And indeed beauty encompassed her; the roses of her cheeks dealt envy to their mole; from out her smiling lips leven flashed white, gleaming like the chamomile[68]; and Kanmakan began to turn about her and devour her with his sight, for she was the moon of resplendent light. Then he took heart and giving his tongue a start began to improvise:—

When shall the disappointed heart be healed of severance, ✿ And lips of Union smile at ceasing of our hard mischance?
Would Heaven I knew shall come some night, and with it surely bring ✿ Meeting with friend who like myself endureth sufferance.[69]

When Kuzia Fakan heard these couplets, she showed vexation and disapproval and, putting on a haughty and angry air, said to him, "Dost thou name me in thy verse, to shame me amongst folk? By Allah, if thou turn not from this talk, I will assuredly complain of thee to the Grand Chamberlain, Sultan of Khorasan and Baghdad and lord of justice and equity; that disgrace and punishment may befal thee!" Kanmakan made no reply for anger but he returned to Baghdad; and Kuzia Fakan also returned to her palace and complained of her cousin to her mother, who said to her, "O my daughter, haply he meant thee no harm, and is he aught but an orphan? Withal, he said nought of reproach to 59thee; so beware thou tell none of this, lest perchance it come to the Sultan's ears and he cut short his life and blot out his name and make it even as yesterday, whose memory hath passed away." However, Kanmakan's love for Kuzia Fakan spread abroad in Baghdad, so that the women talked of it. Moreover, his breast became straitened and his patience waned and he knew not what to do, yet he could not hide his condition from the world. Then longed he to give vent to the pangs he endured, by reason of the lowe of separation; but he feared her rebuke and her wrath; so he began improvising:—

Now is my dread to incur reproaches, which ✿ Disturb her temper and her mind obscure,
Patient I'll bear them; e'en as generous youth ✿ Beareth the burn of brand his case to cure.[70]

——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Grand Chamberlain became Sultan they named him King Sásán; and after he had assumed the throne he governed the people in righteous way. Now as he was giving audience one day, Kanmakan's verses came to his knowledge. Thereupon he repented him of the past and going in to his wife Nuzhat al-Zaman, said to her, "Verily, to join Halfah-grass and fire,[71] is the greatest of risks; and man may not be trusted with woman, so long as eye glanceth and eyelid quivereth. Now thy brother's son, Kanmakan, is come to man's estate and it behoveth us to forbid him access to the rooms where anklets tinkle, and it is yet more needful to forbid thy daughter the company of men, for the like of her should be kept in the Harim." Replied she, "Thou sayest sooth, O wise King!" Next day came Kanmakan according 60to his wont; and, going in to his aunt saluted her. She returned his salutation and said to him, "O my son! I have somewhat to say to thee which I would fain leave unsaid; yet I must tell it thee despite my inclination." Quoth he, "Speak;" and quoth she, "Know then that thy sire the Chamberlain, the father of Kuzia Fakan, hath heard of the verses thou madest anent her, and hath ordered that she be kept in the Harim and out of thy reach; if therefore, O my son, thou want anything from us, I will send it to thee from behind the door; and thou shalt not look upon Kuzia Fakan nor shalt thou return hither from this day forth." When he heard this he arose and withdrew without speaking a single word; and, betaking himself to his mother, related what his aunt had said. She observed, "This all cometh of thine overtalking. Thou knowest that the news of thy passion for Kuzia Fakan is noised abroad and the tattle hath spread everywhere how thou eatest their food and thereafter thou courtest their daughter." Rejoined he, "And who should have her but I? She is the daughter of my father's brother and I have the best of rights to her." Retorted his mother, "These are idle words. Be silent, lest haply thy talk come to King Sasan's ears and it prove the cause of thy losing her and the reason of thy ruin and increase of thine affliction. They have not sent us any supper to-night and we shall die an-hungered; and were we in any land but this, we were already dead of famine or of shame for begging our bread." When Kanmakan heard these words from his mother, his regrets redoubled; his eyes ran over with tears and he complained and began improvising:—

Minish this blame I ever bear from you: ✿ My heart loves her to whom all love is due:
Ask not from me of patience jot or tittle, ✿ Divorce of Patience by God's House! I rue:
What blamers preach of patience I unheed; ✿ Here am I, love-path firmly to pursue!
Indeed they bar me access to my love; ✿ Here am I, by God's ruth no ill I sue!
Good sooth my bones, whenas they hear thy name, ✿ Quail as birds quailed when Nisus o'er them flew:[72]
Ah! say to them who blame my love that I ✿ Will love that face, fair cousin, till I die.

61And when he had ended his verses he said to his mother, "I have no longer a place in my aunt's house nor among these people, but I will go forth from the palace and abide in the corners of the city." So he and his mother left the court; and, having sought an abode in the neighbourhood of the poorer sort, there settled; but she used to go from time to time to King Sasan's palace and thence take daily bread for herself and her son. As this went on Kuzia Fakan took her aside one day and said to her, "Alas, O my naunty, how is it with thy son?" Replied she, "O my daughter, sooth to say, he is tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, being fallen into the net of thy love." And she repeated to her the couplets he had made; whereupon Kuzia Fakan wept and said, "By Allah! I rebuked him not for his words, nor for ill-will to him, but because I feared for him the malice of foes. Indeed my passion for him is double that he feeleth for me; my tongue may not describe my yearning for him; and were it not for the extravagant wilfulness of his words and the wanderings of his wit, my father had not cut off from him favours that besit, nor had decreed unto him exclusion and prohibition as fit. However, man's days bring nought but change, and patience in all case is most becoming; peradventure He who ordained our severance will vouchsafe us reunion!" And she began versifying in these two couplets:—

O son of mine uncle! same sorrow I bear, ✿ And suffer the like of thy cark and thy care;
Yet hide I from man what I suffer for pine; ✿ Hide it too, and such secret to man never bare!

When his mother heard this from her, she thanked her and blessed her: then she left her and acquainted her son with what she had said; whereupon his desire for her increased and he took heart, being eased of his despair and the turmoil of his love and care. And he said, "By Allah, I desire none but her!"; and he began improvising:—

Leave this blame, I will list to no flout of my foe! ✿ I divulged a secret was told me to keep:
He is lost to my sight for whose union I yearn, ✿ And I watch all the while he can slumber and sleep.

So the days and nights went by whilst Kanmakan lay tossing upon coals of fire,[73] till he reached the age of seventeen; and his beauty 62had waxt perfect and his wits were at their brightest. One night, as he lay awake, he communed with himself and said, "Why should I keep silence till I waste away and see not my lover? Fault have I none save poverty; so, by Allah, I am resolved to remove me from this region and wander over the wild and the wold; for my position in this city is a torture and I have no friend nor lover therein to comfort me; wherefore I am determined to distract myself by absence from my native land till I die and take my rest after this shame and tribulation." And he began to improvise and recited these couplets:—

Albeit my vitals quiver 'neath this ban; ✿ Before the foe myself I'll ne'er unman!
So pardon me, my vitals are a writ ✿ Whose superscription are my tears that ran:
Heigh-ho! my cousin seemeth Houri-may ✿ Come down to earth by reason of Rizwán:
'Scapes not the dreadful sword-lunge of her look ✿ Who dares the glancing of those eyne to scan:
O'er Allah's wide-spread world I'll roam and roam, ✿ And from such exile win what bread I can:
Yes, o'er broad earth I'll roam and save my soul, ✿ All but her absence bearing like a man:
With gladsome heart I'll haunt the field of fight, ✿ And meet the bravest Brave in battle-van!

So Kanmakan fared forth from the palace barefoot and he walked in a short-sleeved gown, wearing on his head a skull cap of felt[74] seven years old and carrying a scone three days stale, and in the deep glooms of night betook himself to the portal al-Arij of Baghdad. Here he waited for the gate being opened and when it was opened, he was the first to pass through it; and he went out at random and wandered about the wastes night and day. When the dark hours came, his mother sought him but found him not; whereupon the world waxt strait upon her for all that it was great and wide, and she took no delight in aught of weal it supplied. She looked for him a first day and a second day and a third day till ten days were past, but no news of him reached her. Then her breast became contracted and she shrieked and shrilled, saying, "O my son! O my darling! thou hast revived my regrets. Sufficed 63not what I endured, but thou must depart from my home? After thee I care not for food nor joy in sleep, and naught but tears and mourning are left me. O my son, from what land shall I call thee? And what town hath given thee refuge?" Then her sobs burst out, and she began repeating these couplets:—

Well learnt we, since you left, our grief and sorrow to sustain, ✿ While bows of severance shot their shafts in many a railing rain:
They left me, after girthing on their selles of corduwayne ✿ To fight the very pangs of death while spanned they sandy plain:
Mysterious through the nightly gloom there came the moan of dove; ✿ A ringdove, and replied I, 'Cease thy plaint, how durst complain?'
If, by my life, her heart, like mine, were full of pain and pine ✿ She had not deckt her neck with ring nor sole with ruddy stain.[75]
Fled is mine own familiar friend, bequeathing me a store ✿ Of parting-pang and absence-ache to suffer evermore.

Then she abstained from food and drink and gave herself up to excessive tear-shedding and lamentation. Her grief became public property far and wide and all the people of the town and country side wept with her and cried, "Where is thine eye, O Zau al-Makan?" And they bewailed the rigours of Time, saying, "Would Heaven we knew what hath befallen Kanmakan that he fled his native town, and chased himself from the place where his father used to fill all in hungry case and do justice and grace?" And his mother redoubled her weeping and wailing till the news of Kanmakan's departure came to King Sasan.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fortieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that came to King Sasan the tidings of the departure of Kanmakan, through the Chief Emirs who said to him, "Verily he is the son of our Sovran and the seed of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and it hath reached us that he hath exiled himself from the land." When King Sasan heard these words, he was wroth with them and ordered one of them to be hanged by way of silencing him, whereat the fear of him fell upon the hearts of all the other Grandees and they dared 64not speak one word. Then he called to mind all the kindness that Zau al-Makan had done him, and how he had charged him with the care of his son; wherefore he grieved for Kanmakan and said, "Needs must I have search made for him in all countries." So he summoned Tarkash and bade him choose an hundred horse and wend with them in quest of the Prince. Accordingly he went out and was absent ten days, after which he returned and said, "I can learn no tidings of him and have hit on no trace of him, nor can any tell me aught of him." Upon this King Sasan repented him of that which he had done by the Prince; whilst his mother abode in unrest continual nor would patience come at her call: and thus passed over her twenty days in heaviness all. This is how it fared with these; but as regards Kanmakan, when he left Baghdad, he went forth perplexed about his case and knowing not whither he should go: so he fared on alone through the desert for three days and saw neither footman nor horseman; withal, his sleep fled and his wakefulness redoubled, for he pined after his people and his homestead. He ate of the herbs of the earth and drank of its flowing waters and siesta'd under its trees at hours of noontide heats, till he turned from that road to another way and, following it other three days, came on the fourth to a land of green leas, dyed with the hues of plants and trees and with sloping valley-sides made to please, abounding with the fruits of the earth. It had drunken of the cups of the cloud, to the sound of thunders rolling loud and the song of the turtle-dove gently sough'd, till its hill-slopes were brightly verdant and its fields were sweetly fragrant. Then Kanmakan recalled his father's city Baghdad, and for excess of emotion he broke out into verse:—

I roam, and roaming hope I to return; ✿ Yet of returning see not how or when:
I went for love of one I could not win, ✿ Nor way of 'scaping ills that pressed could ken.

When he ended his recital he wept, but presently he wiped away his tears and ate of the fruits of the earth enough for his present need. Then he made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed the ordained prayers which he had neglected all this time; and he sat resting in that place through the livelong day. When night came he slept and ceased not sleeping till midnight, when he awoke and heard a human voice declaiming these couplets:—

65What's life to me, unless I see the pearly sheen ✿ Of teeth I love, and sight that glorious mien?
Pray for her Bishops who in convents reign, ✿ Vying to bow before that heavenly queen.
And Death is lighter than the loved one's wrath, ✿ Whose phantom haunts me, seen in every scene:
O joy of cup-companions, when they meet, ✿ And loved and lover o'er each other lean!
E'en more in time of spring, the lord of flowers, ✿ When fragrant is the world with bloom and green:
Drainer of vine-juice! up wi' thee, for now ✿ Earth is a Heaven where sweet waters flow.[76]

When Kanmakan heard these distichs his sorrows surged up; his tears ran down his cheeks like freshets and flames of fire darted into his heart. So he rose to see who it was that spake these words, but saw none for the thickness of the gloom; whereupon passion increased on him and he was frightened and restlessness possessed him. He descended from his place to the sole of the valley and walked along the banks of the stream, till he heard the same voice sighing heavy sighs and reciting these couplets:—

Tho' 'tis thy wont to hide thy love perforce, ✿ Yet weep on day of parting and divorce!
Twixt me and my dear love were plighted vows; ✿ Pledge of reunion, fonder intercourse:
With joy inspires my heart and deals it rest ✿ Zephyr, whose coolness doth desire enforce.
O Sa'adá,[77] thinks of me that anklet-wearer? ✿ Or parting broke she troth without remorse?
And say! shall nights foregather us, and we ✿ Of suffered hardships tell in soft discourse?
Quoth she, "Thou'rt daft for us and fey"; quoth I, ✿ "'Sain thee! how many a friend hast turned to corse!"
If taste mine eyes sweet sleep while she's away, ✿ Allah with loss of her these eyne accurse.
O wounds in vitals mine! for cure they lack ✿ Union and dewy lips' sweet theriack.[78]

66When Kanmakan heard this verse again spoken by the same voice yet saw no one, he knew that the speaker was a lover like unto himself, debarred from union with her who loved him; and he said to himself, "'Twere fitting that this man should lay his head to my head and become my comrade in this my strangerhood."[79] Then he hailed the speaker and cried out to him, saying, "O thou who farest in sombrest night, draw near to me and tell me thy tale; haply thou shalt find me one who will succour thee in thy sufferings." And when the owner of the voice heard these words, he cried out, "O thou that respondest to my complaint and wouldest hear my history, who art thou amongst the knights? Art thou human or Jinni? Answer me speedily ere thy death draw near, for I have wandered in this desert some twenty days and have seen no one nor heard any voice but thy voice." At these words Kanmakan said to himself, "This one's case is like my case, for I, even I, have wandered twenty days, nor during my wayfare have I seen man or heard voice:" and he added, "I will make him no answer till day arise." So he was silent, and the voice again called out to him, saying, "O thou that callest, if thou be of the Jinn fare in peace and, if thou be man, stay awhile till the day break stark and the night flee with the dark." The speaker abode in his place and Kanmakan did likewise and the twain in reciting verses never failed, and wept tears that railed till the light of day began loom and the night departed with its gloom. Then Kanmakan looked at the other and found him to be of the Badawi Arabs, a youth in the flower of his age; clad in worn clothes and bearing in baldrick a rusty sword which he kept sheathed, and the signs of love-longing were apparent on him. He went up to him and accosted him and saluted him, and the Badawi returned the salute and greeted him with courteous wishes for his long life, but somewhat despised him, seeing his tender years and his condition, which was that of a pauper. So he said to him, "O youth, of what tribe art thou and to whom art thou kin among the Arabs; and what is thy history that thou goest by night, after the fashion of knights? Indeed thou spakest to me in the dark words such as are spoken of none 67but doughty cavaliers and lion-like warriors; and now I hold thy life in hand. But I have compassion on thee by reason of thy green years; so I will make thee my companion and thou shalt go with me, to do me service." When Kanmakan heard him speak these unseemly words, after showing him such skill in verse, he knew that he despised him and would presume with him; therefore he answered him with soft and well-chosen speech, saying, "O Chief of the Arabs, leave my tenderness of age and tell me why thou wanderest by night in the desert reciting verses. Thou talkest, I see, of my serving thee; who then art thou and what moved thee to talk this wise?" Answered he, "Hark ye, boy! I am Sabbáh, son of Rammáh bin Humám.[80] My people are of the Arabs of Syria and I have a cousin, Najmah hight, who to all that look on her brings delight. And when my father died I was brought up in the house of his brother, the father of Najmah; but as soon I grew up and my uncle's daughter became a woman, they secluded her from me and me from her, seeing that I was poor and without money in pouch. Then the Chiefs of the Arabs and the heads of the tribes rebuked her sire, and he was abashed before them and consented to give me my cousin, but upon condition that I should bring him as her dower fifty head of horses and fifty dromedaries which travel ten days[81] without a halt and fifty camels laden with wheat and a like number laden with barley, together with ten black slaves and ten handmaids. Thus the weight he set upon me was beyond my power to bear; for he exacted more than 68the marriage-settlement as by law established. So here am I, travelling from Syria to Irak, and I have passed twenty days without seeing other than thyself; yet I mean to go to Baghdad that I may ascertain what merchant men of wealth and importance start thence. Then will I fare forth in their track and loot their goods, and I will slay their escort and drive off their camels with their loads. But what manner of man art thou?" Replied Kanmakan, "Thy case is like unto my case, save that my evil is more grievous than thine ill; for my cousin is a King's daughter and the dowry of which thou hast spoken would not content her people, nor would they be satisfied with the like of that from me." Quoth Sabbah, "Surely thou art a fool or thy wits for excess of passion are gathering wool! How can thy cousin be a King's daughter? Thou hast no sign of royal rank on thee, for thou art but a mendicant." Rejoined Kanmakan, "O Chief of the Arabs, let not this my case seem strange to thee; for what happened, happened;[82] and if thou desire proof of me, I am Kanmakan, son of King Zau al-Makan, son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman Lord of Baghdad and the realm Khorasan; and Fortune banned me with her tyrant ban, for my father died and my Sultanate was taken by King Sasan. So I fled forth from Baghdad secretly, lest I be seen of any man, and have wandered twenty days without any but thyself to scan. So now I have discovered to thee my case, and my story is as thy story and my need as thy need." When Sabbah heard this, he cried out, "O my joy, I have attained my desire! I will have no loot this day but thyself; for since thou art of the seed of Kings and hast come out in beggar's garb, there is no help but thy people will seek thee; and, if they find thee in any one's power, they will ransom thee with monies galore. So show me thy back, O my lad, and walk before me." Answered Kanmakan, "O brother of the Arabs, act not on this wise, for my people will not buy me with silver nor with gold, not even with a copper dirham; and I am a poor man, having with me neither much nor little; so cease then to be upon this track and take me to thy comrade. Fare we forth for the land of Irak and wander over the world, so haply we may win dower and marriage-portion, and we may seek and enjoy our cousins' kisses and embraces when we come back." Hearing this, Sabbah waxed angry; his arrogance and fury redoubled and he said, "Woe to thee! Dost thou bandy words with me, O vilest of dogs that be? Turn 69thee thy back, or I will come down on thee with clack!" Kanmakan smiled and answered, "Why should I turn my back for thee? Is there no justice in thee? Dost thou not fear to bring blame upon the Arab men by driving a man like myself captive, in shame and disdain, before thou hast proved him on the plain, to know if he be a warrior or of cowardly strain?" Upon this Sabbah laughed and replied, "By Allah, a wonder! Thou art a boy in years told, but in talk thou art old. These words should come from none but a champion doughty and bold: what wantest thou of justice?" Quoth Kanmakan, "If thou wilt have me thy captive, to wend with thee and serve thee, throw down thine arms and put off thine outer gear and come on and wrestle with me; and whichever of us throw his opponent shall have his will of him and make him his boy." Then Sabbah laughed and said, "I think this waste of breath denoteth the nearness of thy death." Then he arose and threw down his weapon and, tucking up his skirt, drew near unto Kanmakan who also drew near and they gripped each other. But the Badawi found that the other had the better of him and weighed him down, as the quintal downweighs the dinar; and he looked at his legs firmly planted on the ground, and saw that they were as two minarets[83] strongly based, or two tent-poles in earth encased, or two mountains which may not be displaced. So he acknowledged himself to be a failure and repented of having come to wrestle with him, saying in himself, "Would I had slain him with my weapon!" Then Kanmakan took hold of him and mastering him, shook him till the Badawi thought his bowels would burst in his belly, and he broke out, "Hold thy hand, O boy!" He heeded not his words, but shook him again and, lifting him from the ground, made with him towards the stream, that he might throw him therein: whereupon the Badawi roared out, saying, "O thou valiant man, what wilt thou do with me?"[84] Quoth he, "I mean to throw thee into this stream: it will bear to the Tigris. The Tigris will bring thee to the river Isa and the Isa will carry thee to the Euphrates, and the Euphrates will land thee in thine own country; so thy tribe shall see thee and know thy manly cheer and how thy passion be sincere." Then Sabbah cried aloud and said, "O Champion of the 70desert-lair, do not with me what deed the wicked dare but let me go, by the life of thy cousin, the jewel of the fair!" Hearing this, Kanmakan set him on the ground; but when he found himself at liberty, he ran to his sword and targe and taking them up, stood plotting in himself treachery and sudden assault on his adversary.[85] The Prince kenned his intent in his eye and said to him, "I con what is in thy heart, now thou hast hold of thy sword and thy targe. Thou hast neither length of hand nor trick of wrestling, but thou thinkest that, wert thou on thy mare and couldst wheel about the plain, and ply me with thy skene, I had long ago been slain. But I will give thee thy requite, so there may be left in thy heart no despite; now give me the targe and fall on me with thy whinger; either thou shalt kill me or I shall kill thee." "Here it is," answered Sabbah and, throwing him the targe, bared his brand and rushed at him sword in hand; Kanmakan hent the buckler in his right and began to fend himself with it, whilst Sabbah struck at him, saying at each stroke, "This is the finishing blow!" But it fell harmless enow, for Kanmakan took all on his buckler and it was waste work, though he did not reply lacking the wherewithal to strike and Sabbah ceased not to smite at him with his sabre, till his arm was weary. When his opponent saw this, he rushed upon him and, hugging him in his arms, shook him and threw him to the ground. Then he turned him over on his face and pinioned his elbows behind him with the baldrick of his sword, and began to drag him by the feet and to make for the river. Thereupon cried Sabbah, "What wilt thou do with me, O youth, and cavalier of the age and brave of the plain where battles rage?" Answered he, "Did I not tell thee that it was my intent to send thee by the river to thy kin and to thy tribe, that thy heart be not troubled for them nor their hearts be troubled for thee, and lest thou miss thy cousin's bride-feast!" At this Sabbah shrieked aloud and wept and screaming said, "Do not thus, O champion of the 71time's braves! Let me go and make me one of thy slaves!" And he wept and wailed and began reciting these verses:—

I'm estranged fro' my folk and estrangement's long: ✿ Shall I die amid strangers? Ah, would that I kenned!
I die, nor my kinsmen shall know where I'm slain, ✿ Die in exile nor see the dear face of my friend!

Thereupon Kanmakan had compassion on him and said, "Make with me a covenant true and swear me an oath to be a comrade as due and to bear me company wheresoever I may go." "'Tis well," replied Sabbah and swore accordingly. Then Kanmakan loosed him and he rose and would have kissed the Prince's hand; but he forbade him that. Then the Badawi opened his scrip and, taking out three barley scones, laid them before Kanmakan and they both sat down on the bank of the stream to eat.[86] When they had done eating together, they made the lesser ablution and prayed; after which they sat talking of what had befallen each of them from his people and from the shifts of Time. Presently said Kanmakan, "Whither dost thou now intend?" Replied Sabbah, "I purpose to repair to Baghdad, thy native town, and abide there, until Allah vouchsafe me the marriage portion." Rejoined the other, "Up then and to the road! I tarry here." So the Badawi farewelled him and took the way for Baghdad, whilst Kanmakan remained behind, saying to himself, "O my soul, with what face shall I return pauper-poor? Now by Allah, I will not go back empty-handed and, if the Almighty please, I will assuredly work my deliverance." Then he went to the stream and made the Wuzu-washing and when prostrating he laid his brow in the dust and prayed to the Lord, saying, "O Allah! Thou who sendest down the dew, and feedest the worm that homes in the stone, I beseech Thee vouchsafe me my livelihood of Thine Omnipotence and the Grace of Thy benevolence!" Then he pronounced the salutation which closes prayer; yet every road appeared closed to him. And while he sat turning right and left, behold, he espied a horseman making towards him with bent back and reins slack. He sat upright and after a time reached the Prince; and the stranger was at the last gasp and made sure of death, for he was grievously wounded when he came up; the tears streamed down his cheeks like water from the mouths of skins, and he said to Kanmakan, 72"O chief of the Arabs, take me to thy friendship as long as I live, for thou wilt not find my like; and give me a little water though the drinking of water be harmful to one wounded, especially whilst the blood is flowing and the life with it. And if I live, I will give thee what shall heal thy penury and thy poverty: and if I die, mayst thou be blessed for thy good intent." Now under that horseman was a stallion, so noble a Rabite[87] the tongue fails to describe him; and as Kanmakan looked at his legs like marble shafts, he was seized with a longing and said to himself, "Verily the like of this stallion[88] is not to be found in our time." Then he helped the rider to alight and entreated him in friendly guise and gave him a little water to swallow; after which he waited till he had taken rest and addressed him, saying, "Who hath dealt thus with thee?" Quoth the rider, "I will tell thee the truth of the case. I am a horse-thief and I have busied myself with lifting and snatching horses all my life, night and day, and my name is Ghassán, the plague of every stable and stallion. I heard tell of this horse, that he was in the land of Roum, with King Afridun, where they had named him Al-Katúl and surnamed him Al-Majnún.[89] So I journeyed to Constantinople for his sake and watched my opportunity and whilst I was thus waiting, there came out an old woman, one highly honoured among the Greeks, and whose word with them is law, by name Zat al-Dawahi, a past mistress in all manner of trickery. She had with her this steed and ten slaves, no more, to attend on her and the horse; and she was bound for Baghdad and Khorasan, there to seek King Sasan and to sue for peace and pardon from ban. So I went out in their track, longing to get at the horse,[90] and ceased not to follow them, but was unable to come by the stallion, because of the strict guard kept by the slaves, till they reached this country and I feared lest they enter the city of Baghdad. As I was casting about to steal the stallion lo! a great cloud of dust arose on them and walled the horizon. Presently it 73opened and disclosed fifty horsemen, gathered together to waylay merchants on the highway, and their captain, by name Kahrdásh, was a lion in daring and dash; a furious lion who layeth knights flat as carpets in battle-crash."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the wounded rider spake thus to Kanmakan, "Then came out the same Kahrdash, and fell on the old woman and her men and bore down upon them bashing them, nor was it long before they bound her and the ten slaves and bore off their captives and the horse, rejoicing. When I saw this, I said to myself:—My pains were in vain nor did I attain my gain. However, I waited to see how the affair would fare, and when the old woman found herself in bonds, she wept and said to the captain, Kahrdash:—O thou doughty Champion and furious Knight, what wilt thou do with an old woman and slaves, now that thou hast thy will of the horse? And she beguiled him with soft words and she sware that she would send him horses and cattle, till he released her and her slaves. Then he went his way, he and his comrades, and I followed them till they reached this country; and I watched them, till at last I found an opportunity of stealing the horse, whereupon I mounted him and, drawing a whip from my wallet, struck him with it. When the robbers heard this, they came out on me and surrounded me on all sides and shot arrows and cast spears at me, whilst I stuck fast on his back and he fended me with hoofs and forehand,[91] till at last he bolted out with me from amongst them like unerring shaft or shooting star. But in the stress and stowre I got sundry grievous wounds and sore; and, since that time, I have passed on his back three days without tasting food or sleeping aught, so that my strength is down brought and the world is become to me as naught. But thou hast dealt kindly with me and hast shown ruth on me; and I see thee naked stark and sorrow hath set on thee its mark, yet are signs of wealth and gentle breeding manifest on 74thee. So tell me, what and whence art thou and whither art thou bound?" Answered the Prince, "My name is Kanmakan, son of Zau al-Makan, son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman. When my father died and an orphan lot was my fate, a base man seized the throne and became King over small and great." Then he told him all his past from first to last; and the horse-thief said to him, for he pitied him, "By Allah, thou art one of high degree and exceeding nobility, and thou shalt surely attain estate sublime and become the first cavalier of thy time. If thou can lift me on horseback and mount thee behind me and bring me to my own land, thou shalt have honour in this world and a reward on the day of band calling to band,[92] for I have no strength left to steady myself; and if this be my last day, the steed is thine alway; for thou art worthier of him than any other." Quoth Kanmakan, "By Allah, if I could carry thee on my shoulders or share my days with thee, I would do this deed without the steed! For I am of a breed that loveth to do good and to succour those in need; and one kindly action in Almighty Allah's honour averteth seventy calamities from its doer. So make ready to set out and put thy trust in the Subtle, the All-Wise." And he would have lifted him on to the horse and fared forward trusting in Allah, Aider of those who seek aid, but the horse-thief said, "Wait for me awhile." Then he closed his eyes and opening his hands, said, "I testify that there is no god but the God, and I testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of God!" And he added, "O glorious One, pardon me my mortal sin, for none can pardon mortal sins save the Immortal!" And he made ready for death and recited these couplets:—

I have wronged mankind, and have ranged like wind ✿ O'er the world, and in wine-cups my life has past:
I've swum torrent-course to bear off the horse; ✿ And my guiles high places on plain have cast.
Much I've tried to win and o'er much my sin; ✿ And Katul of my winnings is most and last:
I had hoped of this steed to gain wish and need, ✿ But vain was the end of this journey vast.
I have stolen through life, and my death in strife ✿ Was doomed by the Lord who doth all forecast;
And I've toiled these toils to their fatal end ✿ For an orphan, a pauper sans kith or friend!

75And when he had finished his verses he closed his eyes and opened his mouth; then with a single death-rattling he left this world. Thereupon Kanmakan rose and dug a grave and laid him in the dust; after which he went up to the steed and kissed him and wiped his face and joyed with exceeding joy, saying, "None hath the fellow of this stallion; no, not even King Sasan." Such was the case with Kanmakan; but as regards King Sasan, presently news came to him that the Wazir Dandan had thrown off his allegiance, and with him half the army who swore that they would have no King but Kanmakan: and the Minister had bound the troops by a solemn covenant and had gone with them to the Islands of India and to Berber-land and to Black-land;[93] where he had levied armies from far and near, like unto the swollen sea for fear and none could tell the host's van from its rear. And the Minister was resolved to make for Baghdad and take the kingdom in ward and slay every soul who dare retard, having sworn not to return the sword of war to its sheath, till he had made Kanmakan King. When this news came to Sasan, he was drowned in the sea of appal, knowing that the whole state had turned against him, great and small; and his trouble redoubled and his care became despair. So he opened his treasuries and distributed his monies among his officers; and he prayed for Kanmakan's return, that he might draw his heart to him with fair usage and bounty; and make him commander of those troops which ceased not being faithful to him, so might he quench the sparks ere they became a flame. Now when the news of this reached Kanmakan by the merchants, he returned in haste to Baghdad on the back of the aforesaid stallion, and as King Sasan sat perplexed upon his throne he heard of the coming of Kanmakan; whereupon he despatched all the troops and head-men of the city to meet him. So all who were in Baghdad fared forth and met the Prince and escorted him to the palace and kissed the thresholds, whilst the damsels and the eunuchs went in to his mother and gave her the fair tidings of his 76return. She came to him and kissed him between the eyes, but he said to her, "O mother mine, let me go to my uncle King Sasan who hath overwhelmed me with weal and boon." And while he so did, all the palace-people and head-men marvelled at the beauty of the stallion and said, "No King is like unto this man." So Kanmakan went in to King Sasan and saluted him as he rose to receive him; and, kissing his hands and feet, offered him the horse as a present. The King greeted him, saying, "Well come and welcome to my son Kanmakan! By Allah, the world hath been straitened on me by reason of thine absence, but praised be Allah for thy safety!" And Kanmakan called down blessings on him. Then the King looked at the stallion, Al-Katul hight, and knew him for the very horse he had seen in such and such a year whilst beleaguering the Cross-worshippers of Constantinople with Kanmakan's sire, Zau al-Makan, that time they slew his uncle Sharrkan. So he said to the Prince, "If thy father could have come by this courser, he would have bought it with a thousand blood horses: but now let the honour return to the honourable. We accept the steed and we give him back to thee as a gift, for to him thou hast more right than any wight, being knightliest of knights." Then King Sasan bade bring forth for him dresses of honour and led horses and appointed to him the chief lodging in the palace, and showed him the utmost affection and honour, because he feared the issue of the Wazir Dandan's doings. At this Kanmakan rejoiced and shame and humiliation ceased from him. Then he went to his house and, going to his mother, asked, "O my mother, how is it with the daughter of my uncle?" Answered she, "By Allah, O my son, my concern for thine absence hath distracted me from any other, even from thy beloved; especially as she was the cause of thy strangerhood and thy separation from me." Then he complained to her of his case, saying, "O my mother, go to her and speak with her; haply she will vouchsafe me her sight to see and dispel from me this despondency." Replied his mother, "Idle desires abase men's necks; so put away from thee this thought that can only vex; for I will not wend to her nor go in to her with such message." Now when he heard his mother's words he told her what said the horse-thief concerning Zat al-Dawahi, how the old woman was then in their land purposing to make Baghdad, and added, "It was she who slew my uncle and my grandfather, and needs must I avenge them with man-bote, that our reproach 77be wiped out." Then he left her and repaired to an old woman, a wicked, whorish, pernicious beldam by name Sa'adánah and complained to her of his case and of what he suffered for love of his cousin Kuzia Fakan and begged her to go to her and win her favour for him. "I hear and I obey," answered the old hag and leaving him betook herself to Kuzia Fakan's palace, that she might intercede with her in his behalf. Then she returned to him and said, "Of a truth Kuzia Fakan saluteth thee and promiseth to visit thee this night about midnight."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the old woman came to Kanmakan and said, "Of a truth the daughter of thine uncle saluteth thee and she will visit thee this night about midnight;" he rejoiced and sat down to await the fulfilment of his cousin's promise. But before the hour of night she came to him, wrapped in a veil of black silk, and she went in to him and aroused him from sleep, saying, "How canst thou pretend to love me, when thou art sleeping heart-free and in complete content?" So he awoke and said, "By Allah, O desire of my heart, I slept not but in the hope that thine image might visit my dreams!" Then she chid him with soft words and began versifying in these couplets:—

Hadst thou been leal in love's loyalty, ✿ Ne'er haddest suffered sleep to seal those eyne:
O thou who claimest lover-loyalty, ✿ Treading the lover's path of pain and pine!
By Allah, O my cousin, never yet ✿ Did eyes of lover sleep such sleep indign.

Now when he heard his cousin's words, he was abashed before her and rose and excused himself. Then they embraced and complained to each other of the anguish of separation; and they ceased not thus till dawn broke and day dispersed itself over the horizon; when she rose preparing to depart. Upon this Kanmakan wept and sighed and began improvising these couplets:—

78O thou who deignest come at sorest syne, ✿ Whose lips those teeth like necklaced pearls enshrine!
I kissed him[94] thousand times and clipt his waist, ✿ And spent the night with cheek to cheek close li'en,
Till to depart us twain came dawning day, ✿ Like sword-edge drawn from sheath in radiant line.

And when he ended his poetry, Kuzia Fakan took leave of him and returned to her palace. Now certain of her damsels became aware of her secret, and one of these slave girls disclosed it to King Sasan, who went into Kuzia Fakan and, drawing his sabre upon her, would have slain her: but her mother Nuzhat al-Zaman entered and said to him, "By Allah, do her no harm, for if thou hurt her, the report will be noised among the folk and thou shalt become a reproach amongst the Kings of the age! Know thou that Kanmakan is no son of adultery, but a man of honour and nobility, who would not do aught that could shame him, and she was reared with him. So be not hasty; for verily the report is spread abroad, among all the palace-people and all the folk of Baghdad, how the Wazir Dandan hath levied armies from all countries and is on his way hither to make Kanmakan King." Quoth Sasan, "By Allah, needs must I cast him into such calamity that neither earth shall support him nor sky shall shadow him! I did but speak him fair and show him favour because of my lieges and my lords, lest they incline to him; but right soon shalt thou see what shall betide." Then he left her and went out to order the affairs of the realm. Such, then, was the case with King Sasan; but as regards Kanmakan, on the next day he came in to his mother and said, "O my mother! I am resolved to ride forth a-raiding and a-looting: and I will cut the road of caravans and lift horses and flocks, negroes and white slaves and, as soon as I have collected great store and my case is bettered galore, I will demand my cousin Kuzia Fakan in marriage of my uncle Sasan." Replied she, "O my son, of a truth the goods of men are not ready to hand like a scape-camel;[95] for on this side of them are sword-strokes and lance-lungings and men that eat the wild beast and lay countries waste and chase lynxes and hunt lions." Quoth he, "Heaven forefend that I turn back from my resolve, till I have won to my will!" Then he despatched the old woman to Kuzia Fakan, 79to tell her that he was about to set out in quest of a marriage-settlement befitting her, saying to the beldam, "Thou needs must pray her to send me an answer." "I hear and I obey," replied the old woman and going forth, presently returned with Kuzia Fakan's reply, which was, "She will come to thee at midnight." So he abode awake till one half of the night was passed, when restlessness gat hold on him, and before he was aware she came in to him, saying, "My life be thy ransom from wakefulness!" and he sprang up to receive her, exclaiming, "O desire of my heart, my life be thy redemption from all ills and evils!" Then he acquainted her, with his intent, and she wept: but he said, "Weep not, O daughter of my uncle; for I beseech Him who decreed our separation to vouchsafe us reunion and fair understanding." Then Kanmakan, having fixed a day for departure, went in to his mother and took leave of her, after which came he down from his palace and threw the baldrick of his sword over his shoulder and donned turband and face-veil; and mounting his horse, Al-Katul, and looking like the moon at its full, he threaded the streets of Baghdad, till he reached the city gate. And behold, here he found Sabbah bin Rammah coming out of town; and his comrade seeing him, ran to his stirrup and saluted him. He returned his salutation, and Sabbah asked him, "O my brother, how camest thou by this good steed and this sword and clothes, whilst I up to present time have gotten nothing but my sword and target?" Answered Kanmakan, "The hunter returneth not but with quarry after the measure of his intention. A little after thy departure, fortune came to me: so now say, wilt thou go with me and work thine intent in my company and journey with me in this desert?" Replied Sabbah, "By the Lord of the Ka'abah, from this time forth I will call thee naught but 'my lord'!" Then he ran on before the horse, with his sword hanging from his neck and his budget between his shoulder-blades, and Kanmakan rode a little behind him; and they plunged into the desert, for a space of four days, eating of the gazelles and drinking water of the springs. On the fifth day they drew near a high hill, at whose foot was a spring-encampment[96] and a deep 80running stream; and the knolls and hollows were filled with camels and cattle and sheep and horses, and little children played about the pens and folds. When Kanmakan saw this, he rejoiced at the sight and his breast was filled with delight; so he addressed himself to fight, that he might take the camels and the cattle, and said to Sabbah, "Come, fall with us upon this loot, whose owners have left it unguarded here, and do we battle for it with near and far, so haply may fall to our lot of goods some share." Replied Sabbah, "O my lord, verily they to whom these herds belong be many in number; and among them are doughty horsemen and fighting footmen; and if we venture lives in this derring-do we shall fall into danger great and neither of us will return safe from this bate; but we shall both be cut off by fate and leave our cousins desolate." Then Kanmakan laughed and knew that he was a coward; so he left him and rode down the rise, intent on rapine, with loud cries and chanting these couplets:—

Oh a valiant race are the sons of Nu'umán, ✿ Braves whose blades shred heads of the foeman-clan![97]
A tribe who, when tried in the tussle of war, ✿ Taketh prowest stand in the battle-van:
In their tents safe close gaberlunzie's eyne, ✿ Nor his poverty's ugly features scan:
And I for their aidance sue of Him ✿ Who is King of Kings and made soul of man.

Then he rushed upon the she-camels like a he-camel in rut and drove all before him, sheep and cattle, horses and dromedaries. Therewith the slaves ran at him with their blades so bright and their lances so long; and at their head rode a Turkish horseman who was indeed a stout champion, doughty in fray and in battle chance and skilled to wield the nut-brown lance and the blade with bright glance. He drove at Kanmakan, saying, "Woe to thee! Knewest thou to whom these herds belong thou hadst not 81done this deed. Know that they are the goods of the band Grecian, the champions of the ocean and the troop Circassian; and this troop containeth none but valiant wights numbering an hundred knights, who have cast off the allegiance of every Sultan. But there hath been stolen from them a noble stallion, and they have vowed not to return hence without him." Now when Kanmakan heard these words, he cried out, saying, "O villain, this I bestride is the steed whereof ye speak and after which ye seek, and ye would do battle with me for his sake! So come out against me, all of you at once, and do you dourest for the nonce!" Then he shouted between the ears of Al-Katul who ran at them like a Ghul; whereupon Kanmakan let drive at the Turk[98] and ran him through the body and threw him from his horse and let out his life; after which he turned upon a second and a third and a fourth, and also of life bereft them. When the slaves saw this, they were afraid of him, and he cried out and said to them, "Ho, sons of whores, drive out the cattle and the stud or I will dye my spear in your blood." So they untethered the beasts and began to drive them out; and Sabbah came down to Kanmakan with loud voicing and hugely rejoicing; when lo! there arose a cloud of dust and grew till it walled the view, and there appeared under of it riders an hundred, like lions an-hungered. Upon this Sabbah took flight, and fled to the hill's topmost height, leaving the assailable site, and enjoyed sight of the fight, saying, "I am no warrior; but in sport and jest I delight."[99] Then the hundred cavaliers made towards Kanmakan and surrounded him on all sides, and one of them accosted him, saying, "Whither goest thou with this loot?" Quoth he, "I have made it my prize and am carrying it away; 82and I forbid you from it, or come on to the combat, for know ye that he who is before you is a terrible lion and an honourable champion, and a sword that cutteth wherever it turneth!" When the horseman heard these words, he looked at Kanmakan and saw that he was a knight like a mane-clad lion in might, whilst his face was as the full moon rising on its fourteenth night, and valour shone from between his eyes. Now that horseman was the captain of the hundred horse, and his name was Kahrdash; and when he saw in Kanmakan the perfection of cavalarice with surpassing gifts of comeliness, his beauty reminded him of a beautiful mistress of his whose name was Fátin.[100] Now she was one of the fairest of women in face, for Allah had given her charms and grace and noble qualities of all kinds, such as tongue faileth to explain and which ravish the hearts of men. Moreover, the cavaliers of the tribe feared her prowess and all the champions of that land stood in awe of her high spirit; and she had sworn that she would not marry nor let any possess her, except he should conquer her in combat (Kahrdash being one of her suitors); and she said to her father, "None shall approach me, save he be able to deal me overthrow in the field and stead of war-thrust and blow. Now when this news reached Kahrdash, he scorned to fight with a girl, fearing reproach; and one of his intimates said to him, "Thou art complete in all conditions of beauty and goodliness; so if thou contend with her, even though she be stronger than thou, thou must needs overcome her; for when she seeth thy beauty and grace, she will be discomfited before thee and yield thee the victory; for verily women have a need of men e'en as thou heedest full plain. Nevertheless Kahrdash refused and would not contend with her, and he ceased not to abstain from her thus, till he met from Kanmakan that which hath been set down. Now he took the Prince for his beloved Fatin and was afraid; albeit indeed she loved him for what she had heard of his beauty and valour; so he went up to him and said, "Woe to thee,[101] O Fatin! Thou comest here to show me thy prowess; but now alight from thy steed, that I may talk with thee, for I have lifted these cattle and have foiled my friends and waylaid many a brave and man of knightly race, all for the sake of thy beauty of form and face, which are without 83peer. So marry me now, that Kings' daughters may serve thee and thou shalt become Queen of these countries." When Kanmakan heard these words, the fires of wrath flamed up in him and he cried out, "Woe to thee, O Persian dog! Leave Fatin and thy trust and mistrust, and come to cut and thrust, for eftsoon thou shalt lie in the dust;" and so saying, he began to wheel about him and assail him and feel the way to prevail. But when Kahrdash observed him closely he knew him for a doughty knight and a stalwart in fight; and the error of his thought became manifest to him, whenas he saw the green down on his cheeks dispread like myrtles springing from the heart of a rose bright-red. And he feared his onslaught and quoth he to those with him, "Woe to you! Let one of you charge down upon him and show him the keen sword and the quivering spear; for know that when many do battle with one man it is foul shame, even though he be a kemperly wight and an invincible knight." Upon this, there ran at Kanmakan a horseman like a lion in fight, mounted on a black horse with hoofs snow-white and a star on his forehead, the bigness of a dirham, astounding wit and sight, as he were Abjar, which was Antar's destrier, even as saith of him the poet:—

The courser chargeth on battling foe, ✿ Mixing heaven on high with the earth down low:[102]
As though the Morning had blazed his brow, ✿ And he rends her vitals as quid pro quo.

He rushed upon Kanmakan, and they wheeled about awhile, giving blows and taking blows such as confound the sprite and dim the sight; but Kanmakan was the first to smite the foe a swashing blow, that rove through turband and iron skull-cap and reached his head, and he fell from his steed with the fall of a camel when he rolleth over. Then a second came out to him and offered battle, and in like guise a third, a fourth and a fifth, and he did with them all as he had done with the first. Thereupon the rest at once rushed upon him, for indeed they were roused by rage and wild with wrath; but it was not long before he had pierced them all with the point of his spear. When Kahrdash saw these feats of 84arms, he feared death; for he knew that the youth was stoutest of heart and concluded that he was unique among knights and braves; and he said to Kanmakan, "I waive my claim to thy blood and I pardon thee the blood of my comrades: so take what thou wilt of the cattle and wend thy ways, for thy firmness in fight moveth my ruth and life is better for thee than death." Replied Kanmakan, "Thou lackest not of the generosity of the noble! but leave this talk and run for thy life and reck not of blame nor think to get back the booty; but take the straight path for thine own safety." Thereupon Kahrdash waxed exceeding wroth, and rage moved him to the cause of his death; so he said to Kanmakan, "Woe to thee, an thou knew who I be, thou wouldst not wield these words in the open field. I am the lion to bash known as Kahrdash, he who spoileth great Kings and waylayeth all travellings and seizeth the merchants' preciousest things. And the steed under thee is that I am seeking; and I call upon thee to tell me how thou camest by him and hast him in thy keeping." Replied Kanmakan, "Know thou that this steed was being carried to my uncle King Sasan, under the escort of an ancient dame high in rank attended by ten slaves, when thou fellest upon her and tookest the horse from her; and I have a debt of blood against this old woman for the sake of my grandfather King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and my uncle King Sharrkan." "Woe to thee!" quoth Kahrdash, "who is thy father, O thou that hast no lawful mother?" Quoth he, "Know that I am Kanmakan, bin Zau al-Makan, son of Omar bin al-Nu'uman." But when Kahrdash heard this address he said, "Thy perfection cannot be denied, nor yet the union in thee of knightly virtue and seemlihead," and he added, "Fare in peace, for thy father showed us favour." Rejoined Kanmakan, "By Allah, I will not deign to honour thee, O wretch I disdain, so far as to overcome thee in battle-plain!" Upon this the Badawi waxed wroth and they drove at each other, shouting aloud, whilst their horses pricked their ears and raised their tails.[103] And they ceased not clashing together with such a crash that it seemed to each as if the firmament were split in sunder, and they continued to strive like two rams which butt, smiting and exchanging with their spears thrust and cut. Presently Kahrdash foined at Kanmakan; but he evaded it and rejoined upon him and so 85pierced him through the breast that the spearhead issued from his back. Then he collected the horses and the plunder, and he cried out to the slaves, saying, "Up and be driving as hard as ye may!" Hearing this, down came Sabbah and, accosting Kanmakan, said to him, "Right well hast thou dight, O Knight of the age! Verily I prayed Allah for thee and the Lord heard my prayer." Then he cut off Kahrdash's head and Kanmakan laughed and said, "Woe to thee, O Sabbah! I thought thee a rider fain of fight." Quoth the Badawi, "Forget not thy slave in the division of the spoil, so haply therewith I may marry my cousin Najmah." Answered Kanmakan, "Thou shalt assuredly share in it, but now keep watch over the booty and the slaves." Then he set out for his home and he ceased not journeying night and day till he drew near Baghdad city, and all the troops heard of Kanmakan, and saw what was his of loot and cattle and the horse-thief's head on the point of Sabbah's spear. Also (for he was a noted highwayman) the merchants knew Kahrdash's head and rejoiced, saying, "Allah hath rid mankind of him!"; and they marvelled at his being slain and blessed his slayer. Thereupon all the people of Baghdad came to Kanmakan, seeking to know what adventures had befallen him, and he told them what had passed, whereupon all men were taken with awe of him and the Knights and champions feared him. Then he drove his spoil under the palace walls; and, planting the spear-heel, on whose point was Kahrdash's head, over against the royal gate, gave largesse to the people of Baghdad, distributing horses and camels, so that all loved him and their hearts inclined to him. Presently he took Sabbah and lodged him in a spacious dwelling and gave him a share of the loot; after which he went in to his mother and told her all that had befallen him in his last journey. Meanwhile the news of him reached the King, who rose from his levee and, shutting himself up with his chief officers, said to them, "Know ye that I desire to reveal to you my secret and acquaint you with the hidden facts of my case. And further know that Kanmakan will be the cause of our being uprooted from this kingdom, our birth-place; for he hath slain Kahrdash, albeit he had with him the tribes of the Kurds and the Turks, and our affair with him will end in our destruction, seeing that the most part of our troops are his kinsmen and ye weet what the Wazir Dandan hath done; how he disowneth me, after all I have shown him of favours; and after being faithful he hath turned traitor. Indeed it hath reached me that he hath levied an army in the provinces and 86hath planned to make Kanmakan Sultan, for that the Sultanate was his father's and his grandfather's; and assuredly he will slay me without mercy." Now when the Lords of the Realm heard from him these words, they replied, "O King, verily his man[104] is unequal to this, and did we not know him to have been reared by thee, not one of us would approve of him. And know thou that we are at thy commandment; if thou desire his death, we will do him die; and if thou wilt remove him, we will remove him." Now when King Sasan heard this, he said, "Verily, to slay him were wise; but needs must ye swear an oath to it." So all sware to slay Kanmakan without giving him a chance; to the end that, when the Wazir Dandan should come and hear of his death, his force might be weakened and he fail of his design. When they had made this compact and covenant with him, the King honoured them with the highest honours and presently retired to his own apartments. But the officers deserted him and the troops refused their service and would neither mount nor dismount until they should espy what might befal, for they saw that most of the army was with the Wazir Dandan. Presently, the news of these things came to Kuzia Fakan and caused her much concern; so that she sent for the old woman who was wont to carry messages between her and her cousin, and when she came, bade her go to him and warn him of the plot. Whereto he replied, "Bear my salutation to the daughter of my uncle and say to her:—Verily the earth is of Allah (to whom belong Might and Majesty!), and He giveth it as heritage to whomsoever of His servants he willeth. How excellent is the saying of the sayer:—

Allah holds Kingship! Whoso seeks without Him victory ✿ Shall be cast out, with soul condemned to Hell of low degree:
Had I or any other man a finger-breadth of land, ✿ The rule were changed and men a twain of partner-gods would see."

Then the old woman returned to Kuzia Fakan and told her his reply and acquainted her that he abode in the city. Meanwhile, King Sasan awaited his faring forth from Baghdad, that he might send after him some who would slay him; till it befel one morning that Kanmakan went out to course and chase, accompanied by Sabbah, who would not leave him night or day. He caught ten gazelles and among them one that had tender black eyes and 87turned right and left: so he let her go and Sabbah said to him, "Why didst thou free this gazelle?" Kanmakan laughed and set the others free also, saying, "It is only humane to release gazelles that have young, and this one turned not from side to side, save to look for her fawns: so I let her go and released the others in her honour." Quoth Sabbah, "Do thou release me, that I may go to my people." At this Kanmakan laughed and smote him with the spear-butt on the breast, and he fell to the ground squirming like a snake. Whilst they were thus doing, behold, they saw a dust-cloud spireing high and heard the tramp of horses; and presently there appeared under it a plump of knights and braves. Now the cause of their coming was this. Some of his followers had acquainted King Sasan with Kanmakan's going out to the chase; so he sent for an Emir of the Daylamites, called Jámi' and twenty of his horsemen; and gave them money and bade them slay Kanmakan. So when they drew near the Prince, they charged down upon him and he met them in mid-charge and killed them all, to the last man. And behold, King Sasan took horse and riding out to meet his people, found them all slain, whereat he wondered and turned back; when lo! the people of the city laid hands on him and bound him straitly. As for Kanmakan after that adventure, he left the place behind him and rode onward with Sabbah the Badawi. And the while he went, lo! he saw a youth sitting at the door of a house on his road and saluted him. The youth returned his greeting and, going into the house, brought out two platters, one full of soured milk and the other of brewis swimming in clarified butter; and he set the platter before Kanmakan, saying, "Favour us by eating of our victual." But he refused and quoth the young man to him, "What aileth thee, O man, that thou wilt not eat?" Quoth Kanmakan, "I have a vow upon me." The youth asked, "What is the cause of thy vow?", and Kanmakan answered, "Know that King Sasan seized upon my kingdom like a tyrant and an enemy, although it was my father's and my grandfather's before me; yet he became master of it by force after my father's death and took no count of me, by reason of my tender years. So I have bound myself by a vow to eat no man's victual till I have eased my heart of my foe." Rejoined the youth, "Rejoice, for Allah hath fulfilled thy vow. Know that he hath been prisoned in a certain place and methinks he will soon die." Asked Kanmakan, "In what house is he confined?" "Under yon high dome," answered the other. The Prince looked and saw the folk 88entering and buffeting Sasan, who was suffering the agonies of the dying. So he arose and went up to the pavilion and noted what was therein; after which he returned to his place and, sitting down to the proferred victual, ate what sufficed him and put the rest in his wallet. Then he took seat in his own place and ceased not sitting till it was dark night and the youth, whose guest he was slept; when he rose and repaired to the pavilion wherein Sasan was confined. Now about it were dogs guarding it, and one of them sprang at him; so he took out of his budget a bit of meat and threw it to him. He ceased not casting flesh to the dogs till he came to the pavilion and, making his way to where King Sasan was, laid his hand upon his head; whereupon he said in a loud voice, "Who art thou?" He replied, "I am Kanmakan whom thou strivest to kill; but Allah made thee fall into thine evil device. Did it not suffice thee to take my kingdom and the kingdom of my father, but thou must purpose to slay me?"[105] And Sasan swore a false oath that he had not plotted his death and that the bruit was untrue. So Kanmakan forgave him and said to him, "Follow me." Quoth he, "I cannot walk a single step for weakness." Quoth Kanmakan, "If the case be thus we will get us two horses and ride forth, I and thou, and seek the open." So he did as he said, and he took horse with Sasan and rode till daybreak, when they prayed the dawn-prayer and fared on, and ceased not faring till they came to a garden, where they sat down and talked. Then Kanmakan rose to Sasan and said, "Is aught left to set thy heart against me?" "No, by Allah!" replied Sasan. So they agreed to return to Baghdad and Sabbah the Badawi said, "I will go before you, to give folk the fair tidings of your coming." Then he rode on in advance, acquainting women and men with the good news; so all the people came out to meet Kanmakan with tabrets and pipes; and Kuzia Fakan also came out, like the full moon shining in all her splendour of light through the thick darkness of the night. So Kanmakan met her, and soul yearned to soul and body longed for body. There was no talk among the people of the time but of Kanmakan; for the Knights bore witness of him that he was the most valiant of the folk of the age and said, "It is not right that other than Kanmakan 89should be our Sultan; but the throne of his grandfather shall revert to him as it began." Meanwhile Sasan went in to his wife, Nuzhat al-Zaman, who said to him, "I hear that the folk talk of nothing but Kanmakan and attribute to him such qualities as tongue never can." He replied, "Hearing of a man is not like seeing a man. I have seen him, but have noted in him none of the attributes of perfection. Not all that is heard is said; but folk ape one another in extolling and cherishing him, and Allah maketh his praises to run on the lips of men, so that there incline to him the hearts of the people of Baghdad and of the Wazir Dandan, that perfidious and treacherous man; who hath levied troops from all lands and taketh to himself the right of naming a King of the country; and who chooseth that it shall be under the hand of an orphan ruler whose worth is naught." Asked Nuzhat al-Zaman, "What then is it that thou purposest to do?"; and the King answered, "I mean to kill him, that the Wazir may be baulked of his intent and return to his allegiance, seeing nothing for it but my service." Quoth she, "In good sooth perfidy with strangers is a foul thing and how much more with kith and kin! The righteous deed to do would be to marry him to thy daughter Kuzia Fakan and give heed to what was said of old time:—

An Fate some person 'stablish o'er thy head, ✿ And thou being worthier her choice upbraid,
Yet do him honour due to his estate; ✿ He'll bring thee weal though far or near thou vade:
Nor speak thy thought of him, else shalt thou be ✿ Of those who self degrade from honour's grade:
Many Haríms are lovelier than the Bride; ✿ But Time and Fortune lent the Bride their aid."

When Sasan heard these her words and comprehended what her verse intended, he rose from her in anger and said, "Were it not that thy death would bring on me dishonour and disgrace, I would take off thy head with my blade and make an end of thy breath." Quoth she, "Why art thou wroth with me? I did but jest with thee." Then she rose to him and bussed his head and hands, saying, "Right is thy foresight, and I and thou will cast about for some means to kill him forthright." When he heard this, he was glad and said, "Make haste and contrive some deceit to relieve me of my grieving: for in my sooth the door of device is straitened upon me!" Replied she, "At once I will devise for thee to do 90away his life." "How so?" asked he; and she answered, "By means of our female slave the so-called Bákún." Now this Bakun was past mistress in all kinds of knavery and was one of the most pestilent of old women, in whose religion to abstain from wickedness was not lawful; she had brought up Kuzia Fakan and Kanmakan who had her in so great affection that he used to sleep at her feet. So when King Sasan heard his wife name her, he said, "Right is this recking"; and, sending for the old woman, told her what had passed and bade her cast about to kill Kanmakan, promising her all good. Replied she, "Thy bidding shall be obeyed; but I would have thee, O my lord, give me a dagger[106] which hath been tempered in water of death, that I may despatch him the speedilier for thee." Quoth Sasan, "And welcome to thee!"; and gave her a hanger that would devance man's destiny. Now this slave-woman had heard stories and verses and had learned by rote great store of strange sayings and anecdotes: so she took the dagger and went out of the room, considering how she could compass his doom. Then she repaired to Kanmakan, who was sitting and awaiting news of tryst with the daughter of his uncle, Kuzia Fakan; so that night his thought was taken up with her and the fires of love for her raged in his heart. And while he was thus, behold, the slave-woman, Bakun, went in to him and said, "Union time is at hand and the days of disunion are over and gone." Now when he heard this he asked, "How is it with Kuzia Fakan?"; and Bakun answered, "Know that her time is wholly taken up with love of thee." At this he rose and doffing his outer clothes put them on her and promised her all good. Then said she, "Know that I mean to pass this night with thee, that I may tell thee what talk I have heard and console thee with stories of many passion-distraughts whom love hath made sick." "Nay," quoth he, "rather tell me a tale that will gladden my heart and gar my cares depart." "With joy and good will," answered she; then she took seat by his side (and that poniard under her dress) and began to say:—Know thou that the pleasantest thing my ears ever heard was



A certain man loved fair women, and spent his substance on them, till he became so poor that nothing remained to him; the world was straitened upon him and he used to go about the market-streets begging his daily bread. Once upon a time as he went along, behold, a bit of iron nail pierced his finger and drew blood; so he sat down and wiping away the blood, bound up his finger. Then he arose crying out, and fared forwards till he came to a Hammam and entering took off his clothes, and when he looked about him he found it clean and empty. So he sat him down by the fountain-basin, and ceased not pouring water on his head, till he was tired.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man sat down by the fountain-basin and ceased not pouring water on his head till he was tired. Then he went out to the room in which was the cistern of cold water; and seeing no one there, he found a quiet corner and taking out a piece of Hashísh,[107] swallowed it. Presently the fumes mounted to his brain and he rolled over on to the marble floor. Then the Hashish made him fancy that a great lord was shampooing him and that two slaves stood at his head, one bearing a bowl and the other washing gear and all the requisites of the Hammam. When he saw this, he said in himself, "Meseemeth these here be mistaken in me; or else they are of the company of us Hashish-eaters."[108] Then he stretched out his legs and he imagined that the bathman said to him, "O my master, the time of thy going up to the Palace draweth near and it is to-day thy 92turn of service." At this he laughed and said to himself, "As Allah willeth,[109] O Hashish!" Then he sat and said nothing, whilst the bathman arose and took him by the hand and girt his middle with a waist-cloth of black silk, after which the two slaves followed him with the bowls and gear; and they ceased not escorting him till they brought him into a cabinet, wherein they set incense and perfumes a-burning. He found the place full of various kinds of fruits and sweet-scented flowers, and they sliced him a water-melon and seated him on a stool of ebony, whilst the bathman stood to wash him and the slaves poured water on him; after which they rubbed him down well and said, "O our lord, Sir Wazir, health to thee for ever!" Then they went out and shut the door on him; and in the vanity of phantasy he arose and removed the waist-cloth from his middle, and laughed till he well nigh fainted. He gave not over laughing for some time and at last quoth he to himself, "What aileth them to address me as if I were a Minister and style me Master, and Sir? Haply they are now blundering; but after an hour they will know me and say, This fellow is a beggar; and take their fill of cuffing me on the neck." Presently, feeling hot he opened the door, whereupon it seemed to him that a little white slave and an eunuch came in to him carrying a parcel. Then the slave opened it and brought out three kerchiefs of silk, one of which he threw over his head, a second over his shoulders and a third he tied round his waist. Moreover, the eunuch gave him a pair of bath-clogs,[110] and he put them on; after which in came white slaves and eunuchs and supported him (and he laughing the while) to the outer hall, which he found hung and spread with magnificent furniture, such as beseemeth none but kings; and the pages hastened up to him and seated him on the divan. Then they fell to kneading him till sleep overcame him; and he dreamt that he had a girl in his arms. So he kissed her and set her between his thighs; then, sitting to her as a man sitteth to a woman,[111] he took yard in hand and drew her 93towards him and weighed down upon her, when lo! he heard one saying to him, "Awake, thou ne'er-do-well! The noon-hour is come and thou art still asleep." He opened his eyes and found himself lying on the marge of the cold-water tank, amongst a crowd of people all laughing at him; for his prickle was at point and the napkin had slipped from his middle. So he knew that all this was but a confusion of dreams and an illusion of Hashish and he was vexed and said to him who had aroused him, "Would thou hadst waited till I had put it in!" Then said the folk, "Art thou not ashamed, O Hashish-eater, to be sleeping stark naked with stiff-standing tool?" And they cuffed him till his neck was red. Now he was starving, yet forsooth had he savoured the flavour of pleasure in his dream. When Kanmakan heard the bondwoman's tale, he laughed till he fell backward and said to Bakun, "O my nurse, this is indeed a rare story and a delectable; I never heard the like of this anecdote. Say me! hast more?" "Yes," replied she, and she ceased not to tell him merry adventures and laughable absurdities, till sleep overcame him. Then she sat by his head till the most part of the night was past, when she said to herself, "It is time to profit by the occasion." So she sprang to her feet and unsheathed the hanger and rushing up to Kanmakan, was about to cut his throat when behold, his mother came in upon the twain. As soon as Bakun saw her, she rose in respect and advanced to meet her, and fear gat hold of her and she fell a-trembling, as if 94she had the ague. When his mother looked at her she marvelled to see her thus and aroused her son, who awoke and found her sitting at his head. Now the cause of her coming was that Kuzia Fakan overheard the conversation and the concert to kill Kanmakan, and she said to his mother, "O wife of my uncle, go to thy son, ere that wicked whore Bakun murther him;" and she told her what had passed from first to last. So she fared forth at once, and she thought of naught and stayed not for aught till she went in to her son at the very moment when Bakun was about to slay him in his sleep. When he awoke, he said to his mother, "O my mother, indeed thou comest at a good time, for nurse Bakun hath been with me this night." Then he turned to Bakun and asked her, "By my life! knowest thou any story better than those thou hast told me?" She answered, "And where is what I have told thee compared with what I will tell thee?; but however better it be, it must be told at another time." Then she rose to depart, hardly believing, in her escape albeit he said, "Go in peace!" for she perceived by her cunning that his mother knew what had occurred. So she went her way; whereupon his mother said to him, "O my son, blessed be this night, for that Almighty Allah hath delivered thee from this accursed woman." "And how so?" enquired he, and she told him the story from beginning to end. Quoth he, "O my mother, of a truth the live man findeth no slayer, and though slain he shall not die; but now it were wiser that we depart from amongst these enemies and let Allah work what He will." So, when day dawned he left the city and joined the Wazir Dandan, and after his departure, certain things befel between King Sasan and Nuzhat al-Zaman, which compelled her also to quit the city and join herself to them; and presently they were met by all the high officers of King Sasan who inclined to their party. Then they sat in counsel together devising what they should do, and at last all agreed upon a razzia into the land of Roum there to take their revenge for the death of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his son Sharrkan. So they set out with this intent and, after sundry adventures (which it were tedious to tell as will appear from what follows), they fell into the hands of Rúmzán, King of the Greeks. Next morning, King Rumzan caused Kanmakan and the Wazir Dandan and their company to be brought before him and, when they came, he seated them at his side, and bade spread the tables of food. So they ate and drank and took heart of grace, after having made sure of death, when they were 95summoned to the King's presence; and they had said to one another, "He hath not sent for us but to slay us." And when they were comforted the King said, "In truth I have had a dream, which I related to the monks, and they said, 'None can expound it to thee save the Wazir Dandan.'" Quoth the Minister, "Weal it was thou didst see in thy dream, O King of the age!" Quoth the King, "O Wazir, I dreamt that I was in a pit which seemed a black well where multitudes were tormenting me; and I would have risen, but when springing up I fell on my feet and could not get out of that same pit. Then I turned and saw therein a girdle of gold and I stretched out my hand to take it; but when I raised it from the ground, I saw it was two girdles. So I girt my middle with them both and behold, the girdles became one girdle; and this, O Wazir, is my dream and what I saw when my sleep was deepest." Said Dandan, "O our Lord the Sultan! know that this thy dream denoteth thou hast a brother or a brother's son or an uncle's son or other near kinsman of thy flesh and blood whom thou knowest not; withal he is of the noblest of you all." Now when the King heard these words he looked at Kanmakan and Nuzhat al-Zaman and Kuzia Fakan and the Wazir Dandan and the rest of the captives and said to himself, "If I smite these people's necks, their troops will lose heart for the destruction of their chiefs and I shall be able to return speedily to my realm, lest the Kingship pass out of my hands." So having determined upon this he called the Sworder and bade him strike off Kanmakan's head upon the spot and forthright, when lo! up came Rumzan's nurse and said to him, "O auspicious King, what purposest thou?" Quoth he, "I purpose slaughtering these prisoners who are in my power; and after that I will throw their heads among their men: then will I fall upon them, I and all my army in one body, and kill all we can kill and rout the rest: so will this be the decisive action of the war and I shall return speedily to my kingdom ere aught of accident befal among my subjects." When the nurse heard these words, she came up to him and said in the Frankish tongue, "How canst thou prevail upon thyself to slay thine own brother's son, and thy sister, and thy sister's daughter?" When he heard this language, he was wroth with exceeding wrath and said to her, "O accursed woman, didst thou not tell me that my mother was murthered and that my father died by poison? Didst thou not give me a jewel and say to me:—Of a truth this jewel was thy father's? Why didst thou 96not tell me the truth?" Replied she, "All that I told thee is true, but my case and thy case are wonderful and my history and thy history are marvellous. My name is Marjanah and thy mother's name was Abrizah: and she was gifted with such beauty and loveliness and valour that proverbs were made of her, and her prowess was renowned among men of war. And thy father was King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, Lord of Baghdad and Khorasan, without doubt or double dealing or denial. He sent his son Sharrkan on a razzia in company with this very Wazir Dandan; and they did all that men can. But Sharrkan, thy brother, who had preceded the force, separated himself from the troops and fell in with thy mother Queen Abrizah in her palace; and we happened to have sought a place apart in order to wrestle, she and I and her other damsels. He came upon us by chance while we were in such case, and wrestled with thy mother, who overcame him by the power of her splendid beauty and by her prowess. Then she entertained him five days in her palace, till the news of this came to her father, by the old woman Shawahi, surnamed Zat al-Dawahi, whereupon she embraced Al-Islam at the hands of Sharrkan, and he took her and carried her by stealth to Baghdad, and with her myself and Rayhánah and twenty other damsels, all of us having, like her, followed the True Faith. When we came into the presence of thy Father, the King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, and he saw thy mother, Queen Abrizah, he fell in love with her and going in unto her one night, had connection with her, and she conceived by him and became with child of thee. Now thy mother had three jewels which she presented to thy father; and he gave one of them to his daughter, Nuzhat al-Zaman, another to thy brother, Zau al-Makan, and the third to thy brother Sharrkan. This last thy mother took from Sharrkan and kept it for thee. But as the time of her delivery drew near she yearned after her own people and disclosed to me her secret; so I went to a black slave called Al-Ghazban; and, privily telling him our case, bribed him to go with us. Accordingly the negro took us and fled the city with us, thy mother being near her time. But as we approached a desert place on the borders of our own country, the pangs of labour came upon thy mother. Then the slave proved himself a lustful villain and approaching her sought of her a shameful thing; whereupon she cried out at him with a loud cry, and was sore affrighted at him. In the excess of her fright she gave birth to thee at once, and at that moment there arose, in the direction of our country, a dust-cloud which 97towered and flew till it walled the view. Thereupon the slave feared for his life; so he smote Queen Abrizah with his sword and slew her in his fury; then mounting his horse he went his way. Soon after his going, the dust lifted and discovered thy grandfather, King Hardub, Lord of Græcia-land, who, seeing thy mother (and his daughter) lying slain on the plain, was sorely troubled with a distress that redoubled, and questioned me of the manner of her death and the cause of her secretly quitting her father's realm. So I told him all that had passed, first and last; and this is the cause of the feud between the people of the land of the Greeks and the people of the city of Baghdad. Then we bore off thy murthered mother and buried her; and I took thee and reared thee, and hung about thy neck the jewel which was with Queen Abrizah. But, when being grown up thou camest to man's estate, I dared not acquaint thee with the truth of the matter, lest such information stir up a war of blood-revenge between you. Moreover, thy grandfather had enjoined me to secrecy, and I could not gainsay the commandment of thy mother's father, Hardub, King of the Greeks. This, then, is the cause of my concealment and the reason why I forbore to inform thee that thy father was King Omar bin al-Nu'uman; but when thou camest to the throne, I told thee what thou knowest; and I durst not reveal to thee the rest till this moment, O King of the Age! So now I have discovered to thee my secret and my proof, and I have acquainted thee with all I know; and thou reckest best what is in thy mind." Now all the captives had heard the slave-woman Marjanah, nurse to King Rumzan, speaking as she spake; when Nuzhat al-Zaman, without stay or delay, cried out, saying, "This King Rumzan is my brother by my father, King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, and his mother was Queen Abrizah, daughter of King Hardub, Lord of the Greeks; and I know this slave-woman Marjanah right well." With this, trouble and perplexity got hold upon Rumzan and he caused Nuzhat al-Zaman to be brought up to him forthright. When he looked upon her, blood yearned to blood and he questioned her of his history. She told him the tale and her story tallied with that of Marjanah, his nurse; whereupon the King was assured that he was, indeed and without a doubt, of the people of Irak; and that King Omar bin al-Nu'uman was his father. So without losing time he caused his sister to be unpinioned, and Nuzhat al-Zaman came up to him and kissed his hands, whilst her eyes ran over with tears. The King wept also to see 98her weeping, and brotherly love possessed him and his heart yearned to his brother's son Sultan Kanmakan. So he sprang to his feet and, taking the sword from the Sworder's hands (whereat the captives made sure of death), he caused them to be set close to him and he cut their bonds with the blade and said to his nurse Marjanah, "Explain the matter to this company, even as thou hast explained it to me." Replied she, "O King, know that this Shaykh is the Wazir Dandan and he is the best of witnesses to my story, seeing that he knoweth the facts of the case." Then she turned to the captives and repeated the whole story to them on the spot and forthright, and in presence of the Kings of the Greeks and the Kings of the Franks; whereupon Queen Nuzhat al-Zaman and the Wazir Dandan and all who were prisoners with them confirmed her words. When Marjanah, the bond-woman, had finished, chancing to look at Sultan Kanmakan she saw on his neck the third jewel, fellow to the two which were with Queen Abrizah; and, recognising it, she cried so loud a cry, that the palace re-echoed it and said to the King, "O my son, Know that now my certainty is still more assured, for this jewel that is about the neck of yonder captive is the fellow to that I hung to thy neck; and, these being the two, this captive is indeed thy brother's son, Kanmakan." Then the slave-woman Marjanah turned to Kanmakan and said to him, "Let me see that jewel, O King of the Age!"; so he took it from his neck and handed it to her. Then she asked Nuzhat al-Zaman of the third jewel and she gave it to her; and when the two were in her hand she delivered them to King Rumzan, and the truth and proof were made manifest to him; and he was assured that he was indeed Sultan Kanmakan's uncle and that his father was King Omar bin al-Nu'uman. So he rose at once and on the spot and, going up to the Wazir Dandan, threw his arms round his neck; then he embraced King Kanmakan and the twain cried a loud cry for excess of joy. The glad news was blazed abroad without delay; and they beat the tabrets and cymbals, whilst the shawms sounded and the people held high festival. The armies of Irak and Syria heard the clamour of rejoicing among the Greeks; so they mounted to the last man, and King Zibl Khan also took, horse saying to himself, "Would I knew what can be the cause of this clamour and rejoicing in the army of the Franks and the Greeks!" Then the army of Irak dight itself for fight and advanced into the plain and place of cut and foin. Presently, 99King Rumzan turned him round and saw the army deployed and in preparing for battle employed, so he asked the cause thereof and was told the state of the case. Thereupon he bade his niece and brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan, return at once and forthright to the troops of Syria and Irak and acquaint them with the plight that had betided and how it was come to light that King Rumzan was uncle to Sultan Kanmakan. She set out, putting away from her sorrows and troubles and, coming to King Zibl Khan,[112] saluted him and told him all that had passed of the good accord, and how King Rumzan had proved to be her uncle and uncle of Kanmakan. And when she went in to him she found him tearful-eyed, in fear for the captive Emirs and Princes; but when he heard what had passed, from first to last, the Moslem's sadness was abated and they joyed with the more gladness. Then King Zibl Khan and all his officers and his retinue took horse and followed Princess Kuzia Fakan till they reached the pavilion of King Rumzan; and when entering they found him sitting with his nephew, Sultan Kanmakan. Now he had taken counsel with the Wazir Dandan concerning King Zibl Khan and had agreed to commit to his charge the city of Damascus of Sham and leave him King over it as he before had been while they themselves entered Irak. Accordingly, they confirmed him in the vice-royalty of Damascus of Syria, and bade him set out at once for his government; so he fared forth with his troops and they rode with him a part of the way to bid him farewell. Then they returned to their own places whereupon, the two armies foregathered and gave orders for the march upon Irak; but the Kings said one to other, "Our hearts will never be at rest nor our wrath cease to rage till we have taken our wreak of the old woman Shawahi, surnamed Zat al-Dawahi, and wiped away our shame and blot upon our honour." Thereupon King Rumzan and his nephew set out, surrounded by their Nobles and Grandees; and indeed Kanmakan rejoiced in his uncle, King Rumzan, and called down blessings on nurse Marjanah who had made them known to each other. They fared on and ceased not faring till they drew near their home Baghdad, and when the Chief Chamberlain, Sasan, heard of their approach, he came out to meet them and kissed the hand of King Rumzan who bestowed on him a dress of honour. Then the King of Roum sat down on the 100throne and seated by his side his nephew Sultan Kanmakan, who said to him, "O my uncle, this Kingdom befitteth none but thee." Replied Rumzan, "Allah be my refuge and the Lord forbid that I should supplant thee in thy Kingdom!" Upon this the Wazir Dandan counselled them to share the throne between the two, ruling each one day in turn; and with this they were well satisfied.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two Kings agreed each to rule one day in turn: then made they feasts and offered sacrifices of clean beasts and held high festival; and they abode thus awhile, whilst Sultan Kanmakan spent his nights with his cousin Kuzia Fakan. And after that period, as the two Kings sat rejoicing in their condition and in the happy ending of their troubles, behold, they saw a cloud of dust arise and tower till it walled the world from their eyes. And out of it came a merchant shrieking and crying aloud for succour and saying, "O Kings of the Age! how cometh it that I woned safely in the land of the Infidels and I am plundered in your realm, though it be the biding place of justice[113] and peace?" Then King Rumzan went up to him and questioned him of his case and he replied, "I am a merchant and, like other merchants, I have been long absent from my native land, travelling in far countries for some twenty years; and I have a patent of exemption from the city of Damascus which the Viceroy, King Sharrkan (who hath found mercy) wrote me, for the cause that I had made him gift of a slave-girl. Now as I was drawing near my home, having with me an hundred loads of rarities of Hind, when I brought them near Baghdad, which be the seat of your sovereignty and the place of your peace and your justice, out there came upon me wild Arabs and Kurds[114] in band gathered together 101from every land; and they slew my many and they robbed my money and this is what they have done me." Then the trader wept in presence of King Rumzan, saying that he was an old man and infirm; and he bemoaned himself till the King felt for him and had compassion on him; and likewise did King Kanmakan and they swore that they would sally forth upon the thieves. So they set out amid an hundred horse, each reckoned worth thousands of men, and the merchant went before them to guide them in the right way; and they ceased not faring on all that day and the livelong night till dawn-break, when they came to a valley abounding in rills and shady with trees. Here they found the foray dispersed about the valley, having divided that merchant's bales among them; but there was yet some of the goods left. So the hundred horsemen fell upon them and surrounded them on all sides, and King Rumzan shouted his war cry, and thus also did his nephew Kanmakan, and ere long they made prize of them all, to the number of near three hundred horsemen, banded together of the refuse of rascality.[115] They took what they could find of the merchant's goods and, binding them tightly, brought them to Baghdad, where King Rumzan and his nephew, King Kanmakan, sat down together on one throne and, passing the prisoners in review before them, questioned them of their case and their chiefs. They said, "We have no chiefs but these three men and it was they who gathered us together from all corners and countries." The Kings said to them, "Point out to us your head-men!"; and, when this was done, they bade lay hands on the leaders and set their comrades free, after taking from them all the goods in their possession and restoring them to the merchant, who examined his stuffs and monies and found that a fourth of his stock was missing. The Kings engaged to make good the whole of his loss, whereupon the trader pulled out two letters, one in the handwriting of 102Sharrkan, and the other in that of Nuzhat al-Zaman; for this was the very merchant who had bought Nuzhat al-Zaman of the Badawi, when she was a virgin, and had forwarded her to her brother Sharrkan; and that happened between them which happened.[116] Hereupon King Kanmakan examined the letters and recognised the handwriting of his uncle Sharrkan, and, having heard the history of his aunt, Nuzhat al-Zaman, he went in to her with the second letter written by her to the merchant who had lost through her his monies; Kanmakan also told her what had befallen the trader from first to last. She knew her own handwriting and, recognising the merchant, despatched to him guest-gifts and commended him to her brother and nephew, who ordered him largesse of money and black slaves and pages to wait on him; besides which Nuzhat al-Zaman sent him an hundred thousand dirhams in cash and fifty loads of merchandise and presented to him other rich presents. Then she sent for him and when he came, she went up to him and saluted him and told him that she was the daughter of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and that her brother was King Rumzan and that King Kanmakan was her nephew. Thereupon the merchant rejoiced with great joy, and congratulated her on her safety and on her reunion with her brother, and kissed her hands thanking her for her bounty; and said to her, "By Allah! a good deed is not lost upon thee!" Then she withdrew to her own apartment and the trader sojourned with them three days, after which he took leave of them and set out on his return march to the land of Syria. Thereupon the two Kings sent for the three robber-chiefs who were of the highwaymen, and questioned them of their case, when one of them came forward and said, "Know ye that I am a Badawi who am wont to lie in wait, by the way, to snatch small children[117] and virgin girls and sell them to merchants; and this I did for many a year until these latter days, when Satan incited me to join yon two gallows-birds in gathering together all the riff-raff of the Arabs and other peoples, that we might plunder merchandise and waylay merchants." Said the Kings, "Tell us the rarest of the adventures that have befallen thee in kidnapping children and maidens." Replied he, "O Kings of the Age, the strangest thing that happened 103to me was that one day, two-and-twenty years ago, I snatched a girl who belonged to the Holy City; she was gifted with beauty and comeliness, despite that she was but a servant and was clad in threadbare clothes, with a piece of camlet-cloth on her head. So I entrapped her by guile as she came out of the caravanserai; and at that very hour mounting her on a camel, made off with her, thinking to carry her to my own people in the Desert and there set her to pasture the camels and gather their droppings in the valley. But she wept with so sore a weeping that after coming down upon her with blows, I took her and carried her to Damascus city where a merchant saw her with me and, being astounded at her beauty and marvelling at her accomplishments, wished to buy her of me and kept on bidding me more and more for her, till at last I sold her to him for an hundred thousand dirhams. After selling her I heard her display prodigious eloquence; and it reached me that the merchant clothed her in handsome gear and presented her to the Viceroy of Damascus, who gave him three times the price which he had paid to me, and this price, by my life! was but little for such a damsel. This, O Kings of the Age, is the strangest thing that ever befel me." When the two Kings heard her story they wondered thereat, but when Nuzhat al-Zaman heard what the Badawi related, the light became darkness before her face and she cried out and said to her brother Rumzan, "Sure and sans doubt this is the very Badawi who kidnapped me in the Holy City Jerusalem!" Then she told them all that she had endured from him in her strangerhood of hardship, blows, hunger, humiliation, contempt, adding, "And now it is lawful for me to slay him." So saying she seized a sword and made at him to smite him; and behold, he cried out and said, "O Kings of the Age, suffer her not to slay me, till I shall have told you the rare adventures that have betided me." And her nephew Kanmakan said to her, "O my aunt, let him tell us his tale, and after that do with him as thou wilt." So she held her hand and the Kings said to him, "Now let us hear thy history." Quoth he, "O Kings of the Age, if I tell you a rare tale will ye pardon me?" "Yes," answered they. Then the Badawi robber-chief began,



