Part 3 out of 4
Once upon a time the King of Singapore ordered Badang to fetch for his
repast the fruit of _kouras_, at the river Sayang. Badang went there
alone in his _pilang_, or boat, which was eight fathoms long, and he
punted it with a pole cut from the trunk of a kampas-tree a fathom in
When he arrived at the river Sayang, he clasped the _kouras_-tree. The
branches broke, the tree fell, and his head struck against a huge rock.
His head was not injured, but the rock was split in two. This stone is
still seen to-day on the river Sayang, and it bears the name of Balou-
blah, which means the "Riven Rock." His pole and boat have also been
preserved to the present day. The day following his exploit Badang
started back for Singapore, with his _pilang_ completely laden with
sugar-cane, bananas, and _keladion_, or edible lily, root. He had eaten
the whole cargo before he arrived at Djohor-the-Old.
On another occasion the King of Singapore had caused a large ship to be
built, fifteen fathoms long, in front of the palace. The vessel being
finished, between forty and fifty men were ordered to push it into the
water. They were unable to launch it. As many as 2,000 or 3,000 persons
were equally unsuccessful. Then the King ordered Badang to undertake
the operation. Badang undertook the task unaided, and pushed with such
force that the vessel went right across the strait to the other shore.
For this feat the King appointed him _houloubalong_, or officer of
A report reached the province of Kling that among the officers of the
King was a man of extraordinary strength, named Badang. Now there was a
powerful athlete at the court of the King of Kling, who had no rival in
the country. His name was Madia-Bibjaya-Pelkrama. The King ordered him
to go to Singapore with seven vessels; "Go," said he, "and wrestle with
this officer. If he defeat you, give him as a prize the cargo of the
seven vessels; if you are victorious, demand of him an equal forfeit."
"I obey, your Majesty," said the athlete, and started off with the
When he arrived at Singapore they brought news to the King of the city,
saying: "An athlete has arrived from the land of Kling to compete with
Badang in many kinds of sports. If he is defeated, he will leave the
cargo of his seven vessels as forfeit."
The King came out of his palace to give audience. The Hindoo athlete
presented himself. The prince told him to try a bout with Badang.
Badang beat him in every round.
Now facing the _balerong_, or court of audience, was an enormous rock.
The athlete said to Badang: "Come, let us match our strength by lifting
this stone. Whoever cannot lift it will be conquered."
"Do you try first," said Badang.
The athlete commenced, and made many attempts without succeeding in
lifting it. At last, mustering all his strength, he raised it to the
height of his knee and let it fall again.
"Now it is your turn, my master," he said.
"Very good," answered Badang, and lifting the stone he swung it in the
air, then hurled it toward the river, at the entrance to the town,
where it is still seen at the extremity of the point of Singapore.
The athlete of Kling, thus vanquished, handed to Badang the seven
vessels and their cargoes; then he returned, very much saddened and
mortified by his defeat.
Now the report came to the country of Perlak that there was at
Singapore an officer of the King named Badang without a rival in
extraordinary strength. The King of Perlak, so runs the story, had an
athlete named Bandarang, also very strong and of a great reputation.
This athlete was before the King when they spoke of Badang.
"My lord," he asked, "is Badang stronger than I am? If you will permit
me, I will go to Singapore to try an assault with him."
"Very well; go to Singapore," said the King. Turning to the prime
minister, Toun Parapatih, he said:
"Get ready a _praho_, for I am going to send Bandarang to Singapore."
When all was ready, a royal litter was prepared and the minister
embarked with the athlete, and after a while reached Singapore. Prince
Sri Rana Ouira Krama received the King's litter in the audience-
chamber, among the radjas, ministers, body-guards, heralds, and other
grand officers upon his command.
Then the prince, addressing the ambassador, asked: "With what
commission is our brother charged?"
The ambassador replied: "Behold, I have received the command of your
illustrious younger brother to bring here this subject Bandarang, to
try his strength with Badang. If Bandarang is vanquished, your brother
will place at your Majesty's feet the contents of a storehouse; and if
Badang succumbs, you shall offer us the equivalent."
"Very well," said the King; "to-morrow everything shall be arranged for
the struggle." The King retired to the palace, summoned Badang, and
said to him:
"You know, Badang, that to-morrow you will have to contend with
"My lord," answered Badang, "know that this man is a powerful athlete,
of extraordinary strength, famous in all countries. If your slave is
vanquished will it not cast some discredit on the sovereign? If your
Majesty thinks it wise, let us both be called into your presence
together, so that I may test him; and if I feel myself capable of
competing with him, we will have the contest; but if he is too strong
for me, then your Majesty can oppose the struggle."
"You are right," said the King. That is why, when night came, the
prince invited Toun Parapatih Pendek, Bandarang, and their companions.
When they arrived they were served with a collation. Bandarang was
seated beside Badang, who began to test him. They tried each other's
strength without attracting attention.
At the end of an hour, when the guests were in wine, the King asked
Badang if he were strong enough to struggle with Bandarang, who
declared that he was equal to him. On the other hand, when Toun
Parapatih Pendek had returned to the ship, Bandarang said to him:
"Lord, if you will permit me to advise, there will be no contest
between Badang and me. I might not conquer, for I have learned how
powerful he is."
"Very well," said the minister; "it is very easy to arrange that."
So the minister said to the King: "It is my opinion that we should
prevent this struggle; for if one of the contestants should be
vanquished in some bad way, a quarrel might arise out of it between
your Majesty and the sovereign your brother."
The King agreed, and the ambassador asked leave to return home. The
prince had a letter written for the King of Perlak. It was carried in
state on board the ship and the envoy, after receiving vestments of
honor, set sail to his own country. Arriving, he told the King all that
had taken place. Later Badang died and was buried at Bourou. When the
news of his death arrived at that country, the King of Kling sent a
carved stone, which is now seen at Bourou.
And now as to the kings of Pasey. The authors of this story declare
that there were two brothers named Marah who lived near Pasangan. They
were originally from the mountain of Sanggong. The elder was named
Mara-Tchaga, and the younger Marah-Silou. Marah-Silou was engaged in
casting nets. Having taken some _kalang-kalang_, he rejected them and
cast his net anew. The _kalang-kalang_ were caught again. After several
attempts with the same result, Marah-Silou had these _kalang-kalang_
boiled. And behold, the wretched things became gold and their froth
became silver. Marah-Silou caught more _kalang-kalang_, boiled them,
and again saw them become gold and silver. He had thus acquired much
store of gold and silver, when one day the news came to Marah-Tchaga
that his younger brother was catching _kalang-kalang_, and he was so
irritated that he wished to kill him. When Marah-Silou learned of this
design, he took refuge in the forest of Djawn. The place where he
fished is still called the Plain of Kalang-Kalang.
Marah-Silou, established in the forest of Djawn, gave gold to those who
dwelt there, and they all obeyed his commands. One day when he was
hunting, his dog, named Si Pasey, began to bark on a slight hill which
one would have believed made by the hand of man. Climbing the small
hill he saw an ant as big as a cat. He took it and ate it up. The place
was afterward called Samodra; that is to say, "The Big Ant." Now it is
said that the prophet of God--blessings be upon him!--once told his
"There will be a country some day, toward the south, called Samoudra.
When you hear it spoken of, hasten thither to convert the inhabitants
to Islam, for in that country many will become the friends of God. But
there will also be the king of a country called Mataba, whom you must
take with you."
A long time after this decree of the prophet, the fakir Mahomet went to
Samoudra. Reaching the shore, he met Marah-Silou, who was gathering
shells. The fakir asked him:
"What is the name of this country?"
"Its name is Samoudra," answered Marah-Silou.
"And what is the sovereign's name?"
"I am the sovereign of all who dwell here," said Marah-Silou.
The fakir Mahomet converted Marah-Silou to Islam and taught him the
words of the creed. Now Marah-Silou being asleep dreamed that he was in
the presence of the prophet of God, and the prophet said to him,
"Marah-Silou, open your mouth." He opened it and the prophet spat in
it, and Marah-Silou, awaking, perceived throughout his whole body a
perfume like that of spikenard. When day broke he told his dream.
"This is truly the country of Samoudra of which the prophet of God has
spoken," said the fakir Mahomet. Bringing from the ship all the royal
ensigns aboard, he proclaimed Marah-Silou king with the title of Sultan
Sultan Melik-es-Salih sent Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din to the country of
Perlak. This prince had three daughters, two of blood-royal on their
mother's side, and one born of a concubine. The latter was called the
princess Ganggang. When Sidi Ali Ghaiath arrived at Perlak they showed
him the three daughters. The two sisters of the blood-royal were seated
lower than the princess Ganggang, who occupied a high seat. The latter,
by order of her father, was cleaning arec nuts for her two sisters,
like one doing the honors of the household. She wore rose-colored
garments and a violet cloak. Her ears were adorned with _soubangs_ made
with the young leaves of the _lontar_. She was very beautiful.
Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din said to the King of Perlak, "That one of your
daughters who is seated above is the one I ask in marriage for my
master, your son." The envoy knew not that Princess Ganggang was the
daughter of a concubine.
The King burst out laughing. "Very well," he said, "let the will of my
son be accomplished." Then he gave orders to equip 100 _prahos_, and
Toun Parapatih received the command to accompany the princess to the
country of Samoudra.
Sultan Melik-es-Salih went to meet the princess as far as Djambou Ayer.
He introduced her into Samoudra with a thousand honors and splendors,
and married her. The marriage accomplished, the prince gave presents to
the ministers and to the officers, and showed himself lavish in gold
and silver to the poor of the country. As for Toun Parapatih Pendek, he
took leave to return to Perlak. Sultan Melik-es-Salih and the princess
Ganggang had two sons who received from the prince the names of Sultan
Melik-ed-Dhahir and Sultan Melik-el-Mansour. The elder was confided to
Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din and the other to Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din. Years
passed and the two young princes had grown up. Perlak had been
conquered by an enemy come from the opposite coast, and the inhabitants
of the country had migrated to Samoudra. Sultan Melik-es-Salih
conceived the plan of founding a city to establish his sons there. He
said to the great ones, "To-morrow I shall go hunting." The next
morning he set out, mounted on an elephant called Perma Diouana. He
passed to the other side of the water. When he came to land his dog Si
Pasey began to bark. The prince ran up and saw that he was barking
before a hillock, sufficiently extended for the erection of a palace
and its dependencies, level on top and well disposed. Sultan Melik had
the ground cleared and built a palace and a city there. After the name
of his dog he called the palace Pasey, and established as king his son
Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir, with Sidi Ali Ghaiath as minister. He divided
his men, his elephants, and his royal standards into two parts, one for
each of his sons.
Some time after this, the prince, having fallen ill, commanded the
grandees to assemble and called his two sons and spoke as follows: "Oh,
my two sons, and you all, my companions, my last hour is approaching.
