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Supplemental Nights, Volume 4 by Richard F. Burton

Part 4 out of 7

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and cast thee into the jakes." Herewith quoth she, "O my lord,
ask my husband where it was I hit upon the hoard and at what
time, by day or by night," and the Wali's men cried, "By Allah,
these her words are just and right, nor is therein aught of
harm." So he sent to summon me and asked me, "O man, when did thy
wife hit upon the hoard?" I answered, "O my lord, she found it on
the night when the skies rained drink and food and fishes." Now
when the Wali heard my words he said to me, "O man, the skies are
not wont to shed aught save rainwater; and a man in his right
wits speaketh not such speech as this." Said I, "By the life of
thy head, O my lord, they did rain all three of them;" but the
officers cried, "O my lord, verily this man be Jinn-mad and his
wife who telleth plain truth is wronged by him: the fellow
deserveth confining in the Maristan."[FN#246] Accordingly the
Chief of Police bade the men set the woman free and let her wend
her ways and seize me and throw me into the madhouse. They did
his bidding and I remained there the first day and the second
till the third when my wife said to herself, "There is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! By
the Lord, needs must I go and relieve my husband from Bedlam and
charge him never again to speak of that treasure trove." So she
came to the Maristan and entering said to me, "Ho, Such-an-one,
if any ask of thee saying, 'What do the skies rain?'[FN#247] do
thou make answer, 'They rain water!' Furthermore if they inquire
of thee, 'Do they ever rain drink and food and fishes?' reply
thou, 'This is clean impossible, nor can such thing ever take
place!' Then haply they will say to thee, 'How many days are in
the week?' and do thou say, 'Seven days and this day be such a
day!' Lastly have a guard on thyself when speaking." I rejoined,
"'Tis well, and now hie thee forth and buy me half a faddah's
worth of Bhang, for during these days I have not eaten aught
thereof." So she went and bought me somewhat and of Hashish.--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable
and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that
I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundredth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Bhang-eater's wife fared forth and brought back somewhat of food
and of Hashish: then returning to the Maristan (he continued) she
gave both to me and I ate of them, after which I said to her,
"Let us up and be off!" whereto she, "And when we go to the Wali
what wilt thou say?" Then the Bhang wrought in the brains and I
cried, "O bawd,[FN#248] O my nice young lady, well thou wottest
that the skies did rain flesh and drink and fishes! Why then
didst thou not tell the truth before the Chief of Police?"
Thereupon the Manager of the Madhouse cried to me, "O fellow,
this is the babble of madmen!" and I, "By Allah, I ate of them
boiled; and doubtless the same kind of rain fell in your house."
The other exclaimed, "There be nor doubt nor hesitation anent the
insanity of one who sayeth such say!" Now all this was related by
the Bhang-eater to the Sultan who marvelled and asked him, "What
could have made thee go to the Manager and recount to him such
absurdities?" But the Bhang-eater resumed, saying, "I dwelt in
the Maristan twenty days until at last having no Bhang to eat I
came to my senses and confessed that the skies shed only
rain-water, that the week containeth seven days and that this day
be such-and-such; in fact I discoursed like a man in his right
mind. So they discharged me and I went my ways." But when the
Kazi heard this tale he cried out to the Sultan, "O King of the
Age, my story is still more wondrous than this, which is only a
prank played by a wife. My name was originally Abu Kasim
al-Tamburi[FN#249] and I was appointed Kazi after a neat thing I
did, and if thou, O our lord the Sultan, desire to be told of the
adventures which befel me and of the clever trick wherefor they
made me a judge, deign give thy commandment and I will commence
it." Quoth the Sultan, "Recount to us why and where they entitled
thee Kazi," and the judge began to relate

How Drummer Abu Kasim Became a Kazi.

There was once, O King of the Age, a merchant and a man of
Bassorah who went about trading with eunuchs and slave-boys and
who bore his goods in bales[FN#250] from Bassorah to Ajam-land
there to sell them and to buy him other merchandise for vending
in Syria. On this wise he tarried a long while until one year of
the years he packed up his property, as was his wont, and fared
forth with it to Persia. But at that time there fortuned to be a
famine and when he arrived at one of the cities of the Ajam-land,
where formerly the traders bought his goods, on this occasion
none of them would come near him. In such case he continued a
long while till at last a Khwajah appeared before him, a man who
owned abundant riches in Persia, but his home was distant three
days from the place. The visitor asked saying, "O Bassorite, wilt
thou sell me thy stock-in-trade?" whereto the other answered,
"And how? Of course I'll sell it!" So the buyer opened the gate
of bidding and offered such-and-such; but the Bassorah man cried,
"Allah openeth." Then the purchaser added somewhat and the seller
rejoined, "Give me yet more?" At last the buyer exclaimed, "I
will give nothing more than 'Anaught';"[FN#251] and the seller
accepted the offer saying, "May Allah grant us gain!" Thereupon
the Persian Khwajah took over all the goods from the vendor and
next day the twain met to settle money-matters. Now I, O King of
the Age, happened to be abiding in that city. The seller received
from the buyer payment in full nor did anything remain; but
after, the Bassorah man said to his customer, "Thou still owest
me the 'Anaught,' which thou must hand over to me." The other
replied jeeringly, "And the 'Anaught' is a naught; to wit, no
thing;" but the Bassorite rejoined, "Here with that 'Anaught'!"
Upon this a violent ruffle befel between them, the cause was
carried before the King and payment was required in the Divan,
for the Bassorite still demanded from the purchaser his
"Anaught." The Sultan asked, "And what be this 'Anaught'?" and
the Bassorah man answered, "I wot not, O King of the Age;" and
the Bassorah man answered, "I wot not, O King of the Age;"
whereat the Sultan marvelled.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming
night, and the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The Four Hundred and First Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
marvelled at the action of this Bassorite and his saying, "Give
me my 'Anaught!'" Presently the tidings of that cause reached me,
O King; so I went to the Divan which was thronged with folk and
all present kept saying, "How would it be if this 'Anaught' were
a fraud or a resiliation of the contract?" Thereupon the Sultan
exclaimed, "Whoso shall settle this case, to him verily will I be
bountiful." So I came forward, O King of the Age, thinking of a
conceit and kissed ground and said to him, "I will conclude this
cause," and he rejoined, "An thou determine it and dispose of it
I will give thee largesse; but if not, I will strike off thy
head." I rejoined, "To hear is to obey." Then I bade them bring a
large basin which could hold a skinful of water and ordered them
fill it; after which I called out to the Bassorite, "Draw near,"
and he drew near. Then I cried to the claimant, "Close thy fist!"
and he did accordingly, and again I commanded him to close it and
to keep it tight closed. He obeyed my bidding and I continued
"Dip thy neave into the basin," and he dipped it. Presently I
asked, "Is thy hand in the water and thy fist closed?" and he
replied, "It is." Then said I, "Withdraw it," and he withdrew it,
and I cried, "Open thy neave," and he opened it. Then I asked,
"What thing hast thou found therein?" and he answered, "Anaught;"
whereupon I cried to him, "Take thine 'Anaught' and wend thy
ways." Hereupon the Sultan said to the Bassorite, "Hast thou
taken thine 'Anaught,' O man?" and said he "Yes." Accordingly the
King bade him gang his gait. Then the Sultan gifted me with
costly gifts and named me Kazi; and hence, O King of the Age, is
the cause of the title in the case of one who erst was Abu Kasim
the Drummer. Hereat quoth the Sultan, "Relate to us what rare
accident befel thee in thy proper person." SO the judge began to
recount

The Story of the Kazi and his Slipper.

Once upon a time, O King of the Age, I had a slipper which hardly
belonged to its kind nor ever was there seen a bigger. Now one
day of the days I waxed aweary of it and sware to myself that I
would never wear it any more; so in mine anger I flung it away
and it fortuned to fall upon the flat roof of a Khwajah's house
where the stucco was weakest. Thence it dropped through, striking
a shelf that held a number of phials full of the purest
rose-water and the boarding yielded breaking all the bottles and
spilling their contents. The house-folk heard the breakage
ringing and rattling; so they crowded one after other to discover
what had done the damage and at last they found my papoosh
sprawling amiddlemost the room. Then they made sure that the
shelf had not been broken except by the violence of that slipper,
and they examined it when, behold, the house-master cried,
saying, "This be the papoosh of Abu Kasim the Drummer." Hereupon
he took it and carried it to the Governor who summoned me and set
me before him; then he made me responsible for the phials and
whatso was therein and for the repairing of the terrace-roof and
upraising it again. And lastly he handed to me the slipper which
was exceedingly long and broad and heavy and, being cruel old it
showed upwards of an hundred and thirty patches nor was it
unknown to any of the villagers. So I took it and fared forth
and, being anangered with the article, I resolved to throw it
into some dark hole or out-of-the-way place; --And Shahrazad was
surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say
her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and
tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and
delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I
would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Abu Kasim
the Drummer continued to the Sultan; I resolved to throw it into
some dark hole or out-of-the-way place; and presently I came to
the watercloset of the Hammam and cast it into the conduit
saying, "Now shall none ever see it again; nor shall I be
troubled with its foul aspect for the rest of my life." Then I
returned home and abode there the first day and the second, but
about noon on the third a party of the Governor's men came and
seized me and bore me before him; and no sooner did he see me
than he cried out, "Throw him!" Accordingly they laid me out at
fullest length and gave me an hundred cuts with a scourge[FN#252]
which I bore stoutly and presently said, "O my Sultan,[FN#253]
what be the cause of this fustigation and wherefor do they
oppress me?" Said he, "O man, the conduit[FN#254] of the jakes
attached to the Mosque was choked by thy slipper and the flow,
unable to pass off, brimmed over, whereby sundry houses belonging
to the folk were wrecked."[FN#255] I replied, "O my lord, can a
slipper estop the flowing of a water that feedeth a Hammam?"
Thereupon the Governor said to me, "Take it away and if any find
it in his place and again bring me a complaint thereanent, I will
cut off thy head." So they haled me away after tossing my slipper
to me, and I repaired to the Efendi[FN#256] of the town and said
to him, "O our lord, I have a complaint against this Papoosh
which is not my property nor am I its owner: prithee do thou
write me a deed to such purport between me and the Slipper and
all who pass down this road." The Efendi replied, "O man, how
shall I write thee a deed between thee and thy Papoosh, which is
a senseless thing? Nay, take it thyself and cut it up and cast it
into some place avoided of the folk." Accordingly I seized it and
hacked it with a hatchet into four pieces which I threw down in
the four corners of the city, saying to myself the while, "By
Allah, I shall nevermore in my life hear any further of its
adventures;" and walked away barefoot. But I had thrown one bit
under a bridge that crossed a certain of the small canals; and
the season was the dries, wherefore it collected a heap of sand
which rose thereupon, and raised the pile higher until the
archway was blocked up by a mound. Now when the Nil[FN#257]
flooded and reached that archway the water was dammed up and
ceased running so the townsfolk said, "What may be the matter?
The Nile-inundation hath reached the bridge but cannot pass under
it. Come let us inspect the archway." They did so and presently
discovered the obstacle; to wit, the mound before the arch which
obstructed the waterway; whereupon a party kilted their clothes
and waded into the channel that they might clear it. But when
they came to the mound-base they found my quarter-slipper, and
they exclaimed with one cry, "This be the Papoosh of Abu Kasim
the Drummer!" But as soon as the tidings reached me, I fared
away, flying from that town, and while so doing was met by a
comrade, yonder Bhang-eater; so we agreed that we would travel
together and he companied me till we came to this city, e'en as
thou seest us, O our lord the Sultan. Thereupon the King said to
them, "Do ye twain abide with me amongst my servants; but I have
a condition with you which is that ye be righteous in your
service and that ye be ready to join my seance every night after
supper-tide." Then he cautioned them against disobedience and
quoth he, "Be ye not deluded by becoming my companions nor say to
yourselves, We be the assessors of the King; for that the byword
declareth: Whenas the King sitteth beware of his severity, and be
not refractory whenever he shall say to thee 'Do.'" They agreed
to this condition and each whispered his mate, "Do thou have a
care to act righteously!" Then they left the King nor did they
see him again till one day of the days when behold, a Khwajah
appeared before the Sultan.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night
an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next
night and that was

