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Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 by Richard F. Burton

Part 5 out of 11

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entered the house of some Emir. Then plucking courage he enquired
of the porter, "Is this the dwelling place of Khwajah Hasan al-
Habbal?"--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazed held her peace
till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-second Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Hasan
al-Habbal continued thus his story:--The porter made reply, "This
is verily the house of Khwajah Hasan al-Habbal; he is within and
he sitteth in his office. I pray thee enter and one of the slaves
will make known thy coming to him." Hereupon the two friends
walked in, and as soon as I saw them I recognised them, and
rising up to them I ran and kissed the hems of their garments.
They would fain have fallen on my neck and embraced me, but with
meekness of mind I would not suffer them so to do; and presently
I led them into a large and spacious saloon, and bade them sit
upon the highmost seats of honour. They would have constrained me
to take the best place, but I exclaimed "O my lords, I am on no
wise better than the poor rope-maker Hasan, who not unmindful of
your worth and goodness ever prayeth for your welfare, and who
deserveth not to sit in higher stead than you." Then they took
seat and I opposite them, when quoth Sa'di, "My heart rejoiceth
with exceeding joy to see thee in this condition, for that Allah
hath given thee all even as thou wishedst. I doubt not thou has
gotten all this abundance and opulence by means of the four
hundred gold pieces which I gave to thee; but say me truly
wherefore didst thou twice deceive me and bespeak me falsely?"
Sa'd listened to these words with silent indignation, and ere I
could make reply he broke out saying, "O Sa'di, how often have I
assured thee that all which Hasan said aforetime anent the losing
of the Ashrafis is very sooth and no leasing?" Then they began to
dispute each with other; when I, recovering from my surprise,
exclaimed, "O my lords, of what avail is this contention? Be not
at variance, I beseech you, on my account. All that had befallen
me I made known to you; and, whether ye believe my words or ye
believe them not, it mattereth but little. Now hearken to the
whole truth of my tale." Then I made known to them the story of
the piece of lead which I had given to the fisherman and of the
diamond found in the fish's belly; brief, I told them every whit
even as I have now related to thy Highness. On hearing all my
adventure Sa'di said, "O Khwajah Hasan, it seemeth to me passing
strange that so great a diamond should be found in the belly of a
fish; and I deem it a thing impossible that a kite should fly off
with thy turband, or that thy wife should give away the jar of
bran in exchange for fuller's earth. Thou sayest the tale is
true, still can I not give credit to thy words, for I know full
well that the four hundred gold pieces have gotten thee all this
wealth." But when they twain rose up to take their leave, I also
arose and said, "O my lords, ye have shown favour to me in that
ye have thus deigned visit me in my poor home. I beseech you now
to taste of my food and to tarry here this night under your
servant's roof; as to-morrow I would fain take you by the way of
the river to a country house which I have lately bought." Hereto
they consented with some objections; and I, after giving orders
for the evening meal, showed them about the house and displayed
the furniture and entertained them with pleasing words and
pleasant converse, till a slave came and announced that supper
was served. So I led them to the saloon wherein were ranged the
trays loaded with many kinds of meats; on all sides stood
camphorated wax candles,[FN#286] and before the table were
gathered musicians singing and playing on various instruments of
mirth and merriment, whilst in the upper part of the saloon men
and women were dancing and making much diversion. When we had
supped we went to bed, and rising early we prayed the dawn-
prayer, and presently embarked on a large and well-appointed
boat, and the rowers rowing with a flowing tide soon landed us at
my country seat. Then we strolled in a body about the grounds and
entered the house, when I showed them our new buildings and
displayed to them all that appertained thereto; and hereat they
marvelled with great marvel. Thence we repaired to the garden and
saw, planted in rows along the walks, fruit-trees of all kinds
with ripe fruit bowed down, and watered with water from the river
by means of brick-work channels. All round were flowering shrubs
whose perfume gladdened the Zephyr; here and there fountains and
jets of water shot high in air; and sweet-voiced birds made
melody amid the leafy branches hymning the One, the Eternal; in
short, the sights and scents on every side filled the soul with
joy and gladness. My two friends walked about in joyance and
delight, and thanked me again and again for bringing them to so
lovely a site and said, "Almighty Allah prosper thee in house and
garth." At last I led them to the foot of a tall tree near to one
of the garden walls and shewed them a little summer-house wherein
I was wont to take rest and refreshment; and the room was
furnished with cushions and divans and pillows purfled with
virgin gold.--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her
peace till

The end of The Six Hundred and Twenty-third Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Hasan al-
Habbal thus pursued his tale:--Now so it happened that, as we sat
at rest within that summer house, two sons of mine, whom I had
sent together with their governor to my country place for change
of water and air,[FN#287] were roaming about the garden seeking
birds' nests. Presently they came across a big one upon the top
most boughs and tried to swarm up the trunk and carry it off, but
by reason of their lack of strength and little practice they
durst not venture so high; whereupon they bade a slave boy who
ever attended on them, climb the tree. He did their bidding, but
when looking into the nest he was amazed with exceeding amazement
to see it mainly made of an old turband. So he brought down the
stuff and handed it to the lads. My eldest son took it from his
hands and carried it to the arbour for me to see, and set it at
my feet saying in high glee, "O my father, look here; this nest
is made of cloth." Sa'd and Sa'di wondered with all wonderment at
the sight and the marvel grew the greater when I, after
considering it closely, recognised it for the very turband
whereon the kite had swooped and which had been borne off by the
bird. Then quoth I to my two friends "Examine well this turband
and certify yourselves that it is the selfsame one worn upon my
head when first ye honoured me with your presence." Quoth Sa'd,
"I know it not," and quoth Sa'di, "An thou find within it the
hundred and ninety gold pieces, then shalt thou be assured that
is thy turband in very sooth." I said, "O my lord, this is, well
I wot, that very turband." And as I held it in my hand, I found
it heavy of weight, and opening out the folds felt somewhat tied
up in one of the corners of the cloth;[FN#288] so I unrolled the
swathes when lo and behold! I came upon the purse of gold pieces.
Hereat, shewing it to Sa'di, I cried, "Canst thou not recognise
this purse?" and he replied, "'Tis in truth the very purse of
Ashrafis which I gave thee when first we met." Then I opened the
mouth and, pouring out the gold in one heap upon the carpet, bade
him count his money; and he turned it over coin by coin and made
the sum there of one hundred and ninety Ashrafis. Hereat waxing
sore ashamed and confounded, he exclaimed, "Now do I believe thy
words: nevertheless must thou admit that thou hast earned one
half of this thy prodigious wealth with the two hundred gold
pieces I gave thee after our second visit, and the other half by
means of the mite thou gottest from Sa'd." To this I made no
answer, but my friends ceased not to dispute upon the matter. We
then sat down to meat and drink, and when we had eaten our
sufficiency, I and my two friends went to sleep in the cool
arbour; after which when the sun was well nigh set we mounted and
rode off to Baghdad leaving the servants to follow. However,
arrived at the city we found all the shops shut and nowhere could
we get grain and forage for the horses, and I sent off two slave
boys who had run alongside of us to search for provender. One of
them found a jar of bran in the shop of a corn-dealer and paying
for the provision brought it, together with the jar, under
promise that on the morrow he would carry back the vessel. Then
he began to take out the bran by handfuls in the dark and to set
it before the horses.�And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad
held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-fourth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious king, that Hasan al-
Habbal thus continued his story:--So as the slave boy took out
the bran by handfuls and set it before the horses, suddenly his
hand came upon a piece of cloth wherein was somewhat heavy. He
brought it to me even as he found it and said, "See, is not this
cloth the very one of whose loss thou hast ofttimes spoken to
us?" I took it and wondering with great wonder knew it was the
self same piece of stuff wherein I had tied up the hundred and
four-score and ten Ashrafis before hiding them in the jar of
bran. Then said I to my friends, "O my lords, it hath pleased
Almighty Allah, ere we parted, I and you, to bear me witness of
my words and to stablish that I told you naught save whatso was
very sooth." And I resumed, addressing Sa'di, "See here the other
sum of money, that is, the hundred and ninety Ashrafis which thou
gayest me and which I tied up in this very piece of cloth I now
recognise." Then I sent for the earthen jar that they might see
it, and also bade carry it to my wife that she also might bear
witness, an it be or be not the very bran-jar which she gave in
exchange for fuller's earth. Anon she sent us word and said, "Yea
verily I know it well. 'Tis the same jar which I had filled with
bran." Accordingly Sa'di owned that he was wrong and said to
S'ad, "Now I know that thou speakest truth, and am convinced that
wealth cometh not by wealth; but only by the grace of Almighty
Allah doth a poor man become a rich man." And he begged pardon
for his mistrust and unbelief. We accepted his excuses whereupon
we retired to rest and early on the morrow my two friends bade me
adieu and journeyed home wards with full persuasion that I had
done no wrong and had not squandered the moneys they had given
me.--Now when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid had heard the story of
Khwajah Hasan to the end, he said, "I have known thee of old by
fair report of thee from the folk who, one and all, declare that
thou art a good man and true. Moreover the self same diamond
whereby thou hast attained to so great riches is now in my
treasury; so I would fain send for Sa'di forthright that he may
see it with his own eyes, and weet for certain that not by means
of money do men become or rich or poor." The Prince of True
Believers said moreover to Khwajah Hasan al-Habbal, "Go now and
tell thy tale to my treasurer that he may take it down in writing
for an everlasting memorial, and place the writ in the treasury
together with the diamond." Then the Caliph with a nod dismissed
Khawajah Hasan; and Sidi Nu'uman and Baba Abdullah also kissed
the foot of the throne and departed. So when Queen Shahrazad had
made an end of relating this history she was about to begin the
story of 'All Baba and the Forty Thieves, but King Shahryar
prevented her, saying, "O Shahrazad I am well pleased with this
thy tale, but now the dawn appeareth and the chanticleer of morn
doth sound his shrill clarion. This day also I spare thy life, to
the intent that I may listen at my ease to this new history of
thine at the end of the coming night." Hereupon the three took
their rest until the fittest time drew near.--And as the morning
morrowed Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-fifth Night.

With the dawn Dunyazad awoke Queen Shahrazad from slumber sweet
and said, "Arise, O my sister, but alas! 'tis a bitter thing to
stand in awe of coming doom." Replied Shahrazad, "O dear my
sister, be not thou downhearted: if life's span be spent naught
can avert the sharp edged sword. Yet place thy trust in Allah
Almighty and put far from thee all such anxious thoughts: my
tales are tokens of life prolonged." Whereupon Queen Shahrazad
began to tell in these words the story of

ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES.[FN#289]

