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Supplemental Nights, Volume 4 by Richard F. Burton

Part 3 out of 7

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bear load on his lord that lies:
I'll carry whatever makes thee complain * And be my body the
first that dies."

When he heard these words he again asked, "Dost thou know him?"
and she answered, "He? Verily we wot him not;"[FN#176] and
repeated the saying to him a second time: withal he by no means
understood her. So quoth she, "How canst thou administer the
Sultanate and yet fail to comprehend my simple words? For indeed
I have made the case clear to thee." Hereupon he fathomed the
secret of the saying and flew to her in his joy and clasped her
to his bosom and kissed her upon the cheeks. But his mother
turned to him and said, "O my son, do not on this wise, for
everything hath its time and season;"--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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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
Sultan's mother said, "O my son, everything hath its time and
season; and whoso hurrieth a matter before opportunity befit
shall be punished with the loss of it." But he replied, "By
Allah, O my mother, thy suspicion be misplaced: I acted thus only
on my gratitude to her, for assuredly she is the Knight who came
to my aidance and who saved me from death." And his mother
excused him. They passed that night in converse and next day at
noontide the King sought the Divan in order to issue his
commandments; but when the assembly filled the room and became as
a garden of bloom the Lords of the land said to him, "O King of
the Age, 'twere not suitable that thou become Sultan except thou
take to thee a wife; and Alhamdolillah--laud to the Lord who hath
set thee on the necks of His servants and who hath restored the
realm to thee as successor of thy sire. There is no help but that
thou marry." Quoth he, "To hear is to consent;" then he arose
without stay or delay and went in to his mother and related to
her what had happened. Quoth she, "O my son, do what becometh
thee and Allah prosper thy affairs!" He said to her, "O my
mother, retire thou with the maiden and persuade her to marriage
for I want none other and I love not aught save herself," and
said she, "With joy and gladness." So he went from her and she
arose and was private with the damsel when she addressed her, "O
my lady, the King desireth to wed thee and he wanteth none other
and he seeketh not aught save thee." But the Princess hearing
this exclaimed, "How shall I marry, I who have lost my kith and
kin and my dear ones and am driven from my country and my
birth-place? This were a proceeding opposed to propriety! But if
it need must be and I have the fortune to forgather with my
mother and sisters and father, then and then only it shall take
place." The mother replied, "Why this delay, O my daughter? The
Lords of the land have stood up against the King in the matter of
marriage, and in the absence of espousals we fear for his
deposition. Now maidens be many and their relations long to see
each damsel wedded to my son and become a Queen in virtue of her
husband's degree: but he wanteth none other and loveth naught
save thyself. Accordingly, an thou wouldst take compassion on him
and protect him by thy consent from the insistence of the
Grandees, deign accept him to mate." Nor did the Sultan's mother
cease to speak soothing words to the maiden and to gentle her
with soft language until her mind was made up and she gave
consent.[FN#177] Upon this they began to prepare for the ceremony
forthright, and summoned the Kazi and witnesses who duly knotted
the knot of wedlock and by eventide the glad tidings of the
espousals were bruited abroad. The King bade spread bride-feasts
and banqueting tables and invited his high Officials and the
Grandees of the kingdom and he went in to the maiden that very
night and the rejoicings grew in gladness and all sorrows ceased
to deal sadness. Then he proclaimed through the capital and all
the burghs that the lieges should decorate the streets with rare
tapestries and multiform in honour of the Sultanate. Accordingly,
they adorned the thoroughfares in the city and its suburbs for
forty days and the rejoicings increased when the King fed the
widows and the Fakirs and the mesquin and scattered gold and
robed and gifted and largessed till all the days of decoration
were gone by. On this wise the sky of his estate grew clear by
the loyalty of the lieges and he gave orders to deal justice
after the fashion of the older Sultans, to wit, the Chosroës and
the Cæsars; and this condition endured for three years, during
which Almighty Allah blessed him by the Princess with two
men-children as they were moons. Such was the case with the
youngest Princess; but as regards the cadette, the second
sister,--And Shahrazad perceived 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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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 as regards
the case of the cadette, the second damsel, when she was adopted
to daughter by the ancient dame she fell to spinning with her and
living by the work of their hands. Now there chanced to govern
that city a Báshá[FN#178] who had sickened with a sore sickness
till he was near unto death; and the wise men and leaches had
compounded for him of medicines a mighty matter which, however,
availed him naught. At last the tidings came to the ears of the
Princess who lived with the old woman and she said to her, "O my
mother, I desire to prepare a tasse of broth and do thou bear it
to the Basha and let him drink of it; haply will Almighty Allah
vouchsafe him a cure whereby we shall gain some good." Said the
other, "O my daughter, and how shall I obtain admittance and who
shall set the broth before him?" The maiden replied, "O my
mother, at the Gate of Allah Almighty!"[FN#179] and the dame
rejoined, "Do thou whatso thou willest." So the damsel arose and
cooked a tasse of broth and mingled with it sundry hot spices
such as pimento[FN#180] and she had certain leaflets taken from
the so-called Wind tree,[FN#181] whereof she inserted a small
portion deftly mingling the ingredients. Then the old woman took
it and set forth and walked till she reached the Basha's mansion
where the servants and eunuchs met her and asked her of what was
with her. She answered, "This is a tasse of broth which I have
brought for the Basha that he drink of it as much as he may
fancy; haply Almighty Allah shall vouchsafe healing to him." They
went in and reported that to the Basha who exclaimed, "Bring her
to me hither." Accordingly, they led her within and she offered
to him the tasse of broth, whereupon he rose and sat upright and
removed the cover from the cup which sent forth a pleasant
savour: so he took it and sipped of it a spoonful and a second
and a third, when his heart opened to her and he drank of it till
he could no more. Now this was in the forenoon and after
finishing the soup he gave the old woman a somewhat of dinars
which she took and returned therewith to the damsel rejoicing,
and handed to her the gold pieces. But the Basha immediately
after drinking the broth felt drowsy and he slept a restful sleep
till mid-afternoon and when he awoke health had returned to his
frame beginning from the time he drank. So he asked after the
ancient dame and sent her word to prepare for him another tasse
of broth like the first; but they told him that none knew her
dwelling-place. Now when the old woman returned home the maiden
asked her whether the broth had pleased the Basha or not; and she
said that it was very much to his liking; so the girl got ready a
second portion but without all the stronger ingredients[FN#182]
of the first. Then she gave it to the dame who took it and went
forth with it and whilst the Basha was asking for her behold, up
she came and the servants took her and led her in to the
Governor. On seeing her he rose and sat upright and called for
other food and when it was brought he ate his sufficiency, albeit
for a length of time he could neither rise nor walk. But from the
hour he drank all the broth he sniffed the scent of health and he
could move about as he moved when hale and hearty. So he asked
the old dame saying, "Didst thou cook this broth?" and she
answered, "O my lord, my daughter made it and sent me with it to
thee." He exclaimed, "By Allah this maiden cannot be thy
daughter, O old woman; and she can be naught save the daughter of
Kings. But bid her every day at morning-tide cook me a tasse of
the same broth." The other replied, "To hear is to obey," and
returned home with this message to the damsel who did as the
Basha bade the first day and the second to the seventh day. And
the Basha waxed stronger every day and when the week was ended he
took horse and rode to his pleasure-garden. He increased
continually in force and vigour till, one day of the days, he
sent for the dame and questioned her concerning the damsel who
lived with her; so she acquainted him with her case and what
there was in her of beauty and loveliness and perfect grace.
Thereupon the Basha fell in love with the girl by hearsay and
without eye-seeing[FN#183]:--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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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 deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Basha
fell in love with the girl by hearsay and without eye-seeing: so
he changed his habit and donning a dress of Darwaysh-cut left his
mansion and threaded the streets passing from house to house
until he reached that of the old woman. He then knocked at the
entrance and she came behind it and asked "Who's at the door?" "A
Darwaysh and a stranger," answered he, "who knoweth no man in
this town and who is sore anhungered." Now the ancient dame was
by nature niggardly and she had lief put him off, but the damsel
said to her, "Turn him not away," and quoting "Honour to the
foreigner is a duty," said, "So do thou let him in." She admitted
him and seated him when the maiden brought him a somewhat of food
and stood before him in his service. He ate one time and ten
times he gazed at the girl until he had eaten his sufficiency
when he washed his hands and rising left the house and went his
ways. But his heart flamed with love of the Princess and he was
deeply enamoured of her and he ceased not walking until he
reached his mansion whence he sent for the old woman. And when
they brought her, he produced a mint of money and a sumptuous
dress in which he requested and prayed her to attire the damsel:
then the old woman took it and returned to her protegée, saying
to herself, "By Allah, if the girl accept the Basha and marry him
she will prove sensible as fortunate; but an she be not content
so to do I will turn her out of my door." When she went in she
gave her the dress and bade her don it, but the damsel refused
till the old woman coaxed her and persuaded her to try it on. Now
when the dame left the Basha, he privily assumed a woman's habit
and followed in her footsteps; and at last he entered the house
close behind her and beheld the Princess in the sumptuous dress.
Then the fire of his desire flamed higher in his heart and he
lacked patience to part from her, so he returned to his mansion
with mind preoccupied and vitals yearning. Thither he summoned
the old woman and asked her to demand the girl in marriage and
was instant with her and cried, "No help but this must be."
Accordingly she returned home and acquainted the girl with what
had taken place adding, "O my daughter, verily the Basha loveth
thee and his wish is to wed thee: he hath been a benefactor to
us, and thou wilt never meet his like; for that he is deeply
enamoured of thee and the byword saith, 'Reward of lover is
return of love.'" And the ancient dame ceased not gentling her
and plying her with friendly words till she was soothed and gave
consent. Then she returned to the Basha and informed him of her
success, so he joyed with exceeding joy, and without stay or
delay bade slaughter beeves and prepare bridal feasts and spread
banquets whereto he invited the notables of his government: after
which he summoned the Kazi who tied the knot and he went in to
her that night. And of the abundance of his love he fared not
forth from her till seven days had sped; and he ceased not to
cohabit with her for a span of five years during which Allah
vouchsafed to him a man-child by her and two daughters. Such was
the case with the cadette Princess; but as regards the eldest
sister, when she entered the city in youth's attire she was
accosted by the Kunáfah-baker and was hired for a daily wage of a
Mídí of silver besides her meat and drink in his house. Now 'twas
the practice of that man every day to buy half a quartern of
flour and thereof make his vermicelli; but when the so-seeming
youth came to him he would buy and work up three quarterns; and
all the folk who bought Kunafah of him would flock to his shop
with the view of gazing upon the beauty and loveliness of the
Youth and said, "Exalted be He who created and perfected what He
wrought in the creation of this young man!" Now by the decree of
the Decreer the baker's shop faced the lattice-windows of the
Sultan's Palace and one day of the days the King's daughter
chanced to look out at the window and she saw the Youth standing
with sleeves tucked up from arms which shone like ingots[FN#184]
of silver. Hereat the Princess fell in love with the Youth,--And
Shahrazad perceived 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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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 when the
Sultan's daughter looked out at the window she fell in love with
the youth, and she knew not how to act that she might forgather
with him: so desire afflicted her and extreme fondness and
presently she took to her pillow all for her affection to that
young man. Thereupon her nurse went in to her and found her lying
upon the carpet-bed a-moaning and a-groaning "Ah!" So she
exclaimed, "Thy safety from all whereof thou hast to complain!"
Then she took her hand and felt her pulse but could find in it no
symptoms of sickness bodily, whereupon she said, "O my lady, thou
hast no unease save what eyesight hath brought thee." She
replied, "O my mother, do thou keep sacred my secret, and if thy
hand can reach so far as to bring me my desire, prithee do so;"
and the nurse rejoined, "O my lady, like me who can keep a
secret? therefore confide to me thy longing and Allah vouchsafe
thee thy dearest hope." Said the Princess, "O my mother, my heart
is lost to the young man who worketh in the vermicelli-baker's
shop and if I fail to be united with him I shall die of grief."
The nurse replied, "By Allah, O my lady, he is the fairest of his
age and indeed I lately passed by him as his sleeves were tucked
up above his forearms and he ravished my wits: I longed to accost
him but shame overcame me in presence of those who were round
him, some buying Kunafah and others gazing on his beauty and
loveliness, his symmetric stature and his perfect grace. But I, O
my lady, will do thee a service and cause thee forgather with him
ere long." Herewith the heart of the Princess was solaced and she
promised the nurse all good. Then the old woman left her and fell
to devising how she should act in order to bring about a meeting
between her and the youth or carry him into the Palace. So she
went to the baker's shop and bringing out an Ashrafi[FN#185] said
to him, "Take, O Master, this gold piece and make me a
platter[FN#186] of vermicelli meet for the best and send it for
me by this Youth who shall bring it to my home that be near hand:
I cannot carry it myself." Quoth the baker in his mind, "By
Allah, good pay is this gold piece and a Kunafah is worth ten
silverlings; so all the rest is pure profit." And he replied, "On
my head and eyes be it, O my lady;" and taking the Ashrafi made
her a plate of vermicelli and bade his servant bear it to her
house. So he took it up and accompanied the nurse till she
reached the Princess's palace when she went in and seated the
Youth in an out-of-the-way closet. Then she repaired to her
nursling and said, "Rise up, O my lady, for I have brought thee
thy desire." The Princess sprang to her feet in hurry and flurry
and fared till she came to the closet; then, going in she found
the Youth who had set down the Kunafah and who was standing in
expectation of the nurse's return that he and she might wend
homewards. And suddenly the Sultan's daughter came in and bade
the Youth be seated beside her, and when he took seat she clasped
him to her bosom of her longing for him and fell to kissing him
on the cheeks and mouth ever believing him to be a male
masculant, till her hot desire for him was quenched.[FN#187] Then
she gave to him two golden dinars and said to him, "O my lord and
coolth of my eyes, do thou come hither every day that we may take
our pleasure, I and thou." He said, "To hear is to obey," and
went forth from her hardly believing in his safety, for he had
learnt that she was the Sultan's daughter, and he walked till he
reached the shop of his employer to whom he gave the twenty
dinars. Now when the baker saw the gold, affright and terror
entered his heart and he asked his servant whence the money came;
