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Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 by Richard F. Burton

Part 2 out of 9

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the whole of the hall and the young house-master accosted the
King and said to him, "Well come and welcome and fair welcome to
our guests who to us are the most esteemed of folk and may Allah
honour their places!" Hereupon he began to repeat the following
couplets,[FN#116]

"If the house knew who visits it, it would indeed rejoice * And
stoop to kiss the happy place whereon her feet have stood;
And in the voice with which the case, though mute, yet speaks, *
Exclaim, 'Well come and many a welcome to the generous, and
the good.'"

Presently Manjab the master of the house bade bring for his
guests meats and viands meet for the great, of all kinds and of
every colour, so they obeyed his orders, and when they had eaten
their sufficiency they were served with confections perfumed with
rose-water wondrous fine. Hereupon quoth the youth to Al-Rashid
and those with him, "Almighty Allah make it pleasant to
you[FN#117] and blame us not and accept our excuses for what
Allah hath made easy to us at such time of night, and there is no
doubt but that this be a fortunate day when ye made act of
presence before us." They thanked him and Al-Rashid's breast was
broadened and his heart was heartened and there fell from him all
that whilom irked him. Then the youth shifted them from that
place to another room which was the women's apartment; and here
he seated them upon the highest Divan and bade serve to them a
platter containing fruits of all descriptions and ordered his
servants to bring roast meats and fried meats and when this was
done they set before them the service of wine. Anon appeared four
troops of singers with their instruments of music and each was
composed of five handmaids, so the whole numbered a score and
these when they appeared before the master kissed ground between
his hands and sat down each one in her own degree. Then amongst
them the cups went about and all sorrow was put to rout and the
birds of joyance flapped their wings. This continued for an hour
of time whilst the guests sat listening to the performers on the
lute and other instruments and after there came forward five
damsels other than the first twenty and formed a second and
separate set and they showed their art of singing in wondrous
mode even as was done by the first troop. Presently on like guise
came set after set till the whole twenty had performed and as
Al-Rashid heard their strains he shook with pleasure--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Six Hundred and Thirty-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 when
Al-Rashid heard their strains, he shook with pleasure and wonder
and joyance and enjoyment until he rent his robes[FN#118] and the
house-master beholding this said to him, "O our lord, be the
heart of thine enemies thus rended asunder!" Now there was
amongst the handmaids a songstress who began to sing and to
improvise these couplets,

"My world goes strait when thou art a-gone * And when fled from
my ken in my heart dost wone[FN#119]
And I love my love with a love as fond * As Jacob him who in pit
was thrown."

Hereupon Ja'afar was delighted with exceeding delight and rent
his raiment even as the Caliph had done, but when the
house-master saw this from him he ordered for the twain a suit of
clothes that befitted them and bade strip them of the rended
garments and clothed them in the new. Presently the young man
said, "O my lords, your time is gleesome and Allah make it to you
gladsome and broaden your hearts and from you fend everything
loathsome and lasting to you be honour and all that is
blithesome." Hereupon he ordered another damsel to chaunt that
was with her and when Masrur the Eunuch heard it he tare his
garment as had been done by Al-Rashid and the Wazir, when the
house-master bade bring for him a suit that besitted him and they
donned it after doffing the torn clothes. Then the youth ordered
a handmaid of the fourth set who sang a tune and spake these
couplets,

"Thou hast a lover of looks lune-bright * And lighter than
crescent[FN#120] he shows to sight;
For the sheen of the crescent shall ever wane * But he shall grow
to a perfect light."[FN#121]

Hearing this Manjab the master of the house shrieked out a mighty
loud shriek and tare his upper dress and fell aswoon to the
ground, and as Al-Rashid looked upon him (and he bestrown in his
fainting fit) he beheld upon his sides the stripes of scourging
with rods and palm-sticks. At this sight he was surprised and
said, "O Ja'afar, verily I marvel at this youth and his
generosity and munificence and fine manners, especially when I
look upon that which hath befallen him of beating and
bastinadoing, and in good sooth this is a wondrous matter." Quoth
the other, "O our lord, haply someone hath harmed him in much
money and his enemy took flight and the owner of the property
administered to him this beating[FN#122] or peradventure someone
lied concerning him, and he fell into the hands of the rulers and
the Sultan bade bastinado him, or again perchance his tongue
tripped and his fate was fulfilled to him." Quoth Al-Rashid, "O
Ja'afar, this youth be not in the conditions thou hast mentioned
to me," and, replied the other, "Sooth thou hast said, O our
lord; by cause that indeed this young man, when we asked him for
a gugglet of water invited us into his place and honoured us with
all this honour and heartened our hearts and this was of the
stress of his generosity and his abundant goodness." Al-Rashid
continued to converse with his Wazir while the young man did not
recover from his swoon for a while of time, when another maiden
of the maidens spoke out reciting these couplets,

"He adorns the branch of his tribal-tree, * Loves the fawn his
song as his sight she see;
And beauty shines in his every limb * While in every heart he
must stablished be."

Hereat the young man came to himself and shrieked a mighty loud
shriek more violent than the first and put forth his hand to his
garment and rent it in rags and fell swooning a second time, when
his sides were bared more fully than before until the whole of
his back appeared and Al-Rashid was straitened thereby as to his
breast and his patience made protest, and he cried, "O Ja'afar,
there is no help but that I ask concerning the wheals of this
bastinadoing." And as they talked over the matter of the youth
behold, he came to his senses and his slaves brought him a fresh
suit and caused him don it, whereupon Al-Rashid came forward and
said, "O young man, thou hast honoured us and favoured us and
entreated us with such kindness as other than thyself could never
do nor can any requite us with the like; withal there remaineth a
somewhat in my heart"--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of
day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then
quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I 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 Six Hundred and Thirty-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 Al-Rashid
said to the youth, the master of the house, "Withal there
remaineth a somewhat in my heart which if I manifest not to thee
will abide there to my displeasure in my thought; and, albeit
there is nothing to equal that thou hast done with us, still I
desire of thee and of the excellence of thy kindness a fulfilling
of thy favour." Said the youth, "What dost thou wish of me, ho
thou the lord?" and said the Caliph, "I would have thee inform me
concerning the scars upon thy sides and let me know for what
cause they be there." Now when the young man heard these words he
bowed his brow groundwards and wept awhile, then he wiped his
face and raised his head and asked, "What hath urged you to this?
But the fault is from me and I merit a penalty even greater. O
sons of impurity, say me have you not read the lines written over
the doors of my house that here you are speaking of what
concerneth you not and so right soon shall ye hear what pleaseth
you not? However, had ye never entered my house you would not
have known of my case and my shame[FN#123] and withal sooth spoke
he who said amongst his many sayings,

'We sowed kindness-seed but they wrought us wrong * Which is
caitiff-work and a traitor-deed.'"

Resumed the young man, "O vilest of folk, you asked of me a
gugglet of water, and I brought you into my house and honoured
and welcomed you and you ate of my victual and my salt, after
which I led you into my Harem with the fancy that ye were honest
men and behold you are no men. Woe to you, what may ye be?" On
this wise he continued to chide and revile them unknowing that
the Caliph Harun al-Rashid stood before him, and presently the
Prince of True Believers made reply, "We be folk of Bassorah."
"Truth you have spoken," cried the other, "nothing cometh from
Bassorah save the meanest of men and the weakest of wits but now
rise up, O ye dung[FN#124] of mankind, O ye foulest of folk, and
go forth from us and may Allah curse him who speaketh of whatso
concerneth him not." All this and Ja'afar and Masrur rose to
their feet for shame of the youth and of what they had heard from
him of ill language and they went from beside him. But
Al-Rashid's temper was ruffled and his jugulars swelled and the
Hashimi vein stood out between his eyes and he cried, "Woe to
thee, O Ja'afar! go this moment to Such-an-one the Wali and bid
him muster his men of whom each one must have in hand an
implement of iron, and let him repair to the mansion of this
youth and raze it till it return to be level with the ground, nor
let the morning dawn and show a trace thereof upon the face of
earth." Quoth Ja'afar to Al-Rashid, "O Prince of True Believers,
from the very first we feared for all this, and did we not make
condition on the subject? However, O our lord, the good man is
not ruined by the good man and this work is not righteous; nay,
'tis wholly unright, and one of the sages hath said, 'The mild in
mind is not known save in the hour of wrath.' But, O Prince of
faithful men and O Caliph of the Lord who the worlds dost
vice-reign, thou swarest an oath that although the vilest of men
should ill-speak thee yet wouldest thou not requite him with
evil, nor return him aught of reply nor keep aught of rancour in
thy heart for his unmannerly address. Moreover, O our lord, the
youth hath no default at all and the offence is from us, for that
he forbade and forefended us and wrote up in many a place the
warning words, Whoso speaketh of what concerneth him not, shall
hear what pleaseth him not. Therefore he unmeriteth the pain of
death. Now what we had better do in this case is as
follows:--Send thou for the Wali and bid him bring the youth and
when he is present between thy hands, encounter him with kindness
that his fear may find rest and his affright be arrested after
which he shall inform thee of whatso befel him." Cried Al-Rashid,
"This is the right rede and Allah requite thee with weal, O
Ja'afar. 'Tis the like of thee should be Wazir of the Councillors
and Counseller of the Kings." Hereupon Harun al-Rashid returned
to his palace in company with Masrur the eunuch, and they entered
the aforesaid private door whereby they had gone forth, nor was
any aware of them. But when Ja'afar reached his abode he took
thought in his mind as to how he should act and how he should
send the Wali to the young man and bring him into the presence;
and presently he retraced his way afoot and going to the Chief of
Police acquainted him with the matter of the youth and carefully
described his house and said to him, "Needs must thou bring him
to us in the front of morning, but do thou be courteous in thy
dealing and show him comradeship and startle him not nor cause
him aught of fear." After this Ja'afar dismissed the Wali and
returned to his own quarters. And when the morning morrowed the
Chief of Police, having chosen him as escort a single Mameluke,
made for the house of the youth, and when he had reached it
knocked at the door, upon which the owner came out to him and the
Wali knew him by the description wherewith Ja'afar had described
him, so he bade him accompany him. Hereat the heart of the young
man fluttered.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And
where is this compared with that I would relate to you on the
coming night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive." Now when it
was the next night and that was

The Six Hundred and Thirty-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
youth's heart fluttered when the Chief of Police summoned him to
go in his company and he was smitten by sore fear; but the Wali
said to him, "No harm shall befal thee: obey the summons of the
Commander of the Faithful." Now when he heard these words Manjab
was terrified with sorer alarm and affright, so by leave of the
Wali he entered his house and farewelled his family and familiars
after which he fared forth with the Chief of Police saying,
"Hearkening and obedience to Allah and to the Prince of True
Believers." Then he mounted his beast and the two rode together
until they reached the Palace of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid where
they craved admission to the presence; and, when leave was
granted, the youth went in and standing between the hands of
Harun he encouraged his intent and made his tongue eloquent and
kissed ground between the royal hands and sat respectfully before
him. Then he began with a tongue that was free of fear and showed
naught of apprehension and spake the following lines,

"Hail to this place for such be honoured stead * Of God's
viceregent known to all and some:
Palace of Al-Rashid, our lord, which aye * Excelleth Heaven
higher still become:
I haste that may I write what should be writ * And eloquent the
writ albe 'tis dumb."