In days of yore and in times and tides long gone before there
dwelt in a certain town of Persia two brothers one named K�sim
and the other �Al� B�b�, who at their father's demise had divided
the little wealth he had left to them with equitable division,
and had lost no time in wasting and spending it all. The elder,
however, presently took to himself a wife, the daughter of an
opulent merchant; so that when his father-in-law fared to the
mercy of Almighty Allah, he became owner of a large shop filled
with rare goods and costly wares and of a storehouse stocked with
precious stuffs; likewise of much gold that was buried in the
ground. Thus was he known throughout the city as a substantial
man. But the woman whom Ali Baba had married was poor and needy;
they lived, therefore, in a mean hovel and Ali Baba eked out a
scanty livelihood by the sale of fuel which he daily collected in
the jungle[FN#290] and carried about the town to the Bazar upon
his three asses. Now it chanced one day that Ali Baba had cut
dead branches and dry fuel sufficient for his need, and had
placed the load upon his beasts when suddenly he espied a
dust-cloud spireing high in air to his right and moving rapidly
towards him; and when he closely considered it he descried a
troop of horsemen riding on amain and about to reach him. At this
sight he was sore alarmed, and fearing lest perchance they were a
band of bandits who would slay him and drive off his donkeys, in
his affright he began to run; but forasmuch as they were near
hand and he could not escape from out the forest, he drove his
animals laden with the fuel into a bye-way of the bushes and
swarmed up a thick trunk of a huge tree to hide himself therein;
and he sat upon a branch whence he could descry everything
beneath him whilst none below could catch a glimpse of him above;
and that tree grew close beside a rock which towered high above
head. The horsemen, young, active, and doughty riders, came close
up to the rock-face and all dismounted; whereat Ali Baba took
good note of them and soon he was fully persuaded by their mien
and demeanour that they were a troop of highwaymen who, having
fallen upon a caravan had despoiled it and carried off the spoil
and brought their booty to this place with intent of concealing
it safely in some cache. Moreover he observed that they were
forty in number.--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held
her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-sixth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious king, that Ali Baba
saw the robbers, as soon as they came under the tree, each
unbridle his horse and hobble it; then all took off their
saddle-bags which proved to be full of gold and silver. The man
who seemed to be the captain presently pushed forwards, load on
shoulder, through thorns and thickets, till he came up to a
certain spot where he uttered these strange words, "Open, O
Simsim!"[FN#291] and forthwith appeared a wide doorway in the
face of the rock. The robbers went in and last of all their Chief
and then the portal shut of itself. Long while they stayed within
the cave whilst Ali Baba was constrained to abide perched upon
the tree, re fleeting that if he came down peradventure the band
might issue forth that very moment and seize him and slay him. At
last he had determined to mount one of the horses and driving on
his asses to return townwards, when suddenly the portal dew open.
The robber-chief was first to issue forth; then, standing at the
entrance, he saw and counted his men as they came out, and lastly
he spake the magical words, "Shut, O Simsim!" whereat the door
closed of itself. When all had passed muster and review, each
slung on his saddle-bags and bridled his own horse and as soon as
ready they rode off, led by the leader, in the direction whence
they came. Ali Baba remained still perched on the tree and
watched their departure; nor would he descend until what time
they were clean gone out of sight, lest perchance one of them
return and look around and descry him. Then he thought within
himself, "I too will try the virtue of those magical words and
see if at my bidding the door will open and close." So he called
out aloud, "Open, O Simsim!" And no sooner had he spoken than
straightway the portal flew open and he entered within. He saw a
large cavern and a vaulted, in height equalling the stature of a
full-grown man and it was hewn in the live stone and lighted up
with light that came through air-holes and bullseyes in the upper
surface of the rock which formed the roof. He had expected to
find naught save outer gloom in this robbers' den, and he was
surprised to see the whole room filled with bales of all manner
stuffs, and heaped up from sole to ceiling with camel-loads of
silks and brocades and embroidered cloths and mounds on mounds of
vari-coloured carpetings; besides which he espied coins golden
and silvern without measure or account, some piled upon the
ground and others bound in leathern bags and sacks. Seeing these
goods and moneys in such abundance, Ali Baba determined in his
mind that not during a few years only but for many generations
thieves must have stored their gains and spoils in this place.
When he stood within the cave, its door had closed upon him, yet
he was not dismayed since he had kept in memory the magical
words; and he took no heed of the precious stuffs around him, but
applied himself only and wholly to the sacks of Ashrafis. Of
these he carried out as many as he judged sufficient burthen for
the beasts; then he loaded them upon his animals, and covered
this plunder with sticks and fuel, so none might discern the
bags, but might think that he was carrying home his usual ware.
Lastly he called out, "Shut, O Simsim!" and forthwith the door
closed, for the spell so wrought that whensoever any entered the
cave, its portal shut of itself behind him; and, as he issued
therefrom, the same would neither open nor close again till he
had pronounced the words, "Shut, O Simsim!" Presently, having
laden his asses Ali Baba urged them before him with all speed to
the city and reaching home he drove them into the yard; and,
shutting close the outer door, took down first the sticks and
after the bags of gold which he carried in to his wife. She felt
them and finding them full of coin suspected that Ali Baba had
been robbing and fell to berating and blaming him for that he
should do so ill a thing.--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that quoth Ali
Baba to his wife: "Indeed I am no robber and rather do thou
rejoice with me at our good fortune." Hereupon he told her of his
adventure and began to pour the gold from the bags in heaps
before her, and her sight was dazzled by the sheen and her heart
delighted at his recital and adventures. Then she began counting
the gold, whereat quoth Ali Baba, "O silly woman how long wilt
thou continue turning over the coin? now let me dig a hole
wherein to hide this treasure that none may know its secret."
Quoth she, "Right is thy rede! still would I weigh the moneys and
have some inkling of their amount;" and he replied, "As thou
pleasest", but see thou tell no man." So she went of f in haste
to Kasim's home to borrow weights and scales wherewith she might
balance the Ashrafis and make some reckoning of their value; and
when she could not find Kasim she said to his wife, "Lend me, I
pray thee, thy scales for a moment." Replied her
sister-in-law,[FN#292] "Hast thou need of the bigger balance or
the smaller?" and the other rejoined, "I need not the large
scales, give me the little;" and her sister-in-law cried, "Stay
here a moment whilst I look about and find thy want." With this
pretext Kasim's wife went aside and secretly smeared wax and suet
over the pan of the balance, that she might know what thing it
was Ali Baba's wife would weigh, for she made sure that whatso it
be some bit thereof would stick to the wax and fat. So the woman
took this opportunity to satisfy her curiosity, and Ali Baba's
wife suspecting naught thereof carried home the scales and began
to weigh the gold, whilst Ali Baba ceased not digging; and, when
the money was weighed, they twain stowed it into the hole which
they carefully filled up with earth. Then the good wife took back
the scales to her kinswoman, all unknowing that an Ashrafi had
adhered to the cup of the scales; but when Kasim's wife espied
the gold coin she fumed with envy and wrath saying to herself,
"So ho ! they borrowed my balance to weigh out Ashrafis?" and she
marvelled greatly whence so poor a man as Ali Baba had gotten
such store of wealth that he should be obliged to weigh it with a
pair of scales. Now after long pondering the matter, when her
husband returned home at eventide, she said to him, "O man, thou
deemest thyself a wight of wealth and substance, but lo, thy
brother Ali Baba is an Emir by the side of thee and richer far
than thou art. He hath such heaps of gold that he must needs
weigh his moneys with scales, whilst thou, forsooth, art
satisfied to count thy coin." "Whence knowest thou this?" asked
Kasim, and in answer his wife related all anent the pair of
scales and how she found an Ashrafi stuck to them, and shewed him
the gold coin which bore the mark and superscription of some
ancient king. No sleep had Kasim all that night by reason of his
envy and jealousy and covetise; and next morning he rose betimes
and going to Ali Baba said, "O my brother, to all appearance thou
art poor and needy; but in effect thou hast a store of wealth so
abundant that perforce thou must weigh thy gold with scales."
Quoth Ali Baba, "What is this thou sayest? I understand thee not;
make clear thy purport;" and quoth Kasim with ready rage, "Feign
not that thou art ignorant of what I say and think not to deceive
me." Then showing him the Ashrafi he cried, "Thousands of gold
coins such as these thou hast put by; and meanwhile my wife found
this one stuck to the cup of the scales." Then Ali Baba
understood how both Kasim and his wife knew that he had store of
Ashrafis, and said in his mind that it would not avail him to
keep the matter hidden, but would rather cause ill-will and
mischief; and thus he was induced to tell his brother every whit
concerning the bandits[FN#293] and also of the treasure trove in
the cave. When he had heard the story, Kasim exclaimed, �I would
fain learn of thee the certainty of the place where thou foundest
the moneys; also the magical words whereby the door opened and
closed; and I forewarn thee an thou tell me not the whole truth,
I will give notice of those Ashrafis to the Wali;[FN#294] then
shalt thou forfeit all thy wealth and be disgraced and thrown
into gaol." Thereupon Ali Baba told him his tale not forgetting
the magical words; and Kasim who kept careful heed of all these
matters next day set out, driving ten mules he had hired, and
readily found the place which Ali Baba had described to him. And
when he came to the afore said rock and to the tree whereon Ali
Baba had hidden himself and he had made sure of the door he cried
in great joy, "Open, O Simsim!" The portal yawned wide at once
and Kasim went within and saw the piles of jewels and treasures
lying ranged all around; and, as soon as he stood amongst them
the door shut after him as wont to do. He walked about in ecstasy
marvelling at the treasures, and when weary of admiration he
gathered together bags of Ashrafis, a sufficient load for his ten
mules, and placed them by the entrance in readiness to be carried
outside and set upon the beasts. But by the will of Allah
Almighty he had clean forgotten the cabalistic words and cried
out, "Open, O Barley!" whereat the door refused to move.
Astonished and confused beyond measure he named the names of all
manner of grains save sesame, which had slipped from his memory
as though he had never heard the word; whereat in his dire
distress he heeded not the Ashrafis that lay heaped at the
entrance and paced to and fro, backwards and forwards, within the
cave sorely puzzled and perplexed. The wealth whose sight had
erewhile filled his heart with joy and gladness was now the cause
of bitter grief and sadness.--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-eighth Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Kasim gave
up all hope of the life which he by his greed and envy had so
sore imperilled. It came to pass that at noontide the robbers,
returning by that way, saw from afar some mules standing beside
the entrance and much they marvelled at what had brought the
beasts to that place; for, inasmuch as Kasim by mischance had
failed to tether or hobble them, they had strayed about the
jungle and were browsing hither and thither. However, the thieves
paid scant regard to the estrays nor cared they to secure them,
but only wondered by what means they had wandered so far from the
town. Then, reaching the cave the Captain and his troop
dismounted and going up to the door repeated the formula and at
once it flew open. Now Kasim had heard from within the cave the
horse hooves drawing nigh and yet nigher; and he fell down to the
ground in a fit of fear never doubting that it was the clatter of
the banditti who would slaughter him without fail. Howbeit he
presently took heart of grace and at the moment when the door
flew open he rushed out hoping to make good his escape. But the
unhappy ran full tilt against the Captain who stood in front of
the band, and felled him to the ground; where upon a robber
standing near his chief at once bared his brand and with one cut
crave Kasim clean in twain. Thereupon the robbers rushed into the
cavern, and put back as they were before the bags of Ashrafis
which Kasim had heaped up at the doorway ready for taking away;
nor recked they aught of those which Ali Baba had removed, so
dazed and amazed were they to discover by what means the strange
man had effected an entrance. All knew that it was not possible
for any to drop through the skylights so tall and steep was the
rock's face, withal slippery of ascent; and also that none could
enter by the portal unless he knew the magical words whereby to
open it. However they presently quartered the dead body of Kasim
and hung it to the door within the cavern, two parts to the right
jamb and as many to the left[FN#295] that the sight might be a
warning of approaching doom for all who dared enter the cave.
Then coming out they closed the hoard door and rode away upon
their wonted work. Now when night fell and Kasim came not home,
his wife waxed uneasy in mind and running round to Ali Baba said,
"O my brother, Kasim hath not returned: thou knowest whither he
went, and sore I fear me some misfortune hath betided him." Ali
Baba also divined that a mishap had happened to prevent his
return; not the less, however, he strove to comfort his
sister-in-law with words of cheer and said, "O wife of my
brother, Kasim haply exerciseth discretion and, avoiding the
city, cometh by a roundabout road and will be here anon. This, I
do believe, is the reason why he tarrieth." Thereupon comforted
in spirit Kasim's wife fared homewards and sat awaiting her
husband's return; but when half the night was spent and still he
came not, she was as one distraught. She feared to cry aloud for
her grief, lest haply the neighbours hearing her should come and
learn the secret; so she wept in silence and upbraiding herself
fell to thinking, "Wherefore did I disclose this secret to him
and beget envy and jealousy of Ali Baba? this be the fruit
thereof and hence the disaster that hath come down upon me." She
spent the rest of the night in bitter tears and early on the
morrow tried in hottest hurry to Ali Baba and prayed that he
would go forth in quest of his brother; so he strove to console
her and straightway set out with his asses for the forest.
Presently, reaching the rock he wondered to see stains of blood
