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Title: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night—Volume 06 [Supplement]

Translator: Sir Richard Francis Burton

Release date: January 25, 2021 [eBook #64384]

Language: English

Credits: 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’sHistory 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.


    Note to the Linguist-Dame 112
    The Tale of Attaf by Alexander J. Cotheal 197
Appendix I.
Appendix II.
Appendix III.
Appendix IV.


This volume has been entitled “THE NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS,” a name now hackneyed because applied to its contents as far back as 1819 in Henry Weber’s “Tales of the East,” (Edinburgh, Ballantyne).

The original MS. was brought to France by Al-Káhin Diyúnisiús Sháwísh, a Syrian priest of the Congregation of St. Basil, whose name has been Frenchified to Don Dennis (or Denys) Chavis. He was a student at the European College of Al-Kadís Ithanásiús (St. Athanasius) in Rúmiyah the Grand (Constantinople) and was summoned by the Minister of State, Baron de Breteuil, to Paris, where he presently became “Teacher of the Arabic Tongue at the College of the Sultán, King of Fransá in Bárís (Paris) the Great.” He undertook (probably to supply the loss of Galland’s ivth MS. volume) a continuation of The Nights (proper), and wrote with his own hand the last two leaves of the third tome, which ends with three instead of four couplets: thus he completed Kamar al-Zamán (Night cclxxxi.–cccxxix.) and the following tales:—

The History of the Sleeper and the Waker (Nights cccxxx.–ccclxxix.).
The History of Warlock and the Cook (ccclxxx.–cd.).
The History of the Prisoner in the Bímáristán or Madhouse (cd.–cdxxvii.).
The History of Ghánim the Thrall o’ Love (cdxxviii.–cdlxxiv.).
The History of Zayn al-Asnám and the King of the Jánn (cdlxxv.–cdxci.).
The History of Alaeddin (cdxcii.–dlxix.), and
The History of Ten Wazirs (dlxx.).

The copy breaks off at folio 320, ro in the middle of Night dcxxxi., iiand the date (given at the end of Night cdxxvii., folio 139) is Shubát (February), A.D. 1787. This is the MS. numbered Supplément Arabe, No. 1716.

In Paris, Dom Chavis forgathered with M. Cazotte, a littérateur of the category “light,” an ingénieux écrivain, distinguished for “gaiety, delicacy, wit and Attic elegance,” and favorably known for (inter alia) his poem “Olivier,” his “Diable Amoureux,” “The Lord Impromptu,” and a travesty of The Nights called “The Thousand and One Fopperies.” The two agreed to collaborate, the Syrian translating the Arabic into French, and the Parisian metamorphosing the manner and matter to “the style and taste of the day”; that is to say, working up an exaggerated imitation, a caricature, of Galland. The work appeared, according to Mr. A. G. Ellis, of the British Museum, who kindly sent me these notes, in Le Cabinet | des Fées, | ou | Collection choisie | des Contes des Fées, | et autres contes merveilleux, | ornés de figures. | Tome trente-huitième-(quarante-unième). | À Genève, | chez Bárde, Manget et Compagnie, | Imprimeurs-Libraires. | Et se trouve à Paris | Rue et Hôtel Serpente. | 1788–89, 8o[1] |. The half-title is Les Veilliées Persanes, and on the second title-page is Les Veilliées | du | Sultan Schahriar, avec | la Sultane Scheherazade; | Histoires incroyables, amusantes, et morales, | traduites de l’Arabe par M. Cazotte et | D. Chavis. Faisant suite aux mille et une Nuits. | Ornées de 12 belles gravures. | Tome premier (—quatrième) | à Genève, | chez Barde, Manget et Compe | 1793. This 8vo.[2] bears the abridged title, La Suite des mille et une Nuits, Contes Arabes, traduits par Dom Chavis et M. Cazotte. The work was printed with illustrations at Geneva and in Paris, MDCCLXXXVIII., and formed the last four volumes (xxxviii.–xli.) of the great Recueil, the Cabinet des Fées, published at Geneva from A.D. 1788 to 1793.

iiiThe following is a complete list of the histories, as it appears in the English translation, lengthily entitled, “Arabian Tales; | or, | a Continuation | of the | Arabian Nights Entertainments. | Consisting of | Stories | Related by the | Sultana of the Indies | to divert her Husband from the Performance of a rash vow; | Exhibiting | A most interesting view of the Religion, Laws, | Manners, Customs, Arts, and Literature | of the | Nations of the East, | And | Affording a rich Fund of the most pleasing Amusement, | which fictitious writings can supply. | In Four Volumes | newly translated from the original Arabic into French | By Dom Chavis | a native Arab and M. Cazotte, Member | of the Academy of Dijon. | And translated from the French into English | By Robert Heron. | Edinburgh: | Printed for Bell and Bradfute, J. Dickson, E. Balfour, | and P. Hill, Edinburgh; | and G. G. J. and J. Robinson, London | MDCCXCII.

The Robber-Caliph; or, adventures of Haroun-Alraschid, with the Princess of Persia and the fair Zutulbe.[3]
The Power of Destiny; or, Story of the Journey of Giafar to Damascus, comprehending the Adventures of Chebib (Habíb) and his family.
The Story of Halechalbé (Ali Chelebí) and the Unknown Lady; or, the Bimaristan.
The Idiot; or, Story of Xailoun.[4]
The Adventures of Simustafa (=“Sí” for Sídí “Mustafa”) and the Princess Ilsatilsone (Lizzat al-Lusún = Delight of Tongues?).
Adventures of Alibengiad, Sultan of Herat, and of the False Birds of Paradise.
History of Sankarib and his two Viziers.
History of the Family of the Schebandad (Shahbandar = Consul) of Surat.
The Lover of the Stars: or, Abil Hasan’s Story.
History of Captain Tranchemont and his Brave Companions: Debil Hasen’s Story.
The Dream of Valid Hasan.
Story of Bohetzad and his Ten Viziers (with eleven subsidiary tales).[5]
Story of Habib and Dorathal-Goase (=Durrat al-Ghawwás the Pearl of the Diver); or, the Arabian Knight.
Story of Illabousatrous (?) of Schal-Goase, and of Camarilzaman.
Story of the Lady of the Beautiful Tresses.
The History of Habib and Dorathal-Goase; or, the Arabian Knight continued.
History of Maugraby (Al-Maghrabi = the Moor); or, the Magician.
History of Halaiaddin (’Alà al-Din, Alaeddin, Aladdin), Prince of Persia.
History of Yemaladdin (Jamál al-Dín), Prince of Great Katay.
History of Baha-Ildur, Prince of Cinigae.
History of Badrildinn (Badr al-Dín), Prince of Tartary.
History of the Amours of Maugraby with Auhata al-Kawakik (=Ukht al-Kawákib, Sister of the Planets), daughter of the King of Egypt.
History of the Birth of Maugraby.

Of these thirty-four only five (MS. iv., vi., vii., xxvii. and xxxii.) have not been found in the original Arabic.

Public opinion was highly favourable to the “Suite” when first issued. Orientalism was at that time new to Europe, and the general was startled by its novelties, e.g. by “Women wearing drawers and trousers like their husbands, and men arrayed in loose robes like their wives, yet at the same time cherishing, as so many goats, each a venerable length of beard.” (Heron’s Preface.) They found its “phænomena so remote from the customs and manners of Europe, that, when exhibited as entering into the ordinary system of human affairs, they could not fail to confer a considerable share of amusive novelty on the characters and events with which they were connected.” (Ditto, Preface.) Jonathan Scott roundly pronounced the continuation a forgery. Dr. Patrick Russell (History of Aleppo, vol. i. 385) had no good opinion of it, and Caussin de Perceval (père, vol. viii., p. 40–46) declared the version éloignée du goût Orientale; yet he re-translated the tales from the original Arabic (Continués, Paris, 1806), and in this he was followed by Gauttier, while Southey borrowed the idea of his vbeautiful romance, Thalaba the Destroyer, now in Lethe from the “History of Maughraby.” Mr. A. G. Ellis considers these tales as good as the old “Arabian Nights,” and my friend Mr. W. F. Kirby, (Appendix to The Nights, vol. x. p. 476), quite agrees with him that Chavis and Cazotte’s Continuation is well worthy of republication in its entirety. It remained for the Edinburgh Review, in one of those ignorant and scurrilous articles with which it periodically outrages truth and good taste (No. 535, July, 1886), to state, “Cazotte published his Suite des Mille et une Nuits, a barefaced forgery, in 1785.” A barefaced forgery! when the original of twenty-eight tales out of thirty-four are perfectly well known, and when sundry of these appear in MSS. of “The Thousand Nights and a Night.”

The following is a list of the Tales (widely differing from those of Chavis and Cazotte) which appeared in the version of Caussin de Perceval.


Les | Mille et une Nuits, | Contes Arabes, | Traduits en Français | Par M. Galland, | Membre de l’Académie des Inscriptions et | Belles-Lettres, Professeur de Langue Arabe | au Collége Royal; | Continués | Par M. Caussin de Perceval, | Professeur de Langue Arabe au Collége Impérial. | Tome huitième. | à Paris, | chez Le Normant, Imp.-Libraire, | Rue des Prêtres Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. | 1806.

Nouvelles aventures du calife Haroun Alraschid; ou histoire de la petite fille de Chosroès Anouschirvan.
(Gauttier, Histoire du Khalyfe de Baghdad: vol. vii. 117.)
Le Bimaristan, ou histoire du jeune Marchand de Bagdad et de la dame inconnue.
Le médecin et le jeune traiteur de Bagdad.
Histoire du Sage Hicar.
(Gauttier, Histoire du Sage Heycar, vii. 313).
Histoire du roi Azadbakht, ou des dix Visirs.
Histoire du marchand devenu malheureux.
Histoire du marchand imprudent et de ses deux enfants.
Histoire d’ Abousaber, ou de l’homme patient.
Histoire du prince Behezad.
Histoire du roi Dadbin, ou de la vertueuse Aroua.
Histoire du roi Bakhtzeman. vi
Histoire du roi Khadidan.
Histoire du roi Beherkerd.
Histoire du roi Ilanschah et d’Abouteman.
Histoire du roi Ibrahim et de son fils.
Histoire du Soleïman-schah.
Histoire de l’esclave sauvé du supplice.
Attaf ou l’homme généreux.
(Gauttier, Histoire de l’habitant de Damas; vii. 234.)
Histoire du Prince Habib et de Dorrat Algoase.
Histoire du roi Sapor, souverain des îles Bellour; de Camar Alzemann, fille du génie Alatrous, et Dorrat Algoase.
(Gauttier, vii. 64.)
Histoire de Naama et de Naam.
Histoire d’Alaeddin.
Histoire d’Abou Mohammed Alkeslan.
Histoire d’Aly Mohammed le joaillier, ou du faux calife.

I need hardly offer any observations upon these tales, as they have been discussed in the preceding pages.

By an error of the late M. Reinaud (for which see p. 39 Histoire d’ ’Alâ al-Dîn by M. H. Zotenberg, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, MDCCCLXXXVIII,) the MS. Supplément Arabe, No. 1716, in the writing of Dom Chavis has been confounded with No. 1723, which is not written by the Syrian priest but which contains the originals of the Cazotte Continuation as noted by M. C. de Perceval (Les Mille et une Nuits, etc., vol. viii. Préf. p. 17, et seqq.). It is labelled Histoires tirées la plupart des Mille et une Nuits | Supplément Arabe | Volume de 742 pages. The thick quarto measures centimètres 20½ long by 16 wide; the binding is apparently Italian and the paper is European, but the filegrane or water-mark, which is of three varieties, a coronet, a lozenge-shaped bunch of circles and a nondescript, may be Venetian or French. It contains 765 pages, paginated after European fashion, but the last eleven leaves are left blank reducing the number written to 742; and the terminal note, containing the date, is on the last leaf. Each page numbers 15 lines and each leaf has its catchword (mot de rappel). It is not ordered by “karrás” or viiquires; but is written upon 48 sets of 4 double leaves. The text is in a fair Syrian hand, but not so flowing as that of No. 1716, by Sháwísh himself, which the well-known Arabist, Baron de Slane, described as Bonne écriture orientale de la fin du XVIIIe Siècle. The colophon conceals or omits the name of the scribe, but records the dates of incept Kánún IId. (the Syrian winter-month January) A.D. 1772; and of conclusion Naysán (April) of the same year. It has head-lines disposed recto and verso, e.g.,

Haykár —— Al-Hakím,

and parentheses in the text after European fashion with an imperfect list at the beginning. A complete index is furnished at the end. The following are the order and pagination of the fourteen stories:—

1. The King of Persia and his Ten Wazirs pp. 1 to 62
2. Say of the Sage Haykár 140
3. History of King Sabúr and the Three Wise Men 183
4. The Daughter of Kisrà the King (Al Bundukâni) 217
5. The Caliph and the Three Kalandars 266
6. Julnár the Sea-born 396
7. The Duenna, the Linguist-dame and the King’s Son 476
8. The Tale of the Warlock and the young Cook of Baghdad 505
9. The Man in the Bímáristán or Madhouse 538
10. The Tale of Attáf the Syrian 588
11. The History of Sultan Habíb and Durrat al-Ghawwás 628
12. The Caliph and the Fisherman 686
13. The Cock and the Fox 718
14. The Fowl-let and the Fowler 725 to 739 (finis)

Upon these tales I would be permitted to offer a few observations. No. i. begins with a Christian formula:—“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost” (Rúhu’l-Kudus); and it is not translated, because it is a mere replica of the Ten viiiWazirs (Suppl. vol. i. 55–151). The second, containing “The Sage Haykár,” which is famous in folk-lore throughout the East, begins with the orthodox Moslem “Bismillah,” etc. “King Sapor” is prefaced by a Christian form which to the Trinitarian formula adds, “Allah being One”: this, again, is not translated, because it repeats the “Ebony Horse” (vol. v. 1). No. iv., which opens with the Bismillah, is found in the Sabbágh MS. of The Nights (see Suppl. vol. iii.) as the Histoire de Haroun al-Raschid et de la descendante de Chosroès. Albondoqani (Nights lxx.–lxxvii.). No. v., which also has the Moslem invocation, is followed by the “Caliph and the Three Kalandars,” where, after the fashion of this our MS., the episodes (vol. i., 104–130), are taken bodily from “The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad” (i. 82), and are converted into a separate History. No. vi. has no title to be translated, being a replica of the long sea-tale in vol. vii., 264. Nos. vii., viii., ix., x. and xi. lack initiatory invocation betraying Christian or Moslem provenance. No. viii. is the History of Sí Mustafá and of Shaykh Shaháb al-Dín in the Turkish Tales: it also occurs in the Sabbágh MS. (Nights ccclxxxvi.–cdviii.). The Bímáristán (No. ix.), alias Ali Chalabi (Halechalbé), has already appeared in my Suppl. vol. iv. 49. No. xii., “The Caliph and the Fisherman,” makes Harun al-Rashid the hero of the tale in “The Fisherman and the Jinni” (vol. i. 38); it calls the ensorcelled King of the Black Islands Mahmúd, and his witch of a wife Sitt al-Mulúk, and it also introduces into the Court of the Great Caliph Hasan Shumán and Ahmad al-Danaf, the prominent personages in “The Rogueries of Dalílah” (vol. vii. 144) and its sister tale (vii. 172). The two last Histories, which are ingenious enough, also lack initial formulæ.

Dr. Russell (the historian of Aleppo) brought back with him a miscellaneous collection comprising—

Al-Bundukani, or the Robber Caliph;
The Power of Destiny (Attaf the Syrian);
ixAli Chelebi, or the Bimaristan;
King Sankharib and the Sage Haykar;
Bohetzad (Azádbakht) and the Ten Wazirs; and, lastly,
Habib, or the Arabian Knight.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (ixth edit. of MDCCCLXXVI), which omits the name of Professor Galland, one of the marking Orientalists in his own day, has not ignored Jacques Cazotte, remarkable for chequered life and noble death. Born in 1720, at Dijon, where his father was Chancellor for the Province of Burgundy, he studied with the Jesuits at home; and, having passed through the finishing process in Paris, he was introduced to public life by the Administration de la Marine. He showed early taste for poetry as well as prose, and composed songs, tales, and an opera—the “Thousand and one Fopperies.” His physique is described as a tall figure, with regular features, expressive blue eyes, and fine hair, which he wore long. At twenty-seven he became a commissary in the office and was presently sent as Comptroller to the Windward Islands, including the French Colony Martinique, which then as now was famous for successful woman-kind. At these head quarters he became intimate with Père Lavalette, Superior of the S. J. Mission, and he passed some years of a pleasant and not unintellectual career. Returning to Paris on leave of absence he fell in with a country-woman and an old family friend, Madame La Poissonnier, who had been appointed head nurse to the Duke of Burgundy; and, as the child in her charge required lulling to sleep, Cazotte composed the favourite romances (ballads), Tout au beau milieu des Ardennes, and Commère Il faut chauffer le lit. These scherzi, however, brought him more note than profit, and soon afterwards he returned to Martinique.

During his second term of service Cazotte wrote his heroic-comic poem, the Roman d’Olivier, in twelve cantos, afterwards printed in Paris (2 vols. 8vo, 1765); and it was held a novel and singular composition. When the English first attacked (in 1759) Saint xPierre of Martinique, afterwards captured by Rodney in 1762, the sprightly littérateur showed abundant courage and conduct, but over-exertion injured his health, and he was again driven from his post by sickness. He learned, on landing in France, that his brother, whilome Vicar-General to M. de Choiseul, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne, had died and left him a fair estate, Pierry, near Epernay; he therefore resigned his appointment and retired with the title “Commissary-General to the Marine.” But presently he lost 50,000 écus—the whole fruit of his economies—by the speculations of Père Lavalette to whose hands he had entrusted his estates, negroes, and effects at Martinique. These had been sold and the cheques had been forwarded to the owner: the S. J., however, refused to honour them. Hence the scandal of a law-suit in which Cazotte showed much delicacy and regard for the feelings of his former tutors.

Meanwhile Cazotte had married Elizabeth Roignon, daughter to the Chief Justice of Martinique; he returned to the Parisian world with some éclat and he became an universal favourite on account of his happy wit and humour, his bonhomie, his perfect frankness, and his hearty amiability. The vogue of “Olivier” induced him to follow it up with Le Diable Amoureux, a continuation or rather parody of Voltaire’s Guerre civile de Genève: this work was so skilfully carried out that it completely deceived the world; and it was followed by sundry minor pieces which were greedily read. Unlike the esprits forts of his age, he became after a gay youthtide an ardent Christian; he made the Gospel his rule of life; and he sturdily defended his religious opinions; he had also the moral courage to enter the lists with M. de Voltaire, then the idol-in-chief of the classes and the masses.

In later life Cazotte met Dom Chavis, who was translating into a curious jargon (Arabo-Franco-Italian) certain Oriental tales; and, although he was nearing the Psalmist’s age-term of man, he agreed to “collaborate.” The Frenchman used to take the pen xiat midnight when returning from “social pleasures,” and work till 4–5 a.m. As he had prodigious facility and spontaneity he finished his part of the task in two winters. Some of the tales in the suite, especially that of “Maugraby,” are attributed wholly to his invention; and, as a rule, his aim and object were to diffuse his spiritual ideas and to write treatises on moral perfection under the form of novelle.

Cazotte, after a well-spent and honourable life, had reason to expect with calmness “the evening and ending of a fine day.” But this was not to be, the Great Revolution had burst like a hurricane over the land, and he was doomed to die a hero’s death. His character was too candid, and his disposition too honest, for times which suggested concealment. He had become one of the Illuminati, and La Harpe ascribed to him the celebrated prophecy which described the minutest events of the Great Revolution. A Royalist pur sang, he freely expressed his sentiments to his old friend Ponteau, then Secretary of the Civil List. His letters came to light shortly after the terrible day, August 10, 1792: he was summarily arrested at Pierry and brought to Paris, where he was thrown into prison. On Sept. 3, when violence again waxed rampant, he was attacked by the patriot-assassins, and was saved only by the devotion of his daughter Elizabeth, who threw herself upon the old man crying, “You shall not reach my father’s heart before piercing mine.” The courage of the noble pair commanded the admiration of the ruffians, and they were carried home in triumph.

For a few weeks the family remained unmolested, but in those days “Providence” slept and Fortune did not favour the brave. The Municipality presently decreed a second arrest, and the venerable littérateur, aged seventy-two, was sent before the revolutionary tribunal appointed to deal with the pretended offences of August 10. He was subjected to an interrogatory of thirty-six hours, during which his serenity and presence of mind never abandoned him and impressed even his accusers. But he was condemned to xiidie for the all-sufficient reason:—“It is not enough to be a good son, a good husband, a good father, one must also prove oneself a good citizen.” He spent his last hours with his confessor, wrote to his wife and children, praying his family not to beweep him, not to forget him, and never to offend against their God; and this missive, with a lock of his hair for his beloved daughter, he finally entrusted to the ghostly father. Upon the scaffold he turned to the crowd and cried, “I die as I have lived, truthful and faithful to my God and my King.” His venerable head, crowned with the white honours of age, fell on Sept. 25, 1792.

Cazotte printed many works, some of great length, as the Œuvres Morales, which filled 7 vols, 8vo. in the complete edition of 1817; and the biographers give a long list of publications, besides those above-mentioned, romantic, ethical, and spiritual, in verse and in prose. But he wrote mainly for his own pleasure, he never sought fame, and consequently his reputation never equalled his merit. His name, however, still smells sweet, passing sweet, amid the corruption and the frantic fury of his day and the memory of the witty, genial, and virtuous littérateur still blossoms in the dust.

During my visit to Paris in early 1887, M. Hermann Zotenberg was kind enough to show me the MS., No. 1723, containing the original tales of the “New Arabian Nights.” As my health did not allow me sufficient length of stay to complete my translation, Professor Houdas (for whom, see Appendix, p. 10, Suppl. vol. iii.) kindly consented to copy the excerpts required, and to explain the words and phrases which a deficiency of dictionaries and vocabularies at an outlandish port-town rendered unintelligible to me.

In translating a MS., which has never been collated or corrected and which abounds in errors of omission and commission, I have been guided by one consideration only, which is, that my first and chiefest duty to the reader is to make my book readable at the xiiisame time that it lays before him the whole matter which the text offered or ought to have offered. Hence I have not hesitated when necessary to change the order of the sentences, to delete tautological words and phrases, to suppress descriptions which are needlessly re-iterated, and in places to supply the connecting links without which the chain of narrative is weakened or broken. These are liberties which must be allowed, unless the translator’s object be to produce a mutilated version of a mutilation.

Here also I must express my cordial gratitude to Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal, Consul-General for Nicaragua, in New York. This distinguished Arabist not only sent to me across the seas his MS. containing, inter alia, “The Tale of Attaf,” he also undertook to translate it for my collection upon my distinct assurance that its many novelties of treatment deserved an especial version. Mr. W. F. Kirby has again conferred upon my readers an important service by his storiological notes. Lastly, Dr. Steingass has lent me, as before, his valuable aid in concluding as he did in commencing this series, and on putting the colophon to

The Sixteenth Volume
United Service Club,
August 1st, 1888.
The Thousand Nights and a Night.


3In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate, the Eternal One, the Termless, the Timeless, and of Him aidance we await. And here we begin (with the assistance of Allah Almighty and His fair furtherance) to indite the Story of Haykar the Sage, the Philosopher, the Wazir of Sankharib[7] the Sovran, and of the son of the wise man’s sister Nadan[8] the Fool.

They relate that during the days of Sankháríb the King, lord of Asúr[9] and Naynawah[10] there was a Sage, Haykár hight, Grand Wazir of that Sovran and his chief secretary, and he was a grandee of abundant opulence and ampliest livelihood: ware was 4he and wise, a philosopher, and endowed with lore and rede and experience. Now he had interwedded with threescore wives, for each and every of which he had builded in his palace her own bower; natheless he had not a boy to tend, and was he sore of sorrow therefor. So one day he gathered together the experts, astrologers and wizards, and related to them his case and complained of the condition caused by his barrenness. They made answer to him, “Get thee within and do sacrifice to the Godheads and enquire of them and implore their favour when haply shall they vouchsafe unto thee boon of babe.” He did whatso they bade and set corbans and victims before the images and craved their assistance, humbling himself with prayer and petition; withal they vouchsafed to him never a word of reply. So he fared forth in distress and disappointment and went his ways all disheartened. Then he returned in his humiliation to Almighty Allah[11] and confided his secret unto Him and called for succour in the burning of his heart, and cried with a loud voice saying “O God of Heaven and Earth, O Creator of all creatures, I beg Thee to vouchsafe unto me a son wherewith I may console my old age and who may become my heir, after being present at my death and closing my eyes and burying my body.” Hereat came a Voice from Heaven which said, “Inasmuch as at first thou trustedst in graven images and offeredst to them victims, so shalt thou remain childless, lacking sons and daughters. However, get thee up and take to thee Nádán, thy sister’s child; and, after taking this nephew to son, do thou inform him with thy learning and thy good breeding and thy sagesse, and demise to him that he inherit of thee after thy decease.” Hereupon the Sage adopted his nephew Nadan, who was then young in years and a suckling, that he might teach him and train him; so he entrusted him to eight wet-nurses and 5dry-nurses for feeding and rearing, and they brought him up on diet the choicest with delicatest nurture and clothed him with sendal and escarlate[12] and dresses dyed with Alkermes,[13] and his sitting was upon shag-piled rugs of silk. But when Nadan grew great and walked and shot up even as the lofty Cedar[14] of Lebanon, his uncle taught him deportment and writing and reading[15] and philosophy and the omne scibile. Now after a few days Sankharib the King looked upon Haykar and saw how that he had waxed an old old man, so quoth he to him, “Ho thou excellent companion,[16] the generous, the ingenious, the judicious, the sagacious, the Sage, my Secretary and my Minister and the Concealer of my secrets and the Councillor of my kingdom, seeing how so it be that thou art aged and well shotten in years and nigh unto thy death and decease, so tell me[17] who shall stand in my service after thy demise?” Made answer Haykar, “O my lord the King, 6may thy head live for ever and aye! that same shall be this Nadan, son to my sister, whom I have taken to myself as mine own child and have reared him and have taught him my learning and my experience, all thereof.” “Bring him to the presence,” quoth the King, “and set him between my hands, that I look upon him; and, if I find him fitting, I will stablish him in thy stead. Then do thou wend thy ways and off-go from office that thou take thy rest and tend thine old age, living the lave of thy life in the fairest of honour.” Hereupon Haykar hied him home and carried his nephew Nadan before the King, who considered him and was pleased with the highmost of pleasure and, rejoicing in him, presently asked the uncle, “Be this thine adopted son, O Haykar? I pray Allah preserve him; and, even as thou servedst my sire Sarhádún[18] before me, even so shall this thy son do me suite and service and fulfil my affairs and my needs and my works, to the end that I may honour him and advance him for the sake of thee.” Thereat Haykar prostrated himself before the presence and said, “May thy head live, O my lord, for evermore! I desire of thee to extend the wings of thy spirit over him for that he is my son, and do thou be clement to his errings, so that he may serve thee as besitteth.” The King forthwith made oath that he would stablish the youth amongst the highmost of his friends and the most worshipful of his familiars and that he should abide with him in all respect and reverence. So Haykar kissed the royal hands and blessed his lord; then, taking with him Nadan his nephew, he seated him in privacy and fell to teaching him by night as well as by day, that he might fill him with wisdom and learning rather than with meat 7and drink; and he would address him in these terms.[19] “O dear my son,[20] if a word come to thine ears, suffer it to die within thy heart nor ever disclose it unto other, lest haply it become a live coal[21] to burn up thy tongue and breed pain in thy body and clothe thee in shame and gar thee despised of God and man. O dear my son, an thou hear a report reveal it not, and if thou behold a thing relate it not. O dear my son, make easy thine address unto thine hearers, and be not hasty in return of reply. O dear my son, desire not formal beauty which fadeth and vadeth while fair report endureth unto infinity. O dear my son, be not deceived by a woman immodest of speech lest her snares waylay thee[22] and in her springes thou become a prey and thou die by ignominious death. O dear my son, hanker not after a woman adulterated by art, such as clothes and cosmetics, who is of nature bold and immodest, and beware lest thou obey her and give her aught that is not thine and entrust to her even that which is in thy hand, for she will robe thee in sin and Allah shall become wroth with thee. O dear my son, be not like unto the almond-tree[23] which leafeth earlier than every growth and withal is ever of the latest to fruit; but strive to resemble the mulberry-tree which beareth food the first of all growths and is the last of any to put forth her foliage.[24] 8O dear my son, bow thy head before thine inferior and soften thine utterance and be courteous and tread in the paths of piety, and shun impudence and louden not thy voice whenas thou speakest or laughest; for, were a house to be builded by volume of sound, the ass would edify many a mansion every day.[25] O dear my son, the transport of stones with a man of wisdom is better than the drinking of wine with one blamed for folly. O dear my son, rather pour out thy wine upon the tombs of the pious than drain it with those who give offence by their insolence. O dear my son, cleave to the sage that is Allah-fearing and strive to resemble him, and approach not the fool lest thou become like unto him and learn his foolish ways. O dear my son, whenas thou affectest a friend or a familiar, make trial of him and then company with him, and without such test nor praise him nor divulge thy thoughts unto one who is other than wise. O dear my son, as long as thy boot is upon thy leg and foot, walk therewith over the thorns and tread a way for thy sons and thy sons’ sons; and build thee a boat ere the sea break into billows and breakers and drown thee before thou find an ark of safety. O dear my son, when the richard eateth a snake, folks shall say that ’tis of his subtilty; but when a pauper feedeth upon it, the world shall declare ’tis of his poverty. O dear my son, be content with thy grade and thy good, nor covet aught of thy fellow. O dear my son, be not neighbourly with the ignorant nor do thou break with him bread, and joy not in the annoy of those about thee and when thy foe shall maltreat thee meet him with beneficence. O dear my son, fear the man who feareth not Allah and hold him in hate. O dear my son, the fool shall fall when he trippeth; but the wise man when he stumbleth shall not tumble, and if he come to the ground he shall rise up quickly, and when he sickeneth he shall readily heal himself, whereas to the malady of the ignorant and the stupid there is no remedy. O dear 9my son, when a man lesser than thyself shall accost thee, prevent him in standing respectfully before him, and if he suffice thee not the Lord shall suffice thee in his stead. O dear my son, spare not blows to thy child,[26] for the beating of the boy is like manuring to the garden and binding to the purse-mouth and tethering to the cattle and locking to the door. O dear my son, withhold thy child from wickedness, and discipline him ere he wax great and become contumacious to thee, thus belittling thee amongst thine equals and lowering thy head upon the highways and in the assemblies, and thou be described as an aider in his wrongous works. O dear my son, let no word escape thy lips without consulting thy heart; nor stand up between two adversaries, for out of converse with the wicked cometh enmity, and from enmity is bred battle, and from battle ariseth slaughter, when thy testimony shall be required; nay, do thou fly therefrom and be at rest. O dear my son, stand not up against one stronger than thyself; but possess thy soul in patience and long-suffering and forbearance and pacing the paths of piety, for than this naught is more excellent. O dear my son, exult not over the death of thy enemy by cause that after a little while thou shalt become his neighbour. O dear my son, turn thou a deaf ear to whoso jeereth thee, and honour him and forego him with the salam-salutation. O dear my son, whenas the water shall stand still in stream and the bird shall fly sky-high and the black raven shall whiten and myrrh shall wax honey-sweet, then will the ignorant and the fool comprehend and converse. O dear 10my son, an thou would be wise restrain thy tongue from leasing and thy hand from thieving and thine eyes from evil glancing; and then, and then only, shalt thou be called a sage. O dear my son, suffer the wise man strike thee with his staff rather than the fool anoint thee with his sweetest unguent.[27] O dear my son, be thou humble in thy years of youth, that thou may be honoured in thine old age. O dear my son, stand not up against a man in office and puissance nor against a river in its violence, and haste not in matters of marriage; for, an this bring weal, folk will not appraise thee and if ill they will abuse thee and curse thee. O dear my son, company with one who hath his hand fulfilled and well-furnisht and associate not with any whose hand is fist-like and famisht. O dear my son, there be four things without stability: a king and no army,[28] a Wazir in difficulty for lack of rede; amongst the folks villany and over the lieges tyranny. Four things also may not be hidden; to wit, the sage and the fool, the richard and the pauper.”[29] Now when Haykar had made an end of these injunctions and instances addrest to Nadan his nephew, he fondly deemed in mind that the youth would bear in memory all his charges, and he wist not that the clean contrary thereof to him would become manifest. After this the older Minister sat in peace at home and committed to the younger all his moneys and his negro slaves and his concubines; his horses and camels, his flocks and herds, and all other such whereof he was seised. Also bidding and forbiddal were left in the youth’s hand and he was promoted and preferred by the monarch 11like his maternal uncle and even more, whilst the ex-Wazir took his rest in retirement, nor was it his habit to visit the King save once after a while, when he would fare forth to salute him with the salam and forthwith return home. But when Nadan made sure of all commandment being in his own hand, he jeered in public at his uncle and raised his nose at him and fell to blaming him whenever he made act of presence and would say, “Verily Haykar is in age and dotage and no more he wotteth one thing from other thing.” Furthermore he fell to beating the negro slaves and the handmaidens, and to vending the steeds and dromedaries and applied him wilfully to waste all that appertained to his uncle who, when he saw this lack of ruth for the chattels and the household, incontinently drove him ignominiously from his place. Moreover he sent to apprize the King thereof; to wit, that he would assuredly[30] resume all his belongings and provision; and his liege, summoning Nadan, said to him, “So long as Haykar shall be in life, let none lord it over his household or meddle with his fortune.” On this wise the youth’s hand was stayed from his uncle and from all his good and he ceased to go in to him and come out from him, and even to accost him with the salam. Presently Haykar repented of the pains and the trouble he had taken with Nadan and he became perplext exceedingly. Now the youth had a younger brother, Naudan[31] hight, so Haykar adopted him in lieu of the other and tendered him and honoured him with highmost honour and committed to him all his possessions and created him comptroller of his household and of his affairs. But when the elder brother beheld what had betided him, he was seized with envy and jealousy and he fell to complaining before all who questioned him, deriding his benefactor; and he would say, “Verily my maternal uncle hath 12driven me from his doors and hath preferred my brother before me; but, an Almighty Allah empower me, I will indeed cast him into doom of death.” Hereat he fell to brooding over the ruin of his relative, and after a long while he went, one day of the days, and wrote a letter to Akhyash Abná Sháh,[32] physician to the King of Persia and ’Ajam or Barbaria-land, and the following were its contents. “All salams that befit and greetings that are meet from part of Sankharib, King of Assyria and Niniveh, and from his Wazir and Secretary Haykar unto thee, O glorious monarch, and salutations be betwixt me and thee. And forthright, when this missive shall have reached thee, do thou arise in haste and come to meet me and let our trysting-place be the Buk’at Nisrín, the lowland of the Eglantine[33] of Assyria and Niniveh, that I may commit to thee the kingdom sans fight or fray.” Furthermore he wrote a second letter in Haykar’s name to Pharaoh,[34] lord of Misraim,[35] with this purport:—[36]“Greetings between me and thee, O mighty 13potentate; and do thou straightway, on receipt of this epistle, arise and march upon the Buk’at Nisrin to the end that I make over to thee the kingdom without battle or slaughter.” Now Nadan’s handwriting was the likest to that of his mother’s brother. Then he folded the two missives and sealed them with Haykar’s signet and cast them into the royal palace, after which he went and indited a letter in the King’s name to his uncle, saying:—“All salutations to my Wazir and Secretary and Concealer of my secret, Haykar; and do thou forthright on receipt of this present levy thy host and all that be under thee with arms and armour complete, and march them to meet me on fifth-day[37] at the Buk’at Nisrin. Moreover, when thou see me approach thee make thy many prepare for mimic onset as they were my adversaries and offer me sham fight; for that messengers from Pharaoh, King of Egypt, have been sent to espy the strength of our armies. Accordingly, let them stand in fear of us, for that they be our foes and our haters.” Presently, sealing this epistle, he sent it to Haykar by one of the royal pages and himself carrying the other letters he had addressed to the Persian and the Egyptian, he laid them before the King and read them aloud and showed their seals. But when Sankharib heard their contents he marvelled with mighty great marvel and raged with exceeding rage and cried out, saying, “What is it I have done unto Haykar that he should write such a writ to mine adversaries? Is this my reward for all the benefits I have lavished upon Haykar?” The other replied, “Be not grieved, O King, and sorrow not, nor be thou an-angered: rather let us fare on the morrow to the Buk’at Nisrin and look into the matter, whether it be fact or falsehood.” So when Thursday came, Nadan arose, and taking the King and his Wazirs and army-officers marched them over the wastes to the Lowland of the Eglantine, 14and arrived there Sankharib, the Sovran, looked upon Haykar and saw his host aligned in battle against himself. And when the ex-Minister beheld his King approaching, he bade his host stir for battle and prepare to smite the opposing ranks; to wit, those of his liege lord, even as he had been commanded by royal rescript, nor did he ken what manner of pit had been digged for him by Nadan. But seeing this sight the monarch was agitated and consterned and raged with mighty great wrath. Then quoth Nadan, “Seest thou, O King, what this sorry fellow hath done? But chafe not, neither be thou sorrowful, but rather do thou retire to thy palace, whither I will presently bring to thee Haykar pinioned and bearing chains; and I will readily and without trouble fend off from thee thy foe.” So when Sankharib hied him home in sore anger with that which his ancient Minister had done, Nadan went to his uncle and said, “Indeed the King hath rejoiced with exceeding joy, and thanketh thee for acting as he bade thee, and now he hath despatched me to order that thy men be bidden to wend their ways, and that thou present thyself before him pinioned and fettered to the end that thou be seen in such plight of the envoys sent by Pharaoh concerning whom and whose master our Monarch standeth in fear.” “To hear is to obey!” replied Haykar, and forthwith let pinion his arms and fetter his legs; then, taking with him Nadan, his nephew, he repaired to the presence, where he found the King perusing the other forged letter also sealed with the ministerial signet. When he entered the throne-room he prostrated himself, falling to the ground upon his face, and the Sovran said to him “O Haykar, my Viceregent and Secretary and Concealer of my secret and Councillor of my kingdom, say me, what have I wrought thee of wrong that thou shouldst requite me with such hideous deed?” So saying he showed him the two papers written in the handwriting and sealed with the seal of the accused who, when he looked upon them, trembled in every limb, and his tongue was knotted for a while, 15nor could he find power to speak a word, and he was reft of all his reason and of his knowledge. Wherefor he bowed his brow groundwards and held his peace. But when the King beheld this his condition, he bade them slay him by smiting his neck without the city, and Nadan cried aloud, “O Haykar, O blackavice, what could have profited thee such trick and treason that thou do a deed like this by thy King?”[38] Now the name of the Sworder was Abú Sumayk the Pauper,[39] and the monarch bade him strike the neck of Haykar in front of the Minister’s house-door and place his head at a distance of an hundred ells from his body.[40] Hearing this Haykar fell prone before the King and cried, “Live thou, O my lord the King, for ever and aye! An thou desire my death be it as thou wilt and well I wot that I am not in default and that the evil-doer exacteth according to his ill-nature.[41] Yet I hope from my lord the King and from his benevolence that he suffer the Sworder make over my corpse to my menials for burial, and so shall thy slave be thy sacrifice.” Hereat the Monarch commanded the Headsman do as he was desired, and the man, accompanied by the royal pages, took Haykar, whom they had stripped of his outer raiment, and led him away to execution. But when he was certified of coming death, he sent tidings thereof to his wife, Shaghaftíní[42] hight, adding, “Do thou forthright come forth to meet me escorted by a thousand maiden girls, whom thou shalt habit in escarlate and sendal, that they may keen over me ere I perish; moreover dispread for the Headsman and his varlets a table of food and bring an abundance of good wine that they may drink 16and make merry.”[43] Haykar’s wife presently obeyed his orders for she also was ware and wise, sharp-witted, experienced and a compendium of accomplishments and knowledge. Now when the guards[44] and the Sworder and his varlets came to Haykar’s door, they found the tables laid out with wine and sumptuous viands; so they fell to eating and drinking till they had their sufficiency and returned thanks to the housemaster.[45] Thereupon Haykar led the Headsman aside into privacy and said to him, “O Abu Sumayk,[46] what while Sarhadun the King, sire of Sankharib the King, determined to slay thee, I took thee and hid thee in a place unknown to any until the Sovran sent for thee. Moreover I cooled his temper every day till he was pleased to summon thee, and when at last I set thee in his presence he rejoiced in thee. Therefore do thou likewise at this moment bear in mind the benefits I wrought thee, and well I wot that the King will repent him for my sake and will be wroth with exceeding wrath for my slaughter, seeing that I be guiltless; so when thou shalt bring me alive before him thy degree shall become of the highest. For know thou that Nadan my nephew hath betrayed me and devised for me this ill device; and I repeat that doubtless my lord will presently rue my ruin. Learn, too, that beneath the threshold of my mansion lieth a souterrain whereof no man is ware: so do thou conceal me therein with the connivance of my spouse Shaghaftini. Also I have in my prison a slave which meriteth doom of death:[47] so bring him forth and robe him in my robes; then bid the varlets 17(they being drunken with wine) do him die, nor shall they know whom they have slain. And lastly command them to remove his head an hundred cubits from his body and commit the corpse unto my chattels that they inter it. So shalt thou store up with me this rich treasure of goodly deeds.” Hereupon the Sworder did as he was bidden by his ancient benefactor, and he and his men repairing to the presence said, “Live thy head, O King, for ever and aye!”[48] And after this Shaghaftini, the wife of Haykar, brought meat and drink to her husband down in the Matamor,[49] and every Friday she would provide him with a sufficiency for the following week without the weeting of anyone. Presently the report was spread and published and bruited abroad throughout Assyria and Niniveh how Haykar the Sage had been done to die and slain by his Sovran; and the lieges of all those regions, one and all, keened[50] for him aloud and shed tears and said, “Alas for thee, O Haykar, and alack for the loss of thy lore and thy knowledge! Woe be to us for thee and for thy experience! Where now remaineth to find thy like? where now shall one intelligent, understanding and righteous of rede resemble thee and stand in thy stead?” Presently the King fell to regretting the fate of Haykar whereof repentance availed him naught: so he summoned Nadan and said to him, “Fare forth and take with thee all thy friends to keen and make ceremonious wailings for thy maternal uncle Haykar and mourn, according to custom, in honour of him and his memory.” But Nadan, the fool, the ignorant, the hard of heart, going forth the presence to show sorrow at his uncle’s house, would neither mourn nor weep nor keen; nay, in lieu thereof he gathered together lewd fellows and fornicators who fell to feasting and 18carousing. After this he took to himself the concubines and slaves belonging to his uncle, whom he would scourge and bastinado with painful beating; nor had he any shame before the wife of his adopted father who had entreated him as her son; but solicited her sinfully to lie with him. On the other hand Haykar, who lay perdu in his Silo, ever praised Allah the Compassionate,[51] and returned thanks unto Him for saving his life and was constant in gratitude and instant in prayer and in humbling himself before God. At times after due intervals the Sworder would call upon him to do him honour due and procure him pleasure, after which he would pray for his release and forthright gang his gait. Now when the bruit spread abroad over all the lands how that Haykar the Wise had been done to die, the rulers everywhere rejoiced, exulting in the distress of King Sankharib who sorely regretted the loss of his Sage. Presently, awaiting the fittest season, the Monarch of Misraim arose and wrote a writ to the Sovran of Assyria and Niniveh of the following tenor:—“After salams that befit and salutations that be meet and congratulation and veneration complete wherewith I fain distinguish my beloved brother Sankharib the King, I would have thee know that I am about to build a bower in the air between firmament and terra firma; and I desire thee on thy part to send me a man which is wise, a tried and an experienced, that he may help me to edify the same: also that he make answer to all the problems and profound questions I shall propose, otherwise thou shalt deposit with me the taxes in kind[52] of Assyria and Nineveh and their money-tributes for three years.” Then he made an end of his writ and, sealing it with his signet-ring, sent it to its 19destination. But when the missive reached Sankharib, he took it and read it, he and his Wazirs and the Lords of his land; and all stood perplext thereat and sore confounded; whilst the King waxed furious with excessive fury, and he was distraught as to what he should do and how he should act. Anon, however, he gathered together all the Shaykhs and Elders and the Olema and doctors of law and the physicists and philosophers and the charmers[53] and the astrologers and all such persons which were in his realm, and he let read the epistle of Pharaoh in their presence. Then he asked them, saying, “Who amongst you shall repair to the court of Pharaoh, lord of Misraim, and reply to his interrogations?” But they cried, “O our lord the King, do thou know there be no one who can loose the knot of these difficulties save only thy Wazir Haykar; and now that none shall offer an answer save Nadan, the son of his sister, whom he hath informed with all his subtilty and his science. Therefore, do thou summon him and haply he shall unravel for thee a tangled skein so hard to untwist.” Sankharib did as they advised, and when Nadan appeared in the presence said to him, “Look thou upon this writ and comprehend its contents.” But when the youth read it he said to the Sovran, “O my lord the King, leave alone this folk for they point to impossibilities: what man can base a bower upon air between heaven and earth?” As soon as King Sankharib heard these words of Nadan, he cried out with a mighty outcry and a violent; then, stepping down from his throne, he sat upon ashes[54] and fell to beweeping and bewailing the loss of Haykar and crying, “Alas, for me and woe worth the day for thee, O Caretaker of my capital and Councillor of my kingdom! Where shall I find one like 20unto thee, O Haykar? Harrow now for me, O Haykar, Oh Saviour of my secret and Manifester of my moot-points, where now shall I fare to find thee? Woe is me for sake of thee whom I slew and destroyed at the word of a silly boy! To him indeed who could bring Haykar before me or who could give me the glad tidings of Haykar being on life, I would give the half of my good; nay, the moiety of my realm. But whence can this come? Ah me, O Haykar; happy was he who looked upon thee in life that he might take his sufficiency of thy semblance and fortify himself[55] therefrom. Oh my sorrow for thee to all time! Oh my regret and remorse for thee and for slaying thee in haste and for not delaying thy death till I had considered the consequence of such misdeed.” And the King persisted in weeping and wailing night and day on such wise. But when the Sworder[56] beheld the passion of his lord and his yearning and his calling upon Haykar, he came to the presence and prostrated himself and said, “O my lord, bid thy varlets strike off my head!” Quoth the Monarch, “Woe to thee, what be thy sin?” and quoth the Headsman, “O my lord, what slave ever contrarieth the command of his master let the same be slain, and I verily have broken thy behest.” The King continued, “Fie upon thee,[57] O Abu Sumayk, wherein hast thou gainsaid me?” and the other rejoined, “O my lord, thou badest me slay the Sage Haykar; but well I wotted that right soon indeed thou wouldst regret the death of him, and the more so for that he was a wronged man; accordingly I fared forth from thee and hid him in a place unbeknown to any and I slew one of his slaves in his stead. And at this moment Haykar is alive and well; and if thou bid me, I will bring him 21before thee when, if thou be so minded, do thou put me to death, otherwise grant me immunity.” Cried the King, “Fie upon thee, O Abu Sumayk, how durst thou at such time make mock of me, I being thy lord?” but the Sworder replied, “By thy life and the life of thy head, O my lord, I swear that Haykar is alive and in good case!” Now when the Monarch heard these words from the Sworder and was certified by him of the matter, he flew for very gladness and he was like to fall a-swoon for the violence of his joy. So he bade forthright Haykar be brought to him and exclaimed to the Sworder, “O thou righteous slave an this thy say be soothfast, I am resolved to enrich thee and raise thy degree amongst all my companions;” and so saying and rejoicing mightily he commanded the Sworder set Haykar in the presence. The man fared to the Minister’s house forthright, and opening the souterrain went downstairs to the tenant whom he found sitting and praising Allah and rendering to Him thanksgivings; so he cried out and said, “O Haykar, the blessedest of bliss hath come to thee, and do thou go forth and gladden thy heart!” Haykar replied, “And what is to do?” whereat the man told him the whole tale, first and last, of what had befallen his lord at the hands of Pharaoh; then, taking him, led him to the presence. But when Sankharib considered him, he found him as one clean wasted by want; his hair had grown long like the pelts of wild beasts and his nails were as vulture’s claws and his members were meagre for the length of time spent by him in duresse and darkness, and the dust had settled upon him and changed his colour which had faded and waxed of ashen hue. So his lord mourned for his plight and, rising up in honour, kissed him and embraced him and wept over him saying, “Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord—who hath restored thee to me on life after death!” Then he fell to soothing his sorrows and consoled him, praying pardon of him the while; and after bestowing robes of honour upon the Sworder and giving him due guerdon and lavishing upon him abundant good, he 22busied himself about the recovery of Haykar, who said, “O my lord the King, may thy head live for ever and aye! All this wrong which befel me is the work of the adulterines, and I reared me a palm-tree against which I might prop me, but it bent and brought me to the ground: now, however, O my lord and master, that thou hast deigned summon me before thee, may all passion pass away and dolour depart from thee!” “Blessed and exalted be Allah,” rejoined Sankharib, “who hath had ruth upon thee, and who, seeing and knowing thee to be a wronged man, hath saved thee and preserved thee from slaughter.[58] Now, however, do thou repair to the Hammam and let shave thy head and pare thy nails and change thy clothes; after which sit at home in ease for forty days’ space that thy health be restored and thy condition be righted and the hue of health return to thy face; and then (but not till then) do thou appear before me.” Hereupon the King invested him with sumptuous robes, and Haykar, having offered thanks to his liege lord, fared homewards in joyaunce and gladness frequently ejaculating, “Subhána ’llahu ta’álà—God Almighty be glorified!” and right happy were his household and his friends and all who learned that he was still on life. Then did he as the King had bidden him and enjoyed his rest for two-score days, after which he donned his finest dress and took horse, followed and preceded by his slaves, all happy and exulting, and rode to Court, while Nadan the nephew, seeing what had befallen, was seized with sore fear and affright and became perplexed and unknowing what to do. Now, when Haykar went in and salamed to the King, his lord seated him by his side and said, “O my beloved Haykar, look upon this writ which was sent to me by the King of Misraim after hearing of thy execution; and in very deed they; to wit he and his, have conquered and chastised and routed most of the folk of 23our realm, compelling them to fly for refuge Egyptwards in fear of the tax-tribute which they have demanded of us.” So the Minister took the missive and, after reading and comprehending the sum of its contents, quoth he to the King, “Be not wroth, O my lord: I will repair in person to Egypt and will return a full and sufficient reply to Pharaoh, and I will explain to him his propositions and will bring thee from him all the tax-tribute he demandeth of thee: moreover, I will restore all the lieges he hath caused fly this country and I will humiliate every foe of thee by aidance of Almighty Allah and by the blessings of thy Majesty.” Now when the Sovran heard this answer, he rejoiced and his heart was gladdened; whereupon he gifted Haykar with a generous hand and once more gave immense wealth to the Sworder. Presently the Minister said, “Grant me a delay of forty days that I ponder this matter and devise a sufficient device.” As soon as Sankharib granted him the required permission he returned homewards and, summoning his huntsmen, bade them catch for him two vigorous young vultures;[59] and, when these were brought, he sent for those who twist ropes and commanded them make two cords of cotton each measuring two thousand ells. He also bade bring him carpenters and ordered them to build for him two coffers of large size, and as soon as his bidding was done he chose out two little lads, one hight Binúhál and the other Tabshálím.[60] Then every day he would let slaughter a pair of lambs and therewith feed the children and the vultures, and he mounted those upon the back of these, binding them tight, and also making fast the 24cords to the legs of the fowls. He would then allow the birds to rise little by little, prolonging the flight every day to the extent of ten cubits, the better to teach and to train them; and they learnt their task so well that in a short time they would rise to the full length of the tethers till they soared in the fields of air with the boys on their backs, after which he would let hale them down. And when he saw them perfect in this process, he taught the lads to utter loud shouts what while they reached the full length of the cords and to cry out, “Send us stones and mud[61] and slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, inasmuch as we now stand here all the day idle!” And Haykar ceased not to accustom them and to instruct them until they became dexterous in such doings as they could be. Then he quitted them and presenting himself before King Sankharib said, “O my lord, the work is completed even as thou couldst desire; but do thou arise and come with me that I may show thee the marvel.” Thereupon the King and his courtiers accompanied Haykar to a wide open space outside the city whither he sent for the vultures and the lads; and after binding the cords he loosed them to soar as high as the lanyards allowed in the firmament-plain, when they fell to outcrying as he had taught them. And lastly he haled them in and restored them to their steads. Hereat the King wondered, as did all his suite, with extreme wonderment, and kissing his Minister between his eyes, robed him in an honourable robe and said to him, “Go forth in safety, O my beloved, 25and boast of my realm, to the land of Egypt[62] and answer the propositions of Pharaoh and master him by the power of Almighty Allah;” and with these words farewelled him. Accordingly Haykar took his troops and guards, together with the lads and the vultures, and he fared forth intending for Egypt where on arrival he at once made for the royal Palace. And when the folk of the capital understood that Sankharib the King had commissioned a man of his notables to bespeak their Sovran the Pharaoh, they entered and apprized their liege lord who sent a party of his familiars summoning him to the presence. Presently Haykar the Sage entered unto Pharaoh; and after prostration as befitteth before royalty said, “O my lord, Sankharib the King greeteth thee with many salutations and salams; and hath sent me single-handed sans other of his slaves, to the end that I answer thy question and fulfil whatso thou requirest, and I am commanded to supply everything thou needest; especially inasmuch as thou hast sent to the Monarch my master for the loan of a man who can build thee a bower between firmament and terra firma; and I, by the good aidance of Allah Almighty and of thine august magnanimity, will edify that same for thee even as thou desirest and requirest. But this shall be upon the condition stablished concerning the tax-tribute of Misraim for three years, seeing that the consent of the Kings be their fullest securities. An thou vanquish me and my hand fall short and I fail to answer thee, then shall my liege lord send thee the tax-tribute whereof thou speakest; but if I bring thee all thou needest, then shalt thou forward to my lord the tax-tribute thou hast mentioned and of him demanded.” Pharaoh, hearing these words, marvelled and was perplexed at the eloquence of his tongue and the sweetness of his speech and presently exclaimed, “O man, what may be thy name?” The other 26replied, “Thy slave is hight Abíkám;[63] and I am an emmet of the emmets under Sankharib the King.” Asked Pharaoh, “Had not thy lord one more dignified of degree than thou, that he send unto me an ant to answer me and converse with me?” and Haykar answered, “I humbly hope of the Almighty that I may satisfy all which is in thy heart, O my lord; for that Allah is with the weakling the more to astound the strongling.” Hereat Pharaoh gave orders to set apart for Abikam his guest an apartment, also for the guards and all that were with him and provide them with rations and fodder of meat and drink, and whatso was appropriate to their reception as properest might be. And after the usual three days of guest-rite[64] the King of Egypt donned his robes of brightest escarlate; and, having taken seat upon his throne, each and every Grandee and Wazir (who were habited in the same hue) standing with crossed arms and feet joined,[65] he sent a summons to produce before him Haykar, now Abikam hight. Accordingly he entered and prostrated in the King’s presence and stood up to receive the royal behest, when Pharaoh after a long delay asked him, “O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?” Hereto the envoy answered saying, “O my lord, thou favourest Bel the idol[66] and thy chieftains favour the servitors thereof!” Then quoth the King, “Now do thou depart and I desire thee on the morrow come 27again.” Accordingly Abikam, which was Haykar, retired as he was ordered, and on the next day he presented himself before Pharaoh and after prostrating stood between his hands. The King was habited in a red coat of various tincts and his mighty men were garbed in white, and presently he enquired saying, “O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my Lords and Ministers represent?” He replied, “O my lord, thou art like unto the sun and thy nobles are like the rays thereof!” Then quoth the King, “Do thou retire to thy quarters and to-morrow come hither again.” So the other fared forth and Pharaoh commanded and charged his head men to don pure white, himself doing the same; and, having taken seat upon his throne, he bade Abikam be brought into the presence and when he appeared asked him, “Whom do I resemble, and what may these my Grandees represent?” He replied, “O my lord, thou favourest the moon and thy servitors and guards favour the stars and planets and constellations.” Then quoth the King, “Go thou until the morrow when do thou come hither again;” after which he commanded his Magnates to don dresses of divers colours and different tincts whilst he wore a robe of ruddy velvet. Anon he seated him upon his throne and summoned Abikam, who entered the presence and prostrated and stood up before him. The King for a fourth time asked him, “O Abikam, whom do I resemble and what may these my guards represent?” and he answered, “O my lord, thou art like the auspicious month Naysán[67], and thy guards and grandees are like the white chamomile[68] and his bloom.” Hearing these words Pharaoh rejoiced with extreme joy and said, “O Abikam, thou hast compared me first with Bel the idol, secondly with the sun and thirdly with the moon and lastly with the auspicious 28month Naysan, and my lords with the chamomile and his flower. But say me now unto what likenest thou Sankharib thy lord, and what favour his Grandees?” Haykar made answer, “Heaven forfend I mention my liege lord the while thou sittest on thy throne; but rise to thy feet, and I will inform thee what my Master representeth and what his court most resembleth.” Pharaoh, struck with astonishment at such heat of tongue and valiancy of speech, arose from his seat and stood facing Haykar and presently said, “Now tell me that I may learn what thy lord resembleth and what his Grandees represent.” The other made reply, “My lord resembleth the God of Heaven, and his lords represent the Lightning and Thunder. An it be his will the winds do blow and the rains do fall; and, when he deign order, the leven playeth and the thunder roareth and at his behest the sun would refuse light and the moon and stars stand still in their several courses. But he may also command the storm-wind to arise and downpours to deluge when Naysan would be as one who beateth the bough[69] and who scattereth abroad the blooms of the chamomile.” Pharaoh hearing these words wondered with extreme wonderment, then raging with excessive rage he cried, “O man, tell me the real truth and let me know who thou art in very sooth.” “I am Haykar,” quoth the other, “Chief Secretary and especial to Sankharib the King; also his Wazir and Councillor of his kingdom and Keeper of his secret.” “Thou statest fact, O Sage,” quoth Pharaoh, “and this thy say is veridical: yet have we heard that Haykar is dead indeed, withal here art thou alive and alert.” The Minister replied, “Yea, verily that was the case, but Alhamdolillah—Glory to God, who knoweth all hidden things, my master had in very deed doomed me die believing the reports of certain traitors, 29but my Lord preserved me and well done to him who relieth upon the Almighty!” Then quoth Pharaoh, “Go forth and on the morrow do thou return hither and say me somewhat no man hath ever heard, nor I nor my Grandees nor any of the folk in my kingdom and my capital.” Accordingly Haykar hied him home and penned a paper wherein he said as follows: “From Sankharib, King of Assyria and Naynawah, to Pharaoh King of Misraim:—Peace be upon thee, O my brother! As well thou wottest, brother needeth brother and the Kings require the aidance of other Kings and my hope from thee is that thou wilt lend[70] me the loan of nine hundred-weight[71] of gold which I require to expend on the pay and allowances due to certain of my soldiery wherewith to provide for them the necessaries of life.” After this he folded the writ and despatched it by a messenger on the next day to Pharaoh, who perused it and was perplext and exclaimed, “Verily and indeed never till now have I heard a saying like unto this at all, nor hath anyone ever spoken[72] to me after such fashion!” Haykar replied, “’Tis fact, and ’tis well an thou own thee debtor of such sum to my lord the King.” Pharaoh accepted this resolving of his proposition and said, “O Haykar, ’tis the like of thee who suiteth the service of the Kings, and blessed be Allah who perfected thee in wisdom and adorned thee with philosophy[73] and knowledge. And now remaineth to us only one need of thee; to wit, that thou build us a bower between firmament and terra firma.” Haykar replied, “Hearkening and 30obeying! I will edify it for thee e’en as thou wishest and thou choosest; but do thou get ready for me gypsum lime and ashlar-stone and brick-clay and handicraftsmen, while I also bring architects and master masons and they shall erect for thee whatso thou requirest.” So King Pharaoh gat ready all this and fared forth with his folk to a spacious plain without the city whither Haykar and his pages had carried the boys and the vultures; and with the Sovran went all the great men of his kingdom and his host in full tale that they might look upon the wonder which the Envoy of Assyria was about to work. But when they reached the place appointed, Haykar brought out of their boxes the vultures and making fast the lads to their backs bound the cords to the legs of the birds and let them loose, when they soared firmament-wards till they were poised between heaven and earth. Hereat the lads fell to crying aloud, “Send up to us the stones and the mud and the slaked lime that we may build a bower for King Pharaoh, forasmuch as here we stand the whole day idle.” At this were agitated all present, and they marvelled and became perplext; and not less wondered the King and the Grandees his lieges, while Haykar and his pages fell to buffeting the handicraftsmen and to shouting at the royal guards, saying, “Provide the workmen with that they want, nor hinder them from their work!” Whereupon cried Pharaoh, “O Haykar, art thou Jinn-mad? Who is ever able to convey aught of these matters to so far a height?” But he replied to the King, “O my lord, how shall we build a bower in the lift on other wise? And were the King my master here he would have edified two such edifices in a single day.” Hearing this quoth Pharaoh to him, “Hie thee, O Haykar, to thy quarters, and for the present take thy rest, seeing that we have been admonished anent the building of the bower; but come thou to me on the morrow.” Accordingly, Haykar fared to his lodging, and betimes on the next day presented himself before Pharaoh, who said to him, 31“O Haykar, what of the stallion of thy lord which, when he neigheth in Assyria and Nineveh, his voice is heard by our mares in this place so that they miscarry?[74]” Hereat Haykar left the King and faring to his place took a tabby-cat and tying her up fell to flogging her with a sore flogging until all the Egyptians heard her outcries and reported the matter to the Sovran. So Pharaoh sent to fetch him and asked, “O Haykar, for what cause didst thou scourge this cat and beat her with such beating, she being none other but a dumb beast[75]?” He replied, “O my lord the King, she hath done by me a wrongous deed and she hath amply merited this whipping and these stripes.” The King asked, “And what may be this deed she did?” whereto Haykar made answer, “Verily my master Sankharib the King had given me a beautiful cock who had a mighty fine voice and a strong, and he knew the hours of darkness and announced them. But as he was in my mansion this mischief-making tabby fared there and fell upon him last night and tare off his head; and for this cause when she returned to me I took to punishing her with such blows and stripes.” Pharaoh rejoined, “O Haykar, indeed I see thou art old and doting! Between Misraim and Nineveh lie eight hundred and sixty parasangs; so how could this cat have covered them in one night and have torn off thy chanticleer’s head and have returned by morning to Egypt?” He replied, “O my lord, seeing that between Egypt and Assyria is such interval how then can the neighing of my lord the King’s stallion reach unto Nile-land and be heard by your mares so that here they miscarry?” When Pharaoh had pondered these words, he 32knew that the envoy had returned him a full and sufficient reply, so quoth he, “O Haykar, ’tis my desire that thou make for me two ropes of sand;” and quoth the other, “Do thou prescribe that they bring me a cord from thy stores that I twist one like it.” So when they had done as he bade, Haykar fared forth arear of the palace and dug two round borings equal to the thickness of the cord; then he collected sand from the river-bed and placed it therein, so that when the sun arose and entered into the cylinder, the sand appeared in the sunlight like unto ropes.[76] Thereupon quoth he to Pharaoh, “Command thy slaves take up these ropes and I will twist thee as many of them as thou willest.” Quoth Pharaoh, “O Haykar, we have before our eyes a millstone which is broken; and I require of thee that thou sew up the rent.” Accordingly the Envoy looked about him and, seeing there another stone, said to Pharaoh, “O my lord, here am I a stranger man nor have I with me aught of darning-gear; but I would have thee bid thy confidants amongst the cobblers to provide me out of this other stone with shoemaker’s awls and needles and scissors wherewith I may sew up for thee the breach in yon millstone.” Hereat Pharaoh the King fell a-laughing, he and his Grandees, and cried, “Blessed be Allah, who hath vouchsafed to thee all this penetration and knowledge;” then, seeing that the Envoy had answered all his questions and had resolved his propositions 33he forthright confessed that he was conquered and he bade them collect the tax-tribute of three years and present it to him together with the loan concerning which Haykar had written and he robed him with robes of honour, him and his guards and his pages; and supplied him with viaticum, victual and moneys for the road, and said to him, “Fare thee in safety, O honour of thy lord and boast of thy liege: who like unto thee shall be found as a Councillor for the Kings and the Sultans? And do thou present my salam to thy master Sankharib the Sovran saying:—Excuse us for that which we forwarded to thee, as the Kings are satisfied with a scanting of such acknowledgment.”[77] Haykar accepted from him all this; then, kissing ground before him, said, “I desire of thee, O my lord, an order that not a man of Assyria and Nineveh remain with thee in the land of Egypt but fare forth it with me homewards.” Hereupon Pharaoh sent a herald to make proclamation of all whereof Haykar had spoken to him, after which the envoy farewelled the King and set out on his march intending for the realm of Assyria and Nineveh and bearing with him of treasures and moneys a mighty matter. When the tidings of his approach came to the ears of Sankharib, the King rode forth to meet his Minister, rejoicing in him with joy exceeding and received him lovingly and kissed him, and cried, “Well come and welcome and fair welcome to my sire and the glory of my realm and the vaunt of my kingdom: do thou require of me whatso thou wantest and choosest, even didst thou covet one-half of my good and of my government.” The Minister replied, “Live, O King, for ever; and if thou would gift me bestow thy boons upon Abu Sumayk, the Sworder, whose wise delay, furthered by the will of Allah Almighty, quickened me with a second life,” “In thine honour, O my beloved,” quoth 34the King, “I will do him honour;” and presently he fell to questioning his envoy concerning what had befallen him from Pharaoh and how the Lord of the Misraim had presented him with the tax-tribute and moneys and gifts and honourable robes; and lastly, he asked anent the instances and secrets which ended the mission. So Haykar related all that had betided, whereat Sankharib rejoiced with mighty great joy; and, when the converse was concluded, the King said to him, “O Haykar, take unto thee everything thou wishest and wantest of all this, for ’tis in the grasp of thy hand.” Haykar answered, “Live, O King, for ever and aye; naught do I require save thy safety and the permanency of thy rule: what shall I do with moneys and such like? But an thou deign largesse me with aught, make over to me in free gift Nadan, my sister’s son, that I requite him for that he wrought with me: and I would that thou grant me his blood and make it lawfully my very own.” Sankharib replied, “Take him, for I have given to thee that same.” So Haykar led his nephew to his home[78] and bound his hands in bonds and fettered his feet with heavy chains; then he beat him with a severe bastinado and a torturing upon his soles and calves, his back, his belly and his armpits; after which bashing he cast him into a black hole adjoining the jakes. He also made Binuhal guardian over him and bade him be supplied day by day with a scone of bread and a little water; and whenever the uncle went in to or came forth from the nephew he would revile Nadan and of his wisdom would say to him, “O dear my son, I wrought with thee all manner of good and kindly works and thou didst return me 35therefor evil and treason and death. O dear my son, ’tis said in saws:—Whoso heareth not through his ears, through the nape of his neck shall he hear.”[79] Hereat quoth Nadan, “O my uncle, what reason hast thou to be wroth with me?” and quoth Haykar, “For that I raised thee to worship and honour and made thee great after rearing thee with the best of rearing and I educated thee so thou mightest become mine heir in lore and contrivance and in worldly good. But thou soughtest my ruin and destruction and thou desiredst for me doom of death; however, the Lord, knowing me to be a wronged man, delivered me from thy mischief, for God hearteneth the broken heart and abaseth the envious and the vain-glorious. O dear my son,[80] thou hast been as the scorpion who when she striketh her sting[81] upon brass would pierce it. O dear my son, thou hast resembled the Sajálmah-bird[82] when netted in net who, when she cannot save herself alive, she prayeth the partridges to cast themselves into perdition with her. O dear my son, thou hast been as the cur who, when suffering cold entereth the potter’s house to warm himself at the kiln, and when warmed barketh at the folk on such wise that they must beat him and cast him out, lest after barking he bite them. O dear my son, thou hast done even as the hog who entered the Hammam in company with the great; but after coming out he saw a stinking fosse a-flowing[83] and went and therein wallowed. O dear my son, thou hast become like the old and rank he-goat who when he goeth in leadeth his friends and familiars to the slaughter-house and cannot by any means come off safe or with his own life or with their lives. O dear my son, a hand which worketh not neither plougheth, and withal 36is greedy and over-nimble shall be cut off from its armpit. O dear my son, thou hast imitated the tree whom men hew down, head and branch, when she said:—Had not that in your hands been of me,[84] indeed ye would not have availed to my felling. O dear my son, thou hast acted as did the she-cat to whom they said:—Renounce robbing that we make thee collars of gold and feed thee with sugar and almond cake! But she replied:—As for me, my craft is that of my father and my mother, nor can I ever forget it. O dear my son, thou art as a dragon mounted upon a bramble-bush, and the two amiddlemost a stream, which when the wolf saw he cried:—A mischief on a mischief and let one more mischievous counsel the twain of them. O dear my son, with delicate food I fed thee and thou didst not fodder me with the driest of bread; and of sugar and the finest wines I gave thee to drink, while thou grudgedst to me a sup of cold water. O dear my son, I taught thee and tendered thee with the tenderest of tending and garred thee grow like the lofty cedar of Lebanon, but thou didst incriminate me and confine me in fetters by thine evil courses.[85] O dear my son, I nourished a hope that thou wouldst build me a strong tower wherein I might find refuge from mine adversary and foil my foes; but thou hast been to me as a burier, a grave-digger, who would thrust me into the bowels of the earth: however, my Lord had mercy upon me. O dear my son, I willed thee well and thou rewardedst me with ill-will and foul deed; wherefore, ’tis now my intent to pluck out thine eyes and hack away thy tongue and strike off thy head with the sword-edge and then make thee meat for the wolves; and so exact retaliation from thine abominable actions.” Hereupon Nadan made answer and said to Haykar his uncle, “Do with me whatso thy goodness would do and then 37condone thou to me all my crimes, for who is there can offend like me and can condone like thee? And now I pray thee take me into thy service and suffer me to slave in thy house and groom thy horses, even to sweeping away their dung, and herd thy hogs; for verily I am the evil-doer and thou art the beneficent; I am the sinner and thou art the pardoner.” “O dear my son,” rejoined Haykar, “Thou favourest the tree which, albe planted by the side of many waters, was barren of dates and her owner purposed to hew her down, when she said:—Remove me unto another stead where if I fruit not then fell me. But he rejoined:—Being upon the water-edge thou gavest ne’er a date, so how shalt thou bear fruit being in other site? O dear my son, better the senility of the eagle than the juvenility of the raven. O dear my son, they said to the wolf:—Avoid the sheep lest haply the dust they raise in flight may do thee a damage; but Lupus made answer:—Verily their dust is a powder good for the eyes. O dear my son, they brought the wolf to school that he might learn to read; but, when quoth they to him:—Say A, B, C, D,[86] quoth he, Lamb, Sheep, Kid, Goat,[87] even as within my belly. O dear my son, they set the ass’s head beside a tray of meats, but he slipped down and fell to rolling upon his back, for his nature (like that of others) may never be changed. O dear my son, his say is stablished who said:—When thou hast begotten a child assume him to be thy son, and when thou hast reared a son assume him to be a slave.[88] O dear my son, whoso doeth good, good shall be his lot; and whoso worketh evil, evil shall befal him; for that the Lord compensateth mankind according to conduct. O dear my son, wherewith shall I bespeak thee beyond this my speech? and verily Allah knoweth concealed things and 38wotteth all secret and hidden works and ways and He shall requite thee and order and ordain between me and thee and shall recompense thee with that thou deservest.” Now when Nadan heard these words from his uncle Haykar, his body began to swell and become like a blown-up bag and his members waxed puffy, his legs and calves and his sides were distended, then his belly split asunder and burst till his bowels gushed forth and his end (which was destruction) came upon him; so he perished and fared to Jahannam-fire and the dwelling-place dire. Even so it is said in books:—“Whoever diggeth for his brother a pit shall himself fall into it and whoso setteth up a snare for his neighbour shall be snared therein.” And this much know we anent the Say of Haykar the Sage, and magnification be to Allah for ever and ever