After which he said, "The peace be upon thee, O Commander of the
Faithful, and Allah prolong thy life and gladden unto thee what
He hath given." Hereat Al-Rashid raised his head, and returning
his greeting signed to the Wazir Ja'afar who, as was his wont,
stood by his side, and the Minister taking the youth's hand, led
him up to Al-Rashid and seated him beside him. "Draw near me,"
said Harun al-Rashid, and the young man did accordingly until he
was close to the King who thus addressed him, "O young man, what
is thy name?" The other replied, "I am Manjab hight wherefrom
hath been cut off all cause of delight and who for a year hath
suffered parlous plight." "O Manjab," quoth the Caliph, "favour
for favour and the beginner is the better, and ill for ill and
the first is the worst, and whoso seed of good soweth shall reap
it, and whoso planteth evil shall harvest it, and know thou, O
Manjab, that yesterday we were thy guests, and that in thee was
no default, but we transgressed against thee when thou honouredst
us with most high honour, and favouredst us with the highmost
favours. I desire, however, that thou relate to me the cause of
the blows upon thy body and no harm shall befal thee." The youth
replied, "O Prince of True Believers, an thou desire to hear my
tale order me a cushion to be placed on my right hand, and deign
lend unto me three things, to wit, thine ears and thine eyes and
thy heart, for verily my adventure is wondrous and were it graven
with needle-gravers on the eye-corners it would be a warning to
whoso would be warned and a matter of thought to whoso would
think. Learn, O Commander of the Faithful, that my father was a
jeweller man, a connoisseur in gems, who owned no son save
myself; but when I had increased in age and had grown in stature
and Allah had given me comeliness and perfection and beauty and
brilliancy and plenty and good fortune, and my sire had brought
me up with the best of education, Allah vouchsafed to him a
daughter. Now as I had reached the age of twenty years my parent
departed to the ruth of Allah Almighty, bequeathing to me a
thousand thousand dinars and fiefs and tenements and landed
estates, so I let perform for him a sufficiency of
mortuary-ceremonies after committing him to mother earth, and
caused read twenty perlections of the Koran, and bestowed for him
in alms a mighty matter. I abode a-mourning for him a month full
told, and when the term was ended my heart turned to diversion
and disport and eating and drinking, and I made presents and gave
away and doled charities of that my property, and I bought other
tenements at the highest price. After this I purchased me singing
damsels of the greatest value, and whosoever of my friends and
companions was pleased with a musician girl I would hand her over
to him without price; nay, I would present her in free gift, and
if any saw aught of my belongings which pleased him and said to
me, 'This is nice,' I would bestow it upon him without
money-claim. Furthermore I robed all my familiars in honourable
robes, and honoured them with the highest honour, lavishing all
that was by me, and whatever my hand possessed, ever quoting
these lines,

'Rise, O comrade of cup, and to joy incline; * I've no patience,
O brother, from pressing of wine:
See'st not how night with her hosts be fled * Routed, and morn
doth her troops align?
How with Nadd and ambergris, rarest scents, * Rose laughs and
smiles on us Eglantine?
This, my lord, is joy, this is pure delight. * Not standing at
doors which the books confine.'

But when my mother, O Commander of the Faithful, espied these
doings she reproached me, yet would I not be reproved. Then she
saw that my wealth would be wasted, so she divided it between me
and her, to each one half, a moiety for herself and her daughter,
and the rest for myself. And presently she left me, carrying away
her good and separated herself from me, abiding afar and leaving
me to enjoy my frivolity and intoxication. I ceased not eating
and drinking and diversion and disport, and enjoying the
all-conquering faces of the beautiful,[FN#125] until the days
smote me with their shafts, and all my wealth fell away from me
and naught remained to me either above me or below me, and I
ceased to be master of aught. Then my condition waxed strait, and
as nothing was left to me at home I sold the pots and pans until
I lacked even a sleeping-mat, and I used to patch my skirt with
my sleeve. And naught profited me, neither friend nor familiar
nor lover, nor remained there any one of them to feed me with a
loaf of bread; so my case became hard and the folk entreated me
evilly, nor was there one of my comrades or compeers who would
take thought for me; nay more, when I met any of them on the road
or at the receptions they would turn away their faces from me. So
at last I took to pulling up the slabs[FN#126] of the house floor
and selling them by way of a livelihood, and one day as I did on
this wise, lo and behold! there opened in the floor a large vault
whereinto I descended."--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 Six Hundred and Fortieth 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 youth
Manjab continued his tale to Al-Rashid in these words. "So I
descended into the vault, O Commander of the Faithful, and I
found there three boxes each containing five bags and every bag
held five thousand gold pieces. I carried forth the whole of them
and set them in an apartment of the apartments and returned the
flag of the floor to its place. Then I pondered what my brethren
and companions had done with me, after which, O Prince of True
Believers, I bought handsome clothes and made my person as it was
before; and as soon as those men who were with me of yore and
upon whom I had spent my substance in gifts and presents beheld
me on such wise they flocked around me again. I accepted of them
for a device which I purposed carrying out and took patience with
them for a whole month whilst they came to visit me every day.
But when it was the thirty-first day I summoned the Kazi and his
assessors whom I concealed in a private place and bade write a
bond and an acceptance for everything they might hear from my
familiars and friends. After this I spread a feast and assembled
all my associates; and when we had eaten and drunken and made
merry, I drew them on to talk and to each and every whom I had
gifted with a present I said, 'Allah upon thee, O Such-an-one,
did I not donate to thee so-and-so without taking any return from
thee?' And they replied, 'Yes, thou gavest it to me for naught.'
I continued, O Prince of True Believers, to address each and all
after this fashion whilst the Kazi and witnesses wrote down
against them everything they heard from them and documented every
word until not one of my friends remained without confession.
Then, O Commander of the Faithful, I rose to my feet without
delay and ere anyone could leave the assembly I brought out the
Kazi and his assessors and showed them the writ in the name of
everyone, specifying whatso he had received from the youth
Manjab. After this manner I redeemed all they had taken from me
and my hand was again in possession thereof, and I waxed sound of
frame and my good case returned to me as it had been. Now one day
of the days I took thought in my mind, O Prince of True
Believers, that I could open the shop of my sire and I would sit
in it as my parent was wont to do, selling and buying in
sumptuous Hindi cloths and jewelry and precious metals.
Accordingly I repaired to the place, which I found fast locked
and the spider had pitched her web-tent about it; so I hired a
man to wipe it and sweep it clean of all that was therein. And
when the Bazar folk and the merchants and the masters of shops
saw me they rejoiced in me and came to congratulate me saying,
'Praise be to Allah who opened not the store save for the owner
thereof in succession to his sire.' Then I took of merchandise a
mighty matter and my shop became one whose like was not to be
looked upon throughout the market-street, and amongst the goods I
laid in were carnelians of Al-Yaman; after which I seated me upon
my shop-board that very day and sold and bought and took and
gave, and I ceased not to be after such wise for nine days. Now
when it was the tenth day I entered the Hammam and came out after
donning a dress which was worth one thousand gold pieces, and my
beauty was increased and my colour waxed sheeny-bright and my
youth looked as though it had been redoubled, and I was not such
but that the women were like to throw themselves upon me.
However, when I returned from the Baths and sat in my store for
an hour or so behold, I heard a shout that came from the depths
of the Bazar and heard one saying, 'Have patience,'[FN#127] when
suddenly I looked up and saw a stare-coloured mule whereon was a
saddle of gold dubbed with pearls and gems, and upon it an old
woman was riding accompanied by three pages. She ceased not going
till she stood at my shop-door where she drew rein and her
servants halted with her. Then she salam'd to me and said, 'How
long is't since thou hast opened this store?' and said I, 'This
day is the full tenth.' Quoth she, 'Allah have ruth upon the
owner of this shop, for he was indeed a merchant.' Quoth I, 'He
was my parent,' and replied she, 'Thou art Manjab named and as
uniter of thy friends enfamed.' Said I, 'Yes!' whereat she smiled
and questioned me, 'And how is thy sister, and what is the
condition of thy mother, and what is the state of thy
neighbours?' 'They are all well,' said I, when said she, 'O my
son, O Manjab, thou hast grown up and reached man's estate.'
Rejoined I, 'Whoso liveth groweth up;' and she continued, 'Say me
hast thou a necklace of gems which is pleasing to the sight?' I
responded, 'With me in the shop are many necklaces but I have
better at home and I will bring them for thee betimes to-morrow
if it be the will of Almighty Allah.' When she heard these my
words she returned by the way she came and her pages walked by
her side; and at the end of the day I went to my mother and
informed her of the adventure how it was with the old woman and
she said, 'O my son, O Manjab, verily that ancient dame is a
confidential nurse and she conferreth benefits upon the folk
amongst whom was thy sire before thee: therefore do thou be
urgent in bringing about her business nor do thou forgo thine
appointment with her.' The old woman disappeared for a day; but
on the next she returned in her wonted state and when she came to
my shop she said, 'O Manjab, arise and mount thy mule in weal and
good health!' So I left my store and mounted my she-mule."--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you in the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night, and that
was

The Six Hundred and Forty-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 youth
Manjab said to the Prince of True Believers, "So I mounted my
she-mule and I went with the old woman until I came to a mansion
built of stone and wide of gates; so we dismounted, I and she,
and entered the door, I following after her until we came to the
great hall. There I found, O Prince of True Believers, carpets of
fine silk and embroidered hangings and mattresses of gold-cloth
and vases of the same kind all golden and fine brocades and jars
of porcelain and shelves of crystal; in fine I saw things which I
may not describe to thee, O Commander of the Faithful. And at the
side of the mansion within were four bench-seats of yellow brass,
plain and without carving, and the old woman seated me upon the
highest mattress and she pointed out to me a porch where stood
pourtrayed all manner birds and beasts, and hills and channels
were limned. Now as I cast my eye over these paintings suddenly a
young lady accosted us speaking with a delicate voice demure and
words that the sick and sorry would cure and she was behind a
hanging and saying, 'Whoso hath let down this curtain let him
receive one hundred stripes.' Then she bade withdraw it and they
removed it and behold, I felt as though the lightning were
gleaming and glittering and it took away my sight until my head
was near striking the ground, for there stood before me a young
lady of lance-like stature and a face like the morning bright as
though she were a chandelier a-hanging amid the cressets. She was
dressed in sumptuous raiment and was even as said of her the
poet,

'To us she bent whenas Night hung her veil * And nigh went she my
sense to turn from right;
And rang her anklets and her necklace chimed * With dainty music
to my tearful plight.
Showed me that her face a four-fold charm, * Water and fire and
pitch and lamping light.'