and, when told of the adventure, his horror and dismay increased
and he said to himself, "An this case of ours continue, either
the Sultan will hear that this youth practiseth upon his
daughter, or she will prove in the family way and 'twill end in
our deaths and the ruin of our country. The lad must quit this
evil path." Thereupon quoth he to the Youth, "From this time
forwards do thou cease faring forth thereto," whereat quoth the
other, "I may not prevent myself from going and I dread death an
I go not." So the man cried, "Do whatso may seem good to thee."
Accordingly, the Princess in male attire fell to going every
morning and meeting the Sultan's daughter, till one day of the
days she went in and the twain sat down and laughed and enjoyed
themselves, when lo and behold! the King entered. And as soon as
he espied the youth and saw him seated beside his daughter, he
commanded him be arrested and they arrested him;--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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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 deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Sultan entered and saw the youth sitting beside his daughter he
commanded him to be arrested and they arrested him; they also
seized the Princess and bound her forearms to her sides with
straitest bonds. Then the King summoned the Linkman and bade him
smite off both their heads: so he took them and went down with
them to the place of execution. But when the tidings reached the
Kunáfáni he shut up shop without stay and delay and fled.
Presently the Sultan said in his mind, "Fain would I question the
Youth touching his object in entering hither, and ask him who
conducted him to my daughter and how he won access to her."
Accordingly he sent to bring back the twain and imprisoned them
till night-fall: then he went in to his Harem and caused his
daughter's person to be examined, and when they inspected her she
proved to be a pure maid. This made the King marvel, for he
supposed that the Youth must have undone her maidenhead;[FN#188]
so he sent for him to the presence, and when he came he
considered him and found him fairer even than his daughter; nay,
far exceeding her in beauty and loveliness. So he cried, "By
Allah this be a wondrous business! Verily my daughter hath excuse
for loving this Youth nor to my judgment doth she even him in
charms: not the less this affair is a shame to us, and the
foulest of stains and needs must the twain be done to death
to-morrow morning!" Herewith he commanded the jailer to take the
Youth and to keep him beside him and he shut up the girl with her
nurse. The jailer forthwith led his charge to the jail; but it so
happened that its portal was low; and, when the Youth was ordered
to pass through it, he bent his brow down-wards for easier
entrance, when his turband struck against the lintel and fell
from his head. The jailer turned to look at him, and behold, his
hair was braided and the plaits being loosed gleamed like an
ingot of gold. He felt assured that the youth was a maiden so he
returned to the King in all haste and hurry and cried, "Pardon, O
our lord the Sultan!" "Allah pardon us and thee;" replied the
King, and the man rejoined, "O King of the Age, yonder Youth is
no boy; nay, he be a virgin girl." Quoth the Sultan, "What sayest
thou?" and quoth the other, "By the truth of Him who made thee
ruler of the necks of His worshippers, O King of the Age, verily
this is a maiden." So he bade the prison-keeper bring her and set
her in his presence and he returned with her right soon, but now
she paced daintily as the gazelle and veiled her face, because
she saw that the jailer had discovered her sex. The King then
commanded them carry her to the Harem whither he followed her and
presently, having summoned his daughter, he questioned her
concerning the cause of her union with the so-seeming Youth.
Herewith she related all that had happened with perfect truth: he
also put questions to the Princess in man's habit, but she stood
abashed before him and was dumb, unable to utter a single word.
As soon as it was morning, the Sultan asked of the place where
the Youth had dwelt and they told him that he lodged with a
Kunáfah-baker, and the King bade fetch the man, when they
reported that he had fled. However, the Sultan was instant in
finding him, so they went forth and sought him for two days when
they secured him and set him between the royal hands. He enquired
into the Youth's case and the other replied, "By Allah, O King of
the Age, between me and him were no questionings and I wot not
whence may be his origin." The Monarch rejoined, "O man, thou
hast my plighted word for safety, so continue thy business as
before and now gang thy gait." Then he turned to the maiden and
repeated his enquiries, when she made answer saying, "O my lord,
my tale is wondrous and my adventures marvellous." "And what may
they be?" he asked 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 Three Hundred and Seventy-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
Princess said to the Sultan, "In very sooth my tale is passing
strange," and he besought her to recount it. So she began to
disclose the whole of her history and the adventures which had
befallen her and her sisters and their mother; especially of the
shipwreck in middle-most ocean and of her coming to land; after
which she told the affair of the Wazir burnt by her sire, that
traitor who had separated children from father and, brief, all
that had betided them from first to last. Hearing her soft speech
and her strange story the Sultan marvelled and his heart inclined
herwards; then he gave her in charge to the Palace women and
conferred upon her favours and benefits. But when he looked upon
her beauty and loveliness, her brilliancy and perfect grace he
fell deeply in love with her, and his daughter hearing the
accidents which had happened to the Princess's father cried, "By
Allah, the story of this damsel should be chronicled in a book,
that it become the talk of posterity and be quoted as an instance
of the omnipotence of Allah Almighty; for He it is who parteth
and scattereth and re-uniteth." So saying she took her and
carried her to her own apartment where she entreated her
honourably; and the maiden, after she had spent a month in the
Palace, showed charms grown two-fold and even more. At last one
day of the days, as she sat beside the King's daughter in her
chamber about eventide, when the sun was hot after a sultry
summer day and her cheeks had flushed rosy red, behold, the
Sultan entered passing through the room on his way to the Harem
and his glance undesignedly[FN#189] fell upon the Princess who
was in home gear, and he looked a look of eyes that cost him a
thousand sighs. So he was astounded and stood motionless knowing
not whether to go or to come; and when his daughter sighted him
in such plight she went up to him and said, "What hath betided
thee and brought thee to this condition?" Quoth he, "By Allah,
this girl hath stolen my senses from my soul: I am fondly
enamoured of her and if thou aid me not by asking her in marriage
and I fail to wed her 'twill make my wits go clean bewildered."
Thereupon the King's daughter returned to the damsel and drawing
near her said, "O my lady and light of my eyes, indeed my father
hath seen thee in thy deshabille and he hath hung[FN#190] all his
hopes upon thee, so do not thou contrary my words nor the counsel
I am about to offer thee." "And what may that be, O my lady?"
asked she, and the other answered, "My wish is to marry thee to
my sire and thou be to him wife and he be to thee man." But when
the maiden heard these words she wept with bitter weeping till
she sobbed aloud and cried, "Time hath mastered us and decreed
separation: I know nothing of my mother and sisters and father,
an they be dead or on life, and whether they were drowned or came
to ground; then how should I enjoy a bridal fête when they may be
in mortal sadness and sorrow?" But the other ceased not to soothe
her and array fair words against her and show her fondly
friendship till her soul consented to wedlock. Presently the
other brought out to her what habit befitted the occasion still
comforting her heart with pleasant converse,[FN#191] after which
she carried the tidings to her sire. So he sent forthright to
summon his Lords of the reign and Grandees of the realm and the
knot was tied between them twain; and, going in unto her that
night, he found her a hoard wherefrom the spell had freshly been
dispelled; and of his longing for her and his desire to her he
abode with her two se'nnights never going forth from her or by
night or by day. Hereat the dignitaries of his empire were sore
vexed for that their Sultan ceased to appear at the Divan and
deal commandment between man and man, and his daughter went in
and acquainted him therewith. He asked her how long he had
absented himself and she answered saying, "Knowest thou how long
thou hast tarried in the Palace?" whereto he replied, "Nay."
"Fourteen whole days," cried she, whereupon he exclaimed, "By
Allah, O my daughter, I thought to myself that I had spent with
her two days and no more." And his daughter wondered to hear his
words. Such was the case of the cadette Princess; but as regards
the King, the father of the damsel, when he forgathered with the
mother of his three daughters and she told him of the shipwreck
and the loss of her children he determined to travel in search of
the three damsels, he and the Wazir habited as Darwayshes.--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 Three Hundred and Eightieth 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
resolved to travel in search of his children (the three damsels)
he and his Wazir habited as Darwayshes. So leaving the government
in charge of his wife he went forth and the twain in their search
first visited the cities on the seaboard beginning with the
nearest; but they knew not what was concealed from them in the
world of the future. They stinted not travelling for the space of
a month till they came to a city whose Sultan had a place hight
Al-Dijlah[FN#192] whereupon he had built a Palace. The Darwayshes
made for it and found the King sitting in his Kiosque[FN#193]
accompanied by two little lads, the elder eight years old and the
second six. They drew near to him and saluting him offered their
services and blessed him, wishing him length of life as is the
fashion when addressing royalties; and he returned their
greetings and made them draw near and showed them kindness; also,
when it was eventide he bade his men serve them with somewhat of
food. On the next day the King fared forth to Tigris-bank and sat
in his Kiosque together with the two boys. Now the Darwayshes had
hired them a cell in the Khan whence it was their daily wont to
issue forth and wander about the city asking for what they
sought; and this day they again came to the place wherein sat the
Sultan and they marvelled at the fair ordinance of the Palace.
They continued to visit it every day till one day of the days the
two went out, according to their custom, and when entering the
Palace one of the King's children, which was the younger, came up
to them and fell to considering them as if he had forgotten his
own existence. This continued till the Darwayshes retired to
their cell in the caravanserai whither the boy followed them to
carry out the Secret Purpose existing in the All-knowledge of
Allah. And when the two sat down the Sultan's son went in to them
and fell to gazing upon them and solacing himself with the sight,
when the elder Darwaysh clasped him to his bosom and fell to
kissing his cheeks, marvelling at his semblance and at his
beauty; and the boy in his turn forgot his father and his mother
and took to the old man. Now whenas night fell the Sultan retired
homewards fancying that his boy had foregone him to his mother
while the Sultánah fancied that her child was with his father,
and this endured till such time as the King had entered the
Harem. But only the elder child was found there so the Sultan
asked, "Where is the second boy?" and the Queen answered, "Day by
day thou takest them with thee to Tigris-bank and thou bringest
them back; but to-day only the elder hath returned." Thereupon
they sought him but found him not and the mother buffeted her
face in grief for her child and the father lost his right senses.
Then the high Officials fared forth to search for their King's
son and sought him from early night to the dawn of day, but not
finding him they deemed that he had been drowned in Tigris-water.
So they summoned all the fishermen and divers and caused them to
drag the river for a space of four days. All this time and the
boy abode with the Darwayshes, who kept saying to him, "Go to thy
father and thy mother;" but he would not obey them and he would
sit with the Fakirs upon whom all his thoughts were fixed while
theirs were fixed upon him. This lasted till the fifth day when
the door-keeper unsummoned entered the cell and found the
Sultan's son sitting with the old men; so he went out hurriedly
and repairing to the King cried, "O my Sovran, thy boy is with
those Darwayshes who were wont daily to visit thee." Now when the
Sultan heard the porter's words, he called aloud to his Eunuchs
and Chamberlains and gave them his orders; when they ran a race,
as it were, till they entered upon the holy men and carried them
from their cell together with the boy and set all four[FN#194]
before the Sultan. The King exclaimed, "Verily these Darwayshes
must be spies and their object was to carry off my boy;" so he
took up his child and clasped him to his bosom and kissed him
again and again of his yearning fondness to him, and presently he
sent him to his mother who was well-nigh frantic. Then he
committed the two Fakirs (with commands to decapitate them) to
the Linkman who took them and bound their hands and bared their
heads and fell to crying, "This be his reward and the least of
awards who turneth traitor and kidnappeth the sons of the Kings;"
and as he cried all the citizens great and small flocked to the
spectacle. But when the boy heard the proclamation, he went forth
in haste till he stood before the elder Darwaysh who was still
kneeling upon the rug of blood and threw himself upon him at full
length till the Grandees of his father forcibly removed him. Then
the executioner stepped forward purposing to strike the necks of
the two old men and he raised his sword hand till the dark hue of
his arm-pit showed[FN#195] and he would have dealt the blow when
the boy again made for the elder Fakir and threw himself upon him
not only once but twice and thrice, preventing the Sworder's
stroke and abode clinging to the old man. The Sultan cried, "This
Darwaysh is a Sorcerer:" but when the tidings reached the
Sultanah, the boy's mother, she exclaimed, "O King, needs must
this Darwaysh have a strange tale to tell, for the boy is wholly
absorbed in him. So it is not possible to slay him on this wise
till thou summon him to the presence and question him: I also
will listen to him behind the curtain and thus none shall hear
him save our two selves." The King did her bidding and commanded
the old man to be brought: so they took him from under the sword
and set him before the King--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that at the
King's bidding they took up the Fakir who was still kneeling
under the glaive and set him before the King who bade him be
seated. And when he sat him down the Sultan commanded all who
were in the presence of Eunuchs and Chamberlains to withdraw, and
they withdrew leaving the Sovran with the old religious. But the
second Darwaysh still knelt in his bonds under the sword of the
Sworder who, standing over against his head, kept looking for the
royal signal to strike. Then cried the King, "O Mendicant, what
drove thee to take my son, the core of my heart?" He replied, "By
Allah, O King, I took him not for mine own pleasure; but he would
not go from me and I threatened him, withal he showed no fear
till this destiny descended upon us." Now when the Sultan heard
these words his heart softened to the old man and he pitied him
while the Sultanah who sat behind the curtain fell to weeping
aloud. Presently the King said, "O Darwaysh, relate to us thy
history, for needs must it be a singular;" but the old man began
to shed tears and said, "O King of the Age, I have a marvellous
adventure which were it graven with needle-gravers upon the
eye-corners were a warning to whoso would be warned." The Sultan
was surprised and replied, "What then may be thy history, O
Mendicant?" and the other rejoined, "O King of the Age, I will
recount it to thee."[FN#196] Accordingly he told him of his
kingship and the Wazir tempting his wife and of her slaying the
nurse, the slave-girls, and the Eunuch; but when he came to this
point the Sultanah ran out in haste and hurry from behind the
curtain and rushing up to the Darwaysh threw herself upon his
bosom. The King seeing this marvelled and in a fury of jealousy
clapped hand to hilt crying to the Fakir, "This be most unseemly
behaviour!" But the Queen replied, "Hold thy hand, by Allah, he
is my father and I am his loving daughter;" and she wept and
laughed alternately[FN#197] all of the excess of her joy. Hereat
the King wondered and bade release the second religious and
exclaimed, "Sooth he spake who said:--