41In the name of Allah the Compassionating, the Compassionate, we here invite, by the aidance of the Almighty and His furtherance, the History of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid and of the Daughter of Kisra the King.[90]

It is related (but Allah is all-knowing of His secrets and allkenning in whatso hath passed and preceded and preterlapsed of the annals of folk),[91] that the Caliph (by whom I mean Harun al-Rashid) was sitting on the throne of his kingdom one chance day of the days which happened to be the fête of ’Arafát.[92] And as he chanced to glance at Ja’afar the Barmaki, he said to him, “O Wazir, I desire to disguise myself and go down from my palace into the streets and wander about the highways of Baghdad that I 42may give alms to the mesquin and miserable and solace myself with a sight of the folk: so do thou hie with me nor let any know of our faring forth.” “With love and good will,” quoth Ja’afar. So his lord arose and passed from the audience-room into the inner palace where the two donned disguise and made small their sleeves and breasts[93] and issued forth to circle about the thoroughfares of Baghdad and her market-streets, distributing charity to the poor and the paupers, until the last of the day. And whilst so doing, the Commander of the Faithful chanced to espy a woman seated at the head of a highway who had extended the hand of beggary, showing at the same time her wrist and crying, “Give me somewhat for the sake of Allah Almighty!” Hereat he considered her nicely and saw that her palm and her wrist were like whitest crystal and yet more brilliant in brightness. So he wondered thereat, and presently pulling a dinar from his breast-pocket he handed it to Ja’afar and said, “Bestow it upon yonder woman.” The Minister took the ducat and leaving his lord went up to her and placed it in her palm; and, when she closed her fingers thereupon, she felt that the coin was bigger than a copper or a silverling, so she looked thereat and saw that it was of gold. Hereupon she called after Ja’afar who had passed onwards, saying, “Ho, thou fair youth!” and when he came back to her she continued, “The dinar wherewith thou hast gifted me, is it for Allah’s sake or for other service?” Said he, “’Tis not from me, nay ’twas given by yonder Youth who sent it through me.” “Ask him,” she rejoined, “and tell me what may be his purport.” Ja’afar hied him back to the Caliph and reported her words, whereat his lord commanded him, “Go back and say thou to her ’tis for Almighty Allah’s sake.” The Minister did his master’s bidding when she replied, “His reward be upon the Almighty.” Then the Wazir returned and 43reported the woman’s prayer to the Commander of the Faithful, who cried, “Hie thee to her and enquire an she be married or virginal; and, if she be unwedded, do thou ask her an she be willing to wive with me.”[94] So Ja’afar fared to her and questioned her, whereat she answered, “A spinster.” Quoth he, “The Youth who sent the dinar to thee desireth to mate with thee;” and quoth she, “An he can pay me my dower and my money down,[95] I will become his bride.” Hereat Ja’afar said in his thought, “Whence can the Prince of True Believers find her dower and her money down? Doubtless we shall have to ask a loan for him;”[96] and presently he enquired of her what might be the amount of both. Replied she, “As for the pin-money, this shall be the annual revenue of Ispahán, and the income of Khorásán-city shall form the settlement.” So Ja’afar wagged his head and going back to the Commander of the Faithful repeated her terms; wherewith Harun was satisfied and bespake him, “Hie thee to her and say:—He hath accepted this and thou hast professed thyself contented.” Hearing his words she rejoined, “What be his worth, yonder man, and how may he attain unto such sum?” and he retorted, “Of a truth he is the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid.” When this reply reached her ears she veiled her hands and feet crying, “To Allah be laud and gratitude;” adding to Ja’afar, “An he be the Prince of True Believers, I am satisfied therewith.” Accordingly the Wazir returned to the Caliph and reported her consent, whereafter the twain repaired homewards and the Caliph despatched to her a duenna and a train of handmaidens who went and bore her to the Hammam within the palace and bathed her. Then they brought her out and robed her in sumptuous raiment, 44such as becometh the women of the Kings, and ornaments and jewellery and what not: after which they led her to a fine apartment which was set apart and private for her wherein also were meat and drink and furniture, arras[97] and curtains and all necessaries of such sort. In fine they fared to the Caliph and apprized him of what they had done and he presently gave command to summon the four Kazis who wrote her marriage-lines. When it was night he paid her the first visit and taking seat opposite her he asked, “Daughter of whom mayst thou be amongst the folk that thou demandedst of me this dower?” “Allah advance in honour the Commander of the Faithful,” answered she; “verily thy handmaid is of the seed of Kisrà Anushirwán; but the shifts of time and tide brought me down and low down.” Replied he, “They relate that thine ancestor, the Chosroë, wronged his lieges with mighty sore wronging;”[98] and she rejoined, “Wherefor and because of such tyranny over the folk hath his seed come to beg their bread at the highway-heads.” Quoth he, “They also make mention of him that in after-times he did justice to such degree that he decided causes between birds and beasts;” and quoth she, “Wherefor hath Allah exalted his posterity from the highway-head and hath made them Harím to the Prince of True Believers.” Hearing this the Caliph was wroth with mighty great wrath[99] and sware that he would not go in unto her for a full told year, and arising forthright went forth from her. But when the twelvemonth had passed and the fête-day of Arafat came round again, the Commander of the Faithful donned disguise and taking with him Ja’afar and Masrúr the Eunuch, strolled out to wander about the streets of Baghdad and 45her highways. And as they walked along, the Caliph looked about him and beheld a booth wherein a man was turning out Katífah-cakes[100] and he was pleased to admire his dexterity to such degree that, returning to the Palace, he sent him one of his Eunuchs with the message, “The Prince of True Believers requireth of thee an hundred pancakes, and let each one of them, when filled and folded, fit into the hollow of a man’s hand.” So the Castrato went and gave the order as we have related and paid the price and, when the pastrycook had made his requirement, he carried it away to the presence. Then the Caliph took seat and bade bring sugar and pistachios and all other such needs wherewith he fell to stuffing the pancakes with his own hands and placing in each and every a golden dinar. When this was done he despatched the same Eunuch to Kisra’s daughter with the message, “This night the Commander of the Faithful proposeth to visit thee, the year of his oath having expired, and he sendeth to thee saying:—What is it thy heart coveteth that he may forward it to thee?” The Castrato set forth upon this errand and received for all reply, “Say him my heart desireth naught, for that all I require is with me, nor is there aught of deficiency.” Accordingly, he returned and repeated her words to the Caliph who bade him fare forth again to her and say the same to her a second time, whenas she, “Let him send me a thousand dinars and a duenna in whom he confideth, so that I may disguise myself and go down with her and distribute gold to the mean and the mesquin.” Presently back came the slave bearing this reply, whereat the Caliph ordered the moneys be sent to her and the woman required; and the twain, Princess and duenna, went forth and threaded the lanes of Baghdad and her great thoroughfares whilst the young lady distributed her charity to the Fakirs and the paupers. But when all the gold with her had 46been expended and naught of it remained, they turned homewards making for the Palace; and, the day being sultry, drowthiness befel the young lady. So she said to her companion, “O mother mine, I am athirst and want a draught of water to drink;” and said the other, “We will call aloud to the Water-carrier[101] who shall give thee thy need.” Replied the Princess, “Drinking from the Waterman’s jar will not be pleasant to my heart; nor will I touch it, for ’tis like the whore[102] whereinto some man goeth every hour: let the draught of water be from a private house and suffer that it be given by way of kindness.” Hereupon the old woman looked in front of her and saw a grand gateway with a door of sandalwood over which a lamp hung by a silken cord[103] and a curtain was drawn across it and it had two benches of marble, the whole under the charge of a goodly concierge. Then quoth she, “From this house I will ask a drink for thee.” So the two women went forward and stood before the door and the duenna advancing rapped a light rap with the ring, when behold, the entrance was opened and came forth a young man in youthful favour fair and robed in raiments pure and rare and said, “’Tis well!” Hereat the governante addressed him, “O my son, indeed this my daughter is athirst and I crave of thy kindness that thou give her a draught of water, seeing that she will not drink from the Water-carrier.” He replied, “With love and goodwill;” and going within brought out what was required and handed the cup to the old woman. She took it and passed it on to her mistress and the young lady turning her face to the wall raised her veil and drank her sufficiency without showing a single feature.[104] After this she returned the cup to 47the old woman who took it and handed it back to the young man saying, “Allah requite thee with all of weal, O my son!” whereto he replied, “Health to you and healing!”[105] And the two went their way and returned to the Palace and entered therein. On such wise fared it with these twain; but as regards the Caliph, when he had finished filling the pancakes, he ranged them in a large charger of porcelain; then, summoning the Eunuch he said to him, “Take up this and carry it to the daughter of Kisra and say her:—Here be the sweetmeats of peace, and let her know that I will night with her this night.” The Castrato did his lord’s bidding; and carrying the charger to the Princess’s apartment handed it to the duenna and delivered the message, whereupon she blessed and prayed for the Commander of the Faithful and the slave departed. Now he was angry and disappointed for that he could not eat one pancake of them all because they had become big by stuffing and he feared that if he touched any thereof its place would show void. Presently it so befel that the young lady said to the old woman, her governante, “Do thou take up this charger and carry it to the youth who gave us the draught of water with the intent that he may not claim an obligation or have aught to desire of us.” Accordingly, the ancient dame took the charger and walked off with it. But on her way she longed for a Katifah and put forth her hand to one and took it up when she saw that it left in the line of pancakes a gap big as a man’s palm. Hereat she feared to touch it and replaced it saying, “’Twill be known that I carried off one of them.” Then after returning the pancake to its place, she passed on with the charger to the door of that young man whom she suddenly sighted as he sat at the gateway. She saluted him with the salam which he returned, and then said she, “O my son, the young lady who drank the water hath sent thee all these 48cates in acknowledgment for the draught thou gavest her to drain.” Said he, “Set it down on the door-bench;” and, when she did his bidding, he expressed his thanks to her and she ganged her gait. Now as the youth still sat there, the Watchman of the Ward suddenly stood before him blessing him and saying, “O my lord, this be Arafat-day and to-night will be the Eve of the ’I´d, or Greater Festival; so I hope from the beneficence of my master the Chamberlain and Emir Alaeddin (whom Allah Almighty keep and preserve!) that he will deign order me a largesse befitting the Fête wherewith I may buy sweetmeats for my wife and children.” The other replied, “Take this charger and wend thy ways therewith;” so the Watchman kissed his hand and carrying it off went home and showed it to his wife. But she cried, “O thou miserable,[106] whence gottest thou this charger: hast thou wilfully stolen it or suddenly snatched it?”[107] Replied her mate, “This be the property of the Emir Alaeddin, the Chamberlain (whom Allah preserve!), and he gave it to me as an alms-gift; so come hither all of you that we eat, for the pancakes look toothsome.” Rejoined his wife, “Art thou Jinn-mad? Up with thee and sell the charger and cates, for the worth must be some thirty to forty dirhams which we will lay out for the benefit of the little ones.” He retorted, “O woman, suffer us eat of this food wherewith the Almighty would feed us;” but she fell to wailing and crying out, “We will not taste thereof while the children lack caps and slippers.”[108] And she prevailed over him with her opinion, for indeed women are 49mostly the prevailers. So taking up the charger he fared with it to the market-place and gave it for sale to a broker, and the man began crying, “Who will buy this charger with whatso is thereon?” Hereat up came the Shaykh of the Bazar who bid forty dirhams therefor, and a second merchant raised its price to eighty, when a third hent it in hand and turning it about espied graven upon the edge, “Made by commandment of Harun al-Rashid, Commander of the Faithful.” Hereat the trader’s wits fled him and he cried to the broker, “Hast thou a will to work for my hanging in this matter of the charger?” Quoth the other, “What may be the meaning of these words?” and quoth the merchant, “This charger is the property of the Prince of True Believers.” The broker, dying of dread, took the charger and repaired therewith to the Palace of the Caliphate where he craved leave to enter; and, when this was accorded, he went in and kissed ground before the presence and blessed the Commander of the Faithful and lastly showed to him the charger. But when the Caliph looked at it and considered it carefully, he recognized it with its contents, and he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and said in himself, “When I make aught for the eating of my household, shall it be sent out and hawked about for sale?” adding to the broker, “Who gave thee this charger?” “O my lord, ’twas the Watchman of one of the wards,” replied he; and Harun rejoined, “Bring him to me hither.” So they fared forth and fetched him bound in cords and saying in his mind, “The whore would not suffer us eat of that was in the charger and enjoy its sweetness, so this happened which hath happened to us; we have eaten naught and have fallen into misfortune.” But when they set him between the hands of the Caliph the latter asked him, “Where haddest thou yon charger? say me sooth or I will smite thy neck!” The Watchman answered, “Allah prolong the life of our liege lord! verily as regards this charger it was given to me by the Lord Alaeddin, the junior Chamberlain.” Hereat the Prince of True Believers 50redoubled in rage and cried, “Bring me that Emir with his turband in tatters, and drag him along on his face and plunder his home.” Accordingly the magnates fared forth with their pages; and, reaching the house, knocked at the door, when the owner came out and, seeing the officials, asked, “What is to do?” “’Tis against thee,” replied some of the Grandees, whereto the Chamberlain rejoined, “Hearkening and obeying Allah and then the Commander of the Faithful!” After this they bore him to the Palace of the Caliphate and an Emir of them put forth his hand to the Chamberlain’s coat and tare it and rent his turband adown his neck saying, “O Alaeddin,[109] this is the behest of the Prince of True Believers who hath enjoined that we do with thee on such wise and we despoil thy house: yet there is bread and salt between us albe we must do as we are bidden, for obedience to royal behest is of the ways of good breeding.” Then they carried him into the presence of the Caliph and he, after he was made to stand between the Sovran’s hands, kissed ground and blessed Harun and said, “Allah give aidance to our liege lord and have him in His holy keeping: what may be the offence of thine humble slave that he hath merited such treatment as this?” Harun raised his head and asked, “Say me, knowest thou yon fellow?” and the other looked and seeing the guardian of the gates corded and pinioned made answer, “Yes indeed, I know him and he is the Watchman of our ward.” The Caliph resumed, “Whence came to thee this charger?” and the Chamberlain replied, “Let the Commander of the Faithful (to whom Almighty Allah vouchsafe furtherance!) learn that I was sitting at home when there rapped a rap at the door; and I, going 51forth to open, beheld an ancient dame who said to me:—O my son, this my daughter is athirst and I beg thee of thy bounty to give her a draught of water for she will not take drink from the public Sakká. So I brought them out their requirement and they satisfied themselves and went their ways. After an hour or so I came forth and took seat by my house-door when behold, up came the old woman bearing in hand yon charger and said:—O my son, the person to whom thou suppliedest drink hath sent this to thee in requital for that thou gavest her of water inasmuch as she is unwilling to be under an obligation. Quoth I:—Set it down; when she placed it upon the edge of the Mastabah-bench and left me. Thereupon suddenly came up this Watchman and craved from me the Sweetmeat of the Festival, whereto I answered:—Do thou take this charger and its contents (whereof by the bye I had not tasted aught); and he did so and departed. This is all I know and—The Peace.” Now when the Commander of the Faithful heard this from the Chamberlain, his heart was gladdened and he enquired, “O Alaeddin, what time the young lady drank the draught of water didst thou see her face or not?” and the Chamberlain replied in haste, “O Prince of True Believers, indeed I did see it.” Hereat Harun was wroth with exceeding wrath and bade summon the daughter of Kisra and when she came bade the twain be beheaded saying, “Thou farest forth to do alms-deeds, and thou durst display thy features to this fellow when thou drankest water at his hand!” Hereat she turned her towards Alaeddin and replied, “Thou see my face! Nay, this is but a lie that may work my death.” He rejoined, “The Reed-pen wrote what ’twas bidden write![110] I designed to say:—Verily I beheld naught of her and my tongue ran as it did the sooner to end our appointed life-term.” Then having set the twain upon the rug of blood the Sworder bound their hands 52and tearing off a strip from their skirts bandaged their eyes, whereafter he walked around them and said, “By leave of the Commander of the Faithful;” and Harun cried, “Smite!” Then the Headsman paced around them a second time saying, “By leave of the Commander of the Faithful,” and Harun again cried, “Smite!” But when the executioner did in like manner for the third and last time[111] quoth he to Alaeddin, “Hast thou haply in heart aught of regret or requirement that I may fulfil it to thee? Ask of me anything save release, ere the Commander of the Faithful say the word and forthright thy head fall before thy feet?” “I desire,” quoth the Chamberlain, “that thou unbind this bandage from mine eyes so may I look one latest look at the world and at my friends, after which do thou work thy will.” The Sworder granted this and Alaeddin glanced first to the right where he saw none to aidance dight, and then to the left where he found all favour reft; and the spectators each and every hung their heads groundwards for awe of the Caliph, nor did any take upon himself to utter a kindly word. Whereupon the Chamberlain cried out his loudest saying, “A counsel, O Commander of the Faithful!” and Harun regarding him asked, “What is it thou counsellest?” “A respite of three days’ space,” rejoined the condemned, “when thou shalt see a marvel, indeed a miracle of miracles;” and the Caliph retorted, “After the third day, an I see not as thou sayest I will assuredly smite thy neck;” and bade them bear him back to gaol. But when the appointed term ended, the Caliph sprang up and in his impatience to see what would befal him donned a dress distinctive of his new calling,[112] and thrusting his feet into coarse shoon and high of heel[113] and 53binding about his brows a honey-coloured turband[114] he hent in hand a pellet-bow[115] and slung its case over his shoulders: he also took gold in pouch and thus equipped he left the palace. Then, as he roamed about the lanes of Baghdad and her highways, giving alms and saying in his mind, “Haply may I sight the wonder which the Chamberlain Alaeddin announced to me,” it befel about mid-forenoon (and he still walking) that behold, a man came forth from the Kaysaríyah[116] or chief mart of the merchants crying aloud, “This be a marvel, nay a miracle of miracles.” So the Caliph questioned him saying, “What be this wonder thou hast seen?” and he answered, “Within yon Kaysariyah is a woman who reciteth the Koran even as it was brought down,[117] and albeit she have not ceased declaiming from the hour of the dawn-prayer until this time, yet hath none given her a single dirham: no, nor even one mite;[118] and what strangeness can be stranger than this I tell thee?” The Caliph, hearing his words 54entered the mart wherein he descried an ancient dame sitting and reciting the Koran and she had well nigh reached the end thereof. He was charmed with the beauty of her lecture and stood there until she had finished it and had blessed the by-standers, but when he glanced round he saw nobody give her aught. So he thrust his hand into his pouch saying in his mind, “Whatso[119] of coin remaineth in purse shall go to this woman.” And he designed to gift her with the gold when suddenly the old dame sprang from her seat and going to a merchant’s shop took seat beside the man and said to him, “O my son, dost thou accept of a fair young lady?” Said he, “Yea, verily,” and she continued, “Up with thee and come that I show thee a thing whose like thou hast never seen.” Now when the Caliph heard her words he said to himself, “Look at yon foul old crone who playeth bawd when I held her to be a devotee, a holy woman. Indeed I will not give her aught until I see what work is wrought by these twain.” The trader then followed the old woman to her home wherein both, youth and crone, entered and the Caliph who pursued them also went in privily and took his station at a stead whence he could see without being seen.[120] Then lo and behold! the old trot called to her daughter who came forth from the bower wherein she was, and the Caliph looking at this young lady owned that he had never sighted amongst his women aught fairer than this, a model of beauty and loveliness and brilliancy and perfect face and stature of symmetric grace. Her eyes were black and their sleepy lids and lashes were kohl’d with Babylonian witchery, and her eyebrows were as bows ready to shoot the shafts of her killing 55glances, and her nose was like unto the scymitar’s edge, and her mouth for magical might resembled the signet-ring of Sulayman (upon whom be The Peace!), and her lips were carnelians twain, and her teeth union pearls and her mouth-dews sweeter than honey and more cooling than the limpid fount; with breasts strutting from her bosom in pomegranate-like rondure and waist delicate and hips of heavy weight, and stomach soft to the touch as sendal with plait upon plait, and she was one that excited the sprite and exalted man’s sight even as said a certain poet in song of her like:—

Breeze-wavèd branch, full moon o’ murk or sun of undurn sheeny bright, ✿ Which is she hight who all the three hath might to place in pauper plight, ah!
Where on the bending branch alight with grace of stature like to hers ✿ Tho’ be the branch by Zephyr deckt and in its ornaments bedight, ah!
And how can fellowèd be her brow with fullest moon that lights the darks ✿ When sun must borrow morning light from that fair forehead dazzling bright, ah!
Were set in scales the fairest fair and balanced with a long compare ✿ Their boasts, thou haddest over-weight for beauty and their charms were light, ah!

Now when he considered her straitly, she captured the whole of his heart. But the young lady had not upon her clothes enough for concealment, and here and there her body showed bare; so when she came forth and espied the young man standing by the old woman she withdrew into her bower and said to her mother, “Allah requite[121] thee for that thou hast done. How can it be allowed thee by the Almighty to set me in this state before a stranger?” “Hold thy peace,” said her parent; “man is allowed to look, and if he have any art or part in the object looked at ’tis well; but thereafter if he look without its being his lot, then 56twere unlawful. This youth hath gazed upon thee, and if he prove to have a portion in thee let him take it, otherwise he may wend his ways, nor is there a flaw in aught of legal observance.” Hereat the Caliph’s heart was cheered, for he knew that the ancient dame meant to marry the maid. Anon quoth the old mother to the merchant, “Hast thou seen her?” and quoth he, “Yes.” “Did she please thee?” asked the crone, and he answered “Yea verily,” adding, “How much may be her actual marriage-settlement and her contingent dower?” She replied, “The first shall consist of four thousand dinars and the second shall be the same.” “This be overmuch,” rejoined the youth, “and more than all my good; to wit, four thousand gold pieces, the gift of which will send me forth to beg; but do thou take of me a thousand dinars, and upon me be the arraying of the house and the maiden’s raiment for another thousand; so will I do business and trade with the remainder.” But the crone sware to him by Allah the Almighty,[122] that an the four thousand failed of a single gold piece he should never see of the damsel a single hair. He replied, “I have no power thereto and—good day to both of you;” and he made for the door, but the Caliph forewent him to the street and standing in a corner suffered him to pass and gang his gait. After this Harun went back to the old woman, and entering salam’d to her and she, returning his salutation, asked him, “What dost thou want and what may be thy wish?” He answered, “The young trader who went forth hence sent me to say that he hath no intent to wed,” and she rejoined, “On this mind the man hied away from us.” Then quoth the Caliph, “I will marry the maid, and by me is all thou canst desire of gold and what not.” She retorted, “O Robber,[123] all I see upon thee is not worth two hundred dirhams: whence then canst thou procure four thousand dinars?” Quoth 57he, “Hast thou grapes to sell, or wishest thou only to breed a quarrel between me and the vineyard-keeper?”[124] and quoth she, “Doubtless I have and hold the grapes.” “Then, I possess all thou canst desire,” said he, and said she, “Then, we will wed thee when thou shalt have weighed out the gold.” The Caliph cried, “I accept;” and anon entering the lodging he took seat at the head of the chamber and in its place of honour, and said to the house-mistress, “Go thou to Kází Such-an-one and tell him that Al-Bundukáni requireth him.” “O Robber,” said she, “will the Kazi be content to come at thy bidding?” The Commander of the Faithful laughed at these words and said, “Do thou go without danger and bid him bring his ink-case and pens and paper.” So she went off saying to herself, “Verily, an the Judge accompany me, this my son-in-law must be a Captain of Robbers.”[125] But when at last she arrived at the Kazi’s mansion she saw him sitting in the middle of the room and surrounded by doctors of divinity and a host of learned wights: so she feared to enter, and fell to looking in through the doorway and she dreaded to fare farther and stepped backwards; withal she kept saying, “How shall I go home without speaking a word to the Kazi?” and the thought would hearten her heart, so she would return to the entrance and thrust in her head and then withdraw it. On such wise she had done many a time when the Kazi, catching sight of her, bade one of his messengers bring her within; so the man went to her and said, 58“Bespeak the Kazi!” So she went in full of affright and salam’d to the Judge who, returning her salutation, asked her, “What is thy want, O woman?” She answered, “There is a young man in my house who desireth that thou come to him;” whereat he rejoined, “And who may be this youth that I in person should hie to him; and what may be his name?” She replied, “He pretendeth to the name of Al-Bundukani—the Arbalestrier” (which was a by-name of the Caliph kept concealed from the folk but well known to all officials). Hereat the Kazi sprang to his feet without stay or delay and said to her, “O my lady, do thou forego me,” whilst all present asked him, “O our lord, whither away?” and he, answering them “A need hath suddenly occurred,” went forth. Then quoth the crone in her mind, “Hapless the Kazi who is a pleasant person, haply this son-in-law of mine hath given him to drink of clotted gore[126] by night in some place or other and the poor man hath yet a fear of him; otherwise what is the worth of this Robber that the Judge should hie to his house?” When they reached the door, the Kazi bade the ancient dame precede him;[127] so she went in and called to him and he on entering saw the Caliph seated at the head of the chamber. He would have kissed ground but Harun signed to him silence with a wink; so he made his salam and sat him down saying, “’Tis well,[128] O my lord, what may be thy want?” The Prince of True Believers replied, “I desire thou marry me to the daughter of this ancient dame, so do thou write out the writ.” Hereupon the Judge asked the assent of the old woman and of her daughter; and, when they both granted it, he enquired, “What may be the amount of the dower?” The mother replied, “Four thousand dinars of gold and the like sum 59in ready coin.” “Dost thou accept?” quoth the Kazi to the Caliph, and quoth he, “Yes.” Accordingly, the Judge wrote out the writ upon the skirt of his Farajiyah-robe for in his agitation he had forgotten to bring paper, and he set down the name of the Sovran and his father and his grandfather without question for that he knew them well; after which he enquired of the old woman her daughter’s name[129] and that of her sire and grandsire. She wailed and cried, “Why and wherefore?[130] Oh miserable that we are! Had her father been living how would this Robber have availed to stand at our door, much less to marry here? but ’twas Death that did with us this deed.” “Allah bless the wronged,”[131] quoth the Kazi and busied himself with writing out the writ; but whatever question he put to the crone, she wailed in reply and buffeted her cheeks, whilst the Judge wagged his head and his heart was like to burst and the Caliph laughed long and loud. And when the writ was written and finished, the writer cut off from the skirt of his gown according to the measure of the writing and gave it to Harun; then he rose up to fare forth but he was ashamed to wear a robe in rags, so he stripped it off and said to the old woman, “O my mother, present this to anyone deserving it.” And so saying he left the house. Hereupon quoth the old woman to the Caliph, “Dost thou not pay unto the Kazi his fee for coming to thee in person and writing the writ upon his robe which he was obliged to throw away?” “Let him go,” said the Caliph, “I will not give him aught.” Cried she, “And why? Oh, how greedy are these robbers! the man came to us in hopes of gain and we have stripped him instead of robing him.” Harun laughed again, then he arose and said to her, “I now hie me home to fetch 60thee the gold and the stuffs wherewith to clothe my bride,” and the crone cried out, “O Robber, whence shalt thou find cloth and coin? unhappy some one whom thou designest to seize and deprive of his daily bread and reduce to poverty and penury!” The Commander of the Faithful held his peace and went forth intending for his Palace, where he donned the royal robes and taking seat upon his throne bade summon marble-cutters and carpenters and plasterers and house-painters. Then, as they came to the presence and kissed ground and blessed him and prayed for the permanence of his empire, he had them thrown and bade administer to them a bastinado of two hundred sticks a head.[132] And when they prayed for mercy and said to him, “O our lord, the Commander of the Faithful, what be our crime?” he said to the artizans, “The hall such-and-such in the Darb-al-Záji,[133] do ye wot it well?” They replied, “Yes,” and he resumed, “I desire that ye fare thither forthright and ye repair the walls with marble-slabs and should mid-afternoon come on and ye leave unfinished a place as big as a man’s palm, I will hack off your hands and place them in lieu thereof.” “O Prince of True Believers,” asked they, “how shall we do seeing that we have no marble?”[134] He answered, “Take it from the government stores[135] and collect each and every stone-cutter in Baghdad. But do you all bear in mind that, if the household enquire who sent you, ye must reply, Thy son-in-law; and should they demand, What is his craft, say, We ken not; and when they require 61to know his name declare it to be Al-Bundukani. And whoso of you shall speak aught beyond this him will I crucify.” So the master-mason went forth and gathered together the stone-cutters and took marble and ashlar from the stores and set the material on the backs of beasts with all other needs and he repaired to the hall,[136] and entered with his company. Hereat the old woman asked “What is’t ye want?” “We would slab the floors and walls of this dwelling with marble!” “And who was it sent you?” “Thy son-in-law!” “And what may be his business?” “We know not.” “Then what is his name?” “Al-Bundukani,” they replied. So she said to herself, “He is naught but a Robber and Captain of thieves.” Then the masons divided and marked out the ground, and each found that each and every had to pave and slab a surface of a cubit or less. Such was their case; but as concerneth the Caliph, he turned him to the chief Carpenter, and looking at him keenly said, “Go thou likewise and assemble all thy fellows in the capital: then do thou repair to the dwelling of Such-an-one and make the doors and so forth, in fact everything needed of carpentry and joinery, taking thee all the requisites from the public warehouses; nor let the afternoon come on ere thou shalt have finished, and if all be not done I will strike thy neck.” He also charged them even as he had charged the marble-cutters never to divulge his dignity or even his name other than Al-Bundukani. So the chief Carpenter went and, gathering his craftsmen, took planks and nails and all his needs, after which they repaired to the lodging and entered, and setting up their scaffoldings[137] fell to work while the head man marked off a task for each hand. But the crone was consterned and cried to the men, “And why? Who hath sent you?” “Thy son-in-law!” “And what may be his trade?” “We know not.” “Then what 62may be his name?” “Al-Bundukani.” So they pushed on their work, each urging his fellow, whilst the old woman well-nigh waxed Jinn-mad,[138] and said to herself, “This my son-in-law, the Robber, is naught save a viceroy of the Jánn; and all this is of their fear, so that none dareth or deemeth it safe to disclose the craft or even the name of him, so much do they hold him in awe.” Lastly, the Caliph bade the plasterers and house-painters call a meeting of their brother-craftsmen and go to the government stores and thence take all their requirements of quicklime and hemp[139] and so forth; and lastly, charging them as he had charged the others who forewent them, he said, “As soon as the Izán of mid-afternoon prayer shall be cried, if any one of you shall have left in the lodging work unwrought, be it only the size of a man’s palm, I will hack off his hand and set it upon the unfinished stead.” Accordingly, they kissed ground and fared forth carrying with them all their requirements; and, repairing to the tenement, entered therein and slaked their lime and set up their ladders, and four or five artificers fell to working at every wall whilst the house-painters followed them. But when the ancient dame beheld this, her wits were wildered and she was utterly bedazed: so said she to her daughter, “This son-in-law of mine is none save one whose word is heard, and folk abide in awe of him; otherwise who could work all this work in a single day whenas none other than himself could have wrought the same within a twelvemonth? But pity ’tis he be a Robber.” Anon she went to the plasterers and said, “Who was it sent you?” “Thy son-in-law!” “And what may be his trade?” “We know not.” “Then what is his name?” “Al-Bundukani.” After this she passed on to the house-painters and asked the same question and receiving the same 63reply, quoth she to one of them, “I demand of thee, by God the Great, O my son, why thou wilt not disclose to me concerning my son-in-law his name and his craft?” Thereupon quoth the wight addressed, “No man hath power to speak out, otherwise his life is lost;” and she repeated to herself, “Indeed he is none but a mighty Robber, for that the Moslems one and all dread him and his mischief.”[140] Now when mid-afternoon came, the artizans had done the whole of their work; so they donned their outer dresses and went forth intending for the Commander of the Faithful, Harun the Orthodox. And when they entered all kissed ground and said, “Under the good auspices of our lord the Prince of True Believers we have wroughten the work of the house.” So he bestowed robes of honour upon them and gave them gifts that contented them, after which they fared forth about their business. Then the Caliph summoned Hammáls or porters and set in their crates articles of furniture such as carpets and counterpanes and sofa-cushions and hangings of arras and prayer-rugs, besides gear of brass and all such necessaries for the household; and to this he added two baskets containing body-raiment and kimcob or gold cloth and stuffs inworked and studded with gems; also jewellery and precious stones, pearls and what not: nor did he forget a coffer containing the eight thousand pieces of gold.[141] Then he sent them upon their errand, saying, “Take up all this and bear it to such a house in the Darb al-Zaji and make it over to the ancient dame who owneth the hall; and when she asketh, Who was it sent you? do ye answer, Thy son-in-law; and should she enquire, What is his craft? respond, We know it not; and should she demand the name, declare Al-Bundukani.” Accordingly the porters fared forth, and reaching the tenement rapped at the door, when the old woman came out and cried, “Who knocketh here?” 64and they replied, “Open and take what we have brought of cloth and clothes and so forth.” But when she looked upon the loads she wailed and cried, “Indeed ye have wandered from the way: whence could all this prosperity have befallen us? return with it to the owner thereof.” They asked her, “Is not this hall that which was builded this day?” And when she answered, “Yes,” quoth they, “Then ’twas hither thy son-in-law sent us.” With these words they went in and set down whatso was with them, but the old woman wailed and cried aloud, “’Tis not for us: ye have wandered from your way.” “It is for you, indeed,” they rejoined, “and thy son-in-law saith:—Adorn your dwelling and don the stuffs and dress therewith whomso you choose: as for him, he hath much business yet will he come to you what time the folk sleep.” “Yes, indeed,” quoth she to herself, “Robbers never do come save by night.” And when the Hammals went their ways the old woman fared forth to her neighbours and summoned them to assist her in ranging the furniture and vaiselle;[142] so they gathered together and entered; and, when they beheld what had befallen, their eyes were dazed and dazzled by seeing the restoration of the hall and by the stuffs and vases therein. So they asked her, “Whence camest thou by all this, and who set for thee this dwelling in such condition and at what time? Yesterday ’twas a ruin and showed neither marble nor whitewash nor stencilling. Can it not be that we are sleeping and haply that we see a dream-house?” She replied, “No vision is this, but evidence of eye-sight: and what work ye behold was wrought by my son-in-law during this one day and to-day also he sent me these stuffs and other matters whereon ye look.” “And who may be thy son-in-law?” asked they, “and when didst thou wed thy daughter while we wotted naught thereof?” Answered she, “To-day all this happened;” and they rejoined, “And what may be 65the bridegroom’s calling? haply he is a mighty merchant or an Emir.” “Nor merchant nor Emir,” quoth she, “but a Robber and the Head and Captain of Bandits!” Hereat the women were startled and cried, “Allah upon thee, do thou charge him anent us that he plunder not aught from our houses, seeing that we have a claim of neighbourhood and gossipry upon you.” “Never fear,” she replied, “he is not wont to take aught of neighbours albeit he be a Viceregent of the Jann.” So their hearts were heartened, and they fell to ordering the furniture and decorations; and, when they had ended the ordinance of the house, they applied themselves to dressing the bride; and they brought her a tirewoman and robed her in the finest robes and raiment and prepared her and adorned her with the choicest ornaments. And while they did thus behold, up came other porters carrying crates of meat, such as pigeon-poults and poultry, Katás,[143] 66and quails,[144] lambs and butcher’s meat, clarified butter and other cooking material, with all manner of edibles and delicacies such as sugar and Halwá-confections and the like thereof. The Hammals then said to the household, “Take ye this which your son-in-law hath sent to you saying:—Do ye eat and feed your neighbours and whomso ye please.” Quoth the old woman, “I ask you, for Allah’s sake, to let me know what may be my son-in-law’s craft and his name;” and quoth they, “His name is Al-Bundukani, but what his business may be we know not;” and so saying they went their ways. Hereupon exclaimed certain of the women who were present, “By the Apostle, he is naught but a robber;” while others who had claims upon the old house-mistress cried, “Be whatever may be, before the man who can do after this fashion all the folk in Baghdad are helpless.” Presently they served the provision and all ate their sufficiency; then they removed the trays and set on others loaded with the confections which they also enjoyed; and at last after dividing the orts amongst the neighbours they reserved some of the best of meats and sweetmeats for the bridegroom’s supper. In due time a report was bruited about the quarter that the old woman had wedded her daughter with a robber who had enriched them with what booty he had brought them. And these tidings spread from folk to folk till they reached the young merchant of whom mention hath been made, the same who had sought the maiden to wife and who had not wedded her because refused by her mother. Also he was told that the damsel had been married to a robber who had rebuilt the hall with marble, and the plasterers and painters and carpenters and joiners had wrought therein works which astounded the beholders; moreover that the bridegroom had sent them of stuffs and jewellery 67a matter beyond count or compute. Hearing this report he found the matter grievous on him and the fire of envy flamed in his heart and he said to himself, “Naught remaineth to me except that I wend me to the Wálí[145] and tempt him with promises and thereby work the ruin of this robber and take the damsel to myself.” With these words he rose up sans stay or delay and, going to the Chief of Police related to him all that occurred and promised him a muchel of money saying, “Whatso thou wantest can be gotten from this robber inasmuch as he owneth good galore.” The Wali rejoiced and replied, “Be patient until after supper-tide when the thief shall have returned home and we will go and catch him and thou shalt carry away the young lady.” So the trader blessed him and took himself off and waited at home until it was supper-time and the streets were void of folk. Presently Názúk[146] the Wali mounted horse with four hundred headsmen and smiters of the sword, link-boys and low fellows,[147] bearing cressets and paper-lanthorns under four head constables and rode to the house of the old woman. Now all the gossips had departed to their abodes and were dispersed, nor did one of them remain behind; but the household had lighted wax candles and was expecting the bridegroom with bolted doors when behold, the Chief of Police came up and finding all shut bade his men knock with an easy rap. This was heard by those within the hall and the ancient dame sprang up and went to the entrance, whence she espied gleams of light athwart the door-chinks and when she looked out of the window she saw the Wali and his merry men crowding the street till the way was 68cut. Now the Chief had a lieutenant Shamámah[148] hight, which was a meeting-place of ill manners and morals; for naught was dearer to him save the straitening of a Moslem, nor was there upon his body a single hair which affected or aided the veiling of Allah.[149] Brief he was, even as the poet said:—

Whoreson and child of thousand pagans twain; ✿ Son of the Road to lasting sin and bane;
The Lord of Ruth ne’er grew him e’en a hair ✿ Was not with this or that of contact fain![150]

Now this man, who was standing beside the Chief of Police, seized the opportunity of saying, “O Emir, what booteth our standing idle in this stead? Better ’twere that we break down the door and rush in upon them and snatch what we want and loot all the stuffs in the house.” Hereat came forward another lieutenant who was called Hasan[151]—the Handsome—for that his face was fair and his works were fairer and he was a meeting-place of fairest deeds; and the same was wont to stand at the Wali’s door as a symbol of ruth to mankind. So he came forward and said, “O Emir, this were not the rede which is right and yonder man’s words lack good counsel, seeing that none hath complained against this folk and we know not an the accused be a thief or not: furthermore we fear consequences for that haply this merchant speaketh with an object, they having forbidden his marrying the girl: do not therefore cast thyself into that shall harm thee, but rather let us enquire anent the matter openly and publicly; and should it prove to be as reported, then the Emir’s opinion shall prevail.” All this 69took place while the old woman heard from behind the door whatso they said. Hereat she dried up with dread and affright and going within acquainted her daughter with what had occurred and ended with, “The Wali still is standing at the door.” The young lady was sore terrified and said to her mother, “Do thou bar[152] the entrance till Allah haply deign bring us comfort.” So the old woman fared forth and bolted and barred it yet more straitly; and when they knocked a second time she acknowledged the rap by “Who is at the door?” and the lieutenant Shamamah replied to her and said, “O ill-omened old woman, O accomplice of robbers, knowest thou not that he who rappeth is the Master of Police and his young men? So open to us forthright.” Quoth she, “We be Haríms and ne’er a man with us, therefore we will not open to any;” and quoth he, “Open, or we will break it down.” The old woman made no reply but returning to her daughter within said to her, “Now look at this Robber and how from the first of this night we have been humbled for his sake: yet had he fallen into this trap his life had been taken, and would Heaven he may not come now and be made prisoner by them. Ah me! Were thy father on life the Wali never had availed to take station at our house-door or the door of any other.” “Such be our lot,” replied the girl, and she went to the casement that she might espy what was doing. This is how it fared with them; but as concerneth the Caliph, when the folk had finished crowding the streets he disguised himself and hending in hand his pellet-bow and slinging his sword over his shoulder he went forth intending for his bride. But when reaching the head of the street he saw lanthorns and stir of crowd[153]: so he approached to look and he espied the Wali and his men with the merchant standing by the Chief’s side together with the lieutenants, all save one shouting, “Break down the door and rush in and seize the old woman: then let us question her with torture 70until she confess where be her Robber of a son-in-law.” But Hasan the fourth officer dissuaded them saying, “O good folk, do ye fear Almighty Allah and be not over hasty, saving that hurry is of old Harry. These be all women without a man in the house; so startle them not; and peradventure the son-in-law ye seek may be no thief and so we fall into an affair wherefrom we may not escape without trouble the most troublous.” Thereupon Shamamah came up and cried out, “O Hasan, it ill becometh thee to stand at the Wali’s door: better ’twere for thee to sit on the witness-bench; for none should be gate-keepers to a head policeman save they who have abandoned good deeds and who devour ordure[154] and who ape the evil practices of the populace.” All this and the Caliph overheard the fellow’s words and said to himself, “’Tis well! I will indeed gladden thee, O Accurst.” Then he turned and espied a street which was no thoroughfare, and one of its houses at the upper end adjoined the tenement wherein was his bride; so he went up to it and behold, its gateway showed a curtain drawn across and a lamp hung up and an Eunuch sitting upon the door-bench. Now this was the mansion of a certain noble who was lord over a thousand of his peers and his name was the Emir Yúnas[155]: he was an angry man and a violent; and on the day when he had not bastinado’d some wight he would not break his fast and loathed his meat for the stress of his ill-stomach. But when the Eunuch saw the Caliph he cried out at him and sprang up to strike him exclaiming, “Woe to thee! art thou Jinn-mad? Whither going?” But the Commander of the Faithful shouted at him saying, “Ho! thou ill-omened slave!” and the chattel in his awe of the Caliphate fancied that the roar was of a lion about to rend him and he ran off and entered the presence of his owner quivering with terror. “Woe to thee!” said 71his master; “what hath befallen thee?” and he, “O my lord, the while I was sitting at the gate suddenly a man passed up the street and entered the house-door; and, when I would have beaten him, he cried at me with a terrible voice saying:—Ho, thou ill-omened slave! So I fled from him in affright and came hither to thee.” Now when the Emir Yunas heard his words, he raged with such excessive rage that his soul was like to leave his body and he cried out saying, “Since the man addressed thee as ‘ill-omened slave,’ and thou art my chattel, I therefore am servile and of evil-omen. But indeed I will show him his solace!” He then sprang to his feet and hent in hand a file-wrought mace[156] studded with fourteen spikes, wherewith had he smitten a hill he had shivered it; and then he went forth into the street muttering, “I ill-omened!”[157] But the Caliph seeing him recognised him straitway and cried, “Yunas!” whereat the Emir knew him by his voice, and casting the mace from his hand kissed ground and said “’Tis well, O Commander of the Faithful!” Harun replied, “Woe to thee, dog! whilst thou art the Chief of the Emirs shall this Wali, of men the meanest, come upon thy neighbours and oppress them and terrify them (these being women and without a man in the house), and yet thou holdest thy peace and sittest in ease at home nor goest out to him and ejectest him by the foulest of ejections?” Presently the other replied, “O Prince of True Believers, but for the dread of thee lest thou say:—This be the warder of the watch, why hast thou exceeded with him?, I would have made for him a night of the fulsomest, for him and for those with him. But an the Caliph command I will forthright break them all to bits nor leave amongst them a sound man; for what’s the worth of this Wali and all his varlets?” “First admit us to thy mansion,” 72quoth the Commander of the Faithful; so they passed in and the housemaster would have seated his visitor for the guest-rite but he refused all offers and only said, “Come up with us to the terrace-roof.” Accordingly they ascended and found that between it and the dwelling of the bride was but a narrow lane; whereupon quoth the Caliph, “O Yunas, I would find a place whence I can look down upon these women.” “There is no other way,” quoth the other, “save herefrom; and, if thou desire, I will fetch thee a ladder[158] and plant it in such wise that thou canst pass across.” “Do so,” rejoined the other, and the Emir bringing a ladder disposed it after bridge fashion that the Caliph crossed over the lane to the house on the other side. Then quoth he, “Go sit thee in thy stead, and when I want thee I will call.” Yunas did as he was bidden and remained on the watch for his lord’s summons. But the Prince of True Believers walked over the terrace-roof with the lightest tread and not audible, lest his footsteps frighten the inmates, till he came to the parapet[159] and looking adown therefrom upon the hall he saw a site like the Garden of Paradise which had been newly pranked and painted, whilst the lighted wax-candles and candelabra showed the young lady, the bride, sitting upon her bedstead adorned with gems and jewellery. She was like a Sun shedding sheen in sky serene, or a full moon at the fullest seen, with brow flower-bright and eyes black and white and beauty-spots fresh as greenth to the sight; brief she was as one of whom the poet saith:—

She’s a wonder! her like none in universe see, ✿ For beauty and graces and softest blee:
That fairest of blossoms she blooms on earth ✿ Than gardens the sheeniest sheenier she:
And soft is the rose of her cheek to the touch ✿ ’Twixt apple’s and Eglantine’s lenity,
73And the forelock-falls on the brow of her ✿ Death-doom to the World and the Faith decree;
And she shames the branchlet of Basil when ✿ She paces the Garden so fair and free.
An water doubted her soft sweet gait ✿ She had glided with water o’er greenery:
When she walketh the world like the Húr al-Ayn[160] ✿ By the tongue of looks to her friends say we:—
“O Seeker, an soughtest the heart of me ✿ Heart of other thou never hadst sought for thee:
O lover, an filled thee my love thou ne’er ✿ ’Mid lovers hadst dealt me such tyranny.”
Praise Him who made her an idol for man ✿ And glory to Him who to her quoth “BE!”