Then, O Commander of the Faithful, she cried out to the slave
girls, 'Woe to you, where is the Nurse,' and when she was fetched
between her hands she asked her, 'Hast thou brought the
jeweller;' and the other answered, 'Yea, verily, O lady of
loveliness, and here he is sitting like the full moon when it
easteth.' The young lady cried, 'O old woman, is this he or is it
his servant?'[FN#128] Whereto she replied, 'No, 'tis he himself,
O lady of loveliness.' Quoth the other, 'By the life of my
youth,[FN#129] thou deservest naught for this[FN#130] save whatso
thou fanciest not and thou hast raised me from before my
food[FN#131] while yet I fancied that he merited rising up to
him.' Then she considered me and cried, 'Am I then in this
fashion become[FN#132] a bundle of dirty clothes all of poverty,
and say me now, hast thou not even washed thy face?' But I, O
Prince of True Believers, was still as I came forth from the
Hammam and my countenance was shining like unto lightning. Hereat
I made myself exceeding small and it mortified me to hear how she
had found fault with my face and befouled my dress, scorning me
till I became between her hands smaller than the very smallest.
Then she fixed her sight upon me and she said to me, 'Thou art
Manjab hight, thou dogs' trysting-site or gatherer of friends as
saith other wight, but by Allah how far be familiars and friends
from thy sight, O thou Manjab hight! Now, however, do thou look
upon me, O Jeweller man, the while I eat and when my meal shall
end there will be talk.' Hereupon, O Commander of the Faithful,
they brought her a crystal platter in a golden basin and therein
were the thighs of fowls; so she took seat before me and fell to
eating without shyness or difficulty as though in her presence I
were other than a son of Adam. And I stood looking at her and
whenever she raised her wrist to take up a morsel, the
dimple[FN#133] became manifest from without, and upon the skin
was a tattoo of green colour and about it jewelled
ornaments[FN#134] and armlets of red gold and a pink dye appeared
upon the whiteness of her hand: so glory be to Him who created
her and she was naught but a seduction to whoso espied her and
blessed be Allah the best of Creators. May the Almighty have ruth
upon the poet who said concerning the beauty of his lover these
couplets,

'Rise and pass me the wine, O thou son of Mansur; * And for
stopping it hope not my pardon forsure:
Let it come by the hand of a fair white maid * As though she had
fared from the Heav'n of the Hur:
When we see the figure her wrist adorns * 'Tis a musk grain lying
on limestone pure.'

Then, O Prince of True Believers, she fell to conversing with me
hending in hand a broidered kerchief wherewith whenever she had
eaten a morsel she wiped her lips and when her sleeve fell from
off her wrist she tucked it up even as the poet said of such,

'She hideth her face from the folk, * With a wrist whereon Ottars
abound;
And to eye of watcher it seems * Gold shaft on Moon's silvern
round.'

Now when she had eaten, O Commander of the Faithful, I gazed at
her face and she cried, 'O ye women, behold how Manjab looketh
upon me and I am eating till my nature cry enough;' presently
adding, 'O Manjab, what calamity hath befallen thee that thou
comest not forward and eatest not of this food?' So I drew anigh
and ate with her, but I was dazed of my wits and sore amazed at
her ways."--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 Six Hundred and Forty-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 Manjab
continued to the Caliph, "Verily I came forward and ate with her,
but I was so dazed of my wits and so sore amazed at her beauty
and loveliness that as I took up a mouthful to carry it to my
mouth behold, I would carry it to my eyes in consequence of what
befel me from seeing that was in this young lady. And presently
she fell to laughing at me and inclining towards me in her
haughtiness and in beauty's pride, saying at the same time, 'By
Allah, indeed this man is a maniac and a Bahlul:[FN#135] where is
thy mouth and how far from thine eye?' So said I, 'By Allah, O
lady of loveliness, I am nor a madman nor a Bahlul, but whilst
looking at thy beauty my wits have fled and I am in condition of
unknowing how I ate.' Then she asked me, 'Do I please thee, O
Manjab?' and I answered her 'Yes! Wallahi, O my lady, indeed thou
dost.' Quoth she, 'What should be the penalty of him who owning
me and my white beauties[FN#136] shall then forsake me to take
other than myself?' and quoth I, 'His award should be a thousand
stripes upon his right side and as many upon his left ribs,
together with the cutting off of his tongue and his two hands and
the plucking out of either eye.' She cried, 'Wilt thou marry me
upon this condition?' and I replied, 'O my lady, dost thou mock
and laugh at me?' Said she, 'No, by Allah, my word is naught save
a true word'; and said I, 'I am satisfied and I accept this
compact; however do thou make haste and delay not.' But when she
looked at me and heard mine intent regarding the marriage she
shook with joy and pride and she inclined towards me as she sat
before me and my senses were like to take flight. Then she rose
up and left me for an hour and came back dressed in sumptuous
garments and fairer than before, and perfumes reeked from her
sides as she walked between four handmaidens like unto the
refulgent moon. But I, when I looked upon her in this condition,
cried out with a loud outcry and fell fainting to the ground for
what befel me from her beauty and perfection: and she had no
design therein, O Commander of the Faithful, save her favour for
me. When I came to myself she said, 'O Manjab, what dost thou say
of my beauty and comeliness?' and I replied, 'By Allah, O lady of
loveliness, there is none in this time can be thy peer.' Then
quoth she, 'An I please thee thou wilt be content with these
conditions?' whereto quoth I, 'Content! CONTENT!! CONTENT!!!'
Thereupon she bade summon the Kazi and the assessors who came
without stay or delay and she said to the Judge 'Do thou listen
to the condition of this marriage and write from his word of
mouth a bond on oath and under penalty for breaking it, to the
effect that if he betray me and mate with other or by way of
right or of unright, I will smite him a thousand stripes on his
right side and as many on his left ribs and I will cut off his
tongue and his two hands and I will pluck out his either eye.'
Said the Kazi to me, 'Shall we bear witness against thee with
this condition?' and when I answered 'Yes,' he wrote out, O
Commander of the Faithful, his testimony together with the
penalty, while I hardly believed in all this. Presently, she
brought out a tray, whereupon were a thousand miskals of gold and
a thousand dirhams of silver which she scattered among the Kazi
and witnesses; so they took them and went their ways having duly
tied the marriage-knot and indited the penalty thereto attached.
Then they served up food and we ate and drank and I lay with her
that night in the pleasantest of nighting and the gladsomest of
living and I only desired that morning would never appear for the
stress of what befel me of joyance and delight; and, verily, I
never saw and never heard and never knew any that was the like of
her. So I abode with her, O Prince of True Believers, for seven
days which passed away as one watch,[FN#137] and on the eighth
she said to me, 'O thou Manjab named and for friend of friends
enfamed, do thou take this purse wherein are a thousand dinars
and buy with it merchandise of necklaces and gems and fine
clothes wherewith to beautify thy shop and other things that
befit thee; for 'tis my will that thou become the greatest of men
in the Bazar and that none therein shall boast of more good than
thyself. Moreover 'tis my wish, O Manjab, that thou fare to thy
store at early dawn and return to me about noon-tide, lest my
breast be straitened by thine absence.' Replied I, 'Hearkening
and obedience,' but, O Commander of the Faithful, it was mine
intent and desire never to fare forth from her, or by night or by
day, from the stress of what befel me of enjoyment with my bride.
Now she was wont every hour to go don a dress other than that
which was upon her, and when I saw her in that condition I could
not contain my passion, so I would arise and fulfil my need of
her and she would do likewise. Also, as soon as morn appeared I
would repair to my shop and open it and take seat therein until
midday, at which time my mule would be brought me to ride
homewards when she would meet me alone at the threshold whereupon
opened the door of her apartment. And I would throw my arms round
her neck as soon as she appeared to me till she and I entered the
Harem where I had no patience from her but was fain to enjoy my
desire. After this she would cry to her women and bid them bring
us dinner whereof I ate with her, and in due time she would arise
and command her slave-girls to clean the Hammam and perfume it
with pastiles of lign-aloes and ambergris adding a sufficiency of
rose-water. Then we would enter it, I and she, and doff our
dresses when I again lost patience until I had my will of her
twice or three times.[FN#138] Anon we would wash and wipe
ourselves with apron napkins of thick silk and drying towels of
palm-fibre, after which she would cry aloud to the women who,
coming to us at her call, would bring sherbets and we would
drink, I and she, until mid-afternoon. Then I would mount my
she-mule and return to my store and as evening fell I would order
the slave to padlock the door and I would return to my house. Now
I abode in such case for ten months, but it fortuned one day of
the days that, as I was sitting upon my shop-board, suddenly I
saw a Badawi woman bestriding a she-dromedary and she was marked
with a Burka'[FN#139] of brocade and her eyes danced under her
face-veil as though they were the wantoning eyes of a gazelle.
When I looked upon her, O Commander of the Faithful, I was
perplexed as to my affair."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy
tale, O sister mine, and 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 Six Hundred and Forty-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 quoth
Manjab to the Caliph, "O Prince of True Believers, when I beheld
the eyes of the Badawi woman under her Burka' which were like
those of a gazelle they tempted my passions herto and I forgot my
oath and its penalty and the Kazi and witnesses. Then she
approached me and said, 'Allah give thee long life, O Chief of
the Arabs;' and said I, 'To thee too, O most seemly of
semblance!' Cried she, 'O comely of countenance, say me, hast
thou a necklace fine enough for the like of me;' whereto I
rejoined, 'Yes.' Then I arose and brought out one to her, but she
seeing it said, 'Hast thou naught better than this?' So I
displayed to her, O Commander of the Faithful, all the necklaces
I had by me in the shop but, none of them pleasing her, I said,
'In all the stores there is naught finer than these.' Then, O
Prince of True Believers, she brought out to me from off her neck
a carcanet and said, 'I want one such;' and, as I looked upon it,
I knew that there was nothing like it in my store, and that all I
had by me of collars and jewels and other goods were not worth a
single grain of that carcanet. So I said to her, 'O Winsome of
Eyes, this is a thing whereto none of this time can avail save it
be with the Commander of the Faithful or with his Wazir Ja'afar
bin Yahya the Barmaki.' Quoth she, 'Wilt thou buy it of me?' and
quoth I, 'I have no power to its price,' when she exclaimed, 'I
require no payment for this necklace, and I want from thee
nothing save a kiss upon thy cheek.' Then said, I, 'O Lady of
loveliness, bussing without treading I trow is like a bowyer sans
a bow,' and she replied, 'Whoso kisseth surely treadeth.' Then, O
Prince of True Believers, she sprang from off her dromedary and
seated herself beside me within my store, so I arose with her and
went into the inner room, she following me (albeit I expected not
this from her), and when we were safely inside she clasped me to
her bosom and encountered me with her breasts never withal
withdrawing her veil from her face. Hereat I lost all power over
my senses and when I felt her strain me to her bosom I also
strained her to mine, and fulfilled of her my desire after the
fairest fashion. And when this was done she sprang to her feet
even as springeth the lion from his lair, and flying to the door
of the shop swiftlier than a bird and leaving the necklace with
me, she mounted her dromedary and went her ways. I imagined, O
Prince of True Believers, that she would never return to me at
all; so my heart rejoiced in the necklace which she had left and
I was of that fancy and opinion anent the matter and manner of
her going, when suddenly my pages brought me the she-mule, and
said to me, 'O our lord, rise up and fare to the house, for that
our lady hath required thee at this very hour and she hath caused
dinner to be served and sore we fear lest it wax cold.'
Therefore, O Commander of the Faithful, I found it impossible to
bathe[FN#140] by reason of the pages which were standing with the
mule at the door of my shop; so I mounted and rode home. I
entered my house according to my usual habit when my wife met me
and said to me 'O my dearling, my heart hath been occupied with
thee this day, for thou has tarried away from me so long a time
and contrary to thy custom is delaying on such a day as this.'
Said I, 'This morning the Bazar was crowded exceedingly and all
the merchants were sitting in their shops, nor was it possible
for me to rise from my store whilst the market was so warm.'
Quoth she, 'O my dearling and coolth of mine eyes, I was at this
moment sitting and reading in the Sublime Volume when there befel
me a doubt concerning a word in the chapter 'Ya Sin'[FN#141] and
I desire that thou certify it to me that I may learn it by heart
from thee.' Quoth I, 'O lady of loveliness, I am unable to touch
The Book much less may I read the Koran;' and quoth she, 'What is
the cause of that?' Replied I, 'I was sleeping at the side of my
shop when I had a polluting dream;' and she rejoined, 'An this
thy speech be sooth-fast thy bag-trowsers must be fouled, so draw
them off that I may see to their washing.' I retorted, 'Indeed my
trowsers are not bewrayed because I doffed them before lying down
to sleep.' Now when she heard these my words, O Commander of the
Faithful, she said to a slave of my slaves whose name was Rayhan,
'O man, go and open the shop and bring the kerchief that is
therein.'[FN#142] Then said I, 'O lady of lovelings, I presented
it in alms-gift to an old woman who was naked of head and her
condition pained me and her poverty, so I largessed it to her.'
Rejoined she, 'Say me, was the old woman she who was mounted on
the dromedary, the owner of the valuable necklace which she sold
to thee for a kiss when thou saidst to her, 'O Winsome of Eyes,
bussing without treading I trow, is as a bowyer sans bow.' Now
when her words were ended, O Commander of the Faithful, she
turned to her women and cried to them, 'Bring hither this moment
Sa'idiyah, the kitchen-wench,' and when she came between her
hands behold, she was a slave-girl, a negress, and she was the
same in species and substance who came to me under the form of a
Badawi woman with a face-veil of brocade covering her features.
Hereupon my wife drew the Burka' from before the woman's face and
caused her doff her dress, and when she was stripped she was
black as a bit of charcoal. Now as soon as I saw this, O
Viceregent of Allah, my wits were bewildered and I considered my
affair and I knew not what to do, thinking of the conditions
whereto I had consented."--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 Six Hundred and Forty-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 Manjab
continued, "And I thought of the conditions whereto I had
consented and the penalty which had been written for me by the
Kazi in the presence of his assessors, so I wandered from my
right mind when she looked at me and said, 'Is this our compact,
O Manjab hight, thou dogs' trysting-site?' and when I heard her
speech, O Commander of the Faithful, I hanged my head
ground-wards and could not return a reply, nor even attempt to
address her could I. Said she, 'Woe to thee, did I not say to
thee, 'O Manjab hight, thou who with curs dost unite and no
foregatherer with friendly wight?' Woe to thee, and he lied not
who said that in men-kind there be no trust. But how, O Manjab,
didst thou prefer this slave-girl before me and make her my equal
in dress and semblance? However, O ye women, do ye send and bring
the Kazi and the assessors at this moment and instant.' So they
fetched them without stay or delay, and they produced the
obligation which had been written, with the penalty duly attested
by testimony. Then she said to the witnesses, 'Read all that for
him,' and they did so and asked me, 'What hast thou to say about
this obligation and the punishment for breaking it?' Answered I,
'The document is right and fair, nor have I aught to utter
thereanent.' Hereupon, O Prince of True Believers, she summoned
the Governor and his officials, and I confessed before them and
bore witness against myself, when they reviled me and abused me,
and I told them the tale full and complete. But they would not
excuse me and they all cried, 'Verily, thou deserves splitting or
quartering;[FN#143] thou who wouldst abandon this beauty and
perfection and brilliancy and stature and symmetry and wouldst
throw thyself upon a slave-girl black as char-coal; thou who
wouldst leave this semblance which is like the splendours of
moonlight and wouldst follow yon fulsome figure which resembleth
the murks of night.' Hereupon, O Prince of True Believers, she
said to the Governor, 'Hearken unto what I tell thee. I bear
witness against myself that I have excused him the cutting off
his hand and tongue and the plucking out his eyes; but do ye
redeem my rights of him by one condition.' 'And what may that
be?' asked they; and she answered, 'A thousand stripes upon his
right side, and as many upon his left ribs.' Hereupon, O
Commander of the Faithful, they seized me and smote me upon my
right flank until I was estranged from the world,[FN#144] and
after they took a handful of salt, which they rubbed upon the
wounds.[FN#145] Then they applied a thousand stripes to my left
ribs, and threw over me a ragged robe wherewith to veil my shame.
But my flanks had been torn open by such a bastinado, nor did I
recover for a space of three days, when I found myself lying
cast-out upon a dunghill. Seeing this my condition, I pulled
myself together, and arising walked to the mansion wherein I was
wont to wone; but I found the door locked with three padlocks and
it was empty and void, nor was voice or sound to be heard therein
at all, and 'twas, as said one of the poets in this couplet,