The Four Hundred and Third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that one day of
the days, behold a Khwajah appeared before the Sultan and said,
"'Tis not lawful in Allah's sight, O King of the Age, that a
Bhang-eater should propose to dishonour me in the person of my
daughter and load me with infamy amongst His worshippers saying
the while, "I am of the King's suite.'" Now the cause of the
merchant's complaint was as follows. One day of the days the
Bhang-eater was passing by under the latticed window of the
Khwajah's home when by decree of the Decreer, the daughter of the
house was looking out at the casement and was solacing herself by
observing all who walked the street. Perchance the Bhang-eater's
glance fell upon the maiden and that sight of eyes entailed a
thousand sighs, so he said to himself, "By Allah, if I meet not
this maiden, although it be only once, I shall die of a broken
heart nor shall any one know of my death." He then took to
passing under the window every day and to gazing upwards and to
tarrying there from morning-tide to set of sun; but the more he
looked the less he saw of her because Fortune which was fair to
him the first time had now turned foul. So he continued in this
condition for a while, coming every day to look at the lattice
and seeing naught. Presently his case became strait and ill
health entered his frame for love to the merchant's daughter; and
by reason of its excess he betook himself to his pillow turning
and tossing right and left and crying, "O her eyes! O her
loveliness! O her stature! O her symmetrical grace!" But as he
was repeating these words behold, an old woman came in to him
and, seeing his concern and chagrin, accosted him and said, "No
harm to thee!" Quoth he, "Ah, my reverend mother, unless thou
come to my aid I perish," and quoth she, "What is upon thy mind?
So he disclosed to her all he felt of fondness and affection for
the Khwajah's daughter and she rejoined. "Thou wilt never win to
thy wish in this matter except through me." Then she left him and
repaired to her own place, pondering the wiles of women, till she
entered her house and there she donned a woolen robe and hung
three rosaries around her neck, after which she hent a palm-staff
in hand and set out for the merchant's quarters. She ceased not
walking till she reached the place and entered in her garb of a
religious mendicant[FN#258] crying out, "Allah, there is no god
but the God! extolled be Allah! Allah be with you all!" When the
girl, whose name was Sitt al-Husn--the Lady of Beauty--heard
these words she met her, hoping for a blessing, and saying, "O my
mother, pray for me!" and the old woman responded, "The name of
Allah be upon thee! Allah be thy safeguard!"[FN#259] Then she sat
down and the damsel came and took seat beside her; so likewise
did the girl's mother and both sought a blessing from her and
conversed together till about noon when she arose and made the
Wuzu-ablution and span out her prayers, whilst those present
exclaimed, "By Allah this be a pious woman!" When her orisons
were ended they served up dinner to her; but she said, "I'm
fasting;" whereat they increased in love and belief herwards and
insisted upon her abiding with them until sunset that she might
break her fast within their walls. ON such wise she acted but it
was all a fraud. Then they persisted in keeping her for the
night; so she nighted with them, and when it was morn she arose
and prayed and mumbled words, some intelligible and others not to
be understanded of any, while the household gazed upon her and,
whenever she would move from place to place, supported her with
their hands under her armpits. At last, when it was mid-forenoon
she fared forth from them albeit their intent was not to let her
depart. But early on the next day she came in to them and all met
her with greetings and friendly reception, kissing her hands and
bussing her feet; so she did as she had done on the first day and
in like guise on the third while they showed her increased honour
and worship. On the fourth day she came to them, as was her wont,
and they prayed her be seated; however she refused and said, "I
have a daughter whom I am about to marry and the bridal
festivities will be in my house; but I come to you at this hour
to let you know my desire that Sitt al-Husn may accompany me and
be present at my girl's wedding-feast and thus she will gain a
blessing." Her mother replied, "We dread lest somewhat befal
her," but the ancient woman rejoined, "Fear not for her as the
Hallows[FN#260] are with her!" Thereupon cried the girl, "There
is no help but that I accompany her and be present at her
daughter's wedding ceremony and enjoy the spectacle and take my
pleasure." The mother said, "'Tis well;" and the old trot added,
"I will go and return within this moment." So saying, she went
off as one aweary to the house of the Bhang-eater and told him
what she had done; then she returned to the maiden whom she found
drest and decorated and looking her best. So she took the girl
and fared forth with her.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy
tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she,
"And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on
the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it
was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
ancient woman took the girl and fared forth with her and led her
to the Bhang-eater's house and brought her in to him who, seeing
her in all her beauty and loveliness, arose forthright and his
wits fled him and he drew near to her of his excessive love
herwards. Therewith the "Lady of Beauty" understood that the old
woman was an accursed procuress who had beguiled her in order to
bring her and the man together. So of her cleverness and clear
intelligence she said to her lover, "O my brave, whoso expecteth
a visit of his beloved getteth ready somewhat of meat and
somewhat of fruit and somewhat of wine, that their pleasure may
be perfected; and, if thou purpose love-liesse we will pass the
night in this place." Quoth the Bhang-eater, "By Allah, O my
lady, thou speakest sooth but what shall we do at such hour as
this?" and quoth she, "Hie thee to the market-street and bring
all whereof I spoke." Said he, "Hearkening and obedience," and
said she, "I will sit down, I and this my mother in this place,
the while thou goest and comest." He rejoined, "A sensible
saying!" and forthright he was right gladsome nor knew what was
prepared for him in the hidden future. Now as soon as he went the
damsel arose and without making aught of noise locked the door
closely upon herself and the old trot: then she wandered about
the rooms and presently came upon a butcher's chopper[FN#261]
which she seized. Hereupon tucking up her sleeves above her
elbows, in the firmness of her heart she drew near the old crone
until she was hard by her right and so clove her skull asunder
that she fell weltering in her blood and her ghost fled her
flesh. After this the damsel again went about the house and all
worth the taking she took, leaving whatso was unworthy, till she
had collected a number of fine robes which the man had brought
together after he had become a cup-companion of the Sultan; and,
lastly, she packed the whole in a sheet[FN#262] and went forth
therewith. Now the season was morning but The Veiler veiled her
and none met her on the way until she reached her home and
saying, "By Allah, to-day my girl hath tarried long at the bridal
festivities of the Ascetic's daughter." And behold Sitt al-Husn
came in to her carrying a large sheet stuffed with raiment, and
as her mother saw her agitated and in disorder she questioned her
of her case and of what was packed in the bundle. But the girl,
who returned no reply and could not speak one syllable for the
emotion caused by the slaughter of the ancient woman, fell to the
ground in a fit. Her swoon endured from noon until eventide, her
mother sitting at her head the while and sorrowing for her
condition. But about set of sun behold, in came her father who
found his daughter aswoon; so he questioned his wife who began by
recounting to him what they had noted in the old woman of prayer
and display of devotion and how she had told them, "I have a
daughter whom I am about to marry and the bridal festivities will
be in my house." "And," pursued the mother, "she invited us to
visit her; so at undurntide I sent with her the girl; who at
noontide came back bringing somewhat wrapped up and bundled,
which be this. But when she entered the house she fell to the
floor in a fainting fit and she is even as thou seest; nor do I
know what befel her." Then the father rose up and besprinkled
somewhat of water upon her face which revived her and she said,
"Where am I?" whereto said he, "Thou art with us." And when she
had recovered and returned to her senses, and her condition was
as before the swoon, she told them of the old woman and her ill
designs and of her death and lastly how the clothes had been
brought by herself from the house of the Bhang-eater. As soon as
her sire had heard her words, he set out from his home and sought
the Sultan.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and
fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Four Hundred and Fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that whilst the
Sultan was sitting behold, the Khwajah came in and complained to
him of the Bhang-eater, whereupon he ordered a company to go
fetch the accursed and they went off and found him not. So they
returned and reported accordingly. Such was the cause of the
Khwajah coming to the King and such was the case with them; but
as regards the Bhang-eater, when he went off rejoicing to the
Bazar in order to buy whatso the merchant's daughter had asked
him, he brought many a thing wherewith he returned to his
lodging. However as he returned he beheld the old woman
slaughtered and weltering in her blood and he found nothing at
all of the choice articles wherewith his house was fulfilled; so
he fell to quoting this couplet:[FN#263]--

"'Twas as a hive of bees that greatly thrived; * But, when the
bee-swarm fled, 'twas clean unhived."