And he said:—Know ye that a short while ago, I was sore wakeful one night and thought the morn would never dawn; so, as soon as it was break of day I rose, without stay or delay; and, slinging over my shoulder my sword, mounted horse and set my lance in rest. Then I rode out to sport and hunt and, as I went along, a company of men accosted me and asked me whither I was bound. I told them and they said, "We will keep thee company." So we all fared on together, and, whilst we were faring, lo and behold! up started an ostrich and we gave her chase, but she escaped our pursuit and spreading wings ceased not to fly before us (and we following by sight) till she lost us in a desert wherein there was neither grass nor water, nor heard we aught therein save hiss of snake and wail of Jinn and howl of Ghul; and when we reached that place the ostrich disappeared nor could we tell whether she had flown up into the sky or into the ground had gone down. Then we turned our horses' heads and thought to return; but found that to retrace our steps at that time of burning heat would be toilsome and dangerous; for the sultry air was grievous to us, so that we thirsted with sore thirst and our steeds stood still. We made sure of death; but while we were in this case we suddenly espied from afar a spacious mead where gazelles were frisking. Therein was a tent pitched and by the tent side a horse tethered and a spear was planted with head glittering in the sun.[118] Upon this our hearts revived after we had despaired, and we turned our horses' heads towards that tent making for the meadow and the water which irrigated it; and all my comrades fared for it and I at their head, and we ceased not faring till we reached the mead. Then we alighted at the spring and watered our beasts. But I was seized with a fever of foolish curiosity and went up to the door of that tent, wherein I saw a young man, without hair on his cheeks, who fellowed the new moon; and on his right hand was a slender-waisted maid, as she were a willow-wand. No sooner did I set eyes on her than love gat hold upon my heart and I saluted the youth, who returned my greeting. Then said I, "O my brother, tell me who thou art and what to thee is this damsel sitting by thy 105side?"[119] Thereupon the youth bent his head groundwards awhile, then raised it and replied, "Tell me first who thou art and what are these horsemen with thee?" Answered I, "I am Hammad son of al-Fazári, the renowned knight, who is reckoned among the Arabs as five hundred horse. We went forth from our place this morning to sport and chase and were overcome by thirst; so I came to the door of this tent, thinking haply to get of thee a draught of water." When he heard these my words, he turned to the fair maiden and said, "Bring this man water and what food there is ready." So she arose trailing her skirts, whilst the golden bangles tinkled on her ankles and her feet stumbled in her long locks, and she disappeared for a little while. Presently she returned bearing in her right hand a silver vessel full of cold water and in her left hand a bowl brimming with milk and dates, together with some flesh of wild cattle. But I could take of her nor meat nor drink for the excess of my passion, and I applied to her these two couplets, saying:—

It was as though the sable dye[120] upon her palms, ✿ Were raven perching on a swathe of freshest snow;
Thou seest Sun and Moon conjoined in her face, ✿ While Sun fear-dimmed and Moon fright-pallid show.

After I had eaten and drunk I said to the youth, "Know thou, O Chief of the Arabs, that I have told thee in all truth who and what I am, and now I would fain have thee do the like by me and tell me the truth of thy case." Replied the young man, "As for this damsel she is my sister." Quoth I, "It is my desire that thou give me her to wife of thy free will: else will I slay thee and take her by force." Upon this, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then he raised his eyes to me and answered, "Thou sayest sooth in avouching thyself a renowned knight and famed in fight and verily thou art the lion of the desert; but if ye all attack me treacherously and slay me in your wrath and take my sister by force, it will be a stain upon your honour. An you be, as ye aver, cavaliers who are counted among the Champions and reck not the 106shock of foray and fray, give me a little time to don my armour and sling on my sword and set lance in rest and mount war-steed. Then will we go forth into the field of fight, I and you; and, if I conquer you, I will kill you to the last man; but if you overcome me and slay me, this damsel, my sister, is yours." Hearing such words I replied, "This is only just, and we oppose it not." Then I turned back my horse's head (for my love for the damsel waxed hotter and hotter) and returned to my companions, to whom I set forth her beauty and loveliness as also the comeliness of the young man who was with her, together with his valour and strength of soul and how he had avouched himself a match for a thousand horse. Moreover, I described to my company the tent and all the riches and rarities therein and said to them, "Know ye that this youth would not have cut himself off from society and have taken up his abode alone in this place, were he not a man of great prowess: so I propose that whoso slayeth the younker shall take his sister." And they said, "This contenteth us." Then my company armed themselves and mounting, rode to the tent, where we found that the young man had donned his gear and backed his steed; but his sister ran up to him (her veil being drenched with tears), and took hold of his stirrup and cried out, saying, "Alas!" and, "Woe worth the day!" in her fear for her brother, and recited these couplets:-

To Allah will I make my moan of travail and of woe; ✿ Maybe Ilàh of Arsh[121] will smite their faces with affright:
Fain would they slay thee, brother mine, with purpose felon-fell; ✿ Albe no cause of vengeance was, nor fault forewent the fight.
Yet for a rider art thou known to those who back the steed, ✿ And twixt the East and West of knights thou art the prowest knight:
Thy sister's honour thou shalt guard though little might be hers, ✿ For thou'rt her brother and for thee she sueth Allah's might:
Then let not enemy possess my soul nor 'thrall my frame, ✿ And work on me their will and treat thy sister with despight.
I'll ne'er abide, by Allah's truth, in any land or home ✿ Where thou art not, though dight it be with joyance and delight:
For love and yearning after thee myself I fain will slay, ✿ And in the gloomy darksome tomb spread bed upon the clay.

But when her brother heard her verse he wept with sore weeping 107and turned his horse's head towards his sister and made this answer to her poetry:—

Stand by and see the derring-do which I to-day will show, ✿ When meet we and I deal them blows that rend and cleave and split;
E'en though rush out to seek a bout the lion of the war, ✿ The stoutest hearted brave of all and eke the best in wit;
To him I'll deal without delay a Sa'alabiyan blow,[122] ✿ And dye my cane-spear's joint in blood by wound of foe bespit:
If all I beat not off from thee, O sister, may this frame ✿ Be slain, and cast my corpse to birds, for so it would befit:
Yes, for thy dearest sake I'll strike my blows with might and main, ✿ And when we're gone shall this event in many a book be writ.

And when he had ended his verse, he said, "O my sister, give ear to what I shall enjoin on thee"; whereto she replied, "Hearkening and obedience." Quoth he, "If I fall, let none possess thy person;" and thereupon she buffeted her face and said, "Allah forbid, O my brother, that I should see thee laid low and yield myself to thy foe!" With this the youth put out his hand to her and withdrew her veil from her face, whereupon it shone forth as the sun shineth out from the white clouds. Then he kissed her between the eyes and bade her farewell; after which he turned to us and said, "Holla, Knights! Come ye as guests or crave ye cuts and thrusts? If ye come to us as your hosts, rejoice ye in the guest-rite; and, if ye covet the shining moon, come ye out against me, knight by knight, into this plain and place of fight." Thereupon rushed out to him a doughty rider and the young man said to him, "Tell me thy name and thy father's name, for I am under an oath not to slay any whose name tallies with mine and whose father's name is that of my father; and if this be the case with thee, I will give thee up the maid." Quoth the horseman, "My name is Bilál;"[123] and the young man answered him, saying:—

108Thou liest when speaking of "benefits," while ✿ Thou comest to front with thine evillest will:
An of prowess thou'rt prow, to my words give ear, ✿ I'm he who makes champions in battle-field reel
With keen blade, like the horn of the cuspèd moon, ✿ So 'ware thrust that shall drill through the durest hill!

Then they charged down, each at each, and the youth thrust his adversary in the breast so that the lance-head issued from his back. With this, another came out, and the youth cried:—

Ho thou hound, who art rotten with foulness in grain,[124] ✿ What high meed is there easy for warrior to gain?
'Tis none save the lion of strain purest pure ✿ Who uncareth for life in the battle-plain!

Nor was it long before the youth left him drowned in his blood and cried out, "Who will come forth to me?" So a third horseman rushed out upon the youth and began saying:—

To thee come I forth with my heart a-flame, ✿ And summon my friends and my comrades by name:
When thou slewest the chief of the Arabs this day, ✿ This day thou remainest the pledge of my claim.

Now when the youth heard this he answered him in these words:—

Thou liest, O foulest of Satans that are, ✿ And with leasings calumnious thou comest to war:
This day thou shalt fall by a death-dealing point ✿ Where the lances lunge and the scymitars jar!

Then he so foined him in the breast that the spear-point issued from his back and he cried out, saying, "Ho! will none come out?" So a fourth fared forwards and the youth asked him his name and he answered, "My name is Hilál, the New Moon." And the youth began repeating:—

Thou hast failed who would sink me in ruin-sea, ✿ Thou who camest in malice with perfidy:
I, whose verses hast heard from the mouth of me, ✿ Will ravish thy soul though unknown to thee.

Then they drave at each other and delivered two cuts, but the youth's stroke devanced that of the rider his adversary and 109slew him: and thus he went on to kill all who sallied out against him. Now when I saw my comrades slain, I said to myself, "If I go down to fight with him, I shall not be able to prevail against him; and, if I flee, I shall become a byword of shame among the Arabs." But the youth gave me no time to think, for he ran at me and dragged me from my saddle and hurled me to the ground. I fainted at the fall and he raised his sword designing to cut off my head; but I clung to his skirts, and he lifted me in his hand as though I were a sparrow. When the maiden saw this, she rejoiced in her brother's prowess and coming up to him, kissed him between the eyes. Then he delivered me to her, saying, "Take him and look to him and entreat him hospitably, for he is come under our rule." So she took hold of the collar of my hauberk[125] and led me away by it as one would lead a dog. Then she did off her brother's coat of mail and clad him in a robe, and set for him a stool of ivory, on which he sat down; and she said to him, "Allah whiten thy honour and prevent from thee the shifts of fortune!" And he answered her with these couplets:—

My sister said, as saw she how I stood ✿ In fight, when sun-rays lit my knightlihood,
"Allah assain thee for a Brave of braves ✿ To whom in vale bow lions howso wood!"
Quoth I, "Go ask the champions of my case, ✿ When feared the Lords of war my warrior-mood!
My name is famed for fortune and for force, ✿ And soared my spirit to such altitude;"
Ho thou, Hammád, a lion hast upstirred, ✿ Shall show thee speedy death like viper-brood!

110Now when I heard his verse, I was perplexed as to my case and, considering my condition and how I was become a captive, I was lowered in my own esteem. Then I looked at the damsel, his sister, and seeing her beauty I said to myself, "'Tis she who caused all this trouble; and I fell a-marvelling at her loveliness till the tears streamed from my eyes and I recited these couplets:—

Dear friend! ah leave thy loud reproach and blame; ✿ Such blame but irks me yet may not alarm:
I'm clean distraught for one whom saw I not ✿ Without her winning me by winsome charm:
Yestreen her brother crossed me in her love, ✿ A Brave stout-hearted and right long of arm."

Then the maiden set food before her brother and he bade me eat with him, whereat I rejoiced and felt assured that I should not be slain. And when he had ended eating, she brought him a flagon of pure wine and he applied him to it till the fumes of the drink mounted to his head and his face flushed red. Then he turned to me and said, "Woe to thee, O Hammad! dost thou know me or not?" Replied I, "By thy life, I am rich in naught save ignorance!" Quoth he "O Hammad, I am 'Abbád bin Tamím bin Sa'labah and indeed Allah giveth thee thy liberty and leadeth thee to a happy bride and spareth thee confusion." Then he drank to my long life and gave me a cup of wine and I drank it off; and presently he filled me a second and a third and a fourth, and I drained them all; while he made merry with me and swore me never to betray him. So I sware to him one thousand five hundred oaths that I would never deal perfidiously with him at any time, but that I would be a friend and a helper to him. Thereupon he bade his sister bring me ten suits of silk; so she brought them and laid them on my person, and this dress I have on my body is one of them. Moreover, he made bring one of the best of his she-dromedaries[126] carrying stuffs and provaunt, he 111bade her also bring a sorrel horse, and when they were brought he gave the whole of them to me. I abode with them three days, eating and drinking, and what he gave me of gifts is with me to this present. At the end of the three days he said to me, "O Hammad, O my brother, I would sleep awhile and take my rest and verily I trust my life to thee; but, if thou see horsemen making hither, fear not, for know that they are of the Banu Sa'labah, seeking to wage war on me." Then he laid his sword under his head-pillow and slept; and when he was drowned in slumber Iblis tempted me to slay him; so I arose in haste, and drawing the sword from under his head, dealt him a blow that made his head fall from his body. But his sister knew what I had done, and rushing out from within the tent, threw herself on his corpse, rending her raiment and repeating these couplets:—

To kith and kin bear thou sad tidings of our plight; ✿ From doom th' All-wise decreed shall none of men take flight:
Low art thou laid, O brother! strewn upon the stones, ✿ With face that mirrors moon when shining brightest bright!
Good sooth, it is a day accurst, thy slaughter-day ✿ Shivering thy spear that won the day in many a fight!
Now thou be slain no rider shall delight in steed, ✿ Nor man-child shall the breeding woman bring to light.
This morn Hammád uprose and foully murthered thee, ✿ Falsing his oath and troth with foulest perjury.

When she had ended her verse she said to me, "O thou of accursed forefathers, wherefore didst thou play my brother false and slay him when he purposed returning thee to thy native land with provisions; and it was his intent also to marry thee to me at the first of the month?" Then she drew a sword she had with her, and planting the hilt in the earth, with the point set to her breast, she bent over it and threw herself thereon till the blade issued from her back and she fell to the ground, dead. I mourned for her and wept and repented when repentance availed me naught. Then I arose in haste and went to the tent and, taking whatever was light of load and weighty of worth, went my way; but in my haste and horror I took no heed of my dead comrades, nor did I bury the maiden and the youth. And this my tale is still more wondrous than the story of the serving-girl I kidnapped from the Holy City, Jerusalem. But when Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words from the Badawi, the light was changed in her eyes to night——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words from the Badawi, the light was changed in her eyes to night, and she rose and drawing the sword, smote Hammad the Arab between the shoulder-blades so that the point issued from the apple of his throat.[127] And when all present asked her, "Why hast thou made haste to slay him;" she answered, "Praised be Allah who hath granted me in my life-tide to avenge myself with mine own hand!" And she bade the slaves drag the body out by the feet and cast it to the dogs. Thereupon they turned to the two prisoners who remained of the three; and one of them was a black slave, so they said to him, "What is thy name, fellow? Tell us the truth of thy case." He replied, "As for me my name is Al-Ghazbán," and acquainted them what had passed between himself and Queen Abrizah, daughter of King Hardub, Lord of Greece, and how he had slain her and fled. Hardly had the negro made an end of his story, when King Rumzan struck off his head with his scymitar, saying, "Praise to Allah who gave me life! I have avenged my mother with my own hand." Then he repeated to them what his nurse Marjanah had told him of this same slave whose name was Al-Ghazban; after which they turned to the third prisoner. Now this was the very camel-driver[128] whom the people of the Holy City, Jerusalem, hired to carry Zau al-Makan and lodge him in the hospital at Damascus of Syria; but he threw him down on the ashes-midden and went his way. And they said to him, "Acquaint us with thy case and tell the truth." So he related to them all that had happened to him with Sultan Zau al-Makan; how he had been carried from the Holy City, at the time when he was sick, till they made Damascus and he had been thrown into the hospital; how also the Jerusalem folk had paid the cameleer money to transport the stranger to Damascus, and he had taken it and fled after casting his charge upon the midden by the side of the ash-heap of the Hammam. But when he ended his words, Sultan 113Kanmakan took his sword forthright and cut off his head, saying, "Praised be Allah who hath given me life, that I might requite this traitor what he did with my father, for I have heard this very story from King Zau al-Makan himself." Then the Kings said each to other, "It remaineth only for us to wreak our revenge upon the old woman Shawahi, yclept Zat al-Dawahi, because she is the prime cause of all these calamities and cast us into adversity on this wise. Who will deliver her into our hands that we may avenge ourselves upon her and wipe out our dishonour?" And King Rumzan said, "Needs must we bring her hither." So without stay or delay he wrote a letter to his grandmother, the aforesaid ancient woman, giving her to know therein that he had subdued the kingdoms of Damascus and Mosul and Irak, and had broken up the host of the Moslems and captured their princes, adding, "I desire thee of all urgency to come to me, bringing with thee Queen Sophia, daughter of King Afridun, and whom thou wilt of the Nazarene chiefs, but no armies; for the country is quiet and wholly under our hand." And when she read the letter and recognised the writing of King Rumzan, she rejoiced with great joy and forthright equipping herself and Queen Sophia, set out with their attendants and journeyed, without stopping, till they drew near Baghdad. Then she fore-sent a messenger to acquaint the King of her arrival, whereupon quoth Rumzan, "We should do well to don the habit of the Franks and fare forth to meet the old woman, to the intent that we may be assured against her craft and perfidy." Whereto Kanmakan replied, "Hearing is consenting." So they clad themselves in Frankish clothes and, when Kuzia Fakan saw them, she exclaimed, "By the truth of the Lord of Worship, did I not know you, I should take you to be indeed Franks!" Then they sallied forth with a thousand horse, King Rumzan riding on before them, to meet the old woman. As soon as his eyes fell on hers, he dismounted and walked towards her and she, recognizing him, dismounted also and embraced him; but he pressed her ribs with his hands, till he well nigh broke them. Quoth she, "What is this, O my son?" But before she had done speaking, up came Kanmakan and Dandan; and the horsemen with them cried out at the women and slaves and took them all prisoners. Then the two Kings returned to Baghdad, with their captives, and Rumzan bade them decorate the city which they did for three days, at the end of which they brought out the old woman Shawahi, hight Zat al-Dawahi, with a peaked red turband of palm-leaves on her head, diademed with asses'-dung and preceded by a herald proclaiming aloud, "This is the reward of those who presume to lay hands on Kings and the sons of Kings!" Then they crucified her on one of the gates of Baghdad; and, when her companions saw what befel her, all embraced in a body the faith of Al-Islam. As for Kanmakan and his uncle Rumzan and his aunt Nuzhat al-Zaman and the Wazir Dandan, they marvelled at the wonderful events that had betided them and bade the scribes chronicle them in books that those who came after might read. Then they all abode for the remainder of their days in the enjoyment of every solace and comfort of life, till there overtook them the Destroyer of all delights and the Sunderer of all societies. And this is the whole that hath come down to us of the dealings of fortune with King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his sons Sharrkan and Zau al-Makan and his son's son Kanmakan and his daughter Nuzhat al-Zaman and her daughter Kuzia Fakan. Thereupon quoth Shahryar to Shahrazad, "I desire that thou tell me somewhat about birds;" and hearing this Dunyazad said to her sister, "I have never seen the Sultan light at heart all this while till the present night; and his pleasure garreth me hope that the issue for thee with him may be a happy issue." Then drowsiness overcame the Sultan, so he slept;[129]——And Shahrazad perceived the approach of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

1.  This "horripilation," for which we have the poetical term "gooseflesh," is often mentioned in Hindu as in Arab literature.

2.  How often we have heard this in England!

3.  As a styptic. The scene in the text has often been enacted in Egypt when a favourite feminine mode of murdering men is by beating and bruising the testicles. The Fellahs are exceedingly clever in inventing methods of manslaughter. For some years bodies were found that bore no outer mark of violence, and only Frankish inquisitiveness discovered that the barrel of a pistol had been passed up the anus and the weapon discharged internally. Murders of this description are known in English history; but never became popular practice.

4.  Arab. "Zakar," that which betokens masculinity. At the end of the tale we learn that she also gelded him; thus he was a "Sandali," a rasé.

5.  See vol. i. p. 104.

6.  The purity and intensity of her love had attained to a something of prophetic strain.

7.  Lane corrupts this Persian name to Sháh Zemán (i. 568).

8.  i.e., the world, which includes the ideas of Fate, Time, Chance.

9.  Arab. "Bárid," silly, noyous, contemptible; as in the proverb

Two things than ice are colder cold:—
An old man young, a young man old.

A "cold-of-countenance" = a fool: "May Allah make cold thy face!" = may it show want and misery. "By Allah, a cold speech!" = a silly or abusive tirade (Pilgrimage, ii. 22).

10.  The popular form is, "often the ear loveth before the eye."

11.  Not the first time that royalty has played this prank, nor the last, perhaps.

12.  i.e. the Lady Dunya.

13.  These magazines are small strongly-built rooms on the ground floor, where robbery is almost impossible.

14.  Lit. "approbation," "benediction"; also the Angel who keeps the Gates of Paradise and who has allowed one of the Ghilmán (or Wuldán) the boys of supernatural beauty that wait upon the Faithful, to wander forth into this wicked world.

15.  In Europe this would be a plurale majestatis, used only by Royalty. In Arabic it has no such significance, and even the lower orders apply it to themselves; although it often has a soupçon of "I and thou."

16.  Man being an "extract of despicable water" (Koran xxxii. 7) ex spermate genitali, which Mr. Rodwell renders "from germs of life," "from sorry water."

17.  i.e. begotten by man's seed in the light of salvation (Núr al-Hudà).

18.  The rolls of white (camphor-like) scarf-skin and sordes which come off under the bath-man's glove become by miracle of Beauty, as brown musk. The Rubber or Shampooer is called in Egypt "Mukayyis" (vulgarly "Mukayyisáti") or "bagman," from his "Kís," a bag-glove of coarse woollen stuff. To "Johnny Raws" he never fails to show the little rolls which come off the body and prove to them how unclean they are; but the material is mostly dead scarf-skin.

19.  The normal phrase on such occasions (there is always a "dovetail" de rigueur) "Allah give thee profit!"

20.  i.e. We are forced to love him only, and ignore giving him a rival (referring to Koranic denunciations of "Shirk," or attributing a partner to Allah, the religion of plurality, syntheism not polytheism): see, he walks tottering under the weight of his back parts wriggling them whilst they are rounded like the revolving heavens.

21.  Jannat al-Na'ím (Garden of Delight); the fifth of the seven Paradises, made of white diamond; the gardens and the plurality being borrowed from the Talmud. Mohammed's Paradise, by the by, is not a greater failure than Dante's. Only ignorance or pious fraud asserts it to be wholly sensual; and a single verse is sufficient refutation: "Their prayer therein shall be 'Praise unto thee, O Allah!' and their salutation therein shall be 'Peace!' and the end of their prayer shall be, 'Praise unto God, the Lord of all creatures'" (Koran x. 10-11). See also lvi. 24-26. It will also be an intellectual condition wherein knowledge will greatly be increased (lxxxviii. 17-20). Moreover the Moslems, far more logical than Christians, admit into Paradise the so-called "lower animals."

22.  Sed vitam faciunt balnea, vina, Venus! The Hammam to Easterns is a luxury as well as a necessity; men sit there for hours talking chiefly of money and their prowess with the fair; and women pass half the day in it complaining of their husbands' over-amativeness and contrasting their own chaste and modest aversion to carnal congress.

23.  The frigidarium or cold room, coolness being delightful to the Arab.

24.  The calidarium or hot room of the bath.

25.  The Angel who acts door-keeper of Hell; others say he specially presides over the torments of the damned (Koran xliii. 78).

26.  The Door-keeper of Heaven before mentioned who, like the Guebre Zamiyád has charge of the heavenly lads and lasses, and who is often charged by poets with letting them slip.

27.  Lane (i. 616), says "of wine, milk, sherbet, or any other beverage." Here it is wine, a practice famed in Persian poetry, especially by Hafiz, but most distasteful to a European stomach. We find the Mu allakah of Imr al-Kays noticing "our morning draught." Nott (Hafiz) says a "cheerful cup of wine in the morning was a favourite indulgence with the more luxurious Persians. And it was not uncommon among the Easterns, to salute a friend by saying:—May your morning potation be agreeable to you!" In the present day this practice is confined to regular debauchees.

28.  Koran xii. 31. The words spoken by Zulaykhá's women friends and detractors whom she invited to see Beauty Joseph.

29.  A formula for averting fascination. Koran, chapt. cxiii. 1. "Falak" means "cleaving"; hence the breaking forth of light from darkness, a "wonderful instance of the Divine power."

30.  The usual delicate chaff.

31.  Such letters are generally written on a full-sized sheet of paper ("notes" are held slighting in the East) and folded till the breadth is reduced to about one inch. The edges are gummed; the ink, much like our Indian ink, is smeared with the finger upon the signet-ring; the place where it is to be applied is slightly wetted with the tongue and the seal is stamped across the line of junction to secure privacy. I have given a specimen of an original love-letter of the kind in "Scinde, or the Unhappy Valley," chapt. iv.

32.  Arab. "Salb" which may also mean hanging, but the usual term for the latter in The Nights is "shanak." Crucifixion, abolished by the superstitious Constantine, was practised as a servile punishment as late as the days of Mohammed Ali Pasha the Great. The malefactors were nailed and tied to the patibulum or cross-piece, without any suppedaneum or foot-rest and left to suffer tortures from flies and sun, thirst and hunger. They often lived three days and died of the wounds mortifying and the nervous exhaustion brought on by cramps and convulsions. In many cases the corpses were left to feed the kites and crows; and this added horror to the death. Moslems care little for mere hanging. Whenever a fanatical atrocity is to be punished, the malefactor should be hung in pig-skin, his body burnt and the ashes publicly thrown into a common cesspool.

33.  Arab. "Shaytán" the insolent or rebellious one is a common term of abuse. The word is Koranic, and borrowed as usual from the Jews. "Satan" occurs four times in the O. T. o£ which two are in Job, where, however, he is a subordinate angel.

34.  Arab. "Alak" from the Koran xxii. 5. "O men ... consider that we first created you of dust (Adam); afterwards of seed (Rodwell's "moist germs of life"); afterwards of a little coagulated (or clots of) blood." It refers to all mankind except Adam, Eve and Isa. Also chapt. xcvi. 2, which, as has been said was probably the first composed at Meccah. Mr. Rodwell (v. 10) translates by "Servant of God" what should be "Slave of Allah," alluding to Mohammed's original name Abdullah. See my learned friend Aloys Sprenger, Leben, etc., i. 155.

35.  The Hindus similarly exaggerate: "He was ready to leap out of his skin in his delight" (Katha, etc., p. 443).

36.  A star in the tail of the Great Bear, one of the "Banát al-Na'ash," or a star close to the second. Its principal use is to act foil to bright Sohayl (Canopus) as in the beginning of Jámi's Layla-Majnún:—

To whom Thou'rt hid, day is darksome night:
To whom shown, Sohá as Sohayl is bright.

See also al-Hariri (xxxii. and xxxvi.). The saying, "I show her Soha and she shows me the moon" (A. P. i. 547) arose as follows. In the Ignorance a beautiful Amazon defied any man to take her maidenhead; and a certain Ibn al-Ghazz won the game by struggling with her till she was nearly senseless. He then asked her, "How is thine eye-sight: dost thou see Soha?" and she, in her confusion, pointed to the moon and said, "That is it!"

37.  The moon being masculine (lunus) and the sun feminine.

38.  The "five Shaykhs" must allude to that number of Saints whose names are doubtful; it would be vain to offer conjectures. Lane and his "Sheykh" (i. 617) have tried and failed.

39.  The beauties of nature seem always to provoke hunger in Orientals, especially Turks, as good news in Englishmen.

40.  Pers. "Lájuward": Arab. "Lázuward"; prob. the origin of our "azure," through the Romaic λαζούριον and the Ital. azzurro; and, more evidently still, of lapis lazuli, for which do not see the Dictionaries.

41.  Arab. "Maurid," the desert-wells where caravans drink; also the way to water-wells.

42.  The famous Avicenna, whom the Hebrews called Aben Sina. The early European Arabists, who seem to have learned Arabic through Hebrew, borrowed their corruption, and it long kept its place in Southern Europe.

43.  According to the Hindus there are ten stages of love-sickness: (1) Love of the eyes; (2) Attraction of the Manas or mind; (3) Birth of desire; (4) Loss of sleep; (5) Loss of flesh; (6) Indifference to objects of sense; (7) Loss of shame; (8) Distraction of thought; (9) Loss of consciousness; and (10) Death.

44.  We should call this walk of "Arab ladies" a waddle: I have never seen it in Europe except amongst the trading classes of Trieste, who have a "wriggle" of their own.

45.  In our idiom six doors.

46.  They refrained from the highest enjoyment, intending to marry.

47.  Arab. "Jihád," lit. fighting against something; Koranically, fighting against infidels i.e. non-believers in Al-Islam (chapt. lx. 1). But the "Mujáhidún" who wage such war are forbidden to act aggressively (ii. 186). Here it is a war to save a son.

48.  The lady proposing extreme measures is characteristic: Egyptians hold, and justly enough, that their women are more amorous than men.

49.  "O Camphor," an antiphrase before noticed. The vulgar also say "Yá Taljí" = O snowy (our snowball), the polite "Ya Abú Sumrah!" = O father of brownness.

50.  i.e. which fit into sockets in the threshold and lintel and act as hinges. These hinges have caused many disputes about how they were fixed, for instance in caverns without moveable lintel or threshold. But one may observe that the upper projections are longer than the lower and that the door never fits close above; so by lifting it up the inferior pins are taken out of the holes. It is the oldest form and the only form known to the Ancients. In Egyptian the hinge is called Akab = the heel, hence the proverb Wakaf' al-báb alá 'akabih; the door standeth on its heel; i.e. every thing in proper place.

51.  Hence the addresses to the Deity: Yá Sátir and Yá Sattár—O Thou who veilest the sins of Thy Servants! said e.g., when a woman is falling from her donkey, etc.

52.  A necessary precaution, for the headsman who would certainly lose his own head by overhaste.

53.  The passage has also been rendered, "and rejoiced him by what he said" (Lane i, 600).

54.  Arab. "Hurr" = noble, independent (opp. to 'Abd = a servile) often used to express animæ nobilitas as εἰγενὴς in Acts xvii. 11; where the Berœans were "more noble" than the Thessalonians. The Princess means that the Prince would not lie with her before marriage.

55.  The Persian word is now naturalized as Anglo-Egyptian.

56.  Arab. "khassat hu" = removed his testicles, gelded him.

57.  Here ends the compound tale of Taj al-Muluk cum Aziz plus Azizah, and we return to the history of King Omar's sons.

58.  "Zibl" popularly pronounced Zabal, means "dung." Khan is "Chief," as has been noticed; "Zabbál," which Torrens renders literally "dung-drawer," is one who feeds the Hammam with bois-de-vache, etc.

59.  i.e. one who fights the Jihád or "Holy War": it is equivalent to our "good knight."

60.  Arab. "Malik." Azud al-Daulah, a Sultan or regent under the Abbaside Caliph Al-Tá'í li 'llah (regn. A.H. 363-381) was the first to take the title of "Malik." The latter in poetry is still written Malík.

61.  A townlet on the Euphrates, in the "awwal Shám," or frontier of Syria.

62.  i.e., the son would look to that.

63.  A characteristic touch of Arab pathos, tender and true.

64.  Arab. "Mawarid" from "ward" = resorting to pool or water-pit (like those of "Gakdúl") for drinking, as opposed to "Sadr" = returning after having drunk at it. Hence the "Sádir" (part. act.) takes precedence of the "Wárid" in Al-Hariri (Ass. of the Badawi).

65.  One of the fountains of Paradise (Koran, chapt. lxxvi.): the word lit. means "water flowing pleasantly down the throat." The same chapter mentions "Zanjabíl," or the Ginger-fount, which to the Infidel mind unpleasantly suggests "ginger pop."

66.  Arab. "Takhíl" = adorning with Kohl.

67.  The allusions are far-fetched and obscure as in Scandinavian poetry. Mr. Payne (ii. 314) translates "Naml" by "net." I understand the ant (swarm) creeping up the cheeks, a common simile for a young beard. The lovers are in the Lazá (hell) of jealousy, etc., yet feel in the Na'ím (heaven) of love and robe in green, the hue of hope, each expecting to be the favoured one.

68.  Arab. "Ukhuwán," the classical term. There are two chamomiles; the white (Bábúnaj) and the yellow (Kaysún); these however are Syrian names and plants are differently called in almost every Province of Arabia.

69.  In nomadic life the parting of lovers happens so frequently that it becomes a stock topic in poetry and often, as here, the lover complains of parting when he is not parted. But the gravamen lies in the word "Wasl" which may mean union, meeting, reunion or coition. As Ka'ab ibn Zuhayr began his famous poem with "Su'ád hath departed," 900 imitators (says Al-Siyuti) adopted the Násib or address to the beloved and Su'ad came to signify a cruel, capricious mistress.

70.  As might be expected from a nation of camel-breeders actual cautery which can cause only counter-irritation, is a favourite nostrum; and the Hadis or prophetic saying is "Akhir al-dawá (or al-tibb) al-Kayy" = cautery is the end of medicine-cure; and "Fire and sickness cannot cohabit." Most of the Badawi bear upon their bodies grisly marks of this heroic treatment, whose abuse not unfrequently brings on gangrene. The Hadis (Burckhardt, Proverbs, No. 30) also means "if nothing else avail, take violent measures."

71.  The Spaniards have the same expression: "Man is fire and woman is tinder."

72.  Arab. "Báshik" from Persian "Báshah" (accipiter Nisus) a fierce little species of sparrow-hawk which I have described in "Falconry in the Valley of the Indus" (p. 14, etc.)

73.  Lit. "Coals (fit) for frying-pan."

74.  Arab. "Libdah," the sign of a pauper or religious mendicant. He is addressed "Yá Abu libdah!" (O father of a felt calotte!)

75.  In times of mourning Moslem women do not use perfumes or dyes, like the Henna here alluded to in the pink legs and feet of the dove.

76.  Koran, chapt. ii. 23. The idea is repeated in some forty Koranic passages.

77.  A woman's name, often occurring. The "daughters of Sa'ada" are zebras, so called because "they resemble women in beauty and graceful agility."

78.  Arab. "Tiryák" from Gr. Θηριακόν φάρμακον a drug against venomous bites. It was compounded mainly of treacle, and that of Baghdad and Irák was long held sovereign. The European equivalent, "Venice treacle," (Theriaca Andromachi) is an electuary containing many elements. Badawin eat for counter-poison three heads of garlic in clarified butter for forty days. (Pilgrimage iii. 77.)

79.  Could Cervantes have read this? In Algiers he might easily have heard it recited by the tale-tellers. Kanmakan is the typical Arab Knight, gentle and valiant as Don Quixote; Sabbáh is the Grazioso, a "Beduin" Sancho Panza. In the "Romance of Antar" we have a similar contrast with Ocab who says: "Indeed I am no fighter: the sword in my hand-palm chases only pelicans;" and, "whenever you kill a satrap, I'll plunder him."

80.  i.e. The Comely, son of the Spearman, son of the Lion, or Hero.

81.  Arab. "Ushári." Old Purchas (vi., i. 9) says there are three kinds of camels (1) Huguin (= Hejin) of tall stature and able to carry 1,000 lbs. (2) Bechete (= Bukhti) the two-humped Bactrian before mentioned and, (3) the Raguahill (Rahíl) small dromedaries unfit for burden but able to cover a hundred miles in a day. The "King of Timbukhtu" (not "Bukhtu's well" pop. Timbuctoo) had camels which reach Segelmesse (Sijalmas) or Darha, nine hundred miles in eight days at most. Lyon makes the Maherry (also called El-Heirie = Mahri) trot nine miles an hour for a long time. Other travellers in North Africa report the Sabayee (Saba'i = seven days wonder) as able to get over six hundred and thirty miles (or thirty-five caravan stages = each eighteen miles) in five to seven days. One of the dromedaries in the "hamlah" or caravan of Mr. Ensor (Journey through Nubia and Darfoor—a charming book) travelled one thousand one hundred and ten miles in twenty-seven days. He notes that his beasts were better with water every five to seven days, but in the cold season could do without drink for sixteen. I found in Al-Hijaz at the end of August that the camels suffered much after ninety hours without drink (Pilgrimage iii. 14). But these were "Júdi" fine-haired animals as opposed to "Khawár" (the Khowás of Chesney, p. 333), coarse-haired, heavy, slow brutes which will not stand great heat.

82.  i.e. Fortune so willed it (euphemistically).

83.  The "minaret" being feminine is usually compared with a fair young girl. The oldest minaret proper is supposed to have been built in Damascus by the Ommiade Caliph (No. X.) Al-Walid A.H. 86-96 (= 705-715). According to Ainsworth (ii. 113) the second was at Kuch Hisar in Chaldea.

84.  None of the pure Badawi can swim for the best of reasons, want of waters.

85.  The baser sort of Badawi is never to be trusted: he is a traitor born, and looks upon fair play as folly or cowardice. Neither oath nor kindness can bind him: he unites the cruelty of the cat with the wildness of the wolf. How many Englishmen have lost their lives by not knowing these elementary truths! The race has not changed from the days of Mandeville (A.D. 1322) whose "Arabians, who are called Bedouins and Ascopards (?), are right felonious and foul, and of a cursed nature." In his day they "carried but one shield and one spear, without other arm:" now, unhappily for travellers, they have matchlocks and most tribes can manufacture a something called by courtesy gunpowder.

86.  Thus by Arab custom they become friends.

87.  Our classical term for a noble Arab horse.

88.  In Arab. "Khayl" is = horse; Husan, a stallion; Hudúd, a brood stallion; Faras, a mare (but sometimes used as a horse and meaning "that tears over the ground"); Jiyád a steed (noble); Kadísh, a nag (ignoble); Mohr a colt and Mohrah, a filly. There are dozens of other names but these suffice for conversation.

89.  Al-Katúl, the slayer; Al-Majnún, the mad; both high compliments in the style inverted.

90.  This was a highly honourable exploit, which would bring the doer fame as well as gain

91.  This is a true and life-like description of horse-stealing in the Desert: Antar and Burckhardt will confirm every word. A noble Arab stallion is supposed to fight for his rider and to wake him at night if he see any sign of danger. The owner generally sleeps under the belly of the beast which keeps eyes and ears alert till dawn.

92.  Arab. "Yaum al-tanádí," i.e. Resurrection-day.

93.  Arab. "Bilád al-Súdán" = the Land of the Blacks, negro-land, whence the slaves came, a word now fatally familiar to English ears. There are, however, two regions of the same name, the Eastern upon the Upper Nile and the Western which contains the Niger-Valley; and each considers itself the Sudan. And the reader must not confound the Berber of the Upper Nile, the Berberino who acts servant in Lower Egypt, with the Berber of Barbary: the former speaks an African language; the latter a "Semitic" (Arabic) tongue.

94.  "Him" for "her."

95.  Arab. "Sáibah," a she-camel freed from labour under certain conditions amongst the pagan Arabs; for which see Sale (Prel. Disc. sect. v.).

96.  Arab. "Marba'." In early spring the Badawi tribes leave the Rasm or wintering-place (the Turco-Persian "Kishlák") in the desert, where winter-rains supply them, and make for the Yaylák, or summer-quarters, where they find grass and water. Thus the great Ruwala tribe appears regularly every year on the eastern slopes of the Anti-Libanus (Unexplored Syria, i. 117), and hence the frequent "partings."

97.  This "renowning it" and boasting of one's tribe (and oneself) before battle is as natural as the war-cry: both are intended to frighten the foe and have often succeeded. Every classical reader knows that the former practice dates from the earliest ages. It is still customary in Arabia during the furious tribal fights, the duello on a magnificent scale, which often ends in half the combatants on either side being placed hors-de-combat. A fair specimen of "renowning it" is Amrú's Suspended Poem with its extravagant panegyric of the Taghlab tribe (p. 64, "Arabian Poetry for English Readers," etc., by W. A. Clouston, Glasgow: privately printed MDCCCLXXXI.; and transcribed from Sir William Jones's translation).

98.  The "Turk" appeared soon amongst the Abbaside Caliphs. Mohammed was made to prophecy of them under the title Banú Kantúrah, the latter being a slave-girl of Abraham. The Imam Al-Shafi'i (A.H. 195 = A.D. 810) is said to have foretold their rule in Egypt where an Ottoman defended him against a donkey-boy. (For details see Pilgrimage i. 216.) The Caliph Al-Mu'atasim bi'llah (A.D. 833-842) had more than 10,000 Turkish slaves and was the first to entrust them with high office; so his Arab subjects wrote of him:—

A wretched Turk is thy heart's desire;
And to them thou showest thee dam and sire.

His successor Al-Wásik (Vathek, of the terrible eyes) was the first to appoint a Turk his Sultan or regent. After his reign they became prætorians and led to the downfall of the Abbasides.

99.  The Persian saying is "First at the feast and last at the fray."

100.  i.e. a tempter, a seducer.

101.  Arab. "Wayl-ak" here probably used in the sense of "Wayh-ak" an expression of affectionate concern.

102.  Firdausi, the Homer of Persia, affects the same magnificent exaggeration. The trampling of men and horses raises such a dust that it takes one layer (of the seven) from earth and adds it to the (seven of the) Heavens. The "blaze" on the stallion's forehead (Arab. "Ghurrah") is the white gleam of the morning.

103.  A noted sign of excitement in the Arab blood horse, when the tail looks like a panache covering the hind-quarter.

104.  i.e. Prince Kanmakan.

105.  The "quality of mercy" belongs to the noble Arab, whereas the ignoble and the Badawin are rancorous and revengeful as camels.

106.  Arab. "Khanjar," the poison was let into the grooves and hollows of the poniard.

107.  The Pers. "Bang"; Indian "Bhang"; Maroccan "Fasúkh" and S. African "Dakhá." (Pilgrimage i. 64). I heard of a "Hashish-orgie" in London which ended in half the experimentalists being on their sofas for a week. The drug is useful for stokers, having the curious property of making men insensible to heat. Easterns also use it for "Imsák" prolonging coition, of which I speak presently.

108.  Arab. "Hashsháshín;" whence De Sacy derived "Assassin." A notable effect of the Hashish preparation is wildly to excite the imagination, a kind of delirium imaginans sive phantasticum.

109.  Meaning "Well done!" Mashallah (Má sháa 'llah) is an exclamation of many uses, especially affected when praising man or beast for fear lest flattering words induce the evil eye.

110.  Arab. "Kabkáb" vulg. "Kubkáb." They are between three and ten inches high; and those using them for the first time in the slippery Hammam must be careful.

111.  Arab. "Majlis" = sitting. The postures of coition, ethnologically curious and interesting, are subjects so extensive that they require a volume rather than a note. Full information can be found in the Ananga-ranga, or Stage of the Bodiless One, a treatise in Sanskrit verse vulgarly known as Koka Pandit from the supposed author, a Wazir of the great Rajah Bhoj or, according to others, of the Maharajah of Kanoj. Under the title Lizzat al-Nisá (The Pleasures—or enjoying—of Women) it has been translated into all the languages of the Moslem East, from Hindustani to Arabic. It divides postures into five great divisions: (1) the woman lying supine, of which there are eleven subdivisions; (2) lying on her side, right or left, with three varieties; (3) sitting, which has ten; (4) standing, with three subdivisions, and (5) lying prone, with two. This total of twenty-nine, with three forms of "Purusháyit," when the man lies supine (see the Abbot in Boccaccio i. 4), becomes thirty-two, approaching the French quarante façons. The Upavishta, majlis, or sitting postures, when one or both "sit at squat" somewhat like birds, appear utterly impossible to Europeans who lack the pliability of the Eastern's limbs. Their object in congress is to avoid tension of the muscles which would shorten the period of enjoyment. In the text the woman lies supine and the man sits at squat between her legs: it is a favourite from Marocco to China. A literal translation of the Ananga-ranga appeared in 1873 under the name of Káma-Shástra; or the Hindoo Art of Love (Ars Amoris Indica); but of this only six copies were printed. It was re-issued (printed but not published) in 1885. The curious in such matters will consult the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (London, privately printed, 1879) by Pisanus Fraxi (H. S. Ashbee).

112.  i.e. Le Roi Crotte.

113.  This seems to be a punning allusion to Baghdad, which in Persian would mean the Garden (bágh) of Justice (dád). See "Biographical Notices of Persian Poets" by Sir Gore Ouseley, London, Oriental Translation Fund, 1846.

114.  The Kardoukhoi (Carduchi) of Xenophon; also called (Strabo xv.) "Kárdakís, from a Persian word signifying manliness," which would be "Kardak" = a doer (of derring-do). They also named the Montes Gordæi the original Ararat of Xisisthrus-Noah's Ark. The Kurds are of Persian race, speaking an old and barbarous Iranian tongue and often of the Shi'ah sect. They are born bandits, highwaymen, cattle-lifters; yet they have spread extensively over Syria and Egypt and have produced some glorious men, witness Sultan Saláh al-Din (Saladin) the Great. They claim affinity with the English in the East, because both races always inhabit the highest grounds they can find.

115.  These irregular bands who belong to no tribe are the most dangerous bandits in Arabia, especially upon the northern frontier. Burckhardt, who suffered from them, gives a long account of their treachery and utter absence of that Arab "pundonor" which is supposed to characterise Arab thieves.

116.  An euphemistic form to avoid mentioning the incestuous marriage.

117.  The Arab form of our "Kinchin lay."

118.  These are the signs of a Shaykh's tent.

119.  These questions, indiscreet in Europe, are the rule throughout Arabia, as they were in the United States of the last generation.

120.  Arab. "Khizáb" a paste of quicklime and lamp-black kneaded with linseed oil which turns the Henna to a dark olive. It is hideously ugly to unaccustomed eyes and held to be remarkably beautiful in Egypt.

121.  i.e. the God of the Empyrean.

122.  A blow worthy of the Sa'alabah tribe to which he belonged.

123.  i.e. "benefits"; also the name of Mohammed's Mu'ezzin, or crier to prayer, who is buried outside the Jábiah gate of Damascus. Hence amongst Moslems Abyssinians were preferred as mosque-criers in the early ages of Al-Islam. Egypt chose blind men because they were abundant and cheap; moreover they cannot take note of what is doing on the adjoining roof-terraces where women and children love to pass the cool hours that begin and end the day. Stories are told of men who counterfeited blindness for years in order to keep the employment. In Moslem cities the stranger required to be careful how he appeared at a window or on the gallery of a minaret: the people hate to be overlooked and the whizzing of a bullet was the warning to be off. Pilgrimage iii. 185.

124.  His instinct probably told him that this opponent was a low fellow; but such insults are common when "renowning it."

125.  Arab. "Dara'" or "Dira'," a habergeon, a coat of ring-mail, sometimes worn in pairs. During the wretched "Sudan" campaigns much naïve astonishment was expressed by the English Press to hear of warriors armed cap-à-pie in this armour like medieval knights. They did not know that every great tribe has preserved, possibly from Crusading times, a number of hauberks, even to hundreds. I have heard of only one English traveller who had a mail-jacket made by Wilkinson of Pall Mall, imitating in this point Napoleon III. and (according to the Banker-poet, Rogers) the Duke of Wellington. That of Napoleon is said to have been made of platinum-wire, the work of a Pole who received his money and an order to quit Paris. The late Sir Robert Clifton (they say) tried its value with a Colt after placing it upon one of his coat-models or mannequins. It is easy to make these hauberks arrow-proof or sword-proof, even bullet-proof if Arab gunpowder be used: but against a modern rifle-cone they are worse than worthless as the fragments would be carried into the wound. The British serjeant was right in saying that he would prefer to enter battle in his shirt: and he might even doff that to advantage and return to the primitive custom of man-gymnomachy.

126.  Arab. "Jamal" (by Badawin pronounced "Gamal" like the Hebrew) is the generic term for "Camel" through the Gr.κάμηλος: "Ibl" is also the camel-species but not so commonly used. "Hajín" is the dromedary (in Egypt, "Dalúl" in Arabia), not the one-humped camel of the zoologist (C. dromedarius) as opposed to the two-humped (C. Bactrianus), but a running i.e. a riding camel. The feminine is Nákah, for like mules females are preferred. "Bakr" (masc.) and "Bakrah" (fem.) are camel-colts. There are hosts of special names besides those which are general. Mr. Ensor is singular when he states (p. 40) "the male (of the camel) is much the safer animal to choose;" and the custom of the universal East disproves his assertion. Mr. McCoan ("Egypt as it is") tells his readers that the Egyptian camel has two humps; in fact, he describes the camel as it is not.

127.  So, in the Romance of Dalhamah (Zát al-Himmah, the heroine) the hero Al-Gundubah ("one locust-man") smites off the head of his mother's servile murderer and cries, "I have taken my blood-revenge upon this traitor slave!" (Lane, M. E. chapt. xxiii.).

128.  This gathering all the persons upon the stage before the curtain drops is highly artistic and improbable.

129.  He ought to have said his dawn prayers.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

Shahrazad began to relate, in these words,



Quoth she, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in times of yore and in ages long gone before, a peacock abode with his wife on the sea-shore. Now the place was infested with lions 115and all manner wild beasts, withal it abounded in trees and streams. So cock and hen were wont to roost by night upon one of the trees, being in fear of the beasts, and went forth by day questing food. And they ceased not thus to do till their fear increased on them and they searched for some place wherein to dwell other than their old dwelling-place; and in the course of their search behold, they happened on an island abounding in streams and trees. So they alighted there and ate of its fruits and drank of its waters. But whilst they were thus engaged, lo! up came to them a duck in a state of extreme terror, and stayed not faring forwards till she reached the tree whereon were perched the two peafowl, when she seemed re-assured in mind. The peacock doubted not but that she had some rare story; so he asked her of her case and the cause of her concern, whereto she answered, "I am sick for sorrow, and my horror of the son of Adam:[131] so beware, and again I say beware of the sons of Adam!" Rejoined the peacock, "Fear not now that thou hast won our protection." Cried the duck, "Alhamdolillah! glory to God, who hath done away my cark and care by means of you being near! For indeed I come of friendship fain with you twain." And when she had ended her speech the peacock's wife came down to her and said, "Well come and welcome and fair cheer! No harm shall hurt thee: how can son of Adam come to us and we in this isle which lieth a-middlemost of the sea? From the land he cannot reach us neither can he come against us from the water. So be of good cheer and tell us what hath betided thee from the child of Adam." Answered the duck, "Know, then, O thou peahen, that of a truth I have dwelt all my life in this island safely and peacefully, nor have I seen any disquieting thing, till one night, as I was asleep, I sighted in my dream the semblance of a son of Adam, who talked with me and I with him. Then I heard a voice say to me:—O thou duck, beware of the son of Adam and be not imposed on by his words nor by that he may suggest to thee; for he aboundeth in wiles and guiles; so beware with all wariness of his perfidy, for again I say, he is crafty and right cunning even as singeth of him the poet:—

He'll offer sweetmeats with his edgèd tongue, ✿ And fox thee with the foxy guile of fox."

116And know thou that the son of Adam circumventeth the fishes and draweth them forth of the seas; and he shooteth the birds with a pellet of clay,[132] and trappeth the elephant with his craft. None is safe from his mischief and neither bird nor beast escapeth him; and on this wise have I told thee what I have heard concerning the son of Adam. So I awoke, fearful and trembling, and from that hour to this my heart hath not known gladness, for dread of the son of Adam, lest he surprise me unawares by his wile or trap me in his snares. By the time the end of the day overtook me, my strength was grown weak and my spunk failed me; so, desiring to eat and drink, I went forth walking, troubled in spirit and with a heart ill at ease. Now when I reached yonder mountain I saw a tawny lion-whelp at the door of a cave; and sighting me he joyed in me with great joy, for my colour pleased him and my gracious shape; so he cried out to me saying:—Draw nigh unto me. I went up to him and he asked me, What is thy name, and what is thy nature? Answered I, My name is Duck, and I am of the bird-kind; and I added, But thou, why tarriest thou in this place till this time? Answered the whelp, My father the lion hath for many a day warned me against the son of Adam, and it came to pass this night that I saw in my sleep the semblance of a son of Adam. And he went on to tell me the like of that I have told you. When I heard these words, I said to him, O lion, I take asylum with thee, that thou mayest kill the son of Adam and be steadfast in resolve to his slaughter; verily I fear him for myself with extreme fear and to my fright affright is added for that thou also dreadest the son of Adam, albeit thou art Sultan of savage beasts. Then I ceased not, O my sister, to bid the young lion beware of the son of Adam and urge him to slay him, till he rose of a sudden and at once from his stead and went out and he fared on, and I after him and I noted him lashing flanks with tail. We advanced in the same order till we came to a place where the roads forked and saw a cloud of dust arise which, presently clearing away, discovered below it a runaway naked ass, now galloping and running at speed and now rolling in the dust. When the lion saw the ass, he cried out to him, and he came up to him in all humility. Then said the lion:—Harkye, crack-brain brute! What is thy kind and what be the cause of thy coming hither? He replied, 117O son of the Sultan! I am by kind an ass—Asinus Caballus—and the cause of my coming to this place is that I am fleeing from the son of Adam. Asked the lion-whelp, Dost thou fear then that he will kill thee? Answered the ass, Not so, O son of the Sultan, but I dread lest he put a cheat on me and mount upon me; for he hath a thing called Pack-saddle, which he setteth on my back; also a thing called Girths which he bindeth about my belly; and a thing called Crupper which he putteth under my tail, and a thing called Bit which he placeth in my mouth: and he fashioneth me a goad[133] and goadeth me with it and maketh me run more than my strength. If I stumble he curseth me, and if I bray, he revileth me;[134] and at last when I grow old and can no longer run, he putteth on me a pannel[135] of wood and delivereth me to the water-carriers, who load my back with water from the river in skins and other vessels, such as jars, and I cease not to wone in misery and abasement and fatigue till I die, when they cast me on the rubbish-heaps to the dogs. So what grief can surpass this grief and what calamities can be greater than these calamities? Now when I heard, O peahen, the ass's words, my skin shuddered, and became as gooseflesh at the son of Adam; and I said to the lion-whelp, O my lord, the ass of a verity hath excuse and his words add terror to my terror. Then quoth the young lion to the ass, Whither goest thou? Quoth he, Before sunrise I espied the son of Adam afar off, and fled from him; and now I am minded to flee forth and run without ceasing for the greatness of my fear of him, so haply I may find me a place of shelter from the perfidious son of Adam. Whilst the ass was thus discoursing with the lion-whelp, seeking the while to 118take leave of us and go away, behold, appeared to us another cloud of dust, whereat the ass brayed and cried out and looked hard and let fly a loud fart.[136] After a while the dust lifted and discovered a black steed finely dight with a blaze on the forehead like a dirham round and bright;[137] handsomely marked about the hoof with white and with firm strong legs pleasing to sight and he neighed with affright. This horse ceased not running till he stood before the whelp, the son of the lion who, when he saw him, marvelled and made much of him and said, What is thy kind, O majestic wild beast and wherefore fleest thou into this desert wide and vast? He replied, O lord of wild beasts, I am a steed of the horse-kind, and the cause of my running is that I am fleeing from the son of Adam. The lion-whelp wondered at the horse's speech and cried to him:—Speak not such words for it is shame to thee, seeing that thou art tall and stout. And how cometh it that thou fearest the son of Adam, thou, with thy bulk of body and thy swiftness of running, when I, for all my littleness of stature am resolved to encounter the son of Adam and, rushing on him, eat his flesh, that I may allay the affright of this poor duck and make her dwell in peace in her 119own place? But now thou hast come here and thou hast wrung my heart with thy talk and turned me back from what I had resolved to do, seeing that, for all thy bulk, the son of Adam hath mastered thee and hath feared neither thy height nor thy breadth, albeit, wert thou to kick him with one hoof thou wouldst kill him, nor could he prevail against thee, but thou wouldst make him drink the cup of death. The horse laughed when he heard the whelp's words and replied, Far, far is it from my power to overcome him, O Prince. Let not my length and my breadth nor yet my bulk delude thee with respect to the son of Adam; for that he, of the excess of his guile and his wiles, fashioneth me a thing called Hobble and applieth to my four legs a pair of ropes made of palm-fibres bound with felt, and gibbeteth me by the head to a high peg, so that I being tied up remain standing and can neither sit nor lie down. And when he is minded to ride me, he bindeth on his feet a thing of iron called Stirrup[138] and layeth on my back another thing called Saddle, which he fasteneth by two Girths passed under my armpits. Then he setteth in my mouth a thing of iron he calleth Bit, to which he tieth a thing of leather called Rein; and, when he sitteth in the saddle on my back, he taketh the rein in his hand and guideth me with it, goading my flanks the while with the shovel-stirrups till he maketh them bleed. So do not ask, O son of our Sultan, the hardships I endure from the son of Adam. And when I grow old and lean and can no longer run swiftly, he selleth me to the miller who maketh me turn in the mill, and I cease not from turning night and day till I grow decrepit. Then he in turn vendeth me to the knacker who cutteth my throat and flayeth off my hide and plucketh out my tail, which he selleth to the sieve-maker; and he melteth down my fat for tallow-candles. When the young lion heard the horse's words, his rage and vexation redoubled and he said, When didst thou leave the son of Adam? Replied the horse, At mid-day and he is upon my track. Whilst the whelp was thus conversing with the horse lo! there rose a cloud of dust and, presently opening out, discovered below it a furious camel gurgling and pawing the earth with his feet and never ceasing so to do till he came up with us. Now when the lion-whelp saw how big and buxom he was, he took him to be the son of Adam and was about to spring upon him when I said to him, O Prince, of a truth this is not the son of Adam, this be a camel, and he seemeth to be 120fleeing from the son of Adam. As I was thus conversing, O my sister, with the lion-whelp, the camel came up and saluted him; whereupon he returned the greeting and said:—What bringeth thee hither? Replied he, I came here fleeing from the son of Adam. Quoth the whelp, And thou, with thy huge frame and length and breadth, how cometh it that thou fearest the son of Adam, seeing that with one kick of thy foot thou wouldst kill him? Quoth the camel, O son of the Sultan, know that the son of Adam hath subtleties and wiles, which none can withstand nor can any prevail against him, save only Death; for he putteth into my nostrils a twine of goat's hair he calleth Nose-ring,[139] and over my head a thing he calleth Halter; then he delivereth me to the least of his little children, and the youngling draweth me along by the nose-ring, my size and strength notwithstanding. Then they load me with the heaviest of burdens and go long journeys with me and put me to hard labour through the hours of the night and the day. When I grow old and stricken in years and disabled from working, my master keepeth me not with him, but selleth me to the knacker who cutteth my throat and vendeth my hide to the tanners and my flesh to the cooks: so do not ask the hardships I suffer from the son of Adam. When didst thou leave the son of Adam? asked the young lion; and he answered, At sundown, and I suppose that coming to my place after my departure and not finding me there, he is now in search of me: wherefore let me go, O son of the Sultan, that I may flee into the wolds and the wilds. Said the whelp, Wait awhile, O camel, till thou see how I will tear him, and give thee to eat of his flesh, whilst I craunch his bones and drink his blood. Replied the camel, O King's son, I fear for thee from the child of Adam, for he is wily and guilefull. And he began repeating these verses:—

When the tyrant enters the lieges' land, ✿ Naught remains for the lieges but quick remove!

Now whilst the camel was speaking with the lion-whelp, behold, there rose a cloud of dust which, after a time, opened and showed an old man scanty of stature and lean of limb; and he bore on his shoulder a basket of carpenter's tools and on his head a branch of a tree and eight planks. He led little children by the hand and came on 121at a trotting pace,[140] never stopping till he drew near the whelp. When I saw him, O my sister, I fell down for excess of fear; but the young lion rose and walked forward to meet the carpenter and when he came up to him, the man smiled in his face and said to him, with a glib tongue and in courtly terms:—O King who defendeth from harm and lord of the long arm, Allah prosper thine evening and thine endeavouring and increase thy valiancy and strengthen thee! Protect me from that which hath distressed me and with its mischief hath oppressed me, for I have found no helper save only thyself. And the carpenter stood in his presence weeping and wailing and complaining. When the whelp heard his sighing and his crying he said, I will succour thee from that thou fearest. Who hath done thee wrong and what art thou, O wild beast, whose like in my life I never saw, nor ever espied one goodlier of form or more eloquent of tongue than thou? What is thy case? Replied the man, O lord of wild beasts, as to myself I am a carpenter; but as to who hath wronged me, verily he is a son of Adam, and by break of dawn after this coming night[141] he will be with thee in this place. When the lion-whelp heard these words of the carpenter, the light was changed to night before his sight and he snorted and roared with ire and his eyes cast forth sparks of fire. Then he cried out saying, By Allah, I will assuredly watch through this coming night till dawn, nor will I return to my father till I have won my will. Then he turned to the carpenter and asked, Of a truth I see thou art short of step and I would not hurt thy feelings for that I am generous of heart; yet do I deem thee unable to keep pace with the wild beasts: tell me then whither thou goest? Answered the carpenter, Know that I am on my way to thy father's Wazir, the lynx; for when he heard that the son of Adam had set foot in this country he feared greatly for himself and sent one of the wild beasts on a message for me, to make him a house wherein he should dwell, that it might shelter him and fend off his enemy from him, so not one of the sons of Adam should come at him. Accordingly I took up these planks and set forth to find him. Now when the young lion heard these words he envied the lynx and said to the carpenter, By my life there is no help for it but thou 122make me a house with these planks ere thou make one for Sir Lynx! When thou hast done my work, go to him and make him whatso he wisheth. The carpenter replied, O lord of wild beasts, I cannot make thee aught till I have made the lynx what he desireth: then will I return to thy service and build thee a house as a fort to ward thee from thy foe. Exclaimed the lion-whelp, By Allah, I will not let thee leave this place till thou build me a house of planks. So saying he made for the carpenter and sprang upon him, thinking to jest with him, and cuffed him with his paw, knocking the basket off his shoulder; and threw him down in a fainting fit, whereupon the young lion laughed at him and said, Woe to thee, O carpenter, of a truth thou art feeble and hast no force; so it is excusable in thee to fear the son of Adam. Now when the carpenter fell on his back, he waxed exceeding wroth; but he dissembled his wrath for fear of the whelp and sat up and smiled in his face, saying, Well, I will make for thee the house. With this he took the planks he had brought and nailed together the house, which he made in the form of a chest after the measure of the young lion. And he left the door open, for he had cut in the box a large aperture, to which he made a stout cover and bored many holes therein. Then he took out some newly wrought nails and a hammer and said to the young lion, Enter the house through this opening, that I may fit it to thy measure. Thereat the whelp rejoiced and went up to the opening, but saw that it was strait; and the carpenter said to him, Enter and crouch down on thy legs and arms! So the whelp did thus and entered the chest, but his tail remained outside. Then he would have drawn back and come out; but the carpenter said to him, Wait patiently a while till I see if there be room for thy tail with thee. The young lion did as he was bid when the carpenter twisted up his tail and, stuffing it into the chest, whipped the lid on to the opening and nailed it down; whereat the whelp cried out and said, O carpenter, what is this narrow house thou hast made me? Let me out, sirrah! But the carpenter answered, Far be it, far be it from thy thought! Repentance for past avails naught, and indeed of this place thou shalt not come out. He then laughed and resumed, Verily thou art fallen into the trap and from thy duresse there is no escape, O vilest of wild beasts! Rejoined the whelp, O my brother, what manner of words are these thou addressest to me? The carpenter replied "Know, O dog of the desert! that thou hast fallen into that which thou fearedst: Fate hath upset thee, nor shall caution set 123thee up. When the whelp heard these words, O my sister, he knew that this was indeed the very son of Adam, against whom he had been warned by his sire in waking state and by the mysterious Voice in sleeping while; and I also was certified that this was indeed he without doubt; wherefore great fear of him for myself seized me and I withdrew a little apart from him and waited to see what he would do with the young lion. Then I saw, O my sister, the son of Adam dig a pit in that place hard by the chest which held the whelp and, throwing the box into the hole, heap dry wood upon it and burn the young lion with fire. At this sight, O sister mine, my fear of the son of Adam redoubled and in my affright I have been these two days fleeing from him." But when the peahen heard from the duck this story,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the peahen heard from the duck this story, she wondered with exceeding wonder and said to her, "O my sister, here thou art safe from the son of Adam, for we are in one of the islands of the sea whither there is no way for the son of Adam; so do thou take up thine abode with us till Allah make easy thy case and our case." Quoth the duck, "I fear lest some calamity come upon me by night, for no runaway can rid him of fate by flight." Rejoined the peahen, "Abide with us, and be like unto us;" and ceased not to persuade her, till she yielded, saying, "O my sister, thou knowest how weak is my resistance; but verily had I not seen thee here, I had not remained." Said the peahen, "That which is on our foreheads[142] we must indeed fulfil, and when our doomed day draweth near, who shall deliver us? But not a soul departeth except it have accomplished its predestined livelihood and term." Now the while they talked thus, a cloud of dust appeared and approached them, at sight of which the duck shrieked aloud and ran down into the sea, crying out, "Beware! beware! though flight there is not from Fate and Lot!"[143] After awhile, the dust opened out and discovered under it an antelope; whereat the duck and the peahen were re-assured and the peacock's wife said to her companion, 124"O my sister, this thou seest and wouldst have me beware of is an antelope, and here he is, making for us. He will do us no hurt, for the antelope feedeth upon the herbs of the earth and, even as thou art of the bird-kind, so is he of the beast-kind. Be therefore of good cheer and cease care-taking; for care-taking wasteth the body." Hardly had the peahen done speaking, when the antelope came up to them, thinking to shelter him under the shade of the tree; and, sighting the peahen and the duck, saluted them and said, "I came to this island to-day and I have seen none richer in herbage nor pleasanter for habitation." Then he besought them for company, and amity and, when they saw his friendly behaviour to them, they welcomed him and gladly accepted his offer. So they struck up a sincere friendship and sware thereto; and they slept in one place and they ate and drank together; nor did they cease dwelling in safety, eating and drinking their fill, till one day there came thither a ship which had strayed from her course in the sea. She cast anchor near them and the crew came forth and dispersed about the island. They soon caught sight of the three friends, antelope, peahen and duck, and made for them; whereupon the peahen flew up into the tree and thence winged her way through air; and the antelope fled into the desert, but the duck abode paralysed by fear. So they chased her till they caught her and she cried out and said, "Caution availed me naught against Fate and Lot!"; and they bore her off to the ship. Now when the peahen saw what had betided the duck, she removed from the island, saying, "I see that misfortunes lie in ambush for all. But for yonder ship, parting had not befallen between me and this duck, because she was one of the truest of friends." Then she flew off and rejoined the antelope, who saluted her and gave her joy of her safety and asked for the duck, to which she replied, "The enemy hath taken her, and I loathe the sojourn of this island after her." Then she wept for the loss of the duck and began repeating:—

The day of parting cut my heart in twain: ✿ In twain may Allah cut the parting-day!