freshly shed and not finding his brother or the ten mules he
forefelt a calamity from so evil a sign. He then went to the door
and saying, "Open, O Simsim!" he pushed in and saw the dead body
of Kasim, two parts hanging to the right, and the rest to the
left of the entrance. Albeit he was affrighted beyond measure of
affright he wrapped the quarters in two cloths and laid them upon
one of his asses, hiding them care fully with sticks and fuel
that none might see them. Then he placed the bags of gold upon
the two other animals and likewise covered them most carefully;
and, when all was made ready he closed the cave door with the
magical words, and set him forth wending homewards with all ward
and watchfulness. The asses with the load of Ashrafis he made
over to his wife and bade her bury the bags with diligence; but
he told her not the condition in which he had come upon his
brother Kasim. Then he went with the other ass, to wit, the beast
whereon was laid the corpse to the widow's house and knocked
gently at the door. Now Kasim had a slave-girl shrewd and sharp
witted, Morgiana[FN#296] highs. She as softly undid the bolt and
admitted Ali Baba and the ass into the courtyard of the house,
when he let down the body from the beast's back and said, "O
Morgiana, haste thee and make thee ready to perform the rites for
the burial of thy lord: I now go to tell the tidings to thy
mistress and I will quickly return to help thee in this matter."
At that instant Kasim's widow seeing her brother in law,
exclaimed, "O Ali Baba, what news bringest thou of my spouse?
Alas, I see grief tokens written upon thy countenance. Say
quickly what hath happened." Then he recounted to her how it had
fared with her husband and how he had been slain by the robbers
and in what wise he had brought home the dead body.--And as the
morn began to dawn Shahrazed held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Ali Baba
pursued: "O my lady, what was to happen hath happened but it
behoveth us to keep this matter secret, for that our lives depend
upon privacy." She wept with sore weeping and made answer, "It
hath fared with my husband according to the fiat of Fate; and now
for thy safety's sake I give thee my word to keep the affair
concealed." He replied, "Naught can avail when Allah hath
decreed. Rest thee in patience; until the days of thy
widow-hood[FN#297] be accomplisht"; after which time I will take
thee to wife, and thou shalt live in comfort and happiness; and
fear not lest my first spouse vex thee or show aught of jealousy,
for that she is kindly and tender of heart." The widow lamenting
her loss noisily, cried, "Be it as e'en thou please." Then Ali
Baba farewelled her, weeping and wailing for her husband; and
joining Morgiana took counsel with her how to manage the burial
of his brother. So, after much consultation and many warnings, he
left the slave-girl and departed home driving his ass before him.
As soon as Ali Baba had fared forth Morgiana went quickly to a
druggist's shop; and, that she might the better dissemble with
him and not make known the matter, she asked of him a drug often
administered to men when diseased with dangerous dis-temper. He
gave it saying, "Who is there in thy house that lieth so ill as
to require this medicine?" and said she, "My Master Kasim is sick
well nigh unto death: for many days he hath nor spoken nor tasted
aught of food, so that almost we despair of his life." Next day
Morgiana went again and asked the druggist for more of medicine
and essences such as are adhibited to the sick when at door of
death, that the moribund may haply rally before the last breath.
The man gave the potion and she taking it sighed aloud and wept,
saying' "I fear me he may not have strength to drink this
draught: methinks all will be over with him ere I return to the
house." Meanwhile Ali Baba was anxiously awaiting to hear sounds
of wailing and lamentation in Kasim's home that he might at such
signal hasten thither and take part in the ceremonies of the
funeral. Early on the second day Morgiana went with veiled face
to one B�b� Mustaf�,[FN#298] a tailor well shotten in years whose
craft was to make shrouds and cerecloths; and as soon as she saw
him open his shop she gave him a gold piece and said, "Do thou
bind a bandage over thine eyes and come along with me." Mustafa
made as though he would not go, whereat Morgiana placed a second
gold coin in his palm and entreated him to accompany her. The
tailor presently consented for greed of gain, so tying a kerchief
tightly over his eyes she led him by the hand to the house
wherein lay the dead body of her master. Then, taking off the
bandage in the darkened room she bade him sew together the
quarters of the corpse, limb to its limb; and, casting a cloth
upon the body, said to the tailor "Make haste and sew a shroud
according to the size of this dead man and I will give thee
therefor yet another ducat." Baba Mustafa quickly made the
cerecloth of fitting length and breadth, and Morgiana paid him
the promised Ashrafi; then once more bandaging his eyes led him
back to the place whence she had brought him. After this she
returned hurriedly home and with the help of Ali Baba washed the
body in warm water and donning the shroud lay the corpse upon a
clean place ready for burial. This done Morgiana went to the
mosque and gave notice to an Imam[FN#299] that a funeral was
awaiting the mourners in a certain household, and prayed that he
would come to read the prayers for the dead; and the Imam went
back with her. Then four neighbours took up the bier[FN#300] and
bore it on their shoulders and fared forth with the Imam and
others who were wont to give assistance at such obsequies. After
the funeral prayers were ended four other men carried off the
coffin; and Morgiana walked before it bare of head, striking her
breast and weeping and wailing with exceeding loud lament, whilst
Ali Baba and the neighbours came behind. In such order they
entered the cemetery and buried him; then, leaving him to Munkar
and Nakir[FN#301] the Questioners of the Dead all wended their
ways. Presently the women of the quarter, according to the custom
of the city, gathered together in the house of mourning and sat
an hour with Kasim's widow comforting and condoling, presently
leaving her somewhat resigned and cheered. Ali Baba stayed forty
days at home in ceremonial lamentation for the loss of his
brother; so none within the town save himself and his wife
(Kasim's widow) and Morgiana knew aught about the secret. And
when the forty days of mourning were ended Ali Baba removed to
his own quarters all the property belonging to the deceased and
openly married the widow; then he appointed his nephew, his
brother's eldest son, who had lived a long time with a wealthy
merchant and was perfect of knowledge in all matters of trade,
such as selling and buying, to take charge of the defunct's shop
and to carry on the business.--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirtieth Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, it so chanced
one day when the robbers, as was their wont, came to the
treasure-cave that they marvelled exceedingly to find nor sign
nor trace of Kasim's body whilst they observed that much of gold
had been carried off. Quoth the Captain, "Now it behoveth us to
make enquiry in this matter; else shall we suffer much of loss
and this our treasure, which we and our forefathers have amassed
during the course of many years, will little by little be wasted
and spoiled." Hereto all assented and with single mind agreed
that he whom they had slain had knowledge of the magical words
whereby the door was made to open; moreover that some one beside
him had cognizance the spell and had carried off the body, and
also much of gold; wherefore they needs must make diligent
research and find out who the man ever might be. They then took
counsel and determined that one amongst them, who should be
sagacious and deft of wit, must don the dress of some merchant
from foreign parts; then, repairing to the city he must go about
from quarter to quarter and from street to street, and learn if
any townsman had lately died and if so where he wont to dwell,
that with this clue they might be enabled to find the wight they
sought. Hereat said one of the robbers, "Grant me leave that I
fare and find out such tidings in the town and bring thee word a;
and if I fail of my purpose I hold my life in forfeit."
Accordingly that bandit, after disguising himself by dress,
pushed at night into the town and next morning early he repaired
to the market square and saw that none of the shops had yet been
opened, save only that of Baba Mustafa the tailor, who thread and
needle in hand sat upon his working stool. The thief bade him
good day and said, " �Tis yet dark: how canst thou see to sew?"
Said the tailor, "I perceive thou art a stranger. Despite my
years my eyesight is so keen that only yesterday I sewed together
a dead body whilst sitting in a room quite darkened." Quoth the
bandit thereupon to himself, "I shall get somewhat of my want
from this snip;" and to secure a further clue he asked,
"Meseemeth thou wouldst jest with me and thou meanest that a
cerecloth for a corpse was stitched by thee and that thy business
is to sew shrouds." Answered the tailor, "It mattereth not to
thee: question me no more questions." Thereupon the robber placed
an Ashrafi in his hand and continued, "I desire not to discover
aught thou hidest, albeit my breast like every honest man's is
the grave of secrets; and this only would I learn of thee, in
what house didst thou do that job? Canst thou direct me thither,
or thyself conduct me thereto?" The tailor took the gold with
greed and cried, "I have not seen with my own eyes the way to
that house. A certain bondswoman led me to a place which I know
right well and there she bandaged my eyes and guided me to some
tenement and lastly carried me into a darkened room where lay the
dead body dismembered. Then she unbound the kerchief and bade me
sew together first the corpse and then the shroud, which having
done she again blindfolded me and led me back to the stead whence
she had brought me and left me there. Thou seest then I am not
able to tell thee where thou shalt find the house." Quoth the
robber, "Albeit thou knowest not the dwelling whereof thou
speakest, still canst thou take me to the place where thou west
blindfolded; then I will bind a kerchief over thine eyes and lead
thee as thou west led: on this wise per chance thou mayest hit
upon the site. An thou wilt do this favour by me, see here
another golden ducat is thine." There upon the bandit slipped a
second Ashrafi into the tailor's palm, and Baba Mustafa thrust it
with the first into his pocket; then, leaving his shop as it was,
he walked to the place where Morgiana had tied the kerchief
around his eyes, and with him went the robber who, after binding
on the bandage, led him by the hand. Baba Mustafa, who was clever
and keen-witted, presently striking the street whereby he had
fared with the handmaid, walked on counting step by step; then,
halting suddenly, he said, "Thus far I came with her;" and the
twain stopped in front of Kasim's house wherein now dwelt his
brother Ali Baba.--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held
her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-first Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the robber
then made marks with white chalk upon the door to the end that he
might readily find it at some future time, and removing the
bandage from the tailor's eyes said, "O Baba Mustafa, I thank
thee for this favour: and Almighty Allah guerdon thee for thy
goodness. Tell me now, I pray thee, who dwelleth in yonder
house?" Quoth he, "In very sooth I wot not, for I have little
knowledge concerning this quarter of the city;" and the bandit,
understanding that he could find no further clue from the tailor,
dismissed him to his shop with abundant thanks, and hastened back
to the tryst place in the jungle where the band awaited his
coming. Not long after it so fortuned that Morgiana, going out
upon some errand, marvelled exceedingly at seeing the chalk-marks
showing white in the door; she stood awhile deep in thought and
presently divined that some enemy had made the signs that he
might recognize the house and play some sleight upon her lord.
She therefore chalked the doors of all her neighbours in like
manner and kept the matter secret, never entrusting it or to
master or to mistress. Meanwhile the robber told his comrades his
tale of adventure and how he had found the clue; so the Captain
and with him all the band went one after other by different ways
till they entered the city; and he who had placed the mark on Ali
Baba's door accompanied the Chief to point out the place. He
conducted him straightway to the house and strewing the sign
exclaimed, "Here dwelleth he of whom we are in search!" But when
the Captain looked around him he saw that all the dwellings bore
chalk-marks after like fashion and he wondered saying, "By what
manner of means knowest thou which house of all these houses that
bear similar signs is that whereof thou spakest?" Hereat the
robber-guide was confounded beyond measure of confusion, and
could make no answer; then with an oath he cried, "I did
assuredly set a sign upon a door, but I know not whence came all
the marks upon the other entrances; nor can I say for a surety
which it was I chalked." Thereupon the Captain returned to the
marketplace and said to his men, "We have toiled and laboured in
vain, nor have we found the house we went forth to seek. Return
we now to the forest our rendezvous: I also will fare thither."
Then all trooped off and assembled together within the
treasure-cave; and, when the robbers had all met, the Captain
judged him worthy of punishment who had spoken falsely and had
led them through the city to no purpose. So he imprisoned him in
presence of them all;[FN#302] and then said he, "To him amongst
you will I show special favour who shall go to town and bring me
intelligence whereby we may lay hands upon the plunderer of our
property." Hereat another of the company came forward and said,
"I am ready to go and enquire into the case, and �tis I who will
bring thee to thy wish." The Captain after giving him presents
and promises despatched him upon his errand; and by the decree of
Destiny which none may gainsay, this second robber went first to
the house of Baba Mustafa the tailor, as had done the thief who
had foregone him. In like manner he also persuaded the snip with
gifts of golden coin that he be led hood-winked and thus too he
was guided to Ali Baba's door. Here noting the work of his
predecessor, he affixed to the jamb a mark with red chalk the
better to distinguish it from the others whereon still showed the
white. Then tried he back in stealth to his company; but Morgiana
on her part also descried the red sign on the entrance and with
subtle forethought marked all the others after the same fashion;
nor told she any what she had done. Meanwhile the bandit rejoined
his band and vauntingly said, "O our Captain, I have found the
house and thereon put a mark whereby I shall distinguish it
clearly from all its neighbours."--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-second Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the Captain
despatched another of his men to the city and he found the place,
but, as aforetime, when the troop repaired thither they saw each
and every house marked with signs of red chalk. So they returned
disappointed and the Captain, waxing displeased exceedingly and
distraught, clapped also this spy into gaol. Then said the chief
to himself, "Two men have failed in their endeavour and have met