And when he beheld that condition of things he turned from his
home in haste and without stay or delay left it about the hour of
mid-afternoon and fared forth from the city. There he found a
caravan bound to some bourne or other, so he proceeded therewith
hardly believing in his own safety and he ceased not accompanying
the Cafilah[FN#264] for the space of five days till it made the
city the travellers sought, albeit he was fatigued and footsore
from the stress of hardships and weariness he had endured. So he
entered the place and wandered about until he found a Khan
wherein he hired him a cell by way of nighting-stead and every
day he would go forth to seek service for wages whereby he might
make a livelihood. Now one day of the days a woman met him face
to face on the highway and said to him, "Dost thou do service?"
and said he, "Indeed I do, O my lady." She continued, "There is a
wall about my place which I desire to level and build another in
lieu thereof for that 'tis old and very old." He replied to her,
"'Tis well," and she took him and repaired with him to her house
and showing him the wall in question handed to him a pickaxe and
said, "Break it down as much as thou art able be it for two or
three days, and heap up the stones in one place and the dried mud
in another." He replied, "Hearkening and obedience;" after which
she brought to him somewhat of food and of water and he ate and
drank and praised Almighty Allah. After this he rose and began
breaking down the wall and he ceased not working and piling up
the stones and the dried mud until it was sunset time when the
woman paid him to his wage ten faddahs and added a something of
food which he took and turned towards his own cell. As soon as it
was the second day he repaired to the house of the woman who
again gave him somewhat to break his fast and he fell to felling
the wall even as he had done on the first day and he worked till
noon; but when it was midday and all the household was asleep, lo
and behold! he found in the middle of the foundation a
crock[FN#265] full of gold. So he opened it and considered its
contents whereat he was rejoiced and he went forth without
leisure or loss of time seeking his own cell and when he reached
it he locked himself within for fear lest any look upon him. Then
he opened the crock and counted therein one hundred dinars which
he pouched in his purse and stowed away in his breast-pocket.
Presently he returned, as he was, to break down the rest of the
wall and whilst he was trudging along the highway suddenly he
sighted a box surrounded by a crowd of whom none knew what might
be its contents and its owner was crying out, "For an hundred
gold pieces!" Thereupon the Bhang-eater went forwards saying to
himself, "Buy thee yonder box for the hundred dinars and thy luck
be thy lot, for it there be inside of it aught of wonderful 'tis
well, and if otherwise thou shalt stand by thy bad bargain." So
he drew near the broker[FN#266] and said to him, "This box for
how much?"[FN#267] and the other answered, "For an hundred gold
dinars!" But when he questioned him as to its contents the man
replied, "I know not; whoso taketh it his luck be his lot."
Thereupon he brought out to him the hundred ducats and the broker
made over to him the box which he charged upon his shoulders and
carried off to his cell. There arrived he bolted himself in and
opened the coffer wherein he found a white slave-girl which was a
model of beauty and loveliness and stature and perfect grace: but
she was like one drunken with wine. So he shook her but she was
not aroused when he said to himself, "What may be the story of
this handmaiden?" and he was never tired of looking upon her
while she was in that condition and he kept saying to himself,
"Would Heaven I wot and she be on life or in death; withal I see
her breath coming and going." Now when it was about midnight, the
handmaiden revived and looking around and about her, cried,
"Where am I?" and said the Bhang-eater, "Thou, O my lady, art in
my home;" whereby she understood what had befallen her.--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable
and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that
I would relate to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer
me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
handmaiden understood what had befallen her at the hands of her
enemies. Now the cause thereof was that the Sultan of that city
had bought him for concubine one Kut al-Kulub,[FN#268] or
Heart's-food hight, and she became to him the liefest of all the
women he before had, amongst whom his wife, the daughter of his
uncle, had bee preferred; but all fell into the rank of the
common and from the time he bought the new handmaid he was wholly
occupied with her love and he never went near the other inmates
of his Harem, not even his cousin. So they were filled with
exceeding jealousy against Heart's-food the new comer. Now one
day of the days the Sultan went forth to hunt and bird and enjoy
the occasion and solace himself in the gardens together with the
Lords of his land, and they rode on till they found themselves
amiddlemost of the waste pursuing their quarry. But when two days
had passed, his wife together with the women which were
concubines arose and invited all the neighbourhood whereamong was
Kut al-Kulub, and she spread for them a sumptuous banquet and
lavished upon the new comers all manner of attentions and the
wife began to play with her rival and to disport with her until
it was thought that she loved none in the assembly save
Heart's-food; and on such wise she continued to cheer her and
solace her and gambol with her and make her laugh until the trays
were laid and the meats were dispread and all the guests came
forward and fell to eating and drinking. Thereupon the King's
cousin-wife brought a plate seasoned with Bhang and set it before
the concubine who had no sooner eaten it and it had settled in
her stomach than she trembled as with sudden palsy and fell to
the ground without power of motion. Then the Queen bade place her
in a box and having locked her therein sent for one who was
Skaykh of the Brokers and committed to him the coffer saying, "Do
thou sell it for an hundred gold pieces whilst it is locked and
fast locked and suffer not any open it, otherwise we will work
for the cutting off of thy hands." He replied, "To hear is to
obey;" and took up the box and went with it to the market-street
where he said to the brokers, "Cry for sale this coffer at an
hundred dinars and if any attempt to open it, open it not to any
by any manner of means." So they took their station and made
auction of it for an hundred gold pieces, when by the decree of
Destiny the Bhang-eater passed down the street exulting in his
hundred dinars which he had found in the crock while levelling
the wall belonging to the woman. Thereupon he came up and having
paid the price required carried off his coffer saying in his
mind, "My luck is my livelihood." After this he went to his own
cell and opened it and found there the handmaid in condition as
though drunken with wine. Such is the history of that concubine
Kut al-Kulub and she fell not into the hand of the Bhang-eater
save by the wile and guile of the Sultan's cousin-wife. But when
she recovered from her fainting fit and gazed around and
understood what had befallen her she concealed her secret and
said to the man, "Verily this thy cell becometh us not;" and, as
she had somewhat of gold pieces with her and a collar of jewels
around her neck worth a thousand dinars, she brought out for him
some money and sent him forth to hire for them a house in the
middle of the quarter beffiting great folk and when this was done
she had herself transported thither. Then she would give him
every day spending-money to buy whatso she ever required and she
would cook the delicatest dishes fit for the eating of the Kings
wherewith she fed herself and her owner. This continued for
twenty days when suddenly the Sultan returned from his hunting
party and as soon as he entered his palace he asked for Kut
al-Kulub.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and
fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I should relate to you on the coming night, an the
Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and
that was

The Four Hundred and Seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as soon as
the Sultan returned from the chase he asked after Kut al-Kuluh
from his exceeding desire to her, and the daughter of his uncle
told him the tidings saying, "By Allah, O King of the Age, three
days after thou faredst forth there came upon her malaise and
malady wherein she abode six days and then she deceased to the
mercy of Almighty Allah." He exclaimed, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great! Verily
we are the Almighty's and unto Him shall we return." Then befel
him the extreme of grief and straitness of breast and he passed
that night in exceeding cark and care for Kut al-Kulub. And when
it was morning he sent after the Wazir and summoned him between
his hands and bade him go forth to the Tigris-bank and there
approve some place whereon he might build a palace which should
command all roads. The Minister replied, "Hearkening and
obeying;" and hied to do his lord's bidding taking with him
architects[FN#269] and others, and having found a piece of level
ground he ordered them to measure an hundred ells of length for
the building by a breadth of seventy cubits. Presently he sent
for surveyors and master-masons whom he commanded to make ready
every requisite for the work, of ashlar and lime and lead; also
to dig trenches for the base of the walls. Then they fell to
laying the foundations, and the builders and handicraftsmen began
to pile the stones and prepare the loads while the Wazir stood by
them bidding and forbidding. Now when it was the third day, the
Sultan went forth the Palace to look at the masons and artizans
who were working at the foundations of his new edifice. And as
soon as he had inspected it, it pleased him, so he said to the
Wazir, "Wallahi! none would befit this palace save and except Kut
al-Kulub, when 'twould have been full of significance;" and so
saying he wept with sore weeping at the remembrance of her. Quoth
the Wazir to him, "O King of the Age, have patience when calamity
afflicteth thee, even as said one of them with much meaning,
anent long-suffering:--

'Be patient under weight of wrath and blow of sore calamities: *
The Nights compressed by Time's embrace gravidoe miras
gerunt res.'"[FN#270]

Then quoth the Sultan, "'Tis well, O Wazir, I know that patience
is praiseworthy and fretfulness is blameworthy, for indeed quoth
the poet:--

When Time shall turn on thee, have patience for 'tis best of
plight: * Ease shall pursue unease and naught but suffrance
make it light;'