And she spake also this couplet:—

I pray some day that we reunion gain, ✿ So may I tell him Parting's ugly way.

The antelope sorrowed with great sorrow, but dissuaded the peahen from her resolve to remove from the island. So they abode there together with him, eating and drinking, in peace and safety, except that they ceased not to mourn for the loss of the duck; and the antelope said to the peahen, "O my sister, thou seest how the folk who came forth of the ship were the cause of our severance from the duck and of her destruction; so do thou beware of them and guard thyself from them and from the wile of the son of Adam and his guile." But the peahen replied, "I am assured that nought caused her death save her neglecting to say Subhán' Allah, glory to God; indeed I often said to her:—Exclaim thou, Praised be Allah, and verily I fear for thee, because thou neglectest to laud the Almighty; for all things created by Allah glorify Him on this wise, and whoso neglecteth the formula of praise[144] him destruction waylays." When the antelope heard the peahen's words he exclaimed, "Allah make fair thy face!" and betook himself to repeating the formula of praise, and ceased not therefrom a single hour. And it is said that his form of adoration was as follows:—"Praise be to the Requiter of every good and evil thing, the Lord of Majesty and of Kings the King!" And a tale is also told on this wise of

130.  Here begins what I hold to be the oldest subject-matter in The Nights, the apologues or fables proper; but I reserve further remarks for the terminal Essay. Lane has most objectionably thrown this and sundry of the following stories into a note (vol. ii., pp. 53-69).

131.  In beast stories generally when man appears he shows to disadvantage.

132.  Shakespeare's "stone bow" not Lane's "cross-bow" (ii. 53).

133.  The goad still used by the rascally Egyptian donkey-boy is a sharp nail at the end of a stick; and claims the special attention of societies for the protection of animals.

134.  "The most ungrateful of all voices surely is the voice of asses" (Koran xxxi. 18); and hence the "braying of hell" (Koran lxvii. 7). The vulgar still believe that the donkey brays when seeing the Devil. "The last animal which entered the Ark with Noah was the Ass to whose tail Iblis was clinging. At the threshold the ass seemed troubled and could enter no further when Noah said to him:—Fie upon thee! come in. But as the ass was still troubled and did not advance Noah cried:—Come in, though the Devil be with thee!; so the ass entered and with him Iblis. Thereupon Noah asked:—O enemy of Allah who brought thee into the Ark?; and Iblis answered:—Thou art the man, for thou saidest to the ass, come in though the Devil be with thee!" (Kitáb al-Unwán fi Makáid al-Niswán quoted by Lane ii. 54).

135.  Arab. "Rihl," a wooden saddle stuffed with straw and matting. In Europe the ass might complain that his latter end is the sausage. In England they say no man sees a dead donkey: I have seen dozens and, unfortunately, my own.

136.  The English reader will not forget Sterne's old mare. Even Al-Hariri, the prince of Arab rhetoricians, does not disdain to use "pepedit," the effect being put for the cause—terror. But Mr. Preston (p. 285) and polite men translate by "fled in haste" the Arabic "farted for fear."

137.  This is one of the lucky signs and adds to the value of the beast. There are some fifty of these marks, some of them (like a spiral of hair in the breast which denotes that the rider is a cuckold) so ill-omened that the animal can be bought for almost nothing. Of course great attention is paid to colours, the best being the dark rich bay ("red" of Arabs) with black points, or the flea-bitten grey (termed Azrak = blue or Akhzar = green) which whitens with age. The worst are dun, cream coloured, piebald and black, which last are very rare. Yet according to the Mishkát al-Masábih (Lane 2, 54) Mohammed said, "The best horses are black (dark brown?) with white blazes (Arab. "Ghurrah") and upper lips; next, black with blaze and three white legs (bad, because white-hoofs are brittle): next, bay with white blaze and white fore and hind legs." He also said, "Prosperity is with sorrel horses;" and praised a sorrel with white forehead and legs; but he dispraised the "Shikál" which has white stockings (Arab. "Muhajjil") on alternate hoofs (e.g. right hind and left fore). The curious reader will consult Lady Anne Blunt's "Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates, with some Account of the Arabs and their Horses" (1879); but he must remember that it treats of the frontier tribes. The late Major Upton also left a book, "Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia" (1881); but it is a marvellous production deriving e.g. Khayl (a horse generically) from Kohl or antimony (p. 275). What the Editor was dreaming of I cannot imagine. I have given some details concerning the Arab horse especially in Al-Yaman, among the Zú Mohammed, the Zú Husayn and the Banu Yam in Pilgrimage iii. 270. As late as Marco Polo's day they supplied the Indian market viâ Aden; but the "Eye of Al-Yaman" has totally lost the habit of exporting horses.

138.  The shovel-iron which is the only form of spur.

139.  Used for the dromedary: the baggage-camel is haltered.

140.  Arab. "Harwalah," the pas gymnastique affected when circumambulating the Ka'abah (Pilgrimage iii. 208).

141.  "This night" would be our "last night": the Arabs, I repeat, say "night and day," not "day and night."

142.  The vulgar belief is that man's fate is written upon his skull, the sutures being the writing.

143.  Koran ii. 191.

144.  Arab "Tasbíh" = saying, "Subhán' Allah." It also means a rosary (Egypt. Sebhah for Subhah) a string of 99 beads divided by a longer item into sets of three and much fingered by the would-appear pious. The professional devotee carries a string of wooden balls the size of pigeons' eggs.



A certain hermit worshipped on a certain mountain, whither resorted a pair of pigeons; and the worshipper was wont to make two parts of his daily bread,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the worshipper was wont to make two parts of his daily bread, eating one half himself and giving the other to the pigeon pair. He also prayed for them both that they might be blest with issue: so they increased and multiplied greatly. Now they resorted only to that mountain where the hermit was, and the reason of their foregathering with the holy man was their assiduity in repeating 126"Praised be Allah!" for it is recounted that the pigeon[145] sayeth in praise, "Praised be the Creator of all Creatures, the Distributor of daily bread, the Builder of the heavens and Dispreader of the earths!" And that couple ceased not to dwell together in the happiest of life, they and their brood till the holy man died, when the company of the pigeons was broken up and they dispersed among the towns and villages and mountains. Now it is told that on a certain other mountain there dwelt a shepherd, a man of piety and good sense and chastity; and he had flocks of sheep which he tended, and he made his living by their milk and wool. The mountain which gave him a home abounded in trees and pasturage and also in wild beasts, but these had no power over his flocks; so he ceased not to dwell upon that highland in full security, taking no thought to the things of the world, by reason of his beatitude and his assiduity in prayer and devotion, till Allah ordained that he should fall sick with exceeding sickness. Thereupon he betook himself to a cavern in the mountain and his sheep used to go out in the morning to the pasturage and take refuge at night in the cave. But Allah Almighty, being minded to try him and prove his patience and his obedience, sent him one of His angels, who came in to him in the semblance of a fair woman and sat down before him. When the shepherd saw that woman seated before him, his flesh shuddered at her with horripilation[146] and he said to her, "O thou woman, what was it invited thee to this my retreat? I have no need of thee, nor is there aught betwixt me and thee which calleth for thy coming in to me." Quoth she, "O man, dost thou not behold my beauty and loveliness and the fragrance of my breath; and knowest thou not the need women have of men and men of women? So who shall forbid thee from me when I have chosen to be near thee and desire to enjoy thy company? Indeed, I come to thee willingly and do not withhold myself from thee, and near us there is none whom we need fear; and I wish to abide 127with thee as long as thou sojournest in this mountain, and be thy companion and thy true friend. I offer myself to thee, for thou needest the service of woman: and if thou have carnal connection with me and know me, thy sickness shall be turned from thee and health return to thee; and thou wilt repent thee of the past for having foresworn the company of women during the days that are now no more. In very sooth, I give thee good advice: so incline to my counsel and approach me." Quoth the shepherd, "Go out from me, O woman deceitful and perfidious! I will not incline to thee nor approach thee. I want not thy company nor wish for union with thee; he who coveteth the coming life renounceth thee, for thou seducest mankind, those of past time and those of present time. Allah the Most High lieth in wait for His servants and woe unto him who is cursed with thy company!" Answered she, "O thou that errest from the truth and wanderest from the way of reason, turn thy face to me and look upon my charms and take thy full of my nearness, as did the wise who have gone before thee. Indeed, they were richer than thou in experience and sharper of wit; withal they rejected not, as thou rejectest, the enjoyment of women; nay, they took their pleasure of them and their company even as thou renouncest them, and it did them no hurt in things temporal or things spiritual. Wherefore do thou recede from thy resolve and thou shalt praise the issue of thy case." Rejoined the shepherd, "All thou sayest I deny and abhor, and all thou offerest I reject: for thou art cunning and perfidious and there is no honesty in thee nor is there honour. How much of foulness hidest thou under thy beauty, and how many a pious man hast thou seduced from his duty and made his end penitence and perdition? Avaunt from me, O thou who devotest thyself to corrupt others!" Thereupon, he threw his goat's-hair cloak over his head that he might not see her face, and betook himself to calling upon the name of his Lord. And when the angel saw the excellence of his submission to the Divine Will, he went out from him and ascended to heaven. Now hard by the hermit's hill was a village wherein dwelt a pious man, who knew not the other's station, till one night he heard in a dream a Voice saying to him, "In such a place near to thee is a devout man: go thou to him and be at his command!" So when morning dawned he set out to wend thither, and what time the heat was grievous upon him, he came to a tree which grew beside a spring of running water. So he sat down to rest in the shadow of that tree and 128behold, he saw beasts and birds coming to that fount to drink; but when they caught sight of the devotee sitting there, they took fright and fled from before his face. Then said he, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah! I rest not here but to the hurt of these beasts and fowls." So he arose, blaming himself and saying, "Verily my tarrying here this day hath wronged these animals, and what excuse have I towards my Creator and the Creator of these birds and beasts for that I was the cause of their flight from their drink and their daily food and their place of pasturage? Alas for my shame before my Lord on the day when He shall avenge the hornless sheep on the sheep with horns!"[147] And he wept and began repeating these couplets:—

Now an, by Allah, unto man were fully known ✿ Why he is made, in careless sleep he ne'er would wone:
First Death, then cometh Wake and dreadful Day of Doom ✿ Reproof with threats, sore terror, frightful malison.
Bid we or else forbid we, all of us are like ✿ The Cave-companions[148] when at length their sleep was done.

Then he again wept for that he had driven the birds and beasts from the spring by sitting down under the tree, and he fared on till he came to the shepherd's dwelling and going in, saluted him. The shepherd returned his salutation and embraced him, weeping and saying, "What hath brought thee to this place where no man hath ever yet come to me." Quoth the other devotee, "I saw in my sleep one who described to me this thy stead and bade me repair to thee and salute thee: so I came, in obedience to the commandment." The shepherd welcomed him, rejoicing in his company and the twain abode upon that mountain, worshipping Allah with the best of worship; and they ceased not serving their Lord in the cavern and living upon the flesh and milk of their sheep, having clean put away from them riches and children and what not, till the Certain, the Inevitable became their lot. And this is the end of their story. Then said King Shahyrar, "O Shahrazad, thou wouldst cause me to renounce my kingdom and thou makest me repent of having slain so many women and maidens. Hast thou any bird-stories?" "Yes," replied she, and began to tell the

145.  The pigeon is usually made to say, "Wahhidú Rabba-kumu 'llazi khalaka-kum, yaghfiru lakum zamba-kum" = "Unify (Assert the Unity of) your Lord who created you; so shall He forgive your sin!" As might be expected this "language" is differently interpreted. Pigeon-superstitions are found in all religions and I have noted (Pilgrimage iii. 218) how the Hindu deity of Destruction-reproduction, the third Person of their Triad, Shiva and his Spouse (or active Energy), are supposed to have dwelt at Meccah under the titles of Kapoteshwara (Pigeon-god) and Kapoteshí (Pigeon-goddess).

146.  I have seen this absolute horror of women amongst the Monks of the Coptic Convents.

147.  After the Day of Doom, when men's actions are registered, that of mutual retaliation will follow and all creatures (brutes included) will take vengeance on one another.

148.  The Comrades of the Cave, famous in the Middle Ages of Christianity (Gibbon chapt. xxxiii.), is an article of faith with Moslems, being part subject of chapter xviii., the Koranic Surah termed the Cave. These Ripp Van Winkle-tales begin with Endymion so famous amongst the Classics and Epimenides of Crete who slept fifty-seven years; and they extend to modern days as La Belle au Bois dormant. The Seven Sleepers are as many youths of Ephesus (six royal councillors and a shepherd, whose names are given on the authority of Ali); and, accompanied by their dog, they fled the persecutions of Dakianús (the Emperor Decius) to a cave near Tarsús in Natolia where they slept for centuries. The Caliph Mu'awiyah when passing the cave sent into it some explorers who were all killed by a burning wind. The number of the sleepers remains uncertain, according to the Koran (ibid. v. 21) three, five or seven; and their sleep lasted either three hundred or three hundred and nine years. The dog (ibid. v. 17) slept at the cave-entrance with paws outstretched and, according to the general, was called "Katmir" or "Kitmir;" but Al-Rakím (v. 8) is also applied to it by some. Others hold this to be the name of the valley or mountain and others of a stone or leaden tablet on which their names were engraved by their countrymen who built a chapel on the spot (v. 20). Others again make the Men of Al-Rakím distinct from the Cave-men, and believe (with Bayzáwi) that they were three youths who were shut up in a grotto by a rock-slip. Each prayed for help through the merits of some good deed: when the first had adjured Allah the mountain cracked till light appeared; at the second petition it split so that they saw one another and after the third it opened. However that may be, Kitmir is one of the seven favoured animals; the others being the Hudhud (hoopoe) of Solomon (Koran xxii. 20); the she-camel of Sálih (chapt. lxxxvii.); the cow of Moses which named the Second Surah; the fish of Jonah; the serpent of Eve; and the peacock of Paradise. For Koranic revelations of the Cave see the late Thomas Chenery (p. 414 The Assemblies of Al-Hariri: Williams and Norgate, 1870) who borrows from the historian Tabari.



It is related by truthful men, O King, that a certain bird flew high up firmament-wards and presently lit on a rock in the midst of water which was running. And as he sat there, behold, the current carried to him the carcass of a man, and lodged it against the rock, for being swollen it floated. The bird, which was a water-fowl, drew near and examining it, found that it was the dead body of a son of Adam and saw in it sign of spear and stroke of sword. So he said to himself, "I presume that this man who hath been slain was some evil-doer, and that a company banded themselves together against him and put him to death and were at peace from him and his evil-doing." And as he continued marvelling at this, suddenly the vultures and kites came down upon the carcass from all sides and gat round it; which when the water-fowl saw, he feared with sore affright and said, "I cannot abide here any longer." So he flew away in quest of a place where he might wone, till that carcass should come to an end and the birds of prey leave it; and he stayed not in his flight, till he found 130a river with a tree in its midst. So he alighted on the tree, troubled and distraught and sore grieved for departing from his birth-place, and said to himself, "Verily sorrows cease not to follow me: I was at my ease when I saw that carcass, and rejoiced therein with much joy, saying, "This is a gift of daily bread which Allah hath dealt to me: but my joy became annoy and my gladness turned to sadness, for the ravenous birds, which are like lions, seized upon it and tare it to pieces and came between me and my prize. So how can I hope to be secure from misfortune in this world; or put any trust therein? Indeed, the proverb saith:—The world is the dwelling of him who hath no dwelling: he who hath no wits is cozened by it and entrusteth it with his wealth and his child and his family and his folk; and whoso is cozened ceaseth not to rely upon it, pacing proudly upon earth until he is laid under earth and the dust is cast over his corpse by him who of all men was dearest to him and nearest. But naught is better for generous youth than patience under its cares and miseries. I have left my native place and it is abhorrent to me to quit my brethren and friends and loved ones." Now whilst he was thus musing lo! a male-tortoise descended into the river and, approaching the water-fowl, saluted him, saying, "O my lord, what hath exiled thee and driven thee so far from thy place?" Replied the water-fowl, "The descent of enemies thereon; for the wise brooketh not the neighbourhood of his foe; and how well saith the poet:—

Whenas on any land the oppressor doth alight, ✿ There's nothing left for those, that dwell therein, but flight.[149]

Quoth the tortoise, "If the matter be as thou sayest and the case as thou describest, I will not leave thee nor cease to stand before thee, that I may do thy need and fulfil thy service; for it is said that there is no sorer desolation than that of him who is an exile, cut off from friends and home; and it is also said that no calamity equalleth that of severance from the good; but the best solace for men of understanding is to seek companionship in strangerhood and be patient under sorrows and adversity. Wherefore I hope that thou wilt approve of my company, for I will be to thee a servant and a helper." Now when the water-fowl heard the tortoise's words he answered, "Verily, thou art right in what thou 131sayest for, by my life, I have found grief and pain in separation, what while I have been parted from my place and sundered from my brethren and friends; seeing that in severance is an admonition to him who will be admonished and matter of thought for him who will take thought. If the generous youth find not a companion to console him, weal is for ever cut off from him and ill is eternally established with him; and there is nothing for the sage but to solace himself in every event with brethren and be constant in patience and endurance: indeed these two are praiseworthy qualities, and both uphold one under calamities and vicissitudes of the world and ward off startling sorrows and harrowing cares, come what will." Rejoined the tortoise, "Beware of sorrow, for it will spoil thy life and waste thy manliness." And the two gave not over conversing till the bird said, "Never shall I cease fearing the shifts of time and vicissitudes of events." When the tortoise heard this, he came up to him and, kissing him between the eyes, said to him, "Never may the company of the birds cease to be blest in thee and through thee, and find wisdom in thy good counsel! How shalt thou be burdened with care and harm?" And he went on to comfort the water-fowl and soothe his terrors till he became re-assured. Then he flew to the place where the carcass was and found on arriving there the birds of prey gone, and they had left nothing of the body but bones; whereupon he returned to the tortoise and acquainted him with the fact that the foe had disappeared from his place, saying, "Know that of a truth I long for return homewards to enjoy the society of my friends; for the sage cannot endure separation from his native place." So they both went thither and found naught to affright them; whereupon the water-fowl began repeating:—

And haply whenas strait descends on lot of generous youth ✿ Right sore, with Allah only lies his issue from annoy:
He's straitened, but full oft when rings and meshes straitest clip, ✿ He 'scapes his strait and joyance finds, albe I see no joy.

So the twain abode in that island; and while the water-fowl was enjoying a life of peace and gladness, suddenly Fate led thither a hungry falcon, which drove its talons into the bird's belly and killed him, nor did caution avail him when his term of life was ended. Now the cause of his death was that he neglected to use the formula of praise, and it is said that his form of adoration was as follows, "Praised be our Lord in that He ordereth and ordaineth; and praised be our Lord in that He enricheth and impoverisheth!" Such was the water-fowl's end and the tale of the ravenous birds. And when it was finished quoth the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, verily thou overwhelmest me with admonitions and salutary instances. Hast thou any stories of beasts?" "Yes," answered she; and began to tell the

149.  These lines have occurred in Night cxlvi.: I quote Mr. Payne by way of variety.



Know, O King, that a fox and a wolf once cohabited in the same den, harbouring therein together by day and resorting thither by night; but the wolf was cruel and oppressive to the fox. They abode thus awhile, till it so befel that the fox exhorted the wolf to use gentle dealing and leave off his ill deeds, saying, "If thou persist in thine arrogance, belike Allah will give the Son of Adam power over thee, for he is past master in guile and wile; and by his artifice he bringeth down the birds from the firmament and he haleth the mighty fish forth of the flood-waters: and he cutteth the mountain and transporteth it from place to place. All this is of his craft and wiliness: wherefore do thou betake thyself to equity and fair dealing and leave frowardness and tyranny; and thou shalt fare all the better for it." But the wolf would not accept his counsel and answered him roughly, saying, "What right hast thou to speak of matters of weight and importance?" And he dealt the fox a cuff that laid him senseless; but, when he revived, he smiled in the wolf's face and, excusing himself for his unseemly speech, repeated these two couplets:—

If any sin I sinned, or did I aught ✿ In love of you, which hateful mischief wrought;
My sin I sore repent and pardon sue; ✿ So give the sinner gift of pardon sought.

133The wolf accepted his excuse and held his hand from further ill-treatment, saying, "Speak not of whatso concerneth thee not, lest thou hear what will please thee not." Answered the fox, "To hear is to obey!"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the wolf to the fox, "Speak not of whatso concerneth thee not, lest thou hear what will please thee not!" Answered the fox, "To hear is to obey! I will abstain henceforth from what pleaseth thee not; for the sage saith:—Have a care that thou speak not of that whereof thou art not asked; leave that which concerneth thee not for that which concerneth thee, and by no means lavish good counsel on the wrongous, for they will repay it to thee with wrong." And reflecting on the words of the wolf he smiled in his face, but in his heart he meditated treachery against him and privily said, "There is no help but that I compass the destruction of this wolf." So he bore with his injurious usage, saying to himself, "Verily insolence and evil-speaking are causes of perdition and cast into confusion, and it is said:—The insolent is shent and the ignorant doth repent; and whoso feareth, to him safety is sent: moderation marketh the noble and gentle manners are of gains the grandest. It behoveth me to dissemble with this tyrant and needs must he be cast down." Then quoth he to the wolf, "Verily, the Lord pardoneth his erring servant and relenteth towards him, if he confess his offences; and I am a weak slave and have offended in presuming to counsel thee. If thou knewest the pain that befel me by thy buffet, thou wouldst ken that even the elephant could not stand against it nor endure it: but I complain not of this blow's hurt, because of the joy and gladness that hath betided me through it; for though it was to me exceeding sore yet was its issue of the happiest. And with sooth saith the sage:—The blow of the teacher is at first right hurtful, but the end of it is sweeter than strained honey." Quoth the wolf, "I pardon thine offence and I cancel thy fault; but beware of my force and avow thyself my thrall; for thou hast learned my severity unto him who showeth his hostility!" Thereupon the fox prostrated himself before the wolf, saying, "Allah lengthen thy life and mayst thou never cease to overthrow thy foes!" And he stinted not to fear 134the wolf and to wheedle him and dissemble with him. Now it came to pass that one day, the fox went to a vineyard and saw a breach in its walls; but he mistrusted it and said to himself, "Verily, for this breach there must be some cause and the old saw saith:—Whoso seeth a cleft in the earth and shunneth it not and is not wary in approaching it, the same is self-deluded and exposeth himself to danger and destruction. Indeed, it is well known that some folk make the figure of a fox in their vineyards; nay, they even set before the semblance grapes in plates, that foxes may see it and come to it and fall into perdition. In very sooth I regard this breach as a snare and the proverb saith:—Caution is one half of cleverness. Now prudence requireth that I examine this breach and see if there be aught therein which may lead to perdition; and coveting shall not make me cast myself into destruction." So he went up to the hole and walked round it right warily, and lo! it was a deep pit, which the owner of the vineyard had dug to trap therein the wild beasts which laid waste his vines. Then he said to himself, "Thou hast gained, for that thou hast refrained!"; and he looked and saw that the hole was lightly covered with dust and matting. So he drew back from it saying, "Praised be Allah that I was wary of it! I hope that my enemy, the wolf, who maketh my life miserable, will fall into it; so will the vineyard be left to me and I shall enjoy it alone and dwell therein at peace." Saying thus, he shook his head and laughed a loud laugh and began versifying:—

Would Heaven I saw at this hour ✿ The Wolf fallen down in this well,
He who anguisht my heart for so long, ✿ And garred me drain eisel and fell!
Heaven grant after this I may live ✿ Free of Wolf for long fortunate spell,
When I've rid grapes and vineyard of him, ✿ And in bunch-spoiling happily dwell.

His verse being finished he returned in haste to the wolf and said to him, "Allah hath made plain for thee the way into the vineyard without toil and moil. This is of thine auspicious fortune; so good luck to thee and mayest thou enjoy the plentiful plunder and the profuse provaunt which Allah hath opened up to thee without trouble!" Asked the wolf, "What proof hast thou of what thou assertest?": and the fox answered, "I went up to the vineyard 135and found that the owner was dead, having been torn to pieces by wolves: so I entered the orchard and saw the fruit shining upon the trees." The wolf doubted not the fox's report and his gluttony gat hold of him; so he arose and repaired to the cleft, for that greed blinded him; whilst the fox falling behind him lay as one dead, quoting to the case the following couplet:—

For Layla's[151] favour dost thou greed? But, bear in mind ✿ Greed is a yoke of harmful weight on neck of man.

And when the wolf had reached the breach the fox said, "Enter the vineyard: thou art spared the trouble of climbing a ladder, for the garden-wall is broken down, and with Allah it resteth to fulfil the benefit." So the wolf went on walking and thought to enter the vineyard; but when he came to the middle of the pit-covering he fell through; whereupon the fox shook for joy and gladness; his care and concern left him and he sang out for delight and improvised these couplets:—

Fortune had mercy on the soul of me, ✿ And for my torments now shows clemency,
Granting whatever gift my heart desired, ✿ And far removing what I feared to see:
I will, good sooth, excuse her all her sins ✿ She sinned in days gone by and much sinned she:
Yea, her injustice she hath shown in this, ✿ She whitened locks that were so black of blee:
But now for this same wolf escape there's none, ✿ Of death and doom he hath full certainty.
Then all the vineyard comes beneath my rule, ✿ I'll brook no partner who's so fond a fool.

Then the fox looked into the cleft and, seeing the wolf weeping in repentance and sorrow for himself, wept with him; whereupon the wolf raised his head to him and asked, "Is it of pity for me thou weepest, O Father of the Fortlet[152]?" Answered the fox, "No, by Him who cast thee into this pit! I weep for the length of thy past life and for regret that thou didst not fall into the pit before 136this day; for hadst thou done so before I foregathered with thee, I had rested and enjoyed repose: but thou wast spared till the fulfilment of thine allotted term and thy destined time." Then the wolf said to him as one jesting, "O evil-doer, go to my mother and tell her what hath befallen me; haply she may devise some device for my release." Replied the fox, "Of a truth thou hast been brought to destruction by the excess of thy greed and thine exceeding gluttony, since thou art fallen into a pit whence thou wilt never escape. Knowest thou not the common proverb, O thou witless wolf:—Whoso taketh no thought as to how things end, him shall Fate never befriend nor shall be safe from perils wend." "O Reynard," quoth the wolf, "thou wast wont to show me fondness and covet my friendliness and fear the greatness of my strength. Hate me not rancorously because of that I did with thee; for he who hath power and forgiveth, his reward Allah giveth; even as saith the poet:—

Sow kindness-seed in the unfittest stead; ✿ 'Twill not be wasted whereso thou shalt sow:
For kindness albe buried long, yet none ✿ Shall reap the crop save sower who garred it grow."

Rejoined the fox, "O witlessest of beasts of prey and stupidest of the wild brutes which the wolds over-stray! Hast thou forgotten thine arrogance and insolence and tyranny, and thy disregarding the due of good-fellowship and thy refusing to be advised by what the poet saith?—

Wrong not thy neighbour e'en if thou have power; ✿ The wronger alway vengeance-harvest reaps:
Thine eyes shall sleep, while bides the wronged on wake ✿ A-cursing thee; and Allah's eye ne'er sleeps."

"O Abu 'l-Hosayn," replied the wolf, "twit me not with my past sins; for forgiveness is expected of the generous and doing kind deeds is the truest of treasures. How well saith the poet:—

Haste to do kindness while thou hast much power, ✿ For at all seasons thou hast not such power."

And he ceased not to humble himself before the fox and say, "Haply, thou canst do somewhat to deliver me from destruction." Replied the fox, "O thou wolf, thou witless, deluded, deceitful trickster! hope not for deliverance, for this is but the just reward 137of thy foul dealing and its due retaliation." Then he laughed with chops wide open and repeated these two couplets:—

No longer beguile me, ✿ Thou'lt fail of thy will!
What can't be thou seekest; ✿ Thou hast sown so reap Ill!

Quoth the wolf, "O gentlest of ravenous beasts, I fain hold thee too faithful to leave me in this pit." Then he wept and complained and, with tears streaming from his eyes, recited these two couplets:—

O thou whose favours have been out of compt, ✿ Whose gifts are more than may be numberèd!
Never mischance befel me yet from time ✿ But that I found thy hand right fain to aid.

"O thou ninny foe," quoth the fox, "how art thou reduced to humiliation and prostration and abjection and submission, after insolence and pride and tyranny and arrogance! Verily, I kept company with thee only for fear of thy fury and I cajoled thee without one hope of fair treatment from thee: but now trembling is come upon thee and vengeance hath overtaken thee." And he repeated these two couplets:—

O thou who seekest innocence to 'guile, ✿ Thou'rt caught in trap of thine intentions vile:
Now drain the draught of shamefullest mischance, ✿ And be with other wolves cut off, thou scroyle!

Replied the wolf, "O thou clement one, speak not with the tongue of enemies nor look with their eyes; but fulfil the covenant of fellowship with me, ere the time of applying remedy cease to be. Rise and make ready to get me a rope and tie one end of it to a tree; then let the other down to me, that I may lay hold of it, so haply I shall from this my strait win free, and I will give thee all my hand possesseth of wealth and fee." Quoth the fox, "Thou persistest in conversation concerning what will not procure thy liberation. Hope not for this, for thou shalt never, never get of me wherewithal to set thee at liberty; but call to mind thy past misdeeds and the craft and perfidy thou didst imagine against me and bethink thee how near thou art to being stoned to death. For know that thy soul is about the world to quit and cease in it and depart from it; so shalt thou to destruction hie and ill is the abiding-place thou shalt aby!"[153] Rejoined the wolf, "O Father of the Fortlet, hasten to return to amity and persist not in this rancorous enmity. Know that whoso from ruin saveth a soul, is as if he had quickened it and made it whole; and whoso saveth a soul alive, is as if he had saved all mankind.[154] Follow not frowardness, for the wise forbid it: and it were most manifest frowardness to leave me in this pit draining the agony of death and dight to look upon mine own doom, whenas it lieth in thy power to deliver me from my stowre. So do thy best to release me and deal with me benevolently." Answered the fox, "O thou base and barbarous wretch, I compare thee, because of the fairness of thy professions and expressions, and the foulness of thy intentions and thy inventions to the Falcon and the Partridge." Asked the wolf, "How so?"; and the fox began to tell the



Once upon a time I entered a vineyard to eat of its grapes; and, whilst so doing behold, I saw a falcon stoop upon a partridge and seize him; but the partridge escaped from the seizer and, entering his nest, hid himself there. The falcon followed apace and called out to him, saying, "O imbecile, I saw thee an-hungered in the wold and took pity on thee; so I picked up for thee some grain and took hold of thee that thou mightest eat; but thou fleddest from me; and I wot not the cause of thy flight, except it were to put upon me a slight. Come out, then, and take the grain I have brought thee to eat and much good may it do thee, and with 139thy health agree." When the partridge heard these words, he believed and came out to him, whereupon the falcon struck his talons into him and seized him. Cried the partridge, "Is this that which thou toldest me thou hadst brought me from the wold, and whereof thou badest me eat, saying:—Much good may it do thee, and with thy health agree? Thou hast lied to me, and may Allah cause what thou eatest of my flesh to be a killing poison in thy maw!" So when the falcon had eaten the partridge, his feathers fell off and his strength failed and he died on the spot. Know, then, O wolf! (pursued the fox), "that he who diggeth for his brother a pit himself soon falleth into it, and thou first deceivedst me in mode unfit." Quoth the wolf, "Spare me this discourse nor saws and tales enforce, and remind me not of my former ill course, for sufficeth me the sorry plight I endure perforce, seeing that I am fallen into a place, in which even my foe would pity me, much more a true friend. Rather find some trick to deliver me and be thou thereby my saviour. If this cause thee trouble, remember that a true friend will undertake the sorest travail for his true friend's sake and will risk his life to deliver him from evil; and indeed it hath been said:—A leal friend is better than a real brother. So if thou stir thyself to save me and I be saved, I will forsure gather thee such store as shall be a provision for thee against want however sore; and truly I will teach thee rare tricks whereby to open whatso bounteous vineyards thou please and strip the fruit-laden trees." Rejoined the fox, laughing, "How excellent is what the learned say of him who aboundeth in ignorance like unto thee!" Asked the wolf, "What do the wise men say?" And the fox answered, "They have observed that the gross of body are gross of mind, far from intelligence and nigh unto ignorance. As for thy saying, O thou stupid, cunning idiot! that a true friend should undertake sore travail for his true friend's sake, it is sooth as thou sayest, but tell me, of thine ignorance and poverty of intelligence, how can I be a true friend to thee, considering thy treachery. Dost thou count me thy true friend? Nay, I am thy foe who joyeth in thy woe; and couldst thou trow it, this word were sorer to thee than slaughter by shot of shaft. As for thy promise to provide me a store against want however sore and teach me tricks, to plunder whatso bounteous vineyards I please, and spoil fruit-laden trees, how cometh it, O guileful traitor, that thou knowest not a wile to save thyself from destruction? How far art thou from profiting 140thyself and how far am I from accepting thy counsel! If thou have any tricks, make shift for thyself to save thee from the risk, wherefrom I pray Allah to make thine escape far distant! So look, O fool, if there be any trick with thee; and therewith save thyself from death ere thou lavish instruction upon thy neighbours. But thou art like a certain man attacked by a disease, who went to another diseased with the same disease, and said to him:—Shall I heal thee of thy disease? Replied the sick man, Why dost thou not begin by healing thyself? So he left him and went his way. And thou, O ignorant wolf, art like this; so stay where thou art and under what hath befallen thee be of good heart!" When the wolf heard what the fox said, he knew that from him he had no hope of favour; so he wept for himself, saying, "Verily, I have been heedless of my weal; but if Allah deliver me from this ill I will assuredly repent of my arrogance towards those who are weaker than I, and will wear woollens[157] and go upon the mountains, celebrating the praises of Almighty Allah and fearing His punishment. And I will withdraw from the company of other wild beasts and forsure will I feed the poor fighters for the Faith." Then he wept and wailed, till the heart of the fox softened when he heard his humble words and his professions of penitence for his past insolence and arrogance. So he took pity upon him and sprang up joyfully and, going to the brink of the breach, squatted down on his hind quarters and let his tail hang in the hole; whereupon the wolf arose and putting out his paw, pulled the fox's tail, so that he fell down in the pit with him. Then said the wolf, "O fox of little mercy, why didst thou exult in my misery, thou that wast my companion and under my dominion? Now thou art fallen into the pit with me and retribution hath soon overtaken thee. Verily, the sages have said:—If one of you reproach his brother with sucking the dugs 141of a bitch, he also shall suck her. And how well quoth the poet:—

When Fortune weighs heavy on some of us, ✿ And makes camel kneel by some other one,[158]
Say to those who rejoice in our ills:—Awake! ✿ The rejoicer shall suffer as we have done!

And death in company is the best of things;[159] wherefore I will certainly and assuredly hasten to slay thee ere thou see me slain." Said the fox to himself, "Ah! Ah! I am fallen into the snare with this tyrant, and my case calleth for the use of craft and cunning; for indeed it is said that a woman fashioneth her jewellery for the day of display, and quoth the proverb:—I have not kept thee, O my tear, save for the time when distress draweth near. And unless I make haste to circumvent this prepotent beast I am lost without recourse; and how well saith the poet:—

Make thy game by guile, for thou'rt born in a Time ✿ Whose sons are lions in forest lain;
And turn on the leat[160] of thy knavery ✿ That the mill of subsistence may grind thy grain;
And pluck the fruits or, if out of reach, ✿ Why, cram thy maw with the gras on plain."

Then said the fox to the wolf, "Hasten not to slay me, for that is not the way to pay me and thou wouldst repent it, O thou valiant wild beast, lord of force and exceeding prowess! An thou accord delay and consider what I shall say, thou wilt ken what purpose I proposed; but if thou hasten to kill me it will profit thee naught and we shall both die in this very place." Answered the wolf "O thou wily trickster, what garreth thee hope to work my deliverance and thine own, that thou prayest me to grant thee delay? Speak and propound to me thy purpose." Replied the fox, "As for the purpose I proposed, it was one which deserveth that thou guerdon me handsomely for it; for when I heard thy promises and 142thy confessions of thy past misdeeds and regrets for not having earlier repented and done good; and when I heard thee vowing, shouldst thou escape from this strait, to leave harming thy fellows and others; forswear the eating of grapes and of all manner fruits; devote thyself to humility; cut thy claws and break thy dog-teeth; don woollens and offer thyself as an offering to Almighty Allah, then indeed I had pity upon thee, for true words are the best words. And although before I had been anxious for thy destruction, whenas I heard thy repenting and thy vows of amending should Allah vouchsafe to save thee, I felt bound to free thee from this thy present plight. So I let down my tail, that thou mightest grasp it and be saved. Yet wouldest thou not quit thy wonted violence and habit of brutality; nor soughtest thou to save thyself by fair means, but thou gavest me a tug which I thought would sever body from soul, so that thou and I are fallen into the same place of distress and death. And now there is but one thing can save us and, if thou accept it of me, we shall both escape; and after it behoveth thee to fulfil the vows thou hast made and I will be thy veritable friend." Asked the wolf, "What is it thou proposest for mine acceptance?" Answered the fox, "It is that thou stand up at full height till I come nigh on a level with the surface of the earth. Then will I give a spring and reach the ground; and, when out of the pit, I will bring thee what thou mayst lay hold of, and thus shalt thou make thine escape." Rejoined the wolf, "I have no faith in thy word, for sages have said:—Whoso practiseth trust in the place of hate, erreth; and:—Whoso trusteth in the untrustworthy is a dupe; he who re-trieth him who hath been tried shall reap repentance and his days shall go waste; and he who cannot distinguish between case and case, giving each its due, and assigneth all the weight to one side, his luck shall be little and his miseries shall be many. How well saith the poet:—

Let thy thought be ill and none else but ill; ✿ For suspicion is best of the worldling's skill:
Naught casteth a man into parlous place ✿ But good opinion and (worse) good-will!

And the saying of another:—

Be sure all are villains and so bide safe; ✿ Who lives wide awake on few Ills shall light:
Meet thy foe with smiles and a smooth fair brow, ✿ And in heart raise a host for the battle dight!

143And that of yet another:[161]

He thou trusted most is thy worst unfriend; ✿ 'Ware all and take heed with whom thou wend:
Fair opinion of Fortune is feeble sign; ✿ So believe her ill and her Ills perpend!"

Quoth the fox, "Verily mistrust and ill opinion of others are not to be commended in every case; nay trust and confidence are the characteristics of a noble nature and the issue thereof is freedom from stress of fear. Now it behoveth thee, O thou wolf, to devise some device for thy deliverance from this thou art in, and our escape will be better to us both than our death: so quit thy distrust and rancour; for if thou trust in me one of two things will happen; either I shall bring thee something whereof to lay hold and escape from this case, or I shall abandon thee to thy doom. But this thing may not be, for I am not safe from falling into some such strait as this thou art in, which, indeed, would be fitting punishment of perfidy. Of a truth the adage saith:—Faith is fair and faithlessness is foul.[162] So it behoveth thee to trust in me, for I am not ignorant of the haps and mishaps of the world; and delay not to contrive some device for our deliverance, as the case is too close to allow further talk." Replied the wolf, "For all my want of confidence in thy fidelity, verily I knew what was in thy mind and that thou wast moved to deliver me whenas thou heardest my repentance, and I said to myself:—If what he asserteth be true, he will have repaired the ill he did; and if false, it resteth with the Lord to requite him. So, look'ee, I have accepted thy proposal and, if thou betray me, may thy traitorous deed be the cause of thy destruction!" Then the wolf stood bolt upright in the pit and, taking the fox upon his shoulders, raised him to the level of the ground, 144whereupon Reynard gave a spring from his back and lighted on the surface of the earth. When he found himself safely out of the cleft he fell down senseless and the wolf said to him, "O my friend! neglect not my case and delay not to deliver me." The fox laughed with a loud haw-haw and replied, "O dupe, naught threw me into thy hands save my laughing at thee and making mock of thee; for in good sooth when I heard thee profess repentance, mirth and gladness seized me and I frisked about and made merry and danced, so that my tail hung low into the pit and thou caughtest hold of it and draggedst me down with thee. And the end was that Allah Almighty delivered me from thy power. Then why should I be other than a helper in thy destruction, seeing that thou art of Satan's host? I dreamt yesterday that I danced at thy wedding and I told my dream to an interpreter who said to me:—Verily thou shalt fall into imminent deadly danger and thou shalt escape therefrom. So now I know that my falling into thy hand and my escape are the fulfilment of my dream, and thou, O imbecile, knowest me for thy foe; so how couldest thou, of thine ignorance and unintelligence, nurse desire of deliverance at my hands, after all thou hast heard of harsh words from me; and wherefore should I attempt thy salvation whenas the sages have said:—In the death of the wicked is rest for mankind and a purge for the earth? But, were it not that I fear to bear more affliction by keeping faith with thee than the sufferings which follow perfidy, I had done mine endeavour to save thee." When the wolf heard this, he bit his forehand for repentance.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.


She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the wolf heard the fox's words he bit his forehand for repentance. Then he gave the fox fair words, but this availed naught and he was at his wits' end for what to do; so he said to him in soft, low accents, "Verily, you tribe of foxes are the most pleasant people in point of tongue and the subtlest in jest, and this is but a joke of thine; but all times are not good for funning and jesting." The fox replied, "O ignoramus, in good sooth jesting hath a limit which the jester must not overpass; and deem not that Allah will 145again give thee possession of me after having once delivered me from thy hand." Quoth the wolf, "It behoveth thee to compass my release, by reason of our brotherhood and good fellowship; and, if thou release me, I will assuredly make fair thy recompense." Quoth the fox, "Wise men say:—Take not to brother the wicked fool, for he will disgrace thee in lieu of gracing thee; nor take to brother the liar for, if thou do good, he will conceal it; and if thou do ill he will reveal it. And again, the sages have said:—There is help for everything but death: all may be warded off, except Fate. As for the reward thou declarest to be my due from thee, I compare thee herein with the serpent which fled from the charmer.[163] A man saw her affrighted and said to her:—What aileth thee, O thou serpent? Replied she, I am fleeing from the snake-charmer, for he seeketh to trap me and, if thou wilt save me and hide me with thee, I will make fair thy reward and do thee all manner of kindness. So he took her, incited thereto by lust for the recompense and eager to find favour with Heaven, and set her in his breast-pocket. Now when the charmer had passed and had wended his way and the serpent had no longer any cause to fear, he said to her:—Where is the reward thou didst promise me? Behold, I have saved thee from that thou fearedest and soughtest to fly. Replied she:—Tell me in what limb or in what place shall I strike thee with my fangs, for thou knowest we exceed not that recompense. So saying, she gave him a bite whereof he died. And I liken thee, O dullard, to the serpent in her dealings with that man. Hast thou not heard what the poet saith?—

Trust not to man when thou hast raised his spleen ✿ And wrath, nor that 'twill cool do thou misween:
Smooth feels the viper to the touch and glides ✿ With grace, yet hides she deadliest venene."

Quoth the wolf, "O thou glib of gab and fair of face, ignore not my case and men's fear of me; and well thou weetest how I assault the strongly walled place and uproot the vines from base. Wherefore, do as I bid thee, and stand before me even as the thrall standeth before his lord." Quoth the fox, "O stupid dullard who 146seekest a vain thing, I marvel at thy folly and thy front of brass in that thou biddest me serve thee and stand up before thee as I were a slave bought with thy silver; but soon shalt thou see what is in store for thee, in the way of cracking thy sconce with stones and knocking out thy traitorous dog-teeth." So saying the fox clomb a hill overlooking the vineyard and standing there, shouted out to the vintagers; nor did he give over shouting till he woke them and they, seeing him, all came up to him in haste. He stood his ground till they drew near him and close to the pit wherein was the wolf; and then he turned and fled. So the folk looked into the cleft and, spying the wolf, set to pelting him with heavy stones, and they stinted not smiting him with stones and sticks, and stabbing him with spears, till they killed him and went away. Thereupon the fox returned to that cleft and, standing over the spot where his foe had been slain, saw the wolf dead: so he wagged his head for very joyance and began to recite these couplets:—

Fate the Wolf's soul snatched up from worldly stead; ✿ Far be from bliss his soul that perishèd!
Abú Sirhán![164] how sore thou sought'st my death; ✿ Thou, burnt this day in fire of sorrow dread:
Thou'rt fallen into pit, where all who fall ✿ Are blown by Death-blast down among the dead.

Thenceforward the aforesaid fox abode alone in the vineyard unto the hour of his death secure and fearing no hurt. And such are the adventures of the wolf and the fox. But men also tell a

150.  The wolf (truly enough to nature) is the wicked man without redeeming traits; the fox of Arab folk-lore is the cunning man who can do good on occasion. Here the latter is called "Sa'alab" which may, I have noted, mean the jackal; but further on "Father of a Fortlet" refers especially to the fox. Herodotus refers to the gregarious Canis Aureus when he describes Egyptian wolves as being "not much bigger than foxes" (ii. 67). Canon Rawlinson, in his unhappy version, does not perceive that the Halicarnassian means the jackal and blunders about the hyena.

151.  The older "Leila" or "Leyla": it is a common name and is here applied to woman in general. The root is evidently "layl" = nox, with, probably, the idea, "She walks in beauty like the night."

152.  Arab. Abu 'l-Hosayn; his hole being his fort (Unexplored Syria, ii. 18).

153.  A Koranic phrase often occurring.

154.  Koran v. 35.

155.  Arab. "Bází," Pers. "Báz" (here Richardson is wrong s. v.); a term to a certain extent generic, but specially used for the noble Peregrine (F. Peregrinator) whose tiercel is the Sháhín (or "Royal Bird"). It is sometimes applied to the goshawk (Astur palumbarius) whose proper title, however, is Shah-báz (King-hawk). The Peregrine extends from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin and the best come from the colder parts: in Iceland I found that the splendid white bird was sometimes trapped for sending to India. In Egypt "Bazi" is applied to the kite or buzzard and "Hidyah" (a kite) to the falcon (Burckhardt's Prov. 159, 581 and 602). Burckhardt translates "Hidáyah," the Egyptian corruption, by "an ash-grey falcon of the smaller species common throughout Egypt and Syria."

156.  Arab. "Hijl," the bird is not much prized in India because it feeds on the roads. For the Shinnár (caccabis) or magnificent partridge of Midian as large as a pheasant, see "Midian Revisited" ii. 18.

157.  Arab. "Súf;" hence "Súfi," = (etymologically) one who wears woollen garments, a devotee, a Santon; from σοφὸς = wise; from σαφής = pure, or from Safá = he was pure. This is not the place to enter upon such a subject as "Tasawwuf," or Sufism; that singular reaction from arid Moslem realism and materialism, that immense development of gnostic and Neo-platonic transcendentalism which is found only germinating in the Jewish and Christian creeds. The poetry of Omar-i-Khayyám, now familiar to English readers, is a fair specimen; and the student will consult the last chapter of the Dabistan "On the religion of the Sufiahs." The first Moslem Sufi was Abu Háshim of Kufah, ob. A. H. 150 = 767, and the first Convent of Sufis called "Takiyah" (Pilgrimage i. 124) was founded in Egypt by Saladin the Great.

158.  i.e. when she encamps with a favourite for the night.

159.  The Persian proverb is "Marg-i-amboh jashni dárad"—death in a crowd is as good as a feast.

160.  Arab. "Kanát," the subterranean water-course called in Persia "Kyáriz." Lane (ii. 66) translates it "brandish around the spear (Kanát is also a cane-lance) of artifice," thus making rank nonsense of the line. Al-Hariri uses the term in the Ass. of the Banu Haram where "Kanát" may be a pipe or bamboo laid underground.

161.  From Al-Tughrái, the author of the Lámiyat al-Ajam, the "Lay of the Outlander;" a Kasidah (Ode) rhyming in Lám (the letter "l" being the ráwi or binder). The student will find a new translation of it by Mr. J. W. Redhouse and Dr. Carlyle's old version (No. liii.) in Mr. Clouston's "Arabian Poetry." Muyid al-Din al-Hasan Abu Ismail (nat. Ispahan ob. Baghdad A.H. 182) derived his surname from the Tughrá, cypher or flourish (over the "Bismillah" in royal and official papers) containing the name of the prince. There is an older "Lamiyat al-Arab" a pre-Islamitic L-poem by the "brigand-poet" Shanfara, of whom Mr. W. G. Palgrave has given a most appreciative account in his "Essays on Eastern Questions," noting the indomitable self-reliance and the absolute individualism of a mind defying its age and all around it. Al-Hariri quotes from both.

162.  The words of the unfortunate Azízah, vol. ii., p. 323.

163.  Arab. "Háwí" = a juggler who plays tricks with snakes: he is mostly a Gypsy. The "recompense" the man expects is the golden treasure which the ensorcelled snake is supposed to guard. This idea is as old as the Dragon in the Garden of the Hesperides—and older.

164.  The "Father of going out (to prey) by morning"; for dawn is called Zanab Sirhán, the Persian Dum-i-gurg = wolf's tail, i.e. the first brush of light; the Zodiacal Light shown in morning. Sirhán is a nickname of the wolf—Gaunt Grim or Gaffer Grim, the German Isengrin or Eisengrinus (icy grim or iron grim) whose wife is Hersent, as Richent or Hermeline is Mrs. Fox. In French we have lopez, luppe, leu, e.g.

Venant à la queue, leu, leu,

i.e. going in Indian file. Hence the names D'Urfé and Saint-Loup. In Scandinavian, the elder sister of German, Ulf and in German (where the Jews were forced to adopt the name) Wolff whence "Guelph." He is also known to the Arabs as the "sire of a she-lamb," the figure metonymy called "Kunyat bi 'l-Zidd" (lucus a non lucendo), a patronymic or by-name given for opposition and another specimen of "inverted speech."



A mouse and an ichneumon once dwelt in the house of a peasant who was very poor; and when one of his friends sickened, the doctor prescribed him husked sesame. So the hind sought of one of his comrades sesame to be husked by way of healing the sick man; and, when a measure thereof was given to him, he carried it home to his wife and bade her dress it. So she steeped it and husked it and spread it out to dry. Now when the ichneumon saw the grain, she went up to it and fell to carrying it away to her hole, and she toiled all day, till she had borne off the most of it. Presently, in came the peasant's wife and, seeing much of the grain gone, stood awhile wondering; after which she sat down to watch and find out who might be the intruder and make him account for her loss. After a while, out crept the ichneumon to carry off the grain as was her wont, but spying the woman seated there, knew that she was on the watch for her and said in her mind, "Verily, this affair is like to end blameably; and sore I fear me this woman is on the look-out for me, and Fortune is no friend to who attend not to issue and end: so there is no help for it but that I do a fair deed, whereby I may manifest my innocence and wash out all the ill-doings I have done." So saying, she began to 148take the sesame out of her hole and carry it forth and lay it back upon the rest. The woman stood by and, seeing the ichneumon do thus, said to herself, "Verily this is not the cause of our loss, for she bringeth it back from the hole of him who stole it and returneth it to its place; and of a truth she hath done us a kindness in restoring us the sesame, and the reward of those who do us good is that we do them the like good. It is clear that it is not she who stole the grain; but I will not cease my watching till he fall into my hands and I find out who is the thief." The ichneumon guessed what was in her mind, so she went to the mouse and said to her, "O my sister, there is no good in one who observeth not the claims of neighbourship and who showeth no constancy in friendship." The mouse replied, "Even so, O my friend, and I delight in thee and in thy neighbourhood; but what be the motive of this speech?" Quoth the ichneumon, "The house-master hath brought home sesame and hath eaten his fill of it, he and his family, and hath left much; every living being hath eaten of it and, if thou take of it in thy turn, thou art worthier thereof than any other." This pleased the mouse and she squeaked for joy and danced and frisked her ears and tail, and greed for the grain deluded her; so she rose at once and issuing forth of her home, saw the sesame husked and dry, shining with whiteness, and the woman sitting at watch and ward. The mouse, taking no thought to the issue of the affair (for the woman had armed herself with a cudgel), and unable to contain herself, ran up to the sesame and began turning it over and eating of it; whereupon the woman smote her with that club and cleft her head: so the cause of her destruction were her greed and heedlessness of consequences. Then said the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, by Allah! this be a goodly parable! Say me, hast thou any story bearing upon the beauty of true friendship and the observance of its duty in time of distress and rescuing from destruction?" Answered she:—Yes, it hath reached me that they tell a tale of

165.  Arab. Bint 'Arús = daughter of the bridegroom, the Hindustani Mungus (vulg. Mongoose); a well-known weasel-like rodent often kept tame in the house to clear it of vermin. It is supposed to know an antidote against snake-poison, as the weasel eats rue before battle (Pliny x. 84; xx. 13). In Modern Egypt this viverra is called "Kitt (or Katt) Far'aun" = Pharaoh's cat: so the Percnopter becomes Pharaoh's hen and the unfortunate (?) King has named a host of things, alive and dead. It was worshipped and mummified in parts of Ancient Egypt e.g. Heracleopolis, on account of its antipathy to serpents and because it was supposed to destroy the crocodile, a feat which Ælian and others have overloaded with fable. It has also a distinct antipathy to cats. The ichneumon as a pet becomes too tame and will not leave its master: when enraged it emits an offensive stench. I brought home for the Zoological Gardens a Central African specimen prettily barred. Burckhardt (Prov. 455) quotes a line:—

Rakas 'Ibn Irsin wa zamzama 'l-Nimsu,
(Danceth Ibn Irs whileas Nims doth sing)

and explains Nims by ichneumon and Ibn Irs as a "species of small weasel, or ferret, very common in Egypt: it comes into the houses, feeds upon meat, is of gentle disposition, although not domesticated and full of gambols and frolic."



Once upon a time, a crow and a cat lived in brotherhood; and one day as they were together under a tree, behold, they spied a leopard making towards them, and they were not aware of his approach till he was close upon them. The crow at once flew up to the tree-top; but the cat abode confounded and said to the crow, "O my friend, hast thou no device to save me, even as all my hope is in thee?" Replied the crow, "Of very truth it behoveth brethren, in case of need, to cast about for a device when peril overtaketh them, and how well saith the poet!—

A friend in need is he who, ever true, ✿ For thy well-doing would himself undo:
One who when Fortune gars us parting rue ✿ Victimeth self reunion to renew."

Now hard by that tree were shepherds with their dogs; so the crow flew towards them and smote the face of the earth with his wings, cawing and crying out. Furthermore he went up to one of the dogs and flapped his wings in his face and flew up a little way, whilst the dog ran after him thinking to catch him. Presently, one of the shepherds raised his head and saw the bird flying near the ground and lighting alternately; so he followed him, and the crow ceased not flying just high enough to save himself and to throw out the dogs; and yet tempting them to follow for the purpose of tearing him to pieces. But as soon as they came near him, he would fly up a little; and so at last he brought them to the tree, under which was the leopard. And when the dogs saw him they rushed upon him and he turned and fled. Now the leopard thought to eat the cat who was saved by the craft of his friend the crow. This story, O King, showeth that the friendship of the Brothers of Purity[167] delivereth and saveth from difficulties and from falling into mortal dangers. And they also tell a tale of

166.  Arab. "Sinnaur" (also meaning a prince). The common name is Kitt which is pronounced Katt or Gatt; and which Ibn Dorayd pronounces a foreign word (Syriac?). Hence, despite Freitag, Catus (which Isidore derives from catare, to look for) Κάττα or Τάτα, gatto, chat, cat, an animal unknown to the Classics of Europe who used the mustela or putorius vulgaris and different species of viverræ. The Egyptians, who kept the cat to destroy vermin, especially snakes, called it Mau, Mai, Miao (onomatopoetic): this descendant of the Felis maniculata originated in Nubia; and we know from the mummy pits and Herodotus that it was the same in species as ours. The first portraits of the cat are on the monuments of "Beni Hasan," B.C. 2500. I have ventured to derive the familiar "Puss" from the Arab. "Biss" (fem. "Bissah"), which is a congener of Pasht (Diana), the cat-faced goddess of Bubastis (Pi-Pasht), now Zagázig. Lastly "tabby (brindled)-cat" is derived from the Attábi (Prince Attab's) quarter at Baghdad where watered silks were made. It is usually attributed to the Tibbie, Tibalt, Tybalt, Thibert or Tybert (who is also executioner), various forms of Theobald in the old Beast Epic; as opposed to Gilbert the gib-cat, either a tom-cat or a gibbed (castrated) cat.

167.  Arab. "Ikhwán al-Safá," a popular term for virtuous friends who perfectly love each other in all purity: it has also a mystic meaning. Some translate it "Brethren of Sincerity," and hold this brotherhood to be Moslem Freemasons, a mere fancy (see the Mesnevi of Mr. Redhouse, Trubner 1881). There is a well-known Hindustani book of this name printed by Prof. Forbes in Persian character and translated by Platts and Eastwick.



A Fox once dwelt in a cave of a certain mountain and, as often as a cub was born to him and grew stout, he would eat the young one, for he had died of hunger, had he instead of so doing left the cub alive and bred it by his side and preserved and cherished his issue. Yet was this very grievous to him. Now on the crest of the same mountain a crow had made his nest, and the fox said to himself, "I have a mind to set up a friendship with this crow and make a comrade of him, that he may help me to my daily bread; for he can do in such matters what I cannot." So he drew near the crow's home and, when he came within sound of speech, he saluted him and said, "O my neighbour, verily a true-believer hath two claims upon his true-believing neighbour, the right of neighbourliness and the right of Al-Islam, our common faith; and know, O my friend, that thou art my neighbour and thou hast a claim upon me which it behoveth me to observe, the more that I have long been thy neighbour. Also, there be implanted in my breast a store of love to thee, which biddeth me speak thee fair and obligeth me to solicit thy brothership. What sayest thou in reply?" Answered the crow, "Verily, the truest speech is the best speech; and haply thou speakest with thy tongue that which is not in thy heart; so I fear lest thy brotherhood be only of the tongue, outward, and thy enmity be in the heart, inward; for that thou art the Eater and I the Eaten, and faring apart were apter to us than friendship and fellowship. What, then, maketh thee seek that which thou mayst not gain and desire what may not be done, seeing that I be of the bird-kind and thou be of the beast-kind? Verily, this thy proffered brotherhood[168] may not be made, neither were it seemly to make it." Rejoined the fox, "Of a truth whoso knoweth the abiding-place of excellent things, maketh better choice in what he chooseth therefrom, so perchance he may advantage his brethren; and indeed I should love to wone near thee and I have sued for thine intimacy, to the end that we may help each other to our several objects; and success shall surely wait upon our amity. I have a many tales of the goodliness of true friendship, which I will relate to thee if thou wish the relating." Answered the crow, "Thou hast my leave to let me hear thy communication; so tell thy tale, and relate it to me that I may hearken to it and weigh it and judge of thine intent thereby." Rejoined the fox, "Hear then, O my friend, that which is told of a flea and a mouse and which beareth out what I have said to thee." Asked the crow, "How so?" and the fox answered:—They tell this tale of



Once upon a time a mouse dwelt in the house of a merchant who owned much merchandise and great store of monies. One night, a flea took shelter in the merchant's carpet-bed and, finding his body soft, and being thirsty drank of his blood. The merchant was awakened by the smart of the bite and sitting up called to his slave-girls and serving men. So they hastened to him and, tucking up their sleeves, fell to searching for the flea; but as soon as the bloodsucker was aware of the search, he turned to flee and coming on the mouse's home, entered it. When the mouse saw 152him, she said to him, "What bringeth thee in to me, thou who art not of my nature nor of my kind, and who canst not be assured of safety from violence or of not being expelled with roughness and ill usage?" Answered the flea, "Of a truth, I took refuge in thy dwelling to save me from slaughter; and I have come to thee seeking thy protection and on nowise coveting thy house; nor shall any mischief betide thee from me to make thee leave thy home. Nay, I hope right soon to repay thy favours to me with all good and then shalt thou see and praise the issue of my words." And when the mouse heard the speech of the flea,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the mouse heard the words of the flea, she said, "If the case be as thou dost relate and describe, then be at thine ease here; for naught shall befal thee save the rain of peace and safety; nor shall aught betide thee but what shall joy thee and shall not annoy thee, nor shall it annoy me. I will lavish on thee my affections without stint; and do not thou regret having lost the merchant's blood nor lament for thy subsistence from him, but be content with what sustenance thou canst obtain; for indeed that is the safer for thee. And I have heard, O flea, that one of the gnomic poets saith as follows in these couplets:—

I have fared content in my solitude ✿ With whate'er befel, and led life of ease,
On a water-draught and a bite of bread, ✿ Coarse salt and a gown of tattered frieze:
Allah might, an He pleased, give me easiest life, ✿ But with whatso pleaseth Him self I please."

Now when the flea heard these words of the mouse, he rejoined, "I hearken to thy charge and I submit myself to obey thee, nor have I power to gainsay thee, till life be fulfilled in this righteous intention." Replied the mouse, "Pure intention sufficeth to sincere affection." So the tie of love arose and was knitted between them twain and, after this, the flea used to visit the merchant's bed by night and not exceed in his diet, and house him by day in the hole of the mouse. Now it came to pass one night, the merchant 153brought home great store of dinars and began to turn them over. When the mouse heard the chink of the coin, she put her head out of her hole and fell to gazing at it, till the merchant laid it under his pillow and went to sleep, when she said to the flea, "Seest thou not the proffered occasion and the great good fortune? Hast thou any device to bring us to our desire of yonder dinars?" Quoth the flea, "Verily, it is not good that one strive for aught, unless he be able to win his will; because, if he lack ability thereto, he falleth into that which he should avoid and he attaineth not his wish by reason of his weakness, albeit he use all power of cunning, like the sparrow which picketh up grain and falleth into the net and is caught by the fowler. Thou hast no strength to take the dinars and to transport them out of this house, nor have I force sufficient to do this; on the contrary, I could not carry a single ducat of them; so what hast thou to do with them?" Quoth the mouse, "I have made me for my house these seventy openings, whence I may go out at my desire, and I have set apart a place strong and safe, for things of price; and, if thou can contrive to get the merchant out of the house, I doubt not of success, an so be that Fate aid me." Answered the flea, "I will engage to get him out of the house for thee;" and, going to the merchant's bed, bit him a fearful bite, such as he had never before felt, then fled to a place of safety, where he had no fear of the man. So the merchant awoke and sought for the flea, but finding him not, lay down again on his other side. Then the flea bit him a second time more painfully than before. So he lost patience and, leaving his bed, went out and lay down on the bench before his door and slept there and awoke not till the morning. Meanwhile the mouse came out and fell to carrying the dinars into her hole, till she left not a single one; and when day dawned the merchant began to suspect the folk and fancy all manner of fancies. And (continued the fox) know thou, O wise and experienced crow with the clear-seeing eyes, that I tell thee this only to the intent that thou mayst reap the recompense of thy kindness to me, even as the mouse reaped the reward of her kindness to the flea; for see how he repaid her and requited her with the goodliest of requitals. Said the crow, "It lies with the benefactor to show benevolence or not to show it; nor is it incumbent on us to entreat kindly one who seeketh a connection that entaileth separation from kith and kin. If I show thee favour who art my foe by kind, I am the cause of cutting myself off from the world; and thou, O fox, art full of wiles and guiles. Now those whose characteristics are craft and cunning, must not be trusted upon oath; and whoso is not to be trusted upon oath, in him there is no good faith. The tidings lately reached me of thy treacherous dealing with one of thy comrades, which was a wolf; and how thou didst deceive him until thou leddest him into destruction by thy perfidy and stratagems; and this thou diddest after he was of thine own kind and thou hadst long consorted with him: yet didst thou not spare him; and if thou couldst deal thus with thy fellow which was of thine own kind, how can I have trust in thy truth and what would be thy dealing with thy foe of other kind than thy kind? Nor can I compare thee and me but with the saker and the birds." "How so?" asked the fox. Answered the crow:—They relate this tale of



There was once a saker who was a cruel tyrant——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the crow pursued, "They relate that there was once a saker who was a cruel tyrant in the days of his youth, so that the raveners of the air and the scavengers of the earth feared him, none being safe from his mischief; and many were the haps and mishaps of his tyranny and his violence, for this saker was ever in the habit of oppressing and injuring all the other birds. As the years passed over him, he grew feeble and his force failed him, so that he was often famished; but his cunning waxed stronger with the waning of his strength and he redoubled in his endeavour and determined to be present at the general assembly of the birds, that he might eat of their orts and leavings; so in this manner he fed by fraud instead of feeding by fierceness and force. And thou, O fox, art like this: if thy might fail thee, thy sleight faileth thee not; and I doubt not that thy seeking my society is a fraud to get thy food; but I am none of those who fall to thee and put fist into thy fist;[170] for that Allah hath vouchsafed force to my wings and caution to my mind and sharp sight to my eyes; and I know that whoso apeth a stronger than he, wearieth himself and haply cometh to ruin. Wherefore I fear for thee lest, if thou ape a stronger than thyself, there befal thee what befel the sparrow." Asked the fox, "What befel the sparrow? Allah upon thee, tell me his tale." And the crow began to relate the story of



I have heard that a sparrow was once flitting over a sheep-fold, when he looked at it carefully and behold, he saw a great eagle swoop down upon a newly yeaned lamb and carry it off in his claws and fly away. Thereupon the sparrow clapped his wings and said, "I will do even as this one did;" and he waxed proud in his own conceit and mimicked a greater than he. So he flew down forthright and lighted on the back of a fat ram with a thick fleece, that was become matted by his lying in his dung and stale till it was like woollen felt. As soon as the sparrow pounced upon the sheep's back he flapped his wings to fly away, but his feet became tangled in the wool and, however hard he tried, he could not set himself free. While all this was doing the shepherd was looking on, having seen what happened first with the eagle and afterwards with the sparrow; so he came up to the wee birdie in a rage and seized him. Then he plucked out his wing-feathers and, tying his feet with a twine, carried him to his children and threw him to them. "What is this?" asked, one of them; and he answered, "This is he that aped a greater than himself and came to grief." Now thou, O fox, art like this and I would have thee beware of aping a greater than thou, lest thou perish. This is all I have to say to thee; so fare from me in peace! When the fox despaired of the crow's friendship, he turned away, groaning for sorrow and gnashing teeth upon teeth in his disappointment; and the crow, hearing the sound of weeping and seeing his grief and profound melancholy, said to him, "O fox, what dole and dolour make thee gnash thy canines?" Answered the fox, "I gnash my canines because I find thee a greater rascal than myself;" and so saying he made off to his house and ceased not to fare till he reached his home. Quoth the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, how excellent are these thy stories, and how delightsome! Hast thou more of such edifying tales?" Answered she:—They tell this legend concerning

168.  Among Eastern men there are especial forms for "making brotherhood." The "Munh-bolá-bhái" (mouth-named brother) of India is well-known. The intense "associativeness" of these races renders isolation terrible to them, and being defenceless in a wild state of society has special horrors. Hence the origin of Caste for which see Pilgrimage (i. 52). Moslems, however, cannot practise the African rite of drinking a few drops of each other's blood. This, by the by, was also affected in Europe, as we see in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale lxvii., of the wise and foolish knights who "drew blood (to drink) from the right arm."

169.  The F. Sacer in India is called "Laghar" and her tiercel "Jaghar." Mr. T. E. Jordan (catalogue of Indian Birds, 1839) says it is rare; but I found it the contrary. According to Mr. R. Thompson it is flown at kites and antelope; in Sind it is used upon night-heron (nyctardea nycticorax), floriken or Hobara (Otis aurita), quail, partridge, curlew and sometimes hare: it gives excellent sport with crows but requires to be defended. Indian sportsmen, like ourselves, divide hawks into two orders: the "Siyáh-chasm," or black-eyed birds, long-winged and noble; the "Gulábi-chasm" or yellow-eyed (like the goshawk) round-winged and ignoble.

170.  i.e. put themselves at thy mercy.



A hedgehog once took up his abode by the side of a date-palm, whereon roosted a wood-pigeon and his wife that had built their nest there and lived a life of ease and enjoyment. So he said to himself, "This pigeon-pair eateth of the fruit of the date-tree and I have no means of getting at it; but needs must I find some fashion of tricking them." Upon this he dug a hole at the foot of the palm-tree and took up his lodging there, he and his wife; moreover, he built an oratory beside the hole and went into retreat there and made a show of devotion and edification and renunciation of the world. The male pigeon saw him praying and worshipping, and his heart was softened towards him for his excess of devoutness; so he said to him, "How many years hast thou been thus?" Replied the hedgehog, "During the last thirty years." "What is thy food?" "That which falleth from the palm-tree." "And what is thy clothing?" "Prickles! and I profit by their roughness." "And why hast thou chosen this for place rather than another?" "I chose it and preferred it to all others that I might guide the erring into the right way and teach the ignorant!" "I had fancied thy case," quoth the wood-pigeon, "other than this, but now I yearn for that which is with thee." Quoth the hedgehog,"I fear lest thy deed contradict thy word and thou be even as the husbandman who, when the seed-season came, neglected to sow, saying, Verily I dread lest the days bring me not to 157my desire, and by making haste to sow I shall only waste my substance! When harvest-time came and he saw the folk earing their crops, he repented him of what he had lost by his tardiness and he died of chagrin and vexation." Asked the wood-pigeon, "What then shall I do that I may be freed from the bonds of the world and cut myself loose from all things save the service of my Lord?" Answered the hedgehog, "Betake thee to preparing for the next world and content thyself with a pittance of provision." Quoth the pigeon, "How can I do this, I that am a bird and unable to go beyond the date-tree whereon is my daily bread? And even could I do so, I know of no other place wherein I may wone." Quoth the hedgehog, "Thou canst shake down of the fruit of the date-tree what shall suffice thee and thy wife for a year's provaunt; then do ye take up your abode in a nest under the trunk, that ye may prayerfully seek to be guided in the right way, and then turn thou to what thou hast shaken down and transport it all to thy home and store it up against what time the dates fail; and when the fruits are spent and the delay is longsome upon you, address thyself to total abstinence." Exclaimed the pigeon, "Allah requite thee with good for the righteous intention wherewith thou hast reminded me of the world to come and hast directed me into the right way!" Then he and his wife worked hard at knocking down the dates, till nothing was left on the palm-tree, whilst the hedgehog, finding whereof to eat, rejoiced and filled his den with the fruit, storing it up for his subsistence and saying in his mind, "When the pigeon and his wife have need of their provision, they will seek it of me and covet what I have, relying upon my devoutness and abstinence; and, from what they have heard of my counsels and admonitions, they will draw near unto me. Then will I make them my prey and eat them, after which I shall have the place and all that drops from the date-tree to suffice me." Presently, having shaken down the fruits, the pigeon and his wife descended from the tree-top and finding that the hedgehog had removed all the dates to his own place, said to him, "O hedgehog! thou pious preacher and of good counsel, we can find no sign of the dates and know not on what else we shall feed." Replied the hedgehog, "Probably the winds have carried them away; but the turning from the provisions to the Provider is of the essence of salvation, and He who the mouth-corners cleft, the mouth without victual hath never left." And he gave not over improving the occasion to them on this wise, and making a show of piety and cozening them with fine words and false till they put faith in him and accepted him and entered his den and had no suspicion of his deceit. Thereupon he sprang to the door and gnashed his teeth, and the wood-pigeon, seeing his perfidy manifested, said to him, "What hath to-night to do with yesternight? Knowest thou not that there is a Helper for the oppressed? Beware of craft and treachery, lest that mishap befal thee which befel the sharpers who plotted against the merchant." "What was that?" asked the hedgehog. Answered the pigeon:—I have heard tell this tale of



In a city called Sindah there was once a very wealthy merchant, who made ready his camel-loads and equipped himself with goods and set out with his outfit for such a city, purposing to sell it there. Now he was followed by two sharpers, who had made up into bales what merchandise they could get; and, giving out to the merchant that they also were merchants, wended with him by the way. So halting at the first halting-place they agreed to play him false and take all he had; but at the same time, each inwardly plotted foul play to the other, saying in his mind, "If I can cheat my comrade, times will go well with me and I shall have all these goods to myself." So after planning this perfidy, one of them took food and putting therein poison, brought it to his fellow; the other did the same and they both ate of the poisoned mess and they both died. Now they had been sitting with the merchant; so when they left him and were long absent from him, he sought for tidings of them and found the twain lying dead; whereby he knew that they were sharpers who had plotted to play him foul, but their foul play had recoiled upon themselves. So the merchant was preserved and took what they had. Then quoth the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, verily thou hast aroused me to all whereof I was negligent! So continue to edify me with these fables." Quoth she:—It hath reached me, O King, that men tell this tale of



A certain man had a monkey and that man was a thief, who never entered any of the street-markets of the city wherein he dwelt, but he made off with great profit. Now it came to pass one day that he saw a man offering for sale worn clothes, and he went calling them in the market, but none bid for them and all to whom he showed them refused to buy of him. Presently the thief who had the monkey saw the man with the ragged clothes set them in a wrapper and sit down to rest for weariness; so he made the ape sport before him to catch his eye and, whilst he was busy gazing at it, stole the parcel from him. Then he took the ape and made off to a lonely place, where he opened the wrapper and, taking out the old clothes, folded them in a piece of costly stuff. This he carried to another bazar and exposed for sale together with what was therein, making it a condition that it should not be opened, and tempting the folk with the lowness of the price he set on it. A certain man saw the wrapper and its beauty pleased him; so he bought the parcel on these terms and carried it home, doubting not that he had done well. When his wife saw it she asked, "What is this?" and he answered, "It is costly stuff, which I have bought at lowest price, meaning to sell it again and take the profit." Rejoined she, "O dupe, would this stuff be sold under its value, unless it had been stolen? Dost thou not know that whoso buyeth aught without examining it, falleth into error, and becometh like unto the weaver?" Quoth he, "And what is the story of the weaver?"; and quoth she:—I have heard this tale of

171.  I have remarked (Pilgrimage iii. 307) that all the popular ape-names in Arabic and Persian, Sa'adán, Maymún, Shádi, etc., express propitiousness—probably euphemistically applied to our "poor relation."