The Caliph was astonishment-struck at what he sighted of her beauty and loveliness whilst her mother stood before her saying, “O my child, how shall be our case with these tyrants,[161] especially we being women and sans other recourse save Allah Almighty? Would Heaven I wot whence came to us this Robber who, had thy sire been on life, would have been far from able to stand at the door. But this is the doom of Destiny upon us by God’s will.” Replied the young lady, “O mother mine, and how long wilt thou put me to shame for this young man and call him ‘Robber,’ this whom the Almighty hath made my portion; and haply had he been a good man and no thief he had been given to some other?[162] 74However he is my lot, and lauds to the Lord and gratitude for that He hath bestowed and made my portion.” When the ancient dame heard these words she pursued, “I hope to Heaven, O my daughter, that thy portion may not come hither this night, otherwise sore I fear they will seize him and do him a harm and well-away for his lost youthtide!” All this took place between mother and daughter whilst the Caliph stood upon the terrace-roof listening to their say and presently he picked up a pebble the size of a vetchling[163] and, setting it between his thumb and forefinger, jerked it at the wax candle which burned before the young lady and extinguished the light. “Who put out yon taper?” cried the old woman, “and left the others afire?” and so saying she rose and lighted it again. But Harun took aim at that same and jerking another pebble once more extinguished it and made her exclaim, “Ah me! what can have put out this also?” and when the quenching and quickening were repeated for the third time she cried with a loud voice saying, “Assuredly the air must have waxed very draughty and gusty; so whenever I light a candle the breeze bloweth it out.” Hereat laughed the young lady and putting forth her hand to the taper would have lit it a third time 75when behold, her finger was struck by a pebble and her wits fled her head. But as the mother turned towards the terrace-wall the first glance showed to her sight her son-in-law there sitting, so she cried to her daughter, “O my child, behold thy bridegroom whence he cometh unto thee, but robbers arrive not save by the roof, and had he not been a housebreaker he would have entered by the door. However Alhamdolillah that he hath chosen the way of our terrace, otherwise they had captured him;” presently adding “Woe to thee, O miserable, fly hence or the watch at the door shall seize thee and we women shall not avail to release thee after thou fallest into their hands; nor will any have ruth upon thee; nay, they will cut off at least one of thine extremities. So save thyself and vanish so as not to lapse into the grip of the patrol.” But hearing these her words he laughed and said to her, “Do thou open to me the terrace-wicket that I come down to you and see how to act with these dogs and dog-sons.” She replied, “Woe to thee, O miserable, deemest thou these be like unto that poor Kazi who snipped his gown in fear of thee: he who now standeth at the door is Nazuk Wali and hast thou authority over him also?” He repeated, “Open to me that I may come down, otherwise I will break in the door;” so she unbolted the terrace-wicket and he descended the stairs and entered the hall where he took seat beside his bride and said, “I am an-hungered: what have ye by way of food?” The ancient dame cried, “And what food shall go down grateful to thy stomach and pleasant when the police are at the door?” and he replied, “Bring me what ye have and fear not.” So she arose and served up to him whatso remained of meat and sweetmeat and he fell to morselling[164] them with mouthfuls and soothing them with soft words till they had their sufficiency of victual, after which she, the mother-in-law, removed the tray. Meanwhile the Chief of Police and his varlets stood shouting at 76the door and saying, “Open to us otherwise we will break in.” Presently quoth the Caliph to the old trot, “Take this seal-ring and go thou forth to them and place it in the Wali’s hands. An he ask thee, Who is the owner of this signet? answer thou, Here is he with me; and if he enquire of thee, What doth he wish and what may he want? do thou reply, He requireth a ladder of four rungs and its gear, not forgetting a bundle of rods;[165] also do thou, O man, enter with four of thy lieutenants and see what else he demandeth.” When the ancient dame heard this from him she exclaimed, “And doth the Wali also dread thee or fear this seal-ring? My only fear is that they may now seize me and throw me and beat me with a bastinado so painful that it will be the death of me, and they hearken not to a word of mine, nor suffer thee to avail me aught.” Rejoined the Caliph, “Be not alarmed, he shall not be able to gainsay my word;” and she, “An the Wali fear thee and give ear to thee, then will I gird my loins and suffer thee to teach me something of thy craft even were it that of robbing slaves’ shoon.” “Go forth without affright,” said he laughing at her words, whereupon she took the seal-ring and went as far as behind the door and no farther, muttering to herself, “I will not open it wholly but only a little so as to give them the signet; then if they hearken to what saith this Robber ’tis well, otherwise I will keep the bolt fastened as it was.” Presently she went forward and addressed the watch saying, “What is it ye want?” and Shamamah cried in reply, “O ill-omened old baggage, O rider of the jar,[166] O consorter of thieves, we want the robber who is in thy house that we may take him and strike off his hand and his foot; and thou shalt see what we will do with thee after that.” She shrank from his words, but presently she heartened her heart and said to him, “Amongst you is there any who can read a whit?” “Yes,” said 77the Wali, and she rejoined, “Take thou this seal-ring and see what be graven thereupon and what may be its owner’s name.” “Almighty Allah curse him,” cried the lieutenant Shamamah, presently adding to the Wali, “O Emir, as soon as the old crone shall come forth I will throw her and flog her with a sore flogging; then let us enter the door and slay her and harry the house and seize the robber; after which I will inspect the signet and find out its owner and who sendeth it; then, if this be one of whom we stand in shame we will say, Indeed we read not its graving before the command was somewhat rashly carried out. On this wise none may avail to molest us or thee.” Hereupon he drew near the door and cried to her, “Show me that thou hast, and perhaps the sending it may save thee.” So she opened one leaf of the door sufficient to thrust out her hand and gave him the ring which he took and passed to the Chief of Police. But when the Wali had considered and read the name engraved (which was that of the Commander of the Faithful Harun the Orthodox), his colour waxed wan and his limbs quaked with fear. “What is to do with thee?” asked Shamamah, and the other answered, “Take and look!” The man hent the ring in hand and coming forward to the light read what was on it and understood that it was the signet of the Vicar of Allah. So a colick[167] attacked his entrails and he would have spoken but he could stammer only “Bí, Bí, Bí”[168] whereupon quoth the Master of Police, “The rods of Allah are descending upon us, O accurst, O son of a sire accurst: all this is of thy dirty dealing and thy greed of gain: but do thou address thy creditor[169] and save thyself alive.” Hereat quoth Shamamah, “O my lady, what dost thou require?” and quoth she to herself, “Indeed I am 78rejoiced for that they dread my son-in-law;” and presently she spoke aloud to him and said, “The lord of the seal-ring demandeth of thee a ladder of four rungs, a bundle of rods and cords and a bag containing the required gear,[170] also that the Wali and his four lieutenants go within to him.” He replied, “O my lady chief of this household, and where is he the owner of the signet?” “Here is he seated in the hall,” she replied and the Wali rejoined, “What was it he said to thee?” She then repeated the command about the Wali and the men and the bag, whereat he asked again concerning the whereabouts of the signet-owner and declared the gear to be ready, while all of them bepiddled their bag-trousers with fear.[171] Then the Wali and his four lieutenants, amongst whom was Shamamah the Accurst, entered the house, and the Caliph commanded lieutenant Hasan (knowing him for a kindly man of goodly ways and loath to injure his neighbour as proved by his opposing the harshness of Shamamah), saying, “Hie thee, O Hasan, and summon forthright Yunas the Emir of a thousand!” So this lord came in all haste[172] and was bidden to bastinado the Wali and Shamamah which he did with such good will that the nails fell from their toes; after which they were carried off and thrown into gaol. Then the Caliph largessed lieutenant Hasan; and, appointing him on the spot Chief of Police, dismissed the watch to their barracks. And when the street was cleared the old woman returning to the Harem said to her son-in-law, laughing the while, “There be none in this world to fellow thee as the Prince of Robbers! The Wali dreadeth thee and the Kazi dreadeth thee and all dread thee, whilst I gird my loins in thy service and become a she-robber amongst the women even as thou art a Robber amongst men, and indeed so saith the old saw:—The 79slave is fashioned of his lord’s clay and the son after the features of his sire. Had this Wali, at his first coming, let break down the door and had his men rushed in upon us and thou not present, what would have been our case with them? But now to Allah be laud and gratitude!” The Caliph hearing these words laughed, and taking seat beside his bride, who rejoiced in him, asked his mother-in-law, “Say me, didst ever see a Robber who bore him on this wise with the Wali and his men?” and answered she, “Never, by the life of thee, but may Allah Almighty reprehend the Caliph for that he did by us and punish him for wronging us, otherwise who was it forwarded thee to us, O Robber?” Quoth the Commander of the Faithful in his mind, “How have I wronged this ill-omened old woman that she curseth me?” and presently he asked her, “And wherein hath the Caliph done thee an injury?” She replied, “And what hath the Caliph left us of livelihood and so forth when he marauded our mansion and seized all our seisins? Even this hall was part of the plunder and they laid it waste after taking from it all they could of marble and joinery and what-not; and they left us paupers, as thou sawest, without aught wherewith to veil us and naught to eat. So had it not been that Almighty Allah favoured us with thyself, O Robber, we had been of the destroyed by famine and so forth.” “And wherefore did the Caliph plunder you?” asked he, “And what was the cause of his so doing?” She answered,[173] “My son was a Chamberlain of the Commander of the Faithful, and one day as he was sitting in this our home two women asked him for a draught of water which he gave to them. Presently the elder brought him a porcelain charger full of pancakes with the tidings that it had been sent as a return gift from the young lady her companion who had drunk from his 80hand; and he replied, Set it down and wend thy ways, which she did. Presently as my son sat outside his door, the Watchman came up to offer blessings on the occasion of the Greater Festival and he gave him the charger and the man fared forth; but ere an hour had sped, folk came who marauded our mansion, and seizing my son, carried him before the Caliph, who demanded of him how the charger had come to his hands. He told him what I have told thee, and the Commander of the Faithful asked him:—Say me sawest thou aught of the charms of the young lady? Now my son had on his lips to say No, but his tongue foreran him and he stammered out, Yes, I espied her face, without really having seen her at all, for that when drinking she had turned to the wall. The Caliph hearing this hapless reply summoned the lady and bade smite both their necks, but in honour of the Festival-eve he had them carried off to prison. Such be then the reason of the wrong by the Caliph wrought, and except for this injustice and his seizure of my son, O Robber, it had been long ere thou hadst wedded my daughter.” When the Prince of True Believers heard the words of her, he said in his mind, “Verily I have oppressed these unhappies!” and he presently asked her, “What wilt thou say if I cause the Caliph to free thy son from gaol and robe him and return his fiefs to him and promote him in the Chamberlain’s office and return him to thee this very night?” Hereat the old woman laughed and made answer, “Hold thy peace! This one is no Chief of Police that he fear thee and thou work on him whatso thou willest: this one is the Prince of True Believers Harun al-Rashid, whose behest is heard both in Orient and in Occident, the lord of hosts and armies, one at whose gate the lowest menial is higher in degree than the Wali. Be not therefore beguiled by whatso thou hast done, nor count the Caliph as one of these lest thou cast thyself into doom of destruction, and there be an end of thy affair, while we unfortunates abide without a man in the house, and my son fail of being righted by him who wronged 81him.” But when the Commander of the Faithful heard these words, his eyes brimmed with tears for ruth of her; then, rising without stay or delay, he would have fared forth when the old woman and the young lady hung about his neck crying, “We adjure thee, by Almighty Allah, that thou draw back from this business, for that we fear greatly on thy account.” But he replied, “There is no help therefor,” and he made oath that perforce he must go. Then he fared for the Palace of his kingship, and seating himself upon the throne bade summon the Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains, who flocked into the presence and kissed ground and prayed for him saying, “’Tis well, Inshallah! and what may be the reason for calling us together at this time o’ night?” Said he, “I have been pondering the affair of Alaeddin the Emir, the Chamberlain, how I seized him wrongfully and jailed him, yet amongst you all was not a single one to intercede for him or to cheer him with your companionship.” They bussed ground and replied, “Verily we were awe-struck by the majesty of the Prince of True Believers; but now at this hour we implore of the Commander of the Faithful his mercy upon his slave and chattel;” and so saying, they bared their heads and kissing the floor did humble obeisance. He replied, “I have accepted[174] your intercession on his account, and I have vouchsafed to him pardon; so hie ye to him and robe him with a sumptuous robe and bring him to me.” They did the bidding of their lord and led the youth to the presence where he kissed ground and prayed for the permanence of the Caliph’s rule; and the Sovran accepting this clothed him in a coat whereon plates of gold were hammered[175] and binding round his head a turband of fine gauze with richly embroidered ends made him Chief Lord of the Right[176] and said to him, “Hie thee now to 82thy home!” Accordingly he blessed the Prince and went forth accompanied by all the Emirs who rode their blood-steeds, and the Knights fared with him and escorted him in procession, with kettledrums and clarions, till they reached his mansion. Here his mother and his sister heard the hubbub of the multitude and the crash of the kettledrums and were asking, “What is to do?” when the bearers of glad tidings forewent the folk and knocked at the door saying, “We require of you the sweetmeats of good news, for the Caliph hath shown grace to Alaeddin the Chamberlain and hath increased his fiefs besides making him Chief Lord of the Right.” Hearing this they rejoiced with joy exceeding and gave to the messengers what satisfied them, and while they were thus, behold, Alaeddin the son of the house arrived and entered therein. His mother and sister sprang up and saluted him throwing their arms round his neck and weeping for stress of gladness. Presently he sat down and fell to recounting to them what had befallen him; but chancing to look around he saw that the house had changed condition and had been renovated; so he said, “O my mother, the time of my absence hath been short and when was this lodging made new?” She replied, “O my son, what day thou wast seized, they plundered our abode even to tearing up the slabs and the doors, nor did they leave us aught worth a single dirham: indeed we passed three days without breaking our fast upon aught of victual.” Hearing this from her quoth he, “But whence cometh all this to you, these stuffs and vessels and who was it rebuilded this house in a space so short? Or haply is all this I see in the lands of dreams?” But quoth she, “Nay, ’tis no vision but an absolute reality and ’twas all done by my son-in-law in a single day.” “And who may be my new brother-in-law?” he enquired, “and when didst thou give away my sister, and who married her 83without my leave?”[177] “Hold thy peace, O my son,” rejoined she, “but for him we had died of want and hunger!” “And what may be his calling?” the Emir asked, and she answered, “A Robber!” But when her son heard this he was like to choke with anger and he cried, “What degree hath this robber that he become my brother-in-law? Now by the tomb of my forbears I will assuredly smite his neck.” “Cast away from thee such wild talk,” cried she, “for the mischief of another is greater than thy mischief, withal naught thereof availed him[178] with a man who wrought all thou seest in half a day.” Then she related to her son what had befallen the Kazi and the Wali from the man and how he had bastinado’d the police, showing him as she spoke the blood which had poured from their bodies upon the floor for excess of flogging; and she continued, “Presently I complained to him of my case, how the Commander of the Faithful had seized thee and imprisoned thee when he said to me:—At this very moment I fare to the Caliph and cause him to free thy son and suffer him to return home; also to robe him and to increase his fiefs; whereupon he went from us and after an hour, lo and behold! thou appearedst; so but for him we had never seen thee any more.” When her son heard these words, his wits were bewildered and he was confounded at his case, so he asked her, “What may this man be styled and what may be his name?” She answered, “We are ignorant an he have any name or not, for however much we enquired of the marble-cutters and master artificers and handicraftsmen, they told us only that his bye-name[179] is Al-Bundukani 84without letting us know any other. Moreover on like wise when he sent me to fetch the Kazi he bade me tell him that Al-Bundukani had summoned him.” Now when the Emir Alaeddin heard her name Al-Bundukani he knew that it was the Commander of the Faithful, nor could he prevent himself springing to his feet and kissing ground seven times; but as his mother beheld this she laughed and cried, “O thou brawler,[180] ’tis as if he had met thee in the street and had given thee to drink a draught of clotted blood, one beyond the common![181] What of thy brave words when anon thou saidst:—I will smite his neck?” “And dost thou know,” quoth he, “who may be the person thou so callest?” and quoth she, “Who may he be?” “The Commander of the Faithful, the Caliph Harun al-Rashid in person,” cried her son, “and what other could have done with the Kazi and the Wali and the rest what he did?” When she heard these words, she dried up with dread and cried, “O my son, set me in a place of safety,[182] for he will suffer me no longer to cumber the face of earth by reason of my often speaking at him; nor did I ever cease to address him as ‘Robber.’” Now whilst they were speaking behold, came up the Commander of the Faithful, whereat Alaeddin arose and kissed ground and blessed him, but the ancient dame took to flight and hid her in a closet. The Caliph seated himself, then he 85looked around and, not seeing his mother-in-law, said to the Chamberlain, “And where may be thy parent?” “She dreadeth,” replied Alaeddin, “and standeth in awe of the Caliph’s majesty;” but Harun rejoined, “There is no harm for her.” Then he bade her be summoned whereat she appeared and kissed ground and prayed for the permanency of his kingship, and he said to her, “Erewhiles thou girdest thy waist to aid me in stealing slaves’ shoon and now thou fliest from thy teacher?” She blushed for shame and exclaimed, “Pardon, O Commander of the Faithful,” and Harun al-Rashid[183] replied, “May Allah pardon the Past.” Presently he sent for the Princess, the daughter of the Chosroe and, summoning the Kazi, forthright divorced her and gave her in marriage to Alaeddin, his Chamberlain. Hereupon were spread bride-feasts which gathered together all the Lords of the Empire and the Grandees of Baghdad, and tables and trays of food were laid out during three successive days for the mesquin and the miserable. The visit of entrance was paid by the two bridegrooms on a single night when both went in unto their wives and took their joy of them, and made perfect their lives with the liveliest enjoyment. And ever after they passed the fairest of days till such time as came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Severer of societies and all passed away and died. So praise be to the Ever-Living who dieth not!

Such is the tale which came down to us
in completion and perfection,
and glory be to God, the
Lord of the three Worlds.


89We here begin,[184] with the aidance of Allah Almighty and indite the History of the Tarjumanah[185] and the Kahramanah[186] and the young man, the King’s Son, and whatso happed between them of controversy and of contention and interrogation on various matters.

It is related (but Allah is All-knowing anent what passed and preceded us of the histories belonging to bygone peoples) that there reigned in a city of Roum[187] a King of high degree and exalted dignity, a lord of power and puissance. But this Sovran was issue-less, so he ceased not to implore Allah Almighty that boon of babe might be vouchsafed to him and presently the Lord had pity upon him and deigned grant him a man-child. He bade tend the young Prince with tenderest tending, and caused him to be taught every branch of knowledge, and the divine precepts of wisdom and morals and manners; nor did there remain aught of profitable learning wherein 90the Youth was not instructed; and upon this education the King expended a mint of money. Now after the Youth grew up Time rounded upon the Sovran his sire and his case was laid bare and he was perplext as to himself and he wotted not whatso he should ever do. Presently his son took heart to direct him aright, and asked, “O my father, say me, wilt thou give ear to that wherewith I would bespeak thee?” “Speak out,” quoth the King, “that is with thee of fair rede;” and quoth the youth, “Rise, O my sire, that we depart this city ere any be ware of our wending: so shall we find rest and issue from the straits of indigence now closing around us. In this place there is no return of livelihood to us and poverty hath emaciated us and we are set in the sorriest of conditions than which naught can be sorrier.” “O my child,” quoth his sire in reply, “admirable is this advice wherewith thou hast advised us, O my son, pious and dutiful; and be the affair now upon Allah and upon thee.” Hereupon the Youth gat all ready and arising one night took his father and mother without any being cognisant; and the three, entrusting themselves to the care of Allah Almighty, wandered forth from home. And they ceased not wandering over the wilds and the wolds till at last they saw upon their way a large city and a mighty fine; so they entered it and made for a place whereat they alighted. Presently the young Prince arose and went forth to stroll about the streets and take his solace; and whilst he walked about he asked concerning the city and who was its Sovran. They gave him tidings thereof saying, “This be the capital of a Sultan, equitable and high in honour amongst the Kings.” Hereupon returning to his father and mother, quoth he to them, “I desire to sell you as slaves to this Sultan,[188] and what say ye?” Quoth they, “We have committed 91our case to Almighty Allah and then to thee, O our son; so do whatso thou wishest and judgest good.” Hereat the Prince, repairing to the Palace, craved leave to enter to the King and, having obtained such permission, made his obeisance in the presence. Now when the Sultan looked upon him he saw that his visitor was of the sons of the great, so he asked him, “What be thy need, Ho thou the Youth?” and the other made answer, “O my lord, thy slave is a merchant man and with me is a male captive, handy of handicraft, God-fearing and pious and a pattern of honesty and honour in perfect degree: I have also a bondswoman goodly in graciousness and of civility complete in all thou canst command of bondswomen; these I desire to vend, O my lord, to thy Highness, and if thou wouldst buy them of thy servant they are between thy hands and at thy disposal, and we all three are thy chattels.” When the King heard these pleasant words spoken by the Youth, he said to him, “And where are they? Bring them hither that I behold them; and, if they be such as thou informest me, I will bid them be bought of thee!” Hereupon the Prince fared forth and informed his parents of this offer and said to them, “Rise up with me that I vend you and take from this Sultan your price wherewith I will pass into foreign parts and win me wealth enough to redeem and free you on my return hither. And the rest we will expend upon our case.” “O our son,” said they, “do with us whatso thou wishest.” Anon,[189] the parents arose and prepared to accompany him and the Youth took them and led them into the presence of that Sultan where they made their obeisance, and the King at first sight of them marvelled with extreme marvel and said to them, “Are ye twain slaves to this young man?” Said they, “Yes, O our lord;” whereupon he turned to the Youth and asked him, “What be the price thou requirest for these two?” “O my lord,” replied he, “give me to 92the price of this man slave, a mare saddled and bridled and perfect in weapons and furniture;[190] and, as for this bondswoman, I desire thou make over to me as her value, a suit of clothes, the choicest and completest.” Accordingly the Sultan bade pay him all his requirement, over and above which he largessed him with an hundred dinars; and the Youth, after obtaining his demand and receiving such tokens of the royal liberality, kissed the King’s hands and farewelled his father and mother. Then he applied himself to travel, seeking prosperity from Allah and all unknowing whither he should wend. And whilst he was faring upon his wayfare he was met by a horseman of the horsemen,[191] and they both exchanged salutations and welcomings, when the stranger was highly pleased at the politeness of the King’s son and the elegance of his expressions. Presently, pulling from his pocket a sealed letter wrapt in a kerchief he passed it over to the Youth, saying, “In very sooth, O my brother, affection for thee hath befallen my heart by reason of the goodliness of thy manners and elegance of thine address and the sweetness of thy language; and now I desire to work thy weal by means of this missive.” “And what of welfare may that be?” asked the Prince, whereto the horseman answered, “Take with thee this letter and forthwith upon arriving at the Court of the King whither thou art wending, hand to him this same; so shalt thou obtain from him gain abundant and mighty great good and thou shalt abide with him in degree of highmost honour. This paper (gifted to me by my teacher) hath already brought me ample livelihood and prodigious profit, and I have bestowed it upon thee by reason of thine elegance and good breeding and thy courteousness in showing me respect.” Hereat the Youth, the son of the King, answered him, “Allah requite thee with weal and grant thou gain thy wish;” and so saying 93accepted the letter of that horseman with honest heart and honourable intent, meditating in his mind, “Inshallah ta’álà—an it be the will of God the Greatest I shall have good fortune to my lot by the blessing of this epistle; then will I fare and set free my father and my mother.” So the Prince resumed his route and he exulted in himself especially at having secured the writ, by means whereof he was promised abundant weal. Presently, it chanced that he became drowthy with excessive drowth that waxed right sore upon him and he saw upon his path no water to drink; and by the tortures of thirst he was like to lose his life. So he turned round and looked at the mare he bestrode and found her covered with a foam of sweat wholly unlike her wonted way. Hereat dismounting he brought out the wrapper wherein the letter was enrolled and loosing it he mopped up therewith his animal’s sweat and squeezing it into a cup he had by him drank it off and found to his joy that he was somewhat comforted. Then, of his extreme satisfaction with the letter, he said to himself, “Would Heaven I knew that which is within, and how the profit which the horseman promised should accrue to me therefrom. So let me open it and see its contents that my heart may be satisfied and my soul be joyed.” Then he did as he devised and perused its purport and he mastered its meaning and the secret committed to it, which he found as follows:—“O my lord, do thou straightway on the arrival of him who beareth these presents slay him, nor leave him one moment on life; because this Youth came to me and I entreated him with honour the highmost that could be of all honouring, as a return for which this traitor of the salt, this reprobate betrayed me in a daughter that was by me. I feared to do him dead lest I come to shame amongst the folk and endure disgrace, I and my tribe, wherefore I have forwarded him to thy Highness that thou mayest torture him with torments of varied art and end his affair and slaughter him, thus saving us from the shame which befel us 94at the hands of this reprobate traitor.”[192] Now when the young Prince read this writ and comprehended its contents, he suspected that it was not written concerning him and he took thought in himself, saying, “Would Heaven I knew what I can have done by this horseman who thus seeketh diligently to destroy my life, for that this one had with him no daughter, he being alone and 95wending his way without any other save himself; and I made acquaintance with him nor passed there between us a word which was unworthy or unmeet. Now this affair must needs have one of two faces; to wit, the first, that such mishap really did happen to him from some youth who favoureth me and when he saw the likeness he gave me the letter; or, on the second count, this must be a trial and a test sent to me from Almighty Allah, and praise be to God the Great who inspired me to open this missive. At any rate I thank the Most Highest and laud Him for His warding off the distress and calamity descending upon me and wherefrom He delivered me.” Then the young Prince ceased not wending over the wildest of wolds until he came to a mighty grand city which he entered; and, hiring himself a lodging in a Khan,[193] dismounted thereat; then, having tethered his mare and fed her with a sufficiency of fodder, he fared forth to walk about the thoroughfares. Suddenly he was met by an ancient dame who considered him and noted him for a handsome youth and an elegant, tall of stature and with the signs of prosperity showing manifest between his eyes. Hereat he accosted her and questioned her of the city-folk and their circumstances, whereto the old woman made reply with the following purport, “Here in our city reigneth a King of exalted dignity and he hath a daughter fair of favour, indeed the loveliest of the folk of her time. Now she hath taken upon herself never to intermarry with any of mankind unless it be one who can overcome her with instances and arguments and can return a sufficient reply to all her questions; and this is upon condition that, should he come off vanquisher he shall become her mate, but if vanquished she will cut off his head, and on such wise hath she done with ninety-and-nine men of the noblest blood, as sons of the Kings and sundry others. Furthermore, she hath a towering castle founded upon the heights 96that overfrown the whole of this city whence she can descry all who pass under its walls.” As soon as the young Prince heard these words from the old woman his heart was occupied with the love of the King’s daughter and he passed that night as it were to him the longsomest of nights, nor would he believe that the next morn had morrowed. But when dawned the day and anon showed its sheen and shone, he arose without let or stay and after saddling his mare mounted her and turned towards the palace belonging to the King’s daughter; and presently reaching it, took his station at the gateway. Hereat all those present considered him and asked him saying, “What be the cause of thy standing hereabouts?” whereto he answered, “I desire speech with the Princess.” But when they heard these words, all fell to addressing him with kindly words and courteous and dissuading him from his desire and saying, “Ho thou beautiful youngling! fear[194] Allah and pity thyself and have ruth upon thy youth; nor dare seek converse with this Princess, for that she hath slain fourscore and nineteen men of the nobles and sons of the kings and for thee sore we fear that thou shalt complete the century.” The Prince, however, would not hear a word from them nor heed their rede; neither would he be warned by the talk of others than they; nay he persisted in standing at the Palace gateway. And presently he asked admission to go in to the King’s daughter; but this was refused by the Princess, who contented herself with sending forth to him her Tarjumánah, her Linguist-dame, to bespeak him and say, “Ho thou fair youth! art thou ready and longing to affront dangers and difficulties?” He replied, “I am.” “Then,” quoth she, “hie thee to the King the father of this Princess and show thyself and acquaint him with thine affair and thine aim, after which do thou bear witness against thyself in 97presence of the Kazi that an thou conquer his daughter in her propositions and she fail of replying to a query of thine thou shalt become her mate; whereas if she vanquish thee she shall lawfully cut off thy head,[195] even as she hath decapitated so many before thy time. And when this is done come thou back to us.” The Prince forthright fared for the monarch and did as he was bidden; then he returned to the Linguist-dame and reported all his proceedings before the King and eke the Kazi. After this he was led in to the presence of the Princess and with him was the afore-mentioned Tarjumánah who brought him a cushion of silk for the greater comfort of his sitting; and the two fell to questioning and resolving queries and problems in full sight of a large attendance. Began the Tarjumanah, interpreting the words of her lady who was present, “Ho thou the Youth! my mistress saith to thee, Do thou inform me concerning an ambulant moving sepulchre whose inmate is alive.” He answered and said, “The moving sepulchre is the whale that swallowed Jonas (upon whom be the choicest of Salams![196]), and the Prophet was quick in the whale’s belly.” She pursued, “Tell me concerning two combatants who fight each other but not with hands or feet, and who withal never say a say or speak a speech.” He answered saying, “The bull and the buffalo who encounter each other by 98ramming with horns.” She continued, “Point out to me a tract of earth which saw not the sun save for a single time and since that never.” He answered saying, “This be the sole of the Red Sea when Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) smote it with his rod and clove it asunder so that the Children of Israel crossed over it on dry ground, which was never seen but only once.”[197] She resumed, “Relate to me anent that which drank water during its life-time and ate meat after its death?” He answered saying, “This be the Rod[198] of Moses the Prophet (upon 99whom be The Peace!) which, when a living branch[199] struck water from its living root and died only when severed from the parent tree. Now Almighty Allah cast it upon the land of Egypt by the hand of Moses, what time this Prophet drowned Pharaoh and his host[200] and therewith clove the Red Sea, after which that Rod became a dragon and swallowed up the wands of all the Magicians of Misraim.” Asked she, “Give me tidings of a thing which is not of mankind nor of the Jánn-kind, neither of the beasts nor of the birds?” He answered saying, “This whereof thou speakest is that mentioned by Solomon, to wit the Louse,[201] and secondly the Ant.” She enquired, “Tell me to what end Almighty Allah 100created the creation and for what aim of wisdom did He quicken this creation and for what object did He cause death to be followed by resurrection and resurrection by the rendering men’s accounts?” He answered saying, “God created all creatures that they might witness His handicraft, and he did them die that they might behold his absolute dominion and He requickened them to the end that they learn His All-Might, and He decreed their rendering account that they might consider His wisdom and His justice.” She questioned him saying, “Tell me concerning three, of whom my first was not born of father and mother and yet died; and my second was begotten of sire and born of woman yet died not, and my third was born of father and mother yet died not by human death?” He answered saying, “The first were Adam and Eve,[202] the second was Elias[203] the Prophet and the third was Lot’s wife who died not the death of the general, for that she was turned into a pillar of salt.” Quoth she, “Relate to me concerning one who in this world had two names?” and he answered saying, “This be Jacob, sire of the Twelve Tribes, to whom Allah vouchsafed the title of Israel, which is Man with El or God.”[204] She said, “Inform me concerning the Nákús, or the Gong,[205] who was the inventor thereof and at what time was it 101first struck in this world?” He answered saying, “The Gong was invented by Noah, who first smote upon it in the Ark.” And after this she stinted not to question him nor he to ree her riddles until evening fell, when quoth the King’s daughter to the Linguist-dame, “Say thou to the young man that he may now depart, and let him come to me betimes next morning when, if I conquer him, I will give him drink of the cup his fellows drained; and, should he vanquish me, I will become his wife.” Then the Tarjumánah delivered her message word for word, and the Youth went forth from the Princess with fire aflame in his heart and spent the longest of nights hardly believing that the morn would morrow. But when day broke and the dawn came with its sheen and shone upon all mankind, he arose from his sleep and fared with the first light to the palace where the King’s daughter bade the Linguist-dame introduce him, and when he came in ordered him be seated. As soon as he had taken seat she gave her commands to the Tarjumanah, who said, “My lady directeth thee to inform her what may be the tree bearing a dozen boughs, each clothed with thirty leaves and these of two colours, one half white and the other moiety black?” He answered saying, “Now that tree is the year, and its twelve branches are the dozen months, while the thirty leaves upon each of these are the thirty white days and the thirty black nights.” Hereat quoth she, “Tell me, what tree was it bore many a bough and manifold leaves which presently became flesh and blood?” He answered saying, “This was the Rod of Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) which was at first a tree but which after cutting became a serpent with flesh and blood.” Continued she, “Inform me what became of Moses’ Rod and Noah’s Ark, and where now be they?” He answered saying, “They are at this tide sunken in the Lake of Tabariyyah,[206] and both, at the end of 102time will be brought out by a man hight Al-Násirí.[207]” She pursued, “Acquaint me with spun yarn, whence did it originate and who was it first practised spinning the same?” He answered, saying, “Almighty Allah from the beginning of mankind ordered the Archangel Gabriel to visit Eve and say to her:—Spin for thyself and for Adam waistcloths wherewith ye may veil your persons.”[208] She enquired, “Tell me concerning the Asáfír,[209] and why they were so called, and who first named them with such name?” He answered saying, “There was in the days of Moses the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) a fowl called Fír, and in the time of Solomon the King (upon whom be The Peace!) all the birds paid him obedience, even as did all the beasts, and albeit each and every created thing was subject to the Prophet, withal this Fír would not show submission: so the Wise King sent a body of birds to bring him into the presence, but he refused to present himself. Presently they returned to the Prophet who asked them, Where be Fír? and they answered, O our lord, ’Asá Fír,[210] whence that name hath clung to the fowls.” She resumed, “Inform me of the two Stationaries and the two Moveables and the two 103Conjoineds and the two Disjoineds by jealousy and the twain which be eternal Foes.” He answered saying, “Now the two Stationaries be Heaven and Earth and the two Moveables are the Sun and the Moon; the two Conjoineds are Night and Day and the two Disjoineds by jealousy are the Soul and the Body and the two Hostiles are Death and Life.”[211] On this wise the Linguist-dame ceased not to question him and he to reply solving all her problems until eve closed in. Then she bade him go forth that night and on the next day come again to her. Accordingly, the young Prince returned to his Khan and no sooner had he made sure that the morn had morrowed than he resolved to see if that day would bring him aught better than had come to him before. So arising betimes he made for the palace of the King’s daughter and was received and introduced by the Tarjumánah who seated him as was her wont and presently she began, saying, “My lady biddeth thee inform her of a thing which an a man do that same ’tis unlawful; and if a man do not that same ’tis also unlawful.” He answered, saying, “I will: this be the prayer[212] of a drunken man which is in either case illegal.” Quoth she, “Tell me how far is the interval between Heaven and Earth?” and he answered saying, “That bridged over by the prayer of Moses the Prophet[213] (upon him be The Peace!) whom Allah Almighty saved and preserved.” She said, “And how far is it betwixt East and West?” whereto he answered saying, “The space of a day and the course of the Sun wending from Orient unto Occident.” Then she asked, “Let me know what was the habit[214] of Adam in Paradise?” and he answered saying, “Adam’s 104habit in Eden was his flowing hair.”[215] She continued, “Tell me of Abraham the Friend (upon whom be The Peace!) how was it that Allah chose him out and called him ‘Friend’?”[216] He answered saying, “Verily the Lord determined to tempt and to test him albeit he kenned right clearly that the Prophet was free of will yet fully capable of enduring the trial; natheless, He resolved to do on this wise that he might stablish before men the truth of His servant’s trust in the Almighty and the fairness of his faith and the purity of his purpose. So the Lord bade him offer to Him his son Is’hák[217] as a Corban or Sacrifice; and of the truth of his trust he took his child and would have slain him as a victim. But when he drew his knife with the purpose of slaughtering the youth he was thus addressed by the Most Highest Creator:—Now indeed well I wot that thou gatherest[218] me and keepest my covenant: so take thou yonder ram and slay it as a victim in the stead of Is’hak. And after this he entituled him ‘Friend.’” She pursued, “Inform me touching the sons of Israel how many were they at the time of the going forth from Egypt?” He answered, saying, “When they marched out of 105Misraim-land they numbered six hundred thousand fighting[219] men besides women and children.” She continued, “Do thou point out to me, some place on earth which is higher than the Heavens;” and he answered saying, “This is Jerusalem[220] the Exalted and she standeth far above the Firmament.” Then the Youth turning to the Linguist-dame, said, “O my lady, long and longsome hath been the exposition of that which is between us, and were thy lady to ask me for all time questions such as these and the like of them, I by the All-might of Allah shall return a full and sufficient answer to one and all. But, in lieu of so doing, I desire of thy mistress the Princess to ask of her one question and only one; and, if she satisfy me of the significance I claim therefor, let her give me to drain the cup of my foregoers whom she overcame and slew; and if she fail in the attempt she shall own herself conquered and become my wife——and The Peace!”[221] Now this was said in the presence of a mighty host there present, the great of them as well as the small thereof; so the Tarjumánah answered willy-nilly, “Say, O Youth, whatso is the will of thee and speak out that which is in the mind of thee.” He rejoined, “Tell thy lady that she deign enlighten me concerning a man who was in this condition. He was born and brought up in the highest of prosperity but Time turned upon him and Poverty mishandled him;[222] so he mounted his father and clothed him with his mother[223] and he fared forth to seek comfort and happiness at the hand of Allah Almighty. Anon Death met him on the way and Doom bore him upon his head and his courser saved him from destruction 106whenas he drank water which came neither from the sky nor from the ground. Now see thou who may be that man and do thou give me answer concerning him.”[224] But when the Princess heard this question, she was confused with exceeding confusion touching the reply to be replied in presence of a posse of the people, and she was posed and puzzled and perplext to escape the difficulty and naught availed her save addressing the Tarjumánah and saying, “Do thou bid this Youth wend his ways and remove himself until the morrow.” The Linguist-dame did as she was bidden, adding, “And on the morrow (Inshallah!) there shall be naught save weal;” and the Prince went forth leaving the folk aghast at the question he had urged upon the King’s daughter. But as soon as he left her the young lady commanded the Tarjumánah to let slaughter somewhat of the most toothsome poultry and to prepare them for food as her mistress might direct her; together with dainty meats and delicate sweetmeats and the finest fruits fresh and dried and all manner of other eatables and drinkables, and lastly to take a skin-bottle filled with good old wine. Then she changed her usual garb and donned the most sumptuous dress of all her gear; and, taking her Duenna and favourite handmaiden with a few of her women for comitive, she repaired to the quarters of the Youth, the King’s son; and the time of her visit was the night-tide. Presently, reaching the Khan she said to her guardian, “Go thou in to him alone whilst I hide me somewhere behind the door and do thou sit between his hands;” after which she taught the old woman all she desired her do of dissimulation and artifice. The slave obeyed her mistress and going in accosted 107the young man with the salam; and, seating herself before him, said, “Ho thou the Youth! Verily there is here a lovely damsel, delightsome and perfect of qualities, whose peer is not in her age, and well nigh able is she to make the sun fare backwards[225] and to illumine the universe in lieu thereof. Now when thou wast wont to visit us in the apartment of the Princess, this maiden looked upon thee and found thee a fair youth; so her heart loved thee with excessive love and desired thee with exceeding desire and to such degree that she insisted upon accompanying me and she hath now taken station at thy door longing to enter. So do thou grant her permission that she come in and appear in thy presence and then retire to some privacy where she may stand in thy service, a slave to thy will.”[226] The Prince replied, “Whoso seeketh us let enter with weal and welfare, and well come and welcome and fair welcome to each and every of such guests.” Hereat the Princess went in as did all those who were with her, and presently after taking seat they brought out and set before the Youth their whole store of edibles and potables and the party fell to eating and drinking and converse, exchanging happy sayings blended with wit and disport and laughter, while the Princess made it her especial task to toy with her host deeming that he knew her not to be the King’s daughter. He also stinted not to take his pleasure with her; and on this wise they feasted and caroused and enjoyed themselves and were cheered and the converse between them was delightful. The Duenna, however, kept plying the Prince with wine, mere and pure, until she had made him drunken and his carousal had so mastered him that he required her of her person: however she refused herself and questioned him of the enigma wherewith he had overcome her mistress; whilst he, for stress of drunkenness, was incapacitated by stammering to explain her aught thereof. 108Hereupon the Princess, having doffed her upper dress, propped herself sideways upon a divan cushion and stretched herself at full length and the Youth for the warmth of his delight in her and his desire to her anon recovering his speech explained to her the reply to his riddle. The King’s daughter then joyed with mighty great joy as though she had won the world universal;[227] and, springing to her feet incontinently, of her extreme gladness she would not delay to finish her disport with her wooer; but ere the morning morrowed she departed and entered her palace. Now in so doing she clean forgot her outer robes and the wine-service and what remained of meat and drink. The Youth had been overcome with sleep and after slumbering he awoke at dawn when he looked round and saw none of the company about him: withal he recognised the princely garments which were of the most sumptuous and costly, robes of brocade and sendal and suchlike, together with jewels and adornments; and scattered about lay sundry articles of the wine-service and fragments of the food they had brought with them. And from these signs of things forgotten he learnt that the King’s daughter had visited him in person and he was certified that she had beguiled him with her wiles until she had wrung from him the reply to his question. So as soon as it was morning-tide he arose and went, as was his wont, to the Princess’s palace where he was met by the Tarjumánah who said to him, “O Youth, is it thy pleasure that my lady expound to thee her explanation of the enigma yesterday proposed by thee?” “I will tell the very truth,” answered he; “and relate to thee what befel me since I saw you last, and ’twas this. When I left you there came to me a lovely bird, delightsome and perfect of charms, and I indeed entertained her with uttermost honour and worship; 109we ate and we drank together, but at night she shook her feathers and flew away from me. And if she deny this I will produce her plumage before her father and all present.” Now when the Sovran, the sire of the Princess, heard these words concerning his daughter, to wit, that the youth had conquered her in her contention and that she had fared to his quarters to the end that she might wring from him an explanation of the riddle which she was unable to ree or reply thereto, he would do naught else save to summon the Cohen[228] and the Lords of his land and the Grandees of his realm and the Notables of his kith and kin. And when the Priest and all made act of presence, he told them the whole tale first and last; namely, the conditions to the Youth conditioned, that if overcome by his daughter and unable to answer her questions he should be let drain the cup of destruction like his fellows, and if he overcame her he should claim her to wife. Furthermore he declared that the Youth had answered, with full and sufficient answer, all he had been asked without doubt or hesitation; while at last he had proposed to her an enigma which she had been powerless to solve; and in this matter he had vanquished her twice (he having answered her and she having failed to answer him) “For which reason,” concluded the King, “’tis only right that he marry her; even as was the condition between them twain; and it becometh our first duty to adjudge their contention and decide their case according to covenant and he being doubtless the conqueror to bid write his writ of marriage with her. But what say ye?” They replied, “This is the rightest of redes; moreover the Youth, a fair and a pleasant, becometh her well and she likewise besitteth him; and their lot is a wondrous.” So they bade write the marriage writ and the 110Cohen, arising forthright, pronounced the union auspicious and began blessing and praying for the pair and all present. In due time the Prince went in to her and consummated the marriage according to the custom stablished by Allah and His Holy Law; and thereafter he related to his bride all that had betided him, from beginning to end, especially how he had sold his parents to one of the Kings. Now when she heard these words, she had ruth upon his case and soothed his spirit saying to him, “Be of good cheer and keep thine eyes clear and cool of tear.” Then, after a little while the Princess bestowed upon her bridegroom a mint of money that he might fare forth and free his father and his mother. Accordingly the Prince, accepting her largesse, sought the King to whom he had pledged his parents (and they were still with him in all weal and welfare) and going in to him made his salam and kissed ground and told him the whole tale of the past and the conditions of death or marriage he had made with the King’s daughter and of his wedding her after overcoming her in contention. So the monarch honoured him with honour galore than which naught could be more; and, when the Prince paid him over the moneys, he asked, “What be these dirhams?” “The price of my parents thou paidest to me,” answered the other. But the King exclaimed, “I gave thee not to the value of thy father and mother moneys of such amount as this sum. I only largessed thee with a mare and a suit of clothes which was not defraying a debt but presenting thee with a present and thereby honouring thee with due honour. Then Alhamdolillah—laud be to the Lord, who preserved thee and enabled thee to win thy wish, and now arise and take thy parents and return in safety to thy bride.” The Prince hereupon thanked him and praised Allah for the royal guerdon and favours and the fair treatment wherewith he had been entreated; after which he craved leave to receive his parents in charge and wend his ways. And when permission was granted to him, he wished all good wishes 111to the King and taking his father and his mother in weal and welfare he went his ways with them, in joy and gladness and gratitude for all blessings and benefits by Allah upon him bestowed, till he had returned to his bride. Here he found that his father-in-law had deceased during his absence, so he took seat in lieu of him upon the throne of the kingdom; and he and his consort, during all the days of their life in this world, ceased not eating and drinking in health and well-being and eating and drinking in joy and happiness and bidding and forbidding until they quitted this mundane scene to the safeguard of the Lord God. And here endeth and is perfected the history of the Youth, the King’s son, and the sale of his parents and his falling into the springes of the Princess who insisted upon proposing problems to all her wooers with the condition that if they did not reply she would do them drain the cup of destruction and on this wise had slain a many of men; and, in fine, how she was worsted by and she fell to the lot of this youth whom Allah gifted with understanding to ree all her riddles and who had confounded her with his question whereto she availed not to reply; so she was contented to marry him and he, when his father-in-law died, succeeded to the kingdom which he ruled so well.


Note to p. 105.

The Músà (Moses) of the Moslems is borrowed from Jewish sources, the Pentateuch and especially the Talmud, with a trifle of Gnosticism which, hinted at in the Koran (chapt. xviii), is developed by later writers, making him the “external” man, while Khizr, the Green prophet, is the internal. But they utterly ignore Manetho whose account of the Jewish legislator (Josephus against Apion, i. cc. 26, 27) shows the other or Egyptian part. Moses, by name Osarsiph = Osiris-Sapi, Osiris of the underworld, which some translate rich (Osii) in food (Siph, Seph, or Zef) was nicknamed Mosheh from the Heb. Mashah = to draw out, because drawn from the water[230] (or rather from the Koptic Mo = water, ushe = saved). He became a priest at An or On (Heliopolis), after studying the learning of the Egyptians. Presently he was chosen chief by the “lepers and other unclean persons” who had been permitted by King Amenophis to occupy the city Avaris lately left desolate by the Shepherd Kings. Osarsiph ordained the polity and laws of his followers, forbidding them to worship the Egyptian gods and enjoining them to slay and sacrifice the sacred animals. They were joined by the “unclean of the Egyptians” and by their kinsmen of the Shepherds, and treated the inhabitants with a barbarity more execrable than that of the latter, setting fire to cities and villages, casting the Egyptian priests and prophets out of their country, and compelling Amenophis to fall back upon Ethiopia. After some years of disorder Sethos (also called Ramesses from his father Rampses) son of Amenophis came down with the King from Ethiopia leading great united forces, and, “encountering the Shepherds and the unclean people, they defeated them and slew multitudes of them, and pursued the remainder to the borders of Syria.” Josephus relates this account of Manetho, which is apparently truthful, with great indignation. For the prevalence of leprosy we have the authority of the Hebrews themselves, and Pliny (xxvi. 2) speaking of Rubor Ægyptus, evidently white leprosy ending in the black, assures us that it was “natural to the Ægyptians,” adding a very improbable detail, namely that the kings cured it by balneæ (baths) of human blood.[231]

Schiller (in “Die Sendung Moses”) argues that the mission of the Jewish lawgiver, as adopted son (the real son?) of Pharaoh’s daughter, became “learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” by receiving the priestly education of the royal princes, and that he had advanced from grade to grade in the religious mysteries, even to the highest, in which the great truth of the One Supreme, the omniscient, omnipotent God was imparted, as the sublime acme of all human knowledge, thus attributing to Moses before his flight into Midian, an almost modern conception of an essentially anthropomorphous Deity.

113Further, that his conscious mission when he returned to Egypt was not merely the deliverance of his people from the Egyptian yoke, but the revelation to them of this great conception, and so the elevation of that host of slaves to the position of a nation, to whose every member the highest mystery of religion should be known and whose institutions should be based upon it. It is remarkable that Schiller should have accepted the fables of Manetho as history, that he should not have suspected the fact that the Egyptian priest wrote from motives of personal spite and jealousy, and with the object of poisoning the mind of Ptolemy against the learned Jews with whom he stood on terms of personal friendship. Thus he not only accepts the story that the Hebrews were expelled from Egypt because of the almost universal spread of leprosy among them, but explains at length why that loathsome and horrible disease should have so prevailed. Still Schiller’s essay, written with his own charming eloquence, is a magnificent eulogy of the founder of the Hebrew nation.

