Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 by Richard F. Burton

Part 4 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

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 Yusuf
and Ibrahim the Cup-companion hearing the song sung by Mubdi',
the third handmaiden, both fell to the floor aswoon; and when
they revived after an hour or so, Ibrahim largessed to her one
thousand dinars and a robe purfled with glistening gold. Then she
drained her cup and crowning it again passed it to her compeer
whose name was Nasim[FN#281] and who took it and set it in front
of her. Then hending in hand the lute she played upon it with
manifold modes and lastly spake these couplets,

"O Blamer, blaming me for draining lonely wine, * Stint carping,
I this day to Holy War incline:
Oh fair reflection she within her wine-cup shows * Her sight
makes spirit dullest earthly flesh refine:
How mention her? By Allah 'tis forbid in writ * To note the
meaner charms in Eden-garth divine."

When the fourth handmaiden had ended her verse, Ibrahim gifted
her with one thousand dinars and presented a sumptuous robe to
her owner, then she drank off her cup and passed it to her
compeer hight Al-Badr[FN#282] and she sang the following lines,

"One robbed of heart amid song and wine * And Love that smiteth
with babe of eyne:
His voice to the lute shall make vitals pain * And the wine shall
heal all his pangs and pine:
Hast e'er seen the vile drawing near such draught * Or miser
close-fisted thereto incline?
The wine is set free in the two-handed jar[FN#283] * Like sun of
summer in Aries' sign.

When she had finished Ibrahim bade reward her like the rest with
gold and gear and she passed her cup to her compeer whose name
was Radah.[FN#284] The sixth handmaiden drained it and performed
in four-and-twenty modes after which she sang these couplets,

"O thou wine-comrade languor cease to show; * Hand me the morning
draught and ne'er foreslow;
And prize fair poesy and sweet musick hear * And shun the 'say'
and naught of 'said' beknow:
The wine of day-dawn drunk with joyous throng * From house of
Reason garreth Grief to go:
The man of Kays aye loved his wine right well * And from his lips
made honey'd verse to flow;
And in like guise[FN#285] came Isa singing sweet * For such was
custom of the long-ago.

When Radah ended her verse and her improvising of mysterious
significance, and secret, King Yusuf and Ibrahim the Cup-
companion tore their robes from their bodies until naught
remained upon them save only the bag-breeches about their waists.
Then the twain shrieked aloud and at one moment and they fell
fainting to the floor, unheeding the world and their own selves
from the excess of that was in their heads of wine and hearing of
poetry spoken by the slave-girl. They remained in such condition
for a while of time, after which they recovered though still
amazed, a-drunken. Then they donned other dresses and sat down to
listen as before, when Radah drained her goblet and filled and
passed it to her compeer whose name was Na'im;[FN#286] and she
taking her lute, improvised the following verses,

"My poesy-gem showeth clear of shine, * When appears that pearl
with cheek coralline:
'Tis marvel the cloud cannot quench the blaze * That fire in the
heart and this water of eyne!
Then alas for Love who hath made me woe! * Pine that rends and
racks limbs and vitals o' mine:
O thou Well of Poetry well forth thy gems * O'er our drink when
our cups overbrim with wine:
And sing in her presence, for Envy hath fled * And flies jealous
spite and all joys combine.
Oh the charms of wine which enthral the mind, * Clear and
clearing sprites by its sprite refined!"

When the seventh handmaiden had ended her verses, King Yusuf and
Ibrahim rejoiced with exceeding joy and each of them bade gift
her with a thousand gold pieces and quoth the courtier, "By Allah
Almighty, none of the Emirs or of the Wazirs or of the Kings or
of the Caliphs hath attained excellence like unto this handmaid."
Hereupon Na'im passed her goblet to her compeer and she, whose
name was Surur,[FN#287] tossed it off and taking in hand her
lute, sang these couplets,

"How is't with heart of me all cares waylay * As drowned in
surging tears of Deluge-day?
I weep for Time endured not to us twain * As though Time's honour
did not oft betray.
O my lord Yusuf, O my ending hope, * By Him who made thee lone on
Beauty's way,
I dread lest glorious days us twain depart * And youth's bright
world be dimmed to old and grey;
O Lord! be Parting's palm for us undyed[FN#288] * Ere death, nor
carry this my lord away."

When the eighth handmaiden had ended her song, the twain
marvelled at her eloquence and were like to rend that was upon
them of raiment--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 Seven Hundred and Fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and goodwill!" 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 Yusuf
and Ibrahim the Cup-companion were like to rend that was upon
them of raiment and they joyed with extreme joy after hearing
what Surur had sung to them. Hereupon she passed her cup to her
fellow, hight Zahrat al-Hayy,[FN#289] who took it and recited as
follows,

"O cup-boy, I crave thee cup-comrade to be * And hearten my heart
of its malady;
Nor pass me the bowls for I sorely dread * when drunken all
dolours of Love- lowe to dree,
To be vilely reviled in the sittings of men, * To be frowardly
treated where zephyrs play free.
God-blest is the Lute for her melodies * Which pain me with
painfullest penalty,
With the jewels of speech whose transcendent charms * Like fires
of Jahim[FN#290] burn the vitals of me.
By Allah, show ruth, be compassionate, * For Allah deals pardon
compassionately.

Yusuf and Ibrahim, hearing her words, were gladdened with
excessive gladness and cried to the ninth handmaid, "May the lord
be copious to thee like the fruitful years!" Then the Cup-
companion bade gift her with one thousand gold pieces as like-
wise did her lord. Hereupon she passed her cup to the tenth
handmaiden known as Muhjat al-Kulub[FN#291] who fell to
improvising these couplets,

"O Blamer, who canst not my case explain; * Cease, for who blame
friends shall of blame complain;
And whoso unknoweth the workings of Love * Mankind shall reckon
him mean and vain:
Alas for Love, O ye tribe-landers, I * Am weaned that wont
nipples of union to drain.
I have learnt the whole of Love's governance * Since my baby days
amid cradles lain.
Forbear by Allah to ask of my state * How shall morn one banned
with debtor bane?
O thou jewel of speech, O thou Yusuf, laud * To the Lord who
robed thee with charms amain!
Deign the God of 'Arsh make thy days endure * In wealth and
honour sans pause or wane;
E'en as Ishak's son[FN#292] every gift conjoined * Amid men,
making rulers to serve him fain."

When Muhjat al-Kulub ended her song, Yusuf gifted her with a
splendid robe and a thousand gold pieces as eke did Ibrahim and
presently the courtier said to the handmaiden, "Who is Ibrahim
that thou shouldst sing of him in song?" She replied, "Wallahi, O
my lord, he is son of Ishak, amongst the pleasant ones sans peer
and a cup-companion to the Caliphs dear and the pearl concealed
and the boon friend of our lord the Commander of the Faithful
Al-Maamun and his familiar who to him joy and enjoyment maketh
known. Ah! happy the man who can look upon him and forgather with
him and company with him before his death; and verily by Allah he
is the Master of the Age and the one Wonder of the World.
Moreover, by the Almighty, O my lord, wert thou to see this lute
fall into his hands, thou wouldst hear it converse in every
language with the tongues of birds and beasts and of the sons of
Adam: and well nigh would the place dance ere he had improvised a
word. And he the horizons can make to joy and lovers with
overlove can destroy, nor shall any after his decease such
excellence of speech employ." All this, and Muhjat al-Kulub knew
not who was sitting beside them as she went on to praise Ibrahim.
Hereupon he took the lute from her hand and smote it till thou
hadst deemed that within the instrument lurked babes of the
Jinns[FN#293] which were crying and wailing while spake the
strings, and in fine King Yusuf imagined that the palace had
upflown with them between heaven and earth. And the handmaidens
sang to his tunes in sore astonishment; when Ibrahim designed to
talk but King Yusuf cut kin short and fell to saying poetry in
these couplets,

"By the rights of our lord who shows ruth in extreme, * And Giver
and Guide and boon Prophet we deem,
And by Ka'abah resplendent and all its site * And by Zemzem, Safa
and the wall Hatim,
Lo! thou'rt hight Ibrahim, and suppose I say * Thee sooth, my
wits thou must surely esteem:
And thy face shows signalled with clearest eyne * Deliv'rance
followed by Ya and Mim."[FN#294]

Now Ibrahim kept his secret and did not manifest himself to any,
but presently he also improvised and spake in these words
preserving the measure and rhyme,

"By him who chose Musa, the Speaker,[FN#295] by Him * who
made[FN#296] Hashimite orphan select and supreme!
Ibrahim am I not, but I deem this one * The Caliph who sits by
Baghdadian stream;
Of his grace the heir of all eloquent arts * And no partner hath
he in all gifts that beseem."