Allah joineth the parted when think the twain * With firmest
thought ne'er to meet again."

Then the Sultanah began recounting to him the history of her sire
and specially what befel him from his Wazir; and he, when he
heard her words, felt assured of their truth. Presently he bade
them change the habits of her father and of his Wazir and dress
them with the dress of Kings; and he set apart for them an
apartment and allotted to them rations of meat and drink; so
extolled be He who disuniteth and reuniteth! Now the Sultanah in
question was the youngest daughter of the old King who had been
met by the Knight when out hunting, the same that owed all his
fair fortunes to her auspicious coming. Accordingly the father
was assured of having found the lost one and was delighted to
note her high degree; but after tarrying with her for a time he
asked permission of his son-in-law to set out in quest of her two
sisters and he supplicated Almighty Allah to reunite him with the
other twain as with this first one. Thereupon quoth the Sultan,
"It may not be save that I accompany thee, for otherwise haply
some mishap of the world may happen to thee." Then the three sat
down in council debating what they should do and in fine they
agreed to travel, taking with them some of the Lords of the land
and Chamberlains and Nabobs. They made ready and after three days
they marched out of the city,--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 old
King marched forth the city accompanied by his son-in-law and his
Wazir after the Sultan had supplied his own place by a
Vice-regent who would carry out his commandments. Then they
turned to travelling in quest of the two lost daughters and
stinted not their wayfare for a space of twenty days, when they
drew near a city lofty of base, and, finding a spacious camping
plain, thereon pitched their tents. The time was set of sun, so
the cooks applied themselves to getting ready the evening meal
and when supper was served up all ate what sufficed them, and it
was but little because of the travails of travel, and they
nighted in that site until morn was high. Now the ruler of that
city was a Sultan mighty of might, potent of power and exceeding
in energy; and he was surprised to hear a Chamberlain report to
him saying, "O King of the Age, after an eventless night early
this morning we found outside thy capital tents and pavilions
with standards and banners planted overagainst them and all this
after the fashion of the Kings." The Sovran replied, "There is no
help but that to these creations of Allah some requirement is
here: however, we will learn their tidings." So he took horse
with his Grandees and made for the ensigns and colours, and
drawing near he noted gravity and majesty in the array and
eunuchs and followers and serving-men standing ready to do duty.
Then he dismounted and walked till he approached the bystanders
whom he greeted with the salam. They salam'd in return and
received him with most honourable reception and highmost respect
till they had introduced him into the royal Shahmiyánah; when the
two Kings rose to him and welcomed him and he wished them long
life in such language as is spoken by Royalties; and all sat down
to converse one with other. Now the Lord of the city had warned
his people before he fared forth that dinner must be prepared; so
when it was mid-forenoon the Farrásh-folk[FN#198] spread the
tables with trays of food and the guests came forward, one and
all, and enjoyed their meal and were gladdened. Then the dishes
were carried away for the servants and talk went round till
sun-set, at which time the King again ordered food to be brought
and all supped till they had their sufficiency. But the Sultan
kept wondering in his mind and saying, "Would Heaven I wot the
cause of these two Kings coming to us!" and when night fell the
strangers prayed him to return home and to revisit them next
morning. So he farewelled them and fared forth. This lasted three
days, during which time he honoured them with all honour, and on
the fourth he got ready for them a banquet and invited them to
his Palace. They mounted and repaired thither when he set before
them food; and as soon as they had fed, the trays were removed
and coffee and confections and sherbets were served up and they
sat talking and enjoying themselves till supper-tide when they
sought permission to hie campwards. But the Sultan of the city
sware them to pass the night with him; so they returned to their
session till the father of the damsels said, "Let each of us tell
a tale that our waking hours may be the more pleasant." "Yes,"
they replied and all agreed in wishing that the Sultan of the
city would begin. Now by the decree of the Decreer the
lattice-window of the Queen opened upon the place of session and
she could see them and hear every word they said. He began, "By
Allah I have to relate an adventure which befel me and 'tis one
of the wonders of our time." Quoth they, "And what may it
be?"--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 Sultan
of the city said:--In such a year I had a malady which none
availed to medicine until at last an old woman came to me bearing
a tasse of broth which when I drank caused health return to me.
So I bade her bring me a cupful every day and I drank it till,
after a time, I chanced to ask her who made that broth and she
answered that it was her daughter. And one day I assumed a
disguise and went to the ancient dame's house and there saw the
girl who was a model of beauty and loveliness, brilliancy,
symmetric stature and perfect grace, and seeing her I lost my
heart to her, and asked her to wife. She answered, "How can I
wed; I separated from my sisters and parents and all unknowing
what hath become of them?" Now when the father of the damsels
heard these words, tears rolled down his cheeks in rills and he
remembered his two lost girls and wept and moaned and complained,
the Sultan looking on in astonishment the while; and when he went
to his Queen he found her lying in a fainting fit. Hereupon he
cried out her name and seated her and she on coming to exclaimed,
"By Allah, he who wept before you is my very father: by Him who
created me I have no doubt thereof!" So the Sultan went down to
his father-in-law and led him up to the Harem and the daughter
rose and met him and they threw their arms round each other's
necks, and fondly greeted each other. After this the old King
passed the night relating to her what had befallen him while she
recounted to him whatso hath betided her, from first to last,
whereupon their rejoicings increased and the father thanked
Almighty Allah for having found two of his three children. The
old King and his sons-in-law and his Wazir ceased not to enjoy
themselves in the city, eating and drinking[FN#199] and making
merry for a space of two days when the father asked aidance of
his daughters' husbands to seek his third child that the general
joy might be perfected. This request they granted and resolved to
journey with him; so they made their preparations for travel and
issued forth the city together with sundry Lords of the land and
high Dignitaries, all taking with them what was required of
rations. Then travelling together in a body they faced the march.
This was their case; but as regards the third daughter (she who
in man's attire had served the Kunáfah-baker), after being
married to the Sultan his love for her and desire to her only
increased and she cohabited with him for a length of time. But
one day of the days she called to mind her parents and her kith
and kin and her native country, so she wept with sorest weeping
till she swooned away and when she recovered she rose without
stay or delay and taking two suits of Mameluke's habits patiently
awaited the fall of night. Presently she donned one of the
dresses and went down to the stables where, finding all the
grooms asleep, she saddled her a stallion of the noblest strain
and clinging to the near side mounted him. Then, having
supplicated the veiling of the Veiler, she fared under cover of
the glooms for her own land, all unweeting the way, and when
night gave place to day she saw herself amidst mountains and
sands; nor did she know what she should do. However she found on
a hill-flank some remnants of the late rain which she drank;
then, loosing the girths of her horse she gave him also to drink
and she was about to take her rest in that place when, lo and
behold! a lion big of bulk and mighty of might drew near her and
he was lashing his tail[FN#200] and roaring thunderously.--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 when the
lion advanced to spring upon the Princess who was habited as a
Mameluke, and rushed to rend her in pieces, she, seeing her
imminent peril, sprang up in haste and bared her blade and met
him brand in hand saying, "Or he will slay me or I slay him." But
as she was hearty of heart she advanced till the two met and fell
to fight and struck each at other, but the lion waxed furious and
gnashed his tusks, now retreating and now circuiting around her
and then returning to front his foe purposing to claw her, when
she heartened her heart and without giving ground she swayed her
sabre with all the force of her forearm and struck the beast
between the eyes and the blade came out gleaming between his
thighs and he sank on earth life-forlore and weltering in his
gore. Presently she wiped her scymitar and returned it to its
sheath; then, drawing a whittle she came up to the carcass
intending to skin it for her own use, when behold, there towered
from afar two dust-clouds, one from the right and the other from
the left, whereat she withdrew from flaying the lion's fell and
applied herself to looking out. Now by the decree of the Decreer
the first dust-cloud approaching her was that raised by the host
of her father and his sons-in-law who, when they drew near all
stood to gaze upon her and consider her, saying in wonderment one
to other, "How can this white slave (and he a mere lad) have
slain this lion single-handed? Walláhi, had that beast charged
down upon us he had scattered us far and wide, and haply he had
torn one of us to pieces. By Allah, this matter is marvellous!"
But the Mameluke looked mainly at the old King whom he knew to be
his sire for his heart went forth to him. Meanwhile the second
dust-cloud approached until those beneath it met the others who
had foregone them, and behold, under it was the husband of the
disguised Princess and his many. Now the cause of this King
marching forth and coming thither was this. When he entered the
Palace intending for the Harem, he found not his Queen, and he
fared forth to seek her and presently by the decree of the
Decreer the two hosts met at the place where the lion had been
killed. The Sultan gazed upon the Mameluke and marveiled at his
slaying the monster and said to himself, "Now were this white
slave mine I would share with him my good and stablish him in my
kingdom." Herewith the Mameluke came forward and flayed the lion
of his fell and gutted him; then, lighting a fire he roasted
somewhat of his flesh until it was sufficiently cooked all gazing
upon him the while and marvelling at the heartiness of his heart.
And when the meat was ready, he carved it and setting it upon a
Sufrah[FN#201] of leather said to all present, "Bismillah, eat,
in the name of Allah, what Fate hath given to you!" Thereupon all
came forward and fell to eating of the lion's flesh except the
Princess's husband who was not pleased to join them and said, "By
Allah, I will not eat of this food until I learn the case of this
youth."[FN#202] Now the Princess had recognised her spouse from
the moment of his coming, but she was concealed from him by her
Mameluke's clothing; and he disappeared time after time then
returned to gaze upon the white slave, eyeing now his eyes now
his sides and now the turn of his neck and saying privily in his
mind, "Laud to the Lord who created and fashioned him! By Allah
this Mameluke is the counterpart of my wife in eyes and nose, and
all his form and features are made likest-like unto hers. So
extolled be He who hath none similar and no equal!" He was
drowned in this thought but all the rest ate till they had eaten
enough; then they sat down to pass the rest of their day and
their night in that stead. When it was dawn each and every craved
leave to depart upon his own business; but the Princess's husband
asked permission to wander in quest of her while the old King,
the father of the damsels, determined to go forth with his two
sons-in-law and find the third and last of his lost daughters.
Then the Mameluke said to them, "O my lords, sit we down, I and
you, for the rest of the day in this place and to-morrow I will
travel with you." Now the Princess for the length of her
wanderings (which began too when she was a little one) had
forgotten the semblance of her sire; but when she looked upon the
old King her heart yearned unto him and she fell to talking with
him, while he on his part whenever he gazed at her felt a like
longing and sought speech of her. So the first who consented to
the Mameluke's proposal was the sire whose desire was naught save
to sit beside her; then the rest also agreed to pass the day
reposing in that place, for that it was a pleasant mead and a
spacious, garnished with green grass and bright with bourgeon and
blossom. So they took seat there till sundown when each brought
out what victual he had and all ate their full and then fell to
conversing; and presently said the Princess, "O my lords, let
each of you tell us a tale which he deemeth strange." Her father
broke in saying, "Verily this rede be right and the first to
recount will be I, for indeed mine is a rare adventure." Then he
began his history telling them that he was born a King and that
such-and-such things had befallen him and so forth until the end
of his tale; and the Princess hearing his words was certified
that he was her sire. So presently she said, "And I too have a
strange history."--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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
Princess in Mameluke's habit said, "And I too have a strange
history." Then she fell to relating all that had betided her from
the very beginning to that which hath before been described; and
when her father heard it he felt assured that she was his
daughter. So he arose and threw himself upon her and embraced her
and after he veiled her face with a kerchief was with him, and
her husband exclaimed, "Would to Heaven that I also could
forgather with my wife." Quoth she, "Inshallah, and that soon,"
and she inclined to him after kindly fashion and said to herself,
"Indeed this be my true husband." Herewith all resolved to march
from that stead and they departed, the Princess's spouse still
unknowing that she was his wife; and they stinted not faring till
they entered the Sultan's city and all made for the Palace. Then
the Princess slipped privily into the Harem without the knowledge
of her mate and changed her semblance, when her father said to
her husband, "Hie thee to the women's apartment: haply Allah may
show to thee thy wife." So he went in and found her sitting in
her own apartment and he marvelled as he espied her and drew near
her and threw his arms round her neck of his fond love to her and
asked her concerning her absence. Thereupon she told him the
truth saying, "I went forth seeking my sire and habited in a
Mameluke's habit and 'twas I slew the lion and roasted his flesh
over the fire, but thou wouldest not eat thereof." At these words
the Sultan rejoiced and his rejoicings increased and all were in
the highmost of joy and jolliment; he and her father with the two
other sons-in-law, and this endured for a long while. But at last
all deemed it suitable to revisit their countries and capitals
and each farewelled his friends and the whole party returned safe
and sound to their own homes.[FN#203] Now when it was the next
night and that was

The Three Hundred and Eighty-sixth Night,

Shahrazad began to relate

THE STORY OF THE KAZI WHO BARE A BABE.[FN#204]