You men be good to those whom I leave behind. And you, my sons, beware
of being envious of another's good, and of the wives and daughters of
your subjects. Maintain between you the union of two brothers, abstain
from all injustice, and avoid between you every cause of quarrel." He
said also to Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din and to Sidi Asmai-ed-Din:
"Oh, my brothers, take care of these two sons. Stir not up trouble
between them. Be faithful to them and never give your allegiance to
another king." The two young princes bowed their heads and wept.
As for the two ministers, "Lord," they said, "light of our eyes, we
swear by the sovereign Master who created the worlds that we will never
break our promises, that we will never lack in our fidelity or render
homage to another king than your two well-beloved sons."
Then Sultan Melik-es-Salih named his son Melik-el-Mansour, King of
Samoudra. Three days later he died and was buried in the interior of
the palace. Their father dead, the two young princes, his sons,
commanded the royal herald to assemble the officers and soldiers,
elephants and horses, as well as the royal insignia of the country of
Pasey. And the two cities grew and flourished more and more. God knows
best the truth. He is our aid and our refuge.
Now this is the story of the King Chehr-en-Naoui. His power was great,
his officers and soldiers innumerable. They told this prince that the
country of Samoudra had a large population, many merchants, and a
powerful king. Chehr-en-Naoui said to his officers:
"Which of you would be able to take the King of Samoudra?"
One of his officers very strong and brave, Aoui Ditchou, bowed and
said: "Lord, if your Majesty will give me 4,000 chosen warriors, I will
take the King of Samoudra alive and bring him to the foot of your
The King gave him the 4,000 warriors and 100 ships. When they were
ready Aoui Ditchou sailed toward Samoudra, feigning that the ships were
bent on commerce up to the very moment when they reached the end of the
voyage. Then he caused it to be said that he was an ambassador of the
King Chehr-en-Naoui, and the King of Samoudra sent some officers to
Landing, Aoui Ditchou put into four chests four lusty _houlou-balongs_,
to whom he said: "Presently, when you are in the presence of the King
of Samoudra, open the chests, leap out, and seize the King." The chests
were fastened from within. They took them ashore in state as presents
from the King Chehr-en-Naoui. When they were in the presence of the
prince, a message couched in flattering terms was read, and the chests
were brought in. Immediately the _houlou-balongs_ opened the chests,
sprang out, and seized the sovereign. The soldiers uttered fierce cries
and unsheathed their arms to attack the band of Chehr-en-Naoui's men.
But the latter cried:
"If you fall upon us, we will kill your King."
So the soldiers paused in their attack. Aoui Ditchou and his people
returned, bringing with them the King of Samoudra. They crossed the sea
and regained their own country. There the prisoner-King was conducted
by Aoui Ditchou before King Chehr-en-Naoui, who was very joyful and
loaded the head of the expedition and all his companions with honors.
As for the King of Samoudra, they made him a poultry-keeper.
Now let us talk of Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din. Having consulted with the
principal ministers in the country of Samoudra, he equipped a ship and
purchased a cargo of Arabic merchandise, for the inhabitants of Pasey
at that time all knew the Arabic language. Sidi Ali and the soldiers
whom he embarked on the ship with him took all the ways and manners of
the Arabs. The minister being on board and all being made ready, they
set sail for the country of Chehr-en-Naoui, where they arrived after a
short voyage. Sidi Ali landed and went to present himself to the King,
bearing as a gift a tree of gold, of which the fruits were all sorts of
precious stones, and which was worth an almost inconceivable sum. When
the prince saw this present he asked:
"What do you want of me?"
Sidi Ali replied, "We want nothing."
The King was highly pleased, although surprised by such a magnificent
present. And he said to himself, "Now, what can be the aim of these
people giving me all this?" The pretended Arabs returned to their
ships. A few days after, the master of the ship returned to visit the
King. This time he brought as a present a chess-board of gold of which
the chessmen were of precious stones, which was worth an enormous sum.
"What do you want of me?" again asked the prince. "Speak, that I may
And they replied, "We ask for nothing."
Then they returned to the ship. Some time later, when the favorable
monsoon blew for their return homeward, Sidi Ali Ghaiath thought upon
his departure. He went to see the King, laden with a present which
consisted of two golden ducks, male and female, enriched with precious
stones, and in a big golden basin. He filled this golden basin with
water, put in the ducks. They began to swim, dive, and pursue each
other, a sight at which the King marvelled much.
"I beg of you to tell me," he said, "what you desire of me. By the God
whom I worship, I swear to fulfil your wishes."
Then Sidi Ali answered: "Lord, if it is the accomplishment of your
favor, we beg that you will give us your poultry-keeper."
"It is the King of Pasey that you ask of me. But, very well, I grant
him to you."
"It is because he is a Mussulman," said the strangers, "that we ask him
of your Majesty."
The King Chehr-en-Naoui delivered therefore the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir
to Sidi Ali Gaiath-ed-Din, who took him on board the ship, gave him a
bath, and then clothed him in royal raiment. The wind blew, they
weighed anchor, set sail, and after a certain time arrived at the
country of Samoudra. And God knows the truth. He is our aid and our
Now we are going to speak of the King Melik-el-Mansour at Samoudra.
This prince said one day to Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din:
"I would like to go and see how my brother is getting along."
The minister answered, "Do not go, my lord, for fear of misfortune."
And, indeed, he tried to restrain his master. The prince would listen
to nothing, and finally the minister was silent. He ordered the drums
to beat, in order to make the announcement, "Sultan Melik-el-Mansour is
going to see the country of his brother."
Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din was not satisfied. He was an old minister who
knew that out of every affair causes of trouble may arise. But it was
his duty to obey. The prince started. He made the tour of the city of
Pasey, and then entered the palace of the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir. There
he fell in love with one of the ladies-of-honor of his brother's court,
and a quarrel arose between the two brothers on her account. Sultan
Melik-ed-Dhahir felt in the bottom of his heart a violent irritation
toward his brother.
Now he had a son named Radja Ahmed, very young when his father was
captured, but grown up when the prince was restored from the hands of
Chehr-en-Naoui. Sidi Ali Ghaiath-ed-Din having withdrawn from affairs,
a minister named Parapatih Toulous Toukang Sikari had replaced him in
his ministerial functions. One day the King said to the minister:
"What is your opinion concerning the act of Sultan Melik-el-Mansour?"
The minister answered: "We have a means----"
"But," answered the King, "it might involve his death."
"If he dies," replied the minister, "my name shall be no longer
"Give a family fÍte for your son Sultan Ahmed. We will invite Sultan
Melik-el-Mansour to the festival."
Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir gave orders then to decorate the city and made
preparations for the fete, and sent to find Sultan Melik-el-Mansour.
This prince was with Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din and his officers. They
introduced the prince and his minister, but left the officers outside.
When they had entered, Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir caused them both to be
seized and ordered one of his officers to conduct his brother to
Mandjang. "As for you," he said to Sidi Ali, "stay here. Do not try to
go with your master or I'll cut off your head."
Sidi Ali answered: "Rather let my head be separated from my body than
that the servant should be separated from his master."
So the King had his head cut off. The head was thrown into the sea and
the body impaled at the entrance to the Bay of Pasey. While they were
taking the Sultan Melik-el-Mansour toward the east in a _prabo_, at the
moment when they arrived near Djambou Ayer, the pilot saw a human head
floating in the water near the rudder. He recognized the head of Sidi
Ali. Informed of this event, Sultan Melik-el-Mansour caused the head to
be taken from the water. It was indeed that of his minister. Casting
his glances toward the land: "Behold," he said, "the Plain of
Illusions." And it bears that name, "Padang-Maya," to this day. The
prince sent to his brother and demanded the body of Sidi Ali; joined
the head with the body, and buried both in the Plain of Illusion. Then
he went back to Mandjang.
After the departure of the Sultan Melik-el-Mansour, King Melik-ed-
Dhahir had the family festival. The Sultan Melik-el-Mansour had been at
Mandjang three years when the Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir bethought him of
"Alas," he said, "I was truly too unwise. For a woman my brother
dethroned, and his minister is dead."
And the prince repented. He ordered some of his officers to go and find
his brother at Mandjang. They therefore brought back Sultan Melik-el-
Mansour with the regard due to a king. When they arrived near the Plain
of Maya, the prince landed to visit the tomb of Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din.
"I salute you, my father," he said. "Stay here, my father. As for me I
go away, called by my brother."
From the interior of the tomb Sidi Ali answered: "Where would the
prince go? It is better to remain here."
When the prince heard these words, he made his ablutions, said a couple
of prayers, then stretched himself upon the tomb and expired. They bore
to Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir the news that his brother was dead, in the
Plain of Maya, in the tomb of Sidi Ali Asmai-ed-Din. He started at
once, went to the place, and had his brother, Sultan Melik-el-Mansour,
buried with the ceremonies of great kings. Then, after returning to
Pasey, a prey to grief, he abdicated the throne in favor of his son,
Some time after this, Sultan Melik-ed-Dhahir fell ill. He gave Sultan
Ahmed his last instructions. "O my son," said he, "light of my eyes,
treasure of my heart, never neglect the advice of your old servitors.
In every affair take counsel with your ministers. Neglect not the
duties of piety to God, the sovereign Master. Beware of injustice to
Sultan Ahmed heard in tears the last words of his father. The prince
died, and they buried him near the mosque.
Sultan Ahmed was for many years on the throne and governed with much
justice. Now, the author of this story says: "There was at Pasey a
servant of God named Toun Djana Khatite. This man made the voyage to
Singapore with two companions. Crossing the square of Singapore he
passed by the palace of the King and saw the Queen. Near the palace was
an areca tree, and while Toun Djana was looking at the Queen the tree
split in two. At sight of this, King Sri Maharadja was extremely
irritated. 'You see,' he cried, 'the conduct of Toun Djana Khatite. To
call the attention of the Queen, he has acted thus. And he ordered him
to be killed. So Toun Djana was led to the place of punishment, near a
cake-shop, where Toun Djana Khatite received the blow of the poniard;
his blood ran on the earth, but his body disappeared and no one could
ever tell what became of it. The cake-shop-keeper covered the blood
with the cake-cover, and the cake-cover was changed into stone, which
is still seen at Singapore. According to a tradition, the body of Toun
Djana Khatite was transported to Langkaoui and there buried."
Some time later came the sea-monsters called _toudaks_ and attacked
Singapore. They leaped upon the shore, and people who were there died
in great numbers, overtaken by these _toudaks_. If they struck a man on
the breast, they pierced to his back. If they struck the neck or the
loins, they pierced clear through from one side to the other. There
were many killed. People ran about crying:
"The _toudaks_ are attacking us!"
"What shall we do?"
"How many dead? We shall all perish!"