and by Allah, O Wazir, human nature is never free from sad
thought and remembrance. Verily that damsel pleased me and I
delighted in her; nor can I ever think to find one like her in
beauty and loveliness." Thereupon the Wazir fell to guiding the
Sultan with fair words until his breast was broadened and the two
began to solace themselves by inspecting the masons. After this
the Sultan would go forth every morning for solace to Tigris-bank
and tidings reached the ears of Kut al-Kulub that her lord was
engaged on building a riverine palace, whereupon she said to the
Bhang-eater, "Day by day we expend money upon our condition, and
our outgoing is without incoming, so 'twere but right that each
morning thou fare and work with the workmen who are edifying a
mansion for the Sultan, inasmuch as the folk declare that he is
of temper mild and merciful and haply thou shalt gain from him
profit and provision." "O my lady," he replied, "by Allah, I have
no patience to part with thee or to be far from thee;" and he
said so because he loved her and she loved him, for that since
the time he had found her locked in the box and had looked upon
her he had never required of her her person and this was indeed
from his remembrance, for he bore in mind but too well what had
befallen him from the Khwajah's daughter. And she on her side
used to say, "'Tis a wondrous thing that yon Bhang-eater never
asketh me aught nor draweth nigh me seeing that I be a captive of
his right hand." So she said to him, "Assuredly thou dost love
me?" and said he, "How can it be otherwise when thou art the
blood of my life and the light of mine eyes?" "O light of mine
eyes," she replied, "take this necklace and set it in thy
breast-pocket and go work at the Sultan's palace, and as often as
thou shalt think of me, do thou take it out and consider it and
smell it and it shall be as if thou wert to see me." Hearing this
he obeyed her and went forth till he reached the palace where he
found the builders at work and the Sultan and the Wazir sitting
in a Kiosk hard by overseeing the masons and the workmen; --And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable
and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that
I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Bhang-eater joined the masons he saw the Sultan and Wazir
overseeing them; and, as soon as the King sighted him, he opened
his breast to him and said, "O man, wilt thou also do work?" and
said the other, "Yes." So he bade him labour with the builders
and he continued toiling till hard upon noon-tide, at which time
he remembered his slave-girl and forthright he bowed his head
upon his bosom-pocket and he sniffed thereat. The Wazir saw him
so doing and asked him, "What is the meaning of thy sniffing at
what is in thy poke?" and he answered him, "No matter." However
the Minister espied him a second time occupied in like guise and
quoth he to the Sultan, "Look, O King of the Age, at yon labourer
who is hiding something in his pocket and smelling thereat."
"Haply," responded the Sovran, "there is in his pouch something
he would look at." However when the Sultan's glance happened to
fall that way he beheld the Bhang-eater sniffing and smelling at
his poke, so he said to the Wazir, "Wallahi! Verily this
workman's case is a strange." Hereupon both fixed their eyes upon
him and they saw him again hiding somewhat in his pouch and
smelling at it. The Wazir cried, "Verily this fellow is
a-fizzling and he boweth his head toward his breast in order that
he may savour his own farts."[FN#271] The Sultan laughed and
said, "By Allah, if he do on this wise 'tis a somewhat curious
matter, or perhaps, O Wazir, he have some cause to account for
it; at any rate do thou call out to him and ask him." So the
Wazir arose and drawing near to him asked him saying, "Ho, this
one![FN#272] every time thou fizzlest thou smellest and sniffest
at thy fizzlings;" whereto answered the workman, "Wag not thy
tongue with these words seeing thou art in the presence of a King
glorious of degree." Quoth the Minister, "What is the matter with
thee in this case that thou art sniffing at thy pocket?" and
quoth the labourer, "Verily my beloved is in my pouch." The Wazir
wondered hereat and reported the same to the Sultan who cried,
"Return to him and say, 'Is it possible that thou display to us
thy beloved who is in thy breast-pocket?'" So he returned to him
and said, "Show us what there is in thy pouch." Now the origin of
this necklace was that the King had bought it for Kut al-Kulub at
the price of a thousand dinars and the damsel had given it to the
Bhang-eater with the sole object that the Sultan might look upon
it and thereby be directed unto her and might learn the reason of
her disappearance and her severance from him. Hereupon the man
brought out to them the necklace from his breastpocket and the
Sultan on seeing it at once recognised it and wondered how it had
fallen into the hands of that workman; accordingly he asked who
was its owner and the other answered, "It belongeth to the
handmaid whom I bought with an hundred dinars." Quoth the Sultan
to him, "Is it possible[FN#273] thou invite us to thy quarters
that we may look upon this damsel;" and quoth the other, "Would
you look upon my slave-girl and not be ashamed of yourselves?
However I will consult her, and if she be satisfied therewith we
will invite you." They said to him, "This be a rede that is right
and an affair which no blame can excite." When the day had
reached its term the masons and workmen were dismissed after they
had taken their wage; but as for the Bhang-eater the Sultan gave
him two gold pieces and set him free about sunset tide; so he
fared to his handmaid and informed her of what had befallen him
from the King, adding, "He hath indeed looked upon the necklace
and hath asked me to invite him hither as well as the Wazir."
Quoth she, "No harm in that; but to-morrow (Inshallah!) do thou
bring all we require for a state occasion of meats and drinks,
and let me have them here by noon-tide, so they may eat the early
meal. But when he shall ask to buy me of thee compose thy mind
and say thou, 'No,' when he will reply to thee, 'Give me this
damsel in free gift.' Hereat do thou say, 'She is a present from
me to thee'; because indeed I am his slave and bought with his
money for one thousand and five hundred dinars; and thou hadst
never become my lord save through my foes who devised a device
against me and who sold me when thou boughtest me. However the
hour of thy prosperity hath now come." And when morning morrowed
she gave him five gold pieces and said to him, "Bring for me
things that be such and such," and said he, "Hearing and
obedience." So he went to the market-street where he purchased
all the supplies wherewith she had charged him and returned to
her forthright. Hereupon she arose and tucking up her sleeves
prepared meats that befitted the King and likewise she got ready
comfits and the daintiest of dainties and sherbets and she
tempered the pastilles and she besprinkled the room with
rosewater and looked to the furniture of the place. About midday
she sent to the Sultan and the Wazir with notice that she was
ready; so the Bhang-eater repaired to the Palace and having gone
in to the presence said, "Have the kindness!"[FN#274] The twain
arose without more ado and hied with him privily till they
reached his house and entered therein.--And Shahrazad was
surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say
her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is
thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!"
Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I should relate
to you on the coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?"
Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
and the Wazir entered the place wherein were the Bhang-eater and
the damsel, and took their seats. Now the meats were ready and
they served up to them the trays and the dishes, when they fell
to and were cheered by the sumptuous viands until they had eaten
after the measure of their sufficiency. And when their hands were
washed, the confections and sherbet and coffee were set before
them, so they ate and were satisfied and gladdened and made
merry. After this quoth the Sultan to the Bhang-eater, "Where is
the damsel?" and quoth the man, "She is here," whereat he was
commanded to bring her. Accordingly he went off and led her in
and as soon as the King sighted her he recognised her and ordered
her owner to make her over to him and said when he did so, "O
man, wilt thou sell to me this damsel?" But the other kissed
ground before him and replied, "O King of the Age, she is from me
a free gift to thee;" and quoth the Sultan, "She is accepted from
thee, O Shaykh, and do thou come and bring her thyself to the
Palace about sundown-time." He replied, "To hear is to obey." And
at the hour named he took the damsel and ceased not faring with
her till he brought her to the Serai,[FN#275] where the Eunuchry
met her and took her and carried her in to the Sultan. But as
soon as she entered she nestled in his bosom and he threw his
arms round her neck and kissed her of his excessive desire to
her. Then he asked her saying, "This man who purchased thee, hath
he any time approached thee?" whereto she answered, "By Allah, O
King, from the time he bought me in the box which he opened and
found me alive therein until this present never hath he looked
upon my face, and as often as I addressed him he would bow his
brow earthwards." Quoth the Sultan, "By Allah, this wight
deserveth an aidance for that he paid down for thee an hundred
dinars and he hath presented thee in free gift to me." Now when
morrowed the morning the King sent after the Bhang-eater and
summoned him between his hands and bestowed upon him one thousand
five hundred dinars with a suit of royal raiment, after which he
presented to him, by way of honourable robe,[FN#276] a white
slave-girl. He also set apart for him an apartment and made him
one of his boon companions. So look thou, O hearer,[FN#277] how
it happened to this Bhang-eater from the Khwajah's daughter and
his love herwards; how he failed to win her and how he gained of
blows whatso he gained; and after what prosperity befel him from
the part of Kut al-Kulub. And ever afterwards when the Sultan
would ride out for disport or for the hunt and chase he would
take the man with him. Presently of the perfection of his
prosperity this Bhang-eater fully mastered the affairs of the
kingdom, both its income and its outgo, and his knowledge
embraced all the regions and cities which were under the rule of
his lord. Furthermore, whenever he would counsel the King, his
advice was found to be in place and he was consulted upon all
State affairs, and whenever he heard of any business he
understood its inner as well as its outer meaning until the
Sultan and the Wazir both sought rede of him, and he would point
out to them the right and unright, and that which entaileth
trouble and no trouble, when they could fend it off and overthrow
it or by word or by deed of hand. Now one day of the many days
the King was in a certain of his gardens a-solacing himself with
the sights when his heart and stomach became full of pain and he
fell ill and his illness grew upon him, nor did he last four days
ere he departed to the mercy of Allah Almighty. As he had no
issue, either son or daughter, the country remained without a
King for three days, when the Lords of the land for-gathered and
agreed upon a decision, all and some, that they would have no
King or Sultan save the Wazir and that the man the Bhang-eater
should be made Chief Councillor. So they agreed upon this matter
and their words went forth to the Minister who at once took
office. After this he gave general satisfaction and lavished alms
on the mean and miserable, also on satisfaction and lavished alms
on the mean and miserable, also on the widows and orphans, when
his fame was bruited abroad and it dispread far and wide till men
entitled him the "Just Wazir" and in such case he governed for a
while of time.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where
is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming
night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Tenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Wazir
governed for a while of time with all justice of rule so that the
caravans spread abroad the name and fame of him throughout every
city and all the countries. Presently there befel him an affair
between two women which were sister-wives to one man.[FN#278] Now
these had conceived by him in the same month and when the time of
their pregnancy had passed, the twain were delivered in the same
place at the same hour and the midwife was one and the same. One
brought forth a babe but it was a daughter which incontinently
died and the other a man-child who lived. The women quarrelled
and fought about the boy-babe and both of them said, "This is my
child;" and there befel between them exceeding contention and
excessive hostility. So they carried their cause before the
divines and the Olema and the head men of the place, yet did none
of them know how to decide between the twain and not a few of the
folk said, "Let each woman take the child to her for a month,"
whilst others declared that they might keep it between them at
all times, whilst of the women one said, "'Tis well: this be my
boy!" and the other declared, "'Tis well, this be my son!" nor
could any point out to which of the women the boy belonged. So
the town's people were gathered together and said, "None can
determine this dispute except the Just Wazir;" and they agreed
upon this, so that the husband of the two women and sundry of his
associates arose and took the twain of them and travelled with
them to hear the Minister's judgment. Also the Olema and the
great men of the place declared "By Allah, we also needs must
travel with the party and produce the two women and be present at
the Just Wazir's judgment." So they all assembled and followed
after the two adversaries, nor did they cease travelling until
they entered the city where the Minister abode. There they
delayed for rest during one day and on the second they all joined
one another and went in to the Wazir and recounted to him the
case of the two women. Hearing this he bowed his brow groundwards
and presently raising it he cried, "Bring me two eggs and void
them of their contents and see that the shells be clean empty."
Then he commanded that each of the women drain somewhat of milk
from her nipple into the egg-shell till she had filled it. They
did accordingly and set before him the egg-shells brimful when he
said, "Bring me a pair of scales."[FN#279] After this he placed
both eggs in the balance-pan and raising it aloft from its
rounded stead perceived that one was weighty and the other was
light. Quoth he, "The milk of the woman in this egg is the
heavier and she is the mother of the boy-babe whereas the other
bare the girl-child and we know not an it be alive or dead."
Hereat the true mother of the boy held her peace but the other
wailed aloud and said, "'Tis well: still this be my babe!"
Thereupon quoth the Wazir, "I am about to take the boy and hew
him in halves whereof I will give one to each of you twain." But
the true mother arose and cried out, "No! O my lord, do not on
this wise: I will forfeit my claim for Allah's sake;" while the
other one exclaimed, "All this is right good!" Now all the folk
of the city who were then standing by heard these words and
looked on; but when this order was pronounced and the woman was
satisfied and declared, "I will take half the boy," the Wazir
gave orders forthright that they seize her and hang her; so they
hanged her and he gave the babe to the right mother. Then said
they to him, "O our lord, how was it proved to thee that the boy
was the child of this one?" and he said, "It became evident to me
from two sides; in the first place because her milk was the
heavier, so that I knew that the boy was her boy, and secondly
when I commanded, 'Let us cut the boy in half,' the real mother
consented not to this and the matter was hard upon her because
the child was a slice of her liver, and she said to herself, 'His
life is better than his death, even though my sister-wife take
him, at any rate I shall be able to look upon him.' But the
second woman designed only to gratify her spite whether the boy
died or not and to harm her sister-wife; so when I saw that she
was contented to have the babe killed, I knew that it was right
to do her die." Then all who were present of the Lords of the
land and the Olema and divines and notables wondered at the
judgment and exclaimed, "By Allah, well done,[FN#280] O Wazir of
the realm." Now this history of the Minister's perspicacity and
penetration was spread abroad and all folk went from his presence
and everyone who had wives that had borne girls took somewhat of
milk from the women and went to each and every of those who had
borne boys and took from them milk in the same quantity as the
Wazir had taken, and weighted it in the scales, when they found
that the mothers of males produced milk that was not equal to,
nay it weighed two-fold that of those who bare girls. Hereupon
they said, "It is not right that we call this Minister only the
Just Wazir;" and all were agreed that he should be titled "The
Wazir-wise-in-Allah-Almighty;"[FN#281] and the reason whereof was
the judgment which he passed in the cause between the two women.
Now after this it befel him to deliver a decision more wondrous
than the former.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the
Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and
that was