their rightful meed of punishment; and I trow that none other of
my band will essay to follow up their research; so I myself will
go and find the house of this wight." Accordingly he fared along
and aided by the tailor Baba Mustafa, who had gained much gain of
golden pieces in this matter, he hit upon the house of Ali Baba;
and here he made no outward show or sign, but marked it on the
tablet[FN#303] of his heart and impressed the picture upon the
page of his memory. Then returning to the jungle he said to his
men, "I have full cognizance of the place and have limned it
clearly in my mind; so now there will be no difficulty in finding
it. Go forth straightways and buy me and bring hither nineteen
mules together with one large leathern jar of mustard oil and
seven and thirty vessels of the same kind clean empty. Without me
and the two locked up in gaol ye number thirty-seven souls; so I
will stow you away armed and accoutred each within his jar and
will load two upon each mule, and upon the nineteenth mule there
shall be a man in an empty jar on one side, and on the other the
jar full of oil. I for my part, in guise of an oil-merchant, will
drive the mules into the town, arriving at the house by night,
and will ask permission of its master to tarry there until
morning. After this we shall seek occasion during the dark hours
to rise up and fall upon him and slay him." Furthermore the
Captain spake saying, "When we have made an end of him we shall
recover the gold and treasure whereof he robbed us and bring it
back upon the mules." This counsel pleased the robbers who went
forthwith and purchased mules and huge leathern jars, and did as
the Captain had bidden them. And after a delay of three days
shortly before nightfall they arose; and over smearing all the
jars with oil of mustard, each hid him inside an empty vessel.
The Chief then disguised himself in trader's gear and placed the
jars upon the nineteen mules; to wit, the thirty-seven vessels in
each of which lay a robber armed and accoutred, and the one that
was full of oil. This done, he drove the beasts before him and
presently he reached Ali Baba's place at nightfall; when it
chanced that the house-master was strolling after supper to and
fro in front of his home. The Captain saluted him with the salam
and said, "I come from such and such a village with oil; and
ofttimes have I been here a selling oil, but now to my grief I
have arrived too late and I am sore troubled and perplexed as to
where I shall spend the night. An thou have pity on me I pray
thee grant that I tarry here in thy court yard and ease the mules
by taking down the jars and giving the beasts somewhat of
fodder." Albeit Ali Baba had heard the Captain's voice when
perched upon the tree and had seen him enter the cave, yet by
reason of the disguise he knew him not for the leader of the
thieves, and granted his request with hearty welcome and gave him
full license to halt there for the night. He then pointed out an
empty shed wherein to tether the mules and bade one of the
slave-boys go fetch grain and water. He also gave orders to the
slave-girl Morgiana saying," A guest hath come hither and
tarrieth here to night. Do thou busy thyself with all speed about
his supper and make ready the guest bed for him." Presently, when
the Captain had let down all the jars and had fed and watered his
mules, Ali Baba received him with all courtesy and kindness, and
summoning Morgiana said in his presence, "See thou fail not in
service of this our stranger nor suffer him to lack for aught.
To-morrow early I would fare to the Hammam and bathe; so do thou
give my slave-boy Abdullah a suit of clean white clothes which I
may put on after washing; moreover make thee ready a somewhat of
broth overnight that I may drink it after my return home."
Replied she, "I will have all in readiness as thou hast bidden."
So Ali Baba retired to his rest, and the Captain, having supped,
repaired to the shed and saw that all the mules had their food
and drink for the night.--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad
held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the
Captain, after seeing to the mules and the jars which Ali Baba
and his household held to be full of oil, finding utter privacy,
whispered to his men who were in ambush, "This night at midnight
when ye hear my voice, do you quickly open with your sharp knives
the leathern jars from top to bottom and issue forth without
delay." Then passing through the kitchen he reached the chamber
wherein a bed had been dispread for him, Morgiana showing the way
with a lamp. Quoth she, "An thou need aught beside I pray thee
command this thy slave who is ever ready to obey thy say!" He
made answer, "Naught else need I;" then, putting out the light,
he lay him down on the bed to sleep awhile ere the time came to
rouse his men and finish off the work. Meanwhile Morgiana did as
her master had bidden her: she first took out a suit of clean
white clothes and made it over to Abdullah who had not yet gone
to rest; then she placed the pipkin upon the hearth to boil the
broth and blew the fire till it burnt briskly. After a short
delay she needs must see an the broth be boiling, but by that
time all the lamps had gone out and she found that the oil was
spent and that nowhere could she get a light. The slave-boy
Abdullah observed that she was troubled and perplexed hereat, and
quoth he to her, "Why make so much ado? In yonder shed are many
jars of oil: go now and take as much soever as thou listest."
Morgiana gave thanks to him for his suggestion; and Abdullah, who
was lying at his ease in the hall, went off to sleep so that he
might wake betimes and serve Ali Baba in the bath. So the
hand-maiden rose[FN#304] and with oil-can in hand walked to the
shed where stood the leathern jars all ranged in rows. Now, as
she drew nigh unto one of the vessels, the thief who was hidden
therein hearing the tread of footsteps bethought him that it was
of his Captain whose summons he awaited; so he whispered, "Is it
now time for us to sally forth?" Morgiana started back affrighted
at the sound of human accents; but, inasmuch as she was bold and
ready of wit, she replied, "The time is not yet come," and said
to herself, These jars are not full of oil and herein I perceive
a manner of mystery. Haply the oil-merchant hatcheth some
treacherous plot against my lord; so Allah, the Compassionating,
the Compassionate, protect us from his snares!" Wherefore she
answered in a voice made like to the Captain's, "Not yet, the
time is not come. Then she went to the next jar and returned the
same reply to him who was within, and so on to all the vessels
one by one. Then said she in herself, "Laud to the Lord! my
master took this fellow in believing him to be an oil-merchant,
but lo, he hath admitted a band of robbers, who only await the
signal to fall upon him and plunder the place and do him die."
Then passed she on to the furthest jar and finding it brimming
with oil, filled her can, and returning to the kitchen, trimmed
the lamp and lit the wicks; then, bringing forth a large
cauldron, she set it upon the fire, and filling it with oil from
out the jar heaped wood upon the hearth and fanned it to a fierce
flame the readier to boil its contents. When this was done she
baled it out in potfuls and poured it seething hot into the
leathern vessels one by one while the thieves unable to escape
were scalded to death and every jar contained a corpse.[FN#305]
Thus did this slave-girl by her subtle wit make a clean end of
all noiselessly and unknown even to the dwellers in the house.
Now when she had satisfied herself that each and every of the men
had been slain, she went back to the kitchen and shutting to the
door sat brewing Ali Baba's broth. Scarce had an hour passed
before the Captain woke from sleep; and, opening wide his window,
saw that all was dark and silent; so he clapped his hands as a
signal for his men to come forth but not a sound was heard in
return. After awhile he clapped again and called aloud but got no
answer; and when he cried out a third time without reply he was
perplexed and went out to the shed wherein stood the jars. He
thought to himself, "Perchance all are fallen asleep whenas the
time for action is now at hand, so I must e'en awaken them
without stay or delay." Then approaching the nearest jar he was
startled by a smell of oil and seething flesh; and touching it
outside he felt it reeking hot; then going to the others one by
one, he found all in like condition. Hereat he knew for a surety
the fate which had betided his band and, fearing for his own
safety, he clomb on to the wall, and thence dropping into a
garden made his escape in high dudgeon and sore disappointment.
Morgiana awaited awhile to see the Captain return from the shed
but he came not; whereat she knew that he had scaled the wall and
had taken to flight, for that the street-door was double locked;
and the thieves being all disposed of on this wise Morgiana laid
her down to sleep in perfect solace and ease of mind. When two
hours of darkness yet remained, Ali Baba awoke and went to the
Hammam knowing naught of the night adventure, for the gallant
slave-girl had not aroused him, nor indeed had she deemed such
action expedient, because had she sought an opportunity of
reporting to him her plan, she might haply have lost her chance
and spoiled the project. The sun was high over the horizon when
Ali Baba walked back from the Baths; and he marvelled exceedingly
to see the jars still standing under the shed and said, "How
cometh it that he, the oil-merchant my guest, hath not carried to
the market his mules and jars of oil?"--And as the morn began to
dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred ante Thirty-fourth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Ali Baba
presently asked Morgiana what had befallen the oil-merchant his
guest whom he had placed under her charge; and she answered,
"Allah Almighty vouchsafe to thee six score years and ten of
safety! I will tell thee in privacy of this merchant." So Ali
Baba went apart with his slave-girl, who taking him with out the
house first locked the court-door; then showing him a jar she
said, "Prithee look into this and see if within there be oil or
aught else." Thereupon peering inside it he perceived a man at
which sight he cried aloud and fain would have fled in his
fright. Quoth Morgiana, "Pear him not, this man hath no longer
the force to work thee harm, he lieth dead and stone dead."
Hearing such words of comfort and reassurance Ali Baba asked "O
Morgiana, what evils have we escaped and by what means hath this
wretch become the quarry of Fate?" She answered "Alhamdolillah
�Praise be to Almighty Allah!� I will inform thee fully of the
case; but hush thee, speak not aloud, lest haply the neighbours
learn the secret and it end in our confusion. Look now into all
the jars, one by one from first to last." So Ali Baba examined
them severally and found in each a man fully armed and accoutred
and all lay scalded to death. Hereat speechless for sheer
amazement he stared at the jars, but presently re covering
himself he asked, "And where is he, the oil-merchant?" Answered
she, "Of him also I will inform thee. The villain was no trader
but a traitorous assassin whose honied words would have ensnared
thee to thy doom; and now I will tell thee what he was and what
hath happened; but, meanwhile thou art fresh from the Hammam and
thou shouldst first drink somewhat of this broth for thy
stomach's and thy health's sake." So Ali Baba went within and
Morgiana served up the mess; after which quoth her master, "I
fain would hear this wondrous story: prithee tell it to me and
set my heart at ease." Hereat the handmaid fell to relating
whatso had betided in these words, "O my master, when thou badest
me boil the broth and retiredst to rest, thy slave in obedience
to thy command took out a suit of clean white clothes and gave it
to the boy Abdullah; then kindled the fire and set on the broth.
As soon as it was ready I had need to light a lamp so that I
might see to skim it, but all the oil was spent, and, learning
this I told my want to the slave-boy Abdullah, who advised me to
draw somewhat from the jars which stood under the shed.
Accordingly, I took a can and went to the first vessel when
suddenly I heard a voice within whisper with all caution, �Is it
now time for us to sally forth?' I was amazed thereat and judged
that the pretended merchant had laid some plot to slay thee; so I
replied, �The time is not yet come.' Then I went to the second
jar and heard another voice to which I made the like answer, and
so on with all of them. I now was certified that these men
awaited only some signal from their Chief whom thou didst take to
guest within thy walls supposing him to be a merchant in oil; and
that after thou receivedst him hospitably the miscreant had
brought these men to murther thee and to plunder thy good and
spoil thy house. But I gave him no opportunity to win his wish.
The last jar I found full of oil and taking somewhat therefrom I
lit the lamp; then, putting a large cauldron upon the fire, I
filled it up with oil which I brought from the jar and made a
fierce blaze under it; and, when the contents were seething hot,
I took out sundry cansful with intent to scald them all to death,
and going to each jar in due order, I poured within them one by
one boiling oil. On this wise having destroyed them utterly, I
returned to the kitchen and having extinguished the lamps stood
by the window watching what might happen, and how that false
merchant would act next. Not long after I had taken my station,
the robber captain awoke and oft-times signalled to his thieves.
Then getting no reply he came downstairs and went out to the
jars, and finding that all his men were slain he fled through the
darkness I know not whither. So when he had clean disappeared I
was assured that, the door being double locked, he had scaled the
wall and dropped into the garden and made his escape. Then with
my heart at rest I slept." And Morgiana, after telling her story
to her master, presently added, "This is the whole truth I have
related to thee. For some days indeed have I had inkling of such
matter, but withheld it from thee deeming it inexpedient to risk
the chance of its meeting the neighbours' ears; now, however,
there is no help but to tell thee thereof. One day as I came to
the house-door I espied thereon a white chalk-mark, and on the
next day a red sign beside the white. I knew not the intent
wherewith the marks were made, nevertheless I set others upon the
entrances of sundry neighbours, judging that some enemy had done
this deed whereby to encompass my master's destruction. Therefore
I made the marks on all the other doors in such perfect
conformity with those I found, that it would be hard to
distinguish amongst them."--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-fifth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Morgiana
continued to Ali Baba: "Judge now and see if these signs and all
this villainy be not the work of the bandits of the forest, who
marked our house that on such wise they might know it again. Of
these forty thieves there yet remain two others concerning whose
case I know naught; so beware of them, but chiefly of the third
remaining robber, their Captain, who fled hence alive. Take good
heed and be thou cautious of him, for, shouldst thou fall into
his hands, he will in no wise spare thee but will surely murther
thee. I will do all that lieth in me to save from hurt and harm
thy life and property, nor shall thy slave be found wanting in
any service to my lord." Hearing these words Ali Baba rejoiced
with exceeding joyance and said to her, "I am well pleased with
thee for this thy conduct; and say me what wouldst thou have me
