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Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 by Richard F. Burton

Part 5 out of 9

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It is related that once upon a time there was a man which was an
astronomer[FN#396] and he had a wife who was singular in beauty
and loveliness. Now she was ever and aye boasting and saying to
him "O man, there is not amongst womankind my peer in
nobility[FN#397] and chastity;" and as often as she repeated this
saying to him he would give credit to her words and cry,
"Wall hi, no man hath a wife like unto the lady my wife for high
caste and continence!" Now he was ever singing her praises in
every assembly; but one day of the days as he was sitting in a
s‚ance of the great, who all were saying their says anent
womankind and feminine deeds and misdeeds, the man rose up and
exclaimed, "Amongst women there is none like my wife, for that
she is pure of blood and behaviour;" hereat one of those present
said to him, "Thou liest, O certain person!"--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 Fifty-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that while the
man was singing the praises of his spouse one of those present
rose and said to him, "Wall hi, thou liest, O certain person!"
"Wherein do I lie?" quoth he, and quoth the other, "I will teach
thee and show thee manifestly whether thy wife be a lady or a
whore. Do thou rise up from amongst us and hie thee home and go
thou in to her and say, 'O woman, I am intent upon travelling to
a certain place and being absent for a matter of four days and
after will return; so do thou arise, O woman, and bring me some
bread and a mould of cheese by way of viaticum.' Then go thou
forth from beside her and disappear for a while; and presently
returning home hide thee in a private place without uttering a
word." Cried those present, "By Allah, indeed these words may not
be blamed." Accordingly, the man went forth from them and fared
till he entered his house where he said, "O woman, bring me
something of provision for a journey: my design is to travel and
to be absent for a space of four days or haply six." Cried the
wife, "O my lord, thou art about to desolate me nor can I on any
wise bear parting from thee; and if thou needs must journey do
thou take me with thee." Now when the man heard these the words
of his wife he said to himself, "By Allah, there cannot be the
fellow of my spouse amongst the sum of womankind," presently
adding to her, "I shall be away from four to six days but do thou
keep watch and ward upon thyself and open not my door to anyone
at all." Quoth she, "O Man, how canst thou quit me?[FN#398] and
indeed I cannot suffer such separation." Quoth he, "I shall not
long be separated from thee;" and so saying he fared forth from
her and disappeared for the space of an hour, after which he
returned home softly walking and hid himself in a place where
none could see him. Now after the space of two hours behold, a
Costermonger[FN#399] came into the house and she met him and
salam'd to him and said, "What hast thou brought for me?" "Two
lengths of sugar-cane," said he, and said she, "Set them down in
a corner of the room." Then he asked her, "Whither is thy husband
gone?" and she answered, "On a journey: may Allah never bring him
back nor write his name among the saved and our Lord deliver me
from him as soon as possible!" After this she embraced him and he
embraced her and she kissed him and he kissed her and enjoyed her
favours till such time as he had his will of her; after which he
went his ways. When an hour had passed a Poulterer[FN#400] came
to the house, whereupon she arose and salam'd to him and said,
"What hast thou brought me?" He answered, "A pair of
pigeon-poults;" so she cried, "Place them under yon
vessel."[FN#401] Then the man went up to the woman and he
embraced her and she embraced him and he tumbled[FN#402] her and
she tumbled him; after which he had his will of her and presently
he went off about his own business. When two hours or so had gone
by there came to her another man which was a Gardener;[FN#403] so
she arose and met him with a meeting still fairer than the first
two and asked him, "What hast thou brought with thee?" "A
somewhat of pomegranates," answered he; so she took them from him
and led him to a secret place where she left him and changed her
dress and adorned herself and perfumed herself and Kohl'd[FN#404]
her eyes. After that she returned to the pomegranate-man and fell
a-toying with him and he toyed with her and she hugged him and he
hugged her and at last he rogered and had his wicked will of her
and went his ways. Hereupon the woman doffed her sumptuous dress
and garbed herself in her everyday garment. All this and the
husband was looking on through the chinks of the door behind
which he was lurking and listening to whatso befel, and when all
was ended he went forth softly and waited awhile and anon
returned home. Hereupon the wife arose and her glance falling
upon her husband she noted him and accosted him and salam'd to
him and said, "Hast thou not been absent at all?" Said he, "O
Woman, there befel me a tale on the way which may not be written
on any wise, save with foul water upon disks of dung,[FN#405] and
indeed I have endured sore toil and travail, and had not Allah
(be He praised and exalted!) saved me therefrom, I had never
returned." Quoth his wife, "What hath befallen 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-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 wife
asked the husband saying, "What hath befallen thee on thy way?"
And he answered, "O Woman, when I went forth the town and took
the road, behold, a basilisk issued from his den and coming to
the highway stretched himself therealong, so I was unable to step
a single footstep; and indeed, O Woman, his length was that of
yon sugar cane, brought by the Costermonger and which thou
placedst in the corner. Also he had hair upon his head like the
feathers of the pigeon-poults presented to thee by the
Poulterer-man, and which thou hast set under the vessel; and
lastly, O Woman, his head was like the pomegranates which thou
tookest from the Market Gardener[FN#406] and carriedst within the
house." Whenas the wife heard these words, she lost command of
herself and her right senses went wrong and she became purblind
and deaf, neither seeing nor hearing, because she was certified
that her spouse had sighted and eye-witnessed what she had
wrought of waywardness and frowardness. Then the man continued to
her, "O Whore! O Fornicatress! O Adulteress! How durst thou say
to me, 'There is not amongst womankind my better in nobility and
purity'? and this day I have beheld with my own eyes what thy
chastity may be. So do thou take thy belongings and go forth from
me and be off with thyself to thine own folk." And so saying he
divorced her with the triple divorce and thrust her forth the
house. Now when the Emir heard the aforetold tale from his
neighbour, he rejoiced therein; this being a notable wile of the
guiles of womankind which they are wont to work with men for
"Verily great is their craft."[FN#407] And presently he dismissed
the fourth lover, his neighbour, even as he had freed the other
three, and never again did such trouble befal him and his wife,
or from Kazi or from any other.[FN#408] And to the same purport
(quoth Shahrazad), to wit, the sleights and snares of the sex,
they also tell the tale of

COELEBS THE DROLL AND HIS WIFE AND HER
FOUR LOVERS.