The four hundred and eleventh night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that to the
Wazir-wise-in-Almighty-Allah there befel between his hands a
strange matter which was as follows. As he was sitting one day of
the days there came in to him unexpectedly two men, of whom one
led a cow and a little colt whilst the second had with him a mare
and a little calf. Now the first who came forward was the owner
of the mare and quoth he, "O my lord, I have a claim upon this
man." Quoth the Minister, "What be thy claim?" And the plaintiff
continued, "I was going a-morn to the meadow for pasture and with
me was my mare followed by her young one, her little colt, when
yonder man met me upon the road and the colt began to play and to
throw up gravel with its hoofs as is the wont of horse-flesh and
draw near to the cow. Hereupon this man came up and seized it and
said, 'This colt is the offspring of my cow,' and so saying he
took it away and he gave me his calf, crying, 'Take this which be
the issue of thy mare.'" So the Wazir turning to the master of
the cow asked, "O man, what sayest thou concerning what thy
comrade hath spoken?" and the other answered, "O my lord, in very
deed this colt is the produce of my cow and I brought it up by
hand." Quoth the Wazir, "Is it right that black cattle should
bring forth horses and that horses should bear cows? indeed the
intelligence of an intelligent man may not compass this;" and
quoth the other, "O my lord, Allah createth whatso He willeth and
maketh kine to produce horses and horses to produce kine."
Hereupon the Minister said to him, "O Shaykh, when thou seest a
thing before thee and lookest thereon canst thou speak of it in
the way of truth?" And the other assented. Then the Wazir
continued addressing the two men, "Wend your ways at this time
and on the morrow be present here at early morn and let it be at
a vacant hour." Accordingly they forthright went forth, and the
next day early the two men came to the divan of the Wazir who set
before them a she-mouse he had provided and called for a sack
which he filled with earth. And as the men stood between his
hands he said, "Wait ye patiently without speaking a word;" so
they held their peace and presently he bade them set the sack and
the mouse before him and he ordered the men to load the sack upon
the mouse. Both cried, "O our lord, 'tis impossible that a mouse
can carry a sack full of earth," when he answered, "How then can
a cow bear a colt? and when a mouse shall be able to bear a sack
then shall a cow bear a colt." All this and the Sultan was
looking out at the latticed window listening and gazing. Hereupon
the Wazir gave an order that the master of the mare take her colt
and the master of the cow carry off her calf; after which he bade
them go about their business.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy
tale, O sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she,
"And where is this compared with that I would relate to you on
the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it
was the next night and that was

The four hundred and twelfth night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Sultan, whose Minister was the Wazir-wise-in-Allah-Almighty, on a
certain day summoned his Chief Councillor and when he came said
to him, "Verily my breast is straitened and I am beset by unease,
so I desire to hear something which may broaden my bosom;" and
said the other, "O King of the age, by Allah, I have a friend who
is named Mahmud the 'Ajami and that man is a choice spirit and he
hath all kind of rare tales and strange anecdotes and wondrous
histories and marvellous adventures." Said the Sultan, "There is
no help but that thou summon him to us hither and let us hear
from him somewhat." So the Wazir sent after the Persian and when
the man stood in the presence said to him, "Verily the Sultan
hath summoned thee." He replied, "Hearing and obeying," when he
was taken and set before the Sovran and as he entered he saluted
him with the salams of the Caliphs and blessed him and prayed for
him.[FN#282] The King returned his greeting and after seating him
said to him, "O Mahamud, at this moment my breast is indeed
straitened and I have heard of thee that thou hast a store of
rare stories which I would that thou cause me hear[FN#283] and
let it be somewhat sweet of speech which shall banish my cark and
my care and the straitness of my breast." Hereto the other
replied, "Hearing and obeying;" and began to relate the

Tale of Mahmud the Persian and the Kurd Sharper.[FN#284]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*

The Sultan was delighted with the 'Ajami's relation and largessed
him two thousand pieces of gold; after which he returned to his
palace and took seat upon his Divan when suddenly a poor man
appeared before him carrying a load of fruit and greens and
greeted him and prayed for him and expressed a blessing which the
Sultan returned and bade him fair welcome. After which he asked,
"What hast thou with thee, O Shaykh?" and the other answered, "O
King of the Age, I have an offering to thee of fresh greens and
firstfruits;" and the King rejoined, "It is accepted." Thereupon
the man placed them between his royal hands and stood up, and the
King having removed the cover[FN#285] found under it a portion of
ordinary cucumbers and sundry curling cucumbers and bundles of
rose-mallows[FN#286] which had been placed before him. So he took
thereof some little matter and ate it and was much pleased and
bade the Eunuchry bear the rest into the Harem. They carried out
his commands and the women also were delighted and having eaten
somewhat they distributed the remainder to the slave-girls. Then
said they, "By Allah, this man, the fruitowner, deserveth
Bakhshish;"[FN#287] so they sent to him by the Eunuch one hundred
gold pieces whereto the Sultan added twain, so the whole of his
gain was three hundred dinars. But the Sultan was much pleased
with the man and a part of the care which he felt was lightened
to him, whereupon asked he, "O Shaykh, knowest thou aught of
boon-companionship with the Kings?" to which the other answered,
"Yes;" for he was trim of tongue and ready of reply and sweet of
speech. Presently the Sultan continued, "O Shaykh, for this
present go back to thy village and give to thy wife and family
that which Allah hath made thy lot." Accordingly the man went
forth and did as the King bade him; after which he returned in a
short time and went into the presence about set of sun when he
found his liege lord at supper. The King bade him sit to the
trays which he did and he ate after the measure of his
sufficiency, and again when the Sultan looked upon him he was
pleased with him. And when the hour of nightprayers came all
prayed together;[FN#288] then the King invited him to sit down as
a cup-companion and commanded him to relate one of his
tales.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the
Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and
that was

The Four Hundred and Seventeenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the man
took seat as a boon-companion of the King, and began to relate

The Tale of the Sultan and His Sons and the Enchanting Bird.[FN#289]