Goethe (“Israel in der Wüste”) on the other hand, with curious ingenuity, turns every thing to the prejudice of the “headstrong man” Moses, save that he does grant him a vivid sentiment of justice. He makes him both by nature and education a grand, strong man, but brutal (roh) withal. His killing the Egyptian is a secret murder; “his dauntless fist gains him the favour of a Midianitish priest-prince ... under the pretence of a general festival, gold and silver dishes are swindled (by the Jews under Moses’s instigation) from their neighbours, and at the moment when the Egyptians believe the Israelites to be occupied in harmless feastings, a reversed Sicilian vesper is executed; the stranger murders the native, the guest the host; and, with a horrible cunning, only the first-born are destroyed to the end that, in a land where the first-born enjoyed such superior rights, the selfishness of the younger sons might come into play, and instant punishment be avoided by hasty flight. The artifice succeeds, the assassins are thrust out instead of being chastised.” (Quoted from pp. 99–100 “The Hebrews and the Red Sea,” by Alexander W. Thayer; Andover, Warren F. Draper, 1883). With respect to the census of the Exodus, my friend Mr. Thayer, who has long and conscientiously studied the subject, kindly supplied me with the following notes and permitted their publication.

Trieste, October 11, 1887.
My dear Sir Richard,

The points in the views presented by me in our conversation upon the Hebrews and their Exodus, of which you requested a written exposition, are, condensed, these:

Assuming that the Hebrew records, as we have them, are in the main true, i.e. historic, a careful search must reveal some one topic concerning which all the passages relating to it agree at least substantially. Such a topic is the genealogies, precisely that which Philippsohn the great Jewish Rabbi, Dr. Robinson, of the Palestine researches, and all the Jewish and Christian commentators—I know no exception—with one accord reject! Look at these two columns, A. being the passages containing the genealogies, B. the passages on which the rejection of them is based:

A. B.
1. Genesis xxiv. 32, to xxv. 25 (Births of Jacob’s sons). 1. Gen. xv. 13.
    2. Ex. xii. 40, 41.
2. xxxv. 23–26 (Recapitulation of the above).   3. Acts vii. 6.
3. xlvi. 8–27 (List of Jacob and his sons when they came into Egypt). These three give the 400 and the 430 years of the supposed bondage of the Bene Jacob, but are offset by Gen. xv. 16 (four generations) and Gal. iii. 17 (Paul’s understanding of the 430 years).
1144. Ex. vi. 14–27 (Lineage of Aaron and Moses).
5. Numb. xxxvi. 1–2 (Lineage of Zelophehad). 4. The story of Joseph, beginning Gen. xxxvii. 2, gives us the dates in his life; viz., 17 when sold, 30 when he becomes Prime Minister, 40 when his father joins him.
6. Josh. vii. 17–18 (Lineage of Achan).
7. Ruth iv. 18–22 (ditto of David).
8. 1 Chron. ii. 9–15 (ditto).
9. Mat. i. 2–6 (ditto).
10. Luke iii. 32–37 (ditto). 5. 1 Chron. vi. 1–15 (Lineage of Ezra’s brother Jehozadak, abounding in repetitions and worthless).
11. Ezra vii. 1–5 (ditto of Ezra).
  The lists of Princes, heads of tribes, the spies, the commission to divide conquered Palestine contain names that can be traced back, and all coincide with the above.

1. As between the two, the column A. is in my opinion more trustworthy than B.

2. By all the genealogies of the Davidian line we have Judah No. 1, Solomon No. 12. By Ezra’s genealogy of his own family we have Levi No. 1, and Azariah (Solomon’s High Priest) No. 12. They agree perfectly.

3. If there were 400 years of Hebrew (Bene Jacob) slavery between the death of Joseph and the Exodus, there were 400 - 80 = 320, between Joseph’s death and the birth of Moses. If this was so there is no truth in the accounts of Moses and Aaron being the great-grandchildren of Levi (Levi, Kohath, Amram, Aaron and Moses). In fact, if Dr. Robinson be correct in saying that at least six generations are wanting in the genealogies of David (to fill the 400 years) the same must be lacking in all the early genealogies. Reductio ad absurdum!

4. Jacob, a young man, we will say of 40, is sent to Laban for a wife. He remains in Padan Aram twenty years (Gen. xxxi. 38), where all his sons except Benjamin were born, that is, before he was 60. At 30 he joined Joseph in Egypt (Gen. xlvii. 9). Joseph, therefore, born in Padan Aram was now, instead of 40, over 70 years old! That this is so, is certain. In Judah’s exquisite pleadings (Gen. xliv. 18–34) he speaks of Benjamin as “the child of Jacob’s old age,” “a little one,” and seven times he calls him “the lad.” Benjamin is some years younger than Joseph, but when the migration into Egypt takes place—a few weeks after Judah’s speech—Benjamin comes as father of ten sons (Gen. xlvi. 21), but here Bene Benjamin is used in its broad sense of “descendants,” for in 1 Chron. vii. 6–12 we find that the “Bene” were sons, grandsons and great-grandsons. To hold that Joseph at 40 had a younger brother who was a great-grandfather, is, of course, utterly absurd.

5. According to Gen. xv. 18, the Exodus was to take place in the fourth generation born in Egypt, as I understand it.

Born in Egypt:—

  Levi (father of)   Judah (father of)
  Kohath   Pharez
1. Amram 1. Ram
2. Aaron 2. Amminadab
3. Eleazar 3. Nahshon
4. Phineés 4. Salma

A conspicuous character in Numbers (xiii. 6, 30; xiv. 24, etc.) is Caleb. In the first chapter of Judges Caleb still appears, and Othniel, the son of his younger brother Kenaz 115is the first of the so-called Judges (Jud. iii. 9). This also disposes of the 400 years and confirms the view that the Exodus took place in the fourth generation born in Egypt. Other similar proofs may be omitted—these are amply sufficient.

6. What, then, was the origin of the notion of the 400 years of Hebrew slavery?

If the Egyptian inscriptions and papyri prove anything, it is this: that from the subjugation of Palestine by one of the Thotmes down to the great invasion of the hordes from Asia Minor in the reign of Rameses III., that country had never ceased to be a Pharaonic province; that during these four or five centuries every attempt to throw off the yoke had been crushed and its Semitic peoples deported to Egypt as slaves; that multitudes of them joined in the Exodus under Moses, and became incorporated with the Hebrews under the constitution and code adopted at Horeb (=Sinai? or Jebel Aráif?) These people became “Seed of Abraham,” “Children of Israel,” by adoption, to which I have no doubt, Paul refers in the “adoption” of Romans viii. 15–23; ix. 4; Gal. iv. 5; Eph. i. 5. In the lapse of ages this distinction between Bene Israel and Bene Jacob was forgotten, and therefore the very uncritical Masorites in their edition of the Old Testament “confounded the confusion” in this matter. With the disappearance of the 400 years and of the supposed two or three centuries covered by the book of Judges, the genealogies stand as facts. The mistake in the case of the Judges is in supposing them to have been consecutive, when, in fact, as the subjugations by neighbouring peoples were local and extended only over one or two tribes, half a dozen of them may have been contemporaneous.

7. Aaron and Moses were by their father Amram, greatgrandchildern of Levi—by their mother’s his grandchildren (Ex. vi. 20). Joseph lived to see his own great-grandchildren. Moses must have been born before Joseph’s death.

8. There is one point determined in which the Hebrew and the Egyptian chronologers coincide. It is the invasion of Judea by Shishak of Egypt in the fifth year of Rehoboam, son of Solomon (1 Kings xiv. 25). Supposing the Egyptian chronology from the time of Minephtah II. to be in the main correct, as given by Brugsch and others, the thirteen generations, Judah—Rehoboam, allowing three to a century, take us back to just that Minephtah. In his reign, according to Brugsch, that Pharaoh sent breadstuffs to the Chittim in “the time of famine.” The Hebrew records and traditions connect Joseph’s prime ministry with a famine. By the genealogies it could have been only this in the time of Minephtah.

9. The Bene Jacob were but temporary sojourners in Goshen and always intended to return to Canaan. They were independent and had the right to do so. See what Joseph says in Gen. i. 24–25. But before this design was executed came the great irruption of the Northern hordes, which broke the power of the Chittim and Philistia and devastated or depopulated all Palestine, in the time of Ramses III. Here was an opportunity for the Bene Jacob to enlarge their plans and to devise the conquest and possession of Palestine. According to Josephus, supported by Stephen (Acts vii. 22), Moses was a man “mighty in works”—a man of military fame. The only reasonable way of understanding the beginning of the Exodus story, is to suppose, that, in the weakened condition of Ramses III., the Hebrew princes began to intrigue with the enslaved Semites—the Ruthenu of the Egyptian inscriptions—and this being discovered by the Pharaoh, Moses was compelled to fly. Meantime the intrigues were continued and when the time for action came, under one of Ramses’ weak successors, Moses was recalled and took command.

10. This prepares us for the second query, which you proposed, that is as to the numbers who joined in the Exodus.

The Masoretic text, from which the English version of the Hebrew records is made, gives the result of the census at Sinai (=Horeb) as being 603,550 men, “twenty years 116old and upwards, that were able to go forth to war in Israel”—the tribe of Levi not included. On this basis it has been generally stated, that the number of the Bene Israel at the Exodus was three millions. Of late I find that two millions is the accepted number. The absurdity of even this aggregate is manifest. How could such a vast multitude be subsisted? How kept in order? How compelled to observe sanitary regulations? Moreover, in the then enfeebled state of Egypt, why should 603,550 armed men not have marched out without ceremony? Why ask permission to go to celebrate a sacrifice to their God?

But there is another series of objections to these two millions, which I have never seen stated or even hinted, to which I pray your attention.

The area of Palestine differs little from that of the three American States, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the most densely peopled of the Union, containing by the last census a population of somewhat less than two and a half millions.

By the second Hebrew census (Numb. xxvi.) taken just before the death of Moses, the army was 601,730; from which the inference has always been drawn, that at least 2,000,000, in the aggregate, Levites 23,000 males still excepted, entered and possessed the conquered territories.

Take now one of the late maps of Palestine and mark upon it the boundaries of the tribes as given in the book of Joshua. This second census gives the number of each tribal army to be inserted in each tribal territory Reuben, 43,750; Judah, 76,500; Benjamin, 45,600, etc., etc. By Josh. xii. the land was then divided between some 40 petty kings and peoples, 31 of whom are named as having been subjected. If, now, Joshua’s army numbered over 600,000, why was not the conquest made complete? Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are divided into 27 counties. Suppose, now, that these counties were each a separate and independent little kingdom dependent upon itself, for defence, what resistance could be made to an army of 600,000 men, all of them grown up during forty years of life in a camp, and in the full vigour of manhood? And yet Joshua was unable to complete his conquest! Again, the first subjugation of a part of the newly-conquered territory as noted in the book of Judges, was Judah and Simeon by a king of Edom.[232] If Judah could put an army into the field of 76,500, and Simeon 22,500, their subjugation by a king of Edom is incredible, and the story absurd. Next comes King Eglon of Moab and subjugates the tribes of Reuben and Gad, east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan. And yet Reuben has an army of over 43,000, and Gad 45,000. And so on.

Accepting the statement that Moses led over 600,000 men “able to go to war” out of Egypt, and Joshua an equal number to the conquest of Canaan, the story of the Exodus, of that conquest and of the subsequent subjugations of various tribes by the neighbouring kings are all nonsense; the books of Joshua and Judges are incredible. The difficulty is fully met and overcome, if we suppose the number to have been exaggerated, as it would be by adding a cypher to the right of a line of Arabic numerals, by which 60,000 is made 600,000; the 76,500 warriors of Judah are reduced to 7,650, and so on.

With an army of 60,000 only, and an aggregate of half a million of people led out of Egypt, all the history becomes instantly rational and trustworthy.

There remains one more bubble to be exploded.

Look at these figures, in which a quadruple increase—at least 25 per centum too great—is granted.[233]

1st Generation, the Patriarchs, in number 12
2nd do. Kohath, Pharez, etc. 48
3rd do. Amram, Hezron, etc. 192
4th do. Aaron and Moses 768
Aggregate 1,020
Minus 25 per cent. for deaths, children, etc. 255
Actual number of Bene Jacob 765

But Jacob and his sons brought with them herdsmen, shepherds, servants, etc. Bunsen puts the number of all, masters and men, at less than 2,000.

Let the proportion in this case be one able-bodied man in four persons, and the increase triple.

1st Generation 500
2nd do. 1,500
3rd do. 4,500
4th do. 13,500
Minus 25 per centum as above 7,250
Add the real Bene Jacob 765
Aggregate 22,515

Were these people, while Joseph is still alive, the subjects of slavery as described in Ex. i.? Did they build Pithom and Ramses, store-cities?

The number is sufficient to lead in the great enterprise and to control the mixed multitude which was at Sinai, adopted as “Bene Israel,” “Seed of Abraham,” and divided among and incorporated with the tribes; but not sufficient to warrant the supposition that with so small a force the Hebrew leaders could for a moment have entertained the project of conquering Palestine.

A word more on the statement in Ex. i. 11: “And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Ramses.” All Egyptologists agree that these cities were built by Ramses II., or certainly not later than his reign. If the Hebrew genealogies are authentic, this was long before the coming of Jacob and his sons into Egypt.

(Signed) A. W. THAYER.


121Here we begin with the aidance of Allah Almighty, the Tale of the Warlock and the Young Cook of Baghdad.[234]

It is related (and Allah is All-knowing!) of a certain man which was a Warlock, that Destiny drave him from town to town until at last he entered Baghdad-city and dismounted at a Khán of the Khans where he spent the night of arrival. Then, rising betimes 122next morning, he walked about the highways and wandered around the lanes and he stinted not passing from market-street to market-street, solacing himself with a sight of many places, till he reached the Long Bazar, whence he could descry the whole site of the city. Now he narrowly considered the land, and, lo and behold! it was a capital sans peer amongst the cities, wherethrough coursed the Dajlah River blended with the River Furát[235] and over the united stream were thrown seven bridges of boats; all these were bound one to other for the folk to pass over on their several pursuits, especially for the pleasure-seekers who fared forth to the palm-orchards and the vergiers abounding in fruits while the birds were hymning Allah, the Sole, the All-conquering. Now one day as this Warlock was amusing himself amongst the markets he passed by the shop of a Cook before whom were set for sale dressed meats of all kinds and colours;[236] and, looking at the youth, he saw that he was rising fourteen and beautiful as the moon on the fourteenth night; and he was elegant and habited in a habit as it had just come from the tailor’s hand for its purity and excellent fit, and one had said that he (the artisan) had laboured hard thereat, for the sheen of it shimmered like unto silver.[237] Then the Warlock considering the face of this Cook saw his colour wan as the hue of metal leaves[238] and he was lean of limb;[239] so he took station facing him and said to him, “The Peace be upon thee, O my brother,” and said the other in reply, “And upon thee be The Peace and the ruth of Allah and His blessings: so well come to thee and 123welcome and fair welcome. Honour me, O my lord, by suffering me to serve thee with the noonday meal.” Hereat the Wizard entered the shop and the Kitchener took up two or three platters white as the whitest silver; and, turning over into each one a different kind of meat set them between the hands of the stranger who said to him, “Seat thee, O my son.” And when his bidding was obeyed he added, “I see thee ailing and thy complexion is yellow exceedingly: what be this hath affected thee and what is thy disorder and what limb of thy limbs paineth thee and is it long since thou art in such case?” Now when the Cook heard this say he drew a sigh of regret from the depths of his heart and the soles of his feet and quoth he weeping, “Allah upon thee, O my lord, remind me not of that hath betided me!” But quoth the other “Tell me what may be thy disease and whereof dost thou complain; nor conceal from me thy pain; for that I am a physician and by aidance of Allah an experienced; and I have a medicine for thy malady.” Hereat the youth fell to moaning and groaning and presently replied, “In very sooth, O my lord, I have nor pain nor complaint, save that I am a lover.” The Warlock asked, “Art thou indeed a lover?” whereto the Cook make answer, “And not only a lover but a lover parted from his beloved.” “On whom hangeth thy heart, say me?” continued the Mediciner and the youth replied, “Leave me for the nonce till such time as I am quit of my business, and return to me about mid-afternoon, that I may inform thee of mine affair and acquaint thee with the case I am in.” The Warlock rejoined, “Arise now to thy work lest it be miswrought by loitering;” and so saying he ate whatso of meats had been served up to him and fared forth to thread the Bazars of Baghdad and solace himself by seeing the city. But when it was the hour of Al-’Asr—the mid-afternoon prayer—he went back to the Cook and found that by this time he had wrought all his work, and as soon as the youth sighted him he rejoiced in him and his spirits were cheered and he said in his mind, “Haply joy shall 124come to me from the healing hand of this Mediciner;” so he shut his shop and taking with him his customer hied him to his own home. Now this young Kitchener was of amplest means which he had inherited from either parent; so as soon as they entered his quarters he served up food and the two ate and drank and were gladdened and comforted. After this quoth the guest to his host, “Now relate to me the manner of thy story and what is the cause of thy disorder?” “O my lord,” quoth the youth, “I must inform thee that the Caliph Al-Mu’tazid bi’llah,[240] the Commander of the Faithful, hath a daughter fair of favour, and gracious of gesture; beautiful, delightsome and dainty of waist and flank, a maiden in whom all the signs and signals of loveliness are present, and the tout ensemble is independent of description: seer never saw her like and relator never related of aught that eveneth her in stature and seemlihead and graceful bearing of head.” Now albeit a store of suitors galore, the grandees and the Kings, asked her from the Caliph, her sire refused to part with her, nor gave her neither would he give her to any one thereof. And every Friday when fare the folk to the Mosques that they pray the prayers of meeting-day, all the merchants and men who buy and sell and the very artisans and what not, leave their shops and warehouses[241] and taverns[242] unbolted and wide open and flock to congregational devotions. And at such time this rare maiden cometh down from her palace and solaceth herself with beholding the Bazars and anon she entereth the Hammam and batheth therein and straightway goeth forth and fareth homewards. But one Friday said I to 125myself, “I will not go to the Mosque, for I would fain look upon her with a single look;” and when prayer-time came and the folk flocked to the fane for divine service, I hid myself within my shop. Presently that august damsel appeared with a comitive of forty handmaidens all as full moons newly risen and each fairer than her fellows, while she amiddlemost rained light upon them as she were the irradiating sun; and the bondswomen would have kept her from sight by thronging around her and they carried her skirts by means of bent rods[243] golden and silvern. I looked at her but one look when straightway my heart fell in love to her burning as a live coal and from mine eyes tears railed and until now I am still in that same yearning, and what yearning!” And so saying the youth cried out with an outcry whereby his soul was like to leave his body. “Is this case still thy case?” asked the Warlock, and the youth answered, “Yes, O my lord;” when the other enquired, “An I bring thee and her together what wilt thou give me?” and the young Cook replied, “My money and my life which shall be between thy hands!” Hereupon quoth the Mediciner, “Up with thee and bring me a phial of metal and seven needles and a piece of fresh Lign-aloes;[244] also a bit of cooked meat,[245] and somewhat of sealing-clay and the shoulder-blade of a sheep together with felt and sendal of seven kinds.” The youth fared forth and did his bidding, when the Sage took 126the shoulder-blades and wrote upon them Koranic versets and adjurations which would please the Lord of the Heavens and, wrapping them in felt, swathed them with silken stuff of seven-fold sorts. Then, taking the phial he thrust the seven needles into the green Lign-aloes and set it in the cooked meat which he made fast with the sealing-clay. Lastly he conjured over these objects with a Conjuration[246] which was, “I have knocked, I have knocked at the hall doors of Earth to summon the Jánn, and the Jánn have knocked for the Jánn against the Shaytán.” Hereat appeared to me the son of Al bin Imrán[247] with a snake and baldrick’d with a basilisk and cried:—Who be this trader and son of a slave-girl who hath knocked at the ground for us this evening? Then do thou, O youth, reply:—I am a lover and of age youthful and my love is to a young lady; and unto your gramarye I have had recourse, O folk of manliness and generosity and masterful deeds: so work ye with me and confirm mine affair and aid me in this matter. See ye not how Such-an-one, daughter of Such-an-one, oppression and wrong to me hath done, nor is she with me in affection as she was anon? They shall answer thee:—Let it be, as is said, in the tail;[248] then do thou set the objects upon a fire 127exceeding fierce and recite then over them:—This be the business; and were Such-an-one, daughter of Such-an-one, within the well of Káshán[249] or in the city Ispahan or in the towns of men who with cloaks buttoned tight and ever ready good-fame to blight,[250] let her come forth and seek union with the beloved. Whereto she will reply:—“Thou art the lord and I am the bondswoman.” Now the youth abode marvelling at such marvel-forms and the Warlock having repeated to him these words three times, turned to him and said, “Arise to thy feet and perfume and fumigate thy person and don thy choicest dress and dispread thy bed, for at this very hour thou shalt see thy mistress by thy side.” And so saying the Sage cast out of hand the shoulder-blades and set the phial upon the fire. Thereupon the youth arose without stay or delay and bringing a bundle of raiment the rarest, he spread it and habited himself, doing whatso the Wizard had bidden him; withal could he not believe that his mistress would appear. However ere a scanty space of time had elapsed, lo and behold! the young lady bearing her bedding[251] and still sleeping passed through the house-door and she was bright and beautiful as the easting sun. But when the youth the Cook sighted her, he was perplext and his wits took flight with his sense and he cried aloud saying, “This be naught save a wondrous matter!” “And the same,” quoth the Sage, “is that requiredst thou.” Quoth the Cook, “And thou, O my lord, art of the Hallows of Allah,” and kissed his hand and thanked him for his kindly deed. “Up with thee and take thy pleasure,” cried the Warlock; so the lover crept under the coverlet into the bed and he threw his arms round the fair one and kissed her between the eyes; after which he bussed her on the mouth. She sensed a sensation in herself and straightway awaking opened her eyes and 128beheld a youth embracing her, so she asked him, “Ho thou, who art thou?” Answered he, “One by thine eyes a captive ta’en and of thy love the slain and of none save thyself the fain.” Hereat she looked at him with a look which her heart for love-longing struck and again asked him, “O my beloved; say me then, who art thou, a being of mankind or of Jánn-kind?” whereto he answered, “I am human and of the most honourable.” She resumed, “Then who was it brought me hither to thee?” and he responded, “The Angels and the Spirits, the Jinns and the Jánn.” “Then I swear thee, O my dearling,” quoth she, “that thou bid them bear me hither to thine arms every night,” and quoth he, “Hearkening and obeying, O my lady, and for me also this be the bourne of all wishes.” Then, each having kissed other, they slept in mutual embrace until dawn. But when the morning morrowed and showed its sheen and shone, behold, the Warlock appeared and, calling the youth who came to him with a smiling face, said to him, “How was it with thy soul this night?”[252] and both lovers cried, “We were in the Garden of Paradise together with the Húr and Ghilmán:[253] Allah requite thee for us with all weal.” Then they passed into the Hammam and when they had bathed, the youth said, “O my lord, what shall we do with the young lady and how shall she hie to her household and what shall be the case of me without her?” “Feel no grief,” said the other, “and quit all care of anything: e’en as she came so shall she go; nor shall any of Almighty Allah’s creatures know aught of her.” Hereat the Sage dismissed her by the means which conveyed her, nor did she cease to bear her bedding with her every night and to visit the youth with all joyance and delight. Now after a few weeks had gone by, this young lady happening to be upon the terrace-roof of her palace in company with her mother, turned her back to the 129sun, and when the heat struck her between the shoulders her belly swelled; so her parent asked her, “O my daughter, what hast thou that thou juttest out after this wise?” “I wot naught thereof,” answered she; so the mother put forth her hand to the belly of her child and found her pregnant; whereupon she screamed and buffeted her face and asked, “Whence did this befal thee?” The women-attendants all heard her cries and running up to her enquired, “What hath caused thee, O our lady, such case as this?” whereto she replied, “I would bespeak the Caliph.” So the women sought him and said, “O our lord, thou art wanted by our lady;” and he did their bidding and went to his wife, but at first sight he noted the condition of his daughter and asked her, “What is to do with thee and what hath brought on thee such calamity?” Hereupon the Princess told him how it was with her and he exclaimed as he heard it, “O my daughter, I am the Caliph and Commander of the Faithful, and thou hast been sought to wife of me by the Kings of the earth one and all, but thou didst not accept them as connections and now thou doest such deed as this! I swear the most binding of oaths and I vow by the tombs of my sires and my grandsires, an thou say me sooth thou shalt be saved; but unless thou tell me truth concerning whatso befel thee and from whom came this affair and the quality of the man’s intention theewards, I will slaughter thee and under earth I will sepulchre thee.” Now when the Princess heard from her father’s mouth these words and had pondered this swear he had sworn she replied, “O my sire, albeit lying may save yet is truth-telling the more saving side. Verily, O my father, ’tis some time before this day that my bed beareth me up every night and carrieth me to a house of the houses wherein dwelleth a youth, a model of beauty and loveliness, who causeth every seer to languish; and he beddeth with me and sleepeth by my side until dawn, when my couch uplifteth me and returneth with me to the Palace: nor wot I the manner of my going and the mode of my coming is alike unknown 130to me.” The Caliph hearing these her words marvelled at this her tale with exceeding marvel and fell into the uttermost of wonderment, but bethinking him of his Wazir, a man of penetrative wit, sagacious, astute, argute exceedingly, he summoned him to the presence and acquainted him as soon as he came with this affair and what had befallen his daughter; to wit, how she was borne away in her bed without knowing whither or aught else. Quoth the Minister after taking thought for a full-told hour, “O Caliph of the Time and the Age, I have a device by whose virtue I do opine we shall arrive at the stead whither wendeth the Princess;” and quoth the Caliph, “What may be this device of thine?” “Bid bring me a bag;” rejoined the Wazir, “which I will let fill with millet;”[254] so they brought him one and he after stuffing the same with grain set it upon the girl’s bed and close to her where lay her head, leaving the mouth open to the intent that when during the coming night her couch might be carried away, the millet in going and returning might be shed upon the path. “Allah bless thee, Ho thou the Wazir!” cried the Caliph: “this device of thine is passing good and fair fall it for a sleight than which naught can be slyer and good luck to it for a proof than which naught can be better proven.” Now as soon as it was even-tide, the couch was carried off as had happened every night and the grain was strown broadcast upon the path, like a stream, from the gateway of the Palace to the door of the young Cook’s lodging, wherein the Princess nighted as was her wont until dawn of day. And when morn appeared the Sage came and carried off with him the youth to the Hammam where he found privacy and said to him, “O my son, an thou ask me aught touching thy mistress’s kith and kin, I 131bid thee know that they have indeed discovered her condition and against thee they have devised a device.” Exclaimed the youth, “Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him are we returning! What may be thy rede in this affair? An they slay me I shall be a martyr on Allah’s path;[255] but do thou wend thy ways and save thyself and may the Almighty requite thee with all of welfare; thee, through whom mine every wish I have won, and the whole of my designs I have fulfilled; after which let them do with me as they desire.” The Warlock replied, “O my son, grieve not neither fear, for naught shall befal thee of harm, and I purpose to show thee marvels and miracles wroughten upon them.” When the youth heard these words his spirits were cheered, and joying with joy exceeding he replied, “Almighty Allah reward thee for me with fullest welfare!” Then the twain went forth the Hammam and hied them home. But as soon as morning morrowed, the Wazir repaired to the Caliph; and, both going to the Princess together, found her in her bower and the bag upon her bed clean empty of millet, at sight of which the Minister exclaimed, “Now indeed we have caught our debtor. Up with us and to horse, O Caliph of the Age, and sum and substance of the Time and the Tide, and follow we the millet and track its trail.” The Commander of the Faithful forthright gave orders to mount, and the twain, escorted by their host, rode forth on the traces of the grain till they drew near the house, when the youth heard the jingle and jangle[256] of horses’ tramp and the wrangle and cangle of men’s outcries. Upon this said the Cook to the Warlock, “Here they draw near to seize me, O my lord, what is there now for me to do?” and said the other, “Rise and fill me an ewer with water; then mount therewith to the terrace-roof and pour the contents round and about the house, after which come down to me.” The youth did 132his bidding, and meanwhile the Caliph and the Wazir and the soldiery had approached the house when, lo and behold! the site had become an island amiddlemost a main dashing with clashing billows.[257] But when the Commander of the Faithful sighted this sea, he was perplexed with mighty great perplexity and enquired of the Wazir, “At what time did such great water appear in this place?” The Minister replied, “I never knew that here was any stream, albe well I wot that the Tigris river floweth amiddlemost the capital; but this is a magical current.” So saying he bade the soldiery urge their horses into the water sans fear, and every one drave as he had directed until all who entered lost their lives and a many of men where drowned. Hereupon cried the Prince of True Believers, “O Wazir, we are about to destroy our host and to fare with them!” and cried the other, “How shall we act, O Caliph of the Age? Haply our first, nay our best way, is to ask help of those within the house and grant to them indemnity while they exchange words with us and we see anon what will come of their affair.” “Do as beseemeth thee,” answered the Prince of True Believers; whereupon the Minister commanded his men to cry aloud upon the household and they sued for help during a length of time. But the Sage, hearing their shouts, said to the youth, “Arise and go up to the terrace and say to the Caliph of the Age:—Thou art in safety; turn away thy steps hence and presently we will meet thy Highness in health and weal; otherwise[258] thy daughter shall be lost and thine army shall be destroyed, and thou, O Commander of the Faithful, wilt depart and return as one outdriven. Do thou wend thy ways: this be not the mode of meeting us and in such manner there is no 133management.” The Cook did as he was bidden, and when the twain heard his words, quoth the Wazir to the Caliph, “Verily these be naught save Magicians, otherwise they must be of the fulsomest of the Jann, for indeed never heard we nor saw we aught of this.” Hereupon the Prince of True Believers turned his back upon the place and he sorrowful and strait of breast and disheartened of heart; so he went down to his Palace and sat there for a full-told hour when behold, the Warlock and the Cook appeared before him. But as soon as they stood in the presence the Caliph cried out, “O Linkman, bring me the head of yonder youth from between his shoulders!” Hereupon the Executioner came forward and tearing a strip off the youth’s robe-skirt bandaged his eyes; then he walked thrice round about him brandishing his blade over the victim’s head and lastly cried, “O Caliph of the Age, shall I make away with this youth?” Answered the Caliph, “Yes, after thou shalt have stricken off his head.” Hearing this the Sworder raised his hand and smote, when suddenly his grip was turned backwards upon a familiar of his who stood beside him, and it lighted upon his neck with such force that his head flew off and fell at the Caliph’s feet. The King and the Wazir were perplexed at this affair, and the former cried out, “What be this? Art gone blind, O Bhang-eater, that thy stroke hath missed the mark and thou hast not known thy familiar from this youth who kneeleth before thee? Smite him without delay!” Hereupon the Linkman again raised his hand to obey his lord, but the blow fell upon the neck of his varlet and the head flew off and rolled at the feet of the Caliph and his Chief Councillor. At this second mishap the wits of all present were bewildered and the King cried, “What business is this, O Wazir?” whereto the other made answer, “O Caliph of the Time and rare gift of the Age and the Tide, what canst thou do, O my lord, with such as these? And whoso availeth to take away o’ nights thy daughter upon her bed and dispread a sea 134around his house, the same also hath power to tear thy kingdom from thy grasp; nay more, to practise upon thy life. Now ’tis my rede that thou rise and kiss the hand of this Sage and sue his protection,[259] lest he work upon us worse than this. Believe me, ’twere better for thee, O my lord, to do as I bid thee and thus ’twill be well for us rather than to rise up as adversaries of this man.” Hearing such words from his Minister, the King bade them raise the youth from the strip of blood-rug and remove the bandage from before his eyes, after which he rose to his feet, and, kissing the Warlock’s hand, said to him, “In very sooth we knew thee not nor were we ware of the measure of thine excellence. But, O teacher of the Time and sum and substance of revolving Tide, why hast thou wrought to me on this wise in the matter of my daughter and destroyed my servants and soldiers?” “O Viceregent of Allah upon His Earth,” replied the Sage, “I am a stranger, and having eaten bread and salt with this youth, I formed friendship and familiarity with him: then, seeing his case which was sad and his state which was marvellous as it had afflicted him with sickness, I took compassion upon him; moreover I designed to show you all what I am and what Almighty Allah hath taught me of occult knowledge. Hitherto there hath been naught save weal, and now I desire of thy favour that thou marry thy daughter to this youth, my familiar, for that she suiteth none other save himself.” Quoth the Caliph, “This proceeding I look upon as the fittest and it besitteth us that we obey thy bidding.” Presently he robed the youth with a sumptuous robe worth the kingdom of a King, and commanded him to sit beside the presence and seated the Sage upon a chair of ebony-wood. Now whilst they were in converse the Warlock turned round and beheld arear of the Caliph a hanging of sendal whereupon stood figured lions twain: so he signed with his hand to these forms which were mighty huge of 135limb and awesome to look upon, when each put forth his paw upon his fellow and both roared with roars like unto the bellow of ear-rending thunder. Hereat all present were perplext in the extreme and were in admiration at that matter, and especially the Prince of True Believers who cried, “O Wazir, what seest thou in this business?” The Wazir replied, “O Caliph of the Age, verily Allah Almighty to thee hath sent this Sage that He[260] might show thee such marvels as these.” Then the Warlock signalled with his hand to the lions which shrank till they became as cats which carried on the combat; and both Caliph and Wazir wondered thereat with excessive wonderment. Anon quoth the King to the Minister, “Bid the Sage display to us more of his marvels;” and accordingly the Wazir obeyed his lord’s behest, and the Warlock replied, “To hear is to obey.” He then said, “Bring hither to me a chauldron full of water;” and when it was brought he asked the Courtiers, “Which of you would divert himself?” “I,” quoth the Wazir; when quoth the Sage, “Do thou rise to thy feet and doff thy robes and gird thee with a zone:” whereto said the other, “Bring me a waistcloth;” and when it was brought he did therewith as he was bidden. Hereat said the Warlock, “Seat thee in the centre of the chauldron;” so he plunged into the water, but when he would have seated him amiddlemost thereof as ordered he saw only that he had entered a sea dashing with surges clashing wherein whoso goeth is lost to view, and whence whoso cometh is born anew; and he fell to swimming from side to side intending to issue forth, while the waves suffered him not to make the shore. And while he was in this case behold, a billow of the billows vomited[261] him up from the sea to the strand and he stood on dry land, when he surveyed his person and suddenly saw that he had become a woman with the breasts of a woman and the 136solution of continuity like a woman, and long black hair flowing down to his heels even as a woman’s. Then said he to himself, “O ill-omened diversion! What have I done with such unlucky disport that I have looked upon this marvel and wonder of wonderments, only to become a woman.[262] Verily we are Allah’s, and unto Him shall we return;” adding as he took thought of the matter and of what had befallen him, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great.” Presently a Fisherman approached him and sighting a fair girl said, “This be none other than a blessed day which Allah hath opened to us with a beautiful maiden for quarry; and she is doubtless of the Daughters of the Deep, whom Allah Almighty hath sent to us that I may espouse her to my son.” Hearing these words said the transformed to himself, “Now after being a Wazir I have become a woman and this be for that as tit for tat,[263] and the wight furthermore desireth to see me married, and as for the Caliph and the kingdom and the countries, who shall now be able to offer them counsel?” But the Fisherman who for his joyance had no stomach to ply his pursuit, as was his custom, forthwith arose and taking with him the Daughter of the Deep led her to his house, and on entering the door cried aloud to his wife, “This day hath been a lucky for my fishing craft: during all these years it never befel me to happen upon a Mermaid save on this best-omened of all the days,” adding, “Where is thy son, to whom Allah hath sent this Daughter of the Daughters of the Main; and hath made her his portion and vouchsafed her to his service? for ’tis my design to marry them.” Replied the woman, “He hath taken the beast[264] and hath fared forth to pasture it and plough therewith; but right 137soon will he return.” And whilst they were thus conversing the youth came forward, and the Wazir on sighting him groaned and cried, “Well-away for me! this very night I shall become a bride for this blamed lad[265] to sleep withal. And if I say to them:—What intent have ye? Ye are in meanness and misery[266] while I am Wazir to the Caliph; they will never believe me for that I have become a woman, and all thereto appertaining now belongeth to me. Alack and alas for that I did with mine own self; indeed what business had I with such diversion?” Hereupon the fisherman called out, “O my son, up with thee and straightway take this Mermaid and marry her and abate her pucelage and be blessed with her and enjoy thy joy with her during all the days of thy life-tide: doubtless, O my child, thou art in all boon fortune, seeing that what good befel thee never betided any before thee nor will become the lot of one after thee.” So the youth arose and for his delight hardly believing in his conquest, married her and lay with her and did away her maidenhead and on that very night she conceived by him. After nine months she bare him issue and the couple ceased not to be after this fashion till she had become a mother of seven. But the Wazir, of his stress and excess of the trouble and the travail he endured, said to himself, “How long shall last this toil and torment wherewith I am liver-smitten and that too by mine own consent? So e’en will I arise and hie me to this sea and hurl me thereinto and whatso shall become of me let it be: haply I may find rest from these torments into which I have fallen.” And forthright he arose and sought the shore and did as he had devised, when a wave enveloped him and cast him deep into the depths and he was like to choke, when suddenly his head protruded from the chauldron and he was seated as before he had ducked it. Hereupon he saw the Caliph sitting in state with the 138Sage by his side and all the Lords of the land and the Notables of the commons awaiting the end of his adventure. So he gazed at them and showed a smiling face[267] and laughed aloud when the Prince of True Believers asked him saying, “What hast thou seen, O Wazir?” So he repeated to the Sovran all he had sighted and everything that had come down upon his head, presently adding, “O Caliph of the Age and the sum and substance of the Time and the Tide, what be these marvels wrought by this Sage? Verily I have beheld the garths of Paradise[268] with maidens of the Húr and the youths of Heaven, and wonderments galore unlooked upon by mankind at all, at all. But, an thou be pleased, O Commander of the Faithful, to espy these rare spectacles and marvellous conditions with thine own eyes, deign go down into the water; so shalt thou divert thyself with peregrine matters and adventures seld-seen.” The Sultan, delighted at this rede, arose and doffed his dress; then, girding his loins with a zone, he entered the chauldron whereat the Sage cried out to him, “O my lord, sit thee down and duck thy head.” But when this was done the Caliph found himself in a bottomless sea and wide-dispread and never at rest by any manner of means, so he fell to swimming therein, when a huge breaker threw him high ashore and he walked up the beach mother-naked save for his zone. So he said in his mind, “Let me see what hath been wrought with me by the Sage and the Wazir who have thus practised upon me and have cast me in this place; and haply they have married my daughter to the youth, and they have stolen my kingdom, the Sage becoming Sultan in my stead. And now let me ask myself, What had I to do with such damned 139diversion as this?” But as he brooded over these thoughts and the like of them behold, a bevy of maidens came forwards to fill their pitchers from a fountain and a pool of sweet water lying beside the sea; and sighting him they exclaimed, “Thou, who art thou? say sooth be thou of mankind or rather haply of Jinn-kind?” He replied, “I am a mortal and of the noblest-born; withal I am a stranger in the land and I wot not whither I should wend.” “Of what country art thou?” asked they, and he answered, “I am from Baghdad.” “Up with thee,” quoth one of the damsels, “to yonder knoll, then down to the flat on the further side, and thou shalt sight a city whose name is ’Omán,[269] whereinto do thou enter.” The Caliph did her bidding, and no sooner had the people seen him stripped than they said one to other, “This man is a merchant who hath been shipwrecked;” so they gave him by way of alms-gift a Tobe[270] all tattered and torn wherewith he veiled his shame. And after so doing he fell to wandering about the city for pastime, and while walking about he passed into a Bazar and there sighted a cook, before whom he stood open-mouthed (for indeed famine had thinned him), and he bethought him of what to do, and he knew not how to act. However the cook at first sight was certified of his being a foreigner, and haply a shipwrecked mariner so he asked him, “O my brother, why dost thou not come in and sit thee down, for thou art a stranger and without means; so in the way of Allah I would engage thy services and will pay thee daily two dirhams to provide thee with meat and drink.” Answered the Caliph, “Hearing and obeying,” after which he abode with the cook and served him and stinted not to serve him for a long time, saying in himself the while, “This for that is tit for tat! and after the Caliphate and commandment and happiness and honour, this day art thou left to lick the platters. 140What had I to do with such diversion as this? Withal ’tis fairer than the spectacle that anyone even my Wazir ever saw and the more excellent, for that I after being the Caliph of the Age, and the choice gift of the Time and Tide have now become the hireling of a cook. Would to Heaven I wot the sin which brought me hereto?”[271] Now as he abode with the cook it befel him that one day he threaded the Jewellers’ Bazar; for about that city was a sea-site whereinto the duckers and divers went down and whence they brought up pearls and corals and precious stones; and as he stood in the market-place, quoth he to himself, “Let me here become a broker in this market-street and find rest from my groaning in labour and my licking of platters.” As soon as morning morrowed he did on such wise, when suddenly a merchant approached him, hending in hand a costly gem whose light burned like a lamp or rather like a ray of sunshine, and ’twas worth the tribute of Egypt and Syria. Hereat the Caliph marvelled with exceeding marvel, and quoth he to the trader, “Say me, wilt thou sell this jewel?” and quoth the other, “Yes.” So the Sultan taking it from him went about with it amongst the merchants, who seeing and considering it, wondered greatly at its beauty. Accordingly they bid for it fifty thousand dinars, but the royal broker ceased not to bear it about and the buyers to increase their biddings till they offered an hundred thousand gold pieces. Thereupon the Caliph returned with it to the owner and accosted him saying, “Wilt thou sell it for the sum named?” and when the merchant consented, he continued, “I now go to receive its price, wherewith I will come back to thee.” Then the broker went up to the buyer and said, “Bring hither its value and set it in my hand;” but the man asked him, “Where be its owner?” and the Caliph answered, “Its owner hath commissioned 141me to receive its price, after which he will come and recover the same from me.” However the bidder retorted, “This be not fitting nor is it according to Holy Law: do thou bring me its owner; then come and let him pouch the price, for ’tis he hath sold it to me and thou art only our agent.” Hereupon the Caliph went forth to seek the proprietor and wandered about a long while without finding him; after which he again accosted the purchaser, and said to him, “I am the rightful proprietor: place the price in my hand.” The buyer arose to pay his debt, but before so doing he considered the jewel and saw that it was a bit of dark Sandarach;[272] whereat he was sore perplext and cried out to the Caliph, “O Satan, dost thou palm off false wares, the market-place of the merchants being under the orders of the Sultan?” But when the traders heard these words, they flocked around the pretended broker and having seized him they pinioned his elbows and dragged him before the Sovran of that city who, when they set the prisoner before him, asked, “What be the offence of this man?” “O our honoured lord,” answered they, “this wight palmeth off false wares and swindleth the traders in the royal Bazar.” So the King commanded them to hang him, whereat they charged his neck with chains and bared his head, and bade the cryer cry, “This be his award and the least of awards who forgeth counterfeits and who tricketh the merchant-folk in the market-place of the Sultan.” Hereat quoth the Caliph to himself, “I was not content with platter-licking, which now appeareth to me a mighty pleasant calling but e’en I must become a broker and die sus. per coll. This be for that tit for tat; however, scant blame to the Time which hath charged me with this work.” Now when they brought him to the hanging-place and threw the loop around his neck and fell to hoisting him up, as he 142rose from the ground his eyes were opened and he found himself emerging from the chauldron, whilst the Wazir and the Sage and the youth were sitting and considering him. And the Minister catching sight of his lord sprang to his feet and kissed ground before him, and laughed aloud, and the Commander of the Faithful asked him, “Why this laughter?” Answered he, “O thou, the Prince of True Believers and God-guarded Sovran, my laughter and my gladness are for myself, seeing that I have recovered my identity after becoming a woman and being wedded to a ploughman, who eared the ground, and after bearing to him seven babes.” Cried the Caliph, “Woe to thee, O dog, O son of a dog, thou wast married and rejoicedst in children, whereas I this very moment from the hanging-place have come down.” Then he informed the Wazir of all that had befallen him and the Minister did on like guise, whereat all those present laughed consumedly and marvelled at the words of the Warlock, and his proficiency in occult knowledge. Then the Kazi and witnesses were summoned with their writing-gear and were bidden draw up the marriage-contract of the young Cook and the Caliph’s daughter. After this the Sage sojourned with the Commander of the Faithful in highmost degree and most honourable dignity, and they abode eating and drinking and living the most delectable of lives and the most enjoyable with all manner of joy and jollity, till came to them the Destroyer of delights and the Divider of man’s days and they departed life one and all.



145Here we begin to indite the pleasant History which befel between the Cock and the Fox.[273]

It is said that there abode in such a village a man which was a Shaykh of long standing, one gifted with fair rede and right understanding. Now he had on his farm a plenty of poultry, male and female, and these he was wont to breed and to eat of their eggs and their chickens. But amongst his cocks was a Chanticleer, well advanced of age and wily of wit, who had long fought with Fortune and who had become wise and ware in worldly matters and in the turns and shifts of Time. It fortuned one day that this Cock went forth to wander about the farm-lands pecking and picking up as he went such grains of wheat and barley and 146holcus[274] and sesame and millet as chanced fall in his way; but, being careless of himself, he had left the village afar off without thinking of what he did, and ere he took counsel with himself he found him amiddlemost the wilderness. So he turned him rightwards and leftwards but espied nor friend nor familiar, whereat he stood perplext as to his affair and his breast was straitened and still he knew not what to do. Now while thus bewildered in his wits touching his next step, behold, his glance fell upon a Fox[275] who was approaching him from afar, whereat he feared and trembled and was agitated with mighty great agitation. At once he turned him about and presently espied a high wall arising from the waste, whereto was no place of ascending for his foe; so he spread his wings and flew up and perched upon the coping where he took his station. Presently the Fox came forward to the foot of the wall, and, finding no means of climbing it and getting at the fowl, he raised his head and said, “The Peace be upon thee, ho thou the soothfast brother and suitable friend!” But as the Cock would not turn towards him nor return aught of reply to his salutation, the Fox resumed, “What is to do with thee, O dear my brother, that my greeting thou acknowledgest not and to my words inclinest thee not?” Still the Cock requited not his courtesy and declined to reply, whereat the Fox resumed, “Wottest thou not, O my brother, the glad tidings wherewith I came theewards, with what suitable intelligence and counsel veridical and information at once sincere and self-evident? and, didst know what it is hath come to mine ears, verily thou hadst embraced me and kissed me on the mouth.” But the Cock feigned absence of mind and ignored him and answered him naught, but stood with rounded eyes and fixed upon the far when the Fox resumed, “O my brother, the King of the 147Beasts which be the Lion and the King of the Birds which be the Eagle have alighted from a journey upon the meads where grass is a-growing and by the marge where waters are a-flowing and blossoms are a-blowing and browsing gazelles are a-to-ing and a-fro-ing; and the twain have gathered together all manner of ferals, lions and hyenas, leopards and lynxes, wild cattle and antelopes and jackals and even hares, brief, all the wild beasts of the world; and they have also collected every kind of bird, eagle and vulture, crow and raven,[276] wild pigeon and turtle-dove, poultry and fowls and Katás and quails[277] and other small deer, and these two liege lords have bidden the herald proclaim, throughout the tracts of the upland wold and the wild lowland, safety and security and confraternity and peace with honour and sympathy and familiar friendship and affection and love amongst wild beasts and cattle and birds; also that enmity be done away with and wrongs be forbidden nor might one transgress against other; nay, if any chance to injure his fellow this offence might be for his scourging a reason, and for his death by tearing to pieces a justification. The order hath also come forth that all do feed and browse in one place whichever they please, never venturing to break the peace but dwelling in all amity and affection and intimacy one with other. Moreover they have commissioned me, very me, to overroam the wastes and gladden with good tidings the peoples of the wilds and proclaim that one and all without exception must assemble together, and also that whoso delayeth or refuseth obedience shall not escape punishment[278] nor let each and every fail to make act of presence and to kiss hands. And of thee, O my brother, I especially require that thou descend from 148thy high stead in safety and security and satisfaction, and that henceforward thy heart be not startled nor thy limbs shake for fear.” All this description was described by the Fox to the Cock who paid no heed to him as though he had never heard the news; and he remained silent without return of reply or without so much as turning to regard him; nay, he only kept his head raised and gazed afar. Hereat quoth to him the Fox (for indeed his heart burned with desire to know how he could seize and devour him), “O brother mine, why and wherefore dost thou not acknowledge me by an answer or address to me a word or even turn thy face towards me who am a Commissioner sent by Leo, Sovran of the beasts, and Aquila, Sultan of the birds? Sore I fear lest thou refuse to accompany me and thus come upon thee censure exceeding and odium excessive seeing that all are assembled in the presence and are browsing upon the verdant mead.” Then he added (as Chanticleer regarded him not), “O my brother, I bespeak thee and thou unheedest me and my speech; and, if thou refuse to fare with me, at least let me know what may be thy reply.” Hereupon the Cock inclined towards him and said, “Sooth hast thou spoken, O my brother, and well I wot thou be an Envoy and a Commissioner from our King, and the special Messenger of him: but my condition is changed by that which hath befallen me.” “And what calamity, O my brother, hath betided thee?” “Dost thou espy what I am at present espying?” “And what is it thou espiest?” “Verily, I see a dust-cloud lowering and the Saker-falcons in circles towering;” and quoth the Fox (whose heart throbbed with fear), “Look straitly, O my brother, lest there happen to us a mishap.” So Chanticleer gazed as one distraught for a full-told hour, after which he turned to the Fox and said, “O my brother, I behold and can distinguish a bird flying and a dust-trail hieing.” “Consider them narrowly, O my 149brother,” cried the Fox (whose side-muscles quivered), “lest this be sign of greyhound;” and the other replied, “The Truth is known to Allah alone, yet I seem now to see a something lengthy of leg, lean of flank, loose of ears, fine of forehand and full of quarter, and at this moment it draweth near and is well nigh upon us—O fine!”[279] Now when the Fox heard these words he cried to the Cock, “O my brother, I must farewell thee!” and so saying he arose and committed his legs to the wind and he had recourse to the Father of Safety.[280] Seeing this, the Cock also cried, “Why thus take to flight when thou hast no spoiler thy heart to affright?” Replied the Fox, “I have a fear of the Greyhound, O my brother, for that he is not of my friends or of my familiars;” and the Cock rejoined, “Didst thou not tell me thou camest as Commissioner of the Kings to these wastes proclaiming a peace and safety amongst all the beasts and the birds?” “O my brother Chanticleer,” retorted the other, “this feral, Greyhound hight, was not present at the time when pacification was proclaimed, nor was his name announced in the Congress of the beasts; and I for my part have no love lost with him, nor between me and him is there aught of security.” So saying the Fox turned forthright to fly, routed with the foulest of routing, and the Cock escaped the foe by his sleight and sagacity with perfect safety and security. Now after the Fox had turned tail and fled from him Chanticleer came down from the wall and regained his farm, lauding Allah Almighty who had conveyed him unharmed to his own place. And here he related unto his fellows what had befallen him with the Fox and how he had devised that cunning device and thereby freed himself from a strait wherein, but for it, the foe had torn him limb by limb.



153Here we begin to indite the History of what befel the Fowl-let from the Fowler.[281]

They relate (but Allah is All-knowing) that there abode in Baghdad-city a huntsman-wight in venerie trained aright. Now one day he went forth to the chase taking with him nets and springes and other gear he needed and fared to a garden-site with trees bedight and branches interlaced tight wherein all the fowls did unite; and arriving at a tangled copse he planted his trap in the ground and he looked around for a hiding-place and took seat therein concealed. Suddenly a Birdie approaching the trap-side began scraping the earth and, wandering round about it, fell to saying in himself, “What may this be? Would Heaven I wot, for it seemeth naught save a marvellous creation of Allah!” Presently he considered the decoy which was half buried in the ground and salam’d to it from afar to the far and the Trap returned his salutation, adding thereto, “And the ruth of Allah and His blessings;” and presently pursued, “Welcome and fair welcome to the brother dear and the friend sincere and the companionable fere and the kindly compeer, why stand from me so far when I desire thou become my neighbour near and I become of thine intimates the faithful and of thy comrades the truthful? So draw thee nigh to me and be of thy safety trustful and prove thee not of me fearful.” Quoth the Fowl-let, “I beseech thee by 154Allah, say me who art thou so I may not of thee feel affright and what be thy bye-name and thy name and to which of the tribes dost trace thy tree?” And quoth the Trap, “My name is Holdfast[282] and my patronymic is Bindfast and my tribe is hight the Sons of Fallfast.” Replied the Birdie, “Sooth thou sayest; for such name is truly thy name and such bye-name is without question thy bye-name nor is there any doubt of thy tribe being the noblest of the tribes.” The Trap answered him saying, “Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord—that me thou hast recognised and that I be of thy truest friends thou hast acknowledged, for where shalt thou find a familiar like unto me, a lover soothful and truthful and my fellow in mind? And indeed I a devotee of religious bent and from vain gossip and acquaintances and even kith and kin abstinent; nor have I any retreat save upon the heads of hills and in the bellies of dales which be long and deep; and from mundane tidings I am the true Holdfast and in worldly joys the real Bindfast.” The Fowl replied, “Sooth hast spoken, O my lord; and all hail to thee; how pious and religious and of morals and manners gracious art thou? Would to Heaven I were a single hair upon thy body.” Rejoined the Trap, “Thou in this world art my brother and in the next world my father;” and the other retorted, “O my brother, fain would I question thee concerning matters concealed within thy thoughts;” whereto the Trap, “Enquire of whatso thou requirest, that I make manifest to thee what in heart thou desirest; for I will truly declare to thee mine every aim and disclose to thee soothly all my case and my thoughts concealed, nor shall remain unrevealed of mine intent aught.” So the Birdie began, “O my brother, why and wherefore see I thee on this wise abiding in the dust and dwelling afar from relations and companeers and thou hast parted from thy family 155and peers and hast departed from the fondness of thy dears?” “Hast thou not learned, O my brother,” answered the Trap, “that retirement is permanent heal and farness from folk doth blessings deal and separation from the world is bodily weal;” and on this matter hath one of the poets said, and said right well:—

Fly folk, in public ne’er appearing, ✿ And men shall name thee man God-fearing;[283]
Nor say I’ve brother, mate and friend: ✿ Try men with mind still persevering:
Yea, few are they as thou couldst wish: ✿ Scorpions they prove when most endearing.[284]

And one of the Sages hath said, “Solitude and not ill associate.” Also quoth they to Al-Bahlúl,[285] Why this tarrying of thine amid the homes of the dead and why this sojourning in a barren stead and wherefore this farness from kinsmen and mate and lack of neighbourly love for brother and intimate? But quoth he, “Woe to you! my folk did I dwell amongst them would some day unlove me and the while I abide far from them will never reprove me; nor indeed would they remember my affection nor would they desire my predilection; and so satisfied with my solitude am I that an I saw my family I should start away as in fear of them, and were my parents quickened anew and longed for my society verily I would take flight from them.” Replied the Fowl-let, “In good sooth, 156O my brother, truth thou hast pronounced in all by thee announced and the best of rede did from thee proceed; but tell me, prithee, anent that cord about thy middle wound and despite thine expending efforts that abound why thou art neither a-standing nor a-sitting on ground?” To him replied the Trap, “O my brother, learn that I spend every night of every month in prayer, during which exercise whenever sleep would seize me I tighten this cord about my waist and drive slumber from my eyes and become therefrom the more wide-awake for my orisons. Know thou also that Allah (be He glorified and magnified!) affectioneth his servants when devout are they, and stand in worship alway, ever dight to pray and praise Him by night and by day; and who turn on their sides loving the Lord to obey in desire and dismay and doling their good away. And quoth Allah (be He glorified and magnified!):—‘And for scanty while of the night they take not gentle rest and at rising morn His pardon they obtest and their Lord granteth unto them their request.’[286] And wottest thou not, O my brother, what said the poet?—

These busy are with worldly gear ✿ Those of their moneys proud appear:
But some be rich by God’s approof— ✿ Praise Him o’ nights with love sincere:
Their Guardian’s eye regards them aye ✿ Praying, confessing sins to clear:
They wot nor worship aught but Him ✿ And hail His name with love and fear.”