There lived at the Court of a certain King a man wherewith he was
wont to jest and this droll was unmated. So one day of the days
the Sultan said to him, "O Man, thou art a bachelor, so suffer us
to marry thee," and said the buffoon, "No, O King of the Age;
allow me to remain in single blessedness, for in womankind there
is no rest and they work many a wile, and indeed I fear lest
haply we fall upon one who shall be of the fornicatresses, the
adulteresses." Quoth the King, "There is no help but that thou
wed;" and quoth the Droll, "'Tis well, O King of the Age."
Hereupon the Sultan sent to summon the Wazir and bade him betroth
the man to a woman of righteous conduct and come of decent folk.
Now the Minister had with him an old nurse, and he commanded her
to find a match for the Sultan's Jester; whereupon she rose and
went out from him and engaged for the man a beautiful woman. And
presently the marriage-tie was tied between these twain and he
went in unto the bride and she tarried with him a while of time
even half a year or may be seven months. Now one day of the days
the King's Jester went forth his house ere the dawn-prayer had
been called on some business for the Sultan, intending to return
before rise of sun. Such was the case with him; but as regards
his wife, she had known when yet unmarried four men who to her
were the liefest of her companions and who, during the earlier
days of her wedding, had not been able to possess her. However,
on the morning when her husband fared forth from her before the
call to dawn-prayers, each and every of these four favoured
lovers made up their minds to visit their playmate. Now one of
them was a Pieman[FN#409] and the second was an
Herbalist[FN#410], the third was a Flesher and the fourth was the
Shaykh of the Pipers[FN#411]. When the Droll went forth from his
wife behold, the Pieman came and rapped at the door, whereat she
opened to him and said, "Thou hast come betimes," and said he, "I
have minced the meat and I desired to work it up when I found
that the hour was too early and that no one was in the market. So
I said to myself, 'Up with thee and go to Such-and-such a woman'"
"'Tis well," quoth she; but when they desired to make merry
together, of a sudden the door was knocked; so quoth he to her,
"Who is this?" and quoth she to him, "I know not, but do thou hie
and hide thee in yonder closet." He did her bidding, whereupon
she went forth and threw open the door when behold, it was the
Herbalist and she said to him, "This is a time betimes." Said he,
"By Allah, I was nighting in the garden and I have brought these
sweet-scented herbs, and as the hour was over-early I said to
myself, 'Go thou to Such-and-such a woman and make merry, thou
and she, for a wee.'" So she let him in; but hardly had he
settled himself in his seat when suddenly the door was again
rapped and he asked her, "Who is this?" and she answered, "I know
not, but do thou hie and hide thee in yonder closet." So he went
in and found the Pieman there seated and said to him, "What thing
mayest thou be?"[FN#412] and said the other, "I and thou are each
like other." Meanwhile the woman had gone forth and opened the
door when behold, she was met by the Flesher whom she led within
and then said to him, "This is a time betimes." Quoth he, "By
Allah, I arose from sleep and slaughtered a ram[FN#413] and
prepared the flesh for selling when I found that the hour was
over-early and said I to myself, 'Take thee a piece of mutton
flesh and go thou in to a certain person and enjoy yourselves,
thou and she, until the Bazar shall have opened.'" But hardly had
he taken seat when came a fourth knock at the door and as he
heard this he was wonderstruck; so she said to him, "Fear not,
but hie thee and hide thee within yonder closet." Accordingly he
went in and found the Pieman and the Herbalist there sitting and
he salam'd to the twain who returned his salute; then he asked
them, "What hath brought you hither?" and they answered, "That
which brought us brought also thee." He took seat with them while
the woman went and threw open the door and behold, she was met by
her friend the Shaykh of the Pipers belonging to the Sultan, so
she brought him in and said to him, "Indeed thy time is betimes."
Said he, "Wallahi, I went forth my home intending to fare and
prepare the band[FN#414] in the Royal Palace when I found the
hour was over-early, so said I to myself, 'Hie thee to a certain
person and make ye merry, thou and she, until the sun shall rise
and thou art bound to wend palace- wards.'" "'Tis well," quoth
she and seated him and designed to take seat beside him when
behold, came a rap at the door and he cried, "Who is that?" and
she replied, "Allah only is Omniscient, but haply 'tis my
husband." So he was startled and afeard, and when she whispered
to him, "Up and enter yon closet," he did her bidding and found a
facing him therein the Pieman and the Herbalist and the Flesher
to whom he said, "Peace be upon you," and when they returned his
greeting he asked them, "Ye, who brought you?" They answered him
saying, "That which brought us also brought thee." After this he
sat beside them and the four remained seated in the closet and
huddled together, whilst each addressed himself saying, "What now
wilt thou do?" Meanwhile the woman suddenly went forth and opened
the door when behold, it was her mate the Droll who walked in and
took seat; whereupon she asked him, "And thou, why hast thou come
at such an hour? 'tis not often thy wont to return early from the
King's presence. Haply thou art unwell, for thy custom is not to
appear until near supper-tide and now thou hast forestalled our
meeting-time and hast returned a-morn. I suspect that he hath
bespoken thee concerning some matter of urgent matters that thou
comest home at this hour; but haply thou wilt finish off such
business and hie thee back to the Sultan." Quoth he, "By Allah, O
Woman, when I fared forth hence and went to the King I found that
he had many and important affairs to settle, so he said, 'Hie
thee to thy home and abide therein nor return to me till after
the third 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 Fifty-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale, that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
King's Jester went in to his wife she said, "Thou, wherefore hast
thou come so early?" and said he, "By Allah, the Sultan hath much
and important business and said to me, 'Hie thee home, and tarry
there and return not to me save after the third day.'" Now when
the four men who were closeted together heard these words they
were perplext as to their affair, and said one to other, "What
shall we do? Indeed we are unable to sit out three days in this
stead." Hereupon the Pieman said to them, "Nay, rather let us
play a prank whereby we may escape," and said they, "What may be
the device thou wouldest devise?" Quoth he, "Whatso I do that do
ye look upon and then act in like guise," and so speaking he
arose and taking his minced meat fell to sticking it upon his
skin until he was like a leper covered with sores.[FN#415] Then
he went forth the closet to the husband of the mistress, and
cried, "The Peace be upon you!" The man returned his salute and
asked him, "What art thou?" to which he made answer "I am the
Prophet Job the Ulcered, where is the way out of this?" "Here,"
cried the Jester, upon which Job passed out of the door and went
about his business and on such wise made his escape. Next the
Herbalist stood up and opening his basket brought out fragrant
herbs and fell to scattering them over his sconce and about it
and over his ears,[FN#416] till such time as all his face was
hidden in greens, after which he also went out and accosting the
house-master said, "The Peace be upon you!" And when the man
returned the salam he asked him, "Hath Job the Ulcered passed by
thee on this path?" "Indeed he hath," said the other; "but what
mayst thou be?" "I am Al-Khizr, the Green Prophet" (upon whom be
The Peace),[FN#417] and so saying he brushed by the Droll and
passed through the door. Now when the second lover had gone forth
and escaped, the Flesher arose and donning the ram's skin set its
horns upon his head and began crawling out of the closet upon all
fours, hands and knees, until he stood before the husband of his
beloved, and said to him, "The Peace be upon you!" "And upon you
be The Peace," returned the other, "What mayst thou be?" "I am
Iskandar, Lord of the Two Horns," cried the other; "say me, have
there passed by thee Job the Ulcered and Al-Khizr the Green
Prophet (upon whom be The Peace)?" Quoth the house-master, "They
went by this place and forewent thee." So the third lover passed
through the doorway and escaped, and presently the Shaykh of the
Pipers rose to his feet and applying the mouthpiece of his pipe
to his lips went up to his mistress's mate and said, "The Peace
be upon you!" and on the man returning his salam, asked him,
"Hath it so happened that Job the Ulcered and Al Khizr the Green
Prophet and Iskandar Lord of the Two Horns passed this way?"
"They have," answered the other, "What art thou?" Cried he, "I am
Israfil,[FN#418] and 'tis my design forthright to blow the Last
Trump." Hereupon the Droll straightway arose and laid hands upon
him crying, "Yallah, Yallah,[FN#419] O my brother, blow not at
all until we shall have gone, I and thou, to the Sultan." So
saying he took him by the hand and fared forth with him and
ceased not faring until he had carried him into the presence,
when the King asked, "Wherefore hast thou arrested this man?"
Answered he, "O King of the Age, this is our Lord Israfil and
'twas his intent to blow the Last Trump, so I forbade him
therefrom until such time as I had brought him for thee to look
upon, lest haply he might so have done without thy knowledge, and
said I to myself, 'By Allah, better set him before the Sultan ere
he sound his Trumpet.' Furthermore I do pray for thy welfare, O
King of the Age, inasmuch as thou hast married me to this dame
because I had fear of her lest she company with strange men. But
I found her a saintly woman who admitted none of mankind save
that to-day when I went forth from thee at morning-tide I turned
me homewards and going into my house caught with her three
Prophets and one Archangel and this is he who intended to blow
the Last Trump." Hereupon quoth the Sultan to him, "O Man, art
thou Jinn mad? How canst thou have found with thy spouse any of
the Prophets as thou sayest?" And quoth he, "By Allah, O King of
the Age, whatso hath befallen me that I have reported to thee nor
have I hidden from thee aught." The King asked, "Which was he of
the Prophets thou foundest beside thy wife?" and he answered,
"The Prophet Job (on whom be The Peace) and after him came forth
to me from a closet the Prophet Al-Khizr (on whom be the Peace!),
and after him Iskandar Lord of the Two Horns (on whom be the
Peace!) and lastly this the fourth is the Archangel Israfil." The
Sultan marvelled at his words, and exclaimed, "Laud to the Lord!
Verily this man whom thou entitlest Israfil is naught but the
Shaykh of my Pipers." "I wist naught, O King of the Age," said
the other, "but I have related to thee what hath occurred and
what I beheld and eyewitnessed." Hereupon the Sultan understood
that the wife had friends who forgathered with her, and who had
served her husband with such sleight, so he said to the musician,
"O man, unless thou tell me truly what happened I will cut off
thy head." Thereupon the Shaykh of the Pipers arose, and kissing
ground before the Sultan, said to him, "O King of the Age, give
me promise of immunity and I will relate to thee all that befel."
Quoth the King, "'Tis upon condition that thou tell no lies;" and
quoth the other, "O King of the Age, verily, I will shun
leasing."[FN#420] So the King gave him a pledge of safety, and
the Shaykh described everything that had been done and kept
nothing back, and when the King heard the story and the trick
which had been wrought by the woman's friends he marvelled
thereat and cried, "Allah kill all womankind,[FN#421] the
fornicatresses, the adulteresses, the traitresses!" After which
he despatched a posse of the Chamberlains to bring into his
presence the four persons.--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 Sixtieth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King
despatched a posse of his Chamberlains to bring into his presence
the four persons who were lovers to the Droll's wife, and he
found the first to be a Pieman who had claimed the rank of our
lord Job (on whom be The Peace!), and the second to be a
Market-Gardener who sold savoury herbs and all manner fragrant
growths, and he had made himself out to be Al-Khizr (on whom be
The Peace!), and the third to be a Butcher who had passed himself
off as Iskandar, Lord of the Two Horns (on whom be The Peace!);
whilst the fourth, whom the Jester had brought, and who declared
that he was the Archangel Israfil, and was about to blow the Last
Trump, proved to be the Shaykh of the Pipers. Now when the four
were before the King he gave orders to castrate them all save the
Shaykh[FN#422] this being the award of him who lewdly frequenteth
the women of the royal household. Hereupon they gelded them, and
each one who was made a eunuch died without stay and delay; and
the Droll divorced his wife and sent her about her business.

I have also by me (said Shahrazad) another tale concerning the
wiles of womankind, and it is that of

THE GATE-KEEPER OF CAIRO AND THE CUNNING
SHE-THIEF.[FN#423]