It is told anent a man, one of the Kings of Orient-land, that he
had three sons, of whom the eldest one day of the days heard the
folk saying, "In such a place there is a bird hight the shrilling
Philomelet,[FN#290] which transmews everyone who comes to it into
a form of stone. Now when the heir apparent heard this report he
went to his father and said, "'Tis my desire to fare forth and to
get that marvellous bird;" and said the father, "O my son, thou
wouldst work only to waste thy life-blood and to deprive us of
thee; for that same bird hath ruined Kings and Sultans, not to
speak of Bashas and Sanjaks,[FN#291] men in whose claws[FN#292]
thou wouldst be as nothing." But the son replied, "Needs must I
go and if thou forbid my going I will kill myself." So quoth his
father, "There is no Majesty and no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great;" and saith the son, "Affects are affected
and steps are sped towards a world that is vile and distributed
daily bread."[FN#293] Then he said to him, "O my child, set out
upon thy journey and mayest thou win to thy wish." Hereupon they
prepared for him somewhat of victual and he went forth on his
wayfare. But before departing he took off his seal-ring from his
finger and gave it to his second brother saying, "O my brother,
an this signet press hard upon thy little finger do thou know and
make certain that mishap hath happened to me." So the second
Prince took it and put it upon his minim finger, after which the
eldest youth farewelled his father and his mother and his
brothers and the Lords of the land and departed seeking the city
wherein the Bird woned. He ceased not travelling by nights and
days, the whole of them, until he reached the place wherein was
the bird Philomelet whose habit it was to take station upon his
cage between mid-afternoon and sunset, when he would enter it to
pass the night. And if any approached him with intent of
capturing him, he would sit afar from the same and at set of sun
he would take station upon the cage and would cry aloud speaking
in a plaintive voice, "Ho thou who sayest to the mean and
mesquin, 'Lodge!'[FN#294] Ho thou who sayest to the sad and
severed, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to the woeful and doleful,
'Lodge!'" Then if these words were grievous to the man standing
before him and he make reply "Lodge!" ere the words could leave
his lips the Bird would take a pinch of dust from beside the cage
and hovering over the wight's head would scatter it upon him and
turn him into stone. At length arrived the youth who had resolved
to seize the Bird and sat afar from him till set of sun: then
Philomelet came and stood upon his cage and cried, "Ho thou who
sayest to the mean and mesquin, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to
the sad and severed, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to the woeful
and the doleful, 'Lodge!'" Now the cry was hard upon the young
Prince and his heart was softened and he said, "Lodge!" This was
at the time when the sun was disappearing, and as soon as he
spake the word the Bird took a somewhat of dust and scattered it
upon the head of the youth, who forthright became a stone. At
that time his brother was sitting at home in thought concerning
the wanderer, when behold, the signet squeezed his finger and he
cried, "Verily my brother hath been despoiled of life and done to
death!"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Four Hundred and Eighteenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the second
Prince, when the signet squeezed his little finger, cried out
saying, "My brother, by Allah, is ruined and lost; but needs must
I also set forth and look for him and find what hath befallen
him." Accordingly he said to his sire, "O my father, 'tis my
desire to seek my brother;" and the old King answered, "Why, O my
son, shouldst thou become like thy brother, both bereaving us of
your company?" But the other rejoined, "There is no help for that
nor will I sit at rest till I go after my lost one and espy what
hath betided him." Thereupon his sire gave orders for his journey
and got ready what would suffice him of victual, and he departed,
but before he went he said to his youngest brother, "Take thou
this ring and set it upon thy little finger, and if it press hard
thereupon do thou understand and be certified that my life's
blood is shed and that I have perished." After this he farewelled
them and travelled to the place of the Enchanting Bird, and he
ceased not wayfaring for whole days and nights and nights and
days until he arrived at that stead. Then he found the bird
Philomelet and sat afar from him till about sundown when he took
station upon his cage and began to cry, "Ho thou who sayest to
the mean and mesguin, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to the sad and
severed, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to the woeful and doleful,
'Lodge!'" Now this cry of the Bird was hard upon the young Prince
and he had no sooner pronounced the word "Lodge!" than the
Philomelet took up somewhat of dust beside his cage and scattered
it upon him, when forthright he became a stone lying beside his
brother. Now the youngest of the three Princes was sitting at
meat with his sire when suddenly the signet shrank till it was
like to cut off his finger; so he rose forthright to his feet and
said, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah,
the Glorious, the Great." Quoth his father, "What is to do with
thee, O my son?" and quoth he, "By Allah, my brother is ruined
and wasted, so needs must I also fare forth and look after the
twain of them." Exclaimed his sire, "Why, O my son, should you
three be cut off?" but the other answered, "Needs must I do this,
nor can I remain after them without going to see what hath
betided them, and either we three shall return in safety and
security or I also shall become one of them." So the father bade
them prepare for his journey and after they had got ready for him
a sufficiency of provision he farewelled him and the youth set
out. But when he departed from his sire the old man and his wife
filleted their brows with the fillets of sorrow[FN#295] and they
fell to weeping by night and by day. Meanwhile the youth left not
wayfaring till he reached the stead of the Bird and the hour was
mid-afternoon, when he found his brothers ensorcelled to stones,
and about sunset he sat down at the distance from Philomelet who
took station upon his cage and began to cry, "Ho thou who sayest
to the mean and mesquin, 'Lodge!' Ho thou who sayest to the sad
and severed, 'Lodge!'" together with many words and instances of
the same kind. But the Prince hardened his heart nor would speak
the word, and albeit the Bird continued his cry none was found to
answer him. Now when the sun evanished and he had kept up his
appeal in vain he went into the cage, whereupon the youngest of
the Princes arose and running up shut the door upon him. Quoth
the Bird, "Thou hast done the deed, O son of the Sultan," and the
youth replied, "Relate to me whatso thou hast wrought in magic to
these creations of God." Replied Philomelet, "Beside thee lie two
heaps of clay whereof one is white and the other blue: this is
used in sorcery and that to loose the spells."--And Shahrazad was
surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say
her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is
thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!"
Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I should relate
to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?"
Now when it was the next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Twentieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Bird
said to the youngest son of the Sultan, "By the side of my cage
are two heaps of clay, this blue and that white; and the first is
the material for sorcery whilst the second looseth the spell."
Hereupon the youth approached them and finding the mounds took
somewhat of the white and scattered it upon the stones and cried,
"Be ye returned unto your olden shapes;" and, as he did so, each
and every of the stones became men as they had been. Now amongst
them were sundry sons of the Sultans, also the children of Kings
and Wazirs and Bashas and Lords of the land, and of the number
two were the elder brothers of the young Prince: so they salamed
to him and all congratulated one another to their safety. After
this one came forward to the youth and said to him, "Verily this
place is a city, all and some of whose folk are ensorcelled." So
he took a somewhat of clay from the white and entered the
streets, where, finding the case as described to him, he fell to
sifting the clay upon them and they were transmewed from statutes
of stone into the shapes of Adam's sons. Then, at last, the sons
of that city rose one and all and began offering to the Prince
gifts and rarities until he had of them a mighty matter. But when
his brothers saw that he had become master of the bird Philomelet
and his cage, and all these presents and choice treasures, they
were filled with envy of him[FN#296] and said each to other, "How
shall our brother win him all this and we abide with him in
servile condition, especially when we hie us homewards and return
to our own land? And will not folk say that the salvation of the
two elder brothers was by the hand of the youngest? But we cannot
endure such disgrace as this!" So envy entered them and in their
jealousy they planned and plotted the death of their cadet, who
knew not that was in their minds or whatso was hidden from him in
the Limbo of Secrets. And when they had wrought their work the
youngest Prince arose and bade his pages and eunuchs lade the
loads upon the camels and mules and, when they had done his
bidding, they all set forth on the homewards march. They
travelled for whole days and nights till they drew near their
destination and the youngest Prince bade his attendants seeks an
open place where in they might take repose, and they said,
"Hearkening and obedience." But when they came upon it they found
a well builded of stone, and the brothers said to the cadet,
"This be a place befitting the rest by reason of this well benign
here; for the water thereof is sweet and good for our drink and
therefifth we can supply our folk and our beasts." Replied the
youth, "This is what we desire." So they set up their tents hard
by that well, and when the camp was pitched they let prepare the
evening meal, and as soon as it was sunset-tide they spread the
trays and supped their sufficiency until presently night came
down upon them. Now the youngest Prince had a bezel'd signet-ring
which he had taken from the bird Philomelet, and he was so
careful thereof that he never slept without it. But his brothers
awaited until he was drowned in sleep, when coming softly upon
him they pinioned him and carried him off and cast him into the
well without anyone knowing aught thereof. Then as soon as
morning morrowed the two eldest Princes arose and commanded the
attendants to load, but these said to them, "Where be our lord?"
and said the others, "He is sleeping in the Takhtrawan." So the
camel men arose and loaded the loads and the litter and the two
Princes sent forwards to the King their sire a messenger of glad
tidings who when he found him informed him of the fair news.
Accordingly he and all his Lords took horse and rode forth to
meet his sons upon the road that he might salam to them and give
them joy of their safe return. Now he chanced in their train to
catch sight of the caged bird which is called "the shrilling
Philomelet," and he rejoiced thereat and asked them, "How did ye
become masters of him?" Then he enquired anent their
brother.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Four Hundred and Twenty-second Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night." She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Sultan
enquired of the two elder sons concerning their younger brother
and they said, "We made ourselves masters of the Bird and we have
brought him hither and we know nothing about our cadet." However,
the King who loved his youngest with exceeding love put the
question, "Have ye not looked after him and have ye not been in
his company?" whereto they answered saying, "A certain wayfarer
declared to have seen him on some path or other." When the father
heard this from them he cried, "There is no Majesty and there is
no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great;" and he fell to
striking palm upon palm.[FN#297] On this wise it befel these, but
as regards the case of their brother, when they cast him into the
well he awoke from his sleep and he felt himself falling into the
depths, so he cried, "I take refuge with the All-sufficient Words
of Allah[FN#298] from the mischief He hath created." And by the
blessing of these Holy Names he reached the sole of the well
without aught of harm or hurt. Here finding himself pinioned, he
strained upon his bonds and loosed them; but the well was deep of
bottom and he came upon an arched recess, so he sat in it and
exclaimed, "Verily we are Allah's and to Him we are returning and
I who wrought for them such work[FN#299] am rewarded with the
contrary thereof; withal the power is unto Allah." And suddenly
he heard the sound of speaking at some little distance beside
him, and the voice was saying, "O Black of Head, who hath come
amongst us?" and his comrade responded, "By Allah, this youth is
the son of the Sultan and his best beloved, and the same hath
released his brothers from sorcery and was carrying them to their
homes when they played him false and cast him into this well.
However, he hath a signet-ring with a bezel which if he rub
'twill bespeak him with whatso he desireth, and will do what he
may wish." So the Prince said in his mind, "I bid the Servant of
this Ring to take me out;" after which he rubbed it and the Jinni
appeared and cried, "Yea verily, O son of the Sultan, what is it
thou requirest of me?"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn
of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then
quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming
night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Twenty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Ring-bezel said to him, "What dost thou require of me?" and said
the Prince, "I demand that thou hoist me out of the well: and
this done that thou summon for me an host with Pages and Eunuchs
and tents and pavilions and ensigns and banners." Whereto the
other replied, "Present."[FN#300] Then he brought him forth the
well and the youth found hard by it all he needed, so he bade
them load their belongings upon the beasts and when this was done
he set out seeking the city of his sire. And as he drew so near
it that it was within shot of eye, he alighted there upon a broad
plain and ordered them to pitch the camp. Accordingly they set up
the tents and the sitting pavilions while the Farrashes fell to
sprinkling water upon the ground afront the abodes and to setting
up the ensigns and colours whilst the band of kettledrums went
dub-a-dub and the trumpets blared tantaras. The cooks also began
at once to prepare the evening meal. Now when the cityfolk saw
this pomp and circumstance, they held in their minds that the new
comer was some Sultan approaching to take their town; so they
gathered together and went in to their own King and informed him
thereof. But he, having heard their words, felt his heart melt
and his vitals throb and a certain joy penetrate into his heart,
so he said, "Praise to the Lord, there hath entered into my heart
a certain manner of pleasure, albeit I know not what may be the
case and Allah hath said in his Holy Book, 'We have heard good
news.'"[FN#301] Hereupon he and the Lords of his land took horse
and rode till they reached the front of the pavilions where the
King dismounted from his steed. Now the Prince his younger son
was dressed in a habit that might have belonged to a hidden
Hoard, and when he saw his father he recognised him, so he rose
and met him and kissed his hands, but his sire knew him not by
reason of the case the youth was in, so he supposed him to be a
strange Sultan. Presently, the Prince asked him, "Where be thy
youngest son?" and the King hearing this fell down a-fainting,
but, soon recovering from his swoon, he said, "Verily my son hath
wasted the blood of his life and hath become food for wild
beasts." Hereupon the youth laughed aloud and cried, "By Allah,
thy son hath not suffered aught from the shifts and changes of
the World, and he is still in the bonds of life, safe and sound;
nor hath there befallen him anything of harm whatever." "Where is
he?" quoth the father: "He standeth between thy hands," quoth the
son. So the Sultan looked at him and straightly considering him
found that it was his very son who was bespeaking him, and of his
delight he threw his arms around his neck and fell with him
aswoon to the ground. This lasted for a full-told hour; but when
he recovered from his fainting he asked his son what had betided
him, so he told all that had befallen, to wit how he had become
master of the Enchanting Bird Philomelet, and also of the magical
clay wherewith he had besprinkled his brethren and others of the
city-folk who had been turned to stone, all and some, and how
they had returned to the shapes whilome they wore. Moreover he
recounted to him the presents and offerings which had been made
to him and also how, when they arrived at a certain place, his
brothers had pinioned him and cast him into the well. And ere he
finished speaking, lo and behold! the two other Princes came in
and when they looked upon his condition and noted the state of
prosperity he was in, surrounded as he was by all manner of weal,
they felt only increase of envy and malice. But as soon as their
sire espied them he cried, "Ye have betrayed me in my son and
have lied to me and, by Allah, there is no retribution for you on
my part save death;" and hereupon the Sultan bade do them die.
Then the youngest Prince made intercession for his brethren and
said, "O my sire, whoso doeth a deed shall meet its deserts," and
thus he obtained their pardon. So they passed that night one and
all in camp and when morning morrowed they loaded and returned to
the city and all were in the most pleasurable condition. Now when
the King heard this tale from the owner of the fruit it pleased
him and he rejoiced therein and said, "By Allah, O Shaykh, indeed
that hath gone from us which we had of cark and care; and in good
sooth this history deserveth that it be written with water of
gold upon the pages of men's hearts." Replied the other, "By
Allah, O King of the Age, this adventure is marvellous, but I
have another more wondrous and pleasurable and delectable than
any thou hast yet heard." Quoth the Sultan, "Needs must thou
repeat it to us," and quoth the fruit-seller, "Inshallah-God
willing-I will recite it to thee on the coming night." Hereupon
the Sultan called for a hand-maiden who was a model of beauty and
loveliness and stature and perfect grace and from the time of his
buying her he never had connection with her nor had he once slept
with her, and he gave her in honourable gift to the reciter. Then
he set apart for them both an apartment with its furniture and
appurtenances and the slave-girl rejoined greatly thereat. Now
when she went in to her new lord she donned her best of dresses
so he lay down beside her and sought carnal copulation, but his
prickle would not stand erect, as was its wont, although he knew
not the cause thereof.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn
of day and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then
quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where
is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming
night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The four hundred and twenty-fifth night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
prickle of the Fruiterer would not stand to the handmaid as was
the wont thereof, so he cried, "Verily this is a wondrous
business." Then the girl fell to rubbing it up and to toying
therewith, her object being to stablish an erection. But the
article in question grew not and remained limp, whereupon she
said, "O my lord, Allah increase the progress of thy pego!"
Thereupon she arose and opened a bag wherefrom she drew out
kerchiefs and dried aromatic herbs[FN#302] such as are scattered
upon corpses; and she also brought a gugglet of water. Presently
she fell to washing the prickle as it were a dead body, and after
bathing it she shrouded it with a kerchief: then she cried upon
her women and they all bewept the untimely fate of his yard which
was still clothed in the kerchief.[FN#303] And when morning
morrowed the Sultan sent after the man and summoned him and said
to him, "How passed thy night?" So he told him all that had
betided him, and concealed from him naught; and when the Sultan
heard this account from him he laughed at him on such wise that
from excess of merriment he well nigh fell upon his back and
cried, "By Allah, if there be such cleverness in that girl, she
becometh not any save myself." Accordingly he sent to fetch her
as she stood and left the furniture of the place wholly and
entirely to the owner of the fruit. And when this was done the
Sultan made of him a boon-companion for that day from morning to
evening and whenever he thought of the handmaid's doings he
ordered the man to repeat the tale and he laughed at him and
admired the action of the slave-girl with the Limpo. When
darkness came on they prayed the night-prayer and they supped and
sat down to converse and to tell anecdotes.[FN#304] Thereupon the
King said to him Fruiterer, "Relate us somewhat of that thou hast
heard anent the Kings of old;" and said the other, "Hearing and
obeying," and forthwith began the