do in thy behalf; I shall not fail to remember thy brave deed so
long as breath in me remaineth." Quoth she, "It behoveth us
before all things forthright to bury these bodies in the ground,
that so the secret be not known to any one." Hereupon Ali Baba
took with him his slave-boy Abdullah into the garden and there
under a tree they dug for the corpses of the thieves a deep pit
in size proportionate to its contents, and they dragged the
bodies (having carried off their weapons) to the fosse and threw
them in; then, covering up the remains of the seven and thirty
robbers they made the ground appear level and clean as it wont to
be. They also hid the leathern jars and the gear and arms and
presently Ali Baba sent the mules by ones and twos to the bazar
and sold them all with the able aid of his slave-boy Abdullah.
Thus the matter was hushed up nor did it reach the ears of any;
Ali Baba ceased not to be ill at ease lest haply the Captain or
the surviving two robbers should wreak their vengeance on his
head. He kept himself private with all caution and took heed that
none learn a word of what happened and of the wealth which he had
carried off from the bandits' cave. Meanwhile the Captain of the
thieves having escaped with his life, fled to the forest in hot
wrath and sore irk of mind, and his senses were scattered and the
colour of his visage vanished like ascending smoke. Then he
thought the matter over again and again, and at last he firmly
resolved that he needs must take the life of Ali Baba, else he
would lose all the treasure which his enemy, by knowledge of the
magical words, would take away and turn to his own use.
Furthermore, he determined that he would undertake the business
singlehanded; and, that after getting rid of Ali Baba, he would
gather together another band of banditti and would pursue his
career of brigandage, as indeed his forbears had done for many
generations. So he lay down to rest that night, and rising early
in the morning donned a dress of suitable appearance; then going
to the city alighted at a caravanserai, thinking to himself,
"Doubtless the murther of so many men hath reached the Wali's
ears, and Ali Baba hath been seized and brought to justice, and
his house is levelled and his good is confiscated. The townfolk
must surely have heard tidings of these matters." So he
straightway asked of the keeper of the Khan, "What strange things
have happened in the city during the last few days?" and the
other told him all that he had seen and heard, but the Captain
could not learn a whit of that which most concerned him. Hereby
he understood that Ali Baba was ware and wise, and that he had
not only carried away such store of treasure but he had also
destroyed so many lives and withal had come off scatheless;
furthermore, that he himself must needs have all his wits alert
not to fall into the hands of his foe and perish. With this
resolve the Captain hired a shop in the Bazar, whither he bore
whole bales of the finest stuffs and goodly merchandise from his
forest treasure house; and presently he took his seat within the
store and fell to doing merchant's business. By chance his place
fronted the booth of the defunct Kasim where his son, Ali Baba's
nephew, now traded; and the Captain, who called himself Khwajah
Hasan, soon formed acquaintance and friendship with the shop
keepers around about him and treated all with profuse civilities,
but he was especially gracious and cordial to the son of Kasim, a
handsome youth and a well-dressed, and oft-times he would sit and
chat with him for a long while. A few days after it chanced that
Ali Baba, as he was sometimes wont to do, came to see his nephew,
whom he found sitting in his shop. The Captain saw and recognised
him at sight and one morning he asked the young man, saying,
"Prithee tell me, who is he that ever and anon cometh to thee at
thy place of sale?" whereto the youth made answer, "He is my
uncle, the brother of my father." Whereupon the Captain showed
him yet greater favour and affection the better to deceive him
for his own devices, and gave him presents and made him sit at
meat with him and fed him with the daintiest of dishes. Presently
Ali Baba's nephew bethought him it was only right and proper that
he also should invite the merchant to supper, but whereas his own
house was small, and he was straitened for room and could not
make a show of splendour, as did Khwajah Hasan, he took counsel
with his uncle on the matter.--And as the morn began to dawn
Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-sixth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Ali Baba
replied to his nephew: "Thou sayest well: it behoveth thee to
entreat thy friend in fairest fashion even as he hath entreated
thee. On the morrow, which is Friday, shut thy shop as do all
merchants of repute; then, after the early meal, take Khwajah
Hasan to smell the air,[FN#306] and as thou walkest lead him
hither unawares; meanwhile I will give orders that Morgiana shall
make ready for his coming the best of viands and all necesseries
for a feast. Trouble not thyself on any wise, but leave the
matter in my hands." Accordingly on the next day, to wit, Friday,
the nephew of Ali Baba took Khwajah Hasan to walk about the
garden; and, as they were returning he led him by the street
wherein his uncle dwelt. When they came to the house the youth
stopped at the door and knocking said, "O my lord, this is my
second home: my uncle hath heard much of thee and of thy goodness
me-wards and desireth with exceeding desire to see thee; so,
shouldst thou consent to enter and visit him, I shall be truly
glad and thankful to thee." Albeit Khwajah Hasan rejoiced in
heart that he had thus found means whereby he might have access
to his enemy's house and household, and although he hoped soon to
attain his end by treachery, yet he hesitated to enter in and
stood to make his excuses and walk away But when the door was
opened by the slave-porter, Ali Baba's nephew seized his
companion's hand and after abundant persuasion led him in,
whereat he entered with great show of cheerfulness as though much
pleased and honoured. The house-master received him with all
favour and worship and asked him of his welfare, and said to him
"O my lord, I am obliged and thankful to thee for that thou hast
strewn favour to the son of my brother and I perceive that thou
regardest him with an affection even fonder than my own." Khwajah
Hasan replied with pleasant words and said, "Thy nephew vastly
taketh my fancy and in him I am well pleased, for that although
young in years yet he hath been endued by Allah with much of
wisdom." Thus they twain conversed with friendly conversation and
presently the guest rose to depart and said, "O my lord, thy
slave must now farewell thee; but on some future day--Inshallah
he will again wait upon thee." Ali Baba, however, would not let
him leave and asked, "Whither wendest thou, O my friend? I would
invite thee to my table and I pray thee sit at meat with us and
after hie thee home in peace. Perchance the dishes are not as
delicate as those whereof thou art wont to eat, still deign grant
me this request I pray thee and refresh thyself with my victual."
Quoth Khwajah Hasan, "O my lord I am beholden to thee for thy
gracious invitation, and with pleasure would I sit at meat with
thee, but for a special reason must I needs excuse myself; suffer
me therefore to depart for I may not tarry longer nor accept thy
gracious offer." Hereto the host made reply, "I pray thee, O my
lord, tell me what may be the reason so urgent and weighty?" And
Khwajah Hasan answered, "The cause is this: I must not, by order
of the physician, who cured me lately of my complaint, eat aught
of food prepared with salt." Quoth Ali Baba, "An this be all,
deprive me not, I pray thee, of the honour thy company will
confer upon me: as the meats are not yet cooked, I will forbid
the kitchener to make use of any salt. Tarry here awhile and I
will return anon to thee." So saying Ali Baba went in to Morgiana
and bade her not put salt into any one of the dishes; and she,
while busied with her cooking, fell to marvelling greatly at such
order and asked her master, "Who is he that eateth meat wherein
is no salt?" He answered, "What to thee mattereth it who he may
be? only do thou my bidding." She rejoined, " 'Tis well: all
shall be as thou wishest;" but in mind she wondered at the man
who made such strange request and desired much to look upon him.
Wherefore, when all the meats were ready for serving up, she
helped the slave-boy Abdullah to spread the table and set on the
meal; and no sooner did she see Khwajah Hasan than she knew who
he was, albeit he had disguised himself in the dress of a
stranger merchant; furthermore, when she eyed him attentively she
espied a dagger hidden under his robe. "So ho!" quoth she to
herself, "this is the cause why the villain eateth not of salt,
for that he seeketh an opportunity to slay my master whose mortal
enemy he is; howbeit I will be beforehand with him and despatch
him ere he find a chance to harm my lord."--And as the morn began
to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-seventh Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Morgiana,
having spread a white cloth upon the table and served up the
meal, went back to the kitchen and thought out her plot against
the robber Captain. Now when Ali Baba and Khwajah Hasan had eaten
their sufficiency, the slave-boy Abdullah brought Morgiana word
to serve the dessert, and she cleared the table and set on fruit
fresh and dried in salvers, then she placed by the side of Ali
Baba a small tripod for three cups with a flagon of wine, and
lastly she went off with the slave-boy Abdullah into another
room, as though she would herself eat supper. Then Khwajah Hasan,
that is, the Captain of the robbers, perceiving that the coast
was clear, exulted mightily saying to himself, "The time hath
come for me to take full vengeance; with one thrust of my dagger
I will despatch this fellow, then escape across the garden and
wend my ways. His nephew will not adventure to stay my hand, for
an he do but move a finger or toe with that intent another stab
will settle his earthly account. Still must I wait awhile until
the slave-boy and the cook-maid shall have eaten and lain down to
rest them in the kitchen." Morgiana, however, watched him
wistfully and divining his purpose said in her mind, "I must not
allow this villain advantage over my lord, but by some means I
must make void his project and at once put an end to the life of
him." Accordingly, the trusty slave-girl changed her dress with
all haste and donned such clothes as dancers wear; she veiled her
face with a costly kerchief; around her head she bound a fine
turband, and about her middle she tied a waist cloth worked with
gold and silver wherein she stuck a dagger, whose hilt was rich
in filigree and jewelry. Thus disguised she said to the slave-boy
Abdullah, "Take now thy tambourine that we may play and sing and
dance in honour of our master's guest." So he did her bidding and
the twain went into the room, the lad playing and the lass
following. Then, making a low cong�e, they asked leave to perform
and disport and play; and Ali Baba gave permission, saying,
"Dance now and do your best that this our guest may be mirthful
and merry." Quoth Khwajah Hasan, "O my lord, thou dost indeed
provide much pleasant entertainment." Then the slave-boy Abdullah
standing by began to strike the tambourine whilst Morgiana rose
up and showed her perfect art and pleased them vastly with
graceful steps and sportive motion; and suddenly drawing the
poniard from her belt she brandished it and paced from side to
side, a spectacle which pleased them most of all. At times also
she stood before them, now clapping the sharp-edged dagger under
her armpit and then setting it against her breast. Lastly she
took the tambourine from the slave-boy Abdullah, and still
holding the poniard in her right she went round for largesse as
is the custom amongst merry makers. First she stood before Ali
Baba who threw a gold coin into the tambourine, and his nephew
likewise put in an Ashrafi; then Khwajah Hasan, seeing her about
to approach him, fell to pulling out his purse, when she
heartened her heart and quick as the blinding levee she plunged
the dagger into his vitals, and forthwith the miscreant fell back
stone dead. Ali Baba was dismayed and cried in his wrath, "O
unhappy, what is this deed thou hast done to bring about my
ruin!" But she replied, "Nay, O my lord, rather to save thee and
not to cause thee harm have I slain this man: loosen his garments
and see what thou wilt discover thereunder." So Ali Baba searched
the dead man's dress and found concealed therein a dagger. Then
said Morgiana, "This wretch was thy deadly enemy. Consider him
well: he is none other than the oil-merchant, the Captain of the
band of robbers. Whenas he came hither with intent to take thy
life, he would not eat thy salt; and when thou toldest me that he
wished not any in the meat I suspected him and at first sight I
was assured that he would surely do thee die; Almighty Allah be
praised �tis even as I thought." Then Ali Baba lavished upon her
thanks and expressions of gratitude, saying, "Lo, these two times
hast thou saved me from his hand," and falling upon her neck he
cried, "See thou art free, and as reward for this thy fealty I
have wedded thee to my nephew." Then turning to the youth he
said, "Do as I bid thee and thou shalt prosper. I would that thou
marry Morgiana, who is a model of duty and loyalty: thou seest
now yon Khwajah Hasan sought thy friendship only that he might
find opportunity to take my life, but this maiden with her good
sense and her wisdom hath slain him and saved us." And as the
morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Thirty-eighth Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Ali Baba's
nephew straightway consented to marry Morgiana. After which the
three, raising the dead body bore it forth with all heed and
vigilance and privily buried it in the garden, and for many years
no one knew aught thereof. In due time Ali Baba married his
brother's son to Morgiana with great pomp, and spread a
bride-feast in most sumptuous fashion for his friends and
neighbours, and made merry with them and enjoyed singing and all
manner of dancing and amusements. He prospered in every
undertaking and Time smiled upon him and a new source of wealth
was opened to him. For fear of the thieves he had not once
visited the jungle-cave wherein lay the treasure, since the day
he had carried forth the corpse of his brother Kasim. But some
time after, he mounted his hackney one morning and journeyed
thither, with all care and caution, till finding no signs of man
or horse, and reassured in his mind he ventured to draw near the
door. Then alighting from his beast he tied it up to a tree, and
going to the entrance pronounced the words which he had not
forgotten, "Open, O Simsim!" Hereat, as was its wont, the door
flew open, and entering thereby he saw the goods and hoard of
gold and silver untouched and lying as he had left them. So he
felt assured that not one of all the thieves remained alive, and,
that save himself there was not a soul who knew the secret of the
place. At once he bound in his saddle-cloth a load of Ashrafis
such as his horse could bear and brought it home; and in after
days he showed the hoard to his sons and sons' sons and taught
them how the door could be caused to open and shut. Thus Ali Baba
and his household lived all their lives in wealth and joyance in
that city where erst he had been a pauper, and by the blessing of
that secret treasure he rose to high degree and dignities.--And
as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and thirty-ninth Night.