It is related that in Misr of Kahir there was a man who had
reached the age of fourscore and ten years, and he was a
chief-watchman of the ward in the service of the Wali; a brave
man withal, and one not wont to be startled or afeard. Now one
night as he was going around about the city with the Chief of
Police, and he was returning to the guard-house[FN#424] before
break o' day that he might perform the Wuzu-ablution, and at the
call to dawn-prayers he might rise and repeat them, it so
fortuned that when he was about to stand up to his orisons,
according to the custom of him, suddenly a purse fell before him
upon the ground. As soon as he had done with his devotions he
arose and gazed around to see who had thrown him that bag of
money, but he could find nobody; so he took it up and opened it,
when an hundred dinars met his sight. Hereat he wondered; but on
the following day when he had washed and was praying, behold, a
second purse was cast at his feet; so he waited until he had
finished his orisons and then stood up and looked around to see
who had thrown it. Thereupon, as he failed to find any, he took
it up and opened it and again beheld an hundred dinars, a matter
which filled him with wonder. This continued till the third day
at morning-tide, when he had washed as was his wont and stood up
to his prayers, and lo and behold! another purse was dropped at
his feet. Herewith he cut short his devotions, and turning him
round saw beside him a girl whose years had reached fifteen; so
he seized her and said, "Who art thou, and what is the reason of
thy throwing at my feet every day a purse of an hundred gold
pieces, and this is the third time; argal the sum amounteth to
three hundred. What may be this case?" Said she, "O my lord, my
name is Fatimah, and my wish and will is a matter which thou
canst bring to an end for me by means of thy tongue!" Quoth he,
"What is't thou wantest of me?" and quoth she, "'Tis my intent
that on the morrow I sham drunkenness with wine and cast myself
before the mansion of the Kazi of the Army.[FN#425] Thou shalt
find me there strown upon the ground and dressed in all the best
of my clothes and finest ornaments. So when thou shalt come to
that quarter and espy me lying there in drink do thou bid the
Linkman move the links to and fro; then come forward, O
Mukaddam,[FN#426] and investigate the case and examine me, and
say the Wali, 'This girl is in liquor.' The Chief of Police shall
reply to thee, 'Take her and carry her to the watch-house and
keep her there till day-break.'"--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 Sixty-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
girl to the Mukaddam, "And when thou shalt have found me drunken
with wine, the Wali shall bid thee, 'Take her to the watch-house
and there keep her till daybreak.' Hereto do thou object, 'No!
this were not suitable: I will cry upon someone of the quarter
and will awake the Kazi of the Army, for that she belongeth to
his ward.' Then assemble all thy folk and say to them, 'Verily
this girl is in liquor and not mistress of herself at such time;
needs must she be of a great family and daughter to grandees;
therefore 'twere not proper that we take her with us to the
watch-house; nor let any hold her in his charge save the Kazi of
the Army till morning and until such time as she shall have
recovered her senses and can fare to her own folk.'" Hereupon
quoth the Mukaddam to her, "Easy enough!" and quoth she, "An thou
act on this wise and my success be from thy hand, I will give
thee five hundred dinars besides the three hundred." "This matter
is not far to us,"[FN#427] said he; so she left him and went
away. Now when it was the season after night-prayers, the Chief
of Police came forth his quarters and, repairing to the
watch-house and taking the Mukaddam and his men, would have
threaded the highways of Cairo as was his wont, but the head
Gate-Keeper forewent him and took the direction of the quarter
wherein dwelt the Kazi of the Army; the Wali unknowing the while
what was in the man's thought. They ceased not faring until they
entered that part of the town wherein stood the Judge's house,
and when they approached it, lo and behold! the Mukaddam found a
something strown upon the ground. So said he to the Linkman who
carried the light, "O my son, do thou shake the torch," and when
he moved the link to and fro it illumined the whole quarter. Then
the Gate-Keeper came forward; and, looking at what was lying
there, found it to be a damsel in liquor dressed out with
sumptuous dress and adorned with all her ornaments: so he said to
the Wali, "O my Chief,[FN#428] this girl is drunken with wine and
hath fallen on the ground;" and said the Chief of Police, "Take
her up and carry her to the watch-house until morning." Hereupon
quoth the Mukaddam, "No! this were not fitting; nor is it
possible for the like of this girl. She is in the ward of the
Kazi al'-Askar, to whose household haply she belongeth or to some
great man in the quarter, and we fear lest befal her of evil
matters some matter and we shall come to be transgressors."
Hereupon, after applying some remedy to the damsel, they made her
sit up and presently they called aloud upon the people of the
quarter and awoke the Judge and when all the folk came out in a
body the Wali said to them, "Look ye upon this girl; peradventure
you may know whose daughter she is." They came forward and
examined her and found her garbed in sumptuous garments and
trickt out with the whole of her ornaments, whereupon the Chief
of Police and the Mukaddam of the Watchmen said to them, "Indeed
'tis not possible for us to remove yon maiden from this place; so
do you take her to your homes until morning-tide when she shall
recover and be able to care for herself and then fare to her own
folk." Hereat they made agreement that none should lodge her in
his house save the Kazi of the Army; so a party of the servants
raised her and led her to his mansion and set her in a chamber
hard by the open saloon; after which each and every of them fared
forth to sleep in his own place. On this wise it befel the Wali
and the Mukaddam and the Kazi and the folk of the ward; but as
regards the affair of the damsel whom they found stretched on the
ground as one drunken, she on entering the Kazi's abode pulled
herself together and recovered herself, for that she had wrought
all this wily work for the special purpose of being led into the
house there to carry out her wish and will. Presently the Judge
lay down and was drowned in slumber and knew not what Allah had
destined to him from the plans and projects of the girl who,
rising up at midnight, opened the door of her chamber leading
into the saloon where the Kazi al-'Askar kept all his hoards and
coin[FN#429] and dresses and belongings. Now she had appointed
her people to meet her at that house, so they came and carried
off the whole of what was in the saloon nor did they leave aught
therein, at all, at all, save only the matting. And when dawned
the morn, the Kazi of the Army arose and repaired to the saloon,
as was his wont, for the purpose of dressing, but he found
therein nothing except the matting. So he buffeted his face with
his palms and wailed aloud whereat a party of his servants came
to him and asked, "What is the matter with thee, O our lord the
Kazi?" then, on going into the saloon they remarked that it had
been gutted of everything. So they went from him and threw open
the door of the chamber wherein they had placed the damsel but
they found her nowhere.--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 Sixty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Kazi's
folk went and threw open the door of the chamber wherein the
damsel had slept; and, when they found nothing therein, they were
certified it was she who had carried away the goods. After such
fashion it happened to these; but as regards the action of the
Judge, he took horse and wended his way to the Sultan, and he
ceased not wending till he had entered the presence and salam'd
and blessed the Sovran who returned his salute. Then cried he, "O
King of the Age, there hath befallen me that which is so-and-so,
and I have a claim on the Chief of Police and the Mukaddam of the
watch, for that indeed they were the men who bade me admit the
girl into my home, and this guest of mine hath left me nor muchel
nor little." Hereupon the King bade summon the men with their
many, and when they came before him, he bade strike off the heads
of the two head men; but they said to him, "O King of the Age,
grant us three days' respite and, if aught discover itself to us
and we rid ourselves of the responsibility, we shall be saved;
but an we avail not thereto, the sword of the Sultan is long."
"Go forth," cried the King; "I have granted you a three days'
delay; if you bring the offender 'tis well, and if not, your
heads shall be in lieu thereof and eke so your families and your
properties." Hearing this they sued for dismissal, and the Wali
went forth to search in this way and wander in one direction and
the Mukaddam in another. They roamed about Cairo for two
full-told days, but naught happened to them until the third about
the call to noontide-prayers, when the Mukaddam entered a narrow
street on the side of the city to the west, and behold, a door
opened and a speaker spake saying, "O Mukaddam, who is behind the
door?" So he turned towards the sound and said, "'Tis well," and
the other cried, "Come thou and draw near to me." He did so and
approached the entrance when suddenly he saw the damsel who had
shammed drunkenness[FN#430] and whom they had introduced into the
Kazi al-'Askar's house. Now when he accosted her and recognised
her, he seized her and she asked him, "Wherefore dost thou arrest
me and what is thine intent to do with me?" "We will carry thee
to the Sultan," answered he, "and I and the Wali shall be set
free. During the last three days I have done nothing but wander
about in search of thee who hast wrought for us such work and
after hast fled from us." Quoth the girl, "O clever one, had I
designed the ruin of you I had never made myself manifest to
thee, nor couldst thou have met me or forgathered with me:
however, I will now work at freeing you from the hands of the
Sultan, that both thou and the Wali may escape and that you twain
may take from the Judge of the Army whatever of good you want and
will." Quoth he, "How shall we do?" and quoth she, "I have by me
a white slave-girl the very likeness of myself and at this time I
have dressed her in my dresses and decorations and have cut her
throat, and by my cleverness and force of heart I have caused her
to be carried to a ruin hard by the Kazi's house and have had her
buried therein and have set over her a slab. So do thou fare
hence and taking the Wali seek the Sultan and say to him, 'We
have wandered about Misr, the whole thereof, but we have found
naught of our want, and now nothing remaineth to us save the
house of the Kazi al-'Askar; so we desire to search therein and,
if we find that damsel murthered, we will gather together the
folk of the quarter who saw us before that they may look upon
her; and be the Judge also standing by that we may ask the
people, 'What say ye concerning this maiden?' when haply they may
reply, 'This is the girl which was drunken with wine.' And as
soon as they shall bear witness that it is the same, you twain
shall stay behind to converse with the Judge as ye desire and
take from him whatever you wish and will; and he shall sue you
for grace and for aidance. Then will he go up to the King and
report to him saying, 'I have found my debtor and I have
recovered from him all my good;' whereupon you shall be set free
and eke I shall be freed. And finally do ye come hither to me and
we will divide all the plunder I have taken from the Kazi's
house." Now when the damsel had made the old Watchman understand
these words, he left her, and going to the Wali, informed him of
the whole affair and reported all that the girl had communicated
to him of treachery and plottings, whereupon the Chief of Police
took horse, and accompanied by the Mukaddam, rode to the
Palace,--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 story, O sister mine,
and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this
compared with that I would relate to you on the coming night an
the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night
and that was

The Seven Hundred and Sixty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Wali
rode to the Palace, he and the chief Watchman, seeking the
Sultan, and they ceased not riding until they entered the
presence and saluted the Sovran, praying for the endurance of his
glory and the continuance of his life-tide. He returned their
salute and asked concerning the affair of his Judge and they
answered him, "O King of the Age, verily we have wandered about
Misr and the entirety thereof, without finding any and now there
remaineth for our search naught save the quarters occupied by the
Kali al-'Askar. So we design to examine it that if aught be found
therein we may be set free, and if not that thou work upon us
thine own intent." Hereupon the Sultan sent to summon the Judge;
and, when he made act of presence, commanded him suffer the Wali
and the Mukaddam to search his quarters and he replied, "Hearing
and obeying." The whole forty then fared from the Palace and
reaching the Judge's mansion rummaged it until they came upon the
ruined stead described by the damsel; so thither they went and
seeing a slab newly laid, pulled it up and found beneath it a
white girl full-dressed and ornamented.[FN#431] The Watchman
fared forth and summoned all the ward-folk who considered
narrowly the corpse of the murthered damsel, and they all cried
with a single voice, "Indeed this be the girl which was drunken
with wine and which was carried into the Kazi's quarters." And
they bore official testimony to such effect what while the Judge,
who was standing in that stead looking and listening, said to
himself, "How can such case have occurred to us without cause?"
And when this business was finished, the Wali turned to the Kazi
and said "O Shaykh of Islam,[FN#432] we left this damsel in thy
charge and to thine honour until morning-tide, deeming that haply
she might be the daughter of a grandee house and yet hast thou
cut her throat and hidden her within thy premises." But the Judge
could return to him no reply nor attempt any address, for he
feared lest the King should hear thereof; so he inclined to the
Master of Police and got ready for him an hundred purses and
twenty for the Mukaddam that they might keep silence and not
report such matter of scandal to the Sultan. Accordingly they
accepted that amount of money from him and the Kazi went forth
from him and took horse and informed the Sultan that he had found
his debtor and had recovered his due; but he spoke not these
words save for fear of the Chief of Police and the Head of the
Watchmen lest they inform the King that they had found the
murthered damsel within his demesne. Then the Mukaddam repaired
to the house where the She-thief had bespoken him and standing at
the door knocked thereat when those inside asked, "Who mayest
thou be?" and he answered, "I am seeking Fatimah!" "Who is
Fatimah?" cried they, "we have here nor Fatimah nor
Halimah."[FN#433] Thereupon quoth the Mukaddam, "Indeed this
Fornicatress, this Adulteress hath wrought upon us and hath
escaped us; but, seeing that we also have won free by virtue of
the wile she pointed out to us, we will leave her to time and
doubtless during the length of days we twain shall forgather
again." On this wise endeth the story (quoth Shahrazad); but I
will now relate a very different adventure and 'tis the

TALE OF MOHSIN AND MUSA.[FN#434]