'The chambers were like a beehive well stocked; * When the bees
quitted them they became empty.'[FN#146]

So I lingered there an hour of time, when a woman suddenly came
out from one of the neighbouring houses and asked me, 'What dost
thou want, O asker; and what seekest thou?' I answered, 'We are
in quest of the owners of this mansion;' and said she, 'Here they
were in crowds and then they abandoned it, and may Allah have
mercy upon him who spake these two couplets,

'They fared and with faring fled rest from me * And my parted
heart no repose can see:
Have ruth on a wight with a heart weighed by woes * Seest not how
their door is without a key?'

Then indeed I repented, O Commander of the Faithful, over that I
had done and regretted what had befallen me and what had
proceeded from me of ill-deeds, and quoth I to the woman who had
addressed me, 'Allah upon thee, O my mistress, say me hast thou
of their traces any tidings?' "--And Shahrazad was surprised by
the dawn of day and fell silent, and ceased saying her permitted
say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is
thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth
she, "And where is this compared with that I would relate to you
on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when
it was the next night and that was

The Six Hundred and Forty-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 Manjab,
speaking to the woman, said, "O my lady, say me, dost thou know
of their traces any tidings, and hast thou come upon any manifest
news?" Said she, "This thing was to befal thee of old, O thou
poor fellow, even as quoth the poet in the following couplets,

'My tears flow fast, my heart knows no rest * And melts my soul
and cares aye molest:
Would Heaven mine eyeballs their form beheld * And flies my life,
and ah! who shall arrest?
'Tis wondrous the while shows my form to sight, * Fire burns my
vitals with flamey crest!
Indeed for parting I've wept, and yet * No friend I find to mine
aid addrest:
Ho thou the Moon in a moment gone * From sight, wilt thou rise to
a glance so blest?
An thou be 'stranged of estrangement who * Of men shall save me?
Would God I wist!
Fate hath won the race in departing me * And who with Fate can
avail contest?'"

"Then, O Commander of the Faithful, my longings grew and I poured
fast tears in torrents and I was like to choke with my sobs, so I
arose to walk about the city highways and I clung from wall to
wall for what befel me of despight and affright at the
disappearance of them,[FN#147] and as I wandered about I repeated
these verses,

'To man I'm humbled when my friends lost I * And missed the way
of right where hardships lie:
Sorrow and sickness long have been my lot * To bear, when need
was strong to justify:
Say me, shall any with their presence cheer-- * Pity my soul?
Then bless my friend who's nigh!
I kiss your footprints for the love of you, * I greet your envoy
e'en albeit he lie.'

After this, O Prince of True Believers, I remained immersed in
cark and care and anxious thought, and as ever I wandered about
behold, a man met me and said, ''Tis now three days since they
marched away and none wotteth where they have alighted.'[FN#148]
So I returned once more to the mansion-door and I sat beside it
to take my rest when my glance was raised and fell upon the
lintel and I saw attached to it a folded paper which I hent in
hand and found written therein these lines,

'Scant shall avail with judgment just the tear * When at
love-humbled heart man dareth jeer:
I was thy dearling, fain with thee to dwell * But thou
transgressedst nor return canst speer:
And if by every means thou find me not, * From thee I fled and
other hold I dear:
I come in dreams to see if sore thy heart; * Let it take patience
in its woe sincere:
Thou dost beweep our union fled, but I * Wist that such weeping
brings no profit clear:
Ho, stander at my door, once honoured guest, * Haply my tidings
thou some day shalt hear.'

Thereupon, O Commander of the Faithful, I returned to my mother
and sister and told them the tale of what had betided me, first
and last, and the twain wept over me and my parent said, 'I
thought not, O my son, that such case as this would come down
upon thee; withal every calamity save Death is no calamity at
all; so be thou of long-suffering, O my child, for the
compensation of patience is upon Allah; and indeed this that hath
happened to thee hath happened unto many the likes of thee, and
know thou that Fate is effectual and Sort is sealed. Hast thou
not heard the words of the poet who spoke these couplets,[FN#149]

'The world aye whirleth with its sweet and sour * And Time aye
trippeth with its joy and stowre:
Say him to whom life-change is wilful strange * Right wilful is
the world and risks aye low'r:
See'st now how Ocean overwhelms his marge * And stores the
pearl-drop in his deepest bow'r:
On Earth how many are of leafy trees, * But none we harvest save
what fruit and flow'r:
See'st not the storm-winds blowing fierce and wild * Deign level
nothing save the trees that tow'r?
In Heaven are stars and planets numberless * But none save Sun
and Moon eclipse endure.
Thou judgest well the days when Time runs fair * Nor fearest
trouble from Fate's evil hour:
Thou wast deceived what time the Nights were fain, * But in the
bliss o' nights 'ware days of bane.'

Now when I heard these words of my mother, O Prince of True
Believers, and what she addressed to me of wise sayings and
poetry, I took patience and rendered account to Allah;"--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 Six Hundred and Forty-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 Manjab
said, "O Commander of the Faithful, I had patience and rendered
my account to Allah Almighty. Then my mother fell to nursing me,
with medicines and unguents and what not else of remedies
wherefrom cometh health until I was healed, yet there remained to
me the scars even as thou sawest. But I inscribed not those lines
upon my house which thou didst espy, O Commander of the Faithful,
save that the news thereof might reach thee, and that naught be
concealed from thee of my tidings and my past fate, and present
condition. And this is the whole that hath befallen me."[FN#150]
Now when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard these words he smote
hand upon hand and cried, "There is no Majesty and there is no
Might save in Allah the Glorious, the Great." Then he cried upon
the Minister Ja'afar the Barmecide, and said to him, "O Wazir,
unless thou bring me information of this affair and root out this
matter and make manifest to me the condition of this youth,
verily I will smite thy neck." The Minister answered, "Hearing
and obeying: however, do thou, O Commander of the Faithful, give
me three days' delay," and the Caliph rejoined, "I have granted
this to thee." Hereupon Ja'afar went forth like unto one blind
and deaf, unseeing nor hearing aught, and he was perplext and
distraught as to his affair and continued saying, "Would Heaven
we had not forgathered with this youth, nor ever had seen the
sight of him." And he ceased not faring till he arrived at his
own house, where he changed his dress and fell to threading the
thoroughfares of Baghdad, which in the time of Harun al-Rashid
was a mighty great city, and in every street he entered he sought
intelligence and questioned the folk concerning every affair
which had happened in town from dawn to dark, but he hit upon no
trace nor information manifest touching this matter. On the
second day it was the same, and nothing became known to him
between morning and evening; but on the third day as he fared
forth he repeated these words,

"With the King be familiar and 'ware his wrath * Nor be wilful
when cometh his order 'Do.'"