And when Ibrahim had finished his verses, Yusuf said to him, "By
the virtue of Almighty Allah, an I guess aright and my
shot[FN#297] go not amiss, thou art Ibrahim the musician;" but
the courtier retained his incognito and replied, "O my lord,
Ibrahim is my familiar friend and I am a man of Al-Basrah who
hath stolen from him sundry of his modes and airs for the lute
and other instruments and I have the practice of improvisation."
Now when Ibrahim was speaking behold, there came one of the
Caliph's pages and he walked up to the head of the assembly
bearing with him a letter, which he handed to his lord. But Yusuf
put forth his hand and took it, and after reading the
superscription he learnt that his companion was Ibrahim without
doubt or mistake, so he said to him, "By Allah, O my lord, verily
thou hast slighted me, for that thou hast not informed me of
thyself." Quoth the other, "By Allah, I feared from thee lest I
give thee excess of trouble;" and quoth Yusuf, "Do thou take to
thee all these handmaids whom the Commander of the Faithful hath
bid thee receive." Ibrahim replied, "Nay, I will not accept from
thee the hand- maidens but rather will I fend from thee the
Prince of True Believers;" however, King Yusuf rejoined, "I have
gifted them to the Viceregent of Allah: an thou take them not I
will send them by other than thyself." Presently King Yusuf set
apart for the Caliph great store of gifts, and when the
handmaidens heard of that they wept with sore weeping. Ibrahim,
hearing their wailing, found it hard to bear, and he also shed
tears for the sobbing and crying of them; and presently he
exclaimed, "Allah upon thee, O Yusuf leave these ten handmaidens
by thee and I will be thy ward with the Prince of True
Believers." But Yusuf answered, "Now by the might of Him who
stablished the mountains stable, unless thou bear them away with
thee I will despatch them escorted by another." Hereupon Ibrahim
took them and farewelled King Yusuf and fared forth and hastened
his faring till the party arrived at Baghdad, the House of Peace,
where he went up into the Palace of the Commander of the
Faithful-- 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 Seven Hundred and Seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when
Ibrahim reached Baghdad and went up to the Palace of the
Commander of the Faithful and stood in the presence he was asked,
"What hast thou brought for us from thy journey, O Ibrahim?"
whereto he answered, "O our lord, I have come to thee with all
thou willest and wishest that of rede be right and of word
apposite." Quoth he, "And what may that be?" and quoth the other,
"The ten handmaids:" and so saying he set them before the Caliph,
whereupon they kissed ground and did him suit and service and
deprecated for him and greeted him with blessings, and each and
every of them addressed him in tongue most eloquent and with
theme most prevalent. The Prince of True Believers hugely admired
them, marvelling at their deftness of address and their sweetness
of speech which he had never witnessed in any other; and he was
delighted with their beauty and loveliness and their stature and
symmetrical grace, and he wondered with extreme wonderment how
their lord had consented they should be brought before him. Then
cried he, "O Ibrahim, what hath been thy case with the owner of
these damsels, and did he commit them to thee despite himself in
anger and care or with resignation of mind and broadening of
bosom and joy and satisfaction?" "O my lord," said Ibrahim,
"verily he made them over to me in none except the best of
dispositions, and Allah give him length of life for a youth! How
benign was his countenance and how beautiful, and how perfect and
how liberal were his hands and prompt to act, and how excellent
were his wits and how goodly and gracious was his society and how
yielding was his nature and how great was his dignity and how
just were his dealings with his lieges! By Allah, O Commander of
the Faithful, when I went to him from thee I found him outside
his city intending for the hunt and chase and about to enjoy
himself in pleasurable case, but seeing our coming he met me and
salam'd to me and greeted me and rejoiced in me with extreme joy.
All this, and he knew me not nor did I on my part know him; but
he took me with him and returned to town, and as we entered he
was met by the Lords of the land and the lieges who prayed for
him; so I knew that man to be their King and Captain of
commandment, also that he was equitable to his subjects. Then he
made me alight in his House of Hospitality, and went up into his
Palace, after which he sent to call me and I obeyed his summons,
when he set apart for me an apartment under his own roof and
taking me by the hand led me thereto, where I found everything
the best that could be. Anon he despatched for us wine and wax
candles and perfumes and fruits fresh and dry and whatnot of that
which becometh such assembly; and, when this was done, he bade
summon the ten handmaidens, and they also took their seats in the
session, and they smote their instruments and they sang verse
wherein each one excelled her companion. But one of them insisted
in her song upon the name of me, saying, 'None availeth to
compose such lines save Ibrahim the Cup-companion, the son of
Ishak.' Now I had denied myself to their lord and acquainted him
not with my name; but when the damsel had finished her verse, I
largessed to her a thousand gold pieces and asked her, 'Who may
be this Ibrahim whereat thou hast hinted in thy song?' Said she,
'He is the boon-companion of the Caliph and he is unique among
the pleasant'; then she fell to praising me with praise galore
than which naught could be more, unknowing me the while, until I
took the lute from her hand and smote it with a touch unlike
their play. Hereby their lord discovered me and said in his
verse, 'Thou art Ibrahim without doubt or mistake'; but still I
denied myself, replying, 'I am a man from Al-Basrah and a
familiar of Ibrahim the Master-Musician': And on this wise I
answered him, when behold, there came up to us a page bearing a
rescript from thee. So King Yusuf took it from his hand and read
the address when he made certain that I was Ibrahim, the
Cup-companion, and having learnt my name he blamed me saying, 'O
Ibrahim, thou hast denied thyself to me.' 'O my lord,' I replied,
'Twas that I feared for thee excess of trouble'; after which
quoth he, 'Verily these ten damsels are a free gift from me to
the Commander of the Faithful.' Hearing these words I refused to
receive them and promised on my return to the Caliph that I would
defend their lord from all detraction, but he cried, 'O Ibrahim,
unless thou take them I will forward them with other than
thyself' And lastly, O Prince of True Believers, he presented to
me fifty slave-girls and as many Mamelukes and an hundred and
fifty negro-serviles and twenty steeds of purest blood, with
their housings and furniture, and four hundred she-camels and
twenty pods of musk."[FN#298] Then having told his tale, the
Cup-companion fell to commending Yusuf, and the Caliph inclined
ear to him admiring at this man and his generosity and his
openness of hand and the eloquence of his tongue and the
excellence of his manners, until Al-Maamun desired to forgather
with him and work him weal and gift him with liberal gifts.
Presently the Caliph bade summon the ten handmaidens and the hour
was past supper-tide, at which time Ibrahim the Cup-companion was
seated beside him without other being present. And as soon as the
girls came before him the Caliph bade them take their seats, and
when they obeyed his order the wine cups went merrily round, and
the ten were directed to let him hear somewhat of their chaunting
and playing. So they fell to smiting their instruments of mirth
and merriment and singing their songs, one after other, and each
as she ended her poetry touched the Caliph with delight until it
came to the last of them, who was hight Muhjat al-Kulub;--And
Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and
ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad,
"How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and
delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I
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 Seven Hundred and Ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the last
poetical piece recited by the ten damsels to the Commander of the
Faithful was by Muhjat al-Kulub; and he upon hearing it rose at
once to his feet and shrieked and fell aswoon for an hour of
time. And when he recovered he cried, "By Allah, O Muhjat
al-Kulub and Oh of eyne the coolth, do thou repeat to me what
thou hast said." Hereupon she touched her instrument with another
touch accompanying the repetition of her poetry in a style wholly
unlike the first, and she repeated her song in the mode and form
Nahawand.[FN#299] But when the Caliph heard her, his wits were
wildered, and he rent that was upon him of raiment, and he fell
fainting to the floor until Ibrahim the Cup-companion and the ten
handmaidens deemed him dead. But as he revived after an hour of
time he said to the handmaiden, "O Muhjat al-Kulub, ask and it
shall be granted to thee. "I pray," quoth she, "first of Allah
and then of the Commander of the Faithful that he restore us, all
the ten, unto our lord;" and he granted her request after he had
gifted them all and largessed them.[FN#300] He also wrote to
their owner, King Yusuf, a royal Rescript appointing him Sultan
over all the kingdoms that were in and about the land of Al-Sind;
and moreover that whenas the Caliph might be absent from his good
city of Baghdad, Yusuf should take his place in bidding and
forbidding and ordering and governing. This ended, he despatched
the ten slave-girls with a body of his Chamberlains after giving
them wealth galore and of presents and rarities great store; and
they fared forth from him and ceased not faring till they reached
the city of Al-Sind. Now when the ten handmaidens drew nigh
thereto they sent to inform King Yusuf of their coming, and he
commissioned his Wazir Mohammed bin Ibrahim to meet and receive
them, and he caused them enter the Palace, wondering the while
that his ten bondswomen had not found favour with the Prince of
True Believers. So he summoned them to his presence and asked
them thereanent, and they answered by relating all that had
befallen them; and presently Muhjat al-Kulub presented to him the
Royal Rescript, and when he read it he increased in joy and
delight.[FN#301] Now[FN#302] when supper was over the Prince of
True Believers said to Ibn Ahyam, "Needs must thou relate unto us
a story which shall solace us; and said the other, "O Commander
of the Faithful, I have heard a tale touching one of the Kings."
"What is that?" asked the Caliph, whereupon Ibn Ahyam fell to
relating the adventures of

THE THREE PRINCES OF CHINA.[FN#303]