It fortuned once upon a time that two men went forth from the
same place, one foregoing the other, and they forgathered by the
way. Now each had a bag full of flour and a flask[FN#435]
containing somewhat of water; and when they made acquaintance on
the road the first of them said to his companion, "O my brother,
what may be thy name?" and said the Second, "I am hight Mohsin,
the Beneficent,[FN#436] and thou, what art thou called?" Quoth
the other, "M£s… the Malignant."[FN#437] So the two fared on in
converse and whenever mealtime came round, each would bring out a
portion of meal and knead it and make of it a scone,[FN#438] and
light a fire and bake it thereon: after which they would satisfy
their hunger. But Mohsin knew not that had been doomed for him by
his companion Musa the Misdoer, so the twain would fare together
and feed together. On the following day quoth Musa to Mohsin, "O
my brother, I have with me a bag of flour and a flask of water
and thou hast the same, and whenever eating-time cometh round
each one bringeth out somewhat of his vivers. Now this is not
right; 'twere the better way that we first eat that is with thee
and when 'tis ended we use my provaunt." "'Tis well, O my
brother," quoth Mohsin. They agreed upon this condition and
whenever moved by appetite they ate of Mohsin's viaticum until
his bag of flour and his flask of water were clean emptied. But
when the meal-hour came, Musa arose and made for him a single
scone and no more, and baked it and ate it by himself, while
Mohsin sat by looking on. This befel time after time for the
first day and the second day until Mohsin waxed anhungered and
famine wrung his vitals, so quoth he to Musa, "O my brother, give
me somewhat of thy food that I may nourish myself therewith, for
indeed I am empty exceedingly." But Musa made reply, "By Allah, I
will not give it to thee; no, not a single mouthful." Rejoined
Mohsin, "O my brother, we two made covenant that we should become
brethren, and first eat of my provaunt and then of thine; now,
however, thou art not pleased to grant me or bite or sup. This is
not the act of an honest man." He answered, "Be brief! an thou be
hungry I will give thee half of my scone on condition that I
pluck out thine eye." "How so, O my brother?" rejoined Mohsin,
"Wilt thou blind me of one eye for the sake of half a scone?
better leave me to die with my sight as it is." Said Musa, "At
thy pleasure!"[FN#439] But on the third day Mohsin was like to
sink for extreme hunger, and he cried, "There is no Majesty and
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great. Do
thou, O Musa, give the half-scone and pluck out one of mine
eyes." Musa did as he was bidden, and thrusting forth his finger
gouged[FN#440] out the right eye, whereby Mohsin remained
purblind, withal was he not filled by the half-scone. Now on the
fourth day Mohsin waxed yet more ravenous and famine was right
sore upon him, and he cried, "There is no Majesty! by Allah, O
Musa, my brother, I am afamished, so pity me and the Lord shall
pity thee." Replied the other, "I will give thee nothing until I
shall have gouged out thine other eye." Quoth Mohsin, "Verily we
are Allah's and unto him we shall return! but, by the Almighty,
famishing is bitter; so do thou with me, O Musa, what the
Omniscient hath predestined as to the plucking out of my two
eyes." Accordingly the man gave him the half scone and plucked
out his other eye; and on such wise made him stone blind.
Hereupon Musa left his companion darkly tramping[FN#441] about
the roads. Now in the neighbourhood of that place was a well full
of water;[FN#442] so when Mohsin drew near knowing nothing
thereof, Musa came up and pushed him thereinto; and while falling
into the pit Mohsin said to himself, "O Lord, thou hast doomed me
to blinding and at last Thou hast condemned me to drowning."--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 Sixty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when Musa
had thrust Mohsin into the well with intent to drown him, the
blinded man cried, "O Lord thou hast doomed me to blinding, and
at last Thou hast condemned me to drowning." Then he struck out
with hands and feet till he felt the walls of the well wherein he
found two niches; so he set toes into one of them and there stood
awaiting the salvation of Allah which was nearhand; and his heart
was satisfied and he drank of the water. When the first night
fell behold, two of the Jinns came to the pit and sat down in
converse each with other, when quoth the first to the second,
"Wall hi! O certain person, there is now to be found nor sage nor
leach, and all of them are preposterous pretenders and barkers of
man's intent." Quoth the other, "What may be these words?" and
the former resumed, "By Allah, I have possessed the daughter of
the Sultan and she is the dearling of my heart whom I love with
dearest love; yet can none avail to unsorcel her of me." Quoth
his companion, "And what would expel thee?" And quoth he, "Naught
will oust me save a black cock or a sable chicken; and whenas one
shall bring such and cut his throat under her feet of a
Saturday,[FN#443] I shall not have power to approach the city
wherein she dwelleth." "By Allah, O my brother," said the other,
"thou hast spoken sooth: there is in this land nor wizard nor
mediciner who knoweth aught and all of them are liars and
contradictors who lay claim to science without aught of
intelligence; indeed there is not one of them who knoweth of this
tree (which adjoineth our well) that whoso shall take the leaves
thereof and plaster them upon his eyes, even though he be born
blind he will be gifted with sight and wax sound after two or
three days by the kind permission of Allah Almighty. Yet are the
folk all heedless of such virtue in the tree." Now Mohsin
remained listening to these words and pondering them as he stood
supported by the side-wall of the well, and when it was the last
third of the night, the Jinns which were conversing at the mouth
took leave each of other. And as soon as the day brake and the
time waxed bright behold there came a Kafilah which passed by the
pit seeking drink for themselves and water for their cattle.
Presently they let down a bucket by a cord and when Mohsin felt
the rope he caught hold thereof, whereat the caravan people
cried, "We take refuge with Allah from Satan the Stoned," and
said one to other, "Verily in this well is a Satan!" Mohsin heard
their words and answered them and said, "Y 'llah[FN#444] Ho you,
draw me out hence, for verily I am of mankind and not of
Jinn-kind and being blind I fell yesterday into this hole." Cried
they, "Catch tight hold of the cord," and when he did so they
drew him out and finding him weak from famine they gave him a
somewhat of food and he ate and drank. The caravan-folk on like
guise drank from the well and watered their beasts; after which
they would have led Mohsin away with them but he said, "O my
brethren (whose weal Allah increase[FN#445] and whose grace may
He reward!), I have a single want wherewith I fain ye would
favour me!" Asked they, "And what may that be?" and he answered,
"That ye direct me to the tree which adjoineth this well and lead
me close thereto and God shall gar your good to grow!" Hereupon
one hent him by the hand and after doing as he desired and
setting him beside the tree returned to his own folk and the
caravan loaded and left the place. Presently Mohsin swarmed up
the trunk; and, taking seat upon a branch of its branches, fell
to cropping the leaves and patching them upon either eye as he
had heard the Jinni prescribe; and hardly had two days gone by
when he felt healed of his hurt and opened his eyelids and saw
what was around him. Then, after taking somewhat of its foliage,
he came down from the tree and went on his wayfare until he
entered a city and found him a lodging. When this was done he
fell to threading the streets and ways crying aloud the while, "I
am the Leach, the Healer![FN#446] I am the Mediciner who can cure
the blind!" whereat all the one-eyed and the sightless would
summon him with outcries and he would apply to them somewhat of
his leaves; and after two or three days (he superintending the
while) they would open their eyes and see. On this wise went by a
term of time until at last the King of that city heard rumour of
a new leach; so he sent to him and summoned him and said to him,
"Art thou a clever Medicine-man even as they have informed me
concerning thee? I have a daughter ridden[FN#447] by a Jinni of
the Jann and we desire of thee that thou unsorcel her." "And if I
avail not to free her?" asked Mohsin, and the King answered,
"Then will I kill thee even as I have slain a many before thee
who have looked upon the face of the Princess." "And if I prove
able to deliver her and fend her from further offence?" "I will
give thee what thou askest of coin and hoards." "No, O King of
the Age; this condition I will not accept: if I free her I must
take her to wife, for an I fail therein thou wilt slay me; and
unless thou agree with me after I shall have saved her that thou
e'en wed her to me"--[FN#448] "'Tis well, O Shaykh; and for
releasing her I give thee a delay of three months for visiting
and healing her."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day
and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth
her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O
sister mine, and 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 Sixty-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the King
covenanted with the Mediciner that the unsorceling of the
Princess should be within three months; after which he set apart
an apartment for him with all the furniture and appurtenances
thereof and appointed to him rations of meat and drink. So Mohsin
abode with him the appointed time and he in the extreme of
comfort and enjoyment; but when the three months were ended the
Sultan sent for him and summoned him between his hands and said,
"O Shaykh, the term is gone by." Hereupon Shaykh Mohsin went
forth and bought him a black cock and when Sabbath[FN#449] came
round the Sultan presented him to his daughter whom he found in
sore and sorrowful state, unknowing how the mishap had occurred
to her. Now when he went in and looked upon her in such case, he
drew near to her and fell to reciting Koranic versets which avert
evil (the Sultan sitting beside them the while); and at the last
he slaughtered the cock between her feet. Hereat the Princess
recovered her senses and rose up and sat down[FN#450] forthright
and called for meat and drink which were brought to her; then she
ate and drank and besought for herself the guidance of God and
said, "Alhamdolillah"--laud to the Lord--and presently she kissed
the hand of her sire and of Shaykh Mohsin. Quoth the King, "O my
daughter, art thou indeed well?" and quoth she, "At this present
I feel naught of pain in my person nor do I sense anything of
what hath been with me; and all this is by blessing of yonder
Shaykh thou hast brought to me. But say me, O my father, what
hast thou made over to him of money as a reward for unsorcelling
me?" "O my dauvhter," replied he, "I have offered him all he
shall ask." But when the Princess recovered from her malady and
returned to self, she changed from mode to mode and she became as
one cast in the mould of beauty and loveliness and Shaykh Mohsin
looking upon her was dazed and amazed in his wits by cause of her
exceeding comeliness and seemlihead. Presently the Princess
addressed, "O Shaykh Mohsin, what thing dost thou ask of the
King's Majesty?" for indeed her heart was fulfilled of the love
to him which had mastered her. Now the Wazir had a son and it was
his aim that his heir should marry the King's daughter, but this
his wish was in vain; for when she was certified that her
salvation was at the hand of Shaykh Mohsin, she said to her sire,
"Do thou, O my father, largesse what is dearest to thee upon my
healer."[FN#451] Her design in these words was that the Sultan
might bestow her to wife upon her deliverer, and she added,
"Indeed our joyance hath been at his hands and he is deserving of
munificence full and abundant." But again the object of her
speech was that her parent might espouse her to the Shaykh for
the love to Mohsin which had mastered her heart. Quoth her
father, "O my daughter we will give him a sumptuous robe of
honour and ten purses;" but quoth she, "No, O my sire, this be
not gift sufficient for the like of such service." Now she was
the sole prop of her parents who had no child save herself, so
the King replied, "O my daughter, I will give him whatso thou
shalt say." Thereupon she asked him, "How many of the folk came
in to me and uncovered my shame[FN#452] and were slain therefor?"
and he answered, "Some fifty." Then cried she, "Had not Shaykh
Mohsin been able to exorcise me what hadst thou done with him?"
"Indeed I had slain him." "Then Alhamdolillah--Glory be to
God--for that my deliverance was at his hand: so do thou bestow
upon him thy best," and so she spake for that she was ashamed to
say her sire, "Wed me to him." The King not understanding the
hint she had hinted said to her, "All thou wishest I will
largesse to him;" and she, "I have spoken to thee but thou hast
not comprehended my words! All who have looked upon my shame and
proved unable to deliver me thou wast wont to slay and this man
hath been my salvation after seeing me unveiled: how then wilt
thou gift him with money and means or condition with him when
thou art unable to carry out thy compact?" Hereupon the King
became ware of what was in his daughter's mind and forthwith
sending to summon the Kazi and witnesses he bade bind the
marriage-bond between her and Shaykh Mohsin and in due time let
them lead him to her in procession and suffer him go in unto her.
So he cohabited with the Princess a while of time, after which
the life-term of the Sultan drew near, and he fell sick of a
sickness whereof he died. And when they had committed his remains
to earth the Lords of the land and the Grandees of command
forgathered and agreed in council that none should overrule them
save the Shaykh Mohsin. So they invested him with the signet-ring
of Sovranty and seated him upon the throne of Kingship and he
became Sovereign and Sultan. Moreover Allah Almighty enlightened
his heart in governance with justice and equity; and all the
subjects with the Notables of the realm and the Rulers of high
rank blessed him and prayed for him. Now one day of the days
Sultan Mohsin felt desirous of solacing himself in the gardens;
so he rode forth, he and his suite, when he suddenly sighted his
whilome comrade, the same who had plucked out one eye for half a
scone and had gouged out the other eye for the other half. He
bade them bring the man to the presence and when they set him
between his hands he asked him saying, "O Shaykh, what may be thy
name?" and he answered, "I am hight Shaykh Mohammed." So he
carried him with his suite to the gardens where they abode until
day ended, after which the Sultan rode back and entering his
palace, bade bring Shaykh Mohammed whom he despatched to the
House of Hospitality.[FN#453] On the third day he bade summon his
guest after supper-tide and taking him by the hand led him into a
cabinet and said, "O Shaykh Mohammed, do thou tell us a
tale."--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 Seventy-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 when the
King entered the closet leading Mohammed by the hand he said to
him, "Do thou, O Shaykh, tell us a tale." "By Allah, O our lord,"
quoth the other, "I know naught of stories." Whereupon the Sultan
rejoined, "If so it be, I will relate to thee, O Shaykh Mohammed,
an adventure of my own and 'tis as follows:--Once upon a time a
man went forth his town and he made companionship with another
upon the way, and each one of them bore with him a bag of meal
and a flask of water." On this wise the Sultan continued
recounting to him the real history of Mohsin and Musa the
Malignant, till at the end of the tale he said, "And Musa, after
gouging out both eyes of Mohsin for the sake of a single scone,
thrust him into a well designing to drown him therein, but Allah
Almighty preserved his life and brought him forth the pit and our
Lord favoured him and restored to him his two eyes and empowered
him over the kingdom and thus did he become Sovran and Sultan.
Now the prosperity of that Shaykh Mohsin was from the well
whereinto Musa had thrust him." Presently he added, "An this tale
be soothfast, then am I Mohsin and thou art Musa the Malignant. I
am able at this moment to slay thee but I will spare thee and
moreover counsel thee as follows:--Do thou go to the well and
haply Almighty Allah shall thereby grant to thee some good, for
that the root of my fair fortune was from that same pit." Now
when the first third of the night had sped, Musa arose and
repaired to the pit and descended therein when behold, the same
two Jinnis had forgathered beside the wellmouth at that same hour
and were seated together conversing each with other. Quoth the
first, "What is thy case this day?" and quoth the second, "By
Allah, O my brother, my condition is ill-conditioned ever since a
certain night when we met in this place and talked together. And
so it hath continued until the present time, for that I have been
unable to approach the city wherein dwelleth the Sultan's
daughter: and someone that was in the well must have overheard us
whilst we knew naught of him and he must have acted according to
our words and slaughtered the black cock; after which I have been
unable to near her abode." Quoth the other, "By Allah, O my
brother, thou hast spoken sooth; but our ill-constraint is from
this well." Hereupon the Jinni put forth his hand about the
pit[FN#454] and finding Musa the Misdoer snatched him up and
seizing him between his palms tore his body into four pieces and
cast away the quarters in some desert stead. And this (said
Shahrazad) is the award of whoso betrayeth his fellow man. And
they also relate the adventure of