Therewith quoth the Fowl-let: “Sooth hast thou said, O my brother, in each word by thee sped and right eloquently was announced all by thee pronounced; however (I am thy protected!), do thou tell me why I see thee one half buried in earth and the other half above ground?” And quoth the Trap, “For the reason that I thereby resemble the dead and in life I am shunning the pernicious lusts of the flesh; and Almighty Allah (be He glorified and magnified!) said in His August Volume:—‘From 157earth have We created you and unto her We will return you and from her will We draw you forth a second time.’”[287] Replied the Birdie, “The truth thou hast told in whatso thou dost unfold, but why do I see thee so bent of back?” and rejoined the Trap, “Learn, O my brother, that the cause for this bowing of my back is my frequent standing in prayer by day and my upstanding by night in the service of the King, the Clement, the One, the Prepotent, the Glorious, the Omnipotent; and verily upon this matter right well the poet hath spoken:—

None save the pious Youth gains boon of Paradise ✿ (To whom the Lord doth pardon crime and sin and vice),
Whose back by constant prayer through murk o’ night is bent ✿ And longs to merit Heaven in sore and painful guise.
Hail to the slave who ever would his lord obey ✿ And who by death is saved when he obedient dies.”

The Fowl-let continued, “O my brother, of truth the token is that whereof thou hast spoken and I have understood thee and am certified of thy sooth. But yet, I see upon thee a robe[288] of hair!” and the Trap rejoined, “O my brother, knowest thou not of hair and wool that they be the wear of the pious and the religious, whereof one of the poets hath spoken in these words:—

Folk who in fear of long accompt[289] for naught of worldly care ✿ Hail to them! haply garb of wool they’ll change for silken wear:
In life for provaunt shall suffice them salt and barley-bread ✿ Who seek th’ Almighty Lord and bow the head in sedulous pray’r.”

The Birdie resumed, “In very deed thy speech the sooth doth teach; but say me what be this staff[290] thou hendest in hand?” Replied the Trap, “O my brother, know that I have become an 158olden man well shotten in years and my strength is minished, wherefor I have taken me a staff that I may prop me thereon and that it aid my endeavour when a-fasting.” The Fowl-let pursued, “Thy speech is true, O my brother, and thou speakest as due, yet would I ask thee of a matter nor refuse me information thereanent: tell me why and wherefore this plenty of grain scattered all about thee?” The Trap answered, “Indeed the merchants and men of wealth bring to me this victual that I may bestow it in charity upon the Fakir and the famisht;” and the Birdie rejoined, “O my brother, I also am an-hungered; so dost thou enjoin me to eat thereof?” “Thou art my companion,” cried the Trap, “so upon me such injunction is a bounden duty,” presently adding, “Be so kind, O my brother, and haste thee hither and eat.” Hereat the Fowl-let flew down from off his tree and approaching little by little (with a heart beating for fear of the Trap) picked up a few grains which lay beside it until he came to the corn set in the loop of the springe. Hereupon he pecked at it with one peck nor had he gained aught of good therefrom ere the Trap came down heavily upon him and entangled his neck and held him fast. Hereupon he was seized with a fit of sore affright and he cried out “Zík! zík!” and “Mík! mík![291] Verily I have fallen into wreak and am betrayed by friendly freke and oh, the excess of my trouble and tweak, Zík! Zík! O Thou who kennest my case, do Thou enable me escape to seek, and save me from these straits unique and be Thou ruthful to me the meek!” Thereupon quoth to him the Trap, “Thou criest out Zik! Zik! and hast fallen into straits unique and hast strayed from the way didst seek, O Miscreant and Zindík,[292] and naught shall avail thee at this present or brother or friend veridique or familiar freke. Now understand and thy pleasure seek! I have deceived thee with a deceit and thou lentest ear 159and lustedst.” Replied the Bird, “I am one whom desire hath cast down and ignorance hath seduced and inordinate greed, one for whose neck the collar of destruction is fitted and I have fallen along with those who lowest fall!” Hereupon the Fowler came up with his knife to slaughter the Fowl-let and began saying, “How many a birdie have we taken in all ease for desire of its meat that we may dress their heads with rice or in Harísah[293] or fried in pan and eat thereof pleasurably myself or feed therewith great men and grandees. Also ’tis on us incumbent to feed privily upon half the bodies and the other half shall be for our guests whilst I will take the wings to set before my family and kinsmen as the most excellent of gifts.”[294] Hearing these words the Bird fell to speaking and saying:—

“O Birder, my mother’s in misery ✿ And blind with weeping my loss is she.
I suffice not thy guest nor can serve for gift: ✿ Have ruth and compassion and set me free!
With my parents I’ll bless thee and then will I ✿ Fly a-morn and at e’en-tide return to thee.”

Presently resumed he, “Seest thou not how my meat be mean and my maw be lean; nor verily can I stand thee in stead of cate nor thy hunger satiate: so fear Allah and set me at liberty then shall the Almighty requite thee with an abundant requital.” But the Fowler far from heeding his words, made him over to his son saying, “O my child, take this bird and faring homewards slaughter him and of him cook for us a cumin-ragout and a lemon-stew, a mess flavoured with verjuice and a second of mushrooms and a third with pomegranate seeds and a fourth of clotted curd[295] 160cooked with Summák,[296] and a fine fry and eke conserves of pears[297] and quinces and apples and apricots hight the rose-water and vermicelli[298] and Sikbáj;[299] and meat dressed with the six leaves and a porridge[300] and a rice-milk, and an ’Ajíjíyah[301] and fried flesh in strips and Kabábs and meat-olives and dishes the like of these. Also do thou make of his guts strings for bows and of his gullet a conduit for the terrace-roof and of his skin a tray-cloth and of his plumage cushions and pillows.” Now when the Fowl-let heard these words (and he was still in the Fowler’s hand), he laughed a laugh of sorrow and cried, “Woe to thee, O Birder whither be wended thy wits and thine understanding? Art Jinn-mad or wine-drunken? Art age-foolish or asleep? Art heavy-minded or remiss in thought? Indeed had I been that long-necked bird the ’Anká, daughter of Life, or were I the she-camel of Sálih to be, or the ram of Isaac the sacrificed, or the loquent calf of Al-Sámiri[302] 161or even a buffalo fattened daintily all this by thee mentioned had never come from me.” Hereat he fell to improvising and saying:—

“The Ruthful forbiddeth the eating of me ✿ And His Grace doth grace me with clemency:
A Camel am I whom they overload ✿ And the Birder is daft when my flesh seeth he:
From Solomon’s breed, O my God I have hope: ✿ If he kill me the Ruthful his drowning[303] decree.”

Then quoth the Fowl to the Fowler, “An thou design to slaughter me in thy greed even as thou hast described, verily I shall avail thee naught, but an thou work my weal and set me free I will show thee somewhat shall profit thee and further the fortunes of thy sons’ sons and thy latest descendants.” “What is that direction thou wouldst deal to me?” asked the Fowler, and answered the Fowl-let, “I will teach a trio of words all-wise and will discover to thee in this earth a Hoard wherewith thou and thy seed and posterity shall ever be satisfied and shall ever pray for the lengthening of my years. Moreover I will point out to thee a pair of Falcons ashen-grey, big of body and burly of bulk, who are to me true friends and whom thou didst leave in the gardens untrapped.” Asked the Birder, “And what be the three words which so savour of wisdom?” and answered the other, “O Fowler, the three words of wisdom are:—Bemourn not what is the past nor at the future rejoice too fast nor believe aught save that whereon thy glance is cast. But as regards the Hoard and the two Falcons, when thou 162shalt have released me I will point them out to thee and right soon to thee shall be shown the sooth of whatso I have said to thee.” Hereat the Birder’s heart became well affected towards the Birdie for his joy anent the Treasure and the Falcons; and the device of the captive deceived the Capturer and cut short his wits so that he at once released the prey. Forthright the Fowl-let flew forth the Fowler’s palm in huge delight at having saved his life from death; then, after preening his plume and spreading his pinions and his wings, he laughed until he was like to fall earthwards in a fainting-fit. Anon he began to gaze right and left, long breaths a-drawing and increase of gladness ever a-showing; whereupon quoth the Birder, “O Father of Flight, O thou The Wind hight! what saidst thou to me anent pointing out the two Falcons ashen-grey and who were the comrades thou leftest in the gardens?” Quoth the Birdie in reply, “Alack and alas! never saw I thy like for an ass nor aught than thyself meaner of capacity nor mightier of imbecility; for indeed thou carriest in thy head lightness and in thy wits slackness. O Scant of sense, when sawest thou ever a sparrow company with a Falcon, much less with two Falcons? So short is thine understanding that I have escaped thy hand by devising the simplest device which my nous and knowledge suggested.” Hereat he began to improvise and repeat:—

“When Fortune easy was, from duty[304] didst forbear ✿ Nor from that malady[305] hast safety or repair:
Then blame thyself nor cast on other wight[306] the fault ✿ And lacking all excuse to death of misery fare!”

Then resumed the Fowl-let, “Woe to thee, O mean and mesquin, thou wottedst not that which thou hast lost in me, for indeed baulked is thy bent and foiled is thy fortune and near to thee is poverty 163and nigh to thee is obscurity. Hadst thou when taking me cut my throat and cloven my crop thou hadst found therein a jewel the weight of an ounce which I picked up and swallowed from the treasury of Kisrà Anúshírwán the King.” But when the Birder heard the Birdie’s words he scattered dust upon his head and buffeted his face and plucked out his beard and rent his raiment, and at last slipped down a-swooning to the ground. And presently recovering his senses he looked towards his late captive and cried, “O Father of Flight, O thou The Wind hight, say me is there any return for thee me-wards, where thou shalt with me abide, and thee within the apple of mine eye will I hide, and after all this toil and turmoil I will perfume and fumigate thee with ambergris and with Comorin lign-aloes, and I will bring thee sugar for food and nuts of the pine[307] and with me thou shalt tarry in highmost degree?” Replied the Birdie, “O miserable, past is that which passed; I mean, suffice me not thy fraud and thy flattering falsehood. And laud to the Lord, O thou meanest of men, how soon hast thou forgotten the three charges wherewith I charged thee! And how short are thy wits seeing that the whole of me weighteth not ten drachms[308] and how then can I bear in crop a jewel weighing an ounce? How far from thee is subtilty and how speedily hast thou forgotten mine injunctions wherewith I enjoined thee saying:—Believe not aught save that whereon thine eye is cast nor regret and bemourn the past nor at what cometh rejoice too fast. These words of wisdom are clean gone from thy memory, and hadst thou been nimble of wits thou hadst slaughtered me forthright: however, Alhamdolillah—Glory to God, who caused me not to savour the whittle’s sharp edge, and I thank my Lord for my escape and for the loosing of my prosperity from the trap of trouble.” Now when the Birder heard these words of the Birdie he repented and regretted 164his folly, and he cried, “O my sorrow for what failed me of the slaughter of this volatile, and as he sank on the ground he sang:—[309]

“O brave was the boon which I held in my right ✿; Yet, O Maker of man, ’twas in self-despight.
Had my lot and my luck been of opulence, ✿ This emptiness never had proved my plight.”

Hereupon the Fowl-let farewelled the Fowler and took flight until he reached his home and household, where he seated him and recited all that had befallen him with the Birder, to wit, how the man had captured him, and how he had escaped by sleight, and he fell to improvising:—

“I charged you, O brood of my nestlings, and said, ✿ Ware yon Wady, nor seek to draw near a stead
Where sitteth a man who with trap and with stakes ✿ Entrapped me, drew knife and would do me dead.
And he longed to destroy me, O children, but I ✿ Was saved by the Lord and to you was sped.”
And here endeth the History of the
Fowl-let and the Fowler
entire and complete.


167Here we begin to write and indite the Tale of a man of Syria, Attaf hight.[310]

They relate (but Allah is All-knowing of His unknown and All-cognisant of what forewent in the annals of folk and the wonders of yore, and of times long gone before!) that in the city of Shám[311] there dwelt of old a man Attáf hight, who rivalled Hátim of Tayy[312] in his generosity and his guest-love and in his self-control as to manners and morals. Now he lived in the years when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid was reigning in Baghdad-city, and it happened on a day of the days that this Commander of the Faithful awoke morne and melancholic, and right straitened was his breast. So he arose, and taking Ja’afar the Barmecide and Masrúr the Eunuch passed with them into the place where his treasures were stored. Presently quoth he to the Wazir, “O Ja’afar, open to me this door that I may solace me with the sight, and my breast may be broadened and haply be gladdened by such spectacle.” The 168Minister did the bidding of his lord, who, finding a room full of books, put forth his hand, and taking up one of the volumes, opened and read. Then he fell to weeping thrice, and thrice to laughing aloud,[313] whereat the Wazir considered him and cried, “O King of the Age, how is it I espy thee reading and weeping and laughing at one and the same moment when none so act save madmen and maniacs?”[314] And having spoken on this wise he held his peace; but the Prince of True Believers turned himwards and cried, “O dog of the sons of Bermak, I see thee going beyond thy degree and quitting the company of sensible men, and thou speakest vainly making me a madman in saying:—None laugh and cry at one and the same time save maniacs?” With these words the Caliph restored the volume to its place in the Treasury and bade lock the door, after which the three returned to the Divan. Here the Commander of the Faithful regarded Ja’afar and exclaimed, “Go thou forth from before me and address me not again nor seat thee upon the Wazirial seat until thou answer thine own question and thou return me a reply concerning that which is writ and aligned in yonder book I was reading, to the end thou learn why I wept and wherefore I laught at one and the same hour.” And he cried at him in anger saying, “Off and away with thee, nor face me again save with the answer, else will I slay thee 169with the foulest of slaughter.” Accordingly Ja’afar fared forth and hardly could he see with his eyes, and he kept saying to himself, “Indeed I have fallen with a sore fall; foul befal it for a fall; how fulsome it is!” Then he fared homewards where he encountered face to face his father Yahyá the Bermaki, who was issuing from the mansion and he recounted to him the tale, whereat his parent said, “Go at once, abide not here, but turn thee Damascus-wards until shall terminate this decline of fortune and this disjunction of favour, and at the ending thereof thou shalt see wonders therein.”[315] Ja’afar replied, “Not until I shall have laid a charge upon my Harím;”[316] but Yahya cried, “Enter not these doors, hie thee at once to Al-Shám, for even so ’tis determined by Destiny.” Accordingly the Wazir gave ear to his sire, and taking a bag containing one thousand dinars and slinging on his sword farewelled him; then, mounting a she-mule, alone and unattended by slave or page, he rode off and he ceased not riding for ten days full-told until he arrived at the Marj[317] or mead of Damascus. Now it so fortuned that on that same day Attaf,[318] a fair youth and a well-known of the “Smile of the Prophet,” and one of the noblest and most generous of her sons had pitched tents and had spread a banquet outside the city, where chancing to sight Ja’afar mounted on his beast, he knew him to be a wayfarer passing by, and said to his slaves, “Call to me yonder man!” They did his bidding and the stranger rode up to the party of friends, and dismounting from his mule saluted them with the salam which they all returned. Then they sat for a while[319] 170after which Attaf arose and led Ja’afar to his house companied by all the company which was there and they paced into a spacious open hall and seated themselves in converse for an hour full-told. Anon the slaves brought them a table spread with the evening meal and bearing more than ten several manners of meat. So they ate and were cheered, and after the guests had washed hands, the eunuchs and attendants brought in candles of honey-coloured wax that shed a brilliant light, and presently the musicians came in band and performed a right royal partition while the servants served up conserves for dessert. So they ate, and when they had eaten their sufficiency they[320] drank coffee; and finally, at their ease and in their own good time, all the guests arose and made obeisance and fared homewards. Then Attaf and Ja’afar sat at table for an hour or so, during which the host offered his guest an hundred greetings, saying, “All kinds of blessings have descended from Heaven upon our heads. Tell me, how was it thou honouredst us, and what was the cause of thy coming and of thy favouring us with thy footsteps?”[321] So Ja’afar disclosed to him his name and office[322] and told him the reasons of his ride to Damascus from the beginning to the end full and detailed, whereto Attaf rejoined, “Tarry with me an thou please a decade of years; and grieve not at all, for thy Worship is owner of this place.” After this the eunuchs came in and spread for Ja’afar bedding delicately wrought at the head of the hall and its honour-stead, and disposed other sleeping-gear alongside thereof, which seeing the Wazir said to himself, “Haply my host is a bachelor, that they would spread his bed by my side; however, I will venture the question.” Accordingly he addressed his host saying, “O Attaf, art thou single or married?”[323] 171“I am married, O my lord,” quoth the other, whereat Ja’afar resumed, “Wherefore dost thou not go within and lie with thy Harím?” “O my lord,” replied Attaf, “the Harim is not about to take flight, and it would be naught but disgraceful to me were I to leave a visitor like thyself, a man by all revered, to sleep alone while I fare to-night with my Harim and rise betimes to enter the Hammam.[324] In me such action would I deem be want of courtesy and failure in honouring a magnifico like thine Honour. In very sooth, O my lord, so long as thy presence deign favour this house I will not sleep within my Harem until I farewell thy Worship and thou depart in peace and safety to thine own place.” “This be a marvellous matter,” quoth Ja’afar to himself, “and peradventure he so doeth the more to make much of me.” So they lay together that night and when morning morrowed they arose and fared to the Baths whither Attaf had sent for the use of his guest a suit of magnificent clothes, and caused Ja’afar don it before leaving the Hammam. Then finding the horses at the door, they mounted and repaired to the Lady’s Tomb,[325] and spent a day worthy to be numbered in men’s lives. Nor did they cease visiting place after place by day and sleeping in the same stead by night, in the way we have described, for the space of four months, after which time the soul of the Wazir Ja’afar waxed sad and sorry, and one chance day of the days, he sat him down and wept. Seeing him in tears Attaf asked him, saying, “Allah fend from thee all affliction, O my lord! why dost thou weep and wherefore art thou grieved? An thou be heavy of heart why not relate to me what hath oppressed thee?” Answered Ja’afar, “O my brother, I find my breast sore straitened and I would 172fain stroll about the streets of Damascus and solace me with seeing the Cathedral-mosque of the Ommiades.”[326] “And who, O my lord,” responded the other, “would hinder thee therefrom? Do thou deign wander whither thou wilt and take thy solace, so may thy spirits be gladdened and thy breast be broadened. Herein is none to let or stay thee at all, at all.” Hearing these words Ja’afar arose to fare forth, when quoth his host, “O my lord, shall they saddle thee a hackney?” but the other replied, “O my friend, I would not be mounted for that the man on horseback may not divert himself by seeing the folk; nay the folk enjoy themselves by looking upon him.” Quoth Attaf, “At least delay thee a while that I may supply thee with spending money to bestow upon the folk; and then fare forth and walk about to thy content and solace thyself with seeing whatso thou wilt; so mayest thou be satisfied and no more be sorrowed.” Accordingly, Ja’afar took from Attaf a purse of three hundred dinars and left the house gladly as one who issueth from durance vile, and he turned into the city and began a-wandering about the streets of Damascus and enjoying the spectacle; and at last he entered the Jámi’ al-Amawi where he prayed the usual prayers. After this he resumed his strolling about pleasant places until he came to a narrow street and found a bench formed of stone[327] set in the ground. Hereon he took seat to rest a while, and he looked about, when behold, fronting him were latticed windows wherein stood cases planted with sweet-smelling herbs.[328] And hardly had he looked before those casements were opened and 173suddenly appeared thereat a young lady,[329] a model of comeliness and loveliness and fair figure and symmetrical grace, whose charms would amate all who upon her gaze, and she began watering her plants. Ja’afar cast upon her a single glance and was sore hurt by her beauty and brilliancy; but she, after looking upon the lattices and watering the herbs to the extent they required turned her round and gazed adown the street where she caught a sight of Ja’afar sitting and earnestly eyeing her. So she barred the windows and disappeared. But the Minister lingered on the bench hoping and expecting that haply the casement would open a second time and allow him another look at her; and as often as he would have risen up his nature said to him, “Sit thee down.” And he stinted not so doing till evening came on, when he arose and returned to the house of Attaf, whom he found standing at the gateway to await him, and presently his host exclaimed, “’Tis well, O my lord! during all this delay indeed my thoughts have gone with thee for that I have long been expecting thy return.” “’Tis such a while since I walked abroad,” answered Ja’afar, “that I had needs look about me and console my soul, wherefor I lingered and loitered.” Then they entered the house and sat down, when the eunuchs served up on trays the evening meal, and the Minister drew near to eat thereof but was wholly unable, so he cast from his hand the spoon and arose. Hereat quoth his host, “Why, O my lord, canst thou not eat?” “Because this day’s noon-meal hath been heavy to me and hindereth my supping; but ’tis no matter!” quoth the other. And when the hour for sleep came Ja’afar retired to rest; but in his excitement by the beauty of that young lady he could not close eye, for her charms had mastered the greater part of his sense and had 174snared his senses as much as might be; nor could he do aught save groan and cry, “Ah miserable me! who shall enjoy thy presence, O full Moon of the Age and who shall look upon that comeliness and loveliness?” And he ceased not being feverish and to twist and turn upon his couch until late morning, and he was as one lost[330] with love; but as soon as it was the undurn-hour Attaf came in to him and said, “How is thy health? My thoughts have been settled on thee: and I see that thy slumber hath lasted until between dawn and midday: indeed I deem that thou hast lain awake o’night and hast not slept until so near the mid-forenoon.” “O my brother, I have no Kayf,”[331] replied Ja’afar. So the host forthwith sent a white slave to summon a physician, and the man did his bidding, and after a short delay brought one who was the preventer[332] of his day. And when ushered into Ja’afar’s room he addressed the sick man, “There is no harm to thee and boon of health befal thee:[333] say me what aileth thee?” “All is excitement[334] with me,” answered the other, whereat the Leach putting forth his fingers felt the wrist of his patient, when he found the pulsations pulsing strong and the intermissions intermitting regularly.[335] Noting this he was ashamed to declare before his face, “Thou art in love!” so he kept silence and presently said to Attaf, “I will write thee a recipe containing all that is required by the case.” “Write!” said the host, and the Physician sat down to indite his prescription, when 175behold, a white slave came in and said to his lord, “Thy Harim requireth thee.” So the host arose and retired to learn what was wanted of him in the women’s apartments, and when his wife saw him she asked, “O my lord, what is thy pleasure that we cook for dinner and supper?” “Whatsoever may be wanted,” he rejoined and went his ways, for since Ja’afar had been guested in his house Attaf had not once entered the inner rooms according as he had before declared to the Minister. Now the Physician during the host’s visit to the Harem had written out the prescription and had placed it under the pillow of the patient, and as he was leaving the house he came suddenly upon the housemaster on return to the men’s apartment, and Attaf asked him, “Hast thou written thy prescription?” “Yes,” answered the Leach, “I have written it and set it under his head.” Thereupon the host pulled out a piastre[336] and therewith fee’d the physician; after which he went up to Ja’afar’s couch and drew the paper from under his pillow and read it and saw therein written,[337] “O Attaf, verily thy guest is a lover, so do thou look for her he loveth and for his state purvey and make not overmuch delay.” So the host addressed his guest, saying, “Thou art now become one of us: why then hide from me thy case and conceal from me thy condition? This Doctor, than whom is none keener or cleverer in Damascus, hath learned all that befel thee.” Hereupon he produced the paper and showed it to Ja’afar, who took it and read it with a smile; then he cried, “This Physician is a master leach and his saying is soothfast. Know that on the day when I went forth from thee and sauntered about the streets and lanes, there befel me a matter which I never had thought to have betided me; no, never; and I know not what shall become of me for that, O my brother Attaf, my case is one involving life-loss.” And he 176told him all that had happened to himself; how when seated upon the bench a lattice had been unclosed afront of him and he had seen a young lady, the loveliest of her time, who had thrown it open and had come forward to water her window-garden; adding, “Now my heart was upstirred by love to her, and she had suddenly withdrawn after looking down the street and closed the casement as soon as she had seen a stranger gazing upon her. Again and again I was minded to rise and retire but desire for her kept me seated in the hope that haply she would again throw open the lattice and allow me the favour of another glimpse, so could I see her a second time. However, inasmuch as she did not show till evening came on I arose and repaired hither, but of my exceeding agitation for the ardour of love to her I was powerless to touch meat or drink, and my sleep was broken by the excess of desire for her which had homed in my heart. And now, O my brother Attaf, I have made known to thee whatso betided me.” When the host heard these words, he was certified that the house whereof Ja’afar spoke was his house and the lattice his own lattice and the lovely and lovesome young lady his wife the daughter of his paternal uncle, so he said in his thought, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. Verily we are Allah’s and unto Him shall we return!” But presently he regained himself in the nobility of his nature, and he continued, “O Ja’afar, thine intent is pure for that the dame thou sawest yesterday was divorced by her husband; and I will straightway fare to her father and bespeak him to the end that none may lay hand upon her; and then will I return and let thee ken all concerning her.” So saying he arose and went at once to his cousin-wife[338] who greeted him and kissing his hand said to him, “Is thy guest a-going?” Said he, “By no means: the cause of my coming to thee is not his going, the reason 177thereof is my design of sending thee to the home of thy people, for that thy father anon met me in the market-street and declared to me that thy mother is dying of a colick, and said to me:—Go send her daughter without delay so that she may see her parent alive and meet her once more.” Accordingly the young wife arose; and, hardly knowing how she moved for tears at such tidings, she took her slave-girls with her and repairing to her home rapped at the door, and her mother who opened to her cried on seeing her, “May this thy coming (Inshallah!) be well, O my daughter, but how is it thou comest thus unexpected?” “Inshallah!” said the wife, “thou art at rest from the colick?” and the mother rejoined, “Who told thee I was colicky? but pass thou within.” So she entered the court and her father, Abdullah Chelebi hight,[339] hearing her footstep from an inner room, asked, “What is there to do?” “Thou mettest anon,” replied his daughter, “Attaf thy son-in-law in the Bazar and didst tell him that my mother was sore afflicted with a colick.” Hearing this he exclaimed, “This day I went not once to the market-street nor have I seen a soul!” Now they had not ceased conversing ere the door was rapped; and as the slave girls opened it, they saw porters laden with the young lady’s gear and garments and they led the men into the court where the father asked them, “Who sent these stuffs?” “Attaf,” they replied, and setting down their loads within went their way. Then the father turned to his daughter and said to her, “What deed hast done that my son-in-law bade take up thy gear and have it sent after thee?” And the mother said to him, “Hold thy peace and speak not such speech lest the honour of the house be blamed and shamed.” And as they were talking, behold, up came Attaf companied by a party of friends when his father-in-law asked him, “Wherefore hast thou done on this wise?” “To-day,” 178answered he, “there came from me a wrongous oath: on account of my inclination to thy daughter my heart is dark as night whereas her good name is whiter than my turband and ever bright.[340] Furthermore an occasion befel and this oath fell from my mouth and I bade her be the owner of herself.[341] And now will I beweep the past and straightway set her free.” So saying he wrote a writ of repudiation and returning to Ja’afar said, “From early dawn I have wearied myself[342] for thy sake and have so acted that no man can lay hand upon her. And at last thou mayst now enjoy life and go to the gardens and the Hammams and take thy pleasure until the days of her widowhood[343] be gone by.” Replied Ja’afar, “Allah quicken thee for what thou wroughtest of kindness to me,” and Attaf rejoined, “Find for thyself something thou requirest, O my brother.”[344] Then he fell to taking him every day amongst the crowd of pleasure-seekers and solacing him with a show of joyous spectacles[345] till the term of divorce had sped, when he said to the Wazir, “O Ja’afar, I would counsel thee with an especial counsel.” “And what may it be, O my brother?” quoth 179the other; and quoth he, “Know, O my lord, that many of the folk have found the likeness between thy Honour and Ja’afar the Barmecide, wherefore must I fain act on this wise. I will bring thee a troop of ten Mamelukes and four servants on horseback, with whom do thou fare privily and by night forth the city and presently transmit to me tidings from outside the walls that thou the Grand Wazir, Ja’afar the Barmecide, art recalled to court and bound thither from Egypt upon business ordered by the Sultan. Hereat the Governor of Damascus, ’Abd al-Malik bin Marwán[346] and the Grandees of Syria will flock forth to meet and greet thee with fêtes and feasts, after which do thou send for the young lady’s sire and of him ask her to wife. Then I will summon the Kazi and witnesses and will write out without stay or delay the marriage-writ with a dower of a thousand dinars the while thou makest ready for wayfare, and if thou journey to Homs or to Hamah do thou alight at whatso place ever pleaseth thee. Also I will provide thee of spending-money as much as thy soul can desire and supply to thee raiment and gear, horses and bât-animals, tents and pavilions of the cheap and of the dear, all thou canst require. So what sayest thou concerning this counsel?” “Fair fall it for the best of rede which hath no peer,” replied Ja’afar. Hereupon Attaf arose and gathering his men about his guest sent him forth the city when the Minister wrote a writ and despatched it by twenty horsemen with a trader to inform the Governor of Syria that Ja’afar the Barmecide was passing that way and was about to visit Damascus on the especial service of the Sultan. So the Kapújí[347] entered Damascus and read out the Wazirial 180letter[348] announcing Ja’afar’s return from Egypt. Hereat the Governor arose and after sending a present of provisions[349] without the walls bade pitch the tents, and the Grandees of Syria rode forth to meet the Minister, and the Headmen of the Province set out to greet him, and he entered with all honour and consideration. It was indeed a day fit to be numbered among the days of a man’s life, a day of general joyance for those present, and they read the Farmán and they offered the food and the forage to the Chamberlain and thus it became known to one and all of the folk that a writ of pardon had come to Ja’afar’s hands and on this wise the bruit went abroad, far and near, and the Grandees brought him all manner of presents. After this Ja’afar sent to summon the young lady’s father and as soon as he appeared in his presence, said to him, “Thy daughter hath been divorced?” and said the other “Yes; she is at home with me.” Quoth the Minister, “I would fain take her to wife;” and quoth the father, “Here am I ready to send her as thy handmaid.” The Governor of Sham added, “I will assume charge of the dowry,” and the damsel’s father rejoined, “It hath already come to hand.”[350] Hereat they summoned the Kazi and wrote out the writ of Ja’afar’s marriage; and, having ended the ceremony, they distributed meat and drink to the poor in honour of the wedding, and Abd al-Malik bin Marwan said to Ja’afar, “Deign, O my lord, come hither with me and become my guest, and I will set apart for thee a place wherein thou canst consummate thy marriage.” But the other replied, “Nay, I may not do so; I am sent on public affairs by the Commander of the Faithful and I purpose setting off with my bride and marching without further delay.” The Grandees of Syria 181spent that night until morning without any being able to snatch a moment of sleep, and as soon as dawned the day Ja’afar sent to summon his father-in-law and said, “On the morrow I design setting forth, and I desire that my bride be ready for the road;” whereto replied the other, “Upon my head be it and my eyes!” Then Abdullah Chelebi fared homewards and said to his daughter, “O my child, Attaf hath divorced thee from bed and from board, whereas Sultan Ja’afar the Bermaki hath taken thee to wife, and on Allah is the repairing of our broken fortunes and the fortifying of our hearts.” And she held her peace for displeasure by cause that she loved Attaf on account of the blood-tie and his exceeding great generosity. But on the next day Ja’afar sent a message to her sire informing him that the march would begin about mid-afternoon and that he wished him to make all ready, so the father did accordingly; and when Attaf heard thereof he sent supplies and spending-money.[351] At the time appointed the Minister took horse escorted by the Governor and the Grandees, and they brought out the mule-litter[352] wherein was the bride, and the procession rode onwards until they had reached the Dome of the Birds,[353] whereat the Minister bade them return home and they obeyed him and farewelled him. But on the ride back they all met Attaf coming from the city, and he reined in his horse and saluted the Governor and exchanged salams with his companions, who said to him, “Now at the very time we are going in thou comest out.” Attaf made answer, “I wotted not that he would set forth this day, but as soon as I was certified that he had mounted I sent to summon his escort and came forth 182a-following him.”[354] To this the Governor replied, “Go catch them up at the Dome of the Birds, where they are now halting.” Attaf followed this counsel and reaching the place alighted from his mare, and approaching Ja’afar embraced him and cried, “Laud to the Lord, O brother mine, who returneth thee to thy home with fortunes repaired and heart fortified;” and said the Minister, “O Attaf, Allah place it in my power to requite thee; but cease thou not to write me and apprise me of thy tidings; and for the nonce I order thee to return hence and not to lie the night save in thine own house.” And his host did his bidding whilst the cousin-wife hearing his voice thrust her head out of the litter and looked upon him with flowing tears, understanding the length to which his generosity had carried him. So fared it with Attaf and his affair; but now give ear to what befel him from Abd al-Malik bin Marwan. As they hied them home one who hated the generous man asked the Governor, “Wottest thou the wherefore he went forth to farewell his quondam guest at so late a time as this?” “Why so?” answered the other; and the detractor continued, “Ja’afar hath tarried four months as a guest in his household, and disguised so that none save the host knew him, and now Attaf fared not forth for his sake but because of the woman.” “What woman?” enquired the Governor, and the other replied, “His whilom wife, whom he divorced for the sake of his stranger, and married her to him; so this day he followeth to enjoin him once more concerning the Government of Syria which perchance is promised to him. And ’tis better that thou breakfast upon him ere he sup upon thee.” The other enquired, “And whose daughter is she, is not her sire Abdullah Chelebi?”[355] Whereto the man answered, “Yes, O my lord, and I repeat that she was put away to the intent that Ja’afar might espouse her.” 183When the Governor heard these words, he was wroth with wrath galore than which naught could be more, and he hid his anger from Attaf for a while of time until he had devised a device to compass his destruction. At last, one day of the days he bade cast the corpse of a murthered man into his enemy’s garden and after the body was found by spies he had sent to discover the slayer, he summoned Attaf and asked him, “Who murthered yon man within thy grounds?” Replied the other, “’Twas I slew him.” “And why didst slay him?” cried the Governor, “and what harm hath he wrought thee?” But the generous one replied, “O my lord, I have confessed to the slaughter of this man in order that I and only I may be mulcted in his blood-wite lest the neighbours say:—By reason of Attaf’s garden we have been condemned to pay his fine.” Quoth Abd al-Malik, “Why should I want to take mulcts from the folk? Nay; I would command according to Holy Law and even as Allah hath ordered, ‘A life for a life.’” He then turned for testimony to those present and asked them, “What said this man?” and they answered, “He said:—I slew him.” “Is the accused in his right mind or Jinn-mad[356]?” pursued the Governor; and they said, “In his senses.” Then quoth the Governor to the Mufti, “O Efendi, deliver me thine official decision according to that thou heardest from the accused’s mouth;” and the Judge pronounced and indited his sentence upon the criminal according to his confession. Hereupon the Governor gave order for his slaves to plunder the house and bastinado the owner; then he called for the headsman, but the Notables interfered and cried, “Give him a delay, for thou hast 184no right to slay him without further evidence; and better send him to gaol.” Now all Damascus was agitated and excited by this affair, which came upon the folk so suddenly and unforeseen. And Attaf’s friends[357] and familiars came down upon the Governor and went about spreading abroad that the generous man had not spoken such words save in fear lest his neighbours be molested and be mulcted for a murther which they never committed, and that he was wholly innocent of such crime. So Abd al-Malik bin Marwan summoned them and said, “And ye plead that the accused is Jinn-mad this were folly, for he is the prince of intelligent men: I was resolved to let him live until the morrow; but I have been thwarted and this very night I will send and have him strangled.” Hereupon he returned him to prison and ordered the gaoler to do him die before day might break. But the man waxed wroth with exceeding wrath to hear the doom devised for Attaf and having visited him in prison said to him, “Verily the Governor is determined to slay thee for he was not satisfied with the intercession made for thee by the folk or even with taking the legal blood-wite.” Hereat Attaf wept and cried, “Allah (be He magnified and glorified!) hath assigned unto every death a cause. I desired but to do good amongst the garden folk and prevent their being fined; and now this benevolence hath become the reason of my ruin.” Then, after much ‘say and said’ the gaoler spake as follows, “Why talk after such fashion? I am resolved to set thee free and to ransom thee with my life; and at this very moment I will strike off thy chains and deliver thee from him. But do thou arise and tear my face and pluck out my beard and rend my raiment; then, after thrusting a gag[358] into my mouth wend thy ways and save thy life and leave me to bear all blame.”[359] Quoth Attaf, “Allah requite thee for 185me with every weal!” Accordingly the gaoler did as he had undertaken and his prisoner went forth unhurt and at once followed the road to Baghdad. So far concerning him; but now hear thou what befel the Governor of Syria, Abd al-Malik bin Marwan. He took patience till midnight, when he arose and fared accompanied by the headsman to the gaol that he might witness the strangling of Attaf; but lo and behold! he found the prison-door wide open and the keeper in sore sorrow with his raiment all rent to rags and his beard plucked out and his face scratched and the blood trickling from his four sides and his case was the miserablest of cases. So they removed the gag from his mouth and the Governor asked him, “Who did with thee on this wise?” and the man answered, “O my lord, yesternight, about the middle thereof, a gang of vagabonds and ne’er-do-wells as they were ’Ifrits of our lord Sulayman (upon whom be The Peace!), not one of whom I recognised, came upon me and ere I was ware of them they broke down the prison door and killed me;[360] and when I would have cried aloud and shouted for aid they placed yonder gag in my mouth, then they wounded me and shredded my dress and left me in the state thou seest. Moreover they took Attaf after breaking his chains and said to him:—Go and lay thy complaint before the Sultan.” Now those who accompanied the Governor said, “This be a gaoler and the son of a gaoler, nor during all his days hath anyone charged him with letting a prisoner out of hand.” Quoth Abd al-Malik to the wounded man “Hie thee to thy house and stay there;” whereat he straightway arose and went his ways. After this the Governor took horse, he and his escort; and all rode off to search for Attaf during a term of four days and some of them dug and dug deep down while the others returned after a bootless errand, and reported that they had failed to find him. Such was the case with the Governor of 186Syria; and now give ear to the adventure of Attaf. He left not wayfaring until but a single stage remained between him and Baghdad when robbers came upon him and stripped him of all his clothes, so that he was compelled to enter the capital in foulest condition, naked even as his mother bare him. And after some charitable wight had thrown an old robe about him and bound his head with a clout (and his unshorn hair fell over his eyes)[361] he fell to asking for the mansion of the Wazir Ja’afar and the folk guided him thereto. But when he would have entered the attendants suffered him not; so he stood at that gate till an old man joined him. Attaf enquired of him saying, “Hast thou with thee, O Shaykh, an ink-case and pens and paper?” and the other replied, “I have; but what is thy need thereof? tell me, so may I write for thee.” “I will write myself,” rejoined Attaf; and when the old man handed to him the gear, he took seat and indited an address to Ja’afar informing him of all that passed from first to last, and especially of his own foul plight.[362] Presently he returned the ink-case and reed pens to the Shaykh; and, going up to the gate, asked those standing about the doors, “Will ye not admit for me this missive and place it in the hand of his Highness, Ja’afar the Bermaki, the Wazir?” “Give it here,” said they, and one of them took it with the intent of handing it to the Minister when suddenly the cannon roared;[363] the palace was in a hubbub and each and everyone cried, “What is to do?” Hereat many voices replied, “The Sultan, who hath been favoured with a man-child, biddeth decorate the city for seven days.” Hereat the attendant, who had 187charged himself with the letter, threw it in that confusion from his hand and Attaf was led to gaol as a vagrant. Anon Ja’afar took horse and, after letting read the Sultan’s rescript about the city-decorations, gave command that all the prisoners be released, Attaf amongst the number. As he issued forth the gaol he beheld all the streets adorned with flags and tapestry, and when evening approached eating-cloths and trays of food were set and all fell-to, while sundry said to Attaf who was in pauper plight, “Come and eat thou;” for it was a popular feast.[364] And affairs went on after this same fashion and the bands made music and cannon was fired until ended the week of decoration during which the folk ceased not to-ing and fro-ing. As evening evened Attaf entered a cathedral-mosque and prayed the night-prayers when he was accosted by the eunuchs who cried, “Arise and gang thy gait, that we may close the mosque-door, O Attaf,” for his name had become known. He replied, “O man, the Apostle of Allah saith, ‘Whoso striveth for good is as the doer thereof and the doer is of the people of Paradise:’ so suffer me to sleep here in some corner;” but quoth the other, “Up with thee and be off: yesterday they stole me a bit of matting and to-night I will bolt the door nor allow any to sleep here. And indeed the Apostle of Allah (whom the Almighty save and assain!) hath forbidden sleep o’ nights in the mosques.” Attaf had no competence to persuade the Castrato by placing himself under his protection, albeit he prayed him sore saying, “I am a stranger in the city nor have I knowledge of any, so do thou permit me here to pass this one night and no more.” But as he was again refused he went forth into the thoroughfares where the street dogs barked at him, and thence he trudged on to the market where the watchmen and warders cried out at him, till at last he entered a ruinous 188house where he stumbled when walking and fell over something which proved to be a youth lately murthered, and in tripping he fell upon his face and his garments were bewrayed and crimsoned with blood. And as he stood in doubt as to what must be done the Wali and the watch, who were going round the town by night, met him face to face; and as soon as they saw him all rushed at him in a body and seizing him bore him to the gaol. Here we leave speaking of him; and now return we to Ja’afar and what befel him. After he had set out from Damascus and sent back Attaf from the Dome of the Birds he said in his mind, “Thou art about to consummate marriage with a damsel and to travel until thou shalt reach Baghdad, so meanwhile up and take thee an ewer of water and make the Wuzú and pray.” However, as he purposed that evening to go in unto the wife of Attaf, controversy forewent compliments[365] and the tent-pitchers, who were sent on to the next station set up the pavilion of the bride and the other tents. Ja’afar took patience until every eye however wakeful waxed sleep-full, at which time he rose up and went in to Attaf’s wife who, the moment she saw him enter, covered her face with her hands as from a stranger. “The Peace be upon thee!” said he and said she, “With thee also be The Peace and the ruth of Allah and His blessings.” Then he continued, “O daughter of my father’s brother[366] why hast thou placed thy hand upon thy face? In the lawful there be naught of shameful.” “True, O my lord,” she replied, “but Modesty is a part of Religion. If to one the like of thee it be a light matter that the man who guested thee and served thee with his coin and his case be treated on this wise and thou have the heart to take his mate from him, then am I but a slave between thy hands.” “Art thou the divorced wife of Attaf?” asked Ja’afar, and she answered, “I am.” Quoth he, “And why 189did thy husband on such wise?” and quoth she, “The while I stood watering plants at the window, thy Highness deigned look upon me and thou toldest thy love to Attaf, who forthright put me away and made me wife to thy Worship. And this is wherefore I conceal from thee my face.” Ja’afar cried, “Thou art now unlawful to him and licit to me; but presently thou shalt become illicit to me and legitimate to thy husband: so from this time forth thou art dearer and more honourable to me than my eyes and my mother and my sister. But for the moment thy return to Damascus is not possible for fear of foolish tongues lest they prattle and say:—Attaf went forth to farewell Ja’afar, and his wife lay the night with the former, and thus have the back-bones had a single lappet.[367] However I will bear thee to Baghdad where I will stablish thee in a spacious and well furnished lodging with ten slave girls and eunuchs to serve thee; and, as long as thou abide with me, I will give thee[368] every day five golden ducats and every month a suit of sumptuous clothes. Moreover everything in thy lodging shall be thine; and whatever gifts and offerings be made to thee they shall be thy property, for the folk will fancy thee to be my bride and will entertain thee and escort thee to the Hammams and present thee with sumptuous dresses. After this fashion thou shalt pass thy days in joyance and thou shalt abide with me in highmost honour and esteem and worship till what time we see that can be done. So from this moment forth[369] throw away all fear and hereafter be happy in heart and high in spirits, for that now thou standest me in stead of mother and sister and here naught shall befal thee save weal. And now my first desire to thee which burned in my soul hath been quenched and exchanged for brotherly love yet 190stronger than what forewent it.” So Attaf’s wife rejoiced with exceeding joy; and, as they pursued their journey, Ja’afar ceased not to clothe her in the finest of clothes, so that men might honour her as the Wazir’s Consort; and ever to entreat her with yet increasing deference. This endured until they entered Baghdad-city where the attendants bore her Takhtrawán into the Minister’s Harem and an apartment was set apart for her even as he had promised, and she was provided with a monthly allowance of a thousand dinars and all the comforts and conveniences and pleasures whereof he had bespoken her; nor did he ever allow his olden flame for her to flare up again, and he never went near her; but sent messengers to promise her a speedy reunion with her mate. Such was the case of Ja’afar and Attaf’s wife; and now give ear to what befel and betided the Minister during his first reception by his liege lord who had sorely regretted his departure and was desolated by the loss of him. As soon as he presented himself before the Caliph, who rejoiced with exceeding joy and returned his salute and his deprecation of evil,[370] the Commander of the Faithful asked him, “Where was the bourne of this thy wayfare?” and he answered, “Damascus.” “And where didst alight?” “In the house of one Attaf hight,” rejoined Ja’afar, who recounted all that his host had done with him from the beginning to the end. The Prince of True Believers took patience, until he had told his story and then cried to his Treasurer saying, “Hie thee hence and open the Treasury and bring me forth a certain book.” And when this was done he continued, “Hand that volume to Ja’afar.” Now when the Minister took it and read it he found written therein all that had occurred between Attaf and himself and he left not reading till he came to the time when the twain, host and guest, had parted and each had farewelled other and Attaf had fared homewards. Hereupon the Caliph cried to 191him, “Close the book at what place it completeth the recital of thy bidding adieu to Attaf and of his returning to his own place, so shalt thou understand how it was I said to thee:—Near me not until thou bring that which is contained in this volume.” Then the Commander of the Faithful restored the book to the Treasurer saying, “Take this and set it in the bibliotheca;” then, turning to Ja’afar he observed, “Verily Almighty Allah (be He glorified and magnified!) hath deigned show thee whatso I read therein until I fell a-weeping and a-laughing at one and the same time. So now do thou retire and hie thee home.” Ja’afar did his bidding and reassumed the office of Wazir after fairer fashion than he was before. And now return we to the purport of our story as regardeth the designs of Attaf and what befel him when they took him out of gaol. They at once led him to the Kazi who began by questioning him, saying, “Woe to thee, didst thou murther this Háshimí?”[371] Replied he, “Yes, I did!” “And why killedst thou him?” “I found him in yonder ruin and, I struck him advisedly and slew him!” “Art thou in thy right senses?” “Yea, verily.” “What may be thy name?” “I am hight Attaf.” Now when the Judge heard this confession, which was thrice repeated, he wrote a writ to the Mufti and acquainted him with the contention: and the divine after delivering his decision produced a book and therein indited the procès-verbal. Then he sent notice thereof to Ja’afar the Wazir for official order to carry out the sentence and the Minister took the document and affixing his seal and signature thereto gave order for the execution. So they bore Attaf away and led him to the gallows-foot whither he was followed by a world of folk in number as the dust; and, as they set him under the tree Ja’afar the Wazir, who was riding by with his suite at the time, suddenly espied a crowd going forth the city. Thereupon he summoned the Sobáshí[372] who came up to 192him and kissed his knee. “What is the object of this gathering of folk who be manifold as the dust and what do they want?” quoth the Wazir; and quoth the officer, “We are wending to hang[373] a Syrian who hath murthered a youth of Sharif family.” “And who may be this Syrian?” asked the Wazir, and the other answered, “One hight Attaf.” But when Ja’afar heard the word Attaf he cried out with a mighty loud outcry and said, “Hither with him.” So after loosing the noose from his neck they set him before the Wazir who regarding him at once recognised his whilome host albeit he was in the meanest of conditions, so he sprang up and threw himself upon him and he in turn threw himself upon his sometime guest.[374] “What condition be this?” quoth Ja’afar as soon as he could speak, and quoth Attaf, “This cometh of my acquaintance with thee which hath brought me to such pass.” Hereupon the twain swooned clean away and fell down fainting on the floor, and when they came to themselves and could rise to their feet Ja’afar the Wazir sent his friend Attaf to the Hammam with a sumptuous suit of clothes which he donned as he came out. Then the attendants led him to the Wazirial mansion where both took seat and they drank wine and ate the early meal[375] and after their coffee they sat together in converse. And when they had rested and were cheered, Ja’afar said, “Do thou acquaint me with all that betided thee from the time we took leave each of other until this day and date.” So Attaf fell to telling him how he had been entreated by Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, Governor of Syria; how he had been thrown into prison and how his enemy came thither by night with intent to strangle him; also how the gaoler devised a device to save him from slaughter and how he 193had fled nor ceased flight till he drew near Baghdad when robbers had stripped him; how he had lost an opportunity of seeing the Wazir because the city had been decorated; and, lastly, what had happened to him through being driven from the Cathedral-mosque; brief, he recounted all from commencement to conclusion. Hereupon the Minister loaded him with benefits and presently gave orders to renew the marriage-ceremony between man and wife; and she seeing her husband led in to pay her the first visit lost her senses, and her wits flew from her head and she cried aloud, “Would Heaven I wot if this be on wake or the imbroglio of dreams!” So she started like one frightened and a moment after she threw herself upon her husband and cried, “Say me, do I view thee in vision or really in the flesh?” whereto he replied, “In the world of sense and no sweven is this.” Then he took seat beside her and related to her all that had befallen him of hardships and horrors till he was taken from under the Hairibee; and she on her part recounted how she had dwelt under Ja’afar’s roof, eating well and drinking well and dressing well and in honour and worship the highmost that might be. And the joy of this couple on reunion was perfect. But as for Ja’afar when the morning morrowed, he arose and fared for the Palace; then, entering the presence, he narrated to the Caliph all that had befallen Attaf, art and part; and the Commander of the Faithful rejoined, “Indeed this adventure is the most wondrous that can be, and the most marvellous that ever came to pass.” Presently he called to the Treasurer and bade him bring the book a second time from the Treasury, and when it was brought the Prince of True Believers took it, and handing it to Ja’afar, said to him, “Open and read.” So he perused the whole tale of Attaf with himself the while his liege lord again wept and laughed at the same moment and said, “In very deed, all things strange and rare are written and laid up amongst the treasuries of the Kings; and therefor I cried at thee in my wrath and forbade thee my presence 194until thou couldst answer the question, What is there in this volume? and thou couldst comprehend the cause of my tears and my smiles. Then thou wentest from before me and wast driven by doom of Destiny until befel thee with Attaf that which did befal; and in fine thou returnedst with the reply I required.” Then the Caliph enrobed Ja’afar with a sumptuous honour-robe and said to the attendants, “Bring hither to me Attaf.” So they went out and brought him before the Prince of True Believers; and the Syrian standing between his hands blessed the Sovran and prayed for his honour and glory in permanence of prosperity and felicity. Hereat quoth the Caliph, “O Attaf, ask whatso thou wishest!” and quoth the generous man, “O King of the Age, I pray only thy pardon for Abd al-Malik bin Marwan.” “For that he harmed thee?” asked Harun al-Rashid, and Attaf answered, “O my lord, the transgression came not from him, but from Him who caused him work my wrong; and I have freely pardoned him. Also do thou, O my lord, write a Farmán with thine own hand certifying that I have sold to the gaoler, and have received from him the price thereof, all my slaves and estates in fullest tale and most complete. Moreover deign thou appoint him inspector over the Governor of Syria[376] and forward to him a signet-ring by way of sign that no petition which doth not bear that seal shall be accepted or even shall be heard and lastly transmit all this with a Chamberlain unto Damascus.” Now all the citizens of Syria were expecting some ill-turn from the part of Attaf, and with this grievous thought they were engrossed, when suddenly tidings from 195Baghdad were bruited abroad; to wit, that a Kapuji was coming on Attaf’s business. Hereat the folk feared with exceeding great affright and fell to saying, “Gone is the head of Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, and gone all who could say aught in his defence.” And when the arrival of the Chamberlain was announced all fared forth to meet and greet him, and he entered on a day of flocking and crowding,[377] which might be truly numbered amongst the days and lives of men. And presently he produced the writ of indemnity, and pardon may not be procured save by one duly empowered to pardon. Then he sent for the gaoler and committed to him the goods and chattels of Attaf, together with the signet and the appointment of supervisor over the Governor of Syria with an especial Farman that no order be valid unless sealed with the superior’s seal. Nor was Abd al-Malik bin Marwan less rejoiced that the adventure had ended so well for him when he saw the Kapuji returning Baghdad-wards that he might report all concerning his mission. But as for Attaf, his friend Ja’afar bestowed upon him seigniories and presented him with property and moneys exceeding tenfold what he had whilome owned and made him more prosperous than he had ever been aforetime.



Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal, of New York, a correspondent who already on sundry occasions has rendered me able aid and advice, was kind enough to send me his copy of the Tale of Attaf (the “C. MS.” of the foregoing pages). It is a small 4to of pp. 334, size 5¾ by 8 inches, with many of the leaves injured and repaired; and written in a variety of handwritings, here a mere scribble, there regular and legible as printed Arabic. A fly-leaf inserted into the Arabic binding contains in cursive hand the title, “A Book embracing many Tales of the Tales of the Kings and named ‘Stories from the Thousand Nights and a Night.’” And a note at the end supplies the date; “And the finish thereof was on Fifth Day (Thursday), 9th from the beginning of the auspicious month Rabí’a 2nd, in the year 1096 of the Hijrah of the Apostle, upon whom be the choicest of blessings and the fullest of greetings; and Allah prospereth what he pleaseth,[378] and praise be to God the One.” Thus (A.H. 1096 = A.D. 1685) the volume is upwards of 200 years old. It was bought by Mr. Cotheal many years ago with other matters among the effects of a deceased American missionary who had brought it from Syria.

The “Tale of Attaf” occupies pp. 10–50, and the end is abrupt. The treatment of the “Novel” contrasts curiously with that of the Chavis MS. which forms my text, and whose directness and simplicity give it a European and even classical character. It is an excellent study of the liberties allowed to themselves by Eastern editors and scribes. In the Cotheal MS. the tone is distinctly literary, abounding in verse (sometimes repeated from other portions of The Nights), and in Saj’a or Cadence which the copyist sometimes denotes by marks in red ink. The wife of Attaf is a much sterner and more important personage than in my text: she throws water upon her admirer as he gazes upon her from the street, and when compelled to marry him by her father, she “gives him a bit of her mind” as forcibly and stingingly as if she were of “Anglo-Saxon” blood; e.g. “An thou have in thee aught of manliness and generosity thou wilt divorce me even as he did.” Sundry episodes like that of the brutal Eunuch at Ja’afar’s door, and the Vagabond in the Mosque are also introduced; but upon this point I need say no more, as Mr. Cotheal shall now speak for himself.




In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate to whom we cry for help.