There was once in a certain village a weaver who worked hard but could not earn his living save by overwork. Now it chanced that one of the richards of the neighbourhood made a marriage feast 160and invited the folk thereto: the weaver also was present and found the guests, who wore rich gear, served with delicate viands and made much of by the house-master for what he saw of their fine clothes. So he said in his mind, "If I change this my craft for another craft easier to compass and better considered and more highly paid, I shall amass great store of money and I shall buy splendid attire, so I may rise in rank and be exalted in men's eyes and become even with these." Presently, he beheld one of the mountebanks, who was present at the feast, climbing up to the top of a high and towering wall and throwing himself down to the ground and alighting on his feet. Whereupon the weaver said to himself, "Needs must I do as this one hath done, for surely I shall not fail of it. So he arose and swarmed up the wall and casting himself down, broke his neck against the ground and died forthright. Now I tell thee this that thou mayst get thy living by what way thou knowest and thoroughly understandest, lest peradventure greed enter into thee and thou lust after what is not of thy condition." Quoth the woman's husband, "Not every wise man is saved by his wisdom, nor is every fool lost by his folly. I have seen it happen to a skilful charmer, well versed in the ways of serpents, to be struck by the fangs of a snake[172] and killed, and others prevail over serpents who had no skill in them and no knowledge of their ways." And he went contrary to his wife and persisted in buying stolen goods below their value till he fell under suspicion and perished therefor: even as perished the sparrow in the tale of

172.  The serpent does not "sting" nor does it "bite;" it strikes with the poison-teeth like a downward stab with a dagger. These fangs are always drawn by the jugglers but they grow again and thus many lives are lost. The popular way of extracting the crochets is to grasp the snake firmly behind the neck with one hand and with the other to tantalise it by offering and withdrawing a red rag. At last the animal is allowed to strike it and a sharp jerk tears out both eye-teeth as rustics used to do by slamming a door. The head is then held downwards and the venom drains from its bag in the shape of a few drops of slightly yellowish fluid which, as conjurers know, may be drunk without danger. The patient looks faint and dazed, but recovers after a few hours and feeds as if nothing had happened. In India I took lessons from a snake-charmer but soon gave up the practice as too dangerous.



There was once upon a time a sparrow, that used every day to visit a certain king of the birds and ceased not to wait upon him in the mornings and not to leave him till the evenings, being the first to go in and the last to go out. One day, a company of birds chanced to assemble on a high mountain and one of them said to another, "Verily, we are waxed many, and many are the differences between us, and there is no help for it but we have a king to look into our affairs; so shall we all be at one and our differences will disappear." Thereupon up came that sparrow and counselled them to choose for King the peacock (that is, the prince he used to visit). So they chose the peacock to their King and he, become their sovereign, bestowed largesse on them and made the sparrow his secretary and Prime Minister. Now the sparrow was wont bytimes to quit his assiduous service in the presence and look into matters in general. So one day he absented himself at the usual time, whereat the peacock was sore troubled; and, while things stood thus, he returned and the peacock said to him, "What hath delayed thee, and thou the nearest to me of all my servants and the dearest of all my dependents?" Replied the sparrow, "I have seen a thing which is doubtful to me and whereat I am affrighted." Asked the peacock, "What was it thou sawest?"; and the sparrow answered, "I saw a man set up a net, hard by my nest, peg down its pegs, strew grain in its midst and withdraw afar off. And I sat watching what he would do when behold, fate and fortune drave thither a crane and his wife, which fell into the midst of the net and began to cry out; whereupon the fowler rose up and took them. This troubled me, and such is the reason of my absence from thee, O King of the Age, but never again will I abide in that nest for fear of the net." Rejoined the peacock, "Depart not thy dwelling, for against fate and lot forethought will avail thee naught." And the sparrow obeyed his bidding and said, "I will forthwith arm myself with patience and forbear to depart in obedience to the King." So he ceased not taking care of himself, and carrying food to his sovereign, who would eat what sufficed him and after feeding drink his water and dismiss the sparrow. Now one day as he was looking into matters, lo and behold! he saw two sparrows fighting on the ground and said in his mind, "How can I, who am the King's Wazir, look on and see sparrows fighting in my neighbourhood? By Allah, I must make peace between them!" So he flew down to reconcile them; but the fowler cast the net over the whole number and the sparrow happened to be in their very midst. Then the fowler arose and took him and gave him to his comrade, saying, "Take care of him, I never saw fatter or finer." But the sparrow said to himself "I have fallen into that which I feared and none but the peacock inspired me with false confidence. It availed me naught to beware of the stroke of fate and fortune, since even he who taketh precaution may never flee from destiny. And how well said the poet in this poetry:—

Whatso is not to be shall ne'er become; ✿ No wise! and that to be must come to pass;
Yea, it shall come to pass at time ordained, ✿ And th' Ignoramus[173] aye shall cry 'Alas!'"

Whereupon quoth the King, "O Shahrazad, recount me other of these tales!"; and quoth she, "I will do so during the coming night, if life be granted to me by the King whom Allah bring to honour!"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

173.  Arab. "Akh al-Jahálah" = brother of ignorance, an Ignorantin; one "really and truly" ignorant; which is the value of "Akh" in such phrases as "a brother of poverty," or, "of purity."

174.  Lane (ii. I) writes "Abu-l-Hasan;" Payne (iii. 49) "Aboulhusn" which would mean "Father of Beauty (Husn)" and is not a Moslem name. Hasan (beautiful) and its dimin. Husayn, names now so common, were (it is said), unknown to the Arabs, although Hassán was that of a Tobba King, before the days of Mohammed who so called his two only grandsons. In Anglo-India they have become "Hobson and Jobson." The Bresl. Edit. (ii. 305) entitles this story "Tale of Abu 'l Hasan the Attár (druggist and perfumer) with Ali ibn Bakkár and what befel them with the handmaid (= járiyah) Shams al-Nahár."

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said:—I will relate the



It hath reached me, O august King, that in days of yore and in times and ages long gone before, during the Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, there was a merchant who named his son Abú al-Hasan[174] 163Ali bin Táhir; and the same was great of goods and grace, while his son was fair of form and face and held in favour by all folk. He used to enter the royal palace without asking leave, for all the Caliph's concubines and slave-girls loved him, and he was wont to be companion with Al-Rashid in his cups and recite verses to him and tell him curious tales and witty. Withal he sold and bought in the merchants' bazar, and there used to sit in his shop a youth named Ali bin Bakkár, of the sons of the Persian Kings[175] who was formous of form and symmetrical of shape and perfect of figure, with cheeks red as roses and joined eyebrows; sweet of speech, laughing-lipped and delighting in mirth and gaiety. Now it chanced one day, as the two sat talking and laughing behold, there came up ten damsels like moons, every one of them complete in beauty and loveliness, and elegance and grace; and amongst them was a young lady riding on a she-mule with a saddle of brocade and stirrups of gold. She wore an outer veil of fine stuff, and her waist was girt with a girdle of gold-embroidered silk; and she was even as saith the poet:—

Silky her skin and silk that zonèd waist; ✿ Sweet voice; words not o'er many nor too few:
Two eyes quoth Allah "Be," and they became; ✿ And work like wine on hearts they make to rue:
O love I feel! grow greater every night: ✿ O solace! Doom-day bring our interview.

And when the cortège reached Abu al-Hasan's shop, she alighted from her mule, and sitting down on the front board,[176] saluted him, and he returned her salam. When Ali bin Bakkar saw her, she ravished his understanding and he rose to go away; but she said to him, "Sit in thy place. We came to thee and thou goest away: this is not fair!" Replied he, "O my lady, by Allah, I flee from what I see; for the tongue of the case saith:—

She is a sun which towereth high a-sky; ✿ So ease thy heart with cure by Patience lent:
Thou to her skyey height shalt fail to fly; ✿ Nor she from skyey height can make descent."

When she heard this, she smiled and asked Abu al-Hasan, "What 164is the name of this young man?"; who answered, "He is a stranger;" and she enquired, "What countryman is he?"; whereto the merchant replied, "He is a descendant of the Persian Kings; his name is Ali son of Bakkar and the stranger deserveth honour." Rejoined she, "When my damsel comes to thee, come thou at once to us and bring him with thee, that we may entertain him in our abode, lest he blame us and say:—There is no hospitality in the people of Baghdad; for niggardliness is the worst fault a man can have. Thou hearest what I say to thee and, if thou disobey me, thou wilt incur my displeasure and I will never again visit thee or salute thee." Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "On my head and my eyes: Allah preserve me from thy displeasure, fair lady!" Then she rose and went her way. Such was her case; but as regards Ali bin Bakkar he remained in a state of bewilderment. Now after an hour the damsel came to Abu al-Hasan and said to him, "Of a truth my lady Shams al-Nahár, the favourite of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, biddeth thee to her, thee and thy friend, my lord Ali bin Bakkar." So he rose and, taking Ali with him, followed the girl to the Caliph's palace, where she carried them into a chamber and made them sit down. They talked together awhile, when behold, trays of food were set before them, and they ate and washed their hands. Then she brought them wine, and they drank deep and made merry; after which she bade them rise and carried them into another chamber, vaulted upon four columns, furnished after the goodliest fashion with various kinds of furniture, and adorned with decorations as it were one of the pavilions of Paradise. They were amazed at the rarities they saw; and, as they were enjoying a review of these marvels, suddenly up came ten slave-girls, like moons, swaying and swimming in beauty's pride, dazzling the sight and confounding the sprite; and they ranged themselves in two ranks as if they were of the black-eyed Brides of Paradise. And after a while in came other ten damsels, bearing in their hands lutes and divers instruments of mirth and music; and these, having saluted the two guests, sat down and fell to tuning their lute-strings. Then they rose and standing before them, played and sang and recited verses: and indeed each one of them was a seduction to the servants of the Lord. Whilst they were thus busied there entered other ten damsels like unto them, high-bosomed maids and of an equal age, with black eyes and cheeks like the rose, joined eyebrows and looks languorous; a very fascination to every faithful wight and to all who looked upon them a delight; 165clad in various kinds of coloured silks, with ornaments that amazed man's intelligence. They took up their station at the door, and there succeeded them yet other ten damsels even fairer than they, clad in gorgeous array, such as no tongue can say; and they also stationed themselves by the doorway. Then in came a band of twenty damsels and amongst them the lady, Shams al-Nahar hight, as she were the moon among the stars swaying from side to side, with luring gait and in beauty's pride. And she was veiled to the middle with the luxuriance of her locks, and clad in a robe of azure blue and a mantilla of silk embroidered with gold and gems of price; and her waist was girt with a zone set with various kinds of precious stones. She ceased not to advance with her graceful and coquettish swaying, till she came to the couch that stood at the upper end of the chamber and seated herself thereon. But when Ali bin Bakkar saw her, he versified with these verses:—

Source of mine evils, truly, she alone 's, ✿ Of long love-longing and my groans and moans;
Near her I find my soul in melting mood, ✿ For love of her and wasting of my bones.

And finishing his poetry he said to Abu al-Hasan, "Hadst thou dealt more kindly with me thou haddest forewarned me of these things ere I came hither, that I might have made up my mind and taken patience to support what hath befallen me." And he wept and groaned and complained. Replied Abu al-Hasan, "O my brother, I meant thee naught but good; but I feared to tell thee this, lest such transport should betide thee as might hinder thee from foregathering with her, and be a stumbling-block between thee and her. But be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear;[177] for she to thee inclineth and to favour thee designeth." Asked Ali bin Bakkar, "What is this young lady's name?" Answered Abu al Hasan, "She is hight Shams al-Nahar, one of the favourites of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, and this is the palace of the Caliphate." Then Shams al-Nahar sat gazing upon the charms of Ali bin Bakkar and he upon hers, till both were engrossed with love for each other. Presently she commanded the damsels, one and all, to be seated, each in her rank 166and place, and all sat on a couch before one of the windows, and she bade them sing; whereupon one of them took up the lute and began carolling:—

Give thou my message twice ✿ Bring clear reply in trice!
To thee, O Prince of Beau- ✿ ty[178] with complaint I rise:
My lord, as heart-blood dear ✿ And Life's most precious prize!
Give me one kiss in gift ✿ Or loan, if thou devise:
And if thou crave for more ✿ Take all that satisfies.[179]
Thou donn'st me sickness-dress ✿ Thee with health's weed I bless.

Her singing charmed Ali bin Bakkar, and he said to her, "Sing me more of the like of these verses." So she struck the strings and began to chaunt these lines:—

By stress of parting, O beloved one, ✿ Thou mad'st these eyelids torrent-race to run:
Oh gladness of my sight and dear desire, ✿ Goal of my wishes, my religion!
Pity the youth whose eyne are drowned in tears ✿ Of lover gone distraught and clean undone.

When she had finished her verses, Shams al-Nahar said to another damsel, "Let us hear something from thee!" So she played a lively measure and began these couplets:—

His[180] looks have made me drunken, not his wine; ✿ His grace of gait disgraced sleep to these eyne:
Dazed me no cup, but cop with curly crop; ✿ His gifts overcame me not the gifts of vine:
His winding locks my patience-clue unwound: ✿ His robèd beauties robbed all wits of mine.

When Shams Al-Nahar heard this recital from the damsel, she sighed heavily and the song pleased her. Then she bade another damsel sing; so she took the lute and began chanting:—

167Face that with Sol in Heaven lamping vies; ✿ Youth-tide's fair fountain which begins to rise;
Whose curly side-beard writeth writ of love, ✿ And in each curl concealeth mysteries:
Cried Beauty, "When I met this youth I knew ✿ 'Tis Allah's loom such gorgeous robe supplies."

When she had finished her song, Ali bin Bakkar said to the slave-maiden nearest him, "Sing us somewhat, thou O damsel." So she took the lute and began singing:—

"Our trysting-time is all too short ✿ For this long coyish coquetry:
How long this 'Nay, Nay!' and 'Wait, wait?' ✿ This is not old nobility!
And now that Time deigns lend delight ✿ Profit of th' opportunity."

When she ended, Ali bin Bakkar followed up her song with flowing tears; and, as Shams al-Nahar saw him weeping and groaning and complaining, she burned with love-longing and desire; and passion and transport consumed her. So she rose from the sofa and came to the door of the alcove, where Ali met her and they embraced with arms round the neck, and fell down fainting in the doorway; whereupon the damsels came to them and carrying them into the alcove, sprinkled rose-water upon them both. When they recovered, they found not Abu al-Hasan who had hidden himself by the side of a couch, and the young lady said, "Where is Abu al-Hasan?" So he showed himself to her from beside the couch and she saluted him, saying, "I pray Allah to give me the means of requiting thee, O kindest of men!" Then she turned to Ali bin Bakkar and said to him, "O my lord, passion hath not reached this extreme pass with thee without my feeling the like; but we have nothing to do save to bear patiently what calamity hath befallen us." Replied he, "By Allah, O my lady, union with thee may not content me nor gazing upon thee assuage the fire thou hast lighted, nor shall leave me the love of thee which hath mastered my heart but with the leaving of my life." So saying, he wept and the tears ran down upon his cheeks like thridded pearls; and when Shams al-Nahar saw him weep, she wept for his weeping. But Abu al-Hasan exclaimed, "By Allah, I wonder at your case and am confounded at your condition; of a truth, your affair is amazing and your chance dazing. What! this weeping while ye are yet together: then how will it be what time ye are parted and far separated?" And he continued, "Indeed, this is no tide for weeping and wailing, but a season for meeting and 168merry-making; rejoice, therefore, and take your pleasure and shed no more tears!" Then Shams al-Nahar signed to a slave-girl, who arose and presently returned with handmaids bearing a table, whose dishes of silver were full of various rich viands. They set the table before the pair and Shams al-Nahar began to eat[181] and to place tid-bits in the mouth of Ali bin Bakkar; and they ceased not so doing till they were satisfied, when the table was removed and they washed their hands. Then the waiting-women fetched censers with all manner of incense, aloe-wood and ambergris and mixed scents; and sprinkling-flasks full of rose-water were also brought and they were fumigated and perfumed. After this the slaves set on vessels of graven gold, containing all kinds of sherbets, besides fruits fresh and dried, that heart can desire and eye delight in; and lastly one brought a flagon of carnelion full of old wine. Then Shams al-Nahar chose out ten handmaids to attend on them and ten singing women; and, dismissing the rest to their apartments, bade some of those who remained strike the lute. They did as she bade them and one of them began to sing:—

My soul to him who smiled back my salute, ✿ In breast reviving hopes that were no mo'e:
The hand o' Love my secret brought to light, ✿ And censor's tongues what lies my ribs below:[182]
My tear-drops ever press twixt me and him, ✿ As though my tear-drops showing love would flow.

When she had finished her singing, Shams al-Nahar rose and, filling a goblet, drank it off, then crowned it again and handed it to Ali bin Bakkar;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams al-Nahar filled a goblet and handed it to Ali bin Bakkar; after which she bade another damsel sing; and she began singing these couplets:—

169My tears thus flowing rival with my wine, ✿ Pouring the like of what fills cup to brink:[183]
By Allah wot I not an run these eyne ✿ Wi' wine, or else it is of tears I drink.

And when she ended her recitation, Ali bin Bakkar drained his cup and returned it to Shams al-Nahar. She filled it again and gave it to Abu al-Hasan who tossed it off. Then she took the lute, saying, "None shall sing over my cup save myself;" so she screwed up the strings and intoned these verses:—

The tears run down his cheeks in double row, ✿ And in his breast high flameth lover-lowe:
He weeps when near, a-fearing to be far; ✿ And, whether far or near, his tear-drops flow.

And the words of another:—

Our life to thee, O cup-boy Beauty-dight! ✿ From parted hair to calves; from black to white:
Sol beameth from thy hands, and from thy lips ✿ Pleiads, and full Moon through thy collar's night,[184]
Good sooth the cups, which made our heads fly round, ✿ Are those thine eyes pass round to daze the sight:
No wonder lovers hail thee as full moon ✿ Waning to them, for self e'er waxing bright:
Art thou a deity to kill and quicken, ✿ Bidding this fere, forbidding other wight?
Allah from model of thy form made Beau- ✿ ty and the Zephyr scented with thy sprite.
Thou art not of this order of human- ✿ ity but angel lent by Heaven to man.

When Ali bin Bakkar and Abu al-Hasan and those present heard Shams al-Nahar's song, they were like to fly for joy, and sported and laughed; but while they were thus enjoying themselves lo! up came a damsel, trembling for fear and said, "O my lady, the Commander of the Faithful's eunuchs are at the door, Afíf and Masrúr and Marján[185] and others whom wot I not." When they 170heard this they were like to die with fright, but Shams al-Nahar laughed and said, "Have no fear!" Then quoth she to the damsel, "Keep answering them whilst we remove hence." And she caused the doors of the alcove to be closed upon Ali and Abu al-Hasan, and let down the curtains over the entrance (they being still within); after which she shut the door of the saloon and went out by the privy wicket into the flower-garden, where she seated herself on a couch she had there and made one of the damsels knead her feet.[186] Then she dismissed the rest of her women to their rooms and bade the portress admit those who were at the door; whereupon Masrur entered, he and his company of twenty with drawn swords. And when they saluted her, she asked, "Wherefore come ye?"; whereto they answered, "The Commander of the Faithful saluteth thee. Indeed he is desolated for want of thy sight; he letteth thee know that this be to him a day of joy and great gladness and he wisheth to seal his day and complete his pleasure with thy company at this very hour. So say, wilt go to him or shall he come to thee?" Upon this she rose and, kissing the earth, replied, "I hear and I obey the commandment of the Prince of True Believers!" Then she summoned the women guards of her household and other slave-damsels, who lost no time in attending upon her and made a show of obeying the Caliph's orders. And albeit everything about the place was in readiness, she said to the eunuchs, "Go to the Commander of the Faithful and tell him that I await him after a little space, that I may make ready for him a place with carpets and other matters." So they returned in haste to the Caliph, whilst Shams al-Nahar, doffing her outer gear, repaired to her lover, Ali bin Bakkar, and drew him to her bosom and bade him farewell, whereat he wept sore and said, "O my lady, this leave-taking will cause the ruin of my very self and the loss of my very soul; but I pray Allah grant me patience to support the passion wherewith he hath afflicted me!" Replied she, "By Allah, none shall suffer perdition save I; for thou wilt fare forth to the bazar and consort with those that shall divert thee, and thy life will be sound and thy love hidden forsure; but I shall fall into trouble and tristesse nor find any to console me, more by token that I have given the Caliph a tryst, wherein haply great peril shall betide me by reason of my love for thee and my longing for thee and my grief at being parted from thee. For with 171what tongue shall I sing and with what heart shall I present myself before the Caliph? and with what speech shall I company the Commander of the Faithful in his cups? and with what eyes shall I look upon a place where thou art absent? and with what taste shall I drink wine of which thou drinkest not?" Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "Be not troubled but take patience and be not remiss in entertaining the Commander of the Faithful this night, neither show him any neglect, but be of good heart." Now at this juncture, behold, up came a damsel, who said to Shams al-Nahar, "O my lady, the Caliph's pages are come." So she hastily rose to her feet and said to the maid, "Take Abu al-Hasan and his friend and carry them to the upper balcony[187] giving upon the garden and there leave them till darkness came on; when do thou contrive to carry them forth." Accordingly the girl led them up to the balcony and, locking the door upon them both, went her way. As they sat looking on the garden lo! the Caliph appeared escorted by near an hundred eunuchs, with drawn swords in hand and girt about with a score of damsels, as they were moons, all clad in the richest of raiment and on each one's head was a crown set with jewels and rubies; while each carried a lighted flambeau. The Caliph walked in their midst, they encompassing him about on all sides, and Masrur and Afíf and Wasíf[188] went before him and he bore himself with a graceful gait. So Shams al-Nahar and her maidens rose to receive him and, meeting him at the garden-door, kissed ground between his hands; nor did they cease to go before him till they brought him to the couch whereon he sat down, whilst all the waiting-women who were in the garden and the eunuchs stood before him and there came fair handmaids and concubines holding in hand lighted candles and perfumes and incense and instruments of mirth and music. Then the Sovereign bade the singers sit down, each in her place, and Shams al-Nahar came up and, seating herself on a stool by the side of the Caliph's couch, began to converse with him; all this happening whilst Abu al-Hasan and Ali bin Bakkar looked on and listened, unseen of the King. Presently the Caliph fell to jesting and toying with Shams al-Nahar and 172both were in the highest spirits, glad and gay, when he bade them throw open the garden pavilion. So they opened the doors and windows and lighted the tapers till the place shone in the season of darkness even as the day. Then the eunuchs removed thither the wine-service and (quoth Abu al-Hasan) "I saw drinking-vessels and rarities whose like mine eyes never beheld, vases of gold and silver and all manner of noble metals and precious stones, such as no power of description can describe, till indeed it seemed to me I was dreaming, for excess of amazement at what I saw!" But as for Ali bin Bakkar, from the moment Shams al-Nahar left him, he lay strown on the ground for stress of love and desire; and, when he revived, he fell to gazing upon these things that had not their like and saying to Abu al-Hasan, "O my brother, I fear lest the Caliph see us or come to know of our case; but the most of my fear is for thee. For myself, of a truth I know that I am about to be lost past recourse, and the cause of my destruction is naught but love and longing and excess of desire and distraction, and disunion from my beloved after union with her; but I beseech Allah to deliver us from this perilous predicament." And they ceased not to look out of the balcony on the Caliph who was taking his pleasure, till the banquet was spread before him, when he turned to one of the damsels and said to her, "O Gharám,[189] let us hear some of thine enchanting songs." So she took the lute and tuning it, began singing:—

The longing of a Bedouin maid, whose folks are far away, ✿ Who yearns after the willow of the Hejaz and the bay,[190]
Whose tears, when she on travellers lights, might for their water serve ✿ And eke her her passion, with its heat, their bivouc-fire purvey,—
Is not more fierce nor ardent than my longing for my love, ✿ Who deems that I commit a crime in loving him alway.[191]

Now when Shams al-Nahar heard these verses she slipped off the stool whereon she sat and fell to the earth fainting and became insensible to the world around her; upon which the damsels came and lifted her up. And when Ali Bin Bakkar saw this from the balcony he also slipped down senseless, and Abu al-Hasan said, 173"Verily Fate hath divided love-desire equally upon you twain!"[192] As he spoke lo! in came the damsel who had led them up to the balcony and said to him, "O Abu al-Hasan, arise thou and thy friend and come down, for of a truth the world hath waxed strait upon us and I fear lest our case be discovered or the Caliph become aware of you; unless you descend at once we are dead ones." Quoth he, "And how shall this youth descend with me seeing that he hath no strength to rise?" Thereupon the damsel began sprinkling rose-water on Ali bin Bakkar till he came to his senses, when Abu al-Hasan lifted him up and the damsel made him lean upon her. So they went down from the balcony and walked on awhile till the damsel opened a little iron door, and made the two friends pass through it, and they came upon a bench by the Tigris' bank. Thereupon the slave-girl clapped her hands[193] and there came up a man with a little boat to whom said she, "Take up these two young men and land them on the opposite side." So both entered the boat and, as the man rowed off with them and they left the garden behind them, Ali bin Bakkar looked back towards the Caliph's palace and the pavilion and the grounds; and bade them farewell with these two couplets:—

I offered this weak hand as last farewell, ✿ While to heart-burning fire that hand is guided:
O let not this end union! Let not this ✿ Be last provision for long road provided!

Thereupon the damsel said to the boatman, "Make haste with them both." So he plied his oars deftly (the slave-girl being still with them);——And Shahrazad perceived the dawning day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the boatman rowed them towards the other bank till they reached it and landed, whereupon she took leave of them, saying, "It were my wish not to abandon you, but I can go no farther than this." Then she 174turned back, whilst Ali bin Bakkar lay prostrate on the ground before Abu al-Hasan and by no manner of means could he rise, till his friend said to him, "Indeed this place is not sure and I fear lest we lose our lives in this very spot, by reason of the lewd fellows who infest it and highwaymen and men of lawlessness." Upon this Ali bin Bakkar arose and walked a little but could not continue walking. Now Abu al-Hasan had friends in that quarter; so he made search for one of them, in whom he trusted, and who was of his intimates, and knocked at the door. The man came out quickly and seeing them, bade them welcome and brought them into his house, where he seated them and talked with them and asked them whence they came. Quoth Abu al-Hasan, "We came out but now, being obliged thereto by a person with whom I had dealings and who hath in his hands dirhams of mine. And it reached me that he designed to flee into foreign parts with my monies; so I fared forth to-night in quest of him, taking with me for company this youth, Ali bin Bakkar; but, when we came hoping to see the debtor, he hid from us and we could get no sight of him. Accordingly we turned back, empty-handed without a doit, but it was irksome to us to return home at this hour of the night; so weeting not whither to go, we came to thee, well knowing thy kindness and wonted courtesy." "Ye are welcome and well come!" answered the host, and studied to do them honour; so the twain abode with him the rest of their night and as soon as the daylight dawned, they left him and made their way back without aught of delay to the city. When they came to the house of Abu al-Hasan, he conjured his comrade to enter; so they went in and lying down on the bed, slept awhile. As soon as they awoke, Abu al-Hasan bade his servants spread the house with rich carpets, saying in his mind, "Needs must I divert this youth and distract him from thinking of his affliction, for I know his case better than another." Then he called for water for Ali bin Bakkar who, when it was brought, rose up from his bed and making his ablutions, prayed the obligatory prayers which he had omitted for the past day and night[194]; after which he sat down and began to solace himself by talking with his friend. When Abu al-Hasan saw this, he turned to him and said, "O my lord, it were fitter for thy case that thou abide with me this night, so thy 175breast may be broadened and the distress of love-longing that is upon thee be dispelled and thou make merry with us, so haply the fire of thy heart may thus be quenched." Ali replied, "O my brother, do what seemeth good to thee; for I may not on any wise escape from what calamity hath befallen me; so act as thou wilt." Accordingly, Abu al-Hasan arose and bade his servants summon some of the choicest of his friends and sent for singers and musicians who came; and meanwhile he made ready meat and drink for them; so they sat eating and drinking and making merry through the rest of the day till nightfall. Then they lit the candles, and the cups of friendship and good fellowship went round amongst them and the time passed pleasantly with them. Presently, a singing-woman took the lute and began singing:—

I've been shot by Fortune, and shaft of eye ✿ Down struck me and parted from fondest friend:
Time has proved him foe and my patience failed, ✿ Yet I ever expected it thus would end.

When Ali bin Bakkar heard her words, he fell to the earth in a swoon and ceased not lying in his fainting fit till daybreak; and Abu al-Hasan despaired of him. But, with the dawning, he came to himself and sought to go home; nor could his friend hinder him, for fear of the issue of his affair. So he made his servants bring a she-mule and, mounting Ali thereon, carried him to his lodgings, he and one of his men. When he was safe at home; Abu al-Hasan thanked Allah for his deliverance from that sore peril and sat awhile with him, comforting him; but Ali could not contain himself, for the violence of his love and longing. So Abu al-Hasan rose to take leave of him and return to his own place.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu al-Hasan rose to take leave of him, Ali son of Bakkar exclaimed, "O my brother, leave me not without news." "I hear and obey," replied the other; and forthwith went away and, repairing to his shop, opened it and sat there all day, expecting news of Shams 176al-Nahar. But none came. He passed the night in his own house and, when dawned the day, he walked to Ali bin Bakkar's lodging and went in and found him thrown on his bed, with his friends about him and physicians around him prescribing something or other, and the doctors feeling his pulse. When he saw Abu al-Hasan enter he smiled, and the visitor, after saluting him, enquired how he did and sat with him till the folk withdrew, when he said to him, "What plight is this?" Quoth Ali bin Bakkar, "It was bruited abroad that I was ill and my comrades heard the report; and I have no strength to rise and walk so as to give him the lie who noised abroad my sickness, but continue lying strown here as thou seest. So my friends came to visit me; say, however, O my brother, hast thou seen the slave-girl or heard any news of her?" He replied, "I have not seen her, since the day we parted from her on Tigris' bank;" and he presently added, "O my brother, beware thou of scandal and leave this weeping." Rejoined Ali, "O my brother, indeed, I have no control over myself;" and he sighed and began reciting:—

She gives her woman's hand a force that fails the hand of me, ✿ And with red dye on wrist she gars my patience fail and flee:
And for her hand she fears so sore what shafts her eyes discharge, ✿ She's fain to clothe and guard her hand with mail-ring panoply:[195]
The leach in ignorance felt my pulse the while to him I cried, ✿ "Sick is my heart, so quit my hand which hath no malady:"
Quoth she to that fair nightly vision favoured me and fled, ✿ "By Allah picture him nor add nor 'bate in least degree!"
Replied the Dream, "I leave him though he die of thirst," I cry, ✿ "Stand off from water-pit and say why this persistency."
Rained tear-pearls her Narcissus-eyes, and rose on cheek belit ✿ She made my sherbet, and the lote with bits of hail she bit.[196]

And when his recital was ended he said, "O Abu al-Hasan, I am smitten with an affliction from which I deemed myself in perfect surety, and there is no greater ease for me than death." Replied he, "Be patient, haply Allah will heal thee!" Then he went out from him and repairing to his shop opened it, nor had he sat long, when suddenly up came the handmaid who saluted him. He 177returned her salam and looking at her, saw that her heart was palpitating and that she was in sore trouble and showed signs of great affliction: so he said to her, "Thou art welcome and well come! How is it with Shams al-Nahar?" She answered, "I will presently tell thee, but first let me know how doth Ali bin Bakkar." So he told her all that had passed and how his case stood, whereat she grieved and sighed and lamented and marvelled at his condition. Then said she, "My lady's case is still stranger than this; for when you went away and fared homewards, I turned back, my heart beating hard on your account and hardly crediting your escape. On entering I found her lying prostrate in the pavilion, speaking not nor answering any, whilst the Commander of the Faithful sat by her head not knowing what ailed her and finding none who could make known to him aught of her ailment. She ceased not from her swoon till midnight, when she recovered and the Prince of the Faithful said to her, What harm hath happened to thee, O Shams al-Nahar, and what hath befallen thee this night? Now when she heard the Caliph's words she kissed his feet and said, Allah make me thy ransom, O Prince of True Believers! Verily a sourness of stomach lighted a fire in my body, so that I lost my senses for excess of pain, and I know no more of my condition. Asked the Caliph, What hast thou eaten to-day?; and she answered, I broke my fast on something I had never tasted before. Then she feigned to be recovered and calling for a something of wine, drank it, and begged the Sovereign to resume his diversion. So he sat down again on his couch in the pavilion and the sitting was resumed; but when she saw me, she asked me how you fared. I told her what I had done with you both and repeated to her the verses which Ali bin Bakkar had composed at parting-tide, whereat she wept secretly, but presently held her peace. After awhile, the Commander of the Faithful ordered a damsel to sing, and she began reciting:—

Life has no sweet for me since forth ye fared; ✿ Would Heaven I wot how fare ye who forsake:
'Twere only fit my tears were tears of blood, ✿ Since you are weeping for mine absence sake.

But when my lady heard this verse she fell back on the sofa in a swoon,"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-girl continued to Abu al-Hasan, "But when my lady heard this verse, she fell back on the sofa in a swoon, and I seized her hand and sprinkled rose-water on her face, till she revived, when I said to her:—O my lady, expose not thyself and all thy palace containeth. By the life of thy beloved, be thou patient! She replied:—Can aught befal me worse than death which indeed I seek, for by Allah, my ease is therein?" Whilst we were thus talking, another damsel sang these words of the poet:—

Quoth they, "Maybe that Patience lend thee ease!" ✿ Quoth I, "Since fared he where is Patience' place?"
Covenant he made 'twixt me and him, to cut ✿ The cords of Patience at our last embrace![197]

And as soon as she had finished her verse Shams al-Nahar swooned away once more, which when the Caliph saw, he came to her in haste and commanded the wine to be removed and each damsel to return to her chamber. He abode with her the rest of the night, and when dawned the day, he sent for chirurgeons and leaches and bade them medicine her, knowing not that her sickness arose from love and longing. "I tarried with her till I deemed her in a way of recovery, and this is what kept me from thee. I have now left her with a number of her body-women, who were greatly concerned for her, when she bade me go to you two and bring her news of Ali bin Bakkar and return to her with the tidings." When Abu al-Hasan heard her story, he marvelled and said, "By Allah, I have acquainted thee with his whole case; so now return to thy mistress; and salute her for me and diligently exhort her to have patience and say to her:—Keep thy secret!; and tell her that I know all her case which is indeed hard and one which calleth for nice conduct." She thanked him and taking leave of him, returned to her mistress. So far concerning her; but as regards Abu al-Hasan, he ceased not to abide in his shop till the end of the day, when he arose and shut it and locked it and betaking himself to Ali bin Bakkar's house knocked at the door. One of the servants came out and admitted him; and when Ali saw him, he smiled and congratulated himself on his coming, 179saying, "O Abu al-Hasan, thou hast desolated me by thine absence this day; for indeed my soul is pledged to thee during the rest of my time." Answered the other, "Leave this talk! Were thy healing at the price of my hand, I would cut it off ere thou couldst ask me; and, could I ransom thee with my life, I had already laid it down for thee. Now this very day, Shams al-Nahar's handmaid hath been with me and told me that what hindered her coming ere this was the Caliph's sojourn with her mistress; and she acquainted me with everything which had betided her." And he went on to repeat to him all that the girl had told him of Shams al-Nahar; at which Ali bin Bakkar lamented sore and wept and said to him, "Allah upon thee, O my brother, help me in this affliction and teach me what course I shall take. Moreover, I beg thee of thy grace to abide with me this night, that I may have the solace of thy society." Abu al-Hasan agreed to this request, replying that he would readily night there; so they talked together till eventide darkened, when Ali bin Bakkar groaned aloud and lamented and wept copious tears, reciting these couplets:—

Thine image in these eyne, a-lip thy name, ✿ My heart thy home; how couldst thou disappear?
How sore I grieve for life which comes to end, ✿ Nor see I boon of union far or near.

And these the words of another:—

She split my casque of courage with eye-swords that sorely smite; ✿ She pierced my patience' ring-mail with her shape like cane-spear light:
Patched by the musky mole on cheek was to our sight displayed ✿ Camphor set round with ambergris, light dawning through the night.[198]
Her soul was sorrowed and she bit carnelion stone with pearls ✿ Whose unions in a sugred tank ever to lurk unite:[199]
Restless she sighed and smote with palm the snows that clothe her breast, ✿ And left a mark whereon I looked and ne'er beheld such sight.
Pens, fashioned of her coral nails with ambergris for ink, ✿ Five lines on crystal page of breast did cruelly indite:
180O swordsmen armed with trusty steel! I bid you all beware ✿ When she on you bends deadly glance which fascinates the sprite:
And guard thyself, O thou of spear! whenas she draweth near ✿ To tilt with slender quivering shape, likest the nut-brown spear.

And when Ali bin Bakkar ended his verse, he cried out with a great cry and fell down in a fit. Abu al-Hasan thought that his soul had fled his body and he ceased not from his swoon till daybreak, when he came to himself and talked with his friend, who continued to sit with him till the forenoon. Then he left him and repaired to his shop; and hardly had he opened it, when lo! the damsel came and stood by his side. As soon as he saw her, she made him a sign of salutation which he returned; and she delivered to him the greeting message of her mistress and asked, "How doth Ali bin Bakkar?" Answered he, "O handmaid of good, ask me not of his case nor what he suffereth for excess of love-longing; he sleepeth not by night neither resteth he by day; wakefulness wasteth him and care hath conquered him and his condition is a consternation to his friend." Quoth she, "My lady saluteth thee and him, and she hath written him a letter, for indeed she is in worse case than he; and she entrusted the same to me, saying:—Do not return save with the answer; and do thou obey my bidding. Here now is the letter, so say, wilt thou wend with me to him that we may get his reply?" "I hear and obey," answered Abu al-Hasan, and locking his shop and taking with him the girl he went, by a way different from that whereby he came, to Ali bin Bakkar's house, where he left her standing at the door and walked in——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al-Hasan went with the girl to the house of Ali son of Bakkar, where he left her standing at the door and walked in to his great joy. And Abu al-Hasan said to him, "The reason of my coming is that such an one hath sent his handmaid to thee with a letter, containing his greeting to thee and mentioning therein that the cause of his not coming to thee was a matter that hath betided him. The girl standeth even now at the door: shall she have leave to enter?"; and he signed to him that it was Shams al-Nahar's slave-girl. Ali understood his signal and answered, "Bring her in," 181and when he saw her, he shook for joy and signed to her, "How doth thy lord?; Allah grant him health and healing!" "He is well," answered she and pulling out the letter gave it to him. He took it and kissing it, opened and read it; after which he handed it to Abu al-Hasan, who found these verses written therein:—

This messenger shall give my news to thee; ✿ Patience what while my sight thou canst not see:
A lover leav'st in love's insanity, ✿ Whose eyne abide on wake incessantly:
I suffer patience-pangs in woes that none ✿ Of men can medicine;—such my destiny!
Keep cool thine eyes; ne'er shall my heart forget, ✿ Nor without dream of thee one day shall be.
Look what befel thy wasted frame, and thence ✿ Argue what I am doomed for love to dree!

"And afterwards[200]: Without fingers[201] I have written to thee, and without tongue I have spoken to thee ✿ to resume my case, I have an eye wherefrom sleeplessness departeth not ✿ and a heart whence sorrowful thought stirreth not ✿ It is with me as though health I had never known ✿ nor in sadness ever ceased to wone ✿ nor spent an hour in pleasant place ✿ but it is as if I were made up of pine and of the pain of passion and chagrin ✿ Sickness unceasingly troubleth ✿ and my yearning ever redoubleth ✿ desire still groweth ✿ and longing in my heart still gloweth ✿ I pray Allah to hasten our union ✿ and dispel of my mind the confusion ✿ And I would fain thou favour me ✿ with some words of thine ✿ that I may cheer my heart in pain and repine ✿ Moreover, I would have thee put on a patience lief, until Allah vouchsafe relief ✿ And His peace be with thee."[202] When Ali bin Bakkar had read this letter he said in weak accents and feeble voice, "With what hand shall I write and with what tongue shall I make moan and lament? Indeed she addeth sickness to my sickness and draweth death upon my death!" Then he sat up and taking 182in hand ink-case and paper, wrote the following reply:—"In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate![203] Thy letter hath reached me, O my lady, and hath given ease to a sprite worn out with passion and love-longing, and hath brought healing to a wounded heart cankered with languishment and sickness; for indeed I am become even as saith the poet:—

Straitenèd bosom; reveries dispread; ✿ Slumberless eyelids; body wearièd;
Patience cut short; disunion longsomest; ✿ Reason deranged and heart whose life is fled!

And know that complaining is unavailing; but it easeth him whom love-longing disordereth and separation destroyeth and, with repeating:—Union, I keep myself comforted and how fine is the saying of the poet who said:—

Did not in love-plight joys and sorrows meet, ✿ How would the message or the writ be sweet?"

When he had made an end of this letter, he handed it to Abu al-Hasan, saying, "Read it and give it to the damsel." So he took it and read it and its words stirred his soul and its meaning wounded his vitals. Then he committed it to the girl, and when she took it Ali bin Bakkar said to her, "Salute thy lady for me and acquaint her with my love and longing and how passion is blended with my flesh and my bones; and say to her that in very deed I need a woman who shall snatch me from the sea of destruction and save me from this dilemma; for of a truth Fortune oppresseth me with her vicissitudes; and is there any helper to free me from her turpitudes?" 183And he wept and the damsel wept for his weeping. Then she took leave of him and went forth and Abu al-Hasan went out with her and farewelled her. So she ganged her gait and he returned to his shop, which he opened and sat down there, as was his wont;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Fifty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al-Hasan farewelled the slave-girl and returned to his shop which he opened and sat down there according to his custom; but as he tarried, he found his heart oppressed and his breast straitened, and he was perplexed about his case. So he ceased not from melancholy the rest of that day and night, and on the morrow he betook himself to Ali bin Bakkar, with whom he sat till the folk withdrew, when he asked him how he did. Ali began to complain of desire and to descant upon the longing and distraction which possessed him, and repeated these words of the poet:—

Men have 'plained of pining before my time, ✿ Live and dead by parting been terrified:
But such feelings as those which my ribs immure ✿ I have never heard of nor ever espied.

And these of another poet:—

I have borne for thy love what never bore ✿ For his fair, Kays the "Daft one"[204] hight of old:
Yet I chase not the wildlings of wold and wild ✿ Like Kays, for madness is manifold.

184Thereupon quoth Abu al-Hasan, "Never did I see or hear of one like unto thee in thy love! When thou sufferest all this transport and sickness and trouble being enamoured of one who returneth thy passion, how would it be with thee if she whom thou lovest were contrary and contumelious, and thy case were discovered through her perfidy?" And Ali the son of Bakkar (says Abu al-Hasan) was pleased with my words and he relied upon them and he thanked me for what I had said and done. I had a friend (continued Abu al-Hasan), to whom I discovered my affair and that of Ali and who knew that we were intimates; but none other than he was acquainted with what was betwixt us. He was wont to come to me and enquire how Ali did and after a little, he began to ask me about the damsel; but I fenced him off, saying, "She invited him to her and there was between him and her as much as can possibly take place, and this is the end of their affair; but I have devised me a plan and an idea which I would submit to thee." Asked his friend, "And what is that?" Answered Abu al-Hasan, "I am a person well known to have much dealing among men and women, and I fear, O my brother, lest the affair of these twain come to light and this lead to my death and the seizure of my goods and the rending of my repute and that of my family. Wherefore I have resolved to get together my monies and make ready forthright and repair to the city of Bassorah and there abide, till I see what cometh of their case, that none may know of me; for love hath lorded over both and correspondence passeth between them. At this present their go-between and confidante is a slave-girl who hath till now kept their counsel, but I fear lest haply anxiety get the better of her and she discover their secret to some one and the matter, being bruited abroad, might bring me to great grief and prove the cause of my ruin; for I have no excuse to offer my accusers." Rejoined his friend, "Thou hast acquainted me with a parlous affair, from the like of which the wise and understanding will shrink with fear. Allah avert from thee the evil thou dreadest with such dread and save thee from the consequences thou apprehendest! Assuredly thy recking is aright." So Abu al-Hasan returned to his place and began ordering his affairs and preparing for his travel; nor had three days passed ere he made an end of his business and fared forth Bassorah-wards. His friend came to visit him three days after but finding him not, asked of him from the neighbours who answered, "He set out for Bassorah three days ago, for he had 185dealings with its merchants and he is gone thither to collect monies from his debtors; but he will soon return." The young man was confounded at the news and knew not whither to wend; and he said in his mind, "Would I had not parted from Abu al-Hasan!" Then he bethought him of some plan whereby he should gain access to Ali bin Bakkar; so he went to his lodging, and said to one of his servants, "Ask leave for me of thy lord that I may go in and salute him." The servant entered and told his master and presently returning, invited the man to walk in. So he entered and found Ali bin Bakkar thrown back on the pillow and saluted him. Ali returned his greeting and bade him welcome; whereupon the young man began to excuse himself for having held aloof from him all that while and added, "O my lord, between Abu al-Hasan and myself there was close friendship, so that I used to trust him with my secrets and could not sever myself from him an hour. Now it so chanced that I was absent three days' space on certain business with a company of my friends; and, when I came back and went to him, I found his shop locked up; so I asked the neighbours about him and they replied:—He is gone to Bassorah. Now I know he had no surer friend than thou; so, by Allah, tell me what thou knowest of him." When Ali bin Bakkar heard this, his colour changed and he was troubled and answered, "I never heard till this day of his departure and, if the case be as thou sayest, weariness is come upon me." And he began repeating:—

For joys that are no more I wont to weep, ✿ While friends and lovers stood by me unscattered;
This day when disunited me and them ✿ Fortune, I weep lost loves and friendship shattered.

Then he hung his head groundwards in thought awhile and presently raising it and looking to one of his servants, said, "Go to Abu al-Hasan's house and enquire anent him whether he be at home or journeying abroad. If they say:—He is abroad; ask whither he be gone." The servant went out and returning after a while said to his master, "When I asked for Abu al-Hasan, his people told me that he was gone on a journey to Bassorah; but I saw a damsel standing at the door who, knowing me by sight, though I knew her not, said to me:—Art thou not servant to Ali bin Bakkar? Even so, answered I; and she rejoined:—I bear a 186message for him from one who is the dearest of all folk to him. So she came with me and she is now standing at the door." Quoth Ali bin Bakkar, "Bring her in." The servant went out to her and brought her in, and the man who was with Ali looked at her and found her pretty. Then she advanced to the son of Bakkar and saluted him——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the slave-girl came in to Ali bin Bakkar, she advanced to him and saluted him and spake with him secretly; and from time to time during the dialogue he exclaimed with an oath and swore that he had not talked and tattled of it. Then she took leave of him and went away. Now Abu al-Hasan's friend was a jeweller,[205] and when she was gone, he found a place for speech and said to Ali bin Bakkar, "Doubtless and assuredly the Caliph's household have some demand upon thee or thou hast dealings therewith?" "Who told thee of this?" asked Ali; and the jeweller answered, "I know it by yonder damsel who is Shams al-Nahar's slave-girl; for she came to me a while since with a note wherein was written that she wanted a necklace of jewels; and I sent her a costly collar." But when Ali bin Bakkar heard this, he was greatly troubled, so that the jeweller feared to see him give up the ghost, yet after a while he recovered himself and said, "O my brother, I conjure thee by Allah to tell me truly how thou knowest her." Replied he, "Do not press this question upon me;" and Ali rejoined, "Indeed, I will not turn from thee till thou tell me the whole truth." Quoth the jeweller, "I will tell thee all, on condition that thou distrust me not, and that my words cause thee no restraint; nor will I conceal aught from thee by way of secret but will discover to thee the truth of the affair, provided that thou acquaint me with the true state of thy case and the cause of thy sickness." Then he told him all that had passed from first to last between Abu al-Hasan and himself, adding, "I acted thus only out of friendship 187for thee and of my desire to serve thee;" and assured him that he would keep his secret and venture life and good in his service. So Ali in turn told him his story and added, "By Allah, O my brother, naught moved me to keep my case secret from thee and from others but my fear lest folk should lift the veils of protection from certain persons." Rejoined the jeweller, "And I desired not to foregather with thee but of the great affection I bear thee and my zeal for thee in every case, and my compassion for the anguish thy heart endureth from severance. Haply I may be a comforter to thee in the room of my friend, Abu al-Hasan, during the length of his absence: so be thou of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and clear." Thereupon Ali thanked him and repeated these couplets:—

"An say I:—Patient I can bear his faring, ✿ My tears and sighings give my say the lie;
How can I hide these tears that course adown ✿ This plain, my cheek, for friend too fain to fly?"

Then he was silent awhile, and presently said to the jeweller "Knowest thou what secret the girl whispered to me?" Answered he, "Not I, by Allah, O my lord!" Quoth Ali, "She fancied that I directed Abu al-Hasan to go to Bassorah and that I had devised this device to put a stop to our correspondence and consorting. I swore to her that this was on nowise so; but she would not credit me and went away to her mistress, persisting in her injurious suspicions; for she inclined to Abu al-Hasan and gave ear to his word." Answered the young jeweller, "O my brother, I understood as much from the girl's manner; but I will win for thee thy wish, Inshallah!" Rejoined Ali bin Bakkar, "Who can be with me in this and how wilt thou do with her, when she shies and flies like a wildling of the wold?" Cried the jeweller "By Allah, needs must I do my utmost to help thee and contrive to scrape acquaintance with her without exposure or mischief!" Then he asked leave to depart and Ali bin Bakkar said, "O my brother, mind thou keep my counsel;" and he looked at him and wept. The jeweller bade him good-bye and fared forth——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller bade him good-bye and fared forth not knowing what he should do to win for him his wishes; and he ceased not walking, while over-musing the matter, till he spied a letter lying in the road. He took it up and looked at its direction and superscription, then read it and behold, it ran:—"From the least worthy of lovers to the most worthy of beloveds." So he opened it and found these words written therein:—

"A messenger from thee came bringing union-hope, ✿ But that he erred somehow with me the thought prevailed;
So I rejoiced not; rather grew my grief still more; ✿ Weeting my messenger of wits and wit had failed.

"But afterwards: Know, O my lord! that I ken not the reason why our correspondence between thee and me hath been broken off: but, if the cruelty arise from thy part, I will requite it with fidelity, and if thy love have departed, I will remain constant to my love of the parted, for I am with thee even as says the poet:—

Be proud; I'll crouch! Bully; I'll bear! Despise; I'll pray! ✿ Go; I will come! Speak; I will hear! Bid; I'll obey!"

As he was reading lo! up came the slave-girl, looking right and left, and seeing the paper in the jeweller's hand, said to him, "O my master, this letter is one I let fall." He made her no answer, but walked on, and she walked behind him, till he came to his house, when he entered and she after him, saying, "O my master, give me back this letter, for it fell from me." Thereupon he turned to her and said, "O handmaid of good, fear not neither grieve, for verily Allah the Protector loveth those who protect; but tell me in truthful way thy case, as I am one who keepeth counsel. I conjure thee by an oath not to hide from me aught of thy lady's affairs; for haply Allah shall help me to further her wishes and make easy by my hand that which is hard." When the slave-girl heard these words she said, "O my lord, indeed a secret is not lost whereof thou art the secretist; nor shall any affair come to naught for which thou strivest. Know that my heart inclineth to thee and would interest thee with my tidings, but do thou give me the letter." Then she told him the whole story, adding, "Allah is 189witness to whatso I say." Quoth he, "Thou hast spoken truly, for I am acquainted with the root of the matter." Then he told her his tale of Ali bin Bakkar and how he had learned his state of mind; and related to her all that had passed from first to last, whereat she rejoiced; and they two agreed that she should take the letter and carry it to Ali and return and acquaint the jeweller with all that happened. So he gave her the letter and she took it and sealed it up as it was before, saying, "My mistress Shams al-Nahar gave it to me sealed; and when he hath read it and given me its reply, I will bring it to thee." Then she took leave and repaired to Ali bin Bakkar, whom she found waiting, and gave him the letter. He read it and writing a paper by way of reply, gave it to her; and she carried it to the jeweller, who tore asunder the seal[206] and read it and found written therein these two couplets:—

"The messenger, who kept our commerce hid, ✿ Hath failed, and showeth wrath without disguise;[207]
Choose one more leal from your many friends ✿ Who, truth approving, disapproves of lies.

"To proceed: Verily, I have not entered upon perfidy ✿ nor have I abandoned fidelity ✿ I have not used cruelty ✿ neither have I put off lealty ✿ no covenant hath been broken by me ✿ nor hath love-tie been severed by me ✿ I have not parted from penitence ✿ nor have I found aught but misery and ruin after severance ✿ I know nothing of that thou avouchest ✿ nor do I love aught but that which thou lovest ✿ By Him who knoweth the secret of hidden things none discover ✿ I have no desire save union with my lover ✿ and my one business is my passion to conceal ✿ albeit with sore sickness I ail ✿ This is the exposition of my case and now all hail!" When the jeweller read this letter and learnt its 190contents he wept with sore weeping, and the slave-girl said to him, "Leave not this place till I return to thee; for he suspecteth me of such and such things, in which he is excusable; so it is my desire to bring about a meeting between thee and my mistress, Shams al-Nahar, howsoever I may trick you to it. For the present I left her prostrate, awaiting my return with the reply." Then she went away and the jeweller passed the night with a troubled mind. And when day dawned he prayed his dawn-prayer and sat expecting the girl's coming; and behold, she came in to him rejoicing with much joy and he asked her, "What news, O damsel?" She answered, "After leaving thee I went to my mistress and gave her the letter written by Ali bin Bakkar; and, when she read it and understood it, she was troubled and confounded; but I said to her:—O my lady, have no fear of your affair being frustrated by Abu al-Hasan's disappearance, for I have found one to take his place, better than he and more of worth and a good man to keep secrets. Then I told her what was between thyself and Abu al-Hasan and how thou camest by his confidence and that of Ali bin Bakkar and how that note was dropped and thou camest by it; and I also showed her how we arranged matters betwixt me and thee." The jeweller marvelled with much wonder, when she resumed, "And now my mistress would hear whatso thou sayest, that she may be assured by thy speech of the covenants between thee and him; so get thee ready to go with me to her forthwith." When the jeweller heard the slave-girl's words, he saw that the proposed affair was grave and a great peril to brave, not lightly to be undertaken or suddenly entered upon, and he said to her, "O my sister, verily, I am of the ordinary and not like unto Abu al-Hasan; for he being of high rank and of well-known repute, was wont to frequent the Caliph's household, because of their need of his merchandise. As for me, he used to talk with me and I trembled before him the while. So, if thy mistress would speak with me, our meeting must be in some place other than the Caliph's palace and far from the abode of the Commander of the Faithful; for my common sense will not let me consent to what thou proposest." On this wise he refused to go with her and she went on to say that she would be surety for his safety, adding, "Take heart and fear no harm!" and pressed him to courage till he consented to accompany her; withal, his legs bent and shivered and his hands quivered and he exclaimed, "Allah forbid that I should go with thee! Indeed, I have not 191strength to do this thing!" Replied she, "Hearten thy heart, if it be hard for thee to go to the Caliph's palace and thou canst not muster up courage to accompany me, I will make her come to thee; so budge not from thy place till I return to thee with her." Then the slave-girl went away and was absent for a while, but a short while, after which she returned to the jeweller and said to him, "Take thou care that there be with thee none save thyself, neither man-slave nor girl-slave." Quoth he, "I have but a negress, who is in years and who waiteth on me."[208] So she arose and locked the door between his negress and the jeweller and sent his manservants out of the place; after which she fared forth and presently returned, followed by a lady who, entering the house, filled it with the sweet scent of her perfumes. When the jeweller saw her, he sprang up and set her a couch and a cushion; and she sat down while he seated himself before her. She abode awhile without speaking till she had rested herself, when she unveiled her face and it seemed to the jeweller's fancy as if the sun had risen in his home. Then she asked her slave-girl, "Is this the man of whom thou spakest to me?" "Yes," answered she; whereupon the lady turned to the jeweller and said to him, "How is it with thee?" Replied he, "Right well! I pray Allah for thy preservation and that of the Commander of the Faithful." Quoth she, "Thou hast moved us to come to thee and possess thee with what we hold secret." Then she questioned him of his household and family; and he disclosed to her all his circumstance and his condition and said to her, "I have a house other than this; and I have set it apart for gathering together my friends and brethren; and there is none there save the old negress, of whom I spoke to thy handmaid." She asked him on what wise he came first to know how the affair began and the matter of Abu al-Hasan and the cause of his wayfaring: accordingly he told her all he knew and how he had advised the journey. Thereupon she bewailed the loss of Abu al-Hasan and said to the jeweller, "Know, O such an one,[209] that men's souls are active in their lusts and that men are still men; and that deeds are not done without words nor is end ever reached 192without endeavour. Rest is won only by work"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams al-Nahar thus addressed the jeweller, "Rest is gained only by work and success is gendered only by help of the generous. Now I have acquainted thee with our affair and it is in thy hand to expose us or to shield us; I say no more, because thy generosity requireth naught. Thou knowest that this my handmaiden keepeth my counsel and therefore occupieth high place in my favour; and I have selected her to transact my affairs of importance. So let none be worthier in thy sight than she and acquaint her with thine affair; and be of good cheer, for on her account thou art safe from all fear, and there is no place shut upon thee but she shall open it to thee. She shall bring thee my messages to Ali bin Bakkar and thou shalt be our intermediary." So saying, she rose, scarcely able to rise, and fared forth, the jeweller faring before her to the door of her house, after which he returned and sat down again in his place, having seen of her beauty and heard of her speech what dazzled him and dazed his wit, and having witnessed of her grace and courtesy what bewitched his sprite. He sat musing on her perfections till his mind waxed tranquil, when he called for food and ate enough to keep soul and body together. Then he changed his clothes and went out; and, repairing to the house of the youth Ali bin Bakkar, knocked at the door. The servants hastened to admit him and walked before him till they had brought him to their master, whom he found strown upon his bed. Now when he saw the jeweller, he said to him, "Thou hast tarried long from me, and that hath heaped care upon my care." Then he dismissed his servants and bade the doors be shut; after which he said to the jeweller, "By Allah, O my brother, I have not closed my eyes since the day I saw thee last; for the slave-girl came to me yesterday with a sealed letter from her mistress Shams al-Nahar;" and went on to tell him all that had passed with her, adding, "By the Lord, I am indeed perplexed concerning mine affair and my patience faileth me: for Abu al-Hasan was a comforter who cheered me because he knew the slave-girl." When the jeweller heard his words, he laughed; and Ali said, "Why dost thou laugh 193at my words, thou on whose coming I congratulated myself and to whom I looked for provision against the shifts of fortune?" Then he sighed and wept and repeated these couplets:[210]

Full many laugh at tears they see me shed ✿ Who had shed tears an bore they what I bore;
None feeleth pity for th' afflicted's woe, ✿ Save one as anxious and in woe galore:
My passion, yearning, sighing, thought, repine ✿ Are for me cornered in my heart's deep core:
He made a home there which he never quits, ✿ Yet rare our meetings, not as heretofore:
No friend to stablish in his place I see; ✿ No intimate but only he and——he.

Now when the jeweller heard these lines and understood their significance, he wept also and told him all that had passed betwixt himself and the slave-girl and her mistress since he left him. And Ali bin Bakkar gave ear to his speech, and at every word he heard his colour shifted from white to red and his body grew now stronger and then weaker till the tale came to an end, when he wept and said, "O my brother, I am a lost man in any case: would mine end were nigh, that I might be at rest from all this! But I beg thee, of thy favour, to be my helper and comforter in all my affairs till Allah fulfil whatso be His will; and I will not gainsay thee with a single word." Quoth the jeweller, "Nothing will quench thy fire save union with her whom thou lovest; and the meeting must be in other than this perilous place. Better it were in a house of mine where the girl and her mistress met me; which place she chose for herself, to the intent that ye twain may there meet and complain each to other of what you have suffered from the pangs of love." Quoth Ali bin Bakkar, "O good Sir, do as thou wilt and with Allah be thy reward!; and what thou deemest is right do it forthright: but be not long in doing it, lest I perish of this anguish." So I abode with him (said the jeweller) that night conversing with him till the morning morrowed,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller continued:—So I abode with him that night conversing with him till the morning morrowed, when I prayed the dawn-prayers and, going out from him, returned to my house. Hardly had I settled down when the damsel came up and saluted me; and I returned her salutation and told her what had passed between myself and Ali bin Bakkar, and she said, "Know that the Caliph hath left us and there is no one in our place and it is safer for us and better." Replied I, "Sooth thou sayest; yet is it not like my other house which is both fitter and surer for us;" and the slave-girl rejoined, "Be it as thou seest fit. I am now going to my lady and will tell her what thou sayest and acquaint her with all thou hast mentioned." So she went away and sought her mistress and laid the project before her, and presently returned and said to me, "It is to be as thou sayest: so make us ready the place and expect us." Then she took out of her breast-pocket a purse of dinars and gave this message, "My lady saluteth thee and saith to thee:—Take this and provide therewith what the case requireth." But I swore that I would accept naught of it; so she took the purse and returning to her mistress, told her, "He would not receive the money, but gave it back to me." "No matter," answered Shams al-Nahar. As soon as the slave-girl was gone (continued the jeweller), I arose and betook myself to my other house and transported thither all that was needful, by way of vessels and furniture and rich carpets; and I did not forget china vases and cups of glass and gold and silver; and I made ready meat and drink required for the occasion. When the damsel came and saw what I had done, it pleased her and she bade me fetch Ali bin Bakkar; but I said, "None shall bring him save thou." Accordingly she went to him and brought him back perfectly dressed and looking his best. I met him and greeted him and then seated him upon a divan befitting his condition, and set before him sweet-scented flowers in vases of china and vari-coloured glass.[211] Then I set on a tray of many-tinted meats such as broaden the breast with their 195sight, and sat talking with him and diverting him, whilst the slave-girl went away and was absent till after sundown-prayers, when she returned with Shams al-Nahar, attended by two maids and none else. Now as soon as she saw Ali bin Bakkar and he saw her, he rose and embraced her, and she on her side embraced him and both fell in a fit to the ground. They lay for a whole hour insensible; then, coming to themselves, they began mutually to complain of the pains of separation. Thereupon they drew near to each other and sat talking charmingly, softly, tenderly; after which they somewhat perfumed themselves and fell to thanking me for what I had done for them. Quoth I, "Have ye a mind for food?" "Yes," quoth they. So I set before them a small matter of food and they ate till they were satisfied and then washed their hands; after which I led them to another sitting-room and brought them wine. So they drank and drank deep and inclined to each other; and presently Shams al-Nahar said to me, "O my master, complete thy kindness by bringing us a lute or other instrument of mirth and music that the measure of our joy may be fully filled." I replied, "On my head and eyes!" and rising brought her a lute, which she took and tuned; then laying it in her lap she touched it with a masterly touch, at once exciting to sadness and changing sorrow to gladness; after which she sang these two couplets:—

My sleeplessness would show I love to bide on wake; ✿ And would my leanness prove that sickness is my make:
And tear-floods course adown the cheeks they only scald; ✿ Would I knew union shall disunion overtake!

Then she went on to sing the choicest and most affecting poesy to many and various modes, till our senses were bewitched and the very room danced with excess of delight and surprise at her sweet singing; and neither thought nor reason was left in us. When we had sat awhile and the cup had gone round amongst us, the damsel took the lute and sang to a lively measure these couplets:—

My love a meeting promised me and kept it faithfully, ✿ One night as many I shall count in number and degree:
O Night of joyance Fate vouchsafed to faithful lovers tway, ✿ Uncaring for the railer loon and all his company!
My lover lay the Night with me and clipt me with his right, ✿ While I with left embraced him, a-faint for ecstasy;
And hugged him to my breast and sucked the sweet wine of his lips, ✿ Full savouring the honey-draught the honey-man sold to me.