Whilome there was a King in the land of Al-S¡n and he had three
male children to whose mother befel a mysterious malady. So they
summoned for her Sages and leaches of whom none could understand
her ailment and she abode for a while of time strown upon her
couch. At last came a learned physician to whom they described
her disorder and he declared, "Indeed this sickness cannot be
healed save and except by the Water of Life, a treasure that can
be trove only in the land Al-'Ir k." When her sons heard these
words they said to their sire, "There is no help but that we make
our best endeavour and fare thither and thence bring for our
mother the water in question." Hereupon the King gat ready for
them a sufficiency of provaunt for the way and they farewelled
him and set forth intending for Barbarian-land.[FN#304] The three
Princes ceased not travelling together for seven days, at the end
of which time one said to other, "Let us separate and let each
make search in a different stead, so haply shall we hit upon our
need." So speaking they parted after dividing their viaticum and,
bidding adieu to one another, each went his own way. Now the
eldest Prince ceased not wending over the wastes and none
directed him to a town save after a while when his victual was
exhausted and he had naught remaining to eat. At that time he
drew near to one of the cities where he was met at the entrance
by a Jewish man who asked him saying, "Wilt thou serve, O
Moslem?" Quoth the youth to himself, "I will take service and
haply Allah shall discover to me my need." Then said he aloud, "I
will engage myself to thee;" and said the Jew, "Every day thou
shalt serve me in yonder Synagogue, whose floor thou shalt sweep
and clean its mattings and rugs and thou shalt scour the
candlesticks." "'Tis well," replied the Prince, after which he
fell to serving in the Jew's house, until one day of the days
when his employer said to him, "O Youth, I will bargain with thee
a bargain." "And what may that be?" asked the young Prince, and
the man answered, "I will condition with thee for thy daily food
a scone and a half but the broken loaf thou shalt not devour nor
shalt thou break the whole bread; yet do thou eat thy sufficiency
and whoso doth contrary to our agreement we will flay[FN#305] his
face. So, an it be thy desire to serve, thou art welcome." Now of
his inexperience the Prince said to him, "We will serve thee;"
whereupon his employer rationed him with a scone and a half and
went forth leaving him in the Synagogue. When it was noon the
youth waxed anhungered so he ate the loaf and a half; and about
mid-afternoon the Jew came to him and finding that he had
devoured the bread asked him thereanent and the other answered,
"I was hungry and I ate up all." Cried the Jew, "I made compact
with thee from the beginning that thou shouldst eat neither the
whole nor the broken," and so saying he fared forth from him and
presently brought a party of Jews, who in that town numbered some
fifty head, and they seized the youth and slew him and bundling
up the body in a mat[FN#306] set it in a corner of the synagogue.
Such was his case; but as regards the Cadet Prince, he ceased not
wayfaring and wending from town to town until Fate at last threw
him into the same place where his brother had been slain and
perchance as he entered it he found the same Jew standing at the
Synagogue-door. The man asked him, "Wilt thou serve, O Moslem?"
and as the youth answered "Yea verily," he led the new comer to
his quarters. After this the Jew had patience for the first day
and the second day--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 Seven Hundred and Eleventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is which is
benefiting and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that
the King's son tarried with the Jewish man the first day and the
second day, after which his employer did with him even as he had
done by his brother before him; to wit, he slew him and wrapping
him in a mat placed his corpse beside that of the eldest Prince.
On this wise it happed to these twain; but as regards the
youngest of the three, he ceased not travelling from town to town
and enduring excessive fatigue and hunger and nakedness until by
decree of Destiny and by determination of the Predestinator he
was thrown into the hands of the same Jew whom he found standing
at the Synagogue-door. Here the man accosted him, saying, "Wilt
thou serve, O Moslem?" and the Youth agreeing he imposed upon him
the same pact which he had made with his two brothers, and the
Prince said "'Tis well, O Master." Then quoth the Jew, "Do thou
sweep the Synagogue and cleanse it and shake out the mats and
rugs;" and quoth the other, "Good!" But when the Prince left him
and went into the building, his glance fell upon the two bundles
of matting wherein were wrapped the corpses of his brothers, so
he drew near to them and, raising a corner of the covering, found
the bodies stinking and rotten. Hereat he arose and fared forth
the Synagogue and opening a pit in the ground took up his
brothers (and he sorrowing over them and weeping) and buried
them. Then he returned to the building and, rolling up the mats,
heaped them together and so with the rugs, after which he built a
fire under them until the whole were burnt and after he took down
the candlesticks one and all and brake them to bits. Now when it
was mid-afternoon behold, the Jew came to the Synagogue and found
a bonfire and all the furniture thereof lying in ashes and when
he saw this he buffeted his face and cried, "Wherefore, O Moslem,
hast thou done on such wise?" Replied the youth, "Thou hast
defrauded me, O Master," and rejoined the Jew, "I have not
cheated thee of aught. However, O Moslem, hie thee home and bid
thy mistress slaughter a meat-offering and cook it and do thou
bring it hither forthright." "'Tis well, O my Master," said the
Prince. Now the Jew had two boy children in whom he delighted and
the youth going to his house knocked at the door which was opened
to him by the Jewess and she asked, "What needest thou?" Quoth
the Prince to the Jew's wife, "O my mistress, my master hath sent
me to thee saying, 'Do thou slaughter the two lambs that are with
thee and fifty chickens and an hundred pair[FN#307] of pigeons,'
for all the masters are with him in the Synagogue and 'tis his
desire to circumcise the boys."[FN#308] The Jew's wife replied to
him, "And who shall slaughter me all this?" when he rejoined, "I
will." So she brought out to him the lambs and the chickens and
the pigeons and he cut the throats of all. The Jewess hereupon
arose and cried upon her neighbours to aid her in the cooking
until the meats were well done and all were dished up. Then the
youth hending the ten porcelain plates in hand went with them to
a house in the Ghetto[FN#309] and rapped at the door and said,
"My Master hath sent all these to you." Meanwhile the Jew was in
the Synagogue unknowing of such doings; and as the Prince was
setting down the last of the plates which he carried with him,
behold! the Jew came to that house because he had noticed his
servant's absence, so he repaired thither to see concerning the
business of the meat offering wherewith he had charged him. He
found his home in a state of pother and up-take and down-set and
he asked the folk, "What is the matter?" They related the whole
to him and said, "Thou sentest to demand such-and-such," and when
he heard this case he beat his face with his brogue[FN#310]--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 Seven Hundred and Twelfth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night." She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that, when the
Jew came to his home and looked around, he found it in the
condition which the youth had contrived, so he beat his face with
his brogue and cried, "O the ruin of my house!" Suddenly the
prince entered and his employer asked him "Wherefore doest thou
on such wise, O Moslem?" Answered the youth, "Verily thou hast
defrauded me," and rejoined the other, "No; I have not cheated
thee on any wise." Then said the Jew in his mind:--"Needs must I
set a snare for this youth and slay him;" so he went in to his
wife and said, "Spread for us our beds upon the terrace-roof; and
we will take thereto the young Moslem, our servant, and cause him
lie upon the edge, and when he is drowned in slumber we will push
him between us and roll him along the floor till he fall down
from the terrace and break to bits his neck." Now by fiat of Fate
the youth was standing and overhearing[FN#311] their words. As
soon as it was night-time the woman arose and spread the beds
upon the roof according as her husband had charged her do; but
about midafternoon the Prince bought him half a pound of filberts
and placed them with all care and circumspection in his
breast-pocket. Presently the Jew said to him, "O Moslem, we
design to sleep in the open air, for the weather is now summery;"
and said he, "'Tis well, O my Master." Hereupon the Jew and the
Jewess and the children and the Prince their servant went up to
the roof and the first who lay him down was the house-master,
placing his wife and children beside him. Then said he to the
youth, "Do thou sleep here upon the side,"[FN#312] when the
Prince brought the filberts out of his breast-pocket and cracked
them with his teeth, and as often as they repeated to him,
"Arise, O Moslem, and take thy place on the couch," he answered
them, "Whenas I shall have eaten these filberts." He ceased not
watching them till all had lain down and were fast asleep, when
he took his place on the bed between the mother and the two boys.
Presently the Jew awoke, and thinking that the youth was sleeping
on the edge, he pushed his wife, and his wife pushed the servant,
and the servant pushed the children towards the terrace-marge,
and both the little ones fell over and their brain-pans[FN#313]
were broken and they died. The Jew hearing the noise of the fall
fancied that none had tumbled save his servant the young Moslem;
so he rose in joy and awoke his wife saying, "Indeed the youth
hath rolled off the terrace-roof and hath been killed." Hereat
the woman sat up, and not finding her boys beside her, whilst the
Prince still lay there she wailed and shrieked and buffeted her
cheeks, and cried to her husband, "Verily none hath fallen save
the children." Hereat he jumped up and attempted to cast the
youth from the roof; but he, swiftlier than the lightning, sprang
to his feet and shouted at the Jew and filled him with fear,
after which he stabbed him with a knife which was handy, and the
other fell down killed and drowned in the blood he had spilled.
Now the Jew's wife was a model of beauty and of loveliness and
stature and perfect grace, and when the King's son turned upon
her and designed to slay her, she fell at his feet, and kissing
them, placed herself under his protection. Hereupon the youth
left her alive, saying to himself, "This be a woman and indeed
she must not be mishandled;"[FN#314] and the Jewess asked him, "O
my lord, what is the cause of thy doing on this wise? At first
thou camest to me and toldest me the untruth, such-and-such
falsehoods, and secondly, thou wroughtest for the slaughter of my
husband and children." Answered he, "In truth thy man slew my two
brothers wrongously and causelessly!" Now when the Jewess heard
of this deed she enquired of him, "And art thou their very
brother?" and he replied, "In good sooth they were my brethren;"
after which he related to her the reason of their faring from
their father to seek the Water of Life for their mother's use.
Hereat she cried, "By Allah, O my lord, the wrong was with my
mate and not with thee; but the Decreed chevisance doth need, nor
is there flight from it indeed; so do thou abide content.
However, as regards the Water in question, it is here ready
beside me, and if thou wilt carry me along with thee to thy
country I will give thee that same, which otherwise I will
withhold from thee; and haply my wending with thee may bring thee
to fair end." Quoth the Prince in his mind, "Take her with thee
and peradventure she shall guide thee to somewhat of good:" and
thereupon promised to bear her away. So she arose and led him
into a closet where she showed him all the hoards of the Jew,
ready moneys and jewellery and furniture and raiment; and
everything that was with her of riches and resources she
committed to the young Prince, amongst these being the Water of
life. So they bore away the whole of that treasure and he also
carried off the Jewess, who was beautiful exceedingly, none being
her peer in that day. Then they crossed the wilds and the wastes,
intending for the land of Al-S¡n, and they persevered for a while
of time.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day, and
fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister
mine, and 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 Seven Hundred and Fourteenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the young
Prince ceased not wayfaring until the twain drew near to the
capital of China[FN#315] where, by the fiat of Fate and the
sealed decree of Destiny, on entering the walls he found that his
father had fared to the mercy of Allah Almighty, and that the
city, being Kingless, had become like unto a flock of sheep
lacking shepherd. Moreover he was certified that the Lords of his
father's land and the Grandees of the realm and all the heges
were in the uttermost confusion. He went up to the palace and
forgathered with his mother, and seeing that she had not been
healed of her sickness, he brought her out the Water of Life and
gave her to drink some little thereof whereby health returned to
her and she rose from her couch and took seat and salam'd to him
and asked concerning his brethren. However he concealed his
secret thereanent fearing lest it induce in her weakly state a
fresh attack and discovered to her naught but said, "Verily, we
parted at such a place in order to seek the Water of Life." Then
she looked upon his companion the Jewess (and she cast in the
mould of loveliness) and she questioned him concerning the woman
and he recounted to her the whole affair, first and last, still
concealing for the reason aforesaid, the fate of his brothers.
Now on the second day the bruit went abroad throughout the city
that the King's son had returned; so the Wazirs and Emirs and the
Lords of the land and all who had their share in governance
forgathered with him and they set him as King and Sultan in the
stead of his sire. He took seat on the throne of his Kingship and
bade and forbade and raised and deposed and so tarried for a
while of time, until one day of the days when he determined to
enjoy the hunt and chase and divert himself in pleasurable
case.[FN#316] So he and his host rode forth the city when his
glance fell upon a Badawi girl who was standing with the Shaykh
her father considering his retinue; and the age of the maiden
might have mastered thirteen years. But as soon as the King
looked upon the girl love of her upon his heart alighted, and he
was thereby engrossed, for she was perfect in beauty and
comeliness. Hereupon he returned to his palace and sending for
her father asked her of him in marriage; the Shaykh, however,
answered saying, "O our lord the Sultan, I will not give up my
daughter save to one who hath a handicraft of his own,[FN#317]
for verily trade is a defence against poverty and folk say,
'Handicraft an it enrich not still it veileth.'"[FN#318] Hereupon
the King took thought in himself and said to the Shaykh, "O Man,
I am Sovran and Sultan and with me is abundant good;" but the
other replied, "O King of the Age, in King-craft there is no
trust." However, of his exceeding love to the girl the Sultan
presently summoned the Shaykh of the Mat-makers and learnt from
him the craft of plaiting and he wove these articles of various
colours both plain and striped.[FN#319] After this he sent for
the father of the damsel and recounted to him what he had done
and the Shaykh said to him "O King of the Age, my daughter is in
poor case and you are King and haply from some matter may befal a
serious matter; moreover the lieges may say, 'Our King hath wived
with a Badawi girl.'" "O Shaykh," replied the King, "all men are
the sons of Adam and Eve." Hereupon the Badawi granted to him his
daughter and got ready her requisites in the shortest possible
time and when the marriage-tie was tied the King went in unto her
and found her like unto a pearl.[FN#320] So he rejoiced in her
and felt his heart at rest and after tarrying with her a
full-told year, one chance day of the days he determined to go
forth in disguise and to wander about town and solace himself
with its spectacles alone and unattended. So he went into the
vestiary where the garments were kept and doffing his dress
donned a garb which converted him into a Darwaysh. After this he
fared forth in early morning to stroll around the streets and
enjoy the sights of the highways and markets, yet he knew not
what was hidden from him in the World of the Future. Now when it
was noon-tide he entered a street which set off from the Bazar
and yet was no thoroughfare,[FN#321] and this he followed up
until he reached the head and end, where stood a cook[FN#322]
making Kab bs. So he said to himself, "Enter yon shop and dine
therein." He did so and was met by sundry shopmen who seeing him
in Darwaysh's garb welcomed him and greeted him and led him
within, when he said to them, "I want a dinner." "Upon the head
and the eyes be it," they replied, and conducting him into a room
within the shop showed him another till he came to the place
intended, when they said to him, "Enter herein, O my lord." So he
pushed open the door and finding in the closet a matting and a
prayer-rug[FN#323] spread thereupon he said to himself, "By
Allah, this is indeed a secret spot, well concealed from the eyes
of folk." Then he went up to the prayer-rug and would have sat
down upon it after pulling off his papooshes, but hardly had he
settled himself in his seat when he fell through the floor for a
depth of ten fathoms. And while falling he cried out, "Save me, O
God the Saviour;" for now he knew that the people of that place
only pretended to make Kababs and they had digged a pit within
their premises. Also he was certified that each and every who
came in asking for dinner were led to that place where they found
the prayer-rug bespread and supposed that it was set therein for
the use of the diners. But when the Sultan fell from his seat
into the souterrain, he was followed by the thieves who designed
to murther him and to carry off his clothes, even as they had
done to many others.--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 Seven Hundred and Sixteenth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
King fell into the pit (and he disguised in Darwaysh-garb) the
thieves sought to slay him and carry off his clothes, when quoth
he to them, "Wherefore kill me when my garments are not worth a
thousand groats[FN#324] and I own not a single one? However, I
have at hand a handicraft whereat I am ready to work sitting in
this pit and do you take and sell my produce for a thousand
faddahs; and every day I will labour for you, finishing one and
requiring naught save my meat and drink and perpetual privacy in
your quarters." "At what craft art thou crafty?" asked they, and
he answered, "At mat-weaving: so do ye bring me a piastre[FN#325]
worth of rushes[FN#326] and the same of yarn." Accordingly they
fared forth and fetched him his need and presently he made a mat
and said to them, "Take ye this and sell it not for less than a
thousand faddahs." They hied out and carried the work to the
Bazar where, as soon as the folk caught sight thereof, they
crowded about the seller, each man offering more until the price
had risen to a thousand and two hundred silvern nusfs. Hereupon
said the thieves to themselves, "By Allah, this Darwaysh can
profit us with much profit and enrich us without other trade;" so
every morning for ten days they brought him rushes and yarn and
he wove for them a mat which they vended for a like sum. On this
wise it happened to him; but as regards the Wazirs and Emirs and
lords of the land, they went up to the Council-chamber[FN#327]
for the first day and the second and the third until the week was
ended and they awaited the coming of their King, but he came not,
neither found they any tidings nor hit they upon any manifest
traces and none knew whither he had wended. So they were sore
exercised and confusion befel with much tittle-tattle of folk;
each one said his own say nor were they guided by any to what
they should do. Furthermore, as often as they asked of the Harem
they were answered, "We have no tidings of him;" so they were
perplext and at last they agreed, their King being clean lost, to
set up a Sultan as his successor. However the Wazirs said, "Tarry
ye until Allah shall open unto us a door whereby we shall be
rightly directed to him." Now the King had required from the
people of the pit rushes of various colours, red and green, and
when they fetched them he fell to weaving a mat like those of the
striped sort, whereon he figured by marks and signs the name of
the quarter wherein he was gaoled[FN#328] and discovered to his
men the way thereto and the site itself; after which he said to
the thieves, "Verily this mat misfitteth every save those in the
Royal Palace and its price is seven thousand faddahs. Do you take
it and hie with it to the Sultan who shall buy it of you and pay
you the price." They obeyed his bidding and wending to the palace
of the Grand Wazir found him sitting with the Lords of the land
and with the Nobles of the realm talking over the matter of the
King when behold, those who brought the mat entered into his
presence. Quoth the Minister, "What be that which is with you?"
and quoth they, "A mat!" whereupon he bade them unroll it and
they did so before him; and he, being sagacious, experienced in
all affairs, looked thereat and fell to examining the bundle and
turning it about, and considering it until suddenly he espied
signs thereupon figured. He at once understood what they meant
and he was rightly directed to the place where the King was
confined; so he arose without delay and after ordering them to
seize those who had brought the mat took with him a party and
went forth, he and they, after mastering the marks which were
upon the weft. He ceased not wending (and the people of the pit
with him under arrest) until such time as he arrived at the
place. Here they went in and opened the souterrain and brought
out the King who was still in Darwaysh garb. Presently the Wazir
sent for the Linkman and when he appeared they seized all who
were in that place and struck off their heads; but as for the
women they put them into large sacks[FN#329] of camel's hair and
drowned them in the river: furthermore, they spoiled all that was
on that site and the Sultan gave orders to raze the house until
it became level with the ground. When all this had been done they
questioned the Sultan concerning the cause of that event and he
informed them of what had befallen him from incept to conclusion
and lastly he cried, "Wall hi! the cause of my escape from this
danger was naught save the handicraft which I learnt; to wit, the
making of mats, and the Almighty requite with welfare him who
taught me because he was the means of my release; and, but for my
learning this trade, ye had never known the way to discover me,
seeing that Allah maketh for every effect a cause." And having on
such wise ended this tale Ibn Ahyam[FN#330] fell to relating to
the King the history of