They say God is omniscient, knowing the past and the future, and we learn from the histories of the peoples that there was in ancient times and bygone seasons (and God knows best!) a Caliph of the Caliphs of the orthodox and he was Harun er-Rashid who one night became very restless and from the drowsiness that came upon him he sat down upon the bed and dressed himself in sleeping-clothes; then it was that he called to his service Mesrúr the sword-bearer of grace who came immediately into his presence and said to him, O Mesrur, the night is very oppressive and I wish thee to dispel my uneasiness. Then Mesrur said to him, O Commander of the Faithful, arise now and go to the terrace-roof of the palace and look upon the canopy of heaven and upon the twinkling stars and the brightness of the moon, while listening to the music of the rippling streams and the creaking norias as they are spoken of by the poet who said:—

A Noria that discharges by the spouts of her tears resembles the actions of a distracted lover:
She is the lover of her branches (sweeps or levers) by the magic in her heart until she laughs:
She complains and the tears run from her eyes, she rises in the morning to find herself weeping and complaining.

200Then he said, O Commander of the Faithful, the streams also are thus mentioned by one of them:—

My favorite is a damsel dispensing drink, and my recreation is a running stream;
A damsel whose eyes are a garden of Paradise, and a garden whose springs make a running brook.

Then again said Harun er-Rashid, O Mesrur, such is not my wish, and Mesrur replied, O Commander of the Faithful, in thy palace are three hundred and sixty damsels, they are thy concubines and thy slaves, and they are as if they were rising moons and beautiful gazelles, and in elegant robes they are dressed like the flowers. Walk around in the midst of the palaces and from thy hiding-place see each of them enter by herself in her own apartment admiring her beauty and her magnificent dresses, all showing their joy and mirth since they will not know of thee; then listen to their singing and their playing and their joyous company in their apartments and perhaps you’ll attach yourself to one of them who’ll play with thee, keep thee awake and be thy cup-companion, dispelling what may remain of thy restlessness. But he replied, O Mesrur, bring to me my cousin Ja’afar the Barmeky immediately. So he answered, Hearing is obedience. Then Mesrur went out to the house of Ja’afar and said to him, Come to the Commander of the Faithful, and he answered, To hear is to obey. Then Ja’afar dressed himself and went with Mesrur to the Caliph and kissing the ground before him he said, May it be good! O Commander of the Faithful. It is not other than good, he answered, but I am wearied this night with a great weariness and I sent for you to divert me so that my unrest may be dissipated. Then Ja’afar said, Let’s get up, O Commander of the Faithful, and we’ll go out into the garden of the palace and listen to the warbling of the birds and smell of the odours of the flowers, and the cool zephyr with its gentle breath will pass over us, dispelling our uneasiness and gladdening the heart. The Rawi says that Ja’afar was very familiar with the Caliph by reason of the endearment between them. Then the Caliph arose and with Ja’afar and Mesrur went to the garden. The Caliph began to be thoughtful and asked about the trees and the qualities of the flowers and the fruits and the nature of their colours, and as the Caliph took pleasure in that, he walked around for an hour and then passed over to the palaces and houses, going from place to place, from quarter to quarter, and from market to market; and, whilst they were going on, they stopped before a book-shop and the Caliph opened a book-case and began to turn over the books one by one, and taking one in his hand opened it, began to read in it, and then suddenly laughed until he fell upon his back. He read in it again and wept until his beard was wet with the falling tears, and wrapping up the book he put it in his sleeve when Ja’afar said, O Commander of the Faithful and Lord of the two worlds, what was it that made thee laugh and then weep at the same time? When the Caliph heard that he was angered and cried out at him in the midst of his rage, O dog of a Barmeky, what an impertinence on thy part about what concerns thee not, 201why meddle with what thou hast not lost. You’ve taken upon yourself to be annoying and conceited, you have passed beyond your place and it only remained for you to brave the Caliph. By my fathers and grandfathers, if thou dost not bring me someone who can tell me about the contents of this book from the first page to the last, I’ll strike thy neck and show thee what it is that has made me laugh and cry. When Ja’afar heard these words and saw his passion he said, O Commander of the Faithful, I have committed a fault: sin is for the like of me and forgiveness for the like of your Highness; to which the Caliph answered, I have made oath, thou must bring that person to explain the book or I’ll strike thy neck this very hour. Then Ja’afar said, O Commander of the Faithful, God created the heavens and the two worlds in six days and if it had pleased Him He could have created them in one single hour, but He did so for an instruction to his worshippers that one should not fault with another but be patient; then, O Lord, be thou patient with thy servant if it be for three days only; and the Caliph replied to him, If thou bringest not to me him whom I have mentioned I will slay thee with the most horrible of deaths. At this Ja’afar said, I depart on thy mission; thereupon Ja’afar went home with a sorrowful heart to his father Yahya and his brother El-Fadl to take leave of them and weep. Then they said to him, What is thy trouble? so he told them of what had occurred between him and the Caliph and of the condition laid upon him of execution if not complied with in three days, for doubtless the Caliph seeks my death; he who strikes against a point, ’twill pierce his hand, and he that struggles with a lion will be killed; but as to myself I can no longer remain with him for that would be the greatest of dangers for me and for thee, O my father, and for thee, O my brother. I now set out to travel and I wish to go far away from his eye. The preservation of life is not esteemed and is of little value: distance is the best preservative for our necks—as is said by the poet:—

Save your life if menaced by evil (danger), and leave the house to complain of the builder:
You’ll find a land upon a land, but not another life for your own life.

When he had finished, his father and his brother said to him, Do not do so, for probably the Caliph will be merciful to you. And Ja’afar answered, Only good will come of my travel. Then he went to his treasure-room and took out a purse containing 1,000 dinars, mounted his horse, put on his sword, bade adieu to his father and brother and set forth in his time and hour; then, not taking with him any servants, either slave or boy, he hastened on his journey, travelling day and night for twenty days until he reached the city of Aleppo without stopping, passing by Hamah and Homs until he reached Teniyát al-Igáb and arrived at Damascus where he entered the city and saw the Minaret of the Bride from bottom to top covered with gilded tiles; and it surrounded with meadows, irrigated gardens with all kinds of flowers, fields of myrtle with mountains of violets and other beauties of the gardens. He dwelt upon these 202charms while listening to the singing of the birds in the trees; and he saw a city whose like has never been created in any other country of the world. Turning then to the right hand and to the left he espied a man standing near him and said to him, O my brother, what’s the name of this city? and he answered, O my lord, this city in ancient times was called Jullag the same that is mentioned by the poet who says:—

I am called Jullag and my heart I attach, in me flow the waters, in and out;
The Garden of Eden upon the earth, birth-place of the fairies:
I will never forget thy beauties, O Damascus, for none but thee will I ever long:—
Blessed be the wonders that glitter on thy roofs (expanse).

She was also called Sham (grain of beauty) because she is the Sham of Cities and the Sham of God on earth. Ja’afar was pleased at the explanation of the name, and dismounted with the intention of taking a stroll through the streets, by the great houses and the domes (mosks). Whilst thus engaged in examining the various places and their beauties, he perceived a tent of silk brocade called Dibáj, containing carpets, furniture, cushions, silk curtains, chairs and beds. A young man was sitting upon a mattress, and he was like a rising moon, like the shining orb in its fourteenth night. He was in an undress, upon his head a kerchief and on his body a rose-coloured gaberdine; and as he sat before him were a company and drinks worthy of Kings. Ja’afar stopped and began to contemplate the scene, and was pleased with what he saw of the youth; then looking further he espied a damsel like unto the sun in serene firmament who took her lute and played on it while singing:—

Evil to whoever have their heart in possession of their lovers, for in obtaining it they will kill it:
They have abandoned it when they have seen it amorous: when they see it amorous they abandon it.
Nursling, they pluck it out from the very entrails: O bird, repeat “Nursling they have plucked thee out!”
They have killed it unjustly: the loved plays the coquette with the humble lover.
The seeker of the effects of love, love am I, brother of love, and sigh
Behold the man stricken by love, though his heart change not they bury it (him?)

The Rawi said that Ja’afar was pleased and he rejoiced at hearing the song and all his organs were moved at the voice of the damsel and he said, Wallahy, it is fine. Then she began again to sing, reciting the following verses:—

With these sentiments thou art in love, it is not wonderful that I should love thee:
I stretch out my hand to thee asking for mercy and pity for my humility—mayst thou be charitable;
My life has passed away soliciting thy consent, but I have not found it in my confidence to be charitable,
And I have become a slave in consequence of her possession of love my heart is imprisoned and my tears flow.

203When the poem was finished Ja’afar gave himself up more and more to the pleasure of hearing and looking at the damsel. The youth, who was reclining, sat up and calling some of his boys said to them, Don’t you see that young man standing there in front of us? They answered, Yes, and he said, He must be a stranger for I see on him the signs of travel: bring him to me and take care not to offend him. They answered, With joy and gladness, and went towards Ja’afar, who, while contemplating the damsel, perceived the boy that came and who said to him, In the name of God, O my lord, please have the generosity to come in to our master. Ja’afar came with the boy to the door of the tent, dismounted from his horse and entered at the moment when the youth was rising upon his feet, and he stretched out his two hands and saluted him as if he had always known him, and after he had chanted the prayer to the envoy (of Allah) he sang:—

O my visitor be welcome, thou enlivenest us and bringest us our union:
By thy face I live when it appears and I die if it disappears.

Then he said to Ja’afar, Please be seated, my dear sir; thanks be to God for your happy arrival; and he continued his chant after another prayer to the envoy (of God):—

If we had known of thy arrival we would have covered (thy) heart with the black of our eyes,
And we would have spread the street with our cheeks that thy coming might have been between our eyelids.

After that he arose, kissed the breast of Ja’afar, magnified his power and said to him, O my Master, this day is a happy one and were it not a fast-day I would have fasted for thee to render thanks to God. Then came up the servants to whom he said, Bring us what is ready. They spread the table of viands and the youth said, O my lord, the Sages say, ‘If you are invited content yourself with what’s before you, but if you are not invited, stay not and visit not again; if we had known that you would arrive to-day we would have sacrificed the flesh of our bodies and our children.’ Ja’afar said, I put out my hand and I ate until I was satisfied, while he was presenting me with his hand the delicate morsels and taking pleasure in entertaining me. When we had finished they brought the ewer and basin, we washed our hands and we passed into the drinking room where he told the damsel to sing. She took up her lute, tuned it, and holding it against her breast she began:—

A visitor of whom the sight is venerated by all, sweeter than either spirit or hope:
He spreads the darkness of his hair over the morning dawn and the dawn of shame appeared not;
And when my lot would kill me I asked his protection, his arrival revived a soul that death reclaimed:
I’ve become the slave of the Prince of the Lovers and the dominion of love was of my making.

204The Rawi says that Ja’afar was moved with exceeding joy, as was also the youth, but he did not fail to be fearful on account of his affair with the Caliph, so that it showed itself in his countenance, and this anxiety was apparent to the youth who knew that he was anxious, frightened, dreaming and uncertain. Ja’afar perceived that the youth was ashamed to question him on his position and the cause of his condition, but the youth said to him, O my lord, listen to what the Sages have said:—

Worry not thyself for things that are to come, drive away your cares by the intoxicating bowl:
See you not that hands have painted beautiful flowers on the robes of drink?
Spoils of the vine-branch, lilies and narcissus, and the violet and the striped flower of N’uman:
If troubles overtake you, lull them to sleep with liquors and flowers and favourites.

Then said he to Ja’afar, Contract not thy breast, and to the damsel, Sing; and she sang, and Ja’afar who was delighted with her songs, said Let us not cease our enjoyment, now in conversation, now in song until the day closes and night comes with darkness.

The youth ordered the servants to bring up the horses and they presented to his guest a mare fit for Kings. We mounted (said Ja’afar), and, entering Damascus, I proceeded to look at the bazars and the streets until we came to a large square in the middle of which were two mastabas or stone benches before a high doorway brilliantly illuminated with divers lights, and before a portière was suspended a lamp by a golden chain. There were lofty domes surrounded by beautiful statues, and containing various kinds of birds and abundance of flowing water, and in their midst was a hall with windows of silver. He opened it and found it looking upon a garden like that of Paradise animated by the songs of the birds and the perfumes of the flowers and the ripple of the brooks. The house, wherein were fountains and birds warbling their songs understood in every language, was carpeted with silken rugs and furnished with cushions of Dibaj-brocade. It contained also in great number costly articles of every kind, it was perfumed with the odours of flowers and fruits and it contained every other imaginable thing, plates and dishes of silver and gold, drinking vessels, and a censer for ambergris, powder of aloes and every sort of dried fruits. Brief, it was a house like that described by the poet:—

Society became perfectly brilliant in its beauty and shone in the éclat of its magnificence.

Ja’afar said, When I sat down the youth came to me and asked, From what country art thou? I replied, From Basora, soldier by profession, commandant over a company of men and I used to pay a quit-rent to the Caliph. I became afraid of him for my life and I came away fleeing with downcast face for dread of him, and I never ceased wandering about the country and in the deserts until Destiny has brought me to thee. The youth said, A blessed arrival, and 205what may be thy name? I replied, My name is like thine own. On hearing my words he smiled, and said, laughing, O my Lord, Abu ’l-Hasan, carry no trouble in your heart nor contraction of your breast; then he ordered a service and they set for us a table with all kinds of delicacies and we ate until satisfied. After this they took away the table and brought again the ewer and basin and we washed our hands and then went to the drinking room where there was a pleasaunce filled with fruits and flowers in perfection. Then he spoke to the damsel for music and she sang, enchanting both Ja’afar and the youth with delight at her performances, and the place itself was agitated, and Ja’afar in the excess of his joy took off his robes and tore them. Then the youth said to him, Wallahy, may the tearing be the effect of the pleasure and not of sorrow and waywardness, and may God disperse far from you the bitterness of your enemies. Then he went to a chest (continued Ja’afar) and took out from it a complete dress, worth a hundred dinars and putting it upon me said to the damsel, Change the tune of thy lute. She did so, and sang the following verses:—

My jealous regard is attached to him and if he regard another I am impatient:
I terminate my demand and my song crying, Thy friendship will last until death in my heart.

The Rawi said: When she had finished her poetry Ja’afar threw off the last dress and cried out, and the youth said, May God ameliorate your life and make its beginning the end. Then he went to the chest and took out a dress better than the first and put it upon Ja’afar, and the damsel was silent for an hour during the conversation. The youth said, Listen, O my lord Abu ’l-Hasan, to what people of merit have said of this valley formerly called the Valley of Rabwat in which we now are and spoken of in the poem, saying:—

O bounty of our Night in the valley of Rabwat where the gentle zephyr brings in her perfumes:
It is a valley whose beauty is like that of the necklace: trees and flowers encompass it.
Its fields are carpeted with every variety of flowers and the birds fly around above them;
When the trees saw us seated beneath them they dropped upon us their fruits.
We continued to exchange upon the borders of its gardens the flowing bowls of conversation and of poesy,
The valley was bountiful and her zephyrs brought to us what the flowers had sent to us.

So when the youth had finished his recitation he turned to the damsel and told her to sing:—

I consume (with desire) when I hear from him a discourse whose sweetness is a melting speech:
My heart palpitates when he sees it, it is not wonderful that the drunken one should dance:
It has on this earth become my portion, but on this earth I have no chance to obtain it.
O Lord! tell me the fault that I’ve committed, perhaps I may be able to correct it.
I find in thee a heart harder than that of others and the hearts consume my being.

206Now when she had finished, Ja’afar in his joy threw off the third dress. The youth arose, kissed him on the head, and then took out for him another suit and put it upon him, for he was the most generous man of his time. Then he entertained Ja’afar with the news of the day and of the subjects and anecdotes of the great pieces of poetry and said to him, O my lord, load not thyself with cares. The Rawi says that they continued living in the same way for forty days and on the forty-first Ja’afar said to the young man, Know, O my lord, that I have left my country neither for eating nor for drinking, but to divert myself and to see the world; but if God vouchsafe my return to my country to talk to my people, my neighbours and friends, and they ask me where I have been and what I have seen, I will tell them of your generosity and of the great benefactions that you have heaped upon me in your country of Damascus. I will say that I have sighted this and that, and thus I will entertain them with what I have espied in Damascus and of its order. The young man replied, Thou sayest true: and Ja’afar said, I desire to go out and visit the city, its bazars and its streets, to which the young man answered, With love and good will, to-morrow morning if it please Allah. That night Ja’afar slept there and when God brought the day, he rose, went in to the young man, wished him good morning and said to him, O my lord, thy promise! to which he replied, With love and good will; and, ordering a white dress for him, he handed him a purse of three hundred dinars saying, Bestow this in charity and return quick after thou hast made thy visit, and lastly said to his servants, Bring to your lord a horse to ride. But Ja’afar answered, I do not wish to have one, for a rider cannot observe the people but the people observe him. The young man, who was named Attaf, said, O my lord, be it as thou wishest and desirest; be not away long on my account for thine absence gives me pain. Then he gave to Ja’afar a grain of red musk saying, Take this and keep it in thy hand and if thou go into any place where there is a bad odour thou wilt take a smell of the musk. Ja’afar the Barmeky (Allah be merciful to him!) said, After that I left him and set out to walk in the streets and quarters of Damascus and went on until I came to the Mosk of the ’Omeyyades where I saw a fountain casting the water from its upper part and falling like serpents in their flight. I sat down under the pulpit; and as it was a Friday I heard the preacher and made my Friday prayer and remained until I made the afternoon prayer when I went to distribute the money I had, after which I recited these verses:—

I see the beauties united in the mosk of Jullag, and around her the meaning of beauty is explained;
If people converse in the mosks tell them their entrance door is open.

Then I left the mosk and began to promenade the quarters and the streets until I came before a splendid house, broad in its richness and strong in its build, having a border of gold astonishing the mind by the beauty of the work, showing curtains of silk embroidered with gold and in front of the door were 207two carpeted steps. I sat down upon one of them and began to think of myself and of the events that had happened to me and of my ignorance of what had taken place after my departure. In the midst of my sadness at the contemplation of my troubles (and the wind blowing upon me) I fell asleep and I awaked not until a sprinkling of water came down upon me. On opening my eyes I saw a young woman behind the curtain dressed in a morning gown and a Sa’údí fillet upon her forehead. Her look and eyelids were full of art and her eyebrows were like the fronts of the wings of light. The Rawi says she resembled a full moon. When my eyes fell upon her (continued Ja’afar) and looked at her, that look brought with it a thousand sighs and I arose and my disposition was changed. The young woman cried at me and I said, I am your servant, O my lady, and here at thy command, but said she, No labbayka and no favour for thee! Is this house thine? Said I, No my lady, and she replied, O dog of the streets, this house is not thine, why art thou sitting here? When Ja’afar heard this he was greatly mortified, but he took courage and dissimulated, answering, O my lady, I am resting here only to recite some verses which I have composed for thee, then she asked, And what hast thou said about me? He continued:—

She appeared in a whitish robe with eyelids and glances of wonder,
I said she came out without greeting, with her I’m content to my heart’s content.
Blessed be He that clothed thy cheeks with roses, He can create what He wills without hindrance.
Thy dress like thy lot is as my hand, white, and they are white upon white upon my white.

When he had finished these verses he said, I have composed others on thine expression, and recited the following:—

Dost thou see through her veil that face appearing how it shines, like the moon in the horizon?
Its splendour enlightens the shade of her temples and the sun enters into obscurity by system;
Her forehead eclipses the rose and the apple, and her look and expression enchant the people;
It is she that if mortal should see her he’d become victim of love, of the fires of desire.

On hearing this recitation the young lady said to Ja’afar, Miserable fellow, what is this discourse which does not belong to the like of thee? Get up and begone with the malediction of Allah and the protection of Satan. Ja’afar arose, seized with a mighty rage in addition to his love; and in this love for her he departed and returned to the house of his friend Attaf and saluted him with a prepossessed heart. As soon as Attaf saw him he cast himself on his breast and kissed him between the eyes, saying to him, O my lord, thou hast made me feel desolate to-day by thine absence. Then Attaf, looking in the face of Ja’afar and reading in it many words, continued to him, O my lord, I find thy countenance changed and thy mind broken. Ja’afar answered, O my lord, 208since I left thee up to the present time I have been suffering with a headache and a nervous attack for I was sleeping upon my ear. The people in the mosk recited the afternoon prayer without my knowing it, and now I have a mind to get an hour’s sleep, probably I shall find repose for the body, and what I suffer will pass off. Accordingly, Attaf went into the house and ordered cushions to be brought out and a bed to be made for him, Ja’afar then stretched himself upon it depressed and out of spirits, and covering himself up began to think of the young lady and of the offensive words she gave him so contrary to usage. Also he thought of her beauty and the elegance of her stature and perfect proportions and of what Allah (to whom be praise!) had granted her of magnificence. He forgot all that happened to him in other days and also his affair with the Caliph and his people and his friends and his society. Such was the burden of his thoughts until he was taken with monomania and his body wasted. Hereupon Attaf sent for doctors, they surrounded him constantly, they employed all their talents for him, but they could find no remedy. So he remained during a certain time without anyone being able to discover what was the matter with him. The breast of Attaf became straitened, he renounced all diversions and pleasures, and Ja’afar getting worse and worse, his trouble augmented. One day a new doctor arrived, a man of experience in the art of gallantry, whose name was Dabdihkán. When he came to Ja’afar and looked at his face and felt his pulse and found everything in its place, no suffering, no pain, he comprehended that he was in love, so he took a paper and wrote a prescription and placed it beneath Ja’afar’s head. He then said, Thy remedy is under thy head, I’ve prescribed a purge, if thou take it thou wilt get well, for he was ashamed to tell Attaf his love-sick condition. Presently the Doctor went away to other patients and Attaf arose and when about entering to see Ja’afar he heard him recite the following verses:—

A doctor came to me one day and took my hand and pulse, when I said to him Let go my hand, the fire’s in my heart.
He said, Drink syrup of the rose and mix it well with water of the tongue but tell it not to anyone:
I said, The syrup of the rose is quite well known to me; it is the water of the cheek that breaks my very heart;
But can it be that I can get the water of the tongue that I may cool the burning fire that within me dwells?
The doctor said, Thou art in love, I said Yes to him, and said he to me, Its remedy is to have the body here.

Then when Attaf went in to him after the end of the recitation he sat down at the head of the bed and asked him about his condition and what had been prescribed for him by the Hakím. Ja’afar said, O my lord, he wrote for me a paper which is under the pillow. Attaf put out his hand, took out the paper and read it and found upon it written:—“In the name of God the Curer—To be taken, with the aid and blessing of God, 3 miskals of pure presence of the beloved unmixed with morsels of absence and fear of being watched: plus, 2093 miskals of a good meeting cleared of any grain of abandonment and rupture: plus, 2 okes of pure friendship and discretion deprived of the wood of separation. Then take some extract of the incense of the kiss, the teeth and the waist, 2 miskals of each; also take 100 kisses of pomegranate rubbed and rounded, of which 50 small ones are to be sugared, 30 pigeon-fashion and 20 after the fashion of little birds. Take of Aleppine twist and sigh of Al-Iráq 2 miskals each; also 2 okes of tongue-sucking, mouth and lip kissing, all to be pounded and mixed. Then put upon a furnace 3 drams of Egyptian grain with the addition of the beautiful fold of plumpness, boil it in love-water and syrup of desire over a fire of wood of pleasure in the retreat of the ardour. Decant the whole upon a royal díbáqy divan and add to it 2 okes of saliva syrup and drink it fasting during 3 days. Next take for dinner the melon of desire mixed with embrace-almond and juice of the lemon of concord, and lastly 3 rolls of thigh-work and enter the bath for the benefit of your health. And—The Peace!” When Attaf had finished the reading of this paper he burst into a laugh at the prescription and, turning to Ja’afar, he asked him with whom he was in love and of whom he was enamoured. Ja’afar gave no answer, he spoke not neither did he commence any discourse, when Attaf said, O my brother, thou are not my friend, but thou art in my house esteemed as is the soul in the body. Between me and thee there has been for the last four months friendship, company, companionship and conversation. Why then conceal thy situation? For me, I have fear and sorrow on thine account. Thou art a stranger, thou art not of this capital. I am a son of the city, I can dispel what thou hast (of trouble) and that of which thou sufferest. By my life, which belongs to you, by the bread and salt between us, reveal to me thy secret. And Attaf did not cease to speak thus until Ja’afar yielded and said to him, It shall no longer be concealed, and I will not blame those who are in love and are impatient. Then he told his story from beginning to end, what was said to him by the young lady and what she did with him and lastly he described the quarter and the place. Now when Attaf heard the words of Ja’afar he reflected on the description of the house and of the young lady and concluded that the house was his house and the young lady was his cousin-wife, and said to himself, There is no power nor strength but in Allah the High, the Great. We are from God and to Him we return. Then he came to his mind again and to the generosity of his soul and said to himself, O Attaf! God hath favoured me and hath made me worthy of doing good and hath sent to me I know not whence this stranger who hath become bound in friendship with me during all this time and he hath acquired over me the ties of friendship. His heart hath become attached to the young woman and his love for her hath reached in him an imminent point. Since that time he is almost on the verge of annihilation, in so pitiable a condition and behold, he hopeth from me a good issue from his trouble. He hath made known to me his situation after having concealed it for so long a time: if I do not befriend him in his misfortune I should resemble him who would build upon water and thus would aid him to annihilate his 210existence. By the magnanimity of my God, I will further him with my property and with my soul. I will divorce my cousin and will marry her to him and I will not change my character, my generosity nor my resolution. The Rawi says, that young woman was his wife and his cousin, also a second wife as he was previously married to another, and she occupied the house, his own house containing all that he possessed of property and so forth, servants, odalisques and slaves. There was also his other house which was for his guests, for drinking and eating and to receive his friends and his company. Of this, however, he said nothing to his cousin-wife when he came to see her at certain times. When he heard that Ja’afar was in love with her he could not keep from saying to him, Be quiet, I take upon myself to dispel thy chagrin, and soon I shall have news of her, and if she is the daughter of the Naïb of Damascus I will take the proper steps for thee even though I should lose all my property; and if she is a slave-girl I will buy her for thee even were her price such as to take all I possess. Thus he calmed the anguish of Ja’afar the best way he could; then he went out from his own house and entered that of his cousin-wife without making any change in his habits or saying a single word save to his servants, Go to my uncle’s and bring him to me. The boy then went for the uncle and brought him to Attaf, and when the uncle entered the nephew arose to receive him, embraced him and made him be seated, and, after he had been seated awhile, Attaf came to him and said, O my uncle! there is naught but good! Know that when God wills good to his servitor he shows to him the way and my heart inclines to Meccah, to the house of God, to visit the tomb of Mohammed (for whom be the most noble of prayers and the most complete of salutations!) I have decided to visit those places this year and I cannot leave behind me either attachments or debts or obligations; nothing in fact that can disturb the mind, for no one can know who will be the friend of the morrow. Here, then, is the writ of divorce of thy daughter and of my other wife. Now when his uncle heard that, he was troubled and exaggerating to himself the matter, he said, O son of my brother, what is it that impels thee to this? If thou depart and leave her and be absent as long as thou willest she is yet thy wife and thy dependent which is sufficient. But Attaf said, O my uncle, what hath been done is done. As soon as the young wife heard that, the abomination of desolation overcame her, she became as one in mourning and was upon the point of killing herself, because she loved her husband by reason of his relationship and his education. But this was done by Attaf only to please Ja’afar, and for that he was incited by his duty to do good to his fellow beings. Then Attaf left the house and said to himself, if I delay this matter it will be bruited abroad, and will come to the ears of my friend who will be afflicted and will be ashamed to marry, and what I have done will come to naught. The divorce of Attaf’s second spouse was only out of regard to his cousin-wife, and that there might not be an impediment to the success of his project. Then Attaf proceeded to his guest-house and went in to Ja’afar, who when he saw him, asked where he 211had been. Attaf replied, Make yourself easy, O my brother, I am now occupied with your affair, I have sought out the young lady and I know her. She is divorced from her husband and her ’iddah is not yet expired, so expand your breast and gladden your soul, for when her obligatory term of waiting shall be accomplished I will marry her to you. And Attaf ceased not to divert him by eating and drinking, amusements and shows, song and songstress until he knew that the ’iddah of his cousin had ended; then he went to Ja’afar and said to him, “Know, O my lord, that the father of the young woman thou sawest is one of my friends, and if I betroth her that would not be proper on my part and he will say: My friend hath not done well in betrothing my daughter to a man who is a stranger and whom I know not. He will take her and carry her to his own country and we shall be separated. Now I have an idea that has occurred to me, and ’tis to send out for you a tent with ten mamelukes and four servants upon horses and mules, baggage, stuffs, chests of dresses, and horses and gilded vehicles. Everything I have mentioned will be placed outside the city that no one shall know of thee, and I will say that thou art Ja’afar the Barmeky the Caliph’s Wazir. I will go to the Kady and the Wali and the Naïb and I will inform them of thee (as Ja’afar); so will they come out to meet and salute thee. Then thou wilt salute them and tell them that thou hast come on business of the Caliph. Thou must also say thou hast heard that Damascus is a very fine city and a hospitable, and add, I will go in to visit it and if it prove favourable to me I will remain and marry to establish between myself and its inhabitants relationship and friendship, and I would like you to seek for me a man of high position and noble origin who hath a beautiful cousin that I may marry. Attaf then said to Ja’afar, O my lord, we know one who hath a daughter of noble origin, that man is such-and-such an one, ask her of him for betrothal and say to him, Here is her dowry, which is all that thou hast in the chests. Then produce a purse of a thousand dinars and distribute them among those present, and display the characteristic of the Barmekys, and take out a piece of silken stuff and order them to draw up the marriage contract immediately. If they sign it, declare to them that thou wilt not enter the city because thou art pressed and thy bride will come to thee. Should thou do thus, thou wilt accomplish what thou desirest, God willing, then leave instantly and order that the tents be struck, the camels loaded, and set out for thine own country in peace. Know that all I shall do for you is little for the rights of friendship and devotedness.” Ja’afar sprang up to kiss the hand of Attaf, but was prevented, then he thanked him and praised him and passed the night with him. The next morning at break of day he arose, made his ablutions, and having recited his morning prayer, accompanied his host to the outside of the city. Attaf ordered a great tent to be pitched and that everything necessary should be carried to it; of horses, camels, mules, slaves, mamelukes, chests containing all kinds of articles for distribution, and boxes holding purses of gold and silver. He dressed his guest in a robe worthy a Wazir, and set up for him a throne and sent some slaves to 212the Naïb of Damascus to announce the arrival of Ja’afar on business of the Caliph. As soon as the Naïb of Damascus was informed of that, he went out accompanied by the notables of the city and of his government and met the Wazir Ja’afar, and kissing the ground between his hands, said to him, O my lord, why didst thou not inform me sooner in order that we might be prepared for thine arrival. Ja’afar said, That was not necessary, may God augment thy wealth, I have not come but with the intention to visit this city; I desire to stay in it for some time and I would also marry in it. I have learned that the Amír ’Amr has a daughter of noble descent, I wish thou wouldst cause her to be brought before thee and that thou betroth her to me. The Naïb of Damascus said, Hearing is obeying. Her husband hath divorced her and desireth to go to al-Hejaz on the pilgrimage and after her ’iddah hath expired and there remaineth not any impediment the betrothal can take place. At the proper time the Naïb of Damascus caused to be present the father of the lady and spoke to him of what the Wazir Ja’afar had said and that he should betroth his daughter, so that there was nothing more for the father to say than, I hear and I obey. The Rawi says that Ja’afar ordered to be brought the dress of honour and the gold from the purses to be thrown out for distribution and commanded the presence of the Kady and witnesses; and, when they arrived, he bade them write the marriage contract. Then he brought forward and presented the ten chests and the ten purses of gold, the dowry of the bride, and all those present, high and low, and rich and poor gave him their best wishes and congratulations. After the father of the lady had taken the dowry he ordered the Kady to draw up the contract and presented to him a piece of satin; he also called for sugar-water to drink and set before them the table of viands, and they ate and washed their hands. Afterwards they served sweet dishes and fruits; and when that was finished and the contract passed, the Naïb of Damascus said to the Wazir, O my lord, I will prepare a house for thy residence and for the reception of thy wife. Ja’afar said, That cannot be; I am here on a commission of the Commander of the Faithful, and I wish to take my wife with me to Baghdad and only there can I have the bridal ceremonies. The father of the lady said, Enter unto thy bride and depart when thou wilt. Ja’afar replied, I cannot do that, but I wish thee to make up the trousseau of thy daughter and have it ready so as to depart this very day. We only wait, said the father of the bride, for the Naïb of Damascus to retire, to do what the Wazir commands. He answered With love and good will; and the lady’s father set about getting together the trousseau and making her ready. He took her out and got her trousseau, mounted her upon a Hodaj, and when she arrived at Ja’afar’s camp her people made their adieus and departed. When Ja’afar had ridden to some distance from Damascus and had arrived at Tiniat el ’Iqáb he looked behind him and perceived in the distance in the direction of Damascus a horseman galloping towards him; so he stopped his attendants and when the rider had come near them Ja’afar looked at him and behold it was Attaf. He had come out after him and cried, Hasten not, O my brother. And when he came up he embraced 213him and said, O my lord, I have found no rest without thee, O my brother Abu ’l-Hasan, it would have been better for me never to have seen thee nor known thee, for now I cannot support thine absence. Ja’afar thanked him and said to him, I have not been able to act against what thou hast prescribed for me and provided, but we pray God to bring near our reunion and never more separate us. He is Almighty to do what He willeth. After that Ja’afar dismounted and spread a silken carpet and they sat down together, and Attaf laid a tablecloth with duck, chicken, sweets and other delicacies, of which they ate and he brought out dry fruits and wine. They drank for an hour of the day when they remounted their horses and Attaf accompanied Ja’afar a way on the journey, when Ja’afar said to him, Every departer must return, and he pressed him to his breast and kissed him and said to him, O my brother Abu ’l-Hasan, do not interrupt the sending of thy letters; but make known to me about thyself, and thy condition as if I were present with thee. Then they bade each other adieu and each went on his way. When the young wife noticed that the camels had stopped on their march as well as their people, she put out her head from the Hodaj and saw her cousin dismounting with Ja’afar and they eating and drinking together and then in company to the end of the road where they bade adieu exchanging a recitation of poetry. So she said, The one, Wallahy is my cousin Attaf and the other the man whom I saw seated under the window, and upon whom I sprinkled the water. Doubtless he is the friend of my cousin. He hath been seized with love for me, and complaining to my cousin, hath given him a description of me and of my house; and the devotedness of his character and the greatness of his soul must have impelled him to divorce me and to take steps to marry me to that man. The Rawi says that Attaf in bidding good-bye to Ja’afar left him joyful in the possession of the young lady for whom he was on the point of ruin by his love, and in having made the friendship of Attaf whom he intended to reward in gratitude for what he had done by him. So glad was he to have the young wife that everything that had taken place with Er-Rashid had passed out of his mind. In the meanwhile she was crying and lamenting over what had happened to her, her separation from her cousin and from her parents and her country, and bemoaning what she did and what she had been; and her scalding tears flowed while she recited these verses:—

I weep for these places and these beauties; blame not the lover if some day he’s insane:
For the places the dear ones inhabit. O praise be to God! how sweet is their dwelling!
God protect the past days while with you, my dear friends, and in the same house may happiness join us!

On finishing this recitation she wept and lamented and recited again:—

I’m astonished at living without you at the troubles that come upon us:
I wish for you, dear absent ones, my wounded heart is still with you.

214Then, still crying and lamenting, she went on:—

O you to whom I gave my soul, return; from you I wish’d to pluck it, but could not succeed:
Then pity the rest of a life that I’ve sacrificed for thee, before the hour of death my last look I will take:
If all of thee be lost astonished I’ll not be; my astonishment would be that his lot will be to another.

Presently the Wazir Ja’afar coming up to the Hodaj said to the young wife, O mistress of the Hodaj, thou hast killed us. When she heard this address she called to him with dejection and humility, We ought not to talk to thee for I am the cousin-wife of thy friend and companion Attaf, prince of generosity and devotion. If there be in thee any feeling of the self-denial of a man thou wilt do for him that which, in his devotion, he hath done for thee. When Ja’afar heard these words he became troubled and taking in the magnitude of the situation he said to the young lady, O thou! thou art then his cousin-wife? and said she, Yes! it is I whom thou sawest on such a day when this and that took place and thy heart attached itself to me. Thou hast told him all that. He divorced me, and while waiting for the expiration of my ’iddah diverted thee that such and such was the cause of all my trouble. Now I have explained to thee my situation: do thou the action of a man. When Ja’afar heard these words he uttered a loud cry and said, We are from God and to Him we return. O thou! thou art now to me an interdiction and hast become a sacred deposit until thy return to where it may please thee. Then said Ja’afar to a servant, Take good care of thy mistress. After which they set forward and travelled on day and night. Now Er-Rashid, after the departure of Ja’afar, became uneasy and sorrowful at his absence. He lost patience and was tormented with a great desire to see him again, while he regretted the conditions he had imposed as impossible to be complied with and obliging him to the extremity of tramping about the country like a vagabond, and forcing him to abandon his native land. He had sent envoys after him to search for him in every place, but he had never received any news of him, and was cast into great embarrassment by reason of his absence. He was always waiting to hear of him, and when Ja’afar had approached Baghdad and he, Er-Rashid, had received the good tidings of his coming, he went forth to meet him, and as soon as they came together they embraced each other, and the Caliph became content and joyful. They entered together into the palace and the Prince of True Believers seating Ja’afar at his side, said to him, Relate to me thy story where thou hast been during thine absence and what thou hast come upon. So Ja’afar told him then all that had happened from the time he left him until the moment of finding himself between his hands. Er-Rashid was greatly astonished and said, Wallahy, thou hast made me sorrowful for thine absence, and hast inspired me with great desire to see thy friend. My opinion is that thou divorce this young lady and put her on the road homeward accompanied by someone in whom thou hast confidence. If 215thy friend have an enemy he shall be our enemy, and if he have a friend he also shall be ours; after which we will make him come to us, and we shall see him and have the pleasure of hearing him and pass the time with him in joy. Such a man must not be neglected, we shall learn, by his generosity, bounty and useful things. Ja’afar answered, To hear is obedience. Then Ja’afar apportioned to the young lady a spacious house and servants and a handsome enclosure; and he treated with generosity those who had come with her as suite and followers. He also sent to her sets of furniture, mattresses and every thing else she might need, while he never intruded upon her and never saw her. He sent her his salutation and reassuring words that she should be returned to her cousin; and he made her a monthly allowance of a thousand dinars, besides the cost of her living. So far as to Ja’afar; but as to Attaf, when he had bidden adieu to Ja’afar and had returned to his country, those who were jealous of him took steps to ruin him with the Naïb of Damascus to whom they said, O our lord, what is it that hath made thee neglect Attaf? Dost thou not know that the Wazir was his friend and that he went out after him to bid him adieu after our people had returned, and accompanied him as far as Katifa, when Ja’afar said to him, Hast thou need of anything O Attaf? he said Yes. Of what? asked the Wazir, and he answered, That thou send me an imperial rescript removing the Naïb of Damascus. Now this was promised to him, and the most prudent thing is that thou invite him to breakfast before he takes you to supper; success is in the opportunity and the assaulted profiteth by the assaulter. The Naïb of Damascus replied, Thou hast spoken well, bring him to me immediately. The Rawi says that Attaf was in his own house, ignorant that anyone owed him grudge when suddenly in the night he was surrounded and seized by the people of the Naïb of Damascus armed with swords and clubs. They beat him until he was covered with blood, and they dragged him along until they set him in presence of the Pasha of Damascus who ordered the pillage of his house and of his slaves and his servants and all his property and they took everything, his family and his domestics and his goods. Attaf asked, What is my crime? and he was answered, O scoundrel, thou art an ignorant fellow of the rabble, dost dispute with the Naïb of Damascus? Then the Swordman was ordered to strike his neck, and the man came forward and, cutting off a piece of his robe, with it blindfolded his eyes, and was about to strike his neck when one of the Emírs arose and said, Be not hasty, O my lord, but wait, for haste is the whisper of Satan, and the proverb saith: Man gaineth his ends by patience, and error accompanieth the hasty man. Then he continued, Do not press the matter of this man; perhaps he who hath spoken of him lieth and there is nobody without jealousy; so have patience, for thou mayest have to regret the taking of his life unjustly. Do not rest easy upon what may come to thee on the part of the Wazir Ja’afar, and if he learn what thou hast done by this man be not sure of thy life on his part. He will admit of no excuse for he was his friend and companion. When the Naïb of Damascus heard that he 216awoke from his slumber and conformed to the words of the Emir. He ordered that Attaf should be put in prison, enchained and with a padlock upon his neck, and bade them, after severely tightening the bonds, illtreat him. They dragged him out, listening neither to his prayers nor his supplications; and he cried every night, doing penance to God and praying to Him for deliverance from his affliction and his misfortune. In that condition he remained for three months. But one night as he woke up he humiliated himself before God and walked about his prison, where he saw no one; then, looking before him, he espied an opening leading from the prison to the outside of the city. He tried himself against his chain and succeeded in opening it; then, taking it from his neck, he went out from the gaol running at full speed. He concealed himself in a place, and darkness protected him until the opening of the city gate, when he went out with the people and hastening his march he arrived at Aleppo and entered the great mosk. There he saw a crowd of strangers on the point of departure and Attaf asked them whither they were going, and they answered to Baghdad. Whereupon he cried, And I with you. They said, Upon the earth is our weight, but upon Allah is our nourishment. Then they went on their march until they arrived at Koufa after a travel of twenty days, and then continued journeying till they came to Baghdad. Here Attaf saw a city of strong buildings, and very rich in elegant palaces reaching to the clouds, a city containing the learned and the ignorant, and the poor and the rich, and the virtuous and the evil doer. He entered the city in a miserable dress, rags upon his shoulders, and upon his head a dirty conical cap, and his hair had become long and hanging over his eyes and his entire condition was most wretched. He entered one of the mosks. For two days he had not eaten. He sat down, when a vagabond entered the mosk and seating himself in front of Attaf threw off from his shoulder a bag from which he took out bread and a chicken, and bread again and sweets and an orange, and olive and date-cake and cucumbers. Attaf looked at the man and at his eating, which was as the table of ’Isa son of Miriam (upon whom be peace!). For four months he had not had a sufficient meal and he said to himself, I would like to have a mouthful of this good cheer and a piece of this bread, and then cried for very hunger. The fellow looked at him and said, Bravo! why dost thou squint and do what strangers do? By the protection of God, if you weep tears enough to fill the Jaxartes and the Bactrus and the Dajlah and the Euphrates and the river of Basrah and the stream of Antioch and the Orontes and the Nile of Egypt and the Salt Sea and the ebb and the flow of the Ocean, I will not let thee taste a morsel. But, said the buffoon, if thou wish to eat of chicken and white bread and lamb and sweets and mutton patties, go thou to the house of Ja’afar son of Yahya the Barmeky, who hath received hospitality from a Damascus man named Attaf. He bestoweth charity in honour of him in this manner, and he neither getteth up nor sitteth down without speaking of him. Now when Attaf heard these words from the buffoon he looked up to heaven 217and said, O Thou whose attributes are inscrutable, bestow thy benefits upon thy servant Attaf. Then he recited this couplet:—

Confide thy affairs to thy Creator; set aside thy pains and dismiss thy thoughts.

Then Attaf went to a paper-seller and got from him a piece of paper and borrowed an inkstand and wrote as follows:—From thy brother Attaf whom God knoweth. Let him who hath possessed the world not flatter himself, he will some day be cast down and will lose it in his bitter fate. If thou see me thou wilt not recognise me for my poverty and my misery; and, because of the change in situation and the reverses of the times, my soul and body are reduced by hunger, by the long journey I have made, until at last I have come to thee. And peace be with thee. Then he folded the paper and returning the pen-case to its owner asked for the house of Ja’afar, and when it was shown to him he went there and stood at a distance before it. The doorkeepers saw him standing, neither commencing nor repeating a word, and nobody spoke to him, but as he was thus standing embarrassed, an eunuch dressed in a striped robe and golden belt passed by him. Attaf remained motionless before him, then went up to him, kissed his hands and said to him, O my lord, the Apostle of Allah (upon whom be peace and salutation) hath said, The medium of a good deed is like him who did it, and he who did it belongeth to the dwellers in heaven. The man said to him, What is thy need? and said he, I desire of thy goodness to send in this paper to thy lord and say to him, Thy brother Attaf is standing at the door. When the servant heard his words he got into a great and excessive rage so that his eyes swelled in his head and he asked, O cursed one, thou art then the brother of the Wazir Ja’afar! and as he had in his hand a rod with a golden end, he struck Attaf with it in the face and his blood flowed and he fell full length to the ground in his weakness from weeping and from receiving the blow. The Rawi says that God hath placed the instinct of good in the heart of some domestics, even as he hath placed that of evil in the heart of others. Another of the domestics was raised up against his companion by good will to Attaf and reproved him for striking the stranger and was answered, Didst thou not hear, O brother, that he pretended to be the brother of the Wazir Ja’afar? and the second one said, O man of evil, son of evil, slave of evil, O cursed one, O hog! is Ja’afar one of the prophets? is he not a dog of the earth like ourselves? Men are all brethren, of one father and one mother, of Adam and of Eve; and the poet hath said:—

Men by comparison all are brethren, their father is Adam their mother is Eve;

but certain people are preferable to others. Then he came up to Attaf and made him be seated and wiped off the blood from his face and washed him and shook off the dust that was upon him and said, O my brother, what is thy need? and said he, My need is the sending of this paper to Ja’afar. The servant took the paper from his hand and going in to Ja’afar the Barmeky found 218there the officers of the Governor and the Barmekys standing at his service on his right and on his left; and Ja’afar the Wazir who held in his hand a cup of wine was reciting poetry and playing and saying, O you all here assembled, the absent from the eye is not like the present in the heart; he is my brother and my friend and my benefactor, Attaf of Damascus, who was continuous in his generosity and his bounty and his benefactions to me; who for me divorced his cousin-wife and gave her to me. He made me presents of horses and slaves and damsels and stuffs in quantities that I might furnish her dower; and, if he had not acted thus, I should certainly have been ruined. He was my benefactor without knowing who I was, and generous to me without any idea of profiting by it. The Rawi says that when the good servant heard these words from his lord he rejoiced and coming forward he kneeled down before him and presented the paper. When Ja’afar read it he was in a state of intoxication and not being able to discern what he was doing he fell on his face to the floor while holding the paper and the glass in his hand, and he was wounded in the forehead so his blood ran and he fainted and the paper fell from his grasp. When the servant saw that he hastened to depart fearing the consequence; and the Wazir Ja’afar’s friends seated their lord and staunched the blood. They exclaimed, There is no power and strength but in God the High, the Mighty. Such is the character of servants; they trouble the life of kings in their pleasures and annoy them in their humours: Wallahy, the writer of this paper merits nothing less than to be handed over to the Wali who shall give him five hundred lashes and put him in prison. Thereupon the Wazir’s doorkeeper went out and asked for the owner of the paper, when Attaf answered, ’Tis I, O my lord. Then they seized him and sent him to the Wali and ordered him to give one hundred blows of the stick to the prisoner and to write upon his chain “for life.” Thus they did with Attaf and carried him to the prison where he remained for two months when a child was born to Harun er-Rashid, who then ordered that alms should be distributed, and good done to all, and bade liberate all that were in prison and among those that were set free was Attaf. When he found himself out of gaol, beaten and famished and naked he looked up to heaven and exclaimed, Thanks be to thee, O Lord, in every situation, and crying said, It must be for some fault committed by me in the past, for God had taken me into favour and I have repaid Him in disobedience; but I pray to Him for pardon for having gone too far in my debauchery. Then he recited these verses:—

O God! the worshipper doth what he should not do; he is poor, depending on Thee:
In the pleasures of life he forgetteth himself, in his ignorance, pardon Thou his faults.

Then he cried again and said to himself, What shall I do? If I set out for my country I may not reach it; if I arrive there, there will be no safety for my life on the part of the Naïb, and if I remain here nobody knoweth me among the beggars and I cannot be for them of any use nor for myself as an aid or an intermediate. As for me, I had hope in that man, that he would raise me 219from my poverty. The affair hath turned out contrary to my expectations, and the poet was right when he said:—

O friend, I’ve run o’er the world west and east; all that I met with was pain and fatigue:
I’ve frequented the men of the age, but never have found e’en a friend grateful not even to me.

Once more he cried and exclaimed, God give me the grace of patience. After that he got up and walked away, and entered one of the mosks and staid there until afternoon. His hunger increased and he said, By Thy magnanimity and Thy majesty I shall ask nothing of anyone but of Thee. He remained in the mosk until it became dark when he went out for something, saying to himself, I have heard a call from the Prophet (on whom be the blessing and peace of Allah!) which said, God forbiddeth sleep in the Sanctuary and forbiddeth it to His worshippers. Then he arose, and went out from the mosk to some distance when he entered a ruined building after walking an hour, and here he stumbled in the darkness and fell upon his face. He saw something before him that he had struck with his foot and felt it move, and this was a lad that had been slain and a knife was in his side. Attaf rose up from off the body, his clothes stained with blood; he stood motionless and embarrassed and while in that situation the Wali and his policemen stood at the door of the ruin and Attaf said to them, Come in and search. They entered with their torches and found the body of the murdered lad and the knife in him and the miserable Attaf standing at the head with his clothes stained with blood. When a man with a scarf saw him he arrested him and said to him, O Wretch, ’tis thou killedst him. Attaf said, Yes. Then said the Wali, Pinion him and take him to prison until we make our report to the Wazir Ja’afar. If he orders his death we will execute him. They did as ordered, and the next day the man with the scarf wrote to the Wazir, We went into a ruin and found there a man who had killed a lad and we interrogated him and he confessed that it was he who had done the deed, what are thine orders? The Wazir commanded them to put him to death; so they took Attaf from the prison to the place of execution and cut off a piece of his garment and with it bandaged his eyes. The Sworder said O my lord, shall I strike his neck? and the Wali said, Strike! He brandished the sword which whistled and glittered in the air and was about to strike, when a cry from behind, Stop thy hand! was heard, and it was the voice of the Wazir Ja’afar who was out on a promenade. The Wali went to him and kissed the earth before him and the Wazir said to him, What is this great gathering here? He answered, ’Tis the execution of a young man of Damascus whom we found yesterday in a ruin; he had killed a lad of noble blood and we found the knife with him and his clothes spotted with blood. When I said to him, Is it thou that killedst him? he replied Yes three times. To-day I sent to thee my written report and thine Excellency ordered his death, saying, “Let the sentence of God be executed,” and now I have brought him out that his 220neck may be struck. Ja’afar said, “Oh, hath a man of Damascus come into our country to find himself in a bad condition? Wallahy, that shall never be!” Then he ordered that he should be brought to him. The Wazir did not recognize him, for Attaf’s air of ease and comfort had disappeared; so Ja’afar said to him, From what country art thou, O young man, and he answered, I am a man from Damascus. From the city or from the villages? Wallahy O my lord, from Damascus city where I was born. Ja’afar asked, Didst thou happen to know there a man named Attaf? I know when thou wast his friend and he lodged thee in such-and-such a house and thou wentest out to such-and-such a garden; and I know when thou didst marry his cousin-wife, I know when he bade adieu to thee at Katifa where thou drankest with him. Ja’afar said, Yes, all that is true, but what became of him after he left me? He said, O my Lord, there happened to him this and that and he related to him everything from the time he quitted him up to the moment of his standing before him and then recited these verses:—

This age, must it make me its victim, and thou at the same time art living: wolves are seeking to devour me while thou the lion art here.
Every thirsty one that cometh his thirst is quenched by thee: can it be that I thirst while thou art still our refuge?

When he had finished the verses he said, O my lord. I am Attaf, and then recalled all that had taken place between them from first to last. While he was thus speaking a great cry was heard, and it came from a Sheikh who was saying, This is not humanity. They looked at the speaker, who was an old man with trimmed beard dyed with henna, and upon him was a blue kerchief. When Ja’afar saw him he asked him what was the matter, and he exclaimed, Take away the young man from under the sword, for there is no fault in him: he hath killed no one nor doth he know anything of the dead youth. Nobody but myself is the killer. The Wazir said, Then ’tis thou that killed him? and he answered, Yes.—Why didst thou kill him? hast thou not the fear of God in killing a Hashimy child? The old man said, He was my servant, serving me in the house and working with me at my trade. Every day he took from me some quarter-pieces of money and went to work for another man called Shumooshag, and to work with Nagísh, and with Gasís, and with Ghúbar, and with Gushír, and every day working with someone. They were jealous of my having him. ’Odís the sweeper and Abu Butrán the stoker, and everyone wanted to have him. In vain I corrected him, but he would not abide corrected and ceased not to do thus until I killed him in the ruin, and I have delivered myself from the torment he gave me. That is my story. I kept silent until I saw thee when I made myself known at the time thou savedst the head of this young man from the sword. Here I am standing before you: strike my neck and take life for life. Pray do no harm to this young man, for he hath committed no fault. The Wazir said, Neither 221to thee nor to him. Then he ordered to be brought the parents of the dead lad and reconciled them with the old man, whom he pardoned. He mounted Attaf upon a horse and took him to his house; then he entered the palace of the Caliph and kissed the earth before him and said, Behold Attaf, he who was my host at Damascus, and of whom I have related his treatment of me and his kindness and generosity, and how he preferred me to himself. Er-Rashid said, Bring him in to me immediately. He presented him to the Caliph in the miserable state in which he had found him; and when he entered, he made his salutations in the best manner and with the most eloquent language, Er-Rashid answered and said to him, What is this state in which I find you? and Attaf wept and made his complaint in these verses:—

Troubles, poverty and distant sojourn far away from the dear ones, and a crushing desire to see them:
The soul is in them, they became like their fellows, thus the enigma remains in the world;
While the generous is stricken with misfortune and grief, where’s the miser that finds not good fortune therein?

When Attaf had finished he conversed with the Caliph about his history and all his life from beginning to end; and Er-Rashid cried and suffered at what had happened to him after the loss of his riches, nor did he cease to weep with Ja’afar until the close of Attaf’s story. The Sheikh who had killed the lad and had been liberated by Ja’afar came in and Er-Rashid laughed at seeing him. Then he caused Attaf to be seated and made him repeat his story. And when Attaf had finished speaking the Caliph looked at Ja’afar and said, The proverb goeth:—

Good for good, to the giver the merit remains; evil for evil, the doer’s most cruel.

Afterwards the Caliph said to Ja’afar, Tell me what thou didst for thy brother Attaf before he came to thee, and he answered, O Commander of the Faithful, he came upon me suddenly, and I now prepare for him three millions of gold, and the like of it in horses, and in slaves, and in boys, and in dresses; and the Caliph said, From me the same. Here endeth the last leaf of the writ, but the Rawi says that two days afterwards Ja’afar restored to his friend Attaf his beloved cousin-wife, saying to him, I have divorced her and now I deliver over to thee intact the precious deposit that thou didst place in my hands. Already hath the order from the Caliph been despatched to Damascus enjoining the arrest of the Naib, to place him in irons and imprison him until further notice. Attaf passed several months in Baghdad enjoying the pleasures of the city in company with his friend Ja’afar and Er-Rashid. He would have liked to have stayed there all his life, but numerous letters from his relations and his friends praying him to return to Damascus, he thought it his duty to do so, and asked 222leave of the Caliph, who granted it, not without regrets and fears for his future condition. Er-Rashid appointed him Wali of Damascus and gave him the imperial rescript; and a great escort of horses, mules and dromedaries, with abundant magnificent presents accompanied him as far as Damascus, where he was received with great pomp. All the city was illuminated as a mark of joy for the return of Attaf, so loved and respected by all classes of the people, and above all by the poor who had wept incessantly for him in his absence. As to the Naib, a second decree of the Caliph ordered his being put to death for his oppression of the people, but by the generous intercession of Attaf Er-Rashíd contented himself with commuting the sentence to banishment. Attaf governed his people many years with justice and prosperity, protector of his happy subjects and in the enjoyment of the delights and pleasures of life, until the Angel of Death overtook him and summoned him to Paradise.