And he crossed and recrossed the city until it was noon-tide
without aught of novelty appearing to him, so he returned to his
mansion where he had a confidential nurse whom he apprised of the
tidings, and concealing naught from her said, "Verily the term
allowed to me by the King is until set of sun, at which time
unless I bring him the information required he will cut off my
head." Thereupon the Kahramanah went forth and circled through
the city until it was mid-afternoon, but she brought back no
fresh tidings; whereat Ja'afar cried, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might, save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!" Now
the Wazir had a sister who lived single in his home with her
women and eunuchs, and he said to himself, "I will go to my
sister Budur and solace myself by conversing awhile with her and
farewell her: haply Fate is not afar." This sister was yet
unwedded for none dared come forward and propose marriage to her,
albeit in the city of Baghdad not one was her peer in beauty,
even amongst the women of the Caliph. Accordingly he turned
towards her apartment and entered therein, when she met him upon
the threshold of the gate, and as she saw him changed of
condition she cried, "No harm to thee, O my brother, verily thou
art altered in case;" and he replied, "Indeed I have fallen into
evil plight and into a matter of affright, whereupon naught can
deliver me save the power of Allah of All-might, and unless the
affair be made evident to me by the morning the Caliph will cut
off my head." Then he related to her the affair from beginning to
end, and she, when she heard the words of her brother, waxed wan
of colour, and was altered in case and said, "O brother mine,
give me immunity and a binding bond when I will explain to thee
the matter of this youth." Hereat calmed was his affright, and
his heart was satisfied quite, and he gave her promise of safety
and a binding bond and contract not to harm her; whereupon said
she to him, "O my brother, womankind was created for mankind, and
mankind was created for womankind, and albe falsehood is an
excuse, yet soothfastness is more saving and safe-guiding. The
whole of this business is mine and I am she who married him and
made with him that condition which he accepted for himself, being
contented with the covenant and its penalty." Now when Ja'afar
heard these words spoken to him by his sister concerning the case
of Manjab, he outwardly made merry but he inwardly mourned, for
that he had forbidden her to wed, and she had worked this craft
and had given herself away to wife. Hereupon he arose without
stay or delay and fared forth until he went in to the Caliph
Harun al-Rashid whom he blessed and greeted, and the King, having
returned his salam, asked him, "Hast thou brought to me the
required tidings, O Ja'afar?" The Wazir answered, "Yes, O my
lord, the news hath become manifest and 'tis certified to me that
this is a private matter; and had not the Creator favoured me by
forgathering with the young lady in her substance and accidence
and had I not met her at a term not appointed, I should have been
done to die." Quoth the Caliph, "And who is she that I may
requite her for her deeds and for what she hath practiced upon
Manjab, who verily deserveth not that which hath betided him,
although he may have been somewhat in fault." Then Ja'afar came
forward and craved pardon from the Caliph in token of honour for
his sister's sake, and quoth his lord, "O Ja'afar, thou hast
declared that she it is with whom thou hast forgathered." Quoth
Ja'afar, "O Prince of True Believers, the same is my sister
Budur." But when the Caliph heard these words, he asked, "O
Ja'afar, and why did thy sister do such deed?" and the Wazir
answered, "Whatso is fated shall take place nor shall any defer
the predestined nor forbid it when decreed, nor hasten it when
forbidden. This thing which hath happened was of no profit to
anyone and whatever thou shalt ordain that shall be done."
Thereat Manjab after saluting the Caliph, accompanied Ja'afar to
the house of his sister, and when they went in the Wazir made
peace between the two, and the Caliph largessed the youth with
most sumptuous presents. Now the Caliph every year at times
appointed was accustomed to go by night in disguise to the house
of Manjab accompanied by Ja'afar for the sake of hearing music,
and one night of the nights he said to the youth,
"Alhamdolillah--Glory be to God--O Manjab, that I have caused
reunion between thee and Budur, thy beloved; but I desire that
thou tell me some tale which shall be rare and shall broaden my
breast." The youth replied, "Hearing and obeying,"--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 Six Hundred and Fifty-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 the King
and Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, bade the youth Manjab tell him some
tale of the Kings of old and he replied, "Hearkening and
obedience, O Prince of True Believers;" and thereupon he fell
recounting the

Story of the Darwaysh and the Barber's Boy and the Greedy Sultan.