MOHAMMED THE SHALABI AND HIS MISTRESS
AND HIS WIFE.[FN#455]

It is told among the many things which happened in Cairo the
God-guarded that therein dwelt a man who was an Emir and who had
a son Mohammed Shalabi[FN#456] hight, a youth in his day unique
for beauty and loveliness, nor in his time was there his peer for
comeliness and seemlihead amongst women or amongst men. Now when
he had attained the age of ten and was approaching puberty, his
sire betrothed him and wedded him to a fair wife who loved him
with fondest love even after marriage. There was also in Misr a
Kazi al-'Askar, a Judge of the Army, who had a daughter singular
for form and favour and bloom and brilliancy, and stature and
symmetric grace and she was known as Sitt al-Husn--the Lady of
Loveliness. Now one chance day of the days she went forth
together with her mother and the handmaidens to the Baths and
when they reached the half way behold, they were confronted by
the young Shalabi whose glance fell upon the girl and her glance
lit upon the youth, wherefrom love and affection for him settled
in her heart and it was with him after the same fashion.
Presently she began to send him messages and letters and he to do
on like guise, yet could neither win possession of other nor
indeed could the twain meet privately in one place. This endured
for the space of three years therefore were their hearts melted
in fire of mutual love-longing, until on a certain day when
desire in the girl surged high for her lover and likewise did his
yearning for his beloved; withal neither availed to win union.
Hereupon befel them sore travail and trouble and the young lady
sent an old woman to her dearling praying him to meet her in such
a site; and when the go-between had informed him thereof, he
arose to obey her without stay or delay, unknowing what was
hidden from him in the Secret Purpose. He fared till he came to
the place in question when it was the hour of sunset and here the
Shalabi forgathered with the Kazi's daughter who had kept tryst
with him accompanied by her handmaidens; and anon the twain, he
and she, repaired to a retired spot. Now by the decree of the
Decreer which is written upon the foreheads and the brows of
mankind, one of the folk belonging to the Chief of Police was
loitering about the place when the couple entered that secret
stead; and as soon as they had settled themselves comfortably,
each began complaining to other of the pangs of separation. After
this the handmaidens brought to them food, meat and wine, and
they ate and drank and toyed and were cheered and made merry from
set of sun till the noon o' night and they conversed together as
boon companions until either was fulfilled of other and the pains
of parting had vanished from their hearts. Such was the case with
the lover and the beloved; but as regards the Wali's man who was
looking upon them and listening, he well knew the place wherein
the couple had retired and having noted it and certified himself
thereof, he went to the Chief of Police and made his report
saying, "In such a site of such a ward are a man and a maid
whereupon show the signs of affluence, and doubtless an thou
seize them thou shalt easily get from each and either some
fifteen purses." The Wali hearing these words forthwith led out
his party and marched with them to the spot appointed; and he
ceased not wending for half the night until they all came to the
trysting place. Then he pushed forward axe[FN#457] in hand and
smote the door and broke it down; and forthright he rushed into
the room without being expected by the youth or the young lady
whom he found sitting together in the very height of enjoyment.
But when they saw him suddenly appear they were consterned and
confounded and confused as to their affair, so he arrested them
and led them off and carried them to his house, where he placed
them in prison.[FN#458] Forthwith the bruit concerning the youth
went abroad and reached his family; to wit, how Mohammed Shalabi
had been seized by the Chief of Police, together with the girl
his beloved. Now after imprisoning them the Wali said, "This pair
shall remain with me for a day or two days and until I catch them
in their robbery;"[FN#459] but quoth one of the party, "Indeed
thou knowest not and thou hast not learnt that this damsel is the
daughter of the Kazi of the Army who throughout the past year
wrought for the slaying of thee by the Sultan." And hardly had
the Wali heard these words than his heart was filled with joy and
he exclaimed, "By Allah, needs must I have his wench disgraced
and proclaimed by bell[FN#460] about the thoroughfares of Cairo
and him dishonoured in the presence of the Sultan and degraded
from his degree." Now when it was morning-tide a rumour flew
about town that the Judge's daughter had been seized by the Wali
and the watch together with the young Shalabi in a certain place
and presently the report reached her father who cried, "There is
no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! O Saving God, save me! Oh, vile disgrace and foul
dishonour before Sultan and subjects who shall say the Kazi's
daughter hath been seduced and abused. However may the Veiler
enveil me!" On his part the Wali went up to the Palace and sought
the Sovran to acquaint him therewith; but, finding that he had
business, he sat him down to await its ending when he purposed
informing him concerning the daughter of his enemy the Chief
Kazi. On such wise it befel him; but as regards the wife of the
youth who was lover to the girl, as soon as the rumour reached
her that the Shalabi had been arrested by the Wali and the watch,
she arose to her feet without stay and delay and doffing whatso
of woman's dress was upon her--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day, and fell silent and ceased saying her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy
tale, O sister mine, and 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 Seventy-fourth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that as soon as
the Shalabi's wife was informed touching her husband how the Wali
had seized him in company with the Kazi's daughter, she arose
forthright and doffing whatso of woman's dress was upon her and
donning man's disguise provided herself with somewhat of
provaunt[FN#461] and went forth intending for the gaol in the
Wali's house. She asked for the road as she went and a man of the
people directed her to the office until she reached the place
carrying her victuals; then she enquired for the gaoler. So they
made him meet her and quoth she, "Open to me the prison wherein
they have gaoled the Shalabi and the maiden," and she promised
him by signs a gold piece; hereupon he admitted her and she
passed into the room where lay her spouse and the girl and set
meat before him. But he knew her not and cried, "Indeed I will
nor eat nor drink, and do thou fare from me and leave me in this
my plight." Quoth she, "Nay, thou must eat and gladness shall
befal thee." Accordingly he came forward and ate a small matter
and she after sitting with him for an hour or so, arose and
doffed her man's dress. Then she stripped the Kazi's daughter of
all the clothes she was wearing and garbed her in the masculine
garb wherewith she had entered to the twain. The young lady did
as she was bidden and showed likest to the Shalabi's wife who
lastly served her with what remained of the meat and said to her,
"Up with thee and hie thee home." So the Kazi's daughter fared
forth under the disguise of a dainty youth such an one as he who
anon had entered the gaol; and as soon as she had wended her way
the wife took seat beside her husband. When he saw her habited in
the habit of the Kazi's daughter he recognised her and knew her
for his spouse; so he asked of her, "What hath brought thee
hither?" and she answered, "I have come with this contrivance for
the purpose of saving thee and of saving the honour of the girl
thou lovest." But as soon as the Kazi's daughter had departed in
her disguise the gaoler was deaf to entreaty and closed the
prison doors upon the pair and the Shalabi and his spouse sat
down together and his heart was satisfied and his secret was
safe-directed,[FN#462] and fell from him all the sorrow which had
settled upon his heart. Such was the case with these two; but as
regards the Chief of Police, when he went up to the Sultan and
saw that he was busied he took patience until the work was ended,
after which he came forward and kissed ground before him and
salam'd to him and blessed him. The King returned his salute and
then said, "What is to do?" and said he, "O King of the Age. I
found during the past night the Lady Sitt al-Husn, daughter to
the Kazi al-'Askar, companying with her lover a certain Mohammed
Shalabi son of the Emir Such-and-such; so I seized the couple and
confined them by me and now I myself come to report the case in
thy presence." When the Sultan heard these words, he was wroth
with exceeding wrath and his eyes flashed red and his outer
jugulars[FN#463] swelled and he foamed at the mouth and roaring
cried, "How can it be that the daughter of the Kazi al-Islam
companieth with a lover and alloweth herself to be debauched? By
Allah, needs must I slay her and slay her father and slay the
youth her lover." Thus befel it with the Sultan and the Wali; but
as regards the matter of the girl Sitt al-Husn, when she went
forth the prison in the dress of a Shalabi, a dainty youth, she
ceased not wending till she reached her paternal home. Here she
repaired to a place which was private and having doffed her man's
dress garbed her in maidenly garments, then retiring secretly to
her own room lay her down and her heart was heartened and trouble
and turmoil and travail of mind fell from her. Now at that time
her mother was lamenting like a funeral mourner and buffeting her
face and her breast and kept crying out, "Oh the shame of us! Oh
the dishonour of us! When they shall have informed the Sultan of
this, he shall surely slay her sire." And the Kazi waxed
distraught and full of thought and he also said in his mind, "How
shall I remain Kazi al-Islam when the folk of Cairo say, 'Verily
the daughter of our Lord High Chancellor hath been debauched?'"
With these words he kept visiting his wife's apartment and
sitting with her for awhile, then faring forth and coming in from
place to place[FN#464] and he wandered about like one bewildered
of wits. When behold, a handmaid of the handmaidens entered the
room wherein lay the Kazi's daughter and finding her strown upon
her bed looked upon her and recognised her. So she left her and
running in her haste hied her to the mistress and cried, "O my
lady, indeed Sitt al-Husn of whom you are talking is lying down
in such a room of the Harem." Thereupon the mother arose and went
and came upon her daughter, so she rejoiced in her and returning
to the Kazi in his apartment acquainted him therewith. He also
repaired to his daughter's bower and finding her therein quoth
he, "Where hast thou been?" Quoth she, "O my father, my head
began to ache after sunset-time, so I lay me down in this place."
Hereupon without stay or delay the Kazi took horse, he and his
Officials, and repaired to the Sultan--And Shahrazad was
surprised by the dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say
her permitted say. Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is
thy story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!"
Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I would relate
to you on the coming night an the King suffer me to survive?" Now
when it was the next night and that was