225Here we begin to indite the History of Sultan Habib and of what befel him with Durrat al-Ghawwas.[379]

It is related (but Allah is All-knowing of His unknown and All-cognisant of what took place and forewent in the annals of folk!) that there was, in days of yore and in times and tides long gone before, a tribe of the tribes of the Arabs hight Banú Hilál[380] whose head men were the Emir Hilál and the Emir Salámah.[381] Now this Emir Salamah had well nigh told out his tale of days without having been blessed with boon of child; withal he was a ruler valiant, masterful, a fender of his foes and a noble knight of portly presence. He numbered by the thousand horsemen the notablest of cavaliers and he came to overrule three-score-and-six tribes of the Arabs. One chance night of the nights as he lay sleeping in the sweetness of slumber, a Voice addressed him saying, “Rise forthright and know thy wife, whereby she shall 226conceive under command of Allah Almighty.” Being thus disturbed of his rest the Emir sprang up and compressed his spouse Kamar al-Ashráf;[382] she became pregnant by that embrace and when her days came to an end she bare a boy as the full moon of the fulness-night who by his father’s hest was named Habíb.[383] And as time went on his sire rejoiced in him with joy exceeding and reared him with fairest rearing and bade them teach him Koran-reading together with the glorious names of Almighty Allah and instruct him in writing and in all the arts and sciences. After this he bestowed robes of honour and gifts of money and raiment upon the teachers who had made the Sultan[384] Habib, when he reached the age of seventeen, the most intelligent and penetrating and knowing amongst the sons of his time. And indeed men used to admire at the largeness of his understanding and were wont to say in themselves, “There is no help but that this youth shall rise to dignity (and what dignity!) whereof men of highmost intellect shall make loud mention. For he could write the seven caligraphs[385] and he could recite traditions and he could improvise poetry; and, on one occasion when his father bade him versify impromptu, that he might see what might come thereof, he intoned:—

“O my sire, I am lord of all lere man knows or knew— ✿ Have enformed my vitals with lore and with legend true;
Nor cease I repeat what knowledge this memory guards ✿ And my writ as ruby and pearl doth appear to view.”

So the Emir Salamah his sire marvelled at the elegance of his 227son’s diction; and the Notables of the clan, after hearing his poetry and his prose, stood astounded at their excellence; and presently the father clasped his child to his breast and forthright summoned his governor, to whom there and then he did honour of the highmost. Moreover he largessed him with four camels carrying loads of gold and silver and he set him over one of his subject tribes of the Arabs; then said he to him, “Indeed thou hast done well, O Shaykh; so take this good and fare therewith to such a tribe and rule it with justice and equity until the day of thy death.” Replied the governor, “O King of the Age, I may on no wise accept thy boons, for that I am not of mankind but of Jinn-kind; nor have I need of money or requirement of rule. Know thou, O my lord, that erst I sat as Kázi amongst the Jinns and I was enthroned amid the Kings of the Jánn, whenas one night of the nights a Voice[386] addressed me in my sleep saying, “Rise and hie thee to the Sultan Habib son of the Emir Salamah ruler of the tribes of the Arabs subject to the Banu Hilal and become his tutor and teach him all things teachable; and, if thou gainsay going, I will tear thy soul from thy body.” Now when I saw this marvel-vision in my sleep, I straightway arose and repairing to thy son did as I was bidden.”[387] But as the Emir Salamah heard the words of this Shaykh he bowed him down and kissing his feet cried, “Alhamdolillah—laud to the Lord, who hath vouchsafed thee to us of His bounty; and indeed thy coming to us was of good omen, O Judge of the Jann.” “Where is thy son?” quoth the governor and quoth the father, “Ready, aye ready;” then he summoned his child and when the Shaykh looked upon his pupil he wept with sore weeping and cried, “Parting from thee, O Habib, is heavy upon us,” presently 228adding, “Ah! were ye to wot all that shall soon befal this youth after my departure and when afar from me!”[388] Those present in the assembly at once asked saying:—

“And what shall, O Shaykh, to us fall forthright? ✿ Quoth he, ‘Sore marvels shall meet your sight’:
No heart have I to describe it you”. ✿ Then approached Habib the same tutor-wight;
And clasping the youth to the breast of him, ✿ Kissed his cheek a-shrieking the shrillest shright.[389]

Whereupon all about them were perturbed and were amated and amazed at the action of the Shaykh when, vanishing from their view, he could nowhere be seen. Then the Emir Salamah addressed the lieges saying, “Ho ye Arabs, who wotteth what presently shall betide my son? would Heaven I had one to advise him!” Hereupon said his Elders and Councillors, “We know of none.” But the Sultan Habib brooded over the disappearance of his governor and bespake his sire weeping bitter tears the while, “O my father, where be he who brought me up and enformed me with all manner knowledge?” and the Emir replied, “O my son, one day of the days he farewelled us and crying out with a loud cry evanished from our view and we have seen him no more.” Thereupon the youth improvised and said:—

“Indeed I am scourged by those ills whereof I felt affray, ah! ✿ By parting and thoughts which oft compelled my soul to say, ‘Ah!’
Oh saddest regret in vitals of me that ne’er ceaseth, nor ✿ Shall minished be his love that still on my heart doth prey, ah!
Where hath hied the generous soul my mind with lere adorned? ✿ And alas! what hath happened, O sire, to me, and well-away, ah!”

Hereat the Emir Salamah shed tears (as on like wise did all present) and quoth he to his son, “O Habib, we have been troubled by his action,” and quoth the youth, “How shall I 229endure severance from one who fostered me and brought me to honour and renown and who raised my degree so high?” Then began he to improvise saying:—

“Indeed this pine in my heart grows high, ✿ And in eyeballs wake doth my sleep outvie:
You marched, O my lords, and from me hied far ✿ And you left a lover shall aye outcry:
I wot not where on this earth you be ✿ And how long this patience when none is nigh:
Ye fared and my eyeballs your absence weep, ✿ And my frame is meagre, my heart is dry.”

Now whilst the Emir Salamah was sitting in his seat of dignity and the Sultan Habib was improvising poetry and shedding tears in presence of his sire, they heard a Voice which announced itself and its sound was audible whilst its personality was invisible. Thereupon the youth shed tears and cried, “O father mine, I need one who shall teach me horsemanship and the accidents of edge and point and onset and offset and spearing and spurring in the Maydán; for my heart loveth knightly derring-do to plan, such as riding in van and encountering the horseman and the valiant man.” And the while they were in such converse behold, there appeared before them a personage rounded of head, long of length and dread, with turband wide dispread, and his breadth of breast was armoured with doubled coat of mail whose manifold rings were close-enmeshed after the model of Dáúd[390] the Prophet (upon whom be The Peace!) Moreover he hent in hand a mace erst a block cut out of the live hard rock, whose shock would arrest forty braves of the doughtiest; and he was baldrick’d with an Indian blade that quivered in the grasp, and he bestrode, with a Samhari[391] lance at rest, a bay destrier of black points whose peer was not amongst the steeds of the Arabs. Then he took his station standing as a vassal between 230the Emir Salamah’s hands and he addressed a general salam and he greeted all that stood afoot or were seated. His salute they repeated and presently the pages hastened forwards and aided him alight from his charger’s back; and after waiting for a full-told hour that he might take somewhat of repose, the stranger-knight and doughty wight advanced and said, “Ho thou the Emir, I came hither to fulfil the want whereof thou expressedst a wish; and, if such prove thy pleasure, I will teach thy son fray and fight and prowess in the plain of sword-stroke and lance-lunge. But ere so doing I would fain test thy skill in cavalarice; so do thou, O Emir, be first to appear as champion and single combatant in the field when I will show thee what horsemanship is.” “Hearkening and obeying,” replied the Emir, “and if thou desire the duello with us we will not baulk thee thereof.” Hereat his Shaykhs and Chieftains sprang up and cried to him, “O Emir, Allah upon thee do not meet in fight this cavalier for that thou wottest not an he be of mankind or of Jinn-kind; so be thou not deceived by his sleights and snares.” “Suffer me this day,” quoth the Emir, “to see the cavalarice of this cavalier, and, if over me he prevail, know him to be a knight with whom none may avail.” Speaking thus the Emir arose and hied him to his tent where he bade the slaves bring forth the best of his habergeons; and, when all these were set before him, he took from them a Davidian suit of manifold rings and close-meshed, which he donned, and he baldrick’d himself with a scymitar of Hindi steel, hadst thou smitten therewith a cliff it had cleft it in twain or hadst thou stricken a hill it had been laid level as a plain; and he hent in hand a Rudaynían lance[392] of Khatt Hajar, whose length was thirty ells and upon whose head sat a point like unto a basilisk’s tongue; and lastly he bade his slaves bring him his courser which in the 231race was the fleetest-footed of all horses. Then the two combatants took the plain accompanied by the tribesmen nor did one of them all, or great or small, remain in camp for desire to witness the fight of these champions who were both as ravening lions. But first the stranger-knight addressed his adversary and speaking with free and eloquent tongue quoth he, “I will encounter thee, O Emir Salamah, with the encountering of the valiant; so have thou a heed of me for I am he hath overthrown the Champions some and all.” At these words each engaged his foeman and the twain forwards pressed for a long time, and the Raven of cut-and-thrust croaked over the field of fight and they exchanged strokes with the Hindi scymitar and they thrust and foined with the Khatti spear and more than one blade and limber lance was shivered and splintered, all the tribesmen looking on the while at both. And they ceased not to attack and retire and to draw near and draw off and to heave and fence until their forearms ailed and their endeavour failed. Already there appeared in the Emir Salamah somewhat of weakness and weariness; natheless when he looked upon his adversary’s skill in the tourney and encounter of braves he saw how to meet all the foeman’s sword-strokes with his targe: however at last fatigue and loss of strength prevailed over him and he knew that he had no longer the force to fight; so he stinted his endeavour and withdrew from brunt of battle. Hereat the stranger knight alighted and falling at the Emir’s feet kissed them and cried, “O Sovran of the Age, I came not hither to war with thee but rather with the design of teaching thy son, the Sultan Habib, the complete art of arms and make him the prow cavalier of his day.” Replied Salamah, “In very sooth, O horseman of the age, thou hast spoken right fairly in thy speech; nor did I design with thee to fight nor devised I the duello or from steed to alight;[393] nay, my sole object was my 232son to incite that he might learn battle and combat aright, and the charge of the heroic Himyarite[394] to meet with might.” Then the twain dismounted and each kissed his adversary; after which they returned to the tribal camp and the Emir bade decorate it and all the habitations of the Arab clans with choicest decoration, and they slaughtered the victims and spread the banquets and throughout that day the tribesmen ate and drank and fed the travellers and every wayfarer and the mean and mesquin and all the miserables. Now as soon as the Sultan Habib was informed concerning that cavalier how he had foiled his father in the field of fight, he repaired to him and said, “Peace be with him who came longing for us and designing our society! Who art thou, Ho thou the valorous knight and foiler of foemen in fight?” Said the other, “Learn thou, O Habib, that Allah hath sent me theewards.” “And, say me, what may be thy name?” “I am hight Al-’Abbús,[395] the Knight of the Grim Face.” “I see thee only smiling of countenance whilst thy name clean contradicteth thy nature;” quoth the youth. Presently the Emir Salamah committed his son to the new governor saying, “I would thou make me this youth the Brave of his epoch;” whereto the knight replied, “To hear is to obey, first Allah then thyself and to do suit and service of thy son Habib.” And when this was determined youth and governor went forth to the Maydan every day and after a while of delay Habib became the best man of his age in fight and fray. Seeing this his teacher addressed him as follows. “Learn, O Sultan Habib, that there is no help but thou witness perils and affrights and adventures, wherefor is weak the description of describers and thou shalt say in thyself:—Would 233heaven I had never sighted such and I were of these same free. And thou shalt fall into every hardship and horror until thou be united with the beautiful Durrat al-Ghawwás, Queen-regnant over the Isles of the Sea. Meanwhile to affront all the perils of the path thou shalt fare forth from thy folk and bid adieu to thy tribe and patrial stead; and, after enduring that which amateth man’s wit, thou shalt win union with the daughter of Queen Kamar al-Zamán[396].” But when Habib heard these words concerning the “Pearl of the Diver” his wits were wildered and his senses were agitated and he cried to Al-Abbus, “I conjure thee by Allah say me, is this damsel of mankind or of Jinn-kind.” Quoth the other, “Of Jinn-kind, and she hath two Wazirs, one of either race, who overrule all her rulers and a thousand islands of the Isles of the Sea are subject to her command, while a host of Sayyids and Sharífs[397] and Grandees hath flocked to woo her, bringing wealthy gifts and noble presents, yet hath not any of them won his wish of her but all returned baffled and baulked of their will.” Now the Sultan Habib hearing this from him cried in excess of perturbation and stress of confusion, “Up with us and hie we home where we may take seat and talk over such troublous matter and debate anent its past and its future.” “Hearkening and obedience,” rejoined the other; so the twain retired into privacy in order to converse at ease concerning the Princess, and Al-Abbus began to relate in these words—



Whilome there was a Sovran amongst the Kings of the Sea, hight Sábúr, who reigned over the Crystalline Isles,[398] and he was a mighty ruler and a generous, and a masterful potentate and a glorious. He loved women and he was at trouble to seek out the fairest damsels; yet many of his years had gone by nor yet had he been blessed with boon of boy. So one day of the days he took thought and said in himself, “To this length of years I have attained and am well nigh at life’s end and still am I childless: what then will be my case?” Presently, as he sat upon his throne of kingship, he saw enter to him an Ifrit fair of face and form, the which was none other than King ’Atrús[399] of the Jánn, who cried, “The Peace be upon thee, Ho thou the King! and know that I have come to thee from my liege lord who affecteth thee. In my sleep it befel that I heard a Voice crying to me:—During all the King’s days never hath he been vouchsafed a child, boy or girl; so now let him accept my command and he shall win to his wish. Let him distribute justice and largesse and further the rights of the wronged and bid men to good and forbid them from evil and lend not aid to tyranny or to innovation in the realm and persecute not the unfortunate, and release from gaol all the prisoners he retaineth. At these words of the Voice I awoke astartled by my vision and I hastened to thee without delay and I come with design to inform thee, O King of the Age, that I have a daughter, hight Kamar al-Zaman, who hath none like her in her time, and no peer in this tide, and her I design giving thee to bride. The Kings of the Jann have ofttimes asked her in marriage of me but I would have none of them save a ruler of men like thyself and Alhamdolillah—glory 235be to God, who caused thy Highness occur to my thought, for that thy fame in the world is goodly fair and thy works make for righteousness. And haply by the blessing of these thou shalt beget upon my daughter a man child, a pious heir and a virtuous.” Replied the King, “Ho thou who comest to us and desirest our weal, I accept thine offer with love and good will.” Then Sabur, the King of the Crystalline Isles, bade summon the Kazi and witnesses, and quoth the Ifrit, “I agree to what thou sayest, and whatso thou proposest that will I not oppose.” So they determined upon the dowry and bound him by the bond of marriage with the daughter of Al-’Atrus, King of the Jinns, who at once sent one of his Flying Jann to bring the bride. She arrived forthright when they dressed and adorned her with all manner ornaments, and she came forth surpassing all the maidens of her era. And when King Sabur went in unto her he found her a clean maid: so he lay that night with her and Almighty Allah so willed that she conceived of him. When her days and months of pregnancy were sped, she was delivered of a girl-babe as the moon, whom they committed to wet-nurses and dry-nurses, and when she had reached her tenth year, they set over her duennas who taught her Koran-reading and writing and learning and belles-lettres; brief, they brought her up after the fairest of fashions. Such was the lot[400] of Durrat al-Ghawwas, the child of Kamar al-Zaman, daughter to King ’Atrus by her husband King Sabur. But as regards the Sultan Habib and his governor Al-Abbus, the twain ceased not wandering from place to place in search of the promised damsel until one day of the days when the youth entered his father’s garden and strolled the walks adown amid the borders[401] and blossoms of basil and of rose full blown and solaced himself with the works of the Compassionate 236One and enjoyed the scents and savours of the flowers there bestrown; and, while thus employed, behold, he suddenly espied the maiden, Durrat al-Ghawwas hight, entering therein as she were the moon; and naught could be lovelier than she of all earth supplies, gracious as a Huriyah of the Virgins of Paradise, to whose praise no praiser could avail on any wise. But when the Sultan Habib cast upon her his eyes he could no longer master himself and his wits were bewildered from the excitement of his thoughts; so he regarded her with a long fixed look and said in himself, “I fear whenas she see me that she will vanish from my sight.” Accordingly, he retired and clomb the branches of a tree in a stead where he could not be seen and whence he could see her at his ease. But as regards the Princess, she ceased not to roam about the Emir Salamah’s garden until there approached her two score of snow-white birds each accompanied by a handmaid of moon-like beauty. Presently they settled upon the ground and stood between her hands saying, “Peace be upon thee, O our Queen and Sovran Lady.” She replied, “No welcome to you and no greeting; say me, what delayed you until this hour when ye know that I am longing to meet the Sultan Habib, the dear one, son of Salamah, and I long to visit him for that he is the dearling of my heart. Wherefor I bade you accompany me and ye obeyed not, and haply ye have made mock of me and of my commandment.” “We never gainsay thy behest,” replied they, “or in word or in deed;” and they fell to seeking her beloved. Hearing this the Sultan Habib’s heart was solaced and his mind was comforted and his thoughts were rightly directed and his soul was reposed; and when he was certified of her speech, he was minded to appear before her; but suddenly fear of her prevailed over him and he said to his thoughts, “Haply she will order one of the Jinns to do me die; so ’twere better to have patience and see what Allah shall purpose for me of His Almighty will.” But the Princess and her attendants ceased not wandering about the garden from 237site to site and side to side till they reached the place wherein the Sultan Habib lay in lurking; when Durrat al-Ghawwas there stood still and said in herself, “Now I came not from my capital save on his account, and I would see and be seen by him even as the Voice informed me of him, O ye handmaidens; and peradventure hath the same informed him of me.” Then the Princess and her suite, drawing still nearer to his place of concealment, found a lakelet in the Arab’s garden brimful of water amiddlemost whereof stood a brazen lion, through whose mouth the water entered to issue from his tail. Hereat the Princess marvelled and said to her bondswomen, “This be none other than a marvellous lake, together with the lion therein; and when, by the goodwill of Almighty Allah, I shall have returned home I will let make a lakelet after this fashion, and in it set a lion of brass.” Thereupon she ordered them to doff their dress and go down to the piece of water and swim about; but they replied, “O our lady, to hear is to obey thy commandment, but we will not strip nor swim save with thee.” Then she also did off her dress and all stripped themselves and entered the lakelet in a body, whereupon the Sultan Habib looked through the leaves to solace himself with the fair spectacle and he ejaculated, “Blessed be the Lord the best of Creators!” And when the handmaids waxed aweary of swimming, the Princess commanded them to come forth the water, and said “Whenas Heaven willeth that the desire of my heart be fulfilled in this garden, what deem ye I should do with my lover?” and quoth they, “’Twould only add to our pleasure and gladness.” Quoth she, “Verily my heart assureth me that he is here and hidden amongst the trees of yon tangled brake;” and she made signs with her hand whither Habib lay in lurking-place; and he, espying this, rejoiced with joy galore than which naught could be more, and exclaimed, “There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great: what meaneth this lady? Indeed, I fear 238to stay in this stead lest she come hither and draw me forth and put me to shame; and ’twere better that of mine own accord I come out of my concealment and accost her and suffer her to do all she designeth and desireth.” So he descended from the topmost of the tree wherein he had taken refuge and presented himself before the Princess Durrat al-Ghawwas, who drew near and cried to him, “O Habib, O welcome to Habib! and is it thus that we have travailed with love of thee and longing for thee, and where hast thou been all this time, O my dearling, and O coolth of my eyes and O slice of my liver?” Replied he, “I was in the head of yonder huge tree to which thou pointedst with thy finger.” And as they looked each at other she drew nearer to him and fell to improvising:—

“Thou hast doomed me, O branchlet of Bán, to despair ✿ Who in worship and honour was wont to fare,—
Who lived in rule and folk slaved for me ✿ And hosts girded me round every hest to bear!”

And anon quoth the Sultan Habib; “Alhamdolillah—laud be to the Lord, who deigned show me thy face and thy form! Can it be thou kennest not what it was that harmed me and sickened me for thy sake, O Durrat al-Ghawwas?” Quoth she, “And what was it hurt thee and ailed thee?” “It was the love of thee and longing for thee!” “And who was the first to tell thee and make thee ware of me?” He replied saying, “One day it so befel, as I was amongst my family and my tribe, a Jinni Al-Abbus hight became my governor and taught me the accidents of thrust and cut and cavalarice; and ere he left he commended thy beauty and loveliness and foretold to me all that would pass between thee and me. So I was engrossed with affection for thee ere my eyes had sight of thee, and thenceforwards I lost all the pleasures of sleep, nor were meat and eating sweet to me, nor were drink and winedraughts a delight to me: so Alhamdolillah—praise be to Allah, who deigned conjoin me in such union with my heart’s desire!” 239Hereat the twain exchanged an embrace so long that a swoon came upon them and both fell to the ground in a fainting fit, but after a time the handmaidens raised them up and besprinkled their faces with rose-water which at once revived them. All this happened, withal the Emir Salamah wotted naught of what had befallen his son the Sultan Habib nor did his mother weet that had betided her child; and the husband presently went in to his spouse and said, “Indeed this boy hath worn us out: we see that o’ nights he sleepeth not in his own place and this day he fared forth with the dawn and suffered us not to see a sight of him.” Quoth the wife, “Since the day he went to Al-Abbus, thy boy fell into cark and care;” and quoth the husband, “Verily our son walked about the garden and Allah knoweth that therefrom is no issue anywhither. So there shalt thou find him and ask him of himself.” And they talked over this matter in sore anger and agitation. Meanwhile as the Sultan Habib sat in the garden with the handmaids waiting upon him and upon the Princess Durrat al-Ghawwas, there suddenly swooped upon them a huge bird which presently changed form to a Shaykh seemly of aspect and semblance who approached and kissing their feet humbled himself before the lover and his beloved. The youth marvelled at such action of the Shaykh, and signalled to the Princess as to ask, “Who may be this old man?” and she answered in the same way, “This is the Wazir who caused me forgather with thee;” presently adding to the Shaykh, “What may be thy need?” “I came hither for the sake of thee,” he replied, “and unless thou fare forthright to thy country and kingdom the rule of the Jánn will pass from thy hand; for that the Lords of the land and Grandees of the realm seek thy loss and not a few of the nobles have asked me saying, O Wazir, where is our Queen? I answered, She is within her palace and to-day she is busied with some business. But such pretext cannot long avail, and thou, unless thou return with me to the region of thy reign there shall betray thee some one of the 240Marids and the hosts will revolt against thee and thy rule will go to ruin and thou wilt be degraded from command and sultanat.” “What then is thy say and what thy bidding?” enquired she, and he replied, “Thou hast none other way save departure from this place and return to thy realm.” Now when these words reached the ear of Durrat al-Ghawwas, her breast was straitened and she waxed sorrowful with exceeding sorrow for severance from her lover whom she addressed in these words, “What sayest thou anent that thou hast heard? In very sooth I desire not parting from thee and the ruin of my reign as little do I design; so come with me, O dearling of my heart, and I will make thee liege lord over the Isles of the Sea and sole master thereof.” Hereat the Sultan Habib said in his soul, “I cannot endure parting from my own people; but as for thee thy love shall never depart from thee:” then he spake aloud, “An thou deign hear me, do thou abandon that which thou purposest and bid thy Wazir rule over the Isles and thy patrial stead; so shall we twain, I and thou, live in privacy for all time and enjoy the most joyous of lives.” “That may never be,” was her only reply; after which she cried to the Wazir saying, “Carry me off that I fare to my own land.” Then after farewelling her lover, she mounted the Emir-Wazir’s back[402] and bade him bear her away, whereat he took flight and the forty handmaidens flew with him, towering high in air. Presently, the Sultan Habib shed bitter tears; his mother hearing him weeping sore as he sat in the garden went to her husband and said, 241“Knowest thou not what calamity hath befallen thy son that I hear him there groaning and moaning?” Now when the parents entered the garden, they found him spent with grief and the tears trickled adown his cheeks like never-ceasing rain-showers;[403] so they summoned the pages who brought cucurbits of rose-water wherewith they besprinkled his face. But as soon as he recovered his senses and opened his eyes, he fell to weeping with excessive weeping and his father and mother likewise shed tears for the burning of their hearts and asked him, “O Habib, what calamity hath come down to thee and who of his mischief hath overthrown thee? Inform us of the truth of thy case.” So he related all that had betided between him and Durrat al-Ghawwas, and his mother wept over him while his father cried, “O Habib, do thou leave this say and this thy desire cast away that the joys of meat and drink and sleep thou may enjoy alway.” But he made answer, “O my sire, I will not slumber upon this matter until I shall sleep the sleep of death.” “Arise thou, O my child,” rejoined the Emir, “and let us return homewards,”[404] but the son retorted “Verily I will not depart from this place wherein I was parted from the dearling of my heart.” So the sire again urged him saying, “These words do thou spare nor persist in this affair because therefrom for thee I fear;” and he fell to cheering him and comforting his spirits. After a while the Sultan Habib arose and fared homewards beside his sire who kept saying to him, “Patience, O my child, the while I assist thee in thy search for this young lady and I send those who shall bring her to thee.” 242“O my father,” rejoined the son, “I can no longer endure parting from her; nay, ’tis my desire that thou load me sundry camels with gold and silver and plunder and moneys that I may go forth to seek her: and if I win to my wish and Allah vouchsafe me length of life I will return unto you; but an the term of my days be at hand then the behest be to Allah, the One, the Omnipotent. Let not your breasts be straitened therefor and do ye hold and believe that if I abide with you and see not the beloved of my soul I shall perish of my pain while you be standing by to look upon my death. So suffer me to wayfare and attain mine aim; for from the day when my mother bare me ’twas written to my lot that I journey over wild and wold and that I see and voyage over the seas seven-fold.” Hereupon he fell to improvising these verses:—

“My heart is straitened with grief amain ✿ And my friends and familiars have wrought me pain;
And whene’er you’re absent I pine, and fires ✿ In my heart beweep what it bears of bane:
O ye, who fare for the tribe’s domain, ✿ Cry aloud my greetings to friends so fain!”

Now when the Emir Salamah heard these his son’s verses, he bade pack for him four camel loads of the rarest stuffs, and he largessed to him a she-dromedary laden with thrones of red gold; then he said to him, “Lo, O my son, I have given thee more than thou askedst.” “O my father,” replied Habib, “where are my steed and my sword and my spear?” Hereat the pages brought forward a mail-coat Davidian[405] and a blade Maghrabian and a lance Khattian and Samharian, and set them between his hands; and the Sultan Habib donning the habergeon and drawing his sabre and sitting lance in rest backed his steed, which was of the noblest blood known to all the Arabs. Then quoth he, “O my father is it thy desire to send with me a troop of twenty knights that they may escort me to the land of Al-Yaman and may anon bring me 243back to thee?” “My design,” quoth the sire, “is to despatch those with thee who shall befriend thee upon the road;” and, when Habib prayed him do as he pleased, the Emir appointed to him ten knights, valorous wights, who dreaded naught of death however sudden and awesome. Presently, the youth farewelled his father and mother, his family and his tribe, and joining his escort, mounted his destrier when Salamah, his sire, said to his company, “Be ye to my son obedient in all he shall command you;” and said they, “Hearing and obeying.” Then Habib and his many turned away from home and addressed them to the road when he began to improvise the following lines:—

“My longing grows less and far goes my cark ✿ After flamed my heart with the love-fire stark;
As I ride to search for my soul’s desire ✿ And I ask of those faring to Al-Irák.”

On this wise it befel the Sultan Habib and his farewelling his father and mother; but now lend ear to what came of the knights who escorted him. After many days of toil and travail they waxed discontented and disheartened; and presently taking counsel one with other, they said, “Come, let us slay this lad and carry off the loads of stuffs and coin he hath with him; and when we reach our homes and be questioned concerning him, let us say that he died of the excess of his desire to Princess Durrat al-Ghawwas.” So they followed this rede, while their lord wotted naught of the ambush laid for him by his followers. And having ridden through the day when the night of offence[406] was dispread, the escort said, “Dismount we in this garden[407] that here we may take our rest during the dark hours, and when morning shall morrow we will resume our road.” The Sultan Habib had no mind to oppose 244them, so all alighted and in that garden took seat and whatso of victual was with them produced; after which they ate and drank their sufficiency and lay down to sleep all of them save their lord, who could not close eye for excess of love-longing. “O Habib, why and wherefore sleepest thou not?” they asked, and he answered, “O comrades mine, how shall slumber come to one yearning for his dearling, and verily I will lie awake nor enjoy aught repose until such time as I espy the life-blood of my heart, Durrat al-Ghawwas.” Thereupon they held their peace; and presently they held council one with other saying, “Who amongst us can supply a dose of Bhang that we may cast him asleep and his slaughter may be easy to us?” “I have two Miskáls weight[408] of that same,” quoth one of them, and the others took it from him and presently, when occasion served, they put it into a cup of water and presented it to Habib. He hent that cup in hand and drank off the drugged liquid at a single draught; and presently the Bhang wrought in his vitals and its fumes mounted to his head, mastering his senses and causing his brain to whirl round, whereupon he sank into the depths of unconsciousness. Then quoth his escort, “As soon as his slumber is soundest and his sleep heaviest we will arise and slay him and bury him on the spot where he now sleepeth: then will we return to his father and mother, and tell them that of love-stress to his beloved and of excessive longing and pining for her he died.” And upon this deed of treachery all agreed. So when dawned the day and showed its sheen and shone clear and serene, the knights awoke and seeing their lord drowned[409] in sleep they arose and sat in council, and quoth one of them, “Let us cut 245his throat from ear to ear;”[410] and quoth another, “Nay, better we dig us a pit the stature of a man and we will cast him amiddlemost thereof and heap upon him earth so that he will die, nor shall any know aught about him.” Hearing this said one of the retinue, whose name was Rabí’a,[411] “But fear you naught from Almighty Allah and regard ye not the favours wherewith his father fulfilled you, and remember ye not the bread which ye ate in his household and from his family? Indeed ’twas but a little while since his sire chose you out to escort him that his son might take solace with you instead of himself, and he entrusted unto you his heart’s core, and now ye are pleased to do him die and thereby destroy the life of his parents. Furthermore, say me doth your judgment decide that such ill-work can possibly abide hidden from his father? Now I swear by the loyalty[412] of the Arabs there will not remain for us a wight or any who bloweth the fire alight, however mean and slight, who will receive us after such deed. So do ye at least befriend and protect your households and your clans and your wives and your children whom ye left in the tribal domain. But now you design utterly to destroy us, one and all, and after death affix to our memories the ill-name of traitors, and cause our women be enslaved and our children enthralled, nor leave one of us aught to be longed for.” Quoth they jeeringly, “Bring what thou hast of righteous rede:” so quoth he, “Have you fixed your intent upon slaying him and robbing his good?” and they answered, “We have.” However, he objected again and cried, “Come ye and hear from me what it is I advise you, albeit I will take no part[413] in this matter;” presently adding, “Established is your resolve in this 246affair, and ye wot better than I what you are about to do. But my mind is certified of this much; do ye not transgress in the matter of his blood and suffer only his crime be upon you;[414] moreover, if ye desire to lay hands upon his camels and his moneys and his provisions, then do ye carry them off and leave him where he lieth; then if he live, ’twere well, and if he die ’twill be even better and far better.” “Thy rede is right and righteous,” they replied. Accordingly they seized his steed and his habergeon and his sword and his gear of battle and combat, and they carried off all he had of money and means, and placing him naked upon the bare ground they drove away his camels. Presently asked one of other, “Whenas we shall reach the tribe what shall we say to his father and his mother?” “Whatso Rabi’a shall counsel us,” quoth they, and quoth Rabi’a, “Tell them:—We left not travelling with your son; and, as we fared along we lost sight of him and we saw him nowhere until we came upon him a-swoon and lying on the road senseless: then we called to him by name but he returned no reply, and when we shook him with our hands behold, he had become a dried-up wand. Then seeing him dead we buried him and brought back to you his good and his belongings.” “And if they ask you,” objected one:—In what place did ye bury him and in what land, and is the spot far or near, what shall ye make answer; also if they say to you, “Why did ye not bear his corpse with you, what then shall be your reply?” Rabi’a to this rejoined, “Do you say to them:—Our strength was weakened and we waxed feeble from burn of heart and want of water, nor could we bring his remains with us. And if they ask you:—Could ye not bear him a-back; nay, might ye not have carried him upon one of the camels? do ye declare that ye could not for two reasons, the first being that the body was swollen and stinking from the fiery air, and the second our fear for his father, 247lest seeing him rotten he could not endure the sight and his sorrow be increased for that he was an only child and his sire hath none other.” All the men joined in accepting this counsel of Rabi’a, and each and every exclaimed, “This indeed is the rede that is most right.” Then they ceased not wayfaring until they reached the neighbourhood of the tribe, when they sprang from their steeds and openly donned black, and they entered the camp showing the sorest sorrow. Presently they repaired to the father’s tent, grieving and weeping and shrieking as they went; and when the Emir Salamah saw them in this case, crowding together with keening and crying for the departed, he asked them, “Where is he, my son?” and they answered, “Indeed he is dead.” Right hard upon Salamah was this lie, and his grief grew the greater, so he scattered dust upon his head and plucked out his beard and rent his raiment and shrieked aloud saying, “Woe for my son, ah! Woe for Habib, ah! Woe for the slice of my liver, ah! Woe for my grief, ah! Woe for the core[415] of my heart, ah!” Thereupon his mother came forth, and seeing her husband in this case, with dust on his head and his beard plucked out and his robe-collar[416] rent, and sighting her son’s steed she shrieked, “Woe is me and well-away for my child, ah!” and fainted swooning for a full-told hour. Anon when recovered she said to the knights who had formed the escort, “Woe to you, O men of evil, where have ye buried my boy?” They replied, “In a far-off land whose name we wot not, and ’tis wholly waste and tenanted by wild beasts,” whereat she was afflicted exceedingly. Then the Emir Salamah and his wife and household and all the tribesmen donned garbs black-hued and 248ashes whereupon to sit they strewed, and ungrateful to them was the taste of food and drink, meat and wine; nor ceased they to beweep their loss, nor could they comprehend what had befallen their son and what of ill-lot had descended upon him from Heaven. Such then was the case of them; but as regards the Sultan Habib, he continued sleeping until the Bhang ceased to work in his brain, when Allah sent a fresh, cool wind which entered his nostrils and caused him sneeze, whereby he cast out the drug and sensed the sun-heat and came to himself. Hereupon he opened his eyes and sighted a wild and waste land, and he looked in vain for his companions the knights, and his steed and his sword and his spear and his coat of mail, and he found himself mother-naked, athirst, an-hungered. Then he cried out in that Desert of desolation which lay far and wide before his eyes, and the case waxed heavy upon him, and he wept and groaned and complained of his case to Allah Almighty, saying, “O my God and my Lord and my Master, trace my lot an thou hast traced it upon the Guarded Tablet, for who shall right me save Thyself, O Lord of Might that is All-might and of Grandeur All-puissant and All-excellent!” Then he began improvising these verses:—

“Faileth me, O my God, the patience with the pride o’ me; ✿ Life-tie is broke and drawing nigh I see Death-tide o’ me:
To whom shall injured man complain of injury and wrong ✿ Save to the Lord (of Lords the Best!) who stands by side o’ me.”

Now whilst the Sultan Habib was ranging with his eye-corners to the right and to the left behold, he beheld a blackness rising high in air, and quoth he to himself, “Doubtless this dark object must be a mighty city or a vast encampment, and I will hie me thither before I be overheated by the sun-glow and I lose the power of walking and I die of distress and none shall know my fate.” Then he heartened his heart for the improvising of such poetry as came to his mind, and he repeated these verses:—

249“Travel, for on the way all goodly things shalt find; ✿ And wake from sleep and dreams if still to sleep inclined!
Or victory win and rise and raise thee highmost high ✿ And gain, O giddy pate, the good for which thy soul hath pined;
Or into sorrow thou shalt fall with breast full strait ✿ And ne’er enjoy the Fame that wooes the gen’rous mind,
Nor is there any shall avail to hinder Fate ✿ Except the Lord of Worlds who the Two Beings[417] designed.”

And when he had finished his verse, the Sultan Habib walked in the direction of that blackness nor left walking until he drew near the ridge; but after he could fare no farther and that walking distressed him (he never having been broken to travel afoot and barefoot withal), and his forces waxed feeble and his joints relaxed and his strong will grew weak and his resolution passed away. But whilst he was perplexed concerning what he should do, suddenly there alighted between his hands a snow-white fowl huge as the dome of a Hammám, with shanks like the trunk of a palm-tree. The Sultan Habib marvelled at the sight of this Rukh and saying to himself, “Blessed be Allah the Creator!” he advanced slowly towards it and all unknown to the fowl seized its legs. Presently the bird put forth its wings (he still hanging on) and flew upwards to the confines of the sky, when behold, a Voice was heard saying, “O Habib! O Habib! hold to the bird with straitest hold, else ’twill cast thee down to earth and thou shalt be dashed to pieces limb from limb!” Hearing these words he tightened his grasp and the fowl ceased not flying until it came to that blackness which was the outline of Káf the mighty mountain, and having set the youth down on the summit it left him and still flew onwards. Presently a Voice sounded in the sensorium of the Sultan Habib saying, “Take seat, O Habib; past is that which conveyed thee hither on thy way to Durrat al-Ghawwas;” and he, when the words met his ear, aroused himself and arose and, descending the mountain slope to the skirting plain, saw therein a cave. 250Hereat quoth he to himself, “If I enter this antre, haply shall I lose myself, and perish of hunger and thirst!” He then took thought and reflected, “Now death must come sooner or later, wherefore will I adventure myself in this cave.” And as he passed thereinto he heard one crying with a high voice and a sound so mighty that its volume resounded in his ears. But right soon the crier appeared in the shape of Al-Abbus, the Governor who had taught him battle and combat; and, after greeting him with great joy, the lover recounted his love-adventure to his whilome tutor. The Jinni bore in his left a scymitar, the work of the Jann and in his right a cup of water which he handed to his pupil. The draught caused him to swoon for an hour or so, and when he came to Al-Abbus made him sit up and bathed him and robed him in the rarest of raiment and brought him a somewhat of victual and the twain ate and drank together. Then quoth Habib to Al-Abbus “Knowest thou not that which befel me with Durrat al-Ghawwas of wondrous matters?” and quoth the other, “And what may that have been?” whereupon the youth rejoined, “O my brother, Allah be satisfied with thee for that He willed thou appear to me and direct me and guide me aright to the dearling of my heart and the cooling of mine eyes.” “Leave thou such foolish talk,” replied Al-Abbus, “for where art thou and where is Durrat al-Ghawwas? Indeed between thee and her are horrors and perils and long tracts of land and seas wondrous, and adventures marvellous, which would amaze and amate the rending lions, and spectacles which would turn grey the sucking child or any one of man’s scions.” Hearing these words Habib clasped his governor to his breast and kissed him between the eyes, and the Jinni said, “O my beloved, had I the might to unite thee with her I would do on such wise, but first ’tis my desire to make thee forgather with thy family in a moment shorter than an eye-twinkling.” “Had I longed for my own people,” rejoined Habib, “I should never have left them, nor should I have endangered my days nor wouldst 251thou have seen me in this stead; but as it is I will never return from my wayfaring till such time as my hope shall have been fulfilled, even although my appointed life-term should be brought to end, for I have no further need of existence.” To these words the Jinni made answer, “Learn thou, O Habib, that the cavern wherein thou art containeth the hoards of our Lord Solomon, David’s son (upon the twain be The Peace!) and he placed them under my charge and he forbade me abandon them until such time as he shall permit me, and furthermore that I let and hinder both mankind and Jinn-kind from entering the Hoard; and know thou, O Habib, that in this cavern is a treasure-house and in the Treasury forty closets offsetting to the right and to the left. Now wouldst thou gaze upon this wealth of pearls and rubies and precious stones, do thou ere passing through the first door dig under its threshold, where thou shalt find buried the keys of all the magazines. Then take the first of them in hand and unlock its door, after which thou shalt be able to open all the others and look upon the store of jewels therein. And when thou shalt design to depart the Treasury thou shalt find a curtain hung up in front of thee and fastened around it eighty hooks of red gold;[418] and do thou beware how thou raise the hanging without quilting them all with cotton.” So saying he gave him a bundle of tree-wool he had by him, and pursued, “O Habib, when thou shalt have raised the curtain thou wilt discover a door with two leaves also of red gold, whereupon couplets are inscribed, and as regards the first distich an thou master the meaning of the names and the talismans, thou shalt be saved from all terrors and horrors, and if thou fail to comprehend them thou shalt perish in that Hoard. But after opening the door close it not with noise nor glance behind thee, and take all heed, as I fear for thee those charged with the care of the place[419] and its tapestry. And when thou shalt stand behind the hanging thou 252shalt behold a sea clashing with billows dashing, and ’tis one of the Seven Mains which shall show thee, O Habib, marvels whereat thou shalt wonder, and whereof relaters shall relate the strangest relations. Then do thou take thy stand upon the sea-shore whence thou shalt descry a ship under way and do thou cry aloud to the crew who shall come to thee and bear thee aboard. After this I wot not what shall befal thee in this ocean, and such is the end of my say and the last of my speech, O Habib, and—The Peace!” Hereat the youth joyed with joy galore than which naught could be more and taking the hand of Al-Abbus he kissed it and said, “O my brother, thou hast given kindly token in what thou hast spoken, and Allah requite thee for me with all weal, and mayest thou be fended from every injurious ill!” Quoth Al-Abbus, “O Habib, take this scymitar and baldrick thyself therewith, indeed ’twill enforce thee and hearten thy heart, and don this dress which shall defend thee from thy foes.” The youth did as he was bidden; then he farewelled the Jinni and set forth on his way, and he ceased not pacing forward until he reached the end of the cavern and here he came upon the door whereof his governor had informed him. So he went to its threshold and dug thereunder and drew forth a black bag creased and stained by the lapse of years. This he unclosed and it yielded him a key which he applied to the lock and it forthwith opened and admitted him into the Treasury where, for exceeding murk and darkness, he could not see what he hent in hand. Then quoth he to himself, “What is to do? Haply Al-Abbus hath compassed my destruction!” And the while he sat on this wise sunken in thought, behold, he beheld a light gleaming from afar, and as he advanced its sheen guided him to the curtain whereof he had been told by the Jinni. But as he looked he saw above it a tablet of emerald dubbed with pearls and precious stones, while under it lay the hoard which lighted up the place like the rising sun. So he hastened him thither and found inscribed upon the tablet the following two couplets:—

253“At him I wonder who from woe is free, ✿ And who no joy displays[420] when safe is he:
And I admire how Time deludes man when ✿ He views the past; but ah Time’s tyranny.”

So the Sultan Habib read over these verses more than once, and wept till he swooned away; then recovering himself he said in his mind, “To me death were pleasanter than life without my love!” and turning to the closets which lay right and left he opened them all and gazed upon the hillocks of gold and silver and upon the heaps and bales of rubies and unions and precious stones and strings of pearls, wondering at all he espied, and quoth he to himself, “Were but a single magazine of these treasures revealed, wealthy were all the peoples who on earth do dwell.” Then he walked up to the curtain whereupon Jinns and Ifrits appeared from every site and side, and voices and shrieks so loudened in his ears that his wits well-nigh flew from his head. So he took patience for a full-told hour when behold, a smoke which spired in air thickened and brooded low, and the sound ceased and the Jinns departed. Hereat, calling to mind the charge of Al-Abbus, he took out the cotton he had by him and after quilting the golden hooks he withdrew the curtain and sighted the portal which the Jinni had described to him. So he fitted in the key and opened it, after which, oblivious of the warning, he slammed-to the door noisily in his fear and forgetfulness, but he did not venture to look behind him. At this the Jinns flocked to him from every side and site crying, “O thou foulest of mankind, wherefore dost thou provoke us and disturb us from our stead? and, but for thy wearing the gear of the Jann, we had slain thee forthright.” But Habib answered not and, arming himself with patience and piety, he tarried awhile until the hubbub was stilled, nor did the Jann cry at him any more: and, when the storm was followed by calm, he paced 254forward to the shore and looked upon the ocean crashing with billows dashing. He marvelled at the waves and said to himself, “Verily none may know the secrets of the sea and the mysteries of the main save only Allah!” Presently, he beheld a ship passing along shore, so he took seat on the strand until Night let down her pall of sables upon him; and he was an-hungered with exceeding hunger and athirst with excessive thirst. But when morrowed the morn and day showed her sheen and shone serene, he awoke in his sore distress and behold, he saw two Mermaidens of the daughters of the deep (and both were as moons) issue forth hard by him. And ere long quoth one of the twain, “Say me, wottest thou the mortal who sitteth yonder?” “I know him not,” quoth the other, whereat her companion resumed, “This be the Sultan Habib who cometh in search of Durrat al-Ghawwas, our Queen and liege lady.” Hearing these words the youth considered them straitly and marvelling at their beauty and loveliness he presently rejoiced and increased in pleasure and delight. Then said one to other, “Indeed the Sultan Habib is in this matter somewhat scant and short of wits; how can he love Durrat al-Ghawwas when between him and her is a distance only to be covered by the sea-voyage of a full year over most dangerous depths? And, after all this woe hath befallen him, why doth he not hie him home and why not save himself from these horrors which promise to endure through all his days and to cast his life at last into the pit of destruction?” Asked the other, “Would heaven I knew whether he will ever attain to her or not!” and her companion answered, “Yes, he will attain to her, but after a time and a long time and much sadness of soul.” But when Habib heard this promise of success given by the Maidens of the Main his sorrow was solaced and he lost all that troubled him of hunger and thirst. Now while he pondered these matters there suddenly issued from out the ocean a third Mermaid, which asked her fellows, “Of what are you 255prattling?” and they answered, “Indeed the Sultan Habib sitteth here upon the sea-shore during this the fourth successive night.” Quoth she, “I have a cousin the daughter of my paternal uncle and when she came to visit me last night I enquired of her if any ship had passed by her and she replied:—Yea verily, one did sail driven towards us by a violent gale, and its sole object was to seek you.” And the others rejoined, “Allah send thee tidings of welfare!” The youth hearing these words was gladdened and joyed with exceeding joy; and presently the three Mermaidens called to one another and dove into the depths leaving the listener standing upon the strand. After a short time he heard the cries of the crew from the craft announced and he shouted to them and they, noting his summons, ran alongside the shore and took him up and bore him aboard: and, when he complained of hunger and thirst, they gave him meat and drink and questioned him saying, “Thou! who art thou? Say us, art of the traderfolk?” “I am the merchant Such-and-such,” quoth he, “and my ship foundered albe ’twas a mighty great vessel; but one chance day of the days as we were sailing along there burst upon us a furious gale which shivered our timbers and my companions all perished while I floated upon a plank of the ship’s planks and was carried ashore by the send of the sea. Indeed I have been floating for three days and this be my fourth night.” Hearing this adventure from him the traders cried, “Grieve no more in heart but be thou of good cheer and of eyes cool and clear: the sea voyage is ever exposed to such chances and so is the gain thereby we obtain; and if Allah deign preserve us and keep for us the livelihood He vouchsafed to us we will bestow upon thee a portion thereof.” After this they ceased not sailing until a tempest assailed them and blew their vessel to starboard and larboard and she lost her course and went astray at sea. Hereat the pilot cried aloud, saying, “Ho ye company aboard, take your leave one of other for we be driven into unknown 256depths of ocean, nor may we keep our course, because the wind bloweth full in our faces.” Hereupon the voyagers fell to beweeping the loss of their lives and their goods, and the Sultan Habib shed tears which trickled adown his cheeks and exclaimed, “Would Heaven I had died before seeing such torment: indeed this is naught save a matter of marvel.” But when the merchants saw the youth thus saddened and troubled of soul, and weeping withal, they said to him, “O Monarch of the Merchants, let not thy breast be straitened or thy heart be disheartened: haply Allah shall vouchsafe joy to us and to thee: moreover, can vain regret and sorrow of soul and shedding of tears avail aught? Do thou rather ask of the Almighty that He deign relieve us and further our voyage.” But as the vessel ran through the middle of the main, she suddenly ceased her course and came to a stop without tacking to the right or the left, and the pilot cried out, “O folk, is there any of you who conneth this ocean?” But they made answer, “We know thereof naught, neither in all our voyage did we see aught resembling it.” The pilot continued, “O folk, this main is hight ‘The Azure’;[421] nor did any trader at any time therein enter but he found destruction; for that it is the home of Jinns and the house of Ifrits, and he who now withholdeth our vessel from its course is known as Al-Ghashamsham,[422] and our lord Solomon son of David (upon the twain be The Peace!) deputed him to snatch up and carry off from every craft passing through these forbidden depths whatever human beings, and especially merchants he might find a-voyaging, and to eat them alive.” “Woe to thee!” cried Habib. “Wherefore bid us take counsel together when thou tellest us that here dwelleth a Demon over whom we have no power to prevail, and thou terrifiest us 257with the thoughts of being devoured by him? However, feel ye no affright; I will fend off from you the mischief of this Ifrit.” They replied, “We fear for thy life, O Monarch of the Merchants,” and he rejoined, “To you there is no danger.” Thereupon he donned a closely woven mail-coat and armed himself with the magical scymitar and spear; then, taking the skins of animals freshly slain,[423] he made a hood and vizor thereof and wrapped strips of the same around his arms and legs that no harm from the sea might enter his frame. After this he bade his shipmates bind him with cords under his armpits and let him down amiddlemost the main. And as soon as he touched bottom he was confronted by the Ifrit, who rushed forward to make a mouthful of him, when the Sultan Habib raised his forearm and with the scymitar smote him a stroke which fell upon his neck and hewed him into two halves. So he died in the depths; and the youth, seeing the foeman slain, jerked the cord and his mates drew him up and took him in, after which the ship sprang forward like a shaft outshot from the belly[424] of the bow. Seeing this all the traders wondered with excessive wonderment and hastened up to the youth, kissing his feet and crying, “O Monarch of the Merchants, how didst thou prevail against him and do him die?” “When I dropped into the depths,” replied he, “in order to slay him, I asked against him the aidance of Allah, who vouchsafed His assistance, and on such wise I slaughtered him.” Hearing these good tidings and being certified of their enemy’s death the traders offered to him their good and gains whereof he refused to accept aught, even a single mustard seed. Now, amongst the number was a Shaykh well shotten in years and sagacious in all affairs needing direction; and this oldster drew near the youth, and making lowly obeisance said to him, “By the right of Who sent 258thee uswards and sent us theewards, what art thou and what may be thy name and the cause of thy falling upon this ocean?” The Sultan Habib began by refusing to disclose aught of his errand, but when the Shaykh persisted in questioning he ended by disclosing all that had betided him first and last, and as they sailed on suddenly the Pilot cried out to them, “Rejoice ye with great joy and make ye merry and be ye gladdened with good news, O ye folk, for that ye are saved from the dangers of these terrible depths and ye are drawing near the city of Sábúr, the King who overruleth the Isles Crystalline; and his capital (which be populous and prosperous) ranketh first among the cities of Al-Hind, and his reign is foremost of the Isles of the Sea.” Then the ship inclined thither, and drawing nearer little by little entered the harbour[425] and cast anchor therein, when the canoes[426] appeared and the porters came on board and bore away the luggage of the voyagers and the crew, who were freed from all sorrow and anxiety. Such was their case; but as regards Durrat al-Ghawwas, when she parted from her lover, the Sultan Habib, severance weighed sore and stark upon her, and she found no pleasure in meat and drink and slumber and sleep. And presently whilst in this condition and sitting upon her throne of estate, an Ifrit appeared to her and coming forwards between her hands said, “The Peace of Allah be upon thee, O Queen of the Age and Empress of the Time and the Tide!” whereto she made reply, “And upon thee be The Peace and the ruth of Allah and His blessings. What seekest thou O Ifrit?” Quoth he, “There lately hath come to us a shipful of merchants and I have heard talk of the Sultan Habib being amongst them.” As these words reached her ear she largessed the Ifrit and said to him, “An thou speak sooth I will bestow upon thee whatso thou wishest.” Then, having certified herself of the 259news, she bade decorate the city with the finest of decorations and let beat the kettledrums of glad tidings and bespread the way leading to the Palace with a carpeting of sendal,[427] and they obeyed her behest. Anon she summoned her pages and commanded them to bring her lover before her; so they repaired to him and ordered him to accompany them. Accordingly, he followed them and they ceased not faring until they had escorted him to the Palace, when the Queen bade all her pages gang their gait and none remained therein save the two lovers; to wit, the Sultan Habib and Durrat al-Ghawwas. And after the goodly reunion she sent for the Kazi and his assessors and bade them write out her marriage-writ[428] with Habib. He did as he was bidden and the witnesses bore testimony thereto and to the dowry being duly paid; and the tie was formally tied and the wedding banquets were dispread. Then the bride donned her choicest of dresses and the marriage procession was formed and the union was consummated and both joyed with joy exceeding. Now this state of things endured for a long while until the Sultan Habib fell to longing after his parents and his family and his native country; and at length, on a day of the days, when a banquet was served up to him by his bride he refused to taste thereof, and she, noting and understanding his condition, said to him, “Be of good cheer, this very night thou shalt find thee amongst thine own folk.” Accordingly she summoned her Wazir of the Jann, and when he came she made proclamation amongst the nobles and commons of the capital saying, “This my Wazir shall be my Viceregent over you and whoso shall gainsay him that man I will slay.” They replied with “Hearkening to and obeying Allah and thyself and the Minister.” Then turning to her newly-established deputy she said, “I desire that thou guide me to the garden wherein was the Sultan Habib;” and he replied, “Upon my head be it and on my eyes!” So an Ifrit was summoned, and 260Habib mounting him pick-a-back together with the Princess Durrat al-Ghawwas bade him repair to the garden appointed, and the Jinni took flight, and in less than the twinkling of an eye bore the couple to their destination. Such was the reunion of the Sultan Habib with Durrat al-Ghawwas and his joyous conjunction;[429] but as regards the Emir Salamah and his wife, as they were sitting and recalling to memory their only child and wondering in converse at what fate might have betided him, lo and behold! the Sultan Habib stood before them and by his side was Durrat al-Ghawwas his bride, and as they looked upon him and her, weeping prevailed over them for excess of their joyance and delight and both his parents threw themselves upon him and fell fainting to the ground. As soon as they recovered the youth told them all that had betided him, first and last, whereupon one congratulated other and the kettledrums of glad tidings were sounded, and a world of folk from all the Badawi tribes and the burghers gathered about them and offered hearty compliments on the reunion of each with other. Then the encampment was decorated in whole and in part, and festivities were appointed for a term of seven days full-told, in token of joy and gladness; and banquets were arrayed and trays were dispread, and all sat down to them in the pleasantest of life eating and drinking; and the hungry were filled, and the mean and the miserable and the mendicants were feasted until the end of the seventh day. After this they applied them to the punishment of the ten Knights whom the Emir Salamah had despatched to escort his son; and the Sultan Habib gave order that retribution be required from them, and restitution of all the coin and the good and the horses and the camels entrusted to them by his sire. When these had been recovered he commanded that there be set up for them as many stakes in the garden wherein he sat with his bride, and there in their presence he let impale[430] each upon his 261own pale. And thenceforward the united household ceased not living the most joyous of lives and the most delectable until the old Emir Salamah paid the debt of nature, and they mourned him with excessive mourning for seven days. When these were ended his son, the Sultan Habib, became ruler in his stead and received the homage of all the tribes and clans who came before him and prayed for his victory and his length of life; and the necks of his subjects, even the most stubborn, were bowed in abasement before him. On this wise he reigned over the Crystalline Isles of Sabur, his sire-in-law, with justice and equity, and his Queen, Durrat al-Ghawwas, bare to him children in numbers who in due time followed in their father’s steps. And here is terminated the tale of Sultan Habib and Durrat al-Ghawwas with all perfection and completion and good omen.