THE RIGHTEOUS WAZIR WRONGFULLY
GAOLED.[FN#331]

It is related that there was a King among the manifold Kings of
Al-Hind, and he had a Wazir which was a right good counsellor to
the realm and pitiful to the lieges and the Fakirs and merciful
to the miserable and just in all his dealings. Despite this the
Grandees of the kingdom hated him and envied him, and at all
times and seasons when he went forth the presence or returned to
his house, one of the Emirs would come forward and say to the
King, "O our lord, verily the Wazir doth of doings thus and
thus,"--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 Seven Hundred and Twenty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Lords
of the land, whenever the Wazir was absent traduced him and
maligned him in the presence of the Sultan, saying, "The Minister
doth such and such doings," and this continued for a while of
time. Now one day of the days, as the Sultan was sitting in his
palace behold, a running messenger came to him bearing letters
from sundry of the provinces which were in his reign imploring
help against their foemen's violence. "What may be done in this
case?" asked the Sultan, and his Nobles answered saying, "Send to
them the Wazir," but they spake not this speech save in their
resolve to ruin him and their determination to destroy him.
Hereupon the King sent for him and summoned him and commended him
to journey to the places in question; but those of whom the
complaints had been made threw dangers and difficulties in his
way. Said the Wazir, "Hearing and obeying;" and after preparing
himself for wayfare he set forth on his way. Now the Lords had
despatched letters to the province whither he intended, apprising
the folk of his coming, and saying to them, "Empower him not with
anything, and if you avail to work him aught of wrong, so do."
When the Wazir marched upon those places he was met by the people
with welcomes and deputations to receive him and offer him
presents and rarities and sumptuous gifts, and all who were
therein honoured him with highmost honour. Presently he sent for
their adversaries, and having brought them before him made peace
between the two parties, and their gladness increased and their
sadness ceased, and he tarried with them for a month full-told;
after which he set out on his homeward march. The Lords, however,
had reported all this to the King and they were right sore and
sorrowful, for that their desire had been the destruction of the
Minister. And one day of the days as the Wazir was sitting at
home, behold, a party of Chamberlains appeared before him and
summoned him to the presence, saying, "Arise, the King requireth
thee." He rose without stay or delay, and taking horse made for
the presence, and ceased not riding until he had reached the
palace and had gone in to the King, who forthright bade throw him
into gaol. (Now it happened that the prison had seven
doors.)[FN#332] Cried the Wazir, "There is no Majesty and there
is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great; and verily we
be Allah's and unto Him are we returning! Would I wot why and
wherefore the King hath confined me and for what cause; but
Omnipotence is Allah's." As soon as the Minister was quartered in
his new quarters the Sovran sent to interdict his eating any food
of **flesh-kind, allowing only bread and cheese and olives and
oil, and so left him in durance vile. Hereupon all the folk
applied them to addressing the King with petitions and to
interceding for the captive; but this was not possible; nay, the
Sultan's wrath waxed hotter nor did it soon cool, for the Wazir
abode in gaol during the longsome length of seven years. At last
one day of the days that Sultan went forth disguised in
Darwaysh-garb and toured about town unattended, and ceased not
walking until he reached and passed before the palace of the
Wazir, where he found a gathering of much folk, some sweeping and
others sprinkling water, and others spreading[FN#333], whilst the
Harem and household were in high glee and gladness. He stood
there amongst the spectators and presently asked what was doing,
and they informed him, saying, "The Wazir returneth from abroad
this night and folk have been informed by messenger that the
Sultan hath deigned restore him to favour and expressed himself
satisfied, so presently we shall see him once more at home."
"Praise be to Allah!" quoth the King in his mind; "by the
Almighty, this occurrence hath no cause, and how went the bruit
abroad that the King hath again accepted him? And now there is no
help but that I forgather with the Wazir and see what there may
be to do and how this occurred." The Sultan increased in
disquietude therefor, so he went and bought a somewhat of bread
and repairing to the gaol (he being still in Fakir's garb)
accosted the gaoler and said to him, "Allah upon thee, O my lord,
open to me the bridewell that I may enter and distribute this
provaunt among the prisoners, for that I have obliged myself to
such course by oath, and the cause is that when suffering from a
sickness which brought me nigh to death's door I vowed a vow and
sware a strong swear that, an Almighty Allah deign heal me, I
would buy somewhat of bread and dole it out to the inmates of the
gaol[FN#334]. So here am I come for such purpose." Upon this the
man opened to him the door and he went in and divided all the
bread amongst the captives yet he saw not the Wazir; so he said
to the gaoler, "Hath any one remained that I may dole to him his
share?" "O Darwaysh," said the other, "whereof askest thou?" and
said the Fakir, "O my lord, I have sworn an oath and Allah upon
thee, if there be among the captives any save these I have seen,
do thou tell me thereof." Quoth the man, "There remaineth none
save the Wazir who is in another place, but indeed he is not in
want;" and quoth the Fakir, "O my lord, my desire is to free
myself from the obligation of mine oath." Accordingly the gaoler
led him in to the Wazir and when the Darwaysh drew nigh the
visitor shrieked and fell fainting to the floor, and the warder
seeing him prostrate left him to himself and went his ways.
Hereupon the Minister came to him and sprinkling somewhat of
water upon his face said to him, "O Darwaysh, there is no harm to
thee!" So the Fakir arose and said, "O my lord, my heart hath
been upon thee for a while of time;"--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 Seven hundred and Thirty-First Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair seeming and worthy celebrating, that quoth the
Fakir to the Wazir, "By Allah, O my lord, my heart hath indeed
been with thee for this space of seven years; and often as I went
to thy mansion, they told me that the Sultan is wroth with the
Wazir; withal I still awaited for thee until this very day, when
I repaired to thy quarters according to my custom and I found in
thy house much folk, this sweeping and that sprinkling and that
spreading, and all were in joyous case. So I asked of the
by-standers and they informed me that the Sovran hath become
satisfied with thee and that on the ensuing night thou wilt hie
thee home for that this thy saying is soothfast."[FN#335] "O
Darwaysh," replied the other, " 'Tis true that I sent to my
household and informed them thereof, for that I have received
welcome news from an event befel me; so I bade apprise those at
home that the Sultan is satisfied with me; and to me, O Darwaysh,
hath betided a matter wondrous and an occurrence marvellous; were
it written with needle-gravers upon the eye-corners it had been a
warning to whoso would be warned." The Fakir asked, "And what may
be that?" and the other answered, "By Allah, O Darwaysh, the
while I was in the service of His Highness the King, I was a true
counsellor to him and pitiful to the lieges and I never deceived
him nor did I betray him at any time at all; and often as he sent
me to a place wherein were mutual strife and trouble and wrong
and tyranny, I smoothed matters and pacified the folk and righted
wrongs amongst them by the power of Almighty Allah. But one day
of the days, my mind was set upon riding out to the waste lands
about the town and the gardens thereof, by way of solacing my
self; so I embarked in a little caique[FN#336] upon the river and
when we were amid stream I had a longing for coffee[FN#337]; so I
said to the boatman, 'Abide this place and throw out the anchor
while we drink coffee.' Hereat all my suite arose and busied
themselves in preparing it until 'twas ready and I had a
finjan[FN#338] worth a treasury[FN#339] of money which they
filled and passed to me. I took it as I was sitting upon the
gunwale of the boat whence it dropped into the stream; and I was
sorely sorrowful therefor, because that cup was a souvenir.
Seeing this, all in the boat arose and sent for a diver who
asked, saying, 'In what place hath the finjan fallen that I may
seek it? and do ye inform me of its whereabouts.' So we sought
for a pebble in the caique but we found none, and as I wore upon
my finger a signet ring which was worth two treasuries of money I
drew it off and cast it into the water crying, 'The cup fell from
me in this place.' But when the ducker saw me throw my ring he
said to me, 'Wherefore, O my lord, hast thou parted with thy
seal?' and said I to him, 'The deed is done.' Then he went down
and plunged into the deep for a while and behold he came up
grasping the cup, in the middle of which we saw the signet ring.
Now when this mighty great matter befel me, I said to myself, 'Ho
certain person, there remaineth upon this good luck no better
luck; and haply there will befal thee somewhat contrary to
this.'[FN#340] However those with me rejoiced at the finding of
my two losses, not did any fear therefrom my change of state and
downfall, but they wondered and said, 'By Allah, this is a rare
matter!' Then we went forward in the caique until we had reached
the place intended, where we tarried the whole of that day and
presently returned home. But hardly was I settled and had I taken
seat in my home quarters when behold, a party of Chamberlains of
the King's suite came in to me and said, 'The Sultan requireth
thee!' Accordingly, I arose and mounted horse and rode on till I
had come to the palace and entered the presence; and I designed
to offer suit and service to the King as was my wont, when
suddenly he cried, 'Carry him away.' So they bore me off and
confined me in this place, after which the Sultan sent and
interdicted me from eating a tittle of flesh food, and here I am
after the space of seven years, O Darwaysh, still in the same
condition. Now on the morning of this day my stomach craved for
meat, so I said to the gaoler, 'O Such-and-such, 'tis now seven
years since I tasted flesh, so take this ashrafi and bring us an
ounce of meat.' He accepted the money saying, ' 'Tis well,' and
went forth from me and brought me my need."--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 Seven Hundred and Thirty-Third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right guiding, lord of the rede which is
benefiting, and of deeds fair seeming and worthy celebrating,
that the Wazir continued to the Fakir, "Then, O Darwaysh, we
divided the meat (I and the gaoler) with our fingers, and we
washed it and set it upon the hearth, building a fire beneath it
until it was cooked, when we took it off, and after waiting
awhile dished it up and were about to eat it. But it happened to
be noon-tide, and the hour of incumbent orisons, so we said, 'Let
us pray our prayers;' and we arose and made the Wuzu-ablution,
and went through the mid-day devotions. After this we set the
plate before us; and I, removing its cover, put forth my hand to
take up a bit of meat, but as I took it, behold, a mouse passed
over that same morsel with its tail and paws[FN#341]. I cried,
'There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah the
Glorious, the Great! I have divided this meat with my own hand
and have cooked it myself, so how could this matter have
occurred? How ever, Allah the Omniscient haply knoweth that the
stumbling stone hath been removed from my path,' and this I said,
for when I saw that mouse do on such wise I felt that glad news
and good tidings were coming from the Lord of the Heavens and the
Earth. So I sent to my home and informed them that the Sultan was
satisfied with me, for things when at their worst mend, and in
joyance end; and I opine, O Darwaysh, that all my troubles have
now ceased." Said to him the Fakir, "Alhamdolillah-- Glory be to
God--O my lord, who hath sent thee forerunners of welfare." Then
he arose from beside the Wazir, and went forth and ceased not
wending until he came to his palace where he doffed his disguise
and donned the garments of the Kings, and taking seat upon the
throne of his Kingship summoned the Wazir from his gaol in all
joy, and set him between his hands and gifted him with sumptuous
gifts. And all displeasure in the Sultan's heart being removed
from the Wazir he committed to him once more the management of
all his affairs[FN#342]. But when Ibn Ahyam (continued Shahrazad)
had ended his history of the Righteous Wazir he presently began
to tell the tale of