Then by the command of King Shahryar Queen Shahrazad began to
tell in these words the story of

ALI KHWAJAH AND THE MERCHANT OF BAGHDAD

Under the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid there dwelt in the city
of Baghdad a certain merchant, �Al� Khw�jah hight, who had a
small stock of goods wherewith he bought and sold and made a bare
livelihood, abiding alone and without a family in the house of
her forbears. Now so it came to pass that each night for three
nights together he saw in a vision a venerable Shaykh who bespake
him thus, "Thou art beholden to make a pilgrimage to Meccah; why
abidest thou sunk in heedless slumber and farest not forth as it
behoveth thee?"[FN#307] Hearing these words he became sore
startled and affrighted, so that he sold shop and goods and all
that he had; and, with firm intent to visit the Holy House of
Almighty Allah, he let his home on hire and joined a caravan that
was journeying to Meccah the Magnified. But ere he left his
natal city he placed a thousand gold pieces, which were over and
above his need for the journey, within an earthen jar filled up
with As�f�r�[FN#308] or Sparrow-olives; and, having made fast the
mouth thereof, he carried the jar to a merchant-friend of many
years standing and said, "Belike, O my brother, thou hast heard
tell that I purpose going with a caravan on pilgrimage to Meccah,
the Holy City; so I have brought a jar of olives the which, I
pray thee, preserve for me in trust against my return." The
merchant at once arose and handing the key of his warehouse to
Ali Khwajah said, "Here, take the key and open the store and
therein place the jar anywhere thou choosest, and when thou shalt
come back thou wilt find it even as thou leftest it." Hereupon
Ali Khwajah did his friend's bidding and locking up the door
returned the key to its master. Then loading his travelling
goods upon a dromedary and mounting a second beast he fared forth
with the caravan. They came at length to Meccah the Magnified,
and it was the month Z� al-Hijjah wherein myriads of Moslems hie
thither on pilgrimage and pray and prostrate before the Ka'abah-
temple. And when he had circuited the Holy House and fulfilled
all the rites and ceremonies required of palmers, he set up a
shop for sale of merchandise.[FN#309] By chance two merchants
passing along that street espied the fine stuffs and goods in Ali
Khwajah's booth and approved much of them and praised their
beauty and excellence. Presently quoth one to other, "This man
bringeth here most rare and costly goods: now in Cairo, the
capital of Egypt-land would he get full value for them, and far
more than in the markets of this city." Hearing mention of
Cairo, Ali Khwajah conceived a sore longing to visit that famous
capital, so he gave up his intent of return Baghdad-wards and
purposed wayfaring to Egypt. Accordingly he joined a caravan and
arriving thither was well-pleased with the place, both country
and city; and selling his merchandise he made great gain
therefrom. Then buying other goods and stuffs he purposed to
make Damascus; but for one full month he tarried at Cairo and
visited her sanctuaries and saintly places and after leaving her
walls he solaced himself with seeing many famous cities distant
several days' journey from the capital along the banks of the
River Nilus. Presently, bidding adieu to Egypt he arrived at the
Sanctified House,[FN#310] Jerusalem and prayed in the Temple of
Banu Isra'�l which the Moslems had re-edified. In due time he
reached Damascus and observed that the city was well builded and
much peopled, and that the fields and meads were well-watered
with springs and channels and that the gardens and vergiers were
laden with flowers and fruits. Amid such delights Ali Khwajah
hardly thought of Baghdad; withal he ceased not to pursue his
journey through Aleppo, Mosul and Shir�z, tarrying some time at
all of these towns, especially at Shir�z, till at length after
seven years of wayfaring he came back to Baghdad.--And as the
morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Fortieth Night.

Then said she:--It behoveth thee now, O auspicious King, to hear
of the Baghdad merchant and his lack of probity. For seven long
years he never once thought of Ali Khwajah or of the trust
committed to his charge; till one day as his wife sat at meat
with him at the evening meal, their talk by chance was of olives.
Quoth she to him, "I would now fain have some that I may eat of
them;" and quoth he, "As thou speakest thereof I bethink me of
that Ali Khwajah who seven years ago fared on a pilgrimage to
Meccah, and ere he went left in trust with me a jar of Sparrow-
olives which still cumbereth the store-house. Who knoweth where
he is or what hath betided him? A man who lately returned with
the Hajj-caravan brought me word that Ali Khwajah had quitted
Meccah the Magnified with intent to journey on to Egypt. Allah
Almighty alone knoweth an he be still alive or he be now dead;
however, if his olives be in good condition I will go bring some
hither that we may taste them: so give me a platter and a lamp
that I may fetch thee somewhat of them." His wife, an honest
woman and an upright, made answer, "Allah forbid that thou
shouldst do a deed so base and break thy word and covenant. Who
can tell? Thou art not assured by any of his death; perchance he
may come back from Egypt safe and sound tomorrow or the day
after; then wilt thou, an thou cannot deliver unharmed to him
what he hath left in pledge, be ashamed of this thy broken troth
and we shall be disgraced before man and dishonoured in the
presence of thy friend. I will not for my part have any hand in
such meanness nor will I taste the olives; furthermore, it
standeth not to reason that after seven years' keeping they
should be fit to eat. I do implore thee to forswear this ill
purpose." On such wise the merchant's wife protested and prayed
her husband that he meddle not with Ali Khwajah's olives, and
shamed him of his intent so that for the nonce he cast the matter
from his mind. However, although the trader refrained that
evening from taking Ali Khwajah's olives, yet he kept the design
in memory until one day when, of his obstinacy and unfaith, he
resolved to carry out his project; and rising up walked towards
the store-room dish in hand. By chance he met his wife who said,
"I am no partner with thee in this ill-action: in very truth
some evil shall befal thee an thou do such deed." He heard her
but heeded her not; and, going to the store-room opened the jar
and found the olives spoiled and white with mould; but presently
he tilted up the jar and pouring some of its contents into the
dish, suddenly saw an Ashrafi fall from the vessel together with
the fruit. Then, filled with greed, he turned out all that was
within into another jar and wondered with exceeding wonder to
find the lower half full of golden coins. Presently, putting up
the moneys and the olives he closed the vessel and going back
said to his wife, "Thou spakest sooth, for I have examined the
jar and have found the fruit mouldy and foul of smell; wherefore
I returned it to its place and left it as it was aforetime."
That night the merchant could not sleep a wink for thinking of
the gold and how he might lay hands thereon; and when morning
morrowed he took out all the Ashrafis and buying some fresh
olives in the Bazar filled up the jar with them and closed the
mouth and set it in its usual place. Now it came to pass by
Allah's mercy that at the end of the month Ali Khwajah returned
safe and sound to Baghdad; and he first went to his old friend,
to wit, the merchant who, greeting him with feigned joy, fell on
his neck, but withal was sore troubled and perplexed at what
might happen. After salutations and much rejoicing on either
part Ali Khwajah bespake the merchant on business and begged that
he might take back his jar of Asafiri-olives which he had placed
in charge of his familiar. Quoth the merchant to Ali Khwajah, "O
my friend, I wot not where thou didst leave thy jar of olives;
but here is the key, go down to the store-house and take all that
is thine own." So Ali Khwajah did as he was bidden and carrying
the jar from the magazine took his leave and hastened home; but,
when he opened the vessel and found not the gold coins, he was
distracted and overwhelmed with grief and made bitter
lamentation. Then he returned to the merchant and said, "O my
friend, Allah, the All-present and the All-seeing, be my witness
that, when I went on my pilgrimage to Meccah the Magnified, I
left a thousand Ashrafis in that jar, and now I find them not.
Canst thou tell me aught concerning them? An thou in thy sore
need have made use of them, it mattereth not so thou wilt give
them back as soon as thou art able." The merchant, apparently
pitying him, said, "O good friend, thou didst thyself with thine
hand set the jar inside the store-room. I wist not that thou
hadst aught in it save olives; yet as thou didst leave it, so in
like manner didst thou find it and carry it away; and now thou
chargest me with theft of Ashrafis. It seemeth strange and
passing strange that thou shouldst make such accusation. When
thou wentest thou madest no mention of any money in the jar, but
saidst that it was full of olives, even as thou hast found it.
Hadst thou left gold coins therein, then surely thou wouldst have
recovered them." Hereupon Ali Khwajah begged hard with much
entreaty, saying, "Those thousand Ashrafis were all I owned, the
money earned by years of toil: I do beseech thee have pity on my
case and give them back to me." Replied the merchant, waxing
wroth with great wrath, "O my friend, a fine fellow thou art to
talk of honesty and withal make such false and lying charge.
Begone: hie thee hence and come not to my house again; for now I
know thee as thou art, a swindler and imposter." Hearing this
dispute between Ali Khwajah and the merchant all the people of
the quarter came crowding to the shop.--And as the morn began to
dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-first Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the
multitude which thronged about the merchant's shop warmly took up
the matter; and thus it became well known to all, rich and poor,
within the city of Baghdad how that one Ali Khwajah had hidden a
thousand Ashrafis within a jar of olives and had placed it on
trust with a certain merchant; moreover how, after pilgrimaging
to Meccah and seven years of travel the poor man had returned,
and that the rich man had gainsaid his words anent the gold and
was ready to make oath that he had not received any trust of the
kind. At length, when naught else availed, Ali Khwajah was
constrained to bring the matter before the Kazi, and to claim one
thousand Ashrafis of his false friend. The Judge asked, "What
witnesses hast thou who may speak for thee?" and the plantiff
answered, "O my lord the Kazi, I feared to tell the matter to any
man lest all come to know of my secret. Allah Almighty is my
sole testimony. This merchant was my friend and I recked not
that he would prove dishonest and unfaithful." Quoth the Judge,
"Then must I needs send for the merchant and hear what he saith
on oath;" and when the defendant came they made him swear by all
he deemed holy, facing Ka'abah-wards with hands uplifted, and he
cried, "I swear that I know naught of any Ashrafis belonging to
Ali Khwajah."[FN#311] Hereat the Kazi pronounced him innocent
and dismissed him from court; and Ali Khwajah went home sad at
heart and said to himself, "Alas, what justice is this which hath
been meted out to me, that I should lose my money, and my just
cause be deemed unjust! It hath been truly said, �He loseth the
lave who sueth before a knave.' " On the next day he drew out a
statement of his case; and, as the Caliph Harun al-Rashid was on
his way to Friday-prayers, he fell down on the ground before him
and presented to him the paper. The Commander of the Faithful
read the petition and having understood the case deigned give
order saying, "To-morrow bring the accuser and the accused to the
audience-hall and place the petition before my presence, for I
myself will enquire into this matter." That night the Prince of
True Believers, as was his wont, donned disguise to walk about
the squares of Baghdad and its streets and lanes and, accompanied
by Ja'afar the Barmaki and Masr�r the Sworder of his vengeance,
proceeded to espy what happened in the city. Immediately on
issuing forth he came upon an open place in the Bazar when he
heard the hubbub of children a-playing and saw at scanty distance
some ten or dozen boys making sport amongst themselves in the
moonlight; and he stopped awhile to watch their diversion. Then
one amongst the lads, a goodly and a fair-complexioned, said to
the others, "Come now and let us play the game of Kazi: I will
be the Judge; let one of you be Ali Khwajah, and another the
merchant with whom he placed the thousand Ashrafis in pledge
before faring on his pilgrimage: so come ye before me and let
each one plead his plea." When the Caliph heard the name of Ali
Khwajah he minded him of the petition which had been presented to
him for justice against the merchant, and bethought him that he
would wait and see how the boy would perform the part of Kazi in
their game and upon what decision he would decide. So the Prince
watched the mock-trial with keen interest saying to himself,
"This case hath verily made such stir within the city that even
the children know thereof and re-act it in their sports."
Presently, he amongst the lads who took the part of Ali Khwajah
the plaintiff and his playmate who represented the merchant of
Baghdad accused of theft, advanced and stood before the boy who
as the Kazi sat in pomp and dignity. Quoth the Judge, "O Ali
Khwajah, what is thy claim against this merchant?" and the
complainant preferred his charge in a plea of full detail. Then
said the Kazi to the boy who acted merchant, "What answerest thou
to this complaint and why didst thou not return the gold pieces?"
The accused made reply even as the real defendant had done and
denied the charge before the Judge, professing himself ready to
take oath thereto. Then said the boy-Kazi, "Ere thou swear on
oath that thou hast not taken the money, I would fain see for
myself the jar of olives which the plaintiff deposited with thee
on trust." Then turning to the boy who represented Ali Khwajah
he cried, "Go thou and instantly produce the jar that I may
inspect it." And when the vessel was brought the Kazi said to
the two contentious, "See now and say me: be this the very jar
which thou, the plaintiff, leftest with the defendant?" and both
answered that it was and the same. Then said the self-
constituted Judge, "Open now the jar and bring hither some of the
contents that I may see the state in which the Asafiri-olives
actually are." Then tasting of the fruit, "How is this? I find
their flavour is fresh and their state excellent. Surely during
the lapse of seven twelvemonths the olives would have become
mouldy and rotten. Bring now before me two oil-merchants of the
town that they may pass opinion upon them." Then two other of
the boys assumed the parts commanded and coming into court stood
before the Kazi, who asked, "Are ye olive-merchants by trade?"
They answered, "We are and this hath been our calling for many
generations and in buying and selling olives we earn our daily
bread." Then said the Kazi, "Tell me now, how long do olives
keep fresh and well-flavoured?" and said they, "O my lord,
however carefully we keep them, after the third year they change
flavour and colour and become no longer fit for food, in fact
they are good only to be cast away." Thereupon quoth the boy-
Kazi, "Examine me now these olives that are in this jar and say
me how old are they and what is their condition and savour."--And
as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-second Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the two
boys who played the parts of oil-merchants pretended to take some
berries from the jar and taste them and presently they said, "O
our lord the Kazi, these olives are in fair condition and full-
flavoured." Quoth the Kazi, "Ye speak falsely, for �tis seven
years since Ali Khwajah put them in the jar as he was about to go
a-pilgrimaging;" and quoth they, "Say whatso thou wilt those
olives are of this year's growth, and there is not an oil-
merchant in all Baghdad but who will agree with us." Moreover
the accused was made to taste and smell the fruits and he could
not but admit that it was even so as they had avouched. Then
said the boy-Kazi to the boy-defendant, " �Tis clear thou art a
rogue and a rascal, and thou hast done a deed wherefor thou
richly deservest the gibbet." Hearing this the children frisked
about and clapped their hands with glee and gladness, then
seizing hold of him who acted as the merchant of Baghdad, they
led him off as to execution. The Commander of the Faithful,
Harun al-Rashid, was greatly pleased at this acuteness of the boy
who had assumed the part of judge in the play, and commanded his
Wazir Ja'afar saying, "Mark well the lad who enacted the Kazi in
this mock-trial and see that thou produce him on the morrow: he
shall try the case in my presence substantially and in real
earnest, even as we have heard him deal with it in play. Summon
also the Kazi of this city that he may learn the administration
of justice from this child. Moreover send word to Ali Khwajah
bidding him bring with him the jar of olives, and have also in
readiness two oil-merchants of the town." Thus as they walked
along the Caliph gave orders to the Wazir and then returned to
his palace. So on the morrow Ja'afar the Barmaki went to that
quarter of the town where the children had enacted the mock-trail
and asked the schoolmaster where his scholars might be, and he
answered, "They have all gone away, each to his home." So the
minister visited the houses pointed out to him and ordered the
little ones to appear in his presence. Accordingly they were
brought before him, when he said to them, "Who amongst you is he
that yesternight acted the part of Kazi in play and passed
sentence in the case of Ali Khwajah?" The eldest of them
replied, " �Twas I, O my lord the Wazir;" and then he waxed pale,
not knowing why the question was put. Cried the Minister, "Come
along with me; the Commander of the Faithful hath need of thee."
At this the mother of the lad was sore afraid and wept; but
Ja'afar comforted her and said, "O my lady, have no fear and
trouble not thyself. Thy son will soon return to thee in safety,
Inshallah--God willing--and methinks the Sultan will show much
favour unto him." The woman's heart was heartened on hearing
these words of the Wazir and she joyfully dressed her boy in his
best attire and sent him off with the Wazir, who led him by the
hand to the Caliph's audience-hall and executed all the other
commandments which had been issued by his liege lord. Then the
Commander of the Faithful, having taken seat upon the throne of
justice, set the boy upon a seat beside him, and as soon as the
contending parties appeared before him, that is Ali Khwajah and
the merchant of Baghdad, he commanded them to state each man his
case in presence of the child who should adjudge the suit. So
the two, plaintiff and defendant recounted their contention
before the boy in full detail; and when the accused stoutly
denied the charge and was about to swear on oath that what he
said was true, with hands uplifted and facing Ka'abah-wards, the
child-Kazi prevented him, saying, "Enough! swear not on oath
till thou art bidden; and first let the jar of olives be produced
in Court." Forthwith the jar was brought forward and placed
before him; and the lad bade open it; then, tasting one he gave
also to two oil-merchants who had been summoned, that they might
do likewise and declare how old was the fruit and whether its
savour was good or bad. They did his bidding and said, "The
flavour of these olives hath not changed and they are of this
year's growth." Then said the boy, "Methinks ye are mistaken,
for seven years ago Ali Khwajah put the olives into the jar: how
then could fruit of this year find their way therein?" But they
replied, " �Tis even as we say: an thou believe not our words
send straightway for other oil-merchants and make enquiry of
them, so shalt thou know if we speak sooth or lies." But when
the merchant of Baghdad saw that he could no longer avail to
prove his innocence, he confessed everything; to wit, how he had
taken out the Ashrafis and filled the jar with fresh olives.
Hearing this the boy said to the Prince of True Believers, "O
gracious sovereign, last night in play we tried this cause, but
thou alone has power to apply the penalty. I have adjudged the
matter in thy presence and I humbly pray that thou punish this
merchant according to the law of the Koran and the custom of the
Apostle; and thou decree the restoring of his thousand gold
pieces to Ali Khwajah, for that he hath been proved entitled to
them."--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace
till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-third Night.