Padouka Sri Maharadja in great haste mounts the elephant and goes
forth, followed by his ministers, his body-guards, and all his
officers. Arriving at the seashore he sees with horror the work of
these monsters, the _toudaks_. Whoever was wounded by them inevitably
perished. The number of the victims became larger and larger. The
prince ordered the men to make a rampart of their legs, but in their
boundings the _toudaks_ succeeded in passing this barrier. They came
like the rain, and the slaughter was terrible. While this was happening
a young boy said:
"Why make thus a rampart of our legs? That is an artifice very much to
our hurt. If we should make a rampart of the trunks of banana-trees,
would not that be better?"
When Padouka Sri Maharadja heard the words of the child, "He is right,"
he said. And on his orders they hastened to construct a barrier of
banana-tree trunks. When the _toudaks_ came bounding along their snouts
were buried in the tree-trunks, and the men ran up and killed them.
There perished thus of these _toudaks_ a number beyond computation.
Their bodies formed heaps on the shore, and all the population of
Singapore did not suffice to eat them. And the _toudaks_ ceased their
leapings. They say, by the force of their boundings the _toudaks_
reached the elephant of the prince and tore the sleeve of his cloak.
About this they made a song:
"The boundings of the _toudaks_ tore
The mantle which the Sultan wore,
But here they ceased their onset wild,
Thanks to the wisdom of a child."
While Padouka Sri Maharadja was returning, the grandees said to him:
"Lord, this child, though so young, has much wit. What will it be when
he has grown up? You had better get rid of him." That is why they found
it just that the King should give the order for him to be killed.
After they had caused this young boy to perish, it seems that the city
of Singapore felt the weight of his blood.
Padouka Sri Maharadja reigned some time still and then died. He had as
successor his son Padja Is Keuder Chah, who married the daughter of
Toun Parapatih Toulous, and by her had a son named Radja Ahmed Timang-
timanganga Radja Besar Mouda. This young prince was handsome and well
formed, without equal in those days. When he was of age his father
married him to the daughter of the King Salamiam, King of Kota-
Mahlikie, who was named Kamar-al-Adjaaib, a princess of unrivalled
beauty. King Is Keuder Chah had a _bendahari_, or major-domo, named
Lang Radjouna Tapa, of the race of ancient inhabitants of Singapore,
father of a very beautiful girl in the court of the King. The other
court ladies calumniated this young woman, and the King in a rage
ordered her to be impaled in the corner of the marketplace.
Lang Radjouna Tapa was extremely wounded by the treatment of his
daughter. "If in truth my daughter had offended," said he, "you might
have simply had her killed. But why dishonor us thus?" On this he wrote
a letter to Java saying, "If the Batara of Madjapahit wishes to attack
Singapore let him come at once, for I will give him entrance into the
When the Batara of Madjapahit had read this letter he caused to be
equipped 300 junks and a great quantity of other boats. A hundred
thousand Javanese embarked, crossed the sea, and attacked Singapore. At
the end of several days King Is Keuder commanded his major-domo to
carry rice for the rations of the troops. Lang Radjouna Tapa answered,
"There is no more, my Lord." For he wished to betray him. At daybreak
he opened the gates of the fortifications and the Javanese entered.
Inside the town there was a frantic combat. So many people were killed
on each side that blood flowed like water. From this came the marks of
blood which are seen to this day in the Plain of Singapore. The natives
ceased their struggle and King Is Keuder escaped, descending from
Salitar to the Moara coast. By the will of God, the house of Lang
Radjouna Tapa was overturned, the storehouse for rice fell to pieces,
and the rice was changed to earth. The _bendahari_ himself and his wife
were changed to stone, and these stones are still found in the ditch at
Singapore. After this victory the Javanese returned to Madjapahit.
On arriving at Moara, King Is Keuder halted at nightfall. Now there
came a multitude of iguanas, and, when day dawned they saw them
gathered in a crowd near the halting-place. They killed them and threw
their bodies into the river. But at night, iguanas again came in mass.
The next morning the Singaporeans killed them, but that night as many
more arrived. So that the place became putrid from the multitude of
their bodies. The quarter is still called Biaoak Bousok, or "Putrid
King Is Keuder Chah set out and came to another place, where he built a
fort. But all they constructed by day was overturned by night. And the
place still bears the name of Kota-Bourok, or "Ruined Fort."
Starting from there the King advanced into the interior during many
days and came to the Saning Oudjong. He found this place agreeable and
left a minister there. Hence comes it that to this day Saning Oudjong
is the residence of a minister. Then the King returned toward the coast
near a river at the shore of the sea. The river was called Bartain. Is
Keuder Chah halted at the foot of a very bushy tree. Then he began
hunting. His dog, chasing some game, was struck by the foot of a little
white gazelle and fell into the water. On this the prince cried:
"Here is a good place to build a city, for even the little gazelles are
And all the grandees said, "His Majesty is right." The King therefore
gave orders for the construction of a city at this place. He asked,
"What is the name of this tree against which I have been leaning?"
Someone answered, "It is a malaka-tree." "Very well," said he, "let
Malaka be the name of the city."
The prince established himself at Malaka. He had lived thirty-two years
at Singapore, up to the capture of that town by the Javanese. He lived
for three years more at Malaka, and then died, by the vicissitudes of
this world, and had as successor his son Radja Besar Mouda.
This prince governed with justice. He regulated the etiquette of the
court. He first established a ministry of ceremonies to direct people
who came to Balerong, and forty heralds who stood below the throne
ready to take the orders of the King and carry to him the words of the
public. He instituted among the sons of the grandees a body of pages
serving as royal messengers and bearing everywhere the royal equipage.
This prince had three sons, Radeu Bagousa, Radeu Tengah, and Radeu
Anoumah, who all married daughters of Bauhara Toun Parapatih Toulous.
At his death, Radeu Bagousa took his functions with the title of Toun
Parapatih Permouka Berdjadjar.
When, by the vicissitudes of the world, King Besar Mouda died, his son
Radeu Tengah succeeded him. The latter had a son called Radja Kitchil
Bessar, who at his death was his successor. He was just and guarded the
interests of his subjects. No one in his time among the kings of the
world equalled him in liberality. And the city of Malaka became large,
well peopled, and the meeting-place of merchants. This King married a
daughter of Toun Parapatih Permouka Berdjadjar, and by her had two
sons, Radja Kitchil Mainbang and Radja Makat. He reigned for a certain
time, when one night he dreamed that he was in the presence of the
glorious prophet of God, on whom be blessings! And the prophet said to
him, "Recite the words of the creed." And Radja Kitchil Bessar did as
the prophet commanded.
"Your name shall be Sultan Mahomet," said the prophet. "To-morrow at
the moment of the Asr (in the afternoon) there will arrive a ship from
Djedda, from which the men will descend to pray on the shore of Malaka.
Follow all their orders."
"Yes, Lord," replied the prince, "I shall obey your word."
And the prophet disappeared. When day came the King awaked. He
perceived upon his body the odor of spikenard and saw that he bore
certain marks. "It is clear," he thought, "that my dream does not come
from Satan." And he began to recite without relaxation the words of the
The ladies-of-honor who were in the palace were very much surprised to
hear the King speak thus. "Has the King been touched by Satan, or has
he lost his wits? Let us hasten to inform the _bendahari_." They ran to
tell the _bendahari,_ who came at once, entered the palace, and saw the
King repeating without cessation the words of the creed.
"What is this language in which the King is speaking?" said the
"Last night," said the King, "I dreamed that I was in the presence of
the glorious prophet." And he told his dream to the _bendahari_.
"If your dream is not an illusion," said the latter, "what is the
"Here is the sign that proves that I have really seen in a dream the
prophet of God. Furthermore, the prophet told me: 'To-day, at Asr,
there will arrive a ship from Djedda, from which the people will
descend to say their prayers on the shore of Malaka. Follow their
The _bendahari_ was surprised at seeing the marks on the King.
"Truly," he said, "if a ship arrives at the hour stated, then your
dream is a reality. If it does not arrive, we shall judge that Satan
must have troubled your spirit."
The King replied, "My father is right." And the _bendahari_ returned to
Now at the hour of Asr there arrived a ship from Djedda which cast
anchor. The master came on shore. He was called Sidi Abd-el-Aziz. He
said his prayers on the shore of Malaka. The inhabitants, astonished at
the sight, said:
"Why does he stoop so and prostrate himself so?"
And to see him better, the people pressed around, leaving no spot
vacant, and making a great tumult.
The noise reached the palace, and the King mounted an elephant and came
in haste, accompanied by his grandees. He saw the master making all the
ceremonies of his prayer, and all was in evident accord with the dream.
"It is exactly as in my dream," he exclaimed to the _bendahari_ and the
When the master had finished praying, the King made his elephant stoop,
and took up the master with him and carried him to the palace. The
_bendahari_ and the grandees all became Mussulmans, and by command of
the King so did all the population, men and women, great and small,
young and old. The master taught the King the ceremonies of prayer, and
gave him the name of Sultan Mahomet Chah. The _bendahari_ received the
title of Sri Ouak Radja; that is to say, "Paternal Uncle of the King,"
which he was in fact. And that is the first title of the _bendahari_.
Sultan Mahomet regulated the ceremonial customs of the court. He was
the first to prohibit yellow for the clothes of the person strange to
the court, for handkerchiefs, borders of curtains, pillow-cases,
mattresses, coverings of all kinds, ornaments of every nature, as well
as for the decoration of houses.
Furthermore the use of only three kinds of garments was permitted--the
_kain_, the _badjoa_, and the _destar_. It was also forbidden to
construct houses with projections sustained upon pillars not touching
the ground, or with pillars extending beyond the roof or with
observatories. The _prahos_ could have no windows in front. It was
forbidden to carry clasps or ornaments of gold on the _kris_. No one
strange to the court could have gold rings nor pins nor jingling
bangles of gold and silver. Nobody without the royal consent had the
right to wear on his clothes gilding of any sort; but the authorization
once granted, one might wear it indefinitely. When a man presented
himself at the palace, if he had a vesture falling beneath the girdle,
if his _kris_ was not attached in front, if he was not clad in a
_sabec_, he was not admitted, whatever might be his distinction. If
anyone entered with his _kris_ attached behind, the officer took it
away from him.
Such were formerly the prohibitions of the Malay kings. Whoever
transgressed was guilty of _lese-majeste_ and was condemned to pay a
fine of one to five katis. White parasols were held in higher esteem
than yellow ones, because they could be seen at a greater distance.
That is why they were ranked higher; the first were for the King and
the second for the princes. The objects of the king's private use, such
as the spittoon, the ewer for his ablutions, the fan, and other like
objects, had no fixed place, except the betel-tray and the sword, which
they kept at the right and left of the sovereign. At the arrival and
departure of an ambassador, the servitors of the King brought from the
palace dishes and basins which were received by the head of the
_bataras_ and deposited near the _bendahari_. They gave a dish and a
scarf to the bearer of the letter. If the missive came from Pasey or
from Harau, it was received with all the royal pomp--drum, flute,
trumpet, kettledrum, and two white parasols together; but the bugle did
not figure at this reception. The ministers preceded the elephant
bearing the message, the bataras followed it with the _sida-sida_. The
letter was borne by the chief of the _bedaouenda_, and they placed the
elephant at the extremity of the _balei_. For the kings of these two
countries were equal in greatness to the King of Malaka. Younger or
older, all gave the salaam.