Story of the King of Al-Yaman and his Three Sons.

It is related that there was a Sultan in the land of Al-Yaman who
had three male children, two of them by one mother and a third by
another. Now that King used to dislike this second wife and her
son, so he sent her from him and made her, together with her
child, consort with the handmaids of the kitchen, never asking
after them for a while of time. One day the two brothers-german
went in to their sire and said to him, "'Tis the desire of us to
go forth a-hunting and a-chasing," whereto their father replied,
"And have ye force enough for such sport?" They said, "Yea,
verily, we have!" when he gave to each of them a horse with its
furniture of saddle and bridle, and the twain rode off together.
But as soon as the third son (who together with his mother had
been banished to the kitchen) heard that the other two had gone
forth to hunt, he went to his mother and cried, "I also would
fain mount and away to the chase like my brethren." His mother
responded, saying, "O my son, indeed I am unable to buy thee a
horse or aught of the kind;" so he wept before her and she
brought him a silvern article, which he took and fared forth with
it to the bazar, and there, having sold it for a gold piece, he
repaired to a neighbouring mill and bought him a lame garron.
After this he took a bittock of bread; and, backing the beast
without saddle or bridle, he followed upon the footsteps of his
brothers through the first day and the second, but on the third
he took the opposite route. Presently he reached a Wady, when
behold, he came across a string[FN#305] of pearls and emeralds
which glittered in the sunlight, so he picked it up and set it
upon his head and he fared onwards singing for very joy. But when
he drew near the town he was met by his two brothers who seized
him and beat him and, having taken away his necklace, drove him
afar from them. Now he was much stronger and more beautiful than
they were, but as he and his mother had been cast off by the
King, he durst not offer aught of resistance.[FN#306] Now the two
brothers having taken the necklace from him went away joyful, and
repairing to their father, showed him the ornament and he
rejoiced in them and hending it in his hand marvelled thereat.
But the youngest son went to his mother with his heart well nigh
broken. Then the Sultan said to his two sons, "Ye have shown no
cleverness herein until ye bring me the wearer of this necklace."
They answered, "Hearkening and obedience, and we will set out to
find her."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and
fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she "And where is this compared
with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Four Hundred and Twenty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the sons
of the Sultan made them ready for the march whereby they might
bring back the bird to whom the necklace belonged. So they took
them a sufficiency of provision and, farewelling their father,
set out for the city wherein they judged the bird might be. Such
was their case; but as regards their unhappy brother, when he
heard the news of their going he took with him a bittock of bread
and having bidden adieu to his mother mounted his lame garron and
followed upon the traces of his brethren for three days.
Presently he found himself in the midst of the wild and the wold,
and he ceased not faring therethrough till he came to a city
whose folk were all weeping and wailing and crying and keening.
So he accosted an aged man and said to him, "The Peace be upon
thee!" and when the other returned his salam and welcomed him he
asked saying, "O my uncle, tell me what causeth these groans and
this grief?" The other replied, "O my son, verily our city is
domineered over by a monstrous Lion who every year cometh about
this time and he hath already done on such wise for forty and
three years. Now he expecteth every twelvemonth as he appeareth
to be provided with a damsel arrayed and adorned in all her
finery, and if he chance to come as is his wont and find her not
he would assault the city and destroy it. So before the season of
his visit they cast lots upon the maidens of the place and whomso
these befal, her they decorate and lead forth to a place without
the walls that the monster may take her. And this year the sort
hath fallen upon the King's daughter."[FN#307] When the youth
heard these words he held his peace and, having taken seat by the
old man for an hour or so, he arose and went forth to the place
where the Lion was wont to appear and he took his station there,
when behold, the daughter of the King came to him and right heavy
was she of heart. But as she found the youth sitting there, she
salam'd to him and made friendship with him and asked, "What
brought thee to this stead?" Answered he, "That which brought
thee brought me also." Whereto quoth she, "Verily at this hour
the Lion shall come to seize me, but as soon as he shall see me
he will devour thee before me, and thus both of us shall lose our
lives; so rise up and depart and save thyself, otherwise thou
wilt become mere wasted matter in the belly of the beast." "By
Allah, O my lady," quoth he, "I am thy sacrifice at such a moment
as this!" And as they were speaking, suddenly the world was
turned topsy-turvy,[FN#308] and dust-clouds and
sand-devils[FN#309] flew around and whirlwinds began to play
about them, and lo and behold! the monster made his appearance;
and as he approached he was lashing his flanks with his tail like
the sound of a kettle-drum. Now when the Princess espied him, the
tears poured down her cheeks, whereat the youth sprang to his
feet in haste, and unsheathing his sword, went forth to meet the
foe, who at the sight of him gnashed his tusks at him. But the
King's son met him bravely, springing nimbly from right to left,
whereat the Lion raged furiously, and with the design to tear him
limb from limb, made a rush at the youth, who smote him with all
the force of his forearm and planted between his eyes a sway of
scymitar so sore that the blade came out flashing between his
thighs, and he fell to the ground slain and bleeding amain. When
the Princess saw this derring-do of her defender, she rejoiced
greatly and fell to wiping with her kerchief the sweat from his
brow; and the youth said to her, "Arise and do thou fare to thy
family." "O my lord, and O light of mine eyes!" said she, "we
twain together will wend together as though we were one flesh;"
but he rejoined, "This is on no wise possible." Then he arose
from beside her and ceased not faring until he had entered the
city, where he rested himself beside a shop. She also sprang up,
and faring homewards, went in to her father and mother, showing
signs of sore sorrow. When they saw her, their hearts fluttered
with fear lest the monster should attack the town and destroy it,
whereupon she said to them, "By Allah, the Lion hath been slain
and lieth there dead." They asked her saying, "What was it killed
him?" and she answered, "A handsome youth fair of favour," but
they hardly believed her words and both went to visit the place,
where they found the monster stone-dead. The folk of the city,
one and all, presently heard this fair news, and their joy grew
great, when the Sultan said to his daughter, "Thou! knowest thou
the man who slew him?" to which she answered, "I know him." But
as all tidings of the youth were cut off, the King let proclaim
about the city.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where
is this compared with that I would relate to you on the coming
night an the King suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next
night and that was

The Four Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night." She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King
let proclaim through the city how none should oppose him or delay
to obey his bidding; nay, that each and every, great and small,
should come forth and pass before the windows of his daughter's
palace. Accordingly the Crier went abroad and cried about the
city to that purport, bidding all the lieges muster and defile in
front of the Princess's windows; and they continued so doing for
three full-told days, while she sat continually expecting to
sight the youth who had slain the lion, but to no purpose. At
last never a soul remained who had not passed in the review, so
the Sultan asked, "Is there anyone who hath absented himself?"
and they answered, "There is none save a stranger youth who
dwelleth in such and such a place." "Bring him hither!" cried the
King, "and command him to pass muster," when the others hastened
to fetch him; and as soon as he drew near the window, behold, a
kerchief was thrown upon him.[FN#310] Then the Sultan summoned
him, and he, when standing in the presence, saluted and made
obeisance and blessed the Sovran with the blessings fit for the
Caliphs. The Sultan was pleased thereat and said, "Art thou he
who slew the Lion?" and said the other, "I did." Hereupon quoth
the King, "Ask a favour of me, that I grant it to thee;" and
quoth the Youth, "I pray of Allah and then of our lord the Sultan
that he marry me to his daughter." But the King continued, "Ask
of me somewhat of wealth," and all the Lords of the land
exclaimed, "By Allah, he deserveth the Princess who saved her
from the Lion and slew the beast." Accordingly the King bade the
marriage-knot be tied, and let the bridegroom be led in
procession to the bride, who rejoiced in him with extreme joy,
and he abated her maidenhead and the two lay that night together.
But the Prince arose about the latter hours without awaking his
bride, and withdrawing her seal-ring from her finger, passed his
own thereupon and wrote in the palm of her hand, "I am
Alaeddin,[FN#311] son of King Such-and-such, who ruleth in the
capital of Al-Hind, and, given thou love me truly, do thou come
to me, otherwise stay in thy father's house." Then he went forth
without awaking her and fared through wilds and wolds for a term
of ten days, travelling by light and by night, till he drew near
a certain city which was domineered over by an Elephant. Now this
beast would come every year and take from the town a damsel; and
on this occasion it was the turn of the Princess, daughter to the
King who governed that country. But as the youth entered the
streets he was met by groans and moans an crying and keening; so
he asked thereanent and was answered that the Elephant was
presently approaching to seize the maiden and devour her.[FN#312]
He asked, "To what stead cometh he?" and they pointed out to him
a place without the city whereto he repaired and took his seat.
Suddenly the Princess presented herself before him a-weeping and
with tears down her cheeks a-creeping, when he said to her, "O my
lady, there is no harm for thee." Said she, "O youth, by Allah!
thou wastest thy life to no purpose and seekest thy death without
cause, so rise up and save thyself, for the Elephant will be here
this very hour." And behold, the beast came up to the heart of
the waste and he was raising a dust-cloud and trumpeting with
rage[FN#313] and lashing flanks with tail. But when he arrived at
the wonted place he was confronted by the youth who, with heart
stronger than granite, hastened to fall upon him[FN#314] and
fatigued him and dealt blows without cease; and, when the
Elephant charged down upon him, he met the monster with a stroke
between the eyes dealt with all the force of his forearm, and the
blade came flashing out from between his thighs, when the beast
fell to the ground slain and weltering in his blood amain.
Thereupon, in the stress of her joy, the Princess arose hurriedly
and walked towards the youth--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming
night an the King suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next
night and that was,

The Four Hundred and Thirtieth Night.