THE CAIRENE YOUTH, THE BARBER, AND THE
CAPTAIN.

It is related that in Misr there was a Youth, a Shalabi,[FN#343]
sans peer for semblance and excellence, and he had to friend a
lovely woman whose husband was a Yuzbashi[FN#344] or captain. Now
whenever that young man or his playmate would fain conjoin, each
with other, union proved almost impossible and yet his heart was
always hanging to her love and she was in similar state and even
more enamoured for that he was passing fair of form and feature.
One day of the days the Captain returned home and said to his
wife, "I am invited to such a place this afternoon, therefore an
thou require aught ask it of me ere I go." Cried they,[FN#345]
"We want nothing save thy safety;" yet were they delighted
therewith, and the youth's friend said, "Alhamdolillah--Glory to
God--this day we will send to a certain person and bring him
hither and we will make merry he and I." As soon as the husband
fared forth his home in order to visit the gardens according to
his invitation, the wife said to a small boy which was an eunuch
beside her, "Ho boy, hie thee to Such-an-one (the Shalabi) and
seek him till thou forgather with him and say to him, 'My lady
salameth to thee and saith, Come to her house at this moment.' "
So the little slave went from his mistress and ceased not wending
to seek the Shalabi (her friend) till he found him in a barber's
booth where at that time it was his design to have his head
shaved and he had ordered the shaver so to do. The man said to
him, "O, my lord, may this our day be blessed!" whereupon he
brought out from his budget a clean towel, and going up to the
Shalabi dispread it all about his breast. Then he took his
turband and hung it to a peg[FN#346] and placing a basin before
him washed his pate, and was about to poll it when behold, the
boy slave passed within softly pacing, and inclining to him
whispered in his ear confidentially between them twain so that
none might overhear them, "My lady So-and-so sendeth thee many
salams and biddeth me let thee know that to-day the coast is
clear, the Captain being invited out to a certain place. Do thou
come to her at once and if thou delay but a little thou mayst not
avail to possess her nor may she possess thee, and if thou be
really minded to forgather with her come with all speed." Hearing
these words of the boy the lover's wits were wildered and he
could not keep patience; no, not for a minute; and he cried to
the Barber, "Dry my head this instant and I will return to thee,
for I am in haste to finish a requirement." With these words he
put his hand into his breast pouch and pulling out an ashrafi
gave it to the Barber, who said in himself, "An he have given me
a gold-piece for wetting his poll, how will it be when I shall
have polled him? Doubtless he will then gift me with half a score
of dinars!" Hereupon the youth went forth from the Barber who
followed him saying, "Allah upon thee, O my lord, when thou shalt
have ended thy business, return to me that I may shave thy scalp
and 'twere better that thou come to the shop." "Right well," said
the youth, "we will presently return to thee," and he continued
walking until he drew near the place of his playmate when
suddenly the Barber caught him up a second time--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 Seven 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 the
youth approached the house of his friends, suddenly the Barber
caught him up hard by thereto and placing himself in front said,
"Allah upon thee, O my lord, do not forget me, but be sure of
return to the shop that I may poll thee." Quoth the youth to him
in his folly, " 'Tis well, O Man, I will certainly come back to
thee and will not forget thy shop." So the lover left him and
ganged his gait and presently went up to the home of his friend,
whilst the Barber stayed expecting him and remained standing at
the door; and of the denseness of the tonsorial wits would not
budge from that place and would await the youth that he might
shave him. Such was the case with them; but as regards the
Yuzbashi, when he went forth from his house bent upon seeking his
friend who had invited him, he found that a serious matter of
business[FN#347] would hinder his giving the entertainment, so
the host said to the Captain, "Allah upon thee, O my lord, pardon
me for I have this day a matter which will prevent my going forth
to the garden and Inshallah--God willing--on the morrow we will
there meet and enjoy ourselves, we and thou, free and with hearts
at rest; for a man who hath work in hand may not take his
pleasure and his thoughts will remain ever preoccupied." Hereupon
quoth the Captain, "Sooth thou hast said, O Such-and-such, and
herein there is naught to excuse of harm or hindrance, and the
day's engagement between us if it be not to-morrow will come
after to-morrow." So he farewelled his host and left him and
returned homewards. Now that Yuzbashi was a man of honour and
sagacity and pluck and spunk and by nature a brave. He ceased not
wending until he had reached his home where he found the Barber
standing at the house door and the fellow came up to him and
said, "Allah upon thee, O my lord, when thou goest within do thou
send me down a handsome youth who went upstairs into this
dwelling." The Yuzbashi turned upon him with a face fiery as
ruddy sparks and cried to him, "What, O Man, dost thou say that
one hath gone up to my house, O pimp, O pander?[FN#348] What
manner of man can enter therein and I absent?" Quoth the Barber,
"By Allah, O my lord, one did go up whilst I stood awaiting him
the while he passed out of my sight; so when thou art abovestairs
do thou send him down to me, saying, 'Thine own Barber awaiteth
thee at the entrance below.' " Now when the Yuzbashi heard these
words, he waxed wroth with exceeding wrath and going up into his
house with haste and hurry knocked at the inner door which
defended the Harem. The inmates heard him and knew that it was
he, and the Youth fell to piddling in his bag-trowsers; but the
woman took him and hid him in the shaft of the cistern[FN#349]
and going forth opened the door to her husband. Cried the
Yuzbashi, "Of a truth, hath any right or reason to say that here
in this house is a man?"[FN#350] and she replied, "Oh, the shame
of me! How ever, O my lord, can there be here a man?''[FN#351] So
the Yuzbashi went about seeking and searching but he came not
upon any; then he went down to the Barber wight and cried, "O
Man, I have found none upstairs save the womenkind;" but the
Barber replied, "By Allah, O my lord, he went up before my eyes
and I am still awaiting him." Then the Captain hurried away a
second time and rummaged about, high and low, and left no place
whereinto he did not pry and spy, yet he came upon no one. He was
perplext at his affair and again going down to the Barber said to
him, "O Man, we have found none." Still the fellow said to him
doggedly, "Withal a man did go within, whilst I who am his
familiar here stand expecting him, and thou sayest forsooth he is
not there, albeit he be abovestairs and after he went in he never
came out until this tide." Hereupon the Captain returned to his
Harem a third time and a fourth time unto the seventh time; but
he found no one; so he was dazed and amazed and the going in and
faring out were longsome to him. All this and the youth concealed
in the cistern shaft lay listening to their dialogue and he said,
"Allah ruin this rascal Barber!" but he was sore afraid and he
quaked with fright lest the Yuzbashi slay him and also slay his
wife. Now after the eighth time the Captain came down to the
Barber and said to him, "An thou saw him enter, up along with me
and seek for him." The man did accordingly, but when the two had
examined every site, they came upon no one; so the Barber was
stupefied and said to himself, "Whoso went up before me and I
looking upon him, whither can he have wended?" Then he fell to
pondering and presently said, "By Allah, verily this is a
wondrous matter that we have not discovered him;" but the
Yuzbashi cried fiercely, "By the life of my head and by Him who
created all creatures and numbered the numberings thereof, an I
find not this fellow needs must I do thee die." The Barber of his
exceeding terror fell to rummaging all the places but it fortuned
that he did not look into the shaft of the cistern; however at
last he said, "There remaineth for us only the cistern shaft ;"--
-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 Seven Hundred and Thirty-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 Barber
wight, after he and the Captain had finished their search without
finding anyone, said, "There remaineth to us only the cistern
shaft;" so he went and peered therein, but he could not use his
sight overwell. Hereat the Yuzbashi came up behind him and cuffed
him with a mighty cuff upon the neck and laid him prostrate and
insensible at the mouth of the shaft. Now when the woman heard
the Barber saying, "Let us explore the door which openeth upon
the cistern shaft," she feared from the Yuzbashi, so coming up to
him she said, "O my lord, how is it that thou art a Captain and
that thy worth and thy length and thy breadth are on such wise;
withal thou obeyest the word of a fellow Jinn-mad[FN#352] and
sayest that there is a man in thine own house. This is indeed a
reproach to thee." So the Yuzbashi of his stupidity believed her,
and approaching the Barber on the edge of the cistern shaft
cuffed him with a cuff whose excess of violence dazed him and he
fell upon the floor retaining naught of his senses. When the
woman saw this she cried to her husband, "Pinion his elbows at
this moment and suffer me take my due of him by a sound drubbing,
and then let him go." "This is the right rede,"quoth he and after
all was done she cried to her husband, "Come with us above that
we enjoy our pleasure, and Alhamdolillah that thou didst not go
to the place of invitation for I should have been desolate by
thine absence this day." So they ascended and sat together, each
beside other, and they sported and were gladdened and rejoiced;
and after that the Captain lay down and was presently drowned in
slumber. Seeing this the wife arose and repaired to the cistern
shaft wherefrom she released her beloved and finding all his
clothes in a filthy state from the excess of what had befallen
him of affright penetrating into his heart by reason of the
Yuzbashi, she doffed his dress and bringing a bundle of clean
clothing garbed him therein, after which his fear was calmed and
his heart comforted and he was set on the right way. Then she led
him to a private stead, wherein they twain, he and she, took
their joyance and had their pleasure and made merry for the space
of three hours, till such time as each had had fullest will of
other. After this he went forth from her and the Veiler veiled
him. On such wise were the wife's doings; but as regards what
befel the Barber-man, he ceased not to remain strown on the
ground and dazed by the stress of the blow and he abode there
pinioned for a while. About mid-afternoon the Yuzbashi's wife
went to her husband and awaking him from sleep made for him
coffee which he drank and felt cheered; and he knew nothing anent
that his spouse had done with her beloved during the while he
slumbered like unto a he goat. So she said to him, "Rise up and
go we to the man and do thou drub him with the soundest drubbing
and turn him out." Quoth he, "Yes indeed, by Allah, verily he
deserveth this, the pimp! the pander! the procurer!" Accordingly
he went to him and finding him lying upon the ground raised him
and said to him, "Up with thee and let us seek the man whereof
thou spakest." Hereupon the Barber arose and went down into the
cistern shaft where he found none and therewith the Captain laid
the fellow upon his back; and, baring his arms to his elbows,
seized a Nabbut[FN#353] and beat him till he made water in his
bag-trowsers; after which he let him go. So the Barber arose and
he in doleful dumps, and went off from the house and ceased not
wending until he reached his shop about sunset, hardly believing
in his own safety.