Having reached the audience-chamber, the letter was received by the
chief of heralds of the right, the one of the left being charged with
transmitting the words of the King to the ambassador, and the herald of
the right transmitted the answer. If the message came from another
country than Pasey and Harau, they suppressed part of the men. The
_cortege_ included only the drum, the flute, and a yellow parasol. They
took, as was suitable, now an elephant, now a horse, and they halted
outside the first exterior gate. When the message came from a more
considerable sovereign, they employed the flute and two parasols, one
white and one yellow. The elephant passed through the exterior gate,
for formerly the royal entrance included seven fortifications. At his
departure, the ambassador received a complete investiture, even were he
only a simple ambassador of Rakan. The same gift was offered to our own
ambassadors at the moment of their departure.
When the King conferred a title, he gave audience in the _falerong_,
with the following procedure: According to the rank, the person to be
honored was brought on an elephant, on horseback, or simply on foot,
with parasol, drum, and flute. There were green, blue, and red
parasols. The noblest were the yellow and the white, which with the
kettle-drums represented the height of distinction. The yellow with the
trumpet was also very distinguished; they were the parasols of the
princes and greatest personages. The violet, red, and green parasols
were those of the _sida-sida_, of the _bataras_, and of the _houlou
balongs_. The blue and black ones served for any other person summoned
to receive a title. When the personage arrived at the palace, he was
detained without. Then they read before the King a very fine piece. It
was a descendant of Batl that held this office. The piece read, they
took it out. He who received it was of the family of the candidate for
honors. With this piece they brought a _tetampan_ scarf with which the
reader invested the candidate, whom he then introduced into the
audience-chamber. There a mat was stretched for him to sit upon in
whatever place the King designated.
Then arrived the vestments. For a personage promoted to the ranks of
the _bendahari_ there were five trays. The sons of radjas and the grand
officers had four trays only, and so on down through the various ranks.
The servitors of the King charged with this duty approached the
beneficiary and placed the vestments upon his shoulders. He crossed his
arms, to hold the vestments in place, and they took him outside. The
etiquette in that was the same for ambassadors awarded an investiture,
each according to the rights of his rank. The beneficiary dressed
himself outside and then re-entered. They decorated him with a frontlet
and with bracelets, for every man who received a title wore bracelets,
each according to his dignity. Some had bracelets in the form of a
dragon with amulets, others had bracelets of precious stones, others of
blue enamel, others of silver. These wore them on both wrists, those on
only one. The beneficiary thus decorated went and bowed before the
King. Then he returned accompanied according to his rank, or by the
person who introduced him. The _cortŤge_ included now a drum and a
flute alone, now trumpets or kettledrums, sometimes a white parasol;
but the white parasol was a rare honor, as well as the kettle-drums,
for the yellow parasol and the trumpet were very hard to obtain in
On festival days, when the King went forth in a palanquin, he was
surrounded by high officers of state. At the head, before the
sovereign, marched the _bataras_ and the _houlou balongs_, each
following their charge. Footmen, also before the King, bore the royal
insignia. The royal pikes were at the right and left; the _bataras_ had
sword at shoulder. Before them marched the lancers. When the King gives
a festival it is the _panghoulou bendahari_ who arranges everything
inside the palace, stretches mats, decorates the _balerong_, and places
the _bangings_ on the ceilings. It is he who looks after the repasts
and sends the invitations; for the servitors of the King, his
_bendahari_, his tax-gatherers, and the receiver of the port all depend
on the administration of the _panghoulou bendahari_. He invites the
guests and the _temonggoreg_ seats them. In the hall the guests eat
four at a dish, to the end of the platform. If any one of the various
fours are lacking the others eat without him, by threes or by twos or
even one alone. For it is not permitted for those below to ascend to
make up the number. The _bendahari_ eats alone or from the same dish as
Such was in former days the etiquette of Malaka. There were many other
regulations, but to relate them all would weary the attentions of my
readers. At the month of Ramadhau, at the twenty-seventh night, while
it was still light, they went in state to make adorations to the
mosque. The _Temonggoreg_ was at the head of the elephant. They first
took in state to the mosque the betel-tray, the royal insignia, and the
drum. When night came, the King started for the mosque, following the
ceremonial of festival days, made the prayer of perfumes, and returned.
The next day the _laksamana_ carried in state the turban, for the Malay
kings were accustomed to go to the mosque in a turban, a _badjon_, and
a _sarong_. These vestments were forbidden at weddings except by
express permission. It was also forbidden to dress in the Hindoo
fashion. Only those persons who had worn this costume for a long time
were allowed to wear it at prayers and at weddings. Festival days,
great or small, the _bendahari_ and the grandees assembled at the
palace, and the _panghoulou bendahari_ brought in pomp the palanquin.
As soon as they saw it appear, the persons seated in the _balei_
descended and stood about. Seven times they beat upon the drum, and
each time the trumpet sounded. After the seventh, the King set out on
an elephant and came to the platform erected for that purpose, which he
mounted. At sight of him, all those present bowed to the earth, except
the _bendahari_, who mounted the platform to receive him. The palanquin
having approached, the King placed himself in it, and they started for
the mosque according to the ceremonial above mentioned.
Such was formerly the etiquette of the Malay kings. Such I learned it,
such I tell it. If I commit any error, I desire to be convicted by
anyone who has given attention to this story, and implore the
indulgence of the reader.
THE PRINCESS DJOUHER-MANIKAM
[_Translated by Aristide Marre and Chauncey C. Starkweather_]
This is the history of the Princess Djouher-Manikam, whose renown is
celebrated in all lands, windward and leeward.
There was in the city of Bagdad a king named Haroun-er-Raschid,
sovereign of a vast empire. He was a prince who feared God the
almighty, and worthy of all praise, for he was a king descended from
the prophet. After having lived for some time in his kingdom, he
desired to start on a pilgrimage. So he addressed his ministers and his
military chiefs and spoke to them as follows:
"O you all, my subjects, my officers, what is your opinion? I would
fain make a pilgrimage to the house of God."
The cadi, prostrating himself, answered: "Sire, King of the world, the
will of your sublime Majesty is very just, but in my opinion your
departure would cause the ruin of the inhabitants of the fields, and
those of your subjects who accompany you will have much to suffer."
The prince, having heard these words, said: "The opinion of the cadi is
loyal, and you, my officers, tell what is your advice."
The officers arose, then they prostrated themselves and spoke as
follows: "Sire, King of the world, we, your servants, beg you a
thousand and a thousand times to cause your forgiveness to descend upon
our heads, but how will your Majesty accomplish the pilgrimage? In whom
can you trust to protect the country and watch over the palace?"
The prince having heard these words of his officers, none of whom
approved of the pilgrimage, kept silence and restrained his anger, and
then departed and returned to the palace. Some days after this, by the
will of the most high God, the heart of the prince felt more keenly
still the desire to make the pilgrimage. He gave orders to gather
together the interpreters of the law, the wise men, and the _muftis_,
as well as the officers. When they were all assembled, the prince went
to the audience-chamber, and there before the officers of the court he
questioned one of the doctors. It was the _mufti_ of the city of
Bagdad. He, prostrating himself, said: "The pilgrimage of his Majesty
would be an excellent work, but is it of absolute necessity? For the
voyage will be very long, and there is no one, my lord, who would be
capable of ruling in the place of your sublime Majesty."
The prince answered: "He in whom we first of all place our trust is
God. We shall hope then in the blessing of his envoy. We shall leave
the cadi here, and if it pleases God the most high, we shall return
promptly as soon as we have accomplished the pilgrimage."
The King therefore caused to be equipped and provided with all sorts of
provisions, those of his subjects who were going to accompany him, and
when, the favorable moment had arrived he started with the Queen, some
of the maids-of-honor, and his son named Minbah Chahaz. He took his
son, but he left behind, guarded in the palace, his daughter called the
Princess Djouher-Manikam. In those times there was no one in the
country of Bagdad who surpassed in beauty the Princess Djouher-Manikam.
Furthermore, she had in her heart the fear of God the most high and
worthy of all praise, and would not cease her prayers.
After travelling for some time, the prince her father arrived at Mecca,
and fulfilled his duties as a pilgrim. He recited the appropriate
prayers. But observing that there was still a great quantity of
provisions, the prince said to his officers:
"It is good for us to wait a year or so, for our provisions are yet
The officers replied: "It is well, lord of the world! Whatever may be
your Majesty's commands, we place them above our heads." "Since it is
thus," answered the prince, "it is fitting that we should send a letter
thus conceived: Peace and blessing upon the cadi: I place my trust in
God first of all, and in the cadi, to guard my kingdom, palace, and my
child the Princess Djouher-Manikam. Be a faithful guardian, neglect
nothing in the cares to be given to my kingdom, for I am going to
remain another year for the great pilgrimage.'"
The prince's letter reached the cadi. The latter gave all his efforts
to the good administration of the country, and, according to the words
of the prince, he avoided every negligence.
But one night while he was on watch near the fortifications of the
King's palace, Satan came to him and slid into his heart a temptation.
The cadi thought in his heart: "The King's daughter is of a marvellous
beauty; her name, Djouher-Mani-kam, is charming; and her face is
lovely. Since it is thus, I must marry this daughter of the King." The
cadi called the man who was guarding the gate, exclaiming:
"Ho! Guardian of the gate! Open unto me."
The guardian of the gate demanded, "Who is there?"
The cadi replied, "It is I, the cadi."
So the guardian promptly opened the gate, and the cadi entered within
the fortification, then went up into the palace and found the princess
there saying her evening prayers. He hid behind the lamp in a corner
which was dark. When her prayer was finished, the Princess Djouher-
Manikam cast her eyes in that direction and saw there was someone
standing there in the shadow, so three times again she said the "verse
of the Throne"; but she saw that the vision had not yet vanished from
Then the princess said in her heart: "What in the world is that? Is it
a ghost? Is it a demon? Is it a djinn? If it were, it would have
necessarily disappeared when I recited the 'verse of the Throne.'"
The cadi heard these words and said: "O Princess Djouher-Manikam, it is
I, the cadi."
"What are you doing here?" asked the princess. He answered, "I wish to
The Princess Djouher-Manikam said: "O cadi! Why do you act so to me?
Have you then no fear of God the most high and worthy of all praise? Do
you not blush before the face of my ancestor the prophet Mahomet, the
envoy of God? May the peace and blessings of God be upon him! As for
me, I am the servant of the Lord and I belong to the religion of the
envoy of God. I fear to marry now. And you, cadi, why do you act so? My
father gave you a charge. He sent you a letter which commanded you to
protect the country and all who dwelt in his palace. Why do you conduct
yourself in this fashion toward me?"