The older translators of this “New Arabian Night” have made wild work with this Novel at least as the original is given by my text and the edition of Gauttier (vii. 60–90): in their desire to gallicise it they have invested it with a toilette purely European and in the worst possible style. Amongst the insipid details are the division of the Crystalline Islands into the White, Yellow, Green and Blue; with the Genies Abarikaff, the monstrous Racachik, Ilbaccaras and Mokilras; and the terrible journey of Habib to Mount Kaf with his absurd reflections: even the “Roc” cannot come to his aid without “a damask cushion suspended between its feet by silken cords” for the greater comfort of the “Arabian Knight.” The Treasury of Solomon, “who fixed the principles of knowledge by 366 hieroglyphics (sic) each of which required a day’s application from even the ablest understanding, before its mysterious sense could be understood,” is spun out as if the episode were copy intended for the daily press. In my text the “Maidens of the Main” are introduced to say a few words and speed the action. In the French version Ilzaide the elder becomes a “leading lady,” whose rôle is that of the naïve ingénue, famous for “smartness” and “vivacity:” “one cannot refrain from smiling at the lively sallies of her good nature and simplicity of heart.” I find this young person the model of a pert, pretty, prattling little French soubrette who, moreover, makes open love to “the master.” Habib calls the “good old lady,” his governess “Esek! Esek!” which in Turk. means donkey, ass. I need hardly enlarge upon these ineptitudes; those who wish to pursue the subject have only to compare the two versions.

At the end of the Frenchified tale we find a note entitled:—“Observations by the French Editor, on the History of Habib and Dorathil-goase, or the Arabian Knight,” and these are founded not upon the Oriental text but upon the Occidental perversion. It is described “from a moral plane rather as a poem than a simple tale,” and it must be regarded as “a Romance of Chivalry which unites the two chief characteristics of works of that sort,—amusement and instruction.” Habib’s education is compared with that of Telemachus, and his being inured to fatigue is according to the advice of Rousseau “in his Emilius” and the practice of Robinson Crusoe. Lastly “Grandison is a hero already formed: Habib is one who needs to be instructed.” I cannot but suspect when reading all this Western travesty of an Eastern work that M. Cazotte, a typical littérateur, had prepared for caricaturing the unfortunate Habib by carefully writing up Fénélon, Rousseau, and Richardson; and had grafted his own ideas of morale upon the wild stem of the Arabian novel.




Appendix I.

N.B.—The Roman Numerals denote the volume, the Arabic the page.






Appendix II.


Appendix III.



Haykar’s precepts may be compared advantageously with those of other nations of the East and West (at a corresponding stage of civilisation) which, as a rule, follow very similar lines. Many of them find their parallels not only in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, as we might reasonably expect, but even in the Havamál of the Elder Edda, respecting which Thorpe remarks in his translation (i. p. 36 note): “Odin is the ‘High One.’ The poem is a collection of rules and maxims, and stories of himself, some of them not very consistent with our ideas of a supreme deity.” The style of the Icelandic poem, and the manners of the period when it was composed are of course as wide apart from those of Haykar as is Iceland from Syria; but human nature remains the same.

Pp. 29–32.—Two classes of subterfuges similar to those employed by Haykar are common in folk-tales. In one, the hero vanquishes, and generally destroys his adversary (usually a giant), by imposing on his credulity, like Jack when he hid himself in a corner of the room, and left a faggot in his bed for the giant to belabour, and afterwards killed the giant by pretending to rip himself up, and defying the other to do the same. In other cases, the hero foils his opponents by subterfuges which are admitted to be just, but which are not intended actually to deceive, as in the devices by which the blind Shaykh instructs the merchant to baffle the sharpers, in one of the Sindibad stories (vol. vi., pp. 202–212, No. 135x., of our Table). In the present story Pharaoh was baffled by the superior cunning of Haykar, but it is not made quite clear whether he actually believed in his power to build a castle in the air or not. However the story probably belongs to the second class.

P. 32.—Twisting ropes out of sand was a device by which Michael Scot baffled a devil for whom he had to find constant employment. (Cf. Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel,” and notes).



I believe the “Robber-Caliph” is sometimes played as a burlesque, for which it is well adapted. The parallel suggested between the Caliph and a robber may remind the reader of the interview between Alexander the Great and the Robber, in “Evenings at Home.” One cannot help sympathising with the disappointed young Merchant who acted as an informer, and feeling glad that he got off with a whole skin.

P. 44. In some versions of this story Harun’s abstention from his bride for a year is attributed to a previous vow.

P. 60 and note 1.—This passage, relative to the character of the Caliph may be compared with his forgetfulness respecting Nur Al-Din Ali and Anis Al-Jalis. (Vol. ii., p. 42, and note).


This story, though much shorter, is very closely paralleled by that of Prince Calaf and the Princess of China, in the Thousand and One Days (cf. vol. x., App. pp. 499, 500). Prince Calaf (the son of the King of the Nogais Tartars) and his parents are driven from their kingdom by the Sultan of Carizme (Khwárizm), and take refuge with the Khan of Berlas, where the old King and Queen remain, while Calaf proceeds to China, where he engages in an intellectual contest with Princess Tourandocte (Turandot, i.e. Turándokht, or Turan’s daughter). When Turandot is on the point of defeat, she sends her confidante, a captive princess, to Calaf, to worm out his secret (his own name). The confidante, who is herself in love with Calaf, horrifies him with the invention that Turandot intends to have him secretly assassinated; but although he drops his name in his consternation, he refuses to fly with his visitor. In the morning Turandot declares Calaf’s name to him, but comforts him by saying that she has nevertheless determined to accept him as her husband, instead of cutting off his head; and the slave princess commits suicide. Messengers are then sent for Calaf’s parents, who arrive in company with the friendly Khan who had granted them an asylum; and Calaf marches against the Sultan of Carizme, who is defeated and slain, when his subjects readily submit to the conqueror.

P. 99.—According to Jewish tradition, the Rod of Moses became transformed into so terrible a dragon that the Egyptians took to flight, and 60,000 of them were slain in the press.—(Sale’s Koran, chap. 7, note.)

P. 99, note 3.—It was long denied that ants store up grain, because our English ants do not; but it is now well known that many foreign species, some of which inhabit countries bordering on the Mediterranean (including Palestine) store up large quantities of grass-seeds in their nests; and one ant found in North America is said to actually cultivate a particular kind of grass.

P. 104, note 3.—Those interested in the question of the succession of the Patriarchs may refer to Joseph Jacobs’ article on “Junior-right in Genesis,”[431] in which the writer argues that it was the original custom among the Hebrews, 353as among other nations, for the youngest son to succeed to his father’s estates, after the elder ones had already established themselves elsewhere. Much may be urged in favour of this writer’s conclusions, and it will be remembered that our own Monarchy was not recognised as hereditary until the time of the Conquest, the most able or the strongest relative of the late King usually succeeding to the Crown, and minors being always set aside, unless powerful politicians intended to use them as mere tools. In the Esthonian Kalevipoeg the system comes out still more strongly. Three sons are living at home at the time of the death of Kalev, but the youngest is designated by him as his successor, and is afterwards indicated by lot as the peculiar favourite of the gods.

P. 108, note 1—Although it has nothing to do with the present story, yet I may point out the great importance of the bridle in all the folk-tales which deal with the transformation of human beings into domestic animals. It is clearly implied (though not actually expressed) in the story of Julnar the Sea-Born (No. 153) that the power of Abdallah and Badr Basim over Queen Lab, while she bore the form of a mule, depended entirely on their keeping possession of the bridle (Cf. Nights, vol. vii., p. 304, and note). There are many stories of magicians who transform themselves into horses, &c., for their friends to sell; but the bridle must on no account be given with the horse. Should this be neglected (purposely or otherwise) the magician is unable to reassume his human form at will. (Cf. also Spitta-Bey’s story No. 1 (infrà).)


This story appears in Chavis and Cazotte’s version, and in the various translations made from the French, in a very highly elaborated form, under the title of “The Adventures of Simoustapha, and the Princess Ilsetilsone.” The Caliph and his Wazir are identified with Harun Al-Rashid and Ja’afar, but they suffer no transformations at the hands of the Magician, after whose death Prince Simoustapha is protected by Setelpedour Ginatille, whose name is interpreted as meaning the Star of the Seven Seas, though the first name appears rather to be a corruption of Sitt El Buhúr. She is the queen of Ginnistan, and the daughter of KokopiIesobe (Satan), whose contests with Mahomet and Michael (the former of whom continues the conflict by “becoming man”) are described on the approved Miltonic lines. Her chief councillors are Bahlisboull (Beelzebub) and Asmonchar (Asmodeus), but ultimately she falls in love with Simoustapha, and adjures her sovereignty, after which he carries her off, and marries her, upon which the mother of Ilsetilsone, “the sensible Zobeide formed now a much truer and more favourable judgment of her daughter’s happiness, since she had shared the heart of Simoustapha with Setelpedour, and at last agreed that the union of one man with two women might be productive of great happiness to all the three, provided that one of the wives happened to be a fairy.” (Weber, ii. p. 50.) A most encouraging sentiment for would-be polygamists, truly, especially in Europe, where fairies appear to fly before the advance of civilisation as surely as the wild beasts of the forest!

P. 126.—These apparitions resemble those which usually precede the visions which appear in the well-known pool of ink. But the sweeper is not mentioned in the present story, nor do I remember reading of his appearing in cases 354of crystal seeing, though Dante Gabriel Rosetti introduces him into his fine poem, “Rose Mary,” as preparing the way for the visions seen in the beryl:

“‘I see a man with a besom grey
That sweeps the flying dust away.’
‘Ay, that comes first in the mystic sphere;
But now that the way is swept and clear,
Heed well what next you look on there.’”

P. 132, note.—Apropos of the importance of “three days,” I may refer to the “three days and three nights” which Christ is commonly said to have passed in the tomb, and I believe that some mystics assert that three days is the usual period required by a man to recover consciousness after death.

Pp. 134, 135.—These worked lions recall the exhibition of power, made by Abu Mohammed hight Lazybones (No. 37; Nights iv., p. 165). Their Oriental prototypes are probably the lions and eagles with which the Jinn ornamented the throne of Solomon. In the West, we meet with Southey’s amusing legend of the Pious Painter:

“‘Help, help, Blessed Mary,’ he cried in alarm,
As the scaffold sunk under his feet;
From the canvass the Virgin extended her arm;
She caught the good Painter; she saved him from harm;
There were hundreds who saw in the street.”

The enchanted palaces of the Firm Island, with their prodigies of the Hart and the Dogs, &c., may also be mentioned (Amadis of Gaul, book II., chap. 21, &c.).

Pp. 135, 136.—Stories of changed sex are not uncommon in Eastern and classical mythology and folk-lore; usually, as in this instance, the change of a man into a woman, although it is the converse (apparent, of course) which we meet with occasionally in modern medical books.

In the Nights, &c., we have the story of the Enchanted Spring (No. 135j) in the great Sindibad cyclus (Nights, vi., pp. 145–150), and Lane (Modern Egyptians, chap. xxv.) relates a story which he heard in Cairo more resembling that of the transformed Wazir. In classical legend we have the stories of Tiresias, Cæneus, and Iphis. Turning to India, we meet with the prototype of Cæneus in Amba, who was reincarnated as Sikhandin, in order to avenge herself on Bhishma, and subsequently exchanged her sex with a Yaksha, and became a great warrior (Mahabharata Udyoga-Parva, 5942–7057). Some of the versions of the Enchanted Spring represent the Prince as recovering his sex by an exchange with a demon, thus showing a transition from the story of Sikhandin to later replicas. There is also a story of changed sex in the Hindi Baital Pachisí; and no doubt many others might be quoted.


One of the most curious stories relative to the escape of a captured prey is to be found in the 5th Canto of the Finnish Kalevala. Väinäimöinen, the old 355minstrel, is fishing in the lake where his love, Aino, has drowned herself, because she would not marry an old man. He hooks a salmon of very peculiar appearance, and while he is speculating about cutting it up and cooking it, it leaps from the boat into the water, and then reproaches him with his folly, telling him that it is Aino (now transformed into a waternymph) who threw herself in his way to be his life-companion, but that owing to his folly in proposing to eat her, he has now lost her for ever. Hereupon she disappears, and all his efforts to rediscover her are fruitless.

THE TALE OF ATTAF (pp. 165–222).

P. 178, note 6.—I may add that an episode is inserted in the Europeanised version of this story, relative to the loves of the son of Chebib and the Princess of Herak, which is evidently copied from the first nocturnal meeting of Kamaralzaman and Budur (No. 21, Night iii., pp. 223–242), and is drawn on exactly similar lines (Weber, i. pp. 508–510).


P. 256, note 1.—Epithets of colour, as applied to seas, frequently have a purely mythological application in Eastern tales. Thus, in the story of Zaher and Ali (cf. my “New Arabian Nights,” p. 13) we read, “You are now upon an island of the Black Sea, which encompasses all other seas, and flows within Mount Kaf. According to the reports of travellers, it is a ten years’ voyage before you arrive at the Blue Sea, and it takes full ten years to traverse this again to reach the Green Sea, after which there is another ten years’ voyage before you can reach the Greek Sea, which extends to inhabited countries and islands.”

Kenealy says (in a note to his poem on “Night”) that the Atlantic Ocean is called the Sea of Darkness, on account of the great irruption of water which occasioned its formation; but this is one of his positive statements relative to facts not generally known to the world, for which he considered it unnecessary to quote his authority.

P. 261.—According to one account of impalement which I have seen, the stake is driven through the flesh of the back beneath the skin.

Reading the account of the Crucifixion between the lines, I have come to the conclusion that the sudden death of Christ was due to his drinking from the sponge which had just been offered to him. The liquid, however, is said to have been vinegar, and not water; but this might have had the same effect, or water may have been substituted, perhaps with the connivance of Pilate. In the latter case vinegar may only have been mentioned as a blind, to deceive the fanatical Jews. The fragmentary accounts of the Crucifixion which have come down to us admit of many possible interpretations of details.


Appendix IV.

(Cf. Nights, x., App. ii., pp. 465–532).

Herewith I add notes on any works of importance which I had not seen when my “Contributions” were published, or which have appeared since. Owing to the occasional missing of a proof, some misprints escaped correction in my former article, and these I will place first, along with the correction of other slight errors. Tales and more important notes will follow under the same headings as before.

Errata, &c., in Vol. X.

P. 470, l. 21, for “even has” read “has even,” l. 3 from bottom, for “Chelih” read “Chebib.”

P. 474, ll. 6 and 5 from bottom, for “taken from Dow’s Persian Tales of Inatulla,” read “taken from the latter part of that of Prince Fadlallah (1001 Days, cf. our p. 500, No. 4a; or from No. 251j of our Table).”

P. 491, l. 14 from bottom, after “frontispieces” add “and an Appendix including a table of the tales contained in the MS.”

P. 492, l. 35, for “3c” read “3e.”

P. 495, l. 14 from bottom, for “Burton iii.” read “Burton ii.”

P. 497, l. 5, for “Xailonn” read “Xailoun,” l. 22, for “Mr. W. R. Clouston” read “Mr. W. A. Clouston,” l. 11 from bottom, for “Kasiwirski” read “Kasimirski.”

P. 500, l. 6 for “Dilora” read “Dilara,” l. 8 (No 4a), add “ = Nos. 184 and 251,” l. 16 (No. 5e.) add “cf. Nos. 135q and 225,” l. 22 (No. 8), add “ = No. 181r.”

P. 501, l. 1, after “ants” add “Weber (ii. p. 426) has substituted wild beasts!”

P. 506, l. 16, for “160” read “140.”

P. 508. l. 8, for “Zeloudvit” read “Zelouide et,” l. 19, for “Rose-Tree” read “Nose-Tree,” l. 13 from bottom, for “Little Fairy” read “Little Fairly.”

357P. 511, l. 22, for “Nouronnihar” read “Nouronihar,” l. 8 from bottom, for “Mahommedans” read “Mohammedans,” l. 5–3 from bottom, read “3, The Count of Hamilton’s Fairy Tales. Written shortly after the first publication of Galland’s work. There is an English translation among Bohn’s Extra Volumes.”

P. 513, l. 24 from bottom, read “My, you ought to seen old Henry the Eight,” l. 21 from bottom, for “Nell Gwynne” read “Nell Gwynn,” l. 13 from bottom, for “corn” read “ourn.”

P. 519, No. 100, omit “?” in columns 10 and 15, substituting blanks.

P. 532, is of course Sir R. F. Burton’s, and not mine.


P. 468, l. 4 from bottom, Destains’ “Mille et une Nuits,” should be noticed on p. 472, after l. 2. The full title is as follows:—

Les Mille et une Nuits, Contes Arabes, Traduits en François par Galland, Nouvelle édition revue sur les textes orientaux et augmentée de plusieurs nouvelles et contes traduites des langues orientaux, par M. Destains, précédée d’un notice historique sur Galland par M. Charles Nodier. Paris, 1822.

This edition is in 6 vols. 8vo, and proves to be of no special interest. The first 5 vols. contain the ordinary version of Galland, and the 6th vol. contains a selection of tales translated from Scott’s vol. 6, eked out with Chavis and Cazotte’s Story of Habib. (No. 250 of our Table).


One of the most important works which has appeared lately in connection with the Thousand and one Nights, is the following:

Histoire d’ ‘Alâ Al-Dîn ou la Lampe Merveilleuse. Texte Arabe publié avec une notice sur quelques manuscrits des Mille et une Nuits par H. Zotenberg, roy. 8vo, Paris, Imprimérie Nationale, 1888, p., 70.

The publication of this work puts an end to the numerous conjectures of scholars as to the source of Galland’s unidentified tales; and the notes on various MSS. of the Nights are also very valuable. It therefore appears desirable to give a tolerably full sketch of the contents of the book.[432]

M. Zotenberg begins with general remarks, and passes on to discuss Galland’s edition (section 1). Although Galland frequently speaks of Oriental tales[433] in his journal, kept at Constantinople in 1672 and 1673, yet as he 358informs us, in his Dedication to the Marquise d’ O., he only succeeded in obtaining from Syria a portion of the MS. of the Nights themselves with considerable difficulty after his return to France.

There is some doubt as to the date of appearance of the first 6 vols. of Galland’s “Mille et une Nuit.” According to Caussin de Perceval, vols. 1 and 2 were published together in 1704, and vols. 3 and 4 in the course of the same year. Nevertheless, in the copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale, vols. 1 and 4 are dated 1704, and vols. 2, 5 and 6 are dated 1705; vol. 3 is missing, just as we have only odd volumes of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th English editions in the British Museum, the 1st being still quite unknown.

M. Zotenberg proceeds to give an account of Galland’s MS. (cf. Nights, x. App. p. 465), and illustrates it by a specimen page in facsimile. Judging from the character of the writing, &c., he considers it to have been transcribed about the second half of the 14th century (Sir R. F. Burton suggests about A.D. 1384). It is curious that there is a MS. of the 15th century in the Library of the Vatican, which appears to be almost a counterpart of Galland’s, and likewise contains only the first 282 Nights. Galland’s MS. wants a leaf extending from part of Night 102 to the beginning of Night 104, and containing an account of the Hunchback and his buffooneries; this hiatus is filled up in the Vatican MS.

Habìcht’s version is noted as more approaching Galland’s MS. than do the texts founded on the Egyptian texts; but in thus speaking, Zotenberg does not notice the assertion that Habìcht’s MS., though obtained at Tunis, came originally from Egypt. He considers the ordinary Egyptian texts to be generally abridged and condensed.

Although it is clear that Galland made great use of this MS. for his translation, yet M. Zotenberg points out numerous discrepancies, especially those at the commencement of the work, which led Caussin de Perceval to regard Galland’s work as a mere paraphrase of the original. M. Zotenberg, however (p. 14), writes, “Évidemment, Galland, pour la traduction du commencement du récit, à suivi un texte plus developpé que celui du MS. 1508, texte dont la rédaction égyptienne ne presente qu’un maladroit abrégé.” He quotes other instances which seem to show that Galland had more than one text at his disposal.

Section II.—At the beginning of the 17th century, only two MS. of the Nights existed in the libraries of Paris, one in Arabic, and the other in Turkish. The Arabic MS. contains 870 Nights, and is arbitrarily divided into 29 sections. M. Zotenberg considers that it was to this MS. that Galland referred, when he said that the complete work was in 36 parts. The tales follow the order of our Table as far as No. 7 (Nos. 2ab, 2ac and 3ba are wanting), the remainder are irregular, and run as follows: 153, 154, 154a, 20; story of Khailedján ibn Hámán, the Persian; Story of the Two Old Men, and of Báz al-Aschháb Abou Lahab; 9, apparently including as episodes 9a, 9aa, 21, 8, 9b, 170, 181r to 181bb, 137, 154 (commencement repeated), 181u to 181bb (repeated), 135a, Adventures of a traveller who entered a pond (étang) and underwent metamorphoses:[434] anecdotes and apothegms; a portion of the Kalila and Dimna?

359The Turkish MS. (in 11 vols.) is made up of several imperfect copies, which have been improperly put together. The bulk is formed by vols. 2–10 which are written in three different hands, and some of which bear date 1046 A.H. The contents of these nine vols. are as follows: Introduction and 1–3, (wanting 2ab); Story of ’Abdallah of Basra; 5; Story of ’Attáf ibn Ismá’il al-Schoqláni of Damascus and the schaikh Abou-’l-Baraka al-Nawwám, 6; Story told by the Christian Merchant (relating to Qamar al-Zamán) during the reign of Sultan Mahmoud, and different from the story known under this title; Story of Ahmad al-Saghir (the little) and Schams al-Qosour; Story of the Young Man of Baghdad and the Bathman (Baigneur, attendant in a Hammám), 7; 153, 21; Story of Khaledjan ibn Maháni; Story of سنمنح and غوثان (or غوثبان); Story of Nour al-Din ‘Ali and of Dounya (or Dinar) of Damascus, 133; Story of Prince Qamar-Khan and of the schaikh ’Ata, of the Sultan Mahmoud-Khán, of Bahrám-Scháh, of ’Abdallah ibn Hilal, of Harout and Marout, &c.; Story of Qowwat al-Qoloub; 9, including as episodes 9a; 8; Story of Moubaref who slept in the bath; (? = 96); and 170; Fables.

The other volumes (1 and 11 of the MS.) both contain the beginning of the MS. Vol. 1 was written towards the end of the 17th century, and extends about as far Night 55, concluding with No. 7, which follows No. 3. Vol. 11., which once belonged to Galland, includes only a portion of the Introduction. The text of these two fragments is similar, but differs considerably from that of vol. 2 of the MS.; and specimens of the commencement of vols. 1 and 2 are given to shew this. Yet it is singular that Galland does not seem to have used these Turkish volumes; and the second MS. which he actually used, like the 4th vol. of the copy preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale, appears to be missing.

M. Zotenberg then remarks on the missing vol. 4 of Galland, and quotes extracts from Galland’s Diary, shewing that Nos. 191, 192 and 192a, which were surreptitiously introduced into his work without his knowledge, and greatly to his annoyance, were translated by Petis de la Croix, and were probably intended to be included in the Thousand and One Days, which was published in 1710. “Comme la plupart de ces contes, ils sont tirés de l’ouvrage turc intitulé الفرج بعد الشدة, dont ils forment le 6e, le 8e et le 9e récit.” (Zotenberg, p. 27.)

Then follows Section iii., one of the most important in the book, in which extracts from Galland’s Diary of 1709 are quoted, shewing that he was then in constant communication with a Christian Maronite of Aleppo, named Hanna (Jean), who was brought to Paris by the traveller Paul Lucas, and who related stories to Galland, of which the latter took copious notes, and most of which he worked up into the later volumes of his “Mille et une Nuit” (sic). Among these were 193, 194a, 194b, 59, 197, 198, 174, 195, 194c, 196. The following tales he did not use: An Arab story of two cousins, Camar eddin and Bedr el Bodour; the Golden City (another version of the story of the Three Princes, in No. 198, combined with the story of the woman who slew pretenders who were unable to solve a riddle); The Three Princes, the Genius Morhagian, and his Daughters; and the story of the seller of ptisanne (or diet-drinks) and his son Hassan.

Further extracts from Galland’s Diary are added, extending from the time of Hanna’s departure from Paris between June and October, 1709, and the 360completion of the 12th volume of the Mille et une Nuit in 1712. These relate to the gradual progress of the work; and to business in connection with it; and Hanna’s name is occasionally mentioned.

Hanna supplied Galland with a written version of No. 193, and probably of 194 a-c; (i.e. most of the tales in vols. 9 and 10); but the tales in vols. 11 and 12 were apparently edited by Galland from his notes and recollections of Hanna’s narrations. These are Nos. 195, 196, 59, 197 and 198. M. Zotenberg concludes that Hanna possessed a MS. containing all these tales, part of which he copied for Galland, and that this copy, like several other important volumes which Galland is known or believed to have possessed, was lost. M. Zotenberg thinks that we may expect to meet with most of Hanna’s tales either in other copies of the Nights, or in some other collection of the same kind. The latter supposition appears to me to be by far the most probable.

[Section IV.]—M. Zotenberg proceeds to give an account of one or two very important MSS. of the Nights in the Bibliothèque Nationale. One of these is a MS. which belonged to the elder Caussin, and was carefully copied by Michael Sabbagh from a MS. of Baghdad. Prof. Fleischer, who examined it, states (Journal Asiatique, 1827, t. II., p. 221) that it follows the text of Habicht, but in a more developed form. M. Zotenberg copies a note at the end, finishing up with the word كبيكج (Kabíkaj) thrice repeated. This, he explains, “est le nom du génie préposé au régne des insectes. Les scribes, parfois, l’invoquent pour preserver leurs manuscrits de l’atteinte de vers.”

This MS. was copied at Paris on European paper at the beginning of the century, though Caussin de Perceval was not acquainted with it in 1806, but only with a MS. of the Egyptian redaction. This MS. agrees with Galland’s only as far as the 69th Night. It differs from it in two other points; it contains No. 1c. and the end of No. 3 coincides with the end of Night 69. The contents of Nights 70–1001 are as follows: 246, 4, 5, 6, 20, 7, 153, 21, 170, 247, The Unhappy Lover confined in the Madhouse (probably = 204c), 8, 191, 193, 174, 9, 9b (not 9a, or 9aa) and as episodes, 155, 32, and the story of the two brothers ’Amír and Ghadir, and their children Djamil and Bathina.

Another MS., used by Chavis and Cazotte, and Caussin de Perceval, was written in the year 1772. It has hitherto been overlooked, because it was erroneously stated in the late M. Reinaud’s Catalogue to be a MS. containing part of the 1001 Nights, extending from Night 282 to Night 631, and copied by Chavis. It is not from Chavis’ hand, and does not form part of the ordinary version of the Nights, but contains the following tales: 174, 248, Story of King Sapor, 246, 3a, 36, 3c, 153, Story of the Intendant, the Interpreter, and the Young Man; 247, 204c, 240, 250, Story of the Caliph and the Fisherman, (probably = 156); the Cat and the Fox, and the Little Bird and the Fowler.

Another MS., really written by Chavis, commences exactly where Vol. 3 of Galland’s MS. leaves off; i.e. in the middle of No. 21, and extends from Night 281 to Night 631. M. Zotenberg supposes it to have been written to supply the place of the last volume of Galland’s set. It contains the following tales, in addition to the conclusion of No. 21: 170, 247, 204c, 8, 191, 193 and 174. M. Zotenberg suggests that the first part of this MS. may have been copied from Galland’s last volume, which may have existed at the time in private hands.

361The two last MSS. contain nearly the same tales, though with numerous variations. M. Zotenberg discusses the hypothesis of Chavis’ MS. being a translation from the French, and definitely rejects it.

[Section V.]—Here M. Zotenberg discusses the MSS. of the Nights in general, and divides them into three categories. I. MSS. proceeding from Muslim parts of Asia. These, except the MSS. of Michael Sabbagh and that of Chavis, contain only the first part of the work. They are all more or less incomplete, and stop short in the middle of the text. They are not quite uniform, especially in their readings, but generally contain the same tales arranged in the same order. II. Recent MSS. of Egyptian origin, characterised by a special style, and a more condensed narrative; by the nature and arrangement of the tales; by a great number of anecdotes and fables; and by the early part of the work containing the great romance of chivalry of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman. III. MSS. mostly of Egyptian origin, differing as much among themselves in the arrangement of the tales, as do those of the other groups.

The following MSS. are mentioned as belonging to the first group:—

I. Galland’s MS. in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Nos. 1506–1508.

II. MS. in the Vatican, No. 782.

III. Dr. Russell’s MS. from Aleppo.

IV. MS. in the Bibl. Nat. (Suppl. 1715, I. and II.).

V. MS. in the Library of Christ Church College, Oxford (No. ccvii.).

VI. MS. in the Library of the India Office, London (No. 2699).

VII. Sir W. Jones’ MS., used by Richardson.

VIII. Rich’s MS. in the Library of the British Museum (Addit. 7404).

IX. MS. in Bibl. Nat. (Suppl. 2522 and 2523).

X. MS. in Bibl. Nat. (Suppl. 1716).

The following MSS. are enumerated as belonging to the second group:—

I. Salt’s MS. (printed in Calcutta in 4 vols).

II.-IV. Three complete MSS. in Bibliothèque Nationale (Suppl. Arabe, Nos. 1717, 1718, 1719).

V. Incomplete MS. of Vol. II. in Bibl. Nat. (Suppl. Arabe, Nos. 2198 to 2200).

VI. Incomplete MS. of Vol. 4 (Suppl. Arabe, Nos. 2519 to 2521).

VII. Odd vol. containing Nights 656 to 1001 (Suppl. Arabe, No. 1721, III).

XII. MS. containing Nights 284 to 327. (Suppl. Arabe, No. 1720.)

XIII. MS. in British Museum (Oriental MSS., Nos. 1593 to 1598).

XIV. Ditto, (Oriental MSS., Nos. 2916 to 2919).

XV. Burckhardt’s MS. in the University Library at Cambridge (B. MSS. 106 to 109).

XVI. MS. in the Vatican (Nos. 778 to 781).

XVII. MS. in the Ducal Library at Gotha.

XVIII. Odd vol. in ditto.

362XIX. MS. in the Royal Library at Munich.

XX. Ditto, incomplete (De Sacy’s).

XXI. Fragment in the Library of the Royal and Imperial Library at Vienna (No. CL.).

XXII. MS. in the Imperial Public Library at St. Petersburg (Von Hammer’s).

XXIII. MS. in the Library of the Institute for the Study of Oriental languages at St. Petersburg (Italinski’s).

XXIV. Dr. Clarke’s MS. (cf. Nights, x., App. pp. 502–506).

XXV. Caussin de Perceval’s MS

XXVI. Sir W. Ouseley’s MSS.

The above list does not include copies or fragments in various libraries of which M. Zotenberg has no sufficient information, nor miscellaneous collections in which tales from the Nights are mixed with others.

Portions of Habicht’s MS. appear to belong to the Egyptian recension, and others to have come from further East.

There is a MS. in the Bibliothèque Nationale (Suppl. Arabe, No. 1721, IV.) from Egypt, containing the first 210 Nights, which somewhat resembles Habicht’s MS. both in style and in the arrangement of the tales. The Third Shaykh’s Story (No. 1 c.) is entirely different from those in the ordinary MSS., nor is it the same as that in the Turkish version of the Nights, which is again quite different from either. In this MS. (No. 1721, IV.) No. 6 is followed by Nos. 7, 174, and 133.

Then follow notices of Anderson’s MS., used by Scott, but which cannot now be traced; the Calcutta edition of the first 200 Nights; and of the Wortley Montague MS. These form M. Zotenberg’s third group of MSS.

M. Zotenberg does not enter into the question of the original form, date and constituents of the primitive work, but concludes that the complete work as we now have it, only assumed its present form at a comparatively recent period. But it must not be forgotten that the details, description, manners, and style of the tales composing this vast collection, are undergoing daily alteration both from narrators and copyists.

Then follows an Appendix, in which M. Zotenberg has copied two tales from Galland’s journals, which he took down as related by the Maronite Hanna. One of these is new to me; it is the story of the Three Princes, and the Genius Morhagian and his Daughters (added at the end of this section); and the other is the well-known story of the Envious Sisters.

The remainder of M. Zotenberg’s volume contains the Arabic text of the story of ’Ala Al-Din, or the Wonderful Lamp, with numerous critical notes, most of which refer to Galland’s version. A few pages of Chavis’ text are added for comparison.

The story itself, M. Zotenberg remarks, is modern, giving a faithful picture of Egyptian manners under the reign of the last Mamlouk Sultans. Some expressions which occur in the French-Arabic Dictionary of Ellions Bocthor and of A. Caussin de Perceval, are apparently derived from the story of ’Ala Al-Din.



[Reprinted by M. Zotenberg (pp. 53–61) from Galland’s Journal, MS. français, No. 15277, pp. 120–131.] The passages in brackets are added by the present translator (chiefly where Galland has inserted “etc.”) to fill up the sense.

When the Sultan of Samarcand had reached a great age, he called the three princes, his sons, and after observing that he was much pleased to see how much they loved and revered him, he gave them leave to ask for whatever they most desired. They had only to speak, and he was ready to grant them whatever they asked, let it be what it might, on the sole condition that he should satisfy the eldest first, and the two younger ones afterwards, each in his turn. The eldest prince, whose name was Rostam, begged the Sultan to build him a cabinet of bricks of gold and silver alternately, and roofed with all kinds of precious stones.

The Sultan issued his orders that very day, but before the roof of the cabinet was finished, indeed before any furniture had been put into it, Prince Rostam asked his father’s leave to sleep there. The Sultan tried to dissuade him, saying that [the roof] ought to be finished first; but the prince was so impatient that he ordered his bed to be removed there, and he lay down. He was reading the Koran about midnight, when suddenly the floor opened and he beheld a most hideous genius named Morhagian rise from the ground, who cried out, “You are a prince, but even if you were the Sultan himself, I would not refrain from taking vengeance for your rashness in entering this house which has been built just above the palace of my eldest daughter.” At the same time he paced around the cabinet, and struck its walls, when the whole cabinet was reduced to dust so fine that the wind carried it away, and left not a trace of it. The prince drew his sword, and pursued the genius, who took to flight until he came to a well, into which he plunged [and vanished]. When the prince appeared before his father the Sultan next morning, he was overwhelmed with confusion [not only at what had happened, but on account of his disobedience to his father, who reproached him severely for having disregarded his advice.]

The second prince, whose name was Gaiath Eddin (Ghayáth al-Dín), then requested the Sultan to build him a cabinet constructed entirely of the bones of fishes. The Sultan ordered it to be built, at great expense. Prince Gaiath Eddin had no more patience to wait till it was quite finished than his brother Rostam. He lay down in the cabinet, notwithstanding the Sultan’s warnings, but took care to keep his sword by his side. The genius Morhagian appeared to him also at midnight, paid him the same compliment, and told him that the cabinet was built over the palace of his second daughter. He reduced it to dust, and Prince Gaiath Eddin pursued him, sword in hand, to the well, where he escaped; and next day the prince appeared before his father, the Sultan [as crestfallen as his brother].

The third prince, who was named Badialzaman (Badíu ’l-Zamán = Rarity of the Age), obtained leave from the Sultan to build a cabinet entirely of rock crystal. He went to sleep there before it was entirely finished, but without saying anything to the Sultan, as he was resolved to see whether Morhagian would treat him in the same way. Morhagian arrived at midnight, and declared that 364the cabinet was built over the palace of his third daughter. He destroyed the cabinet, and when the prince seized his sword, Morhagian took to flight. The prince wounded him three times before he reached the well, but he nevertheless succeeded in escaping.

Prince Badialzaman did not present himself to the Sultan, but went to the two princes, his brothers, and urged them to pursue the genius in the well itself. The three went together, and the eldest was let down into the well by a rope, but after descending a certain distance, he cried out, and asked to be drawn up again. He excused his failure by saying that he felt a burning heat [and was almost suffocated]. The same thing happened to Prince Gaiath Eddin, who likewise cried out till he was drawn up. Prince Badialzaman then had himself let down but commanded his brothers not to draw him up again, even if he should cry out. They let him down, and he cried out, but he continued to descend till he reached the bottom of the well, when he untied himself from the rope, and called out to his brothers that the air was very foul. At the bottom of the well he found an open door, and he advanced for some distance between two walls, at the end of which he found a golden door, which he opened, and beheld a magnificent palace. He entered and passed through the kitchen and the storerooms, which were filled with all kinds of provisions, and then inspected the rooms, when he entered one magnificently furnished with sofas and divans. He was curious to find out who lived there, so he hid himself. Soon afterwards he beheld a flight of doves alight at the edge of a basin of water in the middle of the court. The doves plunged into the water, and emerged from it as women, each of whom immediately set about her appointed work. One went to the store room, another to the kitchen, a third began to sweep [and so on]. They prepared a feast [as if for expected guests]. Some time afterwards, Badialzaman beheld another flight of ten doves of different colours, who surrounded an eleventh, which was quite white, and these also perched on the edge of the basin. The ten doves plunged into the basin and came forth as women, more beautiful than the first and more magnificently robed. They took the white dove and plunged her into a smaller basin, which was [filled with] rose [water] and she became a woman of extraordinary beauty. She was the eldest daughter of the genius, and her name was Fattane. (Fattánah = The Temptress.)

Two of her attendants then took Fattane under the armpits, and led her to her apartment, followed by the others. She took her seat on a small raised sofa, and her women separated, some to the right and some to the left, and set about their work. Prince Badialzaman had dropped his handkerchief. One of the waiting women saw it and picked it up, and when she looked round, she saw the prince. She was alarmed, and warned Fattane, who sent some of her women to see who the stranger was. The prince came forward, and presented himself before Fattane, who beheld a young prince, and gave him a most gracious reception. She made him sit next to her, and inquired what brought him there? He told his story from the beginning to the end, and asked where he could find the genius, on whom he wished to take vengeance. Fattane smiled, and told him to think no more about it, but only to enjoy himself in the good company in which he found himself. They spread the table, and she made him sit next to her, and her women played on all kinds of musical instruments before they retired to rest.

365Fattane persuaded the prince to stay with her from day to day: but on the fortieth day he declared that he could wait no longer, and that it was absolutely necessary for him to find out where Morhagian dwelt. The princess acknowledged that he was her father, and told him that his strength was so great [that nobody could overcome him]. She added that she could not inform him where to find him, but that her second sister would tell him. She sent one of her women to guide him to her sister’s palace through a door of communication, and to introduce him. He was well received by the fairy, for whom he had a letter, and he found her younger and more beautiful than Fattane. He begged her to inform him where he could find the genius, but she changed the subject of conversation, entertained him magnificently, and kept him with her for forty days. On the fortieth day she permitted him to depart, gave him a letter, and sent him to her youngest sister, who was a still more beautiful fairy. He was received and welcomed with joy. She promised to show him Morhagian’s dwelling, and she also entertained him for forty days. On the fortieth day she tried to dissuade him from his enterprise, but he insisted. She told him that Morhagian would grasp his head in one hand, and his feet in the other, and would tear him asunder in the middle. But this did not move him, and she then told him that he would find Morhagian in a dwelling, long, high and wide in proportion to his bulk. The prince sought him out, and the moment he caught sight of him, he rushed at him, sword in hand. Morhagian stretched out his hand, seized his head in one hand and his feet in the other, rent him in two with very little effort, and threw him out of a window which overlooked a garden.

Two women sent by the youngest princess each took a piece of the body of the prince, and brought it to their mistress, who put them together, reunited them, and restored life to the prince by applying water [of life?] to the wounds. She then asked the prince where he came from, and it seemed to him that he had just awakened from sleep; and she then recalled everything to his recollection. But this did not weaken his firm resolve to kill the genius. The fairy begged him to eat, but he refused; and she then urged that Morhagian was her father, and that he could only be killed by his own sword, which the prince could not obtain.[435] “You may say what you please,” answered the prince; “but there is no help for it, and he must die by my hand [to atone for the wrongs which my brothers and I have suffered from him].”

Then the princess made him swear solemnly to take her as his bride, and taught him how he might succeed in killing the genius. “You cannot hope to kill him while he wakes,” said she, “but when he sleeps it is not quite impossible. If he sleeps, you will hear him snore, but he will sleep with his eyes open, which is a sign that he has fallen into a very profound slumber. As he fills the whole room, step upon him and seize his sword which hangs above his head, and then strike him on the neck. The blow will not kill him, but as he wakes, he will tell you to strike him a second time. But beware of doing this, [for if you strike him again, the wound will heal of itself, and he will spring up and kill you, and me after you].”

366Then Badialzaman returned to Morhagian’s room, and found him snoring so loud that everything around him shook. The prince entered, though not without trembling, and walked over him till he was able to seize the sword when he struck him a violent blow on the neck. Morhagian awoke, cursing his daughter, and cried out to the prince, whom he recognised, “Make an end of me.” The prince answered that what he had done was enough, and he left him, and Morhagian died.

The prince carried off Morhagian’s sword, which he thought would be useful to him in other encounters; and as he went, he passed a magnificent stable in which he saw a splendid horse. He returned to the fairy and related to her what he had done, and added that he would like to carry off the horse, but he feared it would be very difficult. “Not so difficult as you think,” said she. “Go and cut off some hair from his tail, and take care of it, and whenever you are in need, burn one or two of the hairs, and he will be with you immediately [and will bring you whatever you require].”

After this the three fairies assembled together, and the prince promised that the two princes, his brothers, should marry the other two sisters. Each fairy reduced her palace to the size of a small ball, which she gave to the prince.

The prince then took the three fairies to the bottom of the well. His father, the Sultan, had long believed that he was dead, and had put on mourning for him. His two brothers often came to the well, and they happened to be there just at the time. Badialzaman attracted their attention by his shouts, told them what had happened, and added that he had brought the three fairies with him. He asked for a rope and fastened the eldest fairy to it, calling out, “Pull away, Prince Rostam, I send you your good fortune.” The rope was let down again, and he fastened the second fairy to it, calling out “Brother Gaiath Eddin, pull up your good fortune too.”

The third fairy, who was to marry Badialzaman, begged him to allow himself to be drawn up before her [as she was distrustful of his brothers], but he would not listen to her. As soon as the two princes had drawn her up so high that they could see her, they began to dispute who should have her. Then the fairy cried out to Badialzaman, “Prince, did I not warn you of this?”

The princes were obliged to agree that the Sultan should settle their dispute. When the third fairy had been drawn out of the well, the three fairies endeavoured to persuade the two princes to draw up their youngest brother, but they refused, and compelled them to follow them. While they carried off the youngest princess, the other two asked leave to say adieu to prince Badialzaman. They cried out from the top of the well, “Prince, have patience till Friday, when you will see six bulls pass by—three red ones and three black ones. Mount upon one of the red ones and he will bring you up to the earth, but take good care not to mount upon a black one, for he would carry you down to the Seventh Earth.”[436]

The princes carried off the three fairies, and on Friday, three days afterwards, the six bulls appeared. Badialzaman was about to mount upon a red one, when a black one prevented him, and compelled him to mount his back, 367when he plunged through the earth till he stopped at a large town in another world. He entered the town, and took up his abode with an old woman, to whom he gave a piece of gold to provide him with something to eat, for he was almost famished. When he had eaten enough, he asked for something to drink. “You cannot be a native of this country,” said the old woman [“or you would not ask for drink”]. She then brought him a sponge, saying that she had no other water. She then informed him that the town was supplied with water from a very copious spring, the flow of which was interrupted by a monster. They were obliged to offer up a girl to be devoured by it on every Friday. To-day the princess, the Sultan’s daughter, was to be given up to him, and while the monster emerged from his lair to devour her, enough water would flow for everyone to supply himself until the following Friday.

Badialzaman then requested the old woman to show him the way to the place where the princess was already exposed; but she was so much afraid that he had much trouble in persuading her to come out of her house to show him what direction to take. He went out of the town, and went on till he saw the princess who made a sign to him from a distance to approach no nearer; and the nearer he came, the more anxiety she displayed. As soon as he was within hearing, he shouted to her not to be afraid; and he sat down beside her, and fell asleep, after having begged her to wake him as soon as the monster appeared. Presently a tear from the princess fell upon his face, and he woke up, and saw the monster, which he slew with the sword of Morhagian, and the water flowed in abundance. The princess thanked her deliverer, and begged him to take her back to the Sultan her father, who would give proofs of his gratitude; but he excused himself. She then marked his shoulder with the blood of the monster without his noticing it. The princess then returned to the town, and was led back to the palace, where she related to the Sultan [all that had happened]. Then the Sultan commanded that all the men in the town should pass before himself and the princess under pain of death. Badialzaman tried to conceal himself in a khan, but he was compelled to come with the others. The princess recognised him, and threw an apple at him to point him out. He was seized, and brought before the Sultan, who demanded what he could do to serve him. The prince hesitated, but at length he requested the Sultan to show him the way to return to the world from whence he came. The Sultan was furious, and would have ordered him to be burned as a heretic [but the princess interceded for his life]. The Sultan then treated him as a madman, and drove him ignominiously from the town, and he wandered away without knowing where he was going. At length he arrived at a mountain of rock, where he saw a great serpent rising from his lair to prey on young Rokhs. He slew the serpent with the sword of Morhagian, and the father and mother of the Rokhs arrived at the moment, and asked him to demand whatever he desired in return. He hesitated awhile, but at length he asked them to show him the way to the upper world. The male Rokh then told him to prepare ten quarters of mutton, to mount on his back, and to give him some of the meat whenever he should turn his head either to one side or to the other on the journey.

The prince mounted on the back of the Rokh, the Rokh stamped with his foot, and the earth opened before them wherever he turned. They reached the bottom of the well when the Rokh turned his head, but there was no more meat left, so the prince cut off the calf of his leg, and give it to him. When 368the Rokh arrived at the top of the well, the prince leaped to the ground, when the Rokh perceived [that he was lame, when he inquired the reason, and the prince explained what had happened]. The Rokh then disgorged the calf of the leg, and returned it to its place, when it grew fast, and the prince was cured immediately.

As the prince left the well, he met a peasant, and changed clothes with him, but he kept the sword, the three balls, and the horse-hair. He went into the town, where he took lodgings with a tailor, and kept himself in retirement. The prince gradually rose in the tailor’s esteem by letting him perceive that he knew how to sew, [and all the arts of an accomplished tailor]. Presently, preparations were made for the wedding of Prince Rostam, and the tailor with whom Badialzaman lodged was ordered to prepare the fairy’s robes. Badialzaman, who slept in the shop, took clothes from one of the balls similar to those which were already far advanced, and put them in the place of the others. The tailor was astonished [at their fine workmanship] and wished to take the prince with him to receive a present, but he refused, alleging as an excuse that he had so lately come to the town. When the fairies saw the clothes, they thought it a good omen.

The wedding day arrived, and they threw the jaríd,[437] [and practised other martial exercises]. It was a grand festival, and all the shops were closed. The tailor wished to take the prince to see the spectacle, but he put him off with an excuse. However, he went to a retired part of the town, where he struck fire with a gun,[438] and burned a little of the horse-hair. The horse appeared, and he told him to bring him a complete outfit all in red, and that he should likewise appear with trappings, jewels &c., and a reed (jaríd) of the same colour. The prince then mounted the horse, and proceeded to the race-course, where his appearance excited general admiration. At the close of the sports, he cut off the head of Prince Rostam, and the horsemen pursued him, but were unable to overtake him, and soon lost sight of him. He returned to the shop dressed as usual before the arrival of the tailor, who related to him what had happened, of which he pretended to be entirely ignorant. There was a great mourning at the court; but three months afterwards, fresh robes were ordered for the wedding of the second prince. The fairies were confirmed in their suspicions when they saw the fresh clothes [which Badialzaman sent them].

On the wedding day they again assembled to throw the jaríd. Prince Badialzaman now presented himself on the white horse, robed in white, and with pearls and jewels to match, and again he attracted general admiration. He pushed himself into the midst of a guard of eight hundred horsemen, and slew Gaiath Eddin. They rushed upon him, and he allowed himself to be carried before the Sultan, who recognised him, [and pronounced his decision], “A brother who has been abandoned to die by his brothers, has a right to kill them.”

After this, Prince Badialzaman espoused the youngest princess, and the two others were given in marriage to two princes who were related to the Sultan.



P. 475.—There is a small Dutch work, the title of which is as follows:

Oostersche Vertellingen, uit de Duizend-en-een-Nacht: Naar de Hoogduitsche Bewerking van M. Claudius,[439] voor de Nederlandsche Jeugduiitgegeven door J. J. A. Gouverneur. Te Groningen, bij B. Wolters (n.d. 8vo.), pp. 281, col. front. (illustrating No. 170).

A composite juvenile edition, including Introduction (very short), and Nos. 251g, 36a, 163 (complete form), 6ef, 4, 5, 1, 52, 170, 6ee, 223, 207c, 6, 194c, 206a, 204h, 2a, 174a and Introduction, (a.)

Derived from at least four different sources.


Under this heading I have to record Sir Richard and Lady Burton’s own works.

Lady Burton’s Edition of her husband’s Arabian Nights, translated literally from the Arabic, prepared for household reading by Justin Huntly Mc.Carthy, M.P., London, Waterlow and Sons, Roy. 8vo. 6 vols.

In preparing this edition for the press, as much as possible has been retained, both of the translation and notes; and it has not been found necessary to omit altogether more than a very few of the least important tales. The contents of the 6 volumes are as follows:—

Vol I. (1886), Frontispiece (Portrait of Lady Burton), Preface, Translator’s Foreword, Introduction, 1–9 (pp. xxiii. 476).

Vol. II. (1886), Frontispiece (Portrait of Sir Richard F. Burton), 9 (continued), 9a–29 (pp. ii. 526).

Vol. III. (1887), 29 (continued)–133e (pp. viii. 511).

Vol. IV. (1887), 133e (continued)–154a (pp. iv. 514).

Vol. V. (1887), 154a (continued)–163 (pp. iv. 516).

Vol. VI. (1886) [? 1888], 163 (continued)–169 (pp. ii. 486).

Also includes Terminal Essay, Index to Tales and Proper Names; Contributions to Bibliography, as far as it relates to Galland’s MS. and Translations!; Comparative Table of Tales; Opinions of the Press; and Letters from Scholars.

Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, with notes anthropological and explanatory, by Richard F. Burton. Benares, printed by the Kamashastra Society for private subscribers only. Roy. 8vo.

The contents of the 6 volumes are as follows:

Vol. I. (1886) Translator’s Foreword, 170–181bb (pp. xi. 370).

Vol. II. (1886) 182–189. Appendix: Variants and analogues of some of the tales in vols. i. and ii., by Mr. W. A. Clouston (pp. ix. 392).

These two volumes contain the tales peculiar to the Breslau Text, and cover the same ground as Mr. Payne’s 3 vols. of “Tales from the Arabic.”

370Vol. III. (1887) Foreword, 191–198. Appendix: Variants and Analogues of the Tales in the Supplemental Nights, vol. iii., by Mr. W. A. Clouston (pp. xvi. 661).

This volume, the bulkiest of the whole series, contains such of Galland’s tales as are not to be found in the ordinary texts of the Nights.

Vol. IV. (1887) The Translator’s Foreword, 203–209; App. A. Ineptiæ Bodleianæ; App. B. The three untranslated tales in Mr. E. J. W. Gibb’s “Forty Vezirs” (pp. xv., 381).

Vol. V. (1888) 210–241a, Translator’s Foreword; App. i. Catalogue of Wortley Montague Manuscript; Contents; App. ii. Notes on the Stories contained in vols. iv. and v. of Supplemental Nights, by Mr. W. F. Kirby (pp. viii. 515).

These two volumes contain tales translated from the Wortley Montague MS., used by Jonathan Scott, and now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The following tales, not in our table, are added:—

Vol. IV. Story of the Limping Schoolmaster (between 204i and 204j).

How Drummer Abu Kasim became a Kazi, and Story of the Kazi and his Slipper. (These two tales come between 206a and 206b.)

Adventure of the Fruit-seller and the Concubine (between 207c and 207d).

Tale of the third Larrikin concerning himself (between 208 and 209).

On the other hand, a few tales in the MS. are omitted as repetitions, or as too unimportant to be worth translating:—

Vol. VI. (1888). Translators Foreword: 248; 246; The Linguist-Dame, the Duenna, and the King’s Son; 247; The Pleasant History of the Cock and the Fox; History of what befel the Fowl-let with the Fowler; 249; 250.

App. i. Index to the Tales and Proper Names; ii. Alphabetical Table of the Notes (Anthropological, &c.); iii. Notes on the Stories contained in vol. vi. of Supplementary Nights, by W. F. Kirby; iv. Additional Notes on the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights, by W. F. Kirby (pp. 201, 384.); v. The Biography of the Book and the Reviewers Reviewed, Opinions of the Press.

This volume contains the originals of Chavis and Cazotte’s Tales, omitting the four doubtful ones (cf. Nights, x. App., pp. 470, 471).


“We have also ‘Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp,’ ‘Sindbad the Sailor, or the Old Man of the Sea’ and ‘Ali Baba, or the Forty Thieves,’ revised by M. E. Braddon, author of ‘Lady Audley’s Secret,’ etc. Illustrated by Gustav Doré and other artists. London: J. & R. Maxwell.

“Miss Braddon has contented herself with ‘Englishing’ the vulgar version, whose Gallicisms are so offensive to the national ear.” (Sir R. F. Burton, in litt.)


13. History of Rhedi, the Hermit of Mount Ararat, an Oriental Tale. By—Mackenzie, 16mo., Dublin, 1781.

I have not seen this little book.

37114. Miscellanies, consisting of poems, classical extracts, Oriental Apologues. By William Beloe, F.S.A, Translator of Herodotus, &c. London, 1795.

Includes some genuine Oriental tales, such as a version of that of Básim the Smith.

15. The Orientalist, Letters of a Rabbi, with Notes by James Noble, Oriental Master in the Scottish Naval and Military Academy. Edinburgh, 1831.

Noticed by Mr. W. A. Clouston, Suppl. Nights, iii., p. 573.

16. The Adventures of the Caliph Haroun Al-raschid. Recounted by the Author of “Mary Powell” [Miss Manning]. 8vo., London, 1855; Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co.

17. The 1001 Days, a Companion to the Arabian Nights, with introduction by Miss [J.] Pardoe. 8vo, London, 1857, woodcuts.

A miscellaneous collection (partly derived from “Les Mille et un Jours”) (cf. Nights, x., pp. 499, 500). I have also seen a similar miscellaneous collection in French under the latter title. The tales in the English work are as follows:

Hassan Abdallah, or the Enchanted Keys.
Story of Hassan.
Story of the Basket Maker.
Story of the Dervise Abounader.
Soliman Bey and the Story Tellers.
The First Story Teller.
The Second Story Teller.
The Third Story Teller.
Prince Khalaf and the Princess of China.
Story of Prince Al-Abbas.
Story of Liri-in.
The Wise Dey.