THE GOODWIFE OF CAIRO AND HER FOUR
GALLANTS.[FN#354]

It is said that in Misr lived a woman, a model of beauty and
loveliness and stature and perfect grace, who had a difficulty
with a man which was a Kazi and after this fashion it befel. She
was the wife of an Emir[FN#355] and she was wont to visit the
Baths once a month; and when the appointed term for her going
forth had come, she adorned herself and perfumed herself and
beautified herself and hastened, tripping and stumbling,[FN#356]
to the Hamm m. Now her path passed by the Kazi's court-house
where she saw many a man[FN#357] and she stopped to enjoy the
spectacle, upon which the judge himself glanced at her with a
glance of eyes that bequeathed to him a thousand sighs and he
asked her saying, "O woman, hast thou any want?" "No indeed,"
answered she, "I have none." Then he inclined to her and drawing
near her said, "O lady mine and O light of these eyne, is union
possible between us twain?" She replied, "'Tis possible," and he
enquired of her when it could be, and she made an appointment
with him saying, "Do thou come to me after supper-time,"--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 Seven Hundred and Thirty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her. "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night." She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Goodwife said to the Kazi, "Do thou come to me after
supper-time," and went her ways and entered the Hammam, where she
washed herself and cleaned herself; then, coming out thence, she
determined to go home. But she was met on her road by a
Gentleman[FN#358] who was Sh hbandar of the Trader-guild, and he
seeing her set his affections upon her; so he accosted her,
saying, "Is't possible that we ever be merry together?" Hereat
she appointed him to come when supper was done, after which she
left him and ganged her gait. As she neared her home she was met
by a Butcher whose heart inclined to her, so he addressed her
saying, "Is union possible?" and she appointed him to visit her
an hour after supper had been eaten. Then she went home and
mounting the stairs took seat in the upper saloon open to the
air, where she doffed her head-veil[FN#359] and all that was upon
her head. Now in the neighbourhood of her house was a Trader and
he had mounted to the terrace-roof for a reason; so when the
woman bared her hair and taking up a comb began to dry and
prepare it for dressing, his eyes fell upon her whilst so
engaged, and his heart was engrossed with her love. Presently he
sent to her an old woman; and she returned him a reply and
appointed him to visit her house during the night after
supper-tide. On this wise she had promised herself to four
men.[FN#360] Now the Kazi had got ready for her a Kohl-style and
the Gentleman had prepared for her a fine suit of clothes and the
Butcher had led for her a full-sized ram and the Trader had set
apart for her two pieces of silk. As soon as it was supper-time,
behold, the Kazi repaired to her in privacy bringing his gift and
knocked at the door which he found unbolted and she cried to him,
"Come in." Accordingly he entered to her and presented to her
that which was with him, but hardly had he settled himself
comfortably in his seat when the Gentleman arrived and also
rapped. Quoth the Kazi to the Goodwife, "Who may this be?" and
quoth she, 'Fear thou nothing, but arise and doff thy dress;" so
he stripped himself altogether and she garbed him in a gaberdine
and bonnet[FN#361] and hid him in a closet and went to open the
door. Hereupon appeared the Consul and she let him in and
accepted what he had brought and seated him beside her. But
hardly had he settled down when, behold, there came a knock at
the door and he cried, "Who may that be?" Said she, "Fear nothing
but up and doff thy dress;" so he arose and stripped himself and
she disguised him in a gaberdine and bonnet and hid him in
another closet all alone. Then she hastened to the door and
suddenly the Flesher-man appeared and she let him in and led him
within and having accepted his present seated him; but hardly was
he at his case when the door was again knocked, whereat he was
overcome and affrighted: however, she said to him, "Fear nothing,
but arise and doff thy dress in order that I may hide thee." So
he threw off his clothes and she invested him in a gaberdine and
a bonnet and thrust him into a third cabinet. After this she went
and opened the door when there came to her the Trader who was her
neighbour, so she let him in and took what was with him, and
seated him; and he was proceeding to sit down in comfort when
behold, some one knocked at the door and he said, "Who may that
be?" Hereupon she cried, "O my honour! O my calamity! This is my
husband who but yesterday[FN#362] killed off four men; however do
thou rise up and doff thy dress." He did as she bade him, upon
which she garbed him in a gaberdine and a bonnet and laid him in
a fourth closet. So these four one and all found themselves in as
many cabinets[FN#363] sorely sorrowful and fearful; but she went
forth and suddenly her mate the Emir came in and took seat upon a
chair that was in the house. Hereat all four sensed that she had
opened to her husband and had admitted him; and they said in
their minds, "Yesterday he killed four men and now he will kill
me." And each and every considered his own affair and determined
in his mind what should happen to him from the husband. Such was
the case with these four; but as regards the housemaster, when he
took seat upon the chair, he fell to chatting with his wife and
asking her saying, "What hast thou seen this day during thy walk
to the Hammam?" Said she, "O my lord, I have witnessed four
adventures and on every one hangeth a wondrous tale!" Now when
the four heard the Goodwife speaking these words each of them
said to himself, "Indeed I am a dead man and 'tis the intention
of this woman to peach upon me." Presently her husband asked her,
"What be these four histories?" and answered she, "I saw four men
each and every of whom was an antic fellow, a droll, a buffoon;
furthermore, O my lord, one and all of them were garbed in
gaberdine and bonnet."--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 Seven Hundred and Forty-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 woman
said to her husband, "Moreover each of the four was habited in
gaberdine and bonnet." But when the amourists heard these words
every one of them said to himself, "Here be a judgment this
strumpet of a woman hath wrought upon us, the whore! the witch!"
and her husband understanding what she told him asked, "Wherefore
didst thou not bring them hither that the sight might solace us?"
"O my lord," answered she, "had I brought them what hadst thou
said to them? indeed I fear me thou wouldst have slain them!" And
he, "No indeed; I would not have killed them, for they are but
buffoon-folk, and we should have enjoyed their harlequinades and
would have made them dance to us a wee and all and some tell us
tales to gladden our minds; after which we would have suffered
them depart and go about their own business." The wife enquired,
"And given that they knew neither dancing nor story-telling what
hadst thou done with them?" and replied he, "Had the case been as
thou sayest and they ignorant of all this, verily we would have
killed them and cast them into the chapel of case." The four men
hearing such threatening words muttered to themselves, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great;" but the Kazi said in his mind, "How remain Judge of this
city when I shall have been found garbed in gaberdine and bonnet
and dancing and tale-telling? and indeed this is the greater
death. Allah bring to ruin this adulteress of a woman!" Then the
Flesher took thought as follows, "How shall I continue to be
Chief of the Butchers when I prance about with a bonnet on my
pate? this is indeed a painful penalty!" Then quoth the
Gentleman, the Consul, "How shall it be with me when I am seen
dancing and donning a bonnet? indeed death by the sword were
lighter than this!" Then muttered the Trader which was the
woman's neighbour, "'Tis easier to kill myself with my own hand
than to endure all such ill." Anon the woman said to her husband,
"Inshallah--God willing--on the morrow we will bring them hither
to thy house that we may solace ourselves therewith;" but said
he, "Wall hi, hadst thou brought them this night 'twere better,
for that to-morrow evening I have business in the house of the
Chief Emir." Quoth she to him, "Now grant me immunity and give me
permission and I will arise and bring them to thee at this
moment, but each must come to thee alone and by himself." Quoth
he, "O Woman, leave I do give thee and immunity I do grant thee;"
whereupon she rose without stay or delay and went to the closet
wherein was the Judge. Then she opened it and entered, and taking
him by the hand dragged him forward and came out with him and set
him before her spouse garbed as he was in gaberdine and bonnet.
The house-master scrutinised him and was certified of his being
the Kazi and said to him, "Blessed be to thee, O our lord, this
bonnet and this gaberdine which become thee passing well." But
the Judge, as he stood before the presence of the woman's
husband, bowed his front downwards and was clothed as with a
garment in the sweat of shame and was sore abashed, when the Emir
said to him, "O our lord the Kazi, do thou dance for us a wee the
baboon dance and rejoice us; after which performance do thou tell
us a tale that our breasts may thereby be broadened." But when
the man said this to him, the Judge feared for his life because
he had heard and well remembered the words of the householder and
he fell to clapping his palms and prancing to right and left.
Hereupon the Emir laughed consumedly, he and his wife, and they
signed and signalled each to other deriding the judicial dance,
and the Kazi ceased not skipping until he fell to the floor for
his fatigue. Hereupon the man said to him, "Basta! Now tell us
thy tale that we may rejoice thereat; then do thou rise up and go
about thy business." "Hearkening and obedience," said the Judge
and forthright he began to relate the adventure of