It is related (but Allah is All-knowing of hidden things and
All-wise!) that in the days of a King called Dahmar[FN#151] there
was a barber who had in his booth a boy for apprentice and one
day of the days there came in a Darwaysh man who took seat and
turning to the lad saw that he was a model of beauty and
loveliness and stature and symmetric grace. So he asked him for a
mirror and when it was brought he took it and considered his face
therein and combed his beard, after which he put hand in pouch
and pulling out an Ashrafi of gold set it upon the looking-glass
which he gave back to the boy.[FN#152] Hereupon the barber turned
towards the beggar and wondered in himself and said, "Praise be
to Allah, albeit this man be a Fakir yet he placeth a golden
piece upon the mirror, and surely this is a marvellous matter."
Hereupon the Darwaysh went his ways, and on the following day he
suddenly made his appearance and entering the booth called for a
looking-glass from the barber's prentice and when it was handed
to him combed his beard after he had looked at his features
therein; then, bringing forth an Ashrafi, he set it upon the
mirror and gave it back to the boy; and the barber marvelled yet
the more to see the Fakir rising up and wending his ways.[FN#153]
The beggar ceased not coming every day and gazing at himself in
the glass and laying down his ducat, whereat the barber said to
himself, "By Allah, indeed this Darwaysh must have some object of
his own and haply he is in love with the lad my prentice and I
fear from the beggar lest he seduce the boy and take him away
from me." Hereat he cried, "O boy, when the Darwaysh shall come
to thee draw thou not anear him; and when he demandeth the
looking-glass give it not to him; for I myself will do so." On
the third day behold, the Fakir appeared according to his custom
and asked for the mirror from the boy who wittingly disregarded
him, whereupon he turned towards him and waxed wroth[FN#154] and
was like to slay him. The apprentice was terrified at his rage
and gave him the looking-glass whilst he was still an-angered;
but when the man had reviewed himself therein and had combed his
beard and had finished his need, he brought out ten dinars of
gold and setting them upon the mirror handed them to the lad.
Seeing this the barber wondered anew with extreme wonderment,
saying to himself, "By Allah, this Darwaysh cometh daily and
layeth down an Ashrafi, but this day he hath given ten gold
pieces; withal there accrueth not to me from my shop even half a
piastre of daily wage. However, O Boy, when the man shall come
hither, as is his wont, do thou spread for him a prayer-rug in
the inner room of the shop, lest the people seeing his constant
visits should have ill suspicions of us." "Yes!" said the lad. So
when it was the next day the Fakir came and went into the ben
whither he was shown by the boy, and he followed him till they
were in the innermost of the booth. Now the heart of this
Religious hung to the love of the barber's boy for that he had of
beauty and perfection and he continued frequenting the shop every
day whilst the lad ceased not spreading the rug and receiving
upon the mirror ten Ashrafis. Hereat the barber and his
apprentice rejoiced till one day of the days when the Darwaysh
came to the shaving-shop, as was his wont, where he met none but
only the boy nor was there any other in sight. So he asked
concerning his employer and the other answered, "O uncle, my
master hath gone forth to solace himself with seeing the casting
of the cannon; for this day the Sultan and the Wazir and the
Lords of the land will all be present thereat." Said he, "O my
son, go thou with us and we will also enjoy the spectacle and
return before the rest of the folk, ere thy master can be back,
and we will enjoy ourselves and make merry and look at the sport
before I set out upon my journey, for 'tis my intention this day
to go forth about noontide." Quoth the lad, "'Tis well O uncle;"
and arising he locked the shop-door and walked with the Darwaysh
till they reached the spot where the cannon were being cast.
There they found the Sultan and the Wazirs and the Chamberlains
and the Lords of the land and the Grandees of the realm all
standing in a body until presently the workmen took the
crucibles[FN#155] from off the ore. Now the first who went up to
them was the Sultan and he found them full of molten brass: so he
put his hand into his pocket and drew it forth full of gold which
he cast into the melting pots. Then the Grand Wazir walked
forward and did as the King had done and all the Notables who
were present threw cash into the crucibles, bar-silver and
piastres and dollars. Thereat the Darwaysh stepped out of the
crowd and brought from his cowl a reed used as an etui[FN#156]
wherefrom he drew a spoon-like ear-picker and cast into one of
the crucibles a something of powder like grain.[FN#157] This he
did to each one of the melting pots; after which he disappeared
from the eyes of the folk and taking the boy with him returned to
the booth and opened it and said to him, "O my child, when the
Sultan shall send after thee and shall question thee concerning
me, do thou tell him that I am in such a town where shouldst thou
come to seek me thou shalt find me sitting beside the gate." Then
he farewelled the boy, the barber's apprentice, and set forth
seeking that city. Such was the case with these twain; but as
regards the matter of the King, he ceased not standing there
until they had brought the crucibles to the cannon-moulds and
when the folks designed to pour out their contents they found all
therein pure gold. Then quoth the Sultan to the Wazir and the
Notables of his realm, "Who was it threw aught into the crucibles
and what stranger man happened to be here?" Quoth they, "We
beheld a Darwaysh man who took some powder and fell to casting
thereof a somewhat into the crucibles." Hereupon enquiries were
made of the bystanders and they gave information how that same
Darwaysh was inclined to the barber's apprentice who lived in
such a quarter. Hereupon the Sultan ordered one of his
Chamberlains to bring the boy,--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 Six Hundred and Fifty-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
sent one of his Chamberlains to the boy, the apprentice of the
barber, whom they sought for and brought into the presence and
placed between the royal hands; and he on entering kissed ground
and deprecated and prayed for his liege lord with prayers fit for
the Caliphs. The Sovran returned his salam and questioned him
concerning the Darwaysh who had been with him and he replied, "O
King of the Realm, he charged me saying that he was faring for
and would be found in such a city." Hereupon the Sultan commanded
the lad go forth and bring him, and was answered, "Hearkening and
obedience;" so he appointed for him an especial ship and gifted
him with various presents and the boy set sail and voyaged for a
short while till he reached the port-town in question. Here he
landed and made for the city-gate and as he entered it behold, he
came face to face with the Darwaysh who was sitting upon a raised
bench, and when he beheld him he salam'd to him and told him what
had taken place. The Fakir at once arose, and without resisting
the lad, went down to the ship and they shook out the sails and
the two voyaged together until they reached the city of the
Sultan. Here the twain went in to him and kissed ground between
his hands and salam'd to him and their greeting was answered. Now
as to the lad, the King largessed him largely and raised his
degree to Governor and despatched him to one of his provinces
therein to rule;[FN#158] but as for the Darwaysh, he remained
beside King Dahmar the first day and the second until the
seventh; after which quoth the Sovran, "'Tis my desire that thou
teach me the art and mystery of making gold;" whereto the other
replied, "Hearing and obeying, O our lord the Sultan." Presently
the Darwaysh arose; and, bringing a brazier,[FN#159] ranged
thereupon the implements of his industry and lighted a fire
thereunder; then, fetching a portion of lead and a modicum of tin
and a quant. suff. of copper, the whole weighing about a quintal,
he fanned the flame that was beneath the crucible until the metal
was fluid as water. And while the Sultan was sitting and looking
on and considering the operation, the Fakir brought out something
from a casket and taking a pinch of it on the ear-picker
besprinkled therewith the lead and copper and the tin which
presently became virgin gold. He repeated this feat once or twice
before the King who after that fell to working as the Religious
had wrought and turned out in his presence the purest gold. So
the Sultan rejoiced and was wont to sit before the Darwaysh
whatever time his heart chose[FN#160] and there and then he
gathered together ignoble metals and besprinkled them with the
powder[FN#161] which had been given to him by the Fakir and all
came out of the noblest gold. Now one night of the nights, as the
Sultan was sitting in his Harem and would have worked as he had
wrought in the presence of the Darwaysh, nothing went right with
him; whereat he was exceedingly sorrowful and said, "I have
neither magnified nor minished aught, so how is this
case?"[FN#162] As soon as it was morning he forgathered with the
Fakir and worked in his presence and produced virgin gold; so in
his surprise he said, "Wallahi, 'tis indeed most marvellous that
whatso I work alone cometh not right and when I have wrought in
presence of the Darwaysh it succeedeth and turneth to gold."
After this the Sultan never transmuted metals save in the
presence of the Fakir, until one day of the days when his breast
was narrowed and he sought recreation in the gardens. Accordingly
he rode forth, he and the Lords of the land, taking also the
Darwaysh with him and he went to the riverside, the Monarch
preceding and the Mendicant following together with the suite.
And as the King rode along with a heavy hand upon the reins he
grasped them strongly and his fist closed upon them; but suddenly
he relaxed his grip when his seal-ring flew from his little
finger and fell into the water, where it sank to the bottom.
Seeing this the Sultan drew bridle and halted and said, "We will
on no wise remove from this place till such time as my seal-ring
shall be restored to me." So the suite dismounted, one and all,
and designed plunging into the stream, when behold, the Fakir
finding the King standing alone and in woeful plight by cause of
his signet asked him saying, "What is to do with thee, O King of
the Age, that I find thee here halted?" He replied, "Verily my
signet-ring of Kingship[FN#163] hath dropped from me into the
river somewhere about this place." Quoth the Darwaysh, "Be not
grieved, O our lord;" after which he brought out from his breast
pocket a pencase, and having drawn from it a bit of bees' wax, he
fashioned it into the form of a man and cast it into the water.
Then he stood gazing thereat when, lo and behold! the Figure came
forth the river with the seal-ring hanging to its neck and sprang
upon the saddle-bow in front of the Sultan. The King would have
taken his signet when the Form jumped off and approached the
Darwaysh who hent the ring in hand and rubbed it and the Figure
at once became wax as it had been. Hereupon the Darwaysh restored
it to his pencase and said to the Sovran, "Now do thou ride on!"
All this and the Lords of the land sat gazing upon the Darwaysh
and what he had done; after which the whole party fared forwards
till they reached the gardens, where they dismounted and took
seat and fell to conversing together. They enjoyed themselves
that day and when evening fell they remounted and sought their
homes, and the Darwaysh returned to the apartment which had been
set apart for him. But presently the Grandees of the realm
forgathered with the Sultan and said to him, "O King of the Age,
yon Darwaysh requireth of thee exceeding caution seeing that he,
whenso he ever will, availeth to slay everyone in the Palace, and
after doing thee die can raise himself to rule in thy stead."
"How so?" quoth the King, and quoth they, "In that 'twere easy
for him to make Figures of wax and cause them prevail over thee
and over us, so that they may kill us and he may succeed thee as
Sultan; nor would this be aught of inconvenience to him." Now
when the King heard these words he was afeared and cried, "By
Allah, sooth ye speak, and this is the right rede and one which
may not be blamed indeed!" presently adding, "And how shall we
manage with this Darwaysh?" Said they, "Do thou send for him and
summon him and slay him forthright; and better 'twere that thou
kill him ere he kill thee;[FN#164] and if he say thee 'I will go
and return,' suffer him not depart." The Sultan acted after their
counsel and sending to fetch the Fakir--And Shahrazad was
surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased saying
her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and
tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and
delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I
would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Six Hundred and Fifty-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 Sultan
sent after the Darwaysh and bade him be brought into the presence
and set between his hands, when he said to him, "O Darwaysh, do
thou know 'tis mine aim and intention to slay thee: say me then,
hast thou any charge thou wouldst send to thy family?" Quoth the
Religious, "Wherefore shouldst thou kill me, O our lord, and what
of ill deeds hath proceeded from me that thou shouldst destroy me
therefor, and do thou make me aware of my sin, and then if I
merit death kill me or decree to me banishment." Quoth the King,
"There is no help but that I slay thee,"[FN#165] and the Darwaysh
fell to gentling him but it availed him naught; so as soon as he
was certified that the Sultan would not release him or dismiss
him, he arose and drew a wide ring upon the ground in noose shape
and measuring some fifteen ells, within which he described a
lesser circle. Then he stood up before the Sovran and said, "O
King of the Age, verily this greater circle is the dominion
belonging to thee, whilst the lesser round is mine own realm." So
saying he moved from his place and stepped forwards and passing
into the smaller ring quoth he, "An thy reign, O King of the Age,
be not ample for me I will inhabit my own;" and forthright upon
entering the lesser circle he vanished from the view of those
present. Cried the Sultan to the Lords of the land, "Seize him";
but they availed not to find him, and after going forth in search
they returned and reported that they could light upon no one.
Then said the Sovran, "He was beside me in this place and passed
into the smaller ring; so do ye seek for him again;" and
accordingly they went forth once more but could not see a trace
of him. Hereupon the Sultan repented and cried, "There is no
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah the Glorious, the
Great: verily we have exceeded in the matter of this Darwaysh and
we have hearkened to the words of hypocrites who caused us to
fall into trouble by obeying them in all they said to me against
him. However, whatso they did to me that will I do unto them."
And as soon as it was morning-tide and the Lords of the land
forgathered in the Divan, the Sultan commanded to slay those who
had counselled him to kill the Darwaysh, and some of them were
done to death and others of them were banished the
country.[FN#166] Now when the Caliph Harun al-Rashid heard this
narrative from Manjab, he wondered with extreme wonderment and
said to him, "By Allah, O Manjab, thou deservest to be a
cup-companion of the Kings:" so he created him from that moment
his Equerry in honour to the Grand Wazir Ja'afar the Barmaki,
whereof he had become brother-in-law. Now after some time
Al-Rashid asked from Manjab a tale concerning the wiles of
womankind, and when the youth hung his head groundwards and
blushed before him, Harun said to him, "O Manjab, verily the
place of the Kings in privacy is also the place for laying aside
gravity." Said Manjab, "O Prince of True Believers, to-morrow
night (Inshallah!) I will tell thee a tale in brief concerning
the freaks of the gender feminine, and what things they do with
their mates." Accordingly when night came on, the Caliph sent for
and summoned Manjab to the presence, and when he came there he
kissed ground and said, "An it be thy will, O Commander of the
Faithful, that I relate thee aught concerning the wiles of wives,
let it be in a private place lest haply one of the slave-girls
hear me and any of them report my tale to the Queen." Quoth
Rashid, "This is the right rede which may not be blamed indeed!"
So he went with him to a private place concealed from the folk,
and took seat, he and the youth, and none beside, when Manjab
related to him the following

Tale of the Simpleton Husband.[FN#167]

It is related that there was a Badawi man who had a wife and he
dwelt under a tent of hair[FN#168] in the desert where, as is the
fashion of Arabs, he used to shift from site to site for the
purpose of pasturing his camels. Now the woman was of exceeding
beauty and comeliness and perfection, and she had a friend (also
a Badawi man) who at all times would come to her and have his
wicked will of her, after which he would wend his ways. But one
day of the days her lover visited her and said, "Wallahi, 'tis
not possible but that what time we sleep together, I and thou, we
make merry with thy husband looking on."--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 Six Hundred and Fifty-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 man
which was the friend of the Badawi's wife said to her, "Wallahi,
'tis not possible but that when we make merry, I and thou, thy
husband shall look upon us." Quoth she, "Why should we suffer at
such time of our enjoyment either my husband or any wight to be
present?" and quoth he, "This must needs be, and unless thou
consent I will take to me a mistress other than thyself." Then
said she, "How shall we enjoy ourselves with my husband looking
on? This is a matter which may not be managed." Hereupon the
woman sat down and took thought of her affair and how she should
do for an hour or so, and presently she arose and dug her
amiddlemost the tent a hole[FN#169] which would contain a man,
wherein she concealed her lover. Now, hard by the tent was a tall
sycamore tree,[FN#170] and as the noodle her husband was
returning from the wild the woman said to him, "Ho thou,
Such-an-one! climb up this tree and bring me therefrom a somewhat
of figs that we may eat them." Said he, "'Tis well;" and arising
he swarmed up the tree-trunk, when she signed to her lover who
came out and mounted and fell to riding upon her. But her mate
considered her and cried aloud, "What is this, O whore: doth a
man cavalcade thee before me and the while I am looking at thee?"
Then he came down from the tree in haste, but he saw no one, for
as soon as the lover had finished his business the good-wife
thrust him into the hole amiddlemost the tent and covered him
with a mat. When the husband went inside to the booth and met his
wife he found no stranger with her so said she to him, "O man,
thou hast sinned against me, saying, 'Verily, some one is riding
thee'; and thou hast slandered me by falsely charging me with
folly." Quoth he, "By Allah I saw thee with my own eyes;" but
quoth she, "Do thou sit here the while I have a look." Hereupon
she arose and swarmed up the trunk and sat upon one of the
branches, and as she peered at her spouse she shrieked aloud
crying, "O man, do thou have some regard for thine honour. Why do
on this wise and lie down and allow a man to ride thee, and at
this moment he worketh his will on thee." Said her husband,
"Beside me there is neither man nor boy." And said she, "Here I
am[FN#171] looking at thee from the top of this tree." Quoth he,
"O woman, this place must be haunted,[FN#172] so let us remove
hence;" and quoth she, "Why change our place? rather let us
remain therein." Hereupon the Caliph said to Manjab, "By Allah,
verily, this woman was an adulteress;" and the youth replied,
"Amongst womankind indeed are many more whorish than this. But of
that anon; and now do thou hear from me and learn of me this
marvellous tale anent

NOTE CONCERNING THE "TIRREA BEDE," NIGHT 655.