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the Caliph
ordered the merchant of Baghdad to be taken away and be hanged,
after he should have made known where he had put the thousand
Ashrafis and that these should have been restored their rightful
owner, Ali Khwajah. He also turned to the Kazi who had hastily
adjudged the case, and bade him learn from that lad to do his
duty more sedulously and conscientiously. More-over the Prince
of True Believers embraced the boy, and ordered that the Wazir
give him a thousand pieces of gold from the royal treasury and
conduct him safely to his home and parents.[FN#312] And after,
when the lad grew to man's estate, the Commander of the Faithful
made him one of his cup-companions and furthered his fortunes and
ever entreated him with the highmost honour. But when Queen
Shahrazad had ended the story of Ali Khwajah and the merchant of
Baghdad she said, "Now, O auspicious King, I would relate a more
excellent history than any, shouldst thou be pleased to hear that
I have to say;" and King Shahryar replied, "By Allah! what an
admirable tale is this thou hast told: my ears do long to hear
another as rare and commendable." So Shahrazad began forthright
to recount the adventures of[FN#313]

PRINCE AHMAD AND THE FAIRY
PERI-BANU.[FN#314]

In days of yore and times long gone before there was a Sultan of
India who begat three sons; the eldest hight Prince Husayn, the
second Prince Ali, and the youngest Prince Ahmad; moreover he had
a niece, named Princess Nur al-Nih�r,[FN#315] the daughter of his
cadet brother who, dying early, left his only child under her
uncle's charge. The King busied himself with abundant diligence
about her instruction and took all care that she should be taught
to read and write, sew and embroider, sing and deftly touch all
instruments of mirth and merriment. This Princess also in beauty
and loveliness and in wit and wisdom far excelled all the maidens
of her own age in every land. She was brought up with the Princes
her cousins in all joyance; and they ate together and played
together and slept together; and the king had determined in his
mind that when she reached marriageable age he would give her in
wedlock to some one of the neighbouring royalties; but, when she
came to years of discretion, her uncle perceived that the three
Princes his sons were all three deep in love of her, and each
desired in his heart to woo and to win and to wed her. Wherefore
was the King sore troubled in mind and said to himself, "An I
give the Lady Nur al-Nihar in wedlock to any one of her cousins,
the other twain will be dissatisfied and murmur against my
decision; withal my soul cannot endure to see them grieved and
disappointed. And should I marry her to some stranger the three
Princes my sons will be sore distressed and saddened in soul;
nay, who knoweth that they may not slay themselves or go forth
and betake them to some far and foreign land? The matter is a
troublous and a perilous; so it behoveth me their sire to take
action on such wise that if one of them espouse her, the other
two be not displeased thereat." Long time the Sultan revolved the
matter in his mind; and at length he devised a device; and,
sending for the three princes, addressed them saying, "O my sons,
ye are in my opinion of equal merit one with other; nor can I
give preference to any of you and marry him to the Princess Nur
al-Nihar; nor yet am I empowered to wed her with all three. But I
have thought of one plan whereby she shall be wife to one of you,
and yet shall not cause aught of irk or envy to his brethren; so
may your mutual love and affection remain unabated, and one shall
never be jealous of the other's happiness. Brief, my device is
this:--Go ye and travel to distant countries, each one separating
himself from the others; and do ye bring me back the thing most
wondrous and marvellous of all sights ye may see upon your
wayfarings; and he who shall return with the rarest of
curiosities shall be husband to the Princess Nur al-Nihar.
Consent ye now to this proposal; and whatso of money ye require
for travel and for the purchase of objects seld-seen and
singular, take ye from the royal treasury as much as ye desire."
The three Princes, who were ever submissive to their sire,
consented with one voice to this proposal, and each was satisfied
and confident that he would bring the King the most extraordinary
of gifts and thereby win the Princess to wife. So the Sultan bade
give to each what moneys he wanted without stint or account, and
counselled them to make ready for the journey without stay or
delay and depart their home in the Peace of Allah.--And as the
morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-fourth Night