It hath been related that in Tarabulus-town[FN#205] of Syria was
a Kazi appointed under orders of the Caliph Hárún al-Rashíd to
adjudge law-suits and dissolve contracts and cross-examine
witnesses; and after taking seat in his Mahkamah[FN#206] his
rigour and severity became well known to all men. Now this judge
kept a black hand-maiden likest unto a buffalo-bull and she
cohabited with him for a lengthened while; for his nature was
ever niggardly nor could anyone wrest from him half a Faddah or
any alms-gift or aught else; and his diet was of biscuit[FN#207]
and onions. Moreover, he was ostentatious as he was miserly: he
had an eating-cloth bordered with a fine bell fringe,[FN#208] and
when any person entered about dinner-time or supper-tide he would
cry out, "O handmaid, fetch the fringed table-cloth;" and all who
heard his words would say to themselves, "By Allah, this must
needs be a costly thing." Presently one day of the days his
assessors and officers said to him, "O our lord the Kazi, take to
thyself a wife, for yon negress becometh not a dignitary of thy
degree." Said he, "An this need be, let any who hath a daughter
give her to me in wedlock and I will espouse her." Herewith quoth
one present, "I have a fair daughter and a marriageable," whereto
quoth the Kazi, "An thou wouldst do me a favour this is the
time." So the bride was fitted out and the espousals took place
forthright and that same night the Kazi's father-in-law came to
him and led him in to his bride saying in his heart, "I am now
connected with the Kazi." And he took pleasure in the thought for
he knew naught of the judge's stinginess and he could not suppose
but that his daughter would be comfortable with her mate and
well-to-do in the matter of diet and dress and furniture. Such
were the fancies which occurred to him; but as for the Kazi, he
lay with the maid and abated her maidenhead; and she in the
morning awaited somewhat where-with to break her fast and waited
in vain. Presently the Kazi left her and repaired to his court-
house whither the city folk came and gave him joy of his marriage
and wished him good morning, saying in themselves, "Needs must he
make a mighty fine bride feast." But they sat there to no purpose
until past noon when each went his own way privily damning the
judge's penuriousness. As soon as they were gone he returned to
his Harem and cried out to his black wench, "O handmaiden, fetch
the fringed table-cloth;" and his bride hearing this rejoiced,
saying to herself, "By Allah, his calling for this cloth
requireth a banquet which befitteth it, food suitable for the
Kings." The negress arose and faring forth for a short time
returned with the cloth richly fringed and set upon it a Kursi-
stool,[FN#209] and a tray of brass whereon were served three
biscuits and three onions. When the bride saw this, she prayed in
her heart saying, "Now may my Lord wreak my revenge upon my
father!" but her husband cried to her, "Come hither, my girl,"
and the three sat down to the tray wherefrom each took a biscuit
and an onion. The Kazi and the negress ate all their portions,
but the bride could not swallow even a third of the hard bread
apportioned to her; so she rose up, heartily cursing her father's
ambition in her heart. At supper-tide it was the same till the
state of things became longsome to her and this endured
continuously for three days, when she was ready to sink with
hunger. So she sent for her sire and cried aloud in his face. The
Kazi hearing the outcries of his bride asked, "What is to do?"
whereupon they informed him that the young woman was not in love
with this style of living.--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 bride
was not in love with the Kazi's mode of living; so he took her
and cut off her nose and divorced her, falsely declaring that she
had behaved frowardly. On the next day he proposed for another
wife and married her and entreated her in like fashion as the
first; and when she demanded a divorce, he shredded off her
nostrils and put her away; and whatever woman he espoused he
starved by his stinginess and tortured with hunger, and when any
demanded a divorce he would chop off her nose on false presences
and put her away without paying aught either of her marriage
settlement or of the contingent dowry. At last the report of that
Kazi's avarice came to the ears of a damsel of Mosul-city, a
model of beauty and loveliness who had insight into things hidden
and just judgment and skilful contrivance. Thereupon, resolved
to avenge her sex, she left her native place and journeyed till
she made Tarabulus; and by the decree of the Decreer at that very
time the judge, after a day spent in his garden, purposed to
return home so he mounted his mule and met her half-way between
the pleasance and the town. He chanced to glance at her and saw
that she was wondrous beautiful and lovely, symmetrical and
graceful and the spittle ran from his mouth wetting his
mustachios; and he advanced and accosting her said, "O thou noble
one, whence comest thou hither?" "From behind me!" "Connu. I knew
that; but from what city?" "From Mosul." "Art thou single and
secluded or femme couverte with a husband alive?" "Single I am
still!" "Can it be that thou wilt take me and thou become to me
mate and I become to thee man?" "If such be our fate 'twill take
place and I will give thee an answer to-morrow;" and so saying
the damsel went on to Tarabulus. Now the Kazi after hearing her
speech felt his love for her increase; so next morning he sent to
ask after her, and when they told him that she had alighted at a
Khan, he despatched to her the negress his concubine with a party
of friends to ask her in marriage, notifying that he was Kazi of
the city. Thereupon she demanded a dower of fifty dinars and
naming a deputy caused the knot be knotted and she came to him
about evening time and he went in to her. But when it was the
supper hour he called as was his wont to his black handmaiden
saying "Fetch the fringed table-cloth," and she fared forth and
fetched it bringing also three biscuits and three onions, and as
soon as the meal was served up all three sat down to it, the
Kazi, the slave-girl, and the new bride. Each took a biscuit and
an onion and ate them up and the bride exclaimed "Allah requite
thee with wealth. By Allah, this be a wholesome supper." When the
judge heard this he was delighted with her and cried out,
"Extolled be the Almighty for that at last He hath vouchsafed to
me a wife who thanketh the Lord for muchel or for little!" But he
knew not what the Almighty had decreed to him through the wile
and guile, the malice and mischief of women. Next morning the
Kazi repaired to the Mahkamah and the bride arose and solaced
herself with looking at the apartments, of which some lay open
whilst others were closed. Presently she came to one which was
made fast by a door with a wooden bolt and a padlock of iron: she
considered it and found it strong but at the threshold was a
fissure about the breadth of a finger; so she peeped through and
espied gold and silver coins heaped up in trays of brass which
stood upon Kursi-stools and the nearest about ten cubits from the
door. She then arose and fetched a long wand, the mid-rib of a
date-palm,[FN#210] and arming the end with a lump of leaven she
pushed it through the chink under the door and turned it round
and round upon the money-trays as if sewing or writing. At last
two dinars stuck to the dough and she drew them through the
fissure and returned to her own chamber; then, calling the
negress, she gave her the ducats saying, "Go thou to the Bazar
and buy us some mutton and rice and clarified butter; and do thou
also bring us some fresh bread and spices and return with them
without delay." The negress took the gold and went to the market,
where she bought all that her lady bade her buy and speedily came
back, when the Kazi's wife arose and cooked a notable meal, after
which she and the black chattel ate whatso they wanted. Presently
the slave brought basin and ewer to her lady and washed her hands
and then fell to kissing her feet, saying, "Allah feed thee, O my
lady, even as thou hast fed me, for ever since I belonged to this
Kazi I have lacked the necessaries of life." Replied the other,
"Rejoice, O handmaiden, for henceforth thou shalt have every day
naught but the bestest food of manifold kinds;" and the negress
prayed Allah to preserve her and thanked her. At noon the Kazi
entered and cried, "O handmaid fetch the fringed cloth," and when
she brought it he sat down and his wife arose and served up
somewhat of the food she had cooked and he ate and rejoiced and
was filled and at last he asked, "Whence this provision?" She
answered, "I have in this city many kinsfolk who hearing of my
coming sent me these meats and quoth I to myself, When my lord
the Kazi shall return home he shall make his dinner thereof." On
the next day she did as before and drawing out three ducats
called the slave-girl and gave her two of them bidding her go to
the Bazar and buy a lamb ready skinned and a quantity of rice and
clarified butter and greens and spices and whatso was required
for dressing the dishes. So the handmaid went forth rejoicing,
and bought all her lady had ordered and forthwith returned when
her mistress fell to cooking meats of various kinds and lastly
sent to invite all her neighbours, women and maidens. When they
came she had got ready the trays garnished with dainty
food[FN#211] and served up to them all that was suitable and they
ate and enjoyed themselves and made merry. Now this was about
mid-forenoon, but as mid-day drew near they went home carrying
with them dishes full of dainties which they cleared and washed
and sent back till everything was returned to its place.--And
Shahrazad perceived 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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the guests
of the Kazi's wife fared from her before turn of sun; and, when
it was noon, behold, the Kazi entered his Harem and said, "O
hand-maiden, fetch the fringed tablecloth," when the wife arose
and set before him viands of various sorts. He asked whence they
came and she answered saying, "This is from my maternal aunt who
sent it as a present to me." The judge ate and was delighted and
abode in the Harem till set of sun. But his wife ceased not daily
to draw money from his hoard and to expend it upon entertaining
her friends and gossips, and this endured for a whole year. Now
beside her mansion dwelt a poor woman in a mean dwelling and
every day the wife would feed her and her husband and babes;
moreover she would give them all that sufficed them. The woman
was far gone with child and the other charged her saying, "As
soon as 'tis thy time to be delivered, do thou come to me for I
have a mind to play a prank upon this Kazi who feareth not Allah
and who, whenever he taketh to himself a wife, first depriveth
her of food till she is well nigh famished, then shreddeth off