The cadi, hearing these words of the Princess Djouher-Manikam, felt a
great confusion in his heart. He went out of the palace and returned
home full of trouble and emotion. When it was day, the cadi sent a
letter to the King Haroun-er-Raschid at Mecca. It was thus conceived:
"Your Majesty left me to be guardian of his kingdom, his palace, and
his daughter. Now, the Princess Djouher-Manikam desires to marry me.
This is the reason why I send this letter to your Majesty." Thus spake
the cadi in his letter.
When it reached the prince and he had read it, he immediately summoned
his son Minbah-Chahaz. He came in haste, and the King gave him a
cutlass and said, "Return to Bagdad and slay your sister, because she
will bring shame upon the family by marrying now."
Minbah-Chahaz bowed before his father. Then he set out to return to his
Arriving at the end of his journey, he entered the city, and went up to
the palace of the Princess Djouher-Manikam. She was filled with joy and
said, "Welcome, O my brother!"
Minbah-Chahaz answered, "O my little sister, our parents will remain
for the great pilgrimage."
The brother and sister thus chatting together, the Princess Djouher-
Manikam said, "O my brother, I wish to sleep."
"It is well, my sister," answered Minbah-Chahaz; "sleep while your
brother combs his little sister's hair." And the princess Djouher-
Her brother then took a cushion, which he slipped under the head of the
young virgin his sister; then he thought in his heart: "If I do not
execute the commands of my father, I shall be a traitor to him. But,
alas, if I kill my sister, I shall not have a sister any more. If I do
not kill her, I shall certainly commit a crime against the most high,
because I shall not have obeyed the order of my father. I will fulfil
then my father's will. It is a duty obligatory on all children. What
good are these subterfuges?" His resolution thus confirmed, he bound
his handkerchief over his eyes and directed his cutlass against his
sister's neck. But at that instant, by the will of God the most high, a
little gazelle came up and, by the power of God the most high, placed
its neck upon the neck of the princess Djouher-Manikam, saying, "I will
take the place of the princess Djouher-Manikam." And the little gazelle
was killed by Minbah-Chahaz. That done he unbound his eyes and saw a
little gazelle lying dead with its throat cut, by the side of his young
sister the princess Djouher-Manikam.
At this sight, Minbah-Chahaz was stricken with astonishment. He thought
in his heart: "Since it is so with my sister, she must be entirely
innocent, and cannot have commited the least fault. Nevertheless,
although I am confident that she was calumniated by the cadi I must
tell my father that I have killed her."
Minbah-Chahaz set out then for Mecca, to find the prince his father.
When he had arrived at Mecca he presented to his father the cutlass
still stained with blood. The King Haroun-er-Raschid cried, "Praise be
to God, the Lord of the worlds. Our shame is now effaced, since you
have poniarded your sister and she is dead." Such were the deeds of
this first story.
The princess Djouher-Manikam, having awakened after the departure of
Minbah-Chahaz, saw that her brother was no longer there, but that at
her side there was a little gazelle with its throat cut. She thought in
her heart: "The cadi has slandered me to my father, and that is why my
brother came here with orders to kill me." The princess Djouher-Manikam
felt a great shame and thought in her heart, "Since it is so, I must
retire to a hidden place." Now in the King's park there was a solitary
place in the midst of a vast deserted plain. There was a pond of very
agreeable appearance there, many kinds of fruit-trees and flowers, and
an oratory beautifully built. The princess Djouher-Manikam set out and
retired to this place to pray to God the most high and worthy of all
praise. She was established there for some time when, by the will of
God the most high, a certain thing happened.
There was in the country of Damas a king who was named Radja Chah
Djouhou. This King wished to go hunting in the deserted forests. His
first minister said to him, bowing low: "O my lord, King of the world,
why does your Majesty wish to go hunting in foreign countries?"
King Chah Djouhou replied: "I insist upon my plan of going to hunt in
foreign lands, in forests far removed from ours. I wish to go from
place to place, from plain to plain. Such is my will." The prince set
out therefore accompanied by his ministers, his chiefs, and his
They had all been hunting for some time and had not yet found a single
bit of game. The prince had directed his march toward the forests of
the country of Bagdad. These forests were of immense extent. The heat
was excessive, and the prince, being very thirsty, wanted a drink of
water. The people who generally carried water for the King said to him:
"O lord, sovereign of the world, your Majesty's provision of water is
The prince then asked of his officers and servants: "Which of you can
get me water? I will reward him with riches and with slaves."
These words were heard by one of his officers named Asraf-el-Kaum. He
said: "O my lord, sovereign of the world, give me the vase which will
serve for water, and I will go and seek water for your Majesty."
Then the prince said to the people who had brought water for his use,
"Give my emerald pitcher into the hands of Asraf-el-Kaum."
The latter bowed low and started to seek water. Seeing from afar a very
large fig-tree, he advanced in that direction. Arriving near the tree
he saw at its base an oratory and a pond. At the oratory there was a
woman of very great beauty. The splendor of her countenance shone like
that of the full moon at its fourteenth day. Asraf-el-Kaum, astonished
and moved with admiration, thought in his heart: "Is this a human
creature, or is it a peri?" and Asraf-el-Kaum saluted the princess
Djouher-Manikam, who returned the salutation.
Then the princess asked him, "What is your desire in coming here to my
Asraf-el-Kaum answered, "I have come here to ask you for water, for I
have lost my way."
The princess said, "Take water, lord."
Asraf-el-Kaum plunged the emerald pitcher into the pond, and filled it
with water. Then he asked permission to return.
Arriving near the King Chah Djouhou he presented the pitcher to the
prince, who seized it quickly and drank.
"Asraf-el-Kaum," said the prince, "where did you find such fresh and
delicious water? In all my life I have never drunk the like."
Asraf-el-Kaum answered: "O my lord, sovereign of the world, there is a
garden in the middle of the plain, and in this garden there is a very
large and bushy fig-tree, and at the foot of this tree there is a pond,
and near this pond there is an oratory. At this oratory there was a
woman who was reading the Koran. This charmingly beautiful woman has no
equal in this world. I saluted her and then returned to the presence of
the sovereign of the world. That is what I saw, my lord."
"Conduct me to this place," said the King.
"O sovereign of the world, if your Majesty wishes to go thither, let it
be with me alone. Let not my lord take his people with him, for it is a
woman, and naturally she would be ashamed."
The prince set out then on horseback with Asraf-el-Kaum. The princess
Djouher-Manikam, seeing two cavaliers approach, thought in her heart:
"I must hide myself, so that I may not be seen." So she left the
oratory and went toward the fig-tree. She addressed a prayer to God the
most high and worthy of all praise, in these terms:
"O God, I beseech thee, give me a refuge in this tree, for thy servant,
O Lord, is ashamed to look upon the faces of these infidels."
Then by the will of God the most high, the tree opened in two and the
princess Djouher-Manikam entered by the split, and the tree closed and
became as it was before. The King Chah Djouhou and Asraf-el-Kaum
arrived at the oratory, but the prince saw nothing of the princess
Djouher-Manikam. He was astonished and said:
"O Asraf-el-Kaum, the woman has gone. But just a moment ago I saw her
from afar, seated at the oratory, and now she has suddenly
disappeared." The prince added: "O Asraf-el-Kaum, perhaps, as with the
prophet Zachariah (upon whom be blessings!), her prayer has been
answered and she has entered this tree."
Then he offered this prayer to God the most high and worthy, of all
praise: "O God, if thou wilt permit that this woman be united to thy
servant, then grant her to him."
The prayer of the King Chah Djouhou was heard, and a woman of dazzling
beauty appeared before his eyes. He desired to seize her, but the
princess Djouher-Manikam pronounced these words: "Beware of touching
me, for I am a true believer." Hearing these words the King Chah
Djouhou drew back, a little ashamed. Then he said:
"Woman, what is your country? Whose child are you, and what is your
The princess answered: "For a long time I have dwelt here, and I have
no father nor mother. My name is Djouher-Manikam."
The King, hearing these words of the princess Djouher-Manikam, took off
his cloak and gave it to the princess, who covered all her body with
it. Then she got up and descended to the ground. Then King Chah
Djouhou, dismounting from his horse, received her, put her on his
horse, and took her to the country of Damas.
Asraf-el-Kaum then said to the King: "O my lord, sovereign of the
world, you made a promise to your servant. Be not careless nor
forgetful, my lord."
"Asraf-el-Kaum, be not disturbed. I will fulfil my promise to you. If
it pleases God, when I have arrived in our own country, I shall
certainly give you all that I promised you."
King Chah Djouhou set out for the country of Damas.
After a certain time on the way, the prince came to the city of Damas
and entered his palace. He commanded one of his pages to summon the
cadi, and a page went promptly to call him. The latter, in all haste,
entered the presence of the King. Chah Djouhou said: "O cadi, marry me
to the princess Djouher-Manikam." And the cadi married them. After the
celebration of the marriage the prince Chah Djouhou gave to Asraf-el-
Kaum 1,000 dinars and some of his slaves, both men and women. King
Djouhou and Princess Djouher-Manikam were happy and full of tenderness
for each other. Within a few years the princess had two sons, both very
beautiful. The prince loved these children very fondly. But above all
he loved his wife. He was full of tender solicitude for her, and bore
himself with regard to her with the same careful attention that a man
uses who carries oil in the hollow of his hand. Some time later
Princess Djouher-Manikam had another son of great beauty. The prince
loved this third child tenderly. He gave him a great number of nurses
and governesses, as is the custom for the children of the greatest
kings. And he never ceased to bestow upon him the most watchful care.
It happened one day that the ministers, the chiefs, and the courtiers
of the King, all gathered in his presence, were enjoying all sorts of
sport and amusements. The prince showed himself very joyous, and the
princess herself played and amused herself with the three children. Her
countenance shone with the brightness of rubies; but happening to think
of her father, her mother, and her brother, she began to weep and said:
"Alas, how unhappy I am! If my father, mother, and brother could see my
three children, necessarily their affection for me would be greater."
And the princess Djouher-Manikam burst into sobs. The prince, who was
not far from there, heard her, and as the princess did not stop weeping
he asked her: "O princess, why do you weep thus? What do I lack in your
eyes? Is it riches or physical beauty or noble birth? Or is it the
spirit of justice? Tell me what is the cause of your tears?"
Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: "Sovereign of the world, your Majesty
has not a single fault. Your riches equal those of Haroun. Your beauty
equals that of the prophet Joseph (peace be upon him!). Your extraction
equals that of the envoy of God (Mahomet). May the benediction of God
and blessings rest upon him! Your justice equals that of King
Rouchirouan. I don't see a single fault in you, my lord."
King Chah Djouhou said: "If it is thus, why then does my princess shed
Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: "If I wept thus while playing with
my three children, it is because I thought that if my father, my
mother, and my brother should see my three children, necessarily their
affection for me would be greater. And that is why I shed tears."