196Whilst we were thus drowned in the sea of gladness (continued the jeweller) behold, there came in to us a little maid trembling and said, "O my lady, look how you may go away for the folk have found you out and have surrounded the house; and we know not the cause of this!" When I heard her words, I arose startled and lo! in rushed a slave-girl who cried, "Calamity hath come upon you." At the same moment the door was burst open and there rushed in upon us ten men masked in kerchiefs with hangers in their hands and swords by their sides, and as many more behind them. When I saw this, the world was straitened on me for all its wideness, and I looked to the door but saw no issue; so I sprang from the terrace into the house of one of my neighbours and there hid myself. Thence I found that folk had entered my lodgings and were making a mighty hubbub; and I concluded that the Caliph had got wind of us and had sent his Chief of the Watch to seize us and bring us before him. So I abode confounded and ceased not remaining in my place, without any possibility of quitting it till midnight. And presently the house-master arose, for he had heard me moving, and he feared with exceeding great fear of me; so he came forth from his room with drawn brand in hand and made at me, saying, "Who is this in my house?" Quoth I, "I am thy neighbour the jeweller;" and he knew me and retired. Then he fetched a light and coming up to me, said, "O my brother, indeed that which hath befallen thee this night is no light matter to me." I replied, "O my brother, tell me who was in my house and entered it breaking in my door; for I fled to thee not knowing what was to do." He answered, "Of a truth the robbers who attacked our neighbours yesterday and slew such an one and took his goods, saw thee on the same day bringing furniture into this house; so they broke in upon thee and stole thy goods and slew thy guests." Then we arose (pursued the jeweller), I and he, and repaired to my house, which we found empty without a stick remaining in it; so I was confounded at the case and said to myself, "As for the gear I care naught about its loss, albeit I borrowed part of the stuff from my friends and it hath come to grief; yet there is no harm in that, for they know my excuse in the plunder of my property and the pillage of my place. But as for Ali bin Bakkar and the Caliph's favourite concubine, I fear lest their case get bruited abroad and this cause the loss of my life." So I turned to my neighbour and said to him, "Thou art my brother and my neighbour and wilt cover my nakedness; what then dost 197thou advise me to do?" The man answered, "What I counsel thee to do is to keep quiet and wait; for they who entered thy house and took thy goods have murdered the best men of a party from the palace of the Caliphate and have killed not a few of the watchmen: the government officers and guards are now in quest of them on every road and haply they will hit upon them, whereby thy wish will come about without effort of thine." The jeweller hearing these words returned to his other house, that wherein he dwelt,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the jeweller heard these words he returned to his other house wherein he dwelt, and said to himself, "Indeed this that hath befallen me is what Abu al-Hasan feared and from which he fled to Bassorah. And now I have fallen into it." Presently the pillage of his pleasure-house was noised abroad among the folk, and they came to him from all sides and places, some exulting in his misfortune and others excusing him and condoling with his sorrow; whilst he bewailed himself to them and for grief neither ate meat nor drank drink. And as he sat, repenting him of what he had done, behold one of his servants came in to him and said, "There is a person at the door who asketh for thee; and I know him not." The jeweller went forth to him and saluted him who was a stranger; and the man whispered to him, "I have somewhat to say between our two selves." Thereupon he brought him in and asked him, "What hast thou to tell me?" Quoth the man, "Come with me to thine other house;" and the jeweller enquired, "Dost thou then know my other house?" Replied the other, "I know all about thee and I know that also whereby Allah will dispel thy dolours." So I said to myself (continued the jeweller) "I will go with him whither he will;" and went out and walked on till we came to my second house; and when the man saw it he said to me, "It is without door or door-keeper, and we cannot possibly sit in it; so come thou with me to another place." Then the man continued passing from stead to stead (and I with him) till night overtook us. Yet I put no question to him of the matter in hand and we ceased not to walk on, till we reached the open country. He kept saying, "Follow 198me," and quickened his pace to a trot, whilst I trotted after him heartening my heart to go on, until we reached the river, where he took boat with me, and the boatman rowed us over to the other bank. Then he landed from the boat and I landed after him; and he took my hand and led me to a street which I had never entered in all my days, nor do I know in what quarter it was. Presently the man stopped at the door of a house, and opening it entered and made me enter with him; after which he locked the door with an iron padlock,[212] and led me along the vestibule, till he brought me in the presence of ten men who were as though they were one and the same man; they being brothers. We saluted them (continued the jeweller) and they returned our greeting and bade us be seated; so we sat down. Now I was like to die for excess of weariness; but they brought me rose-water and sprinkled it on my face; after which they gave me a sherbet to drink and set before me food whereof some of them ate with me. Quoth I to myself, "Were there aught harmful in the food, they would not eat with me." So I ate, and when we had washed our hands, each of us returned to his place. Then they asked me, "Dost thou know us?" and I answered, "No! nor in my life have I ever seen you; nay, I know not even him who brought me hither." Said they, "Tell us thy tidings and lie not at all." Replied I, "Know then that my case is wondrous and my affair marvellous; but wot ye anything about me?" They rejoined, "Yes! it was we took thy goods yesternight and carried off thy friend and her who was singing to him." Quoth I, "Allah let down His veil over you! Where be my friend and she who was singing to him?" They pointed with their hands to one side and replied, "Yonder, but, by Allah, O our brother, the secret of their case is known to none save to thee, for from the time we brought the twain hither up to this day, we have not looked upon them nor questioned them of their condition, seeing them to be persons of rank and dignity. Now this and this only it was that hindered our killing them: so tell us the truth of their case and thou shalt be assured of thy safety and of theirs." When I heard this (continued the jeweller) I almost died of fright and horror, and I said to them, "Know ye, O my brethren, that if generosity were lost, it would not be found save with you; and had I a secret which I feared to reveal, none but your breasts would conceal it." And I went on exaggerating 199their praises in this fashion, till I saw that frankness and readiness to speak out would profit me more than concealing facts; so I told them all that had betided me to the very end of the tale. When they heard it, they said, "And is this young man Ali Bakkar-son and this lady Shams al-Nahar?" I replied "Yes." Now this was grievous to them and they rose and made their excuses to the two and then they said to me, "Of what we took from thy house part is spent, but here is what is left of it." So speaking, they gave me back most of my goods and they engaged to return them to their places in my house, and to restore me the rest as soon as they could. My heart was set at ease till they split into two parties, one with me and the other against me; and we fared forth from that house and such was my case. But as regards Ali bin Bakkar and Shams al-Nahar; they were well-nigh dying for excess of fear, when I went up to them and saluting them, asked, "What happened to the damsel and the two maids, and where be they gone?"; and they answered only, "We know nothing of them." Then we walked on and stinted not till we came to the river-bank where the barque lay; and we all boarded it, for it was the same which had brought me over on the day before. The boatman rowed us to the other side; but hardly had we landed and taken seat on the bank to rest, when a troop of horse swooped down on us like eagles and surrounded us on all sides and places, whereupon the robbers with us sprang up in haste like vultures, and the boat put back for them and took them in and the boatman pushed off into mid-stream, leaving us on the river bank, unable to move or to stand still. Then the chief horseman said to us, "Whence be ye!"; and we were perplexed for an answer, but I said (continued the jeweller), "Those ye saw with us are rogues; we know them not. As for us, we are singers, and they intended taking us to sing for them, nor could we get free of them, save by subtlety and soft words; so on this occasion they let us go, their works being such as you have seen." But they looked at Shams al-Nahar and Ali bin Bakkar and said to me, "Thou hast not spoken sooth but, if thy tale be true, tell us who ye are and whence ye are; and what be your place and in what quarter you dwell." I knew not what to answer them, but Shams al-Nahar sprang up and approaching the Captain of the horsemen spoke with him privily, whereupon he dismounted from his steed and, setting her on horseback, took the bridle and began to lead his beast. And two of his men did the like with the youth, Ali bin Bakkar, and it was the same 200with myself. The Commandant of the troop ceased not faring on with us, till they reached a certain part of the river bank, when he sang out in some barbarous jargon[213] and there came to us a number of men with two boats. Then the Captain embarked us in one of them (and he with us) whilst the rest of his men put off in the other, and rowed on with us till we arrived at the palace of the Caliphate where Shams al-Nahar landed. And all the while we endured the agonies of death for excess of fear, and they ceased not faring till they came to a place whence there was a way to our quarter. Here we landed and walked on, escorted by some of the horsemen, till we came to Ali bin Bakkar's house; and when we entered it, our escort took leave of us and went their way. We abode there, unable to stir from the place and not knowing the difference between morning and evening; and in such case we continued till the dawn of the next day. And when it was again nightfall, I came to myself and saw Ali bin Bakkar and the women and men of his household weeping over him, for he was stretched out without sense or motion. Some of them came to me and thoroughly arousing me said, "Tell us what hath befallen our son and say how came he in this plight?" Replied I, "O folk, hearken to me"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller answered them, "O folk, hearken to my words and give me no trouble and annoyance! but be patient and he will come to and tell you his tale for himself." And I was hard upon them and made them afraid of a scandal between me and them, but as we were thus, behold, Ali bin Bakkar moved on his carpet-bed; whereat his friends rejoiced and the stranger folk withdrew from him; but his people forbade me to go away. Then they sprinkled rose-water on his face and he presently revived and sensed the air; whereupon they questioned him of his case, and he essayed to answer them but his tongue could not speak forthright and he signed to them 201to let me go home. So they let me go, and I went forth hardly crediting my escape and returned to my own house, supported by two men. When my people saw me thus, they rose up and set to shrieking and slapping their faces; but I signed to them with my hand to be silent and they were silent. Then the two men went their way and I threw myself down on my bed, where I lay the rest of the night and awoke not till the forenoon, when I found my people gathered round me and saying, "What calamity befel thee, and what evil with its mischief did fell thee?" Quoth I, "Bring me somewhat to drink." So they brought me drink, and I drank of it what I would and said to them, "What happened, happened." Thereupon they went away and I made my excuses to my friends, and asked if any of the goods that had been stolen from my other house had been returned. They answered, "Yes! some of them have come back; by token that a man entered and threw them down within the doorway and we saw him not." So I comforted myself and abode in my place two days, unable to rise and leave it; and presently I took courage and went to the bath, for I was worn out with fatigue and troubled in mind for Ali bin Bakkar and Shams al-Nahar, because I had no news of them all this time and could neither get to Ali's house nor, out of fear for my life, take my rest in mine own. And I repented to Almighty Allah of what I had done and praised Him for my safety. Presently my fancy suggested to me to go to such and such a place and see the folk and solace myself; so I went on foot to the cloth-market and sat awhile with a friend of mine there. When I rose to go, I saw a woman standing over against me; so I looked at her, and lo! it was Shams al-Nahar's slave-girl. When I saw her, the world grew dark in my eyes and I hurried on. She followed me, but I was seized with affright and fled from her, and whenever I looked at her, a trembling came upon me whilst she pursued me, saying, "Stop, that I may tell thee somewhat!" But I heeded her not and never ceased walking till I reached a mosque, and she entered after me. I prayed a two-bow prayer, after which I turned to her and, sighing, said, "What dost thou want?" She asked me how I did, and I told her all that had befallen myself and Ali bin Bakkar and besought her for news of herself. She answered, "Know that when I saw the robbers break open thy door and rush in, I was in sore terror, for I doubted not but that they were the Caliph's officers and would seize me and my mistress and we should perish forthwith: so we fled over the roofs, I and the 202maids; and, casting ourselves down from a high place, came upon some people with whom we took refuge; and they received us and brought us to the palace of the Caliphate, where we arrived in the sorriest of plights. We concealed our case and abode on coals of fire till nightfall, when I opened the river-gate and, calling the boatman who had carried us the night before, said to him:—I know not what is become of my mistress; so take me in the boat, that we may go seek her on the river: haply I shall chance on some news of her. Accordingly he took me into the boat and went about with me and ceased not wending till midnight, when I spied a barque making towards the water gate, with one man rowing and another standing up and a woman lying prostrate between them twain. And they rowed on till they reached the shore when the woman landed, and I looked at her, and behold, it was Shams al-Nahar. Thereupon I got out and joined her, dazed for joy to see her after having lost all hopes of finding her alive."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-girl went on telling the jeweller, "I was dazed for joy to see her, after having lost all hopes of finding her alive. When I came up to her, she bade me give the man who had brought her thither a thousand gold pieces; and we carried her in, I and the two maids, and laid her on her bed; where she passed that night in a sorely troubled state; and, when morning dawned, I forbade the women and eunuchs to go in to her, or even to draw near her for the whole of that day; but on the next she revived and somewhat recovered and I found her as if she had come out of her grave. I sprinkled rose-water upon her face and changed her clothes and washed her hands and feet; nor did I cease to coax her, till I brought her to eat a little and drink some wine, though she had no mind to any such matter. As soon as she had breathed the fresh air and strength began to return to her, I took to upbraiding her, saying:—O my lady, consider and have pity on thyself; thou seest what hath betided us: surely, enough and more than enough of evil hath befallen thee; for indeed thou hast been nigh upon death. She said:—By Allah, O good damsel, in sooth 203death were easier to me than what hath betided me; for it seemed as though I should be slain and no power could save me. When the robbers took us from the jeweller's house they asked me, Who mayst thou be? and hearing my answer:—I am a singing girl, they believed me. Then they turned to Ali bin Bakkar and made enquiries about him:—And who art thou and what is thy condition?; whereto he replied:—I am of the common kind. So they took us and carried us along, without our resisting, to their abode; and we hurried on with them for excess of fear; but when they had us set down with them in the house, they looked hard at me and seeing the clothes I wore and my necklaces and jewellery, believed not my account of myself and said to me:—Of a truth these necklaces belong to no singing-girl; so be soothfast and tell us the truth of thy case. I returned them no answer whatever, saying in my mind:—Now will they slay me for the sake of my apparel and ornaments; and I spoke not a word. Then the villains turned to Ali bin Bakkar, asking:—And thou, who art thou and whence art thou? for thy semblance seemeth not as that of the common kind. But he was silent and we ceased not to keep our counsel and to weep, till Allah softened the rogues' hearts to pity and they said to us:—Who is the owner of the house wherein ye were? We answered:—Such an one, the jeweller; whereupon quoth one of them:—I know him right well and I wot the other house where he liveth and I will engage to bring him to you this very hour. Then they agreed to set me in a place by myself and Ali bin Bakkar in a place by himself, and said to us:—Be at rest ye twain and fear not lest your secret be divulged; ye are safe from us. Meanwhile their comrade went away and returned with the jeweller, who made known to them our case, and we joined company with him; after which a man of the band fetched a barque, wherein they embarked us all three and, rowing us over the river, landed us with scant ceremony on the opposite bank and went their ways. Thereupon up came a horse-patrol and asked us who we were; so I spoke with the Captain of the watch and said to him:—I am Shams al-Nahar, the Caliph's favourite; I had drunken strong wine and went out to visit certain of my acquaintance of the wives of the Wazirs, when yonder rogues came upon me and laid hold of me and brought me to this place; but when they saw you, they fled as fast as they could. I met these men with them; so do thou escort me and them to a place of safety and 204I will requite thee as I am well able to do. When the Captain of the watch heard my speech, he knew me and alighting, mounted me on his horse; and in like manner did two of his men with Ali bin Bakkar. So I spoke to her (continued the handmaid) and blamed her doings, and bade her beware, and said to her:—O my lady, have some care for thy life! But she was angered at my words and cried out at me; accordingly I left her and came forth in quest of thee, but found thee not and dared not go to the house of Ali bin Bakkar; so stood watching for thee, that I might ask thee of him and wot how it goes with him. And I pray thee, of thy favour, to take of me some money, for thou hast doubtless borrowed from thy friends part of the gear and as it is lost, it behoveth thee to make it good with folk." I replied, "To hear is to obey! go on;" and I walked with her till we drew near my house, when she said to me, "Wait here till I come back to thee."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the slave-girl had addressed the jeweller, "Wait here till I come back to thee!" she went away and presently returned with the money, which she put (continued the jeweller) into my hand, saying, "O my master, in what place shall we meet?" Quoth I, "I will start and go to my house at once and suffer hard things for thy sake and contrive how thou mayst win access to him, for such access is difficult at this present." Said she, "Let me know some spot, where I shall come to thee," and I answered, "In my other house; I will go thither forthright and have the doors mended and the place made safe again, and henceforth we will meet there." Then she took leave of me and went her way, whilst I carried the money home, and counting it, found it five thousand dinars. So I gave my people some of it and to all who had lent me aught I made good their loss, after which I arose and took my servants and repaired to my other house whence the things had been stolen; and I brought builders and carpenters and masons who restored it to its former state. Moreover, I placed my negress-slave there and forgot the mishaps which had befallen me. Then I fared forth and repaired to Ali bin Bakkar's house 205and, when I reached it, his slave-servants accosted me, saying, "Our lord calleth for thee night and day, and hath promised to free whichever of us bringeth thee to him; so they have been wandering about in quest of thee everywhere but knew not in what part to find thee. Our master is by way of recovering strength, but at times he reviveth and at times he relapseth; and whenever he reviveth he nameth thee, and saith:—Needs must ye bring him to me, though but for the twinkling of an eye; and then he sinketh back into his torpor." Accordingly (continued the jeweller) I accompanied the slave and went in to Ali bin Bakkar; and, finding him unable to speak, sat down at his head, whereupon he opened his eyes and seeing me, wept and said, "Welcome and well come!" I raised him and making him sit up, strained him to my bosom, and he said, "Know, O my brother, that, from the hour I took to my bed, I have not sat up till now: praise to Allah that I see thee again!" And I ceased not to prop him and support him until I made him stand on his feet and walk a few steps, after which I changed his clothes and he drank some wine: but all this he did for my satisfaction. Then, seeing him somewhat restored, I told him what had befallen me with the slave-girl (none else hearing me), and said to him, "Take heart and be of good courage, I know what thou sufferest." He smiled and I added, "Verily nothing shall betide thee save what shall rejoice thee and medicine thee." Thereupon he called for food, which being brought, he signed to his pages, and they withdrew. Then quoth he to me, "O my brother, hast thou seen what hath befallen me?"; and he made excuses to me and asked how I had fared all that while. I told him everything that had befallen me, from beginning to end, whereat he wondered and calling his servants, said, "Bring me such and such things." They brought in fine carpets and hangings and, besides that, vessels of gold and silver, more than I had lost, and he gave them all to me; so I sent them to my house and abode with him that night. When the day began to yellow, he said to me, "Know thou that as to all things there is an end, so the end of love is either death or accomplishment of desire. I am nearer unto death, would I had died ere this befel!; and had not Allah favoured us, we had been found out and put to shame. And now I know not what shall deliver me from this my strait, and were it not that I fear Allah, I would hasten my own death; for know, O my brother, that I am like bird in cage and that my life is of a surety perished, choked by the distresses which have 206befallen me; yet hath it a period stablished firm and an appointed term." And he wept and groaned and began repeating:—

Enough of tears hath shed the lover-wight, ✿ When grief outcast all patience from his sprite:
He hid the secrets which united us, ✿ But now His eye parts what He did unite!

When he had finished his verses, the jeweller said to him, "O my lord, I now intend returning to my house." He answered, "There be no harm in that; go and come back to me with news as fast as possible, for thou seest my case." So I took leave of him (continued the jeweller) and went home, and hardly had I sat down, when up came the damsel, choked with long weeping. I asked, "What is the matter?"; and she answered, "O my lord, know then that what we feared hath befallen us; for, when I left thee yesterday and returned to my lady, I found her in a fury with one of the two maids who were with us the other night, and she ordered her to be beaten. The girl was frightened and ran away; but, as she was leaving the house, one of the door-porters and guards of the gate met her and took her up and would have sent her back to her mistress. However, she let fall some hints, which were a disclosure to him; so he cajoled her and led her on to talk, and she tattled about our case and let him know of all our doings. This affair came to the ears of the Caliph, who bade remove my mistress, Shams al-Nahar, and all her gear to the palace of the Caliphate; and set over her a guard of twenty eunuchs. Since then to the present hour he hath not visited her nor hath given her to know the reason of his action, but I suspect this to be the cause; wherefore I am in fear for my life and am sore troubled, O my lord, knowing not what I shall do, nor with what contrivance I shall order my affair and hers; for she hath none by her more trusted or more trustworthy than myself."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-girl thus addressed the jeweller, "And in very sooth my lady hath none by her more trusted or more trustworthy in matter of secrecy than myself. So go thou, O my master, and speed thee without delay to Ali bin Bakkar; and acquaint him with this, that he may 207be on his guard and ward; and, if the affair be discovered, we will cast about for some means whereby to save our lives." On this (continued the jeweller), I was seized with sore trouble and the world grew dark in my sight for the slave-girl's words; and when she was about to wend, I said to her, "What reckest thou and what is to be done?" Quoth she, "My counsel is that thou hasten to Ali bin Bakkar, if thou be indeed his friend and desire to save him; thine be it to carry him this news at once without aught of stay and delay, or regard for far and near; and mine be it to sniff about for further news." Then she took her leave of me and went away: so I rose and followed her track and, betaking myself to Ali bin Bakkar, found him flattering himself with impossible expectations. When he saw me returning to him so soon, he said, "I see thou hast come back to me forthwith and only too soon." I answered, "Patience, and cut short this foolish connection and shake off the pre-occupation wherein thou art, for there hath befallen that which may bring about the loss of thy life and good." Now when he heard this, he was troubled and strongly moved; and he said to me, "O my brother, tell me what hath happened." Replied I, "O my lord, know that such and such things have happened and thou art lost without recourse, if thou abide in this thy house till the end of the day." At this, he was confounded and his soul well-nigh departed his body, but he recovered himself and said to me, "What shall I do, O my brother, and what counsel hast thou to offer?" Answered I, "My advice is that thou take what thou canst of thy property and whom of thy slaves thou trustest, and flee with us to a land other than this, ere this very day come to an end." And he said, "I hear and I obey." So he rose, confused and dazed like one in epilepsy, now walking and now falling, and took what came under his hand. Then he made an excuse to his household and gave them his last injunctions, after which he loaded three camels and mounted his beast; and I did likewise. We went forth privily in disguise and fared on and ceased not our wayfare the rest of that day and all its night, till nigh upon morning, when we unloaded and, hobbling our camels, lay down to sleep. But we were worn with fatigue and we neglected to keep watch, so that there fell upon us robbers, who stripped us of all we had and slew our slaves, when these would have beaten them off, leaving us naked and in the sorriest of plights, after they had taken our money and lifted our beasts and disappeared. As soon as they were gone, we arose and walked on till morning dawned, when we came to a village which we entered, and finding a mosque took 208refuge therein for we were naked. So we sat in a corner all that day and we passed the next night without meat or drink; and at daybreak we prayed our dawn-prayer and sat down again. Presently behold, a man entered and saluting us prayed a two-bow prayer, after which he turned to us and said, "O folk, are ye strangers?" We replied, "Yes: the bandits waylaid us and stripped us naked, and we came to this town but know none here with whom we may shelter." Quoth he, "What say ye? will you come home with me?" And (pursued the jeweller) I said to Ali bin Bakkar, "Up and let us go with him, and we shall escape two evils; the first, our fear lest some one who knoweth us enter this mosque and recognise us, so that we come to disgrace; and the second, that we are strangers and have no place wherein to lodge." And he answered helplessly, "As thou wilt." Then the man said to us again, "O ye poor folk, give ear unto me and come with me to my place," and I replied, "Hearkening and obedience;" whereupon he pulled off a part of his own clothes and covered us therewith and made his excuses to us and spoke kindly to us. Then we arose and accompanied him to his house and he knocked at the door, whereupon a little slave-boy came out and opened to us. The host entered and we followed him;[214] when he called for a bundle of clothes and muslins for turbands, and gave us each a suit and a piece; so we dressed and turbanded ourselves and sat us down. Presently, in came a damsel with a tray of food and set it before us, saying, "Eat." We ate some small matter and she took away the tray: after which we abode with our host till nightfall, when Ali bin Bakkar sighed and said to me, "Know, O my brother, that I am a dying man past hope of life and I would charge thee with a charge: it is that, when thou seest me dead, thou go to my parent[215] and tell her of my decease and bid her come hither that she may be here to receive the visits of condolence and be present at the washing of my corpse; and do thou exhort her to bear my loss with patience." Then he fell down in a fainting fit and, when he recovered he heard a damsel singing afar off and making verses as she sang. Thereupon he addressed himself to give ear to her and hearken to her voice; and now he was insensible, absent from the world, and now he came to himself; and anon he wept for grief and mourning at the love which had 209befallen him. Presently, he heard the damsel who was singing repeat these couplets:—

Parting ran up to part from lover-twain ✿ Free converse, perfect concord, friendship fain:
The Nights with shifting drifted us apart, ✿ Would heaven I wot if we shall meet again:
How bitter after meeting 'tis to part, ✿ May lovers ne'er endure so bitter pain!
Death-grip, death-choke, lasts for an hour and ends, ✿ But parting-tortures aye in heart remain:
Could we but trace where Parting's house is placed, ✿ We would make Parting eke of parting taste!

When Ali son of Bakkar heard the damsel's song, he sobbed one sob and his soul quitted his body. As soon as I saw that he was dead (continued the jeweller), I committed his corpse to the care of the house-master and said to him "Know thou, that I am going to Baghdad, to tell his mother and kinsfolk, that they may come hither and conduct his burial." So I betook myself to Baghdad and, going to my house, changed my clothes; after which I repaired to Ali bin Bakkar's lodging. Now when his servants saw me, they came to me and questioned me of him, and I bade them ask permission for me to go in to his mother. She gave me leave; so I entered and saluting her, said, "Verily Allah ordereth the lives of all creatures by His commandment and when He decreeth aught, there is no escaping its fulfilment; nor can any soul depart but by leave of Allah, according to the Writ which affirmeth the appointed term."[216] She guessed by these words that her son was dead and wept with sore weeping, then she said to me, "Allah upon thee! tell me, is my son dead?" I could not answer her for tears and excess of grief, and when she saw me thus, she was choked with weeping and fell to the ground in a fit. As soon as she came to herself she said to me, "Tell me how it was with my son." I replied, "May Allah abundantly compensate thee for his loss!" and I told her all that had befallen him from beginning to end. She then asked, "Did he give thee any charge?"; and I answered, "Yes," and told her what he had said, adding, "Hasten to perform his funeral." When she heard these words, she swooned away again; and, when she recovered, 210she addressed herself to do as I charged her. Then I returned to my house; and as I went along musing sadly upon the fair gifts of his youth, behold, a woman caught hold of my hand;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Sixty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller thus continued:—A woman caught hold of my hand; and I looked at her and lo! it was the slave-girl who used to come from Shams al-Nahar, and she seemed broken by grief. When we knew each other we both wept and ceased not weeping till we reached my house, and I said to her, "Knowest thou the news of the youth, Ali bin Bakkar?" She replied, "No, by Allah!"; so I told her the manner of his death and all that had passed, whilst we both wept; after which quoth I to her, "How is it with thy mistress?" Quoth she, "The Commander of the Faithful would not hear a single word against her; but, for the great love he bore her, saw all her actions in a favourable light, and said to her:—O Shams al-Nahar, thou art dear to me and I will bear with thee and bring the noses of thy foes to the grindstone. Then he bade them furnish her an apartment decorated with gold and a handsome sleeping-chamber, and she abode with him in all ease of life and high favour. Now it came to pass that one day, as he sat at wine according to his custom, with his favourite concubines in presence, he bade them be seated in their several ranks and made Shams al-Nahar sit by his side. But her patience had failed and her disorder had redoubled upon her. Then he bade one of the damsels sing: so she took a lute and tuning it struck the chords, and began to sing these verses:—

One craved my love and I gave all he craved of me, ✿ And tears on cheek betray how 'twas I came to yield:
Tear-drops, meseemeth, are familiar with our case, ✿ Revealing what I hide, hiding what I revealed:
How can I hope in secret to conceal my love, ✿ Which stress of passion ever showeth unconcealed:
Death, since I lost my lover, is grown sweet to me; ✿ Would I knew what their joys when I shall quit the field!"

Now when Shams al-Nahar heard these verses sung by the slave-girl, 211she could not keep her seat; but fell down in a fainting-fit whereupon the Caliph cast the cup from his hand and drew her to him crying out; and the damsels also cried out, and the Prince of True Believers turned her over and shook her, and lo and behold! she was dead. The Caliph grieved over her death with sore grief and bade break all the vessels and dulcimers[217] and other instruments of mirth and music which were in the room; then carrying her body to his closet, he abode with her the rest of the night. When the day broke, he laid her out and commanded to wash her and shroud her and bury her. And he mourned for her with sore mourning, and questioned not of her case nor of what caused her condition. And I beg thee in Allah's name (continued the damsel) to let me know the day of the coming of Ali bin Bakkar's funeral procession that I may be present at his burial." Quoth I, "For myself, where thou wilt thou canst find me; but thou, where art thou to be found, and who can come at thee where thou art?" She replied, "On the day of Shams al-Nahar's death, the Commander of the Faithful freed all her women, myself among the rest;[218] and I am one of those now abiding at the tomb in such a place." So I rose and accompanied her to the burial-ground and piously visited Shams al-Nahar's tomb; after which I went my way and ceased not to await the coming of Ali bin Bakkar's funeral. When it arrived, the people of Baghdad went forth to meet it and I went forth with them; and I saw the damsel among the women and she the loudest of them in lamentation, crying out and wailing with a voice that rent the vitals and made the heart ache. Never was seen in Baghdad a finer funeral than his; and we ceased not to follow in crowds till we reached the cemetery and buried him to the mercy of Almighty Allah; nor from that time to this have I ceased to visit the tombs of Ali son of Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. This, then, is their story, and Allah Almighty have mercy upon them!"[219] And yet is not their tale (continued Shahrazad) more wonderful than that of King Shahrimán. The King asked her "And what was his tale?"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, as regards the

175.  i.e. a descendant, not a Prince.

176.  The Arab shop is a kind of hole in the wall and buyers sit upon its outer edge. (Pilgrimage i. 99).

177.  By a similar image the chamæleon is called Abú Kurrat = Father of coolness; because it is said to have the "coldest" eye of all animals and insensible to heat and light, since it always looks at the sun.

178.  This dividing the hemistich words is characteristic of certain tales; so I have retained it although inevitably suggesting:—

I left Matilda at the U-
niversity of Gottingen.

179.  These naïve offers in Eastern tales mostly come from the true seducer—Eve. Europe, and England especially, still talks endless absurdity upon the subject. A man of the world may "seduce" an utterly innocent (which means an ignorant) girl. But to "seduce" a married woman! What a farce!

180.  Masculine again for feminine: the lines are as full of word-plays, vulgarly called puns, as Sanskrit verses.

181.  The Eastern heroine always has a good appetite and eats well. The sensible Oriental would infinitely despise that maladive Parisienne in whom our neighbours delight, and whom I long to send to the Hospital.

182.  i.e. her rivals have discovered the secret of her heart.

183.  i.e. blood as red as wine.

184.  The wine-cup (sun-like) shines in thy hand; thy teeth are bright as the Pleiads and thy face rises like a moon from the darkness of thy dress-collar.

185.  The masculine of Marjánah (Morgiana) "the she coral-branch;" and like this a name generally given to negroes. We have seen white applied to a blackamoor by way of metonomy and red is also connected with black skins by way of fun. A Persian verse says:

"If a black wear red, e'en an ass would grin."

186.  Suggesting that she had been sleeping.

187.  Arab. "Raushan," a window projecting and latticed: the word is orig. Persian: so Raushaná (splendour) = Roxana. It appears to me that this beautiful name gains beauty by being understood.

188.  The word means any servant, but here becomes a proper name. "Wasífah" usually = a concubine.

189.  i.e. eagerness, desire, love-longing.

190.  Arab. "Rind," which may mean willow (oriental), bay or aloes wood: Al-Asma'i denies that it ever signifies myrtle.

191.  These lines occur in Night cxiv: by way of variety I give (with permission) Mr. Payne's version (iii. 59).

192.  Referring to the proverb "Al-Khauf maksúm" = fear (cowardice) is equally apportioned: i.e. If I fear you, you fear me.

193.  The fingers of the right band are struck upon the palm of the left.

194.  There are intricate rules for "joining" the prayers; but this is hardly the place for a subject discussed in all religious treatises. (Pilgrimage iii. 239.)

195.  The hands being stained with Henna and perhaps indigo in stripes are like the ring-rows of chain armour. See Lane's illustration (Mod. Egypt, chapt. i.)

196.  She made rose-water of her cheeks for my drink and she bit with teeth like grains of hail those lips like the lotus-fruit, or jujube: Arab. "Unnab" or "Nabk," the plum of the Sidr or Zizyphus lotus.

197.  Meaning to let Patience run away like an untethered camel.

198.  i.e. her fair face shining through the black hair. "Camphor" is a favourite with Arab poets; the Persians hate it because connected in their minds with death; being used for purifying the corpse. We read in Burckhardt (Prov. 464) "Singing without siller is like a corpse without Hanút"—this being a mixture of camphor and rose-water sprinkled over the face of the dead before shrouded. Similarly Persians avoid speaking of coffee, because they drink it at funerals and use tea at other times.

199.  i.e. she is angry and bites her carnelion lips with pearly teeth.

200.  Arab. "Wa ba'ad;" the formula which follows "Bismillah"—In the name of Allah. The French translate it or sus, etc. I have noticed the legend about its having been first used by the eloquent Koss, Bishop of Najrán.

201.  i.e. Her mind is so troubled she cannot answer for what she writes.

202.  The Bul. Edit. (i. 329) and the Mac. Edit. (i. 780) give to Shams al-Nahar the greater part of Ali's answer, as is shown by the Calc. Edit. (230 et seq.) and the Bresl. Edit. (ii. 366 et seq.). Lane mentions this (ii. 74) but in his usual perfunctory way gives no paginal references to the Calc, or Bresl.; so that those who would verify the text may have the displeasure of hunting for it.

203.  Arab. "Bi'smi 'lláhi' r-Rahmáni'r-Rahím." This auspicatory formula was borrowed by Al-Islam not from the Jews but from the Guebre "Ba nám-i-Yezdán bakhsháishgar-i-dádár!" (in the name of Yezdan—God—All-generous, All-just!) The Jews have, "In the name of the Great God;" and the Christians, "In the name of the Father, etc." The so-called Sir John Mandeville begins his book, In the name of God, Glorious and Almighty. The sentence forms the first of the Koran and heads every chapter except only the ninth, an exception for which recondite reasons are adduced. Hence even in the present day it begins all books, letters and writings in general; and it would be a sign of Infidelity (i.e. non-Islamism) to omit it. The difference between "Rahmán" and "Rahím" is that the former represents an accidental (compassionating), the latter a constant quality (compassionate). Sale therefore renders it very imperfectly by "In the name of the most merciful God;" the Latinists better, "In nomine Dei misericordis, clementissimi" (Gottwaldt in Hamza Ispahanensis); Mr. Badger much better, "In the name of God, the Pitiful, the Compassionate"—whose only fault is not preserving the assonance: and Maracci best, "In nomine Dei miseratoris, misericordis."

204.  Arab. Majnún (i.e. one possessed by a Jinni) the well-known model lover of Layla, a fictitious personage for whom see D'Herbelot (s. v. Megnoun). She was celebrated by Abu Mohammed Nizam al-Din of Ganjah (ob. A.H. 597 = 1200) pop. known as Nizámi, the caustic and austere poet who wrote:—

The weals of this world are the ass's meed!
Would Nizámi were of the ass's breed.

The series in the East begins chronologically with Yúsuf and Zulaykhá (Potiphar's wife) sung by Jámi (nat. A.H. 817 = 1414); the next in date is Khusraw and Shirin (also by Nizami); Farhad and Shirin; and Layla and Majnun (the Night-black maid and the Maniac-man) are the last. We are obliged to compare the lovers with "Romeo and Juliet," having no corresponding instances in modern days: the classics of Europe supply a host as Hero and Leander, Theagenes and Charicleia, etc. etc.

205.  The jeweller of Eastern tales from Marocco to Calcutta, is almost invariably a rascal: here we have an exception.

206.  This must not be understood of sealing-wax, which, however, is of ancient date. The Egyptians (Herod. ii. 38) used "sealing earth" (γῆ σημαντρίς) probably clay, impressed with a signet (δακτὺλιον); the Greeks mud-clay (πηλός); and the Romans first cretula and then wax (Beckmann). Mediæval Europe had bees-wax tempered with Venice turpentine and coloured with cinnabar or similar material. The modern sealing-wax, whose distinctive is shell-lac, was brought by the Dutch from India to Europe; and the earliest seals date from about A.D. 1560. They called it Ziegel-lak, whence the German Siegel-lack, the French preferring cire-à-cacheter, as distinguished from cire-à-sceller, the softer material. The use of sealing-wax in India dates from old times and the material, though coarse and unsightly, is still preferred by Anglo-Indians because it resists heat whereas the best English softens like pitch.

207.  Evidently referring to the runaway Abu al-Hasan, not to the she-Mercury.

208.  An unmarried man is not allowed to live in a respectable quarter of a Moslem city unless he takes such precaution. Lane (Mod. Egypt. passim) has much to say on this point; and my excellent friend the late Professor Spitta at Cairo found the native prejudice very troublesome.

209.  Arab. "Yá fulán" = O certain person (fulano in Span. and Port.) a somewhat contemptuous address.

210.  Mr. Payne remarks, "These verses apparently relate to Aboulhusn, but it is possible that they may be meant to refer to Shemsennehar." (iii. 80.)

211.  Arab. and Pers. "Bulúr" (vulg. billaur) retaining the venerable tradition of the Belus-river. In Al-Hariri (Ass. of Halwán) it means crystal and there is no need of proposing to translate it by onyx or to identify it with the Greek βήρυλλος, the beryl.

212.  The door is usually shut with a wooden bolt.

213.  Arab. "Ritánah," from "Ratan," speaking any tongue not Arabic, the allusion being to foreign mercenaries, probably Turks. In later days Turkish was called Muwalla', a pied horse, from its mixture of languages.

214.  This is the rule; to guard against the guet-apens.

215.  Arab. "Wálidati," used when speaking to one not of the family in lieu of the familiar "Ummi" = my mother. So the father is Wálid = the begetter.

216.  This is one of the many euphemistic formulæ for such occasions: they usually begin "May thy head live," etc.

217.  Arab. "Kánún" Gr. κανὼν, an instrument not unlike the Austrian zither; it is illustrated in Lane (ii. 77).

218.  This is often done, the merit of the act being transferred to the soul of the deceased.

219.  The two amourists were martyrs; and their amours, which appear exaggerated to the Western mind, have many parallels in the East. The story is a hopeless affair of love; with only one moral (if any be wanted) viz., there may be too much of a good thing. It is given very concisely in the Bul. Edit. vol. i.; and more fully in the Mac. Edit. aided in places by the Bresl. (ii. 320) and the Calc. (ii. 230).



That there was in times of yore and in ages long gone before a King called Shahrimán,[220] who was lord of many troops and guards, and officers, and who reigned over certain islands, known as the Khálidán Islands,[221] on the borders of the land of the Persians. But he was stricken in years and his bones were wasted, without having been blessed with a son, albeit he had four wives, daughters of Kings, and threescore concubines, with each of whom he was wont to lie one night in turn.[222] This 213preyed upon his mind and disquieted him, so that he complained thereof to one of his Wazirs, saying, "Verily I fear lest my kingdom be lost when I die, for that I have no son to succeed me." The Minister answered, "O King, peradventure Allah shall yet bring something to pass; so rely upon the Almighty and be instant in prayer. It is also my counsel that thou spread a banquet and invite to it the poor and needy, and let them eat of thy food; and supplicate the Lord to vouchsafe thee a son; for perchance there may be among thy guests a righteous soul whose prayers find acceptance; and thereby thou shalt win thy wish." So the King rose, made the lesser ablution, and prayed a two-bow prayer,[223] then he cried upon Allah with pure intention; after which he called his chief wife to bed and lay with her forthright. By grace of God she conceived and, when her months were accomplished, she bore a male child, like the moon on the night of fulness. The King named him Kamar al-Zamán,[224] and rejoiced in him with extreme joy and bade the city be dressed out in his honour; so they decorated the streets seven days, whilst the drums beat and the messengers bore the glad tidings abroad. Then wet and dry nurses were provided for the boy and he was reared in splendour and delight, until he reached the age of fifteen. He grew up of surpassing beauty and seemlihead and symmetry, and his father loved him so dear that he could not brook to be parted from him day or night. One day he complained to a certain of his Ministers anent the excess of his love for his only child, saying, "O thou the Wazir, of a truth I fear for my son, Kamar al-Zaman, the shifts and accidents which befal man and fain would I marry him in my lifetime." Answered the Wazir, "O King, know thou that marriage is one of the most honourable 214of moral actions, and thou wouldst indeed do well and right to marry thy son in thy lifetime, ere thou make him Sultan." On this quoth the King, "Hither with my son Kamar al-Zaman;" so he came and bowed his head to the ground in modesty before his sire. "O Kamar al-Zaman," said King Shahriman, "of a truth I desire to marry thee and rejoice in thee during my lifetime." Replied he, "O my father, know that I have no lust to marry nor doth my soul incline to women; for that concerning their craft and perfidy I have read many books and heard much talk, even as saith the poet:—

Now, an of women ask ye, I reply:— ✿ In their affairs I'm versed a doctor rare!
When man's head grizzles and his money dwindles, ✿ In their affections he hath naught for share."

And another said:—

Rebel against women and so shalt thou serve Allah the more; ✿ The youth who gives women the rein must forfeit all hope to soar.
They'll baulk him when seeking the strange device, Excelsior, ✿ Tho' waste he a thousand of years in the study of science and lore.

And when he had ended his verses he continued, "O my father, wedlock is a thing whereto I will never consent; no, not though I drink the cup of death." When Sultan Shahriman heard these words from his son, light became darkness in his sight and he grieved thereat with great grief.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Shahriman heard these words from his son, the light became darkness in his sight and he grieved over his son's lack of obedience to his directions in the matter of marriage; yet, for the great love he bore him, he was unwilling to repeat his wishes and was not wroth with him, but caressed him and spake him fair and showed him all manner of kindness such as tendeth to induce affection. All this, and Kamar al-Zaman Increased daily in beauty and loveliness and amorous grace; and the King bore with him for a whole year till he became perfect in eloquence and elegant wit. All men were ravished with his charms; and every breeze 215that blew bore the tidings of his gracious favour; his fair sight was a seduction to the loving and a garden of delight to the longing, for he was honey-sweet of speech and the sheen of his face shamed the full moon; he was a model of symmetry and blandishment and engaging ways; his shape was as the willow-wand or the rattan-cane and his cheeks might take the place of rose or red anemone. He was, in fine the pink of perfection, even as the poet hath said of him:—

He came and cried they, "Now be Allah blest! ✿ Praise Him that clad that soul in so fair vest!"
He's King of Beauty where the beauteous be; ✿ All are his Ryots,[225] all obey his hest:
His lip-dew's sweeter than the virgin honey; ✿ His teeth are pearls in double row close prest:
All charms are congregate in him alone, ✿ And deals his loveliness to man unrest.
Beauty wrote on those cheeks for worlds to see ✿ "I testify there is none good but He."[226]

When the year came to an end, the King called his son to him and said, "O my son, wilt thou not hearken to me?" Whereupon Kamar al-Zaman fell down for respect and shame before his sire and replied, "O my father, how should I not hearken to thee, seeing that Allah commandeth me to obey thee and not gainsay thee?" Rejoined King Shahriman, "O my son, know that I desire to marry thee and rejoice in thee whilst yet I live, and make thee King over my realm, before my death." When the Prince heard his sire pronounce these words he bowed his head awhile, then raised it and said, "O my father, this is a thing which I will never do; no, not though I drink the cup of death! I know of a surety that the Almighty hath made obedience to thee a duty in religion; but, Allah upon thee! press me not in this matter of marriage, nor fancy that I will ever marry my life long; for that I have read the books both of the ancients and the moderns, and have come to know all the mischiefs and miseries which have befallen them through women and their endless artifices. And how excellent is the saying of the poet:—

216He whom the randy motts entrap ✿ Shall never see deliverance!
Though build he forts a thousand-fold, ✿ Whose mighty strength lead-plates enhance,[227]
Their force shall be of no avail; ✿ These fortresses have not a chance!
Women aye deal in treachery ✿ To far and near o'er earth's expanse;
With fingers dipt in Henna-blood ✿ And locks in braids that mad the glance;
And eyelids painted o'er with Kohl ✿ They gar us drink of dire mischance.

And how excellently saith another:—

Women, for all the chastity they claim, ✿ Are offal cast by kites where'er they list:
This night their talk and secret charms are thine; ✿ That night another joyeth calf and wrist:
Like inn, whence after night thou far'st at dawn, ✿ And lodges other wight thou hast not wist."[228]

Now when King Shahriman heard these his son's words and learnt the import of his verses and poetical quotations, he made no answer, of his excessive love for him, but redoubled in graciousness and kindness to him. He at once broke up the audience and, as soon as the seance was over, he summoned his Minister and taking him apart, said to him, "O thou the Wazir! tell me how I shall deal with my son in the matter of marriage."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King summoned his Minister; and, taking him apart, said to him, "O thou the Wazir, tell me what I shall do with my son in the matter of marriage. Of a truth I took counsel with thee thereon and thou didst counsel me to marry him, before making him King. I have spoken with him of wedlock time after time and he still gainsaid me; so do thou, O Wazir, forthright advise me what to do." Answered the Minister, "O King, wait another year and, if after that thou be minded to speak to him on the matter of marriage, speak not to him privily, but address him on a day of 217state, when all the Emirs and Wazirs are present with the whole of the army standing before thee. And when all are in crowd then send for thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and summon him; and, when he cometh, broach to him the matter of marriage before the Wazirs and Grandees and Officers of state and Captains; for he will surely be bashful and daunted by their presence and will not dare to oppose thy will." Now when King Shahriman heard his Wazir's words, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, seeing success in the project, and bestowed on him a splendid robe of honour. Then he took patience with his son another year, whilst, with every day that passed over him, Kamar al-Zaman increased in beauty and loveliness, and elegance and perfect grace, till he was nigh twenty years old. Indeed Allah had clad him in the cloak of comeliness and had crowned him with the crown of completion: his eye-glance was more bewitching than Hárút and Marút[229] and the play of his luring looks more misleading than Tághút;[230] and his cheeks shone like the dawn rosy-red and his eyelashes stormed the keen-edged blade: the whiteness of his brow resembled the moon shining bright, and the blackness of his locks was as the murky night; and his waist was more slender than the gossamer[231] and his back parts than two sand-heaps bulkier, making a Babel of the heart with their softness; but his waist complained of the weight of his hips and loins; and his charms ravished all mankind, even as one of the poets saith in these couplets:—

"By his eyelash tendril curled, by his slender waist I swear,
By the dart his witchery feathers, fatal hurtling through the air;
By the just roundness of his shape, by his glances bright and keen,
By the swart limning of his locks, and his fair forehead shining sheen;
By his eyebrows which deny that she who looks on them should sleep,
Which now commanding, now forbidding, o'er me high dominion keep;
218By the roses of his cheek, his face as fresh as myrtle wreath,
His tulip lips, and those pure pearls that hold the places of his teeth;
By his noble form, which rises featly turned in even swell
To where upon his jutting chest two young pomegranates seem to dwell;
By his supple moving hips, his taper waist, and silky skin,
By all he robbed Perfection of, and holds enchained his form within;
By his tongue of steadfastness, his nature true, and excellent,
By the greatness of his rank, his noble birth, and high descent,
Musk from my love her savour steals, who musk exhales from every limb
And all the airs ambergris breathes are but the Zephyr's blow o'er him.
The sun, methinks, the broad bright sun, as low before my love should quail
As would my love himself transcend the paltry paring of his nail!"[232]

So King Shahriman, having accepted the counsel of his Wazir, waited for another year and a great festival,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shahriman having accepted the counsel of his Wazir, waited for another year and a great festival, a day of state when the audience hall was filled with his Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees of his reign and Officers of State and Captains of might and main. Thereupon he sent for his son Kamar al-Zaman who came, and kissing the ground before him three times, stood in presence of his sire with his hands behind his back the right grasping the left.[233] Then said the King to him, "Know O my son, that I have not sent for thee on this occasion and summoned thee to appear before this assembly and all these officers of estate here awaiting our orders save and except that I may lay a commandment on thee, wherein do thou not disobey me; and my commandment is that thou marry, for I am minded to wed thee to a King's daughter and rejoice in thee ere I die." When the Prince heard this much from his royal sire, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then raising it towards his father and being moved thereto at that time by youthful folly and boyish ignorance, replied, "But for myself I will never marry; no, not though I drink the cup of death! As for thee, thou art 219great in age and small of wit: hast thou not, twice ere this day and before this occasion, questioned me of the matter of marriage, and I refused my consent? Indeed thou dotest and are not fit to govern a flock of sheep!" So saying Kamar al-Zaman unclasped his hands from behind his back and tucked up his sleeves above his elbows before his father, being in a fit of fury; moreover, he added many words to his sire, knowing not what he said in the trouble of his spirits. The King was confounded and ashamed, for that this befel in the presence of his grandees and soldier-officers assembled on a high festival and a state occasion; but presently the majesty of Kingship took him, and he cried out at his son and made him tremble. Then he called to the guards standing before him and said, "Seize him!" So they came forward and laid hands on him and, binding him, brought him before his sire, who bade them pinion his elbows behind his back and in this guise make him stand before the presence. And the Prince bowed down his head for fear and apprehension, and his brow and face were beaded and spangled with sweat; and shame and confusion troubled him sorely. Thereupon his father abused him and reviled him and cried, "Woe to thee, thou son of adultery and nursling of abomination![234] How durst thou answer me on this wise before my captains and soldiers? But hitherto none hath chastised thee."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Shahriman cried out to his son Kamar al-Zaman, "How durst thou answer me on this wise before my captains and soldiers? But hitherto none hath chastised thee. Knowest thou not that this deed thou hast done were a disgrace to him had it been done by the meanest of my subjects?" And the King commanded his Mamelukes to loose his elbow bonds and imprison him in one of the bastions of the citadel. So they took the Prince and thrust him into an old tower, wherein there was a dilapidated saloon and in its middle a ruined well, after having first swept it and cleansed 220its floor-flags and set therein a couch on which they laid a mattress, a leathern rug and a cushion; and then they brought a great lanthorn and a wax candle, for that place was dark, even by day. And lastly the Mamelukes led Kamar al-Zaman thither, and stationed an eunuch at the door. And when all this was done, the Prince threw himself on the couch, sad-spirited, and heavy-hearted; blaming himself and repenting of his injurious conduct to his father, whenas repentance availed him naught, and saying, "Allah curse marriage and marriageables and married women, the traitresses all! Would I had hearkened to my father and accepted a wife! Had I so done it had been better for me than this jail." This is how it fared with him; but as regards King Shahriman, he remained seated on his throne all through the day until sundown; then he took the Minister apart and said to him, "Know thou, O Wazir, that thou and thou only wast the cause of all this that hath come to pass between me and my son by the advice thou wast pleased to devise; and so what dost thou counsel me to do now?" Answered he, "O King, leave thy son in limbo for the space of fifteen days: then summon him to thy presence and bid him wed; and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir said to King Shahriman, "Leave thy son in limbo for the space of fifteen days; then summon him to thy presence and bid him wed; and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again." The King accepted the Wazir's opinion and lay down to sleep that night troubled at heart concerning his son; for he loved him with dearest love because he had no other child but this; and it was his wont every night not to sleep, save after placing his arm under his son's neck. So he passed that night in trouble and unease on the Prince's account, tossing from side to side, as he were laid on coals of Artemisia-wood[235]; for he was overcome with doubts and fears 221and sleep visited him not all that livelong night; but his eyes ran over with tears and he began repeating:

While slanderers slumber, longsome is my night; ✿ Suffice thee a heart so sad in parting-plight;
I say, while night in care slow moments by, ✿ "What! no return for thee, fair morning light?"

And the saying of another:—

When saw I Pleiad-stars his glance escape ✿ And Pole-star draught of sleep upon him pour;
And the Bier-daughters[236] wend in mourning dight, ✿ I knew that morning was for him no more!

Such was the case with King Shahriman; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, when the night came upon him the eunuch set the lanthorn before him and lighting the wax-candle, placed it in the candlestick; then brought him somewhat of food. The Prince ate a little and continually reproached himself for his unseemly treatment of his father, saying to himself, "O my soul, knowest thou not that a son of Adam is the hostage of his tongue, and that a man's tongue is what casteth him into deadly perils?" Then his eyes ran over with tears and he bewailed that which he had done, from anguished vitals and aching heart, repenting him with exceeding repentance of the wrong wherewith he had wronged his father and repeating:—

Fair youth shall die by stumbling of the tongue: ✿ Stumble of foot works not man's life such wrong:
The slip of lip shall oft smite off the head, ✿ While slip of foot shall never harm one long.

Now when he had made an end of eating, he asked for the wherewithal to wash his hands and when the Mameluke had washed them clean of the remnants of food, he arose and made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed the prayers of sundown and nightfall, conjoining 222them in one; after which he sat down.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Prince Kamar al-Zaman had prayed (conjoining them in one) the prayers of sundown and nightfall, he sat down on the well and began reciting the Koran, and he repeated "The Cow," the "House of Imrán," and "Y. S.;" The "Compassionate," "Blessed be the King," "Unity" and "The two Talismans"[237]; and he ended with blessing and supplication and with saying, "I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the stoned."[238] Then he lay down upon his couch which was covered with a mattress of satin from al-Ma'adin town, the same on both sides and stuffed with the raw silk of Irak; and under his head was a pillow filled with ostrich-down. And when ready for sleep, he doffed his outer clothes and drew off his bag-trousers and lay down in a shirt of delicate stuff smooth as wax; and he donned a head-kerchief of azure Marázi[239] cloth; and at such time and on this guise Kamar al-Zaman was like the full-orbed moon, when it riseth on its fourteenth night. Then, 223drawing over his head a coverlet of silk, he fell asleep with the lanthorn burning at his feet and the wax-candle over his head, and he ceased not sleeping through the first third of the night, not knowing what lurked for him in the womb of the Future, and what the Omniscient had decreed for him. Now, as Fate and Fortune would have it, both tower and saloon were old and had been many years deserted; and there was therein a Roman well inhabited by a Jinníyah of the seed of Iblis[240] the Accursed, by name Maymúnah, daughter of Al-Dimiryát, a renowned King of the Jánn.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the name of the Jinniyah in question was Maymunah, daughter of Al-Dimiryat; a renowned King of the Jann. And as Kamar al-Zaman continued sleeping till the first third of the night, Maymunah came up out of the Roman well and made for the firmament, thinking to listen by stealth to the converse of the angels; but when she reached the mouth of the well, she saw a light shining in the tower, contrary to custom; and having dwelt there many years without seeing the like, she said to herself "Never have I witnessed aught like this"; and, marvelling much at the matter, determined that there must be some cause therefor. So she made for the light and found the eunuch sleeping within the door; and inside she saw a couch spread, whereon was a human form with the wax-candle burning at his head and the lanthorn at his feet, and she wondered to see the light and stole towards it little by little. Then she folded her wings and stood by the bed and, drawing back the coverlid, discovered Kamar al-Zaman's face. She was motionless for a full hour in admiration and wonderment; for the lustre of his visage outshone that of the candle; his face beamed like a pearl with light; his eyelids were languorous like those of the gazelle; the pupils of his eyes were 224intensely black and brilliant[241]; his cheeks were rosy red; his eyebrows were arched like bows and his breath exhaled a scent of musk, even as saith of him the poet:—

I kissed him: darker grew those pupils,[242] which ✿ Seduce my soul, and cheeks flushed rosier hue;
O heart, if slanderers dare to deem there be ✿ His like in charms; Say "Bring him hither, you!"

Now when Maymunah saw him, she pronounced the formula of praise,[243] and said, "Blessed be Allah, the best of Creators!"; for she was of the true-believing Jinn; and she stood awhile gazing on his face, exclaiming and envying the youth his beauty and loveliness. And she said in herself, "By Allah! I will do no hurt to him nor let any harm him; nay, from all of evil will I ransom him, for this fair face deserveth not but that folk should gaze upon it and for it praise the Lord. Yet how could his family find it in their hearts to leave him in such desert place where, if one of our Márids came upon him at this hour, he would assuredly slay him." Then the Ifritah Maymunah bent over him and kissed him between the eyes, and presently drew back the sheet over his face which she covered up; and after this she spread her wings and soaring into the air, flew upwards. And after rising high from the circle of the saloon she ceased not winging her way through air and ascending skywards till she drew near the heaven of this world, the lowest of the heavens. And behold, she heard the noisy flapping of wings cleaving the welkin and, directing herself by the sound, she found when she drew near it that the noise came from an Ifrit called Dahnash. So she swooped down on him like a sparrow-hawk and, when he was aware of her and knew her to be Maymunah, the daughter of the King of the Jinn, he feared her and his side-muscles quivered; and he implored her forbearance, saying, "I conjure thee by the Most Great and August Name and by the most noble talisman graven upon the seal-ring of Solomon, entreat me kindly and harm me not!" When she heard these 225words her heart inclined to him and she said, "Verily, thou conjurest me, O accursed, with a mighty conjuration. Nevertheless, I will not let thee go, till thou tell me whence thou comest at this hour." He replied, "O Princess, Know that I come from the uttermost end of China-land and from among the Islands, and I will tell thee of a wonderful thing I have seen this night. If thou find my words true, let me wend my way and write me a patent under thy hand and with thy sign manual that I am thy freedman, so none of the Jinn-hosts, whether of the upper who fly or of the lower who walk the earth or of those who dive beneath the waters, do me let or hindrance." Rejoined Maymunah, "And what is it thou hast seen this night, O liar, O accursed! Tell me without leasing and think not to escape from my hand with falses, for I swear to thee by the letters graven upon the bezel of the seal-ring of Solomon David-son (on both of whom be peace!), except thy speech be true, I will pluck out thy feathers with mine own hand and strip off thy skin and break thy bones!" Quoth the Ifrit Dahnash son of Shamhúrish[244] the Flyer, "I accept, O my lady, these conditions."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash spoke thus to Maymunah, "I accept, O my lady, these conditions." Then he resumed, "Know, O my mistress, that I come to-night from the Islands of the Inland Sea in the parts of China, which 226are the realms of King Ghayúr, lord of the Islands and the Seas and the Seven Palaces. There I saw a daughter of his, than whom Allah hath made none fairer in her time: I cannot picture her to thee, for my tongue would fail to describe her with her due of praise; but I will name to thee a somewhat of her charms by way of approach. Now her hair is like the nights of disunion and separation and her face like the days of union and delectation; and right well hath the poet said when picturing her:—

She dispread the locks from her head one night, ✿ Showing four-fold nights into one night run;
And she turned her visage towards the moon, ✿ And two moons showèd at moment one.

She hath a nose like the edge of the burnished blade and cheeks like purple wine or anemones blood-red: her lips as coral and cornelian shine and the water of her mouth is sweeter than old wine; its taste would quench Hell's fiery pain. Her tongue is moved by wit of high degree and ready repartee: her breast is a seduction to all that see it (glory be to Him who fashioned it and finished it!); and joined thereto are two upper arms smooth and rounded; even as saith of her the poet Al-Walahán:[245]

She hath wrists which, did her bangles not contain, ✿ Would run from out her sleeves in silvern rain.

She hath breasts like two globes of ivory, from whose brightness the moons borrow light, and a stomach with little waves as it were a figured cloth of the finest Egyptian linen made by the Copts, with creases like folded scrolls, ending in a waist slender past all power of imagination; based upon back parts like a hillock of blown sand, that force her to sit when she would lief stand, and awaken her, when she fain would sleep, even as saith of her and describeth her the poet:—

She hath those hips conjoined by thread of waist, ✿ Hips that o'er me and her too tyrannise;
My thoughts they daze whene'er I think of them, ✿ And weigh her down whene'er she would uprise.[246]

227And those back parts are upborne by thighs smooth and round and by a calf like a column of pearl, and all this reposeth upon two feet, narrow, slender and pointed like spear-blades,[247] the handiwork of the Protector and Requiter, I wonder how, of their littleness, they can sustain what is above them. But I cut short my praises of her charms fearing lest I be tedious."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit Dahnash bin Shamhurish said to the Ifritah Maymunah, "Of a truth I cut short my praises fearing lest I be tedious." Now when Maymunah heard the description of that Princess and her beauty and loveliness, she stood silent in astonishment; whereupon Dahnash resumed, "The father of this fair maiden is a mighty King, a fierce knight, immersed night and day in fray and fight; for whom death hath no fright and the escape of his foe no dread, for that he is a tyrant masterful and a conqueror irresistible, lord of troops and armies and continents and islands, and cities and villages, and his name is King Ghayur, Lord of the Islands and of the Seas and of the Seven Palaces. Now he loveth his daughter, the young maiden whom I have described to thee, with dearest love and, for affection of her, he hath heaped together the treasures of all the kings and built her therewith seven palaces, each of a different fashion; the first of crystal, the second of marble, the third of China steel, the fourth of precious stones and gems of price, the fifth of porcelain and many-hued onyxes and ring-bezels, the sixth of silver and the seventh of gold. And he hath filled the seven palaces with all sorts of sumptuous furniture, rich silken carpets and hangings and vessels of gold and silver and all manner of gear that kings require; and hath bidden his daughter to abide in each by turns for a certain season of the year; and her name is the Princess 228Budur.[248] Now when her beauty became known and her name and fame were bruited abroad in the neighbouring countries, all the kings sent to her father to demand her of him in marriage, and he consulted her on the matter, but she disliked the very word wedlock with a manner of abhorrence and said, O my father, I have no mind to marry; no, not at all; for I am a sovereign Lady and a Queen suzerain ruling over men, and I have no desire for a man who shall rule over me. And the more suits she refused, the more her suitors' eagerness increased and all the Royalties of the Inner Islands of China sent presents and rarities to her father with letters asking her in marriage. So he pressed her again and again with advice on the matter of espousals; but she ever opposed to him refusals, till at last she turned upon him angrily and cried, O my father, if thou name matrimony to me once more, I will go into my chamber and take a sword and, fixing its hilt in the ground, will set its point to my waist; then will I press upon it, till it come forth from my back, and so slay myself. Now when the King heard these her words, the light became darkness in his sight and his heart burned for her as with a flame of fire, because he feared lest she should kill herself; and he was filled with perplexity concerning her affair and the kings her suitors. So he said to her, If thou be determined not to marry and there be no help for it: abstain from going and coming in and out. Then he placed her in a house and shut her up in a chamber, appointing ten old women as duennas to guard her, and forbade her to go forth to the Seven Palaces; moreover, he made it appear that he was incensed against her, and sent letters to all the kings, giving them to know that she had been stricken with madness by the Jinns; and it is now a year since she hath thus been secluded." Then continued the Ifrit Dahnash, addressing the Ifritah Maymunah, "And I, O my lady, go to her every night and take my fill of feeding my sight on her face and I kiss her between the eyes: yet, of my love to her, I do her no hurt neither mount her, for that her youth is fair and her grace surpassing: every one who seeth her jealouseth himself for her. I conjure thee, therefore, O my lady, to go back with me and look on her beauty and loveliness and stature and perfection of proportion; and after, if thou wilt, chastise me or enslave me; and win to thy will, for it is thine to bid and to forbid." So saying, 229the Ifrit Dahnash bowed his head towards the earth and drooped his wings downwards; but Maymunah laughed at his words and spat in his face and answered, "What is this girl of whom thou pratest but a potsherd wherewith to wipe after making water?[249] Faugh! Faugh! By Allah, O accursed, I thought thou hadst some wondrous tale to tell me or some marvellous news to give me. How would it be if thou were to sight my beloved? Verily, this night I have seen a young man, whom if thou saw though but in a dream, thou wouldst be palsied with admiration and spittle would flow from thy mouth." Asked the Ifrit, "And who and what is this youth?"; and she answered, "Know, O Dahnash, that there hath befallen the young man the like of what thou tellest me befel thy mistress; for his father pressed him again and again to marry, but he refused, till at length his sire waxed wroth at being opposed and imprisoned him in the tower where I dwell: and I came up to-night and saw him." Said Dahnash, "O my lady, shew me this youth, that I may see if he be indeed handsomer than my mistress, the Princess Budur, or not; for I cannot believe that the like of her liveth in this our age." Rejoined Maymunah, "Thou liest, O accursed, O most ill-omened of Marids and vilest of Satans![250] Sure am I that the like of my beloved is not in this world."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eightieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifritah Maymunah spake thus to the Ifrit Dahnash, "Sure am I that the 230like of my beloved is not in this world! Art thou mad to fellow thy beloved with my beloved?" He said, "Allah upon thee, O my lady, go back with me and look upon my mistress, and after I will return with thee and look upon thy beloved." She answered, "It must needs be so, O accursed, for thou art a knavish devil; but I will not go with thee nor shalt thou come with me, save upon condition of a wager which is this. If the lover thou lovest and of whom thou boastest so bravely, prove handsomer than mine whom I mentioned and whom I love and of whom I boast, the bet shall be thine against me; but if my beloved prove the handsomer the bet shall be mine against thee." Quoth Dahnash the Ifrit, "O my lady, I accept this thy wager and am satisfied thereat; so come with me to the Islands." Quoth Maymunah; "No! for the abode of my beloved is nearer than the abode of thine: here it is under us; so come down with me to see my beloved and after we will go look upon thy mistress." "I hear and I obey," said Dahnash. So they descended to earth and alighted in the saloon which the tower contained; then Maymunah stationed Dahnash beside the bed and, putting out her hand, drew back the silken coverlet from Kamar al-Zaman's face, when it glittered and glistened and shimmered and shone like the rising sun. She gazed at him for a moment, then turning sharply round upon Dahnash said, "Look, O accursed, and be not the basest of madmen; I am a maid, yet my heart he hath waylaid." So Dahnash looked at the Prince and long continued gazing steadfastly on him then, shaking his head, said to Maymunah, "By Allah, O my lady, thou art excusable; but there is yet another thing to be considered, and this is, that the estate female differeth from the male. By Allah's might, this thy beloved is the likest of all created things to my mistress in beauty and loveliness and grace and perfection; and it is as though they were both cast alike in the mould of seemlihead." Now when Maymunah heard these words, the light became darkness in her sight and she dealt him with her wing so fierce a buffet on the head as well-nigh made an end of him. Then quoth she to him, "I conjure thee, by the light of his glorious countenance, go at once, O accursed, and bring hither thy mistress whom thou lovest so fondly and foolishly, and return in haste that we may lay the twain together and look on them both as they lie asleep side by side; so shall it appear to us which be the goodlier and more beautiful of the two. Except thou obey me this very moment, O accursed, I will dart my sparks at thee with my fire and consume 231thee; yea, in pieces I will rend thee and into the deserts cast thee, that to stay-at-home and wayfarer an example thou be!" Quoth Dahnash, "O my lady, I will do thy behests, for I know forsure that my mistress is the fairer and the sweeter." So saying the Ifrit flew away and Maymunah flew with him to guard him. They were absent awhile and presently returned, bearing the young lady, who was clad in a shift of fine Venetian silk, with a double edging of gold and purfled with the most exquisite of embroidery having these couplets worked upon the ends of the sleeves:—

Three matters hinder her from visiting us, in fear ✿ Of hate-full, slandering envier and his hirèd spies:
The shining light of brow, the trinkets' tinkling voice, ✿ And scent of essences that tell whene'er she hies:
Gi'en that she hide her brow with edge of sleeve, and leave ✿ At home her trinketry, how shall her scent disguise?[251]

And Dahnash and Maymunah stinted not bearing that young lady till they had carried her into the saloon and had laid her beside the youth Kamar al-Zaman.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit Dahnash and the Ifritah Maymunah stinted not bearing Princess Budur till they descended and laid her on the couch beside Kamar al-Zaman. Then they uncovered both their faces, and they were the likest of all folk, each to other, as they were twins or an only brother and sister; and indeed they were a seduction to the pious, even as saith of them the poet Al-Mubín:—

232O heart! be not thy love confined to one, ✿ Lest thou by doting or disdain be undone:
Love all the fair, and thou shalt find with them ✿ If this be lost, to thee that shall be won.

And quoth another:—

Mine eyes beheld two lying on the ground; ✿ Both had I loved if on these eyne they lay!

So Dahnash and Maymunah gazed on them awhile, and he said, "By Allah, O my lady, it is good! My mistress is assuredly the fairer." She replied, "Not so, my beloved is the fairer; woe to thee, O Dahnash! Art blind of eye and heart that lean from fat thou canst not depart? Wilt thou hide the truth? Dost thou not see his beauty and loveliness and fine stature and symmetry? Out on thee, hear what I purpose to say in praise of my beloved and, if thou be a lover true to her thou dost love, do thou the like for her thou lovest." Then she kissed Kamar al-Zaman again and again between the eyes and improvised this ode:—

How is this? Why should the blamer abuse thee in his pride?
What shall console my heart for thee, that art but slender bough?
A Nature-Kohl'd[252] eye thou hast that witcheth far and wide;
From pure platonic love[253] of it deliverance none I trow!
Those glances, fell as plundering Turk, to heart such havoc deal
As never havocked scymitar made keenest at the curve.
On me thou layest load of love the heaviest while I feel
So feeble grown that under weight of chemisette I swerve.
My love for thee as wottest well is habit, and my lowe
Is nature; to all others false is all the love I tender:
Now were my heart but like to thine I never would say No;
Only my wasted form is like thy waist so gracious-slender:
Out on him who in Beauty's robe for moon-like charms hath fame,
And who is claimed by mouth of men as marvel of his tribe!
"Of man what manner may he be" (ask they who flyte and blame)
"For whom thy heart is so distressed?" I only cry "Describe!"
233Oh stone-entempered heart of him! learn of his yielding grace
And bending form to show me grace and yielding to consent.
Oh my Prince Beautiful, thou hast an Overseer in place[254]
Who irketh me; and eke a Groom whose wrong doth ne'er relent.
Indeed he lieth who hath said that all of loveliness
Was pent in Joseph: in thy charms there's many and many a Joe!
The Genii dread me when I stand and face to face address;
But meeting thee my fluttering heart its shame and terror show.
I take aversion semblance and I turn from thee in fright,
But more aversion I assume, more love from me dost claim;
That hair of jetty black! That brow e'er raying radiant light!
Those eyne wherein white jostles black![255] That dearling dainty frame!

When Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in praise of her beloved, he joyed with exceeding joy and marvelled with excessive wonderment.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Ifrit Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in praise of her beloved, he shook for exceeding joy and said, "Thou hast celebrated thy beloved in song and thou hast indeed done well in praise of him whom thou lovest! And there is no help for it but that I also in my turn do my best to enfame my mistress, and recite somewhat in her honour." Then the Ifrit went up to the lady Budur; and, kissing her between the eyes, looked at Maymunah and at his beloved Princess and recited the following verses, albeit he had no skill in poesy:—

Love for my fair they chide in angry way; ✿ Unjust for ignorance, yea unjustest they!
Ah lavish favours on the love-mad, whom ✿ Taste of thy wrath and parting woe shall slay:
234In sooth for love I'm wet with railing tears, ✿ That rail mine eyelids blood thou mightest say:
No marvel what I bear for love, 'tis marvel ✿ That any know my "me" while thou'rt away:
Unlawful were our union did I doubt ✿ Thy love, or heart incline to other May.

And eke these words:—

I feed eyes on their stead by the valley's side, ✿ And I'm slain and my slayer[256] aside hath hied:
Grief-wine have I drunken, and down my cheeks ✿ Dance tears to the song of the camel-guide:
For union-blessing I strive though sure, ✿ In Budur and Su'ád all my bliss shall bide:[257]
Wot I not which of three gave me most to 'plain, ✿ So hear them numbered ere thou decide:
Those Sworders her eyne, that Lancer her fig- ✿ ure, or ring-mail'd Locks which her forehead hide.
Quoth she (and I ask of her what so wights ✿ Or abide in towns or in desert ride[258])
To me, "In thy heart I dwell; look there!" ✿ Quoth I, "Where's my heart, ah where? ah where?"

When Maymunah heard these lines from the Ifrit, she said, "Thou hast done well, O Dahnash! But say thou which of the two is the handsomer?" And he answered, "My mistress Budur is handsomer than thy beloved!" Cried Maymunah, "Thou liest, O accursed. Nay, my beloved is more beautiful than thine!" But Dahnash persisted, "Mine is the fairer." And they ceased not to wrangle and challenge each other's words till Maymunah cried out at Dahnash and would have laid violent hands on him; but he humbled himself to her and, softening his speech, said, "Let not the truth be a grief to thee, and cease we this talk, for all we say is to testify in favour of our lovers; rather let each of us withdraw 235the claim and seek we one who shall judge fairly between us which of the two be fairer; and by his sentence we will abide." "I agree to this," answered she and smote the earth with her foot, whereupon there came out of it an Ifrit blind of an eye, humpbacked and scurvy-skinned, with eye-orbits slit up and down his face.[259] On his head were seven horns and four locks of hair fell to his heels; his hands were pitchfork-like and his legs mast-like and he had nails as the claws of a lion, and feet as the hoofs of the wild ass.[260] When that Ifrit rose out of the earth and sighted Maymunah, he kissed the ground before her and, standing with his hands clasped behind him, said, "What is thy will, O my mistress, O daughter of my King?"[261] She replied, "O Kashkash, I would have thee judge between me and this accursed Dahnash." And she made known to him the matter, from first to last, whereupon the Ifrit Kashkash looked at the face of the youth and then at the face of the girl; and saw them lying asleep, embraced, each with an arm under the other's neck, alike in beauty and loveliness and equal in grace and goodliness. The Marid gazed long upon them, marvelling at their seemlihead; and, after carefully observing the twain, he turned to Maymunah and Dahnash, and repeated these couplets:—

Go, visit her thou lovest, and regard not
The words detractors utter; envious churls
Can never favour love. Oh! sure the Merciful
Ne'er made a thing more fair to look upon,
Than two fond lovers in each others' arms,
Speaking their passion in a mute embrace.
When heart has turned to heart, the fools would part them
Strike idly on cold steel. So when thou 'st found
One purely, wholly thine, accept her true heart,
And live for her alone. Oh! thou that blamest
The love-struck for their love, give o'er thy talk,
How canst thou minister to a mind diseased?[262]

236Then he turned again to Maymunah and Dahnash and said to them, "By Allah, if you will have the truth, I tell you fairly the twain be equal in beauty, and loveliness and perfect grace and goodliness, nor can I make any difference between them on account of their being man and woman. But I have another thought which is that we wake each of them in turn, without the knowledge of the other, and whichever is the more enamoured shall be held inferior in seemlihead and comeliness." Quoth Maymunah, "Right is this recking," and quoth Dahnash, "I consent to this." Then Dahnash changed himself to the form of a flea and bit Kamar al-Zaman, whereupon he started from sleep in a fright——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash changed himself to the form of a flea and bit Kamar al-Zaman who started from sleep in a fright and rubbed the bitten part, his neck, and scratched it hard because of the smart. Then turning sideways, he found lying by him something whose breath was sweeter than musk and whose skin was softer than cream. Hereat marvelled he with great marvel and he sat up and looked at what lay beside him; when he saw it to be a young lady like an union pearl, or a shining sun, or a dome seen from afar on a well-built wall; for she was five feet tall, with a shape like the letter[263] ا, bosomed high and rosy-cheeked; even as saith of her the poet:—

237Four things which ne'er conjoin, unless it be ✿ To storm my vitals and to shed my blood:
Brow white as day and tresses black as night ✿ Cheeks rosy red and lips which smiles o'erflood.

And also quoth another:—

A Moon she rises, Willow-wand she waves, ✿ Breathes Ambergris, and gazes, a Gazelle:
Meseems that sorrow wooes my heart and wins ✿ And, when she wendeth hastes therein to dwell!

And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the lady Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, and her beauty and comeliness, she was sleeping clad in a shift of Venetian silk, without her petticoat-trousers, and wore on her head a kerchief embroidered with gold and set with stones of price: her ears were hung with twin earrings which shone like constellations and round her neck was a collar of union pearls, of size unique, past the competence of any King. When he saw this, his reason was confounded and natural heat began to stir in him; Allah awoke in him the desire of coition and he said to himself, "Whatso Allah willeth, that shall be, and what He willeth not shall never be!" So saying, he put out his hand and, turning her over, loosed the collar of her chemise; then arose before his sight her bosom, with its breasts like double globes of ivory; whereat his inclination for her redoubled and he desired her with exceeding hot desire. He would have awakened her but she would not awake, for Dahnash had made her sleep heavy; so he shook her and moved her, saying, "O my beloved, awake and look on me; I am Kamar al-Zaman." But she awoke not, neither moved her head; whereupon he considered her case for a long hour and said to himself, "If I guess aright, this is the damsel to whom my father would have married me and these three years past I have refused her; but Inshallah!—God willing—as soon as it is dawn, I will say to him:—Marry me to her, that I may enjoy her."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say,

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to himself, "By Allah, when I see dawn I will say to my sire:—Marry me to her that I may enjoy her; nor will I let 238half the day pass ere I possess her and take my fill of her beauty and loveliness." Then he bent over Budur to buss her, whereat the Jinniyah Maymunah trembled and was abashed and Dahnash, the Ifrit, was like to fly for joy. But, as Kamar al-Zaman was about to kiss her upon the mouth, he was ashamed before Allah and turned away his head and averted his face, saying to his heart, "Have patience." Then he took thought awhile and said, "I will be patient; haply my father when he was wroth with me and sent me to this jail, may have brought my young lady and made her lie by my side to try me with her, and may have charged her not to be readily awakened when I would arouse her, and may have said to her:—Whatever thing Kamar al-Zaman do to thee, make me ware thereof; or belike my sire standeth hidden in some stead whence (being himself unseen) he can see all I do with this young lady; and to-morrow he will scold me and cry:—How cometh it that thou sayest, I have no mind to marry; and yet thou didst kiss and embrace yonder damsel? So I will withhold myself lest I be ashamed before my sire; and the right and proper thing to do is not to touch her at this present, nor even to look upon her, except to take from her somewhat which shall serve as a token to me and a memorial of her; that some sign endure between me and her." Then Kamar al-Zaman raised the young lady's hand and took from her little finger a seal-ring worth an immense amount of money, for that its bezel was a precious jewel and around it were graven these couplets:—

Count not that I your promises forgot, ✿ Despite the length of your delinquencies:
Be generous, O my lord, to me inclining; ✿ Haply your mouth and cheeks these lips may kiss:
By Allah, ne'er will I relinquish you ✿ Albe you will transgress love's boundaries.

Then Kamar al-Zaman took the seal-ring from the little finger of Queen Budur and set it on his own; then, turning his back to her, went to sleep.[264] When Maymunah the Jinniyah saw this, she was glad and said to Dahnash and Kashkash, "Saw ye how my beloved Kamar al-Zaman bore himself chastely towards this young lady? Verily, this was of the perfection of his good gifts; for observe you twain how he looked on her and noted her beauty and loveliness, 239and yet embraced her not neither kissed her nor put his hand to her, but turned his back and slept." Answered they, "Even so!" Thereupon Maymunah changed herself into a flea and entering into the raiment of Budur, the loved of Dahnash, crept up her calf and came upon her thigh and, reaching a place some four carats[265] below her navel, there bit her. Thereupon she opened her eyes and sitting up in bed, saw a youth lying beside her and breathing heavily in his sleep, the loveliest of Almighty Allah's creatures, with eyes that put to shame the fairest Houris of Heaven; and a mouth like Solomon's seal, whose water was sweeter to the taste and more efficacious than a theriack, and lips the colour of coral-stone, and cheeks like the blood-red anemone, even as saith one, describing him in these couplets:—

My mind's withdrawn from Zaynab and Nawár[266] ✿ By rosy cheeks that growth of myrtle bear;
I love a fawn, a tunic-vested boy, ✿ And leave the love of bracelet-wearing Fair:
My mate in hall and closet is unlike ✿ Her that I play with, as at home we pair.
Oh thou, who blam'st my flight from Hind and Zaynab, ✿ The cause is clear as dawn uplighting air!
Would'st have me fare[267] a slave, the thrall of thrall, ✿ Cribbed, pent, confined behind the bar and wall?