The Seven Hundred and Seventy-sixth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Kazi
of the Army repaired to the Sultan, he and the whole of his
officials, and he ceased not wending until he entered the
presence, where he salam'd and said, "O King of the Age, is it
lawful and allowed of Allah Almighty that thy Wali charge us with
calumnious charge and false?" As the Chief of Police was standing
hard by, the Sultan asked him, "How can the Wali have misspoken
thee and thy daughter when she is still imprisoned by him and in
his house?" whereto the Chief of Police added, "'Tis true! his
daughter is surely with us in durance vile, she along with her
lover, for indeed I found the pair in such a place." Said the
Kazi, "O King of the Age, I will abide here beside thee and do
thou let the Wali go down and bring before thee that which is
with him in gaol, and the case shall be made manifest, because
hearing with the ear is not like eyeing with the eye." The Sultan
replied, "This rede is right," whereupon the Chief of Police
returned to his house and ordered the gaoler to open the gaol and
bring thereout the maiden Sitt al-Husn and her lover the youth
Mohammed Shalabi. The man did his bidding and leading forth of
prison the couple committed them to the Chief of Police who took
them and fared with them to the Sovran, rejoicing the while with
all joy. The citizens of Cairo heard of all this, so they flocked
in crowds to solace them with the spectacle; and when the Wali
reached the presence, the maiden and the young man being with
him, he set them before the Sultan. Presently the King asked the
youth saying, "Who mayest thou be, O young man, and who is thy
father?" and answered he, "I am son of such an Emir;" when the
King who believed that she was the daughter of the Chief Kazi
continued, "And this maiden that is with thee, who may she be and
whose daughter?" The youth replied, "This is my wife, O King of
the Age," and the King rejoined, "How can she be thy wife?" So
the youth retorted, "Indeed she is; and Such-an-one and So-and-so
and Such-another together with a host of thy favoured courtiers
wot right well that she is my spouse and that she is the daughter
of So-and-so." Hereupon they accosted her and bespoke her and she
bespake them, so they recognised her and were certified that she
was lawful wife to the Shalabi. Then asked the King, "How is it
that the Wali arrested thee and her?" and the youth answered, "O
King of the Age, I went out with this my wife intending to enjoy
ourselves and, finding a place that was cheerful and pleasant we
tarried there until midnight when the Wali broke in upon us and
seized us, scandalously declaring that I was companying with the
Kazi's daughter. Then he carried us off and gaoled us in his
house and now (Alham-dolillah!) here we are between thy hands. So
do thou whatso thou will and command according to Holy Law and
whoever shall deserve chastisement deal it to him, for thou art
the lord of our necks and the master of our good." Now when the
youth spake these words the King bade put to death the Chief of
Police and harry his house and enslave his women and he commanded
the Crier before the execution to cry about the thoroughfares of
Cairo in front of the Wali that he was being led to die and
declare, "This is the award of him who dishonoureth the noble and
chargeth the folk with lying charges and false!" After that they
slew the Chief of Police and thus carried out the King's
commandment.--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 Seventy-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that after the
Wali had been put to death the Sultan bestowed his good upon
Mohammed Shalabi and having gifted him with munificent gifts sent
him home with his spouse in all honour. And when the youth
returned to his quarters he fell to kissing his wife's hands and
feet, for that he had been saved at her hands by the stratagem
she had wrought for him and she had preserved the honour of the
Kazi's daughter and had enabled her father to prevail over his
enemy the Wali.[FN#465] "And now I will relate to thee" (quoth
Shahrazad) "another tale touching the wiles of women;" and
thereupon she fell to recounting the story of

THE FELLAH AND HIS WICKED WIFE.[FN#466]

There was of olden time in the land of Egypt a Fellah, or tiller
of the ground, who had a fair woman to wife and she had another
man to friend. The husband used to sow every year some fifty
faddan[FN#467] of seeding-wheat wherein there was not one
barley-grain, and grind it in the mill and pass this meal to his
spouse who would sift it and bolt it. Then would she take the
softest and best of the flour to make thereof either scones or
cakes[FN#468] or something more toothsome which she would give to
her friend and feed him therewith, whereas the refuse of the
flour[FN#469] she would make into loaves for her husband so this
bread would be ruddy-brown of hue.[FN#470] Now every day about
dawn-time the Fellah was wont fare to his field either to ear or
to delve and tarry there working till noon at which time the wife
would send him the bread of bran and refuse flour, whilst to
those beside him who wrought as he did would be brought from
their homes white bread and clean. So they said, "Ho certain
person! thy wheat is from fine sowing-seed, nor is there in it a
barley-corn, how then be your bread like unto barley?" Quoth he,
"I know not." He remained in such case for a while of time whilst
his wife fed her playmate with all the good food and served to
her husband the vilest of diet, until one chance day of the days
the Fellah took his plough and went off at early dawn to work and
wrought till midday when his wife sent him his dinner of dirty
bread. Hereupon he and his neighhours, who were earing in the
same field, took seat and each one set before him white bread and
seeing the Fellah's scones brown as barley-meal they marvelled
thereat. They had with them a scald-head boy who was sitting with
them at the noon-meal, so they said to the peasant, "Take thee to
servant this youngster and he shall manifest thee the case
wherein thou art from the doings of thy dame." He obeyed their
bidding--And Shahrazad was suprised 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 Seventy-eighth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Fellah
obeyed their bidding and took with him the scald-head youngster
for house-service and on the second day the lad fell to grinding
at the mill and carried the meal to his mistress and sat beside
her and anon she rose and sifted and bolted the flour; still he
stayed by her stealthily watching her while she kneaded it and
balled it and breaded it. After this he carried off the early
meal for his master and faring to the field set it before him and
when the Fellah looked upon it he cried, "O Boy, by Allah this
bread is white and 'tis clean unlike the foregone." Quoth he, "O
my master, I have ground it with my own hands and I sat beside my
mistress the while she got it ready, kneading it and baking it,
wherefor she availed not to do aught else with it." Now when the
servant-lad had left the hut her lover came in asking, "Hast thou
made bread for me?" and she answered, "Indeed the boy with the
scald-head ceased not sitting beside me, nor was I able to bake
aught for thee." But when the lad had gone forth to the field
with his master's dinner he set it before him and returned in hot
haste and hurry to the house, where he found the friend of his
mistress conversing with her; so he hid himself behind the door
and fell to overhearing them and to noting whatso they said.
Amongst other things quoth she, "Take this quartern of good wheat
and clean grain and grind it in this mill and I will make thee a
platter of bread from handrubbed flour[FN#471] which I will send
to thee on the morrow." Asked he, "How shalt thou know the
field?" and she answered, "Carry with thee a basket of bran and
drop the contents as thou walkest along the highway; then leave
it hard by the land belonging to thee and I will follow the
traces and find thee a-field; and so do thou remain at rest." All
this and the scald-head boy was standing behind the door
hearkening to their words until he had understood them all. On
the next day the lad took a basket of bran which he scattered on
the way to his master's land and then sat with him whilst the
wife, after baking the platter full of scones, carried it upon
her head and fared forth intending for her lover in the field.
She marked the traces of the bran which the scald-head had
dropped and she ceased not following them until she came to her
husband's field. Hereupon the lad arose and taking the platter
from her said, "By Allah, O my master, verily my mistress loveth
thee and favoureth thee, for that she hath brought a bannock made
from handrubbed grain;" and so saying he set it before him.
Presently she looked out of the corner of her eye and saw her
lover ploughing at a little distance from them; so she said to
her husband, "Allah upon thee, O certain person, call aloud to
so-and-so our neighbour that he may come and eat the noon meal
with thee." The man said, "'Tis well;" and presently added, "O
Boy, go forth and shout to such-an-one." Now the lad had brought
with him a parcel of green dates, so he arose and scattered them
at intervals upon the highway; and when he came to his mistress's
lover he cried aloud, "Do thou come dine with my master." But the
man refused so to do wherefore the scald-head returned and said,
"He will not;" and hereupon the wife bade her husband go himself
and fetch him. The Fellah trudged along the highway and finding
thereon the scattered dates bowed himself downwards to gather
them when the lover said to himself, "This one is picking up
stones wherewith to beat me;'"[FN#472] and as he saw the man
often stoop he fled and left the place, and the more the other
cried to him, "Come hither, O certain person," the faster sped he
in his running.--And Shahrazad was suprised 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 Seventy-ninth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is
benefiting, and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating,
that the more that man cried to the lover "Come," the faster did
he run away; so the Fellah returned and said, "He misliketh to
come and he hath fled." Hereupon he took seat together with the
scald-head and the neighbours to dine off the scones of
hand-rubbed grain, and the wife served to them whatso she had
made for her lover's eating and she would not touch aught thereof
but left it for her spouse and for his servant and for the
neighbours. On the following day the Fellah went forth betimes to
plough whilst the boy, delaying purposely at home, hid himself
behind the door when behold, the lover entered to her, and she
said, " 'Tis my desire that we forge a story whereby to slay my
husband and Master Scald-head the servant." Quoth he, "How wilt
thou slay them?" and quoth she, "I will buy for them poison and
make it up in cooked food, so they may devour it together and
perish together; after which we will abide, I and thou, making
merry, nor shall the dead disturb us any more." He rejoined, "Do
what thou willest," and all this whilst the boy stood listening
to them behind the door. But as soon as the lover went forth the
house, the lad arose and retired; then, donning Jews' garb he
shouldered a pair of saddle-bags and went about crying, "Ho!
Aloes good for use. Ho! Pepper[FN#473] good for use. Ho! Kohl
good for use. Ho! Tutty good for use!" Now when the woman saw him
she came forth the house and hailed him, "Ho thou the Jew!" and
said he to her, "Yes, O my lady." Then said she, "Hast thou with
thee aught of poison?" and said he, "How, O my lady? Have I not
with me poison of the hour?[FN#474] and whoever shall eat thereof
in a mess of sweet milk[FN#475] and rice and clarified butter
shall die within that time." "Do thou take this dinar," continued
she, "and give me somewhat of it;" but he rejoined, "I do not
trade for moneys, and I will sell it only for ornaments of
precious metal." Hereupon she pulled off one of her anklets and
handed it to him and he, who had provided himself with half a
loaf of Egyptian sugar,[FN#476] gave her the moiety thereof,
saying, "Use it with sweet milk and rice and clarified butter."
She took it in high glee, and arising milked the she-buffalo,
after which she boiled the loaf-sugar in the milk and then threw
it into a sufficiency of the rice and the clarified butter,
fancying the while that she was cooking a mortal meal,[FN#477]
and lastly she ladled out the mess into a large platter. Now when
it was sunset-time her husband returned from the field and was
met about half-way by the boy who told him all that he had
overheard and how he had sold her the sugar for one of her
anklets, saying, "This be poison." Then he charged him that, as
soon as both of them should have swallowed the mess of milk and
rice and clarified butter, they fall down and feign dead. So
master and servant agreed upon this plan. And when the Fellah
entered the hut she served to them the platter which contained
their supper, and they ate the whole thereof, she sitting by
intent upon their action and expecting their death. But they
served her with a sleight; for suddenly the Fellah changed
countenance and made as though he waxed ill and faint, and fell
upon the ground like one in the last agony, and shortly after the
boy rolled upon the floor on similar wise. Whenas she considered
them she exclaimed, "May Allah have no mercy upon you; the
wretches are dead!" Hereupon she went out and called aloud to her
lover, and as he was coming cried, "Hie thee hither and enjoy the
sight of these dead ones;" so he hastened up to them, and seeing
them stretched upon the door said, "They're dead." Presently
quoth she, "We two, I and thou, will now make merry;" and so
saying she withdrew with him into another hut, intending at once
to sleep together. Hereupon the husband arose and went in to them
and smote the lover with a quarter-staff upon the neck and broke
in his back bone,[FN#478] after which he turned to the wicked
woman his wife and struck her and split open her head, and left
the twain stone dead. And as soon as it was midnight he wrapped
them in a single sheet and carried them forth outside the
village, and after choosing a place,[FN#479] dug a hole and
thrust them therein. And ever after that same Fellah had rest
from his wife, and he bound himself by a strong oath not to
interwed with womankind-never no more.[FN#480] And now (quoth
Shahrazad) I will recount to you another tale touching the wiles
of women; and thereupon she fell to relating the adventure of