her nose under false pretences and putteth her away taking all
her belongings and giving naught of dower either the precedent or
the contingent." And the poor woman replied, "To hear is to
obey." Then the wife persisted in her lavish expenditure till her
neighbour came to her already overtaken by birth-pains, and these
lasted but a little while when she was brought to bed of a boy.
Hereupon the Kazi's wife arose and prepared a savoury dish called
a Baysárah,[FN#212] the base of which is composed of beans and
gravied mallows[FN#213] seasoned with onions and garlic. It was
noon when her husband came in and she served up the dish; and he
being anhungered ate of it and ate greedily and at supper time he
did likewise. But he was not accustomed to a Baysarah, so as soon
as night came on his paunch began to swell; the wind bellowed in
his bowels; his stress was such that he could not be more
distressed and he roared out in his agony. Herewith his wife ran
in and cried to him, "No harm shall befal thee, O my lord!" and
so saying she passed her hand over his stomach and presently
exclaimed "Extolled be He, O my lord; verily thou art pregnant
and a babe is in thy belly."--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 Three Hundred and Eighty-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 Kazi's
wife came up to him and passing her palm over his paunch
presently cried, "Extolled be He, O my lord: verily thou art
pregnant and a babe is in thy belly." Quoth the Kazi, "How shall
a man bear a child?" and quoth she, "Allah createth whatso He
willeth." And as they two sat at talk the flatulence and belly-
ache increased and violent colic[FN#214] set in and the torments
waxed still more torturing. Then the wife rose up and disappeared
but presently she returned with her pauper neighbour's newly-born
babe in her sleeve, its mother accompanying it: she also brought
a large basin of copper and she found her husband rolling from
right to left and crying aloud in his agony. At last the
qualms[FN#215] in his stomach were ready to burst forth and the
rich food to issue from his body, and when this delivery was near
hand the wife privily set the basin under him like a close stool
and fell to calling upon the Holy Names and to shampooing and
rubbing down his skin while she ejaculated, "The name of Allah be
upon thee!"[FN#216] But all this was of her malice. At last the
prima via opened and the Kazi let fly, whereat his wife came
quickly behind and setting the babe upon its back gently pinched
it so that it began to wail, and said, "O man, Alhamdolillah,--
laud to the Lord, who hath so utterly relieved thee of thy
burthen," and she fell to muttering Names over the newborn. Then
quoth he, "Have a care of the little one and keep it from cold
draughts ;" for the trick had taken completely with the Kazi and
he said in his mind, "Allah createth whatso He willeth: even men
if so predestined can bring forth." And presently he added, "O
woman, look out for a wet nurse to suckle him;" and she replied,
"O my lord, the nurse is with me in the women's apartments." Then
having sent away the babe and its mother she came up to the Kazi
and washed him and removed the basin from under him and made him
lie at full length. Presently after taking thought he said, "O
woman, be careful to keep this matter private for fear of the
folk who otherwise might say, 'Our Kazi hath borne a babe.' " She
replied, "O my lord, as the affair is known to other than our two
selves how can we manage to conceal it?" and after she resumed,
"O my husband, this business can on no wise be hidden from the
people for more than a week or at most till next month." Herewith
he cried out, "O my calamity; if it reach the ears of folk and
they say, 'Our Kazi hath borne a babe,' then what shall we do?"
He pondered the matter until morning when he rose before daylight
and, taking some provaunt secretly, made ready to depart the
city, saying, "O Allah, suffer none to see me!" Then, after
giving his wife charge of the house and bidding her take care of
his effects and farewelling her, he went forth secretly from her
and journeyed that day and a second and a third until the
seventh, when he entered Damascus of Syria where none knew him.
But he had no spending money for he could not persuade himself to
take even a single dinar from his hoard and he had provided
himself with naught save the meagrest provision. So his condition
was straitened and he was compelled to sell somewhat of his
clothes and lay out the price upon his urgent needs; and when the
coin was finished he was forced to part with other portions of
his dress till little or nothing of it remained to him. Then, in
his sorest strait, he went to the Shaykh of the Masons and said
to him, "O master, my wish is to serve in this
industry;''[FN#217] and said he, "Welcome to thee." So the Kazi
worked through every day for a wage of five Faddahs. Such was his
case; but as regards his wife,--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 this coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now
when it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Ninetieth 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 when the
Kazi went forth from his wife she threw a sherd[FN#218] behind
him and muttered, "Allah never bring thee back from thy journey."
Then she arose and threw open the rooms and noted all that was in
them of moneys and moveables and vaiselle and rarities, and she
fell to feeding the hungry and clothing the naked and doling alms
to Fakirs saying, "This be the reward of him who mortifieth the
daughters of folk and devoureth their substance and shreddeth off
their nostrils." She also sent to the women he had married and
divorced, and gave them of his good the equivalent of their
dowers and a solatium for losing their noses. And every day she
assembled the goodwives of the quarter and cooked for them
manifold kinds of food because her spouse the Kazi was possessed
of property approaching two Khaznahs[FN#219] of money, he being
ever loath to expend what his hand could hend and unprepared to
part with aught on any wise, for the excess of his niggardness
and his greed of gain. Nor did she cease from so doing for a
length of time until suddenly she overheard folk saying, "Our
Kazi hath borne a babe." And such bruit spread abroad and was
reported in sundry cities, nor ceased the rumour ere it reached
the ears of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid in Baghdad city. Now
hearing it he marvelled and cried, "Extolled be Allah! this hap,
by the Lord, never can have happened save at the hand of some
woman, a wise and a clever at contrivance; nor would she have
wrought after such fashion save to make public somewhat erst
proceeding from the Kazi, either his covetous intent or his high-
handedness in commandment. But needs must this good wife be
summoned before me and recount the cunning practice she hath
practiced;--Allah grant her success in the prank she hath played
upon the Judge." Such was her case; but as concerns the Kazi, he
abode working at builders' craft till his bodily force was
enfeebled and his frame became frail; so presently quoth he to
himself, "Do thou return to thy native land, for a long time hath
now passed and this affair is clean forgotten." Thereupon he
returned to Tarabulus, but as he drew near thereto he was met
outside the city by a bevy of small boys who were playing at
forfeits, and lo and behold! cried one to his comrades, "O lads,
do ye remember such and such a year when our Kazi was brought to
bed?"[FN#220] But the Judge hearing these words returned
forthright to Damascus by the way he came, saying to himself,
"Hie thee not save to Baghdad city for 'tis further away than
Damascus!" and set out at once for the House of Peace. However he
entered it privily, because he was still in the employ of the
Prince of True Believers, Harun al-Rashid; and, changing
semblance and superficials, he donned the dress of a Persian
Darwaysh and fell to walking about the streets of the capital.
Here met he sundry men of high degree who showed him favour, but
he could not venture himself before the Caliph albe sundry of the
subjects said to him, "O Darwaysh, why dost thou not appear in
the presence of the Commander of the Faithful? Assuredly he would
bestow upon thee many a boon, for he is a true Sultan; and,
specially, an thou panegyrise him in poetry, he will largely add
to his largesse." Now by the decree of Destiny the viceregent of
Allah upon His Earth had commended the Kazi's wife be brought
from Tarabulus: so they led her into the presence and when she
had kissed ground before him and salam'd to him and prayed for
the perpetuity of his glory and his existence, he asked her anent
her husband and how he had borne a child and what was the prank
she had played him and in what manner she had gotten the better
of him. She hung her head groundwards awhile for shame nor could
she return aught of reply for a time, when the Commander of the
Faithful said to her, "Thou hast my promise of safety and again
safety, the safety of one who betrayeth not his word." So she
raised her head and cried, "By Allah, O King of the Age, the
story of this Kazi is a strange"--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that quoth the
Kazi's wife, "By Allah, O King of the Age, the story of this Kazi
is a strange and of the wonders of the world and 'tis as follows.
My spouse is so niggardly of nature and greedy of gain that
whatso wife he weddeth he starveth her with hunger and, whenas
she loseth patience, he shreddeth her nostrils and putteth her
away, taking all her good and what not. Now this case continued
for a while of time. Also he had a black slave-wench and a fine
eating-cloth and when dinner-time came he would cry, O handmaid,
fetch the fringed table-cloth! whereupon she would bring it and
garnish it with three biscuits and three onions, one to each
mouth. Presently accounts of this conduct came to me at Mosul,
whereupon I removed me to Tarábulus, and there played him many a
prank amongst which was the dish of Baysar by me seasoned with an
over quantity of onions and garlic and such spices as gather wind
in the maw and distend it like a tom-tom and breed
borborygms.[FN#221] This I gave him to eat and then befel that
which befel. So I said to him, Thou art in the family way and
tricked him, privily bringing into the house a new-born babe.
When his belly began to drain off I set under him a large metal
basin and after pinching the little one I placed it in the
utensil and recited Names over it. Presently quoth he, Guard my
little stranger from the draught and bring hither a wet-nurse;
and I did accordingly. But he waxed ashamed of the birth and in
the morning he fared forth the city nor knew we what Allah had
done with him. But as he went I bespake him with the words which
the poet sang when the Ass of Umm Amr[FN#222] went off:--