The Tailor and the Lady and the Captain.[FN#364]

It is related that a Tailor was sitting in his shop facing a tall
house tenanted by a Y£zb shi, and this man had a wife who was
unique for beauty and loveliness. Now one day of the days as she
looked out at the latticed window the Snip espied her and was
distraught by her comeliness and seemlihead. So he became
engrossed by love of her and remained all day a-gazing at the
casement disturbed and perturbed, and as often as she approached
the window and peered out therefrom, he would stare at her and
say to her, "O my lady and O core of my heart, good morning to
thee; and do thou have mercy upon one sore affected by his
affection to thee; one whose eyes sleep not by night for thy fair
sake." "This pimp be Jinn-mad!" quoth the Captain's wife, "and as
often as I look out at the window he dareth bespeak me: haply the
folk shall say, 'Indeed she must needs be his mistress.'" But the
Tailor persevered in this proceeding for a while of days until
the lady was offended thereby and said in her mind, "Wall hi,
there is no help but that I devise for him a device which shall
make unlawful to him this his staring and casting sheep's eyes at
my casement; nay more, I will work for ousting him from his
shop." So one day of the days when the Yuzbashi went from home,
his wife arose and adorned and beautified herself, and donning
the bestest of what dresses and decorations she had, despatched
one of her slave-girls to the Tailor instructing her to say to
him, "My lady salameth to thee and biddeth thee come and drink
coffee with her." The handmaiden went to his shop and delivered
the message; and he, when hearing these words,[FN#365] waxed
bewildered of wits and rose up quivering in his clothes;--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 Seven 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 when the
Tailor heard the girl's words, he quivered in his clothes; but
indeed he recked not aught of the wiles of womankind. So after
padlocking his shop he went with her to the house and walked
upstairs, where he was met by the lady with a face like the
rondure of the moon and she greeted him right merrily, and taking
him by the hand led him to a well-mattressed Divan and bade her
slave-girl serve him with coffee, and as he drank it she sat
facing him. Presently the twain fell to conversing, she and he;
and she soothed him with sweet speech, whilst he went clean out
of his mind for the excess of her beauty and loveliness. This
lasted until near midday, when she bade serve the dinner-trays,
and took seat in front of him, and he began picking up
morsels[FN#366] designed for his lips and teeth, but in lieu
thereof thrust them into his eye. She laughed at him, but hardly
had he swallowed the second mouthful and the third when behold,
the door was knocked, whereupon she looked out from the casement
and cried, "Oh my honour! this is my husband." Hereat the man's
hands and knees began to quake, and he said to her, "Whither
shall I wend?" Said she, "Go into this closet," and forthright
she thrust him into a cabinet and shot the bolt upon him and
taking the key she tare out one of its teeth[FN#367] and put it
in her pocket. After this she went down and opened the door to
her husband who walked upstairs; and finding the dinner trays
bespread, asked her, "What is this?" She answered, "I and my
lover have been dining together." "And what may be thy lover?"
"Here he is."[FN#368] "Where may he be?" to which she replied,
"He is inside this closet." Now as soon as the Tailor heard her
say this say, he piddled in his bag-breeches and befouled himself
and he was in a filthy state with skite and piss.[FN#369]
Hereupon the Captain asked, "And where's the key?" and she
answered, "Here it is with me."[FN#370] "Bring it out," said he,
so she pulled it from her pocket and handed it to him. The
Captain took the key from his spouse and applying it to the
wooden bolt of the cabinet rattled it to and fro[FN#371] but it
would not open; so the wife came up to him and cried, "Allah upon
thee, O my lord, what wilt thou do with my playmate?" Said he, "I
will slay him!" and said she, "No, 'tis my opinion that thou
hadst better pinion him and bind him as if crucified to the
pillar in the court floor and then smite him with thy sword upon
the neck and cut off his head; for I, during my born days, never
saw a criminal put to death and now 'tis my desire to sight one
done to die." "Sooth is thy speech," quoth he: so he took the key
and fitting it into the wooden bolt would have drawn it back, but
it could not move because a tooth had been drawn therefrom and
the while he was rattling at the bolt his wife said to him, "O my
lord,'tis my desire that thou lop off his hands and his feet
until he shall become marked by his maims;[FN#372] and after do
thou smite his neck." "A sensible speech," cried the husband and
during the whole time her mate was striving to pull the bolt she
kept saying to him, "Do this and do that with the fellow," and he
ceased not saying to her, "'Tis well." All this and the Tailor
sat hearkening to their words and melting in his skin; but at
last the wife burst out laughing until she fell upon her back and
her husband asked her, "Whereat this merriment?" Answered she, "I
make mock of thee for that thou art wanting in wits and wis.dom."
Quoth he, "Wherefore?" and quoth she, "O my lord, had I a lover
and had he been with me should I have told aught of him to thee?
Nay; I said in my mind, 'Do such and such with the Captain and
let's see whether he will believe or disbelieve.' Now when I
spake thou didst credit me and it became apparent to me that thou
art wanting in wits." Cried he to her, "Allah disappoint thee!
Dost thou make jibe and jape of me? I also said in my thoughts,
'How can a man be with her and she speak of him in the face of
me?'" So he arose and took seat with her, the twain close
together, at the dinner-tray and she fell to morselling him and
he to morselling her, and they laughed and ate until they had
their sufficiency and were filled; then they washed their hands
and drank coffee. After this they were cheered and they toyed
together and played the two-backed beast until their pleasure was
fulfilled and this was about mid-afternoon--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 Seven 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 the
Yuzbashi fell to toying with his wife, and thrusting and foining
at her cleft,[FN#373] her solution of continuity, and she
wriggled to and fro to him, and bucked up and down, after which
he tumbled her and both were in gloria.[FN#374] This lasted until
near mid-afternoon when he arose and went forth to the Hammam.
But as soon as he left the house she opened the cabinet and
brought out the Tailor, saying, "Hast thou seen what awaiteth
thee, O pander, O impure? Now by Allah, an thou continue staring
at the windows or durst bespeak me with one single word it shall
be the death of thee. This time I have set thee free, but a
second time I will work to the wasting of thy heart's blood."
Cried he, "I will do so no more; no, never!" Thereupon said she
to her slave-girl, "O handmaid, open to him the door;" and she
did so, and he fared forth (and he foully bewrayed as to his
nether garments) until he had returned to his shop. Now when the
Emir heard the tale of the Kazi, he rejoiced thereat and said to
him, "Up and gang thy gait!" so the judge went off garbed in his
gaberdine and bonnet. Then said the house-master to his wife,
"This be one of the four, where's Number Two?" Hereat she arose
and opened the closet in which was the Gentleman and led him out
by the hand till he stood before her husband, who looked hard at
him and was certified of him and recognised him as the
Sh hbandar; so he said to him, "O Khw jah, when didst thou make
thee a droll?"[FN#375] but the other returned to him neither
answer nor address and only bowed his brow groundwards. Quoth the
house-master to him, "Dance for us a wee and when thou shalt have
danced do thou tell us a tale." So he fell perforce to clapping
his hands and skipping about until he fell down of fatigue when
he said, "O my lord, there is with me a rare story, and an
exceeding strange if thou of thy grace accord attention to my
words." "Tell on and I will listen to thee," quoth the other,
whereupon said the Gentleman, "'Tis concerning the wiles of
womankind," and fell to relating the adventures of

The Syrian and the Three Women of Cairo.[FN#376]