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Princess walked hurriedly towards the youth and in the stress of
her joy she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him between
the eyes and cried, "O my lord, may thy hands never palsied grow
nor exult over thee any foe!" Said he to her, "Return to thy
people!" and said she, "There is no help but that I and thou fare
together." But he replied, "This matter is not the right rede,"
and he went from her at a double quick pace, saying, "O Allah,
may none see me!" until he entered the city and presently seating
him beside a tailor's shop fell to conversing with its owner.
Presently the man said, "There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great: by this time the
daughter of the King will have been seized by the Elephant and
torn to pieces and devoured, and she the mainstay of her mother
and her father." And behold loud lullilooing[FN#315] flew about
the city and one began exclaiming, "Verily the Elephant which is
wont to come hither year by year hath been slaughtered by a man
quite young in years, and the Sultan hath sent a Crier to cry
amongst the crowds, 'Let the slayer of the beast come into the
presence and crave a boon and marry the maiden.'" So quoth the
Youth to the tailor, "What is to do?" and the other informed him
of the truth of the report, whereupon he asked, "If I go to the
King will he give her to me?" Answered the tailor, "Who art thou
that thou shouldest intermarry with the daughter of the King?"
and the Prince rejoined, "We will go and bespeak him and lie to
him saying, I am he who slew the monster." But the other
retorted, "O Youth, thou art willingly and wilfully going to thy
death, for an thou lie to him he will assuredly cut off thy
head." Presently the Prince, who was listening to the Crier, said
to his companion, "Up with thee and come with us that thou mayest
look upon my execution;" and cried the other, "Why so, O thou
true-born son?"[FN#316] whereto the Youth replied, "Needs must I
do this!" Hereupon he and the man arose and went till they came
to the palace of the Sultan, where they craved leave to enter,
but were forbidden by the Chamberlain, when lo and behold! the
Princess looked out from the lattice and saw the Prince together
with the tailor. So she threw the kerchief upon his head and
cried aloud, "By Allah, here he be, and 'tis none but he who slew
the Elephant and who saved me from him." Hereat the tailor fell
to wondering at the youth, but when the King saw that his
daughter had thrown the kerchief upon him, he presently sent to
summon him between his hands and asked him how it happened, and
heard from him the truth of the tale. Then said he, "By Allah,
verily my daughter was lost, so that this youth well deserveth
her." Thereupon he tied the marriage tie between the twain and
the youth after wedding her went to her in procession and did
away her pucelage, and lay the night with her. And presently when
day was nigh, the young Prince arose and seeing her slumbering
wrote in the palm of her hand, "I am Such-and-such, the son of
such a King in Such-and-such a capital; and if thou love me
truly, come to find me, or otherwise stay in thy father's house."
Then without awaking her he fared forth to the city of the
Enchanting Bird and ceased not cutting athwart the wilds and the
wolds throughout the nights and the days till he arrived at the
place wherein dwelt the Bird Philomelet whereto the necklace
belonged. And she was the property of the Princess the daughter
of the Sovran whose seat was in that capital, and it was the
greatest of cities and its King was the grandest of the Kings.
When he entered the highways he leant against the shop of an
Oilman to whom he said, "The Peace be upon you," and the other
returned his salutation and seated him beside himself, and the
two fell to conversing. Presently the Prince asked him, "O my
lord, what canst thou tell me concerning a certain Bird and her
owner?" and the other made answer, "I know nothing but of oil and
of honey and of clarified butter, whereof whatever thou requirest
I will give to thee." Quoth the youth, "This is no reply to my
question," and quoth the oilman, "I know not nor regard aught
save what is by me in my shop." So the Prince rising from beside
him left him and went forth to continue his search; but whenever
he asked concerning the Bird and its owner, the folk changed the
subject and returned him no reply save, "We know not." This
lasted until he accosted a man well stricken in years, whose age
was nigh to an hundred; and he was sitting alone at one side of
the city; so the Youth walked up to him and salam'd; and, and
after the other returned his greeting and kindly welcomed him and
seated him near him, the two fell a-talking together, and the
Prince asked him, "O my uncle, what canst thou tell me concerning
the Bird whose necklet is of precious stones, and what concerning
the owner thereof?" The aged man held his peace for awhile and
presently exclaimed, "O my son, why ask me of this? O my
child,[FN#317] verily the Kings and sons of the Kings have sought
her in marriage but could not avail; indeed and the lives of
folks manifold have been wasted upon her. How, then, canst thou
hope to win her? Nevertheless, O my son, go and buy thee seven
lambs and slaughter them and skin them, after which do thou roast
them and cut them in halves; for she hath seven doors at each
whereof standeth as warder a rending Lion; and at the eighth
which guardeth the maiden and the Bird are posted forty slaves
who at all times are there lying. And now I leave thee to thy
luck, O my son." But when the Prince heard these words he asked
his abidance of the Shaykh and went forth from him--And Shahrazad
was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased
saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How
sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable
and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that
I would relate to you on the coming night an the King suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was,

The Four Hundred and Thirty-second Night.

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Prince
craved for the prayers of the Shaykh, who blessed him. Then he
went forth from him and bought of the lambs what he had been
charged to buy, and these he slaughtered and skinned and roasted
and he cut each and every into two halves. He waited until night
descended with its darkness and ceased the to-ing and fro-ing of
folk, when he arose and walked to the place pointed out and there
he found the Lion whose shape and size equaled the stature of a
full-grown bull. He threw to him half a lamb and the beast
allowed him to pass through that door, and it was the same with
the other entrances, all seven of them, until he reached the
eighth. Here he found the forty slaves who were bestrewn on the
ground bedrowned in sleep; so he went in with soft tread and
presently he came upon the Bird Philomelet in a cage encrusted
with pearls and precious stones and he saw the Princess who owned
him lying asleep upon a couch. Hereat he wrote upon the palm of
her hand, "I am Such-and-such, son to the King Such-and-such, of
such a city; and I have come in upon thee and beheld thee bared
whilst thou wast sleeping, and I have also taken away the Bird.
However, an thou love me and long for me, do thou come to me in
mine own city." Then he seized the Bird to his prize and fared
forth and what he did with the Lions coming that he did when
going out. The Veiler[FN#318] veiled him, and he went forth the
city and met not a single soul, and he ceased not faring the
livelong night till next morning did appear, when he hid in a
place seeking repose and ate somewhat of victual. But as soon as
the daylight shone bright, he arose and continued his journey,
praying Allah for protection on his wayfare, till it was
mid-afternoon: then he found, like an oasis in the middle of the
waste, certain pastures of the wild Arabs and as he drew near the
owner met him and salam'd to him and greeted him and blessed him.
So he lay that night with them till dawn when the Shaykh of the
encampment who had heard of the stranger came to him and welcomed
him and found him a youth fair of form and favour and saw by his
side the Enchanting Bird in its cage. He recognised it and
wondered at the young man's derring-do and cried, "Subhana 'lah-
-praise be to God-who hath committed his secret unto the
weakliest of His creation![FN#319] Verily this Bird hath caused
on its account to be slain many of the Wazirs and the Kings and
the Sultans, yet hath yonder lad mastered it and carried it away.
This however is by virtue of his good fortune." Then the old man
had compassion on him and gave him a horse that he had by him
together with somewhat of provaunt. The Prince took them from him
and returning to his march traversed the wilds and the wolds for
days and nights, all of them; and he continued in that case when
he drew near his father's capital which rose within eye-shot. And
as he walked on without heed, behold, his brethren met him and
confronted him and fell upon him and, having taken away the
Enchanting Bird, reviled him and beat him and shook him off and
drove him away. Then they entered the city and sought their sire
who received them with fair reception and greeted them and
rejoiced in them; after which they presented him with the Bird
Philomelet, and said, "Here we bring him to thee and there befell
us through his account much toil and trouble." But their brother
who had really won the prize went to his mother in sadness of
heart--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister
Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I should relate to you on the coming night an the King
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was,

The Four Hundred and Thirty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the young
Prince who had brought the Bird and whom his brothers had beaten
and robbed of his prize, went to his mother in sadness of heart
and shedding tears. Quoth she, "What is thy case and what hath
befallen thee?" So he told her what had betided him and she said,
"Sorrow not, O my son; the course of the right shall be made
manifest." Then she quieted him and soothed his heart. This is
what happened to these persons; but as regards the Princess, the
owner of the Bird, when she awoke at dawn of day and opened her
eyes, she found her favourite gone and as her glance fell upon
the things about her, suddenly she saw something written in the
palm of her hand. But as soon as she had read it and comprehended
its purport, she cried aloud with a mighty grievous cry which
caused the palace-women to flock around,[FN#320] and her father
to ask what was to do but none could explain it because no one
knew. So the Sultan arose forthright and, going in to his
daughter, found her buffeting her face for the sake of her Bird
and asked her, "What is to do with thee?" So she informed him of
what had befallen her, adding, "Verily he who came into my bower
and discovered me bare and looked upon me and wrote upon the palm
of my hand, him I am determined to have and none other save that
one." Quoth her father, "O my daughter, many sons of the Wazirs
and the Kings have sought the bird and have failed; and now do
thou suppose that he hath died;" but quoth the Princess, "I
desire none save the man who found me in sleep and looked upon
me, and he is the son of King So-and-so, reigning in such a
capital." Said her father, "Then how standeth the case?" and said
she, "Needs must I thank him and seek his city and marry him, for
assuredly amongst the sons of the Kings, all of them, none can be
fairer or more delightsome than he who hath craftily devised this
entrance to me in so guarded a stead as this. How then can anyone
be his peer?"[FN#321] Hereupon her father bade muster the forces
without the city and he brought out for his daughter rarities and
presents and mule-litters, and they pitched the tents and after
three days they loaded the loads for travel. Then they fared for
whole days and nights until they drew near the city wherein the
youth had slain the Elephant and had saved the daughter of the
King. So the Sultan set up his encampment with its tents and
pavilions hard by the walls, to the end that all might take their
rest, but when the King of the City saw this he rode forth to
visit the stranger, and after greeting asked him the cause of his
coming with such a host. The Sultan apprised him of what had

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