Now when Princess Budur saw him, she was seized by a transport of passion and yearning and love-longing,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Princess Budur saw Kamar al-Zaman she was forthwith seized with a transport of passion and yearning and love-longing, and she said to herself, "Alas, my shame! This is a strange youth 240and I know him not. How cometh he to be lying by my side on one bed?" Then she looked at him a second time and noting his beauty and loveliness, said, "By Allah, he is indeed a comely youth and my heart[268] is well-nigh torn in sunder with longing for him! But alas, how am I shamed by him! By the Almighty, had I known it was this youth who sought me in marriage of my father, I had not rejected him, but had wived with him and enjoyed his loveliness!" Then she gazed in his face and said, "O my lord and light of mine eyes, awake from sleep and take thy pleasure in my beauty and grace." And she moved him with her hand; but Maymunah the Jinniyah let down sleep upon him as it were a curtain, and pressed heavily on his head with her wings so that Kamar al-Zaman awoke not. Then Princess Budur shook him with her hands and said, "My life on thee, hearken to me; awake and up from thy sleep and look on the narcissus and the tender down thereon, and enjoy the sight of naked waist and navel; and touzle me and tumble me from this moment till break of day! Allah upon thee, O my lord, sit up and prop thee against the pillow and slumber not!" Still Kamar al-Zaman made her no reply but breathed hard in his sleep. Continued she, "Alas! Alas! thou art insolent in thy beauty and comeliness and grace and loving looks! But if thou art handsome, so am I handsome; what then is this thou dost? Have they taught thee to flout me or hath my father, the wretched old fellow,[269] made thee swear not to speak to me to-night?" But Kamar al-Zaman opened not his mouth neither awoke, whereat her passion for him redoubled and Allah inflamed her heart with love of him. She stole one glance of eyes that cost her a thousand sighs: her heart fluttered, and her vitals throbbed and her hands and feet quivered; and she said to Kamar al-Zaman "Talk to me, O my lord! Speak to me, O my friend! 241Answer me, O my beloved, and tell me thy name, for indeed thou hast ravished my wit!" And during all this time he abode drowned in sleep and answered her not a word, and Princess Budur sighed and said, "Alas! Alas! why art thou so proud and self-satisfied?" Then she shook him and turning his hand over, saw her seal-ring on his little finger, whereat she cried a loud cry, and followed it with a sigh of passion and said, "Alack! Alack! By Allah, thou art my beloved and thou lovest me! Yet thou seemest to turn thee away from me out of coquetry, for all, O my darling, thou camest to me, whilst I was asleep and knew not what thou didst with me, and tookest my seal-ring; and yet I will not pull it off thy finger." So saying, she opened the bosom of his shirt and bent over him and kissed him and put forth her hand to him, seeking somewhat that she might take as a token, but found nothing. Then she thrust her hand into his breast and, because of the smoothness of his body, it slipped down to his waist and thence to his navel and thence to his yard, whereupon her heart ached and her vitals quivered and lust was sore upon her, for that the desire of women is fiercer than the desire of men,[270] and she was ashamed of her own shamelessness. Then she plucked his seal-ring from his finger, and put it on her own instead of the ring he had taken, and bussed his inner lips and hands, nor did she leave any part of him unkissed; after which she took him to her breast and embraced him and, laying one of her hands under his neck and the other under his armpit, nestled close to him and fell asleep by his side——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Princess Budur fell asleep by the side of Kamar al-Zaman, after doing that which she did, quoth Maymunah to Dahnash, "Sawst thou, O accursed, how proudly and coquettishly my beloved bore himself, and how hotly and passionately thy mistress showed herself to my dearling? There can be no doubt that my beloved is handsomer than thine; nevertheless I pardon thee." Then she wrote him a document of manumission and turned to Kashkash and said, "Go, help Dahnash to take up his mistress and aid him to carry her back to her own place, for the night waneth apace and there is but little left of it." "I hear and I obey;" answered Kashkash. So the two Ifrits went forward to Princess Budur and upraising her flew away with her; then, bearing her back to her own place, they laid her on her bed, whilst Maymunah abode alone with Kamar al-Zaman, gazing upon him as he slept, till the night was all but spent, when she went her way. As soon as morning morrowed, the Prince awoke from sleep and turned right and left, but found not the maiden by him and said in his mind, "What is this business? It is as if my father would incline me to marriage with the damsel who was with me and have now taken her away by stealth, to the intent that my desire for wedlock may redouble." Then he called out to the eunuch who slept at the door, saying, "Woe to thee, O damned one, arise at once!" So the eunuch rose, bemused with sleep, and brought him basin and ewer, whereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered the water-closet and did his need;[271] then, coming out made the Wuzu-ablution and 243prayed the dawn-prayer, after which he sat telling on his beads the ninety-and-nine names of Almighty Allah. Then he looked up and, seeing the eunuch standing in service upon him, said, "Out on thee, O Sawáb! Who was it came hither and took away the young lady from my side and I still sleeping?" Asked the eunuch, "O my lord, what manner of young lady?" "The young lady who lay with me last night," replied Kamar al-Zaman. The eunuch was startled at his words and said to him, "By Allah, there hath been with thee neither young lady nor other! How should young lady have come in to thee, when I was sleeping in the doorway and the door was locked? By Allah, O my lord, neither male nor female hath come in to thee!" Exclaimed the Prince, "Thou liest, O pestilent slave!: is it of thy competence also to hoodwink me and refuse to tell me what is become of the young lady who lay with me last night and decline to inform me who took her away?" Replied the eunuch (and he was affrighted at him), "By Allah, O my lord, I have seen neither young lady nor young lord!" His words only angered Kamar al-Zaman the more and he said to him, "O accursed one, my father hath indeed taught thee deceit! Come hither." So the eunuch came up to him, and the Prince took him by the collar and dashed him to the ground; whereupon he let fly a loud fart[272] and Kamar al-Zaman, kneeling upon him, kicked him and throttled him till he fainted away. Then he dragged him forth and tied him to the well-rope, and let him down like a bucket into the well and plunged him into the water, then drew him up and lowered him down again. Now it was hard winter weather, and Kamar al-Zaman ceased not to plunge the eunuch into the water and pull him up again and douse him and haul him whilst he screamed and called for help; and the Prince kept on saying "By Allah, O damned one, I will not draw thee up out of this well till thou tell me and fully acquaint me with the story of the young lady and who it was took her away, whilst I slept."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

She said it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to the eunuch, "By Allah! I will not draw thee up out of this well until thou tell me the story of the young lady and who it was took her away whilst I slept." Answered the eunuch, after he had seen death staring him in the face; "O my lord, let me go and I will relate to thee the truth and the whole tale." So Kamar al-Zaman pulled him up out of the well, all but dead for suffering, what with cold and the pain of dipping and dousing, drubbing and dread of drowning. He shook like cane in hurricane, his teeth were clenched as by cramp and his clothes were drenched and his body befouled and torn by the rough sides of the well: briefly he was in a sad pickle. Now when Kamar al-Zaman saw him in this sorry plight, he was concerned for him; but, as soon as the eunuch found himself on the floor, he said to him,"O my lord, let me go and doff my clothes and wring them out and spread them in the sun to dry, and don others; after which I will return to thee forthwith and tell thee the truth of the matter." Answered the Prince, "O rascal slave! hadst thou not seen death face to face, never hadst thou confessed to fact nor told me a word; but go now and do thy will, and then come back to me at once and tell me the truth." Thereupon the eunuch went out, hardly crediting his escape, and ceased not running, stumbling and rising in his haste, till he came in to King Shahriman, whom he found sitting at talk with his Wazir of Kamar al-Zaman's case. The King was saying to the Minister, "I slept not last night, for anxiety concerning my son, Kamar al-Zaman, and indeed I fear lest some harm befal him in that old tower. What good was there in imprisoning him?" Answered the Wazir, "Have no care for him. By Allah, no harm will befal him! None at all! Leave him in prison for a month till his temper yield and his spirit be broken and he return to his senses." As the two spoke behold, up rushed the eunuch, in the aforesaid plight, making the King who was troubled at sight of him; and he cried "O our lord the Sultan! Verily, thy son's wits are fled and he hath gone mad; he hath dealt with me thus and thus, so that I am become as thou seest me, and he kept saying:—A young lady lay with me this night and stole away secretly whilst I slept. Where is she? And he insisteth on my letting him know where 245she is and on my telling him who took her away. But I have seen neither girl nor boy: the door was locked all through the night, for I slept before it with the key under my head, and I opened to him in the morning with my own hand." When King Shahriman heard this, he cried out, saying, "Alas, my son!;" and he was enraged with sore rage against the Wazir, who had been the cause of all this case and said to him, "Go up, bring me news of my son and see what hath befallen his mind." So the Wazir rose and, stumbling over his long skirts, in his fear of the King's wrath, hastened with the slave to the tower. Now the sun had risen and when the Minister came in to Kamar al-Zaman, he found him sitting on the couch reciting the Koran; so he saluted him and seated himself by his side, and said to him, "O my lord, this wretched eunuch brought us tidings which troubled and alarmed us and which incensed the King." Asked Kamar al-Zaman, "And what hath he told you of me to trouble my father? In good sooth he hath troubled none but me." Answered the Wazir, "He came to us in fulsome state and told us of thee a thing which Heaven forfend; and the slave added a lie which it befitteth not to repeat, Allah preserve thy youth and sound sense and tongue of eloquence, and forbid to come from thee aught of offence!" Quoth the Prince,"O Wazir, and what thing did this pestilent slave say of me?" The Minister replied, "He told us that thy wits had taken leave of thee and thou wouldst have it that a young lady lay with thee last night, and thou wast instant with him to tell thee whither she went and thou diddest torture him to that end." But when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was enraged with sore rage and he said to the Wazir, "'Tis manifest to me in very deed that you people taught the eunuch to do as he did"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman heard the words of the Wazir he was enraged with sore rage and said to him, "'Tis manifest to me in very deed that you people taught the eunuch to do as he did and forbade him to tell me what became of the young lady who lay with me last night. But thou, O Wazir, art cleverer than the eunuch; so do thou tell me without stay or delay, whither went the young lady who slept on my 246bosom last night; for it was you who sent her and bade her sleep in my embrace and we lay together till dawn; but, when I awoke, I found her not. So where is she now?" Said the Wazir, "O my lord Kamar al-Zaman, Allah's name encompass thee about! By the Almighty, we sent none to thee last night, but thou layest alone, with the door locked on thee and the eunuch sleeping behind it, nor did there come to thee young lady or any other. Regain thy reason, O my lord, and stablish thy senses and occupy not thy mind with vanities." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman who was incensed at his words, "O Wazir, the young lady in question is my beloved, the fair one with the black eyes and rosy cheeks, whom I held in my arms all last night." So the Minister wondered at his words and asked him, "Didst thou see this damsel last night with thine own eyes on wake or in sleep?" Answered Kamar al-Zaman, "O ill-omened old man, dost thou fancy I saw her with my ears? Indeed, I saw her with my very eyes and awake, and I touched her with my hand, and I watched by her full half the night, feeding my vision on her beauty and loveliness and grace and tempting looks. But you had schooled her and charged her to speak no word to me; so she feigned sleep and I lay by her side till dawn, when I awoke and found her gone." Rejoined the Wazir, "O my lord Kamar al-Zaman, haply thou sawest this in thy sleep; it must have been a delusion of dreams or a deception caused by eating various kinds of food, or a suggestion of the accursed devils." Cried the Prince, "O pestilent old man! wilt thou too make a mock of me and tell me this was haply a delusion of dreams, when that eunuch confessed to the young lady, saying:—At once I will return to thee and tell thee all about her?" With these words, he sprang up and rushed at the Wazir and gripped hold of his beard (which was long[273]) and, after gripping it, he 247twisted his hand in it and haling him off the couch, threw him on the floor. It seemed to the Minister as though his soul departed his body for the violent plucking at his beard; and Kamar al-Zaman ceased not kicking the Wazir and basting his breast and ribs and cuffing him with open hand on the nape of his neck till he had well-nigh beaten him to death. Then said the old man in his mind, "Just as the eunuch-slave saved his life from this lunatic youth by telling him a lie, thus it is even fitter that I do likewise; else he will destroy me. So now for my lie to save myself, he being mad beyond a doubt." Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and said, "O my lord, pardon me; for indeed thy father charged me to conceal from thee this affair of the young lady; but now I am weak and weary and wounded with tunding; for I am an old man and lack strength and bottom to endure blows. Have, therefore, a little patience with me and I will tell thee all and acquaint thee with the story of the young woman." When the Prince heard this, he left off drubbing him and said, "Wherefore couldst thou not tell me the tale until after shame and blows? Rise now, unlucky old man that thou art, and tell me her story." Quoth the Wazir, "Say, dost thou ask of the young lady with the fair face and perfect form?" Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "Even so! Tell me, O Wazir, who it was that led her to me and laid her by my side, and who was it that took her away from me by night; and let me know forthright whither she is gone, that I myself may go to her at once. If my father did this deed to me that he might try me by means of that beautiful girl, with a view to our marriage, I consent to wed her and free myself of this trouble; for he did all these dealings with me only because I refused wedlock. But now I consent and I say again, I consent to matrimony: so tell this to my father, O Wazir, and advise him to marry me to that young lady; for I will have none other and my heart loveth none save her alone. Now rise up at once and haste thee to my 248father and counsel him to hurry on our wedding and bring me his answer within this very hour." Rejoined the Wazir, "'Tis well!" and went forth from him, hardly believing himself out of his hands. Then he set off from the tower, walking and tripping up as he went, for excess of fright and agitation, and he ceased not hurrying till he came in to King Shahriman.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Eighty-ninth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir fared forth from the tower, and ceased not running till he came in to King Shahriman, who said to him as he sighted him, "O thou Wazir, what man hath brought thee to grief and whose mischief hath treated thee in way unlief; how happeneth it that I see thee dumb-foundered and coming to me thus astounded?" Replied the Wazir, "O King! I bring thee good news." "And what is it?" quoth Shariman, and quoth the Wazir, "Know that thy son Kamar al-Zaman's wits are clean gone and that he hath become stark mad." Now when the King heard these words of the Minister, light became darkness in his sight and he said, "O Wazir, make clear to me the nature of his madness." Answered the Wazir, "O my lord, I hear and I obey." Then he told him that such and such had passed and acquainted him with all that his son had done; whereupon the King said to him, "Hear, O Wazir, the good tidings which I give thee in return for this thy fair news of my son's insanity; and it shall be the cutting off of thy head and the forfeiture of my favour, O most ill-omened of Wazirs and foulest of Emirs! for I feel that thou hast caused my son's disorder by the wicked advice and the sinister counsel thou hast given me first and last. By Allah, if aught of mischief or madness have befallen my son I will most assuredly nail thee upon the palace-dome and make thee drain the bitterest draught of death!" Then he sprang up and, taking the Wazir with him, fared straight for the tower and entered it. And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the two, he rose to his father in haste from the couch whereon he sat and kissing his hands drew back and hung down his head and stood before him with his arms behind him, and thus remained for a full hour. Then he raised his head towards his sire; the tears gushed from his eyes and streamed down his cheeks and he began repeating:—

249"Forgive the sin 'neath which my limbs are trembling,
For the slave seeks for mercy from his master;
I've done a fault, which calls for free confession,
Where shall it call for mercy, and forgiveness?"[274]

When the King heard this, he arose and embraced his son, and kissing him between the eyes, made him sit by his side on the couch; then he turned to the Wazir and, looking on him with eyes of wrath, said, "O dog of Wazirs, how didst thou say of my son such and such things and make my heart quake for him?" Then he turned to the Prince and said, "O my son, what is to-day called?" He answered, "O my father, this day is the Sabbath, and to-morrow is First day: then come Second day, Third, Fourth, Fifth day and lastly Friday."[275] Exclaimed the King, "O my son, O Kamar al-Zaman, praised be Allah for the preservation of thy reason! What is the present month called in our Arabic?" "Zú'l-Ka'adah," answered Kamar al-Zaman, "and it is followed by Zú'l-hijjah; then cometh Muharram, then Safar, then Rabí'a the First and Rabí'a the Second, the two Jamádás, Rajab, Sha aban, Ramazán and Shawwál." At this the King rejoiced exceedingly and spat in the Wazir's face, saying, "O wicked old man, how canst thou say that my son is mad? And now none is mad but thou." Hereupon the Minister shook his head and would have spoken, but bethought himself to wait awhile and see what might next befal. Then the King said to his child, "O my son, what words be these thou saidest to the eunuch and the Wazir, declaring:—I was sleeping with a fair damsel this night?[276] What damsel is this of whom thou speakest?" Then Kamar al-Zaman laughed at his father's words and replied, "O my father, know that I can bear no more jesting; so add me not another mock or even a single word on the matter, for my temper hath waxed short by that you have done with me. And know, O my father, with assured knowledge, that I consent to marry, but on condition that thou give me to wife her who lay by my side this night; for I am certain it was thou sentest her to me and 250madest me in love with her and then despatchedst a message to her before the dawn and tookest her away from beside me." Rejoined the King, "The name of Allah encompass thee about, O my son, and be thy wit preserved from witlessness!"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninetieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth King Shahriman to his son Kamar al-Zaman, "The name of Allah encompass thee about, O my son, and be thy wit preserved from witlessness! What thing be this young lady whom thou fanciest I sent to thee last night and then again that I sent to withdraw her from thee before dawn? By the Lord, O my son, I know nothing of this affair, and Allah upon thee, tell me if it be a delusion of dreaming or a deception caused by indisposition. For verily thou layest down to sleep last night with thy mind occupied anent marriage and troubled with the talk of it (Allah damn marriage and the hour when I spake of it and curse him who counselled it!); and without doubt or diffidence I can say that being moved in mind by the mention of wedlock thou dreamedst that a handsome young lady embraced thee and didst fancy thou sawest her when awake. But all this, O my son, is but an imbroglio of dreams." Replied Kamar al-Zaman, "Leave this talk and swear to me by Allah, the All-creator, the Omniscient; the Humbler of the tyrant Cæsars and the Destroyer of the Chosroes, that thou knowest naught of the young lady nor of her woning-place." Quoth the King, "By the Might of Allah Almighty, the God of Moses and Abraham, I know naught of all this and never even heard of it; it is assuredly a delusion of dreams thou hast seen in sleep." Then the Prince replied to his sire, "I will give thee a self-evident proof that it happened to me when on wake."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to his sire, "I will give thee a self-evident proof that this happened to me when on wake. Now let me ask thee, did it ever befal any man to dream that he was battling a sore battle and 251after to awake from sleep and find in his hand a sword-blade besmeared with blood? Answered the King, "No, by Allah, O my son, this hath never been." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, "I will tell thee what happened to me and it was this. Meseemed I awoke from sleep in the middle of the past night and found a girl lying by my side, whose form was like mine and whose favour was as mine. I embraced her and turned her about with my hand and took her seal-ring, which I put on my finger, and she pulled off my ring and put it on hers. Then I went to sleep by her side, but refrained from her for shame of thee, deeming that thou hadst sent her to me, intending to tempt me with her and incline me to marriage, and suspecting thee to be hidden somewhere whence thou couldst see what I did with her. And I was ashamed even to kiss her on the mouth for thy account, thinking over this temptation to wedlock; and, when I awoke at point of day, I found no trace of her, nor could I come at any news of her, and there befel me what thou knowest of with the eunuch and with the Wazir. How then can this case have been a dream and a delusion, when the ring is a reality? Save for her ring on my finger I should indeed have deemed it a dream; but here is the ring on my little finger: look at it, O King, and see what is its worth." So saying, he handed the ring to his father, who examined it and turned it over, then looked to his son and said, "Verily, there is in this ring some mighty mystery and some strange secret. What befel thee last night with the girl is indeed a hard nut to crack, and I know not how intruded upon us this intruder. None is the cause of all this pother save the Wazir; but, Allah upon thee, O my son, take patience, so haply the Lord may turn to gladness this thy grief and to thy sadness bring complete relief: as quoth one of the poets:—

Haply shall Fortune draw her rein, and bring ✿ Fair chance, for she is changeful, jealous, vain:
Still I may woo my want and wishes win, ✿ And see on heels of care unfain, the fain.

And now, O my son, I am certified at this hour that thou art not mad; but thy case is a strange one which none can clear up for thee save the Almighty." Cried the Prince, "By Allah, O my father, deal kindly with me and seek out this young lady and hasten her coming to me; else I shall die of woe and of my death shall no one know." Then he betrayed the ardour of his passion; and turned towards his father and repeated these two couplets:—

252If your promise of personal call prove untrue, ✿ Deign in vision to grant me an interview:
Quoth they, "How can phantom[277] appear to the sight ✿ Of a youth, whose sight is fordone, perdue?"

Then, after ending his poetry, Kamar al-Zaman again turned to his father, with submission and despondency, and shedding tears in flood, began repeating these lines——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman had repeated to his father these verses, he wept and complained and groaned from a wounded heart; and added these lines:—

Beware that eye-glance which hath magic might; ✿ Wherever turn those orbs it bars our flight:
Nor be deceived by low sweet voice, that breeds ✿ A fever festering in the heart and sprite:
So soft that silky skin, were rose to touch it ✿ She'd cry and tear-drops rain for pain and fright:
Did Zephyr e'en in sleep pass o'er her land, ✿ Scented he'd choose to dwell in scented site:
Her necklets vie with tinkling of her belt; ✿ Her wrists strike either wristlet dumb with spite:
When would her bangles buss those rings in ear, ✿ Upon the lover's eyne high mysteries 'light:
I'm blamed for love of her, nor pardon claim; ✿ Eyes are not profiting which lack foresight:
Heaven strip thee, blamer mine! unjust art thou; ✿ Before this fawn must every eye low bow.[278]

253After which he said, "By Allah, O my father, I cannot endure to be parted from her even for an hour." The King smote hand upon hand and exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! No cunning contrivance can profit us in this affair." Then he took his son by the hand and carried him to the palace, where Kamar al-Zaman lay down on the bed of languor and the King sat at his head, weeping and mourning over him and leaving him not, night or day, till at last the Wazir came in to him and said, "O King of the age and the time, how long wilt thou remain shut up with thy son and hide thyself from thy troops? Haply, the order of thy realm may be deranged, by reason of thine absence from thy Grandees and Officers of State. It behoveth the man of understanding, if he have various wounds in his body, to apply him first to medicine the most dangerous; so it is my counsel to thee that thou remove thy son from this place to the pavilion which is in the palace overlooking the sea; and shut thyself up with him there, setting apart in every week two days, Thursday and Monday, for state receptions and progresses and reviews. On these days let thine Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and high Officials and Grandees of the realm and the rest of the levies and the lieges have access to thee and submit their affairs to thee; and do thou their needs and judge among them and give and take with them and bid and forbid. And the rest of the week thou shalt pass with thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and cease not thus doing till Allah shall vouchsafe relief to you twain. Think not, O King, that thou art safe from the shifts of Time and the strokes of Change which come like a traveller in the night; for the wise man is ever on his guard and how well saith the poet:—

Thou deemedst well of Time when days went well, ✿ And fearedst not what ills might bring thee Fate:
The Nights so fair and restful cozened thee, ✿ For peaceful Nights bring woes of heavy weight.
Oh children of mankind whom Time befriends, ✿ Beware of Time's deceits or soon or late!"[279]

When the Sultan heard his Wazir's words he saw that they were right and deemed his counsel wise, and it had effect upon him for he feared lest the order of the state be deranged; so he rose at 254once and bade transport his son from his sick room to the pavilion in the palace overlooking the sea. Now this palace was girt round by the waters and was approached by a causeway twenty cubits wide. It had windows on all sides commanding an ocean-view; its floor was paved with parti-coloured marbles and its ceiling was painted in the richest pigments and figured with gold and lapis-lazuli. They furnished it for Kamar al-Zaman with splendid upholstery, embroidered rugs and carpets of the richest silk; and they clothed the walls with choice brocades and hung curtains bespangled with gems of price. In the midst they set him a couch of juniper[280]-wood inlaid with pearls and jewels, and Kamar al-Zaman sat down thereon, but the excess of his concern and passion for the young lady had wasted his charms and emaciated his body; he could neither eat nor drink nor sleep; and he was like a man who had been sick twenty years of sore sickness. His father seated himself at his head, grieving for him with the deepest grief, and every Monday and Thursday he gave his Wazirs and Emirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and Lords of the realm and levies and the rest of his lieges leave to come up to him in that pavilion. So they entered and did their several service and duties and abode with him till the end of the day, when they went their ways and the King returned to his son in the pavilion whom he left not night nor day; and he ceased not doing on this wise for many days and nights. Such was the case with Kamar al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman; but as regards Princess Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seven Palaces, when the two Jinns bore her up and laid her on her bed, she slept till daybreak, when she awoke and sitting upright looked right and left, but saw not the youth who had lain in her bosom. At this her vitals fluttered, her reason fled and she shrieked a loud shriek which awoke all her slave-girls and nurses and duennas. They flocked in to her; and the chief of them came forward and asked, "What aileth thee, O my lady?" Answered the Princess, "O wretched old woman, where is my beloved, the handsome youth who lay last night in my bosom? Tell me whither he is gone." Now when the duenna heard this, the light starkened in her sight and she feared from her mischief with sore affright, and said to her, "O my Lady Budur, what 255unseemly words are these?" Cried the Princess, "Woe to thee, pestilent crone that thou art! I ask thee again where is my beloved, the goodly youth with the shining face and the slender form, the jetty eyes and the joined eyebrows, who lay with me last night from supper-tide until near daybreak?" She rejoined, "By Allah, O my lady, I have seen no young man nor any other. I conjure thee, carry not this unseemly jest too far lest we all lose our lives; for perhaps the joke may come to thy father's ears and who shall then deliver us from his hand?"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-third Night,

She said, "It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the duenna bespake the Lady Budur in these words, 'Allah upon thee, O my lady! carry not this unseemly jest too far; for perhaps it may come to thy father's ears, and who shall then deliver us from his hand?'" The Princess rejoined, "In very sooth a youth lay with me last night, one of the fairest-faced of men." Exclaimed the duenna, "Heaven preserve thy reason! indeed no one lay with thee last night." Thereupon the Princess looked at her hand and, finding Kamar al-Zaman's seal-ring on her finger in stead of her own, said to her, "Woe to thee, thou accursed! thou traitress! wilt thou lie to me and tell me that none lay with me last night and swear to me a falsehood in the name of the Lord?" Replied the duenna, "By Allah, I do not lie to thee nor have I sworn falsely." Then the Princess was incensed by her words and, drawing a sword she had by her, she smote the old woman with it and slew her;[281] whereupon the eunuch and the waiting-women and the concubines cried out at her, and ran to her father and, without stay or delay, acquainted him with her case. So the King went to her, and asked her, "O my daughter, what aileth thee?"; and she answered, "O my father, where is the youth who lay with me last night?" Then her reason fled from her head and she cast her eyes right and left and rent her raiment even to the skirt. When her sire saw this, he bade the women lay hands on her; so they seized her and manacled her, then putting a chain of iron about her 256neck, made her fast to one of the palace-windows and there left her.[282] Thus far concerning Princess Budur; but as regards her father, King Ghayur, the world was straitened upon him when he saw what had befallen his daughter, for that he loved her and her case was not a little grievous to him. So he summoned on it the doctors and astrologers and men skilled in talisman-writing and said to them, "Whoso healeth my daughter of what ill she hath, I will marry him to her and give him half of my kingdom; but whoso cometh to her and cureth her not, I will strike off his head and hang it over her palace-gate." Accordingly, all who went in to her, but failed to heal her, he beheaded and hung their heads over the palace-gates, till he had beheaded on her account forty doctors and crucified forty astrologers; wherefor the general held aloof from her, all the physicians having failed to medicine her malady; and her case was a puzzle to the men of science and the adepts in cabalistic characters. And as her longing and passion redoubled and love and distraction were sore upon her, she poured forth tears and repeated these couplets:—

My fondness, O my moon, for thee my foeman is, ✿ And to thy comradeship the nights my thought compel:
In gloom I bide with fire that flames below my ribs, ✿ Whose lowe I make comparison with heat of Hell:
I'm plagued with sorest stress of pine and ecstasy; ✿ Nor clearest noontide can that horrid pain dispel.

Then she sighed and repeated these also:—

Salams fro' me to friends in every stead; ✿ Indeed to all dear friends do I incline:
Salams, but not salams that bid adieu; ✿ Salams that growth of good for you design:
I love you dear, indeed, nor less your land, ✿ But bide I far from every need of mine!

And when the lady Budur ceased repeating her poetry, she wept till her eyes waxed sore and her cheeks changed form and hue, and in this condition she continued three years. Now she had a foster-brother, by name Marzawán,[283] who was travelling in far 257lands and absent from her the whole of this time. He loved her with an exceeding love, passing the love of brothers; so when he came back he went in to his mother and asked for his sister, the Princess Budur. She answered him, "O my son, thy sister hath been smitten with madness and hath passed these three years with a chain of iron about her neck; and all the physicians and men of science have failed of healing her." When Marzawan heard these words he said, "I must needs go in to her; peradventure I may discover what she hath, and be able to medicine her;" and his mother replied, "Needs must thou visit her, but wait till to-morrow, that I may contrive some thing to suit thy case." Then she went a-foot to the palace of the Lady Budur and, accosting the eunuch in charge of the gates, made him a present and said to him, "I have a daughter, who was brought up with thy mistress and since then I married her; and, when that befel the Princess which befel her, she became troubled and sore concerned, and I desire of thy favour that my daughter may go in to her for an hour and look on her; and then return whence she came, so shall none know of it." Quoth the eunuch, "This may not be except by night, after the King hath visited his child and gone away; then come thou and thy daughter." So she kissed the eunuch's hand and, returning home, waited till the morrow at nightfall; and when it was time she arose and sought her son Marzawan and attired him in woman's apparel; then, taking his hand in hers, led him towards the palace, and ceased not walking with him till she came upon the eunuch after the Sultan had ended his visit to the Princess. Now when the eunuch saw her, he rose to her, and said, "Enter, but do not prolong thy stay!" So they went in and when Marzawan beheld the Lady Budur in the aforesaid plight, he saluted her, after his mother had doffed his woman's garb: then he took out of their satchel books he had brought with him; and, lighting a wax-candle, he began to recite certain conjurations. Thereupon the Princess looked at him and recognising him, said, "O my brother, thou hast been absent on thy travels, and thy news have been cut off from us." He replied, "True! but Allah hath brought me back safe and sound, I am now minded to set out again nor hath aught delayed me but the news I hear of thee; wherefore my heart burned for thee and I came to thee, so haply I may free thee of thy malady." She rejoined, "O my brother, thinkest thou it is madness aileth me?" "Yes," 258answered he, and she said, "Not so, by Allah! 'tis even as saith the poet:—

Quoth they "Thou rav'st on him thou lov'st:" quoth I, ✿ "The sweets of love are only for th' insane!"
Love never maketh Time his friend befriend; ✿ Only the Jinn-struck wight such boon can gain:
Well! yes, I'm mad: bring him who madded me ✿ And, if he cure my madness, blame restrain!"

Then she let Marzawan know that she was love-daft and he said, "Tell me concerning thy tale and what befel thee: haply there may be in my hand something which shall be a means of deliverance for thee."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Marzawan thus addressed Princess Budur, "Tell me concerning thy tale and what befel thee: haply Allah may inspire me with a means of deliverance for thee." Quoth she, "O my brother, hear my story which is this. One night I awoke from sleep, in the last third of the night[284] and, sitting up, saw by my side the handsomest of youths that be, and tongue faileth to describe him, for he was as a willow-wand or an Indian rattan-cane. So methought it was my father who had done on this wise in order thereby to try me, for that he had consulted me concerning wedlock, when the Kings sought me of him to wife, and I had refused. It was this thought withheld me from arousing him, for I feared that, if I did aught or embraced him, he would peradventure inform my father of my doings. But in the morning, I found on my finger his seal-ring, in place of my own which he had taken. And, O my brother, my heart was seized with love of him at first sight; and, for the violence of my passion and longing, I have never savoured the taste of sleep and have no occupation save weeping alway and repeating verses night and day. And this, O my brother, is my 259story and the cause of my madness." Then she poured forth tears and repeated these couplets:—

"Now Love hast banished all that bred delight; ✿ With that heart-nibbling fawn my joys took flight:
Lightest of trifles lover's blood to him ✿ Who wastes the vitals of the hapless wight!
For him I'm jealous of my sight and thought; ✿ My heart acts spy upon my thought and sight:
Those long-lashed eyelids rain on me their shafts ✿ Guileful, destroying hearts where'er they light:
Now, while my portion in the world endures, ✿ Shall I behold him ere I quit world-site?
What bear I for his sake I'd hide, but tears ✿ Betray my feelings to the spy's despight.
When near, our union seemeth ever far; ✿ When far, my thoughts to him aye nearest are."

And presently she continued, "See then, O my brother, how thou mayest aid me in mine affliction." So Marzawan bowed his head groundwards awhile, wondering and not knowing what to do, then he raised it and said to her, "All thou hast spoken to me I hold to be true, though the case of the young man pass my understanding: but I will go round about all lands and will seek for what may heal thee; haply Allah shall appoint thy healing to be at my hand. Meanwhile, take patience and be not disquieted." Thereupon Marzawan farewelled her, praying that she might be constant and left her repeating these couplets:—

Thine image ever companies my sprite, ✿ For all thou'rt distant from then pilgrim's sight;
But my heart-wishes e'er attract thee near: ✿ What is the lightning's speed to Thought's swift flight?
Then go not thou, my very light of eyes ✿ Which, when thou'rt gone, lack all the Kohl of light.

Then Marzawan returned to his mother's house, where he passed the night. And when the morrow dawned, having equipped himself for his journey, he fared forth and ceased not faring from city to city and from island to island for a whole month, till he came to a town named Al-Tayrab.[285] Here he went about scenting news of the townsfolk, so haply he might light on a cure for the Princess's malady, for in every capital he entered or passed by, it was reported 260that Queen Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, had lost her wits. But arriving at Al-Tayrab city, he heard that Kamar al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman, was fallen sick and afflicted with melancholy madness. So Marzawan asked the name of the Prince's capital and they said to him, "It is on the Islands of Khalidan and it lieth distant from our city a whole month's journey by sea, but by land it is six months' march." So he went down to the sea in a ship which was bound for the Khalidan Isles, and she sailed with a favouring breeze for a whole month, till they came in sight of the capital; and there remained for them but to make the land when, behold, there came out on them a tempestuous wind which carried away the masts and rent the canvas, so that the sails fell into the sea and the ship capsized, with all on board,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship capsized with all on board, each sought his own safety; and as for Marzawan the set of the sea carried him under the King's palace, wherein was Kamar al-Zaman. And by the decree of destiny it so happened that this was the day on which King Shahriman gave audience to his Grandees and high officers, and he was sitting, with his son's head on his lap, whilst an eunuch fanned away the flies; and the Prince had not spoken neither had he eaten nor drunk for two days, and he was grown thinner than a spindle.[286] Now the Wazir was standing respectfully a-foot near the latticed window giving on the sea and, raising his eyes, saw Marzawan being beaten by the billows and at his last gasp; whereupon his heart was moved to pity for him, so he drew near to the King and moving his head towards him said, "I crave thy leave, O King, to go down to the court of the pavilion and open the water-gate that I may rescue a man who is at the point of drowning in the sea and bring him forth of danger into deliverance; peradventure, on this account Allah may free thy son from what he hath!" The King replied, "O thou Wazir, enough is 261that which hath befallen my son through thee and on thine account. Haply, if thou rescue this drowning man, he will come to know our affairs, and look on my son who is in this state and exult over me; but I swear by Allah, that if this half-drowned wretch come hither and learn our condition and look upon my son and then fare forth and speak of our secrets to any, I will assuredly strike off thy head before his; for thou, O my Minister, art the cause of all that hath betided us, first and last. Now do as thou wilt." Thereupon the Wazir sprang up and, opening the private postern which gave upon the sea, descended to the causeway; then walked on twenty steps and came to the water where he saw Marzawan nigh unto death. So he put out his hand to him and, catching him by his hair, drew him ashore in a state of insensibility, with belly full of water and eyes half out of his head. The Wazir waited till he came to himself, when he pulled off his wet clothes and clad him in a fresh suit, covering his head with one of his servants' turbands; after which he said to him, "Know that I have been the means of saving thee from drowning: do not thou requite me by causing my death and thine own."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Wazir did to Marzawan what he did, he thus addressed him, "Know that I have been the cause of saving thee from drowning, so requite me not by causing my death and thine own." Asked Marzawan, "And how so?"; and the Wazir answered, "Thou art at this hour about to go up and pass among Emirs and Wazirs, all of them silent and none speaking, because of Kamar al-Zaman, the son of the Sultan." Now when Marzawan heard the name of Kamar al-Zaman, he knew that this was he whom he had heard spoken of in sundry cities and of whom he came in search, but he feigned ignorance and asked the Wazir, "And who is Kamar al-Zaman?" Answered the Minister, "He is the son of Sultan Shahriman and he is sore sick and lieth strown on his couch restless alway, eating not nor drinking neither sleeping night or day; indeed he is nigh upon death and we have lost hope of his living and are certain that he is dying. Beware lest thou look too long 262on him, or thou look on any place other than that where thou settest thy feet: else thou art a lost man, and I also." He replied, "Allah upon thee, O Wazir, I implore thee, of thy favour, acquaint me touching this youth thou describest, what is the cause of the condition in which he is." The Wazir replied, "I know none, save that, three years ago, his father required him to wed, but he refused; whereat the King was wroth and imprisoned him. And when he awoke on the morrow, he fancied that during the night he had been roused from sleep and had seen by his side a young lady of passing loveliness, whose charms tongue can never express; and he assured us that he had plucked off her seal-ring from her finger and had put it on his own and that she had done likewise; but we know not the secret of all this business. So by Allah, O my son, when thou comest up with me into the palace, look not on the Prince, but go thy way; for the Sultan's heart is full of wrath against me." So said Marzawan to himself, "By Allah; this is the one I sought!" Then he followed the Wazir up to the palace, where the Minister seated himself at the Prince's feet; but Marzawan found forsooth nothing to do but go up to Kamar al-Zaman and stand before him at gaze. Upon this the Wazir died of affright in his skin, and kept looking at Marzawan and signalling him to wend his way; but he feigned not to see him and gave not over gazing upon Kamar al-Zaman, till he was well assured that it was indeed he whom he was seeking,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Marzawan looked upon Kamar al-Zaman and knew that it was indeed he whom he was seeking, he cried, "Exalted be Allah, Who hath made his shape even as her shape and his complexion as her complexion and his cheek as her cheek!" Upon this Kamar al-Zaman opened his eyes and gave earnest ear to his speech; and, when Marzawan saw him inclining to hear, he repeated these couplets[287]:—

263I see thee full of song and plaint and love's own ecstasy;
Delighting in describing all the charms of loveliness:
Art smit by stroke of Love or hath shaft-shot wounded thee?
None save the wounded ever show such signals of distress!
Ho thou! crown the wine-cup and sing me singular
Praises to Sulaymá, Al-Rabáb, Tan'oum addrest;[288]
Go round the grape-vine sun[289] which for mansion hath a jar;
Whose East the cup-boy is, and here my mouth that opes for West.
I'm jealous of the very clothes that dare her sides enroll
When she veils her dainty body of the delicatest grace:
I envy every goblet of her lips that taketh toll,
When she sets the kissing-cup on that sweetest kissing-place.
But deem not by the keen-edged scymitar I'm slain—
The hurts and harms I dree are from arrows of her eyes.
I found her finger-tips, as I met her once again,
Deep-reddened with the juice of the wood that ruddy dyes;[290]
And cried, "Thy palms thou stainedst when far away was I
And this is how thou payest one distracted by his pine!"
Quoth she (enkindling in my heart a flame that burnèd high
Speaking as one who cannot hide of longing love the sign),
"By thy life, this is no dye used for dyeing; so forbear
Thy blame, nor in charging me with falsing Love persist!"
"But when upon our parting-day I saw thee haste to fare,
The while were bared my hand and my elbow and my wrist;"
"I shed a flood of blood-red tears and with fingers brushed away;
Hence blood-reddened were the tips and still blood-red they remain."
Had I wept before she wept, to my longing-love a prey,
Before repentance came, I had quit my soul of pain;
264But she wept before I wept and I wept to see her care
And I said, "All the merit appertains to precedent;"[291]
Blame me not for loving her; now on self of Love I swear
For her sake, for her only, these pains my soul torment.
She hath all the lere of Lukmán[292] and Yúsuf's beauty lief;
Sweet singer David's voice and Maryam's chastity:
While I've all Jacob's mourning and Jonah's prison-grief,
And the sufferings of Job and old Adam's history:
Yet kill her not, albeit of my love for her I die;
But ask her why my blood to her was lawful, ask her why?

When Marzawan recited this ode, the words fell upon Kamar al-Zaman's heart as freshness after fever and returning health; and he sighed and, turning his tongue in his mouth, said to his sire, "O my father, let this youth come and sit by my side."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman said to his sire, "O my father, allow this youth to come and sit by my side." Now when the King heard these words from his son, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, though at the first his heart had been set against Marzawan and he had determined that the stranger's head needs must be stricken off: but when he heard Kamar al-Zaman speak, his anger left him and he arose and drawing Marzawan to him, seated him by his son and turning to him said, "Praised be Allah for thy safety!" He replied, "Allah preserve thee! and preserve thy son to thee!" and called down blessings on the King. Then the King asked, "From what country art thou?"; and he answered, "From the Islands of the Inland Sea, the kingdom of King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seas and the Seven Palaces." Quoth King Shahriman, 265"Maybe thy coming shall be blessed to my son and Allah vouchsafe to heal what is in him." Quoth Marzawan, "Inshallah, naught shall be save what shall be well!" Then turning to Kamar al-Zaman, he said to him in his ear unheard of the King and his court, "O my lord! be of good cheer, and hearten thy heart and let thine eyes be cool and clear and, with respect to her for whose sake thou art thus, ask not of her case on thine account. But thou keptest thy secret and fellest sick, while she told her secret and they said she had gone mad; so she is now in prison, with an iron chain about her neck, in most piteous plight; but, Allah willing, the healing of both of you shall come from my hand." Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, his life returned to him and he took heart and felt a thrill of joy and signed to his father to help him sit up; and the King was like to fly for gladness and rose hastily and lifted him up. Presently, of his fear for his son, he shook the kerchief of dismissal[293]; and all the Emirs and Wazirs withdrew; then he set two pillows for his son to lean upon, after which he bade them perfume the palace with saffron and decorate the city, saying to Marzawan, "By Allah, O my son, of a truth thine aspect be a lucky and a blessed!" And he made as much of him as he might and called for food, and when they brought it, Marzawan came up to the Prince and said, "Rise, eat with me." So he obeyed him and ate with him, and all the while the King invoked blessings on Marzawan and said, "How auspicious is thy coming, O my son!" And when the father saw his boy eat, his joy and gladness redoubled, and he went out and told the Prince's mother and all the household. Then he spread throughout the palace the good news of the Prince's recovery and the King commanded the decoration of the city and it was a day of high festival. Marzawan passed that night with Kamar al-Zaman, and the King also slept with them in joy and delight for his son's recovery.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Hundred and Ninety-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Shahriman also passed that night with them in the excess of his joy for 266his son's recovery. And when the next morning dawned, and the King had gone away and the two young men were left alone, Kamar al-Zaman told his story from beginning to end to Marzawan who said, "In very sooth I know her with whom thou didst foregather; her name is the Princess Budur and she is daughter to King Ghayur." Then he related to him all that had passed with the Princess from first to last and acquainted him with the excessive love she bore him, saying, "All that befel thee with thy father hath befallen her with hers, and thou art without doubt her beloved, even as she is thine; so brace up thy resolution and take heart, for I will bring thee to her and unite you both anon and deal with you even as saith the poet:—

Albe to lover adverse be his love, ✿ And show aversion howso may he care;
Yet will I manage that their persons[294] meet, ✿ E'en as the pivot of a scissor-pair."

And he ceased not to comfort and solace and encourage Kamar al-Zaman and urge him to eat and drink till he ate food and drank wine, and life returned to him and he was saved from his ill case; and Marzawan cheered him and diverted him with talk and songs and stories, and in good time he became free of his disorder and stood up and sought to go to the Hammam.[295] So Marzawan took him by the hand and both went to the bath, where they washed their bodies and made them clean.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundredth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman, went to the Hammam, his father in his joy at this event freed the prisoners, and presented splendid dresses to his grandees and bestowed large alm-gifts upon the poor and bade decorate the city seven days. Then quoth Marzawan to Kamar al-Zaman, "Know, O my lord, that I came not from the Lady Budur save for this purpose, and the 267object of my journey was to deliver her from her present case; and it remaineth for us only to devise how we may get to her, since thy father cannot brook the thought of parting from thee. So it is my counsel that to-morrow thou ask his leave to go abroad hunting. Then do thou take with thee a pair of saddle-bags full of money and mount a swift steed, and lead a spare horse, and I will do the like, and say to thy sire:—I have a mind to divert myself with hunting the desert and to see the open country and there to pass one night. Suffer not any servant to follow us, for as soon as we reach the open country, we will go our ways." Kamar al-Zaman rejoiced in this plan with great joy and cried, "It is good." Then he stiffened his back and, going in to his father, sought his leave and spoke as he had been taught, and the King consented to his going forth a-hunting and said, "O my son, blessed be the day that restoreth thee to health! I will not gainsay thee in this; but pass not more than one night in the desert and return to me on the morrow; for thou knowest that life is not good to me without thee, and indeed I can hardly believe thee to be wholly recovered from what thou hadst,[296] because thou art to me as he of whom quoth the poet:—

Albe by me I had through day and night ✿ Solomon's carpet and the Chosroes' might,
Both were in value less than wing of gnat, ✿ Unless these eyne could hold thee aye in sight."[297]

Then the King equipped his son Kamar al-Zaman and Marzawan for the excursion, bidding make ready for them four horses, together with a dromedary to carry the money and a camel to bear the water and belly-timber; and Kamar al-Zaman forbade any of his attendants to follow him. His father farewelled him and pressed him to his breast and kissed him, saying, "I ask thee in the name of Allah, be not absent from me more than one night, wherein sleep will be unlawful to me, for I am even as saith the poet:—

268Thou present, in the Heaven of heavens I dwell; ✿ Bearing thine absence is of hells my Hell:
Pledged be for thee my soul! If love for thee ✿ Be crime, my crime is of the fellest fell.
Does love-lowe burn thy heart as burns it mine, ✿ Doomed night and day Gehenna-fire to smell?"

Answered Kamar al-Zaman, "O my father, Inshallah, I will lie abroad but one night!" Then he took leave of him, and he and Marzawan mounted and leading the spare horses, the dromedary with the money and the camel with the water and victual, turned their faces towards the open country;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawning day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and First Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman and Marzawan fared forth and turned their faces towards the open country; and they travelled from the first of the day till nightfall, when they halted and ate and drank and fed their beasts and rested awhile; after which they again took horse and ceased not journeying for three days, and on the fourth they came to a spacious tract wherein was a thicket. They alighted in it and Marzawan, taking the camel and one of the horses, slaughtered them and cut off their flesh and stripped their bones. Then he doffed from Kamar al-Zaman his shirt and trousers which he smeared with the horse's blood and he took the Prince's coat which he tore to shreds and befouled with gore; and he cast them down in the fork of the road. Then they ate and drank and mounting set forward again; and, when Kamar al-Zaman asked why this was done, and said, "What is this O my brother, and how shall it profit us?"; Marzawan replied, "Know that thy father, when we have outstayed the second night after the night for which we had his leave, and yet we return not, will mount and follow in our track till he come hither; and, when he happeneth upon this blood which I have spilt and he seeth thy shirt and trousers rent and gore-fouled, he will fancy that some accident befel thee from bandits or wild-beasts; so he will give up hope of thee and return to his city, and by this device we shall win our wishes." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "By Allah, this be indeed a 269rare device! Thou hast done right well."[298] Then the two fared on days and nights and all that while Kamar al-Zaman did naught but complain when he found himself alone, and he ceased not weeping till they drew near their journey's end, when he rejoiced and repeated these verses:—

Wilt tyrant play with truest friend who thinks of thee each hour, ✿ And after showing love-desire betray indifference?
May I forfeit every favour if in love I falsed thee, ✿ If thee I left, abandon me by way of recompense:
But I've been guilty of no crime such harshness to deserve, ✿ And if I aught offended thee I bring my penitence;
Of Fortune's wonders one it is thou hast abandoned me; ✿ But Fortune never wearieth of showing wonderments.

When he had made an end of his verses, Marzawan said to him, "Look! these be King Ghayur's Islands;" whereat Kamar al-Zaman joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for what he had done, and kissed him between the eyes and strained him——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Marzawan said "Look! these be the Islands of King Ghayur;" Kamar al-Zaman joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for what he had done and kissed him between the eyes and strained him to his bosom. And after reaching the Islands and entering the city they took up their lodging in a khan, where they rested three days from the fatigues of their wayfare; after which Marzawan carried Kamar al-Zaman to the bath and, clothing him in merchant's gear, provided him with a geomantic tablet of gold,[299] 270with a set of astrological instruments and with an astrolabe of silver, plated with gold. Then he said to him, "Arise, O my lord, and take thy stand under the walls of the King's palace and cry out:—I am the ready Reckoner; I am the Scrivener; I am he who weeteth the Sought and the Seeker; I am the finished man of Science; I am the Astrologer accomplished in experience! Where then is he that seeketh? As soon as the King heareth this, he will send after thee and carry thee in to his daughter the Princess Budur, thy lover; but when about going in to her do thou say to him:—Grant me three days' delay, and if she recover, give her to me to wife; and if not, deal with me as thou dealtest with those who forewent me. He will assuredly agree to this, so as soon as thou art alone with her, discover thyself to her; and when she seeth thee, she will recover strength and her madness will cease from her and she will be made whole in one night. Then do thou give her to eat and drink, and her father, rejoicing in her recovery, will marry thee to her and share his kingdom with thee; for he hath imposed on himself this condition and so peace be upon thee." Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words he exclaimed, "May I never lack thy benefits!", and, taking the set of instruments aforesaid, sallied forth from the caravanserai in the dress of his order. He walked on till he stood under the walls of King Ghayur's palace, where he began to cry out, saying, "I am the Scribe, I am the ready Reckoner, I am he who knoweth the Sought and the Seeker; I am he who openeth the Volume and summeth up the Sums;[300] who Dreams can expound whereby the sought is found! Where then is the seeker?" Now when the city people heard this, they flocked to him, for it was long since they had seen Scribe or Astrologer, and they stood round him and, looking upon him, 271they saw one in the prime of beauty and grace and perfect elegance, and they marvelled at his loveliness, and his fine stature and symmetry. Presently one of them accosted him and said, "Allah upon thee, O thou fair and young, with the eloquent tongue! incur not this affray; nor throw thy life away in thine ambition to marry the Princess Budur. Only cast thine eyes upon yonder heads hung up; all their owners have lost their lives in this same venture." Yet Kamar al-Zaman paid no heed to them, but cried out at the top of his voice, saying, "I am the Doctor, the Scrivener! I am the Astrologer, the Calculator!" And all the townsfolk forbade him from this, but he regarded them not at all, saying in his mind, "None knoweth desire save whoso suffereth it." Then he began again to cry his loudest, shouting, "I am the Scrivener, I am the Astrologer!"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman in no wise heeded the words of the citizens, but continued to cry out, "I am the Calculator! I am the Astrologer!" Thereupon all the townsfolk were wroth with him and said to him, "Thou art nothing but an imbecile, silly, self-willed lad! Have pity on thine own youth and tender years and beauty and loveliness." But he cried all the more, "I am the Astrologer, I am the Calculator! Is there any one that seeketh?" As he was thus crying and the people forbidding him, behold, King Ghayur heard his voice and the clamour of the lieges and said to his Wazir, "Go down and bring me yon Astrologer." So the Wazir went down in haste, and taking Kamar al-Zaman from the midst of the crowd led him up to the King; and when in the presence he kissed the ground and began versifying:—

Eight glories meet, all, all conjoined in thee, ✿ Whereby may Fortune aye thy servant be:
Lere, lordliness, grace, generosity; ✿ Plain words, deep meaning, honour, victory!

When the King looked upon him, he seated him by his side and said to him, "By Allah, O my son, an thou be not an astrologer, 272venture not thy life nor comply with my condition; for I have bound myself that whoso goeth in to my daughter and healeth her not of that which hath befallen her I will strike off his head; but whoso healeth her him I will marry to her. So let not thy beauty and loveliness delude thee: for, by Allah! and again, by Allah! if thou cure her not, I will assuredly cut off thy head." And Kamar al-Zaman replied, "This is thy right; and I consent, for I wot of this ere came I hither." Then King Ghayur took the Kazis to witness against him and delivered him to the eunuch, saying, "Carry this one to the Lady Budur." So the eunuch took him by the hand and led him along the passage; but Kamar al-Zaman outstripped him and pushed on before, whilst the eunuch ran after him, saying, "Woe to thee! Hasten not to thine own ruin: never yet saw I astrologer so eager for his proper destruction; but thou weetest not what calamities are before thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman turned away his face from the eunuch——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the eunuch thus addressed Kamar al-Zaman, "Patience, and no indecent hurry!"; the Prince turned away his face and began repeating these couplets:—

A Sage, I feel a fool before thy charms; ✿ Distraught, I wot not what the words I say:
If say I "Sun," away thou dost not pass ✿ From eyes of me, while suns go down with day:
Thou hast completed Beauty, in whose praise ✿ Speech-makers fail, and talkers lose their way.

Then the eunuch stationed Kamar al-Zaman behind the curtain of the Princess's door and the Prince said to him, "Which of the two ways will please thee more; treat and cure thy lady from here or go in and heal her within the curtain?" The eunuch marvelled at his words and answered, "An thou heal her from here it were better proof of thy skill." Upon this Kamar al-Zaman sat down behind the curtain and, taking out ink-case, pen and paper, wrote the following: "This is the writ of one whom passion swayeth. ✿ 273and whom longing waylayeth ✿ and wakeful misery slayeth ✿ one who despaireth of living ✿ and looketh for naught but dying ✿ with whose mourning heart ✿ nor comforter nor helper taketh part ✿ One whose sleepless eyes ✿ none succoureth from anxieties ✿ whose day is passed in fire ✿ and his night in torturing desire ✿ whose body is wasted for much emaciation ✿ and no messenger from his beloved bringeth him consolation." And after this he indited the following couplets:—

I write with heart devoted to thy thought, ✿ And eyelids chafed by tears of blood they bled;
And body clad, by loving pine and pain, ✿ In shirt of leanness, and worn down to thread,
To thee complain I of Love's tormentry, ✿ Which ousted hapless Patience from her stead:
A toi! show favour and some mercy deign, ✿ For Passion's cruel hands my vitals shred.

And beneath his lines he wrote these cadenced sentences, "The heart's pain is removed ✿ by union with the beloved ✿ and whomso his lover paineth ✿ only Allah assaineth! ✿ If we or you have wrought deceit ✿ may the deceiver win defeat! ✿ There is naught goodlier than a lover who keeps faith ✿ with the beloved who works him scathe." Then, by way of subscription, he wrote, "From the distracted and despairing man ✿ whom love and longing trepan ✿ from the lover under passion's ban ✿ the prisoner of transport and distraction ✿ from this Kamar al-Zaman ✿ son of Shahriman ✿ to the peerless one ✿ of the fair Houris the pearl-union ✿ to the Lady Budur ✿ daughter of King Al-Ghayur ✿ Know thou that by night I am sleepless ✿ and by day in distress ✿ consumed with increasing wasting and pain ✿ and longing and love unfain ✿ abounding in sighs ✿ with tear-flooded eyes ✿ by passion captive ta'en ✿ of Desire the slain ✿ with heart seared by the parting of us twain ✿ the debtor of longing-bane, of sickness cup-companion ✿ I am the sleepless one, who never closeth eye ✿ the slave of love, whose tears run never dry ✿ for the fire of my heart is still burning ✿ and never hidden is the flame of my yearning." Then on the margin Kamar al-Zaman wrote this admired verse:—

Salam from graces hoarded by my Lord ✿ To her, who holds my heart and soul in hoard!

274And also these:—

Pray'ee grant me some words from your lips, belike ✿ Such mercy may comfort and cool these eyne:
From the stress of my love and my pine for you, ✿ I make light of what makes me despised, indign:
Allah guard a folk whose abode was far, ✿ And whose secret I kept in the holiest shrine:
Now Fortune in kindness hath favoured me ✿ Thrown on threshold dust of this love o' mine:
By me bedded I looked on Budúr, whose sun ✿ The moon of my fortunes hath made to shine.

Then, having affixed his seal-ring to the missive, he wrote these couplets in the place of address:—

Ask of my writ what wrote my pen in dole, ✿ And hear my tale of misery from this scroll;
My hand is writing while my tears down flow, ✿ And to the paper 'plains my longing soul:
My tears cease not to roll upon this sheet, ✿ And if they stopped I'd cause blood-gouts to roll.

And at the end he added this other verse:—

I've sent the ring from off thy finger bore ✿ I when we met, now deign my ring restore!

Then Kamar al-Zaman set the Lady Budur's ring inside the letter and sealed it and gave it to the eunuch, who took it and went in with it to his mistress.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman, after setting the seal-ring inside the epistle, gave it to the eunuch who took it and went in with it to his mistress; and, when the Lady Budur opened it, she found therein her own very ring. Then she read the paper and when she understood its purport and knew that it was from her beloved, and that he in person stood behind the curtain, her reason began to fly and her breast swelled for joy and rose high; and she repeated these couplets:—

275Long, long have I bewailed the sev'rance of our loves, ✿ With tears that from my lids streamed down like burning rain;
And vowed that, if the days deign reunite us two, ✿ My lips should never speak of severance again:
Joy hath o'erwhelmed me so that, for the very stress ✿ Of that which gladdens me to weeping I am fain.
Tears are become to you a habit, O my eyes, ✿ So that ye weep as well for gladness as for pain.[301]

And having finished her verse, the Lady Budur stood up forthwith and, firmly setting her feet to the wall, strained with all her might upon the collar of iron, till she brake it from her neck and snapped the chains. Then going forth from behind the curtain she threw herself on Kamar al-Zaman and kissed him on the mouth, like a pigeon feeding its young.[302] And she embraced him with all the stress of her love and longing and said to him, "O my lord, do I wake or sleep and hath the Almighty indeed vouchsafed us reunion after disunion? Laud be to Allah who hath our loves repaired, even after we despaired!" Now when the eunuch saw her in this case, he went off running to King Ghayur and, kissing the ground before him, said, "O my lord, know that this Astrologer is indeed the Shaykh of all astrologers, who are fools to him, all of them; for verily he hath cured thy daughter while standing behind the curtain and without going in to her." Quoth the King, "Look well to it, is this news true?" Answered the Eunuch, "O my lord, rise and come and see for thyself how she hath found strength to break the iron chains and is come forth to the Astrologer, kissing and embracing him." Thereupon the King arose and went in to his daughter who, when she saw him, stood up in haste and covered her head,[303] and recited these two couplets:—

The tooth-stick love I not; for when I say, ✿ "Siwák,"[304] I miss thee, for it sounds "Siwá-ka":
The caper-tree I love; for when I say, ✿ "Arák"[305] it sounds I look on thee, "Ará-ka."

276Thereupon the King was so transported for joy at her recovery that he felt like to fly and kissed her between the eyes, for he loved her with dearest love; then, turning to Kamar al-Zaman, he asked him who he was, and said, "What countryman art thou?" So the Prince told him his name and rank, and informed him that he was the son of King Shahriman, and presently related to him the whole story from beginning to end; and acquainted him with what happened between himself and the Lady Budur; and how he had taken her seal-ring from her finger and had placed it on his own; whereat Ghayur marvelled and said, "Verily your story deserveth in books to be chronicled, and when you are dead and gone age after age be read." Then he summoned Kazis and witnesses forthright and married the Lady Budur to Prince Kamar al-Zaman; after which he bade decorate the city seven days long. So they spread the tables with all manner of meats, whilst the drums beat and the criers announced the glad tidings, and all the troops donned their richest clothes; and they illuminated the city and held high festival. Then Kamar al-Zaman went in to the Lady Budur and the King rejoiced in her recovery and in her marriage; and praised Allah for that He had made her to fall in love with a goodly youth of the sons of Kings. So they unveiled her and displayed the bride before the bridegroom; and both were the living likeness of each other in beauty and comeliness and grace and love-allurement. Then Kamar al-Zaman lay with her that night and took his will of her, whilst she in like manner fulfilled her desire of him and enjoyed his charms and grace; and they slept in each other's arms till the morning. On the morrow, the King made a wedding-feast to which he gathered all comers from the Islands of the Inner and Outer Seas, and he spread the tables with choicest viands nor 277ceased the banquetting for a whole month. Now when Kamar al-Zaman had thus fulfilled his will and attained his inmost desire, and whenas he had tarried awhile with the Princess Budur, he bethought him of his father, King Shahriman, and saw him in a dream, saying, "O my son, is it thus thou dealest with me?" and reciting in the vision these two couplets:—

Indeed to watch the darkness-moon he blighted me, ✿ And to star-gaze through longsome night he plighted me:
Easy, my heart! for haply he'll unite with thee; ✿ And patience, Sprite! with whatso ills he dight to thee.

Now after seeing his father in the dream and hearing his reproaches, Kamar al-Zaman awoke in the morning, afflicted and troubled, whereupon the Lady Budur questioned him and he told her what he had seen——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman acquainted the Lady Budur with what he had seen in his dream, she and he went in to her sire and, telling him what had passed, besought his leave to travel. He gave the Prince the permission he sought; but the Princess said, "O my father, I cannot bear to be parted from him." Quoth Ghayur, her sire, "Then go thou with him," and gave her leave to be absent a whole twelvemonth and afterwards to visit him in every year once; so she kissed his hand and Kamar al-Zaman did the like. Thereupon King Ghayur proceeded to equip his daughter and her bridegroom for the journey, and furnished them with outfit and appointments for the march; and brought out of his stables horses marked with his own brand, blood-dromedaries[306] which can journey ten days without water, and prepared a litter for his daughter, besides loading mules and camels with victual; moreover, he gave them slaves and eunuchs to serve them and all 278manner of travelling gear; and on the day of departure, when King Ghayur took leave of Kamar al-Zaman, he bestowed on him ten splendid suits of cloth of gold embroidered with stones of price, together with ten riding horses and ten she-camels, and a treasury of money;[307] and he charged him to love and cherish his daughter the Lady Budur. Then the King accompanied them to the farthest limits of his Islands where, going in to his daughter Budur in the litter, he kissed her and strained her to his bosom, weeping and repeating:—

O thou who wooest Severance, easy fare! ✿ For love-embrace belongs to lover-friend:
Fare softly! Fortune's nature falsehood is, ✿ And parting shall love's every meeting end.

Then leaving his daughter, he went to her husband and bade him farewell and kissed him; after which he parted from them and, giving the order for the march he returned to his capital with his troops. The Prince and Princess and their suite fared on without stopping through the first day and the second and the third and the fourth; nor did they cease faring for a whole month till they came to a spacious champaign, abounding in pasturage, where they pitched their tents; and they ate and drank and rested, and the Princess Budur lay down to sleep. Presently, Kamar al-Zaman went in to her and found her lying asleep clad in a shift of apricot-coloured silk that showed all and everything; and on her head was a coif of gold-cloth embroidered with pearls and jewels. The breeze raised her shift which laid bare her navel and showed her breasts and displayed a stomach whiter than snow, each one of whose dimples would contain an ounce of benzoin-oinment.[308] At this 279sight, his love and longing redoubled, and he began reciting:—

An were it asked me when by hell-fire burnt, ✿ When flames of heart my vitals hold and hem,
"Which wouldst thou chose, say wouldst thou rather them, ✿ Or drink sweet cooling draught?" I'd answer, "Them!"

Then he put his hand to the band of her petticoat-trousers and drew it and loosed it, for his soul lusted after her, when he saw a jewel, red as dye-wood, made fast to the band. He untied it and examined it and, seeing two lines of writing graven thereon, in a character not to be read, marvelled and said in his mind, "Were not this bezel something to her very dear she had not bound it to her trousers-band nor hidden it in the most privy and precious place about her person, that she might not be parted from it. Would I knew what she doth with this and what is the secret that is in it." So saying, he took it and went outside the tent to look at it in the light,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day, and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when he took the bezel to look at it in the light, the while he was holding it behold, a bird swooped down on him and, snatching the same from his hand, flew off with it and then lighted on the ground. Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman fearing to lose the jewel, ran after the bird; but it flew on before him, keeping just out of his reach, and ceased not to draw him on from dale to dale and from hill to hill, till the night starkened and the firmament darkened, when it roosted on a high tree. So Kamar al-Zaman stopped under the tree confounded in thought and faint for famine and fatigue, and giving himself up for lost, would have turned back, but knew not the way whereby he came, for that darkness had overtaken him. Then he exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and laying him down under the tree (whereon was the bird) slept till the morning, when he awoke and saw the bird also wake up and fly away. He arose and walked after it, and it flew on little by little before him, after the measure of his faring; at which he smiled and said, "By Allah, a strange thing! Yesterday, this bird flew before me as 280fast as I could run, and to-day, knowing that I have awoke tired and cannot run, he flieth after the measure of my faring. By Allah, this is wonderful! But I must needs follow this bird whether it lead me to death or to life; and I will go wherever it goeth, for at all events it will not abide save in some inhabited land."[309] So he continued to follow the bird which roosted every night upon a tree; and he ceased not pursuing it for a space of ten days, feeding on the fruits of the earth and drinking of its waters. At the end of this time, he came in sight of an inhabited city, whereupon the bird darted off like the glance of the eye and, entering the town, disappeared from Kamar al-Zaman, who knew not what it meant or whither it was gone; so he marvelled at this and exclaimed, "Praise be to Allah who hath brought me in safety to this city!" Then he sat down by a stream and washed his hands and feet and face and rested awhile; and, recalling his late easy and pleasant life of union with his beloved and contrasting it with his present plight of trouble and fatigue and distress and strangerhood and famine and severance, the tears streamed from his eyes and he began repeating these cinquains:—

Fain had I hid thy handwork, but it showed, ✿ Changed sleep for wake, and wake with me abode:
When thou didst spurn my heart I cried aloud ✿ Fate, hold thy hand and cease to gird and goad:
In dole and danger aye my sprite I spy!
An but the Lord of Love were just to me, ✿ Sleep fro' my eyelids ne'er were forced to flee.
Pity, my lady, one for love o' thee ✿ From his tribe's darling brought to low degree:
Love came and doomed Wealth beggar-death to die.
The railers chide at thee: I ne'er gainsay, ✿ But stop my ears and dumbly sign them Nay:
"Thou lov'st a slender may," say they; I say, ✿ "I've picked her out and cast the rest away:"
Enough; when Fate descends she blinds man's eye![310]

281And as soon as he had finished his poetry and had taken his rest, he rose and walked on little by little, till he entered the city——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as Kamar al-Zaman had finished his poetry and had taken his rest, he arose and entered the city-gate[311] not knowing whither he should wend. He crossed the city from end to end, entering by the land-gate, and ceased not faring on till he came out at the sea-gate, for the city stood on the sea-shore. Yet he met not a single one of its citizens. And after issuing from the land-gate he fared forwards and ceased not faring till he found himself among the orchards and gardens of the place; and, passing among the trees presently came to a garden and stopped before its door; whereupon the keeper came out to him and saluted him. The Prince returned his greeting and the gardener bade him welcome, saying, "Praised be Allah that thou hast come off safe from the dwellers of this city! Quick, come into the garth, ere any of the townfolk see thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered that garden, wondering in mind, and asked the keeper, "What may be the history of the people of this city and who may they be?" The other answered, "Know that the people of this city are all Magians: but Allah upon thee, tell me how thou camest to this city and what caused thy coming to our capital." Accordingly Kamar al-Zaman told the gardener all that had befallen him from beginning to end, whereat he marvelled with great marvel and said, "Know, O my son, that the cities of Al-Islam lie far from us; and between us and them is a four months' voyage by sea and a whole twelve months' journey by land. We have a ship which saileth every year with merchandise to the nearest Moslem country and which entereth the seas of the Ebony Islands and thence maketh the Khalidan Islands, the dominions of King Shahriman." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman considered awhile and concluded that he could 282not do better than abide in the garden with the gardener and become his assistant, receiving for pay one fourth of the produce. So he said to him, "Wilt thou take me into thy service, to help thee in this garden?" Answered the gardener, "To hear is to consent;" and began teaching him to lead the water to the roots of the trees. So Kamar al-Zaman abode with him, watering the trees and hoeing up the weeds and wearing a short blue frock which reached to his knees. And he wept floods of tears; for he had no rest day or night, by reason of his strangerhood and he ceased not to repeat verses upon his beloved, amongst others the following couplets:—

Ye promised us and will ye not keep plight? ✿ Ye said a say and shall not deed be dight?
We wake for passion while ye slumber and sleep; ✿ Watchers and wakers claim not equal right:
We vowed to keep our loves in secrecy, ✿ But spake the meddler and you spoke forthright:
O friend in pain and pleasure, joy and grief, ✿ In all case you, you only, claim my sprite!
'Mid folk is one who holds my prisoned heart; ✿ Would he but show some ruth for me to sight.
Not every eye like mine is wounded sore, ✿ Not every heart like mine love-pinings blight:
Ye wronged me saying, Love is wrongous aye ✿ Yea! ye were right, events have proved that quite.
Forget they one love-thralled, whose faith the world ✿ Robs not, though burn the fires in heart alight:
If an my foeman shall become my judge, ✿ Whom shall I sue to remedy his despight?
Had not I need of love nor love had sought, ✿ My heart forsure were not thus love-distraught.

Such was the case with Kamar al-Zaman; but as regards his wife, the Lady Budur, when she awoke she sought her husband and found him not: then she saw her petticoat-trousers undone, for the band had been loosed and the bezel lost, whereupon she said to herself, "By Allah, this is strange! Where is my husband? It would seem as if he had taken the talisman and gone away, knowing not the secret which is in it. Would to Heaven I knew whither can he have wended! But it must needs have been some extraordinary matter that drew him away, for he cannot brook to leave me a moment. Allah curse the stone and damn its hour!" Then she considered awhile and said in her mind, "If I go out 283and tell the varlets and let them learn that my husband is lost, they will lust after me: there is no help for it but that I use a stratagem." So she rose and donned some of her husband's clothes and riding-boots, and a turband like his, drawing one corner of it across her face for a mouth-veil.[312] Then, setting a slave-girl in her litter, she went forth from the tent and called to the pages who brought her Kamar al-Zaman's steed; and she mounted and bade them load the beasts and resume the march. So they bound on the burdens and departed; and she concealed her trick, none doubting but she was Kamar al-Zaman, for she favoured him in face and form; nor did she cease journeying, she and her suite, days and nights, till they came in sight of a city overlooking the Salt Sea, where they pitched their tents without the walls and halted to rest. The Princess asked the name of the town and was told, "It is called the City of Ebony; its King is named Armanús, and he hath a daughter Hayát al-Nufús[313] hight,"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Lady Budur halted within sight of the Ebony City to take her rest, King Armanus sent a messenger, to learn what King it was who had encamped without his capital; so the messenger, coming to the tents, made enquiry anent their King, and was told that she was a King's son who had lost the way being bound for the Khalidan Islands; whereupon he returned to King Armanus with the tidings; and, when the King heard them, he straightway rode out with the lords of his land to greet the stranger on arrival. As he drew near the tents the Lady Budur came to meet him on foot, whereupon the King alighted and they saluted each other. Then he took her to the city and, bringing her up to the palace, bade them spread the tables and trays of food and commanded them to transport her company and baggage to the guest-house. So they abode there three days; at the end of which time the King came in to the Lady Budur. Now she had that day gone to the Hammam and her face shone as the moon 284at its full, a seduction to the world and a rending of the veil of shame to mankind; and Armanus found her clad in a suit of silk, embroidered with gold and jewels; so he said to her, "O my son, know that I am a very old man, decrepit withal, and Allah hath blessed me with no child save one daughter, who resembleth thee in beauty and grace; and I am now waxed unfit for the conduct of the state. She is thine, O my son; and, if this my land please thee and thou be willing to abide and make thy home here, I will marry thee to her and give thee my kingdom and so be at rest." When Princess Budur heard this, she bowed her head and her forehead sweated for shame, and she said to herself, "How shall I do, and I a woman? If I refuse and depart from him, I cannot be safe but that haply he send after me troops to slay me; and if I consent, belike I shall be put to shame. I have lost my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and know not what is become of him; nor can I escape from this scrape save by holding my peace and consenting and abiding here, till Allah bring about what is to be." So she raised her head and made submission to King Armanus, saying, "Hearkening and obedience!"; whereat he rejoiced and bade the herald make proclamation throughout the Ebony Islands to hold high festival and decorate the houses. Then he assembled his Chamberlains and Nabobs, and Emirs and Wazirs and his officers of state and the Kazis of the city; and, formally abdicating his Sultanate, endowed Budur therewith and invested her in all the vestments of royalty. The Emirs and Grandees went in to her and did her homage, nothing doubting but that she was a young man, and all who looked on her bepissed their bag-trousers, for the excess of her beauty and loveliness. Then, after the lady Budur had been made Sultan and the drums had been beaten in announcement of the glad event, and she had been ceremoniously enthroned, King Armanus proceeded to equip his daughter Hayat al-Nufus for marriage, and in a few days, they brought the Lady Budur in to her, when they seemed as it were two moons risen at one time or two suns in conjunction. So they entered the bridal-chamber and the doors were shut and the curtains let down upon them, after the attendants had lighted the wax-candles and spread for them the carpet-bed. When Budur found herself alone with the Princess Hayat al-Nufus, she called to mind her beloved Kamar al-Zaman and grief was sore upon her. So she wept for his absence, and estrangement and she began repeating:—

285O ye who fled and left my heart in pain low li'en, ✿ No breath of life is found within this frame of mine:
I have an eye which e'er complains of wake, but lo! ✿ Tears occupy it; would that wake content these eyne!
After ye marchèd forth the lover 'bode behind; ✿ Question of him what pains your absence could design!
But for the floods of tears mine eyelids rail and rain, ✿ My fires would flame on high and every land calcine.
To Allah make I moan of loved ones lost for aye, ✿ Who for my pine and pain no more shall pain and pine:
I never wronged them save that over-love I nurst: ✿ But Love departs us lovers into blest and curst.