Scott refers to a tale in the "Bahar-Danush" (Bahar-i-Danish); or, "Garden of
Knowledge," translated by himself, story viii. lesson 4; chapter xii. vol.
iii. pp. 64-68. Cadell & Co., Strand, London, 1799. Five women come from a
town to draw water at a well; and, finding there a young Brahmin, become his
teachers and undertake to instruct him in the "Tirrea" or fifth "Veda"--there
being only four of these Hindu Scriptures. Each lesson consists of an
adventure showing how to cornute a husband, and the fourth runs as follows. I
leave them in Scott's language:--

The fourth lady through dread of the arrow of whose cunning the warrior of the
fifth heaven[FN#173] trembled in the sky, like the reed, having bestowed her
attention on the pilgrim bramin (Brahman), despatched him to an orchard; and
having gone home, said to her husband, "I have heard that in the orchard of a
certain husbandman there is a date tree, the fruit of which is of remarkably
fine flavour; but what is yet stranger, whoever ascends it, sees many
wonderful objects. If to-day, going to visit this orchard, we gather dates
from this tree, and also see the wonders of it, it will not be unproductive of
amusement." In short, she so worked upon her husband with flattering speeches
and caresses, that nolens volens he went to the orchard, and at the
instigation of his wife, ascended the tree. At this instant she beckoned to
the bramin, who was previously seated, expectantly, in a corner of the garden.

The husband, from the top of the tree, beholding what was not fit to be seen,
exclaimed in extreme rage, "Ah! thou shameless Russian-born[FN#174] wretch,
what abominable action is this?" The wife making not the least answer, the
flames of anger seized the mind of the man, and he began to descend from the
tree; when the bramin with activity and speed having hurried over the fourth
section of the Tirrea Bede,[FN#175] went his way.

VERSE.

The road to repose is that of activity and quickness.

The wife during her husband's descent from the tree having arranged her plan,
said, "Surely, man, frenzy must have deprived thy brain of the fumes of sense,
that having foolishly set up such a cry, and not reflecting upon thine own
disgrace (for here, excepting thyself, what male is present?), thou wouldst
fix upon me the charge of infidelity?" The husband, when he saw no person
near, was astonished, and said to himself, "Certainly, this vision must have
been miraculous."

The completely artful wife, from the hesitation of her husband, guessed the
cause, and impudently began to abuse him. Then instantly tying her vest round
her waist she ascended the tree. When she had reached the topmost branch, she
suddenly cried out, "O thou shameless man, what abominable action is this! If
thy evil star hath led thee from the path of virtue, surely thou mightest have
in secret ventured upon it. Doubtless to pull down the curtain of modesty from
thy eyes, and with such impudence to commit such a wicked deed, is the very
extreme of debauchery."

The husband replied, "Woman, do not ridiculously cry out, but be silent; for
such is the property of this tree, that whoever ascends it, sees man or woman
below in such situations." The cunning wife now came down, and said to her
husband, "What a charming garden and amusing spot is this! where one can
gather fruit, and at the same time behold the wonders of the world." The
husband replied, "Destruction seize the wonders which falsely accuse man of
abomination!" In short the devilish wife, notwithstanding the impudence of
such an action, escaped safely to her house, and the next day, according to
custom, attending at the well, introduced the bramin to the ladies, and
informed them of her worthy contrivance.[FN#176]

THE LOVES OF AL-HAYFA AND YUSUF.[FN#177]

I had a familiar in the Northern region who was called 'Adb
al-Jawad and he was one of the greatest of merchants there and
made of money; also he loved voyage and travel, and at whatever
time I visited him and we forgathered, I and he, we exchanged
citations of poetry. Now one day my heart yearned to visit him,
so I repaired to his place and found him there; and as we came
together we both sat down in friendly converse, I and he; and he
said to me "O my brother, do thou hear what happened and was
accomplished for me in these times. I travelled to the land of
Al-Yaman and therein met a familiar who, when we sat down to
talk, I and he, said, 'O my brother, verily there befel me and
betided me in the land of Al-Hind a case that was strange and an
adventure that was admirable and it ran as follows. There was
erewhile a King of the kings of India and one of her greatest,
who was abundant in money and troops and guards and he was called
Al-Mihrjan.[FN#178] This same was a lord of high degree and a
majestic and he had lived for a long while of his age without
having issue male or female. Wherefor he was full of cark and
care wanting one who after him would preserve his memory, so he
said in his mind one night of the nights, 'Whenas I die cut off
shall be my name, and effaced shall be my fame nor shall anyone
remember me.' So saying he raised both hands to Heaven and
humbled himself before Allah (be He extolled and exalted!) to
vouchsafe him a child who should outlive him with the view that
man might not lose the memory of him. Now one night as he was
sleeping a-bed dreaming and drowned in slumber behold, he heard a
Voice (without seeing any form) which said to him, 'O Mihrjan the
Sage, and O King of the Age, arouse thee this moment and go to
thy wife and lie with her and know her carnally, for she shall
indeed conceive of thee at this very hour and bear thee a child
which, an it be a boy shall become thine aider in all thine
affairs but will, an it prove a girl, cause thy ruin and thy
destruction and the uprooting of thy traces.' When Al-Mihrjan
heard from the Speaker these words and such sayings, he left his
couch without stay or delay in great joy and gladness and he went
to his wife and slept with her and swived her and as soon as he
arose from off her she said, 'O King of the Age, verily I feel
that I have become pregnant; and (Inshallah--if Almighty Allah
please!) this shall prove the case.'[FN#179] When Al-Mihrjan
heard the words of his wife he was glad and rejoiced at good news
and he caused that night be documented in the archives of his
kingdom. Then, when it was morning he took seat upon the throne
of his kingship and summoned the Astrologers and the Scribes of
characts and Students of the skies and told them what had been
accomplished to him in his night and what words he had heard from
the Voice; whereupon the Sages one and all struck tables of sand
and considered the ascendant. But each and every of them
concealed his thought and hid all he had seen nor would any
return a reply or aught of address would supply; and said they,
'O King of the Age, verily appearances in dreams hit the mark at
times and at times fly wide; for when a man is of a melancholic
humour he seeth in his sleep things which be terrible and
horrible and he waxeth startled thereat: haply this vision thou
hast beheld may be of the imbroglios of dreams so do thou commit
the reins to Him who all overreigns and the best Worker is He of
all that wisheth and willeth He.' Now when Al-Mihrjan heard these
words of the Sages and the Star-gazers he gifted and largessed
them and he freed the captives in prison mewed and he clothed the
widows and the poor and nude. But his heart remained in sore
doubt concerning what he had heard from the Voice and he was
thoughtful over that matter and bewildered and he knew not what
to do; and on such wise sped those days. Now, however, returneth
the tale to the Queen his Consort who, when her months had gone
by, proved truly to be pregnant and her condition showed itself,
so she sent to inform her husband thereof. He was gladdened and
rejoiced in the good news and when the months of gestation were
completed the labour-pains set in and she was delivered of a
girl-child (praise be to Him who had created and had perfected
what He had produced in this creation!), which was winsome of
face and lovesome of form and fair fashioned of limbs, with
cheeks rosaceous and eyne gracious and eyebrows continuous and
perfect in symmetrical proportion. Now after the midwives
delivered her from the womb and cut her navel-string and kohl'd
her eyes, they sent for King Al-Mihrjan and informed him that his
Queen had borne a maid- babe, but when the Eunuchs gave this
message, his breast was narrowed and he was bewildered in his
wits, and rising without stay or delay he went to his wife. Here
they brought to him the new-born when he uncovered her face and,
noting her piquancy and elegancy and beauty and brilliancy and
size and symmetry, his vitals fluttered and he was seized with
yearning sorrow for her fate; and he named her Al-Hayfa[FN#180]
for her seemlihead. Then he gifted the midwife'"--And Shahrazad
was surprised by the dawn of day 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 Six Hundred and Sixty-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 King
Al-Mihrjan largessed a robe of honour to the midwife and gifted
her with a thousand gold pieces and went forth from beside his
daughter. Then they committed her to wetnurses and drynurses and
governesses who reared her with the fairest rearing, and after
she had reached the age of four they brought to her divines who
lessoned her in the art of writing and of making
selections[FN#181] and presently she approved herself sharp of
wits, clever, loquent of tongue, eloquent of speech, sweet spoken
of phrase; and every day she increased in beauty and loveliness
and stature and perfect grace. And when she reached the age of
fourteen she was well read in science and she had perused the
annals of the past and she had mastered astrology and geomancy
and she wrote with caligraphic pen all the seven handwritings and
she was mistress of metres and modes of poetry and still she grew
in grace of speech. Now as her age reached her fourteenth year
her sire the Sultan chose for her a palace and settled her
therein and placed about her slave-girls, high-bosomed virgins
numbering an hundred, and each and every famous for beauty and
loveliness; and presently she selected of them a score who were
all maidenhoods, illustrious for comeliness and seemliness. These
she taught in verse and poetry and in the strangenesses of
history and in striking instruments of mirth and merriment until
they surpassed all the folk of their day; and she assiduously
enjoined upon them the drinking of wine pure and new and
boon-companionship with choice histories and strange tales and
the rare events of the time. Such was the case with Al-Hayfa; but
as regards her father, King Al-Mihrjan, as one night he was lying
abed pondering what he had heard from the Voice, suddenly there
addressed him a sound without a form and said, "O King of the
Age," whereat he was fully aroused by sore terror and his vitals
fluttered and his wits were bewildered and he was perplexed as to
his affair. So he took refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned
and repeated somewhat of the Koran and fenced himself about with
certain of the holy names of Allah the Munificent; then he would
have returned to his couch but was unable even to place cheek on
pillow. Presently sounded the Voice a second time, saying, "O
King of the Age, O Mihrjan, verily shalt thou die by reason of
her;" and forthwith improvised the following couplets,

"Ho thou! Hear, O Mihrjan, what to thee shall be said * Learn the
drift of my words in these lines convey'd:
Thy daughter, Al-Hayfa (the girded round * With good, and with
highest of grade array'd)
Shall bring with right hand to thee ruin-bowl * And reave thee of
realm with the sharp-biting blade."[FN#182]

Now when Al-Mihrjan had heard what the Voice had spoken of verse
and had produced for him of prose, he was wholly aroused from his
sleep and became like one drunken with wine who knew not what he
did and his vitals fluttered and increased his cark and care and
anxious thought. So he removed from that site into another stead
and was stirred up and went awandering about. Then he set his
head upon the pillow but was unable to close his eyelids and the
Voice drew nearer and cried upon him in frightful accents and
said, "O Mihrjan, dost thou not hearken to my words and
understand my verse; to wit, that thy daughter Al-Hayfa shall
bequeath to thee shame and thou shalt perish by cause of her?"
Then the Unseen One recited these couplets,[FN#183]

"I see thee, O Mihrjan, careless-vain * who from hearing the
words of the wise dost abstain:
I see Al-Hayfa, by potent lord * Upraised in her charms and
speech sweet of strain,
Who shall home thee in grave sans a doubt and she * Shall seize
thy king-ship and reave thy reign."