THE WOMAN WHO HUMOURED HER LOVER AT
HER HUSBAND'S EXPENSE.[FN#481]

There was a man in Cairo and he had a wife who ever boasted of
her gentle blood and her obedience and her docility and her fear
of the Lord. Now she happened to have in the house a pair of
fatted ganders[FN#482] and she also had a lover whom she kept in
the background. Presently the man came to visit her and seeing
beside her the plump birds felt his appetite sharpened by them,
so he said to her, "O Such-an-one, needs must thou let cook these
two geese with the best of stuffing so that we may make merry
over them, for that my mind is bent upon eating goose flesh."
Quoth she, "'Tis right easy; and by thy life, O So-and-so, I will
slaughter them and stuff them and thou shalt take them and carry
them home with thee and eat them, nor shall this pimp my husband
taste of them or even smell them." "How wilt thou do?" asked he,
and she answered, "I will serve him a sleight shall enter into
his brains and then give them to thee, for none is dear to me as
thyself, O thou light of mine eyes; whereas this pander my mate
shall not touch a bittock thereof." Upon this agreement the lover
went from her and when her husband returned at sunset-tide she
said to him, "Ho Man, how canst thou ever call thyself a man when
thou never invitest anybody to thy house and no day of the days
thou sayest me, 'I have a guest coming to us,' even as another
would do; and folk surely will talk of thee and declare thou art
a miser and unknowing the ways of generosity." "O Woman," said
he, "this were for me an easy business and to-morrow morning
(Inshallah!) I will buy for thee flesh and rice and thou shalt
let cook for us or dinner or supper, whereto I will invite one of
my intimates." Quoth she to him, "Nay, O Man; rather do thou buy
for me a pound of mince-meat; then slaughter the two geese and I
will stuff them and fry them, for that nothing is more savoury to
set before guests." Said he, "Upon my head and mine eye be it!"
and as soon as it was dawn he slaughtered the geese and went
forth and bought a Rotolo of meat which he minced and took all
was required of rice and hot spices and what not else. These he
carried home to his wife and said to her, "Do thou finish off thy
cooking before midday when I will bring my guests," and presently
he fared forth from her. Then she arose and cleaned out the geese
and stuffed them with minced meat and a portion of rice and
almonds and raisins;[FN#483] and fried them until they were well
cooked; after which she sent for her lover and as soon as he came
she and he made merry together, and she gave him the geese which
he took up and left her.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn
of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then
quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is
this compared with that I 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 Eighty-first Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night." She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the woman
gave to her lover the geese which she had fried and he took the
twain and fared away with them. Now when it was noon suddenly her
husband came home accompanied by a friend and knocked at the
door; so she arose and opened to him and admitted them. Then she
asked, "And hast thou brought only one man?[FN#484] hie thee
forth and fetch at least two or better still three." "'Tis well,"
said he and went off to do her bidding. Then the woman accosted
the guest who came first and cried, "Oh the pity of it! By Allah
thou art lost and the La Haul of Allah[FN#485] is upon thee and
doubtless thou hast no children." Now when the man heard these
words he exclaimed, "Why, O Woman?" for indeed fear and affright
had sunk deep into his heart. She rejoined, "Verily my husband
hath not brought thee hither save with the intention of cutting
off thy precious stones the honours of thy yard[FN#486] and of
gelding thee to a Castrato; and heigho and alas for thee whether
thou die or whether thou live, and Oh the pity of it for thee!"
Now when the man heard this speech, he arose in haste and hurry
and rushed out by the door, when behold, the husband came
bringing with him two of his familiars. So the wife met him at
the entrance and said to him, "O Man, O miserablest of men, O
thou disappointed, O thou dissatisfied,[FN#487] thou hast brought
to me a fellow which was a thief, a ne'er-do-well like unto
thyself." "How so?" asked he, and she answered, "The man stole
the two geese and stole away." Thereupon the husband went out and
catching sight of the guest running off shouted to him, "Come
back! Come back! even although thou bring only one with thee and
take the other." Cried the man in reply, "An thou catch me do
thou take thee the two. But the house-master meant the two geese
whilst the man who was running away thought only of himself,
saying in his mind, "This one speaketh of my ballocks, meaning
that he will take only one of my stones[FN#488] and leave me the
other." So he ceased not running and the other followed after
him, but being unable to catch him he returned to his guests and
served them with somewhat of bread and so forth, whilst the woman
kept blaming him and nagging about the matter of the geese which
she said had been carried off, but which had been given by her to
her lover. The husband enjoined her to silence; however she would
not hold her peace[FN#489] and on this wise he was balked of the
meal to feed his wife's friend. And now (quoth Shahrazad) I will
relate to you somewhat of the wiles of an honest woman, and
thereupon she fell to recounting the adventure of

THE KAZI SCHOOLED BY HIS WIFE.

It is related of a man which was a Kazi that he had a wife of the
virtuous and the righteous and of the charitable and the pitiful
to the orphan and the pauper; and the same was beautiful
exceedingly. Her husband held and was certified anent womankind
that all and every were like unto his spouse; so that when any
male masculant came into his court[FN#490] complaining about his
rib he would deliver his decision that the man was a wrong-doer
and that the woman was wronged. On such wise he did because he
saw that his wife was the pink of perfection and he opined that
the whole of her sex resembled her, and he knew naught of the
wickedness and debauchery of the genus and their sorcery and
their contrariety and the cunning contrivance wherewith they work
upon men's wits. He abode all careless of such matters, in
consequence of the virtues of his spouse, until one chance day of
the days when suddenly a man came to him with a grievance about
his better half and showed how he had been evil entreated by her
and how her misconduct was manifest and public. But when the man
laid his case before the Kazi and enlarged upon his charge, the
Judge determined that he was in tort and that his wife was in the
right; so the complainant went forth the court as one deaf and
blind who could neither hear nor see. Moreover he was perplexed
as to his affair, unknowing what he should do in the matter of
his helpmate and wherefore the Kazi had determined contrary to
justice that he had ill-used his spouse. Now as to the Kazi's
wife none could forgather with her;[FN#491] so the plaintiff was
distraught and confounded when he was met unexpectedly on the way
by one who asked him, "What may be thy case, O certain person,
and how hath it befallen thee with the Kazi in the matter of thy
rib?" "He hath given sentence," quoth the man, "that I am the
wrong-doer and that she is the wronged, and I know not how I
shall act." Whereupon quoth the other, "Return and take thy
station hard by the entrance to the Judge's Harem and thyself
under the protection of its inmates." The man did as his friend
advised him and knocked, when a handmaiden came out and he said
to her, "O Damsel, 'tis my desire that thou send me hither thy
lady, so I may bespeak her with a single word." She went in and
informed her mistress[FN#492] who rose and humoured him, and
standing veiled behind the door asked, "What is to do with thee,
O man?" "O my lady," said he, "I place myself under thy ward and
thine honour, so thou enable me to get justice of my wife and
overcome her and prevail over her, for in very deed she hath
wronged me and disgraced me. I came to complain of her
ill-conduct before His Honour our lord the Kazi, yet he hath
determined that I am the wrong-doer and have injured her while
she is the wronged. I know not what I shall do with him, and
sundry of the folk have informed me that thou art of the
beneficent; so I require that thou charge for me the Judge to
deliver according to Holy Law his decree between me and my mate."
Quoth she, "Go thou and take thy rest, nor do thou return to him
until he shall have sent after thee, and fear not aught from him
at all." "Allah increase thy weal, O my lady," quoth he, and he
left her and went about his business pondering his case and
saying to himself in mind, "Oh would Heaven I wot whether the
Kazi's wife will protect me and deliver me from this
fornicatress, this adulteress, who hath outraged me and carried
away my good and driven me forth from her." Now when it was
night-tide and the Judge was at leisure from his commandments, he
went into his Harem, and it was his wife's custom whenever he
returned home to meet him at the middle doorway. But as on that
occasion she failed so to do, he walked into the apartment
wherein she woned and found her at prayers; then he recalled to
mind the contention of the man who had come to him with a
grievance against his spouse--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 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 Eighty-third Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that when the
Kazi went in to his wife whom he found praying, he recalled to
mind the matter of the man who had come to him with a contention
against his spouse and he said in his thought, "Verily nor
hurting nor harming ever cometh from womankind and indeed this
liar complaineth of his wife falsely;" for it was still in his
mind that all of the contrary sex are as virtuous as his lady.
But when she had done with her devotions, she rose up to him and
served him and set before him, she and her handmaidens, the tray
of food and she sat down at meat with him as was her wont. Now
amongst the dishes was a charger containing two chickens, so said
she to her husband, "By Allah, O my lord, do thou buy for us
to-morrow a couple of geese that I may let stuff them, for my
heart is set upon eating of their meat." Said he, "O my lady,
to-morrow (Inshallah! an it be the will of the Almighty) I will
send to the Bazar and let buy for thee two geese of the biggest
and the fattest and the Eunuchs shall slaughter them and thou
shalt use them as thou will." Accordingly, at dawn-tide the Judge
sent to buy two plump birds and bade the Eunuchs cut their
throats and the handmaidens gutted them and stuffed them and
cooked them with rice over and above the usual food. Thereupon
the Kazi's wife arose and proceeded to work her contrivance. She
had bought two sparrows which the hunter had trapped; and she
bade kill and dress them and place them upon the rice instead of
the geese and awaited the even-tide when her husband would return
to supper. Then they spread the tables whereupon was placed a
covered platter under which he supposed stood the geese, so he
took it off and behold, he found the two sparrows. Hereat he was
perplext and said to his wife, "Allaho Akbar-God is most
Great-where be the geese?" and said she to him, "Whatso thou
broughtest here it be[FN#493] before thee upon the dish." "These
be two sparrows," quoth he, and quoth she, "I wot not." So the
Judge arose displeased[FN#494] with his wife and going to her
home fetched her father and as she saw him coming, she stood up
and whipping off the two small birds placed the big ones in their
stead; and he uncovered the plate and found the geese. So he said
to his son-in-law, "Thou declarest that these be sparrows but
indeed they are geese;" for he also was deceived and went forth
in displeasure with the Judge, after which the Kazi followed in
his footstep and soothed him and invited him to meat but he would
not return with him. Hereupon the husband padlocked the door but,
before he had entered, the wife had substituted the birdies for
the big birds and when her mate sat down to meat and would fain
have eaten he uncovered the platter and beheld the two sparrows.
Seeing this he was like to go out of his mind and he cried aloud,
"Wallahi! Indeed this be a portentous calamity," and he went
forth, trotting in his haste, until he met his father-in-law upon
the way. Then he cried upon him and said, "Come and look at the
two geese which were in the platter." "Wherefore?" asked the
other and answered he, "Because I found them changed to two
sparrows." Hereupon the father returned with him to the house and
walked up to the table whence the lady, during her husband's
absence, had removed the birdies and replaced the birds in lieu
of them. So the father took off the cover and finding before him
the pair of geese said to his son-in-law, "Be these two geese?
consider them well whether they be sparrows or not." "Two geese,"
said the other and said the sire, "Then why dost thou come to me
a second and a several time and bring me hither and complain of
my daughter?" Hereupon he left him and went forth an-angered and
the Judge came up with him at the doorway and soothed him and
conjured him to return. Meanwhile the lady arose and whipping off
the geese set the two birdies in lieu thereof and covered them
up; and as soon as the Kazi returned and sat down to meat he
removed the cover from the platter and found the two sparrows.
Hereat he shrieked aloud and arose and went forth the door and
cried, "Ho Moslems, come ye to my help!"[FN#495] Now when the
people of the quarter heard the outcry, they gathered together
about the house, when the lady seized the occasion to carry off
the two birdies and to set in lieu of them the two geese. Asked
they, "What is to do with thee, O our lord the Kazi, and what
hath befallen thee?" and he answered, "I bought two geese for our
supper and now I find them turned into two sparrows;" and so
saying he led the Notables of the quarter into his house and
showed them the dish. They uncovered it and found therein two
geese, so they exclaimed, "These be two geese which thou callest
sparrows;" and so saying they left him and went their ways. He
followed them making excuses and was absent for a while, when his
wife took the birds and set the birdies in place of them and when
the Kazi returned and proceeded to sit down at meat he uncovered
the platter and behold, thereon stood the two sparrows. So he
smote hand upon hand crying, "These be two sparrows without doubt
or hesitation;" whereat his wife arose and called out with a loud
voice, "O ye Moslems, help ye a Moslemah."[FN#496] So the folk
ran to her aidance and asked her saying, "What is to do, O our
lady?" and she answered, "Verily my calamity is grievous and
there is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the
Glorious, the Great. My husband the Kazi hath gone Jinn-mad and
do you of our grace and benevolence lay hold of him and carry him
to the Maristan."--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 Eighty-fifth Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Judge's wife cried upon the folk of the quarter, "Do ye of your
grace and benevolence to us seize the Kazi and carry him to the
Maristan that they may confine him therein until he return to his
reason and regain his right mind." Hereupon they laid hands upon
him and bore him to the Bedlam and imprisoned him therein amongst
the maniacs, and it was certified to all the folk that their Kazi
had been suddenly struck by insanity and that they had confined
him in the madhouse. Now all this was of the cunning contrivance
of his wife, that she might make manifest to him concerning
womankind how none of mankind can prevail over them. But after
the lapse of three days which the Judge passed in the Bedlam, his
wife went in to him bringing a somewhat of food and set meat
before him and asked him saying, "What was it thou foundest on
the platter?" Answered he, "Two sparrows," and continued she,
"Recover thy senses and thy right mind and see here am I who have
made thee out mad for thy confusion between two geese and two
sparrows. Now whenever any man cometh to thee complaining of his
wife (and thou unknowing aught of the couple and of their
circumstances), thou determinest that the male is the evil-doer
and withal thou wottest not that women are often the worst of
wrongers and that men are sorely wronged by them. And in the
matter now in hand, the whole of the folk declare that the Kazi
is a wrong-doer to his wife, and no one knoweth that thou art
really the wronged and I the wronger. Indeed sooth did he say who
said, 'Alas for those who be gaoled wrongfully!' So do thou never
decide aught thou knowest not. However, thou hast approved to
thyself that I am true and loyal to thee and thou makest all the
folk like one to other, but this is a sore injury to some. In the
present case do thou send for the man who is wronged and let
bring him to thy presence and bid his wife be also present and do
him justice of her." After this she removed her husband from the
Maristan and went her ways, and the Kazi did with the man as his
lady had charged him do and whenever a plaintiff came before him
with a grievance against his wife he would decide that the man
was the wronged and the woman was the wronger, and he ceased not
doing after this fashion for a while of time. And now (quoth
Shahrazad) I will relate to you another history of womankind and
this is the tale of

THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER AND THE PRINCE
OF AL-IRAK.[FN#497]

Whilome there was, men say, a Khwajah, a merchant man who was
lord of money and means and estates and endowments and appanages,
withal he had no seed, or son or daughter, and therefore he sued
Almighty Allah that he might be blessed with even a girl-child to
inherit his good and keep it together. Suddenly he heard a Voice
bespeak him in dreamery saying, "Ho Such-an-one, Predestination
overcometh Prudence and resignation to the trials sent by Allah
is foremost and fairest." Hearing this he arose without stay or
delay and casually[FN#498] slept with his wife who, by decree of
the Decreer and by allowance of Allah Almighty, conceived that
very night. When she became pregnant and the signs of gestation
showed in her, the merchant rejoiced and distributed and doled
and did alms-deed; and, as soon as her tale of days was
fulfilled, there befel her what befalleth womankind of
labour-pangs, and parturition came with its madding pains and the
dolours of delivery, after which she brought forth a girl-babe
moulded in mould of beauty and loveliness and showing promise of
brilliance and stature and symmetric grace. Now on the night
after the birth and when it was the middle thereof, the Merchant
was sitting at converse beside his wife and suddenly he again
heard the Voice announcing to him that his daughter was fated to
become a mother in illicit guise by the son of a King who reigned
in the region Al-Irak. He turned him towards the sound but could
see no man at such time, and presently he reflected that between
his city and the capital of the King's son in Al-Irak was a
distance of six months and a moiety. Now the night wherein the
Merchant's wife became a mother was the same when the King's wife
of Al-Irak bare a boy-heir, and the Merchant, albe he wist naught
thereof, was seized with trembling and terror at the words of the
Voice and said in himself, "How shall my daughter forgather with
the King's son in question when between us and him is a travel of
six months and a half? What can be such case? But haply this
Voice is of a Satan!" As soon as it was morning-tide the father
summoned astrologers and men who compute horoscopes and scribes
who cast lots,[FN#499] and when they presented themselves he
informed them that a daughter had been added to his household and
his aim was to see what the prognostic[FN#500] might be. Hereupon
all and every wrought at his art and mystery, and it was shown
that the Merchant's daughter would become a mother by the son of
a King and this would be in the way of unright: but so far from
informing him of this or suffering him to learn concerning of her
circumstance they said, "The future none wotteth it save Allah
Almighty and our craft at times proveth soothfast and at times
falsifieth us." However the Khwajah's heart was on no wise
satisfied and he ceased not to suffer patiently nor did rest
repose him nor were meat and sleep to him sweet for the space of
two years, during which his daughter was suckled and in due time
was weaned. The father never ceased pondering how he should act
towards his child and at sundry times he would say, "Let us slay
her and rest from her," and at other times he would exclaim, "Let
us remove her to a stead where none shall approach her or of
man-kind or of Jinn-kind." Withal did none point out a path to
pursue nor did any guide him to any course of the courses he
might adopt. Now one day of the days he fared forth his house
unknowing whither he should wend and he stinted not wending until
he found himself without the town,--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 story, O sister mine, and how enjoyable and
delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this compared with that I
would relate to you on the coming night an the Sovran suffer me
to survive?" Now when it was the next night and that was

The Seven Hundred and Eighty-seventh Night,

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the
Khwajah stinted not wending until he found himself without the
town, where he was expectedly met by a wight in Darwaysh-garb to
whom he salam'd and by whom he was saluted. Presently the holy
man turned to the merchant and seeing him changed of colour and
conduct asked him, "What is with thee to do, and what ill hast
thou to rue that thy case and complexion are so changed to view?"
"O Fakir," answered the other, "verily a matter of marvel hath
betided me and I know not how to act therein." Quoth the ghostly
man, "And what may that be?" whereupon the Merchant related to
him all his affair first and last, and how he had heard a Voice
saying to him, "In very deed thy daughter shall conceive after
unlawful fashion by the King's son of Al-Irak." The Darwaysh was
surprised on hearing these words from him and said in his
thought, "There is no averting of adversity foredoomed and Allah
will do whatso he will;" presently adding, "O Khwajah, in yonder
direction riseth a mountain Jabal al-Sah b[FN#501] hight, which
is impenetrable or to mankind or to Jinn-kind; but given thou
avail to reach it thou wilt find therein and about the middle
combe thereof a vast cavern two miles in breadth by an hundred
long. Here, an thou have in thee force and thou attain thereto
and lodge thy daughter, haply shall Allah Almighty conserve and
preserve the maid from what evils thou heardest the Voice declare
to thee for her destiny: however, thou shalt on no wise reach
those highlands until thou shalt have expended thereon a matter
of much money. Moreover at the head and front of that
cave[FN#502] is an inner crevice which, extending to the
mountain-top, admitteth daylight into its depths and displayeth a
small pavilion by whose side be five-fold pleasaunce-gardens with
flowers and fruits and rills and trees besprent and birds hymning
Allah, the One, the Omnipotent. Now an thou avail to convey thy
daughter to that place, she shall dwell there secure,
safe-guarded." As soon as the Khwajah heard those words from the
Fakir, there faded from his heart whatso there was of thought and
forethought and cark and care and he took the hand of the
Religious whom he led to his home and honoured him and robed him,
for that he had indicated such place of protection. When the
maiden reached the age of five and had waxed killing in beauty,
her father brought her a learned Divine with whom she began
reading and who taught her the Koran and writing and the art of
caligraphy;[FN#503] and when she had seen the first decade, she
fell to studying astrology and astronomy and the aspect of the
Heavens. Such was her case; but as regards that of her sire the
Merchant, from the hour he forgathered with the Darwaysh he
ceased not to hold him in his heart and presently he proposed to
take him and travel with him to the mountain aforementioned. So
they set out together and when they reached it they found it a
site right strong as though fortified, and entering the antre
they fell to considering it right and left till they reached its
head where they came upon the little pavilion. After all this
quoth the Fakir, "Indeed such stead shall safe-guard thy daughter
from the shifts of the Nights and the Days;" withal was he
unknowing that the Decreed be determined and must perforce be
done, albeit Doom be depending from the skirts of the
clouds.[FN#504] And the Religious ceased not showing the site
until he caused his companion enter the parterres, which he found
as they had been described to him with flowers and fruits and
streams and trees besprent and birds hymning the One, the
Omnipotent. As soon as they had finished solacing themselves with
the sights, they fared back to their town where, during their
absence-term, the damsel's mother had made ready for them
viaticum and presents, and by the time the twain returned they
found ready to hand everything of travel-gear and all the wants
of wayfare. So they equipped themselves and set forth, taking
with them the maiden together with five white slave-girls and ten

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