King Chah Djouhou said to her: "O my young wife, dear princess, are
your father and mother still living? What is your father's name?"
Princess Djouher-Manikam answered, "O my lord, my father is named
Haroun-er-Raschid, King of Bagdad."
Clasping her in his arms and kissing her, the prince asked her: "Why,
until this day have you not told the truth to your husband?"
And the princess answered: "I wished to avow the truth, but perhaps my
lord would not have had faith. It is on account of the children that I
tell the truth."
King Chah Djouhou answered: "Since it is so, it is fitting that we
should start, and make a visit upon King Haroun-er-Raschid."
He called his ministers, ordered them to make all the preparations, and
commanded them to place in order ingots of gold and ingots of silver on
which were graven the name of King Haroun-er-Raschid; and his
ministers' vestments woven of goats' hair and fine wool, stuffs of
price, many kinds of superb precious stones of various colors, formed
the burden of forty camels, which bore these presents to the King, his
father-in-law, in the city of Bagdad.
During the night Princess Djouher thought in her heart: "If the two
kings meet, there will necessarily be discord, and at the end
separation." Having thus thought she said to her husband: "O sovereign
of the world, do not set out at the same time with me, for in my
opinion the meeting of the two kings would have as a final result a
disagreement. Permit me therefore to start first with the three
children, that I may present them to my father and mother. Give the
command to conduct me to the country of Bagdad, near my father, to
whomsoever you shall judge worthy of your confidence for this mission."
When the prince heard these words of the princess whom he loved so
tenderly and whose wishes he granted, he ordered his ministers and
chiefs to arrange the transport of the princess and her children.
Addressing the ministers he said as follows: "O you my ministers, whom
among you can I charge to conduct safely my wife and three children to
Bagdad, near their ancestor King Haroun-er-Raschid?"
No one among them dared approach and speak. All held silence. Then the
prince, addressing the oldest minister of all, said:
"O my minister, it is you to whom, following the dictates of my heart,
I can trust to accompany my wife and three children. For I have always
found you loyal and faithful to me. Beside, you are older than the
other ministers. And you have the fear of God the most high and worthy
of all praise as well as respect for your King."
The minister said: "O my lord, it is in all sincerity that your servant
puts above his head the commands of your Majesty. I shall do my whole
duty in conducting the princess and her children to the King Haroun-er-
So the King Chah Djouhou trusted his wife and his three children to
this perfidious minister, reposing upon the promise he had made. Forty
camels were laden with presents, forty nurses for the children, one
hundred ladies in the suite of the princess, a thousand cavaliers, well
armed and well equipped, formed the escort. The princess took leave of
her husband. He held her clasped in his arms, and, weeping, covered her
and his three children with kisses. He bade her to present his homage
to her father the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid, his salutations to her
elder brother Minbah-Chahaz, and to place at the feet of their
majesties a thousand and a thousand apologies, and to make his excuses
to her brother Minbah-Chahaz. Then the prince said to the wicked
"O my minister, you must go now, and lead the camel of my wife, for I
have perfect confidence in you. Above all, guard her well."
But the King did not lean upon God the most high and worthy of all
praise, and that is why God punished him.
When the prince had finished speaking to the minister the latter said:
"O my lord, King of the world, your servant bears your command on his
head." So the cavalcade started on the march. Princess Djouher-Manikam
mounted her camel with her three children. A body-guard held the van.
She proceeded accompanied by the wretched minister and all the escort,
wending from day to day toward the city of Bagdad. They had reached one
of the halting-places when day was turning into night. The minister
then erected a tent so that the princess might repose in it. The people
put up their tents all about. Princess Djouher-Manikam dismounted from
her camel and entered the tent, with her three children. The tents of
the nurses and ladies-in-waiting surrounded the tent of the princess in
a circle. In the middle of the night a violent rain began to fall. Then
the wretched minister, stirred by Satan, was stirred in his heart. He
thought: "The King's wife is most beautiful; beautiful, indeed, as her
name, Djouher-Manikam. I must marry her."
So the rebel minister started, and entered the tent of the princess,
and asked her to marry him. He found her seated by her three children,
occupied in chasing away the mosquitoes. When the princess saw him
enter her tent she asked him: "O my minister, what brings you to my
tent at this hour in the middle of the night?"
The minister answered, "I have come to beg you to marry me."
The princess then said: "Is that what brings you here? And it was to
you that the King intrusted me on account of your great age, and as if
you were my father. It was in you that he put all his confidence that
you would take us safely, me and my children, to my venerable father,
King Haroun-er-Raschid. What must be your nature, that you should so
betray his trust?"
The wretched minister replied: "If you refuse to marry me, I will kill
"Never," said the princess, "never shall I consent to marry you. And if
you kill my children, what can I do against the decree of God, save to
invoke his name?"
The minister killed one of the children. When it was dead, he made the
same demand on the princess for the second time, and she answered:
"Never shall I consent to marry you."
The minister said: "If you refuse, I shall kill another of your
The Princess Djouher-Manikam answered: "If you slay my child, it is by
the decree of God, and I submit to his will."
The minister killed the second child.
"No," repeated the princess. "Never shall I consent to wed you."
The wretched minister said: "Then I will kill your third child."
"If you kill him, what can I do but to submit to the will of God, and
invoke his name?" The third son of the King was killed.
Questioned anew, the princess said again, "Never shall I marry you."
And the wicked minister said: "If you will not marry me, I will kill
Then the princess thought in her heart: "If I do not appear to yield,
he will kill me, too, without a doubt. I must employ a trick." Then she
said: "Await me here, until I wash from my clothes and my body the
stains of my children's blood."
The minister accursed of God replied: "Very well. I await you here."
Then the princess Djouher went out of her tent. The rain was falling in
torrents. The princess, fleeing precipitately, walked during the whole
night, not knowing where she was going. She had walked many hours when
day broke. The princess arrived thus near a tree in the midst of the
plain, and, having measured its height with her eyes, she climbed into
it. At this moment there passed along the road a merchant who had made
his sales and was returning to the city of Bassrah. His name was
Biyapri. Passing beneath the tree he raised his eyes and beheld a woman
seated in the tree.
"Who are you?" he said; "are you woman or djinn?"
"I am neither demon nor djinn, but a descendant of the prophet of God
(may blessings rest upon him), a disciple of the prophet Mahomet, envoy
Biyapri climbed up the tree, put her on his camel, and taking up his
journey conducted her to the country of Bassrah. Arriving at his house
he desired to marry her. But she put him off saying: "Wait, for I have
made a solemn vow before God not to look upon the face of a man for
forty days. When the time expires, that will be possible. But if these
forty days have not yet run I should surely die." So Biyapri installed
her on his latticed roof and lavished attention and care upon her.
Immediately after the flight of the princess Djouher-Mani-kam the
minister commanded the whole escort to return and present itself to the
King Chah Djouhou. He said to his people: "O all your servants of the
Queen, see what has been her conduct. Her three children are dead, and
it is she who killed them. After that she disappeared. Where has she
taken refuge? Nobody in the world knows that. As for you, depart, bear
the bodies of his three children to King Chah Djouhou, and tell him all
Arriving in the presence of the King, they reported all the
circumstances of the minister's treachery toward the princess, and the
murder of his three children. They added that the minister had
departed, leaving word that he had gone to find the princess, and had
taken with him his own three sons, forty soldiers, and the treasure.
When the prince had heard these words he was struck with a stupor. But
his sorrow at having let the princess go without him was useless. He
caused the three young princes to be buried. The King shed tears, and
all the people of the household filled the air with cries and sobs, so
that the noise seemed like the bursts of thunder, while the funeral
ceremonies were proceeding according to the customs of the greatest
kings. After that the King descended from his royal throne and became a
dervish, the better to seek in all lands his well-beloved spouse. He
had with him three slaves only. One of them was named Hestri.
"Go," he said to him, "go seek your mistress in all countries." And he
gave him a horse and some provisions.
Hestri said: "May your Majesty be happy! O lord, King of the world,
whatever be your commands, your servant places them upon his head."
Hestri bowed low, then mounted his horse and rode away toward the city
After proceeding some time he reached Bassrah, and passed by the house
of Biyapri. At this very moment the princess Djouher-Manikam was
sitting on the roof of Biyapri's house. She looked attentively at the
face of Hestri as he was passing by the house and called to him saying:
"Hestri, what brings you here?"
Hestri, casting his glance toward the roof, saw the princess Djouher-
Manikam and said to her: "I was sent by your husband to seek you,
She replied: "Go away, for the present. Come back when it is night. As
it is broad daylight now I fear lest Biyapri should discover our
Hestri, bowing low, replied, "Very well, princess." He walked here and
there, waiting till night should come. When it was dark he returned to
the house of Biyapri and waited a few minutes. Then he called the
"Wait," she said, "for Biyapri is still watching." Hestri stooped down,
and fell asleep near Biyapri's house, having first of all tied the
bridle of the horse to his girdle.
The princess Djouher-Manikam descended from the roof, and mounted the
horse while Hestri was yet sleeping. She sat on the horse waiting till
Hestri should awake. But an ∆thiopian robber, who had come to rob the
storehouse of Biyapri, saw the horse whose bridle was attached to the
belt of Hestri. He unfastened the bridle and led the horse to the
middle of the plain. In the mind of the princess it was Hestri who was
thus leading the horse. But the moon having risen, the ∆thiopian saw
seated upon the horse a woman of a striking and marvellous beauty. The
heart of the ∆thiopian was filled with joy. He said in his heart:
"For a very long time have I been stealing riches. Truly, I have
acquired no small store of jewels, pearls, precious stones, gold and
silver, and magnificent vestments of all sorts. But all that is nothing
in comparison with the marvel I have just now found and who will become
my wife, the light of my eyes, and the fruit of my heart. Now shall I
enjoy in peace the happiness of having such a wife."
The house of the ∆thiopian robber was seated on the top of a hill. He
conducted the princess thither, showed her all it contained, and gave
it to her, saying: "O my future bride, it is to you that all which this
house contains belongs. Make use of it according to your good
pleasure." The princess said, "First of all, be tranquil." And she
thought in her heart: "This is my destiny. First I was with Biyapri,
and now I have fallen into the hands of an Aethiopian robber. It is by
the will of God that this has happened to his servant." The ∆thiopian
robber was bent on having the marriage celebrated at once, but the
princess said: "I cannot be married now, for I have made a vow to God
the most high not to see the face of a man for three days."
The ∆thiopian robber desired to drink, and said: "Come, let us drink
"In my opinion," observed the princess, "if we begin to drink both
together you will become heavy with wine, and I, too. Then they will
take me far from you and kill you. Come, I will fill your cup and you
shall drink first. When you have drunk enough, then I will drink in my
turn, and you shall fill my cup."
The ∆thiopian robber was very joyful at these words of the princess.