But when Al-Mihrjan had heard the words of the Voice and what it
had urged upon him of poetry and of prose-addresses, he arose
from his rest in haste and anxiety until Allah caused the morn to
morrow and break in its sheen and it shone, whereupon the King
summoned the Mathematicians and the Interpreters of dreams and
the Commentators on the Koran; and, when they came between his
hands, he related to them his vision, fully and formally, and
they practised their several arts, making all apparent to them;
but they concealed the truth and would not reveal it, saying to
him, "Indeed the consequence of thy vision is auspicious."-- And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night, and that
was

The Six Hundred and Sixty-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
an of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Astrologers said to King Al-Mihrjan, "Verily the consequence of
thy vision is auspicious;" and on the second night Iblis the
Accursed appeared to him under the bodily form of a handsome man
and said, "Ho thou the King, I am he who terrified thee
yesternight in thy dream, for the reason that thou hast ruined
the Monastery of the Archers[FN#184] wherein I lay homed. However
an thou wilt edify it again I will favour thee with my counsel,
ho thou the King!" Al-Mihrjan replied, "Upon me be its rebuilding
an thou wilt honour me with thy advice, ho thou the Voice!"
Hereupon Iblis fell to lying with him and saying, "Verily I am
thine aider in building thee a palace by the river
Al-Kawa'ib,[FN#185] O thou will of me and desire of me!" (Now the
folk heard these words spoken aloud.) Then Al-Mihrjan arose from
his sleep joyful and cheerful and when morning came he summoned
the Mathematicians and Architects and Masons and bade them
rebuild the Monastery of the Archers; so they obeyed his bidding
until they had completed it in the handsomest fashion and with
the best of workmanship. After that the King ordered they
construct for his daughter Al-Hayfa a palace unsurpassed by any
edifice and perfectly builded and decorated, hard by the river
Al-Kawa'ib; moreover that it should be situate in a wady, a
hill-girt plain through which meandered the stream. So they
obeyed his bidding and laid its foundations and marked with large
stones the lines thereof which measured a parasang of length by a
parasang of breadth. Then they showed their design to the King,
who gathering together his army returned with them to the city.
Presently the Architects and Master-masons fell to building it
square of corners and towering in air over the height of an
hundred ells and an ell; and amiddlemost thereof stood a
quadrangular hall with four-fold saloons, one fronting other,
whilst in each was set apart a cabinet for private converse. At
the head of every saloon a latticed window projected over the
garden whereof the description shall follow in its place; and
they paved the ground with vari-coloured marbles and alabastrine
slabs which were dubbed with bezel stones and onyx[FN#186] of
Al-Yaman. The ceilings were inlaid with choice gems and lapis
lazuli and precious metals: the walls were coated with white
stucco painted over with ceruse[FN#187] and the frieze was
covered with silver and gold and ultramarine and costly minerals.
Then they set up for the latticed windows colonnettes of gold and
silver and noble ores, and the doors of the sitting chamber were
made of chaunders-wood alternating with ebony which they studded
with jewels and arabesque'd with gold and silver. Also they
placed in each sitting-room a pillar of Comorin lign-aloes and
the best of sandal-wood encrusted with gems; and over the
speak-room they threw cupolas supported upon arches and
connecting columns and lighted in the upper part by skylights of
crystal and carnelian and onyx. And at the head of each saloon
was a couch of juniper-wood whose four legs were of elephants'
ivories studded with rubies and over each was let down a
hanging[FN#188] of golden weft and a network of gems, whilst
higher than the whole was a latticed casement adorned with pearls
which were threaded upon golden wire and curtains bearing scented
satchels of ambergris. The furniture of the divans was of raw
silk stuffed with ostrich- down and the cushions were purfled
with gold. The floors of all the saloons were spread with carpets
and rugs embroidered with sendal, and in the heart of the Great
Hall amiddlemost the four saloons rose a marble jet-d'eau, square
of shape, whose corners were cunningly wrought and whose floor
and marge were set with gems of every hue. They also placed upon
the edges of that fountain figures fashioned of gold and silver
representing all manner birds and beasts, each modelled according
to his several tint and peculiar form; their bellies too were
hollow and from the fountain was conducted a conduit which led
the water into their insides and caused it gush from their mouths
so that they jetted one at other like two hosts about to do
battle. After this the same water returned to the middle of the
fountain and thence flowed into the gardens, of which a
description will follow in its place.[FN#189] Also the walls of
the Great Hall were variegated with wondrous pictures in gold and
lapis lazuli and precious materials of every kind, and over the
doors of the sitting-places they hung candelabra of crystal with
chains of gold wherein were set jewels and jacinths and the
costliest stones; after which they inscribed upon the entrance of
the speak-rooms couplets to the following purport,

"Clear and clean is our seance from slanderous foe; * And from
envious rival whose aim is blame:
None hither may come save the cup-boy, and eke * Cup-comrades who
never our fame defame."

Upon the chandeliers themselves were inscribed these lines,

"I am raised in reverence high o'er head * For they see that my
gift is the boon of light:
I'm a pleasure to eyesight, so up with you all, * O Seers, and
joy ye the joys of my sight."

And upon the Palace-door was inscribed the following quatrain,

"This Mansion's adorned * As delight to mans eye;
O'er its door writ is 'Welcome,' * So safely draw nigh."

And when they had finished this inscription over the doorway,
they went forth from the entrance which stood at the head of the
Great Hall and proceeded to a square of large space abounding in
trees and enjoyable for rills; and they surrounded it with a
fencing-wall built of rough stone which they stuccoed over and
figured with various paintings. Then they planted this garden
with all manner fruit-bearing trees and fragrant herbs and
flowers and firstlings of every kind and hue and they trained the
branches after a wonderful fashion, leading under their shade
leats and runnels of cool water; and the boughs were cunningly
dispread so as to veil the ground which was planted with grains
of divers sorts and greens and all of vegetation that serveth for
the food of man. Also they provided it with a watering wheel
whose well was revetted with alabaster[FN#190]--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 Six Hundred and Sixty-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
Architects set up in that palace-garden a water-wheel whose well
was revetted with alabaster and whose wood-work and wheel were of
chaunders-wood, whilst its pitchers were of fine porcelain and
its cordage[FN#191] was of raw silk. And when they were free of
this work they edified amongst the scented shrubs and blossoms a
towering dome based upon four-square walls of variegated marbles
and alabasters studded with carbuncles[FN#192] and its ceiling
was supported upon columns of the finest stone with joinery of
lign-aloes and sandal, and they dubbed its cupola with jewels and
precious stones and arabesque'd[FN#193] it with gold and silver.
Then they made therein four saloons more, each fronting other,
and at the head of one and all was a latticed window impending
over the bloomy shrubs and fragrant herbs; the colonnettes of
those casements were silvern whilst the shutters were of
sandal-wood plated and studded with precious metals; and over the
lintels thereof was an ornamental frieze of gold inscribed with
lines of verse which shall be described in its due place. And
they inlaid that frieze with rubies and jacinths until it made
the cupola resemble the domes of Paradise. Moreover they trained
the flowering shrubs and the perfumed herbs to overrun with their
tendrils the casements in the drum of the dome, and when they had
completed the work and had embellished it with all adornments
they pierced for it an entrance and ranged around it three
ramparts which, built up with large stones, were in breadth seven
cubits. Then they edified for the Palace an impregnable gateway
of Chinese steel whereunto led flights of alabastrine steps which
were continued to the highmost parts, and lastly they derived the
river Al-Kawa'ib till it surrounded the edifice on every side and
encircled it as signet-ring girdeth finger or wristlet wrist. Now
when the Architects and Master-masons had made an end of building
the Palace and its domes and had finished laying out and planting
the parterres, they went in to King Al-Mihrjan and kissing ground
between his hands informed him thereof; and he, receiving this
report, at once took his daughter, Al-Hayfa, and mounting horse,
he and the Lords of his land rode forth till they reached the
river Al-Kawa'ib which ran at three days' distance from his
capital. When he arrived there and looked upon the Palace and its
elevation in fortalice-form he was pleased therewith and so were
all of his suite and retinue; whereupon he went up to it and
beholding the ordinance and the ornamentation and the cupolas and
the gardens and the edification and embellishment of the whole,
he sent for the Architects and Master-masons and the artificers
whom he thanked for their work, and he bestowed upon them robes
of honour and gifted and largessed them and assigned to them
rations and pay and allowances. So they kissed ground before him
and went their ways. Then King Al-Mihrjan and his host withdrew
within the Palace, and he bade serve up the trays of viands and
sumptuous food for a banquet, after which he and his abode three
days in eating and drinking and diversion and disport; and he
gave robes of honour to his Wazirs and Emirs and the Grandees of
his kingdom, and in fine issued orders for their departure. When
they went forth from him, he commanded to summon Al-Hayfa and her
women with all their belongings; and she, having made act of
presence and having ascended to the Palace and considered it with
its beauty and artifice and ornamentation, was pleased and
rejoiced therein. The father abode with her three days, and then
farewelling her returned to his capital; and she on his departure
bade her slave-girls distribute the couches about the saloons
placing in each one a seat of ebony plated with glittering gold,
whose legs were of elephant's ivory, and over one and all they
reared canopies of silk and brocade adorned with jewels and
precious metals and bespread them with mattresses and cushions
and pillows, and over the floor of the palaces they laid down
carpets whereupon was orfrayed this couplet,

"O Friend hereon seated be blythe and gay * Unless hereto bound
and debarred of way."[FN#194]

Then they set upon them settees for seats whereupon were
inscribed these couplets,

"O Seat, be thy beauty increased evermore; * Fair fall thee with
happiness choice and meet;
An I fail in life through my slip and sin, * To-morrow in Heav'n
I'll give thee seat."

Then[FN#195] the attendants decorated the whole Palace until it
became like unto one of the Mansions of Heaven, and when the
women had done her bidding, Al-Hayfa was much pleased, so she
took one of the slave-girls by the hand and walked with the rest
of them around the Palace considering its artifice and its
embellishment, especially the paintings which covered the walls;
and they rejoiced thereat, marvelling at the cunning decorations
and they were grateful to the Architects who had builded and
presented all these representations. And when Al-Hayfa reached
the terrace- roof of the Palace she descended by its long flight
of steps which led to the river-side, and bidding the door be
thrown open she gazed upon the water which encircled it like ring
around finger or armlet round arm, and admired its breadth and
its swiftness of streaming; and she magnified the work and
admired the gateway of steel for its strength and power of
defence and sued for pardon of Almighty Allah.[FN#196]--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared
with that I would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran
suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that
was

The Six Hundred and Seventieth 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

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