Ass and Umm Amr bewent their way; * Nor Ass nor Umm Amr returned
for aye,

and then I cited the saying of another:--

When I forced him to fare I bade him hie, * Where Umm
Kash'am[FN#223] caused her selle to fly."

Now as the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard these words he laughed so
hearty a laugh that he fell backwards and bade the goodwife
repeat her history till he waxed distraught for excess of
merriment, when lo and behold! a Darwaysh suddenly entered the
presence. The wife looked at her husband and recognised him; but
the Caliph knew not his Kazi, so much had time and trouble
changed the Judge's cheer. However, she signalled to the
Commander of the Faithful that the beggar was her mate and he
taking the hint cried out, "Welcome to thee, O Darwaysh, and
where be the babe thou bearest at Tarabulus?" The unfortunate
replied, "O King of the Age, do men go with child?" and the
Prince of True Believers rejoined, "We heard that the Kazi bare a
babe and thou art that same Kazi now habited in Fakir's habit.
But who may be this woman thou seest?" He made answer "I wot
not;" but the dame exclaimed, "Why this denial, O thou who
fearest Allah so little? I conjure thee by the life of the King
to recount in his presence all that betided thee." He could deny
it no longer so he told his tale before the Caliph, who laughed
at him aloud; and at each adventure the King cried out, "Allah
spare thee and thy child, O Kazi!" Thereupon the Judge explained
saying, "Pardon, O King of the Age, I merit even more than what
hath betided me."--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 quoth the
Kazi to the King, "I deserve even more than what hath betided me
for my deeds were unrighteous, O Ruler of the Time. But now the
twain of us be present between thy hands; so do thou, of thy
generous grace and the perfection of thy beneficence, deign
reconcile me unto my wife and from this moment forwards I repent
before the face of Allah nor will I ever return to the condition
I was in of niggardise and greed of gain. But 'tis for her to
decide and on whatever wise she direct me to act, therein will I
not gainsay her; and do thou vouchsafe to me the further favour
of restoring me to the office I whilome held." When the Prince of
True Believers, Harun al-Rashid, heard the Kazi's words he turned
to the Judge's wife and said, "Thou also hast heard what thy mate
hath averred: so do thou become to him what thou wast before and
thou hast command over all which thy husband requireth." She
replied, "O King of the Age, even as thou hast the advantage of
knowing, verily the Heavens and the son of Adam change not; for
that man's nature is never altered except with his existence nor
doth it depart from him save when his life departeth. However, an
he speak the truth let him bind himself by a deed documented
under thy personal inspection and thine own seal; so that if he
break his covenant the case may be committed to thee." The Caliph
rejoined," Sooth thou sayest that the nature of Adam's son is
allied to his existence;" but the Kazi exclaimed, "O our lord the
Sultan, bid write for me the writ even as thou hast heard from
her mouth and do thou deign witness it between us twain."
Thereupon the King reconciled their differences and allotted to
them a livelihood which would suffice and sent them both back to
Tarabulus-town. This is all that hath come down to us concerning
the Kazi who bare a babe: yet 'tis as naught compared with the
tale of the Bhang-eaters, for their story is wondrous and their
adventures delectable and marvellous. "What may it be?" asked
Shahryar; so Shahrazad began to recount

THE TALE OF THE KAZI AND THE
BHANG-EATER.[FN#224]

There was a certain eater of Bhang--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 King suffer me to survive?" Now when
it was the next night and that was