"What you say is true," said he. He received with great pleasure the
cup from the hands of the princess and drank. After emptying the cup
many times he fell down in the stupor of intoxication, losing his
senses and becoming like a dead man. The princess Djouher-Manikam put
on a magnificent costume of a man, and adding a weapon something like a
_kandjar_, went out of the house. Then mounting her horse she rode
forward quickly and came to the foot of the hill. She directed her
course toward the country of Roum, and continuing her journey from
forest to forest, and from plain to plain, she reached the gate of the
fortifications of the city of Roum at the moment when the King of that
country had just died.
When the princess Djouher-Manikam had arrived outside the
fortifications of Roum, she sat down in the _baley, near the fort. She
was marvellously beautiful, and her vestments, all sparkling with gold,
were adorned with precious stones, pearls, and rubies. A man happening
to pass by saw her, and was seized with astonishment and admiration.
For in the country of Roum there was nobody who could compare with this
young man, so handsome and so magnificently attired. He asked:
"Whence come you and why did you come here?"
The princess answered: "I know not the place where I am at this moment.
I came from the city of Damas."
This citizen of Roum took leave and went away to present himself to the
vezir and tell what he had seen. The vezir, having heard him, went out
promptly to find the young man. As soon as he had approached him and
had seen his remarkable beauty and his splendid vestments decorated
with precious stones, pearls, and rubies, the vezir seated himself by
him and said:
"Young man, whence do you come, and why did you come to this land?"
The princess answered: "I wish to travel through the world for my
pleasure. That is my will."
The vezir replied: "Would you like to have us make you King of this
country?" The princess replied: "For what reason should I wish to be
king in this country? And by what means could it be achieved?"
The vezir replied: "Our King is dead."
"Is there no child?" asked the princess.
"The King has left a child," answered the vezir, "but he is still very
little, and incapable of governing his subjects. That is why we will
make you King of this country."
The princess Djouher-Manikam answered: "Why not? What prevents? If you
all will follow my counsel I will accept the throne of this country."
The ministers said, "And why should we not follow the commands of my
The vezir conducted her to the palace. All the ministers of state and
the high officers assembled to proclaim as their king the princess
Djouher-Manikam. That done, the princess took the name of Radja Chah
After reigning some time her spirit of justice and her perfect equity
in the government of her subjects rendered her name celebrated in all
the foreign countries. Radja Chah Djouhou said to her minister:
"O minister, have built for me a _baley_ outside the fort." And the
ministers and the officers commanded them in haste to construct the
_baley_. As soon as it was built they came to announce it to the King.
The latter said:
"O my vezir, is there in my kingdom a man who knows how to paint?"
"Yes, my lord, king of the world, there is a very skilful painter
"Let him come to me."
"Immediately, my lord," said the vezir, and he ordered a slave to go
and summon the painter. The painter came in all haste and entered the
presence of Radja Chah Djouhou, bowing his head to the floor. The
prince said to him:
"O painter, have you a daughter who knows how to paint?"
The painter answered: "Yes, my lord, king of the world, I have a
daughter very skilful in the art of painting."
"Tell your child to come here."
The painter bowed again and went to find his daughter. "O my child," he
said, "the fruit of my heart, come, the King calls you."
Then the painter's daughter quickly set out, accompanied by her father.
They together entered the presence of the King, who was still
surrounded by his ministers and his officers. The painter and his
daughter bowed their heads to the floor. The prince said:
"Painter, is this your daughter?"
"O my lord, king of the world, yes, this is my daughter."
"Come with me into the interior of the palace." And at the same time
the prince started and entered his apartments, followed by the daughter
of the painter. He led the way to a retired place, and said: "My
daughter, make my portrait, I pray you, and try to have the resemblance
good." Then the princess Djouher-Manikam clothed herself in woman's
raiment, and in this costume she was ravishingly beautiful. That done,
she commanded the artist to paint her thus. She succeeded perfectly and
the portrait was a remarkable likeness, for the daughter of the painter
was very skilful. When her work was finished she received a large sum
in gold. The prince said to her:
"Come, sister, let this remain a secret. Reveal it not to anyone in the
world. If you tell it I will slay you, with your father and your
The daughter of the painter said: "O my lord, king of the world, how
could your servant disobey your Majesty's commands?"
She bowed low, and asked permission to go home.
Radja Chah Djouhou, in the presence of his ministers and his subjects,
said to the vizier: "O vizier, place this portrait in the _baley_
outside the fort, and have it guarded by forty men. If anyone coming to
this portrait begins to weep or kiss it, seize him and bring him before
me." The portrait hung in the _baley_, and the vezir ordered an officer
to guard it with forty soldiers.
When the ∆thiopian robber came out of his drunken slumber he saw that
the princess Djouher-Manikam was no longer in his house. So he went
out-of-doors weeping, and took up his journey, going from country to
country until he arrived at the city of Roum. There he saw a _baley_,
and hanging there a portrait which bore a perfect resemblance to the
princess Djouher-Manikam. Quickly he climbed to the _baley_, and,
holding the portrait in his arms, he wept and covered it with kisses.
"O unhappy man that I am! Here is the portrait of my well-beloved for
whom I was seeking. Where can she be?"
The guards of the _baley_, seeing the act of the ∆thiopian, seized him
and bore him before the King. They told the deed.
The prince said: "∆thiopian robber, why did you act thus in reference
to this picture?"
The ∆thiopian answered: "O my lord, king of the world, I ask you a
thousand and a thousand pardons. Your servant will tell the truth. If
they kill me I shall die; if they hang me I shall be lifted very high;
if they sell me I shall be carried very far away. O king of the world,
hear the words of your humble slave. A certain night I had started out
to rob. I found a horse, and on its back there was a woman of the most
marvellous beauty. I took her to my house. I fell asleep in my cups. My
beloved one disappeared. I became mad, and so it is, O king of the
world, that your slave came to the fort and saw the portrait hanging at
the _baley_. This portrait is the faithful picture of my well-beloved.
That is why I weep."
The prince said: "O my vezir, let this man be carefully guarded. Treat
him well and give him plenty to eat." On the other hand, Biyapri, after
forty days, mounting the roof, saw that the princess Djouher was no
longer there. He became mad, abandoned his house and all his wealth,
and, becoming a dervish, went from country to country seeking the
princess Djouher-Manikam, without ever finding her. Coming to the
country of Roum he saw the _baley_ situated outside the fort, and
stopped there. Then he saw the portrait, and, observing it with the
closest attention, he began to weep. Then he took it in his arms and
covered it with kisses.
"Alas, my well-beloved!" he cried, "here indeed is your picture, but
where can I find you?" He was immediately seized by the guard and led
before the King of Roum.
"Biyapri," said the prince, "whence do you come, and why did you act
thus?" Biyapri answered: "O my lord, king of the world, your slave asks
pardon a thousand and a thousand times. I will tell the whole truth. If
they kill me, I shall die; if they hang me, I shall be lifted very
high; if they sell me, I shall be taken very far away. When I was
engaged in commerce I passed under a tree, and saw that in this tree
there was a woman of the most marvellous beauty. I took her and carried
her to the city of Bassrah and installed her on the roof of my
storehouse. A certain night she disappeared without my knowing where
she had gone. Then, O king of the world, I became as one mad and left
my native land. Arriving at the country of Roum I saw a _baley_ outside
the fort and came to sit down there. Then, my lord, I saw the portrait
hanging at the _baley_. It exactly resembles my beloved, whom I lost. I
pressed it in my arms and covered it with kisses. Such is the truth, O
king of the world."
The prince then said to his minister: "O minister, let this man be
carefully guarded and give him food and clothes."
The King of Damas, after abdicating the throne, had left his kingdom,
and in the costume of a dervish had started to travel through the
different countries. Arriving at Roum, the King Chah Djouhou saw a
_baley_ situated outside of the fort, and went to sit down near it. The
prince looking closely at the portrait, which was exactly like the
princess Djouher-Manikam, burst into a flood of tears and exclaimed:
"Alas! Fruit of my heart, my well-beloved, light of my eyes! It is,
indeed, your picture. But you, whom I seek, oh, where are you?"
Speaking thus, the prince took the portrait in his arms and covered it
with kisses. Seeing this, the guards of the _baley_ seized him and
carried him before the King.
The King said to him: "My lord, whence do you come? How have you
wandered into this country? And why did you behave thus about my
The King Chah Djouhou answered: "Know that my wife, who is named the
princess Djouher-Manikam, has disappeared far from me. It is for that
reason that I have left my kingdom, and that I, dressed as a dervish,
have walked from country to country, from plain to plain, from village
to village, seeking her whom I have never been able to find. But
arriving in your Majesty's country I saw hanging at the _baley_ that
portrait, which is of a striking resemblance to my wife. It is for this
reason that I wept in contemplating this picture."
The princess smiled, and at the same time her heart was softened at
seeing the conduct of her husband. She said to her prime minister: "O
my minister, I confide this person to your care. Treat him worthily,
give him the best of food and a suite of attendants. He is the King of
The minister therefore, by command of the princess, departed and
conducted the King of Damas to a fine house, furnished and equipped
according to the needs of kings.
The minister took all the riches which had been intended as presents
for the King Haroun-er-Raschid. The ingots of gold and of silver, the
rich garments in fine stuffs of the country of Rouzoungga, as well as
the vestments of the princess Djouher-Manikam and of her three
children, were transported and sold in the city of Bagdad. But the King
Haroun-er-Raschid, seeing that his name and that of his daughter, the
princess Djouher-Manikam, were graven on these ingots of gold and
silver, seized all these riches.
The minister of the country of Damas said, "These riches are mine."
On his side the King Haroun-er-Raschid said: "These riches are mine,
for my name and that of my child are engraved on these ingots of gold
The minister said, "Since your Majesty declares that these treasures
are yours, we must try this case in a court of justice."
The King of Bagdad answered: "It is well. We will go wherever you
"Very well," said the minister; "let us go then before the King of the
country of Roum. That prince has the reputation of being extremely
just. Each of us shall plead his cause."
The prince answered: "It is well." The minister replied: "O king of the
world, let us start without delay."
So the King Haroun-er-Raschid set out with his son Min-bah-Chahaz, his
chief warrior, and his soldiers. The cadi accompanied the prince. On
his side, the minister of the country of Damas started, accompanied by
his three sons and forty soldiers of the country of Damas. After
proceeding some time, they arrived at the city of Roum and entered the
fortifications. Each one of them presented himself before the King and
pleaded his cause.
The King Haroun-er-Raschid expressed himself as follows: "O king of the
world! I present myself before your Majesty to ask your impartial
judgment. The minister of the country of Damas brought to Bagdad, among
other precious objects, ingots of gold and ingots of silver, on which
are engraved my name and that of my daughter, the princess Djouher-
Manikam. I seized these, and come to your Majesty to decide my claim to
The King of Roum said: "If it pleases God the most high, this affair
shall be judged with the best of my powers." The King of Roum
continued: "My officers and you, my ministers and chiefs, seek all the
divine inspiration to decide the difference existing between the King
of Bagdad and the minister of Damas."