And when she had finished her repeating, the Lady Budur sat down beside the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and kissed her on the mouth; after which rising abruptly, she made the minor ablution and betook herself to her devotions; nor did she leave praying till Hayat al-Nufus fell asleep, when she slipt into bed and lay with her back to her till morning. And when day had broke the King and Queen came in to their daughter and asked her how she did, whereupon she told them what she had seen, and repeated to them the verses she had heard. Thus far concerning Hayat al-Nufus and her father; but as regards Queen Budur she went forth and seated herself upon the royal throne and all the Emirs and Captains and Officers of state came up to her and wished her joy of the kingship, kissing the earth before her and calling down blessings upon her. And she accosted them with smiling face and clad them in robes of honour, augmenting the fiefs of the high officials and giving largesse to the levies; wherefore all the people loved her and offered up prayers for the long endurance of her reign, doubting not but that she was a man. And she ceased not sitting all day in the hall of audience, bidding and forbidding; dispensing justice, releasing prisoners and remitting the customs-dues, till nightfall, when she withdrew to the apartment prepared for her. Here she found Hayat al-Nufus seated; so she sat down by her side and, clapping her on the back, coaxed and caressed her and kissed her between the eyes, and fell to versifying in these couplets:—

What secret kept I these my tears have told, ✿ And my waste body must my love unfold:
Though hid my pine, my plight on parting-day ✿ To every envious eye my secret sold:
286O ye who broke up camp, you've left behind ✿ My spirit wearied and my heart a-cold:
In my heart's core ye dwell, and now these eyne ✿ Roll blood-drops with the tears they whilome rolled:
The absent will I ransom with my soul; ✿ All can my yearning for their sight behold:
I have an eye whose babe,[314] for love of thee, ✿ Rejected sleep nor hath its tears controlled.
The foeman bids me patient bear his loss, ✿ Ne'er may mine ears accept the ruth he doled!
I trickt their deme of me, and won my wish ✿ Of Kamar al-Zaman's joys manifold:
He joins all perfect gifts like none before; ✿ Boasted such might and main no King of old:
Seeing his gifts, Bin Zá'ïdah's[315] largesse ✿ Forget we, and Mu'áwiyah mildest-soul'd:[316]
Were verse not feeble and o'er short the time ✿ I had in laud of him used all of rhyme.

Then Queen Budur stood up and wiped away her tears and, making the lesser ablution,[317] applied her to pray: nor did she give over praying till drowsiness overcame the Lady Hayat al-Nufus and she slept, whereupon the Lady Budur came and lay by her till the morning. At daybreak, she arose and prayed the dawn-prayer; and presently seated herself on the royal throne and passed the day in ordering and counterordering and giving laws and administering justice. This is how it fared with her; but as regards King Armanus he went in to his daughter and asked her how she did; so she told him all that had befallen her and repeated to him the verses which Queen Budur had recited, adding, "O my father, never saw I one more abounding in sound sense and modesty than my husband, save that he doth nothing but weep and sigh." He answered, "O my daughter, have patience with 287him yet this third night, and if he go not in unto thee and do away thy maidenhead, we shall know how to proceed with him and oust him from the throne and banish him the country." And on this wise he agreed with his daughter what course he would take——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Tenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Armanus had agreed with his daughter on this wise and had determined what course he would take and night came on, Queen Budur arose from the throne of her kingdom and betaking herself to the palace, entered the apartment prepared for her. There she found the wax-candles lighted and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus seated and awaiting her; whereupon she bethought her of her husband and what had betided them both of sorrow and severance in so short a space; she wept and sighed and groaned groan upon groan, and began improvising these couplets:—

News of my love fill all the land, I swear, ✿ As suns on Ghazá[318]-wold rain heat and glare:
Speaketh his geste but hard its sense to say; ✿ Thus never cease to grow my cark and care:
I hate fair Patience since I lovèd thee; ✿ E'er sawest lover hate for love to bear?
A glance that dealt love-sickness dealt me death, ✿ Glances are deadliest things with torments rare:
He shook his love-locks down and bared his chin, ✿ Whereby I spied his beauties dark and fair:
My care, my cure are in his hands; and he ✿ Who caused their dolour can their dole repair:
His belt went daft for softness of his waist; ✿ His hips, for envy, to uprise forbear:
His brow curl-diademed is murky night; ✿ Unveil't and lo! bright Morn shows brightest light.

When she had finished her versifying, she would have risen to pray, but, lo and behold! Hayat al-Nufus caught her by the skirt and clung to her saying, "O my lord, art thou not ashamed before 288my father, after all his favour, to neglect me at such a time as this?" When Queen Budur heard her words, she sat down in the same place and said, "O my beloved, what is this thou sayest?" She replied, "What I say is that I never saw any so proud of himself as thou. Is every fair one so disdainful? I say not this to incline thee to me; I say it only of my fear for thee from King Armanus; because he purposeth, unless thou go in unto me this very night, and do away my maidenhead, to strip thee of the kingship on the morrow and banish thee his kingdom; and peradventure his excessive anger may lead him to slay thee. But I, O my lord, have ruth on thee and give thee fair warning; and it is thy right to reck."[319] Now when Queen Budur heard her speak these words, she bowed her head groundwards awhile in sore perplexity and said in herself, "If I refuse I'm lost; and if I obey I'm shamed. But I am now Queen of all the Ebony Islands and they are under my rule, nor shall I ever again meet my Kamar al-Zaman save in this place; for there is no way for him to his native land but through the Ebony Islands. Verily, I know not what to do in my present case, but I commit my care to Allah who directeth all for the best, for I am no man that I should arise and open this virgin girl." Then quoth Queen Budur to Hayat al-Nufus, "O my beloved, that I have neglected thee and abstained from thee is in my own despite." And she told her her whole story from beginning to end and showed her person to her, saying, "I conjure thee by Allah to keep my counsel, for I have concealed my case only that Allah may reunite me with my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and then come what may."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eleventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the Lady Budur acquainted Hayat al-Nufus with her history and bade her keep it secret, the Princess heard her with extreme wonderment and was moved to pity and prayed Allah to reunite her with her beloved, saying, "Fear nothing, O my sister; but have patience 289till Allah bring to pass that which must come to pass:" and she began repeating:—

None but the men of worth a secret keep;
With worthy men a secret's hidden deep;
As in a room, so secrets lie with me,
Whose door is sealed, lock shot and lost the key.[320]

And when Hayat al-Nufus had ended her verses, she said, "O my sister, verily the breasts of the noble and brave are of secrets the grave; and I will not discover thine." Then they toyed and embraced and kissed and slept till near the Mu'ezzin's call to dawn-prayer, when Hayat al-Nufus arose and took a pigeon-poult,[321] and cut its throat over her smock and besmeared herself with its blood. Then she pulled off her petticoat-trousers and cried aloud, whereupon her people hastened to her and raised the usual lullilooing and outcries of joy and gladness. Presently her mother came in to her and asked her how she did and busied herself about her and abode with her till evening; whilst the Lady Budur arose with the dawn, and repaired to the bath and, after washing herself pure, proceeded to the hall of audience, where she sat down on her throne and dispensed justice among the folk. Now when King Armanus heard the loud cries of joy, he asked what was the matter and was informed of the consummation of his daughter's marriage; whereat he rejoiced and his breast swelled with gladness and he made a great marriage-feast whereof the merry-making lasted a long time. Such was their case: but as regards King Shahriman it was on this wise. After his son had fared forth to the chase accompanied by Marzawan, as before related, he tarried patiently awaiting their return at nightfall; but when his son did not appear, he passed a sleepless night and the dark hours were longsome 290upon him; his restlessness was excessive, his excitement grew upon him and he thought the morning would never dawn. And when day broke he sat expecting his son and waited till noon, but he came not; whereat his heart forebode separation and was fired with fears for Kamar al-Zaman; and he cried, "Alas! my son!" and he wept till his clothes were drenched with tears, and repeated with a beating heart:—

Love's votaries I ceased not to oppose, ✿ Till doomed to taste Love's bitter and Love's sweet:
I drained his rigour-cup to very dregs, ✿ Self-humbled at its slaves' and freemen's feet:
Fortune had sworn to part the loves of us; ✿ She kept her word how truly, well I weet!

And when he ended his verse, he wiped away his tears and bade his troops make ready for a march and prepare for a long expedition. So they all mounted and set forth, headed by the Sultan, whose heart burnt with grief and was fired with anxiety for his son Kamar al-Zaman; and they advanced by forced marches. Now the King divided his host into six divisions, a right wing and a left wing, a vanguard and a rear-guard;[322] and bade them rendezvous for the morrow at the cross-roads. Accordingly they separated and scoured the country all the rest of that day till night, and they marched through the night and at noon of the ensuing day they joined company at the place where four roads met. But they knew not which the Prince followed, till they saw the sign of torn clothes and sighted shreds of flesh and beheld blood still sprinkled by the way and they noted every piece of the clothes and fragment of mangled flesh scattered on all sides. Now when King Shahriman saw this, he cried from his heart-core a loud cry, saying, "Alas, my son!"; and buffetted his face and pluckt his beard and rent his raiment, doubting not but his son was dead. Then he gave himself up to excessive weeping and wailing, and the troops also wept for his weeping, all being assured that Prince Kamar al-Zaman had perished. They threw dust on their heads, and the night surprised them shedding tears and lamenting till they were like to die. Then the King with a heart on fire and with burning sighs spake these couplets:—

291Chide not the mourner for bemourning woe; ✿ Enough is yearning every Ill to show:
He weeps for stress of sorrow and of pain, ✿ And these to thee best evidence his lowe:
Happy![323] of whom Love-sickness swore that ne'er ✿ Should cease his eyelids loving tears to flow:
He mourns the loss of fairest, fullest Moon, ✿ Shining o'er all his peers in glorious glow:
But death made drink a brimming cup, what day ✿ He fared from natal country fain to go:
His home left he and went from us to grief; ✿ Nor to his brethren could he say adieu:
Yea, his loss wounded me with parting pangs, ✿ And separation cost me many a throe:
He fared farewelling, as he fared, our eyes; ✿ Whenas his Lord vouchsafed him Paradise.

And when King Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned with the troops to his capital,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twelfth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned with the troops to his capital, giving up his son for lost, and deeming that wild beasts or banditti had set upon him and torn him to pieces; and made proclamation that all in the Khalidan Islands should don black in mourning for him. Moreover, he built, in his memory, a pavilion, naming it House of Lamentations; and on Mondays and Thursdays he devoted himself to the business of the state and ordering the affairs of his levies and lieges; and the rest of the week he was wont to spend in the House of Lamentations, mourning for his son and bewailing him with elegiac verses,[324] of which the following are some:—

My day of bliss is that when thou appearest; ✿ My day of bale[325] is that whereon thou farest:
Though through the night I quake in dread of death; ✿ Union wi' thee is of all bliss the dearest.

292And again he said:—

My soul be sacrifice for one, whose going ✿ Afflicted hearts with sufferings sore and dread:
Let joy her widowed term[326] fulfil, for I ✿ Divorcèd joy with the divorce thrice-said.[327]

Such was the case with King Shahriman; but as regards Queen Budur daughter of King Ghayur, she abode as ruler in the Ebony Islands, whilst the folk would point to her with their fingers, and say, "Yonder is the son-in-law of King Armanus." And every night she lay with Hayat al-Nufus, to whom she lamented her desolate state and longing for her husband Kamar al-Zaman, weeping and describing to her his beauty and loveliness, and yearning to enjoy him though but in a dream: And at times she would repeat:—

Well Allah wots that since my severance from thee, ✿ I wept till forced to borrow tears at usury:
"Patience!" my blamer cried, "Heartsease right soon shalt see!" ✿ Quoth I, "Say, blamer, where may home of Patience be?"

This is how it fared with Queen Budur; but as regards Kamar al-Zaman, he abode with the gardener in the garden for no short time, weeping night and day and repeating verses bewailing the past time of enjoyment and delight; whilst the gardener kept comforting him and assuring him that the ship would set sail for the land of the Moslems at the end of the year. And in this condition he continued till one day he saw the folk crowding together and wondered at this; but the gardener came in to him and said, "O my son, give over work for this day nor lead water to the trees; for it is a festival day, whereon folk visit one another. So take thy rest and only keep thine eye on the garden, whilst I go look after the ship for thee; for yet but a little while and I send thee to the land of the Moslems." Upon this, he went forth from the garden leaving to himself Kamar al-Zaman, who fell to musing upon his case till his heart was like to break and the tears streamed from his eyes. So he wept with excessive weeping till 293he swooned away and, when he recovered, he rose and walked about the garden, pondering what Time had done with him and bewailing the long endurance of his estrangement and separation from those he loved. As he was thus absorbed in melancholy thought, his foot stumbled and he fell on his face, his forehead striking against the projecting root of a tree; and the blow cut it open and his blood ran down and mingled with his tears. Then he rose and, wiping away the blood, dried his tears and bound his brow with a piece of rag; then continued his walk about the garden engrossed by sad reverie. Presently, he looked up at a tree and saw two birds quarrelling thereon, and one of them rose up and smote the other with its beak on the neck and severed from its body its head, wherewith it flew away, whilst the slain bird fell to the ground before Kamar al-Zaman. As it lay, behold, two great birds swooped down upon it alighting, one at the head and the other at the tail, and both drooped their wings and bowed their bills over it and, extending their necks towards it, wept. Kamar al-Zaman also wept when seeing the birds thus bewail their mate, and called to mind his wife and father,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to day her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman wept and lamented his separation from spouse and sire, when he beheld those two birds weeping over their mate. Then he looked at the twain and saw them dig a grave and therein bury the slain bird; after which they flew away far into the firmament and disappeared for a while; but presently they returned with the murtherer-bird and, alighting on the grave of the murthered, stamped on the slayer till they had done him to death. Then they rent his belly and tearing out his entrails, poured the blood on the grave of the slain[328]: moreover, they stripped off his skin 294and tare his flesh in pieces and, pulling out the rest of the bowels, scattered them hither and thither. All this while Kamar al-Zaman was watching them wonderingly; but presently, chancing to look at the place where the two birds had slain the third, he saw therein something gleaming. So he drew near to it and noted that it was the crop of the dead bird. Whereupon he took it and opened it and found the talisman which had been the cause of his separation from his wife. But when he saw it and knew it, he fell to the ground a-fainting for joy; and, when he revived, he said, "Praised be Allah! This is a foretaste of good and a presage of reunion with my beloved." Then he examined the jewel and passed it over his eyes[329]; after which he bound it to his forearm, rejoicing in coming weal, and walked about till nightfall awaiting the gardener's return; and when he came not, he lay down and slept in his wonted place. At daybreak he rose to his work and, girding his middle with a cord of palm-fibre, took hatchet and basket and walked down the length of the garden, till he came to a carob-tree and struck the axe into its roots. The blow rang and resounded; so he cleared away the soil from the place and discovered a trap-door and raised it.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar al-Zaman raised the trap-door, he found a winding stair, which he descended and came to an ancient vault of the time of Ad and Thamúd,[330] hewn out of the rock. Round the vault stood many brazen vessels of the bigness of a great oil-jar which he found full of gleaming red gold: whereupon he said to himself, "Verily sorrow is gone and solace is come!" Then he mounted from the souterrain to the garden and, replacing the trap-door as it was before, busied himself in conducting water to the trees till the last of the day, when the gardener came back and said to him, "O my son, rejoice at the good tidings of a speedy return to thy native land: the merchants are ready equipped for the voyage and the 295ship in three days' time will set sail for the City of Ebony, which is the first of the cities of the Moslems; and after making it, thou must travel by land a six months' march till thou come to the Islands of Khalidan, the dominions of King Shahriman." At this Kamar al-Zaman rejoiced and began repeating:—

Part not from one whose wont is not to part from you; ✿ Nor with your cruel taunts an innocent mortify:
Another so long-parted had ta'en heart from you, ✿ And had his whole condition changed,—but not so I.

Then he kissed the gardener's hand and said, "O my father, even as thou hast brought me glad tidings, so I also have great good news for thee," and told him anent his discovery of the vault; whereat the gardener rejoiced and said, "O my son, fourscore years have I dwelt in this garden and have never hit on aught; whilst thou, who hast not sojourned with me a year, hast discovered this thing; wherefore it is Heaven's gift to thee, which shall end thy crosses and aid thee to rejoin thy folk and foregather with her thou lovest." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, "There is no help but it must be shared between me and thee." Then he carried him to the underground-chamber and showed him the gold, which was in twenty jars: he took ten and the gardener ten, and the old man said to him, "O my son, fill thyself leather bottles[331] with the sparrow-olives[332] which grow in this garden, for they are not found except in our land; and the merchants carry them to all parts. Lay the gold in the bottles and strew it over with olives: then stop them and cover them and take them with thee in the ship." So Kamar al-Zaman arose without stay or delay and took fifty leather bottles and stored in each somewhat of the gold, and closed each one after placing a layer of olives over the gold; and at the bottom of one of the bottles he laid the talisman. Then sat he down to talk with the gardener, confident of speedy reunion with his own people and saying to himself, "When I come to the Ebony Islands 296I will journey thence to my father's country and enquire for my beloved Budur. Would to Heaven I knew whether she returned to her own land or journeyed on to my father's country or whether there befel her any accident by the way." And he began versifying:—

Love in my breast they lit and fared away, ✿ And far the land wherein my love is pent:
Far lies the camp and those who camp therein; ✿ Far is her tent-shrine, where I ne'er shall tent.
Patience far fled me when from me they fled; ✿ Sleep failed mine eyes, endurance was forspent:
They left and with them left my every joy, ✿ Wending with them, nor find I peace that went:
They made these eyes roll down love-tears in flood, ✿ And lacking them these eyne with tears are drent.
When my triste spirit once again would see them, ✿ When pine and expectation but augment,
In my heart's core their counterfeits I trace, ✿ With love and yearning to behold their grace.

Then, while he awaited the end of the term of days, he told the gardener the tale of the birds and what had passed between them; whereat the hearer wondered; and they both lay down and slept till the morning. The gardener awoke sick and abode thus two days; but on the third day, his sickness increased on him, till they despaired of his life and Kamar al-Zaman grieved with sore grief for him. Meanwhile behold, the Master and his crew came and enquired for the gardener; and, when Kamar al-Zaman told them that he was sick, they asked, "Where be the youth who is minded to go with us to the Ebony Islands?" "He is your servant and he standeth before you!" answered the Prince and bade them carry the bottles of olives to the ship; so they transported them, saying, "Make haste, thou, for the wind is fair;" and he replied, "I hear and obey." Then he carried his provaunt on board and, returning to bid the gardener farewell, found him in the agonies of death; so he sat down at his head and closed his eyes, and his soul departed his body; whereupon he laid him out and committed him to the earth unto the mercy of Allah Almighty. Then he made for the ship but found that she had already weighed anchor and set sail; nor did she cease to cleave the seas till she disappeared from his sight. So he went back to whence he came heavy-hearted with whirling head; and neither would he address 297a soul nor return a reply; and reaching the garden and sitting down in cark and care he threw dust on his head and buffeted his cheeks.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Fifteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the ship sped on her course, Kamar al-Zaman returned to the garden in cark and care; but anon he rented the place of its owner and hired a man to help him in irrigating the trees. Moreover, he repaired the trap-door and he went to the underground chamber and bringing the rest of the gold to grass, stowed it in other fifty bottles which he filled up with a layer of olives. Then he enquired of the ship and they told him that it sailed but once a year; at which his trouble of mind redoubled and he cried sore for that which had betided him, above all for the loss of the Princess Budur's talisman, and spent his nights and days weeping and repeating verses. Such was his case; but as regards the ship she sailed with a favouring wind till she reached the Ebony Islands. Now by decree of destiny, Queen Budur was sitting at a lattice-window overlooking the sea and saw the galley cast anchor upon the strand. At this sight, her heart throbbed and she took horse with the Chamberlains and Nabobs and, riding down to the shore, halted by the ship, whilst the sailors broke bulk and bore the bales to the storehouses; after which she called the captain to her presence and asked what he had with him. He answered "O King, I have with me in this ship aromatic drugs and cosmetics and healing powders and ointments and plasters and precious metals and rich stuffs and rugs of Yemen leather, not to be borne of mule or camel, and all manner of ottars and spices and perfumes, civet and ambergris and camphor and Sumatra aloes-wood, and tamarinds[333] and sparrow-olives to boot, such as are rare to find in this country." When she heard talk of sparrow-olives her heart longed 298for them and she said to the ship-master, "How much of olives hast thou?" He replied, "Fifty bottles full, but their owner is not with us; so the King shall take what he will of them." Quoth she, "Bring them ashore, that I may see them." Thereupon he called to the sailors, who brought her the fifty bottles; and she opened one and, looking at the olives, said to the captain, "I will take the whole fifty and pay you their value, whatso it be." He answered, "By Allah, O my lord, they have no value in our country; moreover their shipper tarried behind us, and he is a poor man." Asked she, "And what are they worth here?" and he answered "A thousand dirhams." "I will take them at a thousand," she said and bade them carry the fifty bottles to the palace. When it was night, she called for a bottle of olives and opened it, there being none in the room but herself and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus. Then, placing a dish before her she turned into it the contents of the jar, when there fell out into the dish with the olives a heap of red gold; and she said to the Lady Hayat al-Nufus, "This is naught but gold!" So she sent for the rest of the bottles and found them all full of precious metal and scarce enough olives to fill a single jar. Moreover, she sought among the gold and found therein the talisman, which she took and examined and behold, it was that which Kamar al-Zaman had taken from off the band of her petticoat trousers. Thereupon she cried out for joy and slipped down in a swoon;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Budur saw the talisman she cried out for joy and slipped down in a swoon; and when she recovered she said to herself, "Verily, this talisman was the cause of my separation from my beloved Kamar al-Zaman; but now it is an omen of good." Then she showed it to Hayat al-Nufus and said to her, "This was the cause of disunion and now, please Allah, it shall be the cause of reunion." As soon as day dawned she seated herself on the royal throne and sent for the ship-master, who came into the presence and kissed the ground before her. Quoth she, "Where didst thou leave the owner of these olives?" Quoth he, "O King of the age, we left him in the land of the Magians and he is a gardener there." She 299rejoined, "Except thou bring him to me, thou knowest not the harm which awaiteth thee and thy ship." Then she bade them seal up the magazines of the merchants and said to them, "Verily the owner of these olives hath borrowed of me and I have a claim upon him for debt and, unless ye bring him to me, I will without fail do you all die and seize your goods." So they went to the captain and promised him the hire of the ship, if he would go and return a second time, saying, "Deliver us from this masterful tyrant." Accordingly the skipper embarked and set sail and Allah decreed him a prosperous voyage, till he came to the Island of the Magians and, landing by night, went up to the garden. Now the night was long upon Kamar al-Zaman, and he sat, bethinking him of his beloved, and bewailing what had befallen him and versifying:—

A night whose stars refused to run their course, ✿ A night of those which never seem outworn:
Like Resurrection-day, of longsome length[334] ✿ To him that watched and waited for the morn.

Now at this moment, the captain knocked at the garden-gate, and Kamar al-Zaman opened and went out to him, whereupon the crew seized him and went down with him on board the ship and set sail forthright; and they ceased not voyaging days and nights, whilst Kamar al-Zaman knew not why they dealt thus with him; but when he questioned them they replied, "Thou hast offended against the Lord of the Ebony Islands, the son-in-law of King Armanus, and thou hast stolen his monies, miserable that thou art!" Said he, "By Allah! I never entered that country nor do I know where it is!" However, they fared on with him, till they made the Ebony Islands and landing, carried him up to the Lady Budur, who knew him at sight and said, "Leave him with the eunuchs, that they may take him to the bath." Then she relieved the merchants of the embargo and gave the captain a robe of honour worth ten thousand pieces of gold; and, after returning to 300the palace, she went in that night to the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and told her what had passed, saying, "Keep thou my counsel, till I accomplish my purpose, and do a deed which shall be recorded and shall be read by Kings and commoners after we be dead and gone." And when she gave orders that they bear Kamar al-Zaman to the bath, they did so and clad him in a royal habit so that, when he came forth, he resembled a willow-bough or a star which shamed the greater and lesser light[335] and its glow, and his life and soul returned to his frame. Then he repaired to the palace and went in to the Princess Budur; and when she saw him she schooled her heart to patience, till she should have accomplished her purpose; and she bestowed on him Mamelukes and eunuchs, camels and mules. Moreover, she gave him a treasury of money and she ceased not advancing him from dignity to dignity, till she made him Lord High Treasurer and committed to his charge all the treasures of the state; and she admitted him to familiar favour and acquainted the Emirs with his rank and dignity. And all loved him, for Queen Budur did not cease day by day to increase his allowances. As for Kamar al-Zaman, he was at a loss anent the reason of her thus honouring him; and he gave gifts and largesse out of the abundance of the wealth; and he devoted himself to the service of King Armanus; so that the King and all the Emirs and people, great and small, adored him and were wont to swear by his life. Nevertheless, he ever marvelled at the honour and favour shown him by Queen Budur and said to himself, "By Allah, there needs must be a reason for this affection! Peradventure, this King favoureth me not with these immoderate favours save for some ill purpose and, therefore, there is no help but that I crave leave of him to depart his realm." So he went in to Queen Budur and said to her, "O King, thou hast overwhelmed me with favours, but it will fulfil the measure of thy bounties if thou take from me all thou hast been pleased to bestow upon me, and permit me to depart." She smiled and asked, "What maketh thee seek to depart and plunge into new perils, whenas thou art in the enjoyment of the highest favour and greatest prosperity?" Answered Kamar al-Zaman, 301"O King, verily this favour, if there be no reason for it, is indeed a wonder of wonders, more by token that thou hast advanced me to dignities such as befit men of age and experience, albeit I am as it were a young child." And Queen Budur rejoined, "The reason is that I love thee for thine exceeding loveliness and thy surpassing beauty; and if thou wilt but grant me my desire of thy body, I will advance thee yet farther in honour and favour and largesse; and I will make thee Wazir, for all thy tender age, even as the folk made me Sultan over them and I no older than thou; so that nowadays there is nothing strange when children take the head and by Allah, he was a gifted man who said:—

It seems as though of Lot's tribe were our days, ✿ And crave with love to advance the young in years."[336]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was abashed and his cheeks flushed till they seemed a-flame; and he said, "I need not these favours which lead to the commission of sin; I will live poor in wealth but wealthy in virtue and honour." Quoth she, "I am not to be duped by thy scruples, arising from prudery and coquettish ways; and Allah bless him who saith:—

To him I spake of coupling, but he said to me, ✿ 'How long this noyous long persistency?'
But when gold piece I showèd him, he cried, ✿ 'Who from the Almighty Sovereign e'er shall flee?'"

Now when Kamar al-Zaman, heard these words and understood her verses and their import, he said, "O King, I have not the habit of these doings, nor have I strength to bear these heavy burthens for which elder than I have proved unable; then how will it be with my tender age?" But she smiled at his speech and retorted, "Indeed, it is a matter right marvellous how error springeth from the disorder of man's intendiment! Since thou art a boy, why standest thou in fear of sin or the doing of things forbidden, seeing that thou art not yet come to years of canonical responsibility; and the offences of a child incur neither punishment nor reproof? Verily, thou hast committed thyself to a quibble for the sake of contention, and it is thy duty to bow 302before a proposal of fruition, so henceforward cease from denial and coyness, for the commandment of Allah is a decree foreordained:[337] indeed, I have more reason than thou to fear falling and by sin to be misled; and well-inspired was he who said:—

My prickle is big and the little one said, ✿ Thrust boldly in vitals with lion-like stroke!
Then I, 'Tis a sin!; and he, No sin to me! ✿ So I had him at once with a counterfeit poke."[338]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, the light became darkness in his sight and he said, "O King, thou hast in thy household fair women and female slaves, who have not their like in this age: shall not these suffice thee without me? Do thy will with them and let me go!" She replied, "Thou sayest sooth, but it is not with them that one who loveth thee can heal himself of torment and can abate his fever; for, when tastes and inclinations are corrupted by vice, they hear and obey other than good advice. So leave arguing and listen to what the poet saith:—

Seest not the bazar with its fruit in rows? ✿ These men are for figs and for sycomore[339] those!"

And what another saith:—

Many whose anklet-rings are dumb have tinkling belts, ✿ And this hath all content while that for want must wail:
Thou bidd'st me be a fool and quit thee for her charms; ✿ Allah forfend I leave The Faith, turn Infidel!
Nay, by thy rights of side-beard mocking all her curls, ✿ Nor mott nor maid[340] from thee my heart shall spell.

303And yet another:—

O beauty's Union! love for thee's my creed; ✿ Free choice of Faith and eke my best desire:
Women I have forsworn for thee; so may ✿ Deem me all men this day a shaveling friar.[341]

And yet another:—

Even not beardless one with girl, nor heed ✿ The spy who saith to thee "'Tis an amiss!"
Far different is the girl whose feet one kisses ✿ And that gazelle whose feet the earth must kiss.

And yet another:—

A boy of twice ten is fit for a King!

And yet another:—

The penis smooth and round was made with anus best to match it; ✿ Had it been made for cunnus' sake it had been formed like hatchet!

And yet another said:—

My soul thy sacrifice! I chose thee out ✿ Who art not menstruous nor oviparous:
Did I with woman mell, I should beget ✿ Brats till the wide wide world grew strait for us.

And yet another:—

She saith (sore hurt in sense the most acute ✿ For she had proffered what did not besuit):—
"Unless thou stroke as man should swive his wife ✿ Blame not when horns thy brow shall incornùte!"
"Thy wand seems waxen, to a limpo grown, ✿ And more I palm it, softer grows the brute!"

And yet another:—

Quoth she (for I to lie with her forbore), ✿ "O folly-following fool, O fool to core:
304If thou my coynte for Kiblah[342] to thy coigne ✿ Reject, we'll show thee what shall please thee more."[343]

And yet another:—

She proffered me a tender coynte ✿ Quoth I "I will not roger thee!"
She drew back, saying, "From the Faith ✿ He turns, who's turned by Heaven's decree!"[344]
And front-wise futtering, in one day, ✿ "Is obsolete persistency!"
Then swung she round and shining rump ✿ Like silvern lump she showèd me!
I cried: "Well done, O mistress mine! ✿ No more am I in pain for thee;
O thou of all that Allah oped[345] ✿ Showest me fairest victory!"

And yet another:—

Men craving pardon will uplift their hands; ✿ Women pray pardon with their legs on high:
Out on it for a pious, prayerful work! ✿ The Lord shall raise it in the depths to lie.[346]

When Kamar al-Zaman heard her quote this poetry, and was certified that there was no escaping compliance with what willed she, he said, "O King of the age, if thou must needs have it so, make covenant with me that thou wilt do this thing with me but 305once, though it avail not to correct thy depraved appetite; and that thou wilt never again require this thing of me to the end of time; so perchance shall Allah purge me of the sin." She replied, "I promise thee this same, hoping that Allah of His favour will relent towards us and blot out our mortal offence; for the girdle of heaven's forgiveness is not indeed so strait, but it may compass us around and absolve us of the excess of our heinous sins and bring us to the light of salvation out of the darkness of error; and indeed excellently well saith the poet:—

Of evil thing the folk suspect us twain; ✿ And to this thought their hearts and souls are bent:
Come, dear! let's justify and free their souls ✿ That wrong us; one good bout and then—repent!"[347]

Thereupon she made with him an agreement and a covenant and swore a solemn oath by Him who is Self-existent, that this thing should befal betwixt them but once and never again for all time, and that the desire of him was driving her to death and perdition. So he rose up with her, on this condition, and went with her to her own boudoir, that she might quench the lowe of her lust, saying, "There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This is the fated decree of the All-powerful, the All-wise!"; and he doffed his bag-trousers, shamefull and abashed, with the tears running from his eyes for stress of affright. Thereat she smiled and making him mount upon a couch with her, said to him, "After this night, thou shalt see naught that will offend thee." Then she turned to him bussing and bosoming him and bending calf over calf, and said to him, "Put thy hand between my thighs to the accustomed place; so haply it may stand up to prayer after prostration." He wept and cried, "I am not good at aught of this," but she said, "By my life, an thou do as I bid thee, it shall profit thee!" So he put out his hand, with vitals 306a-fire for confusion, and found her thighs cooler than cream and softer than silk. The touching of them pleasured him and he moved his hand hither and thither, till it came to a dome abounding in good gifts and movements and shifts, and said in himself, "Perhaps this King is an hermaphrodite,[348] neither man nor woman quite;" so he said to her, "O King, I cannot find that thou hast a tool like the tools of men; what then moved thee to do this deed?" Then loudly laughed Queen Budur till she fell on her back,[349] and said, "O my dearling, how quickly thou hast forgotten the nights we have lain together!" Then she made herself known to him, and he knew her for his wife, the Lady Budur, daughter of King al-Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seas. So he embraced her and she embraced him, and he kissed her and she kissed him; then they lay down on the bed of pleasure voluptuous, repeating the words of the poet:—

When his softly bending shape bid him close to my embrace ✿ Which clipt him all about like the tendrils of the vine,
And shed a flood of softness on the hardness of his heart, ✿ He yielded; though at first he was minded to decline;
And dreading lest the railer's eye should light upon his form, ✿ Came armourèd with caution to baffle his design:
His waist makes moan of hinder cheeks that weigh upon his feet ✿ Like heavy load of merchandise upon young camel li'en;
Girt with his glances' scymitar which seemed athirst for blood, ✿ And clad in mail of dusky curls that show the sheeniest shine,
307His fragrance wafted happy news of footstep coming nigh, ✿ And to him like a bird uncaged I flew in straightest line:
I spread my cheek upon his path, beneath his sandal-shoon, ✿ And lo! the stibium[350] of their dust healed all my hurt of eyne.
With one embrace again I bound the banner of our loves,[351] ✿ And loosed the knot of my delight that bound in bonds malign:
Then bade I make high festival, and straight came flocking in ✿ Pure joys that know not grizzled age[352] nor aught of pain and pine:
The full moon dotted with the stars the lips and pearly teeth ✿ That dance right joyously upon the bubbling face of wine:
So in the prayer-niche of their joys I yielded me to what ✿ Would make the humblest penitent of sinner most indign.
I swear by all the signs[353] of those glories in his face ✿ I'll ne'er forget the Chapter entituled Al-Ikhlas.[354]

Then Queen Budur told Kamar al-Zaman all that had befallen her from beginning to end and he did likewise; after which he began to upbraid her, saying, "What moved thee to deal with me as thou hast done this night?" She replied, "Pardon me! for I did this by way of jest, and that pleasure and gladness might be increased." And when dawned the morn and day arose with its sheen and shone, she sent to King Armanus, sire of the Lady Hayat al-Nufus, and acquainted him with the truth of the case and that she was wife to Kamar al-Zaman. Moreover, she told him their tale and the cause of their separation, and how his daughter was a virgin, pure as when she was born. He marvelled at their story with exceeding marvel and bade them chronicle it in letters of gold. Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and said, "O King's son, art thou minded to become my son-in-law by marrying my daughter?" Replied he, "I must consult the 308Queen Budur, as she hath a claim upon me for benefits without stint." And when he took counsel with her, she said, "Right is thy recking; marry her and I will be her handmaid; for I am her debtor for kindness and favour and good offices, and obligations manifold, especially as we are here in her place and as the King her father hath whelmed us with benefits."[355] Now when he saw that she inclined to this and was not jealous of Hayat al-Nufus, he agreed with her upon this matter——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al-Zaman agreed with his wife, Queen Budur, upon this matter and told King Armanus what she had said; whereat he rejoiced with great joy. Then he went out and, seating himself upon his chair of estate, assembled all the Wazirs, Emirs, Chamberlains and Grandees, to whom he related the whole story of Kamar al-Zaman and his wife, Queen Budur, from first to last; and acquainted them with his desire to marry his daughter Hayat al-Nufus to the Prince and make him King in the stead of Queen Budur. Whereupon said they all, "Since he is the husband of Queen Budur, who hath been our King till now, whilst we deemed her son-in-law to King Armanus, we are all content to have him to Sultan over us; and we will be his servants, nor will we swerve from his allegiance." So Armanus rejoiced hereat and, summoning Kazis and witnesses and the chief officers of state, bade draw up the contract of marriage between Kamar al-Zaman and his daughter, the Princess Hayat al-Nufus. Then he held high festival, giving sumptuous marriage-feasts and bestowing costly dresses of honour upon all the Emirs and Captains of the host; moreover he distributed alms to the poor and needy and set free all the prisoners. The whole world rejoiced in the coming of Kamar al-Zaman to the throne, blessing him and wishing him endurance of glory and prosperity, renown and felicity; and, as 309soon as he became King, he remitted the customs-dues and released all men who remained in gaol. Thus he abode a long while, ordering himself worthily towards his lieges; and he lived with his two wives in peace, happiness, constancy and content, lying the night with each of them in turn. He ceased not after this fashion during many years, for indeed all his troubles and afflictions were blotted out from him and he forgot his father King Shahriman and his former estate of honour and favour with him. After a while Almighty Allah blessed him with two boy children, as they were two shining moons, through his two wives; the elder whose name was Prince Amjad,[356] by Queen Budur, and the younger whose name was Prince As'ad by Queen Hayat al-Nufus; and this one was comelier than his brother. They were reared in splendour and tender affection, in respectful bearing and in the perfection of training; and they were instructed in penmanship and science and the arts of government and horsemanship, till they attained the extreme of accomplishments and the utmost limit of beauty and loveliness; both men and women being ravished by their charms. They grew up side by side till they reached the age of seventeen, eating and drinking together and sleeping in one bed, nor ever parting at any time or tide; wherefore all the people envied them. Now when they came to man's estate and were endowed with every perfection, their father was wont, as often as he went on a journey, to make them sit in his stead by turns in the hall of judgement; and each did justice among the folk one day at a time. But it came to pass, by confirmed fate and determined lot, that love for As'ad (son of Queen Hayat al-Nufus) rose in the heart of Queen Budur, and that affection for Amjad (son of Queen Budur) rose in the heart of Queen Hayat al-Nufus.[357] Hence it was that each of the women used to sport and play with the son of her sister-wife, kissing him and straining him to her bosom, whilst each mother thought that the other's behaviour arose but from maternal affection. On this wise 310passion got the mastery of the two women's hearts and they became madly in love with the two youths, so that when the other's son came in to either of them, she would press him to her breast and long for him never to be parted from her; till, at last, when waiting grew longsome to them and they found no path to enjoyment, they refused meat and drink and banished the solace of sleep. Presently, the King fared forth to course and chase, bidding his two sons sit to do justice in his stead, each one day in turn, as was their wont.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King fared forth to sport and hunt, bidding his two sons sit to do justice in his stead, each one day by turn, as was their wont. Now Prince Amjad sat in judgement the first day, bidding and forbidding, appointing and deposing, giving and refusing; and Queen Hayat al-Nufus, mother of As'ad, wrote to him a letter suing for his favour and discovering to him her passion and devotion; altogether putting off the mask and giving him to know that she desired to enjoy him. So she took a scroll and thereon indited these cadences:—From the love deranged ✿ the sorrowful and estranged ✿ whose torment is prolonged for the longing of thee! ✿ Were I to recount to thee the extent of my care ✿ and what of sadness I bear ✿ the passion which my heart doth tear ✿ and all that I endure for weeping and unrest ✿ and the rending of my sorrowful breast ✿ my unremitting grief ✿ and my woe without relief ✿ and all my suffering for severance of thee ✿ and sadness and love's ardency ✿ no letter could contain it; nor calculation could compass it ✿ Indeed earth and heaven upon me are strait; and I have no hope and no trust but what from thee I await ✿ Upon death I am come nigh ✿ and the horrors of dissolution I aby ✿ Burning upon me is sore ✿ with parting pangs and estrangement galore ✿ Were I to set forth the yearnings that possess me more and more ✿ no scrolls would suffice to hold such store ✿ and of the excess of my pain and pine, I have made the following lines:—

Were I to dwell on heart-consuming heat, ✿ Unease and transports in my spirit meet,
Nothing were left of ink and reeden pen ✿ Nor aught of paper; no, not e'en a sheet.

311Then Queen Hayat al-Nufus wrapped up her letter in a piece of costly silk scented with musk and ambergris; and folded it up with her silken hair-strings[358] whose cost swallowed down treasures; laid it in a handkerchief and gave it to a eunuch bidding him bear it to Prince Amjad.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Nineteenth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that she gave her missive to the eunuch in waiting and bade him bear it to Prince Amjad. And that eunuch went forth ignoring what the future hid for him (for the Omniscient ordereth events even as He willeth); and, going in to the Prince, kissed the ground between his hands and handed to him the letter. On receiving the kerchief he opened it and, reading the epistle and recognising its gist he was ware that his father's wife was essentially an adulteress and a traitress at heart to her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman. So he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and railed at women and their works, saying, "Allah curse women, the traitresses, the imperfect in reason and religion!"[359] Then he drew his sword and said to the eunuch, "Out on thee, thou wicked slave! Dost thou carry messages of disloyalty for thy lord's wife? By Allah, there is no good in thee, O black of hue and heart, O foul of face and Nature's forming!" So he smote him on the neck and severed his head from his body; then, folding the kerchief over its contents he thrust it into his breast-pocket and went in to his own mother and told her what had passed, reviling and reproaching her, and saying, "Each one of you is viler than the other; and, by Allah the Great and Glorious, did I not fear ill-manneredly to transgress against the rights of my father, Kamar al-Zaman, and my brother, Prince As'ad, I would assuredly go in to her and cut off her head, even as I cut off that of her eunuch!" Then he went forth from his mother in a mighty rage; and when the news reached Queen Hayat al-Nufus of what he had done with her eunuch, she abused him[360] and cursed him and plotted perfidy against him. He passed the night, sick with rage, wrath and concern; nor found he pleasure in meat, drink or sleep. And when the next morning dawned 312Prince As'ad fared forth in his turn to rule the folk in his father's stead, whilst his mother, Hayat al-Nufus, awoke in feeble plight because of what she had heard from Prince Amjad concerning the slaughter of her eunuch. So Prince As'ad sat in the audience-chamber that day, judging and administering justice, appointing and deposing, bidding and forbidding, giving and bestowing. And he ceased not thus till near the time of afternoon-prayer, when Queen Budur sent for a crafty old woman and, discovering to her what was in her heart, wrote a letter to Prince As'ad, complaining of the excess of her affection and desire for him in these cadenced lines:—"From her who perisheth for passion and love-forlorn ✿ to him who in nature and culture is goodliest born ✿ to him who is conceited of his own loveliness ✿ and glories in his amorous grace ✿ who from those that seek to enjoy him averteth his face ✿ and refuseth to show favour unto the self abasing and base ✿ him who is cruel and of disdainful mood ✿ from the lover despairing of good ✿ to Prince As'ad ✿ with passing beauty endowed ✿ and of excelling grace proud ✿ of the face moon-bright ✿ and the brow flower-white ✿ and dazzling splendid light ✿ This is my letter to him whose love melteth my body ✿ and rendeth my skin and bones! ✿ Know that my patience faileth me quite ✿ and I am perplexed in my plight ✿ longing and restlessness weary me ✿ and sleep and patience deny themselves to me ✿ but mourning and watching stick fast to me ✿ and desire and passion torment me ✿ and the extremes of languor and sickness have shent me ✿ Yet may my life be a ransom for thee ✿ albeit thy pleasure be to slay her who loveth thee ✿ and Allah prolong the life of thee ✿ and preserve thee from all infirmity!" And after these cadences she wrote these couplets:—

Fate hath commanded I become thy fere, ✿ O shining like full moon when clearest clear!
All beauty dost embrace, all eloquence; ✿ Brighter than aught within our worldly sphere:
Content am I my torturer thou be: ✿ Haply shalt alms me with one lovely leer!
Happy her death who dieth for thy love! ✿ No good in her who holdeth thee undear!

And also the following couplets:—

Unto thee, As'ad! I of passion-pangs complain; ✿ Have ruth on slave of love so burnt with flaming pain:
How long, I ask, shall hands of Love disport with me, ✿ With longings, dolour, sleepliness and bale and bane?
313Anon I 'plain of sea in heart, anon of fire ✿ In vitals, O strange case, dear wish, my fainest fain!
O blamer, cease thy blame, and seek thyself to fly ✿ From Love, which makes these eyne a rill of tears to rain.
How oft I cry for absence and desire, Ah grief! ✿ But all my crying naught of gain for me shall gain:
Thy rigours dealt me sickness passing power to bear, ✿ Thou art my only leach, assain me an thou deign!
O chider, chide me not in caution, for I doubt ✿ That plaguey Love to thee shall also deal a bout.

Then Queen Budur perfumed the letter-paper with a profusion of odoriferous musk and, winding it in her hair-strings which were of Iráki silk, with pendants of oblong emeralds, set with pearls and stones of price, delivered it to the old woman, bidding her carry it to Prince As'ad.[361] She did so in order to pleasure her, and going in to the Prince, straightway and without stay, found him in his own rooms and delivered to him the letter in privacy; after which she stood waiting an hour or so for the answer. When As'ad had read the paper and knew its purport, he wrapped it up again in the ribbons and put it in his bosom-pocket: then (for he was wroth beyond all measure of wrath) he cursed false women and sprang up and drawing his sword, smote the old trot on the neck and cut off her pate. Thereupon he went in to his mother, Queen Hayat al-Nufus, whom he found lying on her bed in feeble case, for that which had betided her with Prince Amjad, and railed at her and cursed her; after which he left her and foregathered with his brother, to whom he related all that had befallen him with Queen Budur, adding, "By Allah, O my brother, but that I was ashamed before thee, I had gone in to her forthright and had smitten her head off her shoulders!" Replied Prince Amjad, "By Allah, O my brother, yesterday when I was sitting upon the seat of judgement, the like of what hath befallen thee this day befel me also with thy mother who sent me a letter of similar purport." And he told him all that had passed, adding, "By Allah, O my brother, naught but respect for thee withheld 314me from going in to her and dealing with her even as I dealt with the eunuch!" They passed the rest of the night conversing and cursing false womankind, and agreed to keep the matter secret, lest their father should hear of it and kill the two women. Yet they ceased not to suffer trouble and foresee affliction. And when the morrow dawned, the King returned with his suite from hunting and sat awhile in his chair of estate; after which he sent the Emirs about their business and went up to his palace, where he found his two wives lying a-bed and both exceeding sick and weak. Now they had made a plot against their two sons and concerted to do away their lives, for that they had exposed themselves before them and feared to be at their mercy and dependent upon their forbearance. When Kamar al-Zaman saw them on this wise, he said to them, "What aileth you?" Whereupon they rose to him and kissing his hands answered, perverting the case and saying, "Know, O King, that thy two sons, who have been reared in thy bounty, have played thee false and have dishonoured thee in the persons of thy wives." Now when he heard this, the light became darkness in his sight, and he raged with such wrath that his reason fled: then said he to them, "Explain me this matter." Replied Queen Budur, "O King of the age, know that these many days past thy son As'ad hath been in the persistent habit of sending me letters and messages to solicit me to lewdness and adultery while I still forbade him from this, but he would not be forbidden; and, when thou wentest forth to hunt, he rushed in on me, drunk and with a drawn sword in his hand, and smiting my eunuch, slew him. Then he mounted on my breast, still holding the sword, and I feared lest he should slay me, if I gainsaid him, even as he had slain my eunuch; so he took his wicked will of me by force. And now if thou do me not justice on him, O King, I will slay myself with my own hand, for I have no need of life in the world after this foul deed." And Queen Hayat al-Nufus, choking with tears, told him respecting Prince Amjad a story like that of her sister-wife.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twentieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Queen Hayat al-Nufus told her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman, a story 315like that of her sister in wedlock, Budur, and, quoth she, "The same thing befel me with thy son Amjad;" after which she took to weeping and wailing and said, "Except thou do me justice on him I will tell my father, King Armanus." Then both women wept with sore weeping before King Kamar al-Zaman who, when he saw their tears and heard their words, concluded that their story was true and, waxing wroth beyond measure of wrath, went forth thinking to fall upon his two sons and put them to death. On his way he met his father-in-law, King Armanus who, hearing of his return from the chase, had come to salute him at that very hour; and, seeing him with naked brand in hand and blood dripping from his nostrils, for excess of rage, asked what ailed him. So Kamar al-Zaman told him all that his sons Amjad and As'ad had done and added, "And here I am now going in to them to slay them in the foulest way and make of them the most shameful of examples." Quoth King Armanus (and indeed he too was wroth with them), "Thou dost well, O my son, and may Allah not bless them nor any sons that do such deed against their father's honour. But, O my son, the sayer of the old saw saith:—Whoso looketh not to the end hath not Fortune to friend. In any case, they are thy sons, and it befitteth not that thou kill them with thine own hand, lest thou drink of their death-agony,[362] and anon repent of having slain them whenas repentance availeth thee naught. Rather do thou send them with one of thy Mamelukes into the desert and let him kill them there out of thy sight, for, as saith the adage:—Out of sight of my friend is better and pleasanter."[363] And when Kamar al-Zaman heard his father-in-law's words, he knew them to be just; so he sheathed his sword and turning back, sat down upon the throne of his realm. There he summoned his treasurer, a very old man, versed in affairs and in fortune's vicissitudes, to whom he said, "Go in to my sons, Amjad and As'ad; bind their hands behind them with strong bonds, lay them in two chests and load them upon a mule. Then take horse thou and carry them into mid-desert, where do thou kill them both and fill two vials with their blood and bring the same to me in haste." Replied the treasurer, "I hear and I obey," and he rose up hurriedly and went out forthright to seek the Princes; and, on his road, he met them 316coming out of the palace-vestibule, for they had donned their best clothes and their richest; and they were on their way to salute their sire and give him joy of his safe return from his going forth to hunt. Now when he saw them, he laid hands on them, saying, "O my sons, know ye that I am but a slave commanded, and that your father hath laid a commandment on me; will ye obey his commandment?" They said, "Yes"; whereupon he went up to them and, after pinioning their arms, laid them in the chests which he loaded on the back of a mule he had taken from the city. And he ceased not carrying them into the open country till near noon, when he halted in a waste and desolate place and, dismounting from his mare, let down the two chests from the mule's back. Then he opened them and took out Amjad and As'ad; and when he looked upon them he wept sore for their beauty and loveliness; then drawing his sword he said to them, "By Allah, O my lords, indeed it is hard for me to deal so evilly by you; but I am to be excused in this matter, being but a slave commanded, for that your father King Kamar al-Zaman hath bidden me strike off your heads." They replied, "O Emir, do the King's bidding, for we bear with patience that which Allah (to Whom be Honour, Might and Glory!) hath decreed to us; and thou art quit of our blood." Then they embraced and bade each other farewell, and As'ad said to the treasurer, "Allah upon thee, O uncle, spare me the sight of my brother's death-agony and make me not drink of his anguish, but kill me first, for that were the easier for me." And Amjad said the like and entreated the treasurer to kill him before As'ad, saying, "My brother is younger than I; so make me not taste of his anguish." And they both wept bitter tears whilst the treasurer wept for their weeping;——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the treasurer wept for their weeping; then the two brothers embraced and bade farewell and one said to the other, "All this cometh of the malice of those traitresses, my mother and thy mother; and this is the reward of my forbearance towards thy mother and of thy forbearance towards my mother! But there is no Might and there 317is no Majesty save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily, we are Allah's and unto Him we are returning."[364] And As'ad embraced his brother, sobbing and repeating these couplets:—

O Thou to whom sad trembling wights in fear complain! ✿ O ever ready whatso cometh to sustain!
The sole resource for me is at Thy door to knock; ✿ At whose door knock an Thou to open wilt not deign?
O Thou whose grace is treasured in the one word, Be![365] ✿ Favour me, I beseech, in Thee all weals contain.

Now when Amjad heard his brother's weeping he wept also and pressing him to his bosom repeated these two couplets:—

O Thou whose boons to me are more than one! ✿ Whose gifts and favours have nor count nor bound!
No stroke of all Fate's strokes e'er fell on me, ✿ But Thee to take me by the hand I found.

Then said Amjad to the treasurer, "I conjure thee by the One, Omnipotent, the Lord of Mercy, the Beneficent! slay me before my brother As'ad, so haply shall the fire be quencht in my heart's core and in this life burn no more." But As'ad wept and exclaimed, "Not so: I will die first;" whereupon quoth Amjad, "It were best that I embrace thee and thou embrace me, so the sword may fall upon us and slay us both at a single stroke." Thereupon they embraced, face to face and clung to each other straitly, whilst the treasurer tied up the twain and bound them fast with cords, weeping the while. Then he drew his blade and said to them, "By Allah, O my lords, it is indeed hard to me to slay you! But have ye no last wishes that I may fulfil or charges which I may carry out, or message which I may deliver?" Replied Amjad, "We have no wish; and my only charge to thee is that thou set my brother below and me above him, that the blow may fall on me first; and when thou hast killed us and returnest to the King and he asketh thee:—What heardest thou from them before their death?; do thou 318answer:—Verily thy sons salute thee and say to thee, Thou knewest not if we were innocent or guilty, yet hast thou put us to death and hast not certified thyself of our sin nor looked into our case. Then do thou repeat to him these two couplets:—

Women are Satans made for woe o' men; ✿ I fly to Allah from their devilish scathe:
Source of whatever bale befel our kind, ✿ In worldly matters and in things of Faith."

Continued Amjad, "We desire of thee naught but that thou repeat to our sire these two couplets"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me O auspicious King, that Amjad added, speaking to the treasurer, "We desire of thee naught but that thou repeat to our sire these two couplets which thou hast just now heard; and I conjure thee by Allah to have patience with us, whilst I cite to my brother this other pair of couplets." Then he wept with sore weeping and began:—

"The Kings who fared before us showed ✿ Of instances full many a show:
Of great and small and high and low ✿ How many this one road have trod!"

Now when the treasurer heard these words from Amjad, he wept till his beard was wet, whilst As'ad's eyes brimmed with tears and he in turn repeated these couplets:—

Fate frights us when the thing is past and gone; ✿ Weeping is not for form or face alone[366]:
What ails the Nights?[367] Allah blot out our sin, ✿ And be the Nights by other hand undone!
Ere this Zubayr-son[368] felt their spiteful hate, ✿ Who fled for refuge to the House and Stone:
319Would that when Khárijah was for Amru slain[369] ✿ They had ransomed Ali with all men they own.

Then, with cheeks stained by tears down railing he recited also these verses:—

In sooth the Nights and Days are charactered ✿ By traitor falsehood and as knaves they lie;
The Desert-reek[370] recalls their teeth that shine; ✿ All horrid blackness is their Kohl of eye:
My sin anent the world which I abhor ✿ Is sin of sword when sworders fighting hie.

Then his sobs waxed louder and he said:—

O thou who woost a World[371] unworthy, learn ✿ 'Tis house of evils, 'tis Perdition's net:
A house where whoso laughs this day shall weep ✿ The next: then perish house of fume and fret!
Endless its frays and forays, and its thralls ✿ Are ne'er redeemed, while endless risks beset.
How many gloried in its pomps and pride, ✿ Till proud and pompous did all bounds forget,
Then showing back of shield she made them swill[372] ✿ Full draught, and claimèd all her vengeance debt.
For know her strokes fall swift and sure, altho' ✿ Long bide she and forslow the course of Fate:
320So look thou to thy days lest life go by ✿ Idly, and meet thou more than thou hast met;
And cut all chains of world-love and desire ✿ And save thy soul and rise to secrets higher.

Now when As'ad made an end of these verses, he strained his brother Amjad in his arms, till they twain were one body, and the treasurer, drawing his sword, was about to strike them, when behold, his steed took fright at the wind of his upraised hand, and breaking its tether, fled into the desert. Now the horse had cost a thousand gold pieces and on its back was a splendid saddle worth much money; so the treasurer threw down his sword, and ran after his beast.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say,

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when his horse ran away, the treasurer ran after it in huge concern, and ceased not running to catch the runaway till it entered a thicket. He followed it whilst it dashed through the wood, smiting the earth with its hoofs till it raised a dust-cloud which towered high in air; and snorting and puffing and neighing and waxing fierce and furious. Now there happened to be in this thicket a lion of terrible might; hideous to sight, with eyes sparkling light: his look was grim and his aspect struck fright into man's sprite. Presently the treasurer turned and saw the lion making towards him; but found no way of escape nor had he his sword with him. So he said in himself, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! This strait is come upon me for no other cause but because of Amjad and As'ad; and indeed this journey was unblest from the first!" Meanwhile the two Princes were grievously oppressed by the heat and grew sore athirst, so that their tongues hung out and they cried for succour, but none came to their relief and they said, "Would to Heaven we had been slain and were at peace from this pain! But we know not whither the horse hath fled, that the treasurer is gone and hath left us thus pinioned. If he would but come back and do us die, it were easier to us than this torture to aby." Said As'ad, "O my brother, be patient, and the relief of Allah (extolled and exalted be He!) shall assuredly come to us; for the horse started not away save of 321His favour towards us, and naught irketh us but this thirst." Upon this he stretched and shook himself and strained right and left, till he burst his pinion-bonds; then he rose and unbound his brother and catching up the Emir's sword, said, "By Allah, we will not go hence, till we look after him and learn what is become of him." Then they took to following on the trail till it led them to the thicket and they said to each other, "Of a surety, the horse and the treasurer have not passed out of this wood." Quoth As'ad, "Stay thou here, whilst I enter the thicket and search it;" and Amjad replied, "I will not let thee go in alone: nor will we enter it but together; so if we escape, we shall escape together and if we perish, we shall perish together." Accordingly both entered and found that the lion had sprang upon the treasurer, who lay like a sparrow in his grip, calling upon Allah for aid and signing with his hands to Heaven. Now when Amjad saw this, he took the sword and, rushing upon the lion, smote him between the eyes and laid him dead on the ground. The Emir sprang up, marvelling at this escape and seeing Amjad and As'ad, his master's sons, standing there, cast himself at their feet and exclaimed, "By Allah, O my lords, it were intolerable wrong in me to do you to death. May the man never be who would kill you! Indeed, with my very life, I will ransom you"——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the treasurer to Amjad and As'ad, "With my life will I ransom you both!" Then he hastily rose and, at once embracing them, enquired how they had loosed their bonds and come thither; whereupon they told him how the bonds of one of them had fallen loose and he had unbound the other, whereto they were helped by the purity of their intentions, and how they had tracked his trail till they came upon him. So he thanked them for their deed and went with them forth of the thicket; and, when they were in the open country, they said to him, "O uncle, do our father's bidding." He replied, "Allah forbid that I should draw near to you with hurt! But know ye that I mean to take your clothes and clothe you with mine; then will I fill two vials with the lion's blood and go back to the King and tell him I have put you to death. But as 322for you two, fare ye forth into the lands, for Allah's earth is wide; and know, O my lords, that it paineth me to part from you." At this, they all fell a-weeping; then the two youths put off their clothes and the treasurer habited them with his own. Moreover he made two parcels of their dress and, filling two vials with the lion's blood, set the parcels before him on his horse's back. Presently he took leave of them and, making his way to the city, ceased not faring till he went in to King Kamar al-Zaman and kissed the ground between his hands. The King saw him changed in face and troubled (which arose from his adventure with the lion) and, deeming this came of the slaughter of his two sons, rejoiced and said to him, "Hast thou done the work?" "Yes, O our lord," replied the treasurer and gave him the two parcels of clothes and the two vials full of blood. Asked the King, "What didst thou observe in them; and did they give thee any charge?" Answered the treasurer, "I found them patient and resigned to what came down upon them and they said to me:—Verily, our father is excusable; bear him our salutation and say to him, Thou art quit of our killing. But we charge thee repeat to him these couplets:—

Verily women are devils created for us. We seek refuge with God from the artifice of the devils.
They are the source of all the misfortunes that have appeared among mankind in the affairs of the world and of religion."[373]

When the King heard these words of the treasurer, he bowed his head earthwards, a long while and knew his sons' words to mean that they had been wrongfully put to death. Then he bethought himself of the perfidy of women and the calamities brought about by them; and he took the two parcels and opened them and fell to turning over his sons' clothes and weeping,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King Kamar al-Zaman opened the two bundles and fell to turning over 323his sons' clothes and weeping, it so came to pass that he found, in the pocket of his son As'ad's raiment, a letter in the hand of his wife enclosing her hair-strings; so he opened and read it and understanding the contents knew that the Prince had been falsely accused and wrongously. Then he searched Amjad's parcel of dress and found in his pocket a letter in the handwriting of Queen Hayat al-Nufus enclosing also her hair-strings; so he opened and read it and knew that Amjad too had been wronged; whereupon he beat hand upon hand and exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! I have slain my sons unjustly." And he buffeted his face, crying out, "Alas, my sons! Alas, my long grief!" Then he bade them build two tombs in one house, which he styled "House of Lamentations," and had graved thereon his sons' names; and he threw himself on Amjad's tomb, weeping and groaning and lamenting, and improvised these couplets:—

O moon for ever set this earth below, ✿ Whose loss bewail the stars which stud the sky!
O wand, which broken, ne'er with bend and wave ✿ Shall fascinate the ravisht gazer's eye;
These eyne for jealousy I 'reft of thee, ✿ Nor shall they till next life thy sight descry:
I'm drowned in sea of tears for insomny ✿ Wherefore, indeed in Sáhirah-stead[374] I lie.

Then he threw himself on As'ad's tomb, groaning and weeping and lamenting and versifying with these couplets:—

Indeed I longed to share unweal with thee, ✿ But Allah than my will willed otherwise:
My grief all blackens 'twixt mine eyes and space, ✿ Yet whitens all the blackness from mine eyes:[375]
Of tears they weep these eyne run never dry, ✿ And ulcerous flow in vitals never dries:
Right sore it irks me seeing thee in stead[376] ✿ Where slave with sovran for once levelled lies.

And his weeping and wailing redoubled; and, after he had ended 324his lamentations and his verse, he forsook his friends and intimates, and denying himself to his women and his family, cut himself off from the world in the House of Lamentations, where he passed his time in weeping for his sons. Such was his case; but as regards Amjad and As'ad they fared on into the desert eating of the fruits of the earth and drinking of the remnants of the rain for a full month, till their travel brought them to a mountain of black flint[377] whose further end was unknown; and here the road forked, one line lying along the midway height and the other leading to its head. They took the way trending to the top and gave not over following it five days, but saw no end to it and were overcome with weariness, being unused to walking upon the mountains or elsewhere.[378] At last, despairing of coming to the last of the road, they retraced their steps and, taking the other, that led over the midway heights,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Princes Amjad and As'ad returned from the path leading to the Mountain-head and took that which ran along the midway heights, and walked through all that day till nightfall, when As'ad, weary with much travel, said to Amjad, "O my brother, I can walk no farther, for I am exceeding weak." Replied Amjad, "O my brother, take courage! May be Allah will send us relief." So they walked on part of the night, till the darkness closed in upon them, when As'ad became weary beyond measure of weariness and cried out, "O my brother, I am worn out and spent with walking," and threw himself upon the ground and wept. Amjad took him in his arms and walked on with him, bytimes sitting down to rest till break of day, when they came to the mountain-top and found there a stream of running water and by it a pomegranate-tree and a prayer-niche.[379] 325They could hardly believe their eyes when they saw it; but, sitting down by that spring, drank of its water and ate of the fruit of that granado-tree; after which they lay on the ground and slept till sunrise, when they washed and bathed in the spring and, eating of the pomegranates, slept again till the time of mid-afternoon prayer. Then they thought to continue their journey, but As'ad could not walk, for both his feet were swollen. So they abode there three days till they were rested, after which they set out again and fared on over the mountain days and nights, tortured by and like to die of thirst, till they sighted a city gleaming afar off, at which they rejoiced and made towards it. When they drew near it, they thanked Allah (be His Name exalted!) and Amjad said to As'ad, "O my brother, sit here, whilst I go to yonder city and see what it is and whose it is and where we are in Allah's wide world, that we may know through what lands we have passed in crossing this mountain, whose skirts had we followed, we had not reached this city in a whole year. So praised be Allah for safety!" Replied As'ad, "By Allah, O my brother, none shall go down into that city save myself, and may I be thy ransom! If thou leave me alone, be it only for an hour, I shall imagine a thousand things and be drowned in a torrent of anxiety on thine account, for I cannot brook thine absence from me." Amjad rejoined, "Go then and tarry not." So As'ad took some gold pieces, and leaving his brother to await him, descended the mountain and ceased not faring on till he entered the city. As he threaded the streets he was met by an old man age-decrepit, whose beard flowed down upon his breast and forked in twain;[380] he bore a walking-staff in his hand and was richly clad, with a great red turband on his head. When As'ad saw him, he wondered at his dress and his mien; nevertheless, he went up to him and saluting him said, "Where be the way to the market, O my master?" Hearing these words the Shaykh smiled in his face and replied, "O my son, meseemeth thou art a stranger?" As'ad rejoined, "Yes, I am a stranger."——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh who met As'ad smiled in his face and said to him, "O my son, meseemeth thou art a stranger?" and As'ad replied, "Yes, I am a stranger." Then rejoined the old man, "Verily, thou gladdenest our country with thy presence, O my son, and thou desolatest thine own land by reason of thine absence. What wantest thou of the market?" Quoth As'ad, "O uncle, I have a brother, with whom I have come from a far land and with whom I have journeyed these three months; and, when we sighted this city, I left him, who is my elder brother, upon the mountain and came hither, purposing to buy victual and what else, and return therewith to him, that we might feed thereon." Said the old man, "Rejoice in all good, O my son, and know thou that to-day I give a marriage-feast, to which I have bidden many guests, and I have made ready plenty of meats, the best and most delicious that heart can desire. So if thou wilt come with me to my place, I will give thee freely all thou lackest without asking thee a price or aught else. Moreover I will teach thee the ways of this city; and, praised be Allah, O my son, that I, and none other have happened upon thee." "As thou wilt," answered As'ad, "do as thou art disposed, but make haste, for indeed my brother awaiteth me and his whole heart is with me." The old man took As'ad by the hand and carried him to a narrow lane, smiling in his face and saying, "Glory be to Him who hath delivered thee from the people of this city!" And he ceased not walking till he entered a spacious house, wherein was a saloon and behold, in the middle of it were forty old men, well stricken in years, collected together and forming a single ring as they sat round about a lighted fire, to which they were doing worship and prostrating themselves.[381] When As'ad saw this, he was confounded and the hair of his body stood on end though he knew not what they were; and the 327Shaykh said to them, "O Elders of the Fire, how blessed is this day!" Then he called aloud, saying, "Hallo, Ghazbán!" Whereupon there came out to him a tall black slave of frightful aspect, grim-visaged and flat nosed as an ape who, when the old man made a sign to him, bent As'ad's arms behind his back and pinioned them; after which the Shaykh said to him, "Let him down into the vault under the earth and there leave him and say to my slave-girl Such-an-one:—Torture him night and day and give him a cake of bread to eat morning and evening against the time come of the voyage to the Blue Sea and the Mountain of Fire, whereon we will slaughter him as a sacrifice." So the black carried him out at another door and, raising a flag in the floor, discovered a flight of twenty steps leading to a chamber[382] under the earth, into which he descended with him and, laying his feet in irons, gave him over to the slave-girl and went away. Meanwhile, the old men said to one another, "When the day of the Festival of the Fire cometh, we will sacrifice him on the mountain, as a propitiatory offering whereby we shall pleasure the Fire." Presently the damsel went down to him and beat him a grievous beating, till streams of blood flowed from his sides and he fainted; after which she set at his head a scone of bread and a cruse of brackish water and went away and left him. In the middle of the night, he revived and found himself bound and beaten and sore with beating: so he wept bitter tears; and recalling his former condition of honour and prosperity, lordship and dominion, and his separation from his sire and his exile from his native land——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-eight Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when As'ad found himself bound and beaten and sore with beating he recalled his whilome condition of honour and prosperity and dominion and lordship, and he wept and groaned aloud and recited these couplets:—

328Stand by the ruined stead and ask of us; ✿ Nor deem we dwell there as was state of us:
The World, that parter, hath departed us; ✿ Yet soothes not hate-full hearts the fate of us:
With whips a cursèd slave-girl scourges us, ✿ And teems her breast with rancorous hate of us:
Allah shall haply deign to unpart our lives, ✿ Chastise our foes, and end this strait of us.

And when As'ad had spoken his poetry, he put out his hand towards his head and finding there the crust and the cruse full of brackish water he ate a bittock, just enough to keep life in him, and drank a little water, but could get no sleep till morning for the swarms of bugs[383] and lice. As soon as it was day, the slave-girl came down to him and changed his clothes, which were drenched with blood and stuck to him, so that his skin came off with the shirt; wherefor he shrieked aloud and cried, "Alas!" and said, "O my God, if this be Thy pleasure, increase it upon me! O Lord, verily Thou art not unmindful of him that oppresseth me; do Thou then avenge me upon him!" And he groaned and repeated the following verses:—

Patient, O Allah! to Thy destiny ✿ I bow, suffice me what Thou deign decree:
Patient to bear Thy will, O Lord of me, ✿ Patient to burn on coals of Ghazátree:
They wrong me, visit me with hurt and harm; ✿ Haply Thy grace from them shall set me free:
Far be't, O Lord, from thee to spare the wronger ✿ O Lord of Destiny my hope's in Thee!

And what another saith:—

Bethink thee not of worldly state, ✿ Leave everything to course of Fate;
For oft a thing that irketh thee ✿ Shall in content eventuate;
And oft what strait is shall expand, ✿ And what expanded is wax strait.
Allah will do what wills His will, ✿ So be not thou importunate!
But 'joy the view of coming weal ✿ Shall make forget past bale and bate.

And when he had ended his verse, the slave-girl came down upon him with blows till he fainted again; and, throwing him a flap of bread and a gugglet of saltish water, went away and left him sad 329and lonely, bound in chains of iron, with the blood streaming from his sides and far from those he loved. So he wept and called to mind his brother and the honours he erst enjoyed——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that As'ad called to mind his brother and the honours he erst enjoyed; so he wept and groaned and complained and poured forth tears in floods and improvised these couplets:—

Easy, O Fate! how long this wrong, this injury, ✿ Robbing each morn and eve my brotherhood fro' me?
Is't not time now thou deem this length sufficiency ✿ Of woes and, O thou Heart of Rock, show clemency?
My friends thou wrongedst when thou madst each enemy ✿ Mock and exult me for thy wrongs, thy tyranny:
My foeman's heart is solaced by the things he saw ✿ In me, of strangerhood and lonely misery:
Suffice thee not what came upon my head of dole, ✿ Friends lost for evermore, eyes wan and pale of blee?
But must in prison cast so narrow there is naught ✿ Save hand to bite, with bitten hand for company;
And tears that tempest down like goodly gift of cloud, ✿ And longing thirst whose fires weet no satiety.
Regretful yearnings, singulfs and unceasing sighs, ✿ Repine, remembrance and pain's very ecstacy:
Desire I suffer sore and melancholy deep, ✿ And I must bide a prey to endless phrenesy:
I find me ne'er a friend who looks with piteous eye, ✿ And seeks my presence to allay my misery:
Say, liveth any intimate with trusty love ✿ Who for mine ills will groan, my sleepless malady?
To whom moan I can make and, peradventure, he ✿ Shall pity eyes that sight of sleep can never see?
The flea and bug suck up my blood, as wight that drinks ✿ Wine from the proffering hand of fair virginity:
Amid the lice my body aye remindeth me ✿ Of orphan's good in Kázi's claw of villainy:
My home's a sepulchre that measures cubits three, ✿ Where pass I morn and eve in chainèd agony:
My wines are tears, my clank of chains takes music's stead; ✿ Cares my dessert of fruit and sorrows are my bed.