The Three Hundred and Ninety-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 there was
a certain eater of Bhang whose wont it was every day to buy three
Faddahs' worth of hemp and he would eat one third thereof in the
morning and a second at noon and the rest about sundown. He was
by calling a fisherman; and regularly as dawn appeared he would
take hook and line and go down to the river a-fishing; then he
would sell of his catch a portion, expending half a Faddah on
bread and eat this with the remaining part of the fish broiled.
He would also provide himself day by day with a waxen taper and
light it in his cell and sit before it, taking his pleasure and
talking to himself after his large dose of Bhang. In such
condition he abode a while of time until one fine spring-night,
about the middle of the month when the moon was shining
sheeniest, he sat down to bespeak himself and said, "Ho,
Such-an-one! hie thee forth and solace thy soul with looking at
the world, for this be a time when none will espy thee and the
winds are still." Herewith he went forth intending for the river;
but as soon as he issued from his cell-door and trod upon the
square, he beheld the moonbeams bestrown upon the surface and,
for the excess of his Bhang, his Fancy said to him, "By Allah,
soothly the stream floweth strong and therein needs must be much
store of fish. Return, Such-an-one, to thy cell, bring hook and
line and cast them into these waters; haply Allah our Lord shall
vouchsafe thee somewhat of fish, for men say that by night the
fisherwight on mighty fine work shall alight." He presently
brought out his gear and, having baited the hook, made a cast
into the moonlit square, taking station in the shadow of the
walls where he believed the river bank to be. Then he
bobbed[FN#225] with his hook and line and kept gazing at the
waters, when behold! a big dog sniffed the bait and coming up to
it swallowed the hook till it stuck in his gullet.[FN#226] The
beast feeling it prick his throttle yelped with pain and made
more noise every minute, rushing about to the right and the left:
so the line was shaken in the man's hand and he drew it in, but
by so doing the hook pierced deeper and the brute howled all the
louder; and it was pull Bhang-eater and pull cur. But the man
dared not draw near the moonlight, holding it to be the river, so
he tucked up his gown to his hip-bones, and as the dog pulled
more lustily he said in his mind, "By Allah this must be a mighty
big fish and I believe it to be a ravenous."[FN#227] Then he
gripped the line firmly and haled it in but the dog had the
better of him and dragged him to the very marge of the moonlight;
so the fisherman waxed afraid and began to cry, "Alack! Alack!
Alack![FN#228] To my rescue ye braves![FN#229] Help me for a
monster of the deep would drown me! Yallah, hurry ye, my fine
fellows, hasten to my aid!" Now at that hour people were enjoying
the sweets of sleep and when they heard these unseasonable
outcries they flocked about him from every side and accosting him
asked, "What is it? What maketh thee cry aloud at such an hour?
What hath befallen thee?" He answered, "Save me, otherwise a
river-monster will cause me fall into the stream and be drowned."
Then, finding him tucked up to the hips, the folk approached him
and enquired, "Where is the stream of which thou speakest?" and
he replied, "Yonder's the river; be ye all blind?" Thereat they
understood that he spoke of the moonbeams, whose sheen was
dispread upon earth, deeming it a river-surface, and they told
him this; but he would not credit them and cried, "So ye also
desire to drown me; be off from me! our Lord will send me other
than you to lend me good aid at this hour of need." They replied,
"O well-born one, this be moonshine;" but he rejoined, "Away from
me, ye low fellows,[FN#230] ye dogs!" Then derided him and the
angrier he grew the more they laughed, till at last they said one
to other, "Let us leave him and wend our ways," and they quitted
him in such condition--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 folk
who flocked to the assistance of the Bhang-eater left him in such
condition, he crying aloud in affright, the dog being now before
him in a phrenzy of pain for the hook sticking in his gullet and
being unable to rid himself of it, while the man dreaded to draw
near the moonshine, still deeming (albeit he stood upon terra
firma) that he was about to step into the stream. So he hugged
the wall shadow which to him represented the river-bank. In this
case he continued until day brake and light shone and the to-ing
and fro-ing of the folk increased; withal he remained as he was,
crying out for affright lest he be drowned. Suddenly a Kazi rode
by him and seeing him with gown kilted up and the hound hanging
on to the hook, asked, "What may be the matter with thee, O man?"
He answered saying, "O my lord, I dread lest I be drowned in this
stream, whither a monster of the deep is a-dragging me." The
judge looked at him and knew him for a Bhang-eater, so he
dismounted from his monture and cried to one of his attendants,
"Catch hold of yon dog and unhook him!" Now this Kazi was also
one who was wont to use Hashish; so quoth he to himself, "By
Allah, take this fellow with thee and feed him in thy house and
make a mocking-stock of him; and, as each night cometh on do thou
and he eat together a portion of the drug and enjoy each other's
company." Accordingly he took him and carrying him to his
quarters seated him in a private stead until nightfall when the
twain met and supped together; then they swallowed a large dose
of Bhang and they lit candles and sat in their light to enjoy
themselves.[FN#231] Presently from excess of the drug they became
as men Jinn-mad, uttering words which befit not to intend or to
indite,[FN#232] amongst which were a saying of the Bhang-eater to
the Kazi, "By Allah, at this season I'm as great as the King;"
and the Judge's reply, "And I also at such time am as great as
the Basha, the Governor." Thereupon quoth to him the Bhang-eater,
"I'm high above thee and if the King would cut off the Governor's
head what would happen to hinder him?" And quoth the Kazi, "Yea,
verily; naught would hinder him; but 'tis the customs of Kings to
appoint unto Governors a place wherein they may deal
commandment." Then they fell to debating the affairs of the
Government and the Sultanate, when by decree of the Decreer the
Sultan of the city went forth his palace that very night,
accompanied by the Wazir (and the twain in disguise); and they
ceased not traversing the town till they reached the house
wherein sat the Bhang-eater and the Kazi. So they stood at the
door and hear their talk from first to last, when the King turned
to the Minister and asked, "What shall we do with these two
fellows?" "Be patient, O King of the Age," answered the Wazir,
"until they make an end of their talk, after which whatso thou
wilt do with them that will they deserve." "True indeed,"[FN#233]
quoth the ruler, "nevertheless, instead of standing here let us
go in to them." Now that night the boon-companions had left the
door open forgetting to padlock it; so the visitors entered and
salam'd to them and they returned the greeting and rose to them
and bade them be seated. Accordingly they sat down and the Sultan
said to the Bhang-eater, "O man, fearest thou not aught from the
Sovran, thou and thy friend; and are ye sitting up until this
hour?" He replied, "The Sultan himself often fareth forth at such
untimely time, and as he is a King even so am I, and yonder man
is my Basha: moreover, if the ruler think to make japery of us,
we are his equals and more." Thereupon the Sultan turned to his
Wazir and said by signals, "I purpose to strike off the heads of
these fellows;" and said the Minister in the same way, "O King,
needs must they have a story, for no man with his wits in his
head would have uttered such utterance. But patience were our
bestest plan." Then cried the Bhang-eater to the Sultan, "O man,
whenever we say a syllable, thou signallest to thine associate.
What is it thou wouldst notify to him and we not understanding
it? By Allah, unless thou sit respectfully in our presence we
will bid our Basha strike off thy pate!"--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 deed fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Sultan heard the Bhang-eater's words he waxed the more furious
and would have arisen and struck off his head; but the Wazir
winked at him and whispered, "O King of the Age, I and thou are
in disguise and these men imagine that we are of the commons: so
be thou pitiful even as Almighty Allah is pitiful and willeth not
the punishment of the sinner. Furthermore, I conceive that the
twain are eaters of Hashish, which drug when swallowed by man,
garreth him prattle of whatso he pleaseth and chooseth, making
him now a Sultan then a Wazir and then a merchant, the while it
seemeth to him that the world is in the hollow of his hand."
Quoth the Sultan, "And what may be thy description of Hashísh?"
and quoth the Wazir, "'Tis composed of hemp leaflets, whereto
they add aromatic roots and somewhat of sugar: then they cook it
and prepare a kind of confection which they eat;[FN#234] but
whoso eateth it (especially an he eat more than enough), talketh
of matters which reason may on no wise represent. If thou wouldst
know its secret properties, on the coming night (Inshallah!) we
will bring some with us and administer it to these two men; and
when they eat it the dose will be in addition to their ordinary."
After this the Sultan left them and went forth, when the
Bhang-eater said to the Kazi, "By Allah, this night we have
enjoyed ourselves and next night (if Allah please!) we will enjoy
ourselves yet more." The other replied, "Yes, but I fear from the
Sultan, lest he learn our practice and cut off our heads." "Who
shall bring the Sovran to us?" asked the other: "he is in his
palace and we are in our own place; and, granting he come, I will
divert him by recounting an adventure which befel me." The Kazi
answered, "Have no dread of the Sultan; for he may not fare forth
a-nights single-handed; nay, what while he issueth forth he must
be escorted by his high officials." Now when the next night fell,
the Kazi brought the Hashish which he divided into two halves,
eating one himself and giving the other to his companion; and
both swallowed their portions after supper and then lit the waxen
tapers and sat down to take their pleasure.[FN#235] Suddenly the
Sultan and his Wazir came in upon them during the height of their
enjoyment, and the visitors were habited in dress other than
before, and they brought with them a quantity of Bhang-confection
and also some conserve of roses: so they handed a portion of the
first to the revellers, which these accepted and ate, while they
themselves swallowed the conserve, the others supposing it to be
Hashish like what they had eaten. Now when they had taken an
overdose, they got into a hurly-burly of words and fell to saying
things which can neither be intended nor indited, and amongst
these they exclaimed, "By Allah, the Sultan is desposed and we
will rule in his stead and deal commandment to his reign." The
other enquired, "And if the Sultan summon us what wilt thou say
to him?" "By Allah, I will tell him a tale which befel myself and
crave of him ten Faddahs wherewithal to buy Bhang!" "And hast
thou any skill in tale-telling?" "In good sooth I have!" "But how
wilt thou despose the Sultan and reign in his stead?" "I will say
to him 'Be off!' and he will go." "He will strike thy neck."
"Nay, the Sultan is pitiful and will not punish me for my words."
So saying the Bhang-eater arose and loosed the inkle of his
bag-trowsers, then approaching the Sultan he drew forth his
prickle and proceeded to bepiss him:[FN#236] but the King took
flight as the other faced him, and fled before him, he
pursuing.--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Bhang-eater holding up his bag-trowsers ran after the Sultan
purposing to bepiss him and caught up the fugitive at the doorway
when he fell over the threshold and began a-piddling upon his own
clothes. In like manner the Kazi attempted to bepiss the Wazir
and ran after him to the entrance, where he also fell upon the
Bhang-eater and took to making water over him. So the Bhang-eater
and the Kazi lay each bewraying other, and the Sultan and the
Wazir stood laughing at then and saying, "By Allah, too much
Hashish injureth man's wits;" and presently they left and went
their ways returning to their palaces. But the two drunkards
ceased not lying in their own water till day broke; and when the
fumes of the drug had left heir brains, they arose and found
themselves dripping and befouled with their own filth. Thereupon
each said to other, "What be this cross hath betided us?"
Presently they arose and washed themselves and their clothes;
then sitting down together they said, "None did this deed by us
save and except the two fellows who were with us; and who knoweth
what they were, or citizens of this city or strangers; for 'twas
they brought the intoxicant which we ate and it bred a madness in
our brains. Verily 'twas they did the mischief; but, an they come
to us a third time, needs must we be instant with them and learn
from them and they be foreigners or folk of this city: we will
force them to confess, but if they hide them from us we will turn
them out." On the next night they met again and the two sat down
and ate a quantity of Hashish after they had supped: and they lit
the waxen tapers and each of them drank a cup of coffee.[FN#237]
Presently their heads whirled round under the drug and they sat
down to talk and enjoy themselves when their drunkenness said to
them, "Up with you and dance." Accordingly they arose and danced,
when behold, the Sultan and his Wazir suddenly came in upon them
and salam'd to them: so they returned the salutation but
continued the salutation. The new comers considered them in this
condition and forthwith the King turned to the Minister and said,
"What shall we do with them?" Said the other, "Patience until
their case come to end in somewhat whereof we can lay hold." Then
they chose seats for themselves and solaced them with the
spectacle, and the dancers kept on dancing until they were tired
and were compelled to sit down and take their rest. Presently the
Bhang-eater looked at the Sultan and exclaimed, "You, whence are
you?" and he replied, "We be foreigner folk and never visited
this city before that night when we met you; and as we heard you
making merry we entered to partake of your merriment." On this
wise the device recoiled upon the Bhang-eater and presently the
King asked them, saying, "Fear ye not lest the Sultan hear of
you, and ye in this condition which would cause your disgrace at
his hands?" The Bhang-eater answered, "The Sultan! What tidings
of us can he have? He is in the royal Palaze and we in our place
of Bhang-eating." The Sovran rejoined, "Why not go to him! Belike
he will gift you and largesse you;" but the Bhang-eater retorted,
"We fear his people lest they drive us away." Whereto quoth the
King, "They will not do on such wise and if thou require it we
will write thee a not to his address, for we know him of old
inasmuch as both of us learned to read in the same school."
"Write thy writ," quoth the other to the Sultan who after
inditing it and sealing it placed it in their hands and presently
the two visitors departed. Then the Bhang-eater and the Kazi sat
together through the night until daylight did appear when the
fumes of the Hashish had fled their brains and the weather waxed
fine and clear. So they said, each to other, "Let us go to the
Sultan," and the twin set out together and walked till they
reached the square facing the Palace. Here, finding a crowd of
folk, they went up to the door and the Bhang-eater drew forth his
letter and handed it to one of the Sultan's suite, who on reading
it fell to the ground and presently rising placed it upon his
head.--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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
officer who took the letter caused the Bhang-eater and his
comrade enter the presence, and the Sultan catching sight of them
commanded them to be seated in a private stead where none other
man was. His bidding was obeyed; and at noon-tide he sent them a
tray of food for dinner and also coffee; and the same was done at
sundown. But as soon as supper-tide came the Sultan prayed and
recited sections of Holy Writ, as was his wont, until two hours
had passed when he ordered the twain be summoned; and when they
stood in the presence and salam'd to him and blessed him the King
returned their salute and directed them to be seated. Accordingly
they sat down and quoth the Sultan to the Bhang-eater, "Where be
the man who gave you the writ?" Quoth the other, "O King of the
Age, there were two men who came to use and said, 'Why go ye not
to the King? Belike he will gift you and largesse you.' Our reply
was, 'We know him not and we fear lest his folk drive us away.'
So one of them said to us, 'I will write thee a note to his
address for we know him of old, inasmuch as both of us learned to
read in the same school.' Accordingly he indited it and sealed it
and gave it to us; and coming hither we found his words true and
now we are between his hands." The Sultan enquired, "Was there
any lack of civility to the strangers on your part?" and they
replied, "None, save our questioning them and saying, 'Whence
come ye?' whereto they rejoined, 'We be strangers.' Beyond this
there was nothing unpleasant; nothing at all." "Whither went
they?" asked the King and the other answered, "I wot not." The
Sultan continued, "Needs must thou bring them to me for 'tis long
since I saw them;" and the other remarked, "O King of the Age, if
again they come to our place we will seize them and carry them
before thee even perforce, but in case they come not, we have no
means to hand." Quoth the King, "An thou know them well, when
thou catchest sight of them they cannot escape thee," and quoth
the other, "Yea, verily." Then the Sultan pursued, "What did ye
with the twain who came before them and ye wanted to bepiss
them?" Now when the Bhang-eater heard these words his colour
paled and his case changed, his limbs trembled and he suspected
that the person which he had insulted was the Sultan; whereupon
the King turned towards him and seeing in him signs of
discomfiture asked, "What is in thy mind, O Bhang-eater? What
hath befallen thee?" The other arose forthright and kissing
ground cried, "Pardon, O King of the Age, before whom I have
sinned." The Sovran asked, "How didst thou know this?" and he
answered, "Because none other was with us and news of us goeth
not out of doors; so needs must thou have been one of the twain
and he who wrote the writ was thyself; for well we know that the
kings read not in schools. Thou and thy friend did come in
disguise to make merry at our expense; therefore pardon us, O
King of the Age, for mercy is a quality of the noble, and
Almighty Allah said, 'Whoso pardoneth and benefitteth his reward
is with Allah,' and eke He said, 'And the stiflers of wrath and
the pardoners of mankind and Allah loveth the doers of
good'."[FN#238] Herewith the Sultan smiled and said, "No harm
shall befal thee, O Bhang-eater! Thine excuse is accepted and thy
default pardoned, but, O thou clever fellow, hast thou no tale to
tell us?" He replied, "O King of the Age, I have a story touching
myself and my wife which, were it graven with needle-gravers upon
the eye-corners were a warning to whoso would be warned. But I
strave against her on my own behalf, withal she overcame me and
tyrannised over me by her contrivance." "What is it?" asked the
King; so the man began to relate the