The officers bowed low and said: "O my lord, king of the world,
whatever they may be, we shall put the commands of your Majesty above
our heads and shall carry them out to the letter." And they deliberated
on the character of the dispute.
The King of Bagdad declared: "These objects are precious to me, for
they bear engraven upon them the names of myself and my child."
On the other hand, and at the same time, the minister Damas declared,
"These precious objects are mine."
The ministers and chiefs were very much embarrassed, and said to the
King: "O king of the world, we, all of us, are unable to judge this
dispute. It is too difficult for us. Only the impartial judgment of
your Majesty can decide it."
The prince said: "It is well. I will pronounce sentence, if it please
God the most high, provided that you consent to accept it."
The King of Bagdad answered: "O king of the world, judge between us
according to your impartial justice."
The King of Roum then said: "O minister of Damas, and you, King of
Bagdad, is it the wish of both of you that I should give judgment
according to the judgment of God the most high?"
And they both answered: "That is what we ask, the judgment of God."
The prince replied: "If you consent on both sides, it is well."
"I consent to it," said the minister of Damas.
"And I, too," said the King of Bagdad.
The King of Roum then spoke in these terms: "In conformity with the law
of the most high God, I ask this question of the King of Bagdad: Have
you a daughter?"
The King of Bagdad replied: "Yes, king of the world, I have a daughter
and a son."
"And have you at present these two children?"
The King of Bagdad answered: "I have my son, but my daughter--I lost
The King of Roum, continuing, said: "What is the cause of the loss of
your daughter?" The King of Bagdad answered: "O king of the world, hear
my story. While I was gone on a pilgrimage with my wife and my son,
whose name is Minbah-Chahaz, I left my daughter to watch over my
palace. Arriving at the end of my pilgrimage, I sent home a letter to
the cadi, conceived as follows: 'May peace be with the cadi: I shall
wait still for the grand pilgrimage about a year longer. As for all
that concerns my kingdom, my palace, and my daughter, the princess
Djouher-Manikam, watch with greatest care, and beware of any negligence
in the protection of my kingdom and my child.' Some time later the cadi
sent me a letter at Mecca, couched in these words: 'O king of the
world, your servant has received the command to watch over the palace
and the princess. But the princess now desires to marry me.' After I
had read the letter from the cadi I called my son Minbah-Chahaz, and
said to him: 'Start at once for Bagdad, and slay your sister.' My son
Minbah-Chahaz started immediately for Bagdad, and killed his sister.
Then he returned and found me at Mecca. His cutlass was still blood-
stained. Then I cried: 'Praise be to God the Lord of the universe, our
shame is effaced.' Such is my story, O king of the world."
The King of Roum said: "It is well. Now I shall pronounce judgment."
And addressing the minister of Damas he said to him: "O minister of
Damas, tell me the truth if you wish that at the day of judgment the
prophet should intercede for you (may the peace and blessings of God be
upon him!). Speak and tell the truth. Say whence come these riches, in
order that I may pronounce my judgment between you."
The minister of the King of Damas said: "O my lord, king of the world,
I will lay at the foot of your Majesty's throne the completed story
from the beginning. I received a mission from the King Chah Djouhou: 'O
my minister,' he said, 'start, I send you to the city of Bagdad, taking
my three children to their grandfather, and my wife, the princess
Djouher-Manikam, to her mother and her father, the King Haroun-er-
Raschid.' I set out, therefore, with the escort which accompanied the
princess Djouher-Manikam, and we arrived at our first halting-place.
When it was night I erected a tent, and the people of the escort all
put up tents around that of the princess. But Satan breathed into my
heart a temptation. This thought came to me: 'The wife of the King is
wonderfully beautiful, and she has such a pretty name! I will go and
ask her to marry me.' So I entered her tent. At that moment she was
seated by her sleeping children, occupied in keeping away the
mosquitoes. The princess demanded, 'O my minister, why do you come
here?' And I answered, 'I have come to ask you to marry me.' The
princess said: 'Have you no fear of God the most high? No, I cannot
marry you. What would become of me if I should do such a thing?' Then I
said, 'If you will not agree to marry me, I will kill one of your
children.' The princess answered: 'If you kill my child it will be by
the judgment of God, and what can I do but to invoke his name?' Then I
killed one of the children. When he was dead I asked again if she would
marry me, and I killed another of the children. When this one was dead
I asked the same question. The princess answered, 'I cannot marry when
I am already married.' I said to her, 'If you will not, then I will
kill the third of your children.' The princess Djouher-Manikam
answered, 'If you kill my third child, it will be by the judgment of
God, and what can I do but invoke his name, for I am only a woman?' So
I killed the third child. After the death of this last child of the
King, I put again my question to the princess. She would not consent to
marry me. I said to her, 'If you don't, I will kill you.' She answered:
'If you kill me, it is the decree of God. But wait awhile, for I wish
to wash my garments and cleanse the traces of my children's blood from
my body.' I said, 'It is well. We will have the wedding-feast to-
morrow.' She left the tent. It was raining in torrents. I could not
discover where she went. Such is my story, O king of the world."
The King said, "Minister of the country of Damas, have you any sons?"
He answered, "Yes, my lord, king of the world, I have three sons."
The prince said: "Let your three sons come here, in order that I may
give judgment quickly, according to the law instituted by the prophet
(may the peace and blessings of God be upon him!). Behold what his law
prescribes: The minister killed the children of the princess Djouher-
Manikam. It is not, therefore, the minister who should be punished with
death, but his children should be slain. The execution of this judgment
will be the just application of the law of retaliation between the
minister and the princess."
The minister summoned his three sons. As soon as they had come, he
pointed them to the King of Roum.
The latter said to his minister, "O minister, where is the ∆thiopian
whom they brought here?" The ∆thiopian robber was brought out, and
prostrated himself before the King of Roum.
The King of Roum said to him: "∆thiopian, return to your own country
and change your mode of life. You will never see again the woman for
whom you are seeking." And the prince gave him a _keti_ of gold.
Then the prince said: "O my minister, where is Biyapri? Let them bring
him here." So they brought Biyapri. When he arrived he bowed low before
The prince said: "Biyapri, go back to your own country and change your
conduct. The woman whom you seek you will never see again." And the
prince made him a gift of two _keti_ of gold.
The King of Roum then said: "Let all assemble. I am about to pronounce
judgment between the King of Bagdad and the minister of Damas." The
minister and the officers assembled therefore in the presence of the
King, together with many of his subjects.
The King of Roum said: "O my executioner, let the three children of the
minister of Damas be all killed; such is the divine command." So the
children of the minister of Damas were all three killed.
After they were dead the prince said: "Minister, return to the country
of Damas, with a rag for your girdle, and during your last days change
your conduct. If you do not know it, I am the princess Djouher-Manikam,
daughter of the Sultan of Bagdad, wife of Chah Djouhou, my lord, and
the sister of Minbah-Chahaz. God has stricken your eyes with blindness
on account of your crimes toward me. It is the same with the cadi of
the city of Bagdad."
The minister of Damas, seized with fear, trembled in all his limbs. He
cast himself at the feet of the princess Manikam, and thus prostrated
he implored pardon a thousand and a thousand times. Then he returned to
Damas all in tears, and overwhelmed with grief at the death of his
three sons. The cadi, covered with shame on account of his treachery to
the Sultan of Bagdad, fled and expatriated himself.
The King of Roum commanded them to bring the King Chah Djouhou and give
him a garment all sparkling with gold, and he sent him to dwell in the
company of his father-in-law, the Sultan of Bagdad, and his brother-in-
law, the prince Minbah-Chahaz.
Then the princess Djouher-Manikam retired. She entered the palace and
returned clad in the garments of a woman. She then went out,
accompanied by ladies of the court, and went to present herself to her
father, the Sultan of Bagdad. She bowed before her father, her brother
the prince Minbah-Chahaz, and her husband, the King Chah Djouhou. The
princess said: "O all of you, lords and warriors of the country of
Roum, know that I am a woman, and not a man. Behold my father, the
Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid, King of Bagdad. Behold my brother, whose name
is Minbah-Chahaz; and behold my husband, the King Chah Djouhou, who
reigns over the country of Damas. From the time when you placed me upon
the throne of Roum, if I have committed any fault by error or by
ignorance, you must excuse me, for constantly the servants of God
commit faults by error or ignorance. It is only God alone who forgets
not, nor neglects, and is free from error or ignorance."
The grandees of the country of Roum said: "Never has your Majesty
committed the least fault, either by ignorance or by error, during the
time you have reigned over the country of Roum. Nevertheless, among the
judgments just now rendered there was a fault committed by your
glorious Majesty. The minister killed, the princess killed, both did it
voluntarily. It was a fault of judgment for the princess Djouher-
Manikam to have killed the children of the minister, just as the
minister committed a fault in killing the children of the princess.
There was a likeness there. Still, if it pleases her Majesty to remain
upon the throne of Roum, we should all be very glad of it."
The princess Djouher said: "I shall take leave of you, my lords. It is
good that we should make the young prince king, and that he should
replace me on the throne."
The ministers and the officers of Roum responded, "Whatever be the
commands of your Majesty, we place them above our heads."
Then the princess made the royal prince her successor, and the
ministers and officers and subjects all bowed low, placed their hands
above their heads, and proclaimed him King.
The princess Djouher-Manikam said: "O my child, here are the last
instructions your mother gives you: You must practise justice so that
God will make strong your realm. To you, my ministers and officers, I
confide my child. If he commits some faults by negligence or by
ignorance, I pray you take them not too much to heart, for my child is
young, and he has not yet attained all the maturity of his judgment."
The ministers and officers answered: "O your Majesty, may your
prosperity grow forever! How could it be possible for us to disobey
The princess replied: "O my child, above all must you observe justice
and be patient and liberal toward your ministers and officers and all
your subjects, so that the favors of God may increase upon your person
and that your kingdom may be protected by God the most high by the
grace of the intercession of the prophet Mahomet, the envoy of God (may
the, peace and blessings of God be with him!). O my child, you must
govern all your subjects with a spirit of justice, for in this world,
until death, we ought to seek the truth. O my child, above all forget
not my last instructions." Then, taking in her arms the royal child,
she kissed him.
The Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid having told the Sultan of Roum that he
wished to return to the country of Bagdad, the Sultan gave orders to
his ministers to assemble the grandees, the officers, and the soldiers,
with elephants, horses, and instruments of music. All came with
presents, for the Sultan of Roum wished to accompany the Sultan Haroun-
er-Raschid as far as Bagdad and carry him the presents. The favorable
moment having arrived, the Sultan Haroun-er-Raschid departed from Roum,
directing his way to the country of Bagdad, from plain to plain, and
from halting-place to halting-place. After journeying some time, they