330And when he had versed his verse and had prosed his prose, he again groaned and complained and remembered what he had been and how he had been parted from his brother. Thus far concerning him; but as regards his brother Amjad, he awaited As'ad till mid-day yet he returned not to him: whereupon Amjad's vitals fluttered, the pangs of parting were sore upon him and he poured forth abundant tears,——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Amjad awaited his brother As'ad till mid-day and he returned not to him, Amjad's vitals fluttered; the pangs of parting were sore upon him and he poured forth abundant tears, exclaiming, "Alas, my brother! Alas, my friend! Alas my grief! How I feared me we should be separated!" Then he descended from the mountain-top with the tears running down his cheeks; and, entering the city, ceased not walking till he made the market. He asked the folk the name of the place and concerning its people and they said, "This is called the City of the Magians, and its citizens are mostly given to Fire-worshipping in lieu of the Omnipotent King." Then he enquired of the City of Ebony and they answered, "Of a truth it is a year's journey thither by land and six months by sea: it was governed erst by a King called Armanus; but he took to son-in-law and made King in his stead a Prince called Kamar al-Zaman distinguished for justice and munificence, equity and benevolence." When Amjad heard tell of his father, he groaned and wept and lamented and knew not whither to go. However, he bought a something of food and carried it to a retired spot where he sat down thinking to eat; but, recalling his brother, he fell a-weeping and swallowed but a morsel to keep breath and body together, and that against his will. Then he rose and walked about the city, seeking news of his brother, till he saw a Moslem tailor sitting in his shop; so he sat down by him and told him his story; whereupon quoth the tailor, "If he have fallen into the hands of the Magians, thou shalt hardly see him again: yet it may be Allah will reunite you twain. But thou, O my brother," he continued, "wilt thou lodge with me?" Amjad answered, "Yes"; and the tailor rejoiced at this. So he abode with him many days, what 331while the tailor comforted him and exhorted him to patience and taught him tailoring, till he became expert in the craft. Now one day he went forth to the sea-shore and washed his clothes; after which he entered the bath and put on clean raiment; then he walked about the city, to divert himself with its sights and presently there met him on the way a woman of passing beauty and loveliness, without peer for grace and comeliness. When she saw him she raised her face-veil and signed to him by moving her eyebrows and her eyes with luring glances, and versified these couplets:—

I drooped my glance when seen thee on the way ✿ As though, O slim-waist! felled by Sol's hot ray:
Thou art the fairest fair that e'er appeared, ✿ Fairer to-day than fair of yesterday:[384]
Were Beauty parted, a fifth part of it ✿ With Joseph or a part of fifth would stay;
The rest would fly to thee, thine ownest own; ✿ Be every soul thy sacrifice, I pray!

When Amjad heard these her words, they gladdened his heart which inclined to her and his bowels yearned towards her and the hands of love sported with him; so he sighed to her in reply and spoke these couplets:—

Above the rose of cheek is thorn of lance;[385] ✿ Who dareth pluck it, rashest chevisance?
Stretch not thy hand towards it, for night long ✿ Those lances marred because we snatched a glance!
Say her, who tyrant is and tempter too ✿ (Though justice might her tempting power enhance):—
Thy face would add to errors were it veiled; ✿ Unveiled I see its guard hath best of chance!
Eye cannot look upon Sol's naked face; ✿ But can, when mist-cloud dims his countenance:
The honey-hive is held by honey-bee;[386] ✿ Ask the tribe-guards what wants their vigilance?
An they would slay me, let them end their ire ✿ Rancorous, and grant us freely to advance:
They're not more murderous, an charge the whole ✿ Than charging glance of her who wears the mole.

332And hearing these lines from Amjad she sighed with the deepest sighs and, signing to him again, repeated these couplets:—

'Tis thou hast trodden coyness-path not I: ✿ Grant me thy favours for the time draws nigh:
O thou who makest morn with light of brow, ✿ And with loosed brow-locks night in lift to stye!
Thine idol-aspect made of me thy slave, ✿ Tempting as temptedst me in days gone by:
'Tis just my liver fry with hottest love: ✿ Who worship fire for God must fire aby:
Thou sellest like of me for worthless price; ✿ If thou must sell, ask high of those who buy.

When Amjad heard these her words he said to her, "Wilt thou come to my lodging or shall I go with thee to thine?" So she hung her head in shame to the ground and repeated the words of Him whose Name be exalted, "Men shall have the pre-eminence above women, because of those advantages wherein Allah hath caused the one of them to excel the other."[387] Upon this, Amjad took the hint——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Amjad took the woman's hint and understood that she wished to go with him whither he was going; he felt himself bounden to find a place wherein to receive her, but was ashamed to carry her to the house of his host, the tailor. So he walked on and she walked after him, and the two ceased not walking from street to street and place to place, till she was tired and said to him, "O my lord, where is thy house?" Answered he, "Before us a little way." Then he turned aside into a handsome by-street, followed by the young woman, and walked on till he came to the end, when he found it was no thoroughfare and exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Then raising his eyes, he saw, at the upper end of the lane a great door with two stone benches; but it was locked. So Amjad sat down on one of 333the benches and she on the other; and she said to him, "O my lord, wherefore waitest thou?" He bowed his head awhile to the ground then raised it and answered, "I am awaiting my Mameluke who hath the key; for I bade him make me ready meat and drink and flowers, to deck the wine-service against my return from the bath." But he said to himself, "Haply the time will be tedious to her and she will go about her business, leaving me here, when I will wend my own way." However, as soon as she was weary of long waiting, she said, "O my lord, thy Mameluke delayeth; and here are we sitting in the street;" and she arose and took a stone and went up to the lock. Said Amjad, "Be not in haste, but have patience till the servant come." However, she hearkened not to him, but smote the wooden bolt with the stone and broke it in half, whereupon the door opened. Quoth he, "What possessed thee to do this deed?" Quoth she, "Pooh, pooh, my lord! what matter it? Is not the house thy house and thy place?" He said, "There was no need to break the bolt." Then the damsel entered, to the confusion of Amjad, who knew not what to do for fear of the people of the house; but she said to him, "Why dost thou not enter, O light of mine eyes and core of my heart?" Replied he, "I hear and obey; but my servant tarrieth long and I know not if he have done aught of what I bade him and specially enjoined upon him, or not." Hereupon he entered, sore in fear of the people of the house, and found himself in a handsome saloon with four daïs'd recesses, each facing other, and containing closets and raised seats, all bespread with stuffs of silk and brocade; and in the midst was a jetting fountain of costly fashion, on whose margin rested a covered tray of meats, with a leather tablecloth hanging up and gem-encrusted dishes, full of fruits and sweet-scented flowers. Hard by stood drinking vessels and a candlestick with a single wax-candle therein; and the place was full of precious stuffs and was ranged with chests and stools, and on each seat lay a parcel of clothes upon which was a purse full of monies, gold and silver. The floor was paved with marble and the house bore witness in every part to its owner's fortune. When Amjad saw all this, he was confounded at his case and said to himself, "I am a lost man! Verily we are Allah's and to Allah we are returning!" As for the damsel, when she sighted the place she rejoiced indeed with a joy nothing could exceed, and said to him, "By Allah, O my lord, thy servant hath not failed of his duty; for see, he hath swept the place and cooked the meat and set on the fruit; and indeed I come at the 334best of times." But he paid no heed to her, his heart being taken up with fear of the house-folk; and she said, "Fie, O my lord, O my heart! What aileth thee to stand thus?" Then she sighed; and, giving him a buss which sounded like the cracking of a walnut, said, "O my lord, an thou have made an appointment with other than with me, I will gird my middle and serve her and thee." Amjad laughed from a heart full of rage and wrath and came forwards and sat down, panting and saying to himself, "Alack, mine ill death and doom when the owner of the place shall return!" Then she seated herself by him and fell to toying and laughing, whilst Amjad sat careful and frowning, thinking a thousand thoughts and communing with himself, "Assuredly the master of the house cannot but come, and then what shall I say to him? he needs must kill me and my life will be lost thus foolishly." Presently she rose and, tucking up her sleeves, took a tray of food on which she laid the cloth and then set it before Amjad and began to eat, saying, "Eat, O my lord." So he came forward and ate; but the food was not pleasant to him; on the contrary he ceased not to look towards the door, till the damsel had eaten her fill, when she took away the tray of the meats and, setting on the dessert, fell to eating of the dried fruits. Then she brought the wine-service and opening the jar, filled a cup and handed it to Amjad, who took it from her hand saying to himself, "Ah, ah! and well-away, when the master of the house cometh and seeth me!"; and he kept his eyes fixed on the threshold, even with cup in hand. While he was in this case, lo! in came the master of the house, who was a white slave, one of the chief men of the city, being Master of the Horse[388] to the King. He had fitted up this saloon for his pleasures, that he might make merry therein and be private with whom he would, and he had that day bidden a youth whom he loved and had made this entertainment for him. Now the name of this slave was Bahádur,[389] and he was open of hand, generous, munificent and fain of alms-giving and charitable works.——And Shahzarad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Bahadur, the Master of the Horse and the owner of the house, came to the door of the saloon and found it open, he entered slowly and softly and looking in, with head advanced and outstretched neck, saw Amjad and the girl sitting before the dish of fruit and the wine-jar in front of them. Now Amjad at that moment had the cup in his hand and his face turned to the door; and when his glance met Bahadur's eyes his hue turned pale yellow and his side-muscles quivered, so seeing his trouble Bahadur signed to him with his finger on his lips, as much as to say, "Be silent and come hither to me." Whereupon he set down the cup and rose and the damsel cried, "Whither away?" He shook his head and, signing to her that he wished to make water, went out into the passage barefoot. Now when he saw Bahadur he knew him for the master of the house; so he hastened to him and, kissing his hands, said to him, "Allah upon thee, O my lord, ere thou do me a hurt, hear what I have to say." Then he told him who he was from first to last and acquainted him with what caused him to quit his native land and royal state, and how he had not entered his house of his free will, but that it was the girl who had broken the lock-bolt and done all this.[390] When Bahadur heard his story and knew that he was a King's son, he felt for him and, taking compassion on him, said, "Hearken to me, O Amjad, and do what I bid thee and I will guarantee thy safety from that thou fearest; but, if thou cross me, I will kill thee." Amjad replied, "Command me as thou wilt: I will not gainsay thee in aught; no, never, for I am the freedman of thy bounty." Rejoined Bahadur, "Then go back forthwith into the saloon, sit down in thy place and be at peace and at thine ease; I will presently come in to thee, and when thou seest me (remember my name is Bahadur) do thou revile me and rail at me, saying:—What made thee tarry till so late? And accept no excuse from me; nay, so far from it, rise and beat me; and, if thou spare me, I will do away thy life. Enter now and make merry and whatsoever thou seekest of me at 336this time I will bring thee forthwith; and do thou spend this night as thou wilt and on the morrow wend thy way. This I do in honour of thy strangerhood, for I love the stranger and hold myself bounden to do him devoir." So Amjad kissed his hand, and, returning to the saloon with his face clad in its natural white and red, at once said to the damsel, "O my mistress, thy presence hath gladdened this thine own place and ours is indeed a blessed night." Quoth the girl, "Verily I see a wonderful change in thee, that thou now welcomest me so cordially!" So Amjad answered, "By Allah, O my lady, methought my servant Bahadur had robbed me of some necklaces of jewels, worth ten thousand dinars each; however, when I went out but now in concern for this, I sought for them and found them in their place. I know not why the slave tarrieth so long and needs must I punish him for it." She was satisfied with his answer, and they sported and drank and made merry and ceased not to be so till near sundown, when Bahadur came in to them, having changed his clothes and girt his middle and put on shoes, such as are worn of Mamelukes. He saluted and kissed the ground; then held his hands behind him and stood, with his head hanging down, as one who confesseth to a fault. So Amjad looked at him with angry eyes and asked, "Why hast thou tarried till now, O most pestilent of slaves?" Answered Bahadur, "O my lord, I was busy washing my clothes and knew not of thy being here; for our appointed time was nightfall and not day-tide." But Amjad cried out at him, saying, "Thou liest, O vilest of slaves! By Allah, I must needs beat thee." So he rose and, throwing Bahadur prone on the ground, took a stick and beat him gently; but the damsel sprang up and, snatching the stick from his hand, came down upon Bahadur so lustily, that in extreme pain the tears ran from his eyes and he ground his teeth together and called out for succour; whilst Amjad cried out to the girl "Don't"; and she cried out, "Let me satisfy my anger upon him!" till at last he pulled the stick out of her hand and pushed her away. So Bahadur rose and, wiping away his tears from his cheeks, waited upon them the while; after which he swept the hall and lighted the lamps; but as often as he went in and out, the lady abused him and cursed him till Amjad was wroth with her and said, "For Almighty Allah's sake leave my Mameluke; he is not used to this." Then they sat and ceased not eating and drinking (and Bahadur waiting upon them) till midnight when, being weary with service and beating, he fell 337asleep in the midst of the hall and snored and snorted; whereupon the damsel, who was drunken with wine, said to Amjad, "Arise, take the sword hanging yonder and cut me off this slave's head; and, if thou do it not, I will be the death of thee!" "What possesseth thee to slay my slave?" asked Amjad; and she answered, "Our joyaunce will not be complete but by his death. If thou wilt not kill him, I will do it myself." Quoth Amjad, "By Allah's rights to thee, do not this thing!" Quoth she, "It must perforce be;" and, taking down the sword, drew it and made at Badahur to kill him; but Amjad said in his mind, "This man hath entreated us courteously and sheltered us and done us kindness and made himself my slave: shall we requite him by slaughtering him? This shall never be!" Then he said to the woman, "If my Mameluke must be killed, better I should kill him than thou." So saying, he took the sword from her and, raising his hand, smote her on the neck and made her head fly from her body. It fell upon Bahadur who awoke and sat up and opened his eyes, when he saw Amjad standing by him and in his hand the sword dyed with blood, and the damsel lying dead. He enquired what had passed, and Amjad told him all she had said, adding, "Nothing would satisfy her but she must slay thee; and this is her reward." Then Bahadur rose and, kissing the Prince's hand, said to him, "Would to Heaven thou hadst spared her! but now there is nothing for it but to rid us of her without stay or delay, before the day break." Then he girded his loins and took the body, wrapped it in an Abá-cloak and, laying it in a large basket of palm-leaves, he shouldered it saying, "Thou art a stranger here and knowest no one: so sit thou in this place and await my return till daybreak. If I come back to thee, I will assuredly do thee great good service and use my endeavours to have news of thy brother; but if by sunrise I return not, know that all is over with me; and peace be on thee, and the house and all it containeth of stuffs and money are thine." Then he fared forth from the saloon bearing the basket; and, threading the streets, he made for the salt sea, thinking to throw it therein: but as he drew near the shore, he turned and saw that the Chief of Police and his officers had ranged themselves around him; and, on recognising him, they wondered and opened the basket, wherein they found the slain woman. So they seized him and laid him in bilboes all that night till the morning, when they carried him and the basket, as it was, to the King and reported the case. The King was sore enraged when he looked upon the slain and said to 338Bahadur, "Woe to thee! Thou art always so doing; thou killest folk and castest them into the sea and takest their goods. How many murders hast thou done ere this?" Thereupon Bahadur hung his head——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Bahadur hung down his head groundwards before the King, who cried out at him, saying, "Woe to thee! Who killed this girl?" He replied, "O my lord! I killed her, and there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"[391] So the King in his anger, commanded to hang him; and the hangman went down with him by the King's commandment, and the Chief of Police accompanied him with a crier who called upon all the folk to witness the execution of Bahadur, the King's Master of the Horse; and on this wise they paraded him through the main streets and the market-streets. This is how it fared with Bahadur; but as regards Amjad, he awaited his host's return till the day broke and the sun rose, and when he saw that he came not, he exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Would I knew what is become of him?" And, as he sat musing behold, he heard the crier proclaiming Bahadur's sentence and bidding the people to see the spectacle of his hanging at mid-day; whereat he wept and exclaimed, "Verily, we are Allah's and to Him we are returning! He meaneth to sacrifice himself unjustly for my sake, when I it was who slew her. By Allah, this shall never be!" Then he went from the saloon and, shutting the door after him, hurriedly threaded the streets till he overtook Bahadur, when he stood before the Chief of Police and said to him, "O my lord, put not Bahadur to death, for he is innocent. By Allah, none killed her but I." Now when the Captain of Police heard these words, he took them both and, carrying them before the King, acquainted him with what Amjad had said; whereupon he looked at the Prince and asked him, "Didst thou kill the damsel?" He answered, "Yes" and the King said, "Tell me why thou killedst her, and speak the truth." 339Replied Amjad, "O King, it is indeed a marvellous event and a wondrous matter that hath befallen me: were it graven with needles on the eye-corners, it would serve as a warner to whoso would be warned!" Then he told him his whole story and informed him of all that had befallen him and his brother, first and last; whereat the King was much startled and surprised and said to him, "Know that now I find thee to be excusable; but list, O youth! Wilt thou be my Wazír?" "Hearkening and obedience," answered Amjad; whereupon the King bestowed magnificent dresses of honour on him and Bahadur and gave him a handsome house, with eunuchs and officers and all things needful, appointing him stipends and allowances and bidding him make search for his brother As'ad. So Amjad sat down in the seat of the Wazirate and governed and did justice and invested and deposed and took and gave. Moreover, he sent out a crier to cry his brother throughout the city, and for many days made proclamation in the main streets and market-streets, but heard no news of As'ad nor happened on any trace of him. Such was his case; but as regards his brother, the Magi ceased not to torture As'ad night and day and eve and morn for a whole year's space, till their festival drew near, when the old man Bahram[392] made ready for the voyage and fitted out a ship for himself.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Bahram, the Magian, having fitted out a ship for the voyage, took As'ad and put him in a chest which he locked and had it transported on board. Now it so came to pass that, at the very time of shipping it, Amjad was standing to divert himself by looking upon the sea; and when he saw the men carrying the gear and shipping it, his heart throbbed and he called to his pages to bring him his beast. Then, mounting with a company of his officers, he rode down to the sea-side and halted before the Magian's ship, which he commanded his men to board and search. They did his bidding, and boarded the vessel and rummaged in every part, but found nothing; 340so they returned and told Amjad, who mounted again and rode back. But he felt troubled in mind; and when he reached his place and entered his palace, he cast his eyes on the wall and saw written thereon two lines which were these couplets:——

"My friends! if ye are banisht from mine eyes, ✿ From heart and mind ye ne'er go wandering:
But ye have left me in my woe, and rob ✿ Rest from my eyelids while ye are slumbering."

And seeing them Amjad thought of his brother and wept. Such was his case; but as for Bahram, the Magian, he embarked and shouted and bawled to his crew to make sail in all haste. So they shook out the sails and departed and ceased not to fare on many days and nights; and, every other day, Bahram took out As'ad and gave him a bit of bread and made him drink a sup of water, till they drew near the Mountain of Fire. Then there came out on them a storm-wind and the sea rose against them, so that the ship was driven out of her course till she took a wrong line and fell into strange waters; and, at last they came in sight of a city builded upon the shore, with a castle whose windows overlooked the main. Now the ruler of this city was a Queen called Marjánah, and the captain said to Bahram, "O my lord, we have strayed from our course and come to the island of Queen Marjanah, who is a devout Moslemah; and, if she know that we are Magians, she will take our ship and slay us to the last man. Yet needs must we put in here to rest and refit." Quoth Bahram, "Right is thy recking, and whatso thou seest fit that will I do!" Said the ship-master, "If the Queen summon us and question us, how shall we answer her?"; and Bahram replied, "Let us clothe this Moslem we have with us in a Mameluke's habit and carry him ashore with us, so that when the Queen sees him, she will suppose and say, This is a slave. As for me I will tell her that I am a slave-dealer[393] who buys and sells white slaves, and that I had with me many but have sold all save this one, whom I retained to keep 341my accounts, for he can read and write." And the captain said, "This device should serve." Presently they reached the city and slackened sail and cast the anchors; and the ship lay still, when behold, Queen Marjanah came down to them, attended by her guards and, halting before the vessel, called out to the captain, who landed and kissed the ground before her. Quoth she, "What is the lading of this thy ship and whom hast thou with thee?" Quoth he, "O Queen of the Age, I have with me a merchant who dealeth in slaves." And she said, "Hither with him to me"; whereupon Bahram came ashore to her, with As'ad walking behind him in a slave's habit, and kissed the earth before her. She asked, "What is thy condition?"; and he answered, "I am a dealer in chattels." Then she looked at As'ad and, taking him for a Mameluke, asked him, "What is thy name, O youth?" He answered, "Dost thou ask my present or my former name?" "Hast thou then two names?" enquired she, and he replied (and indeed his voice was choked with tears), "Yes; my name aforetime was Al-As'ad, the most happy, but now it is Al-Mu'tarr—Miserrimus." Her heart inclined to him and she said, "Canst thou write?" "Yes," answered he, and she gave him ink-case and reed-pen and paper and said to him, "Write somewhat that I may see it." So he wrote these two couplets:—

What can the slave do when pursued by Fate, ✿ O justest Judge! whatever be his state?[394]
Whom God throws hand-bound in the depths and says, ✿ Beware lest water should thy body wet?[395]

A. Lalauze Pinæ et Sc.

Now when she read these lines, she had ruth upon him and said to 342Bahram, "Sell me this slave." He replied, "O my lady, I cannot sell him, for I have parted with all the rest and none is left with me but he." Quoth the Queen, "I must need have him of thee, either by sale or way of gift." But quoth Bahram, "I will neither sell him nor give him." Whereat she was wroth and, taking As'ad by the hand, carried him up to the castle and sent to Bahram, saying, "Except thou set sail and depart our city this very night, I will seize all thy goods and break up thy ship." Now when the message reached the Magian, he grieved with sore grief and cried, "Verily this voyage is on no wise to be commended." Then he arose and made ready and took all he needed and awaited the coming of the night to resume his voyage, saying to the sailors, "Provide yourselves with your things and fill your water-skins, that we may set sail at the last of the night." So the sailors did their business and awaited the coming of darkness. Such was their case; but as regards Queen Marjanah, when she had brought As'ad into the castle, she opened the casements overlooking the sea and bade her handmaids bring food. They set food before As'ad and herself and both ate, after which the Queen called for wine——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen Marjanah bade her handmaids bring wine and they set it before her, she fell to drinking with As'ad. Now, Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) filled her heart with love for the Prince and she kept filling his cup and handing it to him till his reason fled; and presently he rose and left the hall to satisfy a call of nature. As he passed out of the saloon he saw an open door through which he went and walked on till his walk brought him to a vast garden full of all manner fruits and flowers; and, sitting down under a tree, he did his occasion. Then he rose and went up to a jetting fountain in the garden and made the lesser ablution and washed his hands and face, after which he would have risen to go away; but the air smote him and he fell back, with his clothes undone and slept, and night overcame him thus. So far concerning him; but as concerns Bahram, the night being come, he cried out to his 343crew, saying, "Set sail and let us away!"; and they answered, "We hear and obey, but wait till we fill our water-skins and then we will set sail." So they landed with their water-skins and went round about the castle, and found nothing but garden-walls: whereupon they climbed over into the garden and followed the track of feet, which led them to the fountain; and there they found As'ad lying on his back. They knew him and were glad to find him; and, after filling their water-skins, they bore him off and climbed the wall again with him and carried him back in haste to Bahram to whom they said, "Hear the good tidings of thy winning thy wish; and gladden thy heart and beat thy drums and sound thy pipes; for thy prisoner, whom Queen Marjanah took from thee by force, we have found and brought back to thee"; and they threw As'ad down before him. When Bahram saw him, his heart leapt for joy and his breast swelled with gladness. Then he bestowed largesse on the sailors and bade them set sail in haste. So they sailed forthright, intending to make the Mountain of Fire and stayed not their course till the morning. This is how it fared with them; but as regards Queen Marjanah, she abode awhile, after As'ad went down from her, awaiting his return in vain for he came not; thereupon she rose and sought him, yet found no trace of him. Then she bade her women light flambeaux and look for him, whilst she went forth in person and, seeing the garden-door open, knew that he had gone thither. So she went out into the garden and finding his sandals lying by the fountain, searched the place in every part, but came upon no sign of him; and yet she gave not over the search till morning. Then she enquired for the ship and they told her, "The vessel set sail in the first watch of the night"; wherefor she knew that they had taken As'ad with them, and this was grievous to her and she was sore angered. She bade equip ten great ships forthwith and, making ready for fight, embarked in one of the ten with her Mamelukes and slave-women and men-at-arms, all splendidly accoutred and weaponed for war. They spread the sails and she said to the captains, "If you overtake the Magian's ship, ye shall have of me dresses of honour and largesse of money; but if you fail so to do, I will slay you to the last man." Whereat fear and great hope animated the crews and they sailed all that day and the night and the second day and the third day till, on the fourth they sighted the ship of Bahram, the Magian, and before 344evening fell the Queen's squadron had surrounded it on all sides, just as Bahram had taken As'ad forth of the chest and was beating and torturing him, whilst the Prince cried out for help and deliverance, but found neither helper nor deliverer: and the grievous bastinado sorely tormented him. Now while so occupied, Bahram chanced to look up and, seeing himself encompassed by the Queen's ships, as the white of the eye encompasseth the black, he gave himself up for lost and groaned and said, "Woe to thee, O As'ad! This is all out of thy head." Then taking him by the hand he bade his men throw him overboard and cried, "By Allah I will slay thee before I die myself!" So they carried him along by the hands and feet and cast him into the sea and he sank; but Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) willed that his life be saved and that his doom be deferred; so He caused him to sink and rise again and he struck out with his hands and feet, till the Almighty gave him relief, and sent him deliverance; and the waves bore him far from the Magian's ship and threw him ashore. He landed, scarce crediting his escape, and once more on land he doffed his clothes and wrung them and spread them out to dry; whilst he sat naked and weeping over his condition, and bewailing his calamities and mortal dangers, and captivity and strangerhood. And presently he repeated these two couplets:—

Allah, my patience fails: I have no ward; ✿ My breast is straitened and clean cut my cord;
To whom shall wretched slave of case complain, ✿ Save to his Lord? O thou of lords the Lord!

Then, having ended his verse, he rose and donned his clothes but he knew not whither to go or whence to come; so he fed on the herbs of the earth and the fruits of the trees and he drank of the streams, and fared on night and day till he came in sight of a city; whereupon he rejoiced and hastened his pace; but when he reached it——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night,

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when he reached the city the shades of evening closed around him and the 345gates were shut. Now by the decrees of Fate and man's lot this was the very city wherein he had been a prisoner and to whose King his brother Amjad was Minister. When As'ad saw the gate was locked, he turned back and made for the burial-ground, where finding a tomb without a door, he entered therein and lay down and fell asleep, with his face covered by his long sleeve.[396] Meanwhile, Queen Marjanah, coming up with Bahram's ship, questioned him of As'ad. Now the Magian, when Queen Marjanah overtook him with her ships, baffled her by his artifice and gramarye; swearing to her that he was not with him and that he knew nothing of him. She searched the ship, but found no trace of her friend, so she took Bahram and, carrying him back to her castle, would have put him to death, but he ransomed himself from her with all his good and his ship; and she released him and his men. They went forth from her hardly believing in their deliverance, and fared on ten days' journey till they came to their own city and found the gate shut, it being eventide. So they made for the burial-ground, thinking to lie the night there and, going round about the tombs, as Fate and Fortune would have it, saw the building wherein As'ad lay wide open; whereat Bahram marvelled and said, "I must look into this sepulchre." Then he entered and found As'ad lying in a corner fast asleep, with his head covered by his sleeve; so he raised his head, and looking in his face, knew him for the man on whose account he had lost his goods and his ship, and cried, "What! art thou yet alive?" Then he bound him and gagged him without further parley, and carried him to his house, where he clapped heavy shackles on his feet and lowered him into the underground dungeon aforesaid prepared for the tormenting of Moslems, and he bade his daughter by name Bostán,[397] torture him night and day, till the next year, when they would again visit the Mountain of Fire and there offer him up as a sacrifice. Then he beat him grievously and locking the dungeon door upon him, gave the keys to his daughter. By and by, Bostan opened the door and went 346down to beat him, but finding him a comely youth and a sweet-faced with arched brows and eyes black with nature's Kohl,[398] she fell in love with him and asked him, "What is thy name?" "My name is As'ad," answered he; whereat she cried, "Mayst thou indeed be happy as thy name,[399] and happy be thy days! Thou deservest not torture and blows, and I see thou hast been injuriously entreated." And she comforted him with kind words and loosed his bonds. Then she questioned him of the religion of Al-Islam and he told her that it was the true and right Faith and that our lord Mohammed had approved himself by surpassing miracles[400] and signs manifest, and that fire-worship is harmful and not profitable; and he went on to expound to her the tenets of Al-Islam till she was persuaded and the love of the True Faith entered her heart. Then, as Almighty Allah had mixed up with her being a fond affection for As'ad, she pronounced the Two Testimonies[401] of the Faith and became of the people of felicity. After this, she brought him meat and drink and talked with him and they prayed together: moreover, she made him chicken stews and fed him therewith, till he regained strength and his sickness left him and he was restored to his former health. Such things befel him with the daughter of Bahram, the Magian; and so it happened that one day she left him and stood at the house-door when behold, she heard the crier crying aloud and saying, "Whoso hath with him a handsome young man, whose favour is thus and thus, and bringeth him forth, shall have all he seeketh of money; 347but if any have him and deny it, he shall be hanged over his own door and his property shall be plundered and his blood go for naught." Now As'ad had acquainted Bostan bint Bahram with his whole history: so, when she heard the crier, she knew that it was he who was sought for and, going down to him, told him the news. Then he fared forth and made for the mansion of the Wazir, whom, when As'ad saw, he exclaimed, "By Allah, this Minister is my brother Amjad!" Then he went up (and the damsel walking behind him) to the Palace, where he again saw his brother, and threw himself upon him; whereupon Amjad also knew him and fell upon his neck and they embraced each other, whilst the Wazir's Mamelukes dismounted and stood round them. They lay awhile insensible and, when they came to themselves, Amjad took his brother and carried him to the Sultan, to whom he related the whole story, and the Sultan charged him to plunder Bahram's house.——And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

Now when it was the Two Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Sultan ordered Amjad to plunder Bahram's house and to hang its owner. So Amjad despatched thither for that purpose a company of men, who sacked the house and took Bahram and brought his daughter to the Wazir by whom she was received with all honour, for As'ad had told his brother the torments he had suffered and the kindness she had done him. Thereupon Amjad related in his turn to As'ad all that had passed between himself and the damsel; and how he had escaped hanging and had become Wazir; and they made moan, each to other, of the anguish they had suffered for separation. Then the Sultan summoned Bahram and bade strike off his head; but he said, "O most mighty King, art thou indeed resolved to put me to death?" Replied the King, "Yes, except thou save thyself by becoming a Moslem." Quoth Bahram, "O King, bear with me a little while!" Then he bowed his head groundwards and presently raising it again, made profession of The Faith and islamised at the hands of the Sultan. They all rejoiced at his conversion and Amjad and As'ad told him all that had befallen them, whereat he wondered and said, 348"O my lords, make ready for the journey and I will depart with you and carry you back to your father's court in a ship." At this they rejoiced and wept with sore weeping; but he said, "O my lords, weep not for your departure, for it shall reunite you with those you love, even as were Ni'amah and Naomi." "And what befel Ni'amah and Naomi?" asked they. "They tell," replied Bahram, (but Allah alone is All-knowing) the following tale of

220.  Lane is in error (vol. ii. 78) when he corrects this to "Sháh Zemán"; the name is fanciful and intended to be old Persian, on the "weight" of Kahramán. The Bul. Edit. has by misprint "Shahramán."

221.  The "topothesia" is worthy of Shakespeare's day. "Khálidán" is evidently a corruption of "Khálidatáni" (for Khálidát), the Eternal, as Ibn Wardi calls the Fortunate Islands, or Canaries, which owe both their modern names to the classics of Europe. Their present history dates from A.D. 1385, unless we accept the Dieppe-Rouen legend of Labat which would place the discovery in A.D. 1326. I for one thoroughly believe in the priority, on the West African Coast, of the gallant descendants of the Northmen.

222.  Four wives are allowed by Moslem law and for this reason. If you marry one wife she holds herself your equal, answers you and "gives herself airs"; two are always quarrelling and making a hell of the house; three are "no company" and two of them always combine against the nicest to make her hours bitter. Four are company; they can quarrel and "make it up" amongst themselves, and the husband enjoys comparative peace. But the Moslem is bound by his law to deal equally with the four; each must have her dresses, her establishment and her night, like her sister wives. The number is taken from the Jews (Arbah Turim Ev. Hazaer, i.) "the wise men have given good advice that a man should not marry more than four wives." Europeans, knowing that Moslem women are cloistered and appear veiled in public, begin with believing them to be mere articles of luxury; and only after long residence they find out that nowhere has the sex so much real liberty and power as in the Moslem East. They can possess property and will it away without the husband's leave: they can absent themselves from the house for a month without his having a right to complain; and they assist in all his counsels for the best of reasons: a man can rely only on his wives and children, being surrounded by rivals who hope to rise by his ruin. As regards political matters the Circassian women of Constantinople really rule the Sultanate and there soignez la femme! is the first lesson of getting on in the official world.

223.  This two-bow prayer is common on the bride-night; and at all times when issue is desired.

224.  The older Camaralzaman = "Moon of the age." Kamar is the moon between her third and twenty-sixth day: Hilál during the rest of the month: Badr (plur. Budúr, whence the name of the Princess) is the full moon.

225.  Arab. "Ra'áyá" plur. of "Ra'íyat" our Anglo-Indian Ryot, lit. a liege, a subject; secondarily a peasant, a Fellah.

226.  Another audacious parody of the Moslem "testification" to the one God, and to Mohammed the Apostle.

227.  Showing how long ago forts were armed with metal plates which we have applied to war-ships only of late years.

228.  The comparison is abominably true—in the East.

229.  Two fallen angels who taught men the art of magic. They are mentioned in the Koran (chapt. ii.); and the commentators have extensively embroidered the simple text. Popularly they are supposed to be hanging by their feet in a well in the territory of Babel hence the frequent allusions to "Babylonian sorcery" in Moslem writings; and those who would study the black art at head-quarters are supposed to go there. They are counterparts of the Egyptian Jamnes and Mambres, the Jannes and Jambres of St. Paul (2 Tim. iii. 8).

230.  An idol or idols of the Arabs (Allat and Ozza) before Mohammed (Koran chapt. ii. 256). Etymologically the word means "error" and the termination is rather Hebraic than Arabic.

231.  Arab. "Khayt hamayán" (wandering threads of vanity), or Mukhát al-Shaytan (Satan's snivel), = our "gossamer" = God's summer (Mutter-Gottes-Sommer) or God's cymar (P).

232.  These lines occur in Night xvii.; so I borrow from Torrens (p. 163) by way of variety.

233.  A posture of peculiar submission; contrasting strongly with the attitude afterwards assumed by Prince Charming.

234.  A mere term of vulgar abuse not reflecting on either parent: I have heard a mother call her own son, "Child of adultery."

235.  Arab. "Ghazá," the Artemisia (Euphorbia?) before noticed. If the word be a misprint for Ghadá it means a kind of Euphorbia which, with the Arák (wild caper-tree) and the Daum-palm (Crucifera thebiaca), is one of the three normal growths of the Arabian desert (Pilgrimage iii. 22).

236.  Arab. "Banát al-Na'ash," usually translated daughters of the bier, the three stars which represent the horses in either Bear, "Charles' Wain," or Ursa Minor, the waggon being supposed to be a bier. "Banát" may be also sons, plur. of Ibn, as the word points to irrational objects. So Job (ix. 9 and xxxviii. 32) refers to U. Major as "Ash" or "Aysh" in the words, "Canst thou guide the bier with its sons?" (erroneously rendered "Arcturus with his sons"). In the text the lines are enigmatical, but apparently refer to a death-parting.

237.  The Chapters are: 2, 3, 36, 55, 67 and the two last ("Daybreak" cxiii. and "Men" cxiv.), which are called Al-Mu'izzatáni (vulgar Al-Mu'izzatayn), the "Two Refuge-takings or Preventives," because they obviate enchantment. I have translated the two latter as follows:—

"Say:—Refuge I take with the Lord of the Daybreak ✿ from mischief of what He did make ✿ from mischief of moon eclipse-showing ✿ and from mischief of witches on cord-knots blowing ✿ and from mischief of envier when envying."

"Say:—Refuge I take with the Lord of men ✿ the sovran of men ✿ the God of men ✿ from the Tempter, the Demon ✿ who tempteth in whisper the breasts of men ✿ and from Jinnis and (evil) men."

238.  The recitations were Náfilah, or superogatory, two short chapters only being required; and the taking refuge was because he slept in a ruin, a noted place in the East for Ghuls as in the West for ghosts.

239.  Lane (ii. 222) first read "Múroozee" and referred it to the Murúz tribe near Herat: he afterwards (iii. 748) corrected it to "Marwazee," of the fabric of Marw (Margiana), the place now famed for "Mervousness." As a man of Rayy (Rhages) becomes Rází (e.g. Ibn Fáris al-Rází), so a man of Marw is Marázi, not Murúzi nor Márwazi. The "Mikna'" was a veil forming a kind of "respirator," defending from flies by day and from mosquitos, dews and draughts by night. Easterns are too sensible to sleep with bodies kept warm by bedding, and heads bared to catch every blast. Our grandfathers and grandmothers did well to wear bonnets-de-nuit, however ridiculous they may have looked.

240.  Iblis, meaning the Despairer, is called in the Koran (chapt. xviii. 48) "One of the genii (Jinnis) who departed from the command of his Lord." Mr. Rodwell (in loco) notes that the Satans and Jinnis represent in the Koran (ii. 32, etc.) the evil-principle and finds an admixture of the Semitic Satans and demons with the "Genii from the Persian (Babylonian?) and Indian (Egyptian?) mythologies."

241.  Of course she could not see his eyes when they were shut; nor is this mere Eastern inconsequence. The writer means, "had she seen them, they would have showed," etc.

242.  The eyes are supposed to grow darker under the influence of wine and sexual passion.

243.  To keep off the evil eye.

244.  Like Dahnash this is a fanciful P. N., fit only for a Jinni. As a rule the appellatives of Moslem "genii" end in—ús (oos), as Tarnús, Húliyánus; the Jewish in—nas, as Jattunas; those of the Tarsá (the "funkers" i.e. Christians) in—dús, as Sidús; and the Hindus in—tús, as Naktús (who entered the service of the Prophet Shays, or Seth, and was converted to the Faith). The King of the Genii is Malik Katshán who inhabits Mount Kaf; and to the west of him lives his son-in-law, Abd al-Rahman with 33,000 domestics: these names were given by the Apostle Mohammed. "Baktanús" is lord of three Moslem troops of the wandering Jinns, which number a total of twelve bands and extend from Sind to Europe. The Jinns, Divs, Peris ("fairies") and other pre-Adamitic creatures were governed by seventy-two Sultans all known as Sulayman and the last I have said was Ján bin Ján. The angel Háris was sent from Heaven to chastise him, but in the pride of victory he also revolted with his followers the Jinns whilst the Peris held aloof. When he refused to bow down before Adam he and his chiefs were eternally imprisoned but the other Jinns are allowed to range over earth as a security for man's obedience. The text gives the three orders, flyers, walkers and divers.

245.  i.e. distracted (with love); the Lakab, or poetical name, of apparently a Spanish poet.

246.  Nothing is more "anti-pathetic" to Easterns than lean hips and flat hinder-cheeks in women and they are right in insisting upon the characteristic difference of the male and female figure. Our modern sculptors and painters, whose study of the nude is usually most perfunctory, have often scandalised me by the lank and greyhound-like fining off of the frame, which thus becomes rather simian than human.

247.  The small fine foot is a favourite with Easterns as well as Westerns. Ovid (A. A.) is not ashamed "ad teneros Oscula (not basia or suavia) ferre pedes." Ariosto ends the august person in

Il breve, asciutto, e ritondetto piede,
(The short-sized, clean-cut, roundly-moulded foot).

And all the world over it is a sign of "blood," i.e. the fine nervous temperament.

248.  i.e. "full moons"; the French have corrupted it to "Badoure"; we to "Badoura," which is worse.

249.  As has been said a single drop of urine renders the clothes ceremoniously impure, hence a stone or a handful of earth must be used after the manner of the torche-cul. Scrupulous Moslems, when squatting to make water, will prod the ground before them with the point of stick or umbrella, so as to loosen it and prevent the spraying of the urine.

250.  It is not generally known to Christians that Satan has a wife called Awwá ("Hawwá" being the Moslem Eve) and, as Adam had three sons, the Tempter has nine, viz., Zu 'lbaysun who rules in bazars; Wassin who prevails in times of trouble; Awan who counsels kings; Haffan patron of wine-bibbers; Marrah of musicians and dancers; Masbut of newspreaders (and newspapers?); Dulhán who frequents places of worship and interferes with devotion; Dasim, lord of mansions and dinner tables, who prevents the Faithful saying "Bismillah" and "Inshallah," as commanded in the Koran (xviii. 23), and Lakís, lord of Fire-worshippers (Herklots, chap. xxix. sect. 4).

251.  Strong perfumes, such as musk (which we Europeans dislike and suspect), are always insisted upon in Eastern poetry; and Mohammed's predilection for them is well known. Moreover the young and the beautiful are held (justly enough) to exhale a natural fragrance which is compared with that of the blessed in Paradise. Hence in the Mu'allakah of Imr al-Kays:—

Breathes the scent of musk when they rise to rove, ✿ As the Zephyr's breath with the flavour o' clove.

It is made evident by dogs and other fine-nosed animals that every human being has his, or her, peculiar scent which varies according to age and health. Hence animals often detect the approach of death.

252.  Arab. "Kahlá." This has been explained. Mohammed is said to have been born with "Kohl'd eyes."

253.  Hawá al-'uzrí, before noticed (Night cxiv.)

254.  These lines, with the Názir (eye or steward), the Hájib (Groom of the Chambers or Chamberlain) and Joseph, are also repeated from Night cxiv. For the Nazir see Al-Hatiri (Nos. xiii. and xxii.)

255.  The usual allusion to the Húr (Houris) from "Hawar," the white and black of the eye shining in contrast. The Persian Magi also placed in their Heaven (Bihisht or Minu) "Huran," or black-eyed nymphs, under the charge of the angel Zamiyád.

256.  In the first hemistich, "bi-shitt 'il wády" (by the wady-bank): in the second, "wa shatta 'l wády" ("and my slayer"—i.e. wády act. part. of wady, killing—"hath paced away").

257.  The double entendre is from the proper names Budúr and Su'ád (Beatrice) also meaning "auspicious (or blessed) full moons."

258.  Arab. "Házir" (also Ahl al-hazar, townsmen) and Bádi, a Badawi, also called "Ahl al-Wabar," people of the camel's hair (tent) and A'aráb (Nomadic) as opposed to Arab (Arab settled or not). They still boast with Ibn Abbas, cousin of Mohammed, that they have kerchiefs (not turbands) for crowns, tents for houses, loops for walls, swords for scarves and poems for registers or written laws.

259.  This is a peculiarity of the Jinn tribe when wearing hideous forms. It is also found in the Hindu Rakshasa.

260.  Which, by the by, are small and beautifully shaped. The animal is very handy with them, as I learnt by experience when trying to "Rareyfy" one at Bayrut.

261.  She being daughter of Al-Dimiryát, King of the Jinns. Mr. W. F. Kirby has made him the subject of a pretty poem.

262.  These lines have occurred in Night xxii. I give Torrens's version (p. 223) by way of variety.

263.  Arab. "Kámat Alfiyyah," like an Alif, the first of the Arabic alphabet, the Heb. Aleph. The Arabs, I have said, took the flag or water-leaf form and departed very far from the Egyptian original (we know from Plutarch that the hieroglyphic abecedarium began with "a"), which was chosen by other imitators, namely the bull's head; and which in the cursive form, especially the Phœnician, became a yoke. In numerals "Alif" denotes one or one thousand. It inherits the traditional honours of Alpha (as opposed to Omega), and in books, letters and writings generally it is placed as a monogram over the "Bismillah," an additional testimony to the Unity. (See vol. i. p. 1). In mediæval Christianity this place of honour was occupied by the cross: none save the wildest countries have preserved it, but our vocabulary still retains Criss' (Christ-)cross Row, for horn-book, on account of the old alphabet and nine digits disposed in the form of a Latin cross. Hence Tickell ("The Horn-book"):

——Mortals ne'er shall know
More than contained of old the Chris'-cross Row.

264.  The young man must have been a demon of chastity.

265.  Arab. "Kirát" from κεράτιον, i.e. bean, the seed of the Abrus precatorius, in weight = two to three (English) grains; and in length = one finger-breadth here; 24 being the total. The Moslem system is evidently borrowed from the Roman "as" and "uncia."

266.  Names of women.

267.  Arab. "Amsa" (lit. he passed the evening) like "asbaha" (he rose in the morning) "Azhá" (he spent the forenoon) and "báta" (he spent the night), are idiomatically used for "to be in any state, to continue" without specification of time or season.

268.  Lit. "my liver;" which viscus, and not the heart, is held the seat of passion; a fancy dating from the oldest days. Theocritus says of Hercules, "In his liver Love had fixed a wound" (Idyl. xiii). In the Anthologia "Cease, Love, to wound my liver and my heart" (lib. vii.) So Horace (Odes, i. 2); his Latin Jecur and the Persian "Jigar" being evident congeners. The idea was long prevalent and we find in Shakespeare:—

Alas, then Love may be called appetite,
No motion of the liver but the palate.

269.  A marvellous touch of nature, love ousting affection; the same trait will appear in the lover and both illustrate the deep Italian saying, "Amor discende, non ascende." "The further it goes down the stronger it becomes as of grand-parent for grand-child and vice versâ."

270.  This tenet of the universal East is at once fact and unfact. As a generalism asserting that women's passion is ten times greater than man's (Pilgrimage, ii. 282), it is unfact. The world shows that while women have more philoprogenitiveness, men have more amativeness; otherwise the latter would not propose and would nurse the doll and baby. Fact, however, in low-lying lands, like Persian Mazanderan versus the Plateau; Indian Malabar compared with Marátha-land; California as opposed to Utah and especially Egypt contrasted with Arabia. In these hot-damp climates the venereal requirements and reproductive powers of the female greatly exceed those of the male; and hence the dissoluteness of morals would be phenomenal, were it not obviated by seclusion, the sabre and the revolver. In cold-dry or hot-dry mountainous lands the reverse is the case; hence polygamy there prevails whilst the low countries require polyandry in either form, legal or illegal (i.e. prostitution). I have discussed this curious point of "geographical morality" (for all morality is, like conscience, both geographical and chronological), a subject so interesting to the lawgiver, the student of ethics and the anthropologist, in "The City of the Saints." But strange and unpleasant truths progress slowly, especially in England.

271.  This morning evacuation is considered, in the East, a sine quâ non of health; and old Anglo-Indians are unanimous in their opinion of the "bari fajar" (as they mispronounce the dawn-clearance). The natives of India, Hindús (pagans) and Hindís (Moslems), unlike Europeans, accustom themselves to evacuate twice a day, evening as well as morning. This may, perhaps, partly account for their mildness and effeminacy; for:—

C'est la constipation qui rend l'homme rigoureux.

The English, since the first invasion of cholera, in October, 1831, are a different race from their costive grandparents who could not dine without a "dinner-pill." Curious to say the clyster is almost unknown to the people of Hindostan although the barbarous West Africans use it daily to "wash 'um belly," as the Bonney-men say. And, as Sonnini notes, to propose the process in Egypt under the Beys might have cost a Frankish medico his life.

272.  The Egyptian author cannot refrain from this characteristic polissonnerie; and reading it out is always followed by a roar of laughter. Even serious writers like Al-Hariri do not, as I have noted, despise the indecency.

273.  "Long beard and little wits," is a saying throughout the East where the Kausaj (= man with thin, short beard) is looked upon as cunning and tricksy. There is a venerable Joe Miller about a schoolmaster who, wishing to singe his long beard short, burnt it off and his face to boot:—which reminded him of the saying. A thick beard is defined as one which wholly conceals the skin; and in ceremonial ablution it must be combed out with the fingers till the water reach the roots. The Sunnat, or practice of the Prophet, was to wear the beard not longer than one hand and two fingers' breadth. In Persian "Kúseh" (thin-beard) is an insulting term opposed to "Khush-rísh," a well-bearded man. The Iranian growth is perhaps the finest in the world, often extending to the waist; but it gives infinite trouble, requiring, for instance, a bag when travelling. The Arab beard is often composed of two tufts on the chin-sides and straggling hairs upon the cheeks; and this is a severe mortification, especially to Shaykhs and elders, who not only look upon the beard as one of man's characteristics, but attach a religious importance to the appendage. Hence the enormity of Kamar al-Zaman's behaviour. The Persian festival of the vernal equinox was called Kuseh-nishín (Thin-beard sitting). An old man with one eye paraded the streets on an ass with a crow in one hand and a scourge and fan in the other, cooling himself, flogging the bystanders and crying heat! heat! (garmá! garmá!). For other particulars see Richardson (Dissertation, p. lii.). This is the Italian Giorno delle Vecchie, Thursday in Mid-Lent, March 12 (1885), celebrating the death of Winter and the birth of Spring.

274.  I quote Torrens (p. 400) as these lines have occurred in Night xxxviii.

275.  Moslems have only two names for week days, Friday, Al-Jum'ah or meeting-day, and Al-Sabt, Sabbath-day, that is Saturday. The others are known by numbers after Quaker fashion with us, the usage of Portugal and Scandinavia.

276.  Our last night.

277.  Arab. "Tayf" = phantom, the nearest approach to our "ghost," that queer remnant of Fetishism imbedded in Christianity; the phantasma, the shade (not the soul) of the dead. Hence the accurate Niebuhr declares, "apparitions (i.e., of the departed) are unknown in Arabia." Haunted houses are there tenanted by Ghuls, Jinns and a host of supernatural creatures; but not by ghosts proper; and a man may live years in Arabia before he ever hears of the "Tayf." With the Hindus it is otherwise (Pilgrimage iii. 144.) Yet the ghost, the embodied fear of the dead and of death is common, in a greater or less degree, to all peoples; and, as modern Spiritualism proves, that ghost is not yet laid.

278.  Mr. Payne (iii. 133,) omits the lines which are à propos de rien and read much like "nonsense verses." I retain them simply because they are in the text.

279.  The first two couplets are the quatrain (or octave) in Night xxxv.

280.  Arab. "Ar'ar," the Heb. "Aroer," which Luther and the A. V. translate "heath." The modern Aramaic name is "Lizzáb" (Unexplored Syria, i. 68).

281.  In the old version and the Bresl. Edit. (iii. 220) the Princess beats the "Kahramánah," but does not kill her.

282.  This is still the popular Eastern treatment of the insane.

283.  Pers. Marz-bán = Warden of the Marches, Margrave. The foster-brother in the East is held dear as, and often dearer than, kith and kin.


Post mediam noctem visus, quum somnia vera.
(Horace Sat. i. 10, 33.)

The moderns believe most in the dawn-dream.

285.  The Bresl. Edit. (iii. 223) and Galland have "Torf:" Lane (ii. 115) "El-Tarf."

286.  Arab. "Maghzal;" a more favourite comparison is with a tooth-pick. Both are used by Nizami and Al-Hariri, the most "elegant" of Arab writers.

287.  These form a Kasídah, Ode or Elegy = rhymed couplets numbering more than thirteen: if shorter it is called a "Ghazal." I have not thought it necessary to preserve the monorhyme.

288.  Sulaymá dim. of Salmá = any beautiful woman: Rabáb = the viol mostly single-stringed: Tan'oum = she who is soft and gentle. These fictitious names are for his old flames.

289.  i.e. wine. The distich is highly fanciful and the conceits would hardly occur to a Western.

290.  Arab. "Andam," a term applied to Brazil-wood (also called "Bakkam") and to "dragon's blood," but not, I think, to tragacanth, the "goat's thorn," which does not dye. Andam is often mentioned in The Nights.

291.  The superior merit of the first (explorer, etc.) is a lieu commun with Arabs. So Al-Hariri in Preface quotes his predecessor:—

Justly of praise the price I pay;
The praise is his who leads the way.

292.  There were two Lukmans, of whom more in a future page.

293.  This symbolic action is repeatedly mentioned in The Nights.

294.  Arab. "Shakhs" = a person, primarily a dark spot. So "Sawád" = blackness, in Al-Hariri means a group of people who darken the ground by their shade.

295.  The first bath after sickness, I have said, is called "Ghusl al-Sihhah,"—the Washing of Health.

296.  The words "malady" and "disease" are mostly avoided during these dialogues as ill-omened words which may bring on a relapse.

297.  Solomon's carpet of green silk which carried him and all his host through the air is a Talmudic legend generally accepted in Al-Islam though not countenanced by the Koran, chapt. xxvii. When the "gnat's wing" is mentioned, the reference is to Nimrod who, for boasting that he was lord of all, was tortured during four hundred years by a gnat sent by Allah up his ear or nostril.

298.  The absolute want of morality and filial affection in the chaste young man are supposed to be caused by the violence of his passion, and he would be pardoned because he "loved much."

299.  I have noticed the geomantic process in my "History of Sindh" (chapt. vii.). It is called "Zarb al-Raml" (strike of sand, the French say "frapper le sable") because the rudest form is to make on the ground dots at haphazard, usually in four lines one above the other: these are counted and, if even-numbered, two are taken (* *); if odd one (*); and thus the four lines will form a scheme say

* *
* *

This is repeated three times, producing the same number of figures; and then the combination is sought in an explanatory table or, if the practitioner be expert, he pronounces off-hand. The Nights speak of a "Takht Raml" or a board, like a schoolboy's slate, upon which the dots are inked instead of points in sand. The moderns use a "Kura'h," or oblong die, upon whose sides the dots, odd and even, are marked; and these dice are hand-thrown to form the figure. By way of complication Geomancy is mixed up with astrology and then it becomes a most complicated kind of ariolation and an endless study. "Napoleon's Book of Fate," a chap-book which appeared some years ago, was Geomancy in its simplest and most ignorant shape. For the rude African form see my Mission to Dahome, i. 332; and for that of Darfour, pp. 360-69 of Shaykh Mohammed's Voyage before quoted.

300.  Translators understand this of writing marriage contracts; I take it in a more general sense.

301.  These lines are repeated from Night lxxv.: with Mr. Payne's permission I give his rendering (iii. 153) by way of variety.

302.  The comparison is characteristically Arab.

303.  Not her "face": the head, and especially the back of the head, must always be kept covered, even before the father.

304.  Arab. "Siwák" = a tooth-stick; "Siwá-ka" = lit. other than thou.

305.  Arab. "Arák" = tooth-stick of the wild caper-tree; "Ará-ka" lit. = I see thee. The capparis spinosa is a common desert-growth and the sticks about a span long (usually called Miswák), are sold in quantities at Meccah after being dipped in Zemzem water. In India many other woods are used, date-tree, Salvadora, Achyrantes, phyllanthus, etc. Amongst Arabs peculiar efficacy accompanies the tooth-stick of olive, "the tree springing from Mount Sinai" (Koran xxiii. 20); and Mohammed would use no other, because it prevents decay and scents the mouth. Hence Koran, chapt. xcv. 1. The "Miswák" is held with the unused end between the ring-finger and minimus, the two others grasp the middle and the thumb is pressed against the back close to the lips. These articles have long been sold at the Medical Hall near the "Egyptian Hall," Piccadilly. They are better than our unclean tooth-brushes because each tooth gets its own especial rubbing, not a general sweep; at the same time the operation is longer and more troublesome. In parts of Africa as well as Asia many men walk about with the tooth-stick hanging by a string from the neck.

306.  The "Mehari," of which the Algerine-French speak, are the dromedaries bred by the Mahrah tribe of Al-Yaman, the descendants of Mahrat ibn Haydán. They are covered by small wild camels (?) called Al-Húsh, found between Oman and Al-Shihr: others explain the word to mean "stallions of the Jinns," and term those savage and supernatural animals, "Najáib al-Mahriyah"—nobles of the Mahrah.

307.  Arab. "Khaznah" = a thousand purses; now about £5000. It denotes a large sum of money, like the "Badrah," a purse containing 10,000 dirhams of silver (Al-Hariri), or 80,000 (Burckhardt Prov. 380); whereas the "Nisáb" is a moderate sum of money, gen. 20 gold dinars = 200 silver dirhams.

308.  As The Nights show, Arabs admire slender forms; but the hips and hinder cheeks must be highly developed and the stomach fleshy rather than lean. The reasons are obvious. The Persians who exaggerate everything say e.g. (Husayn Váiz in the Anvár-i-Suhayli):—

How paint her hips and waist? Who saw
A mountain (Koh) dangling to a straw (káh)?

In Antar his beloved Abla is a tamarisk (T. Orientalis). Others compare with the palm-tree (Solomon), the Cypress (Persian, esp. Hafiz and Firdausi) and the Arák or wild Capparis (Arab.).

309.  Ubi aves ibi angeli. All African travellers know that a few birds flying about the bush, and a few palm-trees waving in the wind, denote the neighbourhood of a village or a camp (where angels are scarce). The reason is not any friendship for man but because food, animal and vegetable, is more plentiful. Hence Albatrosses, Mother Carey's (Mater Cara, the Virgin) chickens, and Cape pigeons follow ships.

310.  The stanza is called Al-Mukhammas = cinquains; the quatrains and the "bob," or "burden," always preserve the same consonance. It ends with a Koranic lieu commun of Moslem morality.

311.  Moslem port towns usually have (or had) only two gates. Such was the case with Bayrut, Tyre, Sidon and a host of others; the faubourg-growth of modern days has made these obselete. The portals much resemble the entrances of old Norman castles—Arques for instance. Pilgrimage, i. 185.

312.  Arab. "Lisám"; before explained.

313.  i.e. Life of Souls (persons, etc.).

314.  Arab. "Insánu-há" = her (i.e. their) man: i.e. the babes of the eyes: the Assyrian Ishon, dim. of Ish = Man; which the Hebrews call "Bábat" or "Bit" (the daughter); the Arabs "Bubu (or Hadakat) al-Ayn"; the Persians "Mardumak-i-chashm" (mannikin of the eye); the Greeks κόρη and the Latins pupa, pupula, pupilla. I have noted this in the Lyricks of Camoens (p. 449).

315.  Ma'an bin Zá'idah, a soldier and statesman of the eighth century.

316.  The mildness of the Caliph Mu'áwiyah, the founder of the Ommiades, proverbial among the Arabs, much resembles the "meekness" of Moses the Lawgiver, which commentators seem to think has been foisted into Numbers xii. 3.

317.  Showing that there had been no consummation of the marriage which would have demanded "Ghusl", or total ablution, at home or in the Hammam.

318.  have noticed this notable desert-growth.

319.  The "situation" is admirable, solution appearing so difficult and catastrophe imminent.

320.  This quatrain occurs in Night ix.: I have borrowed from Torrens (p. 79) by way of variety.

321.  The belief that young pigeon's blood resembles the virginal discharge is universal; but the blood most resembling man's is that of the pig which in other points is so very human. In our day Arabs and Hindus rarely submit to inspection the nuptial sheet as practised by the Israelites and Persians. The bride takes to bed a white kerchief with which she staunches the blood and next morning the stains are displayed in the Harem. In Darfour this is done by the bridegroom. "Prima Venus debet esse cruenta," say the Easterns with much truth, and they have no faith in our complaisant creed which allows the hymen-membrane to disappear by any but one accident.

322.  Not meaning the two central divisions commanded by the King and his Wazir.

323.  Ironicè.

324.  Arab. "Rasy" = praising in a funeral sermon.

325.  Arab. "Manáyá," plur. of Maniyat = death. Mr. R. S. Poole (the Academy, April 26, 1879) reproaches Mr. Payne for confounding "Muniyat" (desire) with "Maniyat" (death); but both are written the same except when vowel-points are used.

326.  Arab. "Iddat," alluding to the months of celibacy which, according to Moslem law, must be passed by a divorced woman before she can re-marry.

327.  Arab. "Talák bi'l-Salásah" = a triple divorce which cannot be revoked; nor can the divorcer re-marry the same woman till after consummation with another husband. This subject will continually recur.

328.  An allusion to a custom of the pagan Arabs in the days of ignorant Heathenism. The blood or brain, soul or personality of the murdered man formed a bird called Sady or Hámah (not the Humá or Humái, usually translated "phœnix") which sprang from the head, where four of the five senses have their seat, and haunted his tomb, crying continually, "Uskúni!" = Give me drink (of the slayer's blood)! and which disappeared only when the vendetta was accomplished. Mohammed forbade the belief. Amongst the Southern Slavs the cuckoo is supposed to be the sister of a murdered man ever calling for vengeance.

329.  To obtain a blessing and show how he valued it.

330.  Well-known tribes of proto-historic Arabs who flourished before the time of Abraham: see Koran (chapt. xxvi. et passim). They will be repeatedly mentioned in The Nights and notes.

331.  Arab. "Amtár"; plur. of "Matr," a large vessel of leather or wood for water, etc.

332.  Arab. "Asáfírí," so called because they attract sparrows (asáfír) a bird very fond of the ripe oily fruit. In the Romance of "Antar" Asáfír camels are beasts that fly like birds in fleetness. The reader must not confound the olives of the text with the hard unripe berries ("little plums pickled in stale") which appear at English tables; nor wonder that bread and olives are the beef-steak and potatoes of many Mediterranean peoples. It is an excellent diet, the highly oleaginous fruit supplying the necessary carbon.

333.  Arab. "Tamar al-Hindi" = the "Indian-date," whence our word "Tamarind." A sherbet of the pods, being slightly laxative, is much drunk during the great heats; and the dried fruit, made into small round cakes, is sold in the bazars. The traveller is advised not to sleep under the tamarind's shade, which is infamous for causing ague and fever. In Sind I derided the "native nonsense," passed the night under an "Indian date-tree" and awoke with a fine specimen of ague which lasted me a week.

334.  Moslems are not agreed upon the length of the Day of Doom when all created things, marshalled by the angels, await final judgement; the different periods named are 40 years, 70, 300 and 50,000. Yet the trial itself will last no longer than while one may milk an ewe, or than "the space between two milkings of a she-camel." This is bringing down Heaven to Earth with a witness; but, after all, the Heaven of all faiths, including "Spiritualism," the latest development, is only an earth more or less glorified even as the Deity is humanity more or less perfected.

335.  Arab. "Al-Kamaráni," lit. "the two moons." Arab rhetoric prefers it to "Shamsáni," or "two suns," because lighter (akhaff), to pronounce. So, albeit Omar was less worthy than Abu-Bakr the two are called "Al-Omaráni," in vulgar parlance, Omarayn.

336.  Alluding to the angels who appeared to the Sodomites in the shape of beautiful youths (Koran xi).

337.  Koran xxxiii. 38.

338.  "Niktu-hu taklídan" i.e. not the real thing (with a woman). It may also mean "by his incitement of me." All this scene is written in the worst form of Persian-Egyptian blackguardism, and forms a curious anthropological study. The "black joke" of the true and modest wife is inimitable.

339.  Arab. "Jamíz" (in Egypt "Jammayz") = the fruit of the true sycomore (F. Sycomorus) a magnificent tree which produces a small tasteless fig, eaten by the poorer classes in Egypt and by monkeys. The "Tín" or real fig here is the woman's parts; the "mulberry-fig," the anus. Martial (i. 65) makes the following distinction:—

Dicemus ficus, quas scimus in arbore nasci,
Dicemus ficos, Cæciliane, tuos.

And Modern Italian preserves a difference between fico and fica.

340.  Arab. "Ghániyat Azárá" (plur. of Azrá = virgin): the former is properly a woman who despises ornaments and relies on "beauty unadorned" (i.e. in bed).

341.  "Nihil usitatius apud monachos, cardinales, sacrificulos," says Johannes de la Casa Beneventius Episcopus, quoted by Burton Anat. of Mel. lib. iii. Sect. 2; and the famous epitaph on the Jesuit,

Ci-gît un Jesuite:
Passant, serre les fesses et passe vite!

342.  Arab. "Kiblah" = the fronting-place of prayer, Meccah for Moslems, Jerusalem for Jews and early Christians. See Pilgrimage (ii. 321) for the Moslem change from Jerusalem to Meccah and ibid. ii. 213 for the way in which the direction was shown.

343.  The Koran says (chapt. ii.): "Your wives are your tillage: go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner so ever ye will." Usually this is understood as meaning in any posture, standing or sitting, lying, backwards or forwards. Yet there is a popular saying about the man whom the woman rides (vulg. St. George, in France, le Postillon); "Cursed he who maketh woman Heaven and himself earth!" Some hold the Koranic passage to have been revealed in confutation of the Jews, who pretended that if a man lay with his wife backwards, he would beget a cleverer child. Others again understand it of preposterous venery, which is absurd: every ancient lawgiver framed his code to increase the true wealth of the people—population—and severely punished all processes, like onanism, which impeded it. The Persians utilise the hatred of women for such misuse when they would force a wife to demand a divorce and thus forfeit her claim to Mahr (dowry); they convert them into catamites till, after a month or so, they lose all patience and leave the house.

344.  Koran li. 9: "He will be turned aside from the Faith (or Truth) who shall be turned aside by the Divine decree;" alluding, in the text, to the preposterous venery her lover demands.

345.  Arab. "Futúh" meaning openings, and also victories, benefits. The lover congratulates her on her mortifying self in order to please him.

346.  "And the righteous work will be exalt": (Koran xxxv. 11) applied ironically.

347.  A prolepsis of Tommy Moore:—

Your mother says, my little Venus,
There's something not quite right between us,
And you're in fault as much as I,
Now, on my soul, my little Venus,
I swear 'twould not be right between us,
To let your mother tell a lie.

But the Arab is more moral than Mr. Little, as he proposes to repent.

348.  Arab. "Khunsa" flexible or flaccid, from Khans = bending inwards, i.e. the mouth of a water-skin before drinking. Like Mukhannas, it is also used for an effeminate man, a passive sodomite and even for a eunuch. Easterns still believe in what Westerns know to be an impossibility, human beings with the parts and proportions of both sexes equally developed and capable of reproduction; and Al-Islam even provides special rules for them (Pilgrimage iii. 237). We hold them to be Buffon's fourth class of (duplicate) monsters, belonging essentially to one or the other sex, and related to its opposite only by some few characteristics. The old Greeks dreamed, after their fashion, a beautiful poetic dream of a human animal uniting the contradictory beauties of man and woman. The duality of the generative organs seems an old Egyptian tradition; at least we find it in Genesis (i. 27), where the image of the Deity is created male and female, before man was formed out of the dust of the ground (ii. 7). The old tradition found its way to India (if the Hindus did not borrow the idea from the Greeks); and one of the forms of Mahadeva, the third person of their triad, is entitled "Ardhanárí" = the Half-woman, which has suggested to them some charming pictures. Europeans, seeing the left breast conspicuously feminine, have indulged in silly surmises about the "Amazons."

349.  This is a mere phrase for our "dying of laughter": the queen was on her back. And as Easterns sit on carpets, their falling back is very different from the same movement off a chair.

350.  Arab. "Ismid," the eye-powder before noticed.

351.  When the Caliph (e.g. Al-Tá'i li'llah) bound a banner to a spear and handed it to an officer, he thereby appointed him Sultan or Viceregent.

352.  Arab. "Sháib al-ingház" = lit. a gray beard who shakes head in disapproval.

353.  Arab. "Ayát" = the Hebr. "Ototh," signs, wonders or Koranic verses.

354.  The Chapter "Al-Ikhlás" i.e. clearing (oneself from any faith but that of Unity) is No. cxii. and runs thus:—

Say, He is the One God!
The sempiternal God,
He begetteth not, nor is He begot,
And unto Him the like is not.

It is held to be equal in value to one-third of the Koran, and is daily used in prayer. Mr. Rodwell makes it the tenth.

355.  The Lady Budur shows her noble blood by not objecting to her friend becoming her Zarrat (sister-wife). This word is popularly derived from "Zarar" = injury; and is vulgarly pronounced in Egypt "Durrah" sounding like Durrah = a parrot (see Burckhardt's mistake in Prov. 314). The native proverb says, "Ayshat al-durrah murrah," the sister-wife hath a bitter life. We have no English equivalent; so I translate indifferently co-wife, co-consort, sister-wife or sister in wedlock.

356.  Lane preserves the article "El-Amjad" and "El-As'ad;" which is as necessary as to say "the John" or "the James," because neo-Latins have "il Giovanni" or "il Giacomo." In this matter of the article, however, it is impossible to lay down a universal rule: in some cases it must be preserved and only practise in the language can teach its use. For instance, it is always present in Al-Bahrayn and al-Yaman; but not necessarily so with Irak and Najd.

357.  It is hard to say why this ugly episode was introduced. It is a mere false note in a tune pretty enough.

358.  The significance of this action will presently appear.

359.  An "Hadís."

360.  Arab. "Sabb" = using the lowest language of abuse, chiefly concerning women-relatives and their reproductive parts.

361.  The reader will note in the narration concerning the two Queens the parallelism of the Arab's style which recalls that of the Hebrew poets. Strings of black silk are plaited into the long locks (an "idiot-fringe" being worn over the brow) because a woman is cursed "who joineth her own hair to the hair of another" (especially human hair). Sending the bands is a sign of affectionate submission; and, in extremest cases the hair itself is sent.

362.  i.e., suffer similar pain at the spectacle, a phrase often occurring.

363.  i.e., when the eye sees not, the heart grieves not.

364.  i.e., unto Him we shall return, a sentence recurring in almost every longer chapter of the Koran.

365.  Arab. "Kun," the creative Word (which, by the by, proves the Koran to be an uncreated Logos); the full sentence being "Kun fa kána" = Be! and it became. The origin is evidently, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (Gen. i. 3); a line grand in its simplicity and evidently borrowed from the Egyptians; even as Yahveh (Jehovah) from "Ankh" = He who lives (Brugsch Hist. ii. 34).

366.  i.e. but also for the life and the so-called "soul."

367.  Arab. "Layáli" = lit. nights which, I have said, is often applied to the whole twenty-four hours. Here it is used in the sense of "fortune" or "fate;" like "days" and "days and nights."

368.  Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr a nephew of Ayishah, who had rebuilt the Ka'abah in A.H. 64 (A.D. 683), revolted (A.D. 680) against Yezid and was proclaimed Caliph at Meccah. He was afterwards killed (A.D. 692) by the famous or infamous Hajjáj general of Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, the fifth Ommiade, surnamed "Sweat of a stone" (skin-flint) and "Father of Flies," from his foul breath. See my Pilgrimage, etc. iii., 192-194, where are explained the allusions to the Ka'abah and the holy Black Stone.

369.  These lines are part of an elegy on the downfall of one of the Moslem dynasties in Spain, composed in the twelfth century by Ibn Abdun al-Andalúsi. The allusion is to the famous conspiracy of the Khárijites (the first sectarians in Mohammedanism) to kill Ali, Mu'awiyah and Amru (so written but pronounced "Amr") al-As, in order to abate intestine feuds in Al-Islam. Ali was slain with a sword-cut by Ibn Muljam a name ever damnable amongst the Persians; Mu'awiyah escaped with a wound and Kharijah, the Chief of Police at Fustat or old Cairo was murdered by mistake for Amru. After this the sectarian wars began.

370.  Arab. "Saráb" = (Koran, chapt. xxiv.) the reek of the Desert, before explained. It is called "Lama," the shine, the loom, in Al-Hariri. The world is compared with the mirage, the painted eye and the sword that breaks in the sworder's hand.

371.  Arab. "Dunyá," with the common alliteration "dániyah" (= Pers. "dún"), in prose as well as poetry means the things or fortune of this life opp. to "Akhirah" = future life.

372.  Arab. "Walgh," a strong expression primarily denoting the lapping of dogs; here and elsewhere "to swill, saufen."

373.  The lines are repeated from Night ccxxi. I give Lane's version (ii. 162) by way of contrast and—warning.

374.  "Sáhirah" is the place where human souls will be gathered on Doom-day: some understand by it the Hell Sa'ír (No. iv.) intended for the Sabians or the Devils generally.

375.  His eyes are faded like Jacob's which, after weeping for Joseph, "became white with mourning" (Koran, chapt. xxi.). It is a stock comparison.

376.  The grave.

377.  Arab. "Sawwán" (popularly pronounced Suwán) = "Syenite" from Syrene; generally applied to silex, granite or any hard stone.

378.  A proceeding fit only for thieves and paupers: "Alpinism" was then unknown. "You come from the mountain" (al-Jabal) means, "You are a clod-hopper"; and "I will sit upon the mountain" = turn anchorite or magician. (Pilgrimage i. 106).

379.  Corresponding with wayside chapels in Catholic countries. The Moslem form would be either a wall with a prayer-niche (Mihráb) fronting Meccah-wards or a small domed room. These little oratories are often found near fountains, streams or tree-clumps where travellers would be likely to alight. I have described one in Sind ("Scinde or the Unhappy Valley" i. 79); and have noted that scrawling on the walls is even more common in the East than in the West; witness the monuments of old Egypt bescribbled by the Greeks and Romans. Even the paws of the Sphinx are covered with such graffiti; and those of Ipsambul or Abu Simbal have proved treasures to epigraphists.

380.  In tales this characterises a Persian; and Hero Rustam is always so pictured.