History of the Bhang-Eater and his Wife.

In the beginning of my career I owned only a single bull and
poverty confused my wits.--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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 deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Bhang-eater said to the Sultan:--I had no property save a single
bull and poverty confused my wits. So I resolved to sell
Roger[FN#239] and going to the Bazar stood therein expecting
someone to buy it, but none came to me until the last of the day.
At that time I drove it forth and dragged it off till we reached
half-way to my home, where I came upon a tree and sat down to
rest in the cool shade. Now I had somewhat of Bhang with me, also
a trifle of bread which I brought out and ate, and after I drank
a draught of water from the spring. Presently the Bhang began to
wobble in my brains and behold a bird in the tree-top which men
call a Magpie[FN#240] fell a-cawing, so I said to her, "Thou, O
Mother of Solomon, hast thou a mind to buy the bull?" and she
cawed again. I continued, "Whatso price ever thou settest upon
the bull, at that will I cede it to thee." Again a croak and I,
"Haply thou hast brought no money?" Another croak and cried I,
"Say the word and I will leave the bull with thee till next
Friday when thou wilt come and pay me its price." But she still
cawed and I, whenever she opened beak, O King of the Age, fancied
that she bespake me and wanted the bull. But all this was of the
excess of my Bhang which kept working in my brains and I mistook
the croaking for her conversing. Accordingly I left with her the
bull bound to the tree and turned towards my village; and, when I
went in to my wife, she asked me anent the bull and I told her of
my selling it to the Mother of Solomon. "Who may she be?" asked
my rib, and I replied, "She dwelleth in yonder tree;" whereat my
spouse rejoined "Allah compensate thee with welfare." So I
awaited patiently the appointed term; then, after swallowing
somewhat of Bhang, I repaired to the tree and sat beneath it
when, lo and behold! the pie cawed and I cried to her, "Hast thou
brought the coin?" A second caw! Then said I, "Come hither and
bring me the money." A third caw! Hereat I waxed wroth and arose
and taking up a bittock of brick I threw it at her as she sat
perched upon the tree, whereupon she flew off and alit upon an
'old man'[FN#241] of clay hard by. So it occurred to my mind, "By
Allah, the Mother of Solomon biddeth me follow her and recover
the value of the bull from yonder 'old man.'" Presently I went up
to it and digging therein suddenly came upon a crock[FN#242] full
of gold wherefrom I took ten ashrafis, the value of the bull, and
returned it to its place, saying, "Allah ensure thy weal, O
Mother of Solomon." Then I walked back to my village and went in
to my wife and said, "By Allah, verily the Mother of Solomon is
of the righteous! Lookye, she gave me these ten golden ducats to
the price of our Roger." Said my wife, "And who may be the Mother
of Solomon?" and I told her all that had befallen me especially
in the matter of the crock of gold buried in the 'old man.' But
after she heard my words she tarried until sundown; then, going
to the land-mark she dug into it and carrying off the crock
brought it home privily. But I suspected her of so doing and said
to her, "O woman, hast thou taken the good of the Mother of
Solomon (and she of the righteous) after we have received from
her the price of our Roger out of her own moneys? And hast thou
gone and appropriated her property? By Allah, an thou restore it
not to its stead even as it was, I will report to the Wali that
my wife hath happened upon treasure-trove." And so saying I went
forth from her. Then she arose and got ready somewhat of dough
for cooking with flesh-meat and, sending for a fisherman, bade
him bring her a few fishes fresh-caught and all alive, and taking
these inside the house she drew sweet water and sprinkled them
therewith, and lastly she placed the dough and meat outside the
house ready for nightfall. Presently I returned and we supped, I
and she; but 'twas my firm resolve to report my wife's find to
the Chief of Police. We slept together till midnight when she
awoke me saying, "O man, I have dreamed a dream, and this it is,
that the sky hath rained down drink and meat and that the fishes
have entered our house." I replied to her of my folly and the
overmuch Bhang which disported in my head, "Let us get up and
look." So we searched the inside of the house and we found the
fishes, and the outside where we came upon the doughboy and
flesh-meat; so we fell to picking it up, I and she, and broiling
it and eating thereof till morning. Then said I, "Do thou go and
return the moneys of Solomon's Mother to their own place." But
she would not and flatly refused.--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 Three Hundred and Ninety-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
Bhang-eater continued:--I said to my wife, "Do thou go and return
the moneys of Solomon's Mother to their own place;" but she would
not and flatly refused. Then I repeated[FN#243] my words but
without avail, so I flew into a fury and leaving her ceased not
trudging till I found the Wali and said to him, "O my lord, my
wife Such-an-one hath hit upon a hoard and 'tis now with
her."[FN#244] The Chief of Police asked, "O man, hast thou seen
it?" and I answered, "Yes." SO he sent a body of his followers to
bring her before him and when she came said to her, "O wo-man,
where is the treasure trove?" Said she, "O my lord, this report
is a baseless;" whereupon the Chief of Police bade her be led to
jail. They did his bidding and she abode in the prison a whole
day, after which the Wali summoned her and repeated his words to
her adding, "An thou bring not the hoard I will slay thee and
cast thy corpse into the bogshop[FN#245] of the Hammam." The
woman (my wife) rejoined, "O my lord, I never found aught;" and
when he persisted threatening her with death she cried, "O my
lord, wherefore oppress me on this wise and charge such load of
sin upon thine own neck? I never came upon treasure at all, at
all!" The Chief of Police retorted, "My first word and my last
are these:--Except thou bring the treasure trove I will slay thee

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