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the three
princely brothers forthright made them ready for journey and
voyage. So they donned disguise, preferring the dress of
wandering merchants; and, buying such things as they needed and
taking with them each his suite they mounted steeds of purest
blood and rode forth in a body from the palace. For several
stages they travelled the same road until, reaching a place where
it branched off in three different ways, they alighted at a Khan
and ate the evening meal. Then they made compact and covenant,
that whereas they had thus far travelled together they should at
break of day take separate roads and each wend his own way and
all seek different and distant regions, agreeing to travel for
the space of one year only, after which, should they be in the
land of the living, all three would rendezvous at that same
caravanserai and return in company to the King their sire.
Furthermore, they determined that the first who came back to the
Khan should await the arrival of the next, and that two of them
should tarry there in expectancy of the third. Then, all this
matter duly settled, they retired to rest, and when the morning
morrowed they fell on one another's necks and bade farewell; and,
lastly, mounting their horses, they rode forth each in his own
direction. Now Prince Husayn, the eldest, had oft heard recount
the wonders of the land Bishangarh[FN#316], and for a long while
had wished to visit it; so he took the road which led thither,
and, joining himself to a caravan journeying that way,
accompanied it by land and by water and traversed many regions,
desert wilds and stony wolds, dense jungles and fertile tracts,
with fields and hamlets and gardens and townships. After three
months spent in wayfare at length he made Bishangarh, a region
over-reigned by manifold rulers, so great was its extent and so
far reaching was its power. He put up at a Khan built specially
for merchants who came from the farthest lands, and from the folk
who dwelt therein he heard tell that the city contained a large
central market[FN#317] wherein men bought and sold all manner of
rarities and wondrous things. Accordingly, next day Prince Husayn
repaired to the Bazar and on sighting it he stood amazed at the
prospect of its length and width. It was divided into many
streets, all vaulted over but lit up by skylights; and the shops
on either side were substantially builded, all after one pattern
and nearly of the same size, while each was fronted by an awning
which kept off the glare and made a grateful shade. Within these
shops were ranged and ordered various kinds of wares; there were
bales of "woven air"[FN#318] and linens of finest tissue,
plain-white or dyed or adorned with life-like patterns wherefrom
beasts and trees and blooms stood out so distinctly that one
might believe them to be very ferals, bosquets and gardens. There
were moreover silken goods, brocaded stuffs, and finest satins
from Persia and Egypt of endless profusion; in the China
warehouses stood glass vessels of all kinds, and here and there
were stores wherein tapestries and thousands of foot-carpets lay
for sale. So Prince Husayn walked on from shop to shop and
marvelled much to see such wondrous things whereof he had never
even dreamt: and he came at length to the Goldsmiths' Lane and
espied gems and jewels and golden and silvern vessels studded
with diamonds and rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious
stones, all so lustrous and dazzling bright that the stores were
lit up with their singular brilliancy. Hereat he said to himself,
"If in one street only there be such wealth and jewels so rare,
Allah Almighty and none save He knoweth what may be the riches in
all this city." He was not less astonished to behold the
Brahmins, how their women-kind for excess of opulence bedecked
themselves with the finest gems and were ornamented with the
richest gear from front to foot: their very slave-boys and
handmaids wore golden necklaces and bracelets and bangles studded
with precious stones. Along the length of one market street were
ranged hosts of flower-sellers; for all the folk, both high and
low, wore wreaths and garlands: some carried nosegays in hand,
other some bound fillets round their heads, while not a few had
ropes and festoons surrounding and hanging from their necks. The
whole place seemed one huge parterre of bloomery; even traders
set bouquets in every shop and stall, and the scented air was
heavy with perfume. Strolling to and fro Prince Husayn was
presently tired and would fain have sat him down somewhere to
rest awhile, when one of the merchants, noting his look of
weariness, with kindly courtesy prayed him be seated in his
store. After saluting him with the salam the stranger sat down;
and anon he saw a broker come that way, offering for sale a
carpet some four yards square, and crying, "This be for sale; who
giveth me its worth; to wit, thirty thousand gold pieces?"--And
as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-fifth Night

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that the Prince
marvelled with excessive marvel at the price, and, beckoning the
dealer, examined his wares right well; then said he, "A carpet
such as this is selleth for a few silverlings. What special
virtue hath it that thou demand therefor the sum of thirty
thousand gold coins?" The broker, believing Husayn to be a
merchant man lately arrived at Bishangarh, answered him saying,
"O my lord, thinkest thou I price this carpet at too high a
value? My master hath bidden me not to sell it for less than
forty thousand Ashrafis." Quoth the Prince, "It surely cloth
possess some wondrous virtue, otherwise wouldst thou not demand
so prodigious a sum;" and quoth the broker, "'Tis true, O my
lord, its properties are singular and marvellous. Whoever sitteth
on this carpet and willeth in thought to be taken up and set down
upon other site will, in the twinkling of an eye, be borne
thither, be that place nearhand or distant many a day's journey
and difficult to reach."[FN#319] The Prince hearing these words
said to himself, "Naught so wonder-rare as this rug can I carry
back to the Sultan my sire to my gift, or any that afford him
higher satisfaction and delight. Almighty Allah be praised, the
aim of my wayLare is attained and hereby, Inshallah! I shall win
to my wish. This, if anything, will be to him a joy for ever."
Wherefore the Prince, with intent to buy the Flying Carpet,
turned to the broker and said, If indeed it have properties such
as thou describest, verily the price thou askest therefor is not
over much, and I am ready to pay thee the sum required." The
other rejoined, "An thou doubt my words I pray thee put them to
the test and by such proof remove thy suspicions. Sit now upon
this square of tapestry, and at thy mere wish and will it shall
transport us to the caravanserai wherein thou abidest: on this
wise shalt thou be certified of my words being sooth, and when
assured of their truth thou mayest count out to me, there and
then, but not before, the value of my wares." Accordingly, the
man spread out the carpet upon the ground behind his shop and
seated the Prince thereupon, he sitting by his side. Then, at the
mere will[FN#320] and wish of Prince Husayn, the twain were at
once transported as though borne by the throne of Solomon to the
Khan. So the eldest of the brothers joyed with exceeding joy to
think that he had won so rare a thing, whose like could nowhere
be found in the lands nor amongst the Kings; and his heart and
soul were gladdened for that he had come to Bishangarh and hit
upon such a prodigy. Accordingly he counted out the forty
thousand Ashrafis as payment for the carpet, and gave, moreover,
another twenty thousand by way of sweetmeat to the broker.
Furthermore, he ceased not saying to himself that the King on
seeing it would forthright wed him to the Princess Nur al-Nihar;
for it were clear impossible that either of his brothers, e'en
though they searched the whole world over and over, could find a
rarity to compare with this. He longed to take seat upon the
carpet that very instant and fly to his own country, or, at
least, to await his brothers at the caravanserai where they had
parted under promise and covenant, pledged and concluded, to meet
again at the year's end. But presently he bethought him that the
delay would be long and longsome, and much he feared lest he be
tempted to take some rash step; wherefore he resolved upon
sojourning in the country whose King and subjects he had ardently
desired to behold for many a day, and determined that he would
pass the time in sight-seeing and in pleasuring over the lands
adjoining. So Prince Husayn tarried in Bishangarh some months.
Now the King of that country was wont to hold a high court once
every week for hearing disputes and adjudging causes which
concerned foreign merchants; and thus the Prince ofttimes saw the
King, but to none would he tell a word of his adventure. However,
inasmuch as he was comely of countenance, graceful of gait, and
courteous of accost, stout hearted and strong, wise and ware and
witty, he was held by the folk in higher honour than the Sultan;
not to speak of the traders his fellows; and in due time he be
came a favourite at court and learned of the ruler himself all
matters concerning his kingdom and his grandeur and greatness.
The Prince also visited the most famous Pagodas[FN#321] of that
country. The first he saw was wrought in brass and orichalch of
most exquisite workmanship: its inner cell measured three yards
square and contained amiddlemost a golden image in size and
stature like unto a man of wondrous beauty; and so cunning was
the workmanship that the face seemed to fix its eyes, two immense
rubies of enormous value, upon all beholders no matter where they
stood.[FN#322] He also saw another idol-temple, not less strange
and rare than this, builded in a village on a plain surface of
some half acre long and broad, wherein bloomed lovely rose-trees
and jasmine and herb-basil and many other sweet-scented plants,
whose perfume made the air rich with fragrance. Around its court
ran a wall three feet high, so that no animal might stray
therein; and in the centre was a terrace well-nigh the height of
a man, all made of white marble and wavy alabaster, each and
every slab being dressed so deftly and joined with such nice
joinery that the whole pavement albeit covering so great a space,
seemed to the sight but a single stone. In the centre of the
terrace stood the domed fane towering some fifty cubits high and
conspicuous for many miles around: its length was thirty cubits
and its breadth twenty, and the red marbles of the revetment were
clean polished as a mirror, so that every image was reflected in
it to the life. The dome was exquisitely carved and sumptuously
ornamented without; and within were ranged in due rank and
sequence rows and rows of idols. To this, the Holy of Holies,
from morn till eve thousands of Brahmins, men and women, came
docking for daily worship. They had sports and diversions as well
as rites and ceremonies: some feasted and others danced, some
sang, others played on instruments of mirth and merriment, while
here and there were plays and revels and innocent merry-makings.
And hither at every season flocked from distant lands hosts of
pilgrims seeking to fulfil their vows and to perform their
orisons; all bringing gifts of gold and silver coin and presents
rare and costly which they offered to the gods in presence of the
royal officers.--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad held her
peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-sixth Night

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Prince
Husayn also saw a f�te once a year within the city of Bishangarh
and the Ryots all, both great and small, gathered together and
circumambulated the Pagodas; chiefly circuiting one which in size
and grandeur surpassed all others. Great and learned Pandits
versed in the Sh�stras[FN#323] made journeys of four or five
months and greeted one another at that festival; thither too the
folk from all parts of India pilgrimaged in such crowds that
Prince Husayn was astounded at the sight; and, by reason of the
multitudes that thronged around the temples, he could not see the
mode in which the gods were worshipped. On one side of the
adjacent plain which stretched far and wide, stood a new-made
scaffolding of ample size and great magnificence, nine storeys
high, and the lower part supported by forty pillars; and here one
day in every week the King assembled his Wazirs for the purpose
of meting out justice to all strangers in the land. The palace
within was richly adorned and furnished with costly furniture:
without, upon the wall faces were limned homely landscapes and
scenes of foreign parts and notably all manner beasts and birds
and insects even gnats and flies, portrayed with such skill of
brain and cunning of hand that they seemed real and alive and the
country-folk and villagers seeing from afar paintings of lions
and tigers and similar ravenous beasts, were filled with awe and
dismay. On the other three sides of the scaffolding were
pavilions, also of wood, built for use of the commons,
illuminated and decorated inside and outside like the first, and
wroughten so cunningly that men could turn them round, with all
the people in them, and moving them about transfer them to
whatsoever quarter they willed. On such wise they shifted these
huge buildings by aid of machinery;[FN#324] and the folk inside
could look upon a succession of sports and games. Moreover, on
each side of the square elephants were ranged in ranks, the
number amounting to well nigh one thousand, their trunks and ears
and hinder parts being painted with cinnabar and adorned with
various lively figures; their housings were of gold brocade and
their howdahs purfled with silver, carrying minstrels who
performed on various instruments, whilst buffoons delighted the
crowd with their jokes and mimes played their most diverting
parts. Of all the sports, however, which the Prince beheld, the
elephant-show amused him most and Wiled him with the greatest
admiration. One huge beast, which could be wheeled about where
the keepers ever listed, for that his feet rested upon a post
which travelled on casters, held in his trunk a flageolet whereon
he played so sweetly well that all the people were fain to cry
Bravo! There was another but a smaller animal which stood upon
one end of a beam laid crosswise upon, and attached with hinges
to, a wooden block eight cubits high, and on the further end was
placed an iron weight as heavy as the elephant, who would press
down for some time upon the beam until the end touched the
ground, and then the weight would raise him up again.[FN#325]
Thus the beam swung like a see saw aloft and adown; and, as it
moved, the elephant swayed to and fro and kept time with the
bands of music, loudly trumpeting the while. The people moreover
could wheel about this elephant from place to place as he stood
balanced on the beam; and such exhibitions of learned elephants
were mostly made in presence of the King. Prince Husayn spent
well nigh a year in sight-seeing amongst the fairs and festivals
of Bishangarh; and, when the period of the fraternal compact drew
near, he spread his carpet upon the court-ground behind the Khan
wherein he lodged, and sitting thereon, together with his suite
and the steeds and all he had brought with him, mentally wished
that he might be transported to the caravanserai where the three
brothers had agreed to meet. No sooner had he formed the thought
than straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, the carpet rose
high in air and sped through space and carried them to the
appointed stead where, still garbed as a merchant he remained in
expectation of his brothers' coming. Hearken now, O auspicious
King, to what befel Prince Ali, the second brother of Prince
Husayn. On the third day after he had parted from the two others,
he also joined a caravan and journeyed towards Persia; then,
after a march of four months arriving at Shiraz, the capital of
Iran-land, he alighted at a Khan, he and his fellow-travellers
with whom he had made a manner of friendship; and, passing as a
jeweller, there took up his abode with them. Next day the traders
fared forth to buy wares and to sell their goods; but Prince Ali,
who had brought with him naught of vendible, and only the things
he needed, presently doffed his travelling dress, and in company
with a comrade of the caravan entered the chief Bazar, known as
the Bazist�n,[FN#326] or cloth-market. Ali strolled about the
place, which was built of brick and where all the shops had
arched roofs resting on handsome columns; and he admired greatly
to behold the splendid store-houses exposing for sale all manner
goods of countless value. He wondered much what wealth was in the
town if a single market street contained riches such as these.
And as the brokers went about crying their goods for sale, he saw
one of them hending in hand an ivory tube in length about a
cubit, which he was offering for sale at the price of thirty
thousand Ashrafis. Hearing such demand Prince Ali thought to
himself, "Assuredly this fellow is a fool who asketh such a price
for so paltry a thing."--And as the morn began to dawn Shahrazad
held her peace till

The end of the Six Hundred and Forty-seventh Night

Then said she:--I have heard, O auspicious King, that Prince Ali
presently asked one of the shopkeepers with whom he had made
acquaintance, saying, "O my friend, is this man a maniac that he

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