There was a man, a Sh m¡, who came to the God-guarded city of
Misr al-K hirah--Misr of Mars--and with him was a store of money
and merchandize and sumptuous clothing. He hired for himself a
room in a caravanserai, and having no slave, he was wont to go
forth every day and roam about the city-thoroughfares and cater
for himself. Now this continued for a while of time till one day
of the days, as he was wandering and diverting his mind by
looking to the right and to the left, he was met on the way by
three women who were leaning and swaying one towards other as
they walked on laughing aloud; and each and every of the three
surpassed her fellow in beauty and loveliness. When he looked at
them his mustachios curled[FN#377] at the sight and he accosted
them and addressed the trio, saying, "May it be that ye will
drink coffee in my lodging?" "Indeed we will," said they, "and we
will make mirth with thee and exceeding merriment, passing even
the will of thee." Quoth he, "When shall it be?" and quoth they,
"To-night we will come to thy place." He continued, "I am living
in a room of Such-and-such a Wak lah."[FN#378] and they rejoined,
"Do thou make ready for us supper and we will visit thee after
the hour of night-prayers." He cried, "These words are well; " so
they left him and went their ways; and he, on the return way
home, bought flesh and greens and wine and perfumes; then, having
reached his room, he cooked five kinds of meats without including
rice and conserves, and made ready whatso for the table was
suitable. Now when it was supper-time behold, the women came in
to him, all three wearing capotes[FN#379] over their dresses, and
when they had entered they threw these cloaks off their shoulders
and took their seats as they were moons. Hereupon the Syrian
arose and set before them the food-trays and they ate their
sufficiency, after which he served to them the table of wine,
whereat they filled and passed to him and he accepted and swilled
until his head whirled round, and as often as he looked at any
one of them and considered her in her mould of beauty and
loveliness he was perplext and his wits were wildered. They
ceased not to be after such fashion until the noon o' night.--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 Seven Hundred and Forty-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 Syrian
and the three ladies ceased not to persevere in the drinking of
wine until the noon o' night, at which time he would not
distinguish between masculine and feminine from the excess of his
wine-bibbing, so he said to one of the three, "Allah upon thee, O
my lady, what may be the name of thee?" She replied, "I am hight
'Hast-thou-seen-aught-like-me?'" Whereat he exclaimed, "No,
Wall hi!" Then he up-propped himself on his elbow and rising from
the ground said to the second, "Thou, O my lady, and life-blood
of my heart, what is thy name?" She answered, "I am hight
'Never-sawest-thou-my-like,'" and he replied, "Inshallah--what
Allah willeth--O my lady Never-sawest-thou-my-like." Then said he
to the third, "And thou, O dearling of my heart, what may be the
name of thee?" And said she, "I am hight
'Look-at-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me.'" When he heard these words
he cried out with a loud outcry and fell to the ground saying,
"No, by Allah, O my lady
Look-at-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me."[FN#380] But when the three
women regarded him his reason was upset and they forced upon him
more wine-bibbing whilst he cried to them, "Fill for me, ho my
lady Never-sawest-thou-my-like, and thou too, my lady
Hast-thou-seen-aught-like-me, and eke thou, O my lady
Look-at-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me." And they drove him to drink
still more until he fell to the ground without a vein
swelling[FN#381] for he had become drunken and dead drunk. When
they saw him in this condition they doffed his turband and
crowned him with a cap, and fringes projecting from the
peak,[FN#382] which they had brought with them; then they arose
and finding in his room a box full of raiment and ready money,
they rifled all that was therein. Presently they donned their
dresses and, waiting until the door of the Wakalah was opened
after the call to the morning-prayer, they went their ways and
the Veiler vouchsafed them protection[FN#383] and they left the
Syrian man in his room strown as a tried toper and unknowing what
the women had done with him of their wile and guile. Now when it
was the undurn-hour he awoke from his crapula and opening his
eyes, cried, "Ho my lady Never-sawest-thou-my-like! and ho my
lady Hast-thou-seen-aught-like-me! and ho my lady
Look-at-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me!" But none returned to him any
reply. Then he pulled himself together and glanced carefully
around but his sight fell not upon anyone beside him, so he arose
and went to the box wherein he found never a single thing. This
restored him to his right senses and he recovered from his drink
and cried, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in
Allah, the Glorious, the Great: this be a judgment they have
wrought forme." Then he went forth still wearing the tall fringed
cap and knowing nothing of himself and, when he had issued from
his caravanserai, he cried to everyone he met in the streets, "I
am seeking Hast-thou-seen-aught-like-me?" and the men would
reply, "No, I never sighted the like of thee;" and to a second he
would say, "I am looking for one
Never-sawest-thou-aught-like-me;" and the other would answer,
"Indeed, I never beheld thy fellow;" then he would ask a third,
"Hast thou seen one Look-at-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me?" and the
questioned would answer, "Indeed, I have looked at thee but I
know thee not at all." And he ceased not wandering about, bonnet
on head, and everyone who met him by the way returned to him the
like replies until he came upon a party of folk who were in front
of a barber's booth.[FN#384] There he cried upon them also, "Ah!
Hast-thou-seen-aught-like-me! and Ah! Never-sawest-thou-my-like!
and Ah! Look-upon-me-and-thou-shalt-know-me!" Hereat,
understanding that he was touched in brain and this was a
judgment that had been wrought upon him, they seized him and
forced him into the barber's shop and bringing a mirror set it in
his hands. When he looked therein he found a fool's cap upon his
head, so forthwith he tore it off and took thought and said to
those present, "Who of you can guide me to those three women?"
They said to him, "O Syrian, march off with thyself to thy own
land for that the folk of Egypt can play with the egg and the
stone."[FN#385] So he arose without stay and delay; then, taking
what provaunt was sufficient for the way and what little of fine
raiment had been left to him, he quitted Cairo intending for his
own country. Now the Emir hearing this tale of the Shahbandar
wondered thereof with extreme wonderment and said to the
Gentleman, "An thou have finished do thou fare forth and go about
thy business." Accordingly he went from him still garbed in
gaberdine and bonnet on head when the house-master asked his
wife, "Who of them here remaineth with thee?" And she answered,
"Have patience and I will bring thee the third." So she arose and
opening another closet summoned the Flesher and taking him by the
hand, whilst he was ashamed and abashed, led him till he stood
before her spouse and the poor fellow availed not to raise his
eyes from the ground. Presently the husband considered him and
knew him and was certified that he was Such-and-such the Chief
Butcher and head of the craft, so he said to him, "Ho thou the
clever one, do thou dance for us a wee and after that tell us a
tale." Accordingly he stood up and clapped hands and fell to
dancing and prancing till such time as he dropped down for
fatigue; after which he said, "O my lord, I have by me a tale
anent the craft and cunning of women." Asked the other, "And what
may it be?" and the Butcher began to relate the tale of

The Lady with Two Coyntes.

It is told of a woman which was a fornicatress and adulteress and
a companion of catastrophes and calamities that she was married
to a K im-mak m[FN#386] who had none of the will of mankind to
womankind, at all, at all. Now the wife was possessed of beauty
and loveliness and she misliked him for that he had no desire to
carnal copulation, and there was in the house a Syce-man who was
dying for his love of her. But her husband would never quit his
quarters, and albeit her longing was that the horse-keeper might
possess her person and that she and he might lie together, this
was impossible to her. She abode perplext for some sleight
wherewith she might serve her mate, and presently she devised a
device and said to him, "O my lord, verily my mother is dead and
'tis my wish to hie me and be present at her burial and receive
visits of condolence for her; and, if she have left aught by way
of heritage, to take it and then fare back to thee." "Thou mayest
go," said he, and said she, "I dread to fare abroad alone and
unattended; nor am I able to walk, my parent's house being afar.
Do thou cry out to the Syce that he fetch me hither an ass and
accompany me to the house of my mother, wherein I shall lie some
three nights after the fashion of folk." Hereupon he called to
the horse-keeper and when he came before him, ordered the man to
bring an ass,[FN#387] and mount his mistress and hie with her;
and the fellow, hearing these words, was hugely delighted. So he
did as he was bidden, but instead of going to the house they
twain, he and she, repaired to a garden carrying with them a
flask of wine and disappeared for the whole day and made merry
and took their pleasure[FN#388] until set of sun. Then the man
brought up the ass and mounting her thereon went to his own home,
where the twain passed the entire night sleeping in mutual
embrace on each other's bosoms, and took their joyance and
enjoyment until it was morning tide. Hereupon he arose and did
with her as before, leading her to the garden, and the two, Syce
and dame, ceased not to be after this fashion for three days
solacing themselves and making merry and tasting of love-liesse.
On the fourth day he said to her, "Do thou return with us to the
house of the Kaim-makam," and said she, "No; not till we shall
have spent together three days more enjoying ourselves, I and
thou, and making merry till such time as I have had my full will
of thee and thou thy full will of me; and leave we yon
preposterous pimp to lie stretched out, as do the dogs,[FN#389]
enfolding his head between his two legs." So the twain ceased not
amusing themselves and taking their joyance and enjoyment until
they had ended the six days, and on the seventh they wended their
way home. They found the Kaim-makam sitting beside a slave which
was an old negress; and quoth he, "You have disappeared for a
long while!" and quoth she, "Yes, until we had ended with the
visits of condolence for that my mother was known to foyson of
the folk. But, O my lord, my parent (Allah have ruth upon her!)
hath left and bequeathed to me a somewhat exceeding nice." "What
may that be?" asked he, and answered she, "I will not tell thee
aught thereof at this time, nor indeed until we remain, I and
thou, in privacy of night, when I will describe it unto thee."--
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 Seven 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 woman
said to her husband, "My mother hath left and bequeathed to me
somewhat, but I will not tell thee thereof till the coming night
when we twain shall be alone." "'Tis well," said he; after which
he continued to address himself, "Would Heaven I knew what hath
been left by the mother of our Har¡m!"[FN#390] Now when darkness
came on and he and she had taken seats together, he asked her,
"What may be the legacy thy mother left?" and she answered, "O my
lord, my mother hath bequeathed to me her Coynte being loath that
it be given to other save myself and therefore I have brought it
along with me." Quoth he of his stupidity (for he was like unto a
cosset),[FN#391] "Ho thou, solace me with the sight of thy
mother's Coynte." Hereupon she arose; and, doffing all she had on
her of dress until she was mother-naked, said to him, "O my lord,
I have stuck on my mother's Coynte hard by and in continuation of
mine own cleft and so the twain of them have remained each
adjoining other between my hips." He continued, "Let me see it;"
so she stood up before him and pointing to her parts, said, "This
which faceth thee is my coynte whereof thou art owner;" after
which she raised her backside and bowing her head groundwards
showed the nether end of her slit between the two swelling cheeks
of her sit-upon, her scat of honour, crying, "Look thou! this be
the Coynte of my mother; but, O my lord, 'tis my wish that we wed
it unto some good man and pleasant who is faithful and true and
not likely treason to do, for that the Coynte of my mother must
abide by me and whoso shall intermarry therewith I also must bow
down to him whilst he shall have his will thereof." Quoth the
Kaim-makam, "O sensible say! but we must seek and find for
ourselves a man who shall be agreeable and trustworthy,"
presently adding, "O woman, we will not give the Coynte of thy
mother in marriage to some stranger lest he trouble thee and
trouble me also; so let us bestow this boon upon our own Syce."
Replied the wife of her craft and cursedness, "Haply, O my lord,
the horsekeeper will befit us not;", yet the while she had set
her heart upon him. Rejoined the Kaim-makam her husband, "If so
it be that he have shown thee want of respect we will surely
relieve him of his lot." But after so speaking he said a second
time, "'Tis better that we give the Coynte of thy mother to the
Syce;" and she retorted, "Well and good! but do thou oblige him
that he keep strait watch upon himself." Hereat the man summoned
his servant before him and said to him, "Hear me, O Syce; verily
the mother of my wife to her hath bequeathed her Coynte, and 'tis
our intent to bestow it upon thee in lawful wedlock; yet beware
lest thou draw near that which is our own property." The
horsekeeper answered, "No, O my lord, I never will." Now after
they arrived at that agreement concerning the matter in question,
whenever the wife waxed hot with heat of lust she would send for
the Syce and take him and repair with him, he and she, to a place
of privacy within the Harem, whilst her mate remained sitting
thoroughly satisfied, and they would enjoy themselves to the
uttermost, after which the twain would come forth together. And
the Kaim-makam never ceased saying on such occasions, "Beware, O
Syce, lest thou poach upon that which is my property;" and at
such times the wife would exclaim, "By Allah, O my lord, he is a
true man and a trusty." So they continued for a while[FN#392] in
the enjoyment of their luxury and this was equally pleasurable to
the husband and wife and the lover. Now when the Emir heard this
tale from the Butcher, he began laughing until he fell upon his
back and anon he said to him, "Wend thy ways about thine own
work;" so the Flesher went forth from him not knowing what he
should do in his garb of gaberdine and bonnet. Hereupon the woman
arose and going to the fourth closet threw it open and summoned
and led the Trader man by the hand and set him before her husband
who looked hard at him in his droll's dress and recognised him
and was certified of him that he was his neighbour. So he said,
"Ho Such-an-one! Thou art our neighbour and never did we suspect
that thou wouldst strive to seduce our Har¡m;[FN#393] nay rather
did we expect thee to keep watch and ward over us and fend off
from us all evil.[FN#394] Now by Allah, those whom we have
dismissed wrought us no foul wrong even as thou wroughtest us in
this affair; for thou at all events art our neighbour. Thou
deservest in this matter that I slay thee out of hand, but
Default cometh not save from the Defaulter; therefore I will do
thee no harm at all as did I with thy fellows even save that
needs must thou tell us a tale whereby to rejoice us."[FN#395]
Quoth he, "Hearing and obeying," and herewith fell to relating
the story of

The Whorish Wife who Vaunted